The Big 12 isn’t going anywhere. Whether there are actually 12 members in the league beyond this season, however, remains to be seen.
The four members reportedly most ready to leave the conference — Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State — announced Monday that they are staying put, ending a gloom-and-doom scenario that many believed was possible for the conference if the league members left for the Pac-10. In A&M’s case, the Aggies were reportedly bound for the SEC.
While the Big 12 eventually received good news from all four schools, it was the Longhorns who held all the cards in the conference realignment scenario. According to multiple reports, Texas held a discussion with the remaining nine schools in the Big 12 about a lucrative TV deal that was part of a plan put forth by league commissioner Dan Beebe to keep the conference intact. The deal would mean more money for Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma, while the other seven schools would reportedly receive nearly double of what they currently get in TV revenue.
Texas has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday morning, while Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe will hold a teleconference at noon ET on Tuesday.
Following the departures of Nebraska to the Big Ten and Colorado to the Pac-10, many speculated that the Big 12 was coming apart at the seams. After the rumored defections of four more schools to the Pac-10, the Mountain West was linked to some of the Big 12’s potential remaining members. But the league, which formed in 1994, now looks to have new life. The only question is whether it will look to replace Nebraska and Colorado right away or if it is content to stand pat with 10 schools and temporarily punt a conference championship game, as the NCAA requires 12 schools for a title game to take place.
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