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The Big 12 Should Go Back To The Future

TCU is coming to the Big 12

Am I upset that TCU spurned the Big East to join the Big 12? Hell no. I think it’s a great move by TCU because the competition is  better, it plays more towards their market and it’s a return to a sense of traditionalism for the conference.

TCU was a member of the old southwest conference before it merged with the Big 8 and became the Big 12 in the mid-90’s. TCU has long standing rivalries with a lot the current Big 12 members including Texas, Texas Tech and Baylor and the rekindling of those rivalries would be great for the conference and college football as a whole.

The move also gives the Big 12 another big name as Texas A&M bolts for the SEC and. The addition of TCU is a great start, but the Big 12 needs to go further… they should go back to their SWC roots and readmit SMU and Houston into the new Big 12.

Why not? Houston is a great mid-major football school that has flirted with BCS contention a few times in the past decade and SMU is back on the rise under June Jones. these moves would make the most sense geographically and football wise and bring more traditionalism back to college football.

SMU and Houston were two of the many schools forced out of the Big 12 in the mid 90’s as realignment changed college football the first time. For them to rejoin the Big 12 would bring the conference full circle and add more balanced competition to the conference.

... And these two should follow.

Let’s be real with ourselves, Kansas is not that good of a football program and Iowa State hasn’t been relevant for years, Houston and SMU have had better seasons than both Kansas and Iowa State in the last few years (also better than Colorado before they left the Big 12) and have great fans and great football history.  They are true football schools who care very much for their teams and embrace the spirit and pageantry of Saturdays. Football is religion in Texas, high school games are just as big as NFL games in other cities, to add two more Texas schools to the Big 12 would make Saturdays even more of an event then they already are.

SMU and Houston are mostly offensive schools and their schemes fit into the way that the Big 12 plays (because as good as Oklahoma State is we know damn well that they play no defense at all. same for Texas Tech and Baylor.). if you think Big 12 games are shootouts now just imagine if Case Keenum and Kyle Padron were in the conference.

The only issue with the addition of these schools would be stadium sizing and marketability. Both SMU and Houston have stadiums that fit 35,000 people and they would be the two smallest stadiums in the conference. Also could Houston and SMU draw a good TV audience? SMU is located in Dallas but TCU (located in Fort Worth) has a strangle hold on the market thanks to their recent run in the spotlight. As for Houston, The Texans were having trouble selling out games as recent as two years ago so how can the city embrace a college team in the spotlight?

Even with the big city issues the schools fit the mold for the conference because the Big 12 doesn’t need any big name programs to add to their name brand. They need good football programs to keep the games competitive and exciting.

In a era where realignment is the main topic of discussion and everyone is trading in tradition for money the Big 12 is rebuilding itself by returning to its roots. TCU is the perfect addition to the conference and will help to continue the high level of play that the conference is used to.

The Big 12 should continue its back to the future realignment by adding SMU and Houston. It’s good for the conference, the region of which it plays and it’s great for the fading tradition of college football.


Higher Learning Week 5

The Big Ten is Wisconsin's for the taking

This is going to be a quick version of higher learning so here we go:

  1. Everyone said that Wisconsin didn’t play anyone, that they were untested, that you couldn’t gauge them until they played a worthy opponent… then they spanked Nebraska 48-17… so now what? Wisconsin’s beat down of Nebraska caught plenty of national attention and rightfully so. They took it to the Huskers and gave them a welcome to the Big Ten that they won’t soon forget. In the process Russell Wilson may have become the front runner for the Heisman after a stellar performance that began to make his legacy grow in Madison. Now at 5-0 and ranked 4th in the nation the Badgers look like a dark horse national title candidate. If they can pass upcoming road tests at East Lansing and Columbus then the title talk will grow louder.
  2. I don’t care what conference you play in or are going to, to have back to back collapses against evenly matched opponents in back to back weeks is embarrassing. Texas A&M has blown two huge leads in consecutive in marquee matchups that have all but killed their BCS hopes. What’s even more embarrassing is the that they both came in the second half. Their inability to close versus Arkansas and Oklahoma State in consecutive games shows why if they leave the Big 12 it won’t be too big of a deal. They may have a rabid fan base but they aren’t a big time program. If they were then they would be 5-0 with a top ten ranking getting ready for Oklahoma and Texas in future games.
  3. No matter what happens in the world it looks like things will never change. Grass will stay green, winters will stay cold and Steve Spurrier will continue to be frustrated with Stephen Garcia. After South Carolina’s ugly 16-13 loss to Auburn Spurrier decided to bench Garcia for his ineffective play… again.  Garcia looked awful going 9-23 with 2 interceptions. The fifth year senior who has been benched, suspended or otherwise before, just can’t seem to do anything right in Columbia and may have played his final game for the Gamecocks. Funny thing is that even with their loss they still look like the team to beat in the SEC East with Florida losing John Brantley and Georgia is still trying to find themselves. It’s a small consolation for yet another disappointment.
  4. Raise your hands if you had Kansas State at 4-0, ranked in the top 25 and as a candidate for the Big 12 title at the beginning of the year then raise your hands… exactly. However, that is the case at the moment as the Wildcats pulled off a shocking upset of no. 15 Baylor 36-35 thanks to a late interception of Robert Griffin III. Bill Snyder is bringing the Wildcats back to the mid-90’s when the Cats were relevant last. This is their best start since the days of Michael Bishop, Elle Roberson and company and they look to continue them this week against Missouri. The Wildcats won’t go undefeated but it is a nice story.

    Andre Brown and Kansas State are looking good.

  5. Ladies and gentlemen… it looks like the Clemson Tigers may finally be living up to the hype. After years of futility in disappointing finishes the Tigers look like a legitimate BCS team after their 23-3 beat down of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Head Coach Dabo Swinney calls it the ‘Shock The World” tour as the win against the Hokies comes after huge wins against Florida State and defending champion Auburn. QB Tahj Boyd looked poised in a hostile environment leading their offense while Andre Branch was dominant against the Hokie offensive line with 3 sacks. Clemson’s toughest remaining opponent is at Georgia Tech on the 29th of this month… is this the year Clemson finally gets it done?

THE GOOD

SMU ended a string of bad luck versus TCU and won its annual battle for the Iron Skillet 40-33 in overtime. It also ended TCU’s home winning streak, and knocked them out of the top 25 for the first time in 46 weeks.

THE BAD

USF was supposed to be a Big East fave… then they got stomped by 27 in Pittsburgh. Yuck!

THE UGLY

Maybe Jerry Kill should stay at home instead of watch his Minnesota Gopher team get worked like they did in Ann Arbor 58-0.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Russell Wilson: 14-20 255 yards and 2TD’s along with a rushing TD to help Wisconsin roll Nebraska 48-17

EMBARRASSMENT OF THE WEEK

The Ohio State offense. Less than 150 yards and sacked 9 times in a 10-7 loss to Michigan State.

It's been a rough year for the Buckeyes.

TOP 5

  1. LSU
  2. Alabama
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Boise State

HEISMAN TOP 5

  1. Russell Wilson, Wisconsin
  2. Kellen Moore, Boise State
  3. Andrew Luck, Stanford
  4. Landry Jones, Oklahoma
  5. Trent Richardson, Alabama

The marquee matchups this week are Boise State headed out to California against Fresno State, Florida taking on LSU, Auburn against Arkansas and the big one in Dallas, The Red River Shootout between Oklahoma and Texas.