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Conference Realignment Chronicles :: Pac-10 in Lubbock and Report - Big 12 Not Dead Yet

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Pac-10 Visits Lubbock:  LAJ's Matthew McGowan (and also here) confirms that Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott and other Pac-10 officials arrived in Lubbock yesterday (big hat-tip to DTN's own ayleein for the FanPost who snagged a photo of da plane).  No one apparently commented on the meeting except for Chancellor Hance, who really had no comment at all:

Hance declined to comment about whether the university received an official invitation from the conference, but he said he was pleased by the discussion.

"It was a very good meeting," he said, "very informative."

If you want to watch video, the check out KAMC's David Collier or Fox34's Chase Williams.

Report - Beebe Attempting to Save Big 12:  You can find multiple sources, but I'll link to OB.com's Chip Brown and ESPN, which essentially state that Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe is trying to save the remaining ten teams from the Big 12.  Brown's story outlines Beebe's plan, which supposedly includes a television deal that gives each school $17 million, plus each university's opportunity to have their own network.  This obviously very much favors Texas, which again is calling the shots in regards to just about the entire conferences, sans TAMU, and it makes sense for them to consider this offer, however, this seems like a colossal mistake.

Not a mistake from the standpoint that on paper, it looks like a great deal for the Longhorns, but Beebe has clearly shown over the course of his tenure, that he's in over his head.  Although I can unequivocally state that I have no idea what goes on in meetings with regents, presidents, athletic directors and chancellors, I'm guessing that conference stability is a huge part of the decision making process.  As more and more conferences are obviously headed towards the super-conference, the Big 12 would be fine with just reducing their number to ten.  It would be a matter of time before the Big 12 had other teams picked off with a more stable conference and more stable commissioner.  Beebe may not deserve all of the blame, I think that plenty of the demise of the Big 12 falls on the leaders for each university, but Beebe played his hand poorly and that's always been the problem.

More on a potential Friday deadline, Texas state legislature hearings to be held on Wednesday, and more on the possibility of the Big 12 staying together.

DMN's Chuck Carlton reports that the Pac-10 candidates do face a deadline, and the latest deadline is Friday:

All five potential candidates (Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State) are facing staggered deadlines from the Pac-10 to make a decision, a source familiar with the process confirmed. The latest deadline: Friday for A&M.

But what's the delay?  Politics?

State Representative Branch Forces Universities to Meet on Wednesday:  SI's Andy Staples has this from State Representative Dan Branch (R-Dallas) and this makes my skin crawl:

"When you combine education and football," Branch said Sunday night by telephone, "it gets a lot of attention in Texas."

Snip.

"To make a final decision before Wednesday," Branch said, "would not be wise."

Snip.

"I think we'll have some of [the commissioners]," Branch said. "We may have all of them. I'm starting to hear that some of these people realize it will be in their best interests to be there."

Staples goes on to say that all sorts of folks will be showing up for these hearings on Wednesday, including school presidents for Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor, Houston, Rice, UTEP, and North Texas, economists, and lots of other people that will apparently try to sway schools to make decisions not based on what they believe is in their best interest, but what's in the best interest of the collection of state schools:

"If you call hearings, then you're micromanaging," Branch said. "If you don't call hearings, then you're letting it be done in smoke-filled rooms. We erred on the side of letting the public have an opportunity to hear about the proposed realignment and let the people that have been directly involved -- the presidents -- make the case for why change is going to be a good thing not only for their institutions but hopefully also for the state."

How about this, when the Permanent University Fund is opened up to every state school, you know, in the interest of being good for the state and the universities, then I'll listen intently.  I know, Texas Tech still receives funding from the state of Texas, but if we're really interested in making cases why it's good for each university and for the state, let's start with the PUF and move on from there.

And as an aside, the mere reporting of this story essentially breaks my long-standing tradition to not discuss politics on DTN.  Obviously, these political hearings have a tremendous impact on what happens with Texas Tech, so I'd just ask, as I always ask, to keep things on topic, no name-calling, and play nice.

Report - Big 12 Survival is "Significantly Greater":  KansasCity.com's Mike DeArmond writes that if the Longhorns decide to save the Big 12, they'll receive concessions:

 A source close to the realignment negotiations suggested that Texas — the key to league survival in its present form — probably would gain concessions for "getting to play the hero."

It was concessions to Texas — for example, in the form of uneven revenue distribution that allows schools to keep more of their money from TV appearances — on which an unstable foundation was laid when the Southwest Conference and the Big Eight Conference merged.

"There is a price," the source said. "But the price is worth it, or it’s a price we have to pay."

Honestly, this has always been the case and although this is just a possibility, the reason why the Big 12 fell apart was essentially a high stakes game of poker between Nebraska and Texas.  Nebraska asked Texas to be more fair in terms of revenue sharing.  Texas said no, that's not what we want to do.  Nebraska said fine, we'll take our toys somewhere else and play.   Now, Texas has the chance to be a "hero" again.  Personally, I still want to be aligned with the Pac-10, where the revenue would be equal, but that doesn't mean that this is UT's opportunity to be make the remaining members of the Big 12 nothing more than their step-children.  This has been Beebe's problem from the very beginning, he's not afraid to placating to the Longhorns, and I can certainly understand why.  Without the Longhorns, the Big 12 isn't the Big 12, but just like Nebraska, the remaining teams of the Big 12 will and do have options.