Wednesday, October 5, 2011

KU AD Sheahon Zenger says KU-MU rivalry belongs in Big 12


Amidst reports coming out of Missouri that MU's board of curators had authorized Missouri chancellor, Brady Deaton, to handle the school's conference affiliation, Kansas University athletic director Sheahon Zenger released a statement late Tuesday night pledging KU's support to one of the Big 12 Conferences's best rivalries.

"We value our long-standing conference rivalry with Missouri," Zenger said. "We believe the Midwest deserves a strong conference for student-athletes, fans and alumni, and it is our desire that Missouri will stay committed — as Kansas is — to the Big 12 Conference.”

While Tuesday's news regarding Mizzou did not seal the Tigers' fate, it certainly did nothing to enhance their commitment to the Big 12.

Despite real change taking place in the form of new leadership and a conference-wide agreement on equal revenue sharing, Missouri remains fixed on looking around at all of its options, the most obvious being a potential spot in the SEC.

Although the SEC has not confirmed any interest in Missouri — in fact, on Tuesday, one SEC official said the league could remain at 13 members for as many as two years — reports continue to pop up all over the place about Missouri following in Texas A&M's footsteps in leaving the Big 12 to join the SEC.

Although Deaton, who on Tuesday resigned as the chair of the Big 12's board of directors, now has full authority to negotiate for MU's conference alignment, no timetable was set for any kind of decision.


REHawk 2 years, 6 months ago

Can the league members offer Mizzou a ten day extension, either to poop or pull up its knickers? If all other league members are signing the 6 year media rights agreement, and the Tigers continue to hold out, why not eject them from the Big 12 (10?,9?) and get on with securing additional schools who yearn to join our conference. I know it is not that simple a deal, but that is my inclination.


Vernon Riggs 2 years, 6 months ago

CBS Sports reporting that Alabama, Tennessee and LSU leading the SEC NOT to accept Mizzou. They will not have enough 'YES' votes. Welcome back to the Big12 Mizzou!


BPSkelly 2 years, 6 months ago

I'd point out that Mizzou legitimately gets well more than half the St. Louis market. Its conservatively 75/25 Mizzou / Illinois. The press here (many Mizzou grads mind you) slop the Tiggers like nobodies business. Illinois WILL get coverage if they're really good in hoops or football -- which in fairness to them is cyclical, not constant. There isnt one sports cast or sports headline in the Post here though that leads with the Illini. Of course, it rarely leads with Mizzou (Cards, Blues, Rams, etc)... but the odds of seeing a Tiger story front and center here is 1000% more likely than an Illinois one. St. Louis University is an afterthought coverage-wise here, even though their fanbase for hoops is decent.

Unlike KC -- which market-wise IS smaller than St. Louis -- is more closely an even split. And from the this side of the state it seems the Star slops KU during hoops season and MU during football season. I could be wrong about that, but thats the perception over here.

Make no mistake, I want Mizzou to stay. But its hard to tell them their better off here if "here" isnt going to be "here" in a few years. Lets face it, what is being 'saved' even now isnt what "here" has been. Forget money and coverage. If the Big 12 doesnt go to at least 12 -- id prefer more, but whatever -- and we dont get a much longer term agreement with the media stuff -- like 10 to 20 years instead of this six years being bandied about, we'll be back here again before these wounds heal.

While its also 'biting the hand that feeds', one thing that gets lost in this quite frankly is that ESPN essentially @#$%@$#% the Big 12 royally. Im stunned and amazed there isnt more talk about this. I understand not seeing it on or anything, but the murder weapon will likely end up being the LHN. Why would ESPN want a Big 12 network now -- that would compete against the LHN?

As much as Beebe and Co. can be (and should be) blamed, the reality is the higher ups at all the Big 12 institutions lacked anything resembling foresight and vision, which is the primary reason were in this mess that were in now. UT should have been stood up to far sooner (and more often) than they have been.


danmoore 2 years, 6 months ago

I wouldn't miss mizwho but they have half the St. Louis and half the KC markets. If any other conference is interested in them it is for that reason.


jgkojak 2 years, 6 months ago

Fear: That we'll go to 4 16 team conferences sooner or later and KU still in B12 will be left out.

Reality: The B12 is fine w/out Mizzou- as long as Texas and OU are in, its a solid league and will continue.

Future reality: When expansion to 16 happens and the B12 fizzles, the B10 is going to need 4 more members (3 if Notre Dame is in). Since they only take AAU schools, and Pitt has gone to the ACC, here is who is left in the Central or Eastern time zones: Rutgers, Iowa State, Kansas. Period.

They won't take MU because once tainted by the SEC, they'll have no interest.

So in 6 years, we could see KU receive its B10 invite and MU left to rot w/the rest of the slavers.


142466 2 years, 6 months ago

I'll offer my 2 cents. As long as OU and UT are in the same conference the BCS and NCAA have no choice but to include the football champion of that conference in a BCS bowl and the soon to be football postseason tournament. I think 90% of people reading this blog agree on that.

So, even if Mizzou bolts, the B12 will live as a BCS conference, provided that OU and UT desire so (by remaining in it). Once Mizzou reaches a decision (stay or bolt), focus your eyes and ears on Norman & Austin. Does the B12 dissolve or live? OU and UT are the deciders.

What will be OU's and UT's decision? It's a business decision. First of all, they understand that it's highly desirable, financially, that they remain together. Secondly, they know that there is a very high correlation between their success on the grid iron, measured nationally (not measured by conference championships), and their income from their FB programs.

So they will project their future income streams for their 2 options: staying and expanding to 12 members vs. moving to some other conference. They incorporate probability methodology in calculating the 2 different future income streams. They then choose the most lucrative projected path. The most lucrative path is also the path that will generate the most national football success. It's essentially the same method that other big business entities use.

OU & UT will make their decision shortly after Mizzou decides. They can't afford to wait. They realize that if they choose to remain, the league needs to act quickly in order to attract 3 (4, if Mizzou departs) respectable football entrants before the other competing leagues gobble them. OU's and UT's solid commitment to the B12 would allow the league to attract respectable entrants.

If OU and UT decide to leave, they also must act with due haste, while desirable landing spots remain open.


jchief40 2 years, 6 months ago

OK final prediction: Big 12 will add BYU and Boise St (ideal travel partners, recently signed a deal together through 2023 - a budding rivalry?) along with Air Force. I think it makes more sense. Air Force is no pushover in football, adds national appeal and brings Colorado back in the mix. Then Missouri should stay. If for some reason MU still bolts I think TCU comes aboard. Problem solved.


scraptown 2 years, 6 months ago

If ku had a viable alternative, they would have waived their right to legal action against exiting schools.


jahawkdave 2 years, 6 months ago

KU is operating out of a position of reality, not weakness. Why should leadership fuel more instability to a conference that is struggling because of instability. Why look desperate trying to get in conferences that most likely don't want us, at least our football or our state's lack of TV's.

Mizz. looked like fools last year and most likely will again this year. OU's Boren looked like a desperate girl trying to scramble for a date to the prom. I would rather have our leadership play things close to the vest and be realistic, and realistically the best case for KU is to stay in the B12 as long as it survives.

If the B12 folds because of other schools actions, I'm confident we will land in a BCS conf. and our leadership does have a plan B, there is simply no benefit in telling everyone one what that plan is.


BABBOY 2 years, 6 months ago


You KU fans live on another planet.

I do not think the other seven schools really seem to care if Missouri leaves. They were strange anyway and as a KSU fan I could care less about the "rivalary" with them.

Missouri can be easily replaced. Sadly, anyone but Oklahoma and Texas is 100 percent replaceable So, none of this matters. As long as Oklahoma and Texas stay the BCS standing is solid and I really think they could care less about Missouri …..

Also, your basketball program will not really be affected by any of this and will always be ranked so what in the world are you guys crying about.........?


toe 2 years, 6 months ago

The question at hand has nothing to do with sports. It is simply a financial decision.


Michael Maris 2 years, 6 months ago

Well, here we go again with the Male Soap Opera show.

Here is the list of the Kansas Board of Regents (serving all public Universities in the State of Kansas).

Andy Tompkins, Undergrad at East Central State in Ada, Oklahoma, Masters at Emporia State and Doctorates at University of Kansas

Ed McKechnie, Undergrad at Pittsburg State University

Dan Lykins, Undergrad at Kansas State, Juris Doctorate at Washburn

Tim Emert, Undergrad at U. of Kansas

Mildred Edwards, Undergrad at Wichita State

Christine Downey-Schmidt, Undergrad at Wichita State

Janie Perkins, Undergrad at Newman University (Wichita, Kansas)

So, these are the people who are going to decide the fate of University of Kansas Athletics in the future. Wichita State fans hate University of Kansas.

I'm telling you. If Bernadette Gray-Little and her administration are sitting on their hands. Then, Kansas Athletics won't amount to anything in the future. I view this situation as to many people sitting on the Kansas Board of Regents that will NOT be looking out for the best interest of Kansas Athletics. They will do their best to force Kansas to have tag-along Kansas State being tied to the tail feathers of the Jayhawks.

Matt Tait, I don't see that the silence and the constant comments of Kansas is commited to the Big XII Conference is helping the fans of University of Kansas. It is looking more and more like U. of Kansas is becoming more and more like the University of Idaho. Out in the Middle of NO-WHERE.


ejlumus 2 years, 6 months ago

If NU was in the Big 12 this year, NU would lose to OU, OSU. UT, TAm and KSU. Tossups would be MU, BU, TT and ISU. wins would be KU and CU. NU has improved their W/L record by moving to the B10. They are now the red headed step child of the B10 with future years of mediocrity from their once great football team.

If MU leaves their W/L record will not improve and will return to mediocirty. MU lwill be the dirty little orphan found on the streets by the SEC.

The moves bu Nu and MU should enhance KU's football prospects and will not hurt the basketball.

Good riddance MU!!!!!!!!! The sooner you make the decision to leave the better for all.


Thomas Young 2 years, 6 months ago

I just don't think there is a lot to say. The Big East was looking like a great fallback plan, until it wasn't. So unless there really is a backdoor deal to the ACC, KU's berst option is to support an expanding Big 12.

If TCU and BYU commit, the Big 12 will be on its way. When the Big East began to crumble, everybody knew the the Leftovers was going to be a probably destination for Kansas. But with OU and Texas staying, the Big 12 can back to 12 and still be a nice strong conference.


Benjamin Piehler 2 years, 6 months ago

The worst part about this from my perspective, is the economic hit Kansas City is going to take. Kiss the Big XII basketball tourny goodbye, forget the border war at Arrowhead. The NCAA has completely lost control of the situation... I'm not even sure what they do anymore besides police schools for infractions.

Just like any other industry, the little guys get screwed, everyone cuts themselves a bigger check and then they call it "progress".


Dan Pawlowski 2 years, 6 months ago

I find the comments of many of the disgruntled posters amusing and quite telling as to their naiveté. They want strong words publicly stated. They act as if that is all men/women of action should do. That is not how negotiations in the real world get done. In rare instances ,when you have a large public fan base that can be moved by bad or good publicity then maybe public grandstanding can have an affect. This is not the case. There is no public outcry either way. We have barely heard anything from the NCAA other than the obligatory statement that institutions should not rush into things.


Phoghorn 2 years, 6 months ago

Why would KU want to say anything else? If the Diminished 12 survives and adds some teams, KU can say that they were supporters all along.

If the Diminished 12 dissolves, KU can say that they were loyal until the end. This should make us more attractive to a stable conference such as the BI6 or the PacPack. Let the KU administrators have their talks in private. We will find out soon enough. The last thing we need is some little tin god (small g intentional in this case) making a big announcement on Facebook, Twitter, etc that blows the whole deal.

Remember the girl (or guy) in High School that always promoted drama and spread rumors and gossip constantly. Were you just dying to date them? That girl (or guy) is Mizzou. Let us not emulate them.


rockchalkwombat 2 years, 6 months ago

How do you know what BGL and SZ are doing or not doing? Just because they aren't out there publicly groveling at the feet of every conference in the country (like Mizzou) doesn't mean they aren't doing everything they can in the best interests of KU. Give them credit for having a little more dignity than Deaton and that bunch. The Big 12 will survive just fine without Missouri and there will be plenty of money for every remaining school and the ones we add. Life will go on.


ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 6 months ago

Love it! Hcbs has around 50 comments, Sheahorn has 9.

Know your role "Little Engine That Couldn't"


jhawkrulz 2 years, 6 months ago

If Missouri leaves, so will OU/OSU this time to the SEC. Don't tell me that OU/OSU have stopped looking, they are still authorized to be talking to other conferences.

I personally believe that the PAC12 said no to OSU for academics. I don't think the same will be for the SEC.

The SEC wants to be the first to 16 and will do so by making this statement.

I believe that is overall good news for KU, because the PAC 12/Big Ten will be competing against fewer teams to get to 16. And don't count out the ACC.

There are two things that conferences want to happen as they go to 16, 1) Have the Big XII fold so that there are no teams left to collect the exit fees, that means 8 teams have to be taken 2) The Big East has to fold or this will take 27 months. The $5MM people can live with the 27 months is just a ticking time bomb for people wait to renegotiate their TV deals.


bravestool 2 years, 6 months ago

KU's repeated statements about the commitment to the floundering Big 12 is becoming more and more irritating. Someone start taking a stand and making some definitive statements. Sitting back and watching the University of Kansas contract is beyond disturbing. pizz on it all.


Vernon Riggs 2 years, 6 months ago

First, I still don't think Mizzou is leaving. They are saving face with their fanbase saying they are looking. They can be a player in the Big12. They will be a bottom-dweller in the SEC. Move over Vandy. They will commit to the Big12 by the week-end.

Second, if I am wrong the loss of Mizzou will NOT take down the Big12. They are NOT Texas or OU. They can be replaced.

Third, Ken Starr and Baylor already has the lawsuit written; they will need to add Mizzou!


jhwkfan162515 2 years, 6 months ago

Laugh all you want about Mizzoodle having a rough go of it in the SEC; but the departure of MU will only speed the demise of the Big 12 and leave us without a BCS conference home. Sounds like Zenger and Gray-Little aren't doing anything to ensure the well being of KU in the event of the league's demise.


blackhawkjayhawk 2 years, 6 months ago

Mizzou mistake. They'll be lucky to stay at .500 in football and it will be minor bowls from now on. They'll be giving up a lot in order to make a few more million dolars. Go ahead dipwads, take the leap. I'd like to introduce you to Mr. Saban and Mr. Miles.


Janet Scott 2 years, 6 months ago

Either KU is totally ignorant and naive, or they know they have no options but to ride their way out of the Big 12 as the conference collapses, with their fate solely driven by others. It's looking more and more like KU will be in time joining a weak Big East - because they have no other choice. This statement by Z is reflective of utter weakness.


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