"Cash Rules Everything Around Me," or the acronym CREAM made popular by the Wu-Tang Clan, runs the college football world.
The Big Ten is the king of the jungle, the ACC is the slowest of the fast kids and the SEC and Pac-12 are fighting to catch Jim Delany's expanding conference.
The Big 12 is also in that race, and with the recent revenue distribution, things are looking very stable.
As Forbes reported on Friday, the Big 12—a league that appeared to be on life support multiple times during the expansion cycle—would be divvying up $198 million in revenue to its member institutions.
Chuck Neinas, who served as the interim commissioner, and current commissioner Bob Bowlsby have saved the day.
In the last few seasons, the league has lost Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri and Texas A&M. It has gone from 12 teams and a conference title game to 10 teams and a round robin schedule. The league conceded the state of Colorado and picked up the state of West Virginia.
Yet, through it all, it is doing quite alright.
Eight of the 10 teams will receive $22 million, while new members West Virginia and TCU receive a half-share of $11 million. That $22 million keeps the conference in the game—not quite the $25.7 million per team the Big Ten produced according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, but ahead of the SEC's reported $20.7 million number.
It must also be noted that the Big 12, unlike some other leagues, does allow its members to shop its third-tier rights. Texas' Longhorn Network nets the school an additional $15 million, while The Kansas City Star reported that Kansas' rights were worth $6.5 million.
The SEC is going to see its bottom line increase with the addition of the SEC Network and the newly negotiated television deal.
The Big 12 has a deal of its own that is set to go into effect and the two conferences are also going to see a swell in revenue through their partnership in the Champions Bowl.
Throw in the increased cash being pumped in through the playoff and it is a good time to be in the Big 12.
A league that got poached by the Big Ten, was almost hijacked by the Pac-12 and then saw two members plucked by the SEC is now just as healthy, financially, as the rest of its Big Five conference-mates.
Thus, while people focus on the Mike Slive-Jim Delany, SEC-Big Ten arms race, how progressive the Pac-12's Larry Scott is or wondering how John Swofford keeps saving the ACC, Bob Bowlsby's conference is embracing the changing collegiate landscape.
With plenty of cash to go around.
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