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|Big 12 Conference|
|Established||February 25, 1994|
|Division||Division I FBS|
|Sports fielded||(men's: 10; women's: 11)|
|Region||West South Central States, Midwest|
Appalachia (West Virginia)
|Big 12 Conference|
|Established||February 25, 1994|
|Division||Division I FBS|
|Sports fielded||(men's: 10; women's: 11)|
|Region||West South Central States, Midwest|
Appalachia (West Virginia)
The Big 12 Conference is a ten-school collegiate athletic conference headquartered in Irving, Texas. It is a member of the NCAA's Division I for all sports; its football teams compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS; formerly Division I-A), the higher of two levels of NCAA Division I football competition. Member schools are located in Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia.
According to the Big 12 Conference's website, the alternate names "Big Twelve" and "Big XII" are incorrect. The trademarked name of the conference is Big 12 Conference, notwithstanding the Roman numeral XII featured on the conference logo. The current Big 12 Commissioner is Bob Bowlsby.
(See chart below)
|Baylor University||Waco, Texas|
|1845||Private||15,195||$1,003,929,000||1996||Bears||||Judge / Bruiser||16||4|
|Iowa State University||Ames, Iowa|
|1858||Public||33,241||$612,283,000||1996||Cyclones||||Cy the Cardinal||16||18|
|University of Kansas||Lawrence, Kansas|
|1865||Public||30,004||$1,250,443,000 (System-wide)||1996||Jayhawks||||Big Jay / Baby Jay / Centennial Jay||16||13|
|Kansas State University||Manhattan, Kansas|
|1863||Public||24,378||$337,460,000||1996||Wildcats||||Willie the Wildcat||14||0|
|University of Oklahoma||Norman, Oklahoma|
|1890||Public||29,721||$1,212,023,000 (System-wide)||1996||Sooners||||Sooner Schooner / Boomer and Sooner||19||27|
|Oklahoma State University||Stillwater, Oklahoma|
|1890||Public||23,307||$681,744,000||1996||Cowboys/Cowgirls||||Pistol Pete / Bullet||16||55|
|University of Texas at Austin||Austin, Texas|
|1883||Public||51,195||$2,800,000,000||1996||Longhorns||||Bevo / Hook 'em||18||50|
|Texas Christian University||Fort Worth, Texas|
|1873||Private||9,142||$1,191,900,000||2012||Horned Frogs||||Super Frog||18||5|
|Texas Tech University||Lubbock, Texas|
|1923||Public||33,111||$900,000,000||1996||Red Raiders||||Masked Rider / Raider Red||16||1|
|West Virginia University||Morgantown, West Virginia|
|University of Colorado||Boulder, Colorado|
|University of Missouri||Columbia, Missouri|
|University of Nebraska||Lincoln, Nebraska|
|Texas A&M University||College Station, Texas|
Full members Other Conference
The Big 12 Conference is the second youngest of the major college athletic conferences in the United States, having formed in 1994 from a merger of one of the oldest conferences, the Big Eight, with four prominent colleges from Texas that had been members of the Southwest Conference. From its formation until 2011, its 12 members competed in two divisions. Two charter members left the conference in 2011, and in 2012, two more universities left, while another two joined from other conferences. In 2012, the Big 12 formed an alliance with the Southeastern Conference to host a joint post-season college bowl game between the champions of each conference, which would eventually become the Sugar Bowl.
A lot of factors laid the groundwork for the formation of the Big 12.
On June 27, 1984, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in NCAA v. Board of Regents of University of Oklahoma that the NCAA could not punish its membership for selling their media content. As a result, individual schools and athletic conferences were freed to negotiate contracts on their own behalf.
The Big Ten and Pacific-10 conferences sold their rights to ABC. Most of the rest of the Division I-A football programs (what is now called the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision) chose to sell their rights together through an organization called the College Football Association to ABC and CBS. The primary function of the CFA was to negotiate television broadcast rights for its member conferences and independent colleges.
By 1990, the television landscape had changed and a number of the stronger programs saw opportunities for better deals outside of the CFA. Notre Dame left the CFA and sold their home game broadcast rights to NBC.
When the Southeastern Conference invited the University of Arkansas and the University of South Carolina to join the conference in 1990, it created shockwaves across the CFA. The other conferences in the CFA correctly assumed the SEC made these additions to create a better TV product with the idea of leaving the CFA.
The SEC represented one of the more valuable assets in the CFA. It seemed likely if the SEC departed, the other conferences could have quite a difficult time securing good TV deals.
After Arkansas' departure from the Southwest Conference, the SWC and Big Eight Conference recognized they were in a poor position in this new era of conference TV deals. The rival SEC, with about 18% of the nation's TV audience, had a very strong TV position. The Big 8 had 8.1% of the nation's TV audience. The Texas based SWC had an even weaker hand with only 6.7%.
In February 1994, the Southeastern Conference announced that they would be leaving the CFA and negotiate independently for a television deal that covered SEC schools only. This led The Dallas Morning News to proclaim that "the College Football Association as a television entity is dead". In 1995, the SEC and the Big East broke from the CFA, signing a national deal with CBS. The SEC would earn a staggering $95 million from the deal. More significantly, this change in television contracts ultimately would lead to significant realignment of college conferences.
For decades the Southwest Conference (SWC) was one of the most dominant football conferences in America. In terms of football, it was seen as a peer to other elite conferences like the Pac-10, Big 10, SEC, and Big Eight.
Then pro football came to Dallas and Houston. Football attendance at Rice, SMU, TCU, and Houston collapsed. For over two decades, the SWC membership struggled with the issue. In 1974, Texas Monthly's Paul Burka wrote a lengthy article detailing the collapse of revenue at Rice, Houston, SMU, and TCU and suggested it would lead to a collapse of the historic conference. This would be the first of many articles of this type leading up the conference's collapse in 1994.
The three programs with the strongest fan support, The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Arkansas, and Texas A&M resented having to play less lucrative games in conference in front of very small crowds. Further every time a team went to a bowl game, the lion's share of the revenue was given to the schools who did not go. The big three were subsidizing the conference. The big three began to voice their frustration in the media.
In response to these pressures, the SWC schools with the smaller budgets felt a more pressing need to win to keep fans coming in. They began paying top players to come to their schools. In the 1980s most of the SWC schools spent some time on probation for rule violations. SMU was given the death penalty for their rule violations.
By 1986, SWC schools' NCAA penalties and bowl game ineligibilities had begun compromise the SWC brand, driving top Texas talent out of state. Even the top schools which had mostly stayed clear of trouble found their recruiting diminished. After years of SWC schools doing well in bowls, they suddenly could not compete with the elite schools of other conferences. A Dallas Morning News article by Kevin Sherrington written on December 18, 1986 stated:
"Recruiting experts say the allegations have chased Texas` home-grown talent to other conferences. And while other conferences raid the state, the SWC stays at home, making do with a shrinking talent pool. Earlier this month, seven of the Dallas area`s leading recruits—including running back Barry Foster of nearby Duncanville, Texas, The Dallas Morning News' Offensive Player of the Year—said they no longer were interested in the SWC, calling it 'shaky' or 'screwed-up.' Said Bennie Perry, a defensive back from Bryan Adams High School in Dallas: 'You couldn`t pay me to go to a Southwest Conference school, because they`re getting into too much trouble.'" 
As sanctions began to sap the quality of play at the top of the conference, The big three began to actively look at other conferences. In attempts to appease the conference powers, the other members made a lot of financial rule changes, eventually including allowing home teams to keep their gate revenue (Gate revenue was a much larger portion of operating funds in those days). These efforts fell short of satisfying the bigger issues UT and Texas A&M had with the SWC, but would appear to have played a role in UT's position going forward on revenue sharing.
Eventually, Arkansas departed for the Southeastern Conference. The SEC comprised primarily rural public schools that drew well and the conference had a much larger share of the nation's TV markets. As game day attendance and TV revenue drove athletic budgets, The SEC represented a much more financially sound conference.
UT Athletic director DeLoss Dodds reflected on the importance of the departure of Arkansas with San Antonio Express-News writer Mark Wagrin, “What had to happen, [was] there had to be a crisis for change.”  Arkansas' athletic director Frank Broyles told Wagrin that Broyles was encouraged to leave by UT's and Texas A&M's leaderships because it would destabilize the conference, allowing them to follow the Razorbacks out the door. The leaderships at UT and Texas A&M believed they would never be allowed to leave first. (In the summer of 1990, word would leak of Texas and Texas A&M thinking of following Arkansas into the SEC. Reaction in Texas would be very negative, with politicians threatening both schools' funding before the idea was tabled.)
The Southwest Conference could not find a replacement its membership would agreed upon. The private schools were in denial of the depth of problems facing the conference. They suggested simply replacing Arkansas a public school, with private schools BYU or Tulane as Arkansas's replacement. With four Private schools and four public schools already in the SWC, adding either choice could potentially give the private schools a voting majority in the conference.
Private or not, UT and Texas A&M were dead set against replacing Arkansas at all. The NCAA sanctions and Arkansas' departure made the conference appear broken to fans in Texas. Texas and Texas A&M's leaderships felt the conference was inherently flawed with too many mouths to feed off too few TVs. Adding a single school was not going to change that dynamic, it would only create the public perception of a healed conference and prolong UT and Texas A&M's suffering. With UT and Texas A&M unhappy, no help in the form of new schools on the way, and no meaningful concessions left for the private schools to give, the SWC stared into the abyss.
Arkansas leaving the legendary Southwest Conference and Penn State joining the Big Ten created a sense of fear in most of the conferences in the CFA.
Missouri had shown interest in Big Ten membership after Penn State joined. Around 1993, the Big Ten explored adding Kansas, Missouri, and Rutgers, or other potential schools, to create a 14-team league with two divisions.
In the early 1990s, Texas looked westward and had discussions with the Pac-10, a conference with similar academic views. An affiliation with the Pac-10 appealed to UT leaders. Former UT president Robert Berdahl told Mark Wagrin of the San Antonio Express-News “Texas wanted desperately the academic patina that the Pac 10 yielded... To be associated with UCLA, Stanford and Cal in academics was very desirable.”  The Pac-10 wanted to add UT and the University of Colorado. For some reason, an offer didn't come until after the formation of the Big 12.
Some reports state the Stanford refused to vote to admit UT in an effort to protect the Cardinal's conference dominance in non-revenue sports. (The Pac-10 required unanimous votes for expansion.)
(At the end of 1994, UT's Athletic Director Deloss Dodds, as he was in the process of turning the Pac-10 down, would state that the Pac-10 leadership informed UT they would have a standing invitation for the Longhorns. What is unclear, is when the Pacific-10 made that offer, although Dodds did use the word "always" in describing the offer.)
One report stated that the offer was changed to UT and Texas A&M. UT reportedly tried to carry Texas A&M with them into the Big 10, so it does seem possible that UT may have pushed for that change. It does not appear that there was ever Pac-10 support for that idea. This change allegedly upset the leadership at Colorado and drove them to take a more active role in the survival of the Big Eight. (Colorado's Chancellor James Corbridge was also the Big Eight chairman. He would be very involved with the TV negotiations for the new conference and the integration of the Texas schools.)
UT then approached the Big 10. The Big Ten turned down UT because the conference had recently instituted a self-imposed moratorium on expansion.
Texas then turned to the SEC. UT had advanced negotiations with the SEC. UT's leadership abruptly terminated negotiations when it became clear that the SEC did not share Texas's views on the need to strive for academic excellence among members. Berdahl told Wagrin, “We were quite interested in raising academic standards... And the Southeastern Conference had absolutely no interest in that.”
Texas A&M had flirted with the SEC since the late 1980s. In 1993, Texas A&M had approached the SEC about joining partnered with the University of Houston, but the SEC did not consider Houston a good enough candidate and passed on the idea. UT had already given up on the SEC and Texas A&M's leadership didn't want to try leaving the SWC on their own before UT. The SEC moved expansion plans to the backburner.
Then UT's interests turned to the Big Eight. The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Oklahoma's leaderships both looked favorably on the idea of being in the same conference, but it was not either school's only option. Former Kansas State University president Jon Wefald has voiced fears that if UT had joined the Pac-10, there would be no way for the Big Eight to ramp up their TV payouts in order to retain the University of Oklahoma. The Big Eight feared OU would join the SEC for more lucrative TV payouts.
The Big Eight had been in pursuit of some kind of alliance with the Southwest Conference since Arkansas's departure destabilized that historic conference.
The Big Eight and SWC members saw the potential financial benefits from an alliance to negotiate television deals, but a true alliance of 16 teams which would retain the seven other SWC schools was not viewed as optimal by UT. Dodds and the Longhorn leadership viewed proposals of this sort as continuing business as usual in the SWC. Arkansas's departure was the opportune crises that would allow UT and Texas A&M to clear four or more less profitable dates from their football schedules and eight or more from their basketball schedules.
For years the Big Eight could not interest UT in a merger. Without Texas to ensure the retention of Oklahoma, the Big Eight was not interested.
There were reports at the end of 1993 of discussions of the Big Eight potentially adding BYU and only half of the SWC, with SMU, TCU, Rice, and Houston being "priced out" of the new conference.
In spite of the end of 1993 news report suggesting four SWC schools might be invited to join the Big 8 schools, The deal had not been accepted. After the SEC announced their intent to leave the CFA, the Big 8 and SWC members re-opened discussions to sell their rights together. "The Baylor Project" by Barry G. Hankins and Donald D. Schmeltekoff (page 68) states that on February 11, 1994, there was a meeting between SWC member schools' leaders and a few Big 8 leaders in Dallas where discussions of potentially selling both leagues' media content in a package deal was discussed. Discussions with media partners broke down on February 16, reportedly over UT's interest in the Pac-10. The Big Eight began negotiating a deal that would not include the full SWC as a partner and Texas A&M approached the SEC.
In Texas, word leaked out that UT & Texas A&M were close to leaving the SWC; UT to the Pac-10 or Big Eight and eventually Texas A&M to the SEC. Texas state senator David Sibley, a Baylor alum and member of the very powerful Senate Finance Committee, approached UT Chancellor Bill Cunningham and asked him pointedly whether UT planned to leave the SWC on its own for the Big Eight. Cunningham tried to change the subject. Ultimately he did not deny it.
Sibley approached LT Governor Bob Bullock, a Texas Tech and Baylor alumni and probably the most feared and powerful man in Texas politics at the time. Texas state senator John Montford of Lubbock was equally motivated to protect Texas Tech's path to the Big 12. The trio put together a cabal of Tech and Baylor legislators who worked to threaten Texas and Texas A&M's access to the state of Texas's Permanent University Fund.
Bullock called together a meeting of cabal legislators as well as UT's and Texas A&M's leadership on February 20, 1994. UT Chancellor William Cunningham admitted Texas planned to join the Big Eight --- UT's path to the Pac-10 had not materialized as the Pac-10 was not interested in pairing UT with any other SWC schools --- and A&M's leadership still hoped to be invited to the SEC.
A deal was worked out where all four schools would go together to the Big 12. A&M was convinced not to pursue membership in the SEC (LSU was prepared to sponsor the Aggies) in return for Bullock finding the votes to approve the construction of Reed Arena. Baylor and Texas Tech would join the Aggies in coming with UT into the new version of the Big Eight.
(Texas's Governor Ann Richards, a Baylor and UT alum, is often credited with getting Baylor included, but while she was informed she was conspicuously absent from the February 20 meeting and there are no investigative reports out there that confirm her active involvement. In fact several sources like "The Baylor Project"(page 66) make a point to report that Richards, a national politician, made an active point to present herself as neutral in the dispute. Richards' own former Chief of Staff, John Fainter, is on record saying "She just was not involved to any great degree in working that out...I'd have to say she was informed, but she wasn't pounding the table or anything like that." Richards was aware of the public perception of her involvement and the thought amused her.)
UT officials informed the Big Eight leadership that the Austin school was now receptive to an invitation and the Big Eight issued invitations to Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, and Texas Tech. All four schools quickly accepted.
At the time of the deal, Texas politicians denied any coercion took place. Over the years, Texas based investigative reporters looking into the formation of the Big 12 consistently challenge that notion. The idea that the Bullock and the state government coerced A&M to join and forced UT to take Tech and Baylor to the Big 12 has constantly been downplayed by Cunningham, but former UT president Robert Berdahl told Wagrin very pointedly that UT was threatened by a member of the cabal. “As I recall, it wasn't a very veiled threat to cut budgets if Tech was left behind.”
Additionally, a Fort Worth Star-Telegram article from February 24, 1994 quoted then Baylor President Herb Reynolds in thanking Bob Bullock and the other politicians for Baylor getting into the Big 12. Despite Baylor's strong credentials for inclusion, clearly Reynolds felt the politicians did play a key role in getting the Bears and Texas Tech into the new conference. "The Baylor Project" (page 68) quotes Reynolds from the minutes of the February 23, 1994 meeting with the Baylor Board of Regents where the vote was made to accept the Big 12's invitation. The minutes state, "Baylor University owes a strong debt of gratitude to Lt. Governor Bob Bullock, Senator David Sibley, Senator John Montford, Representative Rob Junell, and other legislators for their invaluable assistance during the deliberations leading to the acceptance of the invitations."
On February 25, 1994, it was announced that a new conference would be formed from the members of the Big Eight and four of the Texas member colleges of the Southwest Conference. Though the name would not be made official for several months, newspaper accounts immediately dubbed the new entity the "Big 12". Charter members of the Big 12 included: Baylor University, the University of Colorado at Boulder, Iowa State University, University of Kansas, Kansas State University, the University of Missouri, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University–Stillwater, the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, and Texas Tech University.
Three months after formation, the schools of the new conference officially selected the conference's name: the Big 12 Conference. Athletic competition in the conference commenced on August 31, 1996. Although at the time of its formation the Big 12 was composed of the old Big Eight plus the four Texas schools, it regards itself as a separate conference and not an enlarged Big Eight. As such, it does not claim the Big Eight's history as its own.
Seven cities were considered for the conference's headquarters including:Colorado Springs, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City (the former headquarters of the Big Eight), Lubbock, Texas, Oklahoma City, and Omaha, Nebraska before locating in Irving, Texas, a suburb of Dallas.
From the conference's formation until the 2010–11 season, the Big 12 was split into two divisions for football. The Oklahoma and Texas schools formed the South Division, while the six northernmost schools formed the North Division.
The Pacific-10 Conference unanimously voted to offer memberships to UT and Colorado at the end of 1994,[when?] but UT turned them down outright  and the CU Regents also rejected the offer in a 6-3 vote, opting to stay in the new Big 12.
The four Southwest Conference schools were not the only candidates the Big Eight members considered. After the Big 12 was founded, there were leaks in 1994 that the conference also had a plan for a 14 team membership in order to secure a larger share of the nation's TV audience than the SEC, something some of the conference leadership felt might be vital for its future TV negotiations.
Reports were confirmed that Brigham Young University and the University of New Mexico, then in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), were actively being considered for membership in the new conference and if the conference should then decide to go to 16 schools, the University of Louisville and Memphis State University would be favorites to fill those slots. In anticipation of the possibility of expansion to 14 by 1996, the new conference trademarked not only the name "Big 12" but also the name "Big 14". The idea was that BYU and New Mexico would raise the conference footprint to 20% of the nation's TV households while also giving the northern division another football powerhouse in BYU. Articles of the day suggested support for the idea was not uniform among Big 12 schools and many quotes suggested such an expansion was only a future possibility.[which?]
In an odd action taken by a key member of a candidate school being considered by a much more lucrative conference, UNM's athletic director Rudy Davalos --- former athletic director at the University of Houston --- questioned the logic of the Big 12 adding UNM in the media. Davalos also publicly expressed a commitment to the WAC in the same article. It is possible that factions in the Big 12 were pushing for a different 14th member. There was also talk that the addition of BYU might be opposed by Baylor and a few other schools. That would make sense based on the views Baylor's president had of the value the lineup offered Baylor. "The Baylor Project" (page 73) has an interview with former Baylor President Herbert H. Reynolds in which Reynolds speaks of making the case to his board that much of the value of the Big 12 for Baylor arose from the Waco university being the only private school in the conference.
TCU's AD at the time, Frank Windegger was told by colleagues that TCU was discussed as a package deal with BYU, with the idea even going to a vote --- but the expansion vote was narrowly defeated.
Ultimately the conference chose to stay at 12 members. BYU's athletic director Clayne Jensen told the press that while the addition of BYU could likely pay for the Cougars' admission as the conference's 13th member, it appeared no other candidate school made financial sense to come in as the 14th member.
The greater influence held by the schools in the southern division would later be cited repeatedly as a key component in Nebraska's eventual decision to leave.
During the 2010–13 NCAA conference realignment, the Big 12 was one of the more heavily impacted all-sports conferences. Persistent rumors of the Pac-10 and Big Ten targeting key members created unease and suspicion among the member schools. Questions of whether the conferences' next TV contracts would match up to those of other elite conferences and dissatisfaction with the Big 12's policy of unequal revenue sharing created more tension and distrust. This erosion of trust within the Big 12 helped created the conditions to allow other conferences to raid the Big 12.
The Big 12 would lose four members between 2010 and 2013, finding only two replacement members that met their conference's changing needs and conference desires. Remaining below 12 members would end the Big 12's divisional format, as the NCAA only allows football championship games in conferences with at least twelve teams.
Following these departures, the Conference chose to retain the "Big 12" name and logo despite dropping to ten schools, a prestige and brand value-based decision ostensibly similar to the Big Ten Conference's choice to keep its name after its membership increased first to eleven, then to twelve, and, with the additions of Maryland and Rutgers in 2014, to 14 schools. This decision by the Big 12 would also serve to remind fans of the near collapse of the conference in the 2010-13 NCAA conference realignment period and to suggest the conference has limited expansion options available today.
By May 2010, American intercollegiate sports news became rife with speculation that the Big 12 Conference was on the verge of dissolution. The rumors began early in the year. In February, reports of a desire by the Pac-10 leadership to expand the conference were released. The article said that the only school that "moved the needle" financially for the Pac-10 was Texas.
In March, the Big Ten received back the initial report from consultants hired to investigate the value of five potential expansion candidates --- one of which was Missouri. The initial report green lit Big Ten expansion.
On April 20, Sports Illustrated' Stewart Mandel traced out Big Ten and Pac-10 expansion efforts and predicted the Big Ten would ultimately add Nebraska.
The May 3rd edition of Sports Illustrated restated the Pac-10 and Big Ten's interest in expansion and speculated on several expansion scenarios.
Less than 10 days later, Kansas City Sports Radio 810 WHB reported that the Big Ten Conference had issued "initial offers" to Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, and Rutgers to expand their conference according to multiple sources. Nebraska and Missouri specifically were reportedly going to be invited if the Big 10 expanded to either 14 or 16 members. There was no clarification as to what encompassed an initial offer, although generally a conference membership only votes on whether to extend an invitation to a candidate school after they received unofficial confirmation of interest from the candidate school. On May 12, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany sent out emails to conference officials denying that any offers had been made. Although the Big Ten had hired consultants to evaluate the possibility of expansion, the emails stated the league expected no action to be taken in terms of inviting any schools until the league Presidents met in June.
During the Big 12 meetings in June, rumors emerged in the press that the Pac-10 was on the verge of inviting Colorado, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State to join the Pac-10. The Pac-10 would later say the leaks did not originate on their end.
The Pac-10 had tried to land Texas and Colorado in 1994. This new offer acknowledged that Texas was unlikely to leave the Big 12 without Oklahoma due to the extreme financial importance of the Red River Rivalry to UT's athletic budget. It also accounted for the fact both Texas and Oklahoma had in-state public rival schools that needed to be included as they could potentially interfere with the Longhorns and Sooners moving west.
Although The Pac-10's attempted raid bears a number of similarities to the Big 8's raid of the SWC, fans of the targeted schools in Texas were resistant to the idea of shedding this dysfunctional familiar conference and joining a neighboring conference to establish a more lucrative conference home. This suggested the Pac-10 leadership did a very poor job of selling the benefits of Pac-10 membership to Texans. The Pac-12 was considered too distant and alien for many fans at UT and A&M in particular. In contrast, in the formation of the Big 12 concerns about travel distance tended to originate from Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston --- cities whose schools were left behind.
Rumors of the Big Ten being seriously interested in Texas also emerged. Texas Athletic Director Deloss Dodds openly talked about both rumors in the media. Some felt Dodd's actions appeared to be designed to remind all of the stature of the University of Texas. His actions annoyed the other league athletic directors, fans, and news reporters. On June 3, The Houston Chronicle asked Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne if the Aggies might consider joining the SEC instead, should the Big 12 collapse. Byrne surprisingly announced that Texas A&M just might.
It was a widely held belief that Texas and Texas A&M's leaderships held veto power on each other that would keep both schools in the same conference. The idea that Texas A&M might challenge that shook the conference. It immediately lead to an extremely detailed, same day report from Orangebloods.com with insider information that painted a picture of UT's leadership struggling to hold together a Big 12 on the verge of fracturing --- something entirely contrary to public perception. The article also had some heavy words for the leaderships at the two universities most critical of Dodds. The article stated that the Big 10 might decide to add Missouri and leave Nebraska stranded in the remains of the Big 12 and suggested Nebraska might want to be careful of taking too strong of a stance. It also said that the state of Texas might be perfectly fine with Texas A&M going to the SEC on their own, but that UT would likely not play the Aggies should they leave.
With these veiled threats on the table, there was no trust in the Big 12. The Big 12's collapse seemed imminent.
One often cited reason for the erosion of trust in the Big 12 was the inability to come to an agreement to share TV revenue equally, like most other top conferences. Nebraska, Texas, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma objected to equal sharing, according to former Commissioner Dan Beebe. Four voting members gave them the ability to block equal revenue sharing votes. After his 2011 firing, Beebe said in a phone interview with The Associated Press that Oklahoma, Nebraska, and even Texas A&M were interested in "developing their own distribution systems" for their sports programs.
On June 5, reports surfaced of a movement building in Texas to try to force the Pac-10 to invite Baylor instead of Colorado. This would likely give Texas a solid voting block of 4 Texas schools and a pair of strongly aligned schools in Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The Pac-10 quickly responded to eliminate that possibility by modifying their original offer (a package deal for all six schools) to be a standalone offer for Colorado and a package deal for the other five.
On June 10, Colorado accepted an invitation to become the Pac-10's eleventh member; Colorado reportedly accepted quickly for fear that Baylor would force its way into the Pac-10, leaving Colorado behind in a dissolving conference. The Colorado move to the Pac-10 was to be effective in 2012, but the school later negotiated a settlement with the Big 12 to leave on July 1, 2011. The day following Colorado's defection announcement, on June 11, Nebraska applied for membership in the Big Ten Conference and was unanimously accepted, becoming the Big Ten's twelfth member, effective July 1, 2011.
The departures of Colorado and Nebraska, combined with reports that Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State were close to accepting invitations to join the Pac-10, made the Big 12's demise seem to be a foregone conclusion. However, reports began to pile up that Texas A&M was going to join the SEC instead. The Pac-10 schools were receptive to replacing Texas A&M with Kansas, but Texas was not eager to part ways with Texas A&M.
On June 14, the Big 12 announced that its membership had agreed to stay together, after agreeing to an eleventh-hour deal to save the conference. The decisions reportedly came after furious lobbying by the other five remaining Big 12 schools (Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, and Missouri), as well as pressure brought by athletic directors around the country who were concerned about the potential fallout of elite conferences becoming 16-team "superconferences". The deal was made possible because of a restructured revenue sharing agreement that guaranteed Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas A&M $20 Million each per year as their share of TV revenue (the other schools would split the rest) and the unexpected promise of a lucrative new television deal by the networks if the conference stayed together.
The Big 12 could not survive without the University of Texas and the other five conceded to Deloss Dodds' demands to retain Texas.
With the big three securing payments that more or less matched what they would have received in a Pac-16 and Texas committing to the conference, Oklahoma was content to stay and Texas A&M's pathway out was temporarily obscured. It appeared that Texas A&M had been acknowledged and, in Texas, politicians and fans preferred to see the Big 12 survive with Texas and Texas A&M.
In the 2010 round of realignment, UT had leveraged Pac-10 interests into a better TV deal, gained what Dodds considered an easier path to the national title game, bullied it's fellow members into finally conceding a larger share of the TV revenue, gotten permission for its own network, and had gotten Nebraska, a constant irritant for UT's goals, out of the conference. It seemed as if the $20 Million payouts could be enough to soothe any hard feelings with Texas A&M and Oklahoma. It was not.
As part of the deal, member schools were permitted to launch their own television networks, which eventually led to the creation of the Longhorn Network, which would broadcast Texas Longhorns sporting events including non-conference football games and at least one conference football game. Additionally, Texas A&M and Oklahoma ended contact with the Southeastern Conference, which had been pursuing both schools as potential candidates if their conference decided to expand past 12 members.
On June 16, 2010, Texas state lawmakers Garnet Coleman and Bill Callegari, both from the Houston area, co-wrote a letter asking Big 12 officials to consider adding the University of Houston (a Conference USA member) to the Big 12.
Following the near disaster in 2010, the other five pushed for a spring vote on a "Grant of Rights" deal that would grant all sports media rights of member schools to the conference. This would make it very difficult for a key school to walk out on the conference. The proposal needed a 75% majority to pass. It was defeated by Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M.
ESPN began plans to launch the Longhorn Network. Content shortfalls were perceived to be an issue, so ESPN made plans to broadcast Texas High School football games on the Longhorn Network. Oklahoma and Texas A&M stated that doing so would create a recruiting advantage for the Longhorns. Texas A&M went so far as to turn in Texas for violating NCAA rules with this practice.
Oklahoma and Texas A&M had agreed to allow the Longhorn Network in exchange for the $20 Million guarantees in 2010, but in 2011, the reality of the network proved unacceptable. Texas A&M's leadership had begun ratcheting up their attacks on the Longhorn Network in order to build the case in Texas that Dodds and Texas were unfaithful conference partners. They would leverage this into creating the required animosity between Texas and Texas A&M fans and sympathy with the unaffiliated Texas masses to allow the Aggies to escape the Big 12 for their long-preferred home, the SEC.
In addition to a non-conference game each season, ESPN desired to place a Big 12 Conference game on the Longhorn Network. At the same Big 12 meeting discussing high school football broadcasts, it was agreed upon that a conference game would be acceptable as long as both schools and the conference office approved the broadcast.
It was reported that ESPN asked Texas Tech for permission to broadcast their November 5 game against the Longhorns on the network. ESPN told the university that the game would most likely not be carried on any of the ESPN family of networks, leaving a broadcast on the LHN as its only option. In return, ESPN promised to televise two non-conference football games over the next four seasons, broadcast some other non-football programming, $5 million cash, and help from the network to try to arrange a home-and-home series against a top BCS conference school. Texas Tech passed on the offer with Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance explaining that "I don't want a Tech fan to have to give one dime to the Longhorn Network".
ESPN then contacted Oklahoma State about a broadcast on the network, but Oklahoma State also refused the invitation to appear on the network. Texas Athletics eventually announced that the Kansas Jayhawks had agreed to let their game against the Longhorns on October 29 be shown on the network (KU's third tier media rights are also managed by LHN co-owner IMG College). The agreement allowed the Longhorn Network to be the national carrier of the game except for in Kansas markets, where the game was shown on local network affiliates.
In August 2011, Texas A&M announced plans to apply to join another unspecified conference. Texas A&M's desire to leave the Big 12 Conference was publicly presented as being driven both by concern about conference stability and also by concerns that the Longhorn Network, controlled by A&M's arch rival Texas, would give Texas an unfair advantage in recruiting and other aspects of competition.
On September 2, David Boren, president of the University of Oklahoma, announced that his school was actively re-evaulating its conference membership. Having moved on from its SEC flirtation over concerns of a booster-led backslide into recruiting violations, Oklahoma began pursuing Pac-12 membership in a package deal with Oklahoma State. The action was initiated by OU's board of regents due to frustration with the instability of the Big 12. Dodds and UT president William Powers would fly to Norman to attempt to convince OU to stay, but Texas' leaderships efforts were firmly rebuffed. OU's leadership reportedly liked the potential of upgrading their academic and research reputation in an effort to earn AAU status in addition to their football coaching staff being fascinated with the idea of expanding recruiting efforts into California.
Having just expanded to 12 and landed a very lucrative TV deal, the Pacific-12 leaders were not actively looking to expand again. They considered adding the Oklahoma schools as the pair might not be available in the future, but the conference leadership was very concerned about being seen as predatory. They preferred to see the SEC add Texas A&M first before the Pacific-12 would invite the Oklahoma schools.
In mid-September, in a "have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too" moment, Southeastern Conference officials voted to accept Texas A&M as its thirteenth member --- conditional upon a reaffirmation that the remaining Big 12 schools would not pursue legal action to block the move. The SEC would later report they had been assured by the Big 12 office that the Big 12 would waive it's rights to pursue legal action against the SEC should the SEC invite Texas A&M. Baylor's leadership felt they had made no concession to waive their school's rights to pursue legal action against the Southeastern Conference for tortious interference. Several other Big 12 schools would join Baylor in this position.
The SEC leadership were angry about being misled and were publicly embarrassed. A&M and the SEC sat in limbo. After a few days of mulling over their options with their legal team, the SEC took action. On September 25, the SEC announced that Texas A&M was being accepted unconditionally—regardless of legal threats. Texas A&M announced the school would officially join the SEC on July 1, 2012. As part of Texas A&M's settlement for their exit, the Big 12 Conference withheld $12.4 million of the revenue the Big 12 would have shared with Texas A&M.
The Big 12 Conference said it would form a committee to replace Texas A&M with at least one other school. The Boards of Regents of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas all authorized their presidents to make decisions related to conference alignment. The Oklahoma schools, eager for a more stable long term home, were reportedly still considering applying to the Pacific-12 Conference (Texas and Texas Tech were also in talks to potentially join them), while the other five schools entered talks with the Big East football schools to potentially combine conferences.
Further realignment was temporarily halted on September 20, when the Pac-12 reiterated its desire to remain a twelve-school conference as Texas would not compromise on the Longhorn Network and commit to full equal revenue sharing. The Pac-12 also publicly confirmed there was not support for adding Oklahoma and Oklahoma State on their own (a move that might have forced the issue with Texas). It should be noted that after Oklahoma's and Oklahoma State's pathways to the Pac-12 crumbled, an Oklahoma source leaked to the media that Oklahoma was only attempting to use the threat of departure to the Pac-12 in order to reform the Big 12. Whether this was just an attempt to save face after being passed on by the Pac-12 is unclear, although Oklahoma and the Big 12 would secure several reforms from UT contrary to Dodds's stated positions in this round of realignment.
With Pac-12 membership off the table, Oklahoma and Texas's positions changed dramatically and preserving the Big 12 became those schools' primary goal. Missouri and Oklahoma's leaderships in particular would play a leadership role in building a more stable Big 12. On September 23, Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton, the Chairman of the Big 12 Board of Directors, announced that the conference presidents agreed in principle to pursue granting member school's media rights to the conference. Oklahoma's President David Boren called the agreement "'essential' for the league’s future". UT's Deloss Dodds had strongly publicly opposed the idea saying "that UT officials 'don’t want to sign over' any TV rights to the league" the day before all the league's presidents (including UT's) endorsed the idea.
The same day, the Big 12 also announced the conference parted ways with Commissioner Dan Beebe, who had been seen as being beholden to Texas and DeLoss Dodds, and agreed to replace him with Interim commissioner Chuck Neinas, a former commissioner of the Big Eight. Neinas would take over on October 3, 2011.
On October 5, 2011, the Big 12 Conference agreed to equally distribute Tier I and II television revenues. Dodds had long been firmly against any equal sharing of TV revenue, but UT's leadership blessed the deal to stabilize the conference. ESPN's Andy Katz pointedly wrote at the time that the feeling in the conference was, "If all nine schools sign off on the agreement, it would end speculation that Missouri would bolt to the SEC." 
On October 6, the Big 12 Conference Board of Directors, acting upon a unanimous recommendation of the expansion committee, authorized negotiations with Texas Christian University (TCU) to become a member of the Conference. TCU had recently agreed to join the Big East Conference. but their fans and leadership had wanted to be in the Big 12 since the SWC failed. On October 10, Texas Christian University's Board of Trustees voted to accept the invitation from the Big 12 Conference, and the school joined the conference on July 1, 2012.
A Big 12 official named Brigham Young University and the University of Louisville as other candidates for expansion. It would later leak that the Big 12's television partners were unenthusiastic about dealing with BYU.
With the loss of Texas A&M and the very large, Texas-based Aggie fan base, the conference leadership thought there was now a need for and an opening for another Texas school. While the TCU fan base is significantly smaller than the Aggies', TCU is in a good location for the conference's needs. With the SEC now having a significant presence in Texas, adding TCU, a school based in Dallas/Fort Worth, made a lot of sense in terms of protecting Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State's superior access to DFW recruiting.
At the same time that the remaining members of the former South Division were re-embracing the conference, there was another defection brewing in the north. By rushing the addition of the Aggies to ensure there would be no further efforts to prevent their departure, the SEC had created a two division, 13 team conference scheduled to open play in 2012. They needed an acceptable 14th team immediately to ease the impossible scheduling issues adding the Aggies created. The Big 12 had plenty of strong candidates and was one of the most unstable conferences around.
Despite the work of the Missouri Chancellor to finally bring about significant change in the Big 12, on October 4, 2011, Missouri's Board of Curators authorized the school's president to explore applying to other conferences.
A year earlier, there had been widespread speculation that Missouri was interested in defecting to become the Big Ten's twelfth member and was the favorite to secure that spot, but Nebraska, not Missouri, was invited to join the Big Ten. Missouri had gone from the favorite to join the Big Ten to one of the "other five" Big 12 schools likely to be left behind should the Pac-12 incorporate Texas.
On October 6 --- the day after the equal revenue sharing vote that was supposed to secure Missouri --- the Big 12 Board of Directors voted 8-0 to formally grant their media rights to the conference. On advice of the Missouri legal counsel, Missouri opted not to vote on that issue.
On October 11, in a cringe-worthy non-prescient comment, interim Big 12 Conference Commissioner Chuck Neinas stated categorically Missouri would remain in the Big 12 Conference for the 2012 season.
In spite of Neinas's confidence, Missouri publicly inched closer to leaving. On October 21 its Board of Curators authorized Chancellor Brady Deaton to move the school out of the Big 12 Conference if it would be in the school's best interest to do so. It became apparent to everyone that Missouri was likely to leave. The Big 12 began looking for a suitable replacement school that could start play in 2012.
On October 28, the Big 12 Conference's press release announcing its invitation to West Virginia University hinted at Missouri's imminent departure, as Missouri was not listed among the "expected" members for the 2012–13 school year.
On November 6, Missouri officially announced that it would join the Southeastern Conference effective July 1, 2012. As compensation for the departure, the Big 12 Conference withheld $12.4 million of the revenue it would have shared with Missouri; additionally, it was announced that Missouri would not share the revenue from a newly signed contract between the Big 12 Conference and Fox Sports. Missouri also agreed to pay the Big 12 Conference for its share of officiating costs of its final year in the conference, as it has done in prior years (an estimated payment of $500,000).
On October 25, word leaked that West Virginia would replace Missouri in the Big 12. The next day the New York Times reported the Big 12 had backed off their verbal commitment to West Virginia and was now split between Louisville and West Virginia after some Big 12 leaders were lobbied by U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell. West Virginia cancelled plans for a press conference. The Big 12 requested West Virginia supply the conference with more information.
The Mountaineers' former conference, the Big East Conference, required 27 months of notice prior to withdrawal --- a provision actually drafted by West Virginia's legal team. Louisville's leadership thought the clause would prove binding. West Virginia's did not. Big East Commissioner John Marinatto said that West Virginia would not be allowed to leave before July 1, 2014.
In response, West Virginia filed a lawsuit to declare invalid the withdrawal-notice requirement stipulated in the Big East's bylaws. The WVU lawsuit alleged that the Big East Conference breached its fiduciary duty by allowing several football-playing members to depart, causing the conference to no longer be a major football conference and jeopardizing the conference's continued existence. Because of this, West Virginia alleged, its continued performance under the contract had become unreasonably burdensome and that its original purpose in entering into the contract had been eliminated.
Additionally, West Virginia also stated its belief that its notice to withdraw in 2012 was indeed accepted, when the Big East Conference accepted its payment of half the $5 million withdrawal penalty. Marinatto denied the allegations.
The Big East Conference filed a countersuit against West Virginia, alleging that West Virginia breached its contract by withdrawing from the conference without 27 months of notice. West Virginia requested a dismissal of the Big East's lawsuit; this was denied. The Big East Conference's lawsuit was scheduled to begin being argued in court in April 2012, but on February 14, 2012, West Virginia announced that it had settled its lawsuit with the Big East Conference.
This cleared the final hurdle for West Virginia to join the Big 12 Conference in time for the 2012 season. While terms of the settlement were kept confidential, West Virginia's athletic director said that the settlement would be paid only from private donations and money the athletes raise themselves. According to an anonymous source, the Big East Conference will be paid $20 million, of which $11 million will be paid by West Virginia and $9 million by the Big 12 Conference. The agreement apparently stipulated that the $2.5 million exit fee that West Virginia paid to the Big East Conference in October 2011 will be counted towards the settlement, and that the revenue-sharing money owed by the Big East Conference to West Virginia would not be paid to West Virginia but instead would be applied towards the settlement with West Virginia.
The Big 12 is unique among the five conferences formerly known as 'contract conferences' in the late BCS/realignment era in that it only has 10 members. Twelve or more members are required for a conference championship game. (The Pacific-12 has 12 members, the ACC and SEC have 14 football members each, and the Big Ten has 12 members and will expand to 14 members by 2014.) DeLoss Dodds and Mack Brown along with Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops preferred not to have a championship game. Critics argued it was considered a competitive advantage over other contract conferences. Conferences with a championship game have their division champions play one of their toughest games of the year on the last week of the regular season. With the advent of the College Football Playoffs, the value gain this gives the Big 12, if any, is still to be determined.
Like the Southwest Conference, the Big 12 footprint has a small population base. It has the smallest population base by far of the contract conferences. Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, West Virginia, and Iowa only have a combined population of 37.8 Million. As of 2013, there are only 13,427,130 TV households in those states (although it should be noted that West Virginia's support is very strong in the western half of neighboring Pennsylvania).
As of 2013, the US has 115.6 Million TV households. The Big 12 footprint has only 8.6% of the United States' TV households (again this total does not include Pennsylvania TV households, but the entire state of Pennsylvania only offers a little over 4% --- 4,849,010 --- of the nation's TV households).
The Big 12's share of the nation's TVs is a fraction of that controlled by each of the other contract conferences. This likely works against the conference in TV negotiations, but the conference has been able to negotiate tier 1 and 2 TV contracts in the same ballpark as other contract conferences, a situation probably fueled by the media value placed on the powerful football programs at Oklahoma and Texas.
The member schools of the Big 12 have granted their first and second tier sports media rights to the Big 12 conference for the length of their current TV deals. The Grant of Rights deal with the leagues' TV contracts ensures that "if a Big 12 school leaves for another league in the next 13 years, that school's media rights, including revenue, would remain with the Big 12 and not its new conference." This deal protects the conference and it's media partners.
The Grant of Rights is seen by league members as a "foundation of stability" and allowed the Big 12 to be "positioned with one of the best media rights arrangements in collegiate sports, providing the conference and its members unprecedented revenue growth, and sports programming over two networks." All league members agreed to the GOR and later agreed to extended the initial 6 year deal to 13 years to correspond to the length of their TV contracts.
Prior to the Big 12 making this agreement, the Big Ten and Pac-12 also had similar GOR agreements for their rights. The Big 12 subsequently assisted the ACC conference in drafting a GOR agreement of their own. Four of the five major conferences now have such media agreements. Conventional wisdom holds that none of the four wish to discover how to invalidate a GOR agreement and that will ensure that most FBS realignment will be on hold for several years to come.
The Big 12 is the only major conference that allows members to monetize TV rights for tier 3 events. This allows individual Big 12 member institutions to create lucrative tier 3 deals which include TV rights for a certain number of football and basketball games as well as other sports. The unique arrangement potentially allows certain Big 12 members to remain some of the highest revenue earners in college athletics. Unlike other conferences cable network deals which are somewhat subject to having severe value reductions based on any future restructuring of how people may acquire cable programming, there isn't any such issue with Big 12 schools tier 3 deals. Big 12 members individual existing and pending tier 3 deals are expected to bring in an additional $300 to $400 million over the term of the deals. UT alone will earn more than $150 Million of that total from their Longhorn Network deal.
|Year||Total distributed||Annual Increase||Per-school averagea|
|1997||$53.6 million||–||$4.5 million|
|1998||$58 million||8.2%||$4.8 million|
|1999||$64 million||10.3%||$5.3 million|
|2000||$72 million||12.5%||$6.0 million|
|2001||$78 million||8.3%||$6.5 million|
|2002||$83.5 million||7.1%||$7.0 million|
|2003||$89 million||6.6%||$7.4 million|
|2004||$101 million||13.5%||$8.4 million|
|2005||$105.6 million||4.6%||$8.8 million|
|2006||$103.1 million||−2.4%||$8.6 million|
|2007||$106 million||2.8%||$8.8 million|
|2008||$113.5 million||7.1%||$9.5 million|
|2009||$130 million||14.5%||$10.8 million|
|2010||$139 million||6.9%||$11.6 million|
|2011||$145 million||4.3%||$12.1 million|
|2012||$187 million||29.0%||$18.7 million|
|2013||$198 million||5.9%||$19.8 million|
|Total||$1.83 billion||–||$159 million|
|Average||$107 million||–||$9.3 million|
|a Twelve Big 12 members received disbursements each year from 1997-2011; ten each year afterwards. Individual schools' disbursement varied according to bylaw rules and entrance or withdrawal agreements.|
The Big 12 Conference distributes revenue, mostly collected from television contracts, bowl games, the NCAA, merchandise, licensing, and conference-hosted sporting events, annually to member institutions. From 1996 to 2011, 57 percent of all distributed revenue was allotted equally; with the other 43 percent distributed based upon the number of football and men's basketball television appearances and other factors. The 2011 annual meeting of the conference resulted in a distribution of 76 percent equal allotment and 24 percent based on television appearances. Changing the revenue-sharing arrangement requires a unanimous vote; as a Big 12 member, Nebraska had withheld support for more equitable revenue distribution.
With this exposure-based revenue-sharing model, larger schools in the conference, such as the University of Texas at Austin, can receive more revenue because television channels will schedule such schools more frequently than smaller schools that may have less national audience appeal. In 2006, for example, Texas received $10.2 million, 44% more than Baylor University's $7.1 million.
Compared to other conferences, the Big 12's revenue has been low for a BCS conference; this was due in part to television contracts signed with Fox Sports Net (four years for $48 million) and ABC/ESPN (eight years for $480 million) that were set to expire in 2012 and 2016, respectively.
In 2011, the Big 12 announced a new 13-year media rights deal with Fox that would ensure every Big 12 home football game is televised, as well as greatly increasing coverage of women's basketball, conference championships, and low-revenue sports. The deal, valued at an estimated $1.1 billion, runs until 2025. In 2012, the conference announced a new ESPN/FOX agreement, replacing the current ABC/ESPN deal, to immediately increase national media broadcasts of football and increase conference revenue; the new deal is estimated to be worth $2.6 billion through the 2025 expiration. The two deals pushed the conference per-team payout to approximately $20 million per year, while also withholding third-tier media rights for schools to negotiate separately for individual contract; schools signing contracts for these rights have secured an additional $6 million to $20 million per school annually.
Total revenue includes ticket sales, contributions and donations, rights/licensing, student fees, school funds and all other sources including TV income, camp income, food and novelties. Total expenses includes coaching/staff, scholarships, buildings/ground, maintenance, utilities and rental fees and all other costs including recruiting, team travel, equipment and uniforms, conference dues and insurance costs. Net profit is calculated using the total revenue and total expenses data provided by USA Today, individual institutions and the United States Department of Education.
|2012 Conference Rank||2012 National Rank||Institution||2012 Total Revenue from Athletics||2012 Total Expenses on Athletics||2011 Average Spending per student-athlete|
|1||1||University of Texas at Austin||$163,295,115||$138,269,710||$248,951|
|2||9||University of Oklahoma||$106,456,616||$96,250,328||$163,259|
|3||22||Oklahoma State University||$87,270,598||$96,782,619||$133,341|
|4||28||West Virginia University||$80,064,869||$92,968,960||$108,643|
|5||38||University of Kansas||$70,228,913||$78,973,441||$127,656|
|6||40||Texas Tech University||$67,928,350||$60,346,836||$103,021|
|7||43||Kansas State University||$63,271,615||$50,994,785||$97,180|
|8||50||Iowa State University||$55,151,017||$55,113,720||$99,528|
|Texas Christian University||Not reported|
|Not reported||Not reported|
|Baylor University||Not reported|
|Not reported||Not reported|
The Big 12 Conference sponsors championship competition in ten men's and thirteen women's NCAA sanctioned sports.
|Swimming & Diving|
|Track and Field (Indoor)|
|Track and Field (Outdoor)|
|Tennis||Track & Field|
|Track & Field|
|Wrestling||Total Big 12 Sports|
Men's varsity sports not sponsored by the Big 12 Conference which are played by Big 12 schools:
|Oklahoma||Mountain Pacific Sports Federation||No||No|
|TCU||No||Patriot Rifle Conference||No|
|West Virginia||No||Great America Rifle Conference||Mid-American Conference|
|Tennis||Track & Field|
|Track & Field|
|Volleyball||Total Big 12 Sports|
All Big 12 rowing schools are also affiliate members of Conference USA for that sport. The Big 12 conducts its own rowing championship, and its rowing schools also participate in the C-USA championship.
Women's varsity sports not sponsored by the Big 12 Conference which are played by Big 12 schools:
|TCU||Patriot Rifle Conference|
|West Virginia||Great America Rifle Conference|
* = Rifle is technically a men's sport, but men's, women's, and coed teams all compete against each other. TCU and West Virginia both field coed teams.
From 1996–2010, Big 12 Conference teams played eight conference games a season. Each team faced all five opponents within its own division and three teams from the opposite division. Inter-divisional play was a "three-on, three-off" system, where teams would play three teams from the other division on a home-and-home basis for two seasons, and then play the other three foes from the opposite side for a two-year home-and-home.
This format came under considerable criticism, especially from fans at Nebraska and Oklahoma, who were denied a yearly matchup between two of college football's most storied programs. The Nebraska-Oklahoma rivalry was one of the most intense rivalries in college football history. (Until 2006, the teams had never met in the Big 12 Championship.) Due to the departure of Nebraska and Colorado in 2011, the Big 12 eliminated the divisions (and championship game) and instituted a nine-game round-robin format.
The Big 12 Championship Game was held by the Big 12 Conference each year. The idea of having a championship game was voted on at a Big 12 Conference meeting; Nebraska voted against, while the other schools voted in favor. The championship game pitted the Big 12 North Division champion against the Big 12 South Division champion in a game held after the regular season has been completed. The first championship game was held during the 1996 season at the Trans World Dome in St. Louis, which also hosted the 1998 game. Other venues hosting the game were Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas, the Alamodome in San Antonio, and Reliant Stadium in Houston.
Following the 2008 game, a decision was made to move the game to the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The 2009 and 2010 games were played there, with the Oklahoma Sooners defeating the Nebraska Cornhuskers 23–20 in the finale.
In 2010, the Big 12 Conference decided to move the location of the championship game to Arlington for 2011, 2012, and 2013. This became moot following the 2010 season because the NCAA only allows conferences with at least twelve teams to hold a championship game; as the conference only has ten teams following the 2010 season, the conference will not hold a championship game.
|Location||Opposing conference||Opposing pick|
|1||Fiesta Bowl||Glendale, Arizona||BCS||–|
|2||AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic||Arlington, Texas||SEC||Big 12 #2|
|3||Valero Alamo Bowl||San Antonio, Texas||Pac-12||Big 12 #3|
|4||Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl||Tempe, Arizona||Big Ten||Big 12 #4|
|5||Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl||San Diego, California||Pac-12||Big 12 #5|
|6||Texas Bowl||Houston, Texas||Big Ten||Big 12 #6|
|7||New Era Pinstripe Bowl||The Bronx, New York||American||Big 12 #7|
The Big 12 Conference has many rivalries among its member schools, primarily in football. Most of the rivalries existed before the Big 12 was established. The Kansas-Missouri rivalry was the longest running in the Big 12, the longest running west of the Mississippi, and the second longest running in college football. It was played a duration of 119 years before Missouri left the Big 12. As of October 2012, the University of Kansas' athletic department has not accepted Missouri's invitations to play inter-conference rivalry games, putting the rivalry on hold. Sports clubs sponsored by the two universities have continued to play games. The Oklahoma-Texas rivalry is also unique, as it was a major rivalry decades before the two schools were in the same conference.
Some of the longstanding football rivalries between Big 12 schools include:
|Iowa State–Kansas State||Farmageddon||94||1917|
|Kansas–Kansas State||Sunflower Showdown||Governor's Cup||111||1902|
|Oklahoma–Oklahoma State||Bedlam Series||Bedlam Bell||103||1904|
|Oklahoma–Texas||Red River Rivalry||Golden Hat||105||1900|
|TCU–Texas||Battle of the Horns||82||1897|
|Texas–Texas Tech||Chancellor's Spurs||60||1928|
Before their departure to other conferences, a number of former member schools held longtime rivalries within the conference:
|Baylor–Texas A&M||Battle of the Brazos||108||1899||2011|
|Iowa State–Missouri||Telephone Trophy||104||1896||2011|
|Kansas–Missouri||Border War||Indian War Drum||119||1891||2011|
|Missouri–Oklahoma||Tiger–Sooner Peace Pipe||95||1902||2011|
|Texas A&M–Texas Tech||68||1927||2011|
|Texas–Texas A&M||Lone Star Showdown||Lone Star Showdown Trophy||118||1894||2011|
From 1996–2011, standings in conference play were combined and not split among divisions, the schedule was structured as if the schools were split into two divisions. Teams played a home-and-home against teams within its division and a single game against teams from the opposite division for a total of 16 conference games. This denied Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, formerly in the Big Eight, two games a season against their opponents from that former conference, but did allow most of the other traditional rivalries to be played home-and-home. However, after the departures of Nebraska and Colorado, Big 12 play transitioned to an 18-game, double round robin schedule, allowing Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to once again play their former Big 8 rivals twice each season, in addition to adding second annual games to lucrative, nationally prominent series like Texas-Kansas.
Kansas has the most Big 12 regular season titles, winning or sharing the title 12 times in the league's 16 seasons. The 2002 Kansas team became the first, and so far only, team to complete an undefeated Big 12 regular season, going 16–0. Following the 2013 season, Kansas has won or shared 9 straight league titles and 11 of the past 12.
|Season||Regular Season Champion|
|2000||Iowa State 14–2||Iowa State|
|2001||Iowa State 13–3||Oklahoma|
|2004||Oklahoma State 14–2||Oklahoma State|
Kansas State 14-4
In 2005, Oklahoma won the post-season tournament seeding tiebreaker over Kansas based on its 71–63 victory over the Jayhawks.
In 2006, Texas won the post-season tournament seeding tiebreaker over Kansas based on its 80–55 victory over the Jayhawks.
In 2008, Texas won the post-season tournament seeding tiebreaker over Kansas based on its 72–69 victory over the Jayhawks.
In 2013, Kansas won the post-season tournament seeding tiebreaker over Kansas State based on its 59-55 victory in Manhattan and 83-62 win in Lawrence.
|School||Year Started||All Time Ws||All Time Ls||All Time Win %|
|School||Conf Ws||Conf Ls||Conf W %||Total Ws||Total Ls||Total W %|
Conference records do not include conference tournament games, only regular season conference games
The top 8 teams compete in the conference tournament at the conclusion of each season. Iowa State has not sponsored baseball since dropping its intercollegiate program after the 2001 season.
Number of baseball titles by school
|School||Appearances||W-L||Pct||Tourney Titles||Title Years|
|Nebraska||10||28–10||.737||4||1999, 2000, 2001, 2005|
|Texas||13||26–22||.542||4||2002, 2003, 2008, 2009|
|Texas A&M||13||24–18||.571||3||2007, 2010, 2011|
|School||Football stadium||Capacity||Basketball arena||Capacity||Baseball stadium||Capacity|
|Baylor||Floyd Casey Stadium|
Baylor Stadium (2014)
|Ferrell Center||10,284||Baylor Ballpark||5,000|
|Iowa State||Jack Trice Stadium||55,000||Hilton Coliseum||14,384||Non-baseball school*|
|Kansas||Memorial Stadium||50,071||Allen Fieldhouse||16,300||Hoglund Ballpark||2,500|
|Kansas State||Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium||50,000||Bramlage Coliseum||12,528||Tointon Family Stadium||2,000|
|Oklahoma||Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium||82,112||Lloyd Noble Center||12,000||L. Dale Mitchell Baseball Park||3,180|
|Oklahoma State||Boone Pickens Stadium||60,218||Gallagher-Iba Arena||13,611||Allie P. Reynolds Stadium||3,821|
|Texas||Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium||100,119||Frank Erwin Center||16,540||UFCU Disch-Falk Field||6,649|
|TCU||Amon G. Carter Stadium||45,000||Daniel–Meyer Coliseum||7,201||Lupton Stadium||4,500|
|Texas Tech||Jones AT&T Stadium||60,862||United Spirit Arena||15,098||Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park||5,050|
|West Virginia||Mountaineer Field||60,000||WVU Coliseum||14,000||Hawley Field||1,500|
*Iowa State discontinued its participation in baseball as an NCAA-recognized activity following the 2001 season. It participates in club baseball as a member of the National Club Baseball Association. Games are played at Cap Timm Field, capacity 3,000.
The following is a list of all NCAA, equestrian, and college football championships won by teams that were representing the Big 12 Conference in NCAA-recognized sports at the time of their championship.
Men's Basketball (1):
Women's Basketball (3):
Women's Bowling (5):
Men's Cross Country (6):
Women's Cross Country (2):
Men's Golf (4):
Men's Gymnastics (5):
Women's Indoor Track (3):
Men's Outdoor Track (3):
Women's Outdoor Track (7):
Men's/Women's Skiing (4):
Men's Swimming (5):
Men's Tennis (1):
Women's Volleyball (3):
The national championships listed below are as of June 2013. Football, Helms, pre-NCAA competition and equestrian titles are included in the total, but excluded from the column listing NCAA and AIAW titles.
|Big 12 National Championships|
|School||Total titles||Titles as a member|
of the Big 12
|NCAA and AIAW titles||Notes|
|Oklahoma State||55||13||51||OSU has 4 equestrian titles|
|Texas||50||15||46||UT has 9 recognized football titles, but claim 4 and 4 AIAW titles|
|Oklahoma||27||8||20||OU has 17 recognized NCAA football titles, but claims 7|
|West Virginia||19||1||16||WVU has 3 pre-NCAA rifle titles|
|Iowa State||18||0||18||ISU has 5 AIAW titles|
|Kansas||13||2||11||KU has 2 Helms basketball titles|
|TCU||5||0||3||TCU has 1 recognized football title and 1 equestrian title|
|Baylor||4||3||3||BU has 1 equestrian title|
The Big 12 Conference sponsors 23 sports, 10 men's and 13 women's.
In football, divisional titles were awarded based on regular-season conference results, with the teams with the best conference records from the North and South playing in the Big 12 Championship Game for the Big 12 title from 1996–2010. Baseball, basketball, softball, tennis, and women's soccer titles are awarded in both regular-season and tournament play. Cross country, golf, gymnastics, swimming and diving, track and field, and wrestling titles are awarded during an annual meet of participating teams. The volleyball title is awarded based on regular-season play.
As of May 17, 2013. List includes both regular-season, tournament titles, and co-championships. List does not include conference championships won prior to the formation of the Big 12 Conference in 1996.