Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton spoke with the St. Louis Dispatch about Oklahoma and the future of the Big 12 yesterday. As the chairman of the Big 12 board, it was interesting to hear his thoughts on the current conference realignment situation.
He told the newspaper he expects the Sooners to make a decision about their future conference affiliation within the next “10 to 14 days,” but expressed hope that the Big 12 could rebuild even if they decide to look to the Pac-12 with Oklahoma State coming along for the ride.
“I don’t want to go too far there, (but) there’s a legal basis for the Big 12 to go on and, certainly, I would expect that to continue,” he said in a phone interview.
Not that Deaton is expecting Oklahoma to go.
“If things change, we’ll try to keep it together and move forward with other members,” he said, later adding, “I’m a little more optimistic certainly today than I was maybe a week ago, but that’s based on the fact that I think good, careful reasoning and analysis of what’s in the best interests of each of our institutions will continue to bind us together as a conference.”
For what it’s worth, his words back up what most of my sources have been telling me for the past week. There is still hope the Big 12 can stay together, if for no other reason than that any team that leaves will face a lawsuit from those that stay seeking reimbursement for the money they were promised when they signed a $1 billion TV deal with FOX. Now, that wouldn’t create any kind of long-term stability for the league. The teams that currently want out will still want out when the FOX contract expires. But it would buy some time for the conference to attract new members and get back to a stronger 12-team league.
Should Texas A&M and the Oklahoma schools leave regardless of the court battles they could face, it’s interesting to hear Deaton say the remaining seven schools could forge ahead and try to rebuild on their own. With buyout money and a BCS auto bid, the Big 12 could attract some decent new members. But would that appeal to the remaining schools more than jumping to other BCS leagues?
– In actual football news, here is a link to my story on K-State cornerback Nigel Malone, who is staying grounded even though he is one of 17 players nationally to grab multiple interceptions this season.
– Like the crazy, loud, Any-Given-Sunday-style uniforms that have been sweeping through college football lately (think Maryland, Oregon and Oklahoma State)? Hate them? Well, you’ll probably enjoy this story either way.
– After a tough loss to Louisiana-Lafayette last week, the Kent State flashes look like they are making some changes on their offensive line in preparation of Saturday’s game in Manhattan.
– Kansas State basketball coach Frank Martin and a handful of players will be in Kansas City on Sept. 27 for a banquet.