Just as Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds hinted at last week, Big 12 AD’s are set to meet today and tomorrow to discuss what will likely be some form of continuation of the stability teleconference Big 12 officials partook in last week.
With new interim commissioner Chuck Neinas in full-fledged consultant mode and Texas A&M officially a member of the SEC, the Big 12 still has to sort out two major issues: revenue distribution and membership.
How the conference will decide to divvy up the first and second-tier revenue streams from ABC/ESPN and FOX is still a point of concern; the press conference disconnect between Missouri and Oklahoma last week over the six-year grant of TV rights to the conference was hardly a confidence booster for Big 12 survival.
As we touched on yesterday, that revenue-sharing disconnect may have traced back to last spring when Texas, A&M and Oklahoma reportedly shot down the idea of granting first and second-tier TV rights to the conference.
In regards to membership, the Big 12 will need at least 10 members to avoid any financial penalties with the upcoming Big 12 Network, and to continue as a viable product for their TV rights distributors. Who that 10th member will be — Air Force, BYU, Louisville, TCU and West Virginia have all been mentioned by Big 12 officials or by way of the rumor mill — is still unclear.
Equally uncertain is whether Missouri will be a member of the Big 12 at all when they do expand. Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com tweets that the Big 12 is still waiting on a commitment from Mizzou even as the meetings get underway. The rumor mill has been churning for the past couple of weeks about a possible move by Mizzou to the SEC. SEC commissioner Mike Slive has stated that the conference is satisfied at 13 members, although it’s thought that both parties were engaged in some form of back channel discussions over possible membership.
Hopefully, we’ll get some sense of which way Missouri is leaning as these meetings get underway. Right now, though, the Tigers are a wild card.
Neinas was prepared to make a stop in College Station to visit with A&M just before the Aggies left for the SEC. He might want to push his trip to Columbia forward to as soon as possible.