Blog Entry

What the week meant for the Big 12

Posted on: June 4, 2010 4:25 pm
Edited on: June 4, 2010 4:42 pm

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- If it's possible, the Big 12 left here more fractured than when it arrived.

Commissioner Dan Beebe wanted a full plane by the end of the week at his spring meetings. He came away from his own spring meetings with a load of ----.

Nothing is settled as the conference realignment moves on inexorably. Missouri and Nebraska hemmed and hawed about their future plans -- whatever they are. Kansas AD Lew Perkins proclaimed this was "serious, serious, serious stuff," while his own future at KU seems to be in jeopardy.

Texas A&M AD Bill Byrne disparaged the Pac-10 while a report claimed his school was about to join the league lured by a promise of $20 million free and clear each year.

No one besides Iowa State and Baylor seemed to be pledging loyalty. Check that. Iowa State checked out. The president and AD put out a statement Friday saying the fix is in: "... the Big 12 is not in our control -- it is in the hands of a few of our fellow institutions."

Poor Beebe. Things are changing that fast. He came to a luxury hotel in Kansas City for five days to hear and read various accounts of his league breaking up. It came to a head Thursday when, confronted with that Pac-10 story, he left the hotel abruptly, media trailing behind him.

Before the media circus left town -- by the way, love that closet side aside for us to work in -- Beebe tried to calm fears that his league was breaking up. But it's not really a league, or even "a few of our fellow institutions." It's a team. Texas. Keep Texas and you keep the Big 12 together, in some form. Yes, Nebraska and Missouri are on the street corner hiking up their skirts from the johns from the Big Ten. But any league with Texas committed is a viable conference.

The Longhorns control the future. Theirs, the Big 12's, maybe college athletics'. In the coming (or at least predicted) realignment it's obvious Texas is king.

It is the jewel that can't get away if you're the Big 12. It would also make some conference lucky enough to snag it. Perhaps the biggest news of the week was Friday's story in the Columbus Dispatch that detailed correspondence between Ohio State president Gordon Gee and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany regarding Texas.

Message: Texas is interested.

Well, there it is, isn't it? Texas isn't loyal to the Big 12. Texas is loyal to Texas. And as long as that is the case, why should any school be loyal to the Big 12?

Thursday's shocking report that the Pac-10 may invite six Big 12 schools supported my theory: We're still months away from anything. The Pac-10 isn't going to invite anyone this weekend at the league's spring meetings in San Francisco. But I'm sure pretty much everything you can think of is on the table.

Notre Dame and Texas in the Big Ten, a 20-team Big Ten, a 16-team Pac-10, even a world where the Big Ten does nothing. The problem for the Dan Beebes of the world is that closed-door discussions are starting to leak out. It doesn't mean they're right but it's embarrassing as hell for a commissioner in a defensive position.

Beebe has one swing left to hit a home run. He keeps alluding to a windfall waiting down the line. He is referring to the new deal coming with Fox Sports Net. The network finished an aggressive second in the bidding for the ACC rights so it supposedly has money to burn. In the end, that might be the best play for Texas. It has won conference and national championships in the Big 12, gone to the Final Four, become the dominant amateur athletic entity in the country. Try counting to $138 million. That's the amount of Texas' athletic budget.

It's a burnt orange Catch-22, though. Beebe can't negotiate with Fox until April. His teams can negotiate with a new conference every day. Beebe should be thankful he has Texas. This week.


Category: NCAAF

Since: Jan 30, 2008
Posted on: June 6, 2010 5:35 pm

What the week meant for the Big 12

If the Big 10 does expand and extend an invitation to members of the Big 12, Missouri will be the first to receive an invitation. What is somehow forgotten is Missouri meets the ACADEMIC requirements to join the Big 10. Afterall, academics still is a thing that will control things. Nebraska will have to make concessions academically to join, which I feel they would. Does Texas A&M have the academics to make the jump to the Big 10? The Big 10 expansion will have to include academics as much as athletics. This is why Missouri is the frontrunner, no matter if the Huskers are back in football.

Since: Jan 6, 2009
Posted on: June 6, 2010 3:41 pm

What the week meant for the Big 12

Texas is a cancer!

Since: Jan 6, 2009
Posted on: June 6, 2010 3:38 pm

What the week meant for the Big 12

AMEN! Perfectly said!

Since: Oct 9, 2006
Posted on: June 6, 2010 2:42 pm

What the week meant for the Big 12

what are you talking about missouri is having way better recruiting classes and has had a better team the 4 out of the last 5 years!

Since: Aug 19, 2009
Posted on: June 6, 2010 1:04 pm

What the week meant for the Big 12


Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: June 6, 2010 1:01 pm

What the week meant for the Big 12

But any league with Texas committed is a viable conference. Really?  Then why has Texas destroyed two conferences in 20 years?  Texas is a cancer.  Any conference that lets them in at this point deserves whatever they get.

Since: Aug 15, 2007
Posted on: June 6, 2010 12:58 pm

What the week meant for the Big 12

Lets not kid ourselves - Nebraska is not exactly a big time college athletic program outside of women's volleyball and maybe football.  There is no men's basketball program to speak of and hence you could make an argument that KU is as attractive as Nebraska for a conference to poach.

Since: Sep 8, 2007
Posted on: June 6, 2010 10:43 am

What the week meant for the Big 12

Good points by all except the blogger himself. Sure, Texas is the crown jewel in terms of athletic programs from a revenue standpoint, but as others said, it seems very unlikely UT could just diss the rest of the major Texas schools to do what it wants by itself. So A&M at the very least is going to come along for the ride. I can see Tech and Baylor being left behind, but not A&M.

To insinuate Nebraska is on the same level as Missouri's athletic program is comical... even going far as saying they're both "hiking up their skirts" is ridiculous. Nebraska is not tied to Mizzou like Texas is to A&M, and how Oklahoma is tied to Okie State. Nebraska is Nebraska. They could go to the Big 10 -or- the Pac 10. They certainly do not need Mizzou. Any jump to a new league would likely involve pairs, so Nebraska would possibly need someone else, but it could easily be Notre Dame.

Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas hold the fate of the Big 12. Not just Texas. If Iowa State bolts, ho-hum... don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: June 6, 2010 6:29 am

What the week meant for the Big 12

I agree that Texas is a linchpin in the discussion of the future for the Big 12, but would not discount the impact of Nebraska leaving at all.   It's not just Tom Osborne, but the ghost of Bob Devaney still hangs around every football season as well.  Nebraska is one of those places like Alabama, Florida, Notre Dame, USC, Oklahoma, and yes, Texas, where a 7-5 or 8-4 season just isn't good enough.  If Nebraska were to move over to the Big Ten, the legitimacy of the Big 12 comes into question, Texas or no Texas.

Since: Oct 3, 2007
Posted on: June 5, 2010 6:14 pm

What the week meant for the Big 12

many good points mpn ... and lol Dodd calling Neb a 'street walker' - the Huskers don't have to take a college football backseat to anyone! ... does the name Tom Osborne ring a bell ?  ... do u remember the 70s, 80s, 90s ?

that being said we live in a 'only today matters' world ... despite the fact Huskers are on the rise again (and college football success is cyclical at the top) the almight $ will eventually dictate where Huskers land

here's hoping the big 12 stays intact !

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