This recent announcement of HH with UCLA has some ADs in Big 12 scrambling. I have two contacts in Big 12 programs associated with media @ Texas and @ Ok St. I spoke to both earlier today to confirm UCLA rumors and get their feedback. Just got off the phone with them a second time after they had a chance to poll their insiders to see if there was any reaction from Big 12 folks.
And yes, there is movement. It is serious movement.
Initial response is that Pac 12 is overloading BYU with games and they are genuinely concerned that BYU is being pushed to the coast and that this was a concern discussed in the recent meetings, but they did not take action on it because BYU's schedule looked diverse enough and reasonably set so as to believe there was no movement by Pac 12 to grab BYU.
They adjourned and then the announcement from UCLA came. Totally unexpected. Because it was UCLA, the staffers read into this that there has been paradigm shift by Pac 12. The MAJORITY of those contacts polled in the knee jerk survey believe this is a fuse that has been lit by Pac 12 and expansion is now ACTIONABLE.
Big 12 ADs are talking RIGHT NOW. A contingency plan is in place and has essentially been triggered. No word on what that plan is, but this is real people. My guys don't talk unless there is something to talk about. This is real chatter that reminds the media I spoke to of what was heard before the TCU and West Virginia expansions.
No additional disclosures beyond this.
I am on record saying that if Pac 12 made a move, that Big 12 would respond, but if Pac 12 didn't move, Big 12 would hold off as long as it could and enjoy the current arrangement.
The steps have gone like this (my opinion as I'm trying to make sense of this)
1. Consolidation of major football schools into larger conferences
2. New format to replace BCS Championship that favors larger conferences
3. Wait and see on timing of additional conference expansion of P5s
4. Game of chicken as to who would move first
5. SEC et al opt out of game of chicken and declare independents not of interest to them, which Texas media source said earlier was PURPOSEFUL to push BYU to western conferences.
6. No responsive action by Big 12 in their recent meetings and they adjourn
7. UCLA announces HH with BYU to cause overweight status of Pac 12 games with BYU
8. Big 12 confirms existence of contingency plan to block Pac 12
9. Big 12 AD Office staffers say there has been a paradigm shift as to BYU and fuse has been lit.
I don't know what it all means, but the word "fuse" was used. Contingency plan was confirmed. Independently, media are hearing chatter and seeing movement. I read that to mean we could be in for five weeks of chaos.
Looks like I chose a bad week to quit smoking.