How The Big 12 Falls Apart and Dies, Pt. 2
The Big 12 Conference could find a way to survive, again. But, if the Big 12 dies, how will it happen now?
With USC and UCLA officially moving to the Big Ten in 2024, the dominoes are starting to set up again across college football, just as they were last year when Oklahoma and Texas announced they were moving to the SEC in 2025.
There is obvious concern that the Big Ten may not be done. There are obvious questions about what the Big 12 will do next. There are serious questions about the Pac-12’s survival.
There are too many scenarios to count at this point. The Big 12 could find a way to live.
But, what if it can’t? How does it happen?
I wrote about this topic last year, and at the time my assumption was that the other four conferences — that’s the ACC, the Big Ten, the Pac-12 and the SEC — were trying to count to 16, so to speak.
That assumption is out the window now. No idea is too crazy at this point. No scenario is too far-fetched.
Now, a year later, THIS is how the Big 12 COULD die.
West Virginia (and others) go to the ACC
Last year, I wrote that West Virginia made a lot of sense for the ACC, and I still believe that. But, if the ACC wants to count higher than its current 14 (15 if you count Notre Dame for the non-football sports), then the ACC should not only take in the Mountaineers, but they should loop in Cincinnati and UCF as well. Both schools can help the ACC in football, and if Cincinnati reclaims its Bob Huggins glory days, the Bearcats can enhance their basketball portfolio, too.
Also, watch Houston here. The ACC doesn’t have a presence in the country’s most talent-rich state, and the ACC could make a play for the Cougars. Houston, like Cincinnati and UCF, are working quickly to make their facilities Power 5 quality.
Kansas gets BIG
With USC and UCLA jumping ship (and perhaps more Pac-12 teams to follow), I still think the one Big 12 team the Big Ten would still be interested in is Kansas. I think the Big Ten will swallow the bad football program to get that basketball program in the conference. Kansas inquired last year. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Jayhawks inquired again, and the league listened just a little bit harder.
As for the rest …
With the teams in the eastern time zone out the door, with Kansas headed for the Big 12, the remaining teams — Baylor, BYU, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas Tech — have little choice but to head west and join the Pac-12. Or, perhaps it’s the rest of the Pac-12 heading east to join the Big 12. At that point, it would hardly matter to the leftovers.
They would just need a place to play.
There are so many scenarios, it’s too much to count. But if the Big 12 does, finally, die, this is how I think it goes down.
What do you think?
Matthew Postins can be found on Twitter @PostinsPostcard