It's the Big 12 vs. the world: Are things about to get messy?


10:23 a.m. Update:

Well, here we are, set to start another day of rumors, speculation and talk about the future of the Big 12 and conference realignment.

Already today we've heard from a couple of Big 12 football coaches who have stayed pretty hands off regarding their beliefs about this whole mess.

KU coach Turner Gill said on Monday morning's Big 12 coaches teleconference that he believed the conference would survive and remain strong into the future. Gill said he has great faith in the conference leadership and the chancellors and presidents at each institution.

A few minutes later, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops chimed in with his thoughts, saying he would go along with whatever the OU president and AD decided was best for the Sooners. Stoops is not usually one to hold back his opinion so his rather vanilla answer here left me thinking that OU is seriously considering a move.

Later, when asked what he thought of the whole idea of conference realignment Stoops said he thought they wouldn't have to worry about it for at least a year but added that he assumed it would be an issue the Big 12 faced again at some point down the road.

Overnight, an interesting article popped up in the New York Post that indicated the Big East may have reached out to a few Big 12 schools to offer a soft landing should the Big 12 be blown up.

The most interesting aspect of the article says that the Big East could pick up Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri, therein forming some type of Big East "West" with those three schools and others like Louisville and Cincinnati thrown into the mix.

Stay tuned...

10:42 p.m. Update:

I know it's a little late but I hope you all don't miss these. Two good links that I just had to put up... Enjoy.

Mark Cuban, yes that Mark Cuban, offers up his advice to the Big 12 Conference. It's a great read and it might not be all that out there.

There's also this take from the online blog, BleacherReport, that says that the Sooners would be wise to take Kansas and Missouri to the Pac-12 with them.

Stay tuned...

Original Post:

By now, just about anybody and everybody who is going to speak up and say something about the future of the Big 12 Conference has done so — at least once.

That includes presidents of universities, such as OU's David Boren, who, last Friday, kicked off this wild and wacky weekend with a matter-of-fact statement about the Sooners' potential interest in exploring other options.

That was followed by a flurry of statements from around the league. Mizzou's Gary Pinkel had this to say: “Obviously, we have some issues in our league. When you have Nebraska leave one year. Colorado leaves. Also now Texas A&M. Three really good football teams. … You know, we’ve got some issues. Without question there’s some issues that other leagues don’t have. You don’t hear anything about any other league in the country having these kind of problems. We all know where it starts. Mike Alden’s not the point man here. Dan Beebe is. Dan Beebe’s our commissioner. He’s the guy to ask. I don’t know what they’re going to do. I’m just focusing now on winning the football game. … There’s just no one in the country, no other league in the country, where this stuff goes on. And it’s really a shame because the potential of the league is just so tremendous."

The parade didn't stop there, as ADs from around the league, including KU's own Sheahon Zenger responded to Boren's statements in a variety of ways. Some backed the Sooners boss and said they, too, were tired of living in an unstable world. Others lashed out and said that it was statements like those that created the instability in the first place.

But it didn't stop there either. Even well-known boosters, such as Oklahoma State's T. Boone Pickens chimed in with their thoughts. Clearly, in at least some form or another, this has become an every-man-for-himself situation.

Insiders have told me that there still is enough interest within the Big 12 to fight to keep the conference going. Other sources have said the league is dead and it's only a matter of time at this point. So much remains unclear, yet, somehow, we appear to be trudging closer to a resolution by the minute.

Or at least that's what I thought until I read this article, from, in which Chip Brown says that multiple sources told him that Texas lawmakers (remember when they wanted to be involved a few weeks ago?) are now trying to lean on the folks at UT in an effort to pump the brakes on the whole deal.

"We don't want any hasty decision being made that hasn't been well thought out," one Texas lawmaker told on Sunday.

Brown went on to report that sources said lawmakers received assurances from the Big 12, including UT president Bill Powers, that the Big 12 would survive without Texas A&M.

Remember them? Isn't it funny how the Aggies' quick and decisive actions have made them mere observers in the messiest round of conference realignment talk yet? I guess there's something to be said for knowing what your future holds.

And that brings us to now. Oklahoma evidently has options and, at the drop of a hat, could make a move that would burry the conference. But are they holding aces or simply trying to bluff their way into better standing in the Big 12? Oklahoma State appears to be tied firmly to OU's boat and seems happy to go along for the ride.

Texas, though in a slightly weaker position than it was a year ago, continues to hold heavy artillery. The Longhorns, should they get tired of fighting the fight, could jump ship for the Pac-12 even faster than OU, though there are more obstacles in the Longhorns' way and, better yet, more reasons for them to want to stay.

Missouri, a major player last go around, has remained pretty loyal this time. With good reason. The Tigers believe they have options, but they're not 100 percent sold on them and don't want to do anything to jeopardize the league they're in until they have to. Smart move. Kansas is taking a similar approach and has similar leverage.

That leaves K-State, Baylor and Iowa State. It's likely that each is panicking big-time and, at this point, may very well be hoping for major conference expansion beyond 16-team conferences. If the leagues grow to 18 or, gasp!, 20, as some have suggested, that dramatically increases K-State, Iowa State and Baylor's odds of remaining in a major conference and keeps them — for now — from having to face the music of what life might be like in the Mountain West.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, a man who's, no doubt, reveling in all this attention, said Sunday that his league had been contacted by several schools: "I will say schools have reached out to us," Scott said. "We are not doing anything proactively."

I guess the definition of proactive could be up for debate. Maybe Scott's doing nothing out front and above board, but he has to be doing a happy dance behind closed doors at the idea of both Texas and Oklahoma possibly coming west.

So that brings us up to date. It seems, right now, as if everybody is waiting for somebody else to make a move and nobody is taking any action themselves. We all know that's not true, but the first one to flinch could be the one who ends this thing.

As for KU's involvement in all of this, the Jayhawks are not without options. Sources have said that KU's talks have been productive and have many in the athletic department believing that Kansas will be fine once all of this is over.

What "fine" means is another matter, but it seemed to sound as if it meant that Kansas would not get left out in the cold. I've been told that the Big 12, Big East, Big Ten and Pac-12 all remain in play for the Jayhawks.

One source familiar with the goings on from last summer told me a few weeks ago that KU actually was in good shape with the Pac-12 last summer and, had things fallen apart then, would've been more than welcomed to join OU, Texas and the rest of the defectors out west.

If that was the case then, it could be the case now, too. Of course, as we've seen oh so many times before, things change can change fast when you're talking realignment.

Stay tuned...


KGphoto 10 years, 11 months ago

Big East? Pfff. They are as dead as the Big 12, they're just 2nd in line for execution. There WILL be 4 SuperConferences, and The Big East and Big 12 are out.

It's all about being the last or next-to-last team in the Big Tensixteen for KU.

What I DO see is a second tier of "mid-majors" that is much improved by the leftovers. It all plays into the hands of the NCAA. Mid-majors are hot right now, and if you can have a Super League and also a hot little secondary league, why not?

Matt Tait 10 years, 11 months ago

The Big East may be dead in name but a handful of schools from there, the ACC and the Big 12 could align and form that fourth "power conference."

This much is certain: Big Ten, Pac-Whatever and SEC are the big three.

Will be very interesting to see how that 4th develops...

KGphoto 10 years, 11 months ago

The ACC isn't going anywhere. The Big East has been a complete mess forever. It's a basketball conference and, as has been made abundantly clear, basketball schools don't make power conferences. Sorry to ruin the tinsel of your next 20 re-alighment articles, but the informed KU parties have moved on to stage 3. How do I get noticed by the Big 16?

Matt Tait 10 years, 11 months ago

More people than you may realize are thinking basketball in this deal... Somebody has to.

Randy Bombardier 10 years, 11 months ago

I still think we should go to Indiana, Illinois, Memphis, Louisville, Kentucky and maybe Purdue and talk up basketball with an improved football outlook if we loose OU, Texas, etc. I agree that everyone is talking football, but that is because ESPN wants it so. That doesn't mean it has to be that way.

lee3022 10 years, 11 months ago

Syracuse Pitt West Virginia

You may disagree with these three but all three have played both football and basketball at a high level for many years. The idea that any are Texas or Oklahoma or USC or UCLA might be a stretch, But all three belong in the top 25 of athletic success over the past 20 years.

Vito 10 years, 11 months ago

The Big East isn't going anywhere. It's getting bigger and much richer due to a new TV contract with three networks falling all over each other to bid. No league has more TVs than the Big East, not even close. Mizzou is off to the Big Ten or SEC (along with A&M). KU and KSU are going to the Big East along with a throw-in Central Time school - either Iowa St, Baylor or Houston - to make for an even 12 football school Big East conference. Word is that it's Houston. Again, due to TVs = bigger network contract. The Big East just added the Dallas-Ft. Worth market with TCU. Have you noticed a trend = population? KU and KSU fans may not like to hear this, but it's reality. Facts are stubborn things.....

TtownHawk 10 years, 11 months ago

 "One source familiar with the goings on from last summer told me a few weeks ago that KU actually was in good shape with the Pac-12 last summer and, had things fallen apart then, would've been more than welcomed to join OU, Texas and the rest of the defectors out west.

 If that was the case then, it could be the case now, too. Of course, as we've seen oh so many times before, things change can change fast when you're talking realignment."

That may have been the case last year, but Utah joining makes our chances in the PAC 12 less of a sure thing imo. I hope i'm wrong though.

Matt Tait 10 years, 11 months ago

KU was in AHEAD of Utah last year... Not sure what their presence there now really does to KU except that it gives whichever schools join the Pac-16 a clear partner in the "East"

Not a huge plus or minus for KU, though. Still gotta sell that they're the school that belongs in....

Still think Pac-16 is third on KU's wish list. Fourth if you count the Big 12...

jay381 10 years, 11 months ago

Matt: I am curious about the order and the realistic % of the first 3 if the Pac is the 4th choice. I can see other choices also however; based on the last round of this I just do not think they are realistic options that will be available. I hope I am wrong.

Matt Tait 10 years, 11 months ago

There's so much up in the air right now that doing an exercise like this is difficult.

My "list" is merely a best guess based on what I'm hearing from a number of different places.

Realistic: 1. Big East - 40% 2. Big Ten - 25% 3. Pac-16 - 20% 4. Big 12 - 10% 5. Other - 5%

Wishful Thinking: 1. Big 12 2. Big Ten 3. Big East 4. Pac-16 5. Other

Again, nothing official there by any means. Just my best interpretation of a messy situation...

Jared Grillot 10 years, 11 months ago

I hate to say this on here or out loud, but if this were to play out, I think I would choose the Big Ten. I have a feeling I'm being greatly influenced by living in Michigan for over 10 years, but I think I'd have to say that I wouldn't be sorry If we went there.

jay381 10 years, 11 months ago

Thanks, I cannot say I disagree. I do hope your realistic 1st place Big East is totally incorrect. One writer in OKC (off the record) conveyed the same to me that unfortunately Big East might be the only destination for KU. Incidentally this writer is a sympathetic to KU and knows personally the Self family and admires Bill Self. He is not a foe of KU. Frankly of all the options Big East is the least palatable to me. I also hope you are correct and I am wrong on The Big Ten. I do not see them extending and invitation however; again I really hope I am wrong. I may be in a minority but if divisional play was implemented in some form in the Pac (?) whatever it sure looks more appealing to me. The Big 12 I really have doubts of the viability of or the availability of the same or close to the same quality as the departing schools. I hope something is below the surface I am not aware of. Yes it is one heck of a mess.

Steve Hillyer 10 years, 11 months ago

Hi Matt, so you think KU would prefer to be in the Big East over the Pac16? Why is that? Big East is the last choice as far as I'm concerned for two reasons; I don't think it is all that stable of conference, and I don't think we have much in common with the members of that conference, it seems to be populated with schools no one is particularly interested in and they don't have much in common with each other. A bunch of private Catholic schools, commuter schools and a few liberal arts colleges, not impressed.
I read on orangebloods last year we were preferred over OSU by the Pac 10, that why I'm not convinced TT and OSU are the other two teams, I can see us getting preference over one of those.

Matt Tait 10 years, 11 months ago

I honestly think KU may have options here. The problem is, if it wants the Pac-16, it may have to jump fast... which, in turn, would eliminate having options.

That said, I'm confident work is being done to prepare for all possible outcomes...

As for why I favor the Big East, for one, there's more national relevance back there. Big East bias ring a bell? For two, those Pac-16 start times are a disaster in terms of national exposure. A lot of times people (i.e. recruits) are in bed long before the games are finished or even start.

Just trying to think about this from all angles...

Steve Hillyer 10 years, 11 months ago

If we get an invite from the P16 we have to jump on it, there is no way we decline with the hopes of getting a better offer. As for the game times on the west coast, I assume the schedule will be like the B12's when it had 12 teams, we would play our division(twice in bball) and play maybe a couple of teams from the other division in fb (that would be nine conf. games), in bball play the teams once in the other division, four would be at home and four on the road and they could be on scheduled weekends, that would then eliminate the late night weeknight delimma, just a thought.

jhox 10 years, 11 months ago

If KU is one of 4 new additions to the Pac 12, from the Big 12, the other 3 would likely be UT, OU and OSU. Throw in Colorado and you have 4 schools from the prior conference in relative close proximity to each other, and late start times are only likely to happen a few games each year. I don't see that as a problem. Add the two Arizona schools, which are in the Mountain time zone most of the year,except for a few months in non college sports seasons when they don't observe daylight savings, and they essentially share the same time zone as Colorado during college sports seeasons. That 6 teams in an East Division, not in the Pacific time zone, not the pacific time zone. I assume Utah is Mountain standard time zone as well so that's 7 schools not in the Pacific Time zone. I don't see late starts as a big issue.

The big east is shakey. If the Big 10 does what has been speculated, and lands ND, and a couple of Big East schools who can bring a lot of TV's to the table, that makes a shakey conference even more shakey. That's why I believe the Pac 12 is the only realistic option to us. The Big 10 being an unrealistic option, since I've seen nothing suggesting they would have any interest in KU.

utahjayhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Matt, you write good stuff and seem very level-headed, which is a great quality in this very dynamic situation. With that said, I think your BE points are pretty weak. The start times issue is overblown -- even a 8pm tip (late on the WC) would be 11pm for a NY kid -- I think these kids would handle it if there was true interest. With KU in the PAC, that conference would then span 3 of the 4 continental US time zones, which would dramatically increase exposure I would think.

The BE is certainly tops in bball, but that's a strong suit for us already. We need to carve steady growth in the biggest money sport to take this university as far as possible. We need to leverage our bball history, not monopolize our identity with it.

The other issue is that the PAC is superior in academics compared to the BE, which will also increase prestige and value for our university.

texashawk10 10 years, 11 months ago

I honestly don't think start times would be a big issue. As far as affecting a basketball recruit's ability to watch the game, only weekday games in the Pacific timezone would be affected and probably not all that much. KU would play at most 6 games in the Pacific timezone and 3 of those would likely be weekend games which means KU would only play 3 conference games during the week in the Pacific timezone where an east coast recruit wouldn't see an entire game.

With football I would guess that a 16 team conference would adopt a similar setup to what the WAC had in the late 90's which could really hurt KU recruiting depending on how that works out because KU wouldn't play in Texas every year and wouldn't play in California every year either.

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

If we're going to rely on KU to do anything quickly, we are in a world of hurt. It seems that our current administration prefers to be reactive, rather than proactive.

Hammertoe 10 years, 11 months ago

Exactly. two time zones away will mean some late night travel for all...We all may look back on the Big 12 and old Big 8 as the "good old days".

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 11 months ago

Insiders have told me that there still is enough interest within the Big 12 to fight to keep the conference going... There goes Sheahon again. Thinking there is still hope. At least I'm assuming Tait doesn't have deloss or joes phone number on speed dial. What a joke!

Matt Tait 10 years, 11 months ago

I'm crushed by how much you're underestimating me here. If it were as simple as calling one guy, this would've been up at 1 o'clock.

Can't imagine doing this job in the days of long distance phone bills. YEESH!

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 11 months ago

Sheahon's the joke, not you Matt. You know you're my boy

Matt Tait 10 years, 11 months ago

Still crushed... ;-) Thinking of dialing up Big 12 greats Eric Crouch, Vince Young or Eddie Sutton any minute now just to show ya!!!

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 11 months ago

Lol! I'm pretty sure everyone of those guys has been arrested! Keep it gansta, Tait;)

mjhawkchalk 10 years, 11 months ago

This is why I hate you, aphersecoachingexperience.

FLJHK 10 years, 11 months ago


I'm sure you can count on many of us to "stay tuned..." I've been checking this site every couple of hours for many days now.

The whole thing is disgusting and aggravating. I'm all but certain the Big 12 is dead and am hoping that somehow we, along with MU, end up in the Big 10.

But in the all but dead chance that the Big 12 somehow survives and the existing 9 teams remain, I think some sort of legally binding, long-term commitment needs to be part of the equation. Simply stating you are committed to the Big 12, a la A&M, OU and others is not enough. Any such commitment needs real teeth.

Matt Tait 10 years, 11 months ago

If it does survive - and there's definitely a chance, despite what the anti-Big 12 folks say - I think you'll see one of two things put into place to ensure long-term stability:

A. A legally binding contract, like you're suggesting (less likely)... or.... B. Outrageous exit penalties (should've been the case last year).

They raised the exit fees last year but not high enough. Besides, I think part of A&M's decision to bolt was based on the belief that if they go the whole thing will come tumbling down and then there won't be any league to pay a penalty to. A savvy move.

riverdrifter 10 years, 11 months ago

Matt, In another vein, surely Zenger by now has it in his head that KU is not attached to KSU in any way regarding realignment?

Matt Tait 10 years, 11 months ago

The thought all along has been that KU would look out for its own interests above all else in this mess.

KU chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little confirmed last week that there is no legal requirement for KU and KSU to remain joined at the hip.

In a perfect world, I'm sure both schools would love to stay together... But it's far from a perfect world and I think any fears about KSU "bringing KU down" in all this are unfounded.

It's time to look out for No. 1...

Matt Tait 10 years, 11 months ago

If this were the Olympics, they'd have a point. It's not. Case closed...

Pitthawk34 10 years, 11 months ago

That is complete nonsense. If KSU can go somewhere and picked ahead of us then I would wish them well. It would be unfair for us to stop them merely because we are not up to their standards. All the following are reasons KU is ahead of Kansas State. AAU status, superior athletic budget, larger revenue (KU is in the top 5 of the league an estimate over the last 5 years in the big 12), Larger school with more national recognition (yes the ecokat has yet to perform any magic), and yes this who thing is football driven but KU is a blueblood of basketball. Top 3 program in the nation. That will result in a lot of eyes watching during the winter. It is one thing being good in basketball but a wole nother being a top 3 program. Not saying this will land KU but puts KU over the top of KSU any day of the week. They know it and we know it. Sometimes swallowing pride is a hard thing to do.

Andy Tweedy 10 years, 11 months ago

I guess that would start the new year KU 1, KSU 0!!!!

Harrison Green 10 years, 11 months ago

I don't know whether this is a viable solution or not. This assuming UT, tech, OU, and Okie state leave. Is it possible for the remaining schools to quickly add members (absorb Mnt west) collect exit fees (max amount being 160 mill) and form a big 12 network to build brand equity? With a network and adding some schools with strong fan bases or large markets (Air force, BYU TCU SMU Memphis etc), it could be a money maker and elevate the schools with lesser amenities to the standards of a major conference team.

jay381 10 years, 11 months ago

I currently live in Memphis and trust me the last option I would ever consider would be adding Memphis to any conference I was affiliated with. Memphis is a third tier city educational facility that probably not as good as the junior college facilities in our region. The football is a joke without even an on campus stadium. Yes, while Calipari was here they did have good basketball but at the cost of cheating. They have been to two final fours and had to forfeit the season's victories in both seasons due to violations. The only thing this bunch would bring to the table is a lowering of both academic and athletic standards. They have been soliciting the Big East every time there is an opening only to get turned down.

The other schools and AF are good institutions but are they interested? I thought BYU, TCU, and AF had all issued statements they were staying where they were. SMU would come in a minute to get out of C-USA but what do they bring?

Steve Jacob 10 years, 11 months ago

I have the theory Texas and OU will get together, stay, and do whatever they want, a tell teams if you want to stay, great, if not, screw you. Those two teams will make the teams that stay or join a lot of money. The is college sports, the holy dollar rules.

rob4lb 10 years, 11 months ago

One of the questions I have is whether the Pac 12 is obligated to take O-State and Texas Tech. How much leverage do OU and UT actually have? I would think an ideally the Pac 12 would prefer OU and UT and then KU and MU.

Some have speculated that OU is not acting independently and they UT is aware of every move they are making, maybe even orchestrating the discussions.

I have always contended that a strong Big 12 is the best option for KU, but I can't see that in the future unless UT decides to show some leadership and split revenues equally and change the LHN to a Big 12 network. Living in Texas, I don't see that happening. The Big 12 is a disfunctional family with an abusive father. It's not going to change, we need to get out.

My dream scenario is the Big 10 with Missouri. If the Big 12 dissolves, I could see that happening. I don't know why we would want anything to do with the Big East. That is going from one unstable conference to another. I think they will eventually have to split the basketball only member from the football playing members.

LAJayhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

"One of the questions I have is whether the Pac 12 is obligated to take O-State and Texas Tech. How much leverage do OU and UT actually have?"

Their leverage is "if you want us to join, take these other two." If the Pac 12 didn't, then they would remain in the Big 12. UT and OU have ALL the power in this situation. The future of the Big 12 lies directly in their hands, and them joining the Pac 12 is a dream scenario for that conference. Pac 12 wants them, so they will likely go along with the teams that OU & UT want to join. I still believe TLN is a bigger hangup than people think, however, and ESPN is not going to take having Texas split it with another team that easily. Of course, that's just an outsiders perspective.

Travis Shinkle 10 years, 11 months ago

Can somebody please explain WHY Texas Tech, which is out in the middle of nowhere, is attached to UT at the hip?!? I know it's a political thing but still...what does Lubbock have over KU, MIZZOU???

Daniel Kennamore 10 years, 11 months ago

Very nice article Matt.

I truly hope the administration's comments about us being fine are correct. You mentioned elsewhere that the PAC would be one of the last outcomes in terms of what's best for KU. How would you rank them (including a Big 12 full of new teams minus Texas, A&M, OU, Okie State, & Mizzou)? I get the impression you think the Big East would be a better move than the PAC; why is that?

Matt Tait 10 years, 11 months ago

Just posted this above, but here it is again in case it gets lost in the shuffle...

As for why I favor the Big East, for one, there's more national relevance back there. Big East bias ring a bell? For two, those Pac-16 start times are a disaster in terms of national exposure. A lot of times people (i.e. recruits) are in bed long before the games are finished or even start.

Just trying to think about this from all angles...

There's probably better stability out west but there are also a lot of reasons why that's not the best option for KU. Remember, if they go to the Big East, it's likely to join some sort of "Western division" which could include Missouri, TCU, Cincinnati, Louisville, perhaps even K-State and Baylor... If that were to come true, you're talking about a much better travel situation, which saves mega bucks.

We'll see...

Kevin Huffman 10 years, 11 months ago

Dude! Don't "want to", but would be better than Mtn. West, Conf. USA or a lame attempt to rebuild if there's only 4 or 5 of 'em left. Honestly, I would argue better than joining the ACC too.

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

You're right Matt. I'm an old dude and, while I hate pretty much everything east of Kansas City, Ks (including the Royals and right now the Chiefs) I stand a much better chance of watching us tip off at 7:00 pm Central time than I do 10:00 pm Pacific time. Of course, I guess there's always TiVo.

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Ha! I screwed that up - 8:00 pm Pacific time = 10:00 pm Central time. Easier to watch a game from the East coast that starts at 8:00 pm Eastern time and 7:00 Central time. Where's the Tylenol ?

Clarence Haynes 10 years, 11 months ago

Also, there is a significant representation of Jayhawk Alums east of the Mississippi.

Kevin Huffman 10 years, 11 months ago

Don't forgt how many of Self's recruits have come from Chicago, D.C., Baltimore, New Jersey, New York, northeast period, etc. Only names I can think of pseudo-west or even in-state have been Releford, Aldrich, our transfer-C, D.Jackson and Micah Downs who transferred back to WA.

Matt Tait 10 years, 11 months ago

Just popped in a couple of links at the top of the story under the header "10:42 p.m. Update" --- Go check 'em out if you're bored and looking to read more. They're a little off the wall and more about entertainment than finding answers.

Just didn't want you all to miss em...

LAJayhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Cuban's post is excellent, even if the Big 12 staying alive and avoidance of super-conferences seems like a futile argument at this point.

Why didn't they let the guy by the Cubs again????

FLJHK 10 years, 11 months ago

I think the prospective Big 10 opportunity should be vigorously pursued, and we should couple to some extent with MU in the effort. Reasons: 1. Prior to the formation of the Big 12, the Big 10 was considering expansion, and had targeted KU and MU (not NU). There may be some residual interest. 2. The Big 10 is a conference that truly cares about basketball. In my view they have eclipsed the ACC in recent years, and Kansas would greatly help them close the gap with the Big East. Plus, the Big 10 might not want us to join the Big East. 3. Coach Self is our greatest current ambassador. As a former Big 10 coach, I’m sure he has solid ties with coaches and administration throughout the Big 10. Coach Self could call on some of those cards. 4. While we are generally regarded slightly below most Big 10 schools academically, the differences are relatively minor. Too, both KU and MU hold the prestigious AAU membership, and have enjoyed a 100-year AAU affiliation with six Big 10 schools. Nebraska was also a long-term AAU member but recently lost that credential, much to their own embarrassment. 5. Nebraska should be our ally in the effort. The development of an 8-school western division of the Big 10 would enable a reestablishment of their historic rivalries with KU and MU and would be of great convenience to their traveling fans. I would be at least as happy with a Big 10 membership than even a salvaged Big 12. I think every resource should be devoted to this logical but admittedly difficult effort.

Daniel Kennamore 10 years, 11 months ago


KU and Mizzou in the Big Ten just feels right. Much more so than the PAC or Big East.

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

I'd like the Big 10, if for no other reason than to beat the crap out of Ohio St every year in basketball.

Clarence Haynes 10 years, 11 months ago

I like the observation about Self's connections. Geographic continuity also.

Randy Bombardier 10 years, 11 months ago

Best solution. Don't underestimate the importance of TG's ties to NU. I think a word from NU, especially TO would also help our cause. I am ready for that I think.

lee3022 10 years, 11 months ago

Correct to include the academics. The Big 10 held them important until they admitted Nebraska. KU brings far more to a conference than just athletics.

I don't know if the Big 10 wants us. Especially if KSU is a partner. Although there is no legal requirement to include K-State the legislature will likely weigh in that we must and K-State definitely does not meet Big 10 standards.

ChiJayhawk4 10 years, 11 months ago

Hey Matt,

I just want to say you're doing a great job and we appreciate the updates and hard work. I don't know what I would do without my!!!

Matt Tait 10 years, 11 months ago

Thanks a lot! Really appreciate it. Glad I can help make some sense of all of this... If that's possible.

Hank Cross 10 years, 11 months ago

  1. The idea of the TX legislature stepping in to save the B12 is more of a smokescreen from Brown/Dodds.

  2. UT stands to make more money by going to the P16 than by remaining in the B12 or going indie.

  3. Utah took KU's slot in the P16. I've not seen one article linking any KU to the P16. It's all TT.

  4. The B1G is likely NOT to expand in reaction. See the nytimes article. Also consider that adding more teams to the Committee for Institutional Cooperation which is the B1G schools and the University of Chicago. The CIC members engage in $6 billion in funded research, receiving some 12 percent of the total federal research funds awarded annually (18 percent of the National Science Foundation total, and 15.7 percent of the USDA total). That's 6 Billion with B. Enough money to impress even UT. Why would they be in a hurry to cut Pitt, Cuse, or Rutgers in on this pie? There's probably no way that adding 4 more FB teams to the B1G could offset the corresponding loss in funding dollars.

  5. The BE is not dead. ESPN did not dump 100s of millions of dollars into Big Monday to watch the two featured conferences turn into the A-10 and Mountain West. Having a place to keep its non-FB teams helps ND maintain its independence. So ND is going to fight to keep the conference alive. Also, Georgetown has nowhere else to go and they carry clout.

  6. The SEC can avoid being blamed for starting a a bloodbath right now by simply taking A&M and MU and waiting to see what shakes out of the course of next couple of years.

  7. Last year the BE already approved KU, KSU, MU, and ISU for admission.

Based on the above, I still see KU, KSU and either ISU (hard to believe, isn't it?) or Baylor in the BE by the end of the month.

Daniel Kennamore 10 years, 11 months ago

"3. Utah took KU's slot in the P16. I've not seen one article linking any KU to the P16. It's all TT."

You haven't seen an article citing an official saying Okie State or Texas Tech either. They've only been named by speculating sports writers.

Daniel Kennamore 10 years, 11 months ago

So many links and not a single one proving your point. There is yet to be an OFFICIAL that gets a say in the matter that's named Texas Tech.

utahjayhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

oxcal, I think your second reference says that UT stands to actually make more by going indie, which makes intuitive sense.

  1. Unfettered TEX-ploitation.

For over a decade, DeLoss Dodds has been carefully pursuing the unfettered ability to exploit the marketplace solely for the benefit of UT’s own interests. If A&M bolts for the SEC, it actually leaves Texas with more flexibility. The LHN can co-exist with the Big 12 under the status quo, but that’s not its highest and best use.

The two most likely destinations for Texas are a Pac-14/16 or football independence. And the latter might be the most lucrative option. Stay tuned.

Hank Cross 10 years, 11 months ago

You're right. I'm looking forward to the next in this series where he lays it all out.

BarkingHawk 10 years, 11 months ago

So, Texas is going to let their mortal enemies, Nebraska and Texas A&M, get the last laugh here by successfully blowing up the Big 12 by their defections - both because of, that's right, Texas. For all their money and hubris, UT risks this outcome as its lasting legacy if it cannot hold this conference together. They will be humbled either way, but an accommodation by the Longhorn network to share more with other conference members and otherwise coming down off their high horse (i.e., equality) over a face-saving timeframe beats absolute victory by NU and TAM in this high stakes game of chicken.

And what could Husker and Aggie fans enjoy more than this clearcut victory over the fallen king. Game, set and match (the latter being the conference fire-starting sort).

We'll see.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 11 months ago

No matter where we end up, panic will set in with the other schools in our conference when they realize they have to face Bill Self and the KU Jayhawks on the hardwood on a regular basis. We will be the team to beat no matter where we are. All we need to do is stay true to the Crimson and Blue!

Six weeks till Late Night !!!!!!

Hammertoe 10 years, 11 months ago

I haven't heard basketball mentioned in any of the conference realignment discussion nationally.... Sad but true.

lee3022 10 years, 11 months ago

The Big East wants more football teams but adding KU to its basketball makes it the undisputed top basketball conference. Conversely if KU goes to any other conference it will tilt their way also.

FLJHK 10 years, 11 months ago

Oxcal: Very good points. I agree the Big 10 is not going to do anything in reaction. But most speculation suggests that they are ultimately aiming to become one of the 16-team superconferences.

The CIC reference is completely on-target. And that goes with Big 10 membership. It was extended to include both Penn State and Nebraska after they joined.

It's also why AAU membership is so critical to Big 10 schools, (and why it was so embarrassing that NU lost that status after joining). The AAU schools are where the research dollars go, and while I've no firm data, KU and MU are no slouches in that regard. They would not dilute the product.

If I'm the Big 10 and looking to eventually get to 16 teams, the four clear choices, academically and athletically, are KU, MU, Pitt and Rutgers. And if it's a phased expansion, I grab KU and MU first, or risk losing them to other conferences. KU and MU are also the best fits culturally and geographically.

FLJHK 10 years, 11 months ago

Actually I would add Iowa State to the Rutgers/Pitt mix. I would rate them on the categories of significance on a par with Pitt and slightly above Rutgers.

chris1g 10 years, 11 months ago

After reading that Mark Cuban article, it makes a lot of sense. I hope that the Big XII thinks the same thing and possibly stays at a 9 team conference. Also I have read on other sites that the Texas A&M leaving for the SEC isnt a done deal yet and they may have to come crawling back to the Big XII. I dont know whats gonna happen but if I had my wish and the Big XII does end up folding I wish that KU and MU would both go to the Big 10. For one even though I hate Missouri I love the rivalry, and two I live in Nebraska so I can catch KU basketball games and i also live close enough to Lawrence to where i can catch KU football games, hopefully this gets worked out sooner than later because this is killing me.

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 11 months ago

Remember, if we stay in the big12 and it's the al east like he described, we are Baltimore. Even if the big12 stays together the unequal revenue sharing will make us bottom feeders forever. If offered a chance to join the PAC or 1G where everything is equal you go and go now!

Andy Tweedy 10 years, 11 months ago

As an Orioles fan, I am offended. But I do agree that the PAC or 1G are the best options. Blow this thing up now!!!

Spencer Goff 10 years, 11 months ago

I can't sleep.

Are we in the Mega Sixteen Super Duper Power Southwestern Pac Lower East Side Bigtime Conference yet?

Steve Gantz 10 years, 11 months ago

Like it or not, the whole deal hinges on Texas holding the Big 12 together, ego or not. Who cares about if they have an ego? It's about competition and year in year out our best game on the schedule is Texas. Why would we want to leave arguably, the most powerful college in the NCAA? Every team in the conference benefits from Texas' presence.
So you really want to go to a league where we'll be playing Oregon St and Utah? Makes no sense. 10:00 tipoffs anyone? On a Tuesday night? Sorry, can't stay up that late.

Clarence Haynes 10 years, 11 months ago

One step that Texas could take is agree to equal sharing of revenue which imo, is a pipe dream...They're too greedy and arrogantly too proud!

Steve Gantz 10 years, 11 months ago

You may be right. I maintain they're our best hope for a big 8-10-12-whateva. That could be a good name, the Big whateva!

Hammertoe 10 years, 11 months ago

The birth of Mega Conference could be the death of college sports that aren't revenue producing... Travel expenses from Kansas to either coast may be fine for a handful of football games and basketball games, but what about all the other sports? I can't see the volleyball team, baseball team, swim team, etc... traveling 2 times zones away with late night games, winter weather delays, etc...being a good thing for any school. Mark Cuban is right...

aerohawk 10 years, 11 months ago

The only things that will remain are football, BB, and enough women's sports to stay in compliance with Title 9.

Hank Cross 10 years, 11 months ago

So what if it did? Let them swim on their own dime. Unless you play one of these sports, the non-revenue sports don't benefit the rest of the student body as a whole anymore than the theater dept. does.

LaJHawk666 10 years, 11 months ago

What a d-bag. Did you even go to college?

rob4lb 10 years, 11 months ago

Here is an article in the NY Post discussing the prospects of KU, MU and K-State going to the Big East. I don't particularly like this option, but I think everyone can be comfortable that KU will always have this as a fallback position and in this scenario, the three schools stay together. The western division of the Big East in football will look likely be: KU, KSU, MU, TCU, Louisville, and Cincinnati. KU does have a long history with TCU going back to the 1950s.

The article also mentions that the Big 10 could target Maryland which makes sense. Assuming the Big 10 eventually goes to 16 and Notre Dame is not interested, KU and MU have to be in the mix.

John_Brown 10 years, 11 months ago

Matt, what would be wrong w/ keeping our whits about us and hang on to the Big 12 til the bitter end? As long as 5 schools hang together, we could extract aTm style exit fees from OSU/OU/Tech/UT. That along w/ the UNL/CU fees might add up >100 million which could be distributed to remaining schools to pay down some debts. Even if Mizzou left, we could go Baylor style and retain ownership of Big 12 properties/sue everyone for damages and settle for a nice sum. We could expand at our will or combine w/ another conference (MWC/Big East/Con USA hybrid) carefully using a chosen teevee network as a partner. We could play the TCU/Boise State underdog role in whatever new system forms. We would avoid the insane travel expenses for womyn's volleyball. It would seem to be more honest. And I just cannot imagine how a conference containing Okie State/Tech is gonna work w/ Stanford/Cal. It is more likely the original Pac 8 breaks off than that monstrosity holding together.

rob4lb 10 years, 11 months ago

I think I remember from last year that once the remaining conference membership get to down to a low enough number, the exit fees become invalid. I may be wrong. Realistically how much value do Iowa State, MU, KU and K-State really bring?

John_Brown 10 years, 11 months ago

At the point where the Big 12 becomes worthless, wouldn't the problem become a breach of contract and the exiting members would be liable for damages? Theoretically, we all signed a contract back in March or April. That contract is either valid or void. If it became void and we did nothing to cause damages, aren't we owed? If it's Texas that did the damages, they can easily settle. If it's OkieState/Tech, I'll be curious as to where the money will come from (ie borrow from the Pac 16). As long as we're still standing w/ the Big 12, the contracts are still there and must be addressed. Also, if the Pac 16 has to finance the exit, how much leverage do OkieState/Tech have?

Also, ISU/MU/KU/KSU/Baylor in a rump Big 12 probably have more power than we realize. They will own the bowl contracts, teevee contracts, AQ status. They could repopulate the conference, juxtaposition themselves w/ Fox Sports against ESPN, combine w/ the MWC or Big East. Heck, maybe they just invite CSU/Wyoming/Tulsa/SMU and have a pleasant version of the old Big 8. This sixteen team megaconference idea is insane. What business on earth makes OkieState/Stanford equal partners? Tejas has now blown up two conferences. It shows no signs of stopping. Who thinks USC/OU/Tejas in the same conference will work. How long afore Stanford convinces Cal/UCLA they've had enough of this crap and reforms the Pac 8?

LogicMan 10 years, 11 months ago

Unless the exit fees are waived, wouldn't there be a vote to dissolve?

If the OK and TX teams, except Baylor, leave, and KU and MU aren't immediately picked up by the Big Ten, then I do like the idea of staying in the Big XII and adding many or all teams from the MWC and elsewhere (BYU and maybe TCU, SMU, etc.).

Loyalty, rivalries, and regionalism matter. And maybe after a decade or two NU, OU/OSU, or CU may decide the grass wasn't really that green on the other side of the fences.

In the new Big XII+/-, KU BB could schedule for their non-conference games some real challenges, instead of pushovers, since the conference schedule would be easier.

lee3022 10 years, 11 months ago

Hate this solution. No way I want KU to leave the BCS AQ. Basketball recruiting depends on competition. We need to stay in a major conference.

Bville Hawk 10 years, 11 months ago

It would be real nice to be in a conference where revenues are distributed equally among members. Letting UT receive more than an equal share is the primary source of the instability in the Big 12, in my opinion. I can't imagine UT getting preferential treatment from the Pac12 or SEC so am curious as to where they are finally going to end up. Independent seems the most probable from their money grubbing point of view but that presents problems with scheduling all the non-football sports...

As for KU I think our best option right now is to sit tight and remain 'above the fray.' Honoring our commitment to the Big 12 at this time is probably the smart (read $$) thing to do.

okiedave 10 years, 11 months ago

Let's consider the fans. Were would fans rather travel to see games. The Rockies. Ski in the Winter and Spring hike in the Fall. I say, KU and KSU join the WAC. KU is a dominate team in the nation in basketball and will always be so.

LogicMan 10 years, 11 months ago

Better is the WAC to merge into the BigXII, to hopefully retain the auto BCS berth. The conference office, and the championship football game, may have to go to Denver to make the deal happen, but the BB tournament could be fixed to KC as part of the deal.

rob4lb 10 years, 11 months ago

KU is not going to the WAC. Worst case: Big East.

LogicMan 10 years, 11 months ago

Not go to the WAC, stay the Big XII and cherry-pick the MWC, BE, etc.

The Big East is just too culturally different, and likely to die too.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 11 months ago

Ok .. how about we embrace the superconferences?

We'll get a college football playoff.

KU will be in a super-conference -- there will be 64 teams in super conferences, and if the format goes this way, there might be a 5th 16 team league.

SEC: Add FSU/A&M/OU/OSU PAC: Add Tex/TT/KU/BYU Big 10: Add MU/UVA/Pitt/Maryland 4th Superconference: Duke/NC/NCS/GT/Miami/Syracuse/BC/ UConn/Cincinnati/TCU/Louisville/WVU/VT/South Florida/Clemson/Wake

If Notre Dame does not stay independent, put them in the Big 10, move UVA back to 4th superconference, bump Cincinnati to the A-10 (assuming Rutgers goes there, too). Basketball only schools like Georgetown/St. Johns left scrambling. Villanova plays football, D-1 now I think .. they could vie for a spot. TCU is just odd being in the 4th one, just it's odd they'd be in the Big East. If the big realignment goes down, they might slip to the 5th league.

5th Conference: Houston/Memphis/SDSU/KSU/SMU/Baylor/ISU/Air Force/Boise St/New Mexico/Colorado St./UNLV -- that's 12. Could look to add the next four best teams for a 5th 16 team conference (Fresno/Wyoming/UTEP/Nevada).

Again, Mr. Zenger, be ahead of the curve.

Robert Lofthouse 10 years, 11 months ago

IF it must remain more or less intact post AMU, then re-brand it to the Great Plains Conference:



--> go after New Mexico St.(SOUTH), Air Force(NORTH), Arkansas(SOUTH), ND(NORTH) -why not?)

--> put out feelers for Iowa(N), Boise St.(N), UNLV(S), Illinois(N), Western Kentucky(N)

--> consider inquiries from Wichita St.(N), Tulsa(S), Memphis(S) and others

Gives a balance of strong football schools vs. strong basketball schools along with some practice teams.

fagettabout TVs', offers the networks a whole regional market that has appeal to both coasts and the networks!

jay381 10 years, 11 months ago

Matt: The reason for Bob Stoops rather “vanilla” response is simple. David Boren runs his administration almost in the same manner as he ran the intelligence committee when a US Senator. Simply put on matters that are decided on a level of President no one speaks but the President. The AD Saturday when asked a question stated simply there is but one voice that speaks for the University of Oklahoma and that is David Boren. It would be inappropriate for me to make any comments. Personally I like that style a lot more than some of he mindless dribble that I swear some coaches say just to be appear to hear their own voices.

BTW: Thanks for your updates. I agree with most of your comments. Even the ones I don't I totally respect the rational behind your reasoning. Although I still do not like the Big East option I do understand where you are coming from.

Karen Mansfield-Stewart 10 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for all your work Matt. I appreciate it (even if I don't like it)!

Valiarde 10 years, 11 months ago

Hey Matt,

Question for you, what does any conference have to settle at 16 for the magic number? Why not 18 or even 20? Everything is already going to be broken down into different divisions or quads or whatever? If I was a conference, a Pac 18 allows the old Big 8 Footprint to remain with travel (Oklahoma, TX, KS, MO), plus you still give a game or two against the other division in football.

It just seems surprising 16 and 4 major conferences is the magic number that we hear about over and over again. Any idea on why that resonates so much??

Hammertoe 10 years, 11 months ago

20 in a conference? Why not all the teams in one big conference? 20 - would be tough for basketball home - away scheduling.

Bville Hawk 10 years, 11 months ago

AAS's Kirk Bohls writes that Texas Tech has reached out to the Pac-12 (also including OU and OSU) and writes that Pac-12 commish Scott says that equal revenue sharing is a must:

"Absolutely," Scott said when asked if that was a condition any school must accept. "Equal revenue sharing is the hallmark of any stable conference. We spent a lot of meetings exorcising those demons from the Pac-12. USC and UCLA have the Los Angeles market, and I really commend them for their leadership and vision for thinking they'd be better off growing the pie."

Don't the SEC and Big 10 have similar positions? What is UT to do? I saw somewhere that UT had a deal last year with the PAC 12 that fell thru because Texas wanted more $$ at the last moment. That deal also supposedly had the conference championship game alternating between the Rose Bowl and the Dallas Cowboys new digs.

LogicMan 10 years, 11 months ago

Well, if UT has to play fair to join the PAC-??, why don't they just do it now and save the Big XII?

Then A&M might reconsider, with the push of the TX legislature. And then add two to four more schools to help secure the conference. But leave a couple of slots open in the Big XII+4 just in case NU and CU change their minds in the future.

LogicMan 10 years, 11 months ago

Never say never, just don't hold your breath. Jet travel will get prohibitive in the decades ahead, leaving a very slow train over those mountains for each game for CU. NU might get beaten up in the Big Ten, and miss their great recruiting tool in TX. And they may tire of being called hayseeds, where with us they are family.

Hammertoe 10 years, 11 months ago

Funny and True. I can't wait for the Nebraska cornshuckers to travel to Michigan or Michigan State. Their fans are in for a rude awakening...

Pitthawk34 10 years, 11 months ago

Beacuse if everything was fair financially among all schools in the big 12 the money is not there compared to the Pac 12. They could make nearly 8 million more a year in Pac 12 compared to if everything was equal in the big 12.

jgkojak 10 years, 11 months ago

Tait: You should write an article summarizing some of the big issues for consideration regarding why schools join wht conferences.

1- academics matter. The B10 is all-AAU and leverage this to get big research $$. They will NEVER take a non-AAU school. (NE is a special case). List of members: Also its has been stated CLEARLY that had NE lost its AAU mmbership prior - the B10 would not have given them an invite. Note: KU has been an AAU member in good standing since 1909. MU since 1908.

The ONLY 2 potential B10 schools to the east that are AAU members are Pitt and Rutgers. Penn St does not want Pitt. That leaves 1 slot fort Notre Dame and 1 each for KU and MU.

  1. university size and endowments matter. For instance, SMU has a HUGE endowment. In a BCS conf. a huge endowment fund means you can build faclilities to compete if so needed and likewise that you are probably top 100 or so in academics even if you're not AAU. Size matters too - its why Rice, a top 20 academic school with a large endowment, wasn't asked to join the B12 and Baylor was.

  2. University purpose matters. We all know what UMKC is. Its a commuter school. They have some nice programs in a few areas, but are not comprehensive research universities nor do they have a large on-campus student body. Boise St = Wichita St. No matter how good a football or basketball program is, you are not, even in a 16 team superconference, mix commuter schools with public/private large research universities. Which is why KU and Memphis will never be in the same conf. Why Houston will never be asked to join the B12.

  3. Travel matters. The KU Soccer or volleyball teams have no business playing matches in Spokane or Storrs, CT (UConn). If KU ends up anywhere but the B10 or expanded/revised B12, watch our non-revenue sports join C-USA or Mo Valley.

It would be good to give some guidelines on this - because I'm sick of reading comments about Boise St or Memphis being w/KU.

Kevin Huffman 10 years, 11 months ago

I couldn't agree more albeit I still don't think Notre Dame joins the Big Ten....maybe. If not, Syracuse or UConn might be considered.

Bill Kackley 10 years, 11 months ago

DeLoss DoDodds needs to remember his background: Riley, Kansas and then KSU

142466 10 years, 11 months ago

The last sentence of Tait's cited BleacherReport, to me, nails it. I would amend his "20" years to "40" years. I hope the PAC sees it that way & is not locked into the number 16. The PAC should think long-term.

Basketball wise, we are a very attractive addition, especially important to downtrodden UCLA. We are probably the only basketball powerhouse addition that the PAC can ever reel in. (yea, I know. u.t. is pretty high level, too).

An 18 team (two division) bb schedule, provided it's defined mostly by geography, should help to decrease KU team travel times, compared to 16. Football team travel isn't as big an issue, since it's played only once a week anyway. Fan travel times to games, of course, will be more burdensome, compared to the former B12. But if the bb & fb schedules are heavily weighted toward division play, I don't think it's that big of a deal.

Weaknight BB games on the coast involving former B12 teams could start at 6:00 or 7:00 PM, PST. That way those of you in the midwest can still view the games on TV. I think the PAC would agree to that. If they want to get to 16 or 18, they should be forced to agree. With heavily weighted division schedules, there shouldn't be that many of such games anyway. We already play several bb games against PAC opponents every year.

On the fb side, all we need to do is not be an embarrassment to the PAC. With increased access to west coast recruiting we should be able to do that.

Preserving an annual bb & fb rivalry with Mizzou is highly desirable. But not essential. If we can make a joint move to the PAC or B10 we should do so ASAP. But if there's only one seat left, we better grab it. The PAC train is about to leave the station.

Randy Bombardier 10 years, 11 months ago

Does anyone know where there is a realignment support group? For lack of one here I am. I vote Big10 by far. Otherwise, dissolve Big12 and reform without UT.

Andy Tweedy 10 years, 11 months ago

People had set up a 12 step program for realignment support, but 3 of the steps were removed and we now have a 9 step program.

Randy Bombardier 10 years, 11 months ago

P.S. Thanks Matt. You are a great guy to have embedded at the front. Keep your head down.

Andy Tweedy 10 years, 11 months ago

Matt, the interaction with the posts was AWESOME!!! When is Keegan going to do the same after one of his editorials???

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