I've long since maintained that the Big 12 can still survive with the defection of Texas A&M. Even losing the Aggies, the conference still has nine teams left - and that's more than the Big East. Plus, having Texas and Oklahoma makes them even stronger, right?
Well, not exactly.
With the news that the Longhorns and Sooners may bolt for the Pac 12, the Big 12 is in serious jeopardy. Losing one would be horrible, but both? Now that's something that could kill the conference.
Merely replacing Texas and Oklahoma with two other teams wouldn't do. In essence, they'd be irreplaceable because getting two teams of their caliber would be nearly impossible. No one in their right mind would move to a Big 12 that was left with seven schools.
Is there a way the Big 12 could survive with those losses?Other than the far-fetched scenario of ripping apart the Big East and securing teams like, well, all the football-playing members, there's nothing else I could see that would make sense. A new conference with teams such as Pitt, West Virginia, MissouriPlus, losing those two schools would mean that the ones left would looking to bolt ASAP.
Sure, the Big 12 could try to rebuild to create a new conference. But with such uncertainty the conference would probably be left with non-BCS schools - Houston, Memphis, Tulsa, etc. Not much of a conference, but it's been done before (see ACC raid of Big East). Under such a scenario, the Big 12 would be led by schools such as Oklahoma State, Missouri, and Big East newcomers such as Pitt and West Virginia. Is that enough? Sure. But is there any chance that happens? Not likely.
In the end, it wouldn't make any sense for Big East schools to leave and help create a new Big 12 - especially right after the conference would have fallen apart. Plus, there's the eastern dynamic, which would be lost as most non-Big East members would be midwest teams. There would be no significant advantage for east coast teams to leave to help rebuild the a Big 12 without Texas and Oklahoma.