On Wednesday, a huge story dropped from the Houston Chronicle that Oklahoma and Texas approached the SEC about leaving the Big 12 and joining the conference. If this move happens, there would be shock-waves sent throughout collegiate athletics, including a potential ripple effect that impacts Liberty and it’s conference alignment.
It is important to note it is entirely possible this report goes nowhere. Oklahoma and Texas both stay in the Big 12 and there’s no massive shift, everything stays as is. It’s happened before as Oklahoma and Texas nearly joined the PAC 12 about a decade ago.
Still, what if the news is true and Oklahoma and Texas end up in the SEC? It could be the start of the frequently discussed four power conferences with 16 teams each, or, even a potential breakaway from the NCAA.
The four super conferences is most likely, and it would mean the end of one of the Power Five leagues, likely the Big 12 with the massive loss of both Oklahoma and Texas. The remaining teams in the Big 12 would go to the other conferences to fill up their leagues. West Virginia would be a likely target by the ACC, and the continued flirtation with Notre Dame will intensify. What about Kansas? Where would they go? The other Texas schools?
We’ll see what happens. In the meantime, Liberty’s options are to just wait it out, for now. There’s no Power Five invite coming now. That’s fine, we knew that – or at least should’ve before today. With enough movement, it will trickle down into the Group of Five conferences and that’s where we could see movement for Liberty. With the success of the program in recent years, they would be brought up in discussions to join a conference like the American Athletic.
If there are large dominoes to fall, beginning with Oklahoma and Texas, the AAC would likely lose a couple members who look to move up. This would leave the conference looking to fill their newly vacated spots, and Liberty would be on the list of serious challengers including the likes of Boise State, BYU, and Appalachian State.
What we do know, if Oklahoma and Texas make a move, it will affect all of major college athletics, and hopefully, once all the shuffling is done, Liberty can benefit from the changes. One thing is for certain, the Flames are in a much more attractive position than they were when the last round of major conference realignment occurred.