We lead off today with a reference to the goings-on of 20 years ago. In the past, I've referenced before how big an impact the proposed "Airline Conference" of the late-1950s might have had (USC, UCLA, Cal, Stanford, the service academies, Notre Dame, Syracuse and Penn State almost formed the coolest, most geographically hilarious conference ever, and long before air travel became easier). Other conferences would have probably consolidated power, and at an odd time. Perhaps the best of the SWC (Texas, TCU, SMU, Arkansas) and Big
8 7 (Oklahoma, Mizzou, Colorado, Nebraska) at the time somehow joined forces? Perhaps Texas Tech and Oklahoma State were never actually invited into a major conference (they joined their respective conferences around this time, and Houston didn't join for another decade)?
if you think about it, however, a 16-team Metro Conference in 1990 (as referenced below) would have had a similar effect. Feeling pressure to expand significantly (and not having South Carolina on the table), the SEC quite possibly would have added Arkansas, Texas A&M, Texas and between one and three other teams (Clemson? Other ACC programs?). If they did that, the Big Ten would have felt pressure to add, if not Penn State (since they were part of the original Metro plan), then Nebraska and Missouri? Maybe Oklahoma (if they weren't involved in the SEC's plans)? The formation of a 16-team Metro Conference would have sent realignment straight to Ludicrous Speed, where we've been threatening to go ever since (but never quite have).
I Love Links Like These
Sports Business Daily: History lesson: Super-conference concept rooted in 1990 proposal
Raycom’s plan called for the Metro to expand to 16 football-playing schools with two eight-team divisions or four four-team divisions, similar to what has been discussed by the ACC, the Pac-12 and others in recent weeks. It was compelling enough that at one point that spring in 1990, presidents and ADs from all 16 schools met in Dallas to talk it through. [...]
According to Raycom’s plan, the Metro’s members would have come from the North (Boston College, Syracuse, Pittsburgh), the South (Miami, Florida State, South Carolina) and moved west through the middle of the country (Louisville, Memphis, Cincinnati). The original plan also included Penn State, but the Nittany Lions committed to the Big Ten before Raycom could finish the project.
The Million-Dollar Question
KC Star: Will MU follow Texas A&M out of the Big 12, into SEC?
Dr. Saturday: One down, one to go: Who's the lucky No. 14 in SEC expansion?
Post-Dispatch: Curators hold power in possible MU switch
Neinas said he expects Missouri to remain in the Big 12. Yet, he expressed concern about a possible defection, seemingly based on conversations with Deaton. He went so far as to state his belief that the conference could remain viable if Mizzou were to leave.
He further acknowledged the power of the Missouri curators last week by noting that the much-discussed grant of media rights was not a done deal, in part, because they haven't given their approval.
KC Star: Pinkel stands by comments that put pressure on MU administration
Pinkel passionately decried last week that:
"We have problems in our league, and we all know what most of them are. But we don’t solve them."
Those comments drew no argument from Deaton and athletic director Mike Alden on Thursday evening when other Big 12 officials were contending all looked well for conference stability.
Each refused to say MU was committed to a proposal discussed by league chancellors and presidents to implement a six-year agreement for equal sharing of first- and second-tier TV revenues and to sign those rights over to the Big 12.
Schools can keep all revenue generated by their own, or third-tier, media-rights contracts. But a bigger concern is the perceived recruiting advantage that Texas could gain from the Longhorn Network showing high school football highlights.
"That third-level TV deal (the Longhorn Network)," another source told The Star on Monday, "is a deal-breaker for Gary."
ESPN.com (David Ubben): Big 12 coaches weigh in on A&M's exit
Big 12 Hoops: Texas A&M Leaving The Big 12 Leaves Us -- As Fans -- Wondering
Expansion Still On The Table
Deseret News: BYU, Big 12 interest draws plenty of speculation
College Football Talk: LHN angering more than Big 12 members
CBS Sports: Powerless [NCAA President Mark] Emmert scolds ADs over realignment
This Would Certainly Be Cool
KC Star (Campus Corner): If Big 12 goes bust, KC could still boom with holiday hoops tournament
Mizzou Football Links
- MUtigers.com: Mizzou-Kansas State Game Picked by ABC
A Few More Oklahoma Reactions
The Trib (Dave Matter): Emptying the Notebook: Boomer Bummer
Here's some context for Franklin's four-game arc, compared to Blaine Gabbert's first four games as MU's starting quarterback in 2009. Keep in mind, Franklin has played two opponents on their home field, including a ranked Arizona State team and the top-ranked Sooners. Gabbert opened against Illinois on a neutral field, Bowling Green, Furman and Nevada on the road.
Gabbert's first four starts: 87 of 131 (66.4 percent); 1,161 yards; 11 touchdowns – 0 interceptions; 8.8 yards per attempt; 168.6 rating; 80 rushing yards, 2 TDs
Franklin's first four starts: 77 of 126 (61.1 percent); 985 yards; 7 touchdowns – 1 interception; 7.8 yards per attempt; 143.5 rating; 260 rushing yards, 4 TDs
Gabbert was better statistically and won all four starts, though Franklin played far better competition and adds a running element you didn't always get with Gabbert.
Media Day Links
The Trib (Dave Matter): Pinkel on Ressel, Franklin, Big 12
The Trib: MU hopes to heal, fix defense
Post-Dispatch: Defense, kicker concern Mizzou
Another concern, one Mizzou hasn't had in a while, is the kicking game. Grant Ressel missed two 46-yard field goals against Oklahoma. Kicks of that length are by no means gimmes, but Ressel has been so dependable at Mizzou that they have seemed that way. Against Arizona State, he missed a potential game-winning 48-yard field goal at the end of regulation. He's made just six of 10 field goals this season; his four misses through four games are more than he had in his first two seasons combined, when he made 43 of 46 field goals.
"I think he's struggling a bit with that," Pinkel said. "Obviously, the consistency he's had has been unprecedented. He's as good as anyone in the country. He's had struggles in practice and inconsistency in two-a-days. During the season, that's carried over onto the field. He's been a slam dunk from the 30 in for the most part. He's struggling there, and we'll adjust where we're going to kick."
PowerMizzou: Following the future
SB Nation: Jeremy Maclin Injury: Eagle Now Saying Day To Day
Sporting News: Jacksonville Jaguars team report: Coaches get conservative for Blaine Gabbert
Jacksonville.com: With rain and Blaine, plan was too plain
Other Football Links
This Certainly Was A Great Ending
Bring On The Cats: Leave It All On The Field: A Goal Line Stand, In Pictures
Mizzou Basketball Links
Rush the Court: Legion of Doom: Figuring the All-Villain Team For Selected Schools
Other Mizzou Links
MUtigers.com: Baseball Sets Time for Joplin Relief Game
MUtigers.com: Tigers Host K-State at Pink Out
Oh, Mitch Hedberg
Letters Of Note: My Pilot days are closing in