Coming to a theater near you: “Resurrection (how the Big 12 was saved … for now)”


Thousands of columns, stories and blogs have been written about conference expansion lately, particularly how the seemingly dead Big 12 (minus-2, or does Texas count for three?) was saved. The story had so many twists and turns, there should be a movie. So who’s going to play who in this epic? Here are a few ideas …

Jesus or Jack Nicholson’s Joker in the role of Texas AD DeLoss Dodds …

From most of what you read, this guy had a lot to do with saving the conference. The K-State grad (that’s got to hurt Wildcat fans) could have taken the Longhorns to the Pac-10 (allegedly), Big Ten (allegedly) or to the AFC South. Hey, if he’s a savior, Jesus fits. Why Jack Nicholson as the Joker? Because Dodds is laughing all the way to the bank after the Little Five (Kansas, K-State, Missouri, Iowa State and Baylor) gave Texas more money, more power and custody of the future children of student-athletes at their respective schools.

Mickey Rourke/a puppet as Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe …

Give Beebe credit for his role in helping to salvage the conference. He breathed life into his rep, sort of like Mickey Rourke did in “The Wrestler.” At the same time, he’s still seen by many as he was before: A puppet for Texas.

The Death Star as the University of Texas …

You’d think the school and state could destroy the planet. Not quite, but UT could easily change the landscape of college athletics with a snap of its fingers. It’s that powerful.

The Three Stooges as Missouri administrators/Gov. Jay Nixon …

It’d be hard to be played more than Missouri AD Mike Alden, Chancellor Brady Deaton and Gov. Jay Nixon were during this process. Nixon bad-mouthed academics in the Big 12, insulting teams MU ended up standing beside, and practically begged the Big Ten to invite the Tigers. Alden, while he wasn’t on vacation, looked clueless, saying nothing, knowing nothing, then revealing nothing when the Kansas City Star’s Mike DeArmond pressed him on details about an invitation/unvitation/flirtation with Commissioner Jim Delany and the Big Ten. Alden, the same guy who may or may not have sent basketball color man Gary Link to fire Quin Snyder, ended up looking like Mike in “Swingers” during the infamous phone call scene Deaton said “we’re proud members of the Big 12” 1,548 times in a one-week period and appeared weak.

So these guys overplayed their hand (which equated to 3-8 offsuit) with the Big Ten, pissed off everybody else in the Big 12, then got pantsed by Nebraska in a press conference in which AD Tom Osborne and Chancellor Harvey Perlman blamed them and Texas for their departure, the potential fall of the Big 12, global warming and vuvuzelas at the World Cup.

Clint Eastwood as Nebraska’s Tom Osborne …

We’ll probably never know the details of Nebraska leaving for the Big Ten. Was Missouri an option before and the Huskers smartly swooped in to take the Tigers’ spot? Whatever happened, it’s never been a secret that Osborne and the Huskers weren’t thrilled with the Big 12, in particular Texas’ dominance on and off the field. In rather classless, yet telling remarks, Osborne and company placed blame for their departure on Texas and Missouri, the latter for its flirtation with the Big Ten and openness to leaving the conference.

Nebraska got what it wanted … to get away from big, bad Texas. Congratulations, Huskers. Good luck with pushovers Ohio State, Penn State, Iowa, etc., up north. And the Longhorns thank you for their cut of that $10 million penalty you’ll be paying for leaving.

Michael Douglas’ Gordon Gekko and Terence Stamp’s Larry Wildman as Pac-10 commish Larry Scott and Big Ten commish Jim Delany …

The corporate raiders from 1987’s “Wall Street” are perfect for these roles. Gekko as Scott, who nearly lured five or six Big 12 schools to his conference, which might have triggered a megaconference setup in college athletics. And Stamp as DeLany, who may have gone after Notre Dame, which also would have triggered a 16-team megaconference. Fittingly, there will be a sequel to “Wall Street” later this year. And expect a sequel to the conference expansion story in the near future, with Scott and Delany likely involved. Why, well, as Gekko said, greed is good …

Yoda/Abe Vigoda as Kansas AD Lew Perkins …

Perkins doesn’t have much to do with saving the Big 12 or expansion, and he’d probably work better in a movie about raising a ton of money, ticket scandals, blackmail, talking Orange Bowl officials into screwing another team out of a deserved bid, firing an “abusive” coach or bullying female TV reporters, but he does look like a cross between the “Star Wars” jedi and “The Godfather” star.


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