Notes from throughout the day yesterday and today via emails to friends:
6/10/10 @ 10:31am PT:
http://www.ralphiereport.com/2010/6/7/1506750/attention-buddy-jones-baylor-fans — I found this funny
If Nebraska jumps to Big Ten (90% likely), then there’s several scenarios:
1) Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas A&M go to Pac-10 (60% likely)
2) Pac-10 only invites Utah (34% likely) and stops at 12 teams
3) All five Big 12 teams stay, and the Big 12 picks up two teams to replace Nebraska and Colorado (TCU for sure, Houston is likely – don’t think they’ll take SMU again because SMU was the reason the SWC dissolved in the first place) (3% likely)
4) Pac-10 invites Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Utah (2% likely).
5) Pac-10 invites ONLY Texas, Texas Tech, and Utah to stop at 14 teams (1% likely)
6) Pac-10 does something else entirely (San Diego State, Utah, and Colorado State?) (0.0000001% likely)
Texas A&M would prefer to actually join the SEC due to travel times and would only go to the Pac-10 if #1 scenario happens. The PAc-10 would prefer NOT to take A&M but might have to.
Scenario #4 actually would be the most ideal situation for the Pac-10, covering the biggest markets in four new states (Salt Lake City, Denver plus all of Oklahoma and Texas), but it is also the second least likely to happen.
6/10/10 @ 3:08pm PT:
The latest statement from Oklahoma State University:
“The report circulating about an immediate announcement today concerning Oklahoma State University and conference realignment is without merit. There are no announcements planned by Oklahoma State University. We remain committed to the Big 12 Conference. If there are additional defections, we will have to evaluate our options.”
(But we already know that Nebraska is going to go to the Big Ten – it doesn’t want to be dealing with Texas anymore anyway. This gives OK State the way “out”.)
In a contingency move, if Nebraska actually DOES stay put, Missouri will be moving on to the Big Ten, with BYU and Air Force getting the Big 12 invites to replace Mizzou and CU.
Oklahoma also just stated that wherever Texas goes, it goes. “I think it would be a horrendous decision for OU and Texas to break up,” Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione said. “We’re going to stick together if it’s at all possible.”
MWC is looking to swoop in and pick up three teams at minimum (Boise State, Kansas, Kansas State) if the Big 12 goes belly-up to bring themselves to 12 teams. Or it could also pick up the remaining leftovers (Iowa State, Missouri) to get to 14 teams.
On the outside looking in: Missouri (who woulda thought?!?), Iowa State, Baylor. Missouri wants the Big Ten to come calling, but a Nebraska expansion really means that the Big Ten will be looking at staying at 12 or expanding in the future to New York/Jersey (Syracuse and Rutgers).
SEC isn’t looking to expand further unless the Big Ten takes Syracuse and Rutgers, creating a domino effect – the Big East would collapse and the ACC would scoop up some of those members, with the MAC or CUSA probably picking up one or two teams (Iowa State, Baylor).
If the Big East collapses, Notre Dame will move to the Big Ten because they no longer would have any conference to align with for non-football sports.
If the Big East and Big 12 collapse, there will be five superconferences: Pac-16, Big Ten (or whatever it will be named), SEC, ACC, and MWC. The WAC, MAC, Sun Belt, and CUSA will be staring at the impossible – getting high enough on the food chain to access the BCS bowls. If the Pac-10 is smart, they invite Utah now (get themselves to 12), then see what shakes from the Big 12. Best scenario would be then to take Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and OK State and leave A&M and Baylor to fend for themselves or beg for an invite to the SEC (which is geographically better for both schools anyway).
Texas Tech reports that all options for them are “positive for the university” (meaning that no matter what happens, they win since they will be going wherever Texas goes).
Lastly, reports have ALL 5 remaining Big 12 South teams (except Baylor) have already received invites to the Pac and are simply waiting for the Nebraska announcement (due tomorrow!) before acting. However – according to the reports: It takes 9 members to disolve the [Big 12] conference without paying exit fees. It looks like only 7, maybe 8, have a home and want out. (CU, OK, OSU, TX, TXT, TXAM, NEB, maybe MIZZ). The exit fees are $10 million a pop. The four remaining teams could end up splitting $80 million in exit fees before finding a new pasture (MWC?)
6/10/10 @ 4:05pm PT:
Two tidbits, one from today’s teleconference between Pac-10 commish, CU Prez Bruce Benson and Philip DiStefano (CU-Boulder chancellor):
Question: Kyle Ringo, Boulder Daily Camera – Did Pac-10 ask Colorado to add new sports?
Scott – No requirement to add any sports but we have had discussions about the profile of sports that seem to fit well, including baseball and softball.
Looks like baseball and softball might be back on the table for CU. Can’t see why it wouldn’t work, given the imminent TV revenue to be gained – plus Title 9 wouldn’t really be affected since a women’s and men’s sport would be coming in at the same time, so long as the number of scholarships for both is (relatively) the same.
The other tidbit is the proposed divisional/scheduling setup:
Divisional – Pac-8 division (Cal, Stanford, OSU, UO, UW, WSU, UCLA, USC), and Southwest division (UA, ASU, CU, TX, TX Tech, TX A&M, OK, OKST). Round robin rules then apply:
7 games against divisional opponents, 2 games against intra-divisional opponents, 3 games vs non-conference.
Divisional Pod – Four team pods within a two divisional setup:
Pac-8 One: UW, WSU, UO, OSU
Pac-8 Two: Cal, Stan, UCLA, USC
SW One: UA, ASU, CU, TTU
SW Two: TX, TAMU, OK, OKST
Divisional – Only adding Utah to conference splits conference into two six-team divisions. Round robin rules then apply:
5 games against divisional opponents, 4 games against intra-divisional opponents, 3 games vs. non-conference.
Hard to gauge a divisional setup that everyone likes in this scenario, though the best school of thought is to split the divisions evenly by splitting the rival pairs and then forcing them to play each other in an intra-divisional game every year. Thus:
One: USC, Stanford, WSU, ASU, Utah, OSU
Two: UCLA, Cal, UW, UA, CU, UO
While the thinking is that the 8-team divisionals are generally accepted, the reality is that the Pac-10 has actually been studying the pod system for a while. The scheduling would thus be:
Play all members in their own pods (3 games), plus 2 teams from the other three pods (6 games total) for a total of 9 conference games, leaving three non-conference games available.
Arizona, ASU, and CU would like this since they wouldn’t have to play Texas and/or Oklahoma every single season.
CU Nation, however, seems to only want the Pac-10 to expand to 12 teams by taking Utah and then being done. Apparently, they’re tired of spending half their seasons in Texas.
6/11/10 @ 1:23pm PT:
Boise State officially accepts invite to Mountain West Conference, according to the MWC press release. Also, Nebraska officially joined the Big Ten today, according to the Omaha World-Herald.
The reports now have the Pac-10 expanding to include the following FOUR teams – Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and OK State.
This is shaking out to be the 2% chance scenario I mentioned yesterday…
4) Pac-10 invites Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Utah (2% likely).
Texas A&M is seriously courting the SEC and has a decent shot, given that the TAMU President is none other than Gene Stallings, who won a national title at Alabama.
Missouri, Iowa State, Kansas, K State, Texas A&M and Baylor remain – only the first five have a shot at getting into a major conference, with the MWC ready to grab Mizzou, ISU, KU and KSU.
Baylor here is the big loser if they can’t tag along with TAMU – it’s either Conference USA (as the 13th member, where they would play against other Texas teams such as Rice, Houston, UTEP and SMU) or the Sun Belt Conference (as the 11th football member where they can play other Texas teams such as … North Texas), because I seriously doubt that the MWC will want to take them. And given that the SEC wants TAMU and Va Tech, I doubt Baylor is getting an invite to that conference either.
There is a small chance now that the remainder of the Big 12 (all six of them) could conceivably raid another conference (MWC? WAC? CUSA?) and grab two of BYU, Air Force, Colorado State, Louisana Tech, Houston, or TCU and once again become the Big 8. (Or take four and still be the Big 12.) Geographically, TCU and either Houston or LaTech would be the best fit for the new Big 8. One writer in Des Moines actually has a “new” Big 12 with five of the remaining current members (Mizzou, ISU, KU, KSU, Baylor) plus Cincinnati (HUH??), Louisville, Rice, SMU, TCU, UTEP, and Houston. Basically, this writer would turn the Big 12 into the Texas division and the Everywhere-Else division.
Now, I get the Louisville thing because that’s Kentucky which is right next to Missouri state-wise. But Cincinnati? Really? They should instead be pilfering someone closer, like Arkansas State, or Western Kentucky. Not that there’s a ton out there to begin with anyway once the Big Ten and Pac-16 are done gobbling up all the big names.