Friday, October 28, 2011

The Big 12 is Stupid

This is what the Big 12 should do and if it doesn't, it is stupid.
  1. Let Missouri go. They don't want to be in the Big 12.
  2. Grab the following schools: West Virginia, Louisville, Cincinnati, Memphis, Houston, Tulane.
  3. Bribe Arkansas with whatever money is necessary to pry them away from the SEC. Give them $30 or $40 million. Lock them into the conference for 10 years. That's only $3 or $4 million a year.
  4. Bundle every school's Tier 3 rights into a set of regional TV networks. So, for example, something like this: A network for all Texas schools. A network for the Oklahoma schools, Kansas schools, Arkansas and Iowa State. A network for West Virginia, Louisville, Cincinnati, Memphis, and Tulane. These networks would have both regional college and high school sports programming. The revenue from these networks would go into the conference "pot" and these networks would make a ton of money.
  5. Go to unequal revenue sharing of conference money. The most important teams get shares of 3. The next tier get shares of 2. And the last tier gets shares of 1 (sorry Iowa State). In the scenario described above, the 3's would be Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The 1's would be Iowa State and Tulane. Everybody else would be 2's. This could be adjusted as need be. And, if Iowa State didn't like this, they could go find another conference.
  6. Have a conference championship game in football. I don't care if Texas doesn't want one. It makes a lot of money and it's a big event. If a school wants to win the national title, win the games that are on the schedule. The winner of the Big 12 championship game would almost always have to be considered for the national title game.
  7. Go to a "pod" based system for scheduling in football and other sports. So, for example, the four pods could be (West Virginia, Louisville, Memphis, Cincinnati), (Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Arkansas), (Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, TCU), and (Texas, Baylor, Houston, Tulane). In football, all the teams in a pod would play each other each year. Each pod would play one other pod each year on a rotating basis. So, for example, Texas would play conference games against Baylor, Houston, and Tulane every year and they would play conference games against the teams in the other pods once every 3 years.
  8. The pod scheduling system described above would result in 7 conference football games each year. That leaves 5 non-conference games for each team. That would allow teams to schedule their "natural rivals" every year. So, for example, Texas could schedule Oklahoma and Texas A&M every year for a non-conference game (if Texas and Oklahoma were not playing a conference game).
  9. The pod system described above would allow the Big 12 to schedule aggressively outside of conference and the Big 12 should make a commitment to do just that. Imagine Notre Dame signing a contract to play 4 Big 12 teams a year for 8 years, each team in the conference gets a shot at Notre Dame at home and on the road during that time.
  10. Also, under the pod system, the far-flung teams would always have 3 conference games with nearby opponents. So, if these far-flung teams scheduled nearby schools for their 5 non-conference games, they would have 8 nearby opponents every year (and 2 of the remaining 4 games would be at home). That would be very good for both the athletes, other students, and fans.
  11. Also, under the pod system, the two divisions of the Big 12 would be different each year. Special names could be given to the different divisions. So, if Texas' pod was playing Oklahoma's pod, that division could be called "Rivals Division" or "Red River Division" or something and the other division in that scenario could be called the "Riverboat Division" or something.
  12. The conference should drop the Big 12 name. The Big 16 is an option. However, I would go for a name that didn't include the number of schools in the conference (in case the Big 12 wanted to do something crazy like go to 20 teams). A lot of good names are already taken (like Conference USA and the Mid-America Conference). I'll leave the list of possible names for this conference as an exercise for the reader.
The above conference would be awesome and it would make a ton of money. It should happen tomorrow (if not sooner). If it doesn't, the Big 12 is stupid.

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