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Blog Entry

Neinas says Big 12 comfortable at 10

Posted on: January 30, 2012 12:06 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 12:50 pm
 
Posted by Tom Fornelli

If we've learned anything over the last few years when it comes to conference realignment and expansion, it's basically that anything can happen no matter what anybody is saying. So keep that in mind when reading these latest quotes from the Big 12's interim commissioner Chuck Neinas on the Big 12's plans in the future.

The conference's expansion committee got together last week to discuss the possibility of further expansion, and while talking to West Virginia Illustrated over the weekend, Neinas made it sound like the committee decided that 10 is enough for now.

"The Board of Directors at the time West Virginia was admitted to the Big 12 asked the expansion committee to continue to monitor the landscape of college athletics," Neinas said. "We are currently at ten and very comfortable with ten.

"As a ten team conference you play every team in the conference for football. You are not skipping any opponent. There is not that argument that someone played Oklahoma and the other guy had to play a lesser team. In basketball, it is a double round-robin, so if you lose on the road, you get the same team at home. That is very appealing to our conference membership." 

Neinas also talked about how the conference doesn't really desire having its conference championship game return.

"Unlikely that there will be a conference championship game anytime in the near future," said Neinas. "There is, not unanimous, but heavy plurality favoring not having a conference championship or playoff because that brings about divisional play and that is where you get into a debate about strength of division." 

So it seems that, for now, the possibility of the Big 12 expanding back to 12 teams and adding a school like Louisville -- the school most frequently mentioned -- and another has been tabled for now. That being said, as I made clear at the beginning of this post, these things change pretty quickly.

After all, it might just be that since the Big 12 could be finding itself in court with the Big East over West Virginia in the near future, the conference doesn't want to come out and say "oh and we're gonna take Louisville too."

Speaking of West Virginia, Neinas also made it sound as if the Mountaineers will be playing in the Big 12 next fall. The conference has to release its schedule by February 1st, and according to Neinas that schedule has already been distributed to the conference's athletic directors and West Virginia is likely on it.

"Either West Virginia [will be on it] or the Green Bay Packers and I think it is more likely West Virginia," joked the commissioner.

If it does end up being the Packers, though, I know who I'm picking to win the title next season.

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Comments

Since: Jan 19, 2008
Posted on: January 30, 2012 2:53 pm
 

Neinas says Big 12 comfortable at 10


Should they want to go to 12, I would add Louisvlle and Cincinnati. Should they want to go to 16 as the "superconference" supporters want, I would also add some combination of Tulane, Memphis, Southern Mississippi and Central Florida (presuming BYU and Notre Dame still want to be indies).

I also think the Big XII needs to be renamed...
  • Louisville: Agree. Outstanding basketball tradition, acceptable football program and facilities, reasonable geographic fit, good market.
  • Cincinnati: Hesitantly agree. Same profile as Louisville, but facilities would be among the weakest in the conference for football.
  • Tulane: Please no. Pretty good market. Terrible football program, non-existent basketball tradition. Simply could not compete in most sports.
  • Memphis: Like Tulane, but with a good basketball program. Memphis is a one trick pony, I'm afraid. And the Liberty Bowl Stadium is sure showing its age.
  • Southern Mississippi: Ain't happening. Look, I respect what they've been able to accomplish, and the football and basketball teams wouldn't embarrass themselves. But the demographics just aren't there. Hattiesburg has under 50,000 people. There isn't a huge alumni base or a national following. Sorry, but no.
  • Central Florida: The demographics are there. But geographically, it doesn't bridge the gap between the existing Big 12 schools and WVU. It spreads the conference too thin. The men's sports have improved dramatically over the past decade, but they still aren't up to Big 12 standards. No national base. It's just not a viable expansion option for this league.
Like the Big Ten (or B1G for short), the conference name is just a marketing tool, not a tally of member schools. The Big Ten brand is stronger, granted. But I don't see any compelling reason to change the Big XII name.





Since: Sep 22, 2011
Posted on: January 30, 2012 2:41 pm
 

Neinas says Big 12 comfortable at 10

"If member schools really don't want a conference championship game, they should stay at 10 schools but it makes me question why stalwart tradition-bound conferences like the Big 10 and the Pac 10 found a need to add more schools.

Should they want to go to 12, I would add Louisvlle and Cincinnati. Should they want to go to 16 as the "superconference" supporters want, I would also add some combination of Tulane, Memphis, Southern Mississippi and Central Florida (presuming BYU and Notre Dame still want to be indies).

I also think the Big XII needs to be renamed. My choice is the "Heartland Conference" which symbolizes the central United States but allows for some flexibility in the numbers or members and geographic location without looking like they can't count to 12."

I agree with you.  That said the Big 10 and the PAC 10 went to 12 to add additional TV markets, nothing more.  IMHO the championship game thing is a smokescreen.  The bottom line is that if you can add significant markets to your conference, you can negotiate a more lucrative TV deal (to my knowledge the PAC12 has the most lucrative deal of any conference out there).  The flipside is that the 10 team conferences get larger revenue share since they only have to split 10 ways versus 12, so it all depends on how big the pie is that you are dividing up.  As for the naming, I concur.  We have too many conferences named BIG.  Conferences need to drop the stupid numbers and just go with a unique name, makes it much easier not to get confused and they don't end up looking stupid should the number of members increase or decrease.  The Big 10 at 12 and the Big 12 at 10 is just ridiculous. 





Since: Apr 7, 2008
Posted on: January 30, 2012 2:25 pm
 

Neinas says Big 12 comfortable at 10

I have to agree with Neinas, I think 10 is the perfect number for a NCAA conference for two key schedule-related reasons he mentioned. First, in football you play everybody, eliminating the schedule debate. Second, in basketball you play everybody twice, eliminating the schedule debate. Granted the loss of a championship game in football does hurt (especially if you finished 8-1 and lost to the team that finished 9-0 on the road), but I think the pros outweigh the cons. Too bad all of this has never been about competitive balence and fair scheduling (and while were on the subject, geography) because I hate seeing some of these conferences that were pretty awesome looking in the past get torn apart. 



Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2012 2:21 pm
 

Neinas says Big 12 comfortable at 10

We deffinately need to eliminate the BIG 12 name and start using something else, without using a number in our name.  Heartland or whatever but we need to make the move now while we are pulling off bandaids.  Then we need to go get Cinci, Loui, BYU and Utah St, because they bring natural rivalries with them, not that I particularly want Utah State or Cinci.  The built in TV markets already exist and the fans have already been traveling between them for games.  It aint perfect but it is what it is.



Since: Mar 30, 2009
Posted on: January 30, 2012 2:20 pm
 

Neinas says Big 12 comfortable at 10

Then change your damn name.  A few conferences need to do that, but especially a team with ten teams calling itself the Big 12, and the Big East, which as everybody knows, should be called the Big Least.  The Big Least is so big simply because it is a garbage dump.  You know, the large place where everyone sends their trash?



Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2012 2:14 pm
 

Neinas says Big 12 comfortable at 10

San Diego State would be a great fit for the Big 12. Emerging basketball powerhouse, football team back to some semblence of respectability, situated in Southern California, ... etc. I'd be stoked if the Aztecs ditched the Big East/Big West and joined the Big 12.



Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: January 30, 2012 1:45 pm
 

Neinas says Big 12 comfortable at 10

When it comes to expansion of the Big Six conferences I think other then the Big East there pretty much set for awhile; I think what there all waiting and hoping for is Notre Dame to join there conference.

Which is why ACC won't go to 16 hoping their basketball tradition sways Notre Dame, Big 12 wont go to 12 figuring there football powers of OKlahoma and Texas sway them, and the Big Ten just because of location, rivalaries, will sway them so they won't add the east coast market which everyone knows they want. As for the other two the Pac 12 is set at 12, the SEC that one I wonder about them going to 16 but who would they add?




Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2012 12:59 pm
 

Neinas says Big 12 comfortable at 10

If member schools really don't want a conference championship game, they should stay at 10 schools but it makes me question why stalwart tradition-bound conferences like the Big 10 and the Pac 10 found a need to add more schools.

Should they want to go to 12, I would add Louisvlle and Cincinnati. Should they want to go to 16 as the "superconference" supporters want, I would also add some combination of Tulane, Memphis, Southern Mississippi and Central Florida (presuming BYU and Notre Dame still want to be indies).

I also think the Big XII needs to be renamed. My choice is the "Heartland Conference" which symbolizes the central United States but allows for some flexibility in the numbers or members and geographic location without looking like they can't count to 12.



Since: Aug 16, 2011
Posted on: January 30, 2012 12:29 pm
 

Neinas says Big 12 comfortable at 10

I believe what conference commissioners say just about as much as I believe what politicians say.  We'll see in 2 days whether or not WVU is in the Big 12 or the Big East.  Until then, this is just a bunch of hot air from Neinas.



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