With the announcement Thursday that the Pac-12 Conference will not explore expansion in the near future, the fracturing Big 12 will throw its energy into looking at potential new members, Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt said.
The Texas Tech athletics director is part of a four-person expansion subcommittee tasked with leading the effort, which starts immediately.
“Right now, our complete focus is to make the Big 12 as strong as it can possibly be,” Hocutt said, “and I expect that Texas Tech will play a leadership role in that. We’re going to continue to be part of the Power Five structure in college athletics.”
You know they’re serious about it when they bring in the big gun.
Hocutt spoke hours later before a Red Raider Club kickoff event at which U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, addressed Tech fans. A Tech contingent has been seeking redress from the state’s political leaders since Texas and Oklahoma threw the future of the Big 12 into disarray with decisions to leave for the Southeastern Conference by July 1, 2025.
… Speaking from the stage, Cruz told Red Raiders fans that Tech matters in West Texas, across the state and nationally. He said he was in Minneapolis two years ago, “cheering on Tech” in the championship game of the men’s NCAA Tournament.
“College football right now is in flux. This is an uncertain time,” Cruz said. “But I want to say something clearly and unequivocally: Texas Tech belongs in a Power Five conference.”
Yeah, that should do the trick. And if it doesn’t, there’s always whining.
Hocutt took thinly-veiled shots at the movers and shakers behind the latest realignment moves. He said that trust has been broken “and without trust, there’s very little relationships.”
“I’m not sure that we’ve ever seen so much distrust and just turbulence within college athletics as we’re seeing now,” he said, “and it’s really unfortunate, the lack of relationships and trust. I think we’ve got to really re-establish some foundational aspects of college athletics as we move forward because things are changing and they’re changing fast. It’s a different time, and it’s going to be different in the next five or 10 years.”
Like he wouldn’t be sprinting for the exits if a P5 conference wanted his school.
I don’t know about you, but I’m inspired.