Posted on: June 11, 2010 8:46 am
Your morning expansion line for Friday includes news that Texas and Texas A&M may break apart.
Call it an expansion micro-burst. First it was the Big 12 breaking up. Now the most powerful faction of the Big 12 could be drifting apart. We always thought that Texas and A&M were joined at the hip pads when it came to expansion. But a Thursday meeting produced no consensus between Texas and Texas A&M. I hear that A&M prefers the SEC while the league is a non-starter for Texas.
I also hear that Jim Delany is still trying like heck to get Texas into the Big Ten. But what about that "Tech problem"?
The dominoes figure to officially start tumbling today when Nebraska announces it is joining the Big Ten. I wrote the heck out of this issue this week but it bears repeating: The Big 12 cannot survive if Nebraska leaves. 1) The TV rights go way down; 2) What's to keep Texas, or any other school, leaving in two, three, four or five years? The Big 12 is a bad marriage that cannot go on.
The biggest issues on the table going into Friday:
a) What does Texas do?
b) What does Texas do?
c) What does Texas do?
a) Where do Texas and A&M end up and do they go as a unit?
b) Where does the Big Ten strike next (because it will strike next)?
c) Where does the Pac-10 strikes next (please don't believe his stuff about the Pac-10 stopping at 11)?
d) What are you doing at 5 p.m.? Remember when happy hour today was the deadline for Missouri and Nebraska? Nebraska is gone and Missouri has no idea where it stands.
Posted on: June 10, 2010 10:56 pm
Edited on: June 11, 2010 8:35 am
Days college athletics has been held hostage (since Big Ten announced expansion exploration on Dec. 15): 177
Who had the worst day: TMZ. At the end of business on Thursday, Oklahoma State still hadn't joined the Pac-10 contrary to reports from the oddly obsessive electric celebrity hounders. On a more positive note, though, TMZ is reporting that Lindsay Lohan has been released from rehab and has begun seeing Mike Gundy.
What's on tap: The Nebraska board of regents meet Friday to discuss the latest summer styles, ITunes hits, cool wine bars and, oh yeah, joining the Big Ten.
Posted on: June 9, 2010 11:11 pm
Edited on: June 10, 2010 6:20 am
Days college athletics has been held hostage (since Big Ten announced expansion exploration on Dec. 15): 176
Quote of the day: "Multiple sources have indicated ..." -- multiple outlets have written in the frenzy to nail down the Nebraska-to-the-Big Ten story.
A final thought: If someone told you 15 years ago when the Big 12 formed that something called Orangebloods.com would chronicle the demise of the conference, you'd say: What's this Internet thing?
Posted on: June 9, 2010 7:45 am
Well, this is it.
Finally, some break in the ice pack that has frozen college athletics since the Big Ten maybe, kind of began exploring expansion in December. The Omaha World-Herald is reporting that Nebraska could go to the Big Ten by Friday.
Say hello to a bigger, bloated Pac-10.
Get used to two super conferences (Big Ten, Pac-10) -- at least.
Wish Nebraska luck in a strange, new world. The school was really forced into this move by Texas. Once Texas issued its "ultimatum" (or whatever you want to call it), Nebraska's fate was sealed. It could declare allegiance to the Big 12, but why? If the Big Ten offered, the money was too good. If Nebraska had to go back to the Big 12, the rancor was too much.
Imagine getting another deadline from the Horns in two years. Tom Osborne and Nebraska couldn't live like that. Now the school is the western boundary of the most powerful conference on earth. The bigger Big Ten will encompass more than 35 percent of the nation's population. Get used to Mike Rozier highlights on the Big Ten Network. Nebraska will be more attached to Chicago and New York than it will North Platte.
Is that a good thing? For Nebraska, it is the only thing. Twenty million is twenty million, reportedly poised to grow to $40 million per team if the Big Ten does this expansion right.
Posted on: June 7, 2010 11:24 am
Edited on: June 7, 2010 12:40 pm
The latest scuttlebutt Monday morning has to do with Syracuse being the key to prying Notre Dame loose for the Big Ten.
If Missouri and Nebraska say yes to the Big Ten, I'm hearing that then either Pittsburgh or Rutgers would be paired with Syracuse to form an expanded eastern boundary of the new league. The key, apparently, is taking The 'Cuse into the Big Ten. The fit already looks good. Syracuse chancellor Nancy Cantor is a former chancellor at Illinois and provost at Michigan.
In this scenario, the addition of Syracuse collapses the Big East and potentially forces Notre Dame to find a conference home for its minor sports. Not to mention a conference home for football.
In other words, Notre Dame needs a compelling reason to join a league in football. I reported yesterday that if Notre Dame came to the Big Ten, that league's expansion might be capped at 12. That might not be the case now. The two biggest words to remember in this entire process is that it is always a "fluid situation."
Adding to the intrigue is that Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said Sunday that expansion could happen in stages.
If all of the above comes to pass, we'd be looking at two 16-team leagues (Pac-10, Big Ten), the collapse of the Big 12 and Big East and a whole lot of chaos. Does the SEC react?
Posted on: June 3, 2010 7:52 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2010 9:04 pm
Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott didn't exactly deny Thursday's Orangeblood.com's report regarding a raid on the Big 12. Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe didn't react at all, hurrying to an elevator with media trailing behind.
It's obvious the report that predicted the biggest upheaval, perhaps ever in conference affiliation, touched a nerve all over the country.
Scott told the Denver Post late Thursday afternoon in San Francisco only that there will be no offer this weekend. The internet report said that it "appears" the Pac-10 "is prepared" to invite Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado from the Big 12. The "thought is," according to the story, that the Pac-10 would then start its own network.
"I don't expect anything definitive," Scott said of the Pac-10 meetings that begin on Friday. "Nothing's changed in terms of our timetable. We've been very consistent. We're on course and moving deliberately."
As the story moved into Thursday evening, the report appeared to gain traction. Scott has said from the beginning that he would like to have a plan of attack by this summer. It is known that the Pac-10 must have its membership finalized by December in order to begin the next round of television negotiations with Fox. Its current contract with Fox expires in 2012, the same year as the Big 12.
The two conferences have discussed a partnership and scheduling alliance that would fall short of a full merger.
Here are several thoughts about the report.
• Texas AD DeLoss Dodds and Texas A&M AD Bill Byrne are both on record within the last two days as saying they did not favor the Pac-10 because of the strain on the student-athletes. Byrne, in particular, was furious that the women's basketball team had to travel all night from the Spokane, Wash. to College Station after an NCAA Tournament loss. The team's plane landed at 6:30 a.m. CT. Players had to be in class at 8 a.m.
• On the other hand, Texas has long looked down its nose at having to play the likes of Baylor and Iowa State in the Big 12. The school might have also tired of whining from Missouri about uneven conference revenue distribution. Dodds said earlier this week, "We're going to be a player in whatever happens."
• Scott aims high. It's obvious he wasn't hired by the Pac-10 to vet out the likes of Utah and BYU. Pac-10 expansion has moved to another level. That doesn't mean they'll necessarily get six Big 12 teams. It might mean the Pac-10 is going to try like hell, though.
• Buyouts wouldn't be an issue with a raided Big 12. How do you buy out of a conference that doesn't exist? With half of its members gone, the remaining Big 12 teams would be scrambling.
• Beebe refused to answer reporters questions on Thursday at the Big 12 meetings in Kansas City, saying he would speak on Friday. That's out of character for the usually affable Beebe who headed for elevator with reporters tailing behind. Is the Big 12 reeling from a knockout blow, looking for a way to retrench?
• Anyone want to ask the Rose Bowl's opinion of this? The contract with the Pac-10 is for ... the Pac-10. Not a 16-team conglomerate that might advance Texas Tech to Pasadena. While the network deals are redone, don't forget some bowl contracts are going to have to reconfigured.
• Missouri and Nebraska have to be nervous. Those fans better hope their schools get invited to the Big Ten. If not, we're looking at the Mountain West suddenly inviting the Big 12 leftovers. Nebraska at New Mexico? Colorado State vs. Missouri for a division title? Not exactly the Big Ten, fellas.
• The Mountain West could be in the right place at the right time. The league is expected to invite Boise State on Monday, expanding to 10 teams. The MWC is attempting to gain automatic BCS qualification status. Adding Missouri and Nebraska wouldn't hurt that pursuit.
• What does the Big Ten do if the Pac-10 becomes the first superconference? Or does it even matter? Missouri and Nebraska are still in play. How, then, does the SEC respond? If the report is true, the Pac-16(?) would pass the SEC in revenue paying out $20 million per team. The SEC/s new deal with CBS and ESPN guarantees each team $17 million.
Posted on: June 1, 2010 6:21 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2010 6:32 pm
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Big 12 may have another member's loyalty to worry about when it comes to a long-term commitment.
Kansas AD Lew Perkins hinted strongly Tuesday that his school has been contacted by at least one other conference recently as expansion mania rages. Twice during a 26-minute press conference at the Big 12 spring meetings Perkins seemed to leave the door open for Kansas' future.
Asked directly whether his school had been contacted by another conference, Perkins said: "I won't go into any detail...People call me, I call on them. We're communicating."
Near the end of the press conference, Perkins was asked if Kansas would listen if the Big Ten called.
"How do you know they haven't called us [already]?" he teased.
So, have they?
"I want you to think about my question back to you," Perkins said.
Those comments don't necessarily mean Kansas is going anywhere. On the surface, KU is not exactly dealing from a position of strength. It has neither the market nor the football program that would seemingly be attractive to the Big Ten.
But Perkins' comments have to add another layer of angst for a conference worried about its future. Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe has suggested he will issue an in-or-out ultimatum this week to schools with wandering eyes. Obviously, he is referring to Nebraska and Missouri which have been mentioned prominently as Big Ten candidates.
The Big 12 would be impacted severely if those schools left for the Big Ten. On the other hand, the league could get along with 10 teams and maybe even prosper more than it is now. With only 10 mouths to feed, a new lucrative TV contract could be negotiated next year.
The Big 12 is the nation's biggest example at the moment of every-man-for-himself in the conference carousel. It could be poached on the East by the Big Ten and on the West by the Pac-10. As long as big dogs Texas and Oklahoma hang on, the Big 12 seemingly will stay viable. If not, well, Texas AD DeLoss Dodds didn't exactly pledge loyalty Tuesday when he said that the Longhorns "...are going to be a player in whatever happens."
It's all a matter of who has the leverage. Texas' is the richest athletic department in the country. Missouri has 2.5 million virgin households potentially for the Big Ten Network. Nebraska is a name brand that could turn on televisions all over the country.
Kansas? A top-five basketball program and a mediocre football program reside in one of the nation's least populated states.
"I'm worried every day about what is going to happen...," Perkins said. "This is serious, serious, serious stuff."
Perkins admitted he was distracted by a couple of recent scandals at the school and hadn't been fully focused on the expansion issue. The school reacted to ticket scam last week that may have cost the school between $1 million-$3 million in scalped tickets. Perkins also said he couldn't go into detail regarding an ongoing blackmail investigation. Perkins filed a police report in April over a dispute regarding workout equipment that had been lent to him.
"The future of Kansas and 200 other universities in this country is expansion and affiliation ...," Perkins added. "The Big Ten has been in existence for 100 years. The Pac-10 for 100 years [actually only 32 years]. If you really analyze us, we're [Big 12] teenagers. We're just young kids. This is me saying this: I want to grow old with all my siblings."
The meetings conclude on Friday.
Posted on: May 17, 2010 7:16 pm
Edited on: May 17, 2010 9:50 pm
...for the Big Ten spring meetings
Delany: "Essentially these decisions are local ... The schools are serving stakeholders -- coaches, athletes and fans, in some respects, not stockholders. And so there is always a stakeholder to make a claim on resources. Whether it's to have the best law school or the best medical school, no one questions that kind of competition. No one questions that Harvard or Texas have a [big] endowment and don't share it with Hofstra and South Alabama.
"But intercollegiate athletics is sort of unique in that institutions that have certain advantages -- based on demographics or history or tradition or fan base -- somehow are seen as the source of resources for others that do not [have them].
"I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon, but there's certainly a lot of gnashing of teeth, like why doesn't the Rose bowl spread its revenue around to Boise State? Well, partially because we developed it. We built it, it's our tradition, and to the extent that it's successful, it's successful for our institutions. So that's essentially a home-rule approach. I think it's an honest approach. I don't think there's anything wrong with money, but life's a lot easier when you have than when you don't."
• Several reports state the Mountain West presidents will consider inviting Boise State from the WAC next month. The presidents will meet in early June with the Boise State issue high on the agenda.
The Mountain West is seeking to bolster its BCS profile and could get a huge boost by adding the Broncos. The conference could earn a temporary, automatic BCS bid in 2012 and 2013. On the other side of that is possible attrition. Boise State could be joining a league that could possibly lose any one or all of the following: Utah, TCU and BYU.
Boise would have to be invited by July 1 for its record to count toward that 2012-2013 BCS goal.
• The Fiesta Bowl and University of Phoenix Stadium are diving into the neutral site pool.
• Here is Big 12 revenue distribution as of 2007. Note that no two schools in the league equal what one Big Ten school per year these days, $22 million.
1. Texas, $10.2 million
Source: Omaha World-Herald
• The Chicago Tribune said last week that the $22 million in revenue earned each year by each Big Ten school could double by 2015-16. Also, according to the Trib, look for more weeknight games by the Big Ten. The league traditionally didn't play weeknight games but recently changed its stance because of the advantage of stand-alone game/commercials promoting the Big Ten. Both Ohio State and Indiana will kick off the season with games on the night of Sept. 2.