Now this would certainly shake things up a little bit.
Back in the middle of December, the Big Ten publicly acknowledged that expansion was officially on the table. Almost immediately, names like Missouri, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and the like were mentioned as possibilities.
Based on at least one report, you can push those little minnows to the shallow end of the pool for now. The conference has its eyes on a whale of a school.
According to a report in the Lawrence Journal-World, and citing a source with ties to the conference, the Big Ten and Texas have engaged in “preliminary exchanges” about the Big 12 school switching leagues and joining an expanded Big Ten.
“There have been preliminary exchanges between the Big Ten and Texas,” the source told the Journal-World on Wednesday. “People will deny that, but it’s accurate.”
With the exception of Notre Dame, landing Texas would be far and away the biggest get for the Big Ten. Given the eyeballs the state of Texas would bring to the Big Ten Network, you could even make a pretty good argument that they would be a bigger get than the Irish.
As for the geographic distance between the current member schools and Texas, the Journal-World writes that “[t]ravel costs, in terms of money and fatigue, make Texas seem on the surface like a stretch, but TV revenue would more than make up for the fatigue factor.”
Given the conference’s own time table — they said in January that a decision on whether to expand would take anywhere from 12 to 18 months — this is obviously very preliminary.
But, still, the idea of Texas moving to the Big Ten would certainly send a major tremor through the college football world in general, and the Big 12 specifically. Especially if the rumors come to fruition and Colorado bolts for the Pac-10.
One thing seems certain in all of this: the landscape of the game is almost certain to look much different in two years than it does right now.