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Tag:SEC
Posted on: October 21, 2011 1:40 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2011 2:27 pm
 

Missouri takes the next step toward SEC

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton was granted sole authority to negotiate contracts "regarding conference realignment" by the school's board of curators Friday afternoon.

The move seems to be the next incremental step in Missouri removing itself from the Big 12 to go to the SEC. On Oct. 4, the board gave Deaton similar, but narrower authority in seeking a new conference. For the first time on Friday, Deaton did acknowledge communication between Missouri and the SEC. 

Deaton would not put a time frame on Missouri's decision saying only, "we're not putting any immediate timeline on ourselves ... We're not looking at a long time frame."

Meanwhile, a large portion of college football continues to wait on Missouri. The Big East can't move on reconstituting its league until it knows what Missouri is going to do. If Missouri leaves, the Big East may be impacted. Louisville and West Virginia have been mentioned frequently as possible Big 12 replacements. The Big East is also reportedly targeting some Conference USA schools as well.

"The next step will be resolution of the question, final resolution of the question," said curators chair Warren Erdman. "The chancellor has the authority to take all actions necessary to resolve the question."

The board also announced the school would pursue establishing an invitational basketball tournament in Kansas City as well as an annual football game in the city against "a traditional regional rival." The move seems to address concerns over the loss of the Kansas rivalry if Missouri goes to the SEC. Missouri and Kansas have played in football for 119 years and annually at Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium since 2007. 

The bitter rivals also participate annually in the Big 12 basketball tournament.

The announcement can be interpreted as Missouri throwing Kansas City a bone as it heads out the door. This city will be particularly impacted by Missouri's departure. The Big 12 basketball tournament has been played here, with few exceptions, back to when the conference was formed in 1996. The annual event has a multi-million dollar impact on the city. Missouri's tournament basketball ties with the city go back to the 1970s when the old Big Eight Holiday Tournament was established.

Missouri is considering severing conference ties that go back to 1907 when it joined the old Missouri Valley Conference. That league eventually morphed into the Big Six, Big Seven, Big Eight and Big 12. It has been in the current Big 12 since the conference formed in 1996.

It is known that certain Missouri officials -- and alums and fans -- are tired of the Big 12's instability. Missouri would be the fourth Big 12 school to leave since June 2010. Each had essentially the same reason: Uncertainty about the future. Nebraska was spooked by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s Dec. 2009 comments about the school’s similarities with Big Ten institutions. Colorado AD Mike Bohn said publicly that Missouri’s apparent desire to the be in the Big Ten had caused his school to find a resting place in the Pac-10.

In September, A&M finally ended a contentious relationship with Texas that goes back decades. The flash point was Texas’ launch of the Longhorn Network. But that was merely a symptom, not a cause. If it hadn’t been the LHN, it would have been something else for the Aggies.

The A&M coaches and AD Bill Byrne weren’t necessarily in favor of the move but president R. Bowen Loftin pushed for the migration to the SEC. The SEC wasn’t necessarily looking for expand according to sources but when A&M came calling it was difficult to turn down a brand name in Texas. 

In this case, any negotiation of contracts by Deaton would be subject to review by university counsel. 


Category: NCAAF
Tags: Big 12, Missouri, SEC
 
Posted on: October 21, 2011 12:34 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2011 12:36 pm
 

Son of WWL: Les Miles will do the right thing

Les Miles will do the right thing.

Ever since CBSSports.com’s Brett McMurphy noted that LSU’s suspended players may face a two-game suspension due to failed drug tests, there has to be a lot of hand-wringing in Baton Rouge.

A two-game suspension would put the Nov. 5 Alabama game in play. LSU can get by without Tyrann Mathieu, Spencer Ware and Tharold Simon Saturday against Auburn. Alabama is a different matter.

In a game that is shaping up as a national semifinal, Miles needs all hands available. I believe he will do the right thing and hold those players out of the Alabama game – if the players are subject to a two-game suspension.

It’s a logical conclusion that the players face a two-game suspension – at least. The original report said the players failed a drug test. The NCAA doesn’t test for street drugs like synthetic marijuana, the drug named in the report. The SEC doesn’t test for drugs. It is the conference’s policy that each school have its own drug-testing policy.

That leaves LSU. If the report is true, there are some tough decisions ahead. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that the suspensions will be only one game

We probably will never know that for sure about any drug-test issues. Any failed drug test falls under privacy laws protecting students. Unless the students or their parents admit to a failed test, the reason for the suspensions could remain a secret.

That doesn’t relieve Miles, or his AD Joe Alleva, from doing the right thing. I believe they will. Miles took decisive action on Jordan Jefferson, even though the quarterback was eventually charged with only misdemeanor battery.

There a lot of schools that would have gone to the wall to keep their starting quarterback on the field. LSU wasn’t one of them. Miles was behind that.

In a world gone mad with conference realignment and unethical conduct, it would be nice to see LSU/Miles set a standard.

 


WWL has a sworn duty not to give free publicity to apparel makers during their hideous assault on traditional uniforms. But this item could not be ignored.

It’s a perfect time to draw attention to the players who are on the field for LSU against Auburn. The Tigers will be wearing their Pro Combat unis.

Meanwhile, the damage was done last week at Michigan State. While the words “good taste” didn’t enter the conversation in describing the Alabama-Birminghamish uniforms, there was one cool aspect to them.

On the back of the Spartans’ Pro Combat jerseys worn last week against Michigan is the Greek phrase, “Molon Labe.” Translated, it means “come and take them.” It is an expression of defiance spoken by King Leonidas I to the Persian army which had demanded the Spartans lay down their weapons.

Wow, these guys are serious. Used to be the most damage at a Michigan State game was caused by brat juice dripping on your new fleece.



Maybe it’s not Urban Meyer. Maybe it’s just being a Gator. There have been arrests at Florida in the last calendar year.



How long does Denard Robinson have as Michigan's quarterback? Devin Gardner is bigger, stronger and definitely has a more accurate arm. That’s not saying much given D-Rob’s 52 percent completion percentage.

But the feeling among many is that if Robinson, a junior, is around next season he will be converted to a slot receiver, wildcat or some sort of other unique weapon. Michigan State exposed him as an inaccurate thrower who couldn’t get outside against a quality defense.

Michigan has another week to figure things out before hosting Purdue. 

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: October 20, 2011 7:04 pm
Edited on: October 20, 2011 7:05 pm
 

Kansas' Self not worried about losing Missouri

Kansas coach Bill Self expanded on his feelings about Missouri possibly leaving the conference for the SEC. Self spoke to reporters Thursday during Big 12 basketball media day.

The coach came closer than ever Thursday to saying, “Who needs ‘em?” if Missouri leaves. He even suggested that Kansas would lose money if it played a non-conference game against its biggest rival.

“If they leave, they leave. Big deal,” Self told reporters. “You know, we don't want 'em to but if they choose to do that, they do it.

“So from our standpoint, I don't think we're going to say, ‘Aw, geez, we've got to hurry up and schedule them. I don't think anybody would feel that way. I know I wouldn't and I don't think any of our fans would.”


“I’m not saying we will [play them]. I'm not saying we won’t. I'm just saying I'm not going to make a decision on that now. I may feel that we need to continue playing them, I may feel that we don't need to continue playing them.

“I know one thing. Texas made a pretty bold statement to A&M [about the continuation of that series]. I don't know if we're in the exact same boat as that, but I really believe that what we do will not be based on what other people want us to do. It will be based on basically what's best for our program.”

I then asked Self if he had to wet his finger and check which way the wind was blowing. In other words, was this a political decision?

Self basically said KU could conceivably lose money if it played Missouri in a non-conference game at the Sprint Center, home of the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City.

“Here's the thing about that,” he said. “You play in the Sprint Center, you play Missouri. Great game. Now let's say you net $600,000 after you pay expenses to play that game. They take $300,000, we take $300,000.

“We make $500,000 playing a home game, so we just lost money. There would be a lot of different ways you could look at it

So getting $1 million total for a Missouri-Kansas game at the Sprint Center would be a “push” monetarily for Kansas?

“Maybe, yeah, yeah, maybe,” Self said.

“I want to make sure that I'm clear. I want Missouri to stay. It's best for our league if they stay. It's best for Kansas. It's best for other teams in our league if they stay.”

What about playing the conference tournament in Missouri with no team in the conference from Missouri?

“See, I think that’s also overrated on which side of the river ... I think it's Kansas City, you know, Kansas City ... I don't see that being a huge deal, where the building is located.”

Missouri's board of curators took no action Thursday during a regularly scheduled meeting on the Missouri-Kansas City campus. The school's next likely move would be to announce a formal withdrawl from the Big 12.  





Category: NCAAB
Posted on: October 20, 2011 6:45 pm
 

No action taken by Missouri curators

kANSAS CITY, Mo. -- No action was taken Thursday by the University of Missouri board of curators as the school continues to consider a move to the SEC.

The curators emerged after an approximately 90-minute executive session without commenting. A university spokesman said there would be media availability Friday at 11 a.m. ET prior to another executive session. There are no indications whether the curators will have an announcement at that time.

The next step for the university would be to announce its formal withdrawl from the Big 12. Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton was given permission by the curators to seek new conference membership. A New York Times report earlier this week said Missouri's move to the SEC is "imminent."  
Category: NCAAF
Tags: Big 12, Missouri, SEC
 
Posted on: October 14, 2011 2:14 pm
 

Son of Weekend Watch List: WV power broker speaks

Admit it, you couldn't get enough of Weekend Watch List so here's Son of ... comin' right at ya. 


No matter what conference West Virginia lands in, Ken Kendrick will be consulted.

The 68-year-old managing general partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks is an alum. Let's just say he has given a few bucks to the university. He is a member of the school's governing board, the WVU Foundation Board of Directors.

Kendrick is a power broker who doesn't flaunt it. Not even when his school is one of those being held hostage in the Missouri-SEC-Big East crisis situation. West Virginia has been mentioned as a prime candidate to join the SEC at the same time the Big East considers it a cornerstone moving forward.

So when there were rumblings this week that West Virginia had received an invitation from the SEC -- turned out to be a false alarm, for now -- it seemed like it was time to pick Kendrick's brain.

His wife Randy is an Auburn grad. They were "front and center" for the Tigers' national championship win in Glendale, AZ. Kendrick believes that given a few years with access to SEC recruits, West Virginia could be on a par with Auburn.

You have to respect his opinion. Kendrick is a close friend of former coach Rich Rodriguez. The Mountaineers, as you might have noticed, haven't been the same since. Since Kendrick took over for Jerry Colangelo in 2004, the franchise has both bottomed out and soared. It went from last in the NL West n 2010 to a division title this year under Kirk Gibson, a likely manager of the year winner.

But his university is near and dear to Kendrick's heart. Here he talks about the various conference realignment issues that face his school

 

 

SOWWL: What is your reaction to this latest round of conference shuffling?

Kendrick: "There are a lot of rivalries that are at the cornerstone of sports that are kind of going away. It's part of the revenue streams that can be created.

"I'm in professional sports and revenue streams are what it's all about but something is getting lost in what the college experience should be.

"As a student back at West Virginia, the teams that we played -- Pitt and Penn State, the Syracuses and Virginia Tech -- all of that has kind of gone by the wayside and I'm sad about it."

 


SOWWL: Will the Big East survive?

Kendrick: "It's hard thing for me to even know other than just from afar. As it loses more and more teams, there is some chance that could happen and that would be sad .

"While they wouldn't be the SEC as it relates to football, which seems to be the driver, they've been pretty darn successful. For it to go away would be very sad for me."

 

 

SOWWL: What is the attractiveness of West Virginia to another conference?

Kendrick: "That's a really good question. I think West Virginia is attractive because it's had great success across the sports landscape. Success on the field should be appealing to any conference. We have a very rabid fan base. If you're a Mountaineer fan it's a real, real commitment.

"There isn't any professional sport in the state. West Virginia is the leading institution in the state. There are some downsides. It doesn't have that big city or large population that is more attractive to the media world and the purchasers of media rights.

"That's somewhat of a deficiency for the university ... We're maybe not as desired as some of these schools would be by larger conferences. If results on the field mattered, and they should be, we're a player in many sports."

 


SOWWL: You were talking about your knowledge of Auburn ...

Kendrick: "If you and I were to make a bet on it, and took all sports and all records, I would bet West Virginia's results would be ahead of theirs.

"I'd think we'd be very competitive [in the SEC]. When we went into the Big East in basketball, we had an era where we weren't as competitive. Once they got into the Big East in basketball, it allowed them to recruit better. The kids were looking at, 'OK, we're going to be playing the best competition.'

"We attracted [Bob] Huggins back, ... I think the potential, not on Day 1, but if you were an SEC team, it will enhance their recruiting opportunity. I think they'd be very competitive in the SEC. But the SEC is clearly the most elite football conference by far. If West Virginia right now today were playing in the SEC, I wouldn't predict them to win the championship.

"But given a few years of competing and recruiting and playing those schools, I think they'll do fine. Why not upgrade the competition if you have the opportunity?"

 


SOWWL: So what is your preference for West Virginia conference-wise?

Kendrick: "I think I don't have a preference. What I clearly don't want to see is West Virginia in a place where you're not playing top level competition. More likely, we're going to be in a good place no matter how this ends. I think it's unsettling to the whole world of college athletics that this is going on right now."

Posted on: October 5, 2011 11:29 am
Edited on: October 6, 2011 10:22 am
 

Living in the Big Doughnut Hole

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Welcome to the Big Doughnut Hole.

This used to be the center of the college universe. At least one of them. This city still has hosted more Final Fours (10) than any other. It's a Chiefs town first and a Jayhawks town second. Most of all, it's a melting pot with a sizable amount of Iowa State, Nebraska, Missouri alums here as well.

We have the NFL and Major League baseball (barely) but it's a college town more than anything. A better college town than New York or L.A. We are connected by our teams and events. They give us our sense of self.

The annual Big 12 basketball tournament is a gathering place to drink, gossip and people watch. The Missouri-Kansas football game at Arrowhead is an event that traces its roots back to the Civil War. Kansas, and all its basketball history, is 40 miles away. Bill Snyder is still working miracles down the road at Kansas State.

But with Missouri declaring its intentions to look around on Monday night, suddenly there is no center here. Just a big hole where that gathering place used to be. You can feel it. To the right of us, probably soon, will be the SEC (Missouri);  a short three-hour drive to the north of us is the Big Ten (Nebraska). To our left will be what's left of the Big 12 (Kansas and Kansas State).

Kansas City could become a great staging area for GameDay's equipment semis in the Midwest, but for the actual college experience, it's slipping away. The Big 12 tournament is now in danger. It will continue, somewhere. But it has to be hard to anchor a conference tournament in a state where the league has no teams.

The Kansas-Missouri rivalry is now in danger too. That's another shame. After the Iron Bowl and the Red River Rivalry, it is the best.

A few years ago, they moved MU-KU football to Arrowhead Stadium and it became a spectacle. In 2007, No. 2 Kansas lost to No. 3 Missouri and the Tigers became No. 1. ABC/ESPN still counts the game among its most highly-rated in history.

But like that Wicked Witch, it's all melting away. I know this because Bill Self didn't hold back Tuesday when Missouri declared its intentions

Kansas' basketball coach told the Lawrence Journal-World that the MU-KU series may be over.

" ... I don't think I would be interested in having a once-a-year game like I did when I was at Illinois, playing Missouri," Self said. "I could probably change my mind (but) trust me, we would have no trouble finding a non-league game to play.

"I love the rivalry .. but I can't imagine why would we continue playing?"

Which is sad because the basketball series goes back to 1907. The football series goes back to the 1890s. Kansas, like a lot of folks in Kansas City and the Big 12, are upset at Missouri. By taking its ball to the SEC, it would be impacting that Big 12 tournament. It would damage the Kansas rivalry.

Point being: Why put money in Missouri's pocket by playing a non-conference game?

"I have no ill will toward Missouri at all," Self said, "but to do something at a time that could be so damaging and hurtful to a group, I can't see us just taking it and forgetting ."

If this is truly the end , then someone may want to hire extra security for what could be the final regular-season Border War game in history -- Feb. 25 in Lawrence. Forget the fans for a moment, there are scores of sportswriters who would shed tears over the end of this epic rivalry.

We are losing that sense of self here in Cowtown. Clearly, Missouri administrators don't care. The SEC doesn't care. The networks will continue to televise games. They don't care.

Conference realignment goes on unabated. Traditional rivalries are being cut down like rainforests. Our natural habitat is being destroyed. Is this a good thing for college athletics? No, that's not really the point.

Interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas called modern conferences "scheduling opportunities" and "amalgamations". I called them "content farms."

Now it's hitting home. It would suck to be a doughnut hole.

 

Posted on: October 5, 2011 9:50 am
Edited on: October 5, 2011 10:26 am
 

MU Deaton's possible conflict of interest

The Big 12 is determining whether Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton is still a member of the conference's expansion committee despite now being the point man for the school's conference exploration.

Deaton stepped down as chairman of the Big 12 board of directors Monday during an announcement that the school's board of curators had given him permission to explore "all actions necessary to fully explore options for conference affiliation ". Deaton made a point to say he had relinquished his chairman position to remove the appearance of a conflict.

Deaton either is or was chairman of the conference's four-person expansion committee that recently reformed. There seems to be some confusion within the league whether that position is held by Deaton or Kansas State president Kirk Schulz. The league is in the process of deciding how to expand with or without Missouri, which looks like it is headed to the SEC.

It would definitely be a conflict if Deaton was on a committee finding new members for the Big 12 while exploring his school's conference options. A league spokesman said the issue would be clarified later Wednesday.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Big 12, Missouri, SEC
 
Posted on: October 4, 2011 8:12 pm
Edited on: October 4, 2011 9:02 pm
 

Missouri officially looking (unofficially at SEC)

Since it started it, maybe Missouri figures it can finish it.

Or as finished as conference realignment can ever be.

Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton got permission Tuesday night from the school's board of curators to seek new conference membership. Nothing surprising there. In case you haven't been following, this would the first move toward Missouri becoming the SEC's 14th team. One problem. No one is sure if the SEC even wants a 14th team at the moment, much less Missouri being that school.

The hand-wringing, then, will continue from BYU to the Big East. Missouri's decision controls the fate of several teams and conferences, including their current one, the Big 12. The fractured league cannot move on with expansion, or even a future, without knowing if Missouri is going to be a participant.

And all indications are Missouri is going to take its good, old time. That was evident when Missouri AD Mike Alden met with the curators for four hours on Tuesday. Perhaps Missouri was contemplating the fact  it kicked off this latest round of realignment. Reacting to Dec. 9, 2009 statement that the Big Ten was considering expansion, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon quickly added:

"I want to look at what options the Big Ten may have to offer. This is not something that should be kept on the sports page and treated with the back of the hand. We have an obligation to make our schools as excellent as they can be."

Big 12 nervousness followed. In the next month, Nebraska began talking with the Big Ten. In June, issues came to a head at the 2010 Big 12 spring meetings. Shortly thereafter, Nebraska left for the Big Ten. Colorado went to the Pac-10.

"The [Missouri] governor's remarks got me going. We had to do something, and fast," CU AD Mike Bohn said at the time.

Turns out Missouri wasn't near the top of the Big Ten's list. Now things have come full circle. Everyone can blame Texas for throwing its weight around, but how is Missouri different at this point? It suddenly has leverage. It is holding a league hostage. It is making a perceived money grab.

It could be the fourth school to leave the Big 12 in 16 months -- and it doesn't care. Expect the next few weeks -- if not months -- to be a period of introspection for Brad Pitt's school. Missouri has to decide if it wants to leave its ancestral home. The Big 12 has roots that go back 104 years for Missouri.

It has to decide if it wants to change its culture from a Midwestern school to one with its base in the heart of Dixie. Does it want to be Bubba or Brad? Does it want to be at the center the Big 12 or a western outpost in the SEC?

There is no right answer. The difference in revenue is negligible. Missouri could stay in the Big 12 and be secure at least the next six years. But the SEC would provide long-lasting security. Missouri football is an above middle-of-the-road program in the Big 12. It would be a middle-of-the-road program in the SEC.

But this isn't about football. This is about emotion, which can be a dangerous thing. That's why Deaton merely has permission at this point. The last two presidents to get similar permission from their boards of regents, came to different conclusions. Texas A&M went to the SEC. Oklahoma, eventually, stayed in the Big 12.

For now. 


Category: NCAAF
Tags: Big 12, Missouri, SEC
 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com