IRVING, TEXAS -- If Big 12 conference leadership is nervous, they aren't showing it. And considering they've been transported to a haunted castle slowly descending into a hellish lava lake, that's one hell of a poker face.
The conference has plenty on its plate as they hold their offseason meetings this week. They've already decided to keep their walk-on transfer rules in place, that is, before deciding to change it and give Baker Mayfield another year of eligibility. But really, the major issue at hand here is the matter of conference expansion, which is the reason they've been teleported to this grim hellscape that could quickly become their undoing.
What did the shrieking vengeful witch who did this have to gain? Of all the people in the world to do this to, why a bunch of college athletics administrators? She didn't respond to a request for comment, but she was reportedly seen leaving the scene flashing the "horns down" and screaming for them to "figure it out already."
So here's the Big 12, literally sweating as they inch slowly towards their fiery demise. They could presumably save themselves by opting to add at least two other programs. But a lack of standout options and division within the conference ranks are still issues to be dealt with, and the conference leaders don't seem to be willing to compromise to save themselves from incineration.
Texas AD Mike Perrin wasn't ready to make a hasty decision, stating their preference to remain at 12 teams and even saying the decision over expansion could drag out for another several years, which is a rather amazing position to hold when he could literally feel the floor slowly becoming warmer as their stony prison descended towards its molten destination. "Yes, we understand the witch that imprisoned is in this castle demanded we reach a consensus vis-a-vis conference membership expansion, but that consensus is simply not here at the moment."
"Should we probably come to a decision immediately in order to save our lives? Probably," said Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby. "Has being transported to this literal Hell made me reevaluate the priority we place both on money and on sports in general? You bet it has."
"But I came here to do what's best for our member schools and our conference, and I won't be able to look myself in the mirror if I agree to a position that I don't believe in, or that may not be best for the Big 12."
It's hard to say how much time is left before the Big 12 meetings fully drop to the fiery surface below. We've never encountered this type of magic before outside of the roaring drunk, blistering tornado siren kind of magic that takes hold for an Iowa State home game every five years or so. Best guesses are between 24-48 hours, but that's little more than conjecture.
The tactics are a bit extreme, but anything that can shepherd the Big 12 towards a resolution on this matter would be a welcome move for a lot of folks. I suppose we'll find out soon enough whether brutal, unrelenting fire can help melt the glacial pace of the Big 12's expansion quagmire.