Wow. So Boise State's going to the Mountain West. Colorado's to the PAC-10. Nebraska's to the Big Ten. And there may be more changes coming.
It's no secret all of this movement is because of money. Conferences benefit from size, particularly if they can add competitive, high profile teams.
But it will be very interesting how this all will play out from a marketing/branding standpoint. Let's assume that there are no more changes and that the Big 12 is left with 10 teams. Well, they can't exactly call themselves the Big 12 anymore, can they? But calling themselves the Big Ten seems out of the question, too.
Then again, the Big Ten now has 12 teams, and there are rumors of expanding to 16. We'll acknowledge that the Big Ten never changed its name when it went to 11 teams with the arrival of Penn State in 1990. But they may have to consider some sort of name change now.
What's sort of a shame about all of this is that now the Big Ten, Big 12 and even the PAC-10 are losing their identities.
What's a Big Ten school? Well, you know one when you see one. Geographically, they fit into the same general area. And there are some commonalities in terms of size and academic reputation. Add in Nebraska, and is that still the case?
A Big 12 school? You think of wide open spaces. You think of cowboy country. Places like Oklahoma. Kansas. Nebraska. Texas. They all just fit together. But all of these schools may end up scattered in conferences across the country.
And the Pac-10? Last time I checked, the "PAC" was for "Pacific." Colorado hardly fits the mold.
One big fear is that these conferences move toward creating happy-sounding names that tell you little about the schools. The Summit League, Horizon League and alphabet soup conferences like the MEAC and MAAC are the most egregious offenders.
Tradition is being thrown out the window here, and that's sad. Let's hope the new conferences find a way to establish some permanence with whatever arrangements they come up with.