The splash may seem small today, but the ripples from the Big 12 and its dispersal are going to be felt around the sporting world—and the 2011 NFL Draft will be among the first beaches these ripples hit shore on.
The Big 12 is going the way of the dodo bird, and several mega-Conferences will emerge as NCAA football moves toward a BCS tournament system.
Scouting, as a direct cause, will need to evolve a little. Keeping with the times is important when it comes to building a team through the draft, and understanding the NCAA landscape is paramount to this.
Nine players in the first round, including four of the top five (the first four overall), played in the Big 12. In total, 29 rookies were drafted out of the Big 12. Next year, this number will be zero.
The other conferences will balloon in size like continents absorbing shards of Pangaea and will thus have a need for more scouting. The levels of talent and competition in the absorbing entities will need to be evaluated appropriately.
As the cracks and fissures continue—Biose State is now joining the Mountain West—it's far to early to draw serious analysis or conclusions as to what is happening to the NCAA landscape, but whatever it is, it's not small.
The impact is going to transcend football, reaching into basketball, baseball, and every other corner of intercollegiate competition. And the vibrations and winds will be noticed by the pros.