Winner: Texas. With the promise of much more lucrative television contracts for the slimmed-down Big 12, the league’s richest athletic department will have even more cash to roll around in. Texas even got the green light to start its own TV network. Plus, the Longhorns don’t have Nebraska quarreling with them all the time.
Winners: The Uninvited Five. Kansas, Missouri, Iowa State, Baylor and Kansas State were in deep trouble for a while, with no apparent home had the Big 12 fallen apart. They might have talked their way into, say, the Mountain West or Conference USA. But it would have meant less income and tougher recruiting. Prized rivalries, some dating to the 19th century, might have been imperiled. Some are laughing at these schools for offering, in effect, to pay Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma to stay with them. What would you do?