Big 12 could see coaching shake-up with John Calipari leaving Kentucky for Arkansas

Coach Cal departing from UK might set off a chain reaction
Feb 18, 2023; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Baylor Bears coach Scott Drew on the court
Feb 18, 2023; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Baylor Bears coach Scott Drew on the court / William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

John Calipari sent shockwaves throughout the college basketball community when he inked a new head coaching deal with the Arkansas Razorbacks. The longtime leader of the Kentucky basketball program is shockingly leaving the blue-blood Wildcats for a job in the SEC.

Due to the historical success of UK, it is considered one of the best coaching positions in the nation. AD Mitch Barnhart could choose from several candidates to fill the vacancy, but people have already begun to speculate which coach would be the best fit. If what betting sites are suggesting turns out to be true, there could be a massive impact on the Big 12 Conference.

Big 12 basketball will look vastly different if Scott Drew leaves Baylor

Right now, Baylor's Scott Drew is among the favorites to become the next Kentucky head coach. The 53-year-old arrived in Waco the same year Bill Self took over at Kansas basketball. He has compiled a 446-244 record across 21 seasons with the Bears, leading BU to 12 NCAA Tournament appearances and a National Championship in 2021.

While Alabama's Nate Oats was also deemed a top contender, he shot the rumors down with a statement on X (formerly Twitter) yesterday. That leaves Drew among the likes of other candidates such as Auburn's Bruce Pearl, UConn's Dan Hurley, the Chicago Bulls' Billy Donovan, and even other Big 12 coaches such as TJ Otzelberger and Kelvin Sampson.

If Drew were to leave BU, it would set off a massive chain reaction in the conference. Baylor is also one of the better jobs in the nation and would attract plenty of attention. A coach who has been mentioned as a potential replacement is Kansas State's Jerome Tang, who served as an assistant under Drew from 2003-2022.

There are plenty of scenarios that could take place in the coming days, but the college basketball coaching carousel is in full swing. Considering Drew is relatively young and has proven himself at the highest level, he would make plenty of success for Kentucky in the long run. Big 12 basketball could look a lot different for Kansas in 2024-25.