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Football

Running Realignment Blog: What’s next for the Big 12?

By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com PublisherFollow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams

7:21 a.m. – Add Air Force to the list of schools that the Big 12 is reportedly interested in adding.

Friday, Sept. 2

7:19 a.m. – Some solid reporting right here regarding BYU and the Big 12 from the Salt Lake Tribune.

7:10 a.m. – Chip Brown’s latest tweet.

Sources tell Orangebloods.com Pittsburgh’s stock rising as a possible B12 replacement for A&M

6:50 a.m. – I found this nugget from Chip Brown’s latest column to be especially interesting.

In fact, I was told by a source with intimate knowledge of the situation the SEC will not take Missouri because the SEC doesn’t want to be responsible for the collapse of the Big 12.

6:45 a.m. – Cyclone Nation. Right now, all you can do is wait.

At this hour, we still have all of the questions that we did last night.

Everything that you have read over the last 12 hours has mostly been speculation by different writers across the country.

Here is an interesting link from Kirk Bohls of the Austin American Statesman. His view of the Big 12’s future isn’t as bright as many.

This is what I posted about Bohls’ latest column in our massive realignment thread.

The only thing that concerns me about that Kirk Bohls piece is that I know how well-connected he actually is. He’s one of the most connected guys in the conference. Still, if this were the case, which I don’t believe it to be, you’d have some Oklahoma writers hinting around toward the same thing.

Right or wrong, Bohls has to have some sort of information. He’s been too credible over the years to just throw this stuff out of nowhere.

Again – That doesn’t mean that he’ll end up being right about the Oklahoma stuff.

Thursday, Sept. 1

6:04 p.m. – BYU’s official statement from the Kansas City Star

“There is much speculation right now regarding conference affiliation that seems to change by the hour. Commenting on such conjecture is not productive and creates a distraction for our program. As we enter the 2011-12 athletic season, BYU is focused on the opportunities ahead. We are excited about our relationship with ESPN as a football independent and our affiliation with the West Coast Conference."

5:45 p.m. – CBSSports.com’s Brett McMurphy’s twitter on BYU.

BYU will not comment on Big 12: "Commenting on such conjecture is not productive and creates a distraction for our program."

5:15 p.m. – BYU is going to issue a statement regarding the Big 12 later on today. I don’t expect any huge news. But it is reason to stay tuned.

4:40 p.m. – Missouri’s administration posts a letter to Tiger fans on its website. It reads like Mizzou is committed to the Big 12.

4:13 p.m. – Here’s what Chip Brown from OrangeBloods.com is reporting.

— He mentions Pitt as a serious expansion candidate.

— Brown reports that the Big 12 has put together a five-member realignment that is headed up by Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton, Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione and Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds.

2:25 p.m. – An ESPN/Joe Schad tweet reads:

"K-State says "great solidarity" among nine members of Big 12 left."

2:20 p.m. – It is official. Finally! Texas A&M is gone.

What’s next for the Big 12? The league is officially in expansion mode.

Let’s take care of a little housekeeping before getting to some thoughts/links. Here’s an Iowa State release from athletics director Jamie Pollard.

“It is unfortunate that Texas A&M is moving forward with plans to depart the Big 12. They have been highly competitive in the conference and represented our league well on the national stage. Although our preference is for them to stay in the Big 12, we wish them well in the future and respect their decision. The Commissioner, Presidents and Directors of Athletics are poised to move quickly and aggressively in studying alternatives for the conference.”

Can we just call Pollard "stealth" from now on? That told us nothing.

This Pollard quote from the Ames Tribune affirms the previous two sentences.

"The other nine schools are going to approach this like it’s a coaching search. It’s kind of like a coaching search in the way you go about things and evaluate things."

The Big 12 is expanding but there are still a ton of questions.

For one, are the other nine members of the league 100 percent committed? Up until now, there’s been no reason to believe that isn’t the case. So if the league does expand, will it go back to 10 or shoot for 12? Who are the expansion candidates? Who else will the SEC add? Will Missouri be the SEC’s top target?

Other than the Big 12’s next move, keep an eye on the SEC and Pac-12.

— ATHLON gives pros and cons to numerous Big 12 expansion candidates.

My Take: The Big 12 needs to get back to 12 teams. Believe it or not, the league is actually in a good spot here. With the new TV contract and more money coming in 2015, the Big 12 actually has quite a few chips at the poker table right now.

I’m all for BYU and Air Force.

Who’s number three?

Wednesday, August 31

9:45 a.m. – No big news yet today but I do have a thought or two to dish out.

— So Notre Dame and Arkansas supposedly would say no to the Big 12 right? Unless this league does something shocking here over the next few months, Texas Tech’s chancellor did nobody any favors by opening his mouth opening the weekend. As much as I appreciate an administrator who will actually speak about things like this, sometimes it is best to just keep your mouth shut.

CLICK HERE for a good read on the current situation within the Big 12 by the Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel. He raises some good points.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 30

6:20 p.m. – My apologies for not updating this blog more today. Other than the Notre Dame nugget that was dropped this morning, today was pretty quiet from a realignment standpoint. Here are a couple of links from the day that are worth reading.

ESPN.com’s David Ubben breaks down the Big 12’s expansion candidates.

— "College Football’s Most Dangerous Blog" – Chadd Scott analyzes Missouri and the SEC.

— Texas A&M is one step closer to heading east.

10:11 a.m. – Some real reporting on realignment here from Kirk Bohls of the Texas Statesman. Here’s a quote from Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick.

“Our priority — and our clear priority — is maintaining our football independence and continuing to build our relationship with the Big East with our other sports."

MONDAY, AUGUST 29

10:11 p.m. – This BYU blogger is reporting that the Cougars have been contacted by the Big 12. Some Notre Dame/Texas scuttlebutt too.

9:50 p.m. – It’s game week. You’re excited right?

I am.

Having said that, I really wish that I could spend all of my time this week writing about you know, football. Something tells me that won’t be the case.

I shut this thing down a few weeks ago, but my decision to bring back my running realignment blog is a no-brainer.

Texas A&M is on its way out.

What’s next for the Big 12? Refresh this page often throughout the next week as I’ll post important links, Tweets, thoughts and more regarding conference realignment and what it could mean for the future of Iowa State athletics.

Some important links from the weekend to get everybody caught up…

— Chip Brown’s recap of a Big 12 presidents conference call from Saturday via OrangeBloods.com.

— BYU’s play-by-play man isn’t crazy about joining the Big 12.

— Here’s the headlines from Sam Mellinger’s latest column in the Kansas City Star. "Texas abusing its power in the Big 12."

— Texas Tech’s chancellor talks a big game.

— A handful of Cyclone Fanatics are currently tracking some mysterious flights taking place among Big 12 schools…

SUNDAY, AUGUST 28