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Saturday, March 25, 2023

Staff Editorial

Conference change-ups can create opportunity

The NCAA conference realignment apocalypse almost started yesterday.

Texas A&M was set to move to the Southeastern Conference, but as a survival mechanism Baylor has threatened to sue. The litigation card is being waved because Baylor does not want to be abandoned.

The Aggies leaving the Big 12 could be a deciding factor if the Big 12 lives or dies. Big 12 schools like Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are flirting with the idea of a move to the Pacific-12.

But no BCS conference is dying to invite Baylor. The Big 12 is a modified reincarnation of the now-defunct Southwest Conference. When the SWC folded, UH, Texas Christian, Rice and Southern Methodist were demoted to leagues that make them ineligible to automatically qualify for a national championship or a BCS bowl game. Baylor sees the writing on the wall.

As it stands, there are six conferences that give teams an automatic qualification. If the Big 12 ceases to exist, UH could again be left out.

Whether it is in football, women’s basketball or softball, UH has consistently shown it can be competitive against schools from the power conferences. The Cougars belong in a better conference.

The UH Athletics Department and administration should consider going the unorthodox route.

TCU decided to transfer to the Big East. A university based out of Fort Worth will be traveling along the East coast for conference competition.

Many Houstonians are upset about A&M’s departure, but at least the Aggies playing southern schools makes sense. TCU playing schools like Pittsburgh and West Virginia does not.

It would be beneficial for the state if a combination of Texas universities formed to make a BCS conference. But the powerhouses like A&M and UT don’t want to budge. TCU seemed to know this. Given its interference with A&M, Baylor officials do too.

Greed is the root cause of this conference upheaval. The cool kids at the lunch table are a discriminating bunch. Conference USA and the schools in the other three non-AQ conferences have been repeatedly strong-armed out of opportunities to get promoted. So maybe UH should look to the East or West.

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