We didn't start this, but we'll finish it. We're Texas.
12:20pm GoPokes has a realigment FAQ.
Why is this happening?
A lot of reasons and let's start with an age old one, jealousy. Texas rules the Big 12 Conference and has from the beginning. They have the biggest following, the most money, the most influence, the most of nearly everything. DeLoss Dodds is a founding father. When he said last week, paraphrasing, we didn't start this but if we have to, we will finish it, Dodds meant it and he can do it and will.
Here are four scenarios for the Big 12's future.
Missouri and Nebraska neither confirm nor deny they have been given an ultimatum.
Tech basketball coach Pat Knight likes the idea of going to the PAC-16.
Relocation could cause havoc in scheduling.
11:30am Baylor has so much potential.
But we also should be wary of those who would portray Baylor as something less than a key player in Big 12 athletics. True, Baylor’s football team has struggled — and football remains a chief obsession in all this rampant speculation — but Baylor is a stunning knockout in so many other sports in the Big 12, including track and field, baseball and tennis. It ranks fifth in the Big 12 in the number of conference titles in the conference’s 14-year history.
Do we really need to mention that it’s a powerhouse in basketball, with both the men’s and women’s teams going deep into the NCAA tournament this season? Who can forget Coach Kim Mulkey and the Lady Bears’ winning the NCAA national championship in 2005?
Of course, it’s not really the conference that makes Baylor. It’s the unique confection of academics and athletics, bound together by discipline, an inclination to hard work and, yes, faith. We need not face the future with fear or anxiety but excitement and hope.
10:50am Is Texas' best option staying in the Big 12?
Texas' DeLoss Dodds and Texas A&M's Bill Byrne, both athletic directors, last week repeated their wishes to keep the Big 12 together, and I believe them. With rising revenues and consistent success on the field, the Longhorns don't need to leave. But like Byrne said, he and his colleagues are mercenary, and they're not going to stand by and allow Nebraska and Missouri to leave them scrambling.
The Texas schools' safest scenario is keeping the current Big 12 together, but a joint venture with the Pac-10 would certainly have a much higher probability of success than a patched-together Big 12 without the Huskers and Tigers. If Nebraska and Missouri want to leave, they're going to have to take a leap of faith in the Big Ten to do it. Otherwise, their best backup plan might end up being relegation to Conference USA.
And the Big 12 has the Pac-10 to thank.
PAC-10 Commish Larry Scott has a big gun.
“Larry Scott wants to fire the first bullet,” said a Big 12 athletic official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk publicly about the topic. “The pressure is being put on Nebraska and Missouri. Over the next two weeks, we’re going to know where we stand.”
8:55am Baylor update from the Dallas Morning News.
The urgency is underscored in e-mails from prominent Austin lobbyist and Baylor regent Buddy Jones to Baylor alumni and supporters in the Texas Legislature. The e-mails were obtained by The Dallas Morning News. In one from Sunday, Jones worries about the Pac-10 inviting Colorado instead of Baylor.
"My guess is that Colorado hasn't taken enough broadside hits to sink their boat yet and they may well be on the invite list," Jones said. "I hope I'm wrong. But there's still time left to change the scoreboard. We aren't through."
Jones also hoped for support from Texas, A&M and Tech. In one e-mail, he said Texas was solidly in Baylor's corner but wondered about A&M's commitment.
Another e-mail from Jones urged the alums in the Legislature to call key officials at Texas, A&M and Tech. It provided talking points about why those schools should throw their weight behind Baylor instead of Colorado.
9:20pm It is all Dan Beebe's fault.
Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe all but killed his own conference on April 30, 2008.
That’s when he decided to team up with the Big Ten and Pac-10 to reject a four-team playoff being pushed by the SEC and ACC. If the Big 12 (and/or the Big East) had supported it, the so-called “Plus One” model likely would’ve happened.
Even that modest playoff would have meant hundreds of millions of additional revenue for college athletics. It would have then allowed for easy expansion for an even more lucrative 16-team postseason. That would have solved all the monetary concerns that have left the Big 12 on the verge of collapse at the hands of its one-time allies, the Big Ten and Pac-10.
According to Dan Wetzel's Twitter feed, Kansas and K-State have to stay together.
Kansas and Kansas State must stay together according to state law. Just one more bizarre twist in the ridiculousness of expansion
8:45pm The Big Ten isn't talking.
Delaney stressed that expansion rests with the individual universities and not with the conferences. He declined to comment on reports that the Big 12’s presidents gave Nebraska and Missouri a deadline to state their intentions to remain in or leave the conference.
Delaney also declined to expand on comments Ohio State President Gordon Gee made in an April 20 e-mail to the commissioner regarding Texas and its “Tech” problem, referring to rival Texas Tech. Gee was not available to comment.
8:35pm It is the Cuban Missile Crisis all over again.
8:20pm So this still hinges on the Cornhuskers? Unbelievable.
A new twist in the Big 12 Conference saga could determine whether the Pacific 10 will aggressively pursue expanding to 16 teams.
The key component in the puzzle appears to be Nebraska, as reports surfaced that the Cornhuskers have been given a deadline for deciding whether the school wants to remain in the Big 12.
The Dallas Morning News reported that a decision may be expected in the next couple of weeks. If Nebraska decides to remain in the Big 12, it would appear the conference could stay together in some form.
7:55pm PAC-10 deadline is the end of the year.
Scott wouldn't give any timeframe for expansion talks -- other than to reiterate that the deadline is the end of this year -- or discuss specific schools. However, it sounds as if he will aggressively court some of the biggest names in college sports, including Texas. The Big 12 is in danger of collapsing and could provide the Pac-10 with six new teams or more.
Because the Pac-10 has to work out individual agreements with each of the schools involved and has to overcome major logistical issues, including complex travel scenarios, it's hard to imagine anything getting done in a matter of days. Scott said it's possible the expansion announcement could come as early as July 27, the first day of the Pac-10 football media days in New York. The new schools wouldn't join the Pac-10 until the 2012-2013 school year, Scott said.
The Pac-10 begins negotiating its new TV agreement at the end of this year and Scott said he needs to know the makeup of his conference before he sits down with TV executives. There are reports that expansion could be worth as much as $20 million per school. Scott hired the Creative Artists Agency to help negotiate the conference's next media deal.
7:28pm If we join the PAC-10, we might get to play in Asia.
While first-year commissioner Larry Scott has made headlines of late for his role in possible Pac-10 expansion, he also said Sunday that he hopes to market the conference both nationally and internationally.
Specifically, he mentioned the idea of playing games in Asia.
“I think we’re going to be the first collegiate conference to really have an international marketing plan, which I do envision in the future will include broadcasts of our contests and games internationally as well as competitions,” Scott said. “You’ll see our student-athletes playing in an organized way in Asia.”
6:41pm Confirmation, people.
“You’ve read about an awful lot of ideas,” Scott said at the conclusion of Pac-10 meetings in San Francisco on Sunday. “I’m not sure I’ve read every single one, but we probably have contemplated or are contemplating almost everything you’ve read about.”
5:35pm Big Ten will push up the time line.
5:05pm PAC 10 here we come.
Is it a money grab? You bet it is. Is there anything wrong with it? Absolutely not. I hope Baylor gets invited to the Pac-10, but Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech appear to be out the door regardless. If Nebraska turns down the Big Ten, the Big 12 has a slim chance of surviving. Otherwise, turn out the lights.
This is a very, very good thing for college sports. That is, if you believe the mission of college sports is to give as many men and women as possible a chance to play.
That doesn't happen if football programs aren't generating millions on top of millions. This consolidation offers the six Big 12 schools the opportunity to dramatically increase their TV dollars.
4:30pm Texas State Sen. Kip Averitt (R-Waco) may be the ring leader behind the Baylor effort.
Baylor continues to make a major push to be part of any Pac-10 expansion plan with its fellow South members (Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State). In a Twitter post, Pete Thamel of the New York Times reported that Baylor "appears to have bumped" Colorado in the expansion sweepstakes.
"We'd love to see the Big 12 stay the way it is," Texas State Sen. Kip Averitt (R-Waco) told our Austin statehouse bureau today. "But if it doesn't, we want to be where the Texas schools are."
Averitt said he couldn't confirm an effort is under way to sway Pac 10 officials, if they adopt half of the Big 12, to invite the Bears.
"I'm not privy to the negotiations that are going on directly," he said. "I just know that if we're kind of walking in the quicksand area, we want to stay on dry land."
4:25pm PAC-10 Comm. gets authority to pursue expansion.
The Pac-10 board has given commissioner Larry Scott the authority to pursue any possible expansion for the conference.
Scott spoke following the conclusion of the conference meetings in San Francisco on Sunday. Earlier in the day, he addressed the chancellors and presidents about possible expansion and was given authority to move ahead without having to go back to the board for approval.
3:13pm Osbourne and Tressel met, according to emails.
Nebraska is definitely on the Big Ten's radar for potential expansion, league sources have told ESPN.com, and the feeling apparently is mutual.
Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne met with Ohio State head football coach Jim Tressel on April 19, according to an e-mail Osborne sent to Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman on April 20. ESPN.com colleague Mark Schlabach obtained the e-mail through a records request to Nebraska.
3:00pm Kent Hance is nervous about Tech's future.
2:51pm According to Dennis Dodd, Nebraska has received the ultimatum.
2:41pm Chip Brown posted this link on Twitter. Possibly an updated article.
1:05pm ESPN is reporting that there is a block of 15 legislators lobbying for Baylor's inclusion in the PAC 10 expansion talks.
The source said that there is a block of 15 legislators working to make sure that Baylor, not Colorado, is invited to join the Pac-10. The source pointed to the political and economic importance of keeping the Big 12's Texas schools together as well as Colorado's recent athletic struggles and lack of sports such as baseball, softball and men's tennis.
12:24pm PAC 10 commish reportedly recommending expansion and their own network.
Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott will recommend to his league's school presidents and chancellors that the conference add six Big 12 teams, Chip Brown of OrangeBloods.com reports via Twitter.
Scott will make the recommendation Sunday, according to Brown, who last week broke the news that the conference was prepared to invite Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado. The Pac-10 meetings conclude Sunday in San Francisco.
Scott will also recommend that the expanded Pac-10 start its own television network, which could facilitate $20 million annual payments to each school in the conference.
High noon. The PAC 10 Commish has laid out the scenarios.
Scott is scheduled to discuss the expansion talks with the media on Sunday at noon, after the conclusion of the meetings. It's unlikely any decisions will be made so soon, but things clearly are in the works.
"I don't see any way our conference will be diminished in terms of competitive excellence," Guerrero said. "It can only be enhanced if things progress to the point where we do make decisions, but at this point in time there's nothing imminent."
Nebraska and Missouri have a deadline.
The Big 12 has drawn a line in the sand for at least two member schools."Nebraska has until 5 p.m. on Friday to tell us what they're going to do," one school official said, according to the American-Statesman. "The same deal for Missouri. They have to tell us they're not going to the Big Ten."
If they don't meet the deadline, at least six Big 12 schools, including Texas and Oklahoma, likely would bolt for the Pac-10, creating potential Armageddon in college sports.
Will Nebraska get double secret probation if they don't make a decision?
But what nobody is saying is what those schools` punishment will be if they don`t meet the deadline. What happens if Nebraska`s Tom Osborne says nothing? Does he get double-secret probation?
Nebraska is said to be the key to Texas` decision to stay or go. UT athletic director DeLoss Dodds apparently believes the Big 12 can survive without Missouri, but not without the Huskers.
Dodds, by the way, isn`t playing coy about what he thinks his school`s role in the whole situation will be. He`s quoted in a couple of publications as saying, "We did not start this. If we need to finish this, we`ll finish this. We`ll be a player in whatever happens."
Translation: "If we have to leave, we`ll take our money with us and make another conference very, very rich."
Tom Osbourne is not aware of any looming deadline.
Nebraska Athletic Director Tom Osborne told the Lincoln Journal-Star Saturday night he was not aware of any deadlines, although they might have been created after he left the Big 12 meetings in Kansas City.
The Big 12 Commish seems to have his head in the sand.
After meeting with the league’s Board of Directors on Friday, Beebe expressed confidence the Big 12 would stay in business. But what about other conferences raiding his?
“I don’t think that’s the issue,” he said.
If not, what is? The league’s unequal revenue sharing system is not the divisive issue that some have assumed. In fact, the last time the topic was vetted intensely, during the 2007 meetings, Beebe said board members never motioned to vote on the matter. According to IRS figures collected by the Omaha World-Herald for the 2006-07 fiscal year, Texas received the biggest slice of league revenue at $10.2 million, while Baylor had the smallest at $7.1 million. Under an equal-sharing policy, Texas’ cut would have dropped by $1.6 million, while Baylor’s would have increased by $1.48 million — a fairly negligible difference in the world of major college sports.