Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Where does the Big 12 go from here?
By David Ubben
Last night was a bit crazy, but the sun has come up, and comments are coming in from everywhere.
For now, the Big 12 has appeared to survive, but sources told Andy Katz that commissioner Dan Beebe's job status is "tenuous as best."
That's no surprise in the wake of the report out of Oklahoma on Tuesday, but it appears the league sentiment toward new leadership may result in action.
Tuesday's reported "informal invitation" for Missouri from the SEC was dependent upon Big 12 implosion, which looks improbable now with the league's two biggest programs weighing in on the morning after a move to the Pac-12 fell apart.
University of Texas president William Powers said Wednesday that creating stability is the top priority for the Big 12 and suggested his school is open to a new revenue-sharing model.
Powers said a way to build stability is to restructure media contracts -- and Texas will work toward that. He said Texas never took revenue sharing off the table in its discussions with other Big 12 members and all issues are open when talking with other Big 12 schools in the next few days.
Oklahoma also released a joint statement on Wednesday from athletic director Joe Castiglione and president David Boren.
"I’m in full support of President Boren’s announced decision for OU to remain in the Big 12," Castiglione said. "The reforms which he has been discussing with the presidents in the conference are very important to the future stability and strength of the Big 12 Conference."
Big 12 bylaws require a majority vote from the board of directors to remove Beebe.
Texas A&M, however, has maintained that it has no desire to remain in the Big 12 past this season. The Big 12's focus now must shift to expansion.
Does that mean 10 or 12 teams? The Big East's remaining six members pledged to stay together at a Wednesday meeting in New York, but could a few teams be convinced otherwise?
If not, could the Big 12 use a financial windfall and BCS access to convince BYU to join and sacrifice its own conference revenue to invite other programs like TCU or Houston in the name of stability?
Lots of unanswered questions remain, but for now the biggest one -- Will the Big 12 continue to exist? -- looks as if it has a clear answer.