Thursday, June 10, 2010


Next-best fit for KU? Big/Pac-20


Now that Nebraska has set the dominoes tumbling and the Big 12 is teetering on the brink of extinction, it’s time to consider what becomes the best-case scenario for Kansas University.

Of all the possibilities discussed lately, the one that looks most attractive for Kansas, should the Big 12 disappear, involves a 20-team league that merges the Pac-10 schools with 10 Big 12 institutions.

This scenario discussed at the recent Pac-10 meetings didn’t get as much play as the one wherein the conference raids six Big 12 teams, but it was discussed.

Since Nebraska has found a new home in the Big Ten, that leaves one school left to entertain itself.

Which member is left homeless?

Not Baylor. Politically, it’s easier for Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech to bring along Baylor. Not Kansas State. You want KU’s perennial powerhouse basketball program to join the conference, welcome its in-state rival, too. Not Colorado. Geographically, it makes sense. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are in, too. Iowa State? The school never whined about Texas getting a bigger slice of the TV revenue pie. The loyal conference member deserves inclusion. Plus, the cheeseburger soup at Hickory Park in Ames can’t be replaced.

Four from Texas, two from Oklahoma, two from Kansas, one from Colorado and one from Iowa. That makes 10.

Missouri is left to fend for itself for having the gall to think it was attractive enough to scare the Big 12 by courting the Big Ten, a whiny move that infuriated the Texas schools.

Such a ground-breaking merger would allow for schedules weighted toward playing the vast majority of conference games against opponents that are closest geographically, thus minimizing travel expenses for the schools and time expenses for the student-athletes. The Pacific Division champion plays the Central Division champion in every sport, a small step toward a playoff system in football.

Nebraska’s impending departure will lead many to believe NU athletic director Tom Osborne turned his back on the conference that was such a big part of his life because he harbors ill will toward Texas for hogging the television revenues.

Not so fast.

One man in the know says Osborne was “lukewarm at best” about the move Nebraska is expected to announce as early as Friday. Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman, believing joining hands with so many prestigious universities would raise his school’s academic reputation and attract more research dollars, drove the move.

Even though Osborne didn’t turn his back on his Big 12 brethren, his athletic program must pay the price. Those Nebraska left behind should blackball the Cornhuskers, never again playing them or Missouri in any scheduled sporting event.

Barring an unexpected last-minute snag — Notre Dame stepping forward to join the Big Ten and blocking Nebraska before the ink dries on any contract — and supposing the Pac-10 and Big 12 form a 20-school merger, where would that leave Missouri?

Two words: Who cares?


KURocksChalk 3 years, 10 months ago

What would the Wizard of Westwood say? My guess is that he would have wanted the Pac 10 to invite Kansas.


KURocksChalk 3 years, 10 months ago

Love the punch line. Where should I send your keg of Black Butte Porter?


1977kufan 3 years, 10 months ago

Tom, this is an interesting article and I certainly like the disdain for Missery - who cares. Simply a one problem after another problem university that may have indeed started this entire fiasco by "wishing" they were in the big 10. A super conference with the Pac 10 or 20 or what ever number is certainly an attractive possibility. After CU and NU leave, a consideration should be given to bringing TCU and Arkansas to re-establish the number 12. The big question with this scenario is, how much TV revenue would this generate in comparison to other scenarios? This seems to be the driving force. Well, this interesting and I am certainly awaiting on the re-alignment. As a related note and after looking at recent interviews and activities, our University has an truly outstanding head coach in basketball. Everyone, please make sure that Coach Self remains in his position. He is a priceless asset to this University!!! RCJH KU!!!


STLJHawk86 3 years, 10 months ago

I was reading and for the first time found a reference to KU being of interest to the PAC 10:

"But if Texas A&M waits too long to commit to the Pac-10, the Aggies could be put on the clock, possibly opening up their invitation to another school, sources close to the Big 12/Pac-10 merger said.

Schools that could possibly be considered for invitation to the Pac-10 in place of Texas A&M would include Utah and Kansas, among others, the sources said."

Woo hoo!


CaramelMacchMan 3 years, 10 months ago

All I can think of is Kansas City economy.. How bad will this be for KC? Big 12 basketball tournament and KU Mizzou game at Arrowhead and Big 12 football championship game.

All that money in power and light district seems down the drain.


Andy Tweedy 3 years, 10 months ago

Since all the schools are looking out for themselves, I am going to do the same. When I consider road trips to conference games, I'll take Utah, BYU, NM and Boise over any trip to a CUSA site. Hell, we'll be playing half our games at 7,000 feet above sea level. Not sure that's a good thing for the football team, but I sure do like it for me!!! God, I just wish this whole thing would's making me ill...


dynamitehawk 3 years, 10 months ago

O.K. I confess. I graduated from Colorado State. I just dig KU b/c living here (KC) for years, that KU basketball superior.

So. Invite Colorado State, Memphis, Cincinnati, to: Join the "New Big Something" ; or make a play at schools that are primed for big-time and go for a new East Cost (former ACC/Big East) league.

Or - the SEC looks real nice right now for KU and OU only.


JTAnderson 3 years, 10 months ago

Perkins and KU administrators (at least the Chancellor is getting involved) have been extremely disappointing through the starting of this expansion process. At least Bill Self is coming out, expressing some of his opinions, and acknowledging expansion consequences.
Nebraska and Colorado are leaving, I want some sign of proactivity from KU, and the next headline coming out of KU is about Perkins retiring after the 2010-2011! What a self consumed piece of **it! Find us a home Perkins! I have been blogging my brains off on ESPN Football Nation, both Big 10 and 12, trying to make a case why KU athletics, and the university as whole, is relevant, and should be a desired addition to the Big 10, let alone any other major conference (or future pending Super Conference).


Hank Cross 3 years, 10 months ago

As it sits now there could be three scenarios

  1. The B12 stays and adds Houston and TCU as Lighthawk stated above. USC getting sanctioned means the P10 tv contract has lost much of its value.

  2. KU, KSU, MU and ISU to BE - that gives the BE a football conference championship. The 20 team BB league is mess, but sends probably 12 teams every year to the tourney.

  3. The four above go to the MW with Boise. Not great, but at least KU retains its position academically and athletically with MU. Having 2 B10 adjacent to KS would cause a serious brain drain.


buckleyhawk 3 years, 10 months ago

I can't believe people think that the MWC is the best option. That can't be the case. No offense to MWC schools, Kansas is not an MWC school. People can talk all they want about the Utahs and UNLVs (excepting the Tark years where they bought a couple of championships) and Boise States they want, but every time anybody talks about how good they are, it's always with the qualifier "especially for a mid-major!!!".


Benjamin Piehler 3 years, 10 months ago

seriously, forget the ku ksu thing. MAYBE we could get a bcs invite more easily if we werent a packaged deal. what exactly is the connection between the schools? what role do the state's politicians play?


Mark Lindrud 3 years, 10 months ago

Well depending on what happens as far as the Big 12 staying together, KU must be proactive and save its own skin. The Mountain West seems to be the best option and it could end up being a strong conference for us to join. I know I maybe dreaming a bit, but I wish would not stay tied to KState and allow ourselves to join the Big 10. It is not that I disrespect KSU, but if they are going to hold us back from being able to make a move then we need to look out for ourselves and do what will be best for KU. Either way KU needs to stop sitting on its hands and do something because Beebe is a fool for not being proactive. We have lost CU and NU and we still are acting like a kid at a candy store window shopping.


Sweet_Sandbags 3 years, 10 months ago

From the grapevine - "OU and KU to the SEC is in the works."

However, from the same grapevine - "Johnny and the mother are playin' Stomp It at the Savoy in Vermont tonight."

The fact is, know your grapevine...or live Dangerously. ;)

*Just kidding on the OU/KU/SEC front (though it would be nice). A little tension-breaker movie quote since we are all on the edge of our seats regarding how this will shake out for KU.


AJay 3 years, 10 months ago

This is all ridiculous, but $ is the Champion here..

It looks like KU is screwed, at least for this year. Now that Lew is leaving he obviously has no faith in the future of KU. If Self stays around and Gill stays too we should be fine! We need to cut ties with our purple foes, just to be able to shop around and not worry about it. What the BigXII should do is boot MU for their outrageous behavior, and then add three teams - TCU, a team to replace CU (heh any team would do), and maybe make a crazy stage at stealing a SEC or Big Yeast team I suppose. No matter what we should NEVER play Neb in any sport again except BBALL just to shame them and we should always play MU in every sport no matter what conference we/they are in.

Pray for the worst prepare for the best... Shiznit is about to hit the fan and KU is at the bottom of the pile....


jaybate 3 years, 10 months ago

Part II

Conferences are about creating sufficient shared political economic interest that their member states will produce voting blocks of senators and congressmen on certain kinds of issues, especially infrastructure issues in the conference region.

Note, Nebraska is a possible NAFTA super corridor lateral to the west coast waiting to happen. The I-80 right of way is a desirable path to parallel for a super corridor most of the way. It is also a natural path to deny someone trying to build a super corridor lateral in the west.

So is Kansas, but it is a much less appealing one, because there is not an easy direct route for a lateral to the west coast through Colorado, unless one were to follow the old Santa Fe trail and Santa Fe RR right of way toward SoCal.

Another great route for a western lateral, especially if you are Texas and already have established the San Antonio Inland Port at old Kelly AFB outside San Antonio, would be to follow the Southern Pacific right of way across west Texas, across New Mexico, across Arizona, and into SoCal at, say, San Diego, and thence northwards paralleling the I-5 right of way, or perhaps a route east of the Sierras and the Cascades. Voila! Suddenly you don't need any laterals through Kansas, or Nebraska, or the Dakotas, or, through western Canada (because maybe the NAFTA super corridor isn't going any farther north than good old Richards Gebaur AFB).

Mizzou is in Missouri, the state that has the current northern terminus of the NAFTA super corridor and it seems bogged down there.

The northward extention of the NAFTA super corridor is bogged down, or perhaps blocked due to grass roots political resistance energized by sovereignty issues, and by apparently diverging agendas in the oligarchy that propelled the formation of the NAFTA super corridor to its present status.

There is debate about whether the NAFTA super corridor actually ever will be extended north to Canada as originally planned.

The NAFTA super corridor is not the brain child of oligarchs of Nebraska, Missouri, or Kansas. It is reputedly the brain child of the Texas oligarchs operating in the background of the Texas universities and the Texas state government, and during the Bush Administration, in the back ground at the Federal level also. Oh, I suppose there was some input from the Crown of Great Britain, and its agent oilcos in the Anglo American Oil Refiners Oligopoly, too, but, judging from the ruptured BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico (the one that, gosh darn it, no modern day Red Adair's can seem to close off), there may be something of a rift in the original alliance that ram-rodded the NAFTA super corridor through North America, like a giant wedge dividing the old economy and old America from the new economy and the New America--or the New World Order as the Bushies used to like to call it,


jaybate 3 years, 10 months ago

Part III

Wouldn't a Big Ten-Pacific Conference make a wonderful region of shared political economic interest for states seeking to participate in the lastest iteration of the Lazarus like NAFTA super corridor?

You wouldn't need Nebraska. You might not want KU and KSU either. ISU? Fuggeddaboutit. Missouri? Well, if a northward extention of the super corridor is no longer in the works, who cares what Missouri does? But it surely would be nice to have the Texas schools and the Okie schools and the oil oligarchs of both states.

And, well, it would be nice to have Kansas and their oil oligarchs, but, maybe they haven't played ball and are being punished. Or maybe they got too close to the oligarchs on the other side of the fault line from the Texas oligarchs.

Wouldn't it be fine to add New Mexico and New Mexico State to the Big Pacific?

And then pivot east and cut a deal to merge with the Southeastern Conference.

Why you could have football content for every time slot of every time zone that a network could want...and you could have a whole lot of the shared political economic interests that an east-west NAFTA super corridor lateral would need...especially one passing right through good old San Antonio Inland Port...and the north-south spine of the NAFTA super corridor.

Yeeeee hawwwwwww!

The eyes of Texas are upon you, and me, and all of us.

Note: Parts I and II and III of this post are of course opining and hypothesizing. There could be other explanations.


gammimc 3 years, 10 months ago

ohioburg- I live in northern OK, and I can tell you that Boone Pickens would give his left n*t to have HCBS at OSU.

Let's start a good rumor here, Pickens is responsible for this whole thing. He will sell the Big 12 to the Pac 10 in order to have Self to himself.

hahahahaha, but you are right. If KU ends up without a major conference to call home, Ford is toast, and so are the Jayhawks.


jaybate 3 years, 10 months ago

Part I

"Re-Understanding Football Television Revenues May Not Be What Is Driving Conference Realignment, But that Super Corridor Laterals Might Be"

Can we begin by agreeing that Colorado and Denver are not exactly low hanging fruit in a media rich orchard environment for college football and basketball, and so the Pac Ten probably did not cherry pick Colorado primarily for TV revenues?

Can we next stipulate that Nebraska is a has been football power and a lousy basketball program, and a modest institution of higher learning, that has not one major media market at all? If we can, then we can say with some confidence that the Big Ten does not want Nebraska for TV revenue enrichment?

What is going on with all the poppycock being pumped out of our beloved LJW/ and other national and local media outlets?

Only they know for sure, but it behooves one to remember a few things in the midst of a story like this.

There are some cardinal rules in media reporting on actors it needs to maintain access with, and on organizations employing public relations and psy-ops techniques in disseminating information without the primary intent being keeping the public fully informed.

  1. Always feed a cover story that is true first, but not one that is remotely about what is actually going on. (e.g, conference realignment is driven by colleges and conferences seeking to optimize TV revenues)

  2. When people start to realize the cover story is implausible, always do a "limited hang out;" i.e., some truth closer to home, but which omits completely the crucial truth. (e.g., Nebraska wants to improve its academic reputation by being in the Big Ten)

  3. When the limited hang out begins not to work, begin creating scape goats.(e.g. Nebraska and Mizzou are evil for leaving the Big 12 and the other Big 12 teams should never, ever schedule and play them again).

  4. No matter what, never, never, never tell the crucial truth...ever! (e.g., what we apparently continue to see happening in certain aspects of this story of conference realignment.)

Truth: conferences largely reflect shared political economic interests of universities, their state governments, and the oligarchs that operate in their backgrounds. Conference realignments reflect changes in shared political interests of universities, their state governments, and the oligarchs that operate in their backgrounds.

Conferences are about more than game day attendance, television revenues, and merchandising jerseys.


Rick Arnoldy 3 years, 10 months ago

Ya think Travis Ford is going to be on a short leash if KU doesn't get into a major conference? Pickens probably already has Coach Self on speed dial, telling him "would you rather coach in the Great Plains league or the Pac 16 for twice the money and TV exposure? Come home, Bill!"


Royaljayhwk 3 years, 10 months ago

Is there any conferences in Canada looking? I'm sure KU could dominate them!


JHawkU75 3 years, 10 months ago

Yes, it's about money for athletics. But that's not the whole story. It's also about academics and the overall reputation of the universities involved. It means something to say you're a Big 10 university that goes beyond athletics.

The big thing academically is membership in the invitation-only American Association of Universities, the top 63 academic research institutions in the U.S. and Canada. All 11 current Big 10 members belong. So does about half of the Big 12, including Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska but not K-State. Notre Dame, interestingly enough, is NOT a member.

Here, by current conference, are the only schools in the country outside the Big 10 that belong to the AAU and have significant athletic programs. Another conference looking to expand would undoubtedly consider this list as well as size of media market. Remember: chancellors and regents approve this, not just athletic directors.

PAC 10 (7 of 10) -- Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Southern Cal, Stanford, UCLA

BIG 12 (6 of 12) -- Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Texas A&M

ACC (4 of 12) -- Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia

BIG EAST (3 of 16) -- Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse

SEC (2 of 12) -- Florida, Vanderbilt

CUSA (2 of 12) -- Rice, Tulane


blogthis 3 years, 10 months ago

To add to my previous comment:

The football alignment for the Big East/Big 12 leftovers

West Division- KU, KSU, MU, ISU, Cincy, Louisville

East Division- UConn, Pitt, Rutgers, S. Florida, Syracuse, W. Va.

20 team basketball arrangement would be more difficult but doable!

This arrangement would need to happen fast before the Big 10 cherry picks Rutgers or Syracuse.


Ozarkace68 3 years, 10 months ago

What are the facts? So far CU is gone. So academic integrity is not in the forefront of the PAC 10's expansion plans.
The number two dude in the PAC 10 head office was the Number one dude in the Big XII office just a few short years ago. Kevin Weiberg is a KSU grad and brought a lot of institutional and conference knowledge to the table on the Left Coast. A Seattle paper suggested his hiring was specifically motivated with an eye to future expansion. I wonder what conference they would be looking to for that expansion? So this is no longer a crap shoot, it is a game of roulette. Still absent in all of this is the intervention of any governance or legislative presence. And, as was stated in Keegan's interview with Mark Allen a few days ago, what about the students, athletes, alums, and fans.
There is a word for what is going on now but rather than risk having my post deleted, make up your own.
In fact why don't we quite preaching to the choir altogether and email our friends and neighbors at our friendly rival institutions and our legislators and Boards of Regents and express our disgust to them.
If someone doesn't so something pro-active (I hate that word) we will have a collegiate conference that looks like an NFL division. It is time for the powers that be in Oklahoma and Texas to put on their big boy pants, draw a line in the sand and assume the leadership role they pretend they have and bring some order out of chaos by having some meaningful discussions with the remaining 10? schools and expanding back to 12 and going on the offensive. I believe Nebraska and Colorado have had their turn at being offensive long enough. Wipe the egg of MU's face and bring them along too.


Layne Pierce 3 years, 10 months ago

The most brilliant thing said here so far, is KU must be in a BCS conference, or we will digress. HCBS leaves. Turner Gill, leaves soon. If we need to ditch KSU to get in, then so be it. It's every school for itself in the F$$$$$$ athletic world we are living in.

The MVAA Missouri Valley Athletic Association 1907, split into the Missouri Valley and Big 6 in the 1920s. Colorado and Oklahoma St made it the Big 8, then the Big 12 in the 1990s.

This is nothing new, it happens, but we have to make some lemonade quick.


barackchalkjhawk 3 years, 10 months ago

Big 12 is most likely done. Bring on the new Big 8! - KU, K-State, MU, Iowa St, TCU, Memphis, Houston, Utah. Bill Hancock, head of the BCS, lives in KC and has a lot vested in the community, so maybe we could work this into a BCS conference. Yeah I know, crazy talk, but I feel like a bird covered in oil right now.

Oh and Lew, in case you haven't noticed our conference is going up in flames so it might be time to ditch the "Big XII is the best place for us" speech and get us into a BCS tomorrow afternoon would be good, thanks.


jhokfan 3 years, 10 months ago


I'll take the Pac 10 over the Big 10 anyday.


jhokfan 3 years, 10 months ago

Money is the only thing the power brokers are listening to so sure, why not. Nobody seems to be paying attention to geography or logisitics.


blogthis 3 years, 10 months ago

Assuming the Big 12 South goes to Pac 10 then the quickest best fix is to align the remaining Big 12 schools with the Big East.

Big East only has 8 football schools but has 16 basketball schools.

We add KU, KSU, MU and ISU to the football mix for a 12 team football conference and add those schools to the mix for a 20 team Super Basketball Conference which would dominate college basketball!!!

Big East Football currently= Cincy, UConn, Louisville, Pitt., Rutgers, South Fla, Syracuse and West Va.

Basketball= (Football Schools) + Depaul, GTown, Marquette, Providence, St. Johns, Seaton Hall and Villanova.

There are enough households with all of those schools to warrant a good TV package!


gammimc 3 years, 10 months ago

Ready for the next bombshell?

If KU isn't picked up by a BCS conference, you can look for Self to bolt. He's not going to be part of a lesser conference that only receives at large NCAA bids, or only is represented by their tournament winner. He can't beat mid-majors, but he is a big-time coach on the national stage. Minus the major conference top hat, basketball recruiting will also dry up. A once proud program could be driven into the dust by the dismantling of the Big 12. That would be extremely hard to watch.

And, for those of you who think that KU is big enough to dictate terms and ram their way into a conference, need to guess again. Traditionally weak football programs just don't get that option.

Nobody cares about KU, KSU, or ISU. All of them may go MWC, maybe MVC, or C-USA. The days of KU being part of a major conference could be history.

It appears Colorado has joined the Pac 10, just saw it on the news. Nebraska set for the Big 10. Two dominoes down, just wait 'til tomorrow afternoon.

Just my opinion...


Steve Brown 3 years, 10 months ago

What we know Nebraska Colorado are gone.

What we suspect, Texas can't bring the univited (baylor) to the Pac 10 wedding. Of course Texas wants Baylor they then get two votes for future Pac 10 issues, like where to hold title games. Colorado was grand move on Pac 10 part. Is Jerry JOnes a Baylor Bear, I think not, Arkansas alumni, but not sure. His new stadium plays a part in any future playoff site.

If only Nebraska Colorado and Texas leave, in some ways the Big 12 will be better, more competitive and add TCU & Houston and another. Redraw the north south lines.

If 6+ teams leave, then turn out the lights.


rawkhawk 3 years, 10 months ago

Nice article, Keegan. I have a sense that this will all work out with KU in a major conference (some form of the Big 12, PAC-10, or Big opposed to the Mtn. West). I could also see this all coming to closure by Notre Dame joining the Big 10. Despite the recent controversies, I also find myself rooting for Lew in the current situation. KU needs some leadership...


NE4KU 3 years, 10 months ago

Living in Lincoln, NE and having to suffer this discussion endlessly in the news and around the water cooler, it is all about money. And NU is so entirely bitter at Texas, they can hardly stand themselves. So they find an "easy" way out. Instead of trying to improve its ability to actually beat Texas, as in recruiting talent and beat them head to head, they have to run for greener pastures. Thanks a lot Osborne and Pearlman.

I'm REALLY going to miss the opportunity to watch KU in Lincoln. Love reading these what if scenarios - let's hope for wise choices and a great path wherever KU ends up.



JTAnderson 3 years, 10 months ago

Jayhawks! Fellow Jayhawks, we need to re-adopt our "1941 Jayhawk Mascot" and start getting mean, but cordial. Landing in a major conference is critical! Or else, KU loses all future relevance. I believe the Big 10 to be our best fit. We are worthy of a Big 10 invite and KU needs to lobby for an invite! (Big 10 bloggers overwhelming believe KU is not even remotely worthy). One of the reason I chose KU (coming from Chicago) over Penn State is Lawrence. KU needs to market itself stronger. Of course I have to problem with an invite to a PAC 20 or the SEC, KU needs to be in major conference, I reiterate! With or without K-State! No disrespect, but KU's fate cannot be tied to KSU. Rivalry hatred exists with Missouri, anyway. Time for KU to put on our serious face and get to work landing KU in a conference home we can take pride in!


Joel Hood 3 years, 10 months ago

KSU cannot join the Big 10 - they are not AAU members. KU, MU, & ND are.


JerseyCityHawkFan 3 years, 10 months ago

So, if Nebraska is the first step in the Big 10's super expansion, and not a one-time addition, it's logical to think this is where KU ends up. Think about it:

KU, KSU, ND and Mizzery join Nebraska in making the Big 10 the Big 16 and all of a sudden you have a super conference covering the entire Midwest. With the addition of KU, KSU and Mizzery the Big 16 could cover the entire KS/MO markets including KC and St. Louis, add a perennial basketball power, all while maintaining the oldest rivalry west of the Mississippi. ND is obviously the crown jewel of this scenario, but if Nebraska was a first step and not the end goal, then I don't know why this wouldn't make sense? It seems this expansion would offer a lot in the way of tv markets and prestige..


Matthew Pyle 3 years, 10 months ago

Lew better get busy. If KU moves to a mid-major it is on him and the rest of the administrators. This cannot happen.....


mr_jhawk4477 3 years, 10 months ago

Word from is that Colorado has recieved the invite from the PAC 10 and will accept it. It also mentioned that the 3 Texas schools that have been mentioned (UT, A&M, Tech) have decided to include Baylor with them as a packaged deal. This would ruin the supposed addition of 6 teams because the 4 Texas schools and 2 Oklahoma schools will not split up. So either the Pac 10 will have to add additional teams to become the PAC 20 or PAC 18 or whatever it may be, OR the Big XII adds 2 members and moves on. Or there is always the potential of some other crazy scenario, something ridiculous seems to come out of this every day.


oldrocker 3 years, 10 months ago

"Two words: Who cares?"

I love it! No matter what you think of Keegan, you have to love his attitude toward Mizzery!


TrueBlue92 3 years, 10 months ago

There has to be an Arkansas fan or knowledgeable person out there -- why did they leave the old Southwest Conference? Why was the Big 8 rolling prairie schools able to raid the Southwest Conference? Does the "Texas-focused" infrastructure kill every conference they are involved in?


Steve Corder 3 years, 10 months ago

"Dysfunctional Big 12 dies" is a lead in the Oklahoma paper. If regional differences helped to make the B12 dysfunctional how will a Pac10/B6 merger suddenly make regional differences, jealousies & envies disappear?

UT is the key to a super conference. If they hold their cards close-to-the-vest and withold the expected merger to the Pac10 then the scramble starts in ernest to ADD schools. If cool heads prevail don't be surprised in a UT led super BIG12(16,20) conference with UT able to command a new TV deal with comparable $$$ to ANY conference and UT calling ALL the shots without having to share power with the west coast schools. Now is the time for UT to be the conference King-maker without sharing the throne or "moving" (I hate to move!). Does the UT athletic director have the vision or is he a "scrambling quarterback"?


Ron Prichard 3 years, 10 months ago

I have bashed Keegan again and again recently but I'm not going to do that here. I think this is actually a decent article. I think it is interesting that most people are glossing over one of the more interesting paragraphs:

"This scenario discussed at the recent Pac-10 meetings didn’t get as much play as the one wherein the conference raids six Big 12 teams, but it was discussed."

This is the first I have heard of this and if it is true, I like the sound of it. It would essentially be a partnership between the two leagues (west division and central division) but could really hold some promise. The television revenues could be off the charts and it would allow for traditional powers to keep their rivalries and keep most of the Big XII intact.

Through all of this talk of six teams going to the Pac 10, I just don't see the upside for Texas. They have far and away the largest athletic budget in the country, they can have their own television network in the Big XII, geographically it is the best fit/most economical, and with a little expansion/realignment of its own, the Big XII could thrive.

For example, with Neb. leaving and Colorado probably on the way out, add two schools in the south and move OU and OSU to the Big XII north. That ensures competitive balance between the north and the south, possibly expands our viewing area depending on who is brought in, and Texas gets to maintain its status as the biggest fish in the pond with the most control, which they clearly want.

I may be blind here, but someone please explain to me what incentive Texas has for joining the Pac 10.


martyks 3 years, 10 months ago

I'm hoping Missouri is left out in the cold. Greedy idiots deserve to be shown the door with the hope it hits them in the rear end. I do not have enough facts to know what, besides money, sports, research affiliations, political considerations, etc. drives these moves. All I know is, it seems to me that 16 are way too many in a conference. You can't play everyone every year in football. You can't play everyone home and away in basketball. It always ends up being unfair. The titles are too few and too far between for most schools. It makes no logistical sense. Since all the obvious reasons point to keeping conferences small enough to keep fan interest high, there are obviously hidden reasons (an oxymoron wrapped in an inigma, huh?). Ironic, also, is the fact that MU might be left out in the cold alone... since we all know that "Missouri loves company." It would be great to read about the real reasons for these moves.


TrueBlue92 3 years, 10 months ago

Folks, folks, folks, hang in there.

What team has BOTH a Hoops National Championship and a WIN in a BCS Bowl in the past 5 years? 10 years? 100 years?

And I still think we are either the only (or one of two, perhaps three) school to make a Bowl Game, a Final Four, and the College World Series in the same year (1993) in the history of the planet.

Just because we're not the 12th team in the Big 10 does not mean we won't be the 16th later. Or the 15th in the SEC.

The last thing we need right now is to chase the first carrot we see. Lew knows what he needs to do. Let the man do his job and ignore the KC media hype. All they ever want to do is tick you off. Turn them off and just relax. We are not the ugly stepchild here.


DutchMo 3 years, 10 months ago

I think the Big 12 should just invite the Pac Ten schools to join the Big 12 and not wait for them to steal our teams. it makes more sense to me to have them travelling here instead of vica versa.


selfishhawk 3 years, 10 months ago

It seems that everyone here, including Tom, is still delusional and bitter. KU had better start thinking for itself and quit worrying about teams that aren't loyal or are now a part of the past. Don't want to play NU or MU ever? Fine. But we have to leave K-State behind and get to work on finding a new home - a home that is better than the pathetic Mountain West. If Lew could speak frankly and openly (without the bother of the K-State step child) to Big 10 Commish Delaney, we might have a chance to join the Big 10. Instead, everyone in Kansas seems intent on worrying about what everyone else is doing.


KUKRU 3 years, 10 months ago

I agree!! Blackball these SOBs. If they leave I will never ever support anything that has to do with Nebraska or those idiots in Columbia!! To hell with them all!!


FreddyinLA 3 years, 10 months ago

Texas runs the Big 12. Why would they want to be an outsider in the Pac-10? Keep the Big-12 together and add schools that are the best fit as idiots like Nebraska and Missouri leave.


James Naismith 3 years, 10 months ago

Awesome column. I would buy-in to this without complaint. This is the idea that makes sense, and Mizzou must pay the price for their infidelity.

Good job, Tom.


kcglowboy 3 years, 10 months ago

Great column, Tom ... until the petty conclusion. Enough (EVERYBODY) with the bashing. Our rivalries with Missouri and K-State have been good KU. Shoot, there have been seasons (especially in football) where those were the only games that mattered. Tom, instead of egging on all the loud-mouthed, obnoxious "haters" out there, keep the focus on the issues at hand: namely, the immoral, unscrupulous greed across three conferences that is about to drive a stake through the heart of college athletics.


billhawk 3 years, 10 months ago

The more I think about it, the less I'm against the Mountain West conference; assuming they pick up the Big 12's bcs bid.


1jhawk2 3 years, 10 months ago

Regarding the Mountain West and diminishing our basketball tradition is a little far fetched. What team has been consistently good in the Big 12 anyway. Besides KU, Texas gets a lot of hype with 1 final four, OU has been good 4-5 years out of 15, OSU a couple, ISU a couple (10 years ago), MU 1-2 years and can't fail to mention KSU's last 3 years. Sure these schools finish somewhere in the top 7, but someone has to. My point is KU has dominated the Big 12 which has been considered a top basketball conference, we should do the same in the Mountain West. Teams like BYU are good, New Mexico, UNLV, Utah and TCU. These aren't the big names of Texas, OU, OSU, but still good competition. Besides, Memphis was always rated high when Calipari was in a weak conference.

Football wise, Mountain West would be awesome. We would be able to go against some fun to watch teams such as TCU, Utah, BYU, I'd have no problem traveling to watch UNLV and check on my craps tables. Bring on Boise St and or Fresno St. add KU and KSU. That would make 12/13 schools. That would be a very reputable conference in all sports except rowing maybe. Every conference has it's dogs, but what can you do.

Yes a Big 20 sounds great, but at what point does it become to much? 20 teams is a lot and money would be spread pretty thin. KU basketball can remain on top with high profile out of conference games like Memphis a few years back. Football would be part of some stiff competition who have been making runs at BCS games and done well. Before all of this conference reallignment talk happened, I think most of you would agree that TCU and Utah would give the big dogs, Texas, USC, Ohio State and Penn State a hell of a game on any given day.

Could be a fun conference and make many trips to Vegas to bet on our Hawks.


jhawkrulz 3 years, 10 months ago

You know if conferences are going to go to 16 teams, I'm sure the ACC is looking for about 4 schools. could you imagine Duke, UNC, KU in the same conference.

Also, the SEC might be as well. So we still lose a lot in football, we would own the basketball program...don't forget Kentucky will be on probation in a couple of years and will have to forfeit all of its wins while Calipari has been there.


lawrence_is_my_middle_name 3 years, 10 months ago

I like the sound of a 20-team league. But I would really, really love to see KU in the ACC.


azalum 3 years, 10 months ago

wow, he gets paid to write this stuff!


justanotherfan 3 years, 10 months ago

Iowa State is the school that will most likely get left out if anything drastic happens.

Keegan has been writing out of spite, anger and frustration for weeks now, and it has shown up in just about every piece.

In a fight for TV revenue Missouri tops Iowa State. Academics? Missouri. Athletics? Missouri. No way the Pac-10 or anyone else takes Iowa State over Missouri. Have you heard a single conference talking about trying to cherry pick ISU? No. Will you? Doubtful.

Iowa State is the Big XII's weakest overall member. If things really go crazy, I wouldn't be surprised to see them tumble into the Missouri Valley.


hawkfan20 3 years, 10 months ago

Why does this guy have a job? He writes the dumbest stuff. You can open up the Oklahoma City paper, the Omaha paper, the Lincoln paper, and get some thought provoking realignment articles about what's going on and then you get drivel like this. Is there seriously not a KU grad out there that can write better than this? He must have his head buried in the ground and if he doesn't have a better idea what's driving this realignment than writing this crap.


ku_foaf 3 years, 10 months ago

Everyone on talk radio in Houston says a call from the SEC to Texas will kill the PAC10 deal quickly ...


FLJHK 3 years, 10 months ago

If indeed the Big 12 fully implodes, I still retain some glimmer of hope that Kansas could still get a Big 10 invite, unlikely as that seems. It is the best fit for us geographiclly, historically and institutionally.

One thing I fail to understand however, is if the Pac 10 raids the mentioned 6 from the Big 12, why would they not include Kansas rather that Texas Tech. I understand there is some political rationale in Texas for including Tech, but UT appears ready to throw Baylor under the bus, so what's the deal with Tech?

On every measurable dimension - academic integrity, athletic tradition, market share (they already get the Texas market with UT and A&M; Lubbock and West Texas hardly compares to KC), Kansas is a clearly superior choice to Tech.

Remember the old adage: St. Louis is the last city of the East, Kansas City the first city of the West.


jerseyhawk 3 years, 10 months ago

This is just a terrible article. Not even speculation and if it is an opinion it wastes everyones time.. Here are some facts. KU is tied to K-State. The Pact 10/16 has no interest in K-State. The big 10 for now has no interest in KU because of K State. Here are the only scenarios.. The Big East swoops in for KU-KSTATE and Iowa State. Not bad for KU as it is a BCS conference with incredibly great bball. The Big east would basically have two if not three divisions including a midwest conference.. I heard rumblings that Miami may bold from the ACC. It is Possible that ACC adds KU and believe it or not Mizzou but the problem again is ACC does not want K-State. The last scenario is the mountain West.. What is scary is how little attention the LJW is giving this story.. Right now IT IS the Only story. This will effect KU BBALL for along time and if KU ends up in a minor conference HCBS will bolt (OKIE ST is going to the PAC 10/16)


dmg97102 3 years, 10 months ago

The Big 10 doesn't want to look like the villian in creating the 4, 16 team superconferences. Notre Dame is the apple of the Big 10's eye. They knew they weren't getting Notre Dame to commit before Friday's deadline set by the Big 12, so Nebraska was their next best get Notre Dame. This is all speculation, and I'm grasping at straws to try to find a reason to save KU from joining a mid-major, I'll admit that, but I don't think it would be any less true. They plucked Nebraska, and I think they're done for now. But this sets off a domino effect as follows:

  1. Without Nebraska, the Pac 10 takes 6 teams from the Big 12.
  2. Seeing this, the Big 10 needs to keep up in the arms race and starts the raid on the Big East--maybe Pitt and Rutgers.
  3. Sensing the change in the conference landscape, the SEC and ACC divide up the rest of the Big East, leaving no where for Notre Dame's non-revenue sports to play.
  4. Notre Dame has no choice but to join a conference, and the most logical choice is the Big 10.

Basically, I think the Big 10 is playing everyone in this to get Notre Dame. At the same time, they're trying to villify the Pac 10 and Texas into causing the superconferences (which is also something they want). They could have easily increased their revenue more by adding Missouri with the St. Louis and Kansas City markets more than adding Nebraska (population differences close to 6 million), but they wanted the domino effect to get Notre Dame, and they'll probably get Missouri in the end (to get to 16 teams--adding Nebraska, Pitt, Rutgers, ND, MU). Taking Missouri first also would have kept the Big 12 intact. They'll claim they only added a 12th team (Nebraska) to get a conference championship, but in reality, they are trying to force UT's hand into leaving the Big 12, and Notre Dame's hand into joinging the Big 10.


minnhawk84 3 years, 10 months ago

Nebraska wanting to raise its prestige? Research dollars need a rich alumni base to raise---rich alumni who own big corporations, big law firms, strong businesses, charitable trusts and the like. When we look at the U of Minnesota up here, we see everyone from Dayton's to 3M to Cargill to Honeywell to Medtronic lining up to ante up. We also see a legislature which bought in to funding the UofM to be a major research institution......where does Nebraska have any of these money pots in the state? There are more people living in the twin cities than in the entire state of Nebraska (or Kansas), so where is the population base to fund Nebraska beyond chinstraps and weight rooms? Its like standing next to a rich guy is gonna make you rich, too.

My dad, the original Nebraska fan, is rolling in his grave over this Big 10(11) crap. And the Corn huskers will need 60 years to be accepted in the Big10(12). Go Nebraska, and take Misery with you......


Ben Kane 3 years, 10 months ago

i'd rather go east than west. acc/big east/sec any would be better than going to the west.


DWINOP 3 years, 10 months ago

"You want KU’s perennial powerhouse basketball program to join the conference, welcome its in-state rival, too."

This statement alone demonstrates that this whole episode has served to divorce your brain from reality. There's no question that K-State is an albatross tightly strangling KU. As if KU could actually dictate such a term to the Pac 10. I'm trying to imagine the volume of the raucous laughter coming from the offices of the presidents of USC and UCLA.


Mike Crosbie 3 years, 10 months ago

So far the only sure thing is that NU is leaving. MU has not gotten an official invite from the big 10, who is only looking to add 1 school. When the Big 8 became the Big XII they at the same time got the rights to the name Big 14...Why has the Big XII done nothing to expand to the Big 14 ??? There are many schools I'm sure that would love to make it happen....Tulsa, Wichita State, Colorado State, Misssouri State, and yeah, even Northern Iowa who I think has proven their ability to compete.....


NH_JHawk 3 years, 10 months ago

Good article, Tom. The only part that I have a very hard time believing is:

"Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman, believing joining hands with so many prestigious universities would raise his school’s academic reputation and attract more research dollars, drove the move."

Nebraska's move is about TV money and TV money only. If you believe what Harvey Perlman is quoted as saying then you are fooling yourself. My numbers may be off a bit, but the point is the same. The Big 12 distributed around $7M - $9M per year for each of it's members while the new Big 10 will be distributing up to $22M per member. So does the TV money qualify as "research money?"


Janet Scott 3 years, 10 months ago

Well said, Tom. Let MU be the "Woody Allen in a dress" among conferences. MU is like a whore, who stands on the corner (in Big 10 territory), hoping for a "pick up" and a quick buck; or like a Walter Mitty, who constantly name drops (Big 10) and has an orgasmic fantasy that he is something in everyone's eyes he is not. MU leadership is dumber than I thought (is that possible?); dumber than a demented cock roach high on Diazinon.


Kent Wells 3 years, 10 months ago

Better close:

Four words: Who cares? Muck Fizzou!


rastameta 3 years, 10 months ago

Wow, I am shocked that Keegan wrote that last sentence, but I like it!


ICTJAYHAWK61 3 years, 10 months ago

Your right KSA it's about money not sports we know thanks.


KSA_21_3503 3 years, 10 months ago

It is sad that so many of the posters here don't realize that conference affiliation is important for much more than sports.


ICTJAYHAWK61 3 years, 10 months ago

Too bad the MVC doesn't have football we could own that. Basketball I don't really know the valley repeatedly gets the best of us. Personally I'd love if we could go to the sec to beat on kensucky every year twice!! Or we could go ACC and play UNC and Duke twice, that's good bball there I don't care who u are!


jhawkshocker 3 years, 10 months ago

Hey Notre Dame, the Big12 has an opening. I'm sure that's not going to happen, but, send them an invite anyway. Get even more aggressive and also invite TCU, LSU and Arkansas. That makes 15 schools.......invite 1 more, maybe Memphis or Houston, and become the Big16. Or better yet, get to 16 and then kick out Colorado and Missouri and become the Big14. I have read and read and read about what the Big12 has done for KU sports, and most of it is true, but no one ever discusses what KU basketball has done for the Big12. KU will be fine, whereever it lands. I don't see being a member of the Mountain West conference as a bad thing, there's lots of opportunity there, but maybe change the name of the conference.


jayhawkarmy 3 years, 10 months ago

i think that no one wants ku in there confrence cause there scared of our basketball team we are the best and they dont want to lose every confrence title lol


rockchalkblock 3 years, 10 months ago

GREAT IDEA! for a new scenario~ Wait for it... Wait for it... KU just becomes and independent and plays who ever it wants! Unrealistic since we rely on so much funding for research.. but come on if Notre Dame and do it why cant we!?


Bill Skeet 3 years, 10 months ago

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the prescient 2010-11 basketball schedule that features UCLA, USC, CAL and ARIZONA. Maybe this is just a coincidence.. or maybe....

If this scenario plays out our schedule is designed to ease us into the new conference..


lv_jhwk 3 years, 10 months ago

Even though I know that the Pac-10 is the preferrable option at this point, I'm enough of a realist to see that it doesn't look likely. So why not the Mountain West Conference? While the Mountain West would diminish the luster of the basketball program somewhat (and no, that's not acceptable), I'm not so sure that football wouldn't benefit.

The MWC stands at nine schools currently. Add in KU, plus K-State for the sake of the Board of Regents. I'm willing to bet that Boise State then gets the invite its waiting for, which gives the conference twelve teams.

The top football teams (TCU, Utah, Boise, BYU) have more than proven their worth over the past few years, so the league would have competitive credibility and be able to earn the BCS bid that the big 12 relinquishes. The rest of the teams would be teams KU would at the very least be even odds against. Wyoming, UNLV, SDSU, and UNM would be fodder, while Air Force and CSU (as well as KSU) would be a bit more even.

An easy geographic breakdown would yield East and West divisions, with KU being placed with KSU, TCU, AF, CSU, and Wyoming. On paper, that's one toughie, one patsie, and three toss-ups. Given the likelihood of one, maybe two easy games against the other division, plenty of opportunity for the program to find repeatable success. (Although if scheduling was done Big 12-style though, KU would likely get the shaft of having to play BYU, BSU, and Utah in the same seasons.)

Similar rationale can probably be applied to the non-rev sports as well. But again, doesn't do any good for the basketball team. Perhaps this is where an ND-style independence would actually be beneficial, although much more difficult in basketball. If nothing else, increase the number of marquee non-con games to keep recruits and fans happy.


Todd 3 years, 10 months ago

As much as I don't usually like Keegan and as absurd as this idea seems...why not? Get rid of nonconference games and treat it like baseball with interleague games. You play nine game against your division teams, two games against the opposite division teams and then you can have one cupcake game. I enjoy the rivalry with Missouri, but if we have to leave them in the dust to survive then so be it. They were not going to stick by our rivalry so why should we honor it?


Mark Wooden 3 years, 10 months ago

Actually, throw MU in there and have 3 divisions of seven. For FB the three division champs plus wildcard in a 2 week playoff and the winner gets the automatic bid to the 32 team playoff that will be created when the BCS becomes obsolete in 2 years.


Hank Cross 3 years, 10 months ago

The full-blown merger is one of the options that has gotten little play even though the P10 gave its commish the authority to so. It solves UT's Baylor problem assuming it has one and creates a cable network that would blow the BTN out of the water in terms of reach.

But, in all likelihood the KC market isn't worth the price of the KS schools, plus ISU. The B10 got what it wanted. The Pac10 and UT got what they wanted. And we get the MW with MU.


pigballin 3 years, 10 months ago

Uh,,don't think you will see a 20 team conference..Texas and the other Texas schools will not want to be dictated by the Pac 10.There is too much pride in Texas football.

I look for another addition that will be a good fit,if indeed the cornstalks bolt,which will be a disaster for that school and their fans/They will not like driving through the frozen tundra to football games.And the football program will not be any better than it is now....maybe even worst.


waywardJay 3 years, 10 months ago

I think the idea of a Super SUPER conference is idiotic, but I will say this....

As a recent critic, Great work.

More than likely become the newest WAC conference members with Boise, then it's whether the now defunct BCS bids should go to the pac-10 or to newly envigorated WAC....

I believe the latter, because the BCS will not award the winner of a 1 side of the a two sided conference a bid, when there has been so much press for inclusion from the Boise's, Utah's and the Fresno State's of the world.

1 sec champ, 1 big east champ, 1 big12 champ ( new big 12 ), 1 acc champ, 1 pac 16 champ, and finally 1 Wac champ.

Considering the recently successes of Kansas, Boise, Fresno, Utah of the " mid-majors " in football..... this WAC conference has the teeth for an auto-bid....

This realignment could be BIG news for us, because we are not far behidn the boise's of the world in recruiting, IMHO. These are teams I believe we can Compete with and Beat.


KSA_21_3503 3 years, 10 months ago

Pac-20? I believe smoking crack is illegal, Tom.


iluvdbskxjayhawks 3 years, 10 months ago

LOL. Everybody is so bitter. I think I am over it already. I am done fuming over the breakup of Big 12. This is the new future. We just have to hope for the best. Whatever happen happens.


Scott Bonnet 3 years, 10 months ago

Tom, welcome to KU and Lawrence. I never felt you belonged here, until now.


Commenting has been disabled for this item.