Big 12 Football

Big 12 Conference Alive, if Not Well

Call it the Pat 12.

As in, no thanks to expansion, we'll stand. As in, the Big 12 -- all but buried by a lot of us dorks -- remains alive, like the muddy, bony, cob-webbed hand reaching up from the grave to snatch onto life.


Because it couldn't get assurances from Texas about a downsizing and/or equal revenue sharing of the Longhorn Network, the Pac 12 on Tuesday night officially said no thanks to expansion. Meaning Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are still, yes still, a part of the wobbly group of schools known as the Big 12.

But for how long?

Maybe for a long time.

Baylor and Texas want to keep the league afloat, and the Bears will sue Texas A&M when it attempts to bolt to the SEC. Oklahoma will grudgingly remain in the Big 12, but only -- according to this story -- with the ouster of commissioner Dan Beebe.

Another Big 12 school -- Missouri -- is being courted by the SEC. But with the Big 12 back in business, that move is also on pause.

Frustrated by the lack of assurance from Texas, Pac 12 commissioner Larry Scott never took a vote on expansion. Nor did, turns out, the four Big 12 schools officially apply for membership. Said Scott in a statement:

"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."

The board of regents at Texas and Oklahoma on Monday voted to give their presidents the right to choose a new conference. Oklahoma State's regents have scheduled a special meeting Wednesday about conference realignment. Said OU president David Boren in a statement:

"Conference stability has been our first goal and we look forward to achieving that goal through continued membership in the Big 12 Conference."

What does it all mean? Hell if I know.

Best guess? That when A&M is finally allowed to leave for the SEC, BYU will become the Big 12's 10th team. OU's Big 12 patch-up plan also, however, calls for Longhorn Network reform.

Stay tuned.

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Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt

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