New, old rivalries will exist in Pac-16
If the Big 12 folds and the six schools move to the Pac-16, yes, there will be hurt feelings at Baylor and Kansas and the other schools who will suddenly find themselves without a major conference home.
This expansion to superconferences is inevitable. It has come rapidly, but it is a function of the beast that is athletics in this country. Money and TV contracts define the boundaries. Is it fair? No. But, that doesn't matter.
For Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado, the Pac-16 promises riches beyond their capability in the Big 12.
But, I keep hearing, what about those great rivalries being destroyed?
Frankly, I don't see it.
Oklahoma and Oklahoma State obviously are prepared to ditch old rivalries from the Big 6, Big 7 and Big 8 days, but 14 years in the Big 12 South has worked to soften that blow. And as far as the Texas schools go, they give up little in terms of rivalries. Texas-Texas A&M, Texas-Oklahoma, Texas A&M-Texas Tech all will remain intact and all will play in the same division, meaning the same annual games.
In fact, a Pac-16, in which the six Big 12 schools -- Texas, A&M, Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado -- is the Big 12 South with Colorado replacing Baylor. An eight-team division would also include Arizona and Arizona State. Fine.
Texas and A&M fans might miss filling half of Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco for road games, but -- and apologies to Baylor -- how much of a rivalry have those games been in, well, forever?
And there will be interesting new rivalries to begin. Texas-USC is immediate. Texas-UCLA will begin their matchup early with non-conference games set for 2010 in Austin and 2011 at the Rose Bowl. Oklahoma has played Washington and Oregon in recent seasons. Pac-10 and Big 12 basketball have already been competing for a couple years in the Hardwood Series.
I don't buy that a creation of a Pac-16 will destroy rivalries. All might not survive, but that's the cost of business. But, enough rivalries remain to keep fan interest high and more intriguing rivalries are coming.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Part 2 of the articles on OSU's involvment in academic fraud was released. Some claim the expose is unfounded. Ian and Richard warn that there are two sides to all stories.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mack Brown, Manny Diaz and all the latest with the Texas Longhorns.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett give you the latest on the Johnny Manziel story and Charles Barkley weighs in. You won't believe who the outspoken NBA Hall of Famer is disappointed in and what he thinks about the autograph allegations.
Play Podcast Kirk Herbstreit joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett for his weekly visit to preview the 2013 college football season.
Play Podcast Former TCU and current Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the expectations for the Bengals this season, give a prediction for the TCU-LSU game and talk about what it's like having the Hard Knocks cameras follow him.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley, and Mark Friedman react to Dez Bryant's comments regarding the NCAA's ongoing investigation of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Play Podcast Richard Durrett, Ian Fitzsimmons and Glenn "Stretch" Smith react to Dez Bryant sounding off yesterday after practice about Johnny Manziel and the shadiness of the NCAA.
Play Podcast Former NCAA investigator and Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to weigh in on the Johnny Manziel drama and give some insight as to what goes on during an NCAA investigation.