So after months of making a big deal out of expanding, the Big 12 (10) has decided to stay put at 10 schools.
The reality was this was the most likely scenario all along. The question is why go through the motions? Why pretend when there was never any intent?
The best guess was for political reasons to mollify the schools that did want expansion. Then you can say, “hey, look, we tried.”
The Big 12 has become a cesspool of infighting and politics. But as long as Texas and Oklahoma are in, the reality is they don’t need to expand. But they need both of those schools to be good. That will get harder moving forward. The Southwest Conference fell apart because of the perception Texas and A&M were being dragged down, and the Big 12 was formed. But losing programs like A&M and Nebraska has pushed this group closer to the old SWC than the Big 12 at its best. Losing A&M remains the biggest blow, although the failure to grab Louisville when the opportunity was there doesn’t help.
Still, the Big 12 should be just fine. OU made the playoff last year. If Texas can ever get good again, the conference will be in the mix every year. A healthy Texas might win back some of the Houston market, which has been dominated by the SEC since A&M left.
As for the schools left out? BYU will always have issues because of its religious affiliation. Cincinnati and Houston offer major markets for a conference that might want to get a foothold in Ohio or Texas. But both schools are not the big dogs in the state. Still, UH has been one of the few schools to put a small dent in the SEC’s dominance in TV ratings locally.
UH went all-in to get in the Big 12, spending millions on a new stadium, practice facility, setting everything up for big boy football. If they continue to do that, a bigger conference will happen at some point. But when have you spent too much? Can the expenses be sustained for another two, three, four years? Should they be?
In truth, from a competitive standpoint, UH is in a great spot. This is a conference they can win on a regular basis and get to major bowl games. And before the choke at Navy, they had proven they can even get in the playoff conversation. There are worse things than building a dominant program and trying to raise the AAC up with you. But the financial return will never be what it will in a bigger conference. That might yet come. The Pac-12 in particular could decide to make inroads into Texas at some point. If UH keeps doing what it is doing, a bigger conference will eventually take notice.
It just won’t be the Big 12.
NFL Monday recap: The Jets are a mess. The Cardinals might be pulling it together. The result was an easy win for Arizona.
If the playoffs started today…Guess who would be the No. 2 seed in the AFC? That probably doesn’t last past next week, but hey, these guys did the research so thought it was worth sharing.
In case you missed it…We trotted out a margarita review yesterday. More to come if people like it. Also, we will have some new brewery and beer reviews this week and another funny story from Barry Laminack. Stay tuned.
Winning: Added this late yesterday so our morning crew did not see it, but we did the Escape Room on Sunday. Apparently these are a big deal. I had no idea. You have one hour to solve clues and get out of a locked room. We did an ’80s theme and made it with just under three minutes to spare. I have to say it was an absolute blast. Kid-friendly, too. Worth checking out if you have not done it yet.
Cleveland can stop whining now: Yeah, you are stuck with the Browns. But you just won an NBA title and are pretty much a lock to make the World Series after winning last night. And with that pitching, I like your chances.
Maybe not the hero we wanted…So he rushed into a burning building to rescue a dog. Only one problem…
Clown porn is a thing? Apparently so. And according to pornhub, searches are up because of the scary clown epidemic. And apparently more women than men are interested. You learn something new every day…Apparently, “clown gang bang” is a popular search. I wonder if they do that in the little clown car?
Speaking of porn…Ron Jeremy appeared on the show last Friday. It was entertaining. Check the podcast for the last 15 minutes of the 5 p.m. hour and first segment of the 6 p.m. hour. It is available — as are all our shows — on podcastarena.com.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“The University of Houston is going to get into one of the big conferences. It’s just a matter of time, we all know that. … Somebody is going to grab the University of Houston.”
— Tillman Fertitta