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For Sooners, spinning is winning


On Sept. 3, and citing a university source, the Daily Oklahoman reported that Oklahoma’s sole focus was on a move from the Big 12 to the Pac-12.

Nearly three weeks later?  Psyche!  Gotcha!  Buuurrrn!!!

Less than 24 hours after the Pac-12 announced  it would not expand beyond its current membership, thus blocking OU’s expected conference move westward, what’s being a called a high-ranking OU source told the same paper that the OU/Oklahoma State coalition wanted people to think they were seriously eyeing the Pac-12 when all along they were working in tandem to keep the conference together.  No, seriously, that’s how they’re framing this situation.

“But frankly, we [OU/OSU] wanted the impression out there that we might go to the Pac-12 because that gave us some leverage,” the source told the paper, apparently with a straight face and everything. “We were using that as leverage to say, ‘Hey, you want us to stay? Let’s have some of these reforms.'”

My head… all this spinning… when will the room… stop…

For the record, the word leverage was used six times in that piece.  As someone on Twitter opined, if you have to tell someone you have leverage, you don’t.  Or, as one Pac-12 official said in an email, “that’s was the best laugh I’ve had all day.”

Regardless of how the story is being “framed” in Norman and Stillwater, and regardless of how laughable this double-agent, James Bond spin is, there does appear to be one consistent theme in the here and now: there will need to be some significant concessions made in order to keep OU satisfied, although most of the leverage they were attempting to gain was likely lost when the Pac-12 made its announcement last night.  As has previously been reported, there are a handful of concessions the Sooners, and presumably OSU as Mini-Me to OU’s Austin Powers, are seeking in order to add some stability to the conference.

Among the changes: removing of Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe; adopting common rules for individual networks like the Longhorn Network; phasing in revenue sharing from primary television rights; and requiring a commitment of rights of more than five years from conference schools, which would commit all of their game revenues to the Big 12 during that time and make moving to another league difficult to impossible.

On the issue of revenue sharing, UT athletic director DeLoss Dodds stated today that athletic directors had already approved last spring the equal sharing of Tier 1 and Tier 2 revenues among all conference members; the presidents of the universities have yet to sign off on that item.  One thing Dodds made clear, however, was that sharing revenues earned from The Longhorn Network, which falls under Tier 3 rights, is nonnegotiable.  It’s believed that’s not a major concern of OU as the school has already been working on creating its own network.

The issues surrounding the LHN mainly revolve around the televising of high school football games or highlights, as well as UT’s desire to broadcast an additional football game — a conference game — per season.

Nine of the conferences members, with the obvious exception of Texas A&M, will hold what’s being called a stability teleconference Thursday to begin the process of hashing out the issues that need to be resolved before the Big 12 can begin to move forward.

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20 Responses to “For Sooners, spinning is winning”
  1. auburntigers34 says: Sep 21, 2011 6:37 PM

    so, OU was bluffing, the PAC 12 took their bluff away, but it didn’t really matter because everything’s back to being peachy in the Big 12?

    between the lies and arrogance, it seems like OU and Texas deserve each other. the same goes for their lapdogs(Baylor, Kansas, KSU,Iowa State, and OSU).

    long live the Big 12. the best, most stable conference in America.

  2. phelbin says: Sep 21, 2011 6:40 PM

    This is like the guy who got publicly dumped by his girlfriend, he claims vehemently that it was mutual. Uh….sure…whatever you say, bro.

    Oklahoma got screwed by Texas…again! But they have nowhere to go, so they’re going to make the best of what’s left of the Big12. This five year commitment will patch things together until next summer, when this will all come up again.

  3. southernpatriots says: Sep 21, 2011 6:53 PM

    Money, Lies, and Deceit–Oklahoma, Texas, and each mini-me. Texas spins their LHN to all members. Oklahoma spins their move to the Pac 12. This is too much of the drama, “As the Big 12 Burns.” Oklahoma received an invite by President Slive of the SEC a year ago and about a month ago. OK did not have to use the Pac 12 in his deceit. We wonder if Slive still has that invitation on the table for OK?

  4. lostdupree says: Sep 21, 2011 7:31 PM

    The real moral of the story is this.. If you hear the words “according to the Oklahoman…” Ignore what comes next. Seriously its the worst newspaper on the planet..

  5. wcnine says: Sep 21, 2011 7:38 PM

    The Sooners should have waited for the ring before they hiked their skirt. Just like Mizzou with the Big 10 last year. This conference is a true dysfunctional trainwreck. LOL.

  6. southernpatriots says: Sep 21, 2011 7:44 PM

    wcnine: Candid post, though maybe a different illustration? thumbs up! smile.

  7. wcnine says: Sep 21, 2011 7:58 PM

    Didn’t intend to offend. Just putting a twist on a comment that a OSU booster made about the Tigers last year.

  8. TxGrown says: Sep 21, 2011 8:25 PM

    What did I tell ya…huh?

  9. thefiesty1 says: Sep 21, 2011 8:33 PM

    Ha! They deserve each other.

  10. Deb says: Sep 21, 2011 9:30 PM

    No, JT, no!!!! At least you didn’t post the video this time but just the photo has once again set off the endless loop in my brain …

    You spin me right ’round, baby, right ’round, like a record, baby …


  11. Deb says: Sep 21, 2011 9:34 PM

    @southernpatriots …

    I rest my case. We don’t need this duplicitous garbage or these egomaniacs in the SEC. And remember … it’s the Southeastern Conference 😀 (For some reason, I feel that bears repeating … and repeating … and repeating 😉 )

  12. southernpatriots says: Sep 21, 2011 10:08 PM

    Deb: Send a letter to Slive. He is pushing this interest in Missouri, and especially in Oklahoma. He did it a year ago and about a month ago. Let him know how you feel. If enough fans do this, it would certainly give him pause.

  13. billmead1976 says: Sep 21, 2011 10:47 PM

    Oklahoma just had flash backs to the beat down they took against USC in 2005 Orange Bowl and didn’t want any of that again.

  14. southernpatriots says: Sep 21, 2011 10:58 PM

    billmead1976: Well, then Oklahoma surely does not wish to join the SEC since they were beat down multiple times by multiple teams for the BCS National Championship.

  15. Deb says: Sep 21, 2011 11:08 PM

    @southernpatriots …

    My feelings on Missouri are almost purely selfish and personal. At least Mizzou has Southern ties. But if they don’t vote within the next few days to make a five-year commitment to the Big 12, I’ll be happy to let him know how I feel about Oklahoma.

    Never mind what Slive wants … how do you really feel about bringing into the SEC teams from a state that in no rational, logical way can be considered part of the South?

  16. southernpatriots says: Sep 21, 2011 11:31 PM

    Deb: If the SEC does not expand, the ACC will, the Big 10 will, even the PAC 12 will next year or so. If the SEC does not act wisely, they will find that their tv revenues are down, other conferences have those higher revenues, can pay the best coaches more, and can recruit better athletes, and soon the dominance of the SEC will be waning. We are sure Slive knows this.

    We doubt Slive is limiting his search and scope to the traditional South East, no more than the ACC is limiting themselves to those states bordering the Atlantic Ocean or coast, or the PAC 12 limiting themselves to schools in those states bordering the Pacific. Hopefully, good/great football programs are being considered for their entertainment and viewership value, while others would be considered to expand the recruiting areas and other aspects. There is a need for quality programs which can add to the SEC before these programs/schools are co-opted by other conferences, put into long term contracts with huge exit fees so then they are no longer available.

  17. Deb says: Sep 22, 2011 12:20 PM

    @southernpatriots …

    We’ll have to agree to disagree. If we’re just considering entertainment and viewership value, etc., with no thought for geographic logic, then let’s invite USC. I love that Trojan horse–very entertaining. And they’re in Southern California. No one could deny they’d expand us into a new and very large television market.

    The Pac-12 has had the good sense to call a halt to this nonsense. And I’m not going to panic over the SEC’s future because the ACC has added Pitt and Syracuse. Just can’t seem to recall the last time either of those programs topped the polls.

    If it ain’t broke …

  18. southernpatriots says: Sep 22, 2011 1:52 PM

    Deb: It’s truly a pursuit of money. Money which the conferences and member school presidents can justify by needing it for the federally mandated sports/programs and also for revenues lost from other sources.

    The PAC-12 did not call a siesta because they were wanting to keep traditional and regional alliances or to keep themselves at 12 members. The PAC-12 president was candid. In a tv interview we all watched, he readily admittted that Texas would not amend their network to fit into the PAC-12 contract and pool resources as the PAC-12 will do with the revenues generated by their tv contract.

    The PAC-12 schools were willing to work out getting Oklahoma, OK State, Texas & Texas Tech and this was the point that kept them from accepting these four as new members of the PAC-12. In fact, the door to membership for these 4 schools was left open in the future if Texas changed their minds and were willing to combine the revenues and tv network into the PAC-12.

    They knew they could not allow Texas to have a private tv contract and revenue stream from it while all other PAC-12 members shared revenues. That would result eventually with defections and not be the proper atmosphere to nuture sustainability of the conference.

    The SEC sees itself as potentially losing preeminence and possibly competitiveness in the present and future reality of huge tv contracts enriching the PAC-12 schools, and others schools in other conferences.

    To this point there has not been a problem, but they are looking out 10 years, 20 years, and so are seeing great trouble if changes are not made. These are concerns of SEC member university presidents, Slive, etc. The SEC can remain as it is, be competitive for maybe 4 or 5 more years and by that time see itself like some other conferences as no longer relevant in football. They do not want to lose their present position by not remaining competitiive in the midst of the ocean of money coming into conferences from tv networks.

  19. Deb says: Sep 22, 2011 3:15 PM

    @southernpatriots …

    Then let’s cut off the head of whatever snake in Texas refuses to be reasonable and bring in the Longhorns and Tech. I just so don’t want Oklahoma 😦

  20. southernpatriots says: Sep 22, 2011 3:40 PM

    Deb: There may be a bunch of rattlesnakes in this matter at UT. They should have sent them to Sweetwater for the Rattlesnake Roundup, and skinned and cooked some!

    We understand your concerns (geographical, traditional, maybe some Switzer thrown in) but we also understand Slive and the reasons the SEC member school presidents wanted him to communicate with Oklahoma.

    This mess is not over this year or next. If the efforts to save the Big 12 fail and its implodes in the next 3 years or so, and if the mergers of the PODs schools, the rush to add members by the ACC backfire on them, we will see this stretch out and greatly build up again in a couple of years. That part we don’t like. It will not be over next year.

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