Chat with Pat Forde
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com columnist Pat Forde stops by to chat about the latest college football conference realignments.
Among other things, Forde covers college football and basketball for ESPN and ESPN.com.
Send your questions now and join Forde Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Pat Forde (2:04 PM)
Hi. Let's go!
Could you see the Big12 adding Louisville and another school to get back to 12?
Pat Forde (2:05 PM)
Rick: No. Big 12 is happy at 10 for now -- just needs a name change. No interest among Texas and Oklahoma in conference title game. And if we've learned one thing in recent days, whatever Texas wants, Texas gets.
With the new TV deal in place, will either Colorado or Nebraska regret their decision to bail on the Big 12?
Pat Forde (2:06 PM)
Dimitri: Nebraska likely will not, thanks to Big Ten riches and its hard feelings toward the Big 12 South power base. Colorado might, especially if it wants to buy out Dan Hawkins AND has to pay a whopping exit fee.
Will J (Portland, OR)
Forde, do you ultimately think the Big XII's survival is better for college athletics? I would have liked to see a Pac-10 mega conference, but that's not necessarily what would've been best for college.
Pat Forde (2:08 PM)
Will: Yes, I think it's better for college football, and college sports in general. Reasonably sized conferences with some geographic sense and traditional roots are important. This was the verge of going crazy.
Sean (Lawrence, KS)
How would you have felt if your Alma Mater would've been kicked to the curb? Kansas and Missouri needed a lifeline and got it.
Pat Forde (2:10 PM)
Sean: No doubt about it. Mizzou badly overplayed its hand, it seems. This worked out better than the school perhaps had the right to expect after being dissed (at least temporarily) by the Big Ten. But there will be lingering hard feelings toward Mizzou in the league (see T. Boone Pickens video for proof).
If Utah moves to the Pac 12, how long before they can contend?
Pat Forde (2:11 PM)
Nate: I don't think too long. This is a great time to enter the Pac-10 -- USC just got hammered by the NCAA, so the kingpin figures to be down for a few years. If Kyle Whittingham can keep the recruiting going at a high level, Utes can compete.
Will J (Portland, OR)
I don't think Colorado will regret leaving the Big XII. With Nebraska's departure, CU had no rivals.......and Colorado culturally has more in common with the Pac-10 then it does with the Big XII.
Pat Forde (2:12 PM)
Will: I agree with you -- but not financially. This could hurt CU in the short term. But its better long-term fit will be the Pac-10.
Boose (Louisville, KY)
Gut feeling on Izzo: Staying or going?
Pat Forde (2:13 PM)
Boose: Gut says staying. But the longer this drags out, the less I know. I love Izzo, but this is getting diva-diculous. Waiting for LeBron to send out puffs of smoke July 1 (at the earliest) leaves everyone hanging a loooooonnnnngggg time.
When is Mike Garrett getting fired?
Pat Forde (2:13 PM)
Not soon enough. Should have happened by now.
David (Montville, NJ)
With all this talk about teams shuffling spots, no team from the Big East seemed to be seriously considered, leading to me concluding that other conferences don't seem to respect the quality of football programs in the Big East With that said do they still deserve an automatic BSC spot?
Pat Forde (2:15 PM)
David: I think there was serious consideration of a couple Big East schools by the Big Ten -- Rutgers and Pitt most likely at the top of that list. And if the Big 12 had blown up, we might have seen a Big East overture to Kansas, Missouri, K State and Iowa State to join the Big East in a 12-team football/20-team basketball league. Wouldn't that have been something?
Will (Metairie, LA)
Pat, who would you say the big winnerwas yesterday? I say the SEC, we did not want to break up any good East/West rivalries, or add any mediocre teams to dilute the competition.
Pat Forde (2:17 PM)
Will: That's a good question, but a multi-layered one. I'd say it was a good day in the short term for the Big 12, and a good day in the long term for the Big East, Notre Dame, the SEC and everyone else who didn't want to be forced into a difficult new reality.
Pat, are you going to make a trip to Boise for the WAC farewell (or good riddance) tour this year?
Pat Forde (2:18 PM)
Matt: Schedule has not been determined yet for the fall. But I definitely hope to make a trip to the blue turf this season.
How would you group the Stanford/Cal and Utah/CU pairings in the 12-Pac? Who goes with the 4 Northwest schools and who goes with the SoCal/Arizona schools?
Pat Forde (2:20 PM)
Matt: That's a really good question. If the Pac-12 goes divisional -- which is likely -- most of the schools are kind of locked in by geography and partners. If you break it down the way you did, which makes sense, I'd send Cal and Stanford north and CU/Utah south. The north needs some California presence in it.
Pat, will a lack of a Championship game hurt the Winner of the Big12 (Usually Texas or Oklahoma) chance's of making it to the BCS title game?
Pat Forde (2:22 PM)
Blake: Not at all. Think back to last year -- the Big 12 title game nearly killed Texas' chances of making the BCS game. More often than not, the title game has been a double-jeopardy risk for Texas or OU. Nothing to gain, everything to lose. If either of those schools goes 12-0, it will have a great chance to play for the title without needing a conference championship game.
So how bad are Big 12 schools going to want to hurt Nebraska and Colorado this year?
Pat Forde (2:23 PM)
Jason: Well, it'll be an interesting season. But it could have been downright bitter and bizarre if the whole thing had broken up. As is, the Big 12 football media days next month will be interesting. I'll be there, and I can't wait.
Do you think the Izzo delay is because Gilbert is trying to get an informal agreement in place with Lebron?
Pat Forde (2:24 PM)
Hugo: Maybe/probably, but I really don't see LeBron turning down his chance to entertain offers from the rest of the world just so he can commit to Tom Izzo. I suspect Cleveland and Izzo are on LeBron's timetable, not the other way around.
Steve (South Bend)
How long until Notre Dame joins the ACC or Big Ten?
Pat Forde (2:25 PM)
Steve: Notre Dame wants neither. It wants to remain independent in FB and in the Big East in all other sports. And for now, that remains intact. It might happen at some point that ND is semi-coerced into the Big Ten, but that time is not now.
Why is Notre Dame so loved? I for one can't stand them and wish they were forced to join a conference. If one of their teams is independent then they all should be!
Pat Forde (2:26 PM)
Joe: Notre Dame is both loved and, as you illustrated, hated. Love and hate both attract eyeballs to the TV set. ND still has much more clout than a lot of people want to admit.
mike (new orleans)
But what if Texas is 12-0 and Ohio St beats Nebraska in a title game to go 13-0? Texas is out. First time that happens, I'm guessing they add 2 teams.
Pat Forde (2:28 PM)
Mike: Sounds to me as though you have two unbeaten teams. Unless you've stashed a third one somewhere, Texas is in. Need a more clearly stated hypothetical.
Do you see the Big 10 expanding any further?
Pat Forde (2:29 PM)
Mark: I don't see it now -- that's not based on ironclad information, just my sense of the situation. I think the Big Ten got a quality 12th team that allows it to do divisions and a title game -- so it can be choosey and patient with its next move. Whenever that is.
Jason (Wichita Falls)
Why is the Big 12 not making a play for TCU?
Pat Forde (2:30 PM)
Jason: TCU adds nothing in terms of TV market, has lousy attendance and would only further concentrate the league in the state of Texas. Non-starter.
Is there ever a possibility of the SEC adding a Miami or Florida State to the Conference?
Pat Forde (2:32 PM)
John: From what I've heard, FSU has renewed interest in the SEC after turning it down in the early 1990s. But Florida might be able to block any move by the Seminoles into the league, and without A&M there isn't a balancing addition for the SEC West. I'd say Miami is a longer shot.
Tony Barnhart pointed out in his AJC blog that Jim Delany would be known as Gordon Gecko if he decides to expand now. Delany is a smart guy and has a pulse on public perception. Do you think Delany knows now is not the time to make another move?
Pat Forde (2:33 PM)
Vinnie: Yes, that is my sense of it. I don't think Delany is going to rush a move just to make a move.
What would be the chances of adding someone like Arkansas or Memphis to the BIG 12. I think they would add some value.
Pat Forde (2:34 PM)
Ryan: The great state of Texas disagrees.
Tim (Salt Lake City)
Pat, do you think the Pac10 will be have a championship game in 2012? If so, what is a likely destination?
Pat Forde (2:36 PM)
Tim: I would expect a Pac-10 champ game in 2012. Destination choice is interesting -- I'd say the stadium in Phoenix would merit strong consideration. Possibly either of the two college stadia in LA.
Do you think that there is a possibility that the Big 10 will not adopt a championship game even after adding the 12th team? I heard rumors that the Big 12 coaches did not really enjoy having to play a championship game...
Pat Forde (2:38 PM)
Brett: The Big 12 coaches -- or at least, those with the clout -- definitely did not like the title game. But it took the near-collapse of the conference and ultimately the loss of two schools to do away with it. Big Ten will go ahead with it most likely whether the coaches like it or not.
Whats this I hear about Texas Tech and Oklahoma State being angry wiht the formation of the new Big 12 and the new money deals. Will Texas Tech try and petition to get more money and threaten to leave if it doesnt work in their favor? where can they go?
Pat Forde (2:40 PM)
Chase: The different tiers of payout will make sure folks stay unhappy for years to come in the Big 12 -- a reason I think this is only a short-term solution. But I don't think Tech has the clout to hold out in any serious form over this. I expect Tech to join the ranks shortly.
Luke (Bellingham, WA)
Qwest Field for a Pac-12 championship?
Pat Forde (2:40 PM)
Luke: Pretty dicey December weather.
Rocker 2010 (Ft Worth Tx)
If the Big 12 Lite expands back up to 12, do you think New Mexico would be part of the discussion? Look at it from academics, and other sports (particulalry m and w BB, baseball, track) besides the financial
Pat Forde (2:41 PM)
Rocker: I've said this a few times, but let me reiterate... The Big 12 isn't going to go back to 12 anytime soon. Period. Not even for New Mexico. Especially not for New Mexico.
Molly (Columbia, MO)
How long do you think this Big 12 truce lasts before the unequal revenue sharing (that wasn't fixed, sort of worsened) becomes a make-or-break issue again?
Pat Forde (2:42 PM)
Molly: It's a big problem moving forward, no matter how relieved everyone is right now just to have avoided armageddon.
Do you see UCF going to another conference like the big east anytime soon?
Pat Forde (2:44 PM)
Rob: If the Big East ever feels like it needs more football members -- and it should, given its vulnerability as an eight-team league -- UCF would be in the discussion. I'm relatively sure of that. Doesn't mean they'd get in, but they're on the radar.
Jake (Honolulu, HI)
Can you Larry Scott's overall expansion adventure a success or failure thus far? Or still too soon?
Pat Forde (2:45 PM)
Jake: Good question. I say success. The Pac-10 was a completely static conference before Scott came onboard. He's given it a jolt of energy. He took a home run swing and ended up with a bloop single -- but the old commish never would have swung the bat.
Eric (Jackson, Mi)
What do you see as the likely divisions in the new Big Ten? Will Michigan and the team down south be in the same division?
Pat Forde (2:46 PM)
Eric: It's a tough call. The natural inclination is to divide east-west, but that could put Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State all in the east -- and that's an imbalance that won't fly. So they might have to get creative with their geography if they go the divisional route.
So how do you feel getting the whole expansion prediction right, for the moment at least?
Pat Forde (2:48 PM)
Brett: Momentarily brilliant. Ha. (I wrote May 20 that the best result would be Nebraska to the Big Ten, Colorado to the Pac-10 and stop the madness.)
Billy Bob (Texas)
Is Texas America's team?
Pat Forde (2:48 PM)
Billy Bob: It might not be America's Team, but it appears to be America's Cash Cow.
If you were Missouri, and the Big 10 offered (in say about a year), would you take the offer and run??
Pat Forde (2:49 PM)
Jon: Absolutely. But I don't know whether that window has closed.
So CU and Nebraska will have to pay the whole exit fee now?
Pat Forde (2:50 PM)
Kevin: I believe so.
Does the Big Ten remain the Big Ten (in name)?
Pat Forde (2:51 PM)
Justin: Big Ten and Big 12 have got to do something with their names, or we'll all go insane. From now on I suggest leaving numbers out of the equation, and perhaps even leaving out geography.
Josh (Kansas City)
With Memphis wanting out of Conf. USA, wouldn't it be a good idea for the Big XII to add them. Granted football wise, they are not the greatest. However, they would all but lock up the Big XII as the best basketball conference. They have a nice backer with Fed Ex and their football stadium, basketball arena, and overall enrollment is comparable to the remaining Big XII teams.
Pat Forde (2:52 PM)
Josh: I'll keep repeating this every five minutes -- the Big 12 does not want any more teams right now. And that includes Memphis, which is a football zero. And if we've learned anything lately, football is the only sport that factors into these major decisions.
Kelly (Bowling Green)
How will this trickle down to conferences such as the Sun Belt and a team like Western Kentucky?
Pat Forde (2:54 PM)
Kelly: The trickle down was slowed dramatically and perhaps stopped when the big dominoes wound up not falling. But I met briefly with new WKU AD Ross Bjork yesterday and they were definitely watching it all very closely. This would have had ramifications all the way down to the bottom of Division I if armageddon had struck. And it still might several years down the road.
Hi Pat. Did Missouri end up ultimately hurting themselves? They seemed to be putting signals out that they wanted the Big 10, but ultimately the Big 10 didn't want them. What are your perceptions of their situation?
Pat Forde (2:56 PM)
Joe: I know it was quite the emotional roller coaster for Missouri. Excitement over possible Big Ten switch; befuddlement over cold shoulder; panic over possibly being homeless; relief over survival of the Big 12/10 ... but now, how do your peers feel about you? I don't think it was a great experience for Mizzou.
What is the hold up on the Utah invite to the PAC-10?
Pat Forde (2:57 PM)
Steve: I don't know that there is a holdup -- perhaps just less of a need to rush now that this is settling down. Or, who knows, maybe the Pac-10 is waiting to hear the definitive loyalty oath from every school involved in the Big 12 reformation.
Kelvin (Austin, Texas)
Texas to the Big 12, is like Tiger Woods to golf. Yes Tiger is making more money than everyone else, but at the same time, everyone is making more money because Tiger is there.
Pat Forde (2:58 PM)
Kelvin: There is some truth to that, no doubt about it.
How did the Big 12 get to the point where Texas calls the shots? There would have been bloodshed if an SEC school pulled this on their fellow conference members.
Pat Forde (2:59 PM)
Tom: I think one of the strengths of the SEC is the commitment to equal revenue sharing. I'm sure there is some resentment of Vanderbilt getting the same share as Florida and Alabama, but I think a conference of true peers in terms of sharing the spoils and the burdens of membership is the best way to go.
What's the best conference West of the Mississippi?
Pat Forde (3:00 PM)
Brent: Depends on the year. But in 2010, it's the Big 12/10. Pac-10/12 will be hurt significantly by the post-season ban on USC.
Pat Forde (3:01 PM)
And with that, I'm out of time. Thanks for all the questions -- and to reiterate, the Big 12/10 is not looking to expand. See you all here again soon.