No Expansion = Future Contraction
October 24, 2016 by Jean Neuberger • Print Story •
This season has already proved that some things still haven't changed. Nick Saban and Alabama continue to overwhelm any team in their path. Ed Orgeron has again shown he's a fantastic interim football coach. Dabo Swinney continues to pull out wins. Bobby Petrino continues to groom quarterbacks. Chris Peterson keeps winning crucial games.
Oh yeah, also, the Big 12 continues to seal its own fate.
We all know that the conference invited a whole bunch of universities to make a pitch. They got a slew of colleges to spend a lot of money to make a presentation about why they should be up among the Power Five teams. And then, they invited no one. That move only sent them further down the road to a potential breakup, as the conference continues to fall behind in revenue and relevance.
The chances are strong that, once again, the Big 12 will be left out of the College Football Playoff. Oklahoma, TCU, and Texas are having off seasons. Baylor could run the table and no one on the committee would touch them. West Virginia has a legit chance, but must survive the late season stretch and even then, hope the committee takes them over the likes of an Ohio State or Louisville; both of whom seem to have the stronger resumes at the moment.
We all know the situation. Texas won't budge on the Longhorn Network, so there's no revenue for a conference network to be distributed. Houston would've been a good pick, but they were too much of a threat for several schools to invite them. UConn seemed too far away, though it would've made for great basketball. Memphis and Cincy lacked the pizazz that the conference was looking for in expanding.
Nevertheless, the Big 12 needed to get to 12. They needed to sit down, hit the reset button and really work to make things happen. Otherwise, the threat of the Pac-16 a few years ago looks more like a reality. The SEC and Big 10 would surely follow suit, turning the Power Five into the Power Four and thus, making the College Football Playoff committee nearly obsolete, as the four conference champions could just meet every season.
That might be a good thing; though chances are in that case, they'd push the playoff to eight teams. However, there's a lot of talented schools that seem to be on the outside looking in (no one asked Boise State?).
The Big 12's days are numbered. They had a chance for stability and passed. Now, the drama and the passion for the silly season could easily outdo the remainder of the current, actual football season.