Texas and Big Ten Would Be a Match Made In NCAA Football Heaven

Benjie KleinCorrespondent IJune 14, 2010

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 07:  The Texas Longhorns run out onto the field prior to the Citi BCS National Championship game between the Texas Longhorns and the Alabama Crimson Tide at the Rose Bowl on January 7, 2010 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The clouds have opened and the stars are ready to align.

And only one school controls where they will shine brightest.

That school is the University of Texas .

If college sports is about the money and academics, then the university may be wasting its time.

The true answer lies in the Big Ten .

Big Ten Network

First, it is important to start with the Big Ten Network. The television station has exceeded all expectations, doubling its initial profit and generating $204 million in revenue in 2009, according to industry analyst Derek Baine of SNL Kagan. 

The Big Ten Network already covers eight states and subscription charges means it doesn't rely on advertising. If Texas joins profits will exponentially increase.

The Longhorns on their own are the number one sports revenue generating university in the NCAA, according to revenue numbers released in 2009.

But they only made $10.2 million from television revenue.  

According to an AP report, Big Ten schools made about $22 million each from television revenue last year.

Combine the two and that's only a small sample of what a monster merger this could be. 

The Pac-10 could offer to start a television station for the Big 12 too. They could even join forces for a network as originally planned, but the range the Big 10 has goes well beyond anything those schools could offer.

The Big Ten Network is already in eight states across the US on cable. Dish Network and DirectTV offer packages nationally containing the channel. And that's before Nebraska is fully incorporated into the program. Add in Texas and soon the whole country will be clamoring for a chance to watch the games.

The other conferences would still have to negotiate quite a lot of contracts.  The Big Ten took a long time with that process, frustrating many fans. But now they are established. While contracts with different cable providers still need to be ironed out their resume gives them a leg up.

Big Ten Football

If Texas joins the Big Ten, it would be a great boost for the conference. But it would leave them with thirteen schools.

With Texas, the Big Ten Network would almost have to become a fixture in all 50 states. 

But it may also give them enough ammo to add the one school that is so opposed, Notre Dame .

The yearly football battles created would be phenomenal.

The Fighting Irish would get to keep many of its current rivalries like Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue while adding more.

Notre Dame vs. Texas, vs. Iowa, vs. Nebraska, vs. Wisconsin...

Texas vs. Michigan, vs. Iowa, vs. Ohio State, vs. Wisconsin...

The lists of match ups would go on and on. Even in separate divisions within the Big Ten, fans wouldn't have to be worried about lopsided competition. The amount of solid games would outweigh less competitive matches.

And let's not forget a Big Ten Championship Game.

One pitfall people see, is the amount of traveling.  On paper it may seem like a burden.

While Texas is not located close to the Pac 10 teams, the Big Ten fans are willing to travel. Texas doesn't need help selling out games and fans support them in Austin.

It would be good for the city and instantly cook up rivalries between fans.

The Big Ten could also have an annual national title contender. 

Big Ten Academics

The Big Ten offers something other conferences cannot match. A heavy focus on academics.
Texas would be a perfect fit.
In 2010, Texas was ranked 47th in U.S News and World Reports' list of Best Colleges.
That was top of the list for the Big 12.  In the Big Ten, Texas would be tied for 5th with Penn State in that category.
Northwestern, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin would all be ranked higher.
All Big Ten schools rank within the top 100, Nebraska included. No other BCS conference can make that statement (sorry ACC, Florida State was holding you back). 
The Pac 10 is top heavy with Stanford, Berkeley, USC, UCLA, and Washington. Aside from these schools, none of the other universities are within the top 100.

The SEC have Vanderbilt going for them.

Sports Beyond Football

Although football would be the largest beneficiary of Texas joining, don't forget about the other sports.

Number two in the NCAA in terms of revenue is basketball. And Texas has consistently been a top 25 program in the last 10 years. Add a team like that to Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin and Indiana and  the conference could encompass both sports.

For the past four years, Texas has played Michigan State in some of the best regular season games of that time period. Unfortunately, those series of games will be coming to an end.This could be avoided if Texas were in the Big Ten. It would create bigger non-conference match ups for a Texas team that doesn't shy away from competition.

Include them in the ACC/Big Ten challenge each year, watch them play Kansas out of conference early in the season, and then round it out with a pre-season tournament to represent the Big Ten.

The conference could conceivably get 10 teams per year in the tournament. The strength of schedule and conference would be formidable and Texas would benefit from not just facing Kansas in the Big 12 every year.

In addition to being a good basketball program, Texas is perhaps also the top program in baseball. Texas has made 33 appearances in the College World Series. They have six championships. And they could help bring baseball prominence back to the Big Ten.  

The Big Ten Network already shows baseball games, every Texas game could be shown. Other schools would have to start trying to match the competition and Big Ten baseball could be rejuvenated. 

Working Together

It's simple, Texas would make the Big Ten better and the Big Ten would make Texas better.

By staying in the Big 12 or moving to the Pac 10, Texas could be missing out on a lot of money, increased academic exposure and more television coverage of their games.

The standard of the football, basketball and baseball conferences would be improved, as would the amount of revenue generated.

Texas and the Big Ten. The two truly are made for each other.


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