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Report: Big Ten, Texas have initial talks

Now this would certainly shake things up a little bit.

Back in the middle of December, the Big Ten publicly acknowledged that expansion was officially on the table.  Almost immediately, names like Missouri, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and the like were mentioned as possibilities.

Based on at least one report, you can push those little minnows to the shallow end of the pool for now.  The conference has its eyes on a whale of a school.

According to a report in the Lawrence Journal-World, and citing a source with ties to the conference, the Big Ten and Texas have engaged in “preliminary exchanges” about the Big 12 school switching leagues and joining an expanded Big Ten.

“There have been preliminary exchanges between the Big Ten and Texas,” the source told the Journal-World on Wednesday. “People will deny that, but it’s accurate.”

With the exception of Notre Dame, landing Texas would be far and away the biggest get for the Big Ten.  Given the eyeballs the state of Texas would bring to the Big Ten Network, you could even make a pretty good argument that they would be a bigger get than the Irish.

As for the geographic distance between the current member schools and Texas, the Journal-World writes that “[t]ravel costs, in terms of money and fatigue, make Texas seem on the surface like a stretch, but TV revenue would more than make up for the fatigue factor.”

Given the conference’s own time table — they said in January that a decision on whether to expand would take anywhere from 12 to 18 months — this is obviously very preliminary.

But, still, the idea of Texas moving to the Big Ten would certainly send a major tremor through the college football world in general, and the Big 12 specifically.  Especially if the rumors come to fruition and Colorado bolts for the Pac-10.

One thing seems certain in all of this: the landscape of the game is almost certain to look much different in two years than it does right now.

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Respond to “Report: Big Ten, Texas have initial talks”
  1. hrmlss says: Feb 11, 2010 12:35 PM

    Maybe steal Tennessee from the SEC, and Duke or North Carolina from the ACC, and have 2 seven team divisions. Play 3 non conference, 6 division and 2 inter-Division, and a championship game. Plus look at the basketball implications.

  2. BrownsTown says: Feb 11, 2010 12:40 PM

    Obviously, Texas is a great school, but this would make a mockery of the Big Ten. Stick with geographic integrity. The Big Ten is midwestern football (and central PA… close enough). Just grab Pitt or UC.
    Notre Dame is no longer welcome (yes, I speak on behalf of the Big Ten). Pitt is better than ND at both FB and BB, so it’s becoming less and less about spite and more and more about relevance.

  3. gator_prof says: Feb 11, 2010 1:14 PM

    hrmlss,
    There would be zero incentive, save a much easier in conference schedule, of a SEC like UT leaving. They are in the best football conference and their basketball conference very good as well.

  4. HBOilers24 says: Feb 11, 2010 1:24 PM

    it would be a huge get but i agree with BrownsTown keep the big 11 a midwest regional thing.

  5. goodjuan says: Feb 11, 2010 1:44 PM

    texas, oklahoma, and missouri along with iowa, wisconsin, minnesota, illinois in the west
    michigan, indiana, northwestern, osu, penn st, michigan st, and purdue in the east.
    i’d love to see it.

  6. watchmorebaseball says: Feb 11, 2010 1:44 PM

    It is crazy to think Texas would abandon traditional rivals like Oklahoma, Nebraska and Kansas. Why not go after Iowa State, Ohio, Evansville or Marquette? These teams make sense from the standpoint of rivalries and geography.

  7. JuiceBachs says: Feb 11, 2010 1:55 PM

    Or maybe just create a whole new conference with Texas, Ohio State, Florida, USC, Bama, LSU, Penn St, Oregon, Mich, ND, Oklahoma & a rotating 12th team chosen by the rankings at the end of the previous season? The whole thing is just ridiculous. What next, start a relegation system with the NFL?

  8. Steeler4life says: Feb 11, 2010 2:05 PM

    This will never happen in a million years

  9. edgy1957 says: Feb 11, 2010 2:20 PM

    I honestly don’t see it because it doesn’t make sense. Twelve teams means that they’ll play an 8-game conference schedule like they do in the Big 12 BUT unlike the Big-12, they won’t have the luxury of having annual games between Texas A&M and Oklahoma folded into their conference schedule, which means that it cuts down on the number of gimme games that they play from 4 to 2. Yes, they played Oklahoma when they were in the SWC but back then they only played 7 conference games and that left them with 3 gimmes with the 11 game schedule.
    Also, why would they need the Big 10? They get a lot of money without them and it’s not like they’re going to gain major recruiting territory. Sure, there’s probably players that would love to go to play in the warm Texas weather but there’s going to be a lot of Texans who won’t want to go play in the cold Big 10 (Right now, the worst that they have to do is 3 Big 12 North games (Which they try to play early. They usually don’t play more than 1 Big 12 North game on the road during the cold months) while they’d have to worry about 8 Big 10 games that they have no control over when it comes to the weather).

  10. Brian says: Feb 11, 2010 2:35 PM

    Marquette doesn’t have football…Evansville doesn’t have football…
    http://frankthetank.wordpress.com/2009/12/27/the-big-ten-expansion-index-a-different-shade-of-orange/
    The Big Ten is looking for a school to raise their complete status, academically and athletically, how does Ohio or Iowa State do that? Texas has only been in the Big 12 for 15 years and the only real rivalry before that was Oklahoma as a non-conference.

  11. BrownsTown says: Feb 11, 2010 2:38 PM

    There goes gator_prof again with his/her “best team” = “best conference” logic. You are obviously not a professor in a subject matter steeped in logic (or, one at all).
    Yep, three SEC teams in the top 25 in basketball. Awesome conference. There’s Kentucky and there’s everybody else. Of course, that fits your “best conference” model, so touche.
    3. Kentucky
    12. UT
    22. Vandy

  12. cb in austin says: Feb 11, 2010 2:59 PM

    Kentucky, Louisville, Missouri or Iowa State make more sense than Texas. If Missouri or Iowa State left, we’d love to get Arkansas back in the Big 12 or TCU. FWIW, when the SWC and Big 8 were considering new names, they selected Big 12 primarily to keep the Big 10 from using it.

  13. cb in austin says: Feb 11, 2010 3:00 PM

    Kentucky, Louisville, Missouri or Iowa State make more sense than Texas. If Missouri or Iowa State left, we’d love to get Arkansas back in the Big 12 or TCU. FWIW, when the SWC and Big 8 were considering new names, they selected Big 12 primarily to keep the Big 10 from using it.

  14. Pier588 says: Feb 11, 2010 3:00 PM

    Texas would be a much better entry than crappy old, lame Noter Dame. And it sounds like the Long Horns are at least listening while the Cryin Irish are just full of self importance and arrogance. After the go round the last time the Cryers were considered but thumbed their noses – they should NEVER be ask again. Not to mention they play a Div III schedule and are no longer a winning program.
    While not very geographically appealing – the aspect of the higher caliber football that Texas would bring compared to the losing Irish and their annual cream puff attempt at a schedule would enhance the Big Ten, not hurt it like adding Noter Dame would.
    Adding Army and Navy to the Big Ten makes more sense than Noter Dame – anybody but the self declared prima donna’s from South Bend(er) would be great.

  15. watchmorebaseball says: Feb 11, 2010 3:18 PM

    Right, those schools wouldn’t fit the big 11, it was intended to be silly. The big 11 should stay as they are.

  16. watchmorebaseball says: Feb 11, 2010 3:32 PM

    Brian, you sound too young to remember the southwest conference. Texas had a great rivalry with Arkansas and what about A&M and Tech and OK State?

  17. wwhockey says: Feb 11, 2010 3:38 PM

    I do believe Texas briefly came up in the previous Big 10 expansion. A major part of the allure of the Big 10 for a university president is the consortium they belong to, along with the University of Chicago, which is a major source of combining federal research money.
    Travel costs would go up but Texas could keep two of their rivalry games by playing Oklahoma and Texas A&M as non-conference games.

  18. Sean Martin says: Feb 11, 2010 4:04 PM

    WHY WOULD TEXAS LEAVE THE BIG 12?! THIS MAKES NO SENSE…

  19. thunderroad7 says: Feb 11, 2010 4:05 PM

    wwhockey is correct. Most people don’t realize that being a research school brings in huge money, and the Big Ten is the best conference to be associated with for that type of money.
    Also, with the Big Ten Network and other conference revenues, Texas would be making almost twice the money that they do now in the Big 12. Texas also has not been a part of the Big 12 for a real longtime, so as long as they could still play Oklahoma and A&M, they would be fine.
    One other point…..Texas is in the Central time zone as most of the other Big Ten schools, so for television purposes and travel it would be fine. The TV exposure would be even greater than it is now for Texas, especially the other non-revenue sports.

  20. edgy1957 says: Feb 11, 2010 4:57 PM

    thunderroad7, the Big 10 brought in $154 mil last year in revenue while the Big 12 brought in $103 mil. The Big 12 doesn’t share revenue equally so Texas got $10.3 mil. I’d be hard pressed to believe that they’d pull in $20 mil in the Big 10ish.

  21. someone_smarter_than_you says: Feb 11, 2010 5:15 PM

    This won’t happen. Texas would be begging for the Big 12 again after one season. Once Mac Brown figures out you can’t throw the ball 60 times in October and November games in Columbus, Ann Arbor, and Happy Valley, they’ll be back to Big 12 where the men are men and the sheep are scared.

  22. Snailkicker says: Feb 11, 2010 5:49 PM

    I have no dog in this hunt and I dont know their prospects in the Big 12 – but perhaps one motivation would be a guaranteed conference championship for the forseable future?
    Who would beat them? (Sorry Ohio State fans).

  23. adeem4578 says: Feb 11, 2010 6:23 PM

    i love it… bring em on! gives the big ten an instant shot in the arm and i would love to see them play michigan every year/every other year however they do it. big 12 sucks anyway ha… go blue!

  24. edgy1957 says: Feb 11, 2010 6:31 PM

    I had to laugh because on ESPN, there was this little item: “If those two defections happen, and Nebraska and/or Iowa State (two other Big Ten candidates) also leave, the Big 12 could be decimated. The best it might do would be to partially reconstitute the old Southwest Conference by grabbing TCU and Houston, and obviously those two were left out when the Big 12 was formed for a reason.”
    Well, the reasons are two-fold: 1) They didn’t want to have more than 12 teams and 2) Baylor has a lot of powerful alumni and they threatened the Big to take them or ELSE and that’s why they were among the 4 teams taken from the SWC (and the only private university in the Big 12).

  25. DallasHWK says: Feb 11, 2010 6:31 PM

    edgy – You must be talking just about bowl revenue. Total revenues are several multiples of that. But back to the question at hand – Why would Texas want to join the B10? Answer: Money. The Big10 is a money factory. Per ESPN the B12 total TV revenue for 2009 was $78 million. Not bad, but pales in comparison to the B10′s $242 million! That number would go way up if Texas joined. So even with uneven wealth distribution in the B12, Texas is still probably leaving 10-20 million on the table versus if they joined the B10. Find me a university president who doesn’t want an extra 10-20 million a year.

  26. cupajoe38 says: Feb 11, 2010 6:52 PM

    Texas and Oklahoma are state schools, and the state governments will not allow it. Taking UT would hurt Texas Tech and Baylor. Taking OU would hurt Oklahoma State. If the Big Ten tries to grab those schools, it would hurt other schools in those states substantially, enough so that state legistators would step in and put a halt to it.
    If you need proof, look at how Virginia Tech came into the ACC vs. more lucrative TV markets in the northeast, or how Baylor ended up in the Big 12.

  27. edgy1957 says: Feb 11, 2010 6:57 PM

    DallasHWK says: February 11, 2010 6:31 PM ET
    edgy – You must be talking just about bowl revenue. Total revenues are several multiples of that.
    ************************
    Ok, this is football revenue but remember, the Big 10 does things that the Big 12 doesn’t and vice versa. In the end, I don’t see a doubling of revenue, even with a football championship game.
    According to the Omaha World-Herald, the Big 12 revenue breakdown:
    The World-Herald’s findings indicate that $57 million come for television contracts, along with $32.2 million from bowl games, $27.3 million from the NCAA, $11.1 million from conference championships and $434,623 from royalties and licensing. The conference keeps some of the revenue to pay its bills, which is why those figures add up to more than the $103.1 million distributed to member institutions.
    Link: http://espn.go.com/blog/big12/post/_/id/2094/how-the-big-12-teams-rank-in-revenue-sharing-funds

  28. scottw says: Feb 11, 2010 9:44 PM

    If ND doesn’t care to join, leave it as it is.
    Bucky

  29. benedick says: Feb 11, 2010 11:15 PM

    Thunderroad, Ohio St., Penn St., Indiana, Purdue, Michigan and Michigan St. are all in the Eastern Time Zone; 5 are in Central.

  30. kupski says: Feb 12, 2010 7:41 AM

    I would rather see Missouri than texas

  31. Colyen says: Feb 12, 2010 12:18 PM

    Yes… Missouri is far more likely than Texas.
    Texas is just not going to happen. Where did this story come from?

  32. DCroz says: Feb 12, 2010 3:56 PM

    Yes, Texas going to the Big 10 really makes no sense. Then again, who said sports (and especially college football) made any sense?
    My boss and I were discussing this today while watching the snow come down here in ‘Bama, and we worked out an idea that makes sense–meaning it would never come about in our wildest dreams:
    –Have the current BCS conferences expand to 16 teams, taking what teams they want from non-AQs and letting the remaining 23 teams of the current 119 FBS programs go to the FCS (which is where many of them belong, anyway).
    –Each conference has four four-team divisions, with the conference schedule consisting of games against all three division opponents, all four teams from one other division on a rotating basis, and one team from each of the remaining two divisions.
    –At the end of the season, the four division winners play in a two-week playoff to decide the conference champion, with the winners receiving an automatic bid to an 8-team national championship playoff (six conference winners and two wild-cards).
    –There would still be room for at least two non-conference games on the schedule. Two non-cons would create an 11-game regular season, and as many as five playoff games for a total of 16 games. This is two games more than the current maximum of 14 (12 reg-season + 1 conf champ + 1 bowl) but considering that there are currently up to five weeks between conference title games and the BCS title game, that really should not be a problem.
    (Alternately, you could also create eight 12-team conferences, though the lack of wild-cards in the eight-team national championship tournament might be unsavory to some–especially if you had two unbeatens play in a conference title game with the loser getting left out, while a four-loss team in a weaker conference that gets hot at the right time makes it in.)
    Just a suggestion.

  33. Iceberg34 says: Feb 13, 2010 3:33 PM

    The biggest flaw with Texas is getting the approval of the Texas legislature. I think it would be difficult for this move to benefit the state of Texas unless A&M and Tech were well-situated in a new conference. I would think that A&M and UT would have to be a package deal. What about adding both of them plus Missouri? Or plus Pitt/Syracuse?
    Other points:
    1) Cincinatti, Louisville, Nebraska, and Iowa State would bring nothing to the table financially or academically for the Big 10.
    2) The Big 12 does not have a long history and may be broken up anyway if Colorado moves to the Pac 10.
    3) The Red River Rivalry would 100% continue as a non-conference game. It was that way for 100 years before the Big 12 was created.
    4) I think the leading candidates for the Big 10 are Notre Dame (they are in if they want to), Missouri, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh. Texas is in if they want to but I don’t think they’ll be interested for the proximity reasons. We shall see though.

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