Sometimes the best moves you make are the one's that you thought you really wanted but never quite came to fruition. As the details come out today concerning the salvage effort which is the "Not So Big 12" it is pretty obvious that Texas held a gun against the heads of their lesser conference brethren during last minute negotiations under the guise of being the saviors of college football and the "Not So Big 12".
Appeasement was the order of the day in the Big 12 commissioners office. Perhaps Dan Beebe's new nickname should be Neville Chamberlain. The five Big 12 programs that would have been left behind -- Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Baylor and Missouri -- all agreed to sign over their share ($20 million) of Colorado's (Pac-10) and Nebraska's (Big Ten) buyout money to Texas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M in order to help coax them to stay which amounts to nothing short of extortion.
In the end Texas gets all the money, the power, and the basic ownership of what is left of the Big 12. The remaining members are about to become unpaid filler for the soon to be born Longhorn Cable Network. You can understand why Texas Tech had serious reservations about signing up for another round of subservience. Nobody wants to be the Washington Generals.
Call this rescue mission another marriage of inconvenience that is bound to vaporize over a short period of time once the true disparity in overall revenue between the teams in the conference become apparent. Dan Beebe's revenue projections are just that...projections...this weakened ten team league is not going to land an ACC sized TV contract even with Texas in the fold.
As I alluded to in the opening paragraph perhaps the perceived failure of getting Texas to jump to the Pac 10 at this juncture will look pretty good in the old rear view mirror a few years from now. Texas is where the TV sets are but as we learned over the past couple of weeks the Longhorns wanted complete control of their environment, an unequal share of super conference revenue, and the right to form their own independent network. The Pac 10 wisely chose not to put them in that position.
I feel very comfortable with the new additions of Colorado and Utah. The league adds two good growing markets with schools that fit the current culture of the league who are happy to be members. They aren't Texas but they don't coming close to carrying the baggage Texas would have brought along with them which in the long run is probably a pretty good thing.