While it appears the realignment talk has subsided somewhat in the last several days, the wheels are churning behind the scenes. The various media reports mostly consist of intentionally leaked propaganda to purposely help or damage certain causes. The key to everything is what will happen to the Big 12. The reconfiguration of the Big 12 will light the fuse for a new era in college football, one with a true national champion and one where the absurd bowl system is abolished. All college football fans are pulling for this to happen. The Big 12 will survive, but in 2013 it will look a lot different than it does now.
Let’s look at some individual teams in the Big 12 and where they will end up:
Texas A&M – Texas A&M will be in the SEC in 2012.
Oklahoma – Oklahoma will be in the Pac 12 in 2013. While 25% of the Big 12 teams have escaped to better conferences, the Big 12 have-nots and Texas are trying to get Oklahoma to stay in the conference by offering them less money. It really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Oklahoma will originally agree to try to make the Big 12 work, but the conference infighting and political struggles have already ruined the league. Ken Starr has a lot to do with this.
Oklahoma State – Oklahoma State will follow Oklahoma.
Kansas, Kansas State, and Iowa State – It appears these three will head to the Big East. Kansas is eyeing the PAC 12, but appears to be satisfied with the Big East instead. Kansas is more left brain (basketball) dominant, so they don’t think like a normal school would, opting to go where basketball will be enhanced as much as possible. These three might also stay in the Big 12, but that is not their preference.
Mizzou – Mizzou is still a question mark. While the fate of most of the other schools has already been cemented, Mizzou still has some options. It’s likely they will join the SEC in 2013, but that hinges on the Big 10. It appears the Big 10 is more interested in the east coast. The Big 10’s strategy to control the east coast media is brilliant, and will force Mizzou to the SEC. There is a chance that Mizzou could still end up in the Big East as well.
Baylor – Baylor is not tied to Texas like Texas Tech is. If not for the Ken Starr shenanigans, Baylor could have gone to the Big East with the Kansas schools and Iowa State. No conference will touch Baylor because of Ken Starr.
Texas – Texas, like Baylor, does not have many options. Their network is an albatross that makes them untouchable by any of the soon to be superconferences. Texas is not Notre Dame. Texas will remain in the Big 12 with Baylor and Texas Tech. The Big 12 will increase its membership to ten teams including Houston, SMU, Tulsa and BYU. If the Kansas Schools and Iowa State do go to the Big East, New Mexico, UTEP, and either Tulsa or Rice will slip into the Big 12. Boise is not interested in the Big 12. There is also a chance that Texas could go independent in football and keep the Big assembled for their other sports. If that’s the case, The Big 12 will need an eleventh team and both Rice and Tulsa will join the league.
Texas Tech – Texas Tech will go wherever Texas goes. The best scenario for Texas Tech is for Texas to remain in the Big 12 in football.
While there are still a few question marks out there, mainly with Missouri, we are confident that the Big 12 will survive. The Big 12 will continue to have its automatic BCS birth, but that will not mean much when the superconferences abolish the current BCS system, which could come as early as 2013, but will probably be delayed for another year or two as the superconferences all expand to at least 16 teams.
It’s an exciting era for all true college football fans.