December 19, 2009: Missouri Governor Jay Nixon publicly states that the University of Missouri should examine a move from the Big 12 to the Big Ten. He also makes the controversial statement that angered leaders/fans of other Big 12 schools:
“When you compare Oklahoma State to Northwestern, when you compare Texas Tech to Wisconsin, I mean, you begin looking at educational possibilities that are worth looking at.”
May 10, 2010: “Reports” begin popping up that the Big Ten is interested in expanding. The top schools cited as possible candidates include Notre Dame, Nebraska, and Missouri. Throughout the month of May, conflicting reports from uncited “sources” claim that the Big Ten has extended invitations to all three schools, while other reports state that the Big Ten had not extended invitations to anybody.
Missouri officials repeatedly deny receiving an invite from the Big Ten and claim the now infamous “we’re proud members of the Big 12 Conference”.
June 10, 2010: The Pac-10 also shows interest in expanding and only days later, pulls off the first move by inviting Colorado. The Buffaloes accept the invitation and announce that they will officially join the Pac-10 in 2012. The school later makes a settlement with the Big 12 and is allowed to leave within three weeks.
June 11, 2010: The very next day, Nebraska applies for membership in the Big Ten and is unanimously accepted.
June 12, 2010: Rumors begin to swirl that the Pac-10 isn’t finished pillaging the Big 12, and have invited Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech to join up.
June 13, 2010: It becomes clearer that the loss of Texas and/or Oklahoma would spell the end of the Big 12 Conference. Texas considers remaining in the Big 12, if some concessions are made by the other remaining schools.
June 14, 2010: The “Five schools to the Pac-10” deal was close to being made before all ten Big 12 members made an 11th-hour agreement to stay together and save the conference.
As part of this new deal, revenue sharing was restructured and a verbal promise of a new television deal was made by Commissioner Dan Beebe. Texas was permitted to launch it’s own television network (The Longhorn Network) in this new agreement. All members had the opportunity to do this, but only Texas had the legitimate capability. Texas A&M and Oklahoma agreed to discontinue contact with the SEC who had been pursuing both schools. All schools agree to cut off communication with all other conferences.
June 16, 2010: Two Texas-state lawmakers (both from Houston) co-write a letter to the Big 12 to consider adding Houston to the conference.
April 4, 2011: Texas and ESPN announce the launch of a 24-hour Texas Longhorn Network which would pay out $300 million over 20 years… to Texas.
July 18, 2011: The Longhorn Network announces they intend to air the high school football games of some of their top recruits. Texas A&M is the most vocal of the rest of the schools that all agree it gives Texas an even greater competitive advantage in recruiting and it’s wholly unfair.
August 11, 2011: The NCAA announces it will not allow The Longhorn Network to televise high school football games.
August 14, 2011: Texas A&M formally applies for membership to the SEC, and Baylor threatens legal action against the SEC. The SEC denies Texas A&M’s membership. It is well-documented that the primary reason was because the SEC didn’t want to face any legal repercussions.
August 31, 2011: Texas A&M officially notifies the Big 12 of their intention to seek other opportunities in other conferences. The SEC accepts the Aggies as a 13th member under the condition that the other schools not pursue legal action to block the move.
September 2, 2011: Oklahoma officials make it known that they are looking at other conference options as well as their option to remain in the Big 12. A move to the new “Pac-12” seems imminent.
September 7, 2011: It’s reported that Baylor and the remaining schools agree to waive their right to pursue legal action against Texas A&M, if Oklahoma remains in the Big 12.
September 12, 2011: The SEC invites Texas A&M to join the conference as it’s 13th member, and the Aggies accept.
September 18, 2011: After days of media speculation as to whom the SEC would add as a 14th member to balance the conference, a “West Virginia or Missouri to the SEC” report begins making it’s rounds.
September 19, 2011: News is leaked that West Virginia was denied admittance into the SEC, leaving Missouri as the likely top choice as a 14th member.
Simultaneously, the Texas Board of Regents are meeting and the Oklahoma Board of Regents are meeting. The BOR’s of each respective school gives their system Presidents the permission to speak freely with other conferences. Oklahoma’s President admits to having long-time communication with the Pac-12.
September 20, 2011: Oklahoma’s future in the Big 12 is cloudy. Announcing a move to the Pac-12 with Oklahoma State seems almost a formality. Without OU, the Big 12 may not survive the blow. The Sooners believe this, and to ensure they will stay in the Big 12, OU makes a list of demands from Texas. The list includes “hard and fast rules for The Longhorn Network” and the removal of Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe.
Hours later, the Pac-12 Presidents meet and announce that because Texas won’t guarantee relinquishing The Longhorn Network or share money equally with the rest of the Pac-schools, that they are no longer looking to expand beyond their current 12-teams.
Conflicting reports surface from Kansas City and St. Louis that the SEC has interest and a forthcoming offer for Missouri to become the 14th member. The Star cites two sources saying it’s very likely, the Post-Dispatch cites an SEC official stating “no invitation” has been made to anybody but Texas A&M.
September 21, 2011: Good morning.