A Dose of Reality for the Big 12 Conference: We Are All a Burnt Orange Nation

Alli MContributor IJune 16, 2010

A Zanex and two beers later, I have started to simmer my half-Japanese temper down to its normal heat. 

I will be very honest with my readers.  I am not happy with how things have fallen into place.  My Facebook posts are evidence of that.  But my sports commentary side must be a bit more un-biased. 

The Big 12 is intact, minus two teams and a conference title game.  And according to University of Texas president William Powers Jr., this is in the best interest of the university, their collegiate partners, and the student athletes. 


Why Is This Good for Tech?

In 2007, Texas Tech earned $8.2 million in TV revenue.  Tech will be earning twice as much with this new Big 12 deal.  Yet, still less than Tech’s older siblings. 

The rivalries Tech claims to have are staying intact, as are  guaranteed TV time and money revenue.

Expensive travel is not an issue.  The budget from the last few years is actually lightened with the loss of Nebraska and Colorado.  Travel is much more compact and allows fans to follow their teams.

The Big 12 bylaws state that all the remaining teams are going to come together and vote on how damaging the departing teams are to the rest of the conference. 

Nebraska and Colorado can lose anywhere between 30-80 percent in funding during their remaining time in the Big 12.  This extra money is divided up EVENLY within the Big 12.  One must remember that only TV revenue is not divided evenly amongst the members. 


Why Is This Bad for Tech?

The University of Texas:  In two years, the Longhorns are going to pursue and/or launch their Longhorn Network.  UT told the remaining Big 12 that they would have use of this network...but one needs to keep in mind, it's not called the Big 12 Network, but the Longhorn Network. 

And that money goes mostly back to UT.

The University of Texas has ultimate control over the conference.  This entire fiasco has shown the nation and the Big 12 that UT is a privilege, not a member. 

In five years, the Big 12 will be faced with the same issue we have seen within the last month.  The Big 12 is in no way stable.

In two years, there will be no conference championship game.  This both weakens the conference in a political setting and from a voter’s standpoint.  In many ways, the championship game has been a system of checks and balances within a conference. 

If a team wins a questionable game within the regular season, there is still one “barrier” it has to pass in order to “prove” itself as a worthy team.  

That system is now gone. 


Who Is the True Winner?

I would say the Oklahomas.  OU sat quietly by and watched everything progress.  The Sooners saw what type of political influences they were dealing with.  Thus in five years, OU is going to be the presence to follow and not UT.

Also, OSU wins.  OSU has a money fail-safe: Boone Pickens.  He will always support OSU, and will always help the program whether the Big 12 is there or not. 

We can’t forget Baylor and Iowa State.  Two small schools and programs that were running around the conference saying, “Wha?  Wait !  What about us?!  This isn’t fair!”  These schools need the Big 12 more than anybody else.  They need the money and the protection. 

And TAMU.  It's not broke anymore. 


Some Jerky To Chew On

UT, OU, and TAMU are the only schools getting the “biggest” bite of the Big 12 pot, even though TAMU has not proven itself within the past 10 years as a football power. 

UT could have planned this from the very beginning.  The Longhorns start some trouble at home, push a few schools out, pocket extra money, gain control over the entire conference, and almost guarantee themselves a spot in the BCS title game.  All the while playing the savior of the Big 12. 


So What Does This Ultimately Mean? 

As much as it pains me to say this:  We are all a burnt orange nation...whether we like it or not.



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