The Bishin Cutter wrote:
B1G-PAC was going to be a game changer for sure. How big it could have been/could be (I think they'll reopen this in the not so distant future), I don't know. I doubt it would have stopped further expansion...it sounds like the B1G and PAC both had hankerings for something over twelve members, but just a matter of whom.
I think, for the Big XII's sake, that conference should be on its knees thanking their maker that the PAC is such a mess with this stuff. B1G-PAC could have expedited some further expansionary moves, but the PAC passing on the two Oklahoma schools absolutely kept that thing together. And, I think the PAC shot itself in the foot twice on that one: I think Texas would have come back to the PAC's table to work something out. When I read the PAC network figures not being overly impressive, or this concern for more eastern-time-zone-friendly slots...no sympathy. B1G-PAC and the OKs...they'll still call strikes even if you don't swing the bat, you know?
Each of these P5 conferences have schools resistant to change. Some are in the minority, but influential enough to largely get their way. It was alleged, Alabama for example, sat on it a week or better, before concuring to allow the SEC to move forward in the formal invitation to Mizzou.
I do have empathy for Oklahoma wanting to bring along Oklahoma State with any kind of conference transition, particularly with the PAC12, given the distance and the need/desire to have close-by companions. The politics of looking out for in-state sister schools is understandable. State governance doesn't want one moving to something better while the other could get left out in the cold.
There's a popular impression Texas can partake of most any option out there. That's true to a considerable extent. But does any option for Texas look near perfect? The PAC12 is not near utopia given the geographic ramifications and the existing structure of the PAC12. The current Big12 now has a more condensed footprint with fewer numbers. Even if the SEC became a real future option, Texas would be on the west end of the conference of which Texas A&M has already staked a claim. The BIG is predominantly upper midwestern and northeast now, and there would be 'connection' issues there too. The ACC? Texas would be an outlier in a conference that has several schools that don't look like a match in multiple ways.
If leaving the Big 12 is the goal, the best option, would seem to be the PAC12 with a cluster of other new additions (not necessarily all from the B12) that would connect well with the Arizona schools and can blend with Colorado, Utah, and the rest of PAC12. The PAC12 has to see it the same way as the schools coming into a new P12 format.
The Big 12 can still work well for Texas and Oklahoma. They'll have to make some strategic and calculated decisions, and YES, expand for the long-term. There are not really good or easy choices.
If one is looking for the Big 12 is to grow and to be intact 15 or 20 years from now, Bowlsby and team may not be the jockeys one wants riding those horses. These administrators will all be retired or transitioned by that time period. They will be heralded for 'keeping things together'. The next group of guys, facing the future, shall get blamed for any forthcoming break-ups because the overly-praised last group, failed to take modest risks and be innovative for changing times. Will the B12 ultimately have a desperate Marinatto situation (old BE) with a grand implosion; or an Aresco, moving-on, coping realistically, and rebuilding from the remnants for a new and lower profiled league?