Archive for Monday, June 14, 2010

Kansas might get its way

June 14, 2010


After a few nerve-wracking weeks of seconds that felt more like minutes and minutes that felt more like hours, Kansas University stood Sunday night where it had at the beginning: wanting to stay in the Big 12, where its hottest rivalries can continue, travel remains reasonable and recruiting regions stay the same.

For the first time in what seems like a long time, it felt Sunday as if Kansas would get its way.

Commissioner Dan Beebe’s efforts to deliver enough TV dollars for Texas to want to stay put seemed to be progressing well, and a realignment within the conference would boost the national-championship aspirations of the Big 12’s two football powers, Texas and Oklahoma.

With Oklahoma shifting to the North and Texas staying in the South, the schools would increase their chances of meeting in the conference title game with undefeated records.

Nothing official was cemented Sunday, but with the TV dollars increasing, it doesn’t make sense for the Big 12 South schools to join hands with the Pac-10, especially considering Beebe has made it clear to Texas that the conference won’t block the school from starting its own TV network.

A 10-team conference that has Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri and Oklahoma in the North and Baylor, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M; and Texas Tech in the South makes sense.

For Kansas, none of the other possibilities pack as much punch. Going to the Pac-10 as the 16th team in the event Texas A&M; goes to the SEC works well enough.

Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott and his deputy, former Big 12 Big Cheese Kevin Weiberg, have been touring the country visiting with potential new members, flying to Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City, College Station, Lubbock and Austin. They originally were scheduled to fly to Kansas City International Airport on Sunday night, but the scheduled flight either was diverted or never departed. (For what it’s worth, Kansas athletic director Lew Perkins gave Weiberg his first big break in the business, hiring him at Wichita State.)

Though not as appealing for Kansas as staying in the Big 12, a stealth exit to the SEC as the 14th team isn’t a wild idea, especially considering Arkansas could use a travel partner. The down side: Kansas doesn’t have many alumni in SEC country.

If a Big 12 South exodus to the Pac-10 — not feeling as likely at this point — that leaves Kansas behind occurs, there is always the option of staying in the Big 12 with the four other stranded members and inviting the Mountain West Conference schools plus one more. Kansas never seemed interested in this path.

Such a conference, with Houston as the 16th member, would break down thusly:

East: Baylor, Colorado State, Houston, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, TCU.

West: Air Force, Boise State, BYU, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV, Utah, Wyoming.

Nine of those schools were included in the 2010 NCAA Tournament field, and nine played in bowl games. Even so, the TV dollars don’t stack high enough to cut 16 ways.

Best guess: The Big 12, minus Colorado and Nebraska, stays together.


Rickyonealku 7 years, 10 months ago

Your really reaching now Oklahoma in the BIG XII (10) North and BTW TEXAS sure have your own TV NETWORK and keep ALL THE MONEY....

And the other's are saying what to this????

Today, Tuesday and Wednesday should be very very interesting....


bradh 7 years, 10 months ago

I thought one of the reasons the Big 10 (11, now 12) and the Pac 10 (now 11) wanted to expand was because the NCAA requires at least 12 teams in a conference for a championship game? It sounds like the Big 12 (now 10) would have to add two schools to be able to have the OU/UT championship game you mention.

Stuart Evans 7 years, 10 months ago

I understand that the South Harmon Institute of Technology is fielding a team this year....

LogicMan 7 years, 10 months ago

Looks as if the PAC-11 plane stayed in Austin over night. Continuing the hard sell at UT? Hopefully Bevo will chase them out of Big XII territory, and fast!

Then we need to pursue Colorado State, Utah, etc. quickly.

Lee Eldridge 7 years, 10 months ago

Texas in the lynchpin. If UT stays, the Big 12 can stay mostly intact. If Texas leaves, the Big 12 likely dissolves. Hard for me to see the merger with the MWC.

Larry 7 years, 10 months ago

I'm guessing that Texas will stay for various reasons.
1- Their ego is way too big for the Pac 10. If they aren't calling the shots and running Dan Beebe's decision-making, they aren't happy. They are in a great position because they get to be the hero by saving the conference and get everything they want in terms of a Texas TV network. I doubt the Pac 10 or SEC would agree to the TEXAS NETWORK. 2- Texas would like nothing better than put it to Nebraska. If at least 7 teams staying in the Big 12 (making it a viable conference by Big 12 bylaws), Nebraska and Colorado pay a substantial penalty for leaving before the contract expires (and Nebraska plans to leave early). However, Nebraska doesn't believe they'll have to pay it because they don't believe seven teams will remain. Texas can control that.
3- Did I mention Texas ego? I don't see Texas giving up their status as "THE BIG DOG", not one of the big dogs next to USC. 4- Travel would be a concern. Sure Texas has a lot of money but the non-revenue sport travel expenses would sky rocket if they join the Pac 10. Plus add in the time change and travel time, and those kids are missing a lot of class due to travel. 5-Even if A/M bolts to the SEC, I see the Big 12 sticking together and adding TCU to replace A/M. See reason 1 and 3 above for reasons why the Big 12 will survive an A/M departure. In the past five years, which team would you rather play in football - TCU or A/M? TCU is playing much better FB than A/M. The bummer is that it would be a huge step down in BB to lose A/M and gain TCU.

Just some thoughts on the situation. I think the Big 12 is a go but who knows?

Larry 7 years, 10 months ago

Texas (again) got what they wanted. All hail to Texas!

dotconk 7 years, 10 months ago

If it seems as if Kansas trails everyone else in the Big 12 when it comes to getting a slice of the new conference alignment pie, can it be any wonder with Lew Perkins, one of the true dunderheads in college athletics, having been in charge of KU athletics??? Where was this guy when everyone else was doing their homework???

wolfy 7 years, 10 months ago

Lew may be a lot of things, but he is no dunderhead. He undoubtedly has viable plans lined up for every contingency and is just waiting for the right time to make his play. When the game is political intrigue, it's not wise to bet against Lew, even as a lame duck AD.

Richard Payton 7 years, 10 months ago

Could the Big 12 build a super conference if it stays together? Teams to add to expanded conference might be TCU, San Diego State, Arizona, Arizona State, Utah, BYU and Colorado State. If looking East teams that might join would be Memphis, Marshall, Central Michigan University are just a few that might be interested. Renaming the Big 12 should be a priority of expanded conference. Texas, I believe will stay to build the Texas network and it will put the Big 10 network to shame in a few years I hope. Dorothy made a wish and yes sometimes they do come true.

tolawdjk 7 years, 10 months ago

OU to the North makes sense in terms of long erm conference viability. Nebraska's inability to compete with UT and OU after Osborne left did nothing to soothe their ruffled feathers at the UT taking over their sandbox. OU moving north, from a revenue standpoint, makes sense as it immediately balances the divisions in the short term. About the only difficulty I see is conference you play 8 or 6 conference games? If 8, how do you decide which of the opposite division games to rotate?

Picking teams back up to 12....You can forget about TCU. With the MWC picking up Boise State, you are going to see a stronger MWC lobby to obtain BCS and that won't happen if TCU jumps. I can't see the MWC dividing itself just to gain individual gain.

Houston, however, is a distinct possibility. It would bring in a big TV market. CSU is probably out for the same reasons TCU would be out. I'm not sure you can really get into the Denver market, but honestly, why would you want to? Denver is Broncos country and unless CU digs itself out of a cellar (unlikely) NCAA athletics is second tier there.

Anyone out of the Valley? No one there is FBS that I am aware of, or looking to come in. Northern Illinois out of the MAC? Tulsa? Steal Arkansas out of the SEC? I keep coming back to that one myself as would be good for Arkansas both travel and recruiting, they haven't been able to recruit jack since they left the SWC.

Arkansas and Houston would allow for a UT/A&M/TT/Bay/Ark/Hou south and an OU/OSU/ISU/MU/KU/KSU north. And frankly, I like that. Opens the Houston market, particualrly if UT is looking to start its own network.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.