Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe knows it will be a long shot, but he’s trying to get a commitment from all the Big 12 athletic directors to keep the Big 12 intact with the talk of the Big Ten expanding and taking Nebraska and Missouri. The topic was brought up the first day of the Big 12 Conference meetings.
“I want to talk frankly about whether there’s a date certain that our institutions can commit to the conference so that we know who’s on board as we go forward,” Beebe said at a news conference.
Over the last several months, Nebraska’s name along with Missouri and even Colorado going to the Pac 10 has come up and Beebe wants the conference to stick together. However, the big question will be revenue sharing and the Big Ten has a package that could look more attractive to a school like Missouri and maybe even Nebraska.
Last year, Big 12 schools divided between $7 million and $12 million depending on how many appearances they made on regional and national TV. That means Texas usually pockets the biggest share, with the likes of Missouri lagging behind. Meanwhile, Big Ten schools share equally and came away with more than $20 million each.
That has always been the knock on the Big 12, the lacking big television deal. Beebe needs to get the teams lined up when he starts negotiationing next April for a new television agreement with Fox. With the SEC and Big Ten already having successful packages and now word of the ACC close to a 12-year, $1.86 billion deal with ESPN that would almost double its schools’ television revenue, it’s time for the Big 12 to step as well.
The fans in Missouri have been feeling like they’ve been hosed with the whole revenue sharing plan that is clearly slanted toward Texas, but it is also interesting to hear how others view Missouri in this whole “Big Ten courting.” I liked how Steven Sipple of the Lincoln Journal Star observed Missouri in this whole process by saying, “For instance, Missouri complains about the Big 12’s revenue-sharing formula, in which half the money is split evenly and the other half is awarded based on TV appearances. The formula was adopted when the Big 12 was formed in the mid-1990s. Is the Big 12 supposed to renege on the deal now? Missouri, by the way, does an awful lot of complaining for a school that ranks last in the Big 12 in all-time league championships with eight, compared with Texas with 113 and second-place Nebraska with 76.”