In the last week, the conference realignment train started to pick up steam yet again, as rumblings of Florida State University flirting with the Big 12, after disagreements over the third-tier television rights seem to prove that the conference is willing to shift its allegiances to a league with rights more agreeable to a football-dominated school.
"How do you not look into that option," asked Andy Haggard, chairman of the Florida State Board of Trustees, told WarChant.com. "On behalf of the Board of Trustees I can say that unanimously we would be in favor of seeing what the Big 12 might have to offer. We have to do what is in Florida State's best interest."
I answer his question with another: How has this not happened yet?
Leave out the arguments about geography, because that's out the window, or whatever other objection you may raise. If you're a fan of the Big 12 and you want the league to continue to be relevant on the national stage, you should be all for this.
Within the past two seasons, the conference has lost a pair of nationally-recognized brands. Nebraska left two seasons ago and took with it not only a 120-year football program, but five national titles and a television audience big enough to make its bowl games some of the highest-rated non-BCS games for four years running.
And say what you want about the Aggies and their inflated sense of self-worth, but they have been playing football nearly as long as the Cornhuskers, are one of the most tradition-rich schools in the nation and bring with them a rabid fan base that fills up visitor's sections, regardless of how good or bad the team is playing. TAMU brings a TV audience with them as well, having the highest rated non-BCS bowl in 2011, and managed to pull in nearly 4,000 viewers to watch them play Northwestern in 2012.
Bringing in Florida State would not only help stop some of the bleeding that has happened over the last two seasons, but it would replace nationally-recognized faces within the league. The Seminoles are a draw, no matter what way you slice it. Even if you consider their recent struggles after legendary coach Bobby Bowden retired, mentioning Florida State conjures up images in the mind of every sports fan.
Chief Osceola planting the spear, Deion Sanders' electrifying plays in Garnet and Gold, Charlie Ward's unforgettable 1993 season, or Chris Weinkie leading the Seminoles to a title in 1999.
Even if that doesn't do it for you, the Seminoles brought in 5,228 viewers for a mid-afternoon game in December in the Capitol One Bowl, taking on Notre Dame. It's hard not to imagine the national television audience that would tune in for the Seminoles suiting up for a conference game at Gaylord Stadium, or to see the Texas Longhorns head to Tallahassee, Fla.
The addition of Florida State will accomplish one goal, making the Big 12 a national football power conference yet again. Plain-and-simple.