If Big Ten expansion does engulf Missouri – and possibly a couple of big East schools – it's hard to know what'll happen to the Big 12.
The expansion variables are many, and nearly all of them would make college basketball strange in some way. Depending upon how many schools trade conferences, it'll throw much of what we know out of whack.
And when the dust settles, which schools are going to be left hanging? Sam Mellinger from the Kansas City Star wonders if anyone will want to pair with Kansas and Kansas State.
At this point, KU and K-State are among the Big 12 schools that appear headed for either a bad situation or a worse one. This is the next break between college sports' strong and weak, and KU and K-State may find themselves on the wrong side of the fault line.
"You can drive yourself nuts trying to figure out exactly how it's going to work," says K-State athletic director John Currie. "But this is another moment in time there is going to be changes nationally."
Texas is the driving force here. If Texas is OK with whatever is left of the Big 12, the conference can probably keep going. But that's not likely if the Big 12 is down to scraps, and if Texas bolts for the SEC or Pac-10, then KU and K-State are scrambling to save their own existence on the national scene.
Both Kansas schools have strong athletic programs and loyal fan bases, but in the new world of college athletics would be left in the cold because of geography and the state's relatively small population.
Here's a thought: What if Kansas and Kansas State join Conference USA or the Mountain West? Would the Jayhawks and Wildcats end up dominating either conference in basketball in a fashion similar to what Memphis did during the final four years of John Calipari's tenure?
Or would both schools take a hit from less TV coverage and less money divided up from football revenue?
Hard to say. All I know is I'd hate to see Kansas and Missouri not be regular rivals.
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