This is not news, as it has been all over CFB twitter. While some folks are quick to call the conference a joke, they did manage to get the cash from their TV partners. That was the entire purpose of this excercise in the first place.
The plight of the Big 12 is not really a concern of North Texas — at least not directly. The trickle down effects we would experience as the G5 teams adjusted to the new landscape would be of concern. Right now we can rest easy, as the new deal with Fox and ESPN should quiet these rumblings until the next TV deal expires.
The 17 schools that will make their presentations to the Big 12 include Cincinnati, Houston, BYU, South Florida, UCF, UConn, Memphis, Colorado State, Boise State, Tulane, Temple, East Carolina, SMU and New Mexico, sources said.
My gut tells me two will be BYU and Houston, thanks to the latter’s politicking. The article also mentions that Big 12 expansion to 14 is ‘unlikely’ which is great news for CUSA. If the AAC were to lose just one team from its stable, they may stay pat. And even if they did poach a CUSA member — like a Rice or Marshall — CUSA would likely not feel the need to grab yet another Sun Belt squad.
The conference already has announced plans to start a football championship game next year, which could mean another $25 million to $30 million in revenue. Absent a conference channel, the only other way for the Big 12 to significantly grow revenue in the near term is to add schools and activate that pro rata clause in its media contracts.
That kind of cash grab, sources say, is rubbing ESPN and Fox the wrong way because any new schools would not carry the profile of most power five schools, which is what the networks are paying for.
If ESPN and Fox were willing to pay an extra $50 million, they’d already be paying it to the AAC, BYU, or CUSA. This tells us that it is correct to think the bubble is close to bursting and that this conference realignment will not be so easy as declaring a move.