Conferences: Now it's all coming into focus

Just kidding.

The latest.

The Big 12 is in talks aimed at keeping its conference together, under a streamlined membership, with a new TV deal. No word now whether they’ll change their name to the Bigger Ten just to one-up their rivals.

The source standoff between Chris Brown of Orangebloods.com and Joe Schad of ESPN.com goes to Brown, with Texas looking as it if may be ready to make a go of it with its old Big 12 partners instead of bolting to the Pac-10, a move which earlier today Schad reported as “imminent.”

A few links:

  • Orangebloods is now reporting that the parties are “close to saving” the Big 12. [Story here]
  • Also The New York Times’ Pete Thamel quotes a Big 12 AD as saying that Texas is close to a commitment to stay in the league, adding, “the musical chairs will stop.” [Via Twitter]

  • Even Texas A&M, which this morning was making serious overtures about leaving for the SEC, now may be on board with its old Big 12 mates. Gene Stallings, former football coach at Alabama, now a regent at Texas A&M and presumed to be a driving force behind the school’s effort to join that conference, told The Associated Press today that he hopes the Big 12 survives and might vote to stay in it. [AP story]

And the Pac-10? Well, it has added Colorado. And commissioner Larry Scott has racked up a bunch of miles on somebody’s private jet. No word yet whether league presidents will ask him to reimburse the conference for what might have been a whole lot of wasted jet fuel.

For U of L, nothing has changed, with this possible exception. The move of Texas A&M to the SEC was going to be a good development for U of L, the Big East and the ACC. With Texas A&M on board, the SEC likely was looking for just one more team to keep at an even number for expansion. (Don’t really see them going to 16 anytime soon.)

But if the Big 12 solidifies and Texas A&M stays, the SEC may yet need to expand, with an eye on the Big Ten, and that could be bad news for the ACC.

We’ll have to stay tuned for that.

As usual, check back hourly. Things are likely to be completely different.

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