When Nebraska decided to bolt to the Big Ten and Colorado left to join the Pac-10, the thought was that the Big 12 was in trouble and in danger of dissolving. Even though there were ten teams remaining in the conference, there was a lot of talk about Texas, Texas A & M, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State joining the Pac-10 to form a mega-conference. However, yesterday Texas decided to drop a bombshell and stay in the Big 12. Shortly after that, Texas A & M, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State all announced that they were going to stick around as well and the Big 12 would move forward as is without Nebraska and Colorado. As a college sports fan I’m very happy about this. There are so many rivalries, so much tradition within the conferences that I just wasn’t ready to see the conference dissolve just because of money. Not to mention, even though it’s not quite on the same level as the SEC in football, the Big 12 was as good of a football conference for the last five years as it gets and losing Nebraska and Colorado won’t do too much to change that in my opinion.
Mike Sherman joined KBME in Houston with Matt and Adam to talk about the decision to stay in the Big 12 and how much they contemplated making the move to the SEC.
On how he felt over the past couple of weeks not knowing what conference his football was going to be a part of:
“I thought our Athletic Director and our President did a great job of analyzing all our options. When the information came down that Nebraska was leaving the Big 12, they immediately went to work looking at different avenues for us to follow possibly. That went all the way up until the announcement yesterday. There were a lot of different scenarios on the table for a number of different teams, but fortunately I think we ended up with what we had to do at the present time and that’s keep the Big 12 minus Colorado and minus Nebraska. We have a lot of healthy rivalries in this state, a lot of tradition playing different teams, and I think that weighed heavily in the decision to keep the Big 12 as it is today.”
On how much say he had in the decision:
“These types of decisions, contrary to what people may or may not believe, are left up to our AD, our President, and our regents. They did a lot of research and development of putting information together and talking to different parties. My opinion was asked on what I thought. We talked about different scenarios and what was best for Texas A & M, but I just kinda kept working on football stuff. They kept me abreast of where we were and what we were thinking, but I think the general theme that President Lofton has maintained and was true was that he wanted to keep the Big 12 together and they did minus two teams. It kinda went the way I think a lot of people hoped it would. I was proud of our President and our AD for looking at every situation and being prepared. In case something had to happen, we were ready and A & M was able to move in the direction that best benefited A & M.”
On what would’ve been the benefit of joining the SEC:
“The SEC is a great conference and there’s no argument there. The conversations that Texas A & M had with them were very insightful and I think went very well. I thought there was strong overtures, A & M listened intently to everything they said, but just yesterday afternoon we ended up staying put and doing what we’re doing today.”
On how much it may help for everyone to play the same schedule:
“I think so. I think the fact to get a champion out of a conference, a true champion, to play all parties involved then you do have that opportunity. Obviously in that situation, tiebreakers as you see in the Big Ten, year in year out, your tiebreaker system has to be in play. I do think by playing everybody, it’s a truer test of who ends up being the champion.”