Blog Entry

Self: Big East was set to take Kansas, others

Posted on: November 30, 2010 7:26 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2010 7:32 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi

At the height of conference realignment talks last year, there was real concern that Texas (and most of the other Big XII South schools) would flee the conference for -- pardon the pun -- greener pastures, leaving the schools up north wondering what their next move would be. Six conference members doth not a viable conference make, after all, and there was real concern that schools like Iowa State or Kansas State would have to suffer the indignity of joining a non-AQ conference.

Fortunately, as Kansas basketball coach Bill Self told listeners on his weekly radio show yesterday, his Jayhawks' AQ status was never in doubt -- and nor was that of Missouri, KSU, and ISU. When asked about TCU and its move to the Big East, Self said that if the Big 12 folded, those schools would have been offered a spot in the Big East. And further, Self thinks the Big East was smart to make those offers, because it was the only way to ensure the Big Ten doesn't kill the Big East's football program.

Audio, courtesy of the IMG Jayhawk Network, is below. Those interested in the full show may listen through Jayhawks All-Access ($$).

If you can't listen, here's the full text of Self's statement, with minor alterations for clarity's sake:

To be honest with you, Kansas could have been making the same announcement today that TCU made. And Kansas State could have been in there too, because the feeling that we got -- or we had, when the conference realignment was going on, that if by chance, Texas would have gone to the Pac-10 and we would have stayed buddies with Kansas State and not separated and done all that stuff, then the Big East would have came and gotten us, and KSU, and Iowa State, and Missouri. Which, in theory, you say, 'Oh god, the Big East, bad travel.' They would have gone to divisions, so we would have had divisions with probably the teams that are close, and maybe Louisville and Cincinnati or whatever.

And I think that's smart on the Big East's part, because the Big Ten's still going to go poach somebody, and when they poach somebody it's going to be a football-playing school, and if that number goes beneath eight, then I believe -- I could be wrong -- but I believe then they're not eligible for the BCS bid. So they're covering themselves to make sure that whenever the Big Ten does whatever they do, they'll still have enough football-playing schools to make sure that they keep their BCS football bid alive. So I think it's a smart move, and probably great for TCU, so I see no problems with it.

Although there had been rumors to this extent back in the spring and summer, this is the first time that a school official has not only addressed the rumor that the Big East was set to invite the wayward Big 12 North schools, but out-and-out confirmed it. And as Self mentioned, with the Big Ten purportedly sniffing around for expansion targets out east, the Big East needed to either go into buyer mode or prepare to get out of the business of football altogether. While some college football fans might have preferred the latter, the Big East would have lost an automatic qualifier bid and all the money it entails, so that was never really going to happen.

And above all else, this should at least reassure fans of those four schools that even if the Big 12 had folded, the day that ISU or Missouri would have had to share a conference with Wyoming or Middle Tennessee State was never really going to happen; there had always been another BCS conference waiting, and there probably still will be if this latest iteration of the Big 12 doesn't work over the next few years. The arms race probably isn't over yet.


Since: Oct 14, 2010
Posted on: December 1, 2010 9:39 pm

Self: Big East was set to take Kansas, others

This is my new favorite comment and most sensible idea I've heard in awhile.  Along with the BBQ there is some good music in Austin and Memphis.

Since: Sep 20, 2009
Posted on: December 1, 2010 9:31 pm

Self: Big East was set to take Kansas, others

Some posters here need to get some basic facts. First off no SEC team will leave the SEC to go to the Big 12 they make alot more money right where they are. Second one poster had this right the Big 12 will not look at schools within the footprint of the current schools that leaves out many Texas schools that otherwise look good( Houston , Utep, Rice ,SMU) Tusla is out as well for the same reason TCU was never a real possibility (small private schools with very little to bring to the table money wise )third i think the Big 12 as a ten team conference knows it will still have the same TV and Bowl deals without having to share with two extra mouths. The only teams that I could see as a furture expansion if this ten team format fails are BYU and Utah( yes they have gone to the pac ten but stae politics would keep them together)

Since: Oct 23, 2009
Posted on: December 1, 2010 9:12 pm

they'll B realignments every 5-6yrs. from now on!

I think Big XII will expand and the potential members are:

***New Mexico***

Second String: Air Force, Wyoming

Third String: Colorado State, BYU
Odd Ball: Memphis, or any institution in Texas.

I think it will be a shocker if Big XII snatches a team away from the SEC.  Arkansas is the best possible expansion Target, but that would still be shocking because the Big XII is not nice to those outside Texas and there little brother schools in Oklahoma schools. Plus if Arkansas leaves what are the chances Texas A&M Stays or an Oklahoma? Texas will be independent in five to ten years forever changing the conference dynamic.

I see New Mexico being the other team to make it XII again, New Mexico isn't competitive, but political powers, and kissing Texas' ... will get them in, they will have to pay all the Texas member schools a million dollars a year.

I could see them go after LSU, Ole Miss and Miss State; which would shock the world and forever change everything about college sports but I don’t see anything happening like that. I do know that the Southwest conference did go after them but were unsuccessful obviously.

Texas' schools will always be perplexed at their unstable situations and bad P.R. as long as there’s inequality among its members.

The ten team Big XII if two more teams will have its championship game in Cowboy Stadium year after year,

The Big Ten is so greedy too but at least the distribute the wealth evenly to create some stability, but just like the ancient Roman Empire, It will get to big, too rich and break into three conferences. between 20 and 50 years down the road (Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Northwestern, maybe even Kansas State and Iowa State) (Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, Purdue, Notre Dame, maybe Pittsburgh and some someone else, maybe Kentucky or West Virginia) (Penn State, Maryland, Rutgers leave and form new conference (Penn State, Rutgers, Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Delaware, Connecticut, Boston College, Syracuse, and maybe two more ore they may stay at ten)

College sports are really semi-pro sports and I don’t see things getting better for anyone,  Teams will switch left and Right they’ll be happy for about 15 - 20 years then switch again.  The Big Ten Conference is foolish if they think they are indestructible.

Since: Oct 27, 2006
Posted on: December 1, 2010 6:19 pm

Self: Big East was set to take Kansas, others

I don't think the Big 12 wants to go back to 12 teams.  Texas and OU think it will be easier to get into a national championship game without a conference championship.  The only possible candidates in my opinion are BYU, Colorado State, and Memphis.  No other schools really make any sense. 

Since: Apr 28, 2010
Posted on: December 1, 2010 3:48 pm

Self: Big East was set to take Kansas, others

Ha...the only way the Big East can get good is to take good teams from other conferences.  Let's just hope the Big East doesn't dumb down TCU, and turn them into mediocre as well.

Since: Feb 15, 2010
Posted on: December 1, 2010 3:41 pm

Self: Big East was set to take Kansas, others

BXII South = Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St
BXII North = Kansas, Kansas St, Iowa St, Missouri, Louisville, Memphis

Adds two schools from states (Kentucky and Tennessee) not currently in the BXII footprint and both states not only border each other but both share a border with current BXII territory (Missouri). 

Memphis football is an abomination but it's a good fit from a geography perspective and does have history with Louisville.

Plus between Memphis, Kansas City and Texas you've got three of the four BBQ capitals.

Since: Mar 3, 2007
Posted on: December 1, 2010 2:51 pm

Self: Big East was set to take Kansas, others

The Big 12 is not interested in adding more Texas teams to its league. TCU and Houston would never have been offered. The goal for the Big 12 IF they do decide to expand is to expand the footprint of the conference for TV revenue purposes so that leaves out adding new teams from states already within the footprint.

Losing CU and Nebraska will cost the Big 12 those states a combined 5.5 million viewers or something. If they want to re-expand, they may seek to draw in New Mexico, Arkansas, LSU, Louisville, Memphis, Arizona/ASU. Not saying any or all of these are legit candidates but tehy are all in somewhat nearby states that currently do not have a Big 12 audience. It will almost certainly be two schools from two separate states not involving current Big 12 member states (which rules out Tulsa as well).

Since: Dec 4, 2007
Posted on: December 1, 2010 2:47 pm

Self: Big East was set to take Kansas, others

Wow Mizzou to the Big East we would finally be able to be awarded a BCS bid this year.  Damn it Texas why didn't you split?  Can we be awarded the Big East AQ by default this year since we almost came and they all suck? 

Also, the B12 may in fact stay as 10 schools (if that's what Texas wants) but either way adding TCU makes no sense.  What would they gain by adding them?  They wouldn't add a TV market, B12 already has the entire state of Texas.  Texas recuiting?  Have that 10 fold.  Small enrollment is a problem, not enough alumni $ compared to rest of B12 schools.  TCU brought only a solid football program to an already great football conference.  She looks hot but if she doesn't put out what good is she?

Since: Dec 1, 2010
Posted on: December 1, 2010 12:37 pm

Self: Big East was set to take Kansas, others

The scenario which Self laid out would have been a dream for the Big East, and the confirmation that the invitations were set to go out makes me rue the decision by Texas to stay put in a conference that's still tearing at the seams.

I don't believe TCU was, or Houston ever will be, considered for expansion by the Big XII.  The only reason that conference stayed together was that 10 schools got to share the same pot that 12 schools had previously been splittting.  Neither TCU, nor Houston, SMU or Rice, would add enough revenue to the conference to justfiy each school taking a smaller slice of the pie.  A school like BYU, with a sizable national following and deep pockets, would've been a viable candidate, but now we all now they had their own plans.  I think they stay put at 10 teams for now, especially if FOX and ESPN get into the same bidding war they just did over the ACC, but long-term, I think Texas will see themselves as too big for the conference, figure out a way to divorce themselves from the other Texas schools (such as Texas A&M flirting with the SEC, as they did in the waning hours of the Big XII Missile Crisis this summer) and eventually go to the Big 10 or Pac 12.

As for the Big East, splitting the conference isn't going to happen.  Just look at the players involved: a commissioner based in Providence, and a high-profile consultant, Paul Tagliabue, who is on the board at Georgetown.  I wish the Big XII had split and the old northern wing of the Big 8 had been in play, but adding TCU obviously changed the dynamic.  While 9 football members actually makes for a neat and tidy schedule, 17 basketball schools becomes unweildy (see the 13-member Big East with basketball conferences named the Big East 7 and the Big East 6...didn't work out too well.)  The conference is beyond making an ultimatum to Nortre Dame; that would have come before adding TCU.  I also belive that if Villanova were truly interested in upgrading their football program, they would have already agreed to do so.  Memphis is in such bad shape, even agree (although renewing their rivalries with Lousiville and Cincinnati going all the way back to the Metro conference.)  I'm not completely sold on UCF, but they do make a nice compliment for USF and brings another large Florida market into the fold.  Much like the Big 10 not going to 12, I can't see the Big East going past 18 unless they can bring in the type of school (i.e, Kansas) that can generate the revenue to match.

Since: Jan 18, 2007
Posted on: December 1, 2010 12:33 pm

Self: Big East was set to take Kansas, others

The Big 12 probably should have jumped on TCU when it had the chance earlier this year.  Now it's going to be significantly more difficult to jump back to 12 teams if and when it chooses to do so.

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