The funny thing about Group of Five football fanbases in Texas is that they were all either once part of the Southwest Conference and think they deserve to be in the Big 12, or they weren't part of the Southwest Conference but think they deserve to be in the Big 12. So what would happen if they all ended up there?
Well, chaos and possibly in SMU's case a complete collapse of society (see below), but hey. That's part of the price of playing college football in today's era.
To echo what Chris Hondros did with West Virginia and Marshall, the rules for our hypothetical scenarios are as follows:
1. Each team had to be simmed to their in-state companions as close as possible.
2. All sims were conducted using What If Sports' Sim-Matchup.
3. You can only use the first sim as the official sim, no matter how silly it may seem.
Let's get started.
If Houston had TCU's Schedule...
Houston's not exactly hiding their intentions, as they want to be the next TCU and grab a Big 12 invite. The Horned Frogs blasted through their schedule with a Mad Max Fury Road-esque anarchyfest of a hiccup against Baylor en route to a 12-1 season. The Cougars put up similar records against C-USA with now Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, but how would eventually doomed former UH head coach Tony Levine fare against TCU's slate?
FCS Autowin - Samford Bulldogs. Can't simulate the FCS teams, so let's say the Cougars take this one.
Yikes. Not a good start.
This game actually happened in real life, and the simulator gave SMU's defense far too much credit.
NO BOB NOT IN THE FACE
That's...a surprisingly low margin of victory for Baylor, actually. Maybe Art Briles decides to take it easy on his former employer in this alternate universe.
Ok, maybe things are starting to turn aroun---
UH now sits at 3-6 and a loss away from sitting at home during the offseason. But surely they can get by hapless Kansas, right?
CoogFans dot com would've been like
Congrats on your 4-8 (2-7) season, Tony Levine. Here's a foot in your ass as a reward. And what if UH had gone up against the One True Champion* of the Big 12?
The blood. So much blood.
If Texas State had Texas's Schedule...
Sitting in the shadow of Austin, the Bobcats were overlooked for a bowl invite for a second straight year despite going 7-5. Some Texas State fans let their wildest dreams run towards an eventual Big 12 invite someday long in the future. Let's entertain those dreams by substituting the Maroon and Gold locals in place of the omnipotent burnt orange.
I know this is only a simulation, but I nearly launched my laptop across the room.
That's actually better than how Texas did against the Cougars. There was no word on whether Taysom Hill began his burgeoning career as a hurdles runner in this simulation.
*throws laptop across room in celebration*
Rumor has it the OU players put on Louisiana Lafayette jerseys before the simulation.
I always tell my friends that Texas State would've finished exactly above Kansas and Iowa State in the Big 12 in the past two seasons. Right now that prediction looks about right.
Go 'Cats. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
By this point in the season I would've submitted to the sweet siren song of alcohol poisoning.
Vengeance on the team that reportedly knocked Texas State out of a bowl bid? I can dig it.
Texas State goes 3-9 (3-6) against a Big 12 schedule. Could be worse. But hey, here's a bit of consolation!
No joke, this happened first try (Texas won the next 18 of 20). By the way, if this ever happens I will build a statue of the first Bobcat to go streaking down the 40 acres. Watch out for those tennis courts.
If UTSA had Texas's Schedule...
What about the Roadrunners, who are part of the UT system and used to be a feeder school for eventual Longhorns students?
Poor UNT. They can't beat UTSA in real life or on the internet.
NOT GREAT BOB
That's one hell of an Erase This Simulation candidate.
Larry Coker's boys suffer a godawful 1-11 (0-9) season. To add insult to injury:
If UNT had TCU's Schedule...
UNT was just straight bad last season. Their four wins came against equally bad or worse teams, and they only came within one possession in one of their eight losses. But the simulators seemed to be a bit kind of them given the rigors of a Big 12 schedule.
FCS Autowin - Samford Bulldogs
Considering TCU and UNT beat SMU by a combined score of 99-6 I'm starting to wonder if someone put a virus in this simulator.
Ok, that's more like it.
These simulators really hate Oklahoma State apparently.
Looks about right.
WHOA. Major upset here. I'm going to assume Tyler Lockett is injured in this simulation, because the idea of the same defense that gave up 56 to UAB and 30 to a bad Southern Miss offense holding KSU to 23 is rather far-fetched.
For what it's worth, KSU went 17-3 against UNT in 20 matchups, but a number of them were close.
No letdown bad loss here.
No online vengeance for last year's beatdown loss in Austin.
UNT matches their overall record last season of 5-7 and inexplicably goes 4-5 in conference despite a jump from C-USA to the Big 12. The Mean Green broke the damn machine. Although the simulator did get one thing right:
If Rice had Baylor's Schedule...
The C-USA west darkhorse shared no common opponents with the Bears, and one Southwest Conference castoff got to stay in a big conference while the other was relegated to G5 obscurity. Let's see how Rice would do if roles were reversed and inherited Baylor's pillowy soft OOC schedule.
GAH. Let us never speak of this again.
FCS Autowin - Northwestern State
You mean any semi-competent team could've gone undefeated against Baylor's OOC? Who knew?
Ames works its magic once again in a stunning upset.
During the postgame the Rice Marching Band assembles at midfield and shows a formation of an Owl taking a dump on the Longhorn logo.
Kansas continues its tradition of losing to food.
Looks like Mike Gundy finally got around to challenging the simulator to a bench press measuring contest.
The Owls finish 5-7 (2-7), which is actually kinda respectable I guess! Although this also happened:
If SMU had Texas Tech's Schedule...
SMU plays TCU every year, so in order to avoid the Mustangs playing themselves--which they somehow would've ended up losing anyway in 2014--I gave them Tech's schedule. Warning: Much gore and atrocity occurs past this point.
FCS Autowin: Central Arkansas. Although I really have a hard time calling that win automatic.
The horror. THE HORROR.
"My name is June Jones, coach of coaches. Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair."
SMU WON A BIG 12 GAME
SMU finishes 2-10 (1-11), shocks the world, the stock market implodes, an asteroid hits Ames, and all websites are forced back onto a GeoCities platform. Enjoy your dangling jpegs, football fans.