So, Um, What’s Wrong With the Big 12 As It Stands?

16 Nov 2019 admin

first_imgThe Big 12 is a complete and total mess. It is the worst of the Power Five conferences when it comes to football and probably overall perception. It can’t make up its mind about anything and has the largest millstone in the country (Texas) tied around its neck (and it is paying yearly to keep that millstone there).There’s also nothing wrong with the Big 12. Or there’s less wrong with it than what would be wrong with it if you tried to change it from its current status.Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports came out with a report on Wednesday that the Big 12 could fold in an additional $1B in revenue over the next eight years by expanding to 14 teams. Sounds great, right? Not when you read the fine print.[Fox and ESPN] are contractually bound to provide “pro rata” for any new Big 12 members. That is, any new members would be paid an equal share of the current Big 12 members — approximately $23 million per year.OK … great. What does that do for Oklahoma State and Texas Tech? The answer is, well, probably not a lot.While on its face that doesn’t necessarily help the 10 current members of the Big 12, opening the existing contract would allow for a negotiation beyond that $1 billion figure.So ESPN and Fox are going to pay beyond that $1B for Cincinnati, Memphis and Colorado State? I sort of doubt that. And while it is news that ESPN and Fox have to open the coffers for (presumably) any new teams that enter the Big 12, it still doesn’t get you where you need to be which is expanding the pie as a whole.There is the idea that a conference championship game could net you a couple extra mil, but is that worth the watering down your conference to basically become a glorified AAC buoyed by Texas and OU? To me, it is not.And I don’t think the schools think that it’s worth it either but they don’t really know what to do at this point. They’re as lost as the rest of us.“I really don’t expect we’ll make any decisions at the spring meetings, but that’s up to our presidents and chancellors,” Commissioner Bob Bowlsby told the Dallas Morning News. “My guess is they’ll want to be thoughtful about it, and they will get a whole bunch of data on a whole bunch of different topics and then they’ll want to go back to campus … and formulate a position on the different positions.”Formulate a position on the different positions. That sums up the Big 12 quite well right now doesn’t it.So we think the Big 12 Network ship has sailed, and we don’t really think expansion is a true option. How about this: Keep everything as it is and figure everything out when the TV contract is up in the mid 2020s. No, you aren’t making SEC or Big 10 money right now, but exactly what is the path to making that extra money?This entire conference screwed itself into the ground five years ago when it told Texas, “you can literally do whatever you want and we will bow down and worship at a 200-foot high golden idol of Darrell Royal if you deem us worthy to do such a thing.” There’s no reason to add Central Florida and BYU to try and right that misstep a half decade ago.All you end up doing is entangling yourself more when everyone tries to wrest themselves free here in about 10 years. It would be like breaking your leg in the middle of the street and asking your three-year-old kid to drag you to safety. Yeah, that will end well.So I say cut the BS, get on with the conference and plan for the future. Or hey, don’t tell anybody down in Austin, but you could lawyer up and go to the SEC. Call everybody’s bluff on the Big 12 grant of rights. How great would that be?Or merge with the Sun Belt. Whatever you want. It’s clear there’s not really a plan (or a planner for that matter) anyway.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img

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