I don't really know what else to do except shake my head at this. Via ESPN:
The Longhorns network figures to generate between $3 million and $5 million, according to the Orangebloods.com report. Because the Big 12 has unequal revenue sharing, the deal will mean more money for Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma, who all would receive at least $20 million annually from the new deal. ...
The other seven schools in the Big 12 would make between $14 million and $17 million, doubling what they currently receive in TV revenue.
So, just to recap how this whole thing fell apart.
- Texas gets exactly what it wants;
- Texas A&M and Oklahoma get just enough security to keep them from a risky jump;
- The rest of the schools agree to sit at a disadvantage because they're just happy as hell not to be left out in the cold.
If it seemed amazing to you -- as it did to me -- that the Big 12 was able to recover from what seemed like imminent dissolution so quickly, let's just say it's appearing that Beebe and a TV network didn't do this on their own. According to Andy Katz, a number of influential people -- seemingly far more than the television networks Brian alluded to below -- stepped up to the plate when they realized the Pac-10 was about to completely and irrevocably remake the college football landscape:
"The Big 12 sticking wasn't a miracle,'' said the source. "There have been a number of people who were involved -- a number of seriously key people -- unrelated to the conference who will never be known to have helped get things on track.''
This really shouldn't surprise anyone. After all, a football playoff has made sense for about three decades, and look at how slowly that's moved. People in power do not like to give up that power, and the potential Pac-16 represented a seismic shift in power. It's far too simplistic to blame this on one school or one television network, because it's really, really obvious that it took more than that to make this thing fall apart. So don't do that.
Where does this leave us? The Pac-10 probably adds Utah and moves on in a stronger position for its next television contract. Make no mistake, this conference is stronger than it was two weeks ago, and WSU is better off for it. Don't lose sight of that.
Also don't think this is in any way over. If the Big 12 was saved -- as it appears that it was -- by network(s) overpaying to maintain status quo out of fear, all this does is stave off the inevitable. Once all the respective parties have repositioned themselves, this conversation is going to come up again in five or seven years because that television contract is going to be untenable. I also can guarantee you that while these schools are all happy to maintain the Big 12 for now, they're going to get tired really quick of watching Texas beat their brains in all while the Longhorns make between $5 and $10 million more a year than them.
In the end, it appears Larry Scott was in just a little over his head. If there truly were this many forces conspiring against him, he never really stood a chance. But you know what? I love the fact that he stood in there and took a swing. It's something Tom Hansen never would have done, and I can guarantee we haven't heard the last of this.
It just might be a few years before we hear about it again.