Big Ten Deathstar Makes A Comeback

Submitted by Brian on 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.)


Ed Shuttlesworth

June 10th, 2010 at 6:22 PM ^

You're not alone.  Texas doesn't really fit in any way.

I think Texas and A&M are coming to the Big Ten which means they aren't stopping at 12.  They probably won't stop at 14, either, so my only hope is that Rutgers isn't the 16th.

It doesn't matter who the teams are, a 16-team conference isn't a "conference."  It's a mess.


June 10th, 2010 at 6:26 PM ^

Hey, don't you lump Texas in with those yokels in the South. They are much more the Southwest than the South. Sure, the eastern most slivers from Tyler to Beaumont, sure, you can do that, but you can't say Austin or even San Antonio, much less Houston or Dallas are Southern cities. Hell, if you'r talking Texas Tech, you can lump them in with Nebraska and the Great Plains.

And if you're going to lump Nebraska into the Midwest, your flirting with the idea that the Panhandle is almost in line with saying Texas Tech, after it makes it's research jump over the next 10 years, would be Big Ten compatible.

If you want to argue them as being a better fit with the Western states such as Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico, sure. Do not make the generalization that Texas is southern. I know this has very little to do with your argument, but calling Texas southern just seems wrong on SO SO SO many levels.


June 10th, 2010 at 11:04 PM ^

Nebraska is part of the Midwest, except from what people in the Midwest believe, we aren't. Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, maybe Wisconsin I can see as part of a coherent group. Pennsylvania, maybe the western part, but then State College isn't in the western part. Iowa, Minnesota,, they seem more like Nebraska's neck of the woods.

I think we're already past the point of having a conference of all similar schools ... not that a 16-team conference therefore makes sense, but we have several schools that are each a little different in different ways. Nebraska is similar to a number of us in some ways, Texas in some ways, Missouri in some ways, A&M in some ways ... they will fit in just as well as Penn State did at the time.

los barcos

June 11th, 2010 at 6:59 AM ^

am in complete agreement with you, shalom. i love the big ten in part because its steeped in tradition. though penn state is relatively new, for the most part, the teams have been around for generations - its to the point where i can enjoy watching a mid-october game between indiana and minnesota.

with the mega-expansion, i must say im not very thrilled at the idea of watching a "big10" game between texas a&m and syracuse. im very meh about this whole thing, and wish it could go back to the days when we were pining for one of either notre dame or pitt.



June 10th, 2010 at 6:03 PM ^

B10 adds Nebraska, Texas, Texas A&M, Notre Dame, and Mizzou in a perfect world. 

Pac 10 gets Colorado, OK St, OU, Kansas, K-State, and Iowa State.

Baylor and Tech pound sand. 

Just my two pennies. 


June 11th, 2010 at 10:16 AM ^

Vacated wins are removed entirely from the winning team's record, but left alone on the opposing team's record, I'm pretty sure. 

For example, Alabama: due to the recent textbook scandal, their record in 2006 became 0-7 (instead of 6-7) because the six wins were vacated.  But the records of the six teams that Alabama beat did not change in the official NCAA tally.

So instead of "1 W and 1 L" or "0 W and 2 L", there are "0 W and 1 L" for each vacated win.

(In the case of forfeits, the W/L are flipped: the loss on the opponent's record is changed to a win.)


June 10th, 2010 at 6:29 PM ^

For the Big Ten, yes. No sane person would make the argument that taken in isolation Missouri is a bigger or more valuable fish than Texas, but that's not my argument. I confess to being an old fuddy-duddy who believes that conferences should make sense geographically, in terms of adjacent, contiguous states. That's what conferences were, originally. I acknowledge that Texas also means more revenue than does Missouri, but making these kinds of decisions solely on the basis of maximizing revenue inevitably comes back to haunt you. I believe that the Big Ten is better off confining their additions to those schools who are plausibly part of the midwest. I've never been crazy about adding Rutgers or Syracuse either. I predict that if Texas and/or A&M join the B10 that they'll be gone within two decades or sooner.


June 10th, 2010 at 6:45 PM ^

There is a lot of "gut feeling" involved with this, and my gut tells me that there is something fundamentally different about Texas than there is about any other school currently in the Big Ten.  Northwestern is a small school, unlike most Big Ten schools, but they are geographically similar.  At one time, PSU was considered geographically dissimilar, but not really institutionally.  I guess I don't get that feeling with Texas.  Maybe Austin has a micro climate similar to the midwest or a student body size similar to Purdue, but there is something intangible that the B10 schools have in common.  I don't know, perhaps something agricultural, or they were not in the Confederacy or something else, but they don't seem to fit in any way other than $$$.


June 10th, 2010 at 7:12 PM ^

I've lived in Austin for a while now, and Texas to me feels kind of like Ohio State.  It's huge and state law requires them to favor in state students heavily.  So their academics are a little worse than a school like Michigan but not bad.  They also have a big research budget, but a little smaller than Ohio State.  The campus culture seems kind of OSU-like as well.  They're both in somewhat large cities of about 750k.

I actually think they'd fit in well.  Austin is not like you would imagine a place in Texas to be.


June 10th, 2010 at 6:37 PM ^

If we're going to go to 14, we might as well go to 16. The best Big XII-raiding scenario would be one in which we took Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, and Kansas. Those are all profitable, high-profile schools. Kansas would increase the merger's hoops value without diminshing its football value (not to mention keep the conference geographically contiguous) . We could create a Big Ten West division (which would probably also include Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa) that preserves most of the Big XII's traditional rivalries without disrupting too many of the Big Ten's existing rivalries. This isn't likely to happen though, since Texas and Texas A&M (and possibly Texas Tech) appear to be a package deal.

Alternatively, we could look east and pick off Rutgers, West Virginia (which would probably cause Rodriguez' head to explode), and UConn/Syracuse. The point of this would be to strong-arm Notre Dame into joining, since it would spell the end of the Big East. The divisions wouldn't line up as cleanly, but it's the only way to get Notre Dame to play ball.

Of course, I prefer adding Notre Dame to get to 12 and calling it a day to all of these scenarios, but that will never happen.


June 10th, 2010 at 6:40 PM ^

in the B10, even with Texas.  I don't think Delany would agree with that.  That would be like adding Toledo to get ND.  Texas and Oklahoma is the premier game of the B12.  They are inseparable, that rivalry is like revisiting the civil war.  Whatever Texas does, it will not leave OU hanging. 


June 10th, 2010 at 6:47 PM ^

A&M is not even close to Toledo.  They may not be an athletic powerhouse, but all BIg 10 members are CIC members, hence why people keep bringing up "academics".  I put that in quotations because it's really not so much academics, but actually research and A&M is an AAU member and would be a good addition from that perspective.  If it takes adding a school like that to get Texas, you do it.  Because honestly, A&M if they were located in Indiana would probably be a good addition regardless. 


June 10th, 2010 at 8:55 PM ^

1.  That's never going to happen.  The prognosticators need to realize UT and A&M are a package deal.  You get them both or you get nothing.

2.  Texas A & M is a tier 1 university.  
is not -- that's how Jim Carty got in.  US News has A & M at 61.  That's better than
and IU which are tied at 71.


June 10th, 2010 at 9:03 PM ^

I'm trying to dig up the article I read today on this topic. I think you're VASTLY overstating point #1. A few legislators came out today that they think that the legislature will stay out of this round of expansion. They feel like it didn't work last time as the conference didn't continue to work and that the athletics should be left to the colleges.

Do I believe it? Maybe not so much. Does it send a message that maybe they aren't linked? Yes.

Does the fact that Texas A&M has regents that are pushing very hard for an SEC spot while Texas reportedly wants nothing to do with the SEC have more indication? Yes. Very much so.


June 10th, 2010 at 9:31 PM ^

Could I be overstating... I don't know.  But I think the thing we both agreee on is we'll believe it when we see it... for different reasons though.  All politicians lie and that's a pretty tall order to keep the Texas legislature hands off their football.

I will say last winter when UT/Big 10 talk started getting to be more than just a rumor, I thought it was UT using the Big 10 as leverage for whatever the hell they really wanted.  But now, wow, I think UT and A&M to the Big 10 would be whole helluva lot better than Rutgers and Syracuse (NY TV be darned).


June 11th, 2010 at 7:44 AM ^

It is amazing how many folks think that rivals must be in the same conference.  Michigan and Notre Dame manage to maintain a rivalry.  Florida and FSU, Florida and Miami, and even more looking back before the last shift.  In my opinion, it would be great for us, the viewers, to have more out-of-conference strong matchups before the conference schedules begin. 

Fewer tomato cans = happy Saturday watchings.

Big Boutros

June 10th, 2010 at 6:55 PM ^

I am perplexed that anyone would not want Texas in the Big Ten. One of the best public universities in the world + the 21st century's most successful athletic department. Shamone.


June 11th, 2010 at 4:26 AM ^

SEC probably has been secretly trying to recruit OU, OSU, TU and TAM.  I would like to add TU to the b10 but we may have to absorb TAM!   Eventually, ND will want to join b10, then we'll need yet another team...may be MD?

Surveillance Doe

June 11th, 2010 at 9:15 AM ^

As long as Texas comes in on Delany's terms and not on their own terms, they are the biggest gem out there right now.  It would be crazy for the Big Ten to be the cause of Texas no longer being in the Bi XII while not being the conference to pick them up.  Why should we gift a monster like Texas to someone else? 

Notre Dame is simply a matter of time at this point.  If the Big Ten picks up Texas, the Big Ten will boast all five of the top-five winningest football programs.  Suck on that, SEC.  I don't understand how anyone isn't fired up by that prospect.