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Cy of Relief

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  • If Mark Twain authored this blog, he’d write, “Rumors of the Big 12’s death were greatly exagerrated”. Plus, the blog would be a lot better.
  • Various reports had the Big 12 down to five teams by Wednesday, but for me, it always came back to one question: Why would Texas want to leave the Big 12? The Longhorns have it good, really good, and you knew it would only get better if the Longhorns stayed.
  • ISU AD Jamie Pollard was right. He said he thought the Big 12 would stay largely aintact, though Pollard acknowledged it was out of Iowa State’s control. That’s not completely true, as Pollard was one of the players convincing Texas to stay.
  • A number of you have asked how the Big 12 could suddenly come up with millions it didn’t have a few weeks ago. I think it’s a lot like the experience many of us have had in our professional lives (for me, not at channel 13). You go to the boss, make your case, ask for a raise, but you’re told there’s no money. Later you go back to the boss to turn in your resignation, you have a better paying job offer, and suddenly like magic, the unavailable money appears. It’s called leverage. 
  • Ultimately, Texas went with the devil it knew, versus the devil it doesn’t— though many see Texas as the devil of the Big 12 (maybe less so now).
  • It’s a great sigh (cy?) of relief for Iowa State. It’s a helpless feeling when you can’t control your own destiny, and there was no option on the horizon for ISU better than the Big 12 remaining intact. It’s also good for the state of Iowa as a whole, not to mention sportscasts, sports talk radio, and SoundOFF.
  • Define irony: The Big 12 has 10 teams, the Big Ten has 12. This may allow Alanis Morissette to finally figure it out.
  • The Big 12 will likely play a 9 game football schedule, and an 18 game basketball schedule, so everyone plays everyone else in football, and everyone plays everyone home and away in basketball. This is one real positive. I’m with Kirk Ferentz, you should play everyone in your conference. Can’t do that with 12 teams. Well, you can, and should, but no one wants to give up those extra home games and easy wins.
  • The Big 12 will have to give up the championship game in football. Hard to imagine this lasting too long with all that money going unclaimed, but Nebraska and Colorado will help for a couple years, thanks to the buyout money they owe (up to $20 million).
  • The Big 12 just became a better basketball conference. Losing Colorado and Nebraska is addition by subtraction (not true in football).
  • Tom Osborne said Friday, “One school leaving a conference does not break up a conferences. Two schools leaving a conference does not break up a conference. Six schools leaving a conference breaks up a conference.” Correct.
  • Most Nebraska fans laughed at Chris Hassel’s way over-the-top SoundOFF spoof of Cornhusker fans. Anyone who took that seriously probably thinks pro wrestling is real.
  • Moving forward, one cautionary tale from conference armageddon: the use of unnamed sources in news stories. At one time or another, and to varying degrees, Joe Schad at ESPN, KCTV and WHB in Kansas City, and even the lead reporter accurately breaking most of the news, Chip Brown at Orangebloods.com, were all burned by unnamed sources. All are reputable and do good work, and I don’t doubt the sources were well placed and well intended, but when someone doesn’t go on the record, you can never be sure what their motive or agenda is. With no accountability, those sources are more likely to be reckless on a fluid story like this one (i.e. “It was true at the time I told you.”). I’ve used unnamed sources, and though I haven’t been notably burned, everyone in journalism should pause and reflect. The era of social media is mostly a good thing, but the rush to be first is pressuring reporters to forget their tenets. 
  • Schad looked noticeably uncomfortable after backpeddling like Darrelle Revis. He’s a good reporter who should hang in there. Ten days ago, Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe had the body language of a BP exec, and now he’s a conquering hero. This too shall pass.
  • Texas used reporters, conferences, and schools to get exactly what it wanted: far more money, and the potential for its own TV network.
  • Aren’t you glad this is (seemingly) over? I’m exhausted.

9 comments

  • saul

    So if the Big 12 remains a conference, and Texas gets to form their own tv network with uneven revenue sharing, the Big 12 basically becomes the major league baseball of college football. Texas being the New York Yankees, and ISU being the Kansas City Royals. I know that the athletes aren't paid directly, but recruits base their decision on the quality of the institution. More money = higher quality across the board, and the gap will widen every year. If I were Pollard, I would use my position wisely, and not agree to anything without a level playing field.

  • Anonymous

    More money for ISU is far more important than more money for Texas. We will be brought up to par as far as facilities go.

  • saul

    How will making 8 million less than Texas, 7 million less than Oklahoma, and 7 million less than every Pac 10/ Big 10 school each year in tv revenue help ISU in the long run? The standard for par will be raised and ISU will fall further behind in their ablity to recruit quality players. Texas and OU will be at an unfair advantage and the result will be more bowl revenue. Pollard needs to band together with KU and K-State and demand a revenue closer to what all the other major conference participants are making. If he accepts it the way it is the Cyclones worst loss of the year will be off the field.

  • Anonymous

    @saul

    Look at is this way.

    What has the biggest impact? Going from 85 million to 100 million or going from 5 million to 20 million?

    There is a point where the return of more money diminishes.

    We (ISU) need to at least be able to offer what Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and other surrounding colleges can offer to athletes.

  • saul

    Im not a Cyclone fan. I am a Hawkeye fan, so we doesnt apply. If your AD has any value he will reach out to KU and K-State to stand together for a better price.
    What would happen if you were a recruit and you had your choice of playing at an upgraded Jack Trice or a Jerry Jones type stadium? Still think a few million different doesnt matter? How much loot would it take to get Paul Rhoades to go to Colorado if he goes 11-1 next year?

    With the offer the way it is now ISU is not able to offer what Iowa, Nebraska, Minn or CU offers because ISU is starting 7 mill back each year.

    Good luck keeping a quality coach long term in Ames on a non competitive budget.

    Im glad Im a Hawkeye fan, because ISU is getting taken for a ride.

  • lgold

    I don't think that Shawn, the other guy that posts, who predicted the end of the Big 12 is relieved. In fact I think lots of the Iowa Press was disappointed when the Big 12 was revived. Does it seem unfair that Texas gets so much more than my beloved ISU? Yes, but it beats getting left behind. At this point we'll take it and get prepared for what happens next…with our additional funds from the new deal our AD made. I think he has a great deal more information than we do on the deal.

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