Good News for Big XII: The Romans Didn't Invent a Zero
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So just how vulnerable is the
Southwest Big Eight Big XII Conference to extinction these days?
Oklahoma president David Boren is getting restless, and that's ominous.
He sees the obvious, that Texas has chased away quality members in the past: Arkansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri, and Texas A&M.
It now appears he's hinting not so subtly that unless the Longhorns become more of a team player, more schools are bound to bail.
Then again, as a scholar of high repute, perhaps Boren is more embarrassed by the fact that X is not XII and would rather leave the mathematical disconnect to That Conference Up North.
While there are schools who would jump at the chance to join -- is that a roll of quarters, BYU? -- unless the Longhorn Network itself expands, any other change is irrelevant.
And what are the odds of Texas letting go of it?
It could well be that there are no bigger fans of cord cutting than IX of the Big XII.
- ESPN is losing households in droves as more viewers go à la carte,
- Its joint venture with Texas on the Longhorn Network is taking its own bath, so
- If papa corp Disney tells ESPN to chop more budget, it's possible Texas would relent and its network would go away.
The problem is a conference network would be just as susceptible to cord cutting, and only expansion in to vibrant new markets would increase membership's coffers. But what's available?
- The Houston Cougars would be no-brainers, but that market's already covered by all the other in-state conference teams,
- The Cincinnati Bearcats live in the nation's 34th-ranked TV market, and
- BYU's Provo-Salt Lake City market ranks only one spot above Cincinnati.
Perhaps Boren was right again when he said the league blew it by not inviting Louisville, Maybe they're only 50th on the TV list, but the Cardinals are a national brand in three sports.
Ironically, Texas pushed hard for an invitation to Louisville. But other than that, they've not been too excited about change. And ultimately, if the likes of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State get fed up with it all, that might change the Big XII right out of existence.