Tom Keegan: Don’t bank on Kansas heading to Big Ten

Baylor running back Shock Linwood (32) pushes aside Kansas linebacker Marcquis Roberts (5) on a run during the first quarter on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015 at Memorial Stadium.

Big 12 expansion talk runs hot so it’s time for us all to board the plane to Fantasy Island, time for Herve Villechaize to come back from the dead to greet us, time for us to talk about what to wear for the wedding between the Big Ten and Kansas.

For many reasons, the Big Ten certainly would make for a nice landing spot for Kansas in the event the Big 12 either blows up or dilutes itself with expansion to the point undesirables are welcome. For one thing, the Big Ten is flush with cash, in part because of a hugely successful TV network.

In the event KU can upgrade its football program so that respectability is within view with a high-powered telescope, more potential victories exist in the Big Ten than the Big 12. Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Purdue and Rutgers all had losing records last season. None of those schools is an established football power. (Northwestern will remain a tough out as long as proud alumnus Pat Fitzgerald stays on the job, which figures to be a long, long time).

At the moment, KU’s out-of-state recruiting ties stretch south to Texas and Louisiana, not north to Ohio and Michigan, but TV networks have a way of changing recruiting opportunities for schools.

One problem with fantasizing about joining the Big Ten: The conference never has shown any interest in welcoming Kansas and nothing suggests that ever will change.

Sure, Kansas basketball would improve an already loaded league, but football revenue drives these decisions, not basketball power.

The Big Ten not only shares a portion of TV revenue and roughly a third of home gates as well. Kansas plays in a stadium with a 50,071 capacity, which is smaller than any Big Ten stadium with the exception of Northwestern’s Ryan Field (49,256). Northwestern more than compensates by being partially responsible for bringing the massive Chicago TV market to the conference.

Michigan’s The Big House (107,601), Penn State’s Beaver Stadium (106,572), and Ohio State’s The Horseshoe (104,944) have more than twice KU’s capacity. Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium (90,000), Wisconsin’s Camp Randall Stadium (80,321), Michigan State’s Spartan Stadium (75,005) and Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium (70,585) also dwarf KU’s aging home with a beautiful view.

The Big Ten can afford to be picky and can wait for, say, Texas, which plays in Darrell K. Royal Stadium (100,119). If the Longhorn Network collapses before the contract between UT and ESPN expires in 2031, the Big Ten rolls out the welcome mat.

Comments

Clarence Haynes

"but football revenue drives these decisions, not basketball power".........Maryland and Rutgers?

3 years ago

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Marius Rowlanski

Good examples..

3 years ago

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Brad Avery

Rutgers and Maryland have only slightly higher stadium capacities than KU. I doubt size of the stadium would be a significant factor in any selection process. If it were me, I would be more than happy to kiss the State of Texas goodbye and jump to the Big 10.

3 years ago

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Jeff Coffman

All I heard is KU doesn't get in because it has a small football stadium.

I'm sure if KU had the football program of 2005-2008 one might question if the size of the stadium matters.

I'm also not convinced that football is the only driving force in conference realignment.

Finally, I don't really see Northwestern carrying the Chicago market nor Rutgers carrying the New York market. I think both those areas are carried by pro teams.

3 years ago

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Jay Scott

Projecting what might or might not happen in 2031 is purely mental masturbation.

By then football might be dead, elite basketball players might be going to the NBA again.

There will be a league to play in and games will continue.

3 years ago

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Mike Barnhart

University chancellors and presidents are the ones who make these decisions. These are VERY smart people! If the media is right (they're not) and the conferences rely on short sighted issues like recent won-loss football records, they'll pick Baylor over Texas and K-State over KU. C'mon, that's not gonna happen! TV ratings will dominate any future realignment decisions.

Our passionate alumni base, national basketball footprint and domination of Kansas City will keep us in a major conference.

3 years ago

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Marius Rowlanski

I tend to agree with your post but being very smart doesn't mean making very smart decisions.

3 years ago

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Michael Leiker

Flights into the actual city where road games would be played...this would be a dream come true

3 years ago

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Jay Scott

Which cities? Bloomington IN? State College PA? Champaign? Madison? West Lafayette? Iowa City? Ann Arbor? Lansing? Lincoln?

3 years ago

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Suzi Marshall

Perhaps by the end of the current Big 12 GOR a dramatic change in air travel may be materializing allowing for these cities to be micro (perhaps even micro-micro)-regional hubs. The same strenght-to-weight material revolution driving future large structure designs, such as football stadiums is altering the design for aircraft: www.techworld.com/picture-gallery/per....

In the very near future, say 20 years, I can visualize a group boarding a flying wing which a capacity of 30 or so from Lawrence bound for Bloomington or State College, etc. Perhaps even traveling at multiple mach speeds. With such travel capability, perhaps future B1G expansion talks may include The London School of Economics.

3 years ago

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Marius Rowlanski

I'll go back to what Jay said earlier. 20 years from now - 30 years from now- it's just a waste of time trying to predict what will have happened. I would like to see Kansas stay in the BIG 12 with a 12 team conference.

Let's be honest, what conference doesn't Kansas football dilute? If it wasn't for our basketball program, I don't think any major conference with actively pursue Kansas.

3 years ago

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Richard O'Neal

You suggest that if the B12 "dilutes itself with expansion to the point undesirables are welcome", Kansas should look to move on. That's silly thinking. What could Kansas offer the Big10 that it doesn't already have, or couldn't get from a dozen schools in then AAC, or C-USA, or Sunbelt conference? College sports thrive on media revenues, and Kansas doesn't exactly deliver on that point. In fact, after the B12's GOR expires, Kansas will be lucky if it remains in a pwer conference. There are too many schools like CSU, USF, and UCF in large and medium-large markets that have much more to offer now and in the future. Well, I guess those schools are are the "undesirables" you wrote of.

3 years ago

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Jay Scott

But yet you're sure that directional schools in Florida are the salvation of the Big12 because they have large student enrollment and are in populous sunny places? The fact that they have no long term relevance in sports and are academic second tier isn't important?

Dude. Just stop posting nonsense. You're making less sense every time you puke out more gibberish.

3 years ago

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Ludwig Supraphonic

Being located in a metropolitan area doesn't necessarily deliver viewers. TV sets won't likely be viable to measure marketability in the very near future. Branding for sports and research based academics seems the best way to determine a universities contribution to a conference. I don't see CSU, USF of UCF as the future.

3 years ago

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Marius Rowlanski

" College sports thrive on media revenues, and Kansas doesn't exactly deliver on that point."

College Basketball's Most Valuable Teams: Louisville On Top, Kansas Close Behind

The Louisville Cardinals are, for the fourth consecutive year, college basketball’s most valuable team. But the team’s financial success appears to have ebbed for the first time since 2009. This year Louisville is worth $38.3 million, down a hair from last year’s $39.5 million valuation. And while the Cardinals have stalled, much of the field is charging hard. The Kansas Jayhawks, the sport’s second-most valuable team, are up 7% to $35.4 million.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/chrissmit...

So much for not delivering...

3 years ago

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Michael Maris

Tom, I'm not arguing the point of the Longhorn's heading to the B1G before Kansas. But, I will say that there has been past interest in Kansas (from the B1G) in prior years. Please see the 1993 article link below.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/19...

I'm good friends with an Attorney in Ohio (whom is a Big Buckeye Fan). And, he informed me several years ago (when the B12 looked like it was about to collapse) that the B1G has already had their eyes on U. of Texas. So, I know that fact is true.

But, to say that the B1G has never had any interest in U. of Kansas. In 1993, it appears that there was some interest. Or, the Chicago Tribune wouldn't have written an article about it.

Course, Nebraska trumped Missouri in the race to the B1G. Had Missouri had the football history that Nebraska has had. Then, Missouri would've already been in the B1G. But as we all know, Missouri's football history doesn't even compare to Nebraska's over the past 50 years. So, Nebraska pulled the rug out from underneath Missouri's feet.

Where will Kansas land, if the Longhorn's and Oklahoma decide to take their show elsewhere?

Who's to say that the Mountain West (MWC) doesn't gain P5 Status (if the B12 is no more).

Sure, we all want a seat at the Big Table. But, who's to say that the MWC doesn't get that open seat (if Texas & OU take their show elsewhere). ESPN has let it be known that they like the Central Time Zone, as it's the best time zone for TV Viewership (over the East Coast and the Pacific Coast Time Zones).

3 years ago

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Suzi Marshall

Are you saying The Chicago Tribune runs only true stories?

Nevertheless, I do agree there is more to the story of KU to the B1G and the GOR is a myth. This latest round of expansion talks may blow up in the face of the Big 12. It seems as expected UT and OU holds all the high cards.

www.outkickthecoverage.com/myth-of-th...

3 years ago

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Robert Brown

I have seen the 1993 article and wonder what happened and why this did not occur. Of course, it is no longer 1993 so the situation is very different and probably not relevant.

3 years ago

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Marius Rowlanski

And 1993 is less than 25 years ago. Trying to predict 25 years into the future is even more difficult.

3 years ago

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Marius Rowlanski

Or the MVC plus bringing back its former full members such as:

Butler

Cincinnati

Creighton

Houston

Iowa

Iowa State

University of Kansas

Kansas State

Louisville

Memphis

University of Missouri (or not)

University of Nebraska

New Mexico State

University of Oklahoma

Oklahoma State

Tulsa

Hey - it's speculation not necessarily GOOD speculation.

3 years ago

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Lance Rocke

Maryland may not be a power in the authors eyes, but they at least have a national title (1953), something KU will NEVER even sniff

3 years ago

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Marius Rowlanski

You do know that Oklahoma beat Maryland in the 1953 Orange Bowl? Maryland was still the "Consensual" National Champion but a pretty weak example.

Division I FBS football is the only National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sport for which the NCAA does not sanction a yearly championship .

Kansas has just as many NCAA football championships as Alabama - or Maryland.

3 years ago

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Harlan Hobbs

With all due respect, Lance, if you have to go back 63 years to find a national championship, it hardly seems significant. Right now, almost everybody has a better football program than KU, so which conference you are in doesn't make a lot of difference. Hopefully, that will change sometime in the foreseeable future

3 years ago

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Marius Rowlanski

Lance needed to overlook several things to find a national championship for Maryland. The NCAA doesn't list Maryland as winning any championship in football.

3 years ago

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Dennis Strick

None of this talk will matter in two years. The onset of 4 NCAA DI "Superconferences" North, South, East West with 16 to 20 teams vying for 8 Football playoff spots will rule the day. We will land in one of those superconferences for sure, so just sit back and enjoy the ride, the speculation, and the media drama

3 years ago

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Jay Scott

Dennis wins.

3 years ago

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Marius Rowlanski

Only if he's right... Which he may or may not be. Speculation and media drama are definitely the only thing you can count on.

3 years ago

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Robert Brown

The only way that will happen is if the SEC breaks up because the other 4 conferences have a grant of media rights lasting until the mid-2020s

3 years ago

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Jay Scott

B1G - North

SEC - South

ACC - East

PAC - West

See how easy that was?

3 years ago

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John Hampton

In this scenario (which I've predicted as well), where do you think KU fits in?

Geographically, probably the PAC?

Though I could listen to argument from the B1G for the same reasons or the ACC for other reasons.

3 years ago

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Jay Scott

No clue. B1G would be my choice but it wouldn't bother me if they were left out.

3 years ago

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Aaron Paisley

Ain't happening in two years.

3 years ago

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Steve Hillyer

I disagree that the Big 10 has never shown interest in KU, when Gordan Gee was still president of Ohio St. he was quoted as saying the Big 10 should have picked up KU and MU when it had the chance, the quote came from a meeting with OSU donors and alums, his remarks about Notre Dame being holy on Sunday's but holy hell the rest of the week is what made headlines around the nation and eventually to his leaving OSU, but later in his presentation he did mention KU. Also Yahoo reported that the Big 10 "vetted" KU, OU and Vanderbilt for Big 10 admission, now after looking at KU the Big 10 may have decided KU was not qualified for admission but we don't know that and to say there has never been interest is not accurate.

3 years ago

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Suzi Marshall

Are you implying Gordon Gee left OSU because he mentioned KU to the B1G?

3 years ago

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Jay Scott

Let's imagine a Power 4 x 16 team conference world arrives and Kansas ISN'T among a chosen 64.

That likely leaves KSU, ISU, TTU, Baylor, TCU, Memphis, Cincy, Houston, New Mexico, Boise St, UConn, Temple, CSU, BYU, Houston, UNLV, Fresno, SDSU (who all also play football) among others, all looking to be in a conference too. I'm 100% fine with being part of that. Think only the 64 would be eligible to compete for a National Title in anything but football, if that still exists? They're going to exclude everyone else in hoops, baseball, golf, track etc? No.

If it's 4 conferences with 20 teams it's a moot point. Kansas is in.

3 years ago

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Drew Jarrett

The comments section for this entire site would be nothing without Jay Scott

3 years ago

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Jay Scott

Someday you'll have the wisdom to contribute too! Be patient and read on.

3 years ago

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Marius Rowlanski

Drew..you might want to wipe your nose. Got something brown hanging off the end.

Hoping you admire my contributions one day as much as you admire Jay's...

3 years ago

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Mike Barnhart

Yes! I do think a superconference would be exclusive of everyone else. That's why they'd do it! Everyone left out would become defacto "division 2" programs.

3 years ago

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Jay Scott

Not going to happen. They'll eliminate half the CWS champs? Gonzaga, all the Big East in hoops? Not a chance.

3 years ago

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Aaron Paisley

When superconferences happen, it's not going to specifically be 4×16. The total number if programs will be somewhere between 65 and 80 teams which puts leagues between16 and 20 teams.

3 years ago

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Layne Pierce

Correct me, if I am wrong, but aren't there still some anti-trust issues to be decided.
Sooner or later, who ever is not in the 64, is going to take this thing to court. Actually,
how about this revolutionary idea, 1) reduce the maximum six of Conferences to 12 teams,
or 2) Choose 8 conferences that can play for national championship, and have a 12 team playoff, Top 4 seeds get a bye.

Every once in a while, a Marshall, or a Houston, or a Louisiana Tech has a team that could do it, they should get a shot.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk

3 years ago

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Steve Hillyer

Suzi,
Gee's comments about Notre Dame was one of the contributing factors but not the sole factor, he had a history of saying stupid stuff over the years and I think they just got tired of it after that.

3 years ago

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Bville Hawk

The vast majority of schools that have switched conferences have been AAU members. Not sure what the percentage is but I'm guessing 80% or thereabouts. And don't forget that Nebraska was AAU when they were recruited by the Big 10, but lost their AAU accreditation just before they became a member.

Someone else posted that these decisions are made by university presidents and not by football coaches or athletic directors. Academicians want conference members with similarly strong academics. Conference realignment is about academics and not football and stadium size. It just appears to be about football.

3 years ago

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Michael Lorraine

I could see school(s) leaving the ACC, Pac 12 and even the SEC but no school will leave the B1G, that's the most desirable conference to be in. And given they are at 14 I think it's highly unlikely we will receive an invitation.

3 years ago

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Chris Spangenburg

What Keegan doesn't know could fill a book.

3 years ago

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Marius Rowlanski

Pretty sure I could fill up a library on what I don't know but how do you know what you don't know?

3 years ago

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Doug Wallace

Screw the B1G! Screw them they are just like the Big 12 and Texas the way Ohio State runs things there! Oh correction every once in a while Michigan and Michigan State get a little power! Still that conference aint much better than here Let Iowa State and U Conn have that conference! Those 2 have been begging and have had alot of interest there!

Like I keep hammering here! Here is what needs to be done!

Both Kansas Schools KU, KSU, along with Both Oklahoma schools OU OSU and Texas Tech need to join forces and all 5 of them join the Pac-12! It be a great conference.Pac-12 would get Kansas City,Wichita,even some Missouri market, Oklahoma City and Dallas Market.Id love to have Colorado back as rival.I miss them the most of the 4 that left.Think of having not just the state of Texas recruiting also California recruits for the 5 schools.Including the states out west.

Sorry folks we would not get the recruits form the B1G it always tilt towards Ohio State and the Michigan schools maybe Look who usually win in the B1G football Ohio State or Michigan once in a while Michigan State or Penn State does something in Football.Basketball Ohio State Michigan State or Indiana.But they always favor Michigan or Ohio.

Pac-12 you never know who is going to win it they have more parity More excitement they do not always have the same ol same ol teams every year.

3 years ago

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