Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Notre Dame, Arkansas: Come on Down


Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, former University of Arkansas football player and big-time power broker in the world of professional and now college athletics, is the driving force behind a potential move that would make the Big 12 the most compelling conference in the history of college football.

Jones, according to a source familiar with his thinking, wants his alma mater to play in a league with former Southwest Conference rivals Texas and Texas A&M.; A visionary, Jones sees the Big 12 expanding with Arkansas and Notre Dame. Such a conference alignment turns on TV sets across America and sends cash gushing out of Big 12 faucets everywhere.

Since moving to the SEC, Arkansas football, once a loud national brand, has faded. Lack of SEC television exposure in Texas, at least until the past couple of years, has eroded what used to be the Razorbacks’ primary recruiting base. The decline of the status of Arkansas’ football program runs deeper than the talent that takes the field every Saturday. The Hogs haven’t developed rivalries as intense as they had in the SWC with their SEC brethren since the football team began participating in the league in 1992.

Not that SEC rivalries don’t exist for Arkansas, but they don’t match those the Hogs had with Texas and A&M.; The Golden Boot, a 24-karat gold trophy in the shape of Arkansas and Louisiana, is awarded to the winner of the LSU game, but only since 1996. Arkansas first played Ole Miss in 1908 and the teams played seven overtimes in a 2001 meeting. Nice, but not quite Texas.

When Jones throws money and influence behind an idea, it tends to work for all parties, especially himself. He purchased the Cowboys for $150 million in 1989. estimates the franchise’s value at $1.65 billion and puts Jones’ net worth at $1.2 billion. Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, would make a nice permanent home for the Big 12 football championship game, just as the Sprint Center would for the Big 12 basketball tourney.

It’s more difficult to read Notre Dame’s feelings because the school’s officials don’t get involved in doing business publicly. For all the hits Notre Dame takes as a so-called “hype machine,” the school deserves credit for conducting itself with class.

Conspiracy theorists wonder whether the Big Ten, long lusting after Notre Dame, will try to lure the Fighting Irish by recruiting a few Big East schools, blowing up that conference and leaving ND with nowhere else to turn. Ole Notre Dame would not reinforce such evil tactics and could find a more profitable home by joining hands with Texas and the other 10 institutions, including Arkansas, to form a Big 12 TV network that would blow away the hugely successful Big Ten Network.

Asked Tuesday about expansion plans, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe said, “We’re not looking to expand at all and certainly we wouldn’t look to expand with any institutions that are in our geographic, five-state area.”

Those five states are Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. Notre Dame is in Indiana. Arkansas is in Arkansas. Oh Danny Boy, make it happen. Bring the Irish and Hogs to the Big 12.


CaramelMacchMan 10 years, 7 months ago

IF i'm talking about big IF.. If BIG 12 pulls this off(getting ND and Ark), It would be the biggest slap on Big 10 and Pac 10's face and this would bother SEC so much. When this happens I'm buying drinks to everyone in the club.

iluvdbskxjayhawks 10 years, 7 months ago

It will be a day of celebration for everyone in Big 12-2. I think we have a chance since we are the only conference in the country to have unequal revenue distribution meaning Notre Dame can just keep their money and do their own tv network. Would Texas allow this? Texas won't be the big man anymore. Oooh I love this idea!

iluvdbskxjayhawks 10 years, 7 months ago

ROFL! OOoooh, I love this article. It somehow puts a silly smile on my face. Thanks for sharing Keegan! I don't care what anybody say about you Keegan. You're cool! ^_^ Isn't this wishful thinking though? If Beebe can make this happen, I will forgive him for what happened and I won't be mad anymore about CU and NU leaving. This will certainly blow Big 10 out of the water. They will get so pissed if Big 12 gets Notre Dame. NU and CU will also be upset too. We can be the best conference in the country if we get these 2 teams. It's a long shot but it can be done if we negotiate correctly. First order of business is to stabilize Big 12 and make our sports program look more attractive to our potential suitors. Beebe make this happen and you won't be looked down anymore.

Jonathan Briles 10 years, 7 months ago

Arkansas coming to the Big 12 is reasonable and I would be all for it, but ND would be a long shot. If it did happen we would all of the sudden be the conference to beat for TV time and money. I love the idea, just don't know how probable it is.

Also Keegan can you take a look at the Golden Boot sentence. It just says "a 24 karat gold trophy in the shape of Arkansas and Louisiana, is awarded to the winner of the LSU game, but only once since 1996. I'm assuming you meant to say Arkansas has only won once since 1996 but I don't actually know myself.

tulsahawkfan 10 years, 7 months ago

No, they started the award in '96. They played before then, but didn't give the "Golden Boot". Also, Arkansas has beaten LSU many times since then. Houston Nutt was the thorn in LSU's side for several years before going to Ole Miss.

Jonathan Allison 10 years, 7 months ago

"but I don't actually know myself."

I'd say it's time to get to know yourself a little better.

Jonathan Briles 10 years, 7 months ago

I personally did not know the answer to the question. I guess my wording and comprehension were a little off at 1 in the morning, but thanks for being enough of a douche to point it out.

Jonathan Allison 10 years, 7 months ago

no prob. I would have assumed the same thing had I read the article before it was edited.

100 10 years, 7 months ago

These are the only two schools I could handle adding.

Apparently we couldn't do it until 2016, unless there's a clause I don't know about in the new agreement.

And really there's no reason for Notre Dame to ever join a conference, why would they want to share their NBC TV revenue, it beats all other deals by quite a lot, not to mention the prestige they get from it.

iluvdbskxjayhawks 10 years, 7 months ago

Well, they can join us and still be able to keep their money like what Texas is doing right now.

Brendan Connolly 10 years, 7 months ago

I think you need to double check your premise on ND making more money. On Television, their in-state neighbors Indiana and Purdue made more money than ND with their 1/11th share of the big ten network last year. ND made $15 million and each school made north of $18 million in the Big Ten Network.

Bill Skeet 10 years, 7 months ago

I thought this was silly at first. And then thought again.

The Arkansas angle is good and relevant, but ND has been dogmatic in it's refusal to join a conference for football.

However, I suspect the concessions just made to UT, made the big 12 the only conference to allow a school to have its own network. If that is what has kept ND out of the Big 10 and Big East, then maaaaybeee...

iluvdbskxjayhawks 10 years, 7 months ago

Obviously Jerry Jones thinks we can get Notre Dame. He really wants Arkansas in the Big 12. If we can get Arkansas to Big 12 then it will be easier to persuade Notre Dame? Watch the fireworks go off on this idea. I never followed Arkansas so how are they doing in basketball and academics?

iluvdbskxjayhawks 10 years, 7 months ago

I feel like Big 12-2 is going to make a major comeback in 2016. I don't think we will stay 10 teams for that long. Our championship games need to comeback because we make a lot of money from that.

Benjamin Piehler 10 years, 7 months ago

ive asked this a million times, why would ND join any other conference besides the big 10? the alum probably care just as much about maintaining academic prestige as the football legacy. big 10 is the perfect fit, they can probably get an invitation whenever they want.... no ND alum would want to be in the same conference as Kstate, as bad as that sounds.

our conference was on the verge of destruction and now were talking about adding schools, let alone ND... i just think were getting ahead of ourselves.

iluvdbskxjayhawks 10 years, 7 months ago

It's good to plan ahead right? Time is ticking.

klineisanazi 10 years, 7 months ago

Why, oh why would Notre Dame, or even Arkansas, join the most dysfunctional and unstable conference in the country? How can anyone who has watched these events unfold even think such a thing was possible? This conference has nothing that holds it together other than pure greed. Any traditional or regional bounds were severed when the Big 8 disappeared.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 7 months ago

Greed makes the world go around!

How was the Big 8 transformed into the Big 12, sheer benvolence? Don't forget, the Pac 10 was acting out their dysfunctional ways as well, or more so when they allowed Colorado to join them. The Big 10 has the means to pursuade Notre Dame to join them. But for decades, they have been snubbed. So, they must appear to be leaning toward dysfunction to ND. The business of sports is not your corporate model that most of us recognize. Throw out the rules and expect the unexpected!

mojayhawk 10 years, 7 months ago

Before you call our conference dysfunctional, don't forget that every family is! If you were to look deep inside the politics of every major conference, each surely has their own power struggles and inequeties also. Sorry, but that's life.

I agree with Keeg and have been thinking the same way. #1 target should be Arkansas, #2 Notre Dame is a long shot, but no way it should be unattractive to the Irish. Other #2's that still would fit: Iowa, Michigan State, TCU, Arizona, LSU.

Think big. Our next strategic move will be all about how many television sets we can tap. We should go after the biggest fish that make sense for US! WE have to be proactive next time. This thing ain't over by a long shot.

minnhawk84 10 years, 7 months ago

Notre Dame has 11,733 students....the Dook of the Midwest. Unless the Fightin' Irish turn it around, their football team will continue to fade into obscurity in the next 5 years. Don't look for the fish eaters to be national champions anytime soon or even in a major bowl. Basketball is getting better, but ND never goes far in the Big Dance. The myth of this school has lost its luster, in other words.

Brian Leiker 10 years, 7 months ago

The only reason they have slipped up is do to their board of regents keeping the academic standards the same across the board. Hard to find a lot of speed with those academic standards. Eventually the alumni base will take care of that problem and demand a loop hole. Kinda like Georgetown does for basketball. If and when they do, they will be kings once again.

Hank Cross 10 years, 7 months ago

It's a Catholic reference. But, I don't know if it's mean-spirited otherwise I'd report it.

refugee 10 years, 7 months ago

Catholics don't eat meat on Fridays, or during lent or both depending on their level of observance. They tend to substitute fish. Not a derogatory term...

Chris Shaw 10 years, 7 months ago

100: Not if they are allowed to keep their NBC money, but it would have to be restructured to accommodate ABC somehow. Not sure how that would work, but there definitely would be some obstacles.

I say offer them both the world. Seriously, why is everyone so concerned about equal revenue sharing in these conferences? I mean, is that what our countries foundation was built on? I know our country is ever so slowly going towards a Socialistic society, but we don't have to do it in college athletics. Got to earn your keep IMO.

Kevin Studer 10 years, 7 months ago

No so sure equal television revenues among all the conference teams from a conference contract is "Socialistic [sic]." I'm starting to wonder if the people who throw "socialist" around actually know what it means...

3GJayhawk 10 years, 7 months ago

Keegan, what the hell are you even talking about?? Notre Dame?? They would go Big 10 if they wanted to join a conference.

DocBean 10 years, 7 months ago

I think the Big XII would be perfect for Notre Dame. With the current deal that kept Texas here, Notre Dame could keep its own TV deal, while also bringing in conference money.

They would be joining one of the best basketball conference in the country now that CU and NU are gone, and one of the best football conferences.

Kenny George 10 years, 7 months ago

I think Notre Dame would be more apt to join the Big 12 and our "free market" concept. They would be able to also recruit Texas and align themselves for the future of college athletics, whatever that may be. Notre Dame's bargaining power is dwindling because they simply are not winning football games and they need to get in a conference before their star power diminishes. Notre Dame is not a member of the American Association of Universities (AAU) which is a current requirement to be a Big 10 member. This association is by invitation only and has to do with the amount and types of research your university is involved in. It is more than just a long shot to get Notre Dame on board!

Nick Cole 10 years, 7 months ago

Thank you Keegan. I said this about a hundred times yesterday. Glad someone in the media was listening. Now get on the radio and ESPN and start putting some muscles in the legs of this horse. Gotta make it run faster if you want to win. Everyone in Big XII country would love for Arkansas and ND to join the Big XII and make it a 12 team league that would be self-sustainable without a chance of imploding again. Get on that phone and start talking Keegan. Help make this fantasy become a reality. Every time you see the Big XII commish, talk about Arkansas and ND. Get it in his head that it is possible and he needs to be proactive (not the face cleanser, pun intended). Talk to JJ down in Dallas and get an interview with him. ESPN pays attention when big names say something publicly and will begin talking about it.

Lets get it done!!!

Robert Brock 10 years, 7 months ago

Arkansas struggled mightily to get away from UT and the other Texas schools and finally succeeded in 1990. Why should we believe that the Hogs want to resume their ties to Texas and would join the Big Temporary? Because Jerry Jones says so? Hilarious!

And Notre Dame to the Big Temporary? Keegan, geez...

dmg97102 10 years, 7 months ago

It's not all about the TV contract with Notre Dame. They also like to play whoever, whenever, where ever. They consider themselves a national team, and if they join a "geographic" conference, then that takes it away. They don't want to join the Big 10, because, then they have no recruiting advantage over all the other Big 10 schools in the region, and it would probably be a disadvantage.

I don't know if you've ever been to South Bend, but the school is about all there is in the town, and it makes Manhattan, KS look like a metropolis. They would play most of their games in the same cold climate as the others in the Big 10, they have only about 11,000 students compared to 40,000+ at most others in the conference, and 18 year old recruits don't care that much about tradition. If you take away ND's trips to Yankee Stadium/Giants Stadium/Baltimore/Philadelphia/Jacksonville to play Army/Navy, San Antonio to play Wazzu, USC, Boston College, etc then there's no reason at all for recruits coast to coast to want to travel to a small town Indiana to play football at ND.

I don't care how insignificant they've been in the national title hunt recently, the entire nation of baby boomers grew up watching Notre Dame dominate. That generation is the one that holds ND's independence so dearly, and they are the ones paying most of the bills there thru donations (since ND is private and doesn't get much gov't funding). Football's a small portion of their funding.

Not to mention, if ND joins a conference other than the Big 10, the Big 10 would never forgive them. That would just about end any chance of them playing big rivals Michigan, Michigan State, or Purdue ever again.

We also don't have hockey and lacrosse, which are national powers and important to ND.

Sorry for the length, but I could go on and on about how they don't fit. Just because the Big 12 held together, we all believe in miracles right now, but the ND miracle isn't going to happen. Maybe Arkansas, but if there was a 0% chance for the Big 12 to remain (like some said), then there's a -100% of landing Notre Dame.

Ervin O'Neal 10 years, 7 months ago

If some of the conferences go to 16 teams, I doubt there are many big time programs that are going to want to play 9 conference games and then add Notre Dame (assuming they improve their football program) as one of their 3 tune-up games in their non-conference schedule. USC plays Notre Dame, but then again, USC doesn't have the same level of competition in their conference as some other schools and the PAC 10 hasn't had a lot of TV revenue or Championship Game revenue to share. If the PAC 10 does go to 16 teams and greatly improves its revenue, even USC might be hesitant to play Notre Dame. Not sure ND would come to a conference other than the Big 10 for geographical reasons. But I really think recruiting from places like Texas would be greatly improved (just see how it hurts Nebraska over the next decade) by playing teams in the Big 12 and the possibility of having their own network would greatly improve ND's revenue. Plus, if you are not going to be a major player in other sports like basketball, it's better to be in a conference that shares a lot of revenue made from the basketball power schools.

Hank Cross 10 years, 7 months ago

I don't think I've ever seen a better example of Magical Thinking in my life. ND won't go to the B10, a conference it plays on a regular basis, a conference with names like Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, and now Nebraska, a conference in whose heart it resides, a conference that will provide it access to research dollars through the CIC; but, it will want to play at Ames and share the spotlight with UT just because Jerry Jones wants it?

Please tell us that your still woozy from your race to KCI. It would explain this and the Thank Beebe piece.

Mike Morris 10 years, 7 months ago

How do you come up with Notre Dame for the Big XII?!? Why on earth would ND join ANY conference...let alone the Big XII-II...and have to share their revenue? I live in the Chicago area now and the Big 10+2 have been courting them for years. I personally thought all this Big 10 expansion talk was just to make ND nervous so they'd join up. This kind of off the wall article is how we all started freaking out about the end of the Big XII in the first place.

stravinsky 10 years, 7 months ago

Notre Dame to any conference, ESPECIALLY the Big 12, is wishful thinking at best and in my estimation very unlikely.

The Big 10 has been trying to recruit ND for pretty much forever. And each time the topic comes up, Notre Dame shoots them down. They're into the independence thing, and view it as part of their tradition. (Obviously we've seen recently that tradition can become less important when large amounts of dollar bills are involved. See Nebraska). I certainly don't think that the Big 12 has more to offer them than the Big 10, whether that be in football tradition, academic prestige, or economics. We also don't have the shared history with Notre Dame that the Big 10 has.

In my opinion, for Notre Dame to join a conference, possibly two things have to happen: 1. Explosion of the Big East. Honestly, I don't even think this would do it. Notre Dame is about football first and foremost (even if they aren't that good at it anymore) and as long as their football is okay, I think they'll leave their other sports to the wolves. 2. The Big 10 schools have to stop scheduling them in football. This is what I think would really force their hand. If the Big 10 was serious about trying to land Notre Dame, they would refuse to play them in football unless they joined the Big 10. In the current system, Notre Dame gets to play three or four games against Big 10 games per year. Leaving them scrambling to find quality opponents in, oh, the ACC, MAC, or MWC could make them more likely to join a conference. This could however backfire if there are enough other quality BCS schools who would like to add ND to the schedule.

Notre Dame has shown that they are going to stay independent as long as they can. They're not changing unless their hand is forced. I don't see anything that would lead me to believe that Notre Dame to the Big 12 has more than the scarcest chance.

yed 10 years, 7 months ago

I just drooled all over my keyboard.

Seriously, I can't see this ever happening, but the idea of it is freaking awesome.

Tim Bingaman 10 years, 7 months ago

From a "right thing to do" perspective, ND makes less sense than Texas joining the Pac 10! Talk about no rivalries for a team. ND belongs in the Big 10. Indiana is way too far away. Obviously, this is about money and I can see that being appealing to the money hungry ADs... but totally stupid to anyone with a sense of tradition.

I think that Arkansas makes a lot of sense. I wish that we would have been "proactive" before Nebraska left. At this point bringing Arkansas and TCU in would make the most sense and increase our power. Back to 12, we would have OU & OSU in the North and then have a full Texas (plus Hogs) South. Obviously, UT wouldn't want TCU to be in the Big 12 for recruiting, so probably a moot point also.

jayhawk2062 10 years, 7 months ago

Unless Jerry gives the conference money like FedEx wants to give if a conference asks Memphis to join it doesn't make sense.

Arkansas has a good TV deal in the SEC, around 17 million per year. It would be a travel upgrade and would reduce costs there, but then you start a whole new line of shuffling.

I would be on board for adding Arkansas and Memphis to the league and go back to 12 because you'd gain Little Rock and the Memphis markets. That would mean more revenue due to new households that the conference hadn't been in before.

I would rather keep Notre Dame out. They lean more towards an eastern school than a Midwest school and they are private.

Ervin O'Neal 10 years, 7 months ago

From someone who grew up there, Memphis isn't that big. It is in the heart of SEC country. And most TV sets are not turned on to follow Tiger High. I would guess that half of the SEC schools have more fans living in Memphis than UM. Little Rock is even smaller. But at least a high percentage of TV's in Little Rock would be watching Arkansas play. Other than Fred Smith money, I don't see any benefit of adding Memphis unless they want 0% of the TV revenue. From a TV Deal perspective, adding Memphis would be like adding SMU and then trying to convince ABC that you have added more TV's in Dallas for football. They might agree to some extent, but the revenue isn't going to increase by more than SMU's split so all the other teams lose money (except UT, OU and A&M I'm sure).

Seriously, you would rather have Memphis than Notre Dame? You would rather have 500 fans from Memphis show up in Lawrence on game day than 10,000 Notre Dame fans? You must not be a business owner in Lawrence. Do you think KU fans would buy the same number football tickets and the atmospher would be comparable regardless if our opponent was Memphis or Notre Dame? You would be just as excited to tell someone you went to a game at Liberty Bowl Stadium as you would to say you went to a game in South Bend? You would rather add a school that has had TWO Final Four appearances vacated in the last 25 years because they hired sleezy coaches and their boosters throw money around like USC than add a school that has struggled in sports lately because they stand fast to their academic standards? You would rather add a school that never plays on national TV versus a school that has such a TV draw that they have their own contract with NBC?

I don't think adding ND is such a far reach. If they are only earning $15 million a year from NBC now, I don't see that improving much in the near future considering their decline in athletic success and the additional monies the networks are going to be paying the major conferences. If the Big 12 added Arkansas and ND, I think the television package would go through the roof. The Big 12 would be able to offer ND as much if not considerably more than the Big 10 and would not object to ND having their own network. Throw in ND being able to recruit more athletes from Texas, and it would make sense.

KANSTUCKY 10 years, 7 months ago

Doherty to Arkansas? Did I miss something?

jaybate 10 years, 7 months ago

"Conspiracy theorists wonder whether the Big Ten, long lusting after Notre Dame, will try to lure the Fighting Irish by recruiting a few Big East schools, blowing up that conference and leaving ND with nowhere else to turn."--Tom Keegan

I wish affectionately to nominate Tom Keegan, as the president of the Conspiracy Theorist Society of His wildly uneven reporting and commentary based often on flimsy speculations, and his leaping and often incorrect assumptions and rushes to judgment about AD Lew Perkins and Chancellor Gray-Little's apparent performances (Lew needed to "open his eyes". while Gray-Little was smeared as "incompetent"), among other goofs and misreads, leads me to first this nomination.

And Tom has still not interviewed former KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway about the reputed ticket diversions and scalpings totalling apparently in the millions that took place mostly on Hemenway's watch, nor has he consulted with Hem, the fellow who cleaned up Kentucky with Rick Pitino, and presided over OU athletics with those icons of sports virtue--Barry Switzer and Billy Tubbs. :-)

And Tom is now selling what conspiracy factualists typically call the "official conspiracy theory" of what has been happening and what may happen as the Federal investigations and the Kansas Ethics Commission eventually surface. :-)

Phoggin_Loud 10 years, 7 months ago

IF ND was to join a Conference (which they may have to do for scheduling reasons), they would be more inclined to join if it was capped at 10 teams. This would insure a higher payout (or less dilution, however you want to say it) and they could keep a few of their historic rivals.

In addition, they could expand their ND network (NBC), which would be the closest thing to Independence. Their fan-base may settle for this, if presented correctly.

Obviously, the Big XII is open to this since UT is forming a Longhorn Network.

Best solution??? "Send" Baylor to the Mountain West & add ND.

IF ND explores joining a Conference, the Big XII makes the most sense because the revenue inequities and the option for school-specific networks.

gchawk 10 years, 7 months ago

Keegan: Interesting article. I would like to know if anyone else has heard any news about the possibility of Colorado State joining the Big XII? I've heard that they might be a possible suitor for our conference. TimmytheJayhawk, I think you have a good point concerning TCU, location wise their logistics would make sense.

jhokfan 10 years, 7 months ago

This would really piss off the Big 10. I like it! Seems unlikely but a week ago the most unlikely scenario for the future of the Big 12 was that it would be intact. I'm not ruling it out.

Joel Hood 10 years, 7 months ago

Keegan - this is the type of wild assertion you should stick with - sports. The idea that ND would jump to the Big 12-2 is so laughable that it actually gets people talking. The idea of AR coming to the Big 12 has been around forever - and though plausible, it doesn't stir the pot as much. Never mind that the conference will really need to stay at 10 members for at least 5 years to evaluate it.... But, to heck with logical thinking, keep stirring the sports rumor mill pot - that keeps it fun.

Having said that, jaybate brings up a good point in all of this. Last week Keegan, you called Dr. Gray-Little "out-of-touch", which fired up a $#!% storm of comments labeling her as incompetent. Keegs - where is your apology to Dr. Gray-Little? She is a well respected academic that KU is fortunate to have. She didn't panic and squawk about the sky falling and guess what - the sky didn't fall. You owe her an apology for that characterization - but I doubt you will step up to the plate... this time.

Brian Skelly 10 years, 7 months ago

Arkansas makes plenty of sense for reasons mentioned here as well as many, many others.

Notre Dame is a pipe dream, and it seems like Tom is just writing about his dreaming. The ' fit ' doesnt seem right regardless, but the obvious upside is there of course.

The ONLY reason ND would probably even consider it is that it could sell its OWN network joining us and have some built in good competition every year. Of course, they essentially have that NOW for Football, which is obviously driving the bus here.

Im friends with several ND alums and I can tell you they cling the whole 'independent' thing for dear life when ANY talk of joining anyone comes up.

The Big East gives them what they want --- freedom in Football, a great hoops league, good competition in non-revenue sports, and a significant media presence in the Northeast. Why would they leave that?

Im quite sure they'll keep their options open. Joining the Big 12 doesnt seem logical any fronts, unfortunately.

buckleyhawk 10 years, 7 months ago

This is a wild assertion (at least the ND side).

I thought all along the most sense (geographically and school-wise) was Arkansas and Memphis, especially considering the FedEx CEO's statement regarding his "contribution" to whatever conference took the Tigers.

If this happened, B12 football would gain back the championship game, and the conference would add two decent middle-of-the-road franchis...I mean...universities.

B12 basketball would be top-top-notch, too...

ku_foaf 10 years, 7 months ago

Arkansas makes a lot of sense for the Big 12. Besides all the reasons cited, all true regarding the rivalries and recruiting in Texas, the size of the school and geography is a better fit.

Many Arkansas fans have mixed feelings about whether the SEC move was 100% positive. Jerry Jones could have a HUGE influence here. Wow!

ND? That sounds like an unlikely dream! They still see themselves as all powerful in football & they don't need anybody. This seems less justified all the time, though!

I'd love TCU and Arkansas in the Big 12!

kcglowboy 10 years, 7 months ago

Arkansas to the Big Texas would more than make up for the loss of Colorado and would, as Jones and Keegan assert, add instant drama with the renewed rivalries with Texas and A&M, and to a lesser extent, Missouri. But the Fighting Irish? Yeah, that would more than make up for the loss of Nowledge U, but won't happen. Never. Not in a bajillion years. But hey, talking about it helps fill column inches when you can't come up with legitimate stories to write about.

Mike Barnhart 10 years, 7 months ago

Nah, I think Notre Dame would rather join the Big 10 and share equally with in-state rivals Indiana and Purdue not to mention football powerhouse Northwestern.

Kenny George 10 years, 7 months ago

As for the Notre Dame argument:

Keep in mind that the Big East is more vunerable than the Big 12 at this point and Notre Dame will need a stable conference for its other sports to compete in. It will be just a matter of time until the Big East is no longer. Big 12 makes sense as we have room for expansion and we offer "flexibility" in our revenue sharing structure.

KGphoto 10 years, 7 months ago

How would the Big 12 be aligned?

I would like to think it would be ND and Oklahoma to the North and Arkansas to the south. Then Oklahoma could still play against TX for the title and TX could play Arkansas every year to keep Jerry Jones happy.

100 10 years, 7 months ago

Hey if Jerry Jones wants to see this before he dies,

I guess he can afford it.

The only thing stopping this wild plan from happening is Jerry Jones lack of financial commitment.

Write two big checks and get it done Jerry Jones!

Chris Bailey 10 years, 7 months ago

It was said early we don't offer hockey or Lacrosse in the Big12. Do we really believe that ND would drop those programs to come to the Big12? Reason number 999 why they won't join the Big12 and still remain a good fit for the Big10. They play Michigan every year, they have higher acedemic standards than we do, they like playing who they want when they want, they have to make their rich donors happy, I can keep going. We have ZERO chance at ND and shouldn't want them anyway. Go get Arkansas and look at Memphis. Maybe look to Arizona/Arizona State of course they may be a package deal. Who knows maybe we'll end up with 14 teams. I think the best case we could expect is to get Arkansas and Memphis. I do think this is possible with Jerry Jones money and clout. When he speaks people listen as money talks as in most things in life and college sports are no different. He stands to gain quite a bit by having the Big12 championship in Texas stadium. All in all I think that Arkansas and Memphis are our best shot and each brings something to the conference. Plus look at what each is saying. Memphis wants in a BCS conference and Arkansas wants out of the SEC. Two unhappy schools LOOKING for a new home. ND isn't looking! That's a dream and really I don't think its a good fit in the Big12. We could try and lure another school in. I wish we could get NU back for football. So long CU won't miss em. But I've said this in previous post's I will miss NU. I'll still watch em I have always enjoyed their teams especially the smash mouth running teams of the past. Who knows where this ends up but please if you're holding your breathe for ND stop! Lets just hope we pick up two good schools as I have mentioned above, any would add to our conference.

sbucks 10 years, 7 months ago

I'd love to have ND come to Kansas, but I think the chances of me seeing a real leprechaun are better

Randy Bombardier 10 years, 7 months ago

If ND can make more money in the Big 12 I think it could be done although they would have to surrender their status as an automatic BCS qualifier wouldn't they?

kugrad93 10 years, 7 months ago

What would the KU football team's record be against a schedule that includes Notre Dame, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Texas Tech? Yikes.

gjjjjt 10 years, 7 months ago

If Notre Dame and Arkansas join the Big 12 there will be a conference championship game again with 12 instead of 10 teams. That would mean another game possibility for Notre Dame. Also, there would once again be the 6 north and 6 south teams, so the conference schedule would be 3 from the opposite division and 5 of your own for 8 conference games total. That leaves 3 to 4 more games for Notre Dame to schedule Michigan and/or USC, etc. if those schools would agree (and why wouldn't they for the money those games generate). I agree with most that ND in the Big 12 is an extreme longshot, but an intriguing possibility...

Phoggin_Loud 10 years, 7 months ago

You're right. The ND fans covet "Independence". Here's the question: If Conferences go to 16 teams, who will ND schedule??

Teams would have to endure a brutal Conference schedule, so why would any school want to schedule ND in the Non-con?? History? We saw how much NU & Colorado want to protect historical rivalries.

This is the "elephant-in-the-room" that won't go away. ND needs 12 teams to play & 16-team Conferences won't need ND.

The time is coming where Notre Dame will have to join a Conference...They are more apt to join a 10-team Conference where they can keep their tv network. Right now, their best option is the Big XII.

Ervin O'Neal 10 years, 7 months ago

Is anyone else thinking we need to add seats to Memorial Stadium or we might get left out in the next round of conference re-alignments? If our stadium had a balcony on the East side with club boxes underneath (instead of just a tower with club boxes), wouldn't KU have been in a position to demand a bigger piece of the pot in this round?

I understand (but dislike) UT being able to negotiate a slightly bigger piece of the pie. I even can come to grips with OU doing the same. But A&M? What has A&M brought to the conference that is better than KU, K State, MU or OSU? A&M, in my mind, just became the best little wh@rehouse in Texas. I mean what a con game. A&M played us all. They made us all think there was a chance that they might join the SEC (even though you know that your alumni, your govenor, and your fan base are not going to let you part ways with UT). They knew that all the other Texas schools would use this as an additional reason to join the PAC 10. They played that card like a professional poker player. As a result, A&M gets more money to stay in a conference despite having nowhere near the success, fan base or appeal as OU or UT. What a joke. If the 11 other teams in the Big 12 hated that UT got more than an equal share of revenue, imagine how the other 5 schools are now going to like seeing 3 schools get larger shares. If and when the other conferences like the Big 10 or SEC expand to 16 teams, I would be shocked if several Big 12 schools weren't looking to part from UT's shadow. I think we made a great hire in Turner Gill. I say we think big and add 20,000 seats now to Memorial Stadium (keeping the South end open). That way, we can act like A&M when the other conferences expand. Whether we left the Big 12 or not, we certainly could improve our position.

Chris Bailey 10 years, 7 months ago

We do need to add seats without question! Start winning games and we could add 20-30,000 seats and make us up with the big boys. You can improve the football program all you want but if there are no seats to fill then your still left out in the cold.

sbw1975 10 years, 7 months ago

what the hell is he talking about.arkansas is never going to leave the sec for the big 12.why would they leave a strong conference for one that's on life support. nobody can stand up to the great and mighty texas longhorns.everybody in the big 12 needs to grow a set down there and say fk texas.quit smoking crack and read newspapers across the u.s.,your conference is a joke and will die a long and slow death.big 12 may hate the sec,but you do respect us because we treat every school equal.i hope everything works out for the big 12 or big 10 south,don't worry about expansion because nobody wantsto go to. the big 12 on life support. peace out! go to the sec and play some real football.go huskers at least you have a set of balls.fck texas how did it go in the national title game. sec!! sec!! sec!!

Chris Bailey 10 years, 7 months ago

What kind of DBag trolls around on other conferences websites looking to talk smack? Don't come on a Big12 schools site and talk like we aren't listening. What kind of idiot do you have to be to create an account on kusports as a non-fan of KU AND the Big12? Is there nothing better you have to do with your time? I know I don't troll on other collegiate teams sites getting the dirty on them. I'm tired of hearing about the SEC. Do you really think we don't recognize that the BIG 3 conferences Big10 Big12 and SEC are where the BIG football schools are located? Get off your high horse! Arkansas has been saying for some time they were tired of the SEC and their inability to recruit in Texas since they changed conferences. If your gonna talk smack at least have some facts available before you come in with diarrhea of the mouth and spewing crap from every hole including the ones in your head! Go play with your SEC pals. Oh and by the way sports writers write things. It helps sell papers! It also creates long discussions like this one it doesn't mean that the magic wand has been waved and set in motion to come true.

sbw1975 10 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Benjamin Piehler 10 years, 7 months ago

using a logical argument with an SEC fan/grad is like debating with a stump... prlly not even worth the effort.

Joel Hood 10 years, 7 months ago

yes - everyone is the same - only 2 schools in the AAU - you must be so proud to have such high standards

Bill Skeet 10 years, 7 months ago

At this point, I expect all discussions will go underground.

The last 15 days have been a debacle for athletic departments, university presidents and administrators and their alumni. The rumor and innuendo was very unprofessional and the discussions henceforth are going to be held in the highest confidence.

From now on, the only thing the media will hear from any official is "We love our conference." No school is going to leak anything public about interest in going to another conference.

From the public's point of view, the next announcement of a school leaving any conference will come "out of the blue," without a hint.

jayhawkintexas 10 years, 7 months ago

As long as we are dreaming, why not add Arkansas and LSU to the Big 12-2? If you want to stoke rivalries, can you imagine LSU and Texas playing every year let alone ARkansas and Texas? IF we added Arkansas and LSU then we would (again) have a super-conference!!!

hogfan47 10 years, 7 months ago

If you think we raised a fuss getting rid of Nutt. watch the fire from a move to the texas 10

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 7 months ago

So, you'd rather be the doormat of the SEC west, satisied with calling the hogs in a vaccum, than being in a conference where you could actually be in contention? At least in the Big 12, you could probably have 8 teams that you would have 50/50 odds of beating each year in football. In the SEC you might have 2 teams overall, that you get the same odds of beating.

stravinsky 10 years, 7 months ago

Add seats? We need to fill the ones we have first.

If you haven't noticed, we really haven't done that on a consistent basis.

KUfan2013 10 years, 7 months ago

Get real ND in the Big "12"? A few days ago the Big 12 was about to fizz away. Why would a super rich, academically elite school want anything to do with the Big 12? You really think they want to be in the company of OSU, ISU and KSU? A OU is no brain trust either of the Big 12. If they say no to the Big Ten, there is zero chance they will say yes to any other conference. Big Ten has the athletics and academics, something ND looks for. I would be happy just to land DeVry and ITT Tech at this point.

jhox 10 years, 7 months ago

I have an idea. If KU, MU, Iowa State, KSU and Baylor all pool their money, and offer to donate it to Notre Dame, maybe we can get them to join the conference. Oh, wait, I should say if those schools all pool the money they're not already sending to OU and UT.

jaybate 10 years, 7 months ago


I like your poetic post and would guess you speak for many Arkansawyers, especially younger ones that know mostly the SEC legacy of Arkansas.

The bigger money of the SEC probably makes the point moot, but...

The football rivalries among Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas would be awesome things to behold and a dream come true for many older folks that have admired the way these schools have played football over the years.

Growing up in Kansas City, I grew up a Jayhawk fan first, but my second allegiance outside the then Big Eight always used to be Arkansas in the Southwest Conference days. I always rooted for Frank Broyles and them against Texas. Even as a kid, I always wished Texas and Arkansas and OU could be in the same conference. I still hope it happens, but I hope it happens in the Big 12, or in a merger of the Big 12 and the SEC. Talk about football!!! Oooooooh Piiiiiig Suey!

Now that could almost bring me back to caring about football.

But the other great part would be the basketball. Arkansas, Texas and OU are all now trying to play respectable hoops. They are not yet up to KU's $#@! yet, but they are getting closer all the time. And imagine a Mizzou-UArk hoops game! It would be grand.

I grew up canoeing northern Arkansas rivers and water skiing its lakes and burning ticks off of my hide with my pop's butts on vacations. I've never lived in Arkansas, but I've been to Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi, and you Arkansawyers have next to nothing in common with those folks except liking football.

I know the SEC's checkbook has your best financial interests at heart, but man would it be great to see the Red River Schools united in an conference.

Carter Patterson 10 years, 7 months ago

Tom, you got some love on TV today from ESPN's Mike and Mike who discussed your article. They like the Arkansas pick but not the ND pick. Golic of course is a Notre Dame alum.

JayhawkBigXII 10 years, 7 months ago

Since when is Notre Lame such a big catch? They've been "rebuilding" for about 15 years now. I used to watch them years ago... and now I don't even bother looking at their schedule. Even K-State would hand them their @$$.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.