Texas might get an extra parting gift from the Big 12.
The conference partnered with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) to create a championship belt designed to go to the conference title game’s most outstanding player.
Things could get awkward for the Big 12 if Texas (-160), the favorite to win the conference, not only walks off into the sunset with the conference championship trophy, but quarterback Quinn Ewers also takes the most outstanding player belt.
The Longhorns (9-1) are ranked No. 7 in the College Football Playoff rankings, highest among Big 12 teams, and can clinch a spot in the conference championship game with a win against Iowa State (6-4) on Saturday.
Texas and Oklahoma are leaving for the SEC after this season, and they have taken a few barbs from conference commissioner Brett Yormark on the way out.
During Big 12 media days, Yormark took aim at the departing universities when he said, “I don’t think they’ve carried the conference in recruiting. They haven’t been in our championship game the past few years.”
Later, at an event at Texas Tech, he told Red Raiders head coach Joey McGuire to “take care of business” against Texas when the teams meet in the regular-season finale.
The worst-case scenario for the conference is close to coming to fruition, and it will be even more embarrassing for Yormark if the inaugural Big 12 championship belt goes to Texas. In that case, it becomes the SEC championship belt, right?
Per ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg, “The partnership with WWE adds to the Big 12’s push to modernize and connect with a younger audience. Hip-hop star Nelly will perform at halftime.”
Ah, yes — nothing says “modern audience” more than a rapper who peaked in the early 2000s. If the Big 12 really wants to trend, it will invite Chingy and turn halftime into a title-belt fight.
Instead, by the time Nelly breaks into “Hot in Herre,” Yormark will probably be sweating the most.