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    Thank you for your patience today and welcome to the newest version of Cyclone Fanatic!

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    Chris Williams - Publisher
Football

MONDAY MUSINGS: Why can’t we be friends?

1 – There is one thing that I have never understood about the constant realignment rumors that the gurus feast on daily: Why would Texas want to leave the Big 12?

I just don’t understand the motive. This is a classic “big fish in a small pond” scenario.

In no other conference would the Longhorns be able to walk around with their chests puffed out, calling the shots as they please while undermining the rest of their “family” where meanwhile, that family just curls up in the fetal position takes it. Financially, Texas is well off in its current situation too. Go anywhere else and kiss the Longhorn Network (and its $15 million a year) good bye.

Texas wants in the Big Ten? Have fun being out on that island. Instead of telling your home state recruits that they will play 75 percent of their games in the state of Texas, they will be taking consistent trips north. Constantly.

Look around too. Let’s think about the realignment over the last 10 years – specifically the programs that have left the Big 12 – and make an evaluation of how those programs have gone on and done.

Nebraska: Had to fire a coach. The Huskers are still solid, no doubt, but have yet to realistically compete for a Big Ten title. They have a hard enough time winning the watered-down West division that they play in.

Missouri: Basketball has bottomed. The Tigers experienced immediate success in football but without the stability of Gary Pinkel going forward, I’m curious to see how they fare.

Texas A&M: Remember when Kevin Sumlin was the hottest young coach in college football? Life without “Johnny Football” has not been kind. However a turnaround could be in store this season with Trevor Knight running the show. Stay tuned.

Colorado: Colorado’s Pac-12 record is 5-40 since joining the league in 2011. This once proud program is now as irrelevant as one can be.

Listen, if Iowa State got an offer from the Big Ten today, I’d say “take it” without thinking twice. But I’m not talking about Iowa State today. I’m referencing Texas and Oklahoma.

It is your world, fellas. We are all just living in it.

If these programs – specifically Texas – really do have wandering eyes, well that makes absolutely no sense to me.

I just don’t understand why it’s so hard for this league to be on the same page, which brings me to …

2 – … I touched on this last week but I will reiterate it again. Long term, it doesn’t matter who the Big 12 adds in this round of expansion. The only way that this league is viable in the long-term is if it signs a new Grant of Rights. That’s it. Otherwise, the speculation is always going to be there.

In the backchannels, up until last week there was serious noise about the ACC’s possible demise (due largely to the fact that ESPN still had not launched the ACC Network). For months, there has been talk of certain schools departing to the Big Ten and the Big 12 hopefully picking up the scraps.

This is why (just my opinion) the Big 12 did what it did last week in Dallas by announcing its expansion plans: It knew that the leftover ACC schools were no longer on the table.

If the Big 12 actually wants to be stable going forward (that’s a big if), extending its current Grant of Rights is the only thing that will do that – the simple addition of Houston and BYU will not.

If the league expands (which we have every reason in the world to believe it will), then a new Grant of Rights has to be a part of it. Otherwise, I predict that the Big 12 will not exist in 10 years.

3 – Apparently Nebraska AD Shawn Eichorst heard Bill Snyder’s comments last week in Dallas.

That made me chuckle.

4 – The Big Ten will host its media days today and tomorrow in Chicago and in addition to the always-entertaining Jim Harbaugh, I am especially interested to see what new Rutgers head coach and long-time Cyclone assistant Chris Ash has to say.

I grew fond of Ash during the over half-a-decade he spent in Ames with Dan McCarney from 2000-2006. He was notably Drake’s defensive coordinator in 1998-99. Ash returned to work for Paul Rhoads and Iowa State in 2009 (defensive backs, recruiting coordinator) before spending time at Wisconsin, Arkansas and Ohio State before finally landing that coveted first head coaching gig.

Unfortunately for Ash, he is at Rutgers and the Big East no longer exists (in football).

Good luck.

Ash was a guy I had always hoped would end up getting the gig at Iowa State someday but after the last decade of watching poor offense, I changed my mind about hiring another defensive guy.

I like Ash though and am excited to see how he does.

5 – Finally, I hope that you all are enjoying the new website.

Over the last year, there have been a lot of bumps in the road but I am glad (and relieved) that it is finally up. We finally are 100 percent mobile friendly. Thank the Lord!

As is the case with any web launch (or re-launch), there are bugs that we are working on behind the scenes and you should see most of them be cleared up here in the coming days.

 

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