You Down with SEC? Yeah, You Know Me!

Posted: August 12, 2011 in Big Ten, College Basketball, College Football, Illinois Fighting Illini, Sports
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Well, I strive on this blog to be 100% right approximately 1% of the time.  I’ll have to co-sign this column by Stewart Mandel: it’s looking more and more like I was wrong about the Texas A&M to the SEC rumors (as he also admitted), but it still doesn’t quite make sense to either of us from a rational perspective.  Up until literally a few hours ago, it has all looked like completely fan-based chatter.  I’m honestly taken aback that it now appears that the SEC university presidents are going to meet on Sunday to discuss an A&M invite and the school’s Board of Regents will follow up with a meeting on Monday.  (We’ll address various rumors regarding schools like Florida State, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma and Missouri if necessary if something actually happens next week.)  I’ve always understood why Texas A&M fans wanted to go to the SEC and frankly, never disputed that it would be a good move for them.  The SEC is absolutely a superior conference to the Big 12 (both competitively and financially) and any Longhorns that think A&M wouldn’t benefit from moving are being disingenuous.  That’s the whole reason why that I argued in my last post that it would be UT people more than those from Baylor or Texas Tech that would work to block such a move.  I certainly understand the resentment/anger factor, as well.  As an Illinois alum, I’m still envious of Michigan’s central connection to the The Big Chill, which is a landmark achievement in the history of white people dancing.  Despite some interesting comments from various A&M factions about my loyalties or biases, I personally have nothing against the Aggies at all.

That being said, I share Mandel’s befuddlement about what’s in it for the SEC (although for slightly different reasons).  Let me be clear: my opinion has nothing to do about the value of Texas A&M itself.  As I’ve stated many times before, Texas A&M is extremely valuable and I could see why the SEC would want them in a vacuum where there is no domino effect on the rest of the college football landscape or there’s a clean slate in terms of TV contracts.  However, there’s a fairly good chance that we’ll see significant domino effects if this move occurs and, more importantly, it continues to be unclear to me how the SEC can monetize expansion with the length of its current TV contracts with ESPN and CBS.  Dennis Dodd yesterday stated that all conferences have a “look-in” provision that Mike Slive had described, so it’s not as if though that the SEC has some unique terms here where they get to expand at will in a manner that other conferences aren’t able to do.  At the very least, it’s not as easy as “expansion = look-in trigger = more $$$”, or else we’d see conferences expand every single time that their own TV contracts fell behind by a little bit.  To paraphrase a wise little green dude, that leads to fear, and fear leads to anger, and anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering.  To the extent that the SEC can open up its current TV contracts by expanding, every other conference can do it, too.  If it’s that “easy”, then the conference with the most incentive to expand is the ACC considering that the deal that they signed last year is looking quite outdated and could get outpaced by the Big East next year if the status quo holds.  It’s for those reasons why conferences only have a “look-in” when they expand, but networks have an explicit termination right in the event of conference contraction.

From a long-term perspective, Texas A&M certainly adds a ton of value to the SEC.  The Aggies have a rabid fan base and truly bring in the entire state of Texas as a market.  The recruiting benefits are also unquestioned.  Still, I still haven’t hard anyone explain how the SEC is going to cajole ESPN and CBS to throw more money around when their TV contracts last until the mid-2020s.  It’s one thing for those networks to maintain a good working relationship with the SEC, but entirely another to have to throw hundreds of millions of more at contracts that are locked-in for over a decade. Maybe ESPN and CBS could ensure that the SEC schools still get the same per-school share (so the current SEC members end up being revenue neutral), but those two networks, who have dealt with much larger entities like the NFL, aren’t simply going to be pushovers and provide some type of massive financial incentive that would encourage expansion.

I also know that a lot of readers believe that I overemphasize state politics, but I’ll continue to disagree on front.  Texas A&M might procedurally be able to get around Texas politicians by approving the move to the SEC on Monday in a year when the legislature is not in session.  (And I thought Illinois legislators were lazy! We’ll still take down anyone in blatant corruption, though.)  However, as a practical matter, the A&M Board of Regents are going to have to work with these legislators in the long-term, so it’s not as if though they can just ignore them.  Besides, if I’m a state legislator, do you think I want to put out more sound bites about crushing budget deficits, ignoring entitlement/pension reform and and failing to cure stagnant job growth?  Fuck that shit.  I’d be all over talking about college football like white on rice under any possible tangential hook.  (The federal guys in Washington certainly do it regularly when they complain about the BCS.)  Maybe it’s a moot point and the Aggies know that they have the requisite political support, but that’s to be determined in the maybe-too-late Texas House Higher Education Committee meeting that’s supposed to take place on Tuesday.

Last year, the entire world was convinced that the Pac-16 was a “done deal” on a Friday without any doubt in anyone’s mind, but after a weekend of rampant discussions, it ended up collapsing within a few days.  In conference realignment discussions, absolutely nothing is a done deal until you see an announcement with both the inviter and the invitee at a press conference with signed paperwork.  This goes double in the case of public universities located in the state of Texas.  Also note that Tony Barnhart (about as plugged-in with Mike Slive as anyone) and Mr. SEC seem to intimate that it’s not necessarily full speed ahead from the SEC side with a lot more smoke coming from College Station as opposed to Birmingham.

So, while it looks there’s a good chance that I’m going to be eating some crow with a Texas A&M move to the SEC, let’s just wait to see if we get some Stevie Wonder signed/sealed/delivered action on Monday.  After that, we can get back to doing what we do best here: engaging in rampant completely unsubstantiated speculation!

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

(Image from Mr SEC)

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Comments
  1. Bubba says:

    Buckeyes #1

  2. Rick says:

    Add. GBR

  3. Penn State Danny says:

    After all of these years the dam might break. Game on!

    First?

  4. MIKEUM says:

    A lot can still go wrong here, true. Nevertheless, I think there is a lot more traction this time around rather than last year’s shocker offer from the Pac. I think having the Gov as an alum does/did or will help this happen

  5. Richard says:

    New post, so I’ll repost this here:

    OK, the wheels in my head started spinning when I read in one of the articles above the following quote:
    “The possibility of being left out if FSU bolts the ACC has the Hurricanes, “scared to death,” said a source.”

    So if FSU is taken to complement TAMU in the 14-team SEC, you can be sure that Shalala (who was chancellor at Wisconsin before) would start working the phones in B10 country (if she hasn’t already). I don’t think the B10 would take Miami by itself, but could it be a way to reel in ND and Texas?

    Say they do (and Texas gets to bring along Baylor/Rice). You could see pods like this:

    NW
    Nebraska
    Wisconsin
    Iowa
    Minny

    SW
    Texas
    Baylor
    Illinois
    Northwestern

    SE
    ND
    Miami
    PU
    IU

    NE
    Michigan
    OSU
    PSU
    MSU

    Say Texas and OU still continue the RRR & Texas plays all OOC games in Texas. Texas would play 4 conference games outside of Texas, 3 of them in cold-weather states some years (when they visit Miami). That compares with 2.5 conference games outside Texas now (2 in cold weather states. Is an extra 1-2 games outside Texas and/or in cold weather states going to affect Texas recruiting?

    Now what about ND’s national schedule?
    Well, in this set up, they play Miami and a Texas school every year (as well as USC & Navy every year, and let’s say they rotate between BC & Stanford).
    Plus, I think IU would be willing to move their home games against ND to southern/eastern locales half or more of the time.

    They’d visit Midwestern schools 3.25 times (though if IU is willing to move their home sites to the south, that’s knocked down to 2.75 times.
    Eastern schools 1 time
    Western schools .75 times
    Southern schools 1 time (1.5 times if IU makes their home games in the south).

    That’s Midwest-centric, but where does ND play now?
    From this website, from 2011-16, ND will on average play in
    MW: 1.67
    East: 1.67
    West: 1.5
    South: .83

    It’s a shift, but not a big one. In fact, ND would play more often in the south even if IU doesn’t move their home games (and if IU is willing to move some home games east, the biggest shift is that ND would stop visiting the mountain west (BYU & AF) and visit the plains a bit further east instead (UNL, Iowa, Minny).

    So why would Texas go for this (join the B10)? I have to say that I don’t think they would unless
    1. OU & OkSt. bolt for the Pac or SEC
    2. The Pac is not going to be flexible about the LHN while the B10 is.
    Why would that be? Because the Pac is more unbalanced than the B10. If Texas can get away with the LHN, USC would want its own network as well as the Pac essentially has only one superpower right now. The B10 is secure enough and has enough superpowers so the big dogs see value in pooling their resources and gains.

    Would ND join, in that case? Touch-and-go, I think. ND may stay independent. However, they won’t be joining a weakened ACC or fly their non revenue sport teams to the west coast as rich2 may want.

    Even without ND, would Texas+Baylor+Miami+GTech/Rice work and be worth it?

    • vp19 says:

      Rice and Baylor in a league with Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin et al. Yeah, right.

      • Richard says:

        Rice Baylor
        Well, OK, maybe Rice and Baylor if Delany gets desperate.

        • Jake says:

          Ahem. If you’re looking for a Texas private school, there’s a better option than either of those. And of course, the “Tech Problem” remains.

          • Richard says:

            True Jake. I forgot SMU. :)

            Seriously, regarding the “Tech” problem, Texas would not be on the hook this time as it would be TAMU causing the breakup. Still, the OK schools + TTech & Texas to the “desert” division of the Pac is the other major option of Mizzou goes.

    • Brian says:

      Here was my last reply to this on the other page, edited to skip the corrections:

      I think a lot of teams would have an issue with your pods. UT doesn’t want NW and IL annually, ND doesn’t want IN and to lose annual MI and MSU games, the SE pod doesn’t want to be that much stronger than others, IN doesn’t want to lose OSU, etc.

      Maybe this:
      N – ND, MI, MSU, IL – 2 kings, 1 tradesman, 1 peasant
      E – OSU, PSU, IN, PU – 2 kings, 2 peasants
      W – NE, WI, IA, MN – 1 king, 2 princes, 1 peasant
      S – UT, Miami, Baylor, NW – 1 king, 1 prince, 1 tradesman, 1 peasant

      It would require locking OSU/MI and IL/NW, but not much else. People play the local teams for the most part, and every pod has some strength.

      • Richard says:

        Here’s my reply:

        While I can see UofI and NU playing OOC, UM and OSU both need to play 7 home games, and playing each other OOC would mean very few marquee OOC games. Plus, would the respective fanbases stand for their game having no meaning in the B10 standings?

        In any case, I see both MSU and Michigan playing ND only 4 times in 6 years even with no expansion once the Big10 goes to 9 conference games.

        • Brian says:

          I said OSU/MI would have to be locked for a reason. They won’t play OOC. The schedulers will have to deal with it. 33% of the time their pods will be grouped. The other 67% there is a 25% chance that they would be on the rotation, for a total of 17% chance they’d be schedule. That means 50% of the time the standard schedule would be OK. The other 50%, OSU and MI would be locked and they would rotate through the other teams more slowly.

          ND will play MI and MSU less in the current scheme, sure, but if they have to go in a pod they either want all national brands (UT, Miami & PSU, for example) or familiar faces from the midwest (MI, MSU, PU). They don’t want or need annual games locked with IN.

          If you do pods, they have to be balanced. To do that and preserve rivals is tough.

          I think ND would to play UT, Miami, PSU, MI, MSU, PU, OSU, NE and NW in about that order. I don’t think they have as much interest in WI, IA, MN, IL, IN and Baylor. UT would want many of the same teams, plus Baylor. The same for Miami. It’s too many new faces too soon to work out well.

          • Richard says:

            I would put PU higher simply because they’ve played annually without breaks since the end of WWII while the Michigan and MSU series have had breaks. Something makes ND value their PU series.

    • Mac says:

      A long post to describe something the would never happen in a million years. Jim Delaney has spent the better part of a year explaining why the Big Ten won’t partake in any Texas-level shenanigans.

  6. Steve on the Bayou says:

    Texans take football seriously and realize politicians are a joke. Only a stupid pol jacks with football.

  7. M says:

    And I was enjoying my inbox being flooded with “Why Angry Aggies Aren’t Enough to Move A&M to the SEC”-labelled messages that contained more and more evidence that angry Aggies actually are enough to move A&M to the SEC…

    Seriously though, I’m with Frank (and Mandel) on this one. I did not expect this to happen, especially in August (18 months before the earliest possible start date). Slive said he didn’t want conferenceaggedon and now he’s pulling the pin.

  8. Eric says:

    Frank I agreed with everything you said and was making similar arguments. I’m still most shocked about this from an ESPN perspective if this gets through (and I think it’s going to). I just didn’t think they could get around that easily if at all.

    General question: Do you guys think Texas and Texas A&M will keep playing if the Aggies go to the SEC. I’m guessing the series ends which will be sad.

  9. This is a completely separate issue, but might actually be even more important in the long run: a majority of the Big Ten and Pac-12 ADs have come to a consensus to support a seeded plus-one BCS system:

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/collegesports/2015896289_proposal13.html

    http://eye-on-collegefootball.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/24156338/31289595

    Not sure if the university presidents will agree, yet getting even the ADs of those leagues to consider it is fairly significant.

    • Richard says:

      4-team playoff is coming.

    • Eric says:

      Absolutely hate that! I’d rather drop the BCS and go back to poll and bowl than go to a playoff.

      And keeping the Rose Bowl out to hold onto the Big Ten vs. PAC-12 isn’t going to work out very often. How often are both the Big Ten and PAC-12 champs not going to be in the top 4 (probably top 4 conference champs).

      • Richard says:

        ??? Actually, it’ll mean that the second-place B10 & Pac teams will play in the Rose Bowl often. The two conferences would not mind at all.

    • Brian says:

      Tobe clear for those who don’t read the articles, another BCS bowl would be added (probably Cotton) and the top 4 would be seeded for semi-finals in rotating BCS bowls. The Rose would not host semis, but would get to keep B10/P12 and still be a rotating host for the NCG.

      What isn’t addressed:

      Does the limit of 2 teams become 3 with the 2 extra slots? What happens if the B10 or P12 champs are in the semis? Does the Rose automatically get a replacement from that conference? Is there a cutoff rank? What about the other bowls? Do their tie-ins carryover to a replacement? Is anybody tied to the Cotton? What if the B12 goes away?

      • Richard says:

        1. I think all tie-ins besides the Rose may go away.

        2. An easy way to ensure that the Rose gets to choose a B10 & Pac team is to always give it first choice of teams after the 4 playoff teams are seeded (which would be fair since they never get to host a semifinal).

        3. If the B10 and Pac champs both make the playoffs, the Rose would choose the second place teams (really, the teams that it wants) from those 2 conferences.

        The B10 and Pac would like this arrangement. Would the SEC complain? Maybe they’d allow 3 teams from a conference (as you predict) to go to a BCS bowl to mollify the southerners.

        However, there wouldn’t 2 more slots; still 10 BCS teams.

      • Eric says:

        I would think the replacement rules would be pretty similar to now except a little looser (still 10 teams in and probably all the automatics still). Only switch might be to let the Rose drop the having to take a non-AQ once.

        I am not sure about other tie-ins. They might still be in place when the bowls aren’t national semi-finals.

        I wonder why the Cotton would be thrown in the championship rotation though. I think one concession to the existing BCS bowls would be to let them keep the 4 year rotation and let the Cotton be satisfied with moving up.

      • Eric says:

        Other thought: Would you take the top 4 or top 4 conference champions? If you take the top 4 overall, you’d have 2 from one conference a lot of years (especially the SEC).

        • Richard says:

          Top 4 overall. It’s ridiculous otherwise. What if 3 of the 4 best teams in the country actually do reside in one conference that year? Why should they be excluded for a conference champ that is ranked #15 (or unranked, which is very possible with all top conferences besides the B12 holding a conference title game now)?

          • @Richard – Yeah, I sympathize with the notion of having the top 4 conference champs play each other, but since the BCS has never required the top 2 in the rankings to be in separate conferences for the championship game, then there’s no way they’d impose that rule on the top 4.

          • Eric says:

            Because we want the regular season to matter. Why should we be declaring someone who can’t be called conference champ the national champ?

            Personally, I think it’s already ridicious that we can have one team with a better record beat an opponent, have a better record, and then have to play them in the CCG to be declared conference champ.

          • Richard says:

            Eric:

            So how does the regular season matter if an 8-4 team that wins it’s division wins 3 straight upsets in a row to become national champions?

            Why does an NCAA champion have to be a conference champion in football? That isn’t the case with any other NCAA sport.

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            That 8-4 team wouldn’t make the top 4. They’d get a BCS spot but not in the semis.

            I agree that teams that don’t win their conference shouldn’t be eligible for the Football Four. If you aren’t the best in your conference, which was the majority of your schedule, then you don’t deserve it. Go play the BE champ in a BCS bowl and like it.

            The top 4 conference champs or independents should make the Football Four. That’s not what will happen, but it’s what should happen.

          • Richard says:

            9-3, then, Brian.

            So Brian, say you have Team A, who goes 12-1, losing in their conference championship game to the other unbeaten team in the land. They are in what is considered the hardest conference in the country (by Sagarin ratings, whatever).

            Team B goes 10-3, plays in the third hardest conference in the country, doesn’t end up with the most wins in its conference, but wins it’s conference title game and is the 4th highest conference champ.

            Oh, and Team A drubbed Team B 49-7 in an OOC game earlier in the season.

            You’re saying that Team B is more deserving of getting a shot at being national champion than Team A.

            Why, exactly should Team B winning its conference by whatever silly measure it’s conference sets trump head-to-head results?

          • Eric says:

            Personally I’m saying that neither the team that lost it’s ccg or the team that was 9-3 deserves a chance for the national title, which is why I oppose an expanded playoff at all. Since we are forced to choose and since I’d rather keep more attention on the regular season and winning your conference, I’d choose putting the 9-3 team in if its a conference champ.

          • Richard says:

            Eric:

            Ironically, you’d make all OOC games meaningless preseason games, then. Not sure how that enhances the value of the regular season.

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            A 3 loss team would barely make the top 10. That’s why your scenario is so bad. The worst team in the top 4 would be 10-2 at worst. Even in crazy 2007, the top 3 loss team in the final regular season AP poll was #9 UF with LSU and GA ahead of them.

            Past BCS years:
            2010 – UConn had 4 losses
            2008 – VT had 4 losses
            2007 – 4 champs had 2 losses
            2005 – FSU had 4 losses
            2004 – Pitt had 3 losses
            2003 – KSU had 3 losses
            2002 – FSU had 4 losses
            2001 – LSU had 3 losses
            2000 – Purdue had 3 losses
            1999 – Stanford had 3 losses
            1998 – Syracuse had 3 losses

            In 13 years, no 3 loss team has come near the top 4 and it won’t happen now either.

            The rest of your scenario:

            “So Brian, say you have Team A, who goes 12-1, losing in their conference championship game to the other unbeaten team in the land. They are in what is considered the hardest conference in the country (by Sagarin ratings, whatever).

            Team B goes 10-3, plays in the third hardest conference in the country, doesn’t end up with the most wins in its conference, but wins it’s conference title game and is the 4th highest conference champ.

            Oh, and Team A drubbed Team B 49-7 in an OOC game earlier in the season.

            You’re saying that Team B is more deserving of getting a shot at being national champion than Team A.”

            Yes, I am. Especially since B would have to be 11-2 at worst to make the Football Four. That means they went 10-2, with 1 loss to 12-1 A, and then won their CCG. If A didn’t win their CCG, they aren’t the best team in their conference according to their own conference. They certainly aren’t NC worthy to me with several other 0 or 1 loss conference champs available.

            You asked:

            “Why, exactly should Team B winning its conference by whatever silly measure it’s conference sets trump head-to-head results?”

            Because A agreed to the rules to determine the best team in the conference. Why should Team A get another shot at the team that beat them in the CCG?

          • Richard says:

            Uh, Brian, if you take only the top 4 conference winners, they don’t have to be anywhere near the top 4 to make the playoffs. That was my point.

            In any case, say 11-2 conference winner Team D already got drubbed by conference winner team C 56-7 in an OOC game. Why shouldn’t 12-1 Team A get another shot at Team C when Team D gets that opportunity?

          • Richard says:

            I would say, however, that the non-AQs would love your setup. TCU in 2010, Cincy & TCU in 2009, Utah in 2008, Utah in 2004.

            Irony: In 2005, #6 ND would have gotten in over #4 OSU (OSU actually beat ND that year in the bowl game).

          • kylepitt says:

            C’mon now. Always putting down the Big East…

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            The BCS has never had a year with 2 conference champs with 3 losses. For your scenario, all but at most 3 of the ACC, BE, B10, B12, P12, SEC, MWC, WAC, CUSA, MAC and SB champs, plus ND, BYU, Army and Navy would all have to have 3 losses. That’s 11 conference champs plus 4 independents, or 15 total teams. How often do you expect at least 12 of those 15 to have 3 losses or more?

            Unless that really seems probable, you’re just fear-mongering to make your position sound better.

            You’ll get no sympathy from me for a 12-1 team passed over for a 11-2 conference champ (or 10-2 for some conferences and independents).

          • bullet says:

            And you still have tiebreaks. 2008 OU was 1st in the BCS, Texas 3rd. Both teams 11-1 regular season, Texas beat OU by 10 but lost at Tech (also 11-1) on a last 2nd TD who lost badly at OU. OU won the tiebreak which was the BCS-higher poll and higher computer rankings. Then OU lost to Florida by 10 in the BCS championship game.

            Big 8 had one year with the top 3 teams in the country in the final polls (71 or 72).

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            In these days of limited intersectional games, I’d take the B12′s word for who their best team is and go from there. Especially in a case like 2008 where the issue was conference losses, the conference champ is the only one that should play for the title.

            What 2008 showed is that the 2 team limit is fundamentally flawed and should be bumped to 3, perhaps with limited payment and/or the loss of a future at-large bid.

          • Adam says:

            There is no logical reason to limit it to conference champions. Conference championships are determined only on the basis of conference games. The national championship (or, the participants in a 4-team playoff) should be based on the outcome of all games. There is no inherent reason why the team that was superlative over the 75% of the schedule that was conference games is the same team that was superlative over 100% of the schedule.

          • Eric says:

            Richard,

            Conference races have always been the heart and sole of the season. Non-conference games would still matter to the extent that you have to be one the top 4 conference champions and not just a conference champion which is more difficult with a conference loss.

            Again, I don’t like the result, but I like it better than taking teams that don’t win their own conference and calling them national champs (I know this is regularly done in other sports, still don’t like it for college football).

    • Bamatab says:

      The SEC (Slive) has been in favor of this for some time, but couldn’t get the B1G or the Pac 10 to back them. I just hope they leave it at a plus one (actually a 4 team playoff to be more percise), and don’t try to create some crazy 16 team playoff or something.

    • bullet says:

      I’ll agree with you again. THAT is the big news of the day. I didn’t think B10 and P12 would go for it this round. I thought it might even be possible the rest of the conferences went for it at some point w/o P12 and B10 as they did with the BCS predecessor.

      Maybe the SEC is triggering this for 5 conferences of 14 and an 8 team playoff now or next time.

    • joe4psu says:

      I just had a crazy thought. Could the SEC’s making this move and the news that the Pac-12 and B1G are leaning toward a plus-one be related? The SEC was in favor of the plus-one a few years ago so the Pac-12 and B1G give them that for the SEC starting the expansion dominoes falling.

      Expansion was going to happen eventually but neither the Pac-12 or B1G had a way to leverage UT and force them to make a decision. The SEC taking A&M sets up the B12 for dismantling but doesn’t force it’s collapse. And that is a benefit to the long term expansion plans of the conferences. If there is no imminent danger to Texas schools, and it may even benefit one Texas school such as Houston, the legislature is much less likely to have a problem with the first move, A&M to the SEC.

      The long play here is keeping the B12 weak enough that it cannot survive another defection. When the time is right, say when the B1G’s contract expires, the Pac-12 and B1G make their play for UT.

      • joe4psu says:

        I posted this without seeing your post bullet. It sounds like we were thinking along the same line though. The B1G and Pac-12 give this to the SEC for their grabbing A&M.

        • jcfreder says:

          Love the 4-team playoff. This is always the type of playoff I thought would win out because it stays within the bowl system. I don’t see why you’d need to get rid of any tie-ins (other than the B12 would probably now want the Cotton): each bowl can still grab the tie-in conference teams when it is not in the playoff rotation.

          Also, of course you take the BCS top 4 rather than conference champions. You can’t risk a 3 or 4 loss team making it in (unless somehow their schedule is soooo difficult that it ends up in the top 4). Four teams is probably the best in terms of making sure each team with a legitimate claim makes it while not allowing a non-worthy team in the tournament.

          • Brian says:

            There is zero risk of a 3 or 4 loss champ in the top 4 champs. There are 11 conference champs and 4 independents, and all but 3 of them would have to lose 3 or more games. The BCS has never had more than 1 AQ champ with 3 losses. It is a strawman argument.

            I don’t mind that people disagree on who should be in, but where do you all get this ridiculous notion of 3 loss champs among the top 4 conference champs?

            Stop fear-mongering and argue your position by the merits.

          • jcfreder says:

            There haven’t been a ton of highly-ranked 3 loss conference champions because (1) there have been very few major conference seasons with 9 games since the BCS started. and (2) there might not be 6 “major conferences” by the time they go to a plus one. One can argue whether the Big East is a major conference as it is.

            Speaking of strawmen, why mention the fact that there are 11 conferences? The Sun Belt champ isn’t sniffing a 4-team tournament. If your plan is to take a 2-loss CUSA champ over a 3-loss SEC champ, it’s a flawed plan.

            Also, assuming that the BCS rankings would be used to determine whether an independent makes it into the top 4 for a playoff, how can you justify putting a #4 BCS Notre Dame into the tournament but leave out a #3 BCS Michigan who beat Notre Dame in non-conference but didn’t end up winning the B10 championship? If you use the BCS ranking for choosing which conference champions get in, and you’re willing to use the BCS for choosing which independents get in, then just use the BCS rankings period, no ban on non-champions.

          • Brian says:

            First, I’m allowing for the possibility of good teams in bad (or weaker) conferences. 12-0 Boise in the MWC would deserve a shot. 12-0 Houston in CUSA would, too. I’d take a 1 loss non-AQ champ over an AQ non-champ, too. I’d take a 2 loss AQ champ over a 1 loss non-champ.

            I never said conferences should use the BCS as a tiebreaker. If they do, that’s their problem. I don’t believe you can be the best team in the nation and not win your conference. It’s tautological for me.

            Moral of the story: Win your conference

          • Richard says:

            So Michigan can’t be the best team in the country if it doesn’t win the B10, but ND can be the best team in the country even though it loses to Michigan. How is that tautological?

            Also, you realize the incentives of your plan, don’t you? Texas could join the WAC and make the playoffs every year.

          • Brian says:

            As for 9 game schedules, the P10 never had a 3 loss champion in the 6 seasons so far (twice had 2 losses).

            The B12 CG had more upsets than most, and only had a 3 loss winner twice (1996 UT, 2003 KSU) in 15 years. The SEC CG produced one (2001 LSU) in 19 years.

            So while 9 game schedules and CCG can lead to more losses, it will be a strange confluence of events that leads to many 3 loss league champs in the same year (plus ND and BYU).

          • jcfreder says:

            I didn’t say a conference should use the BCS to determine their champion either. But even under your plan, you have to have some way to choose which of the 11 conference champions (and ND and Navy and Army and BYU) get into the 4-team tournament. If it’s not going to be the BCS, what are you going to use? Pure number of losses? That’s ridiculously arbitrary. Selection committee?

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “So Michigan can’t be the best team in the country if it doesn’t win the B10, but ND can be the best team in the country even though it loses to Michigan.”

            Exactly. Just like MI could be the best team in the country despite losing to ND. Nice to see you understand If you aren’t the best team in your subset, you can’t be the best of the whole set.

            And yes, I realize teams could try to join bad conferences. However, they’d sacrifice a lot of money to do it. How many schools would say it’s worth it? And how many teams could do it without others just filling up that conference, too?

          • jcfreder says:

            Regarding the number of 3-loss champions, keep in mind that the P10 has never played a 9-game schedule along with a championship game. Nor has the B10 ever played a championship game. The chance of a 3-loss conference champion goes up exponentially because the championship game allows for a weak division champion to win the whole thing.

            And of course, it is exceedingly easy for Notre Dame and BYU to both be out of the running. Also of course, it’s exceedingly easy for a CUSA or MWC champion to end up with only two losses overall. But noone wants them in the 4-team tournament.

          • Richard says:

            Brian:

            That’s only true if the selection criteria for determining winners of both the subsets and whole set are the same. If the selection criteria for, say, subsets of marbles is “size” but the selection criteria for the whole set of marbles is “weight”, then you most definitely could have a marble that finishes first among the whole set while not finishing first in a subset.

            As Adam pointed out, the selection criteria for national champion is naturally different for that of determining a conference champ, as one does (and should) take in to account OOC games while the other doesn’t (shouldn’t).

          • Richard says:

            What you’re saying, in other words, Brian, (when you use that subset example) is that because the ND-Michigan game has no bearing on the B10 title, it should also have no bearing on the national title. I’m sorry, but that logic is too stupid for me to accept.

          • Brian says:

            jcfreder,

            I wouldn’t use the current BCS standings system, no. An improved version, maybe. A committee would be nice in theory, but who can you choose that doesn’t have a dog in the fight? It’s a little easier to do the hoops bracket because so many teams get in, the bubble isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Choosing #4 versus #5 would be a lot of pressure. That’s the advantage of computers.

            I’d prefer a set of advanced computer polls all designed to consider different things (stats, scores, locations, weather, injuries, styles of play, etc) and weight them differently, too. I’d prefer the human element to be restricted since everyone carries so much inherent bias.

            In your example above, I justify letting in #4 ND but not #3 MI (who beat ND) because MI didn’t win their conference. I’d ask how did MI stay #3, since they must have lost the CCG (no 2 loss team would be #3). The only way MI only drops to #3 for losing the CCG is if the winner is #1. That means the undefeated B10 champ is already in the Football Four, and nobody deserves a chance at a rematch for the NC.

            2008 SEC CG – #2 UF beats #1 AL 31-20
            AL drops to #4 in the AP poll

            2009 SEC CG – #2 AL beats #1 UF 32-13
            UF drops to #5 in the AP poll

          • Brian says:

            jcfreder,

            I admitted that 9 games will increase losses, and so will the CCG on occasion. You need to provide some evidence if you’re going to claim that the odds of 3 loss champions goes up exponentially, though. Run some numbers based on past conference winning percentages and how often the 9th game will lead to an extra loss (remember to reduce the odds of losing OOC). Then figure out how often the winner had 2 losses already. Combine that with CCG odds of an upset, and give me some results. Until you have some approximation of that, you’re fear-mongering.

            With 8 game schedules, it happened 3 times in 34 seasons combined for the B12 and SEC with a CG. It has never happened in the just 6 years of a 9 game P10 schedule (too small of a sample to tell us much).

            It’s easy for plenty of teams to be out of the running. The key is they all have to be out of the running at the same time.

            If you’re asking me to choose between a 2 loss conference champ and a 1 loss conference non-champ, it’s no contest. There is no situation under which I would choose the non-champ. For them to still be highly ranked, then the team that beat them in the CCG is in the top 4 already. Nobody deserves 2 teams in the Football Four.

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            No, it’s not. It’s only true to you if the criteria are exactly the same. The conferences could use the whole season to determine their champion. That’s up to them. The Football Four doesn’t in any way dictate how they determine their champions. Once the conference picks a method, it’s stuck with the results. If MI is upset that it didn’t get in, it should discuss the procedure for determining the B10 champion with the other schools.

            The selection criteria isn’t naturally different, it is different by convention. Every conference could use BCS standings as their first choice rather than a late tiebreaker. They choose not to do so.

            I’m saying that the postseason shouldn’t care if that game impacted the race for the B10 title. It definitely has bearing on the national title race, though, as every loss generally lowers a teams ranking. Your example requires the B10 to have an undefeated champion already in the top 4. Why would MI deserve a second chance to beat them in the postseason versus another conference champion?

          • jcfreder says:

            Fear-mongering is a poor choice of words. I’m not saying that the sky is falling if you take only conference champions; I’m merely saying that it’s a better system if you allow non-champions because there is a decent chance that you end up with dogs as champions with a 9-game schedule and the CCG.

            And I don’t need to get out a calculator to show that the odds of a 3-loss champion are significantly greater in leagues that have adopted CCGs. It was difficult for the B10 champ under the old system to have 3 losses, because they took the #1 record out of 11 (actually they didn’t even do that, they used the stupid tiebreaker where a team got to go to the rose bowl if they hadn’t been there last). Now they’ll be adding a game and putting in a CCG. Putting the best of 6 vs. the best of 6. (and in which the non-conference losses don’t count.)

            You said that it happened 3 of 34 times in the B12 and SEC (with 8-game schedules, mind you, not the tougher 9-game). I see you left out the ACC. They’ve had a 3-loss champ two out of 6 years and a 2-loss champ every other season, with only an 8-game schedule.

            So thats 5 of 40. 12.5% with only an 8 game schedule. Now go to 9 games, blow up the B12 and BE, ending up with maybe only 4 or 5 superconferences.

            Under your system, I think Texas has no choice to be an independant, so it can avoid the onerous conference gauntlet and go to the tourney every year even if it has 2 losses.

            But in any event, your system is simply not going to be adopted. No major sport in the US limits participation to conference or division champions, not even the current BCS. If they go to a plus-one, you’ll be able to have 2 teams from the same conference get in, which makes sense seeing as sometimes the SEC has 2 of the best 4 teams in the country.

          • Brian says:

            jcfreder,

            The fear-mongering is all the supposed examples of elite non-champs being left out in favor of 3 or 4 loss champs, and saying the odds of 3 loss champs goes up exponentially. Exponential growth is a very specific thing, like cells dividing repeatedly (2, 4, 8, 16, etc):

            x(t) = a * b^(t/T)

            and it grows very fast once it kicks up. I said the odds of a 3 loss champ would increase, but you need to back up an assertion of exponential growth.

            I didn’t check the ACC for two main reasons. First, they have the fewest CCGs. Second, I was tired of doing research.

            Everybody agrees 9 games will lead to more losses, but how many more for the conference champ? Most of those extra losses will go to the middle and bottom teams.

            I did a quick check with the B10 and P10 since 1993 (stopped P10 in 2005). Combined, the conference winners averaged 7.2-0.8, or a 0.900 winning percentage. That means the extra game is going to cost the conference winner a loss once every 10 years on average. The P10 numbers since going to 9 games back that up with the winners averaging 8-1, or 0.889. The extra game shouldn’t be a big factor compared to now.

            The CCG adds a top opponent to the schedule, though, so there will be upsets leading to a champ with more losses. The question is how many 3 loss teams make the CCG. For the SEC, it’s 7 of 38 or 18.4%. For the B12, it’s 9/30 or 30%. For the ACC, it’s 6/12 or 50%. Let’s assume the SEC is the lower bound and the ACC the upper bound, and call it 30% overall.
            Assuming a CCG is a toss-up, 15% of the time a 3 loss team will win or 1 in 6 years.

            So if there are 3 loss CCG champs 15% of the time, and 4 conferences have them, that makes a 60% chance of 1 but less than a 7% chance of 2 (once every 15 years) and less than a 1% chance of 3. That still leaves the BE, B12, MWC, ND and BYU as likely sources of a 0-2 loss champ to replace the 1 3 loss champ. I don’t see this as a major problem.

            The thing to remember with superconferences is that having a lot of teams also means that 1 or 2 should be really good and not have 3 losses.

            If you read carefully, I said from the start that my plan wouldn’t happen. That doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s a better plan.

          • Richard says:

            Brian,

            Why shouldn’t Michigan get another shot? To use another example, say Texas played OSU and OSU got whupped. Texas is undefeated and wins their conference. OSU wins their conference as well. By your logic, OSU shouldn’t be given another shot either.

            Ultimately, it comes down to who you think deserves to go in to a (4 team) playoff. You seem to think that only league champions should go in, regardless of how good they actually have been (compared to certain other non-league champions). I happen to think that the 4 best teams (by their results over a season) should get in, regardless of what conference they are in.

            To use a thought experiment, say that conferences were determined randomly. You could end up with the 4 strongest teams in one conference. You think that excluding 3 of those 4 for less deserving teams is OK. I don’t.

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            Why should MI get another shot? They lost their last game to the undefeated B10 champ. The B10 champ has just proven they are the better team, why should they have to prove it again a few weeks later? Why shouldn’t the SEC, ACC, P12, B12 or BE champs, for example, get a shot at the B10 champ instead? They most likely haven’t played the B10 champ yet and have proven they are the best team in their conference.

            In your example, I’d expect the loss to hurt OSU in the rankings. If the SEC, P12 and ACC champs are all 12-1 or 13-0, they do deserve a shot more than that hypothetical OSU team. I’d love to have a no replay rule for the BCS, too. Once #1 is in, nobody they beat already should get in. The same in descending order with 2, 3 and 4.

            Of course it comes down to who you think should go. I thought that’s what we were discussing. I never said otherwise. I also admitted my idea would never be put into place.

            I think only league champs should get in because there are a lot of them, and they have shown they are the best of a group of teams. Due to the lack of intersectional games, there is no good way to know how one conference compares to another. Maybe 6-2 in the SEC with a tough schedule was as good as 9-0 in the P12. Who knows? But if the SEC decides that A is better than B, why should B get another chance to beat A? Let the champs from other conferences take a shot.

            The problem is that there is no way to know which 4 teams are the best. Because of that, I’ll take an 11-2 champ over a 12-1 non-champ. Your position assumes that the BCS rankings are very accurate, and mine is less dependent on opinion polls and crippled computer models.

            I thought this was already a thought experiment. Random conferences are nonsensical. But even if they existed, I’d stay with champs. The other 3 teams had a chance to beat #1 and didn’t do it. I see no reason to let them try again.

          • Adam says:

            There is generally too much nonsense in this conversation for me to follow it closely, but it makes no sense for the league to allow non-conference games to factor into the league standings. The schools get to choose their non-conference opposition — that would only encourage an (even faster) race to the bottom to pick your non-conference opponents.

            Winning your conference championship and winning the national championship are two different animals. Every school belongs to two conferences: their conference and the Football Bowl Subdivision. Each conference has its own set of standings and championship qualifications which are particular and appropriate to that competition. Linking the two is the big mistake.

  10. M says:

    And now for something completely different:

    “Penn State Players All Worried They’re Going To Be The One Who Accidentally Kills Joe Paterno”
    http://www.onionsportsnetwork.com/articles/penn-state-players-all-worried-theyre-going-to-be,21120/

  11. mike in st. louis says:

    Nice article, Frank. The only way I can see this working for the SEC is if they’re already sure their look-in will get them more money.

    i also don’t think Slive will be looking at another Big 12 team for the 14th member. If he can sneak away with one ACC team that can be replaced, he can avoid setting in motion dominos that would strengthen the B1G and the Pac 12.

    If FSU were to go SEC, the ACC could quickly pick up Syracuse, Pitt, or even Louisville to take their place.

    Really don’t know what this means for B1G expansion. Not many good options left. As Gordon Gekko said to Bud Fox you’ve got a dog with fleas (Mizzou) and a dog with different fleas (Rutgers).

    • vp19 says:

      Maryland would ideally prefer to go to the Big Ten as part of a bloc with Virginia, UNC and Duke, but if that isn’t in the cards, it would enter the mix, since its academics are better than Missouri’s and its athletics better than Rutgers’. And if the SEC takes an ACC team as part of its expansion, further diminishing its football brand (what little it has), there’s the impetus you need.

      • Jake says:

        What about NC politics? Could UNC leave NCSU behind? I honestly don’t know; if anyone has any insights, that would be great.

        • frug says:

          UNC and NC State are part of the same school system and thus share a Board of Regents who would have to sign off on any move. The BoR would probably (if begrudgingly) approve a separation if the schools pledged to continue to play each other OOC, but only if both schools signed off on the deal, meaning the schools have veto power over each others movements.

    • jcfreder says:

      This works for the SEC regardless of their media contracts. When you have a chance to land a big fish, you do it. Had Notre Dame asked to join the SEC, they would have taken the Irish, too.

  12. Winning says:

    the only reason “the entire world” was convinced that the pac 16 was a done deal was because Chip Brown, the texas athletic department mouth piece, was given full throttle access on sportscenter every hour on the hour for the nation to see. If it wasn’t for Chip Brown, not ONE person following this would have thought it was a done deal. As if Mike Slive was going to let the 2 flagship institutions in one of the biggest media regions in the country just waltz to the west. That’s why he came to A&M in the first place. Their school is a better fit for the SEC, and the SEC wants no part of Texas trying to control their conference.

    You have a lot of truths in your post, and a lot of bullshit. Make no mistake about it, when A&M makes it official, those TV deals are going to be re-done.

  13. Carl says:

    Dear JoePa,

  14. Agdev01 says:

    Frank,

    Good post but i don’t think you are taking into account that a few of the Texas Reps. you mention are looking at running for statewide or national office next year. With one of our own having a good shot at winning the Republican nomination (Perry) there will be plenty of Ags at the polls they can’t afford to upset. Also, the unique funding system for Texas schools any threat to TAMU and PUF funding will also threaten UT for any practical general fund issues (which is a consistantly decreasing % of our budget). A second point would be most of the concerns you mention don’t apply to Texas politics. Last, since the governor would have to call them into session for any hearing to have legal consequences before Jan 2013 any resolution they may come to will be forgotten by that time in favor of the issue du jour.

  15. Just checking in (after a year+ away)…

  16. The reason why A&M is leaving is basically this: They are tired of dealing with Big Brother Bevo the Bull(y), and they see a way to escape their demands like Arkansas & Nebraska did, and Missouri would in a Nano-second. UT is a school like Notre Dame that believes that they are entitled to special and unique treatment, and wants schools around them that will essentially enable their behavior (See Baylor and Ok. State). What is frightening from the perspective of the Big XII teams, is no one knows UT like the Aggies (They were essentially joined at the hip), and even they reached the Point Of No Return when it comes to dealing with UT. Assuming A&M is gone, what does this mean for the Big XII (Talk about an oxymoron)? They could add Houston (They would be elated to join a BCS Conference), or maybe even TCU (Although they were another school screwed over by Bevo). But sooner or later OU, Kansas, or maybe even Texas Tech (Remember they said no to putting their game on the Longhorn Network), are going to get up and leave. One possibility could be Kansas taking their basketball team straight to the Big 10. If the Big 10 could get a Kansas and maybe even Oklahoma for football, they could return Michigan (And Michigan St) to the East, and be a real competitor for the SEC as the best Conference.

  17. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Geaux Tigers!

  18. EZCUSE says:

    So who joins w/Texas A&M if this happens?

    Florida St.?

    Missouri?

    Va Tech?

    West Virginia?

    Louisville?

    Why do this if it is not a major add??? Does anyone get you excited other than Florida St.? Missouri is TV sets and Va Tech seems to have shot them down already. WVU and Lville seem to add little from a markets standpoint. I get that the SEC can ask anyone… but is there anyone worth adding?

    It would be funny if they added East Carolina or someone like that. The ultimate snub. “The SEC is so good we can MAKE a program into something.”

    Anyway… just when you think expansion talk is over… it comes dragging you back in…

    • kylepitt says:

      Not Louisville. I don’t see the appeal (to the SEC) of Missouri either. VT would be an interesting choice as they have roots as a military academy similar to A&M.

    • Patrick says:

      They don’t need to ‘get you excited’ they need to make you money! Coming from someone in tv, everyone should calm down about tv sets. They are important, but having butts in chairs paying attention to commercials is more important.
      NYC doesn’t care about college football as much as Alabama, and Alabama earns $50 million a year more than Rutgers.

      • Brian says:

        TV sets are important when you have a subscriber fee for your network.

        • Richard says:

          . . .which the SEC doesn’t. I expect the SEC to go grab name brands (so certainly FSU).

          • Brian says:

            But the B10 does. I never mentioned the SEC. I was questioning his basic premise that TV sets don’t matter that much, and he didn’t mention the SEC either.

          • Richard says:

            Pat was responding to someone talking about SEC expansion, so I assume he was talking about the SEC’s situation as well.

            In any case, his general point holds: Half or more of revenue for all conferences still comes from national first tier/second tier rights, and those are driven by brands/advertising.

      • metatron5369 says:

        I’ve been saying this for over a year. Rutgers isn’t a draw, they’re nothing. You might as well ask Columbia or Yale to join.

        Notre Dame is the prize. They’ll deliver the East Coast for you, and hell, most of the nation. We might cherry pick a Big East team (Syracuse?), but all the Big East talk is mostly designed to get Notre Dame to panic and join the Big Ten.

        But the question is, is ND the 14th member, or the 16th member? I remember some talk last year about Notre Dame joining the Big Ten, but only if they were the 12th and final member. When Texas came into play everything changed, but we ended up with Nebraska and the sky didn’t fall down on ND’s head.

        • vp19 says:

          As long as Notre Dame believes it’s bigger than the game (sort of the Texas syndrome), it has no desire to enter an all-sports conference. And ND is rapidly losing its luster as a brand, which has largely diminished to old urban ethnic Catholics. For the Big Ten to be disproportionately focused on Notre Dame when it has other alternatives would be counterproductive.

    • James in SoCal says:

      People forget, The SEC doesn’t need to get markets, they need to get ratings. The Big Ten is the only conference out there that needs markets because of the BTN. If the SEC can fill slots with more premier games, they can get more money from CBS and ESPN. The Big Ten is really the only conference that “markets ” really come in to play when thinking about expansion.
      I have no facts to back this up, but I do have programming here in So Cal. SEC football is always aired out here were 20% to 30% of Big Ten football is pushed to ESPN3 or on the BTN. And out here with the Rose Bowl tie in, one would think the Big Ten would get a higher billing so the Pac 12 can keep up on the compitition.

  19. GreatLakeState says:

    I appreciate your MICHIGAN/BIG CHILL reference but I don’t think the image of white people dancing to Motown in a refurbished plantation in the heart of SEC country is what Delany has in mind for a Big Ten marketing strategy.

    Oklahoma
    Missouri
    Texas
    Notre Dame
    It’s doable if we bend like the willow and not like the oak.

    • I could never see the likes or ND or UT subordinating their not so small egos to the Big 10 or anyone else. UT is the Jeff George of Colleges…. They harm everything they touch: SWC, Big 12, Nebraska, Arkansas, TCU, SMU, & A&M (If I am in Waco, Texas or Ames, Iowa I am not feeling happy tonight, bacause I know I may be next).

      • @David Brown – “UT is the Jeff George of Colleges”

        I don’t know if I totally agree with that, but anyone that uses Jeff George as a proxy for disaster gets a +1 from me.

      • bullet says:

        I certainly wouldn’t agree about the SWC. It was the Oilers, Cowboys, OU & UGA (breaking the NCAA TV monopoly), Arkansas (jumping ship), TCU/SMU/A&M (paying players) that sunk the SWC. And maybe a little Tom Osborne and Nebraska for losing to Miami in the Orange Bowl and giving them an MNC and license to recruit top players from Texas (took a little while, but I knew I could figure out a way to throw UNL in there). Texas (and A&M) trying to make it work was the only thing that held it together for so long.

    • Richard says:

      Don’t think OU will be able to leave OkSt. behind.

  20. I can tell you that if A&M leaves they will become my favorite college team (Except for my Nitts of course (Since UNL is on the PSU annual schedule I can’t like them)). Like list: 1: Yankees. 2: Nitts. 3: Steelers. 4: Penguins. 5: Islanders. 5a: Aggies. Dislike list: 1: Cowboys. 1a: UT. 2: Ohio St. 3: Ravens. 4: Red Sox. 5: Mets.

    • You’re not a real Penn State fan if Michigan isn’t on your dislike list.

      • R says:

        Agree! IMO a minimum of 2a.

      • I never said I don’t dislike UM (Notice what I said regarding the Huskers). But you can’t put everyone on a top 5 list. I certainly do not like the Bengals, Browns, Eagles, NY Rangers, Flyers, ND, Iowa, Pitt Panthers, Blue Jays, Orioles & Rays either. But if you put a finite number out there you have to stick to it. Besides, UM is not on the schedule, and since they are not as relevant to the current team as before, they are not as disliked (Sort of like Baltimore: Hated them with a passion in the late 90s….. Today, they are an afterthought).

  21. FranktheAg says:

    It hasn’t been fan chatter until the past few hours. You just were not even attempting to listen. Just about every comment you’ve ever made about A&M has been wrong. You relied on Peter Bean and other Texas sources and they made you look foolish. You wonder why Aggies question your bias when you were ignoring any and all A&M input? Really? Even now you won’t give up on the Texas Legislature pull. Dan Branch and the HEC committee will not stop this and in fact, he has commented to Aggies today, that he believes the move with STRENGTHEN the state universities. Last you point to Tony Barnhart. First, he doesn’t discount the move instead he says it is more like 90% probable. Second, he is just about the only one not seeing smoke. What the hell do you call the SEC President’s meeting on Sunday?

    Even now, when clearly 100% wrong, you repeat your flawed logic. I’m certain the SEC will monetize this expansion and it will do so almost immediately. I think you know it to but just are not ready to admit it. The SEC is the 2nd most valuable sports entity in the US after the NFL. That value gives them real leverage and allows the conference to negotiate from a position of unparalleled strength. The SEC with the Texas market isn’t like any other conference. Texas A&M insiders have discussed numbers approaching conference payout amounts of $40M in the first year of the move.

    • Eric says:

      The logic Frank used was sound. It turned out to be wrong, but if you are going to be making future predictions, you base them on how you think contracts are structured and on history. Both suggested this wouldn’t happen. That it now appears to be happening does not mean expecting it not to happen was any kind of bias or even that it was not the most rational expectation. It means we were wrong about a few the weight we put on a few things and/or assumptions we made.

    • frug says:

      Actually, MLB and the Big 10 are both more valuable properties than the SEC.

      However, regarding you main point, I do have to agree with you that Frank has certainly over emphasized Texas politics recently. It was a legitimate issue when the legislature was still in session, but once they adjourned for two years they became a non-issue. Sure they can hold hearings and blast the Aggies in public rallies but so what? By the time they are back in session (2013) it will be too late to do anything (threatening the school’s funding would be pointless at that point). And the idea that Perry’s presidential run would make him likely to call the legislature into session made no sense at all.

      That said, Frank’s points about the TV contracts was better thought out.

      (For the record, I always maintained that the Aggies would only be added if they were paired with a “national” brand like Oklahoma or FSU. We should know soon if I will have to issue a mea culpa for that prediction).

      • frug says:

        Of course its entirely possible I’ll have to issue an apology for this post so we’ll have to see what happens.

      • Bamatab says:

        frug, you’re going to have to explain to me how you figure that the B1G is a more valuable property than the SEC when it comes to the televising of football games?

        • frug says:

          FranktheAg didn’t say football property, he said sports entity, and while the SEC’s football package is moderately more attractive than the Big 10′s, the Big 10′s massive advantage in basketball value more than makes up the difference.

        • Richard says:

          He’s probably talking about overall, not just football. FrankTheAg did say “sports entity”, not “football entity”, and the B10 brings in more sports revenue per school overall than the SEC does.

          In any case, FrankTheAg is exaggerating a bit. Considering that Forbes estimates the least valuable NBA franchise (the Bucks) at $258M while they put the value of the top college football team (Longhorns) at $119M and top college basketball team (UNC) at $26M, I think it’s safe to say that the NBA is third most valuable behind the NFL and MLB. The NBA also gets $930M yearly in TV money ($31M per team), which is still slightly more than any college.

          Oh, and even the lowest NHL team (the Coyotes) is valued by Forbes at $134M.

    • bullet says:

      Tony Barnhart is the most respected and knowledgeable college reporter in the SE. His opinions are worth listening to.

      One part that makes this hard to believe is that so little has changed since last summer when the same players made the decision to stay. The only things that changed were that ESPN did the LHN instead of UT doing it themselves and the Big 12 got even more money than they expected on their 2nd tier rights (and the latter is a positive for staying). I don’t think angry Aggies are driving this. Something has changed Loftin’s and Byrne’s minds and I’ll be interested to see their reasons after the exit fees get settled. I think they are reasonable people making what in my mind seems like a bad decision. Now anything they say before the fees get settled is just bluster in case there is a lawsuit.

      Did the Aggies dislike the fact that they aren’t going to get a disproportionate share of the exit fees? Did they dislike that TV appearance fees are going to be shared more equally? Are they so desperate for money they jump to the SEC in the hope of getting more money now instead of waiting until 2015? Did a marketing professor convince them they needed to try differentiation to try to quit being 2nd fiddle or a psychology professor suggest differentiation to get rid of their inferiority complex and obsession with UT? Did CBS promise the SEC tons of money too late in the summer of 2011? Are they afraid the SEC goes to 16 without them limiting their choices? What else?

      • duffman says:

        bullet,

        What changed in 1 year is the TAMU fanbase, and how they have changed. 1 year ago the TAMU administration thought the SEC folks were a minority. This past year they have come to realize they are the majority because short of burning Loftin and Byrne in effigy, they have made their displeasure known that they were unhappy with the result last june. The LHN is just good cover to make the move. I think it is safe to say that their fanbase is not like any other in college football. ;) I do think Loftin and Byrne see something in the numbers that you and I are not privy too, but I will give TAMU the credit for having a unique fanbase. :)

        • vp19 says:

          That it also comes at a time when the Texas legislature is off and you have an A&M ex in the governor’s mansion made this a perfect storm for an Aggie move.

        • hangtime79 says:

          Duffman what changed in the last year is Pac-12 solidifying and Texas not having a place to go. Without the threat of Texas bolting and imploding the conference, Tech and Baylor stay in a BCS conference. This keeps Texas politics at bay. A&M made the right move waiting a year as a move last year in the middle of all the realignment would have certainly made it more difficult as a move then would have imploded the conference. Now not so much. Remember the key to the whole political equation is finding places for Baylor and Tech in a BCS conference. As long as this happens, there will be no issues.

          • Richard says:

            Whether the B12 survives or not will hinge on whether Mizzou stays or goes. Would Texas and OU be content with what is essentially a glorified SWC?

        • bullet says:

          I think it was pretty clear last year as well.

      • RedDenver says:

        Your UT bias is showing through pretty heavily there. A&M has a lot to gain by going to the SEC. Conference stability seems pretty high on the list with more money not far behind.

        • Brian says:

          Who are you replying to? Who said TAMU didn’t have a lot to gain? Who is biased? I don’t see anyone in this thread of the discussion that said any of that.

          This post is so busy you really should address a bias accusation like that by name.

          • m (Ag) says:

            His response refers to Bullets post a bit up (and slightly to the left). As does mine below.

          • Brian says:

            m (Ag),

            I still don’t see where he said TAMU didn’t have a lot to gain. He asked why this year but not last year and ran through several possible factors.

            Does TAMU have more to gain this year than last year? If not, then what changed wasn’t the gain but the impetus to leave and that’s what he was asking about.

          • m (Ag) says:

            He said-
            “I don’t think angry Aggies are driving this. Something has changed Loftin’s and Byrne’s minds and I’ll be interested to see their reasons after the exit fees get settled. I think they are reasonable people making what in my mind seems like a bad decision.”

          • Brian says:

            I just take that to mean he thinks they’ll lose more than they gain, be it in athletic success, recruiting, academic reputation, rivalries or something else. Clearly there are benefits to TAMU joining the SEC. You must admit that there are also some (non-financial) costs involved.

          • bullet says:

            m(Ag)

            I’m biased because I disagree? That’s typical Aggie thinking.

            If you read my post I said “in my mind.” I am willing to see there are possibilities for differences of opinion.

          • m (Ag) says:

            from Bullet:

            “m(Ag)

            I’m biased because I disagree? That’s typical Aggie thinking.

            If you read my post I said ‘in my mind.’ I am willing to see there are possibilities for differences of opinion.”

            You’re getting me confused with RedDenver; I never called you biased. All I said in my own post was that I disagreed with you.

            That said, I will say that the phrase “typical Aggie thinking” does indicate some bias.

          • bullet says:

            Sorry m(ag)-I’ve always found you and the other Aggies normally on this board very reasonable. I did confuse you with another poster. But you have to admit the new Aggies on this board with their attacks on Frank aren’t doing A&M proud. That continued nonsense really triggered my response.

          • m (Ag) says:

            I certainly agree that when a school makes a dramatic move, it brings out the fans who talk more out of passion than rationality. The last few days I’ve seen a surge in ‘passionate’ posters from both our schools around the internet (and you know both our schools normally have plenty). I also seem to remember a huge surge in Nebraska fans last summer who came to this board to thoroughly disparage your school when their move to the Big Ten became official. I congratulated them on their move, even while I tried to correct some of their factual errors.

            When you enter into a new relationship, I think it’s human nature to disparage the previous one. It just helps ease the transition, emotionally. I think the Big 12 is an OK conference, but it would be frustrating to remain there when I believe the SEC is a better one. (for that matter, so is the Big Ten and Pac 12).

          • bullet says:

            Actually its seems like the UT posters have been unusually quiet, although I haven’t visited the Aggie sites, so I can’t say what’s been going on there.

      • m (Ag) says:

        I thoroughly disagree that this isn’t a good move for A&M.

        About what changed, I did read a report from some ‘insider’ who said that officials at A&M were completely unprepared for conference realignment last summer. Which I have to say disappoints me, because once the Big Ten stated they were examining expansion they should have started thoroughly exploring various possibilities themselves.

        When it was reported that the Longhorns were negotiating to go to the Pac-16 (and by the way, they were negotiating for A&M too!), A&M’s administrators were surprised and quickly tried to do there own research. They decided that the SEC looked better that the PAC 16, but they certainly hadn’t the time to thoroughly study the issue. When the Longhorns backed down, they were content to stay put for the time being. Now that they’ve had a full year to do their own proper studies, they believe the SEC is the better long term option for the school.

        Again, this is just what I read from someone else who claims to have knowledge, but it certainly seems to fit the facts. A&M officials never gave the impression that they were prepared for everything that happened in a few short weeks (was it even that long)?

        • Brian says:

          I don’t know about all the rest of your answer, but I agree that this seems like a good move for TAMU. I reserve the right to change my mind if the politicians punish them later, but I think they can fail to win division titles in the SEC just as well as in the B12 and get paid better for it. They also won’t have big brother looming over them.

          • bullet says:

            It remains to be seen whether they will be paid better. It seems almost certain that if nothing changed, they will be making more money in the Big 12 in 2015 when the ESPN contract renews.

            The question is how much the SEC can get out of CBS and ESPN for expanding.

        • bullet says:

          This certainly makes more sense than the LHN being the sole trigger. I think Byrne and Loftin are rational and don’t make decisions based on hatred of UT.

  22. Husker Al says:

    Add

  23. Frank Sturgis says:

    Don’t count out the political/legal wrangling putting the breaks on the A&M escape to the SEC just yet.

    A&M is woefully under-represented in the Texas legislature & positions of power around the state. Why? Because most politicians are lawyers. Baylor – law school. Texas Tech – law school. Texas – law school. A&M – no law school.

    The politicians are fuming right now. They are super-pissed that A&M usurped the authority of the legislative committee by doing the end run around he Tuesday meeting.

    This ain’t over folks……

    • bullet says:

      A&M has been begging for an unneeded law school (UH, TSU and private South Texas are 90 miles away in Houston as well as Texas and private Baylor about 90 miles away in different directions) for precisely this reason.

      Baylor sympathizers will be unhappy. Tech probably will. The question is whether UT will try to stop it. If all 3 do, it will be stopped. Baylor alone is irrelevant. Not sure about Tech and Baylor-they had a unique alignment of power 17 years ago. But I have no idea how Texas will react.

      I think its bad for all the Texas schools long run, even UTSA and Texas St. Differentiation doesn’t offset loss of recruits to SEC schools and I think that hits A&M worst of all. I think Dodds probably agrees. But is it worth fighting? There could be at least 4 lines of thinking:
      1) A very Texan philosophy of not trying to force someone to do something they don’t want to do-stay in a conference when they want to leave;
      2) A pragmatic approach-don’t set a precedent. Let A&M choose its own course and UT has a better chance of being allowed to chart its own course (this also applies to topics other than sports and has been a huge issue for UT on admissions and tuition);
      3) Keep as many friends as possible. Perry and the people he listens to are trying to wreck research at the state universities (its a philosophic view that teaching is everything and research is mostly worthless). UT has had to rally alumni to stop his destruction. The Senate and House don’t view universities as important as they did 30 and 40 years ago. The universities need to all work together to avoid being gutted in these tight budget times.
      4) They may just be tired of all the whining and belly-aching and temper tantrums. Nebraska left, but they still can’t get rid of Bill Byrne. Don’t let the door….

      My gut feeling is that UT lets it go and Tech and Baylor fight it for fear of what might happen next. It could get nasty and the outcome uncertain. I do think moving up the regents meeting is a real poke in the eye to the legislature and hurts their cause. They must be taking political lessons from Chancellor Pearlman. Probably the first question asked is, “Why did you move your August 22 meeting up to August 15 just after we announced the hearing on August 16?”

      • Frank the Ag says:

        Well, bullet. we certainly know that Texas and Baylor tried to stop this deal first with politics and then with an ineffective legal strategy. Neither worked. I guess you had it wrong. UT hardly let it go. They propped up Baylor and Ken Starr as the bogeyman but they were 100% opposed to A&M leaving but failed to stop it.

        • bullet says:

          First, A&M hasn’t gotten out yet. The Big 12 is better with them than without, so of course, noone wants them to go.

          I don’t see any indication there has been a significant political effort. Ken Starr making a speech doesn’t constitute a coordinated effort. What I was wrong about was that Tech and Baylor would fight it.

  24. Bamatab says:

    Frank,

    I just don’t understand how you can’t see that Slive already has a very good understanding of how the renegotiations will go once aTm and whoever is added (the guy is a lawyer and ex-judge). The SEC presidents aren’t going to just add teams and risk igniting the expansion race for equal or less payout per school than what they already are getting. Slive would’ve had to already received assurances from CBS or ESPN, or both that they would be able to get more money per school by expanding, especially considering the timing. One rumor that I have heard is that the assurances came from CBS, but that is just a rumor. I’m not even going to say what the rumor was on the amount of the raise for per school payout other than to say that even I can’t believe that it would be that much. Also don’t be shocked if the SEC expands to 16 teams (if they wait a little while after going to 14 teams), that they renegotiate again for the 15th & 16th teams.

    Look, the tv networks (especially CBS) know what the SEC is worth and wants to keep them happy. Drawing the Texas tv market viewership away from the Big 12 and ABC (and Florida viewership from the ACC if FSU is the 14th team, or pulling in the DC viewership if VT is the 14th team) is enough incentive to up the contract enough to get the per school payout back to or above the Pac 12 and B1G.

    • @Bamatab – I’m not questioning Slive’s negotiation skills, but no matter what, the leverage still lies with the networks from a pure contractual standpoint. Being worried about making the SEC mad is one thing if your contract is going to be up in 2014 and you’re worried they’ll start their own new network pronto. It’s a lot different with a contract that’s up in 2024. Sure, CBS and ESPN will come back to the table in good faith, but are they going to be throwing out some of the very high numbers that you’ve alluded to (I’ve seen some rumors of $40 million per school)? My guess is that CBS and ESPN want to keep the SEC happy, but not *that* happy.

      • Patrick says:

        What if Slive has realized the cash that could come from a SEC-NET and isn’t all too concerned about negotiations going badly. Maybe they will partner with CBS to lauch and freeze ESPN out / or the other way around since ESPN seems to be into making new specialty networks in the state of Texas.

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        I am with Bamatab (and other posters below) in thinking that the SEC will have assurances of more money it this happens.

        Here’s why: ESPiN is playing a game of Monopoly with the other networks. A&M is Park Place to the Boardwalk that they just got with the Longhorn Network and ESPiN is going to build hotels. This, btw, is just an extension of FtT’s logic from last year. ESPiN paid a lot of money to keep the BXII together basically to prevent Fox/Pac12Network from getting Park Place, Boardwalk and a couple of other nice properties.

        Now, ESPiN will pay a lot of money to pick up another piece of the BXII and to pick up properties from the east as well.

        The more ESPiN has in inventory the better. Thus, the long-term contract is a PLUS, not a negative.

      • frug says:

        I seriously doubt Slive would be doing this if he wasn’t damn near certain he get a new TV deal. As you noted before no one will ever vote to take a paycut and Slive knows it.

    • bullet says:

      ESPN is bidding against themselves and hurting their other contracts (potential interference lawsuit by B12 or ACC-maybe no real basis, but a real nuisance). They have no incentive to significantly raise their bid. They get A&M on the 2nd tier in the SEC and lose them on the 1st tier in the Big 12. Maybe they tick off the Big 12 who is renewing in 2015. With an ACC school, they just lose them on the first and third tiers. They already have them on all tiers. Only CBS has an incentive and they can’t increase their number of games. They can only get better ratings. The SEC championship game is around $15 million. Isn’t that part of the CBS $50 million a year? Its just hard to see the numbers of $17.9 million/school/year going up significantly going from 12 to 14. Adding teams doesn’t make the SEC more valuable to everyone. It might even make things less valuable for ESPN.

      Remember, ESPN was part of the secret group that shot down superconferences last summer. They didn’t want to renegotiate all their contracts.

      I have seen comments supposedly from insiders that the SEC hasn’t approached the TV partners yet. And the TV people won’t tell you what its worth until you tell them who you have. And we haven’t really heard much about #14.

      I’m now convinced that the Slive and A&M are trying to make this happen. There are still a lot of hurdles to cross.

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        ESPiN shot down the Pac-16 to prevent FOX/Pac-16 Network from getting the inventory of the Texas-based teams. ESPiN paid a lot of money to keep that from happening, paid $300 million to get Texas and will pay a lot of money to add A&M to ESPiN’s inventory (via the SEC).

        • Larry says:

          This is what a lot of people are missing about the LHN. ESPN viewed overpaying Texas by ~$200M as a way to keep the B12 together and prevent the super conference movement. With a super conference movement comes bigger conference networks that will want to cut out the middle man (ESPN).

          Now ESPN was too clever by half (or IMHO 2/3s) because their LHN deal really turned off the rest of the B12. Other teams could accept always being behind in money – but those with options can’t accept being buried. And ESPN, while it can never hope to break even on the LHN, was hoping to make up something by broadcasting a second Longhorn game and high school sports.

          So, who has options? A&M obviously. Missouri possibly (but prefers B1G to SEC).

          Oddly, Oklahoma has problems. Their main problem is that their alumni and future recruits live in Texas. They can’t leave the B12 without potentially pissing off Texas residents, losing Texas recruits, and losing Texas TV coverage. This is the reason OU has openly said they’ll follow UT in whatever it does – not because they need UT, but because they need the state of Texas. Their secondary problem is OSU.

  25. Regarding the Texas legislature, on January 20, 2013 former Aggie Yell Leader Rick Perry will at minimum still the governor of Texas and perhaps might have become the most powerful man in the world. Either way think TAMU will be OK politically.

  26. Hi, Frank. You and I batted these questions around on twitter quite a bit on Tuesday. I’m not here to say I told you so. Promise.

    However, I still think you’re underestimating Slive when it comes to TV contracts. At least one national college football writer (forgive me for not recalling who – I’ve read roughly 37 articles today – but it was someone significant and I meant to bookmark it to mention to you) intimated that there were strong indications that modifying the TV deals was likely if the SEC added teams of real value. I also think it’s highly unlikely that Slive makes this move (or that SEC schools sign on) if they haven’t already obtained some pretty strong indications from CBS and ESPN that some sort of mutually beneficial amendments to the deals can be made.

    I honestly can’t see a reason why they networks wouldn’t modify in this scenario. Their motivation is not merely maintaining a good relationship with the SEC. The networks carry SEC football because it makes them money. Adding a team like A&M and the Texas market (and possibly an east coast team with a significant TV audience) is a financial win for the networks, not just the conference. Even if they modify to pay the SEC more, they’ll do so under the same logic that they always negotiate deals: we pay you more because we can make even more than we’re paying you.

    On the political front, you’re not wrong that there likely will be a bit of a show before it’s all said and done. However, this story has been building for a week in Texas, and legislators have not rushed to take sides. It’s been surprisingly quiet, in fact, and even the calling of this completely powerless committee hearing next week stirred absolutely no one to make a single public comment opposing A&M’s move.

    There are also a few other relevant factors that may keep legislators at bay. First, the legislature made a point in this year’s session (they were in session this year, they just adjourned a few weeks ago) of encouraging state universities to get creative in exploring ways to advance their brands and generate revenue streams outside of the tax base and tuition and fees. With that as a strong piece of the legislature’s message to state institutions, they’ll be hard pressed to make too much noise about A&M doing exactly that.

    Even more interestingly, the Texas House Higher Education Committee — the one that called the special session next week — is chaired by Representative Dan Branch of Dallas. Following a committee hearing on February 23 in which the Longhorn Network was discussed, Branch made the following statements:

    “I do not think this Legislature ought to penalize people that are going on and being successful in maximizing their assets and getting a higher return and finding revenues that are not a tax base.”

    “I certainly will do everything I can to make sure that people who take care of their institutions and raise them up and bring in more revenues and create value that somehow that wouldn’t be a detriment as they go through the appropriations process.”

    It’s going to be politically dicey for Branch and the legislature to ultimately create too much interference for A&M in light of their recent positions on these matters.

    Finally, consider the fact that this stands to have a net positive effect for Texas universities by allowing a school like U of H, TCU, or SMU to back-fill A&M’s spot in the Big 12. Suddenly the state has an additional university in a BCS conference alongside A&M considerably expanding the national footprint of Texas universities by virtue of its participation in the SEC. Never mind that every conference home game in College Station will generate millions in local and state tax revenues from out of state fans – the potential for multiple Texas schools to benefit from the conference shuffle is significant.

    Again, there is no doubt that UT is going to exercise their full weight to try to foil this thing, and if they can’t do that, they’ll do their best to make it as bloody an exit as possible. That’s the real political threat, and they certainly have considerable influence. Unfortunately for them, they’ve also alienated more than just A&M with their Longhorn Network agenda. Even in trying to invite Texas Tech into that land of lollipops, they offended the Tech administration by offering them cash to air their game on the LHN. Certainly Tech and Baylor folks aren’t thrilled with A&M’s escape east, but they’re also not eager to line up behind UT and take orders. The net effect is likely to be a mostly dispassionate response from anyone but the staunchest of UT supporters, statewide and in the legislature.

    I agree with you, Frank, that this deal isn’t done until it’s done. It’s close, but it’s not done. God help us all if it doesn’t happen, as the level of spite and infighting likely to happen in the resulting Big 12 would be unprecedented (and that’s saying something for folks who endured the Pony Excess era of the SWC). However, my last clarification is this: what you’re watching happen this weekend is not the result of a situation that has gone from unlikely to likely in the last day or two. This has been in the works for some time now. Slive and A&M President Bowen Loftin just managed to do the impossible – actually get something done without all of us knowing about it ten minutes after they began talking.

    • bullet says:

      I don’t see how another Texas university benefits the Big 12. A&M will almost certainly be replaced by someone out of state.

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        had a similar thought. but, other than Nebraska, the rest of the BXII has never challenged Texas’ right to dictate what happens in the conference. As noted elsewhere, “Co-Commissioner” DeLoss Dodd has a list of 20 schools ready to be added as A&M’s replacement. I feel confident, Texas will add another texas-based school to the BXII.

        if the other 8 schools were to vote Texas down on adding Texas’ choice, the BXII dies that day.

        • bullet says:

          Texas does what’s in their financial best interest like everyone else. Adding a Texas school doesn’t help. Even if you accept that Texas can dictate, there’s no financial reason for adding a Texas school. Its not recruiting since you already have 3 Texas schools. The only reason for adding a Texas school would be if UT and TT wanted to help UH and somehow secure the recruiting area better from the SEC. And there’s some bad blood so I don’t know if that’s likely they want to help UH.

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      thank you. appreciate the long and thoughtful post. and 100% agree with your take on the money side of this.

      Slive and the SEC won’t do this without the money being assured and ESPiN/CBS will pay the money. They paid $300 million just for Texas. They did this not because Texas is worth it; but because it is more inventory for ESPiN. A&M has similar worth, particularly when added to the SEC. Think about it this way: FL vs. A&M is more interesting and will get better ratings than FL vs. Florida Atlantic (or whatever cupcake is on FL’s schedule). So, give every school another $4 million and pony up $480 (just to make the math easy).

      And, btw, the length of the current contract between ESPiN and the SEC is a positive. If ESPiN is adding A&M (and other teams) to their inventory, ESPiN does not want to have to bid on that inventory anytime soon. That inventory is now locked up for a good long time.

  27. A couple of other quick notes with some relevance…

    The “end run” to have Regents meet before the special legislative committee meeting is absolutely not an effort to escape the legislature’s authority – it’s an attempt to escape potential meaningless posturing that could slow down the process indirectly. The committee has no power to do anything but talk with the legislature is not in session, and the legislature has no power to tell A&M what it can and cannot do with respect to conference affiliation. A few legislators may rant and rave for a while, but ultimately they know this to be true and recognize A&M didn’t do anything the legislative committee didn’t do first. In the end, I simply don’t believe enough legislators will be motivated enough to make A&M “pay” in any way politically in the years to come. That wouldn’t play well for long, as Texas voters would see through it as detrimental to a state institution.

    Baylor and Texas Tech likely will measure their words and strategies carefully, as they’re going to want as much freedom as possible to make decisions for themselves in the years to come. The same is true for Texas, though they seem to have absolutely no belief that their actions might have any consequences, so I doubt this will give them much pause. Nonetheless, I think this is yet another reason it will be difficult to build a meaningful and passionate quorum opposing A&M’s move. Liberty is a big deal to Texans, and not many are going to want to have to be reminded that they opposed A&M making its own choice when they want the freedom to make their own choices.

    • bullet says:

      Baylor is a private school and doesn’t answer to the state legislature. And athletically they’ve got no options and noone cares what they do. They’ll fight this.

      Tech may have very limited athletic options. They’re filler and will have to tag along with A&M or UT as #14 or #16. Although they do have non-athletic issues where they will want freedom. I made the same point above regarding UT before reading your post. Contrary to your opinion, Texas seems the least likely to fight it (although I have no idea how likely or unlikely that is).

      And politicians tend to have big egos. That’s far more important than political philosophy.

  28. Patrick says:

    What if the SEC takes Texas A&M, then what?

    Oklahoma is the clear next choice based on revenue, but are they tied to OSU? Would the SEC go after Missouri or Texas Tech and just systematically dismantle the Big 12?

    After kicking around some AD revenues today, a few things jumped out, out of the schools NOT in the top 3 conferences, Texas is a gold mine. Notre Dame and Oklahoma are 2 & 3, then A&M and Duke are 4 & 5. Then UNC, OSU, Va Tech, WV, Syracuse, and BC. FSU Missouri, Kansas, Texas Tech, the U are all about 5-10 million behind the UNC group.

    Let / encourage / nudge the SEC to take A&M and Florida State, or A&M and Virginia Tech…. shaking up the ACC. The Big 12 implodes sending Oklahoma, OSU, Texas Tech and Kansas to the Pac West. SEC decides to move to 16 quickly and grabs FSU / Va Tech then 1 of Clemson / Miami / West Virginia / Louisville.

    ACC shattered, major conferences going to 16, BIG TEN has been negotiating with and setting up UNC / Duke / Boston College and Notre Dame. ND finally sees the need to join when the big players all go superconference. All good acedemics, big basketball and hockey improvement. Not crazy out of footprint, broad national appeal for what they do. Huge year round ratings for the Big Ten Network. Big Ten – ACC challenge all the time…. Wis, Minn, MSU, Mich, OSU, ND, BC and PSU for Hockey?

    All opinion of course, this would be a huge steal for the BTN.

    • As a Penn State fan this would be an ideal situation. The reality of the matter is it will not happen. The only way you force ND into the Big 10, is they become limited in who they play (They are already adding UT, the U, NW to the schedule, so it will not be Tulsa on the schedule like last year). However, BC would be an ideal school for the Big 10. Not just their Hockey program for the Big 10 Network, but their academics, and the NE market as well.
      As for UT, What I see happening is UT will hold things together, and will be successful at it. Why is that? There will always be pissant schools who are willing to be enablers for Bevo, just so they can get BCS Conference money. Baylor, K-State, Iowa State, Oklahoma State (Unless OU could take them west with them), and possible future members of the Longhorn Conference such as Houston, SMU, Rice & UTEP come to mind. (Does anyone think the UTEP Miners would say no to putting their home game with UT on the Longhorn Channel for a chance to be in the BCS?). Even if OU, Texas Tech, KU, and Missouri left it would not matter, all they would need would be about 3 Big time schools on their schedule to make it work (ND, A&M, and OU?) might be enough.

    • EZCUSE says:

      The funny thing about “AD revenues” is that the top 10 is rounded out by 2 Big East schools and then 2 former Big East schools. And then you have Miami at #10. So 1/2 the non top 3 was the Big East in 2002. And they couldn’t figure out a way to stick together? Nice work by Mike Tranghese.

    • Richard says:

      Can you get UNC without NCSU? That’s the key question.

      If SEC takes FSU, Miami is ripe for the picking. Would getting the U help get ND?

      You could come up with a NYC strategy with ND, Duke, and the U (and PSU & Michigan). Risky, though, with no local school.

  29. BuckeyeBeau says:

    So, any rumors on B1G reaction? BigPurpleCat (or whatever his name) from the Northwestern board suggested B1G is interested in A&M stand alone. By proxy, this would be FOX trying to prevent the ESPiN monopoly of the best texas teams.

    Any rumors or thoughts?

  30. BuckeyeBeau says:

    Sorry: mean to start a new thread:

    So, any rumors on B1G reaction? BigPurpleCat (or whatever his name) from the Northwestern board suggested B1G is interested in A&M stand alone. By proxy, this would be FOX trying to prevent the ESPiN monopoly of the best texas teams.

    Any rumors or thoughts?

    • Bamatab says:

      A&M is either going to the SEC or is staying in the Big 12. I don’t think that going to the B1G is even an option in their mind right now.

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        That was certainly my thought when PurpleCat threw out the idea of A&M as a stand-alone addition to the B1G. But wondered what, if anything, were rumors about a B1G reaction.

        • Brian says:

          The B10 should follow Beebe’s lead and offer USC, UF, UT and AL. Maybe the Cowboys and Steelers would join for football only, with the Lakers and Celtics for hoops.

    • Aggie in Fort Worth says:

      I have never heard that rumor, but it does not mean it is not true. If A&M does not go to the SEC, then expect it to put in for an application to PAC12. The Aggies will not stay in the Big12. Too much bad blood now.

      It would be interesting if the Aggies were denied entry in the SEC, and it decided to gain entry into the PAC12; and whether Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma decided to break free of Texas’ sphere of influence.

  31. BuckeyeBeau says:

    Btw, what happened to the “Oklahoma to SEC” rumors? Thought this was a package deal (A&M + OK)? That would certainly be better for ESPiN’s inventory. OK is somewhat hard to lever into a new space; no natural fit. Too south for B1G; too elite for MWC; too east for Pac-12.

    By contrast, Florida State is an easy natural fit with the SEC/ACC and even Big East.

    So, for ESPiN to end up with OK, getting A&M + OK as a package to the SEC may be the best way to get the OK “property.”

    Anyway, I have not read enough, but where did the Flordia State rumors start?

    Just curious.

    • Bamatab says:

      I think that OU is in a “wait & see” mode right now. Actually, they are in a pretty good position if you think about it. Once they see what the fallout is from aTm going east, they can then let the SEC and Pac 12 make their sales pitches to them. Once they’ve heard both sides best pitches (which I’d bet is already going on actually), and once they know the fallout of aTm leaving the Big 12, then they can make up their mind whether staying in the Big 12, going to the SEC, or going to the Pac 12 is best for their longterm well being.

      As I stated in the last topic page, the Pac 12 doesn’t have very many options when it comes to expansion. There aren’t very many “good” football schools left west of the Mississippi. If UT’s LHN takes them off of the table for the Pac 12, then OU is really a must have for them in order to get a good enough “football power” to justify expanding.

      When it comes to OU’s decision, I think it will come down how OU feels in regards to being hitched to OK ST. If the Big 12 implodes after aTm goes east, then OU might feel it can justify leaving OK ST and go East. But I would be very shocked if the SEC would take OK ST, so if OU feels they have to take OK ST wherever they go, OU will go west if the Big 12 is no longer a viable option in their sight. The SEC still has enough options left in the east to not feel it has to take OU.

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        excellent points; OK can wait; no need to rush (with, I guess, the only thought is that SEC might stop (at least for awhile) at 14 so the window closes for at least awhile).

    • bullet says:

      OU was most committed to keeping the B12 together last summer. I’ve seen several commentators suggest that they will NOT go to the SEC. But I also saw one report that said every school except OU had put out a statement that they were committed to the Big 12.

  32. cogit8tor says:

    If things end up with 16-team superconferences when the music stops then I’d expect the Big Ten to add Pitt, Rutgers and Missouri — in part because they’re all American Association of Universities schools and the Big Ten school presidents would be reluctant to add any schools (except Notre Dame) that weren’t in the AAU.

    Note that Nebraska just lost its AAU membership: http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/26078/nebraska-loses-aau-status

    Notre Dame would be the likely 16th team once they saw that superconferences were inevitable.

    The Big Ten would just have to live with the shame of only having 14 out of 16 schools in the AAU.

    • kylepitt says:

      Syracuse voluntarily gave up their AAU membership shortly after Nebraska; I don’t think either has been in decline. The AAU is still powerful as a name and bloc, but their way of measuring a university’s production may not be as valuable in future years as it once was.

      • Richard says:

        If you looked at research numbers, Syracuse was clearly not doing research at the same level as the major research universities any more, so, yes, relative to their peers, Syracuse was in decline in research. UNL (IMHO) was far less cut-and-dry.

  33. drwillini says:

    Maybe ESPN has realized that all the money they paid to keep the big12 together last year was not worth it. I assume they can get out of that contract if A&M leaves.

    Four 16 team super conferences makes a tremendous amount of sense for a lot of people, especailly if you are a TV exec, TV viewer, or alum of one of the chosen 48. Maybe ESPN has decided that trying to stop something that makes so much sense is not a good investment in the long run. Sort of like trying to bail the Greeks out, you find yourself having to ante up more and more frequently to protect your past irrationality.

    the 4×16 gives you an eight team playoff. Really about the max that is reasonable for a number of logistical reasons. The conferences keep their conference championship games. Rose bowl is preserved. SEC gets a plum by playing the remnant conference in the Sugar Bowl, which they probably deserve as the top confererence. And if you force UT, ND and the U intot he remnant conference, it might not bee that imbalanced.

    The B1G needs to add four eastern teams. The west division would be: UNL, Iowa, MN Wisc, NW, UI, PU and IU. East: UM, MSU, OSU, PSU, MD, UVa, UNC, Duke. Note the preservations of natural rivalries. A 4 team pod would work very well from a rivalry standpoint, our pod of UI, NW, IU and PU would be too weak from a football standpoint though. The real key for the B1G is to add the right teams that are cultural fits. The 4×16 configuration could be stable for some time, and I would really hate to have to live with UT or ND.

    • John says:

      Of course if you add two in West & two in East you can just as easily split along the Illinois/Indiana border.

      • drwillini says:

        Agree, but the key is you need to take two. If you needed just one, maybe Mizzou. Taking two, I guess it would be two of Mizzou, Oklahoma and Kanas. Just not sure that is as helpful from a demographic standpoint as MD, UVa, and UNC – not to mention the academics which I think will be a bigger issue after being burned my UNL with the AAU. Also, I think the PAC (or the remnant conference) needs Oklahoma for football balance.

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      @John. You make a very interesting point about ESPiN’s money. As you point out, if A&M goes to SEC, ESPiN has out-options with the new BXII tv deal. They already have TX; maybe during this “alignment round,” they prod the downfall of the BXII.

      Maybe that is how ESPiN can “afford” to pay the SEC another $960 million for their tv rights through 2024 with 14 teams (again, just making the math easy).

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        @John. You make a very interesting point about ESPiN’s money. As you point out, if A&M goes to SEC, ESPiN has out-options with the new BXII tv deal. They already have TX; maybe during this “alignment round,” they prod the downfall of the BXII.

        Maybe that is how ESPiN can “afford” to pay the SEC another $960 million for their tv rights through 2024 with 14 teams (again, just making the math easy).

        • hangtime79 says:

          There are incredible forces at work within Texas state politics, but people falsely believe that its to keep the B12-2 together. The politics are to keep Baylor and Tech in a BCS conference. When Tech and Baylor were on the outside looking at the MWC or some other conference is when the cries were loudest. Either one of these schools going to a non-BCS conference will lead to much lower enrollments and more economic troubles in those respective communities, Waco and Lubbock. If they remain in a BCS conference, it will not matter. The problem is Texas is too large a player and any move by it will lead to the entire conference imploding – thus they can’t move. A&M doesn’t bring that amount of heft so it can move and not implode the conference. Now for ESPN wanting to tear up the contract…that’s an absolute possibility which might bring Fox back into the picture. Either way it will be an interesting week.

          • Hopkins Horn says:

            Hangtime, you took the words right out of my mouth. I articulated very similar thoughts last night at BON after I had an epiphany and saw the error of my thinking over the past several months.

            Before I get to that, I do want to clear up a misperception some on this thread have repeated: the belief that Texas legislators are “powerless” to act when they are not in session, as is the case now. This should be Politics 101, but having the ability to vote on and pass laws is just one of a plethora of ways legislators have to wield influence. Just because the Legislature isn’t in session right now doesn’t neuter the ability of its members to thwart an A&M move to the SEC if that’s what they chose to do.

            Just look at realignment history of you don’t believe me. Legislative pressure came into the mix in both of the past two decades’ realignment scrambles in February 1994 and June 2010. In neither case was the Texas Legislature in session, yet in both cases, pro-Baylor and pro-Tech forces were able to ensure that their particular schools’ needs were met.

            But just because legislators continue to wield considerable influence doesn’t mean that they will wield all of their potential influence in this particular case.

            Which brings us to the current talk of A&M moving to the SEC. Like Frank, it’s appearing increasingly likely that I will be wrong, and, like Frank, a large part of my being wrong lies with my miscalculation of the political calculus involved.

            My mistake has been a very simple one: an assumption that the pro-Baylor and the pro-Tech forces within Texas state government would view a unilateral departure by either Texas or A&M with an equal amount of concern that such a departure would lead to the death of the conference and likely relegation to non-BCS conferences.

            But clearly that is not the case. While I maintain, as you seem to indicate from your sources, that Baylor and Tech would continue to view a unilateral departure of Texas in such a light, the unilateral departure of A&M isn’t nearly as threatening to their status as BCS conference members. As a result, we’re not witnessing the marshaling of legislative resources to prevent an A&M departure that I had erroneously assumed.

            Now don’t get me wrong — A&M’s departure does weaken the conference. It doesn’t destroy it as a Texas departure would, but it does weaken it, so it does serve UT’s best interest to see if some token legislative roadblocks could easily impede A&M’s move. (From what I’m hearing from my Texas sources, though, there’s been a whole lot of nothing in that regard so far.) But if A&M were not to be easily deterred, I am now of the belief that pro-Baylor and pro-Tech forces would see this as not being the opportune time to deploy whatever nuclear options they might have in their arsenals. And without Baylor and Tech seeing a need to go all-out legislatively to stop A&M, there’s little incentive for UT to go all-out to stop A&M either.

          • Hopkins Horn says:

            And just for fun: one completely random conspiracy theory which I in no way believe but the thought did cross my mind: A&M and Texas are playing a well-coordinated good cop/bad cop routine so that both schools can get what they want. Now that begs the question of what UT’s end goal would actually be, but a good conspiracy doesn’t need to tie up all the loose ends, no?

          • OT says:

            Texas wants 1) control of a conference, and 2) the ability to go independent in football if absolutely necessary.

            I don’t see Texas inviting BYU to the Big 12, but Texas inviting Houston to the Big 12 makes a lot more sense than Texas having to go independent in football and park its other sports in the Big East or worse (i.e. Conference USA, Sun Belt, WAC, or Southland.)

            The massive egos in college sports all want their own conference to control:

            1. Texas controls the Big 12
            2. Notre Dame controls the Big East
            3. BYU controls the WCC

            The only big ego that has no control of a conference is USC.

          • hangtime79 says:

            I don’t see the rest of the conference going along with UH especially the northern schools. I see the northern schools fighting for a more independent school in the vain of ND, Boise State, or BYU. A 10 team realignment could like the following:

            South:
            TT
            UT
            Baylor
            OU
            OSU

            North
            ISU
            K-State
            Kansas
            Mizzu
            –new northern school

            BYU might be interested in that the conference would work with their scheduling and already has a very religious school, Baylor. Also, this will be the only conference that will not have a problem with BYU having its own network.

            Also, for those of you jonesing for ND to join the B10. I think their is a better chance of them joining some form of the B12-3 because ultimately this conference is setting up to be the “eat what you kill” conference in terms of media. Will see what happens this week.

          • Brian says:

            Neither BYU nor ND is going to sign up to play ISU, KSU, KU and Baylor in football every year, and divisions don’t work below 12 schools because you can’t play a CCG.

          • jcfreder says:

            If the odds of ND joining the B10 is 1% (or less), then the odds of ND joining the B12-3 is .0000000000000000001% (or less).

            I’m not completely sold that BYU would pass up joining a major conference. But the others are right that there are good reasons for them not to do so.

            If I were the B12, I’d at least strongly consider inviting BYU.

          • duffman says:

            HH, trust me I have been pondering that angle for about 6 months right now. It has to be a Texas thing, that would not be picked up on my Indiana radar – Much like high school basketball eludes Texas radar.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Hopkins:
            That was kind of my point with my question yesterday. Whether there is actual colusion or not, there may be concurrent goals.

          • Ron says:

            Rick Perry, former Aggie yell leader and current Texas governor, declared his candicacy for president today. This puts Texas A&M on a short timeline to get into the conference of their choice before their political cover vanishes. If Perry has his eyes clearly on the next rung of his political career, he may not be as beholden to in-state political allies with ties to Baylor. Plus this enables a group of four universities (Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State) that may use the opening A&M has created to make their own escape west together and supersize the PAC12 to sixteen teams. A PAC16 eastern division of AZ, AZ St, Utah, Colo, UT, Texas Tech, OK St and OK would seem pretty workable… Anyways, that’s my conspiracy theory.

          • vp19 says:

            That leaves Baylor and most or all of the four northern Big 12 schools in limbo. They then have to hope the ACC and/or Big East are sufficiently decimated that they need them as a western flank, or that an agreement would be made to promote the Mountain West to BCS status were it to take them in.

          • vp19 says:

            The above was a reply to the scenario of Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Okie State heading to a Pac-16.

          • Redhawk says:

            @Hopkins Horn
            I wouldn’t go so far as to say “well-Coordinated” but I think A&M moving first does get UT’s ultimate goal…and that is Independence or the only major university in a Mid-major type conference. The LHN contract and the actions so far by it/espn can only lead to one spot, which is no one wants to be in the Big 12…which is Independence for UT that they couldn’t have gotten if they said “hey were going independent”.

            There will be some schools that have no choice and will see UT’s crumbs as mana, like Baylor or Houston. Others will see it as serfdom to UT’s dukedom, and want to leave.

          • zeek says:

            For some reason I had always assumed that the Tech/Baylor forces were latched onto Texas mainly simply because of the power of Texas as the strongest of the national power schools, and the school that would always be in a BCS conference simply by its presence. A&M never had that kind of value, so I assumed the Tech/Baylor forces would be willing to hold save their energy to prevent a Texas independence push. As long as Texas was/is signaling an intent to remain in the Big 12, I haven’t seen any likely backlash against an A&M move.

          • bullet says:

            Your post reminds me of an historical footnote. The most credible story of what happened in 1994 was in a story in the San Antonio paper. Lt. Gov. Bullock (along with Speaker Laney and others) called UT and A&M officials into his office and informed them they were going to the Big 12 with Baylor and Tech. UT understood. A&M said, “No, we are going to the SEC.” A&M was made to understand.

            This wouldn’t be the first time A&M wanted to go to the SEC.

          • bullet says:

            The Baylor poster way up the thread said his Baylor contacts said they would not fight. Like you, Baylor was a school I was certain would fight.

          • hangtime79 says:

            @bullet
            Baylor will only fight if they get left out of a BCS conference. Baylor just approved a $400 MM operating budget for the coming year. Further up thread I discussed Baylor’s and probably Tech’s big fear, enrollment loss. Now if you think about that operating budget and what would happen with loss in enrollment modeled you start to understand how critical it is for both these schools to remain in a BCS conference. That $10MM payment UT is getting from ESPN each year is probably 1/10 the possible loss of conference affiliation is worth to each school. Seeing that you should understand the kind of weapons both schools will unleash if anything threatens the BCS conference affiliation. Back to my point about not unleashing its weapons.

            Read the statements both from Ken Starr in today’s Waco Tribune Hearld and Ian McCaw’s, Baylor’s AD, issued yesterday.

            http://www.baylor.edu/pr/news.php?action=story&story=98171
            http://www.baylorbears.com/genrel/081211aaa.html

            They both talk about traditional rivalries, commitment to the B12-2, and other platitudes. However, you will notice what’s not there, there are no calls to action. There is no call to talk to your reps, no write to other papers, no discussion about this severely weakening Baylor or the surrounding economy. Now juxtapose these statements with last year’s where they talk about damage to the Waco economy, Baylor itself, and to get involved and stay involved.

            http://www.baylor.edu/pr/news.php?action=story&story=75443
            http://www.baylor.edu/pr/news.php?action=story&story=75510

            In effect, we now are seeing a token defense to keep A&M. Baylor feels that A&M leaving will not blow up the conference and therefore is not going to deploy its arsenal to keep A&M which probably makes the conference less stable anyway given the little brother-big brother dynamic between the institutions. Thus, whatever Rep Branch’s committee meeting is going to talk about on Tuesday sure won’t be pushed by Baylor.

            Really the only school that will lose with A&M leaving to head for the SEC is UT and therefore I think any pressure for A&M to stay will be coming from that direction.

          • hangtime79 says:

            @bullet
            Baylor will only fight if they get left out of a BCS conference. Baylor just approved a $400 MM operating budget for the coming year. Further up thread I discussed Baylor’s and probably Tech’s big fear, enrollment loss. Now if you think about that operating budget and what would happen with loss in enrollment modeled you start to understand how critical it is for both these schools to remain in a BCS conference. That $10MM payment UT is getting from ESPN each year is probably 1/10 the possible loss of conference affiliation is worth to each school. Seeing that you should understand the kind of weapons both schools will unleash if anything threatens the BCS conference affiliation. Back to my point about not unleashing its weapons.

            Read the statements both from Ken Starr in today’s Waco Tribune Hearld and Ian McCaw’s, Baylor’s AD, issued yesterday.

            http://www.baylor.edu/pr/news.php?action=story&story=98171
            http://www.baylorbears.com/genrel/081211aaa.html

            They both talk about traditional rivalries, commitment to the B12-2, and other platitudes. However, you will notice what’s not there, there are no calls to action. There is no call to talk to your reps, no write to other papers, no discussion about this severely weakening Baylor or the surrounding economy. Now juxtapose these statements with last year’s where they talk about damage to the Waco economy, Baylor itself, and to get involved and stay involved.

            http://www.baylor.edu/pr/news.php?action=story&story=75443
            http://www.baylor.edu/pr/news.php?action=story&story=75510

            In effect, we now are seeing a token defense to keep A&M. Baylor feels that A&M leaving will not blow up the conference and therefore is not going to deploy its arsenal to keep A&M which probably makes the conference less stable anyway given the little brother-big brother dynamic between the institutions. Thus, whatever Rep Branch’s committee meeting is going to talk about on Tuesday sure won’t be pushed by Baylor.

            Really the only school that will lose with A&M leaving to head for the SEC is UT and therefore I think any pressure for A&M to stay will be coming from that direction.

    • mushroomgod says:

      This is silly on so many levels……….

      You talk about cultural fit, after just mentioning NC, Duke, and Va. Sillly

      And you think Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Wisconsin will vote to add all eastern teams? Silly.

      Or that NC, Duke, and VA. will leave the ACC? Silly.

      • drwillini says:

        Looking backward of course you are right. If you make the asumption that I have laid out, that the 4×16 configuration creates value, the question becomes how do you best fill out a 16 team B1G in a way that adds maximally to BTN revenue and remains in some sense a coherent conference with enough shared values that it defines the brand. You are not going to get to 16 by adding midwest land grant colleges ranked in the US News top 75.

        A corollary to this assumption is that as stronger surrounding (football) conferences (SEC and B1G) get to 16 they will do so at the ACC’s expense, the old ACC will not be an option for UNC, Duke and UVa. They would have a choice, B1G, SEC or ACC/BigEast/Big12 remnant. I think under this assumption, they would choose B1G in a heartbeat.

        So I think the logic is sound. Using Occam’s razor, if the result is silly, it must be in the assumption. Which is 4×16 is a stable value creating configuration that cannot be resisted in the long run. Old William was a pretty bright guy, this might be silly.

      • jcfreder says:

        Wisconsin might not mind adding eastern teams if that means they get to play in the west.

    • bullet says:

      ESPN didn’t really put out any money. They just didn’t cut. And that contract runs out in 4 years.

    • Brian says:

      Pods can work, but you have to balance them. You can’t have IL, NW, PU and IN in one while OSU, PSU, MI and MSU are in another.

      I think the IN schools would have issues with your divisions, losing games with OSU and MI especially.

      • vp19 says:

        A better, more equitable Big Ten pod system would switch the Michigan and Indiana schools, so you would have Penn State, Ohio State, Purdue and Indiana in one pod and Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin and Northwestern in another. (The westernmost pod would be Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska.)

  34. Marc Shepherd says:

    You wrote: “it’s not as easy as “expansion = look-in trigger = more $$$”, or else we’d see conferences expand every single time that their own TV contracts fell behind by a little bit.”

    Aren’t you missing something here? The reasons conferences can’t just just expand every day are obvious. First, the only way they get more money is if the expansion target is a desirable one. Adding the whole state of Texas to the SEC makes the SEC a significantly more valuable property. Adding Florida A&M does not. A “look-in” is what it literally says: “taking a look.” It does not mean more money unless the expansion actually adds value.

    And of course, expansion is two-way street. It needs to be good for the expanding conference, but it also needs to be good for the school, too. The ACC could certainly sweeten its TV deal by adding Penn State. But even a sweetened ACC TV deal wouldn’t be better for Penn State than just remaining where they are.

    So the reason you don’t see expansion every day is that there just aren’t that many possibilities where both the institution and the conference stand significantly to benefit.

  35. cutter says:

    I suspect the prime catalyst for Mike Slive and the SEC to make this move is Larry Scott and the Pac 12.

    Over the past 14 months or so, Scott tried to create the first 16-team super conference and failed. He then put together an oustanding media package and set up the groundwork for a Pac 12 Network that will include a national channel coupled with six regional/state channels. Scott has publicly said he expects there to be further realignment in college football and given past history, there’s not much doubt he’d be a major change agent in that process.

    Slive and the SEC’s perception of the matter may be strategic. If they’ve become convinced that 16-team super conferences coupled with a post-season college playoff are the wave of the future, then the timing of the move to accept Texas A&M plus at least one more team into the conference makes sense. The SEC could wait, but perhaps the conference leadership has decided its time to forge the future now or else be left in the wake of a Pac 16 Conference (or a Big 16 Conference with Jim Delany at the helm).

    I can see the SEC stopping at 14 for now as part of the famous two-step conference expansion strategy that’s been discussed on this blog many times. But I have little doubt they’ve identified the desired programs that will get them to 16. Whatever happens is going to be the main driver dictating how much momentum is behind what may be the next round of conference expansion.

    I also suspect that because all these issues were touched on last year and that all the interested parties are all pretty well-versed in pros and cons, etc. of any move, decisions on going foward regarding conference realiignment will be made much more expeditiously than last summer. That in itself carries its own momentum. We saw last year, for example, how the Big Ten felt compelled to move up its time table and invite Nebraska to the confernce given all the turmoil in the Big XII. Now we’re reading about Texas A&M moving up its regents meeting and the possibility of a meeting of the SEC presidents on Sunday. The bottom line is this–things may fall in place on a much faster timetable than people expect.

    Obviously, there’s lots happening behind the scenes we don’t know. but I think we can be pretty sure that Slive, Scott and Delany in concert with the networks are the major change agents here. Obviously, the university presidents have a big say in this, but I suspect the Pac 12 and Big 10 presidents have alreadly laid out what they want to see happen to their conference commissioners.

    We’ll see, but this may be another “Guns of August” scenario, except instead of the beginning of World War I, it’ll be the beginning of a major realignment in collegiate athletics.

    • mushroomgod says:

      I think Slive understands that the BIG has no expansion response that will work. Adding Rutgers and MO is doable and would make sense, but the Presidents and fans probably aren’t ready for it after just adding Nebraska. And it would obviously be a less than exciting response anyway. All the TX, OK, NC, Duke, VA, MD to the BIG talk is nonsense, and he knows it.

      It’s all about ruling the world, IMO.

      • rich2 says:

        “All the TX, OK, NC, Duke, VA, MD to the BIG talk is nonsense, and he (Slive) knows it.” Say it again, brother, say it louder. This is not Stratego.

      • schwarm says:

        As long as Texas has the potential to go independent, there’s less motivation for ND to do anything.
        Seems like that will be the case, with Texas staying in the Big 12 until it falls apart. Given that, the B1G’s moves seem limited – there are a lot of options, but few great ones.

    • jcfreder says:

      We know why a conference would go to 12 (to get a championship game)

      We know why a 12-team conference would go to 14 (if you can land a slam-dunk team like TAMU)

      So why would a league go to 16? Just to get to get 4 4-team pod symmetry? The money probably won’t be there to go from 14 to 16. (Although Oklahoma is a semi-slam dunk that might only be available in a 16-team scenario)

  36. drwillini says:

    Agree with all of this Cutter. I think last year Scott took the initiative and people were moving faster than they were comfortable with. Now the pencils have been worked. Another great point is that Scott, Slive and Delany have more in common with getting this done rationally than they do competitvelyas rivals, althought that element is no doubt present to a lesser degree. Particularly Delany and Slive. If the answer is 16, how does Slive get there w/o A&M. The B1G and SEC need to emerge as the top two conferences, the PAC needs to emerge as an intact entity, and the Remnant conference needs to be roughly as strong in football as the PAC to have a balanced seeding in Sugar and Rose Bowls.

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      ooooh, a Naming Contest. Okay, board: NAME THAT FOURTH CONFERENCE!

      Drwillini offers: The Remnant Conference. LOL

      I’ll offer: Conference All Over The Country

    • bullet says:

      You do have a good point that these 3 really won’t compete for teams much. Basically for the Pac 12 its just vs. the SEC for A&M and OU and vs. the B10 for UT. For the SEC and B10 Missouri is the only school that both might want and be able to get (UT and UNC won’t go to the SEC).

  37. hangtime79 says:

    For those who remember me from last year, I again spoke with my contact in the Baylor administration on Thursday. Apparently there was a lot of rumors and scuttle coming out of the Big 12 BOD meeting last week. My contact thought that the BOD would kick A&M something extra (and may still) to keep them, but thought they would eventually jump. However, he did not believe A&M leaving would blow up the league as long as Texas stayed. If B12 minus 3 still has Texas and was still intact Baylor and Tech would not fight A&M leaving.

    When the analysis was done last year Baylor forecasted enrollment dropping precipitously due to losing the B12 (between 15% – 30%) and going to a non-BCS conference. The same forecasts I’m sure would hold for Tech. The football revenues are important but the enrollments more so for both Tech and Baylor. As long as Baylor and Tech remain in a BCS conference, even if that conference is one smaller without A&M, then its good for both schools. In fact, the loss of A&M may help the B12-3 stay together as either another Texas school could be included or an invitation could go out somewhere else. Remember it wasn’t Arkansas leaving the SWC that killed it, it was Texas. As long as Texas is onboard to keep the conference together than there is no political fight to keep A&M from moving.

    BTW, what’s better for Texas than being an independent? Texas being able to schedule and act like an independent while being associated with a BCS conference.

    This is my lay of the land as of the moment.

  38. drwillini says:

    Question for my Illini brothers:
    Will you be spending more time with conference realignment “stratego” this weekend or watching our boys in the PGA?

  39. duffman says:

    Frank,

    you gotta pay more attention to the duffman! :)

    Word is you were sourcing fat ketch for your previous blogs while I was sourcing the guy that designed the artwork you used in this one. ;)

    I said this to you near the beginning of the blog and I will paraphrase it here again because I am too overwhelmed to go back and look for it. it went something like this….

    If the B1G is to come out on top of realignment, we must anticipate what the SEC will actually do rather than what we would like them to do. The day we plan on what we would like them to do is the day we have already lost!

    I stick by this as my guiding principle today. If we say no way to Cincinnati, Louisville, and West Virginia in the B1G, it is safe to say that any discussion of these teams in the SEC is moot as well. While I have proposed that the ACC could implode the same way the B12 has, I have always considered that the SEC might get at least 1 academic jewel in the fight. To say that this is impossible is to be blinded by personal views. Realignment is about football money and research money! Georgetown is a great school, but without a football brand and big research dollars, they will not enter the realignment discussion.

    I could be wrong, but early on in this blog, we all agreed that the 2 Texas schools should wind up anywhere but the SEC, yet here we are on the verge of it happening. I for one will only believe it when I see Loftin and Slive in the photo op press conference, but I will say this is one time it was good to be an IU basketball fan. I was in Indy this spring sitting with some other IU fans for the NCAA championship game between Notre Dame and TAMU. I came away from that game with the impression that the fan base was already SEC bound, and it was only a matter of time. Say what you will about thinking like a college president, but to ignore the majority of your fanbase (and big donors) is probably the quickest way to finding yourself out of a job. Loftin and Byrne have quietly been revamping sports at TAMU, and the NCAA championship was a vision of things to come.

    TAMU is now a serious competitor in the Directors Cup, and with their money and fanbase could easily become a serious contender in the SEC football world. When I did the research on the “underperforming” football schools of all time on FtT, TAMU was at the top of my list. yet during this time they were shackled as the “little brother” of the mighty longhorns. Over the past year of realignment discussion it has become more obvious of what a future TAMU unshackled might become. If I as a humble blogger could see this, I am fairly sure the administration and big donors at TAMU could see this as well.

    Tomorrow, this may all blow up, and TAMU might be back in the B12 fold, but today they are at the podium in the national press, and they have entered a place they have not been. I have a feeling this is the point of no return.

    • bullet says:

      IMO A&M has been underperforming because of coaching, not talent.

      • duffman says:

        bullet,

        My research on TAMU that I posted on here ages ago confirmed that. Going back to Dana Bible and others, TAMU has had great coaches they have failed to keep, and kept coaches they never should have hired. I would counter with Florida until Charlie Pell became their coach. Without Pell, there would be no Spurrier or Meyer. If TAMU gets the gateway coach – which Sherman may be – then the coach that follows will be the future of TAMU.

  40. zeek says:

    Frank, any idea whether the Big Ten has looked into adding Florida State and Miami? I get that research is important, but with Nebraska losing AAU, that can’t be the be-all end-all of enlargement of the Big Ten at this point. Florida State and Miami are both strong research universities, probably on par with Nebraska (especially with the removal of their AAU), and that in my opinion is the only way to 14 right now other than Notre Dame + 1.

    The Big Ten can’t take Missouri/Rutgers or Maryland/Rutgers at this point. I think we need a slam dunk to go to 14 and that means some school from the list of Notre Dame/Florida State/Miami. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part, but I’d love to know whether Florida State/Miami would entertain the thought of joining the Big Ten together.

    • zeek says:

      The other thing is, is that you can just move Wisconsin to the “Northwest” division if you do grab a combination like FSU/Miami in order to maintain competitive balance.

    • drwillini says:

      I have heard speculation about B1G and the U, but I’m not buying it. To me what will define the big post-expansion is what drives the BTN revenue machine, and that is lots of nationwide alumni and graduate programs that generate research dollars and more alumni that cross pollinate with other conference schools. Not sure either of these schools offer that. Ironically, I think UF does.

    • curious2 says:

      Re: Big 10 adding FSU and UMiami (Zeek)

      And on and on it goes

  41. duffman says:

    new ESPN link

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=6858985&categoryid=2378529

    TAMU to SEC, probable official announcement monday after SEC meeting this weekend, and BoR meeting on monday.

  42. Jake says:

    But why should we have to wait to engage in rampant speculation? Here’s my scenario. The private schools get tired of dealing with the politics that the big state schools bring and decide to form their own conference. The current FBS conference privates (including TCU), plus Notre Dame and BYU, create this:

    West
    USC
    Stanford
    BYU
    TCU
    Baylor
    Vanderbilt

    East
    Northwestern
    Notre Dame
    Syracuse
    Boston College
    Duke
    Miami

    Non-football
    Georgetown
    Villanova
    St. John’s

    ND gets protected rivalries with USC and Stanford, and the league would have to stick to eight conference games so the Irish could keep playing Michigan, MSU and Navy every year. Doesn’t leave them a whole lot of flexibility, but they get a national schedule. For basketball, you play each of your fourteen conference opponents once, and four of them twice, including some protected rivalries. I thought about including Gonzaga to give the conference a presence in the Pacific NW, but I could go either way on that one. Also, I left out Wake Forest, because really, now.

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Jake – add Tulane, SMU & Rice to the West, move Vandy to East, add Wake Forest to the East and you have a deal for the first 16-team Super/private/exclusive Club/conference.

      • Jake says:

        12′s a good number, and I’m not sure those four bring enough to be worthwhile. But either way, this is going to be a VERY exclusive club. Imagine if that group formed its own version of the CIC.

        As for Vandy in the West, I didn’t want to split ND and Northwestern, or have ND and USC in the same division, as that seemed unbalanced. So, Vandy it is.

        I’m also still working on a name for this thing. The National Athletic Concerence? The Parochial Conference? Suggestions are welcome.

  43. Jake says:

    Not sure why my last post went up there, but such are the mysteries of WordPress comment sections. And while we’re talking about Aggies and white people dancing:

    And yes, I would have posted that even if EDSBS hadn’t put it up yesterday. I’m from Texas; it’s canonical.

  44. toddluvslounging says:

    The Big-10 infatuation with ND or the Carolinas is clouding their judgement about Mizzou. How can the Big-10 waste a lifetime of John Hughes movies, solid Mid-West values, and allow the Slive and the SEC to snake away Mizzou. Mizzou is AAU, hard working, and not very athletic but could probably be paired up with Maryland. Mizzou is a that awesome friend everybody takes for granted! That’s a home run. Not ND grand slam, but something worth plenty at 14 teams. Plus, the Tigs and Terps definitely add something to the basketball. Moreover, the Big-10 can stop at 14 and wait until they are stomach punched by ND again after NBC signs another dumb Olympic size mistake with the Irish.

    • Eric says:

      Don’t see the SEC going for Missouri, but if the Big Ten has to expand again, I agree they are toward the top of who I want (other than maybe Kansas). I’d rather keep the Big Ten primarily Midwest focused so we go to 16 eventually, at least most of the conference will remain there.

      • toddluvslounging says:

        I think Slive and the SEC go to 16 teams:

        A&M, already in the pocket
        FSU, the state of Florida is big enough for two quality teams
        West Virginia, because they just feel like an SEC program and the SEC can’t convince any other ACC teams.
        Missouri, because the Big-10 will allow it and Mizzou will not have any choice.

        Slive talked about paradigm shift and I think the Big East turning down ESPN’s offer was it. The SEC could see in a couple of years where they are fourth in media money and more importantly for their Olympic sports, fourth in exposure. The SEC knows from recent history it is better to be taking risks rather than letting events pass you by. Those non-revenue sports can become revenue sports with enough exposure.

        • toddluvslounging says:

          Doh! I forgot to mention the main reason for going to 16. The SEC needs a conference network and now really want regional networks the Pac just negotiated and the only way to force ESPN and CBS to renegotiate is to be able to have enough rights to make valuable for ESPN and CBS to renegotiate. An increase of 25% of rights should be enough to force ESPN’s hand and probably CBS. Slive needs to be able to say, “I’ll go to Fox with these rights.” Splitting them won’t be pretty, but hey, conference networks and regional networks are the only way to keep pace.

      • James in SoCal says:

        I also agree, this isn’t done in the ways of expasion for the Big Ten. Even their new logo looks like the G is set up to make a 6.

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Todd – A&M and Florida State are basically SEC schools that aren’t in the conference. I agree that the B1G should be looking for B1G-like schools that just don’t happen to be members.

      I’d go with Mizzou and Pitt. They would be stand-up doubles much like Arkansas and South Carolina were for the SEC in the 90s. It took some time for them to assimilate, but both were happy and grateful to be in the SEC. But last season, South Carolina made it to the SEC CG for the first time and Arkansas played in its first BCS bowl game.

      Mizzou and Pitt are competitive, but not championship caliber – just like the Hogs and the ‘cocks back in the early 90s. Twenty years ago, TV money wasn’t nearly the consideration it is today, but with Mizzou you pick up a new state with two big cities primed for BTN carriage. Pitt is a great school, good tradition, and the right thing to do.

      • zeek says:

        Alan, I’d agree with you if the Big Ten was where the SEC was. But I think we all know that the Big Ten is still another power school away from being able to match the SEC. The SEC already had Florida/Alabama/Tenn./Georgia/LSU (maybe replace Tenn. with Auburn looking forward); they needed to fill out the middle of the conference, so SC/Ark. made a whole lot of sense as well as getting the SEC CCG.

        The Big Ten is aleady at 12, but I think the Big Ten is still yet another power school away (i.e. Notre Dame but that doesn’t look to happen any time in the next 5 years unless they have a series of losing seasons).

        The Big Ten needed Penn State and Nebraska to help fill out the top of the conference since it was OSU/Michigan and the little 8, but I still think the Big Ten needs one more of those kinds of additions. The other thing is that going to 14 is so different from going to 12 in which the CCG helps satisfy the move from 1/10th to 1/12th shares of the pie.

        In going to 14, the two schools had better be able to satisfy their two shares worth. Missouri and Pitt can’t do that. They might have been able to take the Big Ten to 12 if you include CCG money (and remove two schools…), but I don’t see how they get the Big Ten to 14 if you already value the next Big Ten contract at near $30M per school.

        Texas A&M can do that for the SEC because of the size of the Texas TV markets and what that will do for recruiting for schools like Alabama that don’t really hit Texas as hard as they could if they were in a division with A&M.

        • Brian says:

          zeek,

          I think you are wrong. The SEC has one traditional king (AL) on par with the B10′s 4 (OSU, MI, PSU, NE), with TN, GA, AU and LSU trailing them. What the B10 needs are those next level teams to strengthen the middle, and WI is in that role now and both MSU and IA are trying to get there regularly. The B10 suffers from the kings not all being near their peaks and the middle and bottom of the conference falling short. If NW would win a bowl, and IL would meet their potential, that would help. PU keeping their ACL’s intact will help too.

          Solid mid-pack addition would be just fine competitively. The problem that they rarely pay for themselves. MO might work, but Pitt doesn’t bring new TVs which makes it hard to justify.

          • Richard says:

            What happened to UF? In any case, I’d put UF, UGa, & LSU alongside ‘Bama as “kings” now. All 4 of them (as well as AU) brought in more football revenue than Michigan or tOSU.

          • Brian says:

            UF is a modern king, but not a traditional/historical one. I meant to include them on that list of SEC schools trailing the kings.

            I stand by my points. The B10 needs the kings to play like kings and the middle to man up. NW is much better than their national reputation because the only game many people see is NW losing a bowl. IL has flashes of brilliance and then Zooks themselves the next year. MSU seems to be growing out of that under Dantonio, but I’m waiting to see them follow up 2010 with a solid season. IA is only good if they have no expectations. WI seems to have finally gotten past that problem.

          • Brian says:

            UGA can’t claim king status based on a few great years under Richt.

            FL has 7 SECCG titles and 3 NC since 1992.
            AL has 3 SECCG titles and 2 NC since 1992.
            LSU has 3 SECCG titles and 2 NC since 1992.
            TN has 2 SECCG titles in 5 appearances and 1 NC since 1992.
            AU has 2 SECCG titles in 4 appearances and 1 NC since 1992.

            GA has 2 SECCG titles in 3 appearances and 0 NC since 1992.

            GA is 6th in the recent history of its conference, and is on a string of off years. They are WI or maybe IA right now.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Brian – neither Wiscy nor Iowa have a 1980 NC and final #2 ranking as recently as 2007, like UGA. I don’t know if either Wiscy or Iowa have 12 conference championships though, like UGA.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            My list of “kings” (not in order):

            Michigan
            Ohio State
            Nebraska
            Penn State
            Florida State
            Miami
            Florida
            Alabama
            LSU
            Tennessee
            USC
            Texas
            OU
            Notre Dame

            Almost kings:
            Georgia
            Auburn

            Right behind them (not in order):
            Va. Tech
            Wisconsin
            Oregon
            Washington
            Iowa
            Clemson
            Texas A&M

          • Brian says:

            Alan,

            #2 finishes don’t mean much more to me compared to #3-10 except that you for sure won a good bowl game and are a media darling. Doing it once in 19 years isn’t king material by itself. The last 3 seasons have taken the luster off of 2007.

            GA has 7 AP top 10 finishes since 1992 (including 2 #10s), WI has 5 and Iowa 4 (both with no #10s). Both WI and IA have 12 conference titles as well, and IA has 1 NC. I don’t see GA’s NC in 1980 as really any more or less relevant than IA’s 1958 title.

            WI is on a high right now, like GA was in 2002-2005 or 2007 (we’ll see how long it lasts), while GA has been on a down slide.

          • Brian says:

            Michael,

            I assume you are talking about modern day kings, not traditional ones.

            That said, I think you have to downgrade Miami. They’ve been down too long to stay on your list (out of final AP top 25 4 of last 5 years, #19 in 2009, #17 in 2005, not top 10 since 2003). TN is also sliding off the list, along with FSU (the downside of listing modern kings is that they can silide off the list with several bad years in a row). In the 2000′s, FSU wasn’t a AP top 10 finisher except for 2000 (TN not since 2001). The good news for you is that Fisher seems to have FSU coming back to prominence while TN is still several years away.

            Some references for final AP top 10s since 2000:
            OSU, OU – 8 out of 11
            USC, UT – 7
            LSU – 6
            FL, GA, VT – 5
            Miami, IA, AL, OR – 4
            AU, WI, TCU, BSU, probably several others – 3

            I think you give Auburn too much credit for last year, with 4 out of 11 years out of the top 25. UW can’t be in that next tier after 1 bowl game in 8 years. Clemson and TAMU have no results to justify inclusion either (1 top 20 each in 11 years).

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            Brian,

            A king to me is a program that is simply legendary and highly relevant to this day. It may have traditions that date back to 1803, when Michigan first started collecting its victory totals, or those traditions may not really go back even before color television, like Miami. But it’s a program that is always relevant.

            “King” status, as far as I’m concerned, has to be subjective. Michigan has won 1 national title in the past 62 years, but no one would question whether they’re one of college football’s kings. Miami, FSU, and, to a lesser degree, Florida, trail Michigan, Penn State, Tennessee, OU, Texas, etc. in total victories by hundreds of games, but they combine for 10 of the past 27 national championshps. They’re kings.

            I think of the really old-line programs kind of like the Rockefellers and Carnegies. They’re families of generational wealth whose riches will continue into perpetuity.But programs who came on relatively recently are more like Bill Gates. 100 years from now, the Gates name will be another name of generational wealth. Right now, no one thinks of him that way, but we might as well. Ten national titles and 7 Heismans collective, Hall of Fame coaches like Bobby Bowden, Steve Spurrier, and Urban Meyer, all in the middle of one of the two most fertile recruiting grounds in the nation–that’s generational wealth, even if they didn’t really hit the scene until the 80′s and 90′s, much like Gates.

            Having said all that, I’ll admit LSU was in my gray area. I gave them the nod because they’ve won titles in multiple decades, including two in the past seven years. As for the subjective quality, LSU is pretty famous for their Saturday night games and for their past two coaches’ antics. They’re probably not a ratings draw by themselves the way a Florida or USC would be, but they’re close enough. Some say Tennessee should be questioned. I think that’s nonsense. They’ll recover eventually.

            I don’t think I gave Auburn too much credit. They’ve had three seasons in the past 18 years with no losses: ’93, ’04, ’10. They’re about as close to a king status as one can be without being one.

          • Brian says:

            Michael,

            You have to also look at the surrounding years. AU was undefeated 3 times, but they also lost 5 or more games 7 times since 1992. They only have 5 10 win seasons in that period. They were 13-12 the 2 season before last year.

            MI has been down lately, and still has 6 10 win seasons over that period and lost 5 only the 3 RichRod years. They also have 2 undefeated years and 1 NC during that period.

            I agree that being a king is subjective, but there are objective data you can use to support it. The problem for Miami and FSU is that when you don’t have a long history, it doesn’t take long to forget your past. FSU seems to be back to being nationally competitive, but Miami has to show that. Miami is only relevant when they’re good, even to their own fans. VT has been dominating the ACC for 5 years and was never in the hunt for a national title since Vick left. FSU and Miami have to prove they can win their conference first, and then prove they can compete nationally, to be relevant again in my opinion.

          • duffman says:

            richard, 2 issues with your “kings” list

            #1 standard bell curve would indicate a max of 12 “kings” or 10% of 120 team totals – tho I would argue the number be half of that, or a number closer to 6

            Michigan – true king
            Ohio State – true king to lesser king (others had your glory early on)
            Nebraska – true king to lesser king (factoring the forgotten years)
            Penn State – true king to lesser king (JoPa factor)
            Florida State – near king (?? post Bowden)
            Miami – near king to second son (lived fast, died young)
            Florida – near king (SEC has the round table)
            Alabama – true king
            LSU – near king (SEC has the round table)
            Tennessee – near king (SEC has the round table)
            USC – true king
            Texas – true king to lesser king (UT has numbers, but Sooners have the history)
            OU – true king (way to go Ohio University)
            Notre Dame – true king

            Almost kings:
            Georgia – near king
            Auburn – near king

            Right behind them (not in order):
            Va. Tech – possible future king
            Wisconsin – possible future king
            Oregon – ????
            Washington – ????
            Iowa – ????
            Clemson – ????
            Texas A&M – ????

            #2 This is America, not Europe, we have no kings here, we have “brands” ;)

          • duffman says:

            edit: for some odd reason it bolded UT, but I had the TX school as a near king not a true king

          • Brian says:

            Duffman,

            I will, of course, call you crazy for not counting OSU as a true king.

            #5 in total wins
            #5 in total winning percentage
            7 national titles with 3 different coaches (real ones, not the crap that AL fans count)
            34 B10 titles
            7 Heisman trophies, including only 2-time winner
            6 HOF coaches, with 1 on the way (4 in a row and Tressel will make 5)
            The Ten Year War
            The Game

            What else would they need to be a king?

          • duffman says:

            brian,

            It is splitting hairs, and I did the same thing with Nebraska if you noticed. Nebraska had the big 20 – 30 year gap, and tOSU gained their steam in more modern times. Michigan has been there since the beginning, but tOSU’s king status was gained by the loss of early king status of Minnesota and Chicago. As you are well aware I have had tOSU listed as a “brand” in every post I have made on here, so I am not saying they are not worthy in the big picture. The only thing I am pointing out is the lack of the early history. If the gophers had maintained their early success, today the UM folks would hate them more than you guys right now.

            Basically it was like pick a part of the country and pick only 1 team

            Northeast = ND
            Midwest = UM
            South = BAMA
            West = OU
            Coast = U$C

            if this makes it easier to see what I was doing

          • Brian says:

            duffman,

            NE fans can defend their own team.

            As for lack of early success, how far back are you going?

            OSU won at least 3 B10 titles in every decade since the 40s, and also won 3 in the 10s and 2 in the 30s. I guess you could call the 20s and early 30s a down period. Still, from 1913 (when OSU joined the B10) through 1941 (start of the war, which screwed up many teams) OSU was #14 in winning percentage, behind powers like Duquesne, Dartmouth and Washington & Jefferson.

            Chicago’s last B10 title was in 1924, and 4 of their 7 came before OSU joined in 1913. MN had a run from ’33-’41. IL was great in the 10s. I just don’t give much credence to that very early part of CFB because the game has changed so much since then (forward pass, integration, platoons, rule changes, polls, etc).

            Well, there is no reason to assume each part of the country had 1 king, nor that each region could only have one king. ND is also midwestern like MI. The early northeast king(s) were some combination of Army, Pitt, Duquesne, Dartmouth, maybe even BC and the other Ivies.

            OSU has been a power since the mid-30s. I would think that is long enough.

          • duffman says:

            brian,

            The gophers were “golden” from the beginning of football till WWII

            16 B1G championships in roughly 40 years means they have a B1G about every other year. As I said in an earlier post, the gophers biggest opponent were WW I and WW II. From 1900 to WW I coach Williams brought 7 championships home to Minnesota. After the war it took the gophers about a decade to recover. Coach Bierman would lead the gophers to a dominance of the B1G that would only be abated by WW II.

            During this time (1900 – 1941) the Buckeyes had only 5 B1G titles (2 were in the WW I years). Again, as stated in a previous thread, pre WW II it was Minnesota, and post WW II it has been Ohio State. Michigan (granted with fewer MNC’s post WW II) was able to exert a football presence both pre WW II and post WWII. As stated above, I am not negating the football ability of the Buckeyes in modern times, just saying that history can not be re written to the benefit of Ohio State and the exclusion of Minnesota.

            On Notre Dame, they have a base in Chicago, but they have been the defacto east coast team since the beginning. Be it the void they filled by the B1G not having a NY/MA/PA/MD member back in the beginning. Or filling the void once Harvard / Yale / other IVY faded into the sunset of college football days of old. The point is ND is more east coast than IN or B1G, hence I defined them as east coast

          • Brian says:

            duffman,

            OSU didn’t join the B10 until 1913. Only 1 of MN’s pre-WWI titles came against OSU. As I said, they went on a run again from 1933-1941. During that run, who had the second most B10 titles? OSU with 1.5

            I never said MN wasn’t good in the early years. I questioned why OSU wasn’t a true king on your list. You said it was a lack of early success. I’m just arguing that OSU was the third best B10 team pre-WWII, it’s not like the big down time of NE (a team you gave the same status). I’d add that WWII and beyond is the past 70 years. At some point you have to draw a line for when a school needed to be dominant, and I’d say 70 years is a pretty good sample size. Offensive linemen were legal receivers 70 years ago and teams were segregated. That wasn’t the same game.

            ND is in Indiana. They are a midwestern school with eastern ties and fans. Just because the east coast media fell in love with them doesn’t make them eastern.

          • bullet says:

            Duffman. UT does have the numbers, 2nd all time in wins, 3rd in winning %, 4 national titles (it would be a lot more if we counted the way Alabama and Tennessee do-and admittedly is fewer than OU). Another # 59-41-5 vs. the Sooners. All of this realignment armageddon talk revolves primarily around 2 schools, neither of which is OU.

            Now OU is certainly a true brand. But to say UT is not, you would have to be living in the pre-Darrell Royal era.

            Per NCAA record book-top winning %
            1. Michigan
            2. Notre Dame
            3. Texas
            4. Ohio St.
            5. Oklahoma
            6. Boise St. (but only 42 seasons)
            7. Alabama
            8. USC
            9. Nebraska
            10. Tennessee
            11. Penn St.
            12. Florida St. (but only 63 seasons)
            13. Georgia
            14. LSU
            15. Miami (FL)
            16. Florida
            17. Auburn
            18. South Florida (13 seasons)
            19. Miami
            20. Arizona St.

            I would put UGA at the top of the SEC near brands. Tennessee, except for the 90s Fullmer/Spurrier battles, has been pretty mediocre since Bob Neyland left. They are still normally solid, unlike Minnesota, but not a team that’s always in the mix for the top. LSU I would put 3rd among that group. They have 2 recent national titles, but they were BAD for most of the 80s and 90s. And we aren’t talking 5-6 and 6-5 like UGA in the 5 year Goff era. Auburn is clearly 4th among that group, but still roughly at the same level.

            And for a change, I will have to agree with Brian. Its pretty hard to leave out Ohio St.

            You value extended success. I think the unprecedented success FSU and Miami had starting in the mid-80s makes them a brand. They could lose it like MN and quicker than a Michigan, but they are there. Everyone talks about them even after 7-5 and 8-4 seasons. And in reality, with the Florida recruiting base, they will always recover.

            IMO there are 12 major brands. Just maybe you could put Penn St. and the 3 Florida schools on a lesser tier (I wouldn’t), but the top 8 are hard to separate (the top 9 on the list above less Boise). There’s no way to limit it to 6.

          • bullet says:

            Another interesting stat in 2010 NCAA record book-most consecutive non-losing seasons-dominated by the major brands:
            1 PSU 49
            2 UNL 42
            2 ND 42
            4 Mich 40
            4 Texas 40
            6 AL 38
            7 FSU 33
            8 FL 30
            9 OU 29
            9 Texas 29
            9 BC 29

            Texas is in there twice and only Boston College among the non-brands is there. USC and Ohio St. are tied for 19th-25th with 21 straight seasons. Miami FL isn’t in the list (only shows the 26 streaks with 20 seasons or more).

          • bullet says:

            Correction-Ohio St. also has a 23 year streak, so their longest streak is the 18th longest.

          • bullet says:

            While I’m on the same page in the NCAA records book, 2 of the 23 longest played rivalries will come to an end this year, although along with OU-OK St are among the 3 most lop-sided on the list-UNL-KS #3 with 117 games and #19 UNL-Ia St with 105 through 2011. One other game on that list Baylor-TCU was the 2nd most played back in 1996, but has dropped to 18th since the breakup of the SWC. It is the most even on the list-49-49-7.

          • M says:

            Just for fun, longest active streaks of years without a losing season (BCS conference):

            Florida 24
            Ohio State 22 (0 if you count 0-1 in 2010)
            Texas Tech 18 (14 if you count sanctions)
            Virginia Tech 18
            Boston College 12
            Oklahoma 12
            LSU 11
            USC 10 (5 if you count 0-1 in 2005)
            WVU 9
            Wisconsin 9
            South Carolina 7
            Missouri 6
            Oregon 6
            Penn State 6
            Oklahoma State 5
            Northwestern 4
            Connecticut 4
            Iowa 4
            Alabama 4 (3 if you count sanctions)

            (TCU is at 6, Utah at 8)

            Teams at risk this year:
            Boston College- seems headed in the wrong direction, get VT and Miami in crossover
            USC- sanctions are going to start hurting
            WVU- crazy coaching situation, could be good, could be really bad

            I’m tempted to add LSU, more because of the schedule than anything else. It’s entirely possible that LSU could play 4 BCS bowl game opponents: 2 from the SEC, Oregon, and WVU. I don’t know if the Mad Hatter has enough perfect bounces on fake field goals or 13 men on the field penalties left in him.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            @M,

            You left out the longest one:

            Florida State: 34 seasons

            The last time FSU had a losing season was Bobby Bowden’s first year, the year after my parents graduated from FSU. They’re now retired. So the football team was awful and essentially irrelevant when they were in college and they have been above average to excellent since.

          • duffman says:

            bullet,

            again not saying, nor have I ever said that UTexas was not a brand (or king), but winning early on against bad teams and padding the wins in the SWC is not the same as Alabama playing in the SEC, or Michigan playing in the B1G. When you stack up the hardware next to OU, UTexas is the next step down.

            Look at Duke in basketball

            Sure those wins in the ACC are great but pulling 140 wins of your total from the SoCon (87 against davidson alone) goes a long way to padding the stats. Mushroomgod may find another team but Butler is IU’s davidson equivalent and they have only played each other 48 times with IU winning about 3 out of 4 as a rough average. They have lots of games against ND and UK, but nobody would claim they were the basketball equivalent of Davidson. All time wins must always be placed in context to the teams they got those wins from.

          • bullet says:

            The SWC was arguably the best conference in the late 70s and early 80s. With the Cowboys down, SMU was the best professional team in Dallas. The SWC also dominated the 30s when SMU, TCU and A&M all won MNCs from 1935-1939. By Alabama standards using any poll that has ever existed (we don’t claim it) UT won a title in 41. SMU and TCU were serious national players in the late 40s and 50s. UT had OU every year and Arkansas. UT and Arkansas were #2 and #3 in winning % in the 60s. In the 60s and 70s the Big 10 was Ohio St., Michigan and the 8 drawves.

            And when the SWC was weak in the late 80s and early 90s, UT had one of its worst stretches in its history and didn’t rack up too many wins.

            And as for the SEC, they were only playing 5 or 6 conference games and racking up wins outside the conference until the 70s. They didn’t go to 8 conference games until expansion to 12. Most of the SEC schools ooc was really weak. While Texas historically played one of the toughest ooc schedules prior to the formation of the Big 12.

            And as for Duke, Duff, you are old enough to remember that Davidson basketball was very good in the 60s. Don’t really know about before that time.

          • @bullet:

            “Most of the SEC schools ooc was really weak.”

            Was?

      • Jake says:

        But Pitt is in a state the B1G already has covered. Rutgers, Syracuse or Maryland make more sense. Mizzou’s a solid addition. And they’re readily available, which is a plus.

      • Richard says:

        Guys, the B10 isn’t going to expand (and dilute conference rivalries) just for the sake of expansion, no matter what the SEC does. No disrespect to Pitt & Mizzou, but those 2 aren’t going to enhance the B10 in any way.

        I can see justifications for Texas, ND, UNC, Duke, UVa, Maryland, & Miami (heck, even OU, since we’ve already taken UNL, though OkSt. is harder to justify), since all those schools enhance the B10 in important ways (academically, football, other sports, recruiting + growing population). That isn’t true for Mizzou or Pitt.

      • toddluvslounging says:

        Nothing wrong with doubles. In fact, stringing a few hits produces big innings and then hit a three run dinger … Earl Weaver style.

        Larry Scott turned Utah and Colorado into a feast for a king. Great schools, but nobody is going to mistake them for Texas or Notre Dame. Perhaps the lesson of the Pac expansion is there is more value in the Utah’s, Colorado’s, Missouri’s and Maryland’s of the world. Football is on only 4 months of the year, and the conference network need programs for the other 8 months.

        • jcfreder says:

          P10 a “feast” because getting they were getting to 12. There is no feast for a B14 by adding Pitt and Mizzou. They are teams you think about once you land ND or Texas and need to get to an even number. Maaaaaaaybe Mizzou gets consideration if the B10 thinks the SEC is going to take them.

          • toddluvslounging says:

            I respectfully disagree. Perhaps Mizzou and Maryland don’t pull their weight football-wise, but basketball, they can offer up these matches during a season: Tigers-Spartans, Tigers-Buckeyes, Tigers-Fighting Illini, Terps-etc. Mizzou football can surprise people too. These two teams can serve up hours of quality basketball games for the Big Ten Network.

            They also open at least 4.3 million homes to a higher subscriber fee. I think the rate for Big-10 states was 70 cents so if you add 30 cents in ad rates for a $1/subscriber to make the math easier those two teams probably pull in over $48M. The Tigers and Terps would be pulling their weight and come first and second tier renewal negotiation, the added captive states do seem to make great difference.

          • Richard says:

            Basketball, unfortunately, contributes only a fraction of the revenues of football. Now, that isn’t so true with UNC & Duke (and KU & UK), but there are literally only 4 basketball programs in the country who can add even as much value as an average BCS football program.

          • Brian says:

            http://businessofcollegesports.com/2011/05/18/duke-louisville-and-unc-are-college-basketballs-financial-heavyweights/

            Richard,

            You have to include UL in your list. They are the only team to rival Duke for revenue. UK is #7 and KU #11. AZ, Syracuse and WI all beat UK, while IN, OSU, and MSU are before KU. Not in reputation, but in revenue. Duke beat KU by over $10M last year, and #3 UNC was still over $6M behind.

            Duke’s MBB revenue is still fairly low compared to AQ FB teams, but ahead of IL for example.

          • jcfreder says:

            I don’t think that many people are clamoring for Mizzouri-Michigan State or Mizzouri-Ohio State in basketball. And at any rate how dare you exclude Mizzouri-Wisconsin!!!!!!! :)

          • Richard says:

            Brian:

            I guess I should narrow my list down to 2 (UNC & Duke, which may explain why Delany was rumored to hanker after them), as those 2 are the only bball programs that generate football-level money for themselves and also football-level money for their league & opponents (in terms of drawing TV eyeballs and selling tickets).

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            That works, too. UL and UK in the same conference might match that, though, or at least come fairly close.

        • Brian says:

          A big part of their benefit was how undervalued the P10 was before Scott.

          • jcfreder says:

            True, Brian. I’d add a third factor: the P12 just got very lucky. They are currently being overpaid.

            In any event, generaly speaking, adding schools similar to Colorado and Utah to get to 14 or 16 is not going to move the needle.

    • Vincent says:

      Todd, the infatuation is not with “the Carolinas”; I doubt we’ll be seeing Clemson’s purple and orange in the Big Ten mix anytime soon. It’s more based on the growth of the middle Atlantic region from the Baltimore-Washington corridor at the north to North Carolina (Research Triangle, Triad) at the south. It’s booming with population, affluence and research. Given the economic struggles of the American interior, it makes sense as an area for the Big Ten to covet as a healthy complement to its current base.

      • toddluvslounging says:

        I was imprecise about the geography but it is still an infatuation since the schools in North Carolina and Virginia have not shown any inclination to leave the ACC so there is little chance the ACC will disintegrate. Thus, it is unrealistic for the Big-10 to pine for the Tar Heels, Blue Devils and Cavaliers. This is an example of unreciprocated attention. It’s wasted energy…and amusing for bystanders and a little embarrassing and uncomfortable for friends.

        I feel the ‘decline’ of the Midwest is overstated. It’s not a decline (except Detroit), but not expanding as rapid as the South. The Midwest still leads the South in the vast majority of economic and social data….except in BCS bowls. Which would you rather lead in?

        • Richard says:

          Wait until the SEC raids off some combination of FSU/VTech/Clemson.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            Forget Va. Tech: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/hokies-journal/post/virginia-tech-administration-has-no-interest-in-joining-sec/2011/08/12/gIQAzoZmBJ_blog.html

            They’re pretty darn firm about not being interested in anywhere but the ACC.

            Unfortunately, the same type of sentiments don’t seem to come out of Tallahassee. It’s a bummer. I’ve always liked the Seminoles in the ACC. Now that I’m living in NC, I love them in this league. Oh well. I guess 20 years’ history in a league is pretty meaningless when one considers Colorado left schools it had been playing for almost 60 and Nebraska, over 100, in some cases.

            Let’s beef up the oversigning and NCAA probation, Seminoles, and act as though affiliation with some of the nation’s most respected universities is worthless.

          • Brian says:

            According to Sporting News, the SEC doesn’t want FSU anyway. They want a new state from number 14.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            @Brian: Good. I hope Sporting News is right.

            There aren’t a lot of options for new southern states that don’t already have a school in the SEC, though.

            Oklahoma? Probably uninterested, and requires both OU and Ok. State.

            Missouri? They’d be an odd fit. If Kentucky’s population is 20% Midwestern in nature (along the Ohio River, especially) while the rest is as southern as Alabama, then Missouri is probably more along 80-20, Midwestern-to Southern. I don’t rule them out, though.

            Kansas? Maybe there are some southern accents in Kansas, but that by no means makes Kansas a “southern” state, and I don’t think mediocre football tradition is what the SEC is looking for, anyway. No chance the SEC is interested.

            Virginia? Both ACC schools are already ruled out.

            West Virginia? They fit just fine culturally, but WVU would kind of be on an island, geographically, compared to the rest of the league. Their state’s population is very small with very, very low growth and very little wealth, comparable to Mississippi. They’re like Nebraska, except without the deep tradition, nationwide fanbase, and widespread TV appeal.

            North Carolina? NC State might relish the opportunity to stand out from the shadow of UNC. They might be an interesting option. Then again, NCSU is a charter member of the ACC and would be a tough one to pry away. UNC, Wake, and Duke would reject based on ACC loyalty.

            This leads me back to the best options within the SEC’s current footprint. FSU is far and away the most attractive one out there. No, they don’t add a new state, but they add a heck of a lot of viewers nationally.

            After A&M, I think their realisticwish list goes:
            1) FSU
            2) NC State
            3) Clemson
            4) Missouri
            5) West Virginia
            6) Louisville

            If options 1-4 all reject, I doubt it’s worth adding A&M. The other new team wouldn’t be worth it.

            I guess we should all just stay tuned…

          • Brian says:

            Michael,

            I agree that adding a state limits the viable choices.

            Already SEC: FL, GA, SC, AL, MS, TN, KY, LA, AR
            Other AQ schools there: FSU, Miami, USF, GT, Clemson, UL

            Miami and GT wouldn’t go anyway, I don’t think. The others would probably at least consider it.

            Other southern(ish) states: NC, VA, WV (more like KY than southern), TX, OK, maybe MO
            AQ schools there: UNC, Duke, NCSU, WF, VT, UVA, WV, UT, TT, Baylor, TCU, OU, OkSU

            No chance – UNC, Duke, WF, UVA, UT, Baylor, TCU, OkSU
            Said no – VT
            Unlikely – NCSU, TT, OU
            Possible – WV, MO

            I don’t think OU is interested, and they may not be able to drop OkSU. I doubt the SEC wants TT and I really doubt TT wants the SEC without UT. It’s hard to believe NCSU would leave UNC.

            As for WV, it would be by far the smallest state in the SEC with less than 1.9M people, but MS supports 2 SEC schools with 3.0M. WV fans also spill over into the surrounding states somewhat, getting parts of PA, VA and MD. It would be a good fit culturally and is good in hoops which is a plus, but the academics are a little weak. WV borders KY, so they aren’t that much of an outlier despite UK being 330 miles away from WVU. It’s a huge increase in travel for WV though.

            MO is more midwestern than southern to me, and their academic aspirations make the SEC seem less likely. It has a decent population but nobody seems excited about adding them. I think MO would prefer to keep their old Big 8 ties if possible. Also, MO is another western team which would force realigning the divisions and I don’t think the SEC wants that.

            Like you, I think they have to consider doubling up in a state. My guess at their preferences:
            1. NCSU
            2. FSU
            3. Clemson
            4. WV
            5. UL

            If they all say no, I think the deal is dead.

          • Richard says:

            Of that list, I think the cutoff is somewhere between Clemson (who’s said “no”) and WVU. I don’t think they’ll bother with Louisville.

          • bullet says:

            Heard a reporter on a sports show on Sirius XM say he had talked to several SEC ADs and that the SEC wasn’t looking at ACC schools for #14.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            @Brian:

            That was a really good analysis.

            I think the two schools the SEC will try the hardest for are FSU and NC State. FSU is very attractive because it adds the biggest national brand within an SEC or a state surrounding the SEC (excluding Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas). No further explanation needed.

            NC State would fit fairly well culturally. There are certainly not nearly as many casual State fans UNC fans, but the one they have are pretty rabid. They do travel very well to bowl games and don’t leave empty seats in their modest-sized (by SEC standards) stadium. There’s even a little bit of Texas A&M in them, so to speak, being a large land-grant school whose academic strengths mirrors A&M’s–except that its resentment towards UNC is much more of an understandable Michigan-Michigan State dynamic, not a hatred that would drive them to actively seek a new conference, but I digress. NC State also offers a new, growing state in a wealthy local market.

            Would State want to leave? I don’t know. It’d be awfully weird around here to have three major universities with major college sports within a half-hour drive–and suddenly have them in separate leagues. These three universities work together cooperatively all the time on all kinds of projects. Call me crazy, but breaking bonds in something so emotionally-driven as college athletics, especially without the benefit of the warning signs that A&M fans have put out for years, could definitely plant some seeds of bitterness into those professional relationships among the universities. In other words, there could be unforeseen, non-athletics consequences of breaking up the schools in the Triangle. Yes, there would definitely be a fight if State showed interest in leaving.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            @bullet,

            If that’s true, then it means either:
            A) They’re looking at Big East schools in the South (WVU, L’ville, USF, TCU)
            or
            B) They’re looking at Big 12 schools who don’t require a second or third team to tag along.

            It doesn’t add up to me. The SEC wants to go to 14, not 16, if it decides to add A&M. Texas Tech wants to stick with Texas. Baylor’s unappealing. Missouri thinks Big 12 schools aren’t up to snuff academically–what would it do in the SEC? And while the Big East schools would say yes before Slive could get the words out of his mouth, to use some FtT lingo, they’re not exactly home runs. They’re not even stand up doubles. They’re more like getting hit by the pitch. Is that what the SEC wants?

            Short of Oklahoma, the SEC has GOT to get an ACC school to pair with A&M.

          • Brian says:

            MIchael,

            Since the SEC probably hasn’t really sat down and started to think about this too seriously yet, perhaps they’re still on this phase of the list:

            1. UT
            2. ND
            3. OU

            Slive also genuinely doesn’t seem to want to cause too much damage, so maybe he wants to leave the ACC alone for the good of the game. That, or he knows all the good choices would say no or cause an internal struggle for the SEC.

            You’d think he wants an eastern school to keep the divisions, so maybe he is focused on WV and UL. He could get almost any non-AQ, but the SEC doesn’t add a non-AQ. I say almost any because even the SEC can’t match the deep pockets of Uncle Sam for Army and Navy, and they don’t really need more exposure.

          • bullet says:

            @Michael & Brian
            Your scenarios all make sense.

            The scary one from the standpoint of a Big 12 fan is that they are thinking OU and OU is listening.

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            OU doesn’t want the SEC. They’ll go P12 before SEC.

          • bullet says:

            Brian

            I think you’re right, but OU has been noticeably silent and we all have been wrong before.

            Losing A&M is bad, but survivable. Losing OU or UT and the league, if it survives at all, is at MWC level.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Barry Tramel is not OU’s Chip Brown, but does probably reflect feelings within the school.
            http://newsok.com/berry-tramel-ou-wants-no-part-of-the-sec/article/3594510

          • Richard says:

            NCSU’s probably going to be hard to pry away from UNC since they share the same governors. Likely the B10 would have to take UNC for the SEC to take NCSU.

            Agree that OSU (especially with OkSt tied to it) is must more likely to end up in the Pac than the SEC if the B12 falls apart.

      • jcfreder says:

        Do we actually know that the B10 is infatuated with UNC, Duke, Maryland or Virginia? Not that I don’t think they’d be good additions.

        • vp19 says:

          Well, the Big Ten president is a UNC grad (played basketball there, too), so he knows the region. He likely feels that as a bloc, retaining their three traditional rivals while creating new ones, those schools’ collective value would be more than adding each of them individually. All are peer institutions with Big Ten members and would add quite a bit to the CIC consortium. They are in a region that will likely be among the most buffeted from a recession, thanks to the federal government (for Maryland and Virginia) and the Research Triangle (for UNC and Duke). Athletically, all four are usually among the top 30 in the Sears Cup or whatever it’s called these days; right now, Maryland, UVa and UNC are in the middle of the pack in football, but all three would get a boost from changing brands. (Look what it’s done for South Carolina.) Duke isn’t much in football, to be sure, but Big Ten membership could make it competitive in a Northwesternish sort of way. Right now, the ACC seems fairly united, but if a few of its members were picked off by the SEC and it appeared the future is 16-team conferences, these four would probably be fairly easy to get, if the alternative was a low-revenue league.

          • jcfreder says:

            The problem is the ACC is unlikely to ever be THAT low revenue of a league. The SEC can only pull away so many members, and the ACC can always add Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Rutgers, etc.

            You do list a bunch of good reasons to take a look at these ACC schools. I just don’t think where Jim Delaney played basketball is one of them. Nobody would be using that as a factor if he played at Louisville.

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        “to North Carolina (Research Triangle, Triad) at the south. It’s booming with population, affluence and research.”

        @Vincent,

        Your description is quite accurate. I’ve lived here for two months, and I’ve never seen so many luxury vehicles outside of downtown Chicago. (Never been to NYC or LA.) They’re everywhere. There is some serious growth around here (Raleigh had one of the top 3 population growth rates for the decade, at over 40%) and serious cash, too.

  45. Redhawk says:

    From Espn’s Doug Gottlieb Twitter:
    GottliebShow http://twitter.com/#!/GottliebShow
    High ranking source at Texas A&M confirms, going to SEC.Clemson,FSU,Missouri likely to join.

    • Eric says:

      I don’t think I buy the A&M source about those other schools and am guessing speculation was interpreted as fact. There has been no other information suggesting 4 teams to the SEC now.

    • Eric says:

      And another thing, is the SEC really going to invite two more teams with Tiger mascots. :)

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Eric – with a 16 team SEC, they could them set up a 4-team Tiger paw-d.

        • Vincent says:

          The Bulldogs will vainly try to keep up in the SEC mascot arms race (who could join Georgia and Miss State? Fresno State? The Citadel? Yale?)

          Taking out Clemson and FSU would seriously further weaken the ACC football brand, and could encourage a Big Ten raid, although without N.C. State going to the SEC, the Big Ten would probably have to substitute State for Duke in a bloc with UNC, UVa and Maryland to make it palatable to NC politicians and to win the valuable property that is Chapel Hill.

      • Eric says:

        lol. Maybe the worst team would have to be called kitties the next year.

    • Richard says:

      I seriously doubt its these 4 schools. Taking Clemson instead of VTech & taking Mizzou makes no sense unless the SEC is hellbent on getting to 16 schools (which doesn’t seem to be the case) and VA politics is keeping VTech in.

      From the B10′s perspective, though, the SEC going to 16 would be terrific as it means the B10 can pick off some combination of ACC schools (and maybe entice ND?) at their leisure.

      • Brian says:

        Richard,

        VT has said it doesn’t want to go anywhere. The SEC can’t force them to go.

        MO has also said they aren’t going to the SEC.

        • jcfreder says:

          MO would be crazy not to consider the SEC. No guarantee the B10 or P12 ever comes calling.

          • Brian says:

            Unless cultural fit, academics and rivalries mean something to them, then yes they’d be crazy to turn the SEC down.

          • jcfreder says:

            I said “consider.” And at any rate, in a few years there may very well not be any conference available to MO that gives them cultural fit, academics and rivalries.

          • Brian says:

            They have the B12 and B10 right now as fits. I’m not saying the B10 is looking to add them, just that it would be a fit for MO. If KU goes with them, then the P12 would work, too. Otherwise, they should try to keep the B12 afloat with UT and OU.

          • bullet says:

            As much as Missouri bad mouthed some of the Big 12 members on their academics, its hard to imagine them going to the SEC.

      • Vincent says:

        Virginia politics played a role in placing Tech into the ACC, but it would have no role in its going out to a wealthier conference. The fear in 2003 was that if Tech wasn’t included in the ACC expansion mix, the Big East was going to crumble as a football conference, leaving Tech without a home. Tech and UVa, which over the years have usually been in different conferences, really aren’t joined at the hip in a way comparable to NCSU and UNC, Okie State and OU, or K-State and KU.

  46. hangtime79 says:

    Added

  47. seatrout says:

    Take it FWIW…

    http://ohiostate.247sports.com/Board/120/Deep-in-the-Heart-of-Texas-Alignment-heating-up-3633355/1

    In case this is a link you can’t access, the gist of it is that someone who claims to have an in with someone in the UT AD office is saying that ND and UT to the B1G is heating up. Take it with a grain (or more) of salt.

    • RedDenver says:

      This is either untrue or a bluff by UT admin.

    • jcfreder says:

      I read the piece. No way B10 takes Oklahoma St. unless Texas mandates it, and even then not 100% guarantee.

    • yahwrite says:

      Probably means nothing, but I have been wondering what ND has been waiting for to announce plans on where they will play hockey. As a Western Michigan alum I would like them to go to the new National conference as WMU would go with them. The delay has started me wondering if there is something in the works with the Big Ten.

      It would be fun to see Texas, Oklahoma, ND and with maybe Boston College join. The B1G could have 8 hockey schools and ND gets another Catholic school as a partner.

  48. Badgerholic says:

    I can’t fathom for the life of me why the SEC would want to invite Mizzou. That’d be like the B1G going after Kansas State or the ACC going after Purdue.

  49. James in SoCal says:

    I might be wrong, in fact, I’m 90% sure I’m wrong, but I keep getting this thought in my head that we are going to see in the future the demise of the Big 12 and Big East as we know it. (TOTAL CONSPIRACY)
    What if…
    Let’s assume that Texas has been wanting to go Ind. for some time now and the Big Ten was made aware of it. (Possibly in discussions during the 3 meetings Ohio State and Texas met) I’m sure the university pressidents and AD’s were at all 3 of those games.
    Let’s also assume that Delaney and Slive really don’t hate each other and are putting on a show more like Bo and Woody did. This woul;d make everyone possitive that each move their conference made was out of spiteb for the other. (Expecially Big Ten fans)
    And lets say, that both, the Big Ten and the SEC were in this together and they want to see 4 major conferences.

    Why would they want to do it and how to get there?
    Right now, there are 120 universities playing in the FBS division, out of those 120 schools, there’s a few handfull of programs that draw in better than average ratings. The rest, not so much. Even in the Big Ten and SEC, there are programs that just can’t get the ratings that their top programs can get but since they are already in the conference, they get to come along for the ride.

    Now look at the Big 12 and the Big East. The Big 12 still has Iowa State, Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Bylor. (Keeping Texas out as the idea is they want to go Ind.)
    The Big East has West Virginia, Pitt, Cinn, Conn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Fl and Syracuse.

    Let’s say the SEC and the Big Ten have already put the pcs. on the board and have decided what Universities they are going to go after and what universities they want to leave for their other counterpart conferences.(The Pac 12 and the ACC)

    The SEC grabs Texas A&M and follows with West Virginia.
    The BT grabs Rutgers and Syracuse.
    Then the SEC grabs Texas Tech and Missouri.
    The BT grabs Conn and Kansas.

    This allowing the PAC 12 to sweep up Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Kansas Sate.
    The ACC to sweep up Pitt, Cinn, Louisville and South Florida.

    Why would the SEC and the Big Ten leave some powers on the board like that, To allow for conferece coverage. The ACC is already mixed in between the SEC and the BT where the Pac 12 is out of the picture nationally compared to the other 3 conf because of time zones. This also draws some more bigger name schools towards the Pac 12 to help with their rating and they need it due to the large area they cover compared to population. (I also see the Big Ten protecting them because their history with each other as I see the SEC doing so for the ACC)

    Now we have 4 super conferences with alot on the table to offer. Copmpared to the conferences that play clean up with the extra pieces, there is very little they offer regarding National appeal.
    The 4 super conferences break free from the the current FBS division and create a new division while forcing the NCAA to allow a new format for their conferences. (Mostly because they will own college football ratings and the cash coming in will be greater then anyone has ever seen.

    This would allow a 4 team playoff without the dreaded interfearance of the non AQ leages and the money wopuld be greater than the current BCS system we have now AND! the current bowl tie ins between these 4 conferences would stay intact. (there would be some tweaking for any Big 12 and Big East tie ins with any of the 4 conf. but all in all, much better football in the end.)

    Could it happen? I doubt it, just a conspiracy that I wanted to get out there….but think of the possibilities.

    • James in SoCal says:

      I forgat to include in this that UT could be in on this to help it happen while getting assurances that they will be in the mix of scheduling of the top programs so they stay more relevant then ND.

    • Stopping By says:

      Why would the Pac take K-Stae and I-State as a pair?!? They wouldn’t.

    • duffman says:

      james in SoCal,

      a) welcome, we need more voices from the west coast

      b) I will go one step further (you would have to go back to last year and my predator vs prey post on here) and say the ACC is just as vulnerable, if not more because of borders. The B12 had teams that all 3 predators could use (B1G, PAC, SEC) but the BE fears only the B1G. The ACC has the 2 power football conferences that could both eat parts of them. I think you are looking at the BIG 3 + a “scraps” conference with the best leftovers of the B12 / ACC / BE.

    • vp19 says:

      James, why would you place the Big 12 and Big East as equal for Big Ten/SEC raids and not include the ACC, which has several properties both conferences would covet more than they would most Big East members, in the mix?

  50. gas1958 says:

    If the report regarding A&M, FSU, Clemson and Mizzou is correct it could lead to the perfect (dystopian) storm for Texas. Assume that the two OK and KS schools cannot be split from each other; assume also that Texas will be widely blamed and villified for imploding the Big 12 and because of that, UT will be unable politically to walk away from TTech and Baylor. What happens next?
    (1) The two OK and KS petition, en bloc, to join the Pac 12. They would join CO, Utah and the two AZ schools in one division, the original Pac 8 would comprise the other. The Pac 16 would gain one national football powerhouse and one of the most storied college basketball programs ever (I know, basketball isn;t supposed to matter …).
    (2) The SEC now has extended its tentacles into the Midwest and the Southwest. This would force to B1G to respond. Since Texas can’t go without its two sisters, the B1G goes east and offers membership to Rutgers/MD/Pitt and says to ND, “Its’ now or never.” Faced being left out, ND will have to consider joining the B1G or the “what’s left” conference cobbled together from the ACC and BEast. The B1G would certainly want Texas. but not at the price of TTech and Baylor.
    (3) Texas, even if it got Houston/Rice/SMU/TCU in the fold, is unable to reconstitute SWC 2.0.
    As Bill Simmons might say, the lesson as always: karma is a bitch.

    • EZCUSE says:

      If Karma’s a bitch, then Boston College should be left out of the musical chairs for bailing on the Big East after promising not to do so.

    • Richard says:

      Hard to see the Pac and B10 leaving Texas on the table. Specifically, the Pac taking the KS schools if Texas shows any interest at all makes no sense.

      And for the last time, the B10 isn’t taking BE schools to entice ND. If that could work, the B10 would already be at 16.

  51. Playoffs Now says:

    First off, congratulations to Texas A&M from this Longhorn. It is the best move they could make, given their fans’ overwhelming sentiments, and the time is now right.

    It is also quite exciting to learn that at a minimum, we almost certainly will get a starter 4-team playoff from the next round of BCS negotiations. Should 4×16 super conferences emerge, that’s effectively an 8-team playoff. Should we have more conferences, a 4-school Plus One will inevitably evolve over time into a larger one with at least another round. Incorporating the bowls into the playoffs will also insure the overall bowl system survives. Win, win, win all the way around.

    There are incredible forces at work within Texas state politics, but people falsely believe that its to keep the B12-2 together. The politics are to keep Baylor and Tech in a BCS conference.

    Exactly. There have been a lot of false assumptions floating around here being used to frame expansion scenarios. And now those false contructs are collapsing.

    While UT to a P16 or B1G can’t be ruled out, it might be wise to listen to UT AD Dodds’ own words instead of self-serving conspiracy theories and simpleton scapegoat fantasies. He’s pretty much told or telegraphed us beforehand what he wants to do. In 2008 UT proposed forming a B12 network, voted down 1-11. He later approached aTm to partner in a Lone Star Network, aTm declined the offer. Only then did UT pursue a LHN by itself.

    When expansion talk exploded 1.5 years ago, UT said it preferred to keep the B12 together but if the situation changed too much they might have to join another conference. Options were pursued but ultimately UT chose to stay in the B12. Now Dodds says that he’d prefer to keep the B12, does not favor independence, but may have to look at other options if the landscape shifts too much. Said what he’s hinted at before, that if the B12 can’t remain viable UT’s first choice may be to create a new super conference with Notre Dame. If the SEC goes to 16, with the B1G following, it might be wise to think UT may then move in the direction they’ve said they would.

    My guess is it all depends on if the SEC goes past 14 and if the ACC can stay together. If the SEC stops at 14, it is not certain that the B1G and P12 will do anything. In that case the B12-2-1 likely taps BYU and becomes the B12-2-1+1, ACC nabs a BEast school, and the BEast holds or taps a CUSA friend or two. Would not be shocked to see this hold for several years.

    However, if the SEC does goes to 16 (whether quickly or behind the scenes) the feeding frenzy begins. Does the ACC hold together and rebuild, or does the B1G pretty much get its pick? Plenty of buzz for a while that Miami is nervous, so they could be a target or a potential anchor of a UT/OU/ND super conference. Same for GTech. The more that peel away, the better the odds that the B1G can lure 2 or more from MD/VA/NC/Duke. Some sort of merge of much of the remaining B12-x and ACC is possible, but the CIC temptation will be strong. The problem for the P12 and B1G in luring Texas and the heart of the ACC is that they only have 4 slots to offer. There are lots of benefits to having several regional partners, including the travel issues in all sports. Clear reasons why UT may prefer to keep TTech, Baylor, OU, Okie St, Kansas, and maybe even another Texas school in whatever conference the Horns end up in. So while TCU and UHou might not bring in new markets and thus not of much value to the current B12, when aTm and maybe the Oklahoma schools are gone they may become legit replacement candidates, for example.

    What can the P12 do in a race to 16? If they can’t get UT, do they hold their uplifted noses and settle for the Okie schools and some combo of KS/MO/TTech/UHou? Do they go for a northeast quad of say Rutgers/Syr/UConn/Pitt (if the B1G go for ACC schools.) Perhaps instead of via pure conference expansion, done as a partnership with what’s left of the BEast in football, including a joint P12-BEast network? If none of those work and we see 3 other 16-school super conferences, do they partner with 4 other ‘independent’ schools in football only to fill out a 4×16 BCS setup?

    Back to Texas politics. If UT does have a P16 endgame, then I could see attempts to force aTm to take with them to the SEC one of TTech or Baylor (or even Okie State if a UT/TTech/Baylor/OU move is an option.) Wouldn’t count on that happening, however. A UT/OU/ND+ super conference might provide the most BCS homes for Texas schools. Might consider alternate solutions, for example say UT does want to go to the B1G with ND, OU, and TTech. Might see an agreement between aTm, the SEC, UT, and the B1G to include in the BCS (or whatever replaces it) a 5th conference of leftovers that would provide safe haven for schools like Baylor, SMU, UHou, and TCU. Or alternatively an agreement to expand the BCS and a clear slot for qualifying teams from a non-BCS conference. Not saying any of that is likely, but don’t rule out right now unconventional solutions/compromises.

    Of course politics could also end up having little effect on expansion. As I stated last year, once the Texas governor’s race was complete (11/10) and the TX legislature finished their session (6/11) any expansion becomes less messy. No important bills that could be killed/held hostage by grandstanding legislators. However, there are plenty of ways an unwise or sloppy move by a school can be punished with long lasting repercussions. The Aggies and other schools just have to weigh the costs/benefits and gamble accordingly. (BTW, any talk of national elections impacting aTm’s move is pretty much laughable. Though 4×16 pulling away from the NCAA might be a different matter.)

    There’s not much I’d completely rule out right now.

  52. evan says:

    So Frank, does A&Ms move revive the possibility of texas to the Big Ten, with or without the Longhorn Sports NEtwork?

  53. frug says:

    Not sure if anyone else has posted this, but the NY Times has an article up about this.

    Key points:

    - “there was a 30 to 40 percent chance that the presidents could vote against Texas A&M’s membership.”

    - “We realize if we do this, we have to have the 14th,” the SEC official said. “No name has been thrown out. This thing is much slower out of the chute than the media and blogs have made it.”

    - “The official said that three weeks ago, Texas A&M’s president, R. Bowen Loftin, called the SEC commissioner, Mike Slive, and said the Aggies regretted not joining the league last summer. Two weeks ago, Slive and the SEC counsel met with Texas A&M officials. The SEC requested that Texas A&M figure out the legal viability of leaving the Big 12 contract they signed last year.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/14/sports/sec-presidents-to-discuss-texas-ams-admission.html?_r=1&ref=sports

    • Richard says:

      What would be hilarious is if the SEC says “no” to TAMU.

      The ratings for the Texas-TAMU game would be tremendous, though.

      • frug says:

        If the SEC turns down the Aggies the reactions of the other Big XII schools will great. Can you imagine the taunts that will be thrown around games, to say nothing of the signs?

        • jcfreder says:

          If the SEC turns down TAMU because they can’t renegotiate their contracts, then the SEC was really dumb to sign such long contracts. Did they think there’d never be any more conference shakeups?

          • Richard says:

            Well, the more likely reason, if they turn down TAMU, is that they weren’t able to pry away a good enough 14th school.

          • jcfreder says:

            I know there have been some denials (and some non-denial-denials out there) but I find it hard to believe that the SEC won;t be able to pull the trigger on a quality 14th.

          • Richard says:

            jcfreder:

            If they don’t want to destroy the ACC (and thinking about it more, they have good reason not to; not just getting sued but also letting the B10 in to the south and allowing a superconference to form in SEC territory from the remnants of the ACC and B12), their good options are limited.

          • jcfreder says:

            But it won’t be destroying the ACC to take one team. Even if they somehow took three (which is extremely unlikely), the result wouldn’t be a B12-ACC superconference; it’d be a couple BE teams moving to the ACC.

          • Richard says:

            jcfreder:

            Not sure about that at all. Maybe if the one ACC team the SEC took was Clemson (or GTech, which they wouldn’t want). If they take FSU, Miami would be looking to jump to the B10 (or maybe even a Texas-led conference) first chance it gets. I think the only chance they get VTech or NCSU is if the ACC breaks up with portions going to the B10 and SEC.

        • bullet says:

          It could be worse. Missouri just got ignored. Noone cared.

  54. SH says:

    It will be interesting to see what the B10 does if this comes to pass. Vincent is in love with MD – I don’t think MD offers much. NC/Duke do, so maybe MD has to be part of that. I think the B10 will just stand pat for a while and see how things shake out. There is no reason for them to match the SEC or the P10 in further expansion.

  55. duckie says:

    isn’t it possible that the ACC goes after the BEast schools of Rutgers, Syracuse, and Pitt first and maybe others to get to a 14 or 16 team conference…and if so, does anybody think those schools would decline and wait for a B1G invite?

    • zeek says:

      They wouldn’t decline or wait. They’d take the ACC invitation. If the Big Ten comes calling later looking to pair someone with Notre Dame, they’d immediately jump to the Big Ten. Such is the way of conference expansion.

      • Brian says:

        They’d take the time to mention it to the B10 and say they have to decide soon. They’d much rather move once than twice. That just makes the intermediate conference look bad, and they did you the favor of offering a step up. Down the road they could accept the B10, but they wouldn’t want to do it in the same year.

      • duckie says:

        thus making the 2 stage B1G expansion successful in forcing ND’s hand and getting the Irish and the NYC market……..I think the Delany is gonna get the Domers in South Bend, Domers in Syracuse and Rutgers, for the NYC market. I think Mizzou will be left in the cold!

        Sidenote, I see Boise State being left in the cold Mountain West as what’s left of the Big 12 will court others.

        is this a strong possibility???

        Love the thread, guys!

    • If Missouri would actually go to the SEC, the happiest people should be those at Big 10 Headquarters . It could lead to either UT or more likely ND ending up in the Big 10. The Texas scenario would be more obvious. If OU, along with Ok. State and the Kansas schools head to the Pac, it would be curtains for the Big XII, and it would be the Big 10 or independence for UT (Probably taking along Tech). Here is the ND scenario: Florida State and Clemson leave for the SEC, and the Big 10 takes Maryland and BC.That means there are four openings in the ACC. Which would likely be filled by some combination of USF, Louisville, West Virginia, Pitt, UConn, Syracuse & Rutgers. You could figure TCU heading to the Big XIi (Replacing Missouri), that essentially ends the Big East Football Conference. The threat to ND is if this occurs, then the Big 10 could put the screws to ND, by giving them a take it or leave it offer. Come to the Big 10 with (Most likely Pitt), or we just might grab UNC and NCST instead.

      • Vincent says:

        BC’s value is being wildly overrated. It really hasn’t had much impact on the ACC (perhaps it would have in concert with Syracuse, but we’ll never know), and it’s a relatively small institution that doesn’t get much attention in pro-oriented Boston. It’s a Catholic version of Wake Forest, and merely because it’s in Boston, it shouldn’t be viewed in the same breath as Maryland or Rutgers.

    • jamesinsocal says:

      The Big Ten doesn’t invite, A school must request to be part of the leage. Just like Nebraska had to do.

  56. zeek says:

    My money is mainly on the Big Ten waiting for 2014. The Big Ten’s contracts come up in 2016 along with the 9 game schedule, so I think they want to see how the current format plays out before making a move if one is necessary at that time.

    And regardless of what schools get taken off the table, there is always going to be the Notre Dame expansion option to get to 14.

    Considering that the Big Ten didn’t get a bump up from Nebraska’s addition, it’s hard to see why they would go for another 2 schools until we’re closer to the contract negotiations.

    • Brian says:

      Timing may be important. Some schools may only be available for a period of time, like NE last year. If an important school is weighing its options, the B10 has to strike then. If they want more midpack teams, then they can probably wait. However, it’s always easier to expand when everyone is doing it rather than when the scene is calm.

  57. Michael in Raleigh says:

    If I’m any Big 12 outside the state of Texas, I would veto any recommendation from UT, TT, or Baylor to invite Houston as a replacement. Houston as a replacement is not in the conference’s best interests. It’s only in the Texas schools’ best interests. Check that… it’s only in the Texas legislature’s best interests.

    The non-Texas schools know that what’s best for the conference, and therefore, what’s most likely to give themselves hope for the league’s survival, is to replace A&M with only with a school that gives them the most negotiating power to maintain/improve its TV deals. There’s just no way that that school is Houston.

    Rather, with some common sense, they should realize the best single option out there is BYU. Seriously. And as far as creating appealing matchups for television, TCU is a much better bet than UH. Forget potential–it’s a perennial top ten program right now.

    • Brian says:

      They’ve already said they would stay at 9 for now. BYU isn’t going to drop independence before it even starts to join a floundering conference. They already get the benefits of scheduling UT without the downside of ISU, KSU and Baylor. Staying at 9 means more TV time for the bottom schools and even the second tier like OkSU and MO. Their TV deal will be cut some, but TAMU was going to get $20M. How much more will it be cut?

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        @Brian,

        You’ve got a good point that BYU might very well prefer independence over the Big 12. Who could blame them, anyway, given the conference’s instability?

        I kinda doubt, though, they’d have much problem with playing ISU, KSU, & Baylor. Those schools are still more interesting than the San Jose State-types that are their schedule right now, and they’d still get two kings on their schedule annually (OU, UT) plus other good ones, provided no others leave.

        I still don’t see why the non-Texas schools would allow Houston in. It’s not their job to appease the Texas legislature. For that matter, they don’t even have to appease Texas, considering that neither the Big Ten nor Pac-12 would take them and their network. Where else would UT go? Independence in football and the Big East for other sports? That’s worse off than their current conference.

        • Brian says:

          Michael,

          BYU can get more home games against those WAC type teams, plus their local fans know them. Take Utah State as an example. They’re local and BYU plays them in the next 5 seasons with 4 games at home.

          Their current schedules take them all over the country, but focus on the west where they have more fans and more church members. They still have 5 AQ schools this year (I’m including TCU) and 7 home games.

          They get exposure in OR, CA, UT, TX, FL, MS, ID, NM and HI.

          Why trade that for ISU and KSU? Those are small states with even fewer LDS members, and the least attractive schools of all the AQs.

        • Richard says:

          Texas recruiting (which all the B12 schools north of Texas depend on now) would be the only reason.

        • bullet says:

          Despite the common refrain the UT rules the conference, the conference just raised the shared % of conference revenues from around 50% to around 75%. That sounds like something the have-nots (previously 5 of 12, now 5 of 10), TT,BU,ISU,KSU,OSU, would want, maybe joined by have-no-suitors MU.

      • Eric says:

        While I could imagine BYU turning down the Big East, I don’t see them turning down the Big 12. It’s still a major upgrade that will gain them more exposure than it will lose.

        • Richard says:

          . . .unless BYU judges that the B12 won’t last more than a decade, in which case it makes a lot of sense for them to remain independent.

        • Brian says:

          BYU would get fewer ESPN games than they have now, and get crappy FSN coverage instead. For that, they get regionalized to the plains. How does that help the LDS spread their message, which is the whole point of BYU sports?

  58. twk says:

    Frank: Perhaps I’ve missed it, but I’ve never seen where anyone has actually seen the SEC TV contract and compared it to others. To assume that the SEC, as arguably the most powerful confernce in the country, has a contract that is identical on critical terms such as expansion to the terms that appear in other conference TV contracts is, to my mind, a rather suspect assumption. I do some oil and gas work in my practice, and while the basic construct of an O&G lease never changes, key terms do vary greatly depending upon how attractive the prospect happens to be.

    To assume that the SEC didn’t negotiate a more favorable contract than C-USA or any other conference is, to my way of thinking, not very likely. I have to believe that Slive wouldn’t have pursued expansion this year, or last, unless he was confident that he would be able to turn this expansion into a benefit for existing SEC members.

    On the political angle, state politics didn’t kill this deal last year, and they won’t kill it this year. Everyone keeps looking back to 1994, but that set of facts will never be repeated. Bob Bullock is dead (so is Ann Richards, for that matter, but she was irrelevant), Pete Laney is retired, the current governor is an Aggie, and the chairman of the Senate Appropriatoins Committee is from Bryan/College Station. With the Legislature not meeting again until January of 2013, the prospect of going before Dan Branch’s committee isn’t going to intimidate A&M. Furthermore, Dan Beebe gave A&M the perfect counter argument to any concern they might raise about A&M leaving the Big XII when he said that Houston was a viable replacement. Certain members of the Houston delegation in the Legislature will be all over this, and only to happy to see A&M go to the SEC if it frees up a space in a AQ BCS conference for UofH.

    • Brian says:

      Getting into TX is a benefit. Adding a team like TAMU or FSU is a benefit. Even if the SEC gets bumped just enough to break even financially, they benefit from this. What Frank and others are fighting is the notion that the SEC will come out of this with $40M per school in TV money. Nobody disputes that the SEC will get some more money, but how big of a raise they get is definitely up for debate.

      • bullet says:

        Going from 12 to 14 loses a lot in tradition and rivalries, which translates into ticket sales. And TV revenues are around 20% of their revenues.

        The SEC is not going to expand to just break even.

    • jcfreder says:

      One does wonder why the SEC would have signed such a loooooooong contract with no renegotation rights even though we are in a period of conference instability.

      • Richard says:

        Well, when they signed their long-ass contract, they probably weren’t expecting Conference Armageddon to be right around the corner. There weren’t hints of conference instability, the BTN was just getting started, and there didn’t seem impetus by anyone to expand.

        • jcfreder says:

          Richard – really?? Even if they didn’t see this coming, this is why you don’t sign 20-year contracts — the unforseen happens more often than you think. Very shortsighted move by the SEC if they truly are locked in at the same $$$ for that long.

          • kylepitt says:

            Frank’s previous post about current instability in television content is probably something conference commissioners are well aware of. Maybe they recognize this fact and believe they better cash in while sports programming is over-valued.

            It’s a gamble to be sure, but not an unreasonable one.

  59. EZCUSE says:

    Why does everyone assume this is a conspiracy with 9,000 moving pieces behind the scenes?

    The most likely scenario is that, last year, Texas A&M and others did not have the stomach to cause the conference breakdown dominoes to start to fall. The Pac-12 and possible SEC expansion never happened. Everyone walked away (other than a handful of changes).

    Now.. a year later… Texas A&M is pissed off and willing to make the move. There is less risk that Tech and Baylor get left behind because now it will be Texas’s problem. If Texas decides to go independent, now they are abandoning Tech and Baylor. If Texas goes independent while A&M is around, it’s a shared problem.

    The worst case scenario is that the SEC says… “no, we can’t do it without a 14th and nobody can agree on a 14th, or, simply, we are not ready to expand.” But what’s the downside for A&M? Now they are a loose cannon that needs to be dealt with because the SEC can always decide that they ARE ready to expand/make a move. And who knows when/if the Pac 12 or B1G might invite them later on. Suddenly, they become the hot commodity. Not a bad place to be.

    Or the SEC says “fine.” And A&M wins.

    To me… it is little more than A&M looking around and deciding that there is not nearly enough downside to not explore this seriously. Conversely, the SEC has to look at it to see if there is enough upside to do it today vs. some time in the future. If today is it, this move can be made.

    No need to assume that this is part of a grand plan to do anything other than solve the issue of what to do with A&M.

  60. zeek says:

    Anyone who’s a fan of a playoff has to be a big proponent of the A&M to the SEC angle because of what it means for college football to have the big time conference going to 14+ teams and eventually setting up for a playoff scenario between those leagues.

    • Brian says:

      And all right minded people see the decay of what makes college football great. Being more like the NFL is not a good thing for CFB.

  61. RedDenver says:

    There’s one other assumption that I think needs to be reconsidered: that ESPN does not want super conferences. That appears to have been the case last summer, but that in no way means it’s still true. Perhaps they just weren’t ready for the unknown and have had time to figure it out since then.

    But personally I believe, with no real evidence, that ESPN has made one major move which may change their stance: the LHN. What if ESPN wants UT to go independent so they can snag up all those 1st and 2nd tier rights? There’s nothing that says UT even has to be in favor of this, but just that ESPN has positioned themselves for that possibility. If the B12-x does not get the kind of contract they want in a few years, that may be the point when UT jumps ship and ESPN has the leverage to do just that.

    • crpodhaj says:

      I believe, and it is only my belief, that ESPN’s concern is NOT necessarily super-conferences (or at least, not as much as something else). I believe ESPN is concerned with FOX’s growing hold in college football. Who helped to start the BTN? FOX. Who is helping the PAC 12 with their network? FOX. If Texas and Oklahoma had joined the PAC 12, who would have their 3rd tier rights? FOX. So ESPN rushed in and saved the Big 12 and, low and behold, now ESPN has Texas’ third tier rights with the Longhorn Network. Much of this, in my opinion, is the FOX vs. the ESPN-hound for market share.

      And now they are whispering in Texas’ ear: it would be great to have Notre Dame involved in this. And what did we hear Texas’ AD say? Notre Dame would be a good option to fill out the conference. That is also what we heard from the Big 10 last year when FOX was whispering in Jim Delaney’s ear: Texas and Notre Dame would be great in this conference. Why would Texas go the the Big 10? Or Notre Dame to the Big 12? Who comes up with this stuff? Networks who want to increase their ratings, that’s who. And the conference commissioners and ADs have a vested interest to listen; after all, FOX does own 49 percent of the BigTen Network and what is good for FOX should be good for me. And the B1G did add Nebraska.

      Well, now ESPN has Texas’ 3rd tier rights; FOX has the PAC 12 and the B1G. And ESPN and FOX have paid a lot for those rights.

      And the SEC is not happy; because it is left out. And the SEC is locked into a contract that cannot benefit from this fight. Even the Big East is going to benefit from this fight, but not the SEC. So how does the SEC use this to their advantage? Add Texas A&M and threaten ESPN with going to FOX for third tier rights if they don’t open up the contract and renegotiate now. What do you think ESPN is gonna do? Anything they can to fight off FOX.

      Granted, all of the other things often talked about on this board (conference money, academics, politics, etc.) also have their place and the schools are looking for as much money as the TV industry. But I just wonder if this aspect of the FOX vs the ESPN-hound is getting way over-looked?

      • Brian says:

        Don’t forget that CBS has a cable sports channel and works with the Turner family for hoops. They could compete with ESPN to get the rest of the SEC’s rights.

      • jcfreder says:

        I don’t think ESPN would have sunk so many resources into the Longhorn Network unless they thought that they’d be broadcasting Texas-Oklahoma on it someday. This isn’t about volleyball games or “cultural programming.” This is about getting a foot in the door.

      • ccrider55 says:

        The PAC chose not to have Fox, or any other partners in the P12N. Fox and ESPN joined together in a joint bid for the PAC 12 primary contract. Not sure how that is limiting Fox’s CFB access.

      • Richard says:

        Good analysis, but remember that ESPN & Fox actually both ganged up to get the Pac’s first tier rights (the Pac actually owns its own third tier rights). Why did they gain up? To keep out NBC/Comcast. It’s a network fight, but not between ESPN & Fox.

        • Brian says:

          Or, perhaps, not only between Fox and ESPN.

        • ccrider55 says:

          It is sort of semantics but what the PAC holds isn’t 3rd tier. More like junior 1st tier partner, along with espn and fox. They kept aprox one third of FB Nd BB and will have first selection twice and second five times next FB season. Plus they will know the order through the season before setting the schedule.

      • Morgan Wick says:

        Don’t forget, Comcast wants to be a dog in this fight too.

  62. duffman says:

    Anybody want to comment on how quiet the B1G and PAC are right now?

    Delany I can see to some extent, but why is nobody tracking Larry Scott travel this weekend like we did last year? I think at one time we had his flight plans?

    anyone?

    anyone?

    Beuller?

    Beuller?

  63. duffman says:

    Letter to the TAMU faithful,

    http://www.aggienetwork.com/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?postId=TzRfJ65X%2bGo%3d

    anybody post this yet?

  64. Brian says:

    Just to rehash where we stand:

    1. ESPN says the SEC wants TAMU, Clemson, FSU and MO
    2. VT, Clemson, FSU and MO have all denied any interest in the SEC
    3. The B12 has said it could stay at 9
    4. UT has said it doesn’t want to be independent
    5. The B10 has said it isn’t looking to expand right now (http://www.bcinterruption.com/2011/8/13/2361425/ncaa-conference-realignment-rumors-no-big-ten-expansion-syracuse-rutgers-pittsburgh-uconn)

    So why is it that almost every article on the topic assumes the schools and conferences are all lying? Yes, circumstances could change, but all these schools know that TAMU to the SEC is highly possible.

    Who would be the 14th team if you take all the schools at their word? What viable candidates haven’t said no publicly?

  65. Brian says:

    http://aol.sportingnews.com/ncaa-football/story/2011-08-13/sec-presidents-will-not-meet-sunday-texas-am-florida-state-oklahoma-bob-stoops

    According to SN sources:

    1. SEC presidents won’t meet Sunday
    2. There has been no discussion about possible 14th schools
    3. There is no way they go past 14 schools
    4. MO and OU aren’t interested
    5. The B12 does have a conference call today to update everyone on TAMU
    6. TAMU leaving wouldn’t affect the other 9 B12 schools
    7. The SEC doesn’t want 2 teams in any more states (non FSU, GT, Clemson), but UK might not oppose UL
    8. BYU wants to stay independent

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Perhaps the schools Gottlieb has named as schools # 14, 15, and 16 (FSU, Clemson, and Missouri) are actually options A, B, and C just for school #14: Ask FSU first. If they get a “no,” ask the orange & purple tigers, then the black & gold tigers.

      • Brian says:

        I assumed it was just a list of likely candidates. However, those are just the obvious suspects and it’s not clear to me there has been any discussion by the SEC of actual likely targets.

        Unfortunately for the SEC, those 3 have all said no preemptively.

        • Vincent says:

          Do you expect them to say yes and run the risk of ultimately looking as foolish as Missouri did last spring? They can always later say “the environment changed” (and no, I don’t mean global warming) or something to that effect. Take these comments with the largest grain of salt you can find.

          • Brian says:

            They could have given non-denial denials (like the SEC with TAMU), but they didn’t. That doesn’t mean they couldn’t change their minds, but it is more negative than usual.

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          Actually, only Va. Tech has preemptively said no. ” ‘Virginia Tech is exceedingly pleased with our membership in the ACC. It is the perfect conference for us,’ university spokesman Larry Hincker said in a statement after consulting with Virginia Tech President Charles Steger. ‘The university administration has no interest in any discussion concerning affiliation with any conference other than the ACC.’… ‘We always wanted to be in the ACC,’ Weaver said. ‘Now we’re there. Why would we want to go somewhere else when we finally have what we want?’ “–Washington Post

          I’d say that’s a firm no, as in, “It doesn’t matter who offers us membership. We’ll say no.”

          Contrast that with Clemson, FSU, & Mizzou. All they’ve said is that they’ve had no contact with the SEC. FSU said they’d be surprised if they were contacted. In no way does that mean they’d say no.

    • Vincent says:

      If the SEC is going to pry a school from the Big East, West Virginia makes a heckuva lot more sense than Louisville. More widespread fan support, a state flagship (OK, not a top-tier flagship, but one just the same), and it would give the SEC peripheral coverage in Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Washington, whose markets include the northern and eastern tips of West Virginia.

      • Brian says:

        I presume the thought would be to bolster basketball and add a major rivalry for KY. UL hoops makes ridiculous money, much more than UK ($25.9M to $16.8M). UL has also demonstrated a commitment to FB.

        • duffman says:

          what you guys are forgetting is the population of West Virginia would be the lowest in the conference. Even Arkansas is about 10 slots higher in population. If you are adding eyeballs, and you are a top conference, why go for the bottom of the barrel?

  66. Brian says:

    http://aol.sportingnews.com/ncaa-football/story/2011-08-13/report-longhorn-network-has-zero-carriers-in-state-of-texas

    It amuses me that all of this is about the LHN and it still doesn’t have any carriers yet with 2 weeks until launch. If a network launches and nobody carries it, does it still make programming?

  67. m (Ag) says:

    Evidently the politicians had their affect: the BoR meeting this Monday will now only be about “beginning serious discussions with the SEC.”

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/college-sports/texas-aggies/20110813-update-texas-am-may-not-be-pulling-sec-trigger-on-monday.ece

    I’m guessing the SEC called off its Sunday meeting to wait for A&M gets through this political hurdle.

    Oh, and the political hearing will also be about pushing Houston or SMU as candidates to replace A&M.

    • Brian says:

      That’s all the meeting was going to be about. They have to give someone the authority to pursue negotiations before anything serious could ever happen. Then they can sit down with Slive and unofficially ask if they would be accepted if they applied.

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      And once UT makes it clear that UH aren’t just no but are “hell no” alternatives, then what?

      • derKapitalist says:

        I say the conference is already done. If we heard that fast about the SEC meeting being canceled, it’s because they wanted us to hear about it that fast. A&M is giving the others time to figure out their situation before blowing up the conference. Baylor and the like would prefer to go about that process without rampant media speculation.

    • bullet says:

      Duffman posted the link above by the Aggie foundation group to contact representatives. Clearly the Aggie administration thinks it may become a problem.

      The delay could also be related to the Big 12 contract issues that apparently the SEC asked A&M to work out. Or it could be because Slive didn’t have the votes yet.

  68. Danimal says:

    Dallas Morning News

    UPDATE: Maybe Texas A&M will not be pulling the trigger on an SEC move Monday like people expected and media reported. State Rep. Dan Branch (R-Dallas) seems reassured that A&M officials will wait until his special hearing of the Texas House Committee on Higher Education. After using the term “highly inappropriate” to multiple news outlets today regarding A&M movement to the SEC, Branch took a different approach with Morning News Statehouse reporter Robert Garrett. “I’m pleased to hear from A&M officials that the board meeting [Monday] is about beginning serious discussions with the SEC and not about finalizing or completing the acceptance of such a bid,” Garrett said. “I don’t think it would be wise to pre-empt an opportunity for legislators to ask them questions.

    “I’m trying to keep an open mind. If a bid is extended, that makes sense for A&M — that doesn’t have undue consequences on the other Texas schools — I’m keeping an open mind. I don’t have any predisposition. My only predisposition is to have something that is a value-added opportunity for the state of Texas.” He added that he would like to see discussion of an emerging Texas tier-one institution to the Big 12 if A&M leaves and specifically mentioned Houston and SMU.

    UPDATE: A&M’s Association of Former Students is calling on its members to “engage their elected officials and ask them to consider Texas A&M’s need to do what is right and best for our school and our future.”

    • bullet says:

      As I posted earlier, trying to beat the hearing to the punch was a clear poke in the eye to the legislators (none of the Aggie posters seemed to think it was an issue). Branch clearly poked them back very hard.

  69. StevenD says:

    Mr SEC thinks it’s likely that the SEC will reject A&M. “we simply do not believe that the SEC will OK a 13-school existence (without knowing that a 14th school will closely follow). The trick to voting A&M down, of course, would be doing so gently enough so that the Aggies would want to come back in the future when the college football landscape shifts in a major way or when the SEC can take its time to find a 14th school that truly fits.”

    http://www.mrsec.com/2011/08/the-sec-and-texas-am-are-up-against-the-clock/

    I think Mr SEC has got it wrong. Surely the SEC can accept A&M now and delay the start date to 2013 (or even 2014). That will give them plenty of time to arrange a 14th team. Obviously A&M won’t like playing another two (or three) seasons in the Big 12, but it will reduce the exit penalty and give the SEC lots of time to find the perfect partner.

  70. duffman says:

    Not football related, but a stage collapsed in Indy and killed 4 people and injured another 40, please keep them in your prayers.

  71. Brian says:

    http://www.big12sports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=10410&ATCLID=205242781

    I didn’t see this linked here already. It’s the official B12 BoD Report after their conference call today.

    A few tidbits:

    “The Board strongly conveyed to Texas A&M its unanimous desire that it remain a Big 12 member, and acknowledged its value to the Conference.”

    Really? Now you tell TAMU how great it is after the alleged Beebe comments? I’m sure they believe you.

    “The other nine members reaffirmed their long term, unconditional and unequivocal commitments made to each other and the Conference last summer. Although the Board hopes Texas A&M remains in the Conference, the Board is prepared to aggressively move forward to explore expansion opportunities.”

    Didn’t they all make these sorts of commitments last summer, including TAMU? And does anyone believe UT is unconditionally and unequivocally committed for the long term to the other 8 teams?

  72. Brian says:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/football/ncaa/08/13/sec.presidents.ap/index.html?sct=cf_t2_a3

    Odds of #14 being FSU are about 0. Odds of it being any ACC team are also near 0. Most likely candidates are WV and UL, with UL as the favorite unless UK strongly objects.

    I’ll just through this out there – would the SEC offer UC to get a toehold in Ohio? New market, closer to UK than WV is, and that’s about it for redeeming features.

    • bullet says:

      A lot of these expansion reports make no sense. Its about the $. UH to Big 12 makes no sense from that standpoint. UL to the SEC doesn’t make much more sense. WVU maybe, but UL no. I don’t think UK would be concerned about UL, but who else would want them? Fb drives the bus and UL just expanded their stadium to 55k, still smaller than any SEC school except Vandy. To justify going to 14, you need some contribution in $ from both schools.

      I also don’t believe the SEC is particularly concerned about breaking up another conference. I don’t see that as being anywhere on Slive’s list of priorities. Maybe keeping UNC from the Big 10 is on his list, but concern for other conferences has never been anything he has expressed.

      • vp19 says:

        Slive isn’t getting North Carolina into the SEC to begin with, so why would he be worried about it going into the Big Ten?

      • Richard says:

        I can see the SEC being afraid of destroying the ACC (which, IMHO, crumbles if a football power is taken away) because of lawsuits (and maybe of letting the Big10 in to the south). ESPN didn’t sue last time because the B12 survived, but if the ACC crumbles, ESPN would just have had a favorable TV contract taken away from it.

        • duffman says:

          richard,

          I might counter with cost savings and the Big 2 (B1G / SEC)

          If the ACC was raided, and their top 6 were spread among the B1G and SEC, then they would save money there, and shift money to the SEC to battle the B1G / FOX head to head. ESPN knows they are not getting the B1G, so they default and support the SEC as a football conference, and support a reformed BE + ACC as a basketball only conference that offers some football teams a possible AQ slot at the end of the season.

    • James in SoCal says:

      They could try to get a toehold in Ohio but have yoy ever been there? That is a Buckeye State with a few straglers for Cinn, Toledo, Ohio and Akron and then you have a small handfull that are Michigan fans because they want to be different. Cinn would alway be the underdog to OSU. I think the SEC would see more potential in West Virginia as it has the most possibility to grow.

      • Brian says:

        I grew up there and am an OSU grad, so yes I’ve been there. UC doesn’t have a big fan base, but the SEC would still get Cincinnati as a market. More importantly, they could thumb their nose at the B10 by invading. i don’t really think it would happen, but it would be amusing.

        • greg says:

          Cincy is not the SEC radar, and it wouldn’t be thumbing their nose at the B10. Would the SEC care if the B10 “stole” Memphis?

          • vp19 says:

            Thanks to Kentucky (on the other side of the Ohio River), the SEC gets its share of attention in Cincinnati. You can make an argument for Louisville based on its basketball $, but its football brand is still lackluster, and Cincinnati is below Louisville in both sports.

          • duffman says:

            UK and IU have better market share in Louisville than UL does, ask folks that live there

            UK and tOSU have Cincinnati in the same way, with a pro element as well

            just an observation

    • Eric says:

      I don’t see the SEC trying a northern state. Any state that can at least argue its southern is fair game, but Pitt and Cinci are out because Ohio and Pennsylvania just can’t be called southern.

      The SEC’s identity as a southern conference just benefits it too much. People combine southern pride with conference pride. If you add a northern school you creating a biin balancece in that and that’s risks going forward. West Virginia oLouisvillele would be a lot safer as both can at least make an argument for being southern.

  73. EZCUSE says:

    If the conspiracy theories are fun… how about this…

    Texas A&M threatening to leave could be a huge benefit to Texas the state. If there is some way where it ends up that Houston and SMU end up in the Big 12 as a means to placate Texas A&M.

    You could end up with these divisions:

    North: Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Missouri, Kansas, Kansas St., and Iowa St.
    South: Texas, Texas A&M,Texas Tech, Baylor, Houston, and SMU

    What’s in it for the Big 12? It steps away from conference implosion. It gets its conference game back. It placates Texas–a reason for Texas to not go independent. With 12 teams, more bowl game tie-ins. More bowl games = more happy universities and maybe more money. For Iowa St and Baylor, better from a competitive standpoint than taking on Boise St. and BYU.

    What’s in it for Texas the University? I don’t see this weakening their conference power one bit. They now get conference games against Houston and SMU. Maybe they get those games on the LHN. Not exactly a tough road to get to the CCG. Beat A&M and Tech and you are in. Plus, if this version of the Big 12 takes off… there is a much more solid Big 12 for them to leave behind someday to got independent.

    What’s in it for Texas A&M? 5 guaranteed games against in-state teams. Houston and SMU are decent, but not roadblocks by any stretch. Certainly a better path than having to play LSU, Arkansas, etc. If they can beat Texas and win the division–conference championship game. Maybe Texas makes the H.S. game concessions for the LHN. if Texas were to go independent, Texas A&M would get to be the big dog and not be stuck in a conference that is on life support.

    What’s in it for the State of Texas? They get Houston to be part of the BCS riches… and an infusion of revenue. Plus, having Texas play Houston and SMU every year cannot hurt any of the schools. Think Texas @ Houston wouldn’t have greater attendance? How about TV revenue. If this can do for Houston or SMU what the Big East did for Cincinnati, now you’ve got more legitimate schools at the table. If those schools can keep more of the Texas players at home, they can be much more competitive.

    What about the diminished revenue for the other North schools? Well… they are already hitched to Texas/Oklahoma and there is nothing they can do about it. I am sure Oklahoma’s share can be protected. The rest of the schools have little bargaining power. Where are they gonna go? The Big 10 is not taking Missouri alone. The SEC is not taking Missouri alone. And Missouri is not likely to cause the next conference break down. Is the Big East really a solution for any of the schools? Kansas and Kansas St. going to break apart to join the Big East? Not sure that it an increase in stability or revenue. Iowa St.? Don’t get foolish… you just shift from the 10th best team in the conference in everything to the 12th best team in the conference in everything. If the only other option is Texas A&M leaving…. and then being one step away from having your future negotiated by the whims of Texas… well, they’d probably have to go along with it.

    In five years, nobody would look at Houston and SMU as C-USA schools. They would just be the equivalent of what USF is. Now… if the 16-team superconferences become an issue… there are 6 (7 with TCU) Texas schools that need to be protected. If 2-3 are left out, there is a reason for Texas the State to become interested in what happens. Texas the State has a nice share of Congressional reps to have a reason to take a look at what is happening.

    So, in a sense, such a scenario would make it less likely for the 16-team superconferences to get started. If the Big East ends up with UCF somehow. Now you have 2 Florida schools and 2 Texas schools with a very real interest in keeping its place at the big table. Quite a bit different than when it is Utah, Idaho, and Iowa that is at risk of losing the $$$.

    If ESPN cares about preventing superconferences, then such a plan would likely help them too. Can the Big 12 turn its back on ESPN, who kept them together? Of course. But would they?

    • bullet says:

      Anybody ever hear of the demise of the SWC and the reasons for it?

    • Brian says:

      Everyone would get a lot less money. Why would non-Texas schools agree when they can just vote no? It’s not like UH and SMU add any value, and people will still think of them as CUSA schools in 20 years just like USF.

      • joe4psu says:

        You consider USF a C-USA school?

      • EZCUSE says:

        Sometimes you make more money by building a bigger pie.

        If Texas goes independent someday, what happens to the Big 12? That is a future that the northern schools need to take a look at.

        All the Big 10 riches can’t help Illinois field a hockey team. And it can’t give them a good football team either. Knowing that there place at the table is secure has some value to help get them to turn it around.

    • bullet says:

      My favorite conspiracy theory is Slive, Delaney and Scott trying to divide up the universe. Slive take’s A&M to force UT and ND’s hand. UT goes to Pac 12, OU Pac 12 or SEC, ND to Big 10. FSU goes to SEC and ACC and Big 12 get gutted. There are not 4, but 3 superconferences. And then they spend the rest into oblivion by paying the “full” cost of attending the university and raising the sports sponsorship requirements for Division I. The 48 schools of the Big 3 win nearly every NCAA championship and drive a lot of schools to Division II or III or at least dropping football. Big 3 then also get a larger share of the NCAA bb money.

  74. hangtime79 says:

    Add

  75. bullet says:

    Atlanta reporter decries the shifts-”expansion turns into shameful arms race.” Also typifies SEC fans attitude about adding A&M-”…this is like a high-end mall expanding to add a Walgreens.”

    http://blogs.ajc.com/jeff-schultz-blog/

    • frug says:

      Hyperbole much? Realignment is Orwellian?

      This guys sounds like the crazy old man who tries to tell kids about life back in his day at the same time he is yelling at them to stay off his lawn.

    • Patrick says:

      More like a strip mall trying to add a Macy’s

  76. James in SoCal says:

    I don’t see any school in the ACC bolting for any other conference and the reports are looking that way as well. (I see them being stronger then most people do.) I think the only BCS conferences that have anything to worry about is the Big East and the Big XII. And being that Oklahoma has said that if the situation came that they had to find a new conference, they would #1 look to the PAC 12 first and if that failed..#2 then request admission with the Big Ten and if that failed…#3 the SEC would be their last resort. So, If the Big XII implodes, expect the PAC 12 to get their pickings..
    Personally, I could see Oklahoma in the Big Ten to get back with Nebraska. That rivalry might not mean so much to the younger generation but those making the decissions…I see them thinking that is still a big deal. (Plus, OU’s farewell letter to Nebraska lets me know thatb members there did care)

    • vp19 says:

      No football brand, James, the ACC has no football brand. That’s why it’s vulnerable, especially for a school such as Maryland whose ties aren’t as strong to the rest of the conference and is bleeding because its conference rivals are not a draw. You can scream basketball till the cows come home, but that’s not where the money is. If the Big Ten said it would take Maryland, it’d leave the ACC ASAP.

    • Steve says:

      Report on CFB yesterday said Oklahoma and a group of schools contacted the B10 for possible admission but were turned down for academic reasons. Other schools weren’t named, but I assume Okie St, Missouri and Kansas.

      • joe4psu says:

        I was thinking OU, OSU, KU and KSU. Either way there was no way the B1G was accepting that group. I hope if OU would come alone that the B1G would jump on that deal. Even if OSU is a must I might say yes. If OU doesn’t end up in the B1G they end up in the Pac-12 and that’s another home run that the B1G loses out on.

        And for anyone that think OU’s academics are too light. They are at just about the same level as UNL. They’ve just never had an AAU membership to lose. No disrespect to UNL. Can you imagine the UNL and OU rivalry started up again in the B1G! Anyone who can remember what that meant before the Big-12 came into being should be excited. I even heard a rumor last week that Osborne was politicking for OU.

        • ccrider55 says:

          A second brand with no local market (and mostly the same national following UNL has already secured), that also is light by B1G standards? I’m sure the presidents would jump at that.
          It would reduce the ability to move significantly into large media markets (east) and still hold a place for ND (and potentially a friend they require)?
          Sure, go for it…

          • joe4psu says:

            They may want, or require, ND to get one king but who will be the other? If not OU then who? Are you holding your breath for UT? Maybe you’re one of those that thinks adding Duke is a home run. I’m not. Getting UNC and Duke together is not a home run. You end up with 2 not so hot fb programs and split the NC market.

            Taking OU is great as a national addition. Think about the OU/UNL drama. It could become the new (old again) RRR. Plus they would do the same thing that UNL did for the BTN, making the state, small as it may be, a near lock for statewide coverage.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Joe4:

            I’m not discrediting OU. If UNL was not aboard I might support OU, and then say the same about gaining only a name with no new market regarding UNL. UNL is probably a better cultural fit, too. I am also strongly of the opinion that UT is the one school that could be disruptive to even the B1G. Any conference that asks them in is making a Faustian bargain.

          • Patrick says:

            OU, UT and ND are the only 3 left that are going to splash.

            ND may never come, UT has the LHN hung around it’s neck. Then there is OU light on academics but a rabid fan base and a national brand. Rutgers may get NYC but we are past that point. Individual markets don’t mean very much for a NATIONAL network and that is how the BTN has positioned itself. Nebraska brought few tv’s but a ton of rabid fans, and they are not the same fans. It has become, and is more bout ratings and following and value than tv market sizes.

  77. hangtime79 says:

    Are any other person’s comments awaiting moderation?

  78. BuckeyeBeau says:

    so, any news?

    FWIW: someone called Silky51 on BON wrote this at 1:27

    “twitter world buzz…

    Allegedly SEC votes 11-0 to invite for Aggies”

    http://www.burntorangenation.com/2011/8/14/2362366/realignment-sunday-open-thread-taking-the-cheese#comments

    Any other news/rumors?

  79. BuckeyeBeau says:

    um, sorry: meant to start a new thread.

    so, any news?

    FWIW: someone called Silky51 on BON wrote this at 1:27

    “twitter world buzz…

    Allegedly SEC votes 11-0 to invite for Aggies”

    http://www.burntorangenation.com/2011/8/14/2362366/realignment-sunday-open-thread-taking-the-cheese#comments

  80. Mike says:

    Odd

  81. Hopkins Horn says:

    *snicker*

  82. greg says:

    Has this been posted? SEC doesn’t invite A&M, yet.

    http://www.burntorangenation.com/2011/8/14/2362858/sec-passes-on-a-m-for-now

    SEC Passes on A&M, For Now

    In a surprising decision released Sunday afternoon following the meeting of SEC presidents earlier in the day, the league opted to pass on extending an official invitation for Texas A&M for the moment, seemingly tabling expansion talks and forcing the Aggies to remain in the Big 12.

    • vp19 says:

      Lack of a suitable partner? Pressure from ESPN and “the powers that be”? Biding time until all the details can be worked out?

      There are probably plenty of people in College Station ticked off that the status quo has won, for now.

    • Eric says:

      I’m trying to put together the 11-0 and passing on A&M stories together. Some on the A&M boards think this is mostly procedural, that the SEC won’t invite the Aggies while they are committed to the Big 12, but once they leave, things open up.

      It could be the case the presidents either informally voted 11-0 to see what they could muster or else gave Slive permission to invite teams not supposed to be members of other conferences, but that wouldn’t right now include A&M. If A&M voted to leave the Big 12 though, that would open things up immediately, which might be the plan.

      • vp19 says:

        The SEC has to be 100% certain it has a partner in expansion for A&M. It doesn’t want to be left with a 13-team conference and all the logistical headaches that brings.

      • Eric says:

        Actually that’s pretty much my guess. I’d prefer the status quo, but I get the feeling the SEC absolutely doesn’t want to be seen as the aggressors this time and want it to be A&M asking them after officially announcing plans to leave the Big 12. That also would probably help out the SEC from any lawsuits from the Big 12.

      • hangtime79 says:

        I kinda of believe the Aggies here. If the SEC were to invite the Aggies ahead of all the legality, the SEC could possibly be sued by ESPN/Fox/ABC for interference in the B12-2 contract. Everything probably has to come from the Aggies side. What B12-2 needs right now is a dance partner and fast in order to keep its conference from dropping below 10 and thus putting their contract in peril.

    • bullet says:

      Sounds like more of a slap at Slive than A&M. Criteria and procedure instead of this rush.

      I don’t think its over, but I’m sure its not a done deal just waiting for the i’s to be dotted and t’s to be crossed. I wonder if the Presidents reacted to any of the editorials contrasting their behavior here with the recent NCAA conference. Or if its just a matter of Slive essentially inviting someone before having a TV contract, analysis of legal contractural problems, scheduling plan, 14th member or discussing it with any of the Presidents (one article said UF and UGA were the only presidents who had any info).

      Frank, don’t expect any Aggies to apologize for trashing your “obvious” bias and “irrational” analysis . This obviously would have happened, but UT must have called the SEC Presidents and threatened not to let them play on the LHN blackmailing them into staying at 12 for now.

      • Frank the Ag says:

        Laughable. You didn’t really understand the process did you. I was 100% certain, I’d find this type of post from you. I’m sure you will soon post that this deal “isn’t final yet”. Frank’s logic was flawed because he never developed any type of A&M contact and relied on Longhorns. Their bias (not FranktheTank’s bias) lead him down a very wrong path.

    • Brian says:

      GEORGE SCHROEDER
      RT @PeteThamelNYT: A high ranking SEC official called today’s statement a way to tap the brakes so Texas A&M can get its house in order.

  83. Playoffs Now says:

    So “Standing Offer” was actually “Standing Pat”? Damn iphone auto-correct…

  84. joe4psu says:

    Just kidding. I knew what you meant.

  85. LSUKnowIt says:

    Here’s a good article explaining ESPN’s conflict of interest and how the TV contracts are holding everything up.

    http://outkickthecoverage.com/how-espn-is-complicating-am-to-sec-deal.php

    • bullet says:

      This article is an expansion of the legal points on my post above about the conflicts ESPN has and how it might not be in their best interest to give the SEC a big increase.

      ESPN rights:
      Big 12-1st tier
      SEC-2nd tier
      ACC-1st, 2nd and 3rd tier

    • An admitted, “pro Big Ten” guy here…
      Could the Big Ten be TAMU and UT’s way out of this mess? If ESPN creates a situation where the SEC doesn’t financially gain and TAMU is threatened with legal action from the Big 12, why not simply dissolve the Big 12 TOGETHER (TAMU and UT) and head up north?

      • Bamatab says:

        I think if aTm & UT were to stay together outside of the Big 12 (which I very, very, very seriously doubt at this point), then it will be out west in the Pac 12. That’s because the Pac 12 would probably be willing to take OU and OK ST as well. That way there would be more regoinal teams to play and be easier to travel. If it is just aTm & UT going to the B1G, that is just a logistical nightmare in my book. Plus I’ve seen it speculated (although it was for a UT, OU, OK ST, Tex Tech move) that the way that the Pac 12 has their conference network divided up into regional networks, that the LHN could be somehow altered to accomidate that setup. Then the Pac 12 could break the conference up into clean pods and have a TX/OK pod, Cal pod, Northwestern pod, desert/mountain pod.

        But I honestly don’t see any way that UT and aTm go to the B1G. And to be honest I don’t see UT and aTm going to the Pac 12 either. If aTm doesn’t stay in the Big 12, then I think that Ut and aTm will seperate. JMHO

  86. ccrider55 says:

    I believe protocol is being followed. aTm still headed to the SEC.

    Here is an interesting take on ESPN and conflict or interest: http://outkickthecoverage.com/how-espn-is-complicating-am-to-sec-deal.php

    • John says:

      @ccrider55
      That’s a great read and a terrific point of view that hasn’t come to light much in this whole SECede mess. As a fan I’m concerned over the role ESPN plays in college sports. As a Big XII fan, I’m concerned that a portion of my monthly cable bill will be going to fund Longhorn athletics.

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      concur. thank you for linking that article.

  87. Brian says:

    GEORGE SCHROEDER
    RT @PeteThamelNYT: A high ranking SEC official called today’s statement a way to tap the brakes so Texas A&M can get its house in order.

    Just FYI.

  88. Jake says:

    My hope is A&M doesn’t move to the SEC until 2013; I’d like TCU to get at least one season in the Big East as it currently stands before everything goes to hell. What deadlines are we looking at as far as making a move for 2012? Seems like they’d have to get it done this month, IIRC.

    • Brian says:

      No real deadlines that I know of except the sheer difficulty of adding a team if they wait too long. They’re past the deadline to pay a lesser exit fee, so I think the SEC would set the deadline now.

  89. Michael in Raleigh says:

    I may very well eat my words because the SEC expansion to 14 story clearly isn’t over, but this was what initially went through my brain when I first saw the news that the SEC is staying at 12:

    “SEC? Florida State don’t need no stinking SEC!!! (Neither do Clemson, NC State, Va. Tech, Ga. Tech, Miami, or UNC.)

    It’s a good day to be a fan of both Florida State and its very much-maligned conference!

    That is all.

    • vp19 says:

      The opportunity to join the SEC, the Tiffany of college football conferences, will probably stoke several ACC fan bases, particularly in Clemson, Tallahassee and Blacksburg. (Maybe Raleigh, too.) That pressure will probably make it easier for Slive to pry one of those ACC members.

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Yeah, I know. That’s what stinks, from my perspective.

        There are, however, a lot of Seminole fans who share my views that sticking with the ACC is the better route to go. Va. Tech has already made it clear they’re not going anywhere; their president called the ACC “the perfect conference for us.” Clemson fans would be tempted, but their administration might not be. They recognize that affiliation with the stronger academic schools is a big advantage for them. And NC State is just about as purely ACC as UVA, Duke, and UNC. There’s never been any pining away for the SEC.

        Getting an ACC school will still be an uphill battle.

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          *Should say, “There’s never been any pining away for the SEC from NCSU fans.

          There has been, though, a fair amount of pining away from Clemson fans.

          FSU fans are very divided about it, from what I gather, and I’m a little surprised some faculty representatives haven’t spoken up in favor of staying in the ACC the way that Notre Dame faculty did for the prospect of Big Ten membership back in 1999.

          • Jim says:

            I am too a FSU alum that is happy to stay in the ACC (well as long as those BS crazy 40 million stories are not true). I too am surprised there where not more faculty and administrative types talking about staying in the ACC.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            I’m not actually an FSU alum, just a huge fan. However, my parents, aunt, cousins, and a few in-laws went to FSU.

  90. loki_the_bubba says:

    http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/08/14/am-addresses-sec-decision-to-stand-down-on-expansion/

    Today’s Aggie statement:

    “As we have seen over the past several days, there has been a considerable amount of misinformation regarding these discussions and any associated timelines. The chairman of our board has indicated that the regents will proceed with tomorrow’s agenda item, which authorizes the president of Texas A&M to take all actions related to athletic conference alignment. I will also accept Chairman Branch’s invitation to participate in his committee’s hearing on Tuesday. These are extremely complex issues, and it is imperative that we proceed methodically and in the best interests of Texas A&M.”

    • duffman says:

      Loki,

      I found the Rice link again

      Go to TexAgs

      Go to their Forums, and click on Football Board

      Look for a thread titled

      “SEC could choose to add 1 Academic School to SEC West”

      started by Gator1 on 08/11/11 at 9:25pm

      Some TAMU folks were showing Rice the love ;)

  91. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    From what I’ve been able to gather from various local, national, SEC-centric, and Rivals sites, it looks like the SEC Presidents & Chancellors were really wanted to slow this Aggie train down without rejecting them. The Aggies have a lot of work to do on their own before the SEC would consider them for membership. The Aggies may first just quit the Big XII-2. Apparently, the SEC doesn’t want to commit adultery with A&M, but if A&M is already divorced, then the Aggies are fair game.

    Talk of #14 seems to center on Mizzou. No ACC school could come in time for the 2012 season, as an ACC school would have to notify the ACC office that its quitting the ACC no later than Aug 15 (tomorrow).

    It sounds like A&M (and Mizzou??) may have suicide rush the SEC, forsaking all others including the Big XII, before the SEC would consider them for membership.

    See below, for a phone interview with CBS analyst and Louisiana native Tim Brando for his take on today’s events:

    http://www.cbs42.com/sports/story/Tim-Brando-Reacts-to-SEC-Not-Inviting-A-M/5hSmPtsT2UCZpZ6Mgyhx6Q.cspx

    • vp19 says:

      If A&M and Missouri both split for the SEC, what’s the Big 12′s next move? Invite two new members to placate its TV rightsholders? (And who would they be — Houston and Southern Methodist? Might it include Brigham Young, which might not be completely convinced this is a stable arrangement?) Would Texas be encouraged to investigate Pac membership (probably with Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Okie State in tow), if its Longhorn Network is somehow blended into the Pac’s plans?

      And don’t think the ACC is completely out of danger in this scenario. Slive could take two of its members for 2013 to even things out east and west, which in turn would sufficiently weaken the ACC for a Big Ten raid in this new 16-member environment.

    • ccrider55 says:

      Perhaps observe due process more than slow things down.
      When Nebraska left had not the Big 10 “informally” polled the presidents (in secret) so that as soon as Neb left the Big 12 there was a conference call to officialy invite/accept their application? Today probably represented that Big 10 preliminary meeting, although with far more attention being paid, and expectations of something that simply was not going to happen today.

  92. Mike says:

    Chip Brown thinks the Aggies are still on their way out.

    http://texas.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1251783


    A source locked into Texas A&M’s situation said the Aggies will be announced as members of the Southeastern Conference beginning in 2012 within 21 days.

    “Texas A&M wants the SEC, and the SEC wants Texas A&M,” the source said.

  93. bullet says:

    One of many things that made me doubt the initial reports was the timing-August or September for 2012? That’s an unreasonably short time line for everyone, especially the Big 12 teams. If the SEC pulls two teams out of the Big 12 in September that might be more grounds for a lawsuit. Its as disruptive as the SMU death penalty. Most potential additions would be legally obligated to their conferences. If they can get teams, it would be really disruptive to conferences all the way down the line. Some of the Big 12 schools might not be able to schedule the 2 lost games. Some might have to schedule 2 FCS schools. If 2012 is really the target date that would be the height of arrogance and hypocrisy by the SEC and A&M.

    Besides, kickoff is in 2 weeks. Aren’t we supposed to be talking about football.

  94. Mike says:

    I don’t know if this was ever discussed…

    • Gobux says:

      Who were the 2 other Big 12 schools?

    • Eric says:

      I will say though, if the Big Ten ever goes to 16, that’s how I would want it. You get one more big brand in Oklahoma and a few other decent Midwestern teams. That said, the powers that be would rather make it an expanded national coference for TV purposes.

      • joe4psu says:

        I would love OU to be one of the next 4. The B1G needs 2 home runs to fill out the conference and there aren’t many out there. It’s just as likely that UT and OU end up in the Pac-12 with their tag alongs. If that happens ND is really the only home run left for the B1G. If it meant accepting OSU to get OU I say do it. OU is on the level of UNL and OSU can grow into the conference academically. If Boone was willing to spend all that money to upgrade their athletics in the B12 maybe he’ll do the same for academics to get them into the B1G.

        I hope 2 schools come from the east. If ND joins then at least 1from the east. Don’t leave us (PSU) hangin’ out here alone.

        • vp19 says:

          Your idea of a “home run” and the Big Ten presidents’ idea of such are probably entirely different things. They may have felt that they got the fourth football brand name they needed in Nebraska, which was as low as they could go academically (and UNL’s subsequent loss of AAU status had to sting), so no more from the Big 12. (I wouldn’t be surprised if one of those investigating was Missouri, as a last-chance inquiry. The Big Ten rejection now paves the way for it to pursue SEC membership, perhaps not its first choice but certainly a more stable alternative to the Big 12.)

          From a research/academic/overall athletic perspective, the Maryland/Virginia/North Carolina/Duke bloc would be a collective home run, and provide PSU with the neighbors it needs. Rutgers might be able to substitute for Duke, but I don’t see any other Big East member (from the football conference) satisfying Big Ten officials, not Syracuse, not Pittsburgh, certainly not Connecticut.

          • joe4psu says:

            A home run is a home run. Academics are very important but Duke is a great academic institution and a great bb school but they are a double at best because fb is driving the bus. Adding the ACC bloc sounds great, and is great academically, but would leave the B1G far behind the SEC as a fb conference.

            Even you say that RU could replace Duke. RU is a good academic school but Duke is an academic and research powerhouse. In every academic category, in endowment and research $’s Duke crushes RU but this is about fb and markets. Academics cannot be forgotten but they are not number 1 in importance.

            Adding OU as 1 of 4 is a home run. Period.

          • Tom says:

            I think if Oklahoma is interested, the B1G needs to consider making the move even if it means adding Oklahoma State. For all the talk about academics, the league added Nebraska, which even with its then AAU status was well below Michigan State in terms of bringing up the rear in the B1G. All that mattered was that the Cornhuskers were a storied football program with a national audience. That’s pretty much what you would get with Oklahoma. The much ballyhooed ACC four pack would be great as a whole but they bring nothing but mediocrity in terms of football. Virginia and North Carolina have to be two of the most underachieving football programs in the history of college football. Duke is flat out awful. Maryland is average. Also, if you pass on OU now, chances are they head west to the Pac 12 with Texas Tech and maybe even A&M, giving the Pac 16 a presence in California and Texas…

            Which brings me to my next point. Any chance the B1G offers A&M along with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and possibly Missouri? You add two big name football schools, a big state with two major TV markets, and you achieve the goal of getting a conference presence south into Texas. A&M is dying to get out of the Big 12 and they were just very publicly spurned by the SEC. What about keeping that final spot open instead of Missouri and offering Notre Dame? In the end, you would have one shoddy university, but a plethora of big time football schools. Granted I’m a fan and not a university president, but I’d make that trade.

          • jcfreder says:

            No reason to take Okl/OSU/TAM/Miz, leaving both ND and Texas out there. I agree that maaaaaybe it makes sense to add Okl/OSU of it also means Texas. It’s hard to conceive of a 4-team addition that does not include ND, if the idea is that everyone is going to 16 as some kind of armageddon.

          • Eric says:

            Anyone else kind of annoyed at the role of academics with conferences? I like it in the sense that it makes expansion less likely, but I still find it an odd set-up that conferences designed for athletic scheduling should care so much about the academic make-up of the colleges. I guess in the sense that sports are used to market the school, there is some validity there, but that’s as far as it goes in my mind. There is no inherent reason that the CIC has to remain the academic arm of the Big Ten instead of its own separate organization. There’s also no real harm by playing in a conference with a team perceived to be academic inferior. Maybe I’m underestimating how people group things, but I don’t really think of a school as better or worse because of the conference it’s in.

          • @Eric – It really depends on which conference you’re talking about. In the case of the Big Ten, there’s definitely an academic component to its brand that exists. For instance, there was a Wall Street Journal article last week about various substance abuse programs at colleges. This article had no mention of sports whatsoever and was in the lifestyle portion of the paper. It referred to a whole bunch of BCS schools, such as Texas Tech, Cal and UNC. None of their conferences were mentioned. However, Michigan and Penn State were specifically called “Big Ten schools”. This shows that, at least in the case of the Big Ten, there’s a general academic image to the conference that goes beyond sports (not necessarily at the Ivy League level, but certainly more than anyone else). Being a “Big Ten school” is truly part of the identity of each member institution. The Pac-12 and ACC definitely care about academics, but there’s more of a sliding scale. Larry Scott had no qualms about taking Texas Tech and Oklahoma State in order to get Texas and Oklahoma, but Boise State has no chance at all.

            Also, public flagships tend to be the most valuable schools for athletic purposes AND are higher up on the academic food chain. So, there’s a fairly strong correlation between the two when you get past the elite private schools.

          • @vp19 – I would still say football homeruns are required for the Big Ten financially. Yes, any of that ACC bloc would add a ton in terms of academics and sheer market presence, but the entire premise of 16-school superconferences is football-driven (protecting regular season dollars and setting up a new postseason system). The calculation for the Big Ten finding who is academically acceptable that brings the most in terms of football value (not the opposite of who is acceptable football-wise that brings the most in terms of academics). That’s why I like Miami. No, it’s not an AAU school, but it’s in the top 50 for undergrad and much farther ahead of ND in terms of research capabilities. Their ties to the ACC are also much weaker than the MD/UVA/UNC/Duke core. I’d like any of that ACC core, but you need at least one other football powerhouse (and probably 2) to make it all work.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Frank – there’s a reason why so many Midwesterners now live in South Florida. They’d rather be in Miami than Madison in late November.

          • Brian says:

            Eric,

            “Anyone else kind of annoyed at the role of academics with conferences?”

            Not me. I’m much more annoyed at the role of ESPN, and TV dollars in general, in conferences. Conferences should be about grouping similar schools in the same region, not about maximizing income and inventory.

        • Richard says:

          If the B10 had to take OkSt., we’d need to get both OU and Texas as well as another school that either excels in athletics and is good in academics (ND or Miami) or is a Texas-based school with great academics (Rice).

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            (Rice)

            Stop, just stop.

          • joe4psu says:

            I would say that to take OU and Ok St we need to get 1 of ND or UT. Getting Ok St with 3 home runs throws competitive balance out of whack. I still think it is best to get 2 home runs and 2 lesser schools. Adding 3 or 4 home runs makes the conference too tough. Even the SEC couldn’t match that. We need some teams to beat too.

            It would be great to add UT, OU and Ok St with an eastern school from a PSU perspective. Adding OU, Ok St, ND and an eastern school would be even better. I dislike the idea of UT or ND in the conference but having both would make me cringe. It could also be setting up the conference for failure. Neither UT or ND play well with others.

          • @Joe4PSU – I agree that would be necessary to even consider that proposal (and even then, there’s just no way that Oklahoma State is getting into the Big Ten). The only way a bloc of 4 schools would’ve even received a hint of an evaluation is if it included UT and OU (presumably with Texas Tech and Oklahoma State coming along, too). *Maybe* if Missouri and Kansas approached with OU and OSU there would’ve been a discussion, too. Even then, it all has to make financial sense when all is said and done. People might move mountains to get UT (assuming that they play nice), but there’s really no one else other than maybe ND that meets that standard.

        • GreatLakeState says:

          I agree whole heartedly. Oklahoma is the gateway to a truly elite Big Ten. Oklahoma will help bring Texas which will bring Notre Dame. If you have to take one underachiever (Oklahoma State) to make it happen, you do it. In this age of budget cuts and small government, the research grants are going to begin drying up (and to a smaller degree, alumni donations). Going forward these research universities are going to rely (more and more) on BTN money to keep them flush. The eyeballs and contracts football powerhouses like OK bring are far more important at this stage than some sports anemic AAU member.

          • ccrider55 says:

            You have the relationship inverted.
            If a research university has to rely on BTN money, they have long sence ceased being a research university.

          • Danimal says:

            No way would adding Okie State to get dirty OU be worth it unless the B10 was ensured to also get ND & Bevo.

          • metatron5369 says:

            OSU is a Tier 3 school. It will not happen, period.

            This isn’t the PAC-12; we’re not going to be dictated to. Oklahoma has no leverage anyway: they want in, and don’t want the PAC-12 or the SEC.

          • bullet says:

            The B1G will be dictated to as much as the Pac. If the Pac were a research consortium they wouldn’t have invited Ok. St. But they fit just fine with a number of Pac schools, WSU, OSU, ASU. If Notre Dame says we’ll come if you invite school X (think Pitt, BC, Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Duke, Vanderbilt, Miami) and that school is either a research university or a highly regarded private school they will almost certainly invite them.

          • mushroomgod says:

            No way OK ever gets invited to the BT. In additiion to being a Tier 3 school, they are also the #1 cheating football school in history. Think OSU onn steroids.

          • “Think OSU onn steroids.”

            Whoa whoa whoa… hope you’re talking about Oregon St there. :P

          • M says:

            You’re making a mistake of several orders of magnitude. Wisconsin received $840,672,000 in research grants (2007). Last year Wisconsin got roughly $7,900,000 from the BTN. The research money is over 100 times the BTN money. Put in other terms, if the BTN payouts increased by 10% a year, it would take almost half a century to be equal to the current research grants.

            Not all Big Ten universities have quite that differential, but 8 had at least $400,000,000 in grants while 2 others had at least $300,000,000. The BTN is a nice boost to the athletic department, but it’s never going to be more than a tiny amount of the overall university income.

    • No way to OU. OU is “big money” football. From there scandals in the 70′s…to the scandals in the 80′s…to the 2000 probation…OU belongs in the SEC, all the way. I know that geographically close to Nebraska…but they do not fit at all. Ditto for their little brother OkSt.

      Sorry. That’s a closed door. I think the Big Ten would be more likely to take Kansas or Mizzou (which they WOULD NOT!) than OU.

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      Not to say that Doyel is right or not, but it’s an interesting coincidence that the only national guy to report this particular rumor (as far as I have seen) has been by far the most anti-Texas journalist on this issue out there (“repulsively greedy and self-serving” from his most recent column is relatively mild compared to what he wrote last week, which I can’t find now for some strange reason). Also, Doyel just happens to report this rumor not dispassionately but rather in the context of “Oklahoma rediscovered its backbone” relative to its relationship with UT.

  95. Michael in Raleigh says:

    @Frank the Tank,

    I’ve had Naughty by Nature stuck in my head for two days thanks to your clever little title.

    Anyway, excellent post, as usual.

    • lol. That’s awesome. The Miss. St. panel is classic.

    • duffman says:

      loki,

      look above for the link info I attached to your other post

    • bullet says:

      For all the people saying UH is a prime candidate to replace A&M in the Big 12, there is a pattern over the last 35 years or so (the list below may not be complete-its hard to keep track of the WAC, but its close enough):
      Pac 12-Arizona, Arizona St., Colorado, Utah
      Big 10-Penn St., Nebraska
      ACC-Georgia Tech, FSU, *Miami*,BC,Virginia Tech (they wanted Syracuse)
      SEC-Arkansas, South Carolina
      BE-Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, USF, TCU
      MWC-TCU,Hawaii,*Fresno St.*, *Nevada*, Boise St.
      WAC-*Fresno St.*, Hawaii, UNLV,TCU,SMU,Rice,Tulsa, *San Jose St.*,La Tech,Idaho, Boise St., Nevada, NM St., Utah St., UTSA, Texas St.
      CUSA-ECU,UAB,USF,Marshall, *UTEP*,*SMU*, Tulsa, *****Rice*****

      Rice! is the only school who was voluntarily added in a market the conference already had. There were only a handful, Fresno, Nevada, San Jose, SMU, UTEP, who were in existing states, but all were in separate markets far from the existing school. Miami also fit that mold and they were a king, although FSU did have a piece of Miami. Even the Sun Belt and MAC (except for Akron) have followed the same pattern. Conferences seeking TV contracts expand their markets. They don’t overprotect existing markets.

      • Richard says:

        Obviously there’s something about Houston that makes other schools goes crazy over the city. Must be the hot Viet chicks.

        • bullet says:

          The Vietnamese really make you feel history. I worked with a “hot Viet chick” in Houston who was on one of the last choppers out of Saigon. Knew another one in a doctor’s office who was one of the 80s boat people.

          Maybe its all the great restaurants in the city, many run by Vietnamese. And they contributed Dat(?) Nguyen to the Aggies.

          Or maybe with CUSA they just wanted the M.O.B. (Marching Owl Band).

  96. Rice? C’mon now.

    The only reason the BigTen will go that far south is because UT is worth so much it’s impossible to ignore for rivals to pick up. But they certainly aren’t going to take Rice. Hell, it certainly won’t be Miami either. If we’re thinking academics, it’d have to be ND or bust in that combination. But then again I can’t see the BigTen taking OU/OSU regardless. The academic side would likely be too big a pill to swallow for the presidents, especially after UNL lost their AAU status right after joining.

  97. metatron5369 says:

    Purple Book Cat is back, and he says the B1G Ten is pushing hard for Texas and Texas A&M.

    http://northwestern.rivals.com/showmsg.asp?SID=901&fid=57&mid=161402679&tid=161240718
    http://northwestern.rivals.com/showmsg.asp?SID=901&fid=57&mid=161402743&tid=161397753

    Interesting to see what happens here. I think TAMU still wants to go east, but Texas might come onboard if what he says about the TV deals is true.

  98. Question that I haven’t seen answered yet in response to Purple Book Cat’s “insider info from Big Ten offices”…

    Would the Big Ten (or Pac-12) allow Texas to withhold participation in BTN but participate in every other way? Or is Texas truly in a “Big 12 or independence” scenario?

    • ccrider55 says:

      Well, last year supposedly UT told the Pac it was a done deal, if they could start their own channel. The Pac said “see ya later”. It’s all rights in or nothing. Whether that was actually the reason the P16 didn’t happen, or just a cover for the actual reason (politics?) is a matter of conjecture.

  99. Another TV question…
    If the LHN flops, what happens? Can ESPN buy their way out of it? What are the options in that scenario?

    • frug says:

      It was reported that $240 million was guaranteed regardless of the network’s success, but some people have said that some language in the contract gave ESPN some wiggle room in the event the network was a complete disaster.

  100. bullet says:

    And a question for the lawyers.

    Reports seem to be that the SEC wants deniability with regard to A&M and #14. If A&M is recruiting B12 schools to join them as #14 (i.e. Missouri), doesn’t that potentially open A&M up to big liability? BC was in some trouble because they left the BE and the President was part of a board with fidiciary responsibility to the conference. Fidicuciary duty would not likely be the issue with A&M, but actively recruiting members might be interference with the existing contracts.

  101. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Latest from Mr.SEC on the Aggies, Seminoles, Mizzou Tigers, Hokies, and even . . . the Mountaineers.

    http://www.mrsec.com/2011/08/a-qa-on-sec-expansion-monday-morning-edition/#idc-container

    • M says:

      I really enjoy Mr. SEC’s posts and he’s one of the most knowledgeable writers around on this topic. That said, I lol’ed at this line

      “Later today, A&M’s board of regents will meet with the goal of handing over to the school’s president the power to negotiate the Aggies’ future with various conferences — SEC, Big 12, whoever he likes. It’s a little like Congress giving the President the right to go to war.”

      Now I’m no constitutional lawyer, but I’m 80% sure that when Congress gives the President the right to go to war, they are rather specific about which country he can go to war with.

  102. herbiehusker says:

    add

  103. herbiehusker says:

    add2

  104. Mike says:

    Getting A&M to the SEC is all about getting Rick Perry into the White House.

    http://www.texasmonthly.com/blogs/burkablog/?p=11098

  105. Mike says:

    Will K-State do it?

    http://www.statesman.com/sports/9-things-and-1-crazy-prediction-1744914.html?viewAsSinglePage=true


    7. Rebuffed by Texas Tech, Baylor and Oklahoma State, Texas and its ESPN partner have approached Kansas State as a possible second game to be broadcast on the Longhorn Network this fall. As of now, only the Rice game will be shown on the network, assuming it finds some carriers. Asked to confirm KSU as a partner, Dodds texted that Texas is “looking at all of our home games.”

    • bullet says:

      To contrast what Byrne said, I’ve heard from Texas sources that A&M didn’t think the “Flagship” network was feasible and wasn’t interested. The fact that UT and UNL funded a study of a Big 12 network together supports the view that A&M wasn’t interested at the time.

    • Mike says:

      K-State thinking about allowing their game with Texas to be on LHN.

      http://blogs.kansas.com/kstated/2011/08/16/emptying-the-notebook-on-big-12-future-conference-realignment-university-networks/#ixzz1VE7dhrzp


      K-State on the Longhorn Network?
      The Austin American-Statesman reported Monday that Texas has approached K-State about broadcasting their Nov. 19 game in Austin on the Longhorn Network.

      When asked if the report was true, Currie danced around the question by saying he has discussed all kinds of things with every team in the league. The Big 12 decided the Longhorn Network can televise conference games as long as both schools agree to it, and while I can see Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Texas A&M refusing to play on a network owned and operated by their rival, I doubt K-State has the same objections.

      Would it be an ideal situation? Probably not. But my guess is that if K-State agrees to play on the Longhorn Network, the Wildcats find a way to also show the game on their new online network with their own broadcast team. Picture that, a game televised by two university networks at the same time.

      Currie didn’t rule out the possibility.

      “We’re in kind of a brave new world,” he said. “There are all kinds of things to be considered.”

  106. Mike says:

    Texas Tech president Guy Bailey

    http://collegesportsblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2011/08/texas-tech-president-guy-bailey-no-pac-1.html


    “Here’s the deal, what the Pac-12 offered last year, and I think they would be open to this year, is a package deal,” Bailey told the radio show. “You’d have to have four schools and Texas is the cornerstone to that. Remember, the issue last year came down to the Longhorn Network. The University of Texas wanted its own network for tertiary rights and the Pac-12 doesn’t allow that. We can cut that out right there. I don’t foresee that happening.”

    • frug says:

      Nice to see someone officially shoot down Larry Scott’s garbage excuse that it was Baylor that killed the PAC-16 not the LHN.

      • Mike says:

        If true, I wonder why Mr. Scott didn’t come out and say it. It would have stopped a year’s worth of undue praise on Dan “The Natural” Beebe.

        • frug says:

          Because then he would have had to admit that UT played him like Clapton with a Strat. Texas publicly flirted with the PAC-10 in order to leverage what it wanted all along; its own TV network and a conference they can dominate as long as they keep their frienemies in Norman content.

      • ccrider55 says:

        Scott said that UT was good to come, but required that they be able to start a network. Scott said no, all rights in or no deal. Baylor was a no go from the start. Everyone knew that.

        • ccrider55 says:

          From Wilner’s article after that decision and before the Utah invite:

          “* One of the Big 12′s top selling points to Texas was allowing the Longhorns to cut their own TV deal, a Burnt Orange network that could generate several million dollars over and above what the Big 12 will provide.

          The Pac-10 was an “all in” situation — UT couldn’t freelance on the TV end — and the league stuck to its guns on that issue”

  107. zeek says:

    In all honesty, I’ve come to the opinion over the past year that 14 is a far more favorable number than 16 in the near term (at least the next 5-10 years), especially to the presidents of these schools. If you go to 16, you essentially have to split the divisions and make 4 pods that can totally change the expectations on the teams that you’re playing and how rarely you end up playing them over a 4-5 year period. I think you go too far to the NFL model where you have your 3 main division rivals and then are sort of disconnected from the other teams except when you play them. I really don’t see anyone favoring this approach unless the right schools are on the table (i.e. Texas/Oklahoma going to a Pac-16 being the only one that I can see happening any time soon).

    With 14, you can have your two divisions of 7 in which you play the other 6 and up to 3 crossover games if you move to a 9 game conference schedule. I fully expect the SEC to go to a 9 game conference schedule if they do move to 14 teams because that’s the best way to maintain an intimate conference if you can play almost all of the teams in three years (1 of the 7 teams annual crossover, other two rotate). Once you move to 16, you remove that intimacy, and you really lose that sense that you’re going to play a certain set of 7 teams every year, since that would probably get chopped down to 4 or 5 teams (3 division + 2 annual rivals).

    The other thing is the whole money aspect of course. Getting to 12 was way easier because you could count on the $10-20M CCG payout to make it easier to handle the addition of teams. It’s a lot harder to get to 14 if you have to find two schools that can more than add their weight, and getting to 16 is probably going to be even more difficult.

    That’s probably why I don’t think the Big Ten will expand again unless Notre Dame comes. It’s hard to see the Big Ten going to 14 without Notre Dame, especially since Notre Dame becomes even less likely to join on the way to 16.

    As much as everyone likes to talk about the 4×16 scenario, we’ve learned that you really need schools of value if you’re going to push beyond 12. For the Pac-12 to go to 14 or 16, they must have Texas or Oklahoma. For the Big Ten to go to 14, it must have Notre Dame or Texas. For the SEC to go to 14, it must have Texas A&M or FSU or Texas or Oklahoma.

    That’s mainly why I think it’s unlikely that we see more than one 16 team conference. Most likely the Big Ten will wait to go to 14 for Notre Dame, and most likely the SEC will settle at 14 for the long haul. The Pac-12 still wants its Texas/Oklahoma scenario, but Texas wants to run its own show and ESPN is going to help make sure that happens for a long time.

    As for the 4th conference in the 4×16 scenario, it’s really hard to see the ACC going beyond 12. It’s not as if going to 14 would ever stop a FSU or Va Tech from leaving, so I’m baffled why people still think the ACC will be proactive and grab say Syracuse and Pitt. Syracuse and Pitt are good replacements if you lose a school and want to go back to 12, but there’s no reason for the ACC to push to 14 any time soon since those schools don’t bring enough football value to justify their addition.

    At the end of the day, there’s only 4-5 schools left that can justify conference expansion beyond the current situation with 4 “stronger” 12 school conferences, so it’s hard to see how much more consolidation is left.

    • drwillini says:

      Good post zeek. I think you can get to 16 by ditching the protected rivalry game. You play the other 7 teams in your division, plus two from the other side. You play each team in the other division once every four years. In that sense 16 has more symmetry than 14.

      The only thing that makes me argue B1G expansion sooner and to14 is that the BTN is a huge lever that only we have at this point. I think the B1G can and will expand to 14 wherever it can to add to the conference footprint and not diminish the brand image. Where I think you are right is that we will not expand beyond 14 anytime soon without a heavyweight – e.g. Texas or Notre Dame. We will “save them a spot” until the music is much closer to stopping than it is now.

      • zeek says:

        I do think the BTN played a big role in the Big Ten’s search for Nebraska. Thinking about how this pushes much higher quality games onto the BTN (i.e. if Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, and Penn State are all playing other schools, that’s 4 guaranteed quality games so the BTN will be much more likely to get a quality game).

        As we shift to the search for #13 and #14, the BTN will play an even bigger role because there’s no CCG to count on for bonus returns to expansion. It has to be two schools that can increase the average value of the Big Ten’s contracts more than the average take is projected to be without those two extra schools. ND does that, as does Texas (of course Texas has a whole host of other issues in terms of not wanting to be equal, but we’re ignoring that for now).

        As to your final point, I agree completely. Until we get more clarity on Texas’ ambitions with respect to independence as well as Notre Dame’s intentions for the long haul (i.e. relative to Comcast/NBC and their TV contract), I think we’ll hold the spot open as the music is nowhere close to stopping.

    • willarm1 says:

      Great Post

      I guess I could see the following, but when and how we get there is a mystery imo.

      B1G adds: Missouri, ND, Syracuse, Rutgers (although I’d rather have Pitt) (hard to break up the Backyard Brawl)

      SEC adds: A&M, FSU, Louisville, Clemson

      Pac adds: Oklahoma, Ok State, Tech and UT

      ACC adds: Pitt, WVU, Cincy, South Florida, UConn, Kansas

      4 16 Team Supers in a virtual 8 team playoff, with a Final Four, and a playoff NC works for me….

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        No way that if A&M adds FSU and A&M that they’d add Louisville & Clemson as well. The law of diminishing returns would kick into gear, especially with programs that aren’t exactly home runs.

        • willarm1 says:

          Well, they are currently talking about FSU, A&M, Missouri and Clemson. But I believe Missouri would ultimately rather be in the B1G for any number of academic reasons.

          I guess I really don’t see the stark (deal breaking) contrast from which you speak…

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            If you already have a Texas school in A&M, a national brand in FSU, the states of Kentucky, and the inability to add a new championship game (because you already have one), you’d already be diluting the product by adding L’ville and Clemson.

            Let’s go crazy and say that adding A&M and FSU would open up the ESPN contract for renegotiation. Let’s say that with that those two schools, the contract goes from an average of $205M/year (or 17.08M/year per school, not taking into account that in reality the contract is divided 13 ways, one to the SEC office, not 12) to $310M/year (22.14/year per school, divided 14 ways, not 15). Adding Louisville and Clemson would raise that $310M/year even further, but it would lower the average per school. In fact, it might lower the average significantly because each year, there would be fewer LSU vs. Georgia and Florida vs. Alabama type games and more LSU vs. Louisville and Florida vs. Clemson. It’s the law of diminishing returns. Plug in Missouri for Louisville–the average isn’t lowered by as much, but it’s still the same effect.

            Remember that it’s about maximizing the average revenue per school, not just the total number.

          • willarm1 says:

            I am speaking of a league with 4 16 Team Supers and a playoff that would generate large amounts of additional TV revenue.

          • Brian says:

            Michael,

            Don’t forget that the extra inventory becomes rights the individual SEC schools can sell to increase their payout. Schools like UF and GA are making $10M a year on those rights now. I think the extra games would make up for any per capita payout loss. And if they add 4 teams at once (unlikely), they can’t lose money they never had.

          • Richard says:

            William:

            They could have a large playoff without 4 16-team leagues, and they haven’t, so don’t expect to see more than a 4-team playoff anytime soon. If anything, having fewer bigger, more powerful conferences care would make a big playoff less likely because they’d want to protect the value of their big inventory of high-profile regular-season matchups.

      • you missed the whole point of zeke’s post. conferences will expand slowly and for value. There is no incentive for the Big Ten to land on Mizzou and Syracuse. I can see the value in ND and Rutgers, yes. The Big Ten and SEC are going after home runs and triples. The Pac-12 settled for doubles (utah and colorado). The push for 16 is going to be about gathering singles to score runs.

        • Brian says:

          What if taking MO is necessary to prevent the SEC from taking TAMU? That gives them huge new markets and a recruiting bump, and probably a big pay raise. The B10 can’t match that unless UT joins, or maybe ND (no native talent base). Is it worth it to the B10 to make a marginal addition to prevent a big leap forward for the SEC?

          • greg says:

            Taking MO to prevent TAMU to the SEC would be a mistake. For one thing, its impossible to know that taking MO would prevent TAMU, or if TAMU was even going to move, etc.

            Who cares if the SEC gets a raise? B10 is ahead of them in revenue distributions now, and that may not change even if TAMU/MO joins them. Two more mouths to feed is two more mouths to feed. It’d take a HUGE raise to pass the B10.

            Think like a college president. You aren’t making a 50 to 100 year decision just to spite Mike Slive.

          • jcfreder says:

            I agree; it doesn’t make sense to take teams as some kind of blocking move. And I think that a little conference-realignment chaos unleashed by TAMU probably makes it more likely that a true home-run addition gets shook loose for the B10.

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Zeek,

      I completely agree with you that 14 would be much more palatable to school presidents than 16. They don’t like too much change too soon. (Neither do I.)

      You’re spot on about why the Pac-16 would have been an exception. The Arizona schools would have been transferred to the Big 12 South (minus its weakest link in Baylor, plus former national champion Colorado), who would have dissolved their relationships with their northern Big 12 neighbors. There would have been a few crossover games, and a championship game, but they’d have been two separate conferences. Every member except the Arizona schools could have been fine with that.

      (Regardless of what anyone says about the Arizona schools’ short period of time in the conference relative to the rest of the membership’s affiliation with each other, I’m sure the Arizona schools felt disappointed at how readily their conference mates of 30+ years were willing to separate themselves. Still 80% of the Pac-10 schools (the original Pac-8) would have been very happy.)

      As for your note about the ACC, say what you will about Florida State, Ga. Tech, Clemson, or NC State, but can we let go of the idea that Virginia Tech would leave the ACC for the SEC?

      Va. Tech president Charles Steger:

      “Virginia Tech is exceedingly pleased with our membership in the ACC. It is the perfect conference for us. The university administration has no interest in any discussion concerning affiliation with any conference other than the ACC.”

      From http://www.dailypress.com/sports/teel-blog/dp-teel-time-weaver-dismisses-notion-of-hokies-leaving-acc-for-sec-20110812,0,6078363.story

      • zeek says:

        I’m 100% with you on Virginia Tech. I only mention it because it is probably the most valuable Mid-Atlantic school in terms of its football brand currently and the most recently added to the conference.

        Regardless, I agree with everything you’re saying about the Pac-16′s uniqueness. And I have been bemused by the fact that a lot of the former Pac-8 schools see this as their chance to re-establish the Pac-8 inside a Pac-16.

    • jcfreder says:

      i think you’re right, Zeek. A lot of people have been talking about 16 as if that is a magic number, but the truth is, 12 was the magic number. To get above 12, you need a really really good reason. TAMU does that. Texas or Notre Dame do that. Other scenarios are murkier.

    • bullet says:

      We’ve only had one experience with pods, which I thought was a great unique idea at the time. It failed. The WAC was switching to permanent divisions because the fans couldn’t figure out who they were going to play (and then they upset members by splitting rivals-leading to the MWC). Its somewhat similar to the issue with the ACC random divisions that noone can remember.

      If a conference goes to 16, they will probably find they have to have permanent divisions. And with the lack of cross-divisional play, you take an unwieldy number of 16 and create a split that encourages instability. I also don’t think the Big 10 can make a split that doesn’t destroy many rivalries. The Pac could do it as they had a former Pac 8. The ACC might, but their current setup indicates they wouldn’t figure it out right. The SEC could with Alabama and Auburn in the east, but that east might be too much of a murderer’s row-Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee? Plus South Carolina?

      I much prefer 12. I like championship games (even if UT lost a shot at a BCS championship game one year and a BCS bowl another). 12 teams is still a conference and not a TV consortium. There’s nothing to stop two 12 team conferences from forming a joint TV consortium. The MWC and CUSA are discussing it. The only reason I like 14 or 16 teams at all is that it makes a playoff easier when you only have 4 or 5 AQ level conferences instead of 6.

      • zeek says:

        Yeah, your points are the big reason why I think the Big Ten and SEC will not push past 14 unless there’s a very compelling reason to take that approach (read: Texas; ironic that one school alone seems to have the power to create 16 team conferences). The amount of change required to go to the 16 team format, and the dilution of rivalries will do exactly what you state in terms of turning the conferences into “made for TV” product like the NFL.

        Barring some kind of school that’s worth moving from 14 to 16, I think the Big Ten (with its eye on ND) and the SEC (with its eye on A&M) will remain at 14 as a stable situation.

      • rich2 says:

        I read about 4 super conferences of 16 teams leading to a NC game. What is the playoff system that everyone advocates?

        12 season regular season+conference championship game. Then four league champions + four at-large teams. The participants in the final game each play 16 games? All playoff games at neutral sites (presumably in domes)? With NC game the last weekend in January?

        An important issue is whether you add 4 at large teams. It adds significantly to the length of the playoff. But if you don’t and only allow the four conference champions then the method in which the conferences were created will certainly raise cries of unfairness — maybe more than today.
        There is no guiding hand that will create 4 equivalent conferences. One or two will be structurally weaker than the others. It would seem that you could not have one of four spots go to the “weak sister” every year. For example, what if many on this board have your dreams realized and the ACC is eviscerated? What if the fourth conference is an amalgam of the BE, two or three ACC and a few strays? The BE winner will participate every year in the playoff while the loser of the SEC championship super-conference game sits home alone?

        It would seem that a playoff would have to be 4 conferences plus 4 at large — if the 4 at large are selected using a “BCS” type of formula that relies on polls — then I bet that the loser of the SEC Championship game plus two other SEC conference teams will be selected as 3 of 4 at-large teams for a long time — I assume that there will be few or no OOC. Thus, polls will mean everything when comparing performance in a conference. If 12 of 16 SEC teams begin the season in the Top 25 and there is no OOC, I think this is a good bet.

        I guess the scenario will be perceived to be fairer by some fans.

        I am certain that the advocates for 4-16+playoff have anticipated these problems and have a better plan — what is it?

    • willarm1 says:

      I agree that 12 is the ideal number for the inner workings of a specific conference for sure. But we have an awful system from which we crown our NC.

      4 16 Team non BCS related Super Conferences gets us where we need to be in terms of crowning a champion. An 8 team playoff is perfect IMO. Because it is decided on the field without playing an extra ordinary amount of playoff games (attractive to University Presidents). It keeps the regular season very relevant, while not punishing schools for harder pre conference schedules. In addition, it still provides a venue for some Cinderella runs. remember when Missouri beat Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship an number of years ago? They would have made the final four, instead of Ok going on to the NC without even winning their conference?

      With this system, Big names are important, but not essential to $$ drivers if we have a playoff system in place. Yes, there will be some winners and losers with singular conference deals, but the conferences would be much more insulated because of the new money the playoff system (which Delany has spoken too) would provide.

      It is an exclusive model yes, But once you are in, you are on a much more equal playing field minus the coaches polls and beauty contests of the BCS. Besides, if other schools qualify there could be future expansion to include others if need be (although I doubt it would be needed)

      Now we have a system where a team like Boise gets a year to prepare for their opener, a cupcake league and 40 days to prepare for a Bowl game so they can be ranked in the top ten again the next year. That is madness imo.

      4 16 teams supers although not perfect seems better then 6-8 12 team leagues imo.

      • zeek says:

        The point you make is important with respect to the overall MNC situation. While the conferences seem to have realized that 12 and possibly 14 (with the right expansion options) are the most stable scenarios, it leaves us with 5+ conferences that can have teams ranked near or at the top and still leaves us with the murky situation of years in which you have multiple teams with a claim on the title berths.

        I don’t really know how to get from the current situation to what you speak of, although I’ve come around to the +1 approach of late. I do think eventually we’ll have some sort of mini-playoff, but I don’t know what it looks like.

        • willarm1 says:

          I’m not sure if 14, 16 or 12 is the number, I guess it depends how inclusive or exclusive the commissioners want to be, because I believe with a break from the BCS the money will be there if a playoff is instituted. A final four of the four conference champs, after a conference championship game (or 8 team playoff) makes easily the most sense if crowning a national champion is the goal.

          A +1 imo still falls in many of the BCS traps, of polls and beauty contests, (not to mention the PAC and B1G are not huge fans of it) and would be discriminatory against league champs who do not place well in those contests even though they have won a major conference championship.

          I also believe the Final Four and NC game would be big money makers, that could bring in “Super Bowl” type revenue numbers for the 3 college games played, to be split between 64 or 56 team leagues, with incentives for the champs. I believe that additional revenue could make the Supers more inclusive then some believe. Of course, the proof would be in the numbers…..What would networks bid for the Final Four and NC game? one thing is for sure, this wouldn’t be a regional spectacle, it would be a nation wide event imo.

      • Brian says:

        willarm1,

        “I agree that 12 is the ideal number for the inner workings of a specific conference for sure. But we have an awful system from which we crown our NC.”

        No, we don’t have an awful system. We have a system you don’t like. Those are two different things. If 12 is the ideal number for a conference, then any postseason plan which requires going past 12 is a bad idea. The best thing for CFB has to be to have conferences at their ideal size.

        I think the bowl system is better for CFB than a playoff despite a playoff making more money potentially (more for the postseason, sure, but will the regular season lose value like in hoops?). Money isn’t the end all be all, and neither is a NC determined by a playoff.

        • willarm1 says:

          I respectfully disagree with just about everything you said.

          1st: I’m not the only one who believes college football has a creditability problem when it comes to crowning a national champion.

          B: I believe crowning an NC in a clear fashion is worth taking less money for, we should be getting it right. I also believe the revenue from that playoff system could be used to make the system more inclusive. That is why I believe going to 4 16 team conferences in the future would be a step in getting it right.

          2: You can still have a very viable Bowl System surrounded by a playoff. Keeping traditional rivals and tie ins. It is not rocket surgery.

          3: Anyone who has played a sport at a high level understands that players want to settle it on the field, not let some SID or AP sports writer decide who is more deserving to be a champion or worse yet play for a championship.

          E: If you are 1 of 8 teams in a division every game (or nearly every game)will count toward getting to the Conference Title game. I would argue the regular season would be better because in a system you do not have to play patsies early in fear of blowing your chance. You can stack your schedule because you know if you take care of your division you still have a shot at a championship. It is settled on the field.

          Basketball is a terrible comparison. look at the NBA, lots of games, lots of teams make the playoffs and what do you get? a lack luster regular season, just like the NCAA, but the NCAA works because it is a single game elimination at the end of the year.

          I think the NFL is a better comparison. And I believe they have a successful model, league champions get a shot no matter what their record (Seattle beats NO last year) damn near every game matters. And it is the most popular sport in the US. But best of all, it crowns a true champion on the field.

          I simply do not believe the regular season would be diminished one bit.

          • Brian says:

            willarm1,

            “I respectfully disagree with just about everything you said.”

            That’s good, because your response is ridiculous in my opinion.

            “1st: I’m not the only one who believes college football has a creditability problem when it comes to crowning a national champion.”

            Lots of people think lots of things. The fly diet argument doesn’t make your case. I couldn’t care less about the supposed credibility of the CFB D-IA National Champion for the year. College sports are an activity to enhance the college experience, and everything else is a bonus. Watch the NFL for your “credibility” and playoff.

            “B: I believe crowning an NC in a clear fashion is worth taking less money for, we should be getting it right. I also believe the revenue from that playoff system could be used to make the system more inclusive. That is why I believe going to 4 16 team conferences in the future would be a step in getting it right.”

            Playoffs don’t get things right, they find the hot team late in the year and make money. That’s all they do.

            “2: You can still have a very viable Bowl System surrounded by a playoff. Keeping traditional rivals and tie ins. It is not rocket surgery.”

            No, you can’t because you are killing the best bowls with the playoff. When the Rose Bowl becomes a 3 day business trip for schools looking to move on, it is devalued. When the fans only stay 1 night, it loses value to the community.

            “3: Anyone who has played a sport at a high level understands that players want to settle it on the field, not let some SID or AP sports writer decide who is more deserving to be a champion or worse yet play for a championship.”

            Players also want to skip class, use steroids and get paid. I ignore them on those issues, too.

            “E: If you are 1 of 8 teams in a division every game (or nearly every game)will count toward getting to the Conference Title game. I would argue the regular season would be better because in a system you do not have to play patsies early in fear of blowing your chance. You can stack your schedule because you know if you take care of your division you still have a shot at a championship. It is settled on the field.”

            They play pasties at home to make money. In your system, that’s all CFB is about so they would play even more patsies. Why play a good team OOC and lose a home game? I’m sure that will make CFB better.

            “Basketball is a terrible comparison. look at the NBA, lots of games, lots of teams make the playoffs and what do you get? a lack luster regular season, just like the NCAA, but the NCAA works because it is a single game elimination at the end of the year.”

            What was I thinking, comparing one NCAA sport to another. Yeah, the NBA playoffs make no money at all I’m sure. The NCAA hoops season used to be a lot better before the tournament became so big (literally and metaphorically). Ask Duffman.

            “I think the NFL is a better comparison. And I believe they have a successful model, league champions get a shot no matter what their record (Seattle beats NO last year) damn near every game matters. And it is the most popular sport in the US. But best of all, it crowns a true champion on the field.”

            The NFL model is terrible. You talk about credibility of the champion and then use a model that includes teams with losing records. If you call that credibility, I want no part of it. It crowns the hottest team at the end of the year that manages to get in the playoffs. That doesn’t make it any more of a true champion than any other method.

            “I simply do not believe the regular season would be diminished one bit.”

            Then you are either naive or dumb.

          • RedDenver says:

            Giant +1 to @Brian for summing up my thoughts exactly on every point. I don’t understand the obsession some fans have with getting a playoff.

          • willarm1 says:

            Well a couple of things are obvious with your response one of which is the lack of class within it. But putting that aside, again I respectfully disagree.

            Remember you were the one who compared the NCAA Basketball tourney to a possible NCAA football playoff? Of course there is very little to compare, but you seem to try to back that statement by saying Basketball used to have a better regular season. Without googling could you please name one of those great games? (Wait! I’ll give you one UCLA v. Houston) How was the regular season better? If it was the conference tourney results that got you to the next level. Guess what? The regular season then meant the same that it does now, The conference tourneys then held more weight.

            Hell I don’t have to ask Duffman lets ask Len Elmore of Maryland who was on a couple of teams that were national powerhouses that didn’t get to play for the title because of the B-Ball rules of the past. (one team in from the ACC) The current NCAA basketball format fits very well with the multiple levels of talent we have throughout the nation. Conferences have multiple teams that deserve to compete for the national title. The old way left out plenty of top quality national teams because of the region they were from. But it still didn’t mean the regular season meant more? Say what you will about the NCAA B-Ball tourney but imo they get it right in terms of seeding and how those teams perform over the time the field of 64 has been around. How else would you do the NCAA B-Ball tourney? Is Back to the Future really the mantra here?

            You speak of me being naive and yet you say the NFL model is terrible because it let an under 500 team in the playoffs. Spoken like someone who hasn’t played a competitive game in his life. Seattle was a division champion an earned their way into the playoffs. They beat out the rest of their division. They earned it. then in another breath you say it only benefits the hottest teams at the end of the year? please excuse me but again, you sound like a sports talk show host, The NFL is an 16 game grind. Playoff spots are earned often during the last game of the season. How many teams that start 0-2 make the playoffs? Everyone who has ever been coached or coached someone else knows especially in football because the season is so short and wins are so hard to come by that every single week counts. (this is very different in B-Ball but you tried to compare the two?as if they were remotely similar?)If Green Bay just caught fire at the end of the season what happened in the Detroit game that nearly made them miss the playoffs?

            I’m sorry but the NFL crowns true champions because it is earned. And I don’t know many who would dispute that, better alone call it terrible. Maybe we should have the sports writers decide who gets into the NFL playoffs, or better yet lets just have ESPN’s power rankings select the participants. And you call me naive…

            A couple other notes:

            I said they played patsies because one loss at the beging of the season could ruin any chance at becoming a national champion. I said nothing of money. With a playoff system non-con losses wouldn’t end the season in week two. Therefore better matchups could be scheduled, Because becoming a division champion is your way forward. (again, on the field performance gets you to the next level. not coaches poll results)

            You obviously don’t understand what it means to be a student athlete.

            with this gem….

            “I couldn’t care less about the supposed credibility of the CFB D-IA National Champion for the year. College sports are an activity to enhance the college experience”

            Talk about naive….

          • Brian says:

            willarm1,

            I compared CFB to MBB because both are NCAA sports and one has a playoff and one doesn’t. And the hoops regular season used to be much better. The regular season mattered more, it was covered more (on a relative basis) and people actually cared. It wasn’t about having a few big games like it is now, but about every game being bigger. Now everyone knows you can scrape into the tournament with a weak team and fans don’t watch. Even the college basketball “experts” all lament the loss of value to the regular season. I think they are in a good position to know since they pay closer attention than you or I every will.

            Believe it or not, not everyone is obsessed with tournaments. The B10 didn’t even have one until 1998. The SEC didn’t have one from 1953-1978. From 1956-1986 the P10 didn’t have one, and from 1991-2001 the tournament didn’t decide the conference winner. The regular season literally meant more back then.

            The current tournament is designed to make money and keep coaches employed. There is no way 68 teams deserve a chance at the national title. The 11th best team in the BE does not deserve a chance at the title.

            If they seed so well, why doesn’t the math back up their seeding? Why do 12′s beat 5′s so much more than 11′s beat 6′s? If the tournament is so great, why is being a 10-15 seed better than being an 8?

            The tournament would be better if it had fewer teams. It would do a better job of finding the best team if it was double elimination, too. And since it would only have real contenders, there would be no need for seeding. But instead, it is a made for TV event designed to make money rather than find the best team.

            I said it was naive to think that a playoff wouldn’t devalue the regular season. If you make the postseason more important, then the regular season loses importance.

            The NFL model that allows a losing team to compete for the championship is terribly flawed. Even NFL fans had a lot of complaints. How does it build credibility to have a losing team compete for the title? The NCAA won’t even let a losing team go to the worst bowl game.

            Yes, every week is so important that the undefeated Patriots lost the Super Bowl to a 10-6 wild card Giants team that they beat the last week of the regular season. The Super Bowl has also recently seen great teams like the 9-7 Cards in 2009. Clearly those were very deserving teams. Boy, I sure wish more 7-5 CFB teams could play for the national title.

            Every single week counts so much in the NFL that the top teams rest their players. I’m sure the Iron Bowl would have been just as good last year if Auburn had rested Cam Newton, Nick Fairley, etc. That’s what I want to see.

            Yes, it’s not at all possible to have played years of competitive sports and not like the NFL model. Nobody could possibly believe that the regular season proved their value, and that a playoff should be very limited. Letting everybody in is a pure money grab, or else it’s very little league.

            I know lots of people that think the NFL playoffs are random and the best team often doesn’t win. Any given Sunday, isn’t that what they claim? Ask some 2007 Pats fans if the best team was crowned that year. 5 wild cards have won the Super Bowl. If the regular season is so important and the playoffs are so accurate, why do wild cards win almost 15% of the Super Bowls?

            No, a playoff wouldn’t lead to better OOC games. Good teams don’t schedule them more often because they’d rather make the money from home games. There is no real advantage to them for the schools, and a playoff won’t change that. Most big name schools still play one big game despite the added risk. With 9 game schedules looming, teams aren’t going to add yet another big game. The easy win still helps the min a playoff situation. In the BCS, OOC losses aren’t a penalty at all except for the NCG. You can lose OOC, win your conference and a BCS bowl and finish #2.

            And, yes, i couldn’t possibly have been a student athlete. Except, of course, for all the time I spent as a student athlete. And then there were my years of coaching in college, but I have no idea what college sports mean.

            “I couldn’t care less about the supposed credibility of the CFB D-IA National Champion for the year. College sports are an activity to enhance the college experience”

            I believe it. I have zero concern for the opinion of fans about the “credibility” of the national title because of the BCS. They can watch the NFL if it bothers them so much. Letting Cam Newton play bothers me much more than TCU not playing for the title. The BCS winner is a worthy champion, even if other teams might also be worthy. A playoff won’t make the winner any more legitimate, it’ll just change what people complain about.

          • willarm1 says:

            For someone who doesn’t care about the creditability of a national champion, you sure have a lot to say about changing the way CBB should be run. But everything cannot be fixed with a different formula or rating system, you still are going to have upsets when evenly matched teams meet. Saying an 11 beats a 6 or a 12 beats a 5 doesn’t prove anything except that team was better on a neutral court that day, after qualifying to be there. Yet you seem to think that is a flaw? That is sport, it isn’t tested in a lab and the results often differ because of the millions of variables that make a team a champion. Making the tourney smaller may fix some of those problems but would be less inclusive for the smaller mid-majors and other talented teams with in a powerful league, that deserve a shot.

            But again, comparing CBB and CFB because one has a playoff and one doesn’t is a fools errand because they are vastly different sports with vastly different schedules, CBB has more room to navigate because of its length of non-con schedule watering down some of the intensity, But once the conference schedules begin those teams are again competing for a common goal, Just because ratings are not as big for these events or you don’t like it, doesn’t make them less relevant to the coaches and teams involved. In addition 68 teams out of 300+ CBB teams seems like a fine sample size to me…..And it works, and by working doesn’t mean the highest ranked team wins every year. It is settled on the court. With the better teams getting a reward for their performance during the year by getting a higher seed.

            IMO you have not made a very convincing argument that CFB’s regular season would be diminished. In fact you make a better argument saying it would stay the same. Which is good enough for you in our current system so what’s the fuss about adding a playoff? I contend that AD’s would not be has hesitant to add more quality non-con home and homes more often because a loss doesn’t hurt a teams chance at a national title. Which logically would make for better match ups and a better product then what we have now. But either way we do not have a diminished product.

            Reviewing some more of your gems:

            “The NFL model that allows a losing team to compete for the championship is terribly flawed.”

            They won their division, they earned their shot on the field. Would you rather have a committee decide? (of course you would)

            “Every single week counts so much in the NFL that the top teams rest their players. I’m sure the Iron Bowl would have been just as good last year if Auburn had rested Cam Newton, Nick Fairley, etc. That’s what I want to see”

            If you think any player would be rested during the “Iron Bowl” or “The Game” or any other major rivalry you don’t understand what it means to compete for something. In addition, it isn’t often when NFL teams rest players, Did the Giants and Patriots rest players with your previous example? Did the Bears and Packers rest players last year? It doesn’t happen very often, but yes it does every now and again. But again this premise is flawed. I would say CFB teams rest just as many or more players during the early cupcake pre-season, then the NFL does all year long.

            “I know lots of people that think the NFL playoffs are random and the best team often doesn’t win.”

            I know lots of people who believe we haven’t landed on the moon as well. The Best team who qualifies for the playoffs always wins the Super Bowl because it is settled on the field.

            “Yes, every week is so important that the undefeated Patriots lost the Super Bowl to a 10-6 wild card Giants team that they beat the last week of the regular season.”

            You don’t believe the game during the regular season showed the Giants they were every bit as good as the Pats? They believed it and proved it on the field during the most important time of the year. Again it is sport, It isn’t going to follow your preconceived model of right and wrong, it can’t be answered with formulas or sub committees. The playoff model gives us a battle tested proven champion. Just because some of us believe this is the best way forward doesn’t make us hate the regular season or want to diminish it, we believe it should be settled through competition not polls and committees or beauty contests, If you are in a qualifying conference and you win your division you deserve to have a shot to compete for a championship.

            “And, yes, I couldn’t possibly have been a student athlete. Except, of course, for all the time I spent as a student athlete. And then there were my years of coaching in college, but I have no idea what college sports mean.”

            “OOC losses aren’t a penalty at all except for the NCG. You can lose OOC, win your conference and a BCS bowl and finish #2.”

            Let me guess you are not coaching anymore…….

            “I believe it. I have zero concern for the opinion of fans about the “credibility” of the national title because of the BCS. They can watch the NFL if it bothers them so much.”

            Were not bothered by it, we just think the system should be fixed.

            But the point is we don’t have to watch the NFL to watch a playoff, or a true champion being crowned….We can watch Div 1a football division 2 or 3, we can watch college soccer, lacrosse, Hockey, Basketball, Baseball, water polo, gymnastics, field hockey, softball etc…. to see how a national champion is crowned correctly.

            We just would like it settled on the field…….and I do not think this is a minority view point.

            I simply believe you do not do a very good job proving your point about CFB regular season being diminished, simply saying it would be because we have a playoff is a little weak to say the least.

            But I respect your opinion.

          • jcfreder says:

            The NCAA tournament has largely put college basketball on the map. It has been a huge boon financially. I admit that it’s not the best way to crown a champion but the first weekend is probably the best four days in sports.

            The NFL postseason is arguably a round too long, but it;s hard to say that the playoffs have killed interest in the regular season. It’s still tough to make the playoffs, barring the rare occassions you’ll have a putrid division.

            As for how a CFB playoff would work, I think many people assume that you’d have autobids for the BCS conferences (mandating at least an 8-teamer) or for all conferences (mandating a 16-teamer). I actually think the 4-team, “plus one” conept might be the best way to do it in terms of balancing tradition while still settling it on the field. If you limit it to the top 4 in the BCS poll, there’s no “7-9 Seahawks” problem. Also, some of the major bowls get played pretty much as usual. Pulling 4 teams out of the normal rotation to join the national semifinals isn’t that much different than pulling 2 out like we have now.

            There’s probably more money to be made with an 8-teamer though — my assumption is that the first-round games would end up on campus. It beomes tougher to fit that system into the traditional bowl schedule.

          • Eric says:

            Well said Brian

          • AJJ says:

            I agree with willarm on this one.

            I don’t see College Football losing any regular season steam if it implemented a measured system. Final Four or +1

            Note to Brian, you come off like a DB when you say you don’t care about people who advocate for a playoff. Just take your ball and go home already lol

            Anyway, Love the site Frank

          • Brian says:

            willarm1,

            You asked my opinion about the hoops tournament. You can’t turn around and complain because I gave it to you. And for having “a lot to say” about it, I suggested fewer teams and double elimination. That doesn’t seem earthshaking to me, nor particularly verbose.

            Of course there will be upsets. But you said you thought the NCAA did a good job with seeding. I’m simply asking why, if they seed well, do 5s beat 12s so much more than 6s beat 11s? Simple math tells me a 6/11 game should be more evenly matched than 5/12 if the seedings are correct. There have been enough years with 64+ teams to see that isn’t true, though. And feel free to make a case for why a team that finishes in the bottom half of its conference really deserves to compete for the national title.

            You are welcome to define “working” as being determined on the court/field, just don’t assume that is a definition that others accept. You brought up credibility. To be credible to me, the best team should win the postseason. Winning 6 games in a row in March/April doesn’t make you the best team, it makes you the tournament winner. Some people conflate the two, but I don’t.

            You’ve made no argument the regular season wouldn’t be diminished. You magically assume more intersectional games. You assume losses won’t matter, but I think the opposite will be true. Seeding will be too important to risk an extra loss. Play patsies to pad the record and the wallet, and save your losses for in conference.

            You can contend that all you want, but actual statements from big program ADs consistently say that getting 7 home games is their priority. Especially with 9 game conference slates coming, they aren’t going to 2 home and home series if there is a playoff.

            I’d rather only include good teams. But I really don’t care what the NFL does. They can put in all the teams for a full tournament and it wouldn’t bother me. They are a pro sports league and I pay next to no attention to them.

            “The Best team who qualifies for the playoffs always wins the Super Bowl because it is settled on the field.”

            You are, of course, welcome to believe that. Don’t expect me to drink that KoolAid, though.

            “The playoff model gives us a battle tested proven champion.”

            No, it most certainly doesn’t. It gives you a “game tested” team that won a playoff. Sports are not war.

            I never said that you hated the regular season, or even that you wanted to diminish the regular season. I said you will diminish the regular season, because your zealotry for playoffs blinds you to their downsides.

            As it turns out, the system already determines it on the field. Auburn beat Oregon and won the title. They got to play because they won games on the field all season long.

            The popularity of your opinion does not indicate the correctness of it. Lots of sub-optimal things are popular.

            I don’t need to make a case to you to support my position. Look at all the discussion over the B10 divisions. One of the major complaints was that The Game can never be as important as it used to be, because now there is a playoff after it. When you put more focus on the postseason, the regular season is diminished. If all I have to do is be #16 to get in, regular season games are less important and the fans know it. Who cares if I lose a game or two? I’ll still make the playoffs.

          • Brian says:

            jcfreder,

            You are completely right that March Madness is huge and has brought in a lot of casual fans. It makes a ton of money and does have the best 4 days in sports. But I also agree with this:

            “I admit that it’s not the best way to crown a champion”

            I’m not saying playoffs are pure evil. They definitely have positives. I just wish their proponents would acknowledge the downsides and say they choose to make that tradeoff. That would be a position I can respect, even though I wouldn’t make that tradeoff.

            I didn’t say the NFL playoffs have killed interest in the regular season, but how many fans watch a week 17 game when Payton Manning and company sit out because their spot is locked? How many fans respected the Seahwaks as deserving of a chance to win the Super Bowl. Even the former NFL players on TV were split on the topic.

            Bigger will always make more money, yes, The question is, is that better for the game? Do the regular season TV contracts grow more slowly because the games are a little less important? How do the students and fans deal with the extra travel? How much is it worth to a player to have the bowl experience? How many bowls can survive with a playoff, and how much are they diminished?

            As for the form of a CFB playoff, I think it’s fair to say there is no consensus. Some want 16 so all conferences get in, and that’s a very NCAA approach to take, but others say that is too long and too many of the wrong teams get in. Some say 8 is better so all AQs get in while non-AQs have to earn it, but others see that as favoritism and bias. Some want just 4, to keep it to the most elite teams and not extend the season too much, but then you are reliant on polls and such to pick.

          • bullet says:

            @Brian
            I don’t recall Auburn or Oregon deciding it on the field by beating TCU.

          • willarm1 says:

            It is obvious you haven’t read or understood the option of an 8 team playoff with four super conferences: 8 divisions winners, a CC, Final Four and NC. Who said anything about seeding 16 teams.

            You were the one who concluded that I was either naive or dumb to suggest that the regular season would not be diminished in a four super conference league, and then you compared it to CBB? (which was a terrible comparison)

            You have not given one logical example that it would be diminished in regards to the system I have written about and others have purposed.

            you wrote: “Seeding will be too important to risk an extra loss. Play patsies to pad the record and the wallet, and save your losses for in conference.” (that is happening now!)

            Who said anything about seeding? Your division winners play for the Conference Championship. (Overall record would be a distant tie breaker, like it is now for Division winners)

            Then Big v PAC (rose) and SEC v ACC (Sugar or Orange ) on New Years day plays to determine who plays in the NC(revolving between the majors) a week later.

            You still could have the rest of the bowl games built within this system. You still have two major bowls that a Non-AQ could qualify for, you could even add The Cotton Bowl for the fifth Major.

            In this system Non-Con losses don’t hurt your ability to be NC, (like it does now)They would hurt your record, but your path to a championship is still intact. Leaving the door open for better non-con match ups. And a stronger regular season, not diminished because AD’s would not be afraid to schedule big time opponents because a path to the NC would still be viable, even if they lost every single non-com.

            I agree a seeded 16 team tourney gives us the same problems we have now. I have never said anything else. Because I believe any system that has AP or Coaches votes is flawed from the start.

            With that said, I do not believe the regular season would be diminished with a playoff system built into the Conference Championship model. I believe College Football can do a much better job crowning a champion like every other College and Pro sport already does today. Yes their are flaws, but they are not as flawed as the BCS imo.

            That is all…..

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            TCU not playing in the title game doesn’t mean the title wasn’t determined on the field. AU and OR had to go undefeated to stay ahead of TCU. They played tougher schedules and were rewarded for it. That is determining it on the field. That doesn’t make the current system ideal, and I never said it was. Every system has tradeoffs.

            Professional sports generally have 2 conferences that meet in a playoff. They have more games with fewer teams, so all the teams are interconnected during the year. CFB can’t do that with 120 teams, 11 conferences, 4 independents and 12 games. What works for the NFL doesn’t automatically work for CFB.

          • jcfreder says:

            3 undefeated CFB teams creates the exact definition of “not settling it on the field.” Sure, Auburn and Oregon had to win out in order to block TCU, but the point is that TCU did not have control over its own destiny because they didn’t get a shot at the other undefeateds. This is the huge flaw with the current system, one that is so glaring that it calls out for a solution.

            Because it seems to me that postseason change in CFB will most likely be incremental, I think the plus-one idea is way more likely to happen (at least at first) than an 8 or 16 teamer. Going to a 4-team “national semifinal” setup would be even better.

            Seeing as change in CFB postseason seems to come when people gripe about who gets left out, I could see a 4-teamer lasting a long long time, because it will be very difficult for #5 to gripe in a way that actually makes people listen.

          • Brian says:

            willarm1,

            “It is obvious you haven’t read or understood the option of an 8 team playoff with four super conferences: 8 divisions winners, a CC, Final Four and NC. Who said anything about seeding 16 teams.”

            I’ve read and understood it. But we don’t have 4 super-conferences and not everyone thinks 8 is the right number. Who decreed that ND had to join a conference? Did BYU also give up on the concept of independence? Who or what forced them? And what about teams outside the 64?

            I was arguing against specific statements you made, and the generic concept of the playoff (so I wouldn’t have to answer people who chime in with fixing it all by going to 16, or seeding differently, etc).

            Now you are adding details to your plan as if I was supposed to have read your mind. A playoff seeds teams. The plan you are outlining now is a plus one system (CCGs, bowls, then 1 NCG). You talked about an 8 team playoff in your early post on the topic, and specifically said you had problems with a plus 1. I hate to break it to you, but your plan is an unseeded plus one for a world with 4 conferences (tie-ins place teams in bowls rather than ranking, and the 2 winners play for the NC).

            If that was what you meant, you shouldn’t have been advocating an 8 team playoff. That is 8 teams advancing to the postseason after the CCG, and would require seeding unless otherwise indicated.

            A plus one system naturally has fewer new problems as it is a small change from the current system. I like championship systems that require the teams to win their conference. You provide no access for teams other than the 64, though, so that will bother many people. I don’t see the need for the extra game, but if there were 4 superconferences and nobody else in the top division, your plan is the least offensive system that includes more teams.

            In your system, OOC games would be meaningless except as a distant tiebreaker. It still wouldn’t increase good OOC games because fear is NOT what prevents them from happening. Coaches don’t want more of them for job security, but ADs care about money. It’s not worth it to OSU or TN or MI or PSU or AL to give up even more home games. That hurts their local economy and fans as well as their wallets. A home game is worth millions to those schools, probably well over $10M when you add everything up. Why schedule more home and homes that don’t help you in any way (better rankings are meaningless, and there will be plenty of tough conference games to toughen the team up)?

          • Brian says:

            jcfreder,

            No, the definition of not settling it on the field would be drawing a name out of a hat and declaring them the champion.

            TCU had control over their schedule, and played OrSU, TN Tech, Baylor and SMU OOC to go with their MWC schedule. OR played 10 AQ teams, 1 MWC team and 1 patsy. AU played 10 AQ teams and 3 patsies. I have no problem saying that one of those schedules is not like the others.

            I agree that postseason change will be gradual, with a plus one the most likely next step. I don’t think it’s needed but I agree it will probably happen. The presidents will continue to fight going to 8 or 16, though, and the more it is mentioned the more they will resist a plus one. They see the inevitable bracket creep coming.

          • jcfreder says:

            Um, no, Brian, virtually everyone agrees that “settling it on the field” means that the undefeated teams actually get to play each other. While I understand the point about TCU, this concept becomes even more clear when 3 “major conference” teams go undefeated, like when Auburn got left out in 2004.

            I’m not saying that no reasonable person can oppose further playoffs, but to say that TCU or Auburn got to “settle it on the field” robs that phrase of all logical meaning.

          • willarm1 says:

            Brian

            What I have been advocating has been clear from the beginning of the thread, with regard to 4 14-16 Team Supers and the playoff that would ensue afterward. What you have chosen to read or comment on is on you.

            I disagree with your take on the BCS settling the championship on the field.

            I disagree that the regular season would be diminished in either the non-con or division play.

            I disagree that the non-con would be meaningless. Because I don’t believe AD’s are just money hungry robots, in fact many AD’s understand the marketing behind big time match ups, and destination games.

            I disagree that coaches are just worried about their job and will continue to schedule more cupcakes in an attempt to cling to their very lively hood.

            I believe independents or non AQ’s do not deserve a shot at the championship unless they show they can hang in a big time league. (having a year to prepare for the first game a cupcake schedule and 40 days to prepare for a bowl game, does not show me they can do it week in and week out)

            I believe a limited playoff is the best way forward. Where a championship is settled on the field by properly qualified teams..

            “Well, I also believe in the soul. The cock. The pussy. The small of a woman’s back. The hanging curveball. High fiber. Good scotch. That the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a Constitution Amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas eve. And I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days”

            And I do not believe in the BCS….

            Have a great evening gentlemen….

          • Brian says:

            jcfreder,

            Not to me it doesn’t. Two teams played a game with the National Championship explicitly on the line. That is determining it on the field. You just want more teams to have a shot.

            And AU in 2004 shouldn’t have played The Citadel. The other two didn’t play a I-AA team.

          • Brian says:

            willarm1,

            You specifically advocated an 8 team playoff and disparaged a plus one early on.

            Your plan, as expressed just above, is a plus one.

            It may have been clear in your mind, but it didn’t come across that way. You said 8 team playoff, but apparently meant a plus one. How is that clear to anyone but you?

            As for the rest, you’re welcome to your opinions. You are factually wrong on the basis for a couple of them, but it isn’t worth arguing about.

        • Robber Baron says:

          Or it can be both things. We have both a bad system and one that a lot of fans don’t like. And they don’t like it because it is a bad system. What’s so hard to understand about fans wanting championships settled on the field?

          • Brian says:

            It could be both, but people not liking it doesn’t make it bad. That just makes it unpopular. I have no problem with people preferring a playoff, either. Reasonable people can disagree about the subject.

            The assumption that a playoff is better bothers me, because it smacks of the grass being greener. It doesn’t have any problems yet because it hasn’t been done, while the BCS and bowl systems have had time to expose their flaws. Playoff proponents ignore all the objections critics raise and trumpet the increase in money and the “credibility” of the champion. As if nobody has ever questioned whether certain teams should make the playoffs or not, or whether somebody better was kept out.

            However, my response dealt almost entirely with his statement about the ideal size of a conference and the quality of the current postseason system, rather than the nature of the postseason.

            I’m not the one that said 12 is the ideal size for a conference. Once someone says that, though, I think they have to show why then going to 16 is actually better for CFB. How is making conferences worse better for the game? Most of the season is played in conference. Why would diminishing that part of the year help?

        • Eric says:

          The best money maker isn’t always the fairest system. That said, I don’t think there is a lot more money to be in college football with a playoff and I think an 8 team one would lose money (it would be worth more than BCS but would take money from the regular seasno). Right now, everyone knows that all it takes is one loss from a top team to change the national title picture. This gives an incredible amount of incentive to watch any close games during the regular season for the top teams (anyone within reach, not just top 2). Unless you are a complete die hard, there isn’t as much reason to watch as many regular season games if they aren’t as important and the interest for the 8th team would be a lot less than interest for the top 2 now. Think about this, how many of you watch a lot of games in college basketball for conferences outside the one with your teams. I don’t pay much attention because they have almost 0 effect on my team or the national championship (if they are any good, they’ll be making the tournament anyway).

          The other bigger point though is with conferences. How many of you root for the American League in all games vs. the National League? What about NFC over AFC? Heck, how many of you watch a lot of nonconference college basketball games?

          Conferences matter so much in college football and have fans rooting for all their teams for several reasons, but the biggest one is the structure of the sport. I know that Big Ten teams doing well out of conference helps Ohio State get to the national championship or at least a better ranking. If there is any kind of a large playoff, that matters much less and I stop caring if the rest of the conference is good out of conference.

  108. EZCUSE says:

    Here is another wrinkle.

    The Big East turned down ESPN’s generous offer to re-up at a significant price hike. They are sitting in a nice position to start a price war with Fox and CBS and ESPN because all three networks need inventory. Even Big East inventory. So, there was o reason for them not to hold off until 2012 and start negotiating fresh.

    Unless…. uncertainty. If the SEC can get the funds to take Texas A&M, then there is the risk of the SEC getting the funds to take an ACC school. From there, the ACC can take a Big East school. Or West Virginia to the SEC. Or Louisville to the Big 12. And if the Big 10 decides to match the SEC, now the northern Big East football schools are all in play.

    So… what does the Big East do? Do they decide that we better take what ESPN is offering because that will give teams a reason to not make the lateral move to the ACC? Or does the Big East wait until 2012 and see if it still has enough teams left and loyal to generate a bigger offer from Fox or CBS.

    In a strange way, ESPN may end up saving money and protecting inventory by giving the SEC the green light to take Texas A&M. Paying more for the SEC makes more sense than paying more for the Big East, right?

    • bullet says:

      But does ESPN have that much capacity? They joined with Fox on the Pac 12 contract. And how much more SEC do they want? They already carry a lot. They have no desire to be all SEC all the time. They actually lose inventory if they take an ACC school since they already have 100% of their rights. With A&M they lose tier 1 and gain tier 2.

      Unless FSU joins, I have a hard time figuring how any of this will result in a significant bump in TV revenue (and maybe even then). Are UGA/USC or LSU/Auburn going to get that much better ratings on CBS because A&M is in the SEC? Or on ESPN you jump up because you have 14 teams instead of 12 and can show A&M/WVU instead of Arkansas/Ole Miss? Houston and Dallas are not Atlanta. They are very much pro sports towns. You’re relying on the big alumni base. This isn’t like adding #12 when you add $15-$20 million for the championship game. You’ve got to get enough better ratings on CBS and ESPN or additional slots on ESPN to generate at least $35 million for the two schools just to break even. And you have an ESPN that doesn’t benefit because they already carry all the candidates at a lower price.

      If A&M gets past the legislative hurdles and the contractural hurdles, I’m just not sure the math is going to add up for the SEC. The Big 12 found that losing UNL, a king, didn’t hurt them that much. And CU, who won a Big 12 championship, had a national championship 20 years ago and was in the title game 4 times (A&M was in twice-tied with Mizzou), actually was below average and in leaving resulted in the big 12 teams earning more per school (per the conferences TV consultants).

      There may be intangibles as well as long run benefits, but there is no way the SEC goes to 14 just to break even on TV revenue. You’ve got Alabama, Florida, Auburn, Tennessee and LSU who have all won national championships since A&M last won a conference title. You’ve also got UGA, Arkansas and Ole Miss who have more recent national titles. That’s a tough group to significantly bump up the average on. TV is very fickle is you aren’t a king. Just because Syracuse or A&M were powers in the early 90s doesn’t mean anyone is going to watch them now other than locally.

      • ccrider55 says:

        If the B12 is gone there is now more available “shelf space”.

      • bullet says:

        The SEC and to a lesser extent the Big 10 have a lot of rivalries that really promote interest regardless of the team’s records. UGA’s rivalries with Auburn, Florida, Georgia Tech and even S. Carolina are all about as fierce as Texas/OU. The SEC has been together a long time and generated all these rivalries. When I was in school Texas had 4 pretty big rivalries-1. OU, 2. Arkansas, 3. Houston and 4. A&M. Two of those have gone away. UGA, in the SEC 10, had pretty big rivalries with Ole Miss and Clemson. When they went to 12, those diminished. Clemson is rarely played now-although S. Carolina has replaced them on the schedule. With expansion beyond 12, the SEC risks diminishing some of what they still have.

        And the Big 10 faces that same risk going beyond 12.

        • EZCUSE says:

          All the more reason that ESPN is behind this. If the Big East were to jump to Fox or CBS, that leaves the ESPN with even less that would appeal to the Northeast and Upper Midwest. But that is exactly what the Big East is threatening to do. The Big East rejected the ESPN contract.

          So why not call the Big East’s bluff and say… “why should we pay more for the Big East when we can just pay the SEC to go get two more schools? If we are spending more money than is on the table right now, it will go where our bread is buttered.” or “If you want us to trigger the dominoes that lead to your destruction…. just watch. You think you have a loyal, cohesive group? Just watch what happens if the SEC poaches a school from the Big 12 and the ACC.”

          It would be funny… but perhaps a lot of this talk is caused by ESPN wanting finality with the Big East before a bidding war starts in 2012. For once, the conference is relevant!

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        bullet – as I mentioned in the last blog, with expansion to 14 teams, the SEC will then have 16 games not covered by current contracts. SEC partner CBS has a cable network, CBS Sports, that doesn’t have much carriage and doesn’t have much quality content (the academies and the MWC, I believe). ESPN entered into the big contract with the SEC for two reasons: 1. stop a SEC network, and 2. get carriage and content for ESPNU. Mission accomplished. Why would CBS-SN do the same thing? Even if its the 2nd worst SEC game of the week, its still valuable. The single worst game of the season is reserved for each school for PPV.

        Is it worth, say $500mm for 10 years for CBS-SN to pick up 16 games per year, and get on many more cable systems all over America. I’m guessing the answer is yes. Also, what’s it worth to ESPN to prevent CBS-SN from getting carriage similar to ESPNU?

        • bullet says:

          Just using your numbers, that’s $50 million/year. With $34 million for the two new schools, that’s $16 million left to split 14 ways. You’re only going up about 6%. It takes a lot to make a significant improvement.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            bullet – I just threw a number out there for the inventory not covered under the current contracts. I’m assuming CBS (broadcast) would also up the ante. Assuming its A&M and FSU, that’s UF/FSU every year, possibly UTx/A&M every other year, LSU/A&M every year, possibly A&M/Bama every year in the Bryant/Franchionne Bowl. FSU/Bama, FSU/Auburn, A&M/Arkansas, FSU/UGA, LSU/FSU. . . the list of good games goes on and on.

            Some of those games will also make it down to the ESPN & ESPN2 prime time slots. ESPN probably won’t play hard-ball with the SEC since they will also benefit from even more high rating games. ESPN also wouldn’t want to alienate the SEC, especially if CBS-SN becomes a viable Tier 2 platform, or the SEC intends to set up its own network at the end of the ESPN contract.

            I don’t know what the number would be, but if the SEC goes up to 14, they ain’t taking a haircut and they will make sure the new deal is worth it.

          • bullet says:

            Don’t you think the SEC schools want to hold onto their 3rd tier rights? Without significant pro competition in most of the markets, they have more value than those of most schools and vary a lot from school to school. Personally, I think them pooling 3rd tier rights is about as likely as Atlanta building a statue to General Sherman.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Bullet – I never mentioned the SEC schools giving up 3rd tier rights in my earlier posts, but the SEC did seriously consider creating a SEC Network similar to the BTN, prior to the last SEC-ESPN deal. I have no idea whether the SEC Network would have aired the cupcake game usually reserved for PPV or not.

            In spite of Louisiana being a relatively small and poor state, LSU probably has a disproportionately good deal with Cox on 3rd tier rights, in addition to keeping the PPV game, that LSU produces, for themselves.

            That being said, if the case is made that everyone benefits and makes more money by pooling 3rd tier right, I think the SEC members would be open-minded.

          • bullet says:

            ESPN has the 2nd tier rights, so the CBS College Sports deal you threw out as a hypothetical would be a 3rd tier. If ESPN for some reason didn’t want more content (and of course be willing to pay for it what the SEC wanted), it by definition becomes 3rd tier and goes to the schools.

      • Brian says:

        Are you really comparing the states of NE and TX in terms of TV value? NE has 1.8M people. The suburbs of Houston are bigger than that. There is a lot of advertising revenue to be made for CBS and ESPN by getting more TX TVs to watch SEC games.

        On top of that, they increase inventory to either sell individually or sell a new rights package.

        • bullet says:

          Nebraska is a king and has more national appeal. A&M is not. They just have Texas appeal.

          • Brian says:

            Yes, but the TX appeal and recruiting access is what the SEC wants. TAMU is still a bigger draw than schools like MS, MS St, KY and Vandy, and bigger than SC most years.

          • bullet says:

            Those are secondary. The SEC wants $. If it doesn’t generate noticeably better TV $, they aren’t going to add them for the intangibles. They don’t NEED the intangibles and getting them involves a price in other intangibles.

      • Frank the Ag says:

        Good think Texas A&M’s “local” market includes 24 million viewers.

      • greg says:

        The best part of that letter is that it acts like the Texas legislature is controlling B12 expansion.

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          @Greg.

          Exactly. It’s like the Southwest Conference all over again. Except that it seems even more arrogant now. With the SWC, there was only one non-Texas school. Now, Texas schools are outnumbered 6-4, soon to be 6-3. I’m not saying politics don’t have an influence, but sheesh! What leverage does the legislature in Texas have over schools outside of their state?

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Adding the University of Houston in replacement of Texas A&M would be doing what’s best for Baylor, Texas Tech, and Texas. Adding BYU, or simply staying at 9, would be what’s best for the league as a whole.

        So if you’re the president of Iowa State, Missouri, KU, K-State, Oklahoma, or Oklahoma State, why in the world would you approve an invitation to Houston?

        What leverage does Texas have to bully them into taking Houston? Only the Big 12 can give UT what it already has:
        (a) membership in a conference that allows for the Longhorn Network. This rules out the Big Ten, Pac-12, and ACC.
        (b) a strong conference for all sports, including football. This rules out the ACC and Big East.
        (c) a conference with rivalries that appeal to its fans. This rules out the Big East (even if it’s the Notre Dame model of independence for football), the ACC, and perhaps the Big Ten if its fans desire mostly southern/western opponents.
        (d) a conference that its administration and faculty deem acceptable. This rules out the SEC.

        UT loves the Big 12 because its the only league that allows for (a), (b), (c), and (d), and the schools in other Big 12 states know this. So how in the world would they bow to UT on THIS issue?

        And if anyone really believes that adding Houston would do any good for the non-Texas schools, please speak up because I’m lost as to how that school would help.

        • bullet says:

          Why would you think Texas, Texas Tech and Baylor would want UH?

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            I don’t think they’d want UH. But UVA didn’t want VT in the ACC, either, but they were coerced into becoming their leading cheerleader by the governor and the legislature. Even if Baylor is relatively immune to the influences of the legislature, Tech and UT especially could be persuaded to do the same for UH.

            There’s a big difference between VT-to-the-ACC and UH-to-the-Big 12, though. VT was a fast-rising power, only four seasons removed from a national championship game appearance and regularly winning 10 games a year. Thus, convincing other conference members to take VT over Syracuse was not a very outlandish task for UVA to take. Houston is a different story. Sure, they’ve definitely improved under Kevin Sumlin, but they get no national attention at all. They’re not a VT equivalent, or a Syracuse equivalent, for that matter. Asking BYU instead would be a perfectly reasonable thing to do, given the fact they’re in a market untapped by the Big 12 and they have broad national fanbase. If not BYU, then someone else. Houston just makes no sense.

        • EZCUSE says:

          I think the Big 12′s fear is losing Texas. This is Texas A&M’s fear too. Or annoyance. They will be OK. But better to be preemptive and leave than have Texas decide when they need to do so.

          In any event, how is Houston a bad add? You lose a Texas school and pick up another. Houston will be no worse than Iowa St.

          As I said before… what if it’s a play to get Houston and SMU in? If A&M is worried about stability, strengthening the Big 12 to protect against a Texas defection is helped by getting a few other schools up to BCS caliber now. Say what you want about USF, Cincy, and Louisville, but it gives the Big East a cushion if someone decides to leave.

          South: Texas, A&M, Tech, Baylor, Houston, SMU
          North: Oklahoma, Okie St., Kansas, Kansas St., Iowa St., Missouri

          What’s wrong with that? Texas schools play 5 games in state. That can’t hurt.

          • bullet says:

            UH is a bad add because they add no value. I’m sure they would become reasonably competitive in about 5 years. But they don’t add $. BYU adds $. Louisville adds $. Notre Dame adds lots of $. New Mexico and Colorado St. probably add more than UH.

            Now if the Big 12 didn’t have Texas and didn’t have A&M, then UH could be a valuable add.

          • vp19 says:

            Houston’s value is keeping Texas happy in its fiefdom and preventing it from either going independent or making some sort of agreement with Scott and its likely partners in a potential move west (Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Okie State). The serfs in Ames, Lawrence, Manhattan and Waco fear the alternative.

          • bullet says:

            That’s the imaginary Texas wants control of everything viewpoint. Dodds is about $ and he’s very good at it.

            UH probably makes UT unhappy. There’s some bad blood over the last game between the two as posted in an earlier thread.

          • @bullet – I agree. UH going to the Big 12 actually helps A&M’s cause much more in terms of political cover of moving to the SEC. UT, on the other hand, has much less flexibility if it’s shackled with UH. Other conferences were perfectly fine with A&M coming along with UT and the only real concern was also having to take Texas Tech. If A&M splits with UT, then UT is still fairly flexible if it’s only requirement is that Tech has to come along. However, it becomes much tougher if UT has to bring both Tech and UH along from this point forward.

            If I’m running the Big 12, it’s BYU or bust if A&M leaves.

          • Richard says:

            Frank:

            Well, if you’re Beebe, you _want_ Texas to be shackled to the B12 (and thus, it may make sense for all the little sisters of the poor to the north to favor UH as well; pretty much anyone who would be hurt if the B12 blows up, which would be everyone except OU and maybe OSU, Mizzou, and TTech). I don’t think BYU will give up independence for a conference that may not last out the decade.

  109. Atlanticist says:

    Adding Mizzou decreases the attractiveness of the Big Ten for the ACC schools that are (supposedly) in play: UMD/UVA/UNC/Duke. The ACC is already the highest ranked academic conference (barely beating the Big Ten, but a win is a win) and that’s a huge strength.

    There is no way that the Big Ten wants to further lower it’s academic average or that the ACC “Core Four” schools are looking to downgrade their academic conference. Nebraska has already become an academic blemish for the Big Ten. I doubt they want to repeat the experience. If the AAU is looking to shed members for a more elite branding, Mizzou can’t be too far down the road.

    If the Big Ten can get the Core Four, then the Big Ten regains the Academic BCS title, with only the PAC 12/14/16 close behind.

    • zeek says:

      I know a lot of people want those 4 ACC schools in the Big Ten, but I think you create a problem in terms of assimilation if you just pick up a pod full of schools from a different conference and try to slap them onto the Big Ten.

      • frug says:

        There’s another, more fundamental, problem; the Big 10 will always leave a seat at the table for ND which means they can’t go to 16 without the Irish.

    • frug says:

      Not to quibble too much, but “highest academic” ranking depends on which source you go by. If you use the USNWR then the ACC does come out ahead. But those are undergrad only. If you include graduate programs (like the ARWU or THE do) then the Big 10 comes out ahead and no one else is particularly close.

      • Atlanticist says:

        You are absolutely correct. If you look at the ARWU US Top 50, the Big Ten has 10 (everyone except Nebraska and Iowa) and the ACC has only 3 (#27 Duke, #28 Maryland, #30 UNC). I’m surprised that #52 Virginia wasn’t ranked higher considering they have top-rated Business, Medical, and Law schools. Maryland’s numbers also don’t include their medical, law, and dental schools, which are considered separate entities. That should change in a year since the Maryland legislature wants them all under the same University of Maryland as a way to game the rankings (combining research dollars and endowments).

        http://www.arwu.org/Country2010Main.jsp?param=United%20States

  110. Mike says:

    Clever. Iowa St to NFC North.

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/15441477/iowa-states-move-to-nfc-north-flying-way-under-radar

    This made me laugh.
    one source said on the condition of complete fictionalization

    How many “legit” tweets from should have been sourced this way?

  111. OT says:

    If the power conferences were to withdraw from the NCAA, then…

    …they can expand into Canada immediately without having to wait for the Canadian schools to spend x number of years in NCAA Division II before spending another 4 years in reclassification…

    …that means…

    …B1G can grab a whole bunch of TV sets by admitting Toronto and McGill, two schools that fit the snooty academic profile of the B1G…

    …and…

    …the PAC can grab TV sets by snapping up UBC, Simon Fraser, Calgary, and Alberta to get to 16.

    Pac 16 North

    Oregon
    Oregon St
    Washington
    Washington State
    British Columbia
    Simon Fraser
    Calgary
    Alberta

    Pac 16 South

    California
    Stanford
    UCLA
    USC
    Arizona
    Arizona State
    Utah
    Colorado

    • Eric says:

      I really hope that doesn’t happen. I like that the sport is only American and have no desire to expand to Canada in the name of markets.

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Eric – just think about the opportunity to play on a 110 yard field.

        • Eric says:

          Well maybe then :)

          • duffman says:

            jj, do you have a relative posting as OT ;)

          • jj says:

            i’m not familiar with the west coasters.

            i’ll only add that UT (Univ of Toronto) is the only one I’d likely want.

            american football is pretty popular in ontario.

          • OT says:

            Toronto and McGill are the only two Canadian schools with AAU membership.

            Because McGill is an English-speaking school in a TV market that is over 80% French-speaking, the B1G TEN might not see McGill as a good fit.

            (The biggest school in Montreal is UQAM, which is French-speaking.)

            Toronto is a no-brainer for the B1G TEN if the B1G TEN were to withdraw from the NCAA.

            ==

            As for the schools in Western Canada:

            1. The NCAA visited UBC Vancouver 6 years ago. UBC is bigger in student population and in endowment than most of the schools in the Pac 12. The big issue UBC has with the NCAA is the NCAA’s requirement for Canadian schools to join Division II first and then reclassify over a 4-year period (during which the school is ineligible to compete for NCAA Champonships in team sports.) UBC wants Division I right away if it were to join.

            2. Simon Fraser’s 1st football season in NCAA Division II was a disaster: 0-8 in conference play, 0-9 overall (one non-conference game against an NAIA opponent.) The only win for Simon Fraser was in an exhibition game at UBC, played under Canadian rules.

            3. Calgary and Alberta (Edmonton) are the only other western Canadian schools that are big enough (in student population, endowment, and TV market size) to potentially fit in the Pac 16.

          • duffman says:

            jj,

            I tend to agree, after Toronto, I am pretty “meh” about Canada. I never can tell what the french want up there, because at times I am not sure they actually know. I just have a feeling that Toronto will get you football & hockey, and going french will get you drama & politics. I think McGill is a good school, but is the baggage worth it?

            I am in debate about the western part of Canada. Family up there says it is the boom, and who knows if there is a school to fit the PAC mold. If there were I would support such a move by the PAC. Yes the vision of an all – canada rose bowl cartoon has flashed across my mind and made me laugh a bit. Who knows after we are all dead and gone.

    • Brian says:

      Why would they focus on Canada and not grab a Mexican school or two? Mexico City is a bigger market than anything you’ll get in western Canada.

      • OT says:

        The Big 12 will actually have a shot at getting back to 12 schools by taking ITESM (a.k.a. Monterrey Tec) and UNAM if the power conferences were to leave the NCAA.

        Los Borregos de Monterrey Tec might just be good enough to beat Kansas State and Iowa State.

      • jj says:

        seriously?

        haven’t we outsourced enough?

    • Richard says:

      Um, Canadians don’t watch their college teams (in part because their college teams are worse than some intramural teams at large American State U’s).

  112. Frizzle says:

    What does that Purple Book guy that you outed last year say about all of this?

  113. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Texas House Higher Ed Committee meeting scheduled for tomorrow is postponed.

    http://www.mrsec.com/2011/08/the-latest-on-ams-potential-move-to-the-sec/#comments

    • Mike says:

      I find the second half of that article interesting. There is a public relations battle going on against A&M.

      • Brian says:

        I find the loss of money and jobs to be unbelievable. It’s not like TAMU would stop playing games. I’m guessing SEC fans would more than make up for any loss from B12 fans.

  114. bullet says:

    Baylor may yet decide to fight politically.

    • Aggie in Fort Worth says:

      Bayor will try, but Baylor will also fail. The only arrow in their quiver, to date, to slow A&M is the threat of lawsuits. That is exactly why Chip Brown is “reporting” the end-game for the SEC is to expand to 16-teams. No one knows who the 14th team will be, let alone tell Chip the battle plan is to add 15th and 16th teams to the conference — the threat is to put pressure on the SEC to stop the addition of the 13th team.

      • hangtime79 says:

        Sorry to tell you this Aggie in Forth Worth, but Baylor is not fighting to keep you. A&M leaving doesn’t kill the B12-3 in terms of keeping Baylor and TT in a BCS conference. That Perryman Group report was probably completed last year and is getting pulled out for the current arguments here. See my other posts. This is about enrollment for Baylor not for rivalries presumed or otherwise. Being in a BCS conference is worth possibly $60 – 100 MM a year to the university. As long as both schools stay in a conference that is a part of the BCS there is no reason to fight. Also you will notice the tone this time from the Baylor PR is not about the dire straits Waco and Lubbock would be in but maintaining historic rivalries. That is not nearly the compelling argument, but a resistance must be put up. So the best I can tell you is enjoy your time in the SEC because you will be there shortly minus some forgone revenue for leaving.