By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
Follow CF on Twitter @CycloneFanatic and @ChrisMWilliams
7:56 p.m. – Here’s the latest from Joe Schad at ESPN. In this video, Schad explains how the deal went down. LINK HERE
7:42 p.m. – Pretty simple post right here. CLICK THIS LINK TO SMILE. While you’re at it, if you’re of age, have a cold one.
6:46 p.m. – Chris Level of RedRaiderSports.com reports that FOX is the "heavyweight" in control of this new Big 12 television deal.
6:44 p.m. – Oklahoma and Texas A&M have both officially announced that they are staying in the Big 12. This is a great day.
5:52 p.m. – The University of Texas has announced that they will stay in the Big 12. They will also hold and 11 a.m. press conference tomorrow.
5:44 p.m. – An Austin TV station is reporting that athletic directors from Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri and Baylor will meet in Kansas City tonight to discuss a contingency plan, just in case. The news source is channel 8 in Austin.
5:42 p.m. – Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News reports that Texas has officially turned down the PAC 10. His report says that Larry Scott has confirmed it.
5:24 p.m. – Chris Level of RedRaiderSports.com just reported on KXNO’s Matt and Miller Show that he believes some interesting bylaws will more than likely be added to the new Big 12 contract that would make it extremely expensive and unrealistic for schools to leave the league. This is starting to sound like a long term deal. This makes me happy.
5:17 p.m. – It has now been announced that somebody "hacked into the 104.9" Twitter account. Seriously. The BYU and Air Force rumors are false. Wow.
5:14 p.m. – About that radio report out of Austin. I say we just chill about that for a minute. Yes, Chip Brown, the guy who knows all about this story works for 104.9 so the station does have credibility. But think about it. We don’t even know that the conference has been saved yet. Let’s wait until we know that for sure before we start debating what teams to add next.
4:42 p.m. – BIG NEWS. Well, it might be news. I use that term lightly. 104.9 The Horn out of Austin is reporting that the Big 12 will invite BYU and Air Force into the new Big 12 Conference.
4:28 p.m. – The AP has confirmed the news as well. LINK HERE
4:26 p.m. – The Oklahoman is now reporting that the Big 12 has been saved and that an announcement of a "long term deal" could be announced as soon as today. LINK HERE
4:23 p.m. – Texas Tech beat writer (RedRaiderSports.com) Chris Level just tweeted "I’m told this afternoon that Texas Tech to the Pac 10 is essentially dead. If you were rooting for that then hope for a miracle."
4:19 p.m. – I am done with meetings for the day! Back to blogging. Not a whole lot seems to have changed over the past two hours. Things seem to be looking good for your Iowa State Cyclones. Chip Brown has tweeted that Texas athletic director Deloss Dodds is set to speak with his coaching staff later on today describing "how the Big 12 was salvaged together."
2:33 p.m. – Here’s the latest report via ESPN.com on everything that is going on. STORY HERE. I have a 2:45 meeting. I’ll be at my computer the rest of the afternoon/night after this one. Hold tight.
2:18 p.m. – Big 12 officials are reportedly meeting right now. Here’s one thing I hope they are discussing. Up that buyout for schools trying to leave. Bump it up to $40 million for all I care. Let’s be one unit here people.
2:14 p.m. – Here’s why I am buying into these reports. Texas wants their own network. They can’t have it in the PAC 10. They can have it in the Big 12. As an Iowa State guy, I could care less if Texas has their own network. They are already rich. If they get richer, it’s not going to hurt Iowa State anymore than their wealth already does. Without Texas, Iowa State is potentially pulling in $3 million a year in the Mountain West Conference and that’s being optimistic. Excited for a nice road trip to Wyoming? Exactly.
1:47 p.m. – I just got back from lunch. It was lovely. Twitter has been blowing up over the past two hours. There aren’t a whole bunch of solid updates to post here right now but I’ll give you a brief synopsis of the latest. Things are starting to look very bright for the future of the Big 12 (with 10 teams) conference. Chip Brown reported that the 10 institutions are currently working on a plan to save the league. He also posted to his Twitter feed that Texas would stand to make an estimated 20 to 25 million dollars under this new "Bebee Plan." My very rough and way too early estimation would have Iowa State making anywhere from 14 to 17 million a year. Keep in mind that I write that, having never looked at this new deal. Even if that is the case, this is a win-win deal for Iowa State. Listen, college athletics are all about money anymore. I know. It sucks but that is the way things are. You either get in the game financially or get out. If Iowa State could somehow pull down $15 million as compared to seven, that is a good thing, regardless of how rich Texas is getting off of it. Really, who cares? They are already rich. How is Texas making $5 million more a year really going to affect Iowa State? The answer is that it won’t.
12:09 p.m. – I have to get to a 12:30 lunch meeting. I’ll be back in a couple of hours to continue updating this page throughout the afternoon. I will have my phone so if you’re not following me on Twitter, I’ll do my best to keep that feed updated over the next couple of hours.
12:04 p.m. – The New York Times has now confirmed that Texas is close to committing to the Big 12. Here is a tweet from Pete Thamel. "Big 12 AD confirms to the NY Times that Texas is on cusp of committing to Bit 12. He said, "The musical chairs will stop."
11:58 a.m. – Texas A&M regent Gene Stallings would be "tickled to death" if the Big 12 can somehow stick together. Yes, he really said that. LINK HERE
11:55 a.m. – Okay, we’ve got some more big news developing now. Gabe DeArmond is the publisher of PowerMizzou.com. I’ve interviewed Gabe a handful of times and really respect his work. He’s credible. Here’s the latest update from a story that he published this morning, where he discussed the real possibility of Missouri going to the SEC with Texas A&M. — LINK HERE
11:44 A.M. UPDATE: Since the original publication of this story (about 20 minutes ago), Texas A&M insider Billy Liucci posted on Twitter that "Aggie brass to meet this afternoon … momentum moving heavily towards A&M staying in 10-team Big 12."
That statement was shortly followed by "Gene Stallings en route to College Station … I’d be surprised if the Big 12 deal does NOT work at this point."
11:43 a.m. – Here’s a question for you. Why wouldn’t the Big 12 take these 10 teams and go shopping like every other conference in America is doing? Go after Louisville and Cincinnati from the Big East. How about Air Force or BYU from the Mountain West. Get proactive! I’m getting ahead of myself though. The Big 12 could be no longer by the end of the day.
11:09 a.m. – Here is a bit of good news. Larry Scott’s plane might not be headed to Kansas City after all. LINK HERE
11:05 a.m. – This whole situation reminds me of this hip hop classic. CLICK HERE for fun.
11:02 a.m. – The lastest from Chip Brown’s Twitter feed. "My sources say Texas is committed to coming to the table with the 10 remaining B12 schools to see if there’s consensus for the Beebe plan."
10:06 a.m. – It takes a lot for me to admit this. I am an Internet guy. It is what I do for a living. I love what I do for a living. But the way this story is being covered is not healthy in my opinion. There is too much guessing going on. Nobody knows who to believe. That is a shame.
9:50 a.m. – Just my opinion here. I have no idea why fans seem to be so enamored with the thought of Iowa State joining the Big East. Less money, more travel and more uncertainty. That league is going to be hit by expansion mania just like every other conference in America. Rutgers already has one foot out the door.
9:38 a.m. – Schad is now really sticking it to Brown with his LATEST REPORT. He’s basically denied everything that Brown has reported. Who do you trust? The Texas media man or ESPN? Pick your poison.
9:27 a.m. – ESPN’s Joe Schad is going up against what Chip Brown has reported. Here’s Schad’s latest Tweet. "The departure of Texas, Texas Tech, OU and OSU to Pac-10 is imminent, four Big 12 sources say."
9:10 a.m. – This is a relief. The Oklahoman has confirmed Chip Brown’s report about Texas staying in the Big 12. — STORY HERE
9:08 a.m. – Here’s a really cool Tweet from Kansas State president Kirk Schultz. "The fab five (K-State, KU, MU, ISU, and BU) are working hard to promote a 10-team Big 12 conference – which could be a financial boon for us."
8:55 a.m. – Let’s think about this. All of the sudden, Texas wants to stay. Do they really want to stay? Or is this just a ploy to put pressure on A&M? Are the the Longhorns doing to the Aggies like they already did to Nebraska? Trying to make them the bad guys if the Big 12 ultimately dissolves? This is what bugs me so much about this story. I just feel like every time Chip Brown publishes a report, it is just some sort of a message being thrown out by Texas to intimidate another member of the conference. I hope that Texas genuinely wants to stay in the league. I really hope that. But only time will tell.
8:47 a.m. – How about some good news Fanatics? Chip Brown of OrangeBloods.com is reporting that Texas wants to stay in the Big 12! This is great news for Iowa State. More thoughts coming soon. LINK HERE.
8:36 a.m. – Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com caught up with some Big 12 basketball coaches to talk about this messy situation. Basically, the hoops leaders know that their opinion doesn’t mean much, but they’re prepared to speak their minds anyway. Surprise, surprise. They want to continue on with the Big 12. Just ask Frank Martin. — STORY HERE
7:45 a.m. – To view your daily Cyclone/realignment headlines for today, CLICK HERE.
7:39 a.m. – Does this link directly affect Iowa State? Not yet. But as I’ve written before, we need to keep an eye on what is happening expansion wise all over the country. Boise State left the Western Athletic Conference last week for the Mountain West. Because of that, WAC officials are now jittery about their league’s future. My point? Iowa State fans aren’t the only people in limbo right now. — LINK HERE
7:19 a.m. – I am putting together this morning’s links and what not…It got me to thinking…
Think of how intense some of the football games in the Big 12 will be this year. I mean, Nebraska and Texas is normally nuts. What’s it going to be like in Lincoln in October?
What about Texas – Texas A&M?
Nebraska @ Iowa State?
It doesn’t matter what ultimately happens to the Big 12 from here. A lot of people are mad. A lot of lies have been told. It’s time to put up or shut up.
MONDAY, JUNE 14
10:19 p.m. – One more link before I go to bed. If true, this would not be good news for Iowa State. The Houston Chronicle is reporting that Texas A&M’s board of regents is expected to send the school to the SEC later on this week. Still, meetings will still take place among the Big 12’s athletic director’s tomorrow, according to numerous reports.
10:05 p.m. – I think we are done for news tonight. Here’s a quick preview for tomorrow.
According to numerous reports, the Big 12’s 10 remaining athletic directors are scheduled to meet with Dan Beebe tomorrow. Pray Fanatics. Pray that this goes well. If it does, this new version of the Big 12 (with 10 teams) could be very beneficial for Iowa State from a monetary standpoint. That is in my opinion, Iowa State’s best case scenario.
So let’s say that tomorrow’s meeting doesn’t go well. In my mind, here is the worst thing that could happen for the future of Iowa State athletics.
– Texas A&M bolts for the SEC. Then, Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State head to the PAC 10. Since A&M went east, the PAC 10 goes after Kansas. That would then leave Iowa State, Missouri, Kansas State and Baylor in a very bad spot.
– Of course A&M could head west with the others, but right now, that appears to be a long shot.
Hope for the best Cyclone fans. It is going to be one crazy week.
9:36 p.m. – Just a quick update regarding Larry Scott’s (PAC 10 commissioner) plane. Chris Level of RedRaiderSports.com just reported via Twitter that the plane is still in Austin. That is one long meeting with Texas officials. Level also commented that it is possible that Scott won’t actually travel to Kansas City tonight. We’ll see.
7:34 p.m. – The Kansas City Star has a new report out regarding realignment. According to this piece, A&M is still an option for the Big 12, a league that may still "survive." LINK HERE
6:44 p.m. – Chris Level of RedRaiderSports.com is reporting that PAC 10 commissioner Larry Scott will be heading to Kansas City after leaving Austin this evening. One could only imagine that a stop in Lawrence is next on his list. This is all speculation of course.
6:33 p.m. – AggieYell.com of the Rivals Network is reporting that Texas A&M will be heading to the SEC. Time will tell. I’m starting to have a hard time believing anything that doesn’t come from an actual university anymore.
5:28 p.m. – My friend Steve Sipple from the Lincoln Journal Star just made me laugh on Twitter. Here’s what he wrote: "Am I missing something here? Is Orangebloods now reporting news, and then shooting down its OWN reports? Interesting. Actually, that’s bizarre. Bizarre and disturbing."
In my opinion, Sipple just nailed it. The last two weeks have been so weird from a journalism standpoint. For example, if news breaks in central Iowa, like five outlets generally report it within 10 minutes of each other. With this whole realignment story, ONE outlet has been all over it, way ahead of everybody else. I just don’t think that’s a good thing. Think about it. One man, Chip Brown, has held us all in the palm of his hand for two weeks now. It’s great for him. Not so awesome for everybody else. The more the merrier as far as reports go. It keeps everybody honest.
5:13 p.m. – Here’s the latest tweet from Chip Brown of OrangeBloods.com. "Tx A&M spokesman Jason Cook tells OB: "Texas A&M continues to evaluate its options. At this point, all options continue to be on the table."
4:58 p.m. – John Taylor of CollegeFootballTalk.com with his take on today’s events. STORY HERE
4:55 p.m. – This one is for you Clone fans who still seem to be hung up on all of this Big East talk. LINK HERE
4:51 p.m. – This is now all officially a mess. Here’s the latest tweet from Chris Level of RedRaiderSports.com. "Based on two trusted people that I just spoke with I think that the Aggies are still very much considering the Pac 10 scenario."
Who do you believe?
4:08 p.m. – Chip Brown reports that Texas A&M has turned down an offer to join the PAC 10. That means they’ll be either 1) heading to the SEC or 2) sticking with the Big 12.
3:46 p.m. – ESPN.com has published a similar report to the one posted on OrangeBloods.com hours ago. LINK HERE. I have a feeling that we’re going to have more news come down tonight. RedRaiderSports.com’s Chris Level has reported via his Twitter account (@ChrisLevel) that PAC 10 representatives have left Lubbock and are likely on their way to Austin at this time. I have learned one thing over the last two weeks. That is that when something is going down concerning Texas, Chip Brown is going to know about it. Putting two and two together tells me that we might learn more before bedtime.
1:40 p.m. – Brown has updated his column with a quote from Dan Beebe. Really, not a whole lot has been added to the piece. I thought I’d post THE LINK anyway.
11:45 a.m. – Chip Brown’s latest report via www.orangebloods.com is an intriguing one. HERE’S THE LINK. His report states that Dan Beebe has assured the remaining 10 Big 12 schools that under what is being labeled as the "Beebe Plan," they can each make $17 million a year and also have the right to develop their own network. Obviously, Iowa State won’t be starting up their own television network anytime soon. Texas is really the only school that currently holds that luxury.
There is no doubt in my mind that this is the best case scenario for Iowa State. Why? The $17 million a year. That’s why. There is no way that Iowa State would or should turn this down.
With this plan, yes, Iowa State would have to play Texas and Oklahoma every season. Yep. The Cyclone football schedule would be much tougher.
You want to go to the Big East instead? I won’t kill you for that. But the Big East better come up with a much more lucrative television package for that to work. The Big East only made $33 million in television revenue in 2009, compared to the Big 12’s $78. For your own perspective, the Big Ten made $242 million. That means that Indiana’s football program pulled in more money than the entire Big East Conference in 2009, per television revenue.
11:37 a.m. – Here are your daily Cyclone/Realignment headline for Sunday, June 13. CLICK HERE
11:05 a.m. – This is the best news Iowa State has heard in a long time. Here’s the latest tweet from Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com. "A proposal by Dan Beebe to hold the Big 12 together with 10 teams is in play and is being considered by Texas, sources say.
Sunday, June 13
9:06 p.m. – The Kansas City Star is reporting that a teleconference took place today involving officials from Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri and Baylor. It appears as if these schools are developing a game plan, should the southern teams head elsewhere next week. STORY HERE
7:53 p.m. – Andy Staples from CNNSI.com is reporting via Twitter that Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will indeed head to the PAC 10. He also says that the announcement will be made after Texas does so next week.
7:27 p.m. – Quite a few things just happened. Joe Schad is reporting that Oklahoma’s Board of Regents will meet on Wednesday to discuss their possible move to the PAC 10. Also, Orangebloods.com is reporting that Texas A&M regents have enough votes to send the Aggies to the SEC.
7:17 p.m. – No links here. Just a personal comment. I’ve seen a lot of Iowa and even Nebraska fans around the net mocking Iowa State for the position that the Cyclones are in. Honestly, you have to be somewhat sick to do this. You want people to possibly lose jobs in the state of Iowa? If Iowa State gets left out in the cold, the athletic budget would more than likely drop. Programs could be cut. This would affect the entire university and eventually, even the local economy. My message? This isn’t all about sports people. Think before you write.
7:05 p.m – This doesn’t really affect Iowa State directly, but it could way down the road. CollegeFootballTalk.com reports that Maryland is "happy in the ACC." Should they possibly turn down the Big Ten, assuming that call comes, that would leave one more spot open at the end of the day. Could it belong to Iowa State? It’s a very long shot but still, every tiny piece of realignment news is relevant to Cyclone fans in my opinion. LINK HERE
6:40 p.m. – The Oklahoman is reporting that PAC 10 commissioner Larry Scott has met with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State today. The report claims that it is probable that an invitation to the PAC 10 has been handed out to those schools. Towards the end of the report that you can READ HERE, it alludes to a possible meeting on Monday involving the remaining Big 12 athletic directors that could discuss a new television deal, should the league stick together. This is encouraging news for Iowa State in my opinion. We’ve heard all along that Texas wants the Big 12 to stay in tact. Conversation won’t hurt anything.
5:39 p.m. – ESPN’s Joe Shad Tweets "Hearing if A&M passes on Pac-10, Utah has edge on Kansas as potential 16th member. LINK HERE
4:06 p.m. – Here’s the latest from ESPN. This makes me feel just a tiny bit better about the chances of the Big 12 sticking together. I’m still not going to hold my breath. But hey, there is still a chance. — STORY HERE
1:58 p.m. – The Washington Examiner’s Jim Williams just posted another updating regarding the Big 12 "leftovers" and the Big East Conference. HERE’S THE LINK.
12:47 p.m. – I post our daily Cyclone/Big 12 links every day at CycloneFanatic.com. It has NEVER taken me as long to do as it did this morning. Here’s my most recent compilation.
12:45 p.m. – Here’s more on Kansas’ possible departure to the PAC 10. Things are picking up steam. STORY HERE
12:41 p.m. – I found this comment from a Wyoming columnist made off of a conversation with an anonymous Mountain West Conference athletic director interesting. Though he doesn’t specifically mention Iowa State, it gives us a bit of an idea on what the MWC could think about adding the Big 12 "leftovers." HERE’S THE LINK followed by a quote.
Is it realistic for both Kansas schools join the MWC? One MWC athletics director said no, comparing Kansas going from the Big XII to the MWC as a MWC team going to the Big Sky Conference.
He thinks Kansas and Kansas State, if the Big XII dissolves, will push for the Big East Conference.
He also thinks a guy like Kansas men’s basketball coach Bill Self would quit before taking his teams to places like Clune Arena at Air Force, where it has a had time drawing 2,000 or 3,000 fans a game.
12:05 p.m. – Well, at least somebody is going to want Iowa State. East Carolina’s athletic director Terry Holland has gone on the record saying that Conference USA will be interested in adding the Big 12 "leftovers," should the league disband next week. I will give this guy some credit. He’s being awfully proactive. It might ultimately hurt his school though. East Carolina is one of the schools that Jim Williams mentioned to me in our interview yesterday, that the Big East could potentially be interested in adding. STORY HERE In my opinion, Conference USA is the absolute worst case scenario for Iowa State. Quickly, name the schools in that league right now? The upside, Tim Floyd (UTEP head coach) and Larry Eustachy (Southern Miss head coach) would both be coming back to Hilton on an annual basis.
11:57 a.m. – If you’re like me, you’re on Jim Williams watch right now. The Washington Examiner columnist started the Big East rumors regarding Iowa State on Thursday night. Today’s column? It’s a television breakdown involving ESPN and the World Cup.
11:21 a.m. – Here’s a question for you. If the Big 12 does indeed break up on Tuesday, what will happen to Iowa State’s wrestling program? There aren’t many of them out there these days. Here’s an informational piece written by the Des Moines Register’s Rob Gray examining Iowa State’s potential options.
Saturday, June 12
11:00 p.m. – Going to hit the sack. Sleep tight Fanatics.
9:14 p.m. – Iowa State President Gregory Geoffroy met with some members of the local media on Friday afternoon to discuss the situation. HERE’S THE LINK to a story published by the Ames Tribune.
7:33 p.m – The ABC 5 sports guys just left my home office. Tune in tonight at 10 for some awesome Cyclone realignment coverage courtesy of John Walters, Dave Zawilinksi and Eric Murphy.
6:04 p.m. – Baylor’s athletic director Ian McCaw held a press conference today in Waco. The message? Like you’d expect, the Bears are all about keeping the rest of the Big 12 together. CLICK HERE to read the transcript via the Dallas Morning News.
5:36 p.m. – ESPN.com has and is reporting that Texas, along with Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will join the PAC 10 next week. Take it for what it is worth.
4:11 p.m. – Here is the complete transcript from an interview I just conducted with Jim Williams, a columnist from the Washington Examiner. He’s the same writer who earlier today reported that Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and possibly Missouri have spoken with the Big East Conference.
Jim Williams: Somebody called me a liar from the Big East? I’m stunned.
If you look at the body of what I wrote, and I’ve updated it since which includes the fact that I have talked to five people of different institutions who are highly placed sources within the athletic departments. They are very keen on the idea of exploring the opportunity to have Iowa State, Kansas State, Kansas and possibly Missouri. I don’t think anybody knows for sure what is going on there. These people have decided, what does it hurt to talk? What does it hurt to explore what each side can bring to the table? You’ve got a guy in commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who has been brought on as an advisor. As you well know, Tagliabue is very much connected to the Midwest. He knows what is out there. He has been involved in a number of different things out there and is very comfortable with the lay of the land. I don’t think that this is a scary situation to anyone. I think what it is, is two things. One, the Big East doesn’t want to get crushed by some possible poaching by either the Big Ten or the ACC. That happened to them before and it was a devastating situation. The want to know what makes the most sense for them going forward. When the Big 12 situation began to unravel a little bit, then you guys, along with Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri somewhat became available, it made a lot of sense to begin conversations. What I am reporting is that most everyone who I have spoken to at the institutions I spoke to which includes: South Florida, Cincinnati, Louisville, West Virginia and Georgetown. They all thought that the concept of opening the door to the possibility made a lot of sense.
Does that mean that everybody is getting invited? No. It means that it is now time to sit down and talk. That is pretty much what I reported.
CW: The Big East writer I talked to told me that he felt if the four Big 12 schools entered the conference, ultimately the Georgetown’s, Villanova’s and Providence’s of the world wouldn’t want to be in that league with 20 teams. Have you heard anything like this?
JW:No. I talked to Georgetown for God’s sake. Remember this. This is what drives me nuts about people who do this crap. Paul Tagliabue graduated from Georgetown. Do you honestly think that a Georgetown alum who still goes to their basketball games, is going to work for the Big East just to develop a 12-team conference that would knock out basketball? That makes no sense. What your getting is blowback from some of the schools who don’t like the idea of not getting home and home circumstances. It is a brand new world. Whether people want to understand this or not, there are going to be compromises that are going to have to be made.
At the end of the day, both basketball and football drive this. What makes sense is, if you’re Iowa State, Kansas State or a school like Cincinnati, you have a budget. How much money am I going to lose if this conference goes in an alternate universe? How much do I make if I have to go to a Mountain West?
Georgetown is welcoming me with open arms. They understand that at the end of the day, to develop a sports network, that the Big East is attempting to look into, to develop a long-term global plan that makes sense to all of these teams in a new conference, you have to look at eyeballs, synergy and history. You guys were part of what was one of the most historic conferences in history, the Big 8. Basketball wise, the Big East, when they started, was historically one of the top basketball conferences but also had football. They needed, and still need, to make football more relevant. The four schools that you are involved with, forgetting Baylor because that makes no sense, along with the possibility of Memphis or UCF from CUSA, brings together a conference that is relevant today but because of the upstarts at South Florida and perhaps UCF and we don’t know if they are or not, that makes the conference relevant for years to come. I have been involved in the sports business as a producer and director for ESPN, as well as developing regional sports networks. When I talk to people, it is athletic directors and their assistants who understand whether the fans want to believe it or not, this is a bottom line business. The athletic director is the CEO of a company. If I am the CEO of Iowa State University and I just got hit with what in essence is an unknown circumstance that my budget that I knew was nine or 10 million dollars has gone away from me. I need to figure out what is going on so I don’t lose sports and so I don’t have to cut back in any way, shape or form from my Olympic sports. I need to look at what makes the most sense. What makes the most sense for me is to get in a conference that needs me as much as I need them. The Big East Conference is one football wise that needs these four schools, as much as they need it.
I have spoken to people within the conference who are damned that a 20-team conference could be around. They don’t want any part of it. Well that is fine. You can say that. But if you really want a conference to be around at all and be relevant, than you better get into the real world. This is a real world situation. Whether we want to admit it or not admit it or whatever, that is fine. In the year 2010 and beyond, you have to make your conference relevant. The PAC 10 by literally saying that they don’t care if they blow up the Big 12, they are looking at their bottom line. They want Texas and Texas A&M. If they have to bring other people with them, then cool. The SEC can keep chatting with A&M and Oklahoma all they want. But at the end of the day, if Oklahoma wants to keep playing Texas, they’ll go with them.
All I am saying that is what I printed, I totally 100 percent sourced out to everybody I sourced it out to. Nobody in there has ever said, nor did I report, that they are committed to doing anything other than sitting down and begin the process of talking. I don’t see how that is a bad thing under any circumstance. They will take a phone call from Iowa State. They will do their due diligence and they will look at the possibility of making this happen. If it makes economic sense for everybody, then that will be the bottom line for everyone. If economically it makes sense for everyone for this to happen, it will happen. If it doesn’t, it won’t. Welcome to college sports in 2010, 2014 and beyond. That is what it all boils down to.
I fully expect, without question, that Iowa State, Kansas State and Kansas will be speaking to the Big East about the future.
3:37 p.m. – I just had a lengthy conversation with with Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner. “Somebody called me a liar from the Big East? I’m stunned," he said. Full interview coming.
2:52 p.m. – Jamie Pollard and Gregory Geoffroy have updated www.cyclones.com with a message to Iowa State fans. It reads like this.
Dear Cyclone alumni, fans and friends of the University,
In the past two days, the University of Colorado and the University of Nebraska have announced that they are leaving the Big 12 Conference for other affiliations. We are deeply disappointed in their decisions, and we are concerned about how those decisions impact Iowa State University.
Over the next several days, the presidents and directors of athletics of the Big 12 member institutions will be discussing options and potential initiatives that we may take in order to move forward in light of the Colorado and Nebraska decisions. Be assured, we will continue to do everything in our power to represent the best interests of Iowa State University in these discussions; it is also important to understand that actions taken by other member institutions are beyond our control.
We should never forget that Iowa State University is an outstanding academic and research institution with a proud history of student-athletes succeeding in the classroom and in competition. Keep in mind during the past year our student-athletes were first in the Big 12 Conference in graduation rates, and Iowa State has enjoyed our highest ranking ever in the Learfield Director’s Cup standings, which measures competitive success. But as all of the discussions about conference realignment illustrate, the future of college athletics appears to be less about academics and competitive success and more about money, as measured by television viewership and the associated revenues.
We appreciate your longstanding loyalty to Iowa State and certainly understand and share your concern for the future of the Big 12 Conference and the potential impact on our institution. Thank you for your understanding and, we will keep you informed as developments occur.
Dr. Gregory Geoffroy
Director of Athletics
2:28 p.m. – BIG EAST WRITER REFUTES RUMOR
Iowa State to the Big East? That rumor has been picking up steam as Friday has rolled along.
CLICK HERE to read a report published earlier today by the Washington Inquirer, which mentions Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri in association to the Big East Conference.
One of the Big East’s most plugged in writers, Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal, told CycloneFanatic.com moments agothat there is no truth to the report.
“That is an irresponsible Internet report,” McNamara said. I can tell you right now that if they went and got four teams from the Big 12, the Big East would cease to exist because the basketball schools would split.”
So let’s say that the Big East would decide to consider the Big 12 “leftovers.”
According to McNamara, who recently wrote the book entitled “Basketball Warfare: Life in the Big East Conference,” the league’s prestigious basketball schools would more than likely jet.
“They aren’t going to have a 20 team basketball league,” McNamara said. “What kind of a conference tournament do you have with 20 teams? It is impossible. Villanova, Georgetown, Providence and St. Johns don’t want to be in the same league as Iowa State and Kansas State. I can guarantee you that. It is a football decision.”
In fact, McNamara doesn’t even believe the reports that the entire Big 12 South is on their way to the new PAC 16.
“I think that anyone who is writing that they are all going to go in concert is obviously incorrect,” McNamara said. “Texas is going to be a real problem. Texas can move independently. A&M, Texas Tech and Baylor have to have something to stand on. The PAC 16 sounds good but let’s see if they can pull it off.”
Keep in mind that this is just one man’s opinion on the topic. But he’s a very well informed man in the Big East.
McNamara will be on 1460 KXNO with Matt Perrault at 4:15 this afternoon. You’ll also be able to hear the interview on www.kxno.com.
1:58 p.m. – Just got back to Ames from my meeting in Des Moines. I see that the Kansas City Star is now reporting that Nebraska has accepted an offer to join the Big Ten. LINK HERE. This news should not shock anybody.
9:55 a.m. – Just letting you all know that I will be away from my computer for a few hours. If something breaks, I’ll do what I can to get back on. Follow @ChrisMWilliams on Twitter because I’ll have my phone with me. I’ve got a big meeting in Des Moines that could be very positive for the future of CycloneFanatic.com.
9:50 a.m. – The Chicago Sun-Times chimes in on Nebraska going to the Big Ten. It is like what I’ve been saying all along. Notre Dame is the Big Ten’s real target. If the Irish would accept and tell the league that they don’t want anymore teams in the mix, the Big Ten would drop the Huskers in a second. Just my opinion. HERE’S THE LINK
9:41 a.m. – Iowa State women’s basketball coach is known for being a great Twitterer. I’m not sure if that is a word or not. Nonetheless, Coach Fennelly has thrown down some very interesting Tweets over the last 12 hours. His latest reads: Media and others having fun piling on Iowa State–we have great people-proven winners -THAT does mean something- even though most ignore it.
9:14 a.m. – This is potentially the biggest story in the history of Iowa State athletics.
For the next few days, I’m going to keep updating this front page with news, links, commentary and more regarding Iowa State and all of this conference realignment stuff.
I’ll start things off with your Daily Cyclone Links. CLICK HERE to head to our CycloneFanatic.com forums page.