Eat, or be eaten

A moment of truth from Bob Bowlsby:

It sure feels better when it’s your conference doing the ditching than when you’re the one left picking up the pieces.


Filed under Big 12 Football

17 responses to “Eat, or be eaten

  1. ericstrattonrushchairmandamngladtomeetyou

    Bowlsby needs to quit crying and get aggressive. Add Houston and a team like UCF and much has that conference really lost? Houston is a big school in a 6 million person media market. UCF is one of the biggest universities in the nation and also in a giant media market. Both are itching to get into a P5 conference. In fact, the Big 12 should use this as an opportunity to expand to a minimum of 12 members by raiding the American. Memphis and Cincinnati are obvious targets. They all want in a P5 conference badly and I don’t see the SEC, Big 10, PAC 12 or the ACC offering to take any of those 4.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mr. Rush Chairman, I would agree with you in the good old days of cable (although Houston doesn’t really add a bunch of new eyeballs on a Big 12 media deal). It’s all about brands right now in the streaming world, and every valuable brand is now tied up somewhere else (or, in the case of ND, has decided no conference brand is worth the association of their football program).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    I remember when the Big Ten poached Maryland and added Rutgers. My first thought was huh? Took a while to realize that it was about major market broadcast rights, not football programs. Although Rutgers and Maryland have a decent year every so often.
    But it’s still sweet to think of Rutgers and Maryland as Lonny and Jugdish.

    Liked by 2 people

    • SSB Charley

      It was about two things, both of which were related to TV revenue: the major market broadcast rights that you mentioned, but also the revenue scheme produced by the Big Ten Network. The BTN charges carriers outside the Big Ten footprint $.10 per subscriber, but $1 per subscriber in the Big Ten footprint. In states as big as the Big Ten’s footprint, that’s a ton of cable subscribers subsidizing the Big Ten at $1 a pop. Thus you add the NY metro area and the DC metro area, and there’s OMG more cable subscribers.

      Except that now, so many people are cutting the cord that I’m not sure it will remain all that effective of a revenue model in the long term. As this merger shows, TV money in the future is going to be more about content and less about the number of people in your footprint from whom the conferences can engage in rent-seeking behavior. The remaining 8 in the Big 12 can’t produce the content that anyone actually wants to pay big dollars for.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tony BarnFart

        But I think the theory of many (myself included) on today’s various posts is that the Big12 now needs addition, even if imperfect, in a way that’s decidedly different from how stable conferences analyze a potential candidate in 2021. Namely, those 8 would be better off by adding the most successful G5 brands. The scrappy NY6 party crashers that have always been capable of knocking off a bigger brand. Yes, their legacy media markets are irrelevant and have long since been dominated by their P5 neighbors, but in the streaming world the gutted Big12 needs to go for the best available compelling matchups factor. Adding SMU and Houston as natural rivals to Baylor and TCU could be fun stuff if the league as a whole can sustain some competitive moxy.

        Of course the flipside is to have 5 very strong non-conference games per year, but I think an 8 team conference is going to flirt with not getting a playoff invitation unless they’re all able to schedule Bigly in the non-conference and walk away with wins. The better play is to add Houston, SMU, Memphis, Cincinatti, et al.


  3. I’ve given Bowlsby grief in the comments section here many times. He isn’t wrong on this comment. If you look at all of the conference realignment over time, it has always been a 2nd tier program to make a move (other than the merger of the Big 8 and the SWC). The Big 12 has always been the weak sister in the Power 5 because of the way they don’t work together. The difference between the B12 and the other leagues is that the other leagues have multiple (more than 2) big brands willing to work together.


    • gastr1

      The difference has always been that Texas has wanted to be the overlord where other schools wanted to do more power sharing. It is why A&M, Nebraska, and Missouri got out. Texas has flirted with leaving the conference for forever too. So the biggest fish in said pond made it virtually impossible for the conference to be stable. It’s been imperiled virtually from its inception, and Texas was mostly so unattractive to be in a conference with that it was not going to recruit away other P5 schools.


      • Maybe this is one of those times when the bond of the schools under the SEC mattered. The power programs in the SEC have always operated with the mindset that we’re better together. The arrogance of those from Austin made that impossible.


    • It’s just a matter of whose oxen are gored.


  4. gastr1

    Also moved…the Nebraskas and the Colorados, who I guess are about like your Rutgerses and your Marylands.


  5. Ran A

    It may be 10 years before people finally quit bitching about this


  6. W Cobb Dawg

    That moment you realize you’re the commissioner of the top schools in flyover country.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 123 Fake St

    I bet Bowlsby would do just about anything to have Missouri, aTm, Colorado, and Nebraska rejoin the conference.

    Dan Bebee deserves far more blame than Bowlsby is getting. Bebee let all four walk away to other conferences.


    • 123 Fake St

      Bebee was the previous commissioner


    • Texas Dawg

      You are correct. Bebee’s incompetence put the BIG 12 on life support and the plug was finally pulled under Bowlsby’s watch. It did not help that the BIG 12 was never the big twelve. It was always the BIG 2 and the LITTLE 10. Unlike the SEC where all eat equally from the trough, the pigs in the big twelve all had smaller feed troughs then Texas and OU. Texas was loud and demanding and OU never used their clout to help reign them in since they benefited as well. The T-sips are going to have culture shock when they demand something and the rest of the SEC schools tell them to shove it up their collective assess. The big twelve NEEDED Texas and OU so they could get away with their demands most of the time. Hell there was even talk of giving UT and OU a larger piece of the TV contract pie to try and entice them to stay. The SEC WANTS them but DOES NOT NEED them. Here they are just 1/16 each. UGA, ‘Bama, LSU…hell even #FTMF, Auburn, and now TAMU have just as much national name recognition as they do. That will be a first for them.