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Realignment Today: 1:51 p.m. - Circus atmosphere surrounds Big 12 once again

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1:51 p.m. Update:

With plenty of uncertainty and nearly all of the focus surrounding the Big 12's plans for expansion, Missouri's exit to the SEC has dipped below the radar a little bit.

I'm sure that's just fine with Missouri, which, according to this report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, may be getting some ideas from A&M on how to leave the conference.

http://www.stltoday.com/sports/college/mizzou/article_1664529b-38fa-5437-98bb-37c6c71fc3ad.html

While that might not come as a major surprise, it should be cause for concern among the remaining Big 12 institutions. The reason? If these two are putting their heads together and joining forces to negotiate their exit fees, the odds increase that both will broker sweeter deals on their way out the door.

You'd like to think the Big 12 would stay strong in this department and say something along the lines of this: "You're leaving us. Pay up or stick around." But, with the way the league has handled just about everything else conference-realignment related up to this point, you have to wonder.

It's a great opportunity for the league, it's members and interim commissioner Chuck Neinas to shine. We'll see if they're up for it.

One more interesting read that doesn't have a lot to do with this right now but references what may have started this whole mess in the first place comes from the student newspaper at the University of Texas. It asks the question: Just what are the benefits of the Longhorn Network anyway?

Good read.

http://www.dailytexanonline.com/news/2011/10/25/what-exactly-benefit-longhorn-network

Stay tuned...

12:11 p.m. Update:

It looks as if the involvement from three U.S. senators goes back a little farther than a last-ditch effort by each to make their case for their university to join the Big 12.

Dennis Dodd, of CBSsports.com, reports that West Virginia's Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller and Kentucky's Mitch McConnell all had been involved in talks with Big 12 officials prior to this week's craziness. Why am I not surprised?

http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/6270202/32959597

Stay tuned...

8:50 a.m. Update:

So after all that work and all the hours spent on saving face, the Big 12 has become a laughing stock once again.

Oh boy.

There’s a quick and easy way to make sure this round doesn’t linger and it’s a solution that makes both West Virginia and Louisville happy — add them both.

Thanks to information compiled from a few different sources, it seems we landed in this mess because Louisville was the team that had the support of the most Big 12 universities and West Virginia, with its higher profile and better brand, had the support of the television networks.

No need to play tug of war. Just add both.

Originally, I didn’t think this was possible, or should I say plausible, because I didn’t think the Big 12 had identified a suitable 12th school. If Missouri leaves, that takes the conference down to nine. Adding WVU and Louisville would bump them back to 11, but many believe that 10 or 12 are the only numbers that work. Not true. Sources said Wednesday night that the league could work with 11 teams so long as it was a temporary fix.

Isn’t it funny how TCU seems like an age-old member of the league by now?

Texas Tech chancellor Kent Hance told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that Louisville makes the most sense, particularly geographically. Here’s a look at what else he had to say.

http://redraiders.com/filed-online/2011-10-26/hance-likes-louisville-big-12#.TqjYips05DU

The funny thing in all this — from all the uncertainty and wishy-washy ways to involvement from the U.S. Senate — the Big 12 is actually in this mess because its new leadership, under the direction of interim commissioner Chuck Neinas, simply tried to behave in the opposite way the league functioned before. Rather than being reactive, Neinas has tried to be proactive. It’s admirable, to be sure, but it also serves up a valuable lesson, one that everyone everywhere would do well to retain: Make sure all your ducks are in a row before you act.

As Oklahoman columnist Berry Tramel says, this one can’t be blamed on Dan Beebe.

http://blog.newsok.com/berrytramel/2011/10/26/big-12-football-more-madness-in-conference-realignment/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

But before we go looking for anyone to blame, let’s just hope it all gets solved once and for all.

If Missouri leaves and the Big 12 wants to add WVU and Louisville there are options. Good ones. They could revisit the idea of adding BYU, though that continues to look like a longshot. They could go full-speed-ahead in the effort to add Notre Dame in some capacity, a scenario that continues to have legs. Or they could take the gamble and go with the less popular options that some Big 12 folks are pushing and go after San Diego State or Tulane. They may not be the most attractive schools right now but both have great potential and are in great markets.

Just think what becoming Big 12/BCS schools could do for them.

Oh, and just because it wouldn’t seem right without being totally dysfunctional, apparently Oklahoma is perturbed by talk earlier this week of a Big 12 Network. It’s just one thing after another with this conference right now.

http://espn.go.com/college-sports/story/_/id/7154023/oklahoma-sooners-confused-talks-big-12-network

Despite having two victory parades in our rearview mirrors, there’s still a long way to go in all of this. However, instead of focusing on the big picture, which can be pretty overwhelming, let’s hope the Big 12 tries to win the small battles one at a time.

First up, getting Missouri to make up its mind. After that, sort out the WVU/Louisville mess and decide if you’re looking for one more or picking between the two.

Simple, right?

Stay tuned....

Comments

jgkojak 8 years, 8 months ago

WVU is too far travel-wise to be the 10th team. Louisville is really no further from the rest of the B12 than Boulder was, and won't have any worse travel than Nebraska or Wisconsin in the B10.

That said...

There are three viable scenerios:

1) Add Louisville and stick with 10.

2) Add Louisville and WVU and pick your 12th team from Tulane, San Diego State or USF.

3) Add Louisville and WVU and add non-football Notre Dame teams (UL and WVU give them some close/familiar travel partners). You avoid the football championship game but have 12 for basketball/non-revenue. (ISU, KU, KSU, UL, WVU and ND = B12 North in basketball - not bad).

Note by doing this you also create the seeds of a decent shelter conference if in 6 years things go belly-up again.

tecuani 8 years, 8 months ago

LOL WVU is too far but USF and San Diego State aren't?

  1. Add Louisville and WVU.
  2. Add ND non-football
  3. Add Boise State football only.

jgkojak 8 years, 8 months ago

Agree - but if you're gonna cause a travel nightmare then -

1) make it be for a larger TV market than WVU brings (which is why the ACC/SEC have no interest)

2) open up new recruiting venues for the B12 (Florida or SoCal do that)

3) Make it a fun travel destination for fans (Florida and San Diego) and for players (who doesn't want to go to San Diego in January?)

or at least in the case of Tulane

4) bring AAU/Academic standing sorely needed in the B12

tecuani 8 years, 8 months ago

You make excellent points, each and everyone.

I would rather go to SoCal and Florida than Boise or Coal Mine Town, and Florida and SoCal produce good football players, without a doubt.

The problem is, with Louisville, WVU and Boise State you add two good basketball programs and two good football programs, and with ND you have an avenue to get them into the Big 12.

San Diego State and USF are...well, "meh" is the word that comes to mind.

I think the AAU/Academic thing is really over played. Conference affiliations are about sports, they have no bearing on what really matters, and that is $$$.

Boise_Jayhawk 8 years, 8 months ago

I love this. KU to play football in Boise every so often, and getting coverage locally here in Idaho. ND playing several non-conference football games against Big 12 opponents. This would be fantastic.

Travis Shinkle 8 years, 8 months ago

Here's the air distances from Lawrence to...

...Louisville: 516 nm ...West Virginia: 820 nm ...South Florida:1054 nm ...BYU: 898 nm ...San Diego State: 1303 nm

Here's the air distances to current Big-12 members: ...Iowa State: 222 nm ...Kitty Kats: 79nm ...Oklahoma State: 222 nm ...Oklahoma: 282 nm ...Texas: 624 nm ...Texas Tech: 521 nm ...Baylor: 523 nm ...TCU: 443 nm

And here's the distances of our former foes who have left/are leaving: ...Columbia: 162 nm ...Lincoln: 151 nm ...Boulder: 509 nm

So if we're going SOLELY by distances, Louisville would fit in compared to where KU already plays...

Jayhawk1116 8 years, 8 months ago

Distance totally matters because of time zones.

guesswho 8 years, 8 months ago

Is that for all sports or just football and basketball? I really don't know; and this is all based on football. What about softball, baseball, cross-country, golf, tennis, soccer, swimming. Those non-revenue sports teams are going to get screwed.

jgkojak 8 years, 8 months ago

Not all teams fly charter - just FB and Basketball.

You can't fly into Morgantown commercial - you fly into Pittsburg and drive 90 minutes to Morgantown - its like trying to fly into Manhattan(!)

Which means you have a flight and then you have a drive -

Louisville, Cincinatti, Tulane (New Orleans), USF or SDSU you fly directly to which, frankly, isn't a big deal.

Its why Penn State was locked out of the B10 - no one wants to travel to State College.

hawk316 8 years, 8 months ago

I like both WV and Louisville, and then leave a 12th spot open for a miracle long shot addition of Notre Dame. Hey, I can dream, can't I?

Luke Kay 8 years, 8 months ago

Who really cares about San Diego State, Tulane, or USF. Even Notre Dame for that matter, either they are all in or not in at all, this half and half crap has to go. I still think Cincinnati makes more sense than the above mentioned. If we stay at 10 we are still leaving ourselves open for poaching. We need to go big or face the inevitable future of being torn apart.

Phoggin_Loud 8 years, 8 months ago

Matt,

Is there any possibility that the reason WV was put on hold is not because of Louisville, but because MU is now leaning towards staying in the Big XII??

Stephen Johnson 8 years, 8 months ago

let's all hope not. i'm ready for them to be gone.

escaped_labrat 8 years, 8 months ago

Can't someone just put (us) out (of our) Mizzery and get this over with....

Ron Buddenhagen 8 years, 8 months ago

Why not add both Louisville and West Virginia now and if and when Missouri leaves add Tulane and possibly Memphis or San Diego State. Get to 12 and if Texas or Oklahoma pull their wanna leave act again so be it. Then pick up other teams that would want to be in a BCS league.

Scott Smetana 8 years, 8 months ago

Great post. No where do I hear the Big 12 as a laughing stock. That would be Mizzery and their drama. Although I want to get rid of them, I would be elated to hear the SEC shun them.

Jim Jackson 8 years, 8 months ago

My thoughts exactly. How are we a joke? We are taking teams from the Big East, not vice versa.

Jim Jackson 8 years, 8 months ago

My thoughts exactly. How are we a joke? We are taking teams from the Big East, not vice versa.

Angus0199 8 years, 8 months ago

It makes us look a laughing stock because we mislead WVU and then backtrack, making it look like we don't know what the hell we're doing. I also think it makes us a lauging stock because we're waiting on what Mizzou does, giving them all the power in the decision making.

I don't know why we don't add both and get on with it. the B1G and sec has done it w/odd numbers for a short period of time, we can too.

justinryman 8 years, 8 months ago

Just remember when pronouncing Louisville the "s" is silent to Kentuckians and it should be pronounced like,

"Lew i vil".

KUbsee69 8 years, 8 months ago

And the "i" is pronounced as a "short a" by most of the locals there. Usually it's more like "loo-a-vul".

Laura Wilson 8 years, 8 months ago

Actually it's "lew a vul". And it makes so much more sense geographically to bring them on than West Virginia.

When this all started I was upset that Missouri might leave because of the Border War and the long tradition. Now I'm so sick of them I just want them to make a freaking decision and leave or stay but basically shut up once they've decided.

MDHawk 8 years, 8 months ago

Actually, from family I have down there, I believe it's pronounced something like "lew-a-vull"

Jayhawk1116 8 years, 8 months ago

Okay, I'm totally sick of everyone bending over backwards to pronounce "lew-a-vull". How many of you go out of your way to pronouonce it "Miz-zur-uh"??? How many? Local pronunciations are for politicians and out-of-town reporters who want to sound worldly. It's pronounced "lew-ee-ville". I have spoken.

Ben Kliewer 8 years, 8 months ago

It's actually pronounced Lew-ee-vile! (Just trying to get a new rivalry started up early in the game here)

tis4tim 8 years, 8 months ago

Actually, it's pronounced "door mat".

KUbsee69 8 years, 8 months ago

Matt,

The US Government is not involved. Just because a couple of senator-alums from the universities in play are taking a stance, or even lobbying, does not imply Government involvement. I'm pretty sure nobody is introducing legislation in the House or Senate to address this issue.

Please don't taint your headlines and/or articles with such sensationalization, or I might confuse you with Keegan.

tychi_jayhawk 8 years, 8 months ago

When multiple Senators poke thier heads in and activily try to sway this situation, that is called involvement. These guys are employed by the government. Ergo, government involvement.

It's simple sematics. If you are inferring governance into the meaning of "government involvement," then you are the one sensationalizing. Not Matt.

KUbsee69 8 years, 8 months ago

Sorry, but you're nuts. I perform work for the U.S. Government, just like the noted senators. My income comes from the very same account that their salaries come from. However, if I lobby the AD, Chancellor, or others concerning my "alumni opinions" of KU actions, that does not constitute government involvement. Neither does the actions of the noted senators.

tychi_jayhawk 8 years, 8 months ago

It's not nuts nor is it sensational. I understand your point and I think you're missing the point. If someone gets a paycheck from the gov't that does not mean they rep the gov't. Congressmen and Senators do rep the gov't...hence the name REPRESENTATIVE. And opinions are different then activily lobbying and undermining. So define government involvement as you like. I'm just saying his statement was not sensational nor inaccurate.

The larger point is to lighten up. Matt does a great job and his headline was entirely appropriate.

Ron Prichard 8 years, 8 months ago

I think if one of the congressment involved makes a statement that he may want congressional hearings on the issue that the Government is definitely involved. I don't think it will progress to that point, but lighten up on your criticism of Matt on that issue.

Marcia Parsons 8 years, 8 months ago

For myself, it's a nice change to have schools fighting to get into the Big12 instead of to get out.

Maracas 8 years, 8 months ago

Add WVU and Louisville. Sit at 11 for a while, catch your breath, and then think about #12 if MU leaves. The Big XII can operate with 11 teams for a while; the Big Ten did it for years.

Angus0199 8 years, 8 months ago

My sentiments excactly. It's great to have 2 good schools fighting to come aboard. Bring them on "catch our breath" and see what's next. Could be BYU, Tulane, Houston, AFA, Notre Dame. It looks great.

Angus0199 8 years, 8 months ago

My sentiments excactly. It's great to have 2 good schools fighting to come aboard. Bring them on "catch our breath" and see what's next. Could be BYU, Tulane, Houston, AFA, Notre Dame. It looks great.

tychi_jayhawk 8 years, 8 months ago

Does anyone else feel like David Boren is the one creating all this mess? Or at the very least contributing heavily? The man is constantly issuing press releases. First he is extremely vocal about courting the PAC. Then he puts the breaks on WVU when is old buddy senator Mitch comes calling. Now he openly questions the B12 board about creating a conference network?

Who's running this league? It's like game of thrones out there. Everyone is vying for control.

Steve Bunch 8 years, 8 months ago

There's another option.

Dissolve the KU Athletics Corporation. Fill the stadium with water and stage mock sea battles, with NASCAR-style corporate branding on the ships. Turn Allen Field House into a basketball museum. Liquidate other KUAC assets and put the cash into a scholarship fund. The possibilities and opportunities are countless.

Lash 8 years, 8 months ago

The Big 12/KU was bashed last month while they kept quiet and watched others wet themselves. Now you are bashing them for actively being involved, preparing options for future situations. This column is a little like boring commentary on a blowout football game. I am proud how this is being handled.

Stephan123 8 years, 8 months ago

"Laughingstock" conference building is better than pathetic, squabbling decimation.

Kent Wells 8 years, 8 months ago

Lets just hope Mopery finds it's special purpose...

Stephen Johnson 8 years, 8 months ago

This conference can't help but keep shooting itself in the foot. What a laughing stock. The conference made WVU believe that they were the next member of the B12 and then backed out! We have absolutely no leadership from the teams in this conference. What a joke. The only bigger joke is Turner Gills defense.

Brak 8 years, 8 months ago

Come on man, you have a freaking Euro soccer logo for your avatar and you want us to think you know anything about sports, lol.

Robert Brown 8 years, 8 months ago

The dysfuntion continues. What about the reports of a conference network now being rebuffed by the OU President and AD. Maybe we need McConnell to pressure UK not to vote to accept MU forcing them to stay in the conference which could add WV and Louisville.

Everything I read still comes down to OU and UT dictating what's going on. I don't blame MU for leaving.

TongiJayhawk 8 years, 8 months ago

Exactly! All the other schools, including KU have no options so they go along with what ever those two schools decide! MU at least has options, I didn't see anyone beating down our door when OU & UT were trying to move out west!

blindrabbit 8 years, 8 months ago

Never could stand to look at Mitch McConnell and his smarmy, smiley, dung eating grin. But to think he has butted his obstructionist arse into the conference realignment issue is too much. Let him go back to Olde Kentuckee and manage the Creation Museum and the construction of The Noah's Ark monument. Can you imagine the tension that exists along the Kentucky/West Virginia border; just like the Hatfields and McCoys! The battle of the Hillbillys..

Carter Patterson 8 years, 8 months ago

I was born and raised in Missouri and got the hell out of there after high school.

I always called it MissourEE and never MissouRA. If Louisville comes in, it will be LewyVille not LewAvul. Mama spells it that way, that's the way I'm going to pronounce it.

I have no problem with Senator McConnell calling on behalf of his state universities and I have no problem with Senator Rockefeller and Senator Manchin sticking up for WVU. They have about as much to say in the process as the Queen of England.

middleoftheroader 8 years, 8 months ago

I wonder how much a part of the decision making process pRick Pitino has with Louisville.

MorganR 8 years, 8 months ago

I agree with you Mr. Tait, the solution is to add both Louisville and West Virginia. Unfortunately, while I might not have used the same phrase, I also agree with your assessment that this situation makes the Big 12 a "laughing stock" (I wonder where that phrase comes from).

I also agree with posters such as "blindrabbit" and others that argue this is not the business of the Senate (Senator McConnell gives me the creeps anyway); unless the Senate wants to conduct a comprehensive investigation (e.g., in the nature of antitrust). It would be another sad commentary on the Senate if this was taken up at a time when they are doing nothing to solve the Nation's short or long-term economic ills. .

I have sympathy for the Big East and the conference Louisville is in. The members of those conferences are innocent bystanders but are suffering harm. Those that instigated the conference hopping are the real villans.

MorganR 8 years, 8 months ago

Thanks for cite. There are a lot of words, "procrastination" for example, that I keep intending to look up but I can never seem to get around to it. I wonder if there is merely "crastination" or if anyone uses the term: "anticrastination?" Seriously, thanks.

Kent Wells 8 years, 8 months ago

C'mon COL. You missed a perfectly good opportunity to instruct someone on the use of the internet! What's wrong with ya!

Eric Dawson 8 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, but I like words, wanted to find out myself. And it was a quick and easy search, so what would really be learned unless the poster is an iWaif?

BTW, thanks for the promotion!

RCJHKU!

Kent Wells 8 years, 8 months ago

Well, I tend to call O-5s and O-6s Col. Perhaps I shouldn't, but congratulations. I hope it helps the retirement.

What is the difference between an O-5 (brown noser) and an O-6 (butt kisser)?

Depth perception, baby. You got it!

Eric Dawson 8 years, 8 months ago

As a mustang, I appreciate the old joke, thanks for the chuckle. I'm sure you know, but for those who don't who might have a smidgen of interest, it is customary to informally address both Colonels and Lieutenant Colonels as "Colonel" in speech because the speaker normally knows who he is addressing and frankly, it's easier for the speaker. But in print it's just as easy to write LTC as it is to write COL, so it's a protocol breech to use COL instead. Of course, things are a little different for the AF and USMC (what else is new?) who insist on using Col. and Lt.Col. as their official rank abbreviations, but even for them the upgrade in print would be considered improper. Truth be told though, I would be tempted to encourage it if it did help the retirement! ;-)

There, I've completed my daily "lead course of instruction" requirement!

THEPIC 8 years, 8 months ago

If Texas and Oklahoma want the league to stay at 10 teams then that is what will happen.

maleficus 8 years, 8 months ago

Just add them both. Then you say, oh look, now we're the Big XII again. Good for us, we're all set! Hooray!!

Then if and when Missouri leaves, you make them look even worse. "The Big XII was all ready to roll as a twelve team conference and Missouri still had wandering eyes! Betrayers!! How awful of them!!"

Then you either just sit at eleven for a while, or pick up another candidate if one emerges from the crowd as a front-runner.

Ready, set, go.

bradynsdad 8 years, 8 months ago

Just my thoughts. Add Louisville and west Virginia. I believe Missouri will stay only because I am not sure they even believe that they are a shoe in for the sec. Add notre dame in everything but football because we know they won't join in football. The catch is make them play at least three big 12 games in football. Tell Tulane they have two years to get their programs on the rise and by that time maybe we can lure notre dame into playing football with us. Either way by adding Louisville, west Virginia and maybe keeping Missouri, I don't think anyone can argue that the big12 will be almost the best if not the best football and basketball conference.

jasonnng 8 years, 8 months ago

Why is Houston not an option as a 12th team, again?

Robert Brown 8 years, 8 months ago

Because the conference already has Texas covered. UH is having a good season, but is not as popular in Houston as UT, TT, or A&M.

jasonnng 8 years, 8 months ago

But Houston, specifically, is a huge market, that may be covered somewhat by the other Texas teams, but not entirely.

I'm just saying if 12 is better than 11 (and it empirically has been, sorry big 10) and the Big 12 needs one more after all is said and done, why not actually throw a bone to the already exasperated players and fans and make it a school at least in the Midwest (more or less)?

I'd just like to see a long term solution instead of a stop-gap 11 team league that almost certainly ensures more insanity next year.

Robert Brown 8 years, 8 months ago

I live in Houston and I can tell you that the Cougars are not that big of a deal here. They are undefeated and ranking and are getting some publicity, judging from the sports pages and sports talk radio, the priorities in Houston are: 1) The Texans. It's weird here. There are alot people who hate them and they way they have been managed, but everyone has an opinion and everyone follows. 2) Rest of NFL 3) UT 4) A&M 5) LSU- huge alumni base 6) OU- see LSU 7) Rest of Big 12 South 8) University of Houston

phoggedin 8 years, 8 months ago

I continue to be baffled by the fact that BYU is considered a longshot. BYU has the best academic ranking (by far) of the schools being considered. It also has the best overall athletic program, including a national championship in football (granted, it was in the '80s, but neither WVU or Louisville have one). BYU also has a much larger national following that any of the other schools in the mix. If geography is a concern, then let's stop the talk of SDSU, which would definitely be a stretch (and besides, BYU had much more fan support and much greater athletic success than SDSU in the Mountain West).

jayhawkfan45 8 years, 8 months ago

Ok add both of them, brings us to 11. Than add Air Force, bring us to 12.

jayhawkfan45 8 years, 8 months ago

Ok add both of them, brings us to 11. Than add Air Force, bring us to 12.

jayhawkfan45 8 years, 8 months ago

sorry for the two posts, this is my first time posting!

tecuani 8 years, 8 months ago

Its not your fault. Its the website. it is broken.

Ever try to search for anything... it is maddening.

Travis Clementsmith 8 years, 8 months ago

Whether you want to call it a laughing stock or not, the truth is, the conference looks a bit discomboulated right now. Sure, some of it is circumstantial, but some is self inflicted. The one thing we don't know is how much the networks are willing to play with the 2nd Tier deal. Personally, I would also like to see the two schools added and just go to 11 at this point, but obviously the networks are not impressed with the duo and not willing to up that deal any to accomodate it. So this is becoming a financial issue to the conference members.

Assuming MU leaves, the question then becomes about 12. Having Notre Dame compete in non-football sports seems like a no brainer, but then how do they fit into the conference payout pie? If you add a BYU or Boise St as a football only, how does that fit in the payouts? What if Notre Dame decides they later want to be full members, do you kick the football only member out? I think we, as fans, sometimes look at this from a point of view that doesn't include the financial dynamics of it all.

I think we just need to decide our number is going to be 11. Invite WVU and Louisville. If the networks are willing to work with the conference if we add ND as a non football sport, do that and don't concern ourselves with a "football only" addition. Perhaps ND will decide at a later date they want to be full in. This gives us our greatest flexibility as the 1st Tier negotiations draw near.

William Weissbeck 8 years, 8 months ago

The real laughing stock in all of this is NCAA. Just read the NBC clip on Michael Beasley's counter suit against his former agent. The Emperor has no clothes and we pretend there are no AAU coaches, agents and runners.

142466 8 years, 8 months ago

Correct. It's been that way for at least the last 50 years, especially that way for the last 30.

The participants all know that. That's why the NCAA and their brethren will wrap up most all of these acquisitions, mergers, consolidations, spin-offs, split -ups, and buy outs before Congress jumps in. Yes, I'm using high faluten business lingo. It's apt.

There's a side of me, though, that hungers for another Watergate style of Congressional hearings. To me, those early 1970s hearings still rank as the finest melodrama the networks ever produced. The Clarence Thomas saga was a distant second. A full federal probe into NCAA football would be the mother of all inquisitions. Because every man, and at least two-thirds of all ladies would heed. At long last, more than just 50% of the electorate would tune into the doings of our friends and neighbors in that swampy Southern city.

Jim Jackson 8 years, 8 months ago

Tait, what about Rutgers? They have AAU status and obviously the NJ/NY market. I mean if we're thinkin SDSU in Cali why not the Scarlet Knights? Thoughts people?

Daniel Kennamore 8 years, 8 months ago

The thing is NJ/NY doesn't care about college sports...like at all. So even though they are located there, we don't really 'get' that market by adding them.

Eric Dawson 8 years, 8 months ago

Bottom line up front: if Rutgers got just 1% of the total viewers in the NYC/Philly media markets (which together include all of NJ), Rutgers' per game viewership would roughly equal the entire population of the state of Kansas. Actual number of Rutgers viewers is probably closer to 900K. Discussion Available info indicates that Rutgers gets more of the NYC media market than any other college does. Nate Silver's admittedly sketchy analysis in the NYTimes back in September estimated that Rutgers got 20% of the NYC media market interest in CFB, more than anyone else, including Syracuse. http://thequad.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/19/the-geography-of-college-football-fans-and-realignment-chaos/ Supporting his analysis is the NJ Ledger's recent report that last weekend's UofL v Rutgers game (two unranked teams) pulled in more than 2x the viewers that were watching the supposed "big" game pitting Syracuse v ranked WVU. http://www.nj.com/rutgersfootball/index.ssf/2011/10/rutgers-louisville_tv_rating_i.html From that article: "That rating tied for fourth all-time on ESPN2 for a football game viewed in the New York City area. Rutgers has been involved in all five of the top-rated football games in New York City on ESPN2. Rutgers has also been part of four of the five highest-rated football games in the New York City area on ESPN." and "Syracuse is not in the top 10 of ESPN's list of the most-viewed college football games in New York City."

(Anyone know how to translate a NYC TV share to total viewers?)

To be thorough one would have to look at Rutgers ratings for both the NYC (#1) and Philly (#7) TV media markets. NYC covers all of northern NJ and Philly all of southern NJ.

That's 28.3M people in those two markets. Bottom line -- If Rutgers got just 1% of them watching Rutgers sports, Rutgers' per game viewership would roughly equal the entire state population of Kansas. Based on Silver's study, the actual viewer # is probably closer to 900K, which would make it 4th in the Big 12 behind Texas, OU and TT if both A&M and MU are gone. Rutgers presently is estimated to be #2 in the BEast just behind WVU.

Robert Brown 8 years, 8 months ago

Doesn't it seem strange that every media outlet is reporting it's a 'done deal' that MU is leaving the conference, but the process continues to drag? One would think if there was a 100% certainty of MU to SEC, it would be have been announced.

Within the last few weeks I was encouraged by the direction the Big 12 was heading, but the last two days indicate the conference is just as dyfunctional as ever. I know we are stuck, but it isn't a good feeling. Think about it: 1) Three great members (AAU schools with strong alumni and fan bases) have left and MU could make four. 2) OU has been sneaking around the last few years to look for a better deal and clearly overplayed their hand. If they wanted to, they could make play to take MU's spot in the SEC. 3) UT has explored every option possible to leave the conference and keep its LHN and concluded it needed to stay in the Big 12. 4) OU and UT are arguably the only reason the conference is still together and they cannot be trusted. 5) No agreement on how many teams in the conference 10 or 12.
6) Mixed reports on whether the conference is exploring a conference network. 7) UT only wants to commit to 6yrs for media rights. That hardly seems like commitment. Can the rest of the conference members override that?

We are in an abusive relationship helpless to do anything to improve ourselves. At least MU is able to escape.

Vernon Riggs 8 years, 8 months ago

I like adding both WVU and Louisville now. With 11 teams, it sends a message to MIzzou and/or Notre Dame. There is a still room for you. If Mizzou leaves, we spend the next few years looking for number 12th. Maybe NBC drops Notre Dame. Maybe Tulane builds a solid program. Maybe BYU is a better fit. Lots of 'Maybes'. Staying at 11 worked for the B1G for several years. Maybe it can work for the Big12,... err Big11

DallasJayhawk1 8 years, 8 months ago

Part of the problem is the power of the "information now" media--Twitter, the internet"s", etc. Everybody wants to be the first to report something even if it's not an official announcement but heard if from "sources". How many tickers at the bottom of ESPN have we read that have turned out accurate ? Minimal. Something is going on obviously but until I see an official announcement I just shrug it off. As Public Enemy said "Don't Believe The Hype".

Michael Maris 8 years, 8 months ago

In the end, all of this stuff will all be irrelavent.

OU thinks that they are going to have their own Channel? What will it be called? There is already the OWN Channel. So, is Ophra going to allow Oklahoma Football to be displayed on her channel?

As I said the other day, who in Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa and West Virginia, etc... are going to constantly be watching the LHN to listen to guys at a round table talk about the Texas Longhorns, etc........

There are less TV's in Oklahoma than in Texas. Yet, David Boren and Joe Castiglione think that people in Texas, Kansas, Iowa, West Virginia, etc.... will constantly watch OU People sitting at a table talking strictly about Oklahoma Sports as well?

This is all just getting idiotic. But, Missouri got Texas and OU to agree to Tier 1 & 2 TV Revenue sharing. Yet, they wanto leave. I totally understand Missouri looking to get out of this conference.

U. of Kansas Administration has to be loving the fact that Missouri is heading for the SEC. I will continue to say that Kansas chances of getting into the B1G Conference improve dramatically when Missouri signs the dotted lines to join the SEC.

Robert Brown 8 years, 8 months ago

I guess that's one way to look at it. In my view, KU's "value" to any other conference continues to decline. Bad football with alot of empty seats at home games and no real prospect for improvement. The basketball team will not be a Top 5 program this year. We have an AD who is new and have probably very few contacts and little influence. The chancellor at times seems clueless and we are coming of multiple scandals in the athletics department. No one is wearing out path to our door.

ja3hawk 8 years, 8 months ago

"Quote: It looks as if the involvement from three U.S. senators goes back a little farther than a last-ditch effort by each to make their case for their university to join the Big 12."

So why exactly does the B12 have to look bad in all of this. It isn't our fault these two schools want in. They threw us a curve-ball and we just need time to react. I don't get how this makes the B12 the laughing stock. We didn't ask their senators to get involves... They look desperate at this point, not us.

Brian Skelly 8 years, 8 months ago

David Boren thinks he's got AA down when he really has two low pair. This guy is DB #1. He's as dumb and arrogant as the UT folks -- without nearly the leverage. Pac-12 wouldnt take OU without UT. They're stuck together. And apparently, we are too.

Thats clearly the most frustrating thing about all this. And with a #@$^@$#& of a football program, we have no shot at really having much influence at all. Yes, our hoops program DOES generate $$$ out the yin yang. But thats at best what a mid-level BCS football program generates --- which we were a few years ago, but no longer. I still believe we'll get back there, the sooner we buy out Gill and get the ball rolling on that the better.

While yes, Mizzou is a bunch of whiny @#$ hillbillies, they at least have some modicum of leverage. And they're using it. And they should. We'd do the same. I dont agree that we should stop playing them either. Remember, they're not leaving the Big 12 because of KU, they're doing it because the hook em' horns folks dont know how to share. Which Nebraska, Colorado, A&M (extensively), Mizzou all understand perfectly well.

Even with the current expansion talks, it rears its ugly head. It's obvious to me that everyone other than UT (and OU to some degree) would prefer to go to 12 teams. But the ones that "matter" want 10. This is INSANE. Dont these @$#%@$%@ look in the mirror?!?!?!?!? They clearly dont see what the rest of us see, or are unwilling to see it. Tramell's column today nails it on the head. You'd think after they've destroyed decades (100+ years in our case) these guys would figure it out.

CalHawk is right however... its not as simple as us babbling on about it. The TV contracts issue is the real kicker here. If we stay at 10, the $$$ stay the same. If if we go back to 12, the negotiations can re-open. I think the angst is real that any TV deal will be less per school -- TCU / WVU / Louisville / xxxx vs. Nebraska / A&M / Mizzou / Colorado are not equal in terms of TV sets folks --- just the reality of the situation.

The only "good" out of any of this is simply that our 'circus' isnt the at the bottom of teh barrel -- only because the Big East's issues are. But anyone who doesnt think that the Big 12 is on deck is fooling themselves.

Robert Brown 8 years, 8 months ago

I agree that the more teams the bigger the pie needs to be. I think the 10 schools stood to get $15M apiece this year out of total pie of $150M. Two of the stronger members have or will leave. From a TV market standpoint, MU's leaving is more problematic than A&M, because they already have the Texas market so maybe TCU is an adequate replacement for A&M.

If we move to 12 teams, the piece has to increase from $150M to $180M just so all of the teams get the same revenue. Does WV and Louisville do that? Probably not.

One way, however, to generate more revenue, is to go to 12 and reinstate a conference championship game.

142466 8 years, 8 months ago

I agree with most everything you've said. The participants better consummate all these reorganizations themselves, or Congress will become the 3d ring under the Big Top and Prez O the ring master.

jgkojak 8 years, 8 months ago

Plus: We have teams begging to get into Big 12.

Plus: The Big East is now the one being swallowed up and/or adding non-AQ teams. (TCU doesn't count - they should have been in the B12 in 1996 instead of Baylor).

Plus: We now see the level at which this resides: Congressional politics and TV Contracts - two completely logical and purely honest institutions [snark]

What do I take away from all this?

1) We're gonna be OK in the long-run. The more teams added to the AQ universe, the harder its gonna be to do a 16x4 conf. arrangement. Likewise, its clear that the more teams that are impacted, the more pissed off Senators/Congressmen alumni there will be - its not just ISU and Baylor now.

2) We have no power. Our board of regents has no power. Our chancellors have no power. This is being decided in a back room by Boren and his pals. Like pretty much everything else in our society. Occupy B12 anyone?

3) If we somehow sign a 10-year deal w/12 teams and a divisional arrangement that put MU away from TX/OU, would MU stay? (KU, KSU, ISU, MU, UL, WVU vs. TX, OU, OSU, TTU, TCU, Baylor)

4) That said - we will be fine without MU. We will be fine at 10. We will be fine at 12. If we had a 10 team B12 with a 10 year rights deal, we can live with that.

5) Watch the voting in the next round -- if TCU sides with KU/KSU/ISU/Baylor (as presumably MU's replacement would) we have a majority if we choose to use it.

Andy Tweedy 8 years, 8 months ago

A couple things. First, I love the idea of Occupy B12!!! But your point 5 is exactly what is wrong with this conference. We shouldn't always be hearing that the Big XII is divided on issues. Other conferences rarely put out releases that say anything other than "it was unanimous." I get your point about seeing who is in bed with who, but this conference needs to unite, at least publicly, or we will continue to be a laughing stock.

jgkojak 8 years, 8 months ago

+Tulane.

Get them in the B12 and they get good real fast in basketball (i.e. hire a great coach - see what Steve Fisher, whatever else you may say about him, has done for SD State).

They've actually had decent football in the past.

And they are pretty much the same as Vanderbilt/Duke/Northwestern/Stanford in the other major conferences.

Pitthawk34 8 years, 8 months ago

Take Missouri State...The Springfield area is the fastest growing area in Missouri and eveyone in Columbia knows it, plus that would really piss off Missouri. Another BCS program in the state. When it comes to sports they are not too bad. Never happen but would be real funny.

Ben Kliewer 8 years, 8 months ago

Can anybody explain to me why there are (about 2) people who are just so freakin' adamant about bringing in Air Force and Memphis?

Memphis literally has no attractive qualities whatsoever and has nothing to offer the B12.

Air Force I can kind of understand as a Service Academy, but still...not a whole lot to offer.

Ben Kliewer 8 years, 8 months ago

Memphis would be like bringing in another KU, except with a worse basketball program. They've been relatively unimpressive since Calipari left, and nobody is really clamoring for the Memphis market. Thank God we're already in the B12, it's no secret we're not AQ material right now.

jgkojak 8 years, 8 months ago

Air Force said no thanks, we don't want to get beat up every week. (remember they can't recruit the way the other B12 schools do).

Otherwise, they would have been fantastic - decent market in Colorado, good academics, etc.

Memphis - hell no - academically they are a joke - in fact- I think UMKC ranks ahead of them.

Robert Brown 8 years, 8 months ago

I have no idea. Neither makes sense. I think some believe that Air Force gives you the Denver market (not true) and then there is group of people on this blog who only think about basketball and think that Memphis would be an attractive opponent. There is also a group who constantly want to resurrect the Southwest Conference by bringing in Houston, Rice and SMU.

We are really running out of good options to move to the Big 12. I think the strongest options are: WV, BYU, Louisville. When combined with TCU, these four do not come close to making up for the loss of A&M, NU, MU, and CU.

jgkojak 8 years, 8 months ago

I'd argue that with A&M, NU and CU - we had a conference #2 only to the B10 in terms of tradition, athletic/academic excellence as a combo.

Without them we are more on par with the SEC. meh.

Eric Dawson 8 years, 8 months ago

You can forget about Air Force. Big 12 already inquired and was told thanks, but no thanks. Here is AFA AD Hans Mueh in the Denver Post, OCT 9, 2011:

"We were approached by the Big 12, and I told them we're not a good fit for that conference. In the Big 12, geography makes sense, the economics make sense, but recruiting makes no sense for us. I can't recruit against Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State," Mueh said.

"That's why I turned down the Big 12. I can't do that to my kids, because they'll get beat up. I'd love the extra $12 million or whatever it would be per year from the TV money. And I know how I'd spend the money. I'd build a new soccer stadium, and I'd build a new baseball facility, all in one year. But I can't do that." http://www.denverpost.com/sports/ci_19073868

142466 8 years, 8 months ago

I'm sorry to hear about the Falcons disinterest. I liked them if BYU entered because the Falcons would have provided a geographical link to Provo and Boise. I knew they would be in the bottom 1/3 in FB and BB, but they would have not have embarressed and they're clean. Their conduct would have a good role model. But it would be discouraging for them to be an also-ran year after year. I understand.

Colo State would provide the same geographical link as A.F. I've heard that they're rapidly growing. The league ought to at least investigate them & not automatically rule them out. Based on the FB scores coming out of Boulder these days, CSU might compete better in the B12 than CU does in the PAC.

Iowa is a State in which the Big12 has the weaker of the 2 major universities. League image probably precludes us from doing that in a second State.

Kristen Downing 8 years, 8 months ago

What on earth are we paying Chuck Neinas for again?! Please, boys, shut the f**k up!

PJ Karasek 8 years, 8 months ago

I thought this was an interesting insight into ESPN's place in all of this. It was found on ESPN's site, so I'm sure bias is involved in some form, but the writer does acknowledge the networks obvious conflicts of interest. I thought it was an interesting read:

http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/7149965/espn-middle-college-realignment

Eric Dawson 8 years, 8 months ago

Thanks,it is an interesting read, especially for folks really still learning of the roles ESPN and Fox are playing behind the scene.

PJ Karasek 8 years, 8 months ago

If the networks are playing behind the scenes as has been implied, this:

A. doesn't surprise me in any way, B. reaffirms that this whole thing is even more of a mess than any of us know, C. throws another player into the Louisville/WVU/senators battle for Big XII expansion?

LJD230 8 years, 8 months ago

These should be a congressional inquiry into all facets of college athletics in the same way the roid controversy was investigated. Most of the commenters here probably are not aware that an investigation into collegiate athletics was conducted by the House Ways and Means Committee in 2006.

John Conyers wants the House Judiciary Committee to look into antitrust issues in college athletics.

The ROI of a college degree is not determined by the school's athletic reputation and/or success. . A KU degree is only as good as it's academic reputation. And sadly, over the last twenty or so years a degree from KU has been greatly devalued.

It is about time that the athletic orbit of KU start supporting the academic mission of the university. And I don't mean a few million dollars.

142466 8 years, 8 months ago

That's the way it ought to be. Academics first.

I recall, though, that when Barry Switzer was introduced as the new OU FB coach, he quipped, "I'm so pleased to come to Norman. It will be my honor to help Oklahomans build a university that the Sooner FB team can be proud of." The audience burst into laughter. Naughty, naughty.

Angus0199 8 years, 8 months ago

From what I've been told . Mizzou stays in the XII if.

1. We have 10 yr. media rights

2. we bring in wvu and louis.

3. A 12 team conference.

Some of the holdup is that ND may come in all buy football, so we may take them, but have to bring in a 14th team for bball.

Angus0199 8 years, 8 months ago

From what I've been told . Mizzou stays in the XII if.

1. We have 10 yr. media rights

2. we bring in wvu and louis.

3. A 12 team conference.

Some of the holdup is that ND may come in all buy football, so we may take them, but have to bring in a 14th team for bball.

blindrabbit 8 years, 8 months ago

LTColUSARet: Heard a lot about Air Force and Navy joining one of the major conferences; but nothing about Army, why, if you know, are they not included?

Eric Dawson 8 years, 8 months ago

There has been a good bit of talk about USMA on the east coast. The BEast wants AFA, USNA and USMA for the prestige and the national interest of having all 3 "in-house" as an attraction. AFA and USNA both like the idea, and have had talks with USMA trying to gauge its interest. USMA apparently is not interested, at least in part, for the same reasons AFA said "no thanks" to the B12 -- USMA does not believe it could be competitive at that level. Hard to get someone on board when they think it's a bridge too far for them.

FLJHK 8 years, 8 months ago

Forgive a foray to nostalgia-ville.

In my college and formative years, there was the Big 8 Conference. It was, as a conference should be, an association of similar universities, sharing a common culture and geography. All were, I believe, land grant universities, and 5 of the 8 schools were AAU members, and MU, NU and KU were some of the longest tenured AAU schools. My perceptions from the time were that OU was something of a lesser member due to their academic profile, as were the two “State” schools. MU, even back then, seemed something of a perennial underachiever, given that they were the only major university in the conference’s most populated state.

The Big 8 resided in a relatively sparsely populated, conservative and agricultural part of the country. Yet the towns within which these schools resided were all something of an oasis relative to their surroundings. Their common liberal leanings in the context of a conservative area were tolerated as the natural occurrences of youth, and politics seemed not so divisive then as it is now.

We were not the biggest or most powerful conference in the nation, but we competed well. I remember a time when Bear Bryant refused to schedule Big 8 teams in football, due to their supremacy over “Bama.” I rooted for every conference team against any non-conference foe, and I rooted for our in-state brethren against anyone but KU. Rivalries certainly existed, but they seemed healthy and natural and fun. I didn’t resent the dominance of NU and OU in football, in fact their annual game was my favorite college game of the year. But I didn’t view college football to be more significant than college basketball (and I submit it wouldn’t be today if both sports had to play with the same rules regarding early departure, but that’s another matter).

But things changed and an unfortunate thing called conference realignment began to rear its ugly head sometime in the early 1990s or so. As dictated by television, bigger became better. With the demise of the Southwest Conference, what seemed to be a reasonable expansion of the Big 8 occurred to include four schools from that dismantled conference. Texas was obviously a desirable addition, and everyone back in the day loved the City of Austin. But the others, well not so much. A&M, despite their money and tradition seemed, well, weird. Tech was largely a non-entity, and Baylor, well, no one ever really understood how they got in to begin with. But the conference experienced permanent change and it never felt as comfortable as that we previously had.

Things seemed generally OK for a while. The conference had a prominent national profile, there were many great athletic accomplishments, and KU hoops re-emerged to its rightful place atop the national order. I didn’t see the cracks in the foundation until well after the fact.

(cont)

FLJHK 8 years, 8 months ago

In recent times, the conference has lost much in terms of institutions and credibility, but as important, it has lost its culture and identity. The new Big 12, as it undergoes yet more change, seems to be doing so while forgetting what it is, forgetting its unique culture and identity.

Conferences are much more than athletic leagues. They are a collection of universities with similar characteristics, commonality in geography, cultural compatibility and shared academic values. Obviously, conference expansion inevitably dilutes these features, but expansion should occur based on maintaining and furthering these characteristics to the extent feasible.

In these chaotic times, I recognize that size matters and that expansion is a dominant theme nationwide. I may wish that weren’t so, but I cannot ignore the obvious. So, contrary to the most popular choices as expansion targets, I’ve advocated the following schools basically since the time of the first conference unrest.

  1. Tulane Excellent academics; great city; natural geographic extension; a city that, like many in the conference, views itself as distinguishable from its state; a new and largely untapped metro market. Athletically poor at this time, but would have the resources in the Big 12 for a rapid ascension. Tulane is the best overlooked potential gem in the whole realignment game. How fun would field trips to New Orleans be?

  2. Air Force Academy Solid academics, geographically compatible, a stable institution (recent sex scandals nonwithstanding), and a moderating influence in a conference is desperate need of such a presence. Athletically competitive, though not in a way likely to challenge the status quo. Global following.

  3. BYU Solid academically and athletically. Large following. Not a great geographic fit, but probably worth it. Plus I view the Big 12 not as a midwestern conference, but rather as Plains States/near west.

  4. Louisville Great hoops, OK football, on fringe of geographical footprint, decent academics, new metro area. Is actually more appealing to me, especially geographically, if MU somehow stays.

  5. Notre Dame For all the obvious reasons and in whatever manner.

(cont)

FLJHK 8 years, 8 months ago

In recent times, the conference has lost much in terms of institutions and credibility, but as important, it has lost its culture and identity. The new Big 12, as it undergoes yet more change, seems to be doing so while forgetting what it is, forgetting its unique culture and identity.

Conferences are much more than athletic leagues. They are a collection of universities with similar characteristics, commonality in geography, cultural compatibility and shared academic values. Obviously, conference expansion inevitably dilutes these features, but expansion should occur based on maintaining and furthering these characteristics to the extent feasible.

In these chaotic times, I recognize that size matters and that expansion is a dominant theme nationwide. I may wish that weren’t so, but I cannot ignore the obvious. So, contrary to the most popular choices as expansion targets, I’ve advocated the following schools basically since the time of the first conference unrest.

  1. Tulane Excellent academics; great city; natural geographic extension; a city that, like many in the conference, views itself as distinguishable from its state; a new and largely untapped metro market. Athletically poor at this time, but would have the resources in the Big 12 for a rapid ascension. Tulane is the best overlooked potential gem in the whole realignment game. How fun would field trips to New Orleans be?

  2. Air Force Academy Solid academics, geographically compatible, a stable institution (recent sex scandals nonwithstanding), and a moderating influence in a conference is desperate need of such a presence. Athletically competitive, though not in a way likely to challenge the status quo. Global following.

  3. BYU Solid academically and athletically. Large following. Not a great geographic fit, but probably worth it. Plus I view the Big 12 not as a midwestern conference, but rather as Plains States/near west.

  4. Louisville Great hoops, OK football, on fringe of geographical footprint, decent academics, new metro area. Is actually more appealing to me, especially geographically, if MU somehow stays.

  5. Notre Dame For all the obvious reasons and in whatever manner.

(cont)

FLJHK 8 years, 8 months ago

I would make offers to these five regardless of MU’s decision and irrespective of the overall conference size it yields. Next on my list would be Rice, for many of the same reasons as Tulane but with an elite academic profile. But it is a small school and probably does not meaningfully expand the conference market. Others warranting some consideration are probably SMU and maybe Houston. Outside the box, and dependent upon how the conference wishes to rebrand itself, USF may deserve a look as would certain SEC members like Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Arkansas.

Not on my list is apparent top-target West Virginia, and oft-mentioned Boise State.

I’ve nothing against WVU. They are a solid sports school and have a passionate fan base. I like the school, but it is as foreign to the Big 12 culture as can be, and is geographically remote but in terms of distance and access. Boise is academically too weak to even warrant consideration.

I don’t for a moment think that the historic quality of a school’s football team should be a significant factor in conference realignment. The Big 12 is, and will remain a very strong football conference. The factors that should be at the forefront are academic, cultural and geographic compatibility.

statesupporter 8 years, 8 months ago

Completely agree with everything. Although new to posting on this board, I have read it daily for a few years now. I didn't post until the darkest hours of this conference shakeup. When the large majority of KU fans were looking to turn the institution's back on not only our in-state school, but other extremely loyal institutions such as Iowa State, I just couldn't stand it anymore. Although at this point impossilbe, I would rather play in a conference with KSU, ISU, OU, OSU and anyone else north of the Red River that want to join. I too grew up in the Big 8 days, which were absolutely wonderful. We will never again have it as good with the Texas schools involved. I hate them for it, but Missouri realizes this. The only way KU feels at home again is with KSU, ISU, and Missouri in the Big 10. I don't think it will ever happen, but it would be great to reunite with Nebraska in a midwestern conference. Colorado is gone, and OU has changed. Give me the previous five together again, and I will always be happy and proud of our association of similar cultures.

142466 8 years, 8 months ago

Welcome. I, too, only read without ever posting, until this game of realignment pick-up sticks commenced.

142466 8 years, 8 months ago

I'd like to return to those more innocent and better times, too. Like it was back in the 1950's when I was on the hill. But those days are gone with the wind.

As a matter of fact, even back in the 40's, 50's, and 60's, it was widely understood that the Big 8 conference was mostly an athletic endeavor, the members of which shared geographic proximately and similar enrollment numbers. There was some academic interchange among the 8 schools, but not a lot. Each school, for the most part, nurtured and promoted its own scholastic departments. Academic contacts and cooperation were just as likely, probably more likely, to occur between departments of colleges and universities who shared no common athletic league. Most egg heads care very little for sports.

Another thing about those bygone days: Most college BB and FB fans of that era quietly acknowledged that there some corruption involved. The NY Yankees pulled about every trick they could think of to stay on top. It was to be expected, then, that the likes of the BB Wildcats (I'm not referring to the Little Apple) and the FBers out west who adopted a mascot from Homer's Iliad would bend the rules, too. The NCAA's occasional and mild sanctions against some serious offenders leant an air of respectibility to the whole enterprise.

The big business nature of NCAA BB and FB really took off around 1980. That's when an outfit named ESPN entered the scene. Prior to 1980 you'd see one, once in a while, two, Saturday afternoon college FB or BB games. No triple headers on every network. No Tues, Wed, Thur, Fri college FB games. Young athletes were supposedly studing those nights of the week. No coaches earning 100 times more than eminent faculty members. No playing of college BB games prior to the final 2 or or 3 days of November. No bowl game in every city bigger than Topeka. A 20 game winning season in BB was a mark of excellence. Virtually no 30 win seasons, even by UCLA.

Four things: 1. The American public has become obsessed with big-time sports. 2. The networks serve up what the public craves. 3. It costs millions to buy national advertising on popular TV shows (FB and BB games included). Huge sums of money are at stake. 4. Unlike the NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB, big time college sports has never had a Commissioneer, governing board, or structure, to regulate the size and composition of college football leagues.

The current NCAA football scene resembles what I see going on a few miles from where I sit: cutthroat competion among a bunch of recognized stars fighting to earn the privilege of appearing on 15 minute TV segments that link one advertisement to the next. And a pack of wolves nipping at their heels, wanting to get their place in the sun, too.

FLJHK 8 years, 8 months ago

Sorry about the double-post of section 2. Not sure how I screwed that up.

Eric Dawson 8 years, 8 months ago

Only problem I have with your list is AFA, which was asked and said no thanks. This info has already been presented by others and me, in this blog entry today and in several other earlier entries since 9 OCT, when the story was first reported in the Denver Post. We don't have AFA to kick around arymore.

FLJHK 8 years, 8 months ago

Yes, I'm aware of the AFA situation and really respect the comments they have issued. I acknowledge the prospect is remote. But events in this whole situation remain fluid, and since mine is merely a wish list I chose to leave them on it.

My broader point is that culture, geography and academic integrity are ultimately at least as important as historic football quality and market sizes. Take care of the broader issues, and other things fall into place. The current approach seems to me short-sighted.

Rob Keeney 8 years, 8 months ago

I don't understand why the conference would choose to negotiate exit fees with aTm and MU. How would this benefit the remaining teams, other than shoving them out the door faster?

Travis Clementsmith 8 years, 8 months ago

Its an attempt to avoid drawn out court battles and legal fees that would eat into the amount settled on.

mcontrary 8 years, 8 months ago

re: You'd like to think the Big 12 would stay strong in this department and say something along the lines of this: "You're leaving us. Pay up or stick around." But, with the way the league has handled just about everything else conference-realignment related up to this point, you have to wonder."

Personally, I think Mo should be told adios and not let the door hit them in the back. For some reason, I keep thinking the first mention of leaving the Big Twelve came from MO several years ago. Seems MO announced their intentions of joining another leage a little prematurely and their being part of the leage they planned to join wasn't going to happen. I'm just so sorry. MO should have been given their Big-12 Dear John at that point and the problem would have been solved. Instead, they continue with the same old, same old, year after year. A realignment will probably involve more travel and if the fans from all the teams involved don't like or at least not mind the realignments, ticket sales are going to go down and all that money that MO is apparently so intersected in may not materialize. I'm not a MO fan, but I love to hate them and would like to see the border wars continue, but only in the context of their being in the same league.

Steve Corder 8 years, 8 months ago

Create 3 conferences divisions within one association, The Big 12 Association.

1) Football only. No geographical considerations. National in scope. 2) Basketball only. Geographical proximity not a major consideration. 3) All other "non-revenue" sports. Based entirely on geographical proximity.

It's already happening.

Travel costs, students missing way too much class time is a major economic and educational drain. Football is played, generally on a Saturday and only once a week. Air travel makes football much easier than in past years (the reason we have regional conference alignments), but that model is breaking down...or broken if you wish.

Each division shares equally with schools only in that division. Each school's AD has freedom to create or join any other school to create a "conference" for that sport. Theoretically, you could have 12 football schools in the Big 12 and a maximum of 12 divisional conferences (under 12 different names) in baseball. Thus, MU could be in the SEC for football and basketball yet be a "conference member of the baseball conference in which you might have Nebraska, K-State, KU, MU, OSU, OU, SW Missouri, etc. Who they are just doesn't really matter. Freedom to associate is the only criteria.

Conference identity lends a sense of competition even in the non revenue sports, which would prevent those sports from basically becoming "club" sports that just play a schedule with no real meaning. EVERYONE wants to compete for a "title"/trophy.

Example: if KU basketball wanted to work out a basketball division with North Carolina, Texas, Louisville, Kentucky...you finish the list....then they'd have the freedom to do so. Sign contracts for 5 years, 10 years...it doesn't matter. If after a few years it doesn't work for a KU then they'd be free to find another "conference" without upstaging every other program.

But this is way too complicated. The boys are having enough problems with saving the current version.

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