The back and forth of the Big 12 drama is reaching soap opera proportions at this stage. First everyone is jumping ship. Then T Boone Pickens is predicting the league will stay together. One minute, Oklahoma is exploring their options, then suddenly a lawsuit is going to keep everyone together. In the latest development to come along, a “high-ranking official” from the Big 12 says the goal is to actually keep the whole thing together and stop the bleeding.
The New York Times reported last night that, "The general feeling right now is we want to do everything that we can to keep the Big 12 together in as close a form as we can to the current configuration," a high-ranking official at a Big 12 university said. "We need stability and a longer-term commitment from the big guys so we can become 12 again down the road."
That’s news to the multiple sources and analysts who have been predicting a quick downfall of one of the NCAA’s power conferences given the Jenga-like foundation the league currently sits upon. If one more piece, even a small one, ends up leaving, then the whole thing could come crashing down. And with everyone in me-first mode, it’s hard to see how everyone will still come together.
Yet if that happens, the Big 12 needs to act fast and get everyone on board, including new potential players like Brigham Young, SMU and Houston. It’s not enough to stop the bleeding, but the Big 12 needs to create some positive momentum as well. They won’t be able to add a program like A&M, but even just running the numbers back up for the sake of competition would help. When a league is limping with 8 or 9 iffy members, it’s an obvious target for the vultures to circle around.
It’s clear that Texas A&M is out at this juncture, and the league might lose several more — collapsing in on itself in the process. But for any purist who wants to see the Big 12 continue to stand, the quotes coming from the Big 12 last night present good news and a dim hope at the very least that the league might stay together.