The Harbinger Online

Big Twelve, Big Disappointments

My heart couldn’t hurt more.

It feels like someone took my heart and threw it into the middle of the road, while four semi-trucks ran over it repetitively, all while someone is poking my soul with a pitch-fork.

Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but my Big 12 is crumbling, people. My first true love is disintegrating before my very eyes. And to put it plainly: I’m as much pissed as I am woebegone.

The break-up of the original Big 12 teams might be the worst conceivable idea in the history of history. It surpasses Napoleon’s genius idea to venture into North Russia during winter. It’s miles ahead of assuming Vegetarian Sausage is somewhat edible. It’s dumber than calling Ray Lewis a racist to his face. I can’t take it anymore. The SEC, ACC and Pac-12 need to keep their filthy hands off of my teams or so help me I will streak at all of their sporting events for the next 19 years.

The beginning of the Big 12 demise shocked me, but I wasn’t too worried. At first, when Colorado left for the Pac-12, I thought what everyone else thought: “OK fine, whatever. They suck anyway.” But then Nebraska left. And that’s when my relationship with the Big 12 took a sharp turn towards heartbreak.

Texas A&M began talking to the SEC, Texas began talking to seemingly everyone and all the while, I never took it seriously. “They can’t break up the Big 12, can they? Arguably the best conference in every sport, would they?” No, no. Not the Big 12. Surely they wouldn’t break up the conference that has at least three top 25 football teams every year, or gets at least five teams in the NCAA tournament. Not the conference that turns out class acts, like Anthony Robles, the one-legged Iowa State wrestler who won the NCAA title last year.

I kept telling myself the end wouldn’t come. But it seems imminent. Most sports analysts say the apocalyptic end will come soon. And if so, the worst idea to ever grace the minds of humans will ensue. Breaking up the Big 12 is selfish and wrong. The way we’re headed there will be two conferences in 20 years: The Pac-98 and The Big-outrageously-large-gargantuan East. Hooray for diversity!

The idea is flat-out dumb. Screw money; the Big 12 conference is gold. Break it up and the best overall conference will be cast into tiny pieces. The classiest, most gracious conference will be nothing more than a puff of smoke.

What do new conferences plan on doing with age-old rivalries? The way it’s projected, KU won’t be in the same conference as MU. And even though I hate the Tigers more than rocks in my shoes, the rivalry is sacred, and to take it away would be a damn shame. Same goes for OU and Texas, and Baylor and A&M.

The new team coming from the Big 12 to any other conference will just feel like the new kid who sits at the end of the lunch table but doesn’t say anything because he’s not really a part of the group. They’ll play the games. They’ll make money, but the games won’t mean as much as they did when they were in the Big 12, since there was so much history riding on it.

Did the Axis of Evil (Pac-12, SEC and ACC) think about the fans? If Iowa State goes to the Big East, do you really think Cyclone fans are going to fly to South Orange, New Jersey to watch Seaton Hall? No ma’am.

But mostly we need to discuss the worst part about this debacle:

Me.

Why my Big 12? Seriously, why’d they have to go pick on my conference? The one I’ve cherished since I could write. In fourth grade I was so excited for the Big 12 football season I hand-drew all 12 logo’s, taped them to a sheet of paper and had a countdown on it. I’ve woken up every morning after Selection Sunday and filled out the bracket of 64 teams for the NCAA tournament, fillng in all the Big 12 teams to advance to the second round.  If it was Big 12 versus anyone else I’d root for the Big 12. No doubt about it.

If worst comes to worst, my precious baby that was the Big 12 will disappear. And I’ll miss the crap out of it. I’ll miss laying on the couch watching the Big 12 tournament on 38 the Spot, seeing seven What-a-Burger commercials every hour. I’ll miss rooting for 12 teams from my area of the country. I’ll miss those gray roman numerals more then anything in the world.

The Big 12 will always hold a special place in my heart.

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Chris Heady is a senior and the Co-Head Copy Editor on the print Harbinger. He enjoys movie soundtracks and a good pen. Read Full »

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