Updating OU’s Big 12 to-do list
CAMPUS CORNER — About 24 hours ago, we started to get a sense the Big 12, with a push from OU, just might be saved. OU’s push became a Pac-12 shove by the end of the day.
The Pac-12′s decision not to expand, for all the reasons it had, left the Big 12 very little choice but to come together and work something out. That was fine with OU, so long as its, um, requests were handled by both Texas and the conference office.
Request 1: Texas must stand down as the league’s lone ranger, working to achieve equality among members with revenue sharing and the content on its TV network.
Progress report on Request 1: Well, it sounds as if the Longhorns are willing to play ball on this. I thought they might come off the LHN’s high school coverage, but perhaps not the money part of it. Reports out of Dallas and the state today, though, indicate that president Bill Powers and AD DeLoss Dodds are willing to discuss revenue sharing. Where does that wind up, financially? I don’t know. But I know two things: 1) OU isn’t overly concerned with the money part, because it’s doing fine itself. It’s concerned about that on behalf of the other schools, in the interest of stability. 2) The fact Texas is willing to talk about this at all says a lot. That would be a win for OU – and the other league schools.
Request 2: Dan Beebe can no longer be the league’s commissioner.
Progress on Request 2: It’s a matter of time, with Texas voicing a similar statement to the one yesterday from OU. The two flagbearers in the league can’t say they want the commish gone and the commish stay. (All apologies to Fake Dan Beebe on Twitter.)
What else the league, chiefly OU and Texas, should be interested in moving forward (and I’m sure these things will be discussed; the DMN says the ADs/board of directors will meet early next week in Dallas):
** Giant buyouts to exit the league. Unlike other conferences, make the buyouts so steep that schools such as Missouri would not leave. What’s that dollar amount? I don’t know, a couple hundred million dollars? Whatever actually means something and is not lip service. Lock down the teams for the next five years, at least. You do not want to go through this again next year. (See: Last year.)
** Getting back to 12 members. Now, OU’s people have told us privately that this is not a priority concern – those top two requests are – but it should be at some point, because adding quality teams will enhance or create stability within the league. The Big 12 has to demonstrate it has settled its differences in order for any team this side of desperate BYU to be interested.
So, it might be a case of taking BYU now and figuring out 11 and 12 in the next year. Who would make for a good 11 and 12? Good question.
TCU has been discussed, but Texas is not thrilled about that, because of the perceived Metroplex recruiting advantage it might lose (I don’t see it; plenty of kids there). SMU and Houston have been talked about, but neither seem to make the excitement meter move. Raiding what’s left of the Big East? Could work, and OU has privately told us it would be OK with a school like West Virginia or Louisville – it even mentioned Pitt at one point, interestingly enough! – but travel is then a concern. There are a bunch of decent options, but no clear option. That’s kind of been the case with all of this.
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