Tag:Texas A&M
Posted on: September 22, 2011 10:02 am
 

Neinas interested, expected to be Big 12 interim

Chuck Neinas has applied to the Big 12 and is expected to be formally approved as the league's interim commissioner possibly as soon as Thursday, CBSSports.com has learned.

During an interview early Thursday, Neinas said he had been contacted by Big 12 representatives who inquired about his interest in replacing Dan Beebe. "I responded in the affirmative," said Neinas who then submitted his resume.

Neinas also told CBSSports.com that his employment is an agenda item during the Big 12 presidents' conference call on Thursday. CBSSports.com reported Wednesday night that Beebe was expected to leave the league and be replaced on an interim basis by Neinas. 

His hiring would seem to be formality considering Neinas has conducted employment searches for seven of the current nine members of the Big 12. The former Big Eight commissioner runs Neinas Sports Services, a consulting firm, out of his home in Boulder, Colo. Until Texas A&M, Nebraska and Colorado left the league, Neinas had done work for 10 of the original 12 conference members.

"I've been around the game a while," said Neinas who was assistant executive director of the NCAA from 1961-71. He later was commissioner of the Big Eight from 1971-80.

"I told my wife, I guess it's like Yogi said, 'It's not over until it's over,' " Neinas said.

Neinas should be a unifying force in a fractured league. Texas AD DeLoss Dodds once worked for Neinas as an assistant in the Big Eight. Neinas said he helped current Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt get his first job.

Neinas expects the position to last six months to a year.

 

Posted on: September 21, 2011 9:05 pm
 

Big 12 poised to replace Beebe

The Big 12 is poised to replace commissioner Dan Beebe with former Big Eight commissioner Chuck Neinas, CBSSports.com has learned.

One highly placed source said the conference was moving quickly to replace Beebe who had been under fire from some conference members after recent instability within the league. Neinas, currently a well-known college consultant, is expected to be named interim commissioner.

The official word could come as soon as Thursday when the Big 12 presidents meet by conference call to discuss how to move forward. Based on the news of Wednesday, the embattled league apparently will continue with nine schools while seeking additional members.

The Tulsa World reported Wednesday that the Big 12 had "targeted" Neinas, one of the most respected college figures in the country. Neinas was the assistant executive director of the NCAA from 1961-1971 and Big Eight commissioner from 1971-1980. He currently runs Neinas Sports Services

Oklahoma and Texas are seemingly in the Big 12 fold after flirting with the Pac-12 for what seems like forever. Essentially, the Big 12 has taken a trip around the world the last few weeks and ended up in the exact same place -- without Texas A&M.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: September 21, 2011 1:24 pm
 

Boone Pickens speaks on state of Big 12

Boone Pickens says he believes the Big 12 will stay together.

I talked to him late Wednesday morning, asking him a serious of questions about the future of his program and the conference. If you need to be reminded, Pickens is the billionaire booster who has gotten Oklahoma State to the brink of the national conversation.

The Cowboys are coming off their best season, 11-2 in 2010. On Saturday at Texas A&M, they play only the ninth Big 12 conference game between two top 10 teams (not including the Red River Shootout). It might be the last game between the two schools as conference rivals.

"I still have great hope that the Aggies stay with the Big 12," Pickens told me.


If A&M goes to the SEC, do you think the Big 12 can be held to together?


"They've already told you [Oklahoma, Texas] they don't want you in the Pac-12. I don't want them either. I don't want to be in the division of the Pac-12 that doesn't have the ocean.

"I think we just work through it. If the Aggies are gone, we add somebody. I'd add TCU to go forward."


Lost in all this is your team is playing pretty well, the Big 12 is 23-2 in non-conference games, there's a big game in College Station on Saturday. Do you miss talking about football and bragging on your team right now?

"We've got a good football team. We haven't had a tough game yet. We'll see Saturday. We're no different than we've always been. We don't want to get anybody hurt."


How proud are you of what you and Oklahoma State have been able to accomplish?

"This is our sixth year since we've started with this program. Every year has been a better year. I hope this year will be better than last year. I’m not going to get out on a limb because, why? I saw OU play the other night against Florida State. I can see why they're ranked No. 1."


Do you think this decision by the Pac-12 last night keeps the Big 12 together in some form?

"May very well. I hope so."


I'm sure you've considered the culture change of OU and Oklahoma State going West.

"I lot of Oklahoma people went to California in the Dust Bowl during World War II to look for work. We're where we should be. This is home and I want to stay at home."


Do you consider this Pac-12 situation finished?

"I don't know. This thing is so fluid. In the morning I may pick up the paper and read something the opposite. I know what I think is best. I've thought through it. I'm objective. I know what I’m talking about. The Big 12 should stay together but it should be an equal conference."


I know you've had discussions with Texas. If they gave just a little bit back in terms of revenue would that be enough?

"I'm not too big on compromise. I'm more about doing what's right. What's right is everybody is treated equal. When it came time for you to vote they didn't say, 'We'll give you half a vote,' when you're 18 years old voting in an election. That's not the way it is. You're either in or you're not in. I want to be on the same basis as everybody else."


How does this league stay together with Oklahoma president David Boren taking shots at the conference going out the door on Monday, then on Tuesday saying it's in OU's best interests to stay in the Big 12?

"Oklahoma schools will stick together. David Boren is a smart guy. He's been around a long time. He's got a plan."


Posted on: September 20, 2011 4:12 pm
Edited on: September 21, 2011 12:13 am
 

SEC wants Missouri, the logical No. 14 choice

All you had to do was put together the puzzle pieces on Missouri.

Earlier Tuesday, we reported that West Virginia was out as far as joining the SEC or ACC. Logically, that held that Missouri was likely to be the SEC's 14th school. That looked to be the case after the Kansas City Star reported that Missouri had "an offer on the table" to join the nation's strongest conference.

Except that the SEC immediately shot down the report: "The SEC has not extended an invitation to any school beyond Texas A&M since it extended invitations to Arkansas and South Carolina."

That would be two decades ago.

All this develops while the Big East and Big 12 attempt to reconstitute themselves into a combined league going forward. A source said Tuesday representatives from both leagues would like to meet in a central location but that there was nothing imminent through Wednesday. There's a long way to go -- the SEC likely wouldn't entertain an application until the Big 12 collapse. However, such a move by Missouri's would clear up conference realignment just a bit.

"I think there's something to that," said an administrator not from the Big 12 but whose school would benefit if Missouri left for the SEC.

Because the SEC is so sensitive to the landscape right now, don't be surprised either that the report could actually wreck a Missouri move to the SEC. It is known that SEC commissioner Mike Slive doesn't want to move on an existing conference member -- especially from the Big 12 -- until things are resolved legally.

Don't forget that Baylor could threaten legal action against Missouri if the school was accepted to the SEC. A Big 12 source said that for legal purposes, the Big 12 is still considered a conference as long as it has five members. The NCAA requires minimum membership of six for a conference to exist.

For those of you just jumping into the subject matter, think of Missouri as the best player left on the draft board. With Nebraska, Oklahoma, Syracuse and Pittsburgh spoken for in the past two years, Missouri suddenly looks very attractive. It has two top 30 markets in Kansas City and St. Louis and is contiguous to three SEC states (Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee). It touches two Big Ten states (Iowa, Illinois).

Missouri's fans and some of its administrators were a bit too convinced last year that Missouri was going to the Big Ten. It turns out the school wasn't near the top of the list when Nebraska was invited.

Tuesday's developments obviously don't necessarily place Missouri in the SEC. The Big 12 could survive. The SEC may be looking elsewhere. With Oklahoma and Oklahoma State seemingly out the door to the Pac-12, we won't know for sure on the national landscape until Texas declares its intentions.



For a few minutes there on Tuesday afternoon, Dan Beebe was trending on Twitter over Two and a Half Men. Or that's what I was told. 

I'm not really sure. The social Twitterverse exploded Tuesday with the news that Pac-12 bound Oklahoma was demanding that Beebe, the Big 12's embattled commissioner, be replaced. OU wanted that as a condition of staying in the Big 12. Interesting that on Monday, OU president David Boren was basically tap-dancing on the Big 12's grave after getting permission from regents to head to the Pac-12.

What changed and why did Beebe become a pawn in this discussion? Most likely because OU doesn't have the votes from Pac-12 presidents to actually join the league. There was a report Tuesday that Pac-12 presidents are prepared to vote by the end of the week but there is no consensus. In other words, exactly what we've been hearing for weeks.

Oklahoma and Texas may want to go to the Pac-12, but the Pac-12 has been more than hesitating. Cal and Stanford don't want to include the academically unwashed Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. The Pac-12 is going to make a killing with a dozen teams, why invite the OU/UT drama into the mix? Big, happy families are hard to find these days in college athletics.

In essence, two iconic college sports names -- Oklahoma and Texas -- may have just quibbled and bitched their way out of an invite to what promises to be the richest conference in the country. Can you imagine, then, the Big 12 staying together? It may be forced to kiss and make up. The infighting, jealousies and bickering is going to make the Great Plains version of Jersey Shore. 

It's not the man (Beebe), it's the culture. Texas and Oklahoma were among those who voted Beebe a raise and extension in June. What's changed? Certainly not Longhorn and Sooner egos.

Let's sum up Tuesday: An ultimatum to Dan Beebe by a school headed for the Pac-12 trumps an offer to Missouri that the SEC says didn't happen. 

Everybody caught up?



Officials had every right and duty to delay Saturday’s Oklahoma State-Tulsa start. There were concerns about lightning and, no doubt, liability. But did Oklahoma State and Tulsa take it too far in forcing the players to perform in a game that ended at 3:35 Sunday morning?

Tulsa has game-cancellation insurance for such occurrences so the school would have been reimbursed had the game been cancelled. There is no corresponding open date for the schools when the game could have been made up. But would it have been possible to play the game on Sunday?

Tulsa AD Bubba Cunningham told CBSSports.com that the decision to play the game so late was made jointly by himself and Oklahoma State AD Mike Holder after consulting with game officials and both coaches.

"We were about seven minutes away from cancelling the game," said Cunningham of the contest that kicked off at 12:15 am CT. "We talked about student-athlete welfare as we made the decision. That’s why we had midnight as the tipping point."

The game was allowed to start after midnight because both coaches needed time for their teams to warm up after weather conditions improved. Cunningham said he would think twice about agreeing to start a game that late again. The original starting time was 9 pm CT at the request of Fox regional.

The game started so late that it came close to apparently violating NCAA rules

Cowboys coach Mike Gundy added that had the game started at 7 pm CT, the rain and weather delays would have likely hit in the third quarter of the game instead of before it.

"I just don't think it's best for the student-athlete," said Gundy whose team plays a top-10 matchup this week at Texas A&M. "I wasn’t excited about our players being out there at 2 and 3 in the morning for a football game. I was concerned about their health. I don’t know how players compete at 2 or 3 in the morning. You don’t want a young man to get an injury and not be able to play the rest of the year."

There was, in fact, a significant injury. Tulsa's G.J. Kinne suffered a reported tear of the MCL in his left knee. The Tulsa World stated that the typical recovery time is two to four weeks.

Cunningham said game cancellation insurance had been purchased by Conference USA after Hurricane Katrina had impacted members Southern Miss and Tulane. Weather delays have become one of the overriding topics of the early season. Baylor and Texas Tech had games delayed last week. The Western Michigan-Michigan game was postponed to the game that the statistics didn't count in the NCAA rankings because the game didn't go the minimum three quarters.

The Cowboys-Golden Hurricane game started so late that Oklahoma State assistant Glenn Spencer had to leave during it. His wife Angela died during the first quarter of game won by Oklahoma State 59-33. She had been dealing with the effects of a heart transplant.

"It affected me. I have a lot of respect for their family and what they’ve gone through," Gundy said. "I wasn’t in the best of moods or as focused as I should have been.

Gundy added: "I don’t think it’s anybody’s fault. But at some point do we really want to start a game at 9 o'clock? ... Our APRs are going up, our required numbers of hours to be passed by semester is going up, everything is moving toward education, then we’re going to start our game at 9 o'clock? Whoever is making those decisions needs to think things through before we’re put in those situations."

Tulsa goes to Boise State for a game that starts at a more reasonable time, 7 pm CT.




Wyoming's War Memorial Stadium (capacity: 29,181) is the smallest Nebraska has played in since 1971 ... Vanderbilt's James Franklin became the first Commodore coach to win his first three games at the school since World War II ... It's been three years since the Big 12 has seen a conference game between two top 10 teams aside from the Red River Shootout (Oklahoma-Texas). No. 7 Oklahoma State travels to No. 8 Texas A&M on Saturday ... Boise State has had only three drives (out of 27) that ended in negative yards this season. Two of those came in victory formation while taking a knee ... Two of the top three rushers meet this week at Michigan Stadium. San Diego State tailback Ronnie Hillman is No. 2. Michigan's celebrated quarterback Denard Robinson is No. 3 ... South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore is on pace to rush for 2,492 yards. That would put him 136 yards short Barry Sanders' single-season record ... Florida Atlantic leads all non-BCS schools with only one turnover this season. That ties the Owls with eight other BCS schools. FAU is also the only team not to score a touchdown yet in FBS ... Since the beginning of the 2006 season Vanderbilt has intercepted 81 passes, 10 in three games this season ... USC's Robert Woods has caught more passes (33) this season than seven teams have completed.


Before posting this week's Heisman top five let me explain that I love Andrew Luck. I adore Andrew Luck. I would want Andrew Luck to marry my daughter. But I cannot in good faith put him in my top five. Tell me which one of these you would remove -- based on the season to date -- in place of Luck. Did I mention I love Andrew Luck?

1. Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina; 2. Kellen Moore, Boise State; 3. Robert Griffin III, Baylor; 4. Russell Wilson, Wisconsin; 5. Denard Robinson, Michigan.
Posted on: September 7, 2011 4:45 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2011 9:16 pm
 

Everyone looks bad in latest Big 12 snit

Congratulations Big 12, now you're all to blame. It's not just Texas A&M or Baylor or Oklahoma or Texas or Dan Beebe. It's all of you looking like fools.

The infighting that broke out Wednesday is embarrassing. If Texas A&M wants to go to the SEC, let it go. This looks like a cat fight on "Housewives of Beverly Hills," except the participants wear bow ties and carry law degrees and conduct endless conference calls. It's half tortuous, half torture.

A&M president R. Bowen Loftin is accusing Beebe, the Big 12 commissioner, and member schools of slowing the Aggies' migration to the SEC. A portion of the remaining nine Big 12 schools are with Baylor in reserving the right to have legal claims against the SEC. Twenty years from now fathers will be telling their sons the story of the Big 12. The dads will first pour themselves stiff drink.

These are educated people who should know how to conduct themselves. Instead, they look tawdry, jealous, petty. At the moment, Baylor is rallying a group of conference thugs -- yeah, I said it -- to try to delay A&M's inevitable move to the SEC. At the same time, they're trying to delay things so much that either Oklahoma loses its desire to go to the Pac-12 or the Pac-12 simply shuts the door.

In announcing it had voted Texas A&M in as a 13th member, the SEC said Wednesday in a statement that it had "unanimous written assurance from the Big 12" on Sept. 2 releasing any legal claims against the SEC.

However, Loftin had difficulty getting assurances for what were termed "release of claims," from other Big 12 schools. That was following a Wednesday Big 12 conference call that included what were estimated to be at least seven Big 12 institutions but not all 10.

"At least half, if not the majority are going to reserve their rights for litigation," a source said. "Unless you've got great options that would not be a wise document to sign."

Given recent reports at least five Big 12 schools have those "options" for future conference homes -- Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Missouri. That would leave Iowa State, Kansas State, Kansas and Baylor without clear prospects should the conference collapse.

In a Sept. 2 letter to his SEC counterpart Mike Slive, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe said his conference would not take any legal action against the SEC if Texas A&M were admitted by Sept. 8.

"We both agreed it is in the best interests of each of our conferences and our members institutions," Beebe wrote, "to ... to waive any and all legal actions by the conference and its members resulting from admission of Texas A&M into the SEC."

Baylor and others disagree.

"The end game is to stabilize the Big 12," the source said. "What most of us are looking for is a stable conference."

None of this means any of the other Big 12 schools will actually sue. Oklahoma has a decision to make in pursuing the Pac-12. OU president David Boren said Friday that process could take up to three weeks. Oklahoma State would likely follow Oklahoma if the Sooners headed west.

Texas then would have to decide between 1) following Oklahoma to the Pac-12; 2) staying in a diminished Big 12; 3) going independent and 4) going to an expanded ACC. Even though ACC commissioner John Swofford shot down the idea of Texas coming to his conference on Monday, there are those who think that idea may be alive. In choices 1-3, the continued viability of the LHN is in question. Option No. 4 would theoretically would allow Texas to bring the Longhorn Network with it.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said Saturday that the conference remains "wedded" to it equal revenue distribution model.
Posted on: September 7, 2011 4:45 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2011 9:16 pm
 

Everyone looks bad in latest Big 12 snit

Congratulations Big 12, now you're all to blame. It's not just Texas A&M or Baylor or Oklahoma or Texas or Dan Beebe. It's all of you looking like fools.

The infighting that broke out Wednesday is embarrassing. If Texas A&M wants to go to the SEC, let it go. This looks like a cat fight on "Housewives of Beverly Hills," except the participants wear bow ties and carry law degrees and conduct endless conference calls. It's half tortuous, half torture.

A&M president R. Bowen Loftin is accusing Beebe, the Big 12 commissioner, and member schools of slowing the Aggies' migration to the SEC. A portion of the remaining nine Big 12 schools are with Baylor in reserving the right to have legal claims against the SEC. Twenty years from now fathers will be telling their sons the story of the Big 12. The dads will first pour themselves stiff drink.

These are educated people who should know how to conduct themselves. Instead, they look tawdry, jealous, petty. At the moment, Baylor is rallying a group of conference thugs -- yeah, I said it -- to try to delay A&M's inevitable move to the SEC. At the same time, they're trying to delay things so much that either Oklahoma loses its desire to go to the Pac-12 or the Pac-12 simply shuts the door.

In announcing it had voted Texas A&M in as a 13th member, the SEC said Wednesday in a statement that it had "unanimous written assurance from the Big 12" on Sept. 2 releasing any legal claims against the SEC.

However, Loftin had difficulty getting assurances for what were termed "release of claims," from other Big 12 schools. That was following a Wednesday Big 12 conference call that included what were estimated to be at least seven Big 12 institutions but not all 10.

"At least half, if not the majority are going to reserve their rights for litigation," a source said. "Unless you've got great options that would not be a wise document to sign."

Given recent reports at least five Big 12 schools have those "options" for future conference homes -- Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Missouri. That would leave Iowa State, Kansas State, Kansas and Baylor without clear prospects should the conference collapse.

In a Sept. 2 letter to his SEC counterpart Mike Slive, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe said his conference would not take any legal action against the SEC if Texas A&M were admitted by Sept. 8.

"We both agreed it is in the best interests of each of our conferences and our members institutions," Beebe wrote, "to ... to waive any and all legal actions by the conference and its members resulting from admission of Texas A&M into the SEC."

Baylor and others disagree.

"The end game is to stabilize the Big 12," the source said. "What most of us are looking for is a stable conference."

None of this means any of the other Big 12 schools will actually sue. Oklahoma has a decision to make in pursuing the Pac-12. OU president David Boren said Friday that process could take up to three weeks. Oklahoma State would likely follow Oklahoma if the Sooners headed west.

Texas then would have to decide between 1) following Oklahoma to the Pac-12; 2) staying in a diminished Big 12; 3) going independent and 4) going to an expanded ACC. Even though ACC commissioner John Swofford shot down the idea of Texas coming to his conference on Monday, there are those who think that idea may be alive. In choices 1-3, the continued viability of the LHN is in question. Option No. 4 would theoretically would allow Texas to bring the Longhorn Network with it.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said Saturday that the conference remains "wedded" to it equal revenue distribution model.
Posted on: September 6, 2011 11:46 am
Edited on: September 6, 2011 11:49 am
 

National notes

Since I didn't get around to predicting the BCS bowls before the season actually started, let's just call this a BCS bowl preview (after one week).

BCS championship in New Orleans: Alabama* vs. Oklahoma*

Did nothing in Week 1 to change my opinion of the two best teams in the country.


Rose Bowl:
Oregon* vs. Wisconsin*

Oregon suddenly not a prohibitive favorite in the Pac-12.


Fiesta:
Texas A&M vs. Stanford

Fiesta gets supposed Heisman winner (Andrew Luck) against Big 12 runner-up.


Sugar:
LSU vs. Florida State

Tigers make it back to Sugar, but not the big one.


Orange:
West Virginia* vs. Virginia Tech*

Tech makes a return trip to South. Mountaineers giddy over return to BCS bowl.

*-automatic qualifier


--One reason why we saw all those games delayed or postponed by weather:

Lawyers, or the threat of them if even one person was injured, never mind or killed. Our society is so litigious that even one person slipping on a staircase could cost a school millions. That's why you saw 80,000 people evacuated from stadiums in a short period of time. It's obvious by the speed at which these teams were cleared that schools have prepared for this occurrence.

I can remember seasons when we didn't see this many weather-related delays. Now schools are erring on the side of safety. Who can blame Notre Dame for clearing the stadium twice after it lost a student videographer last season?


--Give Miami's Al Golden credit for not whining about his predicament at Miami.

"Eight of the 110 kids on our team had a significant issue for something they did three years ago?" Golden said. "We're moving on right now. I've been to the deepest depths in the NCAA."

Those depths would have been inheriting a roster with 54 scholarship players at Temple as well as NCAA and APR problems. The difference, as Golden has pointed out, Temple was shooting for a winning record. Miami wants to win championships.


--Yes, it's early and it probably means nothing but here's where you'll find last year's returning Heisman finalists in the current NCAA stats after one week.

Andrew Luck, Stanford: The Heisman runner-up threw for a modest 171 yards against San Jose State in a 57-3 blowout. He is 39th overall in pass efficiency.

LaMichael James, Oregon: Not listed in the top 100 after rushing for 54 yards in 18 carries against LSU. In his last two games, both against SEC superpowers, James has rushed for 103 yards on 31 carries.

Kellen Moore, Boise State: 21st in passing efficiency after completing 28 of 34 against Georgia. How does that get him to 21st after one of the biggest wins in Boise State history? Think of it this way: Moore is first on that list among quarterbacks who played a BCS-conference opponent in the first week.


--Weird stat of the week: Of Oregon's 83 scoring drives last season, it was forced to go more than 11 plays only five times. Oregon had to go 79 yards in 19 plays to score its first touchdown of the season against LSU. What looked at the time like a turning of the tide against the Tigers, turns out to be another reason to like LSU's defense.


--Baylor isn't likely to lose in the month of September. After this week's bye, the Bears have Stephen F. Austin and Rice at home. The conference opener is Oct. 1 at Kansas State and that's looking easier by the moment.

Look for more deserved Baylor hype. The Bears could be 5-0 heading into Texas A&M on Oct. 15.


--Way too early Heisman ballot:

1. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor: Best quarterback in the Big 12 after beating TCU. Felt like Friday Night Lights in Waco.
2. Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU: It's good to have a playmaker. It's great to have a playmaker on defense. It's almost impossible to have a game changer in the secondary.
3. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State: Now, only the NFL has to take notice.
Posted on: September 3, 2011 8:16 pm
Edited on: September 3, 2011 9:57 pm
 

Schools have called Pac-12; Big 12 days numbered?

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott admitted for the first time during this latest round of conference upheaval that his league has been contacted by prospective members.

"I will say schools have reached out to us," Scott said Saturday shortly before the start of the LSU-Oregon game here. "We are not doing anything proactively."

Scott was speaking approximately 90 minutes after an Oklahoma source was quoted as saying the school's "sole focus" was moving to the Pac-12. The story broke Saturday in the The Oklahoman and stated that Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State could also be part of the move to the Pac-12.

The commissioner said he was not aware of the report but reiterated that, "schools have called us. We certainly are going to listen."

Cut through the language and it seems that the Big 12's days are numbered. Texas A&M is expected to be formally invited to the SEC next week. Oklahoma has been leaning toward the Pac-12. It's doubtful that the 15-year-old league could survive with the loss Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M.

"If you can't fix Big 12, you might as well go west," Boone Pickens, Oklahoma State's billionaire benefactor, told an Oklahoma City reporter.


 Events of the last 36 hours may have put college athletics at the brink of one of the most significant points in its history. Oklahoma president David Boren said Friday his school would not be a "wallflower" as it surveys conference membership. Boren added that Oklahoma's future could be clearer by as early as Monday. At no time during those comments did he pledge loyalty to the Big 12. A Pac-12 expansion to 16 teams could usher in the era of the super conference in college athletics.

The Pac-12 locking up Texas and Oklahoma, two of the most famous brands, in college sports would almost assure it. There already has been speculation that the combination of the new Pac-12 agreement ($3 billion, 12 years with ESPN/Fox) and the new Pac-12 Network could mean an annual $30 million to each member school.

Other conferences -- notably the SEC and Big Ten -- would almost have to react to the Pac-12's move.

"I've also been clear," Scott reminded, "that there will probably be further expansion at some stage."

The Pac-12 controls the option to reopen that lucrative contract for negotiations if membership changes, Scott said. He added that he and the Pac-12 won't be the guys who alter the current college conference structure.

"If there is any suggestion whatsoever that our conference is being predatory that's just wrong," he said. "We've not had expansion as an initiative, as an agenda, for us at all. If there were any conversations going on, you can be sure there are not any we initiated."

That's likely legalese for staying with the process. Three weeks ago SEC presidents met to discuss Texas A&M's move to the conference. They were reminded by lawyers during that meeting the conference could not appear to be pursuing the Aggies at the expense of collapsing the Big 12.

The then-Pac-10 was definitely proactive last year when it pursued six Big 12 schools last year in a bold attempt to move up to 16 teams in preparations for negotiating a new TV deal. It settled on Utah and Colorado to expand to 14. That deal is now in place.

The biggest complication seems to be folding Texas and its network into the Pac-12. Texas and ESPN have an exclusive $300 million deal with the Longhorn Network. Scott said any such deal would have to be folded into the Pac-12 distribution model. The Pac-12 Network consists of six regional networks.

Texas mostly likely would have to renegotiate its deal and possibly share money with Pac-12 members were it to join the Pac-12.


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com