Some men do just want to watch the world burn.
And we have seen a lot of burning over the last few days, until the news dropped late Tuesday night that the Pac-12 presidents said that they were not expanding. Also, the remaining Big East football schools met Tuesday night and pledged their loyalty to one another.
So that means that after all of the words that were spilt over the interwebs and Twitter the last few days...nothing has changed.
I blame myself, partially, for allowing myself to get caught up in the drama like a fool, chasing the vapors and specters of rumors and innuendo. I've allowed myself to go down the rabbit hole way too many times over the last year and a half or so that Expansionapalooza™ has taken place. Each time I promise myself to not get swept away, and yet as a sports blogger/writer, I feel obligated to comment on it.
And each time rumor has us tantalizingly close to leaving this conference for (perceived) greener pastures, the football gets pulled away time and time again:
The question becomes this:
Again, if "sources" are to be believed, and Missouri can move to the SEC, is that something that the Board of Curators and the Chancellor should pursue?
Or is it in our collective best interest to try and prop up the Big 12, side with Oklahoma and try to see if some reform can be forced through that includes equal revenue sharing and attempt to expand the league back to 12?
I believe that there are pros and cons to both approaches. Heading off to the SEC would require a drastic readjustment of expectations, formation of new rivalries (although I believe that the Arkansas one would be feisty right off the bat) and all of the other attendant issues that come with relocation. It would be exciting for a while, until the grind set in and we found ourselves getting crushed by LSU and Alabama on a regular basis.
Or we could try and mend the fences at home, in our neighborhood where we've been for a long time—some of our neighbors have been with us for over 100 years, while others only joined us about 15 years ago. We're like family and while sometimes (oftentimes) we don't get along, and while the situation is currently a little unstable at the top, we know the devil in the details. We know how everyone else operates, and it would allow for a comfortable existence if some of the hiccups and the infighting could be fixed.
And the problems are fixable, but this is not something that can (or should) be patched up overnight. This is going to take time, and it should take time to rebuild. It's hard to have trust in a shaky foundation, and there is no foundation shakier right now than the one that this conference is built on. Major, major reinforcement would be necessary. But again, it is not an impossible task.
I don't know what the right move is to make. If this was me and it was an individual decision, I would go ahead and move to the new conference. But I am a bit of a nomad by nature, and so the appeal of the new is interesting and intriguing to me. I know lots of others are traditionalists and would be inclined to stay, and it is hard to say that either approach is incorrect.
I do know that lots of money is at stake, from television dollars to research monies to donations for athletics as well as for the general fund. Recruiting is at stake as well. So an informed decision needs to be made, and it needs to happen quickly.
I wish I could say that tonight's announcement by the Pac-12 was the end of it. I really do. Sadly, it isn't and it is only a matter of time before things start burning again: