To be truthful, I'm ready -- I mean, really, really ready -- for this whole story to be over. I was all set to write a nice, tidy little wrap up on the super conference that never actually was.
And then Texas AD DeLoss Dodds and Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe opened their mouths this morning.
I'm literally running on fumes right now, having stayed up until 2 a.m. to grade papers, which means I really don't have any energy left to be outraged/stunned/shocked/flabbergasted enough to give what we found out this morning the proper treatment here.
Instead, I'm just going to list two of the confirmed facts for you to tear apart on your own. (Nobody's had time to write the official story yet -- I'll link to one when I find one -- but here's what made its way out via Twitter.)
- There is actually no formal television deal in place. "We don't have a future television deal that's been reached at this time." They are moving forward based on research, conversations and trusting that television executives are being truthful with them.
- ONLY Texas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M will split the buyout money from Nebraska and Colorado. None of the other seven teams will see a dime of it.
You read that right. The Big 12 decided to stay together on an imaginary television deal, (<------EDSBS alert; read it) and go ahead and give the three most powerful schools a bonus, too. As SI reporter Stewart Mandel tweeted shortly thereafter:
That call gave me no reason to believe there's anything stopping that league from crumbling again a year from now.
The one actually interesting thing to come out this morning is that Texas Tech is the only one of the 10 to not actually officially sign off on the deal. Beebe said he expects that this afternoon, but I can't help but wonder: Are the Red Raiders realizing that this is about the worst deal possible for them? They and Oklahoma State are getting screwed out of this thing worse than anyone. What if they both just say bleep it and go to the Pac-10? Then what does the Big 12/10 do?
At this point, I'm really hoping Larry Scott is working on what amounts to a hostile takeover. Make it known to Texas Tech and Oklahoma State that the offer still stands. If Oklahoma State is actually run by T. Boone Pickens and the Cowboys don't want to come to the Pac-10, invite Missouri.
Because my goodness, if this piece of crap, stripped down version of the Big 12 can get promises of $15 million to $20 million per school from television executives, how much should a Pac-14 that's adding Denver, Salt Lake City and St.Louis -- even when you factor in that these promises to the Big 12 are artificially inflated -- command?
Then see if the Big 12/10 wants to try and survive with eight -- or invite TCU and Houston. Or Southern Mississippi. Or Louisiana Tech.
Which, of course, it won't. And when the conference dissolves, see if Texas really wants to try life either in the SEC or as an independent.
Challenge Texas to another game of chicken by taking away their conference and see if the Longhorns blink. And when they do, they will have lost all leverage and will be forced to accept what the Pac-whatever is offering -- which will still be damn good.
I said early yesterday I had a feeling this thing wasn't over. I later said I was shocked the Big 12 could pull this off so quickly. Turns out both instincts were probably right.
Larry Scott, you officially have my permission to stick it to Texas. Not out of spite. Just out of what's best for the Pac-10.
Because that's what everyone else is doing. No hard feelings, right?
EDIT: Just thought of something else. Yes, I really am that tired this morning.
It seems to me Scott's got another option. Although those Big 12 TV numbers are artificially inflated to maintain the status quo, doesn't that cut both ways? I mean, if I'm Larry Scott, I'm now going to those TV partners and saying, "All right. You don't want a super conference. Fine. We'll back off and stop trying to kill the Big 12 -- if you give us a better deal than they've got."
Doesn't that make sense to other people besides me?