by Allen Kellogg
The Big 12 board of directors met over the weekend to discuss many issues that have plagued the conference for some time now. At the top of the list was the name of the conference.
“It is such an easy joke to make; the Big 12 has 10 teams, but we have the number 12 in our freaking name. It’s just so easy to crack jokes,” Oklahoma University president David Boren said.
The Big 12 is just one of several poorly named major conferences. The Big 10 currently has 14 members and has not had ten members since Penn State joined in 1990. When the Big 12 first formed in 1996, the conference had 12 members. However, it has not had more than 10 since Nebraska and Colorado departed in 2011.
Several names were put forward by various schools. Texas requested the conference rebrand itself as Texas, Oklahoma, and Friends. The University of Oklahoma suggested Oklahoma, Texas, & Company. The two sides could not reach an agreement, so both suggestions were dropped.
Other names that were suggested include: The Bigger 10, Best 10, Biggest 10, and the Big 12 minus 4 plus 2. However, Big 10 commissioner Jim Delany threatened legal action if the Big 12 conference decided to use the number 10 in any form in its new name, even if only arithmetically implied. Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby responded by meeting with Delany to discuss a possible trade.
The Big 12 currently owns both the names Big 14 and Big 16 and offered a straight up exchange by which the Big 12 would hand over its copyright to the Big 14 in exchange for the name Big 10.
“This swap is about common sense. We have 10 teams, and they have 14. It just makes sense,” Bowlsby said.
Delany said he understood the logic, but he must also consider all of the overweight Midwestern fans who have the current Big 10 logo tattooed on their bodies. “Tradition must come first; after money, of course,” Delany pointed out.
West Virginia President and potential successor to David Boren, E. Gordon Gee, said the conference should not expand to 12 or 14 because of the name. Gee said he would prefer being able to throw pennies at Cincinnati and spit on the University of Houston from his office.
It seems that the debate over the future of the conference name will continue for the foreseeable future.
Have a name suggestion? Please write to the conference head office.
Big 12 Secret Headquarters
420 South Fake Street
Irving, TX 75062
Re: Baker Mayfield is a chode