The Big 12 Sealed its Own Fate
When Oklahoma and Texas decided to bolt for the SEC, the Big 12 was dead in the water.
The Big 12 had some hard decisions to make:
FOLD? No one votes themselves out of existence.
MERGE? No one votes to merge without the guarantee of keeping their own jobs.
POACH? Of course this is what the Big 12 was going to do. It was no surprise when yesterday it was announced that the Big 12 had targeted Cincinnati, Houston, UCF and BYU. The surprise was that the Big 12 opted for expansion.
Of course the Big 12 is doing it wrong. Right now, the 8 remaining Big 12 schools are Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Baylor, TCU, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, and West Virginia. Within 6 months, Kansas and West Virginia are either going to bolt for the Big 10, or be rebuked by the Big 10. The Big 10 has ZERO interest in CIncinnati, Houston, UCF or BYU.
What the Big 12 should have done is merged with the America Athletic Conference and grabbed a few independents along the way to create a Super Conference, using the Big 12 Brand as a launching point. (Assuming WV and Kansas stay.)
Big 12 NorthEast
Big 12 SouthEast
Southern Miss (or another geographically Southeastern team stolen from Conference USA)
Big 12 Central
Big 12 Lone Star
In a 24 team league, you have a 4 division playoff and a well vetted Champion with an argument to play for one of the 4 spots in the hunt for the National Championship.
As it stands now, instead of one super conference, both the Big 12 and the AAC are both minor conferences, neither will make the college football playoffs......
Unless college football expands their playoff to 8 or more teams.
But for the short term, expect the National Championship 4-some in football to be one of these 3 iterations for the next 5-10 years:
SEC / Big 10 / ACC / Pac 12
2 SEC's - 2 of 3 ACC / Big 10 / Pac 12 Champs
2 SEC's - 2 of 4 ACC/ Big 10 / Pac 12 Champs (or Notre Dame)
Hypothetically, if you're the Playoff Committee, who would you take? A 13-0 Oklahoma State team from the Big 12 Super Conference, or a 9-3 Pac 12 Champion?
I am still not sure that the Presidents of the schools in the SEC, Big 10, Pac 12, and SEC aren't getting ready to break away from the NCAA all together. I think that could still happen, in football, as early as the end of this year.