Even though the firestorm combined with an F5 tornado that is college football expansion has seemingly run its course (AT LEAST FOR THIS YEAR, YOU NAIVE FOOLS), there are still a few questions remaining. The most important of which, and also the most impossible to answer, is how did the BP-level incompetent Dan Beebe pull the Big 12 out of a nearly cement-encased tomb and into the world of the living? Unfortunately, it shall remain a secret the universe will never tell. Nevertheless, we will press on and attempt to recap the day's events and answer a few questions.
The Basic Plot
Texas and company (mainly and most importantly Texas) were promised enough money to keep their interests in the Big 12. Once it was certain that the Big 12 was not going to fall apart, Texas A&M ended its talks with the SEC and chose to stay as well. The Big 12 lives on at the promise, not actual though, of money in a new, very high dollar TV deal. Risky? No doubt, but the Pac-10 deal was all speculation as well. And Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri sent $100 gift baskets to all the important people at Texas for keeping their respective schools alive.
Reason #1 Texas chose to keep the Big 12 alive
Commissioner Dan Beebe dropped off a suitcase of highly valuable bald eagle scalps (tremendous street value in Bolivia) in Austin. Perhaps I made that up (or is he really a poacher?), but what he did do was promise Texas straight cash money from a TV deal and assured the Longhorns that they would be allowed to pursue their own network with which, combined with the conference TV money, they would generate more money than most continents do in a fiscal year. The Pac-10 had informed Texas that they could not create their own network for reasons that I'm sure only enlightened West Coast people could understand.
In-the-gray-area reason #1 Texas chose to keep the Big 12 alive
While Texas was flirting with the idea of going west, Texas A&M begin to flirt with the idea of going east to the SEC. Had they joined the SEC, the recruiting grounds of the state of Texas would have become wide open to the vultures of SEC recruiting (probably would have worked better with a bird of prey, but I like saying the word vulture). This notion caused Texas to nearly choke on the cigars they were smoking, which of course were lit by $100 bills (How do you light yours? With a match? Or a lighter? What are you, poor?). The majority of the Longhorns' talent comes from its home state and the idea of fighting off the likes of LSU and Alabama for those players was a little too terrifying.
In-the-gray-area reason #2 Texas chose to keep the Big 12 alive
Texas has a pretty good setup going right now. They play one game a year (Oklahoma) and occasionally have to deal with a gnat like Texas Tech, but the rest of the schedule is a parade right to a BCS game. By leaving the Big 12 the road would get a little tougher in the Pac-10, not by much, but somewhat. This is probably the most important reason they'll never join the SEC. Why make it harder on yourself if you don't have to? Even though everyone will make fun of you and your girl parts.
In-the-gray-area reason #3 Texas chose to keep the Big 12 alive
Academics. You see...I want to send a flying roundhouse kick to the temple of anyone who utters that word when college football is discussed. This is college football, no one gives a damn about academics. EVERY DECISION FROM NOW UNTIL THE END OF TIME WILL ALWAYS BE BASED ON MONEY. ALWAYS. REPEAT: ALWAYS. So let's stop pretending learnin' and shit is even considered.
What happens next
Most likely, this is a temporary extension for the Big 12's existence. They need two more teams to add a conference championship game (per NCAA rules) and I'm not sure who they can steal to make this a legitimate conference. I read a rumor that involved BYU and Air Force, but that has little to no believability. And so, there lies a major problem. Can they get two teams to help raise the price of the TV deal or will they try to move on with just 10 teams? Moving forward with just 10 teams will hurt their BCS credibility and more importantly hurt the giant TV contract they all seem to think is headed their way. Unless they find two solid additions to the conference, we'll see the Big 12 collapse again at some point, but I get the feeling that next time it will be a much more organized collapse.
Are we finally done with all this expansion talk?
Sweet merciful crap, I hope so. But with Jim Delany still stalking around, there's always a chance he'll get in a shit-stirring mood and we'll be right here again. And it is times like these I am reminded how much I hate the Big Ten.