Big 12 To Pac-10 On CU: You Invite It, You Own It

Here’s some Tweets I posted Sunday morning about the prospect of the Pac-16:

Utah to the Pac-10

If you asked the man who runs the Big 12, Texas Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds, if he’d take back Colorado at this point - without Nebraska - wonder what he’d say?

For the uninformed, that’s a rhetorical question.

Now, what’s my basis for Utah joining the Pac-10?

Read more…

Two Secret Weapons Blowing Apart The Big 12

With the Big 12’s demise now seemingly imminent, what caused such a powerful college sports player to collapse almost overnight?

Kevin Weiberg Chris Bevilacqua

(Kevin Weiberg and Chris Bevilacqua)

It wasn’t just the defection of the Nebraska. In fact, it probably has more to do with two guys you never heard of than anything that’s been reported in the past week.

The prospect of an increased annual television payout from Fox is what first led Texas Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds to meet with Pac-10 officials three weeks ago in Austin to discuss a possible exodus of Big 12 schools to the Pac-10.

So where did that new television plan come from? Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott certainly had something to do with it, but the magnet that is the Pac-10 for Texas is more about two Scott hires than the commissioner himself. Read more…

NFLer, Son Of Texas A&M Chancellor: Opinionated

Appears we’re hitting the home stretch this week on conference realignment involving the Big 12, SEC and Pac-10.

Son of A&M Chancellor Seth McKinney is rather opinionated

Lots of conjecture in the press today about how politics is playing a role in what Texas and Texas A&M will do in that regard. But the biggest political mover and shaker, Texas Governor and A&M alumnus Rick Perry, is most likely not directly involved in the discussions.

Why? He’s in China.

From the AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN:

China has invited the world to the Shanghai Expo, hoping it will be the largest world fair ever. Texas is responding by paying $425,000 to sponsor ‘Texas Week’ at the USA Pavilion. As tourists are exposed to Texas-style entertainment, Perry and a delegation of business leaders want to expose Chinese companies and officials to the benefits of buying from or building in Texas. Two members of Austin-area chambers of commerce also will make the trip.

That isn’t to say that Perry won’t have influence on what the Aggies and Longhorns end up doing, but you would think his location could minimize his impact on the discussion. Ironic considering Perry appointed each and every member of the Texas A&M and Texas Board of Regents.

One such appointment was Dr. Michael McKinney, the Chairman of the A&M Board of Regents and Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. McKinney, who once served as Perry’s Chief of Staff, has a son named Seth who played football at A&M and currently is with the Buffalo Bills.

Turns out can be rather opinionated on the subject of A&M’s conference affiliation.

Read more…

Colorado Confirming Pac-10 Move Friday At 11am

UPDATE: Colorado to the Pac-10 is official - announced on Pac-10 official website.

Kyle Ringo of the BOULDER (CO) DAILY CAMERA reports Thursday morning:

It’s a done deal.

Colorado Buffaloes Floor Mat

The University of Colorado will announce at an 11 a.m. Friday press conference that the school will leave the Big 12 and join the Pac-10.

Multiple sources confirmed the deal to the Camera early Thursday, and league officials are scheduled to be in Boulder on Friday for the announcement.

Matt Hayes of SportingNews.com, Joe Schad of ESPN.com, and Jon Wilner of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS also report today that Colorado will be the first Big 12 school to formally accept an invitation from the Pac-10.

That news has the Texas political machinery in high gear. Read more…

Out In The Cold? Panic Officially Sets In At Kansas

Lee Barfknecht of the OMAHA WORLD-HERALD reported yesterday, “two Big 12 sources confirmed to The World-Herald that last week Nebraska and Missouri were given a drop-dead date — this Friday afternoon — to commit to the Big 12. Nebraska, with a Board of Regents meeting this weekend, asked for a delay into the week of June 14-18.

Lew Perkins as Luca Brasi

(Lew/KU’s Conference To Sleep With The Fishes?)

Nebraska’s decision on conference affiliation reportedly could trigger six schools bolting from the Big 12 to the Pac-10. Those half-dozen schools reportedly don’t include Kansas.

If you want to take the temperature of Kansans on that matter, Topeka Capital-Journal columnist Kevin Haskin provides a significant sample today:

Calling all politicians.

Pat Roberts, Sam Brownback, Kathleen Sebelius, Mark Parkinson … anyone with any connections whatsoever. Be it a regent, congressman, mayor, board chairman, entertainer or evangelist.

The time is now to get involved on behalf of Kansas and Kansas State.

Find a phone number or address for Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman and rehearse a persuasive plea.

PLEEEESE! Do not abandon longtime partners you’ve competed against, and cajoled with, since helmets were made of leather.

While the dynamics of conference realignment are all about football, the shaky future of the Big 12 is more than just an athletics matter for KU and K-State.

If the Wildcats and Jayhawks are no longer competing in the big-time — repeat, rinse, repeat: B-C-S — virtually anything at K-State and KU could be affected. Adversely.

Both would still strive to be exemplary universities, retain great faculty, conduct breakthrough research and graduate sharp, promising professionals.

But enrollment could decline, perhaps significantly. Without as much sports exposure — be it daily on ESPN updates or over the course of a team schedule through television opportunities — the universities lose invaluable branding.

Embattled Kansas Athletic Director Lew Perkins strikes a similar tone on the subject:

“The most important thing for the University of Kansas and for college athletics is expansion. That’s it.

“If I said I wasn’t worried, I’d be a fool. I am worried every day — not only about Kansas and the Big 12, but for the Pac-10, the Big Ten. … This is serious, serious, serious stuff. I am concerned.”

Then there’s the most powerful man in Kansas, Jayhawks basketball coach Bill Self: Read more…

What? Baylor, Nebraska May Decide Fate Of Big 12

All hell has broken loose since I noted a report last week from a Texas-centric athletics website that claimed the Pac-10 was set to invite six Big 12 schools to join the conference.

Big 10 President Jim Delany As Pontius Pilate

(Delany’s All-Powerful Sceptre Controls Fate of Nebraska, Pac-10 Expansion?)

The site originating that report, Yahoo’s Orangebloods.com, has since added that Nebraska has been given an ultimatum by the Big 12 to state its intentions in the next two weeks. If the Cornhuskers remain on the fence or pledge allegiance to the Big Ten, six Big 12 schools will reportedly move to the Pac-10.

Missouri has also been given a similar deadline, but MU moving to the Big Ten is now reportedly a foregone conclusion. Nebraska though appears to be the trigger that could set the demise of the Big 12 in motion if it also defects to the Big Ten.

In the wake of that originating report, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany acknowledged today that the timetable of his league’s expansion is likely to be affected by the Big 12’s new deadline for Nebraska and Missouri.

Teddy Greenstein of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE has the commissioner’s reaction to the Big 12 ultimatum today:

  Jim Delany: “The timeline could be affected.” In other words, it will be affected.

The ASSOCIATED PRESS also reports from this afternoon’s Pac-10 meetings:

The Pac-10 concluded its meetings Sunday by giving commissioner Larry Scott the authority to pursue any possible expansion, while not committing the conference to adding any more schools.

In the preceding months, Nebraska Athletic Director Tom Osborne has alternately professed his openness to joining the Big Ten while also playing coy about the prospect. Most recently, he’s been mum on the subject but today it was revealed that after Osborne met with Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel in late April, he sent an email to Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman that read, “I think it would be a good time if we met sometime soon regarding the expansion landscape.”

So why is Nebraska so important to the future of the Big 12? Read more…