Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Conference realignment a' go-go Pt. II

That sound you just heard was the Pac 10's hopes for snagging Texas, Oklahoma and some others from the Big 12 South, crashing and burning. Looks like Texas and the others will be staying in a 10-team Big 12.

Shortly after Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott confirmed to The Associated Press in an e-mail that the University of Texas had declined an invitation to join his conference, the Longhorns put out a statement saying they would "continue competing in the Big 12."

Oklahoma and Texas A&M also say they will stay in the Big 12, which on Friday seemed in danger of falling apart after Nebraska and Colorado both decided to leave over the next two years.

So, why is Texas, the belle of the realignment ball sticking around? Why else?

Texas had a meeting Monday with the other remaining nine schools in the Big 12 about a TV deal included in a plan put together by Beebe that would keep the league intact with its current programs, according to multiple reports.

Based on a TV deal in the works that could pay upwards of $25 million per year, Texas leaned toward staying in a 10-team Big 12 for the foreseeable future, Orangebloods.com reported, citing sources familiar with negotiations.

Texas stands to earn between $20 million and $25 million annually in television revenue in the reworked deal, including money from its own network, according to Orangebloods.com.

Unfortunately, the article does not say what network is involved. A new Big 12 network? Or is this a re-working of standing deals with either ABC or Fox Sports West? No clue.

It was just a matter of days ago that the Pac 10 looked to be one of the big winners in realignment a' go-go. Now, they're left holding the bag... and Colorado that without Colorado's Big 12 heavies making the move west, an awkward arrangement.

If things stabilize here nationally, look for the Pac 10 to add one more team to even things out (Utah or BYU out of the Mountain West Conference?) for a 12 team conference and the opportunity to play a conference championship game. If realignment continues apace, however, look for the Pac 10 to start picking off more teams from the Mountain West.

For their part, the Mountain West did some wheeling and dealing of their own, picking off Boise St. from the WAC back on Friday. Great move. The MWC now has 4 solid top 25 football programs (Utah, BYU, TCU and Boise St.) in a ten team conference making the decision to rebuff a Pac 10 invite that much easier.

What looked like a radical re-shaping of the landscape of college football as recently as this past Saturday has cooled off dramatically to where we might see 2012 come around looking pretty much like 2010.

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