Tue Sep 06 02:39pm EDT
Louisiana Tech is a current member of the Western Athletic Conference and has expressed its desire to be a member of Conference USA. Inside the BleedTechBlue Board on BleedTechBlue.com there has been some discussion of what might happen in Tech's case when the dust settles in conference realignment.
Let's recap what is going on right now and what seems to be going on "behind the scenes" to get a grasp of the situation at hand.
Chip Brown at OrangeBloods.com has been all over the Big 12 saga, specifically as it pertains to Texas and Texas A&M but more recently the grand scheme of the Big 12. On Sunday, September 4th Brown wrote a story about how the Texas legislature was trying to slow down any talks Texas might have with the PAC-12, here. Today, Brown alluded to a possible bolt westward by Oklahoma and Oklahoma State but Texas' hope and desire is for the Big 12 to stay together, here. That doesn't seem likely as of now.
Oklahoma and Texas at one time had a tight bond. With the departure of A&M to most likely the SEC as soon as this week, Oklahoma realizes the conference is unstable and wants stability in this time of uncertainty in college sports surrounding conference realignment. Oklahoma has been in talks with the PAC-12 for weeks and looks to bring in-state rival Oklahoma State along with them. Prominent American businessman and Oklahoma State booster T. Boone Pickens said he doesn't believe the Big 12 exists at all in 5 years and believes his Cowboys will be playing out west.
"If you can't get it fixed, the Big 12, you might as well go west," Pickens said.
The PAC-12 will not allow Texas to keep its TV network, the Longhorn Network, so this will more than likely force Texas' hand to have to go independent if they want to keep the network. The question then for Texas is where do their olympic sports play. Jon Wilner from the Mercury News in San Jose, Calif. blogged today about the PAC-12 and expansion. It is the consensus in that conference that they do NOT want to expand, but when the SEC begins the first super conference race with the addition of A&M they likely will be forced to follow suit.
With it likely being Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State going westward to the PAC-12, that leaves the Big 12 looking around at each other wondering what just happened.
The remaining teams of Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri will likely be looking for a home soon. Regionally and culturally they all fit well with the Big 10 and once the Big 10 is forced to join the super conference race these will be likely targets for them.
The last teams without a homes after the collapse of the Big 12 are Iowa State and Baylor. Where do they land? The MAC, CUSA, independent with their olympic sports some where like the Missouri Valley? At this point, it is anyone's guess. Where Baylor lands is similar to Iowa State in my opinion. I think they land in a non-AQ conference though.
In the SEC, the schools being mentioned most often are Missouri and Virginia Tech. Given that the SEC keeps these kinds of issue pretty secretive means no one really knows what is going on.
A conference like the Big East very well gets raided by the conferences like the ACC, Big 10 and SEC racing to 16 to form super conferences. Will the Big East survive? Only time will tell.
On the eastern side of United States with non-AQ conferences the powerhouse is Conference USA so it is most likely to be the conference used to fill any holes in the AQ conferences. The problem for La. Tech lies in the fact that several teams east of Ruston, La. are in a better place financially, with facilities, and market size than them (i.e. Middle Tennessee, FIU, UNC-Charlotte).
In order for Tech to have a chance at landing in its dream conference of Conference USA, there needs to be a vacancy on the western side of the conference whether it's left by Houston or UTEP. The most likely landing spot for either of these two at this point is the Mountain West. It appears as if Utah State will likely be one of the first targets by the Mountain West and would almost certainly be the death blow to the WAC. If the Mountain West expands and possibly picks up Houston or UTEP along with Utah State, that may be the perfect storm for Tech to land in Conference USA. If the Mountain West does not expand, either Tech stays in the WAC or ends up in the Sunbelt Conference (a place many boosters do not want to see Tech).
Wed May 25 01:46pm EDT