Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hypothetical Season for Texas

I am afraid this topic will be another that is not of much interest to many of my nonexistent readers. This particular post has been sitting in draft for quite a long time. It feels like I have been working on this post for over a year. I am not sure exactly, but that might not be too far from the truth. I believe that I started writing this post back in 2010 when top-level universities changing athletic conferences was current news. Once again the shifting landscape of college sports is in the news.

Texas Christian University (TCU) is one of the schools that will be changing their conference affiliation. While not exactly geographically-correct, the Horned Frogs will be moving to the Big East Conference for the 2012 season. Of course, TCU switching conferences is reminiscent of the children of Israel wandering in the desert. The Big East will be the fifth conference for TCU in recent memory. Their athletic program was a member of the Southwest Conference until 1996, then the Western Athletic Conference through 2000, followed by Conference USA (C-USA) until 2004, and the Mountain West Conference until this year.

One of my thoughts on this topic is close to being out of date with several schools from the Big 12 Conference, including the University of Texas, considering bolting for the recently expanded Pacific-12 Conference. My thought was that the Texas Longhorns would be able manipulate the Big 12 in an effort to create the possibility of seasons where they could make it all the way to the national championship game while only playing once outside of the state of Texas.

The first step would be for the Big 12 Conference to expand back to twelve team by adding two schools located in Texas such as the University of Houston and Southern Methodist University (SMU). (I originally included TCU prior to the announcement of their move to the Big East.) Both the Houston Cougars and SMU Mustangs are currently members of C-USA. With the exit of Texas A&M University from the Big 12, yet another school would need to be added to keep the number of schools in the conference at twelve. Therefore, I will include UTEP (University of Texas at El Paso) who are also from C-USA in this hypothetical situation. With the addition of the schools from Texas, the Big 12 would again be divided into North and South Divisions with the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University moving to the North Division.

North Division South Division
Iowa State Cyclones
Kansas Jayhawks
Kansas State Wildcats
Missouri Tigers
Oklahoma Sooners
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Baylor Bears
Houston Cougars
SMU Mustangs
Texas Longhorns
Texas Tech Red Raiders
UTEP Miners

In the magical season for the Longhorns, their non-conference games could either be played at home or against teams from Texas, such as a rivalry game against the Texas A&M Aggies. For their conference schedule, they would play the five teams in their division and three games against teams from the North Division. One of the interdivisional games would be the Red River Rivalry game against the Sooners which has been played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas for many years. One of the other two interdivisional games could be a home game. The third game would be an away game played outside of the state of Texas.

Assuming the Longhorns win their division, they would play in the Big 12 Conference Championship Game. Several times in the past, the championship game has been played in the state of Texas. It is not a stretch of the imagination to assume that Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas would again be a frequent home to the game. The stadium is the new home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys and hosted the Big 12 Championship Game in 2009 and 2010. Speaking of the Cowboys, their owner, Jerry Jones, would like to see the new stadium get the chance to host the BCS Championship Game. The people in charge of the BCS have stated that they would consider the idea. Thus, it might be possible at some point in the future for the Longhorns (or any of the other Texas schools) to play for the national championship in their own state.


  1. Worth noting, though I'm sure you've seen since you first wrote this: it looks fairly likely that Houston/SMU are on the list to be raided by the Big East-but-also-now-West.

  2. When I wrote this, TCU was headed to the Big East. Instead, they are now heading to the Big 12. If the Big 12 came calling, I have no doubt that Houston and SMU would not hesitate in joining their fellow Texas schools in that conference. However, I seem to remember that the Big 12 is hesitant to add more schools from Texas. If the Big 12 decides to expand back to twelve schools, I think it will either be schools to the east (Louisville, WVU) and/or west (BYU, Air Force).