Call the funeral home, get the eulogies ready. The official demise of the Big 12 is upon us.
According to the Austin American Statesman‘s Kirk Bohls — as connected a beat writer as there is in the country — he’s been told by a highly-placed Big 12 official that Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will join the Pac-10 once the expected invitations are extended by the conference.
(Let the stench of death sink in for a minute.)
There will likely be yet another Big 12 school to join that quintet in the Pac-10; just which school it is remains to be seen.
The same source noted above told Bohls that Texas A&M is “sitting on the fence” as far as following their Southern brethren to the Pac-10. The Aggies have a 72-hour timeline to decide whether they will follow the leader to the Pac-10 or strike out on their own, possibly landing in the SEC.
Former Alabama head coach Gene Stallings, now a member of the A&M Board of Regents, is believed to be pushing for his school to pursue a spot in the SEC.
If A&M were to eschew what seems to be an unspoken invite to the Pac-10, Baylor could take the Aggies’ spot. However, there could be an issue with the religion-based school.
While the other Big 12 schools eyeing the Pac-10 “have said positive things about them. … the schools on the West Coast just don’t see the benefit of Baylor.”
So, if A&M and Baylor are out, where would the Pac-10 turn to get to an even 16 teams? The source told Bohls that Kansas and Utah would be options because “they bring different television markets.”
Regardless of what happens with A&M, one thing is certain: Texas and the Big 12 are all but gone.