"Cause I'm ... I'm so in love with you/ whatever you want to do/ is all right with meeeeee ... unless that "whatever" is going to the Big Ten/ because that would be super lame." Those weren't his exact words, of course -- I may have thrown a little Al Green in there somewhere; you might not have noticed -- but that's essentially what Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe said to member schools in a press conference at the Big 12 spring meetings on Tuesday.
"I want to talk frankly about whether there's a date certain that our institutions can commit to the conference so that we know who's on board as we go forward," Beebe told a news conference. He said he hopes to get long-term commitments from his members before the meetings close Friday. "I don't know if that's realistic," he said.
Basically, Beebe is asking for Big 12 schools to pledge to the notion that they'll stay in the conference. That's probably not going to happen. It will be hard for the Big 12 to keep a school like Missouri from leaving, and Beebe knows it. Thanks to the Big 12's proportional allotment of postseason revenue based on television appearances, the Tigers routinely get a smaller share of the Big 12 pie than, say, Texas. In the Big Ten, every school gets the same amount of money -- around $20 million in 2009. That's more cash than Missouri gets now, and more cash than Texas gets now, and more cash than pretty much anybody gets now. It's a lot of scrill. And it's hard to turn down.
Sometimes, the lady in your life wants the fast cars and the shopping trips, and that means leaving you behind, no matter how much history you have together. It's always a sad story. But let's not make this any harder on each other than it has to be.