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With BYU Reportedly Out, Big 12 Still Has A Golden Opportunity

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Basketball Media Day

Most of the time when you are last in something it is not a good thing. Whether you are last in a race or the last one getting your food while everyone else has been served, it sucks. Ok, well maybe that second one hits too close to home, but you get my point.

However, being last is sometimes a good thing. For instance, if you are tied or down in the game of baseball, the home team gets the last bat to try and win the game. Or maybe it is an important decision like the Big 12 has in front of them. Gather all of the info you can and when needed, make the decision.

The Big 12 is not one for making rash decisions although the second cancellation of media days just a couple days before the event is not a great example of that. But a few weeks ago, the Big Ten decided to cancel their non-conference games and then the Pac-12, ACC and even the SEC appear to be doing the same.

 

So, while everyone has made their decision outside of the Big 12, one thing is for certain: There will be no Power Five non-conference games. While that is unfortunate for the fans, that does not mean the Big 12 has to cave into the pressure of the other conferences. While other conferences have pushed start dates back into mid or late September, the Big 12 may have a golden opportunity here if they are able to pull it off in a safe manner.

Now it has been reported by CBS Sports that the Big 12 is favoring a nine-game conference slate along with one non-conference opponent. But of course, it would be much easier to bring in a common opponent to make it an even ten games for the conference members. This is not only the safest way, but the most logical idea for the ten-game schedule if the Big 12 goes this route.

BYU is Out

Who will that opponent be? I honestly do not care but if we have time for me to put on a cheesy suit and holding up one of those microphones from the 1970’s, I will be more than happy to play matchmaker for the Big 12. And my first place to look would have been in Provo, Utah. However, there has been a report that BYU is out on any possible idea of playing a Big 12 schedule.

Even if the Big 12 decides to bring in another school to play in the conversation, there could be an even bigger opportunity that nobody is talking about. I mentioned earlier that other conferences are pushing back games until late September. But look at the schedule of Oklahoma and Kansas. Both schools have their first game during week zero on August 29th. If the conference can get with other Big 12 schools and agree on a 12-game schedule, there is a lot of free space and money here. Think about it, for at least one or two weeks, the Big 12 will have the spotlight of the entire country as they would be the only power five conference on television.

Would Conference USA or the AAC be Interested?

That would be a huge boost for the conference and obviously safety is the main issue because the more they mix all these teams up, the riskier it gets. But if there is a safe way to make it happen, then I think the Big 12 should be all in on keeping a full schedule. Conference USA has allowed its members to play non-conference games so maybe the Big 12 can work something out with Conference USA. And the American Athletic Conference has yet to make a full decision as it has been reported that will go to an eight-game conference format. Either way, the Big 12 should keep their eyes open as some of these Group of Five conferences start making decisions.

Keep in mind, those schools need the money and if schools like Oklahoma and Texas are willing to open  that wallet, I am sure it would be hard for some of these smaller schools to resist.

Regardless, Bob Bowlsby has been a steady hand throughout all of this and now it’s time to get on the phone and see if he can play matchmaker with the right Group of 5 conference.

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