The Bishin Cutter wrote:
I'm going to say it: the Big 12 f'd up in bringing in TCU and WVU.
I think they hit the jackpot with WVU. Even though they don't crack any major northeastern markets, they do now have a great school that recruits into PA, OH, MD, and VA, which will serve as a pipeline for these other schools. And...who's going to change their mind on WVU? The ACC thinks them a clown college, and the SEC doesn't want them. Of the two, the ACC is more likely to change their mind, but is the ACC on pace to out-earn the Big XII with the addition of Notre Dame's ollies and loss of UMD?
TCU will be the mistake, although they have shown to out-recruit their larger flagship neighbors from time to time, and with TAMU opening Texas to the SEC, a school like TCU giving eastern schools a look-in was untenable. So, TCU served two purposes: it re-centralized the conference in Texahoma, and plugged up a potential pipeline.
Where this conference NEEDS to go in order to stay relevant is Florida and California. I know USF and SDSU aren't blue-ribbon material, but it puts the conference on both shores and opens the door to some much-needed exposure and recruiting territory. BYU and Cincy may be the better programs, but I don't see both of those happening.
TCU hasn't out-recruited any of their "flagship neighbors" if you mean for 1 or 2 recruits a year then fine but all in all they are far below Texas, A&M, and OU.
TCU just basically was the Big 12's way of staking claim to DFW. A&M will open some markets to the SEC but the only major market they can claim to split with the Big 12 is Houston which they only have control over with LSU. They have a share of DFW but a small one UT/OU/Tech/TCU/Baylor own that market completely.
The Big 12 schools (not Texas) were scared of expanding too far East or West, it was a fight to get WVU in the conference (both Texas/Tech wanted them) because they thought it was UT's way of showing Tech/OU/KU (need those 3 along with TT/OSU/KSU to break the GOR) how easy it was to travel in a larger conference like the PAC (The B1G only wants UT/OU/KU so I think that ship has sailed at least until 2025).
This sounds crazy but there's a bit of truth here. If the Big 12 starts talking about expanding a bit more and adding more ACC schools like the 4 southern fb schools and Pitt and they'll get used to the idea of flying all over and it won't make much of a difference if the planes are flying 1000 miles East or West. The PAC can step in before the expansion and offer to take the 6 best Big 12 members by selling a better TV deal and higher quality academic institutions for Texas and Kansas to associate with, and possible AAU membership to OU (not really selling anything to Tech/OSU/KSU they are just tag-a-longs).
Losing Iowa St/Baylor only hurts the ability to bus it to a few games and WVU swap for USC/OR/Stan/UCLA is more than fair. TCU hurts a bit more, good travel game for 4 of the 6, good market, good recruiting area, but they will still own that market, UT/OU will still play the RRR there and Tech will dump Baylor and start playing OSU there as they wanted to originally.
Now I'm not saying Texas wanted WVU so they could move to another conference in the future (they already could have done that) but the other schools like Baylor & Iowa St simply worried that it may be a future consequence of the move. If the Big 12 doesn't add any schools, I think Texas/OU/KU will eventually leave before 2025 when the GOR expires (already some restlessness coming out of Austin w/ A&M's SEC success and while its most about the team/coach it is spilling over into the LHN and conference realignment) but if they do I think they'll be stable until then (too hard to get a 60% vote at 12/14/16/18).
Fan of the Big 12 Conference, the Mountain West Conference and...