Posted by Tom Fornelli
After the Big 12 narrowly escaped its demise last summer, the remaining ten schools in the conference came to a gentlemen's agreement about staying together and keeping the Big 12 alive. Now that Texas A&M seems intent on leaving for the SEC, we can all see how binding that verbal agreemement between the schools last summer was.
Which is why Texas Tech president Guy Bailey feels that the conference needs to come up with something a bit more solid. As in signing your name on a sheet of paper and agreeing to a contract solid.
"It's incumbent on us to be aggressive in assuring the future of the conference," Bailey told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "If not, we're going to be in the same boat again next year or the year after.
"We do have to do get something to secure our future... and that probably means putting your name on the dotted line. Doing that in a legally binding way is pretty important."
In other words, this way when a school decides it wants to leave the Big 12 in the future, it's going to cost that school quite a bit of money to do so.
As for where the conference is now, Bailey said that the Big 12 needs to plan on Texas A&M leaving, and that means finding a school to replace the Aggies. The list of candidates are the same ones you've heard before: BYU, Houston, Notre Dame -- that noise you hear is Jim Delany laughing and saying "good luck with that" -- Air Force and TCU.
I'd say the most likely candidate to eventually join the Big 12 would be Houston. There's no doubt that Houston would like to move up from Conference USA to a BCS conference, and the state of Texas would love to add another one of its schools to a BCS conference as well. The concern with Houston is the school's athletic facilities, though the possiblity of both the basketball team and football team playing in the professional venues of the Houston Rockets and Houston Texans has been proposed as a solution.