University of Texas, Oklahoma Stay In Big 12

June 15, 2010- By Jonathan Lowell

The Big 12 looked in danger of collapse after Nebraska and Colorado made the move to the Big 10 and Pac 10 last week.  Other schools were considering leaving the conference, but when Texas announced they plan to stay, commitments from Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas A&M followed.

A Pac 10 statement confirmed Texas’ decision to remain in the Big 12.  The move technically would have made the Pac 10 the Pac 12, but Pac 10 commissioner Larry Scott made Texas’ intentions clear.

“University of Texas President Bill Powers has informed us that the 10 remaining schools in the Big 12 Conference intend to stay together,” Scott said. “We are excited about the future of the Pac-10 Conference and we will continue to evaluate future expansion opportunities under the guidelines previously set forth by our Presidents and Chancellors.”

There are still questions facing the Big 12 moving forward into the 2010 college football season.  Will more teams leave the league? What impact will Texas have on a new TV deal?  What share of that deal will Texas demand?  The University of Texas will hold a press conference Tuesday that might provide answers to these queries.

The Big 12’s current TV deal is with Fox Sports, and allows for Texas to earn between 20 and 25 million dollars annually according to a deal currently in the works.  Texas is also reported to get their own channel, similar to the one for the Big 10.

The new channel is projected to generate between 3 and 5 million dollars for the conference and the school.  The Big 12 has unequal revenue sharing which means more money for Texas, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma.  Other schools in the conference are projected to earn between 14 and 17 million, a figure that would double what they make now.

Missouri athletic director Mike Alden is optimistic about the prospects of the growth of the Big 12, and his school doubling its earnings.

“We’re excited about the Big 12 Conference and for its continued growth, said Alden. “The University of Missouri has certainly prospered during its time in the Big 12, and we are looking forward to future opportunities in the years ahead.”

Oklahoma is also looking forward to being members of the Big 12 for a long time.  University president David L. Boren, and athletics director Joe Castigilione released a joint statement that revealed their reasoning for remaining in conference.

“We value the strong working relationship that has been reaffirmed during this process among the conference members. We intend to work very hard to make the conference as lasting and dynamic as possible. We appreciate the respect and interest that has been shown to OU during this process,” said the Oklahoma officials.

USA sportsbooks
have set the Longhorns’ chances of winning the Big 12 at +200.  The odds are slightly higher for Texas to win the 2011 BCS National Championship at +1000.  The lines are similar for Oklahoma at +250 for the Big 12 championship, and +600 for the National Championship.

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