If you've been following the news lately about college athletics realignment, you have no doubt heard the latest rumors about the potential eastward expansion of our beloved Big 12 Conference. Message boards from sea to shining sea are abuzz with rumors that Florida State and Clemson, stalwart members of the ACC for what seems like ages now, might be somewhat displeased with the current state of that conference and exploring their options to move elsewhere. As always happens in these situations, posters everywhere hiding behind the anonymity of the intertubes have already said everything from "it's a done deal this summer" to "it's not happening, stop being idiots." The Big 12 is rumored to be going as high as 14 teams and picking up FSU, Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Louisville along the way. Our own Baylor message boards are no different from the rest with everyone who has access posting their "inside information" and contacting their "sources."
I'm going to be honest with you: I don't have sources. I don't have inside information. I read everything I can find about Baylor Athletics and every topic of interest related thereto. I don't know what is going to happen. Here's the thing, though: neither does anyone else. Sure, some have better information than others. Different people are "plugged in" to different degrees. The best Baylor source I can think of right now is probably BearsTruth's Brian Ethridge. I think he's doing as good a job as anyone at keeping people informed of what he does hear-- which is no doubt more than I-- and keeping his posts clear from bias or homerism. The fact is, though, that it's all speculation at this point-- what you see from constant tweets, retweets, posts, and articles written is about as accurate right now as trying to read tea leaves. Nobody knows anything for sure and if they tell you they do then they are full of *#&%.
Be that as it may, it's still my sworn duty (I swore on a stack of Czech Stop receipts) to bring you everything I can find about realignment that is available in the public domain.
First up, SBNation's own Jason Kirk says that the swirling speculation about Big 12 expansion has officially made the idea of it a thing. Whether complete horsehockey or not, the fact that so many are talking about it at the same time makes it worthy of being talked about in a way that I can only assume didn't happen before the internet existed.
That first post was from yesterday and was followed by a tweet last night from Kirk Bohls saying that he talked to officials from Texas and Texas Tech about the whole thing and was told by one of them that they had never heard of it. I am forced to assume that the speaker represented Texas Tech. They're never told anything, anyway.
Then this morning the FSU AD told the Orlando Sentinel that his school is "committed to the ACC" and that any speculation to the contrary is pure balderdash! Hogwash, he tells you! The fact that A&M said the same thing just weeks before deciding to leave for the SEC and actually put their commitment in writing on the new TV contracts means nothing, of course. THIS is determinative, you see!
Deloss Dodds, Texas's AD, chimed in a few minutes ago to say that he also did not think that the current rumors have "any basis at all" while talking about the LHN's plans to broadcast 3 UT games this season to as many as 17 people!
So what do we know at this point? Nothing other than the fact that the people who you would expect to deny involvement in any realignment scenarios have done so vehemently just as others in the past have done before them. The fact that litigation looms constantly in these situations-- a fact that may or may not be directly attributable to the actions of our own University-- means that I certainly would expect no different. It would be quite stupid for anyone associated with the Big 12 to say "Yeah, we're looking at raiding that conference over there, please tell them so they can sue us" or for anyone in the raidee to say "We freaking hate this place, get us out," Louisville excluded, of course. So there you have it. I hope you feel updated.