Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Expansion Talk - Kansas

When Turner Gill took over the reigns of the Kansas Football program in December of 2009 he listed his priorities: Recruit, beat Missouri, win the Big 12 North, win the Big 12 and by doing so, the Jayhawks would be playing for the National Champsionship. Now before Gill has the opportunity to be on the sidelines of Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, the timeline to acheive those priorities has been accelerated.

National reports have Nebraska joining the Big Ten as early as Friday resulting in an impolosion of the Big 12 Conference. Most of the schools in the Big 12 South will be engulfed by the Pac 10 along with Colorado. That leaves some of the universities in the Big 12 North to fend for themselves. Kansas will be among them.

Gill became a Jayhawk after a successful playing career at Nebraska. He took the job at Kansas after building a bad Buffalo team and turning them into a conference champion. He had earned the right to do the same thing at a BCS conference school. Kansas gave him that chance, now those priorities he set forth seven months ago may not occur.

Kansas isn't the only school in jeopardy of becomming a nomad on the college landscape. Kansas State, Iowa State are also looking for a new home, and the possibilities available aren't enticing. The Big East is one rumored home, but how will Olympic Sports at the midwest schools be able to travel to such remote locations as Storrs, CT. In football once these teams are done playing one another, their closest opponent will be Cincinnati.

Another home could be the Mountain West. Perhaps a bit more geographically-friendly to these schools, but now these one-time BCS conference schools become a mid-major. And the basketball programs of these institutions lose credibility as they would be only a few years removed from playing for the title of the nation's best league.

Now these "left-overs" fromt he Big 12 will be searching for a conference that best suits them. They will be looking for a chance to prove themselves, much like Turner Gill has been doing for the last few years.

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