MIZZOUEXPANSIONAPALOOZA™ 2011: Too Many Links

We start with a piece that has been making the rounds: Nate Silver's piece on The Geography of College Football Fans (and Realignment Chaos). Mizzou could certainly look worse than they do here...

Oklahoma And Texas Free To Flirt

  • SB Nation (Self-Share!): Conference Realignment, Centrist Politicians And The Future
  • Oklahoma
    Daily Oklahoman
    : OU regents give David Boren authority to decide conference affiliation
    Daily Oklahoman: Big 12 or Pac-12? Boren wants to see a result 'sooner than later'
    Daily Oklahoman: Realignment notebook: Boren says Texas TV network unfair

    "Whatever conference we join, or whatever conference we stay in – those are obviously the two major options – the University of Oklahoma has no ambition to dominate any conference," Boren said after being asked about the network. "We simply have the ambition of being a member, an equal member, of any conference, playing by the same rules, by having a level playing field for all the members of that conference and developing a high level of trust in each other. That's our goal. That's what we're after."

    ESPN.com: Oklahoma board of regents empower David Boren for possible move to Pac-12
  • Texas
    Austin American-Statesman: Regents give Powers the OK to start looking
    Burnt Orange Nation: Conference Realignment: OU's Boren Has Power, UT's Powers More Limited
    Burnt Orange Nation: Conference Realignment: Where Texas Stands

    Let's momentarily set aside what is going to happen and consider, again, what Texas would like to happen. Again, for Texas, the optimal short-term solution is to salvage some kind of workable Big 12, slowing down the fall of realignment dominoes and buying some time to make its long-term decision. Why is time so important? Because with a little more time, and all the information that will come with it, there are -- at least potentially -- more options on the table for Texas.  The extra information might reveal independence to be more viable/workable than it appears right now (i.e. less risky). The extra time and information might also open up possibilities for Texas and, say, Notre Dame, to make a move together.  It's also possible that the extra time and information might leave Texas more or less in exactly the same position it is in right now, but the opportunity to make that decision with the additional information would be valuable in and of itself.

    Will Texas get that extra time?  That's the million dollar question, but as this process steamrolls forward, I don't think you can divorce the evaluation of what will be best for Texas in the long-term from that which would be most beneficial in the short-term. It seems to me that if it can find a way, Texas ideally would like to convince Oklahoma to sit tight and ride out the Big 12-# for a little while longer. The case Texas makes is that (1) Oklahoma stands to benefit from more time and information, as well; (2) Oklahoma is better off -- long-term -- being in the same conference as Texas (for many reasons, including recruiting); and (3) that if the Pac-12 is going to be the right destination for both of them then they'll both benefit from stringing this out and recapturing leverage with respect to the Pac-12.

    Orangebloods: Source: Texas will make decision within two weeks

    A second source confirmed to Orangebloods.com that the Atlantic Coast Conference remains interested in Texas - but without Texas Tech. The source said the ACC would consider a Texas-Kansas or Texas-Missouri combination. But the ACC has real concerns about Texas Tech's academic standing. (Tech was ranked No. 160 in the latest U.S. News and World report rankings of America's top colleges and universities.)

    It's doubtful Texas would try to find a conference home without Texas Tech, although a source close to Tech has said the Red Raiders have received some attention from the SEC as a possible partner with Texas A&M.

    But the leading option for Texas continues to be the Pac-12, which would include Texas Tech, multiple sources said.

  • Frank the Tank: Conference Realignment Chaos: It's On Like Donkey Kong
  • Daily Oklahoman: Trust, partnership has crumbled within Big 12
  • Kegs 'n Eggs: The Pac Trail: A GIF Journey West

And What About The Other Big 12 Programs?

B1G?

  • ESPN.com (Adam Rittenberg): Warming up to Missouri as B1G addition

    The commish says he isn't being proactive at the moment, reiterating that the Big Ten doesn't need to be reactive to what others are doing.

    Yet, if and when Delany does act, Notre Dame should be his top priority. And if the Big Ten adds multiple schools, Missouri should be part of the mix.

    I've gone back and forth on Missouri, which certainly has some pluses but doesn't move the needle nationally like some of its former and current Big 12 brethren. The Tigers wouldn't be a home-run addition like Nebraska or Penn State, but they might be a ground-rule double.

    If the Big Ten has to go to 16 teams -- and trust me, this would be a reluctant expansion -- Missouri brings more value than some other options being discussed.

    A few reasons why:

    • Member of the American Association of Universities
    • Success in two major sports programs (football and men's basketball)
    • Would have natural rivalries with Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska
    • Has upgraded its facilities, which are some of the best in the Big 12
    • Has presence both in the St. Louis and Kansas City markets. Should the Big Ten also add Kansas, also an AAU member, it would dominate both markets.

The Big East Just Got Rocked

  • ESPN.com: VIDEO: Tranghese 'embarrassed' by raid

Basketball Just Got Rocked

  • ESPN.com: Realignment leaves hoops programs adrift
  • CBS Sports: The moment realignment got real for basketball
  • The Dagger: Jim Boeheim doesn't like Greensboro or super conferences

Oh Yeah, And Other Conferences

  • Tulsa World: MWC commissioner: Football-only merger with C-USA is being considered

Taylor Branch Is Pretty Awesome

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