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Big Ten & Texas Have Preliminary Talks…or not

Category: Big Ten Expansion & Realignment, expansion, Featured News

As expected, the Big Ten reportedly has had preliminary talks with Texas about joining, as per the Lawrence Journal World & News. We’ve long known they would at least reach out to Texas and see if both parties are a mutual fit. With a TV network already generating over $20 million dollars per school, adding Texas would just increase that figure. Notre Dame is the only other “homerun” option for the Big Ten, followed by adding a NY area school such as Rutgers or Syracuse to add that lucrative television market.

The report of Big Ten/Texas talks comes just days after the Pac-10 announced it would consider expansion as part of it’s own TV negotiations next year. While Colorado & Utah seem like the most logical fits for the Pac-10+2, it’s also Texas that would be the only true expansion smash. In a radio interview on KJR-AM Seattle, I did mention that if you’re the Pac-10 and expanding, you at least need to ask the prettiest girl to goto the prom first and then ask others once she turns you down. And I should be shot for making such a metaphor.

In all likelihood, Texas is now in a very interesting position where one thing is clear: they will improve their TV revenue. There could exist a future invite from the Big Ten and access to the Big Ten Network revenue. Texas could also consider joining the Pac-10 and spur the launch of a Pac-10 TV network that would include all the Texas, California, Arizona, Washington and Oregon markets, along with those in other nearby markets. The question is would the Pac-10 revenue be able to equal that of the Big Ten?

But the best position for Texas might simply to do nothing. This interest from 2 other conferences could assist them in creating their own Texas-based television network in which they would receive virtually all the revenue. While it might not come close to the BTN or a Pac-10 Network, they’d be able to keep the revenue to themselves and not split it with 11 other conference members. In the end, you’d think that if Texas could make the same (or more) money and stay with the more regional Big 12 members, it would be their top choice.

Update from Big Ten AD Delaney: no talks have happened

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  • Anonymous

    Texas couldn't (and wouldn't) do that. LSU & Arkansas wouldn't walk away from a sure thing in the SEC for a gamble just because it's Texas.

    Besides, why would Texas go to the trouble of creating a conference like that when it could keep its own TV revenue all to itself as an independent?

    That scheduling formula reminds me of Notre Dame. They can "cherry pick" whoever the heck the want to play. But I don't think Texas wants that. The Big Ten is able to offer more money per team than Notre Dame, the ultimate national brand, can earn with an NBC contract.

  • Anonymous

    Texas should start it's own conference. A&M; and OU gets the invite. Then Texas makes a nation wide invite then cherry pick the schools they want in.
    LSU and Arkansas get in.

    So far,

  • Anonymous

    If UT could convince the Big Ten also to invite A&M; to join, this move may make more sense for the Longhorns than I would like to admit.

    UT would still play OU annually out-of-conference as it did in the pre-Big 12 days. (As a non-AAU member, I don't see OU getting approved to join by Big Ten presidents. Plus, I think that political pressure in Texas would essentially prevent UT from leaving the Big 12 without A&M.;)

    Now, if A&M; were to get an invite along with UT, then I think UT's decision would boil down to this question: Is UT willing to trade second-tier rivalries against Tech, Baylor, Nebraska, and Ok State for premier matchups against Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, and Iowa? Horns fans would have to evaluate the pros & cons on that one long and hard, as would the administration.

    I'll go out on a limb and say UT would be more than willing to trade games vs. the Big 12 North teams for games vs. the other Big Ten teams. After all, games vs. Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Purdue should be no less appealing than already-long distance games vs. Kansas, Colorado, Missouri, and Iowa State. Plus, as a Big Ten teams, UT wouldn't lose any viewers in Texas but would gain a whole lot in the well-populated Midwest.

    In basketball, Texas would trade Kansas for Michigan State, Missouri for Indiana, Ok State for Purdue, and Tech for Ohio State. At worst, that's a lateral move.

    Periodically, UT and A&M; could still play Tech, Baylor, old Big 8 schools, and old SWC schools, but I bet most years the non-conference slate would be cupcakes, other than UT-OU.

    Forget Rutgers, Pitt, Syracuse, etc. Notre Dame, even with its NBC contract, would really find the Big Ten's TV money, now with Texas and A&M; in the mix, almost too hard not to ask for an invitation as the 14th member. And of course the Big Ten would grant it.

    This may actually happen, and that's unfortunate. It would be great for the Big Ten, which would become even more flush with cash, but it would be terrible for college sports. Money-wise, the Big Ten would further distance itself from every other league, with only the SEC able to rake in comparable revenue. Furthermore, it would be awful for the Big 12, and because of the ensuing domino effect, it would be terrible for the Mountain West, WAC, and C-USA.

  • Anonymous

    Texas will wait out to see what the Big 12 will get in the next t.v. contract they land, probably a combination of ESPN, high profile games on Fox, and instead of being on Fox Sports Regionals, the Big 12 will push to have games on FX to assure more nationwide games.

    I can't see Texas leaving the Big 12 since their travel cost would go through the roof.

  • This goes back to the fact that the Big XII is not on ESPN very much. If the Big XII were to be smart in the next round of TV negotiations, they would have more games on the ESPN family of networks. Texas is, I repeat, not going anywhere. This is probably forced the Big XII to do what I said previously, and that is to have more of a connection with ESPN as far as football goes. ESPN has everything locked as far as basketball is concerned.


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