The Big 12 needs a new commissioner. DeLoss Dodds ain’t getting it done.
Texas A&M’s announcement that it’s leaving the conference is a big-time blow to the league’s image. Three quality schools, including two football heavyweights, have left. What now for the Big 12?
It’s all up to Oklahoma. The Sooners have the power now to pull the plug or keep the league in stable condition for the short-term.
What are the options?
A) Stay in a 10-team league with the addition of Brigham Young. That’s the logical one. Forget Notre Dame or Arkansas. I’m skeptical that Pitt would leave the Big East, and its coveted affiliation with Big East hoops, to come play in Lubbock and Waco and Ames and Manhattan, etc., etc. What’s the point? What’s the advantage?
The Big 12 will have to settle for someone who wants an upgrade, meaning someone in a mid-major conference. Why would anyone leave a BCS league to join the Big 12 chaos?
BYU probably would, though it’s not certain. The Cougars just went independent. But the Big 12 would offer a BCS bid. BYU wouldn’t care about Texas’ antics. BYU can be high maintenance, too.
I don’t think TCU, Houston or SMU will get a look. The other Texas schools, namely Texas, aren’t in a hurry to invite other in-state schools to the party. Texas left the old SWC for a reason. Why go back to it?
To me, BYU is a solid choice, but it doesn’t make the Big 12 better. BYU is not a national brand in college football. It doesn’t raise the bar or the TV needle. It just keeps things in place. Which isn’t a bad thing if you’re Iowa State or Kansas.
If I were Oklahoma, I would think hard about option:
B) Go to the Pac-12. Take Oklahoma State. Pac-12 commish Larry Scott has plans to make the Pac-12 network into regional networks, which means the Sooners would automatically have a Pac-12/Oklahoma network (along with OSU). OU football coach Bob Stoops is still being quoted as being in favor of the move, the trips, the west coast recruiting, etc.
The key here is to make sure Texas comes along. Or, make sure Texas would still play Oklahoma. The Sooners’ tie to the Longhorns isn’t love or devotion. It’s the need for a recruiting presence in Texas, which has been the lifeblood of the OU program for decades.
Yes, because of those regional Pac-12 networks, Texas would be allowed to have a network. But it would be regional, not national. Would Texas give that up?
Do the Longhorns want to be independent? Will OU call that bluff?
The question now is has Texas pushed too far, and pushed the Sooners to a point where they want to get away?
The flip side is, OU wins the Big 12 most every year, and why would you want to get away from that? BYU wouldn’t change that.
The saga is heating up again. Nobody knows what Texas’ end game is here. We may be about to find out.