Little bit of humor:
This is brilliant! I hope he actually sent them.
Made me chuckle. Alas the era of the regional conference is over! The Big 12 is the last throwback.
Looking at a map of the teams, Texas A&M and Colorado don’t seem to be much more out of the SEC’s and PAC12’s regions than West Virginia is for the Big12. I think all regional power conferences died with the last set of expansions.
West Virginia is an outlier.
Overall, if you exclude WVU, the Big 12 is probably the most regional conference, with the highest proportion of small schools in tiny markets.
UTs value to the B12 can be judged by the fact that it has (at least according to Wikipedia) the largest B12 student body at 52,000, while the next highest is TT 37,000!
That conference has so many weaknesses it’s shocking. In effect its little better than the SWC, with 70% of the population footprint in 1 state, Texas but only 40% of the programs. Most of the B12 revenue is generated in/because of Texas but most of the benefit goes to programs in other states.
Losing Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri, and A&M really damaged the Big12 beyond repair. Also didn’t help that Kansas went in the tank around the same time.
They would have been smart to add Louisville and West Virginia as the two additions, but the Dark Lord decided on TCU to maintain his voting bloc. Considering the Big 12’s feelings towards adding Houston, TCU made even less sense as Tech, UT, and OU already had strong presences in the DFW area. Plus, it wasn’t as if TCU was going anywhere; no other conference would add them.
Yes, TCU was added to maintain the status quo of 4 Texas schools. In my opinion, a big reason for TCU’s invite, that no one ever talks about, is their status as a private school. Meaning that the political pressure of leaving a relatively small, private school behind if/when UT decides to leave would be far less than the pressure of leaving another large, state-funded school. Right now, if you were to end the GoR, I believe UT could seperate itself from Tech and leave to another conference. Whereas, if you add another public school that would be affected by such a move, the seperation would be uglier and more difficult from a political standpoint.
If they needed a small private school, Rice would have made more sense, as it is in a market where the Big 12 needed to establish a presence. What made TCU stand out was its football performance.
Adding UH would clearly have made it next to impossible for UT to leave the Big 12, so UT could never support such a move. Why didn’t the other 8 programs, out of an interest in self-preservation vote UH in? It’s not like UT could have said bye bye, you add UH and we’re leaving.
Actually, I believe TCU was invited to replace A&M before the remaining 9 schools agreed to grant their rights to the conference. TCU was announced to join the league on October 10, 2011.
The remaining Big 12 schools didn’t sign their GoR until later in the month. The onyl school that refused to sign was Mizzou.
10/28/2011 (mentions the GoR signing as being a work-in-process)
“We’re circulating the grant of rights agreement as we speak,” Oklahoma State president and Big 12 board chairman Burns Hargis said Friday afternoon. “We expect final approval at our next meeting Tuesday.”
My guess is that UT used the GoR as a bargaining chip. Or in other words, “If you vote in TCU, we will sign our first and second tier rights over to the conference.”
UH wasn’t really under consideration at the time. We hadn’t made the facility upgrades yet, in fact, we had just announced TDECU, were moving to the Big East, and our athletic programs weren’t anywhere close to where they are now. Football was about the only sport that was doing well at the time in the entire department.
The amount of strides we’ve made since then have been tremendous, and it hasn’t even been a decade.
I love this guy!
I thought one of the reasons TCU was added was the Big 12 was afraid of not meeting the BCS AQ conference qualifications and would be denied an exemption (wouldn’t happen). But TCU beefed up their conference on field credentials.