LJWorld.com weblogs Big 12 realignment

Conference USA wants the Big 12 leftovers; Oklahoma reported to be heading west


11:55 p.m. Update

Overall, a rather quiet evening. Figured as much for a Friday night. Still, you know the wheels are turning in Big 12 country and that everyone who isn't already secure is working overtime to find their next home.

The most recent rumor has UT, Texas Tech, OU and Okie State ready to follow Colorado to the Pac-10. An announcement is expected on Tuesday. At this point, I'd be surprised if this didn't happen.

That leaves KU the weekend to sell itself to the Pac-10, which shouldn't be hard to do with A&M stalling.

I'm sure some stuff will happen over the weekend and I'll be checking in as often as possible when it does. Most likely, however, it will be in the form of rumors so I'm also planning to rest up so I can be ready to hit it hard again Monday morning.

Stay tuned in to KUsports.com throughout the weekend for any major movement and get ready to get serious again come Monday. Who knows, maybe KU will jump the rest of them and become the second team into the Pac-10 with an announcement Monday instead of the last team in on Wednesday or Thursday.

Thanks for all the help and contributions to this blog this week. Great stuff!!!!

3:55 p.m. Update

Jayhawk nation, your prayers have been answered. Conference USA is preparing to "compete for the remaining Big 12 members if the meltdown continues to a full implosion." That's according to a statement from East Carolina Athletic Director Terry Holland.

OK, so maybe that's not your prayer. But hey, someone wants the Big 12 leftovers and isn't afraid to say so.

In other news, The Oklahoman is reporting that Oklahoma has decided to leave the Big 12 Conference, but will wait for Texas to make the formal announcement.

ESPN's Joe Schad is reporting that Oklahoma State and Texas Tech will also be leaving for the Pac-10 (or does that make it the Pac-15?), once Texas announces its intentions.

3:35 p.m. Update

Dan Beebe will hold a teleconference at 4:20 p.m. We'll live blog it for you here.

The Big Ten Network will air the 5 p.m. Nebraska press conference and stream it live on www.bigtennetwork.com.

3:27 p.m. Update

Iowa State officials have issued an update to alumni and fans via their website, saying how "deeply disappointed" they are in Colorado and Nebraska for leaving the Big 12. Here's an excerpt:

In the past two days, the University of Colorado and the University of Nebraska have announced that they are leaving the Big 12 Conference for other affiliations. We are deeply disappointed in their decisions, and we are concerned about how those decisions impact Iowa State University.

Over the next several days, the presidents and directors of athletics of the Big 12 member institutions will be discussing options and potential initiatives that we may take in order to move forward in light of the Colorado and Nebraska decisions. Be assured, we will continue to do everything in our power to represent the best interests of Iowa State University in these discussions; it is also important to understand that actions taken by other member institutions are beyond our control. Read the full letter.

3:16 p.m. Update

Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson has given a statement to KUSports.com's Scott Rothschild expressing his confidence in KU and K-State leaders:

"The University of Kansas and Kansas State University are world-class institutions with premier academic, research and athletic programs. Although it appears uncertain whether they will stay in the Big XII or align with a different athletic conference, I am confident that Chancellor Gray-Little and President Schulz, working with the Board of Regents, will make a choice that's in the best interests of their student-athletes, their world-class universities and our state."

2:41 p.m. Update

Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are ready to join the Pac-10 as early as Tuesday, according to @ESPNEWS.

Orangebloods.com is reporting that four Big 12 South teams are "locked and loaded to join the Pac-10" and that a formal announcement date is set. The exclusion of Texas A&M in that list means a possible move to the SEC for the Aggies, which could open up a spot for KU in the Pac-10.

Also, according to @Huskers, the Nebraska press conference is now going to happen at 5 p.m.

2:07 p.m. Update

Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman addresses Board of Regents and requests permission to allow NU to apply for application to the Big Ten. Perlman indicates that the Big Ten has basically said that it would accept NU's application.

Doesn't get much more telling than that.

Several media outlets are also reporting that NU has officially accepted an invitation from the Big Ten. More to come, as there are now rumors of a 4:45 p.m. press conference.

1:53 p.m. Update

Chip Brown, of orangebloods.com, is reporting via Twitter that Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are prepared to join the Pac-10 once Nebraska to the Big Ten becomes official.

Brown, who has been right about nearly everything he's reported in the past week or so, also says that Texas will announce its plans to head west after a meeting with the regents on Tuesday.

One note of interest regarding these reports: No mention of Texas A&M.

More to come as that official Nebraska announcement has to be coming any minute now.

1:35 p.m. Update

610 Sports radio in Kansas City is reporting that Missouri athletic officials are meeting at the moment and that they will speak to the media at a news conference this afternoon.

What more the Tigers can say at this point is anybody's guess. It's been reported that MU does not have an invitation to the Big Ten and it seems likely that it will not receive one.

With that in mind, MU, like Kansas, is probably exploring all options, not the least of which is remaining in the Big 12.

More to come.

1:11 p.m. Update

Could this be good news for the future of the Big 12 and Kansas?

CNBC has released an article that indicates that the kind of revenue the Pac-10 is discussing regarding a television network for a 16-team conference might not be as much as they're saying. That alone — along with any perceived inaccurate persuasions — could be enough to make the remaining Big 12 schools think twice about heading west.

12:45 p.m. Update

At this point, I'm not sure that Nebraska's expected announcement that they're headed to the Big Ten has much of an impact on how KU, the Big 12 or the Texas schools will proceed. I'm pretty sure all three parties have been moving forward as if NU was out since Wednesday.

Still, those of you interested in following along with the Nebraska Board of Regents' 1 p.m. meeting, can do so here.

More to come.

12:36 p.m. Update

Here's a look at the latest information:

• The Associated Press is reporting that the University of Texas regents have called a meeting for Tuesday to discuss the school's conference future. It's been reported that they may be poised to make a decision at that time.

• Chip Brown, of Rivals.com site orangebloods.com, has reported that SEC Commissioner Mike Slive has offered to move two current SEC schools — Alabama and Auburn — to the SEC East to accommodate the potential inclusion of Texas and Texas A&M in the SEC West. If this is true, SEC probably just passed the Big Ten as the second most aggressive conference out there. Heck, the Big Ten could even be fourth, now that the Mountain West has landed Boise State.

• Something that just occurred to me: With the addition of Boise State strengthening the Mountain West, that could entice Utah to stay put. What might that mean? Well, if any of those Big 12 south schools rumored to the Pac-10 decide to go elsewhere, that opens up a spot for KU in the Pac-10. Considering the fact that the Pac-10 is on record as saying it would look at Utah or KU as alternate options, Utah staying in the MWC would be great news for Kansas.

12:12 p.m. Update

Another team and another conference have made the next splash in the whole conference realignment deal.

ESPN News just reported that Boise State has agreed to leave the WAC and join the Mountain West.

Not sure what kind of impact this has for KU or the Big 12 — hopefully not much. But it's definitely interesting to note and it definitely adds to the MWC's football pedigree.

I talked with a couple of Mountain West officials yesterday and both said that the conference would be very aggressive from here on out. Clearly, this move demonstrates that they were serious.

I know KU wants the MWC to be a worst-case scenario, but if the MWC brings something substantial to the table, KU has to listen.

The thing this tells me more than anything else is that we're in for another crazy day of realignment movement. Boise likely made this move out of the same urgency that Colorado felt in heading to the Pac-10. Boise likes the MWC and had interest in ending up there. But if the Big 12 dissolves and the MWC took the leftovers, Boise may have been left out in the cold. Not now. Boise State is in a bigger conference and that conference is now one step closer to becoming a BCS conference.

Very interesting.

Here's the official release from the Mountain West Conference:

The Mountain West Conference announced today that Boise State University has accepted an invitation to join the MWC as its 10th member institution, effective July 1, 2011. "We are pleased and excited to welcome Boise State University to the Mountain West Conference," said Commissioner Craig Thompson. "Since our inception just 11 short years ago, the Mountain West has experienced tremendous success, and the addition of Boise State will further enhance that strength. The MWC continues to strategize regarding potential membership scenarios and bringing Boise State into the Conference is an important part of that evolution."

"The invitation to join the Mountain West Conference reflects the excellence that Boise State University has demonstrated academically and athletically," said Boise State President Robert Kustra. "It will be a privilege to compete and partner with such a successful group of member institutions. This move is in the best interests of Boise State's future, and the university is excited to be part of one of the nation's most outstanding conferences."

The Mountain West Conference was founded with eight members in 1998. Boise State is the second institution to join the Mountain West since that time; TCU became a member in 2005.

More to come.

11:44 a.m. Update

KU women's basketball coach Bonnie Henrickson offered up an interesting analogy for all this conference realignment talk. Henrickson referred to the situation as a "roller coaster."

"We tell freshmen all the time to try to stay off the roller coaster," Henrickson said. "Well that's kind of hard right now because you go to bed one night hearing something, reading something and you wake up and it's different and everybody's texting you and panicking."

Henrickson, who has been through realignment talks twice before — once as an assistant when Virginia Tech moved into the Big East and once as a head coach when Va. Tech left the Big East for the ACC — said the current situation reminded her more of the first time because there's so much uncertainty and so many parties involved.

"When we went Big East to ACC, we had a good home and we knew we were going to have a good home, whatever happened," she said. "I don't sleep quite as well at night right now. But, you know, you've gotta control what you can control and recruit like crazy. We've got a lot of people here (for elite camp) from Texas saying they want the league like it is, and we want the same thing."

Asked if she agreed with KU men's coach Bill Self, who said Thursday that landing anywhere other than a major conference was "not an option," Henrickson didn't hesitate to answer.

"We all feel that way," she said. "Absolutely not. With what this institution has, what this athletic department has, what we have already done and what we're on the verge of being able to do, absolutely not."

One interesting note that has surfaced has indicated that if the Big 12 makes it through the weekend without any more departures, the outlook of keeping the league together increases significantly.

The conference's remaining athletic directors are rumored to be meeting in Dallas this weekend. Getting them all together in the same room certainly will help with the communication but as both Lew Perkins and chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little have pointed out in recent days, this issue may be decided at the chancellor/president level and not by the ADs.

More to come.

11:17 a.m. Update

Nothing new happening at the moment, but here are a few interesting notes we've tracked down.

• Colorado associate AD said CU would be open to scheduling Nebraska in non-conference games going forward. CU and NU have played each other in football on the Friday following Thanksgiving for the past several years and it looks like that tradition — not that anyone cares about traditions anymore — might not be dead yet.

• Nebraska officials have said that they expect today's 1 p.m. meeting to take around an hour. After that, NU athletic director Tom Osborne is expected to speak.

• ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit said the following this morning on ESPN News, a clear indication of what greed can get you. "(Big Ten Commissioner) Jim Delany started all this but the Pac-10 has kind of stolen the show. If the Big Ten can't land Notre Dame now, it finishes a distant second to the Pac-10 in this whole conference realignment thing."

• Speaking of CU and the Pac-10, Colorado officials have said they're not sure what the penalty for leaving the Big 12 will be — most likely because if the Big 12 dissolves there might not be anyone left to collect the penalty payment, which is 50 percent of revenue earned while still in the conference with two years notice and a sliding scale of 70, 80 and 90 percent if less than two years notice is given. One interesting thing that has been noted is that CU plans to have discussions with the Pac-10 about its new conference paying some of that penalty.

10:03 a.m. Update

Interesting stuff from former Texas A&M football coach, R.C. Slocum, who now works as a special adviser to A&M's president.

It's been reported that A&M is one of the Big 12 schools in the worst shape financially, with debt piling up fast and furious. With that in mind, Slocum's comments make plenty of sense and may tip the Aggies' hand just a bit.

"You look at the level of funding that all programs need to have, and it's a business decision that universities now have to make," Slocum told The Associated Press.

Slocum said any decision A&M makes will be based purely on its financial impact, and not on more intangible elements, like preserving traditions and rivalries.

I'm not sure whether this indicates which conference the Aggies will wind up in. But it does seem to tell us something — they'll be aligning with the highest bidder.

9:14 a.m. Update

OK, so by now we surely know one thing: This whole deal is about money, right?

Well then... Who has more of it than Oklahoma State alum T. Boone Pickens? Very few people, I'm guessing. And even fewer people who have such a great interest in college athletics.

With that in mind, here's a look at Pickens' thoughts about expansion and realignment. I'm not saying what he says/wants will ultimately matter, but maybe there's some sort of Pickens Broadcasting Network on the horizon that could help save the Big 12. Hey, Ted Turner did it.

More to come as we tick toward 1 p.m., when Nebraska is expected to have a news conference to announce its intentions to head to the Big Ten.

Original Post, 6 a.m.

Good morning, Big 12 fans. How much further will your conference fall apart today?

If the last two days are any indication, the answer could be a lot.

First Nebraska was confirmed to be headed to the Big Ten, an announcement we’re expecting to hear today from NU officials. Then, Colorado jumped the Big Red by becoming the first team to bolt the Big 12, a move CU made official on Thursday.

So which will be the next school to make a move? Reports Thursday indicated that Oklahoma State was ready to become the next school to accept an offer from the Pac-10, but the Cowboys softened on that stance as the day went on. OSU now appears to be back in the boat with the rest of the teams in the south, who are considering to move to the Pac-10 in unison or to head their separate ways.

OK, now that that’s clear — it is, right? — let’s kick off the day with a couple of reports that surfaced late Thursday night.

The first comes from the Austin American Statesman regarding the future of the Pac-10. Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott told reporters that the league would not mind stopping at 11 schools, now that it has added Colorado. Don’t buy it. Although they’ve remained rather innocent throughout all this, the Pac-10 has had a calculated plan for expansion and has been executing it quietly and to perfection. These latest comments from Scott are likely just a way of putting pressure on the Big 12 schools who are still trying to decide what to do.

Feeling the most heat might be A&M, which has serious designs on at least exploring what the SEC has to offer. That could be to KU’s benefit, as a move by A&M to the SEC would open the door for KU to slide into its spot in the Pac-10 merger. The Pac-10 has been rumored to be interested in KU or Utah (seriously), as alternates to the five schools it outlined originally to join Colorado.

As far as KU’s concerned, not only should the Jayhawks be talking to the Pac-10, Big Ten and Big 12 to find out which conference will have them, they should also be talking to the SEC, encouraging them to take — or at least stall — A&M.

This Dallas Morning News report spells out the scenario that could have Texas and Texas A&M, bitter rivals for decades, going their separate ways.

For every one of these reports and rumors there’s at least two or three others that refute what these are saying.

That’s why we’re here. Stay tuned in to KUsports.com throughout the day for the latest reports from around Big 12 country.

Will today follow in Wednesday and Thursday’s footsteps? Or will things quiet down for a little while?

More to come.


bradh 7 years, 6 months ago

In the third paragraph, instead of "First Nebraska was confirmed to be headed to the Pac-10," I think you meant to say, First Nebraska was confirmed to be headed to the Big 10,

I'm not sure how innocent the Pac 10 has been. They've gone from an ally to a brigand picking off stragglers. They're the worst of the leagues to me and openly courted the break up of the Big 12. The Big 10 started it with looking at taking MU and NU, but that was only 2 schools which the conference could survive. The Pac 10's brazen move to take 6 teams would be a killer. The Pac 10 seems the guiltiest league to me.

Kevin Randell 7 years, 6 months ago

Well..."rumor" has it, we will eventually end up in either the Mountain West or the Big East. Either conference would eventually end up as a BCS conference after add the numbers. I see it as a win win. If we end up in the Mountain West we will be in a winnable conference in football. If we end up in the Big East, then we will be in a legit basketball conference and all the "Basketball only Jayhawk Fans" can put their money where their mouth is.

Gregory Newman 7 years, 6 months ago

you are right Kansas basketball in the big east WOOOOO. ESPN's hype of the big east will be legit with the hawks. Football just doesn't have that powerful history Gulp! It just don't

Ricky_Vaughn 7 years, 6 months ago

The last rumor I heard was that Texas now wants to be in the Big 10, Oklahoma wants to be in the SEC. I say let them go, then raid the MWC. Schools like Utah or BYU perhaps?

I think we're all tired of Texas calling the shots anyway.

Clovis Sangrail 7 years, 6 months ago

It's time to go down into the basement and see if there is any Big Six stationery left.

Suggestions for a resurrected Big Six : Kansas Kansas State Iowa State Missouri University of Northern Iowa (hailing the start of a brand new conference basketball rivalry with Kansas) University of Nebraska - Omaha

If Missouri jumps ship to the Great West Conference, we can substitute Washington University at St. Louis.

Big5 7 years, 6 months ago

I talked to a friend of mine who thinks KU will hire Richard Billings as its new AD. Billings is a hard-nosed negotiator who won't take any b.s. from those Texas schools. He's a shoe-in to get KU into the SEC ahead of Oklahoma.

Kevin Randell 7 years, 6 months ago

Eventually yes.....but can you imagine....playing Kentucky every year!

IslandContributor 7 years, 6 months ago

OU would be in the SEC by the end of the weekend these things are going to happen fast

IslandContributor 7 years, 6 months ago

I wish that Beebe would try and bring in schools and hold the big 12 together but he wont he is to busy not being busy...Instead of goin and trying to get Boise state or TCU hes waiting for Nebraska to follow Colorado out the door. I wonder if he will try to hold it together just long enough to get a retention bonus......like someone else we all know

Ricky_Vaughn 7 years, 6 months ago

There is a report from CBS Sports that Boise St has joined the MWC.

Yawnmower 7 years, 6 months ago

Its funny how hindsight is 20/20. KSU should have been in the MWC all along. This would then give KU more options when shopping around. I still vote for KU to join the Big East. Sorry in advance to all KU football fans.

newmedia 7 years, 6 months ago

We all now know that the big red "N" does stand for "NOWLEDGE"(sic).

Travis Alexander 7 years, 6 months ago

Matt, thanks for keeping us updated! Keep up the good work!

Bobo Fleming 7 years, 6 months ago

I want Northern Iowa, Bucknell, and Butler added to the Big 12. My theory is that this would give KU a chance to play them 2 or three times before the NCAA. Practice makes perfect.

spiff 7 years, 6 months ago

Let's win the last 2 Big XII Basketball titles. Go out on top.

Richard Payton 7 years, 6 months ago

Go read and see the KCTV5.com story about TV contracts for remaining Big 12 schools left.

gravitykills 7 years, 6 months ago

Going to the Big East would crush the KU football program, meaning NO football. Fifty thousand fans every other weekend during the season.... GONE. That would place KU on the map with Wichita State. Plus, the Big East is going to take a big hit in the near future (Syracuse & ND will head for the Big 10 (expansion) (along with Missouri and NB) Rutgers, Pittsburgh, WV will be on the bubble) and the four superpower conferences will cherry pick a few others.

If KU doesn't get into one of the Big 4, all athletic programs (including BB) will be hurting because of recruitment.

Big 8 (if it were to expand from the 5 remaining after the smoke clears) = no money, but may be worth it given the choices.

My vote is to move into the Pac-10 (expansion to the east ), if Tx AM doesn't take it. An ACC expansion (to the west) may work if it doesn't kill the football program. The SEC west or Big 10 (expansion) would be great, but there's little chance.

KU may end up following K-State (ironically) to the MWC. Great for football, horrific for basketball and recruiting.

racerx 7 years, 6 months ago

This just in....sources close to the University of Kansas athletic department say that the KU Basketball team will split from the Big 12 AND the university to become the newest NBA expansion team in the Kansas City market.

whats_going_on 7 years, 6 months ago

On the bright side, we'd no longer have to worry about "One N Dones" now, AND they'd fit RIGHT in with the chiefs and royals. :)

LloydDobbler 7 years, 6 months ago

Yawnmower, you are full of *$%^. Since the inception of the Big 12, KSU has competed pretty well against teams that have much larger budgets. They are 4 and 2 versus mighty UT in football. I agree that both KU and KSU should be in BCS conferences and I don't think they should be tied together...they should both get in on their own merits. But don't start bad mouthing KSU just because you are afraid of KU's fate.

LloydDobbler 7 years, 6 months ago

KU to the NBA makes sense...then they can LEGITIMATELY pay the players.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 6 months ago

Guess we'll need to relax. Then wait to hear who wants KU.

Is there a rotten fish in the barrel of KU athletics?

Too much reckless local corruption perhaps?

It seems odd that KU has not had an offer after a million years of good basketball.

Students however do not brag about KU athletes academics. Most people assume athletes just need to be somewhere on campus so I hear.

racerx 7 years, 6 months ago

"It seems odd that KU has not had an offer after a million years of good basketball."

That's because this is all being driven by football and the TV revenue it brings. If KU had a zillion conference titles and a handful of national titles in football, it could pick it's spot in any conference with b-ball as the "icing on the cake."

whats_going_on 7 years, 6 months ago

because there wasn't enough professional sports in this country, they just "added" a bunch more. KU should just give 'em the finger and stick to actually being an academic institution rather than a TV contract sellout.

Good job, a**hats.

gravitykills 7 years, 6 months ago

That would be equal to a possible Big 8 and I'm not against it.

whats_going_on 7 years, 6 months ago

honestly, as bad as thing sounds, and even though I love my Jayhawks, I can't see myself being a huge supporter if they join the super conference bandwagon. I'll still cheer for them, but it would seriously piss me off, at least for awhile.

racerx 7 years, 6 months ago

"Conference USA is preparing to "compete for the remaining Big 12 members if the meltdown continues to a full implosion."

This just proves what a cluster_@$%&* the Big 12 leadership is, that they're sitting back and waiting for non-BCS conferences to pick at the leftovers like vultures rather than proactively going out and stealing---I mean "recruiting"---schools from other conferences.

Kevin Randell 7 years, 6 months ago

Well....if we end up in C-USA at least I will get to see my Jayhawks play here in Tulsa every other year. But I agree with the over all general opinion. If we do not get into one of the big conferences we will hurt in recruiting in all sports. Which will result in a drop in enrollment.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 6 months ago

"Jayhawk nation, your prayers have been answered. Conference USA is preparing to "compete for the remaining Big 12 members if the meltdown continues to a full implosion.""

Huh? Really? Joining C-USA would be terrible for KU. The Mountain West is a much stronger conference. KU's future lies west, in the MWC or Pac 10, not in C-USA.

uplock 7 years, 6 months ago

KU you don't even deserve to be in CONF-USA

Majestic42 7 years, 6 months ago

And you don't deserve to have internet access.

KEITHMILES05 7 years, 6 months ago

C-USA? Never. Ever. Will. This. Happen.

uplock 7 years, 6 months ago

You have to be invited,I don't remember ESPN reporting that KU has been invited anywhere.

TopJayhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

uplock, why don't you take your dorky butt back to wharever you came from? No one cares or is worried about your totally dumb comments. Just go away and annoy someone else.

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