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MIZZOUEXPANSIONAPALOOZA™ 2011: The Sequel is Never as Good as the Original

In Hollywood, the old adage used to be that the sequel was never as good as the original source film was. Sure, there are notable exceptions (The Godfather, Part II and Terminator 2: Judgment Day immediately spring to mind.) but for the most part, bringing back characters and settings for a second time usually doesn’t end well.

Sequels are usually not good if they’re done quickly and impulsively and not planned out. That is a recipe for disaster when millions of dollars are on the line.

Oh, look what we have coming to our screens right now: Expansionpalooza™ 2011: Electric Boogaloo. Cast in the lead role this time: Texas A&M (replacing the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the "Screw you, Texas" slot).

(How the last few Big 12 Meeting have gone.)

If "sources" are to be believed (and I guess we learned nothing from Expansionpalooza™ 2010) Texas A&M is ready to bolt the new, downsized Big 12 conference for the SEC. It’s the rumor that wouldn’t die, and I guess in this circumstance, there actually seems to be some fire with the smoke this time. Granted, until I see or hear something from SEC Commissioner Mike Slive, I will remain unconvinced that this is happening.

But here we are once again; brought to the brink of the complete and utter chaos that was facing us just over a year ago. Once again, it is the sound of the almighty dollar and the power of pigskin that have us rapidly approaching DEFCON 1, reopening the expansion wars and causing some conference commissioners sleepless nights.

Once again, off-field drama perpetrated by the alleged adults that run intercollegiate athletics and institutions of higher learning is going to overshadow the games being played on the field this season.

It is interesting that this latest round of rumors is coming on the heels of the meetings at NCAA headquarters this week. There was talk, coming out of those meetings about reform, and the NCAA has that campaign where they pump up the student athletes and talk about how most of them are going pro in something other than sports.

That makes for wonderful talking points and sound bites, and looks really good on paper and on computer screens. But the reality of where we are in intercollegiate athletics at the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision level is not going to come anywhere near that idealized vision of where the sport should be.

But I digress. Let’s refocus on this small window here with Texas A&M. At this point, I can only handle one thought at a time. From my perspective, the motivation for this move is…what, exactly?

Is it jealousy over the Longhorn Network (Which, need I remind you, you agreed to the creation of last year.)? Sheer, unadulterated greed? A long burning desire to get beaten silly by LSU, Alabama and Arkansas every year? Okay, that might have been a cheap shot. A&M can certainly hold its own, but this year I wouldn’t have them any higher than third in the SEC West. They should be no worse than 2nd in the Big 12 this season.

I guess the SEC gets access to some markets in Texas and expands their reach somewhat, but given that the SEC has a sweetheart deal with CBS and with ESPN, it’s not like they’re hurting for revenue and exposure. It’s not like you have to look very hard to find an SEC game on Saturdays in the fall.

It just appears to be a curious deal all around, with timing that makes no sense right before the start of a season, and basically makes this whole loyalty oath/fealty/health of the Big 12 meme that Dan Beebe wants to promote look silly. Then again, Dan Beebe and the word silly go together like peanut butter and jelly.

I stated several times last summer that this conference carousel wasn’t done spinning. I did think, though, that we’d get a few seasons of play in before things blew up again. I also assumed that if the Big 12 was going down for the count, it would be a Texas school doing it—just not A&M.