College football and conference realignment—in addition to the constant lifeline of World Cup coverage—is one of the biggest sports stories right now.
Especially in regards to the Big 12 Conference, the Big Ten, and the Pacific-10.
Colorado was the first to jump ship from the Big 12. They officially decided to join the Pac-10 at a news conference on Thursday.
Nebraska intends on holding a news conference today (Friday, June 11) to announce the school’s decision to join the Big Ten Conference.
Texas, meanwhile, is the vital heartbeat of the Big 12 Conference—and if the Longhorns bolt for the Pac-10's greener pastures, say bye-bye Big 12.
Unfortunately, it looks like the UT will do just that.
That leaves nine other schools with uncertain futures on the line, including the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
So, when the time comes for this realignment mess to hit the fan, where will Texas Tech head?
They could join the rest of the supposed pack, and follow suit with UT, by heading to the Pac-10. They'd become part of a mega conference with solid competition.
They could remain with the other defunct Big 12 teams with the hope of saving the conference.
And there are still other options.
Texas Tech could talk to the SEC, with the possibility of joining the conference.
Or they could do the same with C-USA.
If the Big 12 breaks up, which appears inevitable at this point, it will be a very sad moment for the conference—and especially the Lone Star State.
The Big 12 has only been around for 14 years.
The conference consistently competes in a variety of sports and sends numerous teams to championship games.
The Big 12 was, is, and can still be a power conference.
Conference leaders cannot, and must not, give up on the idea of the keeping the Big 12 intact.
I believe that would be the best option—especially for all the Texas schools involved that want to continue their local rivalries (some of which began back in the old SWC, and some of which became new with the formation of the Big 12 in 1996).
However, Texas Tech has some options on the table.
With two schools already pulling the trigger on leaving the Big 12, it’s only a matter of time before we know the fate of the conference.
Will the Big 12 remain together with the remaining 10 members?
Will the conference expand by adding more schools?
Or will they just give up and fold, allowing these other conferences to swoop in and steal away a majority of the teams in the Big 12 South, leaving everyone else to find a new conference.
This is a sad moment in sports history, but we should have seen this coming.
In a nation completely transfixed on controlling the television markets and making more money, it’s only natural that the college football world would soon be infected with this financial disease.
However, there’s not a whole lot that fans, players, writers, or even coaches can do about the Big 12's fate.
Right now, it’s up to the leaders that formed this conference to make sure it remains intact—regardless of the mounting departures.
Where will the Red Raiders land through all this chaos? Only time will tell.
But right now, it appears their best option (and maybe only option) would be to join forces with the Pac-10—or stay put in the Big 12, with a whim and a prayer that the conference will somehow stay together.
Time to break out those guns, Tech fans.
The real war is about to begin—and it won’t even be on the gridiron.
Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org