Florida State and Clemson could join Big 12 as early as this weekend, Notre Dame in all sports except Football.

Florida State ClemsonJust a very quick update on the ever shifting tectonic plates of college athletic conferences. I have learned from a source inside the Big 12 corporate offices that Florida State and Clemson are ready and could announce their intentions to join the Big 12 Conference as early as this weekend. That’s big news considering all of the smoke, and possibly smoke screens, that have been thrown out from those two schools.

I have also learned that Notre Dame may be joining the conference in all sports that they could compete in the Big 12 Conference, minus football. They would then leave open the possibility to join the Big 12 as a full conference member as soon as their contract expired with NBC.

That would also allow the possibility for the Big 12 to rework or renegotiate TV deals with other providers, including the new NBC Sports. Taking it a step further, the Big 12 may be in a position to start their own network partnering with NBC for a Big 12 Network to rival other conference networks, such as Big Ten and Mountain West.

I wish I had more information at this time to add but, stay tuned and enjoy the view!

Addendum: Since posting this entry, I came across a story from South Bend on the possibilities of Notre Dame being closer to a deal with Big 12.

One more: I found some more speculative smoke in this article.

Big 12 Point spread projections from @BeyondTheBets.

I know that I haven’t set the world on fire with much new and unique content, but I came across another great link for you Big 12 fans. This one comes from http://beyondthebets.com/ and lists his projected spreads for every Big 12 football game this season. It’s too early for it to be accurate for every week all season long, but it’s a great way to look at the upcoming schedule and see how your team may fare in Vegas lines. Enjoy the view!


How will the BCS Select the 4-team Play-off Participants?

Who decides how the play-off teams get selected?

One thing that came out of the conference meetings this week is how each conference would like to choose the play-off participants.

The Big 12 prefers a 4-team playoff that includes taking the four highest ranked teams.

While not official from the SEC meetings, the SEC coaches have spoken out that they are also in favor of a four-team playoff and that the highest ranked teams should be included.

This plan goes against the Big Ten’s plan for the four teams to be the four highest ranked conference champions in order to qualify for the playoffs.

The Pac-12’s “Top Six Plan” would require the teams to be conference champions that are ranked in the top six. If four teams do not qualify under that plan, they would then go to the highest ranked at-large teams.

The ACC is in-line for the “Champs Only” formatted playoffs, but at this point I am not sure that the ACC will even exist with the current conference expansion/realignment turbulence so their opinion might not be as relevant at this time.

Big 12 Expansion: Where Are We Now?

Since my very brief entry over the weekend there has been a lot of chatter. The Big 12 and the SEC are holding their meetings right now and comments are starting to come in from both sides. Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione says the Big 12 is fine right where it’s at with 10 teams in the conference and that it is progressing greatly for the future. Interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas agreesand said that, ‘Bigger is not necessarily better.’ when talking about expansion.

Both of those statements go along with what Florida State is claiming. They say that the Big 12 has not “called” them yet about being a part of the conference. I would bet that the phone hasn’t rang to talk about expansion, but a few members from each side have probably started some dialogue on what it would take to get a deal done.

The old(est) ball coach, Bill Snyder (Oldest active head coach in the FBS) made a comment stating that if the Big 12 expanded that he was in favor of two six-team divisions. He also stated that “There are many that would still prefer that you play virtually every team in the conference.”

So back to my original question, “Where are we now?”

Big 12 football: Ranking the expansion candidates

I have been away for way too long. Nothing written since about halfway through the Big 12 men’s basketball tournament in Kansas City. I wrote exactly zero characters about Missouri losing in the round of 64 or Kansas making it all the way to the title game. I fell off the face of the internet. Since I have been Current/Former Big 12away, I haven’t really done much reading up on or tracking all of the scenarios on the possible, if not probable, Big 12 expansion. It seems like for the first time since the term “Conference Expansion” became exclusive to summer-time for NCAA conferences that the Big 12 is leading the charge. I don’t know if it is based on the absence of Dan Beebe, the presence of Chuck Neinas or the simple fact that other schools from other conferences like the direction that the Big 12 is heading over their current conference. I guess NCAA conferences aren’t excluded from the ever rising divorce rate in America. I did stumble across this blog posting from Berry Tramel, who writes for The Oklahoman, and I really enjoyed his commentary on the teams that may be joining the Big 12 in the near future. It’s a great read and can be found at the link below.

Big 12 football: Ranking the expansion candidates.

Big 12 Round One Preview

Texas A&M Aggies vs. Oklahoma Sooners, Big 12 Network at 6PM, Central
Season series split 1-1, Oklahoma won last match-up 65-62 in Norman.

A&M was the co-favorites in the preseason, I have said that several times during the season. They finally have a healthy Khris Middleton to help lead this team that really lacked leadership this season. Oklahoma won the last match-up in Norman on the final day of the Big 12 regular season and with that win they won the right to be the home team. In a neutral site game I have a slight lean for the Aggies in this game. Oklahoma was a lot more competitive toward the end of the season, but the Aggies have all of the weapons that coaches thought they would have when they were voted in the top spot. Aggies 64-57.

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys, Big 12 Network, 8:30PM, Central
Season won 2-0 by Oklahoma State

There isn’t really a whole lot of analysis needed in this game. You know that Texas Tech only won one conference game, you know that Oklahoma State knocked off Missouri and Texas at home. I really want to pick the dramatic upset of Texas Tech over Oklahoma State based on the fact that they are the only team that really benefits from winning this game. I believe that the Cowboys are in the NIT field, contrary to what NITology.com has listed at this time. These teams haven’t met in over a month. During that time Texas Tech has improved vastly, but I will go with Cowboys 69-65.

2011-2012 Big 12 Awards

We have already had an amazing Big 12 season and with the Big 12 tournament on the horizon, I think that we are going to be in for a treat this March. Kansas was dominate, Missouri is exciting to watch and if Baylor, Kansas State and Iowa State can find consistency we should have multiple teams in the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight. This season also brings to an end the “Border War” and this year’s two installments might be two of the best games ever played between Kansas and Missouri. The Big 12 also has another National Players of the Year candidate in Thomas Robinson. So here is my view of the Big 12’s season awards.

Player of the Year
F- Thomas Robinson, Kansas, 18.2 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 1.06 BPG

Robinson stayed consistent all season long and that gave him a huge boost to an already big lead that he had on Royce White. He did slow down just a little bit numbers wise toward the very end of the season, but that wasn’t because of Robinson’s effort, but because Tyshawn Taylor had turned up his effort for the Jayhawks.

All-Big 12 Team
G- Marcus Denmon, Missouri, 17.5 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.5 SPG
G- Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas, 18.6 PPG, 4.6 APG, 1.44 SPG, .398 3FG%
G- Royce White, Iowa State, 12.8 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 6.0 APG, 1.17 SPG
F- J’Covan Brown, Texas, 20.5 PPG, 3.6 APG, 1.39 SPG

I felt like Robinson, Denmon, Rodney McGruder and White and almost locks for the post-season All-Big 12 team in my Mid-Season Big 12 Awards, but Tyshawn Taylor was able to push Rodney McGruder out of the final guard position. McGruder suffered a foot injury and was unable to practice for several weeks and that really slowed down his performance. Couple that with Taylor cutting down on turnovers and coming up clutch in situations when he would normally defer to Robinson to take over and Taylor became another dominate player on an already dominate team. J’Covan Brown led the league in scoring and is the only reliable player on the young Texas team and his stats reflect that. Perry Jones III and LeBryan Nash were heavily considered, but were too inconsistent for them to take over anyone else. I don’t like to agree with the coaches, I like to think that I have my own unique opinion on the Big 12, but in this instant we agree on exactly who the best players in the league were this season.

Coach of the Year
Bill Self, Kansas

I know, I hate doing this too, but I feel that Bill Self has again done the best job coaching in the country. The Jayhawks were picked to tie A&M for the Big 12 regular season trophy and they are in the driver’s seat for an eighth straight title. I felt like Kansas was picked to be co-champions in the pre-season poll because of their history of dominance, but that they had lost too much to replace in one season. Self proved me wrong.

Here is where my view gets interesting. My second place coach is Billy Gillispie. I know what you are thinking, how can he pick a coach from a 1-16 team. Texas Tech did not give up or give in to any team all season long. They played hard all season and just missed out on an upset against Texas in an overtime loss late in the season. Keeping his young team focused and improving them along the way is a great coaching job. Keep and eye on this team next season. My way too early prediction is a finish around .500 and really shape the Big 12 final standings with a few upsets next season.

Newcomer of the Year
Royce White, Iowa State

His numbers went down as the season went on, but that’s because his team didn’t lean on him as much. He really made this Cyclone team better by taking double teams and finding an open shooter. He has battled an anxiety disorder to become one of the best players in the conference. My biggest question is will he stay or will he go?

Freshman of the Year
LeBryan Nash, Oklahoma State

As the Big 12’s pre-season favorite for Freshman of the Year, Nash did not disappoint.There wasn’t a big time Freshman of the Year candidate from the Big 12 this season, but the class as a whole is very talented. Myck Kabongo, Angel Rodriguez and Quincy Miller also had great rookie seasons.

Sixth Man of the Year
Michael Dixon, Missouri

Dixon plays more minutes than Missouri starter Matt Pressey and has really been the Tigers spark plug off of the bench. I don’t like giving it to someone that plays more minutes than a starter, but if not Dixon than who would you give it to? He may not be in any of the Big12sports.com’s stat leaders, but he contributes nicely for the Tigers.

Game of the Year
Kansas vs. Missouri

The only question remaining to debate is which one? Both home teams gave up a lead and looked like they were going to lose only to pull it out in the final seconds or each game. Both were the final installments and both schools can claim that they won the last Border War” that they played at home. This is a Big 12 blog, not an SEC blog, so I give the lean to the second game. The one that saw KU down by 19 in the second half only to pull it out in overtime. There was a Bill Self fist pump, screaming fans that stayed in their seats and a ringing across all Big 12 country that proclaimed Kansas as the champs this season.