Here’s a bold suggestion.
The Big 12 received a bunch of heat for choosing not to expand last Monday. The announcement capped a three-month expansion exploration process that involved 20 potential candidates for inclusion. After all the talk, Big 12 members decided the league should remain at 10 schools for the time being.
Whether or not that decision was wise is debatable. But Gil LeBreton of The Star-Telegram wrote in a piece published last Thursday that the Big 12 would be best off having Texas leave and luring LSU, Texas A&M and perhaps Arkansas into the fold.
Here’s part of LeBreton’s column:
The Big 12 could survive if only Texas leaves. But it would have to be aggressive and innovative in its TV negotiations. Fox and ESPN are only two networks.
If Texas left, wouldn’t there be some TV network that would help bait a lucrative hook that might lure, say, A&M, LSU and either Nebraska or Arkansas into a true Big 12 dozen?
If you’re laughing, you probably thought Texas A&M would never leave Texas, either.
This is a fascinating take. Still, there are a few holes in his reasoning.
First off, it seems unlikely that the Big 12 could survive in any form without Texas, which LeBreton says holds “a disproportionate share of power” along with Oklahoma. But it’s interesting to consider the league without the Longhorns, and the schools LeBreton mentions make sense geographically.
Nonetheless, it seems like a long shot that Texas A&M would consider going back to the Big 12. The Aggies appear to be in a better place after moving to the SEC in 2011.
LSU and Arkansas also seem to be snug fits within the SEC. A Big 12 without Texas would lack prestige, and selling the Tigers and Razorbacks on a new-look league would be a tough task.
Chances are, we won’t see the Big 12 without Texas for a long time, if ever.