This has been hinted at a bit, but it's time to say the quiet part out loud.

With Texas and O.U. out of the Big 12 and Texas Tech unlikely to find any opponents of that stature to replace them with, you can expect a big loss to our local community.

Let's start with the cash. It's unlikely the University will broker a t.v. deal anywhere near where the other one was. I've seen estimates ranging from millions, to tens of millions less. That is a LOT of money not circulating around the Hub.

You will also see TexasTech's and by default Lubbock's profile dim. 30 years ago when I talked to someone new in the record or radio business they'd say something like "Oh, Buddy Holly is from there, right?"  They would then on and on about how important Buddy was. This all changed when Tech basketball made a run for the national championship. It all soon became, "Texas Tech is there, right?" and they'd go on about the Red Raiders. Unfortunately, championship runs like that are rare, and don't rate with having your football team playing against big teams that people want to see.

It is incredibly hard to imagine and the pieces don't seem to be there for a new super-conference of any type that will equal where we are at. We will play against lesser teams, our t.v. viewers will be less and our victories will not have the shine of that every-once-in-a-while upset of the Longhorns or Sooners.

Let's also not forget that playing against teams that are farther away means fewer local visitors, fewer tickets sold and fewer hotel rooms rented. All this translates on everyone's bottom line and may even stunt the growth of places funded by the hotel/motel tax (like the Expo Center).

We have a little time to try to fix this. I hope no one rushes into anything else prematurely just because they got blindsided with this news. Even with that, it's very hard to imagine this as anything but a giant step backward for Texas Tech and Lubbock.

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