I bet Dan Beebe is a nice guy. I bet he's a pretty smart guy. However, even nice, smart guys do really dumb things sometimes.
For example, take Dan's recent apparent "ultimatum" to Nebraska and Missouri. Here are the quotes from Mr. Beebe on 810 out of KC:
"I’ve talked directly with Jim (referring to Big X commissioner Delaney)," Mr. Beebe said. "I understand what he’s doing, where’s he’s coming from. Maybe I would do it similarly if I were in his situation, maybe I wouldn’t. But I’m going to protect our interests. We need to move forward and have a direction people need to buy into and move forward."
Part of having schools buy-in means finding out exactly where these institutions stand on moving in or out.
"We need to come to terms with that. We’re going to head into our meetings in Kansas City and I think we need to have a very frank conversation about where we’re going and who’s going to be on the plane when we take off." Mr. Beebe said. "I will be very direct and talk about that with our membership and want to find out. It would be a shame, given that all boats have risen with this tide that’s been created in the Big 12, for anybody to think they’re going to have a better future somewhere else."
The utter and mindblowing arrogance of this statement in the face of all fact is astounding. His "are you in or are you out" ultimatum is utterly stupid because with the Big 10 package OF COURSE they would be out if that were the other option. The "tides" have risen but they have carried certain schools much higher. The Big 10 has full revenue sharing and Northwestern made 7 million more in football revenue than Texas last year. Think about that. Dan, the absolute shame would be for you to think Nebraska and Mizzou WOULDN'T have a better future in the Big 10. More after the jump.
How about releasing a statement like this:
"There has been a lot of discussion in the media and among fans about the possibility of some Big 12 schools leaving the conference. We want to assure our fans and member institutions that we are working diligently to improve the profile of the Big 12 Conference. We are working on a series of plans, some involving a joint venture with the Pac-10 conference to increase television exposure and revenue to be on par with other major conferences. It is a great time to be a Big 12 conference member and the future is very bright".
The faux "threatening" of Nebraska and Mizzou is utterly ridiculous because they are in a much more powerful position if an offer from the Big 10 is forthcoming. It reminds me of the scene in Holy Grail when the English are threatening the French. And if I were Nebraska I would be farting in Beebe's general direction.
Beebe needs to be super proactive in increasing our exposure and he needs to have plans laid out for a Big 12/Pac-10 network within a month. At least preliminary plans so he can show the member schools startup costs and initial revenue streams. He needs to show them what is being done for their benefit and how being a part of this conference can be extremely beneficial in the future. We in the Big 12 have nothing to pound our chests about which is why he needs to have a plan to present to these schools.
Issuing ultimatums from a position of weakness is not only arrogant, it's foolish. The Big 12 has been good for a lot of it's member institutions, especially ISU. Tides have risen, however things can be MUCH better. It just hasn't risen nearly as much as some other conferences and is not currently poised to be on a level playing field with the Big 10. It's Beebe's job to recognize that fact and present a plan to the schools of how he will improve the conference. It appears currently that Dan is not up to the job, which is bad for the conference and terrible for ISU.