Conferences are back to square one regarding realignment

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Turned away by the Pac-12, the Big 12’s most powerful members are trying to find ways to live together again after weeks of hurtling toward a break up.

Texas President William Powers declared Wednesday that the Longhorns – who receive more media money than other members of the Big 12 – are open to a new revenue-sharing model and have already suggested that top-level television and cable money be shared equally.

What’s not on the table is the money from Texas’ 20-year, $300 million deal with ESPN to create the Longhorn Network, which has been blamed in large part for Texas A&M’s pending departure from the Big 12. Conference leadership has scheduled a key meeting today, Oklahoma President David Boren said.

“The most important goal for the University of Oklahoma is conference stability,” he said.

The Pac-12 late Tuesday squashed any hope of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech heading west in what surely would have been a death blow to the Big 12.

Oklahoma State’s regents gave school president Burns Hargis the power to depart the Big 12 if necessary while regents in Kansas reiterated their support for staying in the Big 12. Regents in Missouri are scheduled to meet today.

The Big East, left with only six football members after Pittsburgh and Syracuse announced plans to join the ACC, must also find a new way forward while the Mountain West and Conference USA are in discussions about a partnership.

East Carolina, of Conference USA, announced Wednesday that it has applied for membership in the Big East.

Navy and Air Force are the top choices as football-only
members, according to a person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the conference does not want to publicly disclose its plans.


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