The age of the “super conference” is upon us. Syracuse and Pittsburgh have agreed to join the ACC, Texas A&M is set to join the SEC, and now it appears that Texas and Oklahoma are on the move. In all of this mass hysteria there is one school that is not getting a lot of publicity and they really should, the University of Kansas.
We have all been told that football is driving the bus. It is all about the money of course. Not tradition, not geography, not even basketball. But why is this?
To see why football is driving the bus all you need to do is follow the money. The schools and conferences get to keep the majority of the revenue that is generated by football. Basketball however is a different story. Even though the NCAA Tournament just signed an almost $11 Billion television contract, the majority of that money goes back to the NCAA. This is in fact the only reason the NCAA can continue on. Without the proceeds from the tournament, the NCAA could not function.
So what happens if there ends up being four super conferences of 16 teams a piece. That is 64 teams, a nice round number huh. You can bet the plan is to break away from the NCAA so the BCS schools can capitalize on a football playoff where they can keep all the money. But what is not being talked about is that they would also do the same for basketball.
Imagine a BCS Basketball Tournament. They could have that lucrative television deal still intact but this time the schools and conferences could keep all the revenue. That is over a $1 billion a year by the way. So I ask you, what about perennial blue-blood Kansas?
In this scenario basketball would indeed carry weight. They may not be on the same level as football but most certainly in the discussion. That is where Kansas finds itself, holding onto the hope that someone sees the future in a crystal ball. But for whatever reason this has not crossed the minds of the powers that be.
Could we really see the program with the 2nd most victories all-time playing in Conference USA? Does the program of Chamberlain, Valentine, Pierce, and Lovellette see itself playing in the Mountain West? Surely the program that produced coaches such as Phog Allen, Adolph Rupp, Dean Smith, Larry Brown, Roy Williams, and Bill Self wouldn’t play in the Missouri Valley right? Almost forgot, Dr. James “I invented the damn game” Naismith coached there too!
Let’s hope for all us basketball fans out there that someone out there has a moment of clarity.
“I am sure that no man can derive more pleasure from money or power than I do from seeing a pair of basketball goals in some out of the way place.” Dr. James Naismith