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That time college football had a decision just as crazy as LeBron James'

A few years ago, college football's most powerful figure had to choose between the familiar Heartland and the bright lights of the coast. The rest of the sport frantically waited.

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College football fans have been proud of the levels of lunacy being displayed by NBA fans, analysts, and reporters during this free agency period. GamblingFlight-tracking! Rumor percentage levels! Citizens flocking to policeReporters yelling at each other! Twitter recruiting! Asking puzzled men in utility vehicles about the inner workings of enormous corporations!

So, as a further show of kinship toward the burgeoning den of madness that is NBA coverage, here's the correlation between LeBrondemonium and that time one entity almost changed all of college football by itself.

1. LeBron James is Texas.

The unquestioned No. 1 brand in the country. Unparalleled talent resources and the absolute crown jewel of all potential lineup additions. Recently fell behind a team from a dustier region of Texas, but remains the sport's single best long-term bet on the field and off.

Sorry, Good Bull Hunting.

2. The Miami Heat are the Pac-12.

During the 2010-2011 conference realignment frenzy, the Pac-12 very nearly added Texas. Multiple times. And Oklahoma. And two of their other state rivals. And while Oklahoma, like Chris Bosh and vintage Dwyane Wade, is a game-changing star, the move was still first and foremost about building a monster around Texas.

This makes Cleveland the Big 12. Johnny Manziel plays in the Big 12 now!

Will LeBron forever sever certain ties to where he's from and continue along the SUPERTEAM path, or will he stick it out where he grew up?

3. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe.

Both Dans are prone to spoofing. And both Dans seem to have realized the virtues of capitulation along the way -- but still ended up helping to put the whole thing at risk.

4. Chris Bosh is Missouri.

He's got an offer to leave. It's a great one, like Mizzou's SEC invite was, whether LeBron stays or not. But If LeBron does leave, he's got no choice but to abandon ship.

(Muddying this part of the analogy: we said up above that Miami is the Pac-12, but in this part, Miami's the Big 12. These things complicate each other naturally, and we wouldn't have it any other way.)

5. Dwyane Wade is Kansas.

Great basketball history! An awesome overall package in the mid-2000s! Some rough athletics as of late.

And if Texas and company had gone to the Pac-12, with other teams also fleeing to the SEC and Big Ten, Kansas would've found itself scrambling to help cobble together a serviceable Big 12 or also jetting elsewhere, maybe to the Big East or even ACC.

But all Kansas could do was waitAnd party in Las Vegas with Texas. No one heard about that part, I think.

Also, there was a Kansas flight-tracking story in there.

6. Mark Cuban is Jim Delany.

Somehow, a seemingly unrelated power figure and noted blusterer helped establish the timeline for the whole thing.

7. Chris Broussard is Chip Brown.

Certainly a lot of reporting was done along the way. Without question, all sorts of pieces of information were emanated. Many people received those bits of text and processed them. A lot of things were said, and you can't deny that.

"There is no truth to reports that Texas A&M will join the SEC in the spring of 2012. None. #A&M #Aggies #big12 #cfb" - @ChipBrownOB (Chip Brown)

Also considered, of course: Nick Saban never actually leaving Alabama for Texas.


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