As the Big 12 opened its annual spring meetings amidst all sorts of speculation regarding some of his member schools flashing some thigh — and maybe a little cleavage — at other conferences, commissioner Dan Beebe was full of confidence that his league would not be torn asunder by the long arms of the Big Ten. Or SEC. Or Pac-10.
Whether or not he has the same outlook at the 2011 edition of the meetings — or even by the end of the 2010 regular season — remains to be seen.
When asked what are the chances that not a single school leaves for another conference, Beebe responded with a resounding “very high”.
When asked why he had such a high level of confidence that schools such as Nebraska and Missouri — rumored to have their bags packed in case the Big Ten comes a courtin’ — and Texas — rumored in several possible scenarios to various conferences — and Colorado — rumored to be of interest to the Pac-10 — would remain loyal to the relatively infant league, Beebe responded that it was “based on conversations we’ve had and the feelings I think have been expressed about the value of the conference and what it’s been for so many in such a short period of time.”
With that said, and with “healthy and productive” conversations as a positive-sounding backdrop, Beebe was not ready to unequivocally proclaim that the league would have the same resemblance this time next year. With negotiations on new television deals set to commence next April, Beebe would like an answer of who’s in and who’s out before the start of those talks.
“I fully anticipate that we’ll understand exactly who we’re dealing with,” Beebe said. “I need to know what apples are in the cart when I go to market and I think we’ll have that by the time we start negotiations, not just by the time we finish it.”
Our guess? Beebe and his conference will have either a much lighter cart, or said cart will have at least a couple of new — if slightly less appealing — apples by this time next year.