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Realignment Today: Does the ACC's granting of rights agreement mean realignment is finally finished?

During the past couple of weeks, I've been asked a few times when I was going to do another conference realignment update in the wake of the ACC announcing its granting of rights agreement that will run through 2026-27.

I certainly understand the interest, and, yes, the ACC news was huge for the realignment landscape. But by huge we're talking huge in the sense that it may have put an end to the movement for the foreseeable future.

Throughout the wild and crazy past three years of realignment, we've talked a lot about how this move or that response might be the key to realignment and full-on pandemonium. But it seems clear to me that the ACC locking up its members for such a long period of time makes things as stable as they have been in years, at least throughout college athletics' major conferences.

Could something still happen? Sure. Anything's possible. We've seen and experienced that too many times throughout the past few summers to sit here and say that this means, with 100 percent certainty, that things are done. But while it might not be 100 percent certain, it seems as if it's as close as it can get – maybe 99.9 percent.

There are those out there who believe that the granting of rights agreements don't mean jack. I've heard from them countless times throughout my coverage of conference realignment and, while I understand where they're coming from, I'm much more inclined to believe the college administrators in multiple conferences who have told me that such agreements are worth their weight in gold.

With that thought in mind, it makes sense to deduce that things will be quiet for a while now that the ACC is solid again. And I gotta admit, my hat's off to that conference for getting it done. I really believed the ACC was flirting with disaster.

After all, for the past year or so the ACC's vulnerability has been seen as the one domino that could send the whole thing tumbling once again. If this ACC school or that one left for this conference or that one, then others would be forced to react, both those schools left in the ACC and the other conferences trying to keep up.

Finally, it looks as if the Big 12 can tell people it's happy at 10 teams and the rest of the world can actually believe them.

So what does that mean for the future? Well, from what I can gather it means this: Proceed with caution.

I've had enough talks with enough people throughout the Big 12 to understand that the league will never again be caught off guard. Every time the conference's athletic directors get together or every time its governing body meets, the topic of realignment and/or expansion comes up. Sometimes it's just for 2 minutes to make sure things are still on track and other times it's for a little longer, with conference officials bringing key questions or concerns to the table for discussion. Consider it Big 12 officials staying on top of things rather than waiting for things to play out before rolling up their sleeves.

And consider that yet another legit sign of the strength and vitality of the Big 12.

A recent article from CBS Sports indicates that the Big Ten and commissioner Jim Delany had talked to as many as six schools during recent months about the idea of expansion. The article claims that the talks were of a serious nature and that things may have heated up considerably had the ACC not locked up its members with the GOR.

Who knows? It's very possible that there's some truth to that and also possible that the whole thing is just more posturing by the man who many believe started the realignment madness in the first place.

Either way, thanks to the ACC, we don't have to find out.

Delany did not disclose the names of the schools he talked to and I can't imagine that he ever will. Was KU one of them? I suppose it's possible, perhaps even likely, but from everything I've been told, it sure doesn't sound like KU had any kind of contact with the Big Ten about realignment.

Now, it's important to remember that contact can be made in both official and unofficial manners. Maybe KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger never talked to Delany about realignment, but maybe a friend of a friend of a friend at KU did.

Again, we'll probably never know and we'll probably never need to.

From where I sit, that's the best news to come from realignment in years.

I didn't write this to proclaim that realignment is over once and for all. None of us are naïve enough — any more — to actually think we're done with this demon for good. It'll come up again, most likely whenever someone gets upset with the way things are run in their conference and certainly whenever these various granting of rights agreements close in on expiration. But for now, it seems as if we can safely get back to mowing the lawn, enjoying cook outs and diving into other elements of sports coverage in the summer instead of tracking the madness of conference realignment.

Time will tell. And you know we'll stay on top of it.

Now, get out there and enjoy this weather.... Oh, wait.

;

Comments

milehighhawk 1 year, 5 months ago

But what will happen to the Prediction Wheel, Matt?

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Matt Tait 1 year, 5 months ago

We'll figure something out... Thanks to you guys, the Percentage Wheel will live on forever!!!

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 5 months ago

Nice article, Matt and much appreciated, but in this day and age when the word of someone isn't worth the paper it's written on and any contract, promise, committment or binding rule can be circumvented, I fully expect a crack in the realignment dam and once again all hell will break loose.

The super conferences are coming, of that I have no doubt, and it may be earlier than we think.

It's not a matter of if...it's just a matter of when!!

Stll, thanks for mainataining a watchful eye on this phenomena!!!

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Matt Tait 1 year, 5 months ago

I definitely understand your perspective and tried to convey that that's entirely possible in this article. I guess it just depends on how you look at things. If you're more of an optimist and you take things at face value, things seem to be pretty solid right now. If you're more of a skeptic then things look a little different.

It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out. Hopefully things stay stable for a while, though.

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JayDocMD 1 year, 5 months ago

The Big 12 messed up big time with realignment. Sure, when the music stopped KU still had a chair to sit in, but we're sitting in a much weaker conference than before.

Minus: Nebraska, Texas A&M, Mizzery and Colorado. Plus: West Virginia. There is no debating that our conference is weaker now than before.

We missed out on adding Louiville, who was begging to join. They would have been better than WV by every measure. (We could have and should have added both schools.)

Who knows if all that talk of adding Florida St or other ACC schools was ever a possibility, but I tend to think that was an opportunity missed because of the reticence of some in the Big12 to expand beyond 10 schools.

Shoulda, woulda, coulda... the ship has sailed. The Big 10, PAC12 and SEC all got stronger. The ACC, Big East and the Big 12 are the losers in conference realignment.

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bville_hawk 1 year, 5 months ago

How do you define loser? Matt can confirm this, but I think I have read that the Big 12 members have the best deal (in terms of per member TV $$) of any conference.

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Matt Tait 1 year, 5 months ago

You're correct. Per member, because the Big 12 only has to divide its pie by 10, the money is the best. However, you're also right in asking how "loser" is defined. Obviously this whole thing is about money, but there are other factors in play that strike different chords with different folks. Part of the fun of debating it, I suppose.

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JayDocMD 1 year, 5 months ago

I define losing not by current TV $$ but future TV $$. We will regret not growing this conference geographically when we had the chance.

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Jonathan Allison 1 year, 5 months ago

How did the ACC lose? They add Pitt, Syracuse, Louisville, and Notre Dame (basketball) and lose Maryland?

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JayDocMD 1 year, 5 months ago

You're right. Feel free to add them to the minus column.

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 5 months ago

I don't see how the ACC is a loser.

Lose: Maryland Gain: Pitt, Syracuse, Louisville, Notre Dame (albeit not officially for football)

I would argue BIG WINNER!!!

***On the other hand, I'm not sure that I'd call the Pac-12 a Winner for adding Colorado & Utah either :)....maybe because I guess they get the Salt Lake & Denver markets that they didn't have before.

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JayDocMD 1 year, 5 months ago

I can see that argument, although after the Big 12 was salvaged the ACC was viewed as the weakest of the "power" conferences as they were scrambling to prevent poaching.

At the end of the day, I would agree that they did a better job of fending off the poachers and actually acquiring some schools of value. Remember, this is all about football and geography and the schools you mentioned (excluding Notre Dame) add geography but not much in the way of football.

I'll amend my opinion and admit it would be more accurate to say that they broke even.

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 5 months ago

Louisville's at least trending up in football.

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Sam Constance 1 year, 5 months ago

Wait, if we take off our basketball-biased glasses for a second, how did ACC come out a "big winner" in any reason other than the fact that they didn't completely get picked apart by the B1G and SEC?

Pitt is the only consistently respectable football program on that list, Louisville is a commuter school and they don't get ND in football.

Unless we're talking about entertainment value (and let's be honest, that is about 20 steps down on the priority list for realignment), I don't see how they gained much.

More like they stopped the bleeding and did so with some programs that are at least solid in the ACC's favorite sport.

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 5 months ago

Actually, I would argue that Louisville's a better football school in its' current state than Pitt. Also, they DO get 5 games a year against ND....nearly 1/2 of their schedule.

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Matt Bowers 1 year, 5 months ago

JayDoc is right on this one. I was very upset that we took WVU over Louisville and could not understand why. I know that it was about the number of television sets in any given area, but Louisville is a quality institution with great athletics.

That said. I believe it is the Big XII best interest to go after Cincinnati and possibly another school/s when it comes time for conferences to discuss television contracts. In a perfect world, I would take the following institutions and add them to our conference: Colorado, Cincinnati, Nebraska, Arkansas, mizzou, and Arizona. Probably never happen or come close to happening, but it would make for a very exciting conference. Divide the conference by region and schedule accordingly. Don't make it too painful, since I put mizzou on the wish list, but I miss the rivalry/hate that I got to enjoy.

Rock Chalk

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odc213 1 year, 5 months ago

sorry, one more time, why isn't Louisville in the Big 12? Men's and Women's b-ball teams in the Final Four, as well as winning a BCS Bowl game. I know they are not a big state school, but Baylor is a private school! Plus WV would have a school close for travel. Big 12 dropped the ball on getting Louisville.....

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Matt Tait 1 year, 5 months ago

It certainly looks that way, but that's now. At the time, it's hard to know any of that was going to happen and, although possible, there are certain other challenges that come with adding a team and moving forward with an odd number. It can be done, and has been, but it adds more to the pile. The problem, I believe, is that when the Big 12 was exploring the idea of adding Louisville it was having trouble finding a suitable 12th member.

Again, in hindsight, Louisville looks like a great addition and it obviously would've been a wonderful "gamble" for the Big 12 to take.

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DCLawHawk 1 year, 5 months ago

Exactly. The right move was to add WVU and Louisville. Then, if the Texas schools wanted to add TCU, we could have offset that with another suitable school such as Air Force, BYU, or Arkansas. If anyone thinks WVU was a better add than Louisville, they haven't seen the facilities at both schools. Plus, Louisville is about a 10x better place to visit than Morgantown. It's not even close.

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 5 months ago

Agree with everyone here that the best move would've been to add BOTH Louisville & WVU - other than Pitino, Louisville made no secret of wanting to join us when we were considering both of them.

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jgkojak 1 year, 5 months ago

Here are some thoughts:

We helped make this possible by allowing Louisville to go to the ACC.

The GOR means nothing if a majority of schools vote to disband a conference.

You could see a scenario where

Oklahoma and OSU are pursued by the SEC

Two of Texas, Kansas, Iowa State are pursued by the B10

The Pac pursues Texas/TTCH combo

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Sam Constance 1 year, 5 months ago

"The GOR means nothing if a majority of schools vote to disband a conference."

How many conferences--in all of the chaos that was going on over the last 2-3 years--have actually gotten a majority of members to vote in favor of disbanding conferences again?

This is why the GOR is so strong, legally. Because the only way to circumvent it is to completely disband the conference, which also means disbanding the negotiating power of that conference with the networks. This is why it hasn't happened yet, because disbanding essentially takes the collective value that is achieved by the synergy of several programs and throws it away.

No school is going to vote to disband their slice of the negotiating pie unless they have a bonafide, no-doubt invitation from another conference. And the notion of a majority of schools all getting that level of guarantee is just unrealistically absurd.

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Vernon Riggs 1 year, 5 months ago

The B1G would not be interested in Iowa State. Iowa covers the same television markets that ISU would. Net gain zero.

The B1G would not be interested in Kansas AND KSU together. Again for the same reasons. Adding one would add the same number of TV markets that adding two does. You don't need both; The B1G only needs one. KSU isn't a member of the AAU. So far all schools that the B1G has invited has been AAU schools. Nebraska was AAU, accepted the invitation and then lost the membership to the AAU.

I think the Television partners of the Big12 will help make any future expansion decisions. If the ratings for Big12 football do not go up from where they are now, you may see the TV partners push to add more schools.

If Ratings stay low, look for a push to add two or four of the following: BYU, Boise State, Cincy, UConn, UNLV, or S. Florida. To be frank, those choices suck.

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 5 months ago

I think with the East locked up with the exception of UConn, the Big Ten if they want to get to 16 would REALLY PREFER to get Mizzou & Kansas - albeit you could argue that they already have a good share of the St. Louis market in having the Illini.

But long-term I could see this happening....but at this point we're probably talking like 10-12 years down the road.

16-teams w/ two 8-team divisions ->

WEST of

Kansas

Nebraska

Minnesota

Iowa

Missouri

Illinois

Northwestern

Wisconsin


EAST of

Michigan

Michigan State

Purdue

Indiana

Ohio State

Penn State

Rutgers

Maryland

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DCLawHawk 1 year, 5 months ago

That would be one heckuva Big Ten conference. Or B1G whatever. KU would have two of its oldest rivals back too. It would make up for losing the KSU and Texas rivalries. The East/West split allows for all of the natural rivalries in the original Big 10 to remain. What's the biggest rivalry that gets lost with that split? Purdue/Illinois? So what. Sub out Notre Dame instead of Rutgers and that would be the best conference in America bar none.

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Chris1955 1 year, 5 months ago

Khuff, I have had the exact same thought on this for over a year. I also thought that KU and Mizzou would come to the B1G Ten as a package deal. The geographical balance is there, the AAU afiliation is there, the renewal of an old and bitter rivalry comes to the B1G Ten. This would be an oustanding coup for the B1G Ten.

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 5 months ago

Ummm, just becase the ACC is out of the picture does NOT mean that there isn't still alignments tweaks that may remain.

I.e., UConn is going to try it's darnedest to get into another conference - ACC or Big Ten.

Cincinnati would like to get in another conference - doubt Big 10 would take them - unlikely SEC. Big XII - also not likely.....maybe a possiblity, but would be a demotion compared to when Louisville was being considered

BYU remains "in play" and according to TONS of sources the ONLY reason TCU was taken over them as some animosity between the Big XII Presidents and the current BYU president whose term is soon to end.

Boise State probably too remote for any major conference with the exception of the PAC-12 who doesn't seem to want them.

Heck. Colorado State might be more appealing than Boise State and well could form a 12th addition along with BYU - gets you back in the Denver market and creates a "bidge program" between BYU and the next closest (furthest west) Big XII schools (K-State & Texas Tech). Funny thing being if this was the route this would hinder WVU all the more. Expect WVU to be pitching Cincinnati joining BIG TIME. Heck, could see them try to support UConn too. Cincinnati might, unfortunately happen, but not UConn. Nothing against the program, but just too dang far away.

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UteHawk 1 year, 4 months ago

That seems highly unlikely that Big 12 Presidents (plural) have animosity against a mid-major President. But the more important question... Do your TONS of sources indicate that BYU is now ready to sign over their television rights to the Big 12? That's how it works. If Texas doesn't get to keep their television rights, they're certainly not going to make an exception for BYU.

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poet008 1 year, 5 months ago

Can someone, anyone explain why they believe OU and UT are committed to the Big 12?

Every time I bring this issue up I get messages like "fail" or accusations that I am a Mizzou fan.

But can someone tell me honestly how one minute OU and UT want to leave and then the next everything is lovey dovey and full of, as Matt says, "strength and vitality"?

Expansion of the conference would certainly show a long term commitment, but that has been shot down.

It is my opinion that OU and UT cannot be trusted based upon their past infidelities. I know most of you will call me a troll, but I believe KU should absolutely be playing Mizzou in the desperate hope that they can get an invite into the SEC and no longer be clinging to idea that OU and UT are really committed to us now.

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Matt Tait 1 year, 5 months ago

That's precisely the reason, though... With things set the way they are, both OU and Texas have a HUGE say in whether or not the conference expands or if it does at all. If they go somewhere else, they lose that clout.

Nothing more than they enjoy being the big fish in the small pond and being able to throw their weight around. That very thing was what almost led to the demise of the conference, but now that both sides have moved toward the middle, things are in much better shape.

If you're looking for a better answer than that, I don't have it. But I really believe that plays a huge role... at least for now.

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poet008 1 year, 5 months ago

Do you agree that KU fans have taken the complete wrong approach towards Mizzou? Burning bridges to what may be our only hope at a lifeline one UT and OU walk?

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Matt Tait 1 year, 5 months ago

I don't think the fans' feelings toward Mizzou have anything to do with it. And I also don't think there's any scenario in which KU winds up in the SEC so I don't think Mizzou's that relevant at all.

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 5 months ago

Not sure I agree with that, poet008.

Has seemed that we've been a more attractive option to the Big Ten all along than Mizzou though Mizzou want in there BADLY. I think if the Big XII dissolved tomorrow the Big Ten would be likely to add KU....who else - I don't know; I don't think they reach all the way down to Texas. The rest of the schools are continguous. Honestly, I htink in their ideal world they'd get KU, OU. Maybe Big Ten COULD, IN FACT, get those two and Pac-12 add UT, TTech, OSU & KSU. Would leave TCU, Baylor, ISU & WVU clamoring.....probably get added to the AAC & quite frankly greatly improve that conference.

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Vernon Riggs 1 year, 5 months ago

You are forgetting the Big12's GoR. Kansas isn't going anywhere. With the GoR the Big12 and ACC teams are off the Realignment board.

Plus with Tier3 Money, Texas, OU and Kansas make more money in the Big12 than any school in the SEC, B1G and Pac12. This is about $$$. Why leave the Big12 and make less?

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Vernon Riggs 1 year, 5 months ago

My believe is the 'New Realignment' is teams leaving the NCAA and forming their own organization. Whether that is the top 50, 60 or 80 teams, I do think it will happen someday. There will be a new paradigm in College Football. No Conferences. No playing throw-away games against weak-sisters. Designed for a true play-off. How much money could each team make if the Networks were bidding on packages similar to how the NFL bids thier games out. It is my hope that Kansas would be consider one of the 50, 60 or 80 best College Football Schools and get invited to this 'New Realignment'.

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Vernon Riggs 1 year, 5 months ago

My belief..., sorry should have proofread.

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texashawk10 1 year, 5 months ago

Poet, who's going to take Texas at this point? The PAC and B1G told UT no because of the Longhorn Network. Now that the SEC and ACC are also starting their own networks, they won't want UT either which means that UT isn't going anywhere and if UT isn't going anywhere then OU isn't going anywhere either.

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 5 months ago

Not sure if I agree with that....let's say that the end of that 8-10 years comes and the Big Ten were starving to expand to stay up with the SEC & ACC (a hypothetical here).....I could see a case wherein they would want to add KU & OU. Big Ten's been big on being contiguous and schools must be in bordering states in their view of expansion...this would still be true. Nebraska borders Kansas which borders Oklahoma.

The hard work here would be being able to leave off the two "State" 's (KSU & OSU). Take my post for a New Big Ten up above and just sub. in OU for MU.

The key here being if OU's AAU. I think if they're not they can get there. A pretty good institution there.

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 5 months ago

Maybe because the rest of the conference is bending over backward to please them? From what I'd heard the biggest supporter of the "staying at 10" was Texas. Texas also got to keep their Longhorn Network - not going to fly elsewhere. OU along w/ KU next in 3rd Tier Rights.

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Stephan123 1 year, 5 months ago

The TV market monies could be radically altered and subsequently undermine school budgets with the further advances of alternatives to TV programming. Law suits related to head injury could doom football and the financial prospects of institutions associated with it. The BIG could be working on a couple ACC schools before they sign a TV rights deal. There may be changes in the landscape that transcend realignment.

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Matt Tait 1 year, 5 months ago

Very true. But the way things stand today, that GOR from the ACC is big news and serves, essentially, as a giant pause button.

We'll see what develops from here. One thing I'm sure we all can agree on is this: It's never going to be smooth and easy again. But it may slow down and it may get easier.

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jgkojak 1 year, 5 months ago

The big loser here is UConn - had the B12 taken Louisville, the ACC would have taken UConn as team #14 over WVU.

I still think we'd have been better off if our 10th team was BYU - keeps us out of the entire mix in the east.

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canuckhawk 1 year, 5 months ago

Nothing breaks contracts like money.

The waters may have smoothed but the pirates are still at sea.

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Brett McCabe 1 year, 5 months ago

Matt is right that the ACC's actions have definitely slowed down the train but the most important factor in calming the waters is the playoff. Once the playoff goes to 8 teams, the need to realign will largely be eliminated. Teams will feel comfortable that they have a chance to get in the tournament.

The sad thing is this, had an 8-team playoff been put in place a few years ago, most of the realignment would never have happened in the first place.

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Robert Brown 1 year, 5 months ago

It is interesting that three of the five conferences now have the very awkward number 14 members. I think 12 is optimal and 16 is preferable to 14.

I think the Big 12 ended realignment as a much weaker conference. Adding TCU was a big mistake in my opinion. WV is on an island and can't be happy. Rivalries with national interest like UT and A&M and KU-MU disappeared.

Never say never but it appears we have about ten years of stability before this resurfaces.

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JT219 1 year, 5 months ago

Ever since I saw the new B1G structure, I can't help thinking about that Western Division. If you throw Missouri and KU into that mix (pushing Purdue into the East)... It would mean serious upgrades for Academics, Basketball, National Exposure, Cash Flow and LONG TERM SECURITY... and no more Texas.

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 5 months ago

Agreed. When things were going crazy and the UT, TTech, OU, OSU grouping was threatening to leave the rest of the conference in their dust.......maybe KU should've just jumped right then to the Big Ten. I think they'd've taken them....maybe THEM and Maryland right then & Rutgers would be rightfully left out.

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Chris Shaw 1 year, 5 months ago

Man, I have so much disgust during this conference realignment stuff. Yes, there is a small part of me that believes the Big 12 saved face by sticking strong with their "10" per say. However, I am still having a hard time with the Texas/OU "Power" in this conference. It just ticks me off.

The Big 12 loses 4 schools in 2 years and picks up 2 schools and nobody is there helping the conference until the very very end when Fox and ESPN finally come calling. Thank you Fox and ESPN for your concern and help and waiting till the very last possible second to save the conference. Much appreciated BTW.

Granted, I think Chuck Nienas did a pretty terrific job considering the cards he was dealth with, but I still feel Bowlsby and the Big 12 missed out on some opportunities. Well, let's say "Fox" missed out some opportunities. A time where ESPN and the ole mighty ACC (In the the eyes of the East Coast Pundits) were vulnerable and primed for the picking...nothing could be done? I mean nothing? Absolutely Nothing?

Oh yeah, I forgot, the Big 12 is "Solid at 10".

Over the next 8-12 years (You will see it happening again once the GOR gets closer to the end of it's contract in 14 years) conference realignment will juice up again. I agree above with slayr that the move to "Super Conferences" is inevitable, but has the University of Kansas positioned itself in this crappy conference to not be left out?

Great job Big 12....you have figured out the short-term thinking and can breathe for the next 10 years. Breathe now because the Big 12, unless they can find a miracle and be an innovator in conference realignment will be as good as dead in the near future when GOR gets towards the end of the contract. Anybody remember the geographical structure of the Southwest Conference? Anybody see a similarity with the Big 12?

Yeah, the conference athletic departments may be getting more $$$, but I believe the product on the field is going to diminish significantly over the next decade in a half and the perception of the Big 12 is going to get weaker weaker and rightfully so because the competition is going to get weaker and weaker on the field.

The Big 12 had it's opportunity and now it's a matter of time before it dissapears and all the Big 12 did was buy time for it's future short-term death.

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Robert Brown 1 year, 5 months ago

Every conference has its power brokers. So while UT and OU influence the Big 12, Ohio State and Michigan influence the Big 10, Alabama and Florida and Georgia influence the SEC, the Tobacco Road schools influence the ACC and the California schools the PAC12. I think concerence realignment highlighted this and it is very tough for the schools that don't have influence to accept.

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Michael Johnson 1 year, 5 months ago

i never hear the argument about having to play 9 conference games each year. seems every team fattens up on 4 non con games which is a big advantage to getting to a bowl game. i laugh when folks talk about how great the SEC is. absolutely, they are the best at the top, but they have more turds than anyone else also. alabama was the best team last year, but there schedule was a joke. playing a full round robin in football is an absolute killer IMO.

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Robert Brown 1 year, 5 months ago

The argument is a financial one and explains why the BIg 12 TV contract is so lucrative. 9 conference games means more competitive and meaningful games on the schedule which has more value to Fox and ESPN. More people are going to watch KU-WV than KU-South Dakota.

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jhox 1 year, 5 months ago

I heard just last week from a friend, who has a close friend high up in an athletic dept. at a Big 10 school that KU and OU have fairly recently put feelers out to the Big 10, and that the Big 10 was intrigued.

I'm personally of the belief that the GOR agreements would make this kind of move all but impossible, but there are people who seem to think that a good lawyer would have no trouble getting that thrown aside.

I believe it is unlikely Kansas or OU would move, and I told my buddy that. I also question the validity of his claims of OU and KU looking at Big 10 membership. However, I do have to admit, he definitely has a well placed Big 10 connection, and he's called just about every move they made well in advance of any public announcement, so it wouldn't completely shock me if something happened, but I do consider it highly unlikely.

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Brad Farha 1 year, 5 months ago

The Big 10 places a lot of value on the AAU distinction, which OU is lacking. I would be surprised if they'd want OU to join.

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jhox 1 year, 5 months ago

I agree, and I pointed that out to my friend, as well. However, that same issue could also play in KU's favor. I believe the great things going on at KU Med Center and their research in recent years would make KU a much more likely Big 10 target than they would have been 3 or 4 years ago, should the Big 10 decide to try to expand with a local school.

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 5 months ago

This may be a more "down the road" interest though. I could also see OU gain the AAU distinction in that "down the road" timeline.

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Robert Brown 1 year, 5 months ago

It is more likely that Missouri gets an invitation to the Big 10 than KU. I don't know if the new SEC Network changes anything, but currently there is no GoR or exit fee for leaving the SEC. Given the awkward number of 14 in the conference, MU could be an targeted pick to get the Big 10 to a more desireable 16 members.

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jhox 1 year, 5 months ago

I've heard if MU had been patient, they probably would have gotten that call, but they blew it by going public and by their Governor making bold statements about wanting Big 10 membership. I've also heard that they burned that bridge and that the Big 10 would now have no interest whatsoever in them. Also, I think the Big 10 has figured out (and I'm sure the SEC as well) that MU doesn't bring as many TV's to the table as they once thought. They don't own the KC market and the St. Louis market is even more of a pro sports town.

As Rockin Chalkin pointed out above, the Big 10 places a lot of emphasis on the AAU distinction (KU and MU both have that) and research dollars are probably the the thing that turns on the Big 10 the most (even more than TV sets). KU Med is on a roll and a research hot bed right now, and that makes KU a more appealing target at this point.

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 5 months ago

Disagree. Think OU would be more desired by the Big Ten than MU. They'd already have the Kansas City & St. Louis markets w/ KU & the Illini. With OU they could get the Tulsa, OKC....heck, even a little bit of the Dallas market!!! It would also bring back a HUGE traditional football rivalry in OU / NU.

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 5 months ago

Huh?!?!?! That would get them to 15 & the SEC to 13. That would never happen!

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Michael Luby 1 year, 5 months ago

HAHA! Yah Matt, snow in May?

Bout the topic at hand. Would it be conceivable to see another team or two from mid majors like OVC or MVC join the Big 12 to make it 12 again?
I would absolutely love to see Wichita State join, purely from another good instate rival. Kansas triple threat! Id love to see Wichita state play KU and Kstate in Basketball on a regular basis. Just purely from a Basketball perspective, all 3 teams were good enough this year to make the NCAA's.

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 5 months ago

Um....no!

Most likely expansion schools for the Big XII in their likely order are probably:

1) BYU 2) Cincinnati 3) Colorado State 4) UConn...boy, that seems WAY too far away!!!

Some might say Air Force or Houston or SMU.....Yuk! Is what I say! :(

I see something like BYU & Colorado State being VERY likely, funny thing being that isolates WVU all the more!!!! So probably as a secession to WVU they go with 'nati over CSU.

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Gary McCullough 1 year, 5 months ago

Just heard the SEC has made a deal with ESPN for their own channel. Now B1G, PAC12, and SEC have their own channel. When will the Big XII get their own channel? Is UT still the road block for that to occur?

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jhox 1 year, 5 months ago

The UT deal is the issue. Without their involvement it wouldn't be worth much. Even with their involvement, I'm not so sure that the current program doesn't work more in KU's favor. We get a lot of revenue off of our third tier TV rights because of our basketball program. If things were diluted and the schools shared their third tier rights equally, I strongly suspect KU would actually make less money through such a transaction. Everyone hates Texas over the Longhorn Network, but in reality I think they did KU a favor by insisting on this arrangement. I haven't looked at this issue in several months but the last time I tried to study it I really got the feeling KU is a "have" program rather than a "have not" program, when it comes to the way the conference breaks down TV revenues. In fact, I think Texas was the only program making more on third tier revenues.

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otaKU 1 year, 5 months ago

I personally am of the "wait and see" regarding Louisville. Sure, right now it seems like we made a huge mistake in not adding them but what happens to the program when Pitino leaves? Will there football program really remain on the up and up? I could be wrong but I am not 100% convinced yet. I guess time will tell.

That being said, football was the thing driving this whole realignment garbage and WVU had the more consistent football program. I will say it is a bit awkward with them in the Big 12. They seem like the cousin nobody wants to talk about.

Anybody have any thoughts on adding Memphis? We need another solid basketball program and I'm sure their football program would improve once they are added to a legit conference. Travel wouldn't be terrible.

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trey 1 year, 5 months ago

I actually hope Matt is wrong! And think there are fair odds that he is. This is the standard Big12 propaganda from the league... "We're very happy at 10", "We make more per school than any other conference (now)", "We're all united", "The GOR is binding commitment", blah, blah, blah.

I loved the old Big12, thought it was a great conference. But if you're honest with yourselves, this new Big12 is absolutely terrible. Replacing MU, A&M, CU, Nebraska, with WVU and TCU is a trainwreck no matter how it spinned. The Big12 was a disaster in both Football and Basketball this year, and doesn't look any better going foward. To me, it is BY FAR the weakest of the 5 major conferences when you think about tradition, top teams, rivalries, etc, in the two major sports. And there is no way to fix it, as no school in the SEC, BIG, PAC or ACC is going to come to the Big12. There is more to those decisions than "$ per school", which at best gives only a point-in-time comparison.

For me, I would go all-in to get KU in the B1G. I'm not saying it's likely, but it would be far better for KU in the long-run than the Big12, academically, financially and for the fans. No we wouldn't win the Conference Championships 9 years in a row, but how cool would it be to play Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio State, Illinois every year, rather than freakin Baylor, TCU, WVU, Texas Tech (how boring).

And the irony is that I actually think that KU has some juice in this landscape. Hear me out. It's my understanding (correct me if wrong) that the GOR is only relavent if there IS a Big12 Conference. And that either 6 or 8 schools can vote to disband the conference. I believe there are 3 schools that control the Big12's fate. If Texas, OU and yes KU (any of the three) left the conference, the Big12 crumbles. It cannot exist with any of them out. Obviousely Texas and OU for football. And KU as critical for basketball and the overall brand of the conference.

If the B1G (and I think they're the likely conference to initiate this last battle to 4 supers) invited KU and we accepted... I think Texas and OU quickly conclude that the ship is sinking and they move quickly to get their own deals. My bet...

OU and OSU to SEC (really the best fit for them). WVU to ACC (combo with UConn, or Notre Dame goes football too). If Texas is smart, they go with KU to B1G. If Texas is dumb, they go to PAC with their little brother Texas Tech. KSU, ISU, Baylor, TCU can maybe get in PAC, but likely they're screwed in Mountain West.

Again, the conference is NOT viable if Texas, OU or KU bails. It would quickly disolve and GOR becomes irrelavent.

Not saying this is likely, but it is possible. And for me, I'd love for KU to get the hell out of this conference.

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LogicMan 1 year, 5 months ago

A couple of points:

The consensus is that near the end of the GOR all heck could break loose. So it is logical that the Big 12 work on extending the GOR for many more years. Maybe that's already going on not far behind the scenes?

Why not also start a Big 12 network? Let it show whatever it can get rights to, and divide the money along those lines. UT, OU, and KU wouldn't have to participate, but by creating "fourth tier rights" some of our sports, live and replays, could be on the new network.

I suspect KU is already working to strengthen its position in case bad things happen. Remaining in the AAU, expanding the stadium, adding sports, etc. to be more attractive to the B1G would be logical.

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jhox 1 year, 5 months ago

Speculation I've seen is that no school could afford to walk away from the GOR arrangement until it is down to at least 5 or so years. Not even Texas. This assumes nobody tries to break it with a legal challenge. (See my comments above in relation to third tier revenues and beyond...I think KU is actually a winner in the way that the conference splits revenues and would likely make out worse if we had a conference network. I could be wrong, but I don't believe so.)

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Robert Brown 1 year, 5 months ago

If maximizing media revenue is the objective, KU is doing just fine staying in the Big 12. I am sure that KU feels secure now that a GOR was signed. Let's face it, if the Big 10 was a real possibility, they would not have signed. OU and UT have the power in the conference, but even OU wasn't able to go it alone when it apparently tried to move to the Pac-12 on its own two years ago. They were apparently turned down so we almost have UT to thank for keeping the conference together.

I think I would be happy with the conference had MU stayed and we picked Louisville over TCU. That is still a much weaker conference than it was, but stronger than what we currently have. I look at the current conference and ask, "who is our rival?". It is clearly K-State. That game whether in football or basketball does not generate much buzz outside of Kansas.

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 5 months ago

Yep,....only rivalry games that will get national "buzz" if both teams are good is OU & UT in football and to a lesser degree OU & OSU in football.

KU & ISU MIGHT become something in basketball in these coming years - keep your eye on that one.

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DanHogan95 1 year, 5 months ago

One tweak: "The article claims that the talks were of a serious nature and that things may have heated up considerably had the ACC not locked up its members with the GOR."

I think the order is backwards. It's more like the schools that were looking decided not to and then agreed to sign the GoR. And that's why they didn't sign it until now.

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konzahawk 1 year, 5 months ago

I agree with what you say about Zenger. All signs point to him gearing us up for a B1G move. However, there is a part of me that is also concerned. Is Zenger actively looking at another conference and/or, at least, listening to what they have to say? Matt doesn't seem to think so in this article. My fear is that this conference blows up and we are left with our pants down wondering what the hell just happened.

If the B1G offers, can Zenger pull the trigger and leave the College behind? His job is to represent KU, but if we have an offer from another conference, will he be on board and risk relegating his alma mater to the Mountain West? For me, that scenario would be like Christmas, but for Zenger, I'm not sure how he would react.

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kay_you 1 year, 5 months ago

Conference realignment is over when Delaney says it's over.

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Terry N Tom Denner 1 year, 4 months ago

Keep your eyes on the horizon for the Big 10 to grab three schools ( Virgina, GeoTech & NC from the ACC. That will open the door for FSU & Clemson to join the Big 12 in 2014 !!!

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Randy Bombardier 1 year, 4 months ago

Yes, realignment is dead. No sense wasting anymore time on that one. I think the Big 12 still should look at expanding to 12. I have no problem with making this an all Texas conference by adding SMU and Houston. But I also have no problem staying at current membership for at least another 10 years or so.

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Robert Brown 1 year, 4 months ago

Actually if the other nine felt strongly about expansion they could override UT. They clearly did not feel like the right candidate was available to add strength to the league. I get the impression that the league is pretty much united when they say they are happy at ten schools.

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