Sooners Fans Should be Careful What They Wish For in Wanting Out of the Big 12
There’s no denying that Week 1 of the 2020 Big 12 Football season was a disaster for the conference.
The Big 12 went 0-3 against the Sun Belt Conference. Iowa State was embarrassed by Louisiana, Kansas State blew a lead to Arkansas State and then the Kansas Jayhawks fell to Coastal Carolina.
It was not a pretty sight, and no Big 12 fan should be happy about it. Even those at the top like Oklahoma, Texas and Oklahoma State should be rooting for all Big 12 teams in non-conference play as it strengthens the conference when it plays each other, which can help a team come College Football Playoff selection time or bowl selection time.
However as bad as things were on Saturday, there was a renewed call from OU fans in particular which is very misguided.
After all three losses on Saturday, Oklahoma Sooners fans were tweeting at us (@Heartland_CS) signaling that they were ready for OU to leave the Big 12 Conference.
Why exactly? I’m not sure.
The Oklahoma Sooners have it made in the Big 12 Conference. They get to co-run the conference with the Longhorns, and the Big 12 has yet to be an impediment to them making the College Football Playoff. It’s once OU gets to the Playoff that is has been unable to get over the proverbial “hump”.
How does joining the SEC or Big Ten improve their chances of doing that?
It doesnt, and in fact it only hurts those chances. Want to go to the SEC West? Have fun with that, where winning just the division every couple of years would be impressive. The Big Ten west? OK, maybe a bit easier, but for what? Like there aren’t crappy teams in the Big Ten? Has anyone watched a Rutgers football game in the past decade? How about Maryland? Northwestern? Anyone?
Oh, and considering how poorly the Big Ten has handled it’s return from COVID-19, is that really a conference anyone would want to hitch its wagon to at this point? Let’s go up to Omaha and talk with some Nebraska football fans while we’re at it.
Oh, and it’s not just the competition on the field that would make life more difficult, it’s the behind-the-scenes agendas that would also put them, at best, on equal footing with the likes of Alabama, LSU, Florida and Georgia in the SEC or Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Nebraska in the Big Ten.
Why give up power that you co-control with Texas for a situation where you’re, in a best-case scenario, having a chance at being only one of the loudest voices with four or five other universities and athletic departments?
Oh and do we need to remind OU fans that when you combine the Big 12 money with the Tier 3 rights, they aren’t missing out on millions more from the SEC or the Big Ten.
As long as Oklahoma and Texas want the Big 12 to exist, it will exist. And they both should realize they have incredible incentives to make this happen.
Yes, what happened on Saturday was embarrassing for the Big 12 Conference. Maybe this conference isn’t as strong top to bottom, or No. 1 through No. 9, as many thought it would be, myself included.
But let’s not forget that minus Iowa State, the Kansas schools were looking at rebuilds, and the Sun Belt schools had already played one game, when the Big 12 teams had dealt with disjointed offseasons due to COVID-19. That’s not an excuse, but a reality for part of what happened.
Most importantly, OU fans should realize that the grass is not always greener. Just ask Nebraska. Or Missouri. Or Colorado. Or Texas A&M.
Actually, don’t worry about A&M, there’s never a good reason to go talk to them about anything. Good riddance.
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