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Big 12 far from dead

Porkchopexpress

Junior Varsity
5 Year Member
It's closer to death than the B1G, Pac-12 and SEC, and probably about on pace with the ACC. When you sit back and think about it, the Big 12 has seen their footprint shrink from seven states to five, and lost at least two sizeable TV markets (Denver and St. Louis), while not picking up any significant markets to replace those. The only reason it's not dead is because the Pac-12 got cold feet with the idea of having more than 12 teams. Also, the Pac-12 was a bit quick at the trigger by snatching up Colorado. I'm sure Pac-12 bigwigs won't admit it, but I suspect they realize they may have missed an opportunity when they hitched their wagon to Colorado so quickly.

In the end the Big 12 has four dead weight football programs, in terms of fan support and TV sets (Baylor, ISU, TT and KU). KSU is close to that list, but they get a pass, because Snyder has built them into a semi-national brand, and TCU gets the benefit of the doubt for now, since they play in the DFW market (although they also bring in another rinky-dink stadium, into a conferece full of rinky-dink stadiums).
 
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Cardinal

Blackshirt
15 Year Member
Also, the Pac-12 was a bit quick at the trigger by snatching up Colorado. I'm sure Pac-12 bigwigs won't admit it, but I suspect they realize they may have missed an opportunity when they hitched their wagon to Colorado so quickly.

You may be right about CU, but my guess is that you are not. It may be that the only school in the current Big 12 that would have been more inviting to the Pac 12 than CU is UT. Academics is very important to the Pac 12 and CU has big, big bucks and clout in its research. Undergraduate rankings have CU in the upper middle of the pack, but as a research institution it consistently ranks very high. And it is the research end of academia that interests the other institutions in a conference. Athletically, CU football still has a viable brand, despite its recent lack of success. If the program turns around, as it always has in the past after dry spells, it will be a valuable commodity for the conference. Its basketball program, surprisingly, is now one of the strongest in the Pac 12, so they can't be too disappointed there. Finally, I am sure the conference is very happy about the geographics of Colorado. They must love the constantly growing Denver market. I know from a conversation I had with Larry Scott, the commish, at a fundraiser last Fall that having Boulder and Colorado be a destination for the other teams and fans in the conference was vitally important in the conference's decision. He also told me the conference never stopped wanting CU after CU turned them down in the 1990's to stay in the Big 8/12.

Other than UT, I just don't see anyone else in the current Big 12 that would be more inviting to the Pac 12, which is a different breed of animal than the other major conferences in what it finds important beyond the money (which of course is a primary concern of all conferences). OU has the great football program, but it strikes out in the academic and geographic aspects, as well as the TV market aspect. The other Texas schools are just UT satellites. Kansas schools don't bring any more athletically than does CU, other than KU hoops, and socially and academically are less appealing to the Pac 12. TCU and West Virginia obviously are not Pac 12 fits in any of the categories.

I think the Pac 12 knows that, other than UT, CU was about the best the Pac 12 was going to get from west of the Missouri River, and I don't think they would ever want to expand east of that. I imagine they are happy they got CU.

Now, Utah on the other hand ... ;)
 
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WestTexasHusker

Starter
10 Year Member
Isn't Texas Tech as much or more of a national brand than KSU? Seems like I read somewhere that Tech's merchandise sales nation wide are in the top 30. ???
 

Porkchopexpress

Junior Varsity
5 Year Member
You may be right about CU, but my guess is that you are not. It may be that the only school in the current Big 12 that would have been more inviting to the Pac 12 than CU is UT. Academics is very important to the Pac 12 and CU has big, big bucks and clout in its research. Undergraduate rankings have CU in the upper middle of the pack, but as a research institution it consistently ranks very high. And it is the research end of academia that interests the other institutions in a conference. Athletically, CU football still has a viable brand, despite its recent lack of success. If the program turns around, as it always has in the past after dry spells, it will be a valuable commodity for the conference. Its basketball program, surprisingly, is now one of the strongest in the Pac 12, so they can't be too disappointed there. Finally, I am sure the conference is very happy about the geographics of Colorado. They must love the constantly growing Denver market. I know from a conversation I had with Larry Scott, the commish, at a fundraiser last Fall that having Boulder and Colorado be a destination for the other teams and fans in the conference was vitally important in the conference's decision. He also told me the conference never stopped wanting CU after CU turned them down in the 1990's to stay in the Big 8/12.

Other than UT, I just don't see anyone else in the current Big 12 that would be more inviting to the Pac 12, which is a different breed of animal than the other major conferences in what it finds important beyond the money (which of course is a primary concern of all conferences). OU has the great football program, but it strikes out in the academic and geographic aspects, as well as the TV market aspect. The other Texas schools are just UT satellites. Kansas schools don't bring any more athletically than does CU, other than KU hoops, and socially and academically are less appealing to the Pac 12. TCU and West Virginia obviously are not Pac 12 fits in any of the categories.

I think the Pac 12 knows that, other than UT, CU was about the best the Pac 12 was going to get from west of the Missouri River, and I don't think they would ever want to expand east of that. I imagine they are happy they got CU.

Now, Utah on the other hand ... ;)

You'd obviously know better than I would Cardinal, being out on the west coast. I have no real proof to back up things up, it's just my opinion. Maybe the Pac-12 was took quick to hitch their wagon to Utah after they brought in Colorado, but in the end, they really didn't have any great choices for expansion, and those were Utah was probably the best available. Anyways, despite what ESPN says, the Big 12 isn't a rock solid conference (and I would suspect that if ESPN didn't have TV rights to Big 12 games, this particular article would not have been written).
 
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Porkchopexpress

Junior Varsity
5 Year Member
Isn't Texas Tech as much or more of a national brand than KSU? Seems like I read somewhere that Tech's merchandise sales nation wide are in the top 30. ???

That may be the case, but Moorehead State sells a lot of merchandise as well, compared to the size of their fanbase.
 

Cardinal

Blackshirt
15 Year Member
You'd obviously know better than I would Cardinal, being out on the west coast. I have no real proof to back up things up, it's just my opinion. Maybe the Pac-12 was took quick to hitch their wagon to Utah after they brought in Colorado, but in the end, they really didn't have any great choices for expansion, and those were Utah was probably the best available. Anyways, despite what ESPN says, the Big 12 isn't a rock solid conference (and I would suspect that if ESPN didn't have TV rights to Big 12 games, this particular article would not have been written).

Agree. I think the Pac 10/11/12 felt it had to take Utah after taking CU and after the negotiations with UT and its satellites fell through. There really is pretty slim pickings for the Pac 12 in that part of the country, way out west the way they are. All the major schools in the Midwest and Southwest, and all points east of there, make conference realignment, stealing of teams, etc., a lot easier in that half the country than in the Western half. If the Pac had not taken Utah to round out to 12 teams, they could have lost them to the Big 12, leaving institutions that I believe the Pac had far less interest in ... BYU (people in the Pac 12 would have never stopped throwing up if those clowns had been invited), Boise St. (everything small time but football), San Diego State (probably the next best choice after Utah, but USC and UCLA, and probably the other conference members too, would have fought tooth and nail to not have another in-conference SoCal school to recruit against). NU was already gone to the Big 10, so that didn't leave much for the Pac to choose, but for Utah. I think Utah will be a good conference member in a lot of different ways.

I personally would have loved to see NU and CU make the move west together. While I think NU is a great fit in the Big 10, it would have been fun to keep CU/NU going at season end, plus it would have strengthened the Pac 12 South, which is the weaker of the two divisions in football right now. Plus, NU baseball would have been much better off, and a better fit, in the much stronger Pac 12, plus the volleyball. Oh well.
 
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