While the grandstanding of Texas and its Longhorn Network can't be ignored when diagnosing the woes of the Big 12, money - specifically a long term, high dollar television rights contract that allows for all members to profit at least somewhat equally - is still the largest issue at hand.
The conference announced today that it had passed an agreement to start spreading the wealth a little less lopsided, the only real option to keep the Big 12 alive. But this is not time modesty - The conference even threw in a spot of self-congratulations, that despite its recent losses, the Big 12 is still a coveted destination for many universities. Yay, more realignment wildfire!
The Board is encouraged by the number of institutions indicating interest in the Big 12, which reflects positively on the standing of the Conference within intercollegiate athletics.
Fair wages AND a popular destination! But is the suddenly reformed Big 12 enough to keep Missouri? Today's Kansas City Star repeatedly uses the word "stability" - not money - to define Mizzou's desired outcome, something that not even a television deal can necessarily guarantee after three nationally respected programs have left the conference in two years:
The Pac-12 came to this notion late, but it’s there now, and it’s a reason why Texas and its network weren’t welcome.
The Big 12 is working toward this approach, and an announcement on equal revenue sharing of its largest TV contract income could come soon.
But twice having been driven to the brink of collapse, the Big 12 cannot assure long-term guarantees, no matter how many years of television rights are signed over to the conference.
Sounds like a little more humility still might be due before Missouri meets tomorrow to determine a course of action for its future.