According to Orangebloods.com, my Wildcats may have a chance of staying in a competitive Big 12(-2) yet. The defections of Nebraska and Colorado threw the conference's future into doubt, and that future runs through Texas. While Texas continues to hold the process hostage, some favorable light shines:
-Colorado was really a parasitic school, and took more money from the Big 12 than it generated.
-The conference gets to renegotiate its TV contract in 2011, and as long as those marquee Texas/Oklahoma match-ups remain, revenues should double.
-That's right, double, putting payouts on par with SEC receipts.
-Texas will be allowed to continue the pursuit of its own college network (a desire that cast a shadow onto the Big XII's future even before the Big 10 mentioned its interest in Mizzou).
So the exodus of the Big XII South and subsequent conference demise may be more exaggerated than first thought. Opportunities for expanding the conference back to 12? The CEO of FedEx is prepared to pay upwards of $10 million a year to a BCS conference that will add Memphis (that's right Texas - even more money!), and the Big XII cements itself at the top of the college basketball world. In my own little fantasy world, we'd either raid Arkansas from the SEC for a second team, or (wait for it)…
take Notre Dame and slap the Big 10(+2) in the face. In examining these options, Arkansas is a natural rivalry and still plays its former Southwest Conference opponents (especially Texas) in pre-conference action regularly. The school also betrayed the SWC in bolting for the SEC in the 90s, demonstrating its willingness to switch sides.
However, I think the Notre Dame option is even more intriguing. It switches from one great basketball conference (Big East) to another, and gets $17-$20 million guaranteed every year for football. The football thing is important, because I don't see NBC resigning a huge contract for a consistent 7-game winner. Additionally, Notre Dame played Washington State in San Antonio in 2009 as a 'home game' in a shameless ploy to enter the fertile recruiting ground of Texas. Joining Texas' conference and establishing a firm pipeline, maybe creating its own TV station, and not having to deal with Big 10 administrators that have been reproving Notre Dame for years? Oh yeah, I think it could happen.