Jon is certainly right there at the top when it comes to accurate and timely expansion news, especially with the Pac-12. One thing that is clear now is that the "power" this time around is clearly in the hands of the Pac-12 and not Texas. For instance, last year, the Pac-10 only wanted to expand beyond 12 if Texas was in the mix. And texas controlled the other 4 schools too: no Texas, no Pac-16 expansion. But now, it is clear: the Pac-12 will consider adding just Oklahoma and Oklahoma St. and both schools WILL accept if offered. So now Texas is left with no leverage. They can't play hardball because if Oklahoma and Oklahoma St. leave, Texas is in a less desirable position. Sure, there are the single-site generated rumor of Texas to the ACC, but the ACC has said they require equal revenue sharing, so scrap that idea. Texas can remain in Big 12 without OU/OSU and bring in CUSA schools (maybe even Big East if Texas commits to staying) for a watered down B12 (where Texas can have even more LHN conference games). The "indy" and Big East idea i pitched a month ago still is an option, perhaps even with a Big East split (Big East 9 + 5 of Kansas, KSU, ISU, Missouri, Baylor for all sports PLUS Notre Dame and Texas for non-football sports. BUT, the money for that football contract is expected to be fairly low compared to the P12/B10/SEC money.
So it still comes back to Pac-16: Pac-12 and Oklahoma might be days away from putting Texas in the spot to come or be left behind. the move is simple: absorb LHN into Pac12 TV model and make more overall TV revenue than even in current B12 (with TAMU still in). But that requires the pride stripping move of dropping LHN which is the issue. Not that different than Notre Dame with the Big Ten: ND passes on B10 despite B10 being more lucrative...but ND also has the indy model they prize whereas Texas is less persistent on the indy model.
Quinn you have lots of fine point but I think you're overstating the power the PAC12 has...Texas has leverage and its name is ESPN. ESPN own's the PAC12's 1st tier TV rights and they won't just hand over more TV money if the PAC12 doesn't play ball. They have the ability to do a 'look in' on the TV contract if expansion happens, that doesn't mean more money right away, no way the PAC12 expands without ESPN's blessing. Now ESPN has no control over the revenue distribution...that is true, but they will make it more difficult than its being advertised. Like I said a few days ago, I either see the Longhorn Network staying as a single team network or becoming the Lonestar Network with Texas Tech, either way I think ESPN stays in control and keep a good portion of athletic events including at least one football game, however I think the revenue will be split evenly. The PAC16 gets Texas and their money from the LHN, ESPN keeps control of the network its sunk money into, and Texas claims a moral victory by keeping the programming giant on their side (instead of Fox who cfb programming sucks). Like I said earlier an OU, OSU, Tech network would get picked up in DFW, an OU/OSU network may not, the businessman in me thinks that would be best for all involved (at least for the time being) though from a PR POV I get how that looks like a problem from the outside...
If you're saying that the situation now is the same as last year in regards to leverage, then why is the Pac16 scenario even on the table? Because obviously, if texas were in a position of power like they were last year, then the P16 scenario would have already been scrapped by Texas. The reason is because they don't have the same cache as last year. The LHN/ESPN contract can be null and void with Texas moving to another conference...that is in the contract. And there is more money to be made for Texas based alone on the Pac-12 existing contract. And again, the Pac-12 TC contract has specific revisions that open up re-negotiations even before the Pac-12 decides to expand. In other words, the contract is specific enough that the Pac-12 will be given an exact new rate before they have to invite a school...unlike when the invited CO and Utah and only had market research to estimate the revenue impact.
This is why the Pac-12 can and will sit aside and watch. Only when Texas asks to be invited is Scott in the position to invite them. That was not the case last year when Texas held the cards. TAMU leaving is a blow since it puts the financials out of whack for the existing B12 contract (more to come out this week). That, and losing Oklahoma and OSU would greatly effect the B12 TV revenue...while the Pac-12 per-school revenue would just grow with OU and OSU. So what's Texas to do? Have the B12 contract scrapped for pennies and just make the LHN the official B12 contract? Estimate are that even with LHN in that scenario, Texas would be making less than the lowest in the Pac12 then. And as we've seen, money has been their motivating factor, not indy pride like with ND.
Leverage can be simplified: last year, Texas had the leverage to demand what schools other than Colorado joined the Pac-10. And they had the leverage to get whatever schools they wanted to come with them to join their move...even with the TAMU/SEC talks last year, TAMU still had the P12 on the table as an option. This year, TAMU is gone. This year, Oklahoma AND Oklahoma St. have publicly said they will leave for the Pac12 if invited regardless of what Texas does. And Pac12 sources have said that they would indeed strongly consider adding OU and OSU without Texas (logic being to strengthen P12 product and prevent those schools being in SEC16 mix). None of this was the case last year. And that is why it is in no way a stretch to say that Texas in no way, even with the LHN, has not anywhere close to the cache, the leverage, they had last year.
More leverage: this now makes TAMU and Oklahoma as saying that a Texas rivalry is of less importance now. If OU leaves and Texas stays behind, no more Red river rivalryhttp://espn.go.com/college-football/sto ... ns-rivalry