Big XII won’t add Arkansas

Kevin Scarbinsky writes, “One school of thought among some high-ranking officials at SEC schools is that, despite the relief everyone has felt since Monday, expansion and realignment may not be over. That possibility concerns them, and they won’t be surprised if the Big 12 tries to turn the tables on the SEC by luring Arkansas away.”

This is in conflict with the understanding of what makes the Little 12’s television deal work: Fewer schools increase the share of the pie for Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma.

According to CNBC’s Darren Rovell, the addition of a championship game would not offset the cost of adding new schools. From a tweet, “It wouldn’t be worth the $ to add 2 teams to the B12 just to have a title game.”

Rovell also explained the importance of shrinking the Big XII, “There were two fewer schools to split money with, each team could now develop its own network as an additional revenue stream and, perhaps one of the most understated appeals — the promise of some nice penalty cash from Colorado and Nebraska.”

While the next two years are helped with the penalty money, the longer term outlook for the Little 12 is uncertain. Adding an Arkansas to add a championship would not work with the tight financial position of the conference. If Rovell is correct, the championship game just doesn’t generate enough revenue to warrant the expansion. Dividing by 10 is better than dividing by 12—at least for the moment.