The thought myself and others had was that if the Big 12's lack of a title game should keep them out of the playoffs again this year, Heads would explode and the moment of expansion would be upon us.
But OU had to be very, very good this year.
OU appears to have piled up such a lot of quality wins that even the lack of a championship game strength of schedule bump won't keep them out of the playoffs. (I am of course knocking on wood with my lucky rabbit's foot as I write this.)
So a sated OU won't care to push expansion and the rest of the Big 12 can resume doing what UT wants.
Not so fast.
I think expansion may have gained steam.
Consider these points---
1) TCU was #3 at this same point last year They killed Iowa State 55-3 and still fell to #6. A big Ohio State win in the Big 10 championship game knocked TCU out. End result? OSU wins the title (and not TCU?)
2) All of the Big 12 Conference's efforts to backload their schedules did nothing to help their teams this year --- only OU scheduling aggressively got them over the hump.
3) No team is ever more desirable than right after winning a national title. OU has been unhappy about the lack of expansion for a while now and was rumored to have demanded expansion this year. Now OU could totally lay an egg and be out in round one, but what if they win the title?.. (How dumb did the PAC-12 have to feel in passing on OU and OSU the week before Bedlam? Would they sign off on an authorization of that move if OU ends the season #1? Adding OU now is really the only way the PAC is likely to have a shot at UT on their terms. Should OU get an offer could UT really convince them to stay? Is OU really ready to take on the GOR?)
4) Currently, a week before championship games, OU is #3 behind #1 Clemson and #2 Alabama and ahead of #4 Iowa, #5 Michigan State, and #6 Ohio State, and #7 Stanford. Lets say Clemson and Alabama win. Then Michigan State destroys what most fans believe to be a vastly overrated Iowa team. This is the end of the season. It isn't like in 2 weeks we will see Iowa ranked 20th after 2 losses. This would be applied as a total destruction of #4 Iowa. Could that and a bias towards the Big Ten jump OU? Sure. Now what if Stanford destroys #20 USC in the PAC title game? I have to think they wouldn't pass OU, but what if we get some line like last year's where they are talking about a dead heat for the last sport, but they chose OU... If that happens do you think OU is going to feel sated with the conference's position with 10 members?
5) OU got lucky. I have contended that lack of depth is the difference between top 12 recruiting schools (OU is on the cusp of that) who usually play for the title and a 10-2 or 9-3 team on the outside looking in. It's a few blown plays. OU got beaten by UT --- a school with little depth and a freshman-heavy starting lineup. That almost cost them their season. What if OU had slightly better OL depth? Does UT's DL dominate them? Consider that if TCU's coach doesn't but conventional wisdom and go for a two point conversion earlier in the game --- they just kick the extra point --- the Frog's late TD ties the game. They don't have to go for two then, an extra point kick drops OU to two losses and out of the playoffs. The Texas game should have been a little breathing room. OU was totally dead in the water when Baker Mayfield went down. OU should have a decent backup QB...Its all depth. If you are going to consistently match up with Alabama, it is good to have.
OU has more leverage now. Will they use it?