New Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby answered the tough questions during his introductory press conference, like whether he was in the bag for Texas. As long as DeLoss Dodds is the athletic director in Austin and the Longhorns continue printing money, there’s always going to be whispers about who runs the show. All the former Stanford executive can do is tell the media he’ll make decisions outside the burnt orange sphere of influence and hopefully keep the exiting members to a minimum, for at least six years.
Such is life in the Big 12 and in a Rant Sports exclusive*, we were given access to the initial meeting of Bowlsby and his merry band of athletic directors (*I’ve never been given access to anything of importance save my fiance’s Facebook password).
Bowlsby: Good morning gentlemen, I’m excited about this conference, its future and the stability with which…
DeLoss Dodds (Texas): Cut the crap Boogsby, you promised me AT&T and Comcast as distributors for the Network. I got you your gig, now where are they?
Joe Castiglione (Oklahoma): Jesus DeLoss, can’t we have one damn meeting without you bringing up that channel? What are you guys showing these days, re-runs of Medicinal Miracles with Ricky Williams and Cedric Benson?
Dodds: Blow it out your as….
Bowlsby: That’s quite enough of that. Listen guys, during my tenure at Stanford, I dealt with plenty of egos. Southern California is a haven for it but the reason the Pac 12 earned the richest television contract in college football was because we worked together. It’s a team here, the Big 12 is no longer Texas-Oklahoma and eight? nine? or ten miscreants, I can’t remember which.
/Someone opens the door and pokes his head in
Kirby Hocutt (Texas Tech): Well Bob, I’d like you to know that Red Raiders are currently attempting to form their own network as well. We’re committed to the Big 12, its cause and making sure people know I wasn’t the one that fired Mike Leach.
/Dodds and Castiglione stifling laughter
Bowlsby: Cool it clowns, I cannot believe on the day I was introduced as commissioner that I actually had to tell people I didn’t serve one school. Just what in the hell did y’all do to Dan Beebe and Chuck Neinas?
Dodds: Beebe’s changing my oil at the moment, Neinas might have been duped into the job.
Bowlsby: How so?
Castiglione: Me and DeLoss told him Bob and Mack were retiring and we needed replacements. Dude’s been running around the country for the last six months asking folks like Dabo Swinney whether they want the job. Didn’t have the heart to tell him it was a ruse.
Bowlsby: What have I done?
Dodds: Not a damn thing yet. But welcome to the party.
Bowlsby: I thought the rest of your colleague would be here. It seems a bit disrespectful for just two of ten athletic directors to attend our very first meeting.
Castiglione: Is he serious?
Dodds: Hard to tell, listen Bagsby this is how we conduct business. Joe and I talk, I usually tell him to re-apply to the Pac 12 if we disagree and then we send an email to the rest of the league.
Bowlsby: Well, that may have worked in the past but it certainly will change in the future.
Dodds: Is that so? (DeLoss takes out his cell phone and makes a call, speaks in hushed tones, and hangs up smiling).
Bowlsby: Excuse me gents, that’s my phone. I’d better take it.
/The Big 12 commissioner listens for a few seconds, nods once and calmly puts it back in his pocket
Castiglione: Problem there, Bob?
Bowlsby: No, no problem. None at all. I’ve apparently been requested to serve as the new commissioner of the WAC.
Dodds: Thought the WAC was down to only a couple of teams?
Bowlsby: So did I unfortunately.
Castiglione: Well, we’d hate to lose you so soon. But them’s the breaks. Say DeLoss, if Busby jets, wanna see if Luck would be down for the gig?
Dodds: Yeah, Oliver’s got a pair. He might be better off dealing with Slive than this mud flap.
Bowlsby: I’m still here.
Dodds: Oh, I forgot. Hey, nice to meet you, DeLoss Dodds. When do you start?