I'm going to start this blog off by saying I am not a lawyer....but at first this Cease & Desist letter from the Big 12 to ESPN did not make much sense to my brain.
I tweeted this from the Unnecessary Roughness account:
And after reading through Thamel's tweets again, it appears the Big 12 is just begging ESPN to stop being mean to them? Is that something you can just do to a media company? "Please, stop speculating where our current members are going to go. We know we are screwed, but you gotta stop pouring oil on the fire." However, I then saw the full letter:
What stood out to me: "setting aside ESPN's potential involvement in the recent announcement by the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma." Commissioner Bowlsby is pretty much confirming the thought that ESPN made sure OU and Texas were going to head to the SEC. Bowlsby went onto say that ESPN has also been engaged with another member of the Big 12 in the efforts of helping them leave the conference.
The Big 12 is dead. There's not much else to say about that. They're just a dead man walking. Oklahoma and Texas were 90% of that conference and they are gone gone. Yes, we are being told they are going to wait until 2025 to join the SEC, but anyone with a brain knows that isn't true. Every other member of the Big 12 is making calls as we speak, I assume. What are they going to do, sit on the sideline and cross their fingers that it all works out? These athletic programs are businesses and they see the writing on the wall.
Here are a few future Big Ten schools: Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State.
Pac 12: Texas Tech, Oklahoma State.
ACC or Big Ten: West Virginia.
That leaves Baylor and TCU...I would say they're perfect fits in the Pac 12, but the Pac 12 has been hesitant to associate with religious universities. TCU is a better fit for the Pac 12 due to them not requiring students to take religious classes and is a disciples school. Baylor on the other hand? I just don't really see them getting into the Pac 12 due to the politics of being a Baptist school (this is not my personal opinion, just putting myself in the Pac 12 shoes).
Conference realignment is just starting. Texas and Oklahoma going to the SEC, and I don't want to understate this, is MASSIVE. Every other major school in the country is looking at them thinking: wait a second....where does this leave us? I wouldn't be shocked to see a super conference emerge as Clemson/FSU/Miami position themselves to be invited into the SEC would then force Notre Dame/OSU/Michigan to make big moves. Wild times are upon us in the college sports world....and all we can do is wait.