There have been many columns and many opinions published about the future of the Big XII conference. The focus primarily has been on the football angle of the configuration. As a Texas graduate and fan, I want to see the conference survive, with Texas and Oklahoma still part of the group. I feel that the conference was really hurt by the departure of Nebraska, but not so much by the departure of Colorado or the future departure of Texas A&M. True there is a good rivalry between Texas and Texas A&M, but that is really the only thing that was brought to the table with Texas A&M. If we break it down by sport we can see that this is a strong conference. You probably notice that there is only discussion of splintering during football season.

Football has a number of perennial bowl team – Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska (☹), and a number of contenders most of the time – Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Missouri. Even this year, Baylor and Texas A&M are ranked.

Men’s Basketball has perennial NCAA teams – Texas, Kansas, Missouri, and a number of contenders most years – Oklahoma, Kansas State, Texas A&M.

Women’s Basketball has perennial NCAA teams – Baylor and Iowa State recently, Texas in the past, and contenders – Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Kansas State.

Baseball we have Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor, and Oklahoma almost every year and Texas A&M Oklahoma State showing well recently.

Softball there is Missouri, Texas, Baylor each year.

Wrestling we have Iowa State and Missouri (and Nebraska) showing well every year.

There is swimming, track and field, and rowing. There are very few sports that the big XII is not represented at the tournament levels. Beyond that, every team is successful in at least one sport.

It seems that most writers are concentrating on the demise of the conference and the assumption that Oklahoma and Texas will leave for a “better” deal. What is so unbelievable about the Big XII finding good teams (Big East or unhappy other teams) to make a super conference? Bringing in a West Virginia or UConn or even an Arkansas would strengthen an already strong conference.

In the final analysis, none of the authors who have expressed their opinions actually know what is happening behind the scenes at the conference. I, as a fan, can only hope that the financial and other issues can be worked out to establish the Big XII as a dominant permanent conference in all of the NCAA sports.

 

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Martin writes about writing in his weekly column Ramblings from Martin.

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