Realignment Today: 1:59 p.m. - The latest on Mizzou and the extensive expansion rumors surrounding the Big 12


1:59 p.m. Update:

Amidst all the talk of the Cougars joining the Big 12, BYU is holding strong on its vague and safe stance.

The article above talks a little about where BYU stands, but, really, the Cougars seem to be falling back on the statement they've made all along regarding conference realignment.

That statement is:

"There is much speculation right now regarding conference affiliation that seems to change by the hour. Commenting on such conjecture is not productive and creates a distraction for our program. As we enter the 2011-12 athletic season, BYU is focused on the opportunities ahead. We are excited about our relationship with ESPN as a football independent and our affiliation with the West Coast Conference. The university will have no further comment."

Sounds like a great fit to team with Kansas, doesn't it?

Moving on to Missouri, here's a good take from Sam Mellinger of The Kansas City Star, who says KU and K-State fans should put their hatred aside and actual root for Missouri on this one.

There seems to be a lot of talk and speculation from SEC writers that Mizzou to the SEC is a done deal. It just shows the fickle nature of all of this because so many Big 12 writers are saying just the opposite. Maybe we should get together and play flag football for the right to be right here.

For what it's worth, I'd take us. At least on being right. SEC football's tough.

Stay tuned...

10:05 a.m. Update:

So now we know, thanks to various Twitter reports, that interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas will make Columbia, Mo., his first stop on his tour of conference campuses that begins next week.

Great. Now can we move on?

Perhaps. But, for most folks, the only thing that will make Mizzou’s commitment to the Big 12 official is their signature on the grant of rights document that not only locks the league into a sweet TV deal but also binds the league together for at least the foreseeable future.

After some initial uncertainty and continued flirtations with the SEC, it seems as if the Tigers are again leaning toward the Big 12. Neinas has said so. Multiple sources have told me that that’s their vibe. And, logic would suggest it’s the best place for MU to be.

Here’s a Thursday report from that brings us up to speed on the situation with the Tigers.

The rest of the recent focus in realignment — yep, we’re still going — has been on the Big 12’s desire to expand.

One source told me earlier this week that no official offers had been made to any schools interested in joining the Big 12. And while that may still hold true, things certainly have heated up since then.

Here’s an update from Pac-12 reporter Jon Wilner that discusses a bunch of scenarios.

Other reports have said the Big 12 could expand to 10, 12 or even 16 at any point. Crazy.

The schools that remain most visible on the Big 12’s radar are the ones that have been there all along. Here’s a quick update on each of them.

BYU — a great choice and a likely candidate. One report said the Cougars could announce their intentions to join as soon as Saturday. We’ll see.

Louisville, Cincinnati, West Virginia — This Big East trio has been in the conversation from the beginning and continues to be. The only way all three come on board is if BYU balks and the league is willing to expand to 12. I think Missouri’s staying so that leaves one spot to get to 10 and three spots to get to 12. Of the three, I think Louisville is by far the best choice and the most desired option.

TCU — Another soon-to-be-Big East school has been linked with the three schools above in a four-team deal. Again, the only way that would work is if Mizzou were to leave or the Big 12 were to expand beyond 12. The best news regarding TCU that came out recently is that the Horned Frogs would likely not have to wait the 27 months to leave as required by the Big East since they aren’t actually in the Big East yet. Texas’ still is against adding TCU, but that could be a big reason the other schools are in favor. After all, it’s still the Big 12.

Boise State — Boise continues to be a name that’s kicked around and it’s one that continually makes me scratch my head. Great football brand, no question. But the geography is suspect and the rest of the BSU athletic department is average at best. I’m sure the Broncos would love to get in the league because that would allow — or is it force — their athletic department to grow tremendously in the coming years. Boise’s still a bit of a longshot but I definitely would not be surprised if this got serious.

Here’s a quick link from the folks at the Tulsa World who examine the numbers game facing the Big 12 or is it 10 or 14 or 16...

Oh, and since this would not be complete without a complete contradiction, here’s a report from Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports that says a source told him the best thing for the Big 12 is to stay at nine. Makes sense to me.

We’ll have more throughout the day if anything pops up. Big if, right? Ha!

Stay tuned...


Matt Tait 11 years, 2 months ago

Short and to the point. I like it. You talking eventually or now???

Phoghorn 11 years, 2 months ago

Thanks Matt. I can see some of the teams staying together in some form, but I think a major rebranding is in order. I would question why a powerful university such as BYU would want to join a conference that has been getting cherry picked and still has a large number of issues in limbo such as networks, members, etc. That being said, if anybody can fix it, Mr. Neinas might be the man who can restore some confidence even if it is by restructuring to a revenue sharing format, and perhaps even renaming the conference altogether.

Phoghorn 11 years, 2 months ago

I guess I would say now, as opposed to later. The sooner it gets solved, the sooner that coaches do not have to face this issue when talking to potential recruits. Universities do not like being in limbo, and there should be little desire to continue to drag this out.

Matt Tait 11 years, 2 months ago

I hear ya. I really liked the idea of moving the headquarters and coming back with a new name.

Those seem like two good healing moves.

That said, maybe it's a good sign that they don't feel like they HAVE to do that.

All that I'm hearing is that the league is moving forward in a very positive way...

Phoghorn 11 years, 2 months ago

Well, that sounds good. I am okay with my prediction being wrong if it works out best for the Jayhawks.

I have been lurking on this site for a while. I really appreciate the good discussions and information.

Randy Bombardier 11 years, 2 months ago

I agree with much of what you say, but the big exception is the use of the term "cherry picked." The only cherry we lost was Nebraska. We were just weak as a conference. Members were not speaking their mind and the resentment built momentum. It seems like we have all learned and now we have to grow because even though theoretically there is nothing wrong with nine members, we are still vulnerable and just postpone things for 5 or 6 years unless we expand.

Jaminrawk 11 years, 2 months ago

Staying at nine would be suicide. In my opinion, the Big XII has to get back to at least 12 and get that conference championship back. The round-robin scenario only favors OU and Texas. With conference realignment lurking every year until/if the rumored super conferences are complete, it does the Big XII no good to sit on their hands again. Build up the league georgraphically and actually compete with the SEC, Pac-12 and Big 10.

Hank Cross 11 years, 2 months ago

I agree completely. Staying at 9 only puts us in a perpetual hostage situation at the whims of UT and OU. Plus, it's almost inconceivable how KU could get back to the BCS having to play UT and OU every year.

If this is about FB, then adding BYU, Bosie, and TCU pretty much assures that the B12 will play the SEC every year in the BCS championship and another B12 team will go to the Fiesta Bowl.

The downside would be that although KU would win the BB conference championship every year, it would be the worst AQ BB conference.

lee3022 11 years, 2 months ago

KU, K-State, Baylor, Texas, OU, OSU all have good basketball programs. MU is O.K. Texas Tech may get back there. BYU has a good history of basketball. The ACC has gained on the league with Pitt and Syracuse but the Big XII would be right behind at second.

tman1991 11 years, 2 months ago

thanks Matt thought u forgot about us!! it has been quiet lately!

DanHogan95 11 years, 2 months ago

Reminded me of the relative quiet before ACC surprised everyone and expanded. I figured it would be quiet on Friday night and Saturday out of respect to the kids who play on gameday. But... Maybe the big news will break Friday night again??

Matt Tait 11 years, 2 months ago

Saw you post that on Twitter. That's a very good point to remember.

That said, I don't think we'll hear much until Missouri's curators meet. That's set for Tuesday.

It would be really hard for the Big 12 to announce the addition of one school when it doesn't know for certain if one of its own schools is in or out.

One last point: If BYU is announced before MU makes it clear what it's going to do, take that as a sure-fire sign that the Tigers are staying put.

DanHogan95 11 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, I checked your page then posted on Twitter then saw your Tweet. Talk about crazy timing.

Do you think Mizzou staying or leaving could change BYU's decision? If you assume no other defections come thanks to Mizzou announcing something, BYU could decide that joining the B12 is the best call with Mizzou or without Mizzou, right?

I always assumed that Friday/Saturday announcements would be off-limits, but that clearly isn't the case. If BYU does decide something, they wouldn't want it leaked on Sunday so a Friday leak and Saturday announcement would fit -- just like the ACC moves.

DanHogan95 11 years, 2 months ago

Well, if institutions are thinking about the 50-year timeframe, then maybe we can wait until Sunday or Monday when we have guys getting ready to take the field on Saturday.

JamesKU 11 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

DanHogan95 11 years, 2 months ago

Actually, that was my reasoning behind a leak today/announcement tomorrow timeline for BYU.

The original thought (that was proven wrong by ACC a few weeks ago) was that Fri/Sat would be off-limits so the kids could play ball.

DanHogan95 11 years, 2 months ago

True. But I still find it fairly disrespectful to make those announcements the morning of a game. Seriously, put the focus on the guys on the field (I'm 10 years removed from college so I can call them kids). Push the biz side to Sunday/Monday.

cojayhawk99 11 years, 2 months ago

I would love to see it stay at 10 so all the teams could play each other. Saying that, I want them to add both BYU and Louisville, so I guess I wish either Texas Tech or Baylor would leave to open a spot, not MU.

LJD230 11 years, 2 months ago

With the Aggies and Colorado gone , BYU would becomes the second brightest bulb in the conference after Texas. Kansas 101, BYU 71. It ain't a basketball score.

kureader 11 years, 2 months ago

Matt, last week you indicated that many of the Big 12 schools are opposed to adding another Texas school, like TCU. This article suggests that the other schools are in favor of adding TCU. Can you clarify?

Matt Tait 11 years, 2 months ago

I wish I could. It's been a back-and-forth deal with TCU.

Initially, Texas was completely against adding them but the Horns have come around a little, at least at times.

As for the other schools, I don't think they'd want to add TCU because of the recruiting battle it would bring but I do think they'd like to add them as a symbolic reminder to Texas that UT does not control the league.

Hard to tell how it's going to play out. Long ago, the league said it did not want to expand in states it already had a presence in. That could still hold true. I think it just depends on what number they decide to go to and when they need/want to expand.

If they go to 10 teams and stay there (with or without Mizzou), I'm guessing it won't be with TCU. If they go to 12 or more, TCU has a pretty good shot.

That clear it up? Haha!

Randy Bombardier 11 years, 2 months ago

This is going to be hard for Texas to resist. There will be political pressure in the State of Texas to do what is best for any university within the state of Texas. The politics dictate that the more Texas schools are allowed in the conference the better. The legislature is going to be desirous of getting Houston, SMU, TCU or any D1 university within the state in the conference. In other words, if the other members of the Big12 want it, it will happen. Texas would not look very good (especially with A&M on the sidelines jeering) to be opposed to another Texas school. In the long run competition between the Texas schools will most likely reduce the dominance of its program within the state. That could be good for everyone.

Ron Prichard 11 years, 2 months ago

Matt, do you ever talk with the writers in Kansas City? Seems like there is a serious belief that MU has an open invitation to the SEC. If that is the case, it would seem they currently hold the only real card in negotiating with Texas at this point. I was just wondering because you seem to be pretty confident that MU will stay with the Big XII. I hope you are right. I would hate for our rivalry with them to fade away.

Also, what is the latest on Texas' stance on showing HS highlight footage on the LHN? It seems like the other issues are getting pretty close to a consensus (equal sharing of tier 1 & 2, keep tier 3). I would hate to see that one issue derail this whole thing.

Matt Tait 11 years, 2 months ago

I do. I know a few of them pretty well.

Here's the deal... I think Mizzou very much has an open invitation to join the SEC. It's just that, based on the people I've been talking to, it seems like the Tigers are starting to value loyalty and tradition over making what would most certainly be a sexy move to please their fans.

Could change. We'll see.

Haven't seen much new on TLN's plans... I'll look into it.

Sam Constance 11 years, 2 months ago

The fact that a move to the SEC can be framed as "a sexy move to please their fans" says all anyone would ever need to know about the self-loathing, grass-is-greener, we-think-we're-better-than-we-are Tiger fans.

I guess you can take the former slave state out of the Confederacy, but you can't take the Confederacy mindset out of the former slave state.

Ron Prichard 11 years, 2 months ago

Thanks, Matt. I really appreciate your insight and actually taking the time to respond to individual questions. Without doubt, your blog has been the most informative out there on realignment. It's not even close!

FLJHK 11 years, 2 months ago

I hope MU stays but my gut says they're gone.

LogicMan 11 years, 2 months ago

You jest?

If not just consider what would happen if your favorite team ended up in C-USA with no more traditional rivalry games to play.

John Boyle 11 years, 2 months ago

Then don't log onto the article and read it. ignore it....ignore it....ignore it......

actorman 11 years, 2 months ago

You're kidding, right? Are you trying to alienate the most valuable resource that most of us have for KU news? Keep your idiotic ramblings to yourself.

Dennis Mahorney 11 years, 2 months ago

Maxhawk has had many insightful comments, and is clearly a strong KU fan. Perhaps this drama TU, MU, and company has Max edgy. Matt Tait is a great investigative reporter who keeps us up on even the smallest details.

LogicMan 11 years, 2 months ago

"wouldn't have to handcuff it's members"

If it is true that the SEC has no exit penalties, yes, that says a lot vs. us and others. But with all this mess, after the dust settles a bit I wouldn't be shocked to hear that they institute some.

Randy Bombardier 11 years, 2 months ago

Your last line betrays your opening comment. I agree with your opening and believe we need to build the conference, make it stronger and keep it as regional as possible. Even courting the members of other conferences. I will always believe that neighboring states are candidates. Iowa, Arkansas, LSU would have not been considered impossible if we were back in 2003. It is only because of the lack of unity and the near-death experience of the conference that such additions are met with "Are you kidding?" What would the outlook have been if we had reached out first as a conference?

You are also correct in assessing how good this conference has been for UT. Strengthening the vows, renewing the vows (to use your metaphor of marriage) is no more handcuffing than the original vows. Now there is an agreement so to speak that does nothing to diminish the marriage, but speaks volumes about the commitment to it. Members are finally saying, "Actions speak louder than words, Dear. I really need to know that you do not have eyes for another."

Otherwise, your last statement is like blaming the woman for the man cheating on her with the notion, "If you had only been better in the sack, lost weight, kept the house cleaner... then I would not have cheated." Staying in this marriage has always made the most sense. Getting counseling and working through problems is always better than avoidance.

Marcia Parsons 11 years, 2 months ago

Speak for yourself, maxhawk. Personally, I'm always interested in what's going on and what the latest rumors are.

FLJHK 11 years, 2 months ago

Other than making a feeble but neccessary swing at ND with the Tier 3 revenues bat, you are totally correct. In fact, I would prefer thses 5 schools in a 14-team Big 12 rather than just 3 of them and stopping at 12.

Unfortunately, Tulane and Rice do not seem to be a part of the discussion among the key officials, and Air Force to the Big 12 appears to be losing traction. If so, the league is being frighteningly shortsighted.

TJ67 11 years, 2 months ago

I don't disagree that it will be difficult to make a BCS game should the B12 continue. However, after years and years of football ups and down...mostly downs, it's time to make the commitment to become an annual top 25 football team and at least have a shot at a BCS every tew years. It will certainly take some work, and it won't happen tomorrow, but it CAN be done!

LogicMan 11 years, 2 months ago

Whatever the coach needs, he should ask for and get. Just like we wisely do for BB.

Also at least 1) improve access, 2) increase nearby parking, and 3) expand the seating at the stadium. And have fans fill and keep full the stadium for the games.

Craig Lang 11 years, 2 months ago

Can't we just assume Mizzou is going to leave us, and change the name of the conference back to the Big 8?

texashawk10 11 years, 2 months ago

Missouri Valley, that was the original name of the conference.

Varlo52 11 years, 2 months ago

Unrepentantly I still prefer almost any additions while expelling Texas. Let's trade Texas for TCU and throw in a first-round draft choice. Let Texas go independent ... or go to any conference suicidal enough to take them.

Steve Brown 11 years, 2 months ago

That would be silly, then we would have a conference of equals and mutual trust and long term prospects. Who would make the decisions and dole out the money shares.

Luke Kay 11 years, 2 months ago

+1 HAHA Love both these comments. I actually couldnt agree more. I have been screaming for Texas to just leave.

Scott Murphy 11 years, 2 months ago

Matt, thanks for the update, it has been several days and I was starting to feel out of the loop. I firmly belive that we need to expand to at least 12 and we need to do so now with the teams you stated, BYU. Cincy, WVU and Louisville, if you need to substitute TCU for one them that would be fine. I feel that staying put at 9 or 10 just says that we have no interest in being a viable conference long term and I don't think this is the case.

By the way why is Memphis never mentioned in any of the expansion talks? I know the CEO of Fedx said he would give 10 million dollars a year to whichever BCS conference that takes them in and they would be a great addition to the BB.

Kent Gaylor 11 years, 2 months ago

Matt -

Great coverage. Can you remind us how much money the Big 12 schools received the last years and how much they will be receiving in the coming year and years including the Col and Neb money.



trey 11 years, 2 months ago

I believe the expansion decision to 10 teams, or 12, or 14, or 16 is a BIG (strategic) decision. The end-game is that there will be from 64-72 teams in the BCS (or follow-on version). That means 4 conferences of 16, five of 14, or 6 of 12 (and doesn't have to be exactly even, some conference may have a few more teams than others). I believe that the odds of 6 conferences surviving is VERY low. Which means that either the Big East or Big12 is going to die. So if I'm the Big12, I would expand in a way that kills the Big East and gives me enough critical mass to survive as the 5th BCS conference. Given that, here would be my expansion scenarios...

Expand to 10 teams (very high risk in long-run) Tx, TTech, Baylor, TCU, OU, OSU, MU, KU, KSU, ISU.

Expand to 12 teams (minimum for long-term survival) South Div: Tx, TTech, Baylor, TCU, Louisville, Cinci. North Div: OU, OSU, MU, KU, KSU, ISU (all former Big8 members).

Expand to 14 teams (one of 5 conferences to survive) South Div: Tx, TTech, Baylor, TCU, Louisville, Cinci, W Vga. North Div: OU, OSU, MU, KU, KSU, ISU, BYU.

Expand to 16 teams (get there first) Texas Quad: Tx, TTech, Baylor, TCU. South Quad: OU, OSU, Louisville, Cinci. MidWest Quad: KU, KSU, MU, ISU. East Quad: UConn, Rutgers, W Vga, S Fla.

Personally, I would go for the 14 team conference NOW. It would ensure survival, be a great hoops conference, and limit the SEC, B1G and PAC's ability to expand. Could go to 16 later. Given that, my expansion priorities would be...

  1. TCU, 2. Louisville, 3. Cinci, 4. W Vga, 5. BYU, 6/7. UConn/Rutgers (i place premium on expanding in way that kills the Big East).

LogicMan 11 years, 2 months ago

I would hope that it would be a friendly merger of BE's FB schools into the Big ??. And that the Big East would continue, in smaller form, as a BB conference. I think we'd eagerly agree to fill their non-conference BB schedules as needed.

trey 11 years, 2 months ago

Agree, the Big East would still have their 8 BBall Schools, could retain the name, and even add a few more.

Bville Hawk 11 years, 2 months ago

I'm not convinced that we need to expand beyond 9, but having said that, I do like the way your 16 team, 4 team quads break out as far as geography, balance of power, etc.

JamesKU 11 years, 2 months ago

I too like the 16 teams but how would they play each other each year, by rotating? Let's take our Jayhawk glasses off for a minute, and agree that the MidWest Quad is by far the easiet "quad" out of the bunch. With only 9 conference games a year and everyone from each "quad" having to play their own quad at least once, the MidWest would have a much easier go of it than the Texas, South or even East Quad. I like the idea, just need some tweaking a bit on the Quads.

Travis Clementsmith 11 years, 2 months ago

I read that article and it makes little sense. Has Missouri ever even stated its objections/solutions? How do I know they are in there fighting for KU and KSU issues? I'm just supposed to blindly trust that they are?

As far as I can tell, Missouri is just trying to figure out if they can afford to leave, so why am I supporting Missouri? I'm not.

Bville Hawk 11 years, 2 months ago

Not publicly, no. But that most assuredly would make the process more difficult than it already is.

eastTXjayhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

the other irony being that there are only about 40k people watching the LHN and they're all in the greater Austin area.

Tuck 11 years, 2 months ago

Hi All, OU fan here and just hate this stuff! My take is the BIG12 failed miserably by ever letting Nebraska go! All of this dysfunction should have been address back then and then WE should have been going out and "stealing" other teams from the other big conferences! That's where Beebe failed but hindsight is 20/20. Going forward, #1 I am GLAD that OU and OSU are not going to the PAC12 and I think that the PAC12 made a huge mistake by not taking them (but I'm glad they didn't). The super-conferences might not be here yet, but they are just right around the corner and with the reemergence of the BIG12 the PAC12 is going to get left out, provided the BIG12 can get the best of whats out there right now. Which leads me to BYU and Boise St. I think that's its inevitable that these two schools will eventually will in a major conference, probably either the new BIG12 or the PAC12, whoever can get them first. If the BIG12 can get them first the PAC12 has no one else to go after and the BIG12 will be making some progress. BYU has has many TV sets as any school, their are Mormons in EVERY state! BYU is certainly my first choice for the BIG12. Another thing, I think we should go right away to 12 teams right now, not wait or else we will get left behind in the arms race and we really do need that conference championship game. Geographically, I wish we could get Arkansas but that's not going to happen. As for OU and Texas getting split into different divisions in the conference....that's not going to happen. The Red River Rivalry has been going on for a hundred years and as long as OU and UT are in the same conference they will play each other every year. I say we jump up to 14 teams right now by adding BYU, Boise, TCU, Louisville and West Virginia. The SEC will more than likely be at 14 along with the ACC by next year and the Big10 and PAC12 already have 12. I want a GREAT football and Basketball conference and I think these 14 teams give us that.

pgittemeier09 11 years, 2 months ago

well you see if there is anything that ive learned through all of this is that conferences dont care how good your football team is. Boise will be left out because they have no major markets and not a whole lot of 50th place or something Scott wants markets or a large fan base and if you dont have them then no one wants you also academically their stupid...

AlecRaenos 11 years, 2 months ago

Michigan and OSU are in separate divisions and they still play every year.

Splitting OU and UT doesnt have to end the rivalry. And really, that rivalry will NEVER be as good as OU/NU was and that one was split. OU/NU was the best game of the year for Big 8 fans regardless of who you cheered for.

Anyway, splitting OU/UT doesn't HAVE to destroy the rivalry. Just give each team a cross divisional "rivalry" game like the Big 10 did but UT and OU really need to be split up this time around. There is too much power in the south in football. Balancing the divisions is going to be important going forward.

Ludwig Supraphonic 11 years, 2 months ago

OU/NU may have had more NC import occasionally and was a conference championship game some years. I don't think you'd find many OU or UT fans who think any game is more important than the Texas State Fair game in Dallas. Neither team loses that game and is satisfied with their season.

AlecRaenos 11 years, 2 months ago

Im not sure what Sooner fans you are talking to, probably younger ones that don't remember or dont know how important the Husker/Sooner rivalry was.

That trumped UT/OU every year.

Tuck 11 years, 2 months ago

I have no problem with splitting them up at all as long as the rivalry can stay. It was HORRIBLE that the OU/NU rivalry split was truly a beginning of the end before the BIG12 even started....again someone dropped the ball on that one allowing that to happen back then.

Tuck 11 years, 1 month ago

wow, really! Instead of contributing to a positive, constructive thread your going to go there?












I bet your a fan of a team that OU beats EVERY year......typical.

Phoggin_Loud 11 years, 2 months ago

I am starting to believe that the BIg XII in-fighting is merely foreshadowing of what's to come in all of college football. The money is far too great & will cause wide-spread jealousy and animosity within all conferences eventually. The forming of "Super-Conferences" will undoubtedly cause past elite programs to become "also-rans" when combined with other current elite programs in 16 team leagues. Needless to say, their alumni won't stand for it too long. Not to mention the epic battle to ensue when Notre Dame is forced to into a conference in order to partake of a newly-formed playoff system...and subsequent scheduling conflicts if they decline. The same BCS Conferences that are now scoffing at the "Texas Conference" will eventually find out that they are of the same cloth as they expand. It all seems great now, but wait. Their day is coming. Money corrupts and ego's destroy.
Now that it has begun, schools will seek out the best deal where they can make the most money while winning the most games. Unfortunately, conference-jumping may become the new "free agency" of college football. And no one is immune.

Tuck 11 years, 2 months ago

to add to your post, I believe that the BCS contract is about to run out in a couple of years....I think that's when things will start to get REAL interesting!

142466 11 years, 2 months ago

The kind of fighting, poaching, and raiding currently taking place does not occur in the pro sports, at least not publically. The pro leagues all have commissioneers and regular meetings of all the team executive officers to resolve problems and to insure that changes are orderly and acceptable.

I don't know much about the legal structure of the NCAA and the BCS Conferences and their relationships to each other. Don't really want to know. I choose to devote most all of my available time to watching games rather than disecting realignment trends or splitting legal hairs.

Seems to me that everyone--NCAA, BCS Conferences, member schools, coaches, players, fans and even the networks--would greatly benefit if NCAA football had a Commissioneer and a structure, similar to the NFL, for discussing and implementing changes, including realignments. I think a Commissioneer and increased structure could be limited to football. I don't know, though, whether this could be legally accomplished and whether there would be enough consensus to force all BCS schools to accept it.

FLJHK 11 years, 2 months ago

Absolutely that would be a vastly better situation. But it won't happen anytime soon. The big conferences have all the power, and they will not give it up. It doesn't further their selfish interests. It's even more remote than getting Texas to relinquish some of their power for the good of the Big 12.

Jeff Kilgore 11 years, 2 months ago

Uh. . . Matt? It's been almost three hours since your last update. In conference realignment, that's like, months.

Hank Cross 11 years, 2 months ago

An interesting piece from Berry Tramel on the debate between exanding East v. West. I think the long-term demographics and the short-term FB make going west with BYU, Boise, AFA, and TCU the better play than picking up scraps from the BE.

Hank Cross 11 years, 2 months ago

And who wouldn't love to see an OU/Boise B12 championship game? Maybe Boise would beat them again with the Statue of Liberty play.

Jeff Kilgore 11 years, 2 months ago

I would much prefer the Big XII or whatever it is, to look more regionally, as in forget WV and Memphis. I would set up a 14-team conference and establish the following rivalries, (alphabetical, mind you) this way:

Air Force / Baylor Boise St. / Houston ISU / KSU KU / MU Louisville / OSU OU / UT TCU / TT

AlecRaenos 11 years, 2 months ago

Memphis is a hell of a lot closer than Boise State. They make NO SENSE regionally speaking. Boise St, if they get to a big conference, belongs in only the Pac. Thats the only place that is regionally close to them and with their academics they wont be going to the Pac ever.

Boise State is a flash in the pan. They will be done with their run sooner rather than later and Id just assume the Big 12 fold than add those worthless losers to the conference. That reeks of desperation.

pgittemeier09 11 years, 2 months ago

anybody who wants boise doesnt understand conference realignment

Micah Mandy Haase 11 years, 2 months ago

We should add pittsburgh state university, and missouri southern state university, I'm sure as everyone in america knows about that awesome rivalry!

If you can't tell im being sarcastic! Seriously I am ready for the Big XII to just announce already that we are going back to 12 or even more. It is really hard being a Jayhawk fan living in Norman Oklahoma with a SOONER wife, yet again i get to see the Jayhawks beat OU every year in BB!

Rock Chalk!

142466 11 years, 2 months ago

The addition of Pitt State would, no doubt, improve the B12's football image in eastern Kansas, but would accomplish little else. Instead, the league needs to act boldly, surprise the sporting world. What I'm suggesting is nothing short of this: Outflank the mighty Big East conference. Under cover of night fog cross the Delaware, invade the Northeast Conference, march on Rutherford, N.J., and seize the Fairleigh Ridicuous Knights. We will be greeted with open arms. This one decisive maneuvre will add millions of NYC idiot boxes.

AZHawk72 11 years, 2 months ago

Well, if Texas doesn't want TCU, take 'em. If anyone thinks that Colorado was wise enough to leave, they don't know Colorado--they're as deep as the nearest bong. They belong with Utah and the Arizona schools. Nine schools=we'll die. Ten schools=no guts, no glory. Twelve schools=attempting to restore order. Missouri wouldn't be looking if we'd only show some degree of agressiveness. BYU is not coming--get over it--they want to be Notre Dame with bicycles. TCU+Louisville+Cincinnati=league to die for.

Get it done, and quit speculating with the absurd.

Jeff Kilgore 11 years, 2 months ago

Well, BYU isn't ND and they never will be, so if they should spurn a 12 invite, they're as short-sighted as they are narcissistic. Cincinnati seems a stretch geographically, and I still want that to matter. Why not Houston instead? Not nearly as far as WV or Boise.

Like it or not, the new Big Twelve should shoot for a blending of the best of the SWC, what remains of the 12, and a few other quality schools like BYU and Louisville. That would be better that what we have now.

MU doesn't make or break the conference. If they stay, fine. If they go, and if the rivalry still means something, then the schools can play each other to kick off the season at Arrowhead.

Spencer Goff 11 years, 2 months ago

Dude, I think it is funny when you said, "Not nearly every Catholic kid wants to go to ND."

The reason being stereotyping in some forms is acceptable. If I were a catholic, which I am not, I would be offended when people assume I like Notre Dame simply because, "I'm Catholic." Or even better, "I'm an Irish Catholic."

One, there are a lot of Catholic schools, why do I have to root for them?

Two, I'm far more complex than "Me a Catholic, Dey is Catholic, Me like Dem."

Three, since Notre Dame seems to find it acceptable to market themselves as THE Catholic University of America, if I were Catholic and not a Notre Dame fan, I would actually grow to resent the bastids.

And I feel you when you talk about the potential growth of BYU. It would be a leet pickup for this conference. It belongs in a BCS conference, and the Pac 12 is never going to allow them. It makes sense for both sides, so let's hope they get it done.

Travis Clementsmith 11 years, 2 months ago

There are some more rumors (imagine that!), that Notre Dame would be interested in playing their non-football sports in the Big XII and up to three games a year against Big XII competition, like they did in the Big East, if we do take WVU, Louisville and Cincinnati, effectively killing Big East football. Matt, have you heard anything on that front?

Spencer Goff 11 years, 2 months ago

So all I have heard and read is that the Big 12 is "moving forward" and has "addressed issues."

Yet I never see any REAL published fixes. Is there even revenue for tier 1 and tier 2? Because if there is, I have missed the press conference and literature stating such.

The only thing I can gather so far is UT gets to keep the Schlonghorn Network and other schools can pursue the same deal.

If there really is revenue sharing and all is well, what is Mizzou actually fighting for?

This idea of a six year TV buyout seems like more of a shackle than a guarantee. I get what it is "supposed" to do, but it feels more like Texas can guarantee it has a conference around and their network intact. Honestly, if I were Mizzou, when facing that or joining the SEC, I would be gone. Kudos to Pinkel for being straight up about it.

AZHawk72 11 years, 2 months ago

Kilgore--I agree with you totally. Everytime I mention Houston, which does make more sense than Cincinnati, I get trashed with "they're just a commuter school." As I write this, I sit five miles from the largest commuter school in America, Arizona-State, with a "scant" 70,000 students. No one disses them for their lack of dorms. I also like kicking the Okie schools to the North, sans Nebraska and Colorado. However, this may cause Missouri to bolt.

In what will surely never make the Longhorn Network, Iowa-State will take Texas down tomorrow. Kansas State should lose late to Griffin because he has 13 touchdowns and 12 incompletions. His numbers will make Luck more than unlucky.

AlecRaenos 11 years, 2 months ago

Houston has at least 3 campuses and I think even more. So its a pretty good comparison.

Orangedog87 11 years, 2 months ago

If anyone is interested, here is a link to an article at the Denver Post about how to fix the Big12.

To which was posted the following: News flash to Boulder and CU, there are a lot of people who avoid Boulder due to the crowded roads/parking lots, arrogance of the population and nastiness of the students at sports events. So before you start calling out B12 towns as bad places to travel to...think again. There is a lot of exterior beauty around Boulder but not so much inside.


TwistedFish31 11 years, 2 months ago

You're obviously basing that brilliant remark on fact mangino? You've been to all the Big XII towns? All the SEC, Big 10, PAC 12, ACC towns? You completely agree? Just stay in that sewer california and be a fan of the Banana Slugs.

Travis Clementsmith 11 years, 2 months ago

The Longhorn Network is the furthest thing from my concern. Why can't the "other" schools form a Big ## Network? Why couldn't that network have affiliate spots for the LHN and vice versa? I swear. people get so caught up in what others have they can't see their own solutions.

Missouri only "stands up" because they have options born from factors completely detached from being an awesome athletic program. They have metro areas, large population and a single state school. Now they strut around like they are in the position they are because they are "awesome". No, they're fortunate.

I much prefer them to stay, but I'm honestly at the point where I'm not going to shed a tear if they leave. MU in the SEC becomes Arkansas, they just don't know it yet.

AlecRaenos 11 years, 2 months ago

CalHawk, Kansas doenst want to do Tier 3 revenue sharing either. Fact is, until TLN, Kansas made more on Tier 3 revenue than anyone in teh conference. NEarly 8 million a year. KState brought in 2 million. Why the hell would they want to share?

TLN existing isnt the issue. THe issue is the programming on it. And thats a real issue that DOES need to be addressed.

1) No High School content of any kind. No games, no highlights, no discussing players currently in high school at all. No talking about current commits, or possible commits or anything. No mention of anyone that is not already a student at UT.

2) No conference Tier 3 games exclusively on TLN. If a conference game ends up on TLN, all revenue from that game is split 100% equally between the two teams, from both teams networks.

These are completely fair and reasonable concessions to ask of Texas.

Spencer Goff 11 years, 2 months ago

I was under the impression that issue #1 was addressed by the NCAA themselves. Am I wrong, did they not state it was a recruiting violoation to show any high school athletes on a collegiate branded station?

When the LHN came into being a proposal, I assumed that UT wanted a station where they could not only showcase the occasional UT football game, but could also feature a space for their other sports (which have a pretty sizable following).

I assumed it would be UT baseball games, UT volleyball, and so on and so forth. However, that is not what ESPN and TLN have tried to develop.

I actually like the idea of tier 3 rights to the individual teams, it gives incentive for schools to not just sit on their asses and not develop a brand. But TLN is an issue, and I cannot help but think that ESPN has a strong hand in the problem.

Travis Clementsmith 11 years, 2 months ago

The NCAA ruled on what content the LHN was not able to show, so if they aren't breaking in rule, what do I care. I just have a difficult time believing that some recruit is going to be so impressed that the LHN showed highlights that the local news station was also able to do. Maybe I'm really naive on this point, but I just don't see it.

There are no "Tier 3 Conference Games", all conference games are Tier 2. Networks might choose not to broadcast the Tier 2 games they have bought the rights to, but that doesn't make them "Tier 3". Here is what happened, correct me if I'm wrong:

ESPN, under the current contract with FOX, owns the rights to Tier 2 games. The money they paid for those rights is already paid to the conference which distributes those according to its distribution system. ESPN also produces the LHN and has an interest in seeing it succeed, so it made a deal with Kansas (around 1 million dollars, I believe) to be able to broadcast that game on the LHN and agreed to broadcast that game for free in the state of Kansas, whether or not those Kansans subscribed to the LHN.

So, what exactly are we complaining about here? We got paid for the 2nd Tier game along with everyone else in the conference and then made an extra million on top of that if we agreed to move a game that probably wasn't going to get picked up anyway. KU didn't have to do any of the production costs, they get to have their primary market see the game for free and they made a million extra dollars. Until KU football is a marketable product again, I'm all for the KU at Texas game being broadcast on the LHN every year.

If I'm missing something here, please let me know.

Eric Dawson 11 years, 2 months ago

They won't even be Arkansas. Check out this KC Star article titled "How Missouri football compares if it were in the SEC" at

They compare MU's record over the last 10 years to that of all the SEC schools. Based strictly on W-L records, MU would rank 7th, just behind Tennessee and just ahead of Arkansas.

But there is one huge flaw in the comparison.

MU earned 46% of its Ws against lesser non-con opponents and another 37% against the Big 12 North, viewed by most as one of the weakest group of teams over the last 10 years.

Every college football "expert" I've heard/read says that top-to-bottom the SEC has been the strongest conference in the country the last 10 years, and pretty evenly balanced across the divisions. So even if we assume MU's average non-con schedule equates with that of the average SEC team, comparing MUs record against SEC team records is still going to be woefully skewed to favor MU because MU was playing in the B12N . Truly makes any straight W-L record comparison between MU and any SEC team an invalid apples-orange test.

Here's MU's record from 2001-2010 (The Gary Pinkel era)

TOTAL: 77-49 NonCon: 35-9 B12: 42-40 vB12N: 28-22 vB12S: 14-18 (6-16 w/o the games against the so-so A&M and dreadful BU teams of that decade)

Versus B12S by school: tu: 0-4 OU: 1-6 (includes 2 B12 title game losses, 2007, 2008) OS: 2-3 TT: 3-3 AM: 4-1 BU: 4-1

jgkojak 11 years, 2 months ago

For the last time stop all the Boise St nonsense-

They are Unranked by US News academically, and Regionally, rank below a nunnery... I'm dead dang serious (University of the Incarnate Word)

Oral Roberts is 20 spots higher on this list than Boise St.

JCCC has a better academic rep than Boise St.

The Big 12 would be doing serious harm to its reputation by admitting Boise St.

And the travel makes no sense either.

Spencer Goff 11 years, 2 months ago

I fully agree. To pick up a football team to just pick up a football team is assinine. Look, I think it is cool they can keep a consistently good team but seriously....

The travel is on par with some of the further away Pac 12 teams, so not gaining anything there.

TV viewing area? National brand? Research dollars? Fertile recruiting area?

It's funny when people say, "It's all about football," yet never stop to wonder why the Pac 12 hasn't been calling Boise St. on the phone. Because it isn't only about football.

The only conference in America that actually doesn't give a damn about academics is the SEC.

Spencer Goff 11 years, 2 months ago

Yeah I almost typed that, we have lost how many over the last year?

But lets not give the SEC too much credit, adding aTm was hardly about academics, and neither is potentially adding MU.

scarletbhound 11 years, 2 months ago

Matt: Just a note to say that I, and I'm sure most people on this site, sincerely appreciate your work keeping us abreast of the realignment craziness. Solid work chasing down leads the wind up to be rumors that wind up to be total fantasies. I'm confident that everything will be fine as regards KU. We've got a great national reputation (I've lived on both coasts -- post-grad fellowship at Stanford, worked in Vermont, Pennsylvania and Maryland -- and know that to be true.) Forget all the phony ratings stuff. KU matches up with the best schools in the country, academically, socially and athletically -- even more so once Turner Gill gets the football program on track and the new AD boosts the women's and Olympic sports.

Eric Dawson 11 years, 2 months ago

Do you believe in conspiracies? Even if you don't, this is worth a read.

IMG College: The quiet devil behind conference realignment

I'm not a lawyer, but I have to wonder how long the federal government can go without looking into all this and determining that antitrust laws have been violated and that major athletic departments (most of which I believe are separate non-profit corporations from their respective universities) really do not qualify as non-profits anymore?

Things that make you go "hmmmm..."

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

I kind of doubt Missouri can leave the Big 12.

The state of Missouri has too much coal that will be needed to frack and release coal gas to underwrite the refining of Canadian tar sands and other low grade oils on the great plains, to say nothing of the need to route the north east stem of the Super Corridor across Missouri, into Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania or Maryland, and New Jersey.

Just a thought outside the box, since we know bigger TV revenues were not enough draw OU, or Texas, away from the Big 12.

Likewise, KU and Kansas are too crucial to the Super Corridor, and Kansas has too much coal to be let out of the coalition also.

I mean think about it? Nebraska left for the Big Ten, because Nebraska has no coal and nor Super corridor right of way and did not want the tar sands pipeline. Colorado left to plug itself into a conference that is a coalition of water and power interests in the Colorado River basin and West coast states. Logical.

Texas A&M would be a good release by Texas to begin to build Texas influence inside the SEC, where they have a big ally in Jerry Jones and Arkansas, and a lot of coal to frack in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

And Texas and OU stayed in the Big 12, even though they could have made way more by jumping.

Something other than football TV revenues is driving all of this.

Mine is just a hypothesis, but it fits somewhat so far.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

And it is rumored that you are into pedophilia and supplying guns for drugs down on the border. :-) Aren't ad home fun

Alas, alas, they betray intellectual fear and laziness by the initiator. :-)

What are you afraid of?

Or are you just lazy?

Or both?

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

Of course u r not into pedophilia, or guns for drugs are you?

I was just trying to do as you did, so as to write to you in a manner you would be at ease with. :-)

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago


Someone just told me that you have a rap sheet for drug smuggling a mile long; that it was you in fact that was swapping guns for drugs with the drug smugglers that import across the Texas border. Just kidding, manginohr. :-)

But you gotta admit, when you tell some one that just says no to drugs to get off the LSD, then you leave yourself open to crack backs of you being and arms for drugs smuggler. :-)

Regardless, it appears to me that we have a basic question here that the media and university leaders are not addressing credibly.

Why did OU and Texas turn down the big bucks from other conferences, when CU and NU and Texas A&M did not?

Oooh, are clear, concise questions breath taking some times?

Here's another one?

Why did their Boards of Regents suddenly spank the Chancellors and ADs of OU and Texas and say don't you dare take the bigger bones the way CU, NU, and TAM did?

Credible hypotheses have to produce credible answers for these two questions.

My hypothesis says the dominant schools of super corridor states with lots of coal to be fracked for coal gas to be used for refining tar sands and low grad crude oil, too, aren't allowed to leave the Big 12 conference and coalition of states.

My hypothesis says the dominant universities in these states are crucial pork barrel conduits for holding the super corridor and coal fracking coalition of states together.

Again, its just a hypothesis, but it certainly fits the facts so far, way better than the discredited saw about football TV revenues being the primary driver for all the schools.

Football TV revenues as primary driver went on the ash heap of history, as the saying goes, the moment OU turned down the bigger bones of the Pac Twelve.

Lucy! You got alotta 'splainin' ta do!

FLJHK 11 years, 2 months ago

Bate: I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy but this one seems a bit of a stretch. The factors you cite do raise an eyebrow, but I just don't think college conference affiliations carry the political weight that supports your hypothesis. But as in all things, I could certainly be wrong.

As for conspiracies, the link provided above by LTCUSARet is a very worthy read.

manginorh00lz: love your totally on-target thinking on the realignment matter, and am greatly humored by your direct style and sarcasm, but you need to know that Jaybate's posts have well-earned credibility. If you've followed college hoops on this site, you know that Jaybate's writings are amazingly insightful, reasoned, impeccably well-written and great fun.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago


Thanks for the civility of your doubting of my hypothesis.

But for clarities sake, it is hardly a conspiracy theory.

Each major university in each Big 12 state is in the top five, or ten largest economic entities in its state. Each major university is a major pork barreling conduit. KU's annual budget is over a billion dollars. Federal monies are a big source of university funding. Even UT-Austin, which is probably dwarfed by, say, Exxon, in Texas, is in fact largely and massively endowed with oil and gas reserves.

If you want to build a political economic coalition of Big 12 that produces governors, senators, and congressmen that vote reliably on certain infrastructure issues, it is a huge help to grease the university, as a respectable means of currying reciprocity among elected officials in that state. Military bases high way construction, water projects and universities are the great coitus of Federal pork.

If you want to hold together a regional coalition on infrastructure, you have to pork hard. There is nothing conspiratorial about this; this is Real Politik 101. Heck, they probably teach KU political science students about pork barelliing.

And there is no secret whatsoever about the Super Corridor and about it being blocked presently by court cases in Big Ten States.

And there is no secret about tar sands extraction in Canada, or about needing to frack lots of coal and shale deposits.

So I just don't see any conspiracy theory here at all.

Rather, I am trying to come up with a hypothesis that actually fits the facts about conference alignment, because the idea that football TV revenues are the primary driver just don't explain things. If it did, OU and TU would have left, just like CU, NU and TAM have left for bigger bones.

Something is preventing Texas, OU, OSU, KU, MU and ISU from leaving the Big 12 conference. They all either have key roles to play in the existing, or proposed Super Corridor, and/or tons of coal and significant amounts of oil.

What I am talking about seems practically a mastery of the obvious, rather than a conspiracy theory.

Its just that most persons don't think much about major regional infrastructures and how they are formed and sustained, so it may seem conspiratorial on some level.

But I assure you, pork is not a conspiracy.

It is how our Federal government works.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

erratum: instead of great coitus of pork, I mean to write the great cluster coitus of pork. :-)

FLJHK 11 years, 2 months ago

Jaybate: Perhaps the term conspiracy is erroneous. But I need explanation on a few more things.

Your graphic indicates the Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arkansas and Louisiana as Big 12 "needs." Also, you show pipelines through Nebraska and Minnesota.

Two of these identified states, Colorado and Nebraska, have already left the conference. Many others are not on the discussion list for realignment.

How do you explain those matters? I'm not discrediting your theory, just trying to understand.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago


You are scratching your head about Boise State.

It made me scratch my head at first, too.

But then I asked the obvious question: what kind of natural resources are in Idaho.

Coal? Nope.

But my, oh, my does Idaho have oil shale and tar sands deposits. :-)

Oh, for fracks sake, as the pithy phrase goes these days.

But wait, there may be something further of interest about Idaho: the Port of Lewiston. It is the eastern most Port on the Snake and Columbia River system.

If you wanted a westerly pipeline lateral off the Canada to Texas tar sands pipeline, one that might enable transshipment in, or out, of the coal fracking region and tar sands, well getting it to Lewiston's port, and floating it to Portand and out to sea would be handy. Just a thought.

Maybe there is no relation between conference alignment and energy infrastructure?

Maybe the Big 12 schools just really like potatoes?

Again just a thought. Someone else will probably come up with a better explanation.

LogicMan 11 years, 2 months ago

Only if we agree to merge in the Big East do I see USF in the Big 12. Unless all other options evaporate.

LogicMan 11 years, 2 months ago

Although I'm reading that if they decide to go to 16 via a BE merge-in, USF and also UCF would be possibilities.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago


These are great questions. I'm not sure I can answer them satisfactorily, but will give it a go within the framework of my hypothesis, again noting that it is only an hypothesis.

Think of the USA west of the Misssissippi River as a big piggy bank full of natural resources. It has tended to be held largely in reserve, while the USA went around extracting and consuming the rest of the world's resources in much greater quantities.

But now the USA has gotten itself so far in debt that it can't ever hope to pay its debts with taxes, especially now that its been deindustrialized and turned into a giant service economy of low paying jobs.

So: America has to open up its piggy bank and use its natural resources to pay down its debts. The Chinese will be given some. The Japanese will be given some. And social security will just be told its notes that it holds are worthless and written down. With Social Security down sized, or eliminated, USA can then begin selling off the public's resources in the public lands. Basically the public's resources will be given in lieu of paying off debts with cash.

There will be a lot of fighting over who gets to manage the process and bias it in who's favor. The basic idea is to privatize the process as much as possible, and steal as much as possible, before it gets into foreign hands to repay debts. But you never know how these things will play out.

Without putting too fine a point on it, the western half of CONUS is about to experience something similar to what central Asia and the Middle East have been experiencing. There will be a military force structure expansion. There will be a major expansion of extractive activities. And there will have to be a major expansion of power and transportation infrastructure to enable this "'Stanning" of the American West.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

As a result of needing to open up and sell off the public's resources in the west, as I already indicated, a massive infrastructure expansion is necessary. You have to get the stuff out of the ground, fracked, cracked and shipped to markets.

This happens within the legacy of existing infrastructure and state coalitions supporting that infrastructure. And those coalitions have to adjust to the new infrastructures, like the Super Corridor, and the Canadian Tar Sands Pipeline to Texas.

The are moves and counter moves. Coalitions have to be added to and subtracted from.

One coalition tries to pry a state away from its legacy coalition in order to obstruct an infrastructure expansion it either does not want, or wants a bigger say in.

And then there are counter moves of extending different infrastructures that may act as pay back and as a flanking move in return.

And then there is the issue that natural resources are distributed unevenly. Some states have coal, but not a pipeline, or a super corridor right of way. Some have no coal, but have the infrastructures. Some have none. Some have needs to participate in conflicting coalitions.

For example, Colorado was in a conference with a Super Corridor coalition of states. Colorado has coal in abundance, but it is not a likely path for a super corridor lateral, or a Canadian Tar Sands pipeline lateral.

Further, Colorado needed, after years of aligning with states intended to protect it from California's claims on the Colorado River, finally saw more benefit to allying with the Colorado River basin water and power coalition of states that make up the Pac 12 school's states.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

Nebraska, conversely, found itself without coal, without getting the Super Corridor, and about to be used for nothing so much as right away for a tar sands pipeline. So: Nebraska said we are not getting our needs met in the Big 12 Super Corridor coalition of states at all. We are getting treated like hicks and like Turkmenistanians. We are getting exploited with not enough pork payback.

Well, the Big Ten coalition of upper industrial states who strongly oppose largely Texas control of the Super Corridor, said, hey, we would be glad to take you in, if you will vote for us against Super Corridor expansion without our control of it. And by including Nebraska, the Big Ten coalition of states thus could work to block the Tar Sands pipeline through Nebraska. And of course Nebraska has no love for a pipeline that it is not going to get a big cut of the benefits of, just the pollution that may occur from it.

But Colorado may need to be a part of both the Pac Ten coalition and the Big 12 coalition, to the extent that the Big 12 coalition becomes about fracking coal and tar sands, which it appears to be becoming strongly about.

So while the University of Colorado got moved over into the Pac Twelve, to be a pork conduit into that coalition, the state of Colorado might decide that with the right deal struck with the Big Twelve coalition of states, it might move Colorado State into the Big 12. That way, Colorado would have pork conduits into both the key infrastructure systems involved int the long term process of opening up the American west for whole sale extraction of its public resources to pay off USA debts.

Next, regarding some mountain states schools being considered and some not. Well, Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was its great ancient water infrastructure that underpinned and informed its empire.

In strategy, you always flank and incrementalize the breaking down of existing coalitions of states. You cannot grab them all at once ever.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

So: Idaho's trial ballooning Boise State and Utah is trail ballooning BYU. Idaho is doing it because they import all their power from out of state presently and want to get less beholden by bargaining into a coalition that wants to treat them like something other than a colony, as the PNW states treat Idaho. 75% of Idaho's power comes from hydro and most of that from beyond its borders. Another 15% comes from coal outside its borders. Idaho wants to get in the game. Its got tons of shale and tar sands that could be cracked, if only some coalition of states would help them get the votes needed to unleash it. Idaho is offering its port in Lewiston as another incentive and its a big one. It gives the Big 12 coalition of states access to and a seat at the table of the dominant water and power infrastructure in the west. Wars have been fought over getting less important things. :-)

Utah is a bit like Colorado. It needs a presence in a Colorado Basin coalition of states so it put Utah U in the Pac 12. But it also needs a presence in the coal, shale, and tar sands tracking coalition of states. So it is offering BYY.

Wyoming is almost certainly in the Rockefeller and Big Ten States coalition, so it is probably not open to putting Wyoming U in the Big 12. That would be against its agenda and loyalties. It is kept in its existing conference.

Montana I have never understood much about, but it is probably similar to Wyoming.

New Mexico is a very difficult state to swing in any direction. It is loaded with Federal military and research pork conduits like Los Alamos labs and Sandia labs. The democrats have held a lot of sway there since the New Deal and Manhattan project. The Bush Admin finally had to pull some fancy maneuvers with management contracts to hollow out control of Sandia, Los Alamos Labs, just as they did Lawrence Livermore Lab in California, and moved effective control of all three to UT, or so it has been reputed. So I would call New Mexico one of those states in which a political war is being fought and no one is a clear winner yet. But adding New Mexico to the Big 12 would be a solid move because its got coal, and its got lots of potential pipeline right of ways up into to Utah that could be connected by pipe through New Mexico and down to Texas refineries.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

Everyone of these infrastructures has supporters and obstructors. Everyone can be bought off to be one or the other for the right amount of pork. Universities are one key conduit for such pork. So are military base expansions. So are water projects, etc.

But these days, everyone is very queer for universities as pork conduits, because universities are in the information business and they tend to spawn incubator businesses and so forth. And everyone loves their local university's sports teams and so on, so for a lot of reasons, universities have almost unlimited room for pork expansion, where as military bases are no longer fashionable, or as desirable. Military base pork has a much smaller economic multiplier.

The panacea of pork, of course, is to use the university as a conduit to combine education/research pork with military industrial complex research pork. We see this at KSU in a big way. But it goes on at all universities.

University porking is a growth business. Military base porking and water project poring are sunset pork businesses.

In the age of information, the university is king of pork.

And a university is beautifully flexible for poring, because it can have public realms and private realms, i.e, the university and its institutes.

So: I hope this makes slightly more clear where i am coming from here.

Really, football TV revenues are small potatoes in the world of university pork and regional infrastructure expansions and the porking coalitions required to enable them.

Football TV revenues are just a nice fee for keeping the minor sports paid for while the bigwigs work on the mega pork.

Conferences are one of several ways that state coalitions are built and reinforced in the political economy.

FLJHK 11 years, 2 months ago

Fascinating theory Jaybate. I think there are truths in it, regardless of whether they directly relate to conference realignment. Thanks for sharing.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

You are welcome.

Again, what ever hypothesis is advanced, it has to explain why OU didn't take the bigger money from the Pac 12, as TAM, CU and NU did?

I argue that a university jumps to the bigger money only when doing so is consistent with the political economy and infrastructure priorities of the state's existing and/or desired position in coalitions of states.

I hope others can advance a hypothesis that makes more sense than mine, and practically any idea would make more sense than the already refuted notion that TV revenues are the sole driver.

To reiterate, if football TV revenues were the sole driver, MU, KU and KSU would already have jumped to the Big Ten, as was reputedly offered.

Or MU would already have jumped to the SEC.

And so on.

Therefore football TV revenues cannot be the sole driver of conference affiliation.

FLJHK 11 years, 2 months ago

The two simplest alternative theories are:

  1. The IMG College theory as posted above, where a business enterprise profits from the affiliations of select universities and elite college football games, thereby encouraging the concentration of resources into fewer (superconference) hands; and
  2. MU, KU and KSU were never offered Big Ten membership, and the OU to the PAC was only on the table if OU could bring along UT. The thought that these schools had an unconditional offer is far less than certain.

I'll not dismiss any theory at this point. It will certainly be interesting to see how this plays out.

FLJHK 11 years, 1 month ago


Not sure that you'll even see this. I don't know to what extent your theories explain conference realignment scenarios, but you offer serious thoughts regarding domestic and geo-political economic concerns. I am quite intigued by your perspectives and thank you for taking the time to explain them.

Being a simple guy, I only look forward to your further pontification on Okie ball and how KU is destined to become THE torch holder for basketball supremecy, as God has clearly intended.

jaybate 11 years, 1 month ago


I too am a simple guy. I always look for robust, straight forward hypotheses that elegantly explain a phenomenon, rather than settle for things hypotheses that explain one data point but contradict another.

It is a pleasure exchanging thoughts with you, as always.

Eric Dawson 11 years, 2 months ago

Think KU has it bad in the conference realignment carousel? Check out what West Virginian's are writing about the troubles facing the seemingly unwanted WVU. It' not just the small TV market and state population -- or even the academic status -- lowering the appeal of a good CFB program.

jaybate 11 years, 1 month ago

According to my infrastructure driver hypothesis, the Big 12 probably strongly wants to add WVU and either, but preferably both Louisville and UK in order to lay the ground work for the Big 12 Coalition of states extending the Super Corridor northeasterly from Missouri up the Ohio River Valley through Kentucky and West Virginia.

Further east coast adds should be either, or both Maryland and a significant Pennsylvania school, plus Rutgers in New Jersey. Once these adds are made, then the Super Corridor can be punched all the way through to New Jersey.

poopyku 11 years, 2 months ago

Here are a couple of scenarios that could be interesting. This would really help KU recruiting in Ohio and Florida for both hoops and football. There would be some awesome matchups set up here.

West Virginia
South Florida
Kansas State

WEST DIVISION: BYU Oklahoma Oklahoma State Texas Texas Tech Baylor TCU ( or Houston ) Memphis


Have a North and South Division format swapping South Florida and Memphis

jaybate 11 years, 1 month ago

Adding Cincy would clearly be a bid to incentivize Ohio to accept the Super Corridor up the Ohio Valley, according to my infrastructure driver hypothesis for explaining conference expansion.

Not sure if Ohio will go for it, or if Cincy is a strong enough institutional force in the state of Ohio to wag the dog there, but the oil oligarchy's apparent political push in Ohio (concomitant with its push in Wisconsin and Michigan) to dismantle the Democratic Party resistance to the Super Corridor, plus adding Cincy could create a wide enough crack in the local Ohio oligarchy to "let it be."

South Florida is also a very interesting add that I have not yet addressed in my infrastructure hypothesis explaining conference expansion.

At first, I thought South Florida might sink my hypothesis, if it were added, but then it occurred to me that Florida is a state the Bushes and the Texas oil oligarchy have reputedly invested heavily in (they even funded the election of Jeb Bush as Governor there) to attract it into their orbit in part apparently to assist in implementing the new liquified natural gas infrafrastructure (which the Super Corridor is a critical piece of) that was nearly, but not quite completed during the Dubya administration. The country is reputedly now fully ringed with Regassification terminals, or permits to build such, within regulatory jurisdictions (e.g., terminals in Grand Bahamas, Ensenada, and just off shore of many other mainland locations), where the oilco oligarchy reputedly has sufficient influence to deny competitors.

For example, a major regassification terminal was built in the Grand Bahamas and a pipeline was layed in the ocean to connect that terminal to the Florida mainland back during the Dubya years. This set up effectively allows the oilco oligarchy to use USA environmental regulations to deny competitive regas terminals in onshore locations the oil oligarchy might not tightly control, or so it is reputed by some.

Since the implementation of the LNG infrastructure got stymied, along with the expansion of the Super Corridor, when Obama took office, it might be that the grand infrastructure strategy might include not only another push to implement the Super Corridor, but also another effort to connect up it up to the Liquified Natural Gas infrastructure just mentioned.

Very interesting adding South Florida to a Big 12 conference coalition of states. U of South Florida hardly seems to fit with the hypothesis that football TV revenues drive conference realignment. :-)

Oh, well, enough hypothesizing. On to next.

poopyku 11 years, 2 months ago

Forgot Iowa State. They would also be in the East.

Michael Bowden 11 years, 1 month ago

With the big east looking to expand do we still get cincy louisville and wv anyones thoughts

Hammertoe 11 years, 1 month ago

KU fans are jealous of Mizzou as they have options. Every team that had an invitation to join another conference has done so. Adding TCU to the conference is due to their football program. Anybody know anything about TCU's basketball program? Think the TCU KU game is attractive to anybody outside Douglas County? KU isn't even the best football program in the state and Football is driving the bus of college athletics.
Blue Chip Football players are steered away from "basketball schools" easy sell for football coaches. The Key to the future of the Big 12 lies with your worst enemy, Mizzou. They leave and you will see a further shift in the Big 12 power to the state of Texas. What are the chances of a Big 12 championship in any Sport in Kansas City MISSOURI if they move to the SEC?

REHawk 11 years, 1 month ago

This KU fan is not jealous of Mizzou. But he is growing restless with Mizzou's footdragging. I lay my money on their staying in the Big 12, but if their indecision is not soon ended, I say BYE-BYE. (and I am a lifelong Missouri resident)

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