5 Reasons Why The Big 12 Should Add The University Of Memphis

big 12We might not have known who all would be involved, but we all knew conference expansion would pick back up some day.  Recent rumors have the Big 12 looking to add at least two more teams so that they can have a conference championship game and actually have “one true champion” (ignore this year’s PSA from the Big 12). The two teams that are believed to be on the Big 12 radar are Cincinnati and Memphis.

This move makes a ton of sense for everyone involved.  In fact, Memphis joining the Big 12 makes so much sense that I suggested it be done way back in 2011.

The basic points remain the same as to why the Big 12 should add the Tigers.  A strong fan base, good facilities, and marketability are all reasons why it is logical for the Big 12 to want a team like Memphis.

However, there are more reasons why they should want Memphis.  Here are Five Reasons Why the Big 12 Should Add the University of Memphis…

1). The Tigers have a football team on the rise.
In the past, one of the issues Memphis ran into during conference realignment was the fact that their football team was not up to snuff.  This is no longer the case, as finally the Tigers have a football team that is more than respectable.

They are Co-Champions of the American Athletic Conference and have an outside chance of making it to a “New Year’s Six Bowl”.  The job head coach Justin Fuente has done in three short years is truly laudable.  With coach Fuente leading the way this Tigers football program should remain relevant for several years to come.

One of the things that matter most in conference realignment is football, and now that the Tigers are good it is only logical that the Big 12 strike while the coal is hot.

2).  Mid-Southerners love college football and will support a quality team in a quality conference.
You might wonder why it matters if the Mid-South is full of passionate fans.  After all, passion and enthusiasm for college football is all over this great country.

The Mid-South is very similar to the Midwest, West Coast, and Southwest in that one “Power Five” conference dominates the college football landscape for the individual regions.  SEC football is all that Mid-Southerners care about, and it is clear to see why with the recent success of the conference.  Add to it the fact that the Mid-South is home to three teams that play in the SEC (Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Arkansas) and you have a region that is as die hard as any in the nation.

The way fans in the area thirst for college football is unlike any other region and if the Big 12 adds Memphis they will get a piece of that fervor.  Sure SEC will still reign supreme, but there are enough die hard Tigers fans in the area for the Big 12 to gain a significant following and a get a substantial number of supporters.

3). It may not seem like it now, but Memphis has a good basketball program.
There is no doubt that football is the driving force behind conference realignment.  However, adding a university that has a basketball program as exceptional as the Memphis Tigers is a good thing too.

If you ignore this season’s struggles, you will see that Memphis is a program that has a slew of conference championships over the past decade, and the Tigers have only missed out on the NCAA Tournament once since 2003.  A basketball program like the one Memphis has can be another money maker for the Big 12, which loves raking in the doe.

The Tigers will also add more prestige to a conference that already has national powerhouse Kansas and several of good programs like Texas and Iowa State.

4).  Geographically, speaking adding Memphis will help connect West Virginia to the rest of the Big 12.
We all knew that travel was going to be an issue for the Mountaineers when the Big 12 decided to add West Virginia in 2012.  The Mountaineers are on the East Coast while most of the Big 12 sits in the Southwest. The nearest conference foe to West Virginia sits two states away across Kentucky and Missouri into Kansas.

That type of travel can really wear down an athletic department’s budget.  It also annoys coaches, athletic directors, and players as well.

With the addition of both Memphis and Cincinnati to the Big 12 the conference can split into two division like the rest of the “Power Five” conferences. One can only assume the Tigers, Bearcats and Mountaineers would comprise the East Division of the Big 12.  A Big 12 East will certainly cut down on the travel that West Virginia has to do and allow for a healthier Big 12.

5).  Adding Memphis will give the Big 12 another top 50 media market.
The Big 12 has a television deal worth 2.5 billion dollars through 2025, which is not too shabby.  However, there is always more money to be had and adding yet another top 50 media market will help the conference get more doe when time comes to negotiate another television deal.

As it stands right now there are five top 50 media markets in Big 12 territory.  They are Austin, Oklahoma City, Houston, San Antonio and Dallas.  If you have not noticed, all but one of these media markets reside in Texas.

Bringing in Memphis will give the conference yet another top 50 media market, while simultaneously increasing its footprint in another part of the country.  The Big 12 will no longer be so dependent on the Texas schools to carry the burden of marketability from a media perspective.  This diversity in markets will certainly equate to more dollars when the next television contract comes up.


CJ Hurt covers college football for MemphiSport. Follow him 
@conradicalness for live tweets from games.

MSL’s Playing Hurt Podcast: College Football Awards Edition

heisman trophyJoin MSL and HardBashin producer CJ Hurt and Sports 56 producer and WUMR Sports Desk host Drew Barrett as they take you on a sports odyssey full of twists, turns, and a good time during MSL‘s Playing Hurt Podcast.

MemphiSport Live

Top Five Indie Memphis Movies For Sports Fans

indie memphisThere are few annual events in Memphis bigger than the Indie Memphis Film Festival.  Serving as one of the best film festivals in the nation, Indie Memphis gives Memphians a chance to see some truly special films that they otherwise might not get the chance to see.

This year’s film selection has several outstanding movies with sports tie-ins, and below is a list of some of the best ones at this year’s Indie Memphis Film Festival.

1. American Cheerleader
Day: Sunday, November 2
Time: 2:45 pm
Location:  Playhouse on the Square
First up on our list is this spectacular documentary.  In American Cheerleader, two separate high school cheerleading teams are followed and filmed as they practice and get ready to compete for the illustrious National High School Cheerleading Championship.  For more, check out the trailer:

2. Happy Valley
Day:  Saturday, November 1
Time: 9:15 pm
Location:  Studio on the Square
We all remember the scandal that that shook Penn State football to its core.  The Jerry Sandusky scandal led to an unprecedented series of events, including a NCAA mandated four year bowl ban and major scholarship losses for one of the proudest college football programs in the nation.  Said scandal also forced Penn State officials to fire legendary head coach Joe Paterno amid a firestorm of controversy.  This film takes an in depth look at the events that led to Sandusky’s arrest.  A real must see for all college football fans everywhere. For more, check out the trailer:

3.  Glena
Day:  Saturday, November 1
Time: 6:30 pm
Location:  Circuit Playhouse
Glena is a sports documentary that will be shown at Indie Memphis that is truly like no other.  A woman who appears to have it all, Glena Avila decides to join the world of cage fighting with no background or training whatsoever.  She shocks opponent after opponent in the amateur ranks on her quest to live her dream and make to the professional ranks.  If you do not think this is going to be a great film, simply check out the preview below:

GLENA – Trailer Slamdance World Premiere from Allan Luebke on Vimeo.

Listen to Kevin Cerrito, Greg Akers, and Executive Director of Indie Memphis Eric Jambor discuss all of this years Indie Memphis Films

4.  Hoop Dreams
Day:  Sunday, November 2
Time: 5:00 pm
Location: Hattiloo Theatre
Every now and then the folks at Indie Memphis like to give Memphians a look at a film that is far from new, yet still holds relevance in our society today, and Hoop Dreams is that movie this year.  For those who may not know, this film came out 20 years ago and follows two young men from Chicago, Arthur Agee and William Gates, as they chase their dreams of becoming professional basketball players.  Both Agee and Gates will be in the house to commemorate the 20 year anniversary of this great film, and there will be a question and answer session following the film. Watch the trailer from 1989:

Click here to purchase your Indie Memphis tickets, weekend passes, or standby cards

5.  “They Live”
Day:  Friday, October 31
Time:  9:15 pm
Location:  Studio on the Square
One of John Carpenter’s earlier films, They Live follows a drifter who realizes that the ruling class is a bunch of aliens and that the Earth has in fact been invaded by these extraterrestrials.  The aliens are manipulating people, tricking humans into spending money, reproduce, and be satisfied with the monotony of everyday life.  Now you might be asking yourself where the sports element is in this film, after all aliens taking over the world does not exactly scream sports themed like the other movies.  The sports element for this film lies in the star of the movie.  Retired wrestler and WWE  Hall of Famer “Rowdy” Roddy Piper plays John Nada, a man on a quest to save the world. Watch the trailer:

WIN TIX: Like Memphis Sport on Facebook, follow @memphisport on Twitter and listen to MSL for your chance to win tickets to these Indie Memphis sports films as the festival approaches.

CJ Hurt covers a wide range of topics for MemphiSport. Follow him @conradicalness for live tweets from all sorts of events sports and otherwise.  You can also hear him every week on MSL’s Playing Hurt Podcast.

RiverKings To Hold Dance Team Tryouts

riverkings logoAre you tired of the same old dance moves?  Are you looking for a more creative way to exercise? Do you think you can dance?  If you answered yes to any of these questions you should check out the Riverkings Dancers tryouts. Not only will you be learning some of the innovative moves used by the Riverking Dancers, but you will be burning calories and getting fit too.  You get to work on your dance techniques with last year’s actual RiverKings Dancers.  Each class is only $10.  However, if you have a valid college ID each class is just $7. Classes start July 21st and will happen every Monday at the Stars in Motion Performing Arts Studio, until official auditions begin August 24th at the Landers Center (click here to see where Landers center finished in the 2014 M Awards Best Sporting Venue Category).  Registration for the official tryouts kicks off at 9:30 AM with auditions starting at 10:00 AM.  It is a great experience for all and will be an absolute thrill of a time.

What: Riverkings Dancers Tryout
Where: Stars in Motion Performing Arts Studio 3370 Goodman Rd E, Southaven, MS 38672
When:  July 21, 2014 7:30 PM
Cost: $10 per class/$7 per class with a valid college ID




Meet the Mississippi Riverkings Dance Team

Hockey season is underway for the Mississippi Riverkings at the Landers Center, and if you are looking for a fun family friendly environment then these hockey games are for you.

The Mississippi Riverkings Dancers (or Ice Angels as they are sometimes called) add to the overall Riverkings experience by performing several routines and keeping fans engaged during every home game.

Scroll down to meet the lovely ladies from the Riverkings Dance Team…

(To listen to the Ice Girls on MSL, click here)

Hometown:  Olive Branch, MS

The best part about being on a dance team is what you accomplish as a group.  You put so much hard work into practices, and to be able to go out there and show them what you have got at the end of everything is really rewarding.

36CName:  Jessie
Hometown:  Memphis, TN
 It is pretty hard to become a member of the dance team.  You have to have some type of technique and you have to be able to move.

14CName: Megan
Southaven, MS
Dancing for the Mississippi Riverkings makes me feel like I am a team.  We do a lot of team bonding because we like to go out and have fun.  Sometimes we go out and have dinner together, and sometimes we go out and dance after we are done performing.

1CName: Courtney
Oregon, IL
 First and foremost,  if you want to make it on this dance team you have to be a good dancer, be flexible, and have rhythm.  If you do not have rhythm you cannot make this dance team.

10CName:  Carolin
Southaven, MS
  This is my first year dancing, and it can be hard to juggle everything, but it is just something that I am going to have to do.  I love dancing, and I really want to dance for either LSU or Ole Miss next year.

8CName:  Savannah
Independence, MS
   Before a performance I put hair extensions in.  It is not too long, only about 16 inches, but that is what I do beforehand.

Memphis, TN
I like to be a part of the community.  This is a chance to be a part of a community and I like that.  The tickets are affordable, it is family oriented, and everyone can be involved.  Plus you get to see us perform.

22CName: Amber
Gary, IN
It can be stressful at times, but overall it is fun.  I get to finally contribute my own ideas, and take the other girls ideas to make something special.

16CName:  Marissa
Hometown:  Southaven, MS
We condition every time we practice for an hour, and we condition on our own as well.  We do everything from sit ups and planks to push ups and butt lifts to stay in shape.







CJ Hurt is a regular contributor for MemphiSport. Follow him @Conradicalness.


5 Sports Tweeters Who Were Missing From The Memphis Flyer’s List

tweet birdBefore we could release the 2013 version of our 20 Must Follow Memphis Sports Tweeters, The Memphis Flyer released their “Who’s Who in Memphis Twitter” list which included a sports section featuring local figures like Tony Allen, Jason Smith, and MemphiSport/MSL’s own Kevin Cerrito.

The list is quite extensive, yet there were some names left off of it.

Here are 5 Sports Tweeters missing from the Flyer’s list…

WHO IS THIS GUY: Greg Gaston, the co-Host of the Middays Show on Sports 56/87.7 FM. He also hosts Sports Files on WKNO TV.

THE LOW-DOWN: Greg Gaston is one of the Renaissance men of Mid-South athletics.  He can be found at most of the major events in the area, from Ole Miss football games to the V3 fights at Minglewood Hall.  His unique perspective on a variety of sports topics (and on the everyday quirks of life) make him a must follow for Memphis sports fans.


Disapointed in not winnng Powerball tonight. Thought I was do. I did tie an all-time best by getting one number right on a couple of tix.

— Greg Gaston (@Greg_Gaston) August 8, 2013


WHO IS THIS GUY:  John Martin, the recruiting expert for the Commercial Appeal.  He has his finges on the pulse of all things Tiger basketball affiliated.

THE LOW-DOWN: You cannot be a diehard Tigers basketball fan and not be following this twitter feed.  Martin keeps his followers informed on the latest in Memphis basketball recruiting, as well as keep everyone entertained with his own brand of sarcasm.


I feel like the only thing that could make that Kanye West/Kardashian/Graceland story better is if he invited John Calipari to move in, too.

— John Martin (@JohnMartinCA) August 2, 2013


WHO IS THIS GUY:  Grizz, the one and only mascot for the hometown Memphis Grizzlies.

THE LOW-DOWN: If you enjoy his shenanigans in The Grindhouse,  you will love his twitter feed.  Grizz is never shy about his thoughts, and has one of the most fan friendly twitter feeds in the city.  He enjoys interacting with fans both at Grizzlies games and on twitter, so if you tweet something funny to him he will probably give you a uniquely Grizz reply.


Sorry I have big paws and its difficult to type sometimes. #bigbearproblems

— grizz (@grizz) July 26, 2013


WHO IS THIS GUY:  Justin Fuente, the head football coach of the Memphis Tigers.

(Click here to listen to the Coach Fuente’s recent interview on MSL)

THE LOW-DOWN:  Keeping you abreast of the latest in Tigers football news, Coach Fuente is a must follow for Tigers fans.  Whether it is encouragement about the upcoming season, or the latest news on former Tigers standouts, Coach Fuente has something for every University of Memphis football fan.


The new uniforms and helmets are just a couple of the looks we will show this season. More to come as the season moves on! Go Tigers!

— Coach Fuente (@CoachFuente) July 20, 2013


WHO IS THIS GUY:  Mike Miller, the sharp shooter the Grizzlies were able to pick up in free agency.

THE LOW-DOWN:  One of the prodigal sons of Memphis (the other of course being Shane Battier), Miller spent five seasons in the Bluff City earning Sixth Man of the Year honors and lighting opponents up from behind the arc.  He is humble in person and on his Twitter feed.  He thanks fans before and after games for their support, and is definitely worth the follow.


Thank you all for the tweets and the support. I can’t reply to all but I do appreciate everyone. Time for another championship.

— Mike Miller (@m33m) April 18, 2013

CJ Hurt is a regular contributor of MemphiSport. Follow him @churtj09. 



Five Sports Owners Who Should Host Saturday Night Live

justin timberlake SNLJustin Timberlake has been a busy man recently with his marriage to Jessica Biel, the release of his first album in nearly seven years, and his purchase of a minority stake in the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies.  You can add Saturday Night Live host to this list too, as Timberlake will host SNL for the fifth time.  He becomes the 13th member of the “Five-Timers Club”, a prestigious club for people who have been host/musical guest on SNL at least five times.

More importantly, he is just the second person to host SNL as an active owner or part owner of a professional sports franchise.  The late George Steinbrenner was the first owner to host SNL way back in 1990.

It has been just under 23 years since the last sports franchise owner has hosted SNL.  Hopefully, it will not be 20 plus years before another one gets a chance to shine live from New York on a Saturday night.

Here is a list of owners (full, majority, or part) that should get the opportunity to host SNL.

Mark Cuban:
In the realm of professional sports, few owners have the personality and charisma that Cuban has.  He has an opinion on everything, is an investor on the hit ABC television show Shark Tank, and his actions have resulted in him being one of the most fined owners in the NBA.  Cuban has amassed well over a million dollars in fines since he became the owner of the Dallas Mavericks in 2000 (at least he matches each fine with a donation to charity).  Cuban’s willingness to make a spectacle of himself is not a good thing for a franchise, but it is a great characteristic for a host of Saturday Night Live.  As far as owners go, Cuban has the type of personality that SNL looks for in a host.

While there are questions about how much of the Brooklyn Nets he really owns, it is a surprise that the other owner in the “Suit and Tie Classic”, Jay-Z, has yet to host SNL.  Now in the defense of Saturday Night Live, Jay-Z has been a musical guest and has some cameo appearances.  Yet, he has never hosted the late night sketch comedy show.  Jay-Z has some serious star power, and will certainly attract viewers, so the bigwigs at SNL need to make this happen quickly.  He is going on tour with Timberlake on July 17, and hopefully Timberlake will be able to convince him to find some time to host SNL.

Jerry Jones:
Seeing Jerry Jones on SNL would be funnier than watching the Dallas Cowboys choke away another game. The larger than life owner is one of the best candidates (as far as owners go) to host SNL because of his country twang and I am the boss mentality.  Jones’ micromanaging approach to running the Cowboys has garnered him his fair share of criticism, but that does not stop him from calling the shots.  He routinely writes checks with his mouth that the Cowboys cannot cash (the only checks of his that cannot be cashed), and as a result he has become an almost comical figure in the world of sports. Who knows, he might get on the set of SNL and start trying to run the show like he does in Dallas, bringing in Tony Romo from the audience to fumble lines like he fumbled this snap.

Nolan Ryan:
There are owners, then there are icons, and Ryan is a baseball icon who happens to also own the Texas Rangers.  Ryan is a first ballot Baseball Hall of Famer, has owned the Rangers since 2010, holds the MLB record for most no hitters, and holds the record for most strike outs.  Saturday Night Live loves getting icons from the realm of music and acting to host the show, and in the realm of sports there are few owners as iconic as Ryan.

Tony Stewart:
One of the best drivers in NASCAR happens to be an owner as well, and judging from some of his commercials, Tony Stewart would be a great host for SNL.  He is one of the funnier members of the NASCAR community, which is something Saturday Night Live should love.  Stewart also has a little bit of an inappropriateness to him (just watch him grab the butt of Kevin Harvick’s Wife), which should be great for ratings.

CJ Hurt covers the NBA for MemphiSport. Follow him @churtj09 for live tweets from games.