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Conference Realignment: Pac-12 Stands Down, Maybe The SEC Kept The Receipt For Texas A&M

Alas, this morning's conference expansion forecast is suddenly tranquil: There's no nuke hurtling from the western sky to destroy the Big 12 and plunge the SEC, ACC and Big Ten into a cannibalistic arms race. It turns out Larry Scott simply wanted to observe our panicked maneuvers in the case said cataclysm did annihilate the heartland. He might have done this to strategize for *potential* future invasions, but without any current interest in a nuclear holocaust at this time.

On a day the SEC apparently offered membership to Missouri, a school thought to be an odd fit from football passion to driving distance, it closed with Scott and the Pac-12 opting not to form Devastator with Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The Pac-12 will stay at 12 teams, and despite the ACC's confirmed move to poach Pittsburgh and Syracuse from the Big East, it seems the dust has momentarily settled among the football superpowers.

Except the SEC, because uh, yeah, wow, this whole "Texas A&M thing" could get even more awkward if we're not in an arms race after all. If the Pac-12 holds as is, and the Big 10 remains mute, the SEC will be the only football-centric conference to expand past a 12-team format. Compounding our sudden sheepishness is the required addition of a 14th member for purposes of balancing schedules and divisions. That allegedly obvious choice has been less than obvious to this point.

But hey, T. Boone Pickens remains convinced A&M will stay a part of a reconciled but fussy Big 12, so that's a strong enough endorsement for us to leave an excited but disoriented Aggie fan base on the doorstep of Baylor, ring the bell and run home. Quickly.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.