DALLAS -- Hal Wasson knows Texas football.

The distinguished, gray, 59-year-old coach of Lone Star high school power Southlake Carroll in suburban Dallas oversees a championship program. That means he has met every major college coach you can probably name.

"Art Briles comes in here every year," Wasson said from behind his desk this week. "Art sat right where you sat. We had the best conversations and small talk."

Not anymore. The Baylor scandal has more than Wasson wondering how the pursuit of college football excellence could ever get this skewed.

Competitively, the desire to win sometimes compels folks to do strange things. In the immediate aftermath, the Baylor scandal that cost Briles his job has to mean the Bears are diminished as a national power.

"Football-wise, does it affect them," Wasson asked. "It's got to. It has to."

When he arrived in 2008, Briles took the Bears from the absolute dregs of college football to a respected brand. But at what cost?

"If you dishonor your family name [and] program, your life is going to be really complicated," Wasson said. "And you know what? It just got really complicated for a lot of people."

On the brink of a huge decision, then, the Big 12 goes into this week's spring meetings already diminished itself as a football power because of Baylor.

The scene was set for these meetings a year ago when Oklahoma president David Boren said the league was "psychologically disadvantaged" without expansion.

Considering the scope of the Baylor scandal, how about competitively disadvantaged as well? At least in the short term.

"I think it's too early to speculate on that," Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. "They hired a terrific football coach [Jim Grobe] who is a person of impeccable integrity, so that's a good place to start."

Baylor is now without an athletic director (Ian McCaw resigned), a long-term coach (Briles has been suspended with intent to terminate), a president-turned-chancellor (Ken Starr was first reassigned and has now reportedly resigned) and an uncertain future.

How does that affect potential expansion candidates? While adding new schools doesn't seem likely for the Big 12, the vetting process may have just changed.

Are there any skeletons at BYU, Cincinnati, UConn, etc. that we don't know about?

Having one less national contender is not a good thing. It certainly complicates the agenda in Dallas this week. While it will be chock full of future talk on expansion, a conference network and a league championship game, the present is just as important.

Baylor finished fifth in the first College Football Playoff Rankings in 2014. If not for Ohio State's 59-0 win over Wisconsin that year in the Big Ten title game, the Bears might have played for the national championship.

Five of Baylor's 14 all-time finishes in the AP Top 25 have occurred since 2011. Its ongoing school record of six consecutive finishes in the top 25 is now at risk.

All of it is Briles' handiwork. If Baylor drops out of an expected top-15 start to 2016, that essentially weakens the Big 12's playoff chase.

Briles' recruiting class has fallen apart. Grobe, the former Wake Forest coach, was brought in as an acting coach, apparently for just the 2016 season.

One source told CBS Sports the restructuring the program has begun that may impact Baylor's competitiveness on the field. While that shouldn't be the first consideration at this point -- taking into account the victims -- it obviously has become a consideration.

There is also the prospect of continuing to fill a gleaming new home, McLane Stadium, that was the direct result of a that quick football turnaround.

This is slowly, surely going to become an issue for the Big 12 issue -- the smallest FBS conference. Simple math tells you a 10-team league can't afford to lose a national contender for any length of time.

This is different than Penn State, USC and Ohio State. All three programs received crippling NCAA penalties, but each was able to recover at some level because of tradition. There will always be kids who want to go to Penn State, USC and Ohio State.

"[Baylor doesn't] have the longstanding tradition," said Chuck Neinas, former Big 12 commissioner. "What will be interesting to see if [NCAA president] Mark Emmert has learned his lesson and doesn't decide he can be judge and jury. He's going to be in court again if he does."

Penalties similar to Penn State aren't expected. But CBS Sports has been told the NCAA does have a possible case through the traditional enforcement route. If players accused of/arrested for sexual assault didn't go through the school's disciplinary process (outside of athletics), that could be interpreted as extra benefits.

Truth is, no one knows for certain the future of Baylor football. Missouri dealt a protest that cost the university president his job. In the aftermath, the school has seen declines in giving and enrollment.

But should our first thoughts be regarding Baylor football?

"You couldn't hire him," Wasson said of Briles. "If what they're saying, even if it's not true, there's enough smoke there. Does it sadden me? He's obviously gifted."

Baylor has hurt the Big 12 in more ways than one. USATSI