With The University of Oklahoma (along with several others) pushing Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe out the door, their are several sources citing that well known College Football Consultant Chuck Neinas is rumored to be the interim commissioner. Well after giving it some thought and talking with a few friends. I've decided to officially submit my name in the discussion to be Big 12 Commissioner.
With the Big 12 in a land of confusion the conference needs a new voice, a fresh face. Someone who can shake up the landscape of this conference and someone who can change the culture of a conference who is becoming a national joke.
In my eyes their are five important things this conference needs to do to gain respectability across the nation, and it’s these five things that I strongly believe in that will make the Big 12 Conference the strong and united conference it once was. Some schools may not like what I have planned, but I’m not about playing favorites. I’m not Dan Beebe.
1. Institute a buyout clause in each schools contract
First act in office is to make sure all of these schools are committed to staying in the Big 12. None of these “Leverage” and “Bait and Switch” tactics will be tolerated. The move thatwill make once everyone is committed is this, I will institute a 35 Million Dollar “Get out of Jail” clause. If you want to leave the Big 12 ,then it will cost you a pretty penny, so you'd better be thinking about the decisions that you make. So Missouri and Texas A&M, if you want to leave for the SEC, then just swing by my office and get ready to pay up. A majority of the conference’s members are supposedly committed, this will test that theory.
2. Move the Conference Headquarters
Right now in Irving, TX, there is way too much drama, blood and bad vibes. With the fresh start on all fronts, you need to move the conference headquarters and move it to a place where everyone will feel safe. Oklahoma City is too close to Oklahoma and OSU. Kansas City was already a site of the Big 12 Headquarters, and St. Louis is home to the Missouri Valley Conference. So I will move the Big 12′s Nerve Center to Wichita, KS.
Lets take a look at where the other competing conferences have their offices at.
ACC-Greensboro, NC. Population (As of 2010) 269,666. (69th out of 275). 2011 Media Market Ranking (47)
Big East-Providence, RI. Population (As of 2010) 178,042 (131st out of 275). 2011 Media Market Ranking (53)
SEC-Birmingham, AL. Population (As of 2010) 212,237 (97 out of 275). 2011 Media Market Ranking (40)
Pac-12-Walnut Creek, CA. Population (As of 2010) 64,173 (Not Ranked). 2011 Media Market Ranking (Not Ranked)
Big Ten-Park Ridge, IL. Population (As of 2010) 37,775 (Not Ranked). 2011 Media Market Ranking (Not Ranked)
So how does Wichita Compare??
Big 12-Wichita, KS. Population (As of 2010) 382,368 (49 out of 275). 2011 Media Market Ranking (68)
With a rebuilding downtown and new hotels and arena, Wichita is the perfect place for holding the Big 12 Headquarters. The Driving Distance from the Conference Headquarters for all major sports championships is all under 400 Miles. It’s 199 Miles from Wichita to Kansas City, MO and the Big 12 Men and Women’s Basketball Tournaments. It’s 364 Miles from Wichita to Dallas, TX and the Big 12 Conference Title Game in football. The distance from Wichita to Oklahoma City, OK and the Big 12 Baseball Tournament is 166 miles away. I’d like to know if you have a better place to hold the Big 12 Conference Headquarters, I’m waiting.
3. Change The Name!!!!
When I think Big 12 Conference, I think of a weak conference that has been known as a Texas run conference and would remind us of the schools who wanted to leave. You can't change the history, but you sure can change the logo and branding of the Big 12 Conference. It would be one of the more difficult things to do, but with the right people it can be done. The most difficult thing about this process is that there are not too many names you can use, names like Heartland Conference and Central States Conference don’t sound like a BCS League they sound like High School leagues.
4. New TV Deal
Many of you know I’m not fan of the Longhorn Network, but if I’m commissioner, I’ll have to deal with it. So I’ll let Texas keep their precious TV deal. But for the other schools like Iowa St. and Baylor, they need lucrative television deals, as well. I would approach Comcast/NBCUniversal who is among the worlds largest TV distributors and with a slate full of home run sports programming (Notre Dame Football, Olympics, NFL Sunday Night Football, NHL, PGA, Tennis) they still have some room to improve with their other shows (Rugby, Ice Dancing, LPGA Events). It’s not secret that after the NFL season is over, that NBC’s ratings go in the tank if it’s not in an Olympic year. The only thing saving them is the NHL and even then they struggle with ratings when they are battling college basketball. So to raise the profile of the Conference and NBC Sports I present my plan for Big 12 Sports on the family of NBC Networks that will help this conference gain it’s own TV Network, ensuring every single Big 12 event is shown on national TV, a la Pac 12 TV Deal.
NBC-Notre Dame Football and Big 12 Game of the Week leading into ND or prime time game. Coverage of the Big 12 Title Game in Dallas.
Versus-Big 12 Game at noon and have a game at 2:30 or 7
Big 12 Network-Remaining Big 12 Games shown as a doubleheader or regionally
Men’s and Women’s Basketball
NBC-Games on Saturday and Sunday to compete with CBS. Broadcast the semis and final of Big 12 Men’s Tournament
Versus-Games on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Also showcase early rounds of Big 12 Men’s Tournament and entire Women’s Tournament
Big 12 Network-egional games Tuesday-Thursday and doubleheaders on Saturday mixing both Men’s and Women’s Games.
NBC-Finals of baseball and softball tournaments
Versus-Conference games Friday-Sunday (Two match ups, Example, Texas @ Kansas St. Friday/Sunday and Oklahoma St. @ Baylor on Saturday).
Big 12 Network-show 60 Games live and the rest tape delay throughout the season.
Other Sports-Covered by Versus and Big 12 Network.
5. Bring in New Blood.
The last move I make as Commissioner is a simple one; bring in three schools I know that can make an immediate impact on the conference. BYU, Louisville and TCU.
TCU-The Horned Frogs think they will find greener pastures in the Big East, but with the Big East seaming to be going the same rout, I’d make a trip to Fort Worth and convince the Horned Frogs that trips to Lawrence, KS are much more rewarding than trips to Morgantown, WV and heading to New Jersey facing Rutgers in December.
Louisville-Another school that could get lost in the shuffle just like TCU. The difference with Louisville is they have roots playing in the midwest, they were once a member of the Missouri Valley Conference in the 50′s-70′s. Bringing the Cardinals would raise the profile of the conference in a basketball sense and with their high priced arena “AKA” The Yum Brands Center” it would be a great place to showcase the new kids on the block.
BYU-This move is the final move in the puzzle to bring the Big 12 back. They have an open invite to conference and would be a great asset to all sports and give the conference a foothold in the Rocky Mountain region which is Pac-12 Country.
Larry Scott better watch out because there is a new sheriff in town and his name is Andrew Hammond.