Facebook statuses, tweets and the like are outraged; many express their disappointment, while some express deep anger about the death of a beloved part of the college experience for many people. What am I talking about? Unfortunately, I’m not talking about the demise of college finals – however those seem just about as integral to my college experience – but the end of the Big 12.
The University of Colorado was the first to leave, announced June 10, 2010, accepting an invitation to join the Pac-Ten. Other college powerhouses who are considering abandoning the Big 12 and joining the Pac-Ten, by invitation, include the University of Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Texas Tech University, and the University of Texas.
The University of Missouri and the University of Nebraska, who is seriously considering, were both invited to join the Big Ten conference. This would leave the former Big 12 with only Kansas University, Kansas State University, Baylor University, and Iowa State University, which would force the Big 12 to dissolve.
Why is this happening? Two words: money and greed. According to Time, when the Big Ten started its own private television network in 2006, it generated incredible revenue by reaching 40 million households. Now, the Pac-Ten wants to follow suit and extend its network to “capture markets like Dallas, Houston, and Denver” in addition to the markets it already covers, including Los Angeles, Seattle, and Phoenix.
Fortunately, not everyone is in favor of this division of the Big 12. Both the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas have said they prefer to stay in the Big 12.
“I think there’s a strong, strong interest to ensure that the Big 12 exists, regardless of any kind of possible departures,” said Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe.
However, many are predicting Nebraska will join the Big Ten. But even if Nebraska does decide to change ranks, some hope the Big 12 will not become a fond memory.
I think people realize that there’s something still viable, whether it remains at 11 or 10 or we look to expand back to 12 to keep this going,” said another Big 12 athletic director. “We have a lot of equity and prestige and competitive balance.”
As a proud Sooner, I am keeping my fingers crossed that this does not mean the end of what I perceive to be the best college football conference in the U.S. Time will only tell.
Via The New York Times