Big 12 Insider: Are There Any Teams Left to Get Back to 12?

Bryan DietzlerSenior Analyst IJune 25, 2011

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01:  The Oklahoma Sooners warm up before the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl against the Connecticut Huskies at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Big 12 has now become the “Big Ten” thanks to the departures of Nebraska and Colorado and for the time being, there is no playoff or divisions in the conference. This has made fans of the Big 12 pretty upset as they are forced to realize that things just aren’t going to be the same in their favorite college football conference.

It’s not possible in the short term for the conference to find two other teams to join them and make them whole again. They may try to look for some teams to come to join them in the long term. What possibilities are out there? Are there any teams that might be willing to join the Big 12 in the future?

One good possibility, the TCU Horned Frogs, has already decided to join the Big East, so that team can be ruled out. They would have fit well in the Big 12 because of their status as one of the best teams in the NCAA over the past few seasons (which would make things interesting in the Big 12), and their geographical location (in Texas) would have made them ideal.

The SEC is one of the most popular divisions in college football, and it would be very difficult to pry a team away from that conference. But if there was a team that the Big 12 could get from the SEC that would make sense it would be the Arkansas Razorbacks. Geographically that would work out well, and the Razorbacks may want a better chance of getting to a national title, and they can do it in the Big 12. 

Arkansas has quietly been a pretty solid team over the past few seasons, and perhaps a change of conference would do them good. The only concern that they may end up having if they were to move is the money that they might lose as a result of playing in the SEC. The Big 12 would probably be able to give them the same kind of money, and they certainly would give them a shot at winning some games and some titles.

But pulling Arkansas out of the SEC would be hard.

Another team that could potentially be interested in a move to the Big 12 may be the BYU Cougars. Sure they are a religious institution and have stricter rules than the teams in the Big 12 conference do, but they just might be a good fit. BYU would be able to pick up some additional revenues that they would be missing out on if they weren’t a part of a conference with the kind of “power” that the Big 12 has.

The question is: Would the Cougars want to join a conference?  Financially, it does make sense, and geographically, it’s not too big of an issue as to where the Cougars are and where the Big 12 teams would have to travel to play them (and where BYU would have to travel to play the Big 12 teams). BYU is also not a part of the BCS and could be if they join the Big12.

That would be ideal for the Cougars.

What is very important for the Big 12 is that they get a full 12 teams back into that conference so they can return to normal and have the benefits of being a conference with a championship game.

Are there other teams out there that might be interested in joining the Big 12? It’s possible, but teams are starting to align themselves with other conferences (like TCU did) and there isn’t going to be a lot of teams to pick from. There are just two ideas for teams to come to the Big 12.

Do you think that there are other teams out there that might be interested in joining the Big 12?