Hooray for a sense of normalcy! After days of living under the assumption the Pac-10 was about to add six and effectively eliminate the Big 12 (and ruin Kansas basketball), Commissioner Dan Beebe went from goat to hero this afternoon getting bigwig Texas and Oklahoma to stick around, thus keeping all the other sheep herded together.
And while the conference restructuring has been fueled by football and television, it's a well-known college basketball reporter, ESPN's Andy Katz, delivering the scoop on how the Big 12 was saved:
A NCAA source with direct knowledge of what occurred told ESPN.com that the aggressiveness of the Pac-10 caused various factions of the collegiate sports world to coalesce. They then worked to slow and try to stop the pace of moves that would have left a number schools searching for a new conference home.
The source said the people involved were business executives, conference commissioners, athletic directors, network executives with ties throughout college athletics, administrators at many levels throughout the NCAA membership and a "fair number of them without a dog in the hunt."
Initially, the thought of three to four super-conferences sounds sort of cool and bold, but tonight it's nice to know that six major college conferences remain, with minimal reshaping. Everyone can take a deep breath, except maybe for the Pac-10, which really looks silly for acquiring the middling Colorado Buffaloes, a program currently streaking through the quad in solitude like Will Ferrell in Old School.