- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
Texas A&M plans to leave Big 12 by July 2012
Question of the Day
Baylor President Ken Starr still believes the Big 12 has a “bright future,” even without the Aggies.
“We know that the Big 12 is an exciting and attractive conference for many reasons, including the quality of our academic programs, the strength of our athletic teams, the support of our loyal fans and the depth of our vibrant traditions,” Starr said.
Nebraska (Big Ten) and Colorado (Pac-12) left the league in July a year after a wild round of realignment that also affected the Mountain West, Big East and WAC.
So far, the only school to publicly express interest in joining the Big 12 is SMU, the former Southwest Conference team that now plays in Conference USA and has climbed back to respectability after receiving the NCAA’s only “death penalty” punishment after a pay-for-play scandal in the 1980s.
Another Conference USA team, Houston, could also be an option for the Big 12. Athletic director Mack Rhoades would not say Wednesday if he has been in touch with the Big 12 or any other conference.
“We’re always going to look to get better, and look for opportunity,” Rhoades said. “Whether that comes, whether that doesn’t, I certainly can’t answer that. But we’re in a great conference right now, and we’re going to continue to be a great member. But we’re also going to do everything we can to get better.”
Rhoades said he believes A&M’s decision could be the first domino in changes across the landscape of college football.
“Right now, let’s face it, that’s the world of college athletics,” he said. “Whatever happens here in the next week, two weeks, three months, who knows what the timeline is? I don’t think it ends there. I think it’s going to continue to evolve over the next few years.”
BYU, currently a football independent, could also be an attractive option to the Big 12. The school wouldn’t say if it is interested in the conference.
“There is much speculation right now regarding conference affiliation that seems to change by the hour,” the BYU statement said. “Commenting on such conjecture is not productive and creates a distraction for our program. As we enter the 2011-12 athletic season, BYU is focused on the opportunities ahead. We are excited about our relationship with ESPN as a football independent and our affiliation with the West Coast Conference.”
BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said on a conference call on Tuesday before the Aggies announced their intention to leave that he thinks the school is “aligned and positioned where we belong,” but that not being affiliated with the BCS is one drawback.
“Right now bluntly we have to go undefeated twice in a very short amount of time to have a shot at the national title,” he said. “So there’s kind of a Catch 22, but for now and maybe for the relative long term I’m really, really comfortable with this independent role and if I can help our team play at the highest level and maybe that inclusion will come just through the number of games we win in terms of access to the national championship.”
Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick was asked about the Big 12 on Wednesday.
“Notre Dame is firmly committed to its motto of football independence and Big East affiliation in those sports sponsored by the Big East,” Swarbrick said.
The Big 12 has formed a committee to look for replacements.
By Michael Widlanski
Leveling the battlefield to aid terrorists enables evil to fight on
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Cutler wins endorsement from gun control group
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Man says he shot burglar who said she was pregnant
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- Obama's empty tough-talk: Gun prosecutions plummet on his watch
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq