SSDD: Part II of conference realignment links are after the jump.
Wanted to give you all a heads-up in that I'm going to the game this weekend. Woot! I haven't been back to Lubbock since the SMU game last year (tightened up the extraneous expenses with the adoption) and am excited to be going back to Lubbock. I'll be leaving Friday after work, which means that I'll be at work early on Friday and probably won't have time to do any links tomorrow morning. In place of that I'm doing a Q&A with Nevada Wolf Pack blog and all-around terrific site, Silver And Blue Sports.
CONFERENCE REALIGNMENT, PART I
Pac-12 expansion spares Big 12 as Oklahoma Sooners, Texas Longhorns remain in place - ESPN
I am trying earnestly not to link to ESPN. I don't know if you have noticed, but there's really no reason to link to ESPN anymore as they don't break news and the opinions found on ESPN aren't normally anything that is required reading, but I wanted to link to Pat Forde's column from yesterday and also give you your moment of zen. Here's Forde:
Nevertheless, it would behoove Texas to make some concessions -- not just because Oklahoma wants it, but to show its Big 12 brethren that it gives a damn about them.
The Longhorns' steady diet of me-first has left them bloated and indifferent to the feelings of their peers. You can't blame athletic director DeLoss Dodds for capitalizing on his program's abundant successes and rampant popularity, but there has to be some concern for everyone else.
Rubbing your superiority in their faces has been a factor in the departure of 25 percent of the Big 12 over the past year-plus. (And we still don't know for sure what Missouri, itself a fickle and flirtatious corporate partner for over a year, intends to do.) If everyone keeps leaving you, don't you eventually have to look in the mirror and acknowledge that you're part of the problem?
"Texas has got to figure out how to play nice in the sandbox," one Big 12 athletic director told me several weeks ago, when Texas A&M was first agitating to leave for the Southeastern Conference. Officials in other conferences have said for more than a year that they were leery of sharing a league with a school packing such a selfish reputation.
So it's incumbent upon the Big 12's two flagship football schools to be good league partners -- blaming it all on poor Dan Beebe or league-wide jealousy isn't going to solve the situation. But truth be told, even that might not be enough to salvage a conference that has been through this much tumult and infighting.
MOMENT OF ZEN
Hat-tip, Unlikely Words:
TEXAS TECH FOOTBALL
Nevada offense looking to improve upon first, second games | Red Raiders
A preview on the Wolf Pack and Nevada head coach Chris Ault talks about RB Mike Ball:
"Let’s see if he sustains," Ault said. "That’s the key to be a Nevada back. You’ve got to do it every week. I was really pleased with Mike. He was tough all day long, ran hard. Stefphon Jefferson stepped up and played very, very well, which we’ve been expecting. I was pleased with our running backs."
Red Raiders Football Notebook: Getting healthy | Red Raiders
RB Aaron Crawford and OL Beau Carpenter are healthy and CB Tre' Porter was out yesterday as he was, "overcome by heat." Okay.
Wolf Pack football: Tech tries to strike a balance | Reno Gazette-Journal | rgj.com
Hmmm. Nevada may be playing Texas Tech straight up:
Wolf Pack defensive coordinator Andy Buh said the challenge of stopping Texas Tech is stiff. But unlike Nevada's blitz-crazy attempt to stop Oregon, which didn't work, the Pack will take a more conventional approach against the Red Raiders."We'll line up in our base and play good, sound, fundamental football," Buh said. "That's what we're going to try and do against these guys."
TEXAS TECH BASKETBALL
Big 12 preview: Ex-OU guard Michael Neal projects the league - The Dagger - NCAAB Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Texas Tech isn't getting a lot of love during Big 12 week at the Dagger, but when former OU player Michale Neal was asked which coach he would want to play for, this is what he said:
I would still pick Kelvin Sampson. I wouldn't play for anyone besides that man, but if I had to I really like Bill Self and Billy Gillipsie. I think they got the most out of their players night in and night out. When they had Acie Law and Joseph Jones and all those guys, they played unbelievably hard, especially on the defensive end. He got the most out of everybody every night. So those two guys, outside of coach Sampson, would be my pick. You knew you had a battle on your hands every time you played one of their teams.
CONFERENCE REALIGNMENT, PART II
Dan Beebe working on agreement to exit as Big 12 commissioner - KansasCity.com
Beebe may be gone today:
"He’s working on his exit package right now," one of the sources, who spoke directly to Beebe, told The Star on Wednesday night.
"A couple of weeks ago he told me privately that if the conference stayed together and he had to go it would be like lifting up a huge weight off his heart."
That source added that Beebe, who is an attorney, "has his best lawyer hat on now."
Latest Big 12 crisis averted, pending reforms and Beebe's seemingly imminent ouster | Big 12 ...
And reportedly set to replace Beebe is former Big 8 commissioner Chuck Neinas:
Multiple league sources predicted Wednesday that Beebe soon will be replaced on an interim basis by Chuck Neinas, a former Big Eight commissioner. Beebe remained on the job Wednesday, said a Big 12 spokesman, and had not resigned. To remove him would require a majority vote of league presidents in today's conference call. His contract was extended in November through June 30, 2015.
So who is Chuck Neinas? Well, according to RRS.com's Chris Level, he is one of two mentors to Texas Tech AD, Kirby Hocutt:
New #TexasTech athletic director @kirbyhocutt has mentioned that he's had two mentors: Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione and Chuck Neinas.
It's true, when Hocutt was hired at Texas Tech, he said this:
For those times, Hocutt believes he’s steeled himself with some good counsel. Asked to name his biggest influences, Hocutt focused on two: Chuck Neinas, under whom he did a year-plus internship right after graduating Kansas State, and Joe Castiglione, under whom he worked for seven years at Oklahoma.
Neinas, head of the College Football Association when Hocutt was with him, now consults on coach searches, AD searches, even conference expansions. He could put "college sports power broker" on his business card, and no one could disagree. Hocutt regards Castiglione as "the best athletic director in the country," and Castiglione speaks highly of Hocutt.
And most recently, Hocutt hired Neinas to help him with the coaching search at Miami.
DMN's Chuck Carlton tweeted that Neinas is not a bad guy to bring around if the Big 12 might need to re-negotiate television deals:
If you're the Big 12, you're in expansion mode and you may want to re-open your ESPN deal early, Chuck Neinas is not a bad guy to bring in.
So, Neinas was the Big 8 commissioner many years ago, what's he doing now? Well, he's a matchmaker and check out his list of former employees (hat-tip Crystal Ball Run): Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt, Texas AD DeLoss Dodds, and BCS head-honcho Bill Hancock.
Tonight’s conference realignment roundup: Q&A style (updated 12:30 a.m.) | Eric Crawford
A good Q&A on whether or not Louisville would be a good team to grab from the crumbling Big East:
Louisville is a name that is being tossed around inside and outside Big 12 circles, but there seems to be no real consensus in the league on which direction to go. Two things on this: First, Oklahoma, reportedly, wants to add BYU, TCU and Air Force, and Oklahoma may be wielding some additional power. Mainly, the Big 12 needs to get its own membership (and leadership) in order before it can go after anyone on the outside. And both of those situations appear to be far from settled. There are some deep rifts, financial and administrative, that still have the landscape of this embattled conference shaking a bit. A lot will certainly ride on who the next commissioner is, if Dan Beebe is indeed out.
But second, and I put some stock in this, if ESPN’s people keep reporting that U of L is on the table, I tend to believe that U of L is on the table. These TV networks, by now, know the value of leagues and know how the value would change with each scenario (see below on how expansion candidates are picked). And while starting next season the Big 12′s main TV deal is with FOX, not ESPN (something for possible candidates to think about), I can’t believe that ESPN wouldn’t have a good handle on who makes sense and who league consultants are saying would work.
Did the Pac-12 risk its future by not expanding? | College Hotline
Everyone's favorite West Coast writer asks if Pac-12 commissioner is making the wrong decision by not expanding. Interesting.