Requiring a permanent replacement when Chuck Neinas returns to his search firming duties, the Big 12 has offered the commissioner’s job to Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby.
According to ESPN’s Andy Katz, the conference should have their target in place in the next few months.
Sources said Bowlsby is likely to accept the offer….Bowlsby has been highly respected by his Pac 12 colleagues, and sources said he had a strong endorsement from Scott.
Bowlsby would inherit a gig that was quite volatile in the past calendar year. Held by Dan Beebe until Texas A&M and Missouri exited, the Big 12 has focused on achieving some semblance of stability in the wake of losing four schools over two seasons.
Nebraska bolted to the greener Big 10 pastures where common sense reigned and Texas wasn’t around to frustrate Tom Osborne. Colorado finally found their natural home in the Pac 12 where the majority of their alumni base resides. The Aggies and Tigers also used a combative relationship with the Longhorns as well as the lure of more television revenue to gain entry in the country’s most difficult football conference.
With Bowlsby’s experience in negotiating television deals, it will be interesting to track whether the Big 12 signs off on an extension of their Tier 1 rights with ESPN/ABC. At this point, the conference could wait and perhaps pursue expansion opportunities in order to drive the annual revenues up substantially.
Actually, expansion is the second most important topic for Bowlsby whether additional TV dollars materialize or not.
With the six-year grant of rights agreed to by the ten current members, the Big 12 isn’t headed for a demise as it seemed so close to the previous summers. Instead, there’s a real chance the conference might attempt to poach from both the Big East and ACC.
But until Bowlsby is official, none of that matters.
Except this is college football and where’s the entertainment without rampant, unsourced, ridiculous speculation?