Conference Realignment Notes: Infighting at OU? Expansion Timeline

Photo via Daniel X. O'Neil @ Flickr

Infighting at OU and a timeline for expansion.

Photo via Daniel X. O'Neil @ Flickr

Infighting . . . or Not

* As an aside one of the best things about running an ad blocker on CBS Sports site is that the video won’t even play at all because of the ad blocker, so that’s one less thing to load.

CBS Sports Dennis Dodds wrote yesterday that the Oklahoma Board of Regents disagreed with Oklahoma President David Boren about Big 12 expansion.

Max Weitzenhoffer, the Oklahoma board of regents chairman, told CBS Sports he will try to convince influential OU president David Boren to ditch Big 12 expansion.

“I can tell you I’m not alone,” Weitzenhoffer said.

The seven-member board, which serves as the school’s governing body, will meet Thursday. At that time, Weitzenhoffer said, he will seek clarification on the board’s input regarding the school’s vote on expansion.

At least one other regents member, Oklahoma City Thunder chairman Clay Bennett, is against expansion, Weitzenhoffer said.

“One-hundred percent [with] what we’ve been talking about,” Weitzenhoffer said of Bennett’s position. “We just want to let him [Boren] know, we don’t like it.

“If it goes forward, it may get to the point where we may not be able to stop it.”

Dodds wrote an updated post from Weitzenhoffer, who is now singing a different tune:

“I first want to make it clear that I have complete confidence in the leadership of the University of Oklahoma,” Weitzenhoffer said in his statement. “President Boren has proven to be a visionary and effective leader of the university. I am confident that our President will lead the university in the right direction on matters related to the Big 12 Conference. He has and will continue to have my full support.”

Here is Boren’s statement: “I remain firmly committed to my belief that we should all work together to make the Big 12 Conference even stronger through holistic reform that allows for possible expansion and the creation of a Big 12 network.”

I do not think this will be an issue. Boren won’t back down.

Realignment Timeline

EerSports’s Chris Anderson talked with West Virginia AD Shane Lyons gives somewhat of a timeline as to how expansion will work, stating that within the next 90 to 180 days a decision will need to be made. Lyons notes that the Big 12 cannot afford to drag their feet:

“Conference expansion is never really off the table. It’s either a front burner issue or a backburner issues,” he said. “Right now, in the Big12, it’s a front burner issue…. I think everyone else is on the backburner.”

Regardless of what the other conferences do, though, Lyons knows that the Big12 can’t continue to drag their feet. “We finally have to get all the information and make a decision. We can’t just keep talking about this for twelve months. We have to make a decision,” he said. Still, don’t expect a decision to be made at next month’s meetings – but Lyons is prepared to call for “special meetings” this summer in order to get an answer not long after that.

“I don’t think it’s going to happen that fast. I don’t think we have all that information. I do think that we’ll get more information at that meeting (in June),” he said. “…I don’t think we have all the information in the next three weeks. I think in the next ninety to 180 days, we’ll have to make a decision one way or another.”

Let’s Not Add 2, Let’s Add 14

SB Nation’s Bill Connelly writes that the Big 12 should forget about just adding two team, but should add 14: Boise State, BYU, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Houston, Memphis, Navy, North Dakota State, Northern Illinois, Rice, Tulane, UCF and USF.

Go big or go home.

Connelly is suggesting two different tiers, sort of a relegation if you don’t win, you go down to the second tier, 12 teams in tier 1 and 12 teams in tier 2. The second tier makes far less money, which doesn’t sound appealing at all. Connelly thinks that this would be enough programming to make the television networks stand up and agree to additional funds because of all of the inventory for television.


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