Monday, June 14, 2010

Texas Now STAYING in the Big 12?!?!?

You've probably seen the joke already: you know it's a strange time in college football when the Big Ten has 12 members and the Big 12 has 10.

But it could get even stranger if Chip Brown of is right: Texas has now decided to STAY in the Big 12.

How is this possible? Well honestly this should have been a plausible option all along because it's an option that looks to give the Texas Longhorns the most money AND most control over their product. And that's what this whole thing has been about from the beginning.

According to Brown, a former beatwriter for one of the Dallas papers and a guy who seems to be more informed about expansion than anyone else covering it, Big 12 commish Dan Beebe made a late pitch to the Horns claiming a ten team Big 12 could still command a TV deal that would pay each member about $17 million a year (the same as the SEC), AND Texas would be free to pursue their own TV network, which would apparently make them an additional $3-$5 million a season. Add to that the reportedly $20 million in fees Nebraska and Colorado would owe the conference for leaving, and you can see how this still looks plenty appealing for Texas.

And of course if it's appealing for Texas, you know the rest of the Big 12 lackeys will be on board since they either a) have to go where Texas goes or b) is better than the alternative of being without Texas either in the MWC or who knows where else?

Well at least it's appealing for eight of the nine other current members whose colors aren't burnt orange: the lone dissenter remains Texas A&M, who also according to Brown have an invite to the SEC if they want it and would have a 6-3 vote from their Board of Regents to accept it if the vote was held right now.

Tough call for the Aggies: stay with what you know, continue your 100 year rivalry with Texas, and continue to cater to the Horns every whim. Or leave for a much tougher conference, but one with more prestige, more money (by adding the Aggies the SEC would add the Dallas, Houston and San Antonio markets, which would assuredly push each team's TV payout north of $20 million a year), and would get them out of the shadow of the Longhorns. Perhaps A&M uses this as leverage to demand a bigger payout from the Big 12, or to balance the TV revenue a little so Texas doesn't get more than everyone else.

While every school is trying to do what's best for them and makes them the most money, this entire process revolves around Texas and everyone has to follow. So I find it interesting that for the second time in a month, the Horns have managed to push the onus and blame onto someone else for what happens to the Big 12, knowing full well that regardless of the outcome Texas will still come out better than anyone else.

Stay tuned. E! is still saying this morning that Texas, OU, OSU and Texas Tech are bound for the Pac 10. I tend to trust Brown's reporting on this a lot more than E!SPN's, but until an official announcement is made, we'll hear a lot of differing opinions on what will happen.

We do know there will be Board of Regents meetings at Texas and Texas Tech tomorrow, A&M regents meet Thursday, and the Texas Legislature has called a hearing for Wednesday to try and get attention- I MEAN to work for the best interests of their wallets- I MEAN to work for the best interests of the state universities and their tax payers.

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