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September 28, 2016

I swear I was going to do a basketball post first, but the Big 12 stuff has piled up and makes me laugh so much more.

For those keeping track at home, the Big 12 spent the last few years publicly saying that they have no interest at all in expanding beyond their current ten teams. The only exception being Oklahoma President Dave Boren’s quarterly outbursts about needing two more teams or complaining about how they should have taken Louisville when they had the chance.

Over the summer, just as everyone was really and truly ready to believe them this time, they publicly announced they were taking applications for two, possibly four new members.


July 2, 2012

One Year to Moving Day

Filed under: Big XII,Conference,Expansiopocolypse — Chas @ 11:16 am

Over the weekend, it was conference moving day. Teams officially switched conferences.

Temple is halfway there. In for Big East football in 2012. Everything else in 2013. VCU is in the A-10. Mizzou and Texas A&M to the SEC. And of course, TCU and WVU to the Big 12. Hoopies are happy to be in the Big 12. Especially instead of the ACC. They’re happy, dammit!

That’s a reminder that in one year, it will be another big moving day. Sure Boise State waited until the very last minute to formally tell the Mountain West that they would be splitting time in the Big West and Big East next year. You have the assorted C-USA teams moving from their place on Oriental Avenue to slightly more expensive property on St. Charles Place.

And of course, Pitt and Syracuse will make their move to the ACC.

Whether there will be any other new expansiopocolypse moves by this time next year remains to be seen. Lately, the only surprise is if there isn’t a move made.


June 28, 2012

God bless, open records laws and states with decent FOIA-esque laws.

I reviewed the ND moving its non-football sports to the Big 12  fan fiction at the beginning of the week. Now we have the source for the “facts” in the story.

In a January memo to the Big 12 expansion committee, interim commissioner Chuck Neinas said Notre Dame is the only school the Big 12 could add that would “enhance the Big 12 value for television.”

The memo, obtained by The Oklahoman through an Open Records request, was sent to the committee as an agenda for a late January teleconference.

The expansion committee is made up of Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis, Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione, Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds and Kansas State president Kirk Shulz.

Reading through the article, you can see where the Orangebloods story got each nugget.


June 25, 2012

Ah, what is expansiopocolypse without the idea of Notre Dame making a move?

Last week, my favorite Big 12-based “throw-shit-against-the-wall” expansiopocolypse outlet, Chip Brown of’s Orangebloods had his latest. It was the big card: Notre Dame.

Two sources in the Big 12 said Wednesday the possibility of Notre Dame moving its Olympic sports out of the Big East and into the Big 12 is becoming more and more likely.

Speculation is growing among those sources that an announcement could come from South Bend before the end of the summer.

As part of such a move, Notre Dame, which has a contract with NBC to televise its home football games through the 2015 season, would agree to play up to six football games against Big 12 competition (but most likely three or so to start with), sources tell

Notre Dame would maintain its independence in football … for now.

As far as speculative fiction goes, it was something of a doozy.  Reading the piece as a whole you can see it a couple ways.


June 6, 2012

Hey, I gave you nearly a week without an expansiopocolypse post.

Those who believe that FSU and Clemson/Miami/Georgia Tech/[random other team] are definitely going to the Big 12 aren’t phased by the sudden quiet of expansiopocolypse. This is merely the calm before all hell breaks loose by the end of July/beginning of August when the moves happen. That everyone is getting their ducks in a row. Things are being put in place. No one wants a lawsuit from the ACC against the Big 12 for tortious interference. That the other reason for the wait is finalizing the details of the TV deals is still ongoing.

Those don’t believe it is happening are pointing to the quiet as evidence that the whole thing was overblown. A creation of ignorance, simmering resentments and loud-mouthed boosters and trustees. That the abrupt silence after the Big 12 meetings have been dissected show that everyone is repositioning and rethinking things.

I have no idea. My working theory is that exapnsiopocolypse and the ACC/Big 12 isn’t going away, but it is a long-game. Not to be resolved this summer or even next. I, personally, believe the Big 12 is going to wait a year or two before doing anything. I actually believe part of what the Big 12 is saying, at least as far as catching their breath, simply because it makes the most sense. Their conference has radically changed in the last couple of years. The voting blocks, personalities, interests — and a new commissioner all need to see where things stand. That all suggests needing at least a year to work things out with one another. I also think there is a strong enough infatuation in the conference (beyond simply Texas) over the possibilities of Notre Dame that they will wait and see how that goes, especially with the coming playoffs.


June 1, 2012

I may do some more on other aspects of the Big 12 meetings, TV deals and such, but I just want to get this portion out there.

The Big 12 has continued to claim that they have no interest in expanding. It has also been noted that the SEC claimed they had no interest in any other teams after taking Texas A&M as the 13th member. Then 3 weeks later Mizzou became the very obvious 14th team they were going to add. So, just because they say it, doesn’t mean it will stay that way beyond the moment they make the claim.

I wonder, though, if the Big 12’s denial of any planned expansion to 12 is driven much the same way that the Big 10 did not expand to 12 teams for 20-some years after taking Penn State as the 11th member: Waiting for Notre Dame.

We mock. We laugh at the thought. It seems like such a bad fit — academically, geography, reputation, and so on. It smacks of more Texas-driven arrogance that they believe they could land Notre Dame. It also smacks of a Texas long-term plan of at least luring ND to park all but football in the Big 12, to eventually become a full member. Or to be the wedge to let Texas go independent in football as well.


May 31, 2012

With Big 12 and SEC meetings this week, expansiopocolypse talk picked up in the lead-in to the meetings. The meetings themselves were not supposed to result in any changes, but the chance for the media to talk to coaches and ADs would keep the story going.

That story has been a dud. The SEC has nothing to say on the matter. They just expanded to 14, so there really was no way that they were going to be doing anymore expansion. The Big 12, ah, now that should be where the story was.

Or not so much. Texas AD DeLoss Dodds said last week that he felt that there was no need for any expansion right now (unless Notre Dame came calling). Outgoing temp Big 12 Commissioner Chuck Neinas also suggested strongly that the Big 12 would be best served to stay settled and stabilized for a while after all the upheaval to the conference over the last couple years. Even the newbies at TCU want to wait. Heck,the incoming Big 12 Commissioner has been on record for over 2 weeks as saying he is no hurry to expand.

Now that the meetings are underway, any cracks?


May 21, 2012

I’ll get to more on the increasingly insane latest bit of expansiopocolypse and what it means for Pitt in a bit. This is just a short thing that’s been gnawing at me.

One of my dad’s favorite cliches that he reaches for when trying to decide on a big economic thing  — buying a new car, moving, changing jobs, replacing large appliances, etc. — is: “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.” My father, as you can imagine, is very financially conservative.

That phrase, though, keeps echoing in my head as expansiopocolypse continues. Albeit in a flipped on its head to be: “Better the devil you don’t, than the devil you know.” Everyone is completely willing willing to risk the devil they don’t know for the money. And because they feel that they know the devil they know just that well.

Beyond the money there is no football school in the Big East that wouldn’t run screaming to another conference, because they know that Providence-based leadership just that well by now. They know how incompetent, late to react, and how little they actually care about football — and thus the conference doesn’t provide any help, support or growth for the football schools. If the Big East was able to get $20 million/year for football schools I would still want Pitt out of that conference.


May 11, 2012

As I stated yesterday, the new ACC contract will not stop those who want to believe they can raid the ACC (read: Big 12). Specifically for Florida State. This piece details the budget problems for FSU. Interesting that the supposedly loyal and rabid fans of FSU are struggling to make a commitment to pay for home games this year.

On the revenue side there is optimism that an aggressive marketing campaign will help boost football ticket sales and booster contributions. While that sounds good on the surface, with five home games against Savannah State, Murray State, Wake Forest, Duke and Boston College it will be a minor miracle if FSU is able to match last year’s ticket sales. And it’s unlikely that the home schedule will be much better in 2013.

Complaints about being able to get people to come to games when it is a pathetic home schedule? Pitt will definitely fit right into the ACC.

The piece sets a lot of issues for FSU and their budget. Especially the capital improvements needed to their stadium and arena. Interestingly, the piece does not seem to take the idea of shifting conferences seriously. Instead it believes that FSU will more likely try to use the possible flirtations to shift to unbalanced revenue sharing in the ACC media contract.

While Pitt is not yet in the ACC, and I can’t claim to have a good sense of the real politics of the conference, my impulse is that this will not work for FSU. That the conference won’t buy the threat. They will bitch and moan and then deal with it.



November 2, 2011

The one odd thing about WVU filing a lawsuit so quickly (and filled with mistakes and typos) is why? Why go so drastically to the lawsuit? Not even an attempt to negotiate. This is some serious bridge burning. Not even the attempt to negotiate, make a bigger monetary offer. Nothing. It couldn’t purely be, because the Big East made previous statements about holding Pitt and Syracuse to 27 months.

If anything, trying to strong-arm their way out of the Big East would only force the Big East to dig in their heels a bit more. They can’t take a chance on then having to contend with more litigation from Pitt and Syracuse.

Well, what if the Big 12’s offer to WVU was contingent upon the Hoopies being in the Big 12 by 2012?

Neinas said West Virginia’s invitation to the Big 12 is contingent on the Mountaineers being available for the 2012 season. What? What does that mean? Does that mean if WVU can’t get out of its Big East commitments, the deal is off? Is that why West Virginia spent virtually no time negotiating with the Big East and went straight to a lawsuit? Big East bylaws declare a buyout ($5 million in this case) and a 27-month notification. What does the Big 12 do if West Virginia is handcuffed to the Big East in 2012?

“We needed a 10th member next season to fulfill our TV commitments,” Neinas said. “There’s an inventory that goes with a contract for TV, so we’ve got to be able to do that.”

In other words, the Big 12?s cushy cable contract with Fox Sports is kaput if the league has only nine members. If that contract loses some (or all) of its value, the Big 12 is back in anarchy mode.

It’s always about the money.


October 28, 2011

Was in the middle of working on this post. It was going fine. Nearly finished. Exploring the idea of the rumors that both Louisville and WVU were going to announce a move to the Big 12 by next week. What it would mean to Big East survival (or not), that the departures could accelerate chance of Pitt getting to the ACC sooner — or have to wait longer b/c they need the bodies, and whether the possibility of 11 teams in the Big 12 suggested that maybe Notre Dame to the Big 12 in all but football could be a reality.


West Virginia has been invited to join the Big 12 Conference, college football industry sources told Friday.

The Mountaineers will accept the invitation, sources said. The Big 12 is expected to officially announce the invitation later today.

The Big 12’s board of directors voted Friday morning and chose West Virginia over Louisville. They will stay at 10 schools, a source said.

So now we are back to where things were on Tuesday.

That’s a shame for Louisville (and for Pitt and Syracuse).


October 26, 2011

I’m never going to actually talk about the football game tonight until the liveblog, am I?

In case you hadn’t heard, the move of WVU to the Big 12 — is no longer necessarily a question of when, but maybe not.

Not long after West Virginia University began to slowly spread word of its agreement to join the Big 12 Conference on Tuesday, people began to make calls to say the deal was on hold.

And now, as one WVU official said Wednesday morning, “Who knows?”

WVU learned Tuesday evening the expected announcement to join the Big 12 was being delayed and that Louisville, which would be one of five football schools the Mountaineers would leave behind in the depleted Big East Conference, began to exert pressure on the Big 12 to consider the Cardinals instead of WVU.

The Mountaineers may now have to wait until the Big 12 board meets again Monday to perhaps decide whether the conference will accept WVU or Louisville.

This is absolutely, bat shit crazy. And we also have our first sighting of possible political interference.


October 25, 2011

Hoopies West

Filed under: Big East,Big XII,Conference,Money — Chas @ 1:25 pm

Well, so much for that basketball post I was hoping to do. Or something on the football game that is tomorrow night.

It looks like the Big 12 isn’t waiting for Mizzou the make up their mind. Everything but a formal announcement at this point has West Virginia heading to the Big 12.

The person said Tuesday that the Mountaineers had “applied and are accepted,” leaving only legal entanglements from making the move official. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been formally announced.

The same thing is being reported locally in West Virginia.

WVU would be subjected to the Big East Conference’s exit fee and 27-month wait before it could leave. WVU was part of the unanimous vote last week to increase the exit fee from $5 million to $10 million. However, since no one has joined the Big East since that decision, WVU would only have to pay $5 million.

The details of WVU’s move are still being finalized — specifically when WVU could leave the Big East and join the Big 12, but the sources told the Daily Mail the decision has been approved on both sides.

WVU personnel are to meet Tuesday to discuss the resolution and an announcement could be made soon, likely as soon as Missouri says it is leaving the Big 12.

Man, are Hoopie fans going to be pissed when someone does the math for them, and they have it explained to them how long they may have to wait in the Big East. If they don’t storm the Providence offices and burn it to the ground.


October 6, 2011

Burning up all over Twitter.

TCU is getting an invite to the Big 12, regardless of what Missouri does. Press conferences and announcements coming today.

Quickie analysis.

Good for TCU. This makes sense, and is where they should be. Since they had given the MWC notice of leaving the conference last year, they can be playing in the Big 12 in 2012. No waiting.

Good for Texas A&M and possibly Missouri. This assures that the conference will have at least 8 teams for 2012. That means keeping BCS bid with minimum number of teams. It makes negotiating an exit in time for 2012 easier for both teams. Still will pay plenty of money for the early exit, but conference isn’t forced to hold them.

Also good for Jamie Dixon. That is still his alma mater. I know I would have been feeling a lot of guilt if I had been the one to help facilitate the move to the Big East, only to see Pitt take the opportunity to go to the ACC. All out of his hands, but still had to be gnawing at him a bit.

Bad for Pitt and Syracuse. Since TCU will not be a member of the Big East in 2012, the Big East will be at 8 members with Pitt and Cuse. The minimum to maintain an automatic bid issue makes leaving next season almost impossible unless there are two other teams the conference can bring in by next fall. Even if Navy joins immediately (big if right now), that only takes it to 7 without Pitt and Cuse.

At this point, Pitt has to hope that Mizzou does get into the SEC; and the Big 12 goes to 12 grabbing Louisville, WVU and Cinci. Only way Pitt and Syracuse isn’t playing in the Big East next year with this news is with the complete disintegration of Big East football.

Good and bad for Big East. Obviously losing a potentially valuable addition — though it does explain the weekend leak of interest in SMU if they had an inkling of this happening — and keeps them in a precarious position. Good because while TCU doesn’t have to give 27 months notice, they still pay Big East $5 million.

October 3, 2011

It seems like forever that the Big 12 has been evaluating its options. Will it expand to 10 teams or 12? Is Mizzou staying or leaving for the SEC? What happens then? If Mizzou stays, then what? Texas wants the Big 12 at 10. Oklahoma prefers 12 teams. Is BYU really going to join? Is TCU on or off the table? If Mizzou leaves, does it make it more or less likely to go to 10 or 12.

What does the SEC do if Missouri doesn’t take their embrace? Stay at 13? Grab an ACC team? Will they be able/willing to take one from a state they already have a presence (Florida or South Carolina)? Settle for WVU?

And if the ACC does lose a team? Well, then UConn is there with bags packed. Rutgers trumpeting their NYC market proximity — while hoping no one looks too closely.

Then it is down to the Big East. Just trying to stay above water for a little bit longer.

Everyone likens it to dominoes falling. I see it as a “Choose your own adventure” story. Each option taking you to a different story and ending.

Since I can’t seem to quit the unhealthy fascination with the subject, time for a rundown.


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