Big 12 Weekly Five: 05.04.12 EditionPosted by dnspewak on May 4th, 2012
- Finally, the Big 12 has tabbed its new leader. The conference announced that Bob Bowlsby of Stanford University will become the new Big 12 commissioner, formally replacing former commish Dan Beebe and interim commissioner Chuck Neinas. Bowlsby, who oversaw rousing football success as the athletic director at Stanford, joins the league at a critical juncture. He’ll now become the face of the new-look Big 12, which has replaced Missouri and Texas A&M with West Virginia and TCU. And hey, he’ll make a million dollars a year, too. Not a bad deal for the 60-year-old, who has not yet commented on the move to the media.
- Speaking of change in the Big 12, coaches in the league told ESPN’s Andy Katz that they’re not concerned with the stability of the conference. When Missouri left, media and fans painted a picture of schools escaping a dying league. As Rick Barnes puts it, though, he’s “very comfortable” with the state of the Big 12. But here’s the flip side to that: Of course Barnes will be comfortable in Austin, Texas, the epicenter of the league and the real moneymaker school with the Longhorn Network. Katz’s article also touches on the interesting case of West Virginia, situated 870 miles from the closest Big 12 school (Iowa State), pointing out that this is the 21st century, complete with chartered planes and easy traveling. At this point, players should be used to long flights.
- The talk of college basketball on Thursday focused on the end of the Indiana/Kentucky non-conference series, but there’s a new series brewing with Kansas State. The Wildcats are very close to a non-conference deal with Gonzaga, according to new head coach Bruce Weber. It’s refreshing to hear Weber speak so candidly about his team’s scheduling, since many coaches are tight-lipped and guarded with these sorts of things. This series is particularly interesting because the two potential games would be played at quasi-neutral sites in Seattle and Kansas City.
- Kansas‘s schedule is starting to take shape as well, and Bill Self has put together another strong non-conference slate. The Jayhawks will play in the CBE Classic in Kansas City with Saint Louis, Texas A&M and Washington State, and they’ll also play Michigan State, Temple and Ohio State. The word is that Self is looking for one more marquee home-and-home to schedule for the next few years with a name opponent. It could be anyone, but as this writer points out, we know we can at least eliminate one team (rhymes with Blissouri).
- Trent Johnson‘s new staff at TCU is almost complete after hiring Donny Guerinoni and Brent Scott as assistants on Wednesday. He still has one spot to fill, but these two guys are familiar faces for Johnson. Really familiar, in fact. Guerinoni and Scott both played for Johnson at Nevada and Rice, respectively, and they both also served on his staff at LSU. That’s a nice way to get comfortable while building a program in a new league.