Wednesday, October 5, 2011

KU AD Sheahon Zenger says KU-MU rivalry belongs in Big 12


Amidst reports coming out of Missouri that MU's board of curators had authorized Missouri chancellor, Brady Deaton, to handle the school's conference affiliation, Kansas University athletic director Sheahon Zenger released a statement late Tuesday night pledging KU's support to one of the Big 12 Conferences's best rivalries.

"We value our long-standing conference rivalry with Missouri," Zenger said. "We believe the Midwest deserves a strong conference for student-athletes, fans and alumni, and it is our desire that Missouri will stay committed — as Kansas is — to the Big 12 Conference.”

While Tuesday's news regarding Mizzou did not seal the Tigers' fate, it certainly did nothing to enhance their commitment to the Big 12.

Despite real change taking place in the form of new leadership and a conference-wide agreement on equal revenue sharing, Missouri remains fixed on looking around at all of its options, the most obvious being a potential spot in the SEC.

Although the SEC has not confirmed any interest in Missouri — in fact, on Tuesday, one SEC official said the league could remain at 13 members for as many as two years — reports continue to pop up all over the place about Missouri following in Texas A&M;'s footsteps in leaving the Big 12 to join the SEC.

Although Deaton, who on Tuesday resigned as the chair of the Big 12's board of directors, now has full authority to negotiate for MU's conference alignment, no timetable was set for any kind of decision.


Dan Pawlowski 10 years, 9 months ago

Well , if all we have to go on is the icon you are using for your login then Rice is the logical conclusion. Now if that is just to throw us off than I believe you are the child here. I don't have time , or care enough, to read all of your mindless posts to figure out where or if you went to an institute of higher learning. I believe I was giving you the benefit of the doubt by thinking you may have actually achieved graduation or even attended College somewhere. This is what I had to go on And I checked the Rice web site and that is one of the logos used by the Rice Owls So either way you appear to be lying.

SaulGood 10 years, 9 months ago

You ARE Jessica Alba, aren't you? Hey, do that thing where you push up a psychic wall against fire until your nose bleeds. I wanna see that trick.

SaulGood 10 years, 9 months ago

Sup! How'd you know my nickname? I don't think I know you...

ibleedku 10 years, 9 months ago

I have to completely agree with you, sadly. People have been trying to spin KU's silence in all of this as a good thing; as in not trying to show our hand so to speak. For a while I kind of bought that, but as time has gone on and I've seen some of the stuff KU has done, I'm now more of the opinion that there are no desirable options for us. We weren't eager to say adios to Texas A&M and waive our right to sue. Weak! We were all too eager to sign that pledge to the Big XII. MU didn't, but of course, they also have "options".

kureader 10 years, 9 months ago

I don't perceive any weakness, NJ. The Big 12's future doesn't hinge on what MU does at this point.

What would you like for KU to tell you? What outcome should Zenger have achieved that's different than the one we have now? KU is one of the few universities that hasn't put it's foot in its mouth recently. MU, Texas, Oklahoma and Okie State have all looked like clowns, beating their chests and making idle threats. As it turns out, no other league would have taken Texas given their position on their own TV network. And, we now know that the two Oklahoma schools would never have been invited to join the Pac 12. As for MU, they didn't have a chance to join the Big 10 last year, and they probably don't have a chance to join the SEC this year.

Meanwhile, KU has chosen not to discuss their options in public. Though I agree that our chancellor has looked like a deer in the headlights every time she has had to talk to the media, I don't see that Zenger has done anything wrong. He doesn't owe the rest of us a blow by blow account of what he's thinking, just because we're anxious and insecure.

I'm guessing that MU will stay with the Big 12, and that this "chest pounding" will just make them look like idiots (once again).

SaulGood 10 years, 9 months ago

I think maybe Chancellor Gray-Little thought she was coming here to run a school, not a juggernaut of a basketball program. I'd have a bad case of "deer in the headlights" too. That's the only part of any of this discussion that I actually had an opinion about.

hawk316 10 years, 9 months ago

nj, I totally disagree. As long as Texas and Oklahoma remain firmly committed to the Big XII (9...8...whatever!), it will not only remain a viable conference, but a strong one. Their football programs are and will remain among the best in college football (Ok St, and even Baylor currently, are no slouches!) Throw in KU's longstanding prestige in basketball, and this is still a very good conference. If wise decisions are made concerning schools to be added, this conference will be in great shape.

I really hope MU stays. But if they go, believe me, the Bix XII will be just fine.

boknowssports 10 years, 9 months ago

I totally agree. As long as OU and Texas remain in the b-12, I think the conference survives.

chriz 10 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, but why is it that when it comes out of Bill Self's mouth, it makes so much more sense?

blackhawkjayhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Mizzou mistake. They'll be lucky to stay at .500 in football and it will be minor bowls from now on. They'll be giving up a lot in order to make a few more million dolars. Go ahead dipwads, take the leap. I'd like to introduce you to Mr. Saban and Mr. Miles.

ccarp 10 years, 9 months ago

Mizzou has to beat KSU to really even keep the bowl dreams alive this season. Funny how no one remembers the tiggers were pathetic before pinkel's 4th year. Going to SEC would be the pinnacle of their accent and then they would roll the clock back to mediocrity. Go for it!

AzNHawk 10 years, 9 months ago

LMAO!! This is so true!!! Missouri would get pummeled by the LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson tide!!! With the LSU defense I see 0 for MU and 40+ for LSU.

MU is going to have a tough time against SEC defenses.

Brad Boline 10 years, 9 months ago

I agree 100%, they seem more worried about KSU and KU staying together. We need to look out for ourselves. Hell everyone else is.

Vernon Riggs 10 years, 9 months ago

First, I still don't think Mizzou is leaving. They are saving face with their fanbase saying they are looking. They can be a player in the Big12. They will be a bottom-dweller in the SEC. Move over Vandy. They will commit to the Big12 by the week-end.

Second, if I am wrong the loss of Mizzou will NOT take down the Big12. They are NOT Texas or OU. They can be replaced.

Third, Ken Starr and Baylor already has the lawsuit written; they will need to add Mizzou!

jayhawktalk 10 years, 9 months ago

And we all know Ken Starr loves litigation!

fancy80 10 years, 9 months ago


agree with all above. If Misery wants to go to SEC and have their asses handed back to them everyweek, by the likes of Florida, LSU and Bama, I say go for it.

I think you are correct with the saving face theory...and I am not convinced they are leaving yet either. I hope they don't, but if they do, B12 will be okay without them.

Brad Potter 10 years, 9 months ago

KU's repeated statements about the commitment to the floundering Big 12 is becoming more and more irritating. Someone start taking a stand and making some definitive statements. Sitting back and watching the University of Kansas contract is beyond disturbing. pizz on it all.

Sam Constance 10 years, 9 months ago

You know what I find irritating?

The continual hand-wringing and (dare I say it?) almost Missouri-esque behavior from KU fans regarding this realignment mess.

Definitive statements are great for getting the fanbase all riled up, but they also polarize people. Polarizing people is how groups like the Big 12 fall apart. Not from Missouri looking at other schools.

Between the continual slamming of our chancellor and AD, the constant "woe is us" comments about needing to get out of the failing Big 12, and the general doomsday outlook that many KU fans have here, it's obnoxious. This is the kind of stuff we make fun of Missouri for. It's beyond disgusting to me to see our own fanbase roiling in torment.

It lends some credence to the idea that Missouri fans are only that way because things haven't gone well for them over the past 250 years. The second KU sees it's first real brush with serious consequences, the fanbase turns into a sniveling blob of insecure jelly.

It's pathetic.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 9 months ago

If Missouri leaves, so will OU/OSU this time to the SEC. Don't tell me that OU/OSU have stopped looking, they are still authorized to be talking to other conferences.

I personally believe that the PAC12 said no to OSU for academics. I don't think the same will be for the SEC.

The SEC wants to be the first to 16 and will do so by making this statement.

I believe that is overall good news for KU, because the PAC 12/Big Ten will be competing against fewer teams to get to 16. And don't count out the ACC.

There are two things that conferences want to happen as they go to 16, 1) Have the Big XII fold so that there are no teams left to collect the exit fees, that means 8 teams have to be taken 2) The Big East has to fold or this will take 27 months. The $5MM people can live with the 27 months is just a ticking time bomb for people wait to renegotiate their TV deals.

Vernon Riggs 10 years, 9 months ago

PAC said NO to OU and OSU because they didn't bring Texas to the table. The PAC didn't want the 3 million TV viewers in OKC and Tulsa if they couldn't have the 25+ million TV viewers in Dallas, Ft Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Waco, Lubbock, Midland, El Paso, McAllen, Abilene, etc. OU and OSU didn't bring enough to the table. Forget rankings and RPI. It's about the $$$. Not T. Boone's money, TV money.

OU and OSU made it very clear to the SEC that they were not interested this conference shuffle and the last one too. Why ask a girl to the Prom when she turned you down twice before? And, a 16-team SEC produces payouts less than the ACC, Big12 or PAC.

The B1G is not going to add teams just because the SEC or Conference USA added teams. They will only if they can make more money.

Think about it why is Boise State is not being considered in the Big12 or PAC? Not because of their football product. They play good football. Not because of the blue carpet. But that would be a good reason. They are not being considered because Boise is like the 300th largest TV market in the USA (actually #145). It doesn't bring enough TV viewers to be attractive. Louisville, Cincy and even Memphis have more value in this upside down world of BCS football.

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 9 months ago

Love it! Hcbs has around 50 comments, Sheahorn has 9.

Know your role "Little Engine That Couldn't"

rockchalkwombat 10 years, 9 months ago

How do you know what BGL and SZ are doing or not doing? Just because they aren't out there publicly groveling at the feet of every conference in the country (like Mizzou) doesn't mean they aren't doing everything they can in the best interests of KU. Give them credit for having a little more dignity than Deaton and that bunch. The Big 12 will survive just fine without Missouri and there will be plenty of money for every remaining school and the ones we add. Life will go on.

BigAl 10 years, 9 months ago

I agree with you 100%. See Syracuse and Pitt. A lot of people on here think they know what is going on and they don't. None of us do. I also fully agree that the Big12 will be fine with or without MU. I would rather they remain but like T.Boone Pickens said "No one cares about Missouri"

Phoghorn 10 years, 9 months ago

Why would KU want to say anything else? If the Diminished 12 survives and adds some teams, KU can say that they were supporters all along.

If the Diminished 12 dissolves, KU can say that they were loyal until the end. This should make us more attractive to a stable conference such as the BI6 or the PacPack. Let the KU administrators have their talks in private. We will find out soon enough. The last thing we need is some little tin god (small g intentional in this case) making a big announcement on Facebook, Twitter, etc that blows the whole deal.

Remember the girl (or guy) in High School that always promoted drama and spread rumors and gossip constantly. Were you just dying to date them? That girl (or guy) is Mizzou. Let us not emulate them.

Dan Pawlowski 10 years, 9 months ago

I find the comments of many of the disgruntled posters amusing and quite telling as to their naiveté. They want strong words publicly stated. They act as if that is all men/women of action should do. That is not how negotiations in the real world get done. In rare instances ,when you have a large public fan base that can be moved by bad or good publicity then maybe public grandstanding can have an affect. This is not the case. There is no public outcry either way. We have barely heard anything from the NCAA other than the obligatory statement that institutions should not rush into things.

Sam Constance 10 years, 9 months ago

Excellent perspective.

Apparently I was a bit too quick in my declaration that KU fans were acting like MU fans.

Thanks for your input.

Benjamin Piehler 10 years, 9 months ago

The worst part about this from my perspective, is the economic hit Kansas City is going to take. Kiss the Big XII basketball tourny goodbye, forget the border war at Arrowhead. The NCAA has completely lost control of the situation... I'm not even sure what they do anymore besides police schools for infractions.

Just like any other industry, the little guys get screwed, everyone cuts themselves a bigger check and then they call it "progress".

kureader 10 years, 9 months ago

You're certainly right about the Big 12 tournament, though Texas and Oklahoma have already hijacked the tournament much of the time.

As for the border war, merchants in both Columbia and Lawrence who live and die with KU/MU athletics are still fuming over the move to KC. Frankly, I'm on their side. The last time I was at Arrowhead, a couple of MU fans peed on my seats at halftime. Before that, MU fans did $1,300 in damage to my car in the parking lot. I know some like the Arrowhead "experience". As for me ... not so much. I hope the chance to have this "experience" goes away.

Michael Maris 10 years, 9 months ago

Well, wait until Missouri goes to the SEC. They attend a game at LSU and go to the Johnnie on the Spot. The LSU Fans will tip the thing over.

LSU Fans are NOT friendly to the fans of the Opponents that are playing on the LSU Home Turf.

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 9 months ago

Not as big of an impact as you would think. Kc takes a small hit but the state will generate boatloads more. I'm sure stl would become a rotating site for the sec championship game and sec basketball tourney. Along with the rabid fan bases of sec schools traveling to Columbia to watch games.

rob4lb 10 years, 9 months ago

St Louis would never be considered for the SEC championship game. The closest SEC schools to St Louis are MU, UK, Vanderbilt and Arkansas, hardly the elite of the conference.

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 9 months ago

Doesn't matter. You could hold the sec championship game in Alaska and those fans would be there!

Thomas Young 10 years, 9 months ago

I just don't think there is a lot to say. The Big East was looking like a great fallback plan, until it wasn't. So unless there really is a backdoor deal to the ACC, KU's berst option is to support an expanding Big 12.

If TCU and BYU commit, the Big 12 will be on its way. When the Big East began to crumble, everybody knew the the Leftovers was going to be a probably destination for Kansas. But with OU and Texas staying, the Big 12 can back to 12 and still be a nice strong conference.

ejlumus 10 years, 9 months ago

If NU was in the Big 12 this year, NU would lose to OU, OSU. UT, TAm and KSU. Tossups would be MU, BU, TT and ISU. wins would be KU and CU. NU has improved their W/L record by moving to the B10. They are now the red headed step child of the B10 with future years of mediocrity from their once great football team.

If MU leaves their W/L record will not improve and will return to mediocirty. MU lwill be the dirty little orphan found on the streets by the SEC.

The moves bu Nu and MU should enhance KU's football prospects and will not hurt the basketball.

Good riddance MU!!!!!!!!! The sooner you make the decision to leave the better for all.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 9 months ago

I assume you meant CU instead of bu Nu and MU?

Michael Maris 10 years, 9 months ago

Well, here we go again with the Male Soap Opera show.

Here is the list of the Kansas Board of Regents (serving all public Universities in the State of Kansas).

Andy Tompkins, Undergrad at East Central State in Ada, Oklahoma, Masters at Emporia State and Doctorates at University of Kansas

Ed McKechnie, Undergrad at Pittsburg State University

Dan Lykins, Undergrad at Kansas State, Juris Doctorate at Washburn

Tim Emert, Undergrad at U. of Kansas

Mildred Edwards, Undergrad at Wichita State

Christine Downey-Schmidt, Undergrad at Wichita State

Janie Perkins, Undergrad at Newman University (Wichita, Kansas)

So, these are the people who are going to decide the fate of University of Kansas Athletics in the future. Wichita State fans hate University of Kansas.

I'm telling you. If Bernadette Gray-Little and her administration are sitting on their hands. Then, Kansas Athletics won't amount to anything in the future. I view this situation as to many people sitting on the Kansas Board of Regents that will NOT be looking out for the best interest of Kansas Athletics. They will do their best to force Kansas to have tag-along Kansas State being tied to the tail feathers of the Jayhawks.

Matt Tait, I don't see that the silence and the constant comments of Kansas is commited to the Big XII Conference is helping the fans of University of Kansas. It is looking more and more like U. of Kansas is becoming more and more like the University of Idaho. Out in the Middle of NO-WHERE.

jchief40 10 years, 9 months ago

Exactly. See my post below. I think if the conference adds BYU, Boise St along with Air Force and TCU (if MU left) to get to 12 we would have to be 2nd only to the SEC in football. TV dollars wouldn't be an issue. Solid if it pans out!

Vernon Riggs 10 years, 9 months ago

Rather go East and raid the BigEast. Pick up Rutgers, West Virgina, South Florida and UConn. If Mizzou bolts add Louisville and Cincy. If Mizzou stays toss out Cincy. Change the name to the Big14.

The first four adds NYC, Tampa, Hartford and over 3 million+ fans of the teams according the NY Times

Sam Constance 10 years, 9 months ago

Not all of us. I'm growing tired of the angst coming from Camp Jayhawk.

jahawkdave 10 years, 9 months ago

KU is operating out of a position of reality, not weakness. Why should leadership fuel more instability to a conference that is struggling because of instability. Why look desperate trying to get in conferences that most likely don't want us, at least our football or our state's lack of TV's.

Mizz. looked like fools last year and most likely will again this year. OU's Boren looked like a desperate girl trying to scramble for a date to the prom. I would rather have our leadership play things close to the vest and be realistic, and realistically the best case for KU is to stay in the B12 as long as it survives.

If the B12 folds because of other schools actions, I'm confident we will land in a BCS conf. and our leadership does have a plan B, there is simply no benefit in telling everyone one what that plan is.

scraptown 10 years, 9 months ago

If ku had a viable alternative, they would have waived their right to legal action against exiting schools.

Sam Constance 10 years, 9 months ago

Not if they still prefer Plan A to that "viable alternative".

Sam Constance 10 years, 9 months ago

KU never threatened legal action. They simply refused to waive their right to take action in the future.

That changes things a bit, don't you think?

It's one thing to threaten to sue. It's another to say, I'm not forfeiting my right to decide what's best for my university.

jchief40 10 years, 9 months ago

OK final prediction: Big 12 will add BYU and Boise St (ideal travel partners, recently signed a deal together through 2023 - a budding rivalry?) along with Air Force. I think it makes more sense. Air Force is no pushover in football, adds national appeal and brings Colorado back in the mix. Then Missouri should stay. If for some reason MU still bolts I think TCU comes aboard. Problem solved.

jchief40 10 years, 9 months ago

KU would pwn in basketball as always but a Big 12 that calls home to the likes of BYU, Boise State, Oklahoma, OSU, Texas & TCU/MU would be a VERY strong football conference. Air Force, as much as I didn't care for it initially, makes sense too.

142466 10 years, 9 months ago

I'll offer my 2 cents. As long as OU and UT are in the same conference the BCS and NCAA have no choice but to include the football champion of that conference in a BCS bowl and the soon to be football postseason tournament. I think 90% of people reading this blog agree on that.

So, even if Mizzou bolts, the B12 will live as a BCS conference, provided that OU and UT desire so (by remaining in it). Once Mizzou reaches a decision (stay or bolt), focus your eyes and ears on Norman & Austin. Does the B12 dissolve or live? OU and UT are the deciders.

What will be OU's and UT's decision? It's a business decision. First of all, they understand that it's highly desirable, financially, that they remain together. Secondly, they know that there is a very high correlation between their success on the grid iron, measured nationally (not measured by conference championships), and their income from their FB programs.

So they will project their future income streams for their 2 options: staying and expanding to 12 members vs. moving to some other conference. They incorporate probability methodology in calculating the 2 different future income streams. They then choose the most lucrative projected path. The most lucrative path is also the path that will generate the most national football success. It's essentially the same method that other big business entities use.

OU & UT will make their decision shortly after Mizzou decides. They can't afford to wait. They realize that if they choose to remain, the league needs to act quickly in order to attract 3 (4, if Mizzou departs) respectable football entrants before the other competing leagues gobble them. OU's and UT's solid commitment to the B12 would allow the league to attract respectable entrants.

If OU and UT decide to leave, they also must act with due haste, while desirable landing spots remain open.

jchief40 10 years, 9 months ago

The Big 12 has good options with or without MU. OU and UT will stay put you just watch.

142466 10 years, 9 months ago

You're probably right about OU and TU staying, but it's far from being certain. Mizzou's departure would lessen the probability of them staying, but not by much. Would still be more than a 50% chance that they stay.

As for Mizzou staying or leaving, today I rate it a toss-up. Tomorrow the odds might be different. That's what makes it interesting.

If Mizzou does depart for the SEC, that could trigger several changes to current realignment plans. Like a game of chess.

jgkojak 10 years, 9 months ago

Fear: That we'll go to 4 16 team conferences sooner or later and KU still in B12 will be left out.

Reality: The B12 is fine w/out Mizzou- as long as Texas and OU are in, its a solid league and will continue.

Future reality: When expansion to 16 happens and the B12 fizzles, the B10 is going to need 4 more members (3 if Notre Dame is in). Since they only take AAU schools, and Pitt has gone to the ACC, here is who is left in the Central or Eastern time zones: Rutgers, Iowa State, Kansas. Period.

They won't take MU because once tainted by the SEC, they'll have no interest.

So in 6 years, we could see KU receive its B10 invite and MU left to rot w/the rest of the slavers.

rob4lb 10 years, 9 months ago

What is so magical about 16 teams? As we have mentioned many times, conference realignment is all about making more money. The Big 10 will not expand for the sake of expanding if they can't make more money per school. There just aren't alot of highly desireable candidates for the big three conferences to pick for expansion. There will never be a requirement for four 16 team conferences unless approved by the Pac-12, Big 10 and SEC. While I could see the SEC expanding to 16- perhaps by picking off the OK schools or NC-State or Va Tech along with MU, I don't think it's a given that the PAC-12 or Big 10 would expand beyond twelve unless Notre Dame or UT comes into play.

jgkojak 10 years, 9 months ago

If the B10 wants an extra media market - it goes to Rutgers.

If it wants a 14th team - it goes to KU.

ND won't be a factor until its in danger of being locked out of the 4x16 conf. situation.

ltownatrain 10 years, 9 months ago

That and I thought I saw someplace that Notre Dame came out and said if they were to join a conference that they would prefer the ACC. I think it was on ESPN...but of course that was likely wild speculation so who knows.

danmoore 10 years, 9 months ago

I wouldn't miss mizwho but they have half the St. Louis and half the KC markets. If any other conference is interested in them it is for that reason.

Brian Skelly 10 years, 9 months ago

I'd point out that Mizzou legitimately gets well more than half the St. Louis market. Its conservatively 75/25 Mizzou / Illinois. The press here (many Mizzou grads mind you) slop the Tiggers like nobodies business. Illinois WILL get coverage if they're really good in hoops or football -- which in fairness to them is cyclical, not constant. There isnt one sports cast or sports headline in the Post here though that leads with the Illini. Of course, it rarely leads with Mizzou (Cards, Blues, Rams, etc)... but the odds of seeing a Tiger story front and center here is 1000% more likely than an Illinois one. St. Louis University is an afterthought coverage-wise here, even though their fanbase for hoops is decent.

Unlike KC -- which market-wise IS smaller than St. Louis -- is more closely an even split. And from the this side of the state it seems the Star slops KU during hoops season and MU during football season. I could be wrong about that, but thats the perception over here.

Make no mistake, I want Mizzou to stay. But its hard to tell them their better off here if "here" isnt going to be "here" in a few years. Lets face it, what is being 'saved' even now isnt what "here" has been. Forget money and coverage. If the Big 12 doesnt go to at least 12 -- id prefer more, but whatever -- and we dont get a much longer term agreement with the media stuff -- like 10 to 20 years instead of this six years being bandied about, we'll be back here again before these wounds heal.

While its also 'biting the hand that feeds', one thing that gets lost in this quite frankly is that ESPN essentially @#$%@$#% the Big 12 royally. Im stunned and amazed there isnt more talk about this. I understand not seeing it on or anything, but the murder weapon will likely end up being the LHN. Why would ESPN want a Big 12 network now -- that would compete against the LHN?

As much as Beebe and Co. can be (and should be) blamed, the reality is the higher ups at all the Big 12 institutions lacked anything resembling foresight and vision, which is the primary reason were in this mess that were in now. UT should have been stood up to far sooner (and more often) than they have been.

Vernon Riggs 10 years, 9 months ago

CBS Sports reporting that Alabama, Tennessee and LSU leading the SEC NOT to accept Mizzou. They will not have enough 'YES' votes. Welcome back to the Big12 Mizzou!

REHawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Can the league members offer Mizzou a ten day extension, either to poop or pull up its knickers? If all other league members are signing the 6 year media rights agreement, and the Tigers continue to hold out, why not eject them from the Big 12 (10?,9?) and get on with securing additional schools who yearn to join our conference. I know it is not that simple a deal, but that is my inclination.

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