Staying Together

So the Big 12 isn’t moribund after all. Whodda thunk it? I know this is a baseball blog and the Big 12 issue was all about football, but the Big 12 also plays baseball. Both Texas and Oklahoma have won the College World Series in the last fifteen or so years. So how do the changes effect the college baseball world?

Frankly, not just a whole lot. The Big 10 picked up a football power in Nebraska, but they also got a pretty fair baseball team, sometimes. Off and on over the last decade, the Cornhuskers have proved to be a pretty good baseball university. If they revive, then the Big 10 will be in better shape baseball-wise. If not, well, it shouldn’t hurt.

Colorado does nothing for the Pacific 10. When title 9 showed up, Colorado dumped its baseball team to make room and save money. So a league already heavy with teams like Arizona, Arizona State, and USC won’t be either helped or harmed by the advent of baseball-less Colorado.

The Big 12 was dominated by five baseball teams: Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State (although OSU has had troubles the last few years), with OU going to this year’s College World Series. None of those teams is leaving. Of the other five (Kansas, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Missouri, Iowa State) four are not perennial powers and Iowa State, like Colorado, has no baseball team. Currently the Big 12 championship is held in Oklahoma City and includes the top eight qualifiers. That meant two teams (the bottom two) were left out of the tournament. With Nebraska going east, that means only one team will be left out. Interestingly enough, the Huskers finished last this season so nothing would have changed had they gone out earlier.

So don’t cry for the Big 12 in baseball. It should do alright despite losing two teams. Now they need to start either picking up two new teams or seeing if they can switch logos with the Big 10 (which now has 12 teams).

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