Longhorn Network Not Much of a Money Hook and Frank the Tank’s Football Parlay – 10/29/2010

Posted: October 29, 2010 in Big Ten, Chicago Bears, College Football, Illinois Fighting Illini, NFL Football, Sports
Tags: , , ,

Well, maybe the University of Texas won’t be taking over the world after all.  The Sports Business Journal is reporting that ESPN and Fox are essentially in a dead heat in winning the right to partner with Texas on a new Longhorn television network.  Some interesting details gleaned from the article:

  • It doesn’t appear that Texas is attempting to take back more TV rights to football and basketball games from the national Big 12 contracts, which means they are essentially building this network based upon the rights that they have now: typically one football game per season and a handful of non-conference men’s basketball games.  As a result, the network will have a heavy reliance on non-revenue sports, pre/postgame programming and coaches’ shows.
  • Texas actually won’t have any equity stake in the network.  Whoever is the winning bidder will own 100% of the network and then pay a rights fee to Texas that the school expects to be approximately $3 million per year.  This is similar to the deal that the Mountain West has with Comcast for the mtn.  The Big Ten, in contrast, has 51% ownership of the Big Ten Network and pays out twice as much as the Texas estimate to every single one of its schools (approximately $6 million per year per school).

Honestly, it’s a bit underwhelming and definitely not going to have the impact that a lot of people predicted.   If Texas doesn’t try to take more football and men’s basketball games in-house, then the network will really have no impact on the Big 12’s national TV contract position (beyond the impending losses of Nebraska, Colorado and a title game).  The Longhorn network is really just Texas attempting to monetize the TV rights that it already owns as opposed to taking any additional inventory away from the other Big 12 schools.

The fact that Texas won’t have any equity stake in its network is also fairly surprising.  Granted, this virtually eliminates any downside risk for the school, but it also caps the upside where it won’t benefit from rising subscriber fees and advertising revenue in the same manner as the Big Ten Network.  A number of Texas alums have told me that the school had started spending on TV network infrastructure, so I’m puzzled by how there’s no equity involved.

Finally, the revenue figures are not real game changers at all, as it’s nowhere near what the Big Ten Network provides all of its schools in an equal revenue sharing system.  Considering that Fox Sports Net recently agreed to pay the Texas Rangers around $80 million per year (effectively a massive Godfather offer in order to prevent the MLB franchise from starting its own competing network and note that this was signed before the Rangers’ World Series run), I would’ve thought that a Longhorn network would make quite a bit more than $3 million per year, especially when it seemed to be such a point of public consternation for other Big 12 schools.

In fact, if the value of the Longhorn network is really going to be only $3 million per year, then it’s obvious to me that this network had absolutely nothing to do with (1) the near-collapse of the Big 12, (2) the ultimate rejection by Texas of the Pac-16 proposal or (3) Texas refusing to consider to join the equal revenue sharing leagues of the Big Ten and SEC, both of which would’ve paid a heck of a lot more with a lot less heartburn.  As dysfunctional as the Big 12 was and still is, an entire league was not going to break up over a $3 million TV package.  I highly doubt that either Texas or the Pac-10 killed the Pac-16 deal over this amount of money, either.  As I’ve also said many times before, if Texas really wanted to maximize its TV revenues, then it would’ve just joined either the Big Ten or SEC, and the relative low amount of revenue coming from the Longhorn network proves this point.

At the end of the day, the ownership structure of this network and financial figures point to the powers-that-be at Texas simply wanting the Big 12 to live.  Maybe it was fear of the wrath of Texas-state politicians.  Maybe it was the real threat of Texas A&M heading off to the SEC.  (Look at this comment from last December from knowledgeable UT alum reader Longhorn Lawyer and the last 3 paragraphs outlining the school’s position about A&M going to the SEC – it’s fairly instructive, especially considering it was made loooong before the Pac-16 proposal was even dreamed up.)  Maybe the Texas dream really has been being able to control something to the effect of an SWC plus Oklahoma league.  Whatever it is, the relatively low revenue stream for the Longhorn network means that the Texas decision for staying in the Big 12 goes beyond financial issues and that the school’s end goal is definitely not independence.


Work obligations prevented me from getting my BlogPoll ballot in on time this week, so we just have some quick picks today (home teams in CAPS and odds from Bodog via Yahoo!)


  • Purdue (+17) over ILLINOIS
  • NOTRE DAME (-8.5) over Tulsa
  • Michigan State (+6.5) over IOWA 

Frank the Tank’s College Football Parlay Record
Last Week: 2-1

Illini Games for the Season: 4-2
Overall Season: 9-14-1


  • Jaguars (+6) over COWBOYS
  • RAMS (-3) over Panthers
  • Steelers (+1) over SAINTS

Frank the Tank’s NFL Football Parlay Record
Last Week: 2-1

Bears Games for the Season: 3-4
Overall Season: 11-10

Have a great Halloween weekend!

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

(Image from TexasSports.com)

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  1. HerbieHusker says:


  2. greg says:

    Hawkeyes are gonna be the first team to beat Sparty this year.

  3. Carl says:

    PSU #100?

  4. M says:

    Alternative titles for this article:
    “Texas: Evil, But Bad At It”
    “Texas: Who Needs Money When You Have Power?”
    “Texas Football 2010: Half-Price for Half-Wins”

  5. MIRuss says:

    Hmmmm….for whatever reason, this doesn’t pass the ole smell test Frank. Is there more to it that we don’t know? The LTN/LSN seemed destined to be this huge money grab for Texas and Texas went so far as to have very specific language for the remaining Big IIX schools to go ahead and pursue their own networks….It makes me wonder what’s missing? Is there something obvious we’re not seeing?

    And the Texas-Centric Big 12 might be something they try to preserve and they now figure that with two spots open, maybe they have as much of a shot at Notre Dame as anyone else…When the time finally comes for the Domers to join a conference???

    TCU and Notre Dame as the “two religious” schools in the Big IIX?


    • Christian (Wylie, TX) says:

      TCU is an unlikely Big 12 invite, not only because they will reduce the per team share, but because they’ll go back to sucking once Patterson inevitably moves on. The list goes Notre Dame, Arkansas, BYU, I believe.

      • Michael in Indy says:

        Notre Dame and Arkansas aren’t happening. For Arkansas, not only is the money better, but so is the recruiting access. Texas’ recruiting grounds are as fertile as any, but they’re still not as a strong as a combination of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida. Arkansas is already playing a game in Texas every year, anyway.
        For Notre Dame, the Big East, Big Ten, and ACC would all make more sense.

        A realistic list should include names that are as nationally-relevant as possible (BYU, TCU, and Boise), as well as names which capture new markets (Louisville, Memphis, and Cincinnati), especially if new recruiting grounds can be offered (USF).

    • @MIRuss – I really doubt either ND and TCU are going to go to the Big 12, the former because ND doesn’t want it and the latter because the Big 12 doesn’t want it. The common thread between both ND and Texas is that they both value control just as much as money and that alone would nix any chance of them being in a conference together – they have a need to be THE clear alpha dog over whatever domain they preside over. Plus, ND’s public obsession with a “national schedule” has some limits. Sure, it would like to play Texas and Oklahoma in football, but if the Irish fans complain about playing “boring” opponents if they were to join the Big Ten, imagine what they’ll be like playing the old Big 8 schools (except for OU), Texas Tech and Baylor annually. At the same time, the Big East set-up for ND basketball and other sports is really its ideal scenario – it gets to play the major Catholic universities in the markets where its alumni and fan bases disproportionately live (NYC, Chicago, DC, Philly, Providence/Boston). In contrast, the Big 12 footprint really doesn’t draw that many ND grads, there isn’t the “Subway Alumni” base of Irish Catholic fans, and they won’t be playing fellow Catholic schools like they do in the Big East. ND scheduling Texas is great, but ND actually joining the Big 12 is a horrible fit.

      As for TCU, they’re in the same position as Pitt is in relation to the Big Ten – probably a good fit in almost all areas, but the market overlap is a complete deal-killer. The Big 12′s problems, both in terms of governance and TV contracts, is that it’s already too Texas-centric, so adding TCU would only exacerbate those issues.

      • m (Ag) says:

        Yeah, Texas’ expansion antics ultimately seem more about control than money.

        Also, TCU has a small national reputation without much of a fanbase. Since the Big East needs names that will get even moderate national attention, they should take TCU. The Big 12 isn’t at that stage (yet).

        • Richard says:

          I’m convinced that keeping TAMU from the SEC was the main (sole?) reason Texas decided to keep the Big12 together. It looked like TAMU preferred the SEC over the BigTen or Pac16 if the Big12 fell apart, and Texas just wasn’t going to let that happen (nor were they going to join the SEC themselves).

          • @Richard – I definitely think it was a big part of it. The SEC was also extremely shrewd in handling the realignment situation. Its main objective was to preserve as much of the status quo as possible – as long as 12-team conferences were the standard, the SEC would continue to be dominant. 16-team superconferences really worried the SEC, especially since the Pac-10 was looking like it would go from maybe the #4 or #5 BCS conference in terms of earning power and zoom up right next to or even surpass both the Big Ten and SEC by taking control of all of the BCS teams in Texas and California. Plus, the Pac-16 seemed to put pressure on Notre Dame to reevaluate its position in the world and seriously consider joining a 16-team Big Ten superconference. If the Pac-10 added Texas and Oklahoma while the Big Ten added Notre Dame and Nebraska, the SEC would have few options to match such firepower. The SEC could try to raid the ACC or BE in theory, but would that really be worth it? The most attractive ACC schools for the SEC would be UNC, NC State, Virginia and Virginia Tech (as they are located in the fast growing Southern states that the SEC doesn’t have any presence in), but those 4 are probably the least likely schools to ever leave the ACC (UNC, NC State and UVA being part of the ACC old guard and VT pretty much being tied to the neck of UVA after what UVA did to get VT into the ACC).

            The SEC knew that Texas would NEVER agree to join them. So, the SEC made a calculated decision – it didn’t really want to expand, but was willing to take on Texas A&M if it meant blunting the blow (where it would at least get the #2 team in the Texas market in a new superconference world) or, even better, killing the Pac-16 deal entirely. By making overtures to A&M, the SEC made Texas extremely worried about that conference entering into its home territory, and mixed with the political maelstrom forming that came with the prospect of Texas and A&M splitting into separate conferences and possibly never playing each other again, the intended effect of scuttling the Pac-16 deal was accomplished.

            This has a great effect on future Texas plans, as well. The SEC isn’t going to spring up and pro-actively invite Texas A&M, but they are very willing to take them on in a defensive measure. This in turn means that Texas is handcuffed from doing much because the last thing it wants to see is A&M in the SEC (or more importantly, the entire SEC recruiting the state of Texas with reckless abandon). In essence, there’s a mutually assured destruction effect, where everyone knows what countermoves others are going to make in the event someone else makes the first move, meaning that no one does anything and the status quo is preserved.

          • jj says:

            100% logical read of this. I think OU is one of the real power players out there in all this particular wrangling.

          • Illini Ag says:

            No other explanation makes as much sense. The politics angle always seemed overplayed to me. TAMU to the SEC was always the nuclear scenario as LL’s December post makes clear.

          • jj says:

            Yeah, if A&M could get OU on board to make the jump to the SEC, nuclear fallout and SEC scores big time. Both are tied at home though.

          • Richard says:

            Nah, OU is too tied to Texas. They’re a small population state, and if they can’t recruit Texas, they’d be in trouble. The fate of the Big12 is determined solely by what Texas does (and what TAMU does in reaction).

            Mind you, the northern schools (MU, KU, KSU, & ISU) may like to jump somewhere if there was a better option, but the Big12 will survive if Texas wants it to.

          • @Richard – Just as important as OU’s ties to Texas is that it’s strapped to Oklahoma State even more than UT is tied to the other Texas-based Big 12 schools. T. Boone Pickens could buy off the entire Oklahoma legislature himself to prevent Okie State from being separated from OU. So, no one can assume that OU can move alone, and if Okie State is mandatory part of the deal, then OU becomes lot less desirable (and much less likely to move).

          • jj says:

            I don’t think it ever will now. Didn’t OU used to be Nebraska’s main rival. Isn’t it the B12 divions that caused the current situaiton? I think there is a lesson here for the B10 with UM/OSU. I really think they biffed on that by trying too hard to make everyone happy.

          • Richard says:

            At least Michigan & OSU will play every year. Still, putting them in different divisions could be a screwup down the road.

          • m (Ag) says:

            If A&M and Oklahoma joined the SEC together, OU would still be able to recruit in Texas. A division with A&M, OU, Arkansas, and LSU would get a lot of attention in the state of Texas. (Presumably the other 3 teams in the division would be Vanderbilt and the 2 Mississippi schools; they would be sideshows)

            The problem is, OU would not be the center of things like it is now. When the Big 12 was formed, you had 4 SWC schools with their rivalries, 8 Big 8 schools with their rivalries, and the UT-OU rivalry that linked it all together. As a result, that money-making rivalry made even more money and got more attention to both schools. Most national columnists don’t understand that the other schools didn’t have many connections before 1996.

            If an SEC move was made, OU would find itself slipping out of public consciousness more quickly when it goes through down periods, as games between LSU, Arkansas, and A&M would all be exciting regional rivalries that could grab just as much attention as any rivalry OU would have in the conference. Rivalries in the SEC East would be even more insane.

            To some extent this has been Arkansas’ problem since it joined the SEC. When it’s down it gets forgotten about more quickly; that is the biggest threat to OU’s recruiting.

          • Cliff's Notes says:

            Richard – After watching Michigan get undressed by Penn State this weekend, I’m not sure splitting UM and OSU is going to matter any time soon. RichRod has had three years to address our defense and special teams, and he hasn’t done a whole lot yet.

  6. jcfreder says:

    I think that those of us Big Ten fans who would like ND to join our conference often overestimate the chances of that happening. But it has to be 100 times more likely that Notre Dame joining the B12. If they want matchups with Texas and Oklahoma, they can just schedule those non-conference.

    • saelle says:

      Like you I doubt Notre Dame will ever join the Big Ten but I find it hard to believe that the chances are greater that they’d goto the Big 12(-2). Most of their graduates are East coast/Midwest based as well as most of their traditional rivalries. The only reason they’d goto the Big 12 over the Big Ten is for emotional reasons and they are much too smart to make a decision for that reason alone.

      • Gopher86 says:

        The Big 12 offers access to the Catholic rich Southwest and an opportunity for unequal revenue sharing. The Big 10 does not.

        I’m fairly sure that the Big 12 would offer Notre Dame a sweetheart deal– six or seven conference games and five or six non-cons.

        • @Gopher86 – I really think the thought of an ND/Big 12 arrangement is just a facade of a legitimate option. ND can call itself a national school at that it wants, but its fans are largely in the Midwest and East Coast and the concentrations of Catholics (and specifically Irish Catholics) in those regions compared to the Southwest are much greater, as well. Once again, Texas and Oklahoma are attractive football opponents for ND, but considering how much ND fans complain about the thought of playing too many Midwestern Big Ten teams, then they will completely flip out when they see those Plains-based Big 8 schools (other than OU) on the schedule. As Texas is also finding out, unequal revenue sharing doesn’t mean more money than an equal revenue sharing arrangement. This continues to be the most perplexing thing that I’ve seen in this entire realignment process – a school passing up more overall money because it seems to want unequal revenue sharing as some type of principle.

          • Richard says:

            Well, I can understand that, actually. If you have a permanent money advantage in your conference, your chances of winning conference titles and going undefeated (and thus playing for the national championship) are better. It also makes recruiting against your conference foes easier. All this is great for extracting alumni/booster donations.

            In any case, if Texas, OU, & TAMU can get their $20M (and I think it’s possible, since the Big12 will get those schools that money even if it means the northern schools and Baylor will have to accept BigEast-level TV revenues), then joining the SEC or Pac-whatever actually wouldn’t net them more dollars. Joining the BigTen would, but the extra few million (as of now, even if the difference might grow) probably would be offset by increased travel costs and wouldn’t be worth it (culturally) in their eyes.

          • bullet says:

            If all else stays the same, TV money is $20 million of $150 million at Texas. Why risk the $130 million to get $22 or $23 million in TV money?

          • Richard says:

            That $150M total is a rather optimistic projection thrown out there by a desperate Beebe trying to save his job. Maybe he can get ESPN to overpay so much and pull in as much for the 10-school Big12 as the 12 school ACC despite having a much smaller population footprint, but I think $100M-$125M is a more realistic range.

          • bullet says:

            The $150 million I was referring to was Texas revenue. They made $140 million last year including $10 million from TV. That goes to $150 million if TV goes to $20 million.

            As for his revenue estimates, the ACC is getting $13 million apiece in a lousy economy in a low period in their football strength. The Big 12 has produced title game participants 7 of the last 10 years and doesn’t have to negotiate a new network contract for 3 years. Averaging $17 million doesn’t seem that much of a stretch. They’re already getting $100 million for the 12 schools. They may not get to $17 but they will get close.

          • Richard says:

            The ACC’s basketball brands are worth much more. Before the recent TV negotiations that united their football and basketball TV contracts, the ACC’s basketball TV deals brought in almost as much as its football TV deal.

            Plus, the ACC has a much bigger population footprint than the (now even more diminished) Big12. I think the Big12 will be lucky to acheive the same $13M per-school average that the ACC got.

  7. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    A $3 million deal is less than what most SEC schools get for selling off their PPV, re-broadcast rights, non-conference basketball games against Multi-Directional U, girls games, baseball and gymnastics.

    • M says:

      I think I speak for all Northwestern fans on this blog when I object to your denigration of “Multi-Directional U”.

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        I really didn’t think it would take almost 2 hours for all the smart Wildcats on this board to catch that. M, you win the door prize.

        How about “Public Multi-Directional U”?

    • bullet says:

      Schools playing FCS schools are about the only ones playing multi-directional Us anymore. The FBS Louisiana schools changed their names.

      I’ve seen that $3 million figure before. And w/o ownership, it really is similar to what the SEC schools do, just that their sold rights are syndicated instead of on one network. Now the SEC schools have a right B12 schools don’t. They get to hold out one fb game a year. So they aren’t limited to their SE Missouri, TN-Chattanooga or Samford games.

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Bullet – the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the University of Louisiana at Monroe will always, respectively, be the University of Southwestern Louisiana and Northeast Louisiana University to me.

      • bullet says:

        A couple of factors with Texas that are different than with SEC schools which impacts the value of the LH Network:
        1) Texas is not alone. They are dominant, but they don’t own the state. Even UT and A&M together don’t own the state. Reminds me of a friend who helped on the drive to move Lousiana Tech to I-A talking about her disgust when a bunch of the students left at halftime of homecoming to go watch LSU on TV. Wouldn’t happen at Tech or Rice or TCU or Baylor.
        2. Cowboys. Dallas and Houston are pro sports towns. UT owns Austin and is pretty strong in San Antonio, but the pros own Houston and Big D. Even Atlanta which has pro sports and lots of transplants really supports college sports. Not nearly so true in Houston and Dallas. UGA and GT T-shirts and caps significantly outnumber Falcon T-shirts and caps.

    • bullet says:

      I can’t believe the B12 would offer ND the same deal the BE has. Dodds did suggest it if ND needed a home. I think that was more a shot at the B10-Don’t take anymore of our schools. Although I’m sure we wouldn’t mind if the B10 took Iowa St. now.

  8. GigoloJoe says:

    Big 12 should invite Boise. Put up or shut up for the Idahoans.

    • Richard says:

      They won’t. Trust me, the Idahoans would love an invite.

      • Richard says:

        That’s pretty cool.

      • jj says:

        I can’t wait! I don’t want to get all crazy just yet, but man we could see them in BCS bowl this year and then set up a rematch. Sweet.

        Look at that 2012 schedule, Boise, ND, OSU, Nebraska, Iowa, NW at home. Awesome! We’ve got a home and home with Bama, Miami and WV on deck too. I’m signing back on for season tickets. This makes up for scheduling a I-AA for the past 2 or 3 years.

        • jj says:

          shit greg! i just jinxed us! we’re even now. enjoy the game dude. this should be fun. anytime we take the spotlight away from OSU & UM it’s a good time!

          • greg says:

            I didn’t mean to come over so harsh earlier, sorry about that. My fingers got away from me.

            I’m glad to see MSU schedule BSU, and they’ve had a bunch of nice matchups announced this year. All the Hawkeye fans are paranoid a 9 game B10 schedule would mean we play ISU and two MAC teams every year, and lose out on the Arizona/Pitt kind of matchups.

            Tomorrow should be a good game. Iowa-MSU last year was one of the most physical games I’ve watched in a long time. Forecast of 60 and sunny at kickoff. Should be fun!

          • jj says:

            it’s just nerves dude. there’s a lot on the line. 99% of the folks on this board are cool. that’s why i like it. and it’s gonna take a lot to offend me! we’ll talk later. whatever happens, kick the shit out of OSU for us. thanks.

          • StvInIL4NW says:

            As I said weeks ago. Nebraska got loaded on the scheduel since joining the Big Ten, but what they get for it is they get to be the darling of the TV scheduelers. You boys will be in the spotlight all the time the couple years. And if you are winning…. Football.H E V E N!

  9. jj says:

    I was bored. Anyone else bored?

    Does’t this B10 alignment work better and accomplish everything they wanted, but for UM/OSU having a rematch (does anyone really want that)? Look at the iron bowl we’re about to get, a rematch a week later would suck.

    Assume the teams across are the protected crossover games. All last-season games must be intra-divison to create a likely mini-playoff:

    NEB UM
    IL NW
    IN MSU
    PUR MN

    • Michael in Indy says:

      Shoulda had KISS divisions:

      Nebraska Michigan
      Iowa Penn State
      Minnesota Purdue
      Wisconsin Ohio State
      Northwestern Michigan State
      Illinois Indiana

      It’s competitively-balanced this year, as it would have been last year.

      • jj says:

        It doesn’t divide the allegedly big 4 though. I just think um and OSU are better off increasing the likelihood of playing for something. Whatever. It’s their baby.

  10. Hopkins Horn says:

    It’s beating a dead horse at this point, but I continue to maintain that Texas fears of a budding Aggie superpower if they were to join the SEC are waaaaaay overblown. From my vantage point, a majority of Texas fans following realignment closely took more of a “stay/leave/whatever/it don’t make a shit” attitude with the Aggies possibly leaving for the SEC and were more concerned about whether we’d continue to play them on Thanksgiving than whether they’d supplant us TCU Baylor as the best team in Texas.

    I’m beginning to think that Texas simply valued its current regional cohesion mixed with a bit of tradition a lot more than any of us (including me) reckoned as we were dreaming up all sorts of rationales (money/control/academics/etc.) for why Texas might have wound up in this conference or that conference. It’s probably the simplest rationale, which made it so boring to contemplate.

    (That being aid, I tend to believe with the comments above that the TV numbers for Bevo TV as indicated above seem low, though I’m not surprised at all that the only football/basketball games it would pick up are those which otherwise would be slated for PPV.)

    • jj says:

      Hey horn, I view it as more of a concern about getting the sec a toehold than ATM being a big power. I think that’s legit for big Tex to not want.

      • Hopkins Horn says:

        I hear what your saying, but I just have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that allowing the SEC a foothold would be that huge a concern. Texas is such a big HS football state that Texas, no matter how dominant it is was, couldn’t get all the 4* and 5* talent. I could see OU being hurt by the SEC getting a better reach into Texas than Texas itself would be.

      • bullet says:

        I’m with both of you. I think it was primarily wanting the regional configuration. But I think Arkansas, LSU, Alabama, Tennessee and UGA recruiting in Texas was a factor. A&M was not a concern.

        From the press conference with Powers, Dodds & Plonsky, the impression was that they either had to make the Pac 16 one conference with all the travel that neither group wanted, or, make it like two separate conferences of 8 teams. When the B12 TV estimates came in, it looked like they could have their cake and eat it too. They got the same $ and didn’t have to head off to a Pac 16. So why share TX and OU value with Pac schools when they could keep it for themselves and stay in a regional alignment?

    • Richard says:

      ….and though the fans may not care about TAMU going to the SEC, the administration very well might (especially if the SEC added OU & OSU as well, but even if they didn’t). All the major schools in Texas have always been in the same conference for a long time now; that’s a situation that benefits Texas, and I’m sure the administration wants to keep it that way.

    • zeek says:

      To me, Texas played a game Hold ‘Em with Nebraska and lost but decided not to go all in (and jump to the Pac-16), so they still control their future.

      Seeing the strategy of just making a little mtn. for Texas doesn’t even look that daunting.

      And considering that the Pac-12 is now going to be even more strict than the Big Ten in terms of revenue sharing, Texas is secure in the Big 12-2. A&M isn’t going to really jump since it’s secure now, and OU is happy. As long as they’re in tow nothing can change.

      • jj says:

        i can kinda see that. tx is in good shape. a 10 team league is cool. they just need to hold it together. the problem is, i think, that everyone left is eying the door.

        • zeek says:

          Ironically, the one thing that could break the league is if Missouri would become successful.

          That’s the one thing Texas might want to consider. If a 10 team round robin schedule results in a Missouri that can win a bunch of BCS bowls and possibly a NC someday, they might look really good to the Big Ten.

          Any school can become a national brand on the quick by playing at a high level (BCS Bowls/NCs a couple years in a row). Obviously, it’s a really difficult thing to do, but if they do that, the Big Ten may reconsider.

          Other than that, I don’t see how A&M could justify bolting, there’d be a significant negative perception in Texas, legistlature etc., if they tried to bolt a secure league.

          OU is happy as long as its with Texas.

          • Richard says:

            Brands aren’t built up that fast. I mean, if Mizzou becomes a perennial national title contender over the next decade (like Miami and FSU over the ’80′s/’90′s), they could raise themselves up to the next tier. Short of doing that, though, I don’t see Mizzou making themselves attractive enough to any other conference.

            In any case, even if they do rise up to a FSU/Miami type level, so long as Texas & TAMU want the Big12 to survive, the Big12 will survive; they’d just bring in BYU to replace Mizzou.

    • Ag1 says:

      That’s funny considering the number of times horns fans came up to me and other Aggies and told us that we “shouldn’t” do such a thing. They saw it for the threat to Texas’s preferred dominance that it was. And it’s funny that even realignment afficionado Chip Brown (former DMN reporter now with their Rivals network) now says regularly on his radio program that IT WAS A&M that single handedly scuttled nuclear realignment warfare with it’s agreement to stay in the Big XII.

      In fact the Big XII commissioner has admitted that A&M will get the same $20 mil deal with or without the same tv viewership that Texas and OU gets regularly.

      Chip Brown is right on this (now). There was only 1 reason Texas looked at the PAC 16 deal and said yes…it was the only negotiating partner with Scott…until the last weekend when it abruptly changed course. The school that so vehemently yelled from the tallest mountain that it was the center of college football alignment…that all decisions from coast to coast passed through the desk of William Powers and Deloss Dodds…was the school that meekly turned tail and ran back into the lesser monied arms of the Big xii brethren once again.

      And another inside tip – A&M has a standing offer from the SEC as long as the commissioner and A&M’s President Loftin are still in their respective offices. With the governor and the Texas Senate finance Chairman as former A&M students A&M is indeed the quiet power behind the self-promoting wizard in Austin.

      • Vincent says:

        If the Big 12 doesn’t fulfill its monetary promise to A&M and it does take this rumored standing offer to join the SEC, what happens next? The SEC won’t want a 13-member league; who’s in at #14?

        I still say Virginia Tech would be the most logical choice from an SEC perspective, as it’s a football-oriented school in a fairly large state the SEC isn’t in now. Yes, it fought hard (with Mark Warner’s help) to get into the ACC, effectively bumping Syracuse — but its ties to UVa aren’t anywhere as strong as, say, N.C. State to UNC. And while for many years, Tech coveted the ACC, no one in Blacksburg ever deemed the SEC a realistic option. Thanks to Frank Beamer, it is now.

        What other ACC school (assuming that’s where the SEC would go for #14) would be as attractive from the conference’s viewpoint? UNC wouldn’t be interested; NCSU might, but isn’t a football “brand name”; and Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida State and Miami are from states that already have SEC members that probably wouldn’t want to lose their exclusive in-state status.

        If Tech becomes SEC-bound, further dominoes fall. The ACC either has to strike quickly for a 12th member or risk having other members picked off by other leagues, albeit not the Big East (this might give Delany the situation he needs to persuade the Big Ten presidents to bring in Maryland and Rutgers, especially if it appears the Big East is ready to collapse). If the ACC needs one replacement from the Big East, who gets the nod? And what if it’s two? I would guess it would be among either SU, Pittsburgh and/or Connecticut.

        Getting back to the conference A&M would have left. Does it stay at nine members? Does it invite a 10th (Brigham Young? Texas Christian?) or does it look eastward for new members (Louisville, Cincinnati and West Virginia from the reeling Big East, thus creating a 12-team conference)?

        All sorts of possibilities.

        • Richard says:

          Just because VTech is logical from the SEC’s perspective doesn’t mean the SEC can get VTech. Do you think the Va legislature would just let VTech leave? Plus, with the new ACC deal, VTech isn’t even going to get a massive bump in money from leaving (a small bump, sure, but VTech isn’t going to leave the conference it pulled so many strings to get in to, and which has a better academic reputation, for a few extra million dollars; remember that ESPN, who doesn’t want megaconferences, has told the SEC it won’t adjust its deal to pay more even if the SEC adds new members).

          That’s why any ACC school leaving for the SEC is extremely unlikely, regardless of what TAMU does. What’s more likely is the SEC adding a second Big12 school. Of course they’d try for OU (though not sure they’d also take along OSU). They may try for TTech as well (to solidify their hold on the state of Texas). Failing that, Mizzou is always available, and is no worse than a middle-tire program like Arkansas.

          • Vincent says:

            Do you think the Va legislature would just let VTech leave?

            For the SEC, yes, since it would be perceived as a step up; Tech and UVa aren’t joined at the hip — as long as they continued playing each other, even on a non-conference basis, that would be fine with legislators. This isn’t A&M and Texas, or Okie State and OU. Tech and UVa don’t have that kind of history.

            The fear in 2003 was that the Big East would collapse, leaving Tech’s football program without a home.

          • Richard says:

            Step up in what way? With their new TV deal, VTech would get close to $13M annually as a member of the ACC. Since ESPN has said they would not pay the SEC more if they expanded, VTech would get $14.6M annually as a member of a 14-school SEC (at it would be 10+ years before the next SEC TV deal). They would also be going to a league with a lesser academic reputation. They would also weaken the ACC, making Virginia suffer.

            You think VTech would be willing to leave the more academically prestigious conference and risk pissing off their old ACC brethen (and hurting their sister state school) for a measly $1.6M a year?

            This brings up another point: the SEC is incented not to expand. They’re quite happy with the status quo and would only threaten to take TAMU in order to keep a megaconference from forming to their west (and challenging their position at the top), as expanding to even 14 schools would cost each member SEC school $2.5M a year for the next 10+ years.

            Plus, as they would get only a $14.6M annual payout if they joined the SEC, TAMU may very well stay put even if the Big12 can’t afford to pay them the full $20M. Sure, they would be disappointed, but unless they join the BigTen (or the Big12 can’t even afford to pay them $10-12M, which I certainly think they can do), no other option would yield them dramatically more dollars.

          • bullet says:

            Missouri covets the B10. I think they would be reluctant to go to the SEC when they had other places to be. And Tech would rather be with Texas than A&M and the SEC. I don’t think the SEC could get another B12 school as long as OU and UT were committed to the B12. VT is a similar deal. They would rather be with the tobacco road schools they have long wanted to join than HornFrog around and skip off to whatever next conference comes calling.

          • Bamatab says:


            In the end, if the SEC were to ever expand, their tv would be renegotiated. Slive hinted very heavily that they would be able to renegotiate their contract. And even if their ESPN contract has no loopholes for renegotiation, we still have a contract with CBS. Plus when push comes to shove, I think ESPN would rather make the SEC happy and renegotiate rather than risk the SEC exploring their own network like the Big Ten (which they DO NOT want to happen).

            With that said, the SEC is happy with the status quo and has no desire to expand currently. The only thing that I can think of that might cause the SEC to look to make another grab at aTm (outside of the Big Ten expanding again), would be if the Big Ten surpasses them (by a very large margin) in the media’s eyes as the top football conference once Nebraska gets settled in. The Big Ten would have to gain a lead in media perception the size that the SEC has had the past few years (or maybe even greater), and they would have to sustain it for multiple years for the SEC to look into how to regain their postion as the top football conference. But with that said, even if that happened, I don’t know if that would even spur the SEC to expand (but they may explore it).

            They SEC is satisfied with the way things currently are and have no desire to expand. But make no mistake, if they wanted to expand they could. And they would end up renegotiating their current tv deals.

          • Richard says:


            Sure, Mizzou thinks joining the BigTen is ideal, but looking as the BigTen doesn’t seem to want them, if the choice is to stay in a Big12 minus TAMU with heavily unequal revenue sharing that is not in their favor or joining the SEC (with TAMU), the decision is a no-brainer.

          • bullet says:

            Whatever the B10 thinks of Missouri, they are an academic snob. The B12 still has 50% AAU schools. And in that unequal revenue sharing, it is earned revenue sharing. They have the opportunity to be a big dog. If projections hold up, they could, if successful, earn more in B12 than SEC. Joining the SEC also kills any chance they have of ever joining the B10. Its anything but a no brainer.

          • Richard says:

            What projections? I mean, yes, if Mizzou can go on an FSU/Miami type run where they’re a national title contender for a decade or more, they may turn their nose up on the SEC (though even then, I think they’d make the jump if the SEC extends them an invite). Barring that unlikely scenario coming about, they’d jump at the chance to join the SEC. Nobody is so irrational that they’d bank on becoming one of the handful of programs since WWII to break from the middle class to join the elite tier or turn down an invite to a conference perceived to be the best in football in the hopes that another conference which has shown no inclination that they’d ever take them in will suddenly change their minds.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Bamatab – you are absolutely correct about the SEC contracts getting re-negotiated in the event of SEC expansion. Slive is a very smart lawyer. While I haven’t read the SEC/ESPN contract, I have to believe such a material change like expansion would open the contract back up.

            Bamatab – are you coming to Baton Rouge for the LSU/Bama game next week?

          • Bamatab says:

            Alan, it’s looking like I won’t be making it over this go around. There is a small chance that I could, but unfortunately it is looking doubtful as of right now.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Bamatab – if your situation changes and you can make it to Baton Rouge, you’re more than welcome to tailgate with me.

          • Bamatab says:

            Alan, thanks for the invite. Unfortunately I won’t be making it over this year. Hope you have a great time though and hopefully we will get a great game!

            But with that said, RTR!!! :)

      • Hopkins Horn says:

        A&M has a standing offer from the SEC

        Then stay/leave/whatever/it don’t make a shit. Seriously.

        • spartakles78 says:

          I have to agree with Hopkins Horn on the what me worry feeling about A&M. I was at McKetta’s 95th b-day dinner in Austin a couple of weeks back & the UT people there didn’t seem at all concerned about the movement of teams.

        • Ag1 says:

          Your own Chancellor and athletic director reveal the silliness of your faux arrogance. They didn’t want it, Mack brown didn’t want it, your (honest) fans (you won’t find them on shaggybevo.com) were threatened by it.

          Let’s put it as plainly as can be said: Texas wanted A&M to stay more than A&M wanted it…thus the $20 mil deal to stay.

          Don’t be upset because the Machiavellian plans of an arrogant administration fell through. That happens.

          • Hopkins Horn says:

            Ah yes, being lectured by someone who wants to state things “plainly” who can’t write real clear.

            My arrogance is quite real when it comes to things Aggie-related. It isn’t faux. If my arrogance was mearly faux arrogance, I wouldn’t really be arrogant, would I?

            That being said, please provide a link to a quote that reveals that Francisco Cigarroa (the UT Chancellor) DeLoss Dodds or Mack Brown were scared of the prospect of A&M becoming a power by moving to the SEC. I’ll be waiting.

          • bullet says:

            The $20 million deal was from the left behind 5. Texas and OU have said they don’t want or need it. President Powers said it wasn’t a consideration.

            And Texas wouldn’t mind A&M being better than a 5-7 team. Its not much of a rivalry when you win all the time. A&M had slipped to the #4 rivalry for Texas when I was in school. Texas had only lost 3 times to them in over 30 years. That despite the fact that Texas had some lean years in the early 50s.

          • m (Ag) says:

            Bullet–you were in school a long time ago!

            UT vs. A&M:

            1894-1901 UT 7-0-0
            1902-1939 UT 20-15-4
            1940-1974 UT 31-3-1
            1975-2009 A&M 18-17-0

            Obviously there have been bigger and smaller streaks there, but those years really stand out as the exception in the rivalry.

          • bullet says:

            It was a long time ago! I was in school shortly after A&M ended their 35 year futility streak and UH joined the SWC. A&M just seems on an inexplicable downward slide the last 10 years. That 18-17 over the last 35 years includes the 10-1 streak the Aggies had starting in 84.

          • Ag1 says:

            It’s indeed fun to reveal in such a national forum the thin-skinned nature of the average Texas Longhorn fan.

  11. Penn State Danny says:

    Is there any chance of USF and UCF being added to the Big 12?

    It would open up Florida for the league. Wouldn’t it be something if the loss of South Florida was the move that finalized the demise of Big East football?

    • m (Ag) says:

      I don’t see USF or UCF giving enough value to the conference, especially when you consider the added travel costs to get there.

      There’s a small chance they might grab the closer Big East programs (Louisville & Cincinnati) or bigger but more distant programs (Pitt & Rutgers), though I don’t see either as likely if the current 10 Big 12 programs stay together.

      (According to google maps:
      Austin-Tampa 19h2min
      Austin-Pitt 23h19min
      Columbia-Tampa 19h9min
      Columbia-Pitt 12h15min)

    • Richard says:

      BYU would add more value than either USF or UCF. The only reason to add those schools would be to open up Florida recruiting, but the 3 top Florida schools and the top SEC schools would still get the cream of the crop in Florida. The Big12 schools would be competing with schools like NCSU and SCarolina for leftovers.

    • jj says:

      I can really see ISU, Kansas, K-State and Mizzou considering approaching the Beast before this. They are all premier or fairly decent bb schools and could likely do some damage in terms of the football. They will probably not ever hang with OU and TX in football and the history isn’t long enough in the B12 to solidify them up, I think. Wheel in 2 or 3 others from the central or mountain and you can have a nice national conference. It would take breaking some eggs, but there is a good deal in there somewheres. The catholic bb-only schools would likely be the hang up. they’d probably have enough to tell ND to take a hike though, if they wanted to.

      • Hopkins Horn says:

        I can really see ISU, Kansas, K-State and Mizzou considering approaching the Beast before this. They are all premier or fairly decent bb schools and could likely do some damage in terms of the football. They will probably not ever hang with OU and TX in football?

        Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! :)

        • Richard says:

          Nice sense of humor. Anyway, I certainly can see Mizzou & Kansas talking to the BE at some point (really, any other major conference that wants them). Maybe KSU as well if that means landing Kansas. ISU is out in the cold, I’m afraid.

          • Hopkins Horn says:

            As a Cowboys and Longhorns fan, a sense of humor is all I have right now. :)

            (As opposed to the friend I visited last night: a huge Oregon Ducks and San Francisco Giants fan. Talk about being on top of the sports world after years in the wilderness…)

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      Is there any chance of USF and UCF being added to the Big 12?


      Any movement to 12 would have happened this summer.

      Again, I think what we’ve seen out of the Big 12 this summer is that getting to the number of teams necessary to be allowed to hold a championship game isn’t in and of itself a reason to expand to 12. Any plausible pair of teams which could be added to the Big 12, at this stage, would be a net negative, even with the added revenue of a CCG.

      In sum, did adding Nebraska to the Big 10 make sense for reasons beyond the right to host a CCG? Absolutely.

      Did adding Utah and CU make sense for the Pac-Whatever? Not quite as strong as “absolutely,” but still pretty clearly a net positive.

      Would adding any pair of schools from the body of available MWC/C-USA be a net positive, disregarding the CCG effect? Nah.

      • Richard says:

        Key word is probably “pair”. BYU would be attractive, but there’s no other school that would make the addition of a pair a net positive for the Big12 (well, of those the Big12 can get, I should add; they’d obviously want ND and probably even Arkansas if available).

        • Hopkins Horn says:


          I thought there was one “net positive” pair at one point: Utah and BYU. But I was thinking this at the time when it appeared that Mizzou was Big 10-bound and when the Pac-Whatever’s expansion plans were still veiled in secrecy, which meant that (1) Utah was still obtainable and (2) the Utah schools would not have been quite the geographic outliers in a conference which would have still had CU in it.

          As far as ND/Arkansas . . . I assume you’re saying this as well, but, yeah, they’d be quite the net positive, but they ain’t happening.

        • bullet says:

          I think BYU is the only obtainable positive. CSU combined with BYU might have made sense 5 years ago, but they have tanked. Barring CSU or UNM suddenly turning their programs around or expansion to 14 by the B10 with Rutgers + 1 (when the other conferences might gobble up the BE), I think the B12 will stay mathematically challenged. In any event they won’t do anything until their network contract comes up in 5 years.

          • Hopkins Horn says:

            Theoretically speaking, I have to wonder how obtainable BYU itself would be right now. I sense that they’d rather give independence a shot than join what appears to be an unstable conference.

            (Now that I mention it, I’m actually a bit more bullish on the likelihood of long-term survival for the Big 12 in its new ten-team configuration. Not so bullish that I’d want to wager any money on it, but I’m beginning to get the feeling that removing the radioactive Nebraska element from the mix [and I actually don't mean that negatively, believe it or not] has left a more stable body of teams behind.)

          • Richard says:

            I actually feel that the Big12 in its current form is pretty stable in the short term as well. The BigTen only has eyes for Texas (and maybe TAMU). The SEC likes the status quo and aren’t financially incented to expand for the next 10+ years. The only thing that may threaten the stability of the Big12 in the short term is if Beebe negotiates a TV contract that pays Texas & TAMU significantly less than the BigTen, SEC, or even Pac12 schools. As ESPN really doesn’t like superconferences forming, Texas, OU, and TAMU are likely to get their $20M annual payments (or close to it) while the northern schools should still get a little more money than the BE schools (even if it’s significantly less than what schools in all the non-BE power conferences get).

            The earthquakes probably won’t start again before 2020 (when the SEC will start positioning itself for it’s next TV contract).

          • bullet says:

            I’m not sure ESPN is opposed to superconferences. They are opposed to them right now with their SEC and ACC deals set, but that could change. Also the Pac 16 might very well have gone with Fox as both the Pac 10 and Big 12 did originally.

          • Richard says:

            Well, their SEC and ACC deals are set for the next 10+ years, so I don’t see them changing their stance any time soon. Even afterwards, it simply isn’t in their interests for the guys at the other side of the negotiating table to gain more leverage (which superconferences would give the top programs).

      • zeek says:

        I agree. The thing is, the Big Ten got a national brand and a CCG. The Pac-12 got earlier starting times for a game on average every week as well as dominance in the mountain time zone region as well as a CCG.

        What exactly would the Big 12 get out of any two schools other than maybe ND and BYU or something like that? There’s just no two teams that add enough territory at any level or some kind of regionally dominant expansion to justify it. BYU-TCU doesn’t do enough, etc.

        The only movement I see in the future is the possibility of Mizzou bolting if they win enough in the Big 12. If Mizzou does well enough in the round robin Big 12 in terms of recruiting and getting to BCS bowls, there is a potential pickup for the Big Ten someday.

        But, the Big Ten just wants ND at this point to be honest. It’s just hard to see the Big Ten going to 14 first since everything has settled down…

  12. Patrick says:

    Great thoughts Frank! I have been staring squarely at Texas A&M as THE domino that didn’t quite tip. Someday it may fall, maybe not, but it seems that Texas A&M is the school that will decide if the conferences head for 16 teams or call on the hand they have.

    The A&M faithful seem hell-bent on heading to the SEC at some point. They have t-shirts that say “A&M SECede”. I don’t think that the Big 12 will last, maybe 5 years tops. A&M was promised big money, I doubt the Big 12 can deliver. At some point there will be a mad scramble, and some will get left out. Iowa State, Kansas State, and Baylor had better keep their eyes open.

  13. StvInIL4NW says:

    Yes, great post frank. I am really shocked the way it all turned out. The take for Texas was , well given all the hype extremely disappointing. It also makes all the movers and shakers on the UT side look suspect. It could be what’s left of the Big 12 is really what’s best for Texas. It does not though make this outcome less disappointing.
    The Pac ten does not have a lot of options for expanding. Since they already went all in and disregared their academic standards with that Pac 16 deal, I say they should go ahead and bit the bullet and go after Boise State packaged with BYU and forget about Texas. Let’s watch and see if A&M get their money.

    • Richard says:

      They didn’t go after BYU for religious cultural reasons. Boise doesn’t bring enough money and isn’t enough of a fit for the Pac12 to consider them. Granted, they were willing to take in TTech, but just as the BigTen is willing to slacken its standards for ND but not West Virgina, the Pac12 would let in TTech if it meant landing Texas, but wouldn’t do that for Boise.

  14. cfn_ms says:

    I think there are couple areas of disagreement I have with your conclusions re: LSN:

    1) From article:

    “Dodds has said that Texas can expect about $3 million in annual revenue from the new network once it’s launched, and the revenue would increase based on the network’s success. The Longhorns are not expected to carry any risk if the network were to fail.”

    That sounds like essentially an ownership stake, even if it’s more of a de facto one. If UT is getting a share network revenues, that’s an ownership stake even if all parties decide to call it something else.

    2) A key number that doesn’t pop up in the article is the length of the deal. If this is a 10+ year deal, then most of what you’re saying makes sense, but if it’s more like a 5 year deal, the it’s something quite different. In such a case, Texas might be dropping short term equity, but still has long term equity, because they’d be renegotiating once the network (maybe) hits its stride. In that case, the interpretation is more that Texas isn’t hugely interested in the short term cash flow, but may well be interested in the possibility of a MUCH bigger long term cash flow. At the least, I’m pretty sure that they want to find out how lucrative this venture could end up being before they make ANY long-term decisions regarding conference affiliation.

  15. Michael says:

    What are everyone´s thoughts on Big 10 division names?

    I came up with:




    • Brian says:

      If they’re going with names of people (a big if), it seems like Berwanger (1st Heisman winner) and Stagg (one of the great early coaches) are the best choices. Both are Chicago people, so no bias toward an existing team. They represent the history and tradition of the Big Ten, as well as the great coaches and players throughout the years. Plus, I like the similarity to the old NHL division names for a conference in college hockey country.

      The real question is which division is which. Ohio is the cradle of coaches, so I suggest the Stagg Division is OSU/PSU/WI/PU/IN/IL making the Berwanger Division MI/NE/IA/MSU/NW/MN.

  16. StvInIL4NW says:

    Lake and prairie seem to be the lease offensive and the most logical. Naming a conference after woody and Schem would make it still feel like these guys have their boots on the necks of the little two. East and west is not entirely accurate because some teams are will not be geographically correct because of power placement. The Lake will be the more Eastern portion and prairie will be the more Western portion. So then maybe its the Great lakes or Grand Prairie conferences.

    • Richard says:

      I was thinking Lakes and Rivers. OK, there aren’t any notable rivers in Michigan (or Evanston; I guess there is the Chicago river), but what can you do.

  17. StvInIL4NW says:

    Hoosers found some defense today. And NU cant find its offense or a play without a penalty. Lookout wildcats! second half about to start.

    • zeek says:

      The Wrigley game looks like it’s going to be huge with Illinois firing on all cylinders and Northwestern at 6-2 and hoping to get to a Florida bowl game. Should be an exciting finish to the season though.

      • StvInIL4NW says:

        Yup Zeek. I think it’s the QBs that decide this one. If the Illini defense does as they have been they neutralize the NU offense. The NU defense will bend but not break. So can the Illini QB lead them to a 20- 17 0r 20 – 13 win? If not, I think NU’s Dan Persa can in a game that’s not his best.

  18. StvInIL4NW says:

    It’s over. NU loses Persa for the 4th but finds a run game in the second half get to a W. Not the game I was hoping for but credit IU defense for keeping Persa in front of them and IU offense for getting enough first downs to keep NU’s Offense off the field. Coach Fitz, your team has little discipline this year.

    Illini, roles!

  19. loki_the_bubba says:

    Local paper reporting that Texas State and UTSA to the WAC is now a done deal.

    “It’s pretty obvious at this point,” WAC Senior Associate Commissioner Jeff Hurd said. “You know who the football playing schools are and you know who the non-football playing schools are.”

      • m (Ag) says:

        Well, congratulations to those 2 schools. They had the good luck to be moving to the FBS just as a low level conference needed members. I’m sure Louisiana Tech is happy to see the conference moving a little bit closer.

        I’ve said it before, but I think UTSA should be able to support a football team. With no other football in San Antonio, I think they should be able to at least do as well as UNT or UTEP. Texas State, just outside of Austin, seems much more iffy to me.

        • bullet says:

          I agree.

          Texas State should probably adopt Eastern Michigan’s uniforms. I don’t see any way they avoid a similar train wreck in FBS. They have rarely even made the playoffs (once or twice) since they moved to I-AA in the mid-80s. Their fan support is average for FCS. Their students party in Austin on the weekends.

        • bullet says:

          UTSA’s problem is that they will be forced up before they are ready because the WAC needs them. It could permanently harm the program to start it in 2011 and move to FBS in 2012. Buffalo was lucky to have Turner Gill turn the program around. They moved into the MAC before they were ready and it really hurt recruiting and fan interest to be so bad for so long.

    • Richard says:

      They may still need Montana if Hawaii leaves as well (and I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t).

  20. bullet says:

    Article starts off talking about BE expansion, but then discusses money games and their cost. WVU AD seems convinced all the conferences are going to 9 games because of that. FSU is paying LA-Monroe (NE LA for Alan) $1.3 million next year.

    • Richard says:

      9 conference games certainly make sense for conferences with stadiums mostly in the 60K range (the BE, ACC, Pac12, & Big12). The top BigTen and SEC schools can still afford to pay for guarantee games. Even the “middle-class” in those 2 conferences would mostly prefer 8 conference games because
      1. their stadiums are 70K or more
      2. they have extra money due to their better TV deals.

      • zeek says:

        Can’t underrate the importance of an extra win in terms of getting to bowl eligibility as well.

        It’s hard to see any school wanting to give up one of its three patsies in exchange for a legit game…

      • @Richard – This is going to be extremely interesting as to what the Big Ten ultimately decides. At a micro-school level, 8 conference games make more sense because of the revenue from extra home games plus more easy wins for bowl eligibility. At a macro-conference level, 9 conference games would be desirable since it would likely make the overall TV package better (replacing a week of MAC-rifice games with conference games).

        Another factor to consider is simply that the Big Ten schools really like playing each other a lot. That might seem obvious, but the SEC’s old scheduling model was having each school play a handful of permanent rivals while rarely playing the others in the conference. Thus, it wasn’t a big deal for the SEC to set up divisions and then not have teams play for 3 or 4 years straight – that was how the SEC had always done it. In contrast, the Big Ten schools haven’t ever missed playing a conference opponent more than 2 years straight. A lot of schools flip out when Michigan or Ohio State fall off the schedule for only 2 years each decade, so it’s a drastic change to then go to the other extreme where they might be getting visits from them only 2 times each decade. That’s definitely something on the minds of the ADs and university presidents.

        If I were to predict today, I think the Big Ten will end up with a 9-game conference schedule, but it’s not anywhere near a foregone conclusion.

        • Richard says:

          Good points. Maybe eventually (and definitely if there’s further expansion), but I don’t see it happening soon. Are OSU & PSU really willing to give up their 8 home games in their 100,000K+ stadiums? Would Iowa be happy with 10 games accounted for + 2 MACrifice games every year (or having to have 6 home games some years)? 9 conference games could happen because Michigan seems to be going against it’s economic interests (either that, or they can charge a significant premium for tickets to BigTen games), but I would think that PSU, OSU, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, and MSU would always be against a 9-game schedule (the first 4 because they each have a big/huge stadium they can guarantee filling so they want as many home games as possible; the last 2 because a permanent OOC rival means choosing between a 6-game home slate some years or nothing but MACrifice games on the open part of their OOC schedule).
          Maybe the TV revenues would get so big that they would trump the home game + BCS bowl elgibility concerns, but that’s in the future.

          • zeek says:

            Well, the ADs hate having to sign huge checks away even though they do have the big stadiums. It becomes a royal pain to schedule these games as well in terms of finding the right opponents. Michigan State is paying $1.2M or whatever for Boise’s visit next year and then the following home-home in the 20s is $300k to each side. Still, it’s not cheap, which is why a lot of schools are now doing 2 for 1s. The lowest FBS schools are charging near $700k for a visit…

            At a certain point, they also understand that the MACrifice weekend looks absolutely horrible from a national viewpoint.

            And they do like playing other Big Ten teams even if that does mean an additional 5 or 6 losses (accounting for an upset…) to be shared among the conference.

            The presidents especially love that because that’s what their boosters want. I mean we all saw how important the California matchups were in their divisional split.

            Wisconsin and Iowa especially would like to meet more than 4 times out of 10 years. Nebraska would like to probably develop tradition with the schools as it can, even though that’s going to take a long time. Penn State is the same; they’ve only played some of the schools like 14 times. The people who matter love tradition and as the money differential narrows due to the expense of bringing in patsies, they’re going to jump for the 9 game schedule. I think Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Penn State would all favor it from a tradition standpoint of getting to play each other more often (and the rest of the Big Ten schools rotating off the schedule for 6 out of the 10 years; reducing that to 4 out of 10 is a pretty big difference).

            I mean, what Wisconsin booster actually enjoyed the game against Austin Peay?

            As for the coaches, they hate the idea because they need to go to bowl games (bottom half of the schools) as a mandate, but the top half also hate it because they want easier routes to the BCS bowls and possible MNC attempts.

            And as you point out, TV revenues may make this point moot, since a full Big Ten slate is worth a lot more than the MACrifice weekend.

          • m (Ag) says:

            I think you misjudge Nebraska. They will have 6 Big 10 foes who will stay on the schedule every year; if they want more tradition they can schedule one of their old Big 8 foes (and I’m sure there are several ADs who would be overjoyed to schedule a home and away series).

            But you’re seeing a response to the rising cost of ‘buy’ games. Penn State is playing Alabama home and away. Michigan is playing Alabama as well at Jerryworld. Michigan State is upgrading its non-conference schedule. Ohio State decided if you’re going to pay a lot to a visiting team, you might as well go for an appealing school like Colorado.

            The rising price of buy games has made glamor matchups more sensible. Neutral site games at Jerryworld and Atlanta have apparently been fairly profitable; I hear they plan to add a 2nd SEC-ACC game in Atlanta soon. The new pro stadium in New Jersey seems like it could do something similar for Big Ten teams against a national foe.

            While these games reduce the demand for buy games a bit, the addition of several new schools to the FBS level will increase the supply somewhat. It probably won’t reduce the price of games, but it will keep them from rising as fast.

          • Bamatab says:


            Your point about the one year neutral site game is dead on. Bama (and especially Saban) has really fallen in love with these neutral site games. We’ve played in the first two Chik-fil-a kickoff games, and will be playing in Jerry’s world. Saban also said that we will most likely play the following year or two again in the Chik-fil-a kickoff game (against ACC team(s)). They apparently pay better than one would think. Plus they get you a game played in good recruiting areas like Atlanta and Dallas which you might normally not play in (which Saban has already exploited by getting a lot of kids out of Georgia the past couple of years).

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            m(Ag) & Bamatab – LSU is doing the neutral site games as well with the UNC game in Atlanta this season and a game with Oregon in Dallas next season. My understanding is that the Atlanta game netted close to $3M and the Dallas game will be worth even more.

        • zeek says:

          Oh and, I wanted to second that point about schools flipping out when Michigan and Ohio State drop off the schedule.

          Northwestern gets a 4k boost to its average attendance due to a Michigan or Ohio State home game. That’s really not to be underestimated. This past summer the school went into a quasi-panic that we had won 17 games over 2 seasons with very competitive bowl games that had good TV ratings in Chicago, and yet attendance was horrendous last year. It was the lowest it’d been perhaps ever in the non-conference last season, so they went into full panic mode and are now putting a ton of work into marketing as well as the Wrigley game.

          Obviously, now we get Michigan or Nebraska at home every year, so that problem is fixed. But they do like Ohio State visiting and Wisconsin travels well due to proximity, so they would like to get them onto the schedule more if possible.

          • Mike says:

            The boost when Nebraska visits will be much more than 4K. I wouldn’t be surprised if the game sells out. There is hope among Nebraska fans that its moved to Soldier Field.

          • M says:


            4k to the average not the game itself. In other words, a total of (7 home games * 4k) = 28k extra fans (maybe 20k at the game itself and 1k extra season tickets sold).

        • 84Lion says:

          Another issue is bowl eligibility. Right now I count 7 bowl tie-ins for the Big Ten, 8 if they send two teams to the BCS (which is what’s typically happened recently). With 3-4 games left in the season, there are right now 6 Big Ten teams that are bowl-eligible. Northwestern might be in a bit of trouble if they had to give up one of their “pre-season” gimme games. (It should be noted that Northwestern is not playing Ohio State and Michigan this year.)
          Frank’s right, it’ll be interesting. Between the big schools (PSU, OSU, Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin) and the smaller schools that might miss bowl eligibility (Northwestern, Purdue), my guess would be that the 9-game conference schedule will get shot down.

          • Pat says:

            Many of those bowl games are huge money losers for the participating schools that are required to buy thousands of tickets that cannot be sold. The NCAA keeps adding bowl games, but they really should eliminate about 10 of them. Most are worthless.
            A new book, just published on October 14th, really trashes the BCS and bowl system, and proposes a national playoff system. I’ve read the first eight chapters and it’s fairly interesting, especially if you are one of those that hates the “BCS Cartel”.

          • Richard says:

            I foresee 8 BigTen bowl-elgible teams this year. However, we now have 8 tie-ins (the Rose, the 3 Florida bowls, the Insight Bowl, the 2 Texas bowls, and Pizza Pizza!), so everyone elgible will go bowling.

            Thinking about this more, it seems like 9-conference games may come about sooner than I originally thought. All that needs to happen is for Wisconsin to hit a rough stretch of a few years when they’re not bowl-elgible. At that point, Wisconsin would have trouble selling out games against patsies and thus would like more BigTen games, and getting bids to BCS bowls would be less of a concern as well. In fact, that may explain why Michigan broke from the big school pack: they realized that they can’t jack up ticket prices against MAC teams when they’re struggling, yet can still sell tickets to BigTen foes at a premium.

            Bowl elgibility probably isn’t as big a concern for the administrations (even if they are for the coaches), because going 6-6 probably won’t excite the donors. BCS bids may get extra donor money flowing, but you’d only need another one of the big-stadium schools without an OOC rivalry (PSU, OSU, Wisconsin) to fall on hard times like Michigan to tip the vote towards a 9-game conference slate, IMHO.

          • Richard says:


            The problem with that book is that they don’t address the biggest reason not to have a playoff: the top power conferences get most of their money from monetizing their regular season games (the BigTen and soon the Pac12 more so through their own networks, though the other power conferences do as well), and while the authors dismiss the thought of a 16-game playoff diminishing the importance of regular season matchups, they don’t consider that not everyone is a college football junkie. The casual fan won’t care much about games if their own school (or maybe conference) isn’t playing, and there are no national title implications. The whole country watched Pitt upset WVU in 2007. Would anyone outside of those 2 schools (or the BE) have cared if there was a 16-team playoff? The whole country watched the past 2 SEC title games and Michigan-OSU in 2006. Would people outside the respective conferences have cared if those games would have been essentially just for seeding (as would have been the case with a 16-team playoff)?

          • bullet says:

            ND’s coach has said he REALLY wants any bowl game this year. The teams get to practice for another 5-6 weeks which is really beneficial for the next year.

    • zeek says:

      Well if the goal is to get to 10, then Villanova/TCU is probably the game even though 17 may be awkward for basketball scheduling I guess.

      I’d still favor Eastern Carolina or UCF over Villanova since they’re doing much better in terms of facilities and would be able to get their 50k fans in the seats, whereas Villanova seems as if it’d never make a dent in the Philly market.

      I mean didn’t we all see this game before with Temple? Why will Villanova really be any different?

      In any case, I do hope TCU gets an invite; that’s a program that has everything it needs to be a BCS program.

      • Vincent says:

        Texas Christian certainly deserves a BCS berth somewhere; unfortunately, the Big East’s basketball uber alles philosophy and disjointed hybrid state probably will prevent it from getting an invite. (Geography, too; it would be a Big East outlier, both in an overall and a strictly football sense.)

        • Michael in Indy says:

          I just don’t understand the logic that says TCU is so much of an outlier, while USF, supposedly, is well within Big East territory.

          That begs the question: How much closer is Tampa to Big East football cities than Fort Worth is?

          According to googlemaps, Tampa is actually 8 miles farther from Louisville than Fort Worth is.

          Tampa is 49 miles closer to Cincinnati;
          239 miles closer to Pittsburgh;
          246 miles closer to Syracuse;
          289 miles closer to Morgantown;
          460 miles closer to Storrs, CT; and
          473 miles closer to Piscataway (Rutgers).

          Some of these differences might matter if teams were making trips by car; however with the closest Big East city to Tampa being almost 900 miles away in Louisville, flying to and from Tampa is standard procedure for everyone in the Big East, whether football or the swim team. Adding a few hundred more miles of flying, especially to a major airport like DFW, wouldn’t be a significant travel time or cost difference for current Big East teams. Then, of course, for USF, traveling west to TCU would be a flight of similar distance to its current ones to the north.

          Worth noting also is that Fort Worth is closer to Chicago (DePaul), Milwaukee (Marquette), and South Bend than Tampa is. The other five Catholic schools are closer to Tampa than FW.

          • Brian says:

            USF is in Big East territory because of the huge number of people from the northeast that have moved to Florida. I would guess most of the schools have a sizable alumni base in Florida but not in Texas.

  21. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    BCS Standings by Conference:

    SEC (6) – #2 Auburn, #6 Alabama, #10 LSU, #18 Arkansas, #19 South Carolina, and #20 Mississippi State.

    Big XII (5) – #7 Nebraska, #8 Oklahoma, #12 Missouri, #17 Oklahoma State, and #21 Baylor.

    Big Ten (4) – #9 Wisconsin, #11 Ohio State, #14 Michigan State, and #16 Iowa.

    Pac 10 (3) – #1 Oregon, #13 Stanford, and #15 Arizona.

    ACC (3) – #22 Virginia Tech, #24 Florida State, and #25 NC State.

    MWC (2) – #3 TCU and #5 Utah.

    WAC (2) – #4 Boise State and #23 Nevada.

    Looking ahead to week 10, there are five games between ranked teams.

    #3 TCU at #5 Utah (College Gameday will be at SLC).
    #6 Alabama at #10 LSU.
    #15 Arizona at #13 Stanford.
    #18 Arkansas at #19 South Carolina.
    #21 Baylor at #17 Oklahoma State.

    #11 Ohio State and #20 Mississippi State have open dates, while #2 Auburn and #14 Michigan State have cupcakes in UT-Chattanooga and Minnesota, respectively.

    Everyone else in the BCS rankings has a potentially competitive game and most ranked teams are on the road.

    #1 Oregon v. Washington (3-5)
    #4 Boise State v. Hawaii (7-2)
    #7 Nebraska at Iowa State (5-4)
    #8 Oklahoma at Texas A&M (5-3)
    #9 Wisconsin at Purdue (4-4)
    #12 Missouri at Texas Tech (4-4)
    #16 Iowa at Indiana (4-4)
    #22 Virginia Tech v. Georgia Tech (5-3) on Thursday
    #23 Nevada at Idaho (4-4)
    #24 Florida State v. North Carolina (5-3)
    #25 NC State at Clemson (4-4)

  22. Adam says:

    I was at a local watering hole today to watch the NFL games, and the bartender (who I respect — he also writes all of the questions for our Trivia Night series and they are very well-done) said something about a committee, possibly of the Board of Trustees, meeting at Minnesota in the aftermath of firing Brewster to consider various profound questions about the future of football at Minnesota, including whether or not to continue fielding a team. I have scoured the internet and have only been able to find this reference:
    “Minnesota isn’t even trying — the Golden Gophers just fired their coach and convened a committee to explain why they still have a football program.”

    That’s from Michael Rosenberg’s column from a few days ago: http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101025/COL22/10250436/1103/Col22/MSU-can-start-eyeing-national-title&template=fullarticle

    Just wondering if anybody knows anything else about this. Obviously, it’s unthinkable that Minnesota would drop football — especially seeing as they have a brand new stadium (but even if they didn’t — still unthinkable). But I’d be interested to know whether there’s anything more to this anyway.

    • zeek says:

      That’s almost inexplicable. For a school as large as Minnesota with as many alumni and as large an athletic department, to even consider that sounds crazy. Having just dropped a gigantic sum on that stadium as well, the only real issue has been coaching. Minnesota’s recruiting has been good, fan support is there, just need a coach to put it all together.

      And we were all getting excited over the possibility of a BTHC. I just don’t see how a school drops out nowadays in a major conference. That’d be such a big deal, and there’d probably be a huge outroar if it even was considered.

      • Adam says:

        I agree, but I’m also wondering what Rosenberg is talking about. The tone of the column is a bit irreverent (he makes a crack about the committee’s response being “We still have a team?” or something like that in the next sentence), but it would strike me as exceptionally strange if he invented that out of whole cloth.

        • zeek says:

          You’re right about that.

          But it’s probably more of a committee to figure out where the program is and where they want it to be.

          Do they want a coach like the previous one who just took you guys to bowl games consistently or are they really going to put a full effort into reaching the top of the Big Ten. And does the AD/rest of the staff fit into that.

          The guess is that they want to be careful about just dropping $3M per year or so on a coach.

    • R says:

      @Adam- Are there any bartenders you don’t respect? I,for one, can not think of any. By the way, my threatening, er, pleading email to JD re the Big 10 alignment obviously fell on deaf ears. Either that, or he realizes, nobody loves a heel!

    • Gopher86 says:

      Hire Mangino. He’s been sneaking around their practices as a consultant. It wouldn’t be the first time they hired out of the Kansas pipeline (read: Mason).

      Honestly, Brewster isn’t going to be the last head to roll in this. Fans up here are reaaaaaally mad that the hockey program is in the crapper and questioned the Brewster hire from the get-go. I don’t see their AD getting out of this season with his job.

      With the facilities, campus, city life and resources up here, there is really no excuse to go after a mediocre hire. Drop the $2mm+ a year and get someone that knows how to win. Nut up or shut up.

  23. Big East presidents and ADs reportedly will discuss expansion tomorrow:


    TCU, Houston, UCF, Temple and Villanova are mentioned as possibilities.

    • m (Ag) says:

      More nervousness for the WAC, as Conference USA might want to stay at 12 teams to keep a championship game.

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      TCU and Houston go to the BE. CUSA and MWC go to ten members each, play a round-robin schedule, play-off for the last BCS spot when the Cotton Bowl gets upgraded.

      It’s just too neat and tidy.

      • Adam says:

        I am not sure why everybody thinks it’d be so easy for this “2 leagues play off for last BCS spot” to happen. That would require the NCAA to not just amend the bylaws regulating the number of games teams can play — it would require a special, sui generis amendment just for those two leagues! Doesn’t that strike anyone else as improbable?

        • loki_the_bubba says:

          I think it is just as likely that CUSAMWC could structure itself as a single 20 team conference.

          That said, I don’t think it will happen.

        • Richard says:

          Indeed, the 2 leagues can just formally be one conference for NCAA purposes but operate separately otherwise. As for the likelihood, well, I think it would be smart for the power conferences to encourage such a thing (and take away the non-AQ bid at the same time; the MAC, Sun Belt, and leftovers of the WAC may not like it, but what can they do?) so that a big majority of FBS are incented to buy in to the BCS framework.

        • m (Ag) says:

          I don’t want another BCS bowl to be added. I don’t want to dilute the match-ups even further.

          That said, I think the BCS schools should encourage the 2 conferences to do this without promising an automatic bid every year. If a school does finish undefeated, it will have a solid resume for an automatic bid and have more respect from computers and humans. With SEC, Big 10, Pac 12, and ACC championships going on that weekend, this game could get the 2 conferences a little more attention than they would otherwise have.

          I think the other conferences should go ahead and pass a rule that allows them to do it without going through the charade of becoming technically 1 conference. Make it a simple rule that declares 2 conferences that play a round robin schedule can have their champions meet in a 1 game extra matchup with the same regulations conference championships have.

          • Richard says:

            Well, if there’s a plus-one, an extra BCS bowl wouldn’t dilute the matchups. With new leadership, the Pac12 probably isn’t so opposed to that idea any more, and I’m pretty certain the SEC & ACC are already in favor of it. The BigTen may still be against it, but we may finally see a plus-one soon (plus, IMHO, it would actually forestall a change to a 16-team playoff).

        • bullet says:

          There could be some negotiating leverage with the TV networks as well.

          One thing that never gets discussed though, is the saturation of championship games. There are really only 4 time slots, F night, Sat noon, 4 and 8. We already have 1 doubled up. There is a lot more value if you have an exclusive time slot. We will now have 4 big conferences + CUSA on Saturday and MAC on Friday night.

          • Adam says:

            Why not Thursday night? There are Thursday night games played all season long, oftentimes fairly important or high-profile teams. I’ve been saying for a while that the MAC seems like a good candidate to move their title game to Thursday night.

          • @Adam – The MAC actually played its championship game on Thursday night up until a couple of years ago. It was pretty good for TV ratings because it was the only football game of the night, but attendance was bad. That’s a conference that really needs to be playing its championship game at the higher seed’s home field as opposed to a neutral site, which would really help on the attendance issue.

          • bullet says:

            Still only leaves you 5 slots and 6 conferences already. And the problem with TH is you then need to skip the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Otherwise you give yourself too little time to prepare for a big game. Maybe the MAC tends to finish the season early. It might work for them.

          • Richard says:

            Well, the MAC plays many if not most of their late season games on weeknights already, so it wouldn’t be a big change for them to set Thanksgiving day as the final day of regular season play. Then you could have the MAC championship Thursday, the MWC-CUSA tiff Friday night, the ACC championship at noon eastern, the BigTen and SEC title games at 3:30 & 7, and the Pac12 championship at 10:30 eastern (7:30 on the west coast).

          • Adam says:

            @Frank — the funny thing is, the MAC used to play the game at an on-campus facility, but they had some kind of odd, subjective method where the Council of Presidents or Board of Directors or Panel of Chancellors or whatever it is called would vote during the year and assign the game to either the East or West Division champion, without really using a proper seeding method. I never understood what the thinking was there — were they trying to guess which division champion would have a better record? Anyway, they used to have an on-campus CCG. Perhaps everything old can be new again!

      • Hopkins Horn says:

        So what about Rice?!? :)

        • loki_the_bubba says:

          Rice wins the CUSA division in 2013, beats Nevada in the play-in game, goes to Jerryworld and all 44,729 living alumni show up.

          • M says:

            I know next to nothing about Tulsa, but they are about half Rice’s size, have been to bowl games 4 of the last 5 years and will probably do so again this year. Rice needs a new excuse. :P

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            Rice and Tulsa are within a few students of being the same size. And Rice has been to bowls 2 of the last 5 years after a near 50 year drought.

      • Richard says:

        BTW, while both the MWC and CUSA going to 10 schools each would be tidy, it would entail a CUSA school moving to the MWC, and I don’t think CUSA can (or even want to) force one of their remaining Texas schools to move. What’s more likely is the MWC adding Utah St. (virtually killing the WAC in the process) to go to 10 while CUSA stays at 11. Roundrobin for both conferences, which means 10 conference games for CUSA. That actually isn’t as mindboggling as you might think; CUSA schools would still have 2 nonconf games, which is what the BigTen had back in the 11-game season days when they went roundrobin for a while (and the MAC schools also had only 2 nonconf games for a few years).

        • Adam says:

          I’m not aware of the Big Ten ever using a “9-and-2″ format.

          • Michael in Indy says:

            I know they did that in the early 80′s. Not sure when exactly that format started or ended.

          • R says:

            Format started in 1981 and ended in 1985. All ten teams played 9 conference and 2 ooc. The only exception was the Buckeyes were afraid to play Iowa in 81 and 82, so those two only played eight conference games. :)

          • bullet says:

            Someone made the comment about some conferences like playing each other. At that time (81-85), most of the SEC schools were still playing only 6 conference games. I don’t think 7 was mandated until 1988. 6 wasn’t even mandated until sometime in the 70s. I remember LSU, the westernmost school playing 5 conference games some years. In fact, they won the SEC in 1970 with a 5-0 conference record in a 10 team conference. In contrast, Kentucky was almost always playing 7.

          • Adam says:

            Honestly, what kind of amateur hour league lets some schools play more league games than others? I am astonished that they would have such a stupid setup as recently as the early 80s. If it was the early 20s, OK, I get it — leagues were kind of libertarian back then. But by the 80s I would have expected them to play a standardized schedule.

          • Richard says:

            All SEC teams were playing 6 conference games by 1982. Alabama & Ole Miss played 7 in 1980 & ’81. In 1973, ‘Bama played 8 conference games while LSU, Tennessee, & Vandy played 6 and the rest 7. :)

            Mind you, I do remember years where BigTen teams played each other out of conference, but they would be considered OOC games.

    • Bamatab says:

      It will be interesting to see just how seriously the football playing schools are about their apparent threat to breakaway from the other schools. I just don’t see how the Big East could add more teams for the other sport (especially the basketball programs), especially with the threat that the basketball programs might lose their majority when it comes to conference voting. It’ll also be interesting to see, if the football schools do decide to breakaway, if the new conference could keep it’s AQ status (I’m not sure the Big East should keep it as it sits now).

      • Richard says:

        As others here have noted, the football schools likely will never break away, because Syracuse and UConn want to maintain their basketball rivalries.

    • Jake says:

      If TCU got the invite this week (unlikely), then the Utah game would be even more hype. I wish I was going to that one, but I guess I’ll have to content myself with the UNLV game this past weekend. Vegas on Halloween was pretty alright.

      • Michael in Indy says:

        It’s really strange that two teams are in the same conference, where one of them is headed to a league based in the Far West, and the other may well be headed to a league based out of Rhode Island.

        • bullet says:

          What’s odd is that the biggest game of the week is TCU vs. Utah. 2 of the other big games are Baylor-Oklahoma St. and Arizona-Stanford.
          Baylor is in 1st in the Big 12 South. 3 teams still have a shot in the SEC East. Those 3 include Vandy and South Carolina and DON’T include UGA or Tennessee.

          I thought it would be a wild unpredictable season.

  24. jj says:

    just hit the nuke button and get offf theis Beastly debacle.

    8 fb members bolt

    call up TCU/Houston/BYU, scrounge some of the dwarves and find a “west 8″.

    there’s a good national 16 team dual sport conference in there somewhere.

    • m (Ag) says:

      Hey, they could maintain a bit of the duel structure rivalry in that case.

      They could have Notre Dame agree to play 2 teams in the East and 1 team in the West every year, while parking its non football sports in the East division.

      Meanwhile, BYU plays 2 teams in the West and 1 team in the East every year while parking its non-football sports in the West division.

      With 12 football members, once every 4 years you’d have a home game against BYU or Notre Dame, giving a boost to your attendance. The conference as a whole would have 3 home games a year from the 2 schools, helping out the TV contract.

    • Richard says:

      Not happening because of Syracuse & UConn.

      • jj says:

        help me out here? what’s their issue?

        • Richard says:

          They’d want to keep their East Coast basketball rivalries (twice yearly games between Syracuse & Georgetown, for instance).

          • jj says:

            it would hurt a bit, but they could. the 2 sides of this could practically never meet. do a 7-1 in football and the same as home & homes in bb (16 games); leaves room for others as non-conf. at the end of the day, fb rules the roost b/c cash is king.

          • Richard says:

            Not with the Big East. The basketball side actually brings in more TV money for the Big East than football. Granted, they split it amongst more schools in basketball as well, but the Big East is one of 2 conferences (the ACC is the other) where the basketball TV money is close to the football TV money. Basketball is particularly for Syracuse, where they drew 420K fans for basketball and 312K fans for football even with 8 home games (UConn drew 200K for basketball and 229K for football).

          • bullet says:

            I think UConn is more receptive. Calhoun has been quoted as saying UConn understands fb drives the boat. And SU, after all, was on their way to the ACC. Now Pitt has been letting their bb coach badmouth any ideas of expansion or leaving the BE. Not sure how they stand. But I think all 3 could be convinced.

          • Jake says:

            @Richard – I believe the Big East’s per-school television revenue is higher as well. Not sure where I saw it, though.

          • Michael in Indy says:

            Actually, the ACC’s TV revenue per school has been greater than the Big East’s for quite some time: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=4757335

            Note that this video was produced before the ACC’s $155M/year deal with ESPN was signed this summer.

            The Big East’s current deal is puny compared to the other leagues, especially when you consider there are 16 schools compared to the ACC’s 12.

          • Michael in Indy says:

            BTW, I found the above link by googling “television revenue by conference” and getting a link to a Frank the Tank post. :-)

  25. jj says:

    it could work well. how mad are the dwarves? just ike and tina mad or war of the roses mad?

    • bullet says:

      I think they are just relieved. And all the dwarfs except KU have 2 ft. heels this year. ISU won in Lincoln last year and Austin this year. MU & BU are ranked. KSU was ranked.

  26. bullet says:


    Summarizes the TCU/BE article, WAC expansion article and also mentions that N. Dakota and Southern Utah (and probably S. Dakota) will join the Big Sky. Most interesting comment is near the end. Big Sky commissioner says that if (emphasis on if) FBS is not sustainable, FCS could become bigger and the Big Sky wants to be the first one up.

  27. CarneigeMellonNitt says:

    Sorry guys, I couldn’t find it and was interested to know how much, if at all, Texas was also giving up in revenue from ESPN/ABC contracts in the Big 10/Pac-12 vs what they’re getting in the Big 12-2.

    • StvInIL says:

      They get to walk around like they own the place. cause> they do. It seem that this is real important to them.

    • Richard says:

      Giving up? They likely will get more than they would have from joining the Pac-whatever or SEC. They might have gotten a little bit more from the BigTen, but that extra amount probably would have been eaten up by extra travel costs. Beebe made Texas, TAMU, and OU a deal they can’t refuse (because those are the schools that would break the Big12 if they left), while all that is needed to keep the northern schools and Baylor from bolting is a little bit more than what the BE schools get.

      If I had to make a guess, this is probably what each Big12 school will get after new TV negotiations:
      Texas, OU, & TAMU: $20M
      TTech & OSU: $10M
      Missou, KU, KSU, ISU, & Baylor: $5M-$10M

      • PSUGuy says:

        Huh say wha?!

        TAMU getting more than the SEC ($20mill > $17 mill)?!

        Mizzou getting as much as OSU or Baylor?!

        More like after the new round of renogotiations the Big12 will have enough money to pay its schools the same spread it had under the old contract.

        IMO, it’ll average about the same, probably a little more, as the ACC contract which payed out ~$14mill per school.

        Texas, OK, maybe TAMU (if they whine loud enough) will be close to the SEC’s $17 mill mark, but even then they may fall a little short ($15-17mill area). The rest will scale backwards to ~$12mill.

        As for what they’d have given up…the Pac16 would have gotten a huge contract, IMO easily on the order of the SEC’s (on a per school payout). PLUS they would have had an equity stake in the PacNetwork and garuanteed coverage of (and thus profitability for) its non-revenue generating teams (though admittedly that’d be a couple years down the road).

        IMO, Texas made a lot of bad decsisions in this go around.

        • Richard says:

          Not sure why this is hard to digest. Texas, OU, and TAMU hold the leverage. If they go, the Big12 doesn’t exist as a major conference. If Mizzou goes, they can be replaced by BYU, and the TV programming value probably doesn’t even drop (and nobody wants KSU, ISU, or Baylor, so you don’t have to pay them more than what the Big East schools get).

          I’m not sure why people want to believe that Texas made a bad decision rather than than the correct rational choice as the evidence suggests.

          • PSUGuy says:

            And I don’t know why this is so hard to digest…

            UT/TAMU don’t want to go to the same conference and can’t/won’t/are afraid of being in different ones. OK gets lumped in with UT. In effect, they are as much a prisoner of the Big12 as the rest of the conference is to them.

            If BYU were such an easy get why aren’t they in already? IMO, because they, like another religiously affliated school, have reasons of their own for operating away from a conference.

            Fact is UT made the wrong decision, but its not the decision everyone harps on (to stay in the Big12). If UT really was smart, they wouldn’t have played the conference realignment game quite so vigorously in the first place.

            They don’t flirt with the Big Ten/start serious discussions with the Pac, Nebraska never leaves and UT is the acknowledged head of a BCS AQ conference with multiple national brands that spans the entire midwest. The Big12 would still have its issues, but it would be a very stable conference.

            Instead itslooking more and more like the SWCv2.0

            Are UT et al going to get payed? Sure. But in the end the Big12 is in a much weaker position (of all the conference, who’d hanve thunk?).

          • Richard says:

            Not sure Texas could have kept the Big12 together regardless of what they did. Remember that it was the BigTen that got things started by saying it is looking to expand, and then the Pac10′s new commish jumped in to the act. As Texas most certainly wasn’t giving up unequal revenue sharing, I’m not sure what else they could have done to keep Nebraska & Colorado from moving to more stable conferences with equal revenue sharing.

          • Richard says:

            Oh, and BYU isn’t in because the Big12 doesn’t want to be an 11-school conference. You think BYU wouldn’t jump at the chance to join the Big12?

          • PSUGuy says:

            The Big12 plays (IIRC) 8 conference games. If you’re not playing every team every year what does it matter if its 10 or 11?

            Also, considering BYU left its old conference for football independence (with provisions to show its football games on its own not for profit channel) and joined a western faith based school conference I have to believe there is more going on than just “jockeying” to get into a “better” conference.

            Thus, no actually, I don’t think BYU wants to be in the Big12, or any other conference for that matter, for the foreseeable future.

          • Richard says:

            1. A 12-team league has a championship game, a 10-team league can have a manageable 9-game round-robin. An 11-team league can’t have a championship game and would need 10 conference games to have a round-robin. Texas wants to have the chance to win the conference on the field and doesn’t want it decided by the vagaries of BCS point totals or voting or whatnot.

            2. BYU’s old conference gave it a puny amount of TV revenue and virtually no national TV presence. Compared to what they could get (in money & exposure) as an independent, the choice was an easy one. Compared to the money and exposure they’d get as a member of the Big12 (where they’d still have control of third-tier rights), the choice would be an easy one as well (this time in favor of joining a power conference).

        • Eric (ohio1317) says:

          I think the biggest thing that people forget is that moving conferences is always a risk. Could moving to a PAC-16 help Texas? Sure. What if they win fewer conference championships and national championships? TV money might be better, but you get more donations and sell more merchandise when you are winning at the highest level. I think these factors are very underrated.

          There is also the possibility that this really wasn’t a mainly monetary consideration. Sure they’d like more, but maybe the TV difference really wasn’t enough to convince the president/AD it was worth basically destroying the Big 12 and throwing several other programs into a tailspin. The Big 12 has been good for Texas, maybe they figured it was worth holding on to even if the projected numbers say they could make more.

      • bullet says:

        Right now for the Big 12 (with 12 schools) the spread is roughly 8-11 million. The formula will stay the same. Beebe’s estimates are that the spread will be $14-$20 million. Pac 16 estimates were similar, $16-$17 million per school average. We’ll know what the Pac 12 will get in the next few months.

        • Richard says:

          Even with Texas, OU, and TAMU taking in $20M and the other 7 schools taking in $14M, that’s a total pot of $158M, or more than what the 12 school ACC got with a significantly bigger population base. I think the most Beebe can hope for is $130M ($20M to the 3 top dogs; $10M to the rest).

          • bullet says:

            Texas and OU turned down the guarantees. They didn’t want or need them. If its $130, they will most likely get $15. Texas and OU have options if they don’t like the numbers. For all of A&M’s crowing about standing invitations, they really seem to want the guarantee.

  28. Phil says:

    I think the idea above that UConn and Syr would not leave the current Big East because of BB rivalries is way overstated. Both of these schools have been passed over before and have to know that with their locations they need to make the Big East improve for football or their only hope is an eventual expansion to 16 by the ACC.
    In fact, the only way the Villanova fb offer makes sense is if it was a concession to schools like UConn and Syr to bring another BB partner along when they do split the conference.
    With Uconn, Syr, Pitt, Louisville and Villanova, most of the basketball TV money would go to the new conference anyway. I also wouldn’t be surprised if new FB conference didn’t offer Notre Dame the same deal they have with the current Big East, which they would most likely accept.

    • bullet says:

      That is a good point. St. John’s, DePaul, Seton Hall and Providence while all good historically are very down right now. Notre Dame was always solid, but rarely great. So all they would be giving up would be Georgetown and Marquette. And Marquette is a new member.

      • bullet says:

        I don’t think the fb schools would do what the MWC has repeatedly done to the WAC. I think the BE is more collegial, but they theoretically could look at keeping two non-fb playing schools (Georgetown and ND/Villanova/St. John’s) and having Navy and Army for fb only. Navy and Army would nicely fit the GT and SJ markets. Then they wouldn’t really lose anything.

    • Richard says:

      I don’t think ACC expansion is inevitable at all. They’ve always had the opportunity to take more BE schools but have declined to do so (and adding BC hasn’t really worked out so hot for them), so what will change in the future that would make them more likely to take some BE schools?

      More to the point, if the ACC wants to expand, how would a bigger (“stronger”) BE make a difference? The ACC would just add the schools it wants to add regardless of how many non-AQ schools the BE takes in.

      • @Richard – I completely agree. The ACC isn’t looking to expand further and regardless of what anyone wants to believe, that’s the tightest and most financially stable conference after the Big Ten and SEC. The financial requirements of going from 12 schools to 14 or 16 demand a massive football name being involved and there isn’t anyone available like that to the ACC.

        • Phil says:

          That was my point about expansion. There isn’t a future for UConn and Syracuse besides making the Big East better. Let’s say Nova moves up, you invite TCU. Add GTown and ND as non-football playing members. Are Uconn and Syr going to shoot that conference down (and the more $$$ they would make with revenues divided by 12 instead of 16) because they won’t have Depaul or St John’s as conference mates? They leave even if GTown and ND aren’t part of the new conference (but I think it is in the best interests of everyone that they are).

          • Richard says:

            1. The money involved wouldn’t be worth the recriminations and hassle.

            2. Syracuse isn’t abandoning Georgetown, and nobody wants to kick out ND.

            3. Plus, all the schools who leave would have to give up the NCAA tournament shares that the BE has accrued.

          • @Phil – That’s the thing – the dollars from a 12-team split-off BE aren’t necessarily going to larger than what the current 16-team BE provides now. If it was that obvious, then the BE would have split up years ago. The problem is that this appears to be the business plan for a lot of BE football fans:

            Phase 1: Split and add more football schools
            Phase 2: ?
            Phase 3: Profit

            The mistake that way too many make is believing that more football automatically means more money. The fact of the matter is that football *in and of itself* isn’t what makes money – otherwise, the 12-team C-USA (which is home to several potential BE candidates) and the 14-team MAC would be rolling in dough. Instead, football revenue is driven disproportionately by a relative handful of marquee schools (Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Notre Dame, USC, Florida, Alabama, Texas, Miami, etc.) and then it trickles down to the rest of the conference. Adding more quantity without having a clear marquee addition is a large financial risk – note that it’s not even a slam dunk that the new Pac-12 is going to end up providing much or any more revenue on a per-school basis with its additions of Colorado and Utah.

            A split Big East doesn’t fundamentally change the football league at all – there still won’t be any marquee schools and the potential additions outside of TCU are very “meh” with very little national cache. Meanwhile, the main Big East competitive advantage in terms of TV contracts – its basketball league and all of the large markets that the Catholic schools provide – would be broken up. This is why Syracuse and UCONN (and probably all of the Big East football schools) really don’t see splitting as a great idea – BE football can get larger in a split league, but it won’t necessarily get better financially. The BE is in a very different position than the Big Ten and SEC, so it DOES have to take basketball into account much more heavily and can’t really be blamed for that.

        • Michael in Indy says:

          regardless of what anyone wants to believe, that’s the tightest and most financially stable conference after the Big Ten and SEC.

          There just seems to be a lot of myths about the ACC. So thank you, Frank, for stating a point that many folks do not seem to understand.

          One of the myths is that adding Boston College has been a “failure.” Granted, most ACC fans still scratch their heads trying to compute the logic of such a decidedly northern school playing in their otherwise southern league. But those are fans. University presidents look at BC differently. BC is relatively small for the FBS level. Duke, UVA, and Wake are small, too. BC has a church affiliation, in its case, the Catholic church. Wake and Duke have Baptist and Methodist affiliations, respectively. And BC has very solid academic credentials, similar to the majority of ACC schools.

          Another fan myth is that Miami doesn’t fit into the rest of the league’s comparably clean image, given its out-of-control football team of years past. These days, Miami’s football team has an excellent graduation rate and one of the lowest arrest rates in the country.

          A third myth is that the basketball and football schools don’t get along. These days, almost all the schools are “football schools”: UNC has a $2M coach; NC State has some of the nation’s finest football facilities; Maryland and Wake have invested tens of millions into stadium luxury boxes. “Football school” Florida State has had so much respect for the “baskeball schools” from day one that it joined the ACC instead of the SEC because of a desire for affiliation with the likes of UVA, UNC, Duke, Maryland, Georgia Tech, etc.

          A good testament to the ACC’s unity is its academic consortium. It’s still in the beginning stages, but over time the hope is to build the program into one that resembles the Big Ten’s CIC. Conferences that aren’t financially sound, especially ones whose members do not get along, do not collaborate on programs like that. Even the Pac-10 has come together for anything like that.

  29. ezdozen says:


    As I have posted elsewhere a number of times… why must the Big East be “one of the two”? Why can’t the Big East have two conferences under its umbrella and operate a network regarding both? The two divisions can agree to have plenty of OOC games between the two sections to retain rivalries. By having a solid MidWest presence, the hoops inventory would be substantial…games at 7pm and 9pm every night of the week. Plus, more fball games for inventory–two extra games per week. More fodder to pass down to the network. And just look at the markets.

    Big East:

    Temple (Philly Market)

    TCU (Dallas Market)
    Houston (Houston Market)
    UCF (Orlando Market)

    Big East-Gavitt:

    Seton Hall
    St. Johns
    Richmond (VA Market) or Northeastern (Boston market)

    Notre Dame
    Butler (IN Market)
    St. Louis (MO Market)
    Xavier (add to Ohio/Cincy market)

    For Bball…might lose automatic bids, etc., but when does THAT really matter? Not like any of these schools really need the automatic bid.

    The bball tournament can be held simultanteously in Brooklyn and MSG, with championship game between the two sections in MSG on Sunday. Any games not shown on ESPN, Big East Network can pick up.

    The football championship game can be played in Miami.

    Basketball Schedule–play round robin within division (10 games), and 3 teams against each other division.

    Football schedule:

    Play 8 games… all within division and 3 from other division on a rotating basis. A typical schedule for a North team would be: 1 game against each other North school, plus one each of Cincy/Lville, USF/UCF (one Florida game), and TCU/Houston (one Texas game). Every other year, a North school would have a game IN Texas or Florida somewhere. How does that not help recruiting? Each team has a natural pair.

    Divide money:

    6% to each football school = 72%
    6% to Notre Dame = 6%
    2% to each basketball school = 22%

    That market swath has to be close to 100,000,000 households. If the Big 10 can average 70 cents, why can’t the Big East get 15 cents/mo.? That is a whopping $1.80/year. But with that many households–why can’t you get $100,000,000 (excluding advertising)? Partner with a network to keep 90% of advertising revenue as its share for facilitating same.

    For a current football school… the current TV contracts become MORE valuable to the networks because there are 2 extra games to choose from–better chance of a good match-up. Plus, there would be better rivalries–Temple/Rutgers… winning team’s coach gets to take over for Paterno. UCF/USF. TCU/Houston. And so on. The network $$$ would be ADDITIONAL, rather than a substitute. An extra $6M per football school suddenly narrows the gap a bit.

    If 12 teams is perfect… 24 is next perfect.

    • @ezdozen – Maybe something will happen like this in the next few decades, but as of now, the university presidents still want manageable conferences. Think of the internal turmoil and lack of progress within the Big East right now with 16 schools – trying to get 24 schools to agree on anything will be absolutely impossible. Schools want a balance between financial security and control and being part of a 24-school conference means giving up a ton of the latter for sure and may not even provide the former. We’ve seen this already with the Big Ten ultimately passing on going up to 16 schools and Texas choosing more control as opposed to going after the most pure dollars.

      Also, the thing with conference cable networks is that it’s largely an all-or-nothing proposition. That is, either the conference has so much leverage in a geographic footprint that it can charge a massive subscriber rate, or it doesn’t have that leverage and can’t get basic carriage at all even at a low price. So, it’s not a matter of saying, “The Big East is 50% less popular in its home footprint than the Big Ten, so it should be able to get 50% of the subscriber rate of the Big Ten Network.” Instead, there’s a tipping point where a critical mass of enough fans is reached in a market – either that critical mass is met or the network won’t get any basic carriage at all. Other than a few smaller markets (like Louisville or the state of West Virginia), I don’t think that a Big East Network could get basic carriage at any viable price (even $.15 per subscriber).

      • PSUGuy says:

        Great points.

        IMO though that’s why if anything actually happened, I see more of a “Syracuse, UConn, Pitt, WVU leaving the BigEast for the ACC and the ACC starting its own channel” type of scenario long before I see the BigEast exploding by numerous football schools.

      • ezdozen says:

        I get all that, Frank. That was my “what the Big East should do,” nowhere close to what the Big East will do.

        Historically, the Big East has always been outside-the-box. It’s issues have been with trying to be inside-the-box lately and, worse, reactive. Also, the Big East should be in “survival mode.” All options should be on the table to save A/Q and preserve the conference.

        The Big 10 schools may have issues with control, but I think the Big East schools are more interested in keeping a balance between football and basketball. Adding football schools upsets that balance, right? Unless you add basketball schools.

        Plus, it clears the way for ND to remain independent in football for the foreseeable future. If ND leaves, they are easily replaceable at that point with a basketball school. Creighton or whatever.

        There is a huge Big 10 bias here too. I am sorry… people in the Northeast will prefer to watch Big East basketball over “first one to 50″ Big 10 games.

        In my dream plan, the Big East would partner with a MLB team on a network to provide valuable inventory for the April to September time period. I left that out here too.

    • StvInIL says:

      That’s a big machine to operate. So big that it may be crushed under its own weight. It really struggles against the feel of a college conference which is mostly regional and mostly manageable in scope. It seems like it is too much trying to follow some professional sports template. That alone should kill it.
      The Big East has some asset but over al it is too big and threatening to get more complicated. The best thing I believe overall for this league is to break up into a football centered conference and a basketball only catholic league conference. Future Big East expansion should be predicated on a football presence and some regional cohesion. Unfortunately for the BE the best items for its conference stew have already been taken. Meat like Penn State, Virginia Tech, BC and potatoes like Maryland and Virginia.
      Imagine this Big East if they could have put it together 20 years ago. What IF?
      BIG EAST
      Boston College

      W. Virginia
      Penn State

      I excluded any team outside the North East corridor with the exception of cincy and those that did not have a football team.
      With Boston, New York/ New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and DC as assets they could have had the viewership for their TV Network.
      I think Football and a strong regional base would have kept these together better. You could easily swap ND with Cincy but staying true to geography made me say Cincy. And You know how ND is about commitments.

      • Richard says:

        Virginia & Maryland have been part of the ACC for a long while so they would never have been part of the BE, but yes, many folks out east regret refusing PSU an invite to the (basketball-only back then) BigEast back in the 80′s (killed by the BE basketball schools, I believe).

  30. Phil says:

    With the Big East expansion issue, people are again falling into the trap of thinking basketball matters. I would have thought that (especially on this blog), after Nebraska got the Big Ten offer and Kansas was staring oblivion in the face, that idea would have been discredited.

    • Richard says:

      Do you know how much money football brings to the BE and how much money basketball brings to the BE? Get back to us after you’ve looked those up.

      • m (Ag) says:

        I think the lesson isn’t that BE basketball is huge, but that BE football isn’t that big, which allows basketball money to be competitive.

  31. New blog post everyone – Big East has just announced that the schools have agreed to expand to 10 football teams: http://bit.ly/aj479J

  32. [...] up folding, and that’s actually a team that legitimately “delivers” its home market.  Even the Texas Longhorns network isn’t really going to be the financial boon that many were predicting and there’s no single school in the country that’s better positioned [...]

  33. [...] The 1-stop shop for all the analysis on the Texas network you need, from FrankTheTank: Longhorn Network Not Much of a Money Hook and Frank the Tank’s Football Parlay – 10/29/2… [...]

  34. [...] Money, Mo Texas - Shortly after posting this generally blase post about the initially underwhelming projected financial figures for the Longhorn Sports Network, our [...]

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