I think you’re on to something. If UT/OU leave in 2025, the Big 12 wouldn’t be forced out of the P5 cartel immediately; at least, not until the playoff contract is up after 2026.
Issue will be where they go and who leaves with them. With the ACC locked up now until 2036, the only conference the other 3 will look to raid now is the Big 12.
I imagine the B1G will go after Kansas and UT/OU; I don’t believe UT/OU go there. If UCONN is invited to the Big 12, they’d also be a natural fit for the B1G. We won’t get AAU status by then, but if we make enough progress in the next decade while fielding strong athletic programs across the board, we’d be the next likely candidate due to our location in Houston. It’s a long shot, but you never know.
The PAC 12 and SEC will go hard after OU, the question will be if OSU has to go with them. With state funding so low right now in Oklahoma, OU may not worry about staying with OSU, although, they will want to make sure they are taken care of. The question is who will partner with OU. Again, if we continue building our academics while maintaining strong athletic programs, we’d be the next likely choice in both scenarios.
I still believe that neither will leave in 2025. Both like power and if they can expand and get some sort of network going, I think both schools will stay put.