For the last few days I've heard lots of moaning and groaning about the looming break up of the Big 12. To those resisting change I've been using all those phrases that deal with change like: "All good things must come to an end." "Change is inevitable." " We must embrace change".
I used all of those sayings some 15-16 years ago when the old Southwest Conference fell apart. Back then I was a young News Mgr at an Austin TV station. The similarities between the break up of the two conferences are too numerous to cite, but here's a few of them. Just like now, then It started out as rumor. The Sports Department there was hesitant to touch the story because it was just "talk", but then like now, talk and rumor began to pickup steam. Meetings were held, news conferences were announced and the Big 12 was born.
I remember being sad about the end of the SWC. Growing up, I thought it was the greatest conference in the world. It represented what Texas Football was all about, even with all of its "pay for play" scandals. We had the best college athletes money could buy. So it was no wonder every one of those teams could kick some -ss at some point in their school's history. All of them had won SWC titles at some point and sometimes would win National Championships. And yes I understand, the players were "professionals".
I was here at KBTX when the Jackie Sherrill era ended. I remember SMU getting the death penalty and remember Coach Jim Wacker at TCU kicking the Horned Frogs' star running back and Heisman Trophy hopeful off the team because of alleged alumni involvement. But, it was all part of the SWC lore and part of what made the SWC exciting. And in my humble opinion, the best conference in the country! So there was an emotional connection for me to the SWC . After that the Big 12 was just another conference that most of my favorite teams were a part of, but just nothing I could really connect with.
So saying goodbye to the Big 12 doesn't hurt my feelings or make me sad. But ,I can't help but think back to how much fun the SWC was. And although it's wishful thinking, Iwould love to entertain the thought of the Texas teams along with the Oklahoma teams staying put ,grabbing TCU & Houston (sorry Rice & SMU you're not included) and starting the Southwest Conference up again.
I know, sometimes it's hard for men to let go of their past!
Then and Now!