Over the weekend, it was conference moving day. Teams officially switched conferences.
Temple is halfway there. In for Big East football in 2012. Everything else in 2013. VCU is in the A-10. Mizzou and Texas A&M to the SEC. And of course, TCU and WVU to the Big 12. Hoopies are happy to be in the Big 12. Especially instead of the ACC. They’re happy, dammit!
That’s a reminder that in one year, it will be another big moving day. Sure Boise State waited until the very last minute to formally tell the Mountain West that they would be splitting time in the Big West and Big East next year. You have the assorted C-USA teams moving from their place on Oriental Avenue to slightly more expensive property on St. Charles Place.
And of course, Pitt and Syracuse will make their move to the ACC.
Whether there will be any other new expansiopocolypse moves by this time next year remains to be seen. Lately, the only surprise is if there isn’t a move made.
Also kicking in this past weekend was the “grant of rights” by the Big 12 member schools to the conference. Locking them into the conference for the next 13 years. As all signed on according to new Commish Bob Bowlsby. Well done, what?
While such news has been expected for months, the finalization of the deal would be nonetheless monumental. It would virtually guarantee the once-fractious league solidarity over the term of the agreement. Big 12 consultant Chuck Neinas stressed Sunday that the deal is not quite done yet and would only be finalized after a 13-year, $2.6 billion media rights [TV] extension with Fox and ESPN.
“What people don’t understand is, it’s a process,” said Neinas who guided the league as an interim commissioner from September through June 15. “Some people [presidents] have to take it to their board [of directors] for approval. So that we’re clear, I think they drafted a new 13-year grant but it’s not necessary to sign it until the TV contract is done. The TV deal is still a work in progress.”
No worries. The Big 12 is a happy family. That shotgun in the back is just tradition.
Sorry, I know the money will be bigger in the Big 12, but there is no way I wanted Pitt in that conference.
In the ongoing PR debate over whether it was Texas arrogance or Texas A&M’s inferiority complex that led to A&M heading to the SEC, Texas Tech gets to be the middle child. Looking up to big brother and sticking with him, while trying not to be treated like total crap.
Texas Tech’s Sept. 8 road game against Texas State may be broadcast on the Longhorn Network, an athletic department source with direct knowledge of the situation told RRS.com’s Chris Level and Aaron Dickens on Thursday.
ESPN announced earlier this month that the game would be carried on one of its platforms, but did not specify which.
Tech learned of this possibility several days ago, and according to the source, is “adamantly opposed to playing on the Longhorn Network” and is “putting serious consideration into canceling the game and playing an 11 game schedule” this fall.
As to how ESPN was able to be in a position to put a Texas State game on the Longhorn Network, is a rather interesting bit of manipulation by the Mouse Monopoly.
The WAC, in its negotiations with ESPN, agreed to recognize the Longhorn Network as an ESPN platform. That allowed ESPN to air 6 UT-San Antonio home games on the Longhorn Network. That means as the WAC continues to shamble on, their games can be content on the Longhorn Network.
To say Texas Tech was pissed off by this was to put it mildly. Last year they had to fight off efforts by ESPN to put their Texas game on the Longhorn Network. Rumors were that Texas Tech went to other Big 12 members to discuss avoiding scheduling games against WAC teams to avoid this kind of mess.
ESPN eventually backed away from this ham-handed effort to get content on the channel in an effort to get cable and satellite companies to carry the channel. The game will be on ESPN3.com instead.
As has been pointed out, Texas doesn’t necessarily have much of a say in these things. Most of the really dumb things the Longhorn Network has tried to do — air high school games that involve Texas recruits, try to move some Big 12 games on the channel, and now this — appear to have been pushed by ESPN as part of their effort to get carriers to actually carry the network.
The problem is that the channel carries the Longhorn name. Texas is collecting a check. They can’t keep throwing up their hands and saying, “This is not us! We have nothing to do with it. We’re not involved with this sort of thing.” When you agree to have your name on the product, you have some responsibility.
No, the Big 12 isn’t going anywhere. The Grant of Rights will get signed, sealing things for 13 years. It’s just a reminder that 1) the Big 12 is still a seething mess of dysfunction beneath the facade, 2) stability doesn’t mean unity, and 3) money does paper over a lot of problems.