The Big 12 Conference could be in peril: Oklahoma and Texas are in active discussions to join the Pac-12 Conference. The news might not be that surprising, but it confirms the sentiment that two of the biggest schools in college football are looking for a new home.
According to ESPN, there has been a lot of movement between the Pac-12 and both schools over the weekend. Texas president Bill Powers met with Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, Texas officials traveled to California to attend the UCLS game, and apparently final details are being worked out to expand the conference.
This is a big step past simple rumors and projections; it means the Pac-12 could be very close to extending invites to as many as four Big 12 schools. If Texas and Oklahoma were to confirm intentions on joining the conference, it is likely Oklahoma State and Texas Tech would also join. That would create a powerhouse conference with 16 teams spreading from Washington State down to Texas.
There is still a lot of negotiating that needs to take place between the four schools and the Pac-12, as well as the schools ensuring exit from the Big 12. As for what might happen to the Big 12, this could be a death-blow to a conference that was already struggling to retain schools. Recently Nebraska left to join the Big Ten and Colorado left to just the Pac-12, leaving the 10 schools that currently call the Big 12 home. With Texas A&M heading to the SEC next year, the dominoes are starting to really fall.
When it comes to conference power, the Big 12 currently has the best overall record in college football. Only two schools in the Big 12 have lost a game this year: Both Kansas and Missouri are 2-1 after the first three weeks of the season. Eight teams are undefeated, including Iowa State, Oklahoma State, and Texas at 3-0. When it comes to comparing the power conferences, the Big 12 is at the top of the list right now, but is still in danger of not even existing in 2012.
If the four Big 12 schools were to join the Pac-12 for next year, they would likely all be absorbed into the Pac-12 South. That would then allow USC and UCLA to join the Pac-12 North, likely leading to a complete name change. The divisions could easily turn into East and West in order to better differentiate where the schools are located.