College sports armageddon is on. Or is it?
With Colorado bolting for the Pac-10 today and Nebraska on the verge of leaving for the Big 10, university presidents and athletic directors are popping Xanax at a prolific rate.
All signs point to the Big 12 South breaking off into the Pac-10 sea, while most still believe the Huskers are merely the first of many Big 10 additions.
All of this has made Orange Nation jittery for months already. Experts have predicted the Big East’s demise – and Syracuse potentially being left out of the musical chairs if there’s no invite from the ACC or the Big 10.
But there’s a real possibility the Big East could become winners in all this.
A source close to the expansion talks has told The Fizz, the Big 10 may just sit tight right now. The 12th school is mandatory for a conference championship game and nabbing Nebraska is clearly a big fish to reel in. While there’s not a ton of eyes in the Nebraska, the tradition and regional appeal make the Huskers a strong pull. The Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming and parts of Kansas and Iowa all consider themselves members of Husker Nation.
By staying put at 12, the Big 10 has less partners to split its already profitable television deal with, yet adds the missing piece for a championship game. The conference could still add a Missouri and/or Rutgers and/or another school, but it doesn’t change the the reality that the remaining Big 12 schools are wanderers.
With the Big 12 on life-support, the Big East could be in a position to pick up the conference orphans. Should the Big 12 South secede into the Pac-10 monster, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Iowa State and Baylor could be looking for a home. Is it more realistic for those schools to add TCU, Boise State and Colorado State (and more) just to keep a semblance of the conference? Or could the Big East be their safety net by joining an already elite basketball conference with a lucrative ESPN contract, while creating the football financial windfall of a title game?
The Fizz source says the Big East could add the four Big 12 North rejects and become a 20-team basketball league and (voila!) a 12-team football league (with enough members for a Big East conference championship game).
Geographically it seems odd. But survival makes strange bed partners. And we are at survival mode.