Conference officials are in “active dicsussions” with Big 12 schools Texas and Oklahoma and regents for those schools are meeting today to discuss the issue. The Austin American-Statesman reports that the Pac-12 won’t stop at 14 schools; it cited a source who said final details were being worked out to add Oklahoma State and Texas Tech as well. Which means this isn’t good for the Big 12.
“It’s a lot closer to being done than the alternative,” a source whom it did not identify told the Dallas Morning News. “There’s a little work left to be done.”
The moves are nothing if not controversial. Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer approves, saying, via Hokies Journal, that: “They did it quickly and did, in my opinion, the right thing,” he said. “And so I think we’ve really done well as a league and solidified our league. . . . I’m proud of the way our people handled it.”
Feelings in Big 12 country are more complex. According to a poll commissioned by Baylor, fans prefer traditional rivalries and regional conferences. The poll, cited by ESPN, indicated that 76 percent of 1,500 college graduates within Big 12 states said they would be disappointed with teams leaving the conference. Texas Coach Mack Brown agreed, speaking in a Big 12 coaches conference call today.
“What I'm concerned about is the players and their parents,” Brown said, via ESPN. “As much as we talk about money, as much as we talk about college football, as much as we talk about realignment, as much as we talk about great games, playoffs and all that stuff, we better go back and make sure that we're taking care of the players and that the players and the high school coaches are always considered in the equation.
“Because if not, we're not going to have a game, and they're the ones that are playing. And, for parents to travel all the way across the country is going to put a bigger burden on them. It's going to be more difficult. And right now with the regional leagues the parents can go see their kids play and that's really important because these kids are working their guts out year-round for us to have a show on Saturday that everyone enjoys.
“College football's as great as it's ever been, but we better keep considering what's in the best interest of the players or at some point they're going to get so frustrated it won't be fun for them.”
What, then, will become of the Big East and the Big 12? Merge or die? Engage in a steel-cage match in order to create one more superconference? Does any of this make sense?
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