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The Gonzo Lounge>New Conference re-alignment thread
Saulbadguy 07:57 AM 09-12-2011
The old one has AIDS.

Anyways, Chip Brown from Orangebloods.com reports OU may apply to the Pac-12 by the end of the month.

Oklahoma will apply for membership to the Pac-12 before the end of the month, and Oklahoma State is expected to follow suit, a source close to OU's administration told Orangebloods.com.

Even though Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said Friday the Pac-12 was not interested in expansion at this time, OU's board of regents is fed up with the instability in the Big 12, the source said.

The OU board of regents will meet within two weeks to formalize plans to apply for membership to the Pac-12, the source said.

Messages left Sunday night with OU athletic director Joe Castiglione and Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder were not immediately returned.

If OU follows through with what appears to be a unanimous sentiment on the seven-member Oklahoma board of regents to leave the Big 12, realignment in college athletics could be heating back up. OU's application would be matched by an application from Oklahoma State, the source said, even though OSU president Burns Hargis and mega-booster Boone Pickens both voiced their support for the Big 12 last Thursday.

There is differing sentiment about if the Pac-12 presidents and chancellors are ready to expand again after bringing in Colorado and Utah last year and landing $3 billion TV contracts from Fox and ESPN. Colorado president Bruce Benson told reporters last week CU would be opposed to any expansion that might bring about east and west divisions in the Pac-12.

Currently, there are north and south divisions in the Pac-12. If OU and OSU were to join, Larry Scott would have to get creative.

Scott's orginal plan last summer was to bring in Colorado, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State and put them in an eastern division with Arizona and Arizona State. The old Pac-8 schools (USC, UCLA, Cal, Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State) were to be in the west division.

Colorado made the move in June 2010, but when Texas A&M was not on board to go west, the Big 12 came back together with the help of its television partners (ABC/ESPN and Fox).

If Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were accepted into the Pac-12, there would undoubtedly be a hope by Larry Scott that Texas would join the league. But Texas sources have indicated UT is determined to hang onto the Longhorn Network, which would not be permissible in the Pac-12 in its current form.

Texas sources continue to indicate to Orangebloods.com that if the Big 12 falls apart, the Longhorns would consider "all options."

Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe held an emergency conference call 10 days ago with league presidents excluding Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M and asked the other league presidents to "work on Texas" because Beebe didn't think the Pac-12 would take Oklahoma without Texas.

Now, it appears OU is willing to take its chances with the Pac-12 with or without Texas.

There seemed to be a temporary pause in any possible shifting of the college athletics' landscape when Baylor led a charge to tie up Texas A&M's move to the Southeastern Conference in legal red tape. BU refused to waive its right to sue the SEC over A&M's departure from the Big 12, and the SEC said it would not admit Texas A&M until it had been cleared of any potential lawsuits.

Baylor, Kansas and Iowa State have indicated they will not waive their right to sue the SEC.

It's unclear if an application by OU to the Pac-12 would draw the same threats of litigation against the Pac-12 from those Big 12 schools.

Stay tuned.
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Saul Good 06:56 PM 09-13-2011
Originally Posted by RustShack:
Nebraska was an AAU(?) school when they applied. So yes they fit into the academics when they were accepted.
It was pretty well known that they were not long for that world even then.
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HolyHandgernade 07:10 PM 09-13-2011
The ACC idea is actually picking up some steam. Apparently there is a huge falling out between UT and OU. UT wants some sort of midwest pod to go to the ACC. Them, Tech, KU and MU is one proposal, a Texas quartet of UT, Baylor, Tech and Rice might be another. If they really want to put a dent in PAC expansion, they might consider MU, KU and KSU, the later used as leverage. That means the PAC would essentially be left with picking up the state of Oklahoma. Not at all what they were hoping. They want either the Texas markets or the Missouri markets to add to OU and OSU.

This means the KU-MU duo is actually pretty powerful. More so for MU because they can also play the SEC. This might even raise the interest of the B1G, who knows?

One thing is clear, if A&M, OU and Texas all go to separate conferences, it opens up all kinds of opportunities for KU and MU, also possibly KSU.
[Reply]
alnorth 07:19 PM 09-13-2011
Originally Posted by HolyHandgernade:
One thing is clear, if A&M, OU and Texas all go to separate conferences, it opens up all kinds of opportunities for KU and MU, also possibly KSU.
Thats one thing that is encouraging to me, if the south scatters to the winds, then suddenly KU might be caught in a bit of a bidding war and have some leverage. They don't have to worry about MU, but if they have a choice between 2 or 3 good choices, maybe they can ask them to accept KSU and see who says "ok, fine" first. Not because they are tied to KSU, but because they want to, and can.
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Saul Good 07:25 PM 09-13-2011
I've heard that things between OU and UT are close to irrepairable. Evidently, Texas wanted solidarity with OU, and then they turned around and tried to broker a deal with the B!G and Notre Dame. OU got pissed off and is going their own way.
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Setsuna 07:32 PM 09-13-2011
Wow TAMU better come to the SEC. Baylor can go screw themselves.
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alnorth 07:34 PM 09-13-2011
Originally Posted by Setsuna:
Wow TAMU better come to the SEC. Baylor can go screw themselves.
That is not in doubt, so don't worry about it. TA&M has made it utterly clear that if they have to, they will go independent for the 2012-13 academic year and then join the SEC in the Fall of 2013.
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Crush 07:39 PM 09-13-2011
Originally Posted by Setsuna:
Wow TAMU better come to the SEC. Baylor can go screw themselves.
Baylor is fucked and they know it. Their mooching days are over.
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Setsuna 08:31 PM 09-13-2011
Originally Posted by alnorth:
That is not in doubt, so don't worry about it. TA&M has made it utterly clear that if they have to, they will go independent for the 2012-13 academic year and then join the SEC in the Fall of 2013.
Very awesome. I really do believe Texas will have to go independent. No conference will want to deal with that sports channel foolishness.

Originally Posted by Crush:
Baylor is ****ed and they know it. Their mooching days are over.
I don't see what they are so worried about. Just how much money do they stand to lose?
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Trevo_410 09:23 PM 09-13-2011
id be fine with any of the 3 conferences as long as texas doesn't follow
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jAZ 09:30 PM 09-13-2011
Originally Posted by DeezNutz:
You've seen that Nebraska joined the Big 10, right?

Academics? :-). And this is why the Pac-10 admitted the premium academic institution of...wait for it...Utah, which is a long-standing public ivy.
At the time they were approved into the Big 10, Nebraska was a member of the prestigious AAU. I didn't know anything about the AAU until I entered a PhD program myself, but it is a huge deal in academic circles.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...ig-ten-members
Nebraska has it all to attract Big Ten, most importantly AAU membership
Every school in the conference is a member of the elite group of research universities
June 13, 2010|By Chris Hine, Tribune reporter
LINCOLN, Neb. The passionate fan base, storied football program and geographic proximity to the rest of the conference all these factors helped make Nebraska an attractive candidate for the Big Ten's expansion plans.

But Nebraska had one other criterion vital to Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany and the conference's presidents and chancellors: membership in the AAU.



No, not the Amateur Athletic Union, which is commonly associated with youth basketball, but rather the Association of American Universities.

"All the Big Ten schools are AAU members," Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman said. "I doubt that our application would've been accepted had we not been a member of the organization."

So what is the AAU, and why is it so important to the Big Ten members?

It's a group of 63 elite research universities in the U.S. and Canada. Membership is through invitation only, and the group's primary focus is evaluating and developing the top graduate programs, not necessarily undergrad programs, spokesman Barry Toiv said.

"(Membership) is generally considered a sign that a research university has arrived as a top research university," Toiv said.

The AAU is basically a facilitator for collaboration among these universities, a venue where the top officials from member schools gather to exchange ideas and discuss the prevalent issues in education, something that's critical to college presidents, Toiv said.

Now that Nebraska will be joining the Big Ten, Perlman said that will make avenues of collaboration with the other Big Ten schools a little easier to travel.

"The Big Ten for a long time has been known for being the only conference that has really had a strong academic component through the Committee on Institutional Cooperation," Perlman said. "Right now, in research, in trying to solve the problems and challenges that face our country, it requires big research projects with our interdisciplinary teams with a lot of folks focusing from various perspectives on the issues.

"The more institutions you can get together in a real collaborative way, the greater likelihood it is that you'll put the right teams together."

Perlman added that Penn State's seamless integration into the conference from a research perspective helped make his decision to switch conferences easy.

Plus, AAU membership is crucial for recruiting elite faculty. It's a marker of which schools are and aren't important.

The Big Ten is the only Division-I conference that can say all of its members belong to the AAU. It's a valuable feather in the Big Ten's cap.

Most schools that have been mentioned as possible expansion candidates already belong to the AAU, including Missouri, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Syracuse and Rutgers. Missouri seems to be out of luck at the moment. Texas is an AAU member but according to multiple reports is deciding whether to join the Pac-10.


Notre Dame and Connecticut are not AAU members but would like to be. So in the hubbub over who else might be invited to join the Big Ten, know that if a school has the black mark of "not being an AAU member," it likely isn't by choice.

"It is perhaps the most elite organization in higher education," Connecticut spokesman Michael Kirk said. "You'd probably be hard-pressed to find a major research university that didn't want to be a member of the AAU."

In the case of Notre Dame, the school has a sterling reputation for its undergraduate education. But only in recent years under President John Jenkins has there been a significant push to become a leading research and graduate university. Notre Dame would love to be an AAU member to solidify its status.

"As you know, membership in the AAU is by invitation only, and to date, we have not been invited," Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown said. "We do hope, however, that the progress we are making as a research institution will lead to an invitation in the future."

Notre Dame's lack of AAU membership didn't stop the Big Ten from trying to grab it in 1999, and it probably won't be a hurdle this time either, given all the other strengths Notre Dame brings to the table.

As for the conference's newest member, it's excited to receive the revenue generated by the Big Ten Network and the chance to play in the Big Ten. But its chancellor can't wait to sit down with other conference members and talk about research.

"I'm sure they'll have strengths that'll fill gaps we have, and we may fill gaps that other institutions have," Perlman said. "It'll certainly elevate what we're able to do, and that's not just important to the institutions, it's important to the country trying to solve problems."

They lost it shortly after the vote and the Big 10 was pissed.
[Reply]
jAZ 09:33 PM 09-13-2011
Originally Posted by WilliamTheIrish:
Rice? I agree that it's a fine academic institution.

They averaged about 12k per game. Yea...no.
That was the typical UA fan's reaction to the post too. Like I said, if a 2nd Texas school is needed to land Texas, Rice is being discussed by some in the Pac-10 office. And it's not initially about attendance, it's about regional cable networks first. And it's a long-shot.
[Reply]
DeezNutz 09:34 PM 09-13-2011
Originally Posted by jAZ:
At the time they were approved into the Big 10, Nebraska was a member of the prestigious AAU. I didn't know anything about the AAU until I entered a PhD program myself, but it is a huge deal in academic circles.

..............................................................................................

They lost it shortly after the vote and the Big 10 was pissed
.
Correct. And Saul addressed this. By the way, how would quoting the Lincoln Tribune validate anything relative to UNL?

Better qualify the bold. Certain factions in the Big 10 (read: the academics, who were never very important in the entire process) were pissed.

It's all about money. Nothing more, nothing less. People bring up the other bullshit to try to fool themselves and make the whole thing appear more legitimate.
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RustShack 10:32 PM 09-13-2011
Texas to the ACC isn't happening. That is just them bluffing to Oklahoma on their bluff to go Pac.
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jAZ 01:41 AM 09-14-2011
Originally Posted by Saul Good:
It was pretty well known that they were not long for that world even then.
That's not exactly true. They have a huge technicality that hurts them. A big chunck of their Ag research and all of their MedSchool research is excluded from their AAU numbers. And despite that, Nebraska is right on the fringe of AAU qualification even today. It's absurd to argue Nebraska as an example that academics don't matter. It's just an opinion rooted in sport talk radio and a general ignorance (which I also had until recently) about the critical role that research plays in universities.

I mean, even at UNL the research budget is 2x the athletic department budget. And the athletic department is but 10% of the total budget.

It's just absurd to suggest that academics aren't a factor.

It's not the #1 factor, it's a #1a or #2 factor.
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jAZ 02:02 AM 09-14-2011
Originally Posted by DeezNutz:
Correct. And Saul addressed this. By the way, how would quoting the Lincoln Tribune validate anything relative to UNL?

Better qualify the bold. Certain factions in the Big 10 (read: the academics, who were never very important in the entire process) were pissed.

It's all about money. Nothing more, nothing less. People bring up the other bullshit to try to fool themselves and make the whole thing appear more legitimate.
It's the Chicago Tribune.

And I fully understand why a sports fan outside of the day-to-day operations would overstate the value of the athletic department. It's the lense that sports fans see the University though.

But trust me, you are wrong. Completely wrong.

It's a basic function of math.

The top universities don't just want to be seen as academically elite for the sake of reputation. Research and tuition are now the lifeblood of a University. The contribution from the athletic department, even among the very biggest programs, pales in comparison.

Take UNL for example. Their athletic programs generates a profit. Approximately $10M/year of their $80M/year program goes back to the UNL general fund from the Athletic Department.

Compare that to UNL's $132M research budget. Of that, typically 33% is "overhead", the university's cut to cover general fund expenses... that's $43M.

Even at UNL, research generates 4x more revenue back to the University.

If you look at a school like Arizona, the numbers are even more dramatic. They have a $600M/year research budget and only a $42M/year athletics budget. The same 33% holds and the athletics department generates even less (if anything) back to the university.

It's more likely a $200M vs $0-$5M ratio.

The view that sports fans have of the role of sports money is so skewed its remarkable.

$200M vs (at best) $5M.
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