College football is on the verge of a serious makeover, thanks in large part to the recent rumors regarding both Texas and Oklahoma intending to leave the Big 12 Conference in favor of joining the SEC. With the two most relevant and prolific programs in the conference jumping ship, is the Big 12 dead?
There is no chance the Big 12 remains a Power 5 conference without Texas or Oklahoma.
— Barstool Hawkeyes (@BarstoolUIowa) July 23, 2021
Yes, This Move Will Officially End The Big 12
The conference appears to be living out it’s remaining days as a mere a formality while the remaining schools within the conference scramble to figure out their next move in response to the Texas and Oklahoma news. Should those two schools indeed transition to the SEC, college football will immediately go from having 5 power conferences to only having four.
The Big 12 without Texas and Oklahoma pic.twitter.com/XQp5usrnnC
— Blake Garman (@FrostedBlakes34) July 21, 2021
For anyone concerned about this news impacting the upcoming season, rest assured that will not happen. Deals of this level and magnitude rarely come together quickly, requiring an abundance of details and decisions to be sorted out and determined. In addition to that is the fact that contracts are involved as well, contracts that specifically require a minimum of 18-months notice of any intentions to leave and not renew the contract.
So with that in mind, there will still be a Big 12 Conference in the fall regardless of any decisions or deals that get made in the near future. That’s the good news if you are a fan of the Big 12. With that being said, the future does not look bright for the conference no matter how you try to spin it.
Also, how weird will it be if/when we eventually watch a farewell season for the conference, knowing that the teams will be competing for a Conference Championship in a conference that will no longer exist the following season. Strange times.
The Real Winner: ESPN
ESPN recently acquired 100% of the SEC television rights in deal that was made in December. That means this move in theory brings the Red River Rivalry to ESPN/ABC airwaves. I say “in theory” because there is the possibility that the two teams no longer face off annually, depending where each is worked into the SEC. However it seems ridiculous to think anyone would ever be dumb enough to bring such a storied rivalry to an end, especially given the financial benefits of having that game on the calendar every year.
But the fun doesn’t stop there for ESPN, there is also an additional bonus blow to Fox programming as a result of the move. In recent years Fox has been the station to air the ‘Red River Rivalry’ between Texas and Oklahoma, but that will no longer be the case once the two teams enter the SEC.
— austin_monthly (@Austin_Monthly) July 22, 2021
HONORABLE MENTION: ESPN finally has a way to get rid of the epic failure known as the Longhorn network.
IMAGE CREDIT: This work, “UT and OU”, is a derivative of “Texas Longhorns vs Florida Atlantic University” by jrandallc licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 and “RUF/NEKS & the Sooner Schooner” by Majdan licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0