As The World Turns Vol. III: The School of Hard Knocks

October 11, 2011
by Justin

Every single week, the soap opera we call major college football never ceases to amaze me. This is my third volume of this series and the column keeps finding a way to write itself. This week’s focus will be on the Big East and the Big 12; two “big” conferences having two major issues with addition and subtraction. Unfortunately, this math problem is connected to a multi-billion dollar industry and has no easy solution.


The Big 12

With the threat of losing the Longhorns and the Sooners, along with the loss of Texas A&M, the Big 12 got desperate. Desperation made the Big 12 consider former small conference, Goliath slayer, Texas Christian University. This isn’t the Big 12’s first soirée with TCU. This Texas institution has wanted in the Big 12 business since it’s inception. TCU has tradition on its side with notable current NFL alumni Andy Dalton and surefire Hall of Fame running back Ladanian Tomlinson.

This episode of the Big 12 soap opera also came with tears. Ironically, these tears were tears of joy. TCU Athletic Director, Chris Del Conte fought back tears on Monday, as the announcement was made public. It was no less than two years ago that they were the toast of mid-major football. TCU broke into the BCS title hunt last year, when they went undefeated, beating Big 10 superpower Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. TCU was then formally asked to join the Big East, an automatic BCS qualifier. Before the ink dried on the contract, the Horned Frogs were flirting with the biggest conference in their region. TCU now has to pay a $5 million exit fee, but will gladly fork up the dough to rub shoulders with their dream conference.


The Big East

Not all conference soap operas have with happy endings. The Big East has a group of football teams that would make anyone ask why the conference isn’t named the Small East. TCU’s departure made sense; Syracuse and Pitt not so much. On Monday the Big East announced interest in expanding the six man league. Air Force, Navy and the University of Central Florida look to be ideal candidates to joins the ranks. That conference has lost it’s luster over the past few months and are in grave danger of not existing on the major football level. The SEC is in the background looking to expand, which means current Big East teams in the Southern region are fair game. The Big 12 is looking to add Louisville, another Big East powerhouse, which would make the Big 12 a better basketball conference in the process. The Big East better do something fast before it loses football in general. By July 1, 2012 the conference may never be the same.


Will the Big East survive? Will the Big 12 ever have 12 teams again? We all shall see. Check back next week for another episode; I’m sure there will be plenty of tear-jerking and fist pounding drama by the college football powers that be.



Yorick Hempstead is an ex-college athlete who is a sports blogger for He is always talking sports on twitter @HempsteadHuddle.


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