Thirty-five media members are expected to descend upon suburban Dallas this week for the annual gathering of Big 12 presidents and chancellors — more than three times the average number — and not because they’re excited to see whether Baker Mayfield gets another year of eligibility. Expansion is the first word off the lips everywhere from Provo to Storrs with numerous stops in between, but a report Tuesday said all these digital trees slain in devotion to the subject will die in vain.
According to Chip Brown of Horns Digest, the issue has already been decided and the Big 12 will stand pat — both on the membership and television network fronts — for 2016.
“The bottom line is there is no consensus on any non-Power Five candidates to add, and the league’s primary TV partners – ESPN and Fox – aren’t exactly knocking down doors right now to start a conference network, the sources told HD.”
If the presidents haven’t even broken their proverbial bread yet, how could the issue already be decided? With 10 schools, only three are needed to block any movement, and Texas, TCU and Texas Tech were said to be against expansion heading into the meetings.
It’s also possible this report is a trial balloon of sorts, a shot across the bow at a specific group of people in the meeting room.
The only area change could happen, according to Brown, would be to add a championship game. The conference won the right to hold a title game without expanding during the NCAA Convention in January.
A conference championship game is believed to be worth an extra $2-3 million per year per school in television money.