Pac 12 Expansion: Money-Hungry Texas Longhorns Saved College Football
Thanks to the Texas Longhorns' unwillingness to give up any of the revenue from the Longhorn Network, and the Pac-12 schools' unwillingness to make a special exception for one school, all the conference shifting appears to be over.
With all the conference realignment talk going on in college football, and all the uncertainty about the future of the major and "mid-major" conferences, it turns out that the very thing that started the realignment is the very thing that will save those conferences: greed.
According to Andy Katz from ESPN.com, Texas could have supported equal revenue sharing between all the members of the Pac-12, or Pac-16 as it would have been known if Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech had joined, but they declined because they wanted to keep all of the money they get from their own network.
The Pac-12 wasn't going to dismiss a possible pod-system of four four-team subdivisions for scheduling purposes, but wouldn't agree to giving Texas favored treatment. Texas has its own network, the Longhorn Network, which is operated by ESPN. If Texas supported equal revenue sharing, then that would have meant more regional networks for the Pac-12 and even more money. But Texas wasn't willing to do that, according to the source.
By not agreeing to terms, the Pac-12 announced that it would no longer pursue expansion.
The Big 12 is safe, for now at least, because Oklahoma and Texas, the two most powerful teams in the conference, are not going anywhere, though it never appeared as if those schools were keen on moving anyway.
There are still some moving parts out there that have to be sorted out, like the Big East and ACC. But as things stand right now, it appears that the four mega-conferences that have been talked about are not going to happen.
This means that all the non-BCS schools will not have to worry about all of the power schools joining forces to create an even bigger monopoly over college football than they already have.
Everyone picks on these schools for being nothing more than money-grubbing power mongers who will sell their soul to make another dollar, but in this case at least that greed is going to benefit the majority of schools in college football.
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