Out of every site, every source, almost every fan, and just about everyone else, few could have predicted this. Even I myself claimed the Big 12 to be dead, but now it seems Texas and the other nine will keep the conference alive.
But don't think for a minute that the dust has settled and everything is fine.
A month or two ago, most of us thought that the first conference to expand would be the Big Ten and that it would not happen until the end of 2010. Well the Pac-10 was the first, and this all happened in June of 2010. We missed the date didn't we?
Is expansion over? Absolutely not, just the big fish are gone. There is still the possibility of the Big 12, Pac-10, and even SEC expanding.
The Pac-10 now has an odd eleven teams and still wants to expand. With the 16-team conference out of the picture, they will have to settle for either 12 or 14. This could mean raiding a WAC or MWC.
The Big 12 probably will go for a Houston or TCU to expand back to 12. In fact, the Big 12 would benefit from getting a TCU or BYU. The Big 12 stays alive for now. There is always a chance A&M, Oklahoma, or someone else could pull a Colorado and join the SEC, Pac-10, or Big Ten.
The SEC can still get a footprint in "Texas Land" by landing Houston and TCU. TCU and BYU are both Christian schools which would fit well into the SEC culture, due to the southeast influence of the Bible Belt. There is also a possibility of Virgina Tech or a basketball power like Duke or North Carolina coming to the SEC.
The Big Ten seems to be happy at 12. Unless it can lure Notre Dame away from independence, it won't grow unless mega-conferences start up.
We must not forget that this is college football and it gets crazier and more unpredictable each year. At anytime, a bombshell could drop and a mega-conference could form, which would probably kill another conference. Or we could see a much needed playoff system (when is the last time this was talked about?).
I will leave you with one phrase: "Expect the unexpected."
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