Poor Texas. Everyone has had enough of the Texas Longhorns.
First Texas A&M stood up to Texas. A&M abandoned the Big 12 for the SEC.
Then Oklahoma decided the Longhorn Network and a few other problems needed to be solved, or the Sooners would be heading West.
In the last few days with the demise of the Big 12 expected, Texas has floated membership in multiple conferences. It could go to the ACC. Or Texas might join Oklahoma in heading to the Pac-12. Wait, Texas wants to save the Big 12.
Now we know the Pac-12 doesn’t want the headache of dealing with all that Austin drama. The Pac-12 released an official statement saying it the conference would not expand beyond its present 12 members. Why? Well the culture of equality doesn’t work too well when Texas demands special treatment.
From the Pac-12 via Andy Staples on Facebook: In light of the widespread speculation about potential scenarios for Conference re-alignment, the Pac-12 Presidents and Chancellors have affirmed their decision to remain a 12-team conference. Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said, “After careful review we have determined that it is in the best interests of our member institutions, student-athletes and fans to remain a 12-team conference. While we have great respect for all of the institutions that have contacted us, and certain expansion proposals were financially attractive, we have a strong conference structure and culture of equality that we are committed to preserve. With new landmark TV agreements and plans to launch our innovative television networks, we are going to focus solely on these great assets, our strong heritage and the bright future in front of us.”
In other words, Texas isn’t welcome out here.
Or more specifically, there were problems with the Longhorn Network.
According to John Wilner, who covers the Pac-12 for the San Jose Mercury News, “Why Pac-12 is not expanding: Determined 14 schools wouldn’t work and refused to meet Texas’ revenue demands.” (Source)
That was something I predicted in a column here where I named Texas a menace to college football because of its ego.
Of course, Texas will spin the Pac-12 repudiation as something it wanted. Oklahoma’s wounded pride will force the Sooners to make the Big 12 work for a few more years or at least weeks.
According to the AP’s Jim Vertuno via Twitter, “Big 12 source tells AP Texas and OU officials to meet in next few days to negotiate deal that keeps both in league five years.”
Does this end the talk of Missouri to the SEC? Will Missouri stay in a conference that is not committed to a culture of equality?
Possibly. However, there is pressure on Missouri to leave behind the instability of the Big 12 and join a real conference–in other words, a conference not run by the whims of Texas. Missouri’s chancellor has worked to save the Big 12. Staying there would not be shocking, but there will be pressure from boosters and fans to move to the SEC and away from Texas.
We should not blame Texas for seeking what is best for it, but Texas should know that a conference is a partnership. For the Big 12 to be saved, Texas must embrace a culture of equality and make the big 12 a real partnership.
Who would expect that based on what we have seen from Texas so far in this realignment saga?
Here is a bold prediction: We have not seen the last of conference expansion talk.