If you have not heard already, you may want to get someone to check the service of the rock you are living under: Texas and Oklahoma are reportedly in the process of leaving the Big 12 to join the SEC.
This is a ginormous shift of power to a conference that already had all the power in college football. The Longhorns and Sooners, who are the faces of the Big 12, could potentially leave for greener pastures … literally.
Every major decision of this nature presents valid pros and cons. Some could benefit greatly, while others would prefer to keep things the way they are. Does it make sense from a football or revenue standpoint?
Is the expansion and realignment realistic?
USA TODAY presented a few concerns that could become primary roadblocks to Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC. Are they enough to prevent the two Big 12 powerhouses from joining?
Is this sort of expansion and realignment realistic?
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
This move seems to be extremely realistic, and nothing proved that more than Oklahoma State immediately releasing a statement regarding its disappointment shortly after the news broke. This will also kickstart the formation of other 16-team conferences across the nation. The only way this can be prevented is if the move fails to gain approval from three-fourths of the SEC or if politicians step in prevent the move. At this point, feelings are thrown out the window. The SEC will ultimately do what is best for the conference.
What would happen to the Big 12 — or, better yet, the rest of the Bowl Subdivision?
Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images
This will be hard to hear for Big 12 fans, but if Texas and Oklahoma leave, it will signify the death of the conference. It is already short two teams, and losing the breadwinners and headliners of the conference will devastate it. The Big 12, if it wanted to remain as a conference, could recruit teams such as SMU, Cincinnati, Memphis or even North Dakota State. If you were underwhelmed reading that, just imagine writing it. The Big 12 teams that remain will essentially court other conferences such as the Big 10 and Pac-12, who will likely look to form their own 16-team conferences. There are likely no teams the Big 12 could bring in that would restore the glory it is losing, nor are there any teams that would have the value Texas and Oklahoma have.
Why would the rest of the SEC go along?
Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports
Why wouldn't they? Texas is the biggest and most recognizable brand in all of college football, and Oklahoma has been a frequent playoff attendee. There would likely be more revenue generated, and the yearly matchups would be elite. If any school was to oppose the move, it would likely be Texas A&M as it has emphasized it wants to be the lone team from Texas in the SEC.
Does this move make any sense from a football perspective?
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Not only will this move help the recruiting juggernauts recruit better, but playing in the conference with the best teams will also help come playoff time. This is probably the biggest concern of the move, as Oklahoma has been obliterated by SEC teams lately, and Texas has not contended nationally since 2009. Assuming they do join, I would have to think the talent these two teams will attract would help them.