Expansion Link Dump - September 14th

The article discusses that UH is “too good for its own good” in that the Big 12 feels threatened by UH’s recruiting strength in the Houston area and East Texas region. It appears to me that this is commentary from the article’s author.

The more interesting section is this segment attributed to a “UC Insider” who believes there is a 50-50 chance the Big 12 doesn’t expand at all:

A UC insider told me he believed an announcement could come as early as Oct. 1. No one seems to know what the 12 will do. I mean, they’re asking me what I think. I’m as connected to this issue as a dean at Harvard Law School. The insider put it at 50-50 the Big 12 will expand at all.

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But, then again, from the above tweets it looks like a BYU reporter says Cincy only has potentially 3 yes votes, so…

I agree the Big 12 already had a short list and has had one for awhile. Major organizations have contingency plans in place, and its not like expansion hasn’t come up since the number and the name don’t mesh.
At this point, from a survival/credibility standpoint the Big 12 has painted itself in a corner and risks beclowning itself if it fails to expand after such a public process. Conferences die, and that is one way how that happens.

All of these so called experts are #$%^nuts. One hour they make everyone believe that the planet is going to get hit by a flock of uta seagulls. The next day they tell us that bevo has been found on Mars. All of this is non sense. The small12 said they are going to expand by looking at potentially 24 teams. In case they do not expand now they will look like even more ridiculous than they are today. The small12 needs to expand and they know it. I believe it is a done deal and we will be invited. We all just have to be a bit patient and wait a few more weeks. For those that can’t wait or want you to loose brain cells there is always the National enquirer.

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Yes… aliens worship Oprah… Tom Cruise on Oprah… worshipping on her couch… it’s all making sense

In all seriousness, the Weekly World News is probably as accurate as most sportswriters.

BYU is not even up for discussion where the PAC is concerned. Don’t understand why posters continue to say that its a possibility.

The Big 12 Board of Directors authorized conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby to explore potential expansion candidates on July 19, but OU president David Boren now says expansion isn’t a certainty.

“I would just caution you and say, I would not take expansion as a given,” Boren said at Wednesday’s Board of Regents meeting. "I would not take expansion as a sure thing.

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Click link for more, but you get the gist from this.

Boren is a serious advocate for expansion, but HIS expansion, not ESPNs or Texas"…This is his way to put pressure on certain parties…The man wants 4, not 2! All will be decided and negotiated at the October meeting.

Yep, all posturing. News gets leaked to try and put pressure on the other parties. Boren sees the tides shifting and makes a statement out of the blue. Just means the horse trading is still going on.

Another article reporting on Boren’s comments. It appears that the TV networks are still resisting coughing up $20-25 million for each new team.

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From the article:

One of the impetuses for expansion has been the pro rata clauses that were written in the current contracts that mandate Big 12 television partners ESPN and Fox pay the conference up to $25 million a year for each member the league adds.

Boren said that while the pro rata bumps are motivation for expansion, they’re also a concern.

“We do have a relationship to maintain, not only short term, but long term with the networks,” Boren said. “When you have a partnership and you have a friendship, it isn’t just for today, it’s long term. And I think you have to think about long-term implications in any action we take. If we were to expand by two teams, four teams, that has financial implications for the networks. I think we have to see if that adds to the long-term stability or not.”

At this point in time it is difficult to gauge what is going on under the radar.

Some members have remained unyielding and steady in their demands while others have shifted more than the sands in a Sahara storm

To rate the Big12 family as dysfunctional is an understatement …

They make J R Ewing and his infamous family warm and fuzzier than the Little House on the Prairie family.

I can state this as a certainty without qualifications … if October passes and the Big12 remains at 10 and no member ends up even close to a playoff spot in December … then the Big12 will likely disappear before the 2017 season.

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There is zero long term stability for the B12. If they choose not to expand, the B12 will break apart when the GOR runs out. If they choose to expand, the B12 will break apart when the GOR runs out. The B12 can choose to get more money now and then its everyone for themselves in 2024-25 or they can stand pat and make incremental money through the championship game and its still everyone for themselves in 2024-25.

Texas wants to be in a like minded conference and they see that being the B1G. OU might want B1G but they aren’t getting in. The rest of the B12 will be left scrambling for the last few chairs.

Houston will be fine if the B12 calls or not. Another conference will want into Texas for recruiting and no other non-UT/OU team gives them access better than Houston.

And yet, Boren also seems to be the one that decided to push forward with expansion after the ACC network was announced. This seems to be a major shift in tone from his previous comments in July.

This could signal that FOX wants teams in the East while ESPN doesn’t want FOX to enter their territory. This would make sense from a standpoint in that FOX sees no money in just adding Houston and BYU as it doesn’t expand their territory. The question is how does ESPN/UT get made whole if 4 teams get added?

For what its worth:
On the Fox B12 show last Sat morning.
At the end they said: If B12 adds the Univ of Houston, they would have 6 teams in top 25.

Small thing but on the official FOX show it doesnt hurt.

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Yes, Boren was in favor of expansion in July. His “psychologically disadvantaged” statement reminds us Boren has been pro-expansion for a long time. So why the shift in tone? My guess is that Boren underestimated how strongly the TV networks would resist paying $20 million for each new team. Boren knows that the Big 12 can’t enforce the contract as-is without alienating the benefactors who pay a couple of hundred million dollars each year to the conference.

I think it all boils down to dollars and cents. The TV networks simply don’t want to pay the amount the contract contemplates for expansion. Broadcasting inventory doesn’t factor all that much into the analysis. Adding new teams may add to the number of Big 12 games available for broadcast, but it doesn’t add to the total number of college football games available for broadcast. Fox has already solved its desire to have Eastern time zone inventory by acquiring rights to Big 10 games effective next year. Of course, that also means that Fox must also write checks to the Big 10 next year. The controlling inventory figure seems to be the inventory of dollars in the broadcasters’ checking accounts. That inventory will be a little less in 2017 even without Big 12 expansion.

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