It's been a busy weekend for you all that are paying any sort of attention to Conference Realigment news and rumors.
It started last week, when Orangebloods.com broke the news that the Pac-10 was inviting Six teams from the Big 12 to join including the University of Oklahoma.
Here's what's happened since. I'll try to post links, but there has been so many articles and twitters, some I've lost the link and source on.
The Texas Legislature has gotten in the mix and is trying to get Baylor in to replace Colorado in the 6 teams. This would be an interesting development. Colorado as a institution (they are an AAU school) and as part of the Denver market would be very big in the game, and Baylor doesn't add anything. Baylor is a private religious school with an enrollment of around 5,000.
How big is the University of Texas in all this "Realignment Dance"? Big enough to make Baylor a viable option over CU.
As CC posted there seems to be a deadline from the Big 12 to Nebraska and Missouri on whither they are in our out. This is really funny, as the Big 12 has nothing to stand on, and no leverage. What are they going to do if the Huskers and Tigers don't commit?...kick them out?
The Pac-10 has a time frame as soon as the end of July to add schools in expansion, but needs to have teams in place by the end of the year. They have a TV contract running out, and they need the new schools in place to go into negotiations with. The only school that really moves the needle is the University of Texas.
This has pressured the Big 10 to step it's time schedule. They have been loving the spot light and taking their sweet time, wooing every AAU school and Notre Dame who is the only other school that moves the TV needle besides U of Texas. A rumor that came out this weekend is the Big 10 is pressuring ND hard to join, and one of ND's request was for the Big10+ to only go to 12 teams if they join. The theory on that is that would give ND more non-conference games to schedule.
If that happens, Nebraska and Missouri, may NOT have a new home, but another rumor has has those 2 schools with invites from the Big 10+ in hand. This appears to be the old rumor from the Kansas City radio station early in May.
Trammel from the Daily Oklahoman has Nebraska on the Clock. It seems to me everyone is trying to make Nebraska out as the bad guy in the break up. Everyone is wanting to jump off the ship, but no one wants to be the one to have to shoot Ole Yeller. Now...does NU have a Big 10 offer or not?
A big news item, that I think got over looked is the Pac-10 gave Commissioner Larry Scott the power to negotiate with schools on his own. As you can see there are a lot of moving issues, in all this realignment, and having to go to a conference call and get individual schools approvals, would complicate the matter. Scott now doesn't have to deal with that. He can become his own king-maker.
According to Neil Woelk of the Boulder Daily Camera, the Pac-10 has looked at a 4x4 "Pod System" which could get OU and Colorado to more games on the west coast.
Woelk, also says Fox Sport has offered a big increase to the Big 12 if they stay together (wouldn't they give a bigger increase if they had Cali too?)
Woelk mentions KU's AD Perkins as saying the Big 12's situation as "serious, serious, serious" and that Iowa St's AD and Pres, put a joint letter on their site, stating that "the long term viability of the Big 12 Conference is not in our control" (DUH!)
One of the biggest developments from all this has happened this morning (Monday), and that is the Mountain West Conference who was going to give Boise St, a formal invitation, has apparently put that on hold. With much of the Big 12 North potentially homeless the Mountain West could come out of this as the newest super-conference taking over the spot of the Big 12. OR..they could get carved up themselves.
So is OU going to join the Pac-10? Well Castiglione has been pretty demonstrative when saying that OU is committed to the Big 12, and hasn't talked to anyone in the Pac-10. In this link wait tell you get to about half way, where he starts to talk about "contingency plans"
There is enough smoke, and there is fire. No official can really say this is all real as they can't negotiate in public in the press. Well, unless you are CU's Bohn, but he's not the sharpest pencil in the box.
Here's what I think is pretty bankable: OU will end up in a deal of some sort with the Pac-10. Will it be a merger of the Big 12 with north and south teams? Will it be a merger of the Big 12 South - Baylor + CU? Or will it just be as simple as joint TV deal between the 2 conferences? Those are the details they are working on right now I think.