West Virginia still fighting to be free, plus more from our old friend Conference Realignment


A lot of you have asked for an update on the goings on of conference realignment in the past few weeks and I'm here to give it to you.

I have to admit, after spending the better part of two straight summers — and then some — in a torrid love affair with all things realignment, I was happy to let it walk out the door never to be heard from again.

But it's not that easy. So here we go, with the latest on West Virginia's move to the Big 12 and some other interesting tidbits and links of the like.

First up, it looks as if we're headed toward legal mediation to determine just when WVU will be allowed to leave the Big East and join the Big 12. Both sides are suing each other — the Big East for WVU to stay for the required 27 months and WVU to bolt by next season — and because they can't peacefully come to an agreement, a Rhode Island judge recently ordered the issue to be sent to a mediator.

I've said from the beginning — and I still believe it today — that one way or the other the two parties are going to find a way to work this thing out and that West Virginia is going to be in the Big 12 next season. It might be a rocky road to get to that point, but it's coming, whether we like it or not. After the showing that West Virginia's football team put on in the Orange Bowl maybe we don't want them coming too soon.

As for Mizzou's move to the SEC, it's a done deal. I'm sure most of you saw it, but in case you didn't, here's a look at the Tigers' SEC football schedule for next season, which was released in late December.

MU is still looking to fill a couple of non-conference dates and there's still plenty of talk from the Tigers about one of those being against Kansas. But it isn't going to happen. KU officials continue to be 100 percent against playing MU in anything after the 2011-12 season expires.

You may here some Border War talk from across the state line, but don't expect it to happen.

With that in mind, and with WVU still in limbo, KU's scheduling (along with the rest of the Big 12) has been difficult to nail down for next season in just about all sports.

At this point, the Jayhawks are locked into three non-conference football games and are planning to play a nine-game Big 12 schedule, with the expectation that both West Virginia and TCU (no hurdles there) will be in the 10-team league. None of the specifics have been released as of now and they probably won't be for quite some time.

KU's non-conference games include home match-ups with South Dakota and Rice and a road game at Northern Illinois. After that, it's all still up in the air right now.

Another interesting realignment note that popped up recently concerns Louisville and the school's on-again-off-again relationship with the Big 12.

In late November, this report surfaced that indicated that Louisville football coaches were telling recruits that the school's future was in the Big 12, "no doubt."

I think that's a little premature — obviously — but I also think that if and when the time comes that the Big 12 wants to jump back to 12 teams, Louisville is all but a lock to get in. The problem now is that it's been difficult to find a suitable 12th team to join the Cardinals and several of the powers that be in the Big 12 also are concerned about moving too quickly with so many league issues still up in the air.

The Big 12 survived the second round of realignment in 2011, but there's still a lot of work to be done to ensure that the conference is stable and sound heading into the future.

Speaking of the future, there's been next to no public discussion about a possible replacement for interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas, who took over for Dan Beebe at the end of the realignment mess.

Neinas, who said at the time that he was a short-term solution to the mess, has continued to work hard on behalf of the league in just about every capacity. Some have been more publicized than others, such as Neinas' push for a plus-one system in college football.

One more thing, non-Big 12 related, there's still talking of the Mountain West and Conference USA joining forces to create some kind of super conference that far exceeds the 16-team models that were en vogue last summer.

Another meeting of league officials is set for Sunday in, get this, Dallas of all places. You can't make this stuff up!

I know that's not everything, but that's a decent look at what's been going on with the world of realignment lately. Most of that you probably knew about already, but, hey, at least now you have a place to talk about it with others.

I'll keep my eyes and ears open for more, especially on the West Virginia situation, and will try to bring that to you as it happens.

For now, though, I have to get back to this KU football beat. I don't know if you heard, but...

Ah, the joys of covering football in mid-January!!!

As you were.


hail2oldku 9 years, 1 month ago

Congrats on making the cut (or is it condolences since there will be that much more work spread around?)

hail2oldku 9 years, 1 month ago

check the registration dates - I'm the original, you're the poser.

Bville Hawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Needing a football fix soon, Matt. Starting to get the shakes...

hail2oldku 9 years, 1 month ago

And Neinas is going to be the Big XII version of Bud Selig.

Kristen Downing 9 years, 1 month ago

Matt, do you know what MU is paying the Big 12 schools to exit? I think that would make a lot of us feel much better to see that number. Thanks for your efforts.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 1 month ago

I don't know, but I heard the estimate was going to be between $26-$35MM. I've also heard that if WVU doesn't make the 10th team, that there is some type of issue with the TV contract, if that occurs then there would be a huge suit against Missouri that could be several times that amount.

Again my guess is that WVU ends up in the Big XII and that the buyout for A&M is $32 and MU is for $28. Netting the remaining 8 teams about $7.5MM each.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 1 month ago

Matt, I understand that at the moment there really isn't a viable option for a 12th school for the Big 12, but why on earth wouldn't you take Louisville? Why does there have to be semingly a package deal in place? The B1G did 11 schools for a decade and a half.

Louisville is right there primed for the picking and it's undeniable that both parties (Louisville administration and Big 12 officials) want to work together going forward. What a terrible spot to be in if you're apart of the Louisville football staff! Must be frustrating not to know what your future truly holds.

Ashwin Rao 9 years, 1 month ago

I wonder how that (Must be frustrating not to know what your future truly holds. ) feels like! Oh, yeah, we went through that less than year ago, twice! :)

DanHogan95 9 years, 1 month ago

I thought that too, but the B1G only plays 8 games. The B12's 9-game schedule makes it impossible. When you get to that last game, you have 11 teams all needing a 9th game and there's an odd man out. If you only play 8, the numbers work so everyone has the right number of games.

Josh Galler 9 years, 1 month ago

for the 12 team with Louisville, how about BYU only for Football, and maybe add Wichita State or Missouri state for all other sports?

Nick Cole 9 years, 1 month ago

I hate this "only for football" and "all other sports" nonsense. If a school doesn't want all their sports programs in the BigXII, then we don't want them (unless it's Notre Dame).

Steve Gantz 9 years, 1 month ago

Right after last nights game I was looking at the boxscore on Yahoo and looking at the comments below it. Someone had posted that Texas and Oklahoma were back in negotiations with the Pac12. I've seen nothing indicating that, I searched around a little. There's no truth to that correct?

Ben Kliewer 9 years, 1 month ago

A lot of people like to talk on message boards, especially on big sites like Yahoo. I'd say about 3% of the speculation on those things is probably true. I wouldn't be too worried.

JayhawkGrad05 9 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, I would say that's very unlikely, especially with their recent announcement of a scheduling partnership with the B1G:

baldwinjhawk 9 years, 1 month ago

NO.NO.NO.NO Texas and oklahoma don't want to go west. That is where ratings die.

Steve Hillyer 9 years, 1 month ago

Since everyone granted their rights for six years nothing will be happening now, after six years...

Nick Cole 9 years, 1 month ago

I don't know if you understand how the six year thing works, or maybe I don't understand it.

I thought it meant that if a school leaves, the BigXII owns the TV rights (on some levels) for the next six years. As in, the six years doesn't kick in until a school decides to leave. Therefore, it doesn't lock anyone in until 2017, but for six years after their departure. Make sense? Or am I wrong here? Someone with more knowledge on this front please feel free to clarify...

Brak 9 years, 1 month ago

That is not correct, the 6 years is in effect now and at any time a school leaves within the 6 years the Big 12 still collects a paycheck for their tv appearances up until the 6 years is up. The point being no other league would want to invite a Big 12 school to join because they would not be contributing to the revenue share.

Benjamin Piehler 9 years, 1 month ago

I would have rather had louisville in the first place; what a great bball rivalry we could have... though WVU certainly made a statement against clemson.

Jace FitzGibbon 9 years, 1 month ago

i hate the big east. theyre holding wvu, syarcuse and pitt hostage for 2 years while they want all the schools they absorbed next year. ugh just let it go big east.

and muck fizzou! i live in St Louis and all of my friends are like, "Well why won't ku just man up and play us?" Theres no point in taking away 1 of our 2 wins in non conference to get smashed by mizzou. playing them in basketball is no challenge most years so why bother?

Benjamin Piehler 9 years, 1 month ago

Mizzou beat us this year in a very unconvincing fashion, I'm not so sure we'd get "smashed" considering all the improvements we've started making in FB.

They'll be longing for a KU game next year after getting flattened in SEC play.

justin2012 9 years, 1 month ago

Who has the Big East asked to join next year? Back in December when they announced expansion, Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, SMU, and UCF are all joining in FALL 2013.

minnhawk84 9 years, 1 month ago

smashed by Fizzou? Not for long, baby, not for long.

THFCandKUsince87 9 years, 1 month ago

Thanks Matt- With regard to Louiseville . . . wouldn't their potential exit speed things up for WVU. Seems like they could work together. Easier said than done I suppose. Your thoughts.

danmoore 9 years, 1 month ago

Make sure mizwho pays their exit fee in full.

And no confederate currency.

Clay Malloy 9 years, 1 month ago

Cincy isn't the worst we could do, there is some BB history. I'm out on the partial sports idea of BYU that inlcude other mid-major schools for olympic sports. L-ville should be an easy choice.

jgkojak 9 years, 1 month ago

Gee, I thought we broke up with Conference Re-alignment 6 months ago.

Is it possible to get a restraining order?

Benjamin Piehler 9 years, 1 month ago

We should change the locks too... I think we gave her a copy of the house key.

Micah Mandy Haase 9 years, 1 month ago

This is a repost

COEsoCOLD27 Rodney Coe "@Phil_Does_IT: Ay Kansas Fans @COEsoCOLD27 Rodney Mother **** Coe is going commit to KU #JayhawkNation!! HELl YeAH!!!".swag we does it??

Can anyone tell me what that says?

Micah Mandy Haase 9 years, 1 month ago

I am about to get rid of twitter it makes no sense to me.

Andy Tweedy 9 years, 1 month ago

There was a kid named Rodney Coe who commited to Iowa last year, but ended up at JUCO I believe. I can only assume it's him, as he was a pretty highly recruited kid.

jayhawkfanatic11 9 years, 1 month ago

Did he say when. I haven't heard or read anything about him committing to KU

lama 9 years, 1 month ago

Mizzou plays at Texas A&M on the day it was scheduled to play KU at Arrowhead (November 24). How exactly did KU end the Border War?

Lance Cheney 9 years, 1 month ago

I've re-read your post about 5 times and still can't figure out what you're asking. But just to bring you up to speed, mizzou and A&M left the Big 12 conference to join another conference, the Southeastern Conference, also known as the SEC. When misery did this, they effectively ended the Border War. That's why they're playing A&M on that day. KU didn't end the Border War, mizzoo did.

ChesterCopperpot 9 years, 1 month ago

I think Lama was asking about KU's over all record against Missery... KU's record against MU after this year is: 55–56–9.

jgkojak 9 years, 1 month ago

If we get rid of AQ conferences, shouldn't all this stuff stop?

Wasn't the issue that there were 4 mythical spots (x16 teams) that would be AQers in a mythical end of season football tourney?

Without AQ, regardless of the #of post-season tourney teams (plus 1, 4, 8, etc) wouldn't that mean that simply some combo of the Top 4 or 8 conf. champs and highest ranked reg. season teams, be they Boise St or Alabama, will be taken?

And, without AQ, doesn't that make Boise's playing football against the Big East, with only a marginally better sched than the MW, pretty idiotic?

I'd like an 8 team playoff, but short of that

Here's an idea:

Play all the bowl games through Christmas eve, using the BCS to pair the match-ups for the Top 6 games -- I'd assume with the Top 12 teams. Then, on New Year's, play 2 games pitting the 4 highest rated teams after the bowls are done, and then play the Nat Champ game from the two winners.

-Every 6-6 team gets a bowl game.

-Presumably, at least 6 of the bowl games REALLY matter, because its likely #4 and maybe #3 are open spots to whoever of teams ranked #3 - #10 win their games decisively.

-Think about it: you could have 4 days straight of bowls that MATTER, cumulating with 2-3 games xmas eve.

-New Years, we get our college FB back. If the big 4 bowls (Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, Orange) want to rotate who gets the 2 big new years games, works for me.

What would it have looked like this year (if we take it straight from final BCS)-

Bowls (mixed up a little for Bowl tradition) 1 LSU vs. 12 Baylor (Sugar Bowl) 2 Alabama vs.11 Va Tech (Orange Bowl) 3 OSU vs 9 South Carolina (Citris Bowl) 4 Stanford vs 10 Wisconsin (Rose Bowl) 5 Oregon vs 8 Kansas State (Fiesta Bowl) 6 Arkansas vs 7 Boise State (Copper Bowl)

blackhawkjayhawk 9 years, 1 month ago

So, here's what happens to Misery going forward.....this fall, media coverage will be good but, very quickly, reporters and hosts will realize there isn't a lot of fan interest in the Mizzou vs. Kentucky football game. Meanwhile, the addition of WVU and TCU to the league will create a good deal of interest for Big 12 fans.

2013 - Mizzou will almost be a thing of the past with KC media - not quite - but almost. People around here won't care about the Mizzou vs. MSU basketball game, the Mizzou vs. Vandy football game or any other game for that matter. Those teams aren't in our conference and no one will care.

2014 - Mizzou is talked about almost as much as Colorado is now. In the words of the little guy in the Herb Brooks speech: It's Over!

Meanwhile, Grunhard begins to destroy both Mizzou and KSU in KC-area football recruiting. And Bill Self continues to sign anyone he wants, whenever he wants.

R.I.P. Mizzou. They will get blasted in the SEC not because they are inferior, but because they will become irrelevant in about 1/3 of the their own state.

P.S. Illinois will be happy to schedule a border war series that has about as much juice as Vermont vs. New Hampshire.

Here's hoping that both their AD and Chancellor lose their jobs over a really, really short-sighted decision.

jgkojak 9 years, 1 month ago

Agree completely.

MU recruiter: And we get to play our basketball tourney in __ southern city.

Kid's mom: I can't afford to get him there. KU, KSU, ISU all play their conf tourney in the Sprint Center, 2 blocks from the damn house. Now get out of my sight.


Really, the diff is - If MU has the kind of year they're having this year in basketball, we'll probably hear about 'em. But if they suck (which is usually what happens), we won't even touch on their game.

Spencer Goff 9 years, 1 month ago

Although I agree with your overall premise, the Kid's mom is incorrect, those teams won't be playing their conference tourney at the Sprint Center.

There is no way the Big 12 is keeping a major draw in a non-member state. Economics and politics (and common sense) won't allow it. And to be honest, it sucks for KU as far as the home-field thing, but there is no way in hell we should be spending another dime across the river. Sorry man, say hello to Oklahoma City and Dallas.

If only Wichita was bigger. It's almost like they need a mega aircraft company to dump a bunch of money into the economy and bring in a few thousand jobs. But where would a person find that? (my favorite part was when the mayor was shocked Boeing was leaving for mega incentives)

Lance Cheney 9 years, 1 month ago

I thought I read/heard somewhere that the Big 12 tournament will still be in KC. I could be wrong, though.

Spencer Goff 9 years, 1 month ago

It is contracted there through 2014. But I will be shocked as hell if it stays there past that. Keep in mind those plannings were done back in the days when Mizzou was a member of the Big 12.

NH_JHawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Hey c'mon be fair. If we're talking sports, UNH's rivalry is with Maine in hockey. In politics, business, and everything else our rivaly is with Massachusetts. Of course being a native Kansan nothing compares to the rivalry between Kansas and Missouri though.

blackhawkjayhawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Lived in Bow for 10 years. Didn't think anyone would call me on a New England border-war reference. You are correct sir! My son grew up playing hockey in NH/MA and ME. Still plays today.

NH_JHawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Jayhawk nation reaches far and wide my friend. That's cool to hear about your son being a hockey player. I actually live two towns south of Bow in Litchfield about 5 minutes from Manchester Airport. Been in southern NH almost 10 years now and did 7 years in the Boston area before that. I'm a transplant to New England...was born and raised in KS. Most people in the midwest probably don't realize that hockey to UNH is what basketball is to KU. UNH usually top 10 in college hockey and a serious rivalry with Maine. They just had a UNH/ME hockey game at Fenway Park last week!

actorman 9 years, 1 month ago

Sums it up beautifully. As much as I despise Misuse now, I will miss that hatred when the tiggers dissolve into complete irrelevance.

Steve Hillyer 9 years, 1 month ago

Matt, How about a percentage wheel on the Big 12's survival after the six years granting of rights has expired. Is the Big 10's TV contract up at the same time as the Big 12's tier one rights?

jgkojak 9 years, 1 month ago

It almost looks like 14 is the new magic number, for some reason.

So if ND thinks its needs to join a conf, they could join the B10 with Rutgers 5 years from now...

...or they could join the B12.

ddeenihan 9 years, 1 month ago

I'm still voting for the merger of the Big East and Sun Belt. The idea of the SunBeast conference sounds great...

LogicMan 9 years, 1 month ago

Louisville definitely, and likely Cincinnati. Get 'er done, today.

BYU is still ripe for the picking, but they must come all sports. Is Sunday-play that much of a problem? Is so, in what sports and when?

ND, in all sports, would be wonderful, and taking Louisville and Cincy might do-in the Big East in FB, thus forcing ND to decide.

If not ND, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Colorado State are nearby easy-pickings. "Go Big 16, woooo!"

Rutgers and UConn to the ACC-16 as part of the backroom deal to kill off the Big East in FB -- but we both agree to play their remaining BB schools a lot, including in MSG.

LogicMan 9 years, 1 month ago

Every conference needs weak teams to run up the strong teams' records, and to keep revenue within the conference. I'm sure they'd improve rapidly if brought into a major conference - just look at how being in the Big East helped Louisville and Cincinnati.

New Mexico to the south, and the other two to the north would fill-out the restored conference divisions, assuming Louisville, only, to the north.

Joseph Kuebel 9 years, 1 month ago

The revenue those schools bring in is so weak that is absolutely foolish to even think that as a possibility.

Jeremy LeMaster 9 years, 1 month ago

First.... NO on Cincinatti! Unless they are among the wealthiest schools they are not a great sports school (not a major or mid level contender in the major sports), thuggish (see the fight with Xavier), have a terrible image, etc

Second... No on splitting schools for sports. Don't want to be the big east 2.0

Lastly... Matt, at the end you say that you are not sure if we heard but... Granted I am looking at it from an iPhone but what is the punch line?

Spencer Goff 9 years, 1 month ago

Dear Matt;

Considering the Big 12 was one of the dumb conferences to staunchly guard the BCS system that is in place, with Neinas now at the helm and being such a major supporter, can we expect the rest of the BCS conferences to finally strong-arm the Big1G and do what should have been done in the first place?

That the Big 12 has twice (at least) voted against changing the BCS format is a black eye on our league. I am hoping the new regime will get this done.



Stan Crown 9 years, 1 month ago

I'm probably showing my ignorance here, but is there any interest on either side for Tulsa to join the Big 12? It seems a good geographic fit, and the OSU-Tulsa football game would be a guaranteed sellout. Just wondering.

Stan Crown 9 years, 1 month ago

LOL because they weren't on our FB schedule the past couple of years, right? Would've cleaned our clock.

Spencer Goff 9 years, 1 month ago

I am trying not to be an ass in this reply, but here we go:

"Education is clearly the leader in this decision to move but, the sports programs are an advantage also to Missouri."

Seriously. Come on. Is this a real poster? Over half the schools in the SEC are from states where students are unable to spell "SEC." Sure, as you say, "lets us fit right in with the competition." Yeah, education was the deciding factor....

This post made me smile. Rarely do I see a post that so strongly reinforces the stereotype.

hawkinNE 9 years, 1 month ago

I dont think anybody can honestly say with a straight face that any conference move has in to do mainly with education. Just sayin

Robert Brown 9 years, 1 month ago

I think the optimum number to teams in a conference is 12. Given that West Virginia is in, it would make sense to expand the footprint toward the east. After Louisville, there aren't many fiscally sound candidates. Cincinnati can barely fill up its small stadium. Pitt would have been a good partner with WV. Is it possible to pull in Rutgers or UCONN or does that stretch the league out too far? Either of those schools has a foothold in NY market and UCONN is next door to ESPN.

Mark Kostner 9 years, 1 month ago

I'd like to see Louisville in for sure. As for #12, if nearby Cincinnati's unacceptable, go after UCONN, who wants out of the Big East.The Big 12 should strike while the iron's hot and get marquee schools into the conference and not be caught napping like in 2010 and 2011. The Big 12 has been prey long enough. It should go hunting. And why stop at 12? If opportunity knocks, ratchet the conference up to 14 like SEC.

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