If you're a Texas Longhorns fan and not already reading Burnt Orange Nation, here's a great reason to start headed over there. Peter Bean mused today about Big 12 expansion, and where the Texas Longhorns stand in the matter.
While expansion has certainly been the hot topic around the Big 12 lately, Bean offers some thoughts on why the Longhorns might not be so keen on expanding the conference.
Bean contends that Texas' M.O. isn't to be apart of a super-conference -- and he's 100% correct.
To the extent one understands Texas to be uniquely positioned in all this, the operative questions are quite different. Instead, the primary question is whether expansion strengthens our long-term position, in ways compatible with our revenue model. After the last round of realignment, there shouldn't be any doubt about our long-term plan, and it isn't a race to build the biggest, bestest super-conference. Texas wants a solid, stable, beneficial partnership that allows it to capitalize on its opportunities as the biggest, bestest brand. (Hello, Longhorn Network.) In other words, Texas isn't betting its stakes on being a big fish in the biggest pond; it's betting its stakes on being the biggest individual fish it can possibly be. And that's a crucial point to keep in mind when evaluating whether Big 12 expansion is something Texas is likely to embrace.
Further, Bean accurately points out that expansion might not benefit the Longhorns financially.
Second, and relatedly, and bringing this back to an earlier point: expansion isn't necessarily optimally compatible with our revenue model. Yes, other schools could bring more eyeballs (and other things) to the Big 12, but remember, Texas' actions have made clear that its intentions are not to be a strong player in the strongest alliance.
As I wrote last week, I still believe expanding by two teams to bring the Big 12 conference to 12 members makes the most sense, but there are some salient counter points over at Burnt Orange Nation.
Once the NCAA decides on a potential playoff system, more dominoes should begin to fall regarding conference realignment. Until then, rumors will swirl -- and swirl plenty.