Williams Blog: Realignment mania

By Chris Williams, Publisher

Hey did you guys hear the rumors?

I’ve recently heard through the grapevine that the Big Ten is interested in poaching a few schools from other conferences. I guess Missouri and Nebraska of the Big 12 are in the mix.

Oh, you’ve already heard about this? My bad. I didn’t think it was “out there” quite yet.

Expansion talk has taken over the Internet Fanatics. While it has gotten to be a little bit nauseating, I understand why fans are so passionate about this topic. Let’s be honest here. If and when all of this starts to go down, it will probably be the biggest story in the history of college athletics.

I don’t blame you all for being so into it. It’s just, I get asked about this constantly and to be honest, I don’t know what to say. I have no idea what is going to happen. Nobody really has any idea what is going to happen. It is all speculation at this point in time.

I’ve read a lot of you refer to this as “doomsday” for Iowa State athletics. I think that is a bit much at this point in time. Heck, this could all turn out to help Iowa State financially and competitively. We just don’t know.

So after going through questions from yesterday’s mailbag, I thought it would be best to give conference realignment its own section today. I’ll start things off with this blog with some thoughts and I’ll field your questions later. Sound good? Here we go.

–       I don’t blame Nebraska and Missouri for wanting to jump to the Big Ten. Missouri has gotten the shaft from the Big 12 on more than one occasion. If you were in their shoes, you’d feel the same way. And Nebraska? Well let’s face it. The Huskers feel like they are an elite college football program. By the look at the number of national championships that live in Lincoln, I’ll buy that in a second. Right now, they’re an elite program playing on an uneven playing field with Texas. So it makes sense for them to want to level that up by using that cash hog otherwise known as the Big Ten Network.

–       So let’s say that Nebraska and Missouri both jump ship to the dark side. The Big 12 will then be searching for some teams to fill those gaps right? I think that Texas would be absolutely insane to allow TCU or Houston into the Big 12. If you do that, you’re essentially giving TCU the “BCS conference” recruiting pitch. In some kids’ eyes, that puts TCU on Texas’ level. Now while we all know that isn’t close to being true, let’s say that you’re a high schooler who has an offer from both schools. You can play at Texas as a junior or at TCU as a freshman. Where would you go? If you are are the almighty Longhorns, why give TCU that opportunity? You wouldn’t. The same goes for an up and coming Houston program.

–       What’s going to happen to Kansas when it is all said and done? I find it hard to believe that one of the most prestigious basketball programs in all America will ever be left without a home. I realize that this is all about football and cash but still, do those hoops national titles really mean that little?

–       I’ve read a lot about the Big 12 and the PAC 10 teaming up to form their own network. Good for them. But is anyone else annoyed that this genius idea wasn’t thought of two years ago when the writing was on the wall? There is no doubt that this network would help Iowa State financially. If I’m Jamie Pollard though, I don’t like being told whom I have to play in my football non-conference schedule. Still though, at the end of the day, it is all about cash. If you’ll get X amount of cash to play a Cal or an Oregon State, I guess you have to do it. My biggest thought about potential network has to do with the sports fan in me. As a sports fan and that alone, wouldn’t that be a sick network to watch? Think about football and hoops seasons. With the multiple time zones, it could be games galore on the Big 12 – PAC 10 network. I think it’d be cool. We’ll have to wait and see what Texas thinks about this. Remember, they do rule the world down there.

I’ll post that realignment mailbag later on today.