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Tag:Pac-12 Expansion
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 15, 2011 5:33 pm
Edited on: September 15, 2011 5:34 pm
 

OU regent agenda includes 'Conference Alignment'

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

We've already seen credible reports that Oklahoma wants out of the Big 12 and that their conference-mates expect to hear something official within the next two weeks. So maybe it's no surprise that the Sooner Board of Regents is set to potentially make that looming decision at their meeting this Monday, Sept. 19.

The meeting agenda (PDF) was made public Thursday afternoon, and we'll save you the trouble of scrolling to page 218 of 219 and show you what appears there:


It seems entirely possible that the Oklahoma board "taking any appropriate action" regarding "new athletic conference membership" could well be the exact moment when the Big 12 dissolves for good, and the Pac-12 becomes the de facto Pac-14.

Of course, just because the item is on the agenda doesn't make any specific decision a guarantee, particularly not when "potential legal ramifications" are so present as to be also be listed on the agenda item. But this remains the clearest, most official sign yet that the Sooners aren't just considering their "conference alignment" options; they already have one foot out the door.

HT: Andy Staples.


Posted on: September 13, 2011 12:40 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2011 11:26 am
 

Report: Oklahoma wants out and Big 12 is 'done'

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

We can't personally vouch for the credibility of the Austin-American Statesman's sources. But if the picture portrayed by those sources in this story by Kirk Bohls and Alan Trubow is at all accurate, the day of reckoning for the Big 12 is just about at hand.

According to the report -- and as also reported by CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd -- University of Texas president Bill Powers and athletic director DeLoss Dodds flew to Oklahoma Sunday for a meeting with Sooners officials. Powers' and Dodds' aim, according to Bolhs and Trubow: convince Oklahoma (and by association, joined-at-the-hip in-state rival Oklahoma State) to remain in the Big 12 and forgo applying for membership in the Pac-12.

But according to the report's sources, the Sooners' minds were -- and are -- already made up. They're looking West:
"There's nothing Texas could have offered Oklahoma that would have changed their mind. They were set on leaving the Big 12 before Texas got there," a well-placed source at a Big 12 school said, adding that Sunday's meeting had a very friendly and cooperative tone. "The Big 12's done. Oklahoma wasn't open to creating Big 12 stability" ...

"Texas must have come into the meeting and seen the handwriting on the wall," said a source close to OU and Texas who is familiar with these realignment issues. "I think OU and OSU will seek membership to the Pac-12 in the next two weeks, but [Texas] A&M comes first."
Despite the Sooners' and Cowboys' intentions, even the report isn't ready to move the realignment chess pieces just yet. While the Oklahoma and Oklahoma State move is "expected," Larry Scott -- who has said repeatedly the Pac-12 doesn't want to expand at this time -- and the Pac-12 presidents could reject the Sooners' and Cowboys' applications.

But assuming Scott does pull the trigger, Texas would be left without a viable conference as the Big 12 crumbles. Per the report, their options at that stage would be to follow the Oklahoma schools to the Pac-12 (or -14), apply to join the ACC, or go independent--and the report claims Texas officials have already had highly preliminary talks with the ACC.

While independence is described as the least appealing option for Dodds and Texas officials, the Longhorn Network could be a major stumbling block for joining one of the other conferences. According to Bohls and Trubow, "Texas has no desire to part, alter or share any aspect of The Longhorn Network, but it would not be able to retain the network as is in the Pac-12." The Longhorns are also reportedly balking at the Pac-12's plan for divisional alignments in a 16-team scenario.

So what's the bottom line right now? With the Statesman report backing the widespread rumors that the Sooners are ready to pack their bags, it seems safe to assume that Oklahoma is indeed bent on abandoning the Big 12 and concluding its viability as a conference. But past that? Every other conference realignment chip is still in the air, and it remains anybody's guess where they fall.

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 10:46 am
 

Utah has seen 'big spike' in recruiting

Posted by Chip Patterson

With their official arrival in the Pac-12, Utah can no longer be thought of as "BCS Busters." But their new AQ status has not just brought an easier path to high-profile bowl game, but also had immediate impact in recruiting. Head coach Kyle Whittingham explained the effect the jump has had on the recruiting trail on Tuesday while meeting with the media at Pac-12 Media Days.

"We've had a big spike in recruiting," Whittingham said. "For example, the announcement was made back in June a year ago, within ten days after the announcement we had several verbal commits. Many of which those players would not have been able to get in on without BCS Conference affiliation."

Here are some more highlights from Utah's time with media on Tuesday in Los Angeles:

- When asked about opening the conference schedule with USC, Whittingham called the experience "baptism by fire." The Utes will have their eyes on the Pac-12 South title, and what better way to start than to face the team picked to finish first in the division.

- Bringing in Norm Chow and switching offensive philosophies will benefit quarterback Jordan Wynn. According to Whittingham, Wynn mostly played under center in high school and should be more comfortable with the new system. That comfort will help Wynn, who will be making his way back to a full workload during camp after recovering from shoulder surgery.

- When asked about not drawing Oregon or Stanford in the conference schedule, Whittingham pointed out that while that would have worked out nicely a year ago, there still is no telling who will be the teams that will rise to the top in 2011.

"Every year is its own entity," Whittingham remarked. "Who is going to be the overachieving teams this year are the teams that emerge and come to the forefront and vice versa. So it remains to be seen."
 
 
 
 
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