What’s going on in the Big 12 and beyond? I expand and explain every Sunday in Postscripts at Heartland College Sports, your home for independent Big 12 coverage.
This week, the Big 12’s future is starting to coalesce, Texas fans celebrate their title (somewhat oddly) and holiday gift ideas from Big 12 legends.
The Future Is Near
There won’t be another Big 12 Conference football game with Oklahoma or Texas in it. Soon, it will be men’s and women’s basketball, then softball and then baseball.
And then it will be done. OU and UT will be off to the SEC and the Big 12 will expand to — gulp — 16 members with the additions of Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah.
It clearly won’t be the same. You can’t replicate an Oklahoma or a Texas. Commissioner Brett Yormark said on Saturday that he never looks back, only forward.
So, look forward he must.
“I’m very bullish on where we’re going,” Yormark said. “I think this is a conference of great parity and I think we can get stronger next year with The Four Corners (schools) coming in. So we will be well represented in the (College Football) Playoffs. And I’m excited to see it unfold.”
The College Football Playoff expands to 12 teams next year. On Saturday Yormark confirmed that the CFP committee submitted the 5+7 model with five conference champions and seven at-large selections to the CFP Board of Managers for approval.
In a format like that, if approved, the Big 12 would most likely send its champion every year. But the parity Yormark spoke of may keep the league from sending an at-large team on a regular basis.
But this is the new world of college sports and the new world of the Big 12. The only option is to embrace it and maximize it.
“And I’m gonna end again by saying there’s never been a better time to be involved in this conference than right now,” Yormark said. “And it’s only gonna get better.”
It will have to get “better” without Texas and Oklahoma. Is that possible? Yes. But it may also depend upon your definition of better.
Celebrate Your Title, Texas …
I was in the bowels of AT&T Stadium getting prepped for Texas postgame during the trophy ceremony. So I was following along on Twitter (sorry, I’m not calling it X). It seemed the Texas fans were booing commissioner Brett Yormark during the trophy ceremony.
Brett Yormark getting booed mercilessly by UT fans.— Heartland College Sports (@Heartland_CS) December 2, 2023
Texas needed a villain to motivate themselves. They got one this year. Unusual situation for them. pic.twitter.com/ntPACeSxMX
No issues here. Before the game, Yormark said he wasn’t looking back on the comments he made at Texas Tech’s preseason luncheon about Texas. I’ve been to plenty of those rubber chicken luncheons. I’ve heard far worse said. Yormark’s “take care of business” directive to Texas Tech head coach Joey McGuire was small potatoes, even if it was out of the ordinary for a league commissioner.
But several of the writers that I encountered after the ceremony said it detracted from the ceremony. After I got home, I watched the full ceremony.
While I would have liked to have heard less booing just because Texas was celebrating a title, they weren’t booing over quarterback Quinn Ewers or coach Steve Sarkisian, as I was originally led to believe.
Boo the commish? Go for it. You won the game, those are your spoils. Like I said, I think his comment was rather benign. But fan bases use just about anything to get up for a game like that. I get it. I understand it.
But you’re going to need a thicker skin. Because if the Big 12 commissioner’s benign comment at a rubber chicken preseason meal gets under your skin, then you are NOT ready for the SEC.
The truly comical part was Texas fans chanting “S-E-C” during the ceremony. The Longhorns won their first Big 12 football title in 14 years and you’re chanting “S-E-C?” Really? Your team FINALLY climbs that mountain you’ve been trying to climb for more than a decade and you break out the “S-E-C” chant?
Do you not see the irony in that? I mean, other folks did.
I will say, it’s very funny how Texas fans clowned A&M for a decade about SEC chants and now they’re doing the same thing 😂— frogdawg (@frogdawg1) December 2, 2023
You know who breaks that chant out? The teams in the SEC that watch Alabama and Florida win titles every year.
Enjoy the title. Really. Your team earned it. Sarkisian did an incredible job rebuilding that program and he should have been Coach of the Year over Mike Gundy. I grew up in Texas and I grew up a Texas fan, so the 10-year-old in me is overjoyed today.
But I lament all of this as an old-school college football fan. I have felt all along that Texas and Oklahoma moving to the SEC was a follower move and those two schools aren’t followers. They’re leaders.
So do me a favor, Texas. When you get there in July, lead, don’t follow.
And stop chanting “S-E-C.”
OU’s Night at McCasland
Oklahoma men’s basketball went home in a manner of speaking this week when it played a game at McCasland Fieldhouse.
The Sooners played basketball there from 1928-1975 before they moved to the Lloyd Noble Center (geez, the Noble Center is THAT old?). The facility underwent a full renovation and the Sooners went back to play a home game and, well, wow.
Welcome to McCasland 😎 pic.twitter.com/q8s0A0Mc2U— Bob Przybylo (@BPrzybylo) December 1, 2023
These days, McCasland is the home of the men’s wrestling, women’s volleyball, and men’s gymnastics teams. Here’s hoping the OU men pay the venue a visit again soon.
BYU Soccer Bows Out
The magical run of the BYU women’s soccer team came to an end on Friday, as the Cougars lost to Stanford, 2-0, in the College Cup Semifinals in Cary, N.C.
BYU was trying to do what no Big 12 team had done to that point — win a national championship in women’s soccer. So the wait continues for another year.
But, when it comes to women’s soccer, you have to consider BYU one of the league’s powers now after going 20-3-3.
Big 12 Christmas Gifts
Need to find a gift for that special someone in your lift this holiday season?
Let newly-minted Big 12 legend Travis Kelce give you some advice — a personalized college basketball jersey for your boo will always do the trick.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.