July 2, 2010

Will the Big 12 survive in its current form?

At the College Football Roundtable each week, we ask each member of the college football coverage staff for their opinion about a topic in college football.

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said on Rivals Radio this past week that he didn't think the Big 12 "will last long because there is too much disparity between all the teams." Your thoughts?

I totally agree. That Texas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M will get a greater portion of the TV revenue means an unequal playing field from a budget standpoint. Because of that, I don't think any school will win a Big 12 football title aside from one of those three, creating more discord. This league essentially will be "The Big Three and Little Seven." What makes the SEC and Big Ten the best leagues is equal distribution of resources. It's all about "united we stand, divide we fall." The Big 12 is a fractured and dysfunctional family that isn't united and is doomed to fall - as it almost did last month. And nothing has changed to mollify the have-nots.


Tommy Tuberville might not throw the ball 50 times a game at Texas Tech, but at least he's speaking his mind like former Red Raiders coach Mike Leach. I agree with Tuberville. I can't see the Big 12 being able to sustain itself when one school holds this much power and collects that much money compared to the rest of the league. After flirting with the idea of 14- and 16-team leagues this summer, one or all three of the Pac-10, Big Ten and SEC will look to expand again in the next few years. Once the other nine schools have the carrot of a more level playing field, I don't see the Big 12 holding together.


I think he's right. I also think the reason he reportedly has been dressed-down by school officials and even Big 12 officials is that they know he's right. When every other Big Six conference divides TV revenue equitably, it stands to reason that - eventually - a majority of the teams in the Big 12 (or whatever it will be called) are going to get fed up. If the SEC sees fit to treat Vanderbilt like Florida and the Pac-10 sees fit to treat Washington State like USC, is it any wonder why Iowa State and Missouri are going to say, "Enough is enough"? True, other leagues aren't beating down the door to get to those types of schools. But that wasn't Tuberville's point. His point was there is disparity, and it's too bad he evidently was roasted for saying something almost everyone believes is true.



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