Amid speculation that the demise of the Big XII is imminent (though I’m still not convinced that will happen), it is instructive to look back on the last time a major conference fell apart. So do yourself a favor today and read this 1995 Sports Illustrated obituary of the Southwest Conference.
Let’s Bury the old dear without getting maudlin. Date the obituary for the end of the 1995 college football season, football being the Southwest Conference’s raison d’être and the only thing anyone will remember about it—except that at least one of its member schools was usually on probation and the majority of its players free on bond. Those of us who paid attention see now that the conference was a goner that night in December 1976 when both Darrell Royal, coach of the University of Texas, and Frank Broyles, his good friend and counterpart at the University of Arkansas, submitted their resignations before facing off for the final time.