Monday, June 13, 2016

What If The Big 12 Crumbled?

With the Big 12 possibly looking at expanding from ten teams to their namesake twelve, there are rumors all over about who the two new schools could be.  There is some excitement that some schools on the outside of the Power 5 could get a ticket into the party.  But what if this moves in the other direction.

What if schools leave and the Big 12 is kaput?

That is a realistic possibility.  The dominoes could fall if Texas decides it wants out or if everyone wants to run away from Texas.  Of all those Power 5 conferences, the Big 12 is the least stable.  If the cracks in the membership start to show, would the Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12 try to pounce?  Don't think it couldn't.

While expansion is on the table, it isn't a given.  Oklahoma wants it; Texas doesn't.  There aren't any schools that really move the needle, either.  This isn't like the last decade where schools like Texas A&M, Miami, Nebraska, Missouri, Maryland and Colorado were moving.  Schools like Central Florida and Memphis are in the mix here.

The Pac-12 thought they had a deal to lure of combination of Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M or Texas Tech to pair with Colorado (who was leaving the Big 12) to form a 16-team super conference back in 2010.  It didn't happen like that, as at the 11th hour the Big 12 stuck together.  What if the Pac-12 revisited that?  Or what if a school like Oklahoma decided it wanted out and made a move themselves?

It isn't like if Oklahoma or Texas were looking to move, there would be no options.  Due to their geography, the Pac-12, Big Ten and SEC would definitely look at those schools and the ACC would try to make a pitch as well.  If that happens, would the rest of the conference purge for the other schools or would the league try to keep it together?  Not too sure.

We could see Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech move on to the Pac-12.  You could see Texas and Oklahoma go together to the SEC.  If that happened, the Pac-12 could try to scoop up Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Baylor and TCU.  Oklahoma State could try to go to the Big Ten with Kansas.  Heck, Texas and Oklahoma would also fit well in the Big Ten.  Iowa State and Kansas State could be left out and need to look for a smaller league.

You get the point.  It could be what happened to the Big East in a way.  Of the Power 5 conferences, the Big 12 is the only one that seems to not all be on the same page.  Some will run to find a new book to read.

What would I'd like to see if I could move it along?


Texas and Oklahoma leave for the Big Ten, the exposure and the lifestyle.  The Sooners get the best of both worlds as getting to hang with Texas as well as getting back in bed with Nebraska.

BIG TEN EAST:  Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mich State, Ohio St, Penn St, Purdue, Rutgers
BIG TEN WEST:  Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Texas, Wisconsin


Yep, the Pac-12 would be the Pac-16 by adding these four schools.  Now, it isn't the Texas or Oklahoma they wanted a few years ago, but it does get the league into Texas in a major way, gets them into the Central Time Zone and would help launch the league into even more relevancy.  One problem would be dividing up the schools in a football league.

EAST:  Arizona, Arizona St, Baylor, Colorado, Oklahoma St, TCU, Texas Tech, Utah
WEST:  Cal, Oregon, Oregon St, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Washington, Washington St


Let's imagine that Notre Dame will finally go all the way with the ACC.  It isn't a stretch.  The ACC is willing to make concessions for Irish football and could do the same here.  So, to add a 16th team, the ACC goes ahead and adds in West Virginia.  Yeah, they'd try to lure Texas, Oklahoma or a Texas school.  Kansas would also be looked at, but that's asking a lot for a conference to go from Boston to Miami to Lawrence, KS though the basketball implications would be epic.  No, the 'Neers are the choice as their fitting in with the Virginia schools as well as Pitt.

ATLANTIC:  Boston College, Clemson, Florida St, Louisville, NC State, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Wake Forest
COASTAL:  Duke, Ga Tech, Miami, North Carolina, Pitt, Virginia, Va Tech, West Virginia


With no more Power 5 openings available (the SEC would only, in my mind, allow Texas or Oklahoma to join), these three schools have to scramble.  All three could join the AAC and form a 14-team league.  That would mean that Navy's football membership would be over (fine) as they joined just to get the league to a 12th school.  At least the league looks a bit better basketball wise.  Kansas would join UConn as elite programs of late.

EAST:  Cincinnati, Central Florida, East Carolina, Memphis, South Florida, Temple, UConn
WEST:  Kansas, Kansas St, Houston, Iowa St, SMU, Tulane, Tulsa