So the college football season has started and it seems that the craziness that conference realignment is causing is overshadowing the beginning of the college football season. It really started last year with the announcement of Nebraska moving to the Big10 (really 11 now 12) and Colorado along with Utah going to the Pac1o (Now the Pac12). The talk started about super conferences forming and the money that goes with it. The first 2 super conferences people assume will be the Pac12 and the SEC. The SEC already has 12 teams and the Pac12 now has 12 with their recent additions. Speculation has been going on all summer and continues about who will go where. The Big12’s demise is all but guaranteed at this point.
The latest team to cause a stir is Texas A&M. I will admit to being a closet Aggie fan. I had a cousin that went to A&M and I followed the Aggies through the 90’s and the wrecking crew defense. I watched Bucky Richardson and Dat Nguyen. The Aggies moving to the SEC does a couple of things for the the school and the SEC. From the Aggies point of view they potentially draw teams like LSU and Auburn to College Station every other year. They can sell the quality of competition to their recruits and tell them they will have a bigger potential to be on TV. The SEC television deal is incredible. Not only is the deal with CBS in place but ESPN operates the SEC network and shows SEC games on ESPN and ESPN 2. The SEC gets one GIGANTIC benefit. They get a MAJOR foothold into the Texas television market. Don’t get me wrong, the SEC already has a strong fan base here. The Aggie alumni will watch the Aggies play Iowa State before they watch LSU play Auburn. They are that dedicated. The city of Houston (Number 10 television market in the country) alone might was well be a UT / A&M melting pot.
Now 8 schools I believe are threatening to sue Texas A&M due to an agreement made to the Big12. Keep in mind that Texas A&M went to the board of the Big12 conference and made their intentions known. At that time they received no contention. Now that the SEC has declared they will accept Texas A&M (Unanimously I might add) they are facing a law suit. Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Iowa State, Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State all will not waive their legal recourse. Baylor has been quoted as saying they will sue Texas A&M. Each one of these teams with the exception of Missouri doesn’t want the BIG12 to fold because it’s a gravy train for them or they fear loosing out on a rivalry. Without Oklahoma Oklahoma State looses money because of Bedlam. Kansas and Kansas State need each other because as far as football goes no one but the people of Kansas cares about them. Baylor is riding everyone else’s coat tales. Former Governor Anne Richards pulled political strings to get Baylor into the Big12 after the Southwest Conference disolved. Iowa State belongs with Baylor in a B class league like C-USA or the WAC. Texas Tech, well name a reason a young high school kid wants to live in Lubbock Texas?
The SEC has some coat tail riders as well. Vanderbuilt, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State are all bottom feeders in the SEC. The only argument I’ll entertain is Ole Miss. Vanderbuilt is there because the bring the GPA of the SEC up to a respectful level, Mississippi is in the SEC for NAACP reasons, and Ole Miss well I really don’t know what Ole Miss brings to the party. Maybe the Egg Bowl is important to Mississippi. The SEC is clearly the best football conference in the country. They have won the last 5 BCS championships and routinely beat and by beat I mean beat soundly competition from other conferences. Does anyone remember the 41-14 beating that Florida gave Ohio State? The SEC can handle the coat tail riders it has. The Big12 is Texas, Oklahoma, and then everyone else. NO OTHER TEAM means anything within the Big12. Missouri should get an invite to the Big10 without much trouble. All teams have agreed to drop their pending lawsuit if Oklahoma agrees to stay in the conference. Why? If Oklahoma stays (rumor is they are going to the Pac12) then Texas stays. If Texas stays the Big12 lives and they continue to ride the gravy train to ca-Ching ville.
For the Big12 to survive they need help. “The Longhorn Network” will have to be redone and made the Big12 network and the 300,000,000.00 dollars paid to Texas by ESPN would have to be split amongst the schools. They also need another major school to join. At this point the only potential is Arkansas leaving the SEC for the Big12. If I’m Arkansas there is no way I do that. I honestly don’t know another team that would join the Big12. UH, or any C-USA team that has been rumored doesn’t keep Texas and Oklahoma from going anywhere.
Honestly I see this happening. Oklahoma and Texas eventually go to the Pac12 along with Missouri and Oklahoma State and that makes the Pac16 a reality. The SEC goes to 16 teams by adding Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, Texas Tech, and a wildcard team that I haven’t thought of yet. The SEC teams are a lot harder to guess because the SEC doesn’t need anyone. They are just fine as they are and at this point its your schools privilege to be a SEC member. Texas A&M fits because they aren’t as conceded as Texas, they benefit in recruiting, and the SEC benefits in the Texas TV market.
It’s all about money and always will be in the end. The teams that are suing (led by Baylor) need to get over themselves and realize that it’s not the big schools responsibility to take care you. Missouri is the only school (except maybe Texas Tech) that doesn’t belong in a B class conference. Baylor you may make an argument for D1 AA. Feel free to disagree and comment. Sorry this was so long but this was a big thought that I have been pondering.