You know that slide rule your dad used in college that’s sticking out of a cardboard box in a dusty corner of the basement? Get it out. That unused abacus Aunt Martha thought was a swell gift when she returned from that Asian holiday awhile back? Find it now.
The Big 12 has ten teams. The Big 10, which was really a Big 11, now has twelve teams. The PAC 10 has eleven teams, with another possibly on the way.
And the Big East, an anomaly devoid of numeric designation, exhaling for the first time in weeks, remains Big. Bigger even than the guy in “Sex and the City.” But not as Big as it really wants to be. If they could just talk you know who up in South Bend to play football with them, then, well, that would be really BIG.
From a branding perspective — and isn’t that what all these conferencial plate shifts are about — the Big East is just fine. Having eschewed cardinal numbers in its moniker, it can just be Big. Even if not totally East. Member ADs needn’t hire painters to change league logos on courts and fields.
From a numerical perspective, the Mountain West and WAC are also cool. From a branding standpoint, that is. Though the later is really WACKED, now that Boise’s gone to the Mountain West. Which conference looks like it’s going to lose Utah to the PAC 1?.
It’s really the Bigs — 10 and 12 — that got problems. There’s only one PAC, so they can choose any number the want. Or none at all. Does the Big 10 return to its former title — Western Conference? That was back when the Mississippi River was the country’s left coast. Psychologically speaking, of course.
The Big 12 could pull the ol’ Southwest Conference banners out of storage.
One of them could go Great Midwest. But Cincy, Dayton, DePaul, Marquette, Memphis State, St. Louis and UAB might balk. That was their hoops league back in the early 90s. How about Big Mid?
Heartland Conference? Uh, maybe not. It’s a great name, but there’s a Division II league with that name. Oh yeah, and a Division III league that includes Transy over in Lexington.
Tornado League? Sagebrush Conference? Dustbowl Confederation? Big Snow?
They gotta do something. A Big 12 with ten teams and a Big 10 with twelve teams just ain’t gonna work.
– Seedy K