Jeff Reed: Red Wolves Enter Big 12 Sweepstakes


Jeff Reed Author PageLast week the Arkansas State Red Wolves athletic program entered a sweepstakes of sort.

And, to be honest, it caught just about everyone off guard.

While there have been some in the A-State family who had dreams that the Red Wolves might be considered as a member of the expanding Big 12 Conference, the mention of the Jonesboro school on that league’s radar was surprising.

For those who might have missed it, A-State was among the 18 schools the Big 12 invited to submit a presentation to join the Power 5 conference. That in itself is big. Well, it might be bigger than that.

Of the Selected 18 there is no one else from the Sun Belt; there is no one at all from Conference-USA.

Progress has been made. And likely the peers have been passed.

While a lot around A-State have bemoaned the fact the Red Wolves were left out in the hard-to-explain raids C-USA made on the Sun Belt. C-USA opted for schools with very little fan interest but were located in metropolitan areas where they were way down the food chain on entertainment options.

Meanwhile, A-State, under the leadership of system president Chuck Welch and athletic director Terry Mohajir just kept chugging along.

And making progress that others have now noticed.

If you been around the Red Wolves’ program much at all you know they are the only one in the FBS that has won conference title in four of the past five seasons. But A-State also won conference championships in bowling, men’s track, women’s basketball and volleyball, a team that made the NCAA tournament and was ranked in the Top 25.

While the alums and fan base are thrilled, there are those who are in shock. And others, even within the state, have taken shots at the program. It still does not lessen what has happened. This was a ball game no one expected Arkansas State to be in so you give it your best shot.

One A-State official said last week they were “thrilled to be in the talk.” It is considered an endorsement of what has happened in Jonesboro the past five years.

They know the odds are long but sometimes it is just nice to be noticed.

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Jeff Reed is editor of

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