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Oklahoma State Football

Bob Bowlsby's Save the Future of the Big 12 Campaign and Today's Statement

September 1, 2021
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STILLWATER – Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby is having to issue a lot of statements these days and while issuing statements is a conference commissioner’s job or part of it, the message in the statements usually is telling in how good a job the commissioner is doing. Here’s the latest from Irving, Texas and the Big 12 headquarters.

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No time with the media, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby has been on a solo mission.

“Following two days of consultation with the athletics directors of the continuing members of the Big 12 Conference, commissioner Bob Bowlsby stated, “The eight ADs remain committed to furthering the Big 12 as one of the nation’s premier athletic conferences and look forward to working with our presidents and chancellors to strengthen the league. Future exploration by the group will continue to center on options that best position the long-term strength of the Conference.”

You want to know what Bowlsby is conveying here, don’t you? Well, our sources have told us that while a committee was convened of athletic directors Kirby Hocutt at Texas Tech and Mack Rhoades at Baylor along with University of Kansas chancellor Douglas Girod and Iowa State president Dr. Wendy Wintersteen, Bowlsby has jumped the gun and kept his travel agent busy. As previously reported by a number of sources including The Athletic, the Big 12 had a huge backlog of information on schools interested in joining the conference from the league’s foray into looking for new members back in 2016. At that time, the conference, primarily at the insistence of Texas and Oklahoma chose not to add schools. Now because of Texas and Oklahoma it is necessary to add schools for the future.

Pokes Report has learned from various sources including those at the schools involved that Bob Bowlsby has visited Provo, Utah and BYU, Orlando, Fla. and the University of Central Florida, Cincinnati and the University of Cincinnati, and most recently stopped in Houston and the University of Houston. No surprise that Bowlsby has kicked up his efforts. He has no idea how long his window will be, but the movement of the alliance of the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten, and Pac-12 has stymied any further expansion of other power conferences for now. The Pac-12 announcing last Thursday that they would table expansion for now. You know he does have a current in-houce consultant in former West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff is on pause for now with expansion.

Pokes Report learned from sources on the West Coast and closely tied to the Pac-12 that the conference commissioner George Kliavkoff favored bringing in a couple of Big 12 schools, schools that could ramp up the intensity of football in the Pac-12. The push back from current Pac-12 members, as we reported last week led by USC, was resolute and started with travel concerns, then went to academic criticism and finally landed on the real cause that they flat didn’t want Oklahoma State and that other school coming in and threatening the top of the conference in football.

We found that interesting, and we’ve been told that Kliavkoff is determined to shake up football and push it toward greater intensity, commitment, and ultimately performance.

Meanwhile, Bowlsby is on his tour and will meet with his eight remaining presidents either Thursday or Friday morning. We initially believed it to be Thursday, but another source today said it could be Friday. Either way, Bowlsby means business to crank up a future framework for the Big 12 to move on from whatever the timetable is that Texas and Oklahoma move to the SEC. Meanwhile, all eight remaining schools are committed to one aspect of this process and that is keeping Texas and Oklahoma playing in the league, paying the proper exit fee, and if they leave before the grant of rights and the current television contract is up, then making sure they collect the television revenue from both schools.

The itinerary of expansion is unknown and likely new schools would be brought in at a later date. There are lots of contingencies involved. The biggest for the Big 12 is how long Texas and Oklahoma were to remain. Bringing in new schools with the approval of the eight remaining schools would not lighten the terms of departure for Texas and Oklahoma.

Quick Look at BYU, Central Florida, Cincinnati, and Houston

Brigham Young University - Provo, Utah                                                                              Enrollment: 33,517; Head Football Coach: Kalani Sitake; Stadium: LaVell Edwards Stadium (63,725);  Record in the 2010s: 77-53 (44th); Avg. TV Viewers per game Last Five Years: 714,000 (46th); Wall Street Est. Value of Football Program: $93.3-million (60th)

University of Central Florida – Orlando, Florida                                                                    Enrollment: 66,183; Head Football Coach: Gus Malzahn; Stadium: Bounce House (44,206); Record in the 2010s: 88-42 (16th); Avg. TV Viewers per game Last Five Years: 566,000 (58th); Wall Street Est. Value of Football Program: $68.2-million (65th)

University of Cincinnati – Cincinnati, Ohio                                                                            Enrollment: 46,798; Head Football Coach: Luke Fickell; Stadium: Nippert Stadium (40,000); Record in the 2010s: 79-49 (37th); Avg. TV Viewers per game Last Five Years: 430,000 (64th); Wall Street Est. Value of Football Program: $30.2-million (77th)

University of Houston – Houston, Texas                                                                              Enrollment: 35,000; Head Football Coach: Dana Holgorsen; Stadium: TDECU Stadium (40,000) Record in the 2010s: 80-48 (37th); Avg. TV Viewers per game Last Five Years: 689,000 (50th); Wall Street Est. Value of Football Program: $41.4-million (72nd)

For comparison:

University of Texas – Austin, Texas                                                                                               Record in the 2010s: 71-57 (57th); Avg. TV Viewers per game Last Five Years: 2.27-million (13th); Wall Street Est. Value of Football Program: $1.105-billion (1st)

University of Oklahoma – Norman, Okla.                                                                                   Record in the 2010s: 109-25 (4th); Avg. TV Viewers per game Last Five Years: 2.9-million (8th); Wall Street Est. Value of Football Program: $885-million (7th)

Oklahoma State University – Stillwater, Okla.                                                                           Record in the 2010s: 93-37 (13th); Avg. TV Viewers per game Last Five Years: 1.64-million (19th); Wall Street Est. Value of Football Program: $271-million (30th)

Discussion from...

Bob Bowlsby's Save the Future of the Big 12 Campaign and Today's Statement

20,090 Views | 47 Replies | Last: 4 mo ago by NJAggie
CaliforniaCowboy
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perhaps you need to first prove that OSU could get $35 payout from some other source. notice the key word you used... prove.

it can't be proven.

does the Pac12 money increase or decrease if we were to join? prove it.

same with any other conference non-offer.
TUSKAPOKE
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What is your proposal that is better? PAC 12 said no to expansion this week. The B1G is not going to happen for OSU. Maybe the SEC? Are blue blood programs like Notre Dame and USC going to come and play in the BIG 12? No. So, do nothing and have a funeral for the BIG 12 and wait for the PAC 12 or SEC to recognize the error of their ways and ask OSU to join or expand into new markets and sell the BIG 12 as a more viable Power 5 conference than the PAC 12? The Sewereners and Shorthorns are gone. Time to shape the future or get shaped by other forces. I would caution the OSU leadership to sign nothing until the market assessment is done and we see if an invite comes from the PAC 12 or SEC.
CaliforniaCowboy
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TUSKAPOKE said:

I would caution the OSU leadership to sign nothing until the market assessment is done and we see if an invite comes from the PAC 12 or SEC.
I'm not sure "OSU Leadership" has a whole lot of control over it. We (OSU) already signed on with the Big12 and assigned our rights to that organization. Now our rights and our future is dependant upon the votes of us, and the other members. We are already signed.

The only other option (which does not actually involve signing, would be to announce that OSU is leaving the Big12 (for whatever reason)).

TUSKAPOKE
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My point is to not sign anything about future TV rights after this deal is up. If a better deal comes from the PAC 12 or SEC, then we are not tied to a decade in the BIG 12.
CaliforniaCowboy
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AustinCowboy88 said:

Will provide us better access to the playoffs is yet to be seen. That is currently a hope strategy.
almost any move that involved getting OU off or our schedule would provide us better access to the playoffs (wink, wink)

esq3164
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I can't provide crap and nor can you and until we hear what is actually being offered for this new conf.
CaliforniaCowboy
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esq3164 said:

I can't provide crap and nor can you and until we hear what is actually being offered for this new conf.
winner winner chicken dinner.

NJAggie
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I don't think anyone has said it would pay that much. It might, I'd like it to.

We're going to take a hit, that's not really debatable. It's just how much of a hit.

We simply have to make the best conference we can and continue to win. Particularly when we get the chance against P5 schools. Budgeting will be more tricky. If the conference starts winning then we'll see the payouts increase.
NJAggie
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TUSKAPOKE said:

My point is to not sign anything about future TV rights after this deal is up. If a better deal comes from the PAC 12 or SEC, then we are not tied to a decade in the BIG 12.
No one is going to be tied by more than a GoR and exit fee. We have to do that, and we'll have to live with those costs, but we can move if the option comes along and is worth it.
TUSKAPOKE
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Correct....those are not up for a couple of years. This expansion will not happen until after that date...unless the buyout happens My point is to not sign any GoR away prior to that date to see what is going to happen. With the expansion there may be pressure to solidify the BIG 12 with an early support agreement. Sign nothing until the smoke clears, we've got the money from the Sewerners/Shorthorns for leaving early, or they are gone after the current deal expires. No TV deals are going to change until then because they want a better idea of what the hell is going on with college football.
NJAggie
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TUSKAPOKE said:

Correct....those are not up for a couple of years. This expansion will not happen until after that date...unless the buyout happens My point is to not sign any GoR away prior to that date to see what is going to happen. With the expansion there may be pressure to solidify the BIG 12 with an early support agreement. Sign nothing until the smoke clears, we've got the money from the Sewerners/Shorthorns for leaving early, or they are gone after the current deal expires. No TV deals are going to change until then because they want a better idea of what the hell is going on with college football.
No one is going to sign a GoR beyond the end of the media contract. Only ISU folks think that's a good idea.
NJAggie
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Houston Chronicle is reporting that their BoD are meeting to vote on submitting application to Big XII on Tuesday. Vote by Big XII expected by Thursday.
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