Tag:conference realignment
Posted on: October 4, 2011 4:08 pm
 

Vandy official: SEC could stay at 13 for "years"

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It's possible that Missouri will announce this very afternoon that they're leaving the Big 12, rendering these comments from Vanderbilt "vice chancellor of athletics" David Williams to the Tennessean irrelevant before you're done reading this post.

But if not, it's another warning shot that the Tigers may be the only school that could prevent the SEC from entering their 2012 season -- and possibly 2013 and 2014 seasons, too -- with just 13 teams. Assessing Missouri and the need for the SEC to go to 14, Williams had this to say (emphasis added):

The factors to deal with that 14th team are well beyond anything that any one person could think about. There are so many things involved. ... People say, ‘Well, you’ve already got a 14th team (lined up).’ We don’t. I could see pros and cons on just about anything you suggest as another team. This is a process. That’s why I think we may be at 13 for a couple of years.

There are a lot of things that we don’t know or have control over. You asked the question about one university. Well, does that university even want to be part of it? You look into that conference … are they not sitting down, with the exception of Texas A&M, were they not sitting down saying that they’re (addressing) their TV rights for the next six years for the conference? So if that’s the case, you may not get anybody from their conference to go.

Williams declined to mention any candidates other than Missouri specifically. If the Tigers do pledge their future to the Big 12 Tuesday, his comments would certainly suggest that if the door hasn't already been closed on a 14th team for the SEC's 2012 campaign, that would do it. And his comments hint that (hard as it may be to take at face value) the SEC legitimately does not know what course Missouri might take. (As for the official party line that the SEC hasn't actually entered into discussions with Tiger officials about a potential move, that we're not buying ... or else Missouri would have already sealed their spot in the Big 12, most likely.)

Past that, Williams has certainly left plenty of wiggle room for team No. 14 to show up at any point between now and 2013--saying the conference "may be" at 13 for longer than expected falls far short of declaring that he expects or predicts that to be the case. But by waffling on Missouri and issuing the "couple of years" warning shot for any other potential candidates, Williams is certainly suggesting the SEC's timetable for expansion may not be as short as many believe.

And that's what we'll go with, too ... for at least the next 30 to 45 minutes or so.

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Posted on: September 29, 2011 7:56 pm
Edited on: September 29, 2011 7:57 pm
 

Report: Big 12 may be interested in TCU after all

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Hooray! More conference realignment news!

Texas A&M has already left the Big 12 for the SEC and there are some who believe that Missouri may soon follow the Aggies out the door. Which would leave the Big 12 with only eight schools and looking for potential replacements. As I wrote about yesterday, BYU, Boise State, West Virginia and Louisville have all been mentioned as possibilities for the conference as it may plan on returning to a 12-team league.

One school that isn't mentioned there that seems to make sense, however, is TCU. This is because it had been reported that Big 12 schools weren't exactly thrilled with the idea of adding another conference school in the state of Texas, but according to a report in the Dallas Morning News that may no longer be the case. The Dallas Morning News report is subscription only, but thankfully The Star-Ledger picks up where that pesky subscription line leaves off.
According to a report in today’s Dallas Morning News, “the Big 12 has a new stance about adding members from Texas, potentially opening the door for TCU and other schools.”

What it means is that TCU could be out of the Big East before it ever officially joins. According to two college officials, it would be an easy departure for the Horned Frogs, since they would only have to pay a $5 million exit fee and aren’t bound by the 27-month waiting period penalty unless they are Big East members as of July 1.

The two officials requested anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss TCU’s situation.
The Big 12 may be a more desirable destination for TCU should the offer come along, and not just for geographic and traditional reasons. Simply put, with Pitt and Syracuse already leaving the Big East and UConn expressing a similar desire, hard as it is to believe, the Big 12 is the most stable option at the moment. It would also still provide TCU access to the BCS.

What isn't clear is whether or not TCU would be the Big 12's top choice of a replacement to get back to ten schools, or if the Horned Frogs are only an option should Missouri leave.

But, as with all reports on potential realignment these days, we don't really know anything until the school makes it official.
Posted on: September 28, 2011 2:14 pm
 

Questions remain in the Big 12

Posted by Tom Fornelli

I'd like to start this post by congratulating the Big 12 for lasting nearly an entire week without talk of another one of its schools leaving and reports of the conference's possible expansion. Kudos to you, Big 12.

Now that I've got that out of the way, let's get to the latest.

There are still persistent rumors that Missouri could be headed to the SEC to become the conference's 14th team and join Texas A&M. Rumors that aren't easy to put the rest when you find out that, according to the Kansas City Star, the Missouri Board of Curators is meeting on Tuesday and the school's conference affiliation will be one of the topics under discussion.

If that's not enough, for you stalkers out there, this FlightAware link of a certain twin turboprop plane making a flight from Birmingham, Alabama to Columbia, Missouri on Tuesday should stoke the flames a bit.

Does all of this mean that Missouri is bound for the SEC? Well, if we've learned anything from the last few months, when it comes to conference realignment, we really don't know anything until it's officially announced. The whole world was ending a few weeks ago, and in the end, only three schools actually moved anywhere.

So until Missouri makes an announcement that it's joining the SEC, we can't be sure of anything.

However, if leaving is in Missouri's plans, the Big 12 is reportedly putting together a contingency plan this time around. According to Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News, the Big 12 may not just be looking for a replacement for Texas A&M and possibly Missouri, but it may attempt to go back to 12 schools once again.

Wilner reports that the Big 12 is eyeing BYU, Boise State, West Virginia and Louisville as possible replacements because the conference feels that if it's going to be considered a peer of the Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12, it needs 12 schools and a title game. The Big 12 is also considering staying at 10 schools and replacing Texas A&M and Missouri if it has to. Which schools it would prefer in that case is unknown.

As for the likelihood of adding the four schools mentioned in the report, it's hard to know how interested each would be in the Big 12.

BYU may only be interested in bringing its football to the Big 12, and who knows how the Big 12 would feel about that?

West Virginia and Louisville is conceivable because the future of the Big East looks shaky at the moment with Pitt and Syracuse already leaving for the ACC and UConn telling everybody who will listen, and even those who aren't, that it would like to leave the conference as well.

Then there's Boise State. The Broncos just joined the Mountain West this year, and while it's hard to predict exactly what the school would want to do, you have to think that the lure of playing in a BCS conference and the possibility of finally getting a shot at that crystal football would be quite appealing.

Whatever happens, Dan Beebe or Chuck Neinas, it's clear that there are still plenty of question marks surrounding the Big 12 these days.
Posted on: September 27, 2011 7:04 pm
Edited on: September 27, 2011 7:11 pm
 

USF President: Big East looking to other states

Posted by Chip Patterson

South Florida president Judy Grenshaft was speaking to Florida legislators on Tuesday when she was questioned directly about the school's reported "blocking" of UCF as a new member for the Big East. Grenshaft began vehemently denying the reports, and offered her own update on the league's "aggressive" efforts to replace Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

"I am not stopping any university from coming in," Grenshaft explained. "What is happening is the league, or the conference, now is looking at schools and they have looked very much at schools that are not in any of the states that are represented by the Big East schools right now. The ones that they're looking at right now, they do not sit in any state that the Big East schools are currently in."

What it appears Grenshaft is trying to say, is that the conference is focused on expanding their footprint beyond the current reach. Or maybe she's trying to say there is a gentleman/gentlewoman agreement amongst the university leaders to not add a school from a state currently occupied by a conference members, similar to the SEC.

Whatever she was trying to say, she didn't do a very good job of conveying the message clearly.

However if the conference is looking at schools that are not currently in a Big East-occupied state, it would fall right in line with the report from CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy that Navy and Air Force were close to joining before the recent ACC exodus. It is still believed that the two service academies would be first choices for the Big East's football expansion, and there is currently no Big East team in Maryland or Colorado.

If her statements regarding the potential candidates for Big East expansion are true, it would rule out UCF. It would also rule out Houston if she's counting TCU as part of the Big East footprint, and it would rule out Villanova and/or Temple if she's counting Pittsburgh as a "current" member. Such a stipulation would be good news for a school like East Carolina, who recently applied for membership and has been reaching out to local leaders for help their cause.



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Posted on: September 27, 2011 11:33 am
 

A&M AD: We want 'Horns as nonconference game

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Long before Texas A&M's move the SEC became official (as it did Sunday afternoon), fans on both sides have wondered what would become of the Aggies longtime -- and at 117 years, we do mean longtime -- rivalry with the University of Texas.
While the traditional Thanksgiving series' ultimate fate is yet to be determined, what we do know is that things were left solely up to the Aggies, the rivalry would remain intact. That's the word from Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne, who per CBSSports.com RapidReporter Brent Zwerneman said Tuesday that "we would like that to continue."

“We’ve been competing 117 years,” Byrne said. “It’s such a storied tradition."

Byrne's support (and A&M's) give the rivalry a shot at survivial. But since it naturally takes that support from both sides to work, it remains unlikely the two teams will continue playing. Just six days ago, Longhorn athletic director DeLoss Dodds forecasted an end to the rivalry if the Aggies completed their jump to the SEC, saying "I think it will be hard to schedule that game."

And it would be. particularly if the Big 12 expands into a 10-team league with a nine-game true round robin schedule. In addition to denying the Longhorns a lucrative annual home game (one they would have the rights to show on the Longhorn Network), it's hard to argue the 'Horns owe the Aggies much of anything after A&M's decision destabilized Texas's preferred conference home and may have driven them into the "Pac-16," if the Pac-12 had been willing to expand.

Agges fans (and administrators) would no doubt respond that it was Texas's unwillingness to share revenue equally and their forging ahead with the LHN that destabilized the Big 12 first, before A&M even considered leaving.

Frankly, there's no winners on either side of the argument. But unless Texas is willing to back down and scheudule the game, it won't much matter how A&M feels about it--there aren't going to be any winners between the two schools on the football field, either.

Posted on: September 26, 2011 5:09 pm
 

Emmert takes ADs to task on realignment

Posted by Tom Fornelli

NCAA president Mark Emmert isn't exactly pleased with the way college sports have looked in recent weeks thanks to all the talk of conference realignment, and on Monday he let a lot of schools know about it. Athletic directors from all across the country were in Grapevine, Texas -- just outside of Dallas -- on Monday for their annual meetings, and while Emmert was speaking to them, he let them all know he found the way the schools have handled themselves to be troubling.

“People today have greater doubt, greater concern about what we stand for and why we do what we do," said Emmert. "And that is a huge problem for us."

“The specter of the past couple weeks of conference realignment has not been a healthy thing. The world’s convinced that’s all we care about…that all this is about money. I didn’t read many of us stepping up and saying that this will work really well for student-athletes because we’ll do X, we’ll do Y, it will create more resources, it will help us stabilize our programs.

"It was all about the deal."

Emmert then went on to outline some of the changes that the Division I Board of Directors will consider for its meetings next month, and said that this is the perfect time for for change. Emmert said that the schools should be embarrassed by their recent behavior and now have a chance to show the world "what we really care about."

Which I believe is making money. No, wait, no, it's the student-athletes. My bad.
Posted on: September 26, 2011 4:57 pm
Edited on: September 26, 2011 5:10 pm
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Posted on: September 25, 2011 5:09 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2011 5:21 pm
 

It's official: Texas A&M to join SEC July 1, 2012

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The wait is over: Texas A&M is a member of the SEC.

The conference announced on its website Sunday afternoon that the Aggies will join as official members beginning July 1, 2012, and will compete in all sports for the 2012-2013 academic year.

"The Southeastern Conference Presidents and Chancellors are pleased to welcome Texas A&M University to the SEC family," Florida president Dr. Bernie Machen said in a statement. "The addition of Texas A&M University as the SEC’s 13th member gives our league a prestigious academic institution with a strong athletic tradition and a culture similar to our current institutions."

On behalf of our presidents, chancellors, athletics directors, students and fans, I welcome Texas A&M University to the SEC family," commissioner Mike Slive said.  "Texas A&M is a nationally-prominent institution on and off the field and a great fit for the SEC tradition of excellence—athletically, academically and culturally."

Aggie president R. Bowen Loftin repeated his oft-stated claim that the Aggies' bolt from the Big 12 to the SEC was a "100-year decision" the school "addressed carefully and methodically, and I believe the Southeastern Conference gives the Aggies the best situation of any conference in the country."

With the announcement, the SEC officially puts behind it the legal questions that had dogged A&M since it announced its plan to join the league and the possibility those questions would keep the school out of the league until the 2013 football season. The recent commitment of Oklahoma to keep the Big 12 together likely played a substantial role in Baylor withdrawing its legal objections.

The SEC is expected to play the 2012 season with 13 football teams. A schedule has yet to be announced--but the Aggies now know for certain they'll be one of the teams included.

 
 
 
 
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