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Official Big 12 Is (Really This Time) Expanding Thread

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Since it appears this is going to be about a year long process, and there will be room for endless speculation, and Memphis clearly has a vested interest in this, wanted to make a place where we could gather info and discussion.

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IMO the Tigers won't be a Big 12 selection.  BYU, Houston, Cincy or Colorado State are more likely candidates.

 

i didn't think the Big 12 selection committee originally had the Tigers listed as candidates. My son said that has changed. He says they now will take them in to consideration.

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This could be great for the Tigers or, if they aren't chosen, could spell the death of the Tigers.

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This could be great for the Tigers or, if they aren't chosen, could spell the death of the Tigers.

 

I think it's worse than that, really.  If there were ever a "must do" move, it's this one.

 

With the ACC getting their network, I think what it's done is helped solidify the Big 12's existence rather than threaten it. This expansion is all about getting money so the league can get out of the competitive disadvantage they are going to be in without a B12 network deal (which they will never get because of Texas).  

 

But the gap between the Power 5 and Group of 5 is going to just continue widening to the point that if Memphis isn't in it, the basketball program that we're so proud of will up and die.

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But the gap between the Power 5 and Group of 5 is going to just continue widening to the point that if Memphis isn't in it, the basketball program that we're so proud of will up and die.

 

 

Yep, that's the real issue here. If you can't get into a P5 conference, you will struggle to survive in D1 sports over the next few years. P5 teams don't want to play good non-P5 teams in either basketball or football.  The revenue gap between P5 and non-P5 schools is ridiculous and will only get worse. So if the Tigers can't get in, they will find themselves so far behind financially that they can't compete against P5 teams but it may not matter because P5 teams wouldn't want to play them anyway unless they are so horrible that it's a layup win.

 

I refrain from making predictions about stuff like this because no one will ever know unless you are on the inside. Every school has it's plusses and minuses. I will say this, I think it was last year that T. Boone pickens mentioned Memphis would be a good fit and he's a big booster in the B12. ESPN recently did a poll of the 10 coaches asking them which 2 teams they would like to see and BYU and Houston got 5 votes and Cincy and Memphis got 4 votes. if the B12 expands by 2, I think the Tigers chances of getting in are pretty much slim to none. If it's 4, I think they have a legit chance of getting in. I think this is the first time that they may have a chance to get into a legit conference but even then the chances are still slim. 

 

My main concern is that now the B12 is clearly the weakest of the P5 conferences. The SEC and B10 are by far the strongest, the Pac-12 has a monopoly on the west coast so that leaves the ACC and B12. The ACC did a lot to sure up their stability by getting that network and having teams sign a GOR, none of their teams are leaving any time soon. If TX and OU bounce, the B12 will fall and be absorbed by other conferences. It's not at the level the Big East was when the Tigers joined and it basically collapsed but the Big 12 is the weakest and most vulnerable of the P5 conferences so even if Memphis does get in, it may be short lived. If that's the case, I hope they can get in and put on one heck of an audition that another league would take them. I get the feeling the B12 may not last past 2025-26 when their current tv contract expires. 

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So the Big 12 went from no expansion, to maybe expansion, to no expansion, to in the last two weeks, yes to expansion and start talking to schools.

 

You would assume a protracted evaluation process as indecisive as they have been, but you'd be wrong.

 

Sources say the B12 wants to have schools chosen before the start of the 2016 season.

 

IF this guy turns out to be right, let me posit a conspiracy theory:  the expansion question was decided quite some time ago.  What's happening now is just smoke n' mirrors to make it seem as if the B12 has taken their time.

 

1. Remember the radio report out of Nashville that said Cincy and Memphis were in?  That was from December 2014.  (FYI, the original article has been taken down from the site sourced in that Frank the Tank article. Hmmmm....)

2. This year is the first year that WVU and TCU get their full B12 conference share, which was being divided amongst the other teams.  So a chunk of change is going bye bye for the other eight schools beginning this year.

3. The contractual clause granting the B12 an instantly reconstructed, larger contract based on ANY expansion teams has been understood by both parties for years.  Too many good lawyers employed.  However, as long as FSU and Clemson were quietly being promoted as B12 targets, do you think ESPN and Fox would have gladly gone along if the B12 dipped into the Group of 5?

4. The announcement to begin expanding happened almost to the day that the ACC grant of rights extension was announced.  Nobody, certainly not the B12, is going to respond so quickly and decisively - especially when reversing course.  Which suggests this was the plan all along: wait for the ACC to lock up their teams (since the ACC network was rumored for some time), giving the B12 "no choice" but to go after independents and Group of 5 schools.  Schools which would almost certainly pay a kings ransom (read: their share of the money) to get in to their conference.  Something FSU and Clemson would have surely sought to negotiate out of.

 

Now - keep in mind statements revealed a year ago where the B12 was supposedly vetting...Cincinnati.  Not BYU.  Not Houston.  Nobody else.  When it went public, they said it was simply a fact-finding move, something the conference does from time to time, nothing was on the table. And yet it was leaked.

 

I think this is the scenario that was played out quietly amongst the B12 teams - that the right circumstances were necessary to enact the contractual clause in such a way that the TV partners would be least likely to balk, and that WVU, to keep them "solid" in case the ACC or SEC were to expand again, were promised in the next round of expansion to head east to give them travel partners.  WVU want their alumni to have road games worth DRIVING to.  Memphis was the next logical choice for an eastward expansion, and Fred Smith is ready to open his wallet - probably has been behind the scenes for quite a while.

 

It could very well be that everything we are seeing play out now is just window dressing, and the conference has already decided what it's going to do.  It probably has known for some time it would be a 4 school deal too, because why leave money on the table?  You notice how what is generally considered the most attractive addition - BYU - has been playing it cool as a cucumber since this was all announced recently.  Don't discount their ego.  They may already be in, and want it to appear that they've had to do nothing to merit the invite but be themselves.  So they could be the 3rd team.  

 

So who's the 4th?  Who knows, but man, wouldn't it be crazy if it was Colorado coming back to the B12.  They are so much more important to the B12 than the Pac-12, and they know it.  Bring in a Power 5 school and BYU, and all of a sudden nobody's even thinking about Cincinnati and Memphis any more.  It will be a "brilliant" move no matter who the Group of 5 schools are.

 

I could be wrong.  But boy, wouldn't that be some brilliance on the part of the B12 higher ups if I'm even partially right?

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Well, all I have to say is that you are giving B12 leadership way more credit than I have seen anyone give them. I live about 25 minutes away from B12 HQ and basically everyone down here thinks they are a bunch of over-reactionary idiots who don't know what they want to do and haven't known what they want to do for awhile.

 

Everything that I have heard is that the Big 12 is only expanding because of the new ACC network and the ACC's GOR locking up teams until 2030 something. The Big 12 is clearly the weakest conference now. They know that every other P5 conference has it's own network now and they are trying to do something, anything to increase revenues to the current schools. The Longhorn network is basically preventing the B12 from having it's own network, not to mention that ESPN and Fox aren't even interested in a B12 network. Obviously Texas doesn't want a B12 network because they would have to give up their sweet deal of a $15 million dollar annual revenue stream that they are getting for a network that no one watches in the Longhorn Network. To me, this seems to be a pure money grab by the B12. If they expand by 4 teams, the pro-rata deal with ESPN and Fox would mean that the overall deal for the B12 conference would give them the same average per team for 14 teams as they are getting now for 10 teams. that's a least an extra $100 million in revenue from the tv networks.  The kicker is the new teams wouldn't get their full share and the 10 current teams would get a boatload more money. So basically the Big 12 is about to upset their tv partners by adding 4 teams that don't bring anywhere near the value that the tv partners will pay out and then they will screw over the new schools to funnel that new revenue to existing schools to keep them happy since they can't get a network to bring in extra revenue streams.

 

I would be surprised if the B12 lasts another 10 years. They have made a lot of poor decisions and there was no reason for them not to expand in the last round of expansion. It's almost to the point that I really don't care because the Big 12 will be a mess. I mean, if they let in BYU which clearly has the best profile by a wide margin of any non-P5 school, they would be spread across 3 time zones. It would be a geographical mess of a conference with no real rivalries and travel would be all over the place. It would basically be the miscellaneous P5 conference. The whole Houston thing and Texas politics will cause even more turmoil. Ann Richards and Texas state politics got Baylor into the Big 12, it's not far fetched to think the same thing won't happen with Houston. The only thing is, every Big 12 school not named Texas, already hates Texas. If Texas supports this move(which it sounds like they do),it will only tick off the non-Texas Big 12 schools even more than they are now. 

 

TX and OU refuse to sign a GOR with the B12 which basically means they always have their eyes and ears open to the Pac-12, Big 10, SEC or even the ACC. If those 2 schools leave, the Big 12 is over. i think it's highly possible that those 2 schools could leave and join a more stable P5 conference, especially OU.  I'm sure if OU leaves then OSU would want to go wherever they go. TX and it's Longhorn Network will be a challenge to join any new conference since they all have their own conference networks now but Texas has been threatening to go Independent for years. 

 

I don't believe it is anywhere near as coordinated as you think it.  think it's all reaction based and they have no idea what they are doing or what they want to do. With all that being said, this is Memphis' only opportunity to be included with the big boys so I hope it works out in their favor, even if it is short lived.  

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This is a mess and is probably going to get much messier. Unfortunately, the Tigers have to deal with the hand that is dealt. Hopefully, the B12 can resolve its issues with ESPN and Fox and expand by 4. That is literally the only way the Tigers have a shot in and even then it is only a chance, not a guarantee. I still think the B12 won't survive after the current contract ends in 2025. 

 

Big 12 TV partners push back on expansion

 

Big 12 expansion battle lines drawn with TV rights holders 'pushing back'

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This is a mess and is probably going to get much messier. Unfortunately, the Tigers have to deal with the hand that is dealt. Hopefully, the B12 can resolve its issues with ESPN and Fox and expand by 4. That is literally the only way the Tigers have a shot in and even then it is only a chance, not a guarantee. I still think the B12 won't survive after the current contract ends in 2025. 

 

Big 12 TV partners push back on expansion

 

Big 12 expansion battle lines drawn with TV rights holders 'pushing back'

 

Yeah, unfortunately everything you are saying is the most likely thing to happen.

 

Best case scenario;  the Big 12 still expands by 4 under renegotiated terms that still mean more money for them but is more reasonable to the networks.  And as part of the renegotiation, the networks and the Big12 work out a longer TV contract.  That seems like the win/win/win here.

 

What I think is most likely is that the Big12 pushes through with 2 candidates under the current TV deal, one hand picked by OU, the other by Texas.  So that would mean BYU and Houston.  They take the 2 best candidates off the table and in 2025 when the TV deal expires, Texas, OU, and anyone else who can ride their coattails jump ship and we finally move to the 4 16-team superconferences.

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What I think is most likely is that the Big12 pushes through with 2 candidates under the current TV deal, one hand picked by OU, the other by Texas.  So that would mean BYU and Houston.  They take the 2 best candidates off the table and in 2025 when the TV deal expires, Texas, OU, and anyone else who can ride their coattails jump ship and we finally move to the 4 16-team superconferences.

 

That's what i think will happen as well. There's 9 open slots for those 4 superconferences-ACC has 1(ND would become a fb member automatically), SEC, has 2, B10 has 2 and P12 has 4. There's at least 15 schools realistically vying for those 9 open slots-10 B12 schools, BYU, Memphis, Cincy, Houston and UConn. 

 

it's gonna be a donnybrook and a slobberknocker the next few years as this unfurls. 

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SMU is throwing their cowboy hat into the ring. Dallas is a huge TV market, the basketball team is good, the football team has been great in the past and their academics are above reproach (unlike their athletic department). 

 

Money, athletics, TV market and academics make SMU a tough challenger for one of the open spots. 

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SMU is throwing their cowboy hat into the ring. Dallas is a huge TV market, the basketball team is good, the football team has been great in the past and their academics are above reproach (unlike their athletic department). 

 

Money, athletics, TV market and academics make SMU a tough challenger for one of the open spots. 

 

 

This isn't directed at you Chip but these thoughts always pop in my head when people mention market size. You know, I don't understand the market size argument for certain schools. I mean, SMU for instance. The B12 is HQ'ed in the DFW metro area in Irving. TCU is in the DFW metro area not to mention that the DFW metro area has either the largest or second largest alumni populations of several B12 schools including UT, Baylor, Texas Tech and I think either OU or OSU(or maybe both). How would adding a small private school (undergrad enrollment of about 6500) to the B12 have any significant impact on tv viewership in the DFW metro area? The DFW tv market is already dominated by the B12. i mean, you could use that same argument to invite UNT or UT-Dallas or UT-Arlington or U of Dallas. Same for Houston. it's already dominated by the B12 and B12 alumni bases. How would adding a commuter school where people don't seem to care much about UH sports help them in tv ratings in the Houston market? Would it really even make a dent? They already have Houston similar to how they already have Dallas.

 

Same thing for UCF(Orlando) and USF(Tampa). first off USF needs a geography lesson cause Tampa looks like central Florida to me but whatever. Anyway, people always talk about recruiting and market size for these 2 schools. I mean, seriously, does anyone think USF or UCF will EVER out-recruit UF, FSU or UM? Unless those 3 schools get the death penalty at the same time, it will never happen. Also, would there really be any market penetration in Tampa or Orlando? I just don't see it. 

 

UConn is another one because they always tout the NY market. First, NY is much more of a pro town than college town. Secondly, even if they did watch college fb on high levels, why would they watch a school that they didn't go to that's over an hour away play a bunch of teams from the South? The market argument for UConn makes no sense to me.

 

I do see it making an impact in Memphis, Cincy and BYU. Although, Cincy is dominated by OSU and the Bengals. I see large numbers of viewers from those areas watching B12 ball religiously and having a much bigger impact on ratings than schools in larger markets. 

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As a former SMU student I take great personal affront to this attack on SMU!
I am shocked, SHOCKED I say, to hear you make the accusation that education is somehow less important than TV market size for an association of higher EDUCATION universities!
 

Just kidding in case you didn't see that already. The post wasn't so much about SMU's chances in the Big 12 as much as showing that Memphis isn't alone in wanting into the conference and Memphis' academic history, small market size, declining basketball program and general lack of respect around the nation may not be offset by FedEx's cash infusion no matter how much Memphis fans want to believe it will. SMU's football has a 'rich' tradition, their basketball team is coming into it's own, a lot of affluent alumni (for those interested in money) and is geographically sensible. 

 

Memphis may make the final four cut but it is by no means assured. 

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As a former SMU student I take great personal affront to this attack on SMU!

I am shocked, SHOCKED I say, to hear you make the accusation that education is somehow less important than TV market size for an association of higher EDUCATION universities!

 

Just kidding in case you didn't see that already. The post wasn't so much about SMU's chances in the Big 12 as much as showing that Memphis isn't alone in wanting into the conference and Memphis' academic history, small market size, declining basketball program and general lack of respect around the nation may not be offset by FedEx's cash infusion no matter how much Memphis fans want to believe it will. SMU's football has a 'rich' tradition, their basketball team is coming into it's own, a lot of affluent alumni (for those interested in money) and is geographically sensible. 

 

Memphis may make the final four cut but it is by no means assured. 

 

Oh, don't get me wrong. In no way am I comparing/arguing Memphis' chances vs. SMU or any other school. I was just commenting that you just can't look at a market and think it will automatically increase your tv viewers. There's a lot of factors. Also, I never underestimate the ridiculousness that is Texas state politics. Baylor got into the big 12 because of Ann Richards, it wouldn't surprise me if SMU snuck in.

 

Personally, if I had to wager, I would think the chances of the Big 12 expanding are as follows: a 10% chance that they will do nothing, a 15% chance they will expand by 4 and a 75% chance they will expand by 2. If they expand by 2, I think Memphis' chances of getting in are basically 0%. If they expand by 4, I would say Memphis is like 5th or 6th on the list and it would take something like ruling BYU out due to culture and geography and ruling UConn out because of geography. I want Memphis to get in, but realistically the school doesn't offer much: mediocre to poor academics, no fb history at all, declining bball program, a commuter school in a poor city, little national recognition/support. I think that's just the reality. With that being said, I would love to see them get in but it's a double edged sword. it would be great if they got in, but even if they got in, they would not get anywhere near the $30 mil the other schools would be getting, the athletic programs may not be able to compete consistently with increased competition, and it would more than likely be short-lived. As I mentioned earlier, I think the big 12 will die in 2025. It would be better than staying in the AAC I guess. 

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Well, BYU is making it easier on the expansion committee to narrow their list.

 

I'm not getting into the politics of the thing.  At this point, getting into the Power 5 is such a critical boon to Memphis, if some other school does something to get themselves out of the running for one of those openings, good.

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I wish the NCAA would either disappear or grow some balls.

By growing some balls I mean require every conference to have a maximum of 10 teams, all geographically sensible (BYU and UCONN should never be considered in the same conference), require every football team to play every team in their conference once and have 2-3 out of conference games and TV contracts are negotiated at the national level with each conference receiving equal payouts.

 

Screw conferences spread out all over the place requiring colleges to pay to travel to the far reaching points of the nation every season. Screw inequitable payouts that make competition **** near impossible to maintain if you aren't among the chosen few and encourages alumni to cheat they system to become a chosen school.

 

The funny thing is the NCAA has the power right now to enforce this too. TV networks have created a need for football programming as much as possible. They can't simply refuse to pay. The NCAA has all the power. If one network refuses there are 2-3 more willing to do what is asked. If the NCAA wants to act like they care about student-athletes, then make it possible for them to be student-athletes.

 

I realize this is naive and can never happen but you are talking to someone here who is voting for Gary Johnson because he is the most qualified, most honest and most reasonable person running for the President so that argument won't fly very far with me. Once people stop working toward the best outcome the lesser of two evils still is evil. We don't get what is fair in this life. We get what we deserve so either campaign for the best of shut the heck up.  

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Well, BYU is making it easier on the expansion committee to narrow their list.

 

I'm not getting into the politics of the thing.  At this point, getting into the Power 5 is such a critical boon to Memphis, if some other school does something to get themselves out of the running for one of those openings, good.

 

According to this story, they are leaning towards 2 schools. Who knows but I always thought that was the most likely outcome. Once I found out that Fox and ESPN were ticked off, it seemed even less likely that they would add 4. 

 

 

I wish the NCAA would either disappear or grow some balls.

 

By growing some balls I mean require every conference to have a maximum of 10 teams, all geographically sensible (BYU and UCONN should never be considered in the same conference), require every football team to play every team in their conference once and have 2-3 out of conference games and TV contracts are negotiated at the national level with each conference receiving equal payouts.

 

Screw conferences spread out all over the place requiring colleges to pay to travel to the far reaching points of the nation every season. Screw inequitable payouts that make competition **** near impossible to maintain if you aren't among the chosen few and encourages alumni to cheat they system to become a chosen school.

 

The funny thing is the NCAA has the power right now to enforce this too. TV networks have created a need for football programming as much as possible. They can't simply refuse to pay. The NCAA has all the power. If one network refuses there are 2-3 more willing to do what is asked. If the NCAA wants to act like they care about student-athletes, then make it possible for them to be student-athletes.

 

I realize this is naive and can never happen but you are talking to someone here who is voting for Gary Johnson because he is the most qualified, most honest and most reasonable person running for the President so that argument won't fly very far with me. Once people stop working toward the best outcome the lesser of two evils still is evil. We don't get what is fair in this life. We get what we deserve so either campaign for the best of shut the heck up.  

 
I have zero confidence or expectations that the NCAA will ever do anything the right way.
 
Lastly, why is the  Big12 even entertaining some of these schools. The Big12's leadership is a joke:
 

 

 

Big 12’s 17 school expansion list: ArkState Boise BYU Cincinnati CSU UConn ECU Houston Memphis NIU NM SDSU SMU Temple Tulane UCF USF

 

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Lastly, why is the  Big12 even entertaining some of these schools. The Big12's leadership is a joke:

 

I assume those are the schools that applied for consideration. It would be wrong to not include everyone who applied in the discussion even if some of the schools have zero chance of being seriously considered. 

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I assume those are the schools that applied for consideration. It would be wrong to not include everyone who applied in the discussion even if some of the schools have zero chance of being seriously considered. 

 

Why would it be wrong to not consider them? If they're not good enough, they shouldn't be considered. Arkansas St., NIU? Really?

 

In the past, it appears that most conferences targeted who they wanted, had talks behind closed doors and if both sides were in agreement, the conference would then make an announcement saying that they are  expanding with such and such new members. Many people feel that these open application process is a pretty desperate ploy by the Big 12.  It's basically saying "hey everybody, we have some open spots, make your best pitch" which is the exact opposite of what has happened in the past. 

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Don't have a link for you - just saying, that word is coming out from a few different sources now that Big 12 is only going to expand to 2, and despite what you've heard, it's pretty much a 3 horse race between BYU, Houston & Cincinnati.  

 

Hope "they" are wrong.  Being in the Group of 5 is hard enough, but to lose Houston and Cincy from the AAC would really hurt.  Take those two teams away, and the longest history we have with teams left over in the AAC is Tulane, and, um, Tulane.     

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Yeah there's all types of reports out there. I'm  almost thinking they will do nothing and tell teams to wait until the 2019-20 season. That way, the newcomers would never get the full payout because they will probably have a 5 year waiting period where they get significantly less but by that time, the Big 12 TV contract will be over and I predict the Big 12 as we know it will be over.

 

I've said this before, but I'm getting to the point where I just don't care. it's a double edged sword. it would be great to be in, but you wouldn't get anywhere near the money of the incumbent members, it may be short-lived and the Big12 has horrible leadership. 

 

I've also heard that UConn is flirting with joining the Big East if they can't get into the Big 12 and just put their fb in some random conference or even go independent in fb. If that's the case and the AAC loses 2 schools to the B12, I would offer 5 schools from the MW to join the American as the Western division or even throw it to BYU, but their social and cultural views may hinder them from joining any conference. That way, you may lose a couple of strong fb programs but you replace them with 3-4 strong to decent programs and a couple more decent to ok ones. it would make the AAC stronger.

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Yeah there's all types of reports out there. I'm  almost thinking they will do nothing and tell teams to wait until the 2019-20 season. That way, the newcomers would never get the full payout because they will probably have a 5 year waiting period where they get significantly less but by that time, the Big 12 TV contract will be over and I predict the Big 12 as we know it will be over.

 

I've said this before, but I'm getting to the point where I just don't care. it's a double edged sword. it would be great to be in, but you wouldn't get anywhere near the money of the incumbent members, it may be short-lived and the Big12 has horrible leadership. 

 

I've also heard that UConn is flirting with joining the Big East if they can't get into the Big 12 and just put their fb in some random conference or even go independent in fb. If that's the case and the AAC loses 2 schools to the B12, I would offer 5 schools from the MW to join the American as the Western division or even throw it to BYU, but their social and cultural views may hinder them from joining any conference. That way, you may lose a couple of strong fb programs but you replace them with 3-4 strong to decent programs and a couple more decent to ok ones. it would make the AAC stronger.

 

I wouldn't be surprised, if the B12 does expand, that it will eventually ripple down to certain programs in the Group of 5 bandying together to make a "best of the rest" conference.  I'm talking a few years after any expansion.  It is obvious that being the top dog amongst the next tier is very important, seeing as how the C-USA and MAC TV contracts are atrocious, and I don't even know if the Sun Belt has an official "conference" contract.  I don't know about a merger, but taking the cream of the AAC/MWC could make for at least better money than is available elsewhere.

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ISU President thinks it will take until December. I'm thinking more and more they won't expand. 

 

The guy towards the end of this piece (Zimbalist) pretty much sums up my feelings on it. Darned if you do, darned if you don't but you're better off in a Power 5 Conference. 

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So apparently on a radio interview up in my neck of the woods yesterday, some guy from CBS sports said he believes it will be Cincinnati & Memphis.  Haven't found a transcript of it, so I'm not sure what his reasoning was.  

 

I have heard this for about 2 years now from what I would have to describe as a "tangentially connected source", so every time I hear somebody in the media draw this same conclusion, I start to want to follow them a little more closely to try and determine where they get their info from.  Calkins mentioned him the other day, I don't remember his name, but when I looked him up apparently he got his feet wet working for the Bleacher Report, which has been pretty consistently pro-Memphis, so maybe he does have some inside dope.

 

One can only hope.

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