Apparently, the Big 12 is close to a deal that would keep its 10 remaining members together. An overpriced TV deal that provides the most money to Texas, Oklahoma and A&M would keep the conference from splintering off into the Pac-whatever and SEC in the case of Texas A&M.
Texas, the apple of everyone’s eye, will get a nice payday. The schools that were going to be left out — Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and Baylor — get to stay in a BCS conference.
In essence, Texas gets to start its own TV network and be a de facto independent. It’s a great deal for UT in the short term.
It also increases the Longhorns’ odds of making it to the mythical title game. With 10 teams, there will be no pesky Big 12 title game. In essence, beat Oklahoma and they are in. The current teams will likely not expand in order to keep all the TV dollars to themselves.
For OU and A&M, it’s reasonably sexy as well. They are expected to pull close to $20 million per year each. They will likely fall farther behind Texas with the way this deal is structured, but they will do well enough.
The other schools will be happy with whatever scraps are left. It will preserve the “traditions” of what is left of the Big 12.
But what is this conference really? A watered-down, less appealing version of the now-defunct SWC.
Colorado was no loss, but failing to attempt to replace Nebraska leaves the Big 12 (10) as a non-factor as a serious football conference.
At best, it will rank fourth behind the SEC, Big 10 and Pac-whatever. You could make a pretty good case it’s not as good as the ACC.
As long as it has Texas and OU, it will be stronger than the Big East. But this is a conference people were trying to compare to the SEC not so long ago.
A&M fans were salivating at the chance to go to the SEC, the most stable and successful conference in the country. It doesn’t look like that will happen now.
Longterm, it is hard to see the league being a major success. The current dollars can’t hold up for long. And what happens if the Big 10 decides it wants Missouri after all?
See you. And the not-so-Big 12 would be even less significant.
Sometime in the next 24 hours, the Big 12 might be saved.
Maybe it shouldn’t be.