â†µUPDATE: Texas has officially turned down the Pac-10's offer.
â†µThe latest on conference chaos appears to be the Big 12 forging ahead as a 10-team conference. I'm not sure how accurate any news about conference expansion is these days, especially when it comes to television numbers, and triple-especially when it comes to numbers that don't even exist yet. But here's Chip Brown on the main reason the Big 12 appears to be crawling out of its grave: â†µ
â†µâ‡¥Texas stands to make between $20 mil and $25 mil per yr under a proposed new TV pkg presented by Dan Beebe (pictured), plus UT's own network. â†µâ‡¥â†µ
â†µThat is seriously doubtful. Big Ten teams are currently raking in $15 million per year with a fully functional network spread across eight states with a ton of people. The Big 12's entire conference distribution was $10 million in 2007 and as of May 31 conference distributions were ranging between "7 and 12 million" according to the Kansas City Star; Big Ten teams each brought in $20 million. The Big 12's current television contract with ABC goes to the 2015 season and the conference has just lost its third most attractive television draw (Nebraska) and third biggest media market (Denver). The average value of the Big 12's TV inventory has gone down considerably this summer. â†µâ†µ
â†µThis illustrates the true reason Texas is not going to end up in the Big Ten or any other conference. With Nebraska and Colorado gone, the leftover members of the Big 12 have lost their leverage and now desperately need the Big 12 to hang together lest they get cast into the fiery furnace of the Mountain West, Big East or, horror, Conference USA. Texas can now dictate terms to formerly uppity members of the conference looking for equal revenue distribution. The only way Brown's above numbers can be correct is if the new Big 12's revenue sharing actually goes down. â†µâ†µ
â†µSo the exact numbers for Texas don't really matter. What matters is that they'll get more, probably vastly more, than anyone else in the conference. They also sit in the middle of the Big 12's recruiting base, wrapping up recruiting classes a year ahead of time, picking and choosing who they want with few exceptions. The Big Ten offers them more money, better competition, and better academic support. The Pac-10 may offer some of those advantages as well. But Texas doesn't care about or even desire any of those things because the Big Ten would require Texas to share and share alike. â†µâ†µ
â†µFat chance of that. The Big 12 is now Texas', lock, stock, and barrel, which is why it's worth saving. â†µâ†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.