From Provo, to Fort Collins to all points Mid-West one could write a single story that goes something like this. Speculation heated up Sunday about (insert your school name here) being a prime candidate for Big 12 expansion, after that league was left out of the College Football Playoff.
And while every other school to include not just the obvious Marshal, Memphis, Cinncy, CSU and BYU local media are out front today with why they should be in consideration, Dr, Kustra seems to be playing hard to get, with this quote from the Idaho Statesmen “But President Bob Kustra said he’d have to be “convinced” to join the Big 12, citing travel concerns to small towns like Lubbock (Texas Tech) and Waco (Baylor), Texas.”The football team gets on a (chartered) plane. It’s no big deal. All the rest of those sports have to go through at least a couple airports to get to some of those places. That just really troubles me,” he said.Kustra said the Pac-12 “makes a lot more sense given how easy it is to get to all those towns up and down the West Coast with one flight.”
While I agree travel for teams outside of Football is an important issue I might point out in 2014 the TV money alone for each Big 12 school was 24 million and with 24 million many of these issues could be overcome. Other issues as well could be resolved like keeping a full stadium. Boise is loaded with new arrivals and will continue to be and lots of those folks come from Big 12 territory. Entry into the Big 12 would change everything imagine what it would be like playing at a reasonable hour no more of these 10 pm est. kickoff’s. Overnight many things would be transfixed the stadium seating increases, budget for science and research, the collaboration alone with other Big 12 schools in the field of Academic’s would be huge.
Dr. Kustra however might be a little snake bit after the Big East fiasco which ended up costing Boise State 5 million to buy out of conference they never actually became a member of as well I think he knows the Big 12 is first going to try to get a waiver to the rules in being able to have a conference Championship game with two 5 team divisions. His comment does something else it pays homage to the PAC 12 which would be a more natural fit and doesn’t have the I’m better than everyone else Texas monster that commands everything that happens within the Big 12. I also believe since the Big East collapse Dr. Kustra has a long term plan to achieve the schools goals and we see this in much of what Boise State has done and is doing across the board from academic’s to Athletics. The move to the Big East would have be a much more equal footing group compared to the likes of OU and Texas when you look at everything and not be football focused.
However if the Big 12 starts to move towards taking action to add schools Boise State and BYU should not fail to go all out for entry and as a pair they are more attractive than any other schools combined as they both bring unique fan bases for eyes on sets plus tradition which is important to the thought processes of the board members of these conferences. If something is going to be done prior to the 2015 season specially in regards to the Big 12 getting a waiver this should signal what the real temperature is to conference realignment. If they request a wavier then the Big 12 really isn’t interested in adding schools if they ask and don’t receive the wavier something I cannot imagine happening then things might heat up. I have a feeling however the monster in the room calling the shots Texas at this point doesn’t give a rip about the 6 million lost by the Big 12 by not having a team in the final four, as a share of 6 million is chump change to them and right now Texas football is in the dumps and really looks to stay there for a while. If there was to be a move I would suspect Texas would only be interested to follow the example by the B1G which was to pick two very old uncompetitive schools that expanded the reach of the conference network to maximize revenues. The last thing Texas wants to see in the Big 12 is BYU and another TCU as well as a further dilution of their hold over the conference. So a Cinny and Memphis would more than likely be their preference. After all even though the B1G added two weak football schools and their conference was viewed as the weakest of the big 5 all season long OSU still with a loss got into the playoffs.
If on the other hand motion towards realignment was to take place in the Big 12 this might cause the PAC to take action just like the last go around it started off as a little wave and then boom everything went into motion. Then there is timing, for those at the head of Boise State they might feel now is not the time for a host of reasons and if you are just a football thinker we all know what’s coming down the road the expanded field of 8 and many believe just as the highest ranked Champ of the group of 5 would be included in such an expansion. Giving an easier path for Boise State to make it into the playoff system. There is other not so obvious reasons where no action would be better than action for Boise State, at this time recruiting being one of them. Most Athletes today are not dumb jocks they understand the difficulties of getting playing time as well as getting meaningful games and Boise State has positioned itself to provide a high probability for success in these goals for those OKG’s which all fits nicely in to the decades old tradition of hard work and discipline that has led to so many successful years.
My take the Big 12 isn’t going to do much they will ask for the waiver and could care less if they get it or not and despite the fact their revenues came in 8 million higher then projected for 2014 greed and pride has pretty much been the motives displayed by the Big 12 governing board. The idea of having to share the wealth with two more schools might overcome their hurt pride of not being included in this year’s playoffs there is always next year.