ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Big 12 Conference is content with the 10 schools it currently has.
League commissioner Bob Bowlsby shot down the idea of adding new members to the conference during his introductory press conference Monday at Big 12 Media Days at AT&T Stadium.
"We like the 10 we have," Bowlsby said. "We think the full round-robin is the right way to conduct competition and in the case of our basketball, full round-robin. We are distributing record revenues and we have heretofore unanticipated media opportunities and I don't expect that to be an active topic on anybody's agenda within the conference any time in the foreseeable future."
Bowlsby also offered new details on the Big 12's new digital broadcast partnership with ESPN. The new digital network will be called "Big 12 Now" and will be available, behind a paywall, on ESPN+.
"It doesn't diminish our reliance on ESPN and Fox as our partners with our tier 1 consumption," Bowlsby said. "All of our sports will be available on ESPN+ on Big 12 Now at one time or another. There is a Big 12 landing page that is menu-driven, very easy to use and when it's fully functional and operational, ESPN + and Big 12 Now on ESPN+ will be carrying over 800 Big 12 events."
Fans will be able to access the Big 12 Now application on Apple TV, Android devices, Roku, Chromecast, FireTV, XBox One, Playstation 4, Oculus Go and newer Samsung "smart" televisions.
Bowlsby said the league is ahead of the curve when it comes to utilizing technology.
"Unlike my early days with the Big Ten Network and my early days with the Pac 12 Network, the first year of the Big Ten Network you couldn't get Ohio State football in Central Ohio, and believe me there were a few angry people when they called and said 'we can't get this and you need to fix our problem' and the answer was we can't fix your problem," Bowlsby said. "You need to talk to your cable carrier. This technology is up and running. It's easy to subscribe to and it's cutting edge."
Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley shed some light on the brief drama from a few months back when former Sooners quarterback Austin Kendall transferred to West Virginia.
Kendall was briefly blocked from leaving OU for WVU in January, but reversed course and eventually allowed him to make the move from Norman to Morgantown.
Riley was asked his views on the situation during his time at the podium Monday, and the third-year coach did not hold back.
"I was always going to let him go to West Virginia," Riley said. "That was no issue. That's part of these new rules is we can't restrict them from going anywhere. My contention was I had a concern about a player being able to transfer and be immediately eligible the very next year in our league. I don't think that's healthy for our league. In the end, I think the personal side of it overtook maybe more than the business side of it from my head and my views haven't changed. I still don't really agree with it, but I realize in that moment I wanted to do the best thing for the kid and I couldn't get past the personal side of it. I hope it's something we keep looking at because I think we've got to protect our league on that and I think it is something we've got to look out for each other on."
TCU's Amon G. Carter Stadium received a bit of a face-lift this offseason, with work ongoing to outfit the Horned Frogs' home with a new video board, luxury suites on the stadium's east side and revamped turf.
Frogs coach Gary Patterson suggested anyone looking to get excited about the coming college football season make the trip to Fort Worth to check out TCU's new toys.
"If you want something to do, what you need to do after this Media Day is you need to walk into our stadium and see how the east side and the new video board changed the presence of our stadium," Patterson said. "I think it was exactly what we needed as far as recruiting-wise and fan experience-wise. It's going to keep the noise in but it's an impressive stadium for seating 50,000 and it will be just as loud. It was already a loud stadium, but it's going to get louder and I think our fans are going to love it."
Patterson said being able to show off things like a new video board to potential recruits is a must in the current college football landscape.
"You have to be able to show kids what you want to do in this day and age," Patterson said. "I keep on telling them, 'Eyes up, keep climbing.' How do you want to do it? I think that's the statement [the stadium renovations at TCU] is going to say when we're done with it."