College football has become something of a money-grab over the last several years with television contracts becoming more and more lucrative.
The chase after those television dollars has led schools to begin looking for greener pastures in other conferences, with Oklahoma and Texas being the first to take the leap back in 2021. Then, just a few weeks ago, USC and UCLA made the decision to leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten, sending a second set of shockwaves through the sports world.
With the conference landscape shrouded in uncertainty, there have been two schools of thought with regards to how to approach this unprecedented time. Some conferences, such as the SEC and even the ACC are content with the current makeup of their leagues, or so they claim.
Sure, the SEC is still resting with a full stomach after landing Oklahoma and Texas, but the ACC hasn’t been a player at all to this point in expansion and it seems a bit absurd that they would be content with where they stand.
Then there is the stance that the Big 12 has taken, which leaves no stone unturned and hanging an “open for business” sign in the front window. This is really the only way to look at things when powers like the Big Ten and SEC are building their conferences like some sort of cold war and the rest of the Power Five is where they are pulling their assets from. Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades put it best when he talked about the stance his conference seems to be taking right now.
While he has yet to officially take over, new Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark has been clear about always looking to add value to the conference and right now expansion seems like the best route to go, given the recent events in the Pac-12.
“We’re open for business,” Yormark said last week at Big 12 Media Days. “Optionality is good and were vetting through all of them. I think it’s fair to say that I’ve received a lot of phone calls, a lot of interest. People understand the direction of the Big 12 and we’re exploring those levels of interest. Nothing is imminent, but we’re working hard to make sure that we position the Big 12 in the best possible way on a go-forward basis.”