Here’s my view from the CHEAP SEATS (from the middle of a celebrating fan base in Missouri) 

For the past few weeks the structure of the Big 12 has dominated the sports news scene like none other. Even the 

The Red River foes allegiance to the Big 12 ultimately saved the Big 12.

 World Cup and NBA Finals were struggling for headlines with the fate of population of the Big 12. Yesterday the suspense was brought to an end as the league was saved when the Texas Longhorns committed to continuing their affiliation with the conference. At the last-minute Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe step up and pulled an amazing rescue job for his conference that had been on life support since last week. This set a string of events and commitments that will come to a head later today when the Big 12 conference announces its continuing of operations as a BCS program. Here is a summary of each program’s position throughout this whole standoff and what some scenarios on expansion, the Pac 10 and Big 10. 

**The Big “12”** 

Dodds played Texas Hold Em perfectly and made Texas the most lucrative program in the NCAA

Texas: As I predicted last week, Texas was the key. Once University President Bill Powers informed the Big 12 that the school would stay in affiliation with the Pac 10, the entire league rejoiced. In the end this was an easy decision for Texas, as they were clearly given Superpower status as head program in the conference. It has been acknowledged for years now, but Texas Athletic Director Deloss Dodds now has UT being given the king’s ransom that proves it. A $25 million per year payout, along with an independent Texas Network that will feature the university’s programs. Most importantly, their pledge to the conference kept the other south schools in as well and allowed for appropriate payouts to be alloted to those schools as well. Everything is bigger in Texas, and it’s not cliché when it’s true. A hail the Kings of the Big 12. 

  

Oklahoma: The Sooners are a program that  controlled their destiny if the conference had broken apart. They have the national notoriety and programs to have seamlessly moved to either the SEC, as it seems was their favorite over the Pac 10. In the end they benefitted the most from staying in alliance with Texas in a familiar conference and taking the increased payout as well. They will net $20 million annually from the newly structured payout. 

Texas A&M: This program was at a crossroads, as it was not blindly committed to Texas as it appeared. They were the top team that was thought to be moving to the SEC, but they played the proceedings well. They also fangled a larger cut of the Big 12’s new payday at around $20 million annually in order to keep them aligned with the conference. This keeps the SEC or Pac 10 from entering the state of Texas and leaves a key cog in the Big 12 picture. 

Texas Tech: Tech is a program that was aligned with what the University of Texas did and they committed to the new Big 12 as soon as the Longhorns did. They did not take one of the larger cuts in the conference, but will continue to benefit from association with the existing schools in the conference and the increased exposure of Texas’s pending network. 

Truman & Mizzou's free fall was caught right before rock bottom

Missouri: 

A university that was backed into a corner and was potentially was to be left homeless, Mizzou was saved by the renewed commitment to the Big 12 by the southern schools. Missouri was one of the first schools to be rumored to be jumping ship to the Big 10, but when that offer proved to be false, they were left without a clear future. The Mountain West Conference was interested in acquiring Missouri, but by being able to stay in their familiar position they will increase revenue to around $14 million per year, keep their familiar rivalries and recruiting tabs. A huge save for an up and coming program. 

Baylor: The Bears were the quintessential nowhere man in the mix. They were the least attractive Big 12 South program and the Pac 10 were not interested in taking them on with the other Texas/Oklahoma programs. They were courted by the MWC as well, but TCU was protesting against them joining that conference as well. Baylor was saved from a potential big time mess of a transition. 

Oklahoma State: OSU was considered to be next program closest to following Colorado to the Pac 10, in order to secure a spot that was considered to be eligible to several other schools. They could have freely made the jump with less friction than other smaller programs, due to Oklahoma not contributing as much to them as Texas does to its surrounding schools. In the end Oklahoma State made to decision to stay close to newly empowered southern Big 12 schools and take a larger cut of the smaller Big 12. 

Iowa State: Without a doubt Iowa State was in position to be the biggest victim in the breakup of the conference. They are close to the bottom of the conference in both competition and revenue, so they had no attraction to either BCS conference looking to expand. By the Big 12 staying intact, they will by default increase their income and save themselves from a further drop into anonymity by moving to the Mountain West potentially. 

Kansas/Kansas State: Due to a shared Board of Regents, both Kansas institutions were placed in a coupling throughout this entire process. Despite the attraction of KU’s basketball program, the weight of K-State was coupled with them and made them an unattractive prospective mate. K-State is annually at the bottom of revenue brought into the Big 12 and despite having some competitive programs, were never a highly desired program to move. Also potentially hindered by the developing internal ticket scalping scandal at Kansas, it works out best for both universities to stand pat in the Big 12. 

**The Other Players** 

The Pac 10: Conference commissioner Larry Scott has to be dejected at the decisions of the remaining Big 12 schools 

Texas's decision assured Scott as winner of "The Biggest Loser"

 to stay together. He had huge plan to expand his conference, which is often seen as the lesser of the BCS programs, into a perhaps unparalleled national super-conference, but ends up with a lower tier University of Colorado team as his only acquisition from the Big 12. The Pac 10 could still acquire the University of Utah to round off at 12 teams and have a lucrative conference championship game, but his grand vision of immense media support of his conference are most likely dead without Texas or Oklahoma joining their ranks. 

Big 10: The Big 10 did exactly what they wanted the whole time and added a name-brand, power program in Nebraska to their conference, which will grow their powerful Big 10 Network’s reach and make them eligible for a conference championship game, which will grow revenue as well. They also keep open the potential to grow to the east coast and leave space for Notre Dame, if they ever successful court them. A big winner in the entire scenario. 

Mountain West: The MWC was on the verge of gaining the BCS entry they so desperately have wanted for years and could have potentially broke through as a major player if they could have acquired the leftover Big 12 programs of Missouri, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and Baylor, in addition to Boise State. This task could still come to be, as Boise State’s huge success could push them through, but it is going to be much more difficult and if they lose Utah, it could be a lost cause as a whole. 

Big 12 Expansion: Although they have saved the core of the conference, there is still a matter of gaining through loss that needs to be addressed. With the departures of Colorado and Nebraska, the Big 12 drops below the NCAA-required 12 teams needed to have a conference championship game. This is a financial and competition concern, as the performance in the regular season is everything now and the television and attendance revenue from the Big 12 Championship Game is removed. 

Big 12 Commish Dan Beebe deserves a cape for saving his fledging job.

These reasons could push (or force) the Big 12 to consider expansion to re-establish their championship game eligibility. No schools have been officially discussed in this scenario, but regional schools that could be considered for membership would have to be Houston, TCU (if Baylor doesn’t return the “favor”), Colorado State, BYU, Air Force or Nevada. This schools are all from smaller conferences that could stand to benefit huge from alignment with the Big 12. Time will tell, but Commissioner Beebe’s conference shows it’s grit and power by standing firm and seeing its future.

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Comments
  1. Whatever Texas wants they get, lol. KU, KSU and the other teams in the “Big 10” 12, are just so happy that they decided to stay, cause they were on the outside looking in. So the Big 10 has 12 teams, the Big 12 has 10 & the Pac -10 has 11, hilarious.

  2. Boss_Lady8 says:

    Thank you so much for the run down. With all of the hooting and hollering in the media, it was easy to get confused. As a Mizzou alum I am glad that it’s program is staying in place…but as conference we still have more work to do…

    Cheers to the most underrated NCAA conference…

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