Appreciate the comments, tkalmus.
I see where Texas AD, DeLoss Dodds has announced he'll be retiring. This is in addition to the on-going pressure on Mac Brown. The two circumstances may not be directly related.
They are directly related. I know this isn't a "Texas" board so I won't bore you but there is also a big EEOC suite going on with are form women's track coach that is also related, but Dodds is done and so is Mack, they'll announce a new AD before Dec and Mack will "retire" right after the season if not before.
So, Texas shall be having multiple personnel changes. Texas shall seek to maintain their top revenue stream, yet they have to be assessing if the current B12 situation is best for them in the long-run. I wonder if ESPN's investment with the LHN shall be sustained. That's so much programming to fill based on one school, though they have tried to branch into some level of auxiliary coverage that serves the basic objective.
LHN is here as long as the B12 is both till 2025, the prime time programing is quite good, but reruns take up the hours between 10pm-4pm, same as it does on the PAC12network/BTN, but with just 1 school and one audience there is only so much you can watch/record. Still I love the content however I think the 1 school network is a bust. If A&M had joined up when first offered I think it might have been very successful.
Does the B12 really offer Texas what it needs in terms of future high profile games? While the Oklahoma rivalry is marquee, and OSU has been appreciable competition; the in-state competition with TTU, Baylor, and TCU doesn't generally match the greater interest that was shown in the long series with T A&M (and valued games with UN & Mizzou, when ranked, showed decent national appeal). However though, TTU, Balyor, and TCU are showing ranked success. Many talk about Texas being a big winner in the current B12 configuration due to protection mechanisms of their financial assets. However, I believe the biggest winners in all this are TTU, Balyor, and TCU----not because they draw revenue on the level Texas does (which they don't), but because another situation would offer them so much less.
ISU, KSU, OSU, and KU for the most part, are also thankful they remain in the more northern reaches of this power conference with a rivalry group, given that greater options have not been presented. And WVU, despite the travel and geographic isolation, knows it's the best situation available to them for now.
not only has UT's conference schedule gone downhill with the loss of the 4 former Big 12 schools, but also the loss of the divisional format is forcing UT to play KU/KSU/ISU/WVU every year instead of 2 out of 4 years. Its getting old quick, and while I would enjoy getting home/homes with KU every year (if our bball program could win again) most fans don't enjoy it. But I'll go into more detail later.
No, it doesn't offer many great conference games, but it'll do for now...
Losing Colorado/Mizzou doesn't matter much to me other than academics, athletically speaking WVU is about the same (or possibly better).
Losing Nebraska sucks but there's not much we can do about it and we were only playing them 2 out of 4 years.
Swapping A&M for TCU isn't good but its not like we added Rice, TCU is a really good team. I'll address more on A&M below.
Most what suck is how much the round robin hurts the perception of the conference (though it does truly suck this year) while larger conferences get more top ranked teams as they play each other less. It easy to see that Dodds left us in a weaker conference athletically/academically and I think that there is little doubt that UT will join the PAC12 next time around where UT/OU will still be the center pieces of the PAC12 Eastern division just like they were in the Big 12 South.
As far as the big winners go, its easy to say its Texas with the LHN, but when you break it down they almost have it the worst in the conference, second only to Oklahoma who is the only school in the conference to have less money coming in than before. Every school other than OU (once TCU/WVU become fully vested) will have received more of a pay raise than Texas, who when all things considered will only be making 5 million more a year (which goes directly to the university and not the athletic department). So other than the exposure of the LHN (which is minimal at best) its hard for me to see how UT came out on top of this round of realignment as most suggest, which is why I sometimes take offense when people toss out the big bad mean ole Texas card around. Yes they acted in self interest but they also sacrificed a lot in order to make this conference work, so anyone in the Big 12 other than OU really has no room to talk.
I have to believe there are basically only three schools in the B12 that can produce a real game changer. Texas and Oklahoma are the obvious two. Kansas is the third, particularly as it would most impact the northern tier of the conference.
If WVU would leave, the B12 may not care that much because of their location. Others, outside Tx, OU, and KU, initiating leaving on their own, just would not happen.
Impressive OOC scheduling has been an option, but what's available in-conference is a sticking label. Granted, the B12 has some very fine schools that are athletically successful in multiple dimensions. But does Texas, and a couple of others, see this "collection" as whom they most want to play in multiple sports, year in and year out?
Again, there are at least 3 that may have the opportunity to ponder the question, seriously, down the road.
I think you sell core of the Big 12 a little short, the only true loser in this scenario in ISU but if referencing realignment "jewels" you're right, but the tag-a-longs (TT/OSU) bring good value too.
I'd like to see the 4 go West, KU get the B1G invite, and WVU get the ACC invite.
I don't think the Big 12 is long term solution, but it'll will work until 2025, but at that point I think it'll be over and you'll the the remaining Big 12 schools add the AAC western schools (SMU/Houston/Tulane/Memphis/Tulsa) and continue on but without the playoff/bowl bid. I only really worry for Kansas who could end up w/o a seat if the PAC12 stops at 16 and the SEC/B1G leave them hanging.
Now for A&M...while the rivalry has stopped, it would be pretty hard to play it OOC with only 3 OOC games, look at Utah they stopped the BYU rivalry for that reason, so why would it be any easier for UT to schedule A&M every year. The SEC has 4 OOC games thus scheduling GT/Clem/FSU/Lville is fairly easy but with Texas already scheduling some good OOC game over the next few years (just did 2012-14 w/ Ole Miss, UCLA, BYU; '15-16 ND/Cal, '17/18 USC/MD, '19/'20 ND, '21 Arky, '22/'23 tOSU) it would be hard to get A&M into the schedule until 2019 and even then it would only further make our schedule worse as we'd just be adding anther TX school to the mix thus giving us ten routine games.
IF the Big 12 expand with say Cincy/UConn, then I think we go back to a straight North/South divide because that's what the South schools want and it will make the most money for everyone involved and make the conference appear less weak though we just add 2 additional doormats. Then and likely only then you might see Texas restart the annual A&M series at that point.