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Gameplans Moving Forward

While it appears that the big money boys and power brokers that want to keep the current system in place have managed to plug the hole in the dam for the time being, that certainly doesn't mean that schools and conferences will stop planning for the future.

In fact, the past week's events will almost certainly renew the focus on a changed conference structure in conference and AD offices. Let's take a look at what the Big Twen/Big 12-2/Big IIXII/Big Tentative schools are or should be doing moving forward:

Texas - I can't say much that hasn't already been covered here at BC. There are those that think we got right where we wanted to be all along, but I don't buy it. The way I see it is that we were dead-set on the Pac-16 until something came along and changed our minds. The lack of information at today's press conference is yet one more sign that could lead us to different conclusions. It's possible that A&M's courtship of the SEC really did throw a wrench into everything, and not just in a timing sense. But why would we agree to sign back on with a weaker conference? We referenced 2016 as the time the contract was up and wanting to align the Fox and ESPN contracts time-wise. Are we already planning on blowing this thing up in six years? It seems like it and, if so, then the lack of specifics might mean that something huge is on the horizon. I can dream.

Regardless, Texas' play right now is to establish and perfect the Longhorn Network. Make it a valuable commodity that we can leverage in the next round of negotiations; in fact, make it so valuable that nobody can expect us to give it up. The Pac-10's complaints about how we brought the network back up in the final round of talks is transparent; everyone knows that just means we were trying to throw an offer at them we knew they would refuse.

Texas A&M - Well, clearly they have to solve their SEC problem. I would imagine that their people will be lobbying hard to convince Oklahoma to come with them to the SEC in the future shakeup. But will Oklahoma be willing to move with A&M and away from Texas? To be honest, I had always thought that OU would be more willing to do that than A&M because the Sooners should have more confidence that their game with Texas would survive. IMO. Regardless, the Aggies have to decide their future internally. Be aligned with Texas or not? It's possible, however slightly, that the Aggies could have their cake and eat it, too, if Texas is willing to go to the SEC the next time around.

Oklahoma - Basically the same as A&M except they're probably more attractive and more independent. Where do they want to end up? I've never heard anything about Oklahoma to the Big Ten, so their decision is probably between the Pac-10 and SEC. They were publicly very committed to staying with Texas throughout the last week and only once did a rumor flare up about their considering the SEC instead. Probably wasn't much to that.

Texas Tech - If Utah moves to the Pac-10 as it was rumored earlier today then suddenly the Techsters have a possible problem on their hands. They could be battling Oklahoma State for the last spot in a possible Pac-16 in the future. As an institution, they are apparently committed to Tier 1 status and entry with Texas into the Pac-10 would be a huge boost on that front. Their future would be based on Texas being bigger and badder than Oklahoma. But would Oklahoma's legislature insist on the two Okie schools staying together? If so, do they go SEC? Hell, Texas Tech is late for a scheduled press conference right now and rumors are already spreading that they're pissed about everything and that the Big 12 office has been avoiding them. I can't see the Pac-10 being spiteful enough to take Tech without Texas, but it would be funny.

Oklahoma State - See the Texas Tech situation. The job for the Cowboys is to start lobbying to their legislature immediately and every day for the next 6 years that Oklahoma and Oklahoma State can't split up. While we appreciate their AD's candor that they just want to be with Texas when the dust settles, the truth is that when the Pac-10 moves to 12 teams, if they do, we are not in control of their fate any longer.

Baylor - Start lobbying the Mountain West and making nice with TCU. There's not really a better option for the Bears. Their days in the big boy conferences are numbered but the Mountain West can be a good place to set up shop.

Missouri - Hello? Mr. Delany? So, uh, how are things going? I know we were acting sort of desperate last time around, but, you know, it's cool. And by it's cool I mean we are actually really freakin' desperate this time around. Missouri has to find their way back to the Big Ten. The SEC is an outside option if the Oklahoma schools split from the Texas schools. Then OU, OSU, and MU can join the SEC along with Clemson from the east. I would think that if Texas A&M also wants to join the SEC then Texas has a big decision to make. Missouri knows they're not with Texas in the end.

Kansas - Utah to the Pac-10 screws Kansas. If that doesn't happen (and there is a brand new report that the Utes have not been officially contacted by the Pac-10) then they have to hope A&M splits from Texas and goes to the SEC and that they can make themselves the play there. The fight to save the Big 12 bought the Jayhawks a little more life, but they need to start sending feelers out to the ACC and perhaps even begging the Big Ten. They have a "State" problem, though, and that one will be hard to help. Kansas has to convince their politicians that they can't prop up the Wildcats any longer. If they can't accomplish that, then their best hope is the Mountain West with their intrastate rivals. Hopefully that realization will be all the convincing needed for them. Kansas is in danger, like Missouri, of being out of the top level of college athletics thanks to the Aggies' delay last week.

Kansas State - I see no way they are in a big conference. Mountain West is their best hope. Outside of that they might be left with Iowa State as their rivalry in a lower league.

Iowa State - Huge PR campaign convincing the world that the MAC deserves an automatic bid. Short-lived attempt at the Big Ten by asking the Hawkeye administration really nicely. That one should last for a couple of minutes. The Cyclones are screwed. I don't even see a MWC bid as a possibility. The MAC or Conference USA is where they'll end up.