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Big 12 can’t relax, it must be proactive

Of all the winners and losers from the recent conference realignment, none made a bigger turnaround than Dan Beebe.

The Big 12 commissioner went from ineffectual leader to conference savior in record time. Some think schools like Kansas and Missouri should give Beebe’s name to the Nobel committee, while there’s little doubt nearly every school can come away from this revitalized. For now.

“This kind of experience is something that can very well work to solidify the conference for a long, long time,” Beebe said. “Everybody has to give very considerate evaluation to where they are, what they want to do in the future and they’ve come to the conclusion that I’m happy with that they want to stay together.”

Super. Everyone’s happy. So what’s next?

First off, everyone’s sticking together. The schools have signed an agreement to stay in the Big 12 for at least the next decade, which - and this is the cynic talking - should allow the current contract to fester and irritate various schools until 2020, when we’ll most likely do all of this again.

So let’s be proactive. Expanding the Big 12 (back to 12) would help, right?

“It’s very, very very remote that we’re going to expand,” Beebe said.

“We like the 10 that are in the conference. Certainly there’s not going to be any exploration that I can see in the future for expansion. And certainly no expansion in the region that we already occupy. There’s not a need to go any further.”

OK then. If expansion’s not an option, it seems the only way to ensure the Big 12’s survival is to give Texas (maybe Oklahoma and A&M as well) more incentive to stick around ... which they’ve already done.

Sigh. Let’s do this again in 2020.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter, usually talkin’ hoops.