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The Titanic that is the Big 12

The Big XII is dying a slow and painful death. So where does that leave Texas Tech?

NCAA Football: Baylor vs Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Even though Texas is the money maker for the conference, the Big 12 has only had relevance in recent years because of Oklahoma. Lately, there have been rumors surrounding Oklahoma’s interest in moving to the SEC.

It all started when Nebraska and Texas A&M left the conference. With the addition and Big 12 backing of the Longhorn Network, that just expedited the downfall. Texas may have all the money in the world, but they will lose relevance unless they make an expensive deal with CBS to broadcast their games in prime time.

This is not about my hatred for the Longhorns. It is all about how conferences work well together by having a united front and trying to support each school as fairly as possible. Even though each conference has its powerhouse, the Big 12 relies solely on UT. Oklahoma is the only thing keeping the Big 12 on TV. The conference is at the mercy of UT. It all comes back to the money.

It’s sad to see what has become of this conference. TCU was winning but couldn’t maintain its success. Baylor has fallen apart. Texas Tech is still the underdog upsetter. And Kansas is still Kansas. Kansas State, West Virginia and OK State are just floating ducks. The Big 12 will die.

For argument purposes, let’s say the Longhorns decide to go independent. That leaves us with two options - a Southwest Conference 2.0 or cherry-picking from other conferences. A Southwest Conference renewal with Texas Tech, Baylor, OSU, Rice, Kansas, Kansas State, UTEP, TCU, UNT, SMU, Houston and maybe slide in UNM and NMSU would be an uphill battle.

Unless, OSU, Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech step up and become consistent winners, the conference would struggle. One of the biggest negatives would be the toll it would take on recruiting classes for the schools which would impact the entire school’s athletic department.

The Southwest Conference would not be taken seriously, there would not be an abundance of network contracts and the schools’ notoriety would disappear. The argument of how to put stock in their regular season wins when deciding playoff bids would be a constant argument.

I prefer the latter - let the conference dissolve and cherry pick the schools. I could see OU and OSU heading to the SEC as a packaged deal. Texas Tech, TCU, Iowa State and Baylor head to the Pac-12. And Kansas, Kansas State and West Virgina go to the ACC. It would keep the recruiting classes competitive and the prime time broadcast opportunities still on the table.

The Longhorns are singlehandedly hurting other schools from going to different conferences. Don’t get me wrong, if Tech, Baylor and TCU could be consistent contenders, the appeal to add the schools to various conferences would outweigh UT’s agenda. Unfortunately, the Big 12 is a joke.