Realignment Rumors: On Today’s Pac-10/Big 12 Rumblings

Posted by jstevrtc on June 3rd, 2010

Andrew Murawa is the RTC correspondent for the Pac-10 and Mountain West Conferences and an occasional contributor.

That sound you just heard may have been the proverbial first domino creaking a little. Today, columnist Chip Brown reported that, in advance of the Pac-10 meetings which begin this weekend in San Francisco, the Pac-10 is set to invite six Big 12 schools to join in the creation of the first superconference of the new era of college sports. Brown reports that Colorado, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech will be the schools invited, leaving Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri and Nebraska behind. All this comes on the heels of the Big 12 meetings, wrapping up on Friday, which opened with a plea by commissioner Dan Beebe for a united front among member institutions and a commitment to the conference. Obviously, this rumor has huge ramifications for the Big 12 and the Pac-10, but the ripple effect of such a move would be felt across the college sports landscape. We’ll take a look here at the specifics of this rumor and how this rumor could affect other conferences around the country.

Why is this man smiling? Beebe has his work cut out for him. (AP/Mike Fuentes)

The Pac-16. Or Big 16. Or the Great New Superconference

According to the Brown article, which cites multiple unnamed sources, the new conference would be divided into two eight-team divisions with the six Big 12 schools joining Arizona and Arizona State in an Eastern or Inland Division and Cal, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Washington and Washington State forming the Western or Coastal Division. Then, with the aid of Fox Sports Net, already an operating partner with the Big Ten Network and television partner with both the Pac-10 and Big 12 conferences, the league would create its own cable network akin to the BTN. Perhaps coupled with new television contracts with ABC/ESPN, Fox, CBS, Turner or any other bidders, the projected revenues of the new conference (which would encompass seven of the top 20 television markets in the country) could rival those of the SEC or even the Big Ten.

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Morning Five: 06.02.10 Edition

Posted by jstevrtc on June 2nd, 2010

  1. St. Bonaventure junior point guard Malcolm Eleby has left the team following charges regarding an on-campus stabbing that occurred back on March 21.  He follows fellow guard Lewis Leonard, who left in May, also implicated in the incident.  The bad news might not be done in Olean, NY, as two other Bonnies have also been hit with charges.
  2. There’ll be no ignoring the elephant in the room at the Big 12 meetings in Kansas City.  Commissioner Dan Beebe started the proceedings yesterday with a “plea for staying together.” Given the starry eyes of the B12 member schools as they watch their Big 10 and ACC counterparts polish their sweet TV deals, this reminds us a little of that scene in Braveheart where clan leader Lochlan rides out in front of the departing Scottish army and begs them, “Stop! Do not flee! Wait until we’ve negotiated!”  We’ll see if the Big 12 can find a way to rally, rise up, and defeat those evil English…
  3. Interesting move, here.  Oklahoma president David Boren sent a letter to the NCAA last week proclaiming that the Sooner program is now in full compliance with NCAA rules and regulations.  Such a letter was a required element at the end of OU’s current probationary period which was said to run out on May 23.  But you can’t blame the OU brass for wanting to put a wrap on that before the NCAA finishes its probe into the whole Tiny Gallon/Jeffrey Hausinger issue with the $3,000 that allegedly went to help Gallon procure his high school transcript.
  4. If you’re a John Calipari-hater by reflex, Mike DeCourcy challenges you to reframe your thinking of the man and his situation.  Mike D — who never told us we were allowed to refer to him like that — isn’t just calling out college basketball fans, here.  He’s challenging all college hoop media, a group of which he’s a member.  We admire this.
  5. Way to go, TBL! Strong work.  We hope that party is still raging.
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The Big 12 And Pac-10 — An Alliance?

Posted by jstevrtc on May 12th, 2010

Andrew Murawa is the RTC correspondent for the Pac-10 and Mountain West Conferences and an occasional contributor.

Much has been made of the Big Ten’s interest in expanding beyond their current 11 teams and all the consequences that such expansion could have on other conferences throughout the country. But, given that the other BCS conferences are multi-million dollar organizations and that the continued competitiveness and even existence of these organizations may depend on their actions both before and after the Big Ten comes to its decision, it should come as no surprise that conference commissioners and athletic directors of their respective member institutions are considering their options in a game of moves and countermoves. It is probably no coincidence that the first speculative report to surface indicating that the Big Ten has made its choices and offered up its first invitations came on the heels of reports at the end of last week that the Big 12 and Pac-10 had met to discuss a possible alliance, a big innovation that makes a lot of sense for both conferences.

Big 12/Pac-10

Representatives from the two conferences met in Phoenix last Wednesday in what Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe described as “an informal meeting” to discuss a possible alliance. The two main planks of this possible alliance are rumored to be scheduling preferences in the future and, most importantly, joint television negotiations and ventures. As rumors have swirled of the Big Ten and possibly SEC poaching some Big 12 teams, and with the Pac-10 exploring its own expansion options, a “strategic alliance,” between the two conferences, as Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott put it, could be a boon to both.

The conference generals will do what they have to do in the spirit of self-preservation.

Aside from the potential benefits that an alliance between the conferences could bring, there is a lot of common ground between the two, as they are the only two BCS conferences made up entirely of member schools located west of the Mississippi and Pac-10 deputy commissioner Kevin Weiberg was Beebe’s predecessor at the Big 12. Weiberg was also instrumental in helping launch the Big Ten Network, a bit of experience that may come in handy as these two conferences discuss possibly launching a network of their own, a joint venture between the two that would allow them to show more (or potentially all) of their football and basketball games that don’t get picked up by national or regional networks.

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