Texas, Oklahoma Potential Move To SEC Will Have Impact On Mountain West
Here we go again.
Conference realignment, again, yes, again.
Conference realignment is always a thing this time of year. Within the Mountain West, there were serious talks about Boise State go the AAC but those came up short.
Now, the big boys are talking and we mean the BIG BOYS, there is a report from the Houston Chronicle that Texas and Oklahoma are in talks to join the SEC, and a decision could come “within a couple of weeks.”
— Brent Zwerneman (@BrentZwerneman) July 21, 2021
This would make the SEC the first true super conference of 16 teams and adding two of the biggest brands in all of college football. While there is reason to be a skeptic of this, and one of those is because the Big 12 has a Grant of Rights deal through 2025, meaning that any school that leaves would forfeit future media rights money through that year.
However, that could be negotiated and the Sooners and Longhorns write a big fat check to the Big 12 and leave early, and we are talking big and one could imagine close to nine figures per school to leave.
There is more to this as the Rivals sites OrangeBloods.com is reporting this is a legit possibility.
Talking to sources right now about Texas and OU possibly headed to the SEC.
There's definite fire, not smoke.
— Geoff Ketchum (@gkketch) July 21, 2021
Also, when asking Texas higher ups they did not deny these reports, so there looks to be something about this.
I reached out to a high-ranking Texas official and asked for comment about the school's interest in joining the SEC. The response was "nothing to say." Typically, officials are eager to shoot down false reports. Might be smoke to this fire.
— Anwar Richardson (@AnwarRichardson) July 21, 2021
This would be a huge shift in college football and the expected 12-team playoff is a factor because teams no longer have to be perfect to be in the current four-team model. A conference champion is in — assuming top six which the SEC would be every year — plus multiple at-large teams even with three losses. Plus, money, and a whole lot of money.
What about the Mountain West
If this were to happen it would leave the Big 12 with eight teams:
- Iowa State
- Oklahoma State
- West Virginia
- Kansas State
- Texas Tech
The Big 12 has a big enough name to keep going but the two biggest names are out the door and the value is basically what MoviePass was once it hit rock bottom — worthless.
So… the Mountain West could be in a prime position to build up its roster of schools but there would be competition from the AAC and the Big Ten.
The latter makes so much money but getting a footprint in Texas would be huge for recruiting, even if the Bears and Horned Frogs are small private schools, which is the complete opposite. With the Big Ten printing money and owning the Midwest already, they could go after Kansas and Kansas State but the value isn’t really there, even with Jayhawks basketball being one of the top five brands on the hardwood.
The AAC would try to get a few schools and West Virginia makes a lot of sense and maybe they stop there and stay at 12 teams. Or with schools in Texas already with Houston and SMU, going to 14 with TCU and Baylor as well makes sense.
The Mountain West should get in on this and try for at least 14 or maybe even 16. Getting BYU should be a must at this point — we have discussed why recently — plus at least one other team. The league is likely to not make mega bucks with whoever they add but if they go to 14, Texas Tech makes sense geographically.
IF the Big 12 dissolves with Texas and Oklahoma leaving.
What should the Mountain West do to bolster the league?
— Mountain West Wire (@MWCwire) July 21, 2021
Sixteen is more fun and allows for some creativity, so the league adds BYU and Texas Tech to get to 14 and then go after a combination of either TCU and Oklahoma State to bolster football, or go out of the box and get Kansas and Kansas State with the Jayhawks there for hoops. However, Kansas football is toxic right now and beyond them just being awful at football.
The best option might be 16 and get two consistently solid football schools in TCU and Oklahoma State, plus bring back BYU and Texas Tech which has had its good fortune.
This would take a lot of creativity from Craig Thompson to make this move and none of the eight schools potentially left in the Big 12 want to be the last one standing and need to be independent or join an inferior league.
One other option that would hurt the Mountain West is the Big 12 name itselfe. What if the league can still command over $30 million per year in TV money even without Texas and Oklahoma, which seems doubtful, the league could pull in schools like BYU, Boise State, San Diego State, UCF, Cincinnati and other currently really good Group of Five teams to get back to 12 or even 14.
Commissioner, you are on the clock.