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Big 12 Expansion Candidates

Category: Big 12 Expansion & Realignment, NCAA Conference Expansion & Realignment

A quick recap of the Big 12 expansion situation:

* The Big 12 has reinstated the expansion committee, which was shelved when Oklahoma first threatened to leave.

* It is understood that if the Big 12 expands to 10 with a single replacement for Texas A&M, and that #10 school is either BYU or TCU, that the revenue figures for the television contract will remain as they are now.

* BYU is considered the top choice, with TCU now working it’s way into the #2 position as backup. But BYU is reportedly less interested in the Big 12 due to stability questions…as well as being forced to move it’s non-football sports out of the WCC.

* Missouri is in no way, at this time, fully committed to the Big 12. The SEC remains an option until all the agreements are formalized and signed by all Big 12 schools. This will require regents meetings by each Big 12 school, so it will take time. Meanwhile, with the instability 2 years in a row, Missouri would be wise to take the SEC opportunity now given the stable and lucrative nature of SEC conference membership.

* In the search for a 10th school, the process is not expected to need to go beyond BYU or TCU. If BYU were offered first and rejected, TCU would accept. If TCU offered first, TCU would accept.

* The “lower” Big 12 schools are stronger in support of expansion to 12. This would bring more stability in the event of a future departure. Oklahoma and OSU are proven flight risks to the Pac-12 or SEC. Missouri to the SEC or Big Ten (should Big Ten ever opt to expand again). Texas is a risk for not only Pac-12 and potentially the Big Ten, but also as a football independent via the LHN revenue. In adding 3 schools such as TCU, BYU and Louisville, or TCU, Louisville and WVU, the Big 12 would be safe if even 4 schools left the conference.

* Texas is less interested in expanding beyond 10 schools, which is why 10 seems to be the magic number.

* It is unknown if the networks would increase the annual value of the television contracts (average payout per school) if the Big 12 were to expand to 12. But one can assume that if BYU or TCU were viewed as equal to Texas A&M, then adding both and a more northeast school like Louisville would be an option. However, loss of Texas power via more members is certainly a concern by Texas as some conscious level.

* Because there is less of a push to go to 12, some seemingly lucrative 12 school scenarios so not seem to have as much support such as: Boise St/BYU/TCU, Boise St/Air Force/TCU, TCU/BYU/Louisville, Louisville/TCU/WVU

* Assuming something strange and drastic happened and both BYU and TCU were not available, the Big 12 would look at other candidates for #10 out of the Boise St., Louisville, Houston, SMU, Air Force pool.

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  • Texas and Texas A&M came out the winner in this latest round of conference musical chairs.

    Texas A&M has wanted to move to the SEC since the late 1980s. They were supposed to be the 12th member with Arkansas. A fact lost on about 98% of the people who write about college sports (Yes, I am pointing fingers of shame for your ignorance at Dennis Dodds and the blog, Out Kick the Coverage).

    It took the Aggies nearly 20 years to accomplish what they set as a goal with their friends from Arkansas.

    Texas won because they got time. Time to establish the LHN. The Longhorns will need to add programming beyond two measly football games, and basketball and baseball contests. College sports networks thrive on two types of programming: lots and lots of live programming and re-airing of games.

    Texas needs to add sports to join the Big 11. The next four or five years will allow Texas to add and become competitive in these new offerings.

    At 19 varsity sports, the ‘Horns would not compete for several conference championship sports offered by the Big 11, or even the ACC, and Pac 12.

    Two other bits of misinformation and ignorance regarding media rights and the Big 12-3. The unequal television revision is known as the Kansas State rule. Texas wanted teams to schedule difficult opponents in football and men’s basketball instead of feasting on out of conference cupcakes like K-State did and does.

    To encourage this scheduling, a school would receive a bigger cut of the television revenue because those games receive more money from ABC and ESPN. An AD had a choice: schedule lousy home opponents that ESPN paid bottom dollar to televise (if it was televised at all) or schedule a difficult home/road opponents that ESPN top dollar to televise.

    That is, a school was rewarded for its risk.

    When the five breakaway schools returned to the Big 12-3 last summer, three schools were offered additional television money for returning. OU and Texas passed on the additional money. A&M held fast to the offer.

    Blame Texas for refusing to allow partial qualifiers to receive full rides, which crippled Nebraska’s football program. Castigate Texas for asking schools like K-State, Baylor, and Mizzou to step up the OOC scheduling especially in football.

    But get your facts straight if you are going to pass yourself off as a knowledgable national football columnist or blog that claims to know something about its subject matter.


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