One More Reason for Arkansas Fans to Thank Frank Broyles

Big 12 shows fight, deserves right to be third wheel in future Power Three
Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Austin Allen (8) celebrates with fans after the game against the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Austin Allen (8) celebrates with fans after the game against the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium. / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – It's tough being a conference other than the SEC or Big Ten.

The Pac 12 folded, although technically Washington State and Oregon State still have rights to the name. The ACC is constantly doing all it can to self destruct and its best impression of a mid-major conference by forcing its teams to play Friday night games.

Only the Big 12 is truly trying to show some sort of fight and appears to be in line to survive when things implode into the Power Three at some point in the near future. It's a conference that, despite the loss of Texas and Oklahoma, is willing to turn over every possible stone to remain competitive.

Early on it was adding West Virginia as if the Mountaineers were part of the Midwest footprint that dominated the conference. Now the conference is looking to sell the rights to the part of its name currently occupied by the word "Big."

Every time the Big 12 comes up in the news, it always provides pause to reflect on the wisdom of Frank Broyles' bold decision to move Arkansas as the first domino to fall in the old Southwest Conference. Life would have been much different and the facilities around campus definitely would have had a lesser look to them.

When the Big 12 gets its big boost in television revenue on its next contract, it will still be significantly behind the SEC and Big Ten in terms of yearly payout. Hence why conference leaders have agreed to sell off the naming rights and potentially become something along the lines of the Papa John's 12.

If they're willing to go back to divisions then perhaps Yum! Brands could be the sponsor. Yum! owns restaurants like Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver's and A&W and is known for its two restaurants in one concept.

Arizona and Arizona State could find themselves in the Taco Bell Division while West Virginia an Central Florida could be staples of the Pizza Hut division. Since Yum! would have multiple restaurants operating on the brand in this format, the Big 12 could squeeze just a little extra money.

If that were to take place, it would be just one more reason for Arkansas fans to be happy to not have been left behind to deal with the long legacy of messes that followed the Hogs' departure. It's a much bigger problem than the years of drama that followed in their wake.

Yum! Brands is in strict partnership with Pepsi. Razorbacks fans will suffer a lot of potentially embarrassing things, but their one hard line is drinking Pepsi at sporting events, no matter how much money hits the coffers.

So, here's to Target, Southwest Airlines, Yum! Brands or whatever company keeps the Big 12 financially afloat. It's a league that deserves to stay alive.

It survived Texas as a member and has quite the fighter's spirit. Just make sure the check is big and the name and anything done with it is interesting for the SEC and Big 12.

They could use a good laugh while digesting the prime pieces of the ACC in the coming years. Maybe the Family Dollar 12 could have whatever's left over.


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Kent Smith


Kent Smith has been in the world of media and film for nearly 30 years. From Nolan Richardson's final seasons, former Razorback quarterback Clint Stoerner trying to throw to anyone and anything in the blazing heat of Cowboys training camp in Wichita Falls, the first high school and college games after 9/11, to Troy Aikman's retirement and Alex Rodriguez's signing of his quarter billion dollar contract, Smith has been there to report on some of the region's biggest moments.