As much as Texas may express reservations about the Big12 design, and academics are brought into the equation as well, Texas will want and need to continue association with flag-ship, land grant, and high profile schools in the region.
We are in total agreement.
The Big12 offers them this.
What positive attributes did the MWC (prior to TCU joining) offer BYU? Were those same positive attributes not there in the 16 team WAC? Yeah, but there were negative attributes that BYU and the 7 schools sought to distance from. Why can this never happen again? I am being told repeatedly it can never happen to the Big XII.
For Texas to go to the PAC10 or Big10, distance and geography become a major issue, and may be a troubling factor to the level that the status quo looks better.
And that MAY be true. It may prevent a new conference from forming from the core of the Big XII (possibly in addition to other schools), but frankly, I do not see that as a given. To me the point of debating all of this is to see what UT and OU MIGHT be looking at as an alternate plan. What are the options? Why would they appeal?
While Texas may have a bit of a superiority attitude of themselves in terms of size and name, their track record in the Big12 does not suggest they dominate or that they are a bottom feeder. In this regard, athletics wise, the Big12 looks most appropriate. If Texas insists that they have a conference whereby dominance is guaranteed, then that is arrogance and another matter. Maybe Texas wants a structure whereby they prevail such as Florida State did in the ACC prior to that conference's recent expansion.
Does Michigan or UCLA have a superior attitude? Texas is the UCLA or Michigan of this region. That is just reality. That fact makes them look very closely at where they stand in the region and who they are affiliated with. It lead them to turn their backs on a lot of well regarded private schools regardless of a very storied history. That may lead them to make changes in the future if the Big XII member schools do not meet the criteria UT expects from their conference. I don't know why this has proven so controversial to state --- this is true of every Division 1 school out there!
The Big XII was a marriage of convenience that has worked out pretty well, but marriages do fail. I don't think it is just inconceivable that UT might have taken a look at life after the Big XII...actually, every Division 1 school probably has an idea of what they would do if they needed to change conference affiliations. The idea that UT hasn't imagined life without Nebraska and some of the other schools just seems crazy to me. These Administrators are, among other things, paid to think about this stuff.