Halloween is still two and a half months away, but the Texas Tech athletic program will experience horrors from Realignment Revelations if its leaders are not at the very top of their game in the coming days and weeks. The Red Raiders, along with several other programs, remain trapped in the Big 12 conference, a crypt whose door could soon slam shut and entomb several of its members. And it is the University of Texas, the demonic master of this dank and musty lair, which will cast various programs into the abyss of non-BCS oblivion.
Certain programs had the foresight and wherewithal to flee the hideous Big 12 mire and the Grand Ogre from Austin who rules it. The University of Nebraska stared the Beast squarely in the eye, fathomed its dark intentions of utter tyranny, and trekked east to the Big Ten conference.
The University of Colorado, also sensing the malignant emanations from central Texas, bolted like a terrified mare to the PAC 10 conference where the breezes are gentle and the fellowship sincere. The Buffalos now look forward to an exciting and prosperous future.
But even after the shambling corpse known as the Big 12 hemorrhaged two members, the Malevolent Ghoul of the Hill Country continued to animate it for another year. And none of the remaining members of this festering league had the courage or the strength to pursue freedom as Colorado and Nebraska did.
But the Viper of Texas could never be satiated. Not content with its unquestioned dominance, its dungeons full of gold, and the pyramids of skulls it erected from those it had slain, the serpent sought to gulp evermore goblets of blood from those who remained trapped in the Big 12 pen.
The University of Texas, in league with the diabolical ESPN, pushed forward with its own network, flouted NCAA strictures against televising high school football games for its own advantage, and sought to dragoon other Big 12 members, Texas Tech included, into dancing a jig on the network at Texas' beck and call.
"Enough is enough!" cried Texas A&M, a habitually querulous if witless victim of Texas greed and arrogance. Flying in the face of naysayers who claimed delusion and wishful thinking, the Aggies forged relationships with the Southeastern Conference and may soon escape Texas' clutches for good. Even if A&M's erstwhile move east collapses, the Aggies have at least demonstrated that their survival instinct is functional.
The University of Missouri, which is also rumored to be in negotiations with the SEC, is also demonstrating the good sense to flee The Great Enslaver.
But of utmost importance to the dear reader, what of Texas Tech?
O'er the Hub City, a deathly silence reigns. The occasional twit with a Twitter floats a rumor of Tech to the PAC 10, or Tech to the SEC, but the rumors seem eminently insubstantial.
From all indications, the Red Raiders appear to be treading water, desperately trying to keep their heads above water as the swells rise to mountainous proportion and the whitecaps appear in the distance. And all the while, the hissing serpent in Austin watches and sways overhead menacingly.
What is clear for all with eyes to see is that the Big 12 is a lifeless mausoleum. Any sign of life that this conference manifests is an illusion conjured by The One in Austin, or a death spasm that will eventually cease. Conferences simply do not lose two, and perhaps three or four members and continue to thrive. Rather, they die a slow, painful death, and their constituent parts garner ever more diminishing returns in an era of ever greater competition.
Clearly then, it behooves all remaining members to secure their liberation from the crypt as quickly as possible, and likewise their home in a new conference undefiled by the presence of the University of Texas. Failure to do so will have the most tragic of consequences.
There are only so many good options available. Only so many positions to be had in the healthy, living, expanding conferences. The brain trust of the Texas Tech athletic department would be wise to get at the very first moment the getting's good. If not, the pitiless viper in Austin will suck the blood of the Red Raiders until there's nary another drop to be had.