Monday, July 16, 2012

Don't Be Left Holding the Bag

On July 25th Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby will walk up the podium and give his inaugural “state of the conference address”.  He’s going to tell us that the Big 12 is in a position of strength and the future of the conference has never been brighter.

He’ll talk about the new television contract, the additions of WVU and TCU, the grant of rights and the partnership with the SEC.

You can bet that sometime during his address he’ll mention expansion and reiterate that the Big 12 is happy with 10 members.   

Happy isn’t exactly the word I would use… dysfunctional is far more accurate.

The only thing they can agree on is to disagree.

Texas is against expansion.

Oklahoma is against expansion.

WVU, TCU, Baylor, Kansas State, and Texas Tech want to expand. Why stop at 12 they say when we could have 16.  

Kansas and Iowa State are interested in expansion and support the concept but only if they get to play in a division that includes Texas.

And poor Oklahoma State is perhaps in the worst position of all – they have the opinion that not having a Big 12 championship game likely cost them a shot at the national title last year.  They support expansion but  for some odd reason they’ll vote with Oklahoma.

The Big 12 is  certainly dysfunctional and can’t decide what to do.

It’s that indecision, that disunity,  that will cost them in the long term.

All the Big 12 member institutions had better understand quickly that a united Big 12 is powerful and profitable.

They had better understand that a fractured Big 12 is about to pass up an opportunity to solidify their position as a power conference and put an end to the ACC.

The Big 12 could add FSU, Clemson, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Miami and Louisville tomorrow.  They could add them all or choose to expand only to 12 or 14, but the key point is I’m told they would all accept.

Yet instead of acting they bicker; instead of castrating the ACC they sit back and argue amongst themselves.

All are to blame. None should be spared.

Texas just may deserve a larger share of blame because of their single-minded pursuit of Notre Dame, but make no mistake the entire, Big 12 (including WVU) deserves the credit for not reaching out and taking advantage of a rare opportunity.

Consider this… You’ve read national reporters and pundits say that the Big 12 contract guarantees s a certain level of television revenue no matter who the Big 12 adds.  While that’s not exactly true (Notre Dame or FSU would add considerable value) what’s missed is the fact that the Big 12 could add 6 teams at one go without reducing annual revenue.

That my friends is a  license to steal from the television networks.

A license the Big 12 can’t seem to redeem.

Texas and Oklahoma need to understand they don’t have many options. The Big 12 is their home and they are best served to have a strong conference even if it means their voice becomes only 1 of 16.

Iwoa State needs to understand that FSU, Clemson and WVU will fill their stadium just as much, as the Longhorns.

And the rest of the conference, I’m looking at you especially Oklahoma State, needs to understand they have the votes to nullify anyone who stands in the way of expansion.

8-2 or 7-3 gets it done folks.

And… if they somehow don’t manage to see the error of their ways and pass up this opportunity… I can see a time when the ACC has a resurgence and the Big 12 is left holding the bag wondering where the hell all the Snipe went.



  1. Two questions:

    1. Aren't there only 10 votes? Where are you getting 10-2 and 9-3?

    2. What's happening tomorrow? I keep getting trickles of info that something's going down tomorrow. (4:00 p.m. perhaps?)

    1. 1. My bad... my mistake.

      2. Absolutely nothing.

    2. So, we need 7/10 votes for expansion to be pushed through?

  2. If what you've posted is indeed true, I agree that we're blowing a great opportunity. Frankly, I'd give ND a deadline sometime before 8/15 and be prepared to move on without them. Of course, divisional alignment will be interesting.

    WVU in the East with the New 6 plus Iowa State? I guess that makes the most sense. I don't see why KU wouldn't want to be aligned with UT. They get their asses handed to them in Football regardless. Hoops will be an easier road than the East, too.

    1. The Texas game is a money maker for ISU.

      Sadly its true. The 5 are working for the extra votes.

    2. My bad...I misread.

      Both ISU and KU want to be with UT. ISU doesn't believe hosting WVU, FSU and Clem will be sell-outs? Hmmm...

    3. I'm not sure what they think... but home games with WVU, FSU and Clemson should help revenue even if they lost a home game with Texas now and then.

    4. Bottom line is Bowlsby only needs to convince ISU to accept being aligned in the East for this to go down?

    5. I think the ISU and KU issue have less to do with selling out their stadium as it does with the number of recruits they have on their roster from the state of Texas.

      Being on the other division will limit the number of games played in Texas. They would gain the Florida recruiting bed, but they don't have any standing relationships with coaches there.

    6. Good point, Kevin

      Nebraska will continue to suck b/c they don't have any in-state talent and they effectively cut off their TX pipeline by leaving the Big 12.

    7. Nebraska has no in-state talent? That 1995 team that is arguably one of the best ever and was loaded with Nebraska talent on it. Nebraska has never recruited TX very hard. How many total Texans were on the 1995 roster? 5.

      Jeff & Joel Mackovicka, Chris Dishman, Ahman Green, Tony Veland, Phil Ellis, Eric Anderson, Reggie Baul, Clinton Childs, Jon Zatechka, Damon Benning, Brendan Holbein, Clester Johnson, Lance Brown, Vershan Jackson, Chad Kelsay, Eric Stokes, Ryan Terwilleger, etc...all from Nebraska.

  3. It boggles the mind that the Big 12 members can't grasp the concept that getting back to 12 with a championship game (and all the revenue that comes with that) is the right move. I am very surprised that Bowlsby is so weak on this issue.

  4. And in the end, the critics will label the Dude a liar for manufacturing a story that was just a delusional ranting of a scorned applicant to the SEC and ACC. The sad part to all of this is that on some levels it makes all the financial sense in the world and from a commonsense prspective it makes very little. Why not just get rid of Swofford and fix as best you can the ESPN contract for all of its shortcummings?

    Just because WVU fans see this as a no brainer for its school, in all likelihood FSU and the other football schools of the ACC have other options. WVU knows its product would have languished in the Big East, but this is not necessarily the case for FSU.

    This is beginning to smell a lot like the power play Texas and Oklahoma played to get rid of Bebee and get the concessions it wanted. FSU has or appears to be playing the same game and all the insiders are drinking moonshine misinformation. Unless FSU announces they are leaving by the ACC deadline, then you all are nuts to think they will ever leave. Looks like Chad Scott may get the last laugh afterall.

    1. And that's why all this happened. He's just a guy with a blog, he can say whatever he wants with no repercussions. This has always been manufactured nonsense.

  5. Dude,

    Is there any chance that if the BIG12 continues to sit on their hands, the SEC goes ahead and gets VPI anyway? The reason I ask is that might cause the same chain reaction we all thought FSU to the BIG12 would cause.

    1. No chance whatsoever. That is one-way interest. The SEC wants Virginia Tech, but Virginia Tech doesn't want the SEC.

  6. ISU isn't wanting Texas to sell out a football game, that's hilarious. They sold out all their games last year and Texas was only one game. They want Texas games because its their third largest recruiting market after Iowa and Florida.

    If I was them, or KSU, or KU, I'd want that as well. WVU is going to be tied to Florida if the Big12 expands, so they'll keep their channels. OU/OSU will be linked with Texas, so they'll keep their channels. The only ones at risk if they break apart are the current northern schools.

    1. ISU didn't play UT every year until just recently. What changes if ISU is in a different division? You're still selling Big 12 football to recruits.

      ISU gets the leftovers after UT & OU, anyway. Plenty of talent in TX to go around.

  7. Texas and Oklahoma actually have all the leverage. If the Big 12 ever came apart, they would land in the Pac-12. Oklahoma State and Oklahoma have tied themselves to each other, and Oklahoma State isn't going to vote to expand the conference when Oklahoma says no because that means Oklahoma State is off to the Pac-12 too.

    Expansion was never going to happen.

    1. question though, would the TV contract and revenue be greater for OU and TX in the Pac-12? Seems like they are even ground as far as the TV contract $$ is concerned (at least from what I've heard)? Why would they leave for the Pac-12, if ESPN is offering them close to the same amount of money in a TV deal? Seems like TX and OU (TT & OSU) would be best served staying in the Big 12, and not having to compete with USC, oregon, Stanford, etc to get to the playoffs. The Big 12 already has a seat at the table as one of the big 4 conferences, what would be so enticing for OU/TX to leave for the PAC then?

    2. Except they don't. If it ever goes to four, the Big 12 is the one that will not have a seat. There is zero chance of going to four unless all four have 16 teams. The Pac-12 still needs four to get there, and there's only one way to do it, which is to take Big 12 teams.

      Sorry, but the Big 12 needs the ACC.

  8. You are all delusional if you think the Big 12 is on the cusp of adding 6 teams tomorrow if they wanted. There is still no TV deal, 13 year GOR or $60MM signing bonus that this clown has been going on about for months. Just check out this podcast when he was proclaiming it was happening weeks ago:

    In the end the ACC will not have a mass exodus unless the SEC comes calling and they sure as hell are not leaving to play in a conference in the middle of the country that has lost Nebraska, A&M, Missouri, and Colorado who went to the Big 10, SEC and Pac 12 and replaced these teams with WVU from the Big East and TCU from the MWC. It's still a great football conference but you have to be kidding me if you think WVU will compete with Texas and Oklahoma year in and out.

    PS: 13-9

    1. We shall see deano. Good luck filling up Heinz with the likes of Wake Forest and Duke. Pitt will be fine and WVU will be fine. At least you will have basketball to warm the cold winter nights.