Five Big 12 schools left out of talks visit via teleconference


12:29 a.m. Update:

So much for a slow Saturday. Although nothing major happened there were plenty of rumors to keep up with. Hope we got to most of them.

Looks like everything has gone to bed for the night so I'll do the same.

From everything we're hearing, though, Sunday could be just as busy. I doubt anything major will happen, with it being a Sunday, but I'm sure the rumor mill will be cranking yet again.

We'll be here all day to bring you the latest and we'll be chasing stories throughout the day to see what's happening with regard to KU.

Before I go, and in case I don't wake up super early, I'll leave you with one more report about Texas A&M's move to the SEC gaining momentum, this one courtesy of Chuck Carlton at the Dallas Morning News.

See you in the morning.

10:34 p.m. Update

Very interesting report on NBC Sports that indicates that Texas A&M does in fact have the backing to move to the SEC.

This thing is getting crazy. KU may be loaded with options in the near future if all of this is true. Wow.

8:15 p.m. Update:

One report that came across the wire in the last hour or so indicated that officials from five Big 12 schools — the five that would remain affiliated with the Big 12 should the south schools decide to join Colorado in the Pac-10 — met by teleconference Saturday afternoon to discuss a way to move forward together.

The Mountain West Conference indicated earlier in the day that it had serious interest in Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri and, all along, that certainly has been a possible landing point for all three schools. This latest report, however, seemed to hint that the remaining Big 12 schools, still under the Big 12 flag, might be interested in absorbing some or all of the Mountain West.

An interesting development, to be sure. One that could lead to the survival of the Big 12 Conference without the help of the Texas schools. Wow!!!

4:43 p.m. Update:

Think KU's in a bad position? Try being Baylor. Not only were the Bears left out of the Big 12 South's plans to move to the Pac-10, but now a report on ESPN's bottom line indicates that TCU officials plan to lobby (that's right, as in political lobbying) against the Mountain West Conference extending an invitation to Baylor, should the Big 12 fall apart completely.


4:16 p.m. Update:

More information still out of the Texas A&M camp, via ESPN... This one brings back a little hope for KU fans.

More to come.

4:08 p.m. Update:

More good stuff from Kirk Bohls, as the Austin American-Statesman. Let's face it, right now, Texas, particularly what happens in College Station, is the center of the universe as far as KU fans are concerned. So I figure you can't get enough info from there.

This latest report doesn't paint a pretty picture for KU to the Pac-10.

By Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry will have a decisive say in which conference his alma mater, Texas A&M, joins and he probably prefers the Aggies link with Texas and other Big 12 schools and accept invitations to the Pac-10 Conference, two long-time political figures told the Statesman.

“Anybody who thinks Rick Perry is not going to sign off on the final decision is fooling himself,” one of the sources said. “A&M will go where the governor wants them to go.”

The second source said Perry, a former Texas A&M yell leader, does not want to do anything to disrupt his re-election plans and consequently might try to push the Aggies toward the Pac-10 to calm the political waters. Perry has said he’d prefer to keep all the Texas schools together.

“Perry’s political team has told him that the one thing that could beat him (in the November election) is to get involved in a football fight,” the long-time political observer in Austin said Saturday. “He doesn’t want to tick off Texas Tech and the Longhorns. The least amount of political downside is for A&M to join the Pac-10.”

That source also said he thinks the Aggies will ultimately side with the Longhorns and accept Pac-10 invitations, probably on Tuesday when the University of Texas board of regents meets in Austin. No meeting of A&M regents has been set, but the Texas Tech board is also meeting Tuesday.

“I think the Aggies are playing it coy,” the second source said. “I don’t see A&M going away from its conference rivals and end those rivalries." [end]

More to come.

3:49 p.m. Update

Here's more from Kirk Bohls at the Austin American-Statesman. It appears that Texas A&M may be in a situation with the SEC like KU is with the Mountain West.

I'll spell it out:

A&M has interest in the SEC but, according to Bohls' report, does not have an invitation.

Similarly, the MWC would love to have KU but KU might not be interested in joining.

The latest report indicates that without an invitation to the SEC, A&M may feel compelled to follow the masses and join the Pac-10. The one reason that might not happen — at least not initially — is because A&M clearly is tired of living in the shadows of UT. Making the move to the Pac-10, at least this week, would only add to that. Of course, as Nebraska pointed out oh so clearly, this thing isn't about feelings or grudges, it's about cold, hard cash. And when you're talking in those terms you don't want to be left on the doorstep.

Here are the nuts and bolts from Bohls' latest report, as well as a link to another that only adds more certainty to the idea that the Big 12 is dead.

By Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman:
Texas A&M does not have a firm invitation to join the Southeastern Conference and may not receive one at all, a very highly-placed school official at one of the Big 12 schools expected to leave for the Pac-10 Conference no later than Tuesday told the Statesman on Saturday afternoon.

“They don’t have an offer,” said the high-profile figure, who is heavily involved in these conference realignment negotiations. “They do not have an offer. They can’t.”

The school official said, “I don’t think they are risking anything (by A&M’s indecisiveness), not if they’re looking (at the SEC).”

He confirmed that is because A&M knows it has a solid invitation to join the Pac-10 along with Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott is in the process of visiting those Big 12 schools between now and Tuesday when the board of regents for Texas and Texas Tech meet in separate meetings.

“He’s trying to hit everybody,” the source said of Scott. “He’s among some of the schools now. He won’t be here on Tuesday.”

If A&M were to try to secure an invitation to the SEC, the source said the Pac-10 would seriously consider Kansas. [end]

And the saga continues... It seems like it's going to be a long few days of waiting and wondering for KU.

More to come.

2:27 p.m. Update

Interesting to note that a newspaper in San Antonio is reporting that there is no deadline for Texas A&M to make its decision regarding the Pac-10 or the SEC.

That could change today when Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott delivers the invitation, but, as of now, the Aggies appear to have no timeline pushing them to decide. That also could change if KU continues to work its way into the mix and push the Pac-10 to grab them before A&M decides.

Here's the report.

Another note of interest from the Austin American-Stateman indicates that originally A&M to the SEC was part of a packaged deal — Texas and Texas A&M both go. Since UT appears to be a couple of days from joining the Pac-10, that deal is off. But the Kirk Bohls of the American-Stateman reports that an SEC source told him that A&M is "a school worth getting."

Clearly, that's good news for KU, provided it has any validity.

12:18 p.m. Update

Well, here we are at noon on a Saturday and we have yet to hear much about conference realignment.

In national circles, the World Cup is dominating the talk this morning, as the U.S. national team prepares to open play in South Africa against England at 1:30 p.m. today.

By the standards set during the last couple of days, it's been a slow day. But that doesn't mean that things aren't being floated around.

Rumors and reports continue to indicate that Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will receive official invitations to join the Pac-10 this weekend. The reports further indicate that those four schools could be ready to accept those invitations as soon as Tuesday, with some reporting that at least one or two of the four schools have already made the decision to do so.

What's more, the Pac-10 is not messing around with all this, as commissioner Larry Scott is actually flying to Oklahoma and Texas to hand deliver the invitations. Call me crazy, but that sure seems to be a lot more involved than we've seen from Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe, who has seemed to have less and less control over all this mess as the days have gone by.

Here's the short but sweet info from Chuck Carlton, of The Dallas Morning News, which includes a blurb about the Pac-10 being ready to move quickly to land Kansas if Texas A&M shows any pause whatsoever.

The thing we all must remember is that the Pac-10 most likely will be inviting A&M to join while Scott is in Texas this weekend. In short, if the Aggies come to their senses and realize that they don't want to be left out either, KU could be back to square one. That's why you can bet the farm that KU officials including Lew Perkins — and hopefully Bill Self — will be reaching out to the Pac-10 this weekend while all of this is going down.

The Oregonian, which covers Pac-10 schools Oregon and Oregon State, has more on all this here.

The paper indicates that the 16th and final spot in the new conference will be Texas A&M or Kansas, leaving Baylor and Utah out of the mix as well as Kansas State, Missouri and Iowa State to fend for themselves.

Closer to home, one Big 12 source told our own Tom Keegan that Stanford, the mightiest Pac-10 school in terms of academics and certainly a respectable one in athletics, has made a recent push for the league to bypass A&M and go directly with Kansas.

You can bet Tom and I will be chasing that story the rest of the weekend, seeing if we can shed any more light on that being a possibility.

Finally, word from Moutain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson indicate that the MWC is dying to add whatever Big 12 schools are left after all of this shakes out.

"The Mountain West wants to be a national player and continue to grow in that realm," Thompson said in a conference call Friday. "We are extremely interested in BCS automatic qualification. We are simply trying to get to the level where each and every year a Mountain West team is playing in a BCS bowl game."

Two different MWC sources told me on Thursday that this was, in fact, the case and that the league would be very aggressive in going after such teams if and when the Big 12 falls apart.

With the MWC adding Boise State on Friday, the conference took a step forward. But KU fans must remember that just because the Mountain West wants Kansas doesn't mean Kansas wants the Mountain West — at least not as a first option.

That's all for now but check back throughout the day as I'll be here to update you with any notable links and news that might be of interest.

In summary, it looks like UT, Texas Tech, OU and Okie State are ready to follow Colorado to the Pac-10. An announcement is expected on Tuesday. At this point, I'd be surprised if this didn't happen.

That leaves KU the weekend to sell itself to the Pac-10, which shouldn't be hard to do with A&M stalling because of its interest in the SEC.

I'm sure some stuff will happen over the next two days and I'll be checking in as often as possible when it does. Most likely, however, it will be in the form of rumors so I'm also planning to rest up so I can be ready to hit it hard again Monday morning.

Stay in touch with throughout the weekend for any major movement and get ready to get serious again come Monday. Who knows, maybe KU will jump the rest of them and become the second team into the Pac-10 with an announcement Monday instead of the last team in on Wednesday or Thursday.

More to come.


waywardJay 11 years, 3 months ago

Why would we want to be the Back up to AM ?

Thats insane.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire.

OKlahoma, Texas, and Tech have consistantly beaten us in Football.

ArizonaState is a hit or miss national power.

Sure we could consistantly beat Colorado, Oklahoma State and Maybe Arizona.

Joining the Pac-16 just seems like a returning to the drawing board.....

Would rather try and buiild a new super confernce witht he boise's and TCu's of the world.... At least, there we don't know we are supposed to beat them in Football....

selfishhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

That comment suits your screen name: wayward. You don't understand this situation if you think KU joining the MWC will form a new super conference. It will be the JV.

rpjonesga 11 years, 3 months ago

Even if KU doesn't get into the Pac 10 mix, I am not in favor of quickly jumping into the Mountain West. That is not a BCS conference which is absolutely mandatory for KU to maintain its excellence in basketball. Given Bill's comments over the last couple of days, we aren't going to the Mountain!

Wait and see what happens with the Big Ten, SEC, ACC or Big East. All would be infinitely better than settling for the MWC.

DevilHawk 11 years, 3 months ago

The MWC is not ideal, but we know for a fact that KU will land in a decent position no matter what happens.

MrPilot 11 years, 3 months ago

And all because of those idiots in Missouri. Thanks a lot for destroying the whole conference, morons. I hope no conference wants them and they have to go down to NAIA.

LAJayhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

What's funny is my brother in St Louis heard on the radio a mizzou caller say that KU's invitation to the Orange Bowl is what started all of this...

Oh, mizzouri fans. You're just priceless....

And retarded.

Jack Wilson 11 years, 3 months ago

That is completely believable .. I heard that on a national radio show a couple of weeks ago, too. Doesn't makes sense, except to MU.

Christopher Hauser 11 years, 3 months ago

The Big 12 in a way was doomed from the beginning due to lack of leadership at the commish level. Missouri (I hate Missouri) may have been the first to talk pubically about leaving but lets face it, the Big 12 had many chances to succeed and squandered those chances due to certain schools not getting along (ex. television deals and profit sharing or lack there of). I do not think that Nebraska or Texas ever wanted a man at the commish level that was a leader because then the conference might have worked. Our commish is nothing more than an information gatherer for the schools of the Big 12 that are fortunate enough to be powers to leverage better deals with other conferences So if you really want to point the finger at an institution or person, I would look directly at the top of the North and South as well as the commish. Then again since I hate Missouri they will work too.

Phaedrus Cj 11 years, 3 months ago

TCUs of the world doesn't equate to forming a superconference. A super conference of who? KU KSU MU ISU TCU. There's nothing super about a conference with that makeup. Who is available to add to make it super? Wichita State?

If your desire is to join a conference that KU can beat in football perhaps the Centennial League is entertaining offers.

Andrew Dunlap 11 years, 3 months ago

KU is going to be fine. They will land in either the Big 10 or Pac 10. The 2 schools in the present Big 12 that will be left in the cold will be Baylor and Iowa State. The Big 10 is not going to let the Pac 10 create a super conference and not retaliate. Once one super conference is formed, the ACC SEC and Big 10 will follow suit. we will end up with 4 16 team BCS conferences and that will eventually lead to a BCS playoff. it's about money, big money!

shimjhawk2002 11 years, 3 months ago

if the big 10 expands it will not be adding KU. They will go to the Big East and pick off teams trying to force Notre Dame hands. We will not end up in the Big 10 or Pac 10 (unless A&M goes to the SEC).

jhokfan 11 years, 3 months ago

Joining the Mountain West would put us into another unstable conference that could be raided by the power brokers. MW should be our last option. ACC, Big 10, SEC and Pac 10 will all eventually be 16 team conferences. One of them will invite us.

Matt Tait 11 years, 3 months ago

I'm in complete agreement with that.... which is why we must remember, if A&M decides to head West, this thing might not be settled for a long, long time -- at least not on KU's end.

Jaminrawk 11 years, 3 months ago

I agree as well. The Mountain West Conference is likely to become the Big XII 2.0. The remnants of the Southwest Conference made up the Big XII and now it would be the remnants of the Big XII making up a possible BCS MWC. It's a risky commitment. I've read some interesting things that say the Big East might want to add KU, KSU, MU and ISU to preemt any strikes by the ACC or SEC. Nothing would shock me at this point.

DevilHawk 11 years, 3 months ago

The difference is that it wouldn't have the poison that is UT.

Also, the ACC, Big East, or both may fall apart soon as conferences expand to 16 teams.

drwaldo69 11 years, 3 months ago

Pac-10 is stable. We should jump all over it if asked. UCLA, Stanford, etc are going no where. MWC is "new money". Can be gone with a few bad breaks.

SoCalAlum 11 years, 3 months ago

Hey Matt - great work...what's the chatter about a possible Big East move?

Matt Tait 11 years, 3 months ago

Thanks! Appreciate that.

The Big East has been pretty quiet throughout all this, but Tom and I have started making some calls to see what's happening out that way. My gut tells me they're just waiting for the Texas schools to finalize their move before getting involved.

We should have more on that in the next few days --- unless, of course, there's no need.

lv_jhwk 11 years, 3 months ago

Any substantiation of the tweets put out by 610AM in KC that Big East officials were in Lawrence on Thursday, and that an invite has already been made?

Matt Tait 11 years, 3 months ago

We were not able to confirm that on Friday. I'm not saying it's not true, but those people that we talked with didn't know a thing about it.

They may have been in town, but I feel pretty comfortable saying that no offer has been made.

We'll keep digging.

shimjhawk2002 11 years, 3 months ago

Matt, that's awesome thanks for looking into the Big East angle. I honestly think that'd be a better option for KU than the MWC. Nothing against the mountain west and the proposed conference would be all right, but I think we all know our bread and butter is in baskeball and this would not be a basketball conference.

By the way Matt, so much for taking the weekend off to rest I guess? Thank you for all of the updates especially since its the weekend!

shimjhawk2002 11 years, 3 months ago

When you do talk to your sources about the Big East, could you also find out the (1) TV deals/expirations/potential as this seems to be the major driver in all this and (2) stability of the league if other conferences come a knockin.

Thanks for all of your work!

sbucks 11 years, 3 months ago

I'd much rather become a P10 member than the B10, I'd rather eat do-do than be a B10 member. Besides if we go to the P10 we can still look forward to beating Colorado twice a year, poor buffs, they just can't catch a break. How bout this, Texass and the rest of the state stay in the B12 and we only have to replace two schools, huskers and buffs, who can we get to replace them ? Who do we want to replace them ?

Christopher Hauser 11 years, 3 months ago

I dont't think at this point it is even productive to pretend that the Big 12 is going to stay together minus 2. The Big 12 is done. I wish that it would happen but its over.

FLJHK 11 years, 3 months ago

I still fail to understand the Texas Tech end of this. They bring very little to the table relative to academics or population base, and not really much in athletics. Why does UT have to defend them?

If I'm the Pac 10, I invite UT, OU, OSU, KU and A&M. If A&M goes SEC I'd probably invite Utah over T. Tech.

Matt: thank you greatly for keeping us all up to date with your insights and analysis. I've been glued to this site for a week.

DevilHawk 11 years, 3 months ago

The Texas legislature is protecting Tech. It is their decision - not UT's - not to allow UT to go anywhere without Tech.

Jack Wilson 11 years, 3 months ago

Agreed .. that would seem to cover a bigger "footprint" as the alignment jargon goes.

jhokfan 11 years, 3 months ago

Since geography is no longer a factor, my order of preference is ACC, Pac 10, Big10 and SEC but I hope Lew is lobbying hard to get us in the Pac 10. Will someone please get the private jet warmed up.

Darrin Reinertsen 11 years, 3 months ago

ACC would be my first choice. But what are the chances of that happening?

shimjhawk2002 11 years, 3 months ago

I tried googling Kansas and ACC yesterday.....nothing Google Kansas and Big East yesterday.......several articles

jhokfan 11 years, 3 months ago

Does the Pac 10 really need more than 2 schools from Texas? How much more market is to be gained by adding a third school?

David Meredith 11 years, 3 months ago

The Pac 16 is going to be a super conference with money falling from the sky with a possible Fox TV deal... if KU is ever invited they should take the first plane out... Hey Matt, what is the SEC interest in Texas A+M?? Are they looking to expand to 16? It seems like A+M would prefer the SEC but I wonder if the SEC wants them

Matt Tait 11 years, 3 months ago

Just posting this now... Check the update.

David Meredith 11 years, 3 months ago

Seems like the Pac 10 is in no mood to wait on anybody, so it will be interesting if A+M takes the bird in hand... although with the Houston TV market and the SEC likely to expand that A+M would be fairly safe in waiting if they truly want to get away from the Longhorns

DevilHawk 11 years, 3 months ago

It's very clear that whatever happens, KU will be traveling a long distance to compete in sports.

We should also be simultaneously lobbying for high speed rail. It would make these expansive conferences far more viable.

Pbbut 11 years, 3 months ago

MapQuest Lawrence KS>Seattle WA 27h16m 1866 mi PAC Lawrence KS>Corvallis OR 27h36m 1811 mi PAC Lawrence KS>Gainesville FL 18h33m 1176 mi SEC Lawrence KS>Storrs CT 22h35m 1388 mi BEast Lawrence KS>San Diego CA 23h40m 1565 mi MWC Lawrence KS>Greenville NC 19h 4m 1195mi CUSA Lawrence KS>State College PA 16h43m 1033mi Big??

Happy Trails,,,

MrPilot 11 years, 3 months ago

If KU went to the ACC, Roy would probably immediately announce his retirement.

stravinsky 11 years, 3 months ago

I haven't heard any rumors about the ACC, other than speculation on these boards. I think if there was any possibility of us landing in the ACC, there would be stronger rumors about it. It looks like if we're going to land in an east coast conference, we'll be going Big East. I've heard the Big East officials being in Lawrence thing from multiple sources now.

As much as I like having our rivalries against KSU and Mizzou, and as much as I don't want to leave KSU behind (Mizzou? Don't give a crap about them at this point), I would loooove to head to the Pac-10 for multiple reasons.

  1. Pac-10 is probably are best bet funding-wise at this point
  2. Pac-10 is going to be pretty good in both basketball and football in the future. (Texas, us possibly, UCLA, and Arizona have been traditionally strong in basketball, despite recent hiccups by UCLA and Arizona. Cal, Stanford, and ASU have all had strong seasons recently as well. Pac-10 football will be pretty decent even with the post-season ban on USC). 3!!!. Going to the Pac-10 is our biggest chance at landing a strong conference while leaving Mizzou out to dry. There are few things I want more at this point than for this whole thing to end up blowing up in their faces.

Lew. Use your magic.

Marcia Parsons 11 years, 3 months ago

Agreed. Missouri started this whole thing by telling the world how bad they wanted to move to the Big 10. They've been doing it for several years. The Big 10 just used them to do a number on the Big 12 and get the school(s) they really wanted.

mjprcjh0314 11 years, 3 months ago

KU should go to the Big East. We could compete and be successful in football, would be a step up in terms of basketball conference and competition (over the big 12 and pac 10), and would help strengthen our weakest area in recruiting - the east

hawksince51 11 years, 3 months ago

Agree--playing the OK, TX and AZ schools every year in FB along with some of the Pac 10 West is a scary proposition. And while we should do well in BB, I don't like the time zone for viewing or recruiting.

ejlumus 11 years, 3 months ago

Finally someone making sense!!! FB can win, BB will be challenged, no more NE, etc. plus no "orange stink"!!

Oh, and missery = fredo corleone. Do we really want to partner with that crew?

Go East young man , not west to the left coast.

shimjhawk2002 11 years, 3 months ago

3 words "East Coast Bias"..........let's be a part of the bias

rob4lb 11 years, 3 months ago

Interesting post. I haven't heard much today. The comment that KU has a preference for the SEC is a bit surprising. I guess they are contacting everyone they can. I would think that A&M would be very attractive to the SEC. If they go with the other schools to the Pac-10, Texas is effectively closed as an expansion area for the SEC.

DevilHawk 11 years, 3 months ago

It is a preference when compared to the MWC or C-USA.

Hank Cross 11 years, 3 months ago

UT probably wants A&M to go to the P16 b/c it will increase the state of TX's voice. KU will do whatever the original P10 wants us to do b/c we owe nothing to UT. With P10 FB set to decline b/c of the SC santions as Musloli out at OR, Bevo may be walking into a harness.

Danny Hernandez 11 years, 3 months ago

what misery has failed to understand is that the Bowls choose the teams and it's not predicated on the season win/loss. Obviously that is in place but in the case where two schools might have identical records, it's the bowls choice...The pac10 tried dictating by ranking which teams went and the bowls lost money so it reverted to the bowls choosing...The bowls money, so they should have the discretion to choose. Misery's fault that they're not a national brand name and when it came down to Kansas or misery, The Orange Bowl felt Kansas was the better choice... they need to give it up and quit wonder the Big10 didn't choose them after they pretty much dropped to their knees begging and posturing for the invite..And they made fun of our chancellor for calling theirs

louisvillejayhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

I think a football conference with the Big East would be optimal. Keeps us in central / eastern timezone and gives us access to lots of large TV markets and places us in a football conference where we can compete on a yearly basis (neither dominate, nor be a doormat). Envision two conferences consisting of west: KU, K-State, MU, ISU, Louisville, & Cincy and East of WVU, Syracuse, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, UConn, South Florida. Basketball Could be two divisions of ten or separated into a different conference. Potential adds to West (DePaul, Marquette, ND, and one other). Keeps several rivalries intact including Mizzou (I would miss hating them) & K-State (feeling sorry for them in B-Ball). I think the money would be comparable to PacTen but might fall short of SEC/Big Ten. Football would be solid and basketball would be the envy of the nation. Significant risk is SEC/Big Ten Poaching teams but manageable if conference is formed quickly and very high penalties are imposed for departures. any reason why this would be inferior to PacTen invite?

rob4lb 11 years, 3 months ago

louisville- I tend to agree with you on all points. I was looking at some other sites (its oppressively hot here) and poaching other teams is a concern. I think the Big 10 wants to pressure Notre Dame to the B10 by inviting other Big East members. Inviting NU to the Big 10 may have backfired if the remaining B12 schools team up with the Big East ensuring its viability. I do like the fact that former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue is advising the Big East.

MrPilot 11 years, 3 months ago

This whole thing just makes me sick to my stomach. It's like the world has gone mad. It's going to be really hard to watch football and basketball this year.

jhokfan 11 years, 3 months ago

The travel part depends on how the new Pac 10 is structured. If they invite 6 B12 teams and add the Arizona schools to form a western division then most of the travel would be contained in the current geographic footprint. The amount of east vs. west competition could be minimized but would at the very least include a conference playoff. Someone must have realized the logistical limitations of a 16 team conference before the mega-conference concept was invented.

Andrew Moore 11 years, 3 months ago

I think a dream scenario for Kansas involves the creation of a new conference consisting of so-called also-rans

from the big 12: Kansas Kansas State Missouri Iowa State Baylor

from the MWC: Boise St. Utah BYU TCU

from the Big East: Louisville Cincinatti

from C-USA: Memphis

This conference would consist of 12 members (in my opinion a perfect number!!!) and compose of a good balance between basketball power and football power with some potential football cellar dwellers being the big 12 schools... The bball would be fabulous with KU, KSU and MU along with Louisville and memphis! great stuff...

Just an Idea

OldOldHawk 11 years, 3 months ago

Sure, who wouldn't love a conference like that . . . if all those teams are willing to pay whatever penalty is necessary to bust loose from their current conference. If that can be done, I am all for it. It would make about the most geographically spread out conference this side of the NHL, but would make a great conference.

Part of what you are doing there is skimming off a bunch of other conferences (exactly what has been done to us).

It has been objected here that a merger with the MWC would be too "unstable." To those who think a Forlorn-Five MWC merger would to "too unstable" what makes this any more stable? Who's going to pluck from a Forlorn-Five MWC that is merged -- and called the Big-XII or XIV? Pacific conference going to go to 18 or 20? Big X going to take ISU or MU? Somebody going to leave for Conference USA? If you combine MWC and what is left over of the Big XII you've probably created a Football Conference as stable as any in the country.

It might be awful hard on our Basketball Recruiting.

I'm sure Lew et al. are planning for this because if A&M goes west, I'd bet you a brick to London that an offer from MWC to do just this is coming. I'd rather see this than going to Big East because I think the Big East is the least stable conference in the Country right now, especially if ACC thinks they will need to go mega conference. And, I'd get to see the Hawks play a couple of times a year. But, I would worry about its effect on Basketball and Self's tenure.

Hank Cross 11 years, 3 months ago

It's not a bad conference, it's just a real mishmash of some very diverse parts, i.e. Memphis and BYU. My back up plan to the P16 was the North 4 to the BE. But A&M to the SEC and Utah to the P16 could cause a ripple effect that will break up the BE when the SEC goes after Vtech, forcing the ACC to move on the BE.

Steve Brown 11 years, 3 months ago

don't forget Houston an up and coming program recruiting well and a big draw in a top 5 USA city.

Jacobpaul81 11 years, 3 months ago

PAC 10 is bottom of my list of choices. I hope we don't end up there. 16 teams is too many and the markets aren't there. Mid-west is where the tv markets are good. I'm really hoping KU, KSU, OU, OSU, MU and ISU stick it out . If they do, I suggest they raid the Big East for 4 of their Football/Basketball schools. What I'm really hoping for right now is a 10 team conference with two 5 team divisions:

West: Kansas Kansas State Iowa State Oklahoma Oklahoma St.

East: Missouri Pittsburgh West Virginia Louisville Cincinnati

That's 10 Public Universities with 6 major TV markets: Oklahoma City, Kansas City, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Louisville, Pittsburgh. And that creates basis for several "new" rivalries:

Pitt and Oklahoma in football. KSU & Cincy vs. West Virginia in Basketball Kansas - Louisville in Basketball

Pbbut 11 years, 3 months ago

Guess this TCU vs. Baylor goes back to the breakup of the old SWC. Baylor got included and TCU left out.
So this is what college football has come to...the Disciples of Christ trying to pimp slap the Baptists.

KU08 11 years, 3 months ago

Ha ha. Thanks - I was wondering what TCU's motivation is.

Jeff Croft 11 years, 3 months ago


I don't think any of those six markets can be considered "major." Not a single one cracks the top 20 in market size, and only one makes the top 30. Compare that to the PAC-10, which has the number two market, two in the top 15 and four in the top 30 -- even BEFORE they add the Texas schools (which will give them two more in the top 10).

Jacobpaul81 11 years, 3 months ago

I disagree. It's not about viewing size, it's about sports viewership.

First off, California is not a major market for college sports. It's not a major market for the same reason Denver is not a major market. Why would people stay home on the weekend and watch tv when they live in Colorado or California? There's a reason people in the Big East, Big Ten and SEC are fat. People in California and Colorado are out hiking, biking, skiing, surfing, etc. Secondly, those two states are also involved in every professional sport so Colleges are in competition with those.

The Big XII was third in revenue amongst the BCS conferences, ahead of the Big East, PAC-10. There's a reason for that. The Big East has too many crap schools and the PAC 10 was in states where people don't watch college sports. None of their markets = Dallas or Oklahoma City for college sports.

Finally, the Big East schools I mentioned have no TV competition in their regions. The Big Ten has it's own network. So while Louisville or Cincy are top 50 markets on their own, when you add Columbus, Dayton and Indianapolis, those go from being in the 30-50 category in size, to being low teens in size. You gotta look past individual cities and see the overall size of the market. If the Big Ten didn't have it's own network, that size increase wouldn't be possible, but since it does, those additional cities are Big Money additions. I know from experience. I live in Terre Haute, Indiana. My tv schedule for college sports was 90-95% Big East.

havasujorge 11 years, 3 months ago

While on the surface, a Mtn. West invite is the not most appealing option, it may not be that bad. First, the conference has really set itself up nicely to be a BCS conference in the next year couple of years. I would argue that with the addition of Boise St., they are more top heavy than the Big East.
Second, if KU and Kansas St., both join the Mtn West, I think it may at least be the third best basketball conference in the country. They had more tournament teams this year than the current PAC-10 (plus, when KU plays UNLV, it is a good excuse for a trip to Vegas). Third, the options are limited. If the PAC 10 does not come calling, I don't really like the other choices. I see much more upside to the Mtn West than the Big East or any other conference.

jhokfan 11 years, 3 months ago

According to Joe Shadt(sp?) of ESPN, KU is behind A&M and Utah for the 16th Pac 10 team. That's not good. Can't imagine both of them turning down an invitation. Lew, you've got your work cut out for you.

waywardJay 11 years, 3 months ago

LOve that Idea...... LOve that idea..... bring them to US....

KU08 11 years, 3 months ago

I never really cared much for the Sporting News. I don't trust anything that comes out of St. Louis. (j/k sort of)

Pbbut 11 years, 3 months ago

If the "remaining" Big 12 teams could put together a conference in an alliance with some or all of the Mountain West, this conference might be able to get started with some extra money in its pocket. My understanding is that if the Big 12 conference is not disbanded, which takes nine votes, the conference is due penalty money from the schools that are leaving, and it supposedly is not insignificant. The other thing it will need is some kind of television contract.
If this outside possibilty comes to pass, the first step is to hire a commissioner.

kansaspike 11 years, 3 months ago

Would be a waste to be in a league with Fizzou wouldn't it? They'll bolt to the Big 10 asap.

The Utah over KU thing is surprising....first I've heard of that.

DevilHawk 11 years, 3 months ago

Actually, Utah is a common pick. It makes more sense geographically and Utah has had some good football lately.

I still think that KU should get the nod - but if not, then KU doesn't have to deal with UT's ego any more.

Hank Cross 11 years, 3 months ago

I'm not buying Utah over KU b/c I don't see Utah leaving BYU to fend for itself in a lesser conference. Its president is a BYU grad and LDS, so it doesn't seem likely although it would actually be a good fit for the P16.

utahjayhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

oxcal, hopefully you go back and read responses to your posts. You're flat out wrong about the Utah-BYU connection (none) and another poster and I have laid out the facts in other threads. Utah is moving on if they get the invite, without BYU.

FLJHK 11 years, 3 months ago

I'm likely to ramble here...

Assuming the total implosion of the Big 12, the only true "fit" for a conference affiliation for KU is the Big 10. The distant second best fit is the Pac 10. If an MWC or some other newly contrived conference makes an offer it would be premature for KU to accept.

With the Big 10, we share geography and academic tradition. 100 year membership in the AAU is rather limited. In the middle part of the county, only the following universities would qualify: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.

In accepting the Big 10 invite, Tom Osborne spoke of a "shared culture" and similar values and institutional philosophies. I respect that perspective, although in my view Nebraska's institutional integrity would have been greatly enhanced by some sort of insistence that certain of his old Big 8 brethren would be afforded the opportunities NU received. The only significant thing that distinguished NU from Kansas and Missouri is their football tradition, and the opportunity that provides to generate TV revenue to the Big 10. While that disgusts me on many levels almost beyond description, it is what it is, and I can't fully fault them for seizing the opportunity for the stability and revenue that the Big 10 provides.

If indeed the assumed Pac 10 expansion to a mega-conference occurs and KU is (mistakenly) left out, I would only urge patience. An immediate move to the MWC diminishes our academic and athletic pedigree, and a move to potentially newly formed mega-conferences represents a band-aid type solution.

I only realized in the past couple of weeks the instability of the Big 12. The merger with the Texas schools really never worked out. I LOVED the old Big 8. There were shared values and institutional philosophies as well as a perpetual underdog status in athletics: some universities in the least populated part of the country competing favorably against the big boys. But sadly those days are long gone.

If the Pac 10 comes calling next week we would have to accept. If not, I would urge patience, and a hope that Big 10 expansion would eventually include us.

number1jayhawker 11 years, 3 months ago

Didn't Utah just make a promise to stay, to get Boise ST to join the MWC?

Steve Corder 11 years, 3 months ago

Saturday night Dallas TV reported A&M has regents' support for the SEC. UT responded by declaring that such a move would end all sports competition between the schools. UT's hubris is amazing.

Furthermore, Gov. Perry's reelection will not be based on UT & A&M sports. A democrat will not win this year in Texas. Book-it!

I believe A&M fans are thrilled at the possibility; 1st they love the SEC's proximity, culture and fanaticism over football and 2nd they're tired of being perceived as getting UT's hind t--. If A&M gets the SEC invite they'll grab it.

Personally, I'd rather see KU look east toward the BIG10 or the SEC.

Baylor fans are sick-at-heart, for now at least.

kualuminohio 11 years, 3 months ago

I know there has been some discussion about reestablishing the big 12, this should be the focus the heck with NU and CU. The fact is the remaining big 12 teams could persuade some key members of other conferences to join. Then the Big 12 could become its own super conference. Preserving the big 12 should be paramount. If you are a student athelete are you going to want to travel all over the kingdom to play a sport. No you are going to go to a more regionalized conference school on the east or west coast. The fact is both CU and NU will lose a huge fan base that followed Big 12 sports. Now they will have to seek out a new fan base, how rediculous is that. KU's focus needs to be in preserving the Big 12 and the regional aspects of the Big 12..

kansaspike 11 years, 3 months ago

I just think going forward there would be zero trust among the Universities.

Want to be in a league with Mizzou and know they'll jump ship at the first offer that comes their way?

Not me.

Hoping against hope for the 16th spot in the Pac XX. If not, need to reevaluate the entire situation.

kualuminohio 11 years, 3 months ago

Mizzou is a joke but who cares, not sure we would have to include Mizzou in a new conference. I just think regionalism is very important.

Ideal scenario: Kansas Kansas State Iowa State Oklahoma Oklahoma State Texas Texas Tech Baylor Texas A&M

Add additional schools or merge a conference with this established group. Maybe Arkansas, TCU, Louisville ect...

TJWhatleyLives 11 years, 3 months ago

Wow, I was looking at a Texas fansite and most of them said they would like KU over TAMU for the Pac10. A lot of Texas fans.

kualuminohio 11 years, 3 months ago

Why would the Pac 10 be a good fit for KU, I dont get that at all. The Big 10 would be much more appropriate. Keeping the big 12 intact with the teams that are left is huge. If the remaining Universities do there due diligence they know this is important, regionalized conferences are important for many reasons. Who wants to go to Nebraska from say Pennsylvania give me a break, but someone from Kansas City or say Oklahoma City who grew up watching big 12 sports would, Oh well there loss... Fools. The fact is KU is much more of a national pull because of the basketball program. Even when Nebraska was a football powerhous, I know a friend who went there from New Orleans but I doubt it was that much of a National pull to go to Nebraska. its Nebraska. I think Nebraska will find the Big 10 to be less inviting then they imagined.

Eric Sorrentino 11 years, 3 months ago

the same way you might want to read tait's update at 6 a.m. from a few days ago.

shimjhawk2002 11 years, 3 months ago

OK let's be realistic........Big 10 not happening......ACC not happening.......SEC doubt it.......Pac 10 maybe but looking like a long shot. I think that the remaining leftover schools had the conference call yesterday and said let's stick together in this......So I think we are looking at either a move of the leftover 5 to the Big East or meging with the MWC.

This blog seems that the Big East would be very interested but waiting for the implosion to happen.

richmo 11 years, 3 months ago

The college sports landscape is changing. Too many commenters don't recognize that reality. If the Big 12 folds, the best place KU could end up is with the Mtn West Conf. If the Mtn West does not get plundered in the coming weeks -- it will, in fact, become a BCS conference (look at the formula for BCS inclusion). Best scenario is to pick up KU, KSU, MU, and ISU and the Mtn West becomes a 14-team BCS conference with East/West divisions and a conference championship game. As a BCS conference, KU retains the large $$$ payoff for the athletic program, and as a member of the East division of the Mtn West, it keeps many of its traditional sports rivalries and travels close to home -- Kansas, Missouri, Colorado.... Also, for KU basketfall fans, the MWC was created with basketball in mind. New Mexico, Utah, BYU, UNLV are all big basketball programs with huge arenas -- and the conference tourney in Vegas every year is not a bad trip for basketfall fans either!

hawk316 11 years, 3 months ago

Matt, many thanks to you, Tom and the rest of the LJW staff for taking so much time to run down this information. You guys must be putting in a lot of extra hours to keep us informed, and I, for one, appreciate it.

Several months ago I read somewhere something written by a Christian minister that the year 2010 was going to be a year of change (obviously, every year experiences change, but the implication was that we were going to see very significant change). We have certainly seen incredible change in the political realm, in the economic realm, in the natural realm (earthquakes, volcano, oil leak, etc), and now we're seeing it even in the sports world! Amazing. Hmmm, there may be something to the biblical gift of prophecy, after all.

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