Posted by dnspewak on October 26th, 2011
- Still nothing official on the realignment front… but the rumors are heating up with respect to West Virginia. The New York Times reported Tuesday that a WVU official said the school has gained acceptance to the Big 12. The Mountaineers, of course, would replace Missouri, who according to numerous sources were expected to withdraw from the league earlier this week. That never happened — not officially, at least — but the next few weeks could be a real firestorm. In fact, it’s arguable that these are some of the most important times in college sports history, as the entire landscape could change by Thanksgiving. That’s why we’ll make sure to bring you the latest analysis when this information moves from secret sources and rumors to official statements and press releases.
- Sticking with realignment, we’ve already told you of Notre Dame’s interest in the Big 12. It hasn’t exactly been a secret — a document mentioned ND as a candidate last month. But the talk of the Irish is getting louder and louder, and it’s worth mentioning that Orangebloods.com has reported that the two sides are “actively” discussing an inclusion of Notre Dame’s non-revenue sports in the conference. According to the site, the school won’t make a final decision until after football season ends.
- One interesting aspect of a possible Missouri departure is what to do with the Big 12 Tournament. It’s slated for Kansas City through 2014, but can you really hold a basketball tournament in a state where no school participates? According to the Kansas City Star, the answer may be “yes” to that question. A Sprint Center official said there is no reason to believe the league would pull the tournament from KC if the Tiger program were to leave for the SEC. With Kansas State and Kansas so close to Kansas City, it would still be a prime target as a central Big 12 location. Still, it might be a bit odd for the city to host a major tournament without a single conference member located in that state.
- Also, if West Virginia were to join the Big 12, it would obviously play Kansas State each year. And that means a regular trip back to Manhattan for WVU coach Bob Huggins, who you’ll recall left KSU after just one season as head coach there. In the end, everything worked out for KSU: Michael Beasley and Bill Walker stayed despite Huggins’ departure, Martin continued the school’s success after they bolted for the NBA, and the program appears to be in fine shape right now. Still, it seemed like the end of the world at the time, and needless to say, Wildcat fans were devastated by his departure. Looks like they may get a chance to air their grievances soon, though.
- Although we missed this piece of info on Monday, it’s still worth reporting: Braeden Anderson will now attend Fresno State after failing to qualify at Kansas. The 6’9″ forward who was rated as a top-50 recruit could have gone to junior college and joined the Jayhawks as a junior. Anderson told ESPN.com, though, that he did not want to take that route. That means Bill Self will need to find another power forward on the recruiting trail, and with his track record finding talented big men, that probably won’t be much of an issue.