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Tag:conference realignment
Posted on: September 21, 2011 2:11 pm
Edited on: September 21, 2011 2:53 pm

WVU AD Luck: Big East puts together 'strategy'

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

With the league under siege following the surprise defections of Pitt and Syracuse, the Big East's presidents and athletic directors met in New York Tuesday night to plan the future of the conference.'s Brett McMurphy has all the pertinent details, including the potential for a revival of Navy or Air Force as possible football-only members

Following the meeting, West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck released the following statement:

"President [James P.] Clements and I represented West Virginia University at last night's Big East meeting in New York. The group concluded the meeting with a strategy to recruit top level BCS-caliber institutions that match the league's strong athletic and academic histories and traditions.

"As I stated before, WVU is an excellent flagship, land-grant University, with national-caliber athletic and academic programs. We are, and will remain, a national player in college athletics.

"The conference office will coordinate any further discussion on this issue."

From a conference solidarity perspective, that sure beats Luck's previous statement on the topic, in which the Big East was most conspicuous only by its absence. That Luck is willing to discuss (and, one would assume, contribute to) the league's "strategy" to "recruit" new programs is a sign that for the time being, WVU is giving the Big East its best shot.

But that still doesn't mean that if the SEC or ACC decided to change its tune and listen to the Mountaineers' overtures for membership, WVU wouldn't pack its bags in a heartbeat. (As would any team in WVU's current position, of course, as the Panthers and Orange so comprehensively proved.) Note that Luck's new statement still doesn't bother to commit the school to the Big East for any length of time or in any fashion. It doesn't promote the Big East's "bright future" or "way forward" or any of the other buzzwords typically used in this situation to indicate that the Mountaineers are happy campers in their current digs.

Rest assured, WVU is still looking for a way out. But until that way out emerges, Luck and Clements will no doubt do their best with an awkward situation.
Posted on: September 21, 2011 1:33 pm

Report: Big 12 to ask Beebe for resignation

Posted by Tom Fornelli

As I wrote about earlier on Wednesday, the statement from Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione did not bode well for Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe. Well, if Dan Beebe read the Tulsa World on Wednesday, his day has gotten that much worse.

According to a Tulsa World report, the Big 12 presidents are to hold a teleconference on Thursday to work out a way to bring some long-term stability to the Big 12 conference. One of the ways the Big 12 plans on doing that is by asking commissioner Dan Beebe to resign.
Highly placed Big 12 sources told the Tulsa World that there is a consensus among Big 12 leaders to ask commissioner Dan Beebe for his resignation. Those sources confirmed that former Big Eight commissioner Chuck Neinas has been targeted to serve as the interim commissioner until Beebe’s replacement is identified.
The report also says that Oklahoma president David Boren first contacted Neinas several days ago.

It had been reported that Oklahoma would only remain in the Big 12 if Dan Beebe was replaced, and it seems that the Sooners are not the only school that shares this vision of change within the conference.

The presidents also plan on discussing a way to make one final pitch to Texas A&M to remain in the Big 12 and not join the SEC. Though if you listen to what Texas A&M has been saying the last couple of days, those odds are about as good as Dan Beebe's chances to still be the Big 12 commissioner next season.
Posted on: September 21, 2011 12:57 pm

Oklahoma statements spell trouble for Beebe

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Now that it seems CONFERAPOCALYSAGEDDON is over for now -- I give it two weeks -- schools must go about the business of pretending that they are happy everything has worked out the way that it is working out. Which is why Oklahoma's athletic director Joe Castiglione and Bob Stoops released statements on Wednesday saying they were happy to still be members of the Big 12.

We'll start with Stoops statement, since it's your basic, cookie-cutter release.

“I’m very pleased that we’re staying in the Big 12 Conference and appreciate the opportunity to work very closely with President Boren throughout the decision-making process," said Stoops.

Then there's Castiglione's, which doesn't really break from your typical statement on the surface, but if you read between the lines a bit, there's more to it.

“I’m in full support of President Boren’s announced decision for OU to remain in the Big 12," said Castiglione. "The reforms which he has been discussing with the presidents in the conference are very important to the future stability and strength of the Big 12 Conference.” 

While I'll glance over Castiglione saying it is David Boren's decision for Oklahoma to stay in the Big 12 and pretend that the Pac-12 announcing it wasn't taking any new members had nothing to do with that decision, it's the second sentence that grabs my attention. The one about the reforms that Boren is discussing with the other presidents of the Big 12.

You may remember a report yesterday in which Oklahoma said that it would remain in the Big 12 if the conference replaced commissioner Dan Beebe. Well, looking at what Castiglione said in his statement, it seems that while the Big 12 may survive this mess a bit longer, Dan Beebe won't be.
Posted on: September 21, 2011 12:55 am
Edited on: September 21, 2011 1:01 am

Statement: OU 'not surprised' Pac-12 stands pat

Posted by Adam Jacobi

In the wake of the Pac-12's decision to stay at 12 teams for the foreseeable future, Oklahoma was left in the unenviable position to explain to its fans why, after president David Boren had been authorized to act on a new conference and had specifically mentioned the Pac-12 as a destination, the Sooners would not have a destination out west after all. Boren issued a statement Tuesday night on the topic, which is printed below in full:

"We were not surprised by the Pac 12's decision to not expand at this time. Even though we had decided not to apply for membership this year, we have developed a positive relationship with the leadership of the conference and we have kept them informed of the progress we've been making to gain agreement from the Big 12 for changes which will make the conference more stable in the future. Conference stability has been our first goal and we look forward to achieving that goal through continued membership in the Big 12 Conference."

Suffice it to say, 24 hours prior, Oklahoma fans were expecting to hear a far different statement from Boren regarding the future of Sooner athletics. If the Pac-12 doesn't feel comfortable expanding, though, there isn't a whole lot the Sooners can do, except maybe follow Texas A&M to the SEC. In the meantime, Oklahoma has now publicly committed itself to the pursuit of conference stability, so it's likely committed to the Big 12 until at least the next outside seismic change in the conference's alignment. To secession-minded Sooner fans, that's a bitter pill to swallow.

It's also important to note that according to reports, Oklahoma had recently demanded the ouster of Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe as a condition of staying in the Big 12. Oklahoma may not have the leverage to make such demands anymore with the Pac-12 no longer in play, but read Boren's statement again -- Oklahoma is seeking conference stability, and it clearly thinks the first step is Beebe's ouster. Whether the conference will honor that viewpoint anymore is another matter entirely.

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Posted on: September 20, 2011 11:16 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2011 11:17 pm

Pac-12 will not expand in conference realignment

Posted by Chip Patterson

A day after official Board of Regents meetings at Texas and Oklahoma had many believing the Red River rivals would head west, the Pac-12 announced they had other plans regarding membership. The following is the official statement from the Pac-12 regarding conference expansion, in which they state their plans to remain at 12 members.

WALNUT CREEK, Calif.-- In light of the widespread speculation about potential scenarios for Conference re-alignment, the Pac-12 Presidents and Chancellors have affirmed their decision to remain a 12-team conference. Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said, “after careful review we have determined that it is in the best interests of our member institutions, student-athletes and fans to remain a 12-team conference. While we have great respect for all of the institutions that have contacted us, and certain expansion proposals were financially attractive, we have a strong conference structure and culture of equality that we are committed to preserve. With new landmark TV agreements and plans to launch our innovative television networks, we are going to focus solely on these great assets, our strong heritage and the bright future in front of us.””

- Pac-12 -

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Posted on: September 20, 2011 4:56 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2011 6:31 pm

Report: Oklahoma wants Beebe removed from Big 12

Posted by Adam Jacobi

The Big 12 soap opera may have hit its soapy apex today when Oklahoma, fresh off a regents meeting that authorized president David Boren to take action regarding conference realignment, reportedly issued an ultimatum to the conference: either commissioner Dan Beebe goes or Oklahoma does.

Citing an unnamed source,'s Berry Tramel broke the news on Tuesday afternoon:

“It's going to take major, major reforms” for OU, and thus Oklahoma State, to consider remaining in the Big 12, the source said. “We'd have to have an interim commissioner.”

The source said the league presidents do not believe Beebe responded with adequate leadership to Nebraska's and Texas A&M's frustration. The Big 12 has lost three members in the last 15 months, and “the relationships were so bad (with) the commissioner,” the source said.

The frustrations on the part of Nebraska and Texas A&M alluded to here stem largely from Texas and its Longhorn Network, the Texas-only channel that had planned to feature high school games involving Texas recruits and at least one Big 12 conference football game. The high school programming plan was walked back after an outpouring of concern about the idea, but the damage was already done.

If the report is true, Dan Beebe is in a world of trouble. While the Big 12 could probably survive without the four teams rumored to be en route to the theoretical Pac-16 -- most likely in a merger with the suddenly fractured Big East -- it probably doesn't need to continue keeping a commissioner that such a high-profile member wanted gone. Anybody who ever said "no news is bad news" never had to keep a conference together, after all, and there aren't too many BCS-level schools that would be interested in joining up with a commissioner with such a poisoned reputation.

On the other hand, Beebe now has the opportunity to save the Big 12 a second time, this time by martyring his office in the name of the greater good of the conference. Of course, the downside to that plan is it leaves Beebe without a job at the Big 12, which would substantially reduce his interest in the welfare of the embattled conference.

Oklahoma has not confirmed Tramel's report at this point, and Beebe has not issued a comment about the situation yet either. In lieu of either, then, we advise that you start up "End of the Road" by Boyz II Men for the background, load up the Fake Dan Beebe twitter feed, and enjoy both simultaneously.

Posted on: September 20, 2011 4:02 pm
Edited on: September 23, 2011 4:00 pm

PODCAST: The Doddcast takes on expansion

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Expansionpalooza 2011 kicked into its highest gear yet with Pitt and Syracuse's stunning defection to the ACC and Texas and Oklahoma making their boldest moves yet towards making the Pac-12 a Pac-16. And that was before Tuesday's smoking hot rumor regarding the SEC and Missouri.

All of which means it's time for another edition of the Doddcast with senior writer Dennis Dodd. Dodd sat down with Adam Aizer to talk over multiple angles of the current expansion tangle, and even how it might affect the Oklahoma State-Texas A&M showdown Dodd will be viewing in person this weekend. Listen below, download the mp3, pop the player out in a separate window for continued browsing while listening, and subscribe to the College Football Podcast in iTunes to receive future editions.

Posted on: September 20, 2011 2:32 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2011 3:40 pm

Report: Mizzou has SEC offer pending B12 breakup

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

If the version of events provided by a booster who has spoken to the Kansas City Star is accurate, Missouri is likely on its way towards becoming the SEC's 14th school.

According to the Star, that booster has spoken directly to a Mizzou official who has told him (or her) that the SEC "has an offer on the table for Missouri to join its league." That offer would be accepted as soon as the breakup of the Big 12 is finally made official--a fate that as Big 12 Board of Directors chairman, Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton has been working to avoid.

After yesterday's vote by the Oklahoma and Texas Boards of regents to allow their presidents to make their schools' final decisions on conference afficilation -- a move widely seen as a precursor to one or both schools jumping ship for the Pac-12, and effectively dissolving the Big 12 -- it seems highly likely that despite Deaton's efforts, that breakup is at hand.

According to the Star report, the SEC approached Missouri in 2010 but was rebuffed as the Tigers pledged their allegiance to the Big 12 and the Big Ten passed on issuing Mizzou an invitation.

However, SEC associate commissioner Charles Bloom stated Tuesday that no invitation -- official or otherwise -- has been issued to Missouri or any other school, this year or last. "The SEC has not extended an invitation to any school beyond Texas A&M since it extended invitations to Arkansas and South Carolina," Bloom said.

Of course, we're not sure if we'd take that at face value; the legal snafus already surrounding A&M's attempted departure show how carefully the SEC will tread whenever legal interference in the Big 12's contracts might be an issue.

If admitted to the SEC, Missouri would potentially force a realignment of the SEC's two divisions, with eight "West" teams and only six "East" teams. The most popular realignment scenario involves shifting Auburn to the East, a move Auburn president Jay Gogue has already said he would not oppose.
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