To some, TCU is the closest thing college football had to a national champion last season. It went 13-0, won the Rose Bowl after the arbitrary rules of the BCS kept it out of the so-called national championship game and, unlike Auburn and Oregon, (which did play in that game) is NOT being investigated at the moment by the NCAA.
But before the celebrating in Waco had ended, the seismic cracks in the sport surfaced again. Only a few days after Texas A&M announced that it intended to leave the not-so Big 12, Oklahoma President David Boren was making noises about his school departing too, perhaps to join the newly minted Pacific-12 Conference. Oklahoma State would no doubt follow and Texas — which almost went west a year ago — and Texas Tech might join the party.
Oh God, here we go again. Next thing you know college football games will be taking six hours. Oh wait, that already happened — Saturday at Notre Dame.
While the Flailin’ Irish were finding a way to lose to South Florida between lightning delays, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott was meeting with the media in Dallas before Oregon’s loss to LSU. (Not a good weekend for the Pac-12 when you throw in UCLA’s loss to Houston and Oregon State’s stunning overtime loss to Sacramento State.)
Scott’s bio notes that he speaks French. He also speaks a language unique to college administrators, whether they are presidents, commissioners or athletic directors. In Scott-ese, expansion doesn’t exist.
“We don’t have any specific model or formula in mind,” Scott told the reporters in Dallas. “All I’ve said is that I expect that you will see further consolidation given the fragmentation of college sports.”
English translation: The Big 12 will soon be as obsolete as the typewriter if Scott has his way. A year ago he was ready to pounce on Texas and try to turn his league into a 16-team behemoth before anyone else could make a similar move. Now, that chance may come again in the next few weeks. Don’t expect Scott to be passive if it does.
And don’t expect SEC Commissioner Mike Slive or Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany to sit and fiddle while their conference presidents burn over the fact that the Pac-16 may jump to the head of the line in TV rights money. Slive has told people he could create a 16-team league in about 15 minutes if he wanted to and there’s no doubt that’s true. You can bet Delany will be right there with him, raising him with Syracuse or Pittsburgh or even Maryland or West Virginia the instant Slive moves on Texas A&M, Missouri, Clemson, Florida State or Virginia Tech.