Big 12 Sans 2 is not as bad as cynics say

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 1:23 pm
By: News 9

Originally Published: Jun 15, 2010 8:26 PM CDT

What a week to be out of the country. No internet access. No phone. uite a shock when my family hit the Houston airport and saw an ESPN blurb about Texas staying in the Big 12.   I was pleased but would have had no problem if OU and OSU had “gone West young man, gone west.”

Quick thoughts on the marriage remaining of the Big 12 Sans 2..................


-With the expected USC slaughter by the NCAA, the non-move to the Pac 10 is a blown opportunity to go head to head with the Trojans in the next few years.

-I interviewed OU AD Joe Castiglione two weeks ago. It lasted an hour. At least 45 minutes was Joe C. insisting the Big 12 was viable and would stay togetherhinting that the Texas to the Big 10/SEC/Pac 10, Missouri/Nebraska to the Big 10 and A/M to the SEC moves were unlikely. All but Nebraska’s move proved just that.

-Missouri is lucky to not get caught with its britches down. They must win big to regain the respect from a lot of people around these partsincluding fans.

-We don’t hear the seven schools outside the Big Remaining 3 complaining about money distribution. They understand that UT, OU and A/M are the cash cowsof course UT the Big Bevo in all this.

-Texas was clearly the big  dog in this and could go to any conference it chooses (I refuse to use the word lynchpin). But they also play the PR role better than anyone and got every media exposure possible in the process. You’d have thought OU and A/M were chopped liver looking for a ride.

- Naturally, Mack will become another chit in his recruiting spiel. But hey, don’t besmirch Mack and Company. You’d do the same thing.

-The rich got richer. But the poor do as well. How lucky are some of the remaining 7?

-Want to guess who was in this secretive/high-level meeting that allegedly glued the Big 12 deal together? The usual suspects. And as many ESPN/ABC, Fox, and BCS folk as would fit in a roomor on a video screen.

-Commissioner Dan Beebe was disrespected by veteran sources of mine a month ago“weak and no match for Big 10 and Pac 10 leaders.” Seems Bebee was vastly underrated. This is a career-maker move.

-I like Beebe, but want to know what “verification” of the TV money will be there means? The current ESPN money is there, and the split now goes ten ways and not twelve, and the conference gets penalty money from Colorado and Nebraska. But moving forward, where’s the guarantee that this money will indeed be there. Sounds like a possible career-ender.
-I understand OU Prez David Boren was out of the country for the disasterous Big 12 meetings a couple of weeks ago in KC. Probably coincidence that that meeting produced chaos and things got done when he was back on USA turf. Just sayin’

-Don’t underestimate the savvy of A/M AD Bill Byrne. UT couldn’t have liked the idea of SEC schools visiting College Station throughout the football season. Why? Everything is still about RECRUITING (and the money).

-Don’t underestimate the wisdom of OSU Prez Burns Hargis and AD Mike Holder. Boones’ money was not a big issue, but his reputation didn’t hurt either.

-Biggest winners (in no particular order): Iowa State, Texas, Kansas, OSU, Missouri, OU, KSU, TT, Baylor. Think about it-everyone comes out in good shape.

-I get the strong hunch that there will be two new teams in the league in the near future. Probably TCU and someone north.

-No need for the North and South divisions.

-The Big 12 will not change its name anytime soon: two new teams and more importantly, branding takes a long time to develop. And the Big 12 has been as respected brand-has been the key words.

-The onus is on schools like OSU, Tech, A/M, KSU and Missouri to help restore whatever image was lost with Nebraska leaving.

-CU will embarrass the Big 12 by becoming a whipping boy against the good teams in the Pac 10.

-How much weaker is the conference for losing Nebraska. It just brings focus to the fact that the North is a joke. But the South remains highly underrated.

-Add up the divisions around the country that are better than the Big 12 South. Don’t need a calculator.

-OU’s strong scheduling doesn’t look as bad now as it did a week ago.

-OU should schedule Nebraska on a regular basis and downgrade most of its other non-conference games.

-I prefer a championship game. Great exposure, good for the BCS standings and the north never wins.

-In the end, the Pac-10 had its upside. But I have no problem with the Big 12 Sans 2. Its not nearly as bad as cynics say. Most of them didnt want the Pac 10 either. The biggest challenge now will be to convince the football world that there are really good teams down here.  When a league plays primarily itself (9 conference games) perception is magnified. It’s hard to compare a once-beaten OSU team in week 9 to a once-beaten Wisconsin team. But you get the feeling voters will lean to Wisky.

-I look forward to jumping back into the full routine tomorrow.Hasta luego. db