David Ubben It's a question worth asking after the birth of Texas' own television network, a luxury only BYU has, and Notre Dame's agreement with NBC allows them to be an independent as well. My thoughts on the issue were made clear on Tuesday: "The Longhorns need the Big 12 for rivalries and scheduling, but not for money. Now that the TV network is established and Texas can hang on to its media rights, the risk of the school going independent is overstated. There's not enough to gain and too much risk."Texas would be sacrificing its annual Big 12 paycheck, usually one of the biggest slices of the conference revenue pie, and be searching to schedule teams when quality opponents are all around it. But Football Outsiders, writing for ESPN.com, say there's another reason why Texas could go independent: "The numbers show that the Longhorns would have a better chance of contending for a national championship every year if they were an independent than if they remained in the Big 12. ...We determined that the departures of the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Colorado Buffaloes, along with the league's decision to play a nine-game conference schedule, would ultimately increase the likelihood of an undefeated Big 12 champ. But Texas' presence in the new Big 12 might also have a negative impact in terms of public perception. By electing to play a nine-game conference schedule instead of eight, the overall record of Big 12 teams will likely suffer. Collectively, Big 12 teams will play a total of 10 more league games -- meaning five teams will have an extra loss they might otherwise have avoided by scheduling a nonconference cupcake. Those losses ought not to make a difference, but they do for many poll voters who defer to the loss column when filling out a ballot."It's an interesting argument, and one with some merit, though I disagree with it. Texas is a program that, more often than not under Mack Brown, is a player in the national title race. In my opinion, the difference between the difficulty of reaching the championship in a slimmed-down Big 12 and as an independent isn't a big one. But going independent comes with big risks that don't accompany staying in the Big 12. Even if Texas did go independent, it could be corralled by state legislatures to keep games with Texas A&M, Texas Tech and possibly Baylor, and fans would be outraged if the Red River Rivalry ceased to exist. By that point, going independent seems like an exercise that isn't quite worth the trouble. Originally posted by ESPN.com - Big 12 Blog Click here to view the article.