Texas Longhorns to remain in Big 12 Conference

Texas, Big 12, Pac-10

Credit: WFAA

Texas Longhorns to remain in Big 12 Conference

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by JOE TRAHAN

Bio | Email | Follow: @joetrahan

WFAA

Posted on June 14, 2010 at 4:30 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 15 at 12:04 AM

There's been a big reprieve for the Big 12 Athletic Conference.

The Texas Longhorns, Oklahoma Sooners and Texas A&M — all of which were believed to be headed out of the conference — have apparently decided to stay, and that changes everything.

If you're a college football fan, you know this is huge.

It means the college football world won't undergo a seismic change, one that seemed imminent as recently as 24 hours ago.

Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe has managed to put together a new television deal that will mean big bucks for Texas and the other nine schools that have decided to stay in the league.

The Longhorns held the cards in this deal, and they could come out of it making upwards of $20 million to $25 million a year in TV rights.

The new deal also has provisions for Texas to have its own television network, something they couldn't have pulled off with a move to the Pac-10 Conference which had been courting them.

Other Big 12 schools stand to increase their TV rights by at least $10 million a year.

So when it came down to it, the Big 12 and their new TV partners came up with more money, and that's what saved the conference and staved off college football Armageddon.

That gives the Big 12 ten teams for now. The North-South championship game goes away as well; the NCAA says a conference must have at least 12 teams for that.

It means the Red River rivalry game in Dallas takes on even greater importance, because — as the league stands now — it'll be tough for the loser of that game to win the conference outright.

Only time will tell if the Big 12 lives up to its original name and adds a couple more teams.

Texas has scheduled a news conference at 10 a.m. Tuesday to provide additional details.

E-mail jtrahan@wfaa.com

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