The Pryor Times

September 13, 2012

Shinn at 3 p.m.: It's time to accept a 10-team Big 12

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Notre Dame's decision to join the ACC in every sport but football should be remembered as the last shockwave in a turbulent two years of conference realignment.

During that span, the Pac-10 became the Pac-12. The Big Ten kept the same name, but swelled to 12 from 11 teams. The SEC bolstered their ranks to 14 and ACC jumped to 15 for the 2014 season with the addition of the Irish

The Big 12, which lost four Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri and Texas A&M during that span, but recently gained TCU and West Virginia, remains a 10-member conference and should stay that way.

It's simply a matter of economics.

The Big 12's newly signed TV deal guarantees the league $200 million per year and its schools $20 million each. Notre Dame was the only remaining unattached program that could have moved that TV payout above $220 million.

Accepting any other members at this point would only cause the Big 12 schools to take a pay cut while taking on additional travel expenses.

The name may still sound odd, but it's time to get very comfortable with Oklahoma playing in a 10-team league. With Notre Dame off the table, there's simply no reason to expand.