After nearly a decade of relative conference stability, a bombshell dropped yesterday when the Houston Chronicle reported Texas and Oklahoma had contacted the SEC about possible membership. A few things off the top:
1. Texas and OU always had an uneasy truce with the rest of the Big XII which is a shame because it’s a super fun football and basketball league! It doesn’t have the stuffiness of the Big 14 or the ego of the SEC.
2. It’s hilarious it could be the SEC instead of the PAC-12 or Big 14. When conference shuffling happened circa 2010, it was rumored the Pac-12 would take Texas and OU along with Ok State and another Texas school. It was also the wet dream of Jim Delany to add Texas, OU less so.
The early scuttlebutt is Texas A&M isn’t thrilled about this possibility and there are political concerns in Oklahoma but that seems overblown. My hunch is this leaked yesterday from A&M but it won’t matter if Texas and OU want in. The SEC will have some internal strife over it but the additions would be too good to pass up.
Should that happen, what about the rest of the Big XII? That’s a great question. It sounds like OU is no longer joined at the hip with OK State. The Cowboys and Texas Tech and Baylor would be the big losers. Kansas will always be a valuable property because of hoops. Kansas State and Iowa State have always been vulnerable because they’re simply not great properties. The Big 14 isn’t taking any of the schools except Kansas.
As for the ACC and Pac-12, they can choose to add more properties but I’m not sure outside Kansas and Notre Dame any of the leftovers of the Big XII are that interesting. West Virginia is a bit of wild card as they’ve shown a commitment to being competive in football and basketball through the years. I’m just not sure the ACC would see them as a necessary addition.
The league most vulnerable outside the Big XII would likely be the AAC. Should the Big XII try and stick together, it isn’t wild speculation to assume Houston and Cincinnati would be natural targets, along with Memphis who is itching to move up in the world. It’s possible BYU might be inclined to join a league as well in football.
The times are-a-changing. Again.