What do Texas and OU want? Can G5 schools entice them?

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junglehusky

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Long post. Skip to the end if you want.

This is what will determine who the Big 12 invites. Flugar's contacts seem to think OU and Texas are inclined to stick together, either in the Big12 or in another leage in 2024-25 (they'd both have multiple suitors). (If you don't follow @flugempire, his / Big Ten Man's contacts are supposedly in OU, so they might not necessarily be getting Texas's side of the story). Whether OU/UT sticking together is a thing or not, those two schools are still critical to the future of the Big 12 - here's where you say "thanks #CaptainObvious".

The question is, will they stick together for a few years in the Big 12 and maximize revenue before jetting off to the SEC or Big Ten, or will they BOTH commit to making the Big 12 stable beyond 2025? The answer to that is what should determine who the Big 12 will invite. Then again, this is the Big 12 we're talking about.

One of the cliches around here and on social media is that UConn should do everything possible to get an invite, as if there is actually that much to be done at this point that hasn't already been done. Of course UConn has already sent all its data to contacts at big 12 (and other conferences') schools, and of course the leadership has been networking with other presidents / ADs. Guess what. Every G5 school is doing that. Some of them have been public about it. Some of them have been desperately/laughably public.

Now that the Big 12 is contacting prospective schools, it's down to re-stating the case to the expansion committee - i.e., telling them what they already know about strengths in athletics, academics, research. And then it'll be offering hypothetical terms of entry. Timeframe, entry fee, what support the school would need, and most importantly scheduling Big 12 conference payout ramp up. How quickly or slowly to build up to a full share of that sweet, sweet TV money.

In case you've been in a coma, in the spring Big 12 meetings Dennis Dodd reported that the Big 12 TV agreement has a cause that triggers a per rata increase in payout when they add new teams. But that money isn't normally distributed to new members right away - which means Texas and Oklahoma (and all the other schools) could use this to increase their own coffers for the time being.

So one choice would be to accept a warm body willing to accept a much lower initial payout, collect the dough... and then take off for B1Ger / SEC pastures.

If that's what OU and Texas want to do, there is very little negotiating room for UConn to change their minds.

What can they do? Do you want UConn to say "Okay, please take the pro rata increase in TV money and keep it all for yourselves, we don't need it"? Because that is the only thing we have to entice them.

Here's what I think could happen. UConn will propose to ramp in to conference payouts at a certain rate. Memphis, Boise, UCF, all the desperate schools will anticipate what our proposal is and undercut it. It's probably not that hard to estimate what it will be - UConn has a P5 budget and part of our appeal to a P5 league is that we'd maintain that. If OU and UT are thinking of not extending the GOR beyond 2024, they'll look at whatever associations they form in the next round of expansions as a mistress. In that scenario they'll be looking at which mistress is asking for them to pay for the cheapest apartment and the lowest allowance for shopping and coke. Hey Memphis, come down. On the other hand, If OU and UT want to stay in business with each other and keep their associations with the other B12 schools, they'll agree to a reasonable ramp-in and (if you believe Boren) weight more factors than just recent football success, and they'll be settling down with a nice stable girl.

Here's another analysis by @whaler11 from one of the other threads with some of my thoughts.

At this point there is really no way to predict what the Big 12 will do.

My opinion is that Texas wants to keep it together because they like being the Alpha. I don't think that Oklahoma has anywhere to go even if they could shake themselves loose of Oklahoma State. Those two assumptions lead me to believe that the Big 12 is still planning on staying together even with the ACCN news.
Right now Texas probably wants to keep it together, although I'd wager that there are different factions within Texas's administration some of which would be in favor of going to another conference and don't give a rat's ass about OU. Texas's leadership, both president and AD (and some provosts / board members IIRC) has turned over and A&M alum Rick Perry is no longer the governor. It seemed that the LHN issue had been dropped in the spring, but today Bohls tweeted that it was still being discussed. So things might be tenuous in terms of UT's relationship with the rest of the conference.

Based on what we believe about the Big 12 contract they have some leverage: They can go in a number of different ways with that leverage.

1. They can negotiate a sizable sum for their ten members, extend the TV contract and their GOR
2. They can negotiate some money and withhold a decent amount from two expansion schools
3. They can just add 4 new members and withhold as much as they can from the 4 additions and see what happens when the contract runs out

If I were running the Big 12 - I'd give up the pro rata clause for a bump and get my members to extend their GOR while adding two teams. The two clear choices to me are UConn and Cincinnati. Their first and third options are both short term solutions.
I guess you never know with the Big12, but the reaction from non-hillbilly media seems to be that this step means they're not likely to reverse course again and stay at ten. Again, it's the Big 12 who are not known for being proactive outside of David Boren.

Whether the Big 12 goes with scenario 2 or 3 (and I could see scenario 3 with two schools, because some members might be too to vote for adding 4) is dependent on, IMHO OU and UT's intentions. Given the reversal from "expansion will be tabled for several years" (was tweeted by George Schroeder, who presumably got that from some Big12 member as they went into yesterday's meeting) to "Big 12 will reach out to candidate schools" it sounds to me like David Boren, who is a former US Senator and sounds like he could have been an ambassador to Russia, managed to change minds (and the ACC network news probably helped). From everything I can tell, Boren is the type of administrator who would be less likely to go the Memphis-and-whoever and then bail. But we've also heard other administrators in OU who publicly contradicted things Boren has said at one time or another.


I think they will go in one of two directions (50/50) and they are both bad for us:
a. No expansion
b. Expand with Memphis and Cincinnati

People have all sorts of phobias - I don't think anyone has defined mine yet - for months it has been that if the Big 12 expands it will be with Memphis. It makes zero sense - but the Big 12's tag line could be: We Make Zero Sense.

That is the Big 12 in a nutshell. Again, I think staying at ten is probably off the table. I'm pretty confident Cincy is #1, UConn and BYU are 2A/2B. The news that the Big12 was considering football only members seemed to bolster BYU (I'll leave the UConn non-FB to the Big East aside... let's not go there in this thread).
Again if you've been in a coma, the news from the spring that the Big12 will not pursue a network hurts UConn. So maybe UConn is 2B. Then there is the potential for the Big12 to do something idiotic like cave in to Houston's politicking or FedEx/Memphis.

But still - the core question is, do Texas and Oklahoma want to make the league stable, or collect checks and bail?

This is where I would pay attention to reports about extending the GOR if it comes out that such-and-such schools are close to being invited. I think UConn, Cincy and possibly BYU would be in a position where they would say "Yes we are interested but ONLY if UT/OU agree to extending the GOR". This way these schools can agree to a reasonable ramp-up in payout (please reply if there's a better term than "ramp-up", I'm not a financial person) and be confident that the B12 will remain a power league and not AAC 2.5. If - big if - OU and UT are thinking about staying / stability this should not be a problem. If they aren't, then the second tier schools will have a shot.

I have no clue if expanding by 2 or by 4 is more likely. In any case, with UConn still not being a clear #1/2, best course is to #PrayFor4.

tl;dr - The Big12 could expand for stability or for a temporary fix. It's probably up to OU and UT's leadership as to which route they go, and that decision will determine which G5 schools get invited.
 

junglehusky

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One more line for the tl;dr - Top-tier candidate schools should push for an extension of GOR.
 
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Good analysis. Only thing I'll say is that if I'm UConn I am totally fine with expanding without a GOR because I think that giving us 4-6 years in a power conference gives us a better chance of landing in the B1G or ACC if the Big 12 collapses than our current predicament (duh).
 

ConnHuskBask

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Good analysis. Only thing I'll say is that if I'm UConn I am totally fine with expanding without a GOR because I think that giving us 4-6 years in a power conference gives us a better chance of landing in the B1G or ACC if the Big 12 collapses than our current predicament (duh).

I don't think UConn, Cincy or BYU are in a position to even request any terms. We just need to pretty much offer anything and make money back on Tier 3 rights and ticket sales.
 
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I don't think UConn, Cincy or BYU are in a position to even request any terms. We just need to pretty much offer anything and make money back on Tier 3 rights and ticket sales.

Yeah, that was my round about way of saying that.
 
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Texas will come out just fine no matter what so it's immune to any trepidation.

With its smaller fanbase and lack of AAU status, OU isn't quite as bulletproof but they will never be left out in the cold either.

I also get a very strong impression that Texas and OU have rededicated their commitment to a long-term relationship with each other. When and if the stuff ever jumps sideways, Texas and Oklahoma will walk hand-in-hand into any conference it wants. Probably the B1G.

That said, I think they both kind of like a lot of their Big 12 colleagues, histories and rivalries. So I think they'd both like to make some effort to give the Big 12 a chance of survival.

I'm not sure if they would be willing to sign long term GORs just to bring certain teams on board, because honestly it's not like they will be bringing Alabama and Ohio State into the Big 12.

But they might sign long term GORs because they want to invest in the Big 12's security.

It will be real interesting to see how it all plays out.
 

junglehusky

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I don't think UConn, Cincy or BYU are in a position to even request any terms. We just need to pretty much offer anything and make money back on Tier 3 rights and ticket sales.
Maybe not individually. But if it's clear these are the top three candidates, and everybody knows it, they should at least request it. If people from the B12 say "You and Cincy are the clear #1 / #2, we are comfortable offering an invite", then that's the time to ask.
 

CL82

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Good analysis. Only thing I'll say is that if I'm UConn I am totally fine with expanding without a GOR because I think that giving us 4-6 years in a power conference gives us a better chance of landing in the B1G or ACC if the Big 12 collapses than our current predicament (duh).
Yep, UConn benefits from the addtional money, improved recruiting and better opponents of the Big 12, but the biggest benefit, imho, is that we'd lose the stank of the G5 lable improving our position for the next go round of realignment.
 

junglehusky

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So the update today sounds like a pretty firm no to GOR extension for both of the Big 2.


I think if this continues it's not good for UConn's chances - opens the door to Dan Beebe style irrational decisions. Herp Derp let's invite Houston and Memphis.

N.B. - Schroeder was the one guy who tweeted before the meeting that expansion would be tabled. I don't think he's one of those guys who's always wrong (ahem... Bill Kristol)... but anyway it's up to Texas first and foremost.
 
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