Let the hypotheticals continue.
Let’s go ahead and get this out there. I would love to see Oklahoma State stay in the Big 12, but it comes with a condition. Before we get to this condition, I should tell you something ... I’m vastly intrigued by the thought of OSU in a conference other than the Big 12. Kyle P. over at PFB wrote up a mock schedule for OSU in the SEC, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t pique my interest.
From the article, the 2020 schedule goes like this:
Week 1: Oregon State
Week 2: Tulsa
Week 3: South Alabama (it’s the SEC way!)
Week 4: at UTSA
Week 5: at Arkansas
Week 6: Tennessee
Week 7: BYE
Week 8: at LSU
Week 9: Florida
Week 10: Texas A&M
Week 11: BYE
Week 12: at South Carolina
Week 13: at Ole Miss
Week 14: Bedlam
(Trigger warning: It’s about get reeeal expansion-y up in here.)
The Big 12 in its’ current format will die. If the conference doesn’t expand, a Big 12 team not wearing crimson or burnt orange will almost assuredly have to go undefeated to make the playoff. We’ve seen it happen once already. Can the Big 12 afford that?
The flip side of that argument lies in the caliber of teams available for expansion. The possibility is there for the Big 12 to expand, but at what cost? Should the conference add two more teams just to give itself a better chance at a playoff? If the conference does choose to expand, they mustn’t sacrifice the integrity of the conference by adding two teams who ultimately water down the strength of the conference.
But here’s the kicker ... The most logical team in the long list of candidates is not BYU. It’s Houston. If we’re looking specifically at what a school brings to the conference on the football field and its’ relative location to the rest of the conference, then Houston is a no-brainer. This won’t, and shouldn’t, ever happen though. Houston brings nothing to the table except for a decent football team.
So what should the Big 12 do? Do you let the 10-team, round robin style run its’ course? Do you expand and put the integrity of the conference in jeopardy? Do you add Houston and run the high risk of pissing literally everyone else off?
It’s quite a conundrum. It seems as if the Big 12 has become the laughing stock of college football recently. National writers don’t respect the depth of the conference and scoff at the idea of expansion. If the opportunity is there for OSU, should they bolt to greener pastures? The SEC is arguably the most logical move for OSU, but don’t take my word for it. I polled our readers on Twitter and asked them what they thought. Should Oklahoma State move to the SEC?
Check out some of these numbers.
For tomorrow: would you like to see #okstate jump to the SEC?— CRFF (@CowboysRFF) August 10, 2016
With a small majority of the votes coming in as “Yes,” a move to the SEC could cause a rift in the fan base. I imagine the “No” votes fall in one of two categories, the first being inadequacy. Could OSU even compete in the SEC? Would they be doomed to become the next Missouri of the SEC? Or, the same voters fall in the demographic that would like to just see the Big 12 stick together. In that event, I posed another question, and the results are even more interesting.
If #okstate were to leave the Big 12, where should they go?— CRFF (@CowboysRFF) August 10, 2016
In this case, the Big 12 no longer exists. It is not an option. Over 60 percent said they would like to see OSU jump to the SEC. Just over 20 percent said they’d prefer the PAC-12, and let’s face it, the Big Ten would be an awful fit for OSU.
OSU fans are more open to the SEC if the Big 12 doesn’t exist. In the event that the Big 12 eventually dissolves, and I believe it will, the SEC is not only the best option, but it suddenly becomes more appealing. This is just a small piece of the pie, but the numbers speak clearly. If the Big 12 dies, then the SEC is the best, most logical option.