(In my wildest dream.) The deal is done. The Big 12 is now the BEST football conference in the U.S.A., with the best television footprint imaginable. We did a clean swap of Aggie for Razorback with the SEC, and enticed Notre Dame and BYU to join the Big 12. Here is how it looks, and the key deal points that made it happen.
Swapping Aggie for Arkie was the easy part. In order to entice Notre Dame, we agreed there would be two six team divisions. You play each team in your division (five games) and two teams from the other division, home and home, for a total of seven conference games. This was necessary because Notre Dame has too many "old rivals" that they will not completely abandon. This gives them five non-conference games. They have to continue their yearly USC contest, and probably their yearly Boston College game. They can schedule two of the tree service academies, and for their fifth non-con, swap it out between Michigan, Purdue, Stanford, Purdue, etc. Notre Dame gets to use these five games to keep its NBC contract intact.
The divisions, named "Black" and "Blue" will look like this:
To make this work, the conference agrees that a team can schedule a cross-divisional team as a "non-con" opponent in the years when that team is not one of the two cross divisional teams that count toward the seven conference games. Therefore, UT and OU can keep their yearly red river shootout, and in 4 of 6 years, it would simply be a non-conference game. Same with KU-KState, for instance. Conference title game every year at Jerry World.
This would allow UT, Notre Dame, and BYU the chance to build their cherished "networks." Now, these divisions only apply in football. In basket ball, we go to these divisions: (A) UT, OU, Okie State, Baylor, Tech, Arkie. (B) KU, KSU, Mizzou, Ia. State, Notre Dame, BYU. Play the schedule in basketball like we did before BigRed and CU’s exit.
The networks would love this. It sets up potentially very attractive scenarios for championship games. The competitive balance is fair.
The BCS is a dying brand. For those who are worried that this sets up too hard a schedule to keep yourself in contention for the "BCS championship game," forget about about it. The BCS will be dead in 3 to 5 years.
Win your conference. Play in a great bowl. Have a great season.
Let’s do it!