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The Big 12 Conference is apparently falling apart at the seams. Oklahoma University, Oklahoma State University, and surprise defector Texas are all entertaining the possibility of leaving the conference. Sources close to the situation say that Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are both in serious pursuit of joining the newly formed Pac 12.
Texas is currently working to save the Big 12 going so far as to fly UT officials to Norman, Oklahoma last weekend to try to convince Oklahoma to stay in the Big 12. However UT officials have begun informal exploratory talks with Pac 12 officials to join as well.
This news comes right on the heels of the SEC announcing that they will admit Texas A&M, another Big 12 team, conditionally next season barring any legal ramifications with A&M leaving. This would bring the SEC to 13 teams, and reports say the SEC wants to include a 14th team to equally split the division lines of East and West.
The team that the SEC think fits the 14th spot perfectly happens to be Missouri, another Big 12 team. With Nebraska leaving for the Big Ten and Colorado for the Pac 12 last year, the Big 12 only has 10 teams at the moment, and these new potential moves could cripple the Big 12 down to 5 teams.
The five teams left would be Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Baylor, and Texas Tech who would form a hypothetical Subpar 5 Conference. None of these universities could garner the huge national media attention needed to keep a conference together. A small exception could be Kansas and Kansas State for their basketball programs, but neither have the marketability of college football.
If UT, OU and OK State all make a run for the Pac 12 this could cause more repercussions on that Subpar 5 Conference. The Pac 12 would have a total of 15 teams and leave them looking for the last puzzle piece to become a 16 team super conference. That 16th team would most likely be Texas Tech, as they were involved earlier this year in a 4 team deal to bring UT, OU, OK State and Texas Tech to the then Pac-10.
The deal fell apart as the universities opted to stay in the Big 12, but it seems now as if the deal could happen, just a year late. With only 4 teams, the Big 12 would be incapable of surviving, heading towards sure dissolution. This crumbling would invoke a feeding frenzy as the remaining major conferences Big Ten, SEC, and ACC swoop in and try to get at least two of the remaining teams to form their own super conference.
Landing two of these teams could bring the ACC to 16 teams, as an article on the New York Times website states. Officials from the ACC are currently in talks with Pittsburgh and Syracuse to join their conference. There is seemingly nothing that can stop this giant realignment. The possible roadblock of the recent TV deal signings by UT and the Pac 12 can easily be solved.
The Longhorn Network would get reduced into the Pac-16 as a downsized regional network, joining the six regional networks that already exist within the conference. Even if UT refuses an invitation, the Pac 12 would drop their offer to Texas Tech and extend two new offers to Kansas and Kansas State still leaving the Big 12 with only 4 teams.
Anyway this shakes out, it seems as though college football is inevitably moving towards the era of super conferences. An idea that could make all college football fans happy; the entrance of super conferences brings about talk of a playoff system and the eventual demise of the flawed BCS system.
There would have to be more realignment and the death of a few conferences, but that’s not more absurd than what’s currently taking place. It was once said that you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet, as long as the egg is the BCS, bring on the super conferences.
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