Conference ExpansionFest 2010 just keeps getting better. The Big Ten has dominated much of the discussion this offseason, what with Jim Delany's apparent plan to annex a decent portion of the Big East and/or the Big 12 and create a bigger, stronger, richer Big Ten. (Not to mention make the name "Big Ten" even more ridiculous than it already is.) After a few months of speculation, though, we're still nowhere closer to understanding exactly what, if anything, Delany and company are preparing.
Today offered something different. Today the talk -- whether real or fancied -- surrounds the Pac 10's apparent bid to grab hold of some of the southern portions of the Big 12. The most-bandied scenario involves a host of Big 12 teams (Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado) joining the Pac-10 to form two eight-team divisions in what could only be called a superconference.
It could be mere rumor. It could be completely true. That's not really the point I'm interested in.
I am, however, interested in this:
The issue no one seems to be commenting on here is how little anyone regards basketball in this decision. [...] I'm not mad about it. I get it. Basketball is always going to play second fiddle to football, no matter the level of the game. That's just how it is. Forget baseball, these days football is america's past time. I love it too.
Its just depressing to realize that something that I -- and countless others around the country -- care about so passionately is actually nothing more than an afterthought to the people that make decisions.
That's Ballin' Is A Habit's Rob Dauster lamenting the notion that the Pac-10 and Big 12 would move in such an obviously football-heavy way when considering expansion. If the rumored Pac-10 southern raid worked out, the Big 12 -- or Big 6, or whatever -- would be left with Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa State. Missouri and Nebraska have been mentioned often in Big 10 expansion talks, too, so this might even be the Big 4. Either way, it's obvious that basketball isn't the concern here. Football is. And if a historical marquee program like Kansas' manages to get lost in the fray, so be it.
Lame, right? Lame. But it's worth reminding folks that this is the attitude conferences are going to take. College basketball barely registers on the list of major conferences' expansion concerns. It just doesn't matter.
Expansion could mangle the current college hoops situation. Or it could leave it completely intact. (The good news is that basketball has this little thing called the NCAA tournament, which tends to reward teams good enough to get in regardless of conference affiliation, even if the automatic bid situation gets slightly unwieldy.) Whatever happens, it won't be intentional. It'll be collateral damage. It's no fun, but it's probably worth preparing ourselves for all the same. Compared to college football, college hoops just doesn't have the pull.