Today, ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg suggested that the Big XII realized they were lagging behind the rest of the Power Five conferences. The first playoff, in no uncertain terms, indicated this when both TCU and Baylor were left out in favor of Ohio State. This last year, had a school emerged dominantly from the Pac-12, I doubt that Oklahoma would have been picked and 20/20 hindsight certainly showed that Stanford deserved a spot at the table (AND CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY DESERVED THE HEISMAN DAMN IT). Since 2010, the Big XII has lost Nebraska, Missouri, and Texas A&M, three storied schools at the time. While they gained TCU, they still have been two or three steps behind the ACC, Big 10, Pac-12, and SEC.
The Big XII recently benefited from the NCAA allowing 10-team conferences to hold Championship Games (something that harmed the Big XII two years ago with their complete fumble of declaring co-champions). While a boost for the conference, this isn’t going to help them with their competition within the conference. The conference understands this, the school understands this. Some buzz has been fluttering around that they might try and poach a few schools from the ACC. I personally think that is a bit overzealous considering the ACC is quickly emerging as a power conference with powerhouse schools in Clemson, FSU, and North Carolina. Oh, and Duke. #DukeFootball2016
Now, after Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri, and TAMU left, I had the perfect idea for replacement schools in Brigham Young and Boise State. Boise State is not the same school as it was in 2010, but it still holds brand equity. They were an upper-middle team in the Mountain West last year, but I believe they could develop into a competitive school in just a few seasons. Brigham Young dropped out of the Mountain West to become Independent, but they could earn much more money and exposure playing in a power conference. This also helps all parties involved in basketball as well. Boise State has had a strong run, making the tournament two of the last three years. BYU has a very impressive history themselves having made the tournament 29 times, including the last ten seasons in a row.
For football, my idea for the divisions looks like this:
Boise State | Brigham Young | Iowa State
Kansas | Kansas State | West Virginia
Baylor | Oklahoma | Oklahoma State
Texas | Texas Christian | Texas Tech
This configuration allows the Texas and Oklahoma schools to maintain their internal rivalries. The North includes three of the newest schools, but in my mind the cultures of the schools would play off each other better. This puts six of the top seven schools last year in the South, which could lead to a year or two of serious lopsidedness. However, the Pac-12 faced a similar situation where the North had far and away the power schools, but the South has since caught up.
Other options for Big XII expansion could include Louisiana Tech and Houston, pushing the two Oklahoma schools into the North. They both have experienced success in the past, Houston finishing in the Top 25 last year, but don’t bring much to the table for either basketball or market potential.
There you have it, Big XII, listen to me and reap the benefits moving forward.