The Big 12 was left out of the first ever Bowl Championship game, and lets be frank, this year was an oddity, when you could have legitimately had any 6 taking the 4 spots and two teams left out in the cold. Last year, for example- the number 5 spot was being held by a two-loss Stanford team, and I’m not sure there would be that much screaming about it. The year before that you could have had more of an issue with one loss teams Florida, Alabama, Oregon and Kansas State to go with the undefeated Fighting Irish. 2011 might have been more fun with LSU being undefeated, with one loss LSU, Oklahoma State and Stanford filling out the field. Two-Loss Oregon and Arkansas might have been fine being left out, but one loss-yet seventh ranked- Boise State might have pitched a fit.
So you can see that this year is a bit of an outlier on having too many choices for a playoff tournament.
The present issue is that the Big 12 is out six million bucks from not being selected. I have to think that if TCU had done what Oregon did, and gotten a rematch with the team that beat them, they would have easily taken the number 4 spot. I wondered if even been named the Co-Champ instead of Big 12 Champ they damaged the case of both teams. I can see the head to head argument coming into play, and countered with losing to a 6-6 team being a talking point. I do think it came down to 5 conferences, with 4 clear conference champions and 2 co-champions.
So how does Big 12 (with ten teams) fix this? The simple answer is they have to add a conference championship game.
The harder question is who, and can they convince ESPNTexas to backup a bit on their stance of being the BIG FISH instead of just a major player in a major conference.
Arkansas would be a major get, but lets face it, there is no chance any team is leaving the SEC without a court order and a lawsuit wanting to stay.
My first order of business is not getting the two teams I need to get to 12, but the three teams I need. The Big 12 need to dismiss the West Virginia Mountaineers from the conference. It was a stupid move to add them in the first place, and remains ignorant, and really does nothing to open additional recruiting grounds.
Here are a list of the teams I am Looking to invite.
Colorado – Lets be honest, they are not leaving the Pac-Whatever, but I have to make the phone call, right? There are a ton of teams that the Pac-12 can use to replace Colorado, but unless they are really hating the travel, and just want to get away from those awesome California recruiting grounds, but swapping them out for Texas grounds might make them answer the call. I’ll go ahead and say that Colorado rejects the offer, for simplicity sake, but still, I have to make the phone call.
1.5 Billion Endowment, 53K Football Stadium Capacity, 11K Basketball Capacity.
Houston – Major Metro Area. Also a former member of the SWC, but they get in. Not only do they increase the Texas footprint, but 4th biggest media market? Yes please.
716M Endowment 40K Football and 8.5K Basketball.
La Tech – Don’t laugh, La Tech is more than just the school of record of your favorite writer, but bear with me here. La Tech goes through cycles of being a mid-major to recon with and utterly useless, they also put a fair amount of talent in to the professional ranks of several sports. The problem here is Ruston is so small a fanbase, and has major issues pulling any kind of love from nearby Shreveport, who is not only our 100th biggest city, but also doesn’t have a D1 or even a D2 team. Heck they have a D-III and a NAIA school to give them a collegiate sports outlet.
64 Million Endowment 27K Football, 8K Basketball
New Mexico – New Mexico might be an odd addition here, but hear me out, they are a growing school, and already have a large basketball arena and a decent sized football stadium, but adding New Mexico is more of a forward thinking option. The SouthWest is growing by leaps and bounds and a good bit of them are coming up from the South. The Big 12 is not going to expand into California and/or Nevada or even Arizona, so the next best thing? New Mexico. Its going to have fun with all the Texas schools and the travel, but even if New Mexico doesn’t become a major football power, I do think that they can be a viable recruiting ground as the population shifts that way.
503M Endowment 40K Football, 15K Basketball.
Rice – Rice is a potential juggernaut. Its amazing this school is not more. This school is flooded with money, in a major market, has a winning history, does great in baseball and female sports. The biggest question is why are they not solid in basketball at the very least. Rice is on the short list of whom I could invite, but lets be honest, I’m only going to take one Houston school, and its not going to be Rice. But who knows what could happen if they dip into that four and a half BILLION cash fund. Its not often that Ivy League schools are jealous of your balance sheet.
4.5 Billion Endowment 47K Football, 5K Basketball
SMU – Part of the old SWC, but lets be upfront, they still have a lot of baggage, but the bigger issue is they don’t even play baseball. In fact, they only play 6 major mens sports, and while they do play 10 out of the 11 womens sports run by the AAC, they only add Equestrian to that total. That just doesn’t scream major conference contender.
1.2 Billion 32K Football, 9K Basketball.
Tulsa – My biggest problem here is do I really want three Oklahoma Schools? If the SEC was able to poach one of the other two, I would snap up Tulsa, but they didn’t so I won’t. I’d almost try and get Nebraska back before I’d take a third Oklahoma team.
885 Million Endowment 30K Football, 8K Basketball.
Tulane – Since there is no chance LSU is coming over, Tulane at times can be the next best thing, but they have fallen on harder times lately, and even though I am more than happy to have a school of Tulane’s academic standing, and an entry point to the southern Louisiana recruiting grounds, if the Big 12 is able to succeed as it should it won’t matter. Louisiana kids are still going to go to LSU if they are asked, for the most part, and the chance to play at Tulane isn’t going to change that.
1.05 BILLION Endowment.
30K Football, 17K Basketball.
UTEP – The University of Texas-El Paso might be most famous for Tim Hardaway than for anything else, but one advantage it does have is its on the western tip of Texas, and has a natural rivalry with New Mexico, and as I stated, is in a growth area. Lets also state the fact that it has HUGE stadiums that it can fill. I can host NCAA tournament games here with no issues, and as the Big q2 grows, I’m going to need places where I can have host sites for my non-football sports.
179 Million Endowment 51K Football, 12K Basketball
I can’t take the 2 Louisiana schools, simply because LSU has just dominated that state, and more than likely always will. I’m not taking a school that doesn’t even play baseball, and only 1 Houston Schools, and I have to do whatever I can to make sure that all the good student athletes go there.
So I’m taking
UTEP – unless Colorado makes a jump.
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