Big, bad Texas wanted its own TV network and all the money that goes with it. The original plan called for the Longhorn Network to televise high school games, giving Texas an even greater recruiting advantage.
Big, bad Texas, speaking when former commissioner Dan Beebe moved his lips, wanted nothing to do with TCU joining the Big 12.
Well, the Longhorn Network won’t be televising high school games and Texas is sharing ABC and cable revenues, just not the Longhorn Network dollars.
TCU received an invitation to join the Big 12, another Texas concession.
It’s time to give Texas credit for moving off its selfish stance and doing what’s best for the conference. Don’t forget, in the eyes of other conferences, Texas remains big and bad, an attractive addition to just about any league.
Well, Texas wants just 10 teams, so 10 teams it needs to be. The Longhorns are done making concessions. They can’t be blamed for that.
Stopping expansion at 10 teams makes sense for more than just Texas. Other than the awkward mismatch of the name, a 10-team conference works better than 12. Slicing the pie 10 times means more revenue for each member than slicing it 12 times.
Divisions that come with 12-team leagues create phony records, unless both divisions have equal strength and the odds of that happening never are great. Playing every school every year intensifies rivalries.
Not having a conference championship game is a plus more than a negative because it increases, however slightly, the chances of sending two schools to BCS bowls.
If Missouri decides to stay in the Big 12 or if the SEC makes the decision for the Tigers, the alignment that makes the most sense for the Big 12 simply substitutes TCU for Texas A&M. For Kansas, that’s an even better setup for a couple of reasons. The Aggies tended to smoke KU in most sports other than men’s basketball. The Horned Frogs bring strength in many sports, including baseball and golf, but don’t field as many dominant teams.
The location of the school, in Fort Worth, makes it easy for KU’s many Metroplex recruits to take in the game when Kansas visits every other year. And it can’t hurt having a school in the conference from head coach Turner Gill’s hometown.
If Missouri stays put and the league remains 10 teams, no geographic reaches need be taken. Student-athletes won’t have to worry about losing three days of classes. Fans into basketball and football road trips can make plenty of them.
Of course, if Missouri bolts to the SEC, the Big 12 will have to replace the school that seems to suffer from a self-image problem. In the eyes of many, Mizzou has an inflated opinion of its place in the world of college athletics. Is that it, or does it actually have a self-esteem problem, desperately wanting to be loved and wooed by somebody, anybody?
Gary Pinkel has the Tigers rolling in football, coaching up Texas athletes. Putting that formula at risk makes no sense. The best guess: The Big 12 moves forward as a 10-team conference with TCU taking the place of A&M.