There might be a storm brewing, is this the end of the Big 12? The past couple of weeks have brought on some interesting news regarding conference alignment and these rumors just got more intense. Several weeks ago I read about University of Texas being courted by the Pac-10. Now, Big 10 is publicly looking at expanding and many people expect them to extend invites to several mid-west schools. They pretty much hold the keys to the conference alignment and now there are reports they have extended an invite to the following; Notre Dame, Missouri, Nebraska, and Rutgers. These reports are currently not validated, however if they are true, then the Big 12 will change substantially or be eliminated.
I predict University of Texas will be the first to go – either Pac 10, or possibly SEC. I see the SEC as a long shot for Texas, but Texas A&M might be a good fit. They are full of tradition, have a national following, and it would be a great Texas presence for the SEC. This would probably either dissolve the Big 12, or they will have to look to smaller schools such as SMU or TCU to fill the role. Unfortunately this would make the Big 12 a weaker conference and the other members will look elsewhere. At the end of the day, the whole thing is about money and to be honest a Big 12 without UT could not survive.
Personally, I think change is good for college sports every so often. Look at TCU; they are going to be at the top or close to the top of the rankings for 2010, yet they are in the MWC. Eventually they will get the opportunity to be in a large Top Tier conference. I’m sure some people will say they can’t compete, but I think they could not only compete, but be very successful.
If the conferences do change significantly, can we figure out how to divide into equal numbers and call them conferences? This will make a playoff system much easier.