I’ll admit that, on the face of it, it makes perfectly good sense. I mean, the Razorbacks are in Big 12 country if you think about it. They have a rivalry with Texas. They’ve got some Big 12 sensibilities. However, they’re in the SEC. So, why would the Big 12 go to them?
Well, the Big 12 is desperate. Plus, they might be able to give the Razorbacks some breathing room. No Bama, Auburn, or LSU to contend with in the SEC West. No problems in SEC basketball dealing with Kentucky. The AD at Arkansas is not lost on this, but he also knows where his bread is buttered. Listen to the quotes:
“I think that our program is such that there are a number of conferences that would love to have us as a member, but we’re strongly committed to the SEC. I’d be surprised if we weren’t reached out to by other conferences about joining them. That happened, it didn’t surprise me, but we are committed to the SEC. It’s the strongest conference in the country and only going to get stronger.”
“I would say that most people think 14 is the logical step. I would say the SEC is prepared to move forward with 13. It would be fair for me to say there are schools interested in becoming that 14th member, and again, we’re not seeking them out, they’re seeking us out. Again, that will play out in the days, weeks and months ahead.”
“If we stay at 12, not much will change. If we go to 13, there will be some other ripple effects from that. Whether those play out in weeks or months, or whether they’re in the next several years, I do think the landscape is going to continue to change.”
This is all code for, “We’re ready to make more money when this conference gets bigger.” He’s not wasting his time with the Big 12. They’re radioactive now.