Like Texas A&M, the New York Times is reporting that the University of Missouri is soon to join the Aggies in the Southeastern Conference. Good move. Good move for the Aggies, and good move although less obvious for the Tigers.
Before I get to the rumored response by the Big 12, I’ve got to go back one month and apparently apologize to Aggie-land. Last month I wrote about A&M’s claims of “instability” in the Big 12 – which are legit, but I argued that A&M’s defection to the SEC, and the original concept of an unequal revenue split were the major reasons for the conference’s instability. I was then ripped on TexAgs.com because I choose to give the A&M football department more credit than those that live and die with Aggie football.
Where I think – from an outsiders perspective, that Texas A&M should be a consistent Top 10-15 type program (and consider A&M to be one of the five biggest underperforming teams in college football along with Georgia, UCLA, Florida State and Notre Dame. With the resources, passionate fan base, financial commitment, and recruiting base there’s no reason A&M shouldn’t be an elite team in my mind…), Aggie bloggers compared their program to a beaten wife in a Lifetime movie – surely starring Merideth Baxter or Lori Laughlin. (Is your self-esteem regarding your program really that low?! You compare your standing in the Big 12 to a beaten wife? Goodness.) Note to Aggie fans, I saw your program as a pillar of the Big 12, not a victim. If the Big 12 would have resolved its revenue distribution, kept A&M and added TCU and Boise State would the conference be unstable?
Which gets me to Boise State. Why won’t the Big 12 (see: Texas?) invite Boise State? One could easily argue that the additions of Boise State and TCU upgrade the value of the conference over the defections of Colorado and Nebraska. (Consider that since the Big 12 was formed, Boise State and TCU’s combined overall record is 274-98 compared to Nebraska and Colorado’s 232-146. The smaller or more recent sample size you want to use, the better it makes the Broncos and Horned Frogs look in comparison.)
Boise State is the best team in college football, and the most marketable when it comes to television, not in a BCS conference yet the rumors are that if Missouri does leave for the SEC the Big 12 will look to add Louisville and or West Virginia. What?! Huh?!! What’s the matter Big 12, did Maine and Florida International turn you down?
Oklahoma versus Boise State (see: Fiesta Bowl rematch) or Oklahoma versus Louisville, which game generates more interest? Texas versus Boise State or West Virginia, which game sends Longhorn fans to StubHub looking for tickets?
So why fear the Broncos Big 12? My belief has always been that Boise benefits from the lack of schedule fatigue found in the major conferences. It’s one thing to beat a BCS conference opponent to start the year, and then finish the season upsetting another BCS foe in a Bowl game. However, stringing together undefeated regular seasons having to play Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, etc. is much tougher than feasting on patsies like San Diego State, Colorado State, Wyoming and New Mexico. For this opinion I’ve been called a “Big Conference” snob. I call it being real. Can Boise State prove me wrong and continue winning 87% of their games like they have the past decade? One way or the other, it would be fun to find out.
I’ve had many a former Southwest Conference fan – not related to TCU, tell me that the Horned Frogs would never have been able to build themselves into a team that is currently the defending Rose Bowl champs if they would have originally joined the Big 12 instead of Baylor. The argument goes, they’d be the Bears. If TCU is the right fit for the Big 12 today, why not Boise State?