Word has come done that it’s all but a done deal for the Texas A&M Aggies to be leaving the Big XII for the SEC turning the 10 team league into a 9 team league, presumably with the same name. This was rumored for a while and basically was done so that A&M could spite Texas as much as possible. There are major implications here for Kansas that we all didn’t think would come into play for a few years.
I don’t think it’s a surprise to say that the long term viability of the Big XII as a conference went out the window as soon as the fire sale started last year. It was only a matter of time until Oklahoma or Texas A&M got tired of Texas’ deal and started to look elsewhere. The hope was that KU would have enough time to figure things out so that when that time came, they wouldn’t be left like the little brother saying ‘take me with you, take me with you!’ to their big football brothers. That time table has been accelerated.
All the talk is going to start all over again and KU needs to not do what they did last year, which was wait and hope things work out. The Big XII is falling to pieces and KU needs to be proactive and find a new home. The most likely landing spot for the Jayhawks would most likely be the Big East, this would be a conference in which they could make themselves more competitive in football and would be a top tier basketball team in the strongest b-ball conference in the country.
If these dominoes started to fall then the entire landscape of college sports would be changing. My guess is that Oklahoma and Oklahoma St. would follow A&M to the SEC who would then find another team to get to 16. Mizzou would try to get back into the Big 10 discussion, K-State would probably try to follow to wherever KU went and Iowa State and Baylor would find themselves outside the BCS looking in, with Texas deciding to go independent so they don’t have to share money with anybody.
There are rumblings that the Big XII is looking to target another Texas team like Houston or TCU to be a part of the Big XII in order to keep TV contracts and regional affiliations in place. TCU is already in the Big East so that’s a tough sell, but Houston would jump at the chance to be a part of a BCS conference. If that happened, then I think the Big XII should get real serious and try to get back to 12 teams if they don’t want it all to crumble. If Houston comes aboard I see Boise State and BYU out there as natural fits for teams that want to be a part of the BCS world and compete in football and would probably be no better or worse than Nebraska or Colorado in basketball.
Ultimately, I think the Big XII’s days are numbered and by 2014 it will be no more. Where everyone ends up is anybody’s guess but one thing is for sure, the Big XII really needs to band together, or KU needs to get proactive and start finding their landing spot so they don’t wind up on the outside looking in when it’s all said and done.