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  1. #1
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    Conference carousel to start spinning again?

    As untrustworthy of a source as you can get, but makes you wonder if something could be coming.

    InsideTide InsideTheCrimsonTide
    Texas A&M could be on the move . Meeting with board of regents Thurs to discuss move to the SEC. That means SEC will shopping for two. SM

    A&M was basically begging to join the SEC last time around, so if the SEC is offering, I am guessing A&M is listening.
    "If our season was based on A-10 awards, there’d be a lot of empty space up in the rafters of the Cintas Center." - Chris Mack

  2. #2
    When just one isnt enough X-band '01's Avatar
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    I don't think they'll leave if Texas is staying put in the Big X for now.

  3. #3
    Supporting Member xudash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-band '01 View Post
    I don't think they'll leave if Texas is staying put in the Big X for now.
    band, you aren't looking at this the right way, IMO.

    The power players behind A&M are furious with what came down with Texas's private Longhorn TV deal, coupled with how things are moving along with the Big XII package. In essence, Texas is sitting with Boardwalk and Park Place with hotels on both and they own the railroads and a couple other properties to boot now.

    That doesn't sit well with a major in-state rival who wants its own glory and respected place at the table.

    I figured the Big XII would crack first because of Texas's overwhelming position in it. I figured that based on the BE having no clear, overwhelming choices for adding new football members. I just didn't think it would happen so soon.

    Wowzer.

    And some stuff from the A&M world:

    http://v4.texags.com/Stories/2411
    Last edited by xudash; 07-18-2011 at 11:06 PM.
    X A V I E R

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by X-band '01 View Post
    I don't think they'll leave if Texas is staying put in the Big X for now.
    I have the opposite view -- I think A&M would love to move to the SEC now that Texas pulled the Longhorn Network power play. A&M has a real inferiority complex toward Austin -- listen to their fight song, for Chrissakes -- and their administration might view this as the only way to one-up UT.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-band '01 View Post
    I don't think they'll leave if Texas is staying put in the Big X for now.
    I think texas has alienated most of the Big X(-II) because of what happened in the last shuffle. Texas not only receives an unequal payout that is more than double most of the schools in the BigXii, they used their flirtation with the pac10 to make the rest of the big xii schools agree to pay to texas all of the buyout money from colorado and nebraska for the privilege of affiliating with texas. Further they were able to use their power to establish their own tv network in which they get to keep all of the profits (think that would have been allowed in any other BCS conference?).

    I think if BigXii teams get a whiff of another offer they are going to go running to get out of Texas's fiefdom known as the Big Xii (Oklahoma excluded).

    Also, what is going to be on the longhorn network? One would think a major draw in texas would be shows on recruiting for the longhorns, however, since it is owned and operated by the Texas athletic department they can't mention or talk about any recruit until they have signed a letter of intent or else it will be considered publicizing recruits, which is not allowed under the NCAA rules.
    "If our season was based on A-10 awards, there’d be a lot of empty space up in the rafters of the Cintas Center." - Chris Mack

  6. #6
    When just one isnt enough X-band '01's Avatar
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    For starters, they're going to have one football game and a select number of basketball games on their network.

    As far as A&M being jealous of Texas's TV deal, they're not unique in that regard. Nebraska was clearly fed up with playing second fiddle to Texas and eventually wound up switching over to the Big 10. If I'm not mistaken, the Big 10 could still elect to add a few teams to their conference down the line.

    At the end of the day, how will A&M do in a conference that no longer has Nebraska or Colorado? Who knows, maybe the Big East could always go after member #18 and give TCU a travel partner...

  7. #7
    Junior JimmyTwoTimes37's Avatar
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    Cmon AM...We need the dominoes to fall if we ever want to get out of the A10
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  8. #8
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    http://aol.sportingnews.com/ncaa-foo...-games-on-hold

    Best line of the article:
    “That would not be a way we want a recruiting advantage," [Dodds] said, according to the Morning News. "This will be a service to high school football. We don’t want it tied to Texas.”
    "If our season was based on A-10 awards, there’d be a lot of empty space up in the rafters of the Cintas Center." - Chris Mack

  9. #9
    Supporting Member muskienick's Avatar
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    This might be an off-the-wall proposition but...
    Could this potential move by A&M also affect TCU's decision to move to the Big East? Considering their recent success on the gridiron, they could be a logical replacement for A&M in the Big 12 or partner with the Aggies in moving to the SEC. Either of those moves would be infinitely better for TCU in so many ways.

    In order for something like this to happen, the chips would have to fall almost immediately.

  10. #10
    Junior JimmyTwoTimes37's Avatar
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    Realignment - Texas A&M Style

    By David Sandhop, the Aggie Scout Publisher -- Published Friday, July 22, 2011

    Latest from A&M's side of things... The Due Dilligence package is complete on both the SEC side of things and on A&M's side. All that is left is announcing. I would expect them to do that after the Football season.

    Realignment - An Overview




    Well, it’s been an eventful two weeks. Actually, this all started 13-14 months ago with the well-publicized conference shuffle that saw Texas A&M nix the Texas-brokered Pac-16 deal, Colorado and Nebraska heading out of the Big 12, and the Aggies flirting with the SEC before agreeing to the promises of Dan Beebe and the new Big 12-2.




    At the time, there was public information that the Longhorn Network (LHN) was certainly in the works and that Texas officials and ESPN were in negotiations. That came to fruition in January 2011, and at the time there was talk of broadcasting high school events. At the time, there was no outcry or inquiries to the NCAA about the feasibility of a university network featuring programming with prospective recruits.




    So, why is there such outrage and resistance now just a month away from the premiere of the LHN? Why is the Texas A&M Administration now concerned about the network and publicly showing “concern” and describing the current status of the Big 12 as “uncertain”? Well, those reasons have become clear after yesterday’s regents meeting, contrary to the public statements made by A&M officials.

    1) The Influence of ESPN

    While the issue of high school programming within the LHN has garnered the most attention and outrage in the media, the shot across the bow that quickly got the attention of Texas A&M and the rest of the Big 12 was the deal ESPN brokered with Fox Sports to buy a Texas game from the conference tier two rights package to place on the LHN. That move clearly signaled that ESPN has growing concerns about the short term success of the network where they have sole business risk to the tune of $300 million in rights fees to Texas along with the upfront investment in a state of the art broadcast headquarters facility in Austin. According to LHN director Dave Brown, ESPN has recruited top talent from Bristol to establish the broadcasting infrastructure in Austin. Initially, Brown indicated a minimum of 60 ESPN employees were relocating to Texas and that at some point the plan is to have well over 100 employees working the LHN. That’s a significant investment for the network, both in dollars and in expertise and manpower. So $300 million is just one component of the investment ESPN has made in the LHN.

    So when the network ran into roadblocks regarding distribution on the two major satellite players and other cable systems were hesitant to add the LHN, ESPN felt they needed to go out and sweeten the pot in terms of programming, and that’s why they paid a hefty sum to money whip Fox Sports into selling a conference game. According to Brown, the network was also trying to pursue a more aggressive approach to high school programming and was looking into broadcasting Big 12 Conference championships and tournaments events not currently covered by existing broadcast partners. For example, Brown mentioned broadcasting Big 12 Baseball Conference Tournament games (Fox only broadcasts the championship game) and other sports championships. He also discussed broadcasting Longhorn road games and having a broader conference reach in programming. Hmm, sounds like the making of a Big 12 Network with a Longhorn logo.

    Clearly, that tells you where ESPN wants to take this network, because a one-team network that sounded great on a business plan doesn’t appear to be delivering on subscriptions and distribution at the moment. And it’s ESPN on the string here, not the University of Texas. They will cash their $15 million check every year regardless of what happens to the network. So ESPN tried to sweeten the pot, and they will continue to look for ways to broaden the national appeal of Texas so they can get more than just Longhorn fans in the Lone Star state to sign up for THEIR network. The first step was buying the conference game from Fox Sports. If ESPN is willing to do that, then what else will they do to ensure that the Longhorns are a vibrant college sports brand that will sell subscriptions?

    How about set-up its preseason two hour special edition of the popular College Game Day on the University of Texas campus with plenty of inside features and goodies about the Longhorn nation sure to get the national audience well-versed in everything Bevo? CHECK.

    How about establishing a comprehensive LHN advertising campaign on the parent ESPN channels? With Texas baseball in the College World Series, how about a media blitz during the ESPN broadcasts of those games? CHECK.

    What’s next? Will ESPN use its first choice of Big 12 games in October to select as its national game the unranked Texas Tech v. Texas contest over the Top 10 matchup between Texas A&M and OU so they can market the LHN nationally? It certainly leaves a lot of gray area and a possible conflict of interest.

    So basically, with half a billion dollars invested by ESPN in this business venture, does the University of Texas become too big to fail? That’s what Texas A&M officials are now wondering after the “leader in sports” went out and purchased a conference game from their own pockets without informing Big 12 officials. So, it was this transaction that first raised the red flag in College Station and started the Aggies down this path of looking at their options and questioning the current conference structure. The high school games issue was simply icing on the cake.


    2) Texas A&M Now has Consensus Moving Forward

    When the winds of change blew last spring and the talk of realignment heated up, the Texas A& administration was quite shocked at the size and level of intensity from the fan base to jump ship to the SEC. However, it wasn’t a consensus. The older segment of the fan base was content with the status quo and staying close to Texas, while the younger market of Aggies who grew up in the Jackie Sherrill and R.C. Slocum era were pushing for life in the powerful SEC. Internally, there were decision-makers in favor of pursuing membership in the SEC, but athletic director Bill Byrne and those associated with the athletic department were not ready to move forward with a move eastward into a more difficult football conference.

    Part of that concern revolved around the fact that Texas A&M simply wasn’t prepared for the events of last year. There had been insufficient financial analysis of such a move. There was insufficient analysis of the impact on the individual sports, and there was insufficient research into the detailed policies and legal ramifications of taking such a significant move in joining the SEC. Finally, there was the uncertainty of political issues and the financial penalties attached to leaving the Big 12.

    In short, Texas A&M wasn’t prepared for such an important transaction and I think the Texas A&M fan base under-estimated this aspect of a move.

    I wanted to give a brief history lesson because it gives the context of yesterday’s Board of Regents (BOR) Meeting. This was not a meeting to vote on whether to leave for the SEC. Actually, that vote doesn’t have to take place. Earlier this year, the BOR formally gave university president Bowen Loftin the full authority to enter into binding contractual agreements regarding conferences and athletic affiliations. So this meeting was really to inform the BOR of the current situation with the Big 12 and also to let them know that due diligence is taking place in case the university needs to make a quick move to the SEC or take any other type of action.

    From my understanding, there was no debate or difference of opinion from any of the key decision-makers from Bill Byrne and the athletic department to the Twelfth Man Foundation to the President Loftin and the administration. The university wants to move forward with its due diligence and IF the situation in the Big 12 with Texas and ESPN remains unsatisfactory, then the background analysis will be complete and a plan of action is clear and it will be swift.

    According to sources familiar with the meeting, the BOR unanimously supported the due diligence initiated by Texas A&M university administrators and supported a plan of action based on the findings of the due diligence and the future actions of the Big 12 Conference.

    In layman’s terms, Texas A&M is currently not happy with the existing structure of the conference, especially as it pertains to the LHN. That has triggered ongoing due diligence on the part of Texas A&M with regard to a potential move to the SEC. If Texas and ESPN continue on the path that is detrimental to the long-term success of Texas A&M athletics, and the university is satisfied with its analysis of the SEC, then a move is likely. According to my sources, the conditions of what was acceptable and what was not acceptable in terms of the LHN and the Big 12 were discussed and agreed upon by the administrators.

    Thus, I was told that Texas A&M has a clear path forward and that certain criteria are in place that triggers action by the university administrators. Texas A&M will give the Big 12 and Texas an opportunity to “walk it back” in terms of the LHN, but consensus from the meeting is that they believe the odds of that happening are small.

    As I was told by a source yesterday, “Last year was all about emotion and the university wasn’t prepared to do anything. This year, it’s about business and the university is unified in moving forward with what’s best for Texas A&M.”

    (Continued)
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