The Big 12 Won’t be Expanding Anytime Soon

By: Mike Davis

Recent comments by Brigham Young head football coach Bronco Mendenhall stating “We would love to be in the Big 12,” has once again sparked conversations amongst fans of a possible Big 12 expansion in the near future. As appealing as this may sound to the folks in Provo, the Big 12 won’t be expanding in the near future.

So why won’t the Big 12 expand?

The Big 12 won’t be able to leverage the TV networks for more money.

At 38 million people across five states the Big 12 has by far the smallest footprint among the Power-Five (P5) conferences. The next smallest conference is the Pac-12 at 64 million people across six states. Despite this disadvantage the Big 12 has managed to keep its revenue on par with the rest of the P5 for a number of reasons.

During negotiations during their last TV contract, the Big 12 entered the room with the tables turned in their favor. FoxSports was preparing for the launch of its brand new channel called FS1, and was willing to shell out big bucks for college sports content. The Big 12 had yet to lose Missouri and Texas A&M to the SEC when the bulk of negotiations had been completed.

As a result, the Big 12 emerged from those negotiations as victors walking away with a TV contract worth more than the actual value of the conference. In simple terms the Big 12 has an inflated contract. It is great for the conference as things stand now, but it prevents the Big 12 from using expansion to obtain another blockbuster TV contract. In order to obtain more money the Big 12 would first need to put some of its value into paying off that inflation. Fox example:

Scenario #1: Conference A produces $100 million worth of TV revenue but its TV contract pays just $90 million. Conference A then adds two new schools worth a combined $15 million in added TV revenue. Conference A negotiates with the TV network walking away with $15 million for the new schools plus the $10 million they were underpaid to begin with for a total of $25 million in additional payout.

Scenario #2: Conference B produces $90 million worth of TV revenue but its TV contract pays $100 million. Conference B then adds two new schools worth a combined $15 million in added TV revenue. Conference B then negotiates with the TV network getting $15 million for the new schools minus the $10 million they were overpaid by for a total of just $5 million in additional payout.

In 2012 the ACC found itself in a situation similar to scenario #1. After adding Notre Dame as a non-football member, the ACC managed to negotiate an increase in TV payout worth an astonishing $3 million per school. This was worth more than the value in which Notre Dame added to the conference. For the Big 12 their situation is more aligned with scenario #2 and it will continue to be a disadvantage for them down the road. This is not to say they can’t increase their TV payout via expansion, it will just be monumentally harder for them to do so compared to their counterparts in the other P5 conferences. This in turn makes expansion much less desirable for the Big 12 than the rest of the P5.

Ten teams is actually a blessing in disguise for the Big 12.

One of the struggles conferences face during realignment is successfully integrating the new schools with the old schools. Not doing this can cause animosity and/or resentment between members and even cause athletic teams to struggle.

For the Big 12 integration had always been a problem. The Texas schools and the Big Eight schools not from Oklahoma had very little historical connection with each other. The fatal flaw for the Big 12 was in order for them to preserve the historic rivalries among their membership; they had to split their schools into divisions that provided very little integration.

For those who are not familiar with the Big 12:
Big Eight schools: Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Kansas state, Iowa State, Missouri, Oklahoma, & Oklahoma State.

Texas schools: Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, & Baylor.

Big 12 North schools: Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri & Iowa State.

Big 12 South schools: Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma, & Oklahoma State.

Schools such as Iowa State and Baylor could have developed a better connection had they played each other on a regular basis. But that never happened. Instead the Northern and Southern schools devolved an “us against them” mentality fueled by the realization that the Northern schools walked away from the divisional split at a disadvantage.

For the Big 12 North, having their historic rivalries with OU/OSU no longer being played on a yearly basis plus being featured in a division that had a disproportionate amount of population and high school recruits took its toll. The once great Oklahoma-Nebraska rivalry never regained to its glory days in the Big Eight. The three strongest Big 12 North programs in the 90’s (CU, KSU, & NU) all suffered declines in their football programs within a couple of years after the formation of the Big 12.

All of these problems could have been avoided if the Big 12 had been a ten team conference with round robin play. Everyone would play each other in a season and thus develop a strong connection. Every school would also have had equal access to the luxurious population centers and recruiting hotspots that the conference had to offer. The simple fact is the Big 12 because of their demographical setup should never should have been a 12 team conference.

Texas politicians should never have gotten involved in the process. They should have simply allowed Texas and Texas A&M to join the conference on their own rather than forcing them to take Texas Tech and Baylor along with them.

So when the Big 12 lost a number of schools and found itself at ten teams these issues were naturally resolved. Conference realignment allowed the Big 12 to effectively push the reset button and start over again with a fresh slate. The Big 12 was gutted during realignment as it lost four public AAU schools with decent sized markets. But somehow the conference emerged from the crisis of 2010-2011 incredibly strong. No other conference could have rebounded from those losses as well as the Big 12. The reason why the Big 12 managed to do this is because they always should have been a ten team conference.

If the Big 12 did expand would it be BYU?

In terms of resources, athletics, and market size BYU is absolutely deserving of an invite to a P5 conference. However the problem with BYU and the Big 12 is that the two have very little in common. BYU’s fanbase and recruiting areas are located outside the Big 12 footprint. From 2011-2013 BYU did not receive a single commitment from a Texas recruit. The following map paints a pretty telling picture about the Mormon presence Big 12 footprint.

LDS membership by state
Click on image to make it larger.

 

The amount of Mormons living in Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia is not too different from the rest of the Eastern part of the country.

If BYU joined the Big 12 they would be a geographical and cultural outlier and follow a path similar to Colorado. The Big 12 already has one school that fits that description with West Virginia and will continue to be a problem for the conference going forward. If the Big 12 were to expand they would need to add schools in an Eastern direction to help West Virginia. Expanding in a Western direction would be counterproductive and needlessly create a second outlier.

As much as I would love to see more of this:

Taysom-Hill-BYU-Texas
Click on image to make it larger.

It will not be happening anytime soon.

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32 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great commentary

    Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    I agree. The Big 12 should stay at 10 teams if it has any chance of surviving. Otherwise, it will need to draw from the larger markets and attract the demographics of either the East or West coasts, which will be a challenge.

    Like

  3. ssmmy says:

    Great article. The writeup on the big 12s TV contract is excellent.

    Like

  4. Anonymous says:

    You are absolutely correct about Ann Richards. Texas politicians killed what could of been an amazing football conference.

    Like

  5. AMG says:

    This column makes some pretty weak assumptions. Chief among them:

    1. The assumption that Big 12 integration was doomed from the start and eventually failed due to teams from the North and South divisions not playing annually. Institutions don’t get to know one another on the field three hours a year. Conference members “integrate” during conference meetings, which happen all the time between presidents, ADs, coaches, and other institutional officials. It’s pretty well known that the primary causes for losing B12 members was around ego: hurt feelings, jealousies, petty indifferences — largely due to UT’s money, influence, and (perceived) arrogance, and coupled with weak B12 management that couldn’t bridge the gaps. I’m not defending either side of this equation, but it’s widely known that A&M, Missouri and Nebraska administrators all felt that they weren’t getting a fair shake due to the power shift toward Austin. Would this problem have been solved with round robin play, as this column suggests? Absolutely not. With that kind of thinking, A&M and Missouri will be bolting from the SEC within 15 years. Or would the problem have been solved if only A&M and Texas joined the Big 8? No, and it actually may have been worse since A&M had the biggest beef (pardon the pun) with Texas out of the whole lot.

    2. The assumption that TV contracts are valued primarily on the population of the league’s footprint. False. They are valued primarily on how many TV sets tune in to see the product on the field, regardless of where those sets sit geographically. Why are broadcasters willing to pay for Big 12 games? It’s not because people in Kansas and Iowa want to watch them. It’s because people across the entire COUNTRY want to watch them. ESPN and FOX execs aren’t idiots. It is widely recognized that the Big 12 offers at least the second best product of the P5 leagues. I know B1G and PAC fans will start to pick at that argument, and I’m not trying to insult other leagues. But the point is this: TV sets are tuned to OU/OSU games and Texas/WVU games and K-State/TTU games well beyond those states’ borders because they are simply good games. Would they also tune into OU/BYU, WVU/BYU and Texas/BYU? I believe so, but the good folks at ESPN and FOX have market intelligence teams that know these things with certainty.

    All that said, as a Big 12 fan, when expansion comes I hope the league turns east to help unify the geographic footprint. I have nothing against BYU other than its location. WVU won’t be happy on an island for very long. Their department’s travel burden is substantial, and their fans’ accessibly to easy road trips is nil. The league already missed the boat on Louisville. In fact, I wish they would have grabbed Louisville and Cincinnati together with TCU and WVU when they had the chance. But that ship has sailed. And as others have noted, I don’t see anyone available in the East today who would bring the contractual value to make expansion viable at this time.

    Like

    1. Thanks for your response and I love this type of feedback. To answer your questions:

      1. The relationships between these schools are clearly not exclusive to three hours on a Saturday as you have stated. Conferences that expand too fast seem to fail and that trend has been shown time and time again in conference realignment. Conferences that don’t integrate their members properly also suffer from instability. The Big 12 was guilty of both expanding too fast and not allowing integration.

      A yearly schedule is important because every time two schools play, their fanbase learns more about the school they are playing. It carries the momentum from year to year, while the round robin play puts the two schools in direct competition for a conference championship. Thus making the fans care about where the other is in the standings.

      Taking two schools with little to no historical connection and trying to force a connection that the fans will grab on to is nearly impossible when they play 2x every four years in non divisional play. Integration is as much about giving the fans a way to develop a connection as it is about the administration of these two schools developing a connection.

      The breakup of the Big 12 and why it happened is essentially its own column. I will try to keep this short:

      Several of the issues facing the Big 12 in 2010-2012 were unavoidable and could not have been fixed regardless of what the Big 12 did in the 90s. CU joined the conference over a Pac-10 offer on just a 6-3 vote with several of those voters reluctantly voting yes because of alumni/political pressure. That is just one example of how the problems facing the Big 12 were already apparent in the early stages of the conference.

      But the point of my article is not to say the Big 12 would never have lost those schools if they were a ten team conference. The question I asked is whether the Big 12 is better off at ten teams or twelve. I would say that in 1996, 2009, and 2014 the answer is still ten. You can point to the issues that seem to get pinned on Texas (whether the Longhorns are deserving of it or not) such as unequal revenue sharing and the conference being Austin centric. While these certainly were factors that played a role in the chaos, what gets overlooked is that the Pac-10 had unequal revenue sharing that was nearly as bad as the Big 12. The Pac-10 was also incredibly USC/UCLA centric and the pair of schools were also difficult to deal with for the rest of the conference.

      And yet despite having a lot of the same problems that were hurting the Big 12, the Pac-12 managed to bring the Big 12 to its knees during realignment. The Big 12’s struggles was the result of all the wrong things all coming together, not one thing in particular whether it was the Austin power shift or the lack of integration.

      2. Footprint is merely one example of how little the Big 12 has on its side during contract negotiations. Conference realignment is about expansion not shrinkage. More schools = more leverage = more money. The same can be said about the footprint of a conference.

      Part of the reason the Big 12 managed stay alive at just ten teams is because for the TV networks, it is cheaper to overpay the Big 12 schools rather than deal with a Pac-16 with OU and UT looking for a new TV contract. Going forward that will be the greatest asset the Big 12 has.

      The Big 12 has nationally relevant matchups and you are absolutely correct that the Big 12’s presence does not end at its footprint. However neither does the Big Ten, SEC, ACC, or Pac-10. The truth is that this argument extends to every P5 conference and because they are all larger than the Big 12 in every metric, this means they also have a larger presence and a greater number of nationally relevant games.

      Like

      1. AMG says:

        Thanks for such a thoughtful response to my comments, Mike. It sounds like we actually agree on the main points (not that one reader’s opinion matters all that much), especially that BYU isn’t the right fit for the Big 12. I’m probably guilty of picking at a few relatively minor points in your piece. I guess I just disagree (unfortunately) that the wants and needs of fans and athletes have anything at all to do with the conference realignment decisions that have been made over the last 20 years — at least that’s how I interpret your comments around round robin play and integration. But like I said, it’s a relatively small point.

        I also disagree with your blanket statement that sheer volume dictates that all P5s automatically have a larger number of nationally relevant games on any given Saturday. My argument is that while the Big 12 clearly doesn’t have the volume of inventory (2 fewer games per week), the percentage of high-quality inventory available for broadcast is higher in the Big 12 because the league is the strongest top to bottom (God, I wish someone would poach KU and strengthen my argument). I will admit to some B12 bias in that opinion, and having lived through a lot of B12 bashing over the last five years, I probably do have a chip on my shoulder. But what I’m saying is: just because Maryland, for instance, is a populous state, doesn’t mean that all those people care about it’s mediocre football program — and I say that as a resident of Maryland. In fact, my friends who are lifelong Maryland fans are quite turned off by the B1G move and actually have a declining interest in Maryland football because of the assumption that they are about to become a perennial doormat. Just anecdotal evidence, obviously, and that could change with some success. But it’s what I’m seeing and hearing here in the Free State.

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      2. Thanks for your response AMG. You bring up valid questions that should be addressed.

        These moves may be determined by administrators, but their legacy is decided by the fans. There are far too many reasons to list as to why it would be beneficial to keep the fans happy. On one hand you need to keep the fans happy, but at the same time the fans don’t always know what the right move for the school is. In the case of the original Big 12 there was a sense of dissatisfaction AND the Big 12 holding certain schools back.

        I don’t look at my quote about the Big 12 having less out-of-footprint penetration and national matchups than the other P5 conferences as a blanket statement. It is hard for the Big 12 to really say that they can use these talking points to proclaim that their low conference footprint population isn’t that big of an issue.

        While the Big 12 isn’t weak in either of these two categories, they are not strong enough to make up for their shortcomings in other areas. Remember that the P5 can also point to a high number of nationally relevant matchups and out-of-footprint market penetration.

        Yes top to bottom the Big 12 has some great quality. However Kansas State, Iowa State, and Oklahoma State are not known for their unusually large fanbases.

        Remember that the Big Ten has the BTN which means they get paid more money for each person they add to their footprint. While there are an abundance of people who do not care for the Terps in the state of Maryland, the Big Ten is still making money off of them.

        Like

  6. JBing says:

    The last section is blown way out of proportion. The fact that Texas or Oklahoma doesn’t have a bunch of Mormons makes little difference. How many Louisville or Cincinnati fans are located in those two areas? Very few. It’s all about diversifying your market and increasing your reach. If your conference now reaches a whole new demographic or area that gives you exposure. What BYU does have is a ton of viewership out west. You don’t want viewers in the same areas. On a related note, it also increases your recruiting base and exposure to recruits. This might not be as important for the big schools but if the smaller programs can gain recruiting influence in areas where Texas and Oklahoma aren’t focusing, it helps the conference. Just my opinion. BYU isn’t ideal-Arizona, AZ state, USC, or ucla would be better (ala the PAC 16)-but the “not fitting in” reason is weak at best.

    Like

    1. This is a statement that I have seen a lot of people make in regards to my article. The reason in which I personally put emphasis on the amount of fans living within a conference footprint is because it aids the new school. The problem with WVU is that their alumni are concentrated In ACC states + Ohio and Maryland. The distance is only half the problem. By showing the map of LDS population density, I am pointing out that it is geography PLUS a lack of fans in the region as part of the problem for why they shouldn’t join the Big 12.

      In my opinion WVU and BYU could both be in the Big 12 without being outliers if they had demographics concentrated within the Big 12 footprint. But unfortunately that is not the case for either school.

      Like

      1. Neal says:

        But what you’re missing is that BYU has a truly national fan base. It’s not that they travel well, it’s that alumni already live everywhere. Watch how many BYU fans will show up at UCF, Texas, and UCONN games this year. If you want a better way to gauge the number of Mormons in an area, look up where there are Mormon temples. They only build them where there are enough members to support them. There are eight in the current Big 12 footprint. That’s quite a few, as there aren’t 8 on the entire east coast (but, yeah, there’s something like 12 in Utah alone). BYU brings in the fans and the ratings, and there is no other school that is available that would offer what BYU offers. The problem that I see is, who else do you bring in that makes sense? Can’t think of anyone. Regarding geography, if they were to bring in BYU and another school, I would assume that the only think that would make sense is to do it in football only. If, at that point, you’re making two divisions, then BYU and WVU are obviously in different divisions. They would only have to travel to play one another every few years. The travel problem at that point is negligible.

        Like

      2. Marking Time says:

        “The reason in which I personally put emphasis on the amount of fans living within a conference footprint is because it aids the new school.”

        That is certainly a valid argument. However, perhaps you are not aware that BYU is famous for “traveling” well. Not only do the Utah fans travel, but they have alumni and Mormon church members everywhere. BYU puts large amounts of people in seats no matter where they play. In fact, that is some of the fun in being a BYU fan attending games far from Provo. The host school is generally astonished at the number of BYU fans that show up. At the Houston game last year, they easily had a third of the fans in attendance. They played Tulane a few years back and actually had more fans in the Superdome than Tulane did. This happens over and over and over again.

        So wouldn’t you say that having thousands of screaming BYU fans filling the visitor sections to overflowing just might “aid the new school” as you suggest? Would it not in turn “aid” the bottom lines of the host schools to have a full stadium practically every time BYU showed up to play?

        Like

      3. Neal-

        They absolutely do have fans spread out all over the country in a manner that is similar to Notre Dame. However very few would ever argue that Notre Dame would be a good match in the Big 12.

        BYU has a Texas presence, but is it enough to suggest that BYU could be a successful Big 12 member? The Answer to that is no.

        I count 4 for sure Temples in the Big 12 footprint, plus three more that are on the edge of the Big 12 footprint. To put that in perspective that is about as many as Arizona and California have each.

        Like

      4. Marking Point-
        You certainly bring up some good points. However I must remind you that the BYU fanbase isn’t the first and certainly not the last to proclaim how well they travel.

        Showing up for Big 12 games on a regular basis is something that BYU may be able to do, however it is not ideal for any school to play the majority of their games outside their concentrated fanbase centers.

        Like

  7. Brad Smith says:

    The PERCENTAGE map of the US and LDS population is neat, but not very helpful. Most of the states in the Mountain West area have low populations, so a percentage-based comparison is misleading.

    There are actually over 325,000 LDS members in Texas. That ranks fifth, behind Utah (1.9 million), California (780K), Idaho (425k), and Arizona (410K). And, the LDS membership growth curve in Texas is on the upswing and could easily exceed 500,000 within.the next 5-10 years. That’s a big deal.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints_membership_statistics_(United_States)#Official_LDS_Membership

    Like

    1. Billy says:

      A much more telling and up to date map. Thanks for enlightening us. Interesting that the writer chose a map that throws you off about how much a footprint BYU may actually have in the BIG 12, especially when the maps come from the same site. Got to love stats!!

      Also, who says BYU has to take as much money from the conference as everyone else. Make BYU an offer, they want to be in the conference, they won’t concede on Sunday play, but might take a low-ball offer at this point.

      Get ’em before the PAC-12 wises up and realizes there isn’t anybody else even close to their territory besides BYU. Honestly there should be a tug o war going on between the two conferences. I think when one conference starts to hint at an offer the other conference might start re-thinking.

      Like

      1. My map selection was never an attempt to throw readers off. For this article, using a map that did not have a population density measurement would be inappropriate. I follow the discussion about this article on various forums including Reddit where the map was positively received. In the feedback that I have seen so far a number of people have stated that a total population map was MORE misleading than a population density map. I stand behind my decision to choose the map that I did and have found that the majority of readers thought it was the correct one to use.

        Like

  8. There are actually 6 LDS Temples in the current Big 12 footprint: Dallas, Oklahoma City, Houston, San Antonio, Lubbock, and Kansas City. The Winter’s quarters Nebraska (Omaha) and Nauvoo, Illinois (3.5 hours from Ames), temples are right on the borders of Big 12 territory – if not within.

    Like

  9. One other point: there are just under 300,000 LDS members in West Virginia’s neck of the woods (West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Maryland, and Virginia); most within a 3-4 hour drive.

    BYU fans would likely travel better to West Virginia than most Big 12 schools – especially outside of UT and OU.

    Like

  10. Brad-
    Thank you for your comments and especially for the stats. Your point of view is from the perspective of BYU and how they can manage the situation and have a level of success in the Big 12. My perspective is that the Big 12 should focus on schools that truly fit into the Big 12 footprint and build a geographical identity. BYU is a Western orientated school at the end of the day. While in some area’s they may match the Big 12, they will always be at a disadvantage in both recruiting and fan support within the Big 12 footprint.

    Like

    1. Dave Morrison says:

      “While in some area’s they may match the Big 12, they will always be at a disadvantage in both recruiting and fan support within the Big 12 footprint.”

      In any given year a football team can offer 25 recruits a scholarship. Not very many. As it stands now, most blue chip (4 star +) LDS athletes pick P5 schools to attend because they can actually win a championship. If BYU were in a P5 conference (any P5 conference) many of those athletes (not all) would pick BYU. Although I’m a BYU fan, it is probably another reason the P5 conferences don’t want BYU.

      Like

  11. Hunter says:

    The travel issue is so stupidly easy to solve I am taken back by the lack of logical thinking done by “Sports Analysts.” BYU will/should be added as a Football member only. That means they take LESS money, anywhere between a 25% -40% reduction in the conference’s annual payouts. This would also solve the Sunday play problem. If this were to happen, WV would only travel to Provo around three times a decade and could also compromise with playing at neutral locations. That would also mean that only six Big 12 teams would travel to Provo every YEAR. BYU would add value, not be high maintenance with Sunday play/travel, and most importantly; makes financial concessions (conference revenue reductions) as a premium for being included in the conference.

    Like

    1. Mark says:

      You are missing the big picture. Adding BYU would mean one less spot for an Eastern school.

      Like

      1. Hunter says:

        Well, there are no great options for eastern schools right now and B12 does not want to dilute the conference with sub-par teams. BYU is a great addition and is considered a better school than the power conference bottom dwellers. Big 12 has a great chance to expand their footprint into the west with little commitment by adding BYU as a Football member only. By cherry picking the football program ONLY and hard balling a desperate BYU, the deal could actually increase conference revenue while avoiding travel issues and Sunday play. A good eastern school should become available in the next five years and the B12 should add the eastern school as well as BYU fb only. The B12 television contract should be available to adjustment in about years or less as well.

        Like

    2. Hunter & Mark-
      Thank you both for your thoughtful comments. Nowhere in my article did I specifically mention travel times or the Sunday play. In response to another comment I stated:

      “In my opinion WVU and BYU could both be in the Big 12 without being outliers if they had demographics concentrated within the Big 12 footprint. But unfortunately that is not the case for either school.”

      It is a combination of travel AND demographics that make this a problem for BYU. It is having WVU already in the conference that makes it a problem for the Big 12 to expand into Utah. There are several factors coming together that make travel such a critical issue.

      Having a conference stretch laterally from Provo to Morgantown is unprecedented for a power conference. To build a strong stable conference for the future requires a reasonable geographical footprint. Having both WVU and BYU in the conference is counterproductive to that.

      Like

      1. Hunter says:

        I get your point, its just that your argument is not very compelling because you haven’t addressed the pro’s of BYU being added as a FB member only. Your argument is very one sided. You should answer these questions before discussing demographics:

        Would BYU to the B12 , FB only, work for travel? (12 teams/2 divisions)

        Could it increase conference revenue?

        Would WV be okay with it if they got a travel partner in return?
        (remember WV would not travel to Utah very often with two divisions + games at neutral sites and they have already scheduled to play BYU)

        How would the new divisions look?

        If BYU was added in 1 sport only (12-13 games a year) how difficult would it be to manage BYU from the conference’s perspective?

        I’m not saying BYU has a thriving mormon community in B12 territory but the university has potential and will consistently draw crowds.

        At the end of the day BYU adds strength of schedule and can compete in the conference. It’s only 1 game, only 1 game a year for the teams that would be in the same division and even less for the other 6 that aren’t.

        Like

      2. Thank you for your questions.

        I encourage you to not look at the situation from just the angle of BYU and WVU. Think of it from the perspective of Oklahoma who are thinking something along the lines of: “I signed up for a midwest conference and somehow ended up with Provo and Morgantown.”

        That is what the rest of the Big 12 is probably thinking about BYU. Even if the move is financially viable for both sides, you are still toying with the cultural identity and demographics of the conference. The Big 12 more than any other conference needs to strengthen these two areas in order to lessen the chance of future raids. Although at this point it is most likely too little too late.

        More often than not people assume BYU and the Big 12 (if it did happen) would be a football only association. I think that is a very likely scenario. However I encourage you to read my first two sections where I mentioned the Big 12’s TV contract and the ten team setup.

        The only revenue increase BYU will truly add to the conference will be in a conference championship game. You are talking about a 1-2 million dollar increase per school, but you are also splitting the pie more ways. Yes WVU would enjoy having an extra travel partner, but as noted in the second section the rest of the conference would lose its round robin play. As things stand now the round robin play is the Big 12’s best asset. BYU doesn’t offer enough for the conference to give that up.

        Like

  12. Hunter says:

    That makes sense and the B12 has no reason to expand at the moment but there is a very likely scenario in the next five years where the B12’s hand is forced by the other conferences to add two additional schools and in that case BYU in FB only would be of most value to the survival of the conference (under the assumption no other power 5 schools are available).

    With the creation of a new top tier division in college football other conferences are and will call foul on the B12’s scheduling advantage.

    Identity is important but unfortunately the B12 (Texas) irreparably destroyed the conference’s old identity by chasing off four Midwest schools. It’s time for the conference to build a new identity and gain an easy to manage foothold in the west.

    Like

  13. SockyG says:

    The Big 12 has shown no ability to poach a bit name from the ACC or any other power conference. If they don’t expand, they’ll be slowly taken apart by the rest of the conferences.

    Like

  14. Webster Tarpley III says:

    I just can’t understand why the big 12 won’t refill the loss of UC with CSU (Fort Collins, CO). Expanding new on campus stadium, academically strong institution and growing. Close to Denver and could capture some of that market.

    Like

    1. The question is: Can CSU add enough new value to the Big 12 to keep the slice of the revenue pie the same for each member despite that pie being cut one or two more ways? Unfortunately for the Rams they can’t guarantee the financial stability that the Big 12 needs.

      Like

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