Rest of the Big 12 can’t wait for Texas and Oklahoma to leave

Jamie Pollard, Iowa State Cyclones (Des Moines Register)
Jamie Pollard, Iowa State Cyclones (Des Moines Register) /

Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard cannot wait for Oklahoma and Texas to leave the Big 12 so they no longer have to play games that air on The Longhorn Network.

Nobody will be happier to see Oklahoma and Texas leave the Big 12 for the SEC than Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard, strictly for Longhorn Network reasons.

Pollard appeared on 365 Sports to discuss Cyclones hoops and the status of the new-look Big 12. Iowa State has one of the best athletic departments in the league and Pollard is one of the most respected athletic directors across the entire Power Five. With Oklahoma and Texas leaving for the SEC in 2024, that will bring a swift end to The Longhorn Network. Pollard has to be loving this.

This comment by Pollard may be a tad tongue-in-cheek, but this is why everyone loves Pollard.

"“(They) can’t leave soon enough. Does that answer the question? … To get (the early exit) finalized allows us to move forward and be a lot more productive. Quite frankly, having that hanging out there made you do double of everything. A 14-team schedule and then a 12-team schedule. You had to do that for all sports. It caused a lot of extra work. Now having it finalized is nice. We can put it behind us and have more streamlined meetings where you don’t feel like ‘okay, for this part of the meeting you need to leave the room.'”"

Here is the entire conversation Pollard had when appearing on 365 Sports to discuss Iowa State.

Iowa State, and the Big 12 as a whole, stand to gain a ton with the changes that are being made.

Iowa State AD Jamie Pollard cannot wait for Oklahoma and Texas to leave Big 12

As strange as it seems, the Big 12 is in an incredible position. The league just added four new schools with BYU, Cincinnati,  Houston and UCF coming over in July. Oklahoma and Texas are getting out of their deal with the Big 12 a year earlier than expected in 2024. It may be a period of adjustment for both of them joining the SEC, but they have the brands and cachet to be just fine.

Although Iowa State is not in a talent-rich state on the gridiron, the Cyclones have a fantastic head coach in Matt Campbell. For as long as he remains in Ames, Iowa State will compete for conference championships and may get back to the New Year’s Six. More importantly, a 12-team Big 12 could be getting two teams into the College Football Playoff annually beginning in 2024.

This should be a competitive league, both on the hardwood and on the gridiron. Big 12 hoops is operating at its pinnacle, while Big 12 football is actually operating at a position of strength under the guidance of new league commissioner Brett Yormark. With a new media rights deal secured with ESPN and FOX, the Big 12 is about to be booming heading into the new college landscape.

Overall, you have to agree with Pollard in the sense that you want people who want to be there. Life is about being where your feet are. Oklahoma and Texas are not happy in the Big 12 currently, but their favors could change in the new SEC. As for BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF, Big 12 programs like Iowa State are happy to have them. They should make it even more competitive.

Ultimately, you cannot deny the good vibes and the energy the Big 12 is giving off. The eight schools that are staying put seem to be operating in unison and with a great level of cohesion. The league may not have the biggest of brands, but in the new college football landscape, who really cares about brand? Kids are going to want to play at schools where they can play in the playoff.

Do not be shocked if the Big 12 were to expand beyond 12 teams in the coming years as well.

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