DALLAS -- AJ Maestas' marketing firm helps universities determine just how much their multimedia rights might be worth, not unlike the guy who advised Jed Clampett how much money he was sitting on.
Navigate Marketing worked on Ohio State's multimedia deal as well as others, including schools from the Pac-10 and Southeastern Conference.
And though he called the $300 million figure cited in Texas' deal with ESPN "a little deceiving," here's Maestas' take on what we'll call BEVO TV:
"This is it. There'll never be another one like it."
What this means is that the Longhorns have officially become the Yankees of college football, and everybody else in the Big 12 is scrambling to be the Royals.
A disparity in revenues as great as this portends can't be good for the league's long-term health. Concerns were raised last summer after concessions were made to Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma to keep the Big 12 intact. But no one saw this coming.
Industry insiders speculated Texas might make $3 million-$5 million a year. But because of competition with Fox Sports, and because ESPN wanted a friendly face at the bargaining table when Big 12 broadcasting rights come up for bids this spring, ESPN upped its offer to a whopping $15 million a year.
Even before Thursday's shocking announcement, the prospects of holding the Big 12 together didn't look good. Now it's just a matter of time.
Texas won't even be first to go. The Longhorns have no reason to leave. They get their own deal and a share of the conference package. No sense walking away from that.
As for its appeal to other leagues looking to expand, Texas is off the market. Maestas called it "highly unlikely" that the Pac-10 or Big Ten would take the Longhorns and their TV deal. The only place Texas might go now is on its own.
"Even before this deal, it was economically viable," Maestas said. "There's no doubt in my mind now."
Texas wouldn't go solo without provocation. Too much political pressure. But if, say, A&M were to accept a standing offer from the SEC, knocking the legs out from under the league, Texas could walk away without a scratch.
All things considered, let me offer a retraction: Forget my subtle suggestion after the Cotton Bowl that A&M should forget about the SEC. The question of whether it could keep up in the nation's toughest league no longer matters. Like Arkansas before it, A&M may have no choice but to go.
If the Aggies with their alumni base can't keep up with Texas, no one else in the state can, either. Oklahoma? A Sooners spokesman said Thursday that they hoped to announce a TV deal this year. Good luck with that. Oklahoma doesn't have Texas' TV markets. If ESPN or Fox Sports is going to give you a nine-figure deal, they'd like an opportunity to make it back.
For that matter, ESPN must work hard to get BEVO TV on cable and DirecTV, possibly skewing the projections, at least initially.
But even if it takes a few years for Texas to break even on the expensive venture, the benefits will start immediately.
BEVO TV's programming slate reportedly will include high school football games. Think that might help recruiting? Who's going to stop it? The NCAA? The UIL? Who has jurisdiction?
Athletes believe the world's axis turns on Bristol, Conn., as it is. Imagine what they'll think now that Texas is ESPN's flagship school.
And it won't impact only football. Think a kid might be attracted to a school where her parents could see all of her volleyball games?
Texas is about to enter a league of its own. Until now, only Ohio State could match the Longhorns dollar-for-dollar. Even at that, much of the Buckeyes' revenues go to debt service. Not at Texas.
More money for coaches. More money for facilities. No, it doesn't necessarily mean the Longhorns will win. Look at the advantage they enjoy now, and they're coming off their worst football season since the one that got John Mackovic fired. But it's probably not the start of a trend. And if it is, they'll buy their way out. Just like the Yankees.
That's the nice thing about wealth. Mistakes don't cost you as much. At least that's what they tell me, anyway. The way my finances look, I'll be working 10 years after I'm dead.