Reports are now circulating that Texas A&M has accepted an offer to move to the SEC for the 2012-2013 academic year and that Florida State will follow one year later. Like 14 months ago, the dominoes are starting to fall, and the administration at BYU could have to deal with the possibility of getting a call from Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe to help hold the league together.
The scenarios coming out are that the Big 12 will now play the 2012 season as a nine-team league and then move forward with the prospect of inviting at least one replacement institution for 2013-2014. While Arkansas and Notre Dame top that wish list, one Big 12 school official made it known their acceptance would be unlikely and that it could come down to BYU, Louisville or Houston.
What will likely be contingent is if league kingpin Texas and its Red River Rivalry partner Oklahoma make a commitment to remain together. This would likely hold Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Baylor, Missouri, Iowa State and the Kansas schools in the alignment, despite the rumors of the Pac-12 and Big Ten further circling the carcass.
Many have wondered if Texas would go independent in such a scenario and follow BYU, but given the logistics of finding a league to accommodate its other sports programs it is unlikely, and Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds has always seemed to acquiesce and not be as pushy when confronted with objections.
Beebe has likewise mentioned the NCAA when allowing what the Longhorn Network and BYU channel could broadcast seemingly in the same sentence at times.
BYU has shown little movement filling its 2013 schedule and beyond, as much of this surrounds the likelihood of a possible conference invitation, and that only makes sense since independents typically have nine or 10 firm games on their schedule (like Notre Dame) contracted by this point for two to three years out.
Like many, I’ve questioned how long BYU would remain independent and BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe continually gets questioned on this matter. It is now quite likely Holmoe and his boss, BYU president Cecil O. Samuelson, will find themselves seriously considering a league invitation in a matter of a few weeks, if not before the end of this month.