DMagazine:Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby Opens Up

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby Opens Up About the UT-OU Departure, and More

What’s next for the Big 12 Conference? The College Football Playoff? Even SMU? Bob Bowlsby shares in an exclusive conversation.

“Houston is in the best recruiting area in the country for football talent.”
“Houston can be as good as Houston wants to be”


good article, nice to see Bowlsby open up a bit

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Concerned about:

  1. His comments on 48 schools playing one another
  2. The population disparity between B12 and ACC

He’s a smart-as-Hell dude. Probably the right guy at the right time.

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His comment about super conference of 48 kind of caught my attention. 4x12 = 48. 4 conferences hmmm. What conference or school’s are going to be left out?

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Our (Big 12) schools won’t have to walk on egg shells around UT and Oklahoma


There is no reason now, with the P5 tag, Houston shouldn’t be the top dog in the new Big 12.

Houston just has more advantages over the other schools in the Big 12 do not have

  • best recruiting grounds
  • biggest city
  • biggest B12 public school in Texas
  • more NIL opportunities in Houston
  • proven track record of success on equal playing field in the SWC

I suspect the perennial bottom feeders better start winning. I Think the 48 will be the schools that have shown they can win a conference or at least come close often.

Kansas, Duke, Rutgers, etc. …beware

Streaming will eventually allow schools to be paid each game based on the viewership. It will be like boxing and matchups are what draws viewers in boxing.

We have 10 years in my opinion to win consistently and to elevate ourselves to a point that a matchup with Houston draws big numbers. I am very optimistic.

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Should the NFL be paid the same way? Will that happen?

Wont happen because the NFL ratings are on a diff level than anything else right now. They can call there shot right now.

That might be true as well for the final 48 NCAA teams.

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The demographics of a Big 12 Network just are not very good. We have 35 million people in our footprint, across five states, and 27 million of those are in Texas. The numerical aspects of the network, the financials, what the accounting is, it would be a struggling network. As an example, the ACC has 91 million households up and down the East Coast. The Big 12 is a third of that size, and that makes it hard for us to have a network.

We do stream content on ESPN+, and I think that gamble is far more valuable in this age of streaming. Clearly, cable is shrinking, but having said that, broadcast TV is not going away. I know exactly what it takes, and the difficulties that come along with filling 8,500 hours a year of linear television. The ACC had to sell their soul to get the ACC Network, even with superior demographics to ours. But, hey, they took a 2 percent escalator on their distributable revenue through 2036 in order to get that network.


I don’t think the big12 will be around by the time teams are paid based on viewership as was suggested. If we make the cut, we will be in a different conference with all conferences split up regionally as per espn guidelines.
I don’t believe I will be alive to see it.

Hmmm…I never looked at it from this aspect and a little surprised and concerned based
on the relative size. Do you have numbers for the other conferences or link ?

How are you arriving at those numbers? By the markets the teams reside in or just the states? are you using the current teams or with the additions?

The numbers don’t seem to add up correctly. You seem to be adding up the states that make up the ACC, but not the ones that make up the new Big 12 after all UCF and Cinci would put us in states that add 33 million to whatever total is now. Then you have BYU.

But that would be flawed anyway and I’m not going to look up all the markets for each team’s home city, but what I will tell you is that Miami and Tallahasee together don’t add up to Houston by itself. The two together do add up to the same as Tampa- St. Pete which is provided by UCF.

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He’s not arriving at those numbers. That’s a direct quote from Bowlsby. I’m sure he has accurate numbers, and 35 million sounds about right. The new Big 12 can’t really claim entire large states like Texas and Florida. They could claim Oklahoma, Iowa, Kansas, Utah, and West Virginia and then DFW, Houston, Orlando, and Cincinnati.

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Then the ACC doesn’t have 91 million.


Yep…the fly over states conference.

We need to get to the PAC ASAP!


I’m sure his numbers add up in the abstract. He has a lot of money at his disposal to do research and hire consultants.

What I’m hoping is this wasn’t a hint about how hard getting big TV packages will be.

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There not called flyover states for no reason. B12 has boat load of them in the conference. Might as well rename it the F12, Flyover 12 Conference. PAC call’s we are rolling