When spring football starts to wind down, you know it's time for you and your spouse to argue, errrr... discuss how much the family can afford to spend on 2009 tickets.
We'll turn to America's obsession with reality TV to help you determine whether or not you should trade six months of day care for the chance to see your favorite Big 12 team in person this fall.
The spring version of the 2009 State of the Big 12 …..
American Idol - having a strong run and showing no signs of slowing down
Oklahoma- If Stoops could just go .500 in BCS games, he'd already be compared to Woody, Bear, Joe Pa and Bo. As it is, Sooners fans will have to be content just contending nationally every year (and there are about 115 teams that would gladly trade positions).
Texas- The Longhorns always have plenty of talent. As of late, they have been stepping up big when the lights shine the brightest (see OU game and BCS bowls). He’s no longer just Mr. February.
The Apprentice - had a nice run, still occasionally watch-able, but the window is closing
Colorado- Kordell Stewart, Eric Bieniemy, Michael Westbrook, Rashaan Salaam, Ted Johnson … ahhhh, those were the days.
Kansas – The Border War ensures at least one big Saturday, besides the annual beat downs at the hands of the "Idols".
Missouri - See Kansas.
Texas Tech - The whole Mike Leach contract issue reeks of "Damn, that was our chance. We'll never get any closer. If you want me to stay here in this dusty town and play second fiddle, you better open up the west Texas oil reserves."
The Cougar - admit it, you're a little intrigued
Baylor- This is probably where I lose my last thread of credibility, but I think Baylor, yes Baylor, is on the right track. They have a talented dual-threat quarterback and Art Briles can coach. They had Tech on the ropes in Lubbock last year before letting it slip away. Look for more of this in the coming years.
Oklahoma St.- Guys like Boone Pickens don't usually make poor investment decisions. Facilities, talent and expectations are on the rise in Stillwater.
Kansas St. - Check the student-athletes currently pursuing their associate degree. If there's some talent there, Snyder will have them in royal purple soon.
Nebraska- Thanks largely to Pelini, they move from Apprentice to Cougar. Tradition, resources and a weak Big 12 North suggest they will be back on top in the near future.
Tommy Lee Goes To College - not even PPV carries your games
Texas A&M - These fans are either extremely loyal or they have been consumed by some Texas cult. They continue to have high expectations, even though it's been many a year since A&M was relevant. How many different positions could Bucky Richardson start at on this year's A&M roster?
Iowa St.- Yes folks, there really is a university named Iowa St. (Iowa fans know all too well). And somehow, their former head coach recently parlayed a 2-10 season in Ames into a big time SEC head job. They haven’t seen PPV since Eustachy left town.