Remember when the Big 12 seemed to be in a free-fall state, with chatter ranging from expansion to extinction, when the Presidents decided to flex their athletic muscles and looked and acted like foolish and, at times, spoiled children?

Remember when after a summer of discontent, the league finally called a meeting and said basically, “Never mind. We like who we are, where we are, and what we are?”

Remember when the Big 12 was a hybrid group of schools, spouting their own agendas, rather than a league united in making itself better? Or at least that’s the way it looked to the rest of the college football world.

Remember when it seemed that any school with visions of playing Power 5 football–ranging from Rice to Air Force, to Memphis, to UConn to East Carolina, to Cincinnati, USF, UCF and Tulane–was on the Big 12 expansion list?

That circus reminded me of a weekend in 1984 when legendary Cotton Bowl honcho Jim “Hoss” Brock was courting Boston College and QB Doug Flutie.

Brock, wearing his customary green Cotton Bowl jacket, spent the Friday afternoon before Saturday’s BC game vs. Syracuse  in Foxborough, visiting the Harvard campus, which was preparing for the annual battle against Yale.

As Brock strode across Harvard Yard, several Harvard students approached him, wanting to know if Harvard was on the Cotton Bowl list.

“Absolutely, Hoss,” said Brock, who called everyone “Hoss’ to avoid any name recognition embarrassments. “”I do. Right here under the Hs.”

Well, the circus has left down and the Big 12 is playing some solid big boy football, which is a vast change from a year ago when the long-range prospects of the Big 12 looked bleak. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.