Conference realignment hit college football like a freight train on Wednesday. The biggest news is Texas and Oklahoma looking at joining the SEC.
Processing those two not in the Big 12 is enough for everybody’s brain. The Red River schools have been the staple of the conference since it began in 1996. Them leaving is going to leave ripples for years to come.
Some of the biggest losers of this whole debacle are the remaining eight teams in the Big 12. Texas and Oklahoma may have their next destinations, but Iowa State, the three Texas schools, the Kansas schools, Oklahoma State and West Virginia are being left out to dry.
At least two schools are being proactive. According to Mike Vernon, Iowa State and Kansas are attempting to get on calls with the Big Ten. The Jayhawks are leading the charge with the Cyclones tagging along.
For Kansas, the biggest attraction is basketball. A conference such as the Big Ten values the sport more than others, possibly just a tier below football. Welcoming an elite program such as Bill Self’s would be an easy decision for Big Ten presidents/athletic directors.
Iowa State is in a position where its in-state rival already resides in the Big Ten. Will Iowa be like Texas A&M, where it does not want to share the state? Or will the CyHawk rivalry be embraced within the conference?
The two have been playing each other every year since 1977 after a 43-year hiatus. Neither has been in the same conference during that period.
Unlike Texas/Oklahoma in the SEC, nothing is close to being complete. If the Big 12 as we know it ends in 2022, Kansas and Iowa State will have at least a year to be voted into the Big Ten.