Realignment heats up once again, as Big 12 expansion committee schedules teleconference to talk Louisville and BYU
1:21 p.m. Update:
Talked to a couple of Big 12 administrators in the past couple of hours and found out a few things to follow up on all of this supposed hot talk regarding realignment.
For starters, today's teleconference is nothing out of the ordinary. It's been scheduled for a while now and is merely an indication that the Big 12 is doing everything possible to stay out in front of things this time.
As one source put it, "That committee is going to stay in tact for at least the next decade... It’s going to think and talk and think and talk, but it doesn't necessarily mean anything's happening."
Another source told me flat out: “We’re not in expansion mode.”
Meanwhile, a couple of folks I talked with at KU said the committee is constantly in contact with representatives from all members of the Big 12 and the committee is well aware of how KU and the rest of the institutions feel about expansion.
Couldn't find out for sure who was on the Big 12's expansion committee but I know it's a list of around 5 people and it includes Texas AD DeLoss Dodds, Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione and a couple of university presidents or chancellors from schools other than OU and Texas. I want to say Iowa State and Baylor may also be involved.
As for the West Virginia news, still trying to track down more on that, but I'd say if the Big 12 seriously is going to have its 2012 football schedules released by next week, that would be a good sign that WVU is going to be in the Big 12 next year.
I'll make a few more calls and see what else is out there, but, at least for now, it seems like the expansion news may have been a little overblown. Shocking, isn't it?
11:08 a.m. Update:
Serious conference realignment talk regarding the Big 12 Conference appears to be back on the table, although it’s unclear at this point to what extent the expansion talk may or may not be reaching.
Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News Tweeted this morning that he had confirmed that a Big 12 teleconference of the league’s expansion committee would take place sometime today. That call will be the first since league officials last met to finalize plans to admit West Virginia into the league.
The general consensus now — as it was then — is that Louisville and BYU remain at the top of the Big 12’s wish list. While that may be true, it doesn’t change the fact that many of the concerns that prevented the Big 12 from moving forward on this months ago still exist.
Louisville appears to be a sitting duck in all of this, and it’s possible that it’s just a matter of time before the Cardinals join the league. As many of you probably know, many Louisville coaches recently were telling recruits that they would be in the Big 12 very soon. That’s a bold statement and it certainly makes sense. The biggest problem for Louisville continues to be finding a suitable partner to join the league to prevent the Big 12 from having to move forward with an odd number. Although 11 worked for the Big Ten for years, sources have said that many in the Big 12 would prefer to avoid having 11 teams and would ideally like to move back to 12 or be content staying put at 10.
Here’s a link that discusses the idea of adding Louisville:
One possible reason the Big 12 could consider moving ahead with a serious look at Louisville would be the ramifications such a move would have in the Big East. With the battle still raging to set West Virginia free, another blow to the Big East’s current lineup certainly would make a move for WVU more feasible.
As for BYU, certain issues remain here, as well — travel, play on Sundays and the ability to move seamlessly into a new league without penalty chief among them — but it has been believed all along that BYU would be a solid pick up for the Big 12 because of its national brand and impressive standing in the major revenue sports.
While the latest buzz surrounding Big 12 expansion has centered around Louisville and BYU, another report — actually, a blog — surfaced recently regarding possible interest between the Big 12 and a handful of unhappy ACC schools.
Here’s a link to that blog, for your perusal:
You should know that KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger told me yesterday that he had not heard a thing about the ACC talk.
In addition, it should be noted that many of those same ACC schools included in the blog above have been linked to expansion rumors in the SEC.
That’s a quick view of what’s happening now. We’ll have more as this story develops.... if it develops.