Realignment Collison Course On Track?

Over the weekend two different Big 12 member administrators told me that the realignment situation and the survival of the Big 12 was going to move fast but I'm not sure they ralized just how quickly this would develop. Now that something appears imminent the news is seemingly flowing freely.

The president of Baylor University has written a blog in an attempt to encourage support of Baylor's campaign to supercede Colorado as one of the six schools to be invited by Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott to join a super-sized conference. An admitted concern has surfaced at Colorado in response.

The deadline, confirmed by several sources, that was imposed on Nebraska, Missouri, and even Colorado to commit to staying in the Big 12 has completely leaked out into the media.

The small, but meaningful, breaks in the comments of Big 12 school administrators and athletic officials is telling. Even various coaches confirm after meetings with their athletic directors that they are waiting on an answer from primarily Nebraska as to whether they are committed or not.

If the Huskers and any one of the other two schools are out and not 100 percent devoted to the conference then it is a virtual certainty that the league will split up and the six schools asked will end up heading west.

The most important answer will come from Nebraska as they are the key figure in keeping a 12-team or an 11-team Big 12 Conference together. There is also the issue of patience, which seemingly is running out and being forced out by quick action and an all-out breakout of intensity on the part of all involved.

One certain theme is that Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds has surfaced as a strong leader within the conference athletic directors. That is not a surprise as Dodds was a founding father to the Big 12 and Texas holds a powerful position in the Big 12 and all of the college athletics landscape.

Several sources have reported and said that at the beginning of last week's Big 12 meetings in Kansas City that Dodds set Missouri and Nebraska and their wandering eyes along with the rest of the conference members straight on the role of Texas.

"Everybody stays ready," said Dodds. "Everybody figures out what's best for them and get options…

"We did not start this," he says. "If we need to finish it, we'll finish it."

"I keep going back to that comment from DeLoss," said Oklahoma State atheltic director Mike Holder. "Not many people get out in piublic and say something like that.

"When you hear him speak it is kind of like E.F. Hutton, when E.F. Hutton speaks, people listen. I think you need to pay attention to what he says because he tells it like it is and he chooses his words wisely," Holder said.

Holder stated again that Oklahoma State's first choice is for the Big 12 to survive and thrive, and that he and the University are committed to that aim. But he also added that because of Oklahoma State's own accomplishments and resources, combined with strong realtionships with powerhouse rivals Texas and Oklahoma, that he felt Oklahoma State would be in a good situation if the Big 12 did falter and other opportunities became necessary.

Our sources indicate that the deadline of Friday may be accurate but that an earlier deadline may also be in place to allow another window of discussion between the parties before the news all goes public on the stated deadline. In other words, don't look away because this whole scenario is moving very fast.


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