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Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville recently said on Rivals Radio that he doesn't think the Big 12 is going to make it long-term.
"I don’t think this conference will last long because there is too much disparity between all the teams," Tuberville told host Bill King. "In the SEC, for instance, Vanderbilt makes as much money in the television contract as Florida. Everybody is good with it. Everybody is on the same page. Everyone gets the same votes.
"That doesn’t happen here in the Big 12. We have some teams that get a little bit more money and have a little bit more stroke than some of the other teams. And when that happens, you’re gonna have teams looking for better avenues to leave and reasons to leave."
Most of the other coaches have supported the league (they were probably told to) so Tuberville's criticisms are interesting...and valid. What has changed? Nothing, really. The same problems are still there (no TV deal has happened...yet) and Texas is still considered it's own entity in the Big 12.
I give it two years.
After the near-demise of the conference, Big 12 schools are now allowed to have their own TV network. The decision was designed to keep Texas, who has been thinking about starting it's own TV network, in the conference.
Now, David Briggs of the Columbia-Tribune reports Missouri officials "have met to discuss new ways to deliver athletic programming to fans."
If the Tigers did start their own network, it would be the first of its kind. While Texas has talked about doing it -- and most likely will in the near future -- no school has ever started it's own TV network.
However, there's a difference between talking about it, and actually doing it, a Mizzou rep says.
“I would caution from making it sound like that’s absolutely going to happen, but I think we have certain resources and advantages that other schools don’t,” said the Missouri athletic department’s director of media relations, Chad Moller, who has been involved in the school’s talks about future media ventures. “So I’d like to think we can make that happen at some point. Whether it’s five years down the road or longer, I don’t know, of course, but I think it’s a great goal to set out there.”
As the only BCS school in a state with six million, I could see how this would be enticing, and potentially viable.
A consultant and former president of CBS Sports says it would be an "uphill climb" for Mizzou to pull off because the size of the state but one of the more important and costly aspects of a network -- rights to the programming -- are already owned by Mizzou.
“That’s the big cost, and they own the programming,” said John Mansell, a sports media consultant based in Virginia, noting a school-owned network would be a valuable recruiting tool. “I’m not so sure it would be a huge risk to do it.”
This doesn't necessarily matter anymore but it's interesting nonetheless.
Oklahoma president David Boren said on Wednesday that both Oklahoma and Texas A&M received invites to the SEC, according to the Associated Press.
Boren says the Pac-10 offer was for five Big 12 schools — Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech — to join as a group. He says the SEC extended offers only to Oklahoma and Texas A&M, both of which opted to stay in a slimmed-down Big 12 after Colorado left for the Pac-10 and Nebraska left for the Big Ten.
A&M was definitely one of the schools rumored to have received an invite. The question with them was whether they would want to part from rival Texas.
Boren says that Oklahoma wasn't interested in the SEC because Oklahoma State and Texas weren't included.
It's been a week or so since we've heard Dan Beebe say the Big 12 isn't interested in expanding at this time.
"As I have stated previously, there is no interest in expansion and it was not a consideration at the gathering.”
There will be only one more year of the 12-team Big 12, it appears. The reason for not wanting expansion, is because that's another two teams to split the revenues with. It would have to be a special circumstance like a team that brings in a lot of money (Notre Dame).
By now, just about every Big 12 school has come out and expressed an opinion on the reported $40 million that Nebraska and Colorado will supposedly owe when they leave the Big 12.
Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe Insinuated that Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Baylor would give up their portion of the buyout money to keep Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma in the Big 12.
Texas Tech and Oklahoma State reportedly weren't pleased with the development.
Now, Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com reports that the Big 12 ADs met for hours regarding the status of the buyout money.
Nebraska and Colorado weren't present which, on the surface, would imply they're not part of it. Who knows, maybe they are, but the fact that we've got the Big 12 Commish indicating that money will be paid and Nebraska saying they're not going to pay probably isn't a good sign for things moving forward.
Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com reports Big 12 athletic directors are meeting in Dallas today to determine how Nebraska and Colorado's buyouts would be distributed.
Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe indicated that schools like Missouri and the rest of the "Forgotten Five" had agreed to possibly give up their portion of the buyout money in order to convince Texas, Teas A&M and Oklahoma to stay in the Big 12.
Later that day, Missouri officials said publicly that this was not the plan and the bylaws state that any change would have to come from the board of directors. Kansas AD Lew Perkins later came out and said the same thing.
Meanwhile, Nebraska officials last indicated that they don't see any reason to be paying the buyout money at all.
We'll have some updates on exactly what the distribution plan is.
"I'm an old man, and all my life I've said that Notre Dame should remain independent because it's a national school," said Holtz, a former Fighting Irish coach who was in the Twin Cities last weekend. "We played the very best in the country from Texas to Tennessee to Miami of Florida to Southern Cal.
"However, two days ago was the first time I've ever said that I think Notre Dame ought to seriously consider joining the Big Ten. Because what I see happening, I see four or five superconferences."
There have been more calls for Notre Dame to join a conference. Recently, a report surfaced that Jerry Jones wanted to get Arkansas and Notre Dame into the Big 12.
Not only does Holtz feel that ND should join the Big 10, but that they will.
"And, I think that for the first time, Notre Dame ought to consider joining the Big Ten. I never felt I would say that. But I believe that in my heart now, and I think that maybe they will."
This would reverberate through the world of college sports but it's still hard to envision happening.
If Notre Dame goes to the Big 10, Missouri will be even more upset that they didn't get a Big 10 offer.
I find it quite entertaining that Bob Fescoe uses the opportunity to take a swipe at Bill Snyder’s scheduling practices. If I were as insufferable a K-State homer as Fescoe is for KU, I might remind him that Mark Mangino — a former assistant under Snyder — used the exact same model to take KU to the Orange Bowl that Missouri should have played in. Oh, did I just do that? Well, never mind then.
Anyway, it’s not surprising that Snyder doesn’t like the new schedule. He’s expressed disdain in the past for Thursday night games, early Saturday kickoffs, restaurants using butter instead of margarine and slow food service. The man has his routine, his players have their routine, and he doesn’t like anything to upset either. From my perspective, I don’t think the new schedule will affect much. With Nebraska gone, we lose one of the tougher tests in the North. Unless the team replacing them from the South is Oklahoma or Texas, it’s a push or possibly even an easier game. Put it this way: would K-State have rather played Nebraska last year, or Baylor, Texas A&M, or a Dez Bryant-less Oklahoma State?
Finally, why does a three-game non-conference schedule suddenly mean schools can’t schedule cupcakes? I guess I’ve never understood the reasoning behind that. K-State can still play teams from the Sun Belt, WAC, MAC, etc. in the non-conference. From a monetary standpoint, I hope they don’t buy their way out of the upcoming contracts with Miami, Virginia Tech and Oregon, although I hope they don’t play two BCS AQ-conference teams in any one non-conference season. I guess the long and the short of it is that I see this discussion of the new Big 12 schedule as much ado about nothing.
I previously mentioned the discrepancy between the start dates for the new Pac-10 and Big 10.
The Pac-10, according to reports, wanted to add Colorado and Nebraska starting 2012. The Big 10, meanwhile, wanted Nebraska to join in 2011.
Apparently, things are getting sorted out, Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com reports.
Colorado is now telling the Big 12 they'll be joining the Pac-10 in 2011, which means the Big 12 as we know it will likely have just one year remaining (even though it sounds like Nebraska is leaving in 2011 anyway).
Predictably, Kansas State's Bill Snyder has thrown his support around the Big 12 -- except for one part.
As 610 Sports' Bob Fescoe said, "Shocker. How will he play the sisters of the poor now?"
Here's what Snyder has to say about the schedule:
“Everybody always wants to see everybody play the best people that they can,” Snyder said. “But what you have to realize is: When we were in the Big Eight Conference, great teams beat up on great teams. Consequently, the results were not always what you would have liked for them to be. You could be an awfully good program and suffer dramatically."
K-State's non-conference schedule next year: UCLA, Missouri State, Central Michigan and North Texas.
They've also scheduled some future games against Miami, Oregon and Virginia Tech. I think Snyder realizes with the new Big 12, that may not be the best idea anymore. It's one thing to play a game against a team like Virginia Tech coming off of a victory over the Kansas School For The Deaf while it's quite another to do so after a game against Texas A&M.
The Big 12's IRS filings have become public and it appears Missouri is one of the big winners from 2007-8 to 2008-9.
Here are the 2008-9 numbers with the previous year's in parentheses:
1. Oklahoma, $12,209,800
2. Texas, $11,783,807
3. Kansas, $11,494,441 ($9.24 million)
4. Missouri, $10,449,437 ($8.4 million)
12. Kansas State, $8,374,959 ($8.21 million)
Missouri also made a big jump from 2007-08 to 08-09. The team's high-scoring offense (sixth nationally and third in the Big 12 at 42.2 points per game) and star power helped push the Tigers into their second consecutive Big 12 title game and enter the season ranked in the top 10.
Kansas State was eighth in 2007-8 and drop to dead last with this year's set of numbers. Ouch.
And big bad Nebraska that everyone wanted to keep in the Big 12? $9.7 million and eighth in the conference.
Apparently not. From the AP:
About two dozen Texas lawmakers are supporting efforts to get the University of Houston admitted to the Big 12 Conference.
State Reps. Garnet Coleman and Bill Callegari, both from the Houston area, co-wrote a letter Thursday asking Big 12 officials to consider adding the university to the conference.
Houston was in the old Southwest Conference -- for you youngins, that's before the Big 12. They're currently in Conference USA.
Thus far in the all the Big 12 talk, politicians haven't done much good.
Arkansas (and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones) has been connected to the Big 12 with a report that they've "put out feelers" regarding a move from the SEC.
Here's the full statement (read: denial) from Arkansas AD Jeff Long:
"In recent weeks and months there has been much national dialogue regarding conference affiliation in intercollegiate athletics," Long said.
"In the course of that dialogue some have suggested that the University of Arkansas was an institution that may be pursued by other conferences.
"From the beginning, we have been very clear that the University of Arkansas is a proud member of the Southeastern Conference and has no interest in joining another conference.
"Chancellor Gearhart has been unwavering in his support of our institution's continued membership in the SEC. Recent events have not in any way altered our commitment or desire to remain a member of what we believe is the strongest conference in the nation."
A source close to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones started this mess. The source reportedly told Tom Keegan of the Lawrence Journal-World that Jones was interested in bringing Arkansas and Notre Dame to the Big 12.
Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com back up that report stating that Arkansas had "definitely put out some feelers" regarding a move to the Big 12.
The Arkansas response?
"No interest," Arkansas AD Jeff Long tells the Associated Press.
Somehow I don't think this is the last we hear of this.
On Wednesday, a report emerged that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones would like to see Arkansas (and Notre Dame) join the Big 12 which would instantly make it one of the top conferences.
According to Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com (via Twitter), that report has some legs.
Sources tell OB Arkansas has definitely put out feelers about possibly joining the Big 12, but the B12 votes don't appear to be there yet.
Arkansas has a better chance of joining than Notre Dame but its unclear if Jones was implying the two are a package deal.
Arkansas, since joining the SEC, has seen its national profile drop. If it joined the Big 12, it would get back part of its Texas recruiting base as well as some relevance.
Jerry Jones is a powerful man and, most importantly, has lots of cash and influence to make something happen. This is a situation worth monitoring.
That reported $35-40 million buyout money from Nebraska and Colorado?
Nebraska's not paying it, according to Chancellor Harvey Perlman.
“I thought in the context, (an exit fee) would be inappropriate," Perlman said. “From what I understand the Big 12 has done, I think it’s even more inappropriate."
Texas president William Powers would disagree.
“We’ll leave that to the lawyers," Texas President William Powers said Tuesday. “I think the conference rules are clear on that."
Looks like this Big 12 mess could eventually hit the courts, which would mean delaying some sort of finality even longer.
Kansas and Kansas State are rivals in the world of college athletics. But in the world of school executives, they are not.
Lew Perkins said on Wednesday that if he had to "go to war" with someone it would be Kansas State president Kirk Schulz and AD John Currie.
Kansas and Kansas State officials said during the process that the two schools wouldn't be breaking up even as it looked possible at different time that Kansas would make the jump to the Pac-10 or SEC.
Perkins says the two schools were together step-by-step.
His words indicate that neither side was ever serious about leaving each other. This is something to keep in mind if and when the Big 12 is in a similar situation within a year.
At his press conference this afternoon. Kansas AD Lew Perkins (when he wasn't dressing down reporters) said the remaining Big 12 teams signed an agreement to stick together for 10 years.
That's a good sign of solidarity for the public but what are the details of the contract?
Nebraska and Colorado had an agreement to say in the Big 12 but they chose to instead pay the penalty for leaving.
A 10-year agreement really doesn't do anything to keep this league together. Perkins said during his press conference that he thinks it will take about a year to sort all of this out.
After the way things went down, a few folks feel that the Big 12 will be back in this same situation a year from now.
Considering the pro-Texas slant -- and no matter how Perkins tries to spin it, it's a pro-Texas league -- I suspect someone will start griping fairly soon.
You knew Cowboys owner Jerry Jones couldn't see a lot of news reports in Texas without his name being thrown around in there.
Jones, according to a source familiar with his thinking, wants his alma mater to play in a league with former Southwest Conference rivals Texas and Texas A&M. A visionary, Jones sees the Big 12 expanding with Arkansas and Notre Dame. Such a conference alignment turns on TV sets across America and sends cash gushing out of Big 12 faucets everywhere.
By calling him a "visionary", I think Lawrence Journal-World's Tom Keegan has insinuated (at least in my eyes) that this is coming from Jones' camp -- and not anyone affiliated with the NCAA, so that's something to keep in mind.
Notre Dame, to date, hasn't fallen for overtures from BCS conferences that have pursued them. There's no reason to think Jones would change that.
How much influence can Jones have on the Big 12? Keegan apparently thinks a lot calling him a "big-time power broker in the world of professional and now college athletics."
What Jones wants and what he gets are two different things. This will be an interesting scenario to track.
Kansas AD Lew Perkins had a press conference on Wednesday and cleared the air on some of the reports out there about the Colorado and Nebraska buyout money.
Perkins did say that the five schools -- Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Iowa State and Baylor -- got together and said that Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma were guaranteed a specific amount of money at the end of the year. If they didn't hit that specific number, Perkins said the conference would subsidize them to hit that dollar amount.
If those three schools hit that number, the other schools wouldn't give up any money. If they didn't hit that number, then money would be pulled from somewhere to make up the difference.
Missouri AD Mike Alden said on Tuesday that he hadn't heard of that plan. Maybe this is splitting hairs but Perkins did say Missouri was involved in those talks.
Perkins said of the story about the buyout money, "Whoever put that out there didn't understand what the plan was."
Well who put the story out there? Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe. After his press conference, media outlets came away with the impression that the five schools would give up their buyout money to give to Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma. So Dan Beebe is to blame for that.
Perkins also declined to say that the money that would be used to subsidize Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma would be the Nebraska and Colorado buyout money. He called the money that could potentially be used to subsidize those teams would be "bundles" of money -- basically money from a variety of places in the conference. Basically, its semantics.
These Big 12 stories have a way of taking on a life of their own -- but for good reason. You see, when the Commissioner of your conference comes out and says "part of their thinking is that we'll hold out the distribution [money] that would have gone to us (the Big 12 conference) from those member institutions and use that to help Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Texas hopefully stay in the conference."
"Their" in this case is Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Baylor. And he is clearly indicating that these teams would give up their share of Colorado and Nebraska's buyout money -- reported to be worth a total of $35-40 million -- to Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma to keep them in their conference.
After he said that, the denials from both Missouri and Texas officials came out saying they didn't know anything about it.
Apparently, they're right.
A Big 12 spokesman confirmed to the Associated Press that Beebe's words were just a "good-faith offer" and that the money would in reality be distributed evenly, as the bylaws state.
So, to get this straight -- Beebe publicly told reporters that they were thinking of giving the buyout from for the shares of five schools to Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma. But that is not the case.
Kansas coaches and even the Governor weighed in on the results of the new Big 12. They all seem pleased -- as they probably should be considering the alternatives -- and expressed optimism that the league will become stronger.
Basketball coach Bill Self:
“I think we are better off than we have ever been,” Kansas basketball coach Bill Self said. “That’s not taking anything away from Nebraska and Colorado, but we are a true league now.”
Football coach Turner Gill:
“I think it has definitely gotten more competitive,” KU football coach Turner Gill said. “It was already a competitive league and because of the competitiveness of the plan — nine games in the conference and playing everybody each year — I think it brings more excitement for Big 12 football, with every team included.”
Gov. Mark Parkinson:
“This is great news to Kansas universities, student-athletes, fans and our entire state,” Parkinson said in a statement. “Today, we solidify the future of the Big 12 Conference. In fact, we are in a better position than ever before.”
On Tuesday, I pointed out how strange I thought it was that Missouri AD Mike Alden didn't know that Dan Beebe had said earlier that day that the buyout money coming from Colorado and Nebraska (estimated to be $20 million per year for two years) would be distributed to Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma. Mizzou and Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Baylor, Beebe said yesterday, had agreed to give up their share.
Well, Mizzou didn't know anything about that and didn't sound interested in giving up their share.
Apparently, Texas doesn't know about it either.
“There have been reports that there’s going to be a special deal for some of us using penalty money or other money to guarantee Texas and possibly other schools a particular value,” Texas president Bill Powers said. “We have heard about that. We’re not part of it.”
He says he doesn't expect the Longhorns to draw from the fund.
The reports earlier were that Texas Tech and Oklahoma State weren't happy that the Big 12 buyout money was being distributed the way Dan Beebe, you know, told the world it was going to be.
If OSU were involved, wouldn't we have heard from T. Boone Pickens by now? Talk about a desire to be relevant.
On May 10, Kansas City became the center of the college football world. That's because 810-AM WHB's Kevin Kietzmann reported that the Big Ten had extended an offer to Missouri to join the conference.
Since 810 WHB is an ESPN affiliate, that was the lead story on SportsCenter that evening. The blogs blew up. Newspapers picked it up. Everyone was talking about it.
Presumably, everyone was also tuning into 810 WHB as well.
The problem? Everyone involved denied it -- on or off the record.
And once again at Missouri's press conference Tuesday afternoon, Chancellor Brady Deaton said there never was an offer from the Big Ten.
The Big 12 is now in place and considering the alternatives, everyone seems to be happy about that. So, if there actually was an offer from the Big Ten, now would be the time for Missouri to admit it. Because it would then look like they pledged their loyalty to the conference and, in a way, helped "save" the Big 12.
And at a time when Missouri should be concerned about the way they're being perceived, this would have been a victory in the court of public opinion.
Yet Deaton denied there was an offer.
I think that's about as clear as anyone can make it: There never was an offer.
Things just went from weird to weirder.
Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe conducted a press conference indicating that the buyout money from Nebraska and Colorado would not be distributed between the remaining 10 schools but instead go to Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma.
The Big 12 bylaws say that money would be distributed evenly but Beebe says they will do otherwise. Here's Beebe, in his own words:
"Those five (Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Baylor and Missouri) were willing to hold out -- this hasn't been completed yet [because] there's a lot of last-minute scrambling - but part of their thinking is that we'll hold out the distribution [money] that would have gone to us (the Big 12 conference) from those member institutions and use that to help Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Texas hopefully stay in the conference."
Translation: We'll give the Nebraska and Colorado buyout money -- reported to be in the $20 million range -- to Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma to convince them to stay in the conference.
And what does Missouri AD Mike Alden think about that?
"Let me nip that one right in the butt. There is no accuracy to that whatsoever."
Uh...Dan Beebe says it is. The Associated Press wrote about the story. The Kansas City Star, too. ESPN, SI. Everyone knew what Dan Beebe said.
Alden, however, says he had not heard that.
"None of us in our league would believe that because we believe our bylaws."
"Money that comes into the conference is shaped by conference policy and it's the board of directors that will determine what happens to any money coming into the conference."
Considering the way Missouri officials and Beebe have conducted themselves throughout this process -- or at least the perception of the way they've conducted themselves -- I think this is par for the course. We'll keep updating with more from the Missouri press conference.
There were some grumblings this afternoon that Texas Tech wasn't exactly happy with the new arrangement in the Big 12 that will see the five "leftover" schools give up their buyout money for Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma. While that may still be the case, they've accepted it as reality.
Texas Tech made it official this afternoon committing to the 10-team Big 12.
Tech, along with Oklahoma State, didn't like that the Big 12 obviously has placed a higher important on Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma.
They may be upset, but there's not a whole lot they can do about it now.
Apparently Texas Tech -- who has yet to officially sign off on the new Big 12 arrangement -- isn't happy with the way things turned out. Add Oklahoma State in there as well.
Here's the issue: Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Iowa State and Baylor agreed to give their share of the Colorado and Nebraska buyout money (reported to be over $20 million) to Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma. Conspicuously missing from the teams receiving that extra cash are the two who have yet to sign the new agreement.
Dan Beebe is reportedly scheduled to hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. this afternoon. Meanwhile, the Texas regents are meeting at 2:00 p.m. today to discuss the new move so Beebe likely wouldn't have any new information to report just 30 minutes after that meeting starts. Jim Bob Breazeale of Sports Talk San Antonio reports as of 1:00 p.m. today Texas Tech was on the phone with the Pac-10.
Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports thinks Tech will "eventually" sign off on the new deal but they're upset that Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma are the ones benefiting from the new arrangement.
All indications are that the Big 12 will be saved but Texas Tech and Oklahoma State will apparently make it interesting right down to the end.
Kudos to Governor Jay Nixon for sticking up for the state of Missouri and the Big 12 conference.
On Tuesday, Nixon addressed the Big 12 situation and expressed pleasure that the "two weakest basketball programs" -- Nebraska and Colorado -- had left the Big 12, according to the Associated Press.
The Missouri governor says the remaining Big 12 schools could have a better shot of making the NCAA tournament. He said poor win-loss records and weaker schedules by Nebraska and Colorado were dragging down the rankings of other Big 12 schools.
As I've said before, the best part of someone leaving an organization -- or in this case a school leaving a conference -- is all the trash talk that goes on afterward.
Missouri officials have called a 4:00 p.m. press conference to discuss the situation unfolding with the Big 12, according to Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune.
Scheduled to speak are President Gary Forsee, Chancellor Brady Deaton and AD Mike Alden.
Hopefully they're taking questions and hopefully a reporter asks how they got wrangled into giving their Nebraska and Colorado buyout money to Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma.
I also hope someone uses my bully stealing lunch money analogy.
For more on the Tigers, check out SB Nation's Rock M Nation.
Billionaire Oklahoma State benefactor T. Boone Pickens wants to make one thing clear: The Big 12 doesn't need Missouri.
"I don't know what Missouri's going to do," he told the Austin American Statesman. "You can't tell about them. I don't have to have 'em."
Start the engines on the OSU/MU rivalry.
"I have a strong streak of loyalty and that's the way I feel about Kansas, Iowa State and Kansas State. I don't wanna go off and leave them. I don't care about Missouri."
If there was ever any doubt that the rest of the Big 12 is blaming Missouri for the potential demise of the conference, then this should settle that.
Here are a few other notes from T. Boone Pickens' interview:
Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe is conducting a press conference as we speak and he reminded us of an interesting nugget:
Texas Tech has yet to formally commit to the Big 12.
This isn't a cause for worry, though. The Board of Regents are expected to make that official today at a meeting. It seems to be just a formality at this point.
So the Big 12 technically has nine "committed" members at this point with the 10th to come shortly.
So the Big 12 now has 10 teams. It's pretty obvious what's wrong with that picture.
Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe said on Tuesday he will speak with the remaining members of the Big 12 to determine whether or not a name change will occur. I'm not sure that it makes much sense to do so since the Big 12 brand name is still valuable.
If the Big 10 can have 11 teams, then the Big 12 can have 10.
Beebe also said on Tuesday there are no plans to expand at this time but they are not interested in expanding outside of their five-state region.
So you're likely reading a few things this morning about Texas essentially running the Big 12 and maybe even a few jokes in there how the rest of the conference is the UT whipping boy.
This from Stewart Mandel of SI.com (via Twitter) won't help stop any of those jokes:
Unbelievable. The five "leftovers" (KU, KSU, ISU, BU, Mizzou) agreed to sign over their share of CU/NU's buyout money to UT/OU/A&M.
Yes that's over $20 million that they agreed to give up.
That's like the bully stealing your lunch money then throwing your own dessert right back in your face.
Earlier this week I suggested that if the Big 12 dissolves and four 16-team power conferences emerge, the case for paying college athletes would get stronger.
As it turns out, that was part of what Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe was concerned about (added emphasis):
"Pressure to compete may rise with resulting higher salaries and more churning of ADs and coaches," he wrote. "Clear identification of the highest level of intercollegiate athletics reduced to a smaller grouping of schools (e.g., four 16-member conferences) could cause eventual tax consequences and tremendous pressure to pay those student-athletes responsible in programs driving the most revenue and pressure, and whose coaches and administrators are receiving more and more financial rewards."
It's still all clearly about money but a 16-team power conference would have been the equivalent of a money bath.
Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott said he had a deal with Texas to join the Pac-10 before things fell apart.
According to Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com, citing sources, Texas wouldn't do a deal unless Texas A&M was part of the move.
Whether that's the case or not, we'll never know. But I have an idea of how things worked out.
Brown obviously has Texas sources and my guess is that they fed him that info to win in the court of public opinion. Texas is already looking like the hero here for saving the Big 12. Now, they can add another punch to their rivals by saying they were the ones that didn't want to lose their long-standing rivalry with A&M and they saved the relationship.
I wouldn't be surprised to see more reports like this coming from Brown making Texas look like the hero.
Kellis Robinett of the Kansas City Star quotes Kansas State’s head basketball coach, Frank Martin, on his thoughts regarding the now-smaller 10 team Big 12 conference.
“The Big 12 is a great league that just got better,” Martin said. “… Having a lot of teams doesn’t necessarily make a power league, because you’ve got a huge discrepancy between the top-tier teams and the lower-tier teams. Our league right now is pretty evenly matched 1-10.”
With every team potentially playing the other nine twice in a double round robin, he sees the new Big 12 being a much more competitive conference.
“Now the South can’t complain that in basketball they play each other twice and us once,” Martin said. “We’ve got to play each other twice now. It’s as evenly laid out as it can possibly be.”
Robinett also provides Martin’s parting shots for Nebraska and Colorado, the conference’s two defectors.
“I don’t care about them.”
After all of that ruckus, it seems that almost everything is back to normal - well, close anyway.
The Sooner Scoop has tweeted that Oklahoma has made an official announcement that they'll stay in the Big 12 along with another not-so-surprising factoid.
Wed. regents meeting has been canceled. "We intend to work very hard to make the conference as lasting and dynamic as possible." - OU
Texas A&M also made it official that they'll be staying in the Big 12, according to this tweet from SI's Andy Staples.
After all of the talk/speculation, the only changes that have happened thus far are Nebraska going to the Big Ten, Colorado to the Pac-10 and Boise State to the Mountain West Conference.
While that does still affect the Big 12, it certainly isn't as big of a blow as it originally seemed.
I know, I know - that headline sounds crazy.
According to Austin news reporter Mike Berman, however, that was exactly the case.
Pac-10 wouldn't allow for a Longhorn Network. New Big 12 deal will. That plus 20 million annually made it an easy choice for UT.
Well color me surprised.
With Texas now deciding that it will stay in the Big 12, their neighbors to the North(east) have also decided that they will stay in the conference according to Yahoo Sport's Dan Wetzel.
Texas A&M is expected to soon confirm that it too is staying in the Big 12
And all of the conference-realignment craziness can stop. Maybe.
Chuck Carlton of The Dallas Morning News is reporting that the University of Texas has declined an invite to join the Pac-10 conference and will instead remain in a 10-team Big 12 conference.
Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott confirmed that the University of Texas has declined an invitation to join the conference. The decision will preserve the Big 12 as a 10-team conference, assuming Texas A&M elects to remain. Texas A&M officials were deliberating Monday afternoon.
Big 12 member schools and TV partners met Monday to work on a lucrative television deal that would convince the University of Texas and three other schools — Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech — to abandon pursuit of Pac-10 membership.
Soon after, Texas announced that they will indeed be staying in the Big 12 according to SI.com's Andy Staples.
The University of Texas will stay in the Big 12, Texas just announced. 11 a.m. presser in Austin tomorrow.
Looks like Chip Brown was right on, again, with this one.
Higher education officials from Kansas and Kansas State sent a letter to their Texas and Oklahoma counterparts urging them to stay in the Big 12, even with ten teams, according to Scott Rothschild of the Lawrence Journal-World.
That much was expected as it appears a 10-team Big 12 might be the best case scenario for both Kansas and Kansas State, who could be without a home in the event the Big 12 collapses.
Meanwhile, a rep from the Kansas Board of Regents went on the record regarding their support for the survival of the Big 12.
“A 10 institution Big 12 Conference appears to be a win-win for all involved,” said Kansas Board of Regents Chair Jill Docking of Wichita. “Our universities, students, alumni, and state would all benefit from K-State’s and KU’s continued affiliation in a Big 12 consisting of the 10 remaining universities,” she said.
She called a 10-team Big 12 a "bright future" for the conference.
This is good news that Kansas is apparently on board with the survival of the Big 12 but ultimately they don't hold the cards so they're likely just showing support for what they hope Texas will decide to do.
While some reports say Texas A&M to the SEC is still in play, Geoff Ketchum of Orangebloods.com reports via Twitter the wheels are in motion to save the remaining Big 12 teams.
Source from one of the North schools tells me that their coaches have been told their school has been saved.
Who to believe? Orangebloods.com has been all over the conference expansion story but it would appear their sources reside in Austin, TX -- not the Big 12 North.
Are the two reports connected?
I would say this is another twist to the Pac-10/Big 12/SEC expansion story but considering all the crazy news we've received, this is about right.
According to Gabe DeArmond of PowerMizzou.com (by way of SB Nation's Rock M Nation), Texas A&M "may have told" SEC officials that they want Missouri to be included in any deal that brings them to the SEC.
Meanwhile, more and more reports are piling up that the Big 12 will be saved by Dan Beebe's new proposal that includes doubling the TV money for many of the ten remaining schools.
If accurate, this would be another bombshell in a story filled with bombshells.
For Missouri, they're sitting in a pretty good spot. If the plan goes through to save the Big 12, then they suddenly have options.
For more on this story, check out SB Nation's Rock M Nation.
[Update: Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune says he's been hearing there's "nothing of substance" regarding this report.]
So they say Texas holds the key to the Big 12 as of now. If they decide to bolt for the Pac-10, at least three other schools are expected to follow meaning the end of the Big 12.
However, Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe has reportedly put the full court press on trying to keep Texas in the Big 12 conference.
Whether it works remains to be seen but one thing's for sure: He knows Texas is the key.
Under Beebe's plan, which includes revised television contracts that would reportedly add as much as $10 million per year for most schools, Texas would gain the most financially. Per Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com, Texas would stand to make $20-25 million" per year under the new plan.
Plus -- and this is a big one -- UT could get their own TV network.
Of course all this may be for naught if Texas A&M decides to go to the SEC but there are some reports out there that indicate they're not willing to give up the tradition they currently possess with Texas.
Good just got better.
Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com -- a Rivals site -- has been all over the conference expansion story. Similarly, ESPN's Joe Schad has done a solid job covering the future of the major conferences.
And now they're going head-to-head.
According to sources, Texas will announce as early as today that UT will commit to a 10-member Big 12.
The departure of Texas, Texas Tech, OU and OSU to Pac-10 is imminent, four Big 12 sources say
Ruh-roh. Someone's going to be very wrong, and we've got a front-row seat to watch it unfold.
The prevailing thought over the last week is that Texas will announce sometime this week that they will make the jump to the Pac-10 and Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will follow effectively killing off the Big 12.
Then reports surfaced that Dan Beebe has proposed a plan to the remaining members of the Big 12 to save the conference. On Monday morning, Kansas City-based Bob Fescoe of 610 Sports reported that a deal to keep the Big 12 in place with 10 teams is "done in pencil."
Supporting that idea is the latest report from Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com.
According to sources, Texas will announce as early as today that UT will commit to a 10-member Big 12.
Wow. All those stories of the Big 12's demise? Maybe not.
As Gabe DeArmond of PowerMizzou.com said this morning, "The Big 12 staying together is gaining more and more steam."
One important note: If Texas A&M decides to bolt for the SEC, this plan would seemingly fall apart. Multiple media outlets believe if the Big 12 goes to nine teams, there's no hope.
As always, stay tuned.
Another interesting twist to the Pac-10 expansion story.
On Wednesday, the Texas House of Representatives' higher education committee will meet to discuss the future of Texas, Texas Tech and Texas A&M. This meeting will come one day after Texas and Texas Tech regents will meet to discuss -- but reportedly not vote on -- the future of their respective schools. Commissioners from all the major conferences have been invited to attend and chief execs from the three Texas schools will be present.
Per Rep. Dan Branch (R-Dallas), the chair of the committee, final decisions aren't likely to be made before Wednesday's legislative hearing.
"To make a final decision before Wednesday would not be wise," Branch told Andy Staples of SI.com.
Meanwhile, Kirk Bohls of the Austin-American Statesman reports, citing sources, that the Pac-10 has issued a Friday deadline -- presumably to all the Big 12 schools that have been linked to the Pac-10.
This meshes with another report that Texas A&M is "expected" to choose the SEC as soon as Thursday.
If these reports are accurate, then decisions will be made between Wednesday and Friday of this week.
That should silence all the rumors until then. Right.....?
Rumors picked up steam on Sunday night that Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott was scheduled to leave Austin, TX around 8:00 p.m. and arrive in Kansas City, MO a little before 10:00 p.m. The reason, according to reports, was to "expressly" to meet with Kansas AD Lew Perkins.
Per FlightAware.com, the flight was definitely scheduled.
However, something happened.
Scott never showed up, KUSports.com reports.
The guys behind the desk said that the flight had been taken off the schedule, which is common and typically means the flight never took off. There's a chance the plane could have been diverted to Lawrence or Topeka but as of now there was no word on whether that was the case.
This is the same pilot that wasn't happy with all of the media attention his flight received in Lubbock, TX earlier on Sunday so it's possible a contingency plan was developed.
In Kansas City, there is a downtown airport. It's unclear if that would be an option. There are also airport options in Lawrence and Topeka.
We're not ready to say Scott isn't meeting with Perkins but as of now it appears he won't be flying into Kansas City for the meeting.
For more on this craziness, follow SB Nation's Rock Chalk Talk.
So what does Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton think about the report that Texas A&M is "expected" to leave for the SEC potentially setting the stage for the final domino to fall in the destruction of the Big 12?
"I can't comment on that," he said. "I've heard, obviously the speculation on that."
Instead, Deaton said Missouri was focusing on the future of the Big 12 -- not the future without the Big 12 -- according to Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune.
"We're fully committed to the Big 12 and we're not going to engage in further planning or speculation about that at this time," Deaton said.
Frankly, the idea that they're not going to make contingency plans just in case the Big 12 dies is either A.) not true or B.) a really, really bad plan. How does he say the above statement and then also say, "Clearly, you'd have to be blind not to have concerns with what's happening to the Big 12."
If there are concerns, then you should be considering contingency plans, no?
Look, there are no guarantees about the future of the Big 12. MU needs to be looking to make the best move for MU before A&M heads to the SEC, Texas and three other Big 12 South schools bolt for the Pac-10 leaving them up a creek.
Deaton described his feelings on the future of the Big 12 as "reasonably optimistic."
For more on the Tigers, check out SB Nation's Rock M Nation.
And the intrigue surrounding Kansas, Missouri and the Pac-10 just got a lot more interesting. Brent Zwerneman, via the Houston Chronicle, cites "an Aggies insider" that Texas A&M is leaning towards choosing the SEC.
A&M’s board of regents likely will meet late this week — perhaps as soon as Thursday — to decide the Aggies’ sporting future, a person with knowledge of the situation said. And that future appears to be the SEC, as the powerful league to the east is prepared to lure A&M away from the clinging-to-hope Big 12, a proposed Pacific-10 affiliation and its storied league rivalry with Texas.
Per the report, a decision is expected as soon as Thursday.
The reasons for A&M to make the move are plentiful: A higher national profile, more money through TV deals and drawing big crowds from well-traveling SEC fanbases.
It's all coming together. If the Aggies make the leap to the SEC, it opens the door for Kansas to be invited to the Pac-10.
See what KU fans are thinking of the move at SB Nation's Rock Chalk Talk.
KUSports.com reports, citing sources, that Scott is coming to town "expressly" to meet with Kansas AD Lew Perkins.
This meshes with some reports that are floating around out there. If Texas A&M makes the leap to the SEC -- which some think could be happening next week -- Kansas is a prime candidate to receive an invite to the Pac-10.
Perkins recently announced his retirement but is staying on for another year to see out this conference realignment.
Multiple media outlets are gathered out at the airport as we speak.
Suddenly, Kansas and Missouri may have options.
Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin released a statement Sunday night regarding the future of the Big 12:
"As [athletic director] Bill Byrne and I have said on several occasions, our desire is for the Big 12 conference to continue. With the departure of two universities from the conference last week, the Big 12 is certainly not what it was," Loftin said in the statement. "We are aggressively exploring our options, one of which is for the Big 12 to continue in some form. We have also had extensive discussions with other conferences over the past two days. We continue to evaluate our options in a deliberate manner as we work toward a decision that is in the best long-term interests of Texas A&M."
This is good news for both MU and KU, whose best shot is for the Big 12 to continue on. A&M isn't the linchpin -- that's Texas -- but whether or not they bolt for the SEC could have a major impact on the future of KU and MU.
If Texas and three other Big 12 South schools decide to bolt for the Pac-10, then A&M would have to decide whether it wants to join the Pac-10 or the SEC.
Kansas fans probably want them to choose the SEC. If that's the case, then Kansas is considered a front-runner to receive an invite to the Pac-10.
Texas and Texas A&M regents are expected to put their future up to a vote sometime towards the end of next week.
SB Nation's Rock Chalk Talk has been all over the Pac-10 story and they continue with this nugget of information: The plane that's been used by the Pac-10 Commissioner the past couple of weeks is scheduled to leave Austin, Texas, on Sunday at 8:10 p.m. (CDT) and arrive in Kansas City at 9:48 p.m. (CDT).
The source in this is FlightAware.com, which tracks planes across the country. Rock Chalk Talk has acquired the tail number to the plane and tracked it down.
With A&M apparently ready for the jump to the SEC this could be good news for Kansas. At the same time this could mean anything. It could mean they are meeting Mizzou officials, Kansas officials or something completely different. I've got an eye on the flight plan so we'll see what if anything changes but takeoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. It's going to be a wild week.
A wild week indeed. Stay tuned.
Thanks to Rock Chalk Talk for the tip.
As you all know, Texas essentially holds the fate of the Big 12 in their hands. Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe has constructed a plan to try and save the conference with the 10 remaining teams. Part of Beebe's plan would include dumping the Big 12 Championship game.
Since it's a money-maker, logic says schools would be opposed to losing the game. However, Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com passes along this nugget:
A Big 12 AD says Mack Brown and Bob Stoops have opposed the B12 title game and rest of the league would be happy to dump it.
Interesting. Keeping Texas happy should be the number one goal in Beebe's plan and this would appear to do so.
The NCAA requires 12 teams for a championship game (thus the Big Ten getting Nebraska) so without any additions, a championship game wouldn't even be possible.
Well, maybe the Big 12 isn't quite dead yet.
According to Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com, Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe is making assurances to the Big 12 South schools reportedly being recruited by the Pac-10 that they can reach $17 million per year in the next TV deal.
The TV deal -- which pays about less than half of the Big Ten -- is a major point of contention in these realignment talk and $17 million per year, per school, is comparable to the SEC.
Brown runs down "The Beebe Plan" to save the Big 12:
That last one is key. Remember, the future of the Big 12 is essentially in Texas' hands at this point. A goal of theirs, according to Brown, has been to run their own TV network. The Beebe Plan would allow them to do so.
How is the rest of the Big 12 reacting to The Beebe Plan?
One top executive in the Big 12 told Orangebloods.com Sunday "the plan is a longshot, but at least it's a shot."
Baylor is predictably coming out and arguing for the Big 12 to stick together. Unfortunately, their arguments likely hold little weight with the rest of the conference for the same reason the Pac 10 didn't invite them to their conference: They don't bring much to the table.
Sorry, Baylor. Not trying to rain on your parade but you're not calling the shots in the Big 12. Texas is.
"The entire nation is watching to see whether there is in fact a focusing upon the vitally important questions that have been raised, including by Congressman (Chet) Edwards in his letter (Thursday). Vitally important questions have been raised now by Senators (Chuck) Grassley and (Tom) Harkin of Iowa. There are a myriad of questions that merit analysis and answering of before the major disruption to this wonderful conference."
Translation: I'll bring in Congress if I have to.
"What we do know is that there is a lot of sentiment and sympathy throughout the conference for keeping the conference intact; an enormous amount of sympathy and support for keeping the conference intact."
Translation: Obviously having the four Big 12 schools bolt for the Pac 10 is more financially rewarding for them so I'm going to try and play the sympathetic card.
"We do not want the welfare of student-athletes to somehow not be fully considered. We earnestly hope that the welfare of our student-athletes will be a very heavy factor and that this process should not simply be driven by money."
Translation: It took me 15 minutes of talking before I realized I forgot to mention: What about the children? Think about the children!
"I am not going to make a predictive judgment or speculate as to whether time is on the side of the integrity of the Big 12 Conference or not. But what I do know is John Adams famously stated, `In trial, facts are flinty things' and there are a whole array of facts that we think cry out to be closely analyzed."
Translation: Just give me some more time. Surely I can convince Texas to stay!
With the announcement that Nebraska is officially headed to the Big Ten, Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com reports four Big 12 South schools will make their jump to the Pac 10 official.
Brown reports the following schools will leave the Big 12 for the Pac-10: Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
This leaves the following Big 12 schools without a conference (assuming the Big 12 is, you know, dead): Kansas, Missouri, Kansas State, Baylor and Iowa State.
Per Brown, the announcement from Texas will come next Tuesday (June 15) after its Regents meeting.
Just last week, it was Missouri going to the Big 10 and Kansas being basically screwed. Today, the tables may be turning.
Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com is reporting that there may be hope for KU after all and it all comes down to Texas A&M.
Texas A&M, a Pac-10 target, told Texas officials Thursday they want more time to explore options, including possibly joining the SEC.
If Texas A&M takes too long to join others from B12 South in Pac-10, the Aggies could be "put on the clock" and lose invite to Utah or KU.
Right now, the SEC is more lucrative than the Pac-10. Will it be in the future? We're not sure but the "safe" route may be take the SEC offer if it's there.
And if A&M bites on the SEC, the door would remain open for Kansas.
For more on the Jayhawks, check out SB Nation's Rock Chalk Talk.
Kansas may not be dead in the water after all. Here's your (hourly) Pac 10 update:
Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com reports the following schools appear to be a lock for the Pac-10: Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.
Brown reports there is no truth to the rumors coming out of KCTV-5 that Texas and Texas A&M are petitioning the Big Ten to join the conference. He also reports Texas A&M is considering the SEC, who was reportedly issued an invite.
The big update for the Kansas City locals: If A&M heads to the SEC, it could create room for Kansas in the Pac-10. Brown reports that absent an A&M invite, Utah and Kansas would be considered for the Pac-10.
Per Brown, any announcements won't happen until next week -- specifically after Nebraska makes their announcement that they're headed to the Big Ten.
“This is an historic moment for the Conference, as the Pac-10 is poised for tremendous growth. The University of Colorado is a great fit for the Conference both academically and athletically and we are incredibly excited to welcome Colorado to the Pac-10,” said Commissioner Larry Scott.
“On behalf of The University of Colorado students, faculty, alumni and fans, we are proud to accept this invitation from the Pac-10 and join the most prestigious academic and athletic conference in the nation, " said Philip P. DiStefano, chancellor of CU-Boulder.
“The University of Colorado is a perfect match – academically and athletically – with the Pac-10,” said University of Colorado President Bruce D. Benson, “our achievements and aspirations match those of the universities in the conference and we look forward to a productive relationship.”
So, Colorado is the first domino to officially fall. It looks like Nebraska will leap to the Big Ten and the Pac 10 will snag at least five more Big 12 teams.
Missouri and Kansas might be in trouble.
This is what we expected. From The Sporting News:
Colorado is now officially the first domino to fall in college football expansion. The Buffs will formally announce today that they are leaving the Big 12 for the Pac-10, according to a source close to the situation.
Colorado doesn't want to get caught up in anymore of the Big-12 mess and would prefer to make the move now.
Stay tuned for the official announcement.
It's nearly getting to the point where the Pac-10 will officially become the Pac-16. Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com reports that we're only two years from that point.
Six schools being invited by Pac-10 - TX, A&M, Tech, OU, Ok State and Colo - expected to accept invitations, begin play in Pac-16 in 2012.
Pac-16? Just doesn't have the same ring.
Even though we knew this was a good possibility it's still absolutely stunning news:
Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com reported on SportsCenter Wednesday evening that the death of the Big-12 is upon us. With Nebraska reportedly heading to the Big Ten, the "Texas AD and President gathered coaches at 2 p.m. to tell them they did all they could to save [Big-12] but were unsuccessful."
And with that news, Brown reports the following schools will join the Pac-10: Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Colorado, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State.
This leaves out Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri (as well as Baylor and Iowa State).
This means the Big-12 is basically done. Over. Dead.
If Missouri can, they'll finagle an invite to the Big Ten since Notre Dame reportedly isn't taking an invitation.
If that's the case, Kansas and Kansas State will be without a major conference, which would put a major dent in the athletic programs at each school.
The way Pac-10 expansion talks are going, it could be Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Baylor left out in the cold. The program that would likely see the biggest fall out of all those schools is Kansas basketball.
Arguably the most storied program in NCAA basketball history, Kansas' options may be down to the Mountain West Conference.
KU in the MWC? Ouch.
What would that mean? Essentially, it would mean there would be less media coverage of the Jayhawks if they were in the MWC. Less media coverage usually means less money and recruiting power.
You think KU can bring in Josh Selby if they're in the MWC? That's highly questionable.
If the Pac-10 expansion continues the way reports have it going -- and the Big-10 completes a deal with Missouri and Nebraska -- Kansas basketball could be crushed.
In short, this isn't a good time for KU basketball.
The Pac-10 is reportedly moving on their plans to begin extending invitation to several Big-12 schools to join their conference, according to Chip Brown of OrangeBloods.com.
Pac-10 commish Larry Scott will start extending invitations formally to six Big 12 schools this week.
Texas, A&M, TTech, OU and Ok St getting invites to Pac-10. Last invite still up in air between CU and Baylor.
What does this mean for KU and MU?
For MU, it would mean they would be desperately hoping for an invitation to the Big-10. The same goes with Nebraska.
For KU, it would be...oh crap. As we previously explained, KU and K-State are likely a package deal, according to reports, so they're hamstrung a little bit on what they can do.
The Pac-10 is reportedly looking to add six teams creating two eight-team divisions. Their way of going about it includes plucking half of the Big-12 teams.
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