Category Archives: Big 12

K-State issues statement on Big 12

Kansas State officials said they were committed to the Big 12 when Texas A&M was considering a move to the SEC, and their stance hasn’t changed now that the Aggies are officially on their way out of the Big 12.

“K-State remains fully committed to the Big 12 Conference and continues to be excited about its future,” said K-State president Kirk Schulz and athletic director John Currie in a joint statement.

“There is great solidarity among the nine league institutions and an eagerness to achieve the stability our students, fans and alumni deserve. We remain actively engaged with our conference administration and fellow presidents and athletic directors in proactively determining our next steps.”

Big 12 Board of Directors Chairman and University of Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton released a similar statement this afternoon.

“The chancellors and presidents of the Big 12 are committed to keeping our conference competitively and academically strong,” Deaton said. “We have a process in place that enables us to move aggressively regarding the possible expansion of the conference and to assure our members and student-athletes that we will take advantage of the most productive opportunities in the best interests of all.”

And here’s one more statement from Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe:

“The presidents and chancellors of the nine remaining member institutions are steadfast in their commitment to the Big 12. As previously stated, the Conference will move forward aggressively exploring its membership options.”

Could K-State’s online TV network broadcast multiple football games?

Kansas State’s new online TV network isn’t on the same level as The Longhorn Network, which has received all kinds of attention for its mammoth contract with ESPN and its recent pursuit of a Big 12 Conference football game to broadcast.

K-StateHD.TV is mainly about exposure.

But the two broadcast entities could end up being similar in one way: They both want to show multiple football games this season.

Should any of its conference home games not be picked up by ABC/ESPN or FOX Sports, K-State athletic director John Currie said the Wildcats will push for that game to be broadcast live on its network.

“If the opportunity presents itself, we’re always going to seek that opportunity,” Currie said. “Anytime we have the opportunity to provide more exposure for our university and our student-athletes we’re going to explore that opportunity.”
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Looking ahead to gameday: nonconference

At Miami
It’s impossible to know what the Miami football team will look like when Kansas State travels to South Beach on Sept. 24. After Yahoo! Sports dropped its bombshell report on the Hurricanes, the eligibility of 15 current players have been called into question.

According to reports, as many as eight key players have already been ruled ineligible, including quarterback Jacory Harris and linebacker Sean Spence. Their eligibility could be restored in time to take the field against the Wildcats. They could serve suspensions into October. At this point, their playing status is unknown.

If they can play, Miami will be the favorite. If they are on the sidelines, K-State may be favored by a few points.
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Looking ahead to gameday: Baylor

Editor’s note: In preparation of the upcoming football season, K-Stated will look ahead to all 12 games on the Wildcats’ 2011 schedule. Next up, all three nonconference games.

Here’s how far Baylor has come in a few short seasons under Art Briles: TCU, the 14th-ranked team in college football, opens the season in Waco on Friday and the game is being labeled as Must See.

Some are even predicting the Bears to pull the upset.

I’m picking TCU to win a close game, but I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if Baylor starts the 2011 campaign with a signature victory. With Robert Griffin at quarterback, anything is possible.
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Looking ahead to gameday: Missouri

Editor’s note: In preparation of the upcoming football season, K-Stated will look ahead to all 12 games on the Wildcats’ 2011 schedule. Next up, Baylor.

The Missouri Tigers lost Blaine Gabbert and Aldon Smith to the NFL, and for that reason no one is predicting them as a legitimate contender for a Big 12 championship this season.

But that doesn’t mean they still can’t make a run at 10 wins.

Missouri returns nine starters on offense and seven on defense from a team that lost to Iowa in the Insight Bowl last year. That’s more than enough talent to beat most of the opponents on its schedule.

Even though the Tigers don’t appear to be as strong as Oklahoma, Oklahoma State or Texas A&M, they do look a step above everyone else in the league. They open the season ranked in the Top 25.
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Looking ahead to gameday: at Kansas


Editor’s note: In preparation of the upcoming football season, K-Stated will look ahead to all 12 games on the Wildcats’ 2011 schedule. Next up, at Texas Tech.

If there’s a preseason football poll out there that doesn’t have Kansas finishing last in the Big 12 this season, I haven’t seen it.

The Jayhawks, in coach Turner Gill’s second year, are more or less the unanimous pick to lose more games than any other Big 12 team. Perhaps Sports Illustrated summed up their woes best by predicting them to go 1-11 last week. Their only projected win? The season-opener against McNeese State.

Ouch.

Kansas players have said they are using those projections as motivation heading into the end of fall training camp, and they will no doubt get the Jayhawks practicing with extra enthusiasm. It will probably fuel them enough to start 2-0 with a win against Northern Illinois in Week 2. Beyond that, though, victories will be hard to find.

The Wildcats will take on the Jayhawks in Lawrence on Oct. 22, and after K-State throttled KU 59-7 last year it’s not hard to figure out who will be favored this time around.
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Emptying the notebook on … Big 12 future, conference realignment, university networks

One thing Kansas State president Kirk Schulz and athletic director John Currie both told me yesterday was that even though it is frustrating for everyone in the Big 12 Conference to be dealing with realignment talk for the second time in almost a year, there is no reason to believe the league will dissolve if Texas A&M heads to the SEC.

For fans who have witnessed the Pac-12, SEC and Big 10 all try to raid their favorite conference, and were in full panic mode about its destruction last summer, it may be difficult to show that same type of confidence.

But Schulz did make a compelling argument as to why the Big 12 will stay together no matter what happens with Texas A&M, and it goes beyond the commitment the other nine schools have pledged to the conference.

“We just signed a billion dollar rights deal with Fox,” Schulz said. “It’s not like we don’t have a lot of resources to go around. When we had the defections of Nebraska and Colorado a year ago, at that point we didn’t have that big rights deal, but now we went out and aggressively got a nice rights deal with Fox. The financial reasons for leaving are no longer there.”

He thinks access to that huge sum of money will play a large role in ultimately keeping the Big 12 together. And with the league’s television partners (ABC/ESPN and Fox) pledging to honor their current contracts with the conference as long as a suitable replacement is found for Texas A&M should the Aggies leave, the Big 12 has plenty of reason to aggressively look at expansion options.
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Regent feels ‘real good’ about Big 12 future

When the Kansas Board of Regents meet in Arcadia on Monday for their annual three-day retreat, Dan Lykins is certain conference realignment will be discussed.

Lykins, a Topeka attorney and Kansas State alum who serves on the board, said he is looking forward to hearing about the topic from both K-State president Kirk Schulz and Kansas chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.

As long as Texas A&M is considering a move to the SEC, he says the status of the Big 12 “is a critical issue that the regents are very concerned about.”

However, he is feeling much better about the league’s future than he was during last summer’s conference realignment scare, when he openly wondered at times if the Big 12 was going to survive.

Though he and the other regents have not been actively involved in any realignment discussions, such as the conference calls that Big 12 athletic directors and presidents participated in Saturday afternoon, he says administrators from both K-State and KU have kept them informed.

So far, he likes what he hears.

“No one can force Texas A&M to do anything,” Lykins said. “Right now, it’s in their corner. So it’s a waiting game. But I feel comfortable that whatever happens, KU and K-State will still be in the Big 12 and will continue working together to make this a better conference … I feel real good about what’s going on.”

Looking ahead to gameday: Texas A&M


Editor’s note: In preparation of the upcoming football season, K-Stated will look ahead to all 12 games on the Wildcats’ 2011 schedule. Next up, at Oklahoma State.

Texas A&M is making headlines all across the country today, because it is contemplating a move to the SEC. But let’s, at least for a moment, put aside the topic of conference realignment and take a look at the Aggies’ football team.

A&M is coming off a breakthrough year of sorts, in which it ended the regular season on a six-game winning streak, beat both Oklahoma and Texas and played in the Cotton Bowl. Because of a poor start, the Aggies only finished with an 9-4 record, but for a program that has been down in the dumps lately it was a definite step in the right direction.

A mid-season quarterback switch to Ryan Tannehill sparked the strong finish, and the 6-foot-4 senior will start from Day 1 this time around. That, along with Mike Sherman appearing to settle in after three years as coach, has the Aggies ranked in the Top 10 of preseason polls.

With the losses of leading tackler Michael Hodges, sack master Von Miller and a difficult early schedule, Texas A&M may be a bit overrated at this point, but it definitely has the potential to make a run at a second-place finish in the Big 12. It will have to win a lot of tough games for that to happen, though.

One of those tough games could be on Nov. 12 at Kansas State. It’s a game most Aggies fans have probably already circled as a win, but, remember, the last time A&M came to Manhattan it left on the wrong side of a 62-14 beatdown.
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What John Currie learned from the first conference realignment scare

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to talk with Kansas State athletic director John Currie about what it was like for him dealing with the conference realignment scare of 2010.

How did he handle it? How stressful was that time? What did he learn? Those type of questions.

The conversation came near the end of June, when he was so confident about the makeup of a 10-team Big 12 that he said, “We emerged stronger than ever as a league and we have a great, great future.”

Today, I’m guessing he would say something a little different. Now that the rumblings of Texas A&M plotting a move to the SEC have gone national, there is concern across the Big 12.

A lot of dominoes need to fall in just the right way before panic sets in as it did last summer, when it briefly looked like teams such as Kansas, Missouri, K-State, Baylor and Iowa State would be left without a conference to call home.

This whole act could be nothing more than a bluff from the Aggies, the SEC expanding to 13 doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and there’s a decent chance the Big 12 could survive the loss of A&M and continue as a nine-team league.

Still conference realignment is once again a topic of conversation.

One thing that should help everyone involved this time around, should serious negotiations need to be made, is that they’ve been through this dance before. Here is how Currie remembers it:
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