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Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Tommy Tuberville: B12 future can be bright

By Master Tesfatsion



DALLAS -- Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville hasn't entirely backed off from last summer's comments on the Big 12's potential instability as a 10-team league, but he said he now believes the future can be bright.

Tuberville said in a radio interview last June,  six months after he was hired by Texas Tech, that he didn't think the Big 12 would last long with the continued financial disparity among schools. Despite the defections of Colorado and Nebraska, and grumbling from remaining Big 12 schools regarding the upcoming Longhorn Network, Tuberville thinks the Big 12 can sustain with 10 teams and even emerge as a stronger conference than before.

"I think it's good," Tuberville said at Tuesday's media days. "I said a few things last year and, of course, I still believe that. I wish we still had Nebraska and we still had Colorado. I think it was a very good conference, but it still is. We've got a chance to continue to build on what has been here for a long time. There's a lot of good teams in this league. We're a balanced league. Anybody can beat anybody."

A 10-team Big 12 means a round-robin schedule. The North and South divisions are gone and so is the conference title game. Though he wasn't always a fan of the conference title game during his days in the SEC, Tuberville said the Big 12 championship game will be missed by fans across the country. Although he did say that the lack of a conference title game would shorten the path for a Big 12 team to the national championship game.

"Everybody playing everybody is going to be a true conference champion," Tuberville said. "I don't know what the future is, but I don't think there's any doubt we can sustain with 10 teams and we can make the best out of it and even become a stronger conference maybe than what it was."

Then Tuberville flashed a smile, took a sip of water and concluded: "That's a political answer, right?"