It has been an interesting off-season in college football to say the least. There were a lot of rumors concerning conference realignment, some of which came to fruition and some that fell by the roadside (rotting in a ditch). That smell is the corpse of a Missouri Tiger.
At the center of all this realignment talk lies the conference soon to be known as the Old Big 12. The Big 12 lost the Nebraska Cornhuskers to the Big Ten, which contrary to their name had 11 teams. The move gives them 12 teams and the opportunity for the all-important conference championship at the end of the regular season. The Colorado Buffaloes have also flown the coup. They chose to join the Pac-10, which also added the Utah Utes to give them their 12 team conference. These moves won't go into effect until the 2011 season.
Those are the moves that took place. The most important moves are the ones that didn't. It was widely believed that the Texas Lonhorns, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Texas A&M Aggies, and the Texas Tech Red Raiders would be joining Colorado in the Pac 10 to form a 16 team super conference. Then there were the rumors of Texas A&M joining the SEC. On the other side of the Big 12, Missouri was looking to run to the Big Ten with Nebraska. Unfortunately for Missouri's sake, the Big Ten didn't want any part of the Tigers. Missouri crawled back to the Big 12 and begged Don Corleone for mercy on this sad day.
Dan Beebe, the Big 12 commissioner, was thought to be the Don of the family, but we later realized, when the door opened and Missouri could be seen on one knee kissing the ring on Mack Brown's hand, who the acting Don really was.
Texas came to the meeting with the heads of the other remaining nine families. They struck a deal to feed the other families, but Texas, along with their brother Fredo (A&M) and Sonny (Oklahoma), will receive the biggest pieces of the pie. The heads of Missouri were allowed to leave the meeting but were found years later in a ditch by themselves for speaking out against the remaining families.
Other crews in the same neighborhood looked to join up with the weakened remaining 10 families and to get them back to their full strength of 12, like the other big mafia cliques in different regions in this country. It made a lot of sense to add up-and-coming families like TCU in the Dallas region and U of H in the Houston area. They're both respected programs. They met with the other families and their proposal made sense. They would bring the Dallas and Houston territories in exchange for protection and a cut of the pie. They planned to divide the families back into two sides. On the north side would be Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Kansas, Missouri, and Kansas State. To the south would be Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor, Houston, and TCU.
Everything sounded good in the meeting and most of the families liked the new territory. The head of the 10 families, Texas, got to thinking about how this affected them. Houston and Dallas were big markets, if Houston and TCU got the same backing as Texas, they might lose some top men to these families. This could weaken their family. Giving these families more money and recognition could eventually turn into an all out turf war. Yeah, these families were small now, but what if they start making 20 times more money than what they used to. What if they start getting seen more as being on the same level as the Don. There could be a hostile takeover. They might not win the war but they could take a battle here and there. Then the Don wouldn't be as untouchable as he once was.
Texas told the heads of TCU and Houston to join them on a fishing expedition. The heads of these three families went out, but only Don Corleone was ever seen again... in prime time! - Jayson Braddock
Jayson appears on Sports Radio 790 AM in Houston, TX once a week as the football insider on the Dylan Gwinn show. He's a graduate of the Sports Management World Wide Football GM & Scouting Course and has been mentored by former NFL player / executive John Wooten and Sporting News.com NFL Draft Expert Russ Lande. His work is mostly appreciated by die-hard fans interested in every little detail about their team and not just watered down mainstream talk.
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