Sunday, September 4, 2011

Conference Hokey-Pokey™: Big 12?

Over the past few days we've looked at the various candidates being bandied about as additions to the Big 12.

But the real question looming this week is: Will the big 12 survive at all?

The Big 12 receives its last rites (Columbia Tribune)
When University of Oklahoma President David Boren announced Friday that the Sooners were interested in seeing other people, the Big 12 Conference died.

For all practical purposes, Boren gave Commissioner Dan Beebe two week’s notice. Any school CEOs or athletic directors who spend that time applying CPR to the corpse would be better served auditioning for the BCS conference of their choice.

It’s every school for itself. I mean, it was always every school for itself, and that’s why the Big 12 is dead, but we’ve reached the point where no one is even hiding it.
The Pac-12 preference is to add four schools – OU, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech.

The OU source said Scott hopes to meet with University of Texas president William Powers over the weekend.

OU president David Boren stepped out of a cloak of secrecy Friday and said the Sooners were being proactive in deciding their conference future, had interest from multiple conferences and expected to make a decision soon, from 72 hours to two weeks.

“We're at the sensitive point of discussions among schools,” Boren said.
The Big 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6... (
In case you hadn’t heard, Oklahoma is once again interested in joining the Pac-12. And, if they do, Oklahoma State is certainly going to follow. And, once that happens, the Big 12 is history and it would force Texas, along with Texas Tech, to also join the Pac-12 in all likelihood – giving the conference 16 teams. The belief is that OU will make a decision within a couple weeks.
OSU's Boone Pickens chides Texas, predicts Big 12's demise (Austin American Statesman)
Pickens believes the Cowboys will end up in the Pac-12, with Oklahoma. He largely blames Texas' insistence on creating the Longhorn Network.

"The network could have been the straw that broke the camel's back," Pickens said.

Dodds "is a friend of mine," Pickens said. "But DeLoss had too many cards and he played every damn one of them. I think that's too bad. You get tired of saying ‘aaah' while you get something shoved down your throat."
♦ "The Big 12 is like a dead animal and several vultures are ripping it apart, picking out the pieces they like best." (

And so, we now turn our attention to Missouri's short list of potential conferences. And as always here at, we don't care about football or basketball. Our question will be how be a part of the various conferences would impact the Mizzou baseball program.

Starting with the Big 12.

The Big 12 has been one of the elite conferences for D-1 Baseball throughout its existence. The combining of the Big with the Southwest Conference created a true powerhouse in Baseball.

In the ranking of overall conference RPIs, the Big 12 was ranked 3rd in 2011, after the SEC and ACC, followed by the PAc 10 and C-USA. In fact, the Big 12 has stayed steady at 3rd since 2003, rising to 2nd for a single season in 2005.

Now, Nebraska has left he big 12, which won't have much of an impact on the conference RPI, given the Cornhuskers' lackluster performance in recent years.

The impending departure of Texas A&M, however, would have a greater impact on the conference RPI, since the Aggies have been consistent winners.

And then there's the possibility that the whole conference may be teetering on the edge of collapse. Everyone keeps saying Oklahoma holds the key in regard to football, but they also are a leader in the conference baseball. If they jump, they'll likely take Oklahoma State with them, and then the dominoes will begin to fall.

I sincerely hope the Big 12 can move quickly to acquire TCU, Houston, Arkansas and/or Louisville, plus whoever else they can convince to join the crowd. That would be a conference to reckon with - including in Baseball.

But if not, I'm OK with Missouri looking for the best option they can find in another conference.

For baseball, the best options would be the SEC, ACC or Pac 12, the other 4 elite baseball conferences. Those are also the leading candidates in terms of football, along with the Big Ten.

Over the next couple of days we'll take a look at those conferences and their Baseball bona fides.

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