Big 12 Needs To Keep Expanding: 22 Thoughts For 2022, No. 15

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Big 12 Needs To Keep Expanding: 22 Thoughts For 2022, No. 15

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Big 12 Needs To Keep Expanding: 22 Thoughts For 2022, No. 15

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22 College Football Thoughts for 2022, No. 15: The Big 12 made some great moves after losing Oklahoma and Texas to the SEC. Now it needs to do more.


22 College Football Thoughts For 2022

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2022 College Football Schedules: All 131 Teams

22 College Football Thoughts For 2022
22, College football is changing, and it’s okay
21, Texas & Oklahoma, you really want the SEC?
20. SEC is really, really good if you like it or not
19. James Madison, welcome to the show
18. Sun Belt is the cool conference
17. Transfer Portal will only get bigger
16. NFL, keep your hands off our announcers

15. Big 12, get bigger, better, stronger, or else …

The Big 12 adding BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF was great – it should’ve done that ten years ago, and add USF, too – but it’s not replacing Oklahoma and Texas with those four.

It’s not going to Moneyball its way past losing Damon and Giambi without doing a whole lot more to not only strengthen the conference, but to have an overall contingency plan.

The Big 12 is in a strange place – and yeah, I sort of mean the middle part of the country, because geographically it’s able to draw on other schools that make sense for the league … and for other conferences to pick off its members.

Basketball-wise the Big 12 is a rock star even without the two monster football Oklahoma and Texas programs, but football pays the bills.

Thumping the chest about Kansas, Baylor, and the last two basketball national titles is awesome, but who’s the football powerhouse? Oklahoma State? Baylor? Iowa State? Eventually BYU and Cincinnati? No, there isn’t one at the high-end SEC or Big Ten levels.

There’s a reason why the Big 12 is more than happy to dive into the College Football Playoff expansion idea. A Big 12 champion would almost always be in, and so would a 10-2 team that would likely be 8-4 or 6-6 in the SEC or Big Ten. A weaker Power Five football conference isn’t necessarily a bad thing in an expanded CFP.

Also on the plus side, that lack of any monster football programs will temper the expansion interests of other conferences, but soon the basketball side of the Big 12 is going to play a role.

There’s one giant whale out there that’s been eerily quiet.

The Big Ten can’t pick off schools from the ACC – that’s for a later rant; the ACC contracts are way too tough to get out of – and it’s not going to start sniffing around the Pac-12. That doesn’t leave a whole lot of options.

No, Kansas isn’t great at football – neither are Rutgers and Maryland. The Big Ten expanded the last time around because it wanted a footprint for the Big Ten Network – among other things – in the New York/New Jersey area and in Baltimore/Washington DC. As I’ll keep reiterating through all this expansion talk, the Big Ten wants THE school in a state.

It wants the massive big state Tier 1 research schools, and there are only a handful of them who might be available.

The University of Kansas is one – by the way, the rest of the Big 12 schools are Tier 1 other than TCU and, from the new batch, BYU – and yeah, it just won the national championship in basketball, and yeah, it helps to bring in the Kansas City and St. Louis markets, and yeah, it’s an easy and natural rival for Nebraska, Iowa, and most of the Big Ten West.

If you’re the Pac-12, there are only so many places you can go, too, without simply taking over the Mountain West. For a conference that likes basketball – even more than football in some ways – Kansas might start to look a whole lot better.

Most of the Big 12 schools have to be in a discussion at some Tuesday afternoon meeting in George Kliavkov’s office.


Big 12 2022 Schedule Analysis: 3 things to know
Baylor | Iowa State | Kansas | Kansas State | Oklahoma 
Oklahoma State | TCU | Texas | Texas Tech | West Virginia


To keep hammering this home, there’s prestige in having the University of (insert state name here), which is why West Virginia might have some interest for the ACC, but that’s likely low on the Big 12’s lists of concerns at the moment.

But let’s say everyone is standing pat and the current Big 12 configuration for a few years from now is solid. Again, what else you got, Big 12, football-wise? How can the conference learn from the Oklahoma and Texas blindside and go on the offensive?

USF should be part of the future plans – the Tampa market and huge enrollment helps – but there’s one big move the Big 12 can make that would make too much sense – beat the Pac-12 to the Mountain West punch.

Not to sound all geopolitical, but by landing BYU there’s a bridge that works for the Big 12 to expand west.

If the Big 12 wants to fire a shot across the bow, grab UNLV – Las Vegas is going to be to the Pac-12 what Indianapolis is to the Big Ten and Atlanta is to the SEC – or Nevada. Colorado State works awfully well – by the way, Nevada, UNLV and Colorado State are Tier 1 research schools – and then if it really wants to make some noise …

Nab San Diego State and that market and that basketball team and that football program with its shiny new stadium before the Pac-12 figures out that the school is a perfect fit – other than the Tier 1 research part.

Oh, and one more move that makes way too much sense. You’re missing a football powerhouse, Big 12? How about North Dakota State? Tier 1 research school, insane rabid base, and …

I know I’m getting way off the rails here.

Let’s give credit to a Big 12 that was considered all but dead by some after losing its two superstar members – and remember, that’s after losing Nebraska, Missouri, and Texas A&M over the last few years, too.

BYU was a fantastic get. So was Cincinnati, so was UCF, so was Houston. The conference is still alive, there’s a great energy around those four new schools coming in, and there’s a chance to keep on growing.

But it’s the world of college athletics. Either you’re eating, or you’re being eaten.

22 College Football Thoughts For 2022
22, College football is changing, and it’s okay
21, Texas & Oklahoma, you really want the SEC?
20. SEC is really, really good if you like it or not
19. James Madison, welcome to the show
18. Sun Belt is the cool conference
17. Transfer Portal will only get bigger
16. NFL, keep your hands off our announcers

2022 College Football Schedules: All 131 Teams

 

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