Greg Swaim: "It's not going to be Houston"

Same here, Von. It’s always good to get a non-UH perspective and I’ve respected you on both boards.

I think you hit the nail on the head when it come to my biggest fear ever since the “endorsements” came out: what if the networks just offer the conference more money to not expand? That’s a very realistic scenario and doesn’t make anyone involved, politically or administratively within the Big 12, look bad as no promises were made to UH about being in the Big 12 when all was said and done.

To take that one step further, what if the Big 12 is bluffing and hoping they get paid off only for the networks to call the bluff? Does the Big 12 push forward and go “all-in” or do they “fold” and truly table this discussion until the contract is up? Again, based on the reasons that this expansion-process was kickstarted again in July, this is another realistic scenario. Maybe the Big 12 loses a bit of face in the media, but does it really hurt them long term? No one really knows as there is no telling what the media landscape will look like 8-10 years from now.

My hope is that this truly is a serious play by the Big 12.

Paw, i meant 1 MORE or 3 MORE, as we are clearly the first choice!:sweat_smile:

PRESTIGE & INFLUENCE

Reading a recent article, apparently the Big 12 is incentivized to expand by 2 teams ($40 million) or 4 teams ($80 million).

While I tend to agree with UHFan79’s sentiments, if the move looks like a cash grab then it’s likely to lose in court.

Therefore, what schools meet the standard of prestige & influence.

UCONN - Strong academics, blue blood basketball, dense population, and a national brand - Everyone likes Huskies except cat people. # 57 on USNEWS Best National Universities. Put them in a good conference with a good coach and they will take off.

BYU - Strong academics, loyal following, proven program. Almost a household name. Unlike the other Cougars, this team actually sells out their stadium and bowl games.

I think Houston is close but for different reasons. The fact that we didn’t sell out the championship game is a disgrace and the “whoose house” cheer should die with Cougar High. We can compete because we’re in a football rich talent pool, and there will always be a certain number of kids that want to live close. If the Coogs get in, it will be because the Big 12 actually believes that they need to take back this territory from A&M/SEC and the Coogs and or the City of Houston can help on the INFLUENCE part, and Fertietta is 100% helping. He’s right that even casual fans will join in, but not unless we’re winning and definitely not against the likes of Tulane, Lamar, etc. Who wants to waste their time in traffic for that? I might be wrong, but UH will always be significantly commuter which I know is something of a downer, because if drives down enthusiasm, but we can make it up on volume. I don’t see UH measuring high on the prestige-o-meter, so I think importance of our market, followed by historical athletic performance are our strongest plays.

Cincy’s value is similar but with less efficacy. Influence of Ohio market is strongest play. Buddy to West Virginia is relevant to Big 12, but I don’t see INFLUENCE or PRESTIGE here, do you? What I see is needing a pin on a certain point on a map or a fourth team.

Why not add two of the armed service teams: Navy and Air Force for Prestige. Hard to go to court against heros, then add BYU and Houston, and call it good.

With that, the Big 12 becomes the most patriotic conference in the nation, and has added prestige and influence. It’s almost as hard to get into the academies as it is Harvard.

Whoose House? No way. C-O-U-G-A-R-S. Talking bout them Cougars.

UCONN - Strong academics, blue blood basketball, dense population, and a national brand - Everyone likes Huskies except cat people. # 57 on USNEWS Best National Universities. Put them in a good conference with a good coach and they will take off.

  • There’s been no proof that UCONN can carry either the NYC/Boston market and the Hartford market is small, they have outdated facilities on campus and play football in a stadium 30 minutes away that they can’t fill. They have little to no history in football other than getting lucky enough during an 8-4 season to end up in the Fiesta Bowl (where they were stomped). Speaking of that Fiesta Bowl, or Final 4’s or conference tournaments or other bowl games, UCONN fans don’t travel outside their own area at all. Yes, their basketball brand is solid, but there’s a reason why neither the ACC or the B1G wanted them.

BYU - Strong academics, loyal following, proven program. Almost a household name. Unlike the other Cougars, this team actually sells out their stadium and bowl games.

  • No one denies that on-the-field and in the stands, BYU deserves to be in. However, you can’t ignore everything else. Does a conference want to take a chance on a program that has similar problems that Baylor currently has and can be difficult to work with to boot. Again, the PAC 12 skipped over BYU for a school that is more “commuter” than Houston when they picked up Utah.

The fact that we didn’t sell out the championship game is a disgrace

  • Conference Championship games, outside of the B1G and SEC, don’t sell out. The ACC sold out last year for the first time in over a decade, mainly because they got lucky in that Clemson played North Carolina in Charlotte. The Pac 12 hasn’t come close to a sell out since 2011 and Stanford was playing in Santa Clara. A lot of logistical problems last year being the first AAC championship game. AAC handled selling of tickets and wouldn’t sell any early, tickets didn’t go on sale until Tuesday, there were erroneous reports going out that the game was sold out, Temple brought, maybe, 50-100 fans total. Yes, they are excuses, but again, conference championship games don’t usually sell out.

If the Coogs get in, it will be because the Big 12 actually believes that they need to take back this territory from A&M/SEC and the Coogs and or the City of Houston can help on the INFLUENCE part…

  • If we get in, it’ll be due to politics. Yes, we offer a lot of things that many on this board have brought up before and those are all nice to tell other conferences, but the Big 12 doesn’t want us for a lot of the same reasons you brought up (recruiting especially). Just like BYU and UCONN, there’s a reason the Big 12 hasn’t taken us before, only difference now is that we’ve got something UT wants.

Cincy’s value is similar but with less efficacy. Influence of Ohio market is strongest play. Buddy to West Virginia is relevant to Big 12, but I don’t see INFLUENCE or PRESTIGE here, do you? What I see is needing a pin on a certain point on a map or a fourth team.

  • Cincy is riding hard on the Ohio market and being a travel partner for West Virginia, but their market is severely diluted by Ohio State and 6 other G5 programs as well as Michigan, Michigan State, rest of the B1G. Also, as far as travel partner for West Virginia, they are 300 miles away from Morgantown; that’s not exactly right around the corner. And prestige, they hadn’t been to a bowl game prior to 1997, hadn’t been ranked prior to 2007, made two BCS bowls mainly because they played in a weakened Big East, and lost both. and have been trending downward since the American Athletic Conference was formed. Their academics aren’t better than ours by any significant measure. I completely agree with you here, the biggest mystery to me is why Cincy seems to have so much support other than being a “safe” pick. I think it’s more the northern basketball schools pushing them more than anything.

Why not add two of the armed service teams: Navy and Air Force for Prestige. Hard to go to court against heros, then add BYU and Houston, and call it good.

  • The Big 12 tried to add Air Force last time, but the head brass declined stating that they felt they couldn’t compete at that level on a week-in, week-out basis. I have a feeling that they really didn’t submit their name this time around and may have been the school that Dennis Dodd mentioned that hadn’t submitted an application. Navy’s in a similar situation. It’s a nice thought, but the service academies don’t really move the needle outside of when they play each other (specifically when Army plays Navy) or Notre Dame and those games are already owned by other networks. In the end, money trumps patriotism in this game.
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It would not surprise me if this was a UT lead stick-up of ESPN/FOX but I have no clue if it’s true. Last year at this time, I attended a big cigar donors party with our AD. I specifically asked him about B12 expansion and the leading candidates. He made us swear a blood oath to keep his response secret and then spilled a few secrets, which is why I haven’t posted about this topic. He named the top two candidates and the reasons why they lead. He then said, “Oh bye the way, don’t sleep on “*****” because they are a surprisingly strong candidate with a lot of conference support.” UH was not one of the three he mentioned. One year later, I believe UH has become a strong candidate (let’s say top 5) and also that UT could be making a “give us more money to not expand” play. All the alleged insiders reporting on expansion are full of crap, including the alleged “connected” news reporters.

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That ole dog been barking for several weeks now … our aggie poster has also been pushing a similar concept.

But as they say in Tennessee … that ole dog won’t hunt … just barks a lot.

UT and Bowlsby have extended themselves out on limb too far to come back … now you and the aggie are saying they are sawing themselves off the tree …

Creative but not believable.

Top 5?

Wow, you tech guys just keep wishing. We are top 2. Now go cry in your beer and contemplate the ash woopins coming your way soon.

Oh, and we so value your presence here…

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To be clear, although I think that “pay not to expand” is a distinct possibility, I don’t think it is the most likely.

I believe UT’s support of UH is genuine. Self-interested, too, perhaps, but genuine. I believe UT wants UH + 1. UT is willing to negotiate on the “plus one” to help get UH in the Big 12. I believe UT has the pull to get UH + 1 done.

I do not believe that absent the UT-Houston campus that UT wanted expansion. In the event that UT can not round up eight votes for UH, UT will do what it can to kill expansion (“Big 12 expansion without UH is a non-starter”). Of course this won’t be out in the open. UT and the rest of the Big 12 will give lip-service to expansion in order to extract some extra money out of the TV partners not to expand. But this is the fall-back position – not the preferred position – for UT.

I am afraid we are in one of those “the more things change, the more they remain the same” situations. The winds will blow left; the winds will blow right; but in the end, we will be left out - as usual!

And even if we win and get invited, we are left with UT-H, a Trojan Horse, if I ever saw one.

Never - ever - trust ut-a - - ever, under any circumstances!

There is another option that I am hearing in the event of an impasse for 2 …

Go to 4 but with an extension to the GORs … which both ESPN and Fox want as the condition for 4

The GORs go to 2025 and the LHN goes to 2030 … this JUST A GUESS but I can see the horns extending the GORs to 2030 since their LHN end at that date and if they decide to leave in 2025 they will most likely give up $75 mill since another P5 conference will not want their LHN to tag along.

OU may leave in 2025 but the Big12 will still be > 12 unless the sooners take someone with them.

What’s in it for the broadcasters if the GORs are extended?

Who knows and who cares … free tee-shirts … they get to pet Bevo or ride in the sooner wagon or play a wannabe Zorro in Lubbock.

Whatever benies they are getting now will be extended another five years … as Indiana Jones said once …

I am making this up as I go along … :sunglasses:

You’ve said that the broadcasters want an extension to the GORs. I don’t understand what’s in it for the broadcasters. I take it that you’re assuming the broadcasting contract is extended with the GORs, but I still don’t understand it. It appears to me that the TV networks view an expanded Big 12 with G5 teams to be more of a liability than an asset. The expansion clause in the contract does not favor the broadcasters – it costs too much money. So extending a contract that already costs too much doesn’t make sense to me.

Big 12 costing too much money is a lie. Just look at what the networks have negotiated just this year and even after that BS made up story came out (went out to buy a soccer league’s rights for billions). They have the money and will make boatloads off the big 12 for years to come.

They made the contract with the Big12 back when and none of us were privy to the wording so rating the candidates in that contract are unknown at this time.

Not certain why ALL G5s are liabilities … the Big12 hasn’t any options on the P5s since no one from the Pac12 or SEC or B1G want to leave their conferences and the ACC has that $50 million GOR price tag.

BYU and UH aren’t exactly hamburger helper and neither is Cincy … ELSE why would the Big12 coaches be so fearful of our coogs and our recruiting prowess and potential.

I believe this so called liability is just an excuse the networks have for not holding up their end of the contract.

I think the GOR extension would be to give the media conglomerates relief in that no one would be leaving beyond the current contract. I would expect that the contracts be extended with some of the extra money spread out over the extra years. It might also tempt ESPN/FOX to go ahead with a conference network or to merge the Big 12 into the LHN (while making UT whole in the process) as it seems that was a precursor of ESPN going forth with the ACC network.

Question will be, does UT want that? If so, I doubt just getting UH into the Big 12 will be the end of their demands.

It is more likely that the TV networks will want to pick apart the Big 12 as soon as possible. If at all possible, the TV networks would like a seat at the table as they “Big East” the Big 12 – to be able to have a say as to which school goes where. Extending the GOR adds years to that timetable. The TV networks have already shown they think the Big 12 is the weakest P5 conference by virtue of the fact that they’ve partnered with all the other conference for a conference TV network.

Even if I’m right and the Big 12 is a dead conference walking, it is still worth it for UH to accept a Big 12 invitation. UH can would be able play on the same level as Baylor, TCU, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Iowa State et al. UH would have a decade to show the world – though on-the-field performance, ticket sales, bowl attendance, etc. – that it is more deserving of a P4 invite than many of those other teams. It is immensely more difficult to do that in the AAC.

This plus:

  1. the $$$ are too good to pass up for however long the Big XII lasts
  2. it should be easier to go from a P5 to a P4 than a G5 to a P4 (that may have been your final point too).

This is a possibility, but that’s a lot of risk for the TV networks in that other Networks or digital mediums won’t steal the conference away prior to being able to pick it apart. If OU (and UT) have gone to the networks requesting to stay together for the long-haul, the networks may have to take pause and take them at their word. FOX/ESPN can look at the latest B1G contract and see how the conference controlled talks and split their distribution between the two while still holding on to their own rights and see that this may be a buyer’s market soon. In that light, the Big 12 contract is a steal in today’s market, especially when compared to the Pac 12 and ACC.

This doesn’t take into account the changing nature of college football; the Big 12 won’t struggle forever. Texas will eventually get back to being a football power, TCU and OU are still strong, Oklahoma State will continue to be in the mix, someone will take the place of Baylor, and if they add the addition of teams and loss of the round-robin schedule will only improve the conference record overall. What happens if between 2020-2023 the Big 12 wins 2-4 championships? The question won’t be how many teams will leave, but how much will the Big 12 get on the open market.

If you’re ESPN and can lock the Big 12 in now through the end of the LHN contract, convert the LHN into a Big 12 network, and hopefully get the conference to move some inventory distribution channel, you have to like that depending on the price. Fox may be less willing in this scenario, but it depends one what they gain remembering that they still have quite a bit of inventory showing on FOX channels for the Big 12. So the issue again boils down to what UT would want in return for having less flexibility and possibly losing the “LHN.” Choice of 2 schools to expand with? Half of all additional revenue + money they would have received under LHN contract? More power within the conference? If you’re the other schools, how much do you give up with the known risk that UT/OU, as you’ve pointed out, might leave if this deal isn’t done.

If anything, the politics at play are fascinating and I really do hope, as someone else on the board mentioned, that someone does an oral history of the dealings that are going on.

Extending the GOR isn’t extending loyalty to the network deal, it’s extending loyalty to the conference. The current network deal will still expire at the same time, but with a GOR going an extra five years, the networks will have a much better idea of who they can plan to be dealing with at renegotiation time. Why dedicate renewed money to a conference that is likely to lose its major constituents within five years? Far better to rely on at least ten years, the usual current life of a TV deal.

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