Oklahoma State in a Modified Throwback to the Big Eight that could be called Big 12 and Tulsa is a League Game
STILLWATER -- It is an interesting topic that seems to always come around in the dog days of early summer while we wait for the start of fall camp and the signal that football is right around the corner. You know the system has to be some version of jimmy-jammed if the Big 12 only has 10 schools and the Big 10 has 14. College sports can't even get the math right. This summer with the pandemic and the issues involving players and coaches and relationships in Cowboy football we didn't need the busy work, but hey, it's fun and gets your mind off more serious subjects.
Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde took his turn at recreating the leagues and match-ups for college conferences in the magazine's on-line cover story for Monday, June 29.
Forde had Oklahoma State joining current Big 12 members Baylor, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, and rival Oklahoma in what could be called a modern version of the Southwest Conference. Actually with Oklahoma State and OU in there it is really close to the old Southwest Conference that actually started that league. Oklahoma left to join the Big Six and Oklahoma State joined the Missouri Valley hoping to get in the Big Six. Actually, then Oklahoma A&M should have stayed in the Southwest Conference. The SWC eventually added Houston. Forde has Southwest Conference originals like Texas A&M, Rice and SMU in this 12-team league along with North Texas and Tulsa.
Forde's system and the rules for his realignment called for all Division I and even a few FCS teams like North Dakota State.
Current Big 12 schools Kansas, Kansas State, and Iowa State joined former Big 12 schools Missouri and Nebraska in the Great Midwest Conference that also included Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, and North Dakota State.
If you are looking for West Virginia, the Mountaineers ended up in the new Mid-American Conference with nearby Marshall, Notre Dame, Illinois, Northwestern, Northern Illinois, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and Louisville. They also have some mascot rivals for the Mountaineer with the likes of Tennessee, Middle Tennessee, and Western Kentucky.
If you are asking me, and nobody probably is, I'm more of a traditionalist and every so often I still drink out of an old Big Eight coffee mug with the old logos on it.
I would have Oklahoma State in with rival Oklahoma, Kansas State, Kansas, and Missouri from the old Big Eight. I understand that Iowa State probably needs to be off with Iowa somewhere. I also understand that Nebraska isn't going to be in a league with Texas, so leave them up north too. By the way Nebraska doesn't know how good they had it.
I'm merging my five Big Eight members with some Big 12 friends in Baylor TCU, and Texas. Arkansas should have always been in the Big Eight with rivals around like Missouri, Oklahoma State, and OU. We'll give into the Sports Illustrated rules of including the G5 schools and take in Tulsa, North Texas, and Arkansas State.
It's a good tight little conference. There are 12 teams in it, so the math is good when we call it the Big 12.
Modified Big 12 Conference
Arkansas - Longtime SWC and then SEC member is a perfect fit in the Big 12
Arkansas State - Boy, wouldn't Frank Broyles turn over in his grave with the Razorbacks in the same conference with Arkansas State
Baylor - Not original but the Bears have put in their time with the Big 12
Kansas - Gets back with old rival Missouri
Kansas State - Happy to be in this league
Missouri - The Tigers realize that it is cheaper to be here, even with Texas and OU than in the SEC
North Texas - This is huge for the Eagles to be in this league and they will make a lot of money every home game
Oklahoma State - Cowboys would be on the upper end of the league as a football school
Oklahoma - Sooners are fine with rivals Texas and OSU here plus adding Arkansas
Texas - They get Arkansas back as an added rival to go with OU and Baylor and we keep Longhorns and Aggies separated
TCU - Happy to be in this league with three former SWC schools and North Texas
Tulsa - Happy to be in any league