Red Raiders Rant: The Big XII Should Stay Numerically Incorrect

Jul 20, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders head coach Kliff Kingsbury speaks to the media during the Big 12 Media Days at Omni Dallas. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 20, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders head coach Kliff Kingsbury speaks to the media during the Big 12 Media Days at Omni Dallas. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

Making the case against conference expansion, and why a championship game may prove unfavorable for the Red Raiders and Big XII as a whole.

The date of December 4, 2010 may not hold any particular kind of meaning for most Red Raiders fans. However, that date happens to be the last time a Big XII championship game was held.

It’s been nearly six years since then, and a lot has changed; Texas A&M, Colorado, Nebraska, and Missouri bolted for the perceived greener pastures of the SEC and Pac-12. Texas Tech has had its share of troubles as well; the Red Raiders’ fanbase experienced the failure that was the Tuberville era, the effects of which the program is still recovering from.

However, the biggest change has been the Big XII’s descent from one of the nation’s strongest football conferences, to being one of the weakest and most logistically limited football conferences in the country.

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Sure, the rumors of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Texas Tech going westward to the Pac-12 were at least partially based in truth. Similarly, the later murmurs of a zombified Big XII wooing the ACC’s flagship schools of Florida State and Clemson seemed to run rampant across internet message boards from Lubbock to Ames.

While the ACC’s power schools would ultimately air on the side of caution and stay at home on the east coast. The Big XII would rise like the prophetic dodo bird from the ashes and invite the powerhouse combination of Texas Christian and West Virginia.

Prior to their Big XII membership, Texas Christian was the journeyman school that beat up on teams like New Mexico and Fresno State en route to “busting the BCS”. Similarly, West Virginia was the neighborhood bully of a disintegrating Big East conference.

The common thread here?

Both schools were further legitimized by their Big XII membership, much to the chagrin of Big XII institutions such as Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.

Unfortunately, this may be a situation the Big XII finds itself in once again as the conference debates the merits of expansion in relation to a prospective championship game. The NCAA approved the Big XII’s proposal for a championship game although the conference has less than 12 members.

But the question must be asked: Does the Big XII even need a championship game? The perception is that it does, but at what cost? The round-robin format currently in place doesn’t lend itself an exciting championship game; any week 13 match would only be a rematch.

This creates a problem that some within the conference are already voicing their opinions on.

Could the Big XII be on the verge of another round of expansion? Would the additions of Houston, Memphis, or even BYU bolster the conference’s strength? Not likely, as the opposite may be closer to the truth.

BYU’s northwest isolation would create another travel headache for a conference that seems barely be figuring out how best to schedule West Virginia’s games. Furthermore, BYU’s Sunday provisions would seemingly throw another wrench into the equation; how would Red Raiders fans feel if their school had to travel to Morgantown and Provo in consecutive weeks?

Houston, on the other hand, is right in the Big XII’s backyard. A former Southwest Conference member school with a rising star of a head coach would seem like a logical choice. However, adding the Coogs wouldn’t also entail adding the Houston television market; its already dominated Red Raiders, Aggies, and Longhorns.

Furthermore, the addition of the Coogs to the Big XII would have the same effect the addition of the Horned Frogs had back in 2012. Texas Christian’s Big XII membership added another major player for Texas Tech to compete with on in-state recruiting battles and ultimately dropped the Red Raiders down a peg or two in the Big XII’s hierarchy, especially after the Horned Frogs tasted success as a major conference member.

This is all to say that for member schools such as Texas Tech, and other schools struggling to regain their competition edge, the additions of second or third-choice schools for expansion would only further dilute the conference’s strength as a whole.

The Big XII wants to reclaim its national prominence, especially after the One True Champion debacle, and a playoff snub in 2014.

That won’t happen if the conference continues to dilute itself while on life support.

Texas Tech fans, let us know how you feel. Do you think the Big XII conference should expand? Should there be a championship game?

Make sure to leave your opinion in the comments!