Plus annual Louisville trips to Norman and Stillwater. College basketball has a marketing problem, which means the Big 12 has a marketing problem. Of all the ways we've discussed enhancing Big 12 hoops, nothing would have affected it like the addition of Louisville.
And football? Play a 10-game schedule and get out ahead of the new Football Four committee, which has quite sufficiently scared all kinds of teams into upgrading their schedules when the new playoff format begins in 2014.
Here's a good exercise with the Big 12 schedule. Let's scrap the middle-level opponent of each Big 12 team and insert Louisville.
Instead of OU/Tulsa, OU/Louisville. Instead of OSU/Texas-San Antonio, OSU/Louisville. Instead of Texas/BYU, Texas/Louisville. Instead of Kansas State/UMass, KSU/Louisville. Instead of Baylor/Louisiana-Monroe, Baylor/Louisville.
Instead of TCU/SMU, TCU/Louisville. Instead of Iowa State/Tulsa, Iowa State/Louisville. Instead of Texas Tech/Texas State, Texas Tech/Louisville. Instead of West Virginia/Georgia State, West Virginia/Louisville. Instead of Kansas/Rice, Kansas/Louisville.
Plus, Louisville is a program willing to host a Thursday night game, which increasingly will become an issue for a league contractually obligated to provide four Thursday night games a season, much to the chagrin of several schools.
Well, all kinds of reasons to add Louisville. I'm getting depressed. I better stop.
Good luck, Rick Pitino, en route to the Final Four. Good luck, Louisville women, during your time in OKC this week. Good luck, Louisville softball; hope you make it back to OKC for the Women's College World Series. Good luck, Louisville football. Maybe we'll see you in the Fiesta Bowl next January, where you can again show the Big 12 just how wrong it was.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.