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Report: A&M declines Pac-10's offer; Pac-10 commish heading to Kansas City
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.
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.
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.
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.
More to come.
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.
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.
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.
More to come.
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.
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.
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.
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:
San Diego State
More to come as the day moves forward. Right now, I gotta go mow the yard before the rain hits Lawrence.