Can last-minute proposal save Big 12?

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Dan Beebe’s been behind the whole game, but he’s trying to close strong. Really strong.

Now that Nebraska and Colorado have bolted the Big 12, commissioner Beebe says he’s put together a plan that will entice the remaining 10 schools to stay put. What would prevent Texas, Oklahoma and the rest from bolting to the Pac-10 or the SEC? The same thing that started this whole realignment mess.

Money.

  • According to Orangebloods.com, Beebe thinks the Big 12’s next TV deal will boost revenues per school from $7 to $10 million to $17 million by 2012. That’s SEC money.
  • The $20 million buyout penalties from Nebraska and Colorado’s leaving will be divided up by the remaining schools.
  • Also, individual schools are free to launch their own networks (Texas is sure to jump on that).

“My plan is about what’s best for the citizens in this part of the country and for the student-athletes and not having this section of the country with all its major institutions connected to conferences that aren’t even here. We shouldn’t be a fly-over zone,” Beebe told Orangebloods.com.

It’s a solid proposal. Question is, can Bebee pull it off? He may have been dealt a losing hand to start with the Big 12, but he played those cards poorly. He continued to let Texas dictate league terms, which alienated other schools, and didn’t do anything innovative to boost the league’s revenue or profile.

Besides, he’ll still at be Texas’ mercy. The Longhorns remain the key to saving the Big 12. Wouldn’t Bebee’s proposal have to have a pot sweetener for the ‘Horns besides the chance to start their own network? If they hold all the power to saving the Big 12, they’d be foolish to do just that, then relinquish their power.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter, usually talkin’ hoops.