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Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Why the Big 12 won't expand

By David Ubben

The Big 12 doesn't sound very interested in expanding. Want a big reason why? Look at the prospective revenue numbers from the new playoff, via colleague Brett McMurphy.
From 2014-25, the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and ACC will earn an average of at least $91 million annually, sources told ESPN. By comparison, the average for the group of five -- Big East, Mountain West, Mid-American, Conference USA and Sun Belt -- during that 12-year period will be about $17.25 million annually.

The BCS recently signed a 12-year contract with ESPN. The deal averages $470 million annually, sources said. Of that amount, about $125 million is expected to go toward expenses, including an academic reward component, game participation, team expenses, allotment to Football Championship Subdivision conferences and other items.

That's big money, and that's only for the new postseason. Never mind all the TV money rolling in for the Big 12. For the 14-team leagues like the SEC and Big Ten, that's only $6.5 million more per school.

In the Big 12, that's $9.1 million per school. That's a big, big difference. Schools take notice, too. That $2.6 million extra can go a long way.

For whatever money the Big 12 earns, there are fewer "slices of pie" and fewer "mouths to feed."

In situations like this, that kind of thing shows.