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Bob Bowlsby: Big 12 and ESPN back away from last week’s brinksmanship as Texas Senate holds hearing

The artist variously known as Dear Bob and NUTTTTTTTUUY, II went down to the Texas state capital on Monday for some good old political theater. Some friends joined him.

NCAA Football: Big 12 Media Days Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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

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.

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.

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.


Plenty to unpack here, NUTTTTTTTUUY Duece. But wait, that wasn’t even peak NUTTTTTTTUUY, II on Monday.

Oh, hey Mack Rhoades made an appearance and has thoughts on Texas like they might actually matter in any shape or form.

“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.

Not the type of outcome that was difficult to predict several whole hours ago.

Truly comrades in solidarity.

And we have a ding ding from Reddit CFB.

And again.

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.

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.