We're six days removed from the end of college football. Seems like six months already.
Can we go ahead and start next season now? September 2011 can't get here fast enough, and recent events only increase the craving.
Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon returning to OSU? Ryan Broyles and Travis Lewis coming back to OU?
The Sooners the early bird pick for No. 1 in the nation. The Cowboys sporting another top-10 look. The return of the deadeyes, Weeden and Landry Jones.
It's almost enough to make me think the Big 12 is going to be bearable in 2011.
And Then There Were Ten now is Big 12 football's theme. Not exactly a rousing endorsement. And Then There Were Ten will remain the fallback position until expansion, dissolution or something so provocative that it takes our minds off the loss of Nebraska and the stirring league championship game.
I would say the Sooners and the Cowboys muscling for conference supremacy qualifies as provocative. The very real possibility that both Bedlam rivals will spank the Longhorns again should cushion the reality of a substandard conference.
I don't know how the good folks in Kansas or Texas will handle life in a Big 12 that now stinks compared to most of its peer conferences, but in Oklahoma, I think we won't mind Year No. 1.
Seems possible that the biggest mystery surrounding Bedlam 2011 is not whether it will be a de facto Big 12 title game, but whether it will move to December to fill the void of the real thing.
Let's not get too carried away. Our state is not Grand Central for college football. That status belongs to Alabama, thanks to back-to-back national champs 'Bama and Auburn.
But the prospectus for the Sooners and Cowboys will warm fans' hearts through the cold winter.
The Sooners appear as talented and deep as those 2003, 2004 and 2008 teams that reached the Big Bowl. The Cowboys, fresh off their most wins (11) and best Big 12 finish (tie atop the South Division), return most of the firepower that sent OSU from virtually nowhere to a national story.
Missouri and Texas A&M figure to challenge the Bedlam rivals for And Then There Were Ten eminence. Which is most certainly a good thing.
When the Big 12 lost Nebraska and Colorado last summer, who didn't picture a landscape in which OU and Texas played for the league title in early October? That makes for a fun day at the State Fair, but you can't run a conference on one game.
At least in the old days, the Big 12 title game was a carrot to be chased, and it provided great theater four of its final five years.
So a league in which OU and OSU are the cream, with Mizzou and A&M also rising to the top, is not so bad. And it's made even better when the great villains in Austin can't seem to complete a pass or a coaching staff.
I'll make no predictions about 2012. But in 2011, Big 12 football is going to be more than bearable. Big 12 football around here is going to be fun.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at email@example.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.