There are many reasons as to why that did not happen. I am fairly certain that we could go round and round (especially when the Longhorn faithful arrive on the scene) on the topic. By all accounts the effort to move from the Big XII to the PAC-12 was, well, an epic fail on the part of Oklahoma in particular.
All PAC-12 negotiations aside, I'm more curious as to the plan for going forward in our newly adopted model. We know that all nine teams that currently reside in the Big XII conference have agreed (in principle, at least) to a new 6-year deal that requires the institution to forfeit any remaining TV dollars should they leave the conference before the 6 years is up (sounds almost like a prison sentence, doesn't it?).
All this brings me to the point of the post. What is our (the collective Big XII) plan going forward?
I didn't have the chance to hear President Boren speak about the issues at last nights presser. I did, however, manage to catch much of the response here on CCM. What I saw wasn't pretty. What I took away from the responses to the speech/press conference did not leave me feeling very good about the overall decision. Moreover, I couldn't help feeling like I was Jim in American Pie in the infamous "pie scene." I got that, "Oh my (obviously outside of this blog I'd insert another word here). Now what?" feeling.
President Boren came out strong against Beebe and Texas a few days ago. At that point, I was like, "Yes! We've finally laid down the law. Either things change, or we walk. Ding, dong the witch is dead!" Oops. Don't I feel sheepish. I hate to feel like we're back-tracking and accomplishing zero at the same time. But, these things are neither here nor there.
My point is; is there a "party line" on the part of the Big XII presidents and chancellors that is intentionally vague and non awe-inspiring? My answer to this is; yes. I had the chance to watch the presser from the Missouri Chancellor (I attempted a FanShot, but failed miserably and deleted it!) and had a much more positive outlook on the whole deal.
The way Chancellor Deaton spoke, at least what I heard of it (can't get an accurate link to the video but saw it on the Kansas City Star website in the Sports section under the MU tab), sounded a bit more upbeat and like there was a bit more working in everyone's favor. Maybe I'm being overly optimistic here, but I felt MUCH better after listening to him speak on the issues facing a rebuilding process.
Even though Chancellor Deaton's appearance made the proverbial ledge seem farther away, it didn't have a lot of "meat" to it. It was all very vague, with hints of greatness. However, wherever the opportunity for greatness exists, so do the chances of epic failure (we've all seen far too much of that from this collection of "leaders"). This leads to the topic question: Is there an actual plan? From what I read of Boren's speech, I didn't get that vibe. From the Missouri angle, it felt that way (now, though, there is a completely NEW vibe coming out of Columbia that is very unsettling). I wonder if all the presidents and chancellors agreed to a talking points bulletin that allows them to give everyone a glimpse of hope without any actual planning behind it? Or were they intentionally providing a small window into a much more grand and functional plan?
If I were allowed to ask the questions, I would want to know what ARE we going to do? Are simply trying to co-exist with each other until better options are available, or are we actually trying to build a successful, stable conference that will stay strong with or without Texas (I see a major rift between Austin and all the others that could prove fatal to either UT's status or the conference as a whole)? Another question is: What exactly are we going to do about the LHN and when is enough actually going to be enough? Will ALL the schools sign off on a plan that will allow all of the schools to succeed? These are a few of the myriad of questions that were left unanswered after the decision to remain a cohesive conference. My hope is that the plan the Presidents and ADs actually deliver is much more focused and potent than what they revealed during their various press conferences.
I certainly hope they have learned from their last compromise that gave us the "new Big XII" that lasted almost a year.
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