September 8, 2011

Has it come to this? Is the SEC that afraid of the empty threat of a lawsuit that they are hesitating on taking Texas A&M? Could it be true that the ACC showed more intestinal fortitude than the SEC is showing?


This whole lawsuit threat is merely something that gives everyone a chance to pause. The SEC is willing to step back and wait because there is no need for them to rush.

The Pac-12 gets to think a little longer about how much it wants to take Oklahoma. All the Big 12 members are willing to take a step back for the moment. The only place that is really pissed off about this are in College Station, Texas.

“We are being held hostage right now,” Loftin said of being forced to stay in the Big 12. “Essentially, we’re being told that you must stay here against your will and we think that really flies in the face of what makes us Americans for example and makes us free people.”

Uh, yeah. Hyperbole much? And the recommitment and public statements about sticking with and supporting the Big 12 in the prior year? Well, those don’t count.


Do you recall back in the summer of 2003, when the ACC was pursuing their Big East raid? Where the ACC went behind the Big East’s back to court Miami. Did the Big East threaten a lawsuit? No. They filed one. Not just filed a lawsuit, but got state attorneys general to participate.

Remember what it accomplished? Unless you are Syracuse or Virginia Tech, it merely acted as a minor delay.

Oh, it made ACC schools skittish enough that they couldn’t muster sufficient votes to take Miami, BC and Syracuse in one swoop. Instead, it gave the Virginia legislature and governor time to bring pressure on UVa to not support any expansion without bringing Virginia Tech to the conference. VT was even a party to the Big East lawsuit against Miami, BC and the ACC. Since enough ACC teams wanted Miami, they decided to take VT as well, and waited a year before getting BC.

Other than a brief delay and getting VT into the ACC, the only other thing that the Big East got out of it was an agreement for a bunch of home-and-home games.

This Big 12 joke, isn’t even the threat of a lawsuit. It is that Baylor (and now Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State) won’t waive their right to bring a lawsuit.

The reports are that the objections would be dropped if Oklahoma (and by extension Oklahoma State) reaffirm their commitment to the Big 12. Right. All this is going to do is make Oklahoma more eager to run.

If A&M is forced to stay in the league, and it continues at 10 teams, what kind of environment would ensue? It would be a pirate ship of a conference. A virtual prison, with every school sleeping with one eye open, because it trusts no one. Do you think OU, much less A&M, wants to be in a league with Baylor after Wednesday?

You talk about planning an exit strategy.

Or let’s say the threat would work — a far-fetched idea; when did anyone ever get ahead in life threatening David Boren? OK, so OU’s back in, with no A&M, and the league needs a 10th team, which everyone agrees would, best-case scenario, be Brigham Young. BYU has been waffling on its interest in the Big 12. Some in Provo believe independence works better for the Cougars.

Now, those BYU skeptics have to grow, don’t they? Does a Big 12 held together by desperation and threats, still with widespread resent of Texas, sound like something anyone would want to join if they don’t have to? Not even the lure of a possible BCS bid would make that palatable to BYU.

The real goal is to give Baylor time. Time to find/force its way into another BCS conference.

Baylor administrators have had discussions with the Big East and are confident the league would extend an invitation to the Bears if the Big 12 implodes, a source with knowledge of the conversations told Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday night.

“There haven’t been any guarantees,” the source said. “But [Baylor] feels strongly that that’s what would happen.”

Big East officials declined to comment, but it’s certainly not difficult to see why the conference would value Baylor. The Bears are surging in football and men’s basketball and are a perennial contender for the NCAA title in women’s basketball.

Uh, I can think of plenty of reasons why the Big East would have little interest in a private school located in Waco. One that despite being able to force its way into the Big 12, did nothing for the first dozen years in the conference. A program that has been wracked by scandal on the basketball side that it makes Jim Calhoun seem downright saintly.

I would dismiss this as outright bulls**t, but we are talking about the Big East braintrust being involved, so… I am a little worried.

Meanwhile, Texas just sits back. They aren’t part of any of the threats and wrangling. They just lit the fuse. But if you think they are upset over this, well Chip Brown at the Texas site has been both breaking news and doing his level best to give the Texas spin. And boy does he spin it today.

And it would also give the BCS conferences two years decide what they really want to do with college athletics.

Sources say the Pac-12 has indicated it would not expand unless the SEC moved first. So if Texas A&M-to-the-SEC is off the table for two more football seasons, there is a real chance the massive realignment that appeared so imminent just a couple days ago in college athletics could actually be thought out – for better or worse – over time.

All the scenarios about whom the SEC might add to get to 16; about whom the Pac-12 might add and how Texas and the Longhorn Network could or could not fit into a conference structure could be mulled over for weeks and months and not hours and days.

How about a trial balloon to the Big 10?

If the Big Ten came to Texas and said we will take you as a member and you can bring the Longhorn Network – with the only caveat being that Texas could not share in any of the revenue from the Big Ten Network, that could be deliberated and discussed thoughtfully.

And then there is the trolling of the rivals.

For the second year in a row, college athletics is facing massive realignment. This time it’s been, in large part, because the boards of regents at Texas A&M and Oklahoma decided enough was enough. A group of nine people – made up of professionals such as dentists and convenience store owners – were making the decisions about who would be playing in what conference and when.

Meanwhile the Texas regents are saints and world leaders. Every last one of them.

It goes on:

Not a commissioner. Not a group of athletic directors. Not a group of people who spend every day thinking about the business of college athletics. A group of non-paid volunteers who are appointed to a regents board by that state’s governor.

Think about that for a second.

Sometimes these regents move at the behest of a governor’s agenda as opposed to an athletic director’s agenda.

Not a Rick Perry fan in any way, shape, or form. But now we are about to add Perry’s presidential aspirations and the getting the Southern vote to a conspiracy to get Texas A&M into the SEC? To wit:

Nonetheless, they are the ones moving the chess pieces in realignment because there is no one watching over college athletics with EVERYONE’S best interests in mind.

I don’t think the hypocrisy-meter can handle this one. A Texas homer bitching about how schools are looking out for their own interests rather than the best interests of everyone.


You truly believe A&M won’t end up in the SEC? Baylor is just delaying it a bit in my opinion, which isn’t worth a crap for the record.

Comment by Tony C 09.09.11 @ 8:44 pm

56-0 panthers tomorrow

Comment by scoocher 09.09.11 @ 8:45 pm

all i know is that if iowa state somehow ends up in the BE, i may come out of the stands to personally tackle paul rhodes. i have never hated a person ive never met the way i hate rhodes. i will bend but not break him.

Comment by Greg in New Orleans 09.09.11 @ 9:36 pm

joel, good point about SEC not going north in Nov; they rarely travel north this time of year

Comment by wbb 09.09.11 @ 9:41 pm

Hopewell beats Montour 22-19,Rushel Shell rushes for 233 yds on 38 carries.

Comment by alcofanh 09.09.11 @ 9:50 pm

@Greg…. LOL!!!

Comment by Dan 09.09.11 @ 9:51 pm

And Louisville lays the egg!!! Yikes!!

I know, I know, FIU is improved!!! Look, they play in the Sun Belt, and, they are, F.I.U.!!!

Comment by Dan 09.09.11 @ 10:18 pm

you want to be proactive, it’s time to invite FIU in the BE .. don’t laugh .. instead consider the following:

– only 10 years of FB and they won the Sun Belt last year
– located in Miami, recruiting hotbed and will continue to improve
– 4th largest college in FL, 15th largest in US – 44,000 undergrad enrollment
– research univ; $138m endowment; more valedictorians wnet there than any other US college last year
– beat Lousiville tonite; lost to Rutgers by 5 and Texas A&M by 7 last year

This is a rising star – time for the BE to strike

Comment by wbb 09.09.11 @ 10:20 pm

oh yea, while their field only seats 18k, they own the field and it looks like they can easily expand

link to

Comment by wbb 09.09.11 @ 10:26 pm

Pop quiz~ who is FIU’s only win against a BCS opponent? Louisville! Way to represent the Big East.

Comment by Eric R 09.10.11 @ 8:04 am

as a follow-up to Alcofan’s posting — Hopewell beat 3A No. 1 Montour with a last minute 35 yd TD by Rushell Shell, who had 233 yards. Coach Graham and a few assistants were at the game, as was an asst coach from Alabama.

It needs to be noted that Montour’s RB, Julius Durden had 162 yds on 14 carries. Durden was also offered by Pitt who is supposedly high on the Panthers according to PantherDigest (

BTW, the most recent Pitt commit, Corey Jones, had a 59 yd TD reception against Gateway

Comment by wbb 09.10.11 @ 8:59 am

Baylor is just another version of Providence College, changing Catholics for Southern Baptists. If you like temper tantrums and the minority controlling the majority, go ahead: Invite the Bears.

Comment by TonyinHouston 09.10.11 @ 9:24 am

FIU’s coach added another notch in his belt, with that win last night.

I wonder if he is going to move on to another program shortly?

FIU was ready to play and another black eye for the big east.

Comment by WLAT and the Big Beat! 09.10.11 @ 9:28 am

I am going to the game to be with the diehards today. I have been to many sparcely attended Pitt games over the years. Should be nostalgic. Although I will be in the Club seats, far from the days that you had to pick splinters out of your butt from the rotting wooden benches at Pitt Stadium. We’ve come a long way baby.

We need the kids to act like the zoo today. Where is today’s version of Tiger Paul? We need a new cheer that is unique to Pitt. Olay Olay Olay has already been taken as has whatever they do at PSU. Any ideas?

By the way, I don’t remember hearing the Band play the fight song last week. Maybe they should blast it over the crazy loud sound system.

I hope they are not bringing in top recruits today to witness the pagentry that is PITT.

Sorry for the negativity. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by gc 09.10.11 @ 9:37 am

The game (except play, of course) is entirely scripted. What is shown on the ‘tron, when and what the band plays, what music is played and when. Even worse, when on TV. This also applies to the Pete. The folks doing the scripting, I don’t believe, have the same focus on history and tradition. Blame them….

As for the Pitt Band, the director and some of his key folks were in the band in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Jackie Anderson’s dad was a Pitt Dentist and Asst. Director from the 50’s through 1970. They know what to do, but they are just “scripted” into submission.

Comment by CompLit 09.10.11 @ 10:05 am

I definitely feel better about Pitt landing on it’s feet in a good conference given the fact tha the universtiy spent good money on Graham to better the football program and b/c of the health of the b-ball program.

However, for those that feel better because of Zeise’s column, I urge caution. Zeise is not an insider and think that has been proven through the mess we had with haywood, etc. Nice guy and reporting is ok but he is far from an insider.

Comment by pittfan92 09.10.11 @ 10:13 am

FIU is a diploma mill…nuff said.

Comment by TX Panther 09.10.11 @ 11:11 am

Zeise is as close as an insider as you can probably get. He was the first to (1) dismiss the rumor from Feb 2010 that Pitt was joining the Big 10 and (2) also the first to dispel the news reports of this past January that Tom radley was hired as head coach.

Nonetheless, nobody really knows, not even Pitt officials, what the future holds. They can be roactice all they want and make other conferences know that they would be interested in joining, but they don’t have the leverage to force their way.

All Zeise was saying that the Pitt admin is prepared to take advantage of any opportunity that may come their way.

Comment by wbb 09.10.11 @ 11:36 am

wbb, we can agree to disagree on Zeise. His sporadic reporting during the coaching change(s) told me all that I need to know. He was out-reported during that time by the Trib.

Comment by pittfan92 09.10.11 @ 2:34 pm

Hmmm…Let’s look at the overall Big 12 Title List (inception 1996 for those
trolls who are a bit mathematically challenged):

1) Texas with 114
2) A&M with 53
3) Baylor with 42
4) Oklahoma State with 40
5) Oklahoma with 39
6) Kansas with 24
7) Iowa state with 11
8) Texas Tech with 11
9) K-State with 7
10) Missouri with 7

Inclusion of now departed teams:

Nebraska with 72
Colorado with 27

Influence only gets you so far…winning on the athletic field is where it
counts. Baylor has not been the best in years past in football, but they have
improved tremendously over the last 4 years. Currently ranked in the top 20 with a defeat of soon to be BE member TCU.

Comment by JB 09.13.11 @ 12:05 am

[…] from Baylor and other Big 12 members  — Kansas, K-State, Iowa St. and Mizzou — is not a real deterrent for the SEC to take Texas A&M. It is just the excuse for a chance to […]

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