The Big 12 spirng meetings are scheduled to begin tomorrow in Kansas City, Mo., and although the topics of conference realignment and Big 12 expansion likely will be kicked around plenty by the league’s athletic directors, presidents and chancellors, it seems like a safe bet to predict we won’t see anything like we saw a couple of years ago when former Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe dodged reporters by ducking into an elevator to avoid talking to the media.
I’m OK with that.
There was something pretty incredible about stalking the hallways at The Intercontinental Hotel near the plaza for a few days a couple of years ago, not really knowing what the outcome was going to be. It was a rush and it made the six or seven hours spent there each day fly by.
I don’t imagine that this year’s meetings will be anything like the previous two. Even last year was a little interesting because it was the first since the wild summer of 2010 and we were able to compare and contrast the vibe and mood. That’s not to say, however, that there won’t be some interesting things that happen and are discussed.
As you all know, there continues to be some serious talk about the Big 12 picking up a couple of teams — maybe more — from the now-vulnerable ACC.
Florida State and Clemson have been the two most talked about possibilities, but Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami and even Notre Dame remain on the radar.
Before diving into some more links regarding what’s up in that part of the world, here are a few interesting soundbites regarding this matter from a few of my Big 12 sources:
Regarding what’s better, 10 teams or 12 or more, in college football’s new scenario with a BCS final four?
“If you’re now a league with 12 or 14 teams, you think you might not be regretting it a little bit? It also means, if you’re a 10-team league and you’re looking to expand, it better be with the best teams out there.”
On the role newly named Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby can and will play until he’s officially introduced as the league’s commissioner on June 15:
“He’ll have to be real active. And with all of his connections and all our needs, I think he really enhances our position. I don’t want to say it’s much ado about nothing, but this is a situation where your conference commissioner just does his job and the rest of us keep doing our jobs and stay informed about everything.”
On the Big 12 keeping its eyes open:
“Our league will always consider all options. We’ve never been in a not-consider position. We like what we have, but we’re not going to be stupid either.”
On the importance of giving West Virginia a travel partner?
“It’s over-rated. They haven’t even brought it up.”
On if the ACC is in serious trouble:
“I wouldn’t go that far, but, yeah, they’re a little nervous right now, I think. And the irony of that is just unbelievable.”
OK, on to some of the day’s expansion talk....
Here’s a solid update on the status of the Big 12-Florida State relationship from Jim Lamar of the Tallahassee Democrat:
This Associated Press report clearly spells out where Miami and Clemson stand in this whole mess. The Hurricanes at least are saying they are proud members of the ACC and remain committed to the league, while Clemson, through board chairman David Wilkins, now is on record as saying it would consider a move to the Big 12 if that option were presented:
Here’s a nice column from Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News, who praises the job that Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas did to keep the league alive.
This one’s a little older, but it’s a solid read and it comes from CBSsports.com’s Gregg Doyle, who says that Florida State moving to the Big 12 would destory the ACC:
This, too, is a little older, and a lot can change in a week, but here’s Mark Bradley, of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, listing the reasons why the ACC is not doomed:
That’s it for today. Be sure to check back throughout the week for more. I’ll be over at the Big 12 meetings at least once or twice and should emerge with some interesting stuff. It remains to be seen whether that’s related to conference expansion, the league’s input on the changing BCS or more on the Big 12’s epic television deal.