Clearly, the Big 12 took a hit these past few weeks. But it has been coming the past few years. There are a couple of things the big 12 needs to do to gain the prestige, respect, and money necessary to survive.
Yes seriously. While these last few weeks have showed that on the field production is not everything, it is something the Big 12 can be good at.
Why do you think the SEC is so hyped? They win, and they win when they have the spotlight. Winning not only bring prestige, it brings interest, and tv sets, and MONEY.
The Big 12 has had the chance over the past few years to take home the big prize, and it is about time they step up before even more people consider the Big 10 better on the field than the Big 12 (personally, there is no way this is true to me, but that is just my opinion.)
Yes, I know, Oklahoma has obnoxious fans and Texas has the largest ego ever seen in the college football landscape. But that is exactly why they can be promoted.
Take a lesson out of the SEC playbook, they promote their best as THE BEST. There is no reason traditional powers like OU and Texas can't be hyped up. This raises the profiles of the teams, our conference's top end, and therefore the profile of the conference all together as a national title contender.
Not only that, but it gets both teams more appearances on tv, and gives every Big 12 game they play some publicity. Publicity = money= good for everybody.
Ok, so most likely, Oklahoma and Texas will veto any conference wide effort at a network. However, that doesn't mean we cannot increase incentives for people to care about the games played. Take a play from the Big Ten playbook, develop some tradition.
Why not make some trophies for typical games?
While the fans might not initially care, it is inevitable it becomes a big deal to the school, to the students, and when these students graduate, to the alum. It takes almost no money to create the trophies, but it will eventually make each game more important, and get the schools into it. As a young conference, the Big 12 has a lot of ground to make up, but that doesn't mean it can't start right away.
No, unity is not just a treehugger's concept. You know why Nebraska and Colorado left? It wasn't just the money. Past athletics, the universities have almost nothing to do with each other. While Texas's ego will prevent any equal revenue sharing, there are ways of promoting all schools together.
Why not raise all the school's academic profiles by setting aside some of the revenue as research grants?
If the schools improve together, they will be bound by not just tradition but by association.
Or another idea, why not have "exchange students between the associated universities, where a student may spend a semester among any of the Big 12 members if he belongs to a Big 12 school?
Not only does it seem like a cool idea, but it could easily be put in place if the powers that be were pressured to care. The schools shouldn't feel slapped into a conference, and the Big 12 needs to work on establishing pride in its members for being a past of its organization. Advertise Unity, start small, and eventually it'll happen.
I realize Bob Stoops and Mack Brown don't like conference championship games, but eventually, they need to get it back. Not only do conference championships help teams jump rankings, they keep the whole conference on the minds of fans, and relevant to everyone else.
Ever heard of the line hook, line, and sinker?
If the regular season is the hook, the conference championship is the line, and winning the crystal ball is the sinker. It is a basic roadmap to prestige, and with that, a lot else comes with.
Essentially, the Big 12 took a step back from its progessive attitude by going to 10 teams. Splitting the pie only 10 ways is only a short term solution. Having a conference championship in Cowboys stadium gives the Big 12 license to print money, and there is no reason it can't also become a staple upon college football's followers.
Can you imagine last year's season without the Longhorn last second field goal? I can't, but we may have to soon if the Big 12 doesn't step up. Who might we add? Let me know what you think.