I wrote an article last week depicting the conference expansion debacle as a school yard fight and it appears that I completely nailed it.
First the Big Ten wants to play with Notre Dame's marbles but to their credit they did ask nicely the first time, and the second, and the third and then they became the brat in the back seat; are we there yet, are we there yet, are we THERE yet ?
Since Notre Dame wants to stay independent in football and continue with all other sports in the Big East (an arrangement both are happy with) the Big Ten's Jim Delaney starts floating the expansion with 'multiple members' super conference scheme.
The Big Ten wants Texas, Nebraska and just enough Big East members to destroy the conference so Notre Dame will not have a home for Baseball, basketball and other sports.
The SEC, the current 'superconference' (come one four BCS NC in the last four years is pretty super) says 'we don't want to expand' so the Pac 10 and others decide the opportunity is ripe to finally out do the mighty SEC.
And that's when all Macon (that's what Georgians call hell) breaks out and it 'leaks' that the Pac 10 is about to invite five more Big 12 members ; Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, OU and OSU.
Somewhere in between the constant breaking 'rumors', I mean reports that had just about every team in the country going to a new conference or playing in the World Cup (trust me, it's out there) the team of the Decade--according to some--USC was hit with the hardest sanctions in recent memory by the NCAA--the governing body that was also rumored to be switching conferences-or being dis-baned !
So with nothing less than the future of college football (and billions of TV dollars) hanging in the balance the SEC made its first move toward expansion.
Texas A&M-who had been previously thought to be unobtainable with out Texas-apparently decided it could survive a day in the sun outside of the Longhorn's shadow and was prepared to join the conference .
In fact, 'rumor' has it OU was on the verge of following and it became clear that conference expansion would only make the SEC stronger and the conference 'devide' would grow steeper.
Suddenly Texas 'realized' how important tradition and loyalty is and accepted an offer from its own conference to make more money by being the only member of the conference to have it's own TV network deal.
Not to worry A&M and OU Texas will share a few dollars more with you and allow you to keep them on your schedule and wha la, Texas saves the conference , college football and maybe the world!
I'm not sure if the rumor is true that Mack Brown will help Barack Obama suck up the Gulf oil spill with a straw but surely he can send his underlings (every remaining member of the Big 12) to do it.
In the end, it looks like the Big 12 will have ten members, the Big Ten will have 12 members, Mike Slive-SEC Commissioner-gets his first choice, nothing and the Pac 10 will add something like BYU or Fresno State to get to 12 for a championship game.
Notre Dame will remain independent, The Big East will survive again and the MWC, which quietly added Boise State , has a pretty good argument to replace them as an automatic BCS qualifier.
There is no doubt that changes are on tap for college football but the more things change, the more they stay the same.