Monday, January 28, 2013

Big 12 ADs discussing pros, cons of staying at 10

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby made a visit to the Kansas University campus on Thursday, Aug. 23., 2012, one of nine stops he hopes to make during a 14-day span as he gets the lay of the land at each Big 12 school.

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby made a visit to the Kansas University campus on Thursday, Aug. 23., 2012, one of nine stops he hopes to make during a 14-day span as he gets the lay of the land at each Big 12 school.


— Big 12 athletic directors spent several hours Monday discussing the pros and cons of maintaining their 10-team configuration or eventually making additions to the conference — or maybe doing something in between.

League commissioner Bob Bowlsby repeated what he has said before “that our current composition is terrific for us” but the ADs went through plenty of “what-if” scenarios to be prepared for any eventuality in what has been an ongoing shift of conference affiliations. The Big 12 has lost four members to other leagues while adding West Virginia and TCU.

“I think we did gravitate around some principles that will guide us going forward and I think we created some filters that we all agreed on,” Bowlsby said after the first day of their regular scheduled two-day meeting. “I think there was a fair amount of unanimity in the room.”

Among the possibilities is an alliance with other conferences, including the ACC, and Bowlsby said there appears to be unanimous support for the idea.

“We talked about those kinds of things, and I think there are some ways that you can get some of the benefits and some of the value of larger configuration without actually adding members,” Bowlsby said. “We spent a good portion of the late afternoon talking about how that all fit together and how it worked.”

Bowlsby didn’t get into specifics and wouldn’t say what other conferences could be in the mix. Pac-12 and SEC officials have indicated they have had no such discussions with the Big 12.

All the Big 12 athletic directors agreed to defer questions to Bowlsby, but several seemed encouraged by their discussions when asked what was accomplished.

The primary items on today’s agenda are football scheduling and bowl alliances.

Their first day was reserved for discussing the makeup of the league, and Bowlsby said that was “talked completely through for about three hours.” Bowlsby said there were a whole bunch of different financial and geographical and scheduling possibilities discussed.

Bowlsby described the meeting as a free-flowing opportunity to interject a lot of ideas, and said the interactive nature by everyone in the room was probably indicative of the interest in the topic.

“I think that it’s possible to make a considered decision to stay at the most favorable structure and that’s where we have been,” Bowlsby said. “But having said that, I don’t think we ever want to be in a position of being un-nimble, and by that I mean it’s a changing environment and we have to be prepared to respond to that changing environment, and this meeting is certainly going to help us do that.”

Bowlsby said there is evidence that dictates the league stay at 10 schools, and other that suggests getting bigger.

“We have evidence on both sides of it,” he said. “But I don’t know that any of it is compelling enough to cause change right now.”

Forbes recently projected revenue conferences would generate this school year through network television deals, bowl games and NCAA tournaments. The Big 12 is expected to earn $262 million, which averages to $26.2 million for each of the 10 schools — the highest per-team average of any conference.

According to Forbes, Big Ten teams would an average of $25.8 million from a $310 million poll, followed by the Pac-12 ($25.3 million), ACC ($24.4 million). The SEC, which expanded to 14 teams with the additions this school year of former Big 12 members Texas A&M; and Missouri will average about $19.3 million per team.

When asked if any school the Big 12 might consider in the future would have to be able to bring the same kind of revenue, Bowlsby said, “Anybody we would look at would have to bring prorata or a very high likelihood of sustained growth that would bring benefits to the league. We are never going to get bigger just for the sake of getting bigger.”

Bowlsby said the kind of scenarios the ADs worked through were if the Big 12 needed to be proactive based on actions of other conferences. What if a league like the Big Ten decided to add two more teams?

“It’s not about what we’re prepared to do,” Bowlsby said. “It’s that we’re prepared.”


noogahawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Alas, I want to believe but I don't foresee us adding anyone. I don’t see how this or any alliance adds any money to the pot. Does anyone else see the public perception of the Big 12 taking a nose dive with all our vacillating? We need to expand but only if the teams added are ACC teams. Its us or them.

Ryan Sullivan 8 years, 4 months ago

2 really interesting comments from bowlsby in here...

"Its not about what we're prepard to do. Its that we are prepared."

"We are never going to get bigger just for the sake of getting bigger."

These 2 simple comments from the commish, along with the forbes number that were quoted, actually make me finally feel confident in where we're at.

Stupid missery left the big 12 to make $7 million less per year. That's awesome.

mae 8 years, 4 months ago

I love our two new teams. So far they aren't great but our league can only make them better.

Robert Brown 8 years, 4 months ago

Of course this isn't about the athletes, but on last night's game, West Virginia's future basketball schedule was posted. They will have three trips to Texas in 12 days. Then later they have consecutive trips to KU and OU. That has to affect the competitiveness of the team. I know WV feels fortunate to be in the Big 12, but they have to be lobbying for some closer conference members.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 4 months ago

"Big 12 ADs discussing pros, cons of staying at 10 (for the thousandth time)"

In other news, recent studies have supported the long-standing theory that the earth is round and revolves around the sun.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 4 months ago

I picture an alliance with the ACC looking like a basketball series similar to what the ACC has with the B1G right now, as well as a football affiliation matching the conferences in non-con games as well as the Big 12 and ACC in an annual bowl game.

This generates extra revenue if all the games are picked up by network TV. Essentially, it should generally increase the Big 12 teams non-conference SOS across the board.

jhox 8 years, 4 months ago

I believe we're just waiting for the ACC to dissolve. Then we jump in and take FSU, Clemson, Miami, NC State and maybe a Louisville, Pitt, or even UConn and Syracuse. I'll be surprised if we're not at 16 teams in the next 2 to 3 years. I wouldn't be shocked if even Notre Dame was part of the mix. If the ACC folds, which appears to be a strong possibility, that will make it tougher for ND to find a home for its non football sports and increase the chances of them joining a conference. The Big 12 would be a great fit because of how we allow teams to negotiate their own TV deals.

Michael Maris 8 years, 4 months ago

I don't believe that Notre Dame will be doing any thing more than staying an Independent in Football. I look for Notre Dame to let the C7's form their new Basketball / Olympic Sports Conference. Then, Notre Dame will pull the strings on the ACC gig and go back to their Jesuit Brotherhood and keep their Football program as an independent unit. When the Maryland / ACC lawsuit is settled, that is when real conference realignment movement will begin to take off. Until that happens, just sit back and relax.

jhox 8 years, 4 months ago

I agree that is ND's preference, but when this goes to 4 super conferences, that position will become more and more difficult for them to maintain. I believe if the ACC hadn't sold their soul and allowed them the non-football membership, they probably would have had to give up the ghost and join the Big 10 or Big 12. I just don't believe staying an independent in football will be realistic for them if the ACC folds and there are 4 super conferences of 16 teams.

Andy Tweedy 8 years, 4 months ago

I think the first interview question for positions like this is to give the guy five minutes and say "Talk the entire five minutes without saying anything!" If you can do that, you're our guy!!!

bradynsdad 8 years, 4 months ago

"I think there was a fair amount of unanimity in the room". So tell us what Texas wanted this time. Fair amount isn't close to complete.

Rock_Chalk_NYC 8 years, 4 months ago

Shouldn't the caption in the picture read...."Surrogate University of Texas AD Boob Bowlsby..."

Honestly, I'm done with caring about the Little 12... KU, whom I love, will be just fine no matter what. Heck, I think we'll be much better off in the B1G anyway. Just hope we don't end up in the PAC.

This "Alliance" business is all about WEAKNESS and lack of leadership... Its purpose is to fortify the ACC and allow them some stability. Then the B1G will pounce and our Little 12 will be gone to the PAC, B1G and ACC... They have the better geographies folks, sorry, just the truth.

Wish Chuck Neinas was still around... a true leader!

jhox 8 years, 4 months ago

The grant of rights provision will insure the survival of the Big 12. Not even Texas could afford to walk away from that many years of revenue. I really believe the ACC is on its last leg. As soon as a couple of more schools figure out a way to get out without paying their exit fee the whole league will scramble. Virginia will be gone any day now...or so rumors have it.

I agree, KU would have been best off in the Big 10, unfortunately, they didn't show any signs of wanting us until we already had signed the grant of rights. Even then, it was probably just a smoke screen to throw people off while they went after other schools they wanted more.

poet008 8 years, 4 months ago

As I've said before, it amazes me that public institutions can discuss things like realigning conferences in private. No taxpayer input whatsoever for a decision that does not affect only the athletics, but the institution as a whole.

Not only is it amazing that legally this could happen, but that it in reality does happen.

If ever there was a shining example of the cesspool that has become college athletics, it is all these secret back room deals, political double speak, and look out for number one issues around realignment.

And with the taxpayer pushed to the side and told "nothing to see here". Where is there any legislator with any cojenes?

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