Well things are stirred up again with Maryland and Rutgers leaving their conferences to join the Big10. Now the question is "Who's Next." This summer the new commissioner of the Big12 had stated that they had no current plans to expand up to 12 members; the SEC was going to wait until they got used to Missouri and A&M before extending another invite. Now rumors are that the SEC is looking at Virginia Tech, and the ACC is looking at Louisville. When WVU left the Big East to come to the Big12, Louisville made a play to be chosen instead. They even got their U.S Senators involved. Rumors are also swirling about Clemson and Florida State not being particularly happy in the ACC.
Here in Kansas, we don't have many options when it comes to athletic conferences. Both KU and KState are governed by the same board and in the past they have made it clear that the schools are a package deal. When the Big10 and the Pac10 were looking at expansion a few years back there was talk that if the Big10 invited Missouri that they might invite Kansas also. Both are members of the American Association of Universities which at the time was a prerequisite to joining the Big10. An interesting sidenote is that Nebraska was a member but was stripped of its membership a year after being invited to join the Big10. If it had happened a year earlier we would be looking at Missouri being a current member of the Big10. KState is not a member and would not have been considered. In addition, KU is known for its' Basketball program not Football. Conference Realignment is being driven by Football not by other sports. Kansas alums fear that if the Big12 falls apart, it may not get invited to join a top tier athletic conference because the conference has to take KState also. KState alums seem to fear that if the Board of Regents allows each school to go independent that it may end up in a lower prestige conference then KU, so they seem to be heavily against allowing the schools independence.
So, the hope of both schools fans is that the Big12 extends a couple invites within the next couple of weeks. These are the schools most talked about.
1. Louisville - wanted to be invited to join instead of WVU. Sounds like it may have a choice between the Big12 and the ACC. Louisville fans - If it was your choice which conference would you choose? What are the current rumors?
2. Cincinnati - a smaller but excellent football program. Would probably have to expand or replace their stadium if they join one of the more prestigious conferences. Cincinnati fans - Do you think that Cincinnati would join the Big12 if invited?
3. BYU - the Big12 would love to have it as a member but they consider their football program as prestigious as Notre Dame. So, they want to keep their football team independent. In addition, they refuse to play any sports on Sunday, which is a deal breaker. BYU will not be invited to join the Big12.
4. Memphis - on par with Cincinnati in regards to enrollment and market size however their football program is just moving to a BCS Conference for the first time next year. Considered a long shot by sports reporters in the Big12 area.
5. SMU - Has spent the past 20 years in a lower level conference since the SWC fell apart. Has rebuilt their athletic programs since they received the death penalty. Opinion is that they would like to join. What do you think?
The local thinking is that Louisville and SMU will be invited. If Louisville declines then Cincinnati will get the invite. The Big12 needs one northern and one southern school in order to balance out the conference when they go back to divisions. What rumors are going around where you live in regards to your local schools?
<message edited by CNW on Sun, 11/25/12 4:05 AM>