What to Expect if the Big 12 Knocks - A Perspective (very long)

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Let me say before I go more in depth that if UConn is invited into the Big12, they have no choice but to accept but while keeping my fingers crossed I’m still going to hold my nose because as a fan I’ve lived the Big 12 experience.

I went to Colorado and graduated in the 80’s when Oklahoma and Nebraska football dominated the Big 8 and Colorado was just about to be a national power. At the time, the SWC was falling apart mostly because no one could refrain from cheating culminating in SMU getting the death penalty. Everyone who won the conference was a suspect in the eyes of the NCAA and the only winners were the athletes being paid off by unscrupulous staffs and boosters.

When the Big 8 was about to throw Texas and Texas A&M a life line and absorb them into the conference, the politicians of Texas somehow shoehorned Baylor and Texas Tech into the new Big 12 and the headquarters moved from Kansas City (which was also the home of the NCAA) to Irving, TX. In other words, the Big 8 allowed the conference of cheaters to move the power base away from prying eyes and move the office to their turf outside Dallas.

At this point, both Colorado and Nebraska were incredibly concerned. In fact, Nebraska’s Tom Osborne at the height of his power spoke out about giving the Texas (and subsequently the Oklahoma) schools so much power because he knew UT had the clout to exploit that power. He warned that the Texas schools would eventually dominate the conference politically and eventually on the field. Colorado listened and, in fact, there was a very good chance Colorado was moving to the Pac 10 in the early 90’s but for the sake of tradition they stayed.

Colorado and Nebraska had also won 3 of the 6 prior national championships with HOF coaches and there seemed no end in site to their success until Colorado’s Bill McCartney retired in the last year of the Big 8. While Colorado was relevant for the next decade (they won the conference in 2001) and Nebraska won 2 national championships as Big 12 members and played for a third, slowly the University of Texas began dominating the spotlight if not necessarily the big games under Mack Brown. Even worse for the original Big 8 members, was Colorado faced a supposed recruiting scandal beginning in 2001 which they have never quite recovered from just as another HOF coach Bill Snyder was about to retire for the first time from Kansas State and Tom Osborne had become a Congressman.

So what happened in the 00’s that changed everything and eventually led Colorado (thankfully), Nebraska, Missouri and Texas A&M to flee the conference? First, Texas finally won a Big 12 and national championship (thank you Vince Young). Second, with only Oklahoma as a consistent national and inter-conference rival, they exploited the conference’s television deal with ESPN to create the Longhorn Network. Thirdly, they exploited their power by having a dalliance themselves with the Pac-12 and by 2012, there was no question who was in charge… Texas regardless of everyone else (including Oklahoma) claiming otherwise.

So what UConn expect if they are given the nod? A lot of frustration, financial exploitation and likely Texas (and possibly Oklahoma) leaving for greener pastures after wringing every dollar out the conference that they can. Is it worse than the AAC? No, but UConn needs to go in with their eyes open. Even if Texas and Oklahoma leaves, the remaining conference with Iowa State and Baylor is still better than Memphis and Tulane. As a life long Husky fan, I want to see them be as relevant as possible and the Big 12 offers them that chance but in the meantime, I’m hoping beyond hope that the Big 10 or ACC has one more expansion in them before the final decisions are made in Irving.
 
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The next conference that comes calling is the "right fit". An invite to the B12 gets us a solid $20-30m in annual revenue. It strengthens recruiting, levels the playing field and gives us funding we've never seen as an AD, even in the BE days. Even if it's a 10 year bandaid, that's 200+ million in our pockets. That said, an invite to the B1G or ACC is obviously preferred. But we're going to take what we can get and if Swofford or Delaney happen to make a phone call we all know Herbst will be listening intently.
 
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The OP is very good and in my opinion highlights just how duck*ed up college athletics have been and continue to be. It is a political process to exploit funding. It is so far removed from anything that has the best interest of student athletes in mind that to even insinuate that is pure farce. It does not even focus on sound business for the benefit of college athletics as a whole. Greed is so pervasive that the concept of a rising tide is never even remotely considered.

I do not profess to know the media business. But, it is very clear to me that college athletics reside in regional markets. With the exception of Notre Dame athletic programs first and foremost need to retain and develop their regional followings. Sure, certain programs have broader and deeper regional followings, read Alabama, USC, Texas, etc., but they are regionally driven none the less. The largest untapped market for college football resides in the northeast and what makes logical business sense is to develop that region with regional institutions. Rutgers, Syracuse, BC and UCONN should have never been separated by conference and goodness knows never should there have been a financial schism to potentially harm one of the programs. The market for college football in the northeast can be grown through regional interest among its regional institutions. Grow this enormous potential market and all of college athletics benefits. BC and Syracuse and Rutgers playing mediocre to poor football within their respective conferences does nothing to promote interest in the northeast for college football. UCONN in the AAC even less. Develop those rivalries and the level of play will improve as will the regional following. Those institutions will be on sounder footing with more competitive programs and all of college athletics will be better of for having better penetrated and large and important market.

That BC and Syracuse and Rutgers seem to feel a diminished UCONN football program is to their benefit defies common business sense and their own self interest. UCONN to the Big12 is now a necessity for UCONN, but far removed from the best path which is clearly to me the ACC.
 

Redding Husky

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I moved to Dallas in 1986, so I saw the final years of the SWC and I've seen the Big 12 since it was born. My ex-wife is a Nebraska Cornhusker. I've been to games all over the Big 12. I agree with the OP. Two points:

1) Texas & OU fans, students, and alums can be obnoxious. I'm sure their administrations are no different. But none of that translates to guaranteed success on the field or court. They haven't dominated the conference. Upstarts like Baylor, Kansas State, and TCU have enjoyed some success against the big boys. If they can do it, UConn can do it. We're 2-0 against Baylor. I went to the game in Waco in 2009 and that was a physical beat down.

2) The OP was correct: even if Texas and OU were to leave, we'd still have a pretty good conference. And if we needed to backfill, we could look at the top of the AAC or (maybe) the MWC.
 
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the only way Uconn can compete is if they go ground and pound and simply dominate the lines of scrimmage. But, as Edsall's tenure showeed, that is possible, especially against the spread offenses and 4-2-5 defenses. right now, UConn is a long way away from being able to do that, but its possible. the reality is that going through the gauntlet of a B12 conf schedule is tough. Fall behind 14-0 and Uconn is likely toast
 
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The OP's post was clearly very thoughtful.

However, the answer to the question, 'What if the Big 12 doesn't knock' trumps any red flags he might have raised.

The only way we make it out even somewhat OK if the Big XII expands without us is if they take two and they are BYU and Colorado State or some other random cellar dweller. Otherwise we're screwed
 

WestHartHusk

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The only way we make it out even somewhat OK if the Big XII expands without us is if they take two and they are BYU and Colorado State or some other random cellar dweller. Otherwise we're screwed

I never would have said this before, but I think that if we are passed over and any AAC schools go (especially if 3), the Big East is a viable option. Too much talk about this recently.

There would be some pleasure in lifting that conference, having MSG and sticking our finger riggt in the ACC's eye....we're back!

Football....I know.
 
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I never would have said this before, but I think that if we are passed over and any AAC schools go (especially if 3), the Big East is a viable option. Too much talk about this recently.

There would be some pleasure in lifting that conference, having MSG and sticking our finger riggt in the ACC's eye....we're back!

Football....I know.
I don't know much about our contract with the AAC and I don't want to start a controversy but...assuming the doomsday scenario occurs (UH, Memphis, UC leave without us) UConn is the only brand in the AAC by a mile. You would think we would have the power to strong arm Aresco to allow us as football-only in the AAC while bringing all other sports to Big East. Again, I don't know anything about the contract situation but what choice would the AAC have? If UConn leaves, that conference is the new CUSA.
 

WestHartHusk

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I don't know much about our contract with the AAC and I don't want to start a controversy but...assuming the doomsday scenario occurs (UH, Memphis, UC leave without us) UConn is the only brand in the AAC by a mile. You would think we would have the power to strong arm Aresco to allow us as football-only in the AAC while bringing all other sports to Big East. Again, I don't know anything about the contract situation but what choice would the AAC have? If UConn leaves, that conference is the new CUSA.

This conference is already the new, old CUSA. It was the new, new CUSA already.
 
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image.jpeg
This conference is already the new, old CUSA. It was the new, new CUSA already.
 

Athlete94

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We are UCONN, we win championships. This talk about us moving sports here and there is nonsense. We deserve respect, people are only viewing the short blip football has experienced. We are not Tulane, etc.. All sports belong in one conference, PERIOD
 

Dream Jobbed 2.0

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If the prom queen dumps us before college at least we got to bang all summer. Plus who knows what kind of girls we can attract on campus.
 

storrsroars

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And yet, I would still give a testicle for a Big XII invite.
I'd give one too because this is that important.

UConn needs to be in a Big Five conference and our time in purgatory needs to end

Just keep in mind that your testicle donation may be taxable, depending on how the IRS determines the value to you of UConn joining the B12.

I would think you could counter that by sending your nut(s) directly to the University (use FDA-approved cold shipping methods for organs) and let the University auction, donate it, or use it in their own medical facilities.

Keep in mind when donating your testicle that the left one usually hangs lower than the right so when accepting new testicles, agencies generally look to match low hangers with high hangers. If there is a glut of low hangers, then you may find your donation of a left nut declined, or vice versa.
 
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If the prom queen dumps us before college at least we got to bang all summer. Plus who knows what kind of girls we can attract on campus.
You, my friend, are a horndog.

Ever seen the ladies at SMU?
 
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I'm sure you mean well, BuffaloHusky, but you lay it on a little thick. "conference of cheaters"?

Yes, cheating was rampant in the SWC in the 1980s which is lamentable and inexcusable. But it was also widespread in the Big 8. If you look up major NCAA infractions you will find OU right on the heels of SMU.

And what about Colorado's own sordid little episode of rapes and cover ups? That was pretty ugly. You might want to check your footing way up there on that moral high ground, BuffaloHusky.
 

HuskyHawk

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I have minimal experience with the Big 12, but I went to Kansas from 91-94, just before the Big 8 became the Big 12 and lived in KC until 1997 post merger. Here are some positives you may want to consider.

They care about basketball. A lot. Not just at KU. K State, OU, Oklahoma State, ISU (and Missouri back then) are all hoops schools. Almost the entire league consists of teams that have had some success. There are no real bottom feeders on any kind of semi-permanent basis, aside from TCU. Every school but TCU and TT have been to a final four, and ISU is the only school of those that hasn't been to multiple final fours.

While football is #1 at most of those schools, aside from KU and maybe ISU, the fan bases across the league are often fans of all the school's teams, much as many UConn fans are. Those fans aren't just students and alumni. I find this is something much more common at state flagship universities. Our sports history in the Big East and now AAC has kept us apart from state flagships (aside from WVU), and I think you'll appreciate the difference.

Good college towns pretty much everywhere. Unlike the urban and directional commuter schools in the AAC and Big East, most of these schools are in real college towns, with lots of bars and live music venues.

As much as the geography isn't a fit, in a lot of ways UConn has more in common with these schools than we did even in the Big East. Certainly more in common than we do with the schools in the American.
 

HuskyHawk

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I'm sure you mean well, BuffaloHusky, but you lay it on a little thick. "conference of cheaters"?

Yes, cheating was rampant in the SWC in the 1980s which is lamentable and inexcusable. But it was also widespread in the Big 8. If you look up major NCAA infractions you will find OU right on the heels of SMU.

And what about Colorado's own sordid little episode of rapes and cover ups? That was pretty ugly. You might want to check your footing way up there on that moral high ground, BuffaloHusky.

Bill McCartney was certainly no saint, and CU football has been mediocre or worse ever since.
 
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They care about basketball. A lot. Not just at KU. K State, OU, Oklahoma State, ISU (and Missouri back then) are all hoops schools. Almost the entire league consists of teams that have had some success. There are no real bottom feeders on any kind of semi-permanent basis, aside from TCU. Every school but TCU and TT have been to a final four, and ISU is the only school of those that hasn't been to multiple final fours.

Horns have been to the Big Dance something like 25 out of the last 27 years. And we have several players in the NBA. And we're not even a basketball school. We're a baseball school that's had some middling success at football. Actually we're a swimming and diving school but I do believe our winning percentage in baseball is #1.

Our basketball renaissance over the last thirty years is attributable in very large part to a UCinn guy: Tom Penders. He planted the seeds Rick Barnes harvested and Shaka Smart continues to nurture.
 

HuskyHawk

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Horns have been to the Big Dance something like 25 out of the last 27 years. And we have several players in the NBA. And we're not even a basketball school. We're a baseball school that's had some middling success at football. Actually we're a swimming and diving school but I do believe our winning percentage in baseball is #1.

Our basketball renaissance over the last thirty years is attributable in very large part to a UCinn guy: Tom Penders. He planted the seeds Rick Barnes harvested and Shaka Smart continues to nurture.


UConn, not UCinn. Yes, the Big 12 is a solid basketball conference aside from TCU and TT. Every other team has had some measure of success.
 
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