Five-Step Drop: Kansas' Plea
I've been trying to avoid conference realignment talk here in Five Step -- not because it's not important, but because I'm trying to shoot for more variety. It's gotten pretty overwhelming, though, so the first two steps Tuesday morning will cover subjects relating to the impending possible conference shakeup.
1. The University of Kansas has taken to working the phones in trying to salvage the Big 12. Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little told the Associated Press she called Nebraska's chancellor and was planning on doing the same to Missouri's. Her reason was to sell those two institutions on staying in the Big 12, in light of the reports that those two schools have until Friday to answer the conference's ultimatum.
Though it sounds a bit desperate, there is good reason. If Mizzou and Nebraska depart to the join the Big 10, it's a pretty sure bet Texas leaves the Big 12. The domino effect would possible make the rumored 16-team Pac 10 come to fruition and leave Kansas out in the dark and would be a really significant blow to the school. What would its options then be? Beg the Big 10? Start a new conference with Iowa State, Kansas State and other midwest/Rocky Mountain leftovers? Join the Mountain West? Conference USA?
See, there's a reason Kansas really wants everyone to stay put.
2. Speaking of the Mountain West, commissioner Craig Thompson held a press conference Monday afternoon to say the conference has decided against expansion. Basically, the only reason for the announcement was that Boise State had made no secret about the fact that it wanted to join the MWC.
However, there's no reason for the MWC to do anything just yet, as it might have the opportunity to latch onto bigger fish than Boise and possibly even become the a BCS conference. If the Big 12 does crumble (a possibility that at one point seemed stupid and now just seems to get more realistic every single day), the MWC might have a shot at getting Colorado and maybe even Kansas. It could also grab the Big 12 leftovers if it wanted (Iowa State and Kansas State, in all likelihood). That would be enough to push the MWC to easily the fifth-best conference in the land (taking the Big 12's spot and leaping ahead of the Big East).
So there's really no reason to do anything just yet. Thus, I was kind of surprised as how big some people viewed the "news," but I guess everything is big right now.
3. Give some props to Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly and his wife, Paqui, for donating $250,000 to the school for cancer research and a handful of other academic materials. Paqui has twice been successfully treated for breast cancer.
4. Are the new Tennessee coaches a lot more professional than the coaching staff of Mark Richt at Georgia? That's the word from UT recruit Nash Nance. Nance actually decided to switch and play for the Vols after initially committing to Vandy, but his high school teammate Da'Rick Rogers was the one who bailed late on Georgia. It's tough to know what to believe, especially when 18-year-old kids are involved. I'm just sad Lane Kiffin isn't somehow involved. Things are at least always more interesting.
5. It's hard to believe that just over 18 months ago, Ball State was undefeated and hoping it had a shot to crash the BCS party. The Cardinals were then embarrassed by their own administration -- who refused to allow them to play at Boise State -- embarrassed on the field by Buffalo, embarrassed when their head coach left for San Diego State and embarrassed in the GMAC Bowl by Tulsa. Naturally, star quarterback Nate Davis left a year early to enter the NFL Draft (and wasn't taken until the 171st overall pick in the fifth round), too. After all that beating down, the Cards managed an abysmal 2-10 record in 2009. Yahoo!'s Dr. Saturday blog takes a look at the hot seat of head coach Stan Parrish. Here's the basic jist, though: If Ball State is losing coaches to San Diego State, it doesn't have many alternatives.
Maybe it can get Bill Lynch back when Indiana eventually gets rid of him?