All You Need to Know about the New, Slimmer, Big XII


According to sources, Texas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M will be guaranteed $20 million per year, while the seven remaining schools will collect between $14 million and $17 million in TV revenue in combined deals with ABC/ESPN and Fox.
Both networks stepped forward and averted what could have been complete chaos in college realignment by putting forth a combined package that will push the Big 12 from a $78 million take in annual TV revenue to just less than $200 million, sources say.


cashing in big is what Texas will do. UT stands to collect between $23 million and $25 million per year once its own television network is up and running, which would make Texas the highest-paid university in America from a TV revenue standpoint.

What amuses me about a lot of the commentary on this subject from people who seem to just now be figuring out that major college sports is about the money.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Steve Plunk says:

    It is all about the money. I’m furious the PAC 10 commissioner embarked on a whirlwind tour trying to destroy the traditions and create a new conference all about more money. As it is we’re now stuck with Colorado and maybe Utah.

    College sports are all about traditions and rivalries. Conference realignments don’t preserve either.

  2. Trumwill says:

    Meh. It’s easy to be cynical and say that it’s all about the money. The problem with that is that any and all decisions they make can be made to be “all about the money.” Whether they change conferences or not… all about the money. Texas A&M makes one decision (SEC) for reasons “all about the money” and UT makes another (Pac-16) “all about the money.”

    There are other factors at play here. Ego, for one. Texas is averse to the SEC either because they consider themselves too good for it academically or because they’re afraid of losing. For reasons of culture, the Pac-10 is looking at Utah and not BYU when BYU is the much better financial situation.

    Yeah, it took money to get UT to reconsider leaving. But they stood to make quite a bit more money with a Pac-16 than they are going to make now. The Big 12-2 had to pony up more money to take the issue off the table so that UT could make their decision on other bases.

  3. It’s easy to be cynical and say that it’s all about the money. The problem with that is that any and all decisions they make can be made to be “all about the money.”

    The thing is, I don’t think it is cynical as much as simply realistic. Indeed, since it is about the money, there is a whoooole lot of college football to watch on Saturday’s every season, which is, to me, a very, very good thing.

    And yes, there’s ego and whatnot.

    But fundamentally, it’s a straight cash, homey situation.

  4. Trumwill says:

    Suggesting that money is one of the key drivers in college athletics is realistic. Suggesting that it’s all about money is base cynicism. If it were all about the money, the landscape would be very different. The AD’s as CEO’s whose only concern was the bottom line would be fired. If money were the only driving factor:

    * – The much-heralded Age of the Superconference (which cynics have been predicting forever, since it’s all about the money) would have already happened. At the least, the Pac-16 would be a reality.

    * – Notre Dame would be in the Big Ten (Northwestern makes more from the conference than ND does from NBC).

    * – As mentioned, the Pac-10 would not be shunning BYU (and certainly not in favor of Utah).

    * – The Pac-10 would have dropped Washington State some time ago, the Big 12 would have used the basketball scandal to drop Baylor (Anne Richards was no longer in office).

    *- Half of the FBS teams would cease operation immediately since they are losing money. Probably significantly more than half.

    That’s off the top of my head. Nobody is saying that money isn’t a factor. It’s one of the most important. But it’s not all that’s important. Or, if it is, athletic directors and conference commissioners are utterly incompetent.