There’s a fairly well-known story about how Bobby Knight, who had coached Michael Jordan on the U.S. Olympic team in 1984, called up his friend and then-Portland Trailblazer GM Stu Inman prior to the NBA Draft that year to sell him on taking MJ with the second pick.  (It was assumed and unquestioned by everyone at that time that the Houston Rockets would take Hakeem Olajuwon at #1.)  Inman kept saying, “We need a center.” Knight responded, “Then draft Jordan and play him at center!

Inman didn’t heed Coach Knight’s advice and ended up taking Sam Bowie, leaving the Chicago Bulls to pick Jordan at #3.  We all know what has happened since then: a Bulls dynasty, millions of Nikes sold, the Shrug and even coming full circle years later with Greg Oden spending more time taking cell phone pictures than actually playing, the Bulls getting Derrick Rose with a 1.7% lottery chance and the Taj Majal teabagging Dwyane Wade last Sunday night.  The lesson is that in the draft for any sport, you should take the best player on the board regardless of perceived need or fit.

In the world of non-AQ schools, the best school on the board to move up to the AQ level is BYU (and I don’t believe there’s a close second).  The school has an athletic department whose revenue and size is right in line with other AQ schools, sells out a 63,725-seat football stadium consistently, travels extremely well for bowls, has a nationwide following among members of the LDS, and even boasts a top-level basketball program.  However, the two most geographically accessible AQ conferences for BYU don’t really want them (the Pac-12 on religious grounds and the Big 12 for the lack of financial need for Texas and friends).

Enter the Big East, where BYU pretty much delivers everything that the conference could possibly want in an expansion candidate… except that it’s a juuuuuuust a bit outside of the Northeast.  I’d compare it to one of those draft decisions where there’s a player on the board with all of the talent in the world but has a little reefer problem – it’s a 99% dream pick with a 1% glaring issue.

Still, it didn’t really surprise me that much that the Big East apparently had a cup of coffee (or maybe a can of caffeine-free Diet Coke) with BYU to see if the Cougars would entertain a football-only invite.  Who knows whether this will really lead to anything, but count me in as someone that likes this line of thinking for the Big East.  I’ve proposed the Big Country Conference in the past (a coast-to-coast football-only conference with the Big East football members as the pillars) along with expounding the value of BYU.  My position is that if the Big East really wants to expand for football, then it needs a ready-made school to plug-in as opposed to searching for potential or focusing on geography.  (I was pushing TCU for the Big East many months before they were publicly on the radar for the conference.)  The usual suspects such as Central Florida, East Carolina and Houston are a bit more geographically-friendly for the Big East compared to BYU, but nowhere near the same level in terms of history, fan base size and financial resources.

Now, is this a good idea for BYU?  As a newly minted independent, it’s guaranteed at least three games per year on ESPN worth $800,000 to $1.2 million per game.  That means $2.4 million in TV money annually from ESPN at a minimum and with attractive games on the future schedule with Notre Dame and Texas, BYU is probably looking at closer to the $4 million to $5 million range just for football TV rights, which is more than what the Big East football members are currently making from ESPN for both football and basketball (around $3 million per year).  Coupled with BYU TV and from a pure television contract perspective, BYU may very well be better off as an independent than joining the Big East at this time.

At the same time, the travel burden of being a western outpost in an Eastern-based conference is really on BYU as opposed to the rest of the Big East.  Is it all worth it in order to join an AQ conference?

I would unequivocally say yes.  That status in and of itself is invaluable in terms of recruiting, national perception and certain in terms of competing with in-state rival Utah (who just hit the lottery with the Pac-12’s new TV deal).  The Big East TV contract is due for at least a market-based increase in a couple of years. So, even if BYU’s ESPN money looks good right now, it may not look so hot compared to a new Big East deal.  Also, a 10-2 BYU in the Big East is probably going to a BCS bowl, whereas a 10-2 BYU as an independent is going to be scrambling around to find a second-tier bowl bid.  Finally, if BYU thinks that it would be a good idea to wait around to see if the Big 12 would expand down the road, that certainly isn’t a guarantee and even if the Big 12 really did want BYU, the school would actually be even more attractive as having had AQ status.  Offers for spots in AQ conferences are few and far between and it wouldn’t be wise for anyone from the non-AQ level to pass those up.

Now, I could understand if BYU won’t consider anything less than a full invite to the Big East… and if I’m running the Big East, I’d give it to them.  BYU is really the only realistic “big” move that the Big East could possibly make where they would provide a material increase in the value of the conference’s deals on both the football and basketball sides.  Therefore, despite the fact that a Big East-BYU marriage would stretch the conference far west, that geographic issue is far outweighed by everything else that the Cougars bring to the table.  It may not be a perfect fit, but the Big East and BYU are ultimately the best players on the board for each other.

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

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  1. herbiehusker says:


  2. greg says:

    Go Hawks! We have so many rivals, we need three crossovers.

  3. herbiehusker says:


  4. swesleyh says:

    Frank, you are an attorney. How difficult do you suppose it would be to convince the television powers and the Big East football schools to leave the Big East and form a new conference? Suppose you could get the TV money up to about ten/twelve million per year per school. Suppose you have the pick of the existing Big East schools plus BYU. Suppose you take some of the forgotten seven from the dying Big Twelve like Missouri, or Kansas or K-State, or Texas Tech to get to the perfect number of twelve, maybe fourteen in basketball if Notre Dame wanted membership? What do you think?

  5. Alan from Baton Rouge says:


  6. Kyle says:

    No one thinks the Mountain Timezone is going to be an issue?

    • Phil says:


      For the Pac 12, when it came to the TV contract, moving into the Mountain time zone wasn’t a bug it was a feature. It may also benefit the Big East in its contract negotiation to spread its live content over a bigger time frame.

    • cfn_ms says:

      It’s certainly an issue… but it’s solvable to some degree (for instance, splitting 10 teams into 2 divisions for scheduling purposes; you can’t do a CCG w/ 10 teams, but if you have 8 games, BYU is in a division w/ (for example) TCU, Lville, Cincy and one other (I’d guess USF but there’s no fantastic fit for the fifth team). Travel is an issue but not a titanic one for intra-division play, and then you end up playing (probably) 4 from the other “division”.

      Obviously logistically awkward but not insanely so.

  7. Phil says:

    Since the Big East allegedly folded after TCU refused a football only invite, BYU is certainly not going to accept one.

    Assuming you offer BYU an all sports invite, it seems to make sense that the other two football teams you add to get to 12 are from Texas or the mountain states. Who do people feel would be the best two candidates?

    • Jake says:

      The Big East just couldn’t live without TCU’s powerhouse rifle and equestrian teams.

    • Bamatab says:

      If they were to add two more teams after adding BYU, I think their best options would be UCF and maybe Houston. I can’t think of another mountain state team that they would add.

      • ccrider55 says:

        Think plains/midwest. TCU already gets them into TX. How much more would Houston add? Who has decent FB and decent BB, or just ok FB and great BB that might be in the market for an alternative situation?

        • cfn_ms says:

          pretty much nobody. that’s the problem.

        • bullet says:

          TCU’s penetration into SE Texas is about the same as Washington St.’s. Just as Houston’s penetration into DFW is about the same as WSU. They’re one market for UT and A&M, but 2 distinct ones for other schools.

          • Phil says:

            I don’t think any available schools make a dent in the larger “Texas” market. The question is do any of them bring enough of their area. For example, does adding Houston have an impact in that sizable market? Would adding SMU (along with TCU) cumulatively bring enough alumni/fans to make the Big East relevant in DFW?

        • Jake says:

          Air Force? They’re terrible at basketball, but generally pretty salty at football. The last thing the Big East needs is a strong basketball school with a poor football team – you’d be taking coals to Newcastle. That’s why I don’t really consider Memphis to be an option.

          • cfn_ms says:

            But Memphis is atrocious rather than just poor at football. Shouldn’t that help? :p

        • M says:

          “None of the above” is the going away winner, but if they had to pick someone I would have to go with Houston.

  8. bullet says:

    I’ve seen a couple of people on boards suggest that BYU is going to get $8-13 million from all its TV deals. Just board talk, so it could be just that, talk. Anyone have any more info than what Frank identified above? Not being a state school, the contract details may be easier to keep confidential. But then we’re hearing everything about the top secret mission in Pakistan, so a lot of people talk when they shouldn’t.

    I really doubt BYU would want all sports membership. There would be a real cost in $ and on the students. BYU dumped MWC for WCC and its tiny gyms. I don’t see them wanting BE basketball that much to subject the rest of their sports to that travel.

  9. Art Director says:

    NCAA rules require a minimum number of teams in conferences, but do they require a minimum number of games?

    Say the Big East moves to a 12-team league, but only required teams to play their 5 divisional opponents? You COULD schedule cross divisional games, but didn’t have to?

    This would mitigate travel concerns for BYU, and may also appeal enough for Notre Dame to join. They wouldn’t be committing to a 8- or 9-game schedule, just 5 games.

    Also, this means that you could have a 12-team football league and an 18-team hoops league (add TCU and BYU for all, add Nova and ND football).

    I know the last thing anyone wants to hear is another crack pot “let’s add Notre Dame” theory, but that way the Big East could get to 12 FB schools without splitting up the hoops league.

  10. Jake says:

    Frank – thanks for the post. I’ve been arguing for BYU to the Big East for awhile now, and it’s heartening to see others coming around. I was only somewhat serious at first (as I’m guessing you were with the Big Country post), but the more I think about it the less crazy it seems. Both sides really have a lot to offer each other. A strong football program and access to western markets from BYU, and eastern exposure and AQ status from the Big East. I don’t see travel as a deal breaker – there are only about four sports other than football and basketball that the BE sponsors regular season championships in that BYU also plays, and the rest would mostly keep playing in tournaments all over the country.

    TV is, as always, the biggest issue. If BYU played eight Big East games a year, would they get to keep scheduling those lucrative OOC deals with the likes of ND and Texas? If a Big East Network is launched, will BYU get any third-tier sports programming for BYUtv?

    Anyway, good post. I wouldn’t mind seeing a Mavs-Bulls finals, but I think you’ll understand if I say that we have some unfinished business with the Heat to discuss.

    • Jake says:

      It was baseball, softball, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball. Other non-revenue sports would be mostly unaffected by a Big East move.

  11. bullet says:

    As for Portland, a healthy Sam Bowie could have been a game changer as well. But then he already had some issues in college. NBA hasn’t done well with really tall players-the legs/joints give out-Sam Bowie, Ralph Sampson, Yao Ming. And Portland did get Clyde Drexler with an mid teen pick the year before.

  12. BYU is going to be problematic for any major conference. First off, unless it’s a football-only invite, their refusal to play on Sunday will affect sports like basketball, baseball, women’s basketball, etc. This becomes more problematic if they have far-flung opponents like the Big East. Harder to make non-revenue road trips work when you don’t have the flexibility of half the weekend.

    There’s also the growing animosity towards BYU’s racial issues. Read the Deadspin article: You alluded to this months ago when discussing how schools like Cal Berkeley would never accept BYU into the Pac 10. The Big East schools may not be as radical as Berkeley, but you can bet if any serious talk started some of the Big East people would start to object. (Don’t forget, PC champion and the devil’s right hand, Nancy Cantor, is still at Syracuse!)

    On paper it makes perfect sense for all the reasons you mentioned, but BYU is a totally unique animal due to its ties to the LDS church (you think their backing of California’s gay marriage ban won’t come up?). Add to that the arrogance factor of BYU. I live in Utah and I can tell you unequivocally that their fans and administration think they’re no different from Notre Dame.

    I just don’t see it happening. But hey, I’ve been wrong plenty before in all this mess!

  13. cfn_ms says:

    Copying post from Pac-x thread:

    I would guess that the big issue is that BYU wants (and probably thinks they can eventually get) an all-sports invite. I don’t think that they can get it without a FB-nonFB breakup… but that’s a plausible outcome to all this. At some point the FB schools need to make a decision on what they want to do and what they want to be.

    If they want to remain a totally BB-centric league, they can suck it up and invite Nova with their lousy FB program and tiny stadium, stand pat at 10 for FB, emphasize BB (and hope that grows heavily for TV revenue) and accept the substantial risk of falling by the wayside in FB (BE + Nova almost certainly not an AQ in the 2014 evaluation).

    Or if they want to become a FB-centric league, they can suck it up and break away from the BB schools, go from 9 to 10 by bringing BYU in all sports, and then try to find two more schools to reach 12 (at that point, they can either take UCF and one Texas school or maybe two Texas schools [SMU, Houston?], or maybe some other pairing).

    Or they can sit back and see happens with expansion elsewhere, with the most likely eventual outcome being that a couple of theirs move to “have” leagues and the rest become permanent have-nots.

    Those are really the three paths that make any sense at all to me. Personally I think the FB schools would be best-served by following the 2nd path, emphasizing football and breaking away from the BB schools so that they can actually expand without creating an unworkable situation (add 3 new schools to hit 12 for FB and you get something like TWENTY schools for BB… and even the current 17 or so is really pushing the limits).

    But that’s just my take. The BE could certainly come to a different conclusions. But I think that, one way or the other, they need to figure out what they want to do at a high level and start making decisions that reflect this philosophy, whatever it is.

  14. frug says:

    I have a tough time seeing this happening. The fact TCU (who didn’t have the option of independence) wasn’t willing to accept a football only invite means that BYU probably wouldn’t either. The problem is the non-football schools probably feel like got burned in the Villanova debacle and may block any future all sports expansion unless “Nova is admitted first. I’m not saying its impossible for BYU to join just highly unlikely unless the football members split off.

    • The only thing that might work in the Big East’s favor here is BYU has already split their sports. Independent in fotball and WCC in most other sports (WAC in a few minor sports). Clearly the Big East is a much much better conference than the WCC, but considering how heavily BYU recruits California and how many Mormons live in California (there are more LDS members in Cali than in Utah), it may not be quite as big a deal for them to stay in the WCC for other sports. Especially if they get to keep more of their second-tier sports on BYUtv.

      • bullet says:

        From Jake’s comments, I suspect the WCC is stronger in the non-revs with league play–baseball, softball, women’s volleyball almost certainly. Maybe even soccer, although the BE has some strong programs.

        In many of the other sports where the BE might be stronger, the league championship is just another tourney. There are regional championships that matter for the NCAA tourney/meet.

        The only sports where the WCC wouldn’t work as well would be basketball and football.

        • bullet says:

          And BYU might prefer to be one of 2 or 3 big fish in a small pond than an also-ran in BE basketball (see once proud DePaul, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Providence).

      • JRid says:

        There actually aren’t more LDS members in California than in Utah; not even close. There are just over 755,000 Mormons in CA and almost 2 million in Utah as of 2010. I think you’re thinking of Las Vegas vs. Salt Lake City where Vegas actually has more Mormons than Salt Lake (though LV has a lot more people period than SLC). BYU definitely has the same effect to many Mormons that Notre Dame has to many Catholics, but obviously there are FAR more Catholics in this country than Mormons, so don’t expect BYU to be selling out opponents’ stadiums all over the country like Notre Dame can.

        I don’t think BYU would have much of a problem joining football-only in the Big East. Their other sports clearly don’t need the Big East to gain national prominence, even basketball.

        • You are correct, I misspoke (mis-typed?) Meant to say “nearly” as many, since the figures I’ve seen have Mormon population growing in California (approaching 1 million) and stagnating in Utah at a little over 1.7. Mea culpa!

          I guess my point is that more than nearly 4 million of the 5.5 million Mormons in this country live in the western US, so the Big East may not be the best fit for their fan base. It would almost force them to commit to several non-conference games on the west coast every year.

  15. Sportsman says:

    How much of an issue would the religion factor be? Would the primarily Catholic BE want BYU or even SMU? With TCU, religion was somewhat of a positive, with some of the other available religious, non-Catholic schools, it may be too much of a negative.

    • Jake says:

      SMU is no more religious than TCU; both are essentially secular. Prayers before football games is about as far as it goes. BYU is a whole different story. I don’t know how all of the Big East members would feel about that. Other than the Sunday play thing, I don’t feel like it would be a problem.

  16. J. says:

    Frank, love your blog; hate the new look.

  17. Michael in Indy says:

    This past season was the first of a four-year cycle for most bowls’ contracts with conferences. Once that cycle is over, and re-negotiations begin in late 2013 & early 2014, I suspect that BYU will strike a deal with the MWC or the WAC for bowl games, similar to the way Notre Dame is tied into the Big East’s bowl games. In exchange, BYU would, well, continue to play 3-4 games a year against the MWC or WAC.

    Anyway, I seriously doubt BYU is going to have trouble getting some decent bowl tie-ins next bowl cycle.

    • Michael in Indy says:

      Something else to consider: assuming BYU remains an independent, couldn’t they work out something out with the Big 12 in terms of bowl tie-ins? The Big 12 is almost certain to be less attractive to its current bowl partners three years from now. The league lost two members, including an all-time powerhouse, and the remaining members will have five more conference losses among them. It’ll be awfully hard for the league to keep the Alamo AND Insight on top of the Fiesta, Cotton, and its lower-tier bowl games if they’re having to take teams with four to six losses, which is a pretty distinct possibility. But if BYU had a deal with the Big 12 like the Big East’s deal with Notre Dame, then the league would have a much better chance of keeping its best bowl tie-ins from being taken by the Pac-12 or Big Ten or SEC.

      • Richard says:

        That may happen. What also could happen is ND and BYU banding together and getting some bowl tie-ins, maybe with the B10, B12, or P12. For example, I could see three of the Insight, Alamo, Sun, or Holiday bowls picking from ND, BYU, 1 B10, 1 B12, and 2 P12, with an extra B12 or B10 team picked if ND or BYU aren’t available.

        • Richard says:

          Hypothetical scenario:
          Insight, Alamo, Holiday, and Sun form a bowl alliance to choose from amongst P12 #2,#3,&#4, B12 #3&#4, B10 #4 as well as ND and BYU (B10 #5 goes to the Gator to face SEC #6).

          All 4 bowls can choose ND or BYU once in 4 years.

          Picking order is

          If ND or BYU are missing, the bowls can choose from B10 #6 or B12 #5 (who would otherwise be meeting in the Texas Bowl).

          • Richard says:

            I forgot to mention:

            I think pretty much everybody would like this arrangement. ND gets to play every postseason in the SW where it wants to expand its fanbase; BYU stays in all the western areas where it wants to be; the bowls get a variety of new opponents every year; and I think all the conferences would be happy to be sending their teams to new bowls all the time. The tough part is pulling this off logistically.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Perhaps I’m missing something. What is the incentive for a conference to align with a bowl that can displace a member with a non-member at the bowl’s discretion?

          • Michael in Indy says:


            Just as with the Big East/ND arrangement, any bowl could only take BYU over a Big 12 team once in a four-year contract. The incentive is to ensure that the bowl would take Big 12 teams the other three years, if not all four.

            Just wait and see… over the next three seasons, the Alamo, Insight, and especially the Holiday are going to start having teams with 5 and 6 losses, and they’re a lot more likely to be teams that bring relatively small crowds and low ratings like Kansas State or Baylor or Iowa State than they are to be Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, or Oklahoma State. The Insight, which gets the fourth pick among 10 Big 12 teams, is going to start looking a lot more favorably at the Pac-12, where it could the third pick among 12 more regionally-friendly teams. The Holiday is going to look more favorably upon the Big Ten because a 6-6 or 7-5 Big Ten team would be much more likely to result in a sellout than a Big 12 team with the same record. But if those bowls could have a strong-traveling BYU team with a record more like 10-2 or 9-3 as a choice alongside the Big 12 teams, it could be enough for the Big 12 to keep its highest-paying bowl tie-ins.

          • ccrider55 says:

            I guess what I’m asking is unless it’s a new (for the conference) bowl, or an opening for a lower qualifying conference member, wouldn’t a conference try to secure the spot for their membership? Does BYU get as to become a “provisional member” of those conferences that would be at risk of being displaced? Do they have that kind of juice?

      • bullet says:

        Big 12 doesn’t need any help on bowl tie-ins. They aren’t the Big East. They are far and away the most attractive alternative on all their top bowl tie-ins and most of their lower level ones as well (which are easily replaced with 35 bowls). Only one in question would be Holiday and are they going to want the #5 or #6 Big 10 team more than #3 Big 12? BYU wouldn’t really help on that.

        WAC doesn’t have anything to offer BYU. They are losing their tie-ins.

        MWC hates BYU. They aren’t going to offer them any help.

        • Michael in Indy says:


          The Big 12 may very well need help keeping its tie-ins. Having 10 teams all playing each other puts a lot of wear and tear on the league. Just ask the Pac-10 after last year:

          Oregon, 9-0,12-1
          Stanford, 8-1, 12-1
          Washington, 5-4, 7-6
          USC, 5-4, 8-5
          Oregon State, 4-5, 5-7
          Arizona State, 4-5, 6-6
          Arizona, 4-5, 7-6
          California, 3-6, 5-7
          UCLA, 2-7, 4-8
          Washington State, 1-8, 2-10
          Only five bowl-eligible records, including USC. The same kind of thing could easily happen with the Big 12.

          • Richard says:

            True, plus with 10 schools, there’s just no way that the B12 keeps all 8 tie-ins.

          • cfn_ms says:

            especially if they upgrade the OOC slates, as has been discussed as part of what the networks were looking for.

        • Richard says:


          The Holiday gets the B12 #5 now, so your hypothetical is a false one. In any case, I do think bowls would find both ND & BYU to be more attractive than the B12 #5.

          My guess is that ND, BYU, P12 #2, #3, & #4, B12 #3, & #4, and B10 #5 will be split up some how between the Alamo, Insight, Holiday, and Sun bowls.

  18. greg says:

    BTN announces remaining night games. Seven total games, only 3 are conference games. NW is involved in all 3 conf games, including at Kinnick while hosting Michigan and PSU.

    • Craig Z says:

      I know their choices are limited, but games against I-AA teams in prime time. They need to work on that.

      • Brian says:

        The MSU/YSU game is the Friday of Labor Day weekend. It may be nobody else wanted to move to Friday. Strangely they don’t have a Saturday game that weekend. They also had to take a MN game and 9/24 is the bad weekend. After ESPN picks their games there wasn’t much left so they might as well take MN then rather than a weekend with better choices.

      • cutter says:

        After looking at the schedule of games being played in prime time on the Big Ten Network, a couple of thoughts come to mind.

        The first is that it provides prime evidence for why the Big Ten would want to go to a nine-game conference schedule. Two of the prime time games are against 1-AA opponents, and while going to an enlarged schedule of conference games might not stop that practice, it might curtail it. More importantly, a nine-game conference schedule would provide a better inventory of games available to the BTN. If the BTN wants to be a serious player for prime time football broadcasts and be a “destination network” for viewers, it has to improve the quality of the opponents.

        The second thought I had is that perhaps the Big Ten would look to schedule conference games in the first three weeks of the season. Michigan, for example, opened the 1996 season with Illinois and play the Illini in the second game of the 1995 season after opening with Virginia in a Pigskin Classic contest, so it has been done before.

        This would provide ABC/ESPN and the Big Ten Network some better season matchups so that Youngstown State v. Michigan State or North Dakota State v. Minnesota aren’t prime time matchups. I could see the Big Ten scheduling two confrence games in Weeks 1, 2, and 3 of the season with at least one of them becoming prime time broadcasts on the BTN. That means each team in the Big Ten plays at least one conference game before the final week of September.

        Obviously, it would also mean playing non-conference games in October or November, but that is something the SEC manages to do. Admittedly, though all the high profile SEC non-confernce games take place early in the season. The ones later in the season are almost always against minor opponents and take place immediately prior to major conference games. The Big Ten could probably do the same thing, if they’re willing to do it.

        I have to imagine the 2015/6 Big Ten schedules are going to be out fairly soon. We’ll see how much television really drives the bus when it comes to college football, especially since the ABC/ESPN contract runs out in 2015.

        • Brian says:

          You have to remember the circumstance. Who else wanted to move to Friday night like MSU/YSU did? Both teams have to agree to that. MN had to get a night game, and there was an opening on 9/24. If you were the BTN, how would you have met your needs?

          ESPN still gets to pick at least 2 games first, so just shifting 2 games may not help. With 9 games, I think they’ll go to 3 conference games each in weeks 3 and 4. That keeps the OOC in September (unless someone fills a bye week with an OOC game) while also providing solid games in weeks 3 and 4 to go with the bad games. Weeks 1 and 2 already have some decent games every year. Usually week 4 is the problem as teams want a virtual bye to prepare for the conference schedule.

        • jj says:

          Also. I’m a state man and had zero desire to go to this. Now that it’s at night, I’d think about it. I love night games at msu.

        • Richard says:


          Pretty much all of those early season conference games were moved there in order to fit PSU in to the schedule of the other B10 schools, I believe. That said, I had mentioned in the previous thread that when the B10 goes to 9 conference games, during a regular 13 week season, we may very well see something like the following

          Week 1: All OOC
          Week 2: Half
          Week 3: Half
          Week 4: Half
          Week 5: Half
          Week 6: 5 games
          Week 7: 5 games
          Week 8: 5 games
          Week 9: 5 games
          Week10: 5 games
          Week11: 5 games
          Week12: Full
          Week13: Full

          We may see a smattering of OOC games in Oct/Nov as some schools may schedule OOC games in to their bye weeks, but most OOC games would still take place in weeks 1-5.

        • m (Ag) says:

          “Admittedly, though all the high profile SEC non-confernce games take place early in the season. The ones later in the season are almost always against minor opponents and take place immediately prior to major conference games. The Big Ten could probably do the same thing, if they’re willing to do it.”

          The traditional rivalries are glaring exceptions.

          South Carolina/Clemson
          Georgia/Georgia Tech

          are all played the last week of the season. In addition, Vanderbilt frequently plays a game that weekend…often Wake Forest. Certainly not an attention getting game, but it’s not a minor matchup for Vanderbilt.

  19. M says:

    Does anyone know if the Villanova plan is officially dead? Is there any bad blood on behalf of the basketball schools because of how that went down?

    • Brian says:

      At least publicly, the BE is still thinking about it. It may be cover for Nova to come back with a better proposal with suitable stadium plans.

  20. Brian says:

    Thrashers to Winnipeg appears to be a done deal despite everyone involved denying it.

  21. Richard says:


    For what it’s worth, browsing the BYU boards, Cougar fans seem to think that the ESPN deal pays $1-2M per home game televised (probably based on profitability) and that BYU could conservatively get $1M in ad money for the games they televise on BYUTV (because they were selling them for $800K/game locally some time in the past) + $2M for the neutral site game against TCU (and maybe other neutral site games like that against attractive opponents), which is how they probably come up with the $8-12M figure for TV money.

  22. RR1066 says:

    UCF and Houston still look the best of the do-able teams. Those who have been to the BYU campus know it is a nice school. However the no sports on Sunday policy would kill any BB membership.
    This BYU invite may be like the supposed Kansas & Kansas lite offer of last year. More myth than meat.
    I am still waiting for evidence that the basketball commish Marinatto has a clue or gives a darn about FB.

    • Gopher86 says:

      Bill Self went on the record that the Big East had a deal on the table for MU, ISU, KU and KSU. No one has gone on the record here.

  23. bullet says:

    Interesting interview with ND’s AD. About midway down he answers questions about scheduling, realignment and media. Views media arrangements now as reducing future realignment.

    • Brian says:

      Good to see he plans to keep the more difficult schedules. ND really let the schedule get soft for a while.

      • cutter says:

        We’ll see if they can continue to pull it off. Even Swarbrick says in the bottom part of the article that it was difficult to get that 2012 schedule together.

        Notre Dame was fortunate the Pac 12 gave USC and Stanford a waiver to play ND in the latter part of the season. With three Big Ten games in September plus Navy, USC and Stanford as regular opponents (Stanford and ND are signed up thru 2019), that means ND essentially has half of its schedule in place through the decade. I don’t think Notre Dame would have a problem getting another six teams on the schedule–the question is which ones are realistically available or want to play Notre Dame in October or November in the midst of conference play.

        Brigham Young, for obvious reasons, will be there on a regular basis, along with programs from the Big East and ACC. Outside of three season openers with Texas (starting in 2015) plus one more games against UT in September plus a home-and-home with Oklahoma, there’s no indication ND will be playing many Big XII teams. The SEC remains a no show based on what has been published on their future schedules.

        Notre Dame has to be happy they were able to get Northwestern for a couple of November dates (2014/18), but that seems to be an outlier with Big Ten programs (and it’s also do to a strong relationship between the two schools’ athletic directors). The same with Miami and the 1-1-1 set up they have with the Hurricanes.

        I’m sure Notre Dame will continue to play teams from the Mountain West, although that conference will be going to a nine-game round robin, so that means fewer scheduling opportunities (the same would happen with the Big East if Villanova or some other combination of teams is brought into the fold).

        The bottom line is this though–if Notre Dame doesn’t become a consistent winner, it’s not going to matter how their schedule is finally put together. Once ND gets two or three losses in a season, the television ratings for Irish games get real soft, real quick. Couple that with games mostly against second tier/non-marquee programs (with the obvious exception of USC) and you have a problem.

        • Brian says:

          Outside of TX and OU, which B12 schools would ND want to play? Maybe MO if they stay good and TAMU for Houston?

          Similarly, with 3 B10’s locked in how many more midwest teams do they want to play? OSU and NE? Once the B10 goes to 9 games, who will want to add in ND?

          The problem with the SEC for ND is FL refuses to play out of state. I’d guess they talk to GA, AL and Vandy and nobody else.

          The issue ND may face is with 9 game schedules in the P12, B12, B10 and BE eventually, and maybe the ACC. That reduces the number of AQs willing to play ND home and home.

          Will the ACC also go to 9? I’ve seen some fans advocate it but nothing official. The problem, I’d assume, is the number of OOC games with the SEC (FSU/FL, GT/GA, Clemson/SC) and other AQs (BC/Syracuse, MD/WV, WF/Vandy, etc). It may be a tough sell. I assume the SEC would be last to 9 games (maybe never), but they are last to play ND, too.

          • cutter says:

            I think there’s a difference between how Notre Dame would want to play in comparison to who Notre Dame can play–and that’s my larger point.

            For example, do you really think playing Washington State in San Antonio for a neutral site game was an optimal opponent for Notre Dame? Or did ND feel it was better to get a game in Texas even with a program that is relatively low profile (and in that year, only went 1-11)? The same goes with a couple of opponents from last season, i.e., Tulsa and Western Michigan. I doubt Notre Dame really wanted to play them, but they were available and willing to fill an open schedule slot.

            So when it comes to which teams in the Big XII Notre Dame would play, my answer is based on when they’re availalble. If Kansas State were to say they were willing to come to South Bend during the first week of November to play ND, and Notre Dame had the open slot, then ND would play K-State.

            I don’t think ND is going to go beyond three Big Ten games per year, so that’s a moot point. I suspect ND would like to have some of those games later in the year, and if the B10 opts to schedule some future confernce games in the first three weeks of September, then that might happen.

            I think the bigger problem for the SEC is that it’s such a difficult conference that there’s no real incentive to play Notre Dame in the midst of conference play. Couple that with programs who have some tough non-conference rivalries anyway (Florida-FSU, Georgia-Georgia Tech, So. Carolina-Clemson), and you knock down the pool of SEC teams willing to play ND.

            I agree with you that the problem Notre Dame may face in the future comes from a combination of further conference expansion coupled with nine-game conference schedules. ND would have been on a very small island if the Pac 16 had come into existence and other dominos started falling once that happened. Heck, Swarbrick says straight out in that article that ND was monitoring the conference expansion issue on a daily basis.

          • Brian says:

            If you noticed, ND said they play “home” games at neutral sites to help the school, not the team. They may play a lesser B12 team at a neutral site for that reason, but not a series that includes an away game. They already play in the midwest, west and northeast regularly, so the neutral site would have to be in the south. Series with Miami or GT would cover the southeast, and TX covers the south, so I don’t see much need for the rest of the Big 12.

        • Michael in Indy says:

          Notre Dame will be just fine.

          No matter how the exact dates change from year to year, there are always 13 Saturdays among September, October, & November. Notre Dame has to fill 12 of them because one week would be their bye.

          Let’s assume that the first four weekends are easy to fill and would not include their bye. The majority of the games those weekends are non-conference games across college football, anyway, and with ND being ND, they can get almost anybody home-and-home that they want. Besides, three of those games will generally be Michigan State, Michigan, and Purdue. In the years when one of them has a year off from ND, someone will else step up to the plate. In years when a prime opponent like Texas, Oklahoma, or Miami wants its game within the first four weeks, Michigan State or Purdue would probably be all right bumping their game to a fifth Saturday in September or to the first Saturday in October. (It’s been done before.)

          ND’s bigger concern would have to be filling up the final nine weeks of the calendar. One of those weeks would be a bye. One would be an October game against either Stanford or USC, depending on the year. Another would be the season finale against either Stanford or USC. Another would be against Navy. Most years, another game would be against Boston College. Most years, another game would be against Pitt.

          That leaves just three games in the season’s final nine weeks for the Domers to be truly concerned about, and Notre Dame already has some teams contracted to fill the voids, such as BYU and Northwestern. Other Big East teams beside Pitt will certainly be willing. Same for ACC teams. Specifically, Georgia Tech has played a lot of games against ND through the years and would probably agree once again. I’m sure FSU would be willing to arrange a home-and-home, too, later in the decade; their early 90’s and early 2000’s games were a big hit for both fanbases.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Mike – during the 70s, 80s & 90s, LSU & Notre Dame played – often late in the season. As Louisiana is the most Catholic state in the South, LSU has and would always find a find to fit Notre Dame into the schedule.

          • Michael in Indy says:


            That would be a pretty awesome series to see.

        • Richard says:

          I have to second what Mike of Indy said. With the B10 looking to spread conference games in to September, the 3 B10 rivalry games can fit in to the first 5 weeks. Of the other 8 weeks, one is a bye, 2 are taken up by USC&Stanford, & 1 by Navy. That leaves 4 games to be filled by schools from 2 BCS conferences (ACC & BE), usually including Pitt & BC. I don’t think ND would find it hard to find roughly 2 opponents a year from each league (and there’s always Army & the non-AQs). The other 2 games early in the year can be filled by Texas, OU, an SEC team, or other B10 or P12 teams.

    • joe4psu says:

      Interesting that last year the BTN was was considered to be part the reason for expansion but Swarbrick considers it a detriment. I think he’s wrong in two ways. School’s have to pay for their stake in the network so that doesn’t cost the conference in any way and additional revenue is created in multiple ways from the addition of new schools/markets.

      The BTN makes money for the conference in at least three ways. The network pays the conference rights fees for the content and that should go up with expansion. The network makes money from advertising which should go up with more content without considering the rates charged for the advertising. The network also makes money from cable companies for access to the network and that will increase with additional households being charged in the new markets. It seems to me that any school outside of the current footprint would create SOME additional income. It’s just that SOME additions would make a lot more income for the network and the conference.

      I also find it interesting that Swarbrick says that conference owned networks make it less likely for these conferences to expand but Scott has already said that the Pac-12 desires further expansion. I think it may have to do with old thinking from Swarbrick in contrast to new thinking from Scott and Scott has proved to be a genius at expansion and getting paid for the value of that expansion.

      Another thing that has bothered me about the whole expansion exercise is that now people say that the B1G’s stopping at twelve schools proves that none of the others would benefit the conference financially. Isn’t that in direct opposition to the reports early on that consultants had looked at a number of schools and that some if not all would be profitable additions? I still think that political pressure and the perception of greed that the media was creating made the presidents leery of further change.

  24. jj says:

    Here’s a strong opinion piece on the Big Ten’s recent hints about playing players. I think I pretty much agree with this one.|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

    • Brian says:

      I think he’s wrong on several fronts:

      1. Some of the people taking money now don’t want to break the rules but feel they need the money. These players may well not break the rules if they get the full cost of attendance. It just like most people will pay for something on the honor system. Some people will always break the rules, but this takes away any poverty excuse.

      2. This won’t make cheating any more prevalent than it is now.

      3. Some academic scholarships do include the full cost of attendance. It’s called a full ride for a reason.

      However, I do like his idea of showing the student-athletes how much their scholarship is worth. Give them an annual sheet that shows the full cost of everything they got for free (tuition, books, room&board, tutors, health care, insurance, coaching/training, etc).

      • jj says:

        I think a large gist of the article is just telling crybaby athletes to suck it up and realize what a good thing they have going while tens of thousands are SOL in job hunting and tens of K in debt; or appealing to readers re the same.

        • Brian says:

          Like I said, I agree with him on that part. I think they would be surprised if they saw what it actually cost to get what they have. However, to me he was wrong on those three points I mentioned.

    • Richard says:

      What a poorly thought-out article.

      1. The proposal to give student-athletes a little spending money has nothing to do with preventing cheating (which will go on regardless) and more to do with helping out those athletes who come from poverty now that the power conferences have struck the TV goldmine (if you take the charitable view).
      2. He says athletes shouldn’t be treated differently from regular students, but they are _already_ treated differently from regular students (in a negative way). A regular student is free to take as many or whatever kind of job he/she wants in order to earn some spending money; the athlete is prohibited by the NCAA from doing so.

      For a far better take on the issue, read Andy Staples:

  25. BYUND2BIG12 says:

    To be honest and I know most people won’t agree, but I think in four years – when the Big 12 is renegotiating their Tier I rights contract with ESPN/ABC, both BYU and ND will be in the Big 12 for at least football. BYU could possibly make it for all sports if the Big 12 can find a way to work around their no games played on Sunday rule.

    I know most don’t think ND would join a conference, but in four years, them along w/BYU could be forced to. It’s going to be hard for them to keep up w/other schools when it comes to TV revenue, exposure, and more importantly bowl games. Other conferences adding teams and getting stronger hurts them more than it does anybody else.

    UT’s AD Deloss Dodds is friends w/the ND AD and has already told him if they need somewhere to go for football, that he would lobby to get them to become a member of the Big 12. The Big 12 is a much more attractive conference for fooball than the Big East – it’s more competitive and it will give them a much bigger presence in TX than they would get by being in the Big East. That will help them significantly in recruiting. Both teams would add to the crediblity of the Big 12 since the perception is they have now gotten weaker since losing two teams even though all they really lost was two huge TV markets.

    Colorado hasn’t been relevant in any of the major sports and over the past decade, Texas Tech has been more relevant than Nebraska in football. After years of mediocrity Nebraska finally became relevant again at the end of 2010 but they are nowhere near being the powerhouse that they were and considering that they couldn’t be beat a horrible UT team last year and barely beat Iowa State, I’m not sure playing in the Big 10 is going to make it any easier for them to become the powerhouse they were in the past. Compared to those two schools, BYU and ND would be a huge upgrade to the Big 12 and Im not sure how Beebe and could pass on that. At the very least he should offer them both for football only and work from there. Whether he wants to or not, he may be forced to as soon as an undefeated OU or UT team is kept out of playing for a title over another team that played for and won their conference champonship and who may also be in stronger conference. I think that happens sooner rather than later.

    So I’m predicting it now, BYU and ND to the Big 12 for at least football in four years. Both teams would play in the Big 12 North bringing that division much needed credibility when it comes to football. It would be an instant rivalry that could become as huge as the OU/UT rivalry w/yearly rivalry games played between the two schools in Arlington,TX at Jerry’s World’s every year or perhaps in Utah (Mormon land) and Italy (Catholic land) ever once in a while. OU, UT, BYU, and ND in one conference for football would be amazing and good for college football. With OSU and A&M continuing to get stronger it would make the conference even better.

    • herbiehusker says:

      …..yeah, then maybe you can convince Florida and Alabama to leave the SEC to join the South Division of the Big 12 and poach Ohio State and Wisconsin from the B1G to become the first 16 Team Superconference. Mr. Beebe, is that you?

    • Brian says:

      This will NEVER happen. No matter how many times it is said, people refuse to listen to 2 things:

      1. ND will not join a conference for football. Football independence is part of their institutional identity. They make huge money from NBC (and will from whoever pays them next) and will never lack for exposure or bowl options. ND will not be tied in to playing teams like ISU, KSU and KU every year.

      2. The Big 12 doesn’t want to expand. They are happy as is (which means TX is happy as is). Yes, BYU and ND would make good candidates for FB expansion, but they don’t want to expand. Based on their TV deal, why would they?

    • Muck says:

      BYU & ND combined aren’t an upgrade over the loss of Nebraska alone regardless of Colorado’s value in the equation.

      • Christian says:

        I’m not sure too many people would agree with that. I think BYU can make a better case that they’re equal to Nebraska, than Nebraska could make that they’re equal to Notre Dame.

        • Brian says:

          I think you’re both wrong.

          ND is more valuable than NE. NE is much more valuable than BYU.

          CO nominally would be more valuable than BYU because they are already an AQ and bring a larger home market, but they’ve been so down lately that may not be true right now.

          NE + CO is probably about equal to ND + BYU for the B12, all thing considered. They’re both equally likely pairs to join the B12, too.

        • Muck says:

          Since 94 ND has had 10 seasons where they lost 5 or more games. Over the same period of time Nebraska has won three national titles. BYU’s multiple 10 win seasons are tainted by playing in the MWC.

          Yes Nebraska went through a slump during the Callahan era, but it was still less than the downturn Texas experienced during the late 80’s & 90’s. No one in their right mind would argue that BYU or ND would adequately replace Texas.

          Now granted BYU & ND fans don’t typically fall into the category of “in their right mind” but that’s another topic altogether.

          • Christian says:

            I was thinking more in terms of desirability. If given a choice of Notre Dame or Nebraska, I think every conference in the nation would choose Notre Dame instantly. If given the choice of Nebraska or BYU, they would select Nebraska, but they’d think about it a little longer than they thought about ND vs. NEB.

          • R says:


            Yeah, for probably a nano second. ND is a home run, Nebraska a stand-up triple, and BYU a slide-in double.

          • jj says:

            And the big ten marketing dept is a pitch to the testicles

    • Mike says:

      Notre Dame won’t let its football team join a conference with some of its historic rivals (the B1G). I’m amazed at how unified Notre Dame fans are about football independence. Now, you are telling me it will join a conference that it doesn’t have any historical ties to, to form a division with annual division road trips to such places as Ames, IA; Manhattan, KS; Lawrence, KS, Columbia, MO; and Provo, UT? Yes, they would get a game or two in Texas (ever been to Waco or Lubbock?) For a school that views itself as national as Notre Dame, I don’t see it regionalizing itself into the plains states, to play a majority of schools Notre Dame doesn’t consider its peers. If Notre Dame is going anywhere (1% chance) it will be the B1G or ACC. Conferences that top to bottom are schools more like Notre Dame.

      • bullet says:

        Notre Dame will fight it as long as possible, but eventually they will need to join a conference. If they are smart, they won’t wait until the subway alumni have all drifted away or died.

        But when Notre Dame does eventually join a conference it will not be the B12. B10 is most likely. ACC and BE are possible as they have traditional rivalries and ND fan territories. B12 is not one of the options.

        • Brian says:

          Why will the need to join a conference? Money? Scheduling? Other?

          They will continue to get a huge TV deal for the foreseeable future, and are planning to start their own online network. As has been discussed elsewhere, even with 9 game conference schedules ND will have plenty of options (6 of 12 games are essentially locked in, and most schools would love a 1-1 or 1-1-1 with ND).

          What will drive their need?

          • bullet says:


            Its a detriment to be an indy with nothing to play for but a national championship. Plus, everyone gets up for them, even more so than the kings in their own conferences. Their national following has to do with their Irish Catholic identity. Irish Catholics are mainstream now. There’s not the discrimination that caused them to so heartily embrace ND. Its just not going to be the same in the future. So their national fan base will decrease and wins will decrease and their TV$ advantage has already disappeared. I don’t think their post Holtz decline is all chance and all bad coaching. Also, TV wants to diversify. They don’t want to have to show a bad ND team every week. With conferences, they can mostly ignore the kings in their bad years.

            I think they will continue to get enough money, but will fall behind others instead of being well ahead. Scheduling will be more difficult, but tolerable. Its the intangibles that will eventually force them to join a conference. It might be 30 years. It might be 10. But it will eventually become obvious to them that they are creating a disadvantage for themselves by being independent. And it could be a BE split with a football half that may not want anything less than all of ND that forces them to make a choice. It could be a national championship tournament when their popularity is meaningless. It won’t happen soon, but I think its inevitable that they join a conference.

          • Brian says:


            Post-Holtz, ND has been coached by Bob Davie (35-25), Tyrone Willingham (21-15) and Charlie Weis (35-27) before Brian Kelly. How many of them are still head coaches? Davie had to go to TV. Willingham took UW to an 0-12. Charlie Weis is an OC. You don’t think coaching was a big factor in their doldrums?

            Everyone thought ND was done when they hired Gerry Faust to replace Dan Devine. Lou Holtz came in and fixed things. I think Brian Kelly will get them back to a top 10 or 15 program.

          • Richard says:

            . . . .yet neither Army or Navy are in a conference (though Army did engage in that experiment in the past). I’m convinced that ND would rather slide to Navy-level relevance than join a conference.

        • Christian says:

          Big 12 is an option because they will probably be the conference most willing to bend over backwards, allowing Notre Dame to remain “independent” within a conference. They can have their own network for their third tier rights, can refuse to make certain road trips (Ames, Lubbock, Waco), and can play a reduced conference schedule, allowing them to continue to play their “national” schedule (USC, Stanford, couple B1G teams). The Big 12 would TOTALLY allow all of that to get Notre Dame, while the B1G and Pac 12 and probably even Big East would say “hell no”. So, while it is a long shot, the Big 12 definitely would have some allure.

          • Brian says:

            Don’t kid yourself. The BE would bend over and grab their ankles if ND even hinted they might join. They already give up bowl slots to them despite ND not playing them 3 times a year as promised.

            I don’t see the lesser Big 12 schools saying yes to a school joining under the condition that they never have to play those lesser schools. NCAA rules say they would have to play everyone in their division, or else no CCG. What 5 Big 12 schools would make ND willing to drop some of their rivalries and freedom?

          • Mike says:

            @Christian – I just don’t see Big 12 member schools voting to include a member who has special privileges. Yes Texas has its own network and gets the most TV money (determined from a formula, there is nothing that says Texas has to get the most money). However, each school has the same opportunity to do what Texas does. What does it say about your conference when in order to admit a member you exempt them from having to play road games at another member? Good luck getting those members to vote for admission.

  26. Brian says:

    If the BE was looking at a FB-only invite, wouldn’t Boise be the only choice? That’s the only sport the BE would want them for and all they’re good at. The travel for football can be justified by the boost in reputation. Boise is far enough down the ladder that they would have to give a FB-only offer serious consideration since they have no alternative besides the MWC.

    • Muck says:

      BSU just doesn’t offer the long term stability of the programs that have already been snatched up (TCU & Utah) or of BYU. Those three have finances, athletic departments, stadiums & fan bases that put them squarely in the same ball park as many other AQ teams. BSU just doesn’t have the same infrastructure to be potentially competitive over the long haul.

      • Brian says:

        Boise has been winning in I-AA for 15 years (2nd to OSU in W%, 4th in Ws). TCU, Utah and BYU are 13th, 16th and 22nd in W% over that time. Sure, an easier conference helped (TCU was in the WAC for a while too) but that’s nothing to laugh at.

        Boise has won 10+ games every year since 1999 except 2001 and 2005. TCU’s first recent 10 W season was 2000, and they’ve not gotten to 10 3 times since. Utah had 1994 then 2003 to start their run and they also have missed 10 Ws 3 times since then. BYU has had more sustained success over time, but with multiple lulls. They’ve won 10+ 5 times since 2001 and not the other 5, but had a lot of strong years earlier (especially in the 80s).

        Boise lacks a lot of things in terms of infrastructure, fan base and stadium size, but they have a recent history of winning that shouldn’t be ignored. Their stadium isn’t much smaller than UC’s (and Boise has expansion plans) and their FB program is stronger than most in the BE. They would boost the BE’s FB reputation and help themselves, and they don’t have the clout to demand a full offer.

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Muck – Boise isn’t just a one-hit wonder with Peterson. They’ve been consistently winning with 4 different head coaches. They look like a pretty stable program to me, despite their problems with conference affiliation, location, lack of tradition & no recruiting base.

  27. Brian says:

    Here’s an NCAA insider’s view of increasing the scholarship value. He seems to have a few inconsistencies in his logic, and it is important to note where he is from, but interesting nonetheless.

    • greg says:

      The NCAA insider’s view is astonishing in that it is so upfront about serving their own interests. “Football is bad because they don’t give enough to the NCAA, and the only solution is an NCAA playoff where we control the money.”

      • Brian says:

        It’s a reasonable point to say that perhaps FB should pay more to the NCAA to cover the cost of administration and enforcement, but he clearly has issues with FB (note he is from CSU). He mentions baseball also doesn’t pay for itself but doesn’t see a need to split off baseball.

    • M says:

      That article is a barrel of laughs. I cannot imagine the NCAA kicking out the entire FBS.

      • Brian says:

        The other schools have some leverage, especially if the BB-only BE schools (other than ND) and non-AQs side with them. What would the rest of the BE schools do at that point? Do Syracuse and UConn choose Georgetown et al in hoops or the AQs where they bring up the rear in money? If the FB AQs stand alone, they are outnumbered in I-A. Many of the smaller sports need the other NCAA schools, too. If the NCAA made it an all or nothing deal, it might get uncomfortable.

  28. Brian says:

    Here’s a good article on the COL stipend. I disagree with his third point, that the AQs and/or NCAA should/will/must help the non-AQs pay for this, but otherwise I think he did a good job.

    • cfn_ms says:

      More like shouldn’t/won’t/mustn’t. I don’t see why the big boys need to subsidize the minnows even more than they already are. If you can’t afford it, AA is always available.

      • Brian says:

        His logic wasn’t clear to me either. I don’t see why the NCAA would have to subsidize it either. It’s up to the schools to pay their bills, the NCAA provides rules and revenue distribution from championships.

        The rest of the article was good, though.

    • M says:

      When they’re done subsidizing that, I propose that schools with lower tuition subsidize the scholarship cost at schools with higher tuition. It’s only fair.

  29. Brian says:

    I think this is a good idea that PSU is implementing. More schools should give incentives for attendance at other events.

    • Michael in Indy says:

      I don’t know whether they still have it, but Clemson had something like this in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Some of my friends who went to school there would go to soccer and women’s basketball games but pay no attention to the action and instead do homework, all so they could get free football and/or basketball tickets. So I’m not sure how much “support” the non-revenue sports at PSU will actually get.

      • Brian says:

        Even if they don’t pay attention, having butts in the seats is an improvement. Some of them will eventually come to enjoy it. Plus, you’ll earn some revenue for concessions if nothing else. Niche sports with strong followings could benefit from exposing more students to the excitement (wrestling, hockey, baseball, etc).

        I’d combine attendance (I’d use sports and other events on campus like plays, concerts, etc) with GPA to make a point system. It’s good for students to be exposed to multiple things, especially when they are free, and grades are what they’re there for.

    • PSUGuy says:

      Something else to think about…kids who watch sports live are more likely to watch it on the BTN when they graduate.

      I for one had a girlfriend who played club soccer at PSU and guess who had to watch a bunch of soccer games from the stands?

      Joke is the girl is long gone, but I haven’t missed a PSU Women’s Volleyball Championship in the past four years and am going to get the web stream of the BTN so I can watch all the “non-money” sports programming the BTN is offering.

      IMO, good way to start “building the brand” for non-football sports.

  30. Brian says:–20110519,0,7214660.story

    Charlie Weis cost too much when he was coaching, and now ND is paying him well over $6M for going away. That 10-year contract extension after half a season sure looks smart now, huh?

  31. Brian says:

    Any ideas what effects Dick Ebersol leaving NBS Sports might have, especially on CFB? Is this good or bad or indifferent for the ND deal and other conferences on Versus?

    • Michael in Indy says:

      Well, it sounds like Ebersol’s proudest achievement, in his mind, was NBC’s association with the Olympics, but Comcast may not be quite as keen on keeping them at any price. Thus, this probably means NBC is going to stop overbidding on the Olympics.

      Just guessing here, but if did have a huge bulk of its budget freed up by underbidding on the Olympics, Comcast/NBC will be a lot more free to bid on sports that are popular every year, not just once every four. Maybe they’d use it to get back in the game with Major League Baseball playoffs, but, then again, pro baseball is not as valuable a television property at the national level as it once was, relatively speaking. Getting back the NBA would be huge once its TV deal is up for renegotiation.

      Certainly, Comcast sees the writing on the wall that football, football, football is #1 by a mile. Right now, NBC only has one NFL game/week and seven Notre Dame games/year, plus a handful of non-AQ games on Versus, so I think it’s out of the question that NBC would let go of those existing relationships. So Notre Dame’s not going anywhere. I also suspect that Comcast/NBC is eyeing the Big East’s rights (with most games diverted to Versus) as well as the Big Ten’s and Big 12’s first-tier rights 4-5 years from now. They’ve got to do something because it has less football content than its three biggest competitors. CBS has the AFC package, the SEC Game of the Week (better ratings and 13 games/year as opposed to Notre Dame’s seven), and some MWC games (on CBS Sports Network); Fox has the NFC package, a Big 12 package, a Pac-12 package, the Big Ten championship game, and a new C-USA package; ABC/ESPN has Monday Night Football and games from all six AQ leagues, five of which can have games on ABC itself.

    • Pezlion says:

      It means it’s only a matter of time before ND starts showing up on whatever the reincarnation of Versus ends up being. It also means that people who think ND is going to command massive contracts for its football games into perpetuity are kidding themselves.

      • Brian says:

        They may well move ND to cable at some point (I don’t if they can under the current contract). I think they’ll continue to get big money, though, because they pull ratings better than anyone else. Just imagine their value if Kelly gets them back to winning 9+ games almost every year.

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          Brian – last year Notre Dame didn’t pull rating better than anyone else.

          CBS – SEC package 4.2 rating
          ABC – Everybody else 3.5
          NBC – Notre Dame 2.1
          ESPN – Everybody 1.9
          ESPN2 – everybody 0.9
          Versus – whoever 0.3

          • Brian says:

            On an even playing field (equal success, equal opponents) they do. Three early losses last year killed their ratings. You’re comparing their whole home season to the cherry picked games on CBS and ABC. Do you think CBS’s numbers would be as high if they had all the home games of a 7-5 SEC team like Florida (Miami of OH, USF, KY, LSU, MSU, GA, SC, ApSU)? CBS only carried 1 of those games, with the others on ESPN (3), ESPNU (2), ESPN3 and SECTV.

            CBS only included the SEC games, too, not Army-Navy or ND-Navy.

          • bullet says:

            I think you just made his point and mine earlier about ND joining a conference eventually.

            There’s a lot more value when you get to cherry pick games. A Notre Dame (or Texas or USC) contract doesn’t have as much value because individual schools have bad years.

          • Brian says:


            CBS got twice the ratings for $55M. ND gets around $15M (maybe even 20+) from NBC. I think NBC did OK for themselves, especially since their ratings were down 10-15% while CBS’s were down less than 5%.

        • bullet says:

          Cheap shows with low ratings still get cancelled. It all depends on the advertisers. Do the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines reach their target audience advertising on Notre Dame games?

          • @bullet – Remember that NBC is only paying Notre Dame about 1/10th of what ABC and CBS are paying for college football, though. ESPN is paying in excess of $1 million per game to show BYU on Friday nights, so NBC getting those rating for ND at $2 – 3 million per game is a relative bargain. ND is in absolutely no danger if not having a TV contract (which is really a means to support independence as opposed to the reason to stay independent, which is a big difference) or finding schools to play. When Miami has effectively agreed to a 2-for-1 and Maryland has a 1-and-done in DC, ND’s supposed difficulties are vastly overstated.

  32. Brian says:

    ApSU delayed their decision on moving up to FBS. Any inside info from our resident ApSU alum?

    • Michael in Indy says:

      Glad you asked! Here’s what I know…

      App State has taken the stance that it will not attempt to pay for the costs of moving up by using additional costs to students. So there will not be an increase in athletic fees. The university has already done studies on how much ticket prices could be increased with an FBS schedule (some say an extra $15-$20 per ticket, which adds up quickly for a family of four with season tickets); studies on how much attendance would rise if the school moved up, taking into account more interesting opponents weighed against price changes; studies on how much donations to athletics would increase; studies on costs for travel; studies on how an FBS conference’s TV contract would help pay for a new women’s team… They’ve studied it all. The conclusion is that the Sun Belt, under its current TV contract and current membership, combined with other increase in revenues, would not be enough to cover the costs of moving up without increasing student fees. And frankly, the school doesn’t want to merely break even with a move.

      Besides, all the alumni I’ve spoken with have felt that the Sun Belt very, very unpopular option, anyway. App State fans have watched three national championship teams in the past six years; the only two-time Walter Payton Award winner (the Heisman for FCS) in Armanti Edwards; a famous, all-time upset win; repeated record-breaking in attendance; six straight conference titles; and more victories over the past six years than any other six-year stretch in its history. If the school is going to step away from the level, where it had all that success, it doesn’t want to go to the conference where teams go to die. Western Kentucky, for instance, won the ’02 FCS title; they’re now permanently in ESPN’s “Bottom 10,” and I dare say that ASU football, even at the FCS level, has provided its students and alumni with a far more memorable, enjoyable decade than the SB’s most successful program, Troy. The Sun Belt is also unappealing because of all its mid-week night games, which are very difficult trips for alumni in Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, & elsewhere to make. (Boone is at least two hours from all those cities.)

      Conference USA, rather than FBS in just any conference, has been the goal from Day 1, provided that making a move was deemed the right decision to begin with. ECU would make a great in-state rival, judging by the close game in 2009. Marshall would make a great rival, too, since they shared a conference for about 15 years. Obviously, it’s just a much more appealing league to be in, considering it has several schools with enough appeal to be at least rumored as candidates for the Big East (Memphis, SMU, Houston, UCF, ECU) and a few others with respectable football history (S. Miss, Tulsa) and name recognition (Tulane). The name-appeal of the Sun Belt schools, by contrast, is no better than the familiar, more local rivals in the Southern Conference, at least in the minds of many ASU fans. Most importantly, C-USA makes enough in TV money to compensate for the increase in costs from making a move without raising a dime in athletics fees for students.
      The public reason that ASU is not making its decision now is that it would be extremely distasteful to announce a huge increase in athletic spending at a time when faculty are being laid off and/or put on furloughs due to MASSIVE state budget cuts in the UNC System. (Well over 200 people will be laid off at ASU alone.) To paraphrase the AD, even though athletics receives no state funding, making a move now would be a PR nightmare because the perception would be that the school is grossly putting football ahead of academics. I completely agree.

      But apparently the biggest problem, according to those who say they know people on the committee that’s studying whether to make a move, is that neither C-USA nor the Sun Belt have shown interest (yet). At first, I was very surprised, especially with the Sun Belt. App State has a higher athletic budget than all the Sun Belt schools WITHOUT benefitting from Sun Belt schools’ level of payouts from games against AQ schools (i.e., FIU would get about $1 million+ to play at, say, Florida, while ASU gets about $400K) and without getting revenues from an ESPN contract. Third-party consultants were “blown away” by the quality of App’s facilities, which they said were superior to all Sun Belt schools and middle-of-the-pack for C-USA. ASU would also get the SB into a new, fast-growing state, where, especially in Charlotte, Asheville, and Greensboro, it has gotten good ratings in its few appearances on ESPN. It’s a little easier to understand C-USA’s hesitation.

      But I have a theory that explains why both leagues are hesitant to respond, and it’s not an indictment of whether App State itself is appealing. I think that everything goes back to a waiting game on the Big East. C-USA may lose UCF, Houston, ECU, maybe even SMU or Memphis, or some combination of those schools. Or it may not lose any of them. Either way, it would be foolish for C-USA to expand without knowing what’s going to happen. If the league loses a team, it would need someone to step in as the twelfth team to keep a championship game. Thus ASU as a twelfth team would have a significant amount more value than it would as a thirteenth or fourteenth. The Sun Belt also might be waiting to see if adding ASU and another team would eventually get them to 12, but that league can’t know until it sees whether C-USA pries one of their own schools away.

      My hope is that ASU ends up in C-USA, and I don’t care whether it’s as a twelfth, thirteenth, or fourteenth member. The Sun Belt, comprised mostly of schools I never heard of until a few years ago, does nothing for me. It would be pissing money away for almost the same amount of obscurity as the school already has, playing against schools who can barely draw 20,000 people, which is still less than what ASU draws. The SoCon at least has familiar rivals, several of which are the alma maters of schools where family members and friends graduated.

      • bullet says:

        Good discussion.

        However, I think App St. is delusional if they think CUSA will ever invite them from FBS. I also doubt that ECU would be enthused. CUSA would invite a number of MAC schools, and several Sun Belt schools (depending on which holes to fill) before App St. I don’t think the MAC would invite them due to geography. So the Sun Belt is the only hope and they really stretch the Sun Belt geographically.

        App St. isn’t that big and doesn’t really bring any market or recruiting area. All they bring is themselves and that’s not enough value.

        • Michael in Indy says:

          I understand what you’re saying, but think about it a little.

          – All Sun Belt and MAC schools have lower attendance than App State does, in spite of having a home schedule with FBS teams.

          – App State is more financially sound as an athletic department than the Sun Belt schools without the benefit of television revenue or much larger payouts from FBS schools. What does that tell you about how much more well-run App State’s athletics are compared with those schools?

          – App State is not a big name, granted. Neither are the Sun Belt teams. Seriously, what is La. Monroe known for? MTSU? WKU? FIU? La. Lafayette?

          – You can’t think of App State’s market as just Boone, NC, the small college town where it’s located. Its markets are Charlotte, Greensboro/Winston-Salem, Asheville, and, to a lesser degree, Raleigh-Durham. No, it’s not the #1 team in those markets. Not even close. Neither are FIU or FAU in Miami, or MTSU in Nashville, or any of the Sun Belt programs. Point is that App still does very well on TV in its actual home markets when it gets the chance to make an appearance.

          – ECU would be more enthused than any member. Their AD, Terry Don Phillips, has spoken out with ideas of expanding to 14 or 16 teams to ease travel costs on sending his non-revenue sports to New Orleans and beyond. With 8 teams in an eastern division, ANY 8 teams, and fewer trips out west, it would save ECU bundles of cash and develop better rivalries: (sorry the link is to a blog. The link the newspaper article no longer exists, but the blog does have quotes from it)

          • Brian says:


            The first post on this site is the whole article from that paper.

          • Brian says:

            An interesting quote from the article:

            “I have come to the conclusion that 12-team conferences do not work well for long term,” Holland wrote. “The power conferences can survive the disadvantages but I believe that in the long term they will suffer some damage to rivalries, etc., as well.

            Is this the best reason to go to 9 games? Has anyone noticed it hurting the SEC?

          • Michael in Indy says:


            First, thanks for taking the time to post a link to that article. Great find!

            I think Holland’s point is that a 12-team conference hurts existing rivalries and makes non-existing ones nearly impossible to establish. That’s definitely accurate for the Big 12. The intensity of Nebraska-Oklahoma became a shadow of its former self.

            And yes, it’s true in the SEC, too. Auburn-Florida, for example, was a big annual series for many years. Many fans miss it. Going into their 20th season as SEC members, Arkansas and South Carolina haven’t developed any real rivalries with teams from the opposite divisions. But Holland also pointed out that the major conferences can survive the damages. Translation: they’re making more money than they ever dreamed of, which eases the pain of lost rivalries.

            With C-USA, it’s different. It’s such a hodgepodge of a conference. SMU, Rice, and Houston are the only schools with a long-term shared history. Marshall was 1-AA 14 years ago. UCF and UAB were, too, in the early 90’s. ECU, Southern Miss, Tulane, Memphis, Tulsa are former independents. UTEP came from the WAC. So it should be pretty easy to see why he thinks its hard to develop rivalries with teams from way out west that it plays at home just once every four years and have very little shared history. (It doesn’t help, either, that its two most successful members, TCU and Louisville, are long gone along with USF and Cincinnati, all to the Big East.)

          • Brian says:

            Yeah, a few old SEC rivalries went away but I think the younger generation is fine with the new ones. It’s the older ones who don’t like the changes, which is understandable. The SEC schools didn’t use to play many conference games anyway, so I don’t think they miss as much.

            I agree that newer conferences need more games against each other. I think 9 makes perfect sense for a new conference since they ca’nt profit from a CCG.

          • bullet says:

            Interesting article. But I think Holland draws the wrong conclusion.

            12 works fine. Some rivalries change. Ole Miss-UGA and Ole Miss-TN used to be big rivalries. But then UGA almost never played TN or S. Carolina and those have become big games. Its change, not loss.

            16 for CUSA is awful. It could mean 1 of 16 get into the NCAA instead of 1 of 12. Holland is basically saying CUSA isn’t worth it. Sun Belt/MAC/CUSA should restructure geographically (not saying I agree-but that is a better conclusion from what he is saying).

          • bullet says:

            Would the CUSA schools be happy with?
            Umass/Temple/Marshall/ECU/WKU/MiddleTN one division
            UAB,USA,Troy,UCF,FAU,FIU in the other

            and then:
            UTEP/UH/Rice/SMU/UNT/Tulsa combined with
            ULL,ULM,LaTEch,Tulane/Ark. St/USM

            and the MAC would be just the 12 full MAC schools.

            I don’t think the CUSA schools would be happy.

          • m (Ag) says:

            The teams in the SEC West don’t play 5 of the teams in the East very often (and vice versa), so those cross-divisional games generally aren’t rivalries anymore. However, the SEC is a brand, the fans pay attention to their conference in the media, and everyone gets excited to see another SEC team come to town. The same will happen in the Big Ten and Pac 12, even as the non-permanent rivalries diminish somewhat.

            One problem with the Big 12 is that the North became its own, weaker brand.

            The problem with a smaller conference, like Conference USA, is that their conference isn’t a brand, and most of their fans aren’t going to be paying attention to the other division. They might not even watch their own division on TV. Instead, they’ll be watching the Big Ten, SEC, or some other big schools. So they have 5 games a year scheduled against their annual rivalries, and 3 against teams their fans aren’t familiar with. Adding 1 team to each division would give each team another rival they could, over time, get excited to play every year. Of course, while it might improve attendance and excitement at the stadium, it would likely hurt TV revenues unless they found a really good candidate.

  33. clamb says:

    As a BYU football fan I don’t like the idea of going to the big east at all. No disrespect at all to the big east but the traveling and the lack of any sort of historical rivalries is not that appealing. Moneywise with all the travel costs the Big East isn’t an upgrade maybe a downgrade from independence. The BCS bowl inclusion would be the only appeal. If the money were close to the level of the pac12 then it would be very appealing. Independence isn’t perfect but it does mean byu can be on Espn frequently and offers a level of freedom. Big East basketball would be awesome but again the traveling would be brutal for byu. Don’t forget Byu also gets an equal split of the West Coast Conference money for basketball on espn. While not huge money it does add to the pot.

  34. Playoffs Now says:

    ND isn’t joining the B12-2, but I could see the B12-2 making a tempting offer to ND and BYU:

    Become the Coalition of Independents.

    a) Switch to a 5-game conference schedule in 2 divisions for football. Play everyone in your division, then the 2 champs play a CCG.

    b) Change the teams in the divisions each year, but not in a rigid alternation or rotation. Some might not play each other but once per 4 years, allowing ND to avoid watering down with too many ISU & KSU games if they don’t want that (though OTOH they might like the excuse of division play for a few schedule breathers.) The main thing is to balance the divisions each year, which would also be a plus of the flex concept. The NFL does this with 10 of each team’s 16 games.

    Think about this: ND might want to pack more name teams in their division each year, but that also allows some of the weaker schools to play a lighter conf/div schedule, too. Important because that might be a tradeoff that allows the weaker schools to add more good non-conf opponents, and thus more attractive games for TV. The lousy non-conf schedules of several weak sister B12-2 teams has been a burr under UT’s saddle, and one of the reasons they used for pushing further unequal revenue distribution.

    c) Of course conference schools would still be free to play each other every year, it just wouldn’t always count in determining division champs.

    Would free UT, OU, and aTm to add more lucrative high-profile non-conf games, thus increasing their annual revenues. Would also free the other conference schools to do likewise, so the smaller schools would have only themselves to blame if they failed to maximize their revenues. Enhances the revenue potential for those schools with the options to walk, while still providing a home for schools in danger of being left behind that is more profitable than any of their other potential conference options.

    d) ND would be allowed to set up a home-away-neutral site rotation with most conference foes (though it might take up to 12 years to play through that rotation with some schools.

    e) Accommodating individual school channels.

    All this would go a long way in solving ND’s Oct/Nov scheduling dilemma. UT would probably be an annual game, along with 1 or 2 each year from BYU, OU, and which ever team was hot the prior year between aTm, MO, and TT. Thus joining a conference would probably impose only 2 relatively unattractive games per year on ND, not really different than what the Oct/Nov issues effectively result in. Plus 1 of those 2 dogs would be a neutral site game. Should result in an Irish game in the state of Texas every year, 7 non-conference games, and 3 division games that would have fit right in as non-con games for ND. Virtual independence continued.

    But of course for ND it is about more than just football. Perhaps a similar limited conf-schedule could be implemented in other sports, to keep room for continued rivalries with the BE catholic schools. Might require forcing weaker B12-2 schools to provide a complete Olympic slate of teams.

    A lot better chance of pulling off if the BEast football schools are stupid enough to split away. That would allow ND to do a football-only membership in a B12-2+2.

    More likely that a P16 forms and triggers a 4 or 5×16 realigning of the BCS conferences. But as another noted, the B12-2 probably has the most flexibility to make such an offer.

    • Playoffs Now says:

      One other advantage of a 5-game flex conf schedule: Friends With Benefits scheduling.

      Schools are free to pursue up to 7 high-value non-conf games or loading up on home games. But in years where there’s a gap or two there will often be conference mates that aren’t in your division this year that you can add to fill out the schedule. Since it isn’t an official B12-2+2 conf game that year, schools have the flexibility of waiting a few years for a payback away game or even $ buyouts.

    • Brian says:

      Why would the smaller schools vote to add ND just so ND can refuse to play any of them? If ND can cherry pick TX, OU, TAMU (Houston), MO (St. Louis) and KU (KC), what’s in it for the other schools?

      • BigFunny says:

        @Brian – you really think A&M only brings Houston? I’ve seen you comment on this a few times. A&M has a bigger footprint in Dallas than OU does and has a following throughout Texas. Not equal to Texas but still much, much bigger than any other NCAA entity. Besides all the Texas fans tune in hoping to see a loss (the same is true for A&M fans when Texas plays).

  35. Michael in Indy says:


    I can completely see why the BE would want BYU, especially for football-only. I’m not quite sold that it’s in BYU’s best interests to join the Big East football-only, let alone for all sports.

    This is BYU we’re talking about. Sure, they want more money because what they were getting in the MWC was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay below what their true earning potential is, and that problem has basically been solved, even if the money would be a little more in the Big East (which may not be the case, anyway). But money isn’t their #1 driving force.

    Winning championships at the expense of their radical dedication to their own sense of morals and integrity is not one of their interests, either. Ask Brandon Davies and the basketball team. I just don’t see BYU, being mindful of its mostly western fanbase, doing something as crazy as playing in an east coast-heavy conference just for a better chance at BCS bowls. Even more so, BYU seems like the type of school that would be more concerned than most about sending non-revenue sports on frequent trips across the country just to get AQ status, especially when its athletic programs are already in good shape. Besides, if they’re in the top ten, they’re probably going to a BCS bowl game, anyway. And joining the Big East for the chance to go their eastern, mediocre non-BCS bowls isn’t a strong enough reason to join. I’m confident they’ll find a better solution for non-BCS bowl tie-ins in due time.

    As for recruiting advantages, I don’t see a lot that BYU could do to improve itself beyond getting on ESPN, which it has already accomplished. Non-Mormon kids who aren’t interested in living by BYU’s ultra-strict code of integrity are going to be no more likely to play there if they’re a Big East member than if they’re an independent. Kids who are willing to follow the code will play for them regardless. Considering most of their recruits come from the west, it may even hurt recruiting a little.

    What BYU really wants is exposure–for their sports, yes, but mainly for the Mormon church and the university itself. They’ve got that now, both through ESPN and byutv. I could see Boise State bending over backwards to join as a football-only member because it would gain more than BYU would. But BYU’s just way too different.

    • Jake says:

      Good points, but I don’t think BYU is so likely to get into a BCS game as an independent. Keep in mind that they have the same deal as Army and Navy, not Notre Dame. Only way they’re guaranteed a BCS spot is if they’re #1 or #2 in the country. As for the other bowls, with TCU and BYU on board the Big East’s tie-ins might change a bit to include a game out west.

      And again, travel is overrated as an obstacle. BYU is already traveling all over the country for football, the increases to their basketball revenues from joining the Big East would more than cover the higher travel costs, and beyond that there are only four sports the BEast sponsors regular season conference championships in that BYU also plays – women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, baseball and softball. Those teams would travel to Big East opponents (about half a dozen trips each per year), but BYU’s other sports wouldn’t be very affected.

      • Richard says:

        BYU would get more basketball TV revenue but far less football TV revenue under the current BE TV deal. Even after the BE’s new deal, I daresay BYU would not see a meaningful increase in TV money after the extra travel costs if they joined the BE.

        • Jake says:

          We’ll have to see what the BEast can bring in. And keep in mind that whatever it ends up being probably would have been a bit higher had BYU been a member. And being in the BEast doesn’t mean that BYU can’t schedule 2-for-1’s with ND and Texas.

          I don’t necessarily favor BYU as an all-sports member, I just think it’s worth it if that’s what it takes for the BEast to land them. But if someone can convince them to join for football only, awesome.

      • FLP_NDRox says:

        I am still under the impression that it wasn’t just ND fighting for their BCS deals, but the bowls themselves. I don’t know that the BCS *want* BYU in as much as BYU does.

  36. Brian says: has been running a poll on whether the B10’s idea to pay a cost of attendance stipend is a good or bad idea.

    Good idea: 46%
    Bad idea: 37%
    Not sure: 17%

    The real surprises were the states that were opposed or almost opposed:
    Clearly against (more than 7% difference) – VT, WV, UT, ID, OR
    Almost split evenly (1-4% difference) – MS, LA, Ark, OK, KS, HI
    Almost opposed (1-3% difference) – AL, TN, NC, SC, WA

    I’m surprised so many AQ states are on the fence or against this, especially in the SEC (only FL and GA were in favor) and B12.

    • 84Lion says:

      Anyone else think that if the question had been whether the SEC should pay a cost of attendance stipend the poll results in the southeastern states especially would be very different?

  37. Pezlion says:

    Frank, et al,

    Some information for you. The Nittany Lion Club (Penn State’s booster club) just released its 2010 Annual Report. There some numbers in here that completely fly in the face of a lot of the B1G revenue numbers I’ve always read. Penn State’s intercollegiate athletic revenues in 2010 totaled approximately $106.6 million; 46% of this, or approximately $49.0 million of this was generated from football. Where I’m confused is the Big Ten TV number, which is listed as 14% or $14.9 million. That $14.9 million number is a lot lower than I’ve ever seen anywhere for the B1G tv money.

    Anyone have thoughts on this? Have any of the other B1G booster clubs released annual reports showing revenue numbers for 2010?

    • Nostradamus says:

      The $14.9 million figure is accurate for television. Multiple athletic departments/media sources have confirmed it. The breakdown was $6.5 million from the Big Ten Network and $8.4 million from ABC/ESPN and CBS. I’m not really sure where the reports of the Big Ten school’s making $20 to 22 million on television originated in the media, but they have been perpetuated by multiple sources. It may very well be from looking at the average life of the contracts instead of what they are actually paying out.

      This is an issue that we’ve been discussing in the comments section for the past couple blogs Frank has put up. The Big Ten contract with ABC/ESPN for primary/partial secondary rights is a 10 year $1 billion deal, or $100 million a year on average. That doesn’t mean the conference is actually getting $100 million a year. Virtually all of these contracts contain escalation clauses. The conference is going to get some discounted value that may be 70-80% of the average life of the contract in year 1 and it will escalate from there.

      Where that is all relevant in the widely reported $20 to $22 million in tv money is the average contract value of the $2.8 billion/25 year Big Ten Network and $102 million/10 ABC,ESPN, CBS deals are $19.45 million. But the entire conference distribution (tv, bowls, ncaa tournament, etc.) for 2009-2010 the last year we have data on for now was about $19.2 million, not even hitting the “rumored” $20 million from tv alone.

      • Brian says:

        People also forget that the B10 takes an equal cut of the money, so you have to split it 12 ways, not 11 (soon to be 13).

        • Nostradamus says:

          The Big Ten certainly almost certainly isn’t taking an equal cut of the Big Ten Network money.

          For the 2009-2010 year, each Big Ten school got $6.5 million from the BTN. $6.5 million per school for 11 schools is a $71.5 million overall distribution. The Big Ten Network gave the conference $72.1 million. So there is only $600,000 missing. In other words the conference’s apparent share was only a 9% of an equal $6.5 million share

          We can’t do the exact same thing for the ABC/ESPN and CBS revenue, because we don’t know for certain how much money was paid to the conference. We only know what the conference distributed to the 11 schools. The average life of the contracts for the ABC/ESPN/CBS deals would pay the Big Ten a hypothetical $102 million a year. But again, as we’ve talked about most of these contracts start at a discount and escalate.

          In 2007-2008 the first year of the current ABC/ESPN deal each school got paid $7.7 million. That equates to an $84.7 million distribution for the schools and an overall $92.4 million distribution if you are assuming the conference is taking an equal 1/12th share. My problem with the math here is why know the SEC and Pac-12 deals are likely starting at a discount of about 70 to 75% of the average life of the contract value. $84.7 is an 83% discount of the average. Fairly reasonable for it to be slightly higher than the Pac-12 or SEC deals as it only covers 10 years. If you throw in the hypothetical 1/12th share for the conference your $92.4 million is already at 90.6% of the average life of the contract. That seems extremely high to me for year 1 of a 10 year deal.

          I can grow that $92.4 million out over 10 years at just over 2% annual growth and get to $102 million. The problem there is the payout for schools from the ABC/ESPN/CBS contracts grew 3.9% from year 1 to 2 and 5% for 2009-2010 over 2008-2009. The math to me at least doesn’t seem to reflect an equal share there either.

          The Big Ten obviously has operating expenses, salaried employes at the office, officials, outside legal counsel, accountants, event costs, etc. At least in the case of the Big Ten though it looks like to me they may be “skimming” a bit off of the top of multiple sources instead of taking an equal share of television revenue.

      • joe4psu says:

        If that $2.8 billion over 25 years is rights fees paid the conference, does the $6.5 million from the Big Ten Network even include that? Is the $6.5 million just yearly profits from the network?

        • Nostradamus says:

          Yes it is. The $6.5 million IS the rights fee from Fox to the conference. It is ONLY the rights fee though. The Big Ten schools haven’t seen any profits from their 51% ownership stake in the network. I was going to type a longer reply detailing this among other things tonight, but got distracted.

          • Pezlion says:

            Pretty sure the rights fee is only around $60 million. There have been numerous reports that the conference HAS received profits interest already.

          • Richard says:


            Where’d you get the $60M number?

            I thought the $2.8B over 25 years was a conservative estimate of what the B10 would get from the BTN in total (probably assuming Fox would take many years to recoup its startup costs & profits would not be earth-shattering). It seems that the B10 will start seeing their 51% of the profit starting about now, which would match with what other people have said about the B10’s take from the BTN doubling. We’ll have to wait to see the 2011 numbers come out to be sure.

            Oh, and the $6.5M is the rights fee. I’m pretty certain about that.

          • Nostradamus says:

            Pezilion the rights fee was estimated to be $66 million in year 1 by SBJ, that estimate as about 3 months before the actual payment.

            In year 1 (2007-2008) each Big Ten school received $6.1 million, or a total of about $67.1 million. The rights fee component of the deal escalates just like traditional television contracts do. In 2008-2009, each school got $6.4 million, and last year 2009-2010 each school got $6.5 million or about $71.5 million overall. In about a month or two we’ll start getting 2010-2011 data and we’ll see where things stand.

            I would love to see a link to one of the numerous reports that the “conference HAS received profits” already. I’ve read numerous reports from early 2009 that state the network is “making a profit”. To me, the most likely interpretation of that is it no longer was losing money, and the profits were beginning to be reused to re-pay Fox. Once Fox gets reimbursed for the startup costs they incurred in forming the network, the Big Ten will begin seeing its 51% of the profit.

          • Nostradamus says:

            Here is the exact wording from a News Corp. SEC quarterly filing.

            “In July 2007, the Company entered into a contract with the Big Ten Conference for rights to telecast certain Big Ten Conference sporting events through fiscal 2032. The Company will pay approximately $2.8 billion over the term of the contract for these rights.”

            So it is a conservative estimate in the sense that it is likely the floor of the earnings potential for the conference. We still don’t know what the initial investment was that Fox needs to recoup, exactly how much money the Big Ten Network is making (outside of SNL Kagan estimates), and things like how the Fox guaranteed rights are handled.

    • cutter says:

      Here’s a link to the University of Michigan’s Athletic Department FY 2011 budget:

      If you go to the third page of the document, you’ll see a table with conference distributions. The first line is Televison (Football and Basketball). For FY 2010 Projected, the number is $14.887M. The FY 2011 Budget for this line is $16.597M.

      These numbers would be the same for each program in the conference. Keep in mind that this television number includes revenue from ABC/ESPN, the Big Ten Network and CBS.

      The FY 2012 budget is due to be released in June since the 2011 fiscal year ends on 30 June. When that budget is published, we’ll have some more information on future revenue projections.

      • Brian says:

        An interesting progression of TV revenues:

        TV money ($M)
        2007 – 9.4 actual
        2008 – 13.9 actual (+48%) – new deals
        2009 – 14.4 actual (+3.6%)
        2010 – 14.9 projected (+3.5%)
        2011 – 16.6 budgeted (+11.4%) – adding NE & CCG

        That makes NE and the CCG worth about $14M.

        • Gopher86 says:

          You must also account for Nebraska’s share.

        • Nostradamus says:

          I think we have another case of date confusion. Brian, I don’t think that 11.4% increase is a Nebraska/CCG bump. What you have labeled as 2011 is (I believe) 2010-2011, or the season we are wrapping up now. Your numbering there agrees. 2007-2008 would be the first year for the new deals.

          If that is the case, “2011” above includes neither Nebraska nor a conference championship game. Much of that 11.4% yoy growth is from something else i.e. the conference starting to see BTN profits…

          • Mike says:

            Don’t forget Nebraska has to buy in to B1G. The flat calculations Brian just made wont be accurate.

          • Nostradamus says:

            I’m not. If we are talking about 2010-2011, Nebraska isn’t a member of the Big Ten yet.

          • Brian says:

            Certainly possible, those were just guesses at the reasons. I didn’t check to see how MI and the B10’s financial calendars overlap and what they accounting rules are for when something should be reported.

            It could just be profit, it could be a special event or two, it could be a lot of things.

          • Nostradamus says:

            And good guesses. Just saying the years are clearly off. An 11% jump is a huge year over year gain for a contract, and the most likely explanation is Fox’s investment was projected to be paid back sometime during the current academic year.

          • Brian says:

            Next year’s document should be out soon, so that should show the NE/CCG bump on top of profits if that’s what this was.

  38. Dave says:

    I’m of the opinion that this ‘BYU to the Big East’ story got a lot more play than it deserved, and in fact had nothing more to it than the annual reports from local TV stations that ECU or Memphis is about to join the Big East (which has never happened, and never will). The biggest reasons why I’m sure there was nothing to it: BYU is supposed to have declined, wanting an all-sports invite. And there’s no way that’s true; the last thing BYU wants is to send its non-revenue sports to Syracuse and Tampa every year, and they certainly do want to be in an AQ conference.

    So if you consider a setup where BYU in the BE might work for all sports, you’d need to add enough western schools for divisional play in most sports — maybe Boise and Houston in addition to BYU? — and split off from the non-football members (because a 20-school all-sports conference isn’t workable). And splitting off from the non-football members to add Boise, BYU, and Houston would be killing the golden egg of Big East basketball.

    • cfn_ms says:

      the real question is how much of a “golden egg” Big East basketball is for the football members. Certainly it’s not making them an enormous amount of cash, and it’s making it very logistically difficult to do any sort of football expansion (to the point where Nova, a ridiculous addition on the surface, was seriously considered mainly due to the fact that it’s logistically easier to promote a BB-only member than it is to add an 18th team to the overall mix).

      It could be that the FB members eventually decide they’re better off breaking away from the reset. Or it could be that they decide that they’d rather be enormo-league. I could see them going either way on that one.

      • Dave says:

        It isn’t making them SEC-football levels of cash. But Big East basketball does make an enormous amount of cash compared to almost anything other than SEC / Big Ten / Pac 12 / Texas 10 / ND football (on contracts signed at similar times, anyway), and adding a few CUSA schools (or BYU and Boise and Houston, even) will not allow the Big East to get more than ACC-ish football money, best case. And I’d almost guarantee the next BE TV contracts, like the current ones (and like the ACC’s, for that matter), will bring in roughly the same amount per school from both football and basketball.

        • Richard says:

          “enormous” for basketball (which is what the ACC & BE get) is still significantly smaller than BCS football outside of the BE & ACC.

          Still, the BE football schools still get more from TV money from basketball than football, so Dave has a point, as there really aren’t any expansion candidates out there that would move the needle in football (except possibly BYU) and all of them would drag down basketball (except possibly BYU).

        • Brian says:

          I’m not sure if you were only talking football for all those other conferences or just ND, so I’ll add a clarification.

          Here’s the 2009-10 data as reported by the schools:

          Conf. – MBB Rev Per School
          Big Ten – $12,550,448
          ACC – $11,123,326
          SEC – $10,386,378
          Big East – $9,632,644
          Big 12 – $8,808,859
          Pac-10 – $8,012,901

          This is all revenue, not just TV, and doesn’t include money not allocated to a specific sport. Still, it shows BE basketball isn’t the windfall many expect. The number is greatly influenced by Louisville ($25.9M – #2 nationally) and Syracuse ($18.3M – #5), with Marquette, West Virginia and Pitt in the $13M range and Georgetown at $10.1M. The other 10 schools are below $8M.

          By comparison, 5 B10 teams were between Syracuse and Marquette, Minnesota was in the $13M range and NW was very close to Georgetown. The remaining 4 teams all came in before the bottom 10 of the BE.

          • Brian says:

            Also important for BE expansion discussion is that 4 of the top 5 basketball earners are football schools and mostly traditional BE schools (Pitt, Syracuse, WV, UL). The other football schools tend to rely on student fees to make up for the lack of revenue (#1 nationally USF – $13M, #3 UConn – $8.6M, #4 Rutgers – $8.4M). It will be hard to get the BB earners to vote in lockstep with the other football schools since their interests are so different.

          • Dave says:

            The BE’s current TV contracts are both old and date from just after the ACC raid, when the BE was at its all-time low point in negotiating position. Comparing revenue to other conferences’ new deals isn’t realistic.

          • Brian says:


            The data is from 2009-2010, so the new deals for the B12 and P12 have not kicked in. And remember, this is only BB revenue. FB is what has been getting the big raises. Will the BE get a raise in 2013? Of course. But everyone else’s contracts will keep escalating, too. How big of a jump will BE hoops make financially?

            And while BE FB suffered from the raid, didn’t BB benefit from losing Miami, VT and BC?

    • Playoffs Now says:

      the last thing BYU wants is to send its non-revenue sports to Syracuse and Tampa every year

      I’m not certain a school of missionaries is averse to travel…

      • Gopher86 says:


      • Dave says:

        Paying for travel, on the other hand…

        • ccrider55 says:

          BYU does not have money issues. It’s all about exposure to serve the mission of the church (the school and it’s athletics is simply the vehicle).

          • Dave says:

            If they had to send all of their team sports to the other coast for 90% of their conference road games, even Texas would have money issues. Travel costs are why Hawaii always has money issues (because from Hawaii to even San Diego State is a longer trip than BYU to any Big East school).

  39. Brian says:

    We’ve talked about how the timing helped escalate the value of the P12 TV deal. I wonder how the future dates will impact TV deals.

    The next sets of rights available:

    BE (1st & 2nd tiers) in 2012 & 2013

    Everybody else got paid fairly recently. Is someone desperate enough for CFB that they’ll overbid for the BE, or are the big bidders full of content? Will they try to combine their deals? Will that help? How long will the deals be?

    B12 (1st) in 2016
    B10 (1st) in 2017

    Presumably this is the next round of big deals. The B10 could benefit from being second with no other inventory available for 6 years, but maybe the B12 blunts the demand by taking out a bidder. My guess is they don’t impact each other that much since ABC has both of them right now. Will Fox, CBS or NBC have built up their CFB profiles to the point of being a serious challenger by then?

    ACC (1st & 2nd) in 2023
    P12 (1st & 2nd) in 2024
    SEC (1st & 2nd) in 2024
    B12 (2nd) in 2025

    This will be a huge couple of years. Will the ACC suffer as bidders save themselves for the other deals?

    B10 (2nd) in 2032

    This is a non-issue. I highly doubt anyone but the BTN will get this deal.

    • greg says:

      Brian, regarding the interplay of the future bids. What if Fox/NBC/anyone other than ESPN lands the B12 deal in 2016? If that happens, ESPN will absolutely break the f’n bank to land B10 in 2017, since they will have a lot of inventory to fill and no possible alternative for 6 years.

      • Brian says:

        That’s certainly possible. I think almost anything could happen. I’m not sure if ESPN is willing to be outbid for a conference important to them, but the loss of the B12 or the B10 would create a hole in their lineup.

    • frug says:

      I could see someone ponying up decent money for the Big East rights. Comcast made a serious play for the PAC-12 before ESPN and Fox teamed up to block them out and with no more CFB rights up for bidding until the middle of the decade I could see Comcast paying real money for the BEast.

  40. Brian says:

    We keep hearing how a full cost of living scholarship will separate the haves from the have-nots.

    The MAC schools got between $9.8M and $17.5M in student fees and direct institutional support each in 2009-2010, over half of their total revenue. If they already invest that much in athletics, why wouldn’t they spend another $500k+ (or make matching budget cuts), especially since it’s to help students? I’m not saying they should spend it, but it isn’t clear to me that they wouldn’t.

  41. Brian says:

    Skip Holtz thinks the BE should go to 12 teams, not 10, and would like to see ECU as one of the new teams. He thinks they could become VT.

    It should be noted that he was in Greenville and being interviewed on local radio.

    • bullet says:

      WVU’s Luck also prefers 12 teams as he’s said in some interviews. Has not given any preference on who the additional teams should be.

  42. Brian says:

    CBS polled BE football coaches (including TCU) anonymously about expansion (1 declined):

    1. Do you favor Villanova as a football member?

    Yes – 2.5
    No – 2.5
    No opinion – 3

    2. If Villanova becomes the 10th member, do you want to stay at 10 or go to 12 members? If 12, which two schools would you add?

    Go to 12 – 5 (UCF – 3, ECU – 2, Houston – 2, SMU – 1, 1 coach abstained)
    Stay at 10 – 2
    No opinion – 1

    3. If Villanova is not added, do you want to stay at nine members or still get to 10 schools? If 10, which school would you add?

    Add a 10th school – 5 (UCF – 1, Army – 1, doesn’t matter – 3)
    Stay at 9 – 3

    In case Jake was wondering, TCU’s Patterson prefers 10 instead of 12 teams, but would rather have nine and play a round robin with 4 OOC games.

    • wmtiger says:

      I’ve always thought of Army and Navy as good fits for the Big East (for football), any likelihood of that happening?

      • frug says:

        This was a discussion in another thread, and the consensus was that adding Army and Navy would be great for the BEast but not a particularly good move for the academies since they national followings kind of like Notre Dame and BYU.

        • cfn_ms says:

          I don’t recall any consensus like that. The academies have had mediocre to lousy football for a generation. Their fanbase is dwindling (IMO a lot of this is due to the growth of ROTC – you now see a pretty decent sized chunk of the officer corps and soldiers from places like Texas A&M, Alabama, UCLA, etc.), they’re basically irrelevant nationally except for the Army-Navy game (and even that seems to be fading from the national consciousness), etc.

          Until and unless there’s some large-scale change that makes good recruits actually want to sign up with the academies and serve for a few years afterwards, I don’t think there’s any reason that their decline should reverse itself. Unlike a lot of other programs, where getting AQ status would provide a big exposure bump and help recruiting that way, the academies are likely to recruit from the same base regardless of their status.

          If anything the academies are best-served by not trying to join the rat race, since they can try to compete against the lower ends of 1-A and not necessarily fall massively behind.

          And certainly an AQ league wouldn’t want them. They don’t drive ratings, their football is nowhere near AQ level (especially damaging for a league like the Big East whose AQ status is under seemingly perpetual fire), etc. Unless somehow Notre Dame decided to join the Big East under the condition that Army and/or Navy also got an invite, adding either (much less both) would be a disastrous move for the league.

          • frug says:

            I’m going to have to disagree with you that adding Army and Navy would hurt the Big East’s chances of preserving their AQ status. Navy has developed into a decent program over past 7 years and Army could turn things around. More importantly, it would make stripping the Big East of its AQ status a political disaster. Seriously, if you think there is heat on the BCS now just imagine what would happen if the Big East were to lose its BCS bid right after adding the service academies.

          • cfn_ms says:

            I don’t think that the service academies are any kind of sacred cow of college athletics; it’s not like anyone in congress has been seriously pushing their interests (or at least effectively).

            If the Big East wanted to try to play the political game by bringing those two aboard (and it certainly wouldn’t help in any other way), that’d be one hell of a dangerous game. They’d be surrendering AQ status on the merits and hoping that the government would somehow keep them afloat. I don’t see that gamble winning the day.

        • bullet says:

          While I agree that Army and Navy would not be good additions to the BE, I don’t agree with many of your conclusions.

          I haven’t checked the ratings, but I would be surprised if Army and Navy weren’t better than many of the BE schools.

          The military academies are not on a decline anymore. The military is much more respected than it was in the 70s and early 80s and the academies have figured out ways to offset their opponents size and speed advantages. Navy has beaten ND 2 out of 3 after not having won since the 60s.

          Army/Navy still draws huge crowds.

          Army and Navy outdraw several BE schools and most candidates and travel better than any with the possible exception of WVU (and would help in bowl bids).

          Now I think in an AQ conference, they would have a tough time competing week in and week out. I don’t think it would serve their purposes. I also think it would hurt the BE in strength and perception. But I don’t think all is gloom and doom for the academies.

          • Brian says:

            To be fair, the academy fans don’t so much travel as already live everywhere.

          • bullet says:

            Agree, but its much the same result. Bowls sell tickets.

          • Muck says:

            Don’t be surprised if the Navy ‘resurgence’ sees some major setbacks in the future. There is a lot of anger over the move by USNA leaders to lower admission standards for athletes. That has been attributed to much of the greater success on the athletic field…but correspondingly less success in producing capable Naval Officers for the fleet.

          • Brian says:

            I’ve seen some analytical articles that say the academies don’t really serve a purpose anymore anyway because they don’t produce measurably better officer candidates than other schools and cost the taxpayers a ton.

            I don’t know if that’s true, but it wouldn’t surprise me. How much of what they teach is important for military service versus for getting an accredited degree?

          • bullet says:

            I’ve got to question, in a co-ed world where you no longer have 4,000 male students, whether it still makes sense for the 3 academies to recruit to play in FBS. The academies should at least be thinking about it. 100 students is a lot bigger chunk of 3k than it is of 4k. And do they still need academies with the same number of students they had during the Cold War with a much bigger military? So that ratio could climb even higher.

          • Richard says:


            I think that’s definitely true of the Air Force Academy, which can disappear tomorrow without anyone being affected. Harder to say about the other 2.

  43. Bo says:

    The Big East should be for northeastern schools. BYU should go to the Big 12, where they welcome independent tv networks.

    • Brian says:

      I wonder if that was part of the reason they told Nova to wait. Maybe ESPN said some things to them hinting that 18,500 might not be a good choice. At least UC has their tiny stadium on campus.

    • bullet says:

      Article kind of contradicts itself. It says expansion can be gradual. It also says they need to get their lineup set.

      The latter is right. They need to talk to their consultants and figure out what the best structure is. Then go to the networks. ESPN isn’t going to tell them who to add, merely what they will pay for the combination presented. And the BE doesn’t have very long. If they are going to start negotiating in September 2012, they need to invite teams in the next 12 months so they can be ready to go in 2013 (as crazy as last May and June were, that’s not the way it is normally done). Either the team makes sense in 2013 or it doesn’t. Now Villanova, BYU or Notre Dame would take a little longer to upgrade or re-arrange their schedule, but the BE needs to know who is going to be part over the course of the contract.

    • Steve says:

      Commissioner says Big East must resolve expansion plans by Sept 2012.
      ttp:// hts/os-big-east-expansion-20110523,0,7583929.story

    • cutter says:

      After seeing the television contracts that have recently been awarded to the Pac 12, Big XII and ACC, I wonder if it’s time to reexamine any possible Big Ten expansion scenarios beyond Nebraska. The articles above regarding the Big East reiterate the same point about the value of college football, men’s basketball and college sports overall essentially skyrocketing. I suspect if we go back to previous posts on this blog, some of the initial assumptions made 18 months ago might not be entirely accurate.

      Does it make sense for the Big Ten to maintain its twelve members in place four years down the line when the ABC/ESPN contract expires? Or would the conference be a more valuable commodity with fourteen or sixteen members, assuming Notre Dame isn’t one of the schools included (because we all know this’d be a slum dunk if ND was included)?

      I’ve seen a figure of around $400M per year being tossed around as a benchmark for the new Big Ten contract when it gets signed in four years or so down the line. That’s $33.3M for each of the twleve B1G programs. Are there four programs out there combined that could up that number to around $530M that don’t include Notre Dame? Or how about two more to get the figure to nearly $470M? How would those two or four programs help the Big Ten in terms of men’s basketball, i.e., what could they do to make the B1G the best b-ball conference in the country?

      • Richard says:

        Outside of ND & Texas (and the SEC; Florida & Georgia would certainly bump the per-school take up, but I don’t see them leaving), I think only the core of the ACC (Maryland, Virginia, UNC, and Duke/NCSU) would make sense, and they may not bump up the per-school take.

        • Brian says:

          Obvious: ND, TX, TAMU, OU, FL, UGA, AL, Miami, FSU

          Others (BB value, FB value & market):
          Duke & UNC – they make so much on BB
          Pitt & Syracuse – make a lot on BB and FB already

          • Richard says:


            I don’t think OU and ‘Bama would pass the academics test. Pitt & ‘Cuse have value, but likely not enough (they certainly didn’t have enough to compel the B10 to add them this round).

          • Brian says:

            I agree on the academics, but someone would object if they weren’t on the list. It’s easier to list them since they are unobtainable anyway.

            $19.1M FB (> #11 in B10)
            $18.3M BB (#5 nationally, > #1 in B10)
            $37.4M combined, > PU, NW

            $22.5M FB (> #10 in B10)
            $13.1M BB (#19, > #7 in B10)
            $35.6M combined, > PU, NW

            These schools are already making B10 type money without the B10 level TV deal. The BB deal would gain significant value and the FB deal at least adds some markets and some mid-level programs with good history.

          • Richard says:

            However, you take away the flexibility of adding the heart of the ACC (I don’t think UNC/Duke/NCSU comes along without Maryland & UVa) or Florida/Texas schools in the future. Adding schools that are in the lower half of the B10 athletically is not a good strategy & one I’m confident the B10 presidents will not pursue.

          • Brian says:

            Nobody said to only list the maximum sets of teams for revenue, just ones that might add enough.

            Adding teams doesn’t reduce flexibility unless the maximum number of teams is constrained. In this fantasy world, the B10 can go to 18 as well as 16, leaving all your option still available. Heck, maybe the B10 should add all of them.

            I don’t think the B10 will expand past 12 in the near future. It could make more money potentially, but it would stop being a conference.

          • Richard says:


            I like my hypotheticals to be constrained somewhat by reality, and in reality, 16 is almost certainly the maximum number if B10 schools care to play each other even somewhat regularly, which B10 fans seem to want to an above average degree.

          • Brian says:

            The ADs want it more than the fans, outside of the rivalries. 14 and 18 both make for better schedule than 16.

          • Richard says:


            Uh, the ADs have said that their fans tell them they want to play other B10 teams more. Not sure where you go from that to “the ADs want it more than the fans” (unless you’re projecting your own sentiments on all of B10 fandom), but whatever. For what it’s worth, I actually prefer more OOC games, as NU has alums all over the country.

            Also not sure why you think 18 would make for a better schedule than 16.

          • Brian says:

            ADs like the money from conference games. They cost less and sell more tickets. Some fans at some schools may say they want to see more B10 teams, but I don’t believe it is a majority at most schools (maybe none). Fans usually say that when being asked about replacing a MAC or I-AA teams with a B10 game. Do you think MI fans would trade ND for IN?

            As for 18, it provides for 8 division games (4 home, 4 away). If they play nine, it will be the inter-division game that is unbalanced but that means less than intra-division games. Likewise, 14 provides 3 and 3 with a 1/1 split in an 8 game season. 12 and 16 are bad because of the inherent imbalance in home and away games.

        • ccrider55 says:


          I’m not sold. The guess was that the Pac xx was maybe going to surpass the ACC numbers. Look at what happened. Yes, there were several factors at work, but the one that seems to get overlooked is that by increasing the conference with teams that were not absolute negatives it increased the inventory the conference controled. Potential surprise years by bottom feeders are of value. More varied games for the power teams in house. enlarged market area. None of these depended on a King being added. If the B1G went to 16 with midlevel teams (compared to the rest of the conference) they would then hold almost 25% of BCS team inventory in house. That alone should be enough to leverage a contract that would give everyone an increase. Plus you would have an increase in new inventory for the B10 network in multiple sports.

          • Richard says:

            OK, let’s add the ACC (assuming UF & UG aren’t available).

          • ccrider55 says:

            Yeah, that’s what I suggested…….

          • It’s still hard to say how much of the Pac-12 TV contract increase can really be attributable to Colorado and Utah, which is why I tend to agree with Richard here. As I’ve noted elsewhere, the Big 12 still got a big pay bump and they contracted instead of expanded. Colorado and Utah definitely added some value, but I feel as though the big rise in dollars was more about the Pac-12 finally realizing the value of the schools that they already had prior to expansion. This is a conference that legitimately delivers the state of California for college sports – while they aren’t rabid college sports fans like they are in the Southeast and Midwest, that’s still the nation’s most populous state where the Pac-12 is fairly dominant. (The Big East has more issues in its own populous footprint because it faces a lot more competition in its home region, where schools like Notre Dame, Penn State, Miami and Boston College all draw a lot of attention in the Northeast alone.)

          • ccrider55 says:


            You are probably right, though I wonder how much of the Big12ish bump is attributable to the Pac?? “threat” of further accumulation of inventory. An arguement can be made that if it were as cheap to have allowed the Big12ish to break up and pay the new larger conferences they would have allowed that. There would be no need to honor their existing contract dispite fewer teams, or bump the tier 2 rights. Those moves suggest to me that ESPN et al are taking advantage of a desperate situation (in the Big12) to avoid/delay paying a higher per team average, a larger total amount.

            Or I could be wrong and college sports could be moving more toward a “cult of personality” where only a few drive the whole market. I don’t see alumnae of non king schools abandoning ship and buying merchandise, following, and supporting Ala, tOSU, UT, USC, etc though.

      • Richard says:

        However, that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate. We know that Florida and Georgia have stridently been against oversigning (in fact, they’re the only SEC schools I’ve heard of who are against that practice). Let’s say they can’t get the SEC to govern college football the way they want and more Cam-Newton-like occur with the SEC looking the other way. Fed up, they also know that after the B10 negotiates its new TV deal, it will significantly out-earn the SEC in TV money for close to a decade. However, Florida can’t leave unless FSU joins them, because you know the first call Slive will put in if Florida decides to leave the SEC is to Tallahassee. Seeing the money differential and the recruiting advantage they have, FSU jumps on board (their choice is between the ACC & B10 only, as Florida makes it clear that they won’t leave the SEC unless FSU joins them as well. B10 adds an eastern school (Rutgers or Maryland) to go to 16.

        How would the divisions look? I propose a simple East/West split:
        Eastern school


        Where NU & Illinois end up depends on how much pull MSU has. Logically, NU should head west with Illinois east, but MSU has stated that their second biggest concern (after playing Michigan) is visiting Chicagoland.

        In this lineup, the East would be just a little tougher than the 11-team B10. The West would be murderous. With a conference like this, we’d see fewer interesting OOC matchups (besides the traditional rivalries with ND & Georgia-GTech, we may see OSU still play one high-profile OOC opponent . . . and that would be it); certainly pretty much no school in the west would schedule another “king”, but with this conference slate, that wouldn’t matter.

        With a 9 game conference slate, each team would play a pair of teams from the opposing division. The pairs would be (paired for balance)–


        Week 1: All OOC
        Week 2: Half (interdivisional play)
        Week 3: Half (interdivisional play)
        Week 4: Half (interdivisional play)
        Week 5: Half (interdivisional play)
        Week 6: Full (divisional play)
        Week 7: Full (divisional play)
        Week 8: Full (divisional play)
        Week 9: Full (divisional play)
        Week10: Half (byes for one division)
        Week11: Half (byes for the other division)
        Week12: Full (divisional play)
        Week13: Full (divisional play)

        3 primetime games during divisional games in October. On the final week, Nebraska-Iowa on Black Friday, OSU-Michigan early in the day, and Florida-FSU on primetime.

        • Brian says:

          They wouldn’t have picked up Miami or GT (instead of MD) using the same logic as FSU?

          • Richard says:

            I doubt Georgia would let the B10 bring in GTech as well, and they’re not afraid of GTech even if they join the SEC. Ditto with Florida & Miami. (Plus, SEC interest in either GTech or Miami would be less than for FSU).
            Ultimately, Florida, FSU, & Georgia are on one tier and Miami & GTech are on another because the first 3 are big rich public schools with tons of fans & politicians on their side while Miami is a small private school and GTech has the characteristics of a private school. All 3 of UF, UG, and FSU have undergraduate bodies that are 2.5 times or more GTech’s undergraduate population (and Miami is even smaller).

          • Brian says:

            So now UGA gets to dictate to the B10 while being added?

          • Richard says:

            If the B10 wants UGa badly enough, yes. From the B10’s perspective, they would _want_ to add a Rutgers or Maryland as GTech adds virtually nothing if they already have Georgia (far less than FSU and less than Miami or even Pitt).

      • @cutter – I don’t think any school can bring in $35 million by itself unless it can get the BTN onto basic cable in a population base equivalent to Texas or the NYC metro area. The rapidly rising TV contracts are really more of a function of market timing as opposed to expansion in and of itself. Look at the Big 12, which got a great raise on its TV contracts just for its 2nd tier rights and they *lost* Nebraska and Colorado.

        Now, I do think the Big Ten has long had ambitions to leverage Penn State and become as dominant on the East Coast as it is in the Midwest. The problem is that it doesn’t appear that it’s financially possible without Notre Dame involved. I’m a believer that if some combo of Syracuse, Rutgers and/or UConn could’ve gotten the BTN onto basic cable in the NYC market, then the Big Ten would’ve added them without Notre Dame last year. The fact that we didn’t see that happen and the Big Ten went the opposite direction towards Nebraska in a one-school expansion is fairly instructive. Even with the rising TV contracts for sports programs, they are more based on national drawing power as opposed to markets (although markets are still a good thing to have) and it doesn’t appear that other national draws are going to be moving for awhile.

        • Brian says:

          So as an odd circumstance, the BE needs to improve for their own good but improving may actually make the BE a target for expansion when it wasn’t before. I imagine that if the BE schools, especially SU, RU and UConn, were to become regular top 25 powers that NYC would start to care more about CFB. That, in turn, would make the B10 more interested in those teams.

        • bullet says:

          The rising TV revenues make it harder to justify further expansion. When they only had to increase revenue by $5-$10 million there were more schools. To get to $20 million + there are very few schools that can do that.

          And for the non-AQs, spreading NCAA tourney berths further restricts membership growth even if the TV money isn’t a big barrier. Noone but the AQs seems to be consistently guaranteed multiple tourney berths.

        • cutter says:

          I was just wondering if the Big Ten’s Fab Five scenario you discussed last year (see was a viable alternative.

          The Fab Five was Nebraska, Missouri, Rutgers, Syracuse and Pittsburgh. Now, obviously, matters have changed over the last twelve months, but I was wondering if the points you were making are still valid. Even though Missouri, for example, has upped its revenue with the new Big XII contract, would the Tigers be looking for another home four years down the line if offered a slot in the Big Ten? I imagine the answer is yes.

          That leaves the issue of Rutgers, Syracuse and Pittsburgh. Is that combination along with the other Big Ten members attractive enough to put the BTN on basic cable in the mid-Atlantic and northeast? Or does it make sense for the Big Ten to opt out of Missouri and invite a program like Connecticut or Maryland or Boston College? Is that a sufficiently attractive enough football/basketball package to get the BTN on basic in those areas?

          I guess the final question might be this–if Jim Delany really wants to move the Big Ten’s footprint into the northeast, do you think he’s looking at ways to do it without Notre Dame hamstringing him? Because let’s face it–one of the last things ND would like to experience is what it’s like being an independent in the midst of perhaps four 16-team super conferences.

          • Richard says:

            As opposed to the very last thing ND would want to experience (football-wise), which is being a member of a conference.

  44. Brian says:

    SEC may drop divisions in hoops, and also may go to 18 games.

    • Eric says:

      Good move if they do. Divisions are pointless in basketball for a major conference given the conference tournaments allow everyone in anyway. It’s an extra thing to award, but then the prestige of being regular season champ drops a lot.

      The only conferences that think legitimately should have divisions are if travel costs are a considerable issue and geography can help out.

      • Brian says:

        The trade off is they used to play all their division rivals twice and the other division once. Now they have to be careful to maintain their rivalries while balancing the schedule. On the other hand, they can restore some inter-divisional rivalries (not that they mean much in SEC BB).

        I certainly think their tournament will benefit from getting rid of the division-based seeding.

  45. Brian says:

    The B10 discussed hockey playoff ideas at their meetings, too. The ADs are supposed to send in votes on their preference among 3 ideas:

    1. Single elimination, top 2 get byes, at neutral site
    2. 2 weekend model (bottom 4 playing best of 3 to make the semis), single elimination final four, at top seed
    3. 3 weekend model, all series best of 3, top 2 get byes, at top seed

    As for scheduling, the current plan is 20 league games, 8 WCHA/CCHA and 6 eastern teams.

    • Richard says:

      I would have expected more WCHA/CCHA unless they’re inviting eastern teams to come visit. Especially Minny & Bucky.

      • Richard says:

        On the other hand, I can see why they settled on 8 though. 6 X 8 = 48 = 16 X 3, and there are 16 CCHA/WCHA schools on the mainland.

        I wonder if the CCHA/WCHA schools will ask the B10 to take on the burden of playing the Alaska schools? That would still leave 4 games; mostly home games against smaller eastern schools.

        BTW, does Minnesota have a policy of not playing OOC against schools with Native American names, or is that just Bucky?

        • Brian says:

          They’ll probably ask, but it doesn’t seem like the B10’s problem. They only played 2 or 3 home and homes against B10 teams. They will probably still play them (3 teams each), but I don’t see it as an obligation. Let some of the other hockey powers (BU, BC, etc) do it too.

          • Richard says:

            Not too many programs outside the B10 draw the attendance for hockey to be a revenue sport. North Dakota; maybe UNO & Colorado College:

            At any case, whether they have to do it or whether they should are different questions. I think the B10 could improve relations with the CCHA & WCHA as well as pick up some (admittedly, not a lot) of subscribers for the BTN in Alaska with that move. Win/win.

          • Richard says:

            Oh, and 2-and-2’s with the Alaska schools mean essentially 2 extra home games:
            Conference: 10 & 10
            WCHA/CCHA: 4 & 4
            Alaska: 2 & 2
            Eastern: 3-4 home games
            = 19-20 home games.

            To get the same number of home games without going to Alaska, B10 schools would have to schedule the eastern schools 5-1 or 6-0, and home games are a benefit to the B10 schools since they draw the attendance to take advantage of them.

          • Brian says:

            St. Cloud St, UNH, UMass, BU and BC should be on your list, too. Don’t tell me ND and BC can’t afford the Alaska games.

            Like I said, I think the B10 will probably play 3 series with each (a gain of 1 more series), but they shouldn’t be depended on to prop up those schools. If they can’t afford it, they should play equivalent level Canadian teams instead. The B10 isn’t a charity for Alaskan college hockey.

          • Richard says:

            Again with the money B10 schools can gain from the extra home games & the increase to the BTN, I don’t think it would be charity for the B10.

          • Brian says:

            I doubt the B10 schools would net a profit from it, at least not most of them. If the coaches value the ability to have 2 more home games enough, it may be worth the money, but otherwise it is charity to help the Alaska schools keep their teams. That’s not a bad thing, but not the B10’s responsibility.

          • Richard says:

            Maybe not OSU. Definitely Wisconsin & Minnesota. The question is whether Michigan, MSU, and PSU would.

          • Brian says:

            Definitely not OSU and PSU. Maybe MI and MSU.

  46. OT says:

    New math:

    The Big 12 Conference will keep its old name despite having only 10 schools:

    • Brian says:

      Is this a surprise to anyone? They spent years building brand equity and recognition. Why would they throw that out? The only viable option would have been if Big 10 was an available and never used name, and then that restricts them in case they ever do decide to expand again.

  47. ccrider55 says:

    Longhorns and leftovers?
    Texas Ten?
    Regional Remnants?
    Big(base 8)12?

    • ccrider55 says:

      The problem I have with the Big12ish keeping their name is that they are “advertising” using a name that discribes something they are not. The Big 10 is simply keeping a discriptive name that is an understatement (they are 10, and more).

      • bullet says:

        A little biased? Neither of them make sense. Neither does the Atlantic 10.

        But then its about $ and the A10 is somewhat recognized and the Big 10 and Big 12 very recognized. Its about brand. And I can’t think of anything that really fits the Big 12. Austin and College Station aren’t really the Great Plains. Not sure Ames and Columbia are either. Central Time Zone conference doesn’t exactly ring any bells either. Blue Norther Conference? I can see to Canada conference? Not SE, W or MW conference?

        And then they may go back to 12. I suspect they will eventually, but it probably won’t be until after their Fox deal runs out in 12 years. Someone besides BYU may be an attractive addition by that point.

        • ccrider55 says:

          Yes, a bit of bias, but mostly just poking fun at an easy target.

          I hear what you are saying. A 10 understates (and never overstated) membership. The B1G conference has a history that now includes a part of 3 centuries and has been called Big 10 continuiously since 1950. It had been BigX depending on numbers until PSU joined. I enjoyed the subliminal 11 in the Big 10 logo for the years it was applicable (which ironically is aproximately as long as the Big 12 has existed). If anyone has enough history to allow for an overstatement it is the B1G. They have never overstated.

          If the Big12ish were more of a conference and less of an entourage perhaps a reasonable name would come to me.

          • bullet says:

            Entourage is perhaps why it was vulnerable to poaching. SEC/Big 10/Pac 10-maybe even the 12/ACC except BC are all pretty much conferences with a distinct identity and also much older than Big 12. The Big 12 was a marriage of convenience and desperation between the 8 and the SWC.

        • Jake says:

          Some suggestions:

          The Big X (pronounce the X like the letter) – people keep calling it the Big XII-II, so simplify the equation. The X could stand for 10, or it could be a variable, like, how many teams are there?

          The XIT Conference

          Mack in the Middle

          The Conference Formerly Known as the Big 12

          The Texoma Conference

          The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement

          The Texas Leaguer (because it’s a blooper – get it?)

          Van Hagar

          The No Horned Frogs Club

  48. Brian says:

    A nice look at the B10 going to 9 conference games from an OSU perspective.

    • Nostradamus says:

      Doug’s line of thinking here is a bit off.
      or conference games, the Big Ten uses a formula that maxes out at a $1 million payday for the visitors. So, for instance, would Ohio State rather pay $1.4 million to play Colorado; or $1 million to play Minnesota, Iowa or Northwestern, the three conference teams the Buckeyes won’t face this year?

      Ohio State isn’t paying $1 million to the Big Ten school it is playing. It is paying $1 million per home game into the Big Ten gate sharing pot. That pot is distributed equally, so Ohio State gets money back. For the 2009 season, It was $737,500 per game. Net Ohio State is only “paying” $262,500 per conference home game.

      Now that still misses the more valid economic comparison for an Ohio State of two body-bag games at home versus a 9th conference game meaning home and home. I fully acknowledge that, just responding to Doug’s argument here…

      • Brian says:

        You’re right, but that payback will be affected by 9 games and who gets 5 at home and who doesn’t. Paying $250k versus $1M for an AQ opponent is no contest financially. As you say, though, an extra home game every other year is worth millions to OSU, and they also give that up for an OOC game. They will lose financially by going to 9, as will MI, PSU, NE, WI and maybe MSU and some others. OSU is happy to do it for the good of NW, IN and others.

        Note that all the coaches are against it.

        • @Brian – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: all coaches want to do is protect their own asses. If they had their choice, they’d have fewer conference games and become bowl eligible with 4 wins instead of 6, just as the basketball coaches are the only people in the world that think it would be a good idea for the NCAA Tournament to expand to 128 teams. This is generally why (thankfully in most cases) coaches are ignored for big-picture decisions.

          • Brian says:

            I know that, but just wanted to point it out because when we say the schools are happy to play 9, that means presidents and ADs and some fans, but not coaches and other fans.

            I don’t blame coaches for being against it. There is no advantage in it for them. Would you rather litigate against a 1st year law student or a partner at a prestigious firm?

        • Richard says:


          It’s not just for the good of NU & IU. The increase in TV money may very well make 9 conference games either financially a plus or at least a wash for Illinois, MSU, & Iowa as well (along with NU, IU, PU, and Minny). Possibly even Wisconsin & Nebraska.

          • Brian says:

            Hence the words “and others.”

            NE (#11, 85,664), WI (#16, 79,862), MSU (#19, 73,556) and IA (#21, 70,585) all get enough attendance to lose some money on the deal, with the B10 average at 72,106.

            Other schools:
            IL 54,188
            MN 49,513
            PU 48,063
            IN 41,953
            NW 36,449 (up from 24,190 in 2009)

          • Richard says:

            Brian: Note the “increase in TV money” part, where I presume that more conference games would make the TV package more attractive.

          • Brian says:


            I don’t think just going to 9 games will lead to a significant increase in TV money, but I’ll freely admit that is an uninformed opinion. The next deal will be a big gain, but that would be true for 8 games. It partly depends which OOC games are replaced. If teams drop other AQ opponents to play the ninth game, that won’t be worth much. If they drop MAC teams, that helps.

            The teams I mentioned all probably earn at least $4M per home game as a guess, so the ninth game would need to be worth $2M per year per team, or $24M per year. That’s certainly possible, but not guaranteed. I still contend NE, WI, MSU and IA would probably lose on the deal.

      • @Nostradamus – I also think that the prospect of possibly losing multiple BCS bids as a “con” is a bogeyman brought up by a lot of fans. The reason why Big Ten schools get selected for BCS games is that they’re popular on TV and travel well (as opposed to pure merit), which is something that’s not going to change with a 9-game conference schedule. Plus, there’s a pretty high chance that the 9th conference game is going to end up replacing a non-conference home-and-home series (as opposed to a MAC-rifice or Division I-AA game) on most schools’ schedules, so I don’t think the impact on records will necessarily be that great.

        • Brian says:

          I think you overstate your case. Yes, B10 schools get picked in part for name value and large fan bases. They also get picked for winning 10+ games and being in the top 10-12. The problem with a ninth game is that it forces 6 more losses for B10 teams. Theoretically the B10 could win all of the OOC games that are being replaced. Six extra losses are likely to reduce the number of eligible teams and the number of NCG participants. The CCG will also have this effect, hurting one of the top teams in the league and probably keeping them out of the BCS.

          As for which OOC games get replaced, that will vary from school to school. Clearly Gene Smith intends to keep the national home and homes, so the 9th game will replace a MAC team. Unless that 9th opponent is MN, that’s an uneven trade.

          • greg says:

            Six extra losses for a ninth conference game is an exaggeration. Plenty of people have already pointed out that the 9th game most likely replaces an OOC home and home rather than a MAC game. The B10 would be very lucky to go 9-3 in those games, 12-0 is dreaming. You could maaaaybe claim that its three more losses, but even that is pushing it and kind of living in a dream world.

          • Brian says:


            I disagree. The ninth game guarantees those six losses while OOC games don’t. Plus, conference losses hurt more (unless you’re in the SEC) since they come later in the year, especially if the league isn’t well respected.

            The B10 could go 12-0 or 0-12 in those lost OOC games. Nobody knows. But they have to go 6-6 in those conference games. The league also loses 6 games from the inventory and probably the gate from several more home games.

            People can assume what they want about which OOC opponents would be lost. OSU has gone on record saying it will be a MAC level game. MI, MSU, PU and IA have an annual AQ rival. Will they drop all other AQ games, or drop a MACrifice game? Will IL fans accept not ever playing an AQ opponent again? WI? PSU? NE?

            I think everyone will play a home and home series plus the nine games. Some will play a second AQ team. There will be some internal peer pressure for all the good teams to play a decent OOC schedule. It is, after all, good for business.

          • greg says:

            Conferences losses hurting due to being later in the season is a false impact. The 9th conference game will be a September game.

            The league only loses 6 games from inventory if every team would have hosted a home game for their extra OOC game. I think that is a false assumption. Maybe 3 games from inventory, similar to maybe 3 extra losses.

            Here is a near mathematical certainty: teams will now need to have 5 of 6 OOC for each two year couplet be home games. That is what they need to do to have 7 home games per year. A lot of schools were scheduling 6 of 8 home OOC per two years, so those schools will have to remove a home and home (HaH) from their schedule.

            If IA or OSU has a home and home on their schedule, they can schedule nothing other than body bag games. OSU has scheduled one top team home and home and then a slew of home games, including a number of 8 home game schedules. So, you are correct that they’ll continue their AQ HaH, and will lose a mid- or lower-level home game. Iowa will definitely be losing the AQ HaH from their schedule. Looking at other recent B10 schedules, I’m a little surprised how few AQ road games they play. (cue snarking response about B10 OOC scheduling)

            You point out that MI, MSU, PU and IA already have an annual AQ rival and wonder if they will drop all other AQ games. If they want 5 of 6 (which they all do), they MUST drop it. Or perhaps IA only plays ISU 2 of every 4 years, and pickup an AQ HaH for the other two. Either way, the outcome is losing an AQ HaH from their schedule.

            I doubt you will ever see a second AQ HaH on any B10 schedule. They just can’t get to 5 of 6 with it on the schedule. More likely you’ll see a school like OSU that can buy one-off home games from higher profile teams. They got Colorado due to Colorado’s scheduling difficulties, and Utah visited recently when it appears they don’t have a return trip.

          • Brian says:


            Yes, the ninth game will be in September. However, that doesn’t mean that is when the loss will be. What if the actual extra opponent is played in October or November, with the rest of the schedule shifted forward? That is a loss much later than the OOC game.

            When I said inventory, I wasn’t strictly speaking of their TV inventory to broadcast. Sorry for the imprecision. But yes, they will lose 3-6 games (depends on scheduling philosophy) from their TV inventory and money from the gate.

            Most teams need 7 home games but not all. Certain schools (NW, IN) don’t benefit as much from the extra home game and have been known to play on the road more often. That leaves 10 schools going for 7 home games, or 1 home and home and 2 home games OOC. How ADs will respond to the ninth game is unclear, except OSU since he has spoken publicly (others may have too, but I know he did). You may see an increase in neutral site games since they don’t require a road return. You may see more schools buy mid-level AQ games, like OSU with Colorado. You may see teams play only 6 at home on occasion and count on the extra TV money to cover it. Will IA fans accept ISU as their only AQ OOC game forever? Will MI, MSU and PU fans accept only ND?

            The B10 doesn’t play a ton of AQ road games, that’s true. To be fair, though, all the teams are in a home and home with at least one other AQ. IA is in 2 and NW is often in 2-3. That’s 6-8 AQ road games OOC, about equal with the SEC and probably the B12. Does the ACC do more? The P12 probably does more and maybe the BE, but I don’t think the B10 lags all that much from most other AQs.

            Clearly you are wrong about nobody ever playing 2 AQ home and homes, because NW already often plays 6 home games. There’s no reason that has to change.

            OSU may well continue buying mid-level AQs like Colorado. Presumably MI, PSU and NE might as well. Maybe WI or IA. Anyone else? That would still be losing a MAC game for a conference game, though, which you said nobody would do.

          • cfn_ms says:

            tough to think that not just Ohio St but also Michigan, Penn St and Nebraska could keep buying mid-level AQ’s. I could maybe see low-level AQ’s like Wazzu, most of the Big East, Iowa St, etc, but that seems about it. Even Colorado was an exception; I don’t think they’ve ever sold a home game before, and certainly they’re not going to do so regularly (especially with the big bump in TV revenue coming up).

            Ultimately, with a 9-game league schedule you need 5 home and 1 road OOC games every two years if you want 7 home games a year. That’s not realistic unless you’re buying lots of bodybag games, and that usually means really crappy opposition. Either the “we need 7 games” perspective relaxes or the programs accept that the OOC slates will be almost 100% junk. Barring an increase of per season games to 13 (good luck), there’s just no other way around it.

          • greg says:

            NW may continue 2 AQ HaH, while Indiana may continue a dual Akron/Western Kentucky HaH. But I don’t see OSU/PSU/UM/MSU/IA/NE ever having two AQs on the schedule in the same season. It just won’t work.

          • Brian says:


            Yes, those are the sort of teams I meant. The new TV deals may reduce the odds, but IN sold a home game to PSU recently so who knows.

            “Smith also said the other two non-conference games might include two MAC-type schools some seasons. But in other seasons it would include one MAC-type school and another mid-level school from a BCS conference, such as Colorado, Cincinnati or Vanderbilt, three schools coming up in future seasons.”

            If OSU would do it, some other B10 schools might as well.

          • Richard says:

            I think OSU, Michigan, & PSU will keep 7 home games, meaning 1 home-and-home series. They may buy lower-level BCS teams for home games, but also upper-level non-AQ schools (MWC & CUSA).
            IU & NU will almost certainly play 1 FCS & 2 H&H. Minny & PU likely will as well. Nebraska, Wisconsin, MSU, Iowa, & Illinois will likely try to keep 7 home games. Neutral site games make a lot of sense for these schools. 6 home games + 1 neutral site game probably brings in just as much money for these schools as 7 home games, so they could alternate between 7 home games and 6 home + 1 neutral site, which could allow for more than 1 BCS OOC opponent in a year.

          • Brian says:


            I mostly agree with you. The big 4 may play some marquee neutral site games, like MI/AL, instead of 7 home games but otherwise will want the 7 home games. I was only saying these teams may play 2 AQs OOC, I didn’t say they would both have to be home and homes.

            I’d lump NE, WI, MSU and IA together, but IL is a different story. They fit better with PU and MN.

          • Richard says:

            Thinking about it more, the bigger schools in the B10 should really get more creative with how they use neutral site games once a 9-game conference slate comes about. For instance, Nebraska & Wisconsin could do 2-1-1 with BYU with the neutral site game being held in Denver & Phoenix, respectively.

            PSU could fill their 3 OOC slots with a 1-1-1 series (say with Syracuse or BYU), a 2-for-1 with Temple, and a MAC/FCS home game.
            That would give them 12 home OOC games over 6 years, so they’d only have 6 home games half the time, but also 2 neutral site games. OK, maybe they’d have to juggle it to have either 7 home games or 6 and a neutral site game every year, but it seems possible. If they can get a 2-1-1 series, that makes scheduling much easier.

        • Michael in Indy says:


          Frank’s case isn’t overstated. The Big Ten gets multiple BCS bids every… single… year. A lot of years are purely on merit, like last year when it had three teams with 11-1 records and it got the maximum of two BCS bids. Other years, it’s really obvious that the Big Ten’s popularity gives it the kind of edge where its teams are picked ahead of other, more deserving teams.

          In 2008, Ohio State got a Fiesta Bowl bid that, in my opinion, it did not earn on merit. With a 10-2 record, sure, it was a really good team, as evidenced by its very close bowl loss to arguably the best team in the country, but OSU got completely smoked at USC and lost at home to Penn State. Meanwhile, Boise State had an undefeated, very dominant regular season but couldn’t bring OSU’s level of travelers or TV ratings.

          In 2007, Illinois was in the BCS at 9-3 ahead of higher-ranked 10-2 Arizona. (On the surface, this one was pretty bad, but the Rose Bowl basically had to take the Illini because of the tie-in. Still, it was another case of a strong-traveling, at-large Big Ten team making the BCS ahead of a lesser-traveling, more deserving team from a different league.)

          In 2003, Ohio State, who was #8 in the AP poll and #7 in the Coaches poll, was selected for the Fiesta Bowl while Georgia, who was #5 in both polls, and Tennessee, who was #7 in the AP and #8 in the Coaches, were not selected for BCS games.

          In 2002, Iowa, at #8 in both polls, was selected to the Orange Bowl while Kansas State and Texas, which were #6 or #7 depending on the poll, were left out of the BCS.

          I’m pretty sure the Big Ten’s pattern of having multiple BCS bids every year will be safe no matter what. If the Pac-12, Big 12, and Big East all end up with 9-game conference schedules, then it’s all the more safe. The SEC gets two bids every year as is, so the only threat to the Big Ten’s run of multiple bids would be a strengthened ACC, strong Notre Dame teams, and/or an unusual case where there are two very highly ranked non-AQ teams (such as 2009) and only one top 12 team from the Big Ten.

          • Brian says:

            How many of those second bids would have been lost with an additional loss? Nine games is likely to lead to more years where there aren’t as many highly ranked teams. B10 BCS teams are between 6-2 and 8-0. The 8-0 team will still go regardless of the ninth game, but 6-2 and 7-1 may not. 6-3 will not qualify, and 7-2 may not. Now add a CCG that could make that 7-3 and more teams are in trouble. And remember, that ninth game will be harder than an average B10 game now because NE will be in the mix.

            The SEC will be taking a second bid for the near future. ND is improving and will start to get bids again (they only need 9-3 and top 14). Boise, or another non-AQ, will continue to get bids many years. That’s 7 of 10 spots locked (AQs + SEC #2), and another 1-2 gone (ND, non-AQ). That leaves 1-2 spots for the B10, B12, P12, ACC and BE.

            The B12 will benefit from dropping their CCG and adding another winnable conference game (ISU, KU, KSU or MO) to the schedules for TX and OU. That makes for an easier path to the BCS for TX and OU, and those schools are at least as desirable as B10 schools.

            The ACC will benefit from being the only other AQ league with only 8 conference games, plus FSU is improving and Miami may be as well. Assuming VT stays good they have a good chance of getting 2 bids.

            The BE and P12 are lesser threats in most years, but will on occasion merit a second bid.

            So in summary, B10 teams will have more losses, ND is improving, Boise is still out there, TX and OU are getting an easier path and FSU (and maybe Miami) is improving. All that taken together means the B10 is less likely to get 2 BCS bids in the future.

            Several things can change that:
            1. ND doesn’t improve
            2. Boise goes AQ
            3. ACC squads don’t improve or VT falls
            4. The SEC loses prestige
            5. The B10 gains a lot of prestige to be like the SEC

          • greg says:

            I think the 9 game schedule and CCG do lower the chances of a 2nd bid, but not by a whole lot. The CCG seems like it has a good chance to knock out a 2nd team, but if you go through the history of the SEC CCG, it doesn’t look like it ever cost the conference a second bid. It cost specific teams a bid, but they were replaced by another SEC team.

            But how damaging is a lack of a 2nd bid? The payout delta between a 2nd bid and a low level bowl game that its really stealing a B10 from is about $3M. Not pocket change, but $250k a school isn’t a huge deal. Without a 2nd BCS bid, the 2nd through last B10 bowl teams all move down a slot and have better bowl matchups.

            If the B10 loses an occasional BCS bid while having better bowl records, I think its a wash. But it may only rarely actually lose a 2nd bid.

          • Brian says:


            I think the 9 game schedule will cost the B10 more bids than you do, but mostly I was rebutting the sentiment that it would have no effect and the B10 will always get 2. Getting 2 is not as automatic as some people think.

            The SEC CCG may not have cost them many bids, but that’s partly because they usually had 3+ worthy teams before the CCG or a quality runner up to a team that was upset (2001, for ex). Also, they don’t have many upsets in their CCG.

            The SEC was single bid in 2000 and 2002 – 2005. In 2003, #5 GA lost in the CCG and #5 OSU got the at-large. What if GA didn’t take that loss to #3 LSU? That change would almost make the B10 and SEC even on at-large bids (11-8 now).

            The damage of not getting a second bid is more perception than anything else. The hype for the SEC will only escalate if they become the only conference that always gets 2 BCS bids. That will drive people to mock the B10 some more saying they are in decline. No number of lesser bowl wins will do for the B10 what BCS wins will do.

          • bullet says:

            The Big 12 benefitted from the ccg in getting BCS bids. The upsets switched some teams, but added more than it lost. CCG did cost them 2 national championship gamex. KSU, Texas and Missouri would have all been in once more without a ccg while UNL would have made it 1 less time.

          • Mike says:

            @Bullet – I believe Texas in the ’96 Big 12 game cost Nebraska another title shot. Didn’t A&M cost KState a shot in ’98, Colorado cost Texas in ’01, and KState cost Oklahoma in ’03?

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Mike – In 2003, Oklahoma lost the Big XII CCG to K-State but still made it to the BCS NCG (Sugar Bowl).

            LSU cost Oklahoma the BCS NC by beating them in that game.

          • frug says:

            RE: 2007 Rose Bowl

            While I agree that AZU was better than Illinois (and given I was a jr at U of I at the time that hurts) Illinois didn’t really take AZU’s bid since if tradition hadn’t dictated taking a Big 10 team the Rose Bowl still wouldn’t have selected Arizona State since they wouldn’t have two teams from the same conference face off (USC was already in as the PAC-10 champ).

          • Bamatab says:

            In 2000 or 2001, Colorado beat Oklahoma in the last regular season game of the season and knocked OU out of playing in the Big 12 championship game. But Nebraska, not having even played in the Big 12 CG, still played Miami in the BCSCG.

            Also as Alan stated above, OU got beat by KSU in the Big 12 CG, yet still played LSU in the BCSCG.

            Now those are both exceptions rather than the rule, but losing or not being in a conference CG doesn’t always kill your BCSCG chances.

          • Richard says:


            You said
            “The SEC CCG may not have cost them many bids, but that’s partly because they usually had 3+ worthy teams before the CCG or a quality runner up to a team that was upset (2001, for ex).”

            . . .aaaaand you don’t expect the B10 to have 3+ BCS worthy teams after Nebraska joins the fold virtually every year?

            I’m going to have to agree with Frank & the rest in stating that I don’t see the B10 not sending 2 teams to BCS bowls so long as there are at least 2 teams with 2 or less losses. Now, maybe going to 9 confernce games decreases _OSU’s_ chances of getting a BCS bid; I’d certainly buy that, since which a 10-2 OSU team almost certainly gets the nod over a 10-2 MSU/Illinois team, a 9-3 OSU team would likely not get picked over a mid-prestige 10-2 B10 team. However, I seriously doubt we’ll have a situation where the B10 produces 2 or more teams with 2 losses or less and not get 2 teams in to BCS bowls, especially since the schedule will be perceived to be stronger.

            As for the other leagues, yes, OU and Texas have an easier path to a BCS bid, but I wouldn’t say the B12 has a better chance of landing 2 bids now because those are the _only_ 2 teams now in the B12 that would get the benefit of the doubt from the BCS I certainly don’t see a 2-loss Mizzou or TTech team beating out virtually any 2-loss B10 team for a BCS bid (and that includes NU and PU as well).

          • Brian says:


            No, I don’t expect the B10 to have 3+ teams in the top 14 of the final BCS standings almost every year if they go to 9 games, especially if they lock a difficult second rival for the big 4 (OSU/NE & MI/PSU). I expect to see more 9-3 teams than before, even as division winners.

            The counterbalance will be if the harder schedule starts to earn the B10 more respect, in which case losses won’t hurt them as much as they do now (see SEC teams not dropping in the polls for conference losses).

          • bullet says:

            UNL still would have finished #3 in 96 so the loss didn’t knock them out-but it was close. KSU would have been #1 in 99 if they hadn’t lost to A&M. Texas would have made the game 2 years later but lost to CU. UNL who had lost 62-24 to CU in the last game of the regular season made the ccg. And Missouri got upset by OU in the crazy year LSU won with 2 losses, knocking Missouri out of the #1 spot. KSU, Texas and Missouri didn’t even make the BCS those years.

            But as for BCS games, the league got a couple extra net, starting with UT in 96. Some teams got replaced (KSU by A&M, UT by CU, Mizzou by OU), but 98 when UT lost the ccg to UNL was the only time a ccg cost the conference a slot. KSU’s upset over #1OU got an extra slot. Believe there was one other time the ccg upset resulted in an extra slot.

          • Michael in Indy says:


            The rankings going into the 1996 SEC & Big 12 championship games were #1 FSU, #2 Arizona State, #3 Nebraska, #4 Florida, and #5 Ohio State. Since it was the Bowl Alliance era instead of the BCS, there could be a #1 vs. #2 matchup, but only if #1 and #2 were not in the Pac-10 or Big Ten. With ASU being #2, the Sugar Bowl had to settle for #1 FSU vs. whoever would finish #3. Had Nebraska finished #3 by beating Texas, it would have played FSU in the Sugar Bowl. Instead they lost, and Florida was promoted to #3 and got a second shot at FSU. BUT… remember that ASU lost the Rose Bowl to Ohio State the night before the Sugar Bowl, so FSU vs. Florida ended up being a winner-take-all game.

            Assuming that the Rose Bowl would have been an ASU loss whether Nebraska had beaten Texas or not, Nebraska truly did lose a shot at the national title. The fact that it would have finished #3 wouldn’t have mattered at all.

  49. Brian says:

    Ed DeChellis is leaving PSU (his alma mater) for Navy. This is a huge indictment of the BB program at PSU and the lack of support. Granted, he wasn’t a great coach and has been hanging by a thread lately, but it is still embarrassing to have a coach leave for Navy hoops.

    • @Brian – Institutional support is definitely a big factor. We’ve seen several power football schools over the past decade, particularly Ohio State, Florida and Texas, commit a ton of investment in their basketball programs and it’s paid off on the court with nationally-ranked teams. There’s no reason why Penn State couldn’t be in the same boat if they really wanted it, as the athletic department certainly has enough dollars to make it happen. This is a revenue sport that can actually give quite a bit back to the athletic department, so I have a hard time understanding why any school (regardless of how much they focus on football) wouldn’t put forth a good faith effort in supporting basketball.

      • Brian says:

        Especially since they have committed so much to wrestling and now hockey. PSU just seems to have no interest in BB. They aren’t just bad at it like IA or NW, they don’t seem to care.

        Perhaps one of our resident PSU fans/alums can explain what’s going on?

      • Gopher86 says:

        Texas hoops is painted rust.

      • cutter says:

        Michigan is finally putting in resources to upgrade its basketball program. The Ed Martin fiasco certainly made the university and major contributors reluctant to spend money on new facilities and upgrading Crisler Arena. Beilein has seemingly turned the program around and he assuredly isn’t one to dip his toe into the basketball recruiting cesspool, so there’s new confidence in the program.

        Crisler Arena is going through a two-phase program of renovations that include structural as well as aesthetic improvements. The basketball programs are also getting their own practice facility–it’s currently being built at this moment.

        All told, over $100M is being spent on these projects (including the new HD scoreboard) for the two teams. I guess they’re serious now . . .

      • PSUGuy says:

        Word on the PSU blogs is that Pat Chambers out of BC is going to be the next bball coach. Got some actual reporter types in there saying the same.

        • Brian says:

          He’s from BU, not BC, isn’t he?

          For hockey, that would be a great get, but not as impressive for MBB.

    • PSUGuy says:

      In fairness, this isn’t an indictment of BB at PSU, but more an indictment of DeChellis and where the organisation was going with him.

      Rumor was that if he didn’t reach the tournament last year he’d be axed and rumor is the same this year…only the team that made it to the tournament last year is all but gone. IMO, this was DeChellis taking proactive movement to keep a head coaching job for the years ahead (word was he wanted another extension after the NIT championship and was unhappy he didn’t get it).

      As for basketball I tend to agree with the “lack of support” comments, but the fact is when you look back PSU actually had a winning record prior to 1995. They weren’t amazing, but they were respectable. One would think they were supported back then, so what’s changed?

      If I had to venture a guess, simply put PSU (under Spanier) doesn’t care (so far) if its bball team is that great so long as it maintains its respectability as far as grades and graduation rates are concerned. It can afford to take this “moral high ground” because even as bad as the bball program is, it still makes money for the university…going from my booster club program, the PSU bball program made (in 2009/2010) approximately $360,000 for PSU. No where near the football contribution, but enough that it can claim to pull its own weight.

      All this being said, I think there was a reason the “DeChellis hot seat” rumors were out there and I think there’s a reason why he left…

      There’s a new method of ticket allocation being implemented this year and it requires donations for football seats (min $100 per seat and raises depending on location) and is going to base ticket allocation (for all sports) by donation level (first) and points standing (second). This means there’s going to be strong incentive for the ticket buyer (me) to elevate donation levels because it gives me access to better seats (even though I may not have been with the program for as long as someone who donated less).

      Obvious problem with this method though is if the team stinks its going to make it very unlikely anyone is going to shell out tons of money for premium seating. They still might (donate at high levels) because odds are the people donating are really looking for football tickets, but in the end I have to believe there’s still a large contingent of people who buy bball only tickets…I mean how else do they post a profit?

      Long story short, DeChellis had proven he wasn’t a guy that could bring a consistent winning product to the PSU bball court and PSU needs to at least show some desire for winning to ensure people buy into the new program. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised to see PSU make a legit run at putting together a decent program (even if it takes a few coaches to do so).

      • Brian says:

        The problem is that if PSU cared about BB they would have fired him years ago, and the fans and potential coaches know that. The timing of this just makes it worse as there aren’t many people available and it will be hard to convince someone that PSU is dedicated enough to BB for them to leave a good job. I hope PSU does get serious about BB soon. They don’t need to be great.

        • PSUGuy says:

          I agree with the “they’d have fired him years ago” idea in general, but again the two most important qualities PSU apparently looked for in a bball coach…academics and program profitability…were still being met. I honestly think to PSU they WERE running a good bball program…their definition of “good” just didn’t necessarily require a winning team.

          With the new donation/ticket program though I really think that definition changed. However, I really hope it just means adding “winning” to the list because I don’t want the team to become like every other “25% graduation rate” “Top Team”.

          • Brian says:

            Not all top teams have poor academics. Many keep good APR scores. Their graduation rates may be down, but that’s often because so many players leave early for the NBA.

          • PSUGuy says:

            Not saying everyone does, just merely that an easy path to get back to bball respectability is to 1) relax academics and 2) heavily recruit talented players who are more likely to bolt for the NBA at the first chance.

            I don’t believe either (let alone both) are acceptable options for PSU leadership, though I could be wrong.

            As an aside, PSU hired Eddie Folger to advise for the new bball hire…it’s looking more and more like PSU is going to make a concerted effort at becoming a legit bball program.


          • PSUGuy says:

            Eddie Fogler*…stupid typo.

          • Brian says:

            I’d suggest that #2 isn’t a big problem as long as the players take school seriously while they are there. Otherwise you have to build a program like a mid-major.

          • PSUGuy says:


            A school in the same state can do it…so can PSU.

  50. Brian says:

    Here is an interesting point brought up by a WI blogger. The B10 hockey conference will have one big recruiting advantage in the BTN. Going to the FCOA scholarship could be another big advantage. Will the smaller hockey schools be able to cover the bump? They have much smaller athletic departments, so do fewer resources or fewer scholarships win out? Frankly, is it a problem if the smaller schools don’t pay? All the best players can’t go to just a handful of teams.

    Will BB see the same problem? Will all of D-I pay the FCOA? What about other sports where large and small schools compete (baseball, etc)?l

    • Gopher86 says:

      In college hockey, playing time/exposure will always trump $2-3k in spending money for the big time talent. Many of the smaller schools started competing with the traditional powerhouses because they could promise exposure to legit prospects. I think the extra pocket change is nice, but the BTN is the real game changer.

  51. Playoffs Now says:

    B12-2 unveils new logo:

  52. Playoffs Now says:

    Try again, pic didn’t post. So glad there isn’t a preview feature!

  53. ccrider55 says:

    How does Calhoun’s timeline match up with BEast TV contract? Seems like there would need to be some prior certainty.

    • Brian says:

      They start a new deal in 2013, so they would be a couple of years into that.

    • Jake says:

      So, who does he think is going to split off from whom? Will the football schools get tired of … what, hanging out with a bunch of Catholic schools? What do they have to be disgruntled about? It’s not like they’re sharing their wealth with the basketball schools.

      And if it’s the basketball schools that are doing the leaving, it seems like Notre Dame is the key to that – if they’re happy with the current arrangement, would the others try to leave? What’s so bad about playing in an 18-20 member basketball conference? If they split off, wouldn’t they be just another FCS basketball conference? Right or wrong, isn’t there some benefit for basketball teams in being associated with a BCS conference?

      • Brian says:

        Perhaps they would be disgruntled about having the football membership hamstrung by basketball schools? Like having Nova forced on them, or not offering other schools of interest to the FB schools?

  54. Mike says:

    Deadline set for Big East expansion? Sort of

    The Big East conference is set to renegotiate its first-tier television rights with ESPN — initially rumored to be in the $110-$130 million ballpark annually — during a 60-day period beginning in September, 2012. By that time, conference commissioner John Marinatto hopes to have a definitive number of attractive football members to help the league add value to the sports network.

  55. Brian says:

    Tate Forcier didn’t go to Miami because it was too far from home for his parents to get to games. Apparently Auburn is cheaper and easier to get to in his world. He’s also interested in USC, as if Kiffin wants a reject spread QB with concussion issues.

  56. Richard says:

    Rumors on a bunch of BYU vs. B10 school matchups:

    1-1-1’s with
    PSU (neutral site at FedEx Field)
    Nebraska (neutral site at Denver)
    OSU(!) (neutral site at JerryWorld)

    Once the 9 game conference schedule comes about, however, it really would behoove these B10 schools to schedule 2-1-1 with a school like BYU.

    • Richard says:

      Interestingly, there are some BYU fans who are not happy with these 1-1-1 deals (which seems a little blindered to me, especially since they get an extra game to reach 6 home games those years when they visit Hawaii).

      • Brian says:

        At some point I’d get sick of never getting to see home games too. It depends how many of these series overlap. It’s a lot of series where 2/3 of the games are on the road.

        • Richard says:

          However, BYU can get 2-for-1’s from the WAC schools. Instead of a steady stream of home games against MWC-quality schools, BYU’s schedule now looks like a barbell, with a bunch of schools from the very top and very bottom of DivI-A football.

          • Brian says:

            As a fan, would you rather watch home games against WAC teams or AQs?

          • Richard says:

            ??? That’s not really BYU’s choice. BYU’s choice is an MWC (or BE) strength schedule or a collection of WAC & “kings” (granted, more WAC than “kings” at home). No “king” will regularly schedule straight up home-and-homes with BYU.

          • Brian says:

            You are the one that said you didn’t understand why they were mad. As fans, they believe BYU could get home and homes against middle tier AQs instead of 1-1-1s with top level AQs. They’d rather see that, or maybe even a MWC level schedule. Why wouldn’t a fan want to be able to attend more games?

          • Richard says:

            Uh, Brian, they’re attending/getting the same number of home games. Again, the choice is between a mid-tier/MWC/BE schedule or some kings mixed in with a bunch of patsies. It obvious that you prefer the first type of schedule, though I’d prefer the second.

          • Brian says:

            No, they aren’t. Neutral site games are replacing some home games.

          • Richard says:

            OK, let me go slowly:

            Three 1-1-1 series + three 2-for-1 series with WAC teams = 3 home games, 2 away games, and 1 neutral site a year.

            Six home-and-homes with MWC/CUSA/lower-level BCS opponents (and from the looks of it, BYU can only get home-and-homes with BCS schools like Oregon St. & GTech who can’t draw more than 50K per game at home; even WVU is only willing to play them on a neutral field close to WV) means 3 games at home and 3 games away.

            Granted, they could also simply replace the 1-1-1 series with home-and-homes and keep the WAC 2-for-1s (gaining half a home game, on average), but that would mean a much crappier schedule.

            So to turn the question around, would you rather see 2 games against PSU & Nebraska or 3 games against UCF, GTech, & Northwestern?

          • Brian says:

            They have choice, Richard, and the fans don’t seem to prefer the choices of the AD. They could play more AQs and/or more home games. There is no clear reason why the fans should agree with the AD, since they don’t share the same concerns (budgets, exposure, etc). It is perfectly reasonable for a fan to want more home games and more series where their team is treated as an equal. Being fans, they think they are equal to a bunch of teams that refuse to treat them like peers and it bothers them. A NW fan should understand that.

            3 1/1/1 series + 3 2/1 series = 9 home games, 6 road games and 3 neutral site games (basically road games) = 18 games (9 AQ)

            1 1/1/1 series + 3 1/1 series + 3 2/1 series = 10 home, 7 road and 1 neutral = 18 games (9 AQ)

            6 1/1 series + 2 2/1 series = 10 home, 8 road = 18 games (12 AQ)

            9 1/1 series = 9 home, 9 road = 18 games (18 AQ)

            As a power team fan, I’d take the easy schedule and more wins. I want to see my team and want to see them win. Close games are fun if you play well and you win. Otherwise, I’ll take the big win so I don’t feel like I wasted $100 plus travel expenses and time on the game.

            If I was a fan of a newly independent team that wants more respect than it has, I’d start with more home games to build a record of success against AQs and then upgrade to harder AQs later. You may get more respect and more home and homes that way than jumping into the deep end. Sacrificing home games for big names sounds more like a team that trades winning for money, and that loses respect.

          • Richard says:

            Being a fan means you can live in a fantasyland where the concerns of the AD doesn’t matter? Well, OK, sure, though I don’t find those fans worth listening to. I can see that some people evidently prefer an MWC-level schedule, though I’d be willing to put up with playing a bunch of patsies if it means more shots at some “kings”.

            And no, being an NU fan doesn’t make me understand it. I’m thrilled that ND is playing us home-and-home, but I’d be perfectly happy with a 1-1-1 with them as well. In fact, I’d like NU to play more neutral site games (even though I currently live within driving distance of Evanston now). If I was a BYU fan, I’d much prefer the schedule their AD is drawing up to the schedule you would draw up. You may not understand it, but to me, the thrill of my team acheiving a “giant-killing” win is several times greater than the thrill of beating an average team (while beating an average team isn’t several times greater than beating a patsy). Furthermore, scheduling a bunch of patsies along with a few giants makes an annual bowl trip more likely than playing a schedule filled with lower BCS teams (where BYU may not get to 6 wins in a down year).

            Also, I think your last scenario is rather unrealistic. I simply don’t think BYU can find 9 BCS schools willing to play them home-and-home and also fit them within their schedule (they have to fill Oct. & Nov. as well) every year.

          • Brian says:

            These are internet fans of BYU you’re discussing. They are not necessarily representative of the whole fan base.

    • Brian says:

      They are either looking really far ahead (OSU has major home and homes through 2021) or as a quality second OOC game for OSU. It makes some sense as Columbus actually has a pretty large LDS population, but going to Provo is not worth it in my mind. Neither is playing them at Jerryworld. I’d be happy if OSU never played at Jerryworld. If and when OSU does play a neutral site game, I hope it is a replacement for a national home and home, not a non-AQ.

      • Richard says:

        Likely as a quality second OOC game. If one home game in 2012 is moved to 2013, OSU can still fit in the away game and neutral site game in 2012 & 2017 and still have 7 home games every year (assuming 8 game conference slate). 2012@Provo, 2013@Columbus, 2017@JerryWorld?

        • Brian says:

          What game would they move? UC and Cal can’t move without a lot of schedule changes, and Miami (OH) and UAB are booked for 2013 too.

          I still hope this is just a rumor.

          • Richard says:

            Obviously Miami(OH) or UAB.

          • Brian says:

            UAB already has 2 SEC teams and 2 road games for 2013.

            Miami has 2 AQs and 2 road games.

            ESPN will have to spend some money to get a bunch of schools to shuffle their schedules.

          • Richard says:

            I somehow doubt a MAC team would have problems playing 3 OOC games on the road or against AQ opponents that a little money can not solve.

            Fitting in the game would be an issue, true.

    • Richard says:

      I guess from the B10 schools’ perspective, the neutral site game with BYU would make sense only if they got the majority of the take (just like OU did when they played BYU in JerryWorld). BYU gets to evangelize and the B10 schools get to hit up alums in those areas for donations.

      • Brian says:

        The very concept of helping Jerry Jones make money rubs me the wrong way. I’d rather burn his stadium down than watch OSU play in it.

        • Richard says:

          Luckily for your school, you don’t run the athletic department.

          • Brian says:

            OSU would make more money playing a home game. Why make less money and help Jerry f’n Jones at the same time?

          • Richard says:

            I’d have to think that the payout from a neutral site game in JerryWorld (probably from both JJ + an extra kicker from ESPN) is close to the profit of a home game. Otherwise, yes, I agree, it would make no sense.

            BTW, living your life just to spite other people isn’t very productive. If you look at it from OSU’s point of view, they get to ring cash regis–connect with alums as well as advertise their team in a fertile recruiting state.

          • Brian says:

            TX isn’t a great state for OSU, though. OSU gets a lot more athletes from FL than TX (and recruits GA a lot). FL has twice as many alumni clubs as TX, too. The point being, playing in Atlanta would be more useful.

            It’s not living for spite, it’s keeping in mind who you do business with. The association affects your reputation. Remember that a home game also brings a lot of other revenue streams as well as money into the community. Why give TX all that hard earned midwestern money if it isn’t even bowl season? OSU would have to make a huge extra profit to justify depriving Columbus and OH of that money and the joy of a home game.

          • Jake says:

            Man, BYU vs. OSU at Cowboys Stadium. TCU fans might show up just to heckle everyone involved. Also, to nitpick FBschedules, Cowboys Stadium is in Arlington, not Dallas. Or maybe they’re going to play at the Cotton Bowl.

            And I don’t think the interests of BYU fans were really a top consideration when they went independent. They wanted to get on TV against big opponents as often as possible, and that’s what they’re getting. If that means their home schedule is full of New Mexico State and Idaho, that appears to be a price they’re willing to pay. Most schools wouldn’t go for that arrangement, but BYU isn’t most schools. They might reconsider if they start losing season ticket holders.

          • bullet says:

            Well if you are going to nitpick Jake, UT-Dallas is in Richardson, barely in Dallas County. The University of Dallas is in Irving. The A&M research station at Dallas is in Plano. And of course, the Dallas Cowboys played in Irving and now Arlington. Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport is mostly in Grapevine. Dallas city hall is, for now, still in Dallas.

      • Playoffs Now says:

        Dallas city hall is, for now, still in Dallas.

        Should be in Huntsville.

        (For non-Texans, home of a state prison…)

  57. duffman says:


    Looks like your man Mark Titus is poking the wasp nest that is the tOSU fanbase! What are your feelings? Is he onto something, or is gonna get swarmed in the end?

    For those on hear who have never heard of Club Trillion, here is a link:

    Titus was the guy that flirted with the NBA draft in the past

    • @duffman – The bad apples among the Buckeye fan base certainly turned on Kirk Herbstreit before, so it wouldn’t surprise me if Titus (who is an absolutely hilarious writer, by the way) is going to be a target for scorn. Certainly, this is a small minority of the Ohio State fan base that’s causing the problems, but if you’re living in Columbus, that small minority can still overwhelm you.

      • Brian says:

        Oh, it’s already turned, trust me. That group is on a hair trigger at this point. He had to know that’s what was going to happen as he alternated between saying he had no inside info and declaring he knows there are problems. He wanted hits for his blog and he’s getting them.

  58. ezdozen says:

    Although discussed above, it has also been discussed in other comment sections and even other forums.

    I think the Big East should consider this:

    #1, take on UCF.

    #2, approach ND and BYU about 5-game schedules. If BYU needs to join for all sports, so be it. Just stay at 19 or take on some hoops school as basketball only. Whatever.

    #3, break football into two divisions:

    Northeast: UConn/Rutgers/Syracuse/WVU/Pitt/Notre Dame
    Southwest: Lville, Cincy, USF, UCF, TCU, BYU

    #4 All divisions play 5 division games. Everyone but ND and BYU also play 3-4 games against other division opponents.

    #5 BYU and Notre Dame rotate every 2 years. That way, BYU and ND come to each campus every 4 years and every school takes one trip to BYU or ND every 4 years.

    #6 Division winner is based on following hierarchy:

    a. 12-0 team wins division
    b. If no 12-0 team, then an 11-1 team wins division
    c. If no 11-1 team, then a 10-2 team wins division.
    d. If no 10-2 teams, then look to conference “wins.”
    e. tiebreakers–conference wins (first); then head-to-head (second) and BCS rank (third).

    Between 11-1 BYU and 11-1 TCU, TCU wins because TCU would have more conference wins. A tie between an 11-1 WVU and an 11-1 Pitt would be resolved by head-to-head. A 10-2 tie between WVU. Pitt, and Syracuse would be resolved by BCS rank.

    BYU and ND keep scheduling flexibility. With 7 OOC games, plenty of room for traditional matchups and rotating around the country (ND) or region (BYU).

    Big East adds two teams to not only keep, but increase, legitimacy.

    Doesn’t this work better than adding Houston and ECU? Or Villanova?

    • Michael in Indy says:

      Why oh why would ND agree to that?

      • ezdozen says:

        I don’t know…. off the top of my head:

        Because that is better than selling their soul to fully join any conference?

        Because the path to the BCS becomes clearer? Go 10-2 and play in the Big East championship game? That is not so bad.

        A reconstituted Big East is more national–but still 7 OOC games. No same Big East opponents every two years. Only get stuck with Rutgers and UCF visiting every 4 years or so.

        Plus, the get to keep the Big East alive longer–a home for their other sports.

        And maybe Big East carves out 2 Big East ND games for NBC or something. That keeps them at a 3/4 season for NBC. Still some serious cash. But enough for the Big East to also justify.

        I would think that they would only do it if BYU was doing it. Makes some sense to both be aligned like that.

        If the BCS implodes, ND would still have a home for a playoff or whatever else comes along.

        ND gets to stick it to the Big 10.

        • ezdozen says:

          Plus, ND is a power in the Big East vs. being a voice in some other conference.

          While the Big 12 could offer the same package to BYU and ND… ND can play Texas and Oklahoma any time it wants.

          The Big East would allow games in Pitt (recruiting hotbed of PA), UConn/Syracuse (northeast), TCU (Texas), UCF/USF (Florida), Rutgers (New Jersey), and Cincy (Ohio). With their annual game against USC, that gives them links to the 5 major recruiting areas in the country and the precious NYC market.

          The Big 12 cannot offer that.

          • cfn_ms says:

            The big problem is the Big East would have them play a number of games (TCU, USF, Cincy, maybe UCF if they joined too) against what are clearly 2nd tier programs in their current areas. Right now I bet ND could sign any of them they wanted to a 2:1 easily (heck, USF is bodybagging it at ND this year). Why would they necessarily want to go from that situation to a straight home and home?

            The reason that ND doesn’t really want the Big 12 isn’t Texas and Oklahoma, it’s everyone else (who ND has zero interest in doing home and homes with). It’s the same story with the Big East; they might be cool with long-term home and homes with Pitt and Cuse, and might not be much against the same with WV, but that’s about it. They have little interest in going to Rutgers’s small stadium, or playing the 4th and 5th best programs in Florida on an equal basis, etc.

            To make that sort of deal remotely palatable, the Big East would have to offer substantial financial concessions to ND, and even then it’s a tough sell.

        • Muck says:

          Being forced to participate in a ‘play in’ (which is essentially all a conference championship game really is) game for a BCS bowl would actually be a downgrade from ND’s current set up.

          If the Big East splits ND will have no problem depositing their non-football programs in whatever split off conference the Catholic BB schools end up starting (which will probably keep the Big East name).

          It doesn’t do anything for their scheduling that they can’t already do.

          “Sticking it to the Big Ten” is in some ways biting the hand that feeds. Their current B1G rivals are long standing & profitable series. Going out of the way to slap them in the face isn’t in ND’s best interest.

          ND could care less about BYU.

          This idea doesn’t offer any actual upgrades for ND.

        • greg says:

          It’d really be sticking it to the big ten by giving up independence to join the lowest profile and lowest payout BCS conference.

        • Mike says:

          Can someone explain to me why ND would want to “stick it” to the Big Ten?

          • cfn_ms says:

            Or, even better, how joining the Big East would be “sticking it” to the Big Ten in any meaningful way (other than “nah, nah, you wanted us now watch us join another league”)?

        • Brian says:


          All ND has to do is go 9-3 to make the BCS. They’ll get a top 14 rank almost any year they go 9-3, and the bowls would always select them as an at-large if available. They actually have to beat everybody else in the BE to make it in your scenario, and losing a CCG could keep them out.

          I fail to see the advantages for ND in your scenario.

    • Brian says:

      Why wouldn’t divisions be decided by division record first, then head to head before anything else? Why would OOC record be a factor?

      • Jake says:

        I’d like to see the BEast make ND live up to that promise to play three BE teams a year. Or one or two, even. Other than that, leave the deal with ND alone.

        • Brian says:

          They have 1 or 2 BE teams scheduled for every year through 2017 (1 in 2012-3 and 2017), and have played 2 most years recently (2 in 2008-9, 1 in 2010). They just never get to 3.

  59. Brian says:

    NCAA upholds penalties for USC. The scholarship reductions will start now that the appeal is done. They are capped at 75 total and can only sign 15 in a year for 3 years. They are also on one more year of postseason ban (CCG and bowl), and all seniors can transfer with no penalty.

    • duffman says:


      but they still get to be on TV during this time. The one penalty that would show that the NCAA maent business, they did not impose.

      • Nostradamus says:

        That isn’t the great of a penalty as it sounds, because it actually punishes anyone who has USC on their schedule (the innocent as well).

        • ccrider55 says:

          Is the NCAA not able to impose financial penalties? Perhaps fine them individually the amount that the tv appearance would generate for USC when conference distributions are made? Their opponent and the other members of their conference would not be innocent sufferers (and USC would still get to be an attraction, for their benifit as well).

          • Richard says:

            Really no need. Taking away home games is about the same thing. Sure, the schools could make up for them by scheduling creatively, but if you ban OOC home game for a 4 year stretch (say starting 4 years from now, to allow schools to adjust), it would still take some time to make up for the lost cashflow (or a lot of neutral site games). Plus, if you increase the number of years/scholarships that are docked, eventually, it will start hurting.

            I know that even a one year ban on all football home games would get the attention of schools.

          • Brian says:

            I think the only direct financial penalties the NCAA can do are directly related to a financial infraction, like making players repay a benefit to regain eligibility. They can do TV bans, but they don’t like the impact on other schools and interfering with the big TV deals (a lawsuit waiting to happen?). Bowl bans have an effect financially on the team and the conference.

            30 scholarships lost will hurt them, too. That’s 45 players signed in 3 years, and only 25 the next (they can’t count extra players back against the previous year). That’s 70 signed over 4 years, and 95 over 5 years. Combining NFL losses, injuries, transfers, legal trouble, rule breakers and academic problems, they will be lacking depth for years. That means fewer wins, which translates into less money.

  60. Brian says:

    Some details of Mike Slive’s proposals to fix roster management are out. While they don’t say anything about explicitly cutting players, they do a pretty good job on the other issues.

    1. Cut class size to 25 from 28 (the old Houston Nutt rule), and extend the limit from 12/1 – 8/1 instead of just 2/4-5/31. That means no extra signees in summer and no pushing people back to the previous class.

    2. If signees are on scholarship over summer, you count against the 85 limit for the coming year. No being asked to grayshirt in August.

    3. More SEC oversight of medical hardship cases, including making a trainer, team doctor and AD sign off on it (meaning they could be in trouble if it isn’t deserved).

    4. Early enrollees can’t sign an aid agreement until they are enrolled and in class. Previously schools would get juniors to sign one which prevented other SEC schools from recruiting him.

    There may be more to his plan as well, but this sounds like a good start.

    • Brian says:

      Houston Nutt plans to fight for the right to continue to be as sleazy as it gets in coaching.

    • frug says:

      They should require that kids be accepted by the university before they can be offered a scholarship. That would cut down on the whole “we need to oversign since we know we will have to stash some kids in ju-co we just don’t know how many”.

      • Brian says:

        Most FB players couldn’t be accepted before graduating. Waiting until June to start signing players would be a disaster since FB starts in the summer. Schools generally know if a student is on track to be eligible for acceptance during their senior year. They could refrain from offering players they know won’t make it. They already shouldn’t be doing this, and I’m embarrassed for the presidents that let their schools do it.

        • frug says:

          Acceptance is generally based on 7 semesters (though if the kid gets serious senioritis it can be rescinded) so the coach will know by March at the latest if recruits are going to eligible to enroll. That said, I agree this rule shouldn’t be necessary since it is hugely unethical for university presidents to allow their coaches to offer scholarships to players they know won’t be accepted.

          • Brian says:

            Many FB players really need their whole senior year. They have to reach a qualifying GPA with enough credits of the right type, and often still need a test score. At best, they can get very conditional acceptance.

    • Brian says:

      I’d guess this is the impetus for the medical hardship language.

  61. swesleyh says:

    Curious thoughts on how much could this whiz kid have gotten from the networks if the Big 12 South minus Baylor had joined the Pac 12 +4. He is rocking and rolling!

    • Richard says:

      The number sounds big, but note that they include sponsorship & licensing rights as well (which the big schools in the B10 are already getting around $10M annually for, though granted, the smaller schools are not). If the P12 shows that pooling everything together makes more money, though, expect other leagues (including the B10) to do the same.

      • ccrider55 says:

        The number sounds big because it is big? Sounds big to me anyway.

        I’m confused on one thing. When announcing the deal several weeks ago (and at prior times, too) Scott spoke of three things. The primary media contract, P12Network, and P12 media enterprises. In the article Dodd in the first paragraph seems to include the P12N in P12 media enterprises, but in the third paragraph Scott is quoted “…..a billion-dollar business we’re sitting on,” Scott told “That’s just Pac-12 Media Enterprises.” that last phrase indicates a peice is not accounted for yet (I doubt he’d be distinguishing this number from the much larger primary media contract everyone is already familiar with). I wonder if the potential P12Network is that implied missing third part? any guesses/knowledge?

        • Richard says:

          Seems pretty clear, from what I read of Dodd, that the PTN is included in the P12 Media Enterprises Holding Company.

          If that’s true, the $8.3-11.9M per school per year for those rights are almost certainly far more than what WSU & OreSt. got before for those rights, probably more than what USC got before for those rights, and about or a little more than what, say, NU gets from the BTN and media rights all in, but still a fair bit behind what OSU gets for BTN & media rights (and a little behind what Texas will get from the Longhorn Network).

          • Nostradamus says:

            I’m actually surprised the figure is that low if it is indeed “all-in.” If it is a 10 year $1 billion deal each team like you said is “only” getting $8.3 million. I fully understand the schools will be absorbing network startup costs, and that may have indeed been factored it. That said, The Big Ten schools are getting $6.5+ million from the BTN a year right now without seeing any profits.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Nostradamus: Are you saying Fox rights fees for the BTN are the whole 6.5? Where are the BTN profits going that Scott speaks of when discribing the challenge of startup? Scott:”It took the Big Ten more than two years to realize a profit with its network.”

          • Nostradamus says:

            Yes the current (2009-2010) $6.5 million per school is only the rights fee. Any profits from the network up until at least 2009-2010 have gone entirely to News Corp to repay Fox’s initial investment in creating the channel.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Nostradamus: Thanks.

          • Nostradamus says:

            No problem. The entire $2.8 billion/25 years estimate is rights fees only best we can tell. We’ll see if the Big Ten Network has turned a profit for the schools within a month when we start seeing some athletic department budgets.

      • ccrider55 says:

        Bad math? 400 devided by what equals 27.7?

        • Richard says:

          The P12 conferences takes a 2.4 share?

          OK, I kid. Most likely it’s bad math.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Maybe you don’t kid. Forming the P12 Media enterprises, staffing, startup P12Network costs, consultants, creating digital distribution platform and business model, marketing the rights for all the schools that they used to do for themself. It could easily cost that much.

            If the quoted numbers are not a case of bad math it would seem that the costs are already being quantified and an unamed source seems to be privy to at least some of it.

      • Richard says:

        It’s interesting to note that the P12’s conservative estimate for its network is roughly a third the worth of the rights to its first tier games. The B10’s conservative estimate for its network was roughly the same as its rights to its first tier.

        It seems that the PTN likely is going to have tougher sledding getting carriage or cable carriers to pay (as several of us on this board had predicted) than the BTN did.

        • Nostradamus says:

          Yeah like I said, the $1 billion seems low to me. I expect the Big Ten to get $1 to $1.1 billion from BTN rights fees alone over the next 10 years.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Larry Scott: “That’s a potential minimum value over a seven-to-10 year period.” speaking of the 1 billion figure.

            We’ll have to wait and see but 1 billion plus if over 7 years seems more than pretty decent to me. Remember the B1G and SEC would love to see an astronomical number. It doesn’t reflect on the intrinsic value of the various conferences, but new methods of better realizing that value. Methods that may, if successful, be imitated, tweaked, improved upon by others.

          • Richard says:

            The thing is, it’s actually not that astronomical to the B10 & SEC (well, maybe the bottom of the SEC). The top SEC schools already get around $10M (or more) for their third tier & media rights. The bottom of the B10 is already close to the stated P12 range (mostly due to the BTN) while the top of the B10 is considerable above that range when you add the BTN cash to the media rights. Mostly, this is a huge bonus to WSU, OrSt., etc., but while the SEC may be spurred in to starting an SEC network (which the success of the BTN should have done), I think we’ll have to see the P12 overacheive their stated range to make the big 2 leagues adopt that model.

          • ccrider55 says:


            I did not say that number was astronomical. I said the B1G and SEC would love to see an astronimical number. It would show that their conferences have potential to go higher. An outrageous number does not mean a conference (or team) has surpassed one not quite as high. It may simply mean they may have managed to extract more for what they are than the others at a particular point in time.

          • Nostradamus says:

            ccrider55, $1 billlion is not chump change by any means. But like I said, if $1 billion includes everything from the network to potential third tier rights sacrificed by the schools it is a good, but by no means great deal.

            Remember the B1G and SEC would love to see an astronomical number
            I agree with Richard that it isn’t that astronomical of a number. And for that matter I’m not really sure that the Big Ten or SEC are watching this with as much interest as you think. I know Jim Delany was very interesting with what Scott negotiated for the Fox/ESPN contract. The additional media rights, likely not so much. Unless there is some kind of innovative internet rights that prove to be financially beneficial or some other unconventional things; Delany and Slive aren’t going to make many changes.

  62. bullet says:

    APR rules beginning to take a bite, although only UConn bb and Louisville and Maryland fb seem to be currently at risk among BCS schools.

    TSU is losing nearly a quarter of its scholarships. This is a school that once continued to play players who had dropped out of school and had much of its band being non-students. NCAA official who made improvements at MTSU commented that coaches needed to focus on students who could graduate from school, not merely get in like many do now.

  63. bullet says:

    Thrashers to Winnipeg:
    According to TV news here, several reports that this is a done deal are, “absolutely not true.”

    Doesn’t mean its not likely to happen, but it hasn’t yet.

    • Brian says:

      The deal seems to be very close if not done. $110M for the club, $60M for relocation ($20M of that to the Thrashers owners, perhaps). Speculation abounds that one big issue is when to make the announcement with the playoffs going on. Between the conference finals and SC finals may be best, but then the talk may detract from the finals. Waiting until after the SC finals will mean more rumors and speculation all during the series.

      • bullet says:

        TV news reporter was quoting an “insider” (I interpreted it as one of the owners). So it may be close but it is definitely not done waiting for an appropriate time. Getting this ownership group to agree on anything is quite a challenge.

        Some interesting stats from an ajc article by Jeff Schultz:
        Braves 1988 averaged 10,000 fans per game and had 3,017 at one game late in the year.
        Now they are one of the best drawing teams.
        Falcons 1989 had 7,792 for one game.
        Thrashers 1st season 17,205 with 14 sellouts despite 61 losses. After making playoffs in 2006-7 they averaged 16,239 and had 11 sellouts which was their 2nd best season in attendance.
        Blackhawks 2003-4 averaged 13,253 (2k less than Thrashers now). Last year after winning Stanley Cup they were at 21,356.

        His point is not that there are no hockey fans. Only that the Thrashers with only 1 trip to the playoffs in 11 years (only one other franchise has done that badly), are not doing what it takes to get fans even in a hockey city like Chicago.

        The issue is that they can’t find any owners who want to keep the team in Atlanta.

        • jj says:

          the thrashers are a “proud member” of Georgia?

          time for a party! jets back!

          now. let’s work on quebec and maybe hartford.

        • Richard says:

          The Atlanta metropolitan area also had roughly half as many people in 1990 as it does now. Back then, it had fewer people than the MSP MSA has now (& roughly what the St. Louis MSA has now). Now it’s as big as greater DC and bigger than metro Boston or Detroit.

  64. bullet says:

    If this is true, the BE is being run by Providence College and Seton Hall and the fb schools need to split now! The driver is not expanding basketball. But the price is seriously weakening the conference’s fb reputation if not their reality.

    • Richard says:

      I don’t think Army & Navy to the BE makes a lot of sense from either the perspective of the academies or the BE, but if they’re hellbent on getting to 12 teams, UCF, ECU, and Houston aren’t significantly better in football.

      If they do add Army & Navy, I would strongly recommend UCF.

      • @Richard – My understanding has long been that the Big East would add Army and Navy in a heartbeat, but the service academies have always turned them down (even partial schedules). Heck, why not add Air Force to get all 3 of the academies into the same conference? It’s really national brand names that the Big East needs right now and the service academies are really the best non-AQ options outside of BYU on that front.

        • Brian says:

          Are the academies really bigger brand names than Boise at this point? Boise has been to the BCS and is a constant threat to return. If a year with no undefeated AQs happens, Boise may well be the first non-AQ to play for a national title.

        • Muck says:

          I do like the idea of moving Army – Navy to Thanksgiving day, it would help rekindle the traditional in the national eye…but they don’t need to join the B. East for that to happen.

          • Brian says:

            Army-Navy was that Saturday for a long time, but it can’t compete with better games. Mostly that’s because since 1963, only the 1996 and 2010 games have seen both teams enter with winning records. That has killed that game from being important nationally. I agree it should move back to November, but the NFL would crush it on Thanksgiving unless they play at night. They shouldn’t get an exemption to play later in December unless they give up playing in a bowl.

      • bullet says:

        I agree. It may be a good short run financial decision as you get to 12 w/o adding to the mess of 17 in basketball they have now, but its a long run disaster. I think its an even worse decision for the academies than for the BE and it really is something that could cost the BE an AQ slot (I agree with those that say right now they have a near zero risk of losing their slot).

        The logical place to get all 3 academies together would be CUSA. Trade UTEP for Air Force with the MWC and CUSA could have a non-state school western division of Army, Navy, Air Force, SMU, Rice, Tulsa and Tulane. The east would include UH and the current 6 schools in the east. That would be a place the academies could compete.

  65. Brian says:

    Army and Navy as expansion candidates for the BE? A source says they are the first choices, in part because they would be FB only.

  66. frug says:

    Ok, South Park spent the whole episode blasting the NCAA for exploiting slavery. Compared it to pitting crack babies against each other in a fight over a crack rock and then airing it and making ad money. Will posted on the internet sometime in the next 7 days. Replays tomorrow on Comedy Central.

    • Brian says:

      Whenever someone compares anything to slavery or Nazis they are ignorant and horribly wrong.

      How is a voluntary activity that includes getting money (in the form of free education) at all similar to slavery?

      • @Brian – This is likely going to be an episode that’s low on the offensiveness scale by South Park standards.

        • Jake says:

          @Frank – this season so far is pretty low on every scale for South Park. But I would like to see The Book of Mormon.

          • frug says:

            It’s pretty clear that Matt and Trey are just phoning it in at this point. Their contract is up at the end of the season and have mentioned that they no longer enjoy making the show and would prefer to work on other projects. Plus, they never really got over how Comedy Central handled the whole “200” and “201” fiasco. They even used the DVD commentary to blast the network and talked about how they do not stand behind the episode or regard it as their vision.

            That said, the last two episodes have been pretty decent (mostly because they returned to the satire that is the shows bread and butter).

        • Brian says:

          I don’t car about the offensiveness, that usually helps their episodes. But bad comparisons to slavery aren’t funny either.

          • bullet says:

            If they don’t find someone to offend they aren’t accomplishing their goal. If they only offend a few college football fans and a few African Americans (and I’ve heard some use the same comparison) its a lot less offense than normal for them.

    • @frug – I’m gonna have to check that one out.

  67. Brian says:

    The final Sporting News OOC schedule analysis is done.

    The comparison by % of OOC games:


    ACC 44
    P12 41
    _BE 40
    B12 30
    B10 29
    SEC 25


    ACC 29
    P12 38
    _BE 40
    B10 50
    B12 50
    SEC 50


    _BE 20
    B12 20
    B10 21
    P12 21
    SEC 25
    ACC 27

    It’s important to remember that individual schools within a conference schedule very differently. Still, you can draw several conclusions:

    1. FB hotbeds/richer conferences schedule easier OOC
    2. The ACC and SEC should cut back on the I-AAs (and BE for reputation reasons)
    3. The ACC counterbalances their I-AAs with the most AQs
    4. The P12 has to do a lot of travel for their OOC games
    5. With 9 games, a CCG and the toughest schedules, the P12 is at a disadvantage

    • frug says:

      Interesting that the ACC plays the highest proportion of both AQs and I-AA. Not sure if it means anything, just something I wasn’t expecting.

      • Brian says:

        Yeah, they have 13 I-AAs out of their 48 OOC games (NCSU has 2) and 21 AQs (Miami and WF have 3; 6 have 2; Duke, VA and NCSU have 1; VT has none). It seems odd that they would schedule hard games but then add a bunch of crap games too.

        I assume the high number of AQs is to build their reputation nationally while the I-AAs provide almost sure wins.

        • greg says:

          The conferences seem to schedule in a way that their markets/fan bases force them (or allow them) to.

          SEC/B10 (and B12 to a degree) can fill the bigger stadiums, so they schedule rather weak schedules and maximize their home games.

          ACC/P12 (and BE somewhat) have smaller stadiums and can’t fill them as easily, so they maximize AQ HaH that are a more attractive ticket, and balance it will low-payout FCS home games.

          • Brian says:

            Mostly, yeah, but the range within most conferences is big. If need forces teams to schedule good games, why also schedule I-AAs?

            ACC – Miami and WF play 3 AQs, VT plays 0
            11 play 1 I-AA, NCSU plays 2

            BE – 7 schools play 2 AQs, Rutgers plays 1
            7 schools play 1 I-AA, Rutgers plays 0
            That’s about as balanced as a league can be.

            B10 – OSU and IA play 2 AQs, 10 schools play 1
            10 schools play 1 I-AA, OSU and MI play 0
            This is pretty balanced, too.

            B12 – ISU plays 2 AQs, TT and Baylor play 0 (but BU has TCU)
            5 teams play 1 I-AA, 5 teams play 0

            P12 – USC plays 3 AQs, WSU plays 0
            8 schools play 1 I-AA, 4 schools play 0

            SEC – LSU and Vandy play 2 AQs, MS and MSU play 0
            All 12 schools play 1 I-AA

          • bullet says:

            Also, the ACC tends to schedule local FCS schools, some of whom they had ties with back in the southern conference days. In addition, the Colonial and Southern are two of the strongest FCS conferences. Whereas in the SEC, you might see UGA schedule Idaho St. Anybody they can get in cheap.

          • Brian says:

            At least this year, most of the SEC I-AAs are also local or regional.

        • Richard says:

          Actually, all this means is that the ACC schools have smaller fan bases than the B10 or ACC (probably due in good part to smaller stadiums). Thus
          1. they have to take more home-and-homes against other AQ schools instead of paying non-AQs for guarantee games.
          2. they play relatively more FCS because they’re cheaper than non-AQ.

          Also, what fans they do have are more die-hard than P12 or BE fans, so they’re more willing to put up with games against FCS schools.

          Nothing odd about this distribution at all when you look at it from the perspective of an AD.

          • M says:

            Correct analysis, though big fanbases lead to big stadiums, not the other way around. ADs will try to make the schedule as profitable as possible, which means the cheapest opponents that the fans will still buy tickets.

  68. Brian says:

    Upon further review, there appear to be no issues with car deals at OSU. The car dealer may be in trouble with the state but OSU is OK. Apparently the dealer would lowball trade-in value and instead reduce the purchase price of the car, which would lead to lower taxes. The alleged free car now cost $13,700 and involved a trade-in of an expensive car (cost $15,400 7 months before).

  69. Brian says:

    A good look at the FCOA scholarship from both big and small schools.

  70. joe4psu says:

    [More details on who said what than the recent articles, even B1G expansion to the south. noidea That would be great in my opinion. During last years expansion frenzy I spent some time on the GT board and there were quite a few people who thought a B1G invite would be great. GT isn't UGA but it gets the B1G into GA. I think GA is now sixth moving ahead of OH in recruits signed last year.]

    For Big East, where is all this leading? – Mark Blaudschun, The Boston Globe
    …According to several sources within the league, there has been an ongoing internal debate among Big East commissioner John Marinatto and a core group of presidents and athletic directors.

    The power struggle is football-driven, led by athletic directors at West Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Rutgers, and the presidents at West Virginia and Pittsburgh. The three schools flexed their muscles when Villanova was being considered as the 10th team in football last month. To get approval, Villanova needed six of the eight Big East votes. The vote was 5-3.

    The internal bickering and bargaining has been intense, with Pittsburgh AD Steve Peterson and Rutgers AD Tim Pernetti having the loudest voices in the room but different agendas. Pernetti has argued the hardest for the bigger formula, i.e. 12 teams in football, 19 or 20 in basketball.

    …ESPN told the Big East that was its best offer, considering that marquee such schools as Penn State, Maryland, Notre Dame, and Boston College were not coming through the door as the No. 10 team in football. ESPN was content to take a chance on TCU and perhaps Central Florida with a fair-market offer.

    …There may be more trouble coming for the Big East if the Big Ten decides to move forward again in a few years; already there are rumblings that it might go to 14 teams, with an eye on Georgia Tech and Maryland, which would significantly increase its television footprint.

    PS – I don’t remember how links work so I’m hoping for the best…

    • Richard says:

      $11M and the BE turned it down(!)

      I’m reminded of Cramer: Bulls make money; bears make money; pigs get slaughtered.

      Maybe they’ll do better, but it is a risk.

      • Richard says:

        Thinking about it more, this may be a smart move that works out very well for the BE. I wouldn’t be surprised if NBC/Comcast comes in with an offer that pays the football schools as much as what the ACC schools (possibily more?)

        Then NBC could lock up ND to a long-term deal. If the BE does indeed add Army & Navy, NBC could set up an afternoon lineup at features ND games most weeks, fill in with BE matchups, and end with Army-Navy before the BE championship game. Versus could fill most of fall Saturdays with BE football games* with the BE games that very few people have an interest in potentially going to regional CSN networks.

        The BE could end up with as much money as the ACC and still have most/many of their games on Saturday (even all, if that’s a concern to them).

        *Granted, NBC/Comcast may want to leave room for potential B12/B10 games if they get them in 2016. If I had to guess, I would say that Fox, ESPN/ABC, & NBC split the B12 & B10 first tier games between them in 2016, with one of the networks taking the B12 first-tier & the other 2 splitting the B10 first-tier (which has over twice the inventory of the B12 first-tier) so that they can pay for them.

        • Richard says:

          ND has virtually their entire schedule from 2013-2016 set already. The biggest initiative for NBC/Comcast, if they do indeed get both ND and the BE locked up long-term, is to get the ND-UConn series back on track. UConn understandably doesn’t want to go ahead with either the original 10 games series where all UConn home games would be held at the Meadowlands or Foxboro (outside CT) or the 7 game series where the same would happen. However, I’ve got to think that if NBC owned the rights, they could get the 2 sides together to do a 4-2-2 (with the 2 neutral sites being Foxboro and the Meadowlands). If they do that, they would have 8 ND games to broadcast in 2013 (all against BCS opponent or Navy or BYU, including OU), 8 in 2014 (9 if they arrange another BE-ND game; TCU?), 8 in 2015 (including Texas), & 9 in 2016 (including Miami). Of course, Michigan or USC every year.

          If this was in place in 2011, you could see this on NBC:

          Week 1: USF @ ND
          Week 2: FIU @ Louisville (currently on Friday on ESPN; this needs to be filled with another game)
          Week 3: MSU @ ND
          Week 4: LSU @ WVU Primetime: ND @ Pitt
          Week 5: USF @ Pitt (currently Thursday on ESPN)
          Week 6: AF @ ND
          Week 7: Navy@Rutgers/Utah@Pitt/USF@UConn/Louisville@Cincy
          Week 8: Uconn @ Pitt (Currently Wednesday on ESPN) Primetime: USC @ ND
          Week 9: Navy @ ND
          Week10: Cincy@Pitt/Syracuse@UConn
          Week11: ND vs. Maryland (neutral)
          Week12: Miami @ USF Primetime: BC @ ND
          Week13: Army vs. Navy (maybe) Primetime: Pitt @ WVU

        • joe4psu says:

          Maybe it’s just me but I think Army and Navy would weaken the BE. Financially it may be a plus, may be, but the academies are not what most people would consider BCS material. What are the odds that either will make a BCS game while independent? It would make sense for NBC to add the BE, and if they could work it out, the Army-Navy game alone.

          I don’t know if anyone would be interested in broadcasting the Army and Navy games during the rest of the season without the big game at the end of the year but I imagine the two schools could try to work that out. The other conferences negotiate their CCGs independent of their regular season.

          • Richard says:

            CBS College Sports does that now. I imagine that NBC/Comcast wouldn’t mind putting those games in Versus.

          • joe4psu says:

            “CBS College Sports does that now. I imagine that NBC/Comcast wouldn’t mind putting those games in Versus.”


            I forgot about that! Thanks.

          • Richard says:

            Hey Joe,

            No prob!

    • StevenD says:

      Maryland and Georgia Tech? I like it. Wisconsin moves to the B1G Northwest (to play Iowa every year) and the new permanent crossovers become Minnesota-Maryland and Wisconsin-GT.

  71. Really informative article from the Boston Globe today on the Big East situation:

    There’s confirmation that Pitt, Rutgers and West Virginia all voted against Villanova in a 5-3 vote (6 votes were needed to confirm Nova). The Rutgers AD is the one pushing hardest for a 12/19 or 12/20 model.

    Also, there’s a reference to “rumblings” of the Big Ten possibly wanting to go up to 14 targeting Georgia Tech and Maryland, although that seems like a throw-it-against-the-wall rumor.

    • Brian says:

      First, I’ll believe the rumors when someone shows me numbers that prove 14 can make more per school than 12. With ND or TX, sure, but MD and GT?

      Second, that pair seems really unlikely. Would MD really want to leave behind the old guard of the ACC? Would GT want to be that much of a geographical outlier?

      • jj says:

        If I were Maryland, I’d really, really, think about it.

        I love the ACC is some ways. But football drives the bus and let’s face it, ACC football is a second-tier brand. Plus, all the academic benefits that go along with it and give MD penetration westward for students.

        • Brian says:

          Is MD lacking for students? Getting access to the midwest is better than the mid-atlantic region?

          MD can barely compete in ACC FB, but has many traditional rivals in the ACC (more in BB than FB, I realize). The certainly have almost nothing in common with the plains schools in the B10 West.

          They might do it for the money, but I don’t think so without a buddy coming along (VA, probably).

          • SideshowBob says:

            I think you could argue that joining the Big Ten gives Maryland more access to the Northeast between PSU and the big followings of Michigan and, to a lesser extent, Ohio State. Compare to BC, with pretty limited regional appeal and the ACC in general which is clearly Southeastern in focus rather than up and down the east coast.

        • Vincent says:

          If I were Maryland, I’d really, really, think about it.

          I love the ACC is some ways. But football drives the bus and let’s face it, ACC football is a second-tier brand.

          Which is why I don’t think UNC, Duke and UVa joining Maryland in a 16-member Big Ten is that far-fetched an idea. ACC expansion worked only in terms of making the league more competitive and balanced for football, but it backfired, moving things downward, not upward. And while UNC has been compared to Texas as an “alpha dog” type, Texas has the football brand regardless of the conference it plays in. UNC has tried to make strides in football, where it has the potential to be much more of a national player than it is (that’s why it hired Butch Davis) and make a lot more money, but being saddled in the ACC makes it difficult. Its basketball brand could thrive in any league, especially if it moved there with Duke, Maryland and Virginia, three longtime rivals. If the price is right, UNC would move.

          If 16-team conferences became de rigueur and the Texas/Texas Tech/Oklahoma/Okie St move to the Pac took place, how would the Big Ten and SEC respond? I’ve already suggested the Duke/Maryland/North Carolina/Virginia to the Big Ten; for the SEC, assuming its current members could block Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida State and Miami, I envision it taking Virginia Tech and N.C. State from the east and Texas A&M and Missouri from the west.

          The leftovers — six from the ACC, four from the Big 12, plus the nine Big East football members — join forces, add a 20th member (Brigham Young?) and form a new ACC of two 10-team divisions…this time standing for American Collegiate Conference.

          • Richard says:

            I’ve come around to Duffman’s view that NCSU matters more than Duke. If I’m the B10, I’d take NCSU instead of Duke because that essentially locks down NC (taking Duke along with UNC would not) while depriving the SEC of NCSU (Duke isn’t joining the SEC). In that case, the SEC would add VTech, FSU (regardless of whether Florida objects, which I don’t think they would because they realize the stakes), and TAMU. The last school should be Clemson, but if SC makes too much of a fuss, Mizzou would be OK (maybe even WVU).

          • Vincent says:

            I’ve come around to Duffman’s view that NCSU matters more than Duke. If I’m the B10, I’d take NCSU instead of Duke because that essentially locks down NC (taking Duke along with UNC would not) while depriving the SEC of NCSU (Duke isn’t joining the SEC). In that case, the SEC would add VTech, FSU (regardless of whether Florida objects, which I don’t think they would because they realize the stakes), and TAMU. The last school should be Clemson, but if SC makes too much of a fuss, Mizzou would be OK (maybe even WVU).

            I have to disagree vis-a-vis Duke and N.C. State. Duke may not bring as much as State where football is concerned, but in everything else — Sears Cup (or whatever it’s called now), academics, research — Duke has it all over NCSU. (Debbie Yow is trying to build State’s struggling overall athletic program up, something she did a wonderful job with at Maryland; things have really declined in Raleigh over the past two decades.) The Big Ten would perceive Duke as a Tobacco Road equivalent of Northwestern that might be able to lift its football status by shedding the ACC stigma (the prime reason UNC might be more interested in the Big Ten than conventional wisdom admits).

            If the Big Ten and SEC are going to divvy up the core of the ACC, I think the Big Ten would be happy to give the SEC Virginia Tech and N.C. State if it could get Virginia, North Carolina, Duke and Maryland. (In recent years, State has tried to build up its football program as Research Triangle rivals UNC and Duke have stolen its basketball thunder, and getting the SEC imprimatur could help in that regard.) And putting NCSU in the SEC with VT probably diminishes the chances of Florida State joining the SEC, an indirect boon to the Big Ten.

          • Richard says:

            . . . as opposed to NCSU joining the SEC, which would be a direct loss.

            The key point is that taking NCSU with UNC locks down NC (for the BTN & TV in general). Taking UNC & Duke doesn’t do that.

            I think your comparison of Duke to NU is a good one (granted, with Duke having a much, much better national basketball brand than NU). NCSU would be equivalent to MSU. Now, if the B10 had to choose between having only one of NU or MSU, with MSU joining the SEC if the B10 didn’t take them, which one should (and would) the B10 take? To me, it’s a no-brainer.

      • cutter says:

        I live in the Maryland suburbs not far from Washington, DC and have friends who are UMd grads and Terrapin sports fans.

        When you speak to the alums, they’re very pro-ACC in terms of where they want Maryland to reside. That group is basketball-centric and the centerpiece of their experience with Md sports are the rivalry games with Duke and Northe Caroliina. I would say that the previous athletic director, Debbie Yow, was also part of that group, citing how Maryland was a charter member of the ACC.

        The Maryland Athletic Department has a problem making ends meet with its athletic department budget. The Comcast Center is a first rate basketball facility, but the real problem comes with the football stadiuim expansion. In sum, they can’t generate enough interest to see out the luxury boxes and premium seating that were just added to it. Unless the football product gets consistently better, they’re going to have that albatross around their neck for some time. Keep in mind that they’re going to play Notre Dame at Redskin Park in Landover and not their home stadium–more seats and more revenue, certainly, but it also points out that they’re betting that having a big time opponent play them is going to pay off.

        Maryland now has a new president and new athletic director. I don’t know if they’d embrace a move to the Big Ten now that the ACC’s new television contract has come in place and should help alleviate some of the budget problems. But if the Big Ten is looking at a major expansion in its television contract revenue in four or five years, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t look at the proposition.

        Maryland has also upped its academic standing, so again, it’s a question of where they may want to go on that front as well. We’ll see.

        • Brian says:

          The reports I hear from B10 alum’s in Virginia is that we really don’t want MD. They see too many problems/issues.

          • Gobux says:

            What type of problems/issues??

          • Brian says:

            I didn’t ask for specifics since I don’t really think MD is a likely candidate, but they were talking about problems in/with the athletic department.

          • Richard says:


            I think if you did a poll of B10 fans (certainly the ones on this board), you’d see a strong majority favoring adding Maryland so long as there was a suitable 14th team.

            I’d be curious to hear what problems/issues your reports have with the Terps.

          • Brian says:

            On this board, maybe, but in general I doubt it. Most fans don’t see expanding to the east as a positive. Sure, they’d probably say yes if it was the price of getting ND or maybe TX, but I don’t think most fans want to go past 12 anyway.

            As I said, I have no details to report since I didn’t ask. If I remember to, maybe I’ll follow up later.

          • SideshowBob says:

            I think the “problems” with Maryland and their athletics probably have a lot to do with their budget issues… but if Maryland joins the Big Ten and this significant helps balance the books, it wouldn’t be a problem anymore.

            I would think being in the Big Ten would help out Maryland football a tremendous amount financially. The big four teams would sell out at UMD easily, but even schools like Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois has a lot of alumni in the DC area who would likely bump up attendance more than a typical ACC school (despite being closer). And I don’t think basketball would suffer much, if at all.

            The biggest downside for Maryland would be sports like lacrosse, soccer and field hockey. I guess baseball/softball too. I’m not sure that would really be much of a deal breaker or issue at all though and it’s not like Maryland couldn’t continue to compete effectively at such sports.

          • Eric says:

            I’m not so sure. Is there really wide support from expanding past 12 without Notre Dame or Texas? I know we all love to analyze it, but as a fan, I hate the idea of further expansion messing up the schedule (play existing Big Ten teams less).

          • Brian says:


            Being in the B10 would help MD FB, but how does MD help the B10? It can’t possibly carry its weight financially, so do you believe it offers enough intangible benefits that the B10 would make an offer? Are they that desperate to grow the footprint eastward?

          • Richard says:


            Not sure why you think Maryland wouldn’t be able to carry its own weight. It’s a fairly populous state with really only 1 school (expands the BTN footprint). It’s above average in basketball and the nonathletic stuff is quite fine. The football is lacking, but I remember that you were arguing for Syracuse (which isn’t better than Maryland in any way athletically or footprint-wise and is considerably worse in research) and Pitt (a good fit except they just don’t bring enough extra subscribers) back in the day. I can’t see how you can support adding those schools to the B10 and reject Maryland.

          • Brian says:


            I didn’t argue for Syracuse and Pitt, I said they might actually work because they surprisingly make so much revenue while stuck with BE TV money.

            SU is much bigger in BB than MD is ($18.3M versus $10.7M).
            Pitt is bigger in BB than MD is ($13.1M versus $10.7M).

            SU is much bigger in FB than MD is ($19.2M versus $11.5M).
            Pitt is much bigger in FB than MD is ($22.5 M versus $11.5M).

            SU = $37.5M with BE TV deals
            Pitt = $35.6M with BE TV deals
            MD = $22.2M with ACC TV deals

            MD isn’t huge and isn’t football crazy and they make relatively little revenue. They are out of the footprint (good and bad) and thus stretch the league even more east to west.

          • For the Big Ten’s purposes, Maryland is very valuable. As an institution, it’s a fit as a large flagship research university. At the same time, it unambiguously delivers its own home state plus the DC market for TV purposes. The state is also the best football recruiting area on the East Coast other than Pennsylvania (and the top recruits in PA are typically on the western side away from the coast) and arguably the best pound-for-pound basketball recruiting area in the nation. I’ve long thought that the Big Ten’s most natural (and lucrative) area for potential growth is to take the East Coast since Penn State is such a powerful flag there and the conference could legitimately own that region with the right pieces. It’s like the Bulls (sigh) with Derrick Rose as the centerpiece without a second scorer. The Big Ten has the ultimate East Coast centerpiece in Penn State, but no real support around them.

            Alas, I don’t buy this Maryland/GT rumor at all (and I definitely don’t think Duke, UNC and UVA are moving anywhere).

          • Brian says:

            I should point out that like always, revenue numbers can be a product of accounting. Maybe MD doesn’t allocate TV money the same way the BE schools do, so I looked up the totals.

            MD total revenue: $51.6M (22.6M not allocated by sport)
            SU total revenue: $49.3M (2.8M not allocated by sport)
            Pitt total revenue: $49.2M (7.5M not allocated by sport)

            Considering the ACC deal was worth more than the BE deal, that’s pretty close. I wouldn’t add any of them, but MD is probably equivalent to them if there aren’t other issues with MD.

          • Brian says:


            Sorry about the Bulls. Maybe the Heat are the new Pistons for them. Get Rose his Pippen and things may work out.

            The top east coast recruiting states are (04-08):
            FL 981, PA 281, NJ 232, NC 229, VA 209, MD 145, NY 112, DC 27

            Others of interest:
            GA 481, OH 362, IL 194, MI 150, IN 86

            And despite the reputation, the eastern half of PA produces more than half of the PA recruits.

            MD has value, but I don’t see 13th team value. Sure, the B10 would gain some TV households, but MD won’t drive value for the FB inventory beyond simply increasing the number of games. Where is the value to pay for itself? It would need to add $15M+, and I don’t see it.

            Growing east would make sense if the B10 needed to grow. I don’t see that need. Sure, PSU could be leveraged better that way but so what?

          • @Brian – What I’m concerned about is that the Heat may well turn into the ’90s Bulls while the current Bulls could be the Knicks or Cavs (or even Heat) of that era. After Tuesday night’s loss, I thought that Miami was simply slightly better and an upgrade at shooting guard would’ve changed a lot for the Bulls. Last night, though, showed why the NBA is a superstar-driven league. I really like Dallas and love how Dirk Nowitzki is playing, but I don’t trust their defense to make stops, which means we’re likely looking at multiple Heat championships starting this year (as they’re only going to get better as more quality role players will flock to them). This means anyone that wants to legitimately go head-to-head with them for titles is going to fight firepower with firepower. Dwight Howard is likely going to be on the trading block next year demanding to go to a large market with a superstar in place already (meaning New York, Chicago or LA), so wherever he ends up is going to create the other super team. Let’s hope that the Bulls get on that as he’d be a perfect fit.

            I agree that Maryland shouldn’t be team #13 (as I don’t think the Big Ten should expand without a Texas or Notre Dame-type involved). It’s more that if the idea is for the Big Ten to add an Eastern school, then Maryland is probably the most attractive of anyone (at least north of Virginia).

          • Brian says:


            Nobody is the Cavs. Only Ohio teams get that level of torture.

            The thing is, the Bulls could have won this series if they could hold a lead and Boozer played better. A veteran star wouldn’t have let it slip away. Give Rose time to grow, even MJ needed 6 years to mature and he had more college time.

            If the B10 was expanding east, MD wouldn’t be a bad choice. I guess for me the question would be, why are they expanding? Depending on the reasons, Syracuse, Rutgers, Maryland, Virginia, VT and Pitt could all make sense (UNC and Duke only as partners to MD or UVA). I discount UConn, BC, the rest of the BE and ACC and all of the SEC.

          • Jake says:

            If the B1G wants to go after ACC teams, I don’t think there’s a better target than UNC. Not much in the way of football, but they’re the flagship school in a top 10 in population, and the Big Ten’s basketball brand could use a shot. Getting them could be tough – they have their rivalry with Duke, of course, and convincing the state legislature to let them leave NCSt. behind might be tricky. Not sure about NC politics.

            And of course there’s Miami. New to the conference and perhaps willing to move again, not much threat of political interference, solid national football brand, top four state in population.

            I think those two could be worth going beyond 12 teams. Other than that? Maybe not so much.

          • Richard says:


            The thing is, UNC has 3 rivals (Duke, NCSU, & Virginia), and at least 2 of them would have to come along (one of them being NCSU, almost certainly, because of the state legislature). Essentially, you’d have to take in Maryland, Virginia, UNC, and NCSU as a package. Even that may not increase the B10 per-school TV payout; it would be done more for non-sports reasons and potential benefits in the future (research, population growth, and recruiting grounds).

        • Vincent says:

          Maryland officials would indeed embrace an offer by the Big Ten for academic, athletic and economic reasons. But obviously, it can’t go in by itself. If the Big Ten could somehow persuade Virginia, North Carolina and Duke to join as well, it would add a huge chunk of the mid-Atlantic region, a growing, affluent market that’s bigger than New York City and one far more attuned to collegiate athletics. For all four of those schools, it would provide a huge boost in football, giving them a brand that would substantially improve their recruiting while retaining several time-honored rivalries. They would also aid the Big Ten in many other sports (Michigan announced this week it is instituting men’s lacrosse as a varsity sport, joining PSU and OSU; all four of the above ACC schools field lacrosse teams), notably men’s and women’s basketball, and would give the conference stronger academics than Nebraska will offer (Lincoln’s recent loss of AAU membership probably embarrasses many of the conference presidents).

          The ACC and Big 12 are probably the most susceptible conferences for being picked off by larger leagues in a few years if 14- or 16-team conferences become the norm (the Big East is hampered by internal confusion, though once Boeheim and Calhoun retire, the football-oriented schools will probably have sufficient courage to finally break away). The remaining eight ACC schools (the number could be less if the SEC decided to follow the Big Ten’s lead and grab Virginia Tech and N.C. State) could join forces with the Big East football members for a combined league.

          • Brian says:

            This is why MD and GT make no sense to me as a pair. I’m hard pressed to believe MD would leave UVA, UNC and Duke behind. With their new TV deal, they aren’t that hard up for money.

          • bullet says:

            Calhoun is actually predicting a split this week.

            ACC’s not so susceptible. They’re probably the tightest knit group out there, even more than B1G. The B1G and its possible $ advantage in 2017 could convince some, but I don’t think any ACC schools view any other conference as preferable.

            Big 12 isn’t that vulnerable either. The 4 North schools would love to be in B1G, but the interest isn’t mutual (and except for possibly Missouri never will be) and I don’t think they would be interested in SEC. A&M might have some interest in SEC, but their admin really seemed to strongly prefer staying put as long as the $ were there. Texas and OU aren’t interested in going anywhere and sharing their value with others. OU was probably the most pro-Big 12 school in the last round of realignment. For the other south schools, the most important thing is being tied to UT and OU. The Big 12 already lost the schools easy to pick off.

          • Jake says:

            @bullet – I would say that Missouri is still pretty easy pickins and might leave if they got an SEC invite (or B1G, obviously). ISU wouldn’t be too hard to get, but I doubt anyone who would be a step up from the Big 12 wants them.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Bullet: what indicates that “Calhoun is actually predicting a split this week.”?

          • ccrider55 says:

            Sorry. I guess you were saying that just this week Calhoun predicted a split in the not to distant future. My mistake.

  72. Huge fan of Frank. He’s inspired me to do a little hardcore football blogging of my own. Deals with a total overhaul of major college athletics with a firm footing in the reality of finances, TV contracts, and the current pulse of CFB.

    Check it out and let me know what you think.

    • jj says:

      you put a lot of work into that dude. biggest problem I see is that you put PSU on the cover. otherwise, A for effort.

      • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

        Well, I need a stadium to go with the motif of the site and it seemed sacrilegious to use any other team than my beloved Lions. :)

    • Jake says:

      Looks nice, but I can’t really get behind the ideas. Even if I was cool with a new governing body for the highest level of college football, a six-team playoff? That’s a super exclusive postseason. Every conference champ should have an automatic bid, plus a handful of at-larges. 12 might be a better number.

      Also, Houston and San Diego State get in the Big 12 while TCU stays in the Big East? Harumph. That’s not my idea of a perfect college football world.

      • cfn_ms says:

        Perhaps, but I think the high-level point seems interesting. I’d quibble w/ some details too, but I think it’s an interesting idea. My suspicion is more like 5 14-team leagues and an independent or two, but the general idea is that same.

      • It pretty much does include all of the conference champs, if they make the top 10. (The idea is that you only HAVE 6 conferences in the new league).

        The regular season TV money is running the show for all of college athletics. If you go to a 12-16 team tourney, many fans WOULD tune out b/c the emphasis wouldn’t be on each week. It’d be on late November and the December tourney. I could deal with 8 teams…but I think 4-6 teams would maintain the importance of the regular season, thus protecting the big money that each conference wants to make.

      • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

        I tried to keep the idea realistic while also speculative. TCU couldn’t jump BACK to the Big 12. They stay east and get a travel partner with SMU. (Jake, if you want to switch Houston with SMU’s conferences in your perfect world, you have my permission. :))

        Here’s the thing about a playoff. We’ve seen one reigning truth in college football this past year. The regular season is the breadwinner for conferences. That’s the simple truth. While playoffs don’t KILL the regular season (as some argue) they do diminish it by degrees with each additional team you add. The conferences (CURRENTLY, in the real world) are so protective of their regular season that they have ZERO playoff, nada, none. Why would they–who control everything–choose to jump beyond 4 (or my generous 6!) and create a 12/16 team playoff? Not happening…in the real world and certainly not in a perfect world that takes into account REALITY too.

    • Brian says:

      I’ll give you an A for effort, but I have issues with your plan.

      How are you trying to balance perfect with practical in your plan? Is it supposed to be a plausible plan, or a perfect world? I think you straddled that line, sometimes going practical and other times ideal which resulted in failing at both.

      If you were going for plausible:
      1. You can’t force expansion. The schools run the Super 6, not the other way around.

      2. A 6 team playoff with 6 conferences plus independents seems like an unlikely compromise. Each conference would demand a spot, requiring 8 teams at least.

      3. The NCAA would crumble and die without the top teams. The tourney would lose almost all value, and that pays for everything else. The FB playoff would not make much either.

      If you were going for ideal:
      1. Why keep the bad AQ teams? The top non-AQs would make more than them if they were in AQ leagues.

      2. Why allow independence (especially BYU) when it screws up your playoff? Wouldn’t it be cleaner if they were in conferences?

      3. Why not realign conferences rather than just filling holes in the B12 and BE (SDSU to P12, Utah and BYU to B12 for example)?

      General issues:
      1. Why delay conference foes meeting in a playoff? I think the NCAA has this wrong, too. The first thing that should happen is conferences being reduced to 1 team by playing each other.

      2. 6 teams makes little sense to me. Why do the top 2 deserve a bye? Is #3 really much worse? Is your rating system really that accurate?

      • First off, thanks for the thorough analysis.
        Secondly, how can I answer all these questions? I do actually have decent answers to each question, but I’d have to create about 8 more pages of explanation on my blog to handle all these. Maybe you can “comment” over there and I can attack one at a time?

        I’ll tackle the first two though. The expansion is really only forced on the Big 12 and the Big East. The Big East is hardly in a position to protest. If the “Super 6″ told them to add teams of value, drop the hoops schools, and get to 12 teams OR ELSE!!!, the Big East would jump immediately. I admit the Big 12 is a bit more of stretch…but imagine Texas politicians pushing for Houston and SDSU as a mild attempt at reaching the Big 12’s footprint into SoCal.

        If you look at my “ , you’ll see that the ACC missed the playoffs the most with 6 out of 10 absences. The Big East missed just 2 in 10 years (even though they are everybody’s whipping boy) and the Big 10 missed once (2004). Otherwise, every conference had their champion make the playoffs every year. Each conference still makes an elite bowl and still shares the playoff money (with or without a team in the playoff). And as a collective unit, I think they’d want to protect the sanctity of the regular season (with just a small playoff) more than they’d want to see their #23 ranked champion get a shot at #1 Alabama.

        • Brian says:

          Look at it more as some editorial suggestions, especially about explaining how you are trying to balance ideal and plausible. That is a fundamental issue that is important to your plan. I listed some questions/issues I would have based on your answer, but until you explain your intent I don’t know which questions to ask.

          The last couple of questions are just fundamental issues I have with your plan. I certainly could ask them over there, but you had no comments so I thought they might get discussed more here. Plus, you have so many pages it’s not always clear to know where to leave a comment that might cover multiple issues.

    • bullet says:

      90 seems to be the magic number. Every time the top division gets too much over 100 they change the rules to try to drop it down to around 90. 3 Division setup in 70s, I-AA expansion ’82, expanded sports requirements for I-A in 90s, attendance rules (never seriously enforced) a few years back, now the invitation only move-up rules and the B1G spend them to oblivion by paying athletes proposal. I think they would like to dump the conferences that promote lower level teams, i.e. Sun Belt, MAC and now WAC.

      • bullet says:

        If you look at CFA membership in the ’80s (it was around 80-85 schools in the TV contract after the NCAA monopoly was thrown out) and add schools like UConn and USF that have moved up, I think you get the top tier.

      • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

        Interesting. I’d love to have a link to some of this history of NCAA Division 1 for football. Definitely seems like the crust is shifting this past year…should be interesting to see how it all happens.

  73. BigFunny says:

    Dodds’ latest blog is claiming the Pac-12 will generate $400M per year in the near term (new contract year 2 or 3).

    If true…wow. I doubt the SEC will feel content much longer, if this is true.

    “”We’re only at halftime here,” said the analyst who did not want to be identified but is familiar with the Pac-12 situation. “There’s probably another $50 million to $100 million a year [out there] … We’re getting into the $400 million-a-year stratosphere.”

    • greg says:

      Where are you reading $400M in year 2 or 3? Dodd’s blog post doesn’t say that. Initial articles were indicating around $180M for year 1 of the ESPN/Fox contract, so $400M is doubtful any time soon. Maybe on the backend of the deal.

    • ccrider55 says:

      Since both SEC and B1G commishs have been consulting with Scott I’m sure they both are hoping for the best. It will be an example for them to build on, as the B1G and SEC are the examples the Pac is learning from right now.

    • Brian says:

      If you want to compare apples to apples, the SEC teams probably generate another $50-$100M in local rights. They just do it individually as opposed to through a conference-based entity.

  74. jj says:

    2 random thoughts

    1. boom goes the dynamite is getting a web redemption on tosh.o tonight

    2. game 7 bruins & lightning will be exciting; I’m pulling for the lightning as yzerman (most popular white guy in detroit) is their gm these days. but you heard it here first. canucks will finally win a cup.

  75. Richard says:

    Considering what ESPN has been able to do with BYU, ND must be considered an attractive asset if they decide to open up for bidding in the middle of the century. If they want to maximize the number of games under TV control, I would think that they could easily schedule 2-for-1’s with Tulane, Rice, and maybe SMU, with the 1 being played at the local NFL stadium (or even 1-and-1’s with the away game at the local NFL stadium but under ND’s TV control). In fact, I wonder why that hasn’t been done already, as ND wants to play in Texas to reach the Hispanic market and there are a ton of Catholics in Louisiana who can reach both NO & Houston easily (while all those places are good for recruiting).

    If they allow their TV partner to pick the opponent for a few games, I have to think that they could get $30-40M a year easily (and likely more). If they maximize the number of games under TV control (say to 9), I don’t think $50-60M is out of the question (especially to NBC/Comcast, who likely would have few other college football properties). 9 is probably the maximum because ND has long-term H-H series with Michigan, MSU, PU, USC, Stanford, & Navy (though some if not all of the Navy “home” game could be played on neutral sites and be under ND’s television control). Assuming NBC/Comcast gets ND, I’d also offer BC (and other ACC teams like UNC, GTech, VTech, Miami, & FSU, though FSU likely wouldn’t take it) a home-and-2-neutral sites deal but with ND holding the TV rights (even split on the neutral site revenue). To the ACC team, the benefits are that they’d get essentially 2 home games to one away game (Charlotte & maybe Georgia Dome for UNC, Georgia Dome & maybe Jacksonville for GTech, FedEx & maybe Charlotte for VTech, Tampa & maybe Meadowlands for Miami) with half the revenue from 2 neutral site games likely at least the same as 1.5 home games while they wouldn’t suffer from giving up TV rights because they get paided the same amount from their long-term TV deal regardless.

    • Brian says:

      And you don’t think ESPN and CBS might say something about their leagues yielding TV rights to ND? If they give up home games, their TV deal loses attractiveness.

      • Richard says:

        They could say whatever they want, but what exactly are they going to do? For that matter, why would they say anything? If ND says it’s a deal like this or nothing, ESPN’s not going to be showing ND-ACC games anyway. Plus, these are long-term deals, and by the time it’s time to negotiate another 10 year contract, the importance of the vast inventory of conference games would dwarf the impact of ND getting an extra game or 2 every year.

        Think of it this way, the same impact would result if an AD decided to play a tough OOC schedule rather than scheduling a bunch of patsies at home, yet you don’t see ESPN having words with the ACC because NCSU gives ESPN the home slate of Liberty, SAlabama, and Central Michigan in 2011 along with SAlabama & the Citadel in 2012.

        BTW, the Maryland vs. ND game at FedEx is going to be shown by NBC. Any bet on whether ESPN had words for Maryland or the ACC on that deal?

        • Brian says:

          What they’ll do is pay less next time, assuming their contracts don’t contain language that would prevent the massive giveaway of home games you propose. If you don’t play well with the networks, it will come back to haunt you.

          • Richard says:


            I doubt it. OOC games aren’t really valued as highly by the networks because, as I mentioned, they essentially have no control over what the ADs schedule anyway. I didn’t see the SEC scheduling philosophy hurt them in their last TV deal, for instance.

            Again, that “massive giveaway” amounts to all of 1-2 games a year. Did you hear a peep about ESPN paying the ACC less because Maryland gave ND the TV rights to their neutral site game?

          • Brian says:

            Was I in their private talks? How do I know what ESPN has said to the ACC?

            ESPN would rather not show ND/ACC games than have NBC get a bunch of extra ND/ACC games to broadcast (NBC gets 3 games and they get none).

          • Richard says:

            That should be corrected to be:
            “If Brian ran ESPN, ESPN would rather not show ND/ACC games than have NBC get a bunch of extra ND/ACC games to broadcast (NBC gets 3 games and they get none).”

            As you mentioned, you weren’t in the private talks between the ACC & ESPN, you so actually don’t know how much or even _if_ ESPN cares about this issue or not.

          • Brian says:

            And neither do you, despite authoritatively telling everyone what networks value and what they do and don’t discuss with conferences and how that factors into the deals that the sign.

            So, frankly, you can go [finishing this sentence is left as an exercise for the reader].

          • Richard says:

            And you just as authoritively asserted that ESPN cares a great deal about NBC getting these games (going so far as to say that ESPN would prefer to deny NBC these games even if they couldn’t get them) despite knowing no more than I do.

    • M says:

      I cannot see any way ND gets to 9 controlled games. With 6 H-H opponents, every other game would have to be a no-return game, not even a 2 for 1.

      Also, every conference’s TV contract includes every game in the conference’s home territory involving a conference team. ND cannot schedule a neutral site game against UNC in Charlotte. They have to be games like Washington State in Dallas or Miami in Chicago.

      ND seems to be going in the opposite direction, abandoning their previous 7-4-1 (8 TV games) to go to a 6-5-1 (7) setup. Next year they only have 6 NBC games. Everyone from the athletic director on down has realized what kind of schedule results from attempting to have 8 “home” games a year and they seem likely to avoid it in the future.

      • Richard says:

        Good point. I read about that later (however, ND vs. Maryland @ FedEx will be shown on NBC).

        Still, that doesn’t explain why ND doesn’t set up more 1-1-1’s (vs. UNC with neutral game in Meadowlands? vs. PSU with neutral game in FedEx or Meadowlands? vs. LSU with neutral game at JerryWorld?) or 2-for-1’s with Rice, Tulane, or SMU.

        As an aside, it’s interesting to note that all of the rumored B10-BYU games are outside B10 territory: UNL (Denver), PSU (FedEx), OSU (JerryWorld), Wisconsin (??? Arizona?) so ESPN has control over them even if they take place after 2015 and ESPN/ABC loses the B10 TV contract.

        • M says:

          I had assumed that the FedEx Field was a Maryland home game. I don’t know how that came about. Perhaps I was wrong about every conference’s television contract having a clause preventing such a game. I am certain that the Pac-10 has it, though the ACC appears to be more flexible.

          • Richard says:

            The B12 also has that clause, which is why the proposed ND vs. Baylor in JerryWorld was moved to the Superdome (and eventually never consummated when ND changed ADs).

            Maybe the ACC doesn’t have that clause because (unlike the Pac10 or B12) it has numerous schools of other AQ conferences inside it’s footprint.

          • Richard says:

            So I wonder if BC would go for a Foxboro-South Bend-Foxboro series with ND with ND holding TV rights to all games (assuming, to preempt Brian’s objections, that ESPN would allow it to happen)?

            Also, from here:

            From recent Tweets by Jack Swarbrick:

            On the Stanford series: “Stanford series in the works through 2020s”

            On returning to Yankee stadium: “#NDFB will return to Yankee Stadium because it was so beneficial & publicity was unparalleled.”

            On the 7-4-1 scheduling model: “moving away from 7-4-1 #NDFB model. Night gm allows for NBC considerations. Will reevaluate again after SC”

            On night games: “rockne changed face of football through innovation. Night football gives us 3x exposure”

            On opponent’s stadium capacities: “NDFB will waive 50k minimum sized stadia in return for 2-for-1 home games”

            Note: After home game in Winston-Salem in 2011, Wake Forest (stadium cap – 31,500) plays at ND in 2012 and 2015. Northwestern (cap 49,256) plays ND in home-and-home series. BC (cap 44,500) has an annual series through 2016. Stanford’s stadium is 50,000 cap.

    • bullet says:

      NBC already chooses ND’s opponents. Look at the change in ND’s schedule from before and after NBC. Before they were much more regional, Chicago to Boston. They always had USC and threw in some indies to fill holes late in the season (Miami, Georgia Tech, Air Force), but they were mostly Chicago to Boston. Now its much more national. Many of their fans think it was always that way.

    • Jake says:

      Mo’ money, mo’ problems.

    • bullet says:

      With 32 home sites, if they are based on RPI, they might all be in the south and west.

      The softball sweet 16 includes 6 Pac 10, 5 Big 12, 4 SEC and 1 CUSA (Houston). The baseball poll looks pretty similar except that ACC schools are also in there.

    • Not that I think it would be a good idea to push the CWS past July 4th, but I wonder why the NCAA, ESPN and Omaha believe that timing would “hurt the product”. At least from a TV sports fan perspective, the CWS often overlaps with the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals and US Open. In contrast, the CWS could basically own the sports world in the first part of July prior to NFL training camps starting.

      There was actually a decent suggestion from a commenter on that article advocating a fall baseball schedule. I seem to recall that being discussed here at some point and it certainly would be great for the Big Ten and Big East schools in the North.

      • Jake says:

        @Frank, et al: Fall baseball? Weather would be nice, but competing with college football would be suicide for the sport. Baseball has carved out a nice little niche for itself – it’s pretty much the biggest thing going in college sports after March Madness (except for lax in some parts of the country). They could move the schedule back a week or two, but that wouldn’t really help the northern teams enough to make a difference, and then you run into the real problem: pro baseball. The biggest challenge in college baseball is keeping good players from going pro; this is an even bigger challenge than in basketball because the minor leagues give them so many more opportunities, and players can go pro straight out of high school if they choose (the good ones usually do). If you push back the season you take out a few more weeks guys could be earning paychecks, make it harder for them to get drafted and make them less likely to come back for their junior or senior seasons. Anything that makes it harder to recruit or retain players will have a hard time winning the approval of coaches and ADs at the current baseball powers.

        I’m not really sure how you help the sport become more popular in the midwest and northeast; there’s a reason the pros have spring training, and that isn’t really an option in college.

  76. Jake says:

    Frank – in case you didn’t see it, a nice write-up on DePaul’s time in the Big East. Apparently the first of a series.

  77. I was just flipping through the channels and saw that the Big Ten Network is televising the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Final Four. This is interesting because (1) it’s an NCAA championship event whose TV rights are controlled by Turner and (2) not only is the BTN televising the Northwestern-UNC game, but also the Duke-Maryland game (which doesn’t involve any Big Ten teams). It will televise the championship game on Sunday regardless of whether Northwestern makes it, too. Here’s a write-up on the deal that was apparently just struck last night:,0,1820393.story

    With the cutback in telecasts of other NCAA championship events (as Turner has taken over and is only streaming them over the Internet outside of the NCAA Tournament), this might be something that could happen more often when Big Ten schools are involved.

    • ccrider55 says:

      A way to increase demand for and potentially enlarge the BTN footprint? (think ESPN in the very first years).

    • Richard says:

      Looks like one of the Comcast sports networks in the mid-Atlantic is also showing the championship. Seems Turner is willing to sell TV rights to these things to whoever is willing to pay.

      Good news for B10 fans as we’ll likely see the championships in various sports if some B10 team(s) make it that far, but I doubt it would increase the demand for the BTN that much. If these properties drew any substantial number of viewers, Turner would show them themselves on one of their own channels.

    • jj says:

      I saw that and was curious. Thanks

  78. Mike says:

    Memorial Day surprise.

    Jim Tressel tenders resignation

    • greg says:

      The only logical outcome of the Tressel situation was him losing his job. You can’t coverup, lie, and lie again and survive.

    • frug says:

      One advantage of Tressel resigning; as long as he stays out of college football he is not subject to the NCAA’s jurisdiction and they can’t force him to cooperate with any investigations. So if Tressel kept everything he knew about what was happening at Ohio State to himself, then it could be tough for the NCAA make a case that the school knew what was going on with the players.

  79. Paul says:

    Later today on, SI will release a special investigative report on Jim Tressel and Ohio State’s football’s program. (Twitter feed from SI.)

  80. duffman says:

    Post Tressel what is the game plan for the Buckeyes? Having the current assistant take what may be the 1st year of probation gives time to pick a coach, while not battering a new coach next year. Plus, having JT fall on the sword has to help lessen punishment for the program. Lets say the AC keeps the job for the fall (and maybe next season), who would be the short list to take over at Ohio State?

    Anybody care to suggest who the next coach will be? Would you go with a proven older talent, or do you go for a younger coach? Spurrier came from Duke, Chizik came from Iowa State, Meyer came from Utah, ect. ect.

    • Jake says:

      Young and hungry is always the way to go. Off the top of my head, Charlie Strong at Louisville might be a good candidate if they wait a year. He’s reportedly crazy loyal to the Cardinals for giving him his first head coaching shot, and he’ll want to at least coach them through this fall, if they can pry him away at all. Also, tOSU will want to see how he does this season, but if UL wins nine or ten games, I think he becomes a very viable option. And wow, he’s 50. Older than I thought. Lookin’ good, Charlie.

      Too bad for them they missed out on Jerry Kill from Northern Illinois; I’m guessing Michael Haywood (from Miami of Ohio via Pitt and the South Bend, Indiana, police) isn’t an option for a program trying to clean up its image.

      I’m not sure about Urban Meyer. I think there was more going on with him than his health; his heart/head may not have been in it anymore, and he’s probably learning how much fun it is to get paid bundles of money to be an analyst.

      • Jake says:

        I see on the ESPN crawl that they’re going to wait a year. Probably wise at this point.

      • Richard says:

        Hi Jake,

        Agreed that Jerry Kill & Charlie Strong are very good candidates. Especially Jerry Kill. Guys who have been able to elevate the program they coach to another level at multiple places are ones most likely to succeed, IMHO (See Urban Meyer & Brian Kelly). That is, assuming they are an institutional fit (see RichRod).

        • Richard says:

          BTW, I kind of doubt that OSU “missed out” on Kill. If he’s not a disaster his first year at Minny & OSU wants him, he’s heading to Columbus.

          • Jake says:

            Is that something that happens in the Big Ten? Most conferences TCU has been in (and the list is long and distinguished), teams avoid going after each other’s head coaches. Assistants, but not the top guys.

            Although the more I’ve heard about this assistant tOSU is promoting the better he sounds. Maybe he’ll do well for them.

            And I’m really looking forward to seeing what Strong does in his second year at UL. That guy has something to prove.

          • Richard says:

            Well, Glen Mason publicly lobbied to be OSU head coach when he was coaching at Minny, so he obviously thought it was a possibility. Granted, that may have been a reason he later got fired.

            I think that jumping between rivals (say from MSU to Michigan) would be frowned upon, but no one would bat an eye if he jumped from Minny to OSU. The gap between the 2 is as big as a jump from non-AQ to lower-AQ.

            In general, jumping between schools in the same conference doesn’t seem to be a big deal in the big leagues (at least to me): SEC (Houston Nutt), ACC (Tom O’Brien) are just the examples I can think of.

  81. Paul says:

    Great article on how the signing of Tyrrelle Pryor and his entitlement attitude eventually led to Tressel’s downfall.

    • Richard says:

      I have a feeling that Tressel would have gone down even if he hadn’t gotten Terelle Pryor. If not TP, it would have been another star athlete that he would have coddled.

      • What about Troy Smith and Maurice Clarett? Come on, folks. This is NOT a Pryor thing. He came to C-bus BECAUSE of the system that Tressel and OSU allowed.

        • Brian says:

          That’s a nice loaded statement. Do you have anything to back it up?

          Troy Smith took $500 (IIRC) and got caught. There was no evidence of Tressel wrongdoing. The NCAA didn’t believe anything Clarett said, and he admitted to lying about some things.

          Tressel’s focus on trying to help kids become men did lead to some of the problems as he refused to cut bad eggs like Ray Small and he continued to recruit questionable kids he thought he could help. Of course, he actually did help some of them which is why they are so loyal.

          Pryor had serious issues from day 1, but his athletic ability always got him out of trouble. I hope he learns some hard lessons in the next few years and actually grows up.

          • glenn says:

            when you see a grouping of islands pretty much in a line or in an arc, you don’t have to look below the surface to know they are connected.

          • Brian says:


            How does Troy Smith or Maurice Clarett prove that TP came to OSU because of the “system” Tressel and/or OSU allowed? Both of them got in trouble and missed games.

            TP came to OSU because he thinks he can be an NFL QB and wanted to play in an offense that would prepare him for the NFL while still taking advantage of his running ability (like TS getting the Heisman). He also liked Columbus more than some other college towns.

            Saying he came because he wanted to cheat requires some proof.

          • glenn says:

            just an observation.

            i don’t dislike ohio state.  quite the opposite actually, and i’ve long been a bit of a fan of the big ten.  this whole thing has been a disappointment, and my great hope is that things get righted there.

            i think they need to take that string of occurrences as not incidental and straighten things out.

            like i say, just my 2.

          • Brian says:


            I’m not saying there wasn’t a problem, and it may have become systemic (note that many of the allegations have been denied or disproven to various degrees). But saying that is why a particular athlete came there is the part I have issues with. To me, that requires some evidence and allthatyoucantleavebehind doesn’t have any.

          • glenn says:

            Gee said he wants Ohio State to set the standard for how a compliance department should operate.

            “We have an opportunity through this process not to hunker down, not to get into a bunker, but to set very high standards.  And that’s precisely what we’re doing,” Gee said Wednesday.  “We’ll take a look at if we have the best compliance system in the country.  That will be our goal.”

            this is what i’m talking about.  what i’m hoping comes about.

            i always told my kids, when something bad happened, that they had the opportunity to make it not totally negative.  they could actual use it to advantage if they were willing.  true here.

          • Brian says:

            I don’t disagree with any of that. I just objected to his statement assigning a particular motive to Pryor without any evidence. I’m no fan of Pryor and his arm punt, but even I give him more of the benefit of the doubt than that.

          • glenn says:

            i can’t speak to that and didn’t mean to leave that impression.  my bad.

            my archipelago comment was simply along the lines that there is a history here than cannot be ignored.  i hope to hell the ohio state people and the ohio state boosters don’t try to consider all this as unrelated happenstance.  you have the opportunity to do something substantive, and my fondness and respect for that program has a couple of my fingers all pretzel-like in that anticipation.  you can’t use the iron when it isn’t hot.

          • Brian says:


            OSU has always tried to be proactive about compliance. It’s a big department and has been aggressive before, as some past coaches have said. They started another review of compliance in the fall and came up with some ideas. They’ll probably do another one using outside consultants and discussions with other compliance departments looking for best practices.

  82. Pat says:

    As Brett McMurphy of CBS Sports wrote — At least Gordon Gee doesn’t have to worry about being fired by Jim Tressel any longer :-)!/collegefootball/story/15182025/tressels-paper-trail-begs-question-what-took-so-long

    • jj says:

      Gee should be fired for that. It’s funny in a way. But not really.

      • Pat says:

        Gee looked like a buffoon in that March news conference; A complete embarrassment to the university. I agree, he should be fired.

        • duffman says:


          When gee put his foot in his mouth about the sister of the poor you knew he was out of touch. his comment about working for Tressel was just another nail. The issue you have is how it is playing to Joe Public. The longer this runs, the more arrogant the media is going to paint tOSU. I thought somebody voted tOSU a first place vote after Auburn beat Oregon. If the voter had issue with Cam, then vote Oregon #1 and tOSU #2. Just looks bad to folks outside the B1G. This “pay the players” out of the B1G this past month is not swinging favor to the B1G.

          The biggest issue is the flip / flop. People said U$C cheated all along, and folks say the same about the SEC. Tressel having a very “squeaky clean” public image just means it will be that much worse. When you have a case like this the media gets more frenzied because the “public” vs “private” sells papers and TV time. Sad to say, human nature means folks love a crash and burn story like this. The big issue now is if it spills over to other B1G members, and how it affects the image of the conference as a whole.

          On the flip side, the one thing they did noit hammer U$C with was TV broadcasts, as U$C did not suffer at all in this area. If the NCAA did come down hard and said tOSU was banned from TV for 1 – 3 years then you are talking real punishment as in the day of TV on your cell means no visibility for the Buckeyes. If recruits know they will not be on TV on their way to the NFL, there could be some real impact. Will be interesting to see what the NCAA does in the next month or so.

          • Richard says:

            Still don’t understand why TV bans are considered before home game bans.

          • @Richard – I agree. There’s way too much collateral damage with TV bans by punishing schools who are playing Ohio State that didn’t have anything to do with the violations, which is why I believe the NCAA has avoided taking that approach. I understand duffman’s point that a TV ban is very effective, but it’s kind of like throwing 20 people in jail when only 1 of those people committed a crime. Sure, it works and would serve as a big-time deterrent, yet it also casts too wide of a net. The home game ban suggestion is directly targeted at the offending school without the ensuing collateral damage (and frankly, hits the pocketbook of a school like Ohio State much more than a TV ban).

          • duffman says:

            richard, I think from the side of being on the recruiting radar. Sure U$C may be on ND’s schedule, but ND as a non offending school still has 11 other games in a season to broadcast. TV bans hit U$C for each and every game, so a 1 game loss for the team that schedules them is not near the financial or exposure hardship. As a side, the NCAA could allow for OOC schools to reschedule the U$C date. Minnesota, Syracuse, and Notre Dame. The conference games could just be shown in the conference footprint, and the TV money due U$C would be given to the opponent to offset their national feed loss.

            Schools need money and national exposure more than anything. If you really want to create an effective deterrent then that is where you set the example. If a school will chaet with money and cars, how big is the scholarship reduction or post season ban when they may be down anyway? I also feel if punishments follow coaches and assistants that might help as well.

          • Richard says:

            Thanks Frank.

            Hi Duffman,
            OK, but why wouldn’t you advocate the home game bans first? That would hurt their pocketbooks (and recruiting: for one, the schools would have less money to spend; for another, few elite recruits want to play all their games on the road, travelling every weekend) to likely a greater extent, and there’d be no collateral damage.

          • Jake says:

            You could also argue that the TV ban encourages a team’s conference opponents, which are the schools that know them the best and also stand to lose the most from said TV ban, to keep tabs on them and make sure they aren’t running afoul of the rules.

          • Nostradamus says:

            Agree with Richard as well on this. The TV ban punishes 11 other schools a year besides the offender. Duffman your ND/USC example is about the best case scenario you could make. The problem is with an Ohio State (or even a USC) for at least 6 of the 12 games on the school’s schedule they are the main opponent that year. Even for Nebraska, a school that has sold out every game since 1962, the Ohio State game is hands down the biggest home game this year. A guaranteed primetime game, it will be used a a recruiting tool, an assumed visit from ESPN College GamDay (might have changed given the Tressel and Pryor developments)etc. From Nebraska’s perspective it would be crazy if that game couldn’t be televised.

            In the Big Ten you also have the whole they own 51% of a television network that Ohio State football is required to appear at least twice a year on. You eliminate Ohio State and the other schools at a minimum likely take a hit on ad revenue.

            If you want to hurt a school hard, taking away home games is the way to do it. It is a bigger hit financially and no innocent schools are “punished” for something they had no involvement in.

          • duffman says:

            The SMU penalties included:

            cancelled an entire season
            cancelled home games
            ban from bowl games
            ban from live broadcast

            The fact that live broadcast was part of the sanctions indicates it was a valuable commodity for the offending school. Part of the reason U$C got a “lessend hand” was that it never suffered the loss of live games. With a national feed they were still in the national eye. We can debate if recruits want to be on the road all the time, but that pales into the NFL type players wanting to be SEEN. If the two choices were no home games VS no live TV I would bet my bottom dollar that the TV would cause the most recruits to jump to another school.

            Going back to SMU, we all know what the death penalty did, but we forget or are not aware of the other schools coaches swooping in to feed on the SMU carcass. If money and exposure drive the big programs, then that is what you must attack first. Once the “big stick” is out there schools will have a different dynamic on the risk / reward of cheating. This was why I felt U$C got off light as they clearly were well out of control (when you have to cheat at tennis and the other minor sports) yet you could still see them on live TV the whole time. I think TV is a very real tool in sending the message not to cheat.

            I think some big deterrents would be to return money earned with “tainted teams” so bowl payouts would be paid 50% to the NCAA and 50% to other conference members. For TV revenue 50% to conference member and 50% to opponets to mitigate the losses to the opponent team. As we seem to be using U$C vs ND as example, then U$C’s TV revenue for the game would go 50% to ND and 50% to 11 other conference members. If penalties followed players and coaches beyond offending schools I think compliance would pick up quite a bit. The fact that this went on for a decade meant that many secondary players had to see it. Since there was no penalty to these other players, they had no “incentive” to affect the behavior of the top stars.

            Not to defend Auburn, but it seems to be a single player. U$C and tOSU had issues all through the athletic systems at the schools (see also SMU) and the true “loss of institutional control. If the BTN has a “ban” clause that redistributed an offending schools revenue, I would guess you would see a rapid change in behavior.

          • Nostradamus says:

            It was a valuable commodity in the sense that you were lucky if you had more than 3 or 4 games a year televised in 1985/1986. Now with the escalation of television and the rights fees that have become astronomical, the situation is a bit different.

            Having a game televised doesn’t have the splendor it used to when you only had 5 to 10 games a week televised. But the dollars involved in television are too high to make it a just penalty. A tv ban punishes innocent schools exposure wise and in some cases financially. A home game ban only punishes the guilty school. I have no problem with a financial penalty for televised games as you are no longer punishing an innocent party.

  83. greg says:

    I believe this is “the big” story.

    Story Highlights
    Since 2002 at least 28 OSU players are alleged to have traded or sold memorabilia
    Ex-Buckeye tells SI he and ‘at least 20 others’ swapped memorabilia for tattoos
    Source tells SI that four Ohio State players traded memorabilia for marijuana

    • Richard says:

      The story just strikes me as sad. $500 handshakes and no-work jobs? If you’re going to cheat, why not go big-time so you can get a talent like Cam Newton?

      Also, I don’t think it was a good idea for “Ellis” to talk to the reporters, or at least he should tell them to hide when he worked there. I can’t imagine that it would be hard for his boss to figure out who “Ellis” is.

      • Gopher86 says:

        You keep the amounts small so that they aren’t traceable. It also keeps the athlete coming back.

        • Richard says:

          So it’s a good tactic for agents (who want the kids coming back), but for schools? They already have the kids locked down. More transactions just means more chance of evidence leaking out.

          • Gopher86 says:

            You give money / benefits in return for jerseys/helmets/autographs. It’s pretty obvious Fine Line wanted the athletes to keep coming back so they could sell the stuff on the side, or in some cases draw foot traffic when they had a booth set up.

          • Richard says:

            True. OSU deserves to be slapped down for not policing their players & boosters. You get nothing good out of it, only bad if you let this type of stuff happen (buying players, on the other hand . . .).

  84. Pat says:

    One question that begs to be asked, — Are the basketball players also involved? Hard to believe this is just a football problem.

    • duffman says:


      Interesting as for the past decade I thought basketball was where an original NCAA investigation would come from. If something does come up there, then it really will be a turning point on NCAA’s status.

    • Pat says:

      Tweets from ESPN and The Lantern on Monday evening:
      Pryor just arrived at WHAC (Woody Hayes Athletic Center) in a Nissan 350z with temp tags from May 24. He smiled and waved to the cameras.

      This guys just doesn’t get it. What an idiot!

      • Gopher86 says:

        Maybe it’s tangential, but all I could think about when I heard this is: ‘I wonder what his credit score looks like’. Could you imagine the expression on a credit analyst’s face when they’re presented with this laundry list of 2 & 3 month car loans with dubious underwriting?

  85. Playoffs Now says:


  86. Playoffs Now says:

    There’s a damning article out a few days ago where OSU’s compliance office was caught in a lie. Auto dealer says all his cars to player deals were approved by compliance, compliance denies and says they talked maybe once. Dealer comes back and says it was 50+ times, and he has the phone records to prove it. Oops. That’s almost exactly how SMU was finally busted, backed into a corner with a lie that was then easily refuted by hard evidence.

    Tried to post a link to the article several times a few days ago, but apparently nothing would post with the link. Whatever.

    • Brian says:

      You can’t post Sporting News links, for whatever reason.

      The story has moved on, however, as the compliance spokesman said his only once comment was in reference to when the guy worked at the first dealership. He agrees they talked many times when the salesman was at the second dealership.

      • glenn says:

        yo, brian.  your guy could write sit-com.  lot of money in that.

        is osu going to be interested in bo?

        • Brian says:

          Not until he stops going postal on the sidelines, I wouldn’t think. OSU already had a coach that did that, and it didn’t end well.

          • jj says:

            say what you will about OSU, but I love some of the old Woody stories.

          • glenn says:

            he does seem to have some self-control issues, and, unlike woody, his issues are not just a gameday concern.  my question, really, was does osu think they can transform him?  i’m sure they wouldn’t want the raging nut we’ve been treated to, but given he played at osu, i’m sure his character is known there, and if he’s considered savable, is he thought to be good enough — both as a coach and as a hominid — and malleable enough to consider?

            jj, could you share a favorite story?  back in the day i didn’t care for woody but i’ve come to see him in different light.  kind of a patton in cleats.

          • Brian says:


            I’m sure he’s on the list of possibilities, but I have no idea who will make the short list. If Bo is interested, he needs to have a good year without the PR issues. There is still some doubt about what he can do on offense as well as handling the media spotlight that OSU brings.

            There’s no point speculating until the NCAA rules, though, because the penalties may limit the field of candidates.

          • glenn says:

            the potential for limitations on a coaching search due to ncaa penalties is exactly why bo looks interesting in my opinion.

            if the usual high-profile candidates are squeamish, you may have to look for someone capable of carrying the torch through the downtimes in a reasonably acceptable way, even if he (or she-don’t want to incite the feminists) may not be a candidate for the long haul.  bo’s game-day fire might be reminiscent enough of woody for fans to coalesce around like freezing campers huddled around a campfire.  and for that matter, if bo can clean himself up (though right now that looks like a tall order), he might make you a coach, though, as you say, you might need to find him an offense and tell him to keep his hands off it.

            bo would offer a very juicy secondary benefit.  since he is a former player, public opinion might forgive your going after the head coach of a conference mate, and beheading this particular conference mate might not be a bad idea right now.

            thanks for the observations.

          • herbiehusker says:


            As a Nebraska fan (obviously by my nickname), I always have said that the only school that I was afraid Bo might leave for would be Ohio State. Right now, however, given the large contract extension Bo just received along with the dumpster fire raging right now in Columbus I think the chances of Bo leaving Lincoln for Columbus are under 25%. Along with the new contract, Bo seems to have a sense of loyalty to Tom Osborne for giving him his first head coaching job and for supporting him even when others at our university didn’t seem to (see Harvey Perlman’s ridiculous public reprimand after the A&M game). All in all I can’t see Bo leaving AT THIS TIME to go to Columbus. I do think that the real danger for Bo leaving Lincoln is if OSU hires a lesser quality coach to man the ship through this fiasco; then has to replace him in 5 years…..that is the greatest possibility of Bo leaving for Columbus…not this go around, but the next. The only thing at that time holding him back would be leaving for a conference opponent….Osborne may not be around at that time and the dumpster fire in Columbus would have subsided (not nearly the discouragement there is right now).

          • glenn says:

            hh, i bet there will never be a better opportunity for bo to return to columbus than the present, assuming the penalties are daunting.

            osu is a dream job and bo just doesn’t appear to have the personality to interest them unless the situation is extreme.  they could bring him in on a provisional basis with the understanding that he has to grow up to keep the job, and it would scratch a number of itches at the same time.

            you better bet they are well aware of this.

          • herbiehusker says:


            I hope you are right. I am a big Bo supporter (he reminds me alot of a young Bob Devaney) and if this is his best chance to go, i simply don’t see it happening at all. Ofcouse I have to acknowledge that the possiblity still exists; there are always underlying issues that posters like us never see, but the view from the seat I’m sitting along with what you have pointed out, it appears that Bo could be at Nebraska for the long haul. That comes as good news to me! I’m anxious to see how Luke Fickle does with this audition he’s been given, I remember watching him in the late 90’s…..if he is half as good a coach as he was tough in the trenches; then OSU has found its man.

          • glenn says:

            yeah, i became a bit of a nebraska fan back in the bob devaney days.  i guess you might say that bo is already two-thirds of the way toward becoming another bob, and if he can find another ‘b’, he’s there.

            my longtime sideways fondness for nebraska fuels a lot of my disgust for what we’ve seen recently, and i’d really like to see a brand new old nebraska in the new setting.  not out of the question in my humble.

            back to osu, though, if fickle proves not to be, then both programs could be set for a while.  that wouldn’t be a bad thing in this upsetting era for the college gridiron.

          • jj says:


            Woody was before my time but legend tells that he once went for 2 after being far ahead of mich or with no time or something and when asked why he said something to the effect that he couldn’t go for 3. At least he admitted what he wanted.

  87. Mike says:

    Fill out your NCAA baseball brackets!

    @Alan No LSU? Say it aint so!

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Mike – I wish I could say it ain’t so. We are in melt-down mode in Baton Rouge over it. This was not a typical LSU season. Two freshman weekend starters who pitched well, but didn’t get run support. LSU didn’t adjust to the new bats as well as the some other teams. LSU has traditionally used Earl Weaver’s strategy for success – good pitching, good defense and the three-run homer. With the exception of Mikie Mahtook, LSU didn’t have the power to balls over the fences. LSU usually always close games, but this year the Tigers were 2-7 on one-run SEC games, and 0-5 in one or two-run SEC road games.

        In spite of these problems, and in addition to the lack of quality 3-4-5 hitters, a revolving door at first base, poor base running, poor bunting, and inconsistent catching, LSU, at 36-20, should have made the tournament.

        Heads are already starting to roll down here. Pitching coach David Grewe “resigned” about an hour ago. He left the Michigan State head coaching position to become LSU’s pitching coach 3 years ago. The hitting coach, Javi Sanchez won’t be too far behind.

        Despite losing Mahtook to the MLB draft – probably in the first half of the first round, LSU should be in good shape for next year. Last year, LSU had the #1 recruiting class and this year looks to be about the same.

        • Mike says:

          Nebraska Baseball just cleaned house as well by firing its head coach Mike Anderson. I’ve seen where it’s probably the #2 job open right now (behind Tennessee), but we’ll see the kind of coach Osborne can recruit. The Big Ten is a terrible baseball league, this years champ and only team in (Illinois) is a four seed in the Fullerton regional. Money shouldn’t be a problem, Anderson was paid 330K and both assistants made ~120K. Those figures are in the upper reaches of college baseball.

          A great thing about LSU fans is that they always show up for the College World Series, even if their team doesn’t. Hopefully they’ll right the ship, the more Cajuns in Omaha the better.

        • Jake says:

          Alan – gotta apologize here. If TCU had taken care of business in the MWC tournament and not lost twice (!) to New Mexico, a more deserving team would be in the tournament. Perhaps LSU.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Jake – LSU should have never been in the position they were in, but that being said, thanks for nothing TCU!

            Even with the Horned Frogs shocking loss, LSU should have made the tournament ahead of Mississippi State, who LSU beat 2 out of 3 in Starkvega$, and St. Johns. Those two are the most glaring injustices. But LSU plays for national seeds and hosting Regionals. This year was an aberration. Things will improve or more people will get fired. With 6 CWS championship flags, a brand new $40 million stadium and 10,000 season ticket holders (including me), average just doesn’t cut it in Baton Rouge.

          • Brian says:


            My understanding was that this year’s committee took a different approach, rewarding road success and in-conference success more than in the past where RPI was a bigger factor. Based on their approach, I think SJU was justified. MSU and LSU sound like they were pretty close and factors besides head-to-head made the call. LSU’s home-heavy OOC schedule backfired in this case, but they had no way to know the NCAA philosophy would shift. I tend to think the new direction is a good one in terms of valuing non-RPI metrics more, but it would be nice if they told teams in advance how they plan to evaluate a season.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Brian – I doubt LSU’s scheduling philosophy will change. LSU Baseball brings in over $9mm in annual revenue, sells 400,000 tickets, and has a $40mm stadium to pay off. Since 1985, LSU has only been a bubble team three times. I doubt they’ll be a bubble team many times in the future.

            It sounds like the next pitching coach will be Alan Dunn. He is the director of minor league pitching for the Orioles. Previously, he was the bullpen coach for the Orioles and Cubs.

  88. Alan from Baton Rouge says:’s Tony Barnhart conducted an interview with SEC Commish Mike Slive yesterday. Of particular interest to us FTT readers is the following Q&A regarding the SEC TV contracts.

    “ In the summer of 2008 the SEC signed an unprecedented televisions deal (15 years, $3 billion) with CBS and ESPN. Since then, TV has gone on a spending spree with a number of conferences to lock in college football for the long term. What does that say about the sport of college football?

    Slive: Regardless if you like the BCS or don’t like the BCS, you have to admit that it has changed college football from a regional game to a national game. It is the best reality TV there is and it really translates well to television. People just can’t get enough of college football and the television people recognize that. Since the TV marketplace has changed in the past three years, does the SEC have the option of going back to the negotiating table?

    Slive: First of all, our contracts are written in such a way that the rights fees have escalators in them. So we feel good about that. Secondly, they have “look-ins,” so that every so often we revisit the contract and “look in” at our current deal to make sure that we are remaining on top of our game. We look forward to these “look ins.” but we also feel very good about the final 12 years of our deal.”

    Sounds like these “look ins” give the SEC the ability to re-negotiate the terms with CBS & ESPN, regardless of any material change, ie expansion.

    Here’s the rest of the wide-ranging interview. Topics include Tressel, roster management, scholarships, Cam Newton, and retirement, among others.

    • ccrider55 says:

      “Sounds like these “look ins” give the SEC the ability to re-negotiate the terms with CBS & ESPN, regardless of any material change, ie expansion.”
      It does “sound” like that, but is that actually correct? What would be the basis of altering a long term contract and not calling it a new shorter term contract if there hasn’t been a significant fundamental change to one of the parties involved? Would this imply that Tom Hanson was truely completely inept and had the Pac 10 handcuffed by a weak contract for it’s full term while others have this look-in available to them?

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        ccrider – I don’t know whether that is “actually correct” but have reason to think Mike Slive would lie about the look ins.

        I do some transactional work, and contracts are re-negotiated in business and sports everyday. If it weren’t for the lock out, we’d be hearing about NFL players re-negotiating their contracts or getting cut (which is the way the teams force a re-negotiation).

        The SEC has probably exceeded the expectations of CBS & ESPN in terms of ratings and advertising revenue. When CBS signed their new deal with the SEC, the Saturday afternoon SEC game was a close #2 to ABC’s regional coverage of everybody else. In the last 2 years, CBS has opened a decent lead over the ABC. ESPN must be equally pleased. CBS probably wants to keep their only real CFB partner happy and re-negotiating a deal that looks like a bargain today wouldn’t kill them. ESPN televises everybody, but I think the SEC has the most time slots and ESPN has more invested in the SEC than any other conference. Essentially, the SEC is worth more to ESPN than the other conferences, with tier 2 and syndication rights. ESPN wants to keep the SEC happy as well.

        • ccrider55 says:

          No, I’m definately not implying Slive is being anything more than a bit obscure (He does not say what a “look in” encompases, or what would need to be found in order to trigger a change in contract, or what changes would be allowable through a “look in”). The more I read of Slive the more I like what he seems to be working toward. My point was simply that if the SEC has this review process then likely other conferences do also. Even the Pac under Hanson would likely (with proding from USC, UCLA, etc) have included similar language in their contract.

        • duffman says:


          I would go the step further with the SEC programming off season in the secondary sports like baseball. Read an article in the past week or so that SEC baseball passed 2,000,000 which is nothing to sneeze at if this is correct. Plus it fills time slots with low cost programming. I am gussing this alone gives ESPN some extra cash to sweeten the pot. Sure the SEC is king of the hill in CF, but they compete well across the board in other sports aa well.

          sorry your baseball team did not have a normal season, but still not sure why they canned the women’s basketball coach?

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Duff – you’re right. Over 1/3 of LSU’s baseball games were either nationally or regionally televised this year. EPSNU regularly airs Thursday night SEC baseball. ESPN2 has aired several SEC games on Saturdays, as well. When ESPN airs college baseball in SEC towns, they generally save expenses by hiring local crews. All ESPN has to provide are the announcers. I’m guessing that you’ll see more and more SEC baseball on the family of networks in the future.

            LSU re-assigned women’s basketball coach Van Chancellor. A few years ago, LSU hired Van out of retirement after a good run at Ole Miss and in the WNBA. He was probably only going to coach one more year. Van was really a stop-gap coach anyway. Nikki Caldwell comes from UCLA, played at Tennessee, and looks like the real deal.

        • Nostradamus says:

          Thanks for posting the interview Alan. I tend to side more the ccrider55’s skeptical interpretation than the literal one. I fully admit we both could be wrong. Slive’s escalators comment doesn’t mean much as everyone as everyone has the built in escalators. As long as the duration and timing of the deals are relatively similar if conference X makes more money than conference Y right now, the positions will be the same 8 years from now.

          I just tend to take the similar view to what I take regarding Slive’s expansion clause comment. We know most conferences have clauses in their television contracts pertaining to membership. While some SEC fans have argued that adding a team will re-open the entire contract, I take the more moderate view that such a clause is highly unlikely.

          The Slive look in comment is obviously very interesting. And I do agree with you Alan that it is likely something performance based in terms of a bonus related to advertising. That said, much like my view of the expansion clauses, I doubt it is the financial windfall many assume it could be. From a network perspective, you are going out and competitively bidding on a conference based off what you think it will take to get the rights and the discounted present value of what you think you will be able to get in adverting revenue from said conference over the term of the deal.

          It is a pretty one sided deal in terms of transactional risk. The conference is locked into the guaranteed rights fees, but the network has to hope it hits their ad targets to make a profit or hit their desired profit. I agree with the sentiment that you want to keep the relationship good with the conference if your a network, but I also don’t know that you need to go out of your way. If we are talking about more money to the conference for excess revenue from a network we are starting to talk more along the lines of something like the BTN where the conference assumed some risk for an ownership stake in a portion of their rights.

  89. Mike says:

    This article is fun.

    Something happened to prevent that and perhaps it was that “important” AAU thing. Perhaps not. The AAU membership did matter a whole lot before and now isn’t deemed to be a deal-breaker. The Big Ten’s new line is that a school’s academic reputation matters more than its academic ranking.

    That doesn’t matter as much now and some of those options aren’t realistic. So now, if the Big Ten wants more teams and more exposure and more money, who is more attractive than Notre Dame and its fine academic reputation and undisputed fanfare?

    If not Notre Dame, Connecticut and Syracuse, both estimable for education, or, yes, West Virginia, which does plenty in the realm of research and has the biggest fan footprint in the Big East, are eligible.

    There are people at WVU and in the Big East wondering how this AAU thing breaks and what it might mean to them and for them.

    • Muck says:

      Wishful thinking down in Appalachia.

    • greg says:

      I love any article that floats ISU and WVU as expansion candidates.

    • joe4psu says:

      Here’s a link that I found pretty close to the beginning of B1G expansion evaluation. It is clear that contiguous states and AAU membership were not requirements. Both are myths. IIRC Delany always said that AAU was a big part of who the B1G was but never said it was a requirement. The B1G does want schools with good academic reputations, such as ND, but the AAU was not a requirement.

      I saw this is the same article last week and when he wrote this:

      “We’re also looking at another six to eight months of constructive exploration Delany commissioned around this time last year, when he said his conference would do its homework for 12-18 months and maybe make a move if it improves the conference.”

      I pretty much concluded he did not know what he was talking about. The B1G officially announced that it’s evaluation of expansion possibilities was done for the foreseeable future in this press release:

      “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.

      “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.”

      There is the caveat that the conference “does not expect to be proactively seeking new members” but the intentions are pretty clear.

      I’ve kept track of these articles and other expansion related info here:

    • jj says:

      Yeah. Look man, I’m not a elitist or anything. But I can tell you that the B10 would not accept WV as an equal, period. Some of the U of M crows were up in arms that they hired 2 of their coaches instead of “michigan men”. It’s just not gonna happen in our lifes.

  90. duffman says:

    This out of Columbus today

    Roll call for FtT readers

    a) Gee keeps job or gets canned?

    b) Smith keeps job or gets canned?

    The article say it is done, but I say at least one more head will roll. What do you guys think?

    • greg says:

      Gene Smith will be fired at some point. I don’t care if Gee says he is safe, just a couple months ago he was hopeful that Tressel wouldn’t fire him.

      I doubt Gee gets the ax any time soon, but long term I think this situation causes him to leave OSU sooner than if it hadn’t happened.

    • ccrider55 says:

      More than one rolls.

    • M says:

      Smith is done. An AD can’t have this occur on his watch and keep his job.

      Gee’s position is more uncertain. On one side, he had little or nothing to do with this incident. On the other, going in front of a mic and saying “I hope the football coach doesn’t fire me” might be the surest way of losing support of the academic community.

    • Richard says:

      Agreed with everyone above. It’s only a matter of time before Gene Smith goes as well. As for Gee, it comes down to office politics (and not just of the academics), but his flamboyant defense of Tressel is another bullet in the arsenal of his detractors.

    • Mike says:

      Let me offer the example of Harvey Pearlman. Pearlman extended AD Steve Pederson who then extended Bill Callahan. Less than 6 months (or so) later, Nebraska Football was in shambles, fans were in open revolt, and he had to fire Pederson, and hire Tom Osborne who had to fire Callahan. The buy outs cost Nebraska millions.

      Until Nebraska joined the Big Ten, there was a significant component of the population in Nebraska that wanted Pearlman fired. I’m convinced, if he had to face and election he would have lost. Lucky for him, he didn’t and according to the people that mattered, was running the university reasonably well (outside of his oversight of athletics.)

      My point is athletics may be the front door to the university, but as long Gee is running the university well, he may have a lot leeway to deal with this as long as it’s taken care of decisively.

    • @duffman – My feeling is that Smith ends up leaving as more details about violations come up. Not too many ADs come out intact in these types of scandals.

      Gee is an interesting case since, as far as university presidents go, he’s about as high profile with the public as you can get. I remember when I was looking at colleges 15 years ago (I’m dating myself here), I had a US News rankings book which happened to include a fairly lengthy article about Gee specifically that described how enormously popular he was in Columbus. He was truly an on-campus celebrity on par with the football and basketball coaches (which is rare for university presidents at large schools). I’m not sure if that’s still the case in Gee’s current stint at Ohio State, but he’s definitely not a run-of-the-mill academic-type. He’s also the only public university president making over $1 million in salary. My gut feeling is that he’ll get some bad press for awhile, but will end up keeping his job.

      • Nostradamus says:

        I tend to think Smith stays around at least until the NCAA doles out its punishment to the institution. In December it was “we had no idea what those 5 guys did, we reported it as soon as we found out.” In March “it was Oh, hey our head coach knew, but he didn’t tell anyone else. We don’t think it is a fireable offense though.” They’ve set Tressel up to try and take most of the fall from this.
        I think firing Smith before the hearing changes their defense or at least the perception of their defense.

      • Brian says:

        Gee’s popularity was always overstated because he was friends with the right people. He has raised OSU’s academic and research profiles and brought in a lot of money, but he wasn’t entirely beloved the first time he was president and not everybody wanted him back. His string of stupid football statements don’t help with the general public, but they don’t matter for college presidents.

      • Eric says:

        I’d be shocked if Gee was gone and surprised if Smith is. Defending Tressel isn’t the problem a lot of people are taking it to be. There is still a very decent portion of the alumni (present company included) who still had a lot of respect for Tressel and would have been a lot angrier at Gee if his initial reaction had been to fire Tressel and distance themselves from him. After a few months of this, it probably became unavoidable (sadly), but doing much less than he did in January wouldn’t have been taken well.

        Smith may be out the door eventually, but I’m not convinced of that yet either. We’ll see.

      • MIRuss says:


        Couldn’t agree more about Smith. I believe it’s academic:

        1. If all of this was happening on his watch and his compliance department couldn’t catch it, his coaches didn’t see it, and it was happening right under his nose, then he was either a completely incompetent boob or he too was looking the other way and needs to go.
        2. Someone – to be named later – decides to dish dirt on Smith. Then they have to fire him.

        Tressel was set up to be the fall guy but I believe the NCAA will want more than one head in this episode of folly from the OSU.

        Again, my opinion. And USC got rid of their AD after the Bush Fiasco…

    • jj says:

      I say both are gone. I had a strong feeling Jim T was done and most people said I was nuts. OSU is a good school that doesn’t need this. They’re not gonna put up with this crap.

      • duffman says:


        I thought JT was in way deep during the presser. He just did not seem contrite, and that usually means you are already out the door. They said I think on ESPN that ony 3 kept their job after the lie (81 coaches, 78 got canned – anybody know off the top who the three who survived were?). The bigger issue is Smith because in addittion to the AD job, he was also a on several NCAA committees. If the NCAA does not come down hard on him, they are going to look like they are protecting one of their own.

        I am thinking Gee is not totally safe but do not have the data on survival rate for university presidents following a major scandal in the modern era (say 1980 forward). I do notice that at every opportunity the press is going after the rigged contest. 10 years from now the tattoo stuuf may be forgotten, but something like that will be the bigger black eye. Violations are one thing, but image goes to the heart of how you are seen outside the confines of your university.

        • Brian says:

          They can’t just go after Smith to go after him though. They need specific allegations of wrongdoing or incompetence. Tressel lying isn’t Smith’s fault. None of the car deals have proven to be a violation (yet). Was Smith expected to get a receipt for every tattoo, bling or electronics purchase for 135 athletes (FB and MBB) and comparison shop to see if each deal is OK? Does he have to do a monthly inventory of all memorabilia for all of them, too, including what they gave to parents? At some point are the players responsible for their actions, including trying to hide them from the athletic department?

          • Richard says:

            True, I don’t think that the NCAA can get rid of Gene Smith, per se, but if there’s too much baggage associated with the department under his watch, at some point, the powerbrokers in the university will decide that it would simply be better to have a guy with a clean slate (for fundraising and other purposes), and I believe he’s already reached that point (he would be a goner for sure if the NCAA slaps OSU with a “lack of institutional control” tag, and that looks mighty probable from where I sit).

          • duffman says:


            When I was reading about the basketball point shaving scandal back in the 40’s it seemed some got tagged for life just because of being around. I was surprised that some were never proved guilty but by playing for a given team they felt the ax fall. As somebody pointed out, when do you see all these cars and not ask questions. I think Smith will feel the collateral damage even if he was totally in the clear. As richard pointed out, and I pointed out in the U$C discussion, that “loss of institutional control” means some folks will fall under the ax that might not if not at that point.

          • Brian says:


            Despite what the media said, they did ask questions about the cars and were satisfied with the answers. They took a second look once the newspaper made initial allegations of wrongdoing (since proven to be OK). There is still zero evidence of any NCAA violations in the car sales.

            Young adults being dumb and wasting money on bling and cars is not a violation.

  91. Playoffs Now says:

    Rumors of a Jim Delaney news conference tomorrow. Will proposed changes to the BCS, including determining the national champion by a raffle…

  92. M says:


    I think I figured out why fans sometimes leave out LSU on the list of Kings. LSU has never had that legendary demigod of a coach who takes the program from nothing an builds it up into a national power over a decade or more. All of the other Kings have that coach (except Miami about whom I also have reservations about their kingliness). Until LSU has a Bear Bryant/Woody Hayes/Knute Rockne/Joe Paterno-type coach, I don’t fans will generally consider them part of the elite group.

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      M – every time this issue comes up, I’ve said “King” status depends on where you draw the line. Only nine schools have more NCs than LSU since the AP started awarding NCs in 1936. Minnesota, with 4 NCs, is obviously no longer royalty. Two “Kings” actually have less NCs than LSU (Michigan & Penn State). If you draw the line at 10 for King status, LSU’s probably not there. If you draw the line at 12, LSU has a great argument. If you draw the line at 15, LSU is definitely in.

      I think ESPN’s all-time prestige rankings, from a few years back, had LSU at #13.

      When you also consider stadium size (the Kingdom), money generated (the ransom), conference championships (the booty), the wins, and the visibility, LSU looks pretty Kingly to me.

      • duffman says:


        when I did the “brands” back when the expansion thing first started heating up all the “historic” were pretty clear except the SEC, which is why I did the +1 for the SEC.

        B1G = tOSU / UM
        PAC = U$C
        SWC = UT
        B08 = UNL / OU
        IND = ND / PSU
        SEC = BAMA / +1

        Southern Cal and Texas lived in a world without a pair so they are obvious tho USC would be in the top 5 and Texas would be in the bottom 5.

        Conference pairs OSU + UM and UNL + OU are pretty easy to see as the winner in conference usually won the conference.

        ND and PSU as independants have the history and the staduims to support top tier status. Where they differ is long term, as it would take decades of ND playing below .500 to drop them (where say a Miami can drop quickly when they are not winning). PSU is the most at risk in the top 10, as JoPa has been there so long it could lead to quicker erosion if the coach that follows him can not survive and grow in the shadow his departure will cast.

        That leaves the SEC as the “different” conference. BAMA is clearly the lead “brand” based on myth and history. Tennessee is probably next in line based on conference wins, MNC’s, stadium size, coaching continuity, etc. but when placed next to BAMA they have decade gaps that widens the distance between the two. Next in line are LSU and UGA, and unlike other conferences the majority of the conference has at least 1 MNC. If Vandy had not dominated UT early on (Vandy had 2 MNC in 1906 and 1911 + 13 conference championships prior to the creation of the SEC), Tennessee would be a clearer #2.

        In essence the SEC is not a singular conference like the PAC or SWC, nor is it a polar one like the B1G or B08. Instead it operates as a singular (BAMA) + a “floater” who varies year to year or decade to decade. The second slot is occupied is by multiple teams rising and falling to occupy the other polar position. PSU could easily fall and Tennesse could easily rise to switch places. LSU, UGA, and UF all have put down roots since the ESPN era started in the late 70’s and early 80’s and can lay claim to move up the “brand” ladder. Only time will tell by what team can win enough to swap places with a team that alreday has “brand” status.

        • Brian says:


          I agree that most of the long-term king brands are obvious (OSU, MI, NE, OU, TX, USC, ND, PSU, AL).

          I disagree on 2 points, though. PSU is not as precarious as you make them sound. They had a 1-year coach go 5-4 in 1949, but otherwise have not had a coach be below 60% since 1902. JoePa has coached for 45 years and PSU has a top 4 winning percentage over that time, but PSU was #16 in terms of winning percentage in the previous 45 years and 5 of those teams higher are no longer factors. They have a long history of success and can build on that.

          I disagree that the second SEC king isn’t obvious, too. TN is a clear #2 historically with many more wins and a higher winning percentage than GA or LSU. FL has become the #2 recently, but they weren’t as big before Spurrier. The modern football world realities probably mean FL will become the permanent second king based on recruiting, but historically it has to be TN.

          Since the modern SEC formed in 1992:
          Wins – FL 191, TN 170, GA 163, AU 161, LSU 154, AL 133
          W% – FL .782, TN .714, GA .696, AU .695, LSU .660, AL .610

          The previous 50 years:
          Wins – AL 396, TN 358, GA 351, LSU 334, AU 323, MS 310, FL 300
          W% – AL .732, TN .682, GA .650, LSU .635, AU .626, MS, .606, FL .588

          Probably the better questions are the modern brands questions. Can non-AQs be a brand (Boise, TCU, BYU)? Can they be a king? When does a brand become a king (FL, FSU, Miami)?

          • duffman says:


            point #1

            As an old guy I would put Tennessee #2 because I am old enough to remember the past. Alabama is out front, then Tennessee, then LSU + UGA + UF. Albama is ahead the way OU is ahead of UTexas (Alabama is top 5 and UTenn is bottom 5). The issue was how to deal with the fact that the SEC has several nipping at Alabama’s heels. For the majority of their history U$C and UTx had no “second” school. In the B1G and B08 there is a big drop after tOSU / UM and UNL / OU respectively. In the SEC BAMA > UTn > LSU, UGA, UF > Auburn, Mississippi. The point was less to put UTn #2, and more to show that #3, #4 , and #5 were much closer to #1 in the SEC than than #3, #4, and #5 were to #1 in the B1G or B08 (much less the SWC and PAC). In short I guess I am trying to say that among conferences the SEC is the most vulnerable to slippage in the #2 slot. A bad decade or two at UTn would cause a bigger slippage than a bad decade or two at ND or U$C. I do not think you and I are as far apart on this point than you may think.

            point #2

            PSU is the bigger wildcard in a post JoPa world. Certainly no one would debate PSU now but during this era you have several issues going forward that will adjust the numbers going forward:

            a) JoPa is a one of a kind. His tenure, salary, imprint, etc. will not be replicated in the modern era of college football. At some point there will an adjustment, and the probability of downward movement is greater than upward movement. (for PSU to advance, tOSU + UM + UNL must all fall).

            b) The B1G is moving to the SEC model. No longer it is just tOSU + UM. Now it is tOSU + UM + PSU. The future is tOSU + UM + PSU + UNL. In less than a generation the B1G has gone from 2 contenders to 4! During this time PSU has gone from a sole contender as an independent to fighting 3 other teams for the top of the pecking order.

            c) Shifting industry and demographics. Coal and steel were the backbone of the PSU I knew long ago, but do either dominate an area the way they once did? PA is still a big state and is not falling off the map tomorrow, but over time will it continue to produce generations of kids forged in industries that needed strong manual labor to feed their power. If you think this is far fetched consider the native talent that came out of Indiana and Kentucky where basketball fit perfectly in the farming season of the 2 states.

            point #3

            The future of the Florida 3 (UF, FSU, Miami) and the future of “the rest” like TCU, BYU, and BS is much more defined, but all the challengers are not equal. Florida has the best shot, but it is offset by the fact that they must earn it in a conference with multiple contenders. FSU is in a position like PSU but does not have the history that PSU does (even tho both had a long term coach that did well with an Independent program, but now must fight for dominance with other conference members). If a post Bowden FSU can dominate the ACC the way U$C did the PAC I say yes, if not the jump to the top tier looks much cloudier. When I see Miami I see Minnesota. Nobody can argue the golden age and and dominance of the gophers in their storied past. The problem is they could not sustain it! Unless I saw a Miami that can control their dominance in multiple decades in the future the way they did in the recent past, they will probably find themselves as the “golden” hurricanes of the 1980’s and 1990’s. The BYU’s, TCU’s, BSU’s, etc may be kings of the molehills, but they are far from kings of the mountains.

            The biggest thing to keep in the forefront of the discussion is the nature of “kings” or “brands”. It is a limited group, so for a program to rise, another must fall. In basketball right now IU is more vulnerable than UNC, UK, or KU in being replaced as a “king” or “brand” (especially with UL and the YUM right down the road) but with their long and storied history they can “buy” more bad years than most before their head is actually on the chopping block.

            ps. I think M has a valid point on the “coach” issue. If I say Cholly Mac or Bernie Moore in the same sentence with Robert Neyland or Johnny Majors, I feel pretty confidant that the last two will sound more familiar to a national audience than the first two. If the mad hatter stays another 20+ years and keep winning the way he is, he could eclipse all 4 tho. 20 years of never winning less than 8 games a season and a career at LSU that runs close to 80% wins would cement LSU with their “name” coach. I also feel the big state schools (with swollen alumni numbers to follow them) have a decided built in advantage over the Miami’s, TCU’s, etc. etc. of the college football world.

          • Brian says:


            I think we mostly agree on point #1. While I didn’t see many of TN’s best periods, I think you have to respect the history when naming kings. That’s why I said TN is a clear #2 to AL. But yes, TN is in the bottom 5 (probably #9 or 10) of the 10 historical kings. Still, it will take more than a couple of bad decades for me to drop them behind GA or LSU. They have 50+ more wins and 4+% winning percentage advantage all time. GA has been pretty close the past 50 years, but I think they need to clearly get ahead to take TN’s place (incumbency is an advantage). In the short term, it’s a different story but I think kings are based on the long haul.

            As for, point #2 we both agree and disagree. Yes, JoePa is one of a kind but the current JoePa is not the same as the JoePa of 20-30 years ago. A new coach will bring some new energy while building off the tremendous foundation JoePa and others created. Nobody thought Woody would be topped at OSU, but Tressel did it (and that’s after adding PSU to the B10). MI didn’t think Bo could be replaced, but Moeller and Carr did pretty well. Osborne replaced Devaney. Miami had success under multiple coaches. The point is, PSU could very well be as good as they have been in the B10 era after JoePa, too. As for the state of PA, I’ll just remind you that PSU recruits the eastern half more than the western half and the east coast isn’t getting smaller. The death of the steel industry hasn’t killed PSU yet so I don’t see why a new coach would be overwhelmed by it.

            Point #3 is where all the fun discussion comes in. How long do you have to sustain excellence to become a king, and how long can you be less than excellent and remain a king? There are no right and wrong answers. I prefer to consider all of history for the kings, so the johnny-come-latelys like FL, FSU and Miami don’t make my list. They can only be on my list of brands, which is more fluid and looks at the current trends.

            I don’t believe the king or brand lists are automatically limited by number, but it is hard for a larger number of teams to all be good. Still, if more schools grow and make solid conferences in the next 50 years I could see the list expanding another 2-5 teams. There are more teams than there used to be, so there should be more brands too, especially with the current TV trends versus the old days.

            I agree that school size helps but not as much as it used to help. Miami and Boise became big by winning, not by having big built in fan bases.

            As for the coach issue, usually a school doesn’t have a legendary coach for a good reason – nobody ever sustained long term success at the elite level. If they did have a coach do it, then they also would have better overall numbers. They go hand in hand. Winning makes the coach, not the other way around. Charles McClendon (aka Cholly Mac, for those younger than duffman) coached 18 years at LSU with a 0.692 record, but he only won 1 SEC title and was second twice. You can’t be a king if you aren’t elite in your conference.

            LSU has been great this decade, but not the decade before that. Of course they could be a king if they win at their current rate under Miles, but he only has 1 SEC title (Saban had the other 2 recently, before that was 1988). That has always been LSU’s stumbling block. They only have 13 titles ever (10 SEC, which is 4th most – AL 22, TN 13, GA 12).

          • Richard says:


            A couple of quibbles:
            1. They farm in Nebraska & Iowa as well, but much prefer football to basketball there.
            2. Unless either the game of football or demographics changes drastically, I don’t see why Miami would follow the path of Minnesota given the tremendous talent pool and lack of big-time schools in south Florida (USF joining the BE has hurt them, but consider that the closest other AQ schools is UF, over 5 hours away). Minny was dominant in the first half of the 20th century because line play was paramount back then, and Minny had plenty of (relatively) big strapping farm boys. Now quickness gives you the edge and they grow them just as big in the south as in the north. Unless the game evolves again (or Miami gets flooded under water by global warming), I don’t see the ‘Canes ever falling as much as the Gophers did.

      • Brian says:


        I think we can all agree that king status is subjective at best, and widely varies based on who you ask. A few core teams are probably a given but everyone will differ about the others and nobody agrees on how many kings there are or should be. In part, that’s because we all value the various metrics differently. Time has a great impact as well. Everyone gives more weight to certain eras than others.

        Some objective things I look at are W% and total wins (NC’s are so biased – see the totals for ND). I also consider reputation, in the conference and nationally.

        LSU’s numbers:
        WP = 0.643 (13th – top 8 are above 70%, next 2 above 68%)
        Ws = 720 (12th – top 8 are above 800, next 2 above 780)

        LSU fits in the top 15 all time, but I’d draw the line at 10 for the kings based on where there is a large gap in the distribution of teams.

        Past 100 Seasons
        WP = 0.642 (13th – top 9 are above 70%, next 1 above 69.9%)
        Ws = 657 (12th – top 10 are above 700, next 1 above 680)

        LSU trailed AL and TN and was almost equal to GA.

        Past 50 Seasons
        WP = 0.661 (16th – top 8 are above 72%, next 5 above 68%)
        Ws = 381 (17th – top 10 are above 400, next 2 above 390)

        LSU trailed AL, TN, FL, GA and AU.

        Past 19 Seasons – Current SEC setup
        WP = 0.660 (19th – top 10 are above 70%, next 7 above 68%)
        Ws = 154 (19th – top 7 are 170+, next 8 above 160)

        I think 2 factors keep LSU from being a king. One, they tend to be a little more cyclical in their success than the kings they want to join. Two, they aren’t really viewed as on par with the kings in their conference. AL’s success hurts LSU, as does the historical success of TN and the modern success at FL. If LSU keeps up their success from this decade, or if you only look at the past 10 years, then LSU should be on the kings list. Unfortunately for them, they’ve been unable to sustain this level of success in the past.

  93. Steve says:

    Buckeyes should “clean house”. Commentary on Ohio State situation by Mark Schlabach of ESPN.

  94. joe4psu says:

    [Expansion for the Big 12? Not even a consideration.]

    …“No, absolutely not,” Dodds said. “Not a thought, not a conversation, nothing. A better way to say this is I don’t think the Big 12 is going to start something. If somebody starts something, like the Big Ten did, then there may be some reaction to it or some fallout from it. I’ve heard no conversation about it.

    “We like the way it is. Dividing by 10 is better than dividing by 12, when you’re talking dollars. It’s pretty good the way it is. I think every A.D. likes the way it is.”

    [Playoffs on the other hand have much more support among ADs and coaches than I've ever heard before. Presidents? Not so much. Bebe sticks with the "we'll take our ball and go home" theory.]

    …Dodds said he thinks 80 percent of athletic directors and about 50 percent of football coaches would favor a college football playoff. The problem for playoff proponents is the opinion that matters most.

    “Presidents would be way, way below that (50 percent),” Dodds said.

    …“If you push us further, we’ll go back to the old system and negotiate with other conferences and bowls for our champions to play against each other.

  95. swesleyh says:

    Checking in

  96. Gus Johnson and Charles Davis will be calling the Big Ten Championship Game for Fox along with a ton of coverage on BTN:

    • duffman says:


      All this does raise an impotant issue come this fall. With the first of anything you hope for the biggest draw to sow the seeds for future games. While I can hope IU is in it, I can be objective enough to know the probability is low. No matter which 2 teams make it, a competitive game with a close score probably sows the best future seeds. After that what two teams are probably best to play each other in the game to create the best long term result?

      I was looking at the first SEC game between Florida (the new kid on the block) vs Alabama (the owner of the block) in a 21 – 28 game (and still the attendance leader after all these years). After almost 2 decades the Tide and Gators are still #1 and #2 in appearances. Florida still dominates eyeballs in the SEC, and the Alabama fanbase is still crazy loyal.

      The B12 had UNL vs UT in the initial game with a 27 – 37 final score. Since then it has been the OU / UNL / UT show. The double team of OU and UT in the south has meant the south has controlled the championship game. (the east / west in the SEC has been a bit more balanced). Point being that power teams probably help long term ratings and makes advertisers happy.

      If the game was played this past season it would have been Michigan State vs Wisconsin. What say you FtT readers would be the best “national media” matchup for the first game? (granted tOSU is still cloudy, but will not be the “sure bet” of the past)

      UNL vs PSU?
      Michigan vs Wisconsin?
      PSU vs Michigan?
      Indiana vs Minnesota ? ;)

      • John says:

        Not a Big Ten + 2 fan here, I’m a Big XII-2 guy.
        I’d say from a Nat’l prospective Wisconsin brings little. I like watching Big Ten + 2 football, but for some reason the Badgers have never brought as much pizzazz to the table as the other big dogs. I’d also rule OSU out b/c of their troubles. I’d say your best best would be:

        PSU v Michigan with PSU vs Bugeaters next in line.

      • Jake says:

        As a Big Ten outsider, I’d like to see Nebraska vs. either Ohio State or Michigan. Granted, those two may not be in line to win any conference titles, but that would be what I’d most like to watch. And I just realized Nebraska and Michigan are somehow in the same division, so forget that one. I guess Michigan-tOSU would be neat. I don’t care if it’s a rematch from a week earlier.

        I don’t feel anything for UNL-PSU. Seems like one of the old school BT teams should be in there, at least.

      • Brian says:

        The best national media games would be:

        1. OSU/MI part 2, especially if part 1 was close
        2. PSU/MI
        3. OSU/NE
        4. PSU/NE
        5. MI/WI

        OSU and MI are big draws, the historic backbone of the conference and the best rivalry is CFB. Both will have new coaches, too. JoePa is always a good story, and PSU and MI don’t play this year. NE is new to the B10, so it may not draw quite as well since it will still sound out of place, but OSU was an early game for them so it won’t feel like a repeat. WI is coming off a big year and doesn’t play MI, but WI isn’t a huge national name.

      • Bamatab says:

        As an SEC guy, 3 months ago I would’ve said the most intreging matchup from a national perspective would’ve been OSU vs UNL. It would’ve be the reigning king of the Big 10 vs the newly arrived heavy weight on the block. But now that OSU will probably be run through the mud for much of the rest of this year that may not bode well for the conference to have them in the game. With that said though I guess having a controversial OSU in the game would also get some major media hype as well. I guess PSU would also be a big draw also since it could possibly be JoePa’s last chance at winning the Big 10 which would be played out in the national media. But I guess it probably couldn’t get much bigger having an OSU/UNL Big10 chanpionship game from a national perspective.

        • greg says:

          Don’t look at OSU too much thru the prism of the current controversy. If their rookie 37-year-old former-player head coach leads them through the conference gauntlet after TPryor flees in the supplemental draft, it’d be a great story.

          I agree that OSU-UNL would be a heck of a draw.

      • Richard says:

        Wisconsin-Iowa. Then they get to continue their rivalry.

        NU-Illinois. OK, I’m being facetious here, but I do think rivalry games get an extra boost of attention.

        Nebraska-OSU (B10 newcomer vs. the premier B10 team over the past decade, even if tainted).
        All the other Nebraska/Michigan-OSU/PSU games since they all have good storylines if those teams get there.

  97. Jake says:

    Apparently, someone else wants to move the college baseball season:

    Would moving it back two months really level the playing field? It would be nice when the season started, but it would still be cold up north when teams were trying to practice.

    It sure would be nice to have something to fill that two-month gap between the college world series and the start of football season. And players could miss less class, so that’s a plus.

    • Gobux says:

      I love the idea of college baseball in the Summer!!!

      • Jake says:

        Being in Texas, I personally find the spring season rather pleasant. And not being a huge basketball fan, it’s nice to have a sport I care about starting up not too long after bowl season. Waiting over three months between football and baseball? Not sure I could handle it.

        Hopefully they’ll consider what’s best for the players and the sport if they make any moves. My guess is nothing will happen – the schools that are powerful and influential won’t want things to change. The Big Ten may have a lot of influence, but if the ACC, SEC, Pac 12 and the state of Texas decide they like the status quo, well, that’s hard to overcome.

        • duffman says:

          I actually like that college baseball is a spring sport and not a summer one.

          a) as a sping sport the student body can attend games
          b) weather is better – a day game mid summer is HOT HOT HOT
          c) college baseball is over before the pro races really get going

    • Brian says:

      Just as a comparison, Jake, how would you feel about TCU starting the season with 21 road games (including tournaments) over the first 6 weeks and 10 more road than home games total? OSU’s first home game was 3/29. You think maybe that’s a little uneven compared to southern schools?

      Starting 2 months later would certainly help level the playing field. The B10 needs to adjust their recruiting rules for baseball, too, but the schedule is a huge difference.

      • Jake says:

        I’m not saying I’m against moving the season, but I’m not in favor if the only reason is to help northern schools compete. TCU will never win a national title in skiing, but that’s what we get for being in Texas. As duffman pointed out, getting students at the game is a big part of college sports, and I don’t want to spoil a good thing for a possible gain in another area.

        • Brian says:

          I assume that is not an insurmountable problem if a southern coach is proposing it. I tend to agree with him that baseball feels like a summer sport and might do better then.

        • duffman says:


          I will come right out and say it. I would be opposed to moving the season by 2 months. It is not about competitive advantage or disadvantage. I have sat at a freezing cold game or two to watch a relative play. The bulk of the regular season of any college sport should be played when the bulk of the students are attending the university. Sure some of the students may be there for the wrong reasons, but at least they get exposure to the sport. While I may not see eye to eye, they are still kids and enjoying their youth.

          Heck, if you are going to move baseball why not move womens basketball to the summer. The WNBA has moved to this slot, so why not the college game. Hey, move men’s basketball! If march madness was fun, awesome august has just got to be better! (plus basketball can carry the summer fill time till fall football). Hey, summer hockey!!!! Hot as hades outdoors, come on in and watch a hockey game and enjoy our air conditioning.

          One thing I like about college baseball is that unlike pro baseball the season is shorter. I also like the system for advancing teams in the CWS. I also like that concessions and parking are more fan friendly than football or basketball. I think they have the 21 or junior to enter the draft rule (no one and done like in basketball). Sorry to get so defensive, but I actually go to college baseball games and like them just the way they are (even if early on there may be snow, and I am freezing my keister). ;)

          • Jake says:

            duffman – no, I love things the way they are. Works great for me. I have season tickets, even. In fact, I just got back from watching TCU crush Oral Roberts in the NCAA regional. But if something will benefit the sport in general even if it doesn’t work to my immediate advantage, I’m willing to look at that. And I’m not sure that moving the season accomplishes that. It’s a definite blow to the established programs in the sunbelt region (i.e. half the country), while offering only a theoretical advantage to the sport by helping the midwest/northeastern teams. They might get better, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll suddenly become more popular. And then you would definitely kill the summer leagues and probably make college baseball less appealing to top prospects coming out of high school.

          • duffman says:


            Sometimes I get cranky when single sports think they are the top dog. The fact of modern sports overlapping each other just for the sake of added dates to generate more revenue is the bad side of things. I have been on record for a college basketball tournament that uses a CWS format and drops well below the current 68 teams. I still feel you can determine a MNC in college football with no more than 4 teams in a playoff. Pro hockey, basketball, and baseball have way too many dates for the average guy to attend all the home games. Way too many teams get to play post season which cheapens the regular season. *hops off soapbox*

            I think you are correct that it will not help the sport overall. If suddenly NU and IL baseball are going head to head for press and airtime with the Cubs and Sox, I am guessing that will not end well for the college programs. In the south it is football then baseball, where in the north I think hockey holds enough sway to edge out baseball for fan interest and dollars. I think you hit the nail on the head by making the “better” vs “popular” observation. I really like the JR / 21 rules in college baseball that I wish college basketball would adopt. College should be about education and not sports. When my dad played he got the education and no cars or perks. In my generation there were free meals and some comps, but it was still a team sport where the coach was law, and players were not demanding. The “greed is good” of the 80’s and free agency did more to damage college sports than anything I can think of.

            I try to imagine some coach from the 50’s or 60’s recruiting now where they have to deal with some teenage kids ego and inflated sense of self worth and “whats in it for me” attitude. When you let kids run the store, it should come as no surprise when the business gets run into the ground. I come from an era when getting a free education at a good school was considered a huge opportunity for the kid playing ball that came from modest means. Considering what some of the “free educations” are worth today (nice houses are cheaper than a college education now) I am always amazed that these kids still feel they are “entitled” to more.

          • Richard says:


            Are you referring to college sports, only? If so, basketball is the clear #2 (and sometimes above football) in the north. Judging by attendance, hockey isn’t even in the same league as the more popular basketball programs outside of Madison and maybe parts of Minnesota & Michigan.

          • duffman says:


            the issue was not really about basketball or football. It was to point out that one region might favor baseball (like texas) and not hockey. How many B12 or SEC have college ice hockey teams vs how many schools have baseball. Based on the Frozen Four, the B1G or the east coast corridor schools have a higher probability of having an ice hockey team. As the original thread was about moving college baseball from the spring to the summer I was trying to get a handle on shifts in scholarship demands as one goes to schools in colder climates. With PSU putting down big money for their ice hockey program, I have a hard time seeing a team like Texas Tech doing a similar move.

  98. Nostradamus says:

    Per Slive talking with the media today, the 2010-2011 SEC distribution will be $234 million ($19.5 million per school) up 12% from last year’s $209 million. He also apparently reiterated his look-in comments about their television contracts as well.

  99. Brian says:

    Andy Staples lists the 20 most desirable head coaching jobs:

    1-10: TX, OSU, OU, FL, GA, LSU, AL, PSU, AU, OR
    11-20: USC, MI, ND, FSU, NE, TN, VT, ASU, AZ, OkSU

    • greg says:

      ArizSU? OkSU? He lost me there.

      • Brian says:

        ASU has a great location to recruit to, and a sizable population base. The bump in P12 money helps, too.

        OkSU has T. Boone Pickens funding them and more soft B12 N teams to play now so they can get more wins (and no CCG).

        • Richard says:

          Arizona has about as many people as Mass., Washington, Indiana, Tenn., & Missouri and it’s not like they produce a higher amount of top football talent per capita out west either (the rate is similar to B10 country).

          To address Staple’s list, I’d quibble about OkSt., but at least I can understand his theory that the money of Boone Pickens (who’s essentially a less sexy version of Phil Knight) can lift what would be an also-ran in to the big leagues. The Arizona schools, on the other hand, are unjustifiable. I would put UCLA, TAMU, and Miami above them. UCLA & TAMU are clearly second in their state/region, and Miami is a small private school, but they have several times the talent available to the AZ schools at their doorstep, and it’s not like either AZ school controls the state either. Heck, I’d put UNC, Clemson, SCarolina above the AZ schools as well since, while those schools also have to compete for talent within their state, they have more football talent within driving distance.

    • M says:

      Can’t disagree with too many of these. I think his line of thinking was something like “Top 6 SEC, the 9 non-SEC kings… and Oregon, they’re trendy. Crap I need 4 more. Whatever I’ll just toss in 4 others”

      The most interesting part of the list is that Miami didn’t make it.

    • Richard says:

      In general, I think Staples suffers from a recency bias. For instance, OU and Tennessee are actually very similar in that they are both schools with a great history, brand, and loads of passionate support who have relatively little talent within their home area and have to go out of state (not far, but still out of state) to compete with heavyweights with just as great a brand but sitting on motherlodes of talent for recruits. I have a feeling that if he had drawn up his list after the 1998 season, OU and Tennessee would have exchanged places, yet intrinsically, nothing’s really changed since then except Bob Stoops is at OU and an in-prime Phil Fulmer isn’t at UT.

      Likewise, PSU really should be at least level with OSU. Yes, OSU has oodles of money and a talent base, but PSU is plenty rich as well, and they are the premier brand in an area that contains nearly a quarter of the whole country’s population. Granted, large parts of the northeast care little about football, but NJ, Maryland, & DC (as well as large parts of PA) are just as talent rich as SEC country. I think, once both Tressel & JoePa both leave, we’ll see that the SweaterVest overacheived and The Ancient One underacheived towards the end of his run.

      If I was drawing up a list, I’d order it like this (by tiers):
      1. Texas
      2. UF, ‘Bama, LSU, UGa
      3. PSU, OSU, USC, FSU
      4. OU, UTenn, UMich
      5. ND, UNL
      6. Miami, UCLA, TAMU
      7. Oregon, OkSt.

      *Auburn’s a tough one; great talent all around them & decent brand/history, but clearly second in their state and their state is small. It’s the school where you’d get the greatest bang for your buck if you’re inclined to, ahem, spread the wealth around. How to order the 5, 6, & 7 tiers is also difficult. The 5 schools have the brands & history but are far from recruits. The 6 schools are sitting on tons of talent but have distinct drawbacks (Miami’s a small private school; UCLA & TAMU are clearly second-choice in their region). The 7 schools have Daddy Warbucks. The 4 schools are similar to the 5 schools in having a great brand/history, but sit closer to talent.

      VTech isn’t on the list because without Beamer, they’re WVU.

      • Gopher86 says:

        I think a recency bias is apt. When an institution has well-paved in-roads to the surrounding recruiting territory, it makes for a soft landing when there is a coaching change over. Kiffin sewed salt before he left for USC and rebuilding those relationships is going to take time. Stoops has been able to build relationships with the same coaches over the last decade.

        All things being equal, if you were going to go into one of these situations, which would it be?

  100. Brian says:

    The B12 is going to much more even revenue distribution. They used to split 57% equally, and now they’ll split 76% equally. Combined with the new TV deal that made this possible, ISU (and Baylor, KSU and KS) just made a whole lot of money.

    • ccrider55 says:

      “The B12 is going to much more even revenue distribution”
      Or put another way, not as uneven distribution as before of those revenues. not counting the Longhorn Network, whatever network OU/aTm develop, etc. Lipstick on a….

      Glad the little ones are getting a bit more but lets not pretend they are now getting adult servings.

      • Brian says:

        I’d say 76% of a much bigger pie is a great improvement on 57% of a small pie.

        • ccrider55 says:

          Leaving aside that reducing the level of uneven sharing, even of a growing pie (and not considering that the kings have other pies), is still only lessening the slight that the lessers feel, what is the motivation for UT to allow this? Surely not their largess. Perhaps this amount was necessary to reach the number that aTm required? Reducing concerns of further poaching?

          • Brian says:

            Why was it 57% before?

            Maybe UT bought an end to complaining knowing that they won’t miss money they never had. Maybe it’s related to the number of televised games with fewer teams and how often they will each be on anyway. Maybe it helped certain schools meet certain financial milestones.

          • Gopher86 says:

            A decent school that can add 8-9 games to your media inventory is worth more these days. Even Snow White needed the seven dwarfs.

      • Bullet says:

        Could have been a little peer pressure. Previously ACC was =, B1G nearly =, SEC = on the 1st and 2nd tier while BE and PAC were considerably more unequal than Big 12. Now PAC is = and BE is talking about more = distributions.

        May have also had a little to do with the amount of $ and the change in the power structure. The Big 12 had 7 haves and 5 have nots. Now its 5 and 5 (UT/OU/AM/MU/KU vs. ISU/BU/KSU/TT/OSU). And the two “haves” who left were the ones under the most revenue pressure. CU was in trouble and UNL cut several sports just a couple years ago.

  101. wmtiger says:

    I’ve seen estimates between $212 and $240mil for the B10 television payouts; divided with only 11 teams but soon to be 12. I believe the upper figures represent bowl payouts in addition to tv payouts… SEC today claimed $220mil in tv revenue; average of $18.3mil each…

    Pac 12 just negotiated a $250mil AVERAGE revenue over the course of its new tv contract, not including the revenue/expenses of its future Pac 12 Network which isn’t likely to be the boon to the same degree as the BTN.

    • Nostradamus says:

      Your math is a little off. That $220 million is more than television revenue. The following link breaks down the money in greater detail.

      The Big Ten is estimated (based on the Michigan regents 6/10 presentation) to be at $22.2 million for the same time period or $244 million overall. So the proper comparision is probably $244 million vs. $234 million (SEC + the bowl money that was distributed separately), or $22.2 million vs. $19.5 million.

      • Brian says:

        From the line item budget for OSU football:
        TV revenue was $10.7M in ’10-’11 and should be $11.4M in ’11-’12

        The SEC reported $113M from FB TV, or $9.4M per team, for ’10-’11.

      • wmtiger says:

        Its not my math, the figures above (except for the B10’s $240mil figure) were taken from sources who reported them as TV revenue while the Pac 10 figures include 3rd tier media rights…

        The only math I’m unsure of is the differences between some sources of the B10 TV revenue; which like I said in the previous post varies from $212mil (which is guaranteed) up to $240mil according to other sources.

        • Nostradamus says:

          If we are looking at just conference media revenue in 2009-2010 the SEC made $153.3 million. Over the same period the Big Ten earned approximately $163.9 million.

  102. Brian says:

    The SEC will reduce classes to 25 and get some conference oversight of medical hardship cases. Grad students will be banned from transferring in to play without sitting for 1 year. Plus, hoops got rid of divisions. That’s a productive set of meetings.

  103. Pat says:

    One Year Later: Big-12 Missile Crisis Revisited.
    Good synopsis of events from last June by Chip Brown who seemed to have a direct pipeline to Texas for breaking news. Didn’t know the Big-10 had agreed to Notre Dame’s request to cap it’s expansion at twelve schools if Notre Dame joined the conference. Was ND closer to joining the Big-10 than most of us realized?

    • Richard says:

      If the option of joining the B12 was enough to keep ND from joining the B10, then how committed a member would they be? What would keep them from going independent again or joining another conference if they thought the money would be better? I’m glad the B10 took UNL and don’t want ND if they don’t want to be here.

      • frug says:

        The best leverage would be to do what Larry Scott did in the PAC-12; require them to sign over all their TV rights to the conference for 10 years. (Scott actually required the schools to sign over all their media rights). Anyways, by that point ND would be so connected to the Big 10 it would be nearly impossible to break away.

    • John says:

      Good write up from St Louis Post Dispatch with comments regarding the new revenue distribution…