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Kansas Might Be The Next To Jump Sinking Big 12 Ship

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We have already seen Texas and Oklahoma abandon the Big 12 in favor of the SEC. Considering those two programs have been far and away and the biggest draws to that conference, the future of the Big 12 is now in doubt.

The next member that could leave in search of greener pastures is a surprising one: Kansas.

Mike Vernon recently joined 610 AM in Kansas City to discuss the everchanging college football landscape. Apparently, his sources within the Jayhawks program are telling him that a move to the Big Ten is becoming a more realistic possibility.

From a basketball perspective, this makes a lot of sense. From a football perspective, not so much. This certainly can’t be a “big move” for the Big Ten in response to the SEC landing the Longhorns and Sooners. It doesn’t move the needle at this point, though very few moves would.

(Clay Travis, founder of OutKick, offered a few interesting scenarios for the Big Ten. Check them out here.)

Anything done in the near future will look like a reaction, and none of them will be a win for the other conference involved. The rumors of a Big 12/Pac-12 merger might sound good, but it makes little financial sense for the Pac-12.

Conferences are going to have to get creative here. We’ll see what happens.


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Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.

Written by Clint Lamb

Clint Lamb is a College Football Writer for OutKick. Managing Editor for Roll Tide Wire. Sports radio host for The Bullpen on 730/103.9 The UMP. Co-host for The 'Bama Beat podcast through The Tuscaloosa News and TideSports.com.

14 Comments

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  1. Still waiting on the NCAA to come down on the Basketball program. Remember Bill Self authorizing payment to a prospect? Testimony given in court and the NCAA did not lift a finger? And why would any conference want the train wreck that their athletic department is in?

    • Sooooo, the conference that gave us Larry Nassar, Jerry Sandusky, TattooGate and Minnesota’s vacated Final Four should keep KU out because of a recruit they didn’t get once upon a time?

      Roger, got it. Thanks for that.

  2. The question is not if the Big Ten’s next move is going to be equivalent to adding OU and UT. There is NO MOVE available that is equivalent to that.

    The question is if adding Kansas strengthens the Big Ten.

    (1). Kansas would already rank middle of the pack in Big Ten program revenue BEFORE taking advantage of better Big Ten payouts.

    (2). The Men’s BB program is elite.

    (3). The KC market is bigger than Columbus, OH or Milwaukee, WI

    (4). Kansas is one of the very few options for the Big Ten that makes sense geographically [already adjacent] and academically [AAU member].

    It makes the Big Ten better and it’s probably the best real world option.

  3. So the last four additions by the SEC are Texas A&M, Missouri, Texas, and Oklahoma. The last (possibly) four additions by the B1G are Nebraska, Rutger, Maryland, and Kansas. One of those is not like the other. I know the presidents want the B1G to be known as an academic conference first and foremost, but their athletic side can’t keep adding at best mediocre schools and expect a healthy outcome in the long term.

    • Agreed. So the Big 10 would rather have Kansas, a literal one trick pony (basketball) over much better overall programs? This would be dumb if you as me. But no one is so I just wasted my time posting, oh well, se la vie.

  4. All make good points but its not about “markets” any more per se. It’s about “brands” If markets were in play then OU wouldn’t be so attractive to the SEC due to the state of Oklahoma being a very small market already divided between two good sized state universities. The OU brand is what’s desirable. We’re not in the cable era anymore and so markets are an outdated metric. The KU brand is an elevated blueblood brand that every conference would love to have. They suck something terrible in football but the university and basketball heavy brand are in a good spot for the BIG to take.

  5. Adding Kansas would be perfect for the mediocre Big 10. Schools like Purdue and Indiana would get a guaranteed W, leading to possibly more bowl games. Heck, even Toilet Bowl U would get a W now and then (although they did lose to Purdue a couple years back, so who knows).

    What will never change is the “Big” 10 will always be the runt little brother to the SEC. Go Gators!

  6. No doubt that KU wants to join Big 10 but the Big 10 will not want them. Why would they split the conference money with an additional team that won’t increase the brand value accordingly. Every remaining Big 12 school is in the same boat. None of them even have big local TV markets for football if eye balls to the extent that eye balls still matter. AAC has much bigger media markets. Big 12 is at best going to work out a merger of some sort with AAC.

  7. No doubt that KU wants to join Big 10 but the Big 10 will not want them. Why would they split the conference money with an additional team that won’t increase the brand value accordingly. Every remaining Big 12 school is in the same boat. None of them even have big local TV markets for football to the extent that eye balls still matter. AAC has much bigger media markets. Big 12 is at best going to work out a merger of some sort with AAC.

    • With streaming being what it is, it will be interesting to see the value of top-tier basketball programs vs. traditional football. I would think that KU’s brand on the hoops side still makes them a net positive for the B10 on the revenue side, but don’t know that for certain.

  8. Kansas is admittedly a dumpster fire on the football side at the moment (well…for the last decade), but the school has some serious donors that can fix some of the issues financially (David Booth, being one). The question for the B10 *should* be what makes sense for the long-term, and I think that an elite basketball program if coupled with a firm financial commitment on the KU football side (new facilities, etc.) may make the conference stronger.

    Allowing KU to join would also definitively weaken the remaining B12, which makes it a slightly easier sell for B10 coaches when recruiting kids out of TX and OK. What 3-5* recruit would choose a Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Baylor, or TCU over an upper echelon B10 program at that point?

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