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Beebe’s ouster, LHN tweaks could keep Sooners in Big 12

Olive Branch

What was the old saying attributed to Mark Twain, that reports of his death have been exaggerated?

Unbelievably, that late-19th century quote may — may — very well be apropos for the current state of the Big 12 — provided the conference’s most powerful member and the conference itself make some significant concessions.

Citing a high-ranking Big 12 source, the Daily Oklahoman is reporting that Oklahoma is open to remaining as a member of the Big 12 as long as two major conditions are met.

The first condition is the immediate removal of Dan Beebe as commissioner of the Big 12 and the appointing of an interim conference head.  Beebe has long been considered by many observers and those associated with the conference as being nothing more than a puppet whose strings are pulled by Texas and Texas alone.  As the Oklahoman notes, Beebe’s desire to appease Texas as the best hope for long-term stability in the conference is viewed by many as “the wrong decision” and has paved the way for the current mess the league is facing.

“The perception is, he answers only to one school,” the source told the paper. “That does not work. …

“The best commissioner’s a consensus builder. We need a consensus-builder commissioner.  You take the Big Ten, SEC, the Pac-12, their conference office runs circles around our conference in capability, not to mention bias. This commissioner totally cost us Texas A&M.”

And, some believe, Nebraska as well.

The second condition involves, of course, Texas and its beloved Longhorn Network.

The other reform the Sooners demand is Texas and ESPN retreating on some its plans for the Longhorn Network. The UT/ESPN partnership angered Big 12 members on two counts: 1) the network reached an agreement with Fox Sports to move a conference game to the Longhorn Network; and 2) The Longhorn Network announced it would show high school highlights even after the conference voted to keep televised high school games off school-branded networks.

The source said that OU could even push for revenue-sharing of individual networks. Texas is reaping more than $12 million a year from its ESPN contract with the Longhorn Network.

The source also makes a good point in regard to the LHN: UT, if it’s to go west with OU to the Pac-12, would be forced to tweak its network in order to fit into that conference’s regional network model; if that’s the case, why not just remain in the Big 12 with a tweaked LHN as well?

It remains unclear whether Texas would be willing acquiesce on the LHN as part of keeping the Big 12 together, or if the chancellors and the presidents of the member institutions would be willing to oust Beebe in order to prevent OU/OSU from bolting for the Pac-12.

Speaking of the Pac-12, Oklahoma is expected to decide sooner rather than later, perhaps by the end of this week, whether to pursue membership in another conference.  If that happens, Oklahoma State — T. Boone Pickensprotestations notwithstanding — is expected to follow suit.  There’s also the possibility, if OU and OSU do indeed pull the trigger on a move, UT and Texas Tech could follow suit.

The Pac-12 is reportedly expected to vote on whether or not to undergo further expansion this Friday.

That vote may very well be moot before it’s even taken — provided Texas does the unexpected and cedes a significant chunk of the power its been allowed to grab over the past few years.

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46 Responses to “Beebe’s ouster, LHN tweaks could keep Sooners in Big 12”
  1. vegasrobert says: Sep 20, 2011 5:24 PM

    LET DAN STAY!

  2. jaggedmark says: Sep 20, 2011 5:24 PM

    Those are exactly the right demands by Oklahoma and the rest of the conference.

  3. sportsdrenched.com says: Sep 20, 2011 5:27 PM

    This conference reminds of of that guy in Monty Python’s Holy Grail: “I’m not dead yet”, “Yes you are, you’ll stone dead in a moment”..

    If the conference does survive. It should it’s name to The Big Lazarus, or The Big Cockroach.
    Can’t kill it.

  4. bender4700 says: Sep 20, 2011 5:30 PM

    Glad OU finally said what was happening, sad it took it took this long.

    The demands are exactly what needs to be done.

    They are missing one:

    EQUAL REVENUE SHARING!!

    One for All, Not most for some.

    With that said, wouldn’t work. This thing is dead. Let it die.

  5. southernpatriots says: Sep 20, 2011 5:42 PM

    Good demand. If Texas were willing to distribute more funds from LHN and the new Big 12 president/commissioner were a man with backbone, principles, and integrity to stand against inequities they may be able to bring life back to a presently dying conference. We wish them the best to save it, but two major changes are needed: 1) a new president/commissioner; 2) solution to the great inequity produced (or will be produced) by LHN in specific and equal disbursement of funds.

  6. sparty0n says: Sep 20, 2011 5:47 PM

    Is there any chance OU tells the PAC10 we will come, but only if UT does not? The PAC10 wont get UT without OU anyway. And OU just might be pissed enough at UT to work that into the deal.

  7. sparty0n says: Sep 20, 2011 5:48 PM

    Sorry, old habit… PAC12

  8. sportsguygerald says: Sep 20, 2011 6:05 PM

    Maybe OU is finding out they don’t have enough presidential seal of approval votes to be accepted into the PAC 12 and are throwing down Plan B.

  9. bender4700 says: Sep 20, 2011 6:05 PM

    I really think OU is seeing life without Texas, and it looks good. Nebraska has probably been saying “dude, you should try this”.

  10. coopercougarjtk1519 says: Sep 20, 2011 6:18 PM

    This is the dumbest thing I have ever read.

    In 2007 Texas proposed the Big XII pool it’s 3rd tier rights and create a conference network where revenue would be shared. The rest of the conference voted the idea down 11-1 saying they didn’t think there was any value in 3rd tier rights. Now that Texas has shown their is value, all of a sudden everybody wants Texas to share.

    Tell me, are SEC teams whining that Florida has a $100 million deal with Sun Sports for their 3rd tier rights (Sun Sports BTW also broadcasts Florida high school football games)? Where is all the outcry over the $10 million a year UF is banking and not sharing with the rest of the conference because of that deal?

    Second, Beebe was Oklahoma’s choice for commissioner. Texas wanted somebody else, but the votes again went against Texas and Beebe became the commish and now all of these schools that voted to put this clown in charge are blaming Texas for him sucking at his job.

    Oklahoma, like Nebraska before them, is proving to be a bunch of petulant crybabies who would rather whine about the circumstances they are responsible for, rather than actually be proactive, take some chances and lead. They want everything handed to them without having to stick their necks out and take a chance. They can take that noise elsewhere and find something else to whine about.

  11. bender4700 says: Sep 20, 2011 6:25 PM

    *there vs their.

    Sorry, but you look like a total idiot calling others stupid but can’t grasp the difference in there vs their.

    Nebraska said to Texas, create a Conference network, and we stay. They declined.

    Get your facts, and spelling, straight before bashing others. You look really stupid.

  12. thefiesty1 says: Sep 20, 2011 6:27 PM

    OK, DeLOSS. The ball is in your court. What you gonna do? Looks like your LHN wasn’t a very smart move after all. Beebe should resign before midnight tonight.

  13. bender4700 says: Sep 20, 2011 6:29 PM

    Remember when last year Texas and crew declared the big XII better off without Nebraska and Colorado?

    funny people are still stupid enough to bash Nebraska. Their so stupid. Their lack of knowledge, their lack of intelligence. Their just wrong.

    See. Spell correctly before bashing major institutions that have people working for them that probably have double your IQ.

  14. polegojim says: Sep 20, 2011 6:31 PM

    Good job OU…exactly what I’ve been saying…

    Play to everyone’s benefit, or play alone.

  15. WingT says: Sep 20, 2011 6:49 PM

    I would like to nominate Bener4700 to be named acting commissioner of the Big 11. He will represent all members equally and will especially see to it that proper usage of the English language is applied to all Big 11 blog’s .
    :)

  16. Fan On Fire_Maurice Barksdale says: Sep 20, 2011 6:52 PM

    So, the Big 12 will just fire it’s Commisioner because Oklahoma wants him gone? What if Texas doesn’t like the next Commissioner?

    All they’ll need to say is, well you guys fired the last one, because Oklahoma wanted it done, so what about us?

    If the only way the Big 12 can survive is to bend to the will of certain schools anytime they don’t like something, how can it survive long-term? The answer is it can’t. Just put the Big 12 out of it’s misery.

  17. gatorcheme says: Sep 20, 2011 7:14 PM

    I’m not all that up on who said what to whom and when they said it. Nor do quite understand how perfect english in a blog equates necessarily to making a valid point.

    HOWEVER, I would like to second WingT’s nomination and add that I have just had my dose of irony for the day. Thanks.

    @bender4700:
    “funny people are still stupid enough to bash Nebraska. Their so stupid. Their lack of knowledge, their lack of intelligence. Their just wrong.”

    Perhaps you meant:
    “funny people are still stupid enough to bash Nebraska. THEY’RE so stupid. Their lack of knowledge, their lack of intelligence. THEY’RE just wrong.”

    I’ll take a pass on correcting the grammer…it is just a blog, after all.

    Bash on, my friend. :) BTW, if I’ve misspelled something, I don’t care. So THEIR.

  18. WingT says: Sep 20, 2011 7:19 PM

    @gatorcheme

    ROTHFLMAO – great post, lol

  19. halo81 says: Sep 20, 2011 7:28 PM

    @gatorcheme

    I thumbed up you, but you didn’t spell grammar right.

    LOL!

    Sorry, this whole thing cracks me up.

    Anyway, I want to see Oklahoma go to the Pac Infinity regardless, so I’d rather Beebe tell them to go to hell on this (I love the Sooners by the way).

    Let Texas get money. If you’re big enough to do it on your own, do it on your own. If they ever get in trouble there is no one to blame.

    Same thing Notre Dame does.

    Beebe has killed the Big…um…12,11,10,9? Just blow it the hell up now.

    The more the landscape changes the less power the NCAA has over things and I’m all about that. Maybe we’ll even get a playoff!!!???

  20. gatorcheme says: Sep 20, 2011 7:40 PM

    @WingT: Just keepin’ real. I try not to hate. It’s ugly.

    As far as this business with the Big XII goes, it all comes down to increasing revenue for all the schools. The broadcasting networks are creating this new environment. UT saw it coming, that’s why they wanted to make a deal early on for the conference. When that didn’t happen, they tried going solo with LHN. More power to them. Nothing happens in a vacuum, though. They’ll reap as they sow.

    The PAC12 voting to expand is a formality. They’ll do it. The ACC is already headed to 16. The SEC will do the same. The Big Easy…er…East had better move fast before they start crumbling, too. It won’t be long before we start seeing more stuff out of the Big10. All that expansion will mean that some conferences aren’t going to survive.

    I’d like to see more universal alignment toward superconferences. They’ll each have a conference champion, which could help set up something resembling more of a playoff system. I just worry that it may also create even more inequality between the major football schools and the ‘little sisters of the poor’. Which is what happens when the whole system is driven by revenue without any real controls like you see at the professional level.

  21. gatorcheme says: Sep 20, 2011 7:44 PM

    @Halo81:

    Yeah, I’m the absolute worst speller in the world. I’m too lazy to run spell check on everything. :)

  22. WingT says: Sep 20, 2011 7:51 PM

    gator,
    Do you think the Big 10 expands? If so who will they go after? They probably can have THEIR pick. Mizzou wants in bad and may be off the the SEC – they prefer the Big 10 – will Delany and group reconsider?

  23. mhalt99 says: Sep 20, 2011 8:03 PM

    Why is Texas even in a conference? The reality is they may be in Notre Dame territory with their following. At what point do you just cut a direct deal with ABC or CBS…or even with NBC where you agree to schedule games that do not conflict with Notre Dame’s?

    If Texas is all powerful this seems like the best outcome for everyone.

  24. gatorcheme says: Sep 20, 2011 8:05 PM

    I think all conferences who are interested in expanding revenue (At least to the extent that each school will see a higher average $$$ over the years) will expand. The superconferences will need ‘anchor’ schools that can consistently win on the national level. That’s not an issue for the conferences that are expanding today. The Big 10 will want a sip of that Kool-aide, too.

    As to who will go where? Hmm…my spelling skills indicate that I lack the intelligence to ferret that out. Mizzou would be a fine addition, though.

  25. WingT says: Sep 20, 2011 8:20 PM

    gator – agree

    Mizzou wins no matter which of the 2 conferences they end up in

    You’re right about the little sisters of the poor being left out – not good imo.

    It would be best if there is a way to create a playoff.

  26. gatorcheme says: Sep 20, 2011 8:27 PM

    @mhalt99:

    Longhorns could go independent and be successful, but I don’t really see it. The Irish are seeing a bit of a skid in their stock. I’m not up on the deal with NBC or how long it supposed to last, but eventually it’s going to catch up with them. Their independent status drives their recruiters nuts. They only have the prestige of the school to fall back on. “Hey, Kid. Wanna compete for Florida? Wanna play in the toughest conference in the nation?” Many can argue the correctness (or lack of it) of the above statement, but guess who’s not going to South Bend next year…

  27. baylolor18101 says: Sep 20, 2011 8:33 PM

    I love how these whacko libs at OU and Texas A&M keep pushing for Texas to share the wealth. Whats up with socialism coming for a right wing school like TAMU?

    Let the free market work bros and take this commie crap back to the USSR!!

    Countdown to 20 Baylor wins is on!!!

  28. bender4700 says: Sep 20, 2011 8:44 PM

    @gator

    my post with “their” was mocking the other idiot. It wasn’t that hard to figure out.

    and thanks for the nomination WingT.

    As new Commissioner of the Little 8 I hearby invite Boise State, Houston, TCU, and Southern Miss.

    I also hearby install a “Everyone makes something” Policy. Everyone splits what we pull in as the new Big XII.

    Wait.. that’s way too effective and smart. I quit.

  29. bender4700 says: Sep 20, 2011 8:51 PM

    with Mizz going to the SEC, what is there to save?

    You can’t lose St Louis and Kansas City and expect OU to stay.

    OU can keep their recruiting hold in Texas, then gain the Los Angeles/California market.

    Doesn’t OU feel more of a Pac-12 school anyway? OSU and Texas Tech definitely do.

  30. bender4700 says: Sep 20, 2011 8:57 PM

    mhalt99 says: Sep 20, 2011 8:03 PM

    Why is Texas even in a conference? The reality is they may be in Notre Dame territory with their following. At what point do you just cut a direct deal with ABC or CBS…or even with NBC where you agree to schedule games that do not conflict with Notre Dame’s?

    If Texas is all powerful this seems like the best outcome for everyone.
    ______________________________

    Supply and demand. Is their demand for Texas nation wide?

    They couldn’t sell their ESPN ran network, why the hell would ABC, NBC, CBS, or even Fox agree to air their games as an IND. They would have to get 12 teams to agree to play them. 5 or 6 easy, but they’d need 6 or 7 BCS level teams. If not more.

    Texas isn’t big enough for IND. They are not a religion. They are not a 100 year program with stacks of National Titles. They are not a huge national draw.

    It’s funny, how many times people post Texas game ratings. They always forget their are TWO teams playing. People care about OU v Texas. Not just because it’s Texas. People don’t care about Texas v North Texas nor Vanderbilt, nor Purdue, nor Washington State, nor Iowa State, nor Kansas State, nor UConn, nor …. you get the point.

    MATCHUPS draw ratings. Hear that Texas, YOU NEED someone else to be a draw.

    Has Texas vs (any mid level or below team) been a top 10 rated game? No.

  31. WingT says: Sep 20, 2011 8:58 PM

    @bender4700 – nicely done :) You were wise to step down as the new commissioner under those circumstances, lol

    Interesting times. I wouldn’t rule out the Big 11 holding it all together

  32. gatorcheme says: Sep 20, 2011 9:01 PM

    @bender,

    Sorry, dude, your sarcasm was a little too subtle for me. ;) You did give me a good laugh (intentional or not) So thanks for that.

    Peace. :)

  33. bender4700 says: Sep 20, 2011 9:15 PM

    haha

    I was just messing with the guy.

    Do you guys have twitter? You should follow “fake dan beebe”. @DanBeebe

    Great read.

    Almost as funny as @pimpbillclinton

    If you take this place, or anything too serious you will be sick.

  34. WingT says: Sep 20, 2011 9:41 PM

    Bender, I’ll check those out – never followed them

    Try theonion dot com – it’s as funny a read as you will find on the net

  35. pandebailey says: Sep 20, 2011 9:48 PM

    Bottom line – everybody would be smart to avoid at all costs being in a conference with Texas…..or one with Notre Dame.

    Given their money, their TV networks and worst of all, their mammoth egos, both teams are absolute death to any conference they might join – they attract worthless Dan Beebe’s like a moth to an Austin yard light. Both should be sentenced to being independents…..for the benefit of all other schools.

  36. stanklepoot says: Sep 20, 2011 9:59 PM

    Oklahoma, like Nebraska before them, is proving to be a bunch of petulant crybabies who would rather whine about the circumstances they are responsible for, rather than actually be proactive, take some chances and lead. They want everything handed to them without having to stick their necks out and take a chance. They can take that noise elsewhere and find something else to whine about.
    ____________________________
    Wow Cooper, you really have no idea what you’re talking about. Do you have any idea of the windfall that Nebraska is reaping from their move to the Big 10? The additional football revenue is small change in this deal, and they’ll make much more than they ever would have even if UT shared money from the Longhorn network or reworked the revenue split. Nebraska is being accepted into a very restricted and elite group comprised solely of Big 10 members and the University of Chicago (an original Big 10 member). This group controls Billions of dollars in research grants, and distributes that money amongst its members. That research money in turn moves these universities to the top of the list for the best professors in the nation. So, not only will Nebraska’s athletics programs benefit from the move, the university itself and the quality of the education received by its students will also improve. That’s a rather serious win all around. If OU can benefit even remotely as well as Nebraska by making a move, they’d be fools not to do so. If UT wants to play lord of the manor in the Big 12, then so be it. They’ll just end up playing with themselves.

  37. artisan3m says: Sep 20, 2011 10:12 PM

    Oklahoma has already made the decision to head West. This is a scenario they hope creates some cover for their decision. Bebee is not going to resign and UT is not going to restructure their TV package revenues. Boren knows this and is counting on the obvious outcome. UT will stay in the Big-12 and the league will reform without the Okies, it will survive, and it may even become stronger in the process. If Texas stays, T-Tech will stay. The conference will pick up two pledges before spring drills and life will go on.

  38. bender4700 says: Sep 20, 2011 10:21 PM

    @wing

    Onion is solid. Good reads.

    OU is trying to prevent the blame, but come on, who the heck is MAD about the Big XII collapsing?

    Big Four is coming.

  39. stanklepoot says: Sep 20, 2011 10:31 PM

    WingT says: Sep 20, 2011 8:20 PM

    gator – agree

    Mizzou wins no matter which of the 2 conferences they end up in

    You’re right about the little sisters of the poor being left out – not good imo.

    It would be best if there is a way to create a playoff.
    ________________________
    There’s an easy way around that problem, at least as far as a playoff system is concerned. Start off with 4 superconferences: SEC, Big 10, Pac whatever, and ACC. Each conference champ gets a playoff bid. After that, create two wild-card type of playoff bids. These go to the two highest ranked non-conference champs. If that includes a 2nd team from one of the superconferences, fine. If it includes an independent or member of a lesser conference, that’s fine too. So, you allow for a possible inclusion of schools like TCU or Boise St., and by using the national polls as the means for their selection, you appease the sports media. Once you have your 6 playoff teams, you give the two highest ranked a bye week, and the other 4 teams play. Those two winners face the two higher ranked teams and the winners of those games play for the national title. That gives you 5 total games that can take the place of the traditional major bowl games so that those cities don’t suffer a major loss of revenue. You can have a series of other bowl games leading up to the playoffs so that the lesser bowl game venues aren’t left out. The lesser schools will still be at a disadvantage given the fact that they don’t tend to be as well funded, but that’s always been the case anyway.

  40. stanklepoot says: Sep 20, 2011 10:54 PM

    artisan3m says: Sep 20, 2011 10:12 PM

    Oklahoma has already made the decision to head West. This is a scenario they hope creates some cover for their decision. Bebee is not going to resign and UT is not going to restructure their TV package revenues. Boren knows this and is counting on the obvious outcome. UT will stay in the Big-12 and the league will reform without the Okies, it will survive, and it may even become stronger in the process. If Texas stays, T-Tech will stay. The conference will pick up two pledges before spring drills and life will go on.
    __________________________
    Really? and who will they get that’s going to bring them anything of value? They lost a historic program with a national following when they lost Nebraska. They’re losing TA&M. Now it looks like they’re likely to lose OU and OKST as well. What schools are they going to be able to get? They’re not going to convince anyone to leave the Big 10, SEC, Pac 12, or even the ACC to come to a conference so focused on lining UT’s pockets. Boise St. might sound like a nice splash (if they could even get them), but that’s only until you realize that they don’t bring you a market of any real size. So, with all the losses, you lose Nebraska’s national following, you lose Denver with Colorado, you lose St. Louis and Kansas City with Mizzou, you lose Oklahoma’s following, and all you’re left with is Texas. Granted, Texas is a huge state, but it doesn’t replace the region they’ve lost…and they already had Texas. If OU does love, then unless UT moves to another conference (which they won’t be able to gear so fully towards themselves), they might as well be independent, as the Big 12 won’t be able to bring them anything they don’t already have. I just hope UT’s fans are very generous, because the only audience they’ll have to draw from is Texas. I really don’t see the Longhorn Network getting any play in Big 10, SEC, or Pac 12 country unless UT ends up in one of those conferences.

  41. stanklepoot says: Sep 20, 2011 10:57 PM

    self edit: meant “leave” not “love”

  42. aztecjim says: Sep 20, 2011 11:01 PM

    Just cut to the chase NCAA…let’s make it the Western 24 and the Eastern 24…

    4 – six-team divisions in each league…two bowl games in each league for division champs (Rose / Fiesta in the west…Orange / Sugar in the east). Plus one league championship game…and one “college super bowl” to decide a national champion.

    It’s going in this direction anyways…why waste more time?

  43. burntorangehorn says: Sep 21, 2011 1:40 AM

    John, I noticed that you didn’t mention that Beebe was the candidate Oklahoma wanted, not the one Texas recommended. I know such nuances are lost in the echo chamber of faux outrage, but there you have it. Texas didn’t want Beebe in the first place, and he’s hardly a Texas puppet.

    In fact, it’d be really interesting if you’d look at the history of Big 12 conference decisions. They haven’t been unilaterally influenced by Texas, as it seems you think. Remember the 2008 voting? Remember the Texas proposal to fix the tie-breakers that the conference refused to adopt? You can recycle the statements that Texas has been leading Beebe and the conference by the bit, but it’s not true.

  44. burntorangehorn says: Sep 21, 2011 1:44 AM

    southernpatriots, why would Texas distribute any proceeds from the LHN? Texas proposed a conference network years ago, and no one but Nebraska voted for it. Texas proposed a Lone Star Network to share with tamu, and Bill Byrne scoffed. So Texas and ESPN invested a lot of their own capital in a Texas-only network that is completely outside the conference media contract. It takes zero money out of the pockets of other conference members. Can you give me any logical reason why Texas should share the proceeds, then?

  45. burntorangehorn says: Sep 21, 2011 1:50 AM

    bender, it’s hilarious watching you criticize others for their spelling. It appears you have no idea how to correctly use “there,” “their,” and “there.”

    As for your other delusions and false claims, there are just too many. Stop the disinformation campaign.

  46. aztecjim says: Sep 21, 2011 9:21 AM

    In addition to the 2 – 24 team leagues…there should be a provision to drop the bottom 2 teams from each league into the “mid-major” division and bring up the top 4 teams from the “mid-major” division into the top tier…this way a “mid-major” program like Boise St. / TCU / Utah / BYU has a chance to move up while the perenial bottom tier programs like Vandy / Kentucky / Kansas / Wash St. / Duke etc won’b continue to bring down the quality of the upper division…

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