A traditional Fourth of July fireworks typically builds up to the grand finale, the final massive explosions before sending the assembled patriots on their merry way.
If last week’s dustup between ESPN and Bob Bowlsby and the Big 12 was a fireworks show, it was the computer glitch that caused a large city’s entire fireworks show to launch at the same time — a wasteful type of spectacular dysfunction that lasts a whole 15 seconds.
By Monday, the fireworks were long since complete after Bowlsby’s courageous act of brinksmanship in loud defense of his conference last week, which he is most certainly doing everything he can to keep together — now that he’s figured out what’s actually happening to him, at least.
In an appearance before the Texas Senate, Bowlsby didn’t just stand down from his legal posturing in his cease-and-desist letter and his media posturing with claims of TORTIOUS INTERFERENCE that ESPN disrespectfully slapped away with a round Dear Bob’ing to carry Bowslby into the weekend.
Bowlsby stood all the way down, just as ESPN trusted would happen last week as the Texas Senate allowed for a spectacle that almost certainly won’t really matter but allowed for an entertaining afternoon on Twitter. Some real high-grade political theater for a legislature
Bowlsby on the cease & desist letter to ESPN:— alex briseño (@Alex__Briseno) August 2, 2021
“We have agreed to not escalate this publicly. It’s neither party’s best interest to do so.”
Official verdict — this is Dear Bob at work, as NUTTTTTTTUUY, II clearly never made it to the capitol building. NUTTTTTTTUUY, II was fun while he lasted.
Sen. Creighton: Do you have any advice for the remaining members of the Big 12?— alex briseño (@Alex__Briseno) August 2, 2021
Bowlsby reiterates that their stronger position is to remain together, though he wouldn’t criticize anybody for acting in their own interest. He adds that there is a “right way” to do it, though.
Fact check for Bowlsby’s three claims — correct, correct, lol only from a legal perspective.
Bowlsby addressed a number of other topics, including a particularly salient one in setting the stage for the Big 12 to hold a vote sanctioning Texas and Oklahoma to increase the exit fees from two years of forfeited revenue required by the conference bylaws and the other revenue distributions until 2025.
Bowlsby clearly saying Texas/Oklahoma violated the Big 12 bylaws in regards to their discussions with the SEC (specifically when and what took place). That is notable because a Board meeting can now sanction the two schools and strip them of revenue distributions — this year.— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) August 2, 2021
So if we continue to go down this road (in theory, before hundreds of billable hours), UT/OU would not get any of that $41m+ of revenue distributions through 2025 + they’d have to pay two years (the ~$84 million or so) + any additional penalties… “immediately”— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) August 2, 2021
So while the path towards public detente between the Big 12 and ESPN is mostly just good for continued amusement purposes, this strategy from Bowlsby and the conference is both important and unsurprising. The legal wrangling that will lead to the eventual settlement hasn’t started yet in earnest, so it’s still too early to make any educated guesses about how that will turn out.
CORRECTION: RETURN OF NUTTTTTTTUUY, II.
Senator Creighton asks how Big 12 felt about @TAMU leaving conf over ten years ago since there was no legislatively called hearing or public consternation among members. @BobBowlsby said he wasn't there but told the late Bill Powers it looks like "rats leaving a sinking ship"— HornSports (@HornSports) August 2, 2021
Plenty to unpack here, NUTTTTTTTUUY Duece. But wait, that wasn’t even peak NUTTTTTTTUUY, II on Monday.
Bob Bowlsby on what Big 12 is losing: "The difference between this one and any of the others is they've come off the top of the food chain."— Max Olson (@max_olson) August 2, 2021
"The others that have moved have typically been the Rutgers and Marylands that were down in the ranks."
Oh, hey Mack Rhoades made an appearance and has thoughts on Texas like they might actually matter in any shape or form.
Baylor AD Mack Rhoades with a shot at the brow of Texas.— Chris Hummer (@chris_hummer) August 2, 2021
"Many of my colleagues around the country believe that the (Texas) created this situation because they think so highly of themselves."
"I completely disagree. I think it's because they felt too little of themselves."
“I don’t give a rat’s ass about Mack Rhoades.”
/rippling Mike Gundy fart noise
As Gundy understands, treat things with the seriousness they deserve, but the continued testimony from Rhoades made clear why he’s acting like... he is.
Baylor AD Mack Rhoades said the events of the last two weeks puts into question whether they'll have the ability to pursue new capital projects (like the new $125 million basketball arena Baylor is planning).— Sam Khan Jr. (@skhanjr) August 2, 2021
Not the type of outcome that was difficult to predict several whole hours ago.
Mack Rhoades: I rooted for Oklahoma in the CFP and Kansas, Texas Tech in the Final Four. If UT had made either event, I’d have rooted for them too.— Darby Brown (@darbyjobrown) August 2, 2021
Truly comrades in solidarity.
And we have a ding ding from Reddit CFB.
As we all know, historically, when it comes to Baylor using the Texas Legislature during realignment, they have always looked out for Houston to make sure they had a seat at the table https://t.co/Iu9p2cCs7t— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) August 2, 2021
An *extremely* bold argument from a chancellor who has - in the last decade - overseen:— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) August 2, 2021
• An $80M basketball arena build in cash
• A $164M football stadium rebuild in mostly cash and
• a recently completed $100M club expansion of said football stadium https://t.co/H1Zok0y1JT
But before we move on to what the TCU AD said, let’s circle back to the part where Rhoades started begging on behalf of the Big 12’s continued existence.
Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades: "My second request is you use anything you can – your time and your resources – to help preserve the Big 12. Texas is better when there’s a Power Five conference within it. "— Chris Hummer (@chris_hummer) August 2, 2021
TCU AD when asked why he thinks the Texas and Oklahoma - SEC communication was done in secrecy says he doesn’t think it would “pass public scrutiny.”— HornSports (@HornSports) August 2, 2021
We’ll have to take the opportunity to apologize for the TCU AD here — he meant to say that he wanted the ability to try to sabotage the move with the rest of the Irate Eight and is upset he wasn’t afforded the opportunity in a fit of political naivete by Texas.
Good stuff today, everyone.