It's not just media types doomsaying the Big 12. Tommy Tuberville, the newest coach on the block and normally a goodoleboy paragon of mincing words, thinks the structure is bound to crumble, sooner rather than later:
"I don’t think this conference will last long because there is too much disparity between all the teams," Tuberville told host Bill King. "In the SEC, for instance, Vanderbilt makes as much money in the television contract as Florida. Everybody is good with it. Everybody is on the same page. Everyone gets the same votes.
League officials have said said they plan to carry on the conference with 10 teams. Tuberville, who coached in the SEC for Ole Miss and Auburn, doesn’t think the league has a sustainable model.
"We have a 10-team league right now, but I just don’t know how long that’s gonna last, to be honest with you," he said in the radio interview.
Tuberville's new team, Texas Tech, is one of the have-nots, and though not quite as poor in station as, say, Baylor, they're still stuck playing the bridesmaid to Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M for the forseeable future -- a future that's looking more and more truncated. Whether the Red Raiders or anybody else would be willing or invited to jump ship to an alternate conference in the absence of the involvement of the big three remains, as ever, anyone's guess. It is comforting, though, to know an information-starved public will have storylines aplenty to entertain us through next summer's football-free doldrums the next time some entitled school or other gets fussy over their TV deal. (For the record, again, we give this Big 10-of-12 ten months at maximum.)