Big 12 football: Why A&M’s exit would spell doom
Some want the Big 12 to persevere if Texas A&M leaves for the Southeastern Conference, either as a nine-team league or by adding one or three new members. Here’s the problem with that.
The Big 12 status took a major hit losing Nebraska. Losing A&M would do the same. With no ready replacements, with the exception of Brigham Young. And the Cougars would supply all kinds of new problems in terms of scheduling and policy, because of its Mormon requirements.
Think of it this way. In May 2010, the Big 12 football teams would rank this way in terms of status/clout/tradition/desirability.
1. Texas (more population and TV sets trump OU’s seven league titles in the last 11 years)
4. Texas A&M
6. Oklahoma State (really, even with Tech)
7. Texas Tech
8. Kansas State
11. Iowa State
So now, 15 months later, the Big 12 has lost its No. 3 and No. 9 schools, with No. 4 perhaps headed out the door. How do you salvage that conference? Without A&M and Nebraska, the Big 12 lacks depth, lacks enough teams to consistently challenge OU or Texas and lacks enough quality games to get the television networks excited.
Now, if Arkansas and Notre Dame decide they want to join the Big 12, then we can reconvene. But the Hogs and Irish aren’t interested in a change even to a stable conference, much a bastion of instability. And if Missouri happens to head to the SEC with A&M, then you’ve got a wasteland of a league.
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