Mad props to the Texas Longhorns, who spent the past two weeks playing the entire nation like a fiddle before laughing all the way to the bank.
Texas became the savior of the sane collegiate sports world this week, ending speculation that the Big XII would be completely dismantled as the Longhorns led a six-team exodus to what would become the Pac-16. All of us bought into the fact that the new, illogical mega-conference was a done deal. Only it probably never was, because Texas wisely never stopped any of that speculation from happening until it held all the cards. (Why do you think that every story broken during these dramatic couple of weeks went through UT mouthpiece site orangebloods.com?)
As the Big Ten dallied over its expansion process, things rocketed forward at a blistering pace when reports started circulating that Texas would be part of a six-team coalition that would jump from the Big XII to the Pac-10. With all that talk looming, the Big Ten hit the gas pedal and extended an invite to Nebraska, which gladly accepted.
Meanwhile, Colorado, one of the aforementioned six teams, said “Screw waiting for you guys, we’re going now,” and made its leap to the coast.
And then everything stood exactly where the Longhorns wanted it.
With two fewer conference opponents to share revenue with, Texas will now get a larger piece of the pie. And since they are the key to holding the conference together, the Big XII now has absolutely no issue whatsoever with Texas creating its own TV network to give itself a revenue advantage over the other nine teams left in the league. After all, the Longhorns saved all their jobs.
It also eliminates the need for that pesky conference title game, which nearly cost Texas an appearance in this year’s BCS championship game. (The game has bitten the conference in the leg before, particularly in 1999 when Kansas St. saw its championship dreams go up in smoke against Texas A&M).
So congrats to Texas AD DeLoss Dodds and President William Powers, who created more revenue for themselves and an easier route to the national championship by holding the now-Big X together after letting a couple of the distractions jump ship. If they had the foresight to sneakily pull this one out of their butts, one would imagine that they will also be wise enough to beef up the non-conference schedule to make up for that loss of a conference championship game.
Top-notch work, gentlemen.