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Big 12 Conference

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Big Ten making overtures to … Texas

Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, right, celebrates a victory with head coach Mack Brown near the end of a 51-20 win against Kansas, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009, in Austin.

Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, right, celebrates a victory with head coach Mack Brown near the end of a 51-20 win against Kansas, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009, in Austin.


A source with ties to the Big Ten said that while most people’s attention has been trained on the conference stealing Missouri, the Big Ten has engaged in “preliminary exchanges” with a much bigger fish from the Big 12.

“There have been preliminary exchanges between the Big Ten and Texas,” the source told the Journal-World on Wednesday. “People will deny that, but it’s accurate.”

Missouri and Pittsburgh have been the most talked-about candidates to fill the 12th spot, which would enable the conference to have the postseason football conference title game it lacks. In December of 2009, the Big Ten issued a statement that the timetable for expansion was in the 12-to-18-month range.

Travel costs, in terms of money and fatigue, make Texas seem on the surface like a stretch, but TV revenue would more than make up for the fatigue factor.

Getting TV sets in the massive state of Texas tuned to the Big Ten Network would qualify as a home run for the Big Ten.

Texas already receives the most TV money in the Big 12 because of its frequent national network appearances, but the source said Texas still thinks it can get a better deal for itself and is considering forming its own state-wide TV network.

Geographic concerns don’t carry the weight they once did because TV revenues have grown so much, and this wouldn’t be the first time Texas has considered such an odd geographic match. Before joining the Big Eight with three other schools from Texas, the Longhorns looked into joining the Pac-10.

Veteran basketball columnist Mike DeCourcy, writing for The Sporting News on Dec. 16, wondered why nobody other than him was talking about Texas as the most logical school for Big Ten expansion.

“No one seems to recognize the genius of this suggestion, which may be evidence of its genius,” DeCourcy wrote. “Everyone else seems to be thinking small and boring, but as I suggested not long after the Big Ten Network was conceived, Texas is the one program that could dramatically expand the money-making power of the league's cable operation.”

Much later than DeCourcy offered the suggestion, the two parties finally have inched toward each other with “preliminary exchanges.”


jhokfan 8 years, 3 months ago

Big 12 could survive without mizwho but losing texas would hurt. Let's offer the Big 10/11 missouri, cash and a player to be named later.

kansasbasketball 8 years, 3 months ago

i agree jhokfan that would hurt us really really bad if texas does go!!

CoolDoc_Jones 8 years, 3 months ago

Geographically this makes no sense at all.

Bill Kackley 8 years, 3 months ago

I don't get it what is the appeal of the big ten minor leagues

Ben Kane 8 years, 3 months ago

this would ruin the big 12. the whole point of the expansion was to get texas.

conferences are all about football (excluding the big east) and texas is our conference.

but it's not the end of the world. time for the big14. lose texas, go get tcu, byu, and boise state.

Mike Kendall 8 years, 3 months ago

This makes no sense at all----geographically and logically!!!!!! Pittsburg--I can see them going. Pittsburg and Penn State would be a cool game!!!

Chuck---Boise State? It would be intriguing to see the Jayhawks fly into the "blue field!"

jhokfan 8 years, 3 months ago

kackley, money. They have lucrative tv contracts and adding Texas would make the contracts even more valuable.

John Brown 8 years, 3 months ago

If geography is not an issue why not draw USC into the big 10?

Lance Hobson 8 years, 3 months ago

Conferences are based on geography, so why is the Big 10 trying to screw with everyone else's conferences that are logically organized already?

Omegatron 8 years, 3 months ago

That makes absolutely no sense what-so-ever! The geographic location of Texas would mean that all schools would have to fly all of their teams (in all collegiate sports that they would compete against Texas in) to Texas to every year!

Either that or spend half a day (or more!) traveling by bus.

I know Texas would have no trouble flying to all those schools with all the cash they make. But can the same be said for the majority of the Big X schools?

Ryan Richey 8 years, 3 months ago

Wow! The Big XII constantly bends over backwards to keep Texas happy at the expense of nearly every other school...and this is the thanks??? The Big XII deserves it though...we have to be the least proactive school of the BCS conferences. We are always two steps behind everyone else in new rules, tv contacts, HD games, etc. Maybe it's our turn to send some "feelers" out to the Big 10 or Pac 10 and see if there is any interest.

Marcia Parsons 8 years, 3 months ago

Wonder how long it would take Texas to get the Big 10 conference office moved to Dallas.

MitchumMan 8 years, 3 months ago

College sports are going to turn into the movie "BASEketball." Instead of pro teams moving every where it's going to be college teams. The teams may not move, but they'll just skip to different conferences depending on who offers the most money. Ridiculous!

The NCAA should impose restrictions on geographic location. I would have no prob if UT went to the SEC, but the Big 10? That's just dumb! NU, ISU, or MU would make the most sense if the team was out of the Big 12. NU would provide the most revenue I would think out of those three teams.

jhokfan 8 years, 3 months ago

The revenue generated from tv contracts is based on demographics. Iowa State and Nebraska don’t really offer much which is why Missouri is being considered. They have 2 of the top 50 population centers in their state. I don't know how serious either party is but this would be very bad for the Big 12.

Pbbut 8 years, 3 months ago

More power to Texas if that's what they want to do. A quick check on MapQuest shows the closest Big 10 school to Austin is the U of Illinois, 1030 miles and 16 hours away. For those parents wanting to travel to watch their kids play during their college years, good luck with that. And will Texas want to play a Big ??? schedule and still keep tA&M and OU on their non-conference schedule? Sounds like a lot of hurdles ...

patrick_raftery 8 years, 3 months ago

Strikewso ... the Little 10 thinks the year is 1910 (when they were still relevant). The commissioner of the Little 10 is an ego-maniac who thinks he runs the NCAA ... that is why they think they can go after anyone they want. Notre Dame is the "most logical" but they told the Little 10 to go pound sand last decade (and who can blame them) so now it is on to Texas.

Texas is not going anywhere ... they will use this "preliminary exchange" as a ploy to further extort riches and favor from the goombas running the Big 12 conference ... and the other schools will suffer for it.

As far as I am concerned... if they want out, then be gone! I never liked the idea of bringing in the ENTIRE state of Texas anyway. If they leave, can we have the Big 12 Office back?

Carter Patterson 8 years, 3 months ago

Why would Texas leave a conference it controls to go to the Big 10? Please. This would be great for the Big Televen, but stupid for Texas.

superdave 8 years, 3 months ago

Texas needs to stay in the Big XII. We could lose Colorado to the Pac 10 (or Big Sky) and how about picking up Arkansas from the SEC. Now that Baylor actually competes in a couple of sports, they can stay (but you've been warned). If Baylor goes back to their old ways and starts fielding bad teams in every sport, we could trade them in for TCU. We can't lose Missouri or we wouldn't be the Big XII (and I have nothing but disdain for those hillbillies). Maybe Texas doesn't like losing to OU every other year and they certainly wouldn't have that fear in the Big 10 (more like the Mid Size 10 lately). There should be some regional sense to the conferences as well as maintaing the good ol' rivalries. Speaking of rival, I'll never forget what HCBS said last year, "K-State's our rival, Missouri is our enemy"

mjlindsm 8 years, 3 months ago

Nice work Tom. This article got you and the LJW mentioned on the Afternoon Saloon sports radio show in Chicago.

Ben Kane 8 years, 3 months ago

got 'em mentioned on PTI as well.

I agree. I don't really think Texas is going anywhere. And it is definitely possible that the other schools (including us) will be shortchanged in the process of keeping them.

but let's not forget that even with the entire state of texas we are barely mentioned in any sport with the likes of some east coast powerhouses.

The big12 sits on their butts too much and lets others take advantage of them. Even if we keep texas we should be looking to expand and grab a couple of these non BCS schools that garner so much attention year in and year out (I mentioned the 3 I like earlier). How does taking in more teams hurt? So what if we only play texas 2 out of 5 years in football, that's one of the advantages of having a conference championship game. We would still play all the games that historically matter to us year in and year out. Plus, with more teams of interest we should be able to garner better television contracts.

jhokfan 8 years, 3 months ago

The distance between Austin and most of the Big 10 campuses is not much different than the difference between the Arizona schools and Washington schools in the Pac 10 so logistically, Texas joining the Big 10 is feasible.

Financially it makes a lot of sense. Big 10 tv revenues are about 3 times more than the Big 12 and if Texas joins that disparity would likely be even greater.

Would not be the first time a school has played in a conference out of their geographic region. Take a look at the WAC and try to figure out what region they represent.

Jason Hines 8 years, 3 months ago

Shows you what a joke the NCAA, pod and bowl system really is doesn't it?

KURocksChalk 8 years, 3 months ago

If Texas bolts, it will prove to be a bad move for them. They also have to consider their own in-state rivals. If they leave, the Aggies and Tech will have a much larger following in local rivalries. Are they going to schedule, OU, A & M, and Tech each year...I don't think so. No, if Texas goes it should go to the SEC, which could kick out Vandy.

Jaminrawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, long trips to Ann Arbor and Happy Valley make a lot of sense ... Regardless of "money talks", that is still a bunch of very long plane rides and playing in a lot of cold weather. Football is king in Texas and I doubt this is more than an attempt to extort more money out of the Big XII or to force the Big XII to start a network.

minnhawk84 8 years, 3 months ago

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha....this is a joke, right?

Big10(11) football coaches will do anything possible to keep UT out of their conference; they can barely compete with one another, let alone the premier school in one of the premier football states in the universe. (Ohio State is such a hasbeen; forget JoePa; Michigan is done being a powerhouse) The Big10(11) football myth would be burst forever. Oh yeah, pretty much the same for basketball and, unless the Big10(11) really wants to play 2/3 of their baseball games in Texas,(weather is really nice down there in the spring) their pasty-white baseball teams will also get crushed year after year.

Can you tell I am not a Big10(11) fan? I have to put up with their crappy games up here in Minnesota.....they may have a huge market, BUT NO ONE IS WATCHING!

Chris Shaw 8 years, 3 months ago

Texas would be better served becoming an "Independent" and compete directly against Notre Dame for indpendent supremacy than joining the Big 10. Texas, could get their own state TV (Texas) deal and could probably get ABC, CBS, or Fox to individually give them a contract. Notre Dame gets about 9 million a year in their current contract I believe. Texas is one of the few schools in the country that could survive on their own and potentially make more money being outside of a conference. Just for fun, wouldn't you love to see Texas always playing at the same time as the Notre Dame football games on one of the other channels opposite NBC?

Is it me or is the Big 10 more irritating than ever with their process of trying to claim a 12th school for their league? Their arrogance and greed for a mediocre conference is really annoying me at the moment.

OCJHAWK 8 years, 3 months ago

The question is?? What is UT looking to get from the Big 12 from this flirtation?

Chris Shaw 8 years, 3 months ago

I also e-mailed the Big 12 from it's website and here is my e-mail and the response I got.

Dear Big 12,

   I am a huge Big 12 fan, but this recent talk about the Big 10 going after Texas is mind boggling.  I’m not a news reporter or anybody from the media, but just a simple fan that is curious about the Big 12 and it’s current Television deals.

This is what I found out on-line, but this is all I could find. I wanted to know if this information is accurate or if I am missing something from the Big 12 that needs to be included. If these numbers are indeed true than I guess it isn’t such a reach for Texas to possibly entertain the thought of joining the Big 10 even though it doesn’t really make sense from a geographical standpoint. Thanks from a curious fan! Go Jayhawks! What other information should I be considering?

Big Ten

• Big Ten Network: 25 years, $2.8 billion* through 2031-32

• ABC/ESPN: 10 years, $1 billion through 2016

• CBS: 10 years, $20 million for basketball through 2018-19

Big 12

• ABC/ESPN: Eight years, $480 million through 2015-16

• Fox Sports Net: Four years, $78 million through 2011-12

Here is the Big 12's response:

"kushaw, I think a couple of the Big Ten numbers are a little high and we don't disclose ours but they are not far off. Outside of the Big Ten Network...ABC, CBS and ESPN pay higher rates because of the difference in the total number of households in the upper midwest versus our seven-state region, We have about 17 percent of the population base and Big Ten states have around 24's tough for us to figure out why they pay more for Big Ten product than ours, but the ACC, Big East and Pac-10 ask the same questions.

We believe there are hundreds of issues a school would want to evaluate related to the conference is belongs to and not just financial issues related to potential revenue...however that isn't a short answer. We value all members of the Big 12 and believe our current alignment gives all schools the opportunity for academic and athletic success....maybe that's a PR answer but one I personally believe to be accurate."

rockchalk10jk 8 years, 3 months ago

why does the big ten think they are in a position to throw their weight around. No one cares about the big ten and I live in Indiana. Texas should stay in the big twelve. The rivalry to oklahoma wouldnt mean as much which would be a shame because it is one of the best rivalries in sports and Texas is one of a few schools that make the big 12 an elite football conference and without it, the conference would hurt. In basketball they are up and down but lets be honest, no one cares about basketball. This would be bad for texas and the big 12.


ebizzle 8 years, 3 months ago

Colin Cowherd (ESPN Radio) was also all over this today too. He thought it was brilliant. The more Texas fans hear what a great idea this is... the closer they will embrace the move. The big 12 would be losing a huge piece of what makes our league relevant.

BCRavenJHawkfan 8 years, 3 months ago

Something fishy in book. The PAC 10 is also rumored to be shopping, interest in Utah and/or Colorado. As most here know the BIG 10 is really 11. If they want a 12th they have a conference member still in good standing, Chicago U.

Kye Clark 8 years, 3 months ago

I think the answer is obvious - the Big Ten is a collection of teams who typically lose in BCS games, especially title games. In the past 4 years the Big Ten is 2-6 in BCS games, including 0-2 by Ohio State in title games (in which they were thoroughly embarrassed). Adding Texas is the logical next step after next step, after Texas lost to Alabama (Big Ten teams are fond of losing to SEC teams, so this fits the pattern as well). If they wanted to man up they'd inquire about joining the SEC, not the pathetic Big Ten.

Kye Clark 8 years, 3 months ago

oops, obviously that should not read "next step after next step,". just one "next step". don't drink and post!

MDHawk 8 years, 3 months ago

News Update: This just in...Texas, along with their own Texas-sized version of the Big XII TV network (which was never enough for them), has created a new Texas-sized conference just guessed it...Texas!! The University of Texas Conference (UTC) will feature two teams, the white and the burnt orange, scrimmaging in various high-school stadiums across the state! No more dealing with mainlanders and second-rate states...only Texas, all Texas, ALL the time!!

Little Ten football is a would be a step backwards for Texas, both in competition and control. And since Texas pretty much always has it's mind on Texas, the only football in the country that's more explosive year in and year out than the Big XII (and consequently may catch Texas' eye) is the SEC. If Texas leaves, it'll hurt financially and decrease the perceived power, and thus national respectability of the Big XII...but Texans annoy me, so I wouldn't be too sad. Don't let the door hit you on the way out...

jhokfan 8 years, 3 months ago

I’m not sure of the exact numbers but I believe Big 10 tv revenues are around $240-$250 million a year divided equally. Big 12 is around $80 million a year. Do the math. Texas would be foolish not to consider.

Doesn’t seem right given the quality of the product. Just goes to show, market share is everything and quality is secondary. Look at Microsoft. Their operating systems have achieved absolute mediocrity but they placed their highest priority on marketing and the company has thrived. .

TtownHawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Let's say Texas leaves to the Little ten and the Pac 10 follows suit and trys to steal away Colorado like someone suggested, what then? Ten teams for us here and maybe we try and add a TCU and/or a Boise state to get back to 12. We are then still hurt by losing texas and colo, and gaining these lesser populated schools. Or go get Arkansas or something to that affect. This all just creates a ripple effect along the collegiate landscape, much like the ACC adding the U and BC 5ish years ago (or however long ago that was). The Big East then went and created a monster 16 team leage by adding lesser schools from CUSA. I think the Big 12 would be screwed if this happens and wouldn't be suprised if the SEC came calling for KU. Sure we're no power in football, but they don't care! The SEC is set in football, they'd want us for our basketball. They could drop Vandy or if Arkansas leaves then they'd be fine. They blow chunks as a basketball conference and we would be a GREAT addition to that league. Plus at least one KU/UK basketball game guaranteed every year would be a huge money maker.

Now I know all of this sounds absurd, but so does the Big 10 going after Texas. I'm sure this will not hapen but i'm just throwing out scenarios like everyone else lol!

And to the comment about the pac10 having the AZ and OR schools be this far apart is only somewhat valid. yes these schools have a long travel but that is only those 4 schools involved. All 12 little 10 schools would be affected by the long travel and higher travel expenses.

Anyways, thats my 2 cents.

Layne Pierce 8 years, 3 months ago

Let's go back to the history of the Big 12, Texas did not necessarily want it. They did not want the other Texas schools. It was the Texas legislature that came down hard on them, and the University overall knew that it would take a hell of a hit if it went against the legislature. The only interest as big as the Texas athletic department, is the University of Texas overall.

Conference building is like collisions between continental shelves, it is a fascinating thing. Perhaps the age of conferences is over. Maybe everybody should go independent.

Kenneth Johnson 8 years, 3 months ago

I don't see it happening, because Texas now rules the Big 12. The Big 8 gave everything away to Texas to get them into the conference, even their 50 year history, along with the league office, and the site of the conference tourney.

The Big 10 won't do that for Texas, so the Longhorns will go merrily along ruling the Big 12.

Ken Johnson

Steve Gantz 8 years, 3 months ago

Lots of funny statements here: "Penn St. should go to the Big East and Notre Dame to the Big 10" Like Notre Dame is going to give up their exclusive TV contract. "I live in Big 10 country and no one pays attention to the Big 10". Are you kidding?
"big 10 teams are fond of losing to the SEC" The facts in bowl games don't support that, look it up. People here are just looking at this as a football question. Kind of funny because no one would even read this paper's site if it weren't for basketball. Overall the Big 10 holds the upper hand over the Big 12 in this regard. Don't overreact to this statement. If not for our Jayhawks, what would the Big 12 really be on a national basketball stage? An interesting sidelight to this is I read about this story at the Chicago Tribune and the comments on the story report it being 1st mentioned on the LJW with some disparaging remarks about the quality of this paper.

Steve Brown 8 years, 3 months ago

college sports success = $$

$$ = TV markets

Big Ten has more TV markets hence more $$

Solution: 5 team deal. MU, KU, KState, ISU, Neb, depart leave Texas to reform old SWAC and we join in the Chicago TV market into a vast Big Ten west division with Minn, Wisc. Illin & Iowa., maybe Northwestern.

Fact Big Ten has much bigger feast at their buffet table, ours gets weaker less Texas, Missouri or Neb. so we must protect ourselves and package deal to change tables.

jhokfan 8 years, 3 months ago

Ttown, I think your Texas/Colorado scenario is valid. Conference alliances are like banks, they can only exist as long as people have faith in them. Any suggestion of a departure by a single member could trigger a reaction by other members trying to secure their revenue stream.

As conference alliances go, the Big 12 is not in a particularly good situation. It’s unlikely we could lure schools from the Big 10, Pac 10 and SEC but the same can not be said about these conferences luring a member of the Big 12.

It would be nice if the NCAA stepped in and tried to regulate the movement of schools but that would be too much to ask from an organization who hasn’t figured out how to remove its thumb from its a$$.

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