[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image source="featured_image" img_size="large"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Big 12 Conference is going through some changes with the departures of the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners. The previous Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby managed to save the conference he nearly destroyed by adding some quality programs. UCF, Cincinnati, Houston, and BYU are all strong additions that add new TV revenue locations in three regions (Orlando, Cincinnati, and Salt Lake City/Utah) while also taking back some of what they lost with Texas' exit with the addition of Houston.
All four of these programs are set to begin Big 12 play in football in 2023. However, Oklahoma and Texas are not set to leave for the SEC until 2025. So for the moment, we have an interesting situation on our hands.
Reports indicate that the Big 12 is unlikely to go to the division route. Assuming that OU and Texas do not leave the league early, the Sooners and Longhorns will have 80 million reasons to stay until 2025. The CFP expansion has been postponed until 2025, taking away the competitive advantage of the move. Because of this, it appears the divorce may take the full five seasons as perplexing as that sounds, that is of course unless another party foots the bill for the move.
Another interesting - though likely irrelevant - note is that the Big 12 does own the copyright for "Big 14". Could they be eying the addition of two more members that would come in after the Red River pair leave?
The Big 12 conference is still going to remain a power league in the sport, with the additions made there may be sleeping giants waking up. UCF is the largest public school in the nation and games there open recruiting to the state of Florida. Cincinnati has a solid TV market, and there are plenty of quality players in Ohio as well. BYU is a national brand that has fans not only all over the country but the world, and their own television network. Houston was cast outside of the power five mostly to benefit Texas and Texas A&M who did not want another big Texas school as a competitor for recruits. These additions are a power play, and a nice way to head off stage by Bob Bowlsby.
The conference has been exciting over the years and the removal of Oklahoma will make things very interesting. Will Oklahoma State, Baylor, or Iowa State just pick up the torch? Will one of the quality newcomers change the dynamic? The finances are better for those new schools and only a $5 million loss to the old members, which, all things considered, is fortunate because of the brands lost.
The Big 12 has been a good league over the last few seasons. Do not expect that to change because of the quality programs added. They may not be the SEC or B1G, however, they will still be better than the ACC and Pac 12.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]