The talk lately has been all about which teams the Big 12 should add to save the conference from oblivion. Many writers believe expansion is a waste of time (I would link one but there are TOO DAMN MANY!). This is because either we are rushing to conclusions based on only two years of data from the playoff or because adding two teams from the bargain bin options won't save the conference from annihilation. So lets look at that: If the Big 12 ends where should OSU go? Back in 2011 the talks were that OSU would join OU, Texas and Texas Tech in the Pac-12. Now the talk is that OU would be off to the SEC. Most in the state would prefer OU and OSU to stick together in realignment, but is that really the best option?
BUY OR SELL? OSU SHOULD NOT FOLLOW OU IF THE BIG 12 DISBANDS
If the rumors that OU would go to the SEC if the Big 12 ends are right, then no thanks. For one, there's no way of knowing which division OSU would get stuck in. If it's the West, we get to play the gauntlet schedule of Alabama, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, and Auburn every year. That might sound fun to some, by I see at least one loss every year, combined with the loss to OU that we've come to expect. You could be optimistic and say the team would get better, but other than one Johnny Manziel Heisman season, that hasn't worked out so well for Texas A&M and they are raking in top recruits. We could end up in the East which would be a much easier path to the conference championship. However that's more travel for the team, and we would rarely play a game with a Texas team unless we scheduled one in non-conference. That would be a killer on recruiting, because I'm not going to believe a bunch of top Louisiana and Florida players are going to flock to OSU to make up the difference. OSU is better off sticking with Texas teams to hold it's recruiting grounds. I expect the Pac-12 will grab the Longhorns and another Texas school, so I would hope to tag along with them.
It's more than just tradition.
Look, I don't enjoy losing to OU. None of us do, and it happens far too often. I love the idea of not losing to our bitter rivals so often, of not just hoping that this year we might actually pull it off. But, there's one thing about that series that is unlike any other.
I had a conversation with a friend of mine who's an OU fan after that 2014 Bedlam Victory. I explained the one thing that Cowboy fans have that Sooner fans don't: OSU could have a bad season like 2014 (and that 5 game losing streak was one of the worst things ever) and end with a Bedlam win, and the whole season was saved. One game. One victory. We ended 6-6 and felt like we won the Big 12. OU doesn't have that game anywhere on the schedule. Not against OSU. Not against Texas. They expect to win every game, and can't fathom not doing so. There is no win that saves a bad season for them. Again, it's not like I enjoy losing to them. But I'm not sure we could ever schedule a win that would feel as good as beating them. Sure if we went our separate ways we might still face off now and then, and we'd probably win one now and then. But it wouldn't be the same. It wouldn't have that same feeling. You know the one; the pure ecstatic, blindly-happy, jumping up and down, entire off season is made joy of beating OU in football is something I'm not sure I could live without. I hate losing to them, but not as much as I love beating them. OU fans will mock this post, laugh saying "haha silly OSU fan never wins, doesn't expect to", but I think that's kind of the point they don't get. That our joy of beating them, is something they will never feel.
So what do you think Cowboy faithful? Stick with OU if the conference collapses and likely lose to Bama, OU and another SEC team every year? Or is the joy of beating OU when it happens worth keeping this 110 year tradition alive each and every year?