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Archive for Saturday, August 23, 2008

Woodling: A look at future of Big 12

August 23, 2008

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You probably won't read the following story in the year 2028, but, then again, you never know.

Big 12 Conference athletic directors adopted a rule today requiring league schools to play at least one football game on campus every season.

The ruling is aimed at preventing league schools with smaller stadiums from staging all their games at larger professional facilities in order to boost attendance and increase revenue.

Over the last few years, for example, Kansas and Kansas State have been playing the majority of their home games at Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium.

Iowa State, too, has two games annually at Arrowhead and two more at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. Baylor, meanwhile, plays at least four home games every year in the 100,000-seat home of the Dallas Cowboys. And Colorado has been playing as many as three home games annually at Denver's Ivesco Field.

Revenue disparity has been a major issue in the Big 12 Conference, with Texas, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State all having built new stadiums within the last decade.

Texas started the trend in 2019 with the construction of the largest college football stadium in America on the site of the old Austin, Texas, airport. The 147,000-seat facility has been sold out ever since.

Oklahoma State was next. Using a $500 million bequest from the late T. Boone Pickens, OSU erected a 130,000-seat stadium two years later at a site approximately halfway between Stillwater and Tulsa.

Only a year after that, Oklahoma revealed a 135,000-seat structure located on Interstate 35 north of the Norman campus and only about 10 miles south of Oklahoma City.

Meanwhile, Nebraska took advantage of the rebirth of its football program after long-time coach Bo Pelini took over in 2008 to abandon no-longer expandable Memorial Stadium for 140,000-seat Osborne Family Stadium on I-80 between Lincoln and Omaha that was dedicated in 2022.

Not to be left out, Texas A&M joined the trend in 2024, when the Aggies left Kyle Field and moved into a 140,000-seat stadium south of College Station, where the Texas International Raceway was once located.

No Big 12 school made as radical a change, however, as Texas Tech. Located hours from the nearest pro football arena and lacking the resources to build a massive new stadium on campus in Lubbock, Texas Tech regents approved a merger with Rice University and moved the entire school to Houston, where the Red Owl Raiders utilize Reliant Stadium, home of the NFL Texans.

In another move, Big 12 Conference fathers approved a salary cap for league football players.

When the NCAA, bowing to pressure from the ACLU, finally conceded in 2018 that its amateur status was a sham and approved payments to student-athletes, the Big 12 left the amount of the stipend up to each school.

Some member institutions, such as Texas and Oklahoma, were paying as much as $50,000 apiece based on a student-athlete's impact on the bottom line so the Big 12 established a cap of $30,000 per player.

Comments

djgratt59 6 years, 4 months ago

Chuck - right on. The best science fiction always comes true.UT (Texas) would do well to move the home field - there is no parking at current location.

ChrisWatkins91 6 years, 4 months ago

Chuck, what are you smoking? No offense but this has got to be the most far-fetched thing I've ever heard. First of all, your make believe Big XII rule about having to play one home game on campus is ridiculous, if the problem is teams are leaving home all the time, wouldnt the urle require at least 3, or 4? Also, just because it will be 2028, doesnt mean you need a 147,000 seat stadium. Michigan has had a 100,000+ stadium for a long time now, and so had Ohio State. They're attendance has kind of leveled off seeing as how one, can you imagine how many awful seats a 147,000 seat stadium would have? The stadium officials would have to supply complementary binoculors to everyone in the 3rd and 4th decks, or however you imagine this stadium. Also, why would all these schools move off campus to build they're 120,000+ stadiums, when schools like Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M have sold out, giant stadiums that are on campus with plenty of land to expand. Schools dont want to move off campus, and i get that your article is focused around a shortage of revenue, but get real, tradition will reign in college sports and schools will not leave campus. Besides, almost every school in the Big XII has plans to expand their stadiums in the next 7 years. Also, a merger of Rice and Texas Tech? I really hope this is just a crazy fantasy, because a school will not up its roots becasue of their football program. Texas Tech will stay in Lubbock, and they have already started expansion of Jones AT&T Stadium. I know that this may have been a fun article to write, but your basis for this article shows your lack of knowledge about the current state of the Big XII. Schools realize that money is harder to come by, and so they are taking proactive steps towards improving their school by upgrading facilities ON campus.

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