After what appeared to be a slam dunk in getting Pac 12 teams to commit to the Big 12, it appears that nothing may happen.
Whether it happens tomorrow, next month or ever, the Pac 12 is officially on life support. If one more team leaves, it seems as though the conference will surely crumble. Despite this sounding awful, it is a much better situation than the conference appeared to be in just a week ago.
Last week, it appeared almost certain that Colorado was going to join the Big 12 with likely some other combination of Utah, the Arizona schools and perhaps even Oregon and Washington. Now, it seems as though everyone is content to sit back and see how media deals are presented and if anyone else nationally moves.
With this being the new reality, it begs the question, can the Big 12 survive if they stay only at 12 teams? The exact answer, like so many others surrounding college football right now, is nobody knows. However, if the conference does want to survive and be a top tiered conference they probably need to achieve most, if not all of the following in the next five years as the SEC and Big 10 try to flex their muscles even more.
- Win a National Championship
- Make the College Football Playoff at least three times
- Have a winning record against Big 10 and SEC schools
- Secure a good media deal
- Have two of the new additions in the Top 25 regularly
If all five of those things happen, it is easy to see how the Big 12 would remain relevant in the new reality of college football.
For BYU Football in particular, what they can do is try to rise to the top of the conference from day one so that if for whatever the SEC/Big 10 decided to actually go with the Top 36-40 teams (dropping teams like Vanderbilt, Rutgers and Indiana) then the Cougars could at least be in the conversation, especially with their great media market (Mountain Time Zone).
Again, all of this could change tomorrow. Nobody saw the UCLA/USC announcement coming, so who is to say that expansion may actually end up happening after all. But if it doesn’t, and the Big 12 can play its cards right, they may just survive.