“The [conference realignment] speculation is rampant — ironic, since [Jim] Delany said the reason the Big Ten went secret this time after going very public with its search for a 12th member two years ago was the turmoil caused by prolonged rumor-mongering.”
Lee Barfknecht, columnist, Omaha World Herald
GH: Prolonged rumor mongering. Sounds a lot like a guy we all know with the initials KK. Read on.
“ ’The Big Ten changed its mind,’ Kietzman told The Pitch before he went on the air on Thursday [in June 2010]. The host said Missouri leaders were ‘absolutely mortified’ not to receive a formal offer to join the Big Ten. Kietzman is standing by his story. He notes that circumstances changed.”
David Martin, writer, confirming with Kietzman back in June of 2011 that he reported the Big 10 had invited MU to join the conference, The Pitch June 2010
GH: Circumstances changed. What a great line for all aspiring journalist to remember when called in to explain how they got the story so wrong. Circumstances changed. But what about the status of the facts, Kev?
“What does Missouri think now that the Big 10 has [expanded to add Maryland and Rutgers]? There is no doubt the invitation would have come [had MU waited]. That opens up an entirely different conversation of should Missouri have stayed in the Big 12. I’m afraid Missouri got a little excited on this thing and jumped the gun on this conference realignment.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: What beautiful irony – KK is saying Missouri got a little excited and jumped the gun about conference realignment? Kietz seems intent on not allowing maybe his most embarrassing on-air blunder to rest. He broke the story in 2010 of Missouri being invited to join the Big 10 – an invitation that just never happened. Read on.
“I’m still friendly with my ex-wife. I’ll bet you’re still friendly with yours.”
Mizzou Caller, to Kevin Kietzman’s show, while discussing why he thinks Kansas and Missouri should have continued scheduling games with their sports teams, 810 AM
GH: Stunningly, this caller disappeared from the phone line and his call with KK abruptly ended. I am sure circumstances changed.
“That’s no comfort to league commissioners and member schools who hear that ACC school North Carolina [where Delany played basketball] and the Big 12′s Kansas are high on the list of possible targets. Is this corner barstool chatter? Doesn’t sound like it. Four BCS conference coaches and administrators I talked to Tuesday said they think the Big Ten is actively hunting for members 15 and 16, and mentioned the Tar Heels and Jayhawks.”
Lee Barfknecht, columnist, Omaha World Herald
GH: Whoa – this sounds crazy! How wild would it be to see UNC and Kansas bring their big-time basketball programs to the Big 10 – and leave their once-healthy-looking conferences behind? Barfknecht says he confirmed this rumor with four BCS coaches. If that many people are talking about it – why isn’t the Kansas City media on this rumor?
“It’s a difficult business. It’s not always successful. You have to be good and lucky and hardworking at it. People treat it as if there’s a no-risk assessment. There’s always a risk. This initiative has risk. If it was so easy why didn’t it happen a long time ago?”
Jim Delaney, Big 10 Commissioner, on the Big 10 inviting Maryland and Rutgers to join the now 14-school conference and the money the conference schools expect to garner through expansion, SI.com
GH: The two most proactive conferences in these realignment wars appear to be the Pac 12 and the Big 10. We thought it was over but we now know it was simply halftime. Will the Big 12 play the role of the vulture or the role of road kill? Or possum? Read on.
“The Big 12 is in a pretty good place right now, and aside from being something I never thought I’d be typing, it gives them a relative position of strength. I just haven’t found anyone who convinces me that bigger is better, that more teams signify strength, that quantity is more important than quality. … as long as the conference has no more defections, it is FINALLY in a place where it can be selective about who it adds.”
Sam Mellinger, kansascity.com
GH: The Big 12 is already feeling the hurt from not having a Big 12 Conference Championship Game in its first year as a ten-team conference. K-State has no title game to vault back into BCS title contention. Only one state [Texas] is adding population at a similar rate as the states that make up the SEC and Pac 12. The Big 12 is in great shape today – but these conference moves are not meant for today but rather the next 30 years. The Big 10 has a deteriorating population base in its core Midwestern states. It is expanding to add television sets and alumni. The Big 12 needs to act now or die later.
“One year Auburn is winning the national championship. The next year they haven’t won a game [in their league]. In my view, I would be shocked if both Maryland and Rutgers aren’t more competitive a decade from now, if they haven’t moved up one standard deviation. They’re going to get better.”
Jim Delaney, Big 10 Commissioner, on why the Big 10 would choose to add two schools that do not have a long history of success in football, SI.com
GH: Delaney is a bit of a storyteller. If Rutgers and Maryland start winning more games in the Big 10 than they did in the Big East and ACC, then the Big 10 might need more help than even Notre Dame can provide.
“I don’t think this really affects the Big 12. I think the Big 12 is in perfect position now to do whatever it is they want to do.”
Kevin Kietzman, on the 810 AM
GH: Every BSC school that chooses to change conferences affects every other BCS conference. To think otherwise is naïve and dangerous.
“You have to think that if the Big 12 wants to expand, now is the time to pounce. I don’t think the Big 12 can sit back and continue to say ten is a good number. If they continue to sit at ten, they are going to be an inferior league. Texas is going to go and Oklahoma is going to go. They are going to get poached.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: The ACC upped its exit-fee penalty from $10 million to $50 million last summer. Maryland still bounced to the Big 10. There are no ties that bind in college conferences. Every school of worth is a target. The Big 12 has only two. That is where the problem lies for those schools in the Big 12 not named Texas and Oklahoma.
“I think the Big 12 is between a rock and a hard place – because you just don’t have the TV markets in the Big 12. You just don’t. In my opinion, they need to add at least two more schools.”
Robert Ford, 610 AM
GH: The Big 12 needed to grab Florida State when it looked like that was an option – if it ever was. That would have been a huge get for the plain states. Their options now are limited – and the longer they wait to grow, the more those options narrow.
“I was talking to a Big 12 official right when this [Big 10 expansion] was announced and he said, ‘This now opens it up for Louisville and Florida State to move into the Big 12. So there’s my prediction.”
Gary Barnett, 810 AM
GH: Would Kansas really leave K-State behind? I don’t think KU leaves the Big 12 if they can get Florida State to join. If the Big 12 stays at 10 teams though, I think it’s every man, woman and TV set for themselves.
“The whole thing is just so dumb to me.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman – and he is far from alone in his thinking – views this realignment merely from his place and time. Our children and their children will think nothing of these changes. It is different, I will agree. But change is exciting. The college experience should include an exposure to cultural differences. Staying in your own backyard rarely gives you access to the best recipes. Enjoy the feast.
GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24