As all college sports fans know, conference expansion is all the rage. The Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, MWC, and Pac-10 are all in on the action. Recently, the Big 12 and Pac-10 have been in the talks for some major "remodeling".
After the departures of Nebraska and Colorado to the Big Ten and Pac-10 respectively, the Big 12 is actually 10 teams. There's rumors of even more leaving, as the invitation to join the Pac is still open to other Texas and Oklahoma schools.
Now, however, is where things get tricky.
As we know, it's all about money. The Pac-16, should it develop, would rake in the dough. Even 12 teams would be a big move. But TAMU is joining the SEC. All we need is a press conference.
Texas is meeting with Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott, and is looking like they'll be joining the Pac...final word is Tuesday after the regents meeting.
So where does that leave the rest of them?
Here's the "Dan Beebe Plan" (Big 12 commissioner). Beebe knows he can, through their next TV deal, secure nearly twice as much revenue per school beginning in 2012...just as much as the SEC pays out.
Lets say that Texas leaves, seeing a Pac-12 as being more profitable (which it very well might be). The remaining ten teams of the Big 12 play a nine game conference schedule, and drop the conference championship game.
OR...Texas stays in the Big 12, leaving it with 11 teams. There's still no conference championship, but Texas could possibly make much more money if the Pac doesn't secure a TV network contract.
If that happens, the Pac would reach out to another school (most likely Utah), and complete a Pac-12 expansion. This would most likely be enough to secure a TV contract and would give them a conference championship.
What it all boils down too is two things:
- Where does Texas go?
- Which conference is it more profitable for Big 12 schools to be?
I really hope the Pac-16 super conference happens. It would be a major development in the NCAA. Keep your fingers crossed and stay tuned for more expansion info!