As is stands right now - Colorado and Nebraska are gone from the Big 12, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech are flirting with the Pac 10 and Texas A&M has been given permission by the board of regents to move to the SEC. This all leaves the Big 12 conference on the threshold of implosion. He's a long way off from being the knight in shining armor riding in on a white horse to save the day but Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe has come up with a plan that, at least for now, has caused the remaining 10 schools to stop for a moment and pause.
"My plan is about what's best for the citizens in this part of the country and for the student-athletes and not having this section of the country with all its major institutions connected to conferences that aren't even here. We shouldn't be a fly-over zone," Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe told Orangebloods.com.
Regardless of how you feel about anything revolving around Texas athletics you have to give OrangeBloods.com and Chip Brown credit for seemingly being all over the realignment talk. Here's what he's reporting to be in a new plan.
THE BEEBE PLAN
Here's what Beebe has provided to the five Big 12 South schools who have been targeted by the Pac-10, including Texas A&M, who has been in deep conversation about joining the SEC, according to sources.
--Beebe has secured information that enough money could be inked in its next TV negotiation (in 2011) that revenues per school would jump from between $7 million and $10 million in the Big 12 currently to $17 million beginning in 2012, which is what the SEC pays out.
--The 10 remaining Big 12 schools would divide up the more than $20 million in buyout penalties that will have to be paid by Colorado and Nebraska for leaving the league early.
--Individal institutions would be allowed to pursue their own networks, which has been a goal of Texas. If the Longhorns went to the Pac-10, they would have to forgo their own distribution platforms, including a network, because the Pac-16 would seek to have a conference network in which all inventory is shared.
(Consultants have put Texas' ability to generate revenue from its own network at between $3 million and $5 million after a start-up window of about three years.)
--The Big 12 would proceed with 10 teams. Everyone would play everyone in football, providing a nine-game conference schedule.
--The conference championship game would be dumped in the short-term (because the NCAA mandates 12 schools for a football title game).
--The loss of Nebraska and Colorado should have been a loss of about 16 percent to the league's revenue generating capacity. But because Colorado was an underperformer, the league lost only about 8.6 percent of its value with the loss of Nebraska, according to sources with knowledge of the Beebe Plan.
I like the idea of the nine game conference schedule but not sure how I'd feel about not having a conference championship game. Texas is going to like the fact that the schools will be able to pursue their own networks and the television revenue per school would be on par with what the SEC is currently doing.
The cons of this deal are that Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech each received a hand delivered invitation to join the Pac 10 conference this week from conference commissioner Larry Scott. Also working against Commissioner Beebe is the time factor. A&M has already been given permission to pursue a new conference. The Texas and Texas Tech boards of regents meets on Tuesday, Oklahoma's meets on Wednesday and Oklahoma State's on Friday. If Beebe is going to convince these schools to stay in the Big 12 conference then he'd better get it done by Tuesday because everyone else is going to follow suit with the Longhorns.
The pros of the deal are that the simplest thing to do would be for everyone to just stay together in the Big 12. There is an increase in money which is ultimately what everyone is looking for. Finally if the south schools decide to stay then all ten of the remaining schools would be 100% committed once again to the Big 12 Conference as the north schools have nowhere else to go. Did you hear that Missouri?