Ain’t No Party Like a West Coast Party… For Real

Posted: June 3, 2010 in Big East, Big Ten, Sports
Tags: , , ,

Whether the Pac-10 wanted it or not, it just stole a whole lot of headlines, no?  I warned you that my post from last week could be debunked immediately.  Chip Brown from is reporting that the West Coast-based conference is looking to swallow half of the Big XII by inviting Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado.  Please note that Mr. Brown is not a hack (unlike me) and was the former Texas beat writer for the Dallas Morning News, so don’t let the fact that this is originating from the Texas Rivals site fool you into thinking that this is standard message board fodder.  Colorado’s AD has now stated that he believes that his school is getting a Pac-10 invite, which may or may not be an indication of more things to come (as CU has long been rumored to be the most likely Big XII school to end up in the Pac-10).  For what it’s worth, Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott has issued a standard denial which no one on the interweb will believe unless/until nothing happens over the next few days.

Here’s what I’ve heard:

A source from a Big XII school other than Texas has stated to me that the main basis of this story is legit and it has known for several days that this proposal was on the table for the schools in question.  A Texas A&M insider that runs the premium content on also has stated that these invitations are forthcoming, with the Aggies (at least publicly) being wary of making the move.  What’s extremely unclear is whether the Pac-10 is making these invites before it knows whether it’s receiving a “yes” answer from everyone.  One would think that the Pac-10 isn’t going to be inviting Texas Tech unless it has been assured that Texas is coming along.  This seems to be a contingent offer where everyone would need to sign on for it to happen and then official invites would be sent out.

The Big Ten not being interested in Nebraska, though, is the one piece of the article that doesn’t correlate with any of the information that I’ve received.  My understanding is that Nebraska is a lock to be invited to the Big Ten.  I have had multiple independent corroborations that the main substance of the infamous Northwestern message board rumor (which has disappeared from the Rivals site in the same manner as the missing minutes from the Watergate tapes) is correct, where the Big Ten’s intended invitees are Nebraska, Texas and Notre Dame.  Now, things may have changed in the last couple of weeks, but if the Big Ten were to have to choose between Nebraska and Missouri, there is little doubt that it would take Nebraska.  In fact, if a school needs to “break the seal” of causing an avalanche of schools to leave the Big XII, do not be surprised at all if Nebraska ends up being the first mover in all of this.  I’ve received indications that Nebraska could be invited to the Big Ten quickly (possibly in the next week), where the conference would grant the school a fully vested revenue share (including a full stake in the Big Ten Network) in order to cover the higher Big XII exit fees for a 1-year notice period for leaving.  This would allow the Huskers to begin Big Ten play for the 2011 football season.  It could also set into motion something similar to what I had theoretically posed in the “Multi-Phase Big Ten Expansion: How to Build a Super Death Star Conference” post, where the Big Ten inviting Nebraska puts pressure on Texas to join.  Now, that could ultimately just give Texas and other Big XII schools the political cover necessary to bolt to the Pac-10 en masse as rumored, but let me be clear on this one: THERE IS NO SCHOOL MORE LIKELY TO END UP IN THE BIG TEN THAN NEBRASKA.

There continues to be mixed messages about where Missouri stands in this process.  Chip Brown stated in his article today (along with his previous articles) that the Big Ten has sincere interest in Missouri.  However, I’ve received separate indications from people in positions in the know from Big Ten and Big XII schools that Missouri would be very unlikely to receive an invite.  My understanding is that Missouri would probably need to have a 16-school Big Ten that has either Texas or Notre Dame in order to get invited.  Otherwise, in a 14-school Big Ten scenario, Nebraska and Rutgers would be likely choices, with Syracuse getting the nod over Missouri.  If neither Texas nor Notre Dame are in the fold for the Big Ten, then securing the New York City market specifically and an East Coast presence generally is going to be the only way that a multi-school expansion can work out financially for the conference.  Please note that the Big Ten’s argument to move into the New York area is NOT about believing that Rutgers and Syracuse alone can deliver that market.  Instead, it’s about the “penumbra effect” of combining those schools with the existing large Big Ten alumni bases in that market (particularly Penn State and Michigan) that could theoretically grab the area.  Whether the Big Ten would pull the trigger on that move and if that would work remains to be seen.

That’s what I know.  Now, here’s my general interpretation of everything:

I previously noted that one of the underrated players in this conference realignment process would be Texas Tech because, in reality, there are plenty of conferences that would gladly take A&M either alone or in order to get Texas but having to add Tech on top of that was an entirely different matter.  Texas Tech got into the Big XII because of political willpower and it’s exactly the type of school that would need to lean on political protection again.  Oklahoma State has a similar political relationship with Oklahoma with T. Boone Pickens as a benefactor, to boot.  Well, I don’t believe that it’s an accident that this Pac-10 rumor includes both Texas Tech and Oklahoma State as opposed to, say, Kansas and Utah (who would be more desirable from an additional market perspective).  On the one hand, the inclusion of those schools lends support to the validity of this story because it takes into account what might be politically necessary moves.  On the other hand, with the unanimous vote requirement of the Pac-10 for expansion, is Stanford seriously voting in favor of inviting Texas Tech and Oklahoma State?!  Seriously?! 

The other thing that I don’t understand whatsoever, though, is if Texas has been pushing so hard for the Longhorn Sports Network and maximizing TV revenue, why it would choose joining an expanded Pac-10, which Brown’s article itself stated would only project to make a little less on a per school basis than each Big Ten and SEC school makes today guaranteed.  Indeed, a couple of people connected to the Texas program have told me flat-out that the Big Ten and SEC (in that order) have been the primary choices for the school in this process because it knew that the Pac-10 could never match either financially in any scenario.  Now, it’s fully possible (if not likely) that political factors became intertwined here and Texas simply couldn’t go to its prospective highest revenue home.  This TV revenue issue along with how Standford could have been convinced to vote for Texas Tech and Oklahoma State are the two items that are holding me back from jumping on board with this rumor completely.   

Regardless, while the situation for Missouri is somewhat worrisome, it’s completely rosy compared to Kansas.  I don’t believe that a Big Ten invite is forthcoming for the Jayhawks, the school might be shackled to Kansas State for political purposes if it tries to move by itself and it doesn’t help that the school is in the middle of an embarrassing ticket scalping scandal.  It’s hard for me to believe that Kansas could end up with the leftovers of the Big XII in a Frankenstein league with some current MWC and WAC members, but it’s a very real possibility if this rumor is true.

Finally, the seismic shift that Jack Swarbrick had stated that would force Notre Dame to join a conference might be coming.  I have long been a skeptic that we would see 4 16-team superconferences so quickly, but this type of move by the Pac-10 would start an immediate shift of massive proportions.  So, if the Big Ten doesn’t end up with Texas but Notre Dame finally ends up joining, then maybe it really is mission accomplished for Jim Delany.  We might be going back to the traditional “Big Ten adds Notre Dame/Nebraska/Missouri/Rutgers/Syracuse” rumors as opposed to a Southern demographic shift, yet at least we might be finally getting some closure on this issue sooner rather than later.  UT President Bill Powers is supposed to have a press conference with Big XII Commissioner Dan Beebe tomorrow, which should be extremely entertaining for all of us expansion junkies.

(Follow Frank the Tank’s Slant on Twitter @frankthetank111)

(Image from Be a Longhorn)

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  1. greg says:

    Hawkeyes national champs.

  2. zeek says:

    Frank; this just got off the press while you were posting that. I put it on the previous post, but since we’re moving here I brought it over.

    suzhalliburton (twitter)
    “CU AD is backing off his statement about Pac 10-Big 12 expansion story. It’s getting crazy here in Kansas City. 36 minutes ago via web”

    And an article accompanying:

    Key point: “The athletic directors from A&M, Oklahoma and Tech said their schools have not been contacted by the Pac 10. Longhorns athletics director DeLoss Dodds had a plane to catch to Austin and deferred comment to school president Bill Powers.”

    • c says:

      If true, this could move things ahead a lot sooner than the “deliberate” study phase of 12-18 months suggested by Delany.

      And set wheels in motion for the SEC and perhaps even the ACC? to decide whether and if so how they want to expand.

      If this rumor is true in whole or part, is it possible that while the Big 10 has been sitting around brainstorming about Texas, A&M, UMD, UVA, Vanderbilt, the Pac 10 has been negotiating with Texas to create a package based on inclusion of regional schools????

      These schools didn’t come out of thin air; clearly the Pac 10 wants Colorado and Texas; beyond that these other schools had to have been discussed with Texas at length.

      Interesting the Colorado AD and now the other ADs have said they have not been contacted by the Pac 10.

      Which presumably means Texas has been playing the key role and this is clearly a package deal that requires Texas and was suggested by Texas.

      Time will tell.

      • Or…
        the PAC10 knows that Texas is ready to go to the Big 10 without a dance partner. So, to put some pressure on them politically, they are offering (and I can’t believe Stanford and Cal would accept!) the “big 3″ Texas schools a supposed lifeline out of the BIg 12, all together in one package. If Texas says NO, which I think they’d like to, then politically there could be some angry folks around Texas…OU and OkSt fans who will blame UT for breaking up the nucleus of the Big 12 South…TTech fans for leaving them without a home. And aTm fans for breaking up the dynamic duo. (By “fans” I mean everyone connected to those schools)

        And after all, it’s just a “rumor”…so again, this is the perfect political pressure move by the PAC10.

        • c says:

          Re “Or” (allthatyoucanleavebehind)

          If this is simply a deliberate rumor by the Pac 10 as you suggest and there is no follow-up, then not sure what has been achieved by Pac 10.

          The Pac 10 Commissioner could get into a lot of trouble if the Pac 10 Presidents aren’t on board.

          Floating a proposal as a “trial balloon” offering Tech and OSU and even OK without a consensus would seem to be a good way of creating chaos at the upcoming PAC 10 meeting.

          And then there is the comment by I believe the California Chancellor who said he expected a revolutionary development which this certainly would be.

          If this offer is real, then I would believe (as an outsider) Texas would want to seriously consider the offer “unless Texas prefers to go to the Big 10 with Nebraska and perhaps another school like A&M. And if A&M doesn’t want to go the Big 10 but prefers the SEC whose fault would that be?

          Yet here Texas would be going with 5 regional schools. And I believe the Texas President has publically said including Tech and A&M would be important and here OK is included as well.

          Clearly this rumored offer has Texas written all over it. Could the Pac 10 offer anything more?

          So it will be interesting to see what happens next.

  3. Kyle2MSU says:


  4. eapg says:

    The Nebraska stuff is music to my ears, Frank. At this point it seems if you’re connected to Texas, trashing Nebraska’s chances of getting into the Big Ten is par for the course.

  5. es says:

    Could it be that the pupil has schooled the master? Scott vs. Delaney – opening shot fired. I have to believe that Delaney will respond in kind…but taking Tech might be too much to swallow.

    • djinndjinn says:

      If the Pac-10, A&M and the other Big XII schools allow Texas to have a Longhorn Network to futher make the playing field uneven, I think everyone will live to regret it. If that’s the deal, the Big Ten would be better off without Texas.

      • es says:

        agree. love to have TX, but if they are determined to start their own network, they do not fit in the B11.

      • Read this on how Texas can have the Longhorn Network and be in the Big 10.

        • Joe4psu says:

          That is a remarkable idea. There would definitely be a need to make all the additional content available. The only downside is the already spread thin talent pool. It may be unbearable to have the volume on when watching the games.

      • twk says:

        From what I’ve read, this is supposed to be an “all in” offer, meaning UT would forego their own network–they would have to for the cable deal to work. Now, why they are willing to do this for the Pac 10 but not the Big XII is a real mystery to me. Could it be that they aren’t as attached to this network as we have been led to believe? Maybe other Big XII schools have been the hold.

        A&M AD Bill Byrne said last week that it wasn’t just Texas that voted down a Big XII network several years ago–he also fingered Nebraska and Kansas. Nebraska actually makes decent money from PPV, and may not have wanted to share any of that money and/or doubted the viability of the cable channel. Kansas may be an even more interesting case. I saw some discussion on the KU board which indicated to me that IMG has a contract with KU for all their media, radio for fotball and basketball, but more importantly, TV for basketball, and that may have been a sticking point for them. If KU had to forego several million in local TV revenue, then I could see why they initially voted against a league wide cable channel. But, if that decision utlimately left them in the college athletics version of Gilligan’s Island, it would only be fitting.

  6. Wes Haggard says:

    I have already posted these comments on the last board but since I think they are pertinent and may be interesting to you, I am duplicating the post.

    I have been on the Aggie boards for a great deal of time today and I have cut and pasted a lot of random remarks made by a great many very well informed Aggie people. Hope you enjoy the comments.

    “”””Re: A&M in the middle of re-alignment talks Reply

    A&M and OU need to stand together to prevent Texas from getting it’s own network. No team in a conference should be allowed to have their own network and if some conference is willing to kiss tu’s butt and allow them to do it, A&M and OU should not join that conference and vow to never play Texas in any sports so long as they have their own network.

    Would Texas be willing to lose their biggest rivals for their own network and a little more money? Byrne sure seems to be alluding to this. It’s a good threat so long as OU is in the same camp as he is. What good would a Texas network be if they only played crappy teams.

    Posted by MEDIA GUY

    This is a hot button issue. Texas really wants to be the first to have one. A&M does not want Texas to have one. I know. I have spent many, many hours discussing the topic with Bill in his office and with DeLoss and Chris in theirs. This is the hottest of hot button issues.

    Tarp, their only chance to have a network is if the Big 12 continues to exist.
    I should restate my previous post by stating if tu gets their own network, we are not going to be in the same conference.

    A&M might not have any influence over it but we should not join a conference with them if they get their own network. Why in the hell would the PAC-10 agree to this? They’re not desperate. Like I said before, A&M and OU need to stand together on this. If Texas joins the PAC-10 and gets it’s own network, then A&M and OU need to bolt to the SEC and not play Texas anymore. And Texas fans can talk all they want about who cares about OU and A&M but losing those rivalries along with Arkansas years ago will leave them with nothing but a network and meaningless football games. They can end up like ND for all I care and schedule the service academies in their place.

    The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

    A&M & OU can and will pursue their own best interests here. Playing second fiddle to tu in the Pac 10 East while they get their own network and we get whatever time slot is left on channel 924 won’t fly with either program.


    That’s exactly what ESPN did — but they did it with a carrot…a big financial number and the contractual promise of significantly increased exposure on ESPN (which has immense non-financial value relative to the mediocre exposure the Big Ten gets on BTN or, worse, the abysmal exposure (and poor remuneration) the Pac-10 and the Big 12 get on FSN/CSN).

    However, the SEC was able to negotiate for the contractual right to re-open the contract in the event of conference expansion. The SEC, essentially, got an option to put the contract back to ESPN. How you like dem apples?

    As of right now, the A&M people are contemplating what is best, PAC-10 or SEC. This means, in my personal analysis, the first threshold question, is the Big 12 viable, has been answered no.

    Also, Byrne seems to be the type where his words to the press usually provide no clue as to his true intention, but his travel usually does.

    Here’s what mediaguy himself had to say on another thread:

    “If I had to guess, I think A&M, UT and OU are all headed to the Pac-10 and the issue now is 3rd tier rights and what reverts to conference control. That’s what precipitated Bill’s comments.”


    • eapg says:

      Wait, what, huh? Someone other than Nebraska and Missouri might be disgruntled with Texas? I’ve been led to believe that this would be impossible.

    • @Wes – Good stuff. Thanks for posting. It comes back to what I’m trying to figure out about Texas. If the Longhorn Sports Network is so important to Texas, yet the Pac-10 won’t give it to them (since it makes little sense to do so if the Pac-10 wants to start its own network), then why would Texas join the Pac-10 instead of the Big Ten or SEC, who would each provide a ton more TV revenue compared to the projected dollars of this Pac-16 proposal?

      • Playoffs Now! says:

        If the Longhorn Sports Network is so important to Texas, yet the Pac-10 won’t give it to them (since it makes little sense to do so if the Pac-10 wants to start its own network)

        My impression of the leaks is that TX would be allowed to have some form of the LSN. Isn’t that the sticking point for aTm regarding the P16 proposal?

        There are ways to compromise and integrate the LSN (and potential USCN, UCLAN, etc.) with a PTN.

        Seems like a lot of things declared as “seems unlikely/impossible” are being considered. Such as Stanford and the P10 would never consider school X, why on earth would Texas do any favors for OU and bring them along, Texas and aTm couldn’t split, etc.

      • HoosierMike says:

        Well, if they’re not joining for money, they’re joining for political reasons. Either way, I think we can start the taps on the end of the BXII.

    • Redhawk says:

      As an OU guy I can confirm, that the Longhorn Sports Network is a huge issue for Oklahoma.

      OU wants no part of a conference where UT gets the LSN.

      There is an assumption that OU and A&M would just go along and follow UT. That assumption is not sitting well at OU or A&M it appears.

      I still believe OU is an SEC school….but the rub there is the road to a division championship, and a conference championship is MUCH easier in this new Pac 16 than the SEC where they tend to eat their young.

      • c says:

        Re Oklahoma and SEC (Redhawk)

        What chance would Oklahoma State have to get invited to SEC? Wouldn’t that be a factor for OK?

        Also, if this rumor is true, wouldn’t OK want to be part of a conference that includes the Texas schools along with the AZ schools in combination with the Pac 10 if A&M signed on?

        • Redhawk says:

          I was one that repeated that OU and OSU were legally tied to each other. That’s actually not true it turns out.

          They (OU and OSU) are only tied in the fact that the final signature is the Governor. They don’t even go through the legislature, and they are separate systems.

          What chance for OSU in the SEC? I think they could get an invite WITH OU…but not with out. They had a long series with Arkansas for years.

          It’s no secret that the SEC wants into the Texas market. Who doesn’t? OU and A&M would get the SEC into Texas. It would also get both schools out from under the shadow of UT.

          Now…would Stanford vote yes on OSU in the Pac-16 if OU didn’t come? UT maybe tied to Tech…but they aren’t tied to OSU except in travel partner/area team.

    • Cliff's Notes says:

      Wes (and other Longhorns or Aggies),

      Do you agree with the part in the Rivals article about A&M and UT not playing each other if they were in separate conferences?

      I was under the impression that keeping the UT / A&M football game as a season ending non-conference game was important to both schools if they split up.

      • m (Ag) says:

        If the administrations stay on good terms they will play in all sports.

        If there is real acrimony when the break up happens one side may threaten to break off the series, but I would expect politicians to get involved at that point. In fact, I would expect more political uproar over the ending of the UT/A&M rivalry than Texas Tech and Baylor getting left behind.

        • Hopkins Horn says:

          Agreed. I think the talk is bluster.

          • Cliff's Notes says:

            Thanks! It seemed a real stretch to me. I think of Iowa-Iowa St and Colorado-Colorado St as examples where the two big schools in the same state almost have to play each other non-conference in not only football but probably a lot of sports.

      • Aggie says:

        No one really knows what the decision makers have in mind. The problem with keeping the game is the number of games required to play in each of the new conferences and trying to get no-names to play at either Austin or College Station. With six or seven games wiht the sub-conference opponents and another one or two games with the other sub-conference teams, how many chances are really left to play this game. Both programs make money by bringing in a Rice, ULa-La, North Texas, Sam Houston State, and such to play at the home fields.

        The problem would be compounded for Texas if both OU and A&M were to bolt for another conference. How will Texas play the Red River Shootout and the Thanksgiving games year in, year out? The Longhorns will want some home games and the RSS is in Dallas and the game with the Aggies would be rotated yearly.

    • Bullet says:

      SEC point of view. Further down, Slive talks about how valuable the local networks are in the SEC. Article mentions the LSN would be mostly non-revenue sports and coaches shows.

      That’s the hard part for me. Understanding how one schools non-rev TV channel could generate a lot of $. And generate enough to threaten OU or A&M. Coaches shows traditionally are late night TV with low $ advertisers. They were basically set up to supplement coaches salaries, not to generate funds for the athletic department.

      The market must have changed. Slive is saying that you can’t compare conference $ without considering that, implying that the SEC is much better off than the $17 million figure would indicate.

      • duffman says:


        interesting point..

        Years ago Host Communications did most of the NCAA work and they were based in Lexington, KY (I always thought when the NCAA moved to Indy, there was a part that was based on the business with Host). I think Host got bought by Bull Run, and is now IMG (the rep for Texas @ Austin).

        It seems like years ago it was in the press in Cincy and Louisville how big the deal was for UK basketball and that Host had the rights. Fast forward, and the comment someone on here made about the SEC getting 17 Million or so per school, but there being added revenue. Host

        Frank, the guy that was helping with the media numbers a few months ago.. can he do some follow up on the value of these added side deals.. and how it affects the Big 10, Big 12, Pac 10, and SEC? We may be missing a key part of the equation here.

        IMG is a private company which means much can be hidden, but being based in NYC now it could be driving some discussions we are not privy to see.

        If the SEC schools are getting much more than 17 Million per team, it can change some decision making.

        just an observation….

  7. Monty says:

    If the scenario is true and comes to pass, the Big12 dissolves in essence, it might remain in name, but it will not be “a collection of MWC and WAC teams” it will be the MWC in total with 4-5 of the big 12 leftovers unless those leftovers don’t include Kansas, Nebraska or Mizzou – The MWC with Boise will be stronger than K-State, Baylor and Iowa State. The MWC would emerge from this in a buyers market and could end up at 14 or 16 as a pretty damn solid conference, if they no longer have the nameplate MWC or not.

    • @Monty – It’s certainly possible. Plus, the MWC has its own network (albeit in a traditional rights fee structure with CBS as opposed to an equity stake like the Big Ten).

      • Scott C says:

        I agree. The MWC conference actually might gain the most by the destruction of the Big XII if it helps them secure the AQ status they’ve been after.

        • HoosierMike says:

          If you mean MWC conference teams, then sure. Otherwise, I can only see the top MWC teams jumping to the BXII because of the BXII’s AQ status. IT makes no sense that an MWC team would stay in that conference and hope that they “earn” the AQ status based on the ridiculous BCS formula we saw earlier this year for earning AQ by conference. They’d be much better off joining a conf that already has that status permanently.

      • Mike R says:

        @Frank I think the mtn. is a Comcast network. Go to and you’ll find a link to the mtn.

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      I posted in the last thread that the B12 leftovers have enough votes (4) to block dissolving the conference and keep the name and AQ. They can then invite the entire MWC plus Boise State and come out stronger than the Big East.

      • Will says:

        Dissolution of a Delaware Corp only requires a majority vote. If the Pac 10 rumors come to fruition, the conference will dissolve.

        • HoosierMike says:

          I’m sorry. I must have missed this before. The BXII is a Delaware Corp?

        • Mike R says:

          Well conferences are not, strictly speaking, corporations. It is a contractual relationship among universities. If Stanford balked at the Big 12 six-pack, the conference could theoretically break up, with the pro six-pack schools setting up a new conference (subject only to whatever exit penalties there might be in the Pac 10 agreement). The problem of course is that the Tournament of Roses is contracted with the Pac 10 to invite its champion to the Rose Bowl Game. It is hard to see the pro six-pack schools (USC among them) splitting off to form a new conference without the Rose Bowl tie.

          • Will says:

            So I haven’t checked out the Charter and Articles of Incorporation, but I’m fairly certain the Big XII is a Delaware Not-for-Profit Corporation just as the Big Ten is.

            For example, in the Big XII bylaws, there is this section on the Conference Seal: “The Conference shall have a circular corporate seal which shall have inscribed
            around the circumference thereof the words “The Big 12 Conference, Inc.” and
            elsewhere thereon shall bear the words “Corporate Seal” and the word “Delaware.””

            Just like any group of stakeholders use corporate structure to ensure long-term commitment and continuity, conferences are set up the same way.

          • Nostradamus says:

            Will you are correct.

      • Howard Hemlock says:

        You were wrong in the other thread, and wrong now. If the remaining Big XII schools issued invites, they wouldn’t ask Wyoming or Air Force. That would be suicidal. They would rely on the Big XII name as the drawing card, and pick-and-choose who to invite.

        • Mike R says:

          I’m not sure the Big XII brand name is all that valuable, as it has only been around since 1996 or so. The lure of the Big XII, I think, is the link to the conference’s high-profile schools — Nebraska, Kansas, OU, Texas & aTm — which will be much diminished when any of those schools split.

    • m (Ag) says:

      While the MWC might move as a group, it’s really easy to see schools like Wyoming, San Diego State, and Air Force getting passed over and Fresno State, Houston, and Memphis getting in. Also, if the Big East gets some losses, Louisville and Cincinnati might be willing to join.

      • Playoffs Now! says:

        Over the last few months I’ve put various scenarios to paper. If the P10, B10+, SEC, ACC, and the Axis of Leftovers go to 16, there actually may be room for most or all of the MWC schools. Memphis is probably in the most danger of getting left out.

      • Monty says:

        I don’t see those teams being left out and a school like SDSU has been abysmal (or worse) in football but has a lot going for it in terms of being in socal (recruiting and 3 million possible tv sets), has a top 50 bball program and has made huge strides in academics. The top 3 (tcu, byu, utah) + soon to be added boise might leave (though I think that is doubtful) but picking and choosing a couple schools from the bottom I don’t think is an option right now. WYO is considered pretty connected to the other “gang of 5″ that started the MWC so they likely won’t be jettisoned, and Air Force is pretty solid and unique so they aren’t going anywhere.

        The MWC will likely find themselves stronger, though, the other 4 conferences will have continued to move farther and farther away while the WACs, Sun Belts, et al will have fully fallen out of even the lower middle class.

  8. Gumbynuts says:


  9. loki_the_bubba says:

    I, for one, am hotly anticipating the first Oklahoma/Nebraska Rose Bowl.

  10. Patrick says:

    Great post Frank! Tough to wrangle all of the individual pillars of smoke to put together a picture of the fire.

    I have had a thought recently that the BIG 10 / PAC 10 / FOX SPORTS may be actively trying to come up with the best solution for everyone possible. If Texas and A&M went to the BIG 10, the PAC 10 would be left with slim pickings. If they go west, and the BIG 10 gets Notre Dame / Nebraska it appears to put a maximum value on the combination of BTN and PTN to the joy of Fox Sports. Then shop the 2 networks as a package to cable providers and you get 2 basically national products. TV markets are important until you get to a National distribution…. then it’s big dollars!!!

    • Scott C says:

      That’s certainly plausible if the Big Ten can lock down NYC like your numbers indicated.

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      I have had a thought recently that the BIG 10 / PAC 10 / FOX SPORTS may be actively trying to come up with the best solution for everyone possible.

      Sounds very plausible.

  11. Pariahwulfen says:


  12. Playoffs Now! says:

    This just ends the (not so) Silent Phase, and begins the Scramble Phase.

    I would be shocked if Texas, the Big 10+, and ND were not talking tonight and tomorrow.

    I would not be shocked to see ND end up in the ACC instead of the B16.

    Likely several surprises ahead.

    We probably end up with 5 BCS (or equivalent) conferences, not 4×64. 64 leaves out too many teams in too many politically influential states. 5 fits a 4 BCS bowl format nicely (P16 plays B16 for the Rose, every other BCS conference gets its own affiliated bowl to play wildcards.) So somewhere between 73 and 80 BCS conference teams in West (P16), South (SEC), East (ACC), North (B16), and Central (B12/MWC/WAC/BEast leftover mishmash.) Central will be far poorer, but probably a top 3 conference on average in the football polls. The hungry misfits of the ROTN conference (Revenge of the Nerds.) No explicit pull away from the NCAA into a D1-$$, but rather more subtle monetary separations in the new contracts.

  13. ezdozen says:

    I love this move by the Pac-10, if it is true. I still think swapping Kansas for Texas Tech is even better, but Texas calls the shots.

    As for Stanford? Get over yourself.

    As for the Big 10… this nibbling at all corners may end up costing them. Nebraska, Missouri, and Rutgers is a strikeout compared to the Pac-10 adding Texas, Oklahoma, and A&M. I don’t care how much more money Rutgers so-called NY ties will add, that’s a loss on all three schools. Frankly, those three schools are closer to Oklahoma St., Texas Tech, and Colorado, right?

    • GreatLakeState says:

      I agree.
      Only the ‘leaked’ NW memo (ND, UT, UN) offered an exciting scenario for the Big Ten.
      A Rutgers, Syracuse etc. move will be a disgrace (though I’m sure Bo and Woody would have loved it). ND, NEB and one other ‘mystery’ team’ wouldn’t be too bad, but please don’t delute the Big Ten in a determination to get to 16.
      If this rumor is true, which I’m not convinced it is, the Big Ten should hang their heads in shame for spending the last three weeks tooting their own horns instead of closing the deal.

      • Bullet says:

        May be exciting, but you have to be careful what you wish for. As I posted before, the BE is too strong a bb conference and a lot of schools have suffered. Baylor used political pull to force their way into B12 and a very solid program (easily 4th best in SWC despite what TCU fans say) became a cellar dweller. Having 6 of the top 9 all time winning programs in a 14 team league could be bad for most of the league.

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      this nibbling at all corners may end up costing them

      If the rumor is true, could one call this allowing the pursuit of the perfect to sacrifice the obtainment of the good?

      • HoosierMike says:

        yes. dammit. yes. Amazing how the euphoria and intrigue of the unknown quickly gives way to the terror and dread of the possibly known.

      • m (Ag) says:

        If this report is true and the schools accept the offer, the only thing the Big 10 has lost is the Texas schools (unless Colorado was an actual target).

        If they’ve already given the Texas schools their best offer, all they can do is shrug and move on to their next candidates.

        Of course, if they’ve been holding back their best offer, now would be the time to put it out there.

        • StvInILL says:

          How about giving them their 22Mil upfront AND a 5Mil sweetener to pay a leavening fee if there is one from the B12. That’s like giving a girl a diamond ring and a new house on the same day. If they can do this without a Tech, A &M tie up, they are so outa there. Arriving in the league with Nebraska means they wil still have someone from the old neighborhood to ad familiarity and an instant rivalry en route to MIch, Penn St and Ohio State. That’s a lot of air time. And it’s mostly on central time opposed to Cali-time.

    • PSUGuy says:

      In fairness…I can’t help but think a 6 school expansion such as this would be the end of the Pac10.

      Sure it’ll get some revenue, sure it will last for a while, but in a couple decades I could see the same disparate views and ties to regionality causing schisms in the conference just as the Big12 enjoys now.

      And maybe in comparison to this a “boring” expansion of Nebraska, Mizzou, Rutgers, etc could easily be described as a “complete failure”, but 50 years from now and the Big10 is still around and operating with teams that share similar goals and ideals and the Pac10 SWC Division is starting to look to bail out how much of a home run would it be then?

      Hell, maybe I’m seeing ghosts and shadows, but I really think the Pac10 is biting down on a poison pill if they go with this expansion.

      • glenn says:

        this is looking like an absolute reprise of the swc/big 8 fiasco. just shifted west.

      • ezdozen says:

        How is this any worse than the Big 10 inviting schools from the Big 12 (lower midwest), Big East (northeast), ACC (south/east), or SEC (southeast)?

        If the Big 10 is supposed to sell its soul to go to Florida or Texas or New England/NY… why can’t the Pac-10 do the same?

        • mushroomgod says:

          It’s different because there are 6 teams being added, all from the same section of the country, with a completely different culture than the 10 PAC 10 schools…..all of the added teams will be in the same division…If the Big 10 was actually going to invite 5 teams, all from the Big 12, it would be similiar. I’ve never thought that would happen.

          • Cliff's Notes says:

            I agree with mushroomgod (for once!)

            Schools like Rutgers, Mizzou, and Nebraska (and to a lesser extent, probably Pitt and Syracuse) have made it pretty clear they are buying what the Big Ten is selling; no questions asked. These schools would jump at any scenario that had them in The Big Ten, whether it was as #12, as a regional bloc, or as the sole school from their region (such as Nebraska as the only western addition, the rest from ND, Big East, and ACC).

            If Vandy decided to join the Big Ten, I don’t see any of the Big XII type issues disturbing them.

            I have heard gripes from ACC schools about the conference being centered around UNC and Duke basketball, but I don’t think that would be a problem in the Big Ten. There aren’t two schools that dominate the conference politically, or in basketball. You could argue that M and OSU dominate in football historically, but I don’t see that affecting the ACC schools that might join.

  14. M says:

    Personally I think this rumor is bogus, but it seems to have at least touched a nerve. Best case scenario is that it convinces texas that the big xii is a sinking ship and gives political cover for them to “react” and not have to be the first mover.

    If it is true then every single report discussing the PAC 10s options has been completely wrong on every level. Remember when we thought Utah might be academically marginal? Oklahoma state makes Utah look like Berkeley.

    • ezdozen says:

      The thing is…. suppose Texas Tech and Oklahoma St. join the Pac 10…. how does this negatively impact Stanford and Cal?

      What candidate in their right mind is going to opt against those schools because their sports teams are aligned with inferior schools??? Who makes decisions like that? “I’d love to go to Stanford, but since Oklahoma St. is in the Pac 10, I am going to M.I.T.”

      It’s all bullcrap. Academics is academics and Stanford is always going to be awesome. Athletics is athletics and Oklahoma St. and Texas Tech are worth it to keep the athletic departments thriving. Money will increase.

      Where is the downside???

      • M says:


        I understand the “what does it matter academically which conference my university plays sports in” perspective, but in past stanford rejected Texas and tried to reject ua and asu, all better schools than some of those those suggested now. Accepting this arrangement even under duress would be major shift.

        • ezdozen says:

          Or maybe schools just think about it and come to the new conclusion of “what does it matter?”

          Or maybe the dollars in the past were such that adding a school meant less money in the very near future (dividing the pie further)… whereas now… adding schools seems to be a way to increase money (expanding the pie).

        • darglac says:

          A similar Pac 16 plan with 5 or 6 Big 12 teams was discussed on a Cal message board a few weeks back. A large number of Cal fans had the opinion “if Stanfurd turned down an opportunity to get Texas into the Pac again, f*** them. They can go form Ivy League west and play Caltech, Claremont, Reed and Pomona in athletics.”

          And from this Cal alum’s perspective, this plan is a good one. Yes, having Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech in the Pac is not ideal from an academic perspective, but as others have pointed out, the Pac 10 is limited in its options.

          • Hopkins Horn says:

            I checked out a few Pac 10 message boards this afternoon, expecting to see a lot of negative pushback at adding a bunch of Texas schools. I was surprised to see near-unanimous support for the rumored plan.

            Alas, I did not visit a Stanford message board.

          • darglac says:

            You probably didn’t find one with lots of activity. I go to when I want to check up on my rivals. I checked it for a thread. They have one, but it has one response and that response is about lamenting what will happen to the smaller schools when the superconferences form.

      • PSUGuy says:

        The problem is athletics is the face of the conference. For a long time the SEC was considered a conference of bad schools rife with cheating where academics took a back seat to athletics. While this was patently untrue for most of the schools (several schools especially) the fact is that was the perception and in many cases percetption is relaity.

        A FSU chancellor (I think it was) mentioned how joining the ACC opened avenues for the university because of the perceived “step up” in academics. Facts are the university is SUPPOSED to be about academics and while Stanford may go a little overboard on its desire for academic equals, I think its worries about being associated with poorer performing schools are well founded.

        Again, we sports fans like to exist in a vacuum where the air is made of football (and sports close behind). The problem is the universities have to live in a completely different world. One which academics is equally as important, if not more so, than athletics.

        • rich2 says:

          Congrats on an excellent post. Also if the term “perception” sounds subjective and weak, try “brand management.” Superior brands do not want to be associated with inferior brands, unless strict rules are established and enforced to manage the impact of the relationship on the brand image. Sorry if it sounds elitist. In one sense, it is and it is a good thing.

          • Scott C says:

            I have trouble believing that the Pac-10 would extend these offers without confirming they would get the ten “yes” votes. So the question is, did the Pac-10 make any concessions to Stanford? Perhaps a promise to toughen academic rules. I’m just throwing it out there.

        • StvInILL says:

          I can’t agree with you more PSU Guy. The tru value of a University is in its perception as an academic institution. NOT in the football team or stadium out on College drive. I would expect the kind of mentality that does not consider this from an SEC affiliated school. Back in the 70’s Northwestern Football was abysmal, I mean so bad you couldn’t make this stuff up. In the early eighties there was some rumblings from some big ten fans of kicking NWS’N out of the conference. At the Big Ten office I don’t believe there were ever seriously any such thought. The school routinely ranked between 9th and 20th academically in the country. This is just shortly behind your Ivy’s. Academics IS Important to them. They let the pro game and gamers take care of themselves. Apples and oranges folks, apples and oranges.

  15. Mizzou1 says:

    Sorry, but Missouri will get an invite before Nebraska does. Despite Frank’s earlier blog, the majority of the revenue that the Big 10 network makes is from subscription fees. Missouri is 3 times the size of Nebraska. The Big 10 would make a lot more money by adding Missouri than they would Nebraska.

    The Big 10 only gets .70 cents per subscription in the eight states which currently has a university in the Big 10. So for Missouri they only get .10 now.

    • Scott C says:

      Sorry to burst your bubble, but the numbers were run by Patrick who works in the industry. 60% of the BTN revenue comes from advertising, so ratings have a big impact in all of this. Nebraska brings rating, Missouri does not. Furthermore, if the BTN can lock in NYC, I would think that having Nebraska could further increase that ad revenue, but Patrick would have to comment on that.

      • Mizzou1 says:

        Not sure where Patrick is getting his numbers from.
        Here is a recent article from the Pittsburgh tribune.

        A couple of relevent quotes:
        “The main point of expansion for the Big Ten Network,” said John Ourand, a media reporter for the Sports Business Journal, “is to expand its in-market area.”

        “According to industry experts, the Big Ten Network receives between 70-80 cents per month from 17.6 million subscribers within its eight-state footprint, and between 5-10 cents per month from 27.5 million subscribers outside the region”

        “By landing Missouri, the Big Ten’s footprint would expand to include St. Louis, the nation’s 21st biggest media market, and Kansas City, the 32nd ranked market.

        If the 2.2 million households in Missouri started earning the Big Ten Network the 70-cent basic-tier fee rather than the 10-cent out-of-region pay, that would equal potentially an extra $1.5 million per month.”

        And from the Big 10 Network website:

        “The Big Ten Network’s revenues are derived primarily from cable subscription fees, with additional revenues coming from sales of advertising. Cable companies pay the network a set fee per subscriber per year. The network’s agreements with cable companies are multi-year deals”

        • ezdozen says:

          $1.5M per month… also known as $18M per year… meaning that Missouri would suck out more than it adds.

          I agree that Missouri should not be ruled out though. These are just some of the numbers.

          • Mizzou1 says:

            No, that’s just the money it would bring to the table from subscription fees. That doesn’t include all other revenues that it would bring to the table.

          • ezdozen says:

            What other money? The footprint will not expand. The bowl revenue? Please.

            Assuming it can get jacked to 70 cents, it is close to break even.

            Conversely, if Syracuse and Rutgers can deliver a fraction of their states, they would be a bigger money maker.

          • Mizzou1 says:

            Using Rutgers as an example just further illustrates my point. They have no following, so there wouldn’t be much of an advertising boon with them. But they are desirable for the subscription fees they would bring.

            Nebraska would add about 500,000 households to the footprint. At .70 cents per month that equates to about $4.5M per year. That would mean they would have to bring an extra $18M in other revenue. They will bring more due to their national following, but nowhere close to $18 million.

          • Scott C says:

            Which makes the Rutgers/Syracuse/Nebraska option all the more realistic. That being said, I’d still expect Missouri to come along in 16-team expansion assuming the Pac-10 rumor is true. If the Pac-10 can scare Notre Dame to the tables, a Rutgers/Syracuse/Nebraska/Missouri/Notre Dame expansion would be a nice set of teams.

          • HoosierMike says:

            @ Mizzou1

            You don’t need Rutgers’ followers for additional advertising $$’s. You just need the Big 10 followers in the NY DMA, of which there are millions. I, and most every B10 fan would prefer 11 than add MU. Likewise, we’d all prefer 12 w/ Nebraska than stay at 11. No hard feelings, but other than Ill fans, none of us really heard much about you other than a 5th down sometime in the 90s and Chase Daniels.

            And you’re also wrong on Neb following bringing in additional $$’s. Neb vs. UM/OSU/PSU/Iowa (even MSU) is infinitely more exciting than Missouri doing the same.

          • PSUGuy says:

            $18 million a year in subscription fees alone.

            As Patrick explained, approximately 2/3 of BTN money is advertising…thus there’s an additional $36 million (or round about) of ad revenue a team like Mizzou brings to the table for its expansion footprint.

          • Mizzou1 says:

            But it’s not 2/3rd advertising like Patrick states. The Big 10 Networks own website says that revenue is primarily made up of subsription fees. There is a lot of false info going around.

          • ezdozen says:

            The Big 10 Network is ALREADY is Missouri, no? So how does that add potential viewers?

            If Indiana plays Illinois on a Saturday night… will Missouri residents watch that game? Does Missouri in the Big 10 suddenly jump the ratings that much higher?

          • Mizzou1 says:

            Yes, the Big 10 network is already available in Missouri. It’s also already available in every top market except LA. So that includes New York, Miami, Houston, Dallas, San Fran. etc.. The only problem is that they are only getting .10 cents per subscription from those markets, which includes St. Louis and KC. That is where the Big 10 can make a lot more money, but being able to charge .70 cents in those markets vs .10 cents they are getting now.

        • StvInILL says:

          Mizzou will be a fit for the BT and the numbers are good BUT Missouri is like the girl next door. The BT has its eyes on the girl down the block. That would be Texas, Nebraska, Notre Dame and Rutgers appears to be a lock JUST for the sake of NY/NJ. Frankly I think Maryland is the real prize in the east.

          • TyphonInc says:

            I concur Maryland is the best East coast option. (Virginia is also a nice grab.)

      • Art Vandelay says:

        I don’t think Patrick’s analysis accounted for the ad revenue that Fox Sports would get. I figured it out and posted it on that post about 2 weeks ago, and the ad revenue adds what I think was around $2-4 million per team – certainly nothing to scoff at, but also not anywhere near 60%.

        • Mike B says:

          IMO, Patrick’s analysis was flawed. The ratings for Nebraska were inflated because they included only a)regionally televised games, where you’d expect Nebraska to do well and b) national games where Nebraska was not the top draw.

          Personally, I’m not a fan of adding either Missouri or Nebraska.

        • TyphonInc says:

          I also thought Patrick’s analysis was off, can you repost your conclusions for us?

          • Art Vandelay says:

            For what it’s worth, this was my comment on the issue that I posted back in May:

            “Patrick, I might just not be understanding things correctly, but I’m not sure you accounted for Fox’s cut in the advertising money. Let me explain. If each Big Ten school made around $22 million last year, then the conference pulled in around $242 million. Subtract the $102 million from CBS and ESPN, and the BTN made them about $140 million. Just from subscriber fees, the BTN made them around (.357*26,000,000*12)=$111,384,000, meaning that the advertising revenue was closer to $28,616,000 for the conference, or about $2,601,454.55 per school – a significant amount of money, but certainly not 60% of their BTN revenue. Don’t get me wrong, I think with more investment into higher quality programming, more live sporting events, and bigger name schools making the cut, the advertising dollars will certainly go up, but I don’t think it’s fair (unless there’s just something I’m not getting) to assume the 60/40 principle as far as money making goes.”

    • Playoffs Now! says:

      Funny how after all the Southern expansion talk, MO could end up being the conference’s southernmost school.

      The Sochi of the Big Sixteen…

    • Paul says:

      If the Pac 10 add Texas and Oklahoma, the Big 10 needs to add a big name football school in order to avoid furthering the perception that it is a second-rate football conference. Nebraska would be a much splashier addition than Missouri.

    • Bob Devaney says:

      Mizzou–no, the previous poster proved that the bulk of the revenue the B10Network earns is by advertising and ratings, not base subscriber rates.

      Base subscriber rates keep the lights on. Advertising income fluctuates based on your product–the better the product, the more money you pull in. Adding Nebraska, who pulled better average ratings than any of the viable Big 10 expansion candidates, is a national draw that turns TV sets on.

      Your program’s recent flirtations with mediocrity may have filled Mizzou fans with delusions of grandeur. But when it comes to having a college football product to watch, the smart money would be on Bo, and not Gary.

      • HoosierMike says:

        Funny, for a second I thought you meant the difference between Schembechler and Moeller. But I was thinking of the wrong Bo and Gary.

      • Mizzou1 says:

        Again, read the Big 10 Networks website. If anybody would know how they make their money, it would be them. And what they say directly flies in the face of what is being said here.

        • Scott C says:

          Until they release their numbers, I’ll default to Patrick’s. Even if subscription fees did matter, it doesn’t change the fact that the Big Ten appears to be more interested in Nebraska than Missouri. That’s not saying Missouri wouldn’t get an invite in a 16-team Big Ten, they just wouldn’t be #12, 13. or 14.

          • Mizzou1 says:

            Here are the numbers. Each Big 10 team earned $22M from TV rights deals last year. That’s a total of $242M. The Big 10 network is able to charge .70 cents per subscription to 17.6M households in the Big 10 footprint which equates to $148M per year. They charge .10 cents per subscription to 27.5M households outside of the Big 10 footprint which equates to $33M per year. Those two totaled equals $181M. So of the $242M total, $181M is from subscription fees. That’s 75%, meaning only 25% is from advertising and marketing. So therefore, Patrick was wrong when he stated that 60% of the revenue is from advertising.

          • Albino Tornado says:

            @Mizzou1: There is a difference between revenue (total money taken in) and profit (revenue after costs). Further, of the $22M you reference, only part was TV rights fees; some was profit distribution from the equity in the BTN, the rest was the TV rights fees from both ABC/ESPN and the Big Ten Network.

          • HoosierMike says:

            Fair enough, but when it comes time to negotiate a new deal with ABC/ESPN, you’ve got to agree that having an inventory of games to sell that includes Neb vs. UM/OSU/PSU/Iowa is going to net the Big10 more money than selling an inventory of Mizzou games, especially when those games will likely end up on the BTN anyway.

          • Mizzou1 says:

            First of all, I went back and read Patrick’s analysis of how he came to the conclusion of 60% advertising. He was trying to calculate it the same way I was, by taking the total amount, and then the amount they got from subscriptions, and the difference being advertising. The problem that I saw with his analysis is that he was using .36 cents per subscription within the Big 10 footprint. I haven’t read anywhere where it is .36 cents. It’s .7-.8 cents in the Big 10 states. So his numbers are low for subscription dollars.

            @Hoosier Mike

            Yes, national appeal will be apart of future negotiations. But more than anything, TV companies want hard numbers right away. You can estimate with good confidence that a certain team will provide ratings in the future, but hard numbers right now, which households do, is more important to them.

          • Patrick says:


            Actually I was using 36 cents for every subscriber nationwide as an average. Truth is each agreement is negotiated differently. For example, KC and St. Louis both have the BTN right now, but While St. Louis is probably already paying around .70 cents because of U of Illinois…… KC is paying .10 cents. Adding Missouri may get St. Louis up to .90 cents per because of the combination, but in KS they only pay 50 cents because 1/2 the people want Kansas. Also, that is only for cable subsribers…. differs by market, but usually 60-70% have cable, others have Directv or Dish and already get the BTN. The rate for direct and dish may increase also, depending on school. Also the BTN made big portions of that $22 million from ABC / ESPN and rights fees from FOX Sports. They split the profits with Fox Sports and then among the 11 schools.

            There were some flaws in my analysis because I don’t have all the data, and actually had some more solid facts show up after I posted but I will say that I learned a few things.

            1) Trying to get specifc markets and negotiate locally is crappy, they should TRY TO GO NATIONAL. Maybe packaged with the PAC ten network.

            2) The BTN will make huge $$$$ by going to 16 teams, even if those teams are SUNY-Albany and South Dakota State. Increasing the schools from 11 to 16 basically doubles the inventory of games across the board. So, anyone they add will make money.

            3) The advertising revenue may be around 25 – 35% of the total from 2007-2008 when we had more solid numbers (@ $19 million)and it is probably around 40% now…. but most operations like the BTN are right near 50/50 and successful ones can get to 60/40 but then the subsriber fees come up to balance the desire. That’s why most operations run around 50/50. If ad dollars are pouring in, they go back to the cable company and renegotiate to get equity for their product to be carried. The local cable company sells ads on the BTN also, the more popular it is, the more desireable it is. Why ESPN get over $4.00 per subscriber. So my point is a marketable product that is awesome and brings in fans/viewers is going to increase value across the board.

          • Albino Tornado says:

            Patrick: Don’t be hating on the Jackrabbits, man.

          • Bob Devaney says:

            And that is why Patrick rocks. Kudos, Sir, and thanks for your insight.

          • Mizzou1 says:

            Patrick, the problem though is that you are using 26,000,000 as your total households. When in reality, that number is really 45,000,000, thus your subscription revenue that you are reporting is too low. And St. Louis isn’t getting .70 cents. The only markets that are getting .70 cents are those that are in the 8 Big 10 states.

            I’m not arguing that Nebraska doesn’t pull in more advertising dollars than Missouri. But I think you are way overestimating the difference. If Nebraska could pull in that much of a difference then broadcasting companies would be knocking down the door to get something set up with Texas and Nebraska. But that hasn’t happened.

            Listen, I appreciate your response, but I still think you have a lot of flaws in your analysis.

          • Mizzou1 says:

            Here is another good article on the subject:

            And a relevent quote:
            “As is, the Big Ten Network rakes in an estimated 88 cents per cable/satellite subscriber in its eight-state footprint (Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin) and six cents a subscriber elsewhere, according to research firm SNL Kagan. Penetrate a new state, New Jersey and its estimated 2.6 million cable households, for instance, and watch the money flow (that’s $2.3 million for the calculatorly impaired”

            So it doesn’t matter if KU has 60% market share in KC, the Big 10 would collect .70-.90 cents on the entire households in that market.

          • Bullet says:

            The ACC deal IMO supports the importance of market size. SEC gets $17 vs. $13 for ACC, but SEC was at its peak in a good market while ACC is at its nadir in a horrible advertising market. ACC has bigger population. In the early 90s, the ACC did better per school than SEC despite not having a championship game. I believe they also did better on the later TV deals, but I don’t have the figures, so I could be mistaken.

          • Doug says:

            Mizzou, your numbers are completely flawed, starting with the $242 Millon figure. That number isn’t the total TV revenue from the Big Ten Network, as you state, but rather the amount that the conference made from all TV revenue, so it doesn’t include the 49% cut that Fox takes off the top. It also includes the ESPN/ABC TV money that the conference made, so your numbers are completely bogus.

  16. M says:

    Subscribe fail

  17. Iron Maiden says:

    Bring your daughter to the slaughter! (adding)

  18. M says:

    Final try

  19. Blood & Steel says:

    I read this as “Colorado is going to the PAC 10.”

    As for the other teams, who knows?

    • StvInILL says:

      From what I have read and I have read extensively, the absolute locks are Colorado to the Pac 10 and Nebraska to the Big 10 thus far. Texas to the Big Ten is in the balance. ND has its head in the sand.

  20. OSU says:

    Doesn’t the Big10 make more money from advertising? If true, Nebraska trumps Mizzou easily.

    • Art Vandelay says:

      I don’t think that’s true as of right now. Maybe when the BTN becomes a national network and improves its non-live sports programming, but I don’t believe that to be accurate now.

    • HoosierMike says:

      Based on Patrick’s previous post (not comment, post), yes, the B10 makes 60% on ad rev, and 40% on subscriber fees.

      • Art Vandelay says:

        I read his post, and it was very well thought out, but when I added the numbers up, it didn’t appear that he accounted for Fox’s 49% of the advertising revenue; the way he factored everything, the Big Ten got the whole thing, which just is not the case. I mentioned this on that thread about 2 weeks ago. If you want to read my reply (which is where I did the computing myself), then you can determine whether he accounted for them or not.

  21. Patrick says:

    Evening Update

    Key Statement

    “The World-Herald learned Thursday evening of administrative discussion that the Pac-10 may have set a deadline of Sunday for Big 12 teams to accept. The Pac-10 spring meetings begin Friday in San Francisco.”

    • eapg says:

      Things are getting pretty leaky.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      The quote below (from that same article) you linked to rings true to me. I agree with Frank the Tank. I think Nebraska is a done deal. Missouri? Not so much.

      “But two Husker scholarship athletes said recently their coaches have given them a heads-up about a move to the Big Ten being more than smoke. Also, a couple of recent NU job candidates said they were asked during interviews about their recruiting ties in Minneapolis, Chicago and Milwaukee.”

    • Nostradamus says:

      from the same article:
      “But two Husker scholarship athletes said recently their coaches have given them a heads-up about a move to the Big Ten being more than smoke. Also, a couple of recent NU job candidates said they were asked during interviews about their recruiting ties in Minneapolis, Chicago and Milwaukee.”

      This is the first legitimate media confirmation of any potential Big 10 rumbles from Omaha or Lincoln.

      • Bullet says:

        My 1st reaction was that this confirms Frank.

        But after further thought: It was also a Pittsburg athlete who leaked the Pitt to B10 rumour. To play the skeptic-it is more than smoke. That doesn’t mean anything is going to happen. And NU has always recruited the midwest.

    • djinndjinn says:

      With talk of issuing deadlines, of A&M lobbying for the SEC, with OU and A&M not being comfortable with a side Longhorn Network deal for Texas, why does it sound like several of the schools mentioned have not actually signed onto this deal yet?

      • Redhawk says:

        ’cause…maybe all the schools HAVEN’T signed off on the deal yet?

        The issue for A&M and OU seems to be the LSN, and seeing if they have another choice i.e. the SEC.

        • djinndjinn says:

          Agreed. That’s my impression.

          So, the question is why would the Pac-10 make an offer that wasn’t confirmed as being accepted ahead of time? That only puts them in a position of having egg on their face.

          Perhaps they knew a Texas deal with the Big Ten was imminent. Perhaps they’re trying to make a deal they think Texas can’t refuse, without even considering the notion that such a deal may not be acceptable to A&M and OU.

          It will be very interesting to see what unfolds here. However, if the Pac-10 didn’t get this all worked out with the other schools ahead of time, it wouldn’t suprise me if the deal fell through.

          • SDB10 says:

            djinndjinn, After the B10-ND rebuff, nobody is going to offer publicly without a private acceptance. All the expansions since B10-ND have been fait accompli once it was publicly announced.

          • djinndjinn says:

            One would think this is the Pac-10 would do it, yes. But why, then, the deadline? Why, then, is A&M supposedly still negotiating with the SEC?

        • StvInILL says:

          It seems that Texas sure loves them some Texas. The university of texas sure seems to be the crux of much of the discontent. But texas is the purdyest gal in the bunch.

    • Scott C says:

      I got a lot of respect for Lee Barfknecht, so I don’t doubt the article. If the Pac-10 did indeed give those teams a deadline, we could see expansion coming in two conferences before the end of the month. Also, this lines up with what Frank was saying about Nebraska and the Big Ten, too.

      If I were the ACC, I’d be worried. With the Texas and Oklahoma schools gone to the Pacc-10, the SEC is limited in its potential targets, and with the way they’re talking, it’s a safe bet that they’ll expand if the Big Ten and Pac-10 expand.

    • SDB10 says:

      Patrick do you believe a conference would take 4 months to chose a mate & then give them only 72 hours to accept? Not a good way to start the relationship and there are sooo many things to discuss & information to share so this has all the signs of another internet/media hoax.

      • @SDB10 – I agree that no conference is going to give a school 72 hours to decide. That being said, if something does get announced quickly, you can be assured that the proposal had been on the table for quite awhile.

        • HoosierMike says:

          Fortunately, I feel like this is yet another hold your breath moment that will come to pass by Monday.

          Fortunate, because I couldn’t stand the B10 not coming out on top of this realignment and because I enjoy this too much.

          Next post title:

          Dr. Strangelove 2: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Expansion (rumors)

          Starring …
          Slim (T. Boone) Pickens
          Peter (IU is again in the Big 10) Sellars
          George C. Scott (as Patton – great fucking movie)
          James Earl Jones (as Jim Delany)

          • MIRuss says:

            @Hoosier Mike:

            This sounds like fun!

            Can I help with the screenplay?

            I think a better Jim Delaney would be James Gandolfini from the Sopranos….And seeing as how Peter Sellars is no longer with us…Maybe Steve Martin? He did decent as inspector Clouseau in the re-makes….

          • duffman says:

            Hoosier Mike..

            James Earl Jones..


            Jim Delany saying..

            “Luke, I am your father”

            “This is CNN”

            ps.. moment of pause for Indiana boy JW – RIP….

      • Patrick says:

        No, I think this has been discussed behind closed doors for a long time maybe 6 months or a year. From Barry Alvarez’s quotes a few days ago, the Big Ten may be voting on a proposal at the Presidents meetings coming up…. so the PAC 10 might be trying to jump the Big 10′s vote, or they may be annouced at about the same time, or they have decided to push Texas to a decision, or the Omaha World Herald got bad information.

  22. gobucks1226 says:

    Frank, based on what I’m reading, I feel there is no way that Stanford would be willing to accept a school like Texas Tech in the Pac-10. From what you’ve heard, is there some incentive for Stanford to allow Tech/Oklahoma/OK State in? If not, I have a difficult time seeing this come to fruition.

    • eapg says:

      If the Pac 10 believes that they have to get to 16 to keep pace nationally, their options, due to geography and time zone differentials, are limited. Stanford will have to defer to those unchangeable facts and current reality, because their conference doesn’t want to be left behind with no options for growth.

      • Tom says:

        You know I have to agree with gobucks1226. I find it extremely difficult to believe that Stanford University, as in the school with the 3rd largest endowment of any US university and arguably the most successful athletic program overall in terms of NACDA Director’s Cup finishes (15 straight number one finishes,) would be desperate enough for cash or athletic prestige to vote for Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. (No offense to any alums of those institutions.)

        15 years ago, Stanford voted against Texas. Clearly the landscape has changed, so I could obviously see Stanford giving the thumbs up to Texas this time around. I could also see the Cardinal likewise approving Texas A&M, (although I personally thought A&M in the B10 was a culture clash, I can only imagine what the Aggies would look like out on the west coast.) I could also see it giving Colorado the green light, as this has long been a given since this whole debate started.

        But then we come to Oklahoma. You can make an argument either way, but I think if adding Texas requires Oklahoma, then I could see Stanford pulling the trigger. Despite being a borderline tier 1 university, OU is about the same as Oregon and ranks higher than Washington State and Arizona State. You factor in the Sooners’ pretty strong atheltic teams across the board, and I sense that Stanford can find a way to find OU acceptable.

        But admitting Texas Tech and Oklahoma State is essentially doing some serious dumpster diving, and I don’t know how any sane academically minded president would not share the same sentiment. You are correct, in the end Stanford will remain Stanford, the Ivy of the west, but I think people are glossing over the fact that the Pac 10 save for 2-3 schools is a pretty prestigious collections of universities.

        Even if its just a matter of sports, what is the point in adding TT and OSU? Why not just stop at 14? With UT, Colorado, A&M, and OU on board, Texas has its two main rivals, the Pac 10 picks up a nice TV market in Colorado, and you now have the state of Texas’ three premier programs, UT, A&M, and OU. I just don’t see the need for Texas Tech and likewise with OSU. Why add the Red Raiders and Cowboys when it will only further dilute potential revenue when you already have OU hailing from the small state of Oklahoma?

        That said, if this does go down, then the B10 must get both ND (even though as a B10 fan, I’m firmly against adding the Irish) and Nebraska. That would give the league 5 storied programs, whereas the P10 would still only have 3-4 (I’m counting either Washington or UCLA as the 4th.) Then you can poke around round out the final three from the Big East / ACC. But ND and Nebraska would certainly be a must.

        Overall, I think that while the B10 would obviously love the Longhorns, sending UT and OU west as opposed to the SEC works out well for the B10, because an SEC with OU and maybe a reconstructed FSU or Miami would be almost too good.

        • Josh says:

          The problem with the Pac 10 just going to 14 is that the Pac 10, uniquely, is made up of five paired schools-2 SoCal, 2 NorCal, 2 Oregon, 2 WA and 2 AZ. If you went to only 14 schools, then one of those pairs would have to be split into separate divisions, which would be politically impossible for those 10 schools.

          Now they could go to 12, but I’m guessing that Texas won’t accept without more schools in their neighborhood. And without Texas, the dollars aren’t there.

          • jd wahoo says:

            Pac-10 could go to 14 with a zipper split – one team from each pair in Division A, and the remaining teams in Division B. You’d use a 6-1-2 scheduling model, with 6 divisional games, 1 protected cross-division game against your partner school, and 2 rotating cross-division games.

          • Stopping By says:

            Zipper is the only wat to go for anything less than 16 in an expanded Pac due to the current conference set up…

          • HoosierMike says:

            Just a nod to jd wahoo for anyone who didn’t notice. We don’t mess around on this here comment board. “zipper split” – yeah, we’re in the minutia and love it.

        • StvInILL says:

          I think too many schools from the same conference have a danger of changing/corrupting the culture of the conference. Note what happened when the Texas schools joined the Big 8. Yes the quality of the sports rose, but bare in mind what I said. This is why Delany and the Boys from the BT office are taking a scientific approach instead of the school yard approach.

  23. Todd says:


  24. Steve says:

    Thanks Frank, enjoy reading your blog.

    Cant wait to see Nebraska going into the big house, ohio stadium, kinnick stadium, etc… and vice versa in Nonmember. ;)

  25. Justin says:

    My quick thoughts on this.

    (1) If this happens, I mentioned this in one of Frank’s earliest posts. The Big 10 wants Texas very badly, but the PAC 10 ABSOLUTELY NEEDS Texas to have any viability as a financial equal of the SEC and Big 10. The PAC 10 will make concessions that the Big 10 will simply not make. TTU, OU and OSU are non-starters for the Big 10. The PAC 10 already has an unequal revenue sharing arrangement, so Texas could continue to earn an inordinate amount of the pie. The rivalries reduce travel cost, and keep alumni interest high.

    (2) Does Texas’ move to the Pac 10 devastate Delaney? Only if you believe that Texas, not ND, was the true target. A 16 team PAC 10 almost cements the theory that we are going to see multiple megaconferences which is exactly the type of massive landscape change that Swarbrick cautioned could lead to ND joining a conference.

    With the PAC 10 going to 16 first, the Big 10 and SEC are likely to follow. Will ND eschew a Big 10 invite and assess the landscape now? There would still be a home in an ACC, which could be drastically watered-down though if its hit hard by the SEC. In other words, this is exactly the scenario which may push ND to the Big 10.

    (3) The SEC is now in an interesting position. It is fully aware that A&M and maybe OU are reluctant to head west. Does it quickly extend an offer to A&M? If A&M accepted, the PAC 10 would need to find a replacement (Kansas? Utah?). However, I don’t think A&M’s loss would scuttle the PAC 10 plans. I do think A&M is a must for the SEC. It gets a presence in Texas.

    Here is how I see this happening

    PAC 10 – Texas, OU, OSU, Colorado, TTU and Kansas

    SEC – Texas A&M, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Florida State – A&M opens up Texas, WVU and VT give the SEC a foothold in the talent rich Virginia region. FSU is simply too big a national name to pass up.

    • Paul says:

      That leaves room for Nebraska, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Maryland, and Virginia in the Big Ten.

      • mushroomgod says:

        Md and Va aren’t coming to the Big 10…get over it…

      • Cliff's Notes says:


        Good points. However, if six Big XII schools go to the Pac 10, then I think the ACC will be put in the exact same situation that the Big XII is in right now. Maryland and Virginia rumors to The Big Ten. FSU, Va Tech, Clemson rumors to the SEC. Miami and Ga Tech rumors to both.

        Duke and UNC, the core of the ACC, are going to see that they might get left behind if they don’t make a move. We’ll be having conversations about Duke and UNC being tied to Wake and NCSt, similar to the conversations about who UT or OK is attached to.

        Suddenly, it could be 5 of these 6 to The Big Ten: Maryland, Virginia, Duke, UNC, Nebraska, ND.

        • Vincent says:

          The ACC package of four (Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Duke) would make sense as a blend of Big Ten-level academics and solid all-around athletics. As a group addition, they might be enough to entice Notre Dame to become member #16; if ND’s demands were too high for the Big Ten’s liking, it simply substitutes Nebraska as its “big football” addition.

          If you don’t take the ACC AAU four as a group (something they may desire), you’d be left with members with deficiencies in academics (Missouri), athletics (Rutgers), market (Pittsburgh) or research (Syracuse).

          • StvInILL says:

            In your ACC scenario I like a Maryland and Virginia for the reasons you stated. This would work if you have a ND and or Nebraska You can keep the Carolina schools. Too much of a cultural shift.

    • Bullet says:

      A lot of what I’ve been reading implies that adding CU and Utah doesn’t do much more than break even for the P10. Every indication is that CU wants to go to the P10 but needs a significantly better deal to afford it. So this may be the only way for the P10 to expand.

      If you believe in the 4 super-conference theory happening (which I don’t-but I’m getting more open to the thought day by day), this was always the way it had to happen. The Pac10 basically had to absorb the B12 South, with A&M splitting to go to the SEC.

    • StvInILL says:

      A&M might be the best bet for the SEC. A&M does not fit well in the BT and without at least two e of its former conference mates, preferably Texas or OK, would be outsiders in California dominated Pac 10. The SEC would be a better cultural fit as well the Texas pick up for the SEC would mean they actually make a difference in viewership. Where as in most of the teams they poach from the ACC ( FL st, MI, GA Tech) they get no viewership bounce as they are duplicated. The SEC is also the last of 3 option on Texas list

  26. Ross Hatton says:

    Hey Frank,

    Thought I’d let you know I subscribe to the Michigan rival’s site, and in their weekly update they also made mention of the Texas topic.

    They said their sources on the whole expansion have confirmed what’s been said here about, should Texas and ND go to the Big Ten, they always want to play each other. Also been said the two are very much in contact with each other about what the Big Ten has been saying, which in my mind says the Big Ten may stand a better chance than expected if those two are wanting to be with each other (I don’t see ND being anywhere but the Big Ten if it does affiliate).

    • aps says:

      On WBNS-TV (Columbus) 11:00 news.

      Made mention that Gordon Gee (OSU President) had sent 10 e-mails to fellow Big Ten Presidents on wooing Texas. Gordon Gee has supposedly been talking to Texas President Powers about expansion.

      The news department said there would be more on the e-mails in tomorrow’s Columbus Dispatch.

      • Manifesto (OhioSt.) says:

        Now *that’s* interesting news.

          • @Manifesto (OhioSt.) – Thanks for posting – interesting that Gee noted that Powers told him that UT had a “Tech” problem. Gee was also prophetic about the need for the Big Ten to be swift in order to take advantage of its situation.

          • Manifesto (OhioSt.) says:


            I can’t comment on the author (I’m a little behind on my Dispatch guys), but I don’t think the Dispatch is the type of place to run a story misquoting Gee. OSU swings a big enough stick in that town to have this guy’s head on pike if he was making stuff up, especially about something as big as this.

            And I agree with you — Gee had the right idea when telling Delany not to doddle. 12-18 months as a public timeline is foolish if Delany really believes he will have that long.

            In the end, perhaps the BigTen loses out because of Texas politics. Taking Gee’s quotes under consideration, perhaps Tech has more clout than we were giving them credit for early.

          • mushroomgod says:

            I keep coming back to the comment the TX president made when the subject of BT expansion first came up – to the effect that he couldn’t see himself sending the women’s softball team up north to play, as I recall….
            I think the TX president is not too excited about his teams playing on the frozen tundra…thus I see the pac 10 route as more probable fot TX…

          • Crazy! Wow! Interesting that these emails “leaked” at the same time as this PAC10 story leaked. Hmm….

            Is the Big 10 trying to stay in play?

            Or are they letting frazzled Texas folks “we’re here for you”?

          • Manifesto (OhioSt.) says:

            No clue. I mean, the article made it sound like it was a FOIA request. Perhaps it wasn’t. The timing, however, is really suspicious. I doubt the Dispatch would just sit on this for over a month (the emails were dated 4/20 supposedly). Did they magically get their FOIA request granted today or yesterday? Tinfoil hat time!

          • Bullet says:

            Texas politics-Tech doesn’t have anywhere near the clout they had in 1994. But all the schools are under pressure because of the budget situation. Texas is down to being around 23% state supported. Even if Tech doesn’t have a lot of clout, it could be that Powers doesn’t want to alienate even a handful of legislators.

            It could also mean that Powers doesn’t like what Georgia fans refer to as “that trade school on North Avenue,”-Georgia Tech. (Had to get that in after that other post about GT being the place to get an education in GA).

          • ezdozen says:

            The comments about leveraging the situation to get “hrs” is the most intriguing to me.

            That would support placating Notre Dame and Texas as to what they want. If Notre Dame wants Syracuse and Pitt, then perhaps that is what it takes to get Notre Dame. If Texas wants Tech plus “anyone but Missouri,” then that is what it will take.

            If the Presidents are dead set against Tech and Syracuse… well, now what? Months of delay.

            Meanwhile… Texas is in the position to be making the demands right now though.

          • zeek says:

            I tend to agree. While I don’t think we’re going to go near OSU, there’s an outside chance that we maybe take OU or Tech (probably Tech) if that’s really what it would take to get Texas/A&M/ND on board with Nebraska as the 5th.

            If anything, I think Delany’s going to run through his scenarios to see what he can offer that’s still palatable to the Big Ten presidents.

            Let’s just put it this way, the Big Ten isn’t desperate for Texas like the Pac-10 is if it pursues this scenario. No one can call adding OU/OSU/TTech to the Pac-10 as anything other than a total desperation move for Texas under the idea that Texas is the Pac-10′s only bridge to 16 teams…

    • Michael says:

      Interesting stuff, Ross. Thanks.

      This further confirms the UT/ND connection. We know UT´s down for expansion, but the politics of a ND move seem to be the problem.

      What´s the best way to scare ND alumni and get TPTB to the table? . . . not sure I could draw up a better rumor/leak than the stuff we´re hearing tonight.

      • Ross Hatton says:

        Yeah, it looks to me like the Big Ten is in the best position to get Texas, but it all hinges on ND.

        If ND ultimately decides to stay independent, then that may be Texas’ deal breaker and what pushes it to the Pac-10 or independent status.

      • Bullet says:

        There’s a long UT/ND history. Jack Chevigny was UT coach in the 30s after being passed up as Knute Rockne’s replacement. Texas upset ND his 1st year in a game, coupled with a Rice win over Purdue, put the SWC on the map and led to 3 SWC national titles that decade (none by UT). Chevigny later died on Iwo Jima and there’s a story (probably apopcryphal) that a Japanese admiral signed the peace treaty on the Missouri with his pen which had an inscription about an old Notre Damer who beat ND.

        Notre Dame played in the Cotton Bowl vs. #1 Texas after the Big Shootout in 1969. That was the 1st time ND agreed to go to a bowl in nearly 50 years. That was a BIG deal at the time. Hard to imagine now, when there are 35 bowls instead of 7 or 8, when 7 or 8 B10 teams go to a bowl instead of 1 who can never go 2 years in a row. UT won that game. ND upset #1 Texas in the Cotton Bowl the next year and handed NU the coaches title for Devaney’s 1st national championship. ND also upset an overachieving #1 Texas team in the Cotton Bowl following the 76 season and jumped from #5 to #1. The schools also played a couple of games in the mid-90s.

        • eapg says:

          “handed NU the coaches title for Devaney’s 1st national championship.”

          Uh, no. Notre Dame beat Texas, Stanford beat Ohio State, then a one-tie (vs. USC) Nebraska team beat LSU. Notre Dame didn’t hand Nebraska anything, in fact they felt they were in line for the title after beating Texas, prompting Devaney’s famous line, “even the Pope wouldn’t vote for Notre Dame!”

          I believe this is also one of the national championships Texas also claims, since they were #1 prior to the bowls and one of the polls had their final installment then and didn’t poll after the bowls.

          • Bullet says:

            The last pre-bowl national championship. After Alabama’s & Joe Namath’s loss to one loss UT in the Orange Bowl, leaving Arkansas the only unbeaten (after they beat NU in the Cotton), the AP poll switched to post bowl. The coaches switched after that UT-ND Cotton Bowl.

      • StvInILL says:

        Of the Pac 10 AND the Big 10 Texas is the biggest bang for their expansion buck. But for the Pac 10 it’s a double bang. The big ten can recoup its bang and with some other combinational while keeping the academic component high.

    • This could easily be done in an 8 game Big 10 schedule with four pods.

      ND would be in a pod with UM, MSU, and Purdue. Their one fixed rival out of pod would be Texas. In years that their pod is in the same division as Texas’, they’d play Penn State.

      So, their schedule would always have UM, MSU, Purdue, and Texas. 4 of 6 years they’d have Penn State. The rest of the Big 10 teams (whom Notre Dame’s so despise!!!!) they’d only play twice every six years.

      They’d still have 2 home games, 1 away game, and 1 neutral site game a year for their “national schedule”. USC, Navy, 1 cream puff home game, and 1 rotating series with a strong BCS school.

  27. loki_the_bubba says:

    If the PAC takes three from Texas, who does the B12 reload with from the state of Texas? They’re left with only Baylor. I would think they take about 2 or 3 more. In order of appeal I would say:

    1. TCU – best football
    2. Houston – best potential overall
    3. UTEP – large school. Almost 40k avg attendance in football over 5 years.
    4. Rice – :(
    5. SMU – no reason for them if you have TCU
    6. North Texas – nothing there

    • Redhawk says:

      By these rumors, there will only be Kstate, Iowa St, Baylor, and MAYBE Kansas left over in the Big 12.

      I’m not sure it CAN reload that many. If it did, I’d guess that when the BCS is re-figured the Big 12 would lose it’s AQ.

    • Playoffs Now! says:

      SMU would be #3. TCU doesn’t bring DFW, so it would probably be wise to have a Texas 4-quad.

      Not sure about UTEP, but it is so far west to be somewhat irrelevant to most state TV markets. Plus their mascot looks like a plastic Keith Hernandez.

      BTW, I have no worries about Kansas. Probably at worst they fall to a B12-x+y rebuild/MWC/leftovers BCS conference, but I expect the SEC to grab them if the P16 and B16 don’t. Expansion may be about football, but they have one of the few superstar brand names in basketball that could make a monetary difference.

      Sometimes you draft the best player available on the board.

      • Playoffs Now! says:

        Here’s another crazy thought that has a shot: One or more of Baylor, TCU, and SMU could wind up in the ACC. Depends on who takes whom, but the east could run out of quality schools in a P16-B16-SEC16 scenario. If the ACC refuses to water down its academic standards to expand, Those 3 Texas privates could give them an option to get to 16. Also might help lure ND, by providing conference games each year in TX, FL, the Carolinas, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast. ‘National schedule’ and all that…

        • Cliff's Notes says:

          I could see Kansas to the ACC. Like PlayoffsNow! said, sometimes you draft the best player available. At least the ACC could try to spin it as adding a basketball power that fits in with UNC and Duke.

    • Scott C says:

      Would TCU leave a MWC that appears to heading up for a Big XII on the verge of collapse?

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        I’m assuming that the B12 DOES collapse. And the majority of the MWC joins the shell to get the AQ status.

    • m (Ag) says:

      I think you add TCU and Houston so they get to play in the 2 biggest markets in Texas and then look elsewhere for schools.

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        I think most would agree with that. The harder question is who you would take if you want one more.

        • m (Ag) says:

          Well, if you gotta get 3, you either take UTEP, or get UTSA a waiver to go straight to FBS football so you get the 3rd big Texas city in your rotation.

    • Orangechipper says:

      No offense,

      But this would be like discussing how getting San Jose St. & San Diego State would help replace USC.

      I don’t care if you find 10 such schools, you can’t fill up the void left.

      That’s why a viable big 12 is near impossible.

  28. Big Ed says:

    Frank, Texas Tech is one of the largest schools in the Big 12 and will hit 40,000 enrollment in less than a decade. It has higher SAT averages than half the PAC 10 schools and boasts arguably the largest single Big 12 fanbase in the coveted Dallas/FW market (only UT comes close). Having not had a losing season in over 15 years, they’ve built themselves into a consistent Top 25 football program. Tech’s managed to pull some pretty remarkable TV ratings over the last few years. Last buy certainly not least, they also have the hottest chicks in the Big 12 – if not the country.

  29. Jimmy says:


    Absolutely love your work on the conference expansion front. I have a question that I wonder if you can look into: If the demise of the Big XII is a foregone conclusion, would Iowa have any political pressure to look out for Iowa State, ala UVA, when then-Gov. Warner strong-armed them into advocating for Va Tech to join the ACC back in 2003?

    • @Jimmy – Iowa might get that political pressure, but unless there’s a known bloc of schools in the Big Ten that are against expansion like Duke and UNC back in 2003 (and I don’t think there is), it won’t mean anything. It would’ve taken 3 votes in the ACC to block expansion. The only reason why the pressure on UVA worked was that Duke and UNC were openly against it, which gave UVA effective veto power.

      • Jimmy says:


        That’s a good point–I had forgotten that UNC and Duke were opposed to any expansion.

        Another one: Do you agree with the assertion that if the Big XII dies along the lines you reported tonight, that the MWC would go to 16 teams, snatching up KU, KSU, ISU and three other schools (I already consider Boise St. to be joining it next week), and becoming a BCS conference (since it would be sound politics for the BCS to do that)?

        Similarly, do you see the MAC going to 16, taking Cincy, Louisville, and 2 others (Lets say Memphis and Tulane/UAB, for arguments sake, as Marshall just fled the conference a few years ago)), since there is no chance those commuter schools get into the ACC or SEC?

      • Bullet says:

        Gee talked about listening to each other in that article the other day when he talked about sharing revenue, would the B10 listen to Iowa and save Iowa State (who is AAU) by taking them as #16? Or would it strictly be their top 5 with no mercy shown? Iowa State hasn’t had great success other than wrestling, but they are a solid program. They have better attendance than a third of the BCS schools. They are a lot different than Temple, UH, TCU, SMU and Rice, other schools that got left behind.

  30. Kevin A says:

    If Stanford shuns OSU, Tech, or both, why not invite Kansas? They fit more academically, and time zone would be no issue, as they were already getting teams from the central time zone.

  31. Steve says:

    Nebraska supposedly telling scholarship player to get ready for the Big 10.

    • Bob Devaney says:

      Haven’t seen this personally yet. Have heard it was confirmed on the Rivals boards, FWIW.

      Also, the RB coach for Nebraska spoke in Texas not too long ago. While he played ignorant, he made it sound as if they were making sure folks were schooled on Big 10 ball “just in case”.

      • Manifesto (OhioSt.) says:


        Pelini coaches Nebraska. You guys are already ready for Big10 ball. ;)

        Big10 ball = play defense, unless you’re Northwestern or Purdue (or Michigan lately).

      • Justin says:

        Big 10 ball is vastly different from Big 12 ball. We use 11 guys on offense, 11 guys on defense, wait sounds similar…there is one difference, your fans don’t have to shell out $39.95 to watch the games on TV.

        Now you can hear the rest of the country whine about how Big 10 games are being stuffed down everyone’s throats every saturday afternoon on espn, espn2 and abc.

  32. Bob Devaney says:

    Frank–I don’t know if you have a relationship with Chip Brown, but there are those of us that know Chip as a former hack for the Dallas Morning News that regularly admitted to making up items or writing stories to screw with fans of other teams (read: not Texas), and he especially had a poison pen for Nebraska.

    This, plus my theory that Chip’s article is merely posturing by Texas (via a paid mouthpiece) to try and take any bargaining leverage Nebraska had in the Big XII talks (like, say, getting rid of the Longwhorn Network…which supposedly was gaining traction amongst members per the NU boards and posters here).

    Texas is frankly scared s**tless right now. Nebraska has the balls to call their bluff, and Texas knows they can’t get the Pac 10 or SEC to let them suckle at the teat of the conference like Texas has been able to with the Big XII. Texas will not be successful if it has to play in either the Pac-10 or SEC; the former won’t put up with Texas’ antics and selfishness, and the later wrote the very book on dirty political conference pool that Texas uses.

    Also, keep in mind only confirmation coming on this article comes from Colorado, a school that would hop in bed with anyone or anything with a pulse for money, they’re hurting so bad. Colorado knows if they don’t hop in bed with Bevo and/or the Pac 10, they won’t remain solvent next decade. Having both Bevo and the Pac 10 in the same story…well, that makes it all the more easier for Colorado to smile while they dance for their master.

    • Bob Devaney says:

      Oh, and before I forget…thanks for all the work you’ve done on this, Frank. I dare say your coverage is better than that of any of the networks.

      Perhaps you should do this for a living? :)

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      here are those of us that know Chip as a former hack for the Dallas Morning News that regularly admitted to making up items or writing stories to screw with fans of other teams

      You have proof of this? The part about a reporter at the DMN who “regularly admitted to making up items or writing stories to screw with fans of other teams”?

      Texas is frankly scared s**tless right now.

      HuskerHoosier, are you posting under two different names?

      • Scott C says:

        From everything that I’ve heard, Chip Brown is well respected in the industry, and that includes the local sports journalists here in Omaha that are on our sports talk show. Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald wouldn’t have mentioned the article had he any indication that the man was lying.

        • Hopkins Horn says:

          After thinking about this a bit, there’s a lot I want to say, but much has been written above already. So, I’ll add one concern I have as a Texas fan to a plan which I’m otherwise pretty happy with if it turns out to be true:


          Just sayin’.

          • Hopkins Horn says:

            This was supposed to be a new post at the bottom.

          • glenn says:

            hop, if this thing is for real we have nothing now in that regard. i really don’t get the impression that the pac schools cooperate at all with each other and certainly not those interlopers, the ariz schools. so guess who they dump us in with.

            the cali schools are going to view us as a necessary evil and have pretty much nothing to do with us outside of sports, is my guess.

            very dark day if this is true.

      • Mike says:

        @Hopkins – I have heard of a couple of Nebraska fans that have traded emails with Chip where he admitted he was just messing with Husker fans. I don’t know if its “regularly… making up items” but he knows (like Woody Page) that Husker fans are easily riled and seems to enjoy doing so.

        • Scott C says:

          I never read the mention of Nebraska in that article as anything but speculation added to the Pac-10 story. I’m not sure why others wouldn’t.

        • Hopkins Horn says:

          There’s a world of difference between “needling” Husker fans (I think eapg knows what “needling” fans of another school looks like) and making things up.

      • HoosierMike says:

        Yeah, I really don’t see any reason that Texas would be “scared”. They’re the biggest prize in this whole realignment, and will bring mega dollars with them wherever they go. Where’s the fear in that?

  33. Michael says:

    Alright, if there is actually truth to this rumor, I could easily see it stemming from the following:

    We know ND and UT have been in touch – and from the NU message board rumor – there seems to be a mutual interest in joining the same conference. We also know that Swarbrick and ND continue to drag their feet about joining a conference, but they have stated that they may be compelled to conference affiliation in the case of massive realignment.A 16 team Pac 10, which could be followed by a 16 team Big 10 and SEC would certainly qualify.

    Hang with me though . . . this leak, rumor or whatever it is could easily be a high stakes game of chicken between ND and Texas. The money´s better in the Big 10. The academics are better in the Big 10. The logistics of travel could be better in the Big 10. The question, however, is whether UT is bluffing, and, if they are, does Swarbrick have the balls to call the bluff? Or would he even want to? Maybe this is just a political ploy to give Swarbrick the cover to finally make the jump to the Big 10.

    Either way, I think the dynamic between Notre Dame and Texas is very much in play here, and, if there´s truth to this rumor, we will see some sort of resolution over the next couple weeks.

    • Michael says:

      The more I think about this the more excited and convinced I am about what´s actually going on:

      What do we know:

      1) Texas, Colorado and the Pac 10 commissioner, in so many words, have confirmed that this idea has been thrown around

      2) Oklahoma, A&M, and everyone else has denied any contact with the Pac 10

      3) A Texas coalition of schools to the Pac 10 is at least somewhat credible – for political reasons – just based on the credence given to this rumor

      4) Notre Dame and Texas are in heavy contact and it is both of their best interests to play annually in the same conference – with that conference being the Big 10

      Now the assumptions:

      Colorado is in, and they may even get their bid this Sunday. They have been in talks with the Pac 10 for months and are privy to the latest expansion news.

      At some point, the Pac 10 approached Texas and, more recently, gave them a blank check – or at least said they would consider it – and this led to the current rumor. The Pac 10 commissioner then is in no place to deny the rumor (since talks of some sort have occurred with Texas. He can say, however, that these talks are still in the initial phase and nothing cataclysmic will happen this Sunday. Under this scenario, there is also a good chance that Pac 10 presidents haven´t even been briefed about this latest rumor. And this helps explain Stanford´s role in this whole thing.

      So why was this leaked, since it is still at very rough and initial stage? This is where Notre Dame comes in:

      As I understand it, this was reported by a former UT beat writer with obviously strong ties to UT. It was leaked to him by UT higher ups who needed to accomplish two things:

      1) implicate essentially the entirety of the Big 12 in expansion talk and setting the table for their own move

      2) giving ND a new, radical landscape that forces full conference affiliation. In fact, I´d be very surprised if we don´t see significant news out of South Bend sometime soon.

      I think the Pac 10 started talks with Texas in an exploratory way, hoping for compromise. I don´t think this particular group of schools could get enough to votes to actually garner invites, but I also don´t think that´s the point. UT is bargaining with the Pac 10 and leaked this particular discussion because it´s plausible and cataclysmic enough to draw ND and its alumni out of their isolation.

      Not sure if UT´s bluffing or just playing the politics of the situation, but, if true, there is a lot more to this rumor than meets the eye.

      • FLP_NDRox says:

        What does Texas prefer:

        1. Longhorn Sports Network

        2. Conference with ND

        knowing that is the key to knowing what Texas is thinking, IMHO. My bet is #1.

        The other question is if the mere potential for a Super IA is enough to force ND into the Big Ten. Will the lure of Texas be enough to get ND to join with the gigantic public Ivies?

        It ought to be a fun weekend around here.

      • crpodhaj says:

        We also can be pretty sure that the PAC 10 offer was discussed openly at the meetings this week. Why? Because that would be the main reason A*M a.d. made the comments about west coast travel. Those seemed somewhat out of the blue at the time, but I think the PAC10 senario was being thrown around in order to get the teams to commit to the Big 12 with a Longhorn Sports Network / Big 12 Network combo of some kind. And I think the fly in the ointment was Nebraska, who is strongly in the Big 10 camp. Nebraska could mess up the Longhorn Sports Network while simultaneously putting pressure on Texas to join the Big 10 as Texas has to do something after Colorado and Nebraska leave. Wouldn’t that make all the BIG RED fans happy?

    • FLP_NDRox says:

      From what I know of the power structure at ND, it won’t be Swarbrick’s call.

      Fr. Jenkins, the prez, has made tough calls before (the Willingham buy-out). He has the guts to make the call. I’m not sure it’ll be his call to make.

      In ’99 it went to the trustees. They are led by the Board of Fellows who are mainly alums and are used to making hard calls. The question is what do TPTB want, and who’s advising them.

      I don’t think a rumor will scare ND. I think it will actually require a series of major moves. If we really see a Pac-16, Big 14, and a SEC at 14-16, then *maybe* ND moves.


      • Manifesto (OhioSt.) says:


        If we’re putting on our tinfoil hats, perhaps TPTB at ND *have* in fact made a decision, but are looking for the opportunity to do it as smoothly as possible. Would a rumor like this be enough cover? Would the Big12 seemingly coming apart at the seams in public be enough? Just speculating.

        • FLP_NDRox says:

          @ Mani

          Perhaps. I doubt it, but perhaps. The last public decision was made in England of all places. The last private decision was unknown for seven years and has only had one leak, AFAIK.

          I’m also not sure the NDPTB need to cover their decision, except to themselves. ND answers to no one outside of the big money donors and possibly the Holy Cross order (CSC). They often tell the rank and file to like it or lump it. If they are convinced its the right thing to do, they’ll do it.

          That said, I doubt it will be smooth if ND is among the first movers. There will be a large group saying we should have waited for a better deal or better teams to improve leverage. There will be a larger group saying forgoing independence is and remains a bad idea. And a small but vocal minority will say anyone but the Big Ten.

          No, Mani, for it to go “smooth” there will have to be a wholesale change in the BCS and/or FBS subdivision. ND never had a chair to begin with vis a vie Conferences, so watching the scramble will always be seen as a viable option.

          @ Michael

          ND never had a place in a conference before. Watching the chaos seemed like a good idea most recently in 2003. ND will likely maintain the non-football Big East in the future. Besides, we’re a religious school. We believe that God will provide. If that sounds crazy, you need to look harder at ND history. =)

          I still don’t see how a SEC-16 is feasible financially given current contracts, so a raid of the Big East or ACC from there seems unlikely for another decade or so.

          Of course ND’s going to be talking to Texas about this. Everyone is. And the potential to get Texas is the big change from the last two B10 proposals.

          Don’t forget, ND is *not* TAMU. We are not joined at the hip. Also, don’t assume that the Big Ten is ND’s preferred landing spot.

          I still think Delaney was mad about the leak because it was an accurate report of a spitball idea that may interest ND and Texas. I doubt it left the realm of pure speculation, but I wonder if Delaney’s anger was because that kind of an offer would be outside of what his bosses allowed him to make. To me that seems plausible.

      • Michael says:


        The problem you and everyone else at ND has here is that if this isn´t a bluff, there may not be a place for ND when the dust settles.

        If this rumor plays out, I think the Big 10 and SEC move to 16 quickly. Notre Dame will get one last call and one last chance, if they say no, they´re in a bad place. But I really can´t see that happing – and if that´s true and they´d strongly prefer a Big 10 with Texas then the time to move is now, not after the Pac 10 goes to 16 and Texas is already spoken for.

        The assumption here is obviously the ND-UT connection. We have seen Doss and Swarbrick acknowledge they´re in regular contact. We have seen independent confirmations that there´s a strong connection. We understand the football and academic traditions at both schools and the Catholic/Hispanic bond uniting the two. And we also have the NU message board rumor. Something about that rumor pissed off Delany and my guess is that it was the connection between UT and ND. Bringing the two together in a package deal may be the strongest bargaining chip the Big 10 has (even above and beyond the $ and the CIC). At the time that rumor saw the light of day, Delany had no interest in showing his hand. Well now it´s shown and so is that of the Pac 10.

        Now it´s time for ND, once and for all, to make a decision. Is it going to be a 16 team Big 10 with Texas or a 16 team Big 10 without Texas?

        • Phil says:

          I don’t understand the continual overstatement of the threat to ND of all this expansion.

          They have in their back pocket, at a minimum, the ability to stay independent and keep their non-football sports in whatever conference is created by the non-football playing Big East schools (GTown, Nova etc.)when this is done.

          They will never be “forced” to the Big Ten by a lack of leverage, because even in the scenario of the Big Ten, Pac 10 and SEC going to 16, there will be a conference created by the combination of the remaining ACC and Big East teams. This conference would be much more likely to offer ND special considerations to get them to join.

          They may decide to join the Big ten, but they won’t be forced there.

          • StvInILL says:

            Notre dame already IS in a conference and they know iT! Its called the Big East. They compete in over 20 sports in the BE. This illusion they perpetrate on people is wearing thin. It’s the Big East and therein is the problem. They are the bully of the conference and like it that way. Comes a time when a man must grow up and leave his mother’s house ND. Time to come play with the bigger boys and men. The Service academies will be fine.

        • rich2 says:

          Why? The Big Ten has had eleven members for nearly 20 years. If the dust settles, and ND believes that it does not like its current option of staying independent, it will go to a 16-Conference and ask to join. If the conference believes that adding ND is a net profit for the conference (it will), then the Conference will call itself the “Big 16″ with 17 members. There is not going to be a punitive, collusive response by the remaining conferences in ND does not immediately jump. Maybe a few posters would like to administer some punishment but the conference will simply say “yes, we are the Big 16″ with 17 (or 18 or 20) members.

          • Mike R says:

            I agree with this. And the Big 10′s graphic artists have always had a way of dealing with this numerical issue.

          • StvInILL says:

            Confrence will be sick of the primadonna and not let it play in any reindeer games. It has carefully taken its time on expansion. It will make good choices and ND will not be one of them. Another thing. “The Big Ten” will remain such. It will be a registered trademark. This is like Fox News “Fair and Balance. “ of course it’s not true but they (Fox) can legally say so. All the kids applying to Big ten universities understand that getting in means you can count, so its not a problem. The long standing name recognition and stability are positive attributes to the conference.

  34. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    I don’t see how UTx, A&M, OU, Okla St, Tex Tech, & CU to the Pac 10 is a better deal than the SEC’s supposed offer a few weeks ago of UTx and pick three friends (probably A&M, OU, and either Tex Tech or Okla St).

    The LSN is not a problem under the SEC’s contracts.

    Under that scenario, the four new schools go the SEC West, and Alabama & Auburn get shipped to the SEC East. The farthest any of the teams have to regularly travel is StarkVegas, Mississippi.

    One problem I see with a potential Pac 10 Network is that people on the West Coast don’t seem to be the rabid sports fans that we are in the South, or you guys are in the Midwest/Rustbelt.

    One big bonus (for UTx) in the Pac 10/Big XII South-Baylor+CU merger is that UTx only has one consistent Top 10 team in its division. For the most part, the winner of the OU/UTx game wins the Pac 10 East. That may be more agreeable to UTx than jumping into the SEC meatgrinder.

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      FWIW, LSU consistently gets 3-6 4&5 star recruits out of Texas every year. Arkansas gets players out of Texas every year. Ole Miss & Mississippi State would probably be helped the most with a Texas presence in the SEC. Mississippi turns out great football players every year, but many of them would rather go to LSU, Bama or Auburn, rather than Ole Miss or Miss. State. I would expect the Mississippi schools to get the Texas players that Mizzou or Kansas currently get.

    • Redhawk says:

      Alan, You have more truth in your last paragraph then you know.

      I have contacts at OU..and while I’ve heard surprisingly little from them on expansion, they always end by saying something about how hard it will be to win the SEC.

    • Stopping By says:

      @ Alan. You are correct, that west coast fans are not as rabid as a whole in comparison to others but….if you get a PTN on basic cable subscription – the sheer population of CA and TX, plus WA w/ Seattle, AZ w/ Phoenix, CO w/ Denver, and OK w/ Ok Cty is impressive. Although not as rabid – there are still plenty of fans that care in P10 looking at attendance numbers plus they would now be joined with the “rabidness” of TX and OK football fans.

    • Bullet says:

      The Big 12 gets ignored in the SE. Will a Pac 16 get any coverage east of the Mississippi?

      They actually published this in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution today:
      “After daylong discussions regarding the possible breakup of the Big 12, a scheduled news conference was abruptly cancelled, fueling speculation that the 12 schools are far from agreement.” There’s no interest or understanding in the SE about colleges west of Louisiana.

      • glenn says:

        many years ago i was working an assignment in nashville. it was before the internet, and newspapers were pretty much it for game results, etc.

        in seattle i had been able to read the sunday dallas morning news about two weeks late at the city library. when i got to nashville i went to the library and found they had subscriptions to some forty newspapers east of the mississippi and two west of it. san francisco and la times, i believe it was. no texas newspapers. no denver. no seattle.

  35. alsace man says:

    This is one of your better posts, even if the story turns out to be a rumor. But living within walking distance of Stanford and watching their behavior for the past 35 years I can tell you that your view on Stanford being the fly in the ointment is right on the money. These Stanford folk have the tightest sphincters I’ve ever seen. For them to give the nod to ANY Texas school stretches the imagination. And in the PAC 10, it will only take one no vote on one invitation to kill the whole plan. That no will come from Stanford. Go to Vegas and bet it.

    • Redhawk says:

      I’m sure the discussion went something like this: “Stanford…Cal…if you two vote no…both will find yourselves in the WAC with your new rival Hawaii”

      • Art Vandelay says:

        The instant Cal and Stanford are gone from the Pac 10 will be the instant they are invited to the Big Ten. It may be a logistical nightmare, but athletically they both are very good, if not great additions, and academically they’d more than solidify the Big Ten as a premier academic conference, but really put it over the top into the realms of competing on a serious level with the Ivy Leaguers.

        If they were added to the Big Ten, why would A&M turn down an invite? If those three schools were added with say Notre Dame and Rutgers, what would stop the CIC from joining up with the likes of the Ivy League, or something to that effect? Right now, I don’t think any of those schools would go for a joint anything with the Big Ten because of schools like Indiana, Iowa and Michigan State – not that they’re bad schools in any way, but I think the Ivy Leaguers just see themselves as too far beyond schools like this. But with Stanford, Cal, Northwestern, Chicago, Michigan, Wisconsin, A&M, Ohio State, Penn State, Illinois, and Minnesota, how could they not consider it? Think about Penn and Penn St working together, or Stanford and Harvard, or Yale and Cal, or Michigan and Cornell, or Princeton and Wisconsin, or Rutgers and Columbia.

        I wouldn’t be completely floored at this point if Cal and Stanford are pressured into allowing this to happen, that they wouldn’t evaluate their current options. Again, Stanford especially, but to a lesser extent, I think the same thing holds true for Cal, and that’s that they identify themselves as premier academic institutions on the same level as the best in the world. Compromising that just might not be an option in their heads, and I don’t blame them.

        • Stopping By says:

          From what I have read on Cal boards (just browsing through) – they seem to be on board and would be upset w/ Stanford if they tried to block an expansion plan that is for the good of the conference (granted – they hate each other anyway).

          Stanford and Cal are very good schools and are rivals for both atletics and academics but are in two completely different situations. Stanford is private with huge coffers while Cal is in the UC system – where the state is broke.

          Cal needs $ just like all others in the conference outside of SC and Stanford.

          • jokewood says:

            Unlike Michigan, Penn State, or even Ohio State, Cal does not have a problem loading up their football team with JUCOs. Cal is a fantastic school, but they seem willing to let a few things slide in the name of athletic excellence. Given the state’s current financial nightmare, I too am having a hard time seeing them as an obstacle to a lucrative expansion deal.

    • StvInILL says:

      Stanford, Cal, and Oregon. I doubt there will be any serious arm twisting here. This is not the SEC. The liberals and the academics are not mythical entities there. So I have my doubts on that big expansion scenario. The vote has to be unanimous. I say Colorado for sure and possibly Texas but hey, I could be wrong too.

  36. Manifesto (OhioSt.) says:

    Crazytown. Offline for four hours and there’s a new blog post and over a hundred replies. Adding.

  37. Art Vandelay says:

    I don’t think the Big Ten needs to, nor should they be super flexible or accommodating to Texas. If the Pac 10 will do whatever they want them to, let them go there. The Big Ten can offer more than the Pac 10, meaning they’ve got leverage on Texas. If Texas turns down a Big Ten invite, then the Big Ten should offer one to A&M, who will probably join instead of putting up with the LSN in the Pac 10 (I’m assuming that would be the main reason Texas would join the Pac 10 instead of the Big Ten). Adding A&M would almost certainly get the BTN in all of Texas, and while they don’t have the national brand that Texas does, all of a sudden they’d likely get more exposure in Texas with the BTN than Texas would with the LSN. Texas would have worse national time slots for some big games in the Pac 10, A&M would get Northeastern exposure in important parts of the country like New York and New Jersey. If the Pac 10 expanding starts a title wave and the SEC successfully starts raiding the ACC, what’s going to stop Maryland (the most affluent state per capita) and possibly UVA from joining the Big Ten? If The Big Ten expands with Notre Dame, Rutgers, Maryland, UVA and Texas A&M, (or they grab Nebraska instead of UVA), who’s really better off between the two? A&M would be ahead financially speaking to begin with, and would have tons more monetary growth potential because the Big Ten would just start tapping into DC and New York – once they get them, and eventually I think they will, even if it takes a few years, or even a decade+. All of a sudden, the Pac 10 is a good, but diluted academic conference, and Berkley, Stanford, UCLA and Washington are associated with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech, while the Big Ten stands alone as the premier academic conference, solidifying itself further by adding excellent schools in Rutgers, Notre Dame (more for potential), Texas A&M, Maryland, and a solid school in Nebraska.

    On a separate note, that’s why I believe Stanford will vetoe any sub-par academic institution, because academia is its identity. Stanford is considered by some to be the best university in the world. They have an endowment of around $10 million per student! An extra $8 million a year in revenue isn’t so enticing when considering that they’re just another outlier school in a good conference. Other schools, athletics is their identity. Kansas, Texas, USC, probably even schools like Michigan and UCLA are thought of first because of athletics. Stanford measures itself against Harvard, MIT, Johns Hopkins – all East Coast schools, and identifies with them. Diluting the conference by adding mediocre schools AT BEST waters down their identity. Stanford wants the world to know that 1) money doesn’t drive them and 2) athletics CERTAINLY doesn’t drive them.

    • darglac says:

      1) Are you guessing at the Pac 10 allowing Texas to keep the LSN even though they are joining the Pac 10 or have you read it somewhere? The report on Rivals quotes the Pac 10 commissioner as saying that the Pac 10 wants a network and “it would have to be an ‘all rights in situation.’”

      2) Stanford does have a large endowment and a rich benefactor for the athletic department (Arrillaga, their version of Knight, Pickens), but even they had layoffs in their athletic department recently. I am not saying that would get the support of the academic side, but I can’t imagine the stanford AD would not seriously consider this plan.

      3) I think people are overlooking the “division” concept. From the Pac 10, it is very ideal and overcomes some roadblocks. It returns the conference to the “Pac 8″ which some old time alums will like. For Stanford, it could give them cover as they could claim that it’s really an 8 team Pacific Conference and the conference is in an alliance with a southwest conference. De facto, that would be true, if for football a division plays a 7 game round robin and 2 crossover games that don’t count in determining the division champ.

      I have only been following the Big 12 as part of confernence expansion but divisions are beneficial for the Big 12 side too. It keeps rival teams together. It also will cut down on travel, which appears to be a concern of A&M. Lastly, contrary to Big 10 desires, having a core of Big 12 schools may make this work better for the Pac 16 because having a core of Big 12 schools in a division would be a more cohesive group. “Assimiliting” into the Pac 10 is less of an issue b/c at the bottom of it, the Pac 10 is only an athletic conference. There is no CIC or other academic links.

      • Art Vandelay says:

        1) I’m guessing that if Texas chooses to go to the Pac 10 over the Big Ten, it will because they offered Texas the flexibility to also have the LSN. Otherwise, I just don’t think it would be worth it for them.

        2) Regardless of how Stanford’s athletic department stands financially right now, it is about identity for them. They are probably the undisputed best school outside of the Ivy League according to public opinion. To compromise that in any way, like adding TT, OKST, and OK would be compromising what they stand for. I don’t think they’ll be bullied into compromise. They want to bee viewed in the same light as Harvard and Princeton, and diluting the conference goes against what they want to be associated with. Stanford is the kind of school that I could see pulling a University of Chicago and eliminating their major sports programs if being in the Pac 10 was about being associated with great athletics and not about being associated with great academics, because that’s who they are and what they want to be. USC doesn’t particularly care about academic prestige compared to athletic prestige, and that’s obvious, and they’re thought of a football school that has good academics. Stanford is a great school that sometimes produces good football and basketball teams. It’s about their identity, and IMO it’s probably something that they take more seriously than Notre Dame takes being independent.

        3) You could be right, but the more separation and distinction there is between the two divisions, the more animosity there’s going to be and you’re going to have all the problems there was in the SWC and Big 12. If the Western schools see themselves as better than the Eastern ones and doesn’t affiliate with them, then Texas isn’t going to be happy because they’re in the same position they were in in the Big 12 from an academic standpoint. The sides are going to clash, and it would be kind of funny, but I could see it breaking up in the coming years and then another Big 12 forming again. One thing that has really separated the Big Ten (biggest and most obvious example) and Pac 10 (good, but not great example) from the other conferences is that there’s always been a connectedness of the members. There’s been cohesion amongst schools. Now they’d be adding a couple notorious schools for bringing drama and selfishness into the fold with enough teams to support them and help them make a noise in conference politics. If Texas and/or A&M joined the Big Ten, they would have an equal say in how things are done, but they’d have no leverage to determine conference decisions. What would they do, threaten to leave and lose out on the CIC, TV revenue, and national exposure? The Big Ten can let them go, or just ignore them if what they want is not what the rest of the conference wants. The Big Ten wouldn’t be dependent on Texas for population or recruiting like the Big 12, especially with New Jersey and possibly New York. The Big Ten sees itself as an exclusive club, and it should to maintain its academic and financial standard.

        • SH says:

          Well said. Why I think expansion for expansion sake is just not going to happen. The B10 really gets most things right. They are happy to have UT, even A&M, but will not want Tech. They have other options besides UT. They can and should make some concessions to UT (e.g., we’ll hold title game in Dallas every 3 years), but not sell their soul (e.g., you will get an unequal share of the pie). Once you grant a school that power, then they are going to think they can bully everyone in the conference. UT is on top of the world right now, but so was ND in the past. The advantage of the B10 is the stability it brings which allows a great school time to ride through the storms. Like UM is doing now, and OSU did before Tressel arrived. At some point, UT will fall off, maybe not to the place it was in the 90′s but it will fall behind. If ND passes on the B10 now and if Kelly is unable to bring the program back to prominence, they will lose a lot of their value. They already have.

    • SDB10 says:

      Art good comment. UCLA, USC & UW probably are not interested in OSU or TT. After all there is enough academic dilution with party state(ASU) & OrSU so further pollution with Tier 3 schools(TT/OSU) & Athletics first Sooners seems highly suspect to me. There was a look of talking recently on the collaboration of P10 & B12 TV network so this is probably somebodies SWAG.

      • StvInILL says:

        I agree with what you said. it was probably someone doing what were doing right here, drawing stuff up on a board. From a Big 12 standpoint, and you have to assume the conference is in its last days, this was a great idea. From a pac10 standpoint Probably just a good distraction/misdirection while they do their due diligence. There is way too much texas and way to much OKlahoma in here for this to be true.

    • bad bob says:

      re: “all of a sudden they’d [aTm] likely get more exposure in Texas with the BTN than Texas would with the LSN.”

      Art, you seriously have no concept of the Texas market.. The thing about that vaunted Texas market is that it’s very much a “University of Texas” market. There are lots of Aggies, and they’re very loyal (and more than somewhat delusional) fans, but they’re not beating UT in terms of market share anytime soon, and no cable channel is going to change that. Other than straight-up Aggie fans, I don’t know what they would bring in the absence of UT – they are, whether they like it or not (and they don’t, believe me), defined by their relationship with UT. All of their traditions revolve around that rivalry – ALL of them. And speaking of those traditions…

      “A&M would get Northeastern exposure in important parts of the country like New York and New Jersey.”

      I’m not sure how good a thing that’s gonna be for an institution whose motto is: “From the outside you can’t understand it, and from the inside you can’t explain it.” New York and New Jersey are likely to recoil in horror when they pull out their “squeeezin’ ‘em” trick up close and personal…

      You may not find it palatable, and may even wish Bob Devaney’s gem above about Texas being “scared sh*tless” contained even a scintilla of truth, but right now, Texas is THE grand prize in this expansion game. And the Big 10, SEC, and Pac 10 will do anything within reason to land them. The trick is what that ‘within reason’ means to each of them. I would think Tech would lie outside that line for all of them, but who knows… I’m still not convinced that report is going to end up being all that accurate.

      • glenn says:

        yes, bob, there is no question that texas is the biggest boat in this corner of the pond right now, but we are waiting to see how buoyant it is with the cargo it has to carry.

        (how would i do as the new big 12 commissioner?)

        • bad bob says:

          well put…
          Like I said, I can’t believe Tech isn’t a non-starter. That’s a whole lotta buoyancy there…

          I also don’t get the Oklahoma schools involvement. I can’t really see Texas insisting on those, and I can’t see their inclusion as a PAC 10 idea either.

      • Art Vandelay says:

        @bad bob

        Sorry, let me clarify. I’m not trying to suggest that A&M will become more popular than Texas in the state of Texas. I’m personally under the persuasion that the BTN will be more popular, and bring more exposure to A&M than the LSN will bring for Texas, primarily because it’s just plain more interesting, and more encompassing.

        More Northeastern exposure IS a good thing IMO if you want to become more than some academic institution, but rather become a brand, just like Texas is now. There really aren’t a whole lot of people who care about A&M outside of Texas. How do you change that? More media exposure, especially in the right places. I really do believe that the Big Ten is trying to go national, and build its brand name. It has a very good academic reputation now, but it wants to become a powerhouse like the Ivy League. It’s popular athletically right now, but it wants to have its games being played on ABC or CBS in not just the Midwest, but the Northeast, Southeast, and West Coast. When the BTN takes over New York/New Jersey (which after expansion I believe will just be a matter of time) and if it adds the right teams, the same might hold true for DC, then you’re looking at the BTN as a network that will threaten to go national.

        My point was in that post that the state of Texas is more important than the brand of the school the Big Ten gets. While Texas is the better option for national recognition, if the Big Ten can get the BTN on in the entire state of Texas, expanding its market to an entirely new portion of the country is more important than concessions and brand recognition.

        In summary, The Big Ten has standards and leverage for Texas and shouldn’t give in much, if at all. A&M brings 80-90% of what Texas does to the BTN. The Big Ten shouldn’t be bullied by someone who will be significantly worse off out of the conference than in it, especially if on an individual basis each member would be marginally worse off monetarily, and in the long-run much better off with less drama involved, (as Texas has been notorious for acting like a spoiled child).

  38. Anson T. says:

    Who thinks Tulane regrets having left the SEC in the 1960′s?

  39. GreatLakeState says:

    I sure hope the powers-that-be in Washington are in the loop on this deal, because unless the PAC 10 can convince Obama to nationalize the time zones, this deal isn’t happening.

  40. prophetstruth says:


  41. triggger says:

    This is too funny. This isnt about academics. Its about securing television coverage. If Stanford is so full of itself, and so totally ignorant to distinguish the difference, maybe they should leave the Pac 10 in order to participate with more sophisticated folks. I know several people in high places at UT. The issue is alliances with those they have geographic history with. Tech, OU, TAMU especially have long rivalries and form a geographic consortium that Pac10 constituents should recognize. If they are indeed haughty enough to feel that they can dilute these historic values while clinging to their own, then is it they setting the game rules? If UT is indeed setting the parameters for inclusion of partners they are familiar with, who can blame them? Call it political, but any alliance with people, such as Stanford, who feel they must set these standards is not in the best interest of a long term alliance. And by the way, Tech may not be Stanford, but it has more academic clout than many are giving it credit for. One thing that may be mentioned, Tech and UT med schools and facilities are merging on many fronts, and Tech is in line to be the next Tier 1 school in Texas.

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      What do you mean by “Tech and UT med schools and facilities are merging”?

    • djinndjinn says:

      I can see this from the perspective of the Pac-10 as a whole.

      However, from the perspective of Stanford, theirs is a private club. And as a member in a club where one single vote nixes the deal, then they, in theory, have the power to set the rules. Not Texas. I can’t imagine Stanford’s concern being the long-standing rivalries or traditions of Tech, OU, TAMU or Texas. Their concern should be whether they want to open up their club to who’ll they may see as the Clampetts. And knowing that admitting these Big XII schools, they can see a future where a single vote by some future president of Texas Tech–sunning himself among his critters down by the cement pond–would then wield all the power.

      • Playoffs Now! says:

        I can’t imagine Stanford’s concern being the long-standing rivalries or traditions of Tech, OU, TAMU or Texas. Their concern should be whether they want to open up their club to who’ll they may see as the Clampetts.

        Ha! Perfect description for Tech and OK St.

        Why oh why did they get in a hurry to fire their coach? Tubby Leach with a rifle riding in the backseat would be a perfect photoshop.

        • Playoffs Now! says:

          Damn Italians. Take two:

          I can’t imagine Stanford’s concern being the long-standing rivalries or traditions of Tech, OU, TAMU or Texas. Their concern should be whether they want to open up their club to who’ll they may see as the Clampetts.

          Ha! Perfect description for Tech and OK St.

          Why oh why did they get in a hurry to fire their coach? Tubby Leach with a rifle riding in the backseat would be a perfect photoshop.

  42. Kyle says:

    the SEC and Pac-16 would share a border? weird.

  43. loki_the_bubba says:

    An essential difference when talking about Texas/aTm versus Tech. The Aggies and Longhorns have fanatic life-long fans that never even went there. The Red Raiders don’t.

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      Although I’ve always thought that both schools have far fewer “t-shirt fans” than a number of SEC schools, for example, due to the existence of the Cowboys and OilerTexans.

  44. Hopkins Horn says:

    Random thoughts:

    (1) (Reposted from above because I was a moron and posted in the wrong place) CIC?!? Hundreds of millions of dollars of extra research dollars annually potentially left on the table? Just sayin’.

    (2) Given the very logical probable divisional alignment, I wonder what UA and ASU think of this. They’re kinda sorta being pushed into a separate division, away from the schools with whom they’ve competed as conference peers for 30+ years. Are they OK with this?

    • Scott C says:

      (1) The CIC is sadly not mentioned enough in the media, and it’s probably the best perk of joining the Big Ten. Maybe fans care less about the academic side when they’re not an alum. If you like Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska for their sports, do you really care about their academics?

      (2) I’m curious why they wouldn’t want to go with pods. Why would Texas join with the only hope of playing USC regular season would be once every eight years or twice every 16. With a pod system, that wouldn’t be an issue.

      • Will says:

        Nebraska has made a major research push in the last decade. The CIC would be huge for us.

      • zeek says:

        Geography and Stanford/Cal.

        This restores the Pac-16 West back into a Pac-8 before the expansion that Stanford didn’t really want.

        The Pac-8 East basically is the Big 12 South with ASU/UA/UC instead of Baylor. That means travel is very easy because most of the conference will be divisional play with a handful of crossover games…

      • They could go with pods for football.

        TTech, OU, OkSt, Colorado.
        UT, aTm, AZ, ASU
        USC, UCLA, Cal, Stanford
        UW, WSU, OU, OSU

        Everybody would get one fixed rival outside of their pods (OU-UT, AZ-USC, ASU-UCLA, etc.) and when that rival is inside your division, you can have a back up rival.

        Texas’s schedule would have aTm, AZ, ASU, and OU every year. They could have a back-up rival of Cal whom they’d play 4 of 6 years. The other ten schools they’d play twice every six years. It’s a pretty solid formula.

      • ezdozen says:

        Pods are an act of desperation.

      • Vincent says:

        The CIC is as much a reason I want Maryland in the Big Ten as its athletics. That, and being associated with the top land-grant institutions in the country.

    • zeek says:

      My random thought on all of this is that someone at Texas had this leaked out as a way of forcing the Big Ten and SEC to come up with offers.

      Clearly, this offer shows that Texas has enough control over the situation to the point that the Pac-10 is willing to offer anything (I mean the Pac-10 commissioner, whether this plan would get the Cal/Stanford vote is less than certain). But the Big Ten and SEC should be able to offer more to Texas (ND?/CIC/more money from the Big Ten and more money from the SEC as well as a LSN).

      What does this mean for the Big Ten and SEC? It’s time to put forward offers. Delany’s 12-18 month timeframe may have gotten blown up with this story yesterday because the Big Ten presidents are going to want a lot of movement between now and the Big Ten presidents meetings.

      As for the SEC, it’s going to have to look really hard at whether to just be reactive or come up with a firm counteroffer of Texas/A&M/TTech/OU or something of that sort I’d imagine…

      Essentially, the Big Ten was going to wait 12-18 months (and it still may if it doesn’t believe ND is coming and that Texas won’t come either), but the SEC is far more likely to become proactive now because other than the Big 12 most of its targets are harder to grab ACC schools.

      I still think Texas won’t accept any invite until it knows what all three offers are, so we just have to wait and see at this point.

      • Bullet says:

        Maybe the P10 leaked it. I suspect Delaney has been milking the publicity. P10 has been ignored. Maybe they want some press. Everyone has been talking about the B10.

        • crpodhaj says:

          I think this may have been the last ditch attempt by the PAC 10 to get into the Texas sweepstakes. Of course, Texas would use all offers to their advantage – it’s like getting multiple teams to bid on one player. The thing is, the Big10 does hold some leverage the others do not. (Notre Dame proximity, CIC, academic reputation, an already established network which has yet to max out its’ own income). Game of chicken.

        • zeek says:

          Well considering who leaked it, I think at least some of his sources were very close to UT; of course there could also have been sources at the Pac-10 who indicated to him that they were contacting UT and the other 5, but still…

  45. mmc22 says:


  46. SDB10 says:

    How many of the monthly B10 “confirmed” invites have been hoaxes since December? The Pac10 said they would know by the end of the year and with the states so high, we should probably accept that as more reliable than internet rumors or media speculation. Further the B10 is taking a year to study expansion and hasn’t made any public announcement after almost 6 months. More likely that there are numerous hi-level discussions which all schools are stating IS happening & that after the story is relayed through 5 people it gets more spectacular each time it is repeated.

  47. JJKANDLAK says:

    I’d like to see the Big Ten get things started by inviting Nebraska & Mizzou now…see they could start conference play in 2011.

  48. Another theory on the rumor.

    UT and aTm are indeed talking to the Big 10. Lots of moving parts, like McGee mentioned in his “leaked” email to Big 10 presidents, but it’s a serious conversation.

    The PAC10 is thinking…if UT and aTm are going ANYWHERE, we want them. How can we keep them from going north?

    Set up a scenario where the “favored sons” of the Big 12–not whiner Nebraska, not mediocre Mizzou, not smallball Kansas–are offered a life raft out of the conference together. OU is a great sports school and longtime UT rival. UT and aTm obviously have ties too. Texas Tech is the third wheel here, but if UT and aTm say YES to the PAC10, they bail out little sister. (OkSt doesn’t make a ton of sense to me but they are rich and athletic.)

    Now, rather than Colorado being the “villain” who breaks up the Big 12, the five schools who say NO to the PAC10 (most notably Texas and aTm of course) are the villains. “They had a chance but they didn’t want it,” they’ll say. OkSt and Texas Tech supporters will be especially angry b/c those schools will be LONGSHOTS to make the SEC once UT and aTm head to the Big 10.

    Rather than see this rumor as a PAC10 offensive, perhaps this is a PAC10 defensive move to slow down the Texas schools from heading north?

    • crpodhaj says:

      I agree that this was a proposal thrown out as the only viable option for the PAC 10 to get Texas. And I think this was the subject of the candid discussion during the Big12 meeting this past week, because the aTm a.d. left complaining about the travel for the students specifically in reference to the West Coast.
      I wouldn’t wonder Texas was still trying to get the Longhorn Network off the ground during this meeting with promises of strength in their unity as the Big12, yadda, yadda, yadda. But if both Colorado and Nebraska leave, the whole thing doesn’t work. This is why Dodds said he would be the first to leave (Colorado and Nebraska would) but they would finish it.

  49. Josh says:

    Just my gut feeling, but while I think this rumor has a fair amount of validity to it, I also think it’s a “Hail Mary” on the part of the Pac 10 that’s very unlikely to be completed. I can’t believe that a school would be offered membership on a Wednesday and told they have by Sunday to accept. That’s not a realistic offer. Unless these schools have been in contact for a long time (and other than Colorado, we have no evidence that they have been and a lot of evidence that they haven’t) they would need to study the pros and cons of such a move for weeks at least. No school would move that fast.

    Now since this rumor is coming out of UT (presumably) and combined with the OSU emails that the Columbus paper has, I can see this being leaked to give cover to Texas to leave the B12 to join the B10. Hey, the Big XII was going to die–we had to move and we didn’t want to go West.

    • Bullet says:

      That Sunday deadline comment is clearly not correct. Maybe the P10 would really like to talk about it in their Presidents meeting Sunday, but there is no such deadline.

    • UncleFester says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if this doesn’t all stem from the Big 12/Pac 10 discussions about a TV deal. With 1 or 2 members (NE & MO) hoping that they’ll get the golden ticket from the B11 and UT, being the school courted by every other major conference that matters, wanting to keep its options open, getting the BXII schools to agree with some sort of deal with the P10, which probably would have included a binding commitment to staying in the BX11, always seemed like a long shot.

      So its easy to see how this new deal, assuming its true, could have grown from those talks. Instead of the entire BXII you trim away the teams looking to bolt to the B11 and cherry pick the rest. It sounds like the way they’re going to structure the conference the old school P8 would stay together and boot the interloping AZ schools over to the BXII rump division.

      So while the new conference is called the Pac-16, with all the conference championship & TV money that goes with in, in reality you would have two mini conferences (the Pac-8 and Big-8) whose teams in football would play each other once or twice a year during the regular season and then again the championship game. Other than the championship game and 6 less teams this doesn’t seem all that different than the original proposed TV deal.

  50. Ponce says:

    Awesome blog, Frank The Tank. For what it’s worth, the Omaha World-Herald article by Lee Barfnecht (sp) seems to be misinterpreted. The coaching candidates being interviewed about recruiting connections in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Milwaukee were *almost certainly* for basketball. Nebraska BBHC Doc Sadler has an AC position to fill, and it would make sense for him to start looking at those recruiting areas more if the Huskers were joining the Big 10. There are no football AC job vacancies, so again, the recruiting tidbit likely had nothing to do with that sport.

  51. finsraider07 says:

    Perhaps I can shed a little light on Tech’s current and future positioning….and why we are causing so many problems right now.

    As an academic institution, Tech is still growing into the shell of a large state school with private donors and public funding. It is a tier 3 university and was content with said label until the SWC collapsed and the Big 12 grew from the ashes.

    As others have mentioned, the current goal of the university is to achieve Tier 1 status within the next 2-4 years, while increasing enrollment from 32K to 40K by 2016. Both expansion and Tier 1 status are tied to an effort to force UT and A&M, the two flagship universities in the state, into a fund sharing agreement.

    Last I checked, Tech was $10 million away in annual research funding from achieving the benchmarked ~$45 million, and the Chancellor was confident Tech would get there.

    As a whole, the academic situation at Tech has been unfairly painted as a step child. The fact is Tech’s law school boasts a higher pass rate on the bar exam than both UT and Harvard. The medical school is growing in both size and geographic coverage. A new research facility was just built on campus, and the school is pouring bundles of cash into it’s various programs.

    Now to the politics. The current chancellor Kent Hance was a member of the Texas Senate before he was elected as a representative to the US House in 1978. This guy has political fingers in every part of our state…which is exactly what Tech needs in this kind of situation.

    On top of this, there are few key members in the state government that are Tech grads…though I doubt they are the ones causing all the headaches.

    No, the real problem is not any one’s the current academic/political structure in Texas. For a long time, UT and A&M horded most of the state funding, which oddly enough they thought would help build there own reputations as institutions of higher learning. In the end, all it’s done is prevent the other state schools from growing, which has in turn affected public perception of the flagships. Recently, the state has begun to open up to supporting more tier 1 universities, with the goal of achieving something similar to what California has. The schools most able to grow into this mold are Tech and the University of Houston.

    My guess is that this is a case of national pressure running into local politics. UT is the main thrust behind getting Tech to Tier 1. I think A&M couldn’t care less. Most Tech fans know that we need UT in order to move forward, otherwise we get lost in the shuffle and our chances at Tier one diminish.

    Sorry for the extended remarks. I randomly came across this site, and am glad I did. Great input from everyone.

    • djinndjinn says:

      Thanks for your informative input.

    • Bullet says:

      Texas wants Tech to get to Tier I (as long as it isn’t by taking $ from UT). Part of it is synergy, just as the CIC creates synergy. Part is to relieve enrollment pressure. Last year UT enrolled 73% of its freshman under the top 10% rule (if you’re in top 10% of HS class you get in-it got lowered to 8% this session but will continue to be an issue). It gives them very little flexibility in who they admit. Also, they have to take lower quality students from weaker high schools. Right now, the top students all want to go to UT or A&M. For the most part now, the ones who don’t get in are going out of state or to Texas St., Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston St., the SLC schools. Its beneficial for UT and A&M (and the state) as the state grows for UH and Tech and others to get to be more desirable alternatives.

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      The fact is Tech’s law school boasts a higher pass rate on the bar exam than both UT and Harvard.

      Not to nitpick, and I’m not saying that what I’m about to say applies to Tech, but it was my impression when I was in law school that a lot of lesser law schools taught the bar exam for three years to boost passage rates. So I don’t put a lot of credence into stats like that.

    • StvInILL says:

      Yeah, thanks that was great information which us Non Texans lack. I have family in the Houston Suburbs and their kids go to UT and Houston. Other than UT and Rice I would not have considered another texas University in their case.

  52. Guido says:

    Wow…lots of stuff and great post by Frank and follow up comments! Some stuff I know to be true and other thoughts:
    Timing wise, it would be impossible to have a deadline anytime soon at a place like Colorado. The process after receiving an invite to actually accept is long, tedious, and ultimately requires a vote by the board of Regents. They don’t meet very often and won’t vote on anything like this without exhaustive commenting from student and faculty groups. I imagine some other state schools would have equally long and public processes before they could answer the question.

    Texas would always prefer the Pac-10 to the Big 10 as long as the money was relatively in the ballpark. They already do wonderfully for themselves without a big TV deal, and they understand as the Big 10 and everyone else understands….you need to be playing games regularly in 1 of Texas, Cal, Florida. Pac-10 adds Cal. Big 10 does not add a desirable geographic region. It’s the whole reason the Big 10 wants to expand, but at the same time the argument against other schools joining.

    I’d say this rumor is similar to most in that it was probably a legit conversation among people involved in these sorts of things, but it’s a non-starter in my mind. The OK schools are much more likely interested in the SEC, Stanford would never admit the entire Big 12 South (less Baylor), and the Arizona schools would have zero interest in joining a division with these teams as a whole. Sure a potential TV deal might mean some more money, but again, unless it’s crazy Monopoly money, it won’t be enough.

    • ezdozen says:

      Why would the AZ schools have zero interest?

      Who is the biggest draw for Arizona Cardinals games? The Cowboys. AZ has more in common with Texas than it does So Cal or NW schools.

      Meanwhile… while the football competition could be tough… is it any tougher than currently having to beat USC? Is Oklahoma/A&M that much better than whichever current Pac 10 schools are hot in a given year?

      • StvInILL says:

        Think of any of the Pac 10 schools as extentions of the state of California. log on right now and look at the rosters of a pac 10 school. You will see alot of califonians. In fact a lot of people who cant get in to thier choice ivy or california school go to AZ. So do some from the Midwest as they have relatives in AZ, Cali, NY and FL.

  53. Guido says:

    Thinking back to Colorado, who I’m sure is simply hoping to be invited somewhere, I see a really huge opportunity for them to do something pretty remarkable. I don’t see them having this type of visionary leadership, but if the Big 12 is indeed crumbling, rather than be a likely bottom feeder in a P16 type conference, they could be the big fish in an automatic qualifier conference named the MWC. If the Big 12 goes away, I could see the MWC taking their automatic qualifier status based on their make-up of schools AND a really nice and quick way to take extreme political pressure off the BCS by a certain Sen. from Utah. Say Colorado, Boise St and 1 other Big 12 North team join the MWC. The league HQ, football championship game and basketball tournament could all be centered on Colorado, which would have 3 teams in the conference, a large city (Denver), and NFL facility for football and an NBA facility for basketball. Colorado would be in position to lead that conference into the future instead of being a very small fish in a very large ocean in a potential P16….but it’s not going to happen. Maybe the Kansas schools should look into this!

    • Redhawk says:

      While I don’t think will happen, it’s something I’ve thought of as well. The Athletic budgets in the MWC are closer to CU’s athletic budget than the Big 12 or the Pac-10.

      Numbers wise, the MWC would be a better match for CU.

      • Stopping By says:

        Plus – and I know there are a couple of CO posters that lurk to correct me if wrong – but I believe CO’s main incentive for a Pac move was to have greater access to CA. If they move with 5 others, they are undoubtable going to be in the opposite sie of the conference as CA.

        That being said – I think you take the BCS conference gaurantee over an alterative any day…

        but if the Big 12 explodes I can see a B12 scraps/MWC getting an auto bid conference.

        Ok – done talking out of both sides of my mouth – LOL.

    • SuperD says:

      Actually the athletic budget at CU puts CU right around middle of the pack of the existing PAC 10. That may skew a bit by taking the top half of the Big 12 though. You are correct in that one of the hopes for CU was to get out of a conference that is so focused on a facilities arms race, rather than transfer that race to a new conference. Though the increased conference payout should help catch up on some of the facilities (could use dedicated indoor facility instead of just the bubble). Being in the PAC is more beneficial overall for academic reputation AND funding. I recently read an article on how the MWC has the highest athletic subsidy costs per student of any conference (due to the poor tv deal), whereas the Big 12 had the second or third lowest.

      However the whole CU has no money thing or is totally broke thing is completely overblown. Not firing Hawkins had a lot to do with State house politics for overall ACADEMIC funding. The AD has been operating at or near the black for the last several years, its just that the budget hasn’t ballooned to the levels of the top of the Big 12. You don’t hear as much about A&M but I think their AD actually has far more debt if what I’ve seen is true.

  54. Cliff's Notes says:

    Just taking a step back and looking at this (rumored) expansion from 10,000 feet…

    This seems an awful lot like how the Big XII originally formed, as a handful of schools from a dying conference had a shotgun marriage with a nearby conference. If you look at all of the current relationship problems with the Big XII today, wouldn’t we see a bunch of similar issues repeat themselves in the Pac-16?

    • Can't Get Enough says:

      Based on history alone, I don’t buy the story either. It is a bit like the Big 8/SWC scenario on steroids.

    • Stopping By says:

      @ Cliff. As a Pac fan – I am truly afraid of that. I also noted a fear (in the Dirty South thread) of the Pac handing over the keys to TX. I realize that the Pac is in a tough spot as far as NEEDING Tx/aTm much more than the B10/SEC but I dont like the idea of giving them a blank check so to speak (which could be a scenario w/ TT/OK/OkSt involved).

      I can’t imagine Scott and the CA schools (and WA to a lesser degree) would allow a new comer to be in a position to be the hammer for conference decsiion making (with 5 new members loyal to them to an extent).

      I commented here a ways back that I thought the Pac would get TX/aTm because they can bend to TX concessions and that I could see a scenario with the B12 S – Baylor + CO joining the Pac but now I’m not so sure I like it.

      I don’t think that I am reading too much into Neb and Mizz complaints about TX (and this is probably where Hopkins tells me they are full of it anyway) but jumping to a conference that is looking to better the finincial standing of the group as a whole with ownership in a conference network, and still (allegedly) demanding to create its own exclusive network on the side tends to rub me the wrong way….

      • ChicagoRed says:

        Cliff’s Notes/Can’t Get Enough/Stopping By:

        Your comments about the awkward marriage of two dying conferences and the negative effects of so many new Texas schools is exactly what some posters have been criticizing Nebraska for.

        In some ways this new rumor is the argument against ANY megaconference scenario. Just too big, too hard to integrate everyone, too many culture clashes.

        I still think any expansion by BT or other conferences will be 2-3 at most.

      • Hopkins Horn says:

        They are full of it anyway.

      • PSUGuy says:

        I’ve always felt Nebraska’s complaints went toward more of the Texas “the state” as opposed to the Texas “the school”.

        Now as Texas “the school” is the lead of “the state” it makes sense to be the object of their ire, but in the end its the fact that one geographical portion of the conference is able to push its own agenda to the complete disregard of the rest of the conference (yes I know the voting records of the other schools, but that only proved my point that Nebraska felt like the only member who took anything but pro-Texas (state) stances).

        • eapg says:

          Just the opposite for me. I’ve been to Texas (the state) and I find it populated by wonderful people. Salt of the earth. Texas (the school) seems to have some sort of power trip encoded into their DNA.

    • UncleFester says:

      Mirroring a comment I made above:

      I don’t see it as a shotgun marriage but a marriage of convenience: she wants citizenship and he wants a tax break so they get married.

      In this particular case they want the $$$ and everything else that goes with a megaconference (championship game, larger recruiting footprint, TV, etc) without full commitment. The proposed aliment would keep the old, historic PAC-8 together, create a newish SWC’ish conference they only have to interact with each other a game or two each season, and then play for the rights to go to the Rose Bowl.

    • m (Ag) says:

      “This seems an awful lot like how the Big XII originally formed, as a handful of schools from a dying conference had a shotgun marriage with a nearby conference. If you look at all of the current relationship problems with the Big XII today, wouldn’t we see a bunch of similar issues repeat themselves in the Pac-16?”

      What issues? The only issues that really hurt the Big 12 is money. Everything else is just normal fans from the same conference sniping at each other. Read a Maryland blog and see how much they snipe at North Carolina ‘running the conference’. Read a Pac 10 blog and see how much they attack Stanford or USC.

      The Big 12 has been excellent for schools like Iowa State, Missouri, and Kansas, who have all used Big 12 revenues to stay competitive. Iowa State beat Nebraska in football one year! Missouri and Kansas have been to major bowl games!

      Nebraska fans lament that schools they have historically viewed as vastly inferior can beat them when they have a down period. This unhappiness with their lot is transferred to the University of Texas as the symbol of the new conference; the fact that UT just beat them when they seemed primed to return to a title game just adds to the connection. Still, if the money wasn’t so much bigger in the Big 10, they would be unlikely to leave their rivalries behind.

      If the 4 Texas schools left the Big 12 tomorrow, the old Big 8 schools would actually be less likely to stick together, because it wouldn’t be profitable in comparison with the big leagues. Money would split them apart. Academics certainly wouldn’t keep them together.

      • Cliff's Notes says:

        Money is the flashpoint that has revealed the cracks in all of the relationships. But the issues in the Big XII seem quite a bit deeper than in other conferences.

        I don’t hear anyone in the Big Ten or SEC complaining about the league being centered in Chicago/Atlanta. I don’t hear anyone complaining about unequal revenue distribution. I don’t hear conspiracy theories that the refs are throwing games to get a favored school to the BCS or to a #1 Tournament seed. I don’t hear dirty laundry aired about partial qualifiers. I don’t hear about schools talking openly about upgrading their academics by moving to a different conference. I don’t hear ANY discussion about breaking up one of the greatest rivalry games, such as Oklahoma-Nebraska.

        So, in the new proposed Pac-16, you are again spreading things out way too much. Schools in three different time zones with a big ass mountain range in the middle. Arizona schools losing their rivals for the last thirty years (how many recruits do they get from California?). Adding more schools to the bottom tier academically. Will there be friction over the location of conference HQ, and the location of the CCG and Basketball tournament? And, again, we haven’t even gotten into the Stanford elites and Berkeley liberals and Blue States meshing with the A&M military foundation and Great Plains farmland Red States and the semi-autonomous State of Texas.

        So yeah, I see a lot more red flags both in the Big XII and in the proposed Pac-16 than we see in The Big Ten, or the existing Pac-10, or the SEC.

        When the next flashpoint comes in 10 or 20 or 30 years, is it the SEC, the Big Ten, or the Pac-16 that’s more likely to be split up, because of some general unhappiness and issues that never were addressed or resolved?

        Will USC or Stanford have a wandering eye? Will Texas or Oklahoma have a wandering eye?

        • m (Ag) says:

          “I don’t hear conspiracy theories that the refs are throwing games to get a favored school to the BCS or to a #1 Tournament seed”

          Wasn’t it just last year there were a few SEC games where fans and media alike complained celebration penalties gave at least the appearance of favoritism?

          SEC fans aren’t looking to move, so they’re certainly not coming on to this blog to complain about their fellow schools. Pac 10 schools don’t really have anywhere to move, so they’re not coming onto this blog to complain about their fellow schools.

          Big 12 schools who are looking to move up are coming onto this blog to say “Oh my gosh, you guys are the best. I’m even better than I appear because the guys I’m with now are totally holding me back!” If the Big 12 was making another $10 million a year per school, they would still have these complaints, but they wouldn’t make this forum.

          The fact is, they’re all competing to take a limited number of spots. So, not only is it in their best interests to make themselves look good, it’s in their best interests to make the other options look bad. The worse you can make your conference mates look, the less chance they can squeeze you out of a spot!

          Schools always complain about their conference mates, but it’s generally left in local radio or message boards. You’ll see them in ‘comments’ sections on national articles, but if you’re like me you rarely bother to read those.

          The Big 10 and Pac 10 are both better academically and financially than the Big 12 (the Big 12 and Pac 10 might be close now financially, but the right schools moving over shift the equation). The SEC is better financially than the Big 12. There is no reason for the top half of the Big 12 to want to stay in it except for tradition or politics. Everyone senses that that won’t hold the conference together, so they’re looking for a safe way out. In the process, all the little complaints come out to try and downgrade the opposition.

          • Cliff's Notes says:

            “There is no reason for the top half of the Big 12 to want to stay in it except for tradition or politics.”

            And the “tradition” you speak of is kinda sketchy, since it’s more of a geographic association than truly respecting tradition. See: Nebraska v Oklahoma.

            Which basically proves my point. The Big XII was thrown together, and now they are bailing for $$$.

            And the Pac-10, because of their geographic isolation and their financial positioning, is somewhat backed into a corner with limited options regarding its Super-Conference possibilities. I can’t fault them for doing everything they can do get Texas, but that does include a little bit of the selling of its soul. And it leaves a lot of questions regarding how the new schools will mesh with the current schools.

            Much less so than the discussed options of the Big Ten, SEC, and ACC. If these conferences expand (assuming the ACC doesn’t lose anybody major), the schools that they bring in may have a few outliers. But there won’t be a question about the athletic identity of the conference, or the HQ city, or a battle over the CCG, or the academic mission.

  55. Can't Get Enough says:

    Here are a couple questions I can’t answer in a simple way…

    1. Why are ND and UT in talks about always playing one another as incentive to join the B10? ND is independent, and UT could schedule ND regularly non-conference if they wanted, so why is this even an issue?

    2. Why would Stanford take Tech/OkSt as the bitter pill to swallow to get UT when they voted against UT years ago?

  56. TheBaron says:

    Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, but not Utah? You have got to be %&@#ing kidding me. Wow. Utah is really getting bent over and screwed in this scenario. If this happens, I hope Utah’s senators genuinely do bring the Sherman Act down on college football’s heads.

    Getting left out for a couple of $#!+ schools in $#!+ cities that offer much less in academics, athletics and market just because they’re already part of the club would be the strongest evidence yet that the BCS is a front for an illegal cartel. These are STATE and FEDERALLY funded PUBLIC institutions, remember; not businesses.

    Utah already has a better athletic department, better academics and a larger market than a surprisingly large number of current AQ BCS programs, and they’ve had to do it without any AQ money or respect. With AQ conference money, Utah would be doing significantly better than they already are. Utah is taking pennies and turning it into gold; who knows what they’d do with some AQ money.

    I don’t buy this rumor exactly as is. We’ll see how it plays out. Utah sure is playing the part of Rodney Dangerfield in all of this noise, though. No respect, indeed.

  57. Jeepers says:

    Pasta fagioli.

  58. Phil says:

    I don’t think the Big Ten can let this drag out. Let’s say they are telling the Rutgers, Syracuse, etc. that it will be another 12 months until anything is decided.

    What’s to stop the ACC from thinking , “instead of scraping up the Big East leftovers after we are raided by the SEC, why don’t we get the Big East teams we really want now”. They then invite RU, SYR, Uconn and Pitt.

    As an RU fan I think they and the others would accept an ACC invitation now. RU has been where it looks like Kansas may be heading and wouldn’t want to risk that waiting for the Big Ten.

    • Phil says:

      Just to preemptively answer those that would say to the above, “who cares, I didn’t like the expand to NYC strategy anyway”-

      A larger ACC that stretched from BC to Florida and included NYC is an attractive home for Notre Dame, making it less likely they would join the Big Ten. Then, if Texas turns down the Big Ten, they no longer have ANY of the three movers that would have drastically increased the BTN revenue.

      • ezdozen says:

        Except that the ACC may not want Rutgers in that scenario.

        Pitt, Syracuse, and WVU would be better fits. All have great basketball programs and historical rivalries with Va Tech, Miami, and BC.

        And then it comes down to UConn v Rutgers. I think the ACC would take UConn.

        I do think Rutgers would end up in the Big 10… but in a “be careful what you wish for” scenario where they get all the money they could want… and would then revert to being a sub-mediocre football team.

    • zeek says:

      I don’t think the Big Ten is going to let anything drag out.

      I think this Pac-10 explosion is going to give the Big Ten presidents (as seen by Gee’s insistence that Delany move more rapidly to lock down options) what they need to move this process along and reach a conclusion faster.

      After yesterday I’m somewhat of the opinion that we could see the Big Ten make a move in the next few months, perhaps before the football season, since I don’t think the presidents want to wait till next Feb.-March if it looks like the Big 12 will implode well before then.

    • duffman says:


      The problem with your thinking is that the SEC does nothing. Lost in this discussion is that the SEC sits on its hands then goes for a team like WVA or UL. If you can not see that football drives this bus, you need a wake up call. Like it or not the SEC is in the catbird seat right now and people on here keep saying they have no chance for this or that. I am not one of them because from an outside observer they have the product right now.

      I am not saying this will be the case 10 or 20 years from now, but we are here now and not in the future. Go six deep in the SEC and you are looking at strong football teams. Go six deep in the ACC and you are not seeing similar product quality to ensure ratings. For the CHEAP SEATS ==> RATINGS = REVENUE!! I have been saying from the beginning that once ANY conference passes 12 teams it is about $$ [I personally would like to see the academic argument take first place, but I do not run a university or a media company].

      Right now the 2 strongest conferences are the Big 10 and the SEC period! A merger of the Pac 10 / Big 12 would fill out the BIG 3. Anyone left will be prey not predator! The Big 10 has football names as does the SEC, where are the equivalents in the ACC????

      The top 2 (Miami & FSU) had their glory in the 80′s and 90′s after that you are looking at Ga Tech (1990), Clemson (1981) and Maryland (1953). Not exactly historic ratings blockbusters the way say tOSU, Michigan, PSU, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, USC, ND etc.. have been over the past 50 – 100 years! I think people that feel the ACC will leapfrog the SEC, or that the SEC will stand by as the Pac 16 and Big 16 happen are in some dreamland.

      In the end revenue is driving expansion not academics!

      The more I look at this the more I pooh pooh Texas and ND for the Big 10 as being more headache than they are worth..

      I also am liking the east coast less as too fractured for real economic gain that preserves the academic reputation of the Big 10.

      The more I look at this I think the Big 10 could get Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas (mid western core values) and Maryland & Virginia out of the ACC and call it a day. [yes as an IU and MSU basketball fan adding Kansas, Maryland, and UVA makes me happy]. All are AAU schools, all expand footprints without egos and unequal demands, and all are still in a decent travel footprint.

      Not to be an academic snob, but such a action would stand out as making the Big 10 the academic standard (no other conference could claim every conference member as an AAU member). I say let the other conferences lower their standards academically, and let the chips fall where they may.

  59. HerbieHusker says:


  60. Paul says:

    Is it possible that Texas likes a lot about what the Big Ten has to offer, but doesn’t want to be geographically isolated. Maybe Texas sources leaked the idea of a wholesale move of Big XII teams to the Pac-16 as a way to get the Big Ten acclimated to the idea that it will have to take a chunk of southwestern schools to get Texas.

    Instead of the Big XII South to the Pac-16, what about Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Nebraska, and Notre Dame to the Big Ten? In other words, maybe this is an attempt by Texas to grease the skids for getting Tech into the Big Ten.

    • glenn says:

      paul, i think there might be something to that. we’ve been getting inklings for a while that texas politicos are mixing up the chemicals to make a silk purse out of tech. if the big ten were willing to bring them in, i doubt we go to the pac-10.

    • zeek says:

      Gee’s email seems to imply that the “Tech problem” will be a big issue, so you may have a point.

      • Hopkins Horn says:

        Dwelling on this overnight, I think that’s the biggest thing we learned as an actual fact yesterday.

      • Manifesto (OhioSt.) says:

        Agreed. Tech could be the issue clogging the gears here. Thing is, I don’t think TTech would get approved to the Big Ten, nor do I think they’d want to add four teams (Texas/Tech/TA&M/Nebraska) from one conference.

        I think Texas would have to hope Oklahoma and Tech could get picked up by the SEC, but they’d likely have to be willing to move beforehand, which may not be plausible.

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          Manifesto – The SEC would have no interest in Texas Tech without UTx being involved.

      • StvInILL says:

        It might be that the BT have already accept to allow T A&M but Tech is another story. Indeed even A&M is too much texas for me. To add Tech would be a problem. They would be tajkeing a spot forom the covetted ND or Mizzou.

    • Scott C says:

      Even after this leak, I think Tech is non-starter with the Big Ten.

      • zeek says:

        We still don’t know how much of a Tech problem the Pac-10 schools have.

        While some of the Pac-10 ADs may be enthusiastic about this, we have no idea what the chancellors or presidents think.

        This seems to be one of the expansion scenarios that the Pac-10 commissioner’s office has floated only it got traction because of the leak.

        So we have no idea what certain Pac-10 schools, i.e. Stanford, think of this.

        I can’t think Stanford would be amused being blindsided by a push to admit OU/OSU/Tech. Stomaching ASU for AU was one thing; this is quite another, no matter how you stage it as a return to the old Pac-8…

  61. M says:

    I think my favorite part of this rumor is the Oklahoma bloggers and fans, who went directy from “Texas/Missouri/Nebraska should be shot for considering expansion” to “expansion is awesome, great idea”

  62. Xenon says:

    I think “6 from the BigXII to the PAC16″ is reasonable, but I think that this report has the wrong 6.

    Scott from the PAC10 said that the PAC would expand based on the Noah’s Arc Principle – Two-by-Two. I think the “paired in-state rivals” concept is really really important to the PAC. AND, the concept of “travel partners” is probably even more important in a HUGE geographical league like this would be.

    So, let’s look at the partners …
    Texas and TexasA&M – CHECK! In state rivals, paired, make sense together, have a history. Ok, you’re on the Arc!
    Oklahoma and OkState – Check! In-state rivals, paired travel, makes sense together, have a history. OK, you’re on the Arc!

    and then ….
    Texas Tech and Colorado – um no! Not in-state rivals, no history, no common travel really. Sorry, not on the Arc like the Unicorns and the Dragons!

    So …. who maybe does make sense …
    TexasTech and Baylor – AHHH, puts Texas and California on a common footing with 4 teams each.
    TexasTech and TCU – that works as well
    TexasTech and UTEP – stretch, but might work – east and west split of Texas looks good on a map like south and central split of California!

    Colorado and Colorado State – well, in-state rivals at least, and paired travel (both use Denver airport)

    Kansas and Kansas State – in-state rivals, really adds to PAC10 basketball

    BYU and Utah – probably looks slightly better than the CU/CSU pair, but I still kind of doubt Liberal Cal can stomach conservative BYU.


    I think the “pairs” are important. IF the PAC can get Texas and Oklahoma, they are set for the Financial aspect of the expansion. The last teams will be added for “geographic or political” reason, and the finances would be as critical. Getting the PAIRS right is going to be important. I think getting FOUR teams in Texas is going to really important to UofTexas to be on “equal footing” with California – so I’d lean toward TexasTech and TCU or TexasTech and Baylor being the final pair … but NO WAY the final pair are Colorado and TexasTech.

    • finsraider07 says:

      I understand the two by two culture in the PAC 10, but that’s just not how the Big12 South works…..and maybe that’s why this fails.

    • Mike R says:

      I agree that the concept of matched pairs means a lot to the Pac 10. I also agree that CU + Tech is a strained match. While in-state pairs are probably better, there are viable alternatives.

      Assuming that if Tech is a must in order to get UT, there are a couple of routes that get you there without straining the Pac 10′s model (I also assume that sectarian universites are not going to get into the Pac 10, so no BYU, TCU or Baylor):

      1) Tech could be paired with Oklahoma (the distance is not that great), with Colorado + CSU or Utah and Texas + aTm as the other pairs. OSU and Boone’s billions are left out.

      2) Tech is paired with aTm while Texas is paired with Rice (the third tier-one institution in Texas, also, adding Rice would be catnip for persnickety Stanford). Colorado + CSU or Utah is the other matched pair. OU and OSU are left adrift in this model.

      There are ways to make this happen and preserve the matched pairs order of the Pac 10.

      • Vincent says:

        What’s so bad about Colorado being paired with Texas Tech? Lubbock may not be much further from Boulder than it is to College Station or Austin.

        If Colorado is so deadset against being paired with Texas Tech, perhaps the Pac-10 shouldn’t invite it in the first place.

        • Playoffs Now! says:

          What’s so bad about Colorado being paired with Texas Tech?

          Nothing, really.

          But it is human nature to try and rationalize things that don’t fit the worldview we’ve constructed.

          ASU, AZ, CO, and TT make a natural Interior Quad.

        • Mike R says:

          I think Pac 10 sources have been pretty clear that the two schools they are most interested in are Colorado and Texas. The strain is not between CU and Tech as institutions so much as they are a bad pair, not even from adjoining states. That would be, for the Pac 10 schools, a meaningful and unwanted departure from the conference they have always wanted to build. So I think you would be hard-pressed to get unanimous acceptance for a CU-Tech pair. Again, not CU’s “problem,” a Pac-10 culture “problem.”

          • darglac says:

            Agreed that CO and Tech are a bad pair, but I don’t think the Pac 10 is hung up on creating “matched pairs” beyond logistics (easier to schedule, less travel, etc.).

    • StvInILL says:

      HMMM? Do you not see a problem with all this Texas ??? Oregon, Washington and Arizona would be diminished greatly from the influence of 3 or more Texas school. The State of California has 4 schools but that’s fine. It’s always been a California based league. Speaking of California? Who says they want equal footing with Texas in their own league?

  63. Dr Drunkenstein says:

    “Utah already has a better athletic department, better academics and a larger market than a surprisingly large number of current AQ BCS programs, and they’ve had to do it without any AQ money or respect. ”

    You can’t compare Utah to Texas Tech like this because, from the sound of things, the politicians in Texas have told the burnt orange that Tech has to go along with them and A&M. Therefore, you have Utah up against the wants and whims of the University of Texas. Utah can’t run in the tall grass with the big dogs.

  64. Nostradamus says:

    “Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne has called a mid-morning meeting Friday in Lincoln with Husker staff/coaches — I’m not sure if it’s just football staff, or all staff — to apprise them of “latest developments” on the conference realignment front.”

    • Scott C says:

      The Pac-10 might’ve scarred the Big Ten into escalating their expansion. This might be the prequel to an announcement Sunday or Monday.

  65. jcfreder says:


  66. Hopkins Horn says:

    There does seem to be a certain tone from some of the Big 10-centric commenters here along the lines of:

    Texas to a 16-team Big 10 would be great and perfect and the sun would shine and birds would sings, but Texas to a 16-team Pac 10 means certain Big XII-style doom for a conference foolish enough to give Texas a blank check and the keys to the car along with a fifth of JD.

    • Albino Tornado says:

      I think there’s a difference between adding Texas as an outlier vs adding 6 teams from one conference. Perhaps the Big 10 doom and gloomers have simply paid attention to how well adding a voting block has worked out for Big 8 schools.

      • Hopkins Horn says:

        You mean that 11-vote voting block added to the one-vote Nebraska block?

        • Patrick says:

          Wow, kinda touchy today. NU and TEXAS vote together on almost every item in the Big 12 because they are the 2 biggest benefactors.

          I have seen that the BTN people would love to have Texas and A&M but don’t want Tech and don’t want Texas to have a LSN and want Texas to get the same deal that PSU, OSU, UW, NW have.

          Texas to the PAC 10 with a large group of Big 12 schools could work out great, but the Big Ten posters are expressing concern for one school in a conference to get special treatment (LSN & bringing less qualified schools) just to appease them.

          No doubt Texas is big dollars and a great school, but especially in the PAC 10 where money isn’t divided equally, some posters are seeing a recreation of the rapidly collapsing Big 12.

          I would be happy for Texas to join the Big 10 or Pac 10, but I think any school joining a conference MUST do so under the same rules as the current members or you end up with trouble down the road. Same feeling that I have about Notre Dame, Nebraska, Texas Tech, etc.

        • Manifesto (OhioSt.) says:


          I think Patrick sums up my feelings pretty well. It’s not that Texas might go to the Pac10 — we’ve always known that was a possibility. It’s that, according to this rumor anyway, it feels like the Pac10 is willing to invite no less than 3 of 6 schools that they normally wouldn’t touch with a ten foot poll, and one (A&M) that we’ve all said for months now would possibly have huge culture clashes.

          I’m not against them going to the Pac10, I just think it’s a bad idea to essentially annex the Big12 South as the sole element of their expansion. I feel I’ve been pretty consistent with this feeling. I’m against 5 Big12 teams to the BigTen as well. I’m also against the theories of the BigTen somehow annexing the entire ACC core schools (UNC/Duke/UVA/UMD), even though academically it’d be a homerun. Same with a raid entirely on the BigEast. I think Delany agrees, when he says he’s not looking to destroy a single conference.

          My feelings since the start have been that if you’re looking to move to 16 then synergy is incredibly important. I just don’t easily see synergy and an “all for one, one for all” mentality in a conference that consists of “us and them” from its inception. Nor do I see viability when a conference gives up major concessions, such as sacrificing academic identity or telling teams they can permanently play less conference games or have their own network when the BigTen already has one — all ideas and rumors floated on this board at one time or another.

          • Manifesto (OhioSt.) says:

            As a further point — I would accept Tech/TA&M/Texas, but at the cost of Nebraska in this case. I personally just can’t see all four. It would feel like a bad move. But I could be wrong, who knows.

            If Tech could eventually reach an MSU level of academics I could see presidents signing off. But it would have to come with that kind of a commitment expected by both parties, as well as an intention to reach AAU status in the future. People on here have said TTech plans to reach Tier 1 status in the future — perhaps joining the BigTen would help that along. I’d have to think so.

          • glenn says:

            yes, mani, i have no doubt that it would help enormously. i’m not that opposed to tech coming. they could be ok, and, with appropriate nurturing should develop pretty nicely, i would think.

            no harvard on the high plains, but big ten ok, sure.

          • glenn says:

            sell it to the big ten as kind of a grow-your-own, you know.

          • Manifesto (OhioSt.) says:

            Agreed. The Big Ten schools weren’t always as highly thought of. OSU has made a lot of strides in the past two decades to get the respect it has today, for example. Not all the schools have been as consistently regarded as Northwestern or Michigan.

            Perhaps the BigTen could take Texas/Tech/Nebraska, which would open the door for A&M and OU to head to the SEC. I like A&M a lot, but that might be a situation everyone could be happy with in the long run.

            If compromises are to be expected from both parties, this is probably the ultimate concession for the BigTen. They’d be giving up the AAU exclusivity for a long time, a concession previously only reserved for ND. As you said, they’d be saying in effect, “We’re willing to help Tech get to where it wants to be, so long as Tech is committed to getting there itself.”

          • glenn says:

            bingo. i think all parties would need to see that tech is committed. my very strong guess is that they would seize the moment.

            the one wistful thought on my part (in addition to the delight at thinking how much you would like the ags if you had them close) is the thought that the big ten might have a very positive influence on the ags. i’d dearly love to see them join the rest of us hominids.

          • Manifesto (OhioSt.) says:

            Hah. Well, I like them as an expansion candidate anyway. The moment they beat OSU I’m sure I’ll hate them like the rest.

          • glenn says:

            mmm . . . i think you would find they have their other moments as well.

          • glenn says:

            more: i like them as an expansion candidate as well.

            like water buffaloes, i like them better at a distance.

    • prophetstruth says:

      @Hopkins Horn

      I don’t think Big Ten homers are saying Texas to a 16 team Big10 great, Texas to the Pac16 bad per se. It seems most are saying annexing 6 teams from one conference seems to be a repeat of the Big12 and before that the SWC, both dead/dying conferences.

      Most Texas to the Big10 scenarios have the Big10 taking 2 teams & at most 3 teams, from any one conference – not 6. It does, in my eyes, seem to repeat history for Texas. If the Big10 was doing the same, annexing 6 teams from 1 conference, I would think it would be a bad idea.

      • Vincent says:

        I could see the Big Ten taking in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Duke as a package if it felt it had no better collective option to accompany Nebraska or Notre Dame.

      • Stopping By says:

        Yeah – one of the reasons I am reserving judgment to say I like this idea. I think I would be more in favor of something similar to TX/aTm, CO/Utah, and some sort of KS/Mizz/OK combo. Not gonna happen but the reasoning behind it is you have 10 already that support Pac plus you add Utah and CO (with the hopes they see things more the Pac way) and only 3 schools total from the B12 South (because it seems that even though they were same conference – the B12 N and S did not have a lot of similar pov’s). This avoids (hopefully) inviting a block of 6 that can throw weight around as new comers in an established hierarchy.

    • Mike B says:

      HH, one overlooked aspect of the proposed P16 East is that for nearly 3/4 of the football season, Az and ASU will be on MST (equivalent to PDT), Colorado will be on MDT, and the BXII Five will be on CDT. How the heck to you schedule with those time zone differences, especially when the other half of the conference is on PDT?

      You think the new conference is going to want Texas playing night games in the slots where they can have the coastal teams playing during the day? No, they want central time zone teams so they can have programming earlier in the day. A four-hour noon game in Austin in September. Oh Joy. They’d have to pump the Town Lake dry to keep half the east stands from passing out.

      And how does Texas feel about just getting two games a year against the coastal schools, while having to play CU, Az, and ASU every year? Not to mention no LSN, and substantially smaller revenues than they’d get in the Big Ten.

      Seems like an awful lot to give up for your Red (Raider) Headed step-brother.

      • glenn says:

        mb, you’re not suggesting that (u of) texas has any choice in the matter, are you?

        • Mike B says:

          The Big XII is viable as long as Texas is part of it. So yeah, they have a choice.

          • glenn says:

            no. any three or four biggies leave and that place is defunct. think tv.

          • Mike B says:

            @ glenn

            If three or four non-UT “biggies” leave, then the Pac10 thing will be off the table.

            Are you saying that Texas has to do what Tech and A&M do? That would be, how shall I say it, hilarious?

          • glenn says:

            a&m might be grown up enough in the eyes of texas politicians that they would be allowed to go on their own (or buddy with someone else) but i’m getting the impression that texas is expected to mentor/suckle the red raiders the next fifteen-year conference. then uhouston, utep, . . .

      • Bullet says:

        Well according to the NU fans, Texas will simply insist that Arizona adopt daylight savings time.

  67. Damn freedom of information act.

    Interesting Columbus Dispatch article.

    A decision about expanding the Big Ten might be months away, but e-mail conversations indicate that the University of Texas is an object of the conference’s attention. And the school’s athletic director isn’t making a commitment to stay in the Big 12.

    Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee sent an e-mail to Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany on April 20 saying that he had spoken with Texas President William Powers.

    “I did speak with Bill Powers at Texas, who would welcome a call to say they have a ‘Tech’ problem,” Gee wrote in an e-mail that was among several obtained by The Dispatch through a public-records request for documents and correspondence related to Big Ten expansion proposals.

    Texas Tech is one of Texas’ rivals in the Big 12 conference. Ohio State officials declined a Dispatch request to explain the “Tech” problem.

  68. SH says:

    I put no faith in this merger of BXII S and Pac 10, but assuming it does happen, does that really force the other conferences to do anything. If ND was willing to join the B10 and become the 12th team, that would probably be it. If they don’t, does the B10 need to do anything at this point? Why go the East Coast route if that is your 2nd option? Why couldn’t the B10 simply stand pat for now, continue to make its insanely amount of money and only have 11 teams to share the pie with. Let the Pac 16 dominoes fall and revisit expansion in a few years. What if UT realizes that the merger isn’t working? What if Cal/Stanford don’t like it? Maybe the ACC destabilizes?

    I guess my question is, why will an expanded Pac 16 have an effect on the B10. If it can’t get ND in that case, then it just looks like they are being reactionary, and I don’t think the B10 wants to be perceived as being reactionary. The fact is, with the money they make, they don’t have to do anything.

    • crpodhaj says:

      Yes, it does force other conferences to do something, because this is a dollars race. The main reason all these conferences are courting Texas is money. You cannot let your conference have a big gap in money or, eventually, the facilities and aura of the other programs in the richer conference will leave you behind.

      By the way, Fox in the one who wins in all and every senario, because they control all of these TV contracts / networks. Whether it is one mega channel or several small ones they can package together, they are using college football to compete with ESPN.

      • SH says:

        Yes, but you don’t make business decisions simply to chase dollars. You make them to maximize your dollars, now and in the future. Also, we are not simply talking aggregate dollars, we are talking per-school dollars. I do not see how this expanded Pac10 could generate more per-school dollars than the B10 currently gets. Getting a few additional dollars now does not matter unless it enhances the long-term affect. The B10 is in the position to wait until the time is absolutely perfect. The P10 and BXII may not have that same luxury. Most big mergers do not work out. Just another way of saying expansion for expansion sake should not be done. And a P10 – BXII merger does not inherently affect the B10.

  69. A decision about expanding the Big Ten might be months away, but e-mail conversations indicate that the University of Texas is an object of the conference’s attention. And the school’s athletic director isn’t making a commitment to stay in the Big 12.

    Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee sent an e-mail to Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany on April 20 saying that he had spoken with Texas President William Powers.

    “I did speak with Bill Powers at Texas, who would welcome a call to say they have a ‘Tech’ problem,” Gee wrote in an e-mail that was among several obtained by The Dispatch through a public-records request for documents and correspondence related to Big Ten expansion proposals.

    Texas Tech is one of Texas’ rivals in the Big 12 conference. Ohio State officials declined a Dispatch request to explain the “Tech” problem.

  70. Lobills says:


  71. Mike says:

    I don’t think this will happen.

    Full Pac-10/Big 12 merger in play

    • SH says:

      That would certainly be a massive shift. ESPN has to be involved somehow, so why not just create absurd propositions.

      Playing along however, that really looks more like an alliance than anything. It seems to me that if an alliance ever really made sense it would be between B10 and P10 (however they may expand). They already have longstanding relationship (Rose Bowl). Plus, they could share content or ownership of a cable channel because of different time zones.

  72. Lobills says:

    Long time lurker…fascinating stuff in the last 24 hours. My take on the Pac10 story and Gee’s email concerning the “Tech” problem is as follows.

    Delany and Gee have at least 4 Presidents/Chancellors that are waffling on adding Texas Tech in concert with the other 2 Texas schools, ND and Nebraska. The pipes are more than happy to add those 4 listed, but at least 4 Prez’s can’t stomach Tech’s academics. (Remember need at least 8 yes votes from B10 Prez’s for approval)

    There is no reason for the Columbus Dispatch to sit on Gee’s emails to UT’s President. Which means IMO they were leaked by OSU to the Dispatch. The timing of the story (coming on the heels of the Orangebloods story) IMO can’t be a coincidence. I think Gee, Powers and Delaney are trying to tell the B10 holdouts that “the train is leaving the station on these B12 schools and if you don’t suck it up and accept Texas Tech you can kiss any worthwhile massive expansion goodbye.” I also, believe that Delaney has played all his cards to the B10 pipes behind closed doors and it’s going to take someone of Gordon Gee’s stature in academic circles to get the 1 or 2 votes from the B10′s holdouts.

    The bottom line is I think Delaney and the B10 have tried to avoid like hell at playing the bad guy by causing the destruction of a conference(s), but massive conference realignment is going to go down regardless. If the B10 has to be the “perceived” bad guy so be it.

    That’s my take on it. Hell I could be totally off-base, but that’s how I interpret the timing, language and lay of the land as of right now concerning the two aforementioned stories from yesterday.

    • glenn says:

      lobills, what you are saying is what i am fervently hoping.

      come one, big ten, don’t let us down.

      • glenn says:

        ‘come one’? no more coffee for glenn for a little while. yeesh.

      • Lobills says:


        I think it’s obvious that on the President’s end Gee is driving the expansion train. He’s been publicly very vocal about expansion. Gee is also one of the most respected Presidents in the country. When/if it comes to closing the sale on potentially/perceived weaker institutions admittance to the B10 he’s going to be the guy to do it.

        This is going to be the case of, as someone in the last blog post pointed out, not letting the perfect get in the way of good. And IMO the UT, A&M, ND, Neb, Tech would be the extraordinarily good for the B10.

        Like Delaney said a few months ago in essence “this is a 50 year plus decision not a 5 year one”. Well, if that’s the case I think the sales job Gee has to the other presidents is “over the course of the next several decades we can aid in bringing Texas Tech along to eventually become an acceptable academic peer.”

        This obviously is assuming my previous assumptions are correct.

        • glenn says:

          lobills, i think you are right. it’s not like bringing in tech would necessarily be bringing in a permanent underachiever. apparently the texas politicos are willing tech to heights unimaginable, and after some period of adjustment, tech should not be any lower than what the big ten has at present.

          if the big ten is skittish about bringing in a bloc (which i think is prudent), maybe tech could take nebraska’s place or a&m’s place if texas political brainiacs are willing to let the ags go sec.

        • Mike R says:

          If Gordon Gee is drivin’ that train (Mrs. Gee always brings out the Grateful Dead references), then I wouldn’t set aside the Andy Katz Vandy link just yet. And Vandy would be catnip for Northwestern, which has always been shy about expansion.

          • Playoffs Now! says:

            TX-aTm-TTech-Vandy-Rut (or MD or VA)?

            Vandy for NW (and maybe IU) and an eastern school for PSU. Some money, some demographics, some academic heft.

            BTW, if TTech is still under consideration (and that is just speculation, the ‘Tech problem’ email was 6 weeks ago) perhaps that suggests that ND is off the table. Thus the contortions to at least get TX.

      • Paul says:


        PENN ST

        OHIO ST


        TEXAS A&M
        TEXAS TECH

    • prophetstruth says:


      I agree with your points and took the same message from the article. Specifically, I found the following most telling:

      Gee’s initial e-mail to Delany on April 19 said that he is “of the mind that we control our destiny at the moment, but the window will soon close on us. Agility and swiftness of foot is our friend.”

      That e-mail was a day after Delany addressed the Association of American Universities meetings in Washington, D.C. Expansion was expected to have been on the agenda.

      In the same e-mail, Gee commended Delany on his “brilliant presentation.”

      Minutes after Gee sent the e-mail, Delany replied with a thank-you note.

      “We are fast-tracking it but need to know the $ and observe contracts,” Delany wrote. “Also need to make sure we leverage this to increase chances of hr additions. Finally double chess # of moving parts including not harming brand as we executy.”

    • Michael says:

      Probably a lot of truth to what you wrote, Lobills, and, either way, I think it gets resolved this Sunday.

      Really not sure what to think of the idea though. If you are even going to consider adding Tech, you have to insist on a road map of sorts to Tier 1 and AAU membership.

      The other issue though, from an academic standpoint, is that you are already making some academic concessions for the other four schools, before you even bring Tech into the picture. UT and aTm are great research schools, but neither is bringing in the type of research dollars as an OSU or Wisconsin. Nebraska is an AAU member and seems to have made a renewed commitment to research, but they would still fall in the lower quartile of the Big 10. And then there´s Notre Dame, who brings a big name but would be a drastic outlier in terms of research and initial contribution to the CIC.

      When you add Tech on top of that, you are really stretching this expansion thin from an academic standpoint.

      Also, here´s an idea about the ¨Tech problem¨ that no one has mentioned. It´s probably a long shot, but there is at least a small chance that we´re talking about Georgia Tech. It has been mentioned multiple times as a potential candidate, is a rival of Notre Dame and would give Texas and the rest of the Big 10 an outpost in one of the fastest growing regions of the country. The ¨problem¨ then could refer to geographic isolation or prying them away free from the ACC. Again, I agree that ¨Tech¨ most likely refers to Texas Tech, but I guess you never know.

      • glenn says:

        michael, we would never refer to ga tech as ‘tech’, unless it was in reference to an ongoing conversation. don’t know how powers’ original email was worded or whether there might have been something understood among them.

      • Pariahwulfen says:

        @ Michael

        I’d actually thought that the ‘Tech’ problem might have been GT not having AAU status, but after checking the dates GT was invited on 4/20 the same day as that email.

  73. RobertF says:

    When the Big10 started talking about moving south, is it possible they were hoping to see if the Pac10 or SEC would show their hand in order to see how things shook out. Maybe the Big10 was looking to see if the PAC10 would begin the disassembling of the BIG12 in order to free up Texas, TAMU and Nebraska. It also seems to me the SEC is sitting on the sidelines knowing it would be unlikely the PAC10 or BIG10 would academically consider taking OU or OSU. Just some thoughts but the BIG10 did make a concerted effort to talk about the south.

  74. Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

    So people are taking seriously the idea that Oklahoma, OK State & Texas Tech have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting a unanimous vote by Pac 10 Presidents?

    Frank you’ve officially jumped the shark.

    • zeek says:

      Most of us have just run with it in terms of the Pac-10 commissioner floating it as an option.

      In reality it solves all the political pickles, but Stanford is 100% likely to put its foot down on OSU and 90+% on TTech and Oklahoma…

      I just don’t see how Stanford accepts this expansion without wielding its veto.

      • glenn says:

        come on. they sell it as getting rid of the az schools. two different conferences under the same beach umbrella. doesn’t mean they have to kiss.

        • Stopping By says:

          I know a Cal fan got you on that line of thinking but Stanford is too smart to get involved in a collective conference of us vs them starting from day 1. That is conference suicide mentality, whether it be now or in 15 years. I gotta belive Stanford is much more forward thinking than that.

          • glenn says:

            sorry. just spotted this.

            i fervently hope you are right if this thing goes through. think about it, though. oklahoma. texas tech. oklahoma state. un, huh. that’s enough there. if stanford goes along with these guys, i can assure you that stanford will have nothing whatever to do with the new division.

            and, yes, i agree that that is formula for heartache, but i think that is where we are headed.

            the cali schools don’t care as long as they clear the two hurdles that are looking them right in the eye. tv money and better recruiting. nothing else much matters.

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Stanford is an Ivy League school on the west coast, but its the only Ivy League school on the west coast. They have a great athletic department. But to be great, they have to teams to play. Right now, the Pac 10 is a mix of Ivy (Stanford), great (Cal, UCLA, UW & USC), good (Oregon & Arizona, Ariz St & Wash St), and average schools (Oregon St) and they aren’t making much money.

        Assuming everybody in charge at Stanford is smart, since its such a great school, they’d be idiots to stand in the way of the Pac 10/Big XII – Baylor + CU merger. They take in three great schools (CU, UTx, A&M), one good school (Oklahoma), two average schools (T Tech & Okla St) and have the ability to potentially double their TV revenue.

      • Vincent says:

        If Stanford vetoes, the other conference schools simply vote to dissolve and start a new league. It’s happened before on the West Coast; remember the AAWU, the Pac-10′s predecessor?

        • Cliff's Notes says:

          The one problem with dissolving the conference is that I believe both the Pac-10 and Big Ten actually own part of the Rose Bowl.

          Not sure what happens to that ownership if the Pac-10 is dissolved, but do you really want to kick Stanford out, while they retain a share of the Rose Bowl?

          • Michael says:

            If Texas politicians would sign off on something like this, I could buy into it. There´d be plenty of friction with a conditional member, but success would be in everyone´s best interest.

  75. Lobills says:

    New Greenstein diddy…

    Makes mention that no vote is scheduled to take place Sunday in the Park Ridge President’s meeting. I’m willing to bet Gee deals with the “Tech” problem though. There’s going to be some serious horse trading/pressure put on the B10 holdouts at that meeting. If you’re one of the 7 schools that is poised to in effect hold your nose at a certain school’s academic bona fides for the greater good of the conference and 4 others are resistant…..well, I’d love to be a fly on the wall for that show.

    Again my whole take is predicated on the fact that yesterday’s actions were a coordinated effort from Powers, Gee and Delaney.

    • Mike B says:

      So your theory is that Delaney, Gee, and Powers leaked the P10 story to force the B10 presidents to take Texas Tech?

      a) Not buying it.
      b) Wouldn’t work anyway.

      • Lobills says:

        Mike B–

        Fair enough. And I’d agree with you, but how do you account for the swiftness of the Columbus Dispatch story regarding Gee’s emails to Powers? That story came out almost immediately after the Orangebloods piece. If only one of those stories comes out I wouldn’t have reached this conclusion. Taken in concert they provide a deeper meaning in my eyes.

        My contention is that Gee and the other 5 or 6 presidents that are in favor of the UT, A&M, Neb, ND, Texas Tech expansion are merely trying to persuade 1 or at most 2 fencesitters.

        I concede I could be totally off-base, but the timing and content of the 2 stories from yesterday led me to this thesis. And what better ammunition would Gee want to approach the aforementioned fencesitters than “if we don’t jump on this that ship will sail to the Pac10″.

        Time will tell.

        • Mike B says:

          Well, let me put it this way…I’m more sure of b) (it won’t work) than I am of a) it isn’t true.

          Delaney is a smart guy, but I don’t think he believes that Jedi Mind Tricks work on University Presidents.

          • ezdozen says:

            Unless the issue is… let’s step into the pool one foot at a time rather than jump in.

            It might not be that the Presidents are against a move. It might be that some Presidents have cold feet about doing it and want to wait.

            If so, the need to do it NOW becomes relevant.

          • Cliff's Notes says:

            I’m not a fan of adding Tech. I’d rather that UT is the only Texas school added.

            But, if you made their full membership of Tech conditional, I could be convinced. They need to get a certain number of research dollars and achieve a certain ranking academically. Until that time, they only get a half share from the conference. That’s plenty of motivation. And if they don’t reach their target in 5 year, they are out.

          • glenn says:

            cliff, i think that sounds reasonable.

            also, if after five years they don’t pass muster, the texas politicians have no call to gripe. tech had its chance.

            and if they pan out. good for all around. especially the state of texas. win win for texas.

          • Michael says:

            That last post on a conditional membership for Tech was supposed to attached to Cliff´s comment here, not at the other place.

            Anyway, one last thought:

            If there really is a Tech problem – and this is really that big of an issue to the Texas legislature – then the state has to meet the Big 10 halfway. You want Tech in the Big 10? Fine, this is what you have to do.

            Big 10 and CIC membership can do great things for Tech and the state of Texas, but if Texas politicians are interested there has to be a commitment to HUGE levels of initial investment.

          • glenn says:

            agree, michael. this could go really well and everybody end up smelling like a . . . well . . . rose bowl.

          • Cliff's Notes says:

            Another thought that I just had.

            What if The Big Ten says, absolutely not to Texas Tech in The Big Ten. But, The Big Ten pledges substantial support to Texas Tech in other ways.

            The CIC commits to sponsoring Texas Tech to get into the AAU. With (presumably) 14-16 schools supporting Tech’s entrance, that would be a huge bargaining chip.

            Secondly, The Big Ten might commit to play some football and basketball and other games at Texas Tech.

            Assume that UT and A&M join The Big Ten and play in a Western Division/Pod with Nebraska, and the Big Ten schools west of the IL-IN border. The schools that don’t visit Texas every year (schools in MI, IN, OH, PA) would commit to a staggered home-and home with Texas Tech for the next decade. Michigan and Indiana commit to a home-and-home in 2014-15 with Texas Tech. Ohio State in 2016-17. Michigan State in 2018-19. Penn State in 2020-21. Purdue somewhere in the middle.

            Additionally, some powerhouse basketball teams can plan a road trip. MSU, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Illinois all plan road games or home-and-homes over the next five years. Indiana can play at Texas Tech on Bobby Knight Day.

            So even if Texas Tech doesn’t find it’s way to a Super Conference, and is stuck in a Big XII/MWC mash-up, they have some pretty solid academic support to improve, and also athletic support to sell tickets and increase their fanbase. In 10-15 years, this may be enough for someone – maybe even the Big Ten – to take a second look at adding Texas Tech as a legitimate school that can stand on its own two feet, not as UT’s “legacy” add to the fraternity.

  76. LonghornLawyer says:

    RE: The Longhorn Sports Network and Texas A&M

    Texas doesn’t have to go anywhere with Texas A&M, though I’ve always thought that is preferable. But regardless, I have always assumed that Texas was working in concert with A&M to figure out their new home. What I didn’t count on is that we have a “Tech problem.”

    There are only two ways that Tech problem gets resolved 1) take Tech with us whereever we go, or 2) Texas and A&M split up into different conferences that are unwilling to take Tech, and thereby split the blame.

    I think we might be going with Option #2.

    The LSN has never made much sense to me. We tried it locally in Austin and it didn’t really work. Admittedly, it was done half-assedly. But even so, if it can’t work in Austin, it can’t work anywhere. What would the LSN show during the summer? Admittedly, there is a segment of the public that would have at least one television in the house tuned to a station that showed the 2006 Rose Bowl on a continuous loop. I’m probably one of those people. But even still . . . .

    So I wonder if we’re not using the LSN as a crowbar to get A&M off our leg. Apparently, the LSN is such a hot button issue for A&M that they would go to the SEC without us if the other option were a conference with the LSN. Perhaps that is exactly what Texas wants–A&M prematurely bolting for the SEC (and taking the heat for leaving Tech behind), which would leave Texas free to join the Big Ten along with Nebraska and ND as per the Northwestern Scenario.

    • Bullet says:

      I posted an article quoting SEC commissioner Slive above saying local broadcasting is valuable. But I’m with you, it puzzles me.

      Here’s the link again:

    • Mike B says:

      Strictly from a programming inventory perspective, I’ve never understood how LSN could possibly work, even if UT was an independent.

      And at least with conference networks you get to split the start-up costs.

      The thing about the LSN, if it is a bluff/crowbar, is that the Big Ten (who’ve been operating their own network) and the Pac 10 (who’ve been negotiating with Fox) know it’s not viable.

      • LonghornLawyer says:

        The Big Ten and the Pac 10 certainly know that, but A&M doesn’t. And that’s what makes me think it’s being used as a tool against A&M (to resolve the “Tech problem”) rather than a bargaining tool with another conference.

        Beyond that, A&M doesn’t view it strictly in economic terms. A&M has always been in Texas’ shadow–a fact of which it is acutely aware. The LSN would only extend and darken that shadow. So even if it weren’t an economic positive for Texas, it would still be a psychological and emotional negative for A&M.

        • SH says:

          Not being in the same conference as UT would also help. A&M in the SEC would give A&M some potential bragging rights. They could at least claim they were in the best football conference. A&M and OK in SEC makes the most sense to me. Of course how you align the divisions gets dicey.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            SH – SEC divisional allignment is not a problem. If A&M and OU joined the SEC, Florida State and Miami/Clemson/GA Tech wouldn’t be far behind, so you’d have two new teams in the east and two new teams in the west.

        • Mike B says:

          This is what confuses me about the whole “Tech Problem” thing. I lived in Austin for a couple of years, and got to know a number of UT grads, Aggies, and Tech grads. My impression was that although the A&M grads were slightly resentful of the UT penumbra, they kind of did their own thing (Whoop!) and had a tremendous sense of pride in their own University.

          Tech grads, OTOH, had a huge inferiority complex, and loathed UT and the arrogance of UT grads/fans. I know Tech has some powerful boosters (Ed Whitacre, for instance), but I just can’t fathom UT flushing a great deal just so Texas Tech doesn’t end up in the MWC, which frankly, is where they belong.

  77. rmog-12 says:

    Let’s say the Big 12 / Pac 10 rumor is true and it actually happens. I think the Big 10 still has a very nice expansion option. The Boston to D.C. corridor is a largely untapped college football market. Again, we’re talking about 50 years … not 5. Bring OSU, PSU, Mich., Neb and ND into nyc on a regular basis and interest in RU and Uconn would increase dramatically. I really think the combination of RU, Uconn, ND and the number of Big 10 alumni in the nyc area would be enough to get the BTN on Tier 1 here in nyc. The re-alignment is largely about power, prestige and who you want to rub shoulders with going forward. Infiltrating the Boston to D.C. market would bring plenty of power, prestige and $.

    • Paul says:

      I think the Big Ten desperately needs a presence in one of the growing Southern areas for both recruiting and demographic reasons. The east coast plan is definitely a second choice. I agree that it would be the best option if Texas is off the table, but would it be enough to entire ND to join?

    • Vincent says:

      Sub Maryland for Connecticut and you can get the Boston to D.C. market.

  78. Joe says:

    The Big 10 may can say that Oklahoma St. and Texas Tech don’t match up with their existing schools, but the Pac10 can hardly claim they don’t match up with Washington State, Oregon State and Arizona State.

    If the Big 12 schools would are interested, this would be a great deal for the Pac 10. Otherwise, they are going to find themselves with with a second tier conference (which they have been for the last few years with the exception of USC).

  79. SH says:

    Until things become public, it is hard to fathom how the politics will really fall. If A&M goes to SEC and UT to B10, most fans may be satisfied and not really care about Tech. Does Tech really have enough political capital to stop such a scenario? I don’t see how. I believe they would lose a public relations battle.

    Is UT worth it to accept Tech and A&M – yes on A&M but Tech? I think the B10 would risk losing UT and forcing an ugly marriage between P10 and BXII S like the SWC – Big 8 which would likely not work out.

    This would free the B10 to again take its time on expansion – or to grab NE now while its free.

    If I were UT and A&M, I would rather take my options the general public rather than have Tech have veto rights over where they can go. And frankly, I don’t any scenario where B10 or P10 accept Tech.

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      aTm to the SEC.
      UT to the B10
      Tech remains in the still-AQ B12 which adds UHou.

      Everyone is happy?

      • glenn says:

        tech isn’t. they hate us so much they think we are married.

        • Cliff's Notes says:

          Loki – you are assuming that Colorado and Nebraska and Missouri and Oklahoma stay put. Would the SEC take A&M if it was conditional that the SEC didn’t add Oklahoma? Would the Big Ten add Texas? Would Texas WANT to go to the Big Ten without any other regional partners? What stops the Pac-10 from adding Colorado?

    • Paul says:

      I’m not a Texan, but wouldn’t having Tech and A&M along for the ride make the Big Ten a lot more acceptable to UT? It would help with travel costs and keep the other teams from getting a demographic/strategic advantage. The Big Ten would no longer be only a midwestern conference (or a midwestern conference with one outlier in Texas).

      If Texas joins the Big Ten and A&M joins the SEC, then wouldn’t this give A&M more of an edge recruiting in Texas?

      • mushroomgod says:

        Perhaps the SEC would be willing to solve the “Tech problem” by taking A&M and Tech…leaving UT to come to the Big 10 with Neb, Mo, KU, RU….

  80. loki_the_bubba says:

    Texas President Bill Powers went to Berkeley for his undergrad. I did not know that before today.

    So Texas to P10 is a done deal.

  81. Pezlion says:

    Ugh, more emails …

  82. Playoffs Now! says:

    So I wonder if we’re not using the LSN as a crowbar to get A&M off our leg.

    Ha! Though I doubt TX wants aTm heading to the SEC. More likely TX wants the B10+ and aTm either to the P10 if they must split or to the B10+ with them.

    • LonghornLawyer says:

      I’ve assumed that, too. But our “Tech problem” may override that desire. And the only way to sever Tech is to get A&M to move first without Tech so that A&M takes the political heat for Tech’s fate.

      • glenn says:

        way it looks to me is that the ags could go to the moon and the politicos would still glue tech to one cheek. we are the meal ticket.

        • Redhawk says:

          BUT 2 teams are easier for a conference to swallow than a 3 pack would be. I think Tech and UT as a pair, while obviously not as appealing as UT and A&M as a pair, is more easily taken then than all 3.

          • glenn says:

            oh, absolutely. avoidance of a potential bloc is important when assimilating parties.

            as the cal fan said, though, the pac west boys have no intention of assimilating anyone anyway, so they don’t care.

  83. SH says:

    Maybe HopkinsHorn can give a good rationale for this, but ever since this process started, I cannot understand why UT would ever want to join the P10 over the B10? The only answer is that the P10 will allow UT to retain an unequal share of the pie. Would they do that? I guess if they had to, but that does not create a healthy conference. Isn’t this why we say the NFL is better than MLB? And why would UT allow Tech veto rights? Tech does not have that kind of political capital?

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      Growing region with better recruiting. Closer cultural fit to the West than the Midwest.

      • Hopkins Horn says:

        This is basically it. About to leave for the day but can elaborate more later…

      • glenn says:

        texas almost will not recruit out of state. so no advantage there.

        ‘closer cultural fit’. which is heavier: elephant or boxcar?

        • SH says:

          I don’t think P10 is a better cultural fit than B10 – debatable I know, but they aren’t so different that one would make a difference.

          • glenn says:

            you and i are saying the same thing. really, it’s a horse and a horse.

          • glenn says:

            more on that. i’m a contractor and i live extended periods wherever a project rears its head, so i know much of the country from actually living there. lot more places than most people ever get to know.

            only two places i felt texas and texans don’t really fit were the south and new england. my guess is that people all over don’t fit in well in the south and in new england, however.

      • Bullet says:

        I’m with Loki. By cultural, its the state, not so much the university. UT Austin is very much like a B10 university. That’s why I think the admin actually would prefer B10.

        If they are thinking P10, recruiting may also be a factor. They may want to keep the B12 South together so SEC and B10 don’t both get a Texas foothold.

        As for Tech, it may just be that there is such a struggle with the legislature for funds, they don’t want to offend anyone.

    • LonghornLawyer says:

      If the rumors are true that the Pac 10 has already been in discussions with Fox about a new television deal premised on the six-team expansion, the Pac 10 may be in a position to offer a more lucrative package than the Big Ten.

      • ohio1317 says:

        The PAC-10 with Texas might be more than the Big Ten without Texas (might), but the Big Ten with Texas would definitely be more than the PAC-10 with Texas. The PAC-10 is looking more to get to the level the Big Ten and SEC are at now than rise above it.

    • Mike R says:

      I’ve always felt that Texas and California — two big, high-growth, states — have felt they had a lot in common (oil, agriculture, defense industries, links to Latin America), but were highly competitive with each other. So I think there is a bit of cultural affinity between the two that maybe is not there between Texas and the Midwest.

  84. Hopkins Horn says:

    From the Dallas Morning News, why Tech got the nod:

    Nothing we didn’t know already…

  85. zeek says:

    I’m tending to agree with you guys about Gordon Gee and TTech.

    If there’s any school that seems to be trying as per the Texas folks who’ve spoken about it in terms of upgrading its academic status, it’s Texas Tech.

    If we really are expanding for the next 50-100 years, then I don’t see how we don’t put a lot of effort into having the conference work on making TTech better if it means ND/Texas/A&M/Nebraska is locked up.

    And if the Big Ten is struggling this hard to come to grips with it, then how the hell does the Pac-10 think it’s going to pass this easily? Sure there might be schools in the Pac-10 willing to admit anyone for the $, but there’s a handful of schools that will be as hard to push as Big Ten schools on academics…

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      I’m tending to agree with this as well.

      So which Big 10 schools are most likely to be the holdouts if this theory is true?

      • Mike R says:

        I would guess that Penn State, while perhaps the most pro-expansion Big 10 school in principle, feels that any 5-team expansion should include an eastern partner (Rutgers or Pitt).

        • glenn says:

          ok. texas, tech, a&m (really lock down texas), rutgers, md/va.

          or a&m on ou’s leg and md and va to b16.


        • SH says:

          I doubt Wisc and Mich and NW are that keen on a Tech invite as well. Frankly, Indiana can’t be too high on them either. The only schools I can think of who may be on board would be Purdue, Iowa, IL and MSU.

          • redsroom3 says:

            IL, Iowa and Purdue are extremely accomplished schools. I would not count on them embracing TTech.

      • Michael says:

        Northwestern seems like a pretty obvious guess.

        Penn St could have concerns from a research perspective but also about whether or not a Texas Tech addition comes at the expense of an East Coast partner (Rutgers, Pitt, Maryland, etc.)

        Ohio St is seemingly ok with it, but you could imagine holdout from the other research giants (Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and Minnesota).

        If the package includes three Texas schools, you could also picture some concern about the center of gravity shifting south (similar to Nebraska´s concerns in the Big 12).

        • Manifesto (OhioSt.) says:

          Agreed for the most part.

          PSU has been pretty up front about wanting an eastern partner, so there could be some friction if the conference expands by 5 and none are eastern.

          Northwestern probably isn’t thrilled about Tech, nor is Michigan. Michigan might even be against Texas for all we know — they were against adding PSU originally as well.

          The research giants — Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois — might not be thrilled with the research numbers of Nebraska and Tech.

          If I had to guess, I’d say PSU, Michigan, and Northwestern need some convincing with emphasis on PSU and Michigan. It’s more likely that you’ve got half for it and half that are lukewarm for various reasons. Ohio State, at least, seems to be for it.

          • jokewood says:

            Despite Spanier’s connections, I could see PSU putting the pressure on dropping Nebraska in favor of Rutgers if Texas has to bring along Tech. PSU would finally get their eastern partner. The Big Ten would get a larger footprint, a more highly regarded school, and an opportunity to plant its flag outside NYC. Between the two schools with a large national following but a tiny footprint – Notre Dame and Nebraska – Notre Dame is worth more to the conference.

          • Mike R says:

            @jokewood Here’s how I would rank Penn State’s institutional interests:

            1) Getting an eastern partner (Pitt would be ideal, as that would build up all sorts of brownie points with the PA legislature; Rutgers would be only slightly less ideal, and Maryland would be more than acceptable as part of a Southern strategy; Syracuse I think has faded to a fourth-best option from PSU’s perspective.)

            2) Enable the conference to get the home run additions of flagship state universities — chiefly Texas, secondly Nebraska, given the obvious link between the schools (and similarity of the fanbases/sports cultures).

          • PensfaninLAexile says:

            Hate to break it to you, Mike R., but Pitt has very little pull in the PA legislature when it comes to competing with Penn State. Penn State’s top ten priorities are state tuition subsidy, state tuition subsidy, state tuition subsidy, etc. All four state schools (Pitt, PSU, Temple, Lincoln) get a similar formula and work together on this.

            After decades of free football tickets, a “govt affairs” skybox (bigger than the president’s) and free meals, all the legislators who matter are not about to carry any water for Pitt over Penn State.

          • Tom says:

            Off the top of my head I would say Michigan and Indiana would be VERY loathe to accept Texas Tech. Both voted against adding Penn St., both voted against holding the ACC-Big 10 challenge, and both voted against holding a post-season basketball tournament.

            Unless there was an eastern team somewhere in the mix, I would think PSU would be loathe as well.

            As a Michigan alum, I would hope the league would just give up on the Texas dream if Tech was a required part of the deal. Not trying to be snooty, but Texas Tech has always seemed like a WAC / CUSA school to me, despite their recent success on the gridiron. Adding Tech would be similar to adding Louisville or Cincinnati in my opinion. (Pretty good sports programs, shoddy universities.)

            And frankly, I don’t buy the fact that Tech is on their way to AAU status. Its a tier 3 university right now. There are legit tier 1 universities that are not AAU, (UConn, Miami, Virgina Tech, to name a few, all of which are exponentially better than Tech.) I’m not sure how the whole AAU invitation process works, but I imagine it would be decades before Tech would even be worthy of AAU consideration.

          • PSUGuy says:

            I know my JoePa…he wants Syracuse and Rutgers added to the Big10 pretty much no matter what. Maryland would be nice to have also. Pitt as a number 4. Notre Dame he’d grudgingly say yes to, but only because he’s smart enough to know how much they bring.

            But even with that list, I think he’d have no problem with 2 or even 3 schools in the west.

            If the Big10 were to try and invite any more than three (out west) or the TT’s of the world though he’d be hellbent against it.

      • Lobills says:

        Hopkins Horn—

        Off the top of my head: Michigan, Indiana, Purdue and Illinois.

        Michigan–They’d likely be the biggest opponent on academic grounds. You might think N’western would, but like Vanderbilt it doesn’t matter who they’re affiliated with they’ll always be considered elite. Northwester loves rolling around in the $20M plus of cash to bankroll their athletic endeavors.

        Purdue & Illinois–I think they’re going to be against almost any combination of expansion due to competitiveness issues. Especially if you’re bringing in the likes of those 4 big dogs. That just knocks the middling schools all down a peg.

        IU–I went there and I’m convinced the leadership would be against anything that would improve both the conference and the school. The leadership has/is that incompetent.

        • illiniphil says:

          As an Illinois alum, what’s good for the conference is good for the conference. Tech brings nothing with it. UT, Neb, ND & an east coast team are top priorities. A&M to get Texas would probably be an easy sell. Tech would be a non starter. A B10 expansion of this magnitude could mean major $$s for those involved. Take them with you to the P16 and see how that works for you.

      • Djinn Djinn says:

        I think many here have a rosier picture of how Big Ten schools might vote in terms of Texas Tech than I do. My feeling is that it would harder to figure out which schools would vote yes than which schools would be holding out with no votes.

        Just a thread ago we were talking about Vanderbilt, Virginia and Maryland. I think that is the class in which Big Ten schools view themselves. I’m no insider, but I’m guessing they’re not voting ‘yes’ to schools like Tech, OU or OSU just to get Texas.

        • Manifesto (OhioSt.) says:

          I think it’s going to be a difficult vote regardless. I’ve just been trying to think of situations where they could squeeze through.

          Remember, in this situation Tech might not be required just to get Texas, but get ND as well. I agree there might be no way in hell… but we have to ask “what if”, you know?

        • Playoffs Now! says:

          Agreed. And I’m not sure that bringing along TTech is the only way to solve the ‘Tech problem.’

        • Lobills says:

          Absolutely true. Gee and Co. are just trying to get the holdouts to accept 3 academic no-brainer schools (UT, A&M, ND), 1 middle of the road (Nebraska) and 1 school that they would have to basically hold their nose on…Tech.

          If it was more than one vastly inferior school there would be problems with it universally.

          Accepting Tech to get the other 4 is a bit more realistic than saying “you have to take on these 3 questionable institutions (OU, OSU, Tech) in order to get UT.”

          Gee and Co. are asking people to make an exception for 1 school. Big difference. Obviously Tech would be a significant academic outlier the moment they set foot in the B10. But, all signs point towards Lubbock taking the necessary steps to help rectify that.

          Does anyone really believe that a decade from now Tech won’t be a Tier 1 institute given it’s B10 affiliation? And that several decades from now they can’t be on par with Iowa, IU and Mich St? Remember to view this in terms of decades or even a century long relationship. In that light, holding one’s nose in the short term can eventually solve one’s long-term problems with a given school. In this case Texas Tech.

          • Howard Hemlock says:

            Except that Nebraska is also an outlier, and it’s in a state that is already small and will continue to decline as a percentage of the overall U.S. population.

            You can’t have it both ways. If you’re so sure that Texas Tech will move from Tier 3 to one of the top 75 or so schools in the country (which all the current Big Ten schools are), then you also have to account for the fact that Nebraska lags considerably behind and is only likely to fall further.

          • Mike R says:

            I do think that a Texas Tech in the Big 10 will likely be an AAU, tier 1 school at some point in the next 10-20 years. But if we’re to think like university presidents (TM Frank), we shouldn’t allow ourselves to gamble on an unknown outcome not likely to manifest itself for awhile. If the members swallow Tech it will be for one reason and one reason alone: to snag UT.

          • LonghornLawyer says:

            It should be noted that Texas voters in November passed a proposition greatly expanding the funds available to certain schools to bring them up to Tier I status. Texas Tech currently stands to get the lion’s share of those funds, and with membership in the CIC those efforts will be significantly boosted.

            That’s not to say that such vast improvement is a foregone conclusion. But it is to say that it’s not just a pie-in-the-sky hope. There are currently very serious (and very expensive) efforts being undertaken in that direction.

      • Justin says:

        Michigan and Northwestern will vote no.

        PSU will likely vote against it if there are no East Coast schools.

        This is the nightmare scenario for Delaney, because if its a real close vote (7-3), then the Iowa legislature could force Iowa to only vote for expansion if Iowa State is part of the plan.

        • zeek says:

          Northwestern is actually much more likely to vote for it. The brass is new and still feeling their way around and won’t want to be the ones to disappoint Gordon Gee. I’d bet on that.

          Also, the boost to the athletic program will be enormous beyond belief, we’re by far the most dependent on TV funding.

          Finally, Northwestern has a different brand from the rest of the Big Ten as the Big Ten’s private school and branding wise Tech in the Big Ten does nothing to Northwestern at all.

          But I agree completely on Michigan and Penn State. I don’t see Michigan coming around at all regardless of what Gee tries to sell them on…

          • Justin says:

            Don’t count on NW. Their coaches have been the most vocal in opposing potential expansion — have to think they are parroting the company line.

    • Mike R says:

      This is also testament to Texas Tech’s trustees’ wisdom in hiring the poliically well-connected Kent Hance as chancellor. He has Tech raking in the lion’s share of state money devoted to created more Tier I universities, and he is working like a pack mule to tie Tech’s athletic future to its big brothers, by leveraging his contacts in the Texas leg, no doubt. Another case of people mattering in this process.

      • LonghornLawyer says:

        By the way, for those interested in such things, Kent Hance was the Democrat who defeated George W. Bush in the 1978 congressional race in the 19th District. That makes him the only person ever to defeat George W. Bush in an election.

  86. Phizzy says:

    Parsing through this information, I am inclined to believe Lobills’ post regarding Gordon Gee’s leaked e-mails are an attempt to get certain Big Ten holdouts to accept Texas Tech.

    Although it doesn’t seem plausible for Texas Tech to be admitted for academic reasons, as noted in finsraider07′s post, Texas Tech is making strides to achieve Tier 1 status, and become an AAU member. Being a part of the Big Ten would only accelerate this process.

    So, I don’t think it is beyond the realm of possibility that 8 of 11 Big Ten members accept a package of Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Nebraska, and Notre Dame, for the greater good of the conference. In due time, Texas Tech will achieve Tier 1 status and AAU membership, in my opinion.

    (Better yet, perhaps Texas A&M will chose to go elsewhere, the SEC or even the Pac-10, freeing up a spot for Maryland or Rutgers or Missouri or some other candidate outside of Texas and the Big Ten’s current footprint.)

    • Mike R says:

      Sub in Rutgers or Pitt for Notre Dame if you want PSU’s vote.

      • Paul says:

        What does Penn State have against Notre Dame?

        Seriously, I think Nebraska would be left out before Notre Dame.

        • Mike R says:

          Nothing. Notre Dame is a great neighbor and a great OOC foe. They do things the right way.

          I’m just extrapolating from a couple of Paterno comments.

          1) May 09, referring to a third invitation to ND: “They’ve had their chance.”

          2) April 10 presser: “I think the thing you have to do though, is when you get married, you better marry someone you love. And that means, someone who appreciates what you want to do. We have got to get people in our conference that are AAU schools, schools that have the same kind of commitment academically.” I think that’s a pretty clear reference to ND.


          3) Spanier is a former chancellor of UNL and would be a solid vote in favor of Nebraska.

          4) Institutional desire for an eastern partner.

          • Manifesto (OhioSt.) says:

            Agreed. Paterno also has a lot of pull at PSU, more than most coaches or even ADs. He’s been pretty upfront about wanting an eastern partner for a long time. Now, would he scuttle an expansion like this without it? I don’t know. Paterno’s pretty smart, and I don’t think he’d kill a good deal because he didn’t get his wish. But he’d probably lobby for it all the way up to the vote.

          • zeek says:

            Paterno’s the one who openly talked about the Pac-10 moving first (and blowing up everything), so he has a good feel for what’s going on.

            However, he’s said before that he won’t do anything with respect to expansion other than air his views formally. He said he won’t stump for anyone to Delany or do anything else.

          • zeek says:


  87. Redhawk says:

    I’ve been reading a lot of the Oklahoma boards. All the writers and reporters seem to be trying to really sell the Pac-16 and all it’s virtues the main one being that OU can stay in a conference with OSU and the Texas schools.

    The reaction from the fans seem luke-warm at best. It’s like getting a notice that another institution has bought the mortgage on your house. Nothing, has changed, you still live in the same house, and the same neighborhood, with the same neighbors that you like and don’t like….just a different name and address to send the checks to each month.

    Most fans if they have expressed an opinion, have wanted the SEC.

    • Playoffs Now! says:

      Seems like aTm and OU may hinge on a fight between their presidents and their boards/donors/car dealerships. The admins want the academically superior B16 or P16, the funders want the SEC. (And less damn oversight…)

      • glenn says:

        you expect oversight in the p16?

      • SH says:

        That really makes a lot of sense for both schools. Seems like it makes sense for the conference as well, but I don’t know the financial particulars. A&M could probably make the move, but could OU abandon OSU. How much power does Pickens have? Seems like most of the state would be supportive.

        • Redhawk says:

          It could be done. It wouldn’t be easy. The only sticking point would be the Governor has to to sign off on any conference move for either school.

          There is an election in Oklahoma for Gov, and it appears the next one will be an OSU grad…so…it would have to be done before the office change.

      • Redhawk says:

        For OU…those board/donors/dealerships hold a lot of weight. OU sees football, as the leader to get interest in the academics. It drives donations, to ALL areas of the University, not just to the Athletic dept.

        I think this is one big common tread OU has with the culture of the SEC.

        BUT…I’m not sure there is a passion one way or the other in this realignment stuff for any real “fight”. Which actually is interesting on how it will play out.

        On a side note, one reason talked up for the Pac-16 is the road to a conference championship would roughly be the same: Beat Texas, then beat USC (instead of Nebraska) in the championship game.

        And that road would be easier than playing LSU, Auburn and Alabama before getting to Florida/Georgia/Tenn.

  88. PensfaninLAexile says:

    Frank –

    Are you preparing a FOIA request for Illinois?

  89. Playoffs Now! says:

    While I think the B16 is TX’s 1st choice and the P16 their second, do not rule out TX ending up in the SEC. SEC has already basically said they’d let the Horns keep the LSN and bring whomever they wanted. Apparently TX has also made some hefty demands the SEC was having trouble stomaching, such as division or quad alignments, but until this week they seemed to be the most flexible conference.

    And before someone comes back with the knee-jerk “Never happen, TX would never accept their academics,” didn’t the Pac Ten offer just blow up similar ‘certainties’ and ‘rules’? Now you guys are speculating that taking Tech might as a package might be a compromise the B10+ would consider, only a day removed from that being a certain non-starter. Too many world views built on false constructs.

    Not saying it is likely, but rather a possibility.

    One other thing to speculate on, though it isn’t necessarily a part of any decision making:

    What outcome is best for college football?

    TX to the P16 with a B16, SEC16, and ACC16 is the only way I can see 4×64 ever happening. (Or maybe just aTm to a P16.) IMHO 4×64 is NOT a good outcome. 4×64 doesn’t guarantee they’d pull away or even make it likely, but it does become a risk.

    Better if the P10 can’t get any of TX, aTm, and NE. In that case the P10 probably doesn’t go past 14, and we likely have at least 5 BCS (or its replacement) conferences. That keeps 73-85 teams in the big leagues, vs. 64. I’d prefer 5 super conferences rather than 4.

    • zeek says:

      It might shock you, but I agree with you on most of your points.

      It should be clear to everyone that Texas is soliciting the most favorable offers possible from everyone and will weigh them and then make their decision. Yes that includes an SEC offer (for LSN privileges and mega $).

      Right now, the Pac-10 has floated what seems like an ultimate offer for Texas (among other scenarios, but obviously the most favorable Texas one ran because that’s the one that would happen in all likelihood if Stanford comes around on it).

      This means the ball is now in the Big Ten’s and SEC’s court. Does Gordon Gee manage to convince the Big Ten that Tech can eventually become a great Big Ten school in its own right? Can he convince the fence sitters (aka PSU/Michigan/Northwestern, whoever), that this is for the greater good.

      Lest we forget, Michigan and Ohio State split their votes last time on Penn State. Michigan and Ohio State are probably coming at expansion from the opposite points of view since Gee seems to really want a deal with Texas whereas Michigan tends to be much more of a traditionalist (i.e. the UNC or Duke of the conference, with respect to ACC expansion).

      • Mike R says:

        Michigan seems in a lot of ways the biggest Big 10 traditionalist, a la UNC, but things have changed in 20 years:

        1) The “no” to PSU was in some respects a way to mollify Bo Schembechler, who was mightily pissed off that he was kept in the dark about the move. There is no Bo at UM these days. In fact if there was anything UM could do to make RichRod walk, I think they’d do it.

        2) Unlike NC, Michigan is a low-growth state and athletically and academically will increasingly depend on out-of-state and out-of-region students and athletes, i.e., it wil be more interested today than it was 20 years ago in positioning itself as a national school.

        3) The PSU expansion has been a big success. While this expansion is likely to be bigger and more transforming, positive results tend to tamp down past misgivings.

        • Justin says:

          Michigan is the most national public university of the Big 10 schools.

          It has approximately 33% of its students from out of state on a given year, where the typical Big 10 school has between 8-10% out of state. A large majority of Michigan grads leave the state. Most law school grads take the bar in New York, not Michigan. The business school predominantly sends most of its graduates to Chicago and New York, not Detroit.

          There have been rumors for years about Michigan going private. It has the largest endowment by far of all the Big 10 public schools.

          They would vote to be associated with the right additions (i.e. Texas, Rutgers, Pitt, Cuse), but any perceived blemish on their academic standing will make them vote no.

    • Vincent says:

      Remember that there are currently 65 schools in BCS conferences (not includinng Notre Dame). 4 x 16 means someone kicked out of the party, two if ND joins one of these conferences. And that means lawsuits and more angry folks on Capitol Hill.

  90. Faitfhful5k says:

    At first I was stunned by the Pac10 expansion rumor. However as I mulled it over it starts to make sense.

    If Fox and the BTN business model are behind this it starts to add up. The BTN has shown the way and the Pac10 wants to follow that path with its own PTN. I believe this is a fully cooperative endeavor. The two networks want the synergies of shared live programming that Fox can bring to a nearly national market. The Big10 would have been charged with locking down the markets in the east and central time zones. The Pac10′s job was to lock down the major pacific and mountain media markets. By sharing live content both networks would be much stronger entries on the basic cable tier.

    Extend that thinking further and Texas and select BigXII schools would have to be in the mix for such an alliance of Fox-based networks too. This latest rumor could just be the fallout as political hurdles and the influence of whale-sized donors are now getting involved. Texas wants in… but they will need to find a home for their neighbors swinging the biggest sticks. The natural fit would be to hold the existing BigXII together in some way because some members are not exactly easy entries to the Big10 or Pac10. The big risks are too many schools escape the Texas corral for the SEC, or someone with a lot of clout is left on the outside giving the anti-trust crowd additional footing.

    If you look at it in this context it starts to make sense. The Big10 may not care if Texas is in or out. But they would definitely need to be in the such an alliance somehow if Fox wants this to be a national entity. Hence the latest flyer to fit more teams into the picture as part of the Pac10.

    A national alliance of all the big hitters outside the ESPN/ACC/SEC universe is needed to make this work. Fox wants a nationwide collegiate powerhouse that has enough shared content for easy entry to the basic cable tier.

    The Big Barbasol flagships are getting ready to sail and everybody is scrambling to have their own chair.

    • Mike R says:

      Fox already has some of the infrastructure in place with those horrible Fox College Sports networks that serve up such gems as year-old basketball from the World University Games.

  91. jokewood says:

    Q: Does A&M have a “Tech” problem?

    Let’s say that the SEC has heard enough from the Pac-10 / Big Ten and decides to switch from a reactive to an active expansion position while the getting is still good. So the SEC officially invites Oklahoma and Texas A&M while the Pac-10 and Big Ten are still making semi-public gestures. The question is – would A&M be free to take that offer not knowing the ultimate home of Tech? Is Texas the only school burdened with finding a suitable home for Tech?

    • SH says:

      That is a good question. I don’t believe that A&M has a Tech problem, but a UT problem. The knee-jerk response will be how can you split up Texas and A&M. Never mind, that most hardcore fans from both schools would likely welcome such a switch. I think A&M supporters will welcome the chance to get out of UT’s shadow. However, the higher ups at UT probably won’t want to be saddled with Tech while A&M gets off scott free, so I would expect a simultaneous move so as to split blame – each school is looking after their own best interest.

    • zeek says:

      Simple answer is no. A&M has no Tech problem.

      A&M can take care of itself and will, but Texas is the one that will be forced to take care of Tech if they have no landing spot. If A&M goes to a different conference, then they’d probably foist Tech onto whatever conference Texas is aiming for…

      That just seems to be the way it is.

      Maybe the SEC makes an offer for A&M and Tech without Texas, but that seems somewhat remote.

    • LonghornLawyer says:

      I think that if A&M moves first, the Tech Problem evaporates for Texas. The Tech partisans in the Legislature will primarily focus their anger on A&M (Tech fans hate A&M more than they hate Texas anyway) as a result of their perfidious and premature departure. More importantly, everyone will recognize that Texas’ position will have changed significantly with the imminent collapse of the Big XII and it will have to move with a speed that may not allow it to take care of Tech.

      • zeek says:

        I would still think though that Texas would want A&M in its conference (and hence Tech also would come along). Now that the Pac-10 and SEC have both floated Texas/A&M/Tech scenarios, it does look like Texas may be able to get its way on the Tech problem.

        It is interesting though that A&M really wants to bolt the arrangement. From what I’ve seen, it seems as if Texas wants A&M to come with it to the Pac-10 or Big Ten, but A&M would much rather go to the SEC.

        That’s what’s been floated anyways, nothing inconsistent with what you’re saying.

        • m (Ag) says:

          It definitely seems like the AD wants into the SEC. Hopefully the administration can overrule them; we’ll just have to see.

          • Playoffs Now! says:

            My guess is the BOR is your biggest problem.

            Heh, any of them fly to LSU’s graduation this year?

  92. BuckeyeBeau says:

    Let me add this thought: collusion between B10 and P10. There is a long history there (Rose Bowl, etc.) Plus, as I understand it, Larry Scott is a prodige (sp?) of Delaney?

    In any event, not to be tin-hat about it or anything, but consider this. From B10′s perspective, what’s the worst case scenario re: TX? Answer: TX to SEC.

    So, if Delaney can’t get TX, then Delaney wants TX to go to P10.

    Delaney talks to Scott, plants seeds (if any seeds needed planting), nudges Scott to “get going” in talks with TX (and other BXII schools) and maybe engineers the leak that came out yesterday.

    And we should not underestimate the strength/friendliness of the B10-P10 relationship. Think Rose Bowl’s historical resistance to the Bowl Alliance and BCS and play-off. I think Delaney would go out of his way to do some good for the P10 and vice versa.

    Okay, so now let’s get all tin-foil-hatty: Delaney and Scott have a 50 years strategy to maintain the preeminence of the Rose Bowl. To do that, the B10 and the P10 have to expand and both “hit home runs.” So Scott takes the southern BXII (with the huge Texas market) and Delaney cherry picks Neb and takes Rutgers, ND, Syr, and Pitt to get entry into the NYC/east coast markets.

    Then 10 years down the road, the B10 Network and the LHN unite and both expand to become the B16-P16 Network (needs a better name — something like “CFB Network” or “American CFB Channel”). Now with BXII south, the P10 and B10, THERE is a channel that can get on the basic tier everywhere in the country.

    Vrooomm… ACC and SEC left in the dust and nobody cares about the rest.

    I’m not saying I think this is happening, but … interesting to contemplate.

    • Faitfhful5k says:

      I think that is basically the vision. And look down the road… Notre Dame can stay happily independent and this network would have all their rivals in the fold. They could step in with a new tv contract when NBC expires and the Irish can keep their tradition.

      • Mike R says:

        I agree that the best thing for college football, ND and the Big 10 is to maintain Notre Dame as a national independent. As long as Notre Dame can maintain its Olympic sports in a quality conference, that vision will be feasible. The non-football schools of the Big East, joined by the cream of the Atlantic 10, would be just such a conference for the Irish.

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      oh, yeah… I’m a Pitt-to-B10 proponent. UConn is a terrible addition and Pitt has enough brand-name “umph” to overcome the fact that they don’t add to the B10 footprint. Per some earlier Frank Posts and the thread comments, Pitt adds value. (And I’m just never gonna think adding MD or VA is a good idea. Yuk. Ergo: Pitt).

      • Vincent says:

        Maryland and Virginia add more value (and markets) than Pitt ever will.

        If the Big Ten could get them without having to add more ACC teams (though North Carolina and Duke would certainly add their own value), I could see Delany telling Pitt and Syracuse “no thanks” and adding Nebraska, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Maryland and Virginia.

        • Kyle says:

          Do you really think Delaney can pry Maryland and Virginia away from VT, NC, NC state, and Duke?

          Because I don’t. The core group + VT is very tight. Clemson or FSU may be woo’d by the SEC, but I think the heart of the ACC is sticking together.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Kyle – I’m with you on the ACC. I doubt the core basketball schools (Duke, UNC, Wake, NC St, UVa, UMd) are going to make the first move. The newcomer football schools would have to make the first move. While VA Tech is a football school, it may be joined at the hip with UVa since UVa got VA Tech into the ACC.

            So it really comes down to FSU, Miami, GA Tech, BC, and Clemson (Clemson is an original ACC school, but its a football school).

    • SH says:

      I like your thinking. Taking it a step further, aren’t we simply heading to a point where the NCAA becomes irrelevant. The top 64 programs in 4 conferences will control the BCS and all the major bowls, they will have their own bball playoffs, baseball playoffs, etc. The BCS schools can then take on conference and we can get the supreme court to issue the mother of all anti-trust opinions. What a future?

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        interesting… it’s hard to imagine the conferences and schools abandoning the NCAA; there’s a giant PR “hit” there and I can’t ever see getting inter-conference consensus. If it is a coach’s decision: Meyer says “yes,” Saban says “no,” the OBC says … who knows. But it’s probably a University President decision. Can you see Gordan Gee saying “g’bye” to the NCAA? no way.

        • SH says:

          I meant it as kind of a joke really. It would really get Congress on you, and you don’t want that. But I’m sure a lot of presidents look at that huge CBS bball contract and wonder why we are sharing that with an institution that has over 300 members and one that is always on our asses.

    • zeek says:

      Doubtful, but only because Texas is by far the most necessary for the Pac-10 to go beyond 12 and the Big Ten really wants Texas.

      But I agree with you on one thing. The Big Ten and Pac-10 both would rather see Texas in the other conference (read Rose Bowl) than in the SEC. Perhaps they collude on that.

      I.E. Pac-10 and Big Ten keep floating scenarios for Texas until Texas chooses one.

      Note that the SEC has said it will mostly be reactive, thus, the Pac-10 and Big Ten should make sure that Texas moves with the first pieces if they don’t want to see it in the SEC.

      • BuckeyeBeau says:


        hmm… I’ve never been convinced about TX to the B10 as a good thing. Yes, good for TV, etc.

        But the geography and “fit” are just bad — really far away, not a lot of midwest fans in TX and vice-versa and Texas is just not the midwest (and vice-versa).

        Texas to the B10 is, in my view, a tough “sell” for cohesion and that sense of “we’re-all-in-this-together.”

        So, I’m not convinced the B10 really really wants Texas.

        • zeek says:

          Fair enough, I don’t necessarily disagree other than on fit.

          Right now Texas is in the middle of a three way fight for it.

          But this time is for real. Presumably whichever conference gets Texas is going to be its home for the next 50-100 years or until something goes crazy.

        • SH says:

          I must disagree with you on the “not a lot of midwest fans in Texas” part. Actually, Texas has quite a few midwest fans. I’m willing to bet that B10 games probably draw fairly well in Texas. Texas imports people, and the midwest exports them – a lot come to Texas. Probably not true vice versa.

      • jokewood says:

        Delany has been tasked with addressing demographic changes. Southern expansion of the conference is one way to do it. Southern/national expansion of the BTN is another way.

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Zeek – just because Mike Slive says the SEC is going to be reactive, doesn’t mean that’s true. The SEC has also been meeting this week. I’m sure the UTx, bring three friends, start the LSN plan has been communicated.

        From a combined money, sports & logistics angle, the SEC offers the most. There’s only two reasons UTx would turn down that offer:

        1. Academics trumps athletics in their decision to join a sports conference. Doubtful, since UTx was a member of the SWC and is a member of the Big XII.

        2. UTx, and the three friends don’t want to play football in the SEC meatgrinder. Having 2-3 tough games per year may be more appealing than 6-7 tough games per year.

        • zeek says:

          Sure but right now Texas has offers from all three.

          The Big Bang Pac-10 + 6 everyone’s been raving about the past day or two.

          The SEC’s 3 in Texas + Oklahoma, plus LSN.

          The Big Ten’s unlikely ND/TX rivalry plan.

          Of the three, the Big Ten’s is probably the most favorable for Texas but they might want Tech in too to give them 3 in Texas which would be hard to swing.

          I don’t see the Pac-10 being able to vote for OSU/Oklahoma/Tech, no matter how good an idea it seems now.

          It seems like a herculean lift to get the Big Ten to get to 8 on Tech, and the Pac-10 is going to go 10 for 10 on all three; that has to be a joke…

          As for the SEC, A&M really wants to go there in all likelihood because they’re looking for the best sports fit, or that’s how it’s seemed anyways.

          Tech and Oklahoma would both probably put the SEC at the top of their list.

          But Texas is probably more willing to go with a ND/TX rivalry or a Pac-16 if they can pull it off.

          Sure those two are unlikely, which is why the SEC may end up with the prize by default…

        • SH says:

          Alan, let’s not get carried away here. The SEC is a great conference and all, but the idea that every SEC game is so much tougher than every B10 or BXII game is simply not true. The SEC has some weak schools as well.

          • zeek says:

            Yeah but in terms of geography/sports programs, etc. Texas is most similar to the SEC schools.

            On the other hand, the Pac-16 east would essentially be a stronger version of the old SWC, so maybe that would have more allure to Texas even though it might mean less $.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            SH – within the last three years every single SEC has played in a bowl game. Yes – that includes Ole Miss, Miss St, Kentucky & Vandy.

            Traditionally, the SEC has six teams that can (and do) compete for conference and national championships. Eight of the 12 teams have participated in the SEC CG. All teams have been ranked within the last decade.

            In the 12 year BCS era, the four SEC teams have won six national championships. With USC about to have their 2004 BCS NC yanked, undefeated Auburn would have to be viewed as the best team of 2004.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Zeek – you’re right the Pac 10/BigXII South – Baylor + CU merger would be the closest thing to the status quo, but more money, for UTx. Most years, its beat OU & get your ticket stamped to the Conference Championship Game.

            Regarding ASU & Arizona being pissed about getting shoved into the Pac/Big XII South Division, the conference could throw them a bone by having Glendale as the permanent home for the CCG.

          • Manifesto (OhioSt.) says:


            Careful beating that SEC too loud. ;)

            I agree with you on the SEC with the national championships.

            But I’m pretty sure every BigTen team but Purdue has gone to a bowl during the last three years as well — including Indiana and Northwestern. Purdue has been down, but in the last decade they’ve been to bowl games (2000-04).

            7 Big Ten teams have won or shared a conference title in the last decade, and Wisconsin won in 98-99, making 8 if we’re counting BCS’s 12 year period. There are regularly 5 teams in the discussion for conference championship every year, and at least 3-4 that gets consideration for the national championship depending on the year. Ohio State is the only team to make it during the BCS period, but others have been in the discussion leading into the final month of games almost every year (who eventually get knocked out by a fellow BigTen squad).

            I can’t argue that the SEC has been better this decade. They have for sure. But it’s not entirely like checkers versus chess here.

          • Pezlion says:

            “SH – within the last three years every single SEC has played in a bowl game. Yes – that includes Ole Miss, Miss St, Kentucky & Vandy.”

            The same can be said for the Big Ten. Yes, that includes Indiana and Minnesota.

          • mushroomgod says:

            Alan—Re: bowl records….Odd that the BT and SEC are basically 50-50 in bowl games over the last 10 years, with all of the games being on the SEC’s home turf…how do you boys think yopu’d do playing in Soldier Field on Jan. 1st??

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Shroomgod – all bowls are NOT created equal. Over the last decade LSU is 2-2 against the Big Ten in bowl games. I certainly wouldn’t trade the victories over Illinois in the Sugar Bowl and Ohio State in the BCS NCG, for the last minute losses in the Cap One Bowl to Iowa and Penn State.

            Regarding a January 1 bowl game at Soldier Field, I’ve never heard of it. Its certainly not one of the SEC’s bowl partners. Seriously, its great to talk about hypotheticals, but the Big Ten doesn’t really play football in serious cold either. Your season is over by the 3rd Saturday in November.

            Also, I went to the Browns/Steelers game in Cleveland in mid-Decemeber last year. It was 14 degrees and about zero with the wind chill. I didn’t see any Ohio/Pennsylvania natives running around without shirts. They were all bundled up just like me.

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            “all bowls are NOT created equal.”

            God, I love SEC fans. No matter what stat is out there, there is always a ‘but, but, but…’

        • Bullet says:

          I’ll argue that the Pac 10 is the toughest conference top to bottom. Not as strong at the top as SEC, B12 or B10, but usually the #9 team can beat any team in the country on a given day. You can’t say that about Ia. St./Baylor, IU/MN, KY,MS.St./Vandy. I remember UW giving LSU and OU fits in recent years. Stanford beating previously unbeaten USC a few years back wasn’t as much a surprise as Vandy or MS. St. knocking off an Alabama or FL (yes I know UK knocked off national champions to be LSU, but that was the best UK team since 1977-it didn’t even look like a UK team).

          • SH says:

            I certainly don’t want to get into an argument about which conference is better. Just that to say that every SEC game (6-7 as referenced by Alan) is tough compared to only a couple B10 games (2-3 again as referenced by Alan) is just not true. Every conference is tough. In the P10 you have to play every team, that is tough in and of itself.

            I’ll agree with you the SEC is the best, but it seems like SEC fans make the argument both ways – when a top team loses to KY, they use that as proof that how tough the conference is, but when a top B10 team loses to Purdue, it is proof that the top teams aren’t that good. The reality is probably somewhere in the middle.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            SH – the 2-3 tough game reference was directed to the possibility of a Pac10/BigXII south merger.

            Depending on how the B16 set up their divisions, I’d guess UTx would have 5-6 tough games a year.

        • Pezlion says:

          “From a combined money, sports & logistics angle, the SEC offers the most.”

          You keep saying this, but you’re wrong. You’re basing everything on what the Big Ten brought home last year. You’re ignoring the fact that the BTN payout increases every year. You’re also ignoring the fact that adding Texas will increase that BTN even more. You also ignore the fact that in four years the Big Ten will be renegotiating their TV deal with ESPN, which will definitely go up. And then there’s the academic side of things. If joining the Big Ten and the CIC enables Texas to increase their research funding by $100mm, $200mm or even $300mm, that dwarfs anything we’re talking about with academics. Unlikely you say? When PSU joined the Big Ten their research dollars were about the same as UT’s, mid- to upper-$200mm range. Today PSU’s research is approaching $800mm, while UT is below $500mm. If you don’t think that is directly related to the Big Ten and the CIC, you’re crazy.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Pez – you quoted me correctly, but addressed something different. I have never disputed that the Big Ten is an academically superior conference. What you guys have with the CIC is something special. Maybe I wasn’t clear, but I was talking about athletic money, which would be better for UTx in the SEC, as UTx wouldn’t be prohibited from starting their own network. If UF is making $8-10mm per year by selling broadcast rights, I would expect UTx to make at least that much (probably more) if they had their own network.

            Now, let me expand upon the other two points I made that you chose not to address.

            From a sports standpoint, UTx is a better fit with the SEC, as Hopkins Horn pointed out in an earlier post. UTx competes in almost all of the same sports in which the SEC competes. If UTx joined the Big Ten, would they be required to add non-revenue sports that Big Ten sanctions? Also, baseball is a big deal and revenue sport for UTx and its a big deal and revenue sport in the SEC.

            From a logistics standpoint, the SEC is a better fit too. Given the probable division alignment, UTx’s longest divisional roadtrip would be to Stark-Vegas, Mississippi.

          • PSUGuy says:

            I agree Texas plays most of the same sports as the SEC and thus would fit well, but I really think Texas sees a NEED to be a good football team.

            Thing is while I think the level of competition will be much closer between the SEC & Big10 than some give it credit for (thus in any given theoretical year it should have the same number of wins no matter which conference its in) only one conference will have complete ease and access to Texas recruiting grounds.

            The SEC, with Ark, LSU, OU(maybe) etc with regular games in Texas can recruit heavily there and I think be very successful doing so. It would be this way that Texas would slowly return to its 90′s status.

            Being a “lone outpost” in the Big10 might actually be to Texas benefit by limiting the number of recruiting losses, but still maintaining a high level of academics.

          • omnicarrier says:

            PSUGuy – Being a “lone outpost” in the Big10 might actually be to Texas benefit by limiting the number of recruiting losses, but still maintaining a high level of academics.

            I think being the “lone outpost” in the Big Ten would be Texas’ quickest way back to 90s status with the Aggies and OU in the SEC, the state of Texas would become an SEC state within a couple of years.

            Which is why most on this blog have posted it has to be both Texas and A&M from the start.

            If the Pac-10 rumor is true, then the ante has just been raised since I don’t see the state approving any other option now that doesn’t include Tech.

    • darglac says:

      Larry Scott has no previous connection to the Big 10. You are probably thinking of Kevin Weiberg who worked on the Big Ten Network at the beginning and worked as a deputy commisionner under Delany. A short blurb from ESPN about the Pac 10 hiring Weiberg.

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        aw, ok.. thought I read something about a Delaney/Scott connection on here. Thanks for the correction.

        • darglac says:


          Another interesting tidbit about Weiberg is he is also a former Big 12 commissioner. So Scott’s #2 man has experience in both the Big 10 and Big 12.

      • Playoffs Now! says:

        Yeah, but his show is hilarious, as was Seinfeld.

    • c says:

      Re where this is going (BuckeyeBeau)

      I doubt the Pac 10 reported offer is anything other than the Pac 10 wanting to secure its future.

      I do agree if Texas is out, the Big 10 moves east in a big way and becomes the conference of the northeast.

      I am looking at this from the demographic and market perspective and because I doubt the ACC schools are in play.

      Nebraska seems to be a concensus add. But I doubt Kansas or Missouri are part of the expansion.

      The wildcard as always is ND. However, your strategy of adding Pitt, RU and SU might be enough to cause ND to join. It would almost be a ND package akin to the Texas package offered by the Pac 10.

      • zeek says:

        I see the Big Ten taking Nebraska and then folding it in on expansion.

        There really isn’t a rush, the Big Ten’s payday will only continue to outdistance Notre Dame’s at this pace, and Notre Dame will always have to worry about its place at the BCS table.

        • c says:

          Re Big 10 next move (Zeek)

          Adding Nebraska alone as a 12th school makes a lot of sense if Texas is out. That provides a conference game and probably is a reasonably easy vote.

          However I take what Delany said about his long term focus on population seriously and while Nebraska is an excellent add it only addresses part of the equation.

          So if ND if also out, Frank’s view of a Nebraska, RU, SU expansion to 14 makes a lot of sense to me.

          I also believe the “urgency” level has speeded up several notches.

          Perhaps my view differs from yours in that I remain doubtful of the UMD UVA option for the Big 10 and also doubt the ACC is really vulnerable to the SEC. Adding Miami and VT greatly strenthened ACC football.

          • ezdozen says:

            That would make some sense. Now the Pac 10 and Big 10 have each played a hand… it’s up to the SEC to respond.

            If the SEC can chip away at the ACC… then the Big 10 can take two more (VA and MD). If the SEC cannot chip away at the ACC, it gets stuck with????


      • Mike B says:

        Put me down in the “no to Nebraska” camp.

        If the Big Ten presidents are willing to take Nebraska, but not Texas Tech, even with the knowledge that it will cost them Texas, then they don’t deserve to be the premier conference.

        50 years from now, Texas Tech will be a better university than Nebraska. Lock.

        • zeek says:

          I wouldn’t go that far.

          The Big Ten is a conference full of proud schools with old line prestige. They want to invite universities that they feel are worthy of being Big Ten universities, not universities they’ll have to build.

          Then again, I tend to agree with you that we shouldn’t be making a shortsighted move. If Tech is going to be in the Big Ten for 50 years, then certainly it will become a much better institution over that time frame…

          • SH says:

            I think I agree with both of you. Perhaps TT will be better than NE. Demographics are certainly in TT’s favor. But is it better to be the flagship, or the #3 public school?

            However, I think if you can’t get UT, you either take one school or none. The B10 does fine with just 11, they can afford to wait for now.

          • PSUGuy says:

            TT is located in the upper west portion of Texas in Lubock. While Texas (the state) may have better demographics, the particular portion of Texas TT finds itself in is not “great demographics” IMO.

            Combined with the fact the only TT fans are usually folks who went there means these items are at best “nuetral” when it comes to evaluating TT.

        • c says:

          Re Texas option (Mike B)

          What will be interesting is whether the Big 10 will or can create a counter offer that rivals the rumored Pac 10 offer.

          The Pac 10 is providing Texas with a great offer that includes 5 regional schools, plus the 2 AZ schools in their division that I would believe has to be very appealing.

          • Mike B says:

            One thing the Big Ten can offer Texas that the Pac 10 cannot (because of time zone issues) is the opportunity to play most of their games in prime time.

          • zeek says:

            c, the Big Ten counteroffer seems to be to figure out the solution to the “Tech problem” as alluded to in the Gee-Delany emails that conveniently dropped last night.

            If the Big Ten can accept Tech, then we could offer ND-Tex-A&M-Tech-Nebraska, which would probably be the best outcome for Texas…

            3 schools in Texas + guaranteed rivalry with Notre Dame.

            But it’s a big questionmark whether Tech can get into the Big Ten…

          • c says:

            Re ESPN video update by Joe Schad (Zeek)

            He is saying Texas actually would like to keep Big 12 intact.


            He is implying that if Nebraska and Missouri don’t agree to stay, the other schools will go to Pac 10.

            A lot of focus is on Tech but maybe Texas also wants to be with Oklahoma as well.

            I believe affinity and geography are playing a big role here that the Big 10 is not in a position to match.

            A lot of comments seem to downplay this aspect of affinity and geography.


        • RedDenver says:

          Interesting comparison. But would TTech even be in the discussion without Texas? Nebraska can be an add to the B10 all by itself. Pretty hard to say that about Tech.

          And you’re absolutely sure TTech will be a better university than NU in 50 years? I’d say TTech MIGHT be better, but I certainly wouldn’t bet on that. And who knows what will happen in the next 50 years. May be the constantly increasing cost of shipping food will make Nebraska a very desirable place to live – nobody knows.

          • eapg says:

            Not too sure about grocery shipping being of any great advantage for Nebraska. Grapes come from Chile, bananas from Central America, most of your produce section comes from the Sun Belt or Mexico, cereals from Canada, you could go on forever. Nebraska grows beef and corn to feed the beef, for the most part. Diversification of that fact will be necessary as diets slowly trend towards the healthier side as people grow older, but much of Nebraska (the Sandhills) is cattle country and not suited to much else. I can see urbanization reaching a tipping point, in both cost of living and general safety, in such a way that states like Nebraska might ultimately modestly reverse the demographic trends with retirees and people looking for a less intense environment to raise their families in than an urban rat race.

          • RedDenver says:


            The food shipping is simply an off-the-cuff example of how the world could dramatically change in the next 50 years. Not meant to be literal. Another example would be that global warming makes the “Sun Belt” into a desert or semi-arid region and the population shifts back northward.

  93. BuckeyeBeau says:


    Hmm… interesting. I had not thought about ND remaining outside. But I agree, a B10-P10 under-the-table “alliance” and eventual creation of a B16-P16 Network would still leave room for ND to be independent. (And I’m with JoePa on this. If ND doesn’t want to join, the B10 shouldn’t want them. They’ll always be unhappy, second-guessing and whining.)

    But ND obviously helps gain entry to the NYC market.

    If ND says out, who does the B10 add instead? I think we’re left with: MO, MD, VA, UConn, Vandy. All terrible additions, IMHO (tho’ Mizzu’s not awful).

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      sorry, meant this as a “reply” to Faithful5k above.

    • Faitfhful5k says:

      I like Georgia Tech. They burned their bridges long ago with the SEC, and are now a football school stuck in a basketball conference. They have a great college football pedigree that is now a bit dusty. Adding GT Tech would also plant a Big10 flag right in the middle of SEC land, while taking a side shot at the ACC. The alumni seem very willing from the message board chatter. My only question would be market-related. Can they carry Atlanta to the basic cable tier?

      • SH says:

        I like GT as well – at least as a consideration. I would like to hear more pro/cons on them. Pro – they are a great public academic school with strong research (don’t know dollars), they have fairly good athletics and some nice history. Con – not #1 in their own state, is the male/female ration still 75%/25%?

      • Bullet says:

        Yes, but they are a very distant #2 to UGA in Atlanta. Way behind in the rural areas. I’ve been to a couple UGA/GT games in Atlanta and there were almost 50% Bulldog fans.

        Closer to UGA than Cincinnati is to Ohio St. in football, so they have enough to carry Atlanta, but I don’t know that the B10 wants to be 2nd fiddle.

        • Faitfhful5k says:

          I am not so sure if the Big10 cares if GT would be #2 in the market. It comes down to whether they have enough pull to hit basic cable in Atlanta. In many of the Big10 markets the BTN was on expanded sports tiers in the first year of the launch. Every time a game was not televised, the cable offices were flooded with calls. Cable lost a ton of subscribers to satellite. By the second year BTN was on basic cable throughout the Big 10 footprint and the game was on. Can GT pull of the same thing in Atlanta? I have no clue. I do know it helps their cause having a huge Big10 alumni base there. If the market studies say they can pull it off I think GT classifies as a “home run” expansion candidate.

      • mushroomgod says:

        The GTers are too smart to play big-time D1 football…..The BCs, NDs, Stanfords, NWs, and Vandys of the world can be good but not great….GT will always be second fiddle to Georgia in its own state.

        • Kyle says:

          1] GT is a state school, so listing them with vandy, northwestern, etc is misleading.

          2] I think you’re mistaking program size/profitability with athletic success. GT may never have the size or fanbase of UGA, but that doesn’t preclude them for achieving D-1 success.

    • Vincent says:

      I don’t think Missouri, Connecticut and Vanderbilt are realistic choices if Texas and Notre Dame are off the table. I would expect the Big Ten to rein in Nebraska as its football “home run,” at least Maryland and Virginia from the ACC, Rutgers and a fifth school (Vanderbilt? Syracuse? Missouri?), with a possibility that North Carolina and Duke would be substitutes for the last two spots.

      • zeek says:

        I actually could see a Nebraska/Missouri/Rutgers/Maryland/VA conference working.

        I do think we’d need the SEC to make the move first on ACC schools.

        I.E. go to 14 with Nebraska/Missouri/Rutgers after the Pac-10 goes to 16. Then wait for the SEC to take 2 from the ACC and then pounce and take 2-4 from the ACC.

      • mushroomgod says:

        Md and Va aren’t coming. Get over it.

  94. Playoffs Now! says:

    Ya know, the ‘Tech Problem’ (LOL, as that label will forever but stuck on them) may have a fairly simply solution without the B10+ having to take them:

    B10+ votes on TTech, vote fails.
    B10+ votes on other schools and extends invites, including to TX.

    TX says, “Hey, we tried, but it wasn’t up to us.”

    TTech legislators could still try to force TX to go P16 with TTech, but TX has plenty of legislative power, too.

    Perhaps the stalemate is resolved with TX making their B16 acceptance contingent on the conference supporting the Neo-B12 or MWC (wherever TTech and UHou end up) be included as a BCS conference in the next negotiations (or whatever replaces the BCS.)

    A lot depends on the Aggies.

    • zeek says:

      FWIW, Gee’s leaked email (as suspicious as the timing was), seems to suggest that Tech will have to come with Texas in that it’s a binding issue.

      I mean that’s the plan out of the SEC (Texas/A&M/Tech/OU) and now that’s a plan out of the Pac-10.

      So who knows, I don’t think the Big Ten will have a big public vote that they know will fail. They’re too proud to do something like that. This won’t be like the Penn State addition at all. It seems to be that they’ll only dance with partners that have indicated they’ll accept.

    • SH says:

      I really wonder if the politicians have as much pull as we think. We saw it in the B8-SWC marriage and with UVA and Va Tech, but the economics and general mood of the country are vastly different from back then. State coffers are dry. If a school can generate vast amounts of dollars by moving to a different conference, don’t they owe it to the public to do that? Are we going to be as receptive to the argument that the politicians should be as involved in what most people will view a decision about sports? I’ve said before sports, especially college sports, generate a lot of emotion, and where there is emotion there are politicians. But the conditions of the country are different. I guess we really won’t know until we have a formal invitation for the public to chew on.

      • Mike R says:

        The state of Texas’ coffers aren’t so dry; they are throwing loads of $$$ at seven universities to get several of them up to Tier I/AAU level.

        And I think the Tech problem would be no problem at all if it weren’t for Kent Hance being the chancellor there. His political experience and connections (more extensive and personal than Powers, even) are the only thing keeping Tech in the conversation.

        • zeek says:

          If Tech ends up in the Big Ten, Kent Hance will be the official MVP of expansion. Close 2nd and 3rd would probably be Delany/Gee, but still for Tech to be able to demonstrate its influence this powerfully is impressive.

          Able to bend the Pac-10 and SEC scenarios and possibly even the Big Ten; we all thought just A&M and Texas had that power…

          • glenn says:

            well, but tech’s influence is 100% reflected light. at least a&m has some sparkle of its own, but tech is just moonlight.

          • glenn says:

            tech is like a powerful man’s wife. when he’s horny she gets whatever she wants.

    • glenn says:

      you know, tech should embrace that. ‘red raiders’ has always been a dippy name. here come the texas tech problems!

      has a ring to it. for sure.

      • Mike B says:

        Wait’l they try to “Get Their Guns Up” in Ann Arbor. All the Tech fans will end up in paddy wagons for encouraging gun violence.

  95. GreatLakeState says:

    This is Jim Delany’s Super Bowl. He’s not about to blow it in the fourth quarter and be forced to hand the reigns of the BT over to Gordon Gee. Any holdouts weary of bringing in TECH are going to an education about the ramifications of failure. I think the Big Ten is going to get their Big Fish, even if they have to bring a guppy or two along and nurture them to prominence.

    • zeek says:

      Uh, I think Gordon Gee is about to take over the process.

      He’s been content to let Delany handle everything while everyone’s been talking about Big Ten scenarios.

      But this Pac-16 has the potential to get Gordon Gee to essentially reboot the process at the presidents meetings.

      There’s no way expansion won’t be topic #1 and how to get the schools they want as the #1 issue, especially with how the Pac-16 talk has erupted over the past couple of days.

      But I’d probably feel better with Gordon Gee telling Delany to step on it. Gee’s looking at where the Big Ten will be in 2050. He’s probably got the best vision for it, and there’s no way he won’t start to move the process along if he feels it’s falling off the rails.

      • Manifesto (OhioSt.) says:

        I think you both have the Gee-Delany relationship slightly wrong, personally. I don’t think Gee’s looking to usurp the process from Delany. Quite the contrary. I think Gee’s bought into Delany’s vision enough to where Gee’s telling him, “I’m in. But you better stop screwing around with teasing people and *get it done*.”

        Moreover, he’s probably been a vocal advocate in these meetings. Gee’s respected, but it’s not like he’s the alpha dog in the BigTen. All the other presidents are plenty powerful in their own respects as well. Gee, however, will provide a respected voice trying to quickly shepherd the lot of presidents onto the bus. A bunch of old people who aren’t used to moving quickly on things at that.

        Remember, Delany works for the presidents. He can’t force them into anything, even if he has a lot of clout. Gee is an equal, and perhaps can gain more influence. Moreover, Gee’s a hell of a politician. Having Gee in Delany’s corner is huge for Delany.

        • zeek says:

          Yeah but it’s different with respect to a topic of expansion.

          Penn State still feels like it’s the new guy (as per JoePa, not wanting to rock the boat that much on expansion as he’s said before).

          And Michigan will be the most likely to vote against expansion (unless it’s just ND and stop at 12).

          Thus, of those three, only Gordon Gee is going to buy into Delany’s expansion.

          Sure there will be other presidents speaking out for it, but a lot of them are newer than he and feeling their way around (i.e. Northwestern).

          • zeek says:

            Er, Penn State may buy in, but Gee will have to take leadership in terms of advocating for it…

    • Mike R says:

      JD needs Gordon Gee, whose reputation is stellar, to be his advocate with the other 10 Big 10 presidents. Its not a matter of handing the project over to Gee; its a matter of JD and Gee working together to realize a vision.

    • Lobills says:

      I agree Delany is unlikely to screw this up. But, I think he has presented the presidents with all the information and game theory he can. It’s in their hands now and it’s highly likely a couple of them will need to be convinced.

      And their objections will be academic in nature. Who better than a former president of Brown and Vanderbilt? Gee may come across as an uber-nerd, but that guy is one damn good president who others in that room will listen to. Will they be convinced? Who knows. But, make no mistake if we’re at the counting votes stage Gee is the one doing the horse-trading in that room.

      • zeek says:

        Gee is the only president in the Big Ten who would have the willingness and stature among the other presidents to sell at least 7 others on a Big 16 with Tech. He could sell a vision of Tech ascending to AAU status as A&M did and eventually becoming comparable to A&M today (obviously a very difficult climb and A&M didn’t have to really climb anywhere from the early 90s, it was mostly a prestige issue), but Tech has to actually climb the prestige/research/buildup etc.

        But they seem to be willing to do it. The legislature wants it. Even Texas seems to want it (maybe feels forced but still).

        So that’s where you need Gordon Gee; he has to be the closer if Delany pitches an idea that Texas and ND feel comfortable with but some schools don’t (i.e. Tech as the 5th…).

      • GreatLakeState says:

        I’m not implying that there is any animosity between Delany and Gee. In fact, they seem to get along great and are clearly ‘simpatico’ in their visions for the BT. I’m just saying the ramifications, personal and institutional are stratospheric that a hyper-competent ‘type A’ like Delany is not about to let this thing go south on his watch. -SOUTH, maybe but south, never!

        I also think that the Big Ten’s prospects for success are helped by a weakened UofM. Michigan’s self inflicted wounds of late may have taken some of the wind out of their sails and made them more open to compromise.

        • zeek says:

          You are right about Michigan.

          Michigan is the most traditionalist of the Big Ten universities and would be the one that would push back hard on the expansion push. But right now, they’re a bit weakened in influence (very marginally though since UofM is obviously one of the most powerful schools in terms of sports/academics). So yeah if there was a scenario that Michigan would vote against, it makes it less likely that they would even really attempt to rally 3 others against it.

          • jokewood says:

            I wouldn’t completely put it past Mary Sue Coleman, Michigan’s president, to make a bold move. She voted in favor of the controversial Michigan stadium expansion, choosing money over tradition. She reportedly took an active role in the recruitment of Rich Rodriguez after other options fell through. Regardless of the outcome of that hire, it does reflect a willingness to go outside the traditional comfort zone. MSC has also watched over an incredible fund-raising drive at Michigan and definitely recognizes the value of money to educational institutions. As the school’s first female president, she has broken some of the stodgy Michigan mold. I would still put my money on her opposing it, but I am not sure that it’s a given.

        • Justin says:

          The pushback from Michigan will come back from the academic side, it has nothing to do with football.

          Its also important to note that OSU has carried a lot more debt through financing its impressive facility improvements over the past ten years, and they want maxmimum television revenue to service the debt payments over the next 20 years, especially if interest rates go up.

    • zeek says:

      You know, the leak of the Pac-10 report was the best possible thing for the Big Ten.

      It is obvious that it was really premature (i.e. no one signed off other than the Pac-10 commissioner) as one of several scenarios, and it happened right before the Big Ten president meetings. If there was ever anything to light a fire under the Big Ten’s 12-18 month schedule, it’d be a Pac-16 threatening to take away the Texas-ND scenario…

      • GreatLakeState says:

        I agree. If they could have hitched a ride on a time machine to Monday morning they would have.

  96. zeek says:

    You know, I’ve gotten to thinking. What if A&M has pre-emptively shot down any Big Ten invite? I don’t think we’ve seen a single thing confirming or rejecting a Big Ten invite (heck Byrne seems to totally avoid talking about how travel would still be worse than the SEC in the Big Ten but a bit better in the Big Ten than the Pac-10), but what if they’ve said they only want to go to the SEC or Pac-10.

    Then Texas could be telling the Big Ten that it has to bring Tech along because Texas doesn’t want to be a random southern outpost.

    Then we’re looking at Tech/Texas/ND/Nebraska/Rutgers.

    That would probably be good enough to bring Penn State on board.

    I’d see the vote being a squeaker but Penn State making the difference.

    Yes Michigan would vote no, but I think Ohio State and Penn State supporting it would give enough cover to Northwestern, etc.

  97. jcfreder says:

    failed add the first time

  98. Nostradamus says:

    Interesting letter to Check out. From both the ISU AD and President.

    ” However, we also recognize that the long-term viability of the Big 12 Conference is not in our control – it is in the hands of just a few of our fellow member institutions.

    Iowa State and several other members of the Big 12 Conference are especially vulnerable under some of the re-alignment scenarios currently circulating, particularly one involving expansion of the Pac-10. We are doing everything in our power to represent the best interests of Iowa State in these discussions, but we also are sensitive to the huge uncertainty that has been created and recognize that the situation could evolve in directions that are not aligned with our interests. “

    • Justin says:

      Iowa State will begin to pull political strings in the Iowa legislature now. Count on it.

      It may not work, but they will certainly try.

      • Josh says:

        The Iowa State Legislature has stayed out of athletics in the past, and since the U of I Athletics Dept. is self-sufficient (and ISU isn’t) there isn’t much they could do other than to try to hurt the academic side to force Iowa to do something. And the Iowa AD wouldn’t cry if ISU fell down to mid-major status.

        The Cedar Rapids Gazette had a chat with their columnists this afternoon and they thought that there was nothing the legislature would or could do to help ISU.

        Iowa just isn’t Texas or Virginia. And ISU just doesn’t have any cards to play.

    • Stopping By says:

      You dont see that every day….

  99. duffman says:


    some points as I have been silent for awhile..

    a) I said early on the Big 10 would poach maryland, I still see this as a strong possibility.

    b) I argued early on that texas would wind up in the Pac 16, this seems like where the conversation is going.

    c) I argued for kentucky to the big 10, I am still not sold that this is not a possibility.

    d) I argued early for the BIG 3, and the collapse of the lesser 3 (Big 12, ACC, and Big East).

    This said ESPN just reported on OTL that the lesser conferences would be “insignificant” in the age of mega confererences.. which was a point I made many post ago.. basically the BIG 3 (BIG 16, PAC 16, and SEC16) would sew up 80 – 90 % of the market, and form a new organization. I know we have discussed academics over and over and I am in no way understating the “research” end of the Big 10′s desire, but as I stated early on by going with the value of “entertainment” money driving this whole expansion conversation.

    I said early on that once we get past 12 in any conference, we are in a new world. I go back to my argument of the total collapse of the ACC and that is where the Big 10 and SEC will go to expand..

    Big 10 has 5 slots to fill to get to 16..

    Nebraska, Maryland, Kansas, Missouri, and Virginia

    SEC has 4 slots to get to 16..

    UNC, NC State, Clemson, and Florida State

    Pac 10 has extended invitations to..

    Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, OSU, and Colorado

    the “best” of the scraps would form “regional” secondary conferences that would compete when the BIG 3 for a shot to send a “fourth” team every year in a playoff system. Looks like it is playing out as I said early on..

    • Vincent says:

      Don’t see UNC having any interest at all in the SEC; I also see it going in tandem with Duke.

      NCSU in the SEC is a good fit, though, particularly for an institution trying to use the football angle as a way to get out of the dual blue shadows at the other ends of the Research Triangle.

      • duffman says:


        duke has no football value..

        from day one everyone has agreed that football revenue is driving the “super” conference agenda..

        duke has a 30,000 seat stadium that they can not fill, and have no TV value for football..

        tell me why they would add value if we go to the BIG 3??

        “show me the money” for duke.. then I can buy your argument. I know alot of UNC donors, they would have no problem leaving duke behind.. and duke is not a state school so it would have no support at the state house.

        • SH says:

          I like UNC, wonder why if UVA/MD are possible targets, the B10 would not have them on the radar. Growth area, strong brand, great academics. Wouldn’t you much rather have them over Missouri? Plus one of the oldest rivalries in the game – against UVA.

        • Djinn Djinn says:

          The pluses of Duke are fairly clear. A) Academics. They would be the single best add of any candidate school by academic measure. IMO that alone would get them in. They’re in the University of Chicago’s sort of class academically. B) They’re top notch in research and growing quickly. Given their potential value to the CIC (and vice versa), this is another reason to take Duke. C) They’re obviously top-notch in basketball. Football may be #1 in revenue, but if you can get the best basketball program in the land, I think you have to consider it. (I think you can probably see this better than most, duffman, given your appreciation for the attractiveness of Kentucky.)

          UNC offers a similar package, actually. Excellent academics, though not quite at Duke’s level. Very good research numbers, (though not quite at Duke’s level). Excellent basketball–(I’ll leave it to those of you in North Carolina to argue if they’re at Duke’s level or vice versa). And evidently, Duke also offers some interest in the New York area.

          What UNC offers beyond Duke is being a state school with more alumni and better (though not great) football. And it’s the flagship for a growing state.

          I think the B10 would take either of these schools quite readily.

          • SH says:

            Good discussions above about potential ACC schools being targets (above UVA/MD as noted by Frank). This brings up a good question as to what the ACC will do. Assuming it doesn’t immediately lose any schools, does it expand? What if P10, B10 and SEC expand? The ACC lost a lot of its identity in the last round of expansion, so I wonder if further expansion for them is a good idea. Or would it simply cause the top schools – UVA, MD, Duke, UNC, GT, FSU, Miami – to start looking for better homes? A lot of those schools would seemingly fit into the B10, but it can’t take them all – unless you go with Richards 20 school conference. Va Tech and Clemson would be perfect for the SEC, but I have no clue why the SEC would want them. Perhaps the conference is in relatively good shape which is why Frank believed early on they wouldn’t be touched.

          • duffman says:


            it was in my argument for kentucky in the first place..

            the president is MIT grad that wants UK to be top 20 research school in 20 years..

            UK in the Big 10 would have one of the biggest stadiums in the Big 10 for football and they will sell it out for a team that does not do well in football. (it currently seats close to 70,000 – and plans already exist to go to 80,000+) and unlike duke, they can fill it when they are not winning.

            as a plus you the basketball program and having IU, MSU, and UK in the same conference would be stellar.

            plus it is a state school that dominates the state.. so you add senators and congressmen to the Big 10..

            Duke.. while excellent academically, do not add a state flagship school with a strong football program…. and if split from UNC, would go downhill in basketball quickly.. IU, UNC, UK have won MULTIPLE NC’s in basketball with MULTIPLE coaches.. Duke can not make this claim..

          • Bullet says:

            B10 won’t consider UK. They, along with South Carolina, probably have the most loyal football fans in the country. But they aren’t that big a research school now. They traditionally have not been competitive in the SEC although they have gotten better in recent years. The gap in speed between UK teams and the top teams made it look like I-A vs. a Division II school. There’s still a gap, just not as big. And there have been some nasty scandals in basketball. I just don’t see the B10 wanting to take that on. And I grew up a UK fan and have some family ties there, so I’m not denigrating UK, its just the facts.

        • Mike R says:

          Duke has a lot of plusses on the academic side of course, and its also one of the all-time leading college basketball programs. I know this revolves around football, but basketball provides a lot of inventory for a conference network or TV contract. That can’t be overlooked.

    • ezdozen says:

      I think the ACC survives.

      • duffman says:


        the socon is still around, but it does not wield the power it once did. I see the ACC the same way.. There will be an ACC but it will be a conference of small private schools like Duke, Wake, Tulane, etc.. see also the old Magnolia conference.

        but the big state flagship schools will find new homes in the Big 10 and SEC..

      • rich2 says:

        If the 3 16 Superconferences evolved as many on this board believe then ND would, in my opinion, definitely join the ACC. Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, UNC, UVA, Duke are a great core group. Even if MD, FSU, Miami are stripped out. Then add Fredo, NC State, Clemson and you will have an excellent 10 member league. I hope that it plays out this way if there is this seismic shift as this board believes.

        By the way, I am sorry for bringing up such a hopelessly quaint and probably naive question — but is integrity a criterion when you evaluate potential members of your club? How and why any conference would voluntarily admit Kentucky to its sports conference is — crazy. Calipari, 2.15 gpa, and endless stream of “one-and dones” a historical leader in NCAA probations, really? You would voluntarily admit Kentucky? Is it an Ashley Judd thing?

        • Bullet says:

          Ashley does kind of make it worthwhile.

          UK is not a leader in probations (see Auburn, A&M, SMU and Wichita St.). UK hasn’t been caught that much, but they have had some really bad ones. Its the quality of the violations, not the quantity that would concern the B10.

        • duffman says:


          the point on kentucky goes back to conversations on this blog early on. when we looked at many different schools and how they fit..

          As a person who can remember when the basketball rivalry was IU vs UK, not UNC vs Duke. At the time of the debate we were discussing established programs AND future programs. PSU has grown into the Big 10, point was made for an sec raid by taking UK..

          The current UK president is a research guy that went to MIT. The long term goal is top 20 research in 20 years.. while not there now.. the point was to identify future schools that would fit the Big 10 and put them in now..

          this blog has been good about not being nasty with comments.. so please try to refrain from mean spirited comments.. the point was long term research goals with good sports numbers made them worth looking at (especially in expanding the big 10 footprint).

          We are in the age of one and dones, it is not exclusive to UK – nor is problems with the NCAA. My personal feeling is it goes on at all schools but it is easier to look the other way when it is your alma mater.

          I live in Big 10 footprint, and I know firsthand some issues with some of their programs that have never been pursued. As a fan no one wants to see their own school be the bad guy, but to think it does not happen everywhere is the naive and quaint thinking.

          please keep this blog with good thoughts and comments. do not let it degrade to the name calling you see on so many blogs..


  100. Here’s a statement from Iowa State’s president and AD that was put up on the school’s official athletic website. They don’t sound very confident:

    • zeek says:

      Yeah, they also mentioned the elephant in the room, the Pac-16 scenario that blew up yesterday.

      At this point, it’s a done deal, Nebraska seems like it’s pretty much in the Big Ten, it’s a question of whether we go 1, 3, 5 with them, it seems to me.

      And Texas has made it clear it’s ready to move once dominoes start falling, and after the Pac-16 scenario which pretty much gives Texas everything it could want, there’s no doubt that Texas is in play, which means the Big 12 could crumble as soon as one team leaves and there’s a scramble for the exit by teams with options.

      At least Iowa State is thinking about what might happen even if there’s nothing they can do about it…

    • Justin says:

      Here is where ISU fans are placing their hope.

      Michigan, Northwestern and one other school are adamantly opposed to expansion.

      In this scenario, Iowa is the critical seventh vote. If they are, that is where ISU could attempt a political powerplay similar to Virginia Tech in 2003.

    • Josh says:

      You don’t make a statement like that unless you’re very, very worried. The Big XII is on death row right now, hoping for a reprieve from the U of Texas President.

      I think the B10 would forgo expansion rather than take ISU.

      • Vincent says:

        It would be ironic if Tier 3 Texas Tech — which a certain Missouri politician derided not so long ago — was taken into the Big Ten and Missouri was left out.

        Feel bad for the ISU folks, though. I spent two years in grad school in Ames; it’s a nice college with good people that invariably seems to get a bad break where athletics are concerned.

    • GOPWolv says:

      Wow. That has to be seen as confirmation that the P10 offer is legit. Here’s hoping Delaney can make gold out of chaos.

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        I concur with “wow”… I read snippets before just now. Reading the whole letter definitely gives some legs to the rumors.

  101. [...] In any case, the original Chip Brown story also seemed to indicate Nebraska should be concerned about being left out of both Pac 10 and Big 10 expansion, which makes no sense.  If the Pac 10 is expanding to 16 teams, you can bet the Big 10 will be right on its heels with a major expansion, and outside of Notre Dame, Nebraska has to be at or near the top of their list.  We’re not the only ones who think that, either. [...]

  102. Monty says:

    The Iowa State letter is just the lattest and most explicit in confirmation of this story: before hand, the Cal President intimating something revolutionary might come out of the Pac 10 meetings this weekend, the pac16 report, UCB’s AD Bohn confirming it, the tension of the meeting on thursday, Texas’ President darting out because he had a plane to catch (remember B12 commish said he wanted to see who was on the plane, guess he found out) Washington confirming that huge options were on the table and now Iowa State has basically confirmed the issue, given us a notion of how contentious the meetings were and how brow-beaten some of the schools must feel.
    There are still lots of moving parts, but this thing is being considered and seems very real – more real than anything that has come out the past year.

    The big 12 is not long for this world, the Big East football as well is likely not long for this world, the wac, mac, sun belt etc are condemned, and the Mountain west remains the only real middle class team and after they add Boise on monday, will be in quite a buyers market for anywhere from 2-6 teams.

  103. Mike says:

    Is this where we are at now? Texas says they will stay in the Big 12 if it can start the Longhorn Network and air tier 2 and 3 content on it. Nebraska says they will stay in the Big 12 if schools will not be allowed to market their own network and all tier 2 and 3 content is property of the conference. Can Nebraska and Texas negotiate an agreement to save the Big 12? Will Nebraska decide the Big Ten is best place for its small home market, large national brand to prosper?

    • Husker Al says:

      It’s not just NU and Texas. Oklahoma, A&M and the rest of the league are very concerned about the impact a Longhorn Network would have on any potential network contract. Smaller schools like Baylor have been fighting for greater revenue sharing: the network only widens the gulf.

      Nebraska fans haven’t felt comfortable in the Big12 since its inception, and most of that is due to cultural differences, not economic.

  104. Playoffs Now! says:

    ND could join B10+, but only by themselves?

    Could explain the Osborne meeting this morning, and matches with TX’s supposed desire to stay in the B12. Not buying it, yet. But perhaps ND by themselves joining to go to 12 could allow for just 7 conference games (3 annual protected, 4 of the remaining 8 per year.)

    • Vincent says:

      I just don’t see the Big Ten presidents allowing Notre Dame to be bigger than the game and set its own rules.

      • Josh says:

        Agreed. Notre Dame doesn’t get to come in and start making demands. Nor do I see why they would want to do something like that.

      • Justin says:

        I don’t believe this report for a second.

        However, if Texas was off the table, and ND said we’ll join provided you stop at #12, I think the Big 10 would take this deal.

        • omnicarrier says:

          After seeing that Texas just got invitations for almost the entire Big 12 South from the most conservative conference out there, IF ND were willing to give up independence (and I could see this only IF they believe all major conferences will go to 16 and they will somehow be left out), the Irish will insist upon bringing all some “friends” as well.

          That’s how I see it anyway.

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Could the Catholics save the college football world from conference Armageddon?

  105. c says:

    Interesting ESPN video update by Joe Schad

    Suggesting Texas prefers staying in Big 12 but unless Nebraska and Missouri agree to remain, the 6 schools are going to the Pac 10.

    Perhaps that means Nebraska gets an invite this weekend from Big 10 as Frank suggested if the Big 10 can’t match the rumored Pac 10 offer.

    The Pac 10 offer of 6 regional teams including not just Tech but Oklahoma (plus the 2 AZ schools) seems like it would be very attractive. This may be about more than just Tech.

    • Stopping By says:

      Well, if Frank’s sources are correct and Neb has been given the under-the-table-double-wink-garauntee that they will be invited….they would surely choose the B10 over an intact B12 I would think….so the dominos still may be falling shortly.

    • Josh says:

      There’s a theory out there that this is all an attempt to call Mizzou and UNL’s bluff, in essence saying “commit to the Big 12 or we’re leaving.”

      Honestly, that makes no sense to me. It’s like telling your wife you’re leaving her for another woman and her response is “Stay with me or I’ll marry someone else too.” Once you’re out the door, you don’t really care what happens to them. In fact, you’re happy they’re taken care of.

      • c says:

        Re “bluff” (Josh) and (Stopping By)

        The way I see it, Nebraska and the Texas schools are not bluffing. If invited, Nebraska will get a significant revenue increase and be associated with excellent Big 10 schools and the CIC.

        The Texas 6 retain key regional teams, get bigger payout, benefits of conference channel and are associated with Pac 10 schools which is a major upgrade.

        The offer to Nebraska is perhaps the desire to cushion the blame for the end of the conference and the fact that several schools are going to be left out.

        • bigredforever says:

          agree. What the big12 6 are doing is using nebraska as an excuse. They will let nebraska take the heat and still get what they wanted all along: more money and the stage. Politics at its best

      • Justin says:

        Why would the PAC 10 leak an offer as a bluff to benefit the Big 12?

        More likely, the PAC 10 feels that Texas has been talking to the Big 10 and is playing a chip the Big 10 doesn’t have — TTU as part of the deal.

  106. SH says:

    Could Iowa ST have influence outside of its potential influence over Iowa? Because of its election role, Iowa (the state) has some disproportionate influence over national affairs than other states. Major conference realignment is definitely a national affair. So with that in mind, can we start seeing some Congressional meddling. This realignment is going to happen just as potential candidates start visiting Iowa – at least for one party.

    Just adding more fuel to the fire. I don’t think anyone other than Iowa St grads cares much to what happens to them.

  107. Mike says:


    If Nebraska’s board of trustees, who meet June 12, vote to stick with the Big 12, it could totally quash the Pac 10 options. The Cornhuskers definitely want to join the Big Ten, in my opinion, as does Missouri, but haven’t been invited yet.

    The Big 12 figures to call ‘em both out and demand a position.

    I am also told that a linkage between Texas and Texas A&M may not necessarily be set in stone, and that quite frankly stuns me.

    • eapg says:

      Does Bohls actually believe the stuff he writes? I don’t know what to think about Missouri, but why on earth would Nebraska be part of this dustup without some sort of assurance (disregarding semantics about invites, official invites, applications, etc.) that they had a place in Big Ten expansion? That’s not to say that it couldn’t be withdrawn in some combination of events, but Nebraska doesn’t have any part in causing the Big 12 meetings to resemble a Chinese fire drill without some reasonably secure knowledge of where they’re headed.

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      I’ve caught Kirk Bohls in a lie. Or at least a greatly exaggerated statement of his own ability to predict the future.

      Here is an excerpt from the link above:

      “My 9 Things column a few weeks ago suggested a merger or TV alliance with the Pac-10 would be the most likely scenario for Texas and A&M, and, to its credit, nailed it down this week, saying the Pac-10 is prepared to invite six Big 12 schools and form an eastern division including those six, Arizona State and Arizona.”

      Ah, brilliant! He called the Big XII-Pac 10 “merger” (though “merger” is hardly the word I’d use). Bohls is awfully proud of himself, patting himself on the back and all for predicting this.

      But here is the excerpt from the column he is citing:

      “A television alliance between his league and the Pac 10 “has some definite possibilities,” one Big 12 athletic director told me last week, but he doesn’t see a full merger between the two conferences mostly because of the travel demands of a 22-team union. But couldn’t branching off into divisions solve some of that and hold down travel costs as well as missed classtime? Remember, if the two leagues merged, they would bring together 16 states that total more than 100 million people. That’s a lot of television sets. And maybe the two leagues could get back at the Big Ten for causing all this chaos and arrange a Pac 10-Big 12 matchup in that little Rose Bowl game. A guy can dream, can’t he? More likely, I could see that television partnership where every Big 12 school played at least one Pac 10 school in football and basketball.”

      Sounds like he’s dismissing the very possibility of what might be emerging.

      (Link to prior column:

      • Playoffs Now! says:

        You didn’t go back far enough:

        1. Don’t get overly worked up by rumors last week that it’s a “done deal” that Missouri will leave the Big 12 and join the Big Ten. It’s not a done deal, or even close.

        If the Big 12 were to lose only Missouri, I’m hearing the Big 12 would go hard after the SEC’s Arkansas, which might be willing to listen. Texas will never leave for a destination without Texas A&M, and should more than two schools leave the Big 12 for other conferences, I’m convinced the Longhorns and Aggies would work toward joining the SEC or perhaps try a far-flung, Pac-10 arrangement of 16 teams, with the two schools from Texas and Arizona and maybe Texas Tech making up a South Division.

        • Playoffs Now! says:

          Of course about a million people had already made that guess, so he isn’t some insider visionary.

          • Hopkins Horn says:

            You right, I didn’t go back enough(so, sorry, Kirk, you’re not a liar! You rock!), but you’re also right in implying that Bohls seems to be patting himself on the back for being some sort of genius when I think everyone on this board has contemplated some sort of 16-team Pac 10 configuration at some point or another.

  108. Richard says:

    My 2 cents:
    If the Pac10 gets Texas (and A&M, TTech, OU, OSU, and CU), the Big10 would be strongly incented to absorb the AAU schools of the ACC to go to a Big20, whether they add ND or not.

    The reason is because, while even a Pac16 with Texas wouldn’t surpass the Big10 (and SEC), an SEC that manages to consolidate the south by adding the best parts of the ACC would. Now, granted, no combination of ACC schools would be the same as adding Texas, but if the Big10 adds the ACC, ND would have no place to go (they definitely aren’t heading to the SEC), and games against former ACC schools as well as their traditional Big10 rivals may be enough to compel the Irish to join.

    So what would the Big20 look like? I believe the core 4 ACC AAU schools of Maryland, Virginia, UNC, and Duke are a given as well as GTech & Miami. Then, UNC may force the Big10 to take in NCSt (academically, an OK move, since I expect both NCSt & Miami to become AAU soon), but they wouldn’t add much more TV-wise). That leaves 2 or 3 spots left (depending on whether NCSt. joins or not) which will be filled, in order of preference, by ND, Nebraska, Rutgers, or Mizzou.

    The SEC picks up VTech, WVa, FSU, and Clemson to go to 16.

    Wake & BC are left to fend for themselves (likely going to the Big East).

    The Big10 gets their southern recruiting grounds without compromising their academic brand and stays contiguous geographically, the academically good ACC schools get to join the CIC, and the SEC adds some good football schools. Everybody wins (except Wake & BC).

    What’s more, with this setup, half or more of the national title contenders in football will funnel through the Rose Bowl, and between them, the Pac10 & Big10 will have about half the members of the BCS. The stage is set for a plus-one NC game between the winner of the Rose Bowl and the winner of the SEC-vs-the-best-of-the-rest game (likely coming from the remnents of the Big12, MWC, or ig East).

    Oh, and don’t be surprised about Stanford allowing in TTech, OSU, etc. The Pac10 is desperate for more money, the California state government is broke, and Stanford’s endowment took a massive hit during the recent downturn. As I’ve stated before, Stanford has recently had to cut athletic support staff and Olympic sports programs. If the choice is between laying off staff and cutting sports or allowing in schools that are the caliber of schools they already have in conference (Oregon State and WSU), I think it is an easy choice.

    • SH says:

      I’m getting the impression that if ND were to simply join the B10 and nothing else, we would all just go meh. Four months ago that would have been huge news. You see what you started Frank.

    • duffman says:


      in a BIG 3 you only need 48 schools.. anything else is overkill..

      so you are looking at (3) 16 team conferences [not 20 team]..

      so you see 5 teams to the Big 10 and 4 to SEC, just think this way..

      (think of magic numbers 2,4,6,8,12,16 – in terms of bracket parings.. with emphasis on 4,8,16)

      once the Big 10 and sec get to 16, it is the laws of diminishing returns..

      ps.. I see no way that WVA winds up in the sec, what value do they bring?? the same could be said for Va Tech

      I see UNC and NC State there first.. mike silve is a smart and competitive.. to think he would pick up WVU or UL, or another such team is HIGHLY unlikely.. unless you can show some serious reasons why he would? floor is open..

      • Richard says:

        The SEC operates on a different revenue model; a more traditional one where the brand of the team & ratings matter more. I’ve no doubt that the SEC desires the NC and Virginia schools, but what if Slive can’t get all of them? If the SEC is stuck at 15 (and the good Texas schools are scooped up by the Pac10), I see them taking WVa to make up the numbers.

        BTW, thinking it over further, I see the Big10 making a play for FSU, Miami, and GTech (as well as Maryland & Virginia). The key will be what UNC wants to do. Can they keep the schools on the fringes of the ACC from defecting? If not, do they choose the Big10 or SEC? Would they care about bringing NCSt. and/or Duke along (Big10 may have trouble with NCSt.; Duke would have trouble with joining the SEC). In any case, I don’t think 20 schools in a conference means diminishing returns. Having your own cable network means that you can get returns on scale instead. Plus, 3 top conferences of 16 just wouldn’t work, because they wouldn’t make up a majority of the FBS. 4 conferences of 16 would, as would 3 conferences with some more than 16.

        • SH says:

          Now I simply just want to see Texas, Nebraska, UVA, UNC, and Miami join the B10. What a conference that would be. Look at all the positives – great football, great basketball, some good baseball, a few good lacrosse teams, good soccer teams, great academics, cover basically the eastern half of the country, surround the SEC, and get to tell ND to piss off – you are no longer needed. Of course, I’d probably also dump NE for FSU. Funny a couple months ago, I would have thought that is just a simple pipe dream. But now I think anything can happen – who knows? I know still a pipe dream.

    • Richard says:

      Here’s another crazy idea (for a Big16):

      Add Nebraska; persuade Miami, FSU, & GTech/Rutgers to join. Adding the southern ACC schools & Nebraska persuades ND to join.

      The pods would be





      Everybody rotates between playing their neighboring pod on their right and left (East plays West half the time. 7 conference games. ND would be happy with only 7 conference games (maybe OSU & PSU as well), especially since they get to regularly play southern teams as well. The old Big10 teams can still schedule non-conf Big10 games (Michigan-Minnesota; maybe MSU-Wisconsin as well). In fact, everybody get to play the southern teams except the IL-IN quartet (but they get to play the old Big10 teams as well as ND & Nebraska) at least half the time. The southern teams (who want to upgrade their academic image) get to join the CIC (I expect FSU & Miami to become AAU soon as well, joining GTech in that club).

      • Vincent says:

        I can’t see the Big Ten presidents spurning Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina for Georgia Tech and two non-AAU members if they go the ACC route.

        • Richard says:

          I’m sure the Big10 desires them, but if Maryland won’t leave without Virginia & Duke, Virginia won’t leave without UNC, and UNC won’t leave without NCSU (and Duke), then what do you do? You could take all 5 (though I’m not sure the Big10 would be interested in taking 3 schools just to lock down NC, which isn’t Texas), but only in a Big20 scenario.

    • rich2 says:

      One of the few times I agree with Richard. Which is why many alums are strongly advocating a pre-emptive strike for ND to the ACC. If we can create a home-and-home with Texas and USC, keep Navy, drop the Big Ten+ games(including Michigan) and then played an ACC schedule, it would be ok.

  109. Ricky Bobby says:

    Intercepted text message!!

    From: Pac10 Commish
    To: Big10 Commish

    Delaney, how’s my @ss taste?

  110. M says:

    The way I know that the Pac-10 rumor has some legs is that it has overshadowed arguably the only genuine leak of this entire exercise: the Gee-Delaney email exchange. The key point of the article is the date. Gee sent his email on 4/20 (giggle), more than a month ago. We can only guess at any subsequent exchanges or actions. Did Gee fail to get enough “Tech support”, leading to this option? Did Texas leak (or, if you’re in a Nebraska state of mind, fabricate) this rumor in order to increase bargaining power?

    One point is clear. If true, this offer is effectively the blank check option from the Pac-10 to Texas. It gets to pick whatever 5 other schools it wants (and can get to come) with no restrictions from the conference. Presumably, Texas will also get the benefits of the Pac-10 revenue sharing setup, which is even more lopsided than the Big XII. If legitimate, Texas can now go to the Big Ten (or SEC/Big XII) and see if they can come up with something better.

    Personally, I have serious doubts that the Big Ten can match the offer financially. While the average school is the new conference would certainly make less than the average B10 school, Texas (and USC) would likely make more.

    • SH says:

      I’m not sure why the B10 would want to. By all means make concessions to UT, but don’t totally sell your soul. There are plenty of ways to expand in the future. Plus, I have a feeling this Pac 10 merger (if it really happens) will not work out quite as well as they think. I just don’t see an expansion of that sort working out long term. Just a hunch.

      • duffman says:


        it goes back to my original argument..

        the big 10 and sec operate on share and share alike

        texas, (and ND) are not of that mentality..

        the jump to the pac 10 would let TEXAS and USC be the Sun and Jupiter of their conference, this will not happen in the Big 10 or sec selling their soul as you observed so well.

      • glenn says:

        i agree, sh. i would give it fifteen years max. and then texas, a&m, tech, okla, ok st, colo, ariz, az st would all go as a bloc to their next fifteen-year home.

        • SH says:

          Rotating conferences. Not a bad idea, maybe we can set something up like the English Premier League. Bottom two B10 go to the Big East while the top two join the B10.

    • @M – I actually don’t think that the financial argument holds for Texas. If UT wants the most money possible, then it will go to the Big Ten or SEC (in that order), even with equal revenue distribution. If UT wants some more money than it has now along with bringing in some friends that might avoid political headaches, then it will accept this Pac-10 invite. That seems to be the choice for Texas.

      • Monty says:

        The Pac 16 would have a footprint in states they control of 85+ million people, or the same footprint as a big 10 with texas, mizzou, nebraska, they also will be negotiating all their media rights. There is nothing that tells me they wouldn’t get their network on every cable provider in Texas and California. They would have the option of putting all content on their network, they could be looking at a deal with a fox that obviously wants in as evidenced by bidding up the ACC, ESPN/ABC would lose so much content if they lost both the pac and big 12. They are going to get a monster deal. Selling Texas, Oklahoma, USC, UCLA is not small potatoes.

        Also, if Fox is the partner in their network, what is to stop the pac and big 10 from becoming a combo – you put the pac 16 on in the midwest and put the big 10 on in the west/southwest/northwest.

        The Pac 16 will be generating close to Big 10 money almost right away, owning texas and california versus smaller states that still have some competition like Notre Dame, Pitt, etc. tells me they might be passing the Big 10.

        • m (Ag) says:

          Texas + Pac 10 is a lot of people

          Texas + Big 10 or Texas + SEC is even more people. The people in those regions also follow their college sports a bit more closely, resulting in higher ratings.

          So, if it was completely about money, they would choose one of those conferences. However, they’ll do just fine financially in the Pac 16.

          • bigredforever says:

            PAC10 has a bad deal today because people in that region don’t watch as much CF. That won’t change much in the next 10 years either

      • Bullet says:

        Based on Alan’s numbers, the SEC would seem to be the best financially (at least in the short run). If FL can bring in $8 million in local revenue, that’s $25 million vs. the $22 million in the b10.

        The SEC shares the base TV, but not the local rights.

        • zeek says:

          It depends, the Big Ten Network’s payouts are going up nearly exponentially. It’s not unrealistic to assume that the Big Ten would be paying out $40M per team in 5 years with Texas/Notre Dame.

          Of course you can make a similar argument for the SEC for the Longhorns (that it would grow a lot larger just with that addition), but still, I doubt it’d be as good as Texas/ND in the current Big Ten.

  111. Mike says:


    I don’t know for sure. I wasn’t in the room. But I’ve talked to people who know what they’re talking about. And this is about Nebraska.

    This isn’t about Missouri. Nobody cares about Missouri. Stay, go, drop football, get mad all over again that the Insight Bowl invited Iowa State. Doesn’t matter.

    If only Missouri leaves the Big 12, the league is fine. Heck, the league thrives. TV revenues wouldn’t go down, plus there’s one less mouth to feed. Heck, the NCAA might even give the Big 12 a waiver and let it keep the football championship game.

    This is about Nebraska. Everybody cares about Nebraska. Nebraska helps make the league go. Without Nebraska, Texas’ and Oklahoma’s enthusiasm for the Big 12 wanes.

    Which is why I believe Beebe gave Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman a deadline Friday. Stake your claim. Are you with the Big 12 or not? Are you staying or are you waffling?

    • c says:

      Re Tramel article (Mike)

      Consistent with Joe Schad video linked above.

      This is really brilliant. Like a great novel that is racing toward a conclusion or perhaps defining chapter, except it is real.

    • zeek says:

      I agree 100%.

      Just look at the Big 12 North. That division in terms of TV ratings is entirely carried by Nebraska. Nebraska is the key cog in all of this.

    • SuperD says:

      Now that this story is blowing up its getting a lot of discussion on the main sports radio channel the Fan in Denver. Kind of painful listening the local hosts “analysis” for anyone who’s been following this stuff for months through this blog and the other discussion channels, lol. Looking forward to the next set of hosts though since one is (recent) CU college hall-of-famer Alfred Williams to get his take.

    • Patrick says:

      Wait, wait, wait…. I thought everything hinged on Texas?

      What happened to screw Nebraska we could replace them with TCU?

      Now traditions are really important and Nebraska should respect them and care? What? When Nebraska wanted to continue playing Oklahoma every year on the day after thanksgiving to preserve tradition they were told no, now you’ll play Colorado and only see Oklahoma every few years.

      The only reason Texas wants to save the Big 12 is to preserve the LSN. Are OU and T A&M going to allow them to have an LSN and not help develop a conference tv network?

      I still think almost everything hinges on Texas, but if it does actually hinge on Nebraska the Big 12 is dead.

      This conference is so unstable and has so many individual interests it is bound to fail Sooner, Longhorn, Aggie, Husker, or later.