What a 24-hours it has been. Wednesday morning, I woke up with about ten Twitter notifications from some random SEC account trolling me. Little did I know at the time that would be a sign of what was to come later that afternoon. In case you live under a rock or haven’t heard, there is a report that Texas and Oklahoma will be leaving the Big 12 for the SEC. With one tweet, my whole day changed, and the internet lost its mind. In fact, I lost my mind a little bit and who knows if I will sleep or not but, in the meantime, here are my five thoughts that I have from a crazy Wednesday.
Some people won’t understand the potential move for Texas and Oklahoma, but I tweeted out my three thoughts as to why this move would make sense for both schools. After reading that, do you get it now? Money to nobody’s surprise rules college athletics. Whether you like it or not, it’s a fact. A move would mean more money not just for football but for other sports and potential facility upgrades. For those that argue it wouldn’t make sense if the playoff expands, it would not necessarily hurt Texas or Oklahoma because guess what, they don’t even need to win the conference to get in if expansion comes around anyways.
2. Will it Happen?
All signs that I am seeing point to yes that this is real. Both places that I trust to get info from for Texas and Oklahoma are saying this is real and this is likely happening. Also, there is a report out that Texas and Oklahoma will send a letter to the Big 12 office notifying them of the move as early as next week. Perhaps what is more disturbing in my eyes is the fact that neither Texas nor Oklahoma denied the rumors as both schools released statements on the matter.
Texas: “Speculation swirls around collegiate athletics. We will not address rumors or speculation.”
Oklahoma: “The college athletics landscape is shifting constantly. We don’t address every anonymous rumor.”
These aren’t exactly reassuring statements if you are Bob Bowlsby.
3. Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby
Speaking of Bob Bowlsby, I have no idea what Bob is doing or what is going through his mind, but he had one job as Big 12 commissioner. That was to keep Texas and Oklahoma happy, and it appears that he wasn’t able to do that. I will have an article out about Bob Bowlsby on the site and what I think should happen, but I can sum it up as simple as this, changes need to be made soon. Bob is not one for change, he is old school and with the landscape of college football constantly changing, the last thing you want is for your leader to sit there and twiddle his thumbs. Yes, Bob did good last offseason saying the Big 12 will play football but this isn’t 2020 anymore. The Big 12 has bigger fish to fry now and if this conference has a sliver of hope to potentially survive, Bob is not the guy to do it.
4. What Happens to Everyone Else?
If Texas and Oklahoma bolt, eight Big 12 schools are left. Does the conference try and add two teams to replace Texas and Oklahoma? If they do that what two (or four) schools could you get to come on board? Even if the Big 12 is successfully finding replacements, their name isn’t Oklahoma or Texas. You can’t just replace schools like that. The conference would be losing two huge programs and markets. Maybe schools end up getting picked up by other conferences. I would hope schools could stick together a little bit, but my gut feeling says this will be a bad breakup that kicks off an era of super conferences and the Big 12 will not be a part of that.
5. What about us?
Obviously, we here at Heartland College Sports cover the Big 12. I have been a part of this since 2016 and I will be going into my sixth season at the site, and I still have plenty of Big 12 content left in the tank. We can’t control what happens outside of our website so as our owner Pete Mundo said on our message boards, we will continue to cover this conference to the best of our abilities until we can longer do it.