Blog Entry

Big 12 tensely commited to an all-in future

Posted on: September 22, 2011 10:43 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2011 11:06 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer

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Chaos? Nah. We're all one big happy family.

Texas is in. Oklahoma too. Missouri has helped lead the charge.

That's the message that came out of middle America Thursday night. The Big 12 was saved and nine teams are committed to the future. Things were different, it was time to move forward.  

Despite the Sooners flirting with the Pac-12 and the Tigers with the SEC, everybody was staying put. The other Big 12 schools pledged solidarity led by the two schools who had explored leaving more than anyone.

Make no bones about it, Oklahoma wanted to go West and the only way that could have happened was if they could have convinced Texas to make concessions. That didn't happen and the Sooners had to concentrate on saving the conference they had spend the past 16 years in.

"This is a positive development for our state," President David Boren said. "It's a win-win for all of us. I'm optimistic about the future of this conference."

Never has there been so much optimism about a conference that someone wanted to leave days earlier than there was Thursday night in Norman.

Commissioner Dan Beebe, as part of the demands made by the Sooners, was pushed out in favor of former Big Eight commish and current consultant Chuck Neinas. Beebe would likely have been looking for a new job regardless what happened this week after the Big 12 nearly imploded for a second time in just over a year. He was placed in an impossible situation - between a rock (Texas), a hard place (Oklahoma) and a vulture (Larry Scott) - but he did an admirable job considering the circumstances.

Beebe did, after all, keep the league together following the departure of Colorado and Nebraska and added a millions to every school's coffers with a big second tier rights agreement. The commissioner's best move might have been, however, giving life to a hilarious alter ego on Twitter.

“I have been honored to serve the Big 12 Conference for the past eight and one-half years, including the last four-plus as its commissioner," Beebe said in a statement. "I care deeply for these fine institutions and the citizens they represent. It is satisfying to know the Big 12 Conference will survive, and I congratulate the members for taking strong action to ensure a bright future as a premier intercollegiate athletics conference."

Beebe's next move is anyone's guess. He'll be well taken care of after negotiating out of a new contract that was signed just last year. Perhaps he should head back to the NCAA, where he once was an investigator on staff, and help President Mark Emmert navigate the murky waters of college athletics he knows all to well.

"The bottom line is we achieved substantial reforms," Boren said. "We feel extremely good."

Yet, in a move reflective of how dysfunctional the conference still was, confusion reigned before, during and after Missouri and Oklahoma's dueling press conferences to announce those reforms. At one point, Boren's voice came through while Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton was speaking on his call. One school leader said one thing, another school's leader said something slightly different.

Boren filibustered  - he is a former senator - about the Big 12 agreeing to a six-year grant of right for each all first and second tier media rights. Everybody was putting their faith in the conference for the next six years. Television revenue would be shared equally for the first time in the league's history. All for one (conference), one for all.

But that wasn't what the Tigers said. A spokesman told the New York Times that there was only "an agreement to pursue the grant of rights." Oklahoma's general counsel later told the Associated Press no contracts were signed.

The Big 12 schools wanted to imprison themselves to a conference hours from breaking apart but they couldn't even do that properly. To say that was this whole saga in a nutshell would be doing it a disservice. Wednesday and Thursday were supposed to be about saving something but what, exactly, was that?

Everybody was moving forward together, but are they really? Sschools were concerned about Texas and ESPN's Longhorn Network yet they had just gotten engaged to be married the next six years without any promises in return about LHN. Boren later added that it "was very possible" Oklahoma would be the second school with their own network. Instead of working on a problem, it appears the Sooners would rather double-down.

Texas has always been about Texas. The Pac-12, under Scott, has always been about the conference and the biggest reason as to why they wouldn't budge to meet the Longhorns' demands. The same is true in the Big Ten where just a few years ago they extended their grant of rights at least 20 more years. Schools have gone all in on their conferences while Texas hasn't. They've gone all in on Texas.

And that's their right. But if it looks like an independent (The Longhorn Network), walks like an independent (exploring life after the Big 12 numerous times) and talks like an independent (DeLoss Dodds), then the Longhorns might just be an independent.

And that's what needs to change. We'll see how firmly committed to the Big 12 Texas really is over the coming weeks and months.

"There are a number of trust issues that have to be discussed," Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt said earlier in the day. "I think there is a commitment that has to be discussed long-term."

Trust or no trust, the Big 12 schools are about to sign a binding agreement no one wants to sign.

"The University of Missouri is going to continue to work for what is best for the University of Missouri," Deaton said. "We have seen that aligned with the Big 12 Conference and we will continue to work with the various issues we have within the conference to carry it forward."

Conspicuously absent from all the activity was the one school that everybody was upset at. Accused of running the conference via proxy, ruining the Sooners' hopes of heading west and driving rival Texas A&M to another conference, one didn't hear much - if anything - about the Texas.

"The University of Oklahoma has no decision to drive the train anywhere. We have no desire to dominate the Big 12 conference," Boren said. "I hope no one will write in the future that anyone is driving the train in this conference."

Boren's right, it's not time to write, it's time to toast. The Big 12 has been saved.

To six more years of hating Texas!


Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 14, 2011 1:12 am

Big 12 tensely commited to an all-in future

I've to many thanks for this epic web page .I undoubtedly liked any very small little bit of it. I've you bookmarked your phrase broad net blog page to watch inside the existing stuff you create.

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: September 26, 2011 4:45 pm

Big 12 tensely commited to an all-in future

Mr. Hinnen,  Ga.Tech and Va. Tech don't play each other until November 10th.  Can't you find something more current to write an article about since the GT & VT game is six weeks from now ????  THANKS !

Since: Mar 19, 2010
Posted on: September 26, 2011 4:19 pm

Big 12 tensely commited to an all-in future

Run UT to independence & we can have a really fine conf once again. Was good before they came, be greater without them in it. They don't want a conf with more than 10 so to avoid a championship game, but no other conf will take them with TLN. Sooiooooooo...boot 'em! Miis off pister!

Since: Mar 15, 2010
Posted on: September 26, 2011 11:10 am

Big 12, quit relocating! look to expand

Got some schools here I am surprised are not being talked about for the Big 12. Also some points.

1: Don't replace, Expand: Look at the proactive ACC going to 14 schools and follow that model. say Mizzou leaves and add 6 teams.

2: considering the picked over land scape, take the hot stock/merger/acquisition approach and build schools in smart markets that will also build the conference long term

3: Teams: I have 8 that would make financial sense and 2 that would keep the conference strong in regional tradition

4: Teams ranked in order:

1. San Diego State: This is a perefect example of a great school, location, market, stadium, facilities, recruiting ground and already a city with Holiday Bowl ties to the Big 12. A destination for any road game for good travel bases. Also this is a school with a base that would raise in passion if they played in a good conference. I still can't believe this school gets no headlines other thatn its region, excluding the Pac-12 that already has that market, the location only makes sense for the Big other BCS conference.

2. BYU: obvious-own network, tradition, Slat Lake and national market for alumns and religion

3. West Virginia: they want out, the market is unappealing, but the mark in that region is and especially with a relevant school looking to get out of the Big East this is a power school that should be in to maintain conference relevancy to counter Iowa St, KSU, and Baylor

4. Louisville: Northern KY and South Ohio market, relevant tradition especially in BasketBall good match with KU...a GREAT football stadium and facilities good market for recruiting..keep close to WV for regional tie in

5: University of South Florida: recruiting market and presence...not sexy now but like SDSU this is a school that could rise rapidly in a great conference and also a great addition to say an eastern conference with already relevant Louisville and WV..a penny stock that could pay off huge with the conference to back it

6. Cinncinati? well we start to dip a little regionally with already going after Louisville who also has that market, but you even solidify it more there and add to an Eastern conference of USF, WVU, and Louisville...Great BBall tradition, great market, good recruiting, good facilities, great passion in the region if in a great conference.

7. TCU! surprisingly low I know, but again how much do you gain when your entire conference footprint is already here..this is only a power add for a great football school to boost the stregth of the conference.

8. Memphis: not sexy unless Calipari is still coaching hoops, the potential market is intriguing, also a good add for the East plenty of potential to be relevant for the conference..great hoops tradition...they do Care about football in Memphis as well.

9. Central Florida: see USF, but less sexy

10. Houston: if we werent talking dollars this move makes perfect sense but since we are this adds no new revenue but only a school with potential to be really great in the right conference..already better or eaqual to ISU, Baylor, and KSU in relevance.

*11. UNLV: intriguing market and BBall school, but culturaly Vegas would never match with the Big 12 region

5:So waht do we have here?

1. Pre-Big 12 and BCS tie-ins, TTech, Baylor, ISU and KSU could just have easily been mid-majors and some would argue with the exception of KSU and TTech could still be...but their profiles have been rasied in the right conference to build them.

2. The football traditions would rapidly rise in this conference with all the tools at the disposal of the football tradiition rich Big 12 playing your conference championships in Jerry World would only help nationaly.

3. These schools need the big 12 1-5 just as much as the Big 12 needs them. This means? Texas and OU can still get thier way in the conference while these other schools reap the rewards of raising their own profile long term.

4. You may have a basketball conference to finally rival the ACC or at least be the second best

5 after a half decade or so, with the right leadership and vision this could be the highest paid TV conference due to its national market affiliations

Food for thought: think bigger than 12 and bigger than the Southern plains to save your conference long term

Since: Jul 28, 2008
Posted on: September 24, 2011 8:24 pm

Big 12 tensely commited to an all-in future



Since: Sep 7, 2011
Posted on: September 24, 2011 1:21 pm

Big 12 tensely commited to an all-in future

Oh and one last thing before it evades me. The Sooners have their own 'network' called the Sooner Network, only we didn't privatize our network and made a deal with a local station. Our deal is set up through and old contract with Kelvan Sampsons old reign in basketball. We usually only air volleyball, mens & womens basketball, and a few other select minor sports.

Since: Sep 7, 2011
Posted on: September 24, 2011 1:13 pm

Big 12 tensely commited to an all-in future

Oh and Oldschool4u, I love to point out that OU (as well as every other Big12 team) does not fear Beebe goin to the NCAA offices. The Big12 schools, while having some problems with certain athletes, have handled every situation the same way the NCAA suggests to handle problems: suspend players for off the field minor violations and boot repeat offenders and major violations. EVERY Big12 school welcomes an NCAA investigation because the Big12 has taken extreme steps to prevent student immaturity from ruining their schools. As Stoops and Mac Brown have said for the last decade of their players and staff: EVERYONE is accountable. Every win, every loss, every action each person takes reflects on your team and school....everyone is accountable for every step each program makes.

Since: Sep 7, 2011
Posted on: September 24, 2011 12:41 pm

Big 12 tensely commited to an all-in future

Here, here! To six more years of tucking fexas. Bring in BYU, H-town and BSU.

Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: September 23, 2011 9:46 pm

Big 12 tensely commited to an all-in future

Oldschool4u One group they forgot to add or even find out what they wanted was the State tax payers and fans of these schools. And OU attempt to show their power only ended them back on the leash in heal position and Texas saying sit.

Since: Feb 8, 2011
Posted on: September 23, 2011 3:36 pm

Big 12 tensely commited to an all-in future

For everyone, including myself, who has talked about TCU to the Big 12 not the Big East, there is a major problem from TCU stand point. If TCU goes to the reformed Big East, adding ECU, UCF, Navy and who ever else that they may add, TCU becomes the front runner or at least second leading front runner to win the conference title. If they were to joing the Big 12, they would be taking a back seat to OU, Texas and in some years OSU and Mizzouri so going to the Big East is the move if they are interested in a BCS bowl. The problem is from a competition stand point to get into the national title hunt, is the Big East really going to be any stronger after reallignment than the MWC after next years additions?

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