The Big 12 holds off on adding West Virginia, and is therefore unstable

Let me get this straight.

Unsourced reports on Tuesday indicated that the Big 12 was close to adding West Virginia University. Yesterday, we heard that announcement was not going to happen and the process was ongoing (see also here for the ESPN/Joe Schad version), and saw more unsourced reports that Louisville may be added to the Big 12 rather than WVU. Then a couple U.S. Congressmen from West Virginia got involved, calling for an investigation to see if anything improper had occurred.

And through all this misdirection and anonymity, we're supposed to be able to draw any conclusions at all?

Yes, apparently, according to some. Sam Mellinger essentially agreed on Twitter with someone who called the Big 12 a clown show, and then when I asked for an explanation could do no better than "the Big 12 is a mess" and that this turn of events proves Missouri's point that the Big 12 is unstable. Granted, it's Twitter, which doesn't leave much room for explanations, but this is just one example. Anyone who listened to 810 this morning heard Steven St. John nearly have a coronary because he was so aghast at the cat-herding show that passes for the Big 12 Conference.

Really? I thought instability was predicated on the possibility that schools would leave the conference. In this instance, we have completely unsourced reports (I really can't stress that enough) that schools are stabbing each other in the back to get into this conference. Look, we've already been through this. Apparently, Oklahoma and Texas looked around, and they found that nobody wants them, for one reason or another. Nobody is leaving the conference right now, except for Missouri.

What we're left with is the empty assertion that, because all conference members don't agree on a course of action the conference is inherently unstable and leaderless. Does that mean the SEC is unstable because not every single one of its members agrees that adding Missouri is a good idea? Of course not. That's laughable. But when the conference is the Big 12, and completely unsourced reports indicate that it is going to add West Virginia, and then completely unsourced reports indicate that its expansion process is on hold, and the only actual, named sources are U.S. Congressmen from West Virginia who are calling for an investigation to see if anything "inappropriate or unethical" was done to interfere with a decision made by the Big 12 Conference, that is clear and convincing proof that the Big 12 is unstable.

If we assume that the unsourced reports are correct and David Boren is lobbying on behalf of Louisville as a favor to his buddy Mitch McConnell, and as a result of that hijacking what was otherwise a done deal, then I can agree that Boren needs to go about his work a bit more discreetly. There's no reason we can't add both schools, if Oklahoma would be willing to budge on its (apparent, and ridiculous) position that we should only go to 10 schools. But even given that, I fail to see how Boren's actions are an indication that the Big 12 is unstable.

In any event, the important steps toward stability have been taken. Earlier this week, the Big 12 board of directors reaffirmed its commitment to a grant of rights for Tier 1 and Tier 2 media rights, and the conference has already agreed to equal sharing of Tier 1 and Tier 2 revenue. This is just another knee-jerk reaction by the media and another scapegoat for Missouri.

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