Monday, October 17, 2016

The verdict is in: Big 12 not expanding

News and nuggets from around the Big 12

News and nuggets from around the Big 12


One of the most highly anticipated meetings in the history of the Big 12 Conference lasted more than five hours, ended a couple of hours earlier than expected and left everyone watching with the following verdict: The Big 12 is not expanding.

That’s what sources told's Jake Trotter shortly after the meeting wrapped up Monday and Trotter, on Twitter, indicated that Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby was in the process of informing representatives from the schools deemed to be in the running of the Big 12’s decision.

Up first on Bowlsby’s speed dial, no doubt, was the University of Houston, which, on the field at least, has spent the early part of the 2016 college football season making a monster case for inclusion in an expanded Big 12.

BYU, Cincinnati, UConn and others also likely received phone calls from Bowlsby, ending months of wild speculation and analysis about which universities would — or should — get in and why they were — or weren’t — good fits.

In the end, it seems as if the opinion of the Big 12’s television partners, FOX and ESPN, carried enough weight to keep the university presidents divided and prevent any schools from receiving the support needed to be added to the conference.

As the meeting progressed, rumors and false reports circulated on Twitter about what was going to happen. Some even went as far as to post photos of letterhead or back drops that featured the Cincinnati and BYU logos on separate backgrounds with the Big 12 logo scattered around them.

Reports leading up to Monday’s meeting indicated that, after interviewing schools and riding high in the very public expansion spotlight, the Big 12 was turned off by the lack of quality in the pool from which it had to choose.

Had this been a couple of years ago and Louisville and Houston were available, it may have been a much easier and quicker process and expansion may have actually happened. But, during the past several weeks, it became clear that every candidate up for discussion, including Houston, had its flaws and there were no home run additions for the conference.

The Big 12 kicked around the idea of forcing ESPN and FOX to kick in the pro ratta clause in the television contracts that would have required the TV partners to pony up big bucks regardless of who the Big 12 added. And the most recent reports indicated that the Big 12’s television partners may actually have elected to pay — read: renegotiated — the conference not to expand because of its displeasure with the profile of available candidates.

Regardless of how it all went down and what happened when, this much is known today: The Big 12 is not expanding. The Grant of Rights agreement, which expires in 2025, remains relevant. And there appear to still be ongoing negotiations for a revised TV deal between the Big 12 and its television partners, the result of which may not be known for some time.

Thus ends another crazy chapter in Big 12 history, clearing the way for the next one to begin.

Expansion may be dead for now. But you never know when it could rear its ugly head again or when the dreaded “realignment” word may come back into play, causing all kinds of uneasiness and drama in the conference yet again.

Stay tuned... Or not.

Bowlsby and Oklahoma president David Boren are expected to address the media live from Dallas at 5:30 p.m. this evening.

The press conference can be seen live on the Big 12 web site and the conference's Facebook page.

None by Big 12 Conference


Ben Kane 3 years, 8 months ago

screwed the pooch the last time around by not getting louisville.

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 8 months ago

Louisville and Memphis would and should have been admitted. Decent football programs and much better-than-average basketball programs. Would have fit right into the geographical region and would have become a pretty good rivalry.

Jay Scott 3 years, 8 months ago

ESPN to Big12 2011- Don't take Louisville, they're no good.

ESPN to ACC 2012 - Grab Louisville before the Big12 does.

ESPN to Big12 2016 - Don't expand, we think you're fine the way you are.

ESPN to Big12 2024 - We're dumping you, you're too small.

When will the Big12 realize that ESPN is the enemy...

Suzi Marshall 3 years, 8 months ago

It seems the ESPN/Fox interest are not the same as the Big 12s, assuming the Big 12 wants to continue as a P5 Conference post 2025. It is all to easy to conclude the 'TV partners' interest would be for the Big 12 breakup, leaving 4 major power conferences.

Daniel Kennamore 3 years, 8 months ago

Good. And no extension of the GOR.

This pathetic excuse for a conference dies in or before it.

Brett McCabe 3 years, 8 months ago

I'm guessing 2021. With three years left in GOR, Texas/OU can pretty much walk and make it work. Plus, if the conference folds, there's no one to pay an exit fee to.

So, KU is on the clock. Beaty better quit playing high-school cheerleader and start acting like a P5 football right now.

Dyrk Dugan 3 years, 8 months ago

What do you mean, since Louisville is not available? Louisville was practically begging the Big 12 for entry five years ago; and for some stupid reason, we played the either or game with them and WVU. Insane really, that a couple of schools have so much influence on the process. KU, with the awful football program (in part, due to this 10 team league) has no influence, and no pull to get into another league. What a maroon, the Big 12 is.

Michael Leiker 3 years, 8 months ago

If there is ever a call made by one of the other major conferences for KU to join, I hope that decision is as easy as it should be.

Gerry Butler 3 years, 8 months ago

Agree Michael. If a conference offers Ku at anytime then - - - -RUN FORREST - - RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN. this league is toast - - -history. ESPN makes me sick, not sure just how far they can run their nose up the ACC'S you know what any further but it's all possible with those 2. However I think chances are this league crumbles before KU is offered. Maybe the Sec. No, way do we need to go West, and I for sure don't want us in the ACC just can't stand that League, we already see how they dictate things with ESPN. I think the SEC would be good for us, and we would be good for the SEC ya ya I know how would we be good for the SEC? your right for sure not football, but would add another power to the basketball. I know we say football is the revenue maker. But in the ACC who is that dominant powerhouse in football - -it is a lot more of a basketball Conference. The SEC is a major football conference, and we would add additional power to the Basketball, would much rather see us there

Jeff Coffman 3 years, 8 months ago

This article makes it seem that Houston had a case...most believe that BYU actually had the best case and Houston and Cincy were the longshots.

Jeff Coffman 3 years, 8 months ago

When the teams eventually go to 64 and there are 4 conferences...there are 9 vacancies...2 Big Ten, 4 Pac 12, 2 SEC, and 1 for the ACC. Assuming that neither of those conferences drop anyone.

If there are ten in our conferences and assuming BYU, Houston, Memphis, Cincy, and South Florida our the top 5 non-Power Five, you would have to think that KU is in a pretty good position.

Oklahoma could pull OSU, likely to the SEC, but could team with one Texas and UT to go to the PAC 12 instead. Texas could try to pull 3 TX schools into the PAC12 (TTU, TCU, Baylor, Houston, or SMU), but would California want 4 TX schools.

Big Ten is going to think about AAU and market, they would want TX, but doubt they would get them, I'd think they would go after KU and BYU or an East Coast team. They might even be able to pull a school from another conference.

ACC is taking one, and it likely is an East Coast School, they would take Texas, but West Virginia, don't count them out.

I would venture to guess that ISU, KSU, Baylor (today), and TTU are the ones with the concern today.

Michael Lorraine 3 years, 8 months ago

Seems reasonable Jeff but I think the only way we get into Big Ten is if the teams ahead of us decline the invitation.

Kyle Sybesma 3 years, 8 months ago

Teams such as.....?

I think KU has a good shot at the B1G. They'll expand by 2 if they expand.

  1. All B1G states are connected to at least one other B1G state. Kansas is connected to Nebraska.

  2. KU is an AAU school.

  3. KU brings the Kansas City TV market.

  4. KU brings a national basketball brand.

The only other schools that have better name recognition in the B12 are Texas & OU. I think OU wants in the SEC and I'm assuming OSU would joint them. Texas may go to the B1G but I can't see anyone else ahead of us.

Michael Lorraine 3 years, 8 months ago

All good reasons but OU & UT would get invitations before us. They could also go after schools in the ACC and even the SEC.

Jay Scott 3 years, 8 months ago

It's all musical chairs. In the end, Kansas gets a seat in a power conference.

Bryce Landon 3 years, 8 months ago

With the shape our football program is in? Aside from the ACC, the other conferences that expanded took teams that either (A) had solid football programs, (B) were in big TV markets, or (C) both. Kansas has none of the above. The football team is historically bad, and the Kansas City, Topeka and Wichita markets combined aren't as big as some of the markets in Big 10 or Pac-12 territory (i.e., Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc.)

Robert Brock 3 years, 8 months ago

We may be considered for B1G expansion, when the GOR expires, on two conditions:

  1. We keep up AAU status

  2. We pledge 150 - 250 million dollars to upgrade football

Doug Wallace 3 years, 8 months ago

Pac-12 be better nore recrutiment grounds and go West Young man!

Michael Lorraine 3 years, 8 months ago

From a monetary stance the Big Ten would be the best possible landing spot but I'd rather be in the Pac-12.

Doug Wallace 3 years, 8 months ago

Not shocked hell who is shocked at this point Rea;;y who is?

The Big 12 is a loser dead conference run by morons!

I stand by what Ive said many times before I wish we could put our 5 heads together! (KU, KSU,OU,OSU,T Tech) and try to get in to the Pac-12 together in a package deal!Think how awesome in a way it be that way we would have 6 of the former Big 12 schools together again instead of just for example Nebraska in the B1G Big Whoop!This be a great deal.In addition we are going into the west where everything is expanding and growing! The B1g is mostly rustbelt states the Pac-12 has western states that are growing and expanding.

Heck also we should even help ISU get into the B1G, and WVU into the ACC where those 2 would fit in!

Things are not getting better people. Many consider the Big 12-2 the laughingstock of college sports. Thank you Texass Shorthorns!

Now what KU needs to do heck the other 4 schools also could do to pull this package deal off is get your academic standards up then upgrade and improve your athletic standards ^ facilities especially KUs football gield upgrades. Folks I thought this would take a bit of time but I Think the reality of t his conference dissolving is coming faster than we thought.

Heres to hoping for us 5 teams joining the conference of Champions baby!

Doug Wallace 3 years, 8 months ago

In addition the markets those 5 schools bring.Oklahoma City,Kansas City, and Dallas!

Karen Mansfield-Stewart 3 years, 8 months ago

Our new chancellor needs to make keeping KU's AAU status his/her #1 priority. The athletic director and coach need to get KU competitive in football.

No margin for error now.

Mike Barnhart 3 years, 8 months ago

KU will probably land on it's feet in the Power 4 era but for now, this really hurts our football program. We coulda used one more cupcake non-con and two "easier" conference foes.

Steve Jacob 3 years, 8 months ago

The eleaphent in the room is TV money. Disney stock is not doing well due to fears of "cord cutting" from ESPN, and the NFL's ratings for the first time is going down this year. Football is no longer a sure thing, ratings wise.

Robin Smith 3 years, 8 months ago

Excellent points. Meanwhile, March Madness has done well in transitioning to online. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Kyle Rohde 3 years, 8 months ago the ratings go back up as soon as the election debacle is over. The bigger concern over football, personally, is the long-term health problems that may lead to a lot less kids playing football.

Tim Orel 3 years, 8 months ago

I agree. I'm seeing far more concern about the impact of concussions on the future of the sport, as well as the continued hiding of injuries (by players, by coaches and by teams) to keep the gladiators out on the playing field. I don't know where football will be in 20-30 years, but that's a serious concern especially when you start talking about putting hundreds of millions into a new stadium in a state that's as broke as Kansas is. It's one thing in a state like Colorado (where I am) where CSU is building a brand new on-campus stadium but Colorado's economy is doing far better than Kansas' is.

I think CSU could have made a very good case for inclusion - bringing back the Denver market and all of the Kansas fans next door here. Now we'll never know.

Bryce Landon 3 years, 8 months ago

Keep in mind that the NFL airs most of its games on broadcast television rather than cable (with the obvious exceptions of MNF and ThNF)

NFL ratings could be down for a number of reasons:

1) Overall product on the field this season not as good and inconsistent.

2) An election cycle that feels more like a bad reality show.

3) People are turned off by players casting their lot with the "blacks are oppressed, police are racist killers" b.s. and protesting the national anthem.

4) The retirement of Peyton Manning has left a void that no one has filled yet (no next-big-thing, must-see-TV).

5) Loss of interest due to all the coverage of player safety issues, concussions, and the alleged coverup of all this by the NFL.

Patrick Bryant 3 years, 8 months ago

I agree Tim - should have went after CSU and then AF to get us back to 12. AF would have made the league legit from an image stand point. In all reality maybe they should have looked at the other 2 military schools as well and had all 3 along with CSU. Very little discipline or academic issues come out of the service schools so people would have a stronger view of the league. I do wish there was a mandate to make conference names reflect their membership. Pac 12 did it, why not everyone else? Only 10 in the Big 12 and 14 in the Big IG, come on man.

Bryce Landon 3 years, 8 months ago

What's worse is being in the SEC where they don't know geography. They put Missouri in the freaking East division when Missouri is as far west as any other state with a school in the league except for Texas!

Randy Bombardier 3 years, 8 months ago

The sky isn't falling but it will be a PR nightmare. I don't like the division in the conference. I believe we will be better where there is no division or without the devisive ones should they elect to leave. I for one don't think OU and Texas leaving means the end of the conference. That's kinda like the ex-wife leaving...hallelujah. I believe a conference without those two could remain a power 5.

Patrick Bryant 3 years, 8 months ago

What about getting rid of non-conference games and have a playoff in the Big 12? Top 2 teams get a bye and then play the small bracket out. That way there would be no criticism of strength of schedule. After watching the first 2 Pres. debates I'm ready for all systems to be cut and dry, apples to apples, etc.

Glen Miller 3 years, 8 months ago

I feel like the Big 12 is imploding itself on purpose and it baffles me. It's time for KU to seriously consider leaving for a conference on more solid footing. Every other year our school, players, coaches and fans are left to twist in the wind while these idiots in charge continue to argue and pout among themselves. OU obviously is in control of our conference and I don't understand why. Because they have a stud football team, who chokes on a regular basis by the way. Texas wants control and throws a pouty little fit when they don't get their way. I honestly believe that Houston and someone else were headed our way...... until Texas made emphasis that they didn't want Houston. Meanwhile, KU has no clout because our football team isn't up to snuff and that's what is driving realignment right now. KU has the academics, prestige and backing to make a move. I'm tired of waiting, let's be proactive!

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