Media square-off: Conflicting Texas reports

This could get interesting.

Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com, a Rivals.com affiliated site that has been on top of (and in front of) most of the Big 12 news to break so far, is reporting that Texas soon will announce that it is committed to a 10-team Big 12 Conference. [Read the story here]

Brown writes this:

In a bombshell development that could bring a halt to seismic changes in college realignment, sources tell Orangebloods.com Texas has been convinced by a plan presented by commissioner Dan Beebe to stay in a 10-member Big 12.

UT officials are expected to announce their decision to remain in the Big 12 as early as Monday.

Such a move would appear to end a courtship between Texas and the Pac-10, which all but seemed solidified as of Friday when Nebraska announced it was heading to the Big Ten and Colorado had a press conference with its new commissioner – Larry Scott of the Pac-10.

But wait. As one famous ESPN personality likes to say, Not so fast my friend . . .

ESPN.com’s Joe Schad says he has four sources who tell him that the departure of Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State is imminent. And not only that, but Schad says it is Texas that is driving the whole thing along.

And here is that story.

And an excerpt:

The departure of Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to the Pac-10 is imminent, four sources within the Big 12 said Monday.

One source said commissioner Dan Beebe’s last-minute plan to save the conference has “zero” chance to succeed. Another source said it is “very unlikely” to succeed.

Texas’ interests in being aligned with the research opportunities and academic missions of Pac-10 schools is driving the decision, along with money.

This underscores a problem with unnamed sources. We don’t know who these people are providing information to Brown or Schad. And while they’re necessary to get unnamed information, media outlets also have to weigh the risk. Is the magnitude of the story worth putting your reputation on the line?

The conflicting reports even have the beginnings of a Twitter exchange, with Schad posting this . . .

And beyond that, is this some kind of political gamesmanship? Is Texas putting out word that it is staying to somehow make Texas A&M look bad, or even to force A&M’s hand on something with the SEC? Or is it being done for some kind of political cover?

As always, more questions than answers.

Just another twist in an already ridiculously handled process.

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