Many of the Big 12's basketball coaches embraced -- at least publicly on Monday's summer coaches teleconference -- the idea of playing an 18-game conference schedule in which the 10 teams will play everybody twice.
With 12 teams, the conference played a 16-game schedule in which teams played division teams twice and inter-division foes once.
Oklahoma State's Travis Ford, Baylor's Scott Drew and Missouri's Mike Anderson all talked about the positives of a balanced, 18-game schedule, such as crowning a true regular-season champion and retaining the league's high RPI. The Big 12 finished the 2009-10 season ranked as the No. 1 conference in both the RPI and Sagarin Ratings. When Nebraska and Colorado leave, the Big 12 will lose two of its poorer performers.
One coach, however, isn't exactly thrilled about the extended conference season. Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon said. Turgeon called it a grind and said it could force him to dial down his non-conference scheduling.
"As a coach, I think it's really, really tough. I was in the Missouri Valley [Conference] with 18 [games], I was in the Pac-10 with 18. I'd much rather play 16," Turgeon said. "Scheduling, you can get out and find you a couple more [non-conference] games, get a couple more wins and now you got a couple more tough games. Of course, our league is going to be really tough. I saw coaches, I know the Big East went to 18, it's a grind, 16's a grind. It's hard and then you add two more. It makes it really tough on a basketball team.
"I think our non-conference scheduling may change a little bit. I've always been real aggressive scheduling non-conference, we play a lot of quality opponents. That might change in the future. We might not play quite as many because I know I have two extra games in the league. It will be interesting, but I know it's tougher on coaches, but it's great for the fans."