We know what Oklahoma and Texas want. Now we know what Bob Bowlsby wants. The biggest issue facing the Big 12 Conference now is what do the remaining eight members want after Oklahoma and Texas depart for the Big 12? That factor will determine if the conference can survive until, and after, 2025 when the Sooners and Longhorns are now scheduled to jump to the S.E.C.
In a statement released on Monday afternoon, Bowlsby explained that the vision of the conference is to remain intact beyond 2025 and tried his best to sell the fact that the Big 12 is not in a “dead man walking” situation.
“Although our eight members are disappointed with the decisions of these two institutions, we recognize that intercollegiate athletics is experiencing rapid change and will most likely look much different in 2025 than it does currently. The Big 12 Conference will continue to support our member institutions’ efforts to graduate student-athletes, and compete for Big 12 and NCAA championships. Like many others, we will use the next four years to fully assess what the landscape will look like in 2025 and beyond. The remaining eight institutions will work together in a collaborative manner to thoughtfully and strategically position the Big 12 Conference for continued success, both athletically and academically, long into the future.”Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby on Oklahoma and Texas leaving
That’s a pretty bold strategy considering no one really knows where the Big 12 leftovers are going to fall. Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Baylor and TCU have been rumored to have already reached out to the Pac12 and Iowa State and Kansas apparently are trying to flirt with the Big 10. We’ve reached the point where everyone is trying to look out for their best interests which is ironic because that’s exactly what Oklahoma and Texas were doing when news of the move leaked out last week.
Can the Big 12 survive without Oklahoma and Texas? Not without expanding! The eight remaining schools won’t attract the eyeballs for television that the Sooners and Longhorns brought in. The conference must expand and to do so the remaining members must be willing to remain in place for the next four years. Good luck with that!
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