First of all, GREAT WIN HORNS! I cannot express how happy I am with the coaching right now. They are trying many different things right now, and if it's not working they shelve it. They're truly trying to rebuild this program, and that's what we need right now. Ash, McCoy, Shipley, Brown, DJ, Cody - great job last night. Gilbert, you'll always have a fond place in my heart for beating Nebraska on the road and fighting valiantly against Bama in the title game. Also, great crowd and atmosphere last night (except for the hipster in front of me who wore a bright blue jersey, came late, and left early). Now, regarding Chip Brown's latest realignment article:
http://texas.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1263181This article touches on the fact that all the big conferences really aren't interested in expanding right now (even the SEC). Minus the Big XII and Big East, all the major conferences have nice round numbers of 12, lucrative conference championship games in major cities, and equally lucrative TV contracts (especially the Pac 12). It also talks about the mistakenly held notion that unequal revenue sharing is killing the Big XII. Unequal revenue sharing really doesn't make that big of a difference in my opinion, (see a very good post on Tech SBNation site here). As Chip points out, though equal revenue sharing might look good on the surface, it would actually piss off OU. Let's remember, too, that Nebraska was at the top of the revenue scale when they were in the Big XII and they still opted to join the B1G. In fact, whenever the idea of equal sharing came up, Nebraska sided with Texas and OU to kill the notion. A&M is also one of the big money-makers in the conference, and they want out now.
So what, exactly, is the Big XII's problem? Why did NU want to join the B1G when that would mean a possible decrease in revenue and increase in competition? Same with A&M. After NU and CU left, I think the Big XII increased their amount of equal revenue sharing from 57% to 76% (I hope I worded that correctly). Additionally, there is no other conference other than the Big XII right now in which any individual school can pursue their own network. I think most fans across the country would say the problem with the Big XII right now is simple: it's Texas. But why? Because we win a lot and supposedly take everyone's money? Reports actually show that OU makes more TV revenue than anyone in the conference in some years. Also, though Texas may have more overall wins, OU beats up on everyone too, and has, what? Seven conference titles? Of course, you can argue that the Longhorn Network is now killing the Big XII, and I guess you might have a point. But the $300 million check had not yet been inked when NU & CU left, nor had ESPN decided to partner with Texas (to my knowledge, but I could be wrong). Now, A&M wants out even though the LHN has not even proven to be successful or viable. I just wonder if a combination of jealousy and geography are the true reasons the Big XII seems to be falling apart.
When the Big XII was formed, it seemed like there were too many chiefs and not enough indians. When you have OU, Nebraska, Texas, and A&M all in one conference, that's a lot of clashing egos. NU and OU always made the most money and won the most games in the Big 8. Likewise, Texas and A&M usually ran the show in the SWC. The formation of the Big XII has led to immense success for Texas and OU. Conversely, the Huskers and Ags have been reduced to relative irrelevance for the past decade. Big blows to some big egos. While Texas and OU have exploited the advantages of the Big 8-SWC marriage, NU (and others) have blamed it for their troubles. Lately, the Big XII north teams have all seemed to lament about how great the Big 8 was before those mean old Texas teams came along and ruined everything. Funny how the Big 8 held no obligation to absorb the SWC teams, but still chose to (probably because they were elated to expand into Texas TV markets and recruits). Also, the fact that the Big XII resides in America's heartland means that major conferences border both the north and south divisions. As we've seen, when those conferences want to expand, they go after the Big XII teams. When you are Washington, WSU, Oregon, and Oregon St., your options are extremely limited. You can't go anywhere other than the Pac-12. When you are Mizzou, NU, CU, or A&M, however, you've got options. Mizzou lies on the borders of the Big XII, B1G, and SEC. They could, conceivably, join any of those conferences. Same with a lot of the Big XII teams. Geographically, our conference is ripe for poaching during times of expansion, and if any school is ever unhappy it's easy to threaten to bolt to another conference that's just down the road.
To sum it up, I think the Big XII's true problems are hard to put a finger on. If it's unequal revenue sharing, then why are the have-nots trying like hell to save the conference while the big boys are trying like hell to get out? Again, I think there might be too many egos clashing in this conference. Too many chiefs, not enough indians. And - too many schools who over-inflate their value, thinking they are chiefs when they are in fact indians (A&M, Tech, and OSU). The Big XII is really at a crossroads. The SEC, I think, really doesn't want to expand past 12 because they are content with that number and can't find a 14th team to balance A&M. The Pac 12 truly does not want to take ANY new teams, nor does the B1G. So what, if anything, does/can the Big XII do? Will happiness and cooperation every exist in the Big XII? Thoughts...