Thursday, June 10, 2010


Next-best fit for KU? Big/Pac-20


Now that Nebraska has set the dominoes tumbling and the Big 12 is teetering on the brink of extinction, it’s time to consider what becomes the best-case scenario for Kansas University.

Of all the possibilities discussed lately, the one that looks most attractive for Kansas, should the Big 12 disappear, involves a 20-team league that merges the Pac-10 schools with 10 Big 12 institutions.

This scenario discussed at the recent Pac-10 meetings didn’t get as much play as the one wherein the conference raids six Big 12 teams, but it was discussed.

Since Nebraska has found a new home in the Big Ten, that leaves one school left to entertain itself.

Which member is left homeless?

Not Baylor. Politically, it’s easier for Texas, Texas A&M; and Texas Tech to bring along Baylor. Not Kansas State. You want KU’s perennial powerhouse basketball program to join the conference, welcome its in-state rival, too. Not Colorado. Geographically, it makes sense. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are in, too. Iowa State? The school never whined about Texas getting a bigger slice of the TV revenue pie. The loyal conference member deserves inclusion. Plus, the cheeseburger soup at Hickory Park in Ames can’t be replaced.

Four from Texas, two from Oklahoma, two from Kansas, one from Colorado and one from Iowa. That makes 10.

Missouri is left to fend for itself for having the gall to think it was attractive enough to scare the Big 12 by courting the Big Ten, a whiny move that infuriated the Texas schools.

Such a ground-breaking merger would allow for schedules weighted toward playing the vast majority of conference games against opponents that are closest geographically, thus minimizing travel expenses for the schools and time expenses for the student-athletes. The Pacific Division champion plays the Central Division champion in every sport, a small step toward a playoff system in football.

Nebraska’s impending departure will lead many to believe NU athletic director Tom Osborne turned his back on the conference that was such a big part of his life because he harbors ill will toward Texas for hogging the television revenues.

Not so fast.

One man in the know says Osborne was “lukewarm at best” about the move Nebraska is expected to announce as early as Friday. Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman, believing joining hands with so many prestigious universities would raise his school’s academic reputation and attract more research dollars, drove the move.

Even though Osborne didn’t turn his back on his Big 12 brethren, his athletic program must pay the price. Those Nebraska left behind should blackball the Cornhuskers, never again playing them or Missouri in any scheduled sporting event.

Barring an unexpected last-minute snag — Notre Dame stepping forward to join the Big Ten and blocking Nebraska before the ink dries on any contract — and supposing the Pac-10 and Big 12 form a 20-school merger, where would that leave Missouri?

Two words: Who cares?


Scott Bonnet 12 years, 2 months ago

Tom, welcome to KU and Lawrence. I never felt you belonged here, until now.

JayhawkLaw12 12 years, 2 months ago

Tom, until your article featuring Mark Allen, I never thought you belonged here either. That was a great article and I thought you made a great point. But after this article, I'm back to feeling like you've never belonged. In the first sentence you refer to us as "Kansas University." Are you serious? That's not a minor spelling error, that's not knowing the name of the team you report on the most. It's the University of Kansas (in case this sent you scrambling to to figure that out). That might be something you should know after writing about us ever since you got replaced on ESPN Radio by Stephen A. Smith.

And who cares about Missouri? Are you serious? Our biggest rival? The team that we get up for no matter the circumstance? The team whose fans still remind us that Missourians burned our town to the ground? The team whose fans we still remind that John Brown came into their state and beheaded Missourians? Arguably the rivalry with the most genuine (at the least, the most historically-rooted) hatred in the entire country? And you want us to never play them again? Just forget that rivalry exists? Of all of the articles you've written that made me think you shouldn't have a job, this article is the worst.

Joshua Hann 12 years, 2 months ago

Get over yourself. Yes, forget them because of exactly what he said. They turned there back thinking they were a prize to be stolen from the conference....let them flounder like a suffocating fish....history is history. It will still be there but no reason to give them money by joining in games that benefit them because they play one is making money playing Missouri. KU is the draw, not MU.

Joshua Hann 12 years, 2 months ago

"They were not going to stick by our rivalry so why should we honor it?" DoubleJ25 said it best below...

KUPearlJam 12 years, 2 months ago

OK, I get your point and i agree about MU...but if MU was in control(not saying KU is) but if they were they would jump ship and not think twice...if a BCS conf wanted them. That would make KU on the loosing end to how do I feel at this point....F!!!! MU.....they started alll this stuff and Y they thought their program was attractive enough to scare anyone around the big12 is a huge ?????....But anyways its kind of funny cuz all these MU fans have been screaming..KU is jealus and we r on the outs for the last 3 look at the situation...MU basicaly got "left at the alter".....So MU is now claiming big 12(which we all know that means kissing KU's ass) because KU with their bball history is gonna be %101 fine...we will land in BCS conf...MU now wants to ride the KU bball tradition. So I agree with the article F!!!! MU at this point.....

KUPearlJam 12 years, 2 months ago

Also..#1 would love to see the Big12 sstay in take and add maybe a Utah,Lousiville. But if that doesnt happen KU in the Pac 10 and starting a great rivarly with UCLA/Arizona is very attractive........I want KU to play the toughest schedule they can every year to be ready for the big tourney in March.

iluvdbskxjayhawks 12 years, 2 months ago

LOL. Everybody is so bitter. I think I am over it already. I am done fuming over the breakup of Big 12. This is the new future. We just have to hope for the best. Whatever happen happens.

Kent Wells 12 years, 2 months ago

So, where do you stabd on this matter???

Are you trying to tell us something KSA 21-3503?

Hank Cross 12 years, 2 months ago

The full-blown merger is one of the options that has gotten little play even though the P10 gave its commish the authority to so. It solves UT's Baylor problem assuming it has one and creates a cable network that would blow the BTN out of the water in terms of reach.

But, in all likelihood the KC market isn't worth the price of the KS schools, plus ISU. The B10 got what it wanted. The Pac10 and UT got what they wanted. And we get the MW with MU.

waywardJay 12 years, 2 months ago

I think the idea of a Super SUPER conference is idiotic, but I will say this....

As a recent critic, Great work.

More than likely become the newest WAC conference members with Boise, then it's whether the now defunct BCS bids should go to the pac-10 or to newly envigorated WAC....

I believe the latter, because the BCS will not award the winner of a 1 side of the a two sided conference a bid, when there has been so much press for inclusion from the Boise's, Utah's and the Fresno State's of the world.

1 sec champ, 1 big east champ, 1 big12 champ ( new big 12 ), 1 acc champ, 1 pac 16 champ, and finally 1 Wac champ.

Considering the recently successes of Kansas, Boise, Fresno, Utah of the " mid-majors " in football..... this WAC conference has the teeth for an auto-bid....

This realignment could be BIG news for us, because we are not far behidn the boise's of the world in recruiting, IMHO. These are teams I believe we can Compete with and Beat.

jro72887 12 years, 2 months ago

you are thinking of the Mountain West (MWC) Boise is in the WAC now... most likely the MWC will add ku kstate and boise (maybe more to 16) and hopefully this will get an AQ for BCS

John Brown 12 years, 2 months ago

New Mexico could be one option, esp now that CU has bolted.

Mark Wooden 12 years, 2 months ago

Actually, throw MU in there and have 3 divisions of seven. For FB the three division champs plus wildcard in a 2 week playoff and the winner gets the automatic bid to the 32 team playoff that will be created when the BCS becomes obsolete in 2 years.

Todd 12 years, 2 months ago

As much as I don't usually like Keegan and as absurd as this idea seems...why not? Get rid of nonconference games and treat it like baseball with interleague games. You play nine game against your division teams, two games against the opposite division teams and then you can have one cupcake game. I enjoy the rivalry with Missouri, but if we have to leave them in the dust to survive then so be it. They were not going to stick by our rivalry so why should we honor it?

lv_jhwk 12 years, 2 months ago

Even though I know that the Pac-10 is the preferrable option at this point, I'm enough of a realist to see that it doesn't look likely. So why not the Mountain West Conference? While the Mountain West would diminish the luster of the basketball program somewhat (and no, that's not acceptable), I'm not so sure that football wouldn't benefit.

The MWC stands at nine schools currently. Add in KU, plus K-State for the sake of the Board of Regents. I'm willing to bet that Boise State then gets the invite its waiting for, which gives the conference twelve teams.

The top football teams (TCU, Utah, Boise, BYU) have more than proven their worth over the past few years, so the league would have competitive credibility and be able to earn the BCS bid that the big 12 relinquishes. The rest of the teams would be teams KU would at the very least be even odds against. Wyoming, UNLV, SDSU, and UNM would be fodder, while Air Force and CSU (as well as KSU) would be a bit more even.

An easy geographic breakdown would yield East and West divisions, with KU being placed with KSU, TCU, AF, CSU, and Wyoming. On paper, that's one toughie, one patsie, and three toss-ups. Given the likelihood of one, maybe two easy games against the other division, plenty of opportunity for the program to find repeatable success. (Although if scheduling was done Big 12-style though, KU would likely get the shaft of having to play BYU, BSU, and Utah in the same seasons.)

Similar rationale can probably be applied to the non-rev sports as well. But again, doesn't do any good for the basketball team. Perhaps this is where an ND-style independence would actually be beneficial, although much more difficult in basketball. If nothing else, increase the number of marquee non-con games to keep recruits and fans happy.

JJHawq 12 years, 2 months ago

agree - I think KU is better off in a MW than Pac 16+

i really don't like to be critical of journalists - but I thought this column was pretty "out there" tom... this doesn't seem likely AT ALL - if it turns out I'm wrong - I'll admit it later.

I'm not inclined to EVER want to dissovle the KU - MU football rivalry. 100 years of tradition deserves some respect no matter how bitter you are... That's only fuel for the fire I say... We'll kick their asses no matter what conference they end up in...

Bill Skeet 12 years, 2 months ago

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the prescient 2010-11 basketball schedule that features UCLA, USC, CAL and ARIZONA. Maybe this is just a coincidence.. or maybe....

If this scenario plays out our schedule is designed to ease us into the new conference..

rockchalkblock 12 years, 2 months ago

GREAT IDEA! for a new scenario~ Wait for it... Wait for it... KU just becomes and independent and plays who ever it wants! Unrealistic since we rely on so much funding for research.. but come on if Notre Dame and do it why cant we!?

drgath 12 years, 2 months ago

KU to ND is a fair comparison. Rather... lol @ comparing basketball to football. (sadly)

aerohawk 12 years, 2 months ago

My first thought about why we can't do it is because CS thinks it is a non-starter (see the article about CS on CU leaving).

jayhawkarmy 12 years, 2 months ago

i think that no one wants ku in there confrence cause there scared of our basketball team we are the best and they dont want to lose every confrence title lol

gchawk 12 years, 2 months ago

That was dumb on my part, why did I stop with "their"? Equally dumb to post another time to an irrelevant post. Guess I'm just venting.

jhawkshocker 12 years, 2 months ago

Hey Notre Dame, the Big12 has an opening. I'm sure that's not going to happen, but, send them an invite anyway. Get even more aggressive and also invite TCU, LSU and Arkansas. That makes 15 schools.......invite 1 more, maybe Memphis or Houston, and become the Big16. Or better yet, get to 16 and then kick out Colorado and Missouri and become the Big14. I have read and read and read about what the Big12 has done for KU sports, and most of it is true, but no one ever discusses what KU basketball has done for the Big12. KU will be fine, whereever it lands. I don't see being a member of the Mountain West conference as a bad thing, there's lots of opportunity there, but maybe change the name of the conference.

ICTJAYHAWK61 12 years, 2 months ago

Too bad the MVC doesn't have football we could own that. Basketball I don't really know the valley repeatedly gets the best of us. Personally I'd love if we could go to the sec to beat on kensucky every year twice!! Or we could go ACC and play UNC and Duke twice, that's good bball there I don't care who u are!

Joel Hood 12 years, 2 months ago

MVC? Why would KU want to become Wichita State North? SEC? Why would KU want to lose 20 IQ points per student capita? ACC? That would be fun for men's hoops, but cost prohibitive when you consider the travel costs for all the non-revenue sports. Plus, I doubt they would want a 13-team conference.

Steve Brown 12 years, 2 months ago

prefer not to become Wichita State and Creighton or NOrthern Iowa, ..

NH_JHawk 12 years, 2 months ago

Like what? "raising more research dollars" or "improving the institution's academic reputation?"

Dont kid yourself. This is all about the money. Money is the only thing driving all of this.

ICTJAYHAWK61 12 years, 2 months ago

Your right KSA it's about money not sports we know thanks.

nckujayhawk 12 years, 2 months ago

You are correct KSA. There are academic implications too. And Yes, money is the main factor there too. When a university wins a championship, or simply has success, enrollment increases bringing more money to the University. This allows the university to expand and improve programs. That in turn bring more students who pay for tickets, buy shirts, graduate, and give money to both athletic and academic programs.

rastameta 12 years, 2 months ago

Wow, I am shocked that Keegan wrote that last sentence, but I like it!

Kent Wells 12 years, 2 months ago

Better close:

Four words: Who cares? Muck Fizzou!

NH_JHawk 12 years, 2 months ago

Good article, Tom. The only part that I have a very hard time believing is:

"Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman, believing joining hands with so many prestigious universities would raise his school’s academic reputation and attract more research dollars, drove the move."

Nebraska's move is about TV money and TV money only. If you believe what Harvey Perlman is quoted as saying then you are fooling yourself. My numbers may be off a bit, but the point is the same. The Big 12 distributed around $7M - $9M per year for each of it's members while the new Big 10 will be distributing up to $22M per member. So does the TV money qualify as "research money?"

1jhawk2 12 years, 2 months ago

Isn't there some research money rumor floating around that Big 10 schools are to get something near $100 million each over a period of time?

Mike Crosbie 12 years, 2 months ago

So far the only sure thing is that NU is leaving. MU has not gotten an official invite from the big 10, who is only looking to add 1 school. When the Big 8 became the Big XII they at the same time got the rights to the name Big 14...Why has the Big XII done nothing to expand to the Big 14 ??? There are many schools I'm sure that would love to make it happen....Tulsa, Wichita State, Colorado State, Misssouri State, and yeah, even Northern Iowa who I think has proven their ability to compete.....

Steve Brown 12 years, 2 months ago

TCU & Houston are big time in their communities and bring more TV $$$ that your list.

David Wanamaker 12 years, 2 months ago

"You want KU’s perennial powerhouse basketball program to join the conference, welcome its in-state rival, too."

This statement alone demonstrates that this whole episode has served to divorce your brain from reality. There's no question that K-State is an albatross tightly strangling KU. As if KU could actually dictate such a term to the Pac 10. I'm trying to imagine the volume of the raucous laughter coming from the offices of the presidents of USC and UCLA.

Ben Kane 12 years, 2 months ago

i'd rather go east than west. acc/big east/sec any would be better than going to the west.

minnhawk84 12 years, 2 months ago

Nebraska wanting to raise its prestige? Research dollars need a rich alumni base to raise---rich alumni who own big corporations, big law firms, strong businesses, charitable trusts and the like. When we look at the U of Minnesota up here, we see everyone from Dayton's to 3M to Cargill to Honeywell to Medtronic lining up to ante up. We also see a legislature which bought in to funding the UofM to be a major research institution......where does Nebraska have any of these money pots in the state? There are more people living in the twin cities than in the entire state of Nebraska (or Kansas), so where is the population base to fund Nebraska beyond chinstraps and weight rooms? Its like standing next to a rich guy is gonna make you rich, too.

My dad, the original Nebraska fan, is rolling in his grave over this Big 10(11) crap. And the Corn huskers will need 60 years to be accepted in the Big10(12). Go Nebraska, and take Misery with you......

Bob Zielinski 12 years, 2 months ago

FYI, Warren Buffett went to Nebraska and lives in Omaha. He is a fairly rich guy on an international scale (like top 5 rich guys in the world).

Also, some family from Omaha named Ricketts and owns Ameritrade and just bought the Chicago Cubs might have money.

dmg97102 12 years, 2 months ago

The Big 10 doesn't want to look like the villian in creating the 4, 16 team superconferences. Notre Dame is the apple of the Big 10's eye. They knew they weren't getting Notre Dame to commit before Friday's deadline set by the Big 12, so Nebraska was their next best get Notre Dame. This is all speculation, and I'm grasping at straws to try to find a reason to save KU from joining a mid-major, I'll admit that, but I don't think it would be any less true. They plucked Nebraska, and I think they're done for now. But this sets off a domino effect as follows:

  1. Without Nebraska, the Pac 10 takes 6 teams from the Big 12.
  2. Seeing this, the Big 10 needs to keep up in the arms race and starts the raid on the Big East--maybe Pitt and Rutgers.
  3. Sensing the change in the conference landscape, the SEC and ACC divide up the rest of the Big East, leaving no where for Notre Dame's non-revenue sports to play.
  4. Notre Dame has no choice but to join a conference, and the most logical choice is the Big 10.

Basically, I think the Big 10 is playing everyone in this to get Notre Dame. At the same time, they're trying to villify the Pac 10 and Texas into causing the superconferences (which is also something they want). They could have easily increased their revenue more by adding Missouri with the St. Louis and Kansas City markets more than adding Nebraska (population differences close to 6 million), but they wanted the domino effect to get Notre Dame, and they'll probably get Missouri in the end (to get to 16 teams--adding Nebraska, Pitt, Rutgers, ND, MU). Taking Missouri first also would have kept the Big 12 intact. They'll claim they only added a 12th team (Nebraska) to get a conference championship, but in reality, they are trying to force UT's hand into leaving the Big 12, and Notre Dame's hand into joinging the Big 10.

shimjhawk2002 12 years, 2 months ago

You know if you think about it this may be pretty much true. Let's keep in mind that the Big 10 is very arrogant and Notre Dame seems to be the big prize. At the same time, they don't want to be blamed for causing 4 major super conferences, so why not take a small fish now (Nebraska) knowing that this will cause the implosion of the Big XII. Maybe it will all backfire, but if the 6 schools leave to the Pac 10 I would look for the Big 10 to go grab a couple of Big East schools, thus forcing Notre Dame's hand more. Especially since Delaney said that they may approach expansion again and again. Seems like this is just their first play in their grand scheme.

David Friend 12 years, 2 months ago

This is just a terrible article. Not even speculation and if it is an opinion it wastes everyones time.. Here are some facts. KU is tied to K-State. The Pact 10/16 has no interest in K-State. The big 10 for now has no interest in KU because of K State. Here are the only scenarios.. The Big East swoops in for KU-KSTATE and Iowa State. Not bad for KU as it is a BCS conference with incredibly great bball. The Big east would basically have two if not three divisions including a midwest conference.. I heard rumblings that Miami may bold from the ACC. It is Possible that ACC adds KU and believe it or not Mizzou but the problem again is ACC does not want K-State. The last scenario is the mountain West.. What is scary is how little attention the LJW is giving this story.. Right now IT IS the Only story. This will effect KU BBALL for along time and if KU ends up in a minor conference HCBS will bolt (OKIE ST is going to the PAC 10/16)

Steve Brown 12 years, 2 months ago

who will coach Michigan State when Izzo takes Cavs job?

FLJHK 12 years, 2 months ago

If indeed the Big 12 fully implodes, I still retain some glimmer of hope that Kansas could still get a Big 10 invite, unlikely as that seems. It is the best fit for us geographiclly, historically and institutionally.

One thing I fail to understand however, is if the Pac 10 raids the mentioned 6 from the Big 12, why would they not include Kansas rather that Texas Tech. I understand there is some political rationale in Texas for including Tech, but UT appears ready to throw Baylor under the bus, so what's the deal with Tech?

On every measurable dimension - academic integrity, athletic tradition, market share (they already get the Texas market with UT and A&M; Lubbock and West Texas hardly compares to KC), Kansas is a clearly superior choice to Tech.

Remember the old adage: St. Louis is the last city of the East, Kansas City the first city of the West.

ku_foaf 12 years, 2 months ago

Remember, it is about football and nothing else. Bucks from competitive teams making good games and increasing the conference's football prestige.

A lot of people in the PAC10 do not want OSU and Tech, and not only because they aren't AAU members. "Okie" is still an insult in California! Someone tried to sue a lady from OK who lived in LA and had a restaurant called "Okie Girl" because it was an offensive name! Stupid, but it shows the mentality.

Steve Corder 12 years, 2 months ago

Tech is a state school. The tie is similar to KU-KSU. Politics drive the two situations at the state level.

anonyname 12 years, 2 months ago

Your answer: $. The Pac wants Texas. UT is a part of a package deal with the other big state schools (similar to KU/K-State). Texas brings big money and more eyeballs, with the marquee UT making the other two palatable. One on one, KU would be better in the Pac than Tech or A&M...but that's not how it works. Draw of 3 Texas schools > draw of 2 Kansas schools.

ku_foaf 12 years, 2 months ago

Everyone on talk radio in Houston says a call from the SEC to Texas will kill the PAC10 deal quickly ...

1jhawk2 12 years, 2 months ago

If this is the case, then KU/KSU/Colorado to Pac 10 along with TCU? I picked a 4th school for fun

anonyname 12 years, 2 months ago

...and everyone online claiming to report anything using well-placed university sources says nothing about that, other than UT and A&M meeting to make sure they're doing the same thing. Many reports have UT leaving to the Pac.

Ryan Gerstner 12 years, 2 months ago

Why does this guy have a job? He writes the dumbest stuff. You can open up the Oklahoma City paper, the Omaha paper, the Lincoln paper, and get some thought provoking realignment articles about what's going on and then you get drivel like this. Is there seriously not a KU grad out there that can write better than this? He must have his head buried in the ground and if he doesn't have a better idea what's driving this realignment than writing this crap.

justanotherfan 12 years, 2 months ago

Iowa State is the school that will most likely get left out if anything drastic happens.

Keegan has been writing out of spite, anger and frustration for weeks now, and it has shown up in just about every piece.

In a fight for TV revenue Missouri tops Iowa State. Academics? Missouri. Athletics? Missouri. No way the Pac-10 or anyone else takes Iowa State over Missouri. Have you heard a single conference talking about trying to cherry pick ISU? No. Will you? Doubtful.

Iowa State is the Big XII's weakest overall member. If things really go crazy, I wouldn't be surprised to see them tumble into the Missouri Valley.

Joel Hood 12 years, 2 months ago

ISU may currently appear to have the weakest football/basketball package, but they have a huge alumni base and are members of the AAU. If I were a conference wanting to pick-up a former B12 school, I'd pick ISU over KSU any day of the week.

But what really stinks is that in any reallignment bid, I bet the KS BOR will require KU and KSU to remain in the same conference. Sort of like taking your little brother to the amusement park - you want to ride the roller coaster, but mom won't let you because little brother is too short. Now you are forced to either ride the bumper cars or ponies as your peers go screaming down the first drop with their hands in the air.

Clarence Haynes 12 years, 2 months ago

I believe that ISU has a higher academic rating than MU

lawrence_is_my_middle_name 12 years, 2 months ago

I like the sound of a 20-team league. But I would really, really love to see KU in the ACC.

jchief40 12 years, 2 months ago

Let's just get THAT possibility out of our heads. The travel costs would make this scenario an easy tosser.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 2 months ago

How would the travel costs be different going to the West coast as opposed to the East coast?

aerohawk 12 years, 2 months ago

If we got an invite to the PAC# with the other parts of the conference we would just play in the division previously known as the BIG12 with the same travel cost as right now.

Jeff Coffman 12 years, 2 months ago

You know if conferences are going to go to 16 teams, I'm sure the ACC is looking for about 4 schools. could you imagine Duke, UNC, KU in the same conference.

Also, the SEC might be as well. So we still lose a lot in football, we would own the basketball program...don't forget Kentucky will be on probation in a couple of years and will have to forfeit all of its wins while Calipari has been there.

whats_going_on 12 years, 2 months ago

no no no no no no no, hate UNC, hate Duke, please, for the love of god, no.

1jhawk2 12 years, 2 months ago

Regarding the Mountain West and diminishing our basketball tradition is a little far fetched. What team has been consistently good in the Big 12 anyway. Besides KU, Texas gets a lot of hype with 1 final four, OU has been good 4-5 years out of 15, OSU a couple, ISU a couple (10 years ago), MU 1-2 years and can't fail to mention KSU's last 3 years. Sure these schools finish somewhere in the top 7, but someone has to. My point is KU has dominated the Big 12 which has been considered a top basketball conference, we should do the same in the Mountain West. Teams like BYU are good, New Mexico, UNLV, Utah and TCU. These aren't the big names of Texas, OU, OSU, but still good competition. Besides, Memphis was always rated high when Calipari was in a weak conference.

Football wise, Mountain West would be awesome. We would be able to go against some fun to watch teams such as TCU, Utah, BYU, I'd have no problem traveling to watch UNLV and check on my craps tables. Bring on Boise St and or Fresno St. add KU and KSU. That would make 12/13 schools. That would be a very reputable conference in all sports except rowing maybe. Every conference has it's dogs, but what can you do.

Yes a Big 20 sounds great, but at what point does it become to much? 20 teams is a lot and money would be spread pretty thin. KU basketball can remain on top with high profile out of conference games like Memphis a few years back. Football would be part of some stiff competition who have been making runs at BCS games and done well. Before all of this conference reallignment talk happened, I think most of you would agree that TCU and Utah would give the big dogs, Texas, USC, Ohio State and Penn State a hell of a game on any given day.

Could be a fun conference and make many trips to Vegas to bet on our Hawks.

Karen Mansfield-Stewart 12 years, 2 months ago

The more I think about it, the less I'm against the Mountain West conference; assuming they pick up the Big 12's bcs bid.

aerohawk 12 years, 2 months ago

I would tentatively agree, but only because I live in MW territory and would like to see KU close to home.

David Lara 12 years, 2 months ago

Same here. At least it doesn't hamstring us until a better arrangement/alignment can be made.

JJHawq 12 years, 2 months ago

funny that i came to this conlclusion that I LIKE the MW while arguing the subject over texts w/ my brother last night....

kcglowboy 12 years, 2 months ago

Great column, Tom ... until the petty conclusion. Enough (EVERYBODY) with the bashing. Our rivalries with Missouri and K-State have been good KU. Shoot, there have been seasons (especially in football) where those were the only games that mattered. Tom, instead of egging on all the loud-mouthed, obnoxious "haters" out there, keep the focus on the issues at hand: namely, the immoral, unscrupulous greed across three conferences that is about to drive a stake through the heart of college athletics.

KU08 12 years, 2 months ago

Agreed. If it came down to it, I'd love to have KU use its influence to get Mizzou and KSU in a BCS conference with us. Historic rivalries mean something. Plus, we'd really own them.

FreddyinLA 12 years, 2 months ago

Texas runs the Big 12. Why would they want to be an outsider in the Pac-10? Keep the Big-12 together and add schools that are the best fit as idiots like Nebraska and Missouri leave.

anonyname 12 years, 2 months ago

Answer: $. The share Texas would receive from a new TV contract within a Big 12-or-so, especially if it's less than 12 and thus has no championship game, is way less than what Texas could get from being part of a Pac-16, with what a championship and a TV network could bring in. From day one, they'll be in the top three or four teams in football, basketball, and probably a number of other sports, anyway.

Ron Prichard 12 years, 2 months ago

However, the Pac 10 will not let Texas have its own TV network. The Big XII will let that happen.

James Findley 12 years, 2 months ago

I agree!! Blackball these SOBs. If they leave I will never ever support anything that has to do with Nebraska or those idiots in Columbia!! To hell with them all!!

selfishhawk 12 years, 2 months ago

It seems that everyone here, including Tom, is still delusional and bitter. KU had better start thinking for itself and quit worrying about teams that aren't loyal or are now a part of the past. Don't want to play NU or MU ever? Fine. But we have to leave K-State behind and get to work on finding a new home - a home that is better than the pathetic Mountain West. If Lew could speak frankly and openly (without the bother of the K-State step child) to Big 10 Commish Delaney, we might have a chance to join the Big 10. Instead, everyone in Kansas seems intent on worrying about what everyone else is doing.

DutchMo 12 years, 2 months ago

I think the Big 12 should just invite the Pac Ten schools to join the Big 12 and not wait for them to steal our teams. it makes more sense to me to have them travelling here instead of vica versa.

Ron Prichard 12 years, 2 months ago

Umm...don't we play home one year and away the next? That's kind of how league games work.

TrueBlue92 12 years, 2 months ago

Folks, folks, folks, hang in there.

What team has BOTH a Hoops National Championship and a WIN in a BCS Bowl in the past 5 years? 10 years? 100 years?

And I still think we are either the only (or one of two, perhaps three) school to make a Bowl Game, a Final Four, and the College World Series in the same year (1993) in the history of the planet.

Just because we're not the 12th team in the Big 10 does not mean we won't be the 16th later. Or the 15th in the SEC.

The last thing we need right now is to chase the first carrot we see. Lew knows what he needs to do. Let the man do his job and ignore the KC media hype. All they ever want to do is tick you off. Turn them off and just relax. We are not the ugly stepchild here.

Ron Prichard 12 years, 2 months ago

Unfortunately, when it comes to generating TV viewership, which is what this is about, we are an ugly stepchild. Do you think the Big 10/11 really cares that we won a BCS game in football? What was the national audience for that game? How many TV's can we bring to the negotiating table?

The obvious, and only, comeback for this is that the Big 10 took Nebraska. However, there is more to that than meets the eye. I still say the Big 10 is leveraging everything to try to get ND to join. Nebraska is a means to an end for them.

TrueBlue92 12 years, 2 months ago

Do you remember the Orange Bowl PICKED US over a team with a better record? Don't you wonder why?

I think we have better national brand than the local media will give us credit for. I am not going to panic because we are going to land on our feet.

Once everyone has improved their football viewership, why not add a national-eyes basketball team to improve the TV deal in that department as well?

KCHawk81 12 years, 2 months ago

Agreed--although, technically speaking, we were 11-1 and they were 11-2. Oh sure, they had to play the conference championship game, and we didn't. Winning percentage is winning percentage.

anonyname 12 years, 2 months ago

Unless you can add another 10-15 million people to the state's population really quickly, it doesn't matter. It's all about the money. I don't like it, but that's how it is. That's why KU is going to get lost in the shuffle, regardless of the strength of its athletics and academics.

TrueBlue92 12 years, 2 months ago

You're thinking of KU in terms of a prime mover. We're not that.

But we are the best PLUS in the nation once the prime movers settle.

We will be fine.

Steve Brown 12 years, 2 months ago

Lew's up to his arse in gators but this is where his skill set should shine.

aerohawk 12 years, 2 months ago

Well, Florida won the BBall Championship in 2006 and 2007 and BCS National Championship in 2007 and 2009.

Martin Shupert 12 years, 2 months ago

I'm hoping Missouri is left out in the cold. Greedy idiots deserve to be shown the door with the hope it hits them in the rear end. I do not have enough facts to know what, besides money, sports, research affiliations, political considerations, etc. drives these moves. All I know is, it seems to me that 16 are way too many in a conference. You can't play everyone every year in football. You can't play everyone home and away in basketball. It always ends up being unfair. The titles are too few and too far between for most schools. It makes no logistical sense. Since all the obvious reasons point to keeping conferences small enough to keep fan interest high, there are obviously hidden reasons (an oxymoron wrapped in an inigma, huh?). Ironic, also, is the fact that MU might be left out in the cold alone... since we all know that "Missouri loves company." It would be great to read about the real reasons for these moves.

Ron Prichard 12 years, 2 months ago

I have bashed Keegan again and again recently but I'm not going to do that here. I think this is actually a decent article. I think it is interesting that most people are glossing over one of the more interesting paragraphs:

"This scenario discussed at the recent Pac-10 meetings didn’t get as much play as the one wherein the conference raids six Big 12 teams, but it was discussed."

This is the first I have heard of this and if it is true, I like the sound of it. It would essentially be a partnership between the two leagues (west division and central division) but could really hold some promise. The television revenues could be off the charts and it would allow for traditional powers to keep their rivalries and keep most of the Big XII intact.

Through all of this talk of six teams going to the Pac 10, I just don't see the upside for Texas. They have far and away the largest athletic budget in the country, they can have their own television network in the Big XII, geographically it is the best fit/most economical, and with a little expansion/realignment of its own, the Big XII could thrive.

For example, with Neb. leaving and Colorado probably on the way out, add two schools in the south and move OU and OSU to the Big XII north. That ensures competitive balance between the north and the south, possibly expands our viewing area depending on who is brought in, and Texas gets to maintain its status as the biggest fish in the pond with the most control, which they clearly want.

I may be blind here, but someone please explain to me what incentive Texas has for joining the Pac 10.

anonyname 12 years, 2 months ago

The scenario was indeed discussed. However, nothing anybody has said or reported since, from current Pac schools, potential future Pac schools, or from Pac league personnel, has said anything to show that there's been any movement or plan for movement for anything larger than a 16-team conference.

KCHawk81 12 years, 2 months ago

I can't think of a single reason they would want to leave.

And I have to admit I know very little about TV deals, but it doesn't seem like the PAC 10 would be drastically increasing its market-share by adding Texas schools. I know I watch a lot of PAC 10 games already because they're the only games on at 11pm. Am I the only one? Or are they thinking the East-Coasters are going to stay up past midnight for some Longhorn football?

mr_jhawk4477 12 years, 2 months ago

I think the Dallas and Houston markets alone would be enough of an increase in revenue to make it viable.

KCHawk81 12 years, 2 months ago

No, I get that--my point is that a lot of PAC 10 games are already televised nationally, and I would think a lot of Houstonites and Dallas-dwellers already watch them because there aren't any other games on late. So the "addition" may not be AS big as it might appear.

Steve Brown 12 years, 2 months ago

For example, with Neb. leaving and Colorado probably on the way out, add two schools in the south and move OU and OSU to the Big XII north. That ensures competitive balance between the north and the south, possibly expands our viewing area depending on who is brought in,

TCU & Houston, over Rice, SMU, or UTEP, as they solidify DFW and Houston markets for TV. then move Oklahoma schools back to north. Oklahoma & Texas play in Big 12 final game in Jerry Jones stadium 80% of time for conf. title and it becomes a play in game for national championship. and that is more important to them than all the money in calif.

You got a fine league with a better TV contract.

Steve Corder 12 years, 2 months ago

"Dysfunctional Big 12 dies" is a lead in the Oklahoma paper. If regional differences helped to make the B12 dysfunctional how will a Pac10/B6 merger suddenly make regional differences, jealousies & envies disappear?

UT is the key to a super conference. If they hold their cards close-to-the-vest and withold the expected merger to the Pac10 then the scramble starts in ernest to ADD schools. If cool heads prevail don't be surprised in a UT led super BIG12(16,20) conference with UT able to command a new TV deal with comparable $$$ to ANY conference and UT calling ALL the shots without having to share power with the west coast schools. Now is the time for UT to be the conference King-maker without sharing the throne or "moving" (I hate to move!). Does the UT athletic director have the vision or is he a "scrambling quarterback"?

TrueBlue92 12 years, 2 months ago

There has to be an Arkansas fan or knowledgeable person out there -- why did they leave the old Southwest Conference? Why was the Big 8 rolling prairie schools able to raid the Southwest Conference? Does the "Texas-focused" infrastructure kill every conference they are involved in?

Steve Brown 12 years, 2 months ago

Arkansas was Rice, Baylor, SMU, Tech and part of Longhorn hairem until a nice guy SEC came along with new shiney convertible and he wasn't an abuser but an affirmer. You could remain a TExas lap dawg or join a table of equals with LSU, Auburn, Alabama Tennessee Ole Miss.

oldrocker 12 years, 2 months ago

"Two words: Who cares?"

I love it! No matter what you think of Keegan, you have to love his attitude toward Mizzery!

mr_jhawk4477 12 years, 2 months ago

Word from is that Colorado has recieved the invite from the PAC 10 and will accept it. It also mentioned that the 3 Texas schools that have been mentioned (UT, A&M, Tech) have decided to include Baylor with them as a packaged deal. This would ruin the supposed addition of 6 teams because the 4 Texas schools and 2 Oklahoma schools will not split up. So either the Pac 10 will have to add additional teams to become the PAC 20 or PAC 18 or whatever it may be, OR the Big XII adds 2 members and moves on. Or there is always the potential of some other crazy scenario, something ridiculous seems to come out of this every day.

shimjhawk2002 12 years, 2 months ago

i don't know that the 4 texas schools are a package deal yet. word is they are all meeting together but not so sure that means they are all still on the same page. Hopefully they are a package deal because that would improve our situation immensely.

TrueBlue92 12 years, 2 months ago

Lets add six (with NU and CU gone): Houston, TCU, New Mexico, Louisville, UAB, Air Force, and Colorado State.

South: Texas, A&M, Tech, Baylor, TCU, Houston, New Mexico, Air Force Air Force vs. A&M every year

North: Kansas, K Satan, Misery, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Okie state, Louisville, UAB The old Big 8 with a couple of "compatible" teams which make natural rivalries farther east and south.

And Texas and Oklahoma can play on opposite sides of the Big 12 Championship every year. Or swap TCU/Air Force for the oklahoma schools and Texas can still keep their state fair game.

With 16 teams, you could play just one out-of-conference patsy to start each year. And for basketball you just play home and away with everyone for 30 games a year.

Problem Solved!!

Matthew Pyle 12 years, 2 months ago

Lew better get busy. If KU moves to a mid-major it is on him and the rest of the administrators. This cannot happen.....

Joel Hood 12 years, 2 months ago

No way KU joins a mid major. There are too many athletic & academic reasons to allow this to happen. This is not just Perkins issue, it also goes to Dr. Gray-Little.

Dustin Engelken 12 years, 2 months ago

So, if Nebraska is the first step in the Big 10's super expansion, and not a one-time addition, it's logical to think this is where KU ends up. Think about it:

KU, KSU, ND and Mizzery join Nebraska in making the Big 10 the Big 16 and all of a sudden you have a super conference covering the entire Midwest. With the addition of KU, KSU and Mizzery the Big 16 could cover the entire KS/MO markets including KC and St. Louis, add a perennial basketball power, all while maintaining the oldest rivalry west of the Mississippi. ND is obviously the crown jewel of this scenario, but if Nebraska was a first step and not the end goal, then I don't know why this wouldn't make sense? It seems this expansion would offer a lot in the way of tv markets and prestige..

shimjhawk2002 12 years, 2 months ago

I like the theory but only two problems. First, I think the Big 10 wants the New York City market, and that involves raided Rutgers, which leads me to my 2nd point. I don't think Notre Dame has any incentive to leave the Big East/Independent unless the Big East implodes/gets raided.

shimjhawk2002 12 years, 2 months ago

I like the theory but only two problems. First, I think the Big 10 wants the New York City market, and that involves raided Rutgers, which leads me to my 2nd point. I don't think Notre Dame has any incentive to leave the Big East/Independent unless the Big East implodes/gets raided.

Dustin Engelken 12 years, 2 months ago

The problem is this: Nobody in NYC give two s****s about Rutgers. It would add some households in northern NJ, but we have no other D1 schools with football and basketball so it offers only a limited expansion opportunity.

I agree ND doesn't have much incentive, but wait for the dominoes to start falling with the ACC/SEC/Big East tripping all over themselves to steal each others members. If the Pac 10 expands to 16, its only a matter of time before the other conferences consolidate. You could also potentially see a Cincinatti or Pitt leave the Big East, taking ND's place and keeping the geographical continuance of the new Big 16.

Joel Hood 12 years, 2 months ago

KSU cannot join the Big 10 - they are not AAU members. KU, MU, & ND are.

KCHawk81 12 years, 2 months ago

ND is not. But a promise of an AAU invitation might be enough incentive for them to swallow their pride and join the Big 10.

Joel Hood 12 years, 2 months ago

I stand corrected. But, ND academic standards are an issue with the B10. It will stink if the KS BOR refuses to let KU join a new conference without KSU.

Joel Hood 12 years, 2 months ago

clarification ND academic standards are NOT an issue with the B10 (neither are the football $$ they would bring in)

JTAnderson 12 years, 2 months ago

Jayhawks! Fellow Jayhawks, we need to re-adopt our "1941 Jayhawk Mascot" and start getting mean, but cordial. Landing in a major conference is critical! Or else, KU loses all future relevance. I believe the Big 10 to be our best fit. We are worthy of a Big 10 invite and KU needs to lobby for an invite! (Big 10 bloggers overwhelming believe KU is not even remotely worthy). One of the reason I chose KU (coming from Chicago) over Penn State is Lawrence. KU needs to market itself stronger. Of course I have to problem with an invite to a PAC 20 or the SEC, KU needs to be in major conference, I reiterate! With or without K-State! No disrespect, but KU's fate cannot be tied to KSU. Rivalry hatred exists with Missouri, anyway. Time for KU to put on our serious face and get to work landing KU in a conference home we can take pride in!

whats_going_on 12 years, 2 months ago

I'm actually starting to think...who cares anymore...I suppose college should be about college, not sports. Who cares if we don't have a major conference, I'd rather not be in one anyway...too many politics and too worried about money. Nothing wrong with a school with proud fans that isn't ruled by how much everyone is getting paid.


NE4KU 12 years, 2 months ago

Living in Lincoln, NE and having to suffer this discussion endlessly in the news and around the water cooler, it is all about money. And NU is so entirely bitter at Texas, they can hardly stand themselves. So they find an "easy" way out. Instead of trying to improve its ability to actually beat Texas, as in recruiting talent and beat them head to head, they have to run for greener pastures. Thanks a lot Osborne and Pearlman.

I'm REALLY going to miss the opportunity to watch KU in Lincoln. Love reading these what if scenarios - let's hope for wise choices and a great path wherever KU ends up.


Steve Brown 12 years, 2 months ago

we'll be the central michigan and still play in Lincoln, albeit August not NOvember. We need the $$$$ and Tom will help Turner.

rawkhawk 12 years, 2 months ago

Nice article, Keegan. I have a sense that this will all work out with KU in a major conference (some form of the Big 12, PAC-10, or Big opposed to the Mtn. West). I could also see this all coming to closure by Notre Dame joining the Big 10. Despite the recent controversies, I also find myself rooting for Lew in the current situation. KU needs some leadership...

Steve Brown 12 years, 2 months ago

What we know Nebraska Colorado are gone.

What we suspect, Texas can't bring the univited (baylor) to the Pac 10 wedding. Of course Texas wants Baylor they then get two votes for future Pac 10 issues, like where to hold title games. Colorado was grand move on Pac 10 part. Is Jerry JOnes a Baylor Bear, I think not, Arkansas alumni, but not sure. His new stadium plays a part in any future playoff site.

If only Nebraska Colorado and Texas leave, in some ways the Big 12 will be better, more competitive and add TCU & Houston and another. Redraw the north south lines.

If 6+ teams leave, then turn out the lights.

Kenny George 12 years, 2 months ago

Assuming the Big 12 South goes to Pac 10 then the quickest best fix is to align the remaining Big 12 schools with the Big East.

Big East only has 8 football schools but has 16 basketball schools.

We add KU, KSU, MU and ISU to the football mix for a 12 team football conference and add those schools to the mix for a 20 team Super Basketball Conference which would dominate college basketball!!!

Big East Football currently= Cincy, UConn, Louisville, Pitt., Rutgers, South Fla, Syracuse and West Va.

Basketball= (Football Schools) + Depaul, GTown, Marquette, Providence, St. Johns, Seaton Hall and Villanova.

There are enough households with all of those schools to warrant a good TV package!

shimjhawk2002 12 years, 2 months ago

From Chip Brown,

"Also on Thursday, Texas and Texas A&M were meeting alone together in the morning, according to sources, before also having a meeting in the afternoon with Texas Tech and Baylor officials.

If Texas and Texas A&M are on the same page in their meeting about going to the Pac-10, then the second meeting - with Texas Tech and Baylor - could be the courtesy notifation to BU officials that the other Texas schools in the Big 12 South are moving on."

He's been spot on with all of his reporting so it appears that if not today, soon the Pac 16 is a reality.

Mike Gammill 12 years, 2 months ago

Ready for the next bombshell?

If KU isn't picked up by a BCS conference, you can look for Self to bolt. He's not going to be part of a lesser conference that only receives at large NCAA bids, or only is represented by their tournament winner. He can't beat mid-majors, but he is a big-time coach on the national stage. Minus the major conference top hat, basketball recruiting will also dry up. A once proud program could be driven into the dust by the dismantling of the Big 12. That would be extremely hard to watch.

And, for those of you who think that KU is big enough to dictate terms and ram their way into a conference, need to guess again. Traditionally weak football programs just don't get that option.

Nobody cares about KU, KSU, or ISU. All of them may go MWC, maybe MVC, or C-USA. The days of KU being part of a major conference could be history.

It appears Colorado has joined the Pac 10, just saw it on the news. Nebraska set for the Big 10. Two dominoes down, just wait 'til tomorrow afternoon.

Just my opinion...

Bill Skeet 12 years, 2 months ago

Two clarifications: 1) the next bombshell is that Lew is retiring, 2) Self beat mid-majors at Tulsa... not to mention the vast number of notches in the belt at Illinois and Kansas. Not sure what you could possibly mean unless you are letting three highly-visible losses (bradley, bucknell, northern iowa) cloud an otherwise amazing resume. His winning percentage -- and KU's -- during the past six years is unbelievable.

News events of today are a bummer, but keep perspective on the fact that this is The Winningest Basketball Program in the past 20+ years and that Self is a significant contributor to that.

jhokfan 12 years, 2 months ago

Money is the only thing the power brokers are listening to so sure, why not. Nobody seems to be paying attention to geography or logisitics.

jhokfan 12 years, 2 months ago


I'll take the Pac 10 over the Big 10 anyday.

barackchalkjhawk 12 years, 2 months ago

Big 12 is most likely done. Bring on the new Big 8! - KU, K-State, MU, Iowa St, TCU, Memphis, Houston, Utah. Bill Hancock, head of the BCS, lives in KC and has a lot vested in the community, so maybe we could work this into a BCS conference. Yeah I know, crazy talk, but I feel like a bird covered in oil right now.

Oh and Lew, in case you haven't noticed our conference is going up in flames so it might be time to ditch the "Big XII is the best place for us" speech and get us into a BCS tomorrow afternoon would be good, thanks.

letourneau41 12 years, 2 months ago

Agreed, Lew has done very little for us during all of this. He should be out there contacting another BCS conference as a backup plan. Clearly the B12 is done for now that Colorado is gone.

Ron Prichard 12 years, 2 months ago

If you seriously think Lew hasn't been talking to every school and every conference about every possible scenario for KU you're nuts.

barackchalkjhawk 12 years, 2 months ago

I think you are putting too much faith in Lew. I don't think he has that much credibility these days.

letourneau41 12 years, 2 months ago

Yes your exactly right, he just put in his plans to resign. Your right he's doing great things for us. Looks like he's getting off of a sinking ship instead of helping us out.

Layne Pierce 12 years, 2 months ago

The most brilliant thing said here so far, is KU must be in a BCS conference, or we will digress. HCBS leaves. Turner Gill, leaves soon. If we need to ditch KSU to get in, then so be it. It's every school for itself in the F$$$$$$ athletic world we are living in.

The MVAA Missouri Valley Athletic Association 1907, split into the Missouri Valley and Big 6 in the 1920s. Colorado and Oklahoma St made it the Big 8, then the Big 12 in the 1990s.

This is nothing new, it happens, but we have to make some lemonade quick.

Ozarkace68 12 years, 2 months ago

What are the facts? So far CU is gone. So academic integrity is not in the forefront of the PAC 10's expansion plans.
The number two dude in the PAC 10 head office was the Number one dude in the Big XII office just a few short years ago. Kevin Weiberg is a KSU grad and brought a lot of institutional and conference knowledge to the table on the Left Coast. A Seattle paper suggested his hiring was specifically motivated with an eye to future expansion. I wonder what conference they would be looking to for that expansion? So this is no longer a crap shoot, it is a game of roulette. Still absent in all of this is the intervention of any governance or legislative presence. And, as was stated in Keegan's interview with Mark Allen a few days ago, what about the students, athletes, alums, and fans.
There is a word for what is going on now but rather than risk having my post deleted, make up your own.
In fact why don't we quite preaching to the choir altogether and email our friends and neighbors at our friendly rival institutions and our legislators and Boards of Regents and express our disgust to them.
If someone doesn't so something pro-active (I hate that word) we will have a collegiate conference that looks like an NFL division. It is time for the powers that be in Oklahoma and Texas to put on their big boy pants, draw a line in the sand and assume the leadership role they pretend they have and bring some order out of chaos by having some meaningful discussions with the remaining 10? schools and expanding back to 12 and going on the offensive. I believe Nebraska and Colorado have had their turn at being offensive long enough. Wipe the egg of MU's face and bring them along too.

Kenny George 12 years, 2 months ago

To add to my previous comment:

The football alignment for the Big East/Big 12 leftovers

West Division- KU, KSU, MU, ISU, Cincy, Louisville

East Division- UConn, Pitt, Rutgers, S. Florida, Syracuse, W. Va.

20 team basketball arrangement would be more difficult but doable!

This arrangement would need to happen fast before the Big 10 cherry picks Rutgers or Syracuse.

Ozarkace68 12 years, 2 months ago

OK. Keeps our two major rivalries in place and adds some interesting games in basketball and football down the road. At this time I think an open mind is essential to sanity,

Besides, Lew knows the Big East. The PAC 10 has been deteriorating across the board for the past several years and why the Texas and Oklahoma schools would come to their rescue by opening up their recruiting pool and media markets to them escapes me. Especially after today's USC spanking by the NCAA with more likely to come.

I have faith in Coach Self and Gill that their allegiance to KU is above the idiocy of the rats deserting the ship. As long as they have tradition and a conference to sell all is well on Oread.

As an alternative I would dare the BCS to turn its back on an expanded Mountain West and avoid the almost sure to follow anti-trust intervention. I don't think it would want the scrutiny.

Eric Meyer 12 years, 2 months ago

Yes, it's about money for athletics. But that's not the whole story. It's also about academics and the overall reputation of the universities involved. It means something to say you're a Big 10 university that goes beyond athletics.

The big thing academically is membership in the invitation-only American Association of Universities, the top 63 academic research institutions in the U.S. and Canada. All 11 current Big 10 members belong. So does about half of the Big 12, including Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska but not K-State. Notre Dame, interestingly enough, is NOT a member.

Here, by current conference, are the only schools in the country outside the Big 10 that belong to the AAU and have significant athletic programs. Another conference looking to expand would undoubtedly consider this list as well as size of media market. Remember: chancellors and regents approve this, not just athletic directors.

PAC 10 (7 of 10) -- Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Southern Cal, Stanford, UCLA

BIG 12 (6 of 12) -- Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Texas A&M

ACC (4 of 12) -- Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia

BIG EAST (3 of 16) -- Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse

SEC (2 of 12) -- Florida, Vanderbilt

CUSA (2 of 12) -- Rice, Tulane

Joshua Hann 12 years, 2 months ago

Is there any conferences in Canada looking? I'm sure KU could dominate them!

Rick Arnoldy 12 years, 2 months ago

Ya think Travis Ford is going to be on a short leash if KU doesn't get into a major conference? Pickens probably already has Coach Self on speed dial, telling him "would you rather coach in the Great Plains league or the Pac 16 for twice the money and TV exposure? Come home, Bill!"

Mike Gammill 12 years, 2 months ago

ohioburg- I live in northern OK, and I can tell you that Boone Pickens would give his left n*t to have HCBS at OSU.

Let's start a good rumor here, Pickens is responsible for this whole thing. He will sell the Big 12 to the Pac 10 in order to have Self to himself.

hahahahaha, but you are right. If KU ends up without a major conference to call home, Ford is toast, and so are the Jayhawks.

jaybate 12 years, 2 months ago

Part I

"Re-Understanding Football Television Revenues May Not Be What Is Driving Conference Realignment, But that Super Corridor Laterals Might Be"

Can we begin by agreeing that Colorado and Denver are not exactly low hanging fruit in a media rich orchard environment for college football and basketball, and so the Pac Ten probably did not cherry pick Colorado primarily for TV revenues?

Can we next stipulate that Nebraska is a has been football power and a lousy basketball program, and a modest institution of higher learning, that has not one major media market at all? If we can, then we can say with some confidence that the Big Ten does not want Nebraska for TV revenue enrichment?

What is going on with all the poppycock being pumped out of our beloved LJW/ and other national and local media outlets?

Only they know for sure, but it behooves one to remember a few things in the midst of a story like this.

There are some cardinal rules in media reporting on actors it needs to maintain access with, and on organizations employing public relations and psy-ops techniques in disseminating information without the primary intent being keeping the public fully informed.

  1. Always feed a cover story that is true first, but not one that is remotely about what is actually going on. (e.g, conference realignment is driven by colleges and conferences seeking to optimize TV revenues)

  2. When people start to realize the cover story is implausible, always do a "limited hang out;" i.e., some truth closer to home, but which omits completely the crucial truth. (e.g., Nebraska wants to improve its academic reputation by being in the Big Ten)

  3. When the limited hang out begins not to work, begin creating scape goats.(e.g. Nebraska and Mizzou are evil for leaving the Big 12 and the other Big 12 teams should never, ever schedule and play them again).

  4. No matter what, never, never, never tell the crucial truth...ever! (e.g., what we apparently continue to see happening in certain aspects of this story of conference realignment.)

Truth: conferences largely reflect shared political economic interests of universities, their state governments, and the oligarchs that operate in their backgrounds. Conference realignments reflect changes in shared political interests of universities, their state governments, and the oligarchs that operate in their backgrounds.

Conferences are about more than game day attendance, television revenues, and merchandising jerseys.

jaybate 12 years, 2 months ago

Part II

Conferences are about creating sufficient shared political economic interest that their member states will produce voting blocks of senators and congressmen on certain kinds of issues, especially infrastructure issues in the conference region.

Note, Nebraska is a possible NAFTA super corridor lateral to the west coast waiting to happen. The I-80 right of way is a desirable path to parallel for a super corridor most of the way. It is also a natural path to deny someone trying to build a super corridor lateral in the west.

So is Kansas, but it is a much less appealing one, because there is not an easy direct route for a lateral to the west coast through Colorado, unless one were to follow the old Santa Fe trail and Santa Fe RR right of way toward SoCal.

Another great route for a western lateral, especially if you are Texas and already have established the San Antonio Inland Port at old Kelly AFB outside San Antonio, would be to follow the Southern Pacific right of way across west Texas, across New Mexico, across Arizona, and into SoCal at, say, San Diego, and thence northwards paralleling the I-5 right of way, or perhaps a route east of the Sierras and the Cascades. Voila! Suddenly you don't need any laterals through Kansas, or Nebraska, or the Dakotas, or, through western Canada (because maybe the NAFTA super corridor isn't going any farther north than good old Richards Gebaur AFB).

Mizzou is in Missouri, the state that has the current northern terminus of the NAFTA super corridor and it seems bogged down there.

The northward extention of the NAFTA super corridor is bogged down, or perhaps blocked due to grass roots political resistance energized by sovereignty issues, and by apparently diverging agendas in the oligarchy that propelled the formation of the NAFTA super corridor to its present status.

There is debate about whether the NAFTA super corridor actually ever will be extended north to Canada as originally planned.

The NAFTA super corridor is not the brain child of oligarchs of Nebraska, Missouri, or Kansas. It is reputedly the brain child of the Texas oligarchs operating in the background of the Texas universities and the Texas state government, and during the Bush Administration, in the back ground at the Federal level also. Oh, I suppose there was some input from the Crown of Great Britain, and its agent oilcos in the Anglo American Oil Refiners Oligopoly, too, but, judging from the ruptured BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico (the one that, gosh darn it, no modern day Red Adair's can seem to close off), there may be something of a rift in the original alliance that ram-rodded the NAFTA super corridor through North America, like a giant wedge dividing the old economy and old America from the new economy and the New America--or the New World Order as the Bushies used to like to call it,

jaybate 12 years, 2 months ago

Part III

Wouldn't a Big Ten-Pacific Conference make a wonderful region of shared political economic interest for states seeking to participate in the lastest iteration of the Lazarus like NAFTA super corridor?

You wouldn't need Nebraska. You might not want KU and KSU either. ISU? Fuggeddaboutit. Missouri? Well, if a northward extention of the super corridor is no longer in the works, who cares what Missouri does? But it surely would be nice to have the Texas schools and the Okie schools and the oil oligarchs of both states.

And, well, it would be nice to have Kansas and their oil oligarchs, but, maybe they haven't played ball and are being punished. Or maybe they got too close to the oligarchs on the other side of the fault line from the Texas oligarchs.

Wouldn't it be fine to add New Mexico and New Mexico State to the Big Pacific?

And then pivot east and cut a deal to merge with the Southeastern Conference.

Why you could have football content for every time slot of every time zone that a network could want...and you could have a whole lot of the shared political economic interests that an east-west NAFTA super corridor lateral would need...especially one passing right through good old San Antonio Inland Port...and the north-south spine of the NAFTA super corridor.

Yeeeee hawwwwwww!

The eyes of Texas are upon you, and me, and all of us.

Note: Parts I and II and III of this post are of course opining and hypothesizing. There could be other explanations.

AJay 12 years, 2 months ago

This is all ridiculous, but $ is the Champion here..

It looks like KU is screwed, at least for this year. Now that Lew is leaving he obviously has no faith in the future of KU. If Self stays around and Gill stays too we should be fine! We need to cut ties with our purple foes, just to be able to shop around and not worry about it. What the BigXII should do is boot MU for their outrageous behavior, and then add three teams - TCU, a team to replace CU (heh any team would do), and maybe make a crazy stage at stealing a SEC or Big Yeast team I suppose. No matter what we should NEVER play Neb in any sport again except BBALL just to shame them and we should always play MU in every sport no matter what conference we/they are in.

Pray for the worst prepare for the best... Shiznit is about to hit the fan and KU is at the bottom of the pile....

Sweet_Sandbags 12 years, 2 months ago

From the grapevine - "OU and KU to the SEC is in the works."

However, from the same grapevine - "Johnny and the mother are playin' Stomp It at the Savoy in Vermont tonight."

The fact is, know your grapevine...or live Dangerously. ;)

*Just kidding on the OU/KU/SEC front (though it would be nice). A little tension-breaker movie quote since we are all on the edge of our seats regarding how this will shake out for KU.

Mark Lindrud 12 years, 2 months ago

Well depending on what happens as far as the Big 12 staying together, KU must be proactive and save its own skin. The Mountain West seems to be the best option and it could end up being a strong conference for us to join. I know I maybe dreaming a bit, but I wish would not stay tied to KState and allow ourselves to join the Big 10. It is not that I disrespect KSU, but if they are going to hold us back from being able to make a move then we need to look out for ourselves and do what will be best for KU. Either way KU needs to stop sitting on its hands and do something because Beebe is a fool for not being proactive. We have lost CU and NU and we still are acting like a kid at a candy store window shopping.

Benjamin Piehler 12 years, 2 months ago

seriously, forget the ku ksu thing. MAYBE we could get a bcs invite more easily if we werent a packaged deal. what exactly is the connection between the schools? what role do the state's politicians play?

buckleyhawk 12 years, 2 months ago

I can't believe people think that the MWC is the best option. That can't be the case. No offense to MWC schools, Kansas is not an MWC school. People can talk all they want about the Utahs and UNLVs (excepting the Tark years where they bought a couple of championships) and Boise States they want, but every time anybody talks about how good they are, it's always with the qualifier "especially for a mid-major!!!".

Benjamin Piehler 12 years, 2 months ago

it is kinda ironic we would be in a conference with the word "mountain" in it. pretty mountain-less around here...

Hank Cross 12 years, 2 months ago

Did you forget about mighty Mount Oread?

Benjamin Piehler 12 years, 2 months ago

i shouldnt as i hike up it every morning... although i wouldnt consider myself a mountain climber, if you know what i mean.

Hank Cross 12 years, 2 months ago

As it sits now there could be three scenarios

  1. The B12 stays and adds Houston and TCU as Lighthawk stated above. USC getting sanctioned means the P10 tv contract has lost much of its value.

  2. KU, KSU, MU and ISU to BE - that gives the BE a football conference championship. The 20 team BB league is mess, but sends probably 12 teams every year to the tourney.

  3. The four above go to the MW with Boise. Not great, but at least KU retains its position academically and athletically with MU. Having 2 B10 adjacent to KS would cause a serious brain drain.

JTAnderson 12 years, 2 months ago

Perkins and KU administrators (at least the Chancellor is getting involved) have been extremely disappointing through the starting of this expansion process. At least Bill Self is coming out, expressing some of his opinions, and acknowledging expansion consequences.
Nebraska and Colorado are leaving, I want some sign of proactivity from KU, and the next headline coming out of KU is about Perkins retiring after the 2010-2011! What a self consumed piece of **it! Find us a home Perkins! I have been blogging my brains off on ESPN Football Nation, both Big 10 and 12, trying to make a case why KU athletics, and the university as whole, is relevant, and should be a desired addition to the Big 10, let alone any other major conference (or future pending Super Conference).

Andy Tweedy 12 years, 2 months ago

This isn't really any different than what the other schools involved have been doing. Everybody keeps saying they're committed to the Big XII as they dial up their new homes. There really isn't much for our admins to say. But I do get what you're's really frustrating! This will be Perkins' legacy, I am quite sure he wants to hit a home run, whether he will or not.

dynamitehawk 12 years, 2 months ago

O.K. I confess. I graduated from Colorado State. I just dig KU b/c living here (KC) for years, that KU basketball superior.

So. Invite Colorado State, Memphis, Cincinnati, to: Join the "New Big Something" ; or make a play at schools that are primed for big-time and go for a new East Cost (former ACC/Big East) league.

Or - the SEC looks real nice right now for KU and OU only.

dynamitehawk 12 years, 2 months ago

Let me substantiate. I watched Kansas win in 1988 - on TV. Probably the best athletic event I have ever watched. I lived in Maryland. I was 13. It was then I chose the Jayhawks. Good vs. Evil.

I got accepted after living near KC to both KU and CSU. I chose CSU. I still remain a fan of KU. And always will no matter what happens. Period.

Andy Tweedy 12 years, 2 months ago

Since all the schools are looking out for themselves, I am going to do the same. When I consider road trips to conference games, I'll take Utah, BYU, NM and Boise over any trip to a CUSA site. Hell, we'll be playing half our games at 7,000 feet above sea level. Not sure that's a good thing for the football team, but I sure do like it for me!!! God, I just wish this whole thing would's making me ill...

CaramelMacchMan 12 years, 2 months ago

All I can think of is Kansas City economy.. How bad will this be for KC? Big 12 basketball tournament and KU Mizzou game at Arrowhead and Big 12 football championship game.

All that money in power and light district seems down the drain.

STLJHawk86 12 years, 2 months ago

I was reading and for the first time found a reference to KU being of interest to the PAC 10:

"But if Texas A&M waits too long to commit to the Pac-10, the Aggies could be put on the clock, possibly opening up their invitation to another school, sources close to the Big 12/Pac-10 merger said.

Schools that could possibly be considered for invitation to the Pac-10 in place of Texas A&M would include Utah and Kansas, among others, the sources said."

Woo hoo!

1977kufan 12 years, 2 months ago

Tom, this is an interesting article and I certainly like the disdain for Missery - who cares. Simply a one problem after another problem university that may have indeed started this entire fiasco by "wishing" they were in the big 10. A super conference with the Pac 10 or 20 or what ever number is certainly an attractive possibility. After CU and NU leave, a consideration should be given to bringing TCU and Arkansas to re-establish the number 12. The big question with this scenario is, how much TV revenue would this generate in comparison to other scenarios? This seems to be the driving force. Well, this interesting and I am certainly awaiting on the re-alignment. As a related note and after looking at recent interviews and activities, our University has an truly outstanding head coach in basketball. Everyone, please make sure that Coach Self remains in his position. He is a priceless asset to this University!!! RCJH KU!!!

KURocksChalk 12 years, 2 months ago

Love the punch line. Where should I send your keg of Black Butte Porter?

KURocksChalk 12 years, 2 months ago

What would the Wizard of Westwood say? My guess is that he would have wanted the Pac 10 to invite Kansas.

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