Tuberville questions Big 12's endurance

Updated: June 30, 2010, 1:04 AM ET
ESPNDallas.com news services

First-year Texas Tech football coach Tommy Tuberville broke ranks with those inside the Big 12 who laud the efforts that kept the conference together and speak of a bright future for the 10-team league.

In an interview Tuesday on Rivals Radio, Tuberville said that he didn't think the new Big 12 would have staying power.

"I don't think this conference will last long because there is too much disparity between all the teams," Tuberville told host Bill King. "In the SEC, for instance, Vanderbilt makes as much money in the television contract as Florida. Everybody is good with it. Everybody is on the same page. Everyone gets the same votes.

"That doesn't happen here in the Big 12. We have some teams that get a little bit more money and have a little bit more stroke than some of the other teams. And when that happens, you're gonna have teams looking for better avenues to leave and reasons to leave."

Tuberville coached in the SEC at Ole Miss (1995-1998) and Auburn (1999-2008) before being hired earlier this year to replace Mike Leach at Texas Tech.

In the recent wave of conference realignment, Nebraska decided to leave the Big 12 for the Big Ten, and Colorado accepted an invitation from the Pac-10.

The Big 12 almost dissolved when when Tech, Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were on the verge of joining Colorado, and Texas A&M was pondering heading to the SEC or the Pac-10.

But on the strength of Texas' commitment and the promise of lucrative television deals, the Big 12's remaining 10 teams reached an agreement to stay togther.

Tuberville, however, is skeptical.

"We have a 10-team league right now, but I just don't know how long that's gonna last, to be honest with you," he said in the Rivals Radio interview.

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