October 19, 2016

Is the Big 12 dead?

Per ESPN commenters, I think so.

In football, it was already the weakest Power 5 conference. This only made it look weaker.

And, it makes it look untrustworthy in the future, per the "charade" comment.

Houston would have been the biggest get, while Cincinnati would have provided an Eastern Time partner for West Virginia.

That said, it's clear that, although the final decision against expansion was allegedly unanimous, that this is simply a closing of ranks.

In reality, at least three schools opposed it early on, since 8 votes were needed to expand.

That then said, those three schools went through the whole process in bad faith, if they were against expansion early on.

So, who were the three?

My guesses:
1. Texas. Remember, the Longhorns' greed with the Longhorn Network money wrecked the Big 12 originally. Then, the Pac 12 shoved their greedy faces in the mud.

2. Baylor. I think the university is worried enough about its post-Art Briles strength in football in a 10-team conference.

The third is a toughie.

I can't think that OU would have said no after Boren pushed it. Maybe Oklahoma State feared recruiting would get tougher with another Texas team? (But, A&M was there before.)

So, how long does it have left to live?

Four-five years.

In my opinion, 14-team conferences are unwieldy. Missouri and Arkansas might both be interested in jumping the SEC, but it's harder to picture any Big 10 teams leaving there, though Maryland would pair with WVa if it stayed.

Iowa State has too often been marginal in football and doesn't have Kansas' throw weight in hoops. Baylor's football success has been recent and could be ephemeral.

Let's try:
1. Texas
2. Houston
3. TCU
4. Texas Tech
5. Oklahoma
6. Ok State
7. Kansas
8. Kansas State
9. Mizzou
10. West Virginia
11. Cincinnati
12. Tulane

Sets up some new rivalries, gets into three big cites, extends tentacles into both SEC and Big 10 territory.

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