For those Big 12 fans who swear the conference could last without the Longhorns or the Sooners, think again, and get a grip on reality.
A new report from the Wall Street Journal listed the worth of all of the college football programs, with only three valued at over $1 billion. They are: Ohio State, Texas, and Oklahoma.
Rounding out the top ten were the usual suspects: Alabama, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Georgia, Tennessee, Auburn.
But back to the Big 12. To give this some context, after Oklahoma and Texas, there were no Big 12 teams ranked until Oklahoma State at 29th and Kansas State at 30th. Then it was Texas Tech at 34th, Iowa State 41st, Kansas 43rd, TCU 48th, Baylor at 59th and West Virginia at 66th.
So once again, and I’m not a UT or OU homer, I just want to see the Big 12 succeed, which this conference needs Oklahoma and Texas in order to do. Without them, this conference is the AAC on steroids, and not the steroids Mark McGwire was “allegedly” taking, but more like the ones A-Rod was taking, which didn’t do much to his physique and was unnecessary for his game.
I get why Texas Tech and Oklahoma Staet and Baylor fans hate Texas and Oklahoma, but also be grateful. Without these two programs, those $35+ million checks that the athletic departments are cashing would be a fraction of the size.
The future of this conference is going to rest on what Texas and Oklahoma want to do. Ultimately, I think David Boren stepping down as OU President will be good for the Big 12, as Boren liked to toy with the idea of leaving. But both these programs should realize that being in the Big 12 and running the show, versus having to share a seat the table with either Alabama or Florida in the SEC, or Michigan and Ohio State in the Big Ten or USC and UCLA in the Pac-12, this is the best of all worlds.
Hopefully as we approach the next set of conference realignment in 7-8 years, both Oklahoma and Texas will realize the benefits of having a healthy and cohesive Big 12 conference. But when money, power and ego get in the same room together, it’s anybody’s guess what will ultimately happen.