Somebody should hand Big XII Commissioner Dan Beebe a copy of Who Moved My Cheese. Because someone is about to turn his cheese into a giant cheese sandwich and walk out the door with it.
Last week the story broke that the Pac-10 was looking at inviting Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Colorado. Now today we hear about Beebe issuing an ultimatum to Nebraska and Missouri to "make a decision" by 5 PM on Friday.
It's kind of curious that the Big XII would give the Huskers and Tigers an ultimatum now. There's no evidence that the two schools even have an invitation at this time. Or do they? It wasn't too long ago that Delany had this to say. (emphasis added)
When a decision does come, roughly in the 12- to 18-month time frame the conference outlined in December 2009, Delany clarified the circumstances under which he would first notify a commissioner of a potentially affected conference.
"It will be before there's an announcement, but it will not be when we're in the process of gathering information," he said, adding, "Prior to the time membership is offered or applied for, I'll give someone a heads-up; they will know it before you will know it."
Do you suppose Delany gave Beebe a call this week? The dominoes are starting to fall. It sounds like the PAC-10 is not going to sit around and wait for leftovers. Delany may feel like he has to play his hand now before things start going down. That's the only reason I see for this ultimatum from Beebe.
Hang on, folks. Things are going to start getting interesting. I would put the chances of the PAC-10 stealing half of the Big XII at 50/50. Ultimately it will boil down to whatever Texas wants to do. I think the other schools will follow them, and if the PAC-10, or PAC-16, or Big XVI or whatever it becomes features two divisions of eight teams where the former Big XII schools mostly play each other in the same division I think it's pretty attractive. And a possible Big XVI Channel to rival the Big Ten channel would look pretty attractive too as it would stretch from Texas to California gobbling up some major markets.Ultimately, I think we are witnessing the beginning of four super conferences with 16 teams each. I think the PAC-10 and half the Big XII will merge to form a Big XVI. The BIg Ten will take Nebraska and Missouri and then turn toward going after Rutgers, Syracuse, and Notre Dame (or possibly Pitt if the Irish are stubborn).
I think the SEC will go after Florida State, Miami, and Virginia Tech. Then they'll take either Kansas or Kansas State from what's left of the SEC. The remnants of the ACC and Big East will merge together to form a mega basketball conference.
Now, once there are four super conferences in place, what do you think will happen next? How long do you think these guys will keep wanting to play nice with the BCS letting them pocket all that money and giving them the scraps? The next step will be a college football playoff system. Each conference champion will be part of a four team playoff. Down the road you may see them expand to six or eight teams to get some wildcard teams in there, but if you think about it, the conference championship games will kind of be a part of the playoff meaning there will really be eight teams in the playoff.
This is why Notre Dame will have to join the Big Ten. The BCS is going to crumble and die, and along with it Notre Dame's million dollar payout for sitting at home and watching every year. The super conferences aren't going to give them a cut of anything, and there will be no way for Notre Dame to muscle their way in. If the Irish want to be a part of the future of college football, they are going to have to ditch their independence and tradition.
The times, they are a' changin'.