Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby was mentally scrolling down the agenda for annual conference spring meetings next week in Irving.
Some were interesting topics, like the name-image-likeness debate in the NCAA and the upcoming financial distribution for conference schools.
Many were routine, mundane, annual events.
“Boring,” Bowlsby said, providing his own adjective. “I don’t know that we have any extraordinarily weighty issues.”
For the Big 12 right now, boring is good. So is a week of meetings without words like expansion or “psychologically disadvantaged.”
Awww, fun times.
Instead, expect the Big 12 to preach a positive story, thanks to Oklahoma appearing again in the College Football Playoff as well as a national women’s basketball champion in Baylor and a men’s runner-up in Texas Tech.
“The fact is we had a very good year,” Bowlsby said. “We had a good year financially. We had a good year competitively. We’ve capture a lot of awards again. Might guess is that people will be in a pretty good mood.”
Another bit of good news is likely to be the financial distributions per school for the current fiscal year.
Last year, the Big 12 announced nearly $36.5 million per school, not counting third tier revenue, to rank third among power conferences. Only the Big Ten and SEC distributed more per school.
This fiscal year, the conference could approach $40 million per school.
“I don’t think we’ll get over 40 (million),” Bowlsby said, “but I supposed it’s possible. I think it will be less than that.”
Here are some other topics that are likely to be discussed among presidents, athletics directors and conference basketball coaches, attending because of a quirk in the recruiting calendar:
• Name, image and likeness. Bowlsby is among the high-profile college administrators on an NCAA working group to study possible player compensation for name, image and likeness.
A report is scheduled for late October.
“I definitely think there will be many that will want to provide input to me as to what I should be thinking as we go into the work of the task force,” Bowlsby said.
• A look ahead to 2025. The Big 12’s TV contracts with ESPN and Fox, as well as its grant of rights, expire in 2025. The league also is starting a new digital distribution on ESPN+.
“I think we’ll spend some time brainstorming on what additionally to position ourselves for the next four or five years with all the media stuff we have and the beginning of the Big 12 digital platform,” Bowlsby said.
• Baylor and the NCAA. School president Linda Livingstone is expected to brief her fellow school CEOs regarding the investigation of the school’s football program from the Art Briles era. A resolution and penalties (if any) may not be known until late summer.
• Fox’s move to start its marquee Big 12 or Big Ten game at 11 a.m. School administrators, coaches, fans and local merchants are not fans of the early kickoffs.
Said Bowlsby: “There’s plenty of stuff to talk about but I don’t know it’s anything quite like we had last year and two years ago.”