It’s the smart play. Oklahoma was always smarter.
As predicted, Texas’s sweetheart deal with the Big XII pissed off one of the other heads of the five families. Now, in return for staying in the conference, they want some “reforms” to the Longhorn Network involving high school sports and some other seemingly random things. Oh, and they want the head of conference commissioner Dan Beebe too.
Basically, the Sooners are going after everyone who was involved with Texas’s deal to stay in the conference. The Dan Beebe thing is actually somewhat predictable. After all, he did broker the deal and did everything he could to keep Texas in the conference, and now it seems Texas is on its way out anyway. So all those concessions and network deals are basically for naught if the Longhorns leave.
Oklahoma seems to be trying to push the Longhorns out of the conference as quickly as possible. They’re probably thinking they can get the same or similar deal Texas got from the Big XII if they offer to save the conference and stay. The only way that happens is if Texas is gone to the Pac-12 and if the commissioner that gave the Longhorns that deal is gone. The new commissioner would be so happy to have a marquee program wanting to stay that they’d give them pretty much anything they wanted. That’s some pretty awesome leverage.
Even a week ago, the experts thought both OU and UT were looking to move out of the Big XII, but these new developments seem to contradict that. OU probably realized they could get a ridiculous amount of money as the most important team in the newly weakened Big XII, or even in a Big XII/Big East hybrid.
West Virginia, allegedly, tried to ask their way into the SEC and the new ACC and got totally turned down, according to CBS Sports. Probably because that’s a totally slutty move by a school that already doesn’t have the most stellar reputation ever, unless you’re a big fan of couch burning.
Naturally, WVU and their supporters are going to deny it, more or less, but it’s obvious feelers were put out and it got leaked. Most likely because it’s a little hilarious.
West Virginia has nearly nothing to offer in terms of academic prestige or new television revenue (the yayo of college sports) to any conference, so trying to get into the nouveau-riche ACC is pretty funny in that respect. The SEC isn’t all that worried about academic prestige, but since they’re already deep in terms of talent and rolling in television swag, it seems equally hilarious that the Mountaineers would want to roll with the big dogs.
But this is to be expected in today’s re-alignment game. Every school is going to try to get its best deal possible, and a few of them are going to fall several steps down the ladder. Baylor already noticed that, and now West Virginia is suddenly faced with the reality that they could end up in Conference USA or some other sh*thole and not just get to stay in the Big East and collect that BCS money. Rough times, allegedly.