I will try to string together my general thoughts on expansion later. However, for now I have a very basic question. What is the rush to add Utah to Pac-10? What do we lose by waiting another year or two? It sure doesn't sound like we have not heard the last of conference re-alignment.
In fact the more I hear about the basis upon of which Big-Tex (12-2) was 'saved' the more unstable it sounds. Here is the kicker apparently a TV deal is not even in place. From John Taylor at NBC's College Football Talk:
Perhaps the biggest news coming out commissioner Dan Beebe's press conference this afternoon -- other than the fact that Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Baylor and Iowa State are officially the rest of the Big 12's biznatches -- is the fact that there is no new television in place for the Big 12. [...[
In the wake of Texas recommitting to the league Monday, multiple reports had a tweaked television deal paying Texas upwards of $25 million -- and other schools at least doubling what they've been receiving -- as the linchpin in keeping the Big 12 intact.
Beebe said earlier today that there is no new TV deal from either FOX or ESPN/ABC
; rather, the conference was assured -- with those assurances being relayed to all ten schools -- by various "consultants that we are in a tremendous position to reach agreements to put us on par with anyone in the country." Additionally, there is no signed agreement that will keep the conference together. Instead, Beebe is taking them all at their word that they will remain true to the conference.
(About that Arizona oceanfront property, Mr. Beebe...)
Wait it gets even worse. Here is how the five other programs in the conference were basically extorted to fork up money for the penalties incurred by Colorado and Nebraska ... to Texas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M:
As for the five schools mentioned in the opening of this post? All five agreed to give up their share of penalties Colorado and Nebraska will have to pay, forking that money over instead to, mostly, Texas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M.
Oh yeah, we can see this newly-configured Big 12 having long-term viability. Yep.
Uh yeah, you can see how that is going to last. As I said above, I will try to thread together more of my thoughts on this later. For now though the whole shenanigan looks even more disgusting and repulsive than it looked on paper.
It sure doesn't look like the situation has gotten any more stable as that conference around Texas is built on a house of cards. So with all that swirling in the background, why should Pac-10 be any hurry to add Utah in our conference (which is looking pathetically and grossly desperate to get in our conference)?
Why shouldn't we let this scenario play out for a little longer and let this Big-Tex conference implode in next 2-4 years (if not sooner). Seems to me the more prudent course would be for Larry Scott to focus on shoring up a TV contract and I don't see addition of Salt Lake City market being pre-requisite in getting the actual market value of our conference. Clearly we are part of a conference that everyone wants in.
So why screw it up while it looks like we already have a decent thing going. Why not focus on building out the core - the infrastructure based on which this conference can be marketed in a smart, efficient and profitable way - instead of making rash decisions and adding schools for the sake of expansion?
Once again it seems like we are going to be just fine if we sit tight with our 11 teams and watch this Big-Tex conference implode in next few years. Then we will be in even stronger position (assuming Scott has been able to secure more sensible TV Ks) to add teams no, 12 (or 13, 14, 15, and 16) from even a better bargaining position. So the rush to add Utah just doesn't make any kind of sense. It certainly doesn't sound all that exciting and creative either.