Unless you’ve lived under a rock, you’ve heard of the ongoing drama involving Texas and Oklahoma’s flirtation with the SEC. Unless there are last minute changes, it seems likely that the Longhorns and Sooners will come out of the Big 12 and head to greener pastures in the near future.
Where does that leave the Big 12? The conference lost Nebraska to the Big Ten, Colorado to the Pac-12 and Missouri and Texas A&M to the SEC in the last phase of realignment about 10 years ago. He made up for these losses by adding TCU and West Virginia, which kept the ship afloat for the remainder of the decade.
Now that the ship is sinking, where can the other eight schools land? Of course, it is possible for the Big 12 to add teams to try to remain attractive to TV partners. But in a new era of college football that includes six automatic college football playoff bids for conference champions – no matter which conference they come from – it’s safe to say the Big 12 could take a lot. behind in an era that will put less relevance on the Power Five / Group of Five status.
Follow the developments of the impending Big 12 departure from Texas and Oklahoma live.
Here are some potential landing points for the remaining eight schools assuming the Big 12 collapses.
The Bears went through the NCAA sanctions that ended the Art Briles era, went to a Sugar Bowl, and proved they can be successful in the new era of college football. They also have other very successful teams including the 2020-21 National Men’s Basketball Champions. That said, it’s hard to imagine Baylor being attractive to the ACC or the Big Ten. The Pac-12 has a chance to pounce on the Big 12 in an attempt to strengthen its profile. Baylor wouldn’t fit that plan, however.
The most likely landing point is the AAC. Now, before Bears fans start freaking out about attending a Group of Five conference, think about that for a second. The Big 12 TV deal won’t be worth as much without Texas and Oklahoma. That, coupled with the fact that there is a clear path to the college football qualifiers for teams in the Group of Five, makes AAC a very attractive option. The conference already has a strong presence in Texas, and the addition of more Big 12 teams can be mutually beneficial for the old Big 12 teams and a conference that bills itself as part of the “Power Six”.
There is a report that says the state of Iowa has been connected at the Big Ten, which makes a lot of sense. The Cyclones already have a rivalry in the state with current Big Ten West, Iowa, and are members of the Association of American Universities, which is a big factor in determining which programs to invite. He has a real Midwestern feel not only in his style of grill play, but a coach at Matt Campbell who was born in Ohio, played at Mount Union and coached in Toledo before traveling to Ames, Iowa. . Iowa State is still a tough guy in football, just won the Fiesta Bowl, and ticks every other box that would be on the Big Ten’s wishlist.
Like the state of Iowa, Kansas is also a member of the Association of American Universities, the prestigious academic group to which the Big Ten are attached. No, the football program is not elite, competitive or even relevant. But the basketball program is. Well, as long as it doesn’t get bogged down in other NCAA issues. Football usually leads to decisions like this. At this point, however, it’s not like there are any footballing superpowers for everyone. The Big Ten would be a monster on the hardwood and maybe, just maybe, the Big Ten West is what Kansas needs to become more than a punchline on the grill.
The State of Kansas should be calling anyone and everyone right now. He hasn’t had much success on the football field lately, isn’t a national brand, doesn’t play in a big media market (which admittedly) is less of a factor than 10 years ago ) and is not a member of the American Association of Universities. It can slide straight into the west of the mountain and become one of the best programs in football and expand its recruiting footprint in a direction that could prove to be more beneficial than fighting against the powerful Big 12 players. once it wouldn’t necessarily be a “demotion”. The Group of Five conferences have a much easier path to the CFP in the new system, and revenues are likely to jump as a result.
The Cowboys are going to be very desirable and will certainly be courted by the AAC. But as the largest program of the remaining eight programs, it would be best to call in first-year Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff. The Pac-12 was widely regarded as the worst of the Power Five conferences before it was announced that Texas and Oklahoma could bail out the Big 12. Attracting the Cowboys to play against Western teams would go a long way in changing that. Also, for the state of Oklahoma, it would be a great way to expand the recruiting network and, at least in theory, have an easier path to the college football playoffs now that he was out. from the shadows of Oklahoma.
The AAC would undoubtedly be making call after call after call to the TCU in an attempt to lure the Horned Frogs into a conference that already has a foothold in the state of Texas. But it’s a brand big enough to attract Pac-12 TV partners and has had enough success in football in recent years to be a legitimate threat to win the conference year after year. The Pac-10 almost became the Pac-16 during the last phase of realignment, but decided to become the Pac-12. If he debouches three or four teams from the future Big 12, TCU should definitely be one of them.
The Red Raiders might be desirable for the Pac-12 if it goes up to 16, but it would have to face other current Big 12 contenders as well as teams like BYU and Boise State trying to break down the door to the ‘Where is. The AAC – which can significantly increase its visibility through it all – would be a much better landing point. Imagine an AAC that adds Texas Tech and Baylor to the current schools of Texas Houston and SMU, the traditional powers UCF and Memphis, and the rest of what is already a successful Group of Five conference. It would be strong enough.
West Virginia: ACC
Mountaineers will be in a tough spot if the Big 12 dissolves. It already feels like a fish out of water, and it’s not like it fits into other conferences. The Big Ten and ACC only need to add two more to become 16-team super-conferences, and one of those ACC places could be reserved for Notre Dame if she decides to become a full-time member. . That said, Notre Dame is perfectly happy with its independence and will likely hold out in order to retain its own televised football deal. But that might not be a big factor for West Virginia. A move to the ACC not only keeps the Mountaineers in major college football (at least as we know it today), but it will also allow them to rekindle the fierce rivalry with Pittsburgh in the Backyard Brawl on an annual basis. Yes, both rivals have a four-game streak on the books, but the ACC wouldn’t mind if it was a conference game.