OU President Boren Believes Big 12 Psychologically Disadvantaged

by Fred Pahlke | Posted on Saturday, June 27th, 2015



Univ. of Oklahoma President David Boren (photo: WFAA)

Univ. of Oklahoma President David Boren hit he nail on the head as he commented that “the Big 12 is in a state of psychological disadvantage” with the league carrying only ten teams as the other major conferences contain 12 or 14 members. In a statement by Pres. Boren yesterday, the intention that the Big 12 needs to add members and it wouldn’t hurt the revenue of the other members is his strong belief.

Boren said, “Commissioner Bowlsby said publicly yesterday, as reported in The Daily Oklahoman that our television contracts are written to expand proportionally if we add additional schools. In other words, the pie gets proportionally larger if it is cut 12 ways instead of 10. There could be some slight loss of revenue from bowl games and other sources, but if the conference carefully selects additional members, based upon their media markets and fan base support, the amount should increase rather than decrease. We should; however, be very selective. I do not favor adding two more members unless they meet very high criteria. When we look at football playoffs and our conference is bumping up against conferences with 12 or 14 members, I believe that we are psychologically disadvantaged because we are a smaller conference.”

That statement tells the college football world that at least one Big 12 school is looking for adding new members. Media markets, not fan bases, must be noted in Boren’s statement. Money is the key, along with any psychological damage being done currently by having the Big 12 at 10 members. Boren is indicating that markets such as one with a Florida school might bring, or a Ohio school, such as Cincinnati, putting the Big 12 into Big 10 territory might do the league be better than a Bosie State, BYU or even Colorado State out west. Memphis is another school that would bring some major markets in the Mid-south that would fit.

Common opinion in Big 12 country will tell you that the natives are jumpy, and the power of the Univ. of Texas in holding back an expansion won’t wash. With the addition of two teams, the conference can again play a football championship game while strengthening it’s major hold as of the best or second best conference playing basketball. Adding Memphis and Cincinnati would be a tremendous positive for the Big 12 hoops.

Look for the league to expand within two years. If they pass, look for the league to be the fifth of five major conferences and the psychological disadvantage will continue to grow.


About the Author

Oklahoma native has viewed over 10,000 sporting events in his 61 years. A season ticket holder of the Oklahoma City Thunder and expert in both professional and college basketball and football. A graduate of Oklahoma City University. Elementary School Principal in the Oklahoma City Public Schools for 31 years. www.fredpahlke.com

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