Hello, college football fans!
It looks like the Big 12 may be no more after the major teams leave. For us Big 10 fans, is that a great thing? I'm not so sure.
Currently, the Big 10 gives each member around $22 million , which is more than any other conference. We're number one and as a Big 10 alum, I want to keep it that way.
Now had Texas been a candidate to join the Big 10, it would be great from a financial standpoint for the Big 10. But I really don't see that happening.
I can imagine the Big 10 would offer Texas and Texas A&M bids, but I don't think they will be as warm to inviting Texas Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State. If the Pac-10 offers bids to at least three of these schools, the Big 10 won't be getting Texas.
Besides, it's cold in the Big 10. Sure, travel is a consideration for Texas in both the Big 10 and the Pac-10, but I'm sure Texas would rather travel to LA and the Bay Area than Indiana and Minnesota come November.
And if there was no bigger deal breaker, do you think Texas will want to be in the same conference as Nebraska? Or maybe we can offer a bid to Texas, they'll accept, and then Nebraska will change their mind!
So, if Texas is off the table in the Big 10, then the options for Texas (and Texas A&M and Oklahoma) are to move to the SEC, move to the Pac-10, or stay in the Big 12 and try to rebuild it.
A Pac-10 with the California schools and several Texas schools scares me. A conference that basically dominates the two most populous states in the country? A conference that has Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, and Denver? Maybe the Big 10 doesn't look so good by comparison. You know the contracts are up next year for the Pac-16. Should they get two or three of the Big Three from Texas to add to the current Pac-10, could you imagine how much they will make? What if they start their own network?
What if the Pac-10 is able to petition the BCS for two bids? The Big 12 no longer existing will then not add an at large bid for the BCS, it will just move from the Big 12 to the Eastern division of the Pac-16.
An SEC conference with Texas (as well as A&M and Oklahoma) scares me, too. They will have a major presence in two of the largest states in the US (Texas and Florida).
Now if the SEC is able to renegotiate their contracts after their dominance of college football and the huge ratings they are getting now? They'll be getting a lot more than the approximate $17 million they get now and quite possibly more than $22 million.
Even if they can't renegotiate the contracts, ten years from now that conference could easily eclipse the Big 10 as the dominant conference in the US.
So the best thing for the Big 10 if they can't get Texas? Texas stays in the Big 12 (technically they're the Big 10 now and we're the Big 12 LOL). Then the Pac-10 can still expand but probably teams out west which won't add a lot to their potential revenue.
The SEC can still expand without Texas and Oklahoma. But they would be left with very few options that expand their geological footprint. And sure, the Big 12 will likely expand, but how many slam dunk teams will they be able to attract?
If Texas stays in the Big 12 or if Richard Underhill's Red River Conference comes into play, then all of the biggest non Big 10 schools are split up, which will help the Big 10 stay on top of the revenue leader board.
But handing Texas to the SEC or Pac-10? The Big 10 might not be the most profitable conference ten years from now.
I would hate to see Texas and Florida or Texas and California team up, especially if the population keeps shifting southward to warmer climates as Jim Delany suggested .
A few weeks ago, I hoped the Pac-10 could beat the Texas legislature's attempt to force Baylor into to the Pac-10. Now maybe I should be rooting for the Texas legislature to force all the Texas schools to stay in the Big 12 (or even get involved and force the other former SWC schools to be added to the Big 12).
The Pac-10 is not going to invite all six Big 12 South schools (neither is the SEC). So one of them (most likely Baylor) is going to get screwed. I'm not sure Austin wants to see the Texas schools split up either, as proposed. So maybe Texas government forces them all to stay together in the Big 12 to protect the Texas schools.
Now I've been on record that I hate when government interferes with sports and conferences, and I still do.
But it may not be so bad if they aren't playing favorites like they did with Texas Tech and Baylor back in 1994. If they want to bring together the old SWC and help all the major universities in Texas, it won't be the worst thing in the world to me or the Big 10.