Pac-12 Expansion: Why Pac-12 Would Be Wise to Take Kansas Rather Than Texas Tech
It seems that the next dominoes to fall in the conference realignment and expansion mess will be the teams selected out of the dying Big 12 to move into the Pac-12.
The initial report was that the four teams being targeted were Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. Now there is talk that the fourth team might actually be Kansas rather than Texas Tech. The Jayhawks would bring much more to the table and should be the choice of the conference.
The first reason is simple geography and not in the traditional sense when it comes to athletic conferences. Generally when we discuss geography, we are talking about how well a new team fits with the teams that are already there.
In this case, we are talking about the conference's geographical reach. If the Pac-12 were to snag Texas, which we assume will be their first choice, there is no need to take Texas Tech.
The amount of fans and in turn, viewers, you would add from bringing Tech in would be small compared the amount of fans you would be bringing in by just adding Texas.
Then there is the media market issue. You aren't adding much by bringing in a team based on Lubbock, Texas. Granted, Stillwater and Norman, Oklahoma aren't big markets either but both the Oklahoma City and Tulsa markets cover the schools extensively.
You can't say the same about Tech. They are so isolated that the larger Texas markets don't give them much coverage.
Adding Kansas would open the Kansas City market to the conference. It's a fairly large media market and Pac-12 coverage would start to really cut into coverage in Big Ten country.
The biggest reason, though, is about the level of competition. By adding Texas Tech, you are adding a middle of the pack football team and a middling basketball program. With Kansas, you have a poor football team, but a historically good basketball team. Football drives these decisions, but the Pac-12 could really use a new basketball power.
If you think the college football world has been shaken up, you haven't seen anything yet. The next move will be huge as it will establish the first 16-team super conference. If the Pac-12 is smart, they will make Kansas, not Texas Tech part of that conference.
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