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June 17, 3:00 PM ET
Colleges with Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan
  (2:59 PM)

Welcome college sports fans and thanks for joining me for today's chat. We have a lot of good questions already in and a lot from the Dallas area, so thank all of you for reading and please let others know that we're here. OK, so we know the Big Ten has 12 teams, the Big 12 has 10 and the Pac-10 is now a 12-Pac. Neat. Oh, yeah and the Mountain West, just days after expanding to 10 got downsized to nine. So, what's next? Let's get to the questions.

brett (louisville) [via mobile]

Hey Jeff, do you think the way texas controls the big 12, money etc, looks bad for the conf, and ncaa sports in general?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:02 PM)

Brett, not sure why Texas would look bad in this situation. Texas has earned its place as the power broker in the Big 12 and Mack Brown is the man to thank for that. Remember, before Mack came to Austin, the Horns were not selling out football games and that was before it expanded to 100,000 seats and tickets were not nearly as expensive. Texas has built a powerhouse. Texas A&M has gone the other way, although it flexed some muscle with the threat of going to the SEC. But, no, I don't think Texas looks bad. As AD DeLoss Dodds said, Texas didn't start this realignment business, but they would finish it. And for the moment, they have.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What University do you think has the best Baseball Team?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:02 PM)

This just in...Texas plans to buy its way into Omaha after losing to TCU in the Super Regional. See how powerful the Bevos are. OK, let's stick to the subject matter at hand.

Spencer (Dallas, TX)

Can anyone please explain why the Big 12 wouldn't be better off adding two teams and keeping the Championship game? I think the old divisions were broken with the South being too heavy, but couldn't we change the divisions up and make them more even? I would love to see the Big 12 add someone like BYU and even Boise State to the league. I know they don't bring in 15 million each, but we could pay them 5 each and that would still be a huge increase for them, and good competition for the league.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:05 PM)

If the Big 12 wanted to expand, BYU would be a possibility. But, what does Boise State bring you? Small population base, small football stadium with a blue turf and not much else. Boise is a terrfic rising program and the Mountain West is where it belongs. As far as being better off with 12, I think 12 is ideal because it allows the conference to hold a football championship game. Although, I still don't know why that number is 12. Why can't a conference hold a championship game with 10 teams with two divisions of five? Seems quite arbitrary. But, for now, the Big 12 says it is better off with 10 teams because it's two fewer teams to split the revenue pie.

Lance Diamond (Centreville, Virginia)

Before Texas decided to opt out of joining the pac 10, Joe Schad reported that and I quote, "There is a 0% chance of Texas staying in the Big 12". He said it was a done deal signed and sealed according to multiple "sources". Is sports media turning into tabloid media? How could this have happened

Jeff Caplan
  (3:08 PM)

Lance,Let me try to explain it like this, and this is not a defense of Joe Schad, but just the facts of the reporting business. To report news, and sensitive news such as this, it comes down to sources. At the time Schad made his report, we've learned that Texas did have a deal with the Pac-10, but negotiations began to fall apart due to issues such as Texas wanting to still carry on with its own network, something the pac-10 wouldn't allow. Another report by a reporter based in Austin and who has covered Texas for years, simply had better sources at that moment who were closer to the minute-by-minute changes in negotiations. This was an incredibly fluid set of events.

Clay (Dallas, TX)

With the Big Ten adding Nebraska, and the rise of Non-AQ teams recently, does a 10-team Big 12 conference lose the shot of sending 2 teams to BCS games?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:11 PM)

Clay, that's a great question and I would say they do stand a chance of missing out on sending 2 teams to BCS games. In fact, the Big 12 will have to be very careful that, say, the SEC, Big Ten and Big 12 all have a one-loss team. Which of the three will be left out of the BCS title game? I think the Big 12 could be looking at diminished strength of schedule and that could hurt them. I know that Big Ten and SEC coaches can't be happy that OU and Texas have no championship game to go through. Remember, Texas went to a final controversial second against Nebraska in last year's champ. game at Cowboys Stadium. If the clock expires or if that last-second FG misses, Texas is out of the national title game and, who knows, TCU in? So, right there is why Mack Brown and Bob Stoops won't mind not playing that extra game.

Jamie (Fort Worth)

Rumor has it Don Beebe had lunch with TCU coach Gary Patterson and AD Chris Del Conte yesterday....thoughts?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:12 PM)

Wow, Don Beebe was a great player all those years. Loved watching him catch Jim Kelly's passes. Incredible. Lunch with TCU crew? Hmm, maybe he's looking for a job as special teams coach?

Drew (The Colony)

I'll preface my statement by admitting that I'm a grad from TTU. I can't help but wonder if the whole threat of realignment with the Pac-10 and the constant back and forth "sources" was really a tactic by UT to leverage into a bigger piece of the pie. Of course they are the big fish but did they basic hold the Big 12 and Don Beebe hostage? Same for A&M, they somehow leveraged going to the SEC for a disproportionately big piece of the pie given that they are at arguably the 5th best team in the Big 12 (minus 2) South. Am I crazy?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:17 PM)

OK, I think everyone needs to take a step back and stop thinking this was some grand plan by Texas to get what it wants. Sure, as it played out, Texas did get what it wanted -- a big new slice of TV revenue and the ability to create its own TV network, which i still don't really get (check the colleges blog) -- but remember, Texas didn't start this. The Big Ten started it back in December or whenever it was when it announced it would explore expansion. Naturally, that put every conference on notice, especially the B12 because of the Big Ten's interest in Nebraska and Mizzou's (lol) interest in the Big Ten (sorry Mizzou)...Then it wasn't Texas that started expansion talk with the Pac-10, that was Pac-10 commish Larry Scott, who tried to pounce and position his conference before the Big Ten. Texas did what it had to do. Now, A&M did leverage it's worth with flirting with the SEC and got to feel good about itself. ultimately, had A

Oliver (Austin, TX)

What's up with all these rumors of Arkansas and BYU to the Big 12? i thought they were done at 10 members?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:21 PM)

Big 12 commish Dan Beebe said the league is not looking to expand at all, now, especially in states with Big 12 members. To me this is an open-ended comment. If the league is not looking to expand, why then say specifically not in the five Big 12 states?I never thought it made sense for Arkansas to leave the SEC just because of geography and SEC money, but the more I think about it, it might revitalize that program to get back in the Big 12. Think about it, the Hogs would be a top four program instantly in the B12. They're clearly not happy there with lackluster football seasons, diminished recruiting in texas and really no rivals to speak of.I don't think expansion happens anytime soon. They seem set on splitting the pie 10 ways and not 12 and the coaches in football and basketball are raving about a 9-game conference schedule in football and an 18-game round-robin in basketball.Now, do I discount anything? Heck no.

Mack (Saginaw, TX)

I would love to see TCU and Arkansas to the Big 12. What are the possibilities of this or getting back to 12 with someone else?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:25 PM)

I just don't see TCU getting in, but again, I discount nothing. I have had TCU people argue with me why the Big 12 would never want TCU in. For one, it's a small, private school that doesn't draw well and adds nothing as a TV market. The B12 already owns this territory. Second, Texas, Tech and A&M love the recruiting advantage of telling kids that at TCU you won't be on TV every week (or at least on a channel you can find), you won't play B12 competition every week, you won't have a chance to play for a national title. Now, TCU coach Gary Patterson has done an amazing job finding talent passed over by the bigger schools, but also of finding talent at certain positions and then moving them to different positions at TCU. Those reasons i just listed are reasons the TCU people give. What does TCU bring to the conference? Well, they'd scare the big boys, and that's sort of the point. Now, we have to see how Utah leaving the MWC affects how it might be viewed in its quest to get a BCS automatic bid. That's worth keeping an eye on. TCU would want into the Big 12 bad.

Andy (Irving, TX)

One thing I've been wondering about all this shuffling around is, why now? What's different about this year than any past year that is causing all these schools to want to change conferences? And what are the chances that the Big 12 even stays together beyond the next 2 years or so?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:27 PM)

Andy, I think you just have some aggressive commissioners right now, mainly Delaney with the Big Ten and then Larry Scott in the Pac-10. The Big Ten has been wanting a 12th team for years so that it could get a championship game in football. They've long felt that by ending their season in November, they get lost among the marquee title games going on. The Pac-10 also wants a championship game, although they do a better job of scheduling the regular season into December, something I never could understand why the Big Ten didn't do a better job of.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:29 PM)

Well, that was the final question. I hope I was able to provide some perspective on these issues. And I do apologize for the Don Beebe crack. But, it was kind of funny -- kind of.Ok, well, the Big 12 might have stopped total annhiliation of the conference system as we know it, but it might just be a temporary solution. Keep reading for the lastest news and analysis. Thank you!