DeLoss Dodds says Texas is staying put and hoping to make bank
Yes, I’ll use any excuse to include the name “DeLoss Dodds” in a title, it’s the best college sports name this side of Foge Fazio. The AP got ahold of the Texas AD earlier today and asked Dodds point blank if Texas was interested in making the Big 10 a 12-team league. His answer:
He said there have been no talks between the Texas and the Big Ten. He said the Big 12 has been a good fit for the Longhorns since the conference started in 1996 with the members of the old Big Eight and four members of the old Southwest Conference.
“I think it’s been a great conference for us and we’ve been good for the conference. Before the (Big 12), we were struggling with recruiting and struggling with all kinds of things. The Big 12 has brought us stability, kept Texas kids in Texas,” he said.
But this was the most interesting aspect of the article to me:
The Big 12 does not have the lucrative TV deals the Big Ten and SEC do, but its day will come, Dodds said. The league’s contracts with ABC/ESPN and Fox Sports Net will be up for renewal in 2015.”
That’s the year we’ve got the leverage,” Dodds said. “It will be the Big 12’s turn.” (read the whole article here)
Does Dodds think that the Big 12 will be able to command SEC type of money in 2015? This past football season marked the beginning of the SEC’s 15-year, $2.25 billion contract with ESPN that coincides with a 15-year, $800 million contract with CBS.
The Big Ten isn’t garnering that kind of coin, but they’re not doing too bad. The Big Ten Network channel grosses roughly $70 million in revenue for the league, a figure that will grow in coming years. The league is also in the midst of a 10-year, $1 billion deal with ABC/ESPN.
Who knows how the broadcasting landscape will change between now and 2015, but I seriously doubt the Big 12 will realize a windfall that approaches even what the Big Ten is currently banking, much less the jackpot the SEC is sitting on.
Big 12 football is a two horse race (the ponies being Texas and Oklahoma) and both of those teams reside in the league’s South Division. Even with Nebraska football showing improvement under Bo Pelini, the Big 12 North is still a wasteland (sorry, Mizzou fans).
I’m not saying the Big Ten is throwing anything superior out there, but they’ve already signed their deal and have nothing to prove. If the Big 12 wants to get more curb appeal for the networks, then schools like Texas A&M, Missouri and Colorado have to break through and become at least infrequent BCS visitors in the next six seasons.