The writing appears to be on the wall in the Big 12. The last Big 12 member remaining may want to turn off the lights on their way out. With the SEC reportedly on the verge of officially adding Oklahoma and Texas to its membership, other schools in the Big 12 may be wise to be proactive about securing their long-term conference future.
The Big Ten and ACC could be in the best positions to take advantage of any fallout from a Big 12 implosion, but after missing out on the Sooners and Longhorns, the list of ideal and perfect additions to the conference isn’t exactly long for either. But that doesn’t mean the Big Ten won’t be willing to make something work out with at least one Big 12 member should the opportunity present itself.
Oklahoma State is reportedly a Big 12 member that has started to work out its exit strategy from the Big 12, with the Big Ten mentioned as a possible landing spot. Oklahoma sports anchor Dylan Buckingham reported on Saturday, via Twitter, the Big Ten has been “receptive and is looking into how a partnership could work.”
It makes total sense for Oklahoma State to line up all of their potential options, and joining the Big Ten would be a solid option to keep on the table. As noted by Buckingham, the AAU accreditation not being a supposed deal-breaker would make things easier for Oklahoma State, but only if the Big Ten feels that the addition of the Cowboys is worth it.
Of course, the addition of just one team from the Big 12 probably would not make much sense. But pairing the Cowboys with another solid option from the Big 12 would. But without Texas and Oklahoma as options, the next best options would appear to be schools like Kansas (great for basketball, not so much for football), Iowa State (pretty good rivalry with Iowa), or West Virginia. Adding WVU would be fun for Penn State as it would rekindle one of Penn State’s best regional rivalries from before Penn State’s Big Ten days.
A rumor that Kansas had a call set with the Big Ten was mildly entertaining while it lasted, but that was debunked by multiple media outlets over the weekend.
The next week or so will be fascinating to watch unfold. If there is one thing we have learned from realignment changes in the past, the dominos can fall pretty quickly once the first couple drop. So whenever Texas and Oklahoma determine their fate, expect some crazy times in whatever is left of the Big 12. And expect the Big Ten expansion rumors to heat up quickly.