Friday, September 23, 2011
What they're saying: Big 12 recommital
By ESPN.com staff
Last night wasn't a good one for the Big 12, but it's at least the start of a new chapter in realignment. All schools other than A&M committed to the Big 12 on a conference call Thursday evening but there was an apparent disagreement on how far talks went toward granting media rights to the conference, which would keep all nine teams in the league for at least six years, and likely longer.
Here's a collection of opinions from last night in the Big 12. Lots of great stuff from all over the place. Check it out.
The Big 12 is trying to secure itself, but for now, it's still a mess, writes SI.com's Andy Staples:
Boren and Deaton told two different stories Thursday. While they gave matching accounts of the ouster of Commissioner Dan Beebe -- more like a ritual sacrifice to the realignment gods -- they differed sharply in tone when it came to the key piece of legislation that could actually keep the league together for more than a few months.
...The security of the Big 12 boils down to this: If the schools sign that grant of rights deal, the league will stay together for at least as long as the deal is in place. If the schools don't sign that deal, we'll all be watching Realignmentpalooza again this time next year.
If the deal gets signed, the Big 12 will be able to lure either one or three more schools to join. If the deal doesn't get signed, it might be hard to find a decent school that wants to join a group that has created such a toxic atmosphere in recent years.
The Big 12 is committed, sure, but it may end up being a tense, forced commitment, writes Bryan D. Fischer of CBSSports.com.
Chaos? Nah. We're all one big happy family.
Texas is in. Oklahoma too. Missouri has helped lead the charge.
That's the message that came out of middle America Thursday night. The Big 12 was saved and nine teams are committed to the future. Things were different, it was time to move forward.
Despite the Sooners flirting with the Pac-12 and the Tigers with the SEC, everybody was staying put. The other Big 12 schools pledged solidarity led by the two schools who had explored leaving more than anyone.
But did Missouri commit? It looks like the door is still open to the SEC, writes Mike DeArmond of the Kansas City Star.
Not only did MU chancellor Brady Deaton and athletic director Mike Alden decline to confirm the university’s commitment in the long or short term to the Big 12, the Tigers’ interest in the Southeastern Conference is very much alive.
“We either stick in the Big 12 because everything came about the way it needs to, the right way, with all the differences being settled in Missouri’s favor,” a university administrator who asked not to be identified told The Star on Thursday night. “But what are the odds of that happening?
“The other option is to join another conference and I believe that is something that we’re very open to.”
Oklahoma is getting bopped again by Texas, but there's only one place the Sooners can strike back, writes Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman.
The Sooner masses, bloodied and bowed by yet another Longhorn stampede, need a little balm. A little salve. Need to be reminded of what's really important.
The crimson cladded need a victory in the Cotton Bowl in two weeks. By a resounding score, if possible.
That October Saturday is the only thing that saves the Sooners from the madness of being under DeLoss Dodds' thumb.
The Big 12 lives, and so does Texas' boardroom winning streak. Texas always wins in the boardroom.
Missouri definitely isn't leaving any doors shut just yet, writes Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune.
In a cramped Jesse Hall meeting room, MU Chancellor Brady Deaton left the door open for Missouri to saunter on out.
Fresh off a conference call in which the Big 12 board of directors agreed on several new measures, including the ouster of Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe, Deaton talked a lot about the conference working to solve problems but stopped short of declaring unequivocal long-term commitment to the Big 12.
Asked if Missouri could change conferences if the Big 12’s problems are beyond repair, Deaton said, “That’s a hypothetical that could occur. In a sense, anything is possible.”
Oklahoma didn't win as handily as it thought it did, writes Travis Haney of The Oklahoman.
An early evening conference call with the league's leadership led to a news conference at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in which Boren declared “victory” for his school.
Multiple Big 12 sources said later, though, that the win was not quite as measurable as Boren told reporters.