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Big 12 Conference

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tait

In time of conference realignment madness, KU silence golden

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Late Tuesday night, as one of the wildest days of the conference realignment saga was starting to wind down, the Pac-12 Conference released a statement saying it was not interested in expanding past its current 12-member set-up.

Moments after the statement was released, officials at Kansas University said nothing.

Smart move.

It’s been debated for the better part of the past three weeks whether KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger and chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little were going about things the right way with regard to KU’s position in all of this. As it stands right now, it looks as if they played it perfectly.

Look no further than Missouri for proof of that. Sources close to KU said all along that MU chancellor Brady Deaton and athletic director Mike Alden were all-in with the Big 12 Conference and that both were working tirelessly to ensure the conference’s survival. Deaton, the chair of the Big 12’s board of directors who, later this week, is scheduled to meet with OU president David Boren to hash out OU’s demands for a more perfect Big 12 union, continues to work toward that end.

But while those two toed the line, a Missouri booster almost cost the Tigers their spot in two conferences. All by opening his mouth.

Earlier Tuesday, a report surfaced about MU having a deal in place with the SEC. The report stated that the deal was contingent on the Big 12 imploding, but it was never intended to get out. Once it did, reports indicated that SEC officials were furious with the Tigers. At the same time, officials in the Big 12 were forced to at least question Missouri’s allegiance.

By saying little and working a lot, KU ensured its survival. If the Jayhawks had made a deal elsewhere or taken a hard stance against OU, Texas or the Big 12, they’d be saddled with the tough task of crawling back to the league and asking for forgiveness right now. If the Jayhawks had spoken out against the other conferences freely attempting to poach their brothers, they would’ve buried themselves in the event that the Big 12 did die.

It may have been nerve-racking, and still may be; but it also was 100 percent in line with what Zenger is all about. Substance over image.

“You have to be consistent with your message and you have to treat people the right way, inside and outside,” Zenger said in an interview earlier this summer.

He nailed it here.

This thing isn’t over yet. Until the nine remaining Big 12 schools hash out their issues — including those that existed long before OU’s list of demands went public on Tuesday — the conference will remain on unstable ground.

In the end, the one thing that’s been holding it together all along may be the thing that saves it: The Big 12 is the best place for every current member to be. Period.

Some benefit from the power and prestige. Others are aided by longstanding traditions and rivalries. And still more are buoyed by geography, fertile recruiting ground and revenue beyond their wildest dreams.

One of the biggest questions still to be answered is what happens to Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe. Early Tuesday, OU said it would return to the Big 12 if Beebe were removed. With the Pac-12 off the table, will the Sooners hold their ground?

I’m not of the belief that Beebe’s solely to blame for all that ails the Big 12. He’s not perfect, but he’s not clueless either. He is, however, a direct link to a checkered past, and if this conference is going to survive, it’s going to have to be without him.

Comments

KUMED71 2 years, 7 months ago

The B12 teams need to get behind OU and support revenue sharing like other conferences have or we will repeat this process all over again at some point in the future. If Texas doesn't like it they can get the hell out of the conference. Look how many schools have left or considered leaving the conference because of the uneven playing field.

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longtimehawk 2 years, 7 months ago

Well, Beebe did one thing right, he got rid of Nebraska out of the conference as many of the schools wanted.

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Bill Skeet 2 years, 7 months ago

Let's face it. Texas is radioactive. It's a variety of things that give them this quality, but at the end of the day, they are the primary element in the Big12 creating instability.

Other conferences are fully aware of this as well and will consider them with their eyes wide open.

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dynamitehawk 2 years, 7 months ago

OK. Deep breath. Things are going to be OK for a while. Conference realignment will be back at some point, and some folks have pointed out a very important truth.

It's time to get busy, and by busy, I mean start making some babies, Kansas. We need a boost in population for TV people to take us seriously, and it's up to us to get it done. Fellow Jayhawkers, I call upon each of you to go home tonight and get it done. We can literally double the population of the state in a few years, and double the number of fans, and TV viewers. Hell, that means that we'll statistically have TWO Perry Ellis's to fight over down the road. Plan Dynamite is in effect.

Get busy.

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martyks 2 years, 7 months ago

Sometimes I feel like we're a basketball university in a football conference. I know there are a slew of great basketball teams in the Big Twelve, but even those teams are rated the second sport at their universities. I would love to see KU move to the Big Ten, where there are plenty of universities who view their basketball programs as their most important sport. Indiana, for example, has seldom had a football team that competes favorably with Ohio State or Michigan, yet is set to return to the elite basketball programs in the country. Would it not be a treat to see Kansas play Ohio State, Indiana, Michigan State, Purdue, etc. year after year in basketball? The fact is, we could also compete rather well against at least 8 of the football teams. I know... I'm dreaming.

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iamakufan 2 years, 7 months ago

I think there should be totally equal revenue sharing among all Big12 schools and if Texas does not like it, kick 'em out.

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utahjayhawk 2 years, 7 months ago

No more Texas schools!! The Texas-centric balance of power in the Big XII (specifically UT) is what got us into this mess. I'm glad we've jettisoned TAM and we certainly don't need any more TX schools after the current three (UT, TT, Baylor). This is the time to castrate the Horns and make them play fair from here on out.

Expand the geographic footprint by bringing in BYU from the West and go East for Louisville and Cincy. I don't know anything about WVU but it seems clear that they're not all that desirable by other major conferences.

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Chris1955 2 years, 7 months ago

Part 2

KU has traditionally had a large number; maybe 1/3rd of their student body attend KU from out of state. If you do this long enough, you will develop a national following, which I believe that KU has based on BB attendance throughout the US. Additionally, KU has always drawn well from the Chicago area (B1G TEN HQ). KU may not have the football pedigree, but certainly has other advantages in endowment, overall athletic revenue, national following, and AAU.

If you accept the idea of 16 team athletic conferences, how strong of football programs do the 15th and 16th members really need to have?

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Chris1955 2 years, 7 months ago

Part 1

I'll start with a premise that armies normally begin fighting a new war; in the same manner they won the last war. Often, the first army, which adapts to the new dynamics successfully, first, gains the overall advantage. Ok, what does this have to do with what's been going down for the last month? Let me lay out some observations.

We had a one year armistice between Conference realignment wars I and II. Since, there does not appear to be a final resolution at this point, it may represent a lull, or maybe a 2nd armistice. Much thunder and lightning, but no death to the empire thus far. Has the cause of the eruptions been resolved, no it has not.

All quiet on the Eastern Front...Observations that have been made and noted: The ACC was quiet and surprised most everybody with the additions of Syracuse and Pittsburgh. Syracuse and Pittsburgh remained quiet, ACC remained quiet, and a surprising announcement was made, that has the potential to totally gut the Big East.

This was a turnabout, since most observers thought the Big 12 would go down in flames (and it still may). Complete destruction of the Big East (football) will occur upon the poaching of Rutgers and/or UConn. Given last night's PAC 12 rebuff, the timing for the ACC to deliver the coup de grace is approaching an opportune point.

All noisy and dramatic on the Western front... Observations that have been made and noted: Almost all of the Big 12 universities were vocal about what they were doing; TT and OSU were content to let their big brothers speak on their behalf. Only two universities were totally silent. They are both located in Kansas. PAC12, SEC, ACC, Big East, and Big 12 all commenting publicly. The B1G TEN was silent except to say that they have/had no plans for conference expansion.

Suppose that if you were confident where you would end up, would there be any reason to comment? Suppose you were confident in what you were going to do, would there be any reason to comment? Yes, I am attempting to connect the dots. We know the B1G TEN highly values academics (AAU membership, R&D funding) along with athletics. But, KSU doesn’t have AAU status! Yes, this is correct. However, they have a huge US government contract ($1 Billion $$$$) for animal and agricultural research, studies, etc. Would the B1G TEN be willing to serve as a mentor to KSU to help them apply, and ultimately be accepted into the AAU? Perhaps if the $$$ are there.

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BPSkelly 2 years, 7 months ago

To me this pause is merely momentary. For all of OU's huffin and pufffin (which I didnt really mind so much, but it was more than a little over the top) the biggest thing this shows me is that UT's unwillingness to waver on TLN is a big reason the Big 12 will stay together... for now.

Unless they share or somehow roll some of that dough back to the conference however, there is no shot this conference will survive for the long term. None. Im not bothered they have it. Im bothered they're arrogant enough to seem befuddled that their direct competition seems to have issues with it. This reason alone is why for all of UT's 'swagger', they really have no choice but to be in the Big 12, unless they're willing to adjust the TLN.

And even then its going to be tough. No one trusts anyone. Taking people 'at their word' at this point is a joke. I agree with the notion that Beebe has to walk, weather by OU's temper tantrum or simply outta respect for the other remaining 7 members. Im not sure how any of the Presidents or Chancellors of these schools can look at Beebe as the guy who should be the captain of the ship at this point.

Regardless its a 'good' day that things arent going napalm on us. Of course, its not even lunch time yet, so who knows.

Kudos once again Matt for keeping the minions informed. I for one can say its probably added to my blood pressure, but being this informed is tough to top in these situations.

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danmoore 2 years, 7 months ago

This has become one big game of poker and KU as well as Beebe have to play with the cards they were dealt which is not a particulary good one. I think they played their cards close to the vest which is the best thing they can do.

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ChiJayhawk 2 years, 7 months ago

Been reading these post for 2 weeks and I have to say that all the naysayers that keep posting we had no options just don't understand how business is done. Especially when your selling your self in todays world of college sports. If I was going to put money on our situation if the Big 12 bit the dust I would have said B1G would have been were we would have landed and here is why.

  1. B1G stated they were not going to expand this go around. So if they had feelers out to KU I'm sure it was of the type, "This better not leak or we deny everthing."

  2. Mizzouri was part of the deal. Hense they could leak the SEC offer because they wanted the B1G anyway so who cared if the SEC was pissed. If I was going to leak something a booster is how I would do it. Plus if you want to get to the B1G and you just found out that Oklahoma just got axed from the PAC12 for academics because of its tag along, why not let Oklahamo know that there might be door number 2 where they and Ok St. would not be encumbered by those issues.

  3. The academics are more important in the B1G than in the PAC12 so both Ok and Tx figured they had no shot at the B1G anyway since they were not going to expand so they opted for where they could haul there little brothers along because of the strength of their brand. (Turned out not to be true.)

  4. In addition I would not be suprised if Oklahoma and Texas through their sources got word that this might be in the works for KU and MU and this slowed everything down. Feelers went out to the B1G trying to find out what was happening and how do we get considered? Thus allowing Pac 12 to think about bringing in TT and Ok St. both of which they decided they did not want to do.

  5. If Ok and Tx found out that B1G was considering expanding, if you were them where would you prefer to go? PAC12 with the travel or B1G? Plus for Oklahoma that would probably reopen the yearly game with Neb. which I think back in the days of the Big 8 was every bit as big as the Ok - Tx game is today.

  6. I'm sure Oklahoma was politely told academically they had no shot at the B1G, and now the PAC12 is dead for them if they have to bring Ok St. Texas on the other hand has again more options. If they push the Oklahoma schools to SEC with TTU that gets the SEC to 16, they are academically acceptable to the B1G and now they are no longer encumbered with Tech.

  7. Now B1G has options of KU, MU and TU if the LHN is folded into the B1G network. In addition it gives the B1G access to Texas recruiting and gives the B1G what they need accademically.

So finally SEC to 16 with A&M, Oklahoma, Ok St. and TTU. ACC picks up Rug. and UCon to get to 16. B1G gets to 17 and holds for 1 or 2 years to give ND one last chance, If not they grab Iowa St. before the brand is total trashed by the MWC. PAC12 is forced to build to 16 with whats left in Texas and anything left west of the Mississippi.

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MartyrMangino 2 years, 7 months ago

raprichard and kackley,

Unlike your stance that we cannot know how hard they worked on Monday, I have some evidence to support my assumption that they were not working hard enough.

  1. This team has a history of this. Read last year and the mea culpas issued by team members before this season.

  2. It shows on the field. It is not as if we are recruiting poor players, so therein lies my assumption that they are not improving as other programs kids are.

  3. Most kids that age would rather chase tail and gallivant than get better at football when 99% of this team has no aspirations of playing professional football.

I called them clowns because I am assuming they aren't taking the program as seriously as they should be. They are representing our university poorly in what the media and public deem to be the most popular and influential aspect of college. If we can't show the country that we can compete in football, people won't go to games, we will end up in a bad conference, good basketball players won't want to join our squad, and students won't see our university as big time.

As the twig is bent, so inclines the tree.

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bville_hawk 2 years, 7 months ago

It's a bit of a stretch to say that MU is now the Big Swinging Dick in the Big 12 soap opera just because they flirt and tell.

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Hank Cross 2 years, 7 months ago

It was an absolute advantage for MU making it known that it had an SEC invite. That's the way you get leverage in negotiations. In fact, MU has even more power now that UT can't threaten to go to the P12 and it knows the B10 isn't interested as long as the LHN exists. MU OTOH can whip out its Wonka Golden Ticket and say, "We can leave with A&M. Have fun with L'Ville and Cincy." And I wouldn't blame them if they did. Gary Pinkel has shown more guts than anyone at KU.

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JayDocMD 2 years, 7 months ago

If this conference is going to survive, we need some new blood (commish and teams) and a new identity. Maybe just add one team, but I think 3 would be ideal. Not sure we want to go 14 (or to be first to 16) unless the right teams are available.

Any combo of 3+ of the following make for intriguing possibilities for addition: BYU, Rutgers, UCONN, Cinci, S. Florida, WV and Louisville. Didn't include TCU because they don't add anything market-wise and no one wants to compete with them for TX recruits.

Not sure I'm sold on Cinci or WV (from what I hear, WV fans make KStaters look like the Hiltons.) I do know that, except for UConn, the remaining Big East teams are nervous and may jump at the first lifeline extended to them. If we wind up adding 3 or more eastern teams, we could do an East/West division instead of North/South. Just a thought.

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Andy Tweedy 2 years, 7 months ago

I completely disagree with some assessments that silence meant we were being left out of the party. Now, I'm not saying we definitely had an invite anywhere, but who on this board had any clue that Syracuse and Pitt were going to the ACC? I'm betting not many if any. So while we may have been out in the cold, I don't think the silence from SZ and BGL meant anything other than they handled as best they could with what they had to work with.

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blindrabbit 2 years, 7 months ago

Mangino: Doin your best to hickify the conference by adding WVU and Arkansas State; trying to get the academic standards on par with the SEC? Don't know much about Arkansas St., but nobody wants WVU, not the SEC, ACC, B1G not even their own conference BigEast. Visit a game in Morgantown sometime and you'll see why!

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Bill Kackley 2 years, 7 months ago

He threw one chair one time, so what.

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milwaukeeJAYHAWK 2 years, 7 months ago

Matt, believe it when everyone thanks you for your constant updates. After KU, I did grad school as a Maryland Terrapin, then more grad school as a Marquette Golden Eagle and Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panther.

NONE of those schools has any forum or dedicated sports staff like KUsports.

Now here's to hoping the Big 12 isn't on it's 9th life....

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Fred Davis 2 years, 7 months ago

As a fellow journalist, my props to Tait for being an absolute beast on this realignment beat and keeping the insatiable thirsts of KU fans and alumni quenched while all this mess is debated and discussed to death...

I know this is far from over, but I agree, the silence from Zenger is exactly what's been needed through all this. I know there's been plenty of folks on here quibbling about whether or not he's competent enough or connected enough to ensure that Kansas lands on solid footing when all this is done. While I understand that argument to the slimmest extent, remember, Zenger is a professional, he's got an ego, and he's got a reputation. And as I've said before, he's a Kansan, so does anyone really think for a minute that Zenger wants to be known as the guy who guided KU to the WAC? Of course he doesn't. And as I've pointed out before, he's a former journalist, and sometimes, no comment is the best comment. I said when all this went down a month ago after A&M took its ball crying and ran to the SEC, that Zenger would take care of KU, and there's no reason to think he won't. I've also been a firm believer that the Big 12 would survive despite damn near everyone telling me it wouldn't.

The Big 12 is a great conference, and it's in a solid location. It's a natural fit for all of its current members and even the jokesters that left. Oh well. Get everyone on the same page, force UT to get off its high-horse for a second, let OU know it's Okay, and go out and grab BYU, TCU, Cincy and Louisville... Enough of getting poached, this is the Big 12, this is the Midwest and the South - football is what they do as well as anybody outside of the SEC - start acting like it.

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Pilothawk 2 years, 7 months ago

In order to fire Beebe, wouldn't the league have to hire a team of surgeons extricate him from DeLoss Dodds' okole?

That has been one of the problems with the conference. The unequal revenue sharing helps KU. Keep it. The league, with offices only a few miles from my place, is far too TEXAS centric.

Look no further than the row regarding to a league official driving a trophy down to Austin when they shared the conference basketball crown. No trophy, and no league official available when KU won its share of the conference. Small deal...sure, but it is evidence of the TEXAS slant the Bevo Conference has had since inception.

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nb4ku 2 years, 7 months ago

Whatever happens, it needs to happen soon. My productivity at work has really suffered trying to keep up with this realignment mess.

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Jeff Kilgore 2 years, 7 months ago

This is certainly one way to look at the issue, and it puts KU in a favorable light. The truth probably is somewhere closer to this point: KU doesn't really have all that strong of national appeal and really had little leverage in the realignment talks, so there is a reason that they were quiet. Isn't there some truth to this? I'm a KU fan, but no one came calling, either. Half the conference was specifically named in rumors of some kind. KU was in the other half.

So the silence argument is really a polite way of saying that KU wasn't invited to any party. Perhaps we'll see later that this is too bald of a statement. But the invites were not made public and that's all you can go on.

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Steve Corder 2 years, 7 months ago

Matt: If UT reworks the revenue sharing formula and its new network then the waters get real calm. UT has had its way for so many years (SW conference included) that it has lost perspective. The last 16 months have shown that UT has over estimated its value because it has previously demanded, and got, all that it wanted at the expense of the other schools. You just can't keep going to that "well" that often without consequences.

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Dan Pawlowski 2 years, 7 months ago

The responsibility for this whole mess lies a the feet of the NCAA and they should have gotten control of the situation when conferences started raiding each other in the 90's or when it got uglier between the ACC and Big East at the beginning of this decade. The NCAA as we know it needs a major overhaul.

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ejlumus 2 years, 7 months ago

How do you put someone on ignore? Two in particular. Thanks

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HawkSchooner 2 years, 7 months ago

Silence may be golden by KU, but I sure hope the braintrust wasn't just sitting on their hands waiting to see what shook out with the Big 12 before pursuing other options. Matt's article makes it sound like that's exactly what they were doing. I don't think making inquiries with other conferences would have required KU to "crawl back" to the Big 12 considering that it was - and maybe still is - on the verge of discombobulating. If our leaders are too timid to look out for KU's interests before all is said and done with the Big 12, then we're in bigger trouble than we thought.

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RockChalkWoody 2 years, 7 months ago

"I don't think this is done. OU laid out some demands and the belief is that didn't get into the PAC 12 because of their little sister. I believe that their eyes shift to the SEC. I think now the SEC actually makes a move after OU calls them. I think ou/osu/mu/ttu end up in the SEC. They might substitute Baylor for TTU just because the lawsuit issue."

I agree that OU might be in play with the SEC (considering they supposedly had an offer to join last year). However, your suggestion that OU, OSU, MU, and TTU end up there is flawed. With A&M already being extended an offer the SEC is sitting at 13 so you're suggesting that they'll jump to 17 teams? There's only 3 more spots and we know that OU/OSU are tied together and UT/TTU seem to be tied together so I could possibly see Mizzou and one of these combos getting the invite.

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 7 months ago

Big 12 stability = latest axymoron

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Michael Maris 2 years, 7 months ago

Good article Matt.

Now, we just have to wait for the next Male Soap Opera to begin. How long will it take for the next episode to take place?

I can tell you, living here in prime Missouri territory, I know alot of Missouri fans that are pissed off that these Missouri Boosters keep opening their lips and leaking information to the Press. It could come back to kick them in the A$$'es again.

By the way, there are alot of KU fans here in the STL (as well). Sure, not as many as Missouri fans, but there are alot of Jayhawks bumper stickers displayed in windows and KU hats that are worn proudly here in the STL area.

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miajhwk 2 years, 7 months ago

Uh...OU is a better score for the SEC than Mizzou. The PAC-12 is not done, but the Big 12 is. KU says nothing because KU has nothing to say. Much like most KU students and alumni, the rest of the world does not care about KU football because KU football has sucked for longer than anyone can remember, Orange Bowl notwithstanding. And if you think basketball has any currency in this, please turn your attention to the University of Oklahoma, who will never be good in basketball again, at least not for the forseeable future. OU is almost as big a prize as Texas, and Texas has done themselves a big disservice by creating a LHN network that won't share revenue, otherwise they'd already be playing in the PAC-#. I'm rambling. I'll shut up now.

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Krohnutz 2 years, 7 months ago

Where was all this righteous crap from OU a year ago when Nebraska was leaving town?

Had ANY of this been said at that time we might still have two more football powerhouses.

I hate UT, but seriously, little late OU.

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kuhawks28 2 years, 7 months ago

Not to say things no one likes, but how exactly was KU going to take a hard stance against OU? Or maken a deal elsewhere? I'm not trying to be a debbie downer, but we should all see this as what it is: we just don't have much of an appeal.

Why is this?

Our tv market situation.

We have no bargaining power and bring little to the table for any other conference. Keep in mind this has ZERO to do with basketball. It has to do with football and tv markets. This is why a K-State is REAALLY in trouble. The Wildcats bring about as much to the table for a new conference as the person who brings napkins to the office pot luck.

As much as I hate to say it, Misery at least has the STL tv market, part of KC and they're the only major school in their state. In short, "share with your little brother" never comes into play.

I just get really frustrated when fans are too over the top with their sense of self importance in the grand scheme of things. It is what it is.

Reality checks are seldom pleasant and rarely make the recipient smile.

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K_Easthouse 2 years, 7 months ago

The more things develop, the more KU's position really has looked to be the good move.

Let's review the past few weeks: Texas has annoyed just about every conference out there with their arrogance and insistence on the LHN. OU has annoyed just about every conference out there with their gamemanship and demands to have OSU follow them. Mizzou has already been rejected by the B1G, and now the SEC is livid at them for leaking a story. Baylor may have delayed the inevitable, but it also shot itself in the foot: when the Big XII does collapse, no one will want an undersized university that pokes the chest of the big boys.

Kansas is a solid brand who has played the middle road in the public perfectly. While I foresee the Big XII limping on for another few years thanks to an infusion of BYU, WVU and either Louisville or Cincy (perhaps TCU, if another school bolts), the Big XII will still be targeted for future expansion talks.

WHEN the time comes for future expansion talks, the SEC, B1G, ACC and Pac12 won't forget what happened this time around with OU, Texas, Mizzou and the rest. If they want a partner who knows how to play it close to the chest, KU will be smart money.

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hawksince51 2 years, 7 months ago

Well it has been an interesting, if tedious ride over the past month. But my dog is making me feel very guilty about spending too much time following this instead of playing frisbee or taking him on hikes. He sprung an intervention on me this morning and I had to promise to not log on to this site again until Halloween. Good job Matt, and I will look forward to hopefully seeing a favorable outcome for KU on Oct. 31st.

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William Weissbeck 2 years, 7 months ago

Poach UCONN before the ACC does. It helps them out FB wise, and strengthens our hand BB wise. We can play in the Garden, too. We keep the 16 for FB and create an American and National leagues for BB to reduce travel.

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bjdku 2 years, 7 months ago

It might be a little to soon for you to post this story Matt....we shall see. But I will be very interested in post-mortem analysis and investigative reporting that reveals exactly what KU was doing all this time. We need to know if our leaders were leading so we know if they should stay or go. The stakes are very high in all of this.

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mustlehustle 2 years, 7 months ago

BYU.....won't be a likely candidate....if OU has their panties in a bunch over the Longhorn Network, they're not going to want either BYU or Notre Dame as Big 12 partners as they have even more "exclusive" networks respectively. The Big East imploding with the departure of Pitt and Syracuse...has TCU contemplating returning to the Mountain West Conference.

TCU and Houston don't bring TV sets to the Big 12 Conference that aren't already controlled by UT and OU. As OU and OSU found out yesterday, whereas OU has the cache' of football power and history, the State of Oklahoma doesn't move the proverbial needle from a TV market standpoint, unless you're looking for viewers for Hillbilly Handfishin' or "Storm Chasers."

What is more sobering to David Boren at OU (to borrow a line from the weekend, "I have seen less bloated bodies fished out the river") is the PAC 12 couldn't get their members to sign-off on the Longhorns and their ESPN partner and without Texas, OU and OSU just weren't that attractive to the "academic" schools in the PAC 12.

The only other most visible "brand" in the Big 12 is arguably the "Jayhawk." It has instant recognition as does the UT Longhorn. To have OU make their demands of getting rid of Beebe (by the way for you history buffs...in 2007 OU backed the hiring of Beebe and UT endorsed Jack Swarbrick who's now the Notre Dame AD and oh by the way...got the NBC exclusive network deal done for them) So to have OU make demands today falls way short.

To have OU make demands on what UT can generate or negotiate from their "brand" would be no different than OU making any demands on any "branding" opportunity the Jayhawks might procure.

As precarious as the Big 12 Conference is right now....it is the equivalent of a spouse that wants a divorce but can't justify it because of the kids or loss of lifestyle, there does need to be a modfication of the TV revenues.

Again, the Big 12 Conference members stand to make more money per school from TV revenues than ever before. The ESPN/Longhorn relationship isn't going to go away...no school would ever forfeit or modify a $300M deal. However the "Tier" revenues from the two Television Networks for the Big 12 can be modified.

Watch for "Louisville" to get a lot of looks to join the Big 12 Conference.

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manginodrh00lz 2 years, 7 months ago

Listen to me! The Big 12 will live and Ark St will be our first follower. Fools you are for not believing my words! The light has been shown and the Red Wolves are not our lambs.

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jhawkrulz 2 years, 7 months ago

The Big XII is still on life support...it will shortly die.

The bylaws need something like what is in the Big East, a 27 month departure timeframe and something like the ACC with 20 ( I would say 40) million dollar exit fee, otherwise it is gone.

And do we really want that, especially with the TLN not sharing revenues. The belief is now that UT has the power again, and why would they share revenue? The SEC now takes 4 teams from the Big XII.

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Ken Miller 2 years, 7 months ago

It remains to be seen whether KU's "silence" is a good move or not. Doesn't it all depend on where KU ends up conference-wise, and what the results are on the field as well as in the bank accounts?

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billhawk 2 years, 7 months ago

So what's the best scenario in your opinion Matt? Big 12 merge with the football Big East, maybe add BYU?

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jhawkrulz 2 years, 7 months ago

Speculation Only: I don't think this is done. OU laid out some demands and the belief is that didn't get into the PAC 12 because of their little sister. I believe that their eyes shift to the SEC. I think now the SEC actually makes a move after OU calls them. I think OU/OSU/MU/TTU end up in the SEC. They might substitute Baylor for TTU just because the lawsuit issue.

KU then will pair with UT, and the options will fill out the last two spots in the ACC or by some miracle that is what is needed to get the Big Ten to expand. They add not only UT, but add ND, because the Big Ten doesn't want to fall behind in Academics, Football, or Basketball. The fourth team will be a fight by TTU, ISU, or Rutgers. Baylor is left in the cold if they aren't picked up by the SEC.

The PAC will actually be upset that they didn't make a move, because they will be left with BYU, Boise State, SDSU, Nevada, or New Mexico Schools, which aren't what they could have gotten, but they will be almost forced to go to 16.

I don't believe this is over, especially with the demands that OU has, and I think UT thinks they are in the position of power now, so they won't budge on the TLN.

OU sought the PAC first just because of the Academic quality, they were probably thinking that their football would get both schools in, but as time progressed, the PAC had time to think about it.

KU looks good, especially if a lot of Big 12 teams go to the SEC, that opens up expansion, and we definitely become a hot commodity.

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Eric Dawson 2 years, 7 months ago

I truly hope that both Zenger and BGL keep quietly working the communication lines with the B1G schools because I think that is the best place for KU in the future. This is not over, and although more and more it looks as if the Big 12- will survive yet another year, if it doesn't, KU -- and the state and local economy -- really needs that lifeline.

Matt, just what legal authority does the Kansas BOR have to stop KU from changing conferences? Everything I've read seems to imply it has only political, not legal power in this matter, unlike the Texas and OU BORs. Do you know, and if not, can you find out?

Thanks again for your great work on this story, well done and keep it up -- methinks this is just the eye of the hurricane... the West Coast may have settled down, but the Gulf Coast is still moving, and I could see OU following A&M if it and the rest of the conference can't bring Texas in line.

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jhwkfan162515 2 years, 7 months ago

How about Bob Knight for commissioner of the Big 9, cuz he don't take no flak outta nobody!

And yes, it's stupid to keep the name "Big 12" at this point. Let's rename ourselves the Big 9 or the I-35 League, since all of our member schools are in states traversed by I-35.

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MartyrMangino 2 years, 7 months ago

It probably isn't much of an exaggeration to assume that our school administrators are working harder on conference realignment than our football team is on getting better. Somebody should tell SZ and BGL that they deserve next Monday off! Better yet, they are entitled to that Monday off the rest of the semester just like the clowns we have dressing up as football players and football coaches. Why stop there? Let's lobby the United States Congress to make the weekend 3 days long! The last thing we want is to sacrifice to be the BEST at something!!!

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blackhawkjayhawk 2 years, 7 months ago

A 9-team league is perfect, if the television conference allows it. 4 home, 4 away. Complete league round-robin every year, 16 basketball games. If TX and OU want to give up a home game for Dallas, let them. If we want to give one up for Arrowhead, so be it.

I never like the two-division set-up. One of the reasons the old Big 8 teams feel so connected to each other (red dirt schools excluded) is that they played each other a lot. Stay at 9. If we must add, we need SMU. BYU brings absolutely nothing to the conference.

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lothario64118 2 years, 7 months ago

AMC is moving out of downtown KC to Leawood. B12 office space will be opening up soon!!!

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LogicMan 2 years, 7 months ago

Yes, KU is smelling OK in this so far. It's time not to think big, but to act big - expand the stadium, build the Olympic Village, compare the sports that the B1G plays to ours and make adjustments, etc. starting today. What's the Boy Scout's motto?

Definitely add BYU ASAP to the Big12-3. Then look closely at others including Louisville and UWV, if the TV contract can be amended to get more money.

Vote, over UT's objections, to move the conference's office back to KC (is space in the old NCAA building available?). Then see if Beebe is willing to move with it.

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lothario64118 2 years, 7 months ago

If the B12 can be salvaged and start fresh, how about teh conference moves the headquarters back to Kansas City. I don't want it in Texas or OKC. Both schools UT/OU aren't to be trusted down there.

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doolindalton 2 years, 7 months ago

KU's silence was less about nobility or stragegy and more about the fact there was no place for it to go. No other conference wanted us and we remain trapped by the whims of and bad behavior of Texas and Oklahoma. The Big East evaporated last weekend. What are we going to say, except "Help!"

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Danny Hernandez 2 years, 7 months ago

Just because KU's voices weren't public doesn't mean they were silent! The powers that be could have made their intentions known behind doors and out of the public eye. I'm fine with it and at least feel that Kansas doesn't have to eat crow like OU, OSU, TT or Mizzou for that matter. TT and OSU weren't wanted but got to tag along....I wouldn't feel all that warm and fuzzy if I were those two schools; oh sure they would have found a home in a bcs conference but it's not like they were wanted when in fact, they weren't...nothing to stand on when they had to stand alone.

Now Kansas, get the football program upgraded...get the big booster money to upgrade Memorial Stadium

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Ashwin Rao 2 years, 7 months ago

I agree about your comments, Matt, but I don't believe that we showed leadership one way or the other. We should have done our due diligence and taken a stance, and helped others see our way. This exercise in futility (by Big 12) was a good opportunity for KU to come out as a leader. You don't need to have a top 10 caliber football program to be a leader... You can be perceived as a thought leader in conference matters. We chose to take it the "safe" way, and, yes, we look good now, but we are now one of the background noise in all this mess.

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actorman 2 years, 7 months ago

It'll be really interesting to see which team(s) the Big XII adds once this whole mess is over. I can't imagine they'd stay with 9 for long. Of course there are all the usual suspects; which one or ones will actually become part of the conference? But that's for another day. No doubt the Pac-12 decision is huge and has to help immensely the chances of the Big XII staying together. Thank God (or Scott, should I say).

And BTW, I nominate Matt for a Pulitzer for his reporting on all of this. Who's with me?

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Ted Adams 2 years, 7 months ago

Once it is certain that the Big XII is "back together again", we should begin Commissioner Watch. Kevin Weiberg for commish anyone? He's the absolute guru when it comes to TV contract negotiation, and the big kahuna (Tier 1) is coming up soon. Who's to say it couldn't be rewritten even now once they get back to 10 or 12 teams?

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manginorh00lz 2 years, 7 months ago

Let it be written that the Glorious, Benevolent, and Merciful PAC saved KU. By stating It will not expand, the Big 12 lives to see another day and KU remains alive in a BCS conference.

Praise be to PAC.

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FLJHK 2 years, 7 months ago

Great points Matt. It probably isn't Beebe's fault, but the conference needs a fresh start. And I have no problem with the manner in which the KU administration has handled things to date. The B12 remains unstable at this point, and even a stable B12 is inferior to a B10 affiliation for KU, but you have to play the hand that is dealt.

I will assume you are getting some well-desreved rest currently. Thanks for all you've done in these difficult times.

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