The new-look Big 12 will only boost the rivalries between top teams like Kansas and Texas. In the process, it will ensure that any regular-season Big 12 champion is one that survived the same balanced schedule as the rest of the league. Throw in the fact that most Big 12 teams seem intent on keeping their nonconference challenges alive, at least for the forseeable future, and the costs to the teams involved -- creating a minefield of potential momentum-crushing losses in both league and non-league play -- should be outweighed by the RPI benefits the league will receive by the end of the season.
When other leagues made their football-minded expansion moves last summer, they got bigger. Many of them -- the Big Ten (Nebraska), the Pac-12 (Utah, Colorado), the Big East (TCU) -- also got worse. The Big 12 went in the opposite direction, both in volume and quality. The result should be interesting from January on.
Plus, we get to see Texas play Kansas twice. No matter where your allegiances are, this is an extremely promising development.
Links To Start Your Week
Dave Matter of the Columbia Daily Tribune with a solid "the year after" Q and A with Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe.
Jason King of Yahoo!Sports.com writes that new Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy has the luxury of taking over a program that doesn't need rebuilding.
Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News writes about the advantages and challenges for men's basketball in the "new and improved" Big 12 Conference.
After a heart-breaking loss ended the season, Baylor's baseball team is still in the grieving process.
The hot-button issue in college athletics is increasing the amount of money that scholarships are worth - "the cost of attendance" - for student-athletes.
There will be 75 Big 12 Conference football games in 2011. Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman bravely ranks them from No. 1 through No. 75.
Texas is headed to Omaha (again) for (another) College World Series because it has a great pitching staff. So says Cedric Golden of the Austin American-Statesman.