Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Three Big 12 Teams Could Be Prepared to Jump Ship to the SEC
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Before the start of the 2010 college football season, rumors were running wild with conference expansion, realignment, or possibly watching one fall to the ground if four members jumped ship at the same time.
Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma were rumored to be in a hot and heavy relationship with the PAC-10 and most thought those four schools were about to start the destruction of the Big 12 all on their own.
While three were headed west, Texas A&M was apparently talking to the Southeastern Conference about heading to east if in fact the other three aforementioned schools also left.
The rumors alone were enough for the Big 12 commissioner to go into overdrive about putting a large television contract in place to lure these four schools back and keep the entire conference in place. With Texas signing a big time ESPN television deal for just their university, three schools have apparently been thinking about jumping ship as they had planned to do more than six months ago.
Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas A&M are apparently all talking about jumping ship. If they do that, the Big 12 will be down to eight teams and it may start a chain of events that might kill the entire conference after all.
Just when it looked like the Big 12 was saved thanks to the efforts of the conference commissioner, it may yet be pulled apart at the seems. All thanks to the University of Texas.
The Longhorns are double-dipping in television money and the other 11 schools in the conference are a little more than upset. Not only will they receive money from the new television deal negotiated for the entire Big 12, but now they'll also be making a large amount of money with the deal they just signed with ESPN.
The fallout to this move wouldn't do much to Texas, but it would do a great deal of damage to schools like Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Baylor, and Texas Tech. If the conference falls apart, does the television deal also fall apart?
Though fans of the schools left behind might be a tad bit upset by what might happen depending on the results, there's only one school they can point their finger at. One school wasn't happy enough with the money coming from the television contract negotiated to keep the conference together.
If this move tells you anything, it's that Texas wanted nothing more than to be independent from the rest of the conference. They wanted to be their own entity and they pulled that off behind the scenes.
The rivalries, the match ups and the big games might have been effectively ended with that move and it wouldn't shock me in the least if Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas A&M depart the Big 12 for the SEC, leaving the rest of the conference to fend for themselves.
With just over seven months remaining until the 2011 college football season kicks off, the dominoes could continue to fall. With three teams possibly on their way out, will it mean the teams left over will find new homes as well?
This become a hot button topic over the next few weeks or months depending on when or if this move is made.
If it does happen, will Texas pull a BYU and go independent? Some might say they already are thanks to ESPN.
There's been a lot of moving and shaking in college football over the last eight months and we may not have seen the end of it just yet.
Colorado and Nebraska apparently saw the writing on the wall and made their move to greener pastures. Maybe that should have been the warning shot that this wasn't the end of the problems the Big 12 would have to deal with.
They were able to put a band-aid on it before the 2010 season kicked off. I don't know if there's anything they can do to save themselves now.