Texas, Oklahoma leaving for SEC would leave Big 12 mostly irrelevant
The SEC has already pulled ahead of the pack when it comes to athletic dominance in many prominent college sports. They generally have the best teams, most resources, and best fan support in football, baseball and softball, among other sports. Other conferences have competitive programs of course, and none of this means every school in the SEC is better than all schools elsewhere. But on the whole, the SEC is the big leagues compared to other conferences.
Two of the programs that could match up with the SEC in terms of competitiveness across sports, resources, and fan support, are Texas and Oklahoma. Those schools appear poised to leave the Big 12 for the SEC.
Not only would that further cement the SEC as the most prominent conference in major college athletics, but it would completely weaken the Big 12, making that conference nearly irrelevant.
Texas and Oklahoma are the power schools in the Big 12, especially in football. The conference already was down to 10 teams after four left last decade. They will be down to eight schools if Texas and Oklahoma leave:
– Iowa State
– Kansas State
– Oklahoma State
– Texas Tech
– West Virginia
TCU and West Virginia were recent additions to the conference after Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas A&M left. They might be able to easily leave given their lack of long ties to the conference. The more likely scenario would be the Big 12 hunting for other schools to fill the spots. Houston and SMU might be natural additions.
Oklahoma State and TCU have had good football programs for quite some time. Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas State, Texas Tech and West Virginia have also had their moments in recent history. The conference would still have some decent football, but without Oklahoma and Texas, they would completely lack a national respect. They would be regarded as a second-tier conference that wouldn’t factor into the championship picture in college football.