Pac-12 Decides Not to Expand; Future of Big 12 Remains Uncertain
Sweeping conference realignment appeared to be put on hold Tuesday night when Pac-12 presidents and chancellors decided to keep the conference at 12 teams.
It had been widely speculated that Oklahoma and Oklahoma State would apply for Pac-12 membership and could be followed by Texas and Texas Tech. However, sources close to the Pac-12 say the deal fell apart when the conference, which currently requires an equal split of television revenue, was unable to reach an agreement with Texas over the sharing of revenue from that school’s Longhorn Network. Without Texas as part of the package, the Pac-12’s appetite for expansion waned.
Oklahoma President David Boren said the long-term stability of the Big 12 was his ultimate goal, but he also wanted certain reforms to the conference, including the ouster of Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe and Texas relenting on its plans to carry high school content on the Longhorn Network. However, without the threat of leaving for the Pac-12, OU’s bargaining power is seriously eroded and sources now say that Oklahoma and Texas are close to an agreement that would keep them both in the Big 12 for at least the next five years.