Baylor University has thrown down the gauntlet, so to speak, telling the SEC it will sue if they allow Texas A&M to join them. The move has been joined by other members of the Big 12 trying to prevent this realignment.
What Baylor has done is stop the momentum and possibly preserve the Big 12 for at least one more year, preventing A&M from moving on. The same can’t be said for Oklahoma and Oklahoma State which are also eyeing other conferences as their next move. If all three schools that are itching to defect do so, the impact on the Big 12 is considered to be a death blow.
The SEC is being cautious, not even entering negotiations if there’s a threat of legal action against the move, so the realignment has been put on hold, probably preserving the Big 12 for at least one more year. However, most of the analysts acknowledge that it’s only the beginning of the end for the Big 12 – superconferences like the SEC’s goal of 16 teams seems inevitable.
The impact at that future time will be felt by many smaller schools – if the Big 12 goes away, a lot of schools fall out of the conference picture – the SEC’s gain of three of the Big 12 schools will likely mean the loss of the remaining Big 12 schools from any conference participation and a major blow to the athletic programs at those schools.
However, the only thing sure in this world is change. While the loss of the Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M may be injurious to the stability of Baylor’s future, it may be a growth opportunity for other schools that aren’t in a conference at all to join the Big 12.