I did some ciphering and some eyeballing and some deducing to arrive at this: the dead-center point in the new Big 12 Conference is Meeker, in good ol' Lincoln County.
You know what sits 216 miles from Meeker?
The Rose Bowl football trophy.
The hardware was not swiped from Columbus, Ohio, or South Central L.A. Not purchased from a pawn shop, hawked by some beleaguered school trying to pay off a coach.
The trophy sits in Fort Worth, Texas, hard-earned and well-won by the Horned Frogs of TCU in the Arroyo Seco, on the Rose Bowl's luscious green.
Yet the Big 12, two schools shy of a dozen, doesn't want Texas Christian University, which is within 300 miles of six Big 12 members?
That can mean only one thing. The Big 12 is not interested in thriving. The Big 12 is not interested in long-term growth.
Big 12 schools want to milk as much money out of their current television contracts as they can before the league dissolves. Which might be sooner rather than later, with that kind of thinking.
What else can be deduced from a league that wants no part of a Rose Bowl champion in its front yard?
TCU, shunned by its neighbors, is off to the Big East in 2012. The Big 12 is off to diluted status.
Last summer, it was easy to write off TCU and say the Frogs made no economic sense for the Big 12. Brought no new television sets to the Big 12 television contracts. I wasn't all that keen on TCU myself.
But that was then. Look at the Frogs now. Rose Bowl champs. Announced in August a $100 million renovation that promises to turn Amon Carter Stadium into a college football Camden Yards and will raise capacity to 50,000-plus. The renovation began a month ago.
Believe this or not, but according to the Equity in Athletics Data Analysis Cutting Tool, TCU's football budget this season was $20.6 million. That's more than any Big 12 school except Texas. More than Oklahoma. More than Oklahoma State. More than Texas A&M. More than Nebraska.
Look, I'm not trying to revive the Southwest Conference. I don't want any part of Houston or SMU or Rice.
But this is not the old TCU. Get the old TCU out of your mind. The TCU of F.A. Dry and Jim Wacker is gone. The TCU that couldn't make the cut for the Big Eight/SWC merger is no more.
These Frogs play big-boy football. These Frogs have beaten Wisconsin, Oregon State, Clemson and Boise State the last two years, none of them in Fort Worth. These Frogs have swept the Mountain West Conference two years running.
These Frogs are 36-3 the last three seasons. One loss was 17-10 to Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl. One loss was 35-10 at Norman to Sam Bradford in 2008. One loss was 13-10 at Utah in 2008; the same Utah team that went 13-0 and beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.
Here is naked truth. TCU would not bring more television sets to Big 12 football, which already has the Dallas-Fort Worth market covered.
But TCU would bring more television viewers to Big 12 football, because football fans like good teams and good games.
The Big 12 is proud of its impending, round-robin format. But that format does not produce more good games.
The new format just means more Oklahoma-Kansas and Texas-Iowa State and Missouri-Baylor games. That's more inventory, but not better inventory.
TCU provides better inventory.
I say make a belated offer to TCU. Tell the Frogs to spurn the Big East. Bring in TCU and Brigham Young. BYU would bring those television sets, not just from Utah, but Mormons nationwide. TCU would bring big-time football.
The Big 12 with TCU and BYU would be better than the Big 12 with Nebraska and Colorado. The Big 12 with TCU and BYU would be at least as marketable to television networks.
The Big 12 schools have grown shortsighted. They want to share the pie with fewer mouths. They should want to expand the pie.
They're trying to save money rather than make money.
You make money by playing big-time football. You don't make money with more games against Kansas. You make money by playing games against teams that win the Rose Bowl.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.