Big 12 Conference Realignment: Over or Just Begininning?

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Big 12 Conference Realignment: Over or Just Begininning?

Two days ago, I wrote an article saying that the extinction of the Big 12 was inevitable.

It seemed that all hope was lost for the remaining stragglers in the North such as Mizzou, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, and Baylor from the South.

Then commissioner Dan Beebe made Texas what Bill Simmons from ESPN described as a "godfather offer."

In order to prevent the Longhorns from fleeing the conference, Dan Beebe presented the Longhorns with a massive TV contract somewhere in neighborhood between 20 and 25 million. 

In retrospect, this concept of the Big 12 network should have happened when the Big 10 network started up. And the Mizzou athletic department needs to send DeLoss Dodds (the Texas AD) flowers and a box of chocolates because he just saved the Tigers from being left out in the dark.

So now the Big 12 has become the 'new' Big 10.

This story also presented us with one of the more entertaining morning Sportscenters in awhile.

Joe Schad originally broke the story that a move to the Pac 10 was imminent for the Big 12 South, only to have Chip Brown from orangebloods.com five minutes later report to ESPN that the Big 12 had been saved.

In his next reporting bit, Schad looked as if he just found out Santa Claus didn't exist.

But what does it all mean now?

With only 10 schools, the "new Big 12" cannot have a conference championship game. It would be in the same situation as the Big 10 before they recently added Nebraska.

Does that mean the conference will try to recruit two more teams? Who would they be?

Let's take a look.

 

TCU

The Horned Frogs proved themselves on the football field last year with a 12-1 record on their way to winning the Mountain West conference.  

There's no question in my mind, they will at the very least compete in the new conference.  

However, I would be interested to see how the team would hold up against a grueling Big 12 schedule that would potentially include both the Oklahoma and Texas schools.

TCU's baseball team also just beat Texas to advance to the College World Series.

Critics would argue that their basketball team is weak after their 13-19 season, which is actually almost god-awful.  That being the case, one thing we have learned in this whole realignment process is basketball doesn't mean much.

Just look at Kansas.  They nearly got thrown under the bus with the rest of the Big 12 North despite having one of the most storied programs in college history.

 

Houston

The Cougars this past year had solid seasons in both football (10-4) and basketball (NCAA tournament appearance).

They have the right location in Houston that would make getting to schools like UT and Texas A&M quite feasible.

They actually have the largest metropolis in Texas with the Greater Houston area, which translates into a decent TV market.

However, I don't see them competing with the likes of UT and OU given that they lost to UTEP, Central Florida, and East Carolina.

 

SMU

The Dallas based private school would make a lot of sense given the rich recruiting pipelines the city presents.

However, the problem with SMU is they're just not there yet. Although the football team, led by June Jones, just won their first bowl since the 80s, the likes of what was the Big 12 South would annihilate them.

Ditto for the basketball team, which has seen little to no success under Matt Doherty.

 

Why The Big 12 Will Stay at 10

Since my column on Saturday predicting the Big 12 was lost beyond all hope, I'm officially 0-1, so you probably should take this with a grain of salt.

However, none of those three aforementioned teams really give the Big 12 that much of a leg up on anyone.

We just saw how much money the Big 10 was bringing in the past two years with only ten teams.

The bottom line here, as it has been throughout this whole saga, is money.

With the creation of the Big 12 network, each school's TV revenue would double, with UT making about twice as much as the schools from the North.

There's really no reason to add TCU, Houston, or SMU.  They don't really bring anything of worth to the table.

With the Pac 10 and Big 10 now set, none of those schools are going to leave; I believe the same goes for the schools in the Big East.

According the Kansas City Star, under the new conference terms, "The North and South divisions would probably go away and be replaced by a nine-game conference schedule in which every team plays each other once."

Personally, I like the idea of playing everyone in conference each year.  I've always hated out of conference cupcake schedules (Hello Kansas State).

The Star also goes on to mention that this would give an extra conference game each year, which would give more games in the Big 12 TV package adding to each school's revenue.

Translation: The new Big 12 is going to make a lot of money.

In my opinion, the conference stays as is.

They have a new TV deal, the opportunity for each team to play one another in the season, the same rivalries intact, and so much more money.

Given that UT first pulled the trigger on agreeing to this deal, I think the rest of the Big 12 can agree on one thing after this potential fiasco.

God Bless Texas.

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/06/14/2017753/details-the-big-12-at-10.html#ixzz0qw0PPCDH

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