Another conference realignment article starts off with a joke about how the Big 12 has 10 teams, the Big Ten has 12, and the Pac 10 has become the 12 Pac.
As lame as it is, it is truly the best way to start this article.
Let's face it, the numbers do not add up anymore. Having a number in the conference name is as about as shortsighted as drive-up ATMs with braille on the buttons.
The Big 10 and Big 12 were bound to step on each others toes eventually. While the Big East, SEC, and ACC have all expanded with nary a joke made about any of them.
While the Big 10 may be used to the jokes as they have had 11 teams ever since Penn State joined in 1990, having a number in your name makes less and less sense with every round of realignment.
The Big 12 and Big 10 are now stuck with the names the other one so desperately needs.
Name-swapping, while seemingly so simple, is simply just not an option. Too much history is attached to the names and talking about the history of either conference would become annoyingly confusing for anyone outside of the state of Nebraska.
For the Big 12, a name change makes sense. Even if they do add two more teams soon, it is unrealistic to think they would stay at the same number forever.
Of course, the new name for the conference is obvious but no one wants to say it. The old school Big 8 fans want nothing to do with it but it is time for the Big 12 to become the Southwest Conference.
We have all heard the jokes, about calling it the Longhorn Conference, The Texas 10, or Texas and the Little Nine. All those jokes have been pointing out the obvious, without Nebraska and Colorado, the conference has shifted south.
Every member of the current Big 12 south division was in the Southwest conference at one point or another. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were charter members of the conference with OU winning the first ever conference championship in 1915. Texas Tech joined in 1956.
As painful as it is. The Big 8 as we know it is dead and the Big 12 is gone. Changing the name to the Southwest conference can at least revive a proud football tradition. When schools like Houston and SMU could play for the National Championships and proved they can cut corners as well as the big boys could.
Yes, the four remaining teams in the Big 12 North have so such nostalgia for the southwest conference but the realignment summer taught us two things:
1. The big money conferences do not care how much success you have in basketball.
2. the Big 12 North, will do whatever, OU, Texas and A&M want them to.
The Southwest conference was known for private religious schools. The new southwest conference can continue that tradition by inviting BYU.
Very few private schools can offer what they can, an enrollment of more than 30,000 automatically making it one of the biggest in the conference and a very "devoted" fan base.
When I say devoted, I do not mean the gather around the TV no matter what each Saturday. I mean, BYU brings almost an entire religion with it, so by adding BYU, you get majority of the Mormon faith now becoming a fan of your conference.
Adding an 11th, means adding a 12th. While the perfect school Arkansas may be out of reach, there are plenty of old SWC options in the Lone Star state. SMU, TCU, Houston or Rice. It does not matter really, the championship game and the money that comes with it is the key.
So pick one of the remaining Texas teams and lets get back to playing football.
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