Rough year for Longhorns in not-so-Big 12
Those are words of relief if you're the Big 12 Conference, which has appeared to slip some of late but should be able to recover very quickly.
Don't get me wrong. It's not that the Big 12 had a rotten year. After all, Texas A&M rocks. The Aggies cleaned up in the non-revenue sports and look as though they're a budding power overall if Ryan Tannehill and friends continue their football momentum.
And the league did have some high moments.
It signed a new contract hiking the money for its second-tier television rights about 350 percent. Oklahoma actually won a bowl game, swear to God, when it beat Connecticut (who knew UConn played football?) in the Fiesta Bowl. Gary Blair turned into a likable Geno Auriemma. And one of the schools — I forget which — started a new television network.
Last Dan Beebe looked, however, the Big 12 commish misplaced two big-name schools headed for points north and west and didn't celebrate a single national championship in a revenue sport. Other sports, yes. But the major sports — the ones the public cares about — no.
It's still an SEC world, and we're all just living in it.
The dastardly SEC had three of the final four teams in the College World Series. Over the past 10 months, it won five national championships. Only one came in one of those major sports.
Not to demean Alabama's title in gymnastics, Kentucky's rifle championship or Florida's kicking butt in women's tennis and men's indoor track, but football's kinda big in these parts. People get so ticked off when their favorite team loses, they go nuts and poison trees and stuff.
Of course, the SEC has been laying waste to the rest of college football for a while now. It owns five straight national titles, the latest coming when Auburn came out of nowhere with a couple of fairly high-profile junior college transfers to join Alabama, Florida and LSU in the title room.
Who's next? Vanderbilt?
"They're great," A&M athletic director Bill Byrne said of the SEC. "I look at them with great admiration for what they've done on the field. Not quite as much off it. I believe six of their schools are under investigation."
We would never suggest the Big 12 cheat its way to the top. That would just be, uh, wrong. But the Big 12 hasn't won a football crown since Texas did it in 2005. No basketball title since Kansas in 2008. Baseball? Augie Garrido last accepted that trophy in 2005.
A big fat zero since.
Another argument for bringing in Texas A&M into the SEC.
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