Posted on: June 17, 2010 9:48 am
Edited on: June 17, 2010 2:52 pm
An Orlando TV station report that Memphis and Central Florida could both receive Big East invitations "as soon as next week" has been refuted by the league, associate commissioner John Paquette told CBSSports.com on Thursday.
"We are officially denying the Orlando station's report," Paquette said.
The station described the invitations as "highly likely" to happen.
The station's sources were characterized as "multiple college football sources."
Meantime, the Orlando Sentinel described the Orlando station's report as "premature" but added that Big East officials will privately discuss expansion during a Thursday teleconference. This all comes five days after CBSSports.com reported that Memphis could receive an invitation to join the Big East "soon." That report came while other media reports detailed the Pac-10's plan to expand to 16 schools and eliminate the Big 12, which would've likely created a slew of movement throughout the rest of the nation. On Monday, however, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe convinced the 10 remaining Big 12 members to commit to his league. That led to the Pac-10 only inviting Utah and, almost certainly, halting expansion at 12 members, which most believe will prevent the Big Ten from raiding the Big East in an attempt to reach 16 members and by extension prevent the Big East from having to recover.
Utah is expected to accept an invitation to join the Pac-10 on Thursday afternoon.
The Big East currently features eight football-playing members and 16 schools that compete in men's basketball. The additions of Memphis and Central Florida would give the Big East 10 football-playing members and 18 schools to compete in men's basketball -- plus two notable television markets, the nation's third-largest university (UCF), and another nationally relevant basketball program (Memphis).
Posted on: June 17, 2010 12:11 am
Edited on: June 17, 2010 12:14 am
Days college athletics has been held hostage (since Big Ten announced expansion exploration on Dec. 15): 183
Had a good Wednesday: Utah received a formal invitation from the Pac-10, then scheduled a press conference for Thursday afternoon, at which point administrators will announce that the invitation has been accepted. In other words, the Utes are heading to a BCS league. That means they'll likely never again have to worry about going undefeated and being left out of the national title game.
Had a bad Wednesday: The Mountain West learned that it's losing its premier football program, and even the addition of Boise State won't offset Utah's departure. It's a shame for MWC commissioner Craig Thompson. He's done a good job developing a good league, but it's almost like he's the Royals and Larry Scott is the Yankees considering Thompson oversaw Utah's rise, then lost the Utes to an entity that could guarantee more money.
Quote of the day: "This recognition can only be a matter of pride for the people of Utah," Utah president Bernie Machen, now the president at Florida, told the Salt Lake Tribune.
Link of the day: Click this link to read the Salt Lake Tribune's coverage of Utah's invitation from the Pac-10.
On tap: There's still some speculation that the Big East could add another member or two. Memphis and UCF are the schools most commonly mentioned as possibilities. But there is no known timeframe for the Big East to act, one way or another. Or not at all.
Posted on: June 16, 2010 3:32 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2010 3:42 pm
Utah's Board of Trustees has scheduled a public meeting for Thursday, at which point they are expected to approve a departure from the Mountain West Conference to the Pac-10, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
The paper reported that the only topic listed is "Discussion of Athletic conference."
The move is a consolation prize of sorts for Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott, whose goal was to expand to 16 members by adding Colorado, Texas and four other Big 12 schools. He got Colorado last week and seemed on the verge of adding Texas and four others. But Texas rejected an invitation Monday, which prevented the Big 12's demise and opened this BCS door for Utah.
The Pac-10 will now be a 12-school league.
That means it will be allowed, according to NCAA guidelines, to hold a conference championship game in football.
Posted on: June 16, 2010 10:31 am
Edited on: June 16, 2010 11:08 am
Days college athletics has been held hostage (since Big Ten announced expansion exploration on Dec. 15): 182
Had a good Tuesday: What has long been clear -- especially to those in Nebraska -- became even more clear Tuesday when various teleconferences around the country featured conference commissioners and school athletic directors explaining in great detail how much Texas controlled in this process and will control in the future. Now that everything has mostly settled, what we know going forward is that Texas will make more money while having an easier path to the BCS title game given that Nebraska is out of the league and there will be no Big 12 Championship Game. That's a win-win. So though there were lots of winners (and some losers) throughout this wacky process, Texas, by far is the biggest winner.
Had a bad Tuesday: Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson seemed set to improve his league a week ago with the addition of Boise State, but now multiple media outlets in Utah are reporting that the Utes are headed to the Pac-10. Mountain West + Boise State - Utah = Not good. It's still a nice league, sure. But it won't be as nice as it was or as it thought it was going to become.
Quote of the day: "I wanted to ensure I was carrying out the will of our higher being here, to make sure that we continue." -- Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe apparently suggesting that a higher being wanted the Big 12 to continue to exist. So that settles it, right? God is a Texas fan.
Link of the day: Click this link to read a detailed look at how this process developed and changed and developed some more from OrangeBloods.com's Chip Brown. Tremendous reporting and insight.
On tap: Utah will continue to wait for a formal invitation from the Pac-10. It could come Thursday.
Posted on: June 15, 2010 12:32 am
Edited on: June 15, 2010 11:47 am
Days college athletics has been held hostage (since Big Ten announced expansion exploration on Dec. 15): 181
Had a good day: Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe went from the verge of having his league dissolve to solidifying a new agreement that will keep the 10 remaining schools together. Beebe convinced Texas to stay by convincing school officials that it can make $25 million a year in television revenue going forward. Is that true? Who knows? But Texas believed it and committed to the Big 12, which is all that matters now.
Had a bad day: Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott went from the verge of having the nation's first super conference to likely having to offer invitation to Utah just to get the Pac-10 to 12 schools. Imagine that. One day you think you're adding Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, the next you're reduced to offering an invitation to the school Urban Meyer left for Florida. I'm not sure if Larry Scott drinks. But if he does, he probably is right now. Or at least he should be.
Quote of the day: "I got resuscitated. You can take your hands off my chest." -- Baylor football coach Art Briles , who will continue to be a Big 12 coach thanks to Texas deciding to hold the Big 12 together. Had that not happened, Baylor (and Briles) could've been headed to the Mountain West or Conference USA. That would've been disappointing, especially considering Briles already coached in C-USA once (at Houston).
Link of the day: Click this link to read the latest from Orangebloods.com's Chip Brown, who might've benefited as much as anybody over the past two weeks. Brown owned the realignment story from start to finish, proof being how he was the first to report Texas might leave the Big 12 for the Pac-10, and the first to report Texas would reject the Pac-10 to stay in the Big 12.
On tap: The next move will likely be the Pac-10 offering membership to Utah. Meantime, Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo is expected to choose between the Spartans and Cavaliers at some point before Midnight Madness in October, multiple sources have told CBSSports.com.
Posted on: June 15, 2010 12:07 am
Edited on: June 15, 2010 8:08 am
So that's it?
Boise State to the Mountain West, Colorado to the Pac-10, and Nebraska to the Big Ten is all we get in what has been described, over and over again throughout the past week, as college athletics' most unstable time in decades? No super conferences? No loss of a conference? If this is really all we get -- plus Utah to the Pac-10, which at the moment seems like the only logical move for commissioner Larry Scott, who wanted a 16-school league but will probably have to settle for Utah making his league a 12-school league -- then color me disappointed, because when this fuse was lit I prepared for the biggest of bangs. Instead, the national landscape hasn't really changed much, and it doesn't look like it will in the immediate future.
It was a bomb scare with no bomb.
It was a tornado watch with no twister.
The recap looks like this: The Big Ten improved with Nebraska. The Pac-10 will be enhanced with Colorado and, presumably, Utah. The Big 12 lost two schools and took a hit, but probably feels great considering how close it was to dissolving. And the Mountain West improved with the addition of Boise State, but could soon be damaged by the loss of Utah, which would then owe Texas a huge smooth.
Isn't that wild?
UT's decision to reject the Pac-10 will likely turn Utah into a "BCS" school.
All together now, Utah fans: Hook'em Horns!
(Note to Utah fans: If you see Vince Young in a strip club, do not fight him.He is your friend. You owe his alma mater.)
Seriously, almost from the start, it was clear Texas was the major player in all this, and that the Longhorns had the power to turn the Pac-10 into the Pac-16 and kill the Big 12, or hold much of the Big 12 together and in the process slow the move toward super conferences, if only temporarily. Ultimately, Texas decided to go with the latter. So now the Big 12 has 10 football-playing schools, the Pac-10 has 11, and the Big Ten has 12.
And nobody has 16.
That's the key.
Massive realignment now seems unlikely this summer.
The fuse was lit.
But Texas turned an expected bang into a minor dud by resisting the urge to go west.
Posted on: June 14, 2010 10:04 am
Edited on: June 14, 2010 1:37 pm
Texas is set to announce, perhaps as early as Monday, that it is now committed to remaining in the Big 12 even without Nebraska and Colorado, according to a report by Chip Brown at OrangeBloods.com.
This is the latest development -- and by far the most important -- in the ongoing expansion of conferences. If it happens, it would greatly damage the Pac-10's hope of getting to 16 members by adding five more Big 12 schools to go with Colorado, which announced a move to the Pac-10 last week. The Pac-10 would probably then be reduced to adding Utah to create a 12-member league.
Orangebloods.com reported that Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebee has informed Texas it could make between $20 million and $25 million per year under a proposed new television deal, plus whatever it could make -- perhaps an additional $3 million to $5 million per year -- by starting its own network. It is unclear whether Beebee's estimations are accurate. But, either way, Texas is listening. The school now seems set to hold the Big 12 together and by extension prevent the nation's first "super conference" from being created because the Pac-10 stopping at 12 could cause the Big Ten to hold at 12, at which point it's possible the SEC's interest in expansion would also feign.
The Big 12 has no scheduled announcement of any kind as of Monday afternoon.
Meetings are reportedly ongoing.
Posted on: June 10, 2010 12:13 pm
Edited on: June 10, 2010 12:17 pm
Colorado will announce Friday that it is leaving the Big 12 to join the Pac-10, a Big 12 source confirmed to CBSSports.com on Thursday. The Boulder Daily-Camera is reporting that Pac-10 officials will be on the Colorado campus for a formal press conference.
This is the latest development that could lead to the demise of the Big 12 considering Nebraska is expected to also announce Friday that it's leaving the league. Multiple media outlets are reporting that Nebraska will join the Big Ten, which is expected to trigger an additional exodus of Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to another league, most likely the Pac-10. It's worth noting that officials from Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Baylor are meeting Thursday in Austin to discuss their futures, according to OrangeBloods.com.
If Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State follow Colorado to the Pac-10, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Baylor and Iowa State would be left looking for a new league. They could all go their separate ways into existing leagues, stick together and join an existing league, or stick together and try to lure schools from other conferences -- like the Mountain West and C-USA -- to help start a new league.