- Dawson Haywood
This scenario is something that you really only see in old NCAA Football video games whenever you were able to create your own conferences. As the NCAA moves into the NIL (Name, image, and likeness) era, athletic programs are going to do what they seem fit to enable themselves to attract top recruits.
Very quickly we have seen the impact of athletes having the freedom to make money off of their own name, image, and likeness. As a matter of fact, Ok Listen Here Sport Media will be announcing their own partnership with an NCAA athlete on Monday, July 26. We have already seen a few athletes profit immensely off their NIL. Notably D'Eriq King out of Miami and Bryce Young, Alabama's BACKUP quarterback.
OU and Texas joining the SEC elevates the value of joining either program especially if either team is successful in SEC play. What sounds like a more entertaining game to you? OU vs Georgia or OU vs OSU? Now I know some of my Okie readers will argue OU vs OSU but lets be real... OSU has only beat OU three times since the turn of the century and since 1904 OSU has been on the winning end of the Bedlam Series only 18 times. That series is just a reminder to OSU that they're garbage and will always be garbage.
ANYWAYS back to the main point... With OU and Texas entering the SEC it is obvious that the Big 12 will have to adjust as their two primary moneymakers have left for pastures new. The new teams that will be in control of the Big 12 would likely be Iowa State, TCU, and maybe West Virginia if you catch them on a good year. The Big 12 has always been a powerful conference... thus why they are a Power 5 Conference... and with the absence of OU and Texas they may need some other teams to fill the void. The conference will have to do some recruiting of their own. We could see a few new teams enter the Big 12 and keep the conference relevant.
UCF would be a great fit to join the Big 12 as they are constantly feeling disrespected for being left out of the Playoffs each year even though they are not in a Power 5 Conference. Joining the Big 12 would elevate the program's chances of competing for a National Title, though with the new proposed 12 team playoffs they could easily meet the cut if they won the AAC.
The second team I would add to the Big 12 is Boise State. I thing we can all agree that a program that prides themselves on having one of the highest win percentages of college football should probably be in a Power 5 conference to see how good they actually are.
This move could potentially create a Power 3. If you are a program like Clemson who dominates the ACC each year why would you want to stay in the conference knowing you could attract better recruits, make more money, and still compete at a high level? The ACC would have their Power Conference title diminished. The Big 10 would rival the SEC. And the PAC-12 is being questioned as to whether or not one can consider them a power conference even without these changes.
Programs like Vanderbilt, Arkansas, and maybe Missouri may find themselves in a different conference as the SEC tries to make space for better competition. The Power 3 would dominate the college football landscape. SEC, Big 10, and maybe PAC-12 football might would be the closest thing to Pro-Football without actually being Pro-Football. Lower conferences are going to struggle to land top recruits and generate quality competition. There are pro's and con's, but I am excited because we will truly see who the best of the best programs are each and every year.