Conference realignment slowing to a trickle?
The conference realignment motion began with Texas A&M decided to leave the 10-team Big XII for the Southeastern Conference.
Rumors of the pillars of the Big XII (Texas and Oklahoma) leaving sent other leagues into a panic.
The proactive Atlantic Coast Conference took two Big East teams, and the rest of the Big East - a poor football conference with hopes of future grandeur from top to bottom - ran for the exits like there was a fire. It seemed like a good idea, since the Big XII was seemingly on the path to a sure dissolution.
The plot thickens... the Pac-12 won't be taking the Texas or Oklahoma schools.
Great to see a conference commissioner (Larry Scott) deciding that their revenue model is very good and not risking it in any way. Part of the hang up has to do with Texas not wanting to equally share revenue from the Longhorm Network, their new channel venture with ESPN.
Does this mean stability? No.
The Big XII is at nine schools, if Texas A&M doesn't decide to give up on the SEC dream (ha!) for some reason. They'll need at least 10, and may want 12 to match their name. Louisville and even West Virginia could be in play; West Virginia approached the ACC and SEC for admission. Reports had stated that they were rejected, a WVU official said talk of a rejection was an "outright lie."
Meanwhile, Big XII school Missouri supposedly received a Big XII invite. Which could mean that the Big XII could need two schools to get to 10.
The Big East's football schools' representatives met last night for a three hour meeting in New York City, and pledged unity, per Commissioner John Marinatto. But an official at the meeting disputed that assertion in USA Today:
One official in the Big East who requested anonymity said that was not an accurate assessment of the sentiment in the room. The official said league schools are committed to recruiting more schools but did not make any pledge to remaining in the league until it's clear what the league will look like.
The official also said about four or five of the Big East schools are committed to keeping the league together, but the other two or three need to know where the league is headed before a firm commitment is made.
U Conn and Rutgers are still looking for the door. And TCU may be looking at going back to the more stable Mountain West next season. There's a chance that the Big East could still add Navy and possibly Air Force as football-only members to bolster the league profile.
That sounds silly on its face. But Navy isn't bad at football, our country loves patriotism, and those teams have been playing football for a long time with a strong tradition (even if some of that tradition involves losing lots of games for stretches).
Bonus!: Steve Politi on Rutgers:
Athletic director Tim Pernetti has spent the last five days, publicly and privately, emphasizing all the positives on the Rutgers’ resume, the proximity to the New York market, the stellar academics and the scandal-free record. All are selling points, to be sure, and no one is dismissing them.
But it feels like putting "great personality" and "likes long walks on the beach" on an internet dating profile. The one thing Pernetti is not selling is a prominent football or basketball program.
If Greg Schiano had already built the national powerhouse in football he’s been promising for 11 years, Rutgers wouldn’t be staring at a future in the Big East with the likes of ECU and UCF.
BURN. The fact that the ACC wants U Conn, a program that went to big time football just over a decade ago, speaks volumes to Rutgers quality and "ability to deliver the New York market."
It's not that I personally dislike Rutgers; it's that I dislike the gall of Rutgers trying to join a parade of teams leaving the conference with no costume - really, with just some soiled underwear and an amusing top hat.