An interesting piece from the Austin American Statesman on Texas' realignment decision, which rejects some of the buffoonery being promulgated in the media and corrects some misunderstandings held by many of us.
I certainly learned some new information. Powers likens the deal much more to a corporate merger than a horse trade and offers some interesting insight into the decision-making process. I don't quite buy the careful, deliberate, and disinterested picture of deliberation presented, but fair enough.
Some interesting information gleaned from the article (if you trust my Cliffs Notes):
Texas had no idea if A&M was going to remain in the Big 12 when it decided to pursue the Big 12-2. From the article:
Powers said A&M never told him whether it intended to sign with the Pac-10 or the SEC if the Big 12 collapsed.
If a SEC bid was indeed available, A&M was free to pursue it 'til the very end. Their failure to do so (or the lack of a material offer from the SEC) was an Aggie matter and the Aggies decided what they felt was best for Aggies. Or there never was a real offer to begin with.
Texas didn't bully little brother after they pissed on our Pac 16 possibility. We don't know Rick Perry's involvement yet, but I can tell you for a fact (my opinion, not the article) that Bill Byrne had nothing to do with it. Our favorite athletic director had his knees cut out early. If there was no firm SEC offer, high-ranking Aggies are dumber than dirt to play with fan expectations the way they did. That resentment won't be easily buried.
Tech and UT are inseparable
We're tied to Texas Tech. We knew that back in April, but now we REALLY know it. Whether that's because we love hot co-eds who are easily manipulated into debauchery, we're just good guys looking out for the third major public school in Texas, or because we don't want the legislative hassle isn't clear.
Gordon Gee - Ohio State president - said that Powers had called it "a Tech problem" in Gee's famous e-mail to Big 10 commish Jim Delany back in April (obtained by the Columbus Dispatch via the Freedom of Information Act), but Powers said that was not an accurate encapsulation of the nuance of what he communicated to Gee.
Part of the "Tech problem" is that they're not a member of the Association of American Universities (Texas and A&M are), a designation that all of the schools in the Big 10 hold. Powers diplomatically calls this "a complexity." Throw in prohibitive geography and you can see why the Texas to Big 10 dream died in its crib.
We didn't entertain the SEC's courtship at all. They even wore their fancy courtin' britches and made their bangs extra John Parker Wilsonish, but we wouldn't even return their poorly spelled sexting:
"There was some outreach as to whether we wanted to talk. That was all. We did not," he said
Ouch. S-E-C! fans don't really understand why we wouldn't want to be a part of the nation's finest conference and they generally rationalize it as Longhorn fear that we'd be blown out by Vandy and Ole Miss unrelentingly. The primary reason, of course, is more academic, if you'll excuse the pun. Throw in the SEC's culture of normalized cheating and Texas would have had to stable its white horse, which we prefer to ride, point fingers, and tsk tsk others.
As for Nebraska's (I won't even acknowledge Colorado unless I need to score shrooms) insinuation that Texas was going to pull out and they had to make their moves first, Powers had this to say:
Powers said that, as chairman of the Big 12's board of directors, he went into the league's annual meeting with university presidents and athletic directors early this month in Kansas City, Mo., with a firm goal in mind: securing commitments from all 12 schools to stay in the conference. He couldn't get them all to sign on.
We'll see what the truth of that is soon enough. The University shits out elite lawyers like Dunkin Donuts does muffin-tops in Juicy couture, so Nebraska better bring their A-game. They may find yet another venue to lose to Texas in.
Various sites have reported the possibility of the Big 12-2 expanding and that is, of course, utter nonsense and complete garbage. TCU offers us nothing. Arkansas offers us nothing. U of H offers us nothing. The same posters and media sites floundering around on this issue never understood why all this realignment business happened to start with. It's about revenue and television sets. If a school provides neither, you can stop your babbled rationalizations mid-stream. Full stop.
Although some have suggested adding two teams to the league — Arizona and Arizona State, or Texas Christian and the University of Houston — Powers didn't sound interested. "We'll go forward with a 10-team conference, and it provides a great deal of stability and, we think, value in both the economics and intangibles," he said.
If I see another poster offering New Mexico and TCU as potential partners, I'm finding out what industry they're in and entering it both guns blazing, with confidence that I'll be a billionaire within a decade. Or at least be their shift manager at Quik E Mart.