In a last-ditch effort to convince the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners to remain in the Big 12 Conference, league officials are discussing the possibility of extra additional revenue shares for the two schools, according to a report from CBSSports.com.
“Such a structure would grant the Longhorns and Sooners an additional half-share annually (1.5 shares each), bumping their payouts to approximately $56 million per year,” reports Dennis Dodd. “The other eight schools would decrease their payouts accordingly. Big 12 schools currently average $37 million in annual TV rights earnings, including revenue from bowl games and the NCAA Tournament.”
Those considerations are still preliminary and a result of the emergency conference call on Thursday that did not include either school. Both institutions could inform the Big 12 of their plans to depart the conference as soon as Monday.
But there’s one big reason why such an offer, if the Big 12 were to extend it, is likely a non-starter for both schools — it exacerbates inequality in the conference, serving as a potential Band-aid on a gunshot wound.
The reasons for Texas and Oklahoma wanting to leave the Big 12 aren’t just about the money. Both schools want to improve their home schedules in football, recruit better, and position themselves to potentially earn spots in the expanded College Football Playoffs. A bad game against Baylor or TCU makes that much more difficult than a loss or two to LSU and Texas A&M. A 9-3 Oklahoma in the SEC is in a better position than a 10-2 Oklahoma in the Big 12.
The potential offer also includes with it a certain amount of irony — merit-based conference revenue distribution, and Texas using its power to push for its own self interest, was given as a reason by multiple schools for why they left the conference a decade ago.
Now, with the other Big 12 schools facing uncertain futures and “pissed” at Texas, they are, apparently, reconsidering whether it’s worse to get bullied or to potentially end up in the AAC.