It's no surprise that we expected radical changes at the Big XII, to the point that whatever's left wouldn't be called the Big XII anymore. Maybe a revival of the Big 8 or whatever. We expected those changes to come after the Big Ten took who they wanted from the conference, and that it would be after this coming football season.
What we did not expect, however, was that the conference might not survive until the end of the week, or that its demise would be brought on by another conference. But lo and behold, that seems to be the case.
This all started with an article by Orangebloods.com, which cited (sigh) anonymous sources claiming that at the Pac-10's annual meetings this weekend, the Pac-10 is set to offer membership to Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Colorado.
Now look. We've already said that we don't want to get suckered in by anonymous reports, and we kept them off our page over the course of the afternoon. Even though Orangebloods' report--written by a former Dallas Morning News guy, Chip Brown--was expansive, specific, and easily deniable, it's still not a lot different from the reports we'd seen over the last few months.
But then, after the aforementioned schools issued tepid semi-denials, the Big XII decided to announce a press conference to update media members on the state of the conference. They scheduled it for 5 p.m. today.
Then they straight up canceled the presser, issuing no comment and rescheduling for tomorrow. As one CycloneFanatic poster superbly put it, "Well the Big 12 is good at sitting and waiting to see what happens. Nothing new here."
Mirth aside, however, reports from Kansas City make it seem obvious that the Big XII isn't waiting, they're realizing that the end is here.
It means nobody is on the same message and all hell is breaking loose. Happy Trails to the Big 12. Press conference canceled, 8 schools looking to leave.
That would be the six mentioned above, plus Nebraska and Missouri with their overtures to the Big Ten.
However, if the reports turn out to be accurate, which is still not a guarantee, this puts Kansas in a very awkward position. If Missouri and Nebraska also hightail it (another assumption here, but one generally accepted as inevitable), KU would be left with Baylor, Iowa State, and Kansas State. You think KU feels any need to stick by those three schools? You know, the three that were so unmarketable that it plunged the Big XII into a ruinous financial inferiority? Any need at all?
Or does KU immediately recognize try to hitch its ride to the Big Ten as well? Might KU even try to outmuscle Missouri if there's one slot between the two? If it's either that or the
MWC/Big XII Leftover Great Plains Superconference, we imagine KU's decision would be very, very easy.
At any rate, we owe Scott Dochterman a massive debt of gratitude for his excellent reporting, and rest assured that this story's only just beginning. We also owe that gratitude to Dan Beebe, who is quite possibly the worst conference commissioner in all of NCAA history.