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Archive for Sunday, October 9, 2011

Hypothetically, Self would take Big 12 over SEC

October 9, 2011

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College basketball notebook. ...

Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self was asked by 810 radio last week to pretend KU has been offered a spot in the Southeastern Conference — the league Missouri is considering joining.

If such an offer were on the table, would KU’s ninth-year coach prefer to remain in the Big 12 or head to the rock-solid (at this time) SEC?

“If we were offered to go to the SEC, based on the information I have, I’d say based on the betterment of our university we definitely need to stay where we are at for our fans,” Self said. “It sounds sexy, I guess, to say we’d play these other schools (like Alabama, Auburn, LSU in football; Kentucky in basketball), but you are also going to play schools that, based on your location and theirs and past history, you’d be starting from scratch.

“From my standpoint it’d be very difficult for our entire sports program, primarily in football — even though we were Orange Bowl champions just four years ago and people forget about that and we will get back with Turner Gill the right man to do that — (because) your last five national champions come from the SEC and a sixth won it 11 years ago. That’s hard to be relevant. Missouri would be going into the SEC, Kansas (in the scenario presented by the radio station) would be going into the SEC not only competing against people that won championships, but national championships. We’ve had two in our league win national championships in the last 10 years with Oklahoma and Texas, but you don’t look to the left and right and see it every Saturday.

“Basketball-wise, it seems kind of sexy to me to be playing in the league where the two winningest programs of all time are both in it, Kansas and Kentucky, but over time I still don’t think that’s more important than playing Missouri and Kansas State,” added Self, a big fan of the Big 12 and its natural geographic rivalries.

Self also said it’s important student-athletes not have to travel through different time zones to play conference games, especially with the NCAA increasing its stance on improved academics. He noted that athletes in sports that do not charter to games would find it especially difficult not to miss significant amounts of class time.

“Non revenue sports would miss three days of school to go play a competition,” Self said.

Smaller may be better: Self realizes the Big 12, which would have 10 teams if Missouri stays and TCU is added, could expand back to 12 teams.

There’s perceived safety in numbers with so many teams getting poached from current conferences.

In a perfect world, however, Self would stay at nine or 10 teams (with TCU and MU).

“If we talk strictly basketball, the ACC was consistently getting six or seven in the NCAA out of their nine. They go to 12, now that gives the appearance of mediocrity, and now they are getting three to five,” Self said. “Look at the Big Eight. The Big Eight every year was getting five for the most part — one year we got six of eight. That’s 75 percent of your conference schools in the NCAA Tournament. We go to 12 and now we are doing cartwheels if we get five or six. In basketball, the teams that will play in the Big 12 if Missouri stays, seven of the nine have been to the Elite Eight in the last seven years. Seven different schools. Those schools are playing for national championships because if you are in the Elite Eight, that’s like being in a BCS bowl. You are in the game.”

Peters the receiver: Future KU basketball power forward Zach Peters had five catches for 59 yards and one touchdown in Prestonwood Christian Academy’s 31-7 football victory over Argyle Christian on Friday night in Plano, Texas. For the year, the 6-foot-9, 240-pound Peters has 42 catches for 549 yards and nine touchdowns. Prestonwood is 5-1. The previous week, Peters had eight catches for 104 yards and three TDs in a 63-59 shootout victory over Trinity Christian.

Coaches reception: KU coach Self, K-State’s Frank Martin, Missouri’s Frank Haith and UMKC’s Matt Brown will attend the annual Coaches V. Cancer season tipoff reception on Tuesday at College Basketball Experience next to Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. Tickets are $50 for the event that runs from 6 to 8 p.m. For ticket information, go to http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/Gala/GalaFY10HighPlains?pg=entry&fr_id=41561

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