Lo and behold, the latest threat to the Big XII has been neutralized thanks once again to Texas being a bunch of selfish pricks concerning the Longhorn Network. Pac-12 Commisioner Larry Scott no doubt noticed the fact that Texas has been the common link in the two major conference failures in the last 25 years, and took that into heavy consideration when deciding on his course of action.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma is now claiming that their end game in all of this was to fight for the little guy, despite evidence to the contrary. Last night, they held a press conference and announced that a six-year reform deal was being struck in an attempt to save the Big XII. Among the Changes? Well, Big XII commissioner and Texas-appeaser Dan Beebe is gone, replaced in the interim by ex-Big 8 commissioner Chuck Neinas. (For future reference: pronounced NINE-ass) I won't begrudge Mr. Beebe his failures, he was simply found to be an ineffective middle manager of academia at a time when a large influx of cash was injected into the sport, and with it came the sort of people that much cash tends to attract. Beebe was ill prepared to deal with those kind of people, and his strategy of "appease Texas" worked about as well as it did for Neville Chamberlain back in 1939.
(Although the swan song twitter rant of @FakeDanBebee was one for the ages.)
Also on the table was the real cash cow: Television Revenue. We'll have more on the exact numbers for Iowa State later, but the basic breakdown is thus: Until now, Tier 1 rights in the Big XII were weighted in favor of schools who appeared in the Tier 1 games that ABC/ESPN chose to air. (Tier 2 money is currently distributed equally among the conference.) As part of an attempt to keep the league together, the remaining 9 schools have apparently agreed to give a six year grant of their T1 and T2 television rights to the Big XII, even if a school were to head to another conference. This effectively binds the cash cow to the Big XII itself through the end of the next T1 rights contract, and does a hell of a lot more for stability than adding BYU ever would have. Oklahoma has even gone as far as to say that they would be interested in re-negotiating the contract in such a way that the T1 cash would be shared equally as well, something that already occurrs in the Big 10 and Pac 12. Oklahoma would get hosed and Iowa State would get significantly more money, so every Cyclone fan in existence should hope that this thing goes through. (It probably won't though.)
Meanwhile, the expansion committee has been re-activated like some sort of crappy Voltron. TCU would be a prime candidate, but Texas doesn't like that idea. BYU has looked somewhat embarassing in recent weeks, and most of the other good candidates are taken, so Texas may just have to get over it. They're getting to keep the Longhorn Network, so they can be comforted by their piles of T3 money.
While the re-alignment fracas did cause a few waves on the eastern seaboard (Big East founders to ACC), it seems as though the current Big XII is going to try and make this thing work. They have arguably the strongest football conference in the country at this point, and don't have to fly thousands of miles every week just to play their divisional games.
So relax, everyone. The Big XII appears to be stable, Iowa State is 3-0, and it's Bye Week. Kick back, enjoy some great college football, and join us next week for the official unveiling of the new Iowa State home on SBNation, Wide Right & Natty Lite. Next week we can strike a blow at the heart of Texas' firm grip on the league. Until then, check out the top ten matchup of Oklahoma State @ Texas A&M tomorrow, then realize that we have to play BOTH of these teams later this season.