New York Daily News: TCU to Join Big East

Posted: November 29, 2010 in Big East, College Basketball, College Football, Sports
Tags: ,

The New York Daily News is reporting that TCU has been invited to the Big East and there will be a 1 pm CT announcement today.  If this actually occurs as reported, then I’m happy (1) that the Big East has overcome its internal inertia and made the right choice and (2) for TCU fans as that school has truly been a BCS-level program for a long time.  I’ll have more as this story develops.

(Update: AOL FanHouse is reporting the same regarding TCU to the Big East.)

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

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  1. greg says:

    Wow, all sports. Good for TCU, but quite the commute.

    • M says:

      I know someone has addressed this more thoroughly, but it’s not any further for TCU in the Big East than in the (new) Mountain West once Boise, Nevada and Fresno State are added.

      • Jake says:

        It’s also not as many sports as you think. Outside of the revenue sports, as far as teams that play all or most of their conference opponents each year, it’s only women’s soccer, M&W tennis, baseball, and volleyball that TCU and the Big East have in common. Golf, CC, track & field, swimming & diving, rifle, and equestrian don’t really do regular season conf. competition. I’m hoping that TCU upgrades lax from a club sport and adds a softball program, but either of those moves would be years away. TCU also lacks field hockey and rowing, but I’m not sure those are happening.

    • Michael in Indy says:

      TCU will be flying to all Big East opponents, just like USF does. The costs of travel & time in the air should be very similar to USF’s.

      If we’re going to get technical, TCU is actually closer by driving distance to DePaul, Marquette, Notre Dame, & Louisville than USF is, and it’s less than an hour farther from Cincy than USF is.

      Basically, TCU is no worse off distance-wise being in the Big East, and its access to better airports should actually cut travel costs. The rest of the Big East is already accustomed to traveling to far-away Tampa. One more semi-long distance trip won’t kill ‘em.

  2. Jeepers says:


  3. HerbieHusker says:


  4. Alan from Baton Rouge says:


  5. zeek says:

    Yeah, if this is for all sports as the reports indicate, that’s a really nice thing to hear.

    Now the question is whether they do invite another all sports member or just wait on Villanova.

    I guess we do have to feel bad for Boise/Nevada/Fresno State/Hawaii who are jumping into the MWC after it loses its 3 top teams in Utah, BYU, and TCU.

    This pretty much negates any possible chance they’ll get an AQ bid anytime soon.

  6. Penn State Danny says:

    I really thought that TCU was going to stick with the MWC. I thought that they would add Hawaii and Houston.

    I guess that this will help the BE keep its automatic bid.

    My hunch is that Villanova will be team 10. I would rather that they invite Temple as well as Houston and UCF to get to 12.

    Good for the BE for making a move. Maybe this gives them a little stability.

    Obviously, if the Big Ten called, Pitt, Syracuse or Rutgers would still bolt.

  7. Jake says:

    I totally called it. I even named the day. Kinda lame for Boise now that all of the good teams in the MWC are splitting, but they’re no worse off than they were, at least.

  8. Redhawk says:

    The MWC was so close to getting that AQ. This hurts. Now the MWC is the WAC. With Boise St, Fresno St, Nevada and Hawaii coming in, but with BYU, Utah, and TCU leaving, the MWC has fallen a rung or two.

    • Jake says:

      @Redhawk – that wasn’t happening. The MWC had very little chance of finishing in the top 6 in all three categories under evaluation, and I wasn’t holding out much hope for a presidential exemption. Maybe if Utah and BYU had stuck around, but not with just TCU and Boise.

      • Redhawk says:

        I still think it would have or could have happened. The MWC would have qualified under 2 of the 3, same as the Big East. If the BCS had kept the Big East, and not the MWC under the same rules, I think there would have been more legal grounds to sue them as a “monopoly”

        The MWC still should qualify in 2 of 3…but the BCS can now say..yeah, but you lost TCU and Utah, so your numbers aren’t really what you are putting out..and thus no Exemption. Or in other words it gives the BCS a more legit reason to not give them an exemption.

        Which….many feel the BCS qualifications was going to be moving target anyways. One that even if the MWC hit or came close, would still not be enough.

        • cfn_ms says:

          What the BCS said in advance was that this upcoming round would only be for adding AQ’s not taking them away. Presumably the next time they’d at least seriously look into it.

          I would agree with you re: moving target. the money schools have zero intention of giving away free access to teams/leagues they see as unworthy unless they have no choice. If they can argue unworthiness based on the data, then they’ll do so. And in this case, that’s what’s going to happen. MWC needed to qualify on all three or come VERY close on the third w/o hemorrhaging membership. They couldn’t do it.

        • M says:

          The target for an autobid might be might be moving, but the target for the almost-autobid has gotten much easier. The rule now is that a non-AQ team has to be above any AQ conference champ and be in the top 16. I cannot envision a situation where a MWC champ doesn’t fulfill that criteria.

    • Michael in Indy says:

      If it’s any consolation, the Boise/Fresno/Nevada/Hawaii group still have some advantages in the MWC that they wouldn’t have gotten had they all stayed in the WAC, even without TCU, BYU, and Utah.

      -They get a better-paying TV contract.

      -Nevada gets to be in the same conference with state rival UNLV.

      -Air Force and San Diego State will provide better middle-of-the-pack competition than anything the WAC had to offer (SJSU, Idaho, NMSU, or Lou. Tech).

      -They won’t have to travel all the way to Louisiana anymore. Also, in non-football sports, Boise, Fresno, & Nevada will save a lot because they won’t have to travel to Hawaii anymore.

      -On the academic side, they’ll be associated with generally more well-regarded universities. New Mexico and Wyoming are their states’ flagship universities. CSU is its state land-grant university. Air Force, needless to say, is extremely competitive with its application process.

      Overall, the MWC is still the strongest non-AQ conference. Unfortunately for them, that’s all they’ll be– non-AQ.

      • Redhawk says:

        I agree with all this but the TV contract…it’s better than the WAC, but that’s not saying much. The MWC-TV set up is pretty bad, particularly the MTN-TV distribution.

  9. Redhawk says:

    Well…this just means my Colorado State Rams (my 2nd degree) have an easier shot at the MWC championship game, and a trip to the Las Vegas Bowl (who’s pay out is worse than the worse Big 12 Bowl tie in)

    note the irony and sarcasm

  10. Well Played Mauer says:

    The MWC board just blew up! literally. It is currently down. Poor mwc, lol. ;-)

  11. loki_the_bubba says:

    Introducing your Big East conference baseball champions for 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019…

  12. Bullet says:

    MWC has done its best to destroy the WAC. Now its on the verge of losing its autobid to the bb tournament. If the BE were to take UCF and CUSA replaced them with UNM or Air Force, the MWC would be down to 5 teams. Also if Air Force left and went independent in football, they would be down to 5.

    • Redhawk says:

      your math is off
      Air Force
      Col. State
      New Mexico
      San Diego St

      make six in basketball. Unless you are suggesting that Air Force would leave in their non-revenue programs as well. And my question to that is to leave to go to where? The WAC? the Big Sky?

      • Bullet says:

        They could follow BYU to WCC or Hawaii to Big West. Big Sky is an odd # now (11) with the MVC/Summit conference intrigue stealing potential member South Dakota at the last second. And the WAC would take just about anyone.

        • Richard says:

          That seems about as unlikely as you can get. AF isn’t going to leave their rivalries with CSU & Wyoming to jump laterally to a conference that is farther away (to CUSA) or down to one composed of smaller schools (anywhere else).

          • Bullet says:

            Air Force’s big rivalries are Army and Navy. I don’t think its probable that they leave, but its hardly remote. They are a school where their mission is most important and could easily decide an 8 or 9 game schedule in MWC doesn’t serve them as well as independence with a national schedule. Army and Navy are in the Patriot league with smaller, but academically elite institutions.

          • Richard says:

            They never decided that in the past, and I didn’t see their mission suddenly change. The new MWC isn’t too different from the old MWC (or the old WAC, for that matter).

  13. Michael in Indy says:


    Just wanted to say that you are the man! You called TCU to the Big East, what, 10 months ago? Thanks for providing such a thoughtful, entertaining, and most of all, civil sports blog. I’ve really enjoyed it very much.

  14. M says:

    Some hard numbers about the travel (air distance to Fort Worth):

    Piscataway 1377
    Syracuse 1352
    Pittsburgh 1097
    Tampa 1522
    Morgantown 1078
    Louisville 754
    Cincinnati 845
    Stoors 1509
    Average to football schools 1191

    Chicago 823
    Washington DC 1214
    Milwaukee 876
    South Bend 867
    Providence 1551
    New York 1401
    Villanova 1320
    South Orange 1389
    Average to basketball schools 1180

    Colorado Springs 595
    Fort Collins 692
    Albuquerque 560
    San Diego 1154
    Las Vegas 1043
    Laramie 747
    Boise 1268
    Fresno 1304
    Reno 1338
    Honolulu 3765
    Average to new MWC schools 1246
    Average to new MWC schools w/o Hawaii 966

    Bottom line, TCU isn’t particularly close to either one, but is slightly closer to the new MWC if you don’t count Hawaii. What the numbers don’t show is that on average it probably takes longer/costs more to get to to the MWC schools because the Big East schools are mostly in or near major cities.

    • Well Played Mauer says:

      it should also be noted that flight cost is not based solely on distance but also on demand and frequency of travel, more demand into eastern hubs means that even though the distance maybe slightly more the over all cost will be lower, because flights to NY, DC, Chi-town, Tampa, Philly, etc are plentiful and “relatively” cheap.

  15. Paul says:

    The Big East was desperate to be sure, especially after this year with putrid UConn, four losses minimal, getting the BCS bid. However, adding Villanova isn’t going to do anything. The BE is a moribund conference and Pitt, Syracuse or Rutgers would leave in a heartbeat if asked by B10 or ACC, whether TCU is there or not.

    • Richard says:

      Well, duh. But if they need to add anyway, it’s better to do so now when TCU certainly would jump at the chance than after they lose several key members. If no one leaves, adding TCU makes sense as well.

      • Abe Froman says:

        Plus, it hurts the MWC’s chance of getting an autobid. I promise you that was part of the attraction of adding TCU for the Big East.

        • Bullet says:

          Well maybe ESPN starts promoting TCU and their AP pollsters quit ranking them so low. Don’t know how true it is, but saw a claim on TCU board (killerfrogs) that Gary Danielson, when asked why he was promoting 1 loss SEC team over TCU, said CBS writes his paycheck and CBS has SEC.

  16. Playoffs Now says:

    So Fort Worth WAS where the west begins…

  17. Playoffs Now says:


    “…Brady Hoke, Paul Chryst, Troy Calhoun, and Randy Edsall have all informed Minnesota AD Joel Maturi that they are not interested in the head coaching job…”

    • Richard says:

      Well, ouch. I can see why Hoke (better recruiting grounds), Calhoun (stable low-stress situation where he can become a lifer), and Edsall (lateral move) would want to stay where they are, but it doesn’t look good when an OC rejects you, especially since Bielema likely isn’t going anywhere soon.

    • mnfanstc says:

      The only question I have is how legit this “scoop” really is…

      I do understand that the Minnesota job is not Michigan or Alabama (or even Miami)… Gopher’s football is virtually always gonna take a backseat to the Twins and Vikings… But… the Twin Cities area is very nice (weather not quite like San Diego, of course) ;) There is a lot of tradition and history… The fans will come if the team starts winning consistently… The pressure at Minn will be/is a little less than some other places…

      Guess we’ll have to wait and see…

  18. Hopkins Horn says:

    The way these realignments have tended to work out is with an initial announcement of X school joining Y conference the season after next.

    Two to four weeks later, there has been a follow-up story announcing that X school will join Y conference faster than initially anticipated — next season instead of the season after next — as it is no one’s interest for school X to stay as a lame-duck member of its current conference any longer than it needs to.

    What are the chances we’ll see the same storyline play out here? Or are we too deep into this season to make next season too close and too difficult to accomplish?

    (My thought is that of course there’s plenty of time to pull this off for next season, but never underestimate the power of bureaucratic inertia to slow anything down!)

    • Bullet says:

      No chance. NV and Fresno have already agreed to wait until 2012 (otherwise WAC has only 6 schools). MWC would be left with 7 schools. Also, BE TV contract renews in 2012.

    • Redhawk says:

      and in the case of TCU there is a TON of reasons for the MWC to keep them, as the MWC needs TCU’s numbers for the BCS AQ bid evaluation period which runs THROUGH 2011

      • Jake says:

        Yeah, and it wouldn’t hurt for TCU’s basketball teams to have an extra year to recruit (using the shiny new Big East branding as a selling point) before making the jump. The men’s team is showing promise right now, but we’re not even close yet. Also, next year should be a bit of a rebuilding year for TCU football (literally and figuratively), so waiting a year there might not be a bad idea, either.

  19. frug says:

    - TCU
    - Big East football
    - BCS (reduces political pressure)

    - MWC (especially BSU)
    - BYU (another MWC rival gets a BCS invite ahead of them)
    - Big East non-football sports
    - BCS opponents (the more non-AQ teams that get “promoted” the harder it is to argue deserving teams are getting screwed)

    So congrats to TCU and BCS proponents (all five of them) and better luck next time to the BYUs and BSUs of the the world.

    • m (Ag) says:

      Boise is in a much better shape to get in the BCS than it was with TCU in the same conference.

      • frug says:

        Yeah but as a non-AQ, BSU still won’t get a full payout when it does receives a BCS bid and won’t get anything when it doesn’t since it’s conference won’t get a share. (ok they get pittance, but it’s nothing)

        Yes, TCU’s departure increases BSU’s shot at going undefeated, but BSU would still be better of financially if TCU had stayed and MWC got autobid status.

        • Richard says:

          The MWC wasn’t going to get an autobid regardless of whether TCU had stayed or not. The power conferences wouldn’t have given it to them.

    • Terry says:


      - BCS opponents (the more non-AQ teams that get “promoted” the harder it is to argue deserving teams are getting screwed)”


      In the last 2 years, the media and the fans have effected a change in the BCS, the undefeated teams now immediately bubble to the top. This wasn’t the case as recently as 2008.

      And that makes a HUGE difference. With TCU going to the BE, if you assume that TCU has a reasonable chance 1 out of 3 years of running the table, then you now have created a monster.

      Remember that the (reasonable) argument against allowing an undefeated MW or WAC school into the Championship is that “The SEC is waay harder than the WAC. Boise State/Utah/TCU would never go undefeated in the SEC.”

      But just as the non-AQ conferences had 1 power team which made it easier to go undefeated, so now does the BE, which had ZERO power teams prior to TCU and TCU could go undefeated many if not MOST years. WOOT!!! What confusion it will sow in the BCS when one of the “approved” conferences has a perennial undefeated team. Ha Ha Ha !!!!

      • frug says:

        In that case BCS powers would simply point to the ACC and note that Florida State won the conference 11 times in first 12 years as a member (including it’s first 9) but that the rest of league caught up eventually.

        Anyways, I was talking about staving off government intervention. As long as the BCS can point to TCU and Utah and say “See once a school proves it deserves an AQ bid, it will eventually receive one) then nothing short of a massive loss of revenue can force the destruction of the BCS.

  20. Bullet says:

    Note also Delaney’s comments at the end of the article. B10 will meet in December and at that time decide and announce what its intending to do.

  21. loki_the_bubba says:

    TCU’s historical record against Big East teams:

    Cincinnati 1-2
    Connecticut 0-0
    Louisville 3-1
    Pitt 1-0-1
    Rutgers 0-0
    Syracuse 1-0
    USF 1-1
    West Virginia 0-1


    • Bullet says:

      Well if history is any guide, this board should soon be busy with all the teams leaving the BE.

      SWC after TCU joined, Ok. ST. (20s), Arkansas (89), Texas, A&M, Tech, Baylor and UH left. Only SMU and Rice stuck with them.

      WAC after TCU joined in 96, BYU, Utah, SDSU, UNLV, Wyoming, CSU, AF and New Mexico left
      TCU then left WAC behind including SJSU, Hawaii, Fresno, Nevada, UTEP, Rice, SMU, Tulsa and was replaced by Boise and La Tech.

      CUSA after TCU joined in 2001, Cincinnati, Louisville, USF, DePaul, Marquette, Charlotte, St. Louis and Army left
      TCU then left Houston, Tulane, USM, ECU, Memphis and UAB behind. They were replaced by UCF, ECU and teams they left in the WAC-UTEP, Rice, SMU and Tulsa.

      MWC After TCU joined in 2005, BYU and Utah left them again.
      With Boise poised to join as well as Nevada, Fresno and Hawaii, TCU decided to get away from those 4 schools again.

      So based on history, La Tech seems poised to join MWC. Most of the BE will leave and be replaced by Tulsa, Rice, SMU and UTEP. At that point TCU will once again move west to the Pac whatever. BYU will be in the Pac at that point in time. BYU and Utah will then leave the Pac to once again get away from TCU. And combined with Boise, Nevada, Fresno and Hawaii will complete Frank’s modest proposal by joining the Big East.

  22. Playoffs Now says:

    BTW, it never hurts for a conference to have the large and powerful Texas congressional delegation on their side.

    4×16=64 is going to be slightly tougher to pull off now.

  23. duffman says:


    is Rice the next Big East add?


    even with the loss to the razorbacks, your tigers are still no fraud in my book.

    to the frog fans,

    you should be the #1 or #2 team in your new conference, somehow can memphis to the Big East be far behind? TCU/Memphis/UL/UC would make a nice 4 in that division, and add in ND in non football sports.

    to the Longhorn Conference,

    you guys are still at 10, and one less school to add

    for the doubters of Big East survival,

    hate to say I told you so (with only teams the Big 10 would want, they are safe from the SEC and Pac 12).

    On the MNC,

    Even if Auburn loses to USC, they should still be in the MNC game (with the Big 10 and Pac 12 adding a CCG the future should have a more level playing field). Any team that plays the extra game (and against a top team in their conference and the end of the season) should not get bumped from a MNC for playing, and losing, the extra game. I know I will seem contrary to Big 10 thinking, but what is good for the goose (SEC currently) will be good for the gander (Big 10 with a CCG) in who gets to the MNC game at the end of the season.

    for the MSU fans,

    If I had the power, you guys would be the Rose Bowl rep. followed by Wisconsin, and tOSU would be last of the 3 based on this years schedule. If the Big 10 is in it for the long haul it has to be about more that just tOSU and Michigan. With UNL and PSU as the newest adds, it would be better for the conference as a whole to see another team jump into the spotlight now and again (and would bode well for Illinois in the future) as the media is all about tOSU and UM, at the detriment to the other teams. Like auburn when they went undefeated and did not play for a MNC, MSU is being penalized for not being an early season top 5 pick.

    • loki_the_bubba says:


      Not a chance. In fact, this could be another rock in the avalanche of realignment that causes Rice to finally drop football. The nightmare scenario unfolds like this: the BE goes ahead and add UCF and Houston for all sports. The weakening of CUSA causes others to re-evaluate their options. SMU and UTEP decide the MWC is a better place to park. CUSA is left an empty shell and starts to be discussed as an equal with the MAC, six-team quasi-D1AA WAC, and the SunBelt. At that point, I’d be ready to throw in the towel.

    • jj says:

      duffman, you’re a wise man. if they name the divisions bo and woody, I’m gonna puke. they already jiggered the worst possible football year-ending so these 2 massive collections of ego-maniacs could get everything they wanted.

      msu lost the brand name recognition battle in this one. the old “who was there last” rule was best for the league.

      i always like to see the b10 win, but the bitter part of me hopes TCU puts up 70 on wisc the way they’ve been doing it to others as of late. oh well.

      • Brian says:

        The league has said it won’t use names that promote only 2 of the 12 schools.

        I’m not sure how you think OSU and UM got everything they want. It is far from clear that their fan bases wanted to be in separate divisions, but they were adamant about playing the last game. Once the league decided to split them, everything else was fairly obvious including that they would have to play at the end of the year. It may lead to an occasional rematch, but I doubt that will happen often.

        I disagree that the old rule was really better. It was great for a time when bowl games were just a reward for a good season and not taken too seriously. In modern times, sending a team based on how long they’ve been mediocre seems silly. League perception is based on winning these games, so you want to send your best teams.

        I feel bad for the Spartan fans that their team probably won’t go to a BCS game this year, but they don’t make a strong case for being the best team in the conference. Everything else is up to bowl committees, and if OSU makes them more money because more people will watch, then that is MSU’s problem. Why is it OSU’s fault that they are more popular nationally? Maybe if MSU won the conference more than once every 20 years they would have a bigger following. Besides, they may be better off going to the Capitol One and having a better chance to win and end the year on a high note.

        • jj says:

          No one really cares about the vast majority of the bowls. The only one I care about for my team is the rose. The orange and cap one are, to me and most likely most bucks, the same. I understand the ideal is to win the game for the league, but it was a gentlemen’s rule in the past that has been swept away. I guess I am old fashioned, but that rule just seems better. That wisconsin gets the nod after we finish with with the same record and won the head to head by double digits stings a bit. I know a similar thing happened to Wisconsin. It just kind of blows. As for my neighbors, they both wanted to be division champs and play “the game” for the marbles and still insisted on the rematch scenario that also dents a divisional playoff. I suspect they lobbied for this set up. I don’t really care, I just don’t want to live with all these clowns if they do that. It’s really an objection of dealing with the neighbors.

          • Brian says:

            I agree most people don’t care about most bowls, but Orange versus Cap One is a big difference in prestige. The school and conference will get much more credit or derision for the result of a BCS game.

            I also liked the old rule, but I don’t believe it works in the BCS era. People didn’t use to spend a lot of time comparing the relative strength of conferences. It wasn’t important for national rankings.

            Now, BCS bowl results are over-emphasized for determining relative conference strength. Any BCS loss is huge for everyone in the conference. In this new landscape, a gentlemen’s agreement to send someone new to the Rose despite possibly having better teams available is silly. Everyone has too much at stake in the result. A loss hurts the whole conference for years to come.

            Imagine Bo Schembechler now, going 3-10 in BCS games. How would that be treated by the media and fans for UM and the Big Ten as a whole? Look at the heat Jim Tressel gets for being 4-3 in BCS games, or Bob Stoops at 2-5.

            This is a different world, unfortunately, and that rule has no place in it.

          • Brian says:

            I was split about the divisions. I personally preferred OSU and UM staying together, and still think that would have been the better decision, but I understood their logic (see below). The schools might have wanted to be split (and maybe play earlier in the year so they can rematch more easily), but I’m not sure the fans did. That’s part of why I don’t think someone can say OSU and UM got everything they wanted, because I don’t think the fans and the schools were in synch. Plus, this wouldn’t have happened if the other schools didn’t like it. I think most of the other ten wanted a guaranteed game against one of the two every year and forced the split.

            My guess is it went like this:
            1. NE/IA, PSU/OSU and OSU/MI must be annual (other rivalries too, but these drive the divisions)
            2. Either OSU/PSU or OSU/MI is intra-divisional
            3. OSU and NE must be in opposite divisions
            4. NE and PSU make the least sense geographically
            5. OSU/PSU and NE/MI must anchor divisions (OSU/PSU vs NE/MI)
            6. IA must be with NE, so WI is opposite (OSU/PSU/WI vs NE/MI/IA)
            7. There must be one locked inter-divisional opponent
            8. MSU must be with MI (OSU/PSU/WI vs NE/MI/IA/MSU)
            9. Preserve MN rivalries (OSU/PSU/WI vs NE/MI/IA/MSU/MN)
            10. Either IU/PU or IL/NW stay paired (OSU/PSU/WI/PU/IU vs NE/MI/IA/MSU/MN)
            11. MSU wants NW and IL fits with IN (OSU/PSU/WI/PU/IU/IL vs NE/MI/IA/MSU/MN/NW)

            Everybody got some of what they wanted, probably nobody got everything they wanted.

          • Josh says:

            @Brian–I think the B10 has been pretty transparent on what their decision-making process was: they wanted balanced divisions. So they took the top 6 programs over the past 20 years and paired them off–UM/tOSU, PSU/UNL and UI/UW. Next, because having a presence in the Chicago area is so important to every B10 school, the two Illinois schools had to be split. There was no need to split the Indiana schools and they didn’t want to be split. Plus, MSU and Minny both probably wanted to be in the UM/UI/UNL division.

            The real debate, I think, was in what the “protected rivalries” would be and when the UM/tOSU game would get played. I think the divisions came together pretty quickly. The rivalry games were much harder, especially with Wisconsin and when “the Game” would get played.

          • Brian says:


            I think we mostly agree.

            I’m sure they started by saying the big 4 have to be split, and the next 2 also have to be split (I don’t think they ever looked at them as one group of 6, or they would have gone East/West). They may even have looked at splitting the next 3 for balance as well. But deciding how to split the teams is what I was looking at in more detail.

            I think you overstate the importance of recruiting, and Illinois and/or Chicago. Ohio and Pennsylvania produce many more recruits, and Michigan almost as many. Besides, with every game on TV more players are willing to go away from home. It certainly means more to the western schools than the eastern ones. I also doubt recruiting was considered very much in the process, since the two best states are grouped together. Geography made the Illinois schools more likely to be split.

            We agree that MSU and MN were placed based on rivalries.

            I think most of the protected rivalries were fairly obvious. OSU/UM, PSU/NE, WI/MN and IL/NW were givens. IU/MSU have a pre-existing rivalry for the old brass spittoon, which left IA/PU. Once WI had to go east, I don’t think they posed any scheduling problems. They only get IA and NE occasionally, but in trade they get the easiest schedule of anybody and keep the most historic rivalry. Besides, with 9 conference games they’ll still see IA and NE quite often.

            The timing of OSU/UM was an issue, I’m sure, but you make divisions first and then worry about scheduling. I think many of the AD’s (maybe even the OSU and UM AD’s) were surprised by the outrage of the fans at moving the game up in the schedule, but I think it was a pretty easy decision to heed the fans on this one.

            Why guarantee millions of outraged fans for years over a possible rematch in the future? Rough math says it won’t happen more than about once every 6 years on average. Besides, once it happens maybe the fans will dislike it enough to support moving the game earlier. Then the AD’s get what they want and the fans are happy too, at the cost of one back to back rematch. On the other hand, maybe people like it and they leave the game alone.

          • Vincent says:

            I still maintain that optimally, now that he has a football brand as member 12 (important for establishing a CCG), Delany will have different requirements for #13-14. Rutgers and Maryland may not have the football sex appeal of Nebraska, but they would add value to the Big Ten in two populous areas, along with good all-around athletic programs and excellent research, complementing Penn State along the eastern seaboard. Their addition would also enable Wisconsin to go west for football, where it belongs.

          • @Vincent – I honestly think it’s the opposite, where the amount of additional revenue that each new school in the Big Ten would need to bring in is now so huge that expansion can’t happen without either Notre Dame or Texas involved. A 12th school needed to bring in $22 million in revenue just for the Big Ten to break even. The conference championship is bringing in $23 million, which meant that Nebraska has already paid for itself. However, no new schools will get the benefit of that championship game revenue “pop”, which means that they’re going to have to bring in around $30 million each to make it worth it for the Big Ten to expand further. I understand your argument about the East Coast “network effect” by combining Rutgers and Maryland with Penn State, but even the rosiest projection in the world couldn’t find a way where just adding Rutgers and Maryland would add $60 million per year to the Big Ten or any other conference. I don’t even know if Notre Dame could do that – Texas is really the only school that could bring that much in on its own guaranteed. If the financials don’t work, then I don’t see how further expansion can go forward unless the Big Ten can grab even bigger fish.

          • jcfreder says:

            The three-way tiebreaker where all three teams don;t play each other is really a no-win situation. It’s easy for MSU backers to say it’s unfair that WIS is going to the Rose even though MSU beat them, but that’s ignoring the fact that it’s a three-way tie, not a two-way tie (under which MSU would have gone to the Rose). Unfortunately what’s missing from MSU’s schedule is an away game against one of the other first-place teams. Had MSU gone to OSU and beaten them, they’d be in the Rose Bowl.

            Where they have a more legitimate gripe is the timing issue. Had MSU lost to Iowa in week 1 and then beaten WIS last week, I think likely that MSU would be ahead in the polls and thsu maybe even the BCS, despite the computers preferring WIS.

          • Bullet says:

            @ Frank

            And you have to question whether you really want more big fish. If you have too many big fish, the big fish lose more games and cease being big fish. I don’t think you want 6 of 14, maybe even not 5 of 14. To go to 16 you need a Texas or Notre Dame or Miami, but it could be detrimental in going to 14, even if you get a short term revenue gain. I’m of the opinion that the BE has too many big fish in basketball.

          • @Bullet – Very true. I think a lot of people are overestimating the desire of these schools to create superconferences. The Big Ten teams, in particular, actually like playing each other regularly and want consistent games against the marquee teams. Adding too many other teams (whether big fish or not) means that it’s no longer a conference and becomes more of a scheduling arrangement between 2 divisions. That might yield some short-term dollars but can have long-term negative effects when conference bonds aren’t strong. The Big 12 schools were actually making more TV money than the Pac-10 schools before this latest realignment, yet the Big 12′s loose bonds with each other made them targets for the much tighter Pac-10 than the other way around. Having a tightly-knit conference has a ton of value and provides a lot of strength beyond money and I don’t believe the Big Ten or other well-run conferences like the SEC want to lose that.

          • Joe4psu says:

            @Frank, others – $30 million may now be the expected share for the current schools but the schools added don’t have to receive that as their share in the beginning. The new schools would only have to create enough income to make THEIR shares greater than they are now.

            If two schools, RU and UMD for example, are added how much does the BTN stand to make in carriage fees? What happened to the idea that creating more content for the BTN was going to create huge ad revenues? Do you know of any accurate projections?

            Neither of these schools may be valuable enough to cause ABC/ESPN to renegotiate the current contract, I don’t know. It seems obvious though, from the SEC and ACC’s recent contracts, that the BT’s future contracts are going to GREATLY increased. If the schools don’t officially join until the future contracts are negotiated are they more likely to add enough to the pot to be successful additions?

            Personally I think it’s unfair to credit Nebraska for the CCG money when any new member to the conference would have created the same outcome. It’s irrelevant but I had to say it.

          • Nostradamus says:


            No the $30 million doesn’t have to be earned up front, but it does have to be created by the school at some point within about 5 years of adding any school. Otherwise it isn’t economically viable to add anyone. I’m with Frank on this.

            Even with the Big Ten’s differences from other conference expansion criteria due to the Big Ten Network, the near $30 million dollar figure needed is getting to the point where you really can’t afford to add anyone. Rutgers is probably the only school outside of Notre Dame and Texas that could potentially do it on their own. That only works out if Rutgers can deliver NYC in market cable rates, and it doesn’t account for the problem of having to add another team.
            “Neither of these schools may be valuable enough to cause ABC/ESPN to renegotiate the current contract, I don’t know. It seems obvious though, from the SEC and ACC’s recent contracts, that the BT’s future contracts are going to GREATLY increased. If the schools don’t officially join until the future contracts are negotiated are they more likely to add enough to the pot to be successful additions?”
            For a Rutgers or Maryland no.
            “Personally I think it’s unfair to credit Nebraska for the CCG money when any new member to the conference would have created the same outcome. It’s irrelevant but I had to say it.”
            That is fine. But Nebraska was added because it will bring in the $20+ million it needed to on its own without the championship game. Nebraska just immediately paid for itself up front with the championship game.

          • Brian says:


            I agree there is a chance that Maryland and Rutgers could be the next additions, but I think it is safe to say none of us really have a good grasp on the financial value of these schools.

            What are they worth to the network (subscriptions, programming, ad sales)?

            If they join before the new TV deal, is the barrier lower or are the powers that be looking at everything as though the deal has already increased?

            How much are the schools worth to the CIC?

            How much extra value can be extracted from PSU and all the other east coast alumni?

            How many new Big ten fans can be generated in a somewhat open area as far as college football?

            However, I disagree about moving WI. They came east to balance the divisions, and MD and RU are not equivalent to WI. Illinois is a better candidate to move while maintaining balance. The only eastern team that might balance WI is Pitt, and that is based on them returning to their prime. On the bright side, WI will be able to recruit NY/NJ and DC better.

          • Vincent says:

            Brian, I’m glad you brought the CIC into the debate; to me, that’s where Maryland and Rutgers would make their biggest contributions to the conference (though they would help athletically, too). Getting the CIC front and center into the NY/NJ and DC/Balt markets would boost its visibility to gain research funding in the nation’s corporate and governmental centers.

            Also, I sense Wisconsin would be more amenable to moving to the west division than Illinois for two reasons:

            1. UW has more ties to western rivals than Illinois does;

            2. Illinois recruits heavily in the east (DC, Philly, NJ).

          • jcfreder says:

            It would be disappointing if the B10 expands further in the East and Wisconsin wouldn’t be moved back to the West where it belongs.

          • zeek says:

            How exactly would you move Wisconsin back to the West division?

            What school could you add that’s the equivalent of it in terms of football strength?

            Pitt doesn’t do it; if you add Pitt/Rutgers or Maryland/Rutgers, then you probably shift Illinois to the West as the equivalent…

          • Richard says:


          • zeek says:

            Yeah, Miami would do it for sure.

          • jcfreder says:

            You’re right that the competitve balance might be thrown out of whack a little by putting Wisconsin in the West instead of Illinois, but understand that the geography REALLY begins to get silly. Wisconsin borders states with 6 B10 teams in them yet UW would be in a division with ZERO of them. You’d be better off moving Wis and Indiana to the West and pushing NW to the East to help balance out the wins. At least Indiana would still play against border teams Mich and MSU.
            Again, its very possible that the UW athletic department would welcome the games in New Jersey and Maryland. I just don’t think the alumni and other fans would.

          • zeek says:

            That’s an interesting idea re: shifting Indiana with Wisconsin as a way of evening out the addition.

            That’s actually a workable solution…

          • Richard says:

            Well, then Indiana would be surrounded by schools that are all not in it’s divisions.

            In any case, I feel that whoever assigned the relative strengths of the schools got it wrong. Based on money, tradition, and recruiting grounds, I would put the tiers this way:

            1: OSU/PSU
            2: Michigan/Nebraska
            3: MSU/Wisconsin
            3: Illinois/Iowa
            4: NU/Minny/PU
            5: IU

            That being the case, I think you can form one division to be OSU, Michigan,MSU, Illinois, NU, IU, PU with the rest in the other division.

            PU/Eastern team
            MSU/Eastern team

          • jcfreder says:

            No, Indiana in the West would still have border games against Michigan and MSU.

            I agree with you that another way to go would be to slap together the Western and Eastern teams together in one division.

          • Brian says:


            I’m sure WI would like to get in the west, it just unbalances the divisions. Of the other teams in the division, IL is the westernmost and split from its in-state rival and would not change the balance as much.


            I agree the geography would be screwy, but the league stressed that balance is paramount.

            If geography grew in importance, I would instead trade WI and IL (not IN) for NW. Yes, IN might provide the most balance in terms of current winning percentage, but either team would lose a lot in that new division. IL would keep it more geographical for the same basic result.

            It might be better to move MSU except it would screw up the rivalries.


            Yes, Miami would provide balance but talk about screwy geography.

            Winning is what matters, and modern history says the tiers are:

            1. OSU/NE/MI/PSU
            2. WI/IA
            3. MSU/PU/NW
            4. IL/MN/IN

            There are certainly cycles that change the tiers. NW, PU, IA and WI have been rising while IL and MN are falling. It only takes one great coach to shift things (except for IN, who always suck).

            This is why WI can’t go west if two eastern teams (presumably tier 3/4 like RU and MD) join. The west would have 4 of the top 6, and 6 of the top 9 current teams.

            Forming the Oreo conference (middle versus the ends) might be OK for balance, but not from geography. Remember all the complaints about PSU playing the west and the two new powers being put together? How will the newest members feel if they get the most travel and the newest powers instead of the old guard?

            In addition, your crossover games would never work. OSU/PSU while UM gets MN and NE gets IU?

            Maybe you could try:
            IL/Eastern team
            PU/Eastern team

            The games should be competitive most years, and the eastern teams would get to the vicinity of Chicago regularly.

            I would avoid the locked crossovers and just try to schedule smartly (nobody gets PSU/NE/WI in one year). That increases the frequency of teams playing each other, which is important with new members in a big conference.

          • m (Ag) says:

            Just go back to modified KISS divisions:

            Wisconsin/Ohio State
            Nebraska/Penn State

            Yeah, 3 of your 4 historic teams are in the East, but the 2 divisions are pretty balanced. The biggest imbalance is in the recruiting grounds, which are almost all in the East.

            If you didn’t need to keep MSU/Michigan a yearly rivalry you could do away with permanent rivalries.

          • Brian says:

            @ m(Ag)

            While a modified KISS setup sounds good, it’s still really unbalanced. You have 3 tier 1 schools versus the other tier 1 and both tier 2 teams. Having the better teams and the better recruiting grounds is not a recipe for balance. I’m sure NE would like it, though.

            How about SW/NE, which is a really modified KISS?


            This is pretty balanced and keeps geography together. The crossovers are balanced, too. The newcomers get links to the Chicago/Illinois area (better than Indiana) without having overly tough match-ups. Even the recruiting grounds are more balanced with Ohio and Illinois versus Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Jersey.

          • Richard says:

            Iowa-Minnesota is split up. Iowa probably cares more about Floyd than about any other other current BigTen matchup it has (strange as it may seem).

          • @Richard – The Floyd itself is simply the most awesome trophy in sports this side of the Stanley Cup. If I were an Iowa fan, it wouldn’t matter who the Hawkeyes were playing if that’s the prize – I’d be circling that date on the calendar every year.

          • Brian says:


            Despite their latest game, you need to split IA/MN for strength of schedule balance. MN keeps WI, which is the more historic rivalry, and also gets MI and the Governor’s Cup.

            Keeping balance for the top teams is more important to me than preserving yet another one-sided rivalry for MN. If WI and IA want to be major powers, they should get an equivalent crossover partner like the big 4.

            The only reason WI/MN in the current divisions is OK (to me, at least) is that WI would lose all its rivals otherwise. Note that the conference felt WI/MN was more important to preserve than WI/IA, to the detriment of TV appeal and balance in schedule strength.

    • jj says:

      Ok. last word on this. The vote was 10-1 to move away from the “last one there” rule for the rosebowl. dantonio was the 1 vote against it. weird.

      “You know who voted against it?” he asked. “You are looking at him. Computers don’t see every team play. If I’m going to make decisions in my family, I’m not going to outsource it. I know that may make me old-fashioned.”

      • Ross Hatton says:

        While it does suck for MSU fans, I would say it has everything to do with the 30 point loss to Iowa (who is now 7-5) and the three very close wins over inferior teams.

        Don’t get me wrong, MSU has had a great season, and that is tough to say as a Michigan fan, but you are within 3 of OSU and Wisconsin. You all are also the only one with a blowout loss to a team with a 7-4 record. It is what it is.

    • M says:

      Duffman, I enjoy your stuff here, but this comment is wrong on almost every point:

      “to the Longhorn Conference,
      you guys are still at 10, and one less school to add”

      If the Texas Ten invited TCU, they would be gone tomorrow. TCU would never stay in the Big East over a league with the large Texas state schools.

      About the title game: if a team can be rewarded for winning a title game, they certainly can be punished for losing it. No team that doesn’t win its conference should have a chance at the national championship (whether that’s Auburn ’10, Nebraska ’01, or especially Minnesota ’36, who won the AP national championship despite losing to outright Big Ten champs Northwestern and having the same record).

      I’m not sure this is the reason why MSU is the lowest ranked Big Ten champ, but they got blown out by 7-5 Iowa. Records being equal, I have no problem eliminating the team with the worst loss.

      I do agree that LSU should be the highest ranked 2 loss team.

    • StevenD says:

      duffman says: “Even if Auburn loses to USC, they should still be in the MNC game”

      Huh? Really? The SEC decides that USC is their champion, but you say “No, no, no, I think Auburn is better, I’m going to put Auburn in the NCG.” That’s nuts. If USC wins on the field, fair and square, then they are the team that deserves to advance. I don’t care what the BCS voters and the BCS computers say.

      • Adam says:

        Note that the SEC Championship is not determined on the basis of non-conference games. The national championship (rightfully) does consider those. I’m not sure winning your league should be a sine qua non for being in the title game.

      • duffman says:


        My point was that Auburn beat USC in the regular season 35-27. Had they not already played I might be more inclined to agree with you. This is the one problem with the CCG when it falls on teams that have already played in the regular season. I do not have a solution, especially as no one will say play 3 times and the winner of 2 out of 3 moves on. I do not know there is any realistic way to fix this, but penalizing a team that plays an extra game and loses it when many other top ranked team do not seems unfair.

        My debate for quite some time is equality. Either everybody plays a CCG or everybody does not. Right now it is split down the middle, and seems to be unfair. I am not defending the SEC but I am thinking of the future of the Big 10. Suppose UNL and PSU play in the first Big 10 CCG and the undefeated team loses. At the same time a one loss Oklahoma team (with no more CCG) jumps over the Big 10 team when they did not have to play the extra game. If this is not adjusted for, then there is a high probability that UT or OU will have the easiest track to a MNC after the Big 10 and Pac 10 add a CCG.

        I see Boise State and TCU and feel they are good teams, but to say their undefeated season is equal to a Big 10, Big 12 (pre breakup), or SEC team with one loss just seems counter intuitive. I have said it from the very start that having players get pounded on week after week makes it much more improbable to go undefeated than a team that only has a few tough games every season.

        • Bullet says:

          If you are beating those weaker teams by 50 points while the 1 loss SEC team is winning on last second FGs or in OT against 6-6 teams, its a lot tougher to do what the 1st team did. There’s no doubt in my mind, that is part of the reason they forced the computer people to take margin of victory out of their formula. Sagarin’s no margin of victory formula has Auburn #1. His other formula has Auburn #11.

          • Playoffs Now says:

            Bingo. So I’m going to repost this from the prior thread:

            Oh boy, here comes the big conference bs on ESPN, arguing that if OR or AU loses, TCU should be jumped or stay behind them because “They didn’t play anybody, and while Boise was ok because they had a marquee win, TCU is not.”

            Let’s see:

            1 – TCU pounded BCS #20 10-2 Utah by 40.

            2 – TCU blew out 8-4 Air Force by 31.

            3 – TCU beat 8-4 SDSU by only 5, but that was after TCU’s OC had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital in the 1st quarter, rallied from down 0-14 in the 1st to up 34-14 at halftime, and then drove the length of the field (all rush plays) at the end of the 4th and took a knee at the SDSU 19 instead of trying to run up the score for beauty points (the way WI would have.)

            Not a squeaker the way AU survived 8-4 Miss St 17-14, or survived 6-6 Clemson in 27-24 in overtime, or survived 6-6 KY 37-34 with a last second field goal, or survived 9-3 BCS #16 AL 28-27. Just saying.

            Not quite the squeaker the way OR survived 5-7 Cal 15-13, though unlike WI (passing on IU when up by 56) OR took a knee at the Cal 13 after driving the field and rushing the final 14 plays instead of running up beauty points.

            4 – TCU whipped 7-5 Baylor by 35.

            5 – TCU beat 7-5 SMU by 17, an SMU that will play in the C-USA championship game. Some idiot on ESPN actually cited this game as why TCU should be jumped by WI or Stan.

            6 – TCU blew out 6-6 BYU by 28.

            7 – TCU had a solid 30-21 win over an OR St that is now 5-6, but this was before their star receiver James Rodgers was lost for the season to injury. Before the injury OR St was 3-2, losing only to TCU and Boise while beating 7-4 AZ, after the injury they were 2-4, but still able to blow out Cal and USC. OR St was a good, solid team when TCU beat them, the loss of Rodgers decimated their passing game.

            So TCU has beaten 6 bowl-eligible teams, or 7 if OR St beats OR (one of the 2 situations where it would matter.) Ohio St has beaten 6 if Ohio is included. WI has beaten 4, or 5 if ASU beats AZ. Stanford has beaten 3 to 6 bowl eligible equivalents (USC can’t go but should count at 7-5) depending on upcoming games. OR has beaten 4 to 6, while AU has beaten 8.

            TCU may not be in an AQ conference, but Ohio State hasn’t beaten anyone with more than 7 wins except for 8-4 Ohio from the MAC, a conference much maligned in B10 country. TCU has 9 blowouts of 27+, one by 17, one by 9, and one by 5 but they took a knee instead of a FG and never threw a pass on the final drive.

          • Jake says:

            @Playoffs Now – it was the offensive line coach, not the OC. You have to admire a guy who, recognizing the symptoms of a heart attack, dragged himself to the locker room so that he “wouldn’t be a distraction to the team.” Yeah, that game wasn’t as close as the score indicated. Basically, SDSU was shut down for the vast majority of the game, but they had a few big pass plays (and one turnover – damn, the o-line needs to get healthy) that made it close at the end.

          • UWGradStudent says:

            @Playoffs Now: I generally enjoy reading your posts, but your view on Wisconsin “running up the score” is just not supportable when you look at the box scores or watch the games.

            “So I’m going to repost this from the prior thread:”

            And I will repost my reply to your post from the previous thread.

            “… then drove the length of the field (all rush plays) at the end of the 4th and took a knee at the SDSU 19 instead of trying to run up the score for beauty points (the way WI would have.)”

            To any objective observer who actually watches the games or even looks at the box scores, it is obvious that Wisconsin is not running up the score in these games.

            Northwestern vs. Wisconsin:
            -4th Quarter- 14 Run plays/0 Pass plays
            -3rd Quarter- 15 Run plays/1 Pass play
            -Last 18 plays=runs
            -Last Pass= 7:00 in 3rd
            -No points scored in the fourth quarter
            -End of final drive: First and goal at Northwestern 4 yard line –> knee, knee, knee

            Michigan vs. Wisconsin:
            -4th Quarter- 16 Run plays/0 Pass plays
            -3rd Quarter- 17 Run plays/1 Pass play
            -Last 31 plays=runs
            -Last Pass= 9:53 in 3rd
            -End of final drive: 1st and 10 at Wisconsin 18 yard line –> knee, knee

            Indiana vs. Wisconsin
            -4th Quarter- 9 Run plays/3 Pass plays
            -3rd Quarter- 10 Run plays/7 Pass plays
            -Last 5 plays=runs
            -Last Pass= 7:39 in 4th
            -Touchdowns included a pick-6, a bootleg by the 5th string QB (after gaining the first down, they almost certainly would have kneeled it to end the game if they hadn’t gotten the touchdown), and a broken pass play that should have been intercepted by any competent Big 10 secondary.

            Purdue vs. Wisconsin
            -4th Quarter- 14 Run plays/2 Pass plays
            -3rd Quarter- 7 Run plays/6 Pass plays
            -Last 12 plays=runs
            -Last Pass= 11:40 in 4th

            And possibly most damaging to your assertion, see the Arizona State game. Up by one point, with the ball on the Arizona State 18 yard line, rather than take the easy field goal or go for the touchdown, the last series goes knee, knee, knee.

            Does this even remotely resemble running up the score?

            (borrowed liberally from and the ESPN play-by-plays)

          • Brian says:

            @Playoffs Now

            Your arguments for TCU’s schedule strength versus the top teams seem strained. I happen to think TCU is a great team, but I don’t see a ton of objective evidence for it.

            First, let’s agree the ESPN is populated with a bunch of blowhards that seem to have a lot of strange opinions considering they are supposedly experts on college football and unbiased.

            Yes, TCU whipped Utah, but so did Notre Dame the next week. Nobody believes ND is great. What is Utah’s big win that makes them so good, an OT win over Pitt at home? A good record doesn’t make a good team, it shows a workable schedule.

            Air Force is similar. They lost to every ranked team and SDSU, and are completely one dimensional.

            TCU beat SDSU by 5. You don’t get to make excuses for it. It happened. Every team has games where circumstances line up against them (injuries, illness, bye weeks, etc). I don’t see you giving anyone else credit for these hard luck days, so TCU doesn’t get it either.

            Close wins are a sign of weakness for everyone else according to you, so this is one for TCU. This was not a nail-biter like some of AU’s wins, but their competition is arguably more talented (W-L records don’t equal quality). As you pointed out, OR could have scored late against Cal to increase the margin but chose not to and that was their only really close game.

            Besides, many people (not me, necessarily) take these wins as signs of a team’s mental toughness and championship mettle.

            WI (passing on IU when up by 56)

            Baylor, SMU and BYU are much like Utah and AF. Who did they beat to say they are good teams?

            Yes, OSU was better before Rodgers was hurt but they were never an elite team. The were likely to be middle of the pack in the Pac 10.

            Maybe it’s just me, but in the era of 35 bowl games I don’t find bowl eligibility to mean much. A lot of bad teams make bowls. How many of them got eligible by beating horrible teams like NM, UNLV, CSU and WY? The athletes on those teams don’t compare to the those in the AQ leagues, even on the weaker teams.

            Yes, TCU is not in an AQ conference (yet). Why that is everyone else’s problem is not clear to me. Perhaps they should have scheduled another AQ team rather than Tennessee Tech (a recurring theme in TCU schedules). They were lucky Baylor is on an upswing (to 7-5). Knowing the conference schedule includes some incredibly bad teams, TCU should schedule more top teams OOC to balance things out if they want to be compared favorably to AQ teams. The bad teams in AQ’s are not nearly as bad as the bad teams in non-AQ’s, so OOC scheduling should be used to try to make up for the easier conference schedule if you want more respect.

            You like to use W-L records to knock AQ teams, but they don’t get to lock in the easy wins in conference that a non-AQ does. A 7-5 AQ is better than a 7-5 non-AQ.

          • Brian says:


            I’ll agree that Playoffs Now didn’t need to take a shot at WI since it wasn’t all that relevant to his bigger point. That said, you clearly have blinders on with regards to WI. You certainly are not the “objective observer” you mention in your response. WI has run up the score in games this year. Not as much as they could have in some cases, but still running it up.

            When you have a run-dominated offense, not throwing passes does not prove you are not running up the score. Who was in the game? What types of runs were called? What sort of tempo was used? Those are the more relevant questions.

            Some times you play a weak team and they keep turning over the ball, not making tackles and you almost can’t help but score. Other times you try two-point conversions against your long suffering rival when up by 25 late in the fourth quarter.

            Taking a knee against ASU doesn’t really help your argument. Everyone already knew they just squeaked out a win, the FG didn’t matter. When given the chance, Bielema went for 2 against MN, scored 70 against a NW team missing its QB and put up 83 on IU. I’ll excuse Austin Peay, but the others are what they are.

            The coach went for style points to help in the BCS rankings. It may be what kept them ahead of OSU, so it’s not the worst thing in the world. It’s not very sporting (I think 63 would have been plenty against IN or NW), but it is partially the fault of the BCS. Denying it just looks silly, though.

            I would expect to see some retribution in the future if MN, IN or NW ever gets the chance. Maybe from other Big Ten schools that see this is how Bielema wants to do things, too. That kind of coaching karma is dangerous. All coaches have friends, and those that try to embarrass others usually get paid back eventually.

          • jcfreder says:

            Both the Indiana and Northwestern games were games where the Badgers “couldn’t help but score.” Those defenses flat out gave up. It’t a catch-22 for Wisconsin seeing as running the ball actually plays to their strengths. Keep in mind the Badgers had 70 at the end of the 3rd quarter of the Northwestern game. If it was a situation like you see in the NFL every once in a blue moon where you need to score as much as possible to win a playoff tiebreaker, UW would have hung 100 on NW. They were that inept on D.

            That said, they did try to stick it to Minnesota by going for 2 up big. But given Tim Brewster’s bluster about taking home the Axe, I can live with it.

          • Richard says:


            TCU doesn’t just get to pick and choose their OOC opponents. It takes 2 to tango. To their credit, Texas, Oklahoma, Stanford, & Clemson have played them, and LSU & Arkansas will play them. However, I doubt that if TCU wanted to play, say, Wisconsin instead of Tennessee Tech, it’s as easy as just calling up UW and hearing the Badgers say “sure, why not?”.

          • Richard says:

            Oh, and TCU’s OOC schedule has traditionally been tougher than UW’s. Let’s stick Wisconsin in the MWC first and then you can complain about TCU’s OOC schedule if they don’t match Wisconsin’s.

          • Richard says:

            Sorry, you’re evidently an OSU guy. OSU does play one name OOC opponent each year, but the same point holds about TCU calling up Bucky to schedule a series or how well OSU’s strength of schedule would look if they were in the MWC.

          • Brian says:


            Nobody except maybe WI fans defends the WI OOC schedule. We all know it is a little weak.

            I agree that TCU can’t just pick their OOC opponents, but I’m sure some lesser AQ teams would say yes. They aren’t great opponents, but they aren’t TN Tech and they help negate the argument about the gantlet AQ teams face. TCU gets this with Baylor or a down TX Tech. I’m just saying there are similar schools that would probably say yes, maybe even to a home and home (with the chance to recruit Texas).

            The point is that TCU chooses to play even more non-AQ’s, which makes it look like they are ducking better teams. The complaints will lessen in the Big East.

          • Brian says:


            IN and NW made it easy to score, yes, but WI had some choices. I’d have to review who was in the game and what plays were called to make a final judgement. They could have started to call of the dogs much earlier than they did. Nobody else felt a need to blow out those teams quite so badly in conference.

            I freely admitted WI could have scored even more in several games, but the MN game taints everything else. It shows a coach willing to run up the score, which leaves the other games open to interpretation.

            I think WI could have held themselves to the 60′s in both games but chose not to do it. Now, it is big boy football and it is the opponent’s job to stop you. But there comes a point where you draw the line. Many people believe WI crossed that line repeatedly.

          • jcfreder says:

            Well, I suppose there are varying degrees of running up the score, but I think it was pretty clear that UW had its foot off the gas in the 4th quarters of those games. There’s no doubt that perception is reality, though, so they have to be a little careful about their image.

            As for UW’s scheduling, it sucks. I understand the idea of having at least 7 home games in order to make money. But that still leaves one home-and home. As a fan, I’d rather see potentially awesome matchups than always playing lower-tier BCS teams. To be fair, the 90′s Badger teams had some good matchups with Colorado and Syracuse but basically got blasted. So maybe that left a bad taste in their mouths. I still think if you want to be a true big-time program, you want to create some great made for TV games.

          • M says:


            FWIW, I’m a Northwestern fan and I don’t feel like Wisconsin ran up the score in that game. The NU defense just sucked something awful.

          • Brian says:

            @jcfreder, and M

            Yeah, it’s the appearance of impropriety. I’m not saying they necessarily did something wrong, but it looks bad. Especially with the MN game, when Bielema also denied running up the score.

            I went back and looked, and WI was playing their top running backs on offense until the last drive of the 4th quarter (hard to check on linemen). Surely there are a bunch of backups and walk-ons that deserve the PT in a blow out. They clearly do have other RB’s since they ran on the last drive. Couldn’t they have played sooner? Tolzien was still playing (and passing) when they scored their 9th TD. They have other QBs capable of handing off the ball. Why not use them in the third? The 32 point lead wasn’t secure?

            The point isn’t that any of this is absolutely wrong, but it seems fishy since it happened twice (and when combined with the MN game).

          • Brian says:

            @jcfreder, and M

            Yeah, it’s the appearance of impropriety. I’m not saying they necessarily did something wrong, but it looks bad. Especially with the MN game, when Bielema also denied running up the score.

            I went back and looked, and WI was playing their top running backs on offense until the last drive of the 4th quarter (hard to check on linemen). Surely there are a bunch of backups and walk-ons that deserved the PT in a blow out. They clearly do have other RB’s since they ran on the last drive. Couldn’t they have played sooner? Tolzien was still playing (and passing) when they scored their 9th TD. They have other QBs capable of handing off the ball. Why not use them in the third? The 32 point lead wasn’t secure?

            The point isn’t that any of this is absolutely wrong, but it seems fishy since it happened twice (and when combined with the MN game).

          • UWGradStudent says:

            “I went back and looked, and WI was playing their top running backs on offense until the last drive of the 4th quarter”

            Wisconsin has three quality running backs this season. Are they not allowed to play any of them near the end of the game? They were in effect playing a third string running back.

            I have attended the games; many if not most of the “excessive” touchdowns occurred when the defense simply gave up, or there is more going on than is evident from the score alone.

            Take the two pick-6′s. First, you can’t tell the defender not to run it back if the field is open. Second, while the one player who returned one pick was a starter, his mom was at the game from Florida for the only game she was able to see this season, if not the during his career (I forget which). I don’t feel too bad about not pulling him after two quarters. There are often extenuating circumstances that aren’t obvious without watching the games.

            We had one passing touchdown that probably looks bad on the stat sheet (long bomb pass), but it was in reality a broken play from our third string QB that should have been intercepted by any competent secondary.

            We had one bootleg run for a touchdown by our fifth string QB. You can’t ask the guy to lay down on what is likely the only series he will play all year.

            Regarding the Michigan game, I was at the Big House when they came back from a 19 point deficit to win the game. There is no amount of points that would make me feel comfortable in that accursed stadium.

            There were numerous times we could have scored, but rather took knees or ran out the clock. My memory isn’t good enough to account for every point scored in every game, but this pattern is definitely not symptomatic of a team running up the score.

            I’m not a big enough fanatic to know if the Badgers were playing a third string player vs. a second string player. I do know that you can’t put non-starters in the game and ask them not to play hard. When a defense gives up, the offense, whether second, third or fourth string, will score easily and often.

            I haven’t heard any coaches or players other than Tim Brewster complain about Wisconsin running up the score. There is supposedly a significant feud between these two coaches, and there is certainly no love lost between Wisconsin and Minnesota. However, one failed two point conversion attempt cannot be used to show that the team was running up the score in completely different games.

            None of my friends who are fans of Michigan, Indiana or Northwestern think that the Badgers ran up the score. They watched the games, and saw their defense give up. They were far more upset with their defensive play than any choices made by the Badger coaching staff.

            Wisconsin was on the receiving end of high scoring games in the past (see the 1970s and 1980s). While I am not old enough remember then, my parents and their friends were. And none of them were upset with the opposing teams; rather, they blamed our coaches for not putting competent defenses on the field.

            I maintain that any knowledgeable football observer that watched the games, or even read the box scores, would find that Wisconsin was not purposely running up the score in these games.

          • Brian says:


            You said looking at the box score would make it obvious that WI wasn’t running up the score. I had watched the NW game with partial attention, but checked the box score to refresh my mind.

            A quick look told me one could easily question your assertion. An elite running team, with three elite backs, didn’t switch to a true backup running back until very late in the game. Without watching a replay I couldn’t Playing the Big Ten Freshman of the Year doesn’t really count as playing a backup. That looks suspicious.

            Nobody has denied those were bad defenses, but that’s not a magic wand that absolves WI of all guilt. Playing starters late in a blow out is suspicious.

            I don’t think anyone would ever question WI scoring on MI. Feel free to go triple digits on them as often as you want. Maybe you can stop by and score 100+ in a pre-bowl scrimmage. But even in WI’s dark years you can’t claim IN and NW ever dominated you. NW was much worse than WI (and everyone else) in the 70′s and 80′s.

            It’s rare for college coaches and players to complain about being blown out. It doesn’t go over well. But the MN game clearly showed WI was capable of running up a score if it chose to do it. That forces an outside observer to look at the other games differently.

            If I was NW or IN fan, player or coach I’d be upset with my defense too. That doesn’t mean that WI didn’t run up the score but rather that I’d would expect my team to be willing and able to stop them. Those are two separate issues.

            Just to show I’m not completely crazy, here are some comments from WI blog coverage against NW.

            Third quarter comments:
            “Given that style points do matter in the BCS universe, I don’t expect the Badgers to take the foot off the gas pedal, at least in the 3rd quarter. Consider the statement made to pollsters…loud and clear.”


            “IT AIN’T OVER BUT IT IS
            James White’s TD run makes it 63-17, and the only thing in question now is the final score. Can Wisconsin put up more points than it did vs. Austin Peay (70) and Indiana (83)? I’ll say yes to the former, but no to the latter. It all depends when Bret Bielema starts pulling the starters.”

            Those are from the third quarter.

            From the fourth quarter:
            “Jon Budmayr is on to replace Scott Tolzien”

            It is not a massive indictment of the program that WI scored more than it needed to, but to say that isn’t what happened is foolish. Even many WI supporters recognize it.

            WI did it with BCS concerns and didn’t do it full throttle, but they did run up the score. The 2 point conversion against MN was the most egregious offense, but also the most understandable being a rivalry game. Picking on IN and NW though is just bullying. Haven’t those schools suffered enough over the years? It’s like starting a fight with kids from the short bus.

          • M says:


            Save your pity for Northwestern. The Wildcats have won 4 of the last 7 against Wisconsin and hold a 11-10 edge over the last 25 years.

          • Brian says:


            Not everyone realizes that NW won 10 games from 1973-1975, 3 games from 1976-1981 (including losing a record 34 in a row), and 10 more games from 1982-1985.

            23 wins in 13 seasons would lead to mass suicide in most fanbases. The football karma is still very much on the side of the purple, at least until NW wins a bowl.

            Ideally NW would either beat AL in the BCSCG or beat USC in the Rose for that first ever bowl win.

        • ohio1317 says:

          I personally think that if a CCG costs a team, they only have the conference to blame. I know the Big Ten is going this way too, but nobody forced it too, and no one should be mad at others for not joining (or rejoining) in.

        • Paul C says:

          Here’s what I don’t get, they always say that Boise or TCU wouldn’t go undefeated in the SEC, Big Ten or B12. Rarely do the teams that are actually in that conference can do it. If you don’t require the teams to actually play in the conference to a standard you hold TCU and Boise to, it seems inherently unfair. If Auburn makes it after losing to S Car. I won’t watch the game or recognize the winner as champ.

    • Richard says:


      By logic, Auburn losing the extra conference title game shouldn’t drop them out of the championship game.

      If we go by history, though, voters really don’t like to give a team which didn’t win its conference a shot at the national title, so I think they would drop them low enough so that they don’t make it.

      • Bamatab says:

        It has happened twice since the BCS started. Oklahoma went to the BCSCG one year when they lost to KSU in the Big 12 CG, and Nebraska went one year and they didn’t even play in the Big 12 CG (Colorado went from the Big 12 north).

        But with that said, any team that plays in the BCSCG is a fraud in my book if they aren’t even crowned their conference champion. JMHO

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Duff – thanks for the continued LSU love. I just got back from Little Rock last night at about 10pm. Some crazed Hog fan that doesn’t know how to handle victory shattered a window in my car. Driving almost 400 miles with a towel duct-taped to your door frame is no fun.

      Prior to the season, I thought LSU would be improved from 2009, but have more losses. Most of my fellow Tigers are spoiled and don’t realize how good we have it with Crazy Uncle Les, aka the Mad Hatter, aka The Hat, aka the Guy who eats grass and takes names, aka the guy who needs a new watch. The radio show callers down here are whining about 10-2. I’m sure Penn State, Michigan, Texas, USC, Notre Dame, and Miami would love to have LSU’s “problems.”

      Personally, I love Les. Having met him several times, I think he’s a great guy. The players love him and play hard for him. He’s a great recruiter. What he’s been able to do without a serviceable QB for the last 3 years is amazing to me. This year, LSU’s only losses were to teams with exceptional QB play.

      • duffman says:


        I am glad they played in Little Rock as it centrally located in the state, but I know Fayetteville gets most of the games. With my mom in Hot Springs I almost went to the LSU vs Arkansas game 2 years ago. I would like to see a game in Tiger Stadium and enjoy some cajun tailgate food (my great grandfather had some land in Mississippi just outside of New Orleans and my grandfather grew up around there as a young boy). It may not have been a fan, as Little Rock seems to get more criminal activity the past few years.

        I told you early on I always liked Dale Brown in basketball, and Les reminds me a bit of him in his colorful way of getting the W instead of the L. Glad you got back intact even if your car did not. I was talking with my nephew this weekend and he thinks that the SEC west is just brutal this year so getting out with just 2 losses was not bad at all.

  24. Paul C says:

    This actually helps Boise more, No BYU, No Utah, No TCU. Just keeps them getting the non AQ BCS Bowl slot, don’t see those schools ever beating Boise consistently.

  25. loki_the_bubba says:

    Another thread in the web.

    One of the leaders of the fight against the BCS in the House was Joe Barton (R-Fort Worth). The school in his district was just given a seat at the table. Just like Oren Hatch’s…

  26. Vincent says:

    I’m glad Texas Christian stuck to its guns and made clear that it would only accept an all-sports Big East invite. I now wonder whether the Big East will pursue an 18th member, and whom it might be. Central Florida? Houston? Massachusetts?

    And we will see what happens with Delany and the Big Ten presidents. I sense he wants further expansion.

  27. Mike says:

    Kirk Bohls:

    1. If you’re asking why ESPN is close to finalizing a deal to link up with Texas as its broadcast partner for the new Longhorn television network, for exorbitant figures perhaps approaching $15 million a year, it’s because the worldwide leader is hoping to use this platform as a way to leverage with Texas’ help a deal to acquire all of the Big 12′s television rights that will be negotiated next spring. And, yes, we all know Texas has clout. If the other nine members of the reconfigured Big 12 don’t go along, Texas hasn’t minded using its power before and could easily reopen talks with the Pac-12 or go independent. ESPN is positioning itself for the inside track with the Big 12 and squeezing out Fox.

    One very highly placed Big 12 school official told me the other nine schools are holding preliminary discussions about their own networks. To avoid Texas threatening to leave again, the opinion here is the Big 12 must be aggressive and try to strengthen itself against other assaults. That means looking to expand. The Big 12 should go after Arkansas and LSU, Arizona and Arizona State, even Notre Dame. I keep hearing Kansas is talking to the Big East. Who would blame the Jayhawks for looking, since they were nearly left out in the last realignment merry-go-round?


    • Mike says:

      The Big 12 is solid as long as Texas is happy and the others don’t have options. Nebraska’s move is looking better every day.

    • Patrick says:


      UT will blow up it’s own Longhorn conference yet. These universities will not roll over for Texas forever well, Baylor, ISU, KSU, and TTU might. My question is, if Texas goes independent – who is going to play them? What friends will they have left? How long is the Pac 12 door going to be open?

      If Texas A&M goes SEC and Kansas goes Big East; does Oklahoma stay? Does Missouri?

      Can Texas play in a conference that is UT, Baylor, TTU, KSU, ISU and Oklahoma State?

      • Mike says:

        Texas has a big market, a big fan base, good academics, and good sports teams. As long as the first two matter as much as they do right now, Texas can pick its conference. No door will ever be shut until then.

      • frug says:

        How long is the Pac 12 door going to be open?

        If Texas decides to leave the Big XII (or the conference implodes) it can join any conference it wants (especially if they can free themselves of TTU). The fact is it is simply the most profitable and most powerful athletic department in the country and it’s not especially close.

        As for independence, that’s not really an option for Texas. There is no way Texas lets it’s non-football sports go slumming with some mid-major conference. (Though if they can secure a deal with the Big East ala Notre Dame, then they might consider it, most likely as a source of leverage or fall back if a temporary independence is necessary)

      • Playoffs Now says:

        Haha, good to see that every time it rains you still raise your fist to the sky and blame TX!

        Not sure how TX blows up the B12-2 if aTm decides to go SEC. If the B10+2 goes to 16 and the SEC decides to follow, how is that TX’s fault? If the B10+2 goes to 14 and the SEC decides to follow, how is that TX’s fault? If KS goes to the BEast for more stability (ha!) we understand, BYU would make a nice replacement. If they take little brother KSU, there’s always Air Force (or Louisville…)

        If others decide to leave the B12-2, TX can always bring TTech, OU, and Okie St to the P16. But my hunch is if the B10+? does decide to go 16 and the SEC follows, TX will first try to expand the B12-2 to 16 by picking up eastern ACC/BEast leftovers or even splitting the P12. Lots of options, but I don’t see TX being the instigator, other than perhaps adding 2 teams to get back to a true B12. TX would much prefer 10 and 12-school max conferences than going to 16. If you don’t want upheaval, than your ire should probably be directed at the B10+?, not TX.

        • Patrick says:

          Haha, good to see that every time it rains you still raise your fist to the sky and blame TX!


          Did you read the article from the Austin, TX newspaper? Texas is negotiating with ESPN on the Longhorn network. Texas is acting like a bully, completely in their own interest and to the detriment of everyone around them. Many of the left overs and tag-alongs in the Big T conference won’t put up with this kind of BS for long.

          • frug says:

            Texas is acting like a bully, completely in their own interest and to the detriment of everyone around them.

            How dare the Longhorns lookout for their own interests! If I didn’t know any better I would think it was the job of the President and AD to put the school in the best position possible.
            Seriously, what the hell would you have the leadership at UT do? It’s their job to look out for Texas best interests. If Iowa St., Baylor, and the Kansas schools don’t like it, they are perfectly welcome to join Conference USA.

          • Patrick says:


            You are right, the university needs to look out for itself. My concern is that the remainder of the Big 12 will bail.

            While ISU, KSU, Baylor, and Texas Tech may not be able to find another situation, Oklahoma and Texas A&M definitely can, and Missouri and Kansas probably can. It sounds like Texas is daring everyone else to do something and leave the Big 12. Maybe they have another play and they need to blow up the remainder of the Big 12? I’m not blaming Texas – they have most of the cards and probably have a plan – but if I was Kansas or Mizzou or Oklahoma I’d be running for the exit.

          • Nostradamus says:

            Part of the reason the Big XII is staying together is the lack of options for other teams.

            OU likely had Pac 10 and an SEC offer it chose not to exercise. It also has Oklahoma State apparently attached by legislative forces to some degree, and the choice to stay with Texas.

            A&M again had both offers, but political pressures kept it from leaving or choice to stick with Texas.

            If KU called up the Big East right now they could probably be the 10th football team, but other than that I don’t think KU or Missouri have realistic options. Everyone else is screwed.

            Everyone left in that conference is either choosing to associate with Texas by choice or has no other options. As long as that is the case Texas can make “threats” for leverage.

            The reality is for most of the conference there is no exit to run to.

          • frug says:

            To expand on what Nostradamus was saying you’re viewing things in a vacuum. The fact is the other schools can’t just run for the exit because they may not like what is happening at UT. Kansas is stuck with K-State as long as the Big XII remains viable meaning unless a conference will take on both Kansas schools, KU is stuck.
            Mizzou discovered this summer that it’s only path out of the Big XII is to hope that Notre Dame decides to join the Big 10 in which case it could jump in as the 14th team to balance the divisions. (Continued expansion by the Big East might be an option but it will make even less money there than it does in the Big XII)
            As for OU and A&M, yes in a vacuum they could join any conference they wanted (ok, academics would keep OU out of the Big 10, but otherwise they could go anywhere). But things don’t operate in a vacuum. Oklahoma is in the same boat as Texas is; a big attractive profitable school weighted down by a less attractive younger brother. As such, Oklahoma has (wisely) formed an unofficial alliance with UT in order to maximize both schools bargaining power in negotiations.
            As for the the Aggies, they tried to strike out on their own this summer, but political pressure (and an $8 million AD debt) kept them from leaving UT and company so long as the Big XII was around.

      • cfn_ms says:

        The Pac-12 door is wide open any time Texas wants in, and they can bring 3 buddies too. Heck, if A&M wants SEC the Pac would be thrilled to have Texas/Tech/OK/OK St along.

        The problem is that Texas doesn’t want the Pac-16, not the other way around. IMO once the Pac invited Utah they permanently shut the door on Texas being interested in joining up.

      • StvInIL says:

        Notre Dame, BYU, the service academies and the confrence USA for pre season fodder.

      • jj says:


    • frug says:

      Why would Arkansas and LSU leave the SEC? Unless the Big XII could guarantee them similar deals to what Texas got, then all they would be doing is leaving SEC for a less profitable, less stable and less prestigious conference (and LSU would also have to sever all it’s historical ties and it’s conference tie to the Sugar Bowl). (AU and ASU are in a similar position though it wouldn’t quite as dramatic a drop in money and prestige).

      As for Notre Dame, if they are going to give up their precious independence why would they join the Big XII when the Big 10 offers them a better geographic fit and more historical ties?

    • Mike says:

      Big 12 Break Up Risk Levels

      Will be OK: Texas
      Will probably be OK: Texas A&M and Oklahoma
      If I am not attached to my big brother I’m looking forward to away games in Ft. Collins and Reno: Oklahoma St., Texas Tech, Baylor
      Barring a miracle its not getting better, but shouldn’t need to buy a map to find Laramie: Kansas, Missouri
      Just plain screwed: Iowa St., Kansas St.

    • duffman says:


      You may be missing the point! UT is going through IMG for their network. In several posts I have devoted ample discussion to IMG and its future in college football (especially after the ISP purchase this summer). IMG has locked down the SEC and ACC (as has ESPN) and Learfield has the Big 10 and Big 12 (sans UT, tOSU, and UM). I am viewing the Longhorn Network as a way for IMG to back into Learfields Big 12 contract.

      Once UT has their network, it would not surprise me if OU and TAMU switched from Learfield to IMG. I think the rest of the conference is screwed because they will not have the clout to negotiate and CU and UNL will be gone (tho OU will probably protect oSu). The problem with IMG is it is a private company with Ivy ownership, so it is harder to see their influence as they are not open to public inspection like the other media giants.

      Arkansas and LSU is the “new” Big 12 seems close to ZERO!

      ND seems unlikely because of its non football sports (my guess is they want to maintain Big 10, Big East, and SEC schedule / travel.

      • Mike says:


        FWIW – Nebraska is an IMG school.

        I agree that the Big 12 will not gain any “sexy” members. Not until the financial landscape changes, anyway.

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      NO school is leaving the SEC for any other conference, much less the Big XII-2.

      • zeek says:

        Yeah, where these preposterous ideas come from is kind of hilarious.

        Any AD with a half a brain can see that the Big 12 is only as stable as Texas wants to be there.

        It’s like a plate on top of a single stick.

    • Josh says:

      No school from any other BCS conference (except maybe the Big East) would ever take an invite to the Big 12. Maybe South Florida or Louisville would consider it (but doubtful unless the B10 raids the Big East) and of course, TCU would go in a flash. But certainly no SEC, Pac 12, ACC or Big Ten school would ever consider becoming a vassal of Texas.

      If the B12 feels they have to go back to 12, the obvious choices are Boise State and BYU. That would solve a lot of the non-AQ problems, at least until Nevada-Reno becomes a great power.

      • Nostradamus says:

        And the Big XII can’t really afford to go back to 12. Much like the Big Ten needed to find someone who now adds about $30 million, the Big XII is going to have trouble finding a team they can realistically add to bring in $15 million.

        • Josh says:

          The question is though how much is a Big 12 Championship game worth? I’d agree that it’s not worth $30 million right now. In the future, that might change.

          I do think BYU and BSU are two schools that do add a lot of value. But I don’t think either one adds enough right now for Texas to consider both of them. But with unequal revenue sharing, maybe UT could make it work for them.

          • Nostradamus says:

            The latest numbers I have on it from 2007 are the game was worth about $15 million. So that covers the addition of one team, but you still have to add another. I still don’t think there are two teams out there the Big XII could add to bring in $30 million. And even with the unequal revenue sharing the teams still need to bring in about $30 million to make it work, otherwise you are reducing payouts of existing members. At that point, what is gained by expansion?

          • Richard says:

            Well, no, with unequal revenue sharing, you could pay the new members less and keep everyone else’s payouts the same. For instance, I’m sure BYU and Boise would jump to the Big12 even if their payout is capped at $10M each (so they would just have to add $5M in value between the 2 of them).

            However, as the new members likely wouldn’t increase the payouts of the powers (Texas, OU, and TAMU), they don’t seem in a hurry to expand back to 12 teams.

          • Nostradamus says:

            When I’m talking unequal revenue sharing and the Big XII I am talking about the current model they use. Half of the conference revenue is distributed equally and half of it is distributed based on television appearances. The spread between the highest and lowest team is about $3-4 million. In such a system a BYU and Boise State would have to bring in $10 million each just to make it work. I don’t think either school does or else they would already be members of a BCS conference like the Big XII. Just from experiencing some of the infighting in how the Big XII’s unequal revenue distribution model worked a two tier system like you are talking about wouldn’t go over well in the long-run.

          • Richard says:

            I thought they agreed to the two-(three?)-tiered system, where Texas, OU, and TAMU are guaranteed $20M, OSU & TTech are guaranteed what they get now, and Baylor and the Little Sisters of the North get table scraps.

          • Nostradamus says:

            That was a desperation move designed to keep the Pac 16 from happening. Everyone other than A&M has since backed off it.

  28. duffman says:

    here is the ESPN conference rank:

    Big 10
    Big 12
    Pac 10
    I – not listed

    this would be my ranking after this weekend:

    # 01 – (6) 8+ win teams in a tough conference with CCG
    SEC 12 teams – (3) 10+, (6) 8+, 83% BE teams, 17% BI, Y CCG

    # 02 – (5) 8+ win teams in tough conference with CCG
    Big 12 teams – (4) 10+, (5) 8+, 75% BE teams, 25% BI teams, Y CCG

    # 03 – dropped to 3rd, no 8+ win teams aside from top 3 & no CCG
    Big 10 11 teams – (3) 10+, same, 72% BE teams, 27% BI teams, N CCG

    # 04 – while only 1 10+ win team, solid # of 8 win teams + play CCG
    ACC 12 teams – (1) 10+, (4) 8+, 75% BE teams, 25% BI teams, Y CCG

    # 05 – no 8 win teams past top 2, and no CCG
    Pac 10 10 teams – (2) 10+, same, 30% BE, 20% U, 50% BI, N CCG

    # 06 – over half are bowl eligible, and 4 teams have 8+ wins
    MWC 9 teams – (2) 10+, (4) 8+, 56% BE teams, 44% BI teams, N CCG

    # 07 – 5 8+ win teams, and CCG
    MAC 13 teams – (1) 10+, (5) 8+, 46% BE teams, 54% BI teams, Y CCG

    # 08 – 50% Bowl Eligible teams and CCG
    CUSA 12 teams – (0) 10+, (3) 8+, 50% BE teams, 50% BI teams, Y CCG

    # 09 – all teams are bowl eligible, and all play decent schedules
    Independent 3 teams – (0) 10+, (3) 8+, 100% BE teams, N CCG

    # 10 – only 1 8+ win team was not the BE best showing
    BE 8 teams – (0) 10+, (1) 8+, 75% BE teams, 25% BI teams, N CCG

    # 11 – not much to see here, I am not drinking the Boise St koolaid
    WAC 9 teams – (2) 10+, (3) 8+, 44% BE, 12 U, 44% BE, N CCG

    # 12 – just not pretty, tho the MAC does have 3 BOTTOM 10 teams
    SunB 9 teams – (0) 10+, (0) 8+, 22% BE, 11% U, 67% BI, N CCG

    what say you FtT readers? how would you rank the conferences right now, and why?

    • cfn_ms says:

      I’m assuming you mean based on this year’s results? My own system:

      Don’t 100% agree w/ its results, but overall I’m very comfortable with it.

      • duffman says:


        I have a problem with any system that puts the Pac 10 as the toughest conference. Looking at the numbers your system rewards OOC scheduling. To me it is simple math as roughly 2/3 of a schedule is in conference and 1/3 of a schedule is out of conference. The Pac 10 needs a tough OOC because their conference middle to bottom is weaker. I have no problem with a Oregon or Stanford this season (I was on the ducks early on and asked Frank to bump them higher at least once or twice early on). I was not on the Beaver bandwagon early on the way other seemed to be, and so far they have disappointed many early pundits. They are not terrible, but not the quality win for TCU and Boise State that everybody was all excited about. Maybe I am just not one to follow the pundits, but I never understood the Beaver love this season (and I have rooted for them in the past, so it is not a bias I have against them that I am aware of).

        While I would like to see the Big 10 at least in the #2 spot this season I put the Big 12 in their place just because they seemed more balanced top to bottom, and the Big 10 seemed a bit top heavy this year. When I did that data thing earlier in the season, I remember looking at the SEC composite schedule, and pretty much every SEC team had at least 1 of its 4 OOC games against a historic program or major rival (sure PSU was down this year, but you have to respect BAMA for putting them on the schedule).

        once you get past the first few conferences tho, the grey area increases (so the top four places are more defined than the bottom four). The problem with the MAC this year was that they had a few good teams at the top and a few really bad teams at the bottom. I could have put them down a few slots easily.

        • cfn_ms says:

          You’re not intentionally biased against the Pac-10, but you are falling into the “W/L = SOS” trap. And it’s not just you, it’s the bulk majority of casual observers. Honestly, it’s the Pac-10′s own fault. 9 league games and extremely aggressive OOC scheduling is simply idiotic when the system in place rewards leagues whose teams gimmick up schedules instead.

          We’ve come to a point where “3 crap OOC games + 1 AQ that isn’t even in the top 25″ is a “good” non-conference schedule. It is what it is, and the league simply refuses to acknowledge this reality. Thus my long-winded rant in point 4.

          As far as the MAC goes, actually it has zero good teams. Everyone in that league sucks. NIU is the best of the bunch… and they’re 1-2 against AQ’s, none of which are even within shouting distance of the top 25. Toledo is the 2nd or 3rd best team in that league, and they lost at home to Wyoming (one of MWC’s worst), struggled against a AA team and got completely slaughtered by Arizona and Boise. MiamiOH (the other 7-1 team) got hammered by both Mizzou and Cincy. And those are the best of the MAC bunch. Blech.

          • duffman says:


            To me there are 2 things that bias me away from the Pac 10 and it really has nothing to do with schedules.

            a) Pro football conflict – as it seems like the west coast has so many pro teams and big markets that they do not have the same passion that I see in the midwest and south (and why there are no dominant historic college teams on the east coast as well). Philly / NYC and LA / Seattle seem similar in how the dynamics work.

            b) the lack of historic competition for top dog status. For better or worse the U$C dominance skews the view of outsiders against the strength of the overall conference. In multiple posts I have argued that multiple good teams means better followings for the conference as a whole. The Big 10 had tOSU and UM, then it added PSU, and now UNL is part of the family. The SEC has multiple top teams, and the Big 12 had UT, OU, and UNL. When the second or third teams are doing well year after year they have a better chance of getting a national feed for their games (the Ducks playing UT this year is such an example, except that UT was terrible this year).

            I think the Pac 10 going to 12 and picking up a CCG will help change this, but a second and third Pac 10 team needs to do well for a long enough period of time that it will attract broader support and demand. I think if the PAc 10 goes to equal revenue sharing this may be the best thing that would help the Pac 10 become a more broadcast national brand (outside of U$C and maybe UCLA). If some of these other teams can get the national feed, I think that would do wonders for the Pac 10′s status outside of the Pac 10 footprint. Not sure if this is view is shared by others, but it could explain some of the lack of love / respect the Pac 10 seems to get.

            I am watching the Big 12 after CU and UNL leave to see just how much it kills the demand for the product. Sure, U$C and UT can get the gravy, but does it help the rest of the conference as a whole?

          • @duff – Interesting point about the pro football conflict, which is often brought up as a reason as to why the coasts don’t follow college sports as much. However, the Big Ten footprint contains several of the most rabid NFL fan bases (Packers, Bears, Steelers, Vikings, Browns) and is arguably pound-for-pound the area where the NFL is most intensely followed. The popularity of the Cowboys also hasn’t dampened the drawing power of Texas and Texas A&M. So, what’s different between the Midwest/Texas (where college and pro sports coexist very well) and the East Coast in particular? I’d actually argue that much of the West Coast is better for college sports support than pro sports support aside from the Lakers in the NBA, although that’s not saying much as they’re generally weaker sports fans overall.

          • Speaking of the Cowboys, for all of the UT and A&M fans out there that also root for the Cowboys, is having the traditional Thanksgiving game in Dallas and then the UT-A&M game start right after it a good or bad thing? I work with a lot of Dallas-based people that have both pro and college season tickets. This wasn’t a problem when UT-A&M was on Black Friday.

          • Richard says:

            Actually, the Pac10 isn’t being idiotic. It’s just that they don’t have many loyal fans who show up to watch games against crap opponents, so they need to schedule “name” schools in order to draw crowds.

          • cfn_ms says:

            that’s part of it, but there have been league teams accepting paychecks to get slapped around at other schools (Oregon St at TCU this year, Colorado @ Ohio St in 2011 or 2012 [i forget which], Wazzu @ Auburn, Notre Dame, Wisconsin earlier this decade,e tc.). There has been no league policy banning this practice, which is stupid.

            Just off the top of my head, Pac-10 schools have signed home and homes with: Boise, Army, Navy, New Mexico (multiple times!), UTSA (the most insane of the bunch), etc. It’s another example of wildly stupid scheduling arrangements, that hurt the league as a whole, and nothing gets done about it.

            And, of course, there are too many games against “name” opponents. At some point, even if it’s a slight money-loser (honest, probably not that much of one when you factor in extra gate and an additional TV slot, plus increased likelihood of bowl eligibility and a BCS slot), there needs to be a push to dumb down the level of opponent, becuase the system rewards that behavior. Head in the sand isn’t a functional policy, but that’s what the league and teams have been doing.

          • Richard says:


            I think I’ll trust the judgement of those folks who’s jobs actually depend on making an athletic department budget work over you.

            It’s all rather logical:
            The Pac10 doesn’t draw many fans (and they can only if they schedule name teams) so they can’t afford to pay $1M for a guaranteed game and have to accept home-and-homes with whoever wants to do them with them.

            Roughly, home-and-homes only work if the attendance for the games at both schools is roughly the same.

            No team from a power conference would do a home-and-home with Wazzu, for example, because they have trouble outdrawing WAC schools, so would never be able to afford the $1M+ that a school like OSU or Auburn would demand for travelling there.

          • Bullet says:

            I’ll disagree on the strength of the Pac 10. Typically, their #9 team can beat anyone in the country on a given day. They have more balance at the bottom. Despite USC’s dominance, every Pac 10 school has won the conference since 93 and everyone but AZ since 98.

          • Richard says:


            The solution’s obvious:

            They should all become TCU fans.

          • m (Ag) says:

            I think the Pac 10′s problem isn’t just that it has pro sports; it’s that it has pro sports in the same metro areas as the universities are located.

            There are college teams that do well in NFL cities, but it’s much harder. Minnesota was a power before the Vikings came. Private schools in Dallas/FW, Houston, and New Orleans all started declining in popularity when the NFL came to town. Successful schools in Miami and Northwestern never have as much support as their accomplishments would indicate. Pitt doesn’t seem to have the fan support you’d attribute to the 2nd school in a big state. Colorado has a small stadium for the premier school in a decent sized state.

            On the other hand, people have claimed the 2 Oregon schools have the most passionate fans in the Pac 10, and Fresno State always seems to have crowds that are more into the game than those at the California Pac 10 schools. None of these schools have to compete directly with NFL teams for crowds.

            I’m guessing that in 15 years, Utah will have a bigger stadium with more boosters than Colorado, even if both schools do more or less the same in Pac 12 play.

          • Bullet says:

            Same thought came to my mind about Cowboys and Horns/Aggies. Texas/Texas A&M has historically been on Thursday. Its only in recent years that it got moved to Friday. However, usually in the past, the times were spread out more. Doesn’t help on tickets, but does on TV viewing.

          • Jake says:

            @Frank – can’t say I’ve heard many complaints about the conflict between Cowboys and UT-A&M; my only problem with the UT-A&M game is that they both can’t lose that day.

            @Richard – your suggestion has merit. We do our damnedest to play our games on Saturday, as Odin intended. This Big East move might hinder that a bit, but we’ll make do.

        • M says:

          Look at the actual games and you’ll see just how ridiculously tough the Pac-10 scheduled. Of their 10 OOC losses, 6 of them are to teams that either won their conference or won their division (Boise State, TCU, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Nevada, Wisconsin). Every other loss was to a bowl eligible team. On the other side, Pac-10 teams beat 7 bowl eligible teams and two more 5 win teams. Even Wazzu beat 9-2 Montana State, who might be the best FCS team.

    • cfn_ms says:

      wait… did you seriously put the MAC above Big East and WAC??? even above CUSA is ridiculous IMO (CUSA is 6-2 vs MAC/Sun Belt this year). The MAC is flat-out atrocious dude. 3-25 vs AQ’s makes it #7? Come on man.

    • Bullet says:

      If you look at ooc record excluding FCS schools:
      1. Big 12 34-7 82.93%
      2. SEC 29-6 82.86%
      3. Big 10 26-7 78.79%
      4. Pac 10 14-11 56.00%
      5. ACC 19-17 52.78%
      6. WAC 19-20 48.72%
      7. BE 15-16 48.39%
      8. MWC 13-19 40.63%
      9. CUSA 14-28 33.33%
      10. MAC 7-35 16.67%
      11. most of FCS 7-83 7.78%
      12. SB 2-32 5.88%

      Pac 10 and ACC may play tougher FBS schedules, but the gap after B10 is pretty large. Difference in SEC/B12/B10 ooc schedules is not much, so W-L record pretty much reflects conference strength. The 3 are pretty close.

      • cfn_ms says:

        It’s not “Pac 10 and ACC may play tougher FBS schedules”, it’s “Pac 10 and ACC definitely played WAY tougher FBS schedules”.

        Big Ten had 34 1-A games, fully half were against MAC/Sun Belt, which is just sad. 23 of the 34 were home, with 10 away and 1 neutral, again pretty weak. Big Ten also had a pair of MAC losses (double digit at home no less), another dock on the resume.

        ACC had 19 games vs AQ’s, most of any AQ league, and was basically at home/away parity (18/15/2). pac-10 had 15 games vs AQ’s, and actually had more road games than home vs 1-A (10/14/0)

      • Bullet says:

        Independents are 17-11, 60.71%. I would probably put them below ACC and above WAC.

      • StvInIL says:

        Thats interesting. But you know the big 3 or 4 dont do a lot of steping out when it comes to OOC games. I terms of shooting up and not down, I have to give a litte respect the MAC.

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      Purely by gut:

      Sun Belt

      No data at all. Merely what I’ve seen on TV.

  29. cutter says:

    The ongoing conference realignments may pose some football scheduling problems for Brigham Young and Notre Dame going forward.

    BYU and ND have a six-game scheduling contract with the first two games in October 2012 and November 2013. The reamining four games will be played between 2014 and 2020.

    With both teams independent though, it might be more difficult for them to get games in the latter two-thirds of the season.

    One of the things the Pac 12 agreed to early on was that all their non-conference games were going to be played prior to the conference games. Existing contracts would be honored (such as the one USC and ND have thru 2018), but that would be it.

    Obviously, for ND it means the USC game would have to move up to September come 2019. Utah and Brigham Young would also have to move their game up to the first part of the season, but that would take place almost immediately–the BYU-Utah 2011 game is on 17 September.

    BYU’s future schedules are linked here:

    It looks like Brigham Young will look to play a number of games with teams in the WAC interspersed with some contests against BCS conference opponents–Georgia Tech, Oregon State, West Virgina and Texas show up, but most of those game are in September (with the exception of Georgia Tech). It look like BYU will have a top heavy schedule much like Notre Dame currently has now.

    Notre Dame has relied on the Pac 10 (now 12) and the Big East to help fill out its schedule later in the season. Besides the annual matchup with USC, ND has played Stanford, Washington, Washington State in recent years and has Arizona State on the future schedule. For reasons mentioned above, the Pac 12 won’t be on ND’s schedule in October or November for too many years going forward.

    With TCU in the Big East and possibly Villanova, the BE joins the Big XII and the Mountain West as conferences with ten teams apiece. The Big XII has already set up its future schedules with include nine conference games. See

    While the 2011 schedule hasn’t been finalized, it looks like the bulk of the non-conference games in the Big XII going forward will be in September. Texas has a contract to play Notre Dame, but three of those four games are season openers and the fourth is in September. Oklahoma has a two game series with Notre Dame coming up–the game in Norman is in October and the game in South Bend is in September.

    With the recent loss of Utah, TCU and BYU and the addition of Hawaii (for football), Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada-Reno, the MWC will have to put together its future schedules in the near term. If they do what the Big XII and Pac 12 are doing, then Notre Dame and Brigham Young are not going to be playing any MWC opponents late in the year.

    The Big East goes from having five non-conference games per year per team to just three if Villanova joins TCU as the tenth football program in the conference. That leaves fewer possible open dates for teams to play Notre Dame through the year, although I expect the BE to be somewhat congenial to ND given their current relationship. OTOH, as conferences “standardize” their non-conference schedules and concentrate more of those games into the beginning of the season, it’s going to be difficult for Notre Dame to get the optimal schedule they’re trying to create.

    Another major piece of the puzzle is the ACC. Notre Dame has played Duke and North Carolina late in the season in recent years. Maryland, Wake Forest and Miami-FL are also lined up to play ND in the October/November time frame in the coming seasons, so that gives the Irish some more potential opponents late in the year.

    The SEC traditionally doesn’t play major non-conference opponents late in the year. A casual look at the schedule sees a lot of cream puffs in October/November in the non-conferece slate as warmups or breaks in the SEC schedule.

    We’ll see how this plays out, but if the Big East, the MWC and the Big XII embrace the same scheduling philosphy of the Pac 12 in an effort to standardize things somewhat across the conferences, it could leave independent programs like Notre Dame and Brigham Young a bit in the cold when it comes to finding major opponents late in the season.

    Will that have implications on further expansion? Possibly. If Brigham Young is confronted with the sitation of playing the WAC survivors late in the season with no conference championship game, etc., then it might forfeit any realistic chance it could get into the BCS championship game. Independence might help them financially, but it might well hurt them strategically in terms of bowls, etc.

    Some of the same could be said for Notre Dame, although its ND would be a shoe-in for a BCS bowl with a ten-win regular season due to the team’s popularity–pretty much regardless of schedule. But their might be strength-of-schedule problems in terms of a future BCS championship game (sort of like Auburn had six years ago). Another problem might exist regarding its relationship with NBC and the up to $15M the network pays them. If the ratings are poor (and they were this past season) due in part to a less than exciting schedule, that could potentially put that relationship at risk.

    As someone pointed out, Jim Delany and the Big Ten Conference will be meeting next month on the expansion issue. That would be twelve months into a study period that was originally scheduled to last from a year to 18 months. It’ll be interesting to see what he says in the coming weeks about the Big Ten expansion outside the “we’re busy getting Nebraska into the conference” line he’s using right now.

    • duffman says:


      thanks for the post, especially the ND vs U$C conflict after 2018. I think I like the varied schedule better than all the OOC in the first part of the season. Maybe I am a minority, but if all your OOC are front loaded, you are limiting your TV market. The early Big 10 schedule was a bit of a snoozer, and on a few games I found myself flipping away from the BTN to another channel for the first few weeks (I hate to watch blowout games). I hate to say it but the Tigers of LSU are the Howard Stern or Rush Limbaugh of football this season. Win or loose you can not say they have had dull games to watch on TV. People on both sides tuned in just to see what the coach would say or do during a game (I have become one of them). LSU really has been must see TV so far this year.

    • Richard says:

      ND & BYU will play each other and Army & Navy. Plus, I don’t see the ACC, much less the BE or MWC (or CUSA) excluding ND regardless of when the Irish want to play them. Scheduling is more of a headache for BYU, but as the MWC needs to maintain open slots in it’s conference slate (Air Force plays Navy & Army the first week of Oct and Nov, respectively), BYU probably can find enough teams willing to play it from the dregs of the WAC, Boise/Nevada/Fresno/Hawaii, the BE, and ACC.

      Also, I don’t think BYU is worrying about it’s chances of getting in to the national title game.

      • Bullet says:

        I don’t think it will be a problem. You get 5 games loaded into September and early October. Navy/Army/ND/BYU gives you 3 more. Hawaii will likely be flexible. Two creampuffs out of MAC/WAC gives you 11 and you only need to find 1 game. BE and/or ACC will probably be accomodating. MWC would be accomodating to ND and probably eventually to BYU.

        • cutter says:

          I think you’ve actually identified the problem pretty well–Notre Dame and Brigham Young will both have top-heavy schedules that get somewhat less interesting. Look at the 2012 BYU schedule

          September 1 Oregon State
          September 8 Hawaii
          September 15 at Utah
          October 13 at Georgia Tech
          October 20 at Notre Dame
          TBD Louisiana Tech
          TBD at Boise State
          TBD at New Mexico State
          TBD at San Jose State
          TBD at Utah State

          The schedule above shows ten of twelve games, but you have to imagine its in flux give all the conference realignments. Heck, BYU was having trouble getting non-conference opponents when it was in the MWC (see article linked below). It doesn’t get much easier when you’re an independent and you’re trying to find quality teams to play you in the two months late in the season. See

          Notre Dame will play BYU late in the season (and vice versa) and as you mention Georgia Tech will also do it (which seems to be in synch with the ACC’s policy). The games against Texas you mention are season openers in 2013/14–not much help there.

          Notre Dame has the same problem with BYU and it gets worse once the USC game gets moved to September. I sincerely doubt ND is going to want to play Texas, Michigan (plus Purdue and/or MSU) and USC during the first four weeks of the season, so something’s going to have to give.

          The point I’m making is this–I don’t doubt Notre Dame can put together a twelve game-schedule, but is it going to be a very good one? Is it going to be the type of schedule that NBC/Comcast are going to be willing to broadcast or pay up to $15M each season to show? Is it going to be the type of schedule strong enough to get them into a BCS national championship game?

          I have very little doubt that a 10-2 Notre Dame team would probably get the nod in any future BCS bowl scenario over most any other team. If ND had ten wins this year and their competition for a bowl slot was Arkansas or Oklahoma State, then it would go to the Irish hands down.

          But the siutation with Notre Dame football really is one of boom and bust. The ratings numbers this season showed that once ND started losing games, people stopped watching–especially when the opponents were Tulsa or Western Michigan or Utah. Do you know what ND’s best game ratings wise was in 2010? Its second of the season at home against Michigan drew a 4.5. None of the other games got above 3.0 and a number of them were in the 1.5 region.

          I wouldn’t necessarily use some of the old assumptions that surround Notre Dame going forward either. The Champs Sports Bowl is indicating they’d rather see West Virginia in their bowl if WVU wins on Saturday and gets their ninth victory over a 7-5 Notre Dame team. To me, that’s an indication of how popular college football has become overall and how television has changed a lot of the old formulas.

          We’ll see how these things will work out. Again, I don’t think Notre Dame can’t remain an independent, but it seems to me that the structures being built around them is going to make it difficult for them to prosper unless they get on a Texas-like winning streak (at least until this most recent season . . .)

          • jcfreder says:

            I don’t think ND will ever have a problem having a schedule too weak to get to the BCS championship game. If anything, it’s the really hard schedules that kill teams, because 2 losses and you’re out. The best way to get to the national championship game is to be undefeated. Some years a team could be edged out because of schedule (TCU this year?) but many years there will be 1 or 2 undefeated teams and that’s how you get in. I don’t think ND will ever have to worry about Boise or TCU-schedule strength problems because they’ll always play at least 7-8 BCS schools in their schedule.

            I think the continuation of the NBC deal hinges on whether ND wins. If they had gone 11-1 this year, people would have tuned in even to the Western Michigan game.

          • @jcfreder – I agree. At the very least, ND is going to be playing Michigan and USC every single year, and beating those teams alone (even when they’re down) is going to look more impressive to voters than going through a non-AQ schedule. Add in the long-standing series with Michigan State, Purdue, Pitt, Stanford and BC and you’re not going to see ND ever worrying about schedule strength at all even if the entire rest of the schedule is composed of Navy and low BCS/non-AQ fillers.

    • jcfreder says:

      I’m surprised the Pac-12 is going to have this scheduling rule, specifically where it might cost Stanford games against ND. I don’t think ND is going to have problems getting games, it woudl seem pretty dumb for the BE, ACC (or even the SEC, B12 or B10) to pass a rule akin to the PAC 12′s if it means throwing away potential money-making games against ND.

      • cutter says:

        What additional money do teams from the Big East, ACC, etc. make playing Notre Dame during the regular season? Perhaps some extra cash from ticket sales, but with the television contracts already locked in long-term, it doesn’t matter to the individual schools in that regard exactly who they play.

        Most people will say, but yes, playing Notre Dame gives us great publicity and we’ll be seen on the television. Well, that’s not exactly true either given the ratings numbers ND had this year on NBC and ABC. With so many football games available on television, there’s not too much compelling reason to watch ND play a Tulsa or Western Michigan or Army unless you’re an Irish fan–and even they aren’t watching very when the teams loses late in the season.

        • jcfreder says:

          There’s a reason teams like Texas, Oklahoma, and Miami continue to sign deals with ND. Exposure is a big part of it. I think almost any BCS school would jump at the chance to play ND. You can scoff at the TV ratings, but they’ll go up if ND is good, and there are plenty of BCS teams that are not on national TV every week.

          • cutter says:

            Let’s take a look at those deals.

            Texas has a four-game deal with Notre Dame. Three of those four games are season openers and the fourth is played in September.

            That’s great for UT. It gives them a high profile non-conference opponent to play which along with Oklahoma will invariably be the only two “major” programs Texas has on the schedule that year.

            Oklahoma’s home-and-home with Notre Dame has one game in South Bend in September and the other in Norman in early October. That sounds to me like a compromise–OU was willing to play ND on in SB only prior to conference play, while agreeing to playing in Norman later in the season.

            Now Notre Dame may be able to find other major programs willing to make a deal like the did with Oklahoma, but that only helps them fill out the latter part of the schedule one year out of two.

            Miami-Florida is a different story. They’re playing a three-game series with games in Chicago (10/16/12), South Bend (10/8/16) and Miami (11/25/17). Does that help Notre Dame’s scheduling problem? Absolutely, because ND gets a quality/name opponent in the latter two thirds of the season.

            The problem Notre Dame has is it needs more teams like Miami to work with them and fewer like Texas. Are there many major BCS programs out there which would sign a deal like Miami did–with one home game, one in South Bend and one in ND’s backyard aka Chicago? Count me in as being doubtful that would happen on a regular basis.

            As I mentioned earlier, programs from the ACC seem to have that flexibility or that scheduling philosophy that will allow them to do this. That’s why teams like Wake Forest and Maryland (playing at Fedex Field) are on the schedule. WF and UMd aren’t exactly Murder’s Row though.

            What needs to be monitored are the policies and practies of the other teams and conferences going forward as expansion and realignments take place.

            The other thing that needs to be looked at is how many conferences are adopting nine-game conference schedules. It’s simple arithmetic–the more conference games on the scheule means fewer slots for non-conference games.

            But the nine-game conference schedule also means something else. Programs will be looking at playing all three non-conference games at home when they have five of the nine conference games on the road. That sort of thing further squeezes the independents like Notre Dame and Brigham Young when it comes to scheduling.

            One final note–I don’t think there is any major BCS program that isn’t on television of some sort every week. There are plenty of channels out there showing games and it’s not hard to find them. Take a look at a television schedule and ask yourself if there are any really successful BCS teams that are really suffering from lack of national exposure.

            And if they aren’t very good, how does that help Notre Dame? Does it help ND’s ratings if their opponent isn’t very good or doesn’t have a lot of fan recognition? The answer is no.

          • jcfreder says:

            I think you’re focusing too much on “major” BCS schools. Notre Dame doesn’t need to schedule 12 national powers each year. What they need to do to be relevant is win. I will grant you that for that NBC contract, you want to see some big-time games, but ND’s been able to schedule those with Texas, Oklahoma, Miami, etc (plus they always play Michigan and USC anyway). In some ways, their schedule may look like a somewhat reversed version of a schedule that most BCS teams have, which is cake early on, and tough conference games at the end. A Texas-Michigan-MSU-USC September slate provides more than enough oomph for the rest of the schedule.
            I agree that it has become more difficult for ND to schedule Oct-Nov, but I think you are way overstating the problem. Now, I’ll agree that its looks weird to see Western Michigan on their schedule, but (1) the B10 plays tons of MAC teams and seem to do OK, and (2) it’s not clear that this is a trend for the Irish. I still think that they have tons of leverage. They can schedule Pitt and BC every year if they want to, and I’m sure they can get 2 for 1 deals against most of the BE and much of the ACC if they really wanted (already have the 2-for-1 against Miami). Plus, if ND really had a problem getting games, don’t you think they could get one of those 2 for 1 (with one being in Chicago) deals with teams like Wisconsin, Northwestern, Illinois or Indiana? I know there were already talks between UW and ND about a possible deal although it looks like nothing came of it. They have a 4 for 2 deal with BYU, basically already do that with Navy, and could do it with Army and Air Force if they wanted. Heck, are you telling me that Boise won’t take a 2 for 1 with ND if they asked?
            And, if push comes to shove, I believe that MSU or Purdue would push games into their bye weeks if the only alternative was ND shutting down the series. So I really don’t think they will have problems finding games in October or November.

  30. zeek says:

    On Villanova: Marinatto said he spoke to Villanova again Monday about the school’s possibility of moving up to the FBS and becoming a Big East football member. “In the worst-case scenario, I believe they will make a final decision by their April board meeting, one way or the other.”

    I asked him if April might be too late for the league, which would like an answer by the end of this year.

    “It might be. If a situation arises, we’re going to act. We’re not going to wait for Villanova. This [TCU] was one of those situations we thought was too good to pass up.”

    Wow, huge props to Marinatto. He’s finally acting like a commissioner.

      • zeek says:


        I just wanted to highlight that he’s saying he won’t necessarily wait for Villanova. I kind of hope they grab UCF instead, although there’s no rush for UCF.

        Even then, it’s nice to see TCU in the Big East.

        • Rick says:

          Folks up here in NY Metro would like to see:

          South: TCU, SMU, Houston, USF, UCF, and Louisville North Division Rutgers, Pitt, Syr, WVU, Cincy, UConn.


          East: Rutgers, SU, UConn, Pitt, USF, UCF
          West: TCU, SMU, Houston, Louisville, WVU, Cincy

          • jcfreder says:

            The addition of TCU is good for the BE, but it doesn’t make the league stable in the sense that it could ward off the B10 or ACC pulling away teams it they so desired. I don’t see any teams out there that woudl achieve this goal for the BE, and I don’t see how further expansion helps them financially at this point. So I don’t see any reason for them to add Villanova or UCF or anyone at this point (although Villanova is already part of the family, so if they move up, you kind of have to take them). I see the potential in UCF, but I don’t see the downside in making them prove it first before adding them.

          • Michael in Indy says:


            I’m with ya on that. I can’t imagine any Big East football school turning down a Big Ten or ACC membership offer. Even Syracuse, which avoided any courting by the ACC back in ’03, would join if offered today. The discrepancy between ACC revenue and stability and Big East revenue/stability is much larger than it was back then.

  31. StvInIL says:

    I liked these.
    On the oddness of a Texas school calling the “Big East” home: “My response is, if a conference can have 12 teams and call itself the Big 10 and another conference can have 10 teams and call itself the Big 12, why can’t the Big East have a school in Texas?”

    On whether he’s learned the Horned Frog hand signal: “Not yet. I’m still trying to master the ‘Live Long and Prosper’ signal from Star Trek.

    • SideshowBob says:

      For that matter, it’s not like TCU is in the “mountains” (MWC) either.

    • Bullet says:

      Don’t forget the Atlantic 10 has 14.

      • Michael in Indy says:

        Speaking of “Atlantic,” the Atlantic Coast Conference catches an awful lot of flak for having a team outside its core region with Boston College. At least, though, there aren’t any schools causing the league to be a misnomer.

        As a matter of fact, BC is closer to the Atlantic coast than every other school in the league besides Miami.

        • Vincent says:

          And BC is closer to College Park than Coral Gables is to Tallahassee — geographically, if not culturally.

          • Dave in VA says:

            Not closer by driving time, though. :-)

            (Seriously, Google Maps is certainly not taking traffic delays into account in these cases. I’m all too familiar with the Northeast Corridor.)

  32. M says:

    I posted this awhile ago, but it seems relevant now (it’s mostly in jest about blaming TCU for this mess).

    TCU has the worst record of conference security of any school in FBS, by far.
    Here are the changes since ’91 (and mostly since ’96).
    SWC 1991- Arkansas* leaves TCU to go to the SEC
    SWC 1996- 5 members (including 4 founders) of SWC leave TCU to go to Big 8 and CUSA. TCU goes to WAC
    WAC 1999- 8 members (including 4 remaining founders) leave TCU to form MWC. TCU leaves after 2001 to go to CUSA, leaving behind 8 members. Two new schools are invited as replacements.
    CUSA 2004-Army leaves to go independent
    CUSA 2005-Big East remnants take Cincinatti*, USF* and Louisville*. TCU leaves for MWC, leaving behind 4 schools. 6 new schools come in as replacements from raiding the WAC and MAC.
    MWC 2009-Utah and BYU again decide to get away from TCU, leaving a conference they founded for a second time. TCU leaves their swath of destruction behind for the Big East.

    All told, 18 schools have left a conference with TCU (including Utah and BYU twice), 16 schools were left behind by TCU leaving a conference (including several of the current MWC twice), 10 schools have entered a conference just after TCU destroyed it (including Boise State twice), 43 schools have participated in raiding a conference containing TCU (including Colorado and the 5 original members of the Big East), and a conference TCU destroyed has raided other conferences containing 21 left behind teams (including SJSU and Louisiana Tech twice). That doesn’t even count the 20 or so FCS schools affected.
    Totaling that all up, 80 of the 119 other schools in FBS have either left TCU, been left behind by TCU, raided a conference with TCU, or raided by a TCU-destroyed conference.

    • Playoffs Now says:

      So your saying TCU is the Zsa Zsa Gabor or Larry King of college football…

    • Jake says:

      I actually made a chart of all of this a few years ago. Guess I need to update it.

      So, what’s the over/under on TCU’s time in the Big East? 8 years?

      • zeek says:

        I think TCU and BYU are auditioning for the Big 12 right now.

        It all depends on whether they can build up the brand to the point where it’s valuable enough for the Big 12.

        To me, this is no different than when Miami joined the Big East and then left for the ACC after 13 years. They won the conference 9 times and a national championship, I believe.

        So, I’d say, win a national championship and win a couple of BCS bowls, and TCU might be on its way into the Big 12…

        • Bullet says:

          Unless TCU becomes a Miami, they just don’t add anything to B12. B12-2 is plenty strong on average and dominates the Texas market. But it only has 2 “brands” with the loss of Nebraska. Since there are only around a dozen out there and TCU isn’t one of them, TCU will not be joining the B12 as long as Texas and Texas A&M are in it. They just don’t add enough value.

          • Bullet says:

            Speaking of Miami, their coach got fired, not just because he wasn’t winning enough, but also because the stands had only around 25k and many were rooting for USF. Miami has very fair weathered fans. Over the last dozen years they’ve drawn everywhere from 28k average for the year to 69k.

          • Vincent says:

            That’s why the Miami to Big Ten suggestion doesn’t hold water. As a “national brand,” it has feet of clay. Miami’s essentially a tropical Syracuse with no basketball brand to compensate (and with baseball subbing for lacrosse).

          • Michael in Indy says:


            Miami’s firing of Shannon was pretty sobering. Miami’s reputation was the worst in the country. It was Thug U. He turned it into the complete opposite. His players almost never got arrested, which is no small feat no matter which team we’re talking about. Two schools had a better graduation rate under Shannon: Air Force and Navy. Just think about that… West Point, Duke, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Stanford, Notre Dame, Boston College, you name it, Miami had a superior graduation rate.

            I guess all that amounts to jack squat.

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            @Michael in Indy
            Two schools had a better graduation rate under Shannon: Air Force and Navy.

            Not sure what numbers you’re referencing. All the studies I remember show school like ND, Duke, Rice and Stanford leading the graduation rates. Miami improved under Shannon (how could it not), but I don’t think he was a miracle worker.


          • Richard says:

            With the history the U has and the talent available to it, I don’t think beating USF and challenging for the ACC while maintaining academic standards is too much to ask.

            Think of it this way: do you expect ND to have been OK with Shannon’s record even if his players had done well off the field?

          • Brian says:


            Michael’s numbers are for cumulative APR over a career

            From a press release:
            “University of Miami head football coach Randy Shannon ranks third among all active Division I football coaches with a career Academic Progress Rate of 977, The Center for Research on Sport In Society announced this week. …

            Shannon’s 977 lifetime APR average leads all head coaches in Bowl Championship Series conferences and trails only Troy Calhoun of Air Force (983) and Ken Niumatalolo of Navy (978) on the national stage.”

          • loki_the_bubba says:


            Thanks. We are comparing apples and oranges. I was remembering actual graduation rates, the Shannon number is for APR. From the press release: An APR rate is not the best indicator of a coaches’ success in graduating student-athletes, but it is the best indicator of retention and eligibility .


          • loki_the_bubba says:

            I wondered if I was getting too obsessive but when I saw there were only 54 coaches listed I had to know why. That’s when I found this caveat: First, it was determined which coaches and teams were
            invited to a 2009/2010 football bowl game.

            So this explained why I could not find Rice or Duke on the list.

          • M says:

            I hate to keep harping on attendance, but it really shows the depth of the Miami support. In a year with an excellent home slate (FSU, UNC, VT, USF) and only one marginally bad OOC game (FAMU, who has a fun band at least), Miami only averaged 56k. Meanwhile UCF playing a CUSA schedule with NC State and South Dakota averaged 40k, while USF also got 40k playing a Big East schedule plus some Sun Belt teams.

            If I had to bet on one “King” never returning to prominence, Miami would be my choice. Their only natural advantage is an advantageous recruiting location, which is increasingly encroached on by other targets both regionally and nationally. They simply do not have the alumni base, the non-alumni support, or the program infrastructure relative to any of the other powers.

          • Richard says:

            That advantageous recruiting location is a big trump card (at least until FIU & FAU start taking off).

          • zeek says:

            @ Bullet

            But that’s exactly what I mean.

            Patterson and the TCU brass have said their goal is to be the USC or Miami of Texas.

            If they win a national championship or two and win the Big East many times, then they’ll do that.

            A brand can easily be built like that.

            In the same way, BYU wants to be the Notre Dame of the west as an independent that can get to the BCS.

            Well, we’ll see what happens, but if TCU can build itself into a football power, then it could have value.

            Of course, that would probably require them to win say 10 Big East championships and 2 national championships over the next say 15 years.

            That’s a really tall order, so it may not even be possible…

          • zeek says:

            @ M

            There’s really no difference between Miami and USC.

            USC had a half filled stadium in the 90s and was questioned the same way Miami is now.

            They just need to find a good coach; there’s a vast surplus of recruits, and Miami is the glamour school when compared to USF or UCF, so their only real competition for recruits is Florida and Florida State among recruits that want to stay in Florida…

          • @zeek – I totally agree. I’ll bet anything that Miami will be just fine in the long-term. Sure, they have fairweather fans (just like the other teams down there such as the Heat), but that locale can only be matched by USC as a recruit’s paradise. The Canes can and will get its pick of elite players and they continue to be a great national TV draw.

          • Brian says:


            I think there is a huge difference between USC and Miami. USC has a ton of tradition, but Miami was nobody before 1980. LA is much bigger than Miami, with fewer major powers in state or nearby trying to poach players. LA also doesn’t have NFL competition.

            I agree both schools have fair weather fans, but it is easier to get people excited for USC since it has more entrenched fans and more talent to choose from. Both can be successful, but USC has an easier path to success.

            I expect Miami to be good again, but their fans may not accept good. Being in the ACC doesn’t help much, bringing in lots of teams from far away nobody cares about. They need a tougher schedule to draw fans, and a good enough team to win those games.

          • Richard says:

            What Miami needs are BigTen opponents. The U may still not get fans, but SunLife would be fuller.

          • zeek says:

            I really don’t think the differences are that big, particularly re: fanbase. USC’s fans are as notoriously fair weather as Miami’s in terms of dropping off in attendance for extended periods of mediocre play.

            Attendance isn’t an issue for Miami to become a power. The recruits just care about being near South Beach and the weather, since that’s the big draw.

            Miami had attendance of like 40k when they last won the national championship.

            Florida State and Florida didn’t have much tradition before the 80s either…

            All 3 of the Florida schools (UF, UM, FSU) built their brands over the past 20-30 years. They’re all relatively new to the national scene in terms of competing hard for national championships.

          • Brian says:


            The fanbases are somewhat similar, but very different in size. Miami is a much smaller school (about 10,000 versus 17,500), meaning a lot fewer alumni.

            Unlike you, I think attendance is important. It drives administrative decisions, controls the budget and creates an environment. The team will get more swagger if there is a packed house screaming all game. TV might be more interested, too.

            USC hasn’t averaged less than 50,000 home attendance since 1961. In their bad periods, they usually pull around 60,000 average. Miami averaged 46,000+ in 2001 (NC year) and 69,000+ in 2002. Half of this decade they’ve been around 45,000, the other years around 60,000.

            That’s probably $1 million per game in extra revenue, more home field advantage and less embarrassment on TV.

            Yes, the Florida schools are all newcomers. The downside is that when things go poorly, there is less of an entrenched fanbase that continues to support the team. The big state schools have a lot more fans to count on, though, more like USC. Plus, the rest of Florida is more interested in college football than Miami.

          • zeek says:

            Yes, attendance is important, but I don’t see how that impacts Miami per se.

            There are only 10 or 15 national brands in college football.

            As long as you’re one of them, you’re in a good spot.

            The problem is that if you’re a national power that’s far from fertile recruiting grounds, you could fall off the radar like Tennessee, which may not really be a national power soon even though they have attendance of 100k and are in the top 6 or so…

          • Brian says:


            Attendance matters because it is money and buzz and keeps coaches employed. If you can’t fill your stadium, you won’t be a national brand. The elite brands change over time. Oregon is moving up, Wisconsin might be, TCU could. Some of the old guard have to drop to make room (like UCLA).

            Being in a recruiting hotbed helps, but any southern school can recruit well enough. The TN coaches got lazy.

            If Miami has no buzz at their games, it will be harder to sign the top guys. That will weaken the team, leading to less buzz.

            Miami can and should recover, I just think USC has more advantages. A quality coach with strong recruiters should have an elite program at either school.

    • Bullet says:

      If you throw in the Southern Conference (which had most of the SEC and ACC schools back then) which TCU left to join the SWC you can probably add a few more to that total.

      I don’t think Idaho can match that, but they are certainly the runnerup. They even got the Pac to break up to get away from them (late 50s, early 60s). And they’ve been bouncing from Big Sky to Big West to Sun Belt to WAC.

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        I don’t think TCU was in the Southern. They were in the Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

        • loki_the_bubba says:

          So you can add these schools to the list of colleges that TCU has jilted:

          Austin College
          Daniel Baker College
          Fort Worth Polytechnic Institute
          Southwestern University
          Trinity University

  33. m (Ag) says:

    Let’s assume they add Villanova and go to 10 schools. Lets talk what happens if there is more movement.

    What if A&M goes to the SEC; UT, TT, OU, and OSU decide to go ahead to the Pac 16, the SEC grabs an ACC school for 14, leading the ACC to grab a Big East school (say, UConn)?

    You could merge with the rest of the Big 12:
    East: Rutgers, Pitt, Syracuse, USF, Villanova, West Virginia, Cincinnati.
    West: Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Iowa State, Baylor, TCU, Louisville.

    Even though Iowa State doesn’t bring a lot in terms of market, I see the 4 Big 12 North schools sticking together and going in as a package. Baylor should hope the 4 North schools would bother to stick with them in this scenario. It would be easy to put Houston, UCF, or even BYU in their spot.

    If the Big East would stick to a 9 team conference after adding TCU, it would be even easier. After losing 1 school to the ACC, they could just add the 4 Big 12 North schools and stop at a 12 team conference (sorry Baylor!).

    Of course, the Big Ten also might add 4 teams from the Big East or the ACC, with the ACC replacing any losses by raiding Big East. Either way, the Big East would lose another 4 teams. After adding the 5 Big 12 teams, they would be at 10 teams again! This time, the size of the remaining schools would be small enough that it would make sense to add 2 of UH, BYU, UCF, and East Carolina to get to the 12 schools mark.

    Let’s assume the Big 10/ACC takes Missouri, UConn, Rutgers, Syracuse, and Pitt.

    East: USF, UCF, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Louisville, Villanova
    West: Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Baylor, TCU, BYU

    In each of these situations, I think the Big East schools find themselves wishing that Villanova hadn’t joined the football schools.

  34. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    LSU’s home & home with TCU in 2013 and 2014 just went from Apollo Creed giving Rocky a shot, to possibly Ali/Frazier.

    Congrats to TCU for getting into an AQ conference . . . even if it is the Big East.

  35. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Here is the latest BCS ranking by conference.

    SEC (6): #1 Auburn, #7 Arkansas, #10 LSU, #16 Alabama, #19 South Carolina, and #22 Mississippi State.

    Big XII (5): #9 Oklahoma, #12 Missouri, #13 Nebraska, #14 Oklahoma State, and #18 Texas A&M.

    Pac-10 (3): #2 Oregon, #4 Stanford, and #23 Arizona.

    Big Ten (3): #5 Wisconsin, #6 Ohio State, #8 Michigan State.

    MWC (2): #3 TCU and #20 Utah.

    WAC (2): #11 Boise State and #17 Nevada.

    ACC (2): #15 Virginia Tech and #21 Florida State.

    Big East (1): #24 West Virginia.

    MAC (1): #25 Northern Illinois.

    Looking ahead to week #14, there are only three games between ranked teams.

    #1 Auburn v. #19 South Carolina in the SEC CG.
    #9 Oklahoma v. #13 Nebraska in the Big XII CG.
    #15 Virginia Tech v. #21 Florida State in the ACC CG.

    Other games involving a ranked team include:

    #2 Oregon at Oregon State (5-6)
    #11 Boise State v. Utah State (4-7)
    #17 Nevada at Louisiana Tech (5-6)
    #23 Arizona v. Arizona State (5-6)
    #24 West Virginia v. Rutgers (4-7)
    #25 Northern Illinois v. Miami, OH (8-4) in the MAC CG.

  36. Big Ten Jeff says:

    Greetings, all. Well, Fort Worth is all abuzz about the Big East. One of the more interesting quote/justifications I’ve heard is along the lines of “well, Dallas is in the NFC East”. That used to be a point of derision differentiating Fort Worth and Dallas. Oh well.

    So TCU has found a football team, a conference and $150 Million to upgrade its facilities. Gotta love the way things are done in Texas.

    BTW, I think the timing of this is interesting. From a political standpoint, it can’t hurt to have a lot of new friends in the NE to vote for TCU to get into the NCG if Auburn or Oregon stumble…

    • Bullet says:

      Well the Cowboys moved to Tarrant County, so I guess its time for TCU, also in Tarrant County, to move east.

    • Ron says:

      @Big Ten Jeff, I think in a lot of ways the AQ status of the Big East Conference itself in football is a marvelous statement on the power of politics. At this point its very hard to justify any of the Big East teams getting a BCS spot in a normal year, so at least TCU carries some football credibility into the equation. Am not sure I agree on eastern political pull will help land TCU in this year’s National Championship though. The current BCS system empowers the Coaches and Harris voters to jump a team like Wisconsin over TCU for the national title game if that’s what they choose to do. To my mind that seems utterly corrupt (given that neither Wisconsin and TCU play this week and really shouldn’t change much on an objective estimation), but the BCS is specifically designed to allow that.

  37. Playoffs Now says:

    2 thoughts:

    I wonder if Jerry Jones had anything to do with the TCU-BE negotiations. ND heading the expansion committee, their prominence at the news conference makes me wonder if we’ll soon see TCU-ND games at JerryWorld every other year in the last half of the season.

    This move seems to strengthen ND’s ability to remain independent. However, there’s still a little side of me wondering that if the scheduling and other issues eventually convince ND that they needed to be in a conference, are they setting up a BE backup plan. In many ways the B10+2 would be the logical choice, but that will kill their scheduling options. In contrast, the BEast is in a position to offer them a compromise that allows only a 6-game conference schedule. VanillaNova moves up, ND joins, and a 12th school added. 12/18, with 2 football divisions. They could go with 5 division games and 1 cross-division per year. Basically fills Oct and Nov while allowing ND 6 OOC games for traditional rivals and national scheduling, plus a game in FL each or every other year and TX every other year. (Other conference teams could still schedule each other but it wouldn’t count in the determining divisional champs for the CCG.)

    • Playoffs Now says:

      Point being I wouldn’t assume that the BE goes past 10, at least without ND.

    • Jake says:

      I’d love to see some TCU-ND games. I hope our AD availed himself of the opportunity today to try to set something up.

    • Bullet says:

      Saw a rumour that ND was going to join the BE with a 6 game schedule with 3 home games and 3 neutral site games. I’m sure it was total hogwash, but it seems that people are at least talking about it.

      They really can get the best of both worlds with a 12 team BE deal.

      • Richard says:

        So who would ND want in their division? Let’s assume UCF is added to pair with ND.

        TCU @ JerryWorld
        UConn @ Foxboro
        Syracuse @ NYC/Meadowlands
        Rutgers @ Meadowlands
        UCF @ Citrus Bowl
        Nova @ Lincoln Field
        Pitt @ Cleveland?
        USF @ somewhere in Florida?
        WVU @ FedEx?

        I reckon they have little interest in playing Louisville or Cincy.

        • duffman says:


          I think the opposite!

          a) UC and UL have big catholic football high schools, and catholic fanbases.

          b) both are close to ND.

          c) UC can play ND in Paul Brown (like they did with OU), and UL has the Pizza Pit (both are likely sellouts with the local catholic populations.

          d) ND recruits in both the UC and UL metro area for many of their sports.

          • Richard says:

            Precisely because they’re close by is why I think ND wouldn’t be interested in playing them. They already provide their Midwestern fans with plenty of games (7 home games & away games @ PU, PSU, & Michigan every other year). What ND wants are games in the Northeast for their subway alumni and in recruiting hotbeds like Florida, Texas, and California.

          • jcfreder says:

            I just can’t see this happening. ND can get games against BE teams anytime it wants — there’s no need to join the conference to get these games. Nor do they need a conference for the BCS bid; they already have a sweet setup as is.
            I think the most likely way ND ever joins a conference is if there’s further consolidation. But in that scenario, the BE is probably already being eaten up by the B10 and ACC.

            I will say this: the 6-game conference schedule does seem more attractive than the 8 or 9 game schedule that would severely curtail ND’s scheduling freedom. But I don’t see a weak conference like the BE being able to hook ND with it.

            But that raises the question of what ND could do if it really got proactive amid further turmoil. If the B12 blows up it would be interesting to see a “Quasi-Independent” conference form where each of the teams only plays 6 conference games. Say if Texas brings TT, Okl and OSU along, ND brings Pitt, Army and Navy, BYU and Hawaii join in, etc, you could have a pretty darn good conference where teams still get to play a bunch of OOC games and you have a ton of great made for TV games.

          • Richard says:


            It all depends on how much extra value can be captured.

            As an independent, ND can only monetize it’s home games, and the BE has trouble monetizing the few games ND plays against it’s teams because non-conf schedules aren’t set in stone (OK, neither are conference slates, as we’ve seen, but…) with ND as part of the BE contract, whoever broadcasts the BE can be guaranteed 10 ND games a year (plus the other BE games) and may get the chance of a BE conference championship game featuring the Irish, which may generate more revenue than what ND and the BE combined get for TV right now.

          • @Richard – If it’s about monetizing road games for ND, then the school should just join the Big Ten. I think the ND alums have been loud and clear that independence is truly a principle for them (and that the NBC money is simply a means to the end of maintaining such independence). Seeing that ND can’t even fulfill its commitment from several years ago to play 3 BE teams per year, I have a hard time seeing them suddenly hand over 6 games to the conference, especially when they now have scheduling deals in place with Texas, Miami, BYU and Oklahoma on top of their traditional opponents. ND has shown that it doesn’t care about playing any BE schools other than Pitt and Syracuse in a 1-for-1 series (and the latter is playing its home games at the Meadowlands) – everyone else might only get a guarantee game in South Bend without even a return neutral site game (much less a real home game). ND is about as snobby as they come in scheduling opponents outside of home guarantee games.

          • jcfreder says:

            I see your point, but I’m not at all convinced that a combined ND/BE deal would be bigger than the ND and BE deals separate. First, keep in mind that we’re apparently only talking 6 conference games per team here. And you’re feeding 12 mouths with this deal. Or does only ND have to play 6 games? The logistics get very messy.
            And in any case, even assuming the pie gets bigger, ND is going to need more than a couple of extra mil a year to be locked into playing 6 BE games a year and giving up its highly valued independence.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Louisiana has one of the highest Catholic per-capita populations in the nation, with all our citizens of Cajun and French ancestry. LSU played Notre Dame fairly regularly in the 70s, 80s & 90s and would love to play them again. Oddly though, Notre Dame does not want to play LSU anymore.

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            It never fails. No matter where you go on the internet, the LSU fans claim everyone else is scared.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            loki – I didn’t say the Irish are scared. I don’t know what their motivation is, but LSU has approached ND in recent years and been re-buffed.

          • Richard says:


            We’ll see. ND certainly doesn’t want to be an equal amongst peers. Would a 7-2-3 schedule & half the BE’s TV revenues assuage their alums (who can still feel special in that arrangement since no other school would have an arrangement close to that)?

            Guess it comes down to whether ND wants independence for independence’s sake, or if they want to be independent because they want control.

          • schwarm says:

            @Alan – Louisiana has a large fraction of Catholics for a southern state, I think similar to Nebraska, both of which have fewer per capita than states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

        • Richard says:

          OK, I think I can narrow it down:

          In their division:
          TCU @ JerryWorld
          Syracuse @ NYC/Meadowlands
          Nova @ Lincoln Field
          UCF & USF @ various locations in Florida, including Miami, Jacksonville, USF @ Orlando & UCF @ Tampa.

          The 3 other private schools in the BE + the 2 schools in the recruiting hotbed of Florida.

          The 1 other interdivisional conference game will be
          UConn @ Foxboro
          Rutgers @ Meadowlands
          WVU @ FedEx
          Pitt @ Cleveland
          Cincy @ their pro stadium
          Louisville @ Indianapolis.

          6 conference games + annual games with USC, Michigan, & Navy (Navy “home” games either in California or on the East Coast). I think they would want to alternate PU and MSU. That leaves 2 extra slots: 1 game against a “name” opponent + 1 home guaranteed game.

          6/7 home games a year, 3/4 neutral site games, and 2 true away games.

          They’ll go to Florida once a year, Texas once every 2 years or more, Cali once every 2 years or more, and the East Coast (for their subway alums) once or more a year.

          So long as ND gets to keep half the TV revenues generated by the BE, I think they’d be behind this plan.

  38. duffman says:

    two discussion points for FtT folks.

    POINT #1:

    If you are a Big 10 poster, what do you think is the best architecture program in the Big 10?

    If you are posting from another conference, what is the best architecture school in your conference?

    If you are an architect IRL, what is your suggestion for say the top 5 in the country? (I know many on here are lawyers or media folks).

    POINT #2:

    based on several posts on this particular blog, what is a healthy balance for the Big 10 going forward? Say in a decade what is a good balance for the conference as a whole? Here is my thinking….

    In 10 years;

    tOSU gets 2 CC
    UM gets 2 CC
    PSU gets 2 CC
    UNL gets 2 CC
    the rest gets 2CC

    in the last 2 some schools would rotate more often so IU might only get one of the 2 open slots every 25 – 50 years (yes I dream of a different future, but am enough of a realist to know the odds and football gods do not shine on us). A team like Wisconsin might get one of the open slots every 10 – 20 years. If a decade from now it is just 2 schools (like it had been for quite some time between tOSU and UM) is that good for the conference (and the BTN) over the long haul?

    • Bullet says:

      I think expansion will raise the bar and everyone will get better. B12 improved the B8 programs. SEC 12 stimulated TN, LSU and Florida.

      With a ccg there will be no shared titles, but in the last 10 years everyone but MN and IU has won a share. So I think it will be more balanced than you show above. And I think more balance is healthier. The brands need to be competitive, but they don’t need to win every year. SEC has had 6 champions in the past 18 years (all 6 have won since 98) and counting SC, 9 teams win the division. Big 12 has had 6 champs and 7 win the division in 14 years. ACC hasn’t had their brands competitive and their winners nationally competitive. They’ve had 4 in 5 years with 6 teams winning divisions.

      It will be harder for NW or Purdue to slip through with an easy schedule as they did with 11 teams, but WI, IA, MSU and IL will still come through regularly.

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      The best archi school in my conference is Rice. Texas is also very good from what I have heard.

      I am not an architect.

    • @duffman – As far as undergrad programs, Illinois probably has the best Big Ten program overall (and I’m not just saying that as a U of I alum). My understanding is that Michigan is also strong. Notre Dame, while not a Big Ten school, probably has the best architecture program in the region. Those are the 3 main feeders into Chicago’s architectural firms.

    • Brian says:

      POINT #1

      UM is the highest ranked one (mostly for the grad program), for what that is worth.

      Other good midwestern schools are ND and Cincinnati.

      I think this is a highly subjective topic, with the best schools highly dependent on the specific area of interest. I would focus more on talking to the nearest architecture firm that does the type of work of interest and the nearest architecture school. Learn from them what question to ask and what to look for when evaluating programs.

      I think the general rule of finding a school and a location that feels comfortable is more important than the specific school as long as the school is reputable. Schools vary widely in approach, focus, teaching methods and specialties.

      POINT #2

      I assume you’re talking on average, since of course schools will go on cycles of excellence and mediocrity.

      OSU, UM, PSU, NE ~ 2 each
      WI, IA ~ 1 each
      MSU, NW, PU ~ 1 every 20 years each
      IL, MN, IN ~ 1 every 50 years each

      I think OSU > NE > UM > PSU slightly, but fairly equal over the years (depending on new PSU coach). WI also will top IA a little. The other 6 are a crap shoot but you have to assume they’ll rise up occasionally.

      If it becomes just two teams winning 70 or 80%, that’s only OK if my alma mater is one of them. It would be bad for the league’s image a little, but the Big 12 did OK with TX and OU dominating and the Pac 10 with just USC. Too much parity is just as bad, though.

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      duff – LSU has one of the best landscape architecture programs in the nation.

      Regarding your second point, the CCG makes it much, much harder for one of the non-traditional powers to win a championship. I argued that point with another poster earlier this year when that person was trumpeting the parity of the Big Ten. Tri-champs like this year will never happen again in the big Ten. When a Cinderella like Sparty comes along, they will most likely get beat in the BTCG. Looking at the Big XII CGs, they have had a few more upsets, but typically the non-traditional power loses the SEC CG.

      As long as The Vest is coaching, I would expect tOSU to keep dominating the Big Ten, with the CCG probably in his favor.

  39. SpaceTetra says:

    Frank, I have become obsessed with these NCAA re-alignment postings and love them, but please explain one thing. It seemed for a long time everyone was convinced the Big Ten would expand in the summer of 2011 no matter what. Then all of a sudden, without any reason that I could see, you started saying the Big Ten would only expand if a major school like ND wanted in. What happened? What happened to the 5-8 schools worth 45 million a year even w/o ND? It would bother me to see the Big Ten wait on ND. As time goes on, I see ND’s value dropping. Something changed in your thinking, but I can’t place where.

    • Jake says:

      @SpaceTetra – if you see ND’s value dropping, why do you think the Big Ten should be in a hurry to bring them into the fold?

      The Big Ten moves slowly and deliberately. They may play around with 12, see how the title game goes, start up their hockey conference, and then come back to this in a few years. It’s not like there’s a huge rush – they’re on top, no one is in a postition to pass them, and they’ll still be able to get pretty much any school they want further down the road. Or they might add four schools sometime in the next six months. Who knows?

    • Richard says:


      Nothing’s changed in Frank’s thinking as far as I can see. Not sure who you heard say 5-8 schools would be worth $45M/year even without ND.

    • M says:

      It’s not really “waiting on ND”. If anything, that’s what the Big Ten did for 10ish years from ’99 to 2010. Now it’s just “We’re in a good spot. If nothing happens, we’re okay with that.”

  40. loki_the_bubba says:

    OK, I did not see this one coming. UMass to the MAC?

    Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a MAC spokesman would say only that the conference is “exploring” the possibility of adding the Minutemen for football.

    UMass would play a “provisional” FBS schedule in 2011 and ’12, and make the full jump to FBS status in ’13.

    • Vincent says:

      From a UMass perspective, that makes sense if it’s going to the FBS — especially with Temple in as a football-only MAC member.

      • Bullet says:

        Very logical and not really a surprise. They see Villanova getting invited to BE, Rhode Island leaving Colonial for Northeast. They would be left with Maine and New Hampshire playing full scholarship FCS in the NE. And being in the MAC puts them in position to be invited to the BE if the BE expands again to 12. Being in FCS and BE isn’t going to pay attention (Villanova was already in BE).

        They’ve wanted to go up for some time. They won the championship and lost several million dollars. Doubtful they will do any worse in FBS.

        And if they stay in A10, they still have a very good bb conference.

    • Michael in Indy says:

      I didn’t see it either. UMass is less prepared than a lot of programs to make this move. Montana, James Madison, Delaware, App State, and Ga. Southern all have better facilities and fan support. JMU, ASU, and GSU also are closer to recruiting hotbeds, which matters even if they’re just getting recruits overlooked by the ACC/SEC. UMass doesn’t have what Villanova has either: the all-important invitation to a BCS league. Villanova can expect a surge in attendance if it’s hosting TCU, West Virginia, Pitt, etc. But who’s to say UMass attendance would improve because of home games against Buffalo, Ohio, Akron, etc., as compared with its current schedule?

      Appalachian State, my alma mater, is currently doing its own study on whether to go up to FBS. With a home schedule against brand names like Furman, Wofford, and Samford, we’re still drawing at least 25,000/game, usually around 30,000. Our facilities are better than probably half of the non-AQ schools. Plus, we’re fortunate, because of a certain game back in 2007, to have a name most football fans recognize. So if we did make a move, we’ve got a decent head-start.

      If we had the chance to join C-USA, I think attendance and support might rise enough to offset some of the costs associated with moving up (22 more scholarships for football, 22 more scholarships for women’s sports to comply with Title IX, higher coaches’ salaries, etc.). East Carolina would provide a valuable in-state rival that would draw more fans, as would Marshall, a former Southern Conference rival. But travel costs would skyrocket, and a few losing seasons may actually make attendance worse. If we joined the Sun Belt, which has hardly more visibility than the SoCon, I don’t think it would be worthwhile. Same for the MAC. I just don’t see home games against Central Michigan and Ball State exciting people in North Carolina anymore than the teams we’ve played for generations. Tuesday and Wednesday night games wouldn’t help attendance much, either, since campus is located far from where most alumni live: 2 hours from Charlotte, 2 hours from Greensboro, 3 hours from Raleigh.

      Basically, I hope our AD & administration realize that just because UMass is doing it doesn’t mean it’s a smart move for them. Their decision should be irrelevant to ours.

    • Bullet says:

      Apparently been in the works. Found this article about RI last week mentioning the rumours (about mid-way down).

    • duffman says:


      I am thinking more like, when it gets to the point that UMass is joining the MAC I think we may be seeing the last shockwave from the june earthquake (not a big one, but a quake just the same).

      • Dave in VA says:

        I think it’s far from the last shockwave. UMass going to the FBS could easily trigger a bunch of other schools trying to jump to FBS, and even if that doesn’t happen it would almost certainly trigger several conference moves in FCS.

    • Jeff says:

      I would think UMass would be a very good add for the Big East, certainly better than Villanova or Central Florida.

      The BCS conferences are built mostly on flagship schools of large and medium-sized states. That’s exactly what UMass is, making it a good bet for success down the road. It’s also a very good fit geographically and could bring back the market that was lost when BC left.

    • StvInIL says:

      Sounds like another possible feeder school for the BE. Even if it does not work out, the MAC would be a good place for them as almost everyone has been eyeing an upgrade. The MAC is one stable league. A purgatory of sorts for schools who won’t be going out of football but MOST likely won’t be moving up. The Game at Michigan Stadium must have really wet their whistle. That’s said, they should be aware that the Michigan has one of the worst defenses in the championship division. Ohio State, Nebraska, Penn State and throw in Wisconsin, will not be so generous. But playing in the MAC will give them the opportunity to cross lances once again with the big boys. The MAC is the preconference goto league for the Big Ten to schedule.

  41. duffman says:


    word on the street is that it will be your tigers in the cotton bowl against TAMU! If the mad hatter wins, do the tiger fans play red rover with the SEC chant for the TAMU fans? How do the TAMU fans respond?

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      duff – that’s also what I’m hearing. We also open the 2011 season at Cowboys Stadium against Oregon. That shouldn’t prevent LSU from selling out both allotments, though. Dallas is about 7 hours from Baton Rouge. Shreveport is only 3 hours away. Dallas has the 3rd largest number of LSU alums living outside of Louisiana.

      When I was in college, LSU opened the season against the Aggies and it was a great rivalry.

      LSU does do the S-E-C chant on occasion, but not nearly as much as Arkansas or South Carolina. Who knows, the Aggies may join in with Gene Stallings leading in the S-E-C yell practice.

      • Playoffs Now says:

        And tons of LSU fans 4 hours to the south in Houston, too. If Jerry wants it and doesn’t gouge too much on pricing, 100K sellout is feasible.

        • rich2 says:

          Hello, I decided to see what this thread thought about TCU joining the Big East. As usual, an excellent analysis. It is interesting that I log in for the first time in three months and I still read a sub-thread about ND and how we will be cornered into joining the Big 10+. Don’t worry about us or our schedules. This year’s schedule was our worst in long time yet it has a Sagarin rating of 22. Besides life is good in the Big 10+ — three 10-1 teams and you add the exciting personality of Bo Pellini next year.

          I meant to comment about these special games — no kidding about the ticket prices. Our family met in NYC for the ND – Army game. Tickets were $125 or $175. Would Jerry charge more or less?

    • Bullet says:

      A&M has been officially invited to the Cotton. So have ECU, USM, Army and Navy to various bowls.

      Boise could still end up in the Holiday Bowl vs. OU/OSU/orUNL. If UW and Oregon St. both lose, Oregon and Stanford likely get BCS bids and Arizona goes to the Alamo. The Pac 10 wouldn’t be able to fill their 3rd slot. Any of those would be an interesting matchup. A lot better than 6-6 UW or a 6-6 Oregon St. team Boise beat. Sun Bowl vs. ACC #4 would also be open.

    • Bullet says:

      After Arkansas announced they were leaving for the SEC they got serenaded with S-E-C, S-E-C in every stadium. They only beat straight off death penalty SMU that year.

  42. zeek says:

    “Our goal is to get to 10 (teams),” Marinatto told FanHouse. “That’s what we said following our presidents meeting in November. Obviously there are circumstances that could change that — if Penn State called tomorrow and said they wanted to join, we’d say yes and do it.”

    Gotta say I like that Marinatto is being proactive here. I’ll be hoping that UCF gets the nod, but it seems as if we’re in a holding pattern until Villanova makes its decision. I just don’t see how Villanova becomes anything other than another Temple. Would the fan support really be there for Villanova?

    • StvInIL says:

      That actually would be a good thing. The Big East is not powerful but it is competitive and its among the major confrences. I mean it does not have MAC status.

  43. Playoffs Now says:

    Ya know, I think the BE is going hard after Kansas for the 10th all-sports spot. The soundbites seem to point to going to 10/18, with Vanillanova not moving up for a few years even if they decide to being the process. Other than MO, what realistic options out there are better? Houston has a 6 million market, but doesn’t come close to carrying it. Same for UCF and Orlando’s 3 million (though there are about as many UCF grads in Tampa as in Orlando, and same for USF grads.) SMU would only help penetrate the 7 million DFW market, but neither they nor TCU carry it.

    OTOH, there are 3 million in the state of Kansas and 1.5 million more on the MO side of the KC TV market. KS basketball definitely carries most of that, with enough carryover into football. Only 75% the size of the Houston metro, but with much stronger penetration and thus could likely be more profitable than adding UH or UCF.

    Can the BE match the payout from the B12-2? Doubtful, but can they get close enough for the intangibles to swing the decision? Because of basketball tradition, KS to the BE is in many ways similar to the natural fit of NE to the B10+2. Should the B10+2 ever decide to tip the dominoes by expanding again, the B12-2 South might soon be gone. While the B10+2, ACC, and SEC might substantially raid the BE, KS may have enough similar cohorts (plus the bball schools) to survive and rebuild. Plus being in the BE might increase their chances of being one of the schools pursued by those conferences as blocks, say to a wounded ACC trying to get to 16. Hence moving to the BE, even with its vulnerability, may still be increasing KS’s security.

    And here’s another angle. KS has talked about it not being permanently tethered to KSU. If KS alone goes to the BE to become the 10th (and final for a few years) member, the B12-2 likely doesn’t implode. BYU could be an easy reload. They and TX can have their networks while the other 8 have theirs and they all share a top-quality home for the other sports. That keeps KSU safe and reduces Kansas legislative intervention.

    • zeek says:

      Kansas has said many times they won’t go anywhere without Kansas State.

      And as Bill Self said, if the Texas + 4 crew leave for the Pac-10 and SEC, then the North schools will just go to the Big East at that point in time.

      The Big East isn’t even near 12, so it will always have space for those 4.

      I don’t think those 4 have much to worry about, Kansas and Missouri would be incredibly valuable to the Big East, so they’ll have space for those two and then take Kansas State and Iowa State as hangers on…

      No one is going to leave the Big 12 until the next iteration of expansion. The Big 12 vastly outpays the Big East, so there’s no reason to leave the Big 12 for the Big East if you could always land in the Big East later.

      I think it’s Villanova or UCF for the 10th spot.

      The Big Ten doesn’t have expansion candidates out there other than Notre Dame, which doesn’t want to come.

      Rutgers/Missouri is a very distant possibility but they’d probably have to build up a tradition of winning to get it…

      • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

        Is the Big 12 payout really that much more than the Big East right now? I know all about the “promised” money that still has yet to materialize…but I also know that TAMU, UT, and OU have a stranglehold on the “penalty” money from CU and NU. Whereas, a NEW Big East that features 12 teams (while destroying the Big 12) could really step up to the financial plate. KU bball is an obvious asset in an already bball strong conference, but adding Mizzou/Kansas football would be a solid draw in the central midwest region. And overall, a conference with 12 BCS schools is more appealing than a conference with just 8 when it comes to negotiating with ESPN. There would be no “homerun” football schools in the Big East of 12…but plenty of “doubles” from Kansas City to Boston!

        Big East Central
        Kansas State
        (Notre Dame)

        Big East Atlantic
        (Seton Hall)

        The parentheses don’t quite add up to make it 10-10 for hoops..but it’s darn close.

        • @atyclb – Yes, the Big 12 payouts do dwarf the BE payouts. Even the worst Big 12 schools are getting 3 times as much as the top BE schools under the current TV contract that’s split 12 ways. At that level, the big promises to UT, OU and A&M can be fulfilled and even if the Big 12 doesn’t make another dime compared to now, the scraps there are still worth more than the BE payouts.

          • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

            Thanks for the clarification. Well, it still could be an interesting scenario for the northern schools if the southern schools end up bolting from the Big 12.

      • Playoffs Now says:

        Kansas has said many times they won’t go anywhere without Kansas State.

        Maybe so, but when push came to shove last summer KS started talking that they weren’t necessarily tied to K State. Which caught the attention of several of us here who had assumed they were tied together as tight as OU and OK St. I believe it was Lew Perkins himself who floated that.

        • zeek says:

          Yeah, but politicians will get involved when talks get deeper.

          I mean, I see your point in arguing for an earlier jump.

          But there’s really no reason for it. The Big East will always be around to absorb those 4 schools if the Big Ten doesn’t take Missouri earlier.

          And the Big 12 lives at Texas’ whim. If Texas wants the Pac-16, then that will happen. But there’s no reason for the 4 North schools to jump to the Big East until Texas decides it’s done with the Big 12.

          The Big 12 payouts will still easily dwarf those of the Big East even for the North schools under the new contract that they will get…

          • jcfreder says:

            Yeah, I think what the recent round of moves has taught us (at least most of us on this board, who love to envision sweeping dramatic changes) is that there is a ton of inertia with these schools. Movement will happen when a school (1) sees a slam-dunk offer or (2) is completely desperate. For Kansas, going from the B12 to BE doesn’t make sense unless the sky is falling.

      • Jeff says:

        Kansas has never, ever said that they’re committed to sticking with K-State. One or two members of the state Board of Regents said that the schools should stick together, but that is certainly not the position of the university.

  44. duffman says:

    Frank, Alan, Loki, and Brian – thanks for the info on architecture!

    As a UC alum, I knew they were really good but I did not want to feel I was biased to my nephew. I figured he would wind up at IU for business (his dad) or Purdue for engineering (his uncle) but after looking at some schools last month or so he seems to think architecture or architectural engineering is where he wants to be. His great great grandfather went to Franks alma mater so thanks for putting them on my radar, same with UM as we have some family that went there. I was not aware of ND, LSU, and Rice so thanks for making me aware guys. Most appreciated! My friends that went to tOSU seemed to be dentists or vets so I was not sure what tOSU is known for (when I was in college, they were the party school and I spent some time there in the bars :) ). As I was made aware of early on in this blog, the schools have changed greatly since I was in college on who has the best programs now. To keep if football related, like football programs, academic specialty can wax and wane depending on changes in professors and facilities! :)

    • Jeepers says:

      @duffman For the Big East, Syracuse is tops for a B.Arch degrees. They are usually top 3 in the nation for undergrad. I have no idea where they rank for grad school, though. I think the Ivies generally rank the highest for M.Arch degrees.

    • Brian says:

      Not a problem.

      OSU offers BS (pre-professional) and Masters (NAAB certified) degrees, but not the 5 year B of Architecture (phased out in 1968).

      OSU has a highly ranked landscape architecture program, too (#9 in 2010 rankings).

      More importantly, OSU is a good all around school with lots of options for a student who changes their mind about a major. It is a much better school than it used to be, with a USNWR ranking of 56 last time (WI-45, PSU-47, IL-47, PU-56). It’s in a big enough city that there are all the amenities but not so big as to overwhelm people used to a smaller town. Plus, it has great sports teams. I’m not saying it’s the best choice, but it wouldn’t be a bad choice by any means.

      But like I said before, architecture seems to be a major that requires a lot of research to get the education you want and need. The good thing is professors are more than happy to talk to a prospective student if they have the time. Set up an appointment in advance when you go for a visit (or call them), and they’re usually more than happy to spend time answering questions.

    • Bullet says:

      As Loki said, Texas is very good, but I don’t know much about the rest of the conference. Houston is also pretty good. They have a Phillip Johnson designed building which is the best, most prominent building on campus (I have a realtive who got a degree there).

  45. Phil says:

    I don’t know of any current Big East football fan that likes the idea of Nova moving up. Hoping that doesn’t happen, here is my plan for the Big East.
    -the 9 football teams split
    -they invite Nova, GTown and ND as non-football playing members. As part of the deal make ND sign to play 3 Big East teams in football per year. This would let the Big East guarantee 1 or 2 ND games a year to whoever gets their next TV contract.
    -invite Boise St as a football only member

    You are left with a great 12 team BB conference, a pretty good 10 team football conference and I think you would get a large increase in TV revenue over the current Big East configuration. As an added “bonus”, you have left enough room that you get to 16 teams again by adding the Big 12 North leftovers after that conference blows up!

    • Richard says:

      Why would they get a large increase in TV revenue? Essentially, that would be the current BE + Boise + TCU.

      Judging from what the WAC and MWC get from their current TV contracts, I don’t think either TCU or Boise would bring in boatloads of money.

      • Phil says:

        Have you seen the current Big East TV contract? If other conferences make “boatloads” of money the Big East right now has an inflatable pool toy.

        The national interest in TCU and Boise, along with their ability to help the Big East stay relevant in the BCS discussion, added to the size of the Big East markets should get them a fair amount of money over what they are currently making. Most of the WAC and MWC markets are so small that comparison isn’t relevant.

        Here’s another way to look at it. The big Ten added Nebraska not because they added a big TV market or recruiting area, but because they bring national interest and are considered a football power. On a smaller scale, Boise and TCU do the same thing for the Big East.

        • StvInIL says:

          um, kinda sorta?

        • Richard says:

          Emphasis on “smaller”.

          I’ve seen the BE TV contract. I’ve also seen the WAC & MWC TV contracts. I don’t think adding Boise (which is what you’re suggesting, since the BE already took in TCU) would bump up the per-school take much if at all. Subtracting some basketball schools would also amount to all of a few hundred thousand dollars a year, which likely would be offset by the legal fees incurred as the BE goes through a divorce and certainly wouldn’t be worth the acrimony and heartache involved.

          • Phil says:

            Four of the five teams left out are perenially in the bottom six of the conference, so I think the new conference would see similar revenues divided by 5 less teams.
            As far as legal fees, I have reading from Neb to Colo to the WAC teams about how expensive it is going to be for the schools leaving a conference, then it turns out the cost is a small fraction of the numbers originally cited.

          • Richard says:

            “Similiar revenues divided by 5 less teams” means hundreds of thousands of dollars. Remember that the basketball schools don’t see any of the football money already anyway, so you’re just talking about the basketball TV revenue.

            Plus, even a small fraction of several million is several hundred thousand dollars. None of the teams you cited managed to leave without paying at least a few hundred thousand dollars (which would eat up all of your cost savings).

            In any case, university presidents that are in charge of budgets that are in the hundreds of millions (or over a billion) aren’t going to risk fractious relationships and pissing off alums just for the sake of a few hundred thousand dollars.

  46. ccrider55 says:

    Regarding Cam Newton being cleared to play:
    Is there a cliff notes version of NCAA regulations
    that highlight which rules actually are applied, and/or which schools or conferences they apply to?
    Can U$C expect an apology and imediate reinstatement of bowl eligibility?

  47. duffman says:

    BTW: Frank, congrats on the win last night!

    • StvInIL says:

      I enjoyed that one too Duffman. It appears that North Carolina is not the NC we are accustomed to. They have some ballers but it’s not yet a team in the same stature of some of their others. Though they could be by tournament time, who knows? And the crowd chanted, OVERRATED! Oh and Give Northwestern a little love.They won their portion of the Big Ten ACC challenge.

      • jj says:

        Let’s win this damn thing!

      • zeek says:

        Northwestern has actually become one of the stronger ACC-Big Ten challenge teams.

        Won 4 of their last 5 in the series, and they’re good for knocking off a middle of the road or lower ACC team.

        • StvInIL4NW says:

          A wins a win baby! I have learned that when a SEC beats us its all about how good they are in football. Likewise its all about how good an ACC team is in basketball. With astrong bowl game agains Auburn, a win over Vandy and and 4 out of 5 over the ACC, I say how ya like me now!

          • duffman says:

            it does not help that ESPN has their nose so far up the ACC’s basketball backside. Nice to see them get put in their place!

      • duffman says:


        I gave frank the props because that was a big “image” win for his team, I was never worried about you guys beating Ga Tech and I think you guys will slip below a radar or two this season. You guys are due your turn on the dance floor at the end of the season, but it looks like several Big 10 teams will be strong this season. Here is some early good will wishes for the early conference road games for you guys.

    • @duffman – Oh yes, it was beautiful! It doesn’t matter if UNC is down – it’s always nice to beat them.

      • duffman says:

        agreed, and it is nice to take some of the luster of the ACC and put it on the Big 10! If MSU can take down Duke, and IU can take care of BC I will get my christmas present early! :)

  48. duffman says:

    On the Big 10 / ACC challenge:

    Virginia vs Minnesota, UVA wins, B10 – 0, ACC – 1
    I went down in flames on this one, as I had tubby and the gophers FTW! How the Cavs went 10-13 from 3pt land vs a tubby D befuddled me!

    Georgia Tech vs Northwestern, NU wins, B10 – 1, ACC – 1
    I have no problem giving the lads in purple their props, but I had them winning it (I am thinking this is the year they make the NCAA).

    Wake Forest vs Iowa, WF wins, B10 – 1, ACC – 2
    This one looked to be an early win for Iowa, any Hawkeye fans on here care to tell me how you guys got 7-10 from the charity stripe while WF went 20-25!?!? That and cold 3pt shooting stripped this win from you!

    Florida State vs Ohio State, tOSU wins, B10 – 2, ACC – 2
    As they say in racing, this went wire to wire, but terrible shooting!

    Clemson vs Michigan, UM wins, B10 – 3, ACC – 2
    Again not great shooting, but UM was never in trouble in this one.

    North Carolina vs Illinois, Illini wins, B10 – 4, ACC – 2
    I am now circling the date 01/06 @ 8pm, when we see NU on the road!

    For tonight:
    Wisconsin should win
    IU better win!
    PU should win
    PSU is just outgunned
    MSU should win, as this is the kind of team that can beat the dookies, and I am a homer for Izzo, problem is it is in Cameron, and there the refs can be the best sixth man for the dookies on the hardwood! Sure MSU went down to Uconn, but Uconn smacked down a decent UK team. I know everybody will pick Duke here, but Izzo might get the upset.

  49. m (Ag) says:

    While reading through different bowl projections from different sites, I noticed one of the most noteworthy bowls will be a lower ranked bowl if Oklahoma beats Nebraska.

    With A&M taking the Cotton Bowl, the Alamo Bowl would get to choose between Nebraska, Missouri, and Oklahoma State to play a Pac 10 team. With roughly equal records, you would normally take Nebraska’s traveling fans. However, unless Stanford drops from the BCS, the best Pac 10 pick would be Arizona. Nebraska destroyed Arizona in a bowl game last year, and the bowl probably won’t want a rematch. In addition, Nebraska would have just lost a neutral game in Texas earlier in the month, and they appear to hold a grudge against the entire state right now. So one of the other 2 schools would appear to be a better choice.

    The next pick for the Big 12 goes to the Insight Bowl. They match up the Big 12 team with a Big Ten team. It looks like the opponent would be Iowa or Michigan.

    If Nebraska loses, I think ESPN (which televises both bowls) will tell the Alamo Bowl not to take Nebraska just to set up the Insight Bowl. Nebraska/Michigan or Nebraska/Iowa would get some attention around the country, with a lot of viewers in the Midwest, as 2 division rivals get a head start on their annual rivalry.

    • zeek says:

      That’s probably a good point.

      There are folks pointing out another possibility.

      What if Washington loses and doesn’t become bowl eligible?

      Then there might be a way to slip Boise State into a bowl against Nebraska if ESPN wants that…

    • schwarm says:

      Plus, Nebraska has not played in Arizona since January 2000, and there are many Nebraska transplants in AZ. They would likely put a lot more butts in seats in Tempe than the other Big 12 teams.

    • Nostradamus says:

      ESPN doesn’t get to dictate to the bowls who they take. That doesn’t make m(Ag)’s conclusion wrong though. Nebraska has very limited bowl options this year largely due to the Pac 10. We are hearing that Oklahoma State is virtually a lock for the Alamo Bowl. That may be predicated on the assumption Nebraska loses the Fiesta. If Oklahoma loses, we’ll see how hard the Stoops can fight to avoid playing each other, but the Alamo is likely going to avoid a replay of Nebraska Arizona.

      Nebraska (although they likely wouldn’t anyway) can’t really fall to the Holiday Bowl either. Assuming Washington wins, the Holiday would pit Nebraska against a Washington team they absolutely destroyed this season. It is either the Fiesta or the Insight.

      • zeek says:

        Money talks though. For the right price things could probably be arranged.

        • Richard says:

          ESPN isn’t likely to offer more money than what the bowls already get. In any case, Nebraska-Iowa or Nebraska-Michigan is probably even more compelling than Nebraska-Boise in the eyes of ESPN, and they televise both the Insight & Holiday anyway.

          • zeek says:

            Look at how many schedules that ESPN was willing to mess with to get the Georgia-Boise State game done.

          • Richard says:

            That’s a regular season game. The bowls are in control of, well, the bowls.

            In any case, “Nebraska-Iowa or Nebraska-Michigan is probably even more compelling than Nebraska-Boise in the eyes of ESPN”.

          • m (Ag) says:

            The bowls want to stay on good terms with their TV network, and if ESPN thinks a matchup will generate higher ratings (and I think Nebraska vs. Big Ten would), they would give a bit more money to their bowl.

            The regular season matchups in the Georgia Dome are a good analogy. ESPN has the rights to a lot of games that weekend, but they spend a little more money to get a better game for ratings.

            Boise State is an intriguing option. Missouri vs. Boise in the Holiday bowl would definitely be more interesting than the other bowls I’ve heard for Boise.

  50. StvInIL4NW says:

    Hey, is BC that good? And is Indiana that mediocre? I keep looking at the updates and BC is dominating Indiana. BC Up by about 20 now.

    • The Big Ten always finds a way to underachieve against the ACC in this challenge. Even though the Big Ten has taken it this year, it took an overtime win by Purdue against an OK VT team to put us over the edge. With the depth of the Big Ten and general weakness of the ACC this year, it shouldn’t have even been close.

      • jj says:

        Mich coming up big, minn not so much. Msu duke is a good one so far. Glad we won this thing; love to get duke beaten.

      • zeek says:

        Yeah, this should have been 6-0 and shut down yesterday. The Iowa and Minnesota losses were both stunning.

      • Brian says:

        Yeah, but it is always all about the match-ups. WI’s strength was wasted against NCSU and MN choked, wasting another advantage. Change home court and MSU and Iowa might have won, too.

        • mnfanstc says:

          You guys are taking this ACC/Big Ten thing too seriously. Do you really think Tom Izzo, or Tubby Smith put that much stock into these early season contests. Conference play, and March, are what really matter. Both these guys have proven themselves when it matters.

          I think some of these early losses actually may benefit these respective teams more than hurt. Especially in Minnesota’s case… Tubby’s quote after the game… “I don’t pay attention (to the rankings),”… “But maybe our players do.” The team needed a little grounding…

          Besides… big picture… I root for the Gopher’s. Could care less what the rest of the Big Ten does, or any other school, in any other conference, in any other sport, for that matter…

          • StvInIL says:

            Maybe, but My guess is that Coch K wants to win all the time. Bobby Knight used to want to win all the time. What did they have in common? national Championships. My respects to coach Izzo. He seems to know what he is doing. The final fours prove that.

          • mnfanstc says:

            StvInIL… You have a valid point regarding desire/will to win… Coach K and Coach Knight definitely prove(d) themselves… However, in today’s game, is highly unlikely anyone goes undefeated… If anyone has the chance, it’d be the “hated” Dukies (they look for real)… Ironic, that last to do it was Knight in Indy what seems many moons ago…

    • duffman says:

      It looks like they got pounded in the first half, and never recovered. I know they were on BC’s court, but it is never a good stat when the other team makes more free throws than you take. The teams were equal on 2 pt % and # of shots, but IU was not shooting the 3 or FT’s as well. BC is the last team in the challenge that is undefeated against the other conference. I was hoping that streak would end tonight.

      As for Duke, man I am getting tired of hearing Dicky V pimp for the Dookies. MSU is 6-11 at the FT line while Duke is 11-16, man I hate that stat! Let’s get er done Sparty!

  51. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Since its Championship Week, Forbes Magazine has performed a comparison of the SEC, Big XII, and ACC CCGs, with a little advice for the 12-Pack and the Big Ten(12).

  52. schwarm says:

    Nebraska and Oklahoma inching closer to meet beyond Big 12 title game

    Potential home and home in 2020-2021 depending on Big 10 schedule.

    • zeek says:

      Sounds like the same potential snag that may hit Iowa/Iowa State if their 5 away game conference schedules overlap…

    • Brian says:

      I wonder if they would consider a neutral site game in KC or St. Louis? That gives OU 6 home games plus 2 neutral site games each year, and NE can still get 7 home games. I’m sure they prefer home games, but if the schedules don’t line up (you’d think the conferences could plan around this) I’d hate to lose the series. Ten years without playing should build up a healthy desire from fans to see it.

      • Richard says:

        I seriously doubt a neutral site game would do it. If anything, it would make acheiving 6 home games for OU and 7 home games for UNL even harder (think of it this way: if that neutral site game was someone’s home game, the home games total would be 6&8 or 7&7, so to have the neutral site game, OU or UNL would have to switch one of their away games to a home game).

        • Brian says:

          Well, OU has a 4-4-1 split in conference. If they get two more home games, that’s 6-4-1. Plus they would have the 2 neutral site games that payout about as much as a home game.

          NE gets a 4-5 or 5-4 split (assuming the Big Ten goes to 9 games). That means they get 6-5-1 and 7-4-1 splits, with the neutral site game paying about as much as a home game.

          It’s not ideal, but it would avoid the schedule conflict. They could make even more playing at Jerryworld, but I’m not sure NE is up for that.

          • Richard says:

            Right, as opposed to 7-4-1 for OU & 7-5 or 8-4 for NU.

            Also, I would not make the assumption that neutral site games pays as much as home games. For the ones where they can jack up ticket prices, they are more worthwhile than a home-and-home, but notice that schools like Alabama & Georgia are not using their neutral site games to substitute for any home games, but to replace an away game, so they still play 7 games at home (to make enough revenue to support their athletics department).

            Notice also that Illinois wants to discontinue their neutral site game with Mizzou but would be willing to play home-and-home, because they really want 7 home games to pay the bills.

            The RRR is a special case because the schools use that game to extract extra donations from their alums (at least Texas does).

            Maybe Georgia & Florida do the same. However, unless OU and UNL plan to meet every year at the same neutral site, they won’t be able to make the same scheme work (and OU likely has no interest in putting together such a scheme since they probably already hit up their alums for tickets to the RRR).

          • @Richard – Whether neutral site games are worth it greatly depend upon the venue. There is a certain set of stadiums that is making it financially worthwhile to play neutral site games: Jerry World, Daniel Snyder’s Playhouse, the Georgia Dome, etc. Those venues are able to guarantee payouts that can convince even the wealthiest schools give up a home game. The thing for the Big Ten is that none of those stadiums that are willing to pay astronomical sums are within its footprint, so neutral site games are a whole lot less common around here (and make much less financial sense for the schools). It took a huge payout from the Redskins from halfway across the country to make it worthwhile for Indiana to move a home game – Lucas Oil Stadium would’ve never been willing to pay that much. Jerry Jones was the only one that could afford to get Michigan to play a neutral site game (which will occur in 2012 versus Alabama). As Brian noted, the Illinois-Missouri series in St. Louis was essentially revenue neutral for Illinois, so with all things being equal, the Illini would be better off just playing a home game. The Edward Jones Dome couldn’t really bump up its payout any further to make it more compelling for the Illini to give up further home games as of now.

          • Brian says:


            Yes, both teams will sacrifice a home game, getting down to 6 potentially. Of course, they get the benefit of making big money both years if they are neutral site games. Road games pay nothing.

            The IL/MO game pays each school roughly what they make for a home game. IL wants to cancel their series with MO not because of money as much as preferring more home games for fans and for the community. IL losing the game all the time might also be a factor. IL makes more at a home sellout, but less with a partial crowd. MO is looking for another neutral site opponent to play, so it can’t be that bad.

            The RRR pays enough that the schools aren’t talking about going back to campuses since the expansion. A short series between OU and NE should pay very well, and the schools should be able to extort their donors. People should be pretty excited for the game by 2020. They could make it a season opener with big fanfare.

            Why do you assume AL or GA would be playing on the road with an extra game? Given their druthers, they’d like 8 home games. The attention and money are sufficient to get them to a pseudo-neutral site (GA in Atlanta is a home game). GA/FL play at a neutral site every year with success.

          • greg says:

            I find Alabama’s recent signing of big name neutral site deals to be interesting. I bet a factor is that Saban doesn’t want to play big names on the road, you are much more likely to lose a true road game. Alabama is good enough that they can probably win just about any neutral site game. Crazy like a fox.

          • Richard says:


            Well, UNL doesn’t have to worry about their home games selling out, and I’m sure they would want to reward their season ticket holders as well. The fact that OU already plays an annual neutral site game also makes it unlikely that they’d desire another one (you can only extort your alums so much).

            As for ‘Bama, you can go with the ‘Bama model (7 home games, 4 conference games + 3 patsies, & 1 headline neutral site game or the OSU model (3 patsies + 1 headline opponent, but played home-and-home, so you have 8 home games half the time and 7 the other half).

            I can’t find the figures for OSU (though they’re out there somewhere), but Texas takes in $33M in ticket sales and another $30M in donations from alums in order to get season tickets. I believe the figures for OSU are similiar. So even with 8 home games a season, each home game brings in $8M in revenue. How much do the neutral site games pay? I believe the figure is about $2-2.5M a game for ‘Bama. Significant, but not anywhere close to what OSU could get for a home game (and even 2 of those doesn’t equal 1 home game, so it makes sense for schools like OSU to play home-and-homes). Alabama might not be able to get as much from ticket sales & season-ticket-related donations (I believe Texas and OSU lead everyone else handily in that area), but I reckon that they are still giving up a little bit from playing their one marquee OOC opponent a year at a neutral site rather than in a home-and-home series. However, it does make going undefeated easier, so no doubt Saban likes it.

          • Brian says:


            Granted, a NE home sellout seems assured (and OU too). But if they can’t work out the schedule differences, I’m merely saying that a neutral site series might be a better reward for the fans than no series at all. I’m sure both schools would prefer to play home and home.

            Saban likes the headlines as long as he can play in the south. It’s good for recruiting and avoids the dreaded true road game.

            Yes, the OSU and TX $ figures are similar. But you have to be careful when comparing revenue numbers from home games and neutral site games. They often count different things and don’t present the whole picture.

            Bama does benefit from the steady revenue stream and free publicity. They wouldn’t keep playing these games if they were losing a ton of money.

            My whole point is that while home and home is preferable, if the schedules prevent that a short neutral site series would be affordable and better than nothing.

          • Bamatab says:

            Saban likes the neutral site games for two main reasons. First is exposure of playing in a fertile recruiting ground (like Atlanta and D/FW). After Bama’s first game against Clemson in 08, we racked up in the state of GA and continue to do so. Now would we have still been able to rack up in GA if we hadn’t played that game? Possibly, but it sure didn’t hurt.

            The second reason is that it is almost like a “bowl” atmosphere which actually has a few benefits. There is usually a lot of hype since there aren’t very many top tier games during the 1st week of the season. For that reason it is a great recruiting tool. Also his players get to play what is basically and exhibition game, yet has the feel of a big time bowl game. It is a great way to give the team some real time preparation for the bowl game at the end of the year. Also since it is a big marquee game at the beginning of the season, if you win that game it gives you a lot of momentum (both from a team chemistry point and a national media prespective) to start you off for the season. This was evident in 08 when Clemson came into the season ranked in the top 10 and Bama may not even have been ranked (I can’t remember off the top of my head), yet when Bama won that game it kicked off Bama’s quick rise through the rankings all the way to #1 before we lost to Florida in the SECCG.

            There are many benefits to playing in these big game neutral site games besides money (although we do get paid pretty well for them) and not wanting to play away games.

          • m (Ag) says:

            “The thing for the Big Ten is that none of those stadiums that are willing to pay astronomical sums are within its footprint, so neutral site games are a whole lot less common around here (and make much less financial sense for the schools).”

            The new stadium in New Jersey seems like it should be the northern counterpart to the Georgia Dome.

            The New York would seem to be ideal to host 1 Big Ten/ACC game and 1 Big Ten/Big East game every year. If the Big Ten wants to increase it’s East coast exposure, it could try and create these matchups itself.

          • Richard says:

            True. PSU & Syracuse already have a game set for 2013, and Syracuse seems intent on playing there every year (also playing USC in 2012 as well as ND in 2014 & 2016).

            Rutgers already played Army there this year.

            However, unless Syracuse returns to prominence soon, no heavyweight matchups like what the Georgia Dome, FedEx, and JerryWorld have hosted/will host are planned for the Meadowlands yet.

            I wonder if PSU/Michigan/OSU are willing to play Boise there?

          • @Richard – I have a hard time seeing them play Boise in NYC, but some ACC teams could be more realistic. The old Kickoff Classic at the original Meadowlands featured Big Ten and ACC teams regularly. Penn State/OSU/Nebraska/Wisconsin vs. Miami/Boston College/VT/Maryland at the Meadowlands would create a ton of national interest. Maybe ESPN can spearhead a Big Ten/ACC “Challenge” for football with an annual Meadowlands game.

          • m (Ag) says:

            Looking around at some schedules, Georgia is playing 6 home games with 2 neutral games next year. LSU and UTexas are each playing 6 home games with 1 neutral game.

            At least some of these big neutral games are financially rewarding for the power schools.

          • @m (Ag) – To their credit, I’ve found that the power SEC and Big 12 schools don’t seem to find having at least 7 home games to be as sacrosanct as the Big Ten schools. Penn State, Ohio State and Wisconsin want to get 8 home games as much as they can, much less 7.

          • Richard says:

            Oh right, I forgot about the Cocktail Party. Still, Georgia’s only 2011 OOC away game is their mandated one against GTech and in 2012, they’ll be playing 8 home games and only 3 away games.

            LSU does play @ WVU in 2011, but in 2012, they’ll also have 8 home games.

            Texas should be commended for playing @ UCLA and then @ Ole Miss the next 2 years, though.

          • Richard says:


            Miami, UNC, or VTech (the first 2 with decent numbers of alums in the Tri-State area; VTech is close enough to travel from) against any of the Big4 (PSU & Michigan have a lot of alums close to there, OSU is close enough to travel from, and Nebraska fans travel anywhere) would be something special.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Richard – in 2011, LSU will only play 6 home games as the Tigers open the season against Oregon at Cowboys Stadium and then travel to Morgantown, to go with 4 SEC games at Tennessee, Alabama, Ole Miss & Miss State.

            In 2012, LSU may very well play 8 home games, but as of today there are only 3 games scheduled, including a return trip from UDub, as the SEC hasn’t released any conference schedules past 2011. LSU is still looking to fill out one more date.

          • Brian says:


            Well, OSU is in the middle of a home and home with Miami, and has one with VT in 2014-2015 so those match-ups are out for a while (maybe OSU-VT in NY?).

            OSU also has Cal in ’12-’13 (unlikely to go neutral), OU in ’16-’17 (unlikely to go neutral) and TN in ’18-’19. Maybe the TN series could be played at Snyder’s palace? VT would get home field advantage there, but not TN. OU presumably doesn’t want another neutral site series.

            OSU seems to like the big home and homes, but I’ve never heard of much of an offer to play a big neutral site game. I’m sure TCU would offer to play in Jerryworld (or maybe NY now that they’re Big East).

            Maybe Boise versus Big ten powers in NY? Big Ten/Big 12 would work if there was a choice other than Jerryworld (maybe KC?).

          • Richard says:

            OSU-TN is least likely to switch to a neutral site, as both schools have gigantic 100K+ stadiums.

          • Brian says:


            I totally agree that OSU/TN is almost sure to stay a home and home. The only reason I mentioned it was that Snyder clearly has more money than sense. If he really wanted those games, every school has a price. You don’t think TN would agree if they got double what AL gets from Jerryworld, just to rub it in AL’s face?

            I’ve seen no evidence that OSU wants to play neutral site games outside of the occasional one in Ohio against a MAC team (or NW).

          • Richard says:


            I got my info from, which shows North Texas, Idaho, Washington, and Tulane visiting LSU in 2012. Looks like they didn’t adjust for the cancellation of the Tulane series.

          • Bamatab says:


            Keep in mind that both Bama & Michigan both have 100K+ stadiums and they are playing in a neutral site game.

          • Brian says:


            That’s a great point about MI/AL. Of course Saban has shown a desire to play neutral site games in Dallas and Atlanta. MI may be looking for the Texas exposure for recruiting in addition to the positive national attention they haven’t gotten since they started to stink.

            I also think it is fair to say that already schedules series are unlikely to shift to neutral sites. I assume schools are more likely to schedule only 1 neutral site game unless it is local for both teams (IL/MO).

            The first realistic opportunity for OSU would be in 2020. Other Big Ten powers may be available sooner.


            I think the major Big Ten schools play more home games than SEC/Big 12 for several reasons. Big Ten athletic departments generally support more varsity teams, and until recently had a significant advantage in stadium size.

            There is also a lack of a big money option in the heart of the Big Ten. Atlanta is the heart of the SEC and overlaps the ACC making for a perfect site. Jerryworld is a natural for the Big 12 and close to the SEC West. The Big Ten can travel to NYC or DC, but there is no home spot sponsoring games.

            Since the Big Ten seems to be trying to grow eastward or south:

            Big Ten/Big 12 in KC?
            Big Ten/Big East in NYC?
            Big Ten/ACC in DC?

            If it was bigger, I’d suggest Soldier Field. There are plenty of other decent pro stadiums, but none are really in destination cities that would excite people.

            Maybe the Big Ten should be the first to host “neutral” site games on campuses, but not use the home team? The Horseshoe and the Big House would generate a ton of ticket sales, but it is hard to imagine MI at home in Columbus versus VT.

    • jj says:

      He’s a pizza man (former domino’s exec), the 2 fer 1 deal is in his blood.

    • Brian says:

      MI seems in favor but OSU is opposed. Other schools have sounded opposed too (IL and PSU, IIRC). However, it is often the AD’s talking and they don’t make these decisions. You’d think Brandon heard something to cause him to make such a statement.

      Unless it is Notre Dame, I think it will be a tough sell to the COP/C. Maybe if the academic side was an impressive addition to the CIC, it would balance the inertia of the COP/C and the difficulty of a new addition increasing revenue enough to pay for itself. That’s sort of the basis for people mentioning MD and Rutgers.

      • zeek says:

        As long as Notre Dame is out there, expansion is always open as you note.

        I think that’s all he was referencing.

        Gene Smith did say that he thought expansion discussions would reopen in 5 years with another look at Notre Dame (I think it was him at least)…

        • aps says:

          Two weeks ago on local TV, Gee said that it took 4 years to bring Penn State in and that they were going to bring Nebraska in 1 year.

          Gee also said that the Big Ten according to the commissioner and the Big Ten presidents are PRESENTLY at a pause. That in the FUTURE he could see the Big Ten expanding further. When pressed to the cap amount within the Big Ten, Gee said FOR HIM it would be 16.

          • zeek says:

            Well, when someone of Gee’s stature says that, you know it’s significant.

            I would also expect the Big Ten to be at 14 within the next decade.

            The question is whether it has to be Notre Dame to move to 14. I think it does as of now, but circumstances can and do change.

      • psuguy says:

        PSU has always been one for expansion and they have always preferred an eastern partner. The addition of Neb has done to change this IMO.

        • 84Lion says:

          I also believe that as time has passed PSU (and everyone else) has seen that the Eastern football establishment is lacking. Pitt, Syracuse, and West Virginia are not what they once were. Rutgers tried but really didn’t succeed. UConn simply is not a household name in football yet. And Louisville and Cincy are not Eastern teams.
          Heck, even the Big East is going West with TCU.
          We can talk about CIC but does Rutgers or Maryland really “raise the bar” or just maintain the status quo? Remember there are already great academic schools in the Big Ten – Michigan, Northwestern, if memory serves even Penn State has been ranked fairly well academically.
          Personally I think the Big Ten will be happy with what they’ve got for years to come. 16 teams is too unwieldy, and there are already scheduling issues with 12 teams. Gee damaged his creds with the Boise remarks (which I actually agreed with but speaking the truth is not politically popular these days) and although he may be right, I think it will take a seismic shift (e.g. – BCS confs split from NCAA) to see the Big Ten expand to 16.

          • Bullet says:

            Talking about other’s soft schedules when you have one yourself is exposing your lack of intellectual integrity. There’s nothing “truth” about it. Its opinion. And he doesn’t have many facts to back it up this year. In a different year when his ooc and B10 (and SEC) were stronger and WAC and MWC weaker, he might have a better argument.

          • psuguy says:

            Can’t argue, but I really think everyone involved in the Big Ten expansion decision knows its now or (almost) never.

            The next tv contract is up in 2015 so teams will be loathe to split (and tv will be loathe to renegotiate) once more teams come into a conference.

            What’s more, the current economic situation is actually beneficial to the Big Ten for expansion purposes. With finances a question mark schools would be open to joining a conference as stable and lucrative as the Big Ten and would be much more willing to accept whatever conditions are placed on them to get in. This will be increasingly true even for the big name schools.

            From the economic point of view the absurdly low interest rates on cash mean the abc/ESPN of the world would still be willing to overpay for even marginal increases in product the addition of a Maryland, Rutgers, etc of the world would bring. This economic state won’t be around forever.

            I really think if the Big Ten has any desire at all to go more than 12 it needs to add 2 schools by the 2014-2015 season for the reasons listed above and one other…at that point the college football world now knows the landscape has definitely changed.

            Waiting any longer means 15-20 years (5 till next contract and 10-15 for the length of the new contract) not he 10 people have been saying.

            Again, not saying 14 or 16 is definitely the right thing to do, but I am saying its “now or never” time to do it.

        • Brian says:

          I’ll trust a PSU guy to know better than I would. I’m just dimly remembering something I read months ago. Perhaps he was talking about the immediate future (2011), or perhaps it was someone else.

  53. spartakles78 says:

    TCU’s future in the Big East projected by Nate Silver (Five Thirty Eight, Baseball Prospectus). One of the comments has a long list of investement info by TCU.

    • Brian says:

      I’m not sure what value there is to his projections. As he admits in his article, that are variables that his regression analysis can’t factor in like a new increase in recruiting due to joining an AQ conference. We all know teams tend to return to the mean (for better or worse), but certainly we have seen the fates of schools change dramatically over time as population, TV and money have changed the college football world.

      Teams that used to be elite no longer are (MN, UIC, the ivies) and new powers have risen (Miami, FSU, Boise). Regression analysis wouldn’t have predicted any of this. I agree it is risky to assume that this current 10 year run by TCU will continue, but they have a decent shot being an AQ team from Texas in the weakest AQ conference.

  54. StvInIL says:

    I think the powers that be inside the conference including the new arrival, Nebraska could be quite content for now. Why? Because if the new expansion included marquee teams/schools like Texas or Notre Dame of which I have my doubts, those teams may look like challengers to the status quo as far as winning championships and prestige within the conference. The incredible upside they would bring is a definite increase of negotiable money to the conference. Now if its say Rutgers and Maryland, well there is not much of a threat to the status quo. The plus both of those schools bring is they will not hurt and will help the conference academically. Not many schools can do that. The big drawback though for those two is that they do not bring the same cache athletically. So the negotiable money that the conference could get may be far less. This could mean a drop in payout for all teams.

  55. m (Ag) says:

    Cost of competing with the big boys: Kentucky proposing $150 million in renovations to its stadium. Club seating and more luxury boxes being some of the additions.

    • duffman says:


      back in the spring I told you UK would up their seating to where they would be one of the largest stadiums in the Big 10! Looks like it is moving off the drawing boards, an into reality! My understanding is it would finish out somewhere between 80K – 90K seating when done. The rumor of a 48K new basketball arena has been rumored as well for the past few years.

      • jj says:

        i conutinue to beleive that KY and TN as a package would bring more dough than Rut & Maryland. they are not academically as good, but they’re a solid pair with far superior athletics and facilities.

        • M says:

          If we follow the pattern of additions, I definitely agree with you. The last two additions (PSU and Nebraska) were sure wins on the athletic side with strong attendance/support and the dominant force in their state. Academically, they both were a little marginal at the time but were their state’s primary public school (to its credit, PSU has improved by leaps and bounds since then).

          To me adding Kentucky and Tennessee fits that mold exactly.

          Of course, the feasibility is a little questionable, but the same complaint would have been said about Nebraska 10 years ago.

          • Vincent says:

            If Kentucky and Tennessee had the research potential that Rutgers (NJ/NY) and Maryland (DC/Balt) have, and their academics were equal, they probably would get the nod. It’s that corporate/federal government research funding potential — not to mention large-market East Coast TV eyeballs — that makes Rutgers and Maryland the Big Ten’s best choices among colleges not named Notre Dame or Texas.

          • jj says:

            i agree about the research issues and what not, but i just don’t see the east coast eyeball argument. it sure seems that no one gives much of a crap about MD or Rut football. my gut tells me that KY & TN get more eyeballs and would sell more tickets in places like MN, IN, NW, Etc, than MD or Rut would. Getting them out of the SEC is likely impossible anyway.

          • Brian says:


            I think the point is the eyeballs of fans of MI/OSU/NE/etc in NYC and DC. The local team adds some local flavor that will also draw people. There are a lot of Big Ten fans and/or alumni on the east coast.

            It’s not like people outside of the south care about KY or even TN particularly.

  56. loki_the_bubba says:

    Updates from the lower end:

    Utah State in a second round of talks with the MWC

    Rumors of D1AA powers working with ECU on a new D1A league:

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      Sorry, old article on USU.

    • Richard says:

      I’d have to say, ECU, which has aspirations of joining the BE and I think the highest attendance in CUSA, casting their fate with that lot is a highly unrealistic probability.

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        Finally heard a rational guess on that rumor. Supposedly the Big East might/could/maybe/should/has/will invite ECU as a football-only member. The proposed conference would be where they park their other sports.

        Probably won’t happen, but you never know.

  57. zeek says:,0,4754403.story

    I find this to be interesting. I know that this was being discussed earlier, but it’s still on the table.

    Losing TCU may be the impetus that helps move this forward…

    • Brian says:

      I don’t think they’ll get an AQ slot, but acting as separate “divisions” of a superconference could work. Get each league to 9 teams and play a round robin league schedule, plus 4 money grabs. The two winners play a championship game on CCG Saturday. This would give the top non-AQ another solid win to build its resume (assuming the top one is in one of the two conferences). Other than Boise, though, there aren’t many teams left that garner any national respect. Would you guarantee the winner of Nevada/UCF a BCS bid? Why wouldn’t NIU deserve equal consideration to UCF?

      Since the non-AQ’s love fairness so much, I think they should all become one megaconference. Get into 6 “divisions” of 9 (one will have 10) teams and play round robin schedules. Use computer standings (or something similar) to pick the two to play for the title. This would require tweaking the NCAA rules (right now you have to have 2 divisions and play a round robin, limiting a conference to 26 teams at most). I’d think they could push this through. The BCS would make the megaconference an AQ just to quiet the complaining, eliminating the concept of non-AQ’s. That gives every school a legitimate chance to go to the BCS on their own merits.

      If not, form 3 superconferences with two 9 team divisions and have three conference championship games. It still gets the top non-AQ’s one more quality opponent, but it’s not as good as one megaconference.

      • Adam says:

        I don’t think you’re going to see the rules get “tweaked” like that. I think you’d see the NCAA go to a 13-game season before they “tweaked” the rules to allow for a convoluted non-AQ multi-round quasi-conference playoff.

        I say that because I think a 13-game season changes everything. At 13 games, 14- and 16-team conferences become a realistic possibility in a way that I think is little more than a pipe dream now.

        • jcfreder says:

          I have to think 13-games will happen at some point. There’s too much money on the table, and don’t we already get 13 games if the calendar falls a certain way?

          • Richard says:

            No. We got 12 games when the calendar fell a certain way back when 11 games was the regular limit, but that was just to give 12-game schedules a trial run.

          • Adam says:

            No; it used to be the rule was that you played 11 when the season was 14 weeks long and got 12 when the season was 15 weeks long, but after the 2 consecutive years of 15-week/12-game seasons in the early ’00s, the schools clamored for a 12-every-year rule.

            The advantage of 13, it seems to me, is you can play 10 league games and still have 3 non-conference games. Ten league games makes a 14-team conference very easy to do, and a 16-team conference is manageable.

        • Brian says:


          Very little of what we discuss here is likely. What would be the fun in that?
          Going to a 53 team “conference” with 6 divisions is ludicrous. But it would give all the non-AQ’s a fair shot at the BCS.

          I’m only calling for 1 CCG, by the way. The other 4 division winners would be done with their seasons.

          I think a longer season is highly unlikely in the near future. You can’t really extend the season based on all their previous arguments, so you’d have to eliminate a bye week. I don’t think the presidents are up for going quite that professional yet.

          • Adam says:

            Perhaps, although a precedent has been set: Navy and Army are going to be playing the week after everybody else is done. Why they get to play by special rules, I don’t know — but if two of the “we still do things the right way” schools can play that week, perhaps in 5-10 years’ time that makes everybody else feel OK about playing then, too.

          • Brian says:


            Well, the academies also don’t have the 85 scholarship restriction and I don’t see that sliding down to the rest of FBS either.

          • Adam says:

            Suffice it to say that I don’t think the two examples are comparable. One has to do with the sui generis “business model” of the service academies vis-a-vis the rest of FBS. The other has nothing to do with that and only implicates the same academic integrity issues (the whole “players having to get ready for/play in a game during Finals week” issue) faced by all schools.

          • Brian says:


            Academic calendars matter for this. Adding a game in December is hard when some schools are on quarters and others on semesters.
            Quarter schools have finals a week earlier, usually.

            For example, OSU has finals next week while the academies have them the week after their game. If you extend the season that late, everyone on quarters will have to extend their seasons past the end of the term. Mid to late December is a tough time to get 30,000 alumni to come to a football game because the students are gone.

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            Who besides tOSU is on quarters? I know they’re moving to semesters. I thought the quarter system was just about dead now.

          • Richard says:

            Northwestern is most definitely on the quarter system. I didn’t like it as a student. Of course, it’s also kept at the U of Chicago (where it first was started, over a century ago).

            Evidently, some Pac10/12 schools are on the quarter system as well as most schools in Ohio.

          • Adam says:

            But the NCAA could still make a rule allowing schools to play that late. Those schools on the quarter system would do what’s right for them, and those on the semester system would do what’s right for them. My point is still that allowing the 2 service academies alone to play another week later is odd and may be a precursor to allowing everybody to play that week, because the reasons behind it are not tied to anything intrinsic to the service academies (since obviously other schools besides them are capable of using their academic calendar).

          • Richard says:

            However, that week would be championship week, which would impact schools on both types of systems, unless you’re suggesting that schools schedule some non-conf games for the second week of December.

          • Adam says:

            Sure, they could play non-conf then. My point is only that by extending the year another week (which 2 schools are going to do anyway) that lets you get to 13 pretty painlessly, and 13 presents a good balance: 10 league games allow for further conference expansion, but keeping 3 non-conference games allows everybody to keep the home gates they need to stay afloat financially. I guess I don’t consider it all that credible that teams will have trouble selling tickets that weekend.

          • Richard says:

            Presidents are very conservative, and I think some of them truly do care about the physical well being of the student-athletes, so we’ll see a 13th game only when finances start getting tighter again.

          • Bullet says:

            It won’t even be discussed until finances get tight or the demand for a playoff gets stronger.

          • Brian says:


            A lot of schools are still on quarters. Almost 20% according to Wikipedia, with over 60% on semesters. The Georgia system has moved to semesters and Ohio is moving, but the Cal system is still on quarters.

            I liked quarters for the diversity of classes and brevity of time I was stuck with a bad prof or a boring class.


            Yes, it is silly that the two academies play a week later than everyone else. I think the point was that their game was being swamped by the CCG weekend. I actually don’t see the exemption in the rules that allows for it, but whatever.

            I doubt they would extend the season, though. Too many schools would complain about infringing on finals and the end of the term.

            If they want an extra week, starting earlier seems like the easier option. Of course then they become a 2-term sport which they also don’t want.

            It is hard to get 100,000 people to a game before school starts (no students) and the weather is warm. Getting them all to travel and spend money between Thanksgiving and Christmas to sit in the cold is unlikely. Not to mention a lot of northern schools don’t want to play in mid-December and deal with the parking and roads and plowing and de-icing stadiums. It is a serious safety issue.

            Yes, I suppose they could not use the extra week, but then why would they support it? I think you sometimes forget that the schools don’t exist for the purpose of having football teams. It really is secondary to the presidents. I think many would vote to drop football before adding another week.

          • Adam says:

            I am certainly aware that the Presidents are conservative — I guess my feeling is that by going to an extra week, there’s no guarantee that everybody would use it/play that week. Some would, some wouldn’t. If Nebraska wasn’t coming on board, the Big Ten would continue sitting out the last week (or 2) of the season for ideological reasons. I would anticipate that week having a lighter/reduced schedule, consisting mostly of schools for whom playing that week worked well with their academic calendar.

          • Brian says:


            As Richard pointed out earlier, the last week by definition will be championship week. No conference members in 12 member conferences can schedule regular games that week, but all schools have to be able to play. I think the presidents would look at that as unacceptable.

            It will be years before the argument about increased revenue can be raised, and even then I think starting earlier is the only solution the presidents might consider. How many schools will look forward to games in August? I think 12 games in 13 or 14 weeks is about the limit the presidents will accept.

          • Adam says:

            Why would that necessarily have to be championship week? Your league could have championship week be the week prior, and have that last weekend of the regular season be for schools which found it calendrically acceptable to put a non-conference game there.

          • Brian says:


            So teams should schedule a bye week (in case of CCG) and then an OOC game to finish the year? Why would they want to do that?
            You come off the biggest game of the year and then play some non-AQ team or you finish with a bye and some non-AQ? No coach or AD would want that. It might be OK for two average teams (no CCG worries) with an OOC rivalry, but nobody else would support it.

            People aren’t going to jump through this many hoops just for an extra game that the presidents don’t want. They’ll start earlier before they’ll do this.

          • Adam says:


            Is what you describe all that different than what could have happened to Illinois this year? If they had gone 8-0 in league play, they’d have had a non-conference game coming off of that. Granted, not the immediately following week, but still — a weird way to end the season for many of the same reasons.

          • @Adam – If there’s one thing I’m happy about with Big Ten expansion, it’s that it takes the scheduling for the last couple of weeks of the season out of the hands of Ron Guenther so that Illinois NEVER EVER AGAIN plays a Fresno State-type team after the conference slate is completed. I’ve been complaining about the IL-Fresno series for about 3 straight years and it turned out to be for good reason.

          • Adam says:

            I assumed they did it because they needed to — someone had to draw the short straw and be idle that last week of Big Ten play, and it was Illinois. They didn’t want to play 12 games in 12 weeks, so they took off Week 4 and made up for it in Week 14.

            It’s not perfect, but if it facilitated a 13-game schedule and, by extension, facilitated a 14-team league, would it be worth it?

          • @Adam – Illinois has actually requested to either be idle or play road games on Thanksgiving weekend because the school hosts the Illinois High School football championships during that time. This is a fairly large money-maker for the region and the football program heavily supports it since it’s effectively an extra on-campus recruiting trip for many of the state’s top players. If you look at the future Big Ten schedules that have been released, you’ll see that Illinois is always playing on the road on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

          • Adam says:

            If considerations like that make it worth it for Illinois to jump through scheduling hoops, then I would think if the right expansion opportunity were available, going to a 13-game schedule and putting up with some potential last-week quirkiness (if the academic calendar concerns can’t be ironed out to everyone’s satisfaction) would also be worth it.

          • Richard says:


            Adding a 13th game doesn’t solve Illinois’s problems, even if you add an extra week.

            In any case, I find it…peculiar that you get overdramatic about stuff that’s relatively unimportant (the BigTen expanding outside its traditional Midwestern footprint) yet are so blithe about stuff that affects actual human beings (the extra number of injuries that an extra week of football would bring.

          • Adam says:

            I don’t mean to be advocating going to 13 games. I would rather we still just played 11, because then the Big Ten wouldn’t need to be playing on Thanksgiving weekend. If they found a way to do 13 games, that makes further expansion far more plausible, and I would not be all that keen on that, either.

          • Brian says:


            No offense to Illinois, but they fit my definition of a mediocre team with no CCG aspirations (this year). Do you seriously expect OSU/MI/NE/PSU to schedule the same way as IL?

          • Adam says:

            No, I don’t — but if the mediocre teams with no CCG aspirations can be bumped into that extra week, that facilitates further expansion while trying to accommodate issues with the academic calendar (which, at any rate, doesn’t appear to be a serious obstacle in the lower divisions).

      • Richard says:

        They’re not kicking anybody out, so if the MWC and CUSA merged, one school from CUSA would move over to the MWC to form 2 11-school divisions.

        I think that these mid-tier schools actually would like more conference games; they don’t really need to schedule a bunch of bodybag games to meet their athletic budget (like the MAC, WAC, and Sun Belt), and top BCS programs generally aren’t too willing to come play at their place.

        The big problem with this plan is that CUSA in recent years has clearly lagged the MWC, so what incentive does the MWC have to combine? Maybe if a few CUSA schools prove they can consistently crack the top 25 and challenge for the non-AQ BCS spot, this plan will come to fruition.

        • loki_the_bubba says:

          CUSA did lag the MWC. But that changes dramatically with the MWC losing their top three teams (BYU, Utah, TCU). Adding Boise helps, but the gap is pretty much gone. CUSA, amazingly, seems like a much more stable conference.

          • Richard says:

            Heh. Their top teams aren’t good enough to be desired by others. It’s why the MAC is pretty stable as well.

        • Brian says:

          I’m not sure they all want to go to 10 conference games, though, and they would have to play a full round robin under the current rules. I think they might need some of that OOC money.

          As for CUSA versus MWC, it still would provide another challenging game to boost a team’s resume late in the year (like Nevada for Boise, if they’d won). If it makes money and increases the chances of getting a BCS bowl and even more money, why would they say no?

          • Richard says:

            Yeah, maybe they’d do it for that reason.

            As for the money, again, this isn’t the MAC, WAC, or Sun Belt that we’re talking about; they’d do fine enough if they get 6 home games.

            Air Force may have a problem, since they have to play Army & Navy every year, but with the extra Hawaii game, they’d get the opportunity to play at least some OOC opponent outside their regular lineup.

          • Brian says:


            Even within the MWC and CUSA their is a lot of institutional support to pay for athletics. Having to trade an OOC game with an AQ for a conference game could hurt.

            Take a top CUSA team like ECU. They generally play 4 local AQ teams each year, 2 at home and 2 on the road. They’ll probably do fine since they get good attendance at home for conference games. But most of their conference gets 30,000 or less. The less popular schools will struggle with out AQ paydays.

    • M says:

      Every time a merger is suggested, it seems like it ends up being a raid. The SWC discussed merging with the Big 8, the Pac-10 discussed merging (or a “television alliance”) with the Big 12, and the WAC discussed merging with the SWC remnants (that one actually happened, but split 2 years later).

      I wouldn’t be surprised if “merger” turned into “we’ll just take Houston and UTEP”.

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        This brings up a question I thought about yesterday. The people on the CUSA boards claim that they have better bowls, better TV deals, better markets, etc, etc, than the MWC. The MWC boards of course claim the opposite. What is the perception of outside observers like the people here? Why assume the MWC is in a position to take any CUSA teams? With the stripping of the MWC wouldn’t it be just as like that CUSA could raid MWC?

        • @loki_the_bubba – The C-USA TV deals might be marginally better, but as I noted above, the national perception is that the MWC is the best of the non-AQ conferences by a fairly wide margin. As a result, the MWC is in the best position to take the “non-AQ automatically-qualifying” (that looks weird in print) BCS bowl slot for the foreseeable future, and that’s going to be its advantage over C-USA. Boise State seemingly has reached the football equivalent of Gonzaga status, where the voters look at it as a major team that happens to be playing in a mid-major conference. Look at this week’s polls – did you ever think you’d see both the AP and Coaches still put a 1-loss non-AQ team in the top 10? That gives the MWC a lot of credibility going forward.

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            The MWC was perceived to be better because of teams that are no longer there. Below Boise, I see no difference between Nevada and UCF or AFA and ECU, Fresno and Houston. If Boise starts to lose games, the conferences look equivalent to me.

          • @loki_the_bubba – That’s true, although I do think Boise has at least a few years of built-up goodwill with the voters. I’d agree with your other comment that the incentive for Houston and other Texas-based C-USA schools to move to the MWC is pretty low now.

        • M says:

          My gut reaction is that if any raid went on, it would be the MWC taking CUSA teams. I think that the MWC has more name recognition from all of the BCS teams (even if all but Hawaii and Boise State will be gone). It seems like with these schools as well as a nice collection of larger state schools, they should have better tv/attendance revenue as well.

          They also have more space if 12 members is the goal. CUSA would have to go to 14/16 (messy, and splits revenue to widely potentially) or kick someone out (very messy). The MWC has 3 spots just sitting there.

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            The conversations about the MWC raiding CUSA seem to focus around three teams: UTEP, SMU, and Hoston.

            UTEP’s president has stated that they greatly prefer to be in a conference with the other Texas teams. They’ve been with the MWC before when it was the WAC. Other than increasingly irrelevant geography, I see no motivation for them to leave.

            I’ve heard several times over the years that SMU, Tulsa, Tulane, and Rice have some sort of gentleman’s agreement as peer institutions to stick together, barring an invite to an AQ conference. No idea if it is true or how strong the bond is.

            Houston would be a big outlier in the MWC (weak geography argument) and their supporters believe they are in the conversation for the next round of Big East expansion. Not sure they want to go to the MWC if they have a chance at the BE.

        • Brian says:

          I’d say CUSA has better bowl matchups, but frankly all the non-AQ bowl bids stink. Being tied to an 7th place AQ team is so hit or miss. MWC has been much better at the top lately, but that will get better now. Still, the MWC elite (Boise, mostly) will probably top the CUSA elite for a while.

          As far as taking teams from one another, that seems more about numbers, geography and potential TV deals than actual prestige. Now that TCU is gone, the other Texas schools have much less reason to consider switching to the MWC. The MWC has openings, CUSA doesn’t. It’s hard to believe going past 12 would be beneficial for these conferences.

          The WAC might come calling, but it’s hard to believe anyone outside of the Sunbelt might answer (and it might be LT going the other way).

        • Bullet says:

          No contest. CUSA is better in every way except football strength. Bowls will always be better because there are more potential bowls and more potential opponents than in the west. And they have the same opportunity to get AQ status as the MWC-3+4, which is very close to zero.

          The gap in football strength between the future MWC and CUSA is a lot less than the gaps between the Big 6 and new MWC and between CUSA and the SB, MAC, new WAC. If you do grades by the gap system, CUSA gets the same score as MWC.

        • m (Ag) says:

          The top of the current MWC and WAC definitely has a better reputation than Conference USA.

          However, their may be some circular reasoning. Because of geography, the 2 western conferences get mostly Pac 10 matchups for their big non-conference games. When they beat the Pac 10 teams, they get good ratings and the Pac 12 gets to say they schedule tough. Conference USA has a lot of games against the SEC/Big 12/ACC, and don’t do nearly as well.

          If you think the Pac 10 isn’t quite as good as advertised, you can make an argument that Conference USA is on par with the Western non-AQs.

          With the Pac 10 getting more money and increased competition with expansion, you may see the MWC results drop in the next few years.

          • Brian says:

            You mean you don’t like the same logic that says either SEC teams are great because they beat SEC teams, or the SEC is great because the teams beat each other? Many of their teams are or have been great, but that isn’t how you show it.

            With the loss of BYU, Utah and TCU and the influx of WAC teams, the MWC probably will lose more often to the Pac-12. They’ll also probably play them more often with the WAC slowly disappearing.

            That said, I think TCU, Utah and Boise have been consistently better than the top of CUSA. On occasion an ECU or Houston would be competitive, but not year in and year out. I think the biggest difference I see is the lack of defense from the CUSA teams. I think defense is really what put TCU, Utah and Boise on the map.

            Any reason they can’t set up a MWC/CUSA Showdown in September every year to find out who is better? Yes only 9 CUSA teams could play (as of now), but the other 3 could play WAC teams or western independents. It would have a nice east/west flavor, and might drum up some interest in games people wouldn’t normally care about.

          • Richard says:

            Actually, I don’t think the collection of Boise/Nevada/Fresno is much worse than TCU/Utah/BYU if at all, at least on the football field, and Hawaii probably will be mid-tier in both the old and new MWC as well, so I don’t think the MWC is more likely to lose OOC games despite the big changes. The weakness with the WAC wasn’t the top but the bottom.

          • Brian says:


            On the field, I’d equate Boise and TCU as elite teams from those leagues that would rarely lose. I’d also compare BYU and Fresno as solid teams but not great ones. However, I think Utah has outshone Nevada significantly over the years. This year is an anomaly for NV, and the loss of Kaepernick and Taua will be a big one.

            In perception, I think losing two teams to AQ conferences and getting two WAC teams to replace them hurts. I also believe Utah and BYU have much better reputations nationally than Fresno and Nevada. Fresno’s big claim to fame is almost beating USC.

            I would expect the Pac-12 to win a little more often against the new version of the MWC. Boise is the one really tough team, but the rest of the MWC is beatable for most of the Pac-12. With fewer quality teams left in the MWC/WAC, the Pac-12 will be more familiar with the teams and win more often in my opinion.

          • Richard says:

            Again, on the field, you concede that the strength of the teams joining the MWC and leaving the MWC are almost the same (Nevada discussion below*), so I don’t see why the Pac12 would lose less to the new MWC, other than not having to face Utah OOC any more. I don’t think they’ll face the new MWC any more often than the old MWC either, and am not sure why they would have more success even if they did.

            * I can see where you’re coming from on Utah vs. Nevada, but I really respect Chris Ault as a coach (seems like he’s a HoF coach for a good reason), so I think Nevada will outperform their past and achieve at a high level so long as Ault keeps coaching there.

          • Brian says:


            Yes, on the field I don’t think the MWC lost all that much. They lost a ton by perception, though. Fresno used to be respected, but I think their reputation has slipped the last few years.

            The reasons I say the Pac will lose less often:

            1. Utah, BYU and TCU are out, Boise, Fresno and Nevada are in

            2. Wins against AQs by non-AQs (1998-2010): Utah 21 (#1), TCU 19 (#3), BYU 15, Fresno 16, Boise 8, Nevada 3, Hawaii 9

            3. Record against Pac-10 since 1998: BYU 10-9, Utah 9-8, TCU 5-1, Fresno 6-10, Boise 5-7, Nevada 2-8, Hawaii 5-7

            4. The Pac is growing to 12

            5. With a smaller WAC that is more Texas based, the Pac-12 will almost have to play the MWC more to fill their OOC slots. WAC teams they played regularly are now MWC teams.

            6. The most successful MWC teams against the Pac-10 are gone, leaving teams that are easier to beat.

            7. Losses to Utah can be replaced by wins by Utah.

            It’s great to see Ault have success again at Nevada. But he’s 64 and has already retired from coaching Nevada twice. I don’t see him staying like JoePa. They’re graduating two of their best players ever, and it is unlikely that the backups will make that offense run quite as well (see Florida and Texas).

            Nevada has won the WAC twice in 7 seasons under Ault, so I would expect similar success in the near future (win every 4 years or so). But Utah was literally a Pac-10 team in the MWC, and Nevada is not. Once Ault retires, they will probably slide back (the next coach probably isn’t better than a HoF coach).

      • @M – That’s very true. In addition to the instances that you listed, the BE had discussions with the ACC in the 1990s about an alliance, and we all know what happened after that. If anything, these “alliance meetings” give the conference in the stronger position direct contact with the best schools from the other conference and a look into their financials. This gives the stronger conference a lot of valuable information to use in order to go into “raid mode”.

        Barring an MWC plan to actually poach schools from C-USA, I have a hard time understanding why the MWC would be doing this deal. Combining 2 non-AQ conferences together doesn’t automatically create an AQ conference. It’s not as if though C-USA is teeming with schools that are AQ-level material, so the top-to-bottom conference strength factor that the MWC has always struggled with would actually get worse with a merger. The MWC is in an interesting position – it’s going to be worse off on an absolute basis because the losses of Utah, BYU and TCU completely tank that conference’s prospects for AQ status (which was always iffy anyway). However, by effectively killing off the WAC, the MWC is stronger on a relative basis compared to its non-AQ competition – there is no doubt in the minds of anyone now that the MWC is the best of the non-AQ leagues (even if it doesn’t deserve an AQ bid). Any non-AQ schools making it to BCS bowls from this point forward are more likely than not going to come from the MWC. So, why would the MWC give C-USA a helping hand and allow them to be looked at as equals?

        • Bullet says:

          The deal only happens IMO if the Big 6 agree to give the 2 a single guaranteed slot (more likely than MWC getting one on its own, but still not probable) or if ESPN pays them more to do it (again possible, but not probable).

          So they help the CUSA be viewed as their equal so combined they can be viewed as a near equal to the Big 6.

          • Richard says:

            I think the 6 BCS conferences guaranteeing the MWC-CUSA winner a slot may be probable, as it essentially just replaces the non-AQ slot that teams like Boise are picking up every year anyway.

          • @Richard – I still have a hard time seeing the AQ conferences giving a slot to the MWC/C-USA league/alliance unless it completely replaces the current non-AQ auto-qualifying provision (which might be hard to do now that the cat’s out of the bag, so to speak). However, I could see the BCS agreeing to always giving the highest-ranked non-AQ school an automatic bid no matter what (even if it finishes outside of the top 12). The BCS wouldn’t be giving much up in practicality (as that slot is now being filled nearly every year anyway) but it helps out politically to counter the complaints about teams from the Big East or ACC getting auto-bids despite being ranked very low.

          • Bullet says:

            I agree with Frank. I only see it being likely as part of an effort to squeeze out the other 3 conferences. They might try to seriously enforce the 15k rule. They might further increase the sports requirements for FBS to financially drive the schools out.

            More likely is that they don’t increase the AQ club. They try to keep MWC and CUSA down with the other 3.

          • Richard says:

            Politically, it’d be smarter to split the MWC & CUSA from the bottom three. Co-opt them in to the system, and they would support whatever the power conferences want. The chances of the peasants rising out would be pretty much zero. Push them down with the bottom 3, and they have a bloc that is close to a majority of the FBS schools; they’d just need some division amongst the power conferences to push through something like a playoff.

  58. Adam says:

    Off-topic, but the people here tend to know things: does anybody know what the selection order is for the Big Ten bowls this year? I’m zeroing in on the Gator and Insight. Most sources list them as “Big Ten #4/5.” In years past, that has been a situation where the bowls alternated; I get the 4th pick this year, you get it next year. So my question is: who has the 4th and who has the 5th this year?

    • greg says:

      Gator picks above Insight this year. Unfortunately, the Hawk fans are well aware of the crappy bowl selection order…

      • Adam says:

        Do you have a source for this? I just can’t find a definite statement of it anywhere.

      • Adam says:

        Incidentally, I don’t understand why Iowa would be going anywhere other than the Outback Bowl in Tampa. In games against the co-champions, Iowa is +27 on the scoreboard.

        • Brian says:

          Because Iowa has been there a lot lately (2003, 2005, 2008) and is on a losing streak? Fans may not be up for another Tampa trip following a disappointing season.

          • greg says:

            Brian’s got it. We’ve been there a lot recently, although all the Iowa fans that I know that typically attend bowl games want us to end up in the Outback. People really like Tampa, the facilities, the area. The Insight is also a preferred destination, as people want to go to Arizona after going to FLA so many times. Folks are also prejudiced against the Gator Bowl after being part of the coldest ever in 1983.

            If I was a bowl organizer, I’d always pick a team that overachieves rather than underachieves.

          • Adam says:

            I don’t understand this notion of a bowl game as a vacation destination. As far as I’m concerned, a school and its fans should want to go to the best bowl game. No exceptions. If that means you play in the Arctic Bowl for 15 consecutive years in Alaska, so be it.

          • greg says:

            Well, some people actually attend the bowls and would like to have an enjoyable trip. If you only participate in bowl games via ESPN, then I can see why you don’t care about location.

          • Richard says:

            I think PSU’s going to the Outback; they’re the only 7-5 BigTen team that did well late in the season, and as an East Coast team, they probably have more alums down in Florida already than anybody else.

            I see the Gator shocking people and picking the Fighting Zooks against his old team (they wouldn’t need traveling fans since Florida and local interest in seeing Zook vs. his old team would fill up the stadium).

            The Insight is a tough one to call. Iowa travels well; Michigan has a lot of fans; both already have good numbers in Arizona. If Nebraska falls to the Insight, we’d get an interesting matchup, regardless.

            The one that isn’t picked above goes to Houston to play Baylor.

            NU vs. TTech in Dallas.

          • Adam says:

            I am saying that people who travel to the game should be calling for what’s in the best interests of the program first and their vacation goals second. Even if you’re going to the game in person, that shouldn’t affect what you think is in the best interests of the program, and the program is what matters.

            Richard’s speculation reminds me of something: what if Illinois loses tomorrow? The general rule is that 6-6 teams go to the “back of the line,” and can only go to bowl games once the supply of 7-5 or better teams is exhausted. However, the Big Ten will have 8, and only 8, bowl-eligible teams regardless of whether Illinois wins or loses, so does that change things? Could Illinois be selected ahead of a 7-5 team in that situation (since we know that no 7-5 or better Big Ten team is going to miss out)?

          • duffman says:


            that was the old days! now the corporate folks get to go and get the best seats. next comes the business folks in the sponsoring city. then come the schools big donors. then the few seats left go to the actual fans.

          • Brian says:


            I’m pretty sure it would be better for the economy if everyone stayed in the US on vacation, and yet somehow people selfishly go to warm place like Mexico and Costa Rica on winter vacations.

            If you’re spending $2000 on a vacation, you probably care about more than just your football team. Besides, a lot of the bowls are fairly interchangeable, especially with a slew of 7-5 teams.

            Otherwise, everyone should skip all their vacations and donate to their athletic department for the good of the team.

          • Richard says:

            Oh right; that was with the assumption that the Illini would beat Fresno. A 6-6 Illinois team would look a lot less attractive to the Gator. In that case, I think they take Michigan (Michigan vs. Florida will still draw butts and eyeballs, even if both are down) & the Insight takes Iowa. In that case, I’m not sure the Texas Bowl takes Illinois over NU either, since NU has a decent number of alums in Texas (as shown by the Rice game, when Wildcats fans outnumbered Owl fans in their own stadium).
            The Texas Bowl could very well pick NU over Illinois (no chance they choose NU over Iowa/Michigan), so winning or losing the Fresno game could mean the difference between going to the Gator vs. going to the TicketCity Bowl for the Illini.

          • loki_the_bubba says:


            I heard an interview yesterday with the director of the Texas Bowl. They were pushing Illinois hard and wishing for Michigan (Robinson vs Baylor’s Griffin would be compelling). There was no mention of Northwestern. I think the fact that they were in town two months ago will work against them. Baylor v Illinois is the safe bet here.

          • Brian says:


            As long as there are enough Big Ten-tied bowls available for all remaining 7-5 teams, yes a bowl can take a 6-6 team over them.

            All 7-5 teams must be taken for at large bowl berths before a 6-6 team can be chosen.

          • Richard says:


            Actually, they got rid of that at-large rule (to the consternation of the MAC).

          • Brian says:


            Yes, I just saw that they changed that for this year. I usually don’t pay much attention to the lesser bowls and their selection process, so the rule change slipped past me.

            I think that old rule was the source of Adam’s confusion, however.

            I know the smaller conferences don’t like it, but with the addition of more bowls it seems reasonable. A 6-6 AQ team is generally better than a 7-5 MAC/Sunbelt/WAC team. There may be only one team left out this year, WMU at 6-6 and the 6th bowl eligible MAC team.

            As long as all the non-AQ 7-5 teams get bowl spots, I can’t get upset about it. The AQ schools sell more tickets and draw more eyeballs.

        • Bullet says:

          From a magazine:
          Orlando #2
          Outback #3
          Gator 4/5
          Insight 4/5
          Texas #6
          Dallas/Armed Forces #7
          Motor City #8

          • Richard says:

            #7 isn’t the Armed Forces Bowl, but the new one that’s going to be held in the Cotton Bowl; the terribly named TicketCity Bowl, where my Wildcats are likely heading.

          • duffman says:


            the irony of a scalper sponsoring a bowl

            let’s hope purple carries the day but get out quick after the win. I hear the red raiders are not always nice (especially if they lose).

        • Richard says:

          Adam, outside of bowl games that determine national titles (there’s only 1 these days), it’s hard to say that a bowl game matters enough to be anything more than a vacation (for the fans, at any rate).

          • Adam says:

            I disagree. Games on New Year’s Day matter in a way that earlier ones don’t. The prestige of a bowl matters. It contributes to a general perception of programmatic success.

            Ideally, wouldn’t we all like to go to the Rose Bowl every year? Would anybody say it’s boring to go back to Pasadena year after year? I think not. I see no reason not to apply that same logic to Orlando for the Capital One (if it’s on the table), and then to Tampa for the Outback (if it’s on the table), and so forth.

          • @Adam – Whether you’re a playoff proponent or not, I think everyone that has ever attended a Rose Bowl in person will at least understand why the Big Ten and Pac-10 hold onto that tie-in so dearly. Trips to Pasadena never get old.

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            I find that the concept of a “New Years Day” bowl is gone forever. When there were only four bowls that day, and it ended the season, there was prestige. Now that the games go on for another week, and the ‘Joe’s Auto Parts Bowl’ is on New Years Day, it’s just another day.

          • @loki_the_bubba – The TicketCity Bowl is a lower-tier bowl that happens to be played on New Year’s Day. The other games, however, are pretty much considered to be the best of the non-BCS bowls (other than the Cotton Bowl), so I still think that there’s some prestige associated with them. That being said, if I were the National Sports Czar, I’d force the Capital One Bowl to reintegrate the Citrus Bowl name.

          • duffman says:


            sad, but I feel the same way, and the bowls were all organic matter


            they were PC before PC was trendy

          • Richard says:


            OK, let me amend that to “outside the national title game and the Rose Bowl”.

          • Adam says:

            I think that the Capital One bowl is at least arguably the best non-BCS game out there (although it’s a close call between them and the Cotton Bowl). And I think the Outback Bowl is the clear next choice after that. I can understand some hedging as between the Gator and Insight Bowls, but at least as a pair they are clearly ahead of the Texas Bowl, and I tend to think the Texas Bowl is clearly ahead of the TicketCity game (if only because of the horribly lame name, notwithstanding that it’s on 1/1). I would rather play in a better bowl game regardless of how many times I’ve played in that game in the past, and I see no reason to set aside the NCG or Rose Bowl as special but lump everything else in together. Capital One is always better than Outback. Outback is always better than the rest. Etc.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Frank – before the bowl game in Orlando was the Florida Citrus Bowl, it was originally known as the Tangerine Bowl

            Speaking of the Bowl in Orlando, that bowl is a perfect example of how the vacation and the trip is more important than the game. If anyone else on this board has been to the CapOne/ChampsSports/FloridaCitrus/Tangerine Bowl, please chime in about the condition of Citrus Bowl Stadium.

            The best non-BCS bowl is played in a glorified High School stadium, but Orlando is a vacation destination. On New Years Eve last year, people were turned away from the Magic Kingdom because the Fire Marshall would not allow in any more people. I’m thankful that my plans did not include Disney that day. I was at Universal with a skip line pass.

          • @Alan from Baton Rouge – Ah, good to point that out about the Tangerine/Citrus naming history. That completely slipped my mind. You’re completely right about Orlando’s stadium – it’s a dump and that’s being kind. I recall one of ESPN’s writers noting that the Capital One Bowl had the best overall bowl week experience for fans UNTIL you actually have to walk into the stadium. I’ve been to Disney World on New Year’s Eve before and while they put on a fantastic fireworks show, my tolerance for massive crowds gets lower with each passing year so I probably won’t be doing that again anytime soon.

          • jj says:

            the rose is almost certainly the only bowl i would travel to. lame tiebreakers killed my trip. maybe, maybe, i would do one in texas b/c i have never been, but it wouldn’t be the focus of a vacation.

            brian – that post above was hilarious.

          • M says:


            What people forget is that the Citrus Bowl was actually the first sponsored bowl name (by the Florida Citrus Grower’s Association). The “actual” name was the Tangerine Bowl.

          • Brian says:


            Bowls by age:
            Sun 1935
            Cotton 1937
            Gator 1946
            Tangerine 1947
            Liberty 1959
            Peach 1968
            Independence 1976
            Holiday 1978
            Hall of Fame 1986

            1989-1999 brought 8 more bowls
            2000+ brought 13 more

            Yes, I’m ignoring failed bowls.

            Based on payouts (in millions of $ below), the top non-BCS bowls are:

            Tangerine 4.25
            Hall of Fame 3.3
            Peach 3.005
            Cotton 3
            Gator 2.5
            Holiday 2.35
            Alamo 2.25
            Blockbuster 2.25
            Pinstripe 2

            Yes, except for the Cotton and Peach Bowls, all the top non-BCS bowls are on 1/1 (in other words, 2/4). Of course, all four BCS games and the Cotton Bowl used to also be on 1/1 and things like the TicketCity Bowl weren’t.

          • gas1958 says:

            @ loki

            I agree with the “organic matter” post! Before the dissolution of the SWC, the Cotton Bowl was a major bowl, and had real historical significance well into 1970s. I would like to see a return to its former status, personally.

          • @gas1958 – The Cotton Bowl is a game that I’d love to see the Big Ten go after now that Nebraska is in the fold. That’s a tough one since the Big 12 tie-in is obviously natural and the SEC is always popular for bowls, but it’s much more of possibility now with the next bowl cycle. At the very least, I think the Alamo Bowl is going to regret signing up the Pac-10 and will be begging to get the Big Ten back. The Big Ten was already a great bowl traveling league before expansion and the Huskers might very well be the best traveling fan base of them all.

          • loki_the_bubba says:


            I laughed too, but it was duffman’s observation, not mine.

          • Richard says:


            I think the BigTen adds the Holiday (at the expense of the Big12) or Alamo (at the expense of the Pac12) the next time the bowls reshuffle.

          • @Richard – You’re likely correct on that. Heck, the Big Ten might be able to get both of them. I’d love this lineup:

            #1 Rose Bowl
            #2 Capital One Bowl
            #3 Outback Bowl
            #4 Alamo Bowl
            #5/6 Gator Bowl
            #5/6 Holiday Bowl
            #7 Insight Bowl
            #8 Texas Bowl

            Maybe put in one other tie-in for #9 (Detroit or the Dallas TicketCity).

          • Richard says:


            We’ll always have Detroit (even if we almost never send a team there) because of George Perles.

            That’s a great lineup, BTW. However, the 7th place BigTen team playing the 2nd place Pac12 team in the Holiday Bowl won’t do our bowl record much good.

          • Bullet says:

            What happened with the Alamo and the B10?

            Was it simply that they wanted to take the Holiday Bowl’s place right behind the Cotton and so they basically moved that game to San Antonio?

            I don’t think the B12 and P12 allow the Holiday and Alamo to be pilfered by the B10. They aren’t going to want their #3 playing a #6 B10-and probably a #7 with a 2nd BCS bid. Wouldn’t be too good for the B10′s reputation either.

          • @Bullet – The Pac-10 and Big 12 offered up better teams to the Alamo. Starting this year, it’s Pac-10 #2 vs. Big 12 #3. I don’t think the Big Ten could do better than #4 in this cycle. Of course, Big Ten #4 in the new 12-team league is likely going to be more valuable than either of those Pac-10 and Big 12 offerings now.

          • @bullet – I think you’re probably right overall, though. Maybe a more reasonable lineup would be:

            #1 Rose
            #2 Capital One
            #3 Outback
            #4 Alamo
            #5/6 Gator
            #5/6 Insight
            #7 Texas
            #8 TicketCity (or maybe grab Las Vegas)
            #9 Motor City/Pizza/Detroit

            Basically, the Alamo gets slotted after the Outback and then everything else moves down on the pecking order, which would make sense with the Big Ten expanding by 1 team that bowls love.

          • duffman says:


            I too would love to see the Cotton Bowl restored to its former luster. Right now with the SEC up tho, I can see a Longhorn Conference tie in quicker with the SEC. I think this years A&M vs LSU matchup is close to already sold out. I can see them hoping for a Texas / Oklahoma vs SEC west being profitable for the promoters. Not saying I agree with it, just saying it will be a money decision in the end.

            On a side note, Sponsors have a hand in the process. Look at the UK vs PSU Outback Bowl awhile back. The guy that owned Outback happened to by a UK alumni (and PSU beat them pretty soundly). It would be interesting to know the alumni affiliation of the bowl sponsors (the actual alumni, not the company).

          • Richard says:


            Not sure how the Big12 or Pac10 aren’t going to “allow” the BigTen from taking a bowl from them. Right now, for instance, the Big12 is sending their fifth choice team to the Holiday Bowl, and they have 3 “kings” (Texas, OU, UNL) & 1 school in the level below (TAMU) in a 12 school league, which is comparable to the BigTen (3 kings + Wisconsin & Iowa in the next tier in an 11 school league).
            In this circumstance, the 5th choice of either league would be valued the same, and the Big12 has the edge of being closer to San Diego, so the Holiday may choose to take the Big12 5th choice rather than the BigTen 5th choice.

            Next time, however, the Big12 will have 2 kings and 1 in the next level in a 10 school league, while the BigTen will have 4 kings and 2 in the next level in a 12 school league. The 5th choice of the BigTen (after the Rose, Citrus, Outback, & Gator) would be a lot more valuable than the 5th choice of the Big12.

            If the Big12 moves the Holiday up the pecking order, then they’d have to move the Insight down, likely losing them to the Pac12, etc. Basically, the Big12 is fated to lose at least 1 bowl, because while you can line up 8 bowls when you’re a 12 school league, you won’t be able to line up 8 bowls when you have 10 schools, and it’s likely to be at least a mid-tier bowl, because losing Nebraska means the selection pool is worse for the bowls in the top-to-middle range.

          • m (Ag) says:

            *For those teams that rarely go to good bowls, the fans want to go to the most ‘prestigious’ bowl possible. For those teams who regularly go to good bowls, getting variety can be important. For instance, I read online some LSU fans were hoping for the Cotton instead of the Capital One last week, even though the Capital One is higher ranked. They went to the Capital One last year.

            *When looking at bowl payouts, notice that sometimes a Bowl gives different values to different conferences. I think I saw yesterday the Cotton gives a bit more money to the Big 12 than the SEC. The Big 12 sends a higher-ranked team from its conference.

            *It will be hard for the Big 10 to get a Cotton tie-in. The Big 12 has obvious historic and geographic ties to the bowl. If the Longhorns and friends go to the Pac 16, I’m sure the bowl will have an agreement with them. The SEC West is also quite close and has an historic tie via Arkansas (and A&M, if we make that move). Remember Jerry is an Arkansas alum. At the moment, it’s also the only bowl that matches Big 12 and SEC teams, which will add a uniqueness to the matchup.

            The only way I could see a Big 10 tie in with the Cotton is as some sort of shared spot with the SEC. Maybe in even years you have Big 12 #2 vs. Big 10 #3 in the Cotton and ACC #2 vs. SEC #3 in a Florida Bowl. In odd years the Big 10 and SEC would trade those spots. That would increase the variety of teams traveling to the bowls.

            *If no realignment happens, I don’t see the Alamo switching from their new upgrade. If USC was eligible, they would be making that trip this year. Otherwise, if Boise had won and kept Stanford from an AQ bid, 11-1 Stanford would be traveling to San Antonio. This is a big step up for the Alamo.

            Yeah, the Big 10′s bowl lineup will be more desirable now that Nebraska is joining; however, adding 2 teams to the Pac 12 means their #2 spot will be more desirable as well. It will often be a top 10 team, occasionally top 5. The matchup will get TV attention and keep the network happy. Even if the Pac 12 fans don’t travel, the #3 team from the Big 12 will likely sell out the place against a good opponent.

            If the Pac 16 is formed, I do see this getting its Big 10 connection back. A Pac 16 #3 or 4 vs. a Big Ten #3 or 4 would be a good game.

          • Bullet says:

            I hadn’t realized the Holiday had slipped that far down the B12 list. The Alamo got the Holiday matchup which was always a great game (pac #2 vs. B12 #3). I’m surprised the Insight passed them for #4. So the Holiday could be poached.

            The Pac team is essential for the Holiday and B12 team essential for the Alamo. The Pac won’t accept a team too far below them in the Holiday. #3 vs #5 is probably as far as they would go. They complained about 2 vs. 3. And the B12 won’t accept a #5 B10 to play their #3 (there are more options in the east). And as long as they get Pac12 #2, the B10 isn’t going to match that. B10 is going to continue to send #2 and #3 to Florida (almost always #3 and #4 since they will get 2 BCS bids).

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            m(Ag) – the general consensus in Baton Rouge is that the Cotton is a better fit than the Cap One Bowl for LSU for several reasons:

            1. We went to the Cap One Bowl last year with crappy weather and a crappy field.

            2. There are at least two other games on TV at the same time as the Cap One Bowl, while the Cotton is in primetime on a Friday night (1/7) and its the only game on that date.

            3. Tradition and history with the Aggies.

            4. A Cotton Bowl game would act as a dress rehearsal for next year’s opener with Oregon at Cowboys Stadium.

            5. Arlington is drivable, while Orlando is a flight.

          • m (Ag) says:

            It will be interesting how the ratings do for the Friday night game. It’s a matchup of 2 top-20 teams on network TV, but people may have had their fill of games leading up to the BCS showcase game.

            If it does well, we may see a few other big bowls move their games back.

          • Bullet says:

            @ Frank
            wishful thinking about crowds if you have kids. They will love them (not the waits, but the crowds, yes). And wait until you get to the Chuckie Cheese age.

          • Brian says:



            “The Alamo Bowl reportedly has offered the Pac-10 Conference $3 million to shift its best non-Bowl Championship Series qualifying team to San Antonio after the 2010-11 bowl season. That would leave the Big Ten out of the Alamo Bowl for the first time since 1994.”

  59. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    K-State just accepted a bid to the Pinstripe Bowl.

    Are they going to take the subway from Manhatten to the Bronx?

  60. zeek says:

    Michigan-Alabama @ JerryWorld financial details out for Michigan’s side.

    “Michigan will receive $4.7 million in “team guarantee,” based on the contract received by The News through the Freedom of Information Act. That’s roughly what Michigan earns each game from the home gate at Michigan Stadium.

    Oklahoma and BYU played in the first college game at Cowboys Stadium in 2009, and according to the Sports Business Journal, Oklahoma was contracted to receive $2.25 million. The report indicated BYU didn’t release terms, but was believed to receive about $1 million.”

    From The Detroit News:$4.7M-payday#ixzz175KHJW9a

    I have to say I’m impressed that they managed to get such a big payday off of it as compared to Oklahoma.

    • jj says:

      That’s a great deal. Jeez. On a lighter note, Rich Rod puts on a great show.’s-performance-‘embarrassing’

      • Richard says:

        RichRod at Miami would be a great fit. He’d have any athlete he’d want at his disposable, and he wouldn’t have physical BigTen teams running roughshod over his defense every week.

        • jj says:

          In all seriousness, I think he would. He’s done at Michigan. The talk radio is aflame with this incident. The sparties are eating it up. I have never heard the m crowd more pissed.

    • Richard says:

      Yeah, that’s a lot more than what other name programs have been getting for these neutral site games.

      Of course, they likely can charge more per ticket/suite for this game than for OU-BYU. Still, it looks like Michigan is getting a premium. I guess Jerryworld/ESPN really wanted to get a brand name BigTen program in order to garner a large national TV audience (in which case their choices were really only Michigan or Nebraska, since OSU is playing their one name program a year, Cal, at home, and PSU doesn’t travel as well as the others in the Big4; and Nebraska was going to visit UCLA). I’d be shocked if ‘Bama got much more than the $2.5M or so that they usually get for such games. They suffer from the disadvantage that many other brand name southern schools (Georgia, LSU, OU, TAMU, Auburn) also like to play these neutral site games.

      • SideshowBob says:

        “PSU doesn’t travel as well as the others in the Big4″? Any basis for that? I’ve never heard complaints about PSU fans not traveling well compared to other elite programs. It is a huge school with a massive stadium, after all.

        Of the 4, my impression would be that Michigan would be the weakest traveling school, but any difference would be marginal at best. All 4 travel just fine.

        As an aside, PSU was just chosen over UM for the Outback Bowl slot.

        • Richard says:

          I should have added “to a game in Texas”. PSU is much more East Coast-based than the rest. That’s why I had PSU getting the Outback Bowl as well, as they probably have more support in Florida than any other BigTen team.

          However, for a game in Texas, the other 3 have an edge. Michigan probably has the most national alumni base of the 3, Nebraska travels better than anyone else, and all 3 likely have more retirees in Arizona (fairly close to Texas) than PSU.

    • @zeek – Interesting note in that article that Michigan will be playing Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska AND Alabama all away from Ann Arbor that season. With Michigan already always playing both Ohio State and Notre Dame either both at home or on the road every year, how the heck did they let the Big Ten put their annual Nebraska game on the same cycle, as well?

      • greg says:


        Indeed, I can’t believe Michigan allowed that to happen, particularly since UM and OSU run the conference! /sarcasm

      • zeek says:

        That’s a really good point. And I have no idea how they allowed all 3 of those games on the same rotation.

        They’ve been complaining about ND and Ohio State being on the same season ticket package every other year making the intravening years less valuable. They tried to get ND to change it, but ND wants it to be the off year to their USC home games, and Ohio State won’t.

        I’m looking at their schedules:

        2011 – Nebraska, Ohio State, Minnesota, Purdue (and Notre Dame).
        2012 – Michigan State, Iowa, Northwestern, Illinois.

        Their season ticket packages are going to become much more imbalanced now…

        Now they allowed Nebraska on that same rotation?

        • Richard says:

          Hey, in 2012, they get MSU(!) and Iowa, and, er, us Wildcats, and didn’t Frank say the Illini perceive them as a rival?

        • jj says:

          They common about everything!

        • SideshowBob says:

          I was surprised by that as well. It’s been argued that PSU is going to Ohio St in 2011 (second year in a row) so that OSU can decouple their home games versus PSU and UM, having at least one at home in each season. Interestingly, PSU is getting UNL at home in 2011 instead, so PSU will get either OSU or UNL in any given season at home.

          Why they wouldn’t make the same arrangement with UM and UNL befuddles me. If UNL were hosting UM in 2011, then both UNL and UM would be hosting one of each other or PSU/OSU in any year as well.

      • Brian says:

        Well, the Big Ten has only done a two year schedule with the new setup. Maybe one or two of the series get switched up in 2013. ND won’t change because of USC, but the Big Ten can adjust the other 3.

        Right now, OSU has big name OOC/NE/MI versus WI/PSU. Who knows when or if OSU will play NE after 2012. In 2016 the big name OOC series switches. It’s hard to keep it ideal.

      • cfn_ms says:

        Is it really a negative? Half the time they get them all at home, which has to be considered a substantial advantage I’d think. I strongly suspect most programs would trade a major disadvantage half of the time for a major advantage the other half of the time.

        • m (Ag) says:

          Yeah, but 1/2 the time your season tickets are in high demand, and the other 1/2 of the time people are much less willing to spend a lot of money. If you were pricing by demand, you would yo-yo your prices up and down every other year. In practice, this is hard to do.

          • SideshowBob says:

            Yeah, it’s key with ticket sales. Having big names on the schedule every year helps to maintain season ticket demand.

        • Brian says:

          The problem is timing the best years of your team to the best schedule. If you split your major series, you don’t end up screwed as often. As m (Ag) said, fan apathy every other year can be a problem. Donations will drop if there is a crappy slate of games.

          Besides, you need some tough road games to get respect nationally and season your team for the postseason.

    • M says:

      This is also interesting because it puts a dollar amount on how much a home game is worth to Michigan (and presumably the PSU/OSU/Nebraska crowd). This number is relevant for two discussions: going to 9 conference games and adding a 13th regular season game.

      • Brian says:

        It fits nicely with the earlier discussion about if OU and NE could afford to play 2 neutral site games versus a home and home. If people want a game badly enough, Jerryworld can make it happen. I don’t know if anywhere else could support these payments.

  61. M says:

    An ESPN poll with some intriguing/humorous results:

    “Which team would be a more attractive 10th member for the Big East? UCF, ECU, Villanova”

    ECU wins 51% overall and most of the states except Florida, Kansas and a few others which UCF wins. Villanova gets 15% of the vote, but wins exactly one state: Rhode Island.

  62. Bullet says:

    UTEP just got the New Mexico Bowl. Since that is supposed to be a WAC bowl and CUSA has 6 bowls and 6 qualified teams and WAC 4 bowls and 4 qualified teams, there is some dealing going on. Looks like Boise is moving up. If UW and OSU both lose, the Holiday may open up. Although they could also take ND.

    • Jake says:

      I hope Boise can trade up. They deserve better than Fight Hunger or Humanitarian.

      Speaking of, any bets on how much of the proceeds from the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl will actually go towards fighting hunger? Their own press release doesn’t mention anything about it.

      • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

        The “hunger” they are fighting is those poor bowl executives who are under attack from anti-BCS people. Don’t you feel bad for them getting 6-figure salaries to organize one event a year and travel around to different stadiums every weekend watching great college football? We need to save these guys!

        Boise State vs. Utah from what I’ve heard. Nevada to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl vs. ACC scrub team.

  63. Richard says:

    Question for the Texans here:

    Is Wolf Brand Chili really the most popular brand of chili in Texas?

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      Real Texans don’t eat chili from a can.

      • duffman says:

        beans really go best with cornbread and some chopped onion, but we are reaching the age when everything will just be nuked.

    • Bullet says:

      And don’t ask about beans in chili.

      • frug says:

        Having grown up in Tulsa all I can say is that whoever came up with the idea that beans belong in chili deserves to die a slow painful death. Not only do they not add any taste, but they completely ruin the texture.
        Then I moved to Lexington where Cincinnati natives came up the idea that spaghetti should served underneath their “chili”.
        (Of course even that’s preferable to the fact since I moved to Chicagoland whenever I try to get a hot dog I end up with a monstrosity that has tomatoes, relish, a pickle spear, peppers and freaking celery salt)

        • duffman says:


          I must agree with you on that! I love Chicago, but dag nabit relish does not belong on a hot dog. I have had the Skyline and I must say it is good, and goes well with Graeter’s (I could be prejudiced tho as I went to UC, and lived like a block from both). The Skyline Chilli Cheese Coney’s do not have beans and I have mellowed to pasta or rice with my chilli.

          Celery salt belongs on nothing, much less chilli or a hot dog.

          • frug says:

            If you’re a coney fan and you ever make it to Tulsa, OK I recommend you check out Coney Islander. The hot dogs are the best I’ve ever had and the chili is pretty damn good for Cincinnati style.

        • Brian says:

          Do you mean the really poor people that couldn’t afford enough meat to make chili, the cheap people that didn’t want to pay for enough meat (for workers and such) or the people that come from a culture of eating beans and mixed them with chili?

          Personally I despise beans in chili, but I also think chili in general is way over rated.

        • Richard says:

          God created the hot dog to be eaten with relish, celery salt, and mustard (and a salad on top).

    • StvInIL says:

      That and the excessive Rotel commercials have made e swear off both.

      • Richard says:

        Chili con carne queso dip, anyone?

        Just hold the Barbasol.

        Beef jerky instead of chips is OK, though.

      • duffman says:


        thats Ro*Tel, and I keep thinking they will have a Ro*Tel bowl before it is all said and done. Velveeta could invite a team, and Ro*Tel could invite a team, with the winner going to the Tostios Bowl in an eight team playoff system.

        • Vincent says:

          Another reason for bringing Maryland into the Big Ten: Hard Times Cafe, a D.C. area favorite (including a restaurant in College Park). Texas, Cincinnati, Terlingua and vegetarian chili, all of them good. (And you can order with or without beans!)

    • Playoffs Now! says:

      Is Wolf Brand Chili really the most popular brand of chili in Texas?

      This real native Texan asks “What other brands are there?” Declared a state food by the Texas legislature years ago, though it is not quite the same ever since some slimy conglomerate bastards bought the company and closed the original Corsicana, Texas plant. New Mexicans added beans, authentic Texas chili is without. Nothing like that weird nonsense in Cincinnati.

      • duffman says:

        sorry, supposed to be a smiley face with that comment

      • frug says:

        My big problem with Cincinnati chili is that it is literally not chili. It is made with cinnamon and nutmeg and all sorts crazy spices that you put in a pie, but it does not contain chilies or chili powder. (But at least it’s bean free)

        • Vincent says:

          But it tastes wonderful. Perhaps we should name the Cincinnati style “mock chili” (like the “mock apple pie” recipe that used to be shown on the back of the Ritz cracker box).

        • Muck says:

          Where did you get that idea that Cincinnati style chili doesn’t contain chile powder?!

          It absolutely does.

          The cinnamon, allspice &/or cloves is a product of Greek immigrants who traditionally used the spices in similar recipes (stifado stew, myrna meatballs etc).

          • duffman says:


            you a Cincy native?

            Skyline or Gold Star?

          • frug says:

            Whoops sorry. I didn’t mean to put chili powder. Not sure what I was thinking. Still, it doesn’t have actually chilies in it, which means it isn’t actually “chili con carne”

          • Muck says:

            I grew up a bit farther north (Xenia) but lived in Cincy for the better part of a decade.

            Skyline for taste Gold Star for texture but I’m really an Empress man at heart.

            @frug – Nonsense. Ground dried chile peppers are still chile peppers. Fresh peppers are only omitted from the big names (Skyline etc) for the same reason as chain purveyors of Texas Red…economy of scale.

  64. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Congrats to Miami of Ohio and HC Mike Haywood (former LSU assistant) for winning the MAC CG.

    • Bullet says:

      Now I understand! He MUST be a Les Miles disciple.

      Fake FG up by 6. Miami down by 1, 4 minutes to go, 1 timeout in their own territory and they use nearly the full 40 seconds between each play. And then the crazy 4th and 20 pass and the wide open receiver on 2nd & 12. Then almost letting the other team back in the end zone. Of course they never would have had time if NIU didn’t thrown incomplete on both 2nd & 3rd down, up by 1 on their own 2. Clock management was painfully bad on both teams.

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Haywood left before the Mad Hatter arrived at LSU. He was on DiNardo’s staff and was the lone DiNardo hold on Saban’s staff.

        He obviously has been watching some Miles tape and taking notes.

    • Brian says:

      So who hires him, Indiana or Minnesota?

  65. Wes says:

    A few days ago, there was a reference on this site (Frank the Tank –

    that the president of the University of Michigan said something to the effect that further Big Ten expansion is probably on the horizon. From a known University of Texas, sympathizing reporter, comes this article in the Houston Chronicle today:

    I would suggest that if the Big Ten really wants the University of Texas as a member, then the Big Ten should endeavor to take away the Longhorns two biggest money games, against the Sooners and the Aggies. How? Invite the Sooners and the Aggies to the Big Ten. The SEC did just that last year. The Aggies almost went and the Sooners were tempted but decided to cast their future with the Longhorns and the fertile California recruiting grounds available in the PAC 10 (12 or 16). The probability of both schools accepting a SEC invitation is higher with the new UT – ESPN radio/TV package leaving A&M and OU at a competitive disadvantage. Sure, Texas could go independent, but with the Sooners and the Aggies facing a brutal SEC or Big Ten schedule, would either the Sooners or the Aggies have room for a non-conference game with the Longhorns? Would Notre Dame see the handwriting on the wall and also cast their fate with the Big Ten?

    Next point that is very relevant to the Big East and Baylor. TCU is the newest Big East member and the conference appears to continue to look for another relevant football member. Why not Baylor? Baylor has facilities and a rapidly improving football program with attendance exceeding TCU’s and is very strong in men and women’s basketball, track, tennis and competitive in the remaining varsity sports. TCU would benefit by having a traveling companion and the Big East would have a traveling companion for TCU and a bigger press outlet and a potential larger TV audience for the whole state of Texas. Surely, Baylor could see the future would be bleak if A&M leaves the Big Twelve and would jump all over a Big East offer. Seems like a win, win deal for all?

    • Wes says:

      Another reporter who suggests the Big Twelve may have a short life…………

      • Richard says:

        Reading his article, I wouldn’t pay heed to anything the guy says. He sounds like a Mariotti-wannabe; just another columnist who MO is to rile up people emotionally instead of offering cogent analysis.

        • StvInIL says:

          Marriotti? used to love to hate that guy. But you know, In hindsight, he was right more times than I would want to admit. Not the majority of the time, but he was not a complete wrong way sign.

          • There was a period in the late-1990s where Marrioti was at the Sun-Times and Skip Bayless was at the Tribune. Interestingly enough, the sun didn’t appear in the City of Chicago during that entire time. That’s a true story.

      • StvInIL says:

        This guy sounds like someone crying over breaking up with a girl he actually cared about. I personally have no doubts that Nebraska has its warts. I also feel strongly that they will learn to apply face cream in a conference where the pretty girls have also learned to do so. Not so much for themselves but for the community. Else Nebraska will not be happy anywhere but in independence. We shall soon see.

    • m (Ag) says:

      I certainly wouldn’t mind joining the Big Ten, and an OU/A&M combo would make a lot of money for the Big Ten. However, there are 2 problems with your idea: 1) OU isn’t academically at the Big Ten level, and 2) OU would have the same scheduling problems the Longhorns have in that scenario. They would like to schedule both OSU and the Longhorns. I’m not sure they would agree to go anywhere without at least one of those 2 schools getting in.

      Reading articles from newspapers around the Big 12 the last few days, it seems many reporters agree that the conference isn’t long for the world. What’s more interesting is some of the comments local fans have written about the articles:

      *More OU fans are saying they should have left the Longhorns and that the SEC isn’t such a bad idea for them. Last summer it seemed very few OU fans had that opinion.

      *Some OSU fans are pessimistic; they think the Pac 16 will happen soon and they could get left out for Texas Tech. Some think OU will make sure they’re included.

      *Some Tech fans are pessimistic; they think the Pac 16 will happen soon and they could get left out for OSU. Noone seems to really believe the Longhorns really care about them. I saw someone on a Tech article say he heard the Big Ten is likely to invite Missouri and Kansas (which would surprise me) leading to the final breakup.

      Now, this is all just fan postings, but it is striking how little confidence in the future you see now.

      • frug says:

        If the Big 10 could get A&M with no strings attached then I think it would be a great addition. While the Aggies aren’t as sexy as the Longhorns they’re profitable, have solid academics and they address the Big 10′s need to break out of their rust belt/midwest base because of the regions coming demographic crisis.
        That said, it’s tough to see the Texas legislature letting A&M go if they think it will endanger Texas Tech.

        • Brian says:

          Except for being a complete cultural and geographical outlier, A&M would be a great addition. I just don’t see the Big Ten presidents going all Big East and making that jump. I think Missouri is about as far southwest as they’d be willing to reach.

          Besides, I have to think A&M really would want to be with LSU and Arkansas if they aren’t with Texas.

          • frug says:

            Yeah, I agree it won’t happen. A&M has made it pretty clear that if it’s going to leave the Big XII it will be for the SEC.

      • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

        I’m not surprised by this. I was more surprised by the communal rejoicing when the Big 12 was saved and how everyone thought it was a “BFF” kind of situation. I thought the peace treaty was flimsy from the start.

        I don’t know who/what will begin the Big 12′s next phase of crumbling (Big Ten increases to 13 with East Coast schools prompting SEC to snag aTm and OU? Big Ten goes after Texas/aTm again? Big East goes after KU/Mizzou? PAC12 offers to take 4 again?), but I would put a small wager on it happening in the next six months.

    • frug says:

      This works well in theory, but it ignores a few political realities.

      1. Oklahoma simply does not meet the Big 10′s academic criteria.

      2. Oklahoma is probably chained to Oklahoma State which means getting the Sooners requires the conference to take on the Cowboys which the Big 10 is not going to do.

      3. UT is chained to the Texas Tech (the Tech problem).

      4. The Texas legislature would probably block A&M from leaving if they felt doing so would endanger Texas Tech.

      5. Nebraska just agreed to the join the Big 10 precisely so it could be free of Texas and they would probably do whatever they could to keep the league from adding them.

      6. Penn State is going to press hard for the league to expand east.

      7. The Red River Rivalry is the second most profitable regular college football game in the country behind the SEC championship and there is no way either school lets it go away regardless of their conference schedules.

      8. Finally, even if these facts weren’t true, Texas still wouldn’t join the Big 10 because that would require them to give up their TV network that have just set up.

      As for Baylor:
      They are unlikely to bail on the Big XII unless they think the Big XII’s collapse is imminent since even as a have-not in the Big XII they still make more now than they would in the Big East. Plus the Beast has showed no real interest in Baylor (this summer they were, supposedly, prepared to offer Iowa State a bid over Baylor)

    • Brian says:


      I just don’t believe the Big Ten could (or wants to) pry OU or A&M away from the Big 12. They are both closer to and better fits for the SEC and they turned the SEC down. I expect OU and A&M to go after their own TV/radio deals now which will close the gap. I think the Big Ten could probably get any of the Big 12 North schools (Mizzou), but the South seems like a huge reach to me right now.

      If the Big 12 can’t live up to its promised TV money in the future, that may shake things up. The little guys may chafe if they are only getting crumbs after the big 3 take $20 million each. If the big 3 don’t get their money, they may chafe. Who knows what might happen then?

      The only way Texas comes to the Big Ten is if they really want it. Based on the number of major schools already in the Big Ten, I think Texas would lean to going west to the Pac unless there becomes a huge money difference.

      Baylor has no reason to go to the Big East unless the Big 12 dissolves. The Big East can’t come close to paying them as much money, their travel costs would balloon, and they would lose their moneymaking games against Texas, OU and A&M. It would be great for the Big East and TCU, but makes no sense for Baylor unless the Pac 16 comes back and they aren’t invited.

      • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

        “Based on the number of major schools already in the Big Ten, I think Texas would lean to going west to the Pac unless there becomes a huge money difference.”

        Becomes a huge money difference? Have you been paying attention? The Big 10 triples current PAC10 money. And that gap will widen as each new deal is reached for the new Big 10. Sure, the PAC12 might catch up eventually, but they are a start-up business right now trying to compete with a giant of the industry.

        • Brian says:

          The Big Ten has a big lead, but the Pac could offer them freedom and revenue streams the Big Ten wouldn’t (Longhorn network). The TV deal would explode for the Pac if they added TX and OU as well.

          Texas leads in revenue right now with the Big 12 TV deal and no Longhorn network. I think it would take a lot for the Big Ten to make so much more money that Texas couldn’t prosper in the Pac.

    • Bullet says:

      I wouldn’t describe Richard Justice as a “UT sympathizer.” He’s like most of the Chronicle columnists. He’s a pro sports fan who, as I recall, did go to UT. But he likes to try to stir up UT fans to get a reaction.

  66. Brian says:

    Wow, Illinois really good screwed with that 4th down spot. It should have been first down Illinois at the Fresno 46 with 3:00 left and needing a field goal to win (down 25-23). Instead the refs gifted Fresno with a generous spot that got the first down by an inch, letting Fresno essentially run out the clock.

    Tough way to lose. I wonder how much this changes Illinois’s bowl berth? As discussed above, even at 6-6 they can be chosen above a 7-5 team as long as there are enough Big Ten bowl tie-ins left for all the 7-5 teams, which there are. They probably are still headed for the Texas Bowl over Northwestern with PSU, IA and MI locked to go above them.

    • StvInIL says:

      Brian, those Bowl scouts were at Wrigley Field and probably came away with a good impression about Illinois. but losing to FS and finishing only 500 would give me some doubts. The illini faithful will travel though if that’s a really Hugh factor.

      • Brian says:

        The bowls have to balance how teams finished the year, how the fans feel about the season and how popular a team is.

        Iowa and NW ended very poorly. MI and IL fans are excited to get to a bowl. MI, PSU and IA are the biggest names. Mi is the most exciting team in the bunch.

        If I was picking, I’d take them in this order: MI, PSU, IL, IA, NW

        The experts clearly disagree with me, and some of them actually talk to bowl officials.

        • Richard says:

          PSU was the only 7-5 BigTen team that finished the year strongly, so they’re at the head of the pack. Michigan hasn’t gone bowling the past few years, but Iowans seem to travel well even when they finish poorly. Tough to pick between those 2, but they both have an edge on Illinois.

          • Brian says:

            I don’t know that PSU finished strongly (relatively). MI won 2 in a row before ending with 2 top 10 teams. PSU won 3 in a row, but lost 2 of the last 3 to top 10 teams. Iowa had 2 bad losses in their last 3 games, and Illinois lost 3 of 4. I’d say PSU and MI finished similarly, and better than IA and IL.

            PSU fans seem disappointed by dropping to 7-5, though, unlike MI fans who haven’t seen a bowl in years. MI fans know they will see an exciting offense even if they lose because of their D. PSU fans know Paterno is coming back, but MI fans may never see the RichRod spread again. I think Denard will bring more TV eyeballs than PSU, too. Of course, Paterno is always a draw for a Florida Bowl (maybe because so many residents are his age).

            Iowa fans have to be down after such a disappointing season. Yes, they always travel well, but this year seems a little iffy to me. Bad losses in 2 of the last 3 games in what was supposed to be a conference title kind of year hurts. I think the fans might prefer going west for a change, especially since it won’t be the Alamo Bowl.

            Illinois is in a similar situation losing 3 of 4, but they do have the joy of returning to a bowl. Strange to think that IL might have the most secure coach out of PSU, MI and IL (for very different reasons, obviously).

            So for me, I’d prefer the teams having a better season than last year. I’d especially like one of the king programs that hasn’t seen a bowl in years. Now add in the most exciting player in the country in a dynamic offense, plus a defense that makes sure the opponent will stay in the game and I’m sold.

            Next I get a king program with the legend of active coaches and a young, rebuilding team that may improve during bowl practice.

            I go back to the improved season and a return to the bowls for my next pick and save the down year for a solid program for later. Obviously the last choice is the small school without the QB who was almost all of the offense on a team with no defense.

            I’m not saying the bowls agree with me, I’m just saying that is how I would pick.

          • Richard says:

            Michigan lost 5 of their last 7. PSU won 4 of their last 6, and those 2 losses were also to top 10 teams.

          • Brian says:


            At some point it stops being the finish of the season. They finished going (depending on where you cut):

            PSU: 7-5, 6-4, 4-4, 4-2, 1-2
            MI: 7-5, 2-5, 2-2

            I tend to look at November to see how a team is finishing, and they were both 2-2. A better argument for PSU is that they didn’t lose as badly in November and beat MI head to head.

            I would just prefer an exciting offense and bowl-hungry fans to a vanilla team with disappointed fans. It’d be different if I didn’t know Paterno was returning.

            Please note that I’m not saying MI is a better team, I just think they would make me (and the network) more money.

    • Richard says:

      Texas Bowl for the Illini now.
      Michigan meets Florida in the Meltdown Bowl in Jacksonville.
      Iowa back to the desert.

    • Bullet says:

      Another bonehead coaching move (like in NIU-Miami game)-going for 2 up by 8 (at 25-17). Announcers also seemed to think it was a good idea to leave it a 1 TD game. TG turkey and gravy seems to have clogged the brain pathways.

      Game does make Gee look bad. 4th place in the little sisters of the poor league beats team tied for 4th in Ohio State’s league.

      • Brian says:

        Well, the card tells them to go for 2 when up by 8. One touchdown can’t beat you, so you try to match a TD/FG combo. Besides, if you kick for 26-17, Illinois would have kicked for 26-24 when they scored leaving you in the same spot.

        Usually coaches err by not taking enough risks (going for 4th down conversions or 2 point conversions), but this one seemed like a sound decision. If it was late in the game when two scoring drives seemed unlikely, then I’d agree with you that getting the 9 point lead was paramount. In the middle of the third quarter, though, I think it was the right choice.

        You’ll notice that almost nobody stood up to defend what Gee said. It is somewhat true, but it is a useless argument and he didn’t clearly make his point. I will note that the 4th place tie was three-way, so you could also view IL as tied for 6th. IL had the 8th best overall record in the Big Ten, too.

        • Bullet says:

          2 point conversion is a bad bet. So you only do it when it really benefits you. If you think there are going to be a lot more scores, go for it then. If the card tells you to go for it, the card is wrong. You should always make the other team score on two drives to beat you, not just one.

          One year I was looking at box scores on 2 point efforts (because UT’s Mack Brown made bad decisions by going for it frequently-which he has since changed). I never saw a benefit on a 2 point try before the 4th quarter. I saw about a half dozen games coaches lost because they went for 2 before the 4th. Had they kicked the extra point they would have won or gone into OT.

          • Brian says:

            Recently teams successfully convert for 2 about 42% of the time. A computed chart based on score and time remaining says to go for 2 in that situation if you are successful 47% of the time.

            If the offense is above average or the defense is below average, the coach would be making the right call mathematically.

            The conservative (and normal) call would be to kick and go up by 2 scores. That doesn’t mean it is the right call.

            The math says coaches should go for fourth and short or fourth and goal much more often than they do, but you don’t get fired for kicking PATs.

    • Brian says:

      I’ve been looking at some of the “expert” bowl projections. Everyone agrees on WI/TCU, OSU/Ark, IL/Baylor in the Texas Bowl, and NW/TT in the TicketCity Bowl. Most agree on MSU/LSU (some think Alabama – the Cotton gets the other one). Almost everyone agrees SC and FL are next (one said FL and TN), but the Insight could get Mizzou, OSU or NE. The Big Ten debate is PSU/IA/MI, IA/PSU/MI or PSU/MI/IA.

      My preferences based on the available choices:
      WI/TCU – irresistible force versus immovable object
      OSU/Ark – the senator versus the mercenary
      MSU/AL – the Saban Bowl
      PSU/SC – Ol’ Ball Coach versus Old Ball Coach
      MI/FL – spreadtacular
      IA/NE – Farmageddon
      IL/Baylor – my QB runs better than yours
      NW/TT – defense is optional (and maybe offense, too)

  67. StvInIL says:

    This from the Big Ten Network page.

    Would you like to see football adopt a ACC/Big Ten Challenge-like event?
    Not at all

    To me this sounds like one of the most shortsighted ideas going. Why? Because in basketball one loss will not hurt you early in the season or even late if it’s from a top 10 team. It might help if it’s close.
    Now the Big Ten challenging the ACC’s basketball cadre is a good thing as they are generally accepted to be the best league over time given the amount of NC’s. One loss never really hurt and losing to an ACC team never really hurt unless it was totally lopsided.
    In terms of football 1 or 2 Football games (losses) will make a difference in a national championship race. I am giving in this scenario that no one goes undefeated. Especially the national brands in the sports. Sorry Boise state and TCU. Now say your conference takes on what may be considered by National Championships the best football conference in the country?
    If your conference has some bad matchups and has a week showing, it will probably damage you for the whole season. And other teams by virtue of not challenging and winning will reap an advantage here. Your only chance to recoup is in bowl time and you probably have already been devalued here.

    Those are my thoughts, what do you guys think?

    • yahwrite says:

      I would love to see a Big Ten/Sec football challenge. One weekend 12 games.

      I remember the 1980′s when nonconference schedules were tough. In 1988 Michigan started 0-2 losing to eventual NC Notre Dame 19-17 and the second game was to Miami, which finished #2, by a score of 31-30. Miami’s lone loss was to Notre Dame also by a score of 31-30. Those were Michigan’s only two losses that year(also tied Iowa) and they finished #4. The other nonconference game was Wake Forest.

      As a fan I prefer tough games, but since home games against FCS opponents still sell out the financial incentive won’t allow playing big names on the road as often as I would like. I would rather see them lose a chance at the NC by challenging themselves than have a chance at a NC by playing cupcakes.

      No Appy State or state of team under RRod comments please. ;)

      • duffman says:

        I think I would rather see that, than Big 10 vs ACC – who wants to see duke football, even if IU plays them. But I think IU vs UK would be cool to renew the rivalry. The mid level game should be pretty good (like Arky vs MSU or Wisconsin vs Auburn).

        • duffman says:


          IU vs UK (old rivalry renewed)
          NU vs Vandy (the battle of the privates)
          Minnesota vs Ole Miss (gophers vs ackbar)
          PU vs USC (boilers vs cocks)
          Illinois vs UT (orange on orange crime)
          MSU vs MSU (the state schools go at each other)
          Iowa vs Arkansas (an interesting blend of fanbases)
          Wisconsin vs UGA (badgers vs bulldogs)
          UM vs Auburn (have they ever played each other)
          PSU vs LSU (JoPa and the mad hatter)
          tOSU vs UF (just seems to fit)
          UNL vs Bama (big red and the elephants)

      • Richard says:

        We have a BigTen/SEC Challenge already:
        It’s called New Years Day.

        • StvInIL says:

          I agree with Richard. You drink strong drink in ounces, not by the bottle/cans. You measure it out and savor it as it has a bag for the buck. I think what Duffman is talking about is more of a measure of a basketball game.

      • SideshowBob says:

        Big Ten vs SEC or even Big Ten vs Big 12, would be cool. Big Ten vs ACC, well, it would be fine if it replaces crappy non-conference games, but it wouldn’t do that and I’d rather see teams schedule various opponents than be tied to that mediocre conference (in football).

    • Brian says:

      There are, of course, pluses and minuses to doing this. You can get more interest in games that people would normally ignore while not making your schedule more difficult than it already is (or should be). You can also get some attention in areas of interest for recruiting. This could be a great way to get the bottom half of the conference some national attention.

      Since we play so many bowls with the SEC, I’d prefer to play the ACC. Even the Pac-12 or Big 12 would be OK. Besides, I don’t think the SEC would ever agree to do it (Florida come up north to play – I don’t think so).

      There is the risk of tainting your season with a bad showing, but I think that is more of a factor in hoops. People look at the overall OOC vs BCS for the various leagues already, so I’m not sure playing just one conference will change things much.

      On the practical side, I’m not sure this is feasible. Basketball plays 5 games on two nights in a row. How do you find the TV slots for all the football games? The BTN would love to carry it, I’m sure. I guess you play two on Thursday night, four games at both 12:00 and 3:30 (2 on ESPN/ESPN2, 2 on BTN) and then two in primetime (1 ABC, 1 ESPN). Playing the Pac-12 would help by adding the late night slot to the mix. A lot of TV deals would be involved in this.

      • Brian says:

        Picture this:

        NE/Miami – Orange Bowl redux
        OSU/FSU – Football Factory Fest
        PSU/VT – The Boring Bowl
        MI/VA – We’re only technically public Bowl
        WI/NC – Battle for the public ivy title
        IA/Clemson – Someone must live up to expectations Bowl
        MSU/NCSU – Battle of the little brothers
        PU/GT – Losers buy the graphing calculators Bowl
        NW/BC – Battle of the solid private school teams
        IL/MD – Why aren’t you better? Bowl
        MN/WF – We won the conference 40 years ago Bowl
        IN/Duke – Anyone want to shoot some hoops? Bowl

    • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

      It would be great for PSU. It would tie the Big Ten (midwestern conference) in with the East Coast (ACC). Even though PSU would only play one team every two years (personally I’d love PSU/VaTech), just having our Big Ten brethren joined in name and discussion with Miamis and North Carolinas and Boston Colleges would really help us.

      The Big Ten already plays the SEC on New Year’s Day and bowl season. It might help the conference as a whole reach down into the south for recruiting, Overall, i think it would be bad for the Big 10 as it would “connect” the north to the south more and lead kids away from our region.

  68. Playoffs Now! says:

    Oregon State makes a statement to Oregon right away:

    “We can have ugly uniforms, too!”

    • Brian says:

      No kidding. There’s dressing for success and then there’s this. Dress like crap, play like crap I guess.

      IF OSU had James Rodgers and/or a veteran QB this might have been a decent game.

      Is it just me, or are these two really unimpressive national championship contenders today?

      • Richard says:

        Seems that way to me. Really, this would be a great year for a 4-game playoff.

      • Brian says:

        To be fair, Auburn looked a little better in the second half. But it is hard to tell since the SC defense looked really bad and the offense did them few favors. I’m not convinced that TCU or WI wouldn’t beat these two teams. The defenses leave a lot to be desired.

        I agree that a 4 team playoff would work well this year. Stanford, OSU and MSU didn’t win their conferences (thus they have no reasonable complaints), so there’s no need for 8 teams. OR/WI in the Rose Bowl, AU/TCU in the Sugar and a plus one in the Fiesta (no home field advantage).

        • Adam says:

          The problem is that you can’t decide how big your playoff needs to be after the season. It’s gotta be a rule you articulate in advance. When Texas played USC a few years ago, Colin Cowherd held that up as “proof” that the bowl system works because a playoff could have kept them from playing for the title if one lost a flukey game in a prior round. And I found that really frustrating because you’ve got to have a rule before the season starts, not cooking up some ad hoc playoff format at the end.

          • Brian says:

            That’s why I don’t want a playoff. It will be wrong just as often as the BCS.

          • Adam says:

            I would consider any outcome produced by a playoff “right” by definition.

          • loki_the_bubba says:


            Only if all 11 champions are in the playoffs.

          • Adam says:

            I don’t much care about “champions.” League champions are based on only a subset of all league games. For bowl tie-ins, that’s fine, because bowl arrangements are made on a league basis. But the national championship is based on all games. Your league games are no more or less important than your non-league games; for the national championship, all 120 schools are members of a single “conference,” and all games are league games.

          • Adam says:

            Whoops — subset of all games played is what I meant. Although in leagues with a title game, it actually is furthermore a subset of just league games (since a 5-3 team could beat a 7-1 team in the league title game and be the “champion”).

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            Are you suggesting we should eliminate automatic qualifiers from March Madness and all of the other NCAA championships? Until that happens, I want all champs to play off. That’s really the point, to decide which champ is the best in the country. In some sense if you did not win your conference, you cannot really be the best in the country.

          • Adam says:

            I find that reasoning specious. If I go 8-0 in my league play but 8-4 overall, I am almost certainly not as good as a team that went 11-1 overall, even if they went 7-1 in league play and I beat them head-to-head. The league championship is only based on a subset of games played, but every game counts for the national championship. Every school is a member of 2 leagues: their conference and the nation. Standings for the one are not necessarily controlled by the other.

            I wouldn’t eliminate automatic qualifiers in college basketball, because the field is large enough that all of the realistic contenders for the championship are involved. If the NCAA Tournament were any smaller than it is, though, then I would resist an automatic qualification rule.

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            So effectively Conferences mean nothing except as a cartel to control the flow of money to the select few self-anointed powers.

          • Richard says:


            Well, duh.

          • Brian says:


            Feel free to consider a playoff champ right by definition. That doesn’t make it any less wrong.

            First, a playoff assumes that being better in December and January is more important than earlier in the season unless all teams are undefeated. Doesn’t that violate your subset of games premise you use to ignore conference champions?

            If and only if all viable candidates to be the best team in the country (and nobody else) gets in, then the playoff champ might be right. Of course nobody will agree on how to define “all viable candidates.”

            Some will say all conference champs and maybe some independents. Some will say all teams with the same winning percentage. Some will base it on resume. Some might use computer polls. The point is, unless everyone agrees on who should be in a playoff, the result isn’t automatically right.

            A worthy team might be left out or an unworthy team might get in and influence the results. How do you design a system in advance to allow for all this? Automatic bids upset people when lesser teams get in (UConn). Polls upset people because of bias.

            Maybe the whole season should be a double-elimination tournament, followed by exhibition games to fill out the schedule?

          • Adam says:

            If qualifying for the conference championship games was based on all games played, I would have no objection to those as being definitive, because they are declared in advance to be “the game.” And that’s what a national championship playoff would be: qualification based on the entire regular season, and declared in advance to be the definitive arbiter of the championship.

          • SideshowBob says:

            Personally, I don’t care about the need to crown a “national champion” in college football. I like the fact that the ultimate goal in college football for every team is simply to win as many games as possible. There’s none of this crap where “well, we lost today, but could still make the playoffs” is said. If you lose today, you just try to go out and win next week. And 7-5 is better than 6-6 and 9-3 is better than 7-5. And so on.

            Having playoffs in college football would make the (awesome) regular season too much like the regular season in college basketball. And that’s not meant as a compliment to hoops.

      • Bullet says:

        I’m with you. I really think TCU would whip either of them easily. Possibly Wisconsin also. Unfortunately, neither gets to see a good defense. They face each other.

        And we still have time for the nightmare scenario where, despite their best efforts to avoid it, evidence forces the NCAA and SEC to forfeit Auburn’s 12 wins before the championship game.

        • Brian says:

          On the bright side, they aren’t used to seeing another offense that can score with them either. Maybe everyone cramps up in the second quarter and they have to cancel the second half.

          I assume they would just declare Newton ineligible like they did with agentgate and hope Oregon wins. Vacating the season like with USC would require a finished investigation and appeal phase which can’t happen in time. You can’t shuffle teams once travel plans have been made and tickets sold.

          • Bullet says:

            Actually, that’s a pretty bad scenario too. If there’s evidence Auburn has paid players, but is still appealing.

          • Richard says:

            TCU would not be happy if Auburn has to vacate wins.

          • Brian says:


            TCU isn’t happy now. It’ll be worse if Auburn is proven to be dirty. Without Newton, though, Oregon would win easily.

            I think the worst scenario for TCU is for Auburn to win then have to vacate, leaving them to wonder if they would have beaten Oregon. Wisconsin can make this a moot point, however.

  69. Richard says:

    I find it hilarious that the Noles are wearing turtlenecks in Charlotte, NC (many of the Hokies are sleeveless).

    • Brian says:

      Kind of like Miami’s long sleeves and sideline heaters in Orlando for the bowl against Wisconsin when it was 50 degrees?

  70. Brian says:

    So Cam Newton didn’t violate SEC rules because his dad solicited money but didn’t agree to receive money. Does this make sense to all the lawyer types here (I know it doesn’t to normal people)?

    SEC bylaw

    “If at any time before or after matriculation in a member institution a student-athlete or any member of his/her family receives or agrees to receive, directly or indirectly, any aid or assistance beyond or in addition to that permitted by the Bylaws of this Conference (except such aid or assistance as such student-athlete may receive from those persons on whom the student is naturally or legally dependent for support), such student-athlete shall be ineligible for competition in any intercollegiate sport within the Conference for the remainder of his/her college career.”

  71. M says:

    So Nebraska goes 6-3 in their last year in the Big 12, with losses to Texas, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma. It seems fitting somehow that they beat the dwarves and lost to the big 3.

    • Bullet says:

      They also couldn’t beat any teams in Texas or from Texas.

      It was a strange day. I found myself rooting for Spurrier and OU. I’m not sure I’ve ever rooted for either, but I’m sure I’ve never rooted for both on the same day.

      • Brian says:

        It’s too bad for NE that Martinez was still hurt. It might have been a different game with him mobile.

        Perhaps Pelini should work on ball security for next year? And a passing game?

        • Richard says:

          Well, they didn’t have any sort of offensive game last year. With the defense that they have, they don’t really need a passing game, but their run game has to be more dominant.

          • Brian says:

            They at least need the throw it away instead of taking huge sacks or giving up killer interceptions part of the passing game.

            This year was certainly progress, and he is only a freshman so improvement should be natural.

        • Bullet says:

          They had a terrible offense last year (which is why I thought they were overrated until Martinez showed up), but they would have been better with last year’s QB (Lee?) than a hobbled Martinez.

      • jtower says:

        I can only imagine you would rather nebraska lose less than you wanted ou to lose, but rooting for ou?

        • Bullet says:

          @jtower-You said it more precisely. I just didn’t want a team leaving to take the trophy out the door with them, especially one that had been whining so much.

  72. Richard says:

    Nebraska should have run the option with Burkhead as the QB on that last 4th and 5. Everybody knew that UNL was going to throw the quick slant. Everybody knew that Martinez wasn’t a good enough QB to check down off his first choice and was too gimpy to scramble out of a blitz. You’re simply not going to succeed against a good defense when you tell them what you are going to do beforehand.

    • Richard says:

      Oh, and if that Nebraska defender had just tackled the receiver on that 3rd-and-forever instead of trying to rip the ball away (and giving up 5 more yards in the process to set up a 4th-and-1 that OU converted to set up the winning field goal), UNL would have gotten the ball back with the score tied at 20.

      Also, that Burkhead-to-Martinez pass play was a bad call, as the commentators noted. OU hadn’t been able to stop Burkhead in the wildcat at that point and they were close to Henery’s range, so why go away from it? You miss on the pass, and you’re forced to pass again because it’s 3rd-and-8 plus you didn’t pick up yards to give Henery a chance to tie the game.

      • Bullet says:

        Burkhead only got 1 on 1st down. I thought it was a pretty good call. OU just got too much pressure. I think questionable timeout management led them to pass instead of run at the end. They used 2 of the timeouts when they had the ball and one of those didn’t stop the clock. Should have stopped it every time OU ran. You can stop it yourself when you have the ball, or at least make sure it doesn’t take 40 seconds. Then you would have had time to run more at the end.

  73. Mike says:

    Congratulations Sooners on another Big 12 Championship and winning a great game. I wish the Huskers would enter the Big Ten conquering heroes, but alas, they are foiled by their arch enemy. After a bittersweet end to a great rivalry, I cannot wait until our first Big Ten game. Go Big Red.

    • Brian says:

      How much does that sting to leave with losses to Texas and OU that they can’t avenge for 10 or more years unless the BCS pairs them up?

      • Mike says:

        Not as much as you would expect. We may have lost the battle but won the war (to stay relevant). Nebraska was on the way to becoming a public version of Army or Navy. A school with a great history but no real chance winning a title because what made Nebraska great 10, 20, 30 years ago doesn’t matter anymore. The Big Ten comes along and takes what Nebraska has (fan support, TV appeal) and offer to share with them what they need, market. Nebraska in the Big Ten has all the external factors they need to stay competitive. Now if they can just find an offense.

  74. Playoffs Now says:

    I guess UCLA and USC got another exemption to both wear their home colors for the game. Looks great!

    14-7 game in the third is similar to last year’s. Will we get another hilarious ego v ego ending?

    • Brian says:

      The NCAA amended the rule in 2009. As long as the teams agree before the season to do it and the uniforms are of clearly contrasting colors there is no punishment. All that happened in 2008 was they lost a timeout for incorrect equipment (and the other team agreed to forfeit one to match).

      I wish more teams did this. OSU/MI and AU/AL would look great (both also red vs blue).

      • Richard says:

        Well they use to do it because they both shared the same home stadium (the Coliseum). I think USC/UCLA look particularly good because they both wear yellow/gold pants.

        • Brian says:

          I know, but it could be spread to a few more major rivalries without harm. Most teams wear fairly neutral pants so it would be OK. I just think the match-up of primary colors (scarlet/maize/blue or crimson/navy blue) would look great.

          Maybe it is something for neutral site games and bowls to consider (when possible)?

          You still want to keep it rare, like LSU wearing white at home, but I don’t think it needs to stay unique. Heck, there are two Death Valleys.

          • Richard says:

            Good idea about neutral site games. I’d really like to see Florida blue vs. Georgia red (white pants on both).

          • Brian says:


            Surely UGA has to wear their silver britches, don’t they?

          • Richard says:

            Oh, whatever. Close enough to white.

          • Vincent says:

            Surprised it isn’t done for Tennessee/Alabama. Heck, Tennessee apparently never wore white jerseys until it faced another UT in orange (Texas) in the Cotton Bowl in the late 1960s and had to.

          • Richard says:

            I don’t think you’d want to a QB trying to pick out the players in orange from the players in crimson.

            Reminds me of an old game between the Bays. Tampa was still wearing that old garish orange uniform of theirs, and evidently, the yellow and green of Green Bay blurred in enough that QB’s had trouble picking out the players on their team. There were a bunch of interceptions that day.

          • SideshowBob says:

            Yeah, ever since they changed the rule, I’ve been hoping to see more teams both use their home jerseys at the same time. But it never took off. Would make a lot of sense for neutral site games (including bowls).

  75. Richard says:

    USC playing UCLA in primetime on the west coast and the Rose Bowl isn’t full. I know that neither team is going to a bowl and the Rose Bowl is gigantic, but still.

    I can’t imagine Michigan-OSU or Alabama-Auburn not selling out regardless of how well either team are doing or where it’s played.

    • Brian says:

      True, but the midwest and south care about college football. The last time MI and OSU were both unranked was 1967, and The Game drew 64,144 out of 100,001. I’d guess that may be the last time it didn’t sell out.

      Tonight’s announced attendance was 71,105 out of 91,136.

      • duffman says:


        that was sort of my point about a Big 10 vs SEC week in CFB, they are the 2 best conferences for fan support.

        • Brian says:

          They certainly draw the most support. My concern is that I don’t want a bunch of rematches in the bowl season. That’s when the Big Ten and SEC get compared. We don’t play the ACC in bowls very often, so I’d like to play them. Plus, that gives us more exposure on the east coast to utilize PSU and help with Florida recruiting.

  76. zeek says:

    Great Oklahoma-Nebraska game. Oklahoma’s defense was just awesome, especially at the line. They held Nebraska to 3 points in the 2nd half, which is impressive considering that Nebraska’s kicker could probably make 60 yard field goals.

    Oklahoma defended the Big 12′s honor, but in doing so, this game and last year’s Big 12 CCG show what the Big 12 is losing by losing Nebraska. You can’t replace Nebraska-Texas and Nebraska-Oklahoma as great matchups of teams with great traditions.

    • Vincent says:

      The Big 12-2 will have to hope A&M and Oklahoma can build a rivalry — which they haven’t done yet, even after being in the same division for 15 years.

  77. duffman says:


    Hate to be a total idiot, but why does NU have a break of about 2 weeks between basketball games? After Ga Tech, the next game I saw was on the 13th of december.

  78. Bullet says:

    The OU/UT/OSU rotation has ended. I thought it would be Ohio State’s turn at the beginning of the year. For the 1st time since 2002 (Miami-UNL), one of those 3 isn’t in the championship game.

    Oregon/Auburn aren’t that far out of the power group. Excluding Georgia Tech’s 90 shared title(and CU won AP ahead of GT with Miami 3rd), 16 schools have won MNC’s since 1985 and have 68 of the 75 top 3 spots in the AP poll since then. Oregon and Auburn are 2 of the other 6 schools (+UGA, Utah, GT, VT) who have cracked the top 3. And those 16 have pretty much dominated all the way back to Minnesota’s 1960 title. This will be the 4th time in 50 years someone outside that group won. And in 1984 BYU was followed by #2 Washington and #3 Florida-2 members of the group. In 1981 Clemson was followed by Texas and Penn St. In 1976 Pitt was followed by Michigan and USC.

    When you look at that dominance of the top, the idea of brands and only a few schools generating the lion’s share of TV $ starts to make sense.

  79. cutter says:

    Big Ten Won’t Engage in Futher Expansion
    Sunday, 05 Dec 2010, 2:56 PM CST

    Official website

    PARK RIDGE, Ill.— The Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors (COP/C) held its winter meetings today in Park Ridge, Illinois. The following statement is issued by the Big Ten office on behalf of the COP/C.

    This time last year, the COP/C believed that the time was right for the conference to explore the possibility of conference expansion and Commissioner James E. Delany was asked to provide recommendations for consideration over the next 12 to 18 months. The Big Ten began a thorough, deliberate evaluation and on June 11, 2010, the COP/C unanimously approved an application for membership from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Since that announcement, the conference has been actively engaged in incorporating Nebraska, both academically and athletically, into the fabric of the conference and all parties eagerly await the completed integration which will take effect in July, 2011.

    During today’s meeting it was decided that it was appropriate to focus completely on conference affairs at this time. “We have been thoroughly engaged in the process since last December,” said COP/C Chair and Indiana University President Michael McRobbie. “Following detailed discussions at today’s meeting, my colleagues and I can report that we believe that this process has reached its natural conclusion. We are pleased with the addition of Nebraska and look forward to working with our colleagues there in the years ahead.”

    Although the conference will continue to monitor the intercollegiate landscape, it will not be actively engaged in conference expansion for the foreseeable future and does not expect to be proactively seeking new members.

    • M says:

      Pretty much what everyone here expected. The next natural time to consider expansion is probably in 10 years when the next television contract will be expiring.

      We’re condemned to mid-major scraps here for the foreseeable future :(

      • zeek says:

        Actually, that’s within 5 years. Contracts need to be renewed by 2016.

        • Brian says:

          I wonder if Delany and/or the COP/C already sort of plan on looking at expansion again then. That’s about the normal window between investigations into expansion for the Big Ten. That let’s everyone settle into the renegotiated deal with NE and the CCG and see what it is really worth before possibly adding new mouths to feed right before negotiating. It also gives the Big 12 and Big East teams time to see if they are happy with their new realities.

    • greg says:

      This is awesome news that the B10 is done expanding. We get a great new addition, but avoid becoming a bloated association of universities you play some of the time.

    • Bullet says:

      “The Big Ten began a thorough, deliberate evaluation and on June 11, 2010…” threw it out the window and rushed to invite Nebraska.

      Not that it was a bad expansion-just that it was anythign but deliberate once the leaks started coming out.

      • Bullet says:

        Re-reading the Michigan ADs comments, he seemed to be saying Big 10 would expand again, but he didn’t indicate there was anything imminent. He could have been talking about 5-10 years from now.

      • 84Lion says:

        What “leaks?” The Big Ten “rushed” to invite Nebraska because the Big 12 demanded a loyalty oath and Nebraska told the Big Ten they needed an invite or they’d be committed to the Big 12. At least that’s what I’ve read in the papers.
        I don’t think any “leaks” or speculation had anything to do with the timing of Nebraska’s invite from the Big Ten.

        • Bullet says:

          I think you just agreed with me. It leaked that UNL was talking with the B10 so the B12 demanded the loyalty oaths.

          • zeek says:

            That cuts both ways though. At that point, Texas pretty much revealed that they had been in discussions with the Pac-10 about a Pac-16 for months and then bluffed Nebraska in an attempt to get them to stay.

  80. loki_the_bubba says:

    Where we stand now, by conference (according to me):

    Big Twen - done
    ACC - not expanding
    PAC10 – done
    SEC – not expanding
    Big Tex – probably not, if they do: BYU, Louisville, Cincy
    Big East – somewhat likely, possible targets UCF, SMU, Houston, may actually wait for Villanova
    CUSA – reactive, only if raided, replace with LA Tech, WKU, MTSU
    MWC – likely, possible targets UTEP, SMU, Houston, Hawaii, any WAC would jump
    MAC – Unlikely, Only adding D1AA schools – UMass
    WAC – could only add D1AA schoools
    Sun Belt – reactive, could add D1AA if raidied by CUSA

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      I did that too fast. Add ECU to the B.E. possibilities. I think they have a small chance.

      • zeek says:

        No, you were probably right.

        It seems like a lock to be Villanova, and if not then UCF. UCF brings more to the table than ECU even though ECU has comparable attendance. TV-wise UCF draws well enough in the Orlando area and gets you a guaranteed game for every team in Florida. Hard to see how ECU brings anything to the table that UCF doesn’t already bring.

    • Richard says:

      I think the Pac12 will be opportunistic and try to add Texas & hangers-on if they ever become available.

      BTW, did anyone see that on the field of the Texas/TAMU game, instead of the standard “Big XII” logo, Texas had “Texas XII”?

      • zeek says:

        That’s the same status as the Big Ten waiting for Notre Dame.

        Both conferences are done until Texas and Notre Dame enter the discussion again (even though Notre Dame never did anything to really warrant being part of the discussion during the past year).

  81. Richard says:

    So this year will be the first time in the post-WWII era that no BigTen and Pac10 team will meet in the postseason.

    On the otherhand, there will be 4 BigTen-SEC bowl matchups, which has to tie if not set the record.

  82. Adam says:

    It’s my understanding that bowl selections out of the Pac-10 must follow the league standings in order. What of doing that in the Big Ten? I do not like this popularity contest aspect of the bowl selection day.

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      The Texas Bowl director on the radio Friday said they could pick anyone remaining as long as there were enough bowls left for all 7-5 teams to go ahead of 6-6 teams. Not strict order.

      • Adam says:

        Right, I know — I’m asking whether you think the Pac-10′s rule is better.

        • loki_the_bubba says:

          I’m not the right guy to ask. I liked it better when there were only five tie-ins: Rose(2), Orange, Sugar, and Cotton. Everything else was up in the air.

    • Brian says:

      First, that deal does not apply to the BCS. Second, the bowls want freedom of choice. They would want to lower payouts if they are locked into teams. They need some freedom to make the best match-ups. The contracts restrict how far down the list they can go, though.

      Remember that conference standings ignore 1/3 of the season. A 6-2 team in conference could finish 7-5. Should they get picked over an 9-3 (5-3) team?

      Or do you mean they should be locked in by overall record, so 8-4 (4-4) must be picked over 7-5 (7-1)?

      What if a team suffers a major injury late (like NW)? What if one team finishes winning 4 in a row while another ends by losing 4 in a row? What if one team has been to the same bowl many times while the other hasn’t?

      • Adam says:

        I know the deal doesn’t apply to the BCS — I’m not concerned with that. I’m concerned with the beauty pageant of whether Iowa or Michigan goes to the Gator Bowl, etc.

        I don’t really care whether it’s based on conference or overall record — I just want the selection order to be objective, not subjective.

        As for winning or losing games late, not concerned. Playing in the same game multiple years in a row, not concerned.

        • Bullet says:

          The beauty pageant really just significantly impacts the B10. If you look at the other conferences, geography trumped everything else. For example, Maryland went down to ACC #8 because it was the DC bowl. ECU got DC bowl while USM got St. Petersburg and SMU got Armed Forces in their own stadium. UNC got Music City and NCSU got Charlotte. There are lots of examples.

          • Brian says:


            The lower bowls are largely geographic if they have a local conference tie-in, so clearly that doesn’t impact the Big Ten much.

            The beauty pageant does impact the bigger bowls, though. Alabama (9-3) jumped LSU (10-2). Florida (7-5) jumped SC (9-4) and MSU (8-4).

          • Bullet says:

            LSU was geographic. I think they wanted Dallas. Florida looks like more of a geographic pick than beauty. They got the Florida bowl and SC got the Atlanta bowl and a better matchup.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Bullet – you are right about LSU. LSU wanted the Cotton Bowl and CapOne wanted Bama. LSU went to the CapOne last year and hasn’t been to the Cotton in 8 years. Bama hasn’t been to the CapOne is 16 years.

            In going to the Cotton, LSU gets:

            1. an extra week of practice,
            2. a game in a very important recruiting area,
            3. a renewal of a great rivalry with the Aggies that dates back to 1899, with LSU leading the series 26-20-3,
            4. a primetime game and the only game of January 7, and
            5. a dress rehearsal for the 2011 season opener against Oregon at Cowboys Stadium.

            The Orlando trip was miserable last year and had very little with the outcome of the game. Congrats to Joe Pa. The field and stadium in Orlando were disasters. Weather was terrible. I know improvements have been made to the stadium, but Orlando/CapOne is a good once-every-five-years trip, not a back-to-back trip.

            The only regret amongst Tiger fans is that we don’t get to play a higher ranked team, but the benefits of Cotton more than make up for that.

          • Brian says:


            LSU was a geographic fit for the Cotton, sure, but the point is the Cap One had first choice. They didn’t pick Alabama due to geography, and certainly didn’t care about the geography for the Cotton Bowl. The Cap One wanted Alabama and took them, and LSU is happy because they wanted the Cotton.

            I think Florida was more about the name than the geography. Everyone raves about how much SEC fans care and travel, so filling the stadium shouldn’t have been an issue. Even with the loss, you don’t think SC fans are enjoying a good season? SC gets a better match in FSU, but that’s not the Outback’s concern. SC is returning to Atlanta which does them no favors, either.

          • Richard says:

            Well, Atlanta’s a daytrip for most Cocks fans, so I think that certainly played a role. Also, I’m not sure all SEC schools travel very well. Sure, Florida has the bigger brand name as well, but any bowl in Florida is guaranteed to sell out (even if the other school, in this case PSU, didn’t sell a single ticket) if they picked them. I doubt the Gamecocks could fill an entire stadium in Florida.

            Finally, the SEC selection order isn’t cut-and-dried. The Cap One Bowl isn’t certain to always select before the Cotton Bowl. I think the SEC plays a much bigger role when it comes to bowl selection (compared to other power conferences), working with the bowls and the teams to find the best arrangement for everyone involved.

        • Brian says:


          I only pointed out the BCS because some MSU fans think OSU shouldn’t have gotten picked. No bowl contracts will change that, but it points out why that rule is silly. The bowls are businesses and choose the teams that help them the most. If they are locked into certain teams, they will have to pay less to account for the lower profits.

          If you can’t even pick an objective standard, that should tell you something. There are so many variable to consider that it is hard to lock in teams fairly.

          A lot of bowl contracts are based on overall record with a 1-game differential clause (they can select 7-5 over 8-4, but not 6-6 over 8-4). The Insight and Pizza Bowls didn’t have that clause last year, but I don’t know if the Insight has it this year. That’s about as objective as the system can get while keeping the bowls happy.

          While I appreciate your lack of concern over winning late or bringing back the same team, these are serious issues for bowls. They exist to make money, and fans of a mediocre that lost their last 4 games and played in the same bowl the past 3 years are not going to be interested. They won’t travel, they won’t buy tickets and they won’t watch.

          Bowls are not an egalitarian system designed to maximize enjoyment for fans watching on TV. They need to make money and that means they have to worry about things like how a team finishes, where they’ve been bowling recently and major injuries.

          • Adam says:

            Pac-10 seems to make it work. Big Ten schools are much more desirable than Pac-10 schools. Seems to me that if the Pac-10 can insist on such a rule, so can we — we’re in a better position to dictate terms.

          • Richard says:

            The Pac10 has the weakest bowl lineup of any major conference this side of the Big East.

            How would you feel if the BigTen had to send it’s second-place team to the Alamo Bowl?

          • Adam says:

            Given the attractiveness of the programs the Big Ten has available, my assumption/expectation is that the Big Ten would retain the same, or a comparably attractive bowl lineup regardless of what our bowl selection rules were.

          • Richard says:

            If your assumption held (and the BigTen schools really cared about fairness), then we’d already see that clause in the bowl selection rules. Given that we don’t have such a clause, then either the first part isn’t valid or the second part isn’t.

          • Adam says:

            My assumption is the first part of that: the schools don’t care. I think they should.

          • Brian says:


            Why would a business want to get locked into a suboptimal product? The Big Ten would have to give up something ($$$) to get something that it doesn’t seem to want (a locked selection order).

            If you can’t decide what is the fair metric to use to lock the order, doesn’t that make it clear there is a problem with your plan? Does NW deserve to be picked above IL this year? Does MI deserve to picked above IA? Why?

            The nebulous concept of fair does not easily apply to a set of rules.

          • Adam says:

            It’s not that I “can’t decide,” it’s that I’m open to various models — I care more about there being a rule than what it is. In much the same fashion, I don’t much care whether people drive on the right or left side of the road — I just want there to be a rule that everybody has to follow.

          • Adam says:

            As for why a “business” would want to do that: the Big Ten is more than just a business. There is a point where the integrity of the sport and fairness among the membership matters more than profit maximization. I assert that that point is reached when it comes to bowl selection. I am extremely skeptical that the Big Ten would have to forfeit much (if any) money in bowl tie-in fees if the league required the bowls to follow the league standings in one fashion or another (whether overall, or league standings broken by tiebreakers, or whatever model you want — I just want an objective rule).

          • Brian says:


            The business I am talking about is the bowl. Locking them into a team reduces their revenue, so they will want to reduce the payout in turn. Since the Big Ten splits bowl money equally, that hurts everyone.

            Since the top 4 or 5 teams will all play on 1/1, why would the Big Ten care? Most people don’t see much distinction between the lesser bowls anyway. IA could complain it isn’t playing on 1/1, but MSU, PSU, MI and NW are all playing at the same time, so IA may get more exposure. If they had beaten NW or MN, they would be in a better game.

            Since you just want an arbitrary rule, and don’t care what it is, how about they use alphabetical order (rotate the starting letter every year)? Even with a strict record rule, not much would have changed this year with out tiebreakers.

            A simple rule set could be:
            1. Overall record
            2. Conference record
            3. Head to head
            4. Common opponents
            5. Bowl picks

            This year’s result:

            Actual result:

            And NW isn’t complaining since they lost Persa, IL had a better conference record and IL beat them head to head. The only complaints I’ve heard from IA is that they would prefer NE to MO. However, the Outback and Texas Bowls might have been upset with having IA and NW forced on them.

          • Adam says:

            My position is that the Big Ten can dictate terms to the bowls. They may want to profit maximize, but they need Big Ten teams. If this or that Bowl isn’t excited about being locked in to a particular selection order, there’s plenty of competition that would love to have a Big Ten school with its large alumni base headed their way.

            We hold the cards, and I’d like to see that bargaining position used to favor fairness and objectivity over the beauty pageant.

          • Brian says:


            The Big Ten needs the bowls as much as they need the Big Ten. Not every bowl can match the payouts the Big Ten gets now, and don’t think other conferences wouldn’t like to take the Big Ten spot away in some of these games.

            The best leverage is playing off western bowls versus Florida bowls, but geography limits that somewhat.

            It isn’t worth antagonizing business partners over something that nobody involved in the deal wants to change. They are better off using pressure behind the scenes to protect teams like NW than trying to force it into a contract.

            Delany and company recognize that there is no good way to codify fairness and take into account all the possible situations that might come up.

    • Brian says:

      Do you have a source for that? I have yet to see it in writing anywhere. I’m not saying you are wrong, but it would be nice to have verification.

  83. Badgerholic says:

    My wife and work ethic are thrilled there is no pending expansion.

  84. Richard says:

    So the BigTen are the underdog in every single bowl game they play this year according to Sagarin.

    Anyone know the official lines?

    • Brian says:

      OSU is favored if you use his preferred rankings (Predictor), #6 – #12.

      I’m guessing the Pac 10 is favored in every game according to him, too. He has Alabama ranked above 2 of the 3 teams they lost to as well. Suffice it to say, his rankings are not that reliable.

    • ohio1317 says:

      Kind of hard to believe TCU would be favored over Wisconsin (not necessarily saying they don’t deserve to be ranked higher, that’s a different discussion)

      • Michael in Indy says:

        Why is it hard to believe?

        Wisconsin, by all means, is a very, very good team. But just as TCU’s offensive numbers are skewed since they played a lot of decidedly weaker opponents, Wisconsin’s offensive numbers are also skewed. Indiana and Northwestern, in particular, all but gave up in their games.

        Wisconsin also has a mental hurdle to overcome that TCU doesn’t. Alabama & Oklahoma came into their bowl games against Utah & Boise with a disappointed attitude, and they didn’t take their opponents as seriously as if they’d been, say, Ohio State. Wiscon