Big hat-tip to Gus Mitchem who was listening as Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville opined that the Big 12 was not meant to last. You can find the audio here if you want to listen for yourself (lots of good discussion about the offense, James Willis and recruiting), hat-tip to Dr. Saturday's Matt Hinton. The thing I found fascinating was that there is literally no prompting by the host as to Tubs' thoughts on the Big 12-2. Tuberville simply launches into his criticisms of the conference and the commissioner. Seems a bit planned or intentional on Tuberville's part. . . Here's the meat:
I just don't think this conference will last long because there's just too much disparity between all the teams here. I've just noticed that – in the SEC, for instance, Vanderbilt makes as much money in the TV contract as Florida. Everyone is good with it, everybody's on the same page, gets the same amount of votes.
That doesn't happen in the Big 12. You've got some teams that get a little bit more money, have a little more stroke than other teams. And when that happens, you're going to have teams looking for better avenues to leave and reasons to leave. And so we have a 10-team league now, but I just don't know how long that's going to last, to be honest with you.
Being here for six months, I've just kind of noticed there's just not a lot of camaraderie in this league like you have in the SEC. ... It starts with the commissioner. And I think (SEC commissioner) Mike Slive has done a good job. (Former SEC commissioner) Roy Kramer did a good job of building a base where everybody was on the same page. And that just has not happened here in the Big 12. It's just a matter of time, to be honest with you, unless they get everybody on the same page.
For those that think that Tubs is simply speaking out on his own off the cuff, go back and read the article from LAJ's Matthew McGowan about the realignment from a Texas Tech perspective (published over the weekend). Chancellor Kent Hance essentially said the same thing, but he wasn't on Rivals Radio:
"I know some of our fans get upset on certain things about UT, but they are the 800-pound gorilla whether we like it or not," Hance said, reiterating how closely Tech works with Texas on legislative matters in Austin. "The other thing, we have some things where we help them and others where they help us from time to time. We have to work with them."
I'm not at all surprised that both Hance and Tubs are echoing the same sentiment. I found it odd when Hance mentioned that he wanted to discuss the unequal distribution of some of the conference members and Commissioner Dan Beebe said that this wasn't going to be on the agenda. To refresh everyone's memory, here's what Hance told the Austin American Statesman's Kirk Bohls and Cedric Golden:
Hance said the presidents also will talk about controversial future television revenue-sharing, specifically whether the league's five smaller schools — Baylor, Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State — give up part of their shares of the expected future Fox television package to Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma until those three reached a revenue level of $20 million in a year.
Beebe denied that the presidents would discuss such a proposal.
If Beebe refuses to address the topic, then what other options does Texas Tech have?
I don't know of any other university or administration that is banging this drum about the unequal revenue distribution and I find that odd, perhaps because those other universities feel lucky to be where they're at. In any event, it wouldn't surprise me in the least to think that Hance, despite his open criticism wasn't enough, that to ask the head football coach to speak up about the fact that he doesn't think the Big 12 will last and that the revenue doesn't help the conference as a whole.
Tuberville's railing on Beebe, the Big 12-2, the unequal distribution of revenue and the fact that Texas controls the entire situation isn't anything new, at least from a Texas Tech perspective. And what's the worst thing that could happen to Tuberville? Is Beebe going to tell Tubs and Hance that they need to be quiet and fall in line? I'd love to see Beebe do that. I'd love to see Beebe address Hance's and Tuberville's concerns about the health of the conference and the unequal revenue distribution. I'd imagine that you'd be waiting a pretty long time for Beebe to do anything without the express written consent and permission from the University of Texas.
And for the record, I know that UT controls the process and I don't begrudge the Longhorns for doing what's best for them, but if they really want a situation where they would like their cake and to eat it too, then become independent.