by Travis Normand
A major complaint of Nebraska, Missouri, and Texas A&M was that the University of Texas secretly ran the Big 12. You would think these allegations would be enough to cause the Houston Chronicle to list an article about whether or not the Big 12 will expand anywhere but on the Longhorn section of its website. You would think, but then you would be wrong.
Whats the old saying? If the shoe fits?
The following is an excerpt from the article that appeared on Chron.com: [Emphasis added}
April 16, 2013
AUSTIN — Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said Tuesday he believes “calmer heads are prevailing” in the world of major college conference realignment, and insisted his league feels no pressure to expand beyond its current 10-school alignment.
“No one has proven to me larger is better,” Bowlsby said.
Bowlsby, who joined former Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe on a panel speaking to about 200 students at Texas’ college of communications Tuesday, said the Big 12 continues to believe that its small size is a strength. He said he expects his league to pay about as much to its members as the Southeastern Conference, even after the SEC’s lucrative network partnership with ESPN takes effect.
“We’re not at 10 by default,” Bowlsby said. “We’re at 10 by choice. I think until we’re persuaded to do otherwise, that’s where we’ll continue to stay.”
Interesting comments by Bowlsby. Lets examine them a little closer.
(1) “calmer heads are prevailing”
Well thank goodness for this. After all, look at the position Missouri, Nebraska, and Texas A&M have gotten themselves into with their un-calm heads. I am sure no one envies the moves made by those schools.
(2) “No one has proven to me larger is better”
In other words, Bowlsby is not sold on the (2012) conference model used by the Big 10, Pac-12, SEC, ACC, MAC, and Conference USA (all two-division conferences with at least 12 schools).
Bowlsby is apparently content with using the Big 12’s current model which is similar to the (2012) Big East, Mountain West, Sun Belt, and WAC.
Finally, when someone says your conference is just like the Big East, they have effectively “proven” that your model is worthless.
(3) Wait, this panel discussion was held where? At the University of Texas? This all makes more sense now.
(4) He (Bowlsby) said he expects his league to pay about as much to its members as the Southeastern Conference, even after the SEC’s lucrative network partnership with ESPN takes effect.
Wait, help me with the math here. What exactly does he mean?
Lets use a random number for comparison, like $1 million. If Bowlsby is saying that the SEC is paying each of its member schools $1 million each and that the Big 12 will be doing the same, then he is incorrect in assuming that this is equal.
After all, in order for the SEC to pay each of its member schools $1 million, it would have to be bringing in $14 million dollars (as the SEC has 14 members). However, the Big 12 only has 10 members and would only need to bring in $10 million dollars to pay the same to its members. That is a $4 million dollar difference.
(5) “We’re not at 10 by default,” Bowlsby said. “We’re at 10 by choice. . . “
This has to be my favorite quote from the whole article.
Sure Bowlsby, everyone believes you. We all know that you could reach out at any time and grab up SMU, UNT, BYU, Boise State, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Utah State, San Diego State, Louisville, USL, La. Tech, and/or Southern Mississippi whenever you want.
Yeah, stick with that story.