The Pac 12 said No to Texas and No to a 14 team league last night. Pac 12 commissioner Larry Scott walked away from the negotiating table after Texas kept demanding a larger share of the pie which is based around keeping the exclusive Longhorn Network.
Scott made the conferences position very clear in last night press release:
"After careful review we have determined that it is in the best interests of our member institutions, student-athletes and fans to remain a 12-team conference. While we have great respect for all of the institutions that have contacted us, and certain expansion proposals were financially attractive, we have a strong conference structure and culture of equality that we are committed to preserve. With new landmark TV agreements and plans to launch our innovative television networks, we are going to focus solely on these great assets, our strong heritage and the bright future in front of us."
The Longhorns have now backed themselves into a corner. They either make the existing Big 12 work or go the independent route like Notre Dame. The Big Four which now consist of the ACC, Pac 12, Big 10, and SEC aren't interested in cutting them a special deal.
So lets take a look a the rest of the players floating around out there and discuss how this decision effects them:
Texas has always wanted to stay in the Big 12, keep the Longhorn Network, get the largest slice of revenue, and maintain its rivalries. They may have to give some or all of it up to keep the Big 12 alive. Since they are smack dab in the middle of the country they can pick and choose while benefiting from whatever chaos they have caused.
They have a conditional offer from the SEC to use as leverage in negotiations to remain in the Big 12 if they wish. Some say it is too late but T. Boone Pickens who might just know a thing or two says that it is not.
They have supposedly have an under the table invitation from the SEC which they can also use as leverage in negotiations to remain in the Big 12. The SEC has denied that there is any type of agreement or understanding in place with Missouri.
They were ready to jump to the Pac 12 even though their preference in the past has been to stay with Texas and help save the Big 12. They laid down a gauntlet of demands on Monday on what it would take for them to stay in the Big 12.
Once all the smoke settles they could end up getting an invite to replace Texas A&M or to help get the conference back to 12 members.
They say they are still committed to heading to what is left of the Big East. They could also be a candidate for membership in the Big 12 or be part of what would be a Big12-Big East merger.
They cut the heart out of the Big East by adding Pittsburgh and Syracuse last week. The big target for them is Notre Dame. Make no mistake about it. They are rolling the dice for Notre Dame. Rutgers and U-Conn would be secondary targets. West Virginia isn't part of the discussion.
Like the Pac 12 and the Big Ten they would prefer to stay at 12 members for now but they just couldn't pass on the opportunity to add Texas A&M. I don't think they would mind it at all if Texas A&M decided to stick with the Big 12 because 13-14 are tough numbers to work with. Missouri and West Virginia are the current leading candidates for that 14th spot. If you go to 14 it is simply just a matter of time until you go to 16 which means raiding either the Big East, Big 12, or ACC.
They won't expand beyond 12 without Notre Dame. That being said they need to keep an eye on the ACC which may be a more attractive long range option for the Irish.
They are down to only six football members and three of those members...Rutgers, U-Conn, and West Virginia are all negotiating to head elsewhere if and when it is possible.