Berry Tramel

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Big 12 football: Scheduling mess could continue

by Berry Tramel Published: November 2, 2011

Tim Allen is the most overworked man in college football. The Big 12 associate commissioner had to rework the conference football schedule last autumn and winter, and produced literally hundreds of possibilities before settling on the less-than-perfect schedule currently being played out.

Now, unless Missouri can’t get to the SEC immediately and West Virginia can’t get to the Big 12 immediately, Allen gets to rework the schedule again. The Big 12 mess continues, with more clues from interim commissioner Chuck Neinas, who was in Morgantown, W.Va., on Tuesday to welcome the Mountaineers into the conference. The two most interesting things Neinas said:

* Neinas said West Virginia’s invitation to the Big 12 is contingent on the Mountaineers being available for the 2012 season. What? What does that mean? Does that mean if WVU can’t get out of its Big East commitments, the deal is off? Is that why West Virginia spent virtually no time negotiating with the Big East and went straight to a lawsuit? Big East bylaws declare a buyout ($5 million in this case) and a 27-month notification. What does the Big 12 do if West Virginia is handcuffed to the Big East in 2012?

“We needed a 10th member next season to fulfill our TV commitments,” Neinas said. “There’s an inventory that goes with a contract for TV, so we’ve got to be able to do that.”

In other words, the Big 12′s cushy cable contract with Fox Sports is kaput if the league has only nine members. If that contract loses some (or all) of its value, the Big 12 is back in anarchy mode.

* Even if West Virginia gets in and Missouri gets out, the schedule will have to be reworked, Neinas said. The Mountaineers can’t just fill in for Missouri. “We’re going to have to redo the schedule for a variety of reasons,” Neinas said. “We’re going to have to do some adjusting.”

I don’t know why West Virginia can’t just fill in for Missouri, and I’ll bet Tim Allen’s asking the same thing. But here we go again. Does that mean Bedlam could be in Stillwater for a third straight year? OSU could play at Texas for a third straight year? Tech could go to Norman for a third straight year?

Conference Chaos

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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