August 15, 2011
Bailey does not foresee Pac-12 invite
Texas Tech president Guy Bailey expects Texas A&M to ultimately succeed in its effort to join the Southeastern Conference.
Bailey expressed his Big 12 Conference thoughts on a local Lubbock radio show Monday morning.
"My assumption is A&M will eventually move to the SEC," Bailey, the Big 12 president representative to the NCAA, said. "I think they really want that. And I think the SEC probably wants them. There are some complications that have to be worked out. The timetable has been slowed down a bit but I do think they'll probably end up in the SEC."
At this point in time, the Big 12 easily is the Red Raiders' best option in terms of being associated with a conference of status. A Pac-12 invitation isn't likely to come to the State of Texas in this round of potential realignment.
"Here's the deal, what the Pac-12 offered last year, and I think they would be open to this year, is a package deal," Bailey said. "You'd have to have four schools and Texas is the cornerstone to that. Remember, the issue last year came down to the Longhorn Network. The University of Texas wanted its own network for tertiary rights and the Pac-12 doesn't allow that. We can cut that out right there. I don't foresee that happening."
Consequently, Bailey said the Big 12 will have to expand to find at least a tenth team. The general consensus is the league has been reactive for the past year of conference realignments and it's time to make an act of its own.
"If A&M leaves, we're going to use this opportunity to build one of the strongest conferences in the United States," Bailey said. "What we'll do, we're going to be very aggressive in recruiting schools and I don't know how many we're eventually going to recruit, we'll need to work with FOX and our other media partners in doing this.
"In the past we've sort of been reactive, I think the nine remaining members of the Big 12 has decided that the reactive behavior - it's time to get rid of that. It's time to be proactive and I think you'll see a very proactive approach
I think you ought to think of conference realignment with the Big 12 being one of the cornerstones."
When asked to speculate on what teams might be interested in joining the Big 12 to take A&M's spot, Bailey joked that his wife is very high on the conference bringing in Hawaii.
The deciding factor in what team or teams should be invited to the Big 12 is expected to be market size. Like Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt said Sunday, Bailey said the conference will consult with television markets in who it's adding.
"I can't really go into the details of discussion but it's certainly about expanding the number of TV sets, the footprint of the conference," Bailey said.
Bailey also said the Big 12 has received good news from Missouri. The Tigers, a year removed from trying to join the Big 10 Conference, have no intention of joining the SEC.
Bailey wrapped up his radio interview by offering his strategy for Tech to see the best outcome it can through conference realignment.
The best thing Tech can do is align itself with its natural rivals on the field but friends off the field.
"We certainly would love to stay with Texas," Bailey said. "It's important to be in the same conference with them. One of the things we need are traditional rivalries. When UT plays here we sell more tickets. We sell more season tickets when UT plays here and the years they don't play here we don't sell as many tickets. Rivalries are absolutely key to it."
...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now for a FREE Trial