Texas Should Join the Big Ten

Michael SamuelSenior Analyst IFebruary 16, 2010

On February 11, Tom Keegan of the Lawrence Journal World wrote about Texas possibly bolting the Big 12 in order to join the Big 10. This would represent a monumental change in the economics of college athletics.

Today's times have prioritized monetary gain over scholarly achievement.

The Big 10 has its own TV network; Big 10 media grosses over $200 million per year in sponsorships. With adding Texas to the Big 10, it could expand its viewership into Dallas and Houston (both are top 10 population markets).

More viewership leads to more money from sponsors from national corporations, so Texas' current Big 10 deal would give them more money than in the Big 12.

Texas would gain more exposure because ESPN broadcasts a lot of Big 10 football on all of their networks, including ABC. Big 12 games are usually hard to find on basic cable unless it is a Red River Shootout (against Oklahoma) or Lone Star Showdown (against other rival Texas A&M).

The Big 10 markets are situated as far east as Philadelphia (which covers Penn State football). As you go East, you increase the amount of money in television.

The Big 12 has a lot of teams that typically receive only local media coverage (Baylor, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Iowa State, Colorado). These aren't traditional powerhouse teams in either football or basketball, and thus don't have a national following like Ohio State, Michigan, or Penn State.

Could you imagine having Ohio State vs. Texas every year?!

The argument against Texas going to the Big 10 is that it will ruin the Red River Rivalry vs. Oklahoma. My argument is that USC and Notre Dame play every year and aren't in the same conference. Prior to the creation of the Big 12 (1996), Oklahoma and Texas weren't in the same conference, yet they still played each other every year.

The other argument is that Texas is far away from other teams in the Big 10, yet Hawaii and Louisiana Tech are in the same conference (WAC), and neither school has as much money as Texas to provide travel costs for athletes.

When it comes down to it, it's all about the green for the Burnt Orange, and in this case, 10 is better than 12.