Thursday, September 22, 2011

Big 12, Big East start picking up pieces


Turned away by the Pac-12, the Big 12’s most powerful members are trying to find ways to live together again after weeks of hurtling toward a break-up.

Texas President William Powers declared Wednesday that the Longhorns — who receive more media money than other members of the Big 12 — are open to a new revenue-sharing model and have already suggested that top-level television and cable money be shared equally.

What’s not on the table is the money from Texas’ 20-year, $300 million deal with ESPN to create the Longhorn Network, which has been blamed in large part for Texas A&M;’s pending departure from the Big 12.

“That’s never been in play, that’s not in play,” Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds said.

So with that line drawn in the sand, the Big 12 leadership has scheduled a key meeting today, Oklahoma President David Boren said.

“The most important goal for the University of Oklahoma is conference stability,” he said. “We intend to support actions that will strengthen and stabilize the conference at the very important meeting of the conference board.”

The Pac-12 late Tuesday squashed any hope of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech heading west in what surely would have been a death blow to the Big 12.

But the conference realignment wheels are still turning, especially with the Aggies planning to join the Southeastern Conference as soon as legal threats are out of the way.

“Certainly the position of Oklahoma State and I think most of the schools, if not all, is that we want to add a 10th team,” said Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis, a member of the league’s expansion committee. He listed TCU, Houston, SMU, BYU, Utah and Air Force among the potential expansion targets before saying “we’ve talked about a lot of ideas.”

The Big East, left with only six football members after Pitt and Syracuse announced plans to join the ACC, must also find a new way forward, while the Mountain West and Conference USA are in discussions about a partnership.

The talk of saving the Big 12 centers on sharing television revenue equally — a core principle of the Big Ten and Pac-12. The Big 12 splits the revenue from its $1.2 billion Fox Sports contract evenly, but only half of the money from its top-tier deal with ABC goes into equal shares. The rest is weighted toward the programs that play on the network more frequently, such as Texas and Oklahoma.

Dodds said Big 12 athletic directors more than a month ago approved Texas’ suggestion to equally share to network revenue around the league. He said the plan has not been voted on by league presidents.

Texas Tech president Guy Bailey said he doesn’t anticipate much opposition to that idea. “I would be surprised if there weren’t a change in that, in some way,” he said. Now, how exactly it plays out, I don’t know.”

Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe has not commented on the turmoil surrounding the league and there is speculation about his future. Beebe’s contract was extended in November through June 2015, a decision made after Nebraska and Colorado announced they were leaving the Big 12 and before the 13-year deal was reached with Fox Sports in April.

Dodds declined comment, and Bailey and Hargis called Beebe’s status a private “personnel” matter, though reports surfaced Wednesday that Beebe was on the way out, as early as today.

Besides today’s meeting of the Big 12 conference board, a summit also is possible between Texas and Oklahoma officials. Big 12 athletic directors also have a previously scheduled meeting in Dallas next week.

ESPN distanced itself from the conference affiliation uproar, saying the “driving force on realignment lies with the conferences and universities.”

Still, the Longhorn Network created uncertainty in the Big 12 and Texas A&M; said it was a big reason why the Aggies will leave the Big 12 by July — a decision that stands, the school said Wednesday.

Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne earlier this month said the Big 12’s revenue-sharing plan lends itself to instability. The Huskers is in its first season as a member of the Big Ten, where each school received $22.6 million this year — about twice as much as Nebraska could have expected if it had stayed in the Big 12.

Texas’ Powers said revenue sharing will be subject to discussion in coming days.

“A lot of these issues that you hear (about) whether it’s revenue sharing or whatever, we’ve been working on long before,” he said. “We will continue to work on those. I’m not going to prejudge on how those will come out. There are not any preconditions for the conference coming back together.

“We want a stable, workable conference going forward,” Powers said.

Once the Aggies leave, the Big 12 will have nine members unless a replacement — or replacements — are found. Only SMU has gone public with its interest in joining the Big 12.

“It’s about quality, not quantity,” Dodds said. “In my mind, 10 is the perfect conference. You have a clear path to the national championship game without stumbling in a (conference) championship game.”

There was still activity around the Big 12 on Wednesday. Oklahoma State’s regents gave school Hargis the power to depart the Big 12 if necessary while regents in Kansas reiterated their support for staying in the Big 12. Regents in Missouri are scheduled to meet Thursday.

Hargis said the decision to give him authority over a league change was important even after the Pac-12 was taken off the table as a potential destination because “there are a lot of moving parts here and we may have to make decisions fast.” He said his first priority is stabilizing the Big 12.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said he was optimistic that the Big 12 would remain intact, stabilize and add members.


roosey 6 years, 8 months ago

"The Huskers is in its first season as a member of the Big Ten" - Excellent work, Associated Press.

LogicMan 6 years, 8 months ago

"TCU, Houston, SMU, BYU, Utah and Air Force"

Utah? Good luck with that. Day late and a dollar short.

Louisville and WVU should be on that list too, if only going back to ten.

JayDocMD 6 years, 8 months ago

I'm not only shocked with some of the names he threw out, but also that he mentioned schools by name - publicly - on the record. He really exposed the Big 12 to potential litigation from the conferences that currently have these schools under contract.

TXBBall55 6 years, 8 months ago

KU had better push for a separated BOR (like TX and OK). Next time, KU will go down in flames if KU is weighed down by a board that isn't looking out for KU's best interest. They completely FAILED KU.

Carter Patterson 6 years, 8 months ago

I could not agree more. For the BOR not to at least give our chancellor the authority to negotiate makes us look impotent. Governor Browncat and / or the legislature needs to provide that authority if the BOR does not. I hate to get legislatures involved, but that seems to be the only recourse when the BOR fails to look after the best interest of each institution. This decision ONLY benefits KSU and not the state as a whole.

Marcia Parsons 6 years, 8 months ago

Didn't I read recently that Brownback wants to do away with the Board of Regents?

Dennis Mahorney 6 years, 8 months ago

K-State has hurt itself by being relatively inept at everything. They are the only big 12 school without any national championships. Their endowment is roughly a quarter of the size the endowment KU holds. The University of Kansas has done the hard work. That a level of recognition from its peers comes as a result of this is no suprise.Our board of regents hopes K-State can capitalize on this, having done nothing themselves to earn it, other than be fortunate enough to have founded their University in a state with another that has earned its accolades.

TXBBall55 6 years, 8 months ago


KU splits and has its own BOR to direct its development and the other schools have a consolidated BOR (KSU, WSU, ESU, etc.). Make it happen citizens of Kansas!!!

ltownatrain 6 years, 8 months ago

Well considering that KU's Endowment is more than every other university in the state of Kansas (public and private) combined this wouldn't be out of the question. Honestly, if KU didn't mind spurring state money, raised tuition and could still get Alumni to donate to their 1 billion dollar endowment they could honestly just say goodbye to the state and become a private university. Although that would be kind of crazy and would hurt them big time in the short term.

100 6 years, 8 months ago

"If" there is a next time (hopefully Texas is wise enough to redraw the plans along with OU to make it a valued conference again) and Kansas is forced with the decision of going to the PAC or ACC, it indeed will be interesting to see the KS board force Fort Hays State & Emporia State along for the ride...

I've always thought these matters were not as much in their hands as we think.

If fair is fair, why isn't Fort Hays State along for the ride already?

If we have an answer to that, the same logic should apply if Kansas is offered a spot down the road and KSU is not.

Fair it might not be. But why is KSU in a BCS conference right now over Fort Hays State?

Is that fair?

ltownatrain 6 years, 8 months ago

PLEASE tell me you are not serious. 1st: Fort Hays State is roughly half the size of K-State 2nd: At least K-State is close to the eastern part of the state where everyone lives. FHSU is out in NO mans land. 3rd: FHSU has an endowment of 40 million, K-states is like 240 million....Heck Baker U an NAIA school with 1000 students has an endowment of like 40 million. 4th: FHSU has a stadium that can sit a whopping 6,362 people. The smallest FBS stadium is Idaho's Kibble Stadium and it seats 16,000. As for BCS conference schools the average stadium size would probably be around 40,000. I'm pretty sure there are not 40,000 people that would attend FHSU games, heck I don't think they get 6,362. So to even go FBS they would have to spend lots of money...which for that see my 3rd point...they don't have it. 5th: Being in a BCS Conference generally means you command some sort of Market. KU for example controls the Eastern part of Kansas including Kansas City. What would FHSU control...Western Kansas? I mean that wouldn't even equal the the non KC parts of KU's market. 6th: I'm going to stop there because in no way does FHSU in a BCS conference make any sense...heck being FBS for them doesn't make sense.

100 6 years, 8 months ago

I'm dead serious.

We're all part of the Kansas Board of Regents.

If it ever comes to it in the future, the University of Kansas shouldn't be allowed to go to the PAC or ACC in the future unless Fort Hays State, Kansas State, Emporia State & the rest are allowed to come with us.

It's only fair. Because we're all part of the same Board.

I mean sure, that might make the ACC have 22 teams, but I think the ACC leadership for instance is pretty smart.

Surely they'll understand that we all share the same Board of Regents?

ltownatrain 6 years, 8 months ago

If you are dead serious then you clearly don't understand college athletics. FHSU, ESU and PSU are all division II and are not coming to division 1 the fact of the mater is KU and K-state run the show in Kansas...mainly KU. And no it's not fair just because we are part of the same board because KU and K-State are at far different levels than the others in all spectrum of college academics and athletics. And saying its fair because we are all part of the same board is just asinine and insane. Whats somewhat and can be argued is fair is the board asks that KU and K-State stick together. And that they require the other 3 stick together in the MIAA.

ltownatrain 6 years, 8 months ago

I seriously hope that -100 is for 100 cause FHSU, ESU and PSU in an FCS BCS conference in no way makes sense.

100 6 years, 8 months ago

Kansas colleges could own the ACC!

No other state is as "smart" as Kansas to have all state colleges part of the same Board of Regents!

Think about it....

Duke would have to travel to Kansas about 7 times a year... UNC would have to do the same thing! That's fourteen blueblood visits a year! Add on the 20 home games KU will play over the season & that's 34 blue blood (BB) games a season...

$$$$$$!!!! That's 34 BB games played in the state of Kansas a year!!! Can you imagine the money for the state of Kansas? All because of the Kansas Board of Regents!

The ACC tournament could be moved to the Sprint Center!!

Isn't it "great" that all of the colleges in Kansas are tied so closely together?

It's great that it doesn't make anybody nervous when conference bids come up because we'll all just go together!!!!!

ltownatrain 6 years, 8 months ago

At this point I'm pretty sure your just being a smart ass.

100 6 years, 8 months ago

You got me. But it wasn't towards you personally. It was more pointed towards the overall craziness of the realignment fears & " possibilities."

My only real point through an attempt at humor is, the University of Kansas should not feel fearful again in the future if a conference shakeup occurs.

If a conference wants us & we can afford the exit fee & we think it's wise, we should be able to leave without fear of being held back by our own state because Fort Hays or KSU wasn't invited.

We already have two pretty good conferences who mentioned being interested at various points in the ACC & the PAC. Hopefully we're never forced into that because regionally is what makes college sports so great.

What should be clear to the state of Kansas & change this outdated policy... no schools should be "tied" together by a single Board when it comes to major decisions like this. If the ACC wants Fort Hays & they don't want us, the Board shouldn't be able to hold them back. Let the gorillas roam!!!!!

And the point about KSU, though in jest, was certainly valid years ago. Yes because they are our state's AG school, they have always been decent sized. But in the past, the difference in size between Kansas a&M and Emporia State, for instance, wasn't nearly as drastic as it is today. There was only one huge school in the state: the University of Kansas.

But without the big 6 way back when, where would they be now?

It could just as easily could have been Fort Hays State in KSU's place when the conference was first formed.

"Gorillas it's time to rise up & take your place back that KSU stole way back when!!!"

And this comes back to the ridiculousness of a Board who locks us all together...

It's an idea that is way outdated...

ltownatrain 6 years, 8 months ago

Honestly, as long as KU stays a member of the AAU I will be happy because the BIG 10 has consistently said that they want their Conference to be AAU schools...Even Nebraska was AAU before texas had their way after the jump to Big 10. The reason I hope they keep it is because if the BIG 10 is serious about AAU then their options are running out as they are all running to the ACC, which, means when they expand and Jealously finally does the Big 12 in KU can go to Big 10. And I seriously doubt that if they have a chance to go to Big 10 if they dump K-state that the state will block them given KU's money and alumni influence.

100 6 years, 8 months ago

You are completely right.

And all due respect to KSU, but I really think MU & KU makes a nice package deal to the Big 10 if it ever comes to leaving, although the best of all worlds is everyone staying put in the big 12.

Rock Chalk brother.

Michael Pannacciulli 6 years, 8 months ago

What about the mizzou to SEC talk? I still think they will bolt if they can.

jhox 6 years, 8 months ago

I agree...MU's future seems to still be up in the air, but nobody is talking about that. The conference can survive, at least in the near future without MU, but it would be just one more blow on the way to eventual complete collapse of the Big 12.

If KU was in MU's position, with the option of going to a stable SEC, I'd want them to jump at the opportunity.

As for the Board of Regents, I'd feel a lot better if every statement they made didn't seem to suggest they're so determined for KU and KSU to stay together. When the Big 12 finally does go belly up, if we're tied to KSU, we're screwed.

Scott Bonnet 6 years, 8 months ago

It's amazing that people seem to forget Mizzou started all this crap 2 years ago. MU to the Big 10?

100 6 years, 8 months ago

Completely & totally agree. I brought this up a few weeks ago & it's like there is selective memory going on. Not to say the conference wasn't heading for trouble without a new contract, but MU's ego got everyone nervous by contacting the national news sources about "leaving for the Big 10" & that's when the Big12-is-nervous ball got rolling &, how ironic that the Big 10 eventually said "no Thanks, Mizzou".

And then, when it became time for a new contract after NU & CU took off... Guess who had more power in the bargaining than they deserved? UT. Not to say that UT wasn't powerful already, but MU gave them accidentally a serious boost by packing a snowball at the top of the mountain with "chatter about the Big 10". And ESPN suddenly really liked UT's new position of Voldemorthian power. UT seriously should mail $150 million to Gary Pinkel in a brown envelope to say thanks.

At any rate the last couple years, MU has played a strange "friend of the Big 12" in all of this for sure... If their fans weren't already crazy as Fam believed they were, each fan must be losing about a card a day from their personal stability-o-self-esteem card deck.

DevilHawk 6 years, 8 months ago

They'll bolt to the B1G, but I don't think that they'll bolt to the SEC unless the Big 12 isn't able to pull things together.

blackhawkjayhawk 6 years, 8 months ago

We should stay at nine if possible. 4home and 4away for football, so no one gets an edge. Everybody gets an extra home game if they want it, or they can use the extra spot to schedule a prime time game. If this is all about football, then lets make it about football.

ACC and PAC 40 are now looking kind of foolish. Needless additions to their leagues of schools that really don't fit. All because they panicked. Super conferences are idiotic ideas from the outset,

A&M? The biggest mistake of all. The SEC also blew it. This is actually working out very well....

xanto 6 years, 8 months ago

Good Post. Pac-12 didn't really advance much with the additions of Colorado and Utah...surely they could have done better. Nebraska to the Big10 is not all that great a move. .The SEC didn't really add all that much with "soon to be a door mat A&M. The Big XII has as many BCS appearances as the SEC. Why should we break up? We have 4 more BCS appearances than the Big10. We've got a better TV deal than the Big East, and nobody attends Pac12 football games anyway. Iowa State gets bigger crowds than UCLA in football.

LSHawk 6 years, 8 months ago

I dont see why the board presidents dont vote for TOTAL revenue sharing and if Texas dont like that well then KICK THEM OUT. Maybe then A&M stays, we add 1 or 3 and the conference is strong and healthy. Everyone seems to think without Texas this conference is nothing, by the looks of the past several weeks I say WITH Texas the conference WILL be nothing......

kujhwksAZ 6 years, 8 months ago

I couldn't agree more, if Texas doesn't want to share their revenue for there LHN (3rd Tier media) they should be relieved of their membership. It is obvious that Texas has already been associated with one conference uphevial, almost two. If they truly want ot stay with their regional partners they need to play along.

Gary Denning 6 years, 8 months ago

We need Texas more than they need us. Their programs are asked to be on TV more often. I think they deserve a greater share of the revenues from their appearances. I would likewise want KU to keep the bulk of the money earned from televised basketball games. We can share some of the money, but for the most part each school should eat what it kills.

jahawkdave 6 years, 8 months ago

Beebe gave TEXA$ what they wanted LHN $ and now that is ultimately why the b12 is in this situation, why no other conf. wants TEXA$ and why Beebe as of today, will be out on his A$$. It was a no win situation for him really, the Lil'9&Tex should have made conf. stability a primary goal last year, knowing the LHN would create issues.

Chris Shaw 6 years, 8 months ago

I think it would be hilarious if the Big 10 came out of the woodwork all of a sudden and offered Mizzou, KU, UConn, and Notre Dame an offer to go to the Big 10 and they all accpeted.

Boy, that would put a wrench into Texas and Oklahoma's (OSU included) plans! I would like to see it just to see their faces and their post comments.

With that said, I think the Big 12 is the best option for the future of KU if and only if the all the schools can come to some agreement with some equal sharing. Sure would be funny to see the above scenario though.

ahpersecoachingexperience 6 years, 8 months ago

In my suburban Phoenix neighborhood I can walk under a quarter mile and find graduates from ku, ksu, isu, ou, and osu. All proudly flying their school flags on Saturdays in the fall. Tell me why can't the remaining big12-2-1 schools get together and form their own network for a couple of mill to each school every year.

Insert trailer park and crackhouse joke, the answer.

jgkojak 6 years, 8 months ago

This is why Beebe needs to go.

When Nebraska left, had the B12 offered Utah or BYU as a partner for Colorado out west, I bet the Buffs would still be with us.

DevilHawk 6 years, 8 months ago

CU left because of UT and easier access to SoCal.

Orangedog87 6 years, 8 months ago

Agree...According to sports radio hosts in Denver, Colorado left because they have better recruiting in Southern California and were tired of traveling to such awful places as Lubbock and Manhattan. I dont believe these are awful places but that is what was said on the radio. They were full of glee that the Pac 12 did not offer to take Tx and the co-conspirators.

LogicMan 6 years, 8 months ago

CU left a day or two before NU.

We should've grabbed Utah years before, and Arkansas too.

Vernon Riggs 6 years, 8 months ago

Colorado left because they thought the Big 12 South was heading to the PAC16 and they wanted Baylor's spot. They thought the longer they waited the longer Texas's coat-tails were. They wanted to be in the PAC16 with Texas, OU, OSU, Texas AM and Texas Tech.

ja3hawk 6 years, 8 months ago

“It’s about quality, not quantity,” Dodds said. “In my mind, 10 is the perfect conference. You have a clear path to the national championship game without stumbling in a (conference) championship game.”

Wrong... its all about growth. If we just end up with 10 teams again, this conference will fall apart. We need stability and at a minimum 12 teams in the league. I don't get why the big12 leaders cannot understand this: 16 teams conferences will happen. The big 12 needs to be one of these leagues. We should be doing proactive work to get teams who need to be in a big time conference and couple that with stealing some teams from other conferences who might see being in the big 12 as a benefit.... Arkansas... ahem

Steve Brown 6 years, 8 months ago

10 v. 12 means less votes against UT. UT wants less teams, then their voting block controls or blocks agenda items.

Sam Constance 6 years, 8 months ago

Pardon my french, but f*** that attitude.

Stability is not about 10 v. 12 teams. It's about common ground.

And I'm tired of the idiotic "we're all going to superconferences!!!! it's definitely happening!!!" mindset.

Superconferences are a pipe dream. The idea was concocted by media members whose job it is to speculate and create (ahem, write) news stories about college sports. Some writer/analyst thought "hey, 4 x 16 is 64--that's a perfect number for a tournament! 4 16-team conferences is the perfect solution to....what problem exactly? ah, well that's not important--the fans will eat this up if we can frame it as a way to circumvent the BCS"

The only reason it's gained traction amongst fans is because people somehow foolishly believe that superconferences are the answer to getting a playoff in college football. Nevermind the fact that if conferences and universities WANTED a playoffs, the could do so at ANY TIME. It's not the freaking NCAA that keeps the BCS alive, it's the BCS (aka, the conferences). If most fans understood this, I think there would be a lot less fascination with conference realignment and a little more outrage at the fact that it's ALL ABOUT $$$$$$$$$.

There is no monetary benefit to the so-called superconferences, as at a certain point, increasing the number of teams in your league decreases the average revenue that each school takes home because of diminishing returns. At a certain point, the amount of money that Network A will fork over will not increase by the same rate as is necessary to keep each team getting the same amount of money. There are only a certain number of television slots on Saturdays (and Thu/Fri nights). Networks will get to a point where they say--yeah, you have 16 teams, but the value of owning the rights to your conference doesn't increase proportionally to the number of member teams.

I feel a little bad for my acerbic response, but it's this mindset that's driving conference instability nationwide in the first place that makes me so annoyed. The idea that if your conference isn't growing, then it's failing by default is flawed. A conference can be perfectly stable at 10 teams. Or 12 teams. Does it need to be pointed out that the Big East, the largest conference out there--was one of two conferences to lose teams thus far? More teams in a conference means more chance of different viewpoints and sources of conflict. More likelihood of a group of smaller "have not" schools becoming dissatisfied with their role in the conference.

William Weissbeck 6 years, 8 months ago

I have no idea where my comments disappear to, but here it goes again. Doesn't it make sense to grab UCONN and assorted others to bolster our BB credentials before the ACC grabs them? It makes us someone to contend with. And take a look at the map - adding Cinci and Louisville will expose KU BB to the Ohio River corridor, an absolute must for BB exposure.

ltownatrain 6 years, 8 months ago

The problem with grabbing UCONN is that it in no way makes geographical sense (Although I will admit none of this conference realignment nonsense does) because they don't border any Big 12 states. Louisville makes sense as it borders Missouri another big 12 state and Cincy makes some sense too although the thing that stinks about the bearcats is that they are like houston...They are in a state that could care less about them as Ohio is all about THE Overrated state much like houston and their counterparts Texas and A&M. Also getting UCONN because of basketball doesn't help because Football is king in realignment.

ydoow53 6 years, 8 months ago

Why doesn't the Big 12???? have a Big 12???? network like the Big 10? Maybe the league should look into in and exclude Texas since they are intent on keeping their own network. It seems like they got a big payout, but none of the major broadcasting companies have picked it up. Maybe ESPN is funding the Texas Network, but could find it was a bad investment??? Seems like they still want everything if the network is off limits. A more reason and obvious solution would be to have the league create a Big 12 network and share equally, but I guess Texas might take their ball and go home if that happened.

ltownatrain 6 years, 8 months ago

This is actually a logical and fair way to get all the other schools more money, however, the problem is in the hands of networks as they would all want Texas represented on the network and likely wouldn't be willing to work a deal for the Big 12 network unless Texas is somehow involved, which, means Texas would want even more money. Unfortunately, even though the Sooners are a powerhouse and consistently rank higher than Texas no one else seems to take them seriously because Texas owns..well Texas, which, is a much bigger market than the rest of the Big 12 combined almost.

ltownatrain 6 years, 8 months ago

What I think is funny in all of this is that Texas wants Notre Dame to join but my question is How on earth does Texas really think that they and Notre Dame could co-exist. I mean of all teams that could tell Texas to go shove it where the sun don't shine its ND. Anyway, that's just my thought on that pipe dream.

Michael Pannacciulli 6 years, 8 months ago

Maybe we should consider removing the number from the conference name. Possible new names

Big West Still Big Damn Big Huge

danmoore 6 years, 8 months ago

What were they thinking when they named this conference? There was already a Big 10. All they did was add a different number to the word Big. Not very original, even though we are a better conference.

Sam Constance 6 years, 8 months ago

Well, I believe the "Big 12" was a carryover from the Big 8, which was a carryover from the Big 7, which was a carryover from the Big 6.

The Big 6 was the first name the conference used after no longer being the MVIAA (Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association). The conference name "Big 6" was first used in 1928.

The Big 10, on the other hand, did not start going by that name officially until 1987. Which I find funny, since the Big 10 is all about tradition and how they are the oldest conference in the country, but they clearly parroted the Big 6/7/8/12's naming convention...

danmoore 6 years, 8 months ago

So what name did they use prior to 1987?

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