July 1 came and went and Navy joined the American, meaning the last moving part of the great realignment era had finally come to rest. And before we could collapse into a rocking chair and marvel What a time that was, we were already dealing this these obscure conversations about the future of the Big 12.
Any idea where this is going?
We’ve got presidents and athletic directors talking, and we have to assume it’s not for nothing. But it’s also summer, and you can get a whiff of expansion/realignment nostalgia with all of this, as though people long for the days of rumors and reports. So maybe it’s manufactured as opposed to organic. But having witnessed the sinking of the Big East, it’s folly to stand with arms crossed and shake your head to deny it’ll happen. And when people are proactive, even in a just-in-case sense, they sometimes get a good look at a better picture and begin to see and thing You know, we could make this happen and it wouldn’t be that hard. That’s the goofy part of all of this, and it ought to be bothersome.
People seem happy to use the words imminent or inevitable, and though I probably agree with the latter, if only because the business changes too much or too fast to remain static for another decade, I think I need a better definition of the former.
In short, I don’t see the room for it right now, but I certainly anticipate something as we get closer to the end of the grant of rights agreements. I fully expect someone to get itchy before the 13-year period ends and at least talk about litigating a way out of one. But how do the pieces move? Where do the schools fall? Does the highly visible fraternity expand by taking in schools from the group of five? Is a highly visible league absorbed into the other four? And what then happens to the schools in the group of five that don’t have a seat at the grownup’s table?
It’s all very strange and hypothetical, and I can’t shake the fact this is warming up just before the Big 12’s media days (July 20-21), where and when you just know it’s going to be a topic and a little more of the cat will come out of the bag. I guess I’m trying to get an idea of what that cat will look like, and I’ve never been much of a cat person, so enlighten me, please.
Where are we now, where are we going and where are we X years from today?