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Conference Realignment: Big 12 Ready To Go On The Offensive?

Like it or not, this is the topic at hand in today's college sports world and it's a topic that directly impacts our Kansas Jayhawks. Last year it seemed like a long, deliberate process and this year A&M to the SEC looked like it was going to happen in a hurry.  Things seemed to have slowed a bit, but the general consensus seems to be that this move will still take place.

"My assumption is A&M will eventually move to the SEC," Bailey, the Big 12 president representative to the NCAA, said. "I think they really want that. And I think the SEC probably wants them. There are some complications that have to be worked out. The timetable has been slowed down a bit but I do think they'll probably end up in the SEC."

- Texas Tech President Guy Bailey

The above quote is a pretty straight forward answer to a topic that doesn't have many clear answers.  The article with the quotes from Bailey is posted on RedRaiderSports which is part of the network.  While the above quote doesn't seem all that shocking a few additional ones seem to point to a different attitude and approach by the nine institutions that remain committed to the Big 12.

"If A&M leaves, we're going to use this opportunity to build one of the strongest conferences in the United States.  What we'll do, we're going to be very aggressive in recruiting schools and I don't know how many we're eventually going to recruit." 

This was a stance that the league never made mention of a year ago. It was very much an addition by subtraction message but now there seems to be a chip on the shoulder attitude.  Is the Big 12 tired of being picked off and picked on?

"In the past we've sort of been reactive, I think the nine remaining members of the Big 12 have decided that the reactive behavior - it's time to get rid of that. It's time to be proactive and I think you'll see a very proactive approach... I think you ought to think of conference realignment with the Big 12 being one of the cornerstones."

This would represent a pretty significant shift in the overall feeling around the country in terms of the Big 12's role in realignment.  Without question the league is being viewed as a wounded animal right now and one that won't survive.  If the remaining institutions can effectively flip that and turn this into a player in the conference realignment game then that would be big for a team like Kansas.  Now it's just a question of whether or not Bailey has a legitimate reason to believe they can accomplish this or if it's just lip service to his fanbase.