Blog Entry

Self: Big East was set to take Kansas, others

Posted on: November 30, 2010 7:26 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2010 7:32 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi

At the height of conference realignment talks last year, there was real concern that Texas (and most of the other Big XII South schools) would flee the conference for -- pardon the pun -- greener pastures, leaving the schools up north wondering what their next move would be. Six conference members doth not a viable conference make, after all, and there was real concern that schools like Iowa State or Kansas State would have to suffer the indignity of joining a non-AQ conference.

Fortunately, as Kansas basketball coach Bill Self told listeners on his weekly radio show yesterday, his Jayhawks' AQ status was never in doubt -- and nor was that of Missouri, KSU, and ISU. When asked about TCU and its move to the Big East, Self said that if the Big 12 folded, those schools would have been offered a spot in the Big East. And further, Self thinks the Big East was smart to make those offers, because it was the only way to ensure the Big Ten doesn't kill the Big East's football program.

Audio, courtesy of the IMG Jayhawk Network, is below. Those interested in the full show may listen through Jayhawks All-Access ($$).

If you can't listen, here's the full text of Self's statement, with minor alterations for clarity's sake:

To be honest with you, Kansas could have been making the same announcement today that TCU made. And Kansas State could have been in there too, because the feeling that we got -- or we had, when the conference realignment was going on, that if by chance, Texas would have gone to the Pac-10 and we would have stayed buddies with Kansas State and not separated and done all that stuff, then the Big East would have came and gotten us, and KSU, and Iowa State, and Missouri. Which, in theory, you say, 'Oh god, the Big East, bad travel.' They would have gone to divisions, so we would have had divisions with probably the teams that are close, and maybe Louisville and Cincinnati or whatever.

And I think that's smart on the Big East's part, because the Big Ten's still going to go poach somebody, and when they poach somebody it's going to be a football-playing school, and if that number goes beneath eight, then I believe -- I could be wrong -- but I believe then they're not eligible for the BCS bid. So they're covering themselves to make sure that whenever the Big Ten does whatever they do, they'll still have enough football-playing schools to make sure that they keep their BCS football bid alive. So I think it's a smart move, and probably great for TCU, so I see no problems with it.

Although there had been rumors to this extent back in the spring and summer, this is the first time that a school official has not only addressed the rumor that the Big East was set to invite the wayward Big 12 North schools, but out-and-out confirmed it. And as Self mentioned, with the Big Ten purportedly sniffing around for expansion targets out east, the Big East needed to either go into buyer mode or prepare to get out of the business of football altogether. While some college football fans might have preferred the latter, the Big East would have lost an automatic qualifier bid and all the money it entails, so that was never really going to happen.

And above all else, this should at least reassure fans of those four schools that even if the Big 12 had folded, the day that ISU or Missouri would have had to share a conference with Wyoming or Middle Tennessee State was never really going to happen; there had always been another BCS conference waiting, and there probably still will be if this latest iteration of the Big 12 doesn't work over the next few years. The arms race probably isn't over yet.


Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: December 4, 2010 6:03 pm

Self: Big East was set to take Kansas, others

As we found out this year BB doesn't figure into conference expansion nor does talent for that matter, when was the last time the Big Ten had a better football conference then the Big XII? It's all about money and that's why Nebraska is leaving a more talented conference to joining the Big Ten. I couldn't see the South agreeing to the North adding a couple BB schools and then letting one the north make the FB CCG every year. It would be like the North is BB and the south is FB, thats a terrible way to structure a conference IMO. I just want to see these 10 teams make up the best BB conference and compete for NC's in FB as well.

Since: Nov 20, 2010
Posted on: December 4, 2010 2:11 am

Self: Big East was set to take Kansas, others

it is the Big East, not the SEC, who will need to begin worrying about losing teams to a "rebuilding" conference like the Big 12.  for the most part, the Big 12 will not look West, North, or Southeast for additional teams.  those areas are eithera lready targeted by the Pac10 and Big10, or solidly entrenched.

the Big 12 lost 2 north division teams.  2 schools that could make an attractive addition to the north are Louisville and Cincy.  regionally, they aren't that far from the rest of the north schools (300 miles closer to MU than Boulder was).  also, adding these 2 TV markets to the conference greatly increases the conference viewing area.  these 2 teams could instantly challenge for the north division title in football, yet are not dominant enough to scare off the south division giants like OU and UT.

landing these schools obviously adds a lot of respectability in basketball.  imagine a conference w/ the basketball powers of KU, UL, Cincy, UT, and up-and-comers like Baylor, KSU, MU, TAMU, OSU.  yet this conference could be easier for UL or Cincy to compete in since there are less overall teams.

who knows if the expansion would stop there.  the Big12 could look at adding Memphis to the south division.  and perhaps a team like UNLV to the north.

were the Big12 to make these changes, it would instantly become the premier basketball conference, while remaining a top tier football conference.

Since: Nov 20, 2010
Posted on: December 4, 2010 12:57 am

Self: Big East was set to take Kansas, others

"come a long way in football..."?  seriously?  the Big East is a joke when it comes to football, even w/ the addition of TCU.

there is nothing "legitimate" about UCONN, Cincy, or Louisville football.  only 2 teams currently in the Big East have ever won a BCS game (WVU and Louisville).  the only reason that UL won a BCS game was because they played the ACC BCS team (the ACC is currently only slightly less pathetic in football than the BE).  your argument for Cincy is completely lame.  woulda, shoulda, coulda.  that same team that "could have been playing for a NT" was embarassed by Florida, the runner-up in the SEC, in the Sugar Bowl by 27 points.  UCONN will end up getting embarassed by whatever team they play in their bowl (OU or NU).

Big East teams, overall, are not very good.  as far as football is concerned, their conference turned into a non-AQ quality conference when VTU and Miami left for the ACC.  nowadays, they are just lucky they don't have to play anyone tough in their lame conference.  their record in major bowl games proves this.

Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: December 3, 2010 7:31 pm

Self: Big East was set to take Kansas, others

The Big XII was never going to invite TCU for several reason, the biggest being no Market expansion and the second biggest is Texas schools in the Big XII like the fact they don't really have to compete with TCU in recruiting because TCU can't offer the prestige of playing in the big XII against the Texas and oklahoma schools. I never really had a doubt that KU basketball was being eyeballed by every conference ecspecially the Big East. Loyalty to KSU was my only concern that could have hurt KU joining another power conference. As it turns out the Big XII will have 10 good basketball teams playing in the upcoming seasons and will be a very stout conference from top to bottom in both sports and definantly BB, 7 of the 10 made the tourney last year including the #1 overall seed. Don't see any conferences matching those percentages.

Since: Jul 15, 2010
Posted on: December 2, 2010 8:59 pm

Self: Big East was set to take Kansas, others

Kansan, have you noticed that ND hasn't won a title in football in 22 years?  KU as an indy in hoops - BAD MOVE.

Since: Jul 15, 2010
Posted on: December 2, 2010 8:57 pm

Self: Big East was set to take Kansas, others

Mizzou, K-State, Kansas in the Big East would have furthered the conferences beast reputation in hoops, and given it instant credibility in football.  To be honest, K-State was probably rooting for the Big XII south to bolt.

Since: Sep 13, 2010
Posted on: December 2, 2010 8:12 pm

Self: Big East was set to take Kansas, others

As a Kansas City native, I can tell you that the competition between MU, KU and K-State has driven my enthusiasm for college sports.  I hope these original big 8 teams compete in the same conference for many more years.

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: December 2, 2010 10:11 am

Self: Big East was set to take Kansas, others

When the next round of expansions happen and the Big conferences bump out to 16 teams each, I want the four Big 12 North schools (Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri and Iowa State) to go to the Big Ten and the Big 12 South teams to split between the Pac 10 and the SEC. Do I THINK that this will happen? No. But it's what I want to happen. Obviously the Big Ten Network wants to expand into the large TV markets that teams like Syracuse and Rutgers provide or to snag a nationally followed team in Notre Dame.

Since: Oct 27, 2006
Posted on: December 2, 2010 9:50 am

Self: Big East was set to take Kansas, others

The Big East has come a long way in the football program, lefty.  UConn, Cincy and Louisville have made gigantic leaps towards becoming legitimate contenders for big bowls.  So the very idea that you believe that the conference "dumbs down" and harbors mediocre teams is sad more than it is anything else.  The Bearcats could have been playing for a national title had Nebraska been able to hold off Texas last year.  The fact that the "dumbed down" Bearcats still played in a BCS Bowl last year proves that your opinion is nothing more than just that... a personal opinion and not fact in the slightest. 

We don't even have to get into basketball either.  The Big East is the class of NCAA basketball showing that there are 5 or 6 legitimate contenders each and every year. 

Since: Jan 21, 2010
Posted on: December 1, 2010 10:16 pm

Self: Big East was set to take Kansas, others

Screw the Big East. Kansas basketball should go independent - just like Notre Dame football!

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