First of all, let’s get this out of the way:
The Big 12 is dead. The Big 12 doesn’t exist anymore. There is no more Big 12.
The two premier football programs from the north are gone. And frankly, no one blames them. They each acted in the best interest of their respective universities and substantially upgraded their prowess from an athletic program standpoint. In the process, they weakened the rest of the conference, but they did what was best for them, and they should be happy with their new respective conferences.
The funny thing is, they were run out of town by some sleazy Texas Longhorns. While Texas is publicly saying they want the Big 12 to continue to operate in its present, they are the ones that initiated talks with the PAC 10 and decided which schools would join them. I’m not sure they bothered to consult anyone else. Let’s look at each school and what would be best for each school from this point forward:
1. Nebraska – Congrats, Huskers. You got what you wanted.
2. Colorado – Congrats, Buffs. You are where you should be.
3. Iowa State – Iowa State needs for the Big 12 to continue to function for as long as possible. After the Big 12 folds, ISU will slip into the Mountain West.
4. Kansas State – Kansas State needs for the Big 12 to continue to function for as long as possible. After the Big 12 folds, KSU will slip into the Mountain West.
5. Kansas – Kansas is hoping for the Big 12 to collapse in the next few days. A week ago, things looked bleak for the Jayhawks, but, as of right now, they look to be heading to the PAC 10.
6. Missouri – Missouri is a wildcard team. In 2011, they could be in one of four conferences:
10% chance they are still in a watered down Big 12.
40% chance they make the jump to the SEC.
15% chance they finally nail their postergirl, the Big 10.
35% chance they fall into the Mountain West
7. Texas Tech – The best thing for the Raiders would be to follow Texas to the PAC 10.
8. Oklahoma State – The best thing for the Cowboys is to follow Texas and Oklahoma to the PAC 10.
9. Oklahoma – The Sooners have some options and are still talking to the SEC. Although the SEC may prefer Missouri, now, with their superior television markets, and with Oklahoma’s pending NCAA penalties still a big a question mark, the Sooners will probably follow Texas to the PAC 10.
10. Baylor – The Bears are in the absolute worst position in the Big 12. They need the Big 12 to survive or they completely fall off the map. The WAC may be their best option, but the WAC may not be interested in Baylor. TCU will keep the Bears out of the Mountain West.
11. Texas A&M – The best move for the Aggies is obviously the SEC. There is now a zero chance that Texas A&M will wind up in the PAC 10. There’s a slight chance that the Aggies could remain in the Big 12 until it dies in a couple of years.
12. Texas – Texas is the instigator in all this. They have wet dreams of hanging out in Palo Alto and Berkeley and talking philosophy before watching their Horns win exciting PAC 10 football games. They have misplayed this whole process and things aren’t going as they envisioned. The Horns best move right now may be to stay in the Big 12 for another two years then start this whole superconference thing over again.