Tap the brakes, says Mark Cuban

Sometimes people get so involved from the inside of things that they don't recognize the impact of what they're trying to do, or actually doing. I think it's getting to that point with conference realignment.

A&M finds the possibility of the Longhorns striking it rich with the LHN so distasteful that it thinks its best move is to high-tail it for a rougher football landscape that offers the exact same third-tier option to its members that made it so mad at Texas in the first place.

Not content with the current pace of movement, Oklahoma seems determined to stand on the street corner and hope the Pac-12 drives by.

And, having launched the Longhorn Network to a large yawn, Texas dreams lovely dreams of attracting Notre Dame in some form to the Big 12, when ND already has walked away from the Big Ten twice, which is both a better academic conference and a much more convenient athletic fit. And then there's the idea that Texas really would like to go the Pac with OU, but can't bring itself to make the first move.

And then there's Missouri, which all but stuck out at its tongue last year at its fellow members in anticipation of a Big Ten invite that never came, and now can't wait to follow A&M into the mouth of the SEC whale.

What to do?

That brings us to Mark Cuban.

I've always thought of the Dallas Mavericks owner as a big-picture thinker with a small-picture taste for competition. He's from the George Steinbrenner mold – which may be why Major League Baseball is so aghast at the thought of him owning one of its teams, and why David Stern may continually regret the day that Cuban bought into the NBA.

Cuban's latest blog thoughts are on what is happening and should happen to the Big 12. He advocates them sticking together, including the Aggies.

Basically, Cuban argues that super conferences 1) will not produce the revenue that schools think they will, 2) hurt football scheduling rather than help, because some games will be pushed onto smaller platforms, 3) hurt records because easy n-c wins will be reduced, 4) kill or limit traditional rivalries (that would be you, A&M), and 5) cause teams that are used to winning to not win as much as they expect.

He says the Big 12 would be have better inventory to sell to networks, with an increase in TV money. They'll have more competition, not less, for what they have to offer in the next round, and they'll have the chance to do something innovative with that extra money, whether it was paying stipends to scholarship athletes or supporting conference members.

He does steer clear of the current league policies on the LHN and revenue sharing, two of the major reasons the B12 appears to be in the mess it's in.

But I find this to be a glass-half-full look at what the Big 12 has going for it, before it's too late.


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