Wednesday, September 21, 2011

PAC-12 to Texas and Oklahoma: Oh hell no!

I keep scratching my head over this whole super conference meme. The larger BCS conferences have no external reason to roll the dice on an unproven setup. Oklahoma is out there trying to bring 4 schools to the PAC-12: Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma State. The PAC-12 officially told them, "Oh hell no!" and Texas is a big reason for that.

The PAC-12 just set up a sweet revenue-sharing TV deal with Fox. Texas on the other hand recently set up its own network with ESPN that it doesn't share with anyone. The PAC-12 isn't so hard up for new schools that it's willing to take in a member unwilling to share a piece of their pie. And quite frankly Texas is better off right where they are. With Nebraska already gone and A&M with a foot out the door, the winner of the Texas vs. Oklahoma game is basically guaranteed a BCS Bowl.

The problem is that Oklahoma may not be better off right now. They want changes in order to remain in the Big 12. But I'm not sure if their treat has teeth. The political reality is that Oklahoma State and Oklahoma are tied at the conference hip. Who will take both? The PAC-12 is apparently out. I don't think the SEC would take them. That would put them at 15 assuming A&M comes along as expected. The ACC might but Oklahoma would likely be better off staying put than joining the ACC.

It's an interesting situation, but I think the current best solution is for Oklahoma to drop their new-conference fever, work for change in the Big 12, and if things don't improve get out before they take over the role of Texas' Jan Brady from the soon-to-be-departing Aggies.


Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Think of all the problems that could have been avoided if Texas had settled for simple revenue sharing when the Big 8 & Texas schools formed the Big XII.

And the superconference meme really gained legs when the PAC entertained the idea of 16 teams a year ago. Once an idea is seen as possible, it won't be long before someone tries it. You have to wonder how much that was just shaking the tree to see what comes loose?

The only surprise is the ACC volunteering to be the canary in the coal mine and race to 16 members first. They have to be making a calculation that with the SEC entertaining new members, and superconference an option on the table, at least 3 or 4 of their football-first schools are at risk to jump ship. Poaching roundball-first, academic focused schools from the Big East to mitigate their risk makes perfect sense.

As for the 16 team superconference, I think the PAC has now stopped the dominoes from falling. I would expect the SEC to stop at 14 (9 game conference), and the B1G to eventually get to 14.

Though that doesn't pull the Big IX out of the woods. Every power player in that conference is unhappy with Texas. They've driven off Colorado, Nebraska, TAMU, and now have the Oklahoma schools delivering ultimatums.

Dante said...

I can see the ACC being the canary. On the football front, they have nothing to lose. On the basketball front, they have enough solid teams that the conference tournament championship AQ isn't a enough deal to worry about packing the field with additional teams.

That's also why I think the ACC would covet Oklahoma and Okie State. Neither is a bad basketball program and can only make their football slate look better. I'm just not so sure those feelings would be requited.