This is just the break the Kansas football program has been waiting for!
One Redditor had joked exactly that last night; that the Sooners and Longhorns were fleeing to the SEC out of terror of the up and coming Kansas juggernaut.
If this did come to pass, I think the Big-12 would break apart completely. Oklahoma State and Texas Tech would probably try to join PAC-12. West Virginia would probably fit in best in the Big 10. The other teams would likely end up in some rebuilt weaker conference.
Everybody’s got those.
I went to Rice and many of our older alums have it in their heads that our team should somehow be regularly competitive for conference titles and head to a bowl game every year since we’re in a lesser conference now. They’re still pining for those SWC fjords.
I would kind of like to see how UT does in the SEC. Money aside, even most SEC bottom dwellers have been better than them for the last decade and joining the SEC isn’t going to help their recruitment footprint or fundraising. This is very much a “grass is greener” kind of thing.
During the Charlie Strong era maybe, but not before or since. Texas has finished 9, 25, and 19 in the last three AP polls, higher than all except four, five, and four SEC teams respectively. This year Athlon has them at #20, trailing 5 of 14 SEC teams and not even remotely comparable to bottoom-feeders such as Tennessee (#56), South Carolina (#76), or Vanderbilt (#90).
Absolutely, That’s the reason why Oklahoma State (and the rest of the conference) is irate … without Texas and OU, there is no Big XII.
So what happens then? Lots of people who spent too much time building their own conferences in the old NCAA Football video games have all sorts of ideas … the B1G will convince Notre Dame to join, TAMU will be so upset about Texas that they’ll jump back to the Big XII, the PAC-12 will swoop in to save the best of the Big XII refugees - most of that is pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking. What will happen? Nobody knows for sure, but you can be certain ADs from Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and other schools have been on the phones all day today.
Here’s the deal: Big XII rules say anybody who leaves before 2025 will receive zero TV money, with the revenues they earn split between the remaining teams. That sounds good on paper, but the drag on recruiting that the loss of UT and OU will have on the remaining Big XII members and the overall uncertainty of the post-2025 world mean the conference will dissolve long before that. Would Iowa State and Kansas (the only AAU schools left) be taken in by the B1G? Would the Pac-12 reach out to ISU/OSU and maybe a couple of other refugees (it’s doubtful the Pac would be amenable to religious-affiliated TCU or Baylor, or the educationally challenged Kansas State or Texas Tech)? Or are we looking at some sort of glorified American Conference Plus? Nobody knows.
My take is the most likely scenario has Texas and OU staying put, despite all this turmoil. There’s absolutely no competitive reason for them to go to the SEC - this notion of a “super conference” with only the blue bloods sounds appealing to the TV networks and the schools on paper, but for every Bama and UGA going 11-1 you’ve got to have schools taking those 22 losses … not everybody in a blue-bloods-only conference gets to have a winning record.
But … with the NIL changes and SEC schools taking advantage to leverage $$$ for their players, maybe that’s why Texas and OU are looking into this. If the SEC can consolidate a massive amount of financial power for players and schools, they can tell the NCAA to go kick rocks and essentially create their own “super level” of college football. That likely leaves the Pac-12 behind as a cut-rate junior college version of big-time football, with the B1G and ACC not that much ahead of them unless they expand or make other changes themselves.
I fear this is where we’re going, and it’s not a pretty college football landscape to behold. I just hope the teams clamoring to be a part of the “big time super conference” realize somebody has to finish in the bottom half every year.
The best explanation would probably be that Texas and OU still plan to stay in the Big-12 but are just leveraging things to the max for more TV money in negotiations. They have the heft and the clout, might as well flex it.
It won’t be the same B12 but it will still have the P5 aura for a while at least and could pluck from the MWC and AAC to rebuild and preserve itself. I don’t see the remaining core just throwing in the towel.
That’s one conceivable outcome, sure. Bringing in some combination of BYU/Cincinnati/Houston or a Florida school like UCF or USF could enable the Big XII to survive … but that’s not much above American Conference level. And the TV money (which was huge in the contract expiring after 2024) would be drastically reduced, cutting into facilities budgets … not to mention a similarly savage blow to recruiting. Iowa State looks to have maybe a top 25 recruiting class this year … that would never happen again in this scenario, and that’s hoping this year’s verbal commits don’t drop after Texas and OU decided they’re too “good” for the conference.
You gotta know all the other Big XII ADs are working the phones to try to find a landing spot. Kansas would love to take their AAU status and top-level basketball program to the B1G, and Iowa State would take that in a heartbeat, too (although rumors are the B1G isn’t interested in any Big XII leftovers and may be talking to Colorado, for Pete’s sake). More rumors have Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and Baylor calling up the Pac 12, although I really doubt that conference would be interested in Baylor (I think ISU also wouldn’t mind being a part of a four-team Big XII pod going to the Pac 12, should the B1G not be an option).
The problem isn’t that some kind of weaker, less profitable Big XII conference couldn’t go on without Texas and OU; the problem is those two probably aren’t the only ones on their way out if they actually do leave - and that would kill the Big XII. Everyone’s looking for a lifeboat right now, which isn’t a good sign for any kind of stability.
In any event, this move means (at best, for CFB fans) a Power 4 instead of a Power 5. Although that probably requires some additional moves by the B1G and Pac 12, at least, maybe the ACC, too. Any conference with Big XII leftovers would be lower status than the Pac 12 & a bit above the AAC. At worst, we’re looking at a Power 1 (the SEC) perhaps pulling in Ohio State and Clemson and Notre Dame and maybe a few others into a giant “screw you NCAA we’re doing this ourselves” CFB behemoth that leaves everybody else with the scraps.
Sure, if by “do fine” you mean “have a winning season and go to a decent bowl every year.” But winning the conference (or even the SEC West) and making the playoffs is a lot harder if you have to go through 'Bama, Florida, or Georgia to do so.
They’re wont be two divisions anymore. Texas will be just as fine as any other SEC team outside of Alabama.
Maybe in a good year. My guess is they would probably go 7-4 on average, rather than being a one or two loss type team like Georgia or Florida. I think they’d even probably do worse than A&M on average. Oklahoma would likely be on par with Georgia and Florida. Texas would be a notch below given their recent history and hindered recruiting based on backlash from people in the A&M predominant areas of the state.
I don’t understand why people don’t think Texas can’t rebound. Oklahoma in the 1990s, before they hired Bob Stoops, was terrible. Alabama in the decade before Saban was terrible. A program with the history of Texas just needs to hit on the right coach.
That’s true for every SEC team.
Texas (I guess I shouldn’t use UT to differentiate from the other orange UT - Tennessee) does not have a particular advantage when it comes to identifying generational coaching talent.
And that’s the thing - Texas has an internal myth that it should be a national title contender every year. They aren’t looking to “rebound”. They are looking for consistent domination. And while that’s not impossible, it’s more likely they’ll be a middling SEC West team with the occasional excellent year - just like most of the other SEC West teams and Alabama once Saban is gone.
The University of South Carolina doesn’t have a storied history that will help with recruiting and boosters once the program hits on a great coach.
Stoops really leveraged the history of Oklahoma when he put the Sooners back together. Saban did it with Alabama as well.
In the long run they’ll certainly do better than Texas A&M. That’s the biggest reason the Aggies ran away in the first place and why they are now against them joining the SEC.
Kirk Bohls saying on Twitter that UT and OU to the SEC is all but a done deal and the SEC could vote on it next week. They expect the vote to be 13-1.
He also says it’s been in the works for 6 months and the Aggies were kept in the dark.
IIRC the problem A&M had was how UT was throwing its weight around off the field, not how it was throwing its weight around on the field.
Is that 1 nay vote Texas A&M by chance?
Now I’m not a betting man, but. . .