It's an odd day for sports, when Michigan gets a football game rained out and the Big 12 is going from being just numerically challenged to being on life support in the last week.
I can picture Alan chiming in and declaring the folks in Ann Arbor wusses for calling the remainder of the game with WMU off, but there was little need to have Michigan run out the clock and keep having the 100K+ fans in the Big House dodging thunderstorms. A 34-10 lead and marching for more late in the 3rd would be on the verge of a TKO if they did football like boxing, so it seemed to make some sense, especially when a fiesta-colored radar all the way west to South Bend (where Notre Dame was also getting delayed and getting shut out by USF; nothing says Schadenfreude like the Irish taking it in the neck at home) was showing on the Jumbotron.
Not bad for the first go-round of the Hoke era. The Broncos scored first but couldn't hang with Michigan for the long haul. However, we did have at least one I-AA scalp in Sacramento State downing Oregon State, going for two in OT and making it.
Oregon State-Oklahoma State could become a conference game in the near future; that's one that OSU is bound to win. There was talk last year of a PAC-16 with a big hunk of the Big 12 going west; as is, just Colorado bolted west and joined Utah in expanding the PAC-10 into the PAC-12, with Nebraska leaving to join the Big 10.
Now, Texas A&M is lusting after the SEC and has given the Big 12 notice of leaving, and Oklahoma has talked of leaving as well. The new talk of the day is to have OU, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech join the PAC-12 to become the PAC-16.
That would make some sense. You would have natural divisions of the old PAC-8 being the West division and the Arizona schools joining the newbies in an East division; of course, Arizona and ASU won't like that, since California is the recruiting prize, but Texas isn't exactly chopped liver.
What this would leave is a gutted Big 12 down to five teams; Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri. If A&M does go to the SEC, either Missouri or Kansas might make a good add if the SEC wants to go to 16 teams as well; the problem there is that neither of those schools would seem a good cultural fit with the SEC. The Big 10 might be interested in Missouri and Kansas if the MO became going big or going home.
It could well happen that the Big 12 could disappear. We could see Baylor, Kansas State and Iowa State left without a home and look to Conference USA or the Mountain West as options; if travel costs were not an object, the Big East might work.
One route the Big 12 might go is to absorb some mid-major schools from the area. Memphis would be a good ad, as might Tulsa. SMU would like to join, and might get the chance if they want to keep a solid Texas footprint. BYU might be an interesting pickup as well. This might create some problems in keeping its BCS qualifier status, since it would be the weakest of the big-six conferences. Northern Iowa might be an interesting ad if it could move up from I-AA.