With a Texas Board of Regents meeting scheduled for Monrday -- only hours after the Oklahoma Board of Regents will hold their own meeting -- and rumors that the ACC is ready to poach as many as four teams from the Big East, superconferences in college football may only be days away from becoming a reality.
While Texas to the ACC was the rumor du jour last week, that all seemed to change over the weekend with the Pac-12 once again looking like a legitimate option. At issue for Larry Scott and the Pac-12 has been the league's desire for equal revenue sharing and ownership of each school's third-tier rights, exactly the rights that ESPN owns with the Longhorn Network. So what has changed?
Hookem.com reported Sunday morning that sources indicate a compromise may be close ($):
Texas would have to add Pac-12 (soon to be 16) content to the LHN programming. The Longhorns would be able to keep all of their revenue from the network. However, if one-sixteenth of the money the Pac-12 receives from third-tier rights ends up being a larger amount, the schools would divide the revenue evenly and everybody would receive the same amount, the source said.
That's a change from the previous conventional wisdom regarding the Longhorn Network morphing into a regional network shared with Texas Tech -- not an appealing alternative for a Texas administration that appears intent on keeping the network in its current form to the extent possible. This compromise represents such a major step because it solves the problem of equal revenue sharing and allows Texas what it wants in keeping the Longhorn Network essentially a Longhorn-only entity.
The other rumored development is the use of a four-team pod system for the new Pac-16-to-be, with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Texas Tech in one pod. In the previously mentioned Hookem.com report, sources indicated that the team with the best record from two aligned pods would play the team with the best record from the other two aligned pods for the conference championship game, with conference members playing the teams in their own pod each season and two teams from each of the other three pods.
So, with the Big 12 finally ready to die, is this the best of all possible worlds for the Longhorns? After all, it helps preserve the type of regional rivalries that would die in the ACC, which appears to be heading in a different direction anyway.