This is the time of year I start seriously Jones-ing for football. Here’s a highlight package I put together of Kansas State quarterback Jesse Ertz. (Stiff-arms included at no extra charge.)
Trying to read the tea leaves and interpret/predict Big 12 expansion is mostly pointless in principle, because one is most assuredly going to be wrong. And not just wrong, but often times spectacularly wrong.
Since I have no fear of being spectacularly wrong, you’re in luck! You’ve come to the right place to read a few words on the subject.
First off, a primer. That link should give you some decent insight. And this one. And maybe this one too. If you don’t want to read all that, the short version recap is this: The Big 12 is a conference that suffers a fragile ego, due in large part to its having been raided by other leagues earlier this decade. Stuck at 10 teams and stuck with a TV contract that is by no means terrible but which still lags behind that of its competition (in particular, fellow “major” conferences Big 10 and SEC), several schools in the conference are seemingly unhappy and pushing for expansion. Or maybe they’re just sort of mildly concerned. Or maybe this is all an act and we don’t know.
This is the part of the process that I think confuses people the most: They can’t predict what the institutions will do, and they can’t do that because each institution is subject to the whims of multiple individual people. Presidents. Boards of directors. Powerful boosters. Athletic directors and coaches (not really, but it’s best to be polite and include them anyway). The point being, what if one of these people has a louder voice than the others? What if said person is having a bad day? Or is just a generally irrational person? And what if the media and common layman can’t predict who might wield the most influence, what they might think on a given day, or even what they might think today?
You’d be served up a nice helping of “fuck if I know” ice cream, which is what all the reporting on this topic reveals. The best one can do is try to approach this from a logical vantage point and guess at the things that seem to make sense. That doesn’t mean the key figures in this play will act rationally at the end of the day, but it does give the observer a better understanding of perhaps what *should* happen.
And thusly, I’ve written well over 300 words without getting around to talking about expansion, which is what this article is supposed to be about.