Big Ten Deathstar Makes A Comeback Comment Count

Brian June 10th, 2010 at 5:20 PM

jim-delany Death_star1

i like this picture because he's about to shoot a planet-destroying laser out of his mouth

Some horse-holding may be in order in case anyone is printing up huge quantities of Pac-16 t-shirts. These reports come from a television station and a guy in Indianapolis radio and are about conference expansion should therefore be taken with a grain of salt large enough to have moons, but they appear to be independently-sourced claims that Texas and Texas A&M may be heading Midwest instead of just West.

TV station:

High level sources in multiple conferences have told KCTV5 that Texas and Texas A&M are looking to move to the Big Ten Conference and have petitioned for membership, while the University of Oklahoma is planning on petitioning the Southeastern Conference to become a member of its conference.

Texas Tech can pound sand, according to KCTV.

Kent Sterling, the Indiana radio guy does have an extensive newsy background, FWIW, but his site's report is way fuzzier and it's posted by Pauly Balst, whose bio reads "Pauly Balst has a very solid reputation and track record in speculative journalism and for-profit amatuer [sic] athletics." This is not reassuring. Anyway:

College Station, Texas, based sources close to Texas A&M confirm the scenario of Texas A&M, Texas and Nebraska joining the Big 10, bringing the total to 14.  … Sources also confirmed the rift with Texas Tech and Baylor is that “UT and A&M have joined together in this decision”.  By adding this trio, UT does not “go to war alone in a new conference” when ongoing issues arise.

"Confirm the scenario"? What does that mean? That could be talking. It could be a D&D meeting. I'm not putting a ton of stock into that, but it's out there.

Meanwhile, Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott is sounding less imperial:

“I’d say that (having an 11-team conference) is a possibility,” Scott said.

He also said that no assurances and that no invitations have been issued to any other Big 12 schools, including Texas and Texas A&M, whose athletic directors met on Thursday in Austin to discuss their future.

“There are several different scenarios,” Scot siad. “There is no defined timetable” for further Pac-10 expansion.

Colorado snapping up the Pac-10 invite and thereby bouncing Baylor may have given the Big Ten the wedge it needs to crowbar Tech off the Texas schools everyone wants, in which case thanks Baylor.

This post's information value will self-destruct in ten seconds.

(HT: Aaron and Damon Lewis.)



June 10th, 2010 at 5:25 PM ^

The only thing I take out of all this stuff is this: the truth is that nobody knows what the hell is going on right now and that despite the fact that it looks like things might be spiraling towards a definitive conclusion now that the Colorado domino has fallen, truth be told everything is written in shimmery ether right now.


June 11th, 2010 at 4:01 PM ^


Or it's because back in the day an anonymous source was actually identifiable but not necessarily disclosed in print for a number of reasons.  These days, and with compressed news cycles, people can just make a bunch of shit up and call it anonymous.  

See Kirk Herbstreit and Les Miles coming to coach U-M.  Or now that I think about it, just about any ESPN breaking news story these days has been complete bullshit.


June 10th, 2010 at 7:12 PM ^

  "As you can see, my young apprentice, your friends have failed. Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battle station!"


edit: subtracted an "e" from Delaney in order to be in full compliance.


June 11th, 2010 at 9:29 AM ^

Nice way to stick with the theme.  I completely agree with your point.  Larry Scott was hired to bring change to the Pac 10 and make it more relevant.  At first blush, he seems to be doing just that.    Howeva, I think he is a newb that is out of his league (in this case the WTA), and doesn't understand the maneuvering required to make change happen. 

Delany is looking like a mad schemer orchestrating the realignment.

Larry Scott is just a butterfly flapping his wings, whereas Delany is controlling the weather. 


June 10th, 2010 at 5:30 PM ^

I am sticking to my story.  Texas gains little by going to the Pac 10, and much more by going to the Big 10.  They are joining A&M because they need them politically to make this work.  I am starting to believe that Texas's first choice is the Big 10, now that the Big 12 is dissolving.


June 10th, 2010 at 10:53 PM ^

Texas' interest in the Pac-10 was there partly because they're a decent enough conference with some academic strengths and partly because they had enough room and low enough standards to take the whole family in.

When something apparently changed so that the little sisters didn't have to go, they may be heading back to the land of massive television contracts and research dollars. (And full revenue sharing. Don't forget that. Go Texas, bring home some BCS bacon for everyone!)


June 10th, 2010 at 5:35 PM ^

This situation is turning into pure insanity. Huge twists and turns at seemingly unlikely moments. I don't know what to believe. Please let this end soon with a definitive scenario.


June 10th, 2010 at 5:40 PM ^

But I don't want either Texas or A&M in the Big Ten. I think it's nuts and it won't last if they do it.

Nebraska, Missouri, and Notre Dame make a hell of a lot more sense to me.

Shalom Lansky

June 10th, 2010 at 5:50 PM ^

Texas is a great football team and a great school but I don't think that is sufficient for B10 admission; geography should play into it and whether or not the school fits the B10's identity/persona.   The idea is not that Missouri is better than Texas in absolute terms, but they are a better fit for the B10.


June 10th, 2010 at 6:20 PM ^

...this helps.

This University began in 1817 with a legislative act that established the Catholepistimiad in Detroit. In 1821 the name was changed to the University of Michigan and in 1837 Ann Arbor was chosen as its permanent site.

And this.

1817 - Legislative act establishes the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania.

1821 - The university adopts the official name of "The University of Michigan" and reorganizes to form a board of twenty-one Trustees, including the Governor (chosen from the faculty).

1837 - Ann Arbor chosen as permanent site for the University of Michigan by a March 20 state act. 40 acres are given to the University by the Ann Arbor Land Company.

1837 - First meeting of the board of regents in Ann Arbor on June 5. The board itself was established by a state act on March 18, 1837. 

Established as a university in 1817.  Current name established in 1821.  Moved to A2 in 1837.


June 10th, 2010 at 6:09 PM ^

Right on...Minneapolis and Chicago are not State College and Iowa City.  "Austin is just like Ann Arbor" is the worst argument in the world that I can think of for Texas in the Big Ten.  I'd rather not have Texas around either, frankly, it's definitely not a culture fit.  Anyone who thinks Texas culture and Michigan culture are the same is insane.

Blue Durham

June 11th, 2010 at 10:11 AM ^

It isn't a matter of just getting good or great football teams, there is a lot more to it than that.  And yeah, I do think geograph matters and I have always liked the midwestern/Great Lakes character of the Big Ten.

Texas dominated the SWC, the conference failed; then (with the other 3 Texas schools)  joined the Big 8, dominated it, and as a result, exploded due to the defections of Colorado and Nebraska.  

Call me nuts too, as I don't want that for the Big Ten.


June 10th, 2010 at 5:43 PM ^

book to come out that details WTF has been going on in these past few days. Whoever pieces that together will get my $19.95 ...

In my mind, these conference offices must look like something on the NYSE trading floor ... or maybe the Merchantile Exchange in Trading Places when all hell breaks loose on Mortimer Duke and Randolph Duke, Jim Delany in the background playing the Eddie Murphy/Dan Ackroyd role.  Excellent.

If Delany pulls of the Texas Combo to the B10, can we all vow to spell his name with only one E?  I think that's the least we can do for the guy.


June 10th, 2010 at 5:45 PM ^

but i like transformers too, so i feel compelled to say this is much more like Unicron, the robot plannet that consumes other planets than the Death Star which simply blows them up.

i don't know why a planet would want to change into a robot

Chairman Mao

June 10th, 2010 at 5:46 PM ^

to have insomnia while living on the other side of the world! If only I could explain the magnitude of insanity this situation is to my English work mates...... This would be a lot more fun if I could discuss this face to face with someone who knew what a Big Ten was.


June 10th, 2010 at 5:53 PM ^

...were hanging on protection from the legislature. UT and A&M were always going to act in their own self-interest, unless they were forced to do otherwise.

The thing is, joining the Big Ten and the CIC will bring tons of research money to the two larger Texas schools. They won't budge without the legislature's blessing, but when they lay out the financial case, politicians will quickly realize that the state is better off with the research money than without it.

Shalom Lansky

June 10th, 2010 at 5:54 PM ^

How do you go about building a conference? What is the overarching qualities that are sought? Really it has to be more than are they a good football team and do they have decent academics?  If those are the only requirements does that mean we'd take Florida and USC should they become available?  This type of expansion overindulgence would just lead to conferences without character and ultimately unsatisfying results.

Shalom Lansky

June 10th, 2010 at 6:17 PM ^

I didn't mean they have no "character" as in they are aren't morally fit; I mean more in the "feature used to separate distinguishable things into categories" sense.  I think of the B10 as representative of the midwest and Texas representative of the South.  Texas very much has its own culture, a GREAT culture at that, but not one that is cohesive with the B10.  Nebraska is very much in line with the rest of the B10.   Southern Cal fits all the things you just mentioned yet I don't think they fit within the B10 either. 

On paper I suppose it looks right but Texas feels wrong; but it looks like I'm alone in that feeling.