- Created on Monday, 12 September 2011 00:01
- Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:51
- Written by Travis Pulver
Call it the Real World: Big 12 Edition, Extreme Makeover: College Football Editions, or maybe Big (12) Brother. Whatever you want to call the events that have surrounded the teams of the Big 12 lately, they would put most reality television shows to shame.
Take the whole Longhorn Network fiasco. Prior to the start of the 2010 season, there was a lot of talk about the possible end of the Big 12 “alliance” with a number of teams talking about jumping ship. In the end, only two schools departed leaving the alliance intact, but on shaky ground.
Texas rocked that ground to the core when they decided to “open Pandora’s Box (yeah, Big Brother)” and form their own network. True to the Pandora’s Box twist, when one benefits the rest are punished.
A ground swell of disdain arose over the Network and another member of the “alliance” started talking about leaving too. The Aggies didn’t like the competitive advantage that the network gave the Longhorns and expressed their displeasure (every good reality show has to have some conflict after all).
If you have been “Keeping up with the Big 12” you will already know that the Network has launched, but is not allowed to show high school games for now. That small bone was not enough of a “Temptation” and the Aggies decided to leave the Big 12 “Island.”
At first, the SEC was not looking to hire a new “Apprentice” and voted to not tell the Aggies they were hired. After a few weeks, that changed and the Aggies became the next “Celebrity” to join the most successful football conference in the nation (the last five BCS champs came from the SEC).
However, this “Amazing Race” is not over by any means. Baylor decided that they did not want to give up without a fight; they were going to be a “Survivor.”
While the conference had told the SEC that they were okay with Texas A&M leaving, Baylor decided to pull out its metaphorical immunity idol. They threatened legal action should A&M leave. With another team leaving, the television contracts for the conference would likely be null and void causing many of the smaller schools (like Baylor) to lose a significant source of revenue.
In time, all but Oklahoma announced that they would sue if Texas A&M leaves making it clear that the Aggies are not the Big 12’s “Idol.”
As it turns out, the real issue had nothing to do with keeping the original alliance together at all. With Oklahoma and other schools possibly looking at jumping ship, the conference could fold. Baylor and many of the other teams needed time to figure out what “Stars (conference)” they would be “Dancing with” next.
Now, as many of them have developed options, they have said that they will not pursue legal action should the Aggies leave. Baylor, even though they have been rumored as creating another alliance with the Big East, are holding onto the Big 12 until they find out what Oklahoma is going to do.
To make the Baylor/Texas A&M flap even better—the man leading the charge is none other than Kenneth Starr. Yes, Bill Clinton fans, that Kenneth Star.
The Sooners, on the other hand, have been rumored to be aligning with the PAC-12, but the PAC-12 has said they are not interested in adding to their alliance.
In the meantime, the SMU Mustangs have made it well known they want to quit being a “floater” and want to join the Big 12 alliance.
To add a little intrigue to the mess, during the “Big 12: the schools tell all” episode, it was discovered that the Longhorns had tried to give the Aggies “a rose” and had asked them about forming a joint network together. A&M declined to take the "Challenge" from their "Rivals."
Now there is talk that the Aggies may be an independent next season if they are unable to join the SEC.
There is no telling just who will win the finale of this show, but if it existed, it would be the reality hit of the summer!