The party line on conference expansion and/or realignment remains consistent for the University of Louisville. Tom Jurich knows how to play the game.
The University of Missouri appears about ready to shed the shackles of inertia, indecisiveness and resistance to change that brought the forces of conference realignment to a crawl for a couple of weeks.
Pete Thamel of the New York Times reports that the UM Board of Curators will likely approve an application to join the Southeastern Conference later this week. If they do follow through, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if they didn’t, the Big 12 Conference would be down to nine members.
Louisville is said to be first in line, but that depends heavily on how prone Brigham Young is to emulating Notre Dame’s bigger-than-thou hubris at any given point in time. They’re negotiating, they’re not negotiating, the talks have gone awry, they’re close to an agreement. Can’t anyone make a clear-cut decision these days?
The BYU concern goes away if the Big 12 decides to get back to 12 members. But then there’s that indecisiveness again, Texas wants 10, Texas is okay with 12. Texas wants this, Texas wants that. You know how it goes. The way conference realignment has gone thus far, don’t be surprised if BYU goes first.
That would leave Louisville, West Virginia and Cincinnati to pick from if the conference goes to 12.
The UC fan base embarrassed itself last weekend. A team with a 4-1 record only able to attract 40,000 people to a game with an arch-rival in a 65,000-seat stadium. Homecoming. Beautiful fall weather. Between 5,000 and 10,000 of those fans from Louisville. Don’t think someone from the Big 12 didn’t notice.
No one says a word.
Everyone at the University of Louisville is mum, tight-lipped, non-verbal, incommunicado on the issue of UofL’s chances of getting into the Big 12 Conference expansion/realignment.
Everyone has been sworn to silence. Even if they don’t know anything, which they don’t.
Everyone that is except Rick Pitino who has become everyone’s nightmare, the proverbial loose cannon. Out there by himself, crusading for the preservation of the Big East.
On a day when the Big 12 appeared to be near reaching consensus, we get word that T. Boone Pickens is still not through tinkering with the process.
And Rick Pitino is still out there, turning out still another blog in defense of the Big East.
We suspect Pitino is using his good friend, Andy Katz at ESPN, to broadcast his message nationally, creating doubt, planting seeds of disunity, seeking to derail the process. In his latest blog Katz reports:
BYU, TCU and Louisville have all been mentioned as possibilities to join the Big 12. But Louisville, a source told ESPN.com, is interested in keeping Big East together with service academies to fill void left by Pitt and Syracuse, who are heading to the ACC.
We also suspect that Katz wrote his piece primarily to provide a platform in support of Pitino’s position because it certainly didn’t contain any news.
You may win the battle, Rick, but you’ll lose the war. You’re on the wrong side of this issue.
Which University of Louisville football fanatic doesn’t want to see yet another video of the stadium expansion? It’s a little shaky because (multiple choice): 1. The observer had given his film crew the day off, Â 2. The ground was moving because of the great football recruiting class or 3. The observer was walking around and it was cold outside.