MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – It appears that the winds of change in college football conferences are getting ready to hit hurricane strength.
According to Chip Brown of Rivals.com, Oklahoma will apply for membership to the Pac-12 conference before the end of the month. Oklahoma State is also expected to do the same thing, Brown also reported.
Oklahoma has grown increasingly frustrated with the structure of the Big XII. After Texas A&M decided to leave the conference, Oklahoma was the last piece of glue holding the conference together. Once OU leaves, the Big XII conference is essentially dead.
OU’s problems start in Austin and end in Dallas. OU has become frustrated with Texas’ Longhorn Network and having the entire conference run through Texas, whether it’s coming from Dallas or Austin.
According to Rivals’ report, the OU board of regents will meet within two weeks to formalize plans to apply for membership to the Pac-12. If the Pac-12 accepts Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, the conference will have 14 members.
If Oklahoma does indeed leave, the remaining Big XII schools will be fair game to every conference in America. Texas and Texas Tech will be the first schools to receive calls, possibly from the Pac-12 as well, if the conference wants to expand further.
After that, the University of Missouri has been rumored to have interest from the Southeastern Conference and the Big East Conference. If Mizzou went to the Big East, the conference would also likely add Kansas and Kansas State.
Mizzou and TCU’s arrival in the Big East would strengthen the conference’s football strength and adding Kansas would only make the Big East stronger in basketball.
For Mizzou, Kansas and Kansas State, if TCU and Baylor both joined the Big East, it would keep the spigot open to recruiting in Texas, which has helped Mizzou ascend into a higher position in the college football world.
The main hold-up for Texas A&M joining the SEC has been the threat of legal action from Baylor and a few other Big XII schools. None of the remaining Big XII schools past Texas want the Big XII to dissolve because of the cash they might lose.
But, if the schools land in a new BCS conference that can renegotiate its own television rights contracts, it could bring in a big payday again.
The conference realignment shuffle is just getting started, so put on your dancing shoes because it could be a wild ride from here on out.