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Report: A&M declines Pac-10's offer; Pac-10 commish heading to Kansas City

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10:50 p.m. Update:

It doesn't appear as if Larry Scott's plane is coming to KCI tonight. Keegan and I have been at the private plane terminal for the past hour and there is no sign of Scott or the plane.

The guys behind the desk said that the flight had been taken off the schedule, which is common and typically means the flight never took off.

There's a chance the plane could have been diverted to Lawrence or Topeka but as of now there was no word on whether that was the case.

We've got people on the ground at the Lawrence airport and will keep you updated throughout the night.

9:41 p.m. Update

We just arrived at the airport. A couple other media organizations here as well. Stay tuned.

No plane on the ground yet.

9:26 p.m. Update

Tom and I are on 435-North heading to the airport. About 25 minutes out. He's driving 80 mph to get us there in time and we're listening to Carlos Santana. I'm a fan but judging by the volume levels Tom's a much bigger fan.

Anyway, here's what we've learned while en route. Although the flight tracker web page indicates that the plane has not yet departed, we believe it's in the air because we were told that sometimes the pilots turn those things off and this particular pilot was upset by the presence of media at the Lubbock airport earlier today so he may be trying to avoid another circus at KCI.

Sources have also indicated that Larry Scott is flying to KC tonight expressly to meet with KU AD Lew Perkins.

Stay tuned.

8:56 p.m. Update

Check out our latest episode of the Spodcasters, where Matt Tait, Tom Keegan and Gary Bedore discuss the latest in this whole mess.

6:46 p.m. Update

Here we go again with yet another development regarding Texas A&M.

Reports indicate that the plane that has been carrying Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott on his tour of Texas and Oklahoma will depart for Kansas City, Mo. at 8:10 p.m. Central time tonight.

Could Scott be coming meet with members of the KU athletic department? I'd bet the farm on it.

For those interested in tracking the flight, KUsports.com has obtained the tracking web site, complete with radar screen and this particular plane's flight history. Notice that the plane has been in Austin, Lubbock, College Station, Oklahoma City.

More to come.

6:41 p.m.

While one Rivals site reported that Texas A&M had turned down the Pac-10's invitation, two Texas-based reporters have since sent messages to their Twitter accounts that contradict that report.

Chip Brown, of Orangebloods.com, Tweets: "Source said A&M has not turned down the Pac-10 and denied Orangebloods.com's report to that effect, which cited a Big 12 AD's confirmation."

Billy Liucci, of TexAgs.com, Tweets: "Just received word from two sources that Aggies have NOT turned down Pac-10 and are still weighing P10/SEC option."

Oh my. No clue which one of these — the initial report or the Twitter message — is closer to being correct. Perhaps neither.

More to come.

6:19 p.m.

Well there you go... Texas A&M's Rivals site, Aggieyell.com, is reporting that A&M has rejected the Pac-10's invitation and plans to head to the SEC.

What this does for Kansas is unclear, but it looks like KU will have a shot at the 16th Pac-10 slot or may be headed toward moving forward with eight other Big 12 teams as a revamped Big 12. Under that scenario, of course, with A&M out, the new Big 12, which would have 9 teams, would have to add a 10th. Memphis? Houston?

Again, a lot of the future of the Big 12 hinges on Texas' decision Tuesday. However, A&M bolting is a blow to that scenario, even if just a small one.

Here's the report.

More to come.

3:46 p.m.

We're approaching Sunday evening and things are starting to get quiet. I wouldn't be surprised if we had one or two eye-opening rumors today but it probably won't be more than that.

With that in mind, Tom Keegan and I just discussed where we're at with all of this and came up with the following conclusions. I'll simplify it so you don't have to read through all of the babble. Tom and I are hoping to do a podcast this evening sometime to expand on some of this so keep an eye out for that later tonight.

* What's best for KU?
1. Big 12 stays together - rivalries continue, money grows, everyone's happy
2. Kansas joins Pac-10 - looking better and better if A&M is SEC bound
3. Big 12/Mountain West merger - gaining momentum and not as bad as once believed

* At this point, what's most likely to happen?
1. Big 12 stays together - it's on Texas; if the money's there, they'll stay
2. Big 12/Mountain West merger - MWC would do this today, Big 12 leftovers could do worse
3. Kansas joins Pac-10 - too many things must happen for this to be any higher
4. Kansas engages in discussions with Big East - stay tuned

More to come, as these lists could change and look completely different in a matter of minutes. Check back with KUsports.com throughout the afternoon for the latest and later tonight for the podcast.

2:41 p.m.

Bleacher Report's Josh Bennett has an interesting piece on why the Pac-10 will go to 16, why Utah is the perfect fit and why Utah to the Pac-10 is a done deal. To call this interesting is putting it mildly.

This much we can conclude... if Utah's going to the Pac-10 as the 16th school, the four Big 12 south schools are headed west and A&M is headed to the SEC.

All of this — and, really, any of it — is far, far, far from a done deal but this is just another interesting take.

More to come.

2:12 p.m.:

A television report from KTBS in Texarkana, Ark., indicated Saturday night that Oklahoma quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel had some news on the Sooners' future.

Prior to a banquet dinner, Heupel told a television reporter that he had no idea where OU was headed and that he, along with coaches across the country, was interested in finding out sooner rather than later.

Then, during that same banquet, the emcee put Heupel on the spot in front of everyone, at which point, according to KTBS, Heupel responded with, "Funny you should ask, I just got a text from our running backs coach that said, 'We're going to the SEC West.'"

No idea why Heupel would change his tune so quickly if that text did not actually come. However, it's hard to imagine that this thing is a done deal.

If it is, however, A&M and OU could be headed to the SEC West, which would almost certainly inspire Texas to head to the Pac-10, likely with Kansas in tow.

Crazy stuff.

More to come.

1:51 p.m.

Not a lot happening in the last hour or so, so here's a column from ESPN that discusses the whole realignment topic with a former SEC commissioner.

It's been up for a couple of days but in case you missed it it's a good read.

While we're chasing rumors and obsessing over speculation, it's important to remember that there are some pretty smart people out there with general opinions on this whole thing, good or bad.

12:09 p.m.

Here's another good one from Chip Brown that addresses nearly every issue impacting the Texas schools and their decision to go Pac-10, SEC or Big 12.

Among the things it says: SEC still trying to woo OU; A&M appears committed to the SEC; Despite well-intentioned efforts by Texas law makers, it may be too late to stop the momentum.

More to come.

11:43 a.m.

Hold the phone. Chip Brown, of orangebloods.com, is reporting that Dan Beebe's efforts to speed up the renegotiations of the Big 12's television contracts may be working.

Brown said that three sources at Big 12 schools have indicated that the potential TV deal would be on par with what the SEC offers — $17 million per school annually — and that could entice the remaining 10 to stay together and move forward as the Big 12, potentially as just 10 or by adding two teams... maybe Memphis?

I've mentioned this before, but Brown's reports largely have been right on the money throughout this entire fiasco. One source told me that Brown has the best source in the nation, though I'm not sure who that could be with this being such a wide-ranging issue. Still, it's worth noting that this could be a serious possibility.

Brown points out that Orangebloods.com was told by a top source: "The winds to keep the Big 12 together with 10 teams are getting stronger."

Also still in the realm of possibilities is KU to the Pac-10. This concept has grown hot and cold faster than you can blink during the past few days, but at least one report has it leaning towards hot again. It indicates that KU has moved firmly ahead of Utah as the school that would join the Pac-10 in place of Texas A&M should the Aggies hold out and/or bolt for the SEC.

Crazy stuff for a Sunday. More to come, I'm sure.

10:19 a.m.

Good morning, it's time for another round of realignment fun.

So far things have been pretty quiet, but I thought I'd start the day off with a couple of quick notes.

For starters, a report has surfaced that FedEx may be willing to pay a BCS league $10 million to add Memphis. If there's any truth to that, this shouldn't be a hard sell. Good market, great basketball program and a good city.

At this point, I'm guessing there might be a major race to land Memphis, anywhere from the SEC and ACC to the Big Ten and possible revamped Big 12.

Speaking of the Big 12, KUsports.com confirmed reports of a Saturday meeting between the five Big 12 schools that would remain should the five south schools bolt as we expect.

Sources told me late Saturday that there could then be a movement to absorb the Mountain West into the Big 12 and move forward under the Big 12 name with new teams. Adding the Mountain West's 10 schools to the five remaining Big 12 teams — KU, K-State, Missouri, Iowa State and Baylor — would give the league 15 teams. One source told me that Houston or SMU could be the 16th team, but with this Memphis news surfacing that might become a better direction to go.

For those who don't know, here's a list of the Mountain West schools:

Air Force
Wyoming
Boise State
TCU
San Diego State
New Mexico
UNLV
Colorado State
Utah
BYU

More to come as the day moves forward. Right now, I gotta go mow the yard before the rain hits Lawrence.

Comments

John Hamm 4 years, 6 months ago

This would be good for all involved. Especially if there's any chance of getting Memphis.

ashmole 4 years, 6 months ago

You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Adding the losers from the old Big XII to the lackluster crew of the Mountain West just makes one big, weak conference. How did KU get stuck in the neighborhood of Baylor, Iowa State, Wyoming, and UNLV? Pretty pathetic.

manfred 4 years, 6 months ago

".... and a good city." Reading that, I literally LOL'ed. Obviously the author has never been to Memphis. It's the number 2 crime city in the country, behind Detroit. Its downtown is virtually abandoned, with about 3/4ths of all buildings boarded up or condemned. Its educational system and legislature are in shambles, and it's one of the most impoverished urban areas in the US.

Please, writers, do your research!

oldtimer39 4 years, 6 months ago

My wife and I spent a long weekend in Memphis last year, stayed in a downtown hotel and thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience. It's a fun town with a lot of history and interesting sites and we walked everywhere we went. I'm sure there are abandoned buildings and a crime problem (like most big cities these days) but apparently, the good far outweighed the bad because we remember that vacation fondly.

I'd love for KU and Memphis to be in the same conference. It'd be fun to take another trip down there and cheer on the Jayhawks.

bradh 4 years, 6 months ago

It's hard to believe any BCS conference would want Memphis. Their football program is pretty weak and their basketball wasn't nationally prominent until Calipari showed up and it could disappear as fast as Calipari.

I can't believe anyone would want MU in a new conference. They've shown they have no loyalty and will bolt at the first chance, or if there is any chance to make a buck. MU is just a money whore at this point. If you create a new league with MU in it, I would think you'd have to include some real poison pills for leaving. An established league like the Big 10 could take a chance on an MU since they feel they can get a replacement if MU bolts. However, a new league would need to ensure some cohesion for a while, or risk falling apart like the Big 12.

bill_the_kat 4 years, 6 months ago

I like the Memphis idea, opens up a new market for the B12. They could play in the B12 south, move OSU and OU to north. Hopefully we could get TCU, Houston, BYU or Utah to get us back to 12.

I agree that MU cannot be trusted. But if they can get a Fox TV contract and make MU sign with a huge break penalty, that would be ideal.

Despite the fact MU started the crack up of the B12, 5.5 million people in Missouri make them essential for the rest of the B12. Besides we would have another reason to hate them, so the rivalry will be that much better.

kinetix 4 years, 6 months ago

Although the Mountain West Conference may not have the recognition of the Pac-10, it will more than likely become a BCS Conference in 2012. The Denver market (Colorado St. and Air Force) and the Kansas City market sounds good, too. I understand that Memorial Stadium "only" holds about 52,000 people, much less than what these mega-conferences want, but I'm surprised that KU football isn't receiving much interest from these mega-conferences because, 1) KU is just two years removed from a BCS victory and finishing the season with a top ten ranking, and 2) Their facilities are very good and they have strong support from their fans and their administration appears to be dedicated in improving the status of the football team. Another good thing about the possibility of playing in the MWC would be yearly trips to Fort Collins, CO!

Bill Lee 4 years, 6 months ago

With Colorado and Nebraska gone, Iowa State is the only remaining Big 12 team without an in-state rival. How about we steal Iowa from the Big 10?

haddison 4 years, 6 months ago

I'd be up for that! We could take away the one team NU was looking forward to starting a rivalry with once they joined the Big Ten. Maybe it'll quiet the Husker fans for a bit.

RogueThrill 4 years, 6 months ago

Reports say A&M turned down the Pac-10, if we can beat out Utah then we should jump ship.

armchaircowboy 4 years, 6 months ago

I have it on good authority that your assertion is patently false.

LogicMan 4 years, 6 months ago

"if ... we should jump ship"

I'm not so sure now. The absorption of the Mountain West into the "Big West 16" is growing on me, but losing Utah is a big hit to that plan.

And there's still a chance that the TX and OK teams will stick with the Big 12 - 2 (+2?).

fan4kufootball 4 years, 6 months ago

If we can keep the B12 South I think I would like to see Arkansas a potential additional to the B12

clovis_sangrail 4 years, 6 months ago

We need to dust off all of the old Big Six branding and resurrect it for the left-behind members of the Big 12.

Prospective members from the moribund Big 12-- Kansas Kansas State Missouri Iowa State

What's that you say? What about Baylor? Who cares? Screw Baylor. Let them join the Sun Belt conference or whatever conference the University of North Dakota is in.

Then we'll add -- University of Nebraska at Omaha (It will be almost like having NU.) and University of Northern Iowa (which has already proven it can run with the big dogs on a basketball court)

Nice, cheap commutes for everyone, which will help offset the slightly reduced television revenues.

riverdrifter 4 years, 6 months ago

I think this is a fine scenario for K-State & Misery.

"University of Nebraska at Omaha (It will be almost like having NU.)"

You lost all credibility right there.

Next.

clovis_sangrail 4 years, 6 months ago

I wasn't trying for credibility, merely for amusement, with a side order of snarkiness.

I know bubkes about university sports. Hell, the only reason I even know there used to be a Big Six is that I saw it on some floor tiles in the basement of the Eldridge.

But this topic just breeds armchair experts, and it doesn't look like not knowing what the hell one is talking about is any kind of bar to participation.

riverdrifter 4 years, 6 months ago

Snarkiness received, loud and clear!

Do keep trying, Clovis! BTW, I liked working in Clovis, years ago.

Scott Patterson 4 years, 6 months ago

Why couldn't a 9 or 10 team Big XII become the realignment aggressor and go after Utah, CSU, Memphis, Louisville, Houston, Cincinnati and/or TCU to get back to 12. I realize TCU's petty spat with Baylor would preclude them from accepting, but why couldn't WE be the ones going after someone other conference's teams.

riverdrifter 4 years, 6 months ago

Lew will take the Pac 10 invite if offered & will whip out a credit card and offer to top off Larry Scott's Gulfstream 200 with jet-1 so long as he flies nowhere near Columbia, Misery.

whats_going_on 4 years, 6 months ago

for those interested in TRACKING THE FLIGHT?

Jeesus effing god, how obsessed do you have to be to do THAT.

That just made me incredibly sad.

Kevin Randell 4 years, 6 months ago

I agree.... A&M bolts and the Jayhawk Nation decides to drink the Pac-10 Kool-Aid. Look, they are not raiding the Big XII because they want to help us. They're like the aliens in Independence Day...they are just here to rape us of our resources. We will never be "part" of the new conference. All teams that join the Pac-10 will be just step children. I know I sound paranoid, but all I ask is just be patient...don't give into fear...and act like the intelligent University we are and make the best decision possible. No matter what.....FOOTBALL SEASON IS COMING!!!!!

riverdrifter 4 years, 6 months ago

That's right, Devil. Let's hope Lew met that jet and nobody else. Screw rearranging the deck furniture. Let Missouri take care of that. Get out and get out now to the Pac 10 if that's what's in the mill here tonight. This is the last best opportunity for KU. People, the house is on fire! We cannot stay upstairs to wait and see what happens. Get out. Nebraska was right.

NotASquishHead 4 years, 6 months ago

If he was really coming to visit KU, why wouldn't he just fly to Lawrence? That size of plane could easily land at Lawrence's airport.

riverdrifter 4 years, 6 months ago

Weather and privacy would be two issues. Same reason they would not land at New Century.

Hawker 800. I like the brand of the jet.

neo_star 4 years, 6 months ago

Jet looking like a Hawker landed at New Century between 8:00pm and 8:30pm. Flight path for a landing (from north to south) goes right over my deck and not many corporate jets fly over. It actually looked like it came in a big turn from the west and headed south for a landing.

neo_star 4 years, 6 months ago

Forgot to mention I live a few houses from Gov. Parkinson's home (Cedar Creek-Olathe) which might explain why a Pac-10 jet would land at New Century just a few short miles away.

Zachary Stoltenberg 4 years, 6 months ago

Did anyone else notice the route?

AUS3 AGJ JUMBO JEN JHAWK

Coincidence?

TheOriginalCA 4 years, 6 months ago

I don't want to read another word about KU and Lew Perkins doing things illegally if LJ World is driving 80 MPH and putting peopl ein danger!!!

Freestater456 4 years, 6 months ago

Chip Brown on Sunday Night Sports in Dallas Said in an interview tonight that he believes the Big XII will stay together, and all... The kicker from two of his sources... ARKANSAS HAS INQUIRED ABOUT JOINING

I did not personally see this interview but if this is true Chip Brown has been pretty accurate with a lot of details in all this. He is a reporter for orangebloods.com which is a UT website and he as GREAT connections. This could be huge!

Steve Hillyer 4 years, 6 months ago

I agree orangebloods has been quite accurate so far but I question Arkansas wanting to leave the SEC, they surely won't make more money in the Big12(10). If Arkansas leaves then maybe KU will take their spot. I'm also not convinced the Big 12(10) will or should be saved, this all should have been done months ago, I wouldn't trust anything UT or Beebe says at this point, I want to see everything in writing and signed by UT, otherwise sign with the Pac 10 if they offer.

Freestater456 4 years, 6 months ago

Now chip brown is reporting that Texas will commit to a 10 team league as soon as today. A&M is the wild card in my mind. Just have to hope they don't dart to the SEC

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