Why Big 12 will not expand

(P5_OR_BUST) #1

Interesting fact I learnt today. Each of the P5 gets a guaranteed $54 million from the College football playoffs. Each of the 4 participating teams gets another $6 million for their respective conferences.

That’s means for the 2017/18 season the Big 12 got $60 million in playoff money to be split among 10 members, or $6 million per team. The SEC for $66 million or $4.71 million per team.

Basically on a per team basis the Big 12 has the sweetest deal. Any expansion will only lower the amount paid out to each Big 12 member. For expansion to be revenue neutral for each of the current 10 members, each pair of programs added would have to bring in $80 million in media contract $value increase. I doubt the current media partners would be willing to pay that much for any pair of programs available to join the Big 12.

So the fact is that at present, financially speaking, any expansion will be a money losing proposition for the current 10 members. Hence I don’t foresee any of the P5 expanding anytime soon, even in 2025 expansion seems remote.

The last round of expansion/realignment was driven by needs of the conference networks. Unless the Big 12 forms it’s own network, and needs more content, expansion makes no financial sense for them.

The Coogs best hope is that the PAC is driven into a corner and sees that its best chance of survival is to have a leg in Texas!

(Mike Higdon) #2

You’re right about that. Why get a thinner slice of pie when you don’t have any reason to. Let’s face it, there’s only two teams that will really ever get a shot at the CFP and the other 8 just want the money and they are just doing what’s in their own best interest. Helping other schools at their own expense is not something any of those guys want.


In 1982, Georgia and Oklahoma made the case that the NCAA shouldn’t control the TV money because schools like Georgia and Oklahoma are the ones investing in their programs and are the programs that the fans really are paying to see.

That same argument could be made (and will be made) with conferences. Why should Iowa State get the same amount of money as Texas or OU? No one is tuning into Iowa State football, so why would they get the same slice as Texas.

There are only two areas of the country where conference TV packages make sense, the Midwest and the Southeast. In both of those regions, the fan base views themselves as part of a bigger whole. A person living in Indiana and cheering for Purdue is the same person living in Michigan cheering for Michigan State. It is a pretty homogenous fan base across the conference footprint (until they made the stupid decision to add Maryland and Rutgers). The SEC fan base views themselves as part of a bigger whole as well. So in those two instances, each school plays and important part of a bigger whole and a conference TV package where everyone gets an equal part of the pie makes sense.

No other conference has that. The ACC had it in basketball before it expanded. The Big East had it in basketball before it fell apart. The Big 12 never had it because a person in Nebraska and Iowa isn’t the same person in Texas and never will be. The Pac 12 doesn’t care to have anything. So in those conferences the big dogs are going to start to make the argument “why am I underwriting Iowa State?”.

(P5_OR_BUST) #4

I don’t think any program in any P5 wants to “help” anyone. So at least in that the Big 12 is just like the other P5.

It was never a case of helping others anyway. It was always about “what’s in it for me?” At present not only is there nothing in expansion for the current Big 12 members, there is actually more in it for for any new members added than there is for the current members, even under the best case scenario.

Plus I am sure the media partners are quite happy maintaining the status quo. That won’t change, unless challenged by disruptors e.g FAANG! Then there might be a bigger piece of a bigger pie for the current “left outs”.


I thought the networks would have had to paid the teams added through expansion on top of what was already disbursed…including the playoff money. In other words, I thought the playoff money was disbursed proportionally, not equally, among the so-called P5.

If what your saying is the case, why wouldn’t conferences follow the B12 model and contract? Get rid of the Vanderbilts, Oregon St’s etc. of the football world. They’ve expanded to get into ‘markets’ but a school like Rutgers, in and of themselves, aren’t bringing the value, just NY market. That hasn’t worked out quite like the B10 thought.

(P5_OR_BUST) #6

According to https://www.forbes.com/sites/kristidosh/2017/12/30/college-football-playoff-payouts-by-conference-for-2017-2018/.

The playoff revenue is split equally among all P5 regardless of conference size. Each team making it to the playoffs gets its conference $6 million more. So the SEC got a total of $66 million, the Big 12 and ACC $60 million each, Pac and Big 10, $54 million each.

The Recently releases Big 10 revenue figures who each program earning $52 million in tier 1/2 media revenues. Ohio State and Michigan are expected to earn another $20 million from T3 and other media rights, for a total exceeding $70 million. The highest earning Big 12 program, UT, with LHN money included will earn about $62 million for all its media deals.

You can do the math yourself, I can’t imagine UT brass/boosters being too pleased with UT earning such a significant amount a year less than tOSU and Michigan.


I remember similar arguments (high per team payouts) about the BigEast when it was 8 teams and still sucking on the BCS teet.

As long as OU keeps getting playoff spots they’ll be fine. If that stops happening and UT doesn’t pick up the slack then they’ll be left out more often than not. Over time that is going to grate on them and then it will be rats jumping ship and/or expansion.

(Dan) #8

Coogcheese is right “conference strength/worth” is now perceived as if you have a team (preferably a blue blood) in the playoff year in and year out. Bama, tOSU, and Clemson/FSU have been holding the banner for the top 3 conferences. Pac is now considered the weakest of the P5 with USC having probation issues (they are coming back though JMO) and Oregon getting knocked down a notch. B12 is right where they want to be. Not #5 of the P5. No reason to expand. Ball has shifted to the Pac.


I think that’s right that the Pac is more likely to expand in the near term.

That said, I don’t think there is any long term risk of the Pac losing teams and/or imploding. There is that risk with the B12 near and long term IMHO…mainly an ego, greed and fear driven risk.

(Dan) #10

I agree about the Pac they will survive and get through this you can’t just ignore the western half of the country in the power conference world.


How could you call yourself the best in Texas unless you beat UH? Most years we are formidable. That retoric needs to be expsosed.

(Mike Higdon) #12

Some other conferences are into the traditional relationships and have no problem having weak sisters. Beside, it makes for another probable win on their schedule. The SEC is really into the tradition of their conference and will never get rid of Vandy. If there was anyone that would even be considered for ejection, it would be Missouri, they aren’t in one of the old south states. But even so, I just don’t see the SEC ever contracting. It’s more of a religion, than a game.

(PMM) #13

Vanderbilt is a charter member of the SEC.


Temple got kicked out so it can happen.

But there’s no need for the sec or big10 or acc to kick anyone out since they are making good to great money.

The big 12 will have to see what the next round of media contracts bring them. If it’s the same amount then the big 12 will never have a need to expand. Some posters here were so adamant that the big 12 would expand or die. That’s not necessarily the case.

If the next round of contracts results in less money then all bets are off.

If the big12 gets money then the pac 12 is the most vulnerable to lose members.

What’s all this mean for UH ? That the AAC better make more bank because we are here for a while.

(P5_OR_BUST) #15

I believe that any hopes of being invited to join a P5 are not likely to materialize. Financially (for the current media providers and conferences) it makes very little sense.

The current P5 conference structure will either remain intact or turn to a P4, with the SEC and Big 10 taking 2 teams each from the Big 12. Most likely it’ll stay intact.

Even with FAANG becoming players in media rights, unless the money they offer is a huge increase over current payouts for the Big 12 to expand with 2/4/6 G5 programs, the B12 is likely to stay put at 10.

The ACC will only expand if Notre Dame joins them full time, and then I expect them to go after UT or OU. Take ND with UT or OU and the ACC will at least match (maybe even beat) SEC/Big 10 in media value.

Current G5 programs are facing the hurdle of media providers not wanting to pay any more. Suppose the AAC does manage to get a $12 million per year per team deal. Even the PAC earns more than twice that. Adding UH (plus. Program to pair with UH) would require PACs Tier 1/2 partners to increase their payout by nearly $50 million a year. Not happening!

Plus who does PAC pair with UH? That’s the big problem UH is facing. The Big 12 could expand with UH and one of UCF/USF, for the PAC there really is no suitable program to partner with UH. Boise State? UNM? NMSt? BYU? None of these are attractive.

No matter how hard I try, I can see only one way UH ends up in a P5, and that’s if the media partners give the Big 12 incentives to grow with G5 programs to 12/14/16 programs. Growing to 12 is no problem, UH/UXF.

The best hope for AAC is if FAANG gets into a bidding war with traditional media for AAC rights. Possible? yes. Likely? No. They’ll go after one or more of the P5 if they really want to break into college athletics big time.

(Dan) #16

If a P5 is not in our future then I hope for an abandonment of the conference model for TV payouts and these streaming companies look at individual schools, as has been discussed in posted articles on this board.

The ugly truth is there only about 25 schools that move the needle and we are not one of them. But neither is about 70% of the P5. They were just in the right place when the musical chairs stopped. That’s the only difference between them and us. I just want to be on an even playing field with the lucky 70%.

(Monte P Gilliam) #17

QUIT TALKING like Ou and Texas are going to stay in the Big 12 They arent…they have refused to extend the GOR and have sent a clear message that they are looking for greener pastures when the time comes. OU likely heads north to BIG, Texas east to ACC, where their suck up media partner ESPN is king.
Houston will go west with Tech and 2 other academically qualified Big 12 members who are state schools. PAC media deal expires in 2023, That is when expansion happens…

(steve saxenian) #18

I don’t think UT will leave the Big12 . No other P5’s will take any school who wants to control the conference and get a disproportionate amount of the conference money and UT wants BOTH. They will renegotiate in 2023 and get 20-25% instead of 10%. All we can do is ignore the P5s, buy tickets, go to the games and donate more money.


Agreed. They haven’t extended the GOR… yet. You better believe when they do, they’re gonna demand a sweeter deal than Boise St did with the MWC. The other schools will cave because they know without ut and ou they are DOA.

My whole beef with the big 12 is how the other (p5) leagues let them get away with their easier path to the playoffs and higher pay. I’d be livid if I was pac 12 and even SEC. Wait, you mean not only do I have to go through Florida and Georgia and even Tennessee but I have the world ender Alabama to get through???

(Chris) #20

There is one certainty and it is impossible to argue against. None of you including me know the future. To make claims one way or the other is purely guessing. The other certainty is that we are much more attractive for expansion now. I do not believe that there is another G5 School that offers the potential that we have for a P5 to make money. Being in the eighth media market, soon to be second most populated city and good to very good Nielsen ratings speak for itself. So instead of making assumptions let’s see what happens. It is business so by definition every P5 is looking at ways to make more money. Does that include us? Friends you decide.