If You Think It's the Big Texas, You're Missing the Boat: So, the Big 12 ADs have announced that they're perfectly happy at 10 teams for now, which means absolutely nothing. The more interesting part of the opening day of the Big 12 meetings, however, was what came out of the mouth of Texas AD DeLoss Dodds: an admission that incoming commissioner Bob Bowlsby won't be intimidated by Texas, as Texas has no leverage in the short term.
That wasn't all, and we'll get back to it in a moment; Dodds also, by way of admitting to a reporter's speculation, strongly implied that the entire purpose of everything that's going on is indeed to create four super-conferences to freeze everyone else out. Other sources indicate that it doesn't matter who the Big 12 invites as the deal will increase by $20M per team, and that ESPN is not going to raise any objections. This is a huge piece of news, as it puts "lesser" schools in play that were previously considered to be less-than-likely candidates. Yes, the Big 12 is still going to want to lean toward getting Great Big Names, but if the Big 12 wants to reach out to a Louisville or god forbid even a Tulane for academic/geographical/whimsical purposes, there doesn't seem to be a financial obstacle.
And it would now appear there's not really a Texas obstacle either. The Longhorns remain opposed, in their hearts, to expanding for reasons which have everything to do with their path to championships and nothing to do with money. But with the new TV deal in place, and no financial obstacles to expansion, Texas is holding a pair of twos as far as controlling the new commish (or, for that matter, the rest of the league). The remaining schools will be free to empower Bowlsby to be a real commissioner in the vein of Mike Slive; able act in the best interests of the conference as a whole without worrying about Texas up and leaving in a huff for at least 13 years. And by the end of those 13 years, if Bowlsby does his job, Texas won't be able to leave then either -- not because they're hamstrung by a grant of rights, but because only a complete idiot would want out of the conference.
Now, this doesn't mean that Texas isn't still the wielder of a great deal of influence in the conference. In fact, if Bowlsby does his job right, he'll manage to get everyone on board in the same way Slive has in the SEC and prevent anything nasty happening... like, for example, Texas becoming the new Nebraska and spending 13 years embittered and angry over not getting their way. Still, the idea that it's the Big Texas conference is dead, and Dodds has effectively admitted it by acknowledging that Texas isn't going to be able to push around the new guy.
And now, we bring you a jam-packed day worth of silliness:Who Doesn't Love T. Boone Pickens, Really?: In some cases, a picture is worth eight words:
Hiring Practices Among the Rich and Famous: Vanderbilt boss James Franklin isn't interested in hiring you as an assistant unless you're married. And your wife is smoking hot. No word on whether she also needs to be polygamous or anything.
This Has Fun Written All Over It: Louisville and Florida International will be playing on December 19 in Louisville. This is significant, as... well, we'll just let Rick Pitino's text to his son Richard (the new coach at FIU) explain: "I never got to spank you as a child, would you like to get a spanking this year?"
Scholarships Are Great, Except For Those That Don't Need Them, Or Something: Justin Combs got himself a football scholly to UCLA, and all of a sudden everyone's up in arms because he can afford to pay his own way. Let's be clear on this: there's a difference between a "scholarship" and "financial aid", in that one is an award whereas the other is need-based. Do any of these idiots calling for P. Diddy to reimburse UCLA realize that they are, at the same time, saying that kids who pull a 4.0+ GPA and get 2340 on their SAT should also have to pay for school if daddy's rich? Scholarships, whether athletic or academic, are earned by the kids who receive them.
Bet You Didn't Know This: Virginia Tech and Clemson, combined, are responsible for more of the ACC's bowl revenue than the rest of the conference combined. That includes Florida State, y'all.
Aw, Look, They're Acting Like They're In Alabama: Previously, we mentioned Michigan recruit Logan Tuley-Tillman burning a letter from Ohio State. He's since received death threats (come on, Buckeyes, REALLY?), and now things have ratcheted up a notch as fellow Michigan recruit Kyle Bosch basically dared Buckeye fans to stop by his place. Armed. (Setting aside the ridiculous nature of the entire story, one thing is nice to see: two future offensive line teammates who probably haven't even met yet are already bonding as brothers.)
NCAA 13 Will Destroy Football As We Know It: The new gewgaw in this year's edition of the game is the ability to plop any one of 16 presumably appropriately-licensed former Heisman winners onto any roster. So, if you really want to have Collin Klein handing off to Barry Sanders... this can't end well. I really don't think anyone thought through the possibility of seeing Archie Griffin in a Michigan uniform, you dig?
Spring Championships: Marietta had to win two games yesterday to do it, but after knocking off St. Thomas (MN) and Wheaton (MA), the Ohio squad captured the NCAA Division III baseball title last night. In Division II today, West Chester faces Catawba, who eliminated St. Mary's (TX) yesterday, and Delta State meets Minnesota State-Mankato, who sent Southern New Hampshire home yesterday as well. If West Chester and/or Delta State win today, they'll move immediately to Saturday's championship game; if either team loses, they'd have to play their opponent again tomorrow, with the winners then advancing. In Division I softball, the WCWS is now officially underway, with Oklahoma leading South Florida 2-1 in the fifth inning.
Finally: Lee Corso on a giant floating duck.