By Chad Rader
Here we stand, a few months after Missouri and Texas A&M bolted from the Big 12, and over a year since Nebraska and Colorado departed.
Missouri touted their move due to league instability. Nebraska and Texas A&M cited irreparable differences with Texas. Colorado, well, who cares.
But I firmly like the Big 12's position. Today, the Big East announced it has accepted Memphis as its next member.
Wow, talk about a royal mess that conference has decayed into. Talk about holding a conference together with paper clips and chewing gum.
The mighty Big East lost Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia. Just six years ago, they lost Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech. Those schools right there would be a great conference in themselves. And who knows if the ACC will come calling for Connecticut in the next 3-4 years.
So what has the mighty Big East gained? Hold on tight for these powerhouses.
Houston. SMU. Central Florida. Memphis. For football only, Boise State, San Diego State and Navy.
So for football, the Big East will be:
- South Florida
- Boise State
- SD State
Can anyone say Conference USA? Seriously, the mighty Big East now has 12 schools, SEVEN which were Conference USA schools.
Months ago, it was predicted that the Big 12 and Big East would be in a contest of who could rob the others of schools first. Thanks goodness for Chuck Neinas yanking the controls from Dan Beebe, flipping from passive defense to aggressive offense, and grabbing TCU and West Virginia away from a limping Big East.
For all you doubters in the Big 12, this should make you feel a LOT better when your conference's ESPN headlines read "When will West Virginia officially join ...", and whether "BYU will pair with Louisville" as the next members. Not “Memphis joins Big East”. I’m waiting for the headline in six months that “Big East being reviewed as BCS qualifier”.
When the Big 12 ultimately takes Louisville (and I put Cincinnati as next in line after BYU, besides the Notre Dame wishful thinking), and UConn jets for the ACC, the mighty Big East will certainly be the Big Least. For even being a “basketball” conference, they will be left with the Conference USA scraps. ESPN execs are scrambling to reshuffle their conference tournament coverage out of Madison Square Garden after this year.
After reading the Memphis, UCF and Houston headlines recently, all area Big 12 fans and alums can breathe a big sigh of relief. Much like “Survivor” or “American Idol”, you don’t have to be the top dog to survive and advance. You just can’t be the worst. And right now, there’s no question who the mighty big turd is in the BCS lineup.
Now, if we can just keep the Big 12 basketball in Kansas City…
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