Big 12 downfall; expanded playoffs not needed

07/27/2021

I started following college football when I was stationed at an Army base, Fort Benning, Georgia in 2005. I was surrounded by Georgia, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Auburn, and Florida fans. The football atmosphere was so inspiring that each year, I distance myself from the NFL. My years following college football are that the SEC is the best football conference in the nation. And by far, it is true - depending on who you ask.

History

The Big 12 Conference began on February 25, 1994. It was a solid conference throughout their tenure where Nebraska finished number one in 1994 and 1995 in the AP Polls. Nebraska shared the number one ranking with Michigan in the final years of using AP votes. In 1998, the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) was established to determine a national champion. Oklahoma would win in its third BCS season in 2000. Texas would win in 2005, but that would be all for the Big 12. It has been 15 seasons since the Big 12 have reached the national championship.

Departures

In 2011, Colorado left the Big 12 and went to the PAC-12. Nebraska departed as well to the Big Ten. In 2012, Missouri and Texas A&M ended their 16-year affiliation and joined the SEC. This week, Oklahoma and Texas officially notified the SEC and requested an invitation for membership. The news has shaken the media coverage, which left the fans confused. At one point, it seemed that OU and UT were set to go to the SEC right away. Now, it seems there may be many legal issues for the process to take place for the transfer. OU and UT have contracts and obligations until June 30, 2025. Many speculate that they can leave sooner to the SEC. What does this mean?

Before this news, the biggest topic was the expansion of the playoffs. Should OU and UT move to the SEC, the SEC will become the first 16 team conference and be a super conference and there may not be a need to expand more than four teams for the postseason. The transfer can cause a domino effect where other Big 12 can leave elsewhere to build another super conference. The PAC-12, Big Ten, ACC, can benefit and boost their conference similar to the SEC. If so, the top school per conference can be the top four teams and avoid having more than one school to be a part of the college football playoffs. Other conferences can be the lower-level conferences that can build their championship reign.

Reality

The BIG-12 can hold OU and UT unless the conference receives their money ($80 million). I do not believe the BIG-12 will roll over and do nothing. They are losing their top two schools in revenue but can reach out to other schools and rebuild. It's easy to say it or write, but the conference has not had 12 teams in a long time. This drama is like the weather that has a considerable fog in the morning. By daylight, the sky will clear itself out. By the end of this week, there will be clarity about what will become of all this.