Never mind this year's record in bowl games. The Big 12 Conference received a one-two punch " and then some " off the football field in December.
To kick off the sour news, there were two coaching scandals, both of which involved former offensive coordinators from the University of Oklahoma.
First, Mark Mangino resigned from the University of Kansas amid allegations of emotional and physical mis-treatment of players. Before you could say "Rock Chalk, Jayhawk" a few thousand times, KU paid Marky Mark $3 million to say sayonara. (ESPN.com's Tim Griffin had this choice advice for his coaching successor, former Husker Turner Gill: "More juice boxes and an occasional group hug or two would be a start.")
Beyond Mangino, Mike Leach's 10-year Texas Tech tenure ended when he abruptly got the boot on Dec. 30, one day before he was scheduled to receive an $800,000 bonus payment as head coach of the Red Raiders. The firing occurred two days after Leach was suspended as Tech investigated the treatment of receiver Adam James, the son of ESPN analyst Craig James, after the player suffered a concussion.
Those were direct blows to a pair of Big 12 football programs. But did you hear what Missouri's governor had to say about defecting from the conference to greener academic pastures in the Big Ten Conference?
"I'm not going to say anything bad about the Big 12, but when you compare Oklahoma State to Northwestern, when you compare Texas Tech to Wisconsin, I mean, you begin looking at educational possibilities that are worth looking at," Democrat Gov. Jay Nixon said last month in an interview with The Associated Press.
Oh, snap! Them's fightin' words in Stillwater. In Lubbock, Texas, that kind of chitchat might land you in the tool shed.
Nixon, a Mizzou alum, also said Les Tigres should jump the sinking Big 12 ship to an expanding Big Ten because of its superior academic programs.
"If a significant conference with a long history of academic and athletic excellence talks about you joining them, you shouldn't just say, "We're from the old Big Eight and I remember when," Nixon told AP.
"If they want to talk, we should talk, and we should listen."
How much smarter can Big Ten officials be? They obviously can't count since 11 teams compete in the dang conference. Even Chicken-Fried News intern Bucky can count that high.