Bill Self held a press conference Thursday evening regarding the recent Big 12 expansion talks. Self was his usual optimistic self making Kansas fans feel better about their situation.
Unfortunately, Self's optimism is blinding and not based on a lot of facts (which admittedly are few and far between at this point).
“From my vantage point, there’s not an option,” he said of landing in a big-time conference. “There are absolutely no other options. You’ve got to keep your doors open, but this university has too much to sell to rush into doing something just to find a home, because in our opinion, the aftershock or the trickle-down hasn’t even begun to occur.”
I agree that KU's basketball program should be worth a lot. Frankly, it might be the best thing Kansas City as a whole has going for it. Unfortunately, basketball isn't the "driving buggy" here, as Self would say. It's football. And Kansas' football program does not have much of a reputation nationally. It does not have "much to sell".
So, really, there's not much of a reason to be so optimistic. It's past that point. I would argue it's time to start being real (Real World!).
“We are at the first level of it,” Self said. “We don’t know what’s going to happen on the second level, third level, fourth level, fifth level. What’s the Big Ten going to go to? Are they going to 12? Are they going to 16? Certain leagues may not be as open to expansion, unless maybe another league does something to kind of force their hand.”
Sounds like it's coming down to the Big East and the Pac 10. Kansas officials reportedly met with the Big East in Lawrence while the door's still open with the Pac 10.
Maybe Self is blindingly optimistic because he understands that if KU does not end up in a BCS league that his recruiting power would be significantly hampered. This is a major point in his career.