The tidal wave of college football realignment will have to wait for another day as Texas blinked and passed on an offer to join the Pac 10 for now. Since Texas passed the other four dwarfs that comprise the Southern division of the Big 12 also decided to stick around to see if the conference could indeed be successful with only ten schools, or simply reach into the MWC to grab a couple of more schools such as TCU, and BYU to reload.
"Not So Big 12" Commissioner Dan Beebe pulled a little 12th hour magic by promising Texas everything they were looking for other than the prestige of working with similar research institutions to give it one more try. The move was met with dancing in the streets in places like Manhattan, Lawrence, Ames, and Waco.
Beebe says that when the Big 12 follows up on a Fox Sports Net TV deal that runs out in two years league members could make as much as $17 million in combination with ABC/ESPN money, which is similar to SEC money. Texas would also have the right to setup their own independent TV network which wouldn't have happened in the Pac 16.
The Pac 10 and Big 12 could still team up in the next round of TV contracts but there is bound to be a little bad blood between the two conferences in the future after the PAC 10's attempted raid. "The Not So Big 12" though doesn't have a lot of options though if Don Beebe is going to be close to successful in fulfilling his financial promises to the membership.
The Big 12's existence is still as precarious as it was last week. All it would take to deep six the league at this point would be for the Big Ten to upset the apple cart by inviting Missouri as its next member which is still a possibility in the short and long term. In other words the big mating dance isn't close to being over but the deadline has been extended giving the folks in Ames, Manhattan, Lawrence, and Waco a little hope for the future.
That immediate future involves giving a lions share of the revenue to Texas which in the long and short term will create more of the same animosity which drove the Big 12 to the brink of destruction this past week. The deal won't work in the long term and when Beebe's ridiculous network TV projections fall millions of dollars short for each member the league will inevitably fall on its sword and the Pac 12 will be ready to pounce.
In the meantime look for Utah to join the Pac 10 as its 12th member once the dust starts to settle. That move ties up the Rocky Mountains which isn't the same prize that Texas is but it paves the way toward further expansion in the future once the Big 12 implodes under the weight of Longhorn greed.
Texas Tech and Oklahoma State are already complaining about the proposed deal and are open to invitations from the Pac 10 if they still exist. The line of thought is that they could blow up the ten team league and force the hand of Texas by heading West first. As I wrote earlier this morning this deal could collapse pretty quickly if any of the other members made a move...looks like that may happen and the Longhorns once again could be facing what is commonly known as a "Tech Problem".
Another thing I said earlier is that the potential TV deal that Beebe is talking about is all smoke and mirrors...there is no TV deal and the numbers he has been talking about are grossly inflated which means little to Texas since they control their own destiny and potential revenues.
I am betting this entire thing blows up by the end of the week.