According to a report in the Austin American Statesman, the Big XII is "done". The report states that Texas A&M will leave the conference for the SEC and that both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will leave for greater conference stability in an even more expanded PAC 12 (14?). Representatives from the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma met on Sunday with Texas hoping to find a way to convince Oklahoma to embrace the Big XII and stabilize it. Instead, they found Oklahoma already engaged in the application process for the PAC 12.
In fact, before the Longhorns party had arrived, OU's board of regents had instructed school President David L. Boren to prepare a document to formally apply for admission to the Pac-12, a source close to the situation said.
With the loss of both Oklahoma schools and Texas A&M, the Big XII would be all but finished unless Texas spearheads some massive movement of teams into the Big XII. Teams such as SMU, Houston, or Tulsa. But that doesn't appear to be Texas' desire either. Texas does not want to be an independent, and instead has had at least preliminary talks with the ACC of all places about what it might be able to do to accomodate the Longhorns, and more importantly, The Longhorn Network. Texas has no plans to get rid of the network and for that reason is unlikely to head to an expanded PAC 12. But Texas also has no desire to be an independent and will work hard to avoid it.
They don't want to be independent, and the one thing they do know is their conference options are about to be reduced by one. If the Big 12 implodes, Texas would have to decide between pushing for membership in the Pac-12 or Atlantic Coast Conference or turning independent, an option Dodds has always strongly opposed.
"Texas' first choice is to keep the Big 12 together. That's always been and continues to be Plan A and B," a well-placed Texas source said. "However, they know that if Oklahoma and Oklahoma State leave, the conference is no longer viable. Then it's time to look at Plan C."
What does this mean for the Big East? One the Big XII officially dissolve, the SEC would likely invite Missouri to be its 14th member. At that point, the Big East would then be free to try and lure three more members to get the football side to 12 and host a conference championship game. The only question then is which three teams make the most sense for the Big East?
Kansas would be a virtual lock to be a target of the Big East but beyond that there are no schools that are automatic locks. Would the Big East take Texas Tech if Texas did decide to go independent? Lubbock is very remote geographically, so, to the extent that geography even matters in conferences, that would be a problem. If the goal is to attract larger television markets and drive up the value of the television contract, what would that mean for former Big XII members like Iowa State and Kansas State? You could probably make a better case for Baylor in that regard, but only marginally. Also, will there be political pressure applied to keep Kansas and Kansas State together? Would the Big East also consider adding a combination of former Big XII schools and up coming Conference USA schools like Houston, East Carolina, or UCF?
Assuming that Missouri lands in the SEC, what would you like to see the Big East do to get to 12 football teams?