As a Jayhawk fan, I can completely understand the red-headed stepchild factor that the Aggies have felt the past few months. I can't blame them for trying to throw the conference into chaos. I want to touch on an umber of issues that affect the future of this proud conference that probably should have stayed as the Big VIII.
1.) Big XII expansion: Without a conference championship game, the revenue and auto bids will be much harder for the rest of the conference to come by. Sure, Texas's deal generates revenue for everyone, but this was a stay of execution, not a long term solution. The XII would be well advised to add some solid teams NOW. They passed on TCU, which would have been a great fit. They still can go after the likes of Houston, Memphis, UAB (egads!), UTEP, etc and basically raid Conference USA of it's premier members. In order the 12 to survive long-term, they have to expand, and sooner than later. Adding Memphis and Houston and possibly UTEP and another school would give the conference an automatic BCS bid, a super-conference, and would make it one of the top basketball conferences in the country.
2.) Texas's future: The 300 million Texas has coming will keep them in the fold but for how long? I'm a cager and love hoops, football is all right but for me, the chance of losing KU/MU and KU/KSU in hoops far outweighs any geographical football rivalry not named the Red River shoot-out. (Hell we already lost Oklahoma/Nebraska which used to be the Game of the year every year. I hate Mizzou, but the rivalry goes back over a 100 years and splitting that rivalry up over dollars makes no sense. Texas has no sense of this history and was elevated to a larger stage when the SWC disbanded and the Big XII ALLOWED them entry in the conference. Texas would be stupid to disband this conference and I really can't see the conference falling apart in the next two or three years.
3.) TV Revenue: The almighty dollar will keep this conference together. Unless we have total realignment and all conferences go to 16 teams, TV revenue will keep the Big XII together. Let's not forget the pre-season #1 in football isn't from the SEC, it's from the Big XII. Good luck Nebraska, hope you enjoy the mediocrity that is the Big X. You have no chance of winning any tie breakers or BCS rankings in that weak conference, especially now that Ohio State is basically going to be in a downward spiral. When Wisconsin and Iowa are your main contenders for the Big X title, your revenue is going to go down. The revenue the Big XII generates this year will be just fine for all parties. Mizzou, Okie State, Texas, and Oklahoma will all be in bowl games. I'm pretty sure A and M and possibly Baylor will make that happen as well. The revenue they generate this year will help keep the XII together.
I hope Beebe realizes he needs to be the FIRST conference to go to 14 or 16 teams. Don't chase your tail. Pillage Conference USA, take a Boise, Utah, New Mexico, etc and add them to the mix. You get 16 teams, you aren't going anywhere. Texas will also get their $$ and be happy. In addition, you will have created the best baskeball conference in the country to rival the Big East.
Just my two cents, but damnit Beebe and the Big XII, be the leader of the pack, don't follow everyone else. Houston, Memphis, UTEP, and UAB would all jump ship in a heartbeat. You add these schools to the mix and suddenly, the Big XII has a dominant hoops conference and a solid BCS football conference.
Rock Chalk Jayhawk...
Let's keep the XII together!