Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pac-12 not expanding, BYU joining the Big 12 and more conference realignment

Posted By on Wed, Sep 21, 2011 at 8:20 AM

Coming to the Big 12?
  • Coming to the Big 12?
The last 24 hours have been eventful to say the least when it comes to the future of the Big 12 and conference realignment. Let's start with the bombshell: The Pac-12 isn't expanding.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott issued a statement last night saying there are no plans for expansion, the West Coast conference's presidents and chancellors want to remain a 12-team conference because they believe "it is in the best interests of our member institutions, student-athletes and fans."

"While we have great respect for all of the institutions that have contacted us, and certain expansion proposals were financially attractive, we have a strong conference structure and culture of equality that we are committed to preserve," Scott wrote. "With new landmark TV agreements and plans to launch our innovative television networks, we are going to focus solely on these great assets, our strong heritage and the bright future in front of us."

This came after Orangebloods.com reported that Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton was leading a serious effort to save the Big 12, and The Oklahoman reported that the University of Oklahoma had a list of demands to remain in the conference. Among those demands, the removal of Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe from power (the Sooners believe, and who could blame them, that Beebe answers solely to Texas). That apparently won't be a problem, according to Orangebloods.com, which reported that the nine-member conference has already notified Beebe that they "want a change in leadership."

The Sooners are also reportedly seeking reforms with the University of Texas' Longhorn Network (possibly no conference games on the network and no showing of high school sports).

ESPN, citing an AP report, is reporting that Texas and Oklahoma are scheduled to meet in the next few days to sort out the future, including an agreement to stay in the Big 12 for at least the next five years. ESPN also reported that the exodus to the Pac-12 was thwarted by Texas' unwillingness to share revenue equally.

Meanwhile, The Kansas City Star was reporting, according to a Mizzou booster, that the SEC had made an informal offer for Missouri to join that league. This report came on the heels of the Birmingham News reporting that the SEC and Missouri had "informally agreed that, barring new developments, the school will join the league and that Auburn University will move to the SEC East Division."

However, the SEC and Missouri both denied the reports.

MU's board of curators are scheduled to meet Thursday.

If the Big 12 does survive, BYU's Rivals site, Deep Shades of Blue, is reporting that the Cougars will become the 10th full member of the league. The report says BYU was slated to become the 10th member earlier this year, but the latest turmoil put those plans on hold. However, BYU's athletic director reportedly has the go-ahead to move BYU's sports to the Big 12. The moved could come within days, the report says.

However, Orangebloods.com's Chip Brown wrote on Twitter that a source is telling him that "its 'doubtful' BYU would want to join volatile B12 right now."

The only thing certain about the Big 12's future is that Texas A&M won't be in it. But if the Big 12 is saved again — and Texas and Oklahoma agree to stay for five years — then it's the best thing imaginable for the Forgotten Five (Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Iowa State and Baylor). This is all assuming that the conference adds measures for stability, like a huge buyout clause. This has to happen.

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