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Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

September 22, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Some Sooner spin on the Pac-12 rebuff?

As the dust settles on the Pac-12-expansion-that-wasn’t, there’s some face-saving going on. The Pac-12 would naturally like the public to believe it was the entity that made the pre-emptive strike against the addition of Oklahoma and Texas. And of course, the folks in the plains would prefer it look like they’re the ones who nixed the deal, with the Pac-12 then reacting to their indifference.

Here’s a Daily Oklahoman report that quotes a source at the University of Oklahoma, saying the dance with the Pac-12 was all about leverage. It’s reminiscent of 15 months ago, when some alleged that Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott really didn’t get that close to pulling off his big coup in extracting Big 12 schools to make it a Pac-16 — that Texas was just “playing” Scott to get a better deal back there.

That sequence, and the Pac-12’s insistence on revenue-sharing — a principle it reaffirmed this week in the decision to stay at 12 — got me to thinking: A year ago, Scott was wooing the Big 12 members in June. The league, after a lot of bumping and grinding, didn’t settle on the plan for equal TV revenue-sharing until October. Presumably, that would have made for an exceedingly tough sell in Texas, had the school opted for a Pac-16. Would we have seen acrimony squared within the league a year ago, with Texas fighting revenue-sharing all the way? Or, was that one of the prospective roadblocks that led the Longhorns to turn away from the Pac-12?

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