The Big 12 lives! Well, sort of anyway. It's now a ten team league with no conference championship game less than two weeks after it announced the game would be at the Jerry Jones palace for three years. (I'm sure he's thrilled with this news.) Apparently Texas came back at the Pac-10 with one last money grab and got turned down, so they decided being in a league with only one team consistently capable of competing with them now sounded like a better deal. Texas A&M had zero chance of being able to go to the SEC by itself once the Longhorns made their call, so expansion should take a break for everyone other than the Pac-11 adding Utah any minute now. That the schools involved here are eager to lock themselves in for a hastily negotiated eighteen year deal says a great deal about how scared the Kansas and Missouri programs were of their futures. Texas will be a bigger bully than ever in that conference, which is really saying something.
While conference musical chairs is mostly done for the summer, I don't believe for a second that the Big Ten is done attempting to make moves. Commissioner Jim Delany's ego is far too big to allow himself to have been upstaged by the Pac-10 and have his legacy defining move turn out to be only adding Nebraska as a result. Without the Big 12 meltdown artificially accelerating Delany's timetable he would have had all summer to be the story, but now people are tired of it. The Big East will be threatened at some point though, whether anything comes of it or not. Illinois has an interim president who seems to lack the desire for the conference to start chewing up anyone else's league right now. We'll see whether three others feel that way, because if they do than the story really is over for now.
Only in Tampa Bay does a coach who lost 67 percent of his games and had just one win in his four postseason games qualify for the Ring of Honor. Somehow, John McKay will be inducted this year. I understand no one could have won with the early incarnation of the Bucs, but this is ridiculous. McKay was 44-88-1 in his career. Letting Doug Williams get away may not have been directly his fault, but he clearly didn't do enough to convey the importance of resigning him to the owner. Couple that with abysmal drafting as well as poor relations with the fans and Mckay's resume in Tampa does not look too great. I just don't see how honoring the deceased McKay makes sense when there are numerous former players worthy of consideration who would be able to be there and enjoy it.
The new Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers CD Mojo is about to be released. If you want to check it out for yourself, the tracks have all been posted on ESPN's website for your listening pleasure. I like the new stuff - much more of a blues feel than we're used to from the band, but it sounds good. Hopefully I'll be able to catch the tour this year, because Petty always puts on a great show.