UT & OU should stay in Big 12

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Briana Garcia | LTVN Reporter/Anchor

This past summer, the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns announced that they would move to the Southeastern Conference in 2025. While this idea might be appealing to some, there are a few reasons why the two teams should stay in the Big 12 Conference.

The first reason is for the Big 12 itself. The conference already has the smallest number of teams, including ten universities in five different states. If you take two more “powerhouses” out of the conference, you look at eight teams left.

Eight teams left in the shadows. What do they do? Do they look for other conferences to join? Does the Big 12 try to find other schools? The questions are endless, and they aren’t helpful in any aspect.

If the remainder of the Big 12 dissolves, 247Sports estimates a loss of 18,063 jobs and $1.3 billion in annual gross product. However, this will drastically affect not only the economic side of the conference but also the television revenue.

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said that losing UT and OU could cut the value of the conference television deals by 50%. Television is a massive part of how a conference makes money, and if the two schools leave, the circumstances will not be good for the Big 12.

The state of Texas will also be effected by this decision. When I first thought about UT and OU leaving the conference, the last thing I thought about was how this would affect Texas’ economy and schools. Think about it, four out of the 10 schools are located in Texas: Baylor, TCU, UT and Texas Tech.

Now, take into consideration how Baylor specifically would be effected by this decision. In an Associated Press article, current director of intercollegiate athletics Mack Rhoades discussed how Baylor would be effected, explaining how Baylor’s athletic budget is 48% of Texas’ and what role that plays.

This decision can also affect the future of student athletes, especially those in football who want to join the university and the coaching staff. If UT and OU leave the conference, Baylor is at risk of not being a member of the Power Five conference.

“If we are no longer a member of a Power Five, we will sell less tickets, we will sell less merchandise, we will raise less money and we will have less corporate sponsorship,” Rhoades said in the article.

UT and OU leaving the Big 12 conference will affect everything, including the conference itself, the state of Texas and most importantly, Baylor.