Dribble Handoff: Predicting how conference realignment will impact these college basketball programs

A lot of the speak about convention realignment in school sports activities to this point has centered on its soccer ramifications, as historic gridiron powers Oklahoma and Texas gear up for admission to the SEC by 2025, on the newest. However there can be implications for basketball as properly, particularly because the Large 12 — a powerful basketball league — figures out its path ahead amid the altering panorama.

With reigning nationwide champion Baylor, historic energy Kansas and robust applications like West Virginia, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, the Large 12 would nonetheless boast a stable basketball roster even after the departure of the Longhorns and Sooners. However there is no such thing as a assure the Large 12 will survive, and even when it does, its development may find yourself trying totally different.

Might faculties from the American Athletic Convention or Mountain West get invited and get a bump in basketball status because of this? What if the Large 12 disintegrates and a college or two are left and not using a fascinating dwelling within the fallout?

With these questions looming over school basketball, our staff of writers is trying into the crystal ball for this version of the Dribble Handoff and responding to the next immediate: When the mud settles on realignment 5 years from now, which males’s basketball program can be benefiting or struggling most because of this?

Oklahoma State

Let me deal with one level within the query at hand first. “When the mud settles on realignment 5 years from now.” I am undecided any mud is ever settling. Faculty sports activities has, for eons, virtually, undergone important shifts in its power-conference construction as soon as each 8-12 years. Most lately was the splintering of the previous Large East into the American, the creation of the brand new Large East, along with the Pac-10 turning into the Pac-12, the Large 12 being diminished to 10 groups and the ACC bloating to a pointless 15. Previous to that, we noticed the Large 8 grow to be the Large 12; we noticed the dissolution of the beloved Metro Convention, and plenty of extra examples. So the concept that the SEC’s enlargement to 16 groups — in what quantities to an excellent league in school athletics — signaling one last, and main, change … properly I am not satisfied. Let’s discuss in 2040. 

With that out of the way in which, which college will profit or undergo most? I am going to go along with the struggling aspect. Give me Oklahoma State. Oklahoma did its rival and Sooner State brethren soiled by negotiating in secret with Texas. When you think about the historic context, it is easy to argue that there aren’t 5 extra essential and passionate rivalries in school sports activities than Bedlam. Will the sequence proceed? What assure will we now have of that? OSU advantages considerably from its Large 12 affiliation, but additionally its proximity and attachment to OU. Kansas will all the time be a attract basketball. Baylor will profit from shedding Texas as an in-state competitor in males’s and ladies’s hoops. However OSU, to me, looks as if it’s going to be alienated greater than most others and will undergo some drip-drip-drip drain on the advantages of its convention affiliation. The concept Oklahoma and OSU will not be in the identical league is idiotic. It did not have to be this fashion. Matt Norlander

If the Large 12 expands, Cincinnati can be a logical name. Likewise, if the Large 12 disintegrates and the AAC takes any of the leftovers, the AAC will enhance in status, thus serving to Cincinnati. The Bearcats are limping by way of a careless transition from Mick Cronin to John Brannen to Wes Miller as coach, however this system’s observe document below Bob Huggins and Cronin is robust, and Miller is a confirmed builder. He took over at UNC Greensboro halfway by way of 2011-12 season after it had struggled by way of three straight campaigns with single-digit victories. When he left, he departed with 5 straight 20-win seasons on his resume.

Cincinnati’s soccer program can also be thriving, and with that sport being the driving pressure behind realignment, the Bearcats are well-positioned to profit because the convention panorama shifts. Miller looks as if a high quality rent who can assist this system thrive in a time of transition, very like it did whereas venturing to new leagues below Huggins and Cronin.  David Cobb

It is attainable that one (or extra) of the remaining Large 12 faculties may get invited to a different Energy 5 convention — maybe Kansas to the Large Ten, West Virginia to the ACC or some Texas-based faculties to the Pac-12. As all the time, we’ll see. However the probably situation, most appear to imagine, has the eight remaining Large 12 faculties sticking collectively, if solely as a result of they is likely to be caught collectively, at which level including members may grow to be a precedence. As Cobb famous, Cincinnati could be among the many finest choices. Houston, BYU, Boise State, SMU and/or UCF may also make sense. But when issues shook out a sure means, Memphis may emerge as an enormous winner due to A) a decent soccer program that is appeared in seven straight bowl video games, B) a historically robust basketball program that is about to enroll a top-five recruiting class for the second time previously three years, C) a top-50 tv market and D) an unimaginable quantity of company backing headlined by FedEx, which was instrumental in getting Memphis a Large East invitation earlier than that league finally cut up.

Will it occur?

It is unattainable to say for positive. However Memphis may convey a soccer program constructed to compete, a basketball program setup to flourish, and — who is aware of? — probably a title sponsor for the Large 12 Championship Sport or Large 12 Match or each. Do not ever overlook, the principle motive the Grizzlies are in Memphis is as a result of FedEx is in Memphis, and the principle motive the PGA Tour simply gave Memphis a FedEx Cup Playoff occasion at TPC Southwind is as a result of FedEx is in Memphis. This Fortune 500 firm swings an enormous stick on this planet of sports activities. So it is not a stretch to recommend it may support Memphis’ try to capitalize in realignment as soon as once more. Gary Parrish

Kansas will possible be high-quality on this spherical of realignment as a result of it has a top-shelf basketball program on which to lean. Similar for Baylor, as long as Scott Drew calls Waco, Texas, his dwelling and for West Virginia as long as Bob Huggins remains to be on the sidelines. However the identical possible would not apply to its Large 12 brethren at Kansas State. The Wildcats basketball program has as many shedding campaigns in convention play since 2000 as profitable ones. And below Bruce Weber, their recruiting has constantly been among the many worst within the league. Issues are trending the improper path.

Staying put within the Large 12 possible will not profit Ok-State; solely twice since 2015 has it completed within the high half of the league’s common season race. Leaving for one more convention would not appear a promising path, both, nor does it appear possible it would be focused if the Pac-12, Large Ten or ACC selected to develop. Rock, meet arduous place. There aren’t any imminently interesting choices for Kansas State and 5 years from now it is attainable — perhaps possible — that it might be in an much more difficult spot than the one it finds itself in now. Kyle Boone

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