Powers: The Big 12 is saved

Curtis Powers

The Big 12 is saved! Wow! I for one thought it was dead after Nebraska bolted. Sure Texas could have saved the whole thing, but various reports were saying that if Nebraska left, Texas would leave too.

Apparently, they were bluffing. Maybe that’s why they call it Texas Hold ’em.

I’m still in shock. After all, the sharks were circling. Blood was in the water.

Nebraska and Colorado were gone. PAC-10 commissioner Larry Scott was on the verge on landing five more Big 12 schools.

Our own commissioner, Dan Beebe, looked like the captain of the Titanic going down with the ship.

But then, in the 11th hour, Dan Beebe put forth a plan. Orangebloods.com’s Chip Brown, the man who broke the story of the original PAC-16 plan, reported that Texas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M will make $20 million per year with the new TV deal in Beebe’s plan.

The rest of the Big 12 schools will make $14 to $17 million per year, which doubles their current revenues. That’s fantastic news for Iowa State. Not only does the Big 12 continue on, but Iowa State is going to take it to the bank.

The Big 12’s next TV negotiations are in 2011 for the start of 2012. Chris Level, talk show host, reported Fox Sports as the major TV player in Beebe’s plan.

Apparently Beebe really had been “working tirelessly” after all. I’ll admit, I had little faith in the man through the whole process, especially after listening to his teleconference Friday.

But he got it done. Well, him and a group of “influential people,” according to ESPN. I never knew college athletics could be so murky behind the scenes.

Disaster was averted. It’s a like major hurricane was about to hit shore when it suddenly changed course back out to sea. You just never know.

And that’s kind of how this whole process felt too: A hurricane.

The storm started small and there was only one guy reporting on it. Actually there was only one guy who really knew what was going on: Chip Brown.

So we just watched his Twitter account really closely. Or in my case, watched cyclonefanatic.com really closely, which would direct you to pertinent information like his Twitter account. Information like the PAC-10’s desire to poach half the schools from the Big 12 for a super conference with a TV network to rival the Big 10’s.

The storm then grew and picked up steam, more people started to pay attention. ESPN was mysteriously absent at this point, outside of their Big 12 blogger, David Ubben.

Then Colorado left, Nebraska left, five more Big 12 schools were on the verge of leaving, and many were calling Board of Regents meetings for the following week — dark clouds were forming over the weekend.

ESPN finally started reporting more heavily — just as the hurricane is about to hit land in heavily populated areas.

The weekend ended, Monday began, and suddenly the hurricane pulled a U-turn out of nowhere. Unbelievable.

I think Chris Williams, publisher of CycloneFanatic.com, put it about right when he said in an article, “[today] goes down as the greatest day in the history ISU athletics.”

Think about it. Iowa State was on the brink of disaster. Any direction we would have gone would have been down; revenues, academics, travel, etc., we’d lose.

Instead, we stand to gain millions of dollars for staying in our conference. Sure, we have to play Texas and Oklahoma more, which will be tough, but that sure beats playing Houston and Tulsa.

As the Pointer Sisters so eloquently put it, “I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it, I’m about to lose control and I think I like it.”