In America, You Leave Big 12. In Soviet Texas, Big 12 Leave You!

Posted: August 25, 2011 in Big East, Big Ten, College Basketball, College Football, Sports
Tags: , , , , , ,

Before we get to the latest conference realignment news of Texas A&M sending an effective break-up letter to Dan Beebe and the Big 12, let’s take a moment to pour out some Cris in memory of the Cy-Hawk Trophy Version 2.0.  It lived for less than a week, but it left an indelible image in the minds of Americans the same way that the chick from The Exorcist warms your heart the first time you see her head turn around 180 degrees.  Only this trophy could make the Altoona Senior Bowling League Trophy with a Mold-a-Rama Lion Pasted on the Side (known in some circles as “The Land Grant Trophy”) look like the freaking Stanley Cup by comparison, which was a phenomenal achievement.  It’s a shame that it received a Suge Knight cap in its ass before it even had a chance to explore the world.

As for Texas A&M changing its status to “Single” on its Facebook account, it’s been something that’s been coming down the pike for the last couple of weeks.  What’s interesting is that my questioning of the financial parameters on the SEC side was confirmed by a conference official in the New York Times:

The official acknowledged that because of the length and structure of the SEC’s current television contract, adding Texas A&M and a 14th member would not be financially beneficial from a rights standpoint.

Texas A&M and Team No. 14 are expected to receive a pro rata share equal to what the SEC’s 12 current universities are making: an average of about $18 million in league payouts. (Individual universities can make more money from their separate television deals.)

The SEC deal, which ends in 2025, has a few windows when it can be renegotiated but no one from the SEC or the networks expects any radical change.

So, this move is NOT about the SEC being able to reopen its television deal in order to gain more money than what the United States currently has on hand to pay Social Security checks (as so many people have assumed).  Maybe the SEC sees this as the one opportunity to get A&M in the next couple of decades and that’s why they’re moving now despite not being able to realize much (if any) TV revenue from their addition until after 2024.  Whatever the reasoning might be, it seems that since the SEC can’t just open up its TV contracts again by expansion, such expansion is going to be kept at a minimum for now.  As a result, the obituaries being pre-written for the Big 12 and ACC from the SEC supposedly going into 16-school superconference mode immediately are way too premature.  The SEC will need to find a school #14 fairly soon, but who knows who it will be.  (I do NOT believe for a second that it will be Virginia Tech, but I’ll write about that more extensively in a separate post.)  Right now, appears that either (a) the Big 12 will lose another school to the SEC on top of A&M, such as Missouri or (b) the Big 12 and one of either the ACC or Big East (maybe West Virginia) may lose a school to the SEC, yet in each event those leagues will still continue to live.

This gets to this question: who the hell would join the Big 12 after losing A&M and maybe another school?

Let’s start by putting some asinine “Notre Dame to the Big 12” proposals to rest.  Somehow, a friendship between Jack Swarbrick and DeLoss Dodds with a 4-game football series over the course of 8 years has been transformed by some in Big 12 country to signal Texas and Notre Dame working together to split up the college football universe.  (Examples of this aren’t just in Texas, but the Kool-Aid is spreading all the way to St. Louis, too.)  Putting aside the fact that Notre Dame would effectively throw away, well, ALL of its rivalries in this scenario in order to play Texas Tech, Iowa State, Oklahoma State and friends (as opposed to the more simple solution of just playing the two schools that are of interest them of Texas and Oklahoma as an independent… which ND happens to be already doing), I’ll reiterate what I’ve stated several times on this blog before: independence is a school identity issue for Notre Dame, NOT a TV money issue.  It continues to amaze me how many people think the money that ND is getting from NBC is somehow special when Northwestern and Washington State are absolutely murdering the Irish on that metric in their respective conferences’ equal revenue sharing arrangements.  The point is that ND isn’t independent in order to maintain an NBC contract.  Instead, it’s the other way around: ND has an NBC contract as a means to maintain independence.  In other words, the endgame for ND is independence in and of itself (not the money that is made from being independent, as the school has plenty of money from its alumni base).  Thus, all of the suggestions that the Longhorn Network shows how the Big 12 could offer ND a way to keep its NBC contract are completely irrelevant, as even if that were the threshold issue (and it isn’t), the Big East would gladly take in ND on that basis or, better yet, they could just stay independent.  Now, if we get to a model where there are 4 16-school superconferences and you structurally MUST be a member of one of those 4 leagues in order to have access to the national championship game, then that’s the point where ND would join a conference.  It won’t be a moment before that point, though.

Getting that out of the way, let’s take a look at some realistic candidates to join the Big 12:

1. BYU – This is really the Big 12’s best target that would almost assuredly accept.  I’ve gone over why I believe that BYU would actually be fairly successful as an independent and that translates into being a viable addition to an AQ conference like either the Big East or Big 12.  Based on fan base size and long-term TV value, BYU is clearly the most valuable school available in the non-AQ ranks.

2. Louisville – While conference realignment is all about football, it should be noted that UL was #2 in the country in basketball revenue in its last season in Freedom Hall.  With its new Yum! Center (or as I like to call it, the “KenTacoHut Center”) revenue, the school will almost assuredly be #1 on that list when last year’s figures come out.  At the same time, UL has a solid football fan base that has simply been beaten down by some horrible coaching over the past few years.  If I were Dan Beebe, my plan would be to extend invites to BYU and Louisville immediately after A&M makes it exit.  The issue with Louisville is that they may prefer to stay in the Big East, although that particular league may not come out unscathed if the ACC takes a replacement school or two from there.  I’ve talked to a number of Louisville alums who, at a fan level, do not support a move to the Big 12, but if we’re talking about a league that’s reasonably assured of keeping both Texas and Oklahoma, UL’s leadership might see things differently.

3.  TCU – A Big 12 with both UT and A&M has zero need to add any other Texas-based schools.  With A&M leaving, though, quality becomes more of a concern than markets and it may be more beneficial to go even further into the Texas market compared to some of the other non-BYU non-AQ options out there.  I had been pushing TCU to the Big East for a very long time and was happy to see that marriage happen, yet there’s a chance that they’ll never move in together.  Like Louisville, though, the Big 12 may actually not be that attractive compared to the Big East right now. Adding TCU would be a good football move for the Big 12, but the good (and/or forced) political move would possibly be adding…

4. Houston – There seems to be two schools of thought regarding Houston going to the Big 12.  The first is that this would be a nice move from a political perspective, where the leaving of one Texas-based university from the Big 12 opens up an AQ spot for another school from the state.  If we also believe that UT enjoys tons of control, this is yet another school that it can lean on for the long-term.  The other school of thought, though, is that UT would want nothing to do with Houston.  In essence, it’s almost too easy of a political bailout for A&M while UT ends up being forced to always take care of UH down the line if the Longhorns ever want to explore other options (i.e. heading to a Pac-16).  We’re already seeing some Texas politicians getting into the act on this front.  A year ago, I would’ve put UH near the bottom of the list of any possible Big 12 candidates.  Now, though, they may very well be the most likely next addition.

5.  UNLV - Location, location, location.  This market ought to have a pro franchise yet all of the leagues are still spooked by the tiny bit of gambling that occurs here.  Nevada is also the most populous state that doesn’t have an AQ school.  I’m always surprised that UNLV doesn’t get a little more love in these conference realignment scenarios.  As far as the non-AQ schools go, they have some fairly nice attributes with virtually no local competition (albeit with more value on the basketball side as opposed to football).

6. Air Force – National following and generally performs the best out of the service academies.  From a pure financial perspective, Air Force might be right behind BYU in terms of desirability.  As for actual football, though, there’s a big-time risk that the Falcons will have competitive issues at the AQ level in the way that Army couldn’t even handle C-USA.  There’s simply always going to be a limit to how well Air Force could ever perform (not that this is unjustified, as its students have far more important duties than playing football).

7.  New Mexico – Flagship university of a fast-growing state with an excellent basketball fan base.  The problem: they’re to football what Rebecca Black is to singing.

8.  Memphis – Ditto, only it’s not a flagship.

9/10.  SMU/Rice – All you need to know is here.

Purely throwing crap against the wall right now, I’d say that A&M is the only loss from the Big 12, which will spur DeLoss Doss… er… the conference to invite BYU, Houston and UNLV to get back up to 12.  In other news, we have real football games being played next week.  It can’t come soon enough.

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

(Image from Rotten Tomatoes)

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  1. Jeepers says:

    Bacon. Also, add.

  2. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Geaux Tigers!

  3. vp19 says:

    Interesting perspective; I had envisioned Louisville in a post-Texas, post-Big East Big 12 created to keep Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas and Kansas State in a BCS conference (though I had Cincinnati and Texas Christian also in). Perhaps a Louisville-Cincy combo might address any UL fears of isolation.

    And while UNLV may be attractive, so would Nevada-Reno, and it brings better football to the table. Reno could bring in Boise State as well, making it a western triumvirate with Brigham Young.

  4. Carl says:

    We are …

  5. jj says:

    Go Hawks! – To the ole’ drawing board with the clones. Here’s an idea – anything that has nothing to do with corn. We get it. Iowans grow corn. There has to be something else. I can remember when the state quarters came out and a lot of folks in MI were really opposed to putting anything auto related on it. Just go a different route, man.

    Nice post Frank – but quit baggin on my bowling trophy. It is finally home.

  6. Brian says:

    Best Case Scenario for the Big 12 is add BYU, UH and Louisville to the league. Move OU and OSU to the north for competitive balance. Have an old Big 8 division and then a revamped geographically challenged south with the remaining schools. Make Jerryworld in Dallas a permanent championship game site and hope to god you can make it 10 years. (really hope)

  7. Hopkins Horn says:

    Assuming A&M does leave, I’ll still argue that the most likely candidate to join the Big 12 is “None Of The Above.”

    Practically speaking, there’s not much of a difference between a nine-team and a 10-team conference, so if losing two teams wasn’t a spur to get back to twelve, given the available and realistic candidates, I don’t see why dropping to nine would lead to that happening either.. But one thing it does permit is the opportunity for one extra non-conference game — and if we want to look at this from the the perspective of Texas, and the LHN, controlling the conference, this provides Texas the opportunity to schedule one additional home OOC game each year, with TV rights going to LHN.

    One additional home OOC game gives teams, including Texas, one additional chance to fill the home stands. Texas Memorial was expanded to over 100K in recent years, and prior to Nebraska’s departure and the implementation of a round-robin conference schedule, Texas was beginning to regularly play seven-game home schedules. However, the implementation of the ten-team round robin led to future schedules, all the way through the end of the decade, with only six games per season in Austin.

    (A couple of notes here. First, remember that Texas loses a game in Austin every other year because of the OU game being played in Dallas. Second, Texas always plays at least one OOC game away from home. Mack Brown has stated that he likes his players to have a dry run of working through travel-related experiences before conference play begins. That scheduling philosophy leads to one potential home date [and, in current scheduling, that seventh home game] being forfeited each year.)

    Dialing back to a nine-team round robin schedule allows Texas to fills those extra seats it just paid for one extra time a year and, presumably, televise that game ON LHN.

    Given that, with the possible exception of BYU — and I really think they’d prefer to give independence a real shot rather than hitch a ride with a struggling conference — none of those other teams listed are a net plus to the conference, let alone a net plus to Texas’ particular interests.

    • zeek says:

      I think the main issue though might be ESPN demanding the addition of a 10th team. The number of conference games is the key issue I believe. Big 12 has 45 conference games right now, that’s down to 36 if the conference stays at 9 teams.

      I think ESPN/FOX will likely demand a 10th team to be added in order to get inventory back up to maintain the levels of the contract.

      Either way that’s a key issue that has to be addressed…

      • zeek says:

        However, I would add that I only see 1 team being added. I think 10 teams is the most that conference would have right now, seeing as it would be too diluted if you can’t find quality schools to add.

        Just getting back to 10 and staying pat is what I’d view the most likely scenario as, particularly if the TV networks want 10 teams.

        • Hopkins Horn says:

          Reading this discussion, I can see getting a school to get back to ten does make some sense if the right school is available for the purposes of existing television contracts. But I continue to see little to no chance of adding three just to have the ability to play a championship game again.

          • zeek says:

            Agreed. If the Big 12 can get BYU to replace A&M, I think everyone will end up content for the short/medium term.

          • Morgan Wick says:

            I think Frank may have been suggesting adding Louisville and TCU only if the Big 10 and/or ACC start picking off Big East schools left and right.

      • Richard says:

        However, would ESPN really pay extra to televise, say, UH or Louisville vs. anyone other than OU or Texas? I think ESPN would rather ask for control over scheduling of one OOC game for each school in the conference so that it can arrange attractive matchups (like it does now for BYU).

    • RedDenver says:

      Remaining at 9 teams may not be an option if the TV networks don’t like it. I’m curious to see what happens to the new TV deal if A&M leaves.

    • m (Ag) says:

      And who could Texas schedule out of conference that would fill up that Austin stadium?? Any school come to mind?

    • bullet says:

      I agree with the others. Fox will insist on 10. I think they go to 10 and strongly consider 12, but not until the ABC/ESPN contract comes up.

      I think BYU or UL would say yes pretty quickly. But if not, then its New Mexico or Houston, depending on what Fox and ESPN say. They won’t invite TCU. And TCU shouldn’t accept. TCU has a much better chance of succeeding in the Big East. They don’t have the resources to play with the bigger universiites consistently. They were the worst program in the SWC over the last 25-30 years of the conference.

      • zeek says:

        I agree 100% on the TCU point. I think TCU has a much, much better shot at brand differentiation in the Big East (including BCS bowl appearances, etc.), than they would have in the Big 12. Obviously, this all is impacted by the eventual playoffs/superconference scenarios, but I find it hard to believe that the Big 12 will mostly make it through to that. Texas and Oklahoma will (as may their hangers on), but there’s no certainty of anything at this point outside of the 12 team conferences.

      • Brian says:

        I wouldn’t be so sure about BYU or UL. BYU values independence for reasons other than money, and joining a conference that is perpetually on the verge of falling apart doesn’t help them much. UL would be trading a great hoops home for instability and even more travel. Especially with a new BE TV deal on the way, they may prefer to stay put at least until they know what Marinatto gets for them.

    • matt says:

      You are right, except for one minor detail. It blows up the recent B12 TV deal with ESPN and FOX. And if the plan in renegotiating a new TV deal is for UT to carve even more rights to games out for UT to show on LHN, that will significantly lower the value of the renegotiated B12 TV deal. That will hurt everyone, especially Oklahoma. Oklahoma has done very well being tied to UT for the past couple of decades, but even Oklahoma can be pushed too far. If UT gets too “grabby” Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will go as a pair to either the SEC or the P12.

  8. greg says:

    Hawkeyes #12 in the B10.

  9. MIKEUM says:

    SWC, Big 8, Big 12…basically a 20 year collegiate sports gulag. Most older fans of each conference’s teams are basically in denial. If Missouri grows a pair and starts shopping for its future, it is all over.

    • OT says:

      Kansas already has one foot out the door as well. The Big East is Kansas’ preferred destination.

      • Gobux says:

        @ OT

        Is this what you have been hearing or reading about Kansas?

      • Eric says:

        I would be very surprised if the Big East was anything but Kansas fallback position. The Big 12 would still seem to be very much a better conference for the Jayhalks.

    • Other Mike says:

      Missouri can’t leave unless somebody invites them, which they won’t. If either the B1G or SEC takes Mizzou, they risk letting Texas and Oklahoma fall into the wrong hands. If they don’t *know* they can have UT/OU, it’s preferable for them that the Big XII stay alive, lest the PAC turn into a powerhouse with 3 top-10 all time programs, all of California’s recruiting, and the majority of Texas’s.

  10. Todd says:


  11. RedDenver says:


  12. OT says:

    Why would BYU want to join the Longhorn Conference and become Bevo’s B*tch?

    BYU is a control freak that needs:

    1. Control of sports TV order to fill BYUtv.

    2. Control of a conference. BYU has control of the WCC, which basically handed BYUtv the media rights to all WCC championships that have not been sold to ESPN, Inc. as a condition of BYU joining the WCC.

    • frug says:

      Getting content for BYU-TV wouldn’t be an issue in the Big XII since they allow schools to run their own networks. They might not get broadcast rights for championships, but the overall content would be better. And I don’t think control is an issue, that was just a bonus for joining the WCC. Remember, BYU was content to stay in the equitable MWC when it looked like AQ status was possible, but bailed after Utah jumped ship. Also, the school’s first choice for its non-football sports was the pre-raided WAC, which was not offering the same deal as the WCC. Plus the Big XII (if it survives) is likely to become a conference in which the haves rule their own little fiefdoms with little influence from other members.

      That said, I do agree with you that BYU would be very hesitant to join the Big XII for the simple fact that they are unlikely to give up a pretty damn good deal in order to a join a conference that may not even be in existence in five years. If they knew that conference was guaranteed to survive then, yeah they would make the move, but they aren’t going to jump at the chance to join a league that is likely to be perpetually bordering on implosion.

      • FranktheAg says:

        The also restrict that control to a single OOC tier 3 game. If you can find a conference partner to agree, the B12 allows one conference game to air on a university owned network. Not exactly a lot content for BYUtv.

        • frug says:

          I don’t see how that was any would any different than what they have now. Their deal with gives BYUtv one live football broadcast per season, and the rest are put on ESPN. Though they do get replay rights which I’m not sure the Big XII would give them.

          • FranktheAg says:

            I think Fox sports might have an issue with putting the games on ESPN since they own the tier two rights and not ESPN.

          • frug says:

            I assume that BYU’s deal with ESPN would void if they joined a conference. Plus, remember that unlike the LHN, BYUtv is not a sports network; its a religious network that shows sports. As such, BYU doesn’t need a huge amount of sports content for the network to work.

          • ccrider55 says:

            And yet BYU’s inability to put as much sports on BYUtv lead them to leaving the MWC.

  13. bullet says:

    I don’t know if you did it intentionally Frank, but if not, you should know the Blues Brothers stole their outfits from the M.O.B. (Marching Owl Band).

  14. Redhawk says:

    you missed Cincinnati. If Louisville joins it would be with Cincinnati as a traveling partner. UNLV plays in a high school stadium, and wouldn’t qualify.

    As for those suggesting OU would go to the North, have no idea how that would go over in Norman: It wouldn’t. OU isn’t going to the North. If they can’t be in the same division as Texas, they might as well grab the money in the Pac12.

    Which is where OU is going, unless Nebraska gives some pull for the Big 10 and gets OU in there…but from the posts in the last blog, it looks like many fans are hoping the future of the Big10 will be a bunch of egg heads that can’t play football. Apparently Big 10 fans are looking forward to buying a lot of tickets to Chess matches and solar powered car races.

    For the record I also believe adding schools to the SEC or any conference would be by definition the reason to cause a look in to TV contracts.

    • zeek says:

      For what it’s worth though, I think the fact that Delany is in charge means that football is entirely driving the bus at the Big Ten. Nebraska’s addition shows that to the most extreme in that they bring the smallest possible home market of a major school (especially a king), but have such a great national brand in football (while being mediocre at best in the other major revenue sport of basketball).

      Notre Dame-Oklahoma is probably Delany’s dream scenario if he could cook up a dream scenario that had to exclude Texas because of the LHN.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        I couldn’t agree more. After that, I think he would be perfectly content to stand pat.
        -unless, of course, the ACC goes wobbly.

      • Brian says:

        Delany isn’t in charge, the presidents are. He just gets to do the homework and make recommendations for/about expansion.

        NE was a sound financial decision with the value of their brand trumping their small state population. Having 4 kings to split 2 and 2 is great for going to divisions.

        I think Delany would be happy to consider ND and OU, unless the presidents have already told him no to OU. For all we know, the presidents have already given him a list of schools that are either off the table (UC, OkSU, TT, etc) or would be automatic yeses (ND, UT), with some in the gray area (okay as a partner, but not by themselves).

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      Nippert is actually smaller than UNLV’s house.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      I hear you brother. This blog (great as it is) is oddly dominated by the “Pitt, Syracuse, Rutgers, Virginia” crowd. This, despite the fact that Delany has said any new members would have to be home-runs that significantly moved the needle. The Big Ten isn’t about to divy up the pie for ANY of them. Of all the colleges that fit into that category, Maryland is the only possibility. Beyond that I think your looking at a very small pool. ND, Texas, North Carolina/Duke, Florida State, Oklahoma, Georgia Tech and, before it turned zombie, Miami.
      The best laugh of all is the ‘cultural fit’ argument. The idea that Delany’s Big Ten vision is to remain a regional, Midwest conference goes against his trailblazing tenure. He’s well aware of the population shifts and knows that to compete in the future the B1G has to become a NATIONAL conference. If they go to 16 or 20 he is going to cast his net far and wide
      -for B1G fish.

      • mushroomgod says:

        You may be right about Delaney wants…but then again you may not be. I am of the impression that Rutgers would already be in the BIG if Delaney had his way. Don’t you recall the “People ignore the NY market at their peril” comment? So I think you’re wrong about Rutgers…

        As the other, what Delaney wants is not necessarily what he gets. I’m sure he wants TX and ND. He likely won’t get either. Nor will he get NC or Maryland. He may want OK, but that’s not going to fly with the presidents.

        As for cultural fit being a “laugh”, you apparently aren’t paying a lot of attention to the issues to the issues the BIG 12 and ACC have experienced…..if this is going to be a 50 or 100 year fit cultural fit is imperative. You can laugh at that, but you’re wrong.

      • Brian says:


        This blog is dominated by people who try to realistically assess the situation. Most of us don’t think the B10 will expand or don’t want it to. Of those who think/hope the B10 will go to 16, they mostly think a combo of BE and/or ACC schools is most likely.

        Until we learn otherwise, the assumption is that OU and OkSU are tied together. The B10 won’t accept OkSU, so OU is off the table. That leaves MO as the only potential add from the B12 based on academics and culture (I’m assuming UT is not coming).

        ND will only join a conference if they are forced, so they won’t come before being #16. Who else is left besides the ACC and BE teams, then?

        You mock the people here for bringing up schools, and then you list 6 ACC schools as options. The most common plans discussed here involve getting some populous states with good academic schools we know the B10 COP/C would accept. That’s usually 4 ACC teams (MD, UVA, UNC, Duke) or a blend of ACC and BE schools (MD, Rutgers, Syracuse, maybe Pitt or UVA). You list 3 of those 4 ACC schools as options yourself.

        You are making the huge assumptions that the B10 is going to 16 or 20 and that Delany could get home runs to fill all 4 or 8 slots. Both of those things can’t be true. There aren’t that many home runs available, and they wouldn’t all want to be in the same conference anyway.

        You can laugh at cultural fit all you want, but Delany himself has stressed that multiple times since 12/2009. It makes it look like you don’t pay attention to the facts, GLS.

    • frug says:

      There is another problem with Oklahoma joining the Big 10, which is the fact that the school needs to be in a conference with at least one of UT and OSU since they have to play both of them every year. And since both of those are non-starters for the Big 10 (at least as long as the LHN exists) it is tough to envision the Sooners making the jump.

    • swesleyh says:

      Redhawk, I have read on some blogs that OU is very unhappy with the present state of the Big Twelve. I have read that if the Big 10 (BiG) invited OU that OU would break with OSU and accept. But I have also read that the tie to OSU is unbreakable. And I have read that Stoops is very, very unhappy with the present conditions of the Big Twelve and is fighting with the AD, whose name escapes me. Stoops wants OU to take a stand against the powers that be to get OU “outta here” and the OU president is listening. Have you heard anything to that effect?

      • The Blanton says:

        The Big XII is very VERY lucrative for OU. It is not going to be easy, nearly impossible, to beat how much OU makes in the big XII deal. Why woud Stoops Kill the goose that layed the golden egg? Beat Texas = BCS invite and Conference win means almost automatic National Championship. Majority of OU team is from Texas. Could Texas even maintain OOC games against bot OU and A&M?

        • Redhawk says:

          @the Blanton

          While the Big 12 has been VERY good to OU in many, ways, as far as MONEY goes OU would make more in the B1G and the Pac16 tomorrow.

          your question is could Texas maintain OOC games against OU and aTm? well, yeah of course, since they will be independent or in a very week SW Conference rebuilt from the left-overs, they will desperately need to play those 2 games to help sell tickets/donor packages.

          A more apt question is could OU play UT OOC AND OkSt OOC? or could A&M play UT OOC while playing the SEC schedule.

      • Redhawk says:

        @swesleyh That is pretty much what is going on at OU. They liked the was good for OU. OU is in the center of the geographic footprint of the conference. But it seems those at the top are starting to figure out that it’s time to move on.

        The tie to OSU is not “unbreakable”….but OU officials don’t want to be in a conference with out UT OR OkSt.

    • Brian says:


      First, nobody is taking UC, especially since high schools in TX have bigger and better stadiums.. UL wouldn’t get to dictate terms like that.

      Second, you misread the blog. Most of us don’t think the B10 will expand and/or don’t want it to expand. Of those who think/hope the B10 will go to 16, most believe some combo of ACC and/or BE schools is the most likely scenario. You may not like it, but academics are important to the presidents of the B10 universities and to most of the alumni. The B10 isn’t just an athletics conference, so academic credentials matter. Until proven otherwise, OU is tied to OkSU and the B10 will not admit OkSU due to academics. That makes OU a moot point.

      I think people are split on whether or not the B10 would even admit OU by itself based on academics and cultural fit, but the brand name might get them in. It’s not that NE is that much better than OU, but the B10 wanted a 12th team at the time and NE was available. The B10 doesn’t need or actively want a 13th team (except ND, who presumably has a standing invitation). The imminent demise of the B12 reinforces the importance of cultural fit, too. All the schools need to think alike to make a conference prosper.

      There are lots of reasons to look into TV contracts. However, looking into them by no means guarantees a big pay raise.

    • Richard says:

      I think the B10 would want OU if it didn’t have to bring along OK State, but I don’t see OU being able to shed OK State so long as Boone Pickens is alive.

      • James in SoCal says:

        Remember, there are ties with the Big Ten and Pac 12. They are different conferences yes, but they both hold their traditions with each other very seriously. Scott is friends with Delaney and worked under him. It was Delaneys recommendation that landed Scott his job at the Pac 10, (Now Pac 12)
        That being said, If Big Ten wants OU and OKSt is taken care of by going to Pac 12, then no one in OK loses.

        • James in SoCal says:

          And…that puts the Pac 12 in another time zone.

        • Richard says:

          However, despite their friendly ties, why would the Pac do the B10 a favor and take OkSt. just for the B10 to take OU when they could try to take both OK schools themselves?

          • James in SoCal says:

            The Pac 12 being in the Pacific Time Zone puts us at a disadvantage to the rest of the US.
            There is a huge population gap between the midwest and the west coast and because of that, and the fact that our 5:00 games start at 8:00 on the east and our 7:30 start at 10:30 on the east. getting deeper into another time zone by itself creates appeal for the Pac 12.
            If expansion blows up, I see the Pac 12 getting most of the Big 12 into their conference. Just not the powers that everyone is expecting. The Pac 12 needs to get into a new time zone more then it needs top programs.

  15. bullet says:

    A little history, Louisville and Memphis were discussed in the SWC expansion talks before the conference disentegrated.

    And as a Chicago guy, Frank-what do you think about Northern Illinois as a #12? Especially if they had several years advance notice. Could they step it up?

    Colorado St. would be well down the list, but I’m not sure they wouldn’t be ahead of UNLV. At least they have had football success at some point in their history.

    Houston doesn’t add much value, but they have proven they can compete at the top level. They won the SWC 3 of the 1st 4 years they were there and were a basketball powerhouse, as well as in track and golf. Unfortunately for them, they ticked off their fan base with some policies in the late 80s and made some bad coaching decisions and dropped from #3 in the SWC to #5 and out of luck.

    • Dick says:

      As an NIU alum/fan I can tell you NIU couldn’t pull that off within 5-7 years. They’re only now scraping together the funds for an indoor practice facility. They’d also need some stadium upgrades.

      The NIU athletic budget is in line with the rest of the MAC. Not sure how they’d pull together the extra millions per year (pre-major conference TV revenue) to be a credible option without several more years of growth and improvement.

  16. cfn_ms says:

    Not sure if TV would demand a 10th team. Presumably they could cut the payment by 10/9 (keeping per team $ the same) whil figuring out something to do w/ the inventory (since A&M is gone, the avg game is less valuable, so possibly they basically take over ALL the inventory, including 3rd tier, but keep per team $$$ the same).

  17. Mark says:

    Doesn’t anybody think that Texas recruiting would be at least a little bit enticing as a reason for Notre Dame to join the Big 12?

    I know moving to the Big 12 wouldn’t be a move for money, but I would think that having a 40-50% chance of winning a conference title most years combined with the Texas recruiting would have to make them think twice.

    • frug says:

      Notre Dame doesn’t need to be in the Big XII to play in Texas. They can schedule a game there any time they want.

    • Brian says:

      ND doesn’t care about winning conference titles. Just ask them or their alumni.

      As for recruiting, ND already recruits everywhere. They aren’t going to beat UT for many kids if they are in the same conference. Part of ND’s allure is that they offer something different from the local power school.

  18. bullet says:

    This UH discussion triggered a memory. A lot of this discussion is not new. From Petersen’s 1993 College Football-Southwest Conference— on the Hot Seat:
    1. Texas QB (sounds familiar)
    2. The private schools. Texas (Big 10 or Pac 10) and Texas A&M (SEC) likely will leave the SWC by 1994 barring a miracle–and likely will take Texas Tech (Pac 10) and Houston (SEC) with them. The private schools must gussie themselves up and look attractive for a merger of what’s left of the Big 8 after Colorado and Missouri defect.

    They also missed a little on their hot seat for the Big 8. #3 was Kansas St. coach Bill Snyder.

  19. MIKEUM says:

    I totally agree with Frank about ND- until the bitter end will they ever join a conference and only then because the structure itself shifts. I would also say that BYU and Texas eventually, are also in that unique kind of category – BYU because it is a one in the nation type school whose mission is the book first and sports second, and UT, who believes that it is also in that one in a nation type club and there are some very serious points that they can make in support of that- primarily a gigantic, only moderately divided fanbase state and checkbook as a result. The military academies are also unique in and of themselves and they also have a priority mission other than athletics. So, any conference that hinges their breakout or survival based on UT, ND, BYU, AFA, Navy or Army is really rolling the dice on all sorts of levels. UT and ND would eventually go with the structure shift because they will not tank their universities no matter how much they hate it; BYU- unless anyone on here is true LDS, don’t bother commenting unless it is about the $ to further their mission. True LDS are as tough as pliars to ripped finger nails; and the military academies- like the movie A Few Good Men- unless you are willing to pick up a gun and man a post- we all know how that turns out. The point here is that the framework is shifting in collegiate athletics and those schools that refuse to acknowledge that fact are operating at their own peril because there are not an infinite number of slots in the future big league. Anyone that has been employed through a corporate merger or two knows the drill and how it works and why, and this isn’t any different.

  20. FLP_NDRox says:

    Great Job, Frank, explaining the ND view of the situation.

    My question is why U of L, a basketball school, would leave the country’s #1 hoops conference for Texas & Friends? I forgot, how much better is Big XII-2 money vs. the Big East?

    On the other hand, *if* they did leave, the Big East remains at the more manageable 16hoop/8football size…

    • mushroomgod says:

      I can’t see UL leaving for the Big 12…

      I live 70 miles from Louisville, Louisville does not consider itself “southern” in the same sence that UK does. It is much more midwestern in it’s outlook. It is not a good fir the the 12, nor is the 12 a good fit for UL.

      • m (Ag) says:

        The Big XII is a merging of the Midwest and Southwest. If Louisville considers itself midwest, then it joining would make 5 Midwest schools and 5 Southwest schools.

  21. M says:

    The “Who should the Texas Ten add after A&M leaves?” question is likely the most surreal ever contemplated on this blog. For every other expansion, we can guess the goal. For this one, I have no idea what the goal is:
    -Markets/popularity? (-> BYU)
    -Political firepower? (-> Houston)
    -Football credibility? (-> TCU, BYU)
    -Basketball? (-> Louisville)
    -Better access to hookers? (-> UNLV)
    -Mike Lockesly? (-> New Mexico)

    Also, I will laugh hysterically if the Big East collapses the moment TCU enters.

    • Eric says:

      Not rooting for it, but it would admittidly be very funny to see Big East football collapse before they even enter. TCU has had some luck with conferences.

  22. Jake says:

    I’m kind of torn here. I was really trying to force myself to get pumped about going to the Big East, but if the Big 12 called … hmm. A bit more money, plus old-school rivalries, but what kind of long-term guarantees are we looking at? If it folds, will the Big East take TCU back?

    My guess is the Big 12 takes the ‘Ville and spoils TCU’s new home before we can even get moved in. Some of my fellow Frog brethren are more optimistic, but experience has taught me that when the conference realignment dominoes start to tumble, the last one falls on Fort Worth.

  23. jcfreder says:

    Good stuff as always, Frank. Interesting comments about UNLV. The Rebs have reeeeeealy blown it over the last couple of decades by being so poor in football. They’d be a coveted program if they had any cache on the field.

  24. bullet says:

    Thought this article was interesting:

    I think the UT quote back when this first broke was telling. Basically they said they had no idea what was happening, but if the Aggies left, they wished them well. A&M also did this while their AD (who is top flight) was in Europe. The Aggie administration seems determined to do this and isn’t interested in discussing it with anyone,even their own AD.

    • FranktheAg says:

      You honestly think Bill Byrne was not aware of this move or didn’t have any input? News flash but despite some conventional wisdom stating otherwise, Byrne 100% supports the move. He understands the incredible opportunity the SEC presents to A&M in the way of stability and brand.

  25. Sportsman says:

    I think most/all(?) of the members of the Big East would jump ship to the Big 12. Who among Cin, UConn, UofL, Pitt, RU, USF, SU, TCU or WVU wouldn’t leave the Big East for a greater payday, now?

    After all, if CFB does go to four 16 member Super Conferences, we know that the Big Ten, Pac 1# & SEC will be three of the four. As for the fourth, I’d guess that the ACC would get the nod over the Big 12, especially since they could grab Big East members to get back up to 16.

    The remnants of the Big East & Big 12 (w/ the best of the Non-AQs) may end up being the Red-Headed Step-Child Conference. That is, a conglomeration of the rest of the former BCS schools, with the best opportunity to sneak into the BCS Party.

    • EZCUSE says:

      I disagree that any of the Big East members would go to the Big 12. If Texas was firmly committed, then maybe. But Texas is not firmly committed.

      Even then, the only reason that any schools would consider the Big 12 is because of concern about the Big East’s viability. But if the Big 12 is still stable, then that means conference armageddon has not started.

      I think that the Big East’s most vulnerable team is WVU because it does not appear that the Big 10 would even consider the Mountaineers. That means that their future is ACC or bust if the Big East collapsed. In contrast, there are at least arguments as to whether the Big 10 would want any of Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse, and UConn. And the ACC could want any of them too. So that is a better negotiating position in 16-team conference world.

      Just not buying Louisville.

    • Red R says:

      I honestly can not see ANY Big East team jump to the Big 12-2. To the SEC yes, to the BIG 10 yes and with little hesitation. However it is very improbable that any BE schools will be invited to those conferences. The Big 12-2 is in no way attractive except for Kansas and perhaps Missouri. Those are attractive for basketball which is still concern numero ono for the BE.
      It can also be said that Notre Dame would prefer death to conference affiliation. I have two cousins who graduated from ND about 25 years ago and that is all they have talked about in the passing decades. Ask them about the economy, international policy, physics, string theory, their family, business, their favorite book, music or the sport of curling and within 30 seconds the conversation turns to ND. I for one would like to see ND disappear from the surface of the earth. But if it happens they will do so as an independent.
      Houston to the Big 12-2 makes sense and so will not happen, BYU should have a lock on any league except the PAC12 but is infatuated with independence and will try it for a few years at least. One LDS member who graduated from BYU and works with me commented: “Only a fool would book passage on a sinking ship.” I don’t know if that is how the BYU community or their administration feel but I thought it was a good quote.

      • @Red R – I could see why BE members would pass up a Big 12 invite, but I don’t see how BYU could do it. Ultimately, AQ status matters to them a lot. The Pac-12 would never invite them and the BE is a bad geographic fit, so really the only chance that they have to become an AQ school is to join the Big 12 or, if that league collapses, be aligned with whatever league UT and/or OU is a part of.

        The bottom line is that BYU can always become an independent again if the Big 12 collapses or they end up hating UT. However, they may never get a chance to join an AQ league ever again if they pass an opportunity like this up.

        • FranktheAg says:

          except that the most likely landing place for OU and Texas is the Pac-12. As you state, they will never invite BYU so they gain nothing by aligning with OU/UT.

  26. Steve on the Bayou says:

    “So, this move is NOT about the SEC being able to reopen its television deal in order to gain more money than what the United States currently has on hand to pay Social Security checks (as so many people have assumed). ” … if any of you believe this anonymous SEC official, I have a nice cash-out refi I’d loke to broker for you.

    • FranktheAg says:

      I doubt many really believe it but the B1G blinders for most on this site make this an easy idea to accept.

      • Richard says:

        Actually, it seems that almost all SEC & TAMU folks want to believe what they want to hear to an even greater extent. I can certainly see why the SEC would want TAMU even if there is no significant increase in the current TV contract.

        You have to remember that conference expansion for leagues like the B10 and SEC is a decision for the next 50 years, not just the next decade, and TAMU adds significant value to the SEC longterm because
        1. It sets up the SEC for an absolutely massive TV deal next go-around.
        2. It opens up Texas recruiting to the SEC.

        Ask yourself this: why would an anonymous SEC official tell Thamel what he did unless it was actually true? I can believe anonymous leaks are false when they better the position of the leaker. No one is incented to release a false leak that actually weakens their position. That Thamel would just make shit up, given that he has no dog in the fight, is an even more ludicrous idea.

        • Bamatab says:

          We don’t even know who that SEC official is (hence the anonymous). For all we know it could be some excutive that doesn’t have first hand knowledge of how the tv contracts are laid out.

          Now ask your self this, why would the CBS Sports chairman state that once the SEC expands, they will sit back down with the SEC and renegotiate the contracts? He is not an anonymous source and being the CBS sports chairman, I’m betting he knows exactly what CBS is willing to do.

          Now, I’m not saying that we will get the rumored $30-$40 mil that everyone is talking about, but I bet we get back up there with the B1G & Pac 12.

          • greg says:

            McManus did not say they will “renegotiate the SEC contracts.”

            He did say: “When there is expansion, we’ll sit down and talk to the SEC,” McManus said. “If something materially changes in the conference, we’ll sit down and talk to them. But I don’t anticipate that happening in the very near future.”

            They’ll talk. We have seen reports that even expansion is not a renegotiation but a look-in, and that the look-in is distinctly not a renegotiation. Which may mean they don’t go up, it could mean they remain revenue-neutral. They may go up. We’ll see. Or maybe we won’t find out.

          • bullet says:

            Anyone remember what happened with UNL joining B1G? Was that disclosed? There was the additional for the title game, but what about the regular season?

          • Richard says:


            Terms were not disclosed. Delany said there was a small increase. Possibly enough to make it revenue-neutral, though I have a feeling that it wasn’t even that since the B10 got more favorable terms in being able to show BTN games during the afternoon window, so that seems to be like a “well, OK, you won’t budge on the monetary amounts so why don’t you let us show BTN games in the afternoon instead” type of deal.

          • Richard says:


            If the official was giving information that weakened the SEC’s position (which the information does), of course he’d want to remain anonymous. Put yourself in that SEC official’s shoes. If he wasn’t in a position to know what would happen in the TV negotiations, would he tell a reporter something that would weaken the SEC’s position? I would say “I have no idea”.

        • Morgan Wick says:

          Why add TAMU now, though, especially given the domino effects involved?

  27. herbiehusker says:


  28. zeek says:

    I think the main problem that the Big 12 is going to have is convincing schools that they’ll be around for the long term.

    The conference is barely a decade and a half old and losing two of the most valuable schools in the conference, and we all know how the SWC broke up…

    BYU owns the WCC now, and already has its own TV network and all of that. They have a good regional brand, and in a similar way to Notre Dame’s focus on other things besides pure $, they’re focused on spreading Mormonism, etc.

    Even though I think BYU is the perfect replacement for Texas A&M, I’m not sure they’ll jump at this.

    Same goes for Louisville or TCU if they think there’s a chance the Big 12 implodes within 5 years.

    It’s going to be an extremely risky proposition for these schools to join a conference that only has a 5-10 year proposed lifespan with Oklahoma surely checking out their options, and Texas seemingly preparing for independence or quasi-independence (of course there’s the matter of the rest of the non-football sports, but that can be worked out…)

    The question is whether the monetary benefits outweigh the long-term stability argument. I just don’t think many administrators will see that given that you don’t want to enter a situation where you could eventually be left out in the cold if Texas/Oklahoma go elsewhere.

    • bullet says:

      Anyone who thinks Texas wants independence has NEVER listened to any of TPTB at UT speak. That is clearly the last option. Texas wants the Big 12 to succeed. The question is whether OU is still committed. I have no doubt OU has been talking to other conferences, but the question is whether that is normal and necessary contingency planning or if they are beginning to have doubts.

      Also, LHN is not really as big a barrier to joining another conference as many make it out to be. Texas isn’t opposed to sharing 3rd tier rights. They’re opposed to giving away school assets for nothing (to paraphrase Dodds last summer). If there’s value in a shared network to UT, the details can be worked out between the relevant conference, UT and ESPN. It would really fit in pretty well with the Pac 12 model.

      • zeek says:

        Well yes, I didn’t mean to imply that Texas would seek independence or quasi-independence first.

        Texas has 3 options right now:

        1) Big 12 succeeds with Texas + Oklahoma as the base.

        2) Big 12 fails because Oklahoma leaves, so Texas probably works out a deal to join the Pac-12 (or Big Ten) with the LHN intact in some form.

        3) Big 12 fails because Oklahoma leaves, so Texas works out an independent strategy and figures out a place to land its other teams.

        I don’t think for a minute that Texas wants independence because it has no “Big East independence option” that ND has right now in terms of a geographically close BCS conference in which to park its non-football sports. If it did, I think the independent option would be much more palatable to Texas.

        The problem that Texas faces, even though it has the most cards in its hand, is that the Pac-12 and Big Ten may not be willing to work out arrangements for the LHN in which case it ends up having to pursue an independence option if Oklahoma leaves.

        • David Brown says:

          I think independence is a real option for Texas. Why? There are quite a few teams that would schedule UT as a non-conference game (That would include Baylor, Rice, Houston, SMU, Texas Tech & UTEP). Add Notre Dame, Oklahoma & A&M, and they are well on their way. The Big 10 does not work, because of UT Baseball (A great program in an awful Conference), and perhaps more importantly, Bevo’s ego would not allow it (Can you see them in a Conference where Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, and Nebraska share equally with Minnesota & Indiana?). The Pac would be ok, but do you think that UT would prefer a road game at Waco against Baylor or Pullman against Washington State?

        • Morgan Wick says:

          If you take anything anyone in an official position says at face value I have a bridge to sell you.

          This may make you change your tune:

      • Brian says:


        I would slightly adjust your statement, “Texas wants the Big 12 to succeed.”

        I’d say UT wants the B12 to succeed on UT’s terms. If they really wanted the B12 to succeed, they wouldn’t continue to rile up TAMU and others with the LHN and such. They are acting like a teenager, continually testing the boundaries to see how much they can get away with. That’s not the approach you take if you really value your conference.

        • metatron5369 says:

          I’m an outsider looking in, but I really think the whole “Longhorn Network” is just the straw that broke the camel’s back. The thing everyone else is angry about is the fact that the conference has no real ties to each other. It’s not the Big Eight, it’s not the SWC. There’s no quarter given; everyone is left for the wolves.

          I don’t really think we’re going to see four “super-conferences”. Only two really have the means (the SEC and the Big Ten); the PAC-12 really doesn’t want anyone outside of Oklahoma and Texas, and it’s mostly Texas. Even if raided, the ACC might just stay at twelve. The Big East is the wild card here: they’re desperate for football relevance, and there was a rumor that they would’ve taken Kansas, KSU, ISU, and Missouri if that the Big XII fell apart. That’s thirteen, or not, depending on how (if?) they survive being raided by the ACC/SEC/Big Ten.

          What no one seems to be talking about is the MWC. If the Big XII does fall apart, they’ll be clamoring for the vacant AQ spot, and with “not-for-profit” Bowls coming under scrutiny and an election year coming up, I’m sure we’ll be hearing Orrin Hatch bitch about the BCS again.

          • Brian says:

            There aren’t a set number of AQ spots. Every so often the BCS evaluates the conferences to see who “deserves” one. If the B12 went away, it’s AQ slot would go with it.

          • metatron5369 says:

            @Brian – That doesn’t invalidate what I said.

          • Brian says:

            Yes it does, in that there would be no “vacant AQ spot.” The MWC will be begging to get the exemption for the last 2 years of the current BCS deal anyway, so the B12 going away would have no impact there. The MWC will have the numbers in 2 of 3 categories to get AQ status, and are close enough in the third that they can petition to get it. The question is whether the BCS committee looks at the recent changes in MWC membership and uses that to deny their petition. Right now the MWC has better numbers than the BE and about equal to the ACC.

          • Morgan Wick says:

            There would be a perception of a “vacant AQ spot”, though.

          • Brian says:

            Who would have that perception?

        • bullet says:

          I’m not going to look it up and my memory may be wrong, but I seem to recall the discussion last year being 1 OR 2 football games and HS games being considered. I think its more likely that A&M, etc. didn’t think the LHN would be worth anywhere near $15 million a year and just didn’t pay attention. I certainly didn’t think it would be worth that much. And it may be the ESPN connection that has stirred people up. Certainly the ESPN exec who talked about highlighting Texas recruits stirred people up (and justifiably). In any event, I thoroughly disagree with your perception that Texas is continually testing the boundaries. I don’t think there’s anything new here.

    • bullet says:

      I think the issue with BYU is whether the Big 12 views their no Sunday play as too much of a burden on the Big 12 non-rev student athletes. Not sure how much all those sports play on Sundays. Its not an issue in fb or bb. It would be sports like baseball, tennis, track, golf that might be impacted.

      BYU has done independence once. There’s no reason they couldn’t do it again. The WCC or WAC wouldn’t hold it against them for joining an AQ league. Its not like they’re going back to the MWC.

      Louisville is the school that would worry about the stability issue. But the BE might have a bigger stability issue than the Big 12. And having lost the 3 traditionally weakest bb programs, the B12 is going to be a very tough bb league. Louisville wouldn’t have to worry about taking a big step down in bb.

      • zeek says:

        Yeah, with BYU, I just meant to say that $ isn’t their first and most important consideration. But joining an AQ league might be and outweigh the negative aspect of stability of the Big 12.

      • Red R says:

        The Cards are dominated by Rick Pitino. If you look at any of his statements concerning conference expansion or realignment in the past year you will see that he is fanatically committed to the Big East. Of course Rick does not completely run the UofL but he comes damned close to doing so. I think BYU is very much an outside shot but as Frank wrote they have been independent before and they could try the Big 12-3 for a year or two and then go indy if they wished to. Of course there would be an exit penalty and fees.
        I think the future of the Big 12-3 depends entirely on Texas. Should they eliminate the LHN and devise a more equitable revenue sharing plan the Big 12-3 may survive. But since it depends on the generosity of Bevo I would say don’t bet the farm. I like Houston as a replacement for A&M however it makes way too much sense for UT to agree to it. Then there is the matter of Houston’s oft delayed stadium construction.

    • matt says:

      True. Particularly when they aren’t going to be around for the long term. UT will do exactly what it always does, whatever is in the best interests of UT. That means, eventually, the B12 will die. It took a major blow last year with the loss of NE and CO and is taking another major blow this year with the loss of A&M. The B12 has zero stability and any program that joins the B12 at this point will be joining with that understanding.

      • Eric says:

        All schools do what is in their best interest long term and that makes all conferences unstable to an extent. If the Big Ten increases to 20 and it becomes clearly in the bigger schools interest to leave and form a conference, they’ll do it and leave 100 years of history. For the forseeable future though, Texas interest is for a stable and successful Big 12 (as it is for Oklahoma) and there is little reason to assume the conference isn’t as stable as the Big East or more so in my opinion.

        • bullet says:

          The stability of the Big 10 is due to:
          a)The differences between the schools aren’t as big
          b)Shared regional (midwest) culture
          c)been together mostly for 100 years

          The SEC has a,b,c although a is starting to change. The MS schools are falling behind. GA and FL are growing. That could impact the long term stability of the SEC, especially if it continues to expand.

          Pac 12 has shared west coast culture and been together and most importantly, they are geographically isolated.

          The other 3 AQ conferences don’t really have those characteristics. The Big 12 particularly lacks a and c. The BE lacks b and c. The ACC used to have a,b,c to some extent, but expansion has weakened their cohesion in all those areas. 5 of the 12 were not founding members.

          More likely than not, the Big 12 will be around a long time. Its in the best interests of the remaining 9 to stick together (5-7 have nowhere else to go). As Eric says, all schools do what they believe is in their best interests. And the haves already have made some concession. They are sharing 3/4 of the TV revenue instead of only half.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Bullet – just to let you know, while I agree that the Mississippi schools will always be behind the other public SEC schools, Miss State has plans to expand Scott Field to 65,000 by filling in an endzone with premium seating. Ole Miss has also announced a capital campaign to increase their stadium to 70,000 by filling in an endzone with premium seating. Ole Miss also plans to build a new basketball venue.

            Also, while it will probably never come close to the CIC, the SEC started the SECAC in 2005.


  29. Christian says:


  30. PeteP says:

    BYU will jump at this because BYU does not want to be left out if the Super Conference Era starts. BYU get left out of the Bowl Alliance, Bowl Coalition, and BCS. It will happily jump to the Big 12 since the Pac-12 will never come calling. It will keep its relationship with ESPN and its separate contract.

    Of course, the Big 12 should have invited BYU and TCU back in January to stabilize the conference and not be on the verge of failure, but hey, it is the Bevo 10 after all…..

  31. David Brown says:

    The reality of the matter is after 100 years UT has essentially left A&M behind, and the Aggies know it (They did it years ago with TCU, SMU, Rice, Houston and the SWC, and are doing it again). There are four reasons they must get out now. First off, the biggest UT rival is Oklahoma not A&M (Arkansas is doing pretty well without Bevo, and so can A&M). Next UT will be getting a train load of $$$$$$ with the Longhorn Network (Essentially leaving the Aggies to be on a Baylor level in the future). Third, they know there are a whole bunch of schools (SMU, Houston, Rice, UTEP and Baylor come to mind), who will essentially sell their souls to Bevo and the Longhorn Network, just to get ahead. Fourth, and most important A&M would become the New Nebraska, losing their main rival (Like they did with Oklahoma), and on major issues, being outvoted 9-1 (Or worse, if schools like SMU are added). So essentially they did what Nebraska did….. Got out when they had the chance. I am 100% on A&M’s side and as a Penn State I can be objective about it.

    • The Blanton says:

      With the PUF eclipsing the LHN to the tune of Billions of dollars here in Texas, UT would not have the ability to leave A&M at a tiny private Baptist school level like Baylor when A&M is a Public University in Texas mandated by the Texas Constitution.

  32. duffman says:

    Frank, Frank, Frank,

    I keep telling you think like the other guy if you want to win long term. I will put up another response to your possible teams, but first let me do the TAMU / SEC / CBS / ESPN thing. I mentioned on the other thread that interviewing the NYC Lawyer / Consultant for the B12 in the NYT gave an impression that may not be the reality. The same with the assistant AD at Vandy saying Vandy did not want TAMU. Maybe these two things are true, but maybe it is someone on the other side who now realizes their opponent has already won the war.

    Early on I said the chess match is between Delany and Slive, with Scott now closing the gap. The B1G and SEC values are much greater than anything the LHN could ever hope to put together. When you step back and look at the total picture it is the cold war all over again with the following players:

    B1G = USA
    SEC = USSR
    LHN = Spain
    PAC = China

    Sure any of the 3 superpowers would like to have Spain on their side, but Spain has no real power in the grand scheme no matter how important Spain thinks they are to one of the superpowers. Maybe I am just the slow coach on the short bus, but even I can see some handwriting on the wall. Sure UVA has a football team, and they have academics, but in the move to the Big 3 plus “scraps” will they go the way Harvard and Yale did? Will they become another Chicago that just drops football?

    If TAMU winds up in the SEC that is opportunity lost for the B1G! Maybe it means the contract gets “adjusted” and maybe not, but until a lawyer for the SEC or CBS / ESPN says it on the record I am willing to allow that they know more than I do. I do know that some folks nationally are doing spin control now that it “appears” that TAMU will be severing roots with UT! This leads me to believe the 16 team conference is now a real issue! Granted I thought Scott would be first to break 13, but I have said all along that once a team adds 13, all bets are off, and we are looking at a new football world. Only the predators (B1G / PAC / SEC) have a assured spot, and then you just get to who gets culled from the herd. Right now the football value of the ACC is FSU and VT, how long till these 2 decide to live in a pack of predators (even if they are not the alpha) than to know they will be in a downward spiral of prey.

    Indiana and Illinois may not be the B1G alpha hunters in the conference, but at least we are able to feast on the kills made by the pack as a whole. Since all of us have common breed roots the B1G and SEC have the most shared DNA. The ACC and BE have to many divergent bloodlines to create the same pack unity, and short of UT and ND getting them to 16, they are already dead man walking. I have tried multiple additions to the ACC, and none get you the football values of the Big 3. If a 4th conference “emerges” it may have ACC flavor, but it will not look like the current ACC. As for the B12, once you get past UT, OU, and TAMU what other value is left? Kansas found out the hard way what their basketball value was worth, and Missouri found out that there is a big gap between the A list, and the B list when it comes to who gets invited to join the best club in town.

    Again, not to be the grumpy old guy, but what is the grand plan for the B1G? What is the next move by Delany? If TAMU is gone, UT is crazy, and ND is ND. If Delany added only 1 team, and it was not UT or ND, who would it be? and why?

    • GreatLakeState says:


      Hey, this is fun!

      • duffman says:


        I am an old guy and remember the cold war, but I think I like yours better!

        China and India taking the jobs, and Spain is still not a threat.

        Well done indeed!

    • zeek says:

      If Delany had to get to 14 without ND, I think he’d prefer Oklahoma + Missouri.

      That’s just in my opinion.

      Maybe the presidents wouldn’t go for it on academics, but if Delany had a choice, Oklahoma + Missouri would be option #1 if Notre Dame said a “permanent no” and Texas was totally off the table as well.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        I agree, because that would all but insure Texas and ND would be 15 & 16. To much tradition and rivalry to pass up.

        • mushroomgod says:

          The presidents aren’t going to aloow JD to add two schools that would be 12th and 14th(by a large margin) academically. Isn’t going to happen.

          I think JD does nothing for a couple of years, and sees if anything shakes out with TX and ND. After that time, and assuming TX and ND aren’t ready to move, the BIG MIGHT add Rutgers/Pitt and MO. That would put the BIG in decent position to someday add ND and/or TX if the landscape changes. Pitt would appeal to ND and the presidents, MO to TX(and Neb, Iowa, IU, and ILL). On the other hand, Rutgers would appeal more to JD because of BTN.

          • zeek says:

            I agree with that, but I do think Delany would prefer Oklahoma/Missouri if he had to go to 14 without ND or Texas.

          • GreatLakeState says:

            Pitt. Expansion for the sake of expansion!
            The idea that the B10 is going to divy up one of their last four slices of pie to a college that doesn’t bring their cut in value is what’s not going to happen. The Big Ten will shelve expansion all together before they add Pitt.

          • James in SoCal says:

            I agree, no Pitt. Now, after thinking about things, I can’t see any Big East Schools being effected by any of this. I think, if this does go down, the 4 major conf sitting at the grown-ups table are-Big Ten, SEC, Pac 12 and the Big East. Acc has to many schools that are more attractive then the Big East as does the Big 12. My original thought was the ACC would be protected by the SEC but now I’m not so sure. If the Big Ten and the SEC get into a pissing match, they are going to go for universities that will add the most to their exposure, not lessen it. (Not saying there are many out there that will.) That is why I feel the Big East is safe. They will sit back, let the alpha males fight it out, and clean up whats left knowing that there will be (Compared to what they have now) power programs to snatch up that will be happy to join so they stay in an AQ league.

          • Red R says:

            Pitt will get no invite. ND will never move. Rutgers is AAU but has no real football program. Maryland is the best the B10 can get in the northeast, and it is not a bad add. Some months ago on a sports radio station in Columbus, OH (the armpit of the Midwest) I heard the OSU assistant AD mention Georgia Tech but I suspect he was blowing smoke. Really the B10 has no need to expand as there is not much available that is worthwhile and ND will not respond except with courteous disdain. IMHO the SEC would be wise to take FSU. Not because they need FSU but to keep them away from the B10. I have read that the B10 would like to expand it’s footprint to Florida and Texas. Of course I may have read it in one of the ESPN blog’s and it may or may not be true as FSU is on the same academic level as a below average junior college and only slightly above the U of Phoenix. That still means something to the B10 Presidents, even though it is without interest to the football supporters.

          • Richard says:


            Ouch! That’s a little harsh and not really true. FSU is in the 70-89 tier of the ARWU rankings, which is below all the original B10 schools, but in the same tier as Nebraska (and VTech) and above KU, Mizzou, and OU.

    • drwillini says:

      Duffman, I think you are right in noticing the correlation between the highly valued conferences, SEC and B1G and their DNA – or I would say brand identity. The interesting thing for the B1G is that there are just not enough top 100 ARWU ranked land grant schools in great lakes states to get to the magic number of 16. That said, to get to 16 Delany is going to have to somewhat redefine the brand, but has he does it he is messing with the ultimate value source. Very, very interesting.

    • Brian says:


      Assuming TAMU goes to the SEC, then obviously the SEC will go to 14. Beyond that, I don’t think that conference armageddon is assured. If the SEC stops at 14, and I think they will, I don’t expect the B10 to react unless ND, UT or maybe OU asks to join. Nobody else brings enough value (financial, academic and cultural fit) to make it worth going to 14.

      1. the SEC also takes MO, and
      2. that leads OU to look elsewhere,

      then the B10 would talk to UT and maybe OU.

      1. the SEC takes VT or FSU, and
      2. that leads the ACC core to start looking around rather than just stealing a BE team,

      then the B10 would talk to UVA, MD, UNC and Duke.

      Outside of those scenarios, I don’t see the presidents choosing to expand. They won’t do it just because the SEC does. Look how long they chose to stay at 11, outside of talking with ND every 5 years or so. The COP/C is very picky about new members.

      • Richard says:

        However, Brian, the BTN wasn’t around the vast majority of the time the league was a 10 or 11 school league. There’s a strong incentive now to expand in to growing states that didn’t exist before.

        • Brian says:

          There was a strong incentive to get to 12 and get CCG money, too, and they didn’t care. The COP/C are not money obsessed about sports like CEOs. They have other concerns.

      • FranktheAg says:


        I think you’ll see the SEC hold fast at 13 for the short-term, say 2-3 years. They accomplished the primary goal of both the B1G and the SEC – get into the Texas market. I think both would prefer Texas but the SEC knew a marriage with Texas was not in the cards so it pursued and landed the next best (and only good) option. The focus for the SEC will shift to the mid-South with the obvious targets being some combination of North Carolina, UVa or VaTech.

        The B1G can wait to see how things shake out with Texas and the LHN.

        • Vincent says:

          Based upon my knowledge of ACC members, Frank, your best bet is to go with the Gobblers. UNC and UVa wouldn’t feel culturally comfortable in the SEC; Tech would.

        • Brian says:


          They may very well temporarily stick at 13, but they will go to 14. That’s all I said. 13 will not be their permanent stopping point.

    • jj says:

      The Detroit lions

    • Richard says:

      I’m coming around to your idea that UNC may follow NCSU to the SEC (reluctantly), because the B10 probably would not spend a precious spot on NCSU, and getting both the B10 and SEC to take both Carolina schools at the same time would be near impossible. Likewise, both Virginia schools are almost certainly going together (to the B10, IMHO, because both value academics too much to prefer the SEC). UNC-UVa would have to continue as an OOC game (which actually isn’t a big deal for those schools since they don’t have the big stadiums that dictate 7 home games a year; their stadiums are close to the size of PU’s). I think that if the ACC falls apart (possible with an SEC raid and a Miami TV ban or death penalty; I could see FSU getting offers from both the SEC and B10), ND would join the B10 if the B10 takes BC and GTech as well as Maryland, VTech, and UVa. The SEC wouldn’t want Miami, and I could see the B10 taking the U even with sanctions just because S. Florida is so fertile for recruiting (and filled with people from B10 country). That leaves FSU. I think that with Miami & GTech in the fold, FSU would opt for the conference with the stronger academics and lacks the reputation for dirtier recruiting. With FSU, Miami, and GTech, the BTN likely gets state-wide penetration in both FL and GA (the B10 would prefer taking UF and UGa, but that doesn’t seem likely unless a death penalty or 2 are handed out to other SEC teams). That leaves Clemson, UNC, & NCSU joining TAMU for the SEC, which wouldn’t be a bad haul.

      So VTech, UVa, and Maryland (in the SE division) and FSU, GTech, and BC (in the NW division) join in 2013 to form an 18-team conference for 2 years. ND and Miami join in 2015 (just in time for TV negotiations!) with the following pod structure:

      Pod I:
      PSU, ND, BC, GTech, Maryland

      Pod II:
      Michigan, OSU, MSU, PU, IU

      Pod III:
      Wisconsin, Iowa, Northwestern, Illinois, Minny

      Pod IV:
      Nebraska, FSU, Miami, VTech, UVa

      Each pod joins with a neighboring pod half the time to form a division (yes, when Pods I & IV form up, that would be a brutal division). Michigan-Minny play OOC half the time for the LBJ. Maryland-UVa also play OOC half the time. OSU-PSU may play OOC often as well (OSU would want PSU to become the highlight OOC game most years when they’re not on the conference slate, but PSU may judge their schedule too brutal).

      Duke and WFU go to the BE.

      Big10 hockey adds ND and BC, drawing more interest in the NE.

      • vp19 says:

        Boston College’s value is way overrated in these scenarios. It’s a relatively small private institution, not known for research, and really hasn’t added much to the ACC since its entrance in 2005 (maybe it would have in partnership with Syracuse, but we’ll never know). And the much-hyped “Boston TV market” has never had much interest in college sports. Thinking the Big Ten would be interested in BC because of its hockey is comparable to thinking it would pursue SU chiefly because of lacrosse.

        And if Notre Dame told the Big Ten it would enter the conference only if it could select a partner of its own choosing — take it or leave it — the presidents would reject ND immediately; that’s not how the Big Ten works.

        • bullet says:

          The Big 10 isn’t really significantly different than anyone else. Its about $. Notre Dame isn’t AAU, but that’s the school they most want. If ND said we’re coming but we need a partner and the partner was any geographically acceptable AAU school, the Big 10 would say yes. If it was Iowa St. they would ask, “Why Iowa St.???????????” But they would still probably say yes. I’m sure Syracuse and BC would get a yes as well. Now if it was WVU or Louisville or Cincinnati that would be a different story.

        • @vp19 – I think BC is underrated by fans about how much it is overrated by TV networks (if that makes sense), and that gives the school more value than what its actual attributes (size of fan base, attendance, etc.) would indicate. If the conference commissioners were to hold a realignment draft, BC would go way higher than the average fan would take them. BC is actually a relatively strong TV school nationally (a lower rent version of Miami). They’re not a headliner by themselves, but pairing BC with any of the traditional powers (PSU, OSU, Michigan, Nebraska) is an extremely attractive TV matchup. That’s basically the next best thing other than adding a legit football power. I don’t think that the Big Ten would take BC alone, but if ND said that they wanted BC to come with them, then I don’t see the presidents putting up any objection to them.

      • Brian says:

        I’ll ignore the silliness of your 20 team B10 in 4 years and just comment on a couple of details.

        1. MI isn’t going to play MN OOC for the sake of the LBJ. Maybe if MN agreed to always play at MI (which they wouldn’t), but MI isn’t going to forsake home games to play at MN for the LBJ.

        2. OSU would most definitely NOT “want PSU to become the highlight OOC game most years when they’re not on the conference slate.” The only reason to sacrifice the home games for a home and home is to get exposure in other areas and bring in different teams. OSU isn’t going to waste that on a PSU team they play regularly anyway.

        • Richard says:

          Well, in a Big20, OSU would get exposure in different areas of the country and play powerhouse teams from other regions already anyway, so I’m not so sure that OSU wouldn’t want PSU as their highlight OOC series most years when they’re off the conference slate. They could still schedule other powerhouse schools the other half of the time.

          As for the LBJ, what you say makes sense, but Michiganders seem to be most in favor of playing other B10 schools, and their fanbase felt so strongly about playing other B10 teams more often that their AD was in favor of 9 conference games even though that would generate less ticket revenues for UM, so *shrug*, who knows?

          • Brian says:


            OSU isn’t going to use OOC games on conference teams. If they want to play a 10th big name team, it’ll be a team like USC, UT, AL, etc, not PSU. Those are games that would get them exposure in new regions and be TV blockbusters.

            MI supported 9 B10 games, but the fans aren’t going to support playing MN every year OOC instead of a national opponent or all home games. It’s not really any different than playing another MAC opponent, and they would give up home games for that? I don’t think so.

          • Richard says:

            The LBJ neutral site? Too bad Soldier Field is so small (and I doubt Minny would agree to Ford Field as a neutral site, though you never know).

          • Brian says:

            Who would pay big money for MI/MN? Neutral site games need big names to justify the payout.

    • EZCUSE says:

      Shouldn’t the Big 10 be USSR because its equal revenue distribution is closer to pure socialism? Minnesota gets the same cut as Ohio St.

      And then the SEC can be China because its mostly equal revenue distribution is kind of like the current China…. socialism/communism with a touch of capitalism to the extent that some “companies” are getting very very wealthy… which is similar to the SEC’s equal revenue distribution with a touch of capitalism based on the 3rd tier rights providing some basis for individual programs to get a slight edge.

      And then you have the Big 12 being USA… with its capitalistic sharing of some money, but not sharing equally based on some takers being worth much more than those who contribute less. The rich folks (Texas) will give a little bit of their success to keep the poor folks (Iowa St.) afloat, but their first priority is staying rich.

      What does that make Texas A&M? I don’t know. Mexico. Mexico has its issues, but it has some natural resources (oil) that are valuable to USA. We wouldn’t want to lose them as an ally. Then again, they are not such a significant economy that losing them as an ally would be insurmountable. But at the same time, who wants to lose an adjacent ally to China or the USSR?

  33. loki_the_bubba says:

    Well, at least Rice got mentioned on one expansion list…

    • duffman says:


      Say TAMU jumps to the SEC, would Rice become yearly school for TAMU to play OOC? Rice is 27 – 50 – 3 all time vs TAMU. Rice is 1 – 4 vs Vanderbilt. All 3 are academic schools, and Rice could get some exposure on the SEC network footprint.

      I looked up Rice vs SEC (current and former)

      Alabama 3 – 0
      Arkansas 29 – 35 – 3 (former SWC)
      Auburn 2 – 0
      Florida 4 – 3 – 1
      Georgia 1 – 0
      Georgia Tech 0 – 2 – 1 (former SEC)
      Kentucky 0 – 2
      LSU 14 – 36 – 5
      Mississippi 0 – 1
      Mississippi St. 0 – 1
      Sewanee 2 – 0 (former SEC)
      Tennessee 1 – 2
      Tulane 17 – 15 – 1 (former SEC)
      Vanderbilt 1 – 4
      South Carolina = NP

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        I think it would be hard for Rice to add aTm on a regular basis. The scheduling philosophy seems to evolving for our OOC AQ opponents to be more like sized schools. We’ll be playing the Vandy, Duke, Wake Forest, Army, Navy, Baylor, and Northwesterns of the world. Even the Texas series is scheduled only this year and 2015. Plus we need one or two winnable games so you see UT-San Antonio and the like on the next few years schedules.

        Back when I was in school we played teams like Florida, Oklahoma, and LSU in the same year. But those days are gone forever. But we’ll always be undefeated against Alabama!

  34. Hey Frank, what about Boise as a dark horse? There’s no bigger “feel good” team out there, no non-AQ that gets more exposure. Obviously Boise is a long way from the conference footprint, but it is a growing market.

    The biggest problem I see is that Boise has literally put all of their eggs in the football basket, they’re dreadful in everything else. They’d instantly be the doormat of basketball.

    • OT says:

      Not even the Big East would want Boise State as a football-only member:

      1. Small TV market

      2. Lousy academics (Boise State was a 2-year school not too long ago.)

      3. The AD was fired a few weeks ago in the midst of a brewing scandal


      The only schools that would WANT to be Bevo’s newest b*tch in the Longhorn Conference are non-BCS schools in the State of Texas:

      1. Houston (which is building political clout in the Texas State Legislature)

      2. SMU (which is begging to join, but has no political support and brings no new TV market)

      Rice is already in Bevo’s H*rem (by playing the ‘Horns at Reliant Stadium) even though Rice does not belong to the Longhorn Conference.


      Big East schools such as Louisville will get a better TV deal by staying in the Big East than by joining the Longhorn Conference once Comcast (NBCUniversal) does its part to jack up the rights fee in the next contract cycle.


      BYU could have joined the Big East in football only but chose not to. The name of the game at BYU is control of TV inventory to maximize exposure for BYU.


      The problem for the Longhorn Conference isn’t A&M, but Missouri (which can be poached by the ESS EEE CEE as the 14th member, or pre-emptively by the B1G) and Kansas (which has its bags packed for the Big East.)

      • David Brown says:

        UTEP is another school that would be Bevo’s bitch. The reality of the matter is Texas (With the possible exception of the International Olympic Committee) is perhaps the most destructive element in sports today. The only way UT could possibly be worse is if they made Scott Boras AD, and Jerry Jones President The most revealing thing about how bad they really are, is that A&M (Who knows UT better than anyone else (Playing them for over 100 years)), cannot wait to divorce themselves of the Longhorns.

        • The Blanton says:

          I guess over 100 years of being UT’s ‘bitch” would tend to make A&M a little upset, I guess I’d want a divorce too if my rival beat me mercilessly for 100 years.

          • FranktheAg says:

            Beat mercilessly? Yes, when A&M was an all male military school. Since then, I guess “beat mercilessly is defined as winning 50% of the time.

      • Richard says:


        However, as both the SEC and B10 know that taking (a rather mediocre in all respects) Mizzou would send OU (and thus Texas) packing to the Pac, I don’t see why either conference would take Mizzou. Mizzou doesn’t raise the profile of either conference.

      • Sorry, but I don’t really buy your arguments.

        1. Boise is a smaller TV market (currently 112th in Neilsen), but they’re one of the fastest growing in America. And as the economy contines to deteriorate in California and Nevada the forecast is for it to only continue to grow.

        2. The Big10 and the Ivy League are the only schools that care about academics, the Big 12 would not pass on Boise just because of academics. Tx Tech and Ok State are tier 3 schools, and K-State and Oklahoma are on the outside of the top 100.

        3. Unless a lot more is uncovered soon, this “scandal” is pretty minor. Major infractions in tennis led to the uncovering of relatively minor infractions in football. A rogue tennis program isn’t a legitimate reason to keep them out of the Big 12.

        Now I’m not saying Boise is great fit. They would be a huge georgaphic outlier and immediately be doormats in nearly every sport besides football. Even from Boise’s persepctive it wouldn’t be a perfect move, since they rely on California for recruits much more than Texas. But if you’re comparing Boise to schools like Houston, Louisville, UNLV and New Mexico I think they hold up just fine in any discussion with those schools.

        • Brian says:

          All schools care about academics, some just care more. The P12 and ACC certainly care, and the B12 and SEC do too.

          As for Boise, USNWR rated them the #51 regional school in the west. TT is #159 nationally, and OkSU is #132 nationally. Boise is a regional because they don’t offer enough advanced degrees to qualify as a national university. That is hugely important to school presidents.

          • Richard says:

            Some care so little that the caring is almost non-existant. I’m quite certain that if Boise had, say, BYU’s brand and following but the same academics, the B12 would come calling.

  35. zeek says:

    And again, for those of you focusing on the Big Ten’s plans in the future…

    Look at Penn State and Nebraska. Football kings with mediocre basketball programs. Penn State has one of the largest alumni/population bases, but Nebraska’s is among the smallest of all the public flagships (including non-kings).

    Delany is focused on Notre Dame to 14. There might be an Oklahoma (to 14) scenario that he’d want but can’t get through the COP/C. Texas seems to be a non-starter because the Big Ten isn’t going to be as flexible on the LHN as the Pac-12 might be (since they have no other good expansion options to 16 outside of Texas + Oklahoma + 2.

    So for the Big Ten, barring something like Oklahoma + Missouri (to 14), I think the Big Ten waits until Notre Dame chooses to join (after Texas works out a deal to a Pac-16, which may set things in motion to force Notre Dame’s hand).

  36. duffman says:

    Now, on to your list….

    First of all, UNL, CU, and TAMU all share one thing in common, and that is a desire to get away from UT! I think the basis of your list is that the B12 will return to its former self. I think this is a glitter and unicorn fantasy at best. If the B12 can land a giant like ND then I have some nice swamp land to sell. Any team with reasonable respect will know that being new kid in a crazy co dependent conference can not be good long term. With this in mind, I would throw out any decent team joining the B12. Soap operas may appeal to middle age women eating bon bon’s on the sofa, but not AD’s or college presidents.

    Getting that out of the way, let’s take a look at some realistic candidates to join the Big 12:

    1. BYU – OUT, Mormon religion conflicts with UT ego.

    2. Louisville – OUT, As a basketball school they would be foolish to think of any home outside of the BE or ACC. If the choice is to stay with the BE or jump to the B12, they stay in the BE. My long term guess is they sit in the BE and wait till the Superconference becomes a reality. A new 4th conference will be built from the scraps, and long term this would suit the Cards well. Like Miami, they have a fickle football fanbase. Unlike Miami, they do not have the MNC history to bring real value.

    3. TCU – 90% OUT, Like Louisville in basketball, it is better to hang in the BE till the 4th conference is formed and make a decision then. In the mean time, they need to win the BE a few times to improve their exposure and media value.

    4. Houston – IN, If they replace TAMU, the B12 is back to 10 and allows the B12 to stop bleeding. On the flip side if UH is the replacement for UNL, the days of the B12 being mentioned in the same air as the B1G or SEC are done. From then on they are more along the line of the ACC [UT + OU = FSU + VT] or CUSA

    5. UNLV – ????, This one could go either way. On the list of possible schools this is one with no chance of landing a spot in the 4th “scraps” conference, so why not. 40K stadium fits the schools still left in the B12, and the thoughts of Sin City vs Baylor brings a smile to my face. Brittany will need a venue when she graduates, and Vegas is still the heavyweight when it comes to boxing matches. If Nevada continues to steal BSU’s thunder tho, they may be the the school that knocks UNLV out.

    6. Air Force – OUT, I think they become the last team in a 4th conference, and can wait out the time in between where they are now. UT culture and AF culture seem like 180 degrees apart. As a military school, I am willing to bet my bottom dollar they will want a team mentality in a conference they join.

    7. New Mexico – 90% IN, If you have little to offer, the insane asylum looks pretty good

    8. Memphis – IN, similar to New Mexico

    9/10. SMU/Rice – IN, They have been there before. Hello SWC II : Revenge of Texas

    I can see this in a new Big 12 where UT or OU is the conference rep for the MNC shot where one of the remaining 10 teams has a MNC once a decade or two. UT anchors one division, and OU anchors the other

    12 teams look like this:

    OU DIV = OU / oSu / KU / KSU / ISU / Missouri (Sooner TV division)

    UT DIV = UT / TT / BU / SMU / UH / Rice (LHN division)

    16 teams look like this:

    OU DIV = OU / oSu / KU / KSU / ISU / Missouri / Memphis / UNLV

    UT DIV = UT / TT / BU / SMU / UH / Rice / NTU / UTEP

    If the Sooners break the tie to the Longhorns, and go to the PAC and take oSu + KU + Missouri along with them, then the B12 really does see SWC II and a conference of Texas schools, with UT being granted a deal similar to ND when it comes to football.

    • bullet says:

      Colorado really wanted to stay with UT. They’ve been wanting UT to join them in the Pac ever since they joined the Big 12 and started having 2nd thoughts. UT + Pac was their ideal world. Their economy and alumni base is more west coast based. Arizona has more CU alumni than all the Big 12 states combined excluding TX. Texas is 2nd after California (and of course CO).

      We don’t know what UNL wanted. Their reasoning changed totally once the exit fee issue was settled. Maybe Delany’s expansion plans simply made them realize they had a better option. Maybe they just wanted stability with all this talk of superconferences and realized the Pac and SEC didn’t fit. And maybe you are right, they resented going from top dog who everyone obeyed in the Big 8 to just one of the gang and really didn’t like being 1-9 vs. Texas. It took about 10 years for people to start talking about what really happened in the SWC. It might take that long or longer before we really know what UNL was thinking.

      • Mike says:

        The short of it is UNL realistically had one good option in case the Big 12 failed: The Big Ten. With Missouri screaming “pick me” and the PAC eyeing expansion Nebraska really had no choice. Throw in the economic and academic benefits and the decision was pretty easy.

        The longer answer is an economic analysis of why Texas didn’t want a Big 12 Network, how a Nebraska network would have fared, and how much more profitable a share of the BTN would be without the risk.

        • bullet says:

          It just made way too much sense for them to join the Big 10, whether their motivation was to “get away from Texas” or simply to put themselves in a better place. Colorado’s move made a lot of sense, even if the direct economic advantages weren’t as clear. With A&M the situation is a little murkier and speculative as to which is the better long term path.

  37. kappadoce says:

    Can anyone explain why the Big Ten shouldnt add Mizzou? I dont understand, they seem to fit the bill in every category.

    • greg says:

      A better question is: Why would the Big Ten add Mizzou?

      • kappadoce says:

        Well it seems to me – Mizzou is an AAU school, fits geographically, has some rivalries with other B10 schools already, brings in a new tv market, and also is a fit culturally (meaning they dont seem self-centered like UT & ND). Their athletics arent deep with tradition, but they are respectable.

        • greg says:

          That doesn’t really answer the question “Why would the Big Ten add Mizzou?” It is a list of commonalities between Missouri and the Big Ten conference, but it doesn’t provide a reason why it would be advantageous to the Big Ten, and why the B10 would take on the downsides of another school.

          Why would the Big Ten add Mizzou? How would it be advantageous to the conference? Would it drive up the per-school athletic conference distributions? Would it improve the football brand? Would it make the conference more academically prestigious? Would Missouri bring something to the CIC that the CIC doesn’t currently have?

          There don’t seem to be answers that would give the Big Ten a reason to add Mizzou.

          There are too many arguing for expansion for expansion’s sake.

        • mushroomgod says:

          large state school; flagship school; good football and basketball programs, although an issue with current basketball coach; decent support in both bball and fball; top 30 overall ath. dept.; geographic and cultural fit, all kinds of instant rivalries…yeah, no reason to add them……….

          • metatron5369 says:

            It’s a money issue. It’s not that people are greedy, but they do use the shared revenue to fund their olympic sports. Missouri has to bring in enough additional revenue to the conference so that they don’t lose money to even be considered. Now factor in the idea that there are two (maybe four) spots in any expansion scenario and figure out where Missouri is on the list of available candidates.

            I like Mizzou. I’d like to see them in the Big Ten. However, I like Notre Dame and Oklahoma a lot more.

          • Richard says:

            That’s all nice, but do they make the B10 better, on average, in any way?
            Move the needle in football reputation/money? No
            Move the needle in bball reputation/money? No
            Move the needle in average population? No
            Add a growing/economically vibrant part of the country? No
            Add a football recruiting hotbed? No
            Enhance the research/academic status of the B10? No

            Mizzou’s problem is that they are thoroughly mediocre in every way. They’re not bad in any aspect, but they don’t make the B10 average better in any aspect either (and are a drag academically; UNL is as well, but they’re actually stellar in something).

            There’s no reason for the B10 to add a school that doesn’t improve the conference in any way; all it does is make the original B10 school splay each other less often.

    • David Brown says:

      The reason why they do not want Missouri is they essentially bring NOTHING except maybe the St Louis market to the table. Schools that would work would be: 1: Notre Dame (The “Holy Grail”), but not happening. 2: Boston College: Strong academics, the Boston market, great hockey program, rival for Penn State. 3: Maryland (See BC, but closer to Penn State & no hockey). 4: North Carolina: great academics, hoops & baseball.

      • vp19 says:

        David, Maryland would rank ahead of Boston College; its alumni/fan constituency is far bigger, and the D.C./Baltimore market is more attuned to college sports than Boston is. It’s a semi-brand name in men’s and women’s basketball, with national titles in both, and is recognized in lacrosse, a sport that’s growing in the Big Ten area. Moreover, Maryland is AAU (BC isn’t), and its research resources are substantially larger.

        • Atlanticist says:

          I know I’m in the serious minority that actually cares about this, but if the Big Ten picks up the ACC “Core Four” as well as ND, and ___________, then the new league will be AMAZING for lacrosse. Michigan’s new D1 team, Maryland (2 national titles and has NEVER had a losing season), Virginia (5 titles including 2011), North Carolina (4 titles), Duke and ND (both really strong in recent years)…. wow.

          Too bad there’s no way to include Hopkins (9 titles) and Syracuse (11 titles).

          Oh yeah, OSU and PSU have teams too.

          • Sportsman says:

            I’ve been watching more and more lacrosse over the last few years… but, my problem is that I really don’t have a horse in the race. If the BIG were to start a lacrosse league, I’d pay even more attention.

          • Jeepers says:

            Sorry. Can’t have an AMAZING lacrosse league…without the ‘Cuse.

          • Atlanticist says:


            Yes, missing Syracuse would be a big gap. However, I’d still be happy with having almost half of the playoff teams in one conference.

        • GreatLakeState says:

          But more importantly, -tortoise shell helmets!!!!

      • OT says:

        Does the B1G really want Missouri to go to the ESS EEE CEE?

        Or will the B1G make a pre-emptive strike?


        The B1G can raid the ACC at any time: Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Duke, and Georgia Tech all fit the snooty culture of the B1G. Of these 5, Georgia Tech would probably be the easiest to pry loose.

        • Richard says:

          Uh, first off, why would the SEC want Mizzou? They wouldn’t make the SEC better in football (which is almost the sole issue that counts down there) and likely would send OU and Texas to the Pac.

          Second off, how would Mizzou in the SEC harm the B10? It’s not like adding Mizzou would enhance the SEC.

          • Bamatab says:

            The only reason that the SEC would even consider Mizzou is for the tv markets of KC and STL. Would the tv networks be convinced that Mizzou could get those markets, I don’t know. But that would be the only reason that Mizzou would be considered by the SEC. As an SEC guy, Mizzou really doesn’t excite me a whole lot (as I’m sure they don’t excite the B1G folks either).

      • mushroomgod says:

        As to BC and NC….blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. NC’s not coming, and nobody would want BC.

      • Richard says:

        David: Those schools come only if they’re enough to entice ND to join as well. They have their own strengths, but not enough to justify adding them without ND.

    • duffman says:

      Missouri and Pitt to the B1G are solid adds, but I think Delany is saving slots for ND and TU even tho they may never happen. Realignment is about constriction of CFB as a whole, even tho the B1G / PAC / SEC are expanding. If only 10 or 12 “brands” exist, then the next 4 adds either get one of them or concentrates on “brand” states – In this case states that are top 10 – 12 in population. From what I can tell from this TAMU situation, Slive is foregoing the “brand” of UT for the “brand” of TX.

      “brand” schools still possible = UT / ND / OU

      “brand” states still possible = TX / NY / NC / NJ / VA

      Pitt and Missouri fit B1G feel in both academics and footprint, just not so sure Delany is ready to take them right now.

      • Richard says:

        Great points, Duff
        However, don’t forget FL and GA. Sure, UF and UGa are down there, but adding FSU, Miami, and GTech almost certainly gets the BTN on basic cable in both states as well.

        As for NY & NJ, the problem is whether adding any schools can capture those states. Certainly there’s no scenario for getting those states that doesn’t include adding ND.

    • jcfreder says:

      To go beyond 12, the B10 needs a home run. Adding Mizzouri doesn’t do that. Notre Dame does. Texas does. Some kind of huge ACC takeover might. To me, Mizzouri is in teh same boat as Pitt – they are decent “complementary” additions, schools that could fill out an even number. But they aren’t home runs in and of themselves.

      • mushroomgod says:

        Don’t agree that going to 14 requires a home run. At some point it will/might make sense just to feed the BTN….and because MO/Piitt/Rutgers would be part of the deal anyway if ND/TX ever came on board….and because the BT won’t much like the SEC having 14 teams while it has 12.

        I do think nothing gets done for a couple of years, in any event, as the BIG is conservative and will want to digest NEB first. If the SEC takes MO in the interim, that’s the way it is. I don’t see the BIG stopping the SEC right now……I disagree with that position, but all indications are that’s where things stand.

        Agree that going to 16 requires one HR–either TX or ND

        • metatron5369 says:

          I don’t think the Big Ten cares what the SEC does, unless it’s robbing them of a desired expansion candidate.

        • Richard says:

          For someone who thinks “feeding the BTN” is a valid reason to expansion, I can’t understand your antipathy to adding the ACC schools. Seriously, is it the accent? Because if Carolinians spoke with an Ozark twang, NC wouldn’t seem much different from most of MO.

          • metatron5369 says:

            @Richard – Not sure if you’re talking to me, but I fit the bill.

            The Big Ten has an identity, and I’m worried about losing it.

          • Richard says:


            Actually, I was replying to mushroomgod.

            As for the Big10 identity, I think it would be fine so long as it admits only like-minded schools who are concerned with both research/academics and athletics.

    • jokewood says:

      Key to what makes the Big Ten a success is respecting what each school brings to the table. Northwestern may not lead the conference in athletics, but they are an academic powerhouse. Nebraska may fall near the bottom of the conference academically, but they have an iconic football program. Penn State was an average academic school (now quickly improving) when they joined the conference, but they brought an iconic football program and new territories for the conference.

      Missouri doesn’t really have anything to hang its hat on. The St. Louis and Kansas City markets are okay, but that’s it. That part of the country is not a high-growth area, and Missouri doesn’t increase the conference’s national visibility.

      While Notre Dame is and will always be #1, I still think Delany has his eye on expanding the conference in the direction of increased population growth – the mid-Atlantic.

      • Vincent says:

        That’s the key behind the Big Ten’s interest in the ACC core four — a growing and affluent region, solid academics and research, good all-around athletics that complement current Big Ten members. As a bloc, they would be a home run of sorts. None are current football powerhouses, but Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina would boost the Big Ten’s depth, and while Duke probably won’t return to its glory years from the ’30s through the early ’60s, the Big Ten imprimatur might allow it to have a Northwesternesque season or two every now and then.

        • zeek says:

          The main reason I would support that kind of expansion is because of the impact on recruiting/population growth it would have. If the national brands in the Big Ten (OSU/PSU/Michigan/Nebraska) could lock down Va/NC recruiting, that alone would enable the Big Ten to easily match the Florida, California, and Texas nexuses that the other major conferences have access to when combined with the rest of the footprint.

    • SpaceTetra says:

      Yes, Missouri is a nice fit. But the answer to your question is that the Big Ten is hunting elephant and Missouri is not an elephant. Based on what elephant is captured by the Big Ten may determine who comes with the elephant. Taking Missouri now would only limit the Big Ten’s options. For example, if Oklahoma came in, who might have to come with them? If UT came in, who might have to come with them? If ND came in, who would be a good partner? Also, the Big Ten is still looking for a great eastern partner for Penn State. Yes Missouri is nice, but they can’t limit their options until an elephant has been bagged.

      • mushroomgod says:

        Oklahoma’s not coming in, so take them out of the equation.

        If ND came in, Pitt would seem to be the best choice to make it easier for ND.

        MO seems like the best westernoption to make it easier for TX.

        But that’s why the BIG probably waits 2 years to see if ND or TX are in play. If not, expand(or not) in time for ’16 tv contract.

    • Brian says:

      They shouldn’t add them now because they are a complementary school at best. They wouldn’t hurt the B10 much (lower academics, but OK), but they don’t add much value either. As a partner with a more valuable school, MO is a viable option.

    • metatron5369 says:

      This is a terrible idea. We have nothing to gain, but everything to lose. Even if we win, it’ll be described as petty.

      The ratings though, I bet they’ll be pretty big (for the first half anyway).

      • Richard says:

        I get the feeling that the conference/BTN is now nudging all the member schools to schedule the most TV-friendly OOC games they can. That’s why you even hear the PU AD talk about dropping their FCS game (maybe even for a home-and-home with another AQ school).

        You’ve certainly seen Northwestern’s OOC schedule become more attractive, with the MAC guarantee games being replaced with HaH’s with academic peers (and far more TV-friendly matchups) like BC, Army, Syracuse, Cal, and Stanford.

  38. matt says:

    Louisville is a terrible idea for the B12 and will never happen. Do you realize that North Carolina (and probably Duke, not sure on that one though) makes significantly more money on football than basketball? Whatever Louisville makes on basketball for itself (because of ticket sales in the new YUM Center) is irrelevant to the B12. The B12 cares about what Louisville football games bring in terms of eyeballs (currently TV ratings, moving more toward web hits). The answer is nothing and that is why they will never be invited.

    I agree, that the B12′s issue right now is more quality than new geography, so VaTech, BYU, Houston and TCU all make sense. As for ND, they made a huge mistake not joining the B12 last time around. Despite ND’s protestations that being independent is an identity thing, they are already in a conference (Big East). Only football is independent. Also, ND’s primary concerns are money and flexibility to schedule historical rivalries in the Midwest and on the two coasts.

    If ND had joined the B10 when the B10 went to twelve teams, it could have insisted that the B10 lock itself into 8 conference games. That would have left ND four games for USC, Stanford, Navy and one more that rotates. Also, the value ND would have brought to the B10 would have been split 12 ways, which is the best that ND is ever going to get at this point when it joins a conference.

    The next move by the B10 (and the other major conferences will be to 14 or 16 teams). That means the B10 will almost certainly go to at least nine conference games, making it much more difficult for ND to retain its other rivalries. The value ND will bring to the conference also will now be split 14 or 16 ways. The B10 would have stopped at 12 teams had ND joined in 2010. That’s not a possibility any more unless ND wants to join whatever is left of the Big East when the next round of expansion is over.

    Also, as for ND does not care about money, that is silly. ND is no more immune to the laws of economics than I am. They have to pay coaches, build facilities and do all the other things required to lure elite athletes and maintain the ND brand.As you point out, they are steadily falling down the revenue list and are now behind not only most of the elite football programs but even more and more of the middling ones. At some point, the gap becomes too big.

    If I were ND, I would try to find a way in the next round of expansion to join the B10 as the 13th member. The could go to the SEC, but the cultural fit would be awful and would damage their brand far more than joining a conference ever would. They could go to the P12, but the travel costs would be high for their other sports and they would have to give up some of their Midwest rivalries. Similar with the ACC or Big East, but those conferences aren’t on a par with the B10/SEC/P12 in terms of money or prestige. So, they should join the B10 and try to get the B10 to let them pick the 14th team and guarantee that the conference will not go above 9 conference games. If they pick Boston College, then four of there historical rivals will be in the conference. They can keep USC on an annual basis and alternate Stanford and Navy, with one more game to be a home game against a baby seal each year. That is the best outcome ND will ever get at this point.

    • FLP_NDRox says:

      Suggesting that ND would abandon the Navy game means you haven’t been paying attention. ND *will* play Navy annually. Of course ND cares about the money. But the donation money comes from an alumni base that is rabidly pro-independece in re football. ND as a school survives by keeping the alums happy.

      • matt says:

        I understand the Navy thing. That is why ND should have joined as the 12th team. They screwed themselves. The B10 is not kicking any teams out for ND, so if ND ever wants in at this point it will be as part of the move to 14 or 16. If ND wants to keep USC, Stanford and Navy, they could do this with their three OOC games. But it means ND will no longer be scheduling anyone else OOC.

        As for money, great. You can rely on alumni contributions. The bottom line is while UT’s athletic department brings in $140 million and every one of OSU, Michigan, Penn State, Alabama, etc. each bring in north of $100 million, ND brings in about $85 million. And with the new TV contracts, the gap is becoming bigger every year. But go ahead and stay independent if you want. You just need to realize that it is not a matter of a few million dollars it is a matter of tens of millions of dollars every year. It is very hard to remain competitive at the elite level when you can’t be competitive in paying coaches and offering elite recruits all the bells and whistles when it comes to facilities. But good luck trying.

        • cutter says:

          Just FYI, but during a public appearance yesterday, Michigan Athletic Director David Brandon said Michigan’s revenues would be $132M, adding that U-M’s spending per sport would be greater than Ohio State. Brandon said OSU’s revenues were going to be $138M, but the Buckeyes do have more varsity teams than Michigan–that’s why the spending for team is in UM’s favor.

          If this number is for FY 2012, then it outpaces the published budget number of $121.2M by over $10M. That could be due to greater gifting (whith $5M already set aside to remodel Schembechler Hall) or revenues from the football conference championship game that weren’t counted for the fiscal year (but would only top perhaps $1.8M) or it could mean larger than expected increases in revenue from the Big Ten Network or ABC/ESPN (due to the addition of Nebraska). Those would be my best guesses.

          It would also explain why he’s looking at expanding the south side of Michigan Stadium to add more seats, join the concourses on the east and west and enclose that side of the stadium. I understand the bleachers will go up to the height of the new scoreboards, so if you’re a visiting fan, bring your oxygen bottle.

    • zeek says:

      As an institution, the Navy game is Notre Dame’s most important rivalry. More important than Michigan or USC even though the game may have no impact on computer ratings or whatnot. Any scenario that doesn’t involve Notre Dame playing Navy annually is just not going to happen.

      If you need to look up why, go check out the history of the rivalry. Renewals are just a formality; it would be absurd to even suggest that they won’t play annually.

      • zeek says:

        The only thing I’d add is that the three untouchable games on Notre Dame’s schedule are probably Navy, USC, and Michigan. Any scenario involving them has to work around that as a basic start.

        I do think Notre Dame will someday enter a conference, whether the ACC at 8 conference games or the Big Ten at 9, or some kind of new cross-country conference (with 8 or 9). But, those three games are going to be played regardless of which conference they join, if I had to guess.

        • GCS says:

          I’m a Michigan fan, and even I’m not sure I’d put Michigan above Michigan State or Pudue on a scale of how untouchable the games are. UM/ND has had many long gaps in their series that you haven’t seen with the other two Big Ten teams.

          • cutter says:

            I have to agree with GCS–I’m also a Michigan fan and I don’t see UM being an untouchable game for Notre Dame. USC and Navy make sense not only because of the longstanding rivalries, but because those games are played in October and November.

            The Michigan game is in September and Notre Dame could replace UM (or MSU or Purdue) if they wanted to with most any team from the BCS conferences. When UM was off the schedule in recent years, Notre Dame had home-and-homes with Ohio State (1995/6) and Nebraska (2000/1) as “replacement” games.

            With the nine-game conference schedule coming up in 2017 and with the Big Ten keeping Nebraska and Ohio State as home games on Michigan’s schedule the same years the ND game is played in Ann Arborthe UM-ND series may come to an end sooner rather than later. Unless the B1G breaks up the OSU and UN-L games on Michigan’s conference schedule or ND agrees to a change (not likely because the Irish like to play USC at home when they’re playing at Michigan and vice versa), this will be a non-issue.

          • FLP_NDRox says:

            Quite true. Navy is the only truly untouchable game. The USC is a big deal, the Purdue and Sparty games are convenient, the Michigan rivalry is noted for its off field dimention.

            At any rate, even if ND joined the B1G they still would have went to 9 conf games. It would have been the first of many losing votes for ND in the B1G. ND in the B1G will be in the same straightjacket schedule at 16 as they’d be at 12.

            If ND wanted into a conference they’d be in one. Likely last summer the important people were asked and the beans counted. Considering how fast Swarbrick backed off the “monitor the lanscape” comments, I think we can surmise their conclusions.

            Independences is a risk, but it’s the reason we made it to king level, and our best hope of avoiding the Fate of Fordhame, GTown, MARQUETTE, St Mary’s, etc.

        • bullet says:

          Do you really think ND will play Navy every year forever? I can easily see them switching to every other year, giving them more flexibility, if they joined a conference. Any alumni who were around in 1945 are at least 84 years old now.

          Nebraska left their Big 8 companions. Colorado left their Big 8 companions. Arkansas and then Texas, A&M, Baylor and Tech left the last 4 behind in the Southwest Conference. Now A&M is trying to leave rivals behind again. TCU can’t seem to split from their companions quick enough. They got left in SWC, left in WAC, abandoned WAC, abandoned CUSA for MWC after several others left them, and have abandoned MWC for BE after Utah and BYU left. Actually it seems like its TCU that’s the Texas team that splits up conferences and drives people away. Since TCU joined, maybe we can predict a Big East disentegration!

          • zeek says:

            Possibly, but ND is different when you think about how staid their football program is. Maybe someday they’ll consider it (if it works for both sides), but institutional memory is a long-term kind of thing when it merges with tradition. I honestly don’t see it going off the annual schedule for at least a few decades, unless something really drastic happens that forces it to break…

          • FLP_NDRox says:

            As long as Navy wants the game, they have it. Period.

          • vandiver49 says:

            ND will try everything in their power to continue to play Navy. It’s essentially at debt of honor. If ever a time comes when ND can’t schedule Navy anymore, the Irish will still send the contract yearly for Navy to reject. ND takes the US Navy’s assistance in keeping the school open during WWII that seriously.

            FWIW, while Navy is not nearly as dogged about independence as ND, USNA will go the way of the Ivies before doing anything that would further compromise its primary mission: commissioning officer for the Navy and Marine Corps.

      • mushroomgod says:

        Yeah, that reason…………..and also because they can routinely kick Navy’s ass…………..(not so much recently though)…

      • StevenD says:

        If Notre Dame needs to play Navy every year, perhaps the B1G should take both of them? It’s a small price to pay to get Notre Dame.

        The B1G could then reorganize it’s divisions to suit Notre Dame:
        Notre Dame Division: ND, Navy, Mich, MSU, Ind, Pur, PSU
        The Other Division: Neb, Iowa, Minn, Wisc, Ill, NW, OSU.

        • mushroomgod says:

          Lord no……….take pitt and keep Navy as OOC, in that scenerio…..Navy does not have an ath. dept. competitive with BIG schools.

          • zeek says:

            Agreed. It would be a total disaster to try to force Navy to keep up with the Big Ten schools in all athletics. It just wouldn’t be fair to them.

            I could easily see ND/Pitt as a compromise expansion to 14 if ND did want to join with that as a condition.

          • Richard says:

            I see taking BC (and GTech & Miami & FSU) being more enticing to ND. In my Big20 scenario with ND in the same pod as BC, GTech, PSU, & Maryland (meaning they’re yearly opponents), they would still play Michigan, MSU, PU, Miami, & FSU (and OSU, Nebraska, VTech, & UVa as well as IU) half the time. OOC would be USC & Navy, splitting the last spot between Stanford & either Pitt or a Texas school. ND would still play a very national schedule, visiting the Midwest, NE, south, and west coast regularly.

        • wm wolverines says:

          ND’s rivalry with the service academies are one of convenience, the independent service academies (Navy & Army) are always available to play late in the season when others are playing conference games.

          • jj says:

            ND will never abandon Navy. Period.

            In fact, they will stop playing UM, MSU, Pur and USC before that happens. Convenience has nothing to do with it.

        • Eric says:

          Oddly, despite not liking divisions, I think I like those divisions better than the ones we have.

        • Brian says:

          Navy is a bad choice for many reasons. But that aside, you are putting every school in a state that borders OH into one division and OSU in the other. That would cause some problems. You can’t arrange the divisions solely to please ND. Part of them joining a conference is them learning to compromise.

          • jcfreder says:

            Well, Navy’s not coming to the B10, but the OSU “fish out of water” division isn’t the reason why — Wisconsin has been subjected to virtually the same thing in the current divisions.

            No matter what circumstances happen to bring ND into the fold, you figure there would be a push to put Mich, MSU and Pur in the same division with the Irish. The “being in a conference” pill goes down a little easier if ND is playing a bunch of games they’d be playing anyway.

          • Richard says:


            Actually once the B10 goes to 9 conference games, I see Michigan & MSU playing ND only 4 times in 6 years anyway (in order to schedule any other major OOC series ever again). Going from playing ND 2/3rds of the time to half the time isn’t a huge drop.

          • Brian says:


            “Well, Navy’s not coming to the B10, but the OSU “fish out of water” division isn’t the reason”

            No, those are two completely separate issues. I thought I was clear about that by mentioning Navy in one sentence and then saying “But that aside” before talking about OSU.

            “Wisconsin has been subjected to virtually the same thing in the current divisions.”

            No, they haven’t. WI borders the state of IL and plays U of I annually. WI borders MN and plays MN annually. At best, StevenD’s divisions could preserve OSU/MI. However, PSU and IU at least might have issues with losing OSU. The western schools also might object to not getting ND, MI or PSU. I’m guessing OSU would be the last of the 4 eastern kings that WI, MN, IA and NE would prefer. NW and IL would be happier about it, but OSU wouldn’t be their first choice necessarily. So that’s roughly 9 schools that might have a problem with it, versus maybe 3 with the current setup (WI, IA, maybe NE).

            “No matter what circumstances happen to bring ND into the fold, you figure there would be a push to put Mich, MSU and Pur in the same division with the Irish. The “being in a conference” pill goes down a little easier if ND is playing a bunch of games they’d be playing anyway.”

            ND might push for that, but I think the B10 would want the opposite to integrate ND into the conference. I think they might aim to keep PU with ND, but have MI in the other division. Off the top of my head, something like this:

            A: ND, Pitt, PSU, OSU, IN, PU, IL
            B: MI, NE, WI, IA, MN, MSU, NW

            Locked games: OSU/MI, PSU/MSU, ND/NE, Pitt/WI, PU/IA, IL/NW, IN/MN

          • Richard says:


            “The western schools also might object to not getting ND, MI or PSU. I’m guessing OSU would be the last of the 4 eastern kings that WI, MN, IA and NE would prefer. NW and IL would be happier about it, but OSU wouldn’t be their first choice necessarily.”

            Huh? Why? I’m quite certain that to the 5 original B10 schools in that hypothetical division, OSU (and Michigan) are in the top 2. Both would be far above PSU in desirability, and both are likely above ND as well to all of those 5 other than Northwestern.

          • Brian says:


            1. NE has more history with PSU and MI, and ND is a bigger national name.
            2. WI is closer to ND and cares more about MI. They may or may not value OSU over PSU. Considering all their complaining about distance now, I figured they might value playing ND more often and getting that extra Chicago exposure.
            3. MN is closer to ND, cares more about MI, and has a trophy with PSU.
            4. IA is closer to ND, has a rivalry with PSU and better history with MI.

            Most fans place a high value on playing ND. That may wear off if they were in the B10, but right now I think most fans would choose ND.

          • Richard says:


            Columbus is closer to Blacksburg than either Madison or Iowa City. I guess than means OSU would rather play VTech than either Wisconsin or Iowa.

            Oh, and OSU has a trophy game with Illinois but no trophy with PSU (or Michigan). By your logic, OSU cares more about playing Illinois than either PSU or Michigan.

            You don’t know the western B10 very well, Brian. Thinking that Wisconsin values OSU and PSU the same shows how ignorant you are. Ironically, you were wrong the other way as well. Northwestern, due to their long history with the Irish, likely are the only western school of the original 5 B10 schools in there who value playing ND as much or more than playing either Michigan or OSU.

          • Brian says:


            Now you are just making stuff up. I didn’t even say some of the things you are claiming I said.

            1. Yes, many OSU fans would rather play VT than WI or IA.

            2. Do you really want to compare MN/OSU to OSU/MI?

            3. Many older OSU fans do care at least as much about IL as PSU. The only passion for PSU is because it has been a battle for the conference title.

            4. I said WI might value them the same. I was intentionally trying to not speak for their preference. PSU gives them east coast access they might find valuable. It’s not like OSU or PSU has any real feelings about WI.

            5. All I said about NW was that OSU wouldn’t be their first choice, and you explicitly agreed with me. How, exactly, does that correlate to me being wrong about NW?

            6. I like how you completely skipped the part where said I was guessing. There was no attempt to make an authoritative statement, because I don’t like to speak for other fan bases (as if everyone in a fan base agrees anyway).

            7. None of the western schools would make OSU their first choice based on my talking with their fans at OSU home games (maybe the traveling fans are not representative of the general opinion, but I go with the evidence I have). Most would choose MI first, and almost every school seems to get giddy when they schedule ND. If OSU wasn’t a top dog, several of the schools would lose a lot of interest in the game. That means they want to play the rank, not the school. IA fans talk a lot about their rivalry with PSU. NE has history with PSU. MN at least has a trophy with PSU, not that either side seems to care much about it (that’s still more than you can say for MN/OSU). WI doesn’t seem to have strong feelings for either OSU or PSU.

            8. Parts of the guesses were based on the feelings from OSU. Other than revenge for last year against WI, none of WI, IA, MN and NW raise any real passion for OSU fans. A lot of OSU fans are excited to play NE, but that’s mostly the new toy effect (the same reason I suggested ND would be high on many lists). Illibuck carries some meaning for the older crowd, but mostly IL is just one of those pain in the butt type of games.

          • Richard says:

            Illinois (younger Illini fans, anyway) actually care more about playing Michigan than OSU. However, I hate it when you say unsubstantiated stuff like “Wisconsin cares more about Michigan” or “Iowa has more history with Michigan”. I mean, WTF? Where are you pulling that from? Also, why would Wisconsin care about East Coast access? Unlike Northwestern and Michigan, they have substantially more alums in the Midwest than they do the East Coast.

          • Brian says:


            “Illinois (younger Illini fans, anyway) actually care more about playing Michigan than OSU.”

            That is the impression I get.

            “However, I hate it when you say unsubstantiated stuff like “Wisconsin cares more about Michigan” or “Iowa has more history with Michigan”. I mean, WTF? Where are you pulling that from?”

            First, I prefaced it all by saying I was guessing. By definition, guesses are unsubstantiated.

            Second, I said that about WI because that is what WI fans have told me in person. It may or may not be representative of the greater fan base, but it’s what I have to work with.

            Third, I didn’t say that about IA. If you are going to use quotes, you should actually present what was said.

            WI might want more exposure to the federal government, or they might want more eastern students, or they might want to recruit there, or they might want to connect with the alumni they do have there, or they might just like the ocean. It’s not like there are huge advantages to more OH exposure.

          • Richard says:

            Brian, you said “IA is closer to ND, has a rivalry with PSU and better history with MI.”

            How is that substantially different from “Iowa has more history with Michigan”?

            As for what’s in OH, didn’t we cover this a few days ago? R-E-C-R-U-I-T-S

          • Brian says:


            Look up the words “more” (deals with quantity) and “better” (deals with quality) in a dictionary if you don’t know the difference. They aren’t synonyms. On top of that, you used quotes. You don’t get to (incorrectly) paraphrase me and attribute it as a quote.

            Let’s just look recently (the 00s) for an example:
            IA/MI – IA went 4-4 (2001-2006, 2009-2010)
            IA/OSU – IA went 1-7

            Historically, IA hasn’t beaten OSU twice in a decade since the 60s. They beat MI 4 times in the 00s, and twice in a row (and 3 total) in the 80s. IA is 5-34-1 against OSU in the last 50 years (0.138) while they’re 9-25-2 against MI (0.278). IA’s only #1 versus #2 game was against #2 MI in 1985 (IA 12 – MI 10). Two weeks later they came to Columbus and lost to #9 OSU 22-13. That was the last time IA was #1, and the previous time was in 1961. IA has better history against MI. Not good, but better.

            WI recruits OH some, but they don’t usually beat OSU for the top people due to distance. The past 10 recruiting classes totaled 23 from OH. East of OH, they got 28 (PA 10, NJ 6, NY 5, CT 4, MD 2, NC 1), plus 7 from MI. It seems like eastern recruiting is more important to them than OH recruiting. They also got 23 from FL, as well as 20 from IL, 17 from TX and 14 from MN. OH isn’t all that important to WI recruiting.

        • jj says:

          I’d do it. I know it’s not ideal, but I’d still do it. You get the Americana aspect to the B10. Navy could be a football only member. Hell, if the US keeps up the wars or starts a few more, army & navy could have a revival.

    • Brian says:


      “The next move by the B10 (and the other major conferences will be to 14 or 16 teams). That means the B10 will almost certainly go to at least nine conference games, making it much more difficult for ND to retain its other rivalries.”

      The B10 is already going to 9 games in 2017.

      “Also, as for ND does not care about money, that is silly.”

      It really isn’t. They have a $6.8B endowment. They can afford whatever they want in sports, and TV money is just a bonus.

      “As you point out, they are steadily falling down the revenue list and are now behind not only most of the elite football programs but even more and more of the middling ones.”

      That’s pure bull. First, many people estimate that NBC pays ND $15M per year, but the people who were in the negotiations say that the reported number is much too low. Second, ND had $64.2M in FB revenue in 2009-2010. Only UT is really significantly ahead of that with $93.9M, and everyone else is below $72M. ND FB is $30M ahead of middling programs right now, so I think they can muddle through. If ND wants to spend an extra $10M on FB, that’s less than 0.15% of their endowment. I think they could afford it.

      “If I were ND, I would try to find a way in the next round of expansion to join the B10 as the 13th member.”

      “So, they should join the B10 and try to get the B10 to let them pick the 14th team and guarantee that the conference will not go above 9 conference games.”

      If I were ND, I ‘d stay independent as long as there is still a path to the NC available. If and only if that becomes impossible would I join the B10. And while ND would certainly get input, they can’t join as #13 and then pick #14 themselves. That would have to be part of a package deal, and essentially make ND #14. Depending on the school(s) ND would prefer, the B10 may or may not move forward.

      • metatron5369 says:

        Rumor has it that they agreed to join the Big Ten last year, on the condition the conference doesn’t expand past twelve members.

        But, by that point, Nebraska had become available and Delany bet on Notre Dame still being there when the next round of musical chairs starts.

        • jcfreder says:

          I’ve never heard this rumor before. That just seems awfully hard to believe/not a serious offer by ND. I think the B10 would have taken ND over Nebraska.

          • metatron5369 says:

            My understanding was that the offer/conditions were at the very last minute. By then, Nebraska was already a done deal, which was why Notre Dame insisted on being the 12th and final member.

            They’re not as committed to independence as people believe. Their fans might be, but the institution has narrowly turned down joining the Big Ten each time they put up the idea.

        • Brian says:

          First, rumors have had almost every school going almost everywhere. Second, if this rumor had any truth someone in the media world would have reported it and it would have become a huge topic of discussion. Provide a serious link to this “rumor” (i.e. not a message board or random blogger speculating), or a rumor is all that it is.

    • Richard says:

      Actually, UNC makes about the same in football as bball ($22M vs. $20M) while Duke makes significantly more in bball than football ($16M vs. $26M). Check some Forbes articles for the data.

  39. matt says:

    Louisville is a terrible idea for the B12 and will never happen. Do you realize that North Carolina (and probably Duke, not sure on that one though) makes significantly more money on football than basketball? Whatever Louisville makes on basketball for itself (because of ticket sales in the new YUM Center) is irrelevant to the B12. The B12 cares about what Louisville football games bring in terms of eyeballs (currently TV ratings, moving more toward web hits). The answer is nothing and that is why they will never be invited.

    I agree, that the B12′s issue right now is more quality than new geography, so VaTech, BYU, Houston and TCU all make sense. As for ND, they made a huge mistake not joining the B10 last time around. Despite ND’s protestations that being independent is an identity thing, they are already in a conference (Big East). Only football is independent. Also, ND’s primary concerns are money and flexibility to schedule historical rivalries in the Midwest and on the two coasts.

    If ND had joined the B10 when the B10 went to twelve teams, it could have insisted that the B10 lock itself into 8 conference games. That would have left ND four games for USC, Stanford, Navy and one more that rotates. Also, the value ND would have brought to the B10 would have been split 12 ways, which is the best that ND is ever going to get at this point when it joins a conference.

    The next move by the B10 (and the other major conferences will be to 14 or 16 teams). That means the B10 will almost certainly go to at least nine conference games, making it much more difficult for ND to retain its other rivalries. The value ND will bring to the conference also will now be split 14 or 16 ways. The B10 would have stopped at 12 teams had ND joined in 2010. That’s not a possibility any more unless ND wants to join whatever is left of the Big East when the next round of expansion is over.

    Also, as for ND does not care about money, that is silly. ND is no more immune to the laws of economics than I am. They have to pay coaches, build facilities and do all the other things required to lure elite athletes and maintain the ND brand.As you point out, they are steadily falling down the revenue list and are now behind not only most of the elite football programs but even more and more of the middling ones. At some point, the gap becomes too big.

    If I were ND, I would try to find a way in the next round of expansion to join the B10 as the 13th member. The could go to the SEC, but the cultural fit would be awful and would damage their brand far more than joining a conference ever would. They could go to the P12, but the travel costs would be high for their other sports and they would have to give up some of their Midwest rivalries. Similar with the ACC or Big East, but those conferences aren’t on a par with the B10/SEC/P12 in terms of money or prestige. So, they should join the B10 and try to get the B10 to let them pick the 14th team and guarantee that the conference will not go above 9 conference games. If they pick Boston College, then four of there historical rivals will be in the conference. They can keep USC on an annual basis and alternate Stanford and Navy, with one more game to be a home game against a baby seal each year. That is the best outcome ND will ever get at this point.

    • cutter says:

      The Big Ten Conference has already decided to play nine conference games starting in 2017. Further expansion may change that plan, but that’s what the B1G is going to be basing its future non-conference schedules on. See

      As far as revenue is concerned with Notre Dame, I agree with Frank on this one–ND’s cultural identity is based in part on football independence and it’s not something the Irish are going to give up on because of monetary concerns. Their deal with NBC that pays up to $15M per year for their home football games ends in about four or five years’ time. Right now, the “conference distributions” Notre Dame gets from television, the NCAA tournament and its bowl game appearances is perhaps a bit less than programs in the Big Ten, Pac 12 and SEC.

      It will be interesting to see what sort of deals the Big Ten and ND get in the coming years, but if NBC and the NBC Sports Network aren’t satisfactory to the Irish, then Notre Dame will go somewhere else.

      Even if Notre Dame was make less money than other programs, there’s only so much you can do within the football program with the revenue you have. ND already has the stadium, facilities, etc. in place, so what they’re spending on now is salaries, upkeep, recruiting, etc. They really don’t need a big cash injection to run the football program right now.

      The only thing that will move Notre Dame into a conference is the type of structural change that Frank’s discussing in this post. The Big Ten approached ND in 1999 and got shot down. There were rumors in 2003 about ND joining the B1G when the ACC grabbed Miami-FL, Boston College and Virginia Tech from the Big East. I’m sure ND was approached again during this most recent conference expansion exercise. As long as there’s a place for Notre Dame to park its non-football teams and the football team has some sort of access to bowls and the national championship, they aren’t going to chase the money.

      • matt says:

        Without going into everything you wrote, I just want to correct one thing. ND is not taking in just “a bit less” than all of the programs in the SEC, B10 and P12 (not to mention a couple of the programs in the B12) from “conference” distributions. Last year, the B10 distributed about $24 million and that number was about 10% higher than the previous year due to the rise in payout from BTN. As you indicated, ND takes in about $15 million. All of the SEC schools are in the $20+ million range and the new P12 looks like it is going to eclipse the SEC deal. When the B10 renegotiates its ESPN/ABC and CBS deals in 2015, the number is likely to jump again significantly based on what the SEC, B12 and SEC just negotiated and the addition of Nebraska to the conference. Without exaggeration, I believe all of the B10 teams will be bringing in over $40 million per year in “conference” distributions by 2016.

        • FLP_NDRox says:

          1. ND is notoriously cheap about salaries. I think Willingham was the first coach there paid at near the going rate for a top flight program.

          2. Almost all the facilities are either brand new or recently renovated.

          3. ND Football already contribues financially to the University as a whole. A uni with a BILlion dollar endowment.

          Money again not a huge concern for ND at present.

        • Brian says:


          You are comparing apples and oranges. The B10 distribution includes FB TV money, BB TV money, bowl money and NCAA tournament money . You are comparing that to a low estimate of what ND gets (everyone that was in the room says the reported number is much too low) just for FB TV money. At a minimum, they also get $1.3M for not going to the BCS ($4.5M if they do go) plus BE MBB TV money (about $1.5M or so, I think) plus BE NCAA tourney money (another $1.5M or so). That’s roughly $5M per year you ignored, plus however much you are undervaluing their NBC deal. On top of that, ND has a $6.8B endowment and spending an extra $10M on sports would be less than 0.15% of that, so I think they could manage it.

    • Brian says:


      “Louisville is a terrible idea for the B12 and will never happen.”

      That I agree with.

      “Do you realize that North Carolina (and probably Duke, not sure on that one though) makes significantly more money on football than basketball?”

      2009-2010 revenues from the DOE:

      FB $22.1M
      MBB $20.6M

      FB $16.1M
      MBB $26.7M

      FB $15.5M
      MBB $25.9M

      “Despite ND’s protestations that being independent is an identity thing, they are already in a conference (Big East). Only football is independent. Also, ND’s primary concerns are money and flexibility to schedule historical rivalries in the Midwest and on the two coasts.”

      Being independent in FB is part of ND’s identity. Accept it. As for money, it is far from a primary concern for them. They have plenty of money. ND cares about being unique, national, having lots of exposure and a shot at a NC. Until one of those goes away, ND won’t join a conference.

      The B10 wouldn’t let one school dictate the number of conference games.

      • duffman says:


        Your UL numbers reinforce my long term thinking for future “brands” in basketball

        • Brian says:

          UL’s problem is it’s really hard to become a king in the BE, especially when you don’t really seem like a BE school. I think they had higher stature under Crum than they do now, and it’ll take a NC to change that.

          Duke’s numbers should make you rethink your position on them. Those are the top 3 MBB earners, and as you can see UNC is way behind Duke (Duke makes 30% more revenue).

  40. FLP_NDRox says:


    Ferris State has accepted their WCHA invite. WMU and BGSU expected to wait for ND’s decision.

    Also, add

    • OT says:

      Most likely scenario:

      1. Notre Dame goes independent in Men’s Ice Hockey and cuts its own TV deal with NBC Sports Network so that Notre Dame can play a “national” schedule.

      2. Bowling Green and Western Michigan go to the NCHC.

      Doesn’t look like Notre Dame wants to join Hockey East at this point. Notre Dame can still schedule the likes of Boston U, Boston College, and Providence without having to play at small schools such as UMass-Lowell, Merrimack, and Vermont.

      • GCS says:

        As a long time college hockey follower, I’m having trouble coming to grips with this situation. Up to about 5 years ago, Notre Dame hockey was an embarrassment to that institution, piling up losses in front of sparse crowds in an abomination of a rink. Now they’re talking about playing a national schedule and getting their own TV deal. How times change…

        • OT says:

          Assuming that Bowling Green and Western Michigan will NOT go to the WCHA, the new WCHA will consists of Division II schools only, all of which have chosen to “play up” in Division I because the NCAA no longer offers ice hockey at the Division II level.

          The losers: Robert Morris, Niagara, Canisius, and Mercyhurst. They didn’t move fast enough to prop up the CCHA so they are all stuck in Atlantic Hockey with its limit of 12 scholarships.

          The CCHA is dead.

        • OT says:

          Notre Dame is opening a new ice rink in October: 5000 seats with chair backs.

          As an independent, Notre Dame can cherry-pick which schools to schedule and where in order to maximize its TV deal with NBC Sports Network.

          Can you say “neutral site” games in Chicago and New York, i.e. “the Irish Classic” at Wrigley Field and “the Irish Invitational” at Yankee Stadium?

          NBC Sports Network would love these events.

          • jj says:

            I doubt it. 5k is gonna be hard to fill for hockey. Most people don’t care about it. A msu / um game in a typical year in a hockey hotbed grabs 8 to 10 k.

          • metatron5369 says:

            That’s optimistic. College hockey is irrelevant outside of a tiny, dedicated fanbase. Besides, the “NBC Sports Network” has enough hockey to air as it is.

        • FLP_NDRox says:

          More like 15years ago when the team was cover your eyes bad. Dave Poulian really turned the ship around, and any LSSU fan can tell you Jackson is a genius.

          I don’t know anyone who thinks ND can make it as an independent in hockey. If Hockey East wasn’t an option, they’d be in the NCHC right now.

          • OT says:

            The small-market schools in the NCHC (i.e. Duluth, North Dakota, Colorado College) are too small for Notre Dame.

            The small-market schools in Hockey East (i.e. Merrimack, Mass-Lowell, Vermont) are too small for Notre Dame.

            A TV contract from NBC Sports Network (either separately or piggy-backing on the football contract) will allow Notre Dame men’s ice hockey to play a national schedule as an independent.

            Notre Dame can cherry-pick the likes of Michigan, Michigan State, Boston University, Boston College, Providence, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Denver, etc. without having to play on the road at the likes of Colorado College or Merrimack.)

          • Mike says:

            @OT – How much money do you think ND can get for a hockey TV contract? NCAA hockey is a niche sport and I’m not sure it inspires many TV execs to write checks.

          • metatron5369 says:

            @Mike – I imagine Texas Hold’Em tournaments get better ratings.

          • Richard says:

            OT, you should stick to non-hockey analysis. College hockey isn’t about markets. College hockey is about making enough money to make the sport at least revenue-neutral.

            The fact that you didn’t know that NDakota and the Colorado schools are powerhouses in college hockey and amongst the leaders in attendance tells us how much you know about the sport.

          • OT says:


            I know everything there is to know about Colorado College and North Dakota to tell you the following:

            Comcast (NBCUniversal) doesn’t give a flying f**** about them because of the size of their TV markets.

            Notre Dame, and only Notre Dame, can get a men’s ice hockey TV deal on NBC Sports Network on its own, without having to join a conference, because…

            …Notre Dame men’s ice hockey can piggyback on Notre Dame’s men’s football TV contract with NBC.

            “Notre Dame” is a brand that sells to the NBC Sports Network audience (70+ million homes).

            Colorado College? North Dakota? Those names have no meaning outside the college hockey world.

            Comcast will want Notre Dame to play “neutral site” games in Chicago and New York, not road games at Colorado Springs or Grand Forks or neutral site games at Fargo.

          • @OT – I previously didn’t take the thought of ND going independent in hockey seriously, but it may make sense here. There’s no equvialent of the Big East in hockey with an East Coast/Upper Midwest footprint. The closest thing to that is the Big Ten hockey league now that Penn State has added a program and we know that’s not happening without ND becoming a full member. The Hockey East is completely New England-based, while ND doesn’t have much in common with the schools in the new North Dakota-led league other than it’s a very strong hockey conference competitively. ND may very well be better off just scheduling an independent slate that mixes Big Ten, Hockey East, Ivy League, service academies and old CCHA schools. Now, access to the NCAA Tournament is going to be the main argument against going independent. This isn’t like football where ND’s brand name provides instant access to the BCS.

          • Brian says:


            Market size would be meaningless for college hockey on TV. The only possible way to make money on it would be to get the national college hockey audience for each game. Those fans care about UND and CC just as much if not more than ND. College hockey on TV will never attract many of casual viewers.

            The NHL barely brings NBC an audience, and you expect ND hockey to do it alone?

      • Brian says:

        Well, they could play in AL, AK, CO, the plains, the midwest and the northeast. That’s pretty national. If UAH can survive independence, so can ND. i wouldn’t suggest it, but they could do it.

        • Mike says:

          There are doubts about UAH’s ability survive as an independant for much longer. Its a shame really.

          • Brian says:

            There was never any point in going D-I as the only southern school, without a conference invite in advance. ND wouldn’t face the same struggles as UAH.

          • jcfreder says:

            I’d be shocked if Notre Dame went independent in hockey; they might technically be able to survive, but keep in mind ND isn’t even independent in basketball, where there’s a lot more TV money than in hockey. And it’s not like you can schedule your way to TV dollars in college hockey. The B10 is a special case because they have airtime to fill (and schools like Wisconsin or Minny have much bigger hockey fanbases than ND). Sure, an independent ND could schedule a heavyweight slate, but nobody is paying a ton of money to televise it.

            And with all due respect, saying that North Dakota is too “small market” for the Domers doesn’t really make sense if you are talking college hockey. At least people in North Dakota will actually watch televised college hockey—I’m not sure you can say that for Irish Nation. Also, the North Dakotans would probably snicker if you used a 5000-seat hockey facility as a selling point.

          • jcfreder says:

            There’s been alot of consternation on behalf of the small schools in college hockey against the B10 and NCHC for leaving them behind. Unfortunately, the small schools don’t look that much better by snubbing UAH.

          • OT says:

            Alabama-Huntsville’s only choice was Division I or no program once the NCAA discontinued ice hockey at the Division II level.

            Division II schools are no longer allowed to “play down” in Division III.

          • OT says:


            Before Notre Dame joined the Big East, its men’s basketball program had 2 national TV contracts:

            1. A 5-game deal for Saturday/Sunday home games on NBC
            2. A deal for weeknight home games on SportsChannel America


            Now that NBC Sports Network is looking at college hockey to fill TV time on Friday and Saturday nights, “Notre Dame” the brand is a natural fit.

            NBC Sports Network is probably looking for around 100000-150000 viewers per college hockey telecast. The expectations should be relatively modest.

            How many “brands” in college hockey can deliver that many TV viewers? You can probably count them with two hands:

            1. Michigan
            2. Michigan State
            3. Minnesota
            4. Wisconsin
            5. Boston University
            6. Boston College
            7. Notre Dame

            (Denver may be a borderline case.)

            Colorado College? North Dakota? Duluth? Omaha? Their home TV markets are too small and they have practically no following outside their respective TV markets.

            Any wonder why the NCHC wanted Boston U, Boston College, and Notre Dame to join? The NCHC, as it stands now, has ZERO national brands.

            Notre Dame hockey has 3 options:

            1. Go independent and sign a TV contract with NBC Sports Network on its own (My guess: 85% probability)

            2. Join the NCHC so that the NCHC can land a TV contract with NBC Sports Network (10% probability)

            3. Join Hockey East (and play road games at small market schools in New England such as Merrimack, Lowell, and Vermont) (5% probability)

            Notre Dame does NOT need a conference in ice hockey. If Notre Dame can win 2 games out of 3, Notre Dame will get an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

          • jcfreder says:

            I’m not sure I see the angle here. NBC Sports Network is going to need inventory — if you think people tune out ND football near the end of “down” years, wait until you put ND hockey on TV every weekend for 10 or 15 weekends. The novelty factor will wear off very quickly. Plus, the only way ND has a chance of qualifying for the NCAAs is if they play some small schools along with the bigger names. Now, I see what you’re saying about getting those games at home, but you’re starting to stretch it if you’re saying that people are going to tune in to Merrimack at ND. Ideally, the week that ND plays Merrimack, you’re going to want to put Wisconsin-Minnesota on TV. The last news I saw was that NBC Sports Network was going to try and air a variety of college hockey games from a bunch of conferences. If this is the case, why sign Notre Dame to a separate deal. Seriously, how many ND hockey games can NBCSN televise in a given year?

            And the neutral-site thing is a red herring. ND can play an outdoor game MAX once a year without it getting totally overplayed, and that’s being generous. I have serious reservations about ND being able to sell out a bunch of neutral indoor games also.

          • Brian says:


            “Alabama-Huntsville’s only choice was Division I or no program once the NCAA discontinued ice hockey at the Division II level.

            Division II schools are no longer allowed to “play down” in Division III.”

            Not true. D-II schools can play down at D-III, they are just ineligible for the NCAA postseason. See the Northeast Ten for the only example I’m aware of.

            UAH’s real problem is that nobody else in the south plays varsity hockey. They could become a club in ACHA’s D-II or D-III and have a lot of southern teams to play (not many in ACHA D-I).

      • OT says:

        Bowling Green is now leaning toward the WCHA (perhaps because the NCHC doesn’t want Bowling Green.)

        Western Michigan appears to have seen the writing on the wall (i.e. Notre Dame going independent) and have to choose between the WCHA and the NCHC on its own.

    • Sportsman says:


      Any chance of an NCAA Hockey Realignment post? I enjoy (college) hockey and would like an idea as to what the new conferences look like. If anyone has a site(s) that they could recommend, I’d greatly appreciate it.

      Thank you, in advance.

  41. Bamatab says:

    Frank, I just don’t understand why you keep insisting that CBS and ESPN won’t revisit the current SEC tv contracts. The CBS Sports chairman seems to be pretty sure that once the SEC expands, they will sit back down with the SEC and renegotiate the contracts:

    And if you don’t think that ESPN will do the same, then I just don’t understand that line of thinking. Once the SEC expands to 14 (or 16 if they do it within the next 5 years), they will not be stuck with their current tv contract until 2025. Now we may not get the $30+ mil that was rumored going around, but there will be a per school increase. The SEC is just way too important to not only both networks, but to college football fans for that to be the case. Obviously one of us will be eatting crow on this subject, but I just can’t see the SEC’s tv contract being 3rd or 4th in comparasion to the other conferences.

    And this notion that the SEC won’t be able to raid the ACC is ludicrous too. Now will VT come, maybe/maybe not. But if the SEC wanted FSU or Clemson or even GT, they would jump at the chance to come over.

    It has been somewhat entertaining reading and being a part of this blog since the whole conference expansion craze started a year or so back. I found the B1G slant to the whole process facinating as well. The fact that so many assumed that the SEC would just sit idolly by and watch the B1G and Pac 12 make all of the moves was somewhat foolish in retrospect (although at first I fell into this catagory as well). But the SEC has now shown that not only is it not afraid to upset the apple cart (so to say), but that it is willing to do just that. If anyone thinks that Silve doesn’t already have his plan made and set in motion, then you have to be just blind.

    Now I guess I could be wrong in all of this, but something tells me I’m not. If I am, I’ll be the first to admit it though.

    • greg says:

      Bamatab, there have been recent media reports that support both SEC getting more money or the contracts remaining unchanged, so I’m not sure what to believe at this point. One thing that may be overlooked is the fact that a larger conference has larger inventory. The SEC contracts won’t change the amount of games that they are providing to CBS/ABC. The larger inventory may be all they need to drive revenue growth, maybe even via an SEC network.

    • bullet says:

      SEC has traditionally been 3rd or 4th. ACC, B1G and Pac have bigger markets. For a while even the BE had a bigger contract. The increase in the relative value of fb has changed the situation, but the markets are still a factor. And the B1G still has more brands. The ACC and Big 12 have as many brands even if they don’t have the “near brands.”

      And to paraphrase Frank, think like a TV executive. CBS still gets one game and that game won’t involve the new members that often. There’s more value, but how much more? Is there even 2/14ths? What value is there to ESPN? They pay as much for second tier rights for SEC schools as they do for primary, secondary and tertiary rights for the ACC. Why should they want to pay more and get less for something they have locked up for 15 years? For A&M they are trading primary rights for second tier rights and possibly lowering the profitability of their B12 contract. The SEC can offer more inventory, but does ESPN want more SEC inventory? And this inventory wouldn’t be the top games-CBS & ESPN already have those. They couldn’t handle all the Pac wanted to offer. ESPN has plenty of SEC games and is going to want to diversify its offerings and not go all in on a particular conference. Even the SEC has some down years in football.

      And finally, for all the talk of contract complexity for the Aggies, ESPN has to have its lawyers really working overtime. What is their risk if they pay more for a team in the SEC than for the same team in an existing contract? Their conflict of interest with the LHN is nothing compared to that conflict.

      The networks have a lot more power than the conferences, especially ESPN. And anyone who gets mad probably isn’t going to be around in 2025 when the contract is up for bid again. That ESPN will quake whenever the SEC calls is IMHO just a ridiculous idea. They want them happy, but not at the expense of their profitability. Remember, ESPN is the customer.

      • Bamatab says:

        Actually, to think that ESPN is the customer is false in my opinion. The customers are actually the viewers of the games. ESPN is the distributor of the product being sold, and the product is the conferences. ESPN and CBS want to provide the customers with the best product possible, and the SEC is about to increase the value of that product by adding increased tv markets in growing population areas, and by adding competitive football teams.

        Also, currently CBS only shows 1 game a week (with a 1 or 2 week exception where they show 2). That can increase based on new terms, and CBS might find that advantageous. CBS gets first choice, and ESPN gets second choice. CBS could decide to buy some of those 2nd tier rights from ESPN, and still leave ESPN with exciting second and third tier games to show if the SEC expands. The SEC could also agree to play more games throughout the week for ESPN. Most SEC teams currently do not like to do that (with the exception of Miss St, auburn, & USCe), but that could change with a bigger paycheck.

        • @Bamatab – Here’s the way to look at it: in TV, the advertisers are the customers and WE (the viewers) are the product that the networks are selling. The programs that can deliver the most and/or highest quality product to customers are the most valuable (and paid accordingly).

        • bullet says:

          I don’t see the SEC schools doing weeknights. Basically noone with really good home attendance wants to do that. And if they wanted, they could do that with 12.

          • jcfreder says:

            I’ll say it again: if Slive really locked the SEC into a substandard TV contract for 15 years out (with no chance for an increase even though the SEC knew TAM would likely be on the table), he’s not the mastermind alot of people think he is.

          • Brian says:


            Nobody thinks Slive has them totally locked in for 15 years. But the SEC may only get a bump from $18M now to $20M (that’s an extra $420M overall from CBS & ESPN), for example. That’s a big difference from the $30-40M per year per school that some folks have been suggesting.

          • Richard says:

            Plus, the SEC TV contract wasn’t substandard back when it was signed. Did any of us foresee the explosion in college football TV rights values back when the SEC made their deal? I certainly didn’t read anyone in the media saying that the SEC was stupid for signing such a long-term deal with expansion looming and TV right fees exploding back when ink was put to paper.

          • jcfreder says:

            Nobody said the SEC was locked in? Frank point blank said “Plus, with the amount that ESPN is paying the Pac-12 now and with the Big Ten contract going up for bid in a couple of years, it doesn’t make any sense that the network would give the SEC any ability to increase its rights fees prior to 2024.”

            As it turns out, that’s almost certainly incorrect. The SEC deserves a higher payout with TAMU and will probably get one. My point was that Slive would not put the SEC in a position to have to turn TAMU down because of being locked into a certain dollar amount (at a time when everyone knew that TAMU was very unstable in the B12 and that in any case, major expansion moves in the next 15 years were likely).

            Keep in mind that the more realignment chaos there is, the SEC is probably in a position to benefit from it. (Basically, if the wishbone is going to break, the SEC (and B10 and P12) is in a position to end up with a larger portion. A smaller conference such as the BE should be looking for the security of a long-term deal. The SEC should not want to be locked in, because renegotiations wil likely help them — case in point, they make a major positive move by adding TAMU.

            Anyway, the SEC isn’t dumb – they’ll see an increase in their rights by adding TAMU, as they should.

          • Brian says:


            “Nobody said the SEC was locked in?”

            Yes. Everybody knows that the SEC has room for some renegotiation, so they aren’t locked in. They can’t get out of the contract, so they are locked in in that sense. What Frank and others are arguing is that the SEC has no leverage to get a giant per team raise. If CBS and ESPN just keep the same per team payouts, that’s $540M dollars more for the SEC. Each $1M per team per year raise is another $210M. If the SEC goes from $18M to $25M, that would be an extra $1.5B. There are limits to how generous the networks will be since they have signed contracts. At the very least, they’ll provide a minimal bump while waiting 4 or so years to get actual data on the value added in the expansion. Then they can sit down with the SEC with actual data and negotiate a “fair” deal.

            There are also the legal issues for ABC/ESPN. They have to be very careful in how much they pay the B12 and SEC in this process or they risk a major lawsuit.

            What you and so many people get wrong is that you give the SEC all the power. The networks have the power because they have signed contracts, and even Slive admits they only have look ins. If they had full renegotiation clauses, he would have mentioned it by now. The SEC will get a bump, but I don’t think it’ll be the huge raise many expect. Both sides take a risk when they sign a deal. If the networks fold this time, every other conference will demand similar treatment from now on. That means only the networks are taking risk. Why would they be dumb enough to do that?

  42. Mike says: via Mr SEC:

    Top two targets for team #14 are Va Tech and Missouri.

    If its Mizzou they better give notice this year, because the buyout increases when the new FOX contract kicks in.

    • Richard says:

      Unless the core of the ACC (specifically, UVa) gives their blessing because they intend on heading to the B10, the SEC isn’t getting VTech. Even then, if the ACC breaks up, UVa & VTech both heading north is more likely.

      Taking Mizzou likely pushes the OK schools (and thus Texas) in to the Pac. Not sure the SEC wants that.

  43. metatron5369 says:

    If we could stop at Oklahoma and Notre Dame, I’d go for it in a heart beat.

    Unfortunately, it seems like the world has to end to land either.

    • Richard says:

      OU wants to come. The problem is that OK State is tied to them at least until Boone Pickens dies.

      • vp19 says:

        Just because Oklahoma wants to come (setting aside the Okie State problem) doesn’t necessarily mean that Big Ten presidents are interested. Ask the folks at Missouri.

        • @vp19 – OU’s academics are really on cusp of Big Ten acceptability, but the thing that’s unquestioned is that they’re bringing maximum value in the most important category: football power. Mizzou, like Richard said, is good in a lot of areas but not necessarily stellar in anything. I agree with the others that if OU could move without Oklahoma State, then the Big Ten should (or at least should push really hard to) add them. There are only so many football powers out there, so whether OU ends up in the Pac-12, SEC or Big Ten makes a massive difference. It’s likely moot, though, as T. Boone Pickens would likely kill an OU-only move instantly.

          IMHO, football value is even more critical in a superconference scenario (to the extent is already doesn’t mean everything). The whole reason why 16-school leagues would be formed in the first place is for football (beyond just TV markets), so just conceding schools like OU, VT, FSU and Miami to other conferences isn’t wise.

          • One Corn Ace says:

            Frank – I look at OU amd OU State like this. In the business world many times companies up for sale get offers and are turn them down. But those same companies tell the company up for sale if you do this and this then we are willing to meet an agreed price. I think the B1G told OU that very same thing. Remember the leak was OU, OU State, and two other schools. I think if it was just OU and OU State and if they had a plan and began to spend on academics then a offer could come. It could come without the CIC until they reached an agreed level. B1G wants ND but I really don’t think they will get them. I think the BE will land them.

  44. ChicagoRed says:

    TiqIQ releases top 25—-Nebraska #1, Michigan is #3, and four other B1G teams ranked.

    Their rankings are based on the average price of a team’s home games, also shows AP ranking.

    The complete list:

  45. zeek says:

    Bamatab, I think the problem that the SEC faces is the same that the Big Ten faces. It’s really tough to get to 14 or 16 teams and be sure that you’re getting the teams that you want due to timing issues.

    The SEC’s top targets are probably FSU, Va Tech, Missouri, WVU. As we’ve all discussed, it’s just hard to be sure that the school a conference wants is available. Texas A&M is available right now, but Va Tech and FSU may not be available. Timing is everything with expansion because conference instability tends to be the driving factor. Hard to see the SEC going after Clemson (or Georgia Tech) unless all 4 of those schools say no.

    After all, why do you think the Big Ten stayed at 11 all those years? Notre Dame said no several times, and Nebraska probably wasn’t ready (i.e. king status along with available due to conference instability) until this year.

    The SEC is going to find out the same thing if they can’t just grab FSU or Va Tech. You only have 3 more spots to get to 16, you can’t waste any of them…

    • zeek says:

      All of this is under the assumption that A&M is wrapped in a bow and on its way to the SEC already to be #13.

      • Bamatab says:

        You’re not seriously suggesting that aTm isn’t going to end up in the SEC, are you? The SEC wants aTm badly (despite what they said), and aTm wants in the SEC badly as well. I think aTm to the SEC is a foregone conclusion.

        • zeek says:

          My point is that even assuming that, you can’t make assumptions about #14 with respect to whether ACC teams are available.

          Conference stability is often the determinative factor. Look at just a couple of years ago when the Big East and ACC were in the midst of their battle. That was where the action was, schools in those conferences were probably available for the taking by the Big Ten or SEC back then.

          Right now though, only the Big 12 is in a period of instability. As I said before, the Big Ten stayed at 11 for the very reason that there wasn’t a good #12 around or willing to join until Nebraska came up last year.

          The SEC may find the same thing out about its #14 team. Va Tech and FSU are going to be tough to pry from a stable ACC if those are the teams that Slive has his eye on…

        • greg says:

          If TAMU to SEC was a foregone conclusion, it’d already be done.

          I think they are likely to move, but its not certain.

        • bullet says:

          I agree that A&M wants in and Slive wants A&M. That the TV$ work out sufficiently for the SEC Presidents is still a potential roadblock.

          • FranktheAg says:

            Really, some self-deluded types here. A&M to the SEC is done. It’s been done for a couple weeks to allow for the window dressing. It will be announced next Thursday.

        • M says:

          Count me in the skeptical crowd. The SEC has two options for expansion:

          1. Invite a 14th school of unknown appeal. If they have ruled out in-state schools, VT has genuinely turned them down, Oklahoma doesn’t want to join/must bring OKST, and the joint UNC/NCSU regents have decided neither will join, what options remain? Missouri? WVU? ECU? It’s not a compelling group.

          2. Stay at 13 semipermanently. This option looks more and more appealing, but it obviously has a wealth of scheduling and balance issues.

          To me, neither of those seems compelling enough to break the status quo.

          • zeek says:

            Agreed, this is the main point I was making.

            The Pac-12 was willing to settle to get its CCG. The Big Ten wasn’t and waited 20 years for Nebraska to join Penn State’s addition to 12. The SEC did something similar to the Pac-12.

            The problem is that now spots are limited. There’s only 4 seats at the table left. You know A&M has one of the SEC’s final four spots, but the problem is that you have to maximize the other 3. only FSU and Va Tech can really do that for the SEC.

            If you can’t get FSU and Va Tech, do you really want to charge to 14? Slive and the SEC presidents will have to determine that.

          • Bamatab says:

            I don’t think that VT has genuinely turned the SEC down yet (they may end up doing it, but I doubt that they have behind closed doors), OK has been totally quite on what they plan on doing, and I very seriously doubt that the UNC/NCST regents have decided what those schools will be allowed to do. In the end, I’m guessing if WVU is the last option, then the SEC would go back to UF/UGA/USCe and try and talk them back out of blocking the in state schools (actually 3 schools can’t block, they’d need one more school to vote their way).

          • Richard says:


            Considering that VTech has already stated reasons for why they think the ACC is a better fit for them than the SEC, I’m not sure why you think the Hokies would want to join the SEC. Again, the only scenario I can see where the Hokies end up in the SEC is where the core of the ACC wants to join the B10 and is OK with letting VTech go. Even then, I think VTech and UVa are tied given what it took to get VTech in to the ACC last time. UNC + NCSU to the SEC & UVa + Vtech to the B10 is more likely (IMHO now).

          • vp19 says:

            Again, the only scenario I can see where the Hokies end up in the SEC is where the core of the ACC wants to join the B10 and is OK with letting VTech go. Even then, I think VTech and UVa are tied given what it took to get VTech in to the ACC last time. UNC + NCSU to the SEC & UVa + Vtech to the B10 is more likely (IMHO now).

            The 2003 Tech-ACC imbroglio was less about Tech entering the ACC, though it was something officials there had sought since the conference’s inception in 1953. (Tech and West Virginia were not invited because both had sided with the rest of the Southern Conference over its no-bowl policy in 1951, something Maryland and Clemson broke and which led to them and several other SC members leaving to start the ACC). The main reason was fear that the ACC’s raid would doom the Big East as a football conference and leave Tech with no BCS conference. (When the SEC expanded some 20 years ago, Tech really wasn’t a force in college football, and thus wasn’t then a candidate.) Tech and UVa have never really been perceived as tied at the hip; they would still play each other in all sports were they in different conferences.

            And for cultural reasons, not to mention its ties to Duke, I can’t see UNC heading to the SEC. I think state officials would be comfortable with NCSU in the SEC if Chapel Hill lands a comparable home (read Big Ten).

          • Bamatab says:


            You can’t rely on what these universities or conferences say in public. Heck not even a couple of weeks ago, the SEC presidents said that they were happy at 12 and weren’t looking at adding aTm. Yet now aTm has taken their first step in leaving the Big 12 and joining the SEC. Just because VT makes a public statement saying how much they like it in the ACC, doesn’t mean that behind the scenes that is the case. The VT to SEC rumblings are starting to grow. Even the local media in Virginia is starting to hear rumblings that VT may be willing to consider listening to the SEC:

            Now I’m not saying that I think that VT is a lock to join the SEC, I’m just saying you can’t rely on what the university reps say publically at this point. Keep in mind that expansion is about two main things, football and money. VT is a football school in a basketball conference. The SEC is a stronger football conference and currently pays more per school than the ACC. Any other factors are just red herrings when it comes to expansion.

    • Bamatab says:

      I understand that, and that is why it wouldn’t suprise me if the SEC stayed at 13 for the 2012 season before adding the 14th team. That way we can be sure to cover all of the bases and determine which teams are actually a good fit and are willing to leave their conferences. I think the ACC is current in a precarious situation right now. I think most of the members realize that if given the chance, that Clemson and FSU would jump. The problem there is that UF, USCe, & UGA do not want schools from their states to join. I also have to think that some of the ACC schools are somewhat worried about the future of the Miami program. It is one thing for a Bama, USC, or OSU to get hit with sanctions, but Miami probably does not have the same kind of support (both monetary and fanbase) to be able to recover from truely major sanctions. I know that if I was an ACC, I’d be looking at all of my options.

      I truely think that WV & Mizzou are the fall back plans. I think VT and NCST (I think they aould prefer UNC, but even I don’t see that happening) are the top targets. We’ll see how it plays out, but I would be very surpised if the SEC has to rely on it’s fall back plans.

      • zeek says:

        I actually agree on the point re: Miami. If there was ever a situation that could create conference instability in the ACC, it’d be Miami facing a decade of mediocrity because that would mean the other king in FSU is the only thing carrying the football brand of the conference other than Va Tech.

        And yeah I agree on WVU and Missouri, I don’t see either ending up in the SEC. I think the SEC may be willing to wait as long as 2-3 years for Va Tech or NC State if it thinks it can get them instead. Those two schools offer a solid entry into the Mid-Atlantic region, especially Va Tech with how well developed their brand has become over the past 2 decades.

        • Vincent says:

          If I’m Slive, I try to persuade Delany that Notre Dame is unattainable, Texas makes too many demands and Oklahoma doesn’t cut it academically for Big Ten presidents, so for him to get a “home run,” it’s best for the Big Ten’s academic/athletic/research interests and needs (which are different from the SEC’s) to take in the ACC “core four” of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Duke; Notre Dame can always come in eventually as a #17, bringing the partner of its choosing as #18. This allows the SEC to get both Tech and State for the Virginia and North Carolina markets, probably adding Missouri as its #16. (Slive would probably prefer Florida State, but plan B would be to isolate FSU, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Miami — to the benefit of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina — by relegating them to some sort of ACC-Big East football hybrid).

          • zeek says:

            That’s probably the only approach I would support that doesn’t include another football national brand (on the way to 16).

            That’s the population/recruiting approach in terms of enabling the Big Ten to dominate one of the major growth regions (California, Texas, Florida, Mid-Atlantic). If the Big Ten were to assimilate the Mid-Atlantic region and overtime enable Nebraska/Michigan/Ohio State/Penn State to funnel out a ton of recruits (as the former Big 8 schools have done in Texas), I really think that would solve all of the population growth/recruiting issues the Big Ten schools will have as Ohio/Midwest football recruiting wanes relatively due to demographics changes.

          • Richard says:

            Why stop at 16? 20 could actually let the original Big10 schools play each other more frequently than 16, and it could put the BTN in several big population high growth areas (mid-Atlantic, GA, & FL).

        • bullet says:

          I think your timing issue is relevant. This Miami thing could take a long time to resolve-too long to impact this. And Miami may do enough that the NCAA doesn’t devastate them. I don’t think the SEC waits very long. 13 is a real mess.

          • zeek says:

            Then the question is whether the SEC is willing to settle. Because that’s what taking A&M as #13 without having Va Tech or FSU locked up at #14 is likely to mean.

          • Bamatab says:

            The Miami thing won’t take longer than a year or 2 years max to resolve. The SEC can stay at 13 teams for that long (heck the MAC does it on a normal, everyday basis). Plus the longer that it takes for the Miami punishments to be handed out, the more antsy that the other conference members will get.

            What has become evident since the ACC expanded is that the interest in their football games from a national perspective isn’t what a lot of people thought it would be. Heck, they can’t even sellout their conference championship games. If it appears that the SEC is looking to get even stronger, while the ACC may get weaker, then that might be enough insentive for a VT or NCST to jump over.

          • bullet says:

            The MAC has been desperately trying to get a #14. And they don’t have the 7 or 8 home games that SEC teams desire. Its a lot bigger mess for the SEC. Will 4 teams want to play 9 conference games? Or will 4 settle for 7? Will they only count division games in something that could mean a shot at a BCS bowl instead of a shot at the Motor City Bowl?

            I can see 2 years, but beyond that the ADs will start throwing things at Slive.

      • Richard says:

        Bama: I’m sure Clemson would jump. I’m not sure FSU would jump to the SEC considering that they chose the ACC over the SEC last time and significant members at FSU have said they want no part of the SEC. I think the B10 has a good chance at FSU, Miami, and GTech as a group.

    • Richard says:


      Actually, Nebraska publicly said they wanted to go to the Big10 way back when PSU joined. However, until the BTN came along, there was no extra impetus to expand to add a school that was below the B10 average academically.

  46. Tom Smith says:

    If, if, if ND ever joined B1G as 13th school, I’m sure they would have major influence who #14 would be. I wonder what school they would want? Any good ideas?

    • zeek says:

      Pitt probably would be the most acceptable to both sides. BC might be a take it or leave it kind of offer that ND would make if it wanted another smaller private school in the mix. Rutgers might be a good choice if Delany had his eye on NYC, except that we all know Rutgers can’t really deliver that…

      Missouri probably offers the strongest football choice that would be available.

      Maryland might be a compromise to reach into the Mid-Atlantic (if they were available).

      • zeek says:

        My guess would be ND-Missouri if the Maryland/Va/Va Tech schools are unavailable…

        • Richard says:

          Mizzou doesn’t actually do anything at all for ND, though. If limited to 1, they’d want one of BC or GTech, though I think you’d need a Big20 to get ND in.

      • bullet says:

        I think ND and Rutgers would be a great combo. RU is entry in NY and ND,PSU,UM help deliver.

      • zeek says:

        But yea, to be more direct in answering your question, I think the only schools that ND would probably try to make a push for are Pitt or BC.

        • footballnut says:

          The mizzou chancellor, Brady Deaton, is curently head of the big 12 presidents and has said repeatedly that Missouri is only interested in strengthening the Big 12. No one really liked the 12 team league set up and none of the coaches liked to play in the conference championship game for football. But since SEC wants to get bigger, Big 12 may have to keep up with the Jones’ next door and add 3. I don’t buy Frank’s argument that ND’s not interested in money or joining a conference. You play mediocre ball for 5 more years and see if NBC is still interested in being the ND network? ALl their gomes would end up on Versus. NBC has new owners now. Not sure that’s a forever done deal. With huge conferences getting bigger which allows for powder puff scheduling (see Illini schedule this year) for the first 3 games of the season, scheduling quality teams for ND will get tougher. Who wants to play ND when they can open up with Eastern Illinois? I give it a 50-50 shot that ND could join. The other two? Would like to see Arizona and Arizona State defect to the Big 12. They both have long histories playing Texas teams before they joined the PAC 10. BYU? Nah. ND wanna bees.

          • mushroomgod says:

            They’ve already played mediocre ball for 15 years…………….what’s 5 more?

            It seems to me ND might join for more “political” reasons. The SEC has already won 5 NCs in a row. Adding A@M and MO/WVU (the other schools aren’t coming, for various reasons) only makes them stronger in terms of recruiting, on field success, and political power. I see this long-term as refighting the Cival War……..and ND might be stronger if it joins forces with OSU, UM, PSU, NEB….

          • Stopping By says:

            AZ schcools to the UTen? Is that something you would just like for personal reasons or is it something you think could actually happen? I have to think its the 1st because there is zero incentive for the AZ schools to leave the Pac. They just signed a monster deal with more revenue (projected) in the future with the Pac Network system. No reason to move from a hunter conference to the prey.

    • cutter says:

      The Big East school that Notre Dame plays most often in football is Pittsburgh. I have to imagine Penn State would support that (even if Paterno wasn’t happy about it) and Pitt certainly fits into the mold of schools that would “fit” in the Big Ten both academically and athletically.

      The main reason why they aren’t in the Big Ten now is location and the school’s value to the Big Ten Network in terms of market. etc. They aren’t a big enough national name in terms of football to be a compelling matchup on a weekly basis (perhaps outside of an annual Pitt-PSU game) and the school is physically placed between Ohio State and Penn State.

      Since Notre Dame has so many cultural and religious connections with the metropolitan areas in the northeast corridor from New England to DC, I imagine their other choices would be the programs located there. Syracuse and Maryland are the first two that come to mind. I know ND wanted to play Rutgers, but RU rebuffed them when ND said it didn’t want to play in the Scarlet Knights’ home stadium. I think the same thing happened with Connecticut–I don’t know if that would color ND’s options or not.

      The only other school I could see Notre Dame supporting–realistically or not–is Navy. USNA is a long-standing game and having them in the conference would allow ND to schedule two of their three non-conference games (with the third tied in to USC). withou having to drop Navy. I don’t know if the Big Ten would have an appetite for this, but I could perhaps see Notre Dame propositing it.

      If Notre Dame was really interested in helping its new confernce, then I could see it using whatever influence it does have with getting Texas into the conference. I’m not convinced it’s much more beyond schedule four games with UT in the future, but Texas remains a major candidate. I don’t think UT going to the B1G is likely in any case due to fit, conference culture, etc., but I wouldn’t put it completely outside the realsm of possibility.

      • SideshowBob says:

        Why would Paterno not want Pitt? He’s actively lobbied for them to be a Big Ten member.

        • Brian says:

          I assume cutter is referring to JoePa’s reluctance to play Pitt since joining the B10. He has wanted another eastern team in the B10 and has advocated Pitt as one possibility for that slot. He isn’t anti-Pitt so much as he is against playing Pitt OOC regularly.

          From the PG article in 2002:

          “Our problem is we have to play eight games in the Big Ten,” Paterno said. “If the Big Ten added a 12th team, and we only had to play six or seven [conference] games, that would be a great opportunity for us to get back to playing Pitt. In fact, I’d love to see the Big Ten try and get Pitt to be that 12th team.

          “We have Alabama home and home, we have Nebraska home and home. We have to have that sixth home game for revenue because of the 29 sports we [fund] at Penn State. And we have alumni all over the world who want us to play in California, the Southeast, Southwest, New England. It’s kind of tough for me to predict that we could play Pitt home and home within the next seven or eight years.”

          Good luck getting only 6 or 7 conference games, Joe.

          • SideshowBob says:

            JoePa isn’t reluctant to play Pitt per se. He (or the PSU athletic department in general, whomever is making the scheduling decisions) doesn’t want to play anyone regularly OOC. The school has gone on record as preferring to play a variety of teams (especially using precious away game slots) over long term series.

            Pitt fans like to construe this as some deep felt hatred for Pitt on Paterno’s part, but there’s no evidence that such a thing exists. Treating Pitt like Syracuse and Rutgers and BC doesn’t mean that Paterno has some mythical grudge against the Panthers.

            Anyway, back to the topic, I would think Paterno and PSU would be thrilled to see Pitt invited to the Big Ten. Any invite that orients the conference more to the East would be great for the Nittany Lions, especially a school with which PSU has a long history.

          • Brian says:


            I think the difference is that Pitt isn’t Syracuse, Rutgers or BC. PSU/Pitt was a huge rivalry. PSU could have chosen to alternate between Pitt and an intersectional opponent to keep the rivalry alive. Instead, they’ll go 16 years between games (last played in 2000, next time is 2016).

          • SideshowBob says:


            Treating Pitt like those other teams is a perfectly reasonable stance for PSU to take. Pitt might not like it, but there is not reason why PSU should feel obligated to give Pitt some special treatment just because they’ve played a lot of football games. Syracuse has traditionally been a strong rival as well, for example.

            Anyhow, my point simple was — and is — that there is no evidence that Paterno carries any sort of grudge against Pitt. It’s just a myth propogated by some in the Pitt fan base and Pittsburgh media who don’t like Paterno and want to blame him for PSU not playing Pitt. But there’s no actual evidence to support that Paterno cares at all about Pitt and the recently signed football deal between PSU and Pitt is further evidence of it. PSU has just been against a long term balanced deal with Pitt, just as they’ve been against it with any team. But PSU has offered a two year series for years; it was Pitt who never wanted it before this past year.

            On the topic of expansion, I would expect Paterno and PSU to fully support Pitt as a member for the Big Ten. My poitn of contention was the silly statement that Paterno would be against it because of some non-existent grudge he doesn’t actually hold against Pitt. Especially given that Paterno has actually advocated for Pitt’s membership in the Big Ten.

          • Brian says:


            Treating Pitt like those other teams is a perfectly reasonable stance for PSU to take.

            Yes, and no. Pitt wasn’t like those other teams before, they were a cut above in terms of the rivalry. Pitt is also an in-state rival, which generally means more to the fans. It would be like OSU treating MI and PSU as the same if OSU was no longer in the B10. PSU may be a rivalry for OSU, but it ain’t MI. One could say it’s perfectly reasonable, but that doesn’t make it totally true.

            Anyhow, my point simple was — and is — that there is no evidence that Paterno carries any sort of grudge against Pitt.

            I agree there is no smoking gun. It is all interpretation of JoePa’s words and PSU’s actions as far as I know. I’m not in his head so I won’t claim to know his true feelings about Pitt. Nobody but the ADs really know what their discussions have been like in the past in regards to the series. I’ll just say it’s odd that they let the rivalry go unplayed for so long, but I’m not casting blame on one side or the other (both are to blame to some extent).

            As for the comment that irked you, I think that poster was conflating the issues of scheduling OOC games and expansion in his head. It is perfectly reasonable for PSU and Pitt to struggle with OOC scheduling but both want Pitt to join the B10 as that would solve the scheduling issue.

            Remember that to most people, JoePa is PSU and PSU is JoePa. What PSU does or doesn’t do, most people ascribe to JoePa.

  47. zeek says:

    Here are the Big Ten’s three options in the near term and medium term that I see as being likely:

    1) Stand pat at 12 (i.e. wait for Notre Dame). By far the most likely thing to happen until the Pac-12 makes another run at Texas to shake up the BCS and move us closer to a 4×16-like world (regardless of whether we make it all the way to 4×16) because that’s the time when Notre Dame may consider joining the Big Ten, which enables a Notre Dame + 1 (Maryland, Rutgers, or Missouri as the 14th…).

    2) Consider Oklahoma/Missouri or something involving Oklahoma in a move to 14. This is highly unlikely because of academics issues since the COP/C is unlikely to approve a non-AAU at this point unless it is named Notre Dame. I would guess that this is Delany’s favored route to 14 without Texas or Notre Dame since it would more than pay for itself.

    3) Go for the ACC-4 strategy if the Miami thing ends harming the ACC because it helps to free teams to go to the SEC (i.e. FSU and/or Va Tech). While this is unlikely because of the current stability of the ACC, we don’t know the long term situation. This approach would mitigate the population/recruiting issues that the Big Ten is more likely to face in the future as Ohio/Midwest fades as a football recruiting ground. The Big Ten’s kings along with Iowa/Wisconsin would probably be able to lock down the top recruits in those states that choose not to play for the Mid-Atlantic schools themselves. Obviously, the cultural issues for a group of tobacco road schools joining is an issue as well as the fact that they’d be in a separate pod which might bring up assimilation issues. But, this expansion would more than pay for itself for the long haul even if it doesn’t bring in any football brands. This is highly unlikely because it would be a cultural stretch and more of a land grab than anything else.

    I don’t see any other options because teams #13 and #14 have to at least pay for themselves without the benefit of an added CCG as Nebraska had going for it (but it obviously more than pays for itself as we’ll see in 2016, even excluding the CCG). While a Missouri/Rutgers or Maryland/Rutgers expansion would be feasible, I don’t think we’re looking for those kinds of teams yet. I do think Delany wants another national brand on the road to 14 or some kind of alternative like the ACC-4.

    • SH says:

      No. 1 is really the best strategy at this point, and certainly the most realistic. It took the B10 almost 20 years to get a 12th team, the thought that they would add two more seems very unlikely, unless there was a possibility of adding UT, ND, or A&M. Even if the P10 and SEC expanded to 14 or 16 teams, is there a reason for the B10 to follow? Let the P10 and SEC figure out if 14/16 team conferences work.

      • zeek says:

        Yeah, I made the point earlier, and the main reason why I put those scenarios as the only real possibilities (even though #1 is far more likely than #2 and #3 combined even), is that the Big Ten will not settle in expansion choices.

        It stayed at 11 teams for 2 decades. If that isn’t evidence enough that the Big Ten will wait a long time for the right set of teams to come along, I don’t know what is.

        I definitely think the next move is to 14 (not 13 because #13 will be the team that justifies a 2 team expansion, i.e. ND), but the Big Ten’s unwillingness to move to #12 without ND and eventually Nebraska over the past 20 years, definitely would seem to be a preview of the future.

        The BTN does change the terms of the game, but not as much as you’d think when you consider that the Nebraska expansion was still focused on the national scope of the conference.

  48. m (Ag) says:

    Some random thoughts:

    1) Is there anything in the NCAA rulebook that stops the Longhorns from setting up a new Big 12 this way?:
    Alpha Division: ND, UT, OU, BYU
    Beta Division: 8 other schools.

    Maybe ND would be fine with just 3 conference games a year.

    2) A wildcard for Pac 16 expansion if they believe UT won’t join: Hawaii. It would be totally out of place in the ‘Interior Division’, but:
    a) If the Pac 12 is serious about marketing in Asia, Hawaii has value
    b) Having conference schools play 4-5 games a year there means those schools can each add another football game, which means the Pac 16 network would have up to 5 extra football games a year.
    c) Hawaii would be happy to play in whatever division they said.

    Not really expecting it, but I wouldn’t be shocked by OU, OSU, Hawaii, and Missouri or Texas Tech.
    It would be worth it just to enjoy the Lubbock V. Honolulu rivalry

    3) I’m glad my school appears to be moving up in conference alignment.

    • zeek says:

      Rule Annual Exemptions. [FBS/FCS] The maximum number of football contests shall exclude the following:

      (c) Twelve-Member Conference Championship Game. [FBS/FCS] A conference championship game between division champions of a member conference of 12 or more institutions that is divided into two divisions (of six or more institutions each), each of which conducts round-robin, regular-season competition among the members of that division;

      This is the rule you’re looking for…

    • Mike says:

      @M (Ag) – This board is a lot more fun when your school is in a secure place and your conference isn’t the one on the brink.

      Enjoy the Big 12 Refs!

    • Dallashusker says:

      Question… I just read the 50-page UT/ESPN/IMG contract and noticed that not all parties have signed the appendixes. Are there any lawyers out there who can tell us whether the contract is legal and binding if it lacks signatures by all parties on any or all parts part of the document?

  49. Eric says:

    I think most of the same rules from last year with Big 12 possible expansion still apply. There is no big advantage in adding another Texas school as they don’t add much attention in the state the conference doesn’t already get and none of the choices are really big enough national names to be a factor on that level either. Even if Texas wanted them for its own reasons, I don’t see the 5 non Texas schools going for it. I know a lot of people like to talk about all the power Texas has but given the decisions the Big 12 has made the last couple of months (increase conference games to 9, increase % of TV contract revenue), I don’t think they can just force an expansion others don’t want or would even try.

    My guess is they push hard for BYU and probably get them. They’ll want to show at least something after their 3rd loss, but I’m not convinced going to 12 now is any more justifiable than last summer. I do think Louisville and/or TCU would probably yes in the end though.

  50. The Blanton says:

    These are my thoughts…

    I have a hard time believing the Texas State Lege will allow A&M to bolt without adding another PUBLIC Texas University to the BCS AQ mix. Why should Utah get 2 added in a few years and Texas only get one? Time to fire up that Texas State rivalry! (j/k, sorta).

    Sooo… BYU and mystery 2nd (Texas Public) school to replace A&M and Mizzou.

    If Big? stays at 10 members, put TX/OU on “Championship Weekend” in Dallas Cowboys Stadium or make it Home-and-home. UT/A&M and UT/ND replacing TX/OU on alternating years as an OOC games at the Texas State Fair in the Dallas Cotton Bowl in September would be cool with me.

    if it could entice ND to become a “full” member… Wouldn’t mind adding Air Force,Navy,and Army, to the mix.hey I can dream. Would then need 2 more members to get to 16. Maryland/Pitt are my personal favorites.

    Dream Conference:

    MD Pitt Army Navy
    ND IowaSt Kansas KState
    OU OSU TexSt (or whoever), Baylor
    BYU, AF, TxTech, Texas

    That would be a great combination of National Powerhouse Teams, National Fanbases, a National Patriotic Feel, and no current Big XII team is dumped, not even the little guys only the people that want to leave are not considered (A&M and Mizzou). Plus, Mormons and Baptists and Catholics, Oh MY! Religeous freedom, big money, and and patriotism. And with this allignment UT/A&M could replace TX/OU as anOOC Cotton Bowl game in September every year

    Conference I think is more realistic if i take off my BurntOrange Koolaide-Helmet:

    TX/Baylor//TxTech/(TxSt,Htown,N.Texas,or UTEP [let the Texas Politicos duke that one out])

    At least with that alignment you are almost guaranteed a yearly cool road trip to Austin, Vegas, New Orleans, and Memphis all in the conference. 4 cool cities, one in each pod.

    4 pod system recap:

    Play everyone in your pod every year. Play one other pod on rotating basis home and home.
    However, instead of an 8th (or 9th) conference game how about…


    Semifinal home games based on conference record, Championship Game in Jerryworld in Dallas. All other non conference-playoff teams playing another conference opponent from an un-played pod based on random draw, best record hosts on Thursday/Friday/Sat before championship game.

    These are my thoughts. They seem less crazy in my head.

    • Eric says:

      The Texas state legislature doesn’t have the power to dictate to the Big 12 who to invite though. They can compel Texas and Tech voting (or could stop A&M from leaving), but that’s it. If you can’t convince the 6 non-Texas to go along, there’s no way another Texas team enters and I doubt those 6 want another member enough to add another Texas team after being forced into it.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      What are you going to call that…the CCC?

      (Central Creationism Conference)

  51. Brian says:

    Mr. SEC looks at the options for #14 and doesn’t like what he sees.

  52. Brian says:

    A KC paper looks at B12 expansion options and it isn’t pretty.

    • Jake says:

      Both articles neglected to mention TCU …

      • Brian says:

        I think the assumption is that if another TX school gets added, it will be a state school. Unlike SMU, TCU hasn’t been begging to get in the B12. Besides, TCU will probably do better elsewhere rather than being in a conference with UT.

        • Jake says:

          Since when has begging helped anyone? Didn’t exactly work wonders for Missouri last year. SMU can make all the noise they want, it won’t make them a viable candidate. And all this talk about Houston is pretty amusing. They have trouble filling their sorry little stadium, they can’t seem to raise the funds for a new one, and they don’t exactly “deliver” the Houston market. The only advantage they offer is that UT could force them to play in Reliant Stadium every other year, but they already do that with Rice. The Longhorns already have a “Tech problem” – I doubt they want a “Houston problem” to go along with it.

          And who says I’m gunning for the Big 12? If the SEC needs a 14th, maybe another private school would help assuage Vandy’s concerns. Mr. SEC at least took the time to mention Baylor before dismissing them out of hand; he could have done that much for the Frogs.

          • bullet says:

            Houston is actually making progress on their stadium. They’re up to around $61 million in pledges and are still working on naming rights. They want $80 million of the $120 million before starting. I think SMU is just trying to get their name out there. They have no chance for Big 12. I doubt the SWC 4 have forgiven them for being the best professional team in Dallas for a while. But they might just be trying to raise their profile for recruiting or for an eventual move out of CUSA, whether to BE or MWC or some new best of the rest non-AQ conference.

          • I’m a UH grad and I agree with Jake about UH having no shot at the Big XII. The only way UH becomes a hot candidate for re-alignment is when we start to dominate CUSA the way Boise State dominated the WAC. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen despite all this talk of a new stadium.

            Mr SEC wrote “Baylor and Texas Tech would only get an invite if A&M lured them East and if the SEC was flat-out desperate. It’s not. Scratch ‘em.” I would include TCU in that statement, as well. Like my previous statement about UH, TCU is going to have to dominate the BE the way Boise dominated the WAC to become a strong candidate for re-alignment into the SEC or ACC or even B1G. They would be morons to want to join the unstable Big XII.

            One more item from Mr SEC’s post. “So that leaves Missouri, West Virginia and Pittsburgh as possible dance partners who might have an interest in phoning up Slive.” Missouri should be greatful if the SEC extended them an invitation, but I get the feeling that like the schools in the ACC, Texas, and OU they see the SEC as a academically inferior. I do wonder if the SEC would seriously consider WVU or Pitt? I’ve never been to Morgantown, but I get the feeling from what I’ve heard and read that WVU would be a good cultural fit in the SEC. Pitt, not so much.

          • Brian says:


            I didn’t say begging would help SMU, but it shows their interest in the B12. I don’t see any sign that TCU is interested. Why mention them if they don’t even seem to want to join?

            Most people don’t think another TX school will be added. If one was, then UH makes some sense due to location and being a state school so UT and TT can be forced to support them in a vote. Baylor may be willing to add another TX team just for travel purposes, and UH would be a winnable game for them. If other B12 schools want regular trips to Houston for recruiting, they also might support UH.

            Nobody said you were gunning for the Big 12. It’s the only other AQ league that might want TCU, though. If Vandy needs a private school, their best hope is Miami. The SEC isn’t going to waste a spot on TCU, SMU, Rice, Tulane or any other small southern private school.

            TCU might start to get equally mentioned with Baylor once they are an AQ, but I’d guess it will take longer.

          • Jake says:

            Brian – yeah, TCU’s already getting loads more respect than Baylor and has been for awhile now, which is what makes the failure of both writers to mention the Frogs as an expansion candidate so curious.

            And two things we all should have learned by now:
            1) Texas politicians don’t/can’t exert as much influence over conference affiliation as we thought, and
            2) No school or conference is under any obligation to provide us any amount of advance rumblings before announcing a move. And even if they were, have you heard ANYTHING suggesting Pitt is interested in the SEC? Didn’t stop Mr. SEC from bringing them up.

          • Brian says:


            TCU’s current FB team gets more respect than Baylor’s. Many people still doubt if that will last past Patterson, much like BSU with Petersen. Both schools have been successful under multiple coaches, but their peaks are with the current guys. Most people still consider Baylor as more important than TCU since Baylor is AQ (not better, but more important). Such is life.

            “1) Texas politicians don’t/can’t exert as much influence over conference affiliation as we thought”

            All I said was that UT and TT could be forced to vote for UH. Not that they would be, but that they could be. If a bunch of other B12 schools wanted UH for the trips to Houston or some other reason, UT and TT might not be allowed to vote against UH. For political reasons, I doubt UT or TT would try to vote no anyway (they’ll let the out of state schools block UH).

            “2) No school or conference is under any obligation to provide us any amount of advance rumblings before announcing a move. And even if they were, have you heard ANYTHING suggesting Pitt is interested in the SEC? Didn’t stop Mr. SEC from bringing them up.”

            Yes, but Pitt is an AQ school with a FB history and is stuck in the BE. TCU is a non-AQ with a limited FB history that is aspiring to join the BE. Big difference. Mr. SEC explicitly limited his list to AQ schools. TCU isn’t AQ yet, so they didn’t make his list. Why does that bother you?

          • Jake says:

            Like I said before, the state legislature can’t/won’t do anything at the moment to keep Texas state schools in the same conference. They haven’t interfered to stop A&M, why would they step in for Houston, a school with far less rabid alumni support (sorry, Cougar High)? And again, UT certainly has reason to want them out – another Texas school could only serve to keep them anchored to the conference if they try to leave. The lege may not do anything now, but if UT threatens a move that would destroy the conference, yeah, that might get their attention. At least the Baylor grads.

            Speaking of Baylor, you really think that AQ label means anything? I don’t know who these “most people” you keep talking about are, but if they think the Bears are a more valuable commodity than the Frogs because they’ve been leeching off of UT for the last 15 years, well, that doesn’t say much about “most people.” If Mr. SEC only considered current AQ programs, that’s a mistake. I’m not so bigoted.

            As for the program resting on a single coach, you could say that about most any successful program in the country. Heck, Baylor’s program rests on a single player at the moment. I think it might be less true in TCU’s case, however. If Patterson leaves, it will almost certainly be on his own terms, and TCU should have little trouble finding applicants for the job. Who wouldn’t want to take over a successful team with shiny new facilities in a state loaded with talent where all you have to do is win the Big East? I like our chances in a post-Patterson world, thank you very much.

            Oh, and as for Pitt, standing to gain from a conference move isn’t the same as showing interest. If only schools that officially stated a desire to chance conferences were candidates for expansion, then everyone but A&M, SMU and maybe Missouri would be standing pat. Also, future member != “aspiring to join.” Nice try, though.

            To return to my original point: a Big 12 expansion article lists SMU and Houston as candidates while failing to mention TCU, and an SEC expansion article mentions Baylor, and you have to wonder why I object?

          • Brian says:


            “Speaking of Baylor, you really think that AQ label means anything?”

            Yes, it does. It means Baylor gets a lot more money from TV contracts, the BCS and the NCAA tourney than a non-AQ like TCU. I didn’t say they deserved it or earned it, but being AQ does mean something. It’s sort of like how an Ivy League diploma means more than a state school one no matter how smart the students are.

            ‘I don’t know who these “most people” you keep talking about are, but if they think the Bears are a more valuable commodity than the Frogs because they’ve been leeching off of UT for the last 15 years, well, that doesn’t say much about “most people.”’

            I didn’t say more valuable, I said more important. Those are two different things. Baylor as an AQ is more valuable than TCU as a non-AQ, but their roles would be reversed if TCU was in the B12 instead of Baylor. It’s nothing intrinsic to the schools themselves, just their place in the hierarchy.

            “If Mr. SEC only considered current AQ programs, that’s a mistake.”

            Feel free to tell him that, but he wrote it in black and white in his article that you are bitching about.

            “As for the program resting on a single coach, you could say that about most any successful program in the country.”

            Except for all the power programs that have been elite under multiple coaches, sure. TCU has a losing record over the last 50 years, and the #74 winning percentage. That makes their recent success much more of an anomaly than it is for teams like NE, OSU, PSU, OU, UT, AL, MI, USC, UF, FSU, TN, ND, UGA, AU, Miami, LSU, Ark, BYU, ASU, WV and Clemson (all over 60%).

            TCU went from 1956 through 1999 without winning 9 games. They didn’t win 7 games in the 60s or 70s and only once in the 80s. They didn’t win the SWC between 1959 and 1994. I can’t imagine why some people might question how strong the foundation is for TCU football.

            “Oh, and as for Pitt, standing to gain from a conference move isn’t the same as showing interest.”

            I didn’t say Pitt was interested in the SEC. i don’t think they are. I said they were an AQ FB school stuck in the BE, one of the conferences Mr. SEC decided was raidable. That qualifies them for his list.

            ‘Also, future member != “aspiring to join.”’

            Yes, it does. You aren’t a member yet, and may never be (the BE could implode, or TCU could go elsewhere). TCU still aspires to be an AQ team, but is about to achieve that. Pitt has been one for a long time. They have a different status.

            “To return to my original point: a Big 12 expansion article lists SMU and Houston as candidates while failing to mention TCU, and an SEC expansion article mentions Baylor, and you have to wonder why I object?”

            I sort of understand why the KC article would bug you, although it really would only make sense to me if TCU was interested in joining the B12. I don’t get upset when OSU isn’t mentioned as a candidate for the B12

            Getting upset at the SEC article make zero sense to me. The author said he was only considering AQ schools, presumably because he thinks those are the only schools the SEC would consider (and he’s right about that). I don’t see why the mention of an AQ school from TX in that article would bother a fan of a non-AQ team from TX. It’s not like he gave Baylor any positive spin as he said the SEC would have to be desperate to take them. I’m sure if you really feel the need to be included on the list of desperation schools, he’ll oblige you next time if you ask him nicely.

  53. Brian says:

    One blogger who thinks ESPN is on the way down thanks to arrogance and modern media.

  54. Brian says:

    The NCAA comments on Danny Sheridan. His only chance to save his reputation now is to write down his info and seal it in an envelope and give it to his attorney. It could be opened in several years or after the NCAA announces they have proof.

  55. drwillini says:

    Do we thing that B1G is not a player for aTm? Why? (the logic behind the what is reported)

    • Brian says:

      TAMU wants to join the SEC. The SEC wants TAMU. Texas is southern. The SEC is southern. TAMU is closer to the SEC (2 border states). There are 5 SEC schools closer to TAMU than the nearest B10 school (NE). TAMU has rivalries with some SEC schools already. The SEC pays about the same as the B10.

    • zeek says:

      There is no interest on the A&M side in joining the Big Ten. Culturally it’s not a fit, and distance is a huge issue.

      While the money and academic interests are there, it just wouldn’t work out between A&M and the Big Ten.

      • zeek says:

        There’s 4 basic criteria that have to be established with respect to expansion and fit: money, academics, geography, culture. While there are cases where some aspects can override others, A&M is a perfect fit for the SEC in all of those ways; notsomuch the Big Ten…

        • BoilerTex says:

          Money – Arguable, call
          Academics – Unquestionably B1G
          Geographic – Unquestionably SEC
          Culture – Arguable

          In my time I’ve spent in TAMU recruiting for my company, I think you can argue that TAMU has as much in common with large, public, and technical Midwestern Land Grant colleges as it does with the “Old South” campus of the SEC.

          I think you left the two most dominant factors in TAMU going to the SEC:

          1. The belief that a conference is first about football and second about everything else.
          2. A deep distrust/hatred in UT

          The four you listed are all secondary.


          • BoilerTex says:

            Edit: Meant to say “Money – Arguable, call it even”

          • wm wolverines says:

            Geography has a ton to do with it, they are just a great fit in the SEC (geography) with already having a rivalry game vs Arkansas and will likely build one quickly with LSU too.. The minor $ advantage (which maybe major when the B10 renegotiates its next tier 1 deal) in the B10 doesn’t trump the other factors..

            The Aggie fans I’ve talked to don’t understand the research/academic side to the B10 and the CIC, unlike Texas fans. Putting it as simple as possible, CIC is a collection of all B10 universities and the University of Chicago (former B10 school) who group together to land BILLIONS of dollars worth of federal research grants. e.g. University of Wisconsin & the University of Michigan might join together and work on a project together in attempt to earn federal research money that might’ve gone to another university.

          • BoilerTex says:

            @ Wolverine. I agree with you completely. I interact with Aggies every day both professionally and personally and have been literally laughed at when I explain to them that a conference is academic as well as athletic. The CIC discussion is greeted with fingers in the ears and a “la, la, la” reply.

            The WSJ article from last fall that ranked the top recruited colleges in the nation was very eye opening to me. TAMU was #2 on the list. Probably 80-90% of the Big Ten was on the list as well. Only 1 SEC made the top 25 (UF). My company is one the largest and most well known consumer product corporations in the world. We only recruit from a small list of schools, every one of which is on the WSJ list (including TAMU). We won’t stop recruiting at TAMU just because they join the SEC. But if the academic rankings of TAMU start to drop off because of being associated with SEC, it is a definite possibility. I’m not saying TAMU will automatically drop in AWRU/USNWR rankings just because it goes to a lesser conference, but I guarantee it won’t help their rankings either. But these concerns are so far in the background it’s perplexing. And maybe, in the final analysis, this is EXACTLY why TAMU doesn’t fit in the B1G.

          • Vincent says:

            The Aggie fans I’ve talked to don’t understand the research/academic side to the B10 and the CIC, unlike Texas fans. Putting it as simple as possible, CIC is a collection of all B10 universities and the University of Chicago (former B10 school) who group together to land BILLIONS of dollars worth of federal research grants. e.g. University of Wisconsin & the University of Michigan might join together and work on a project together in attempt to earn federal research money that might’ve gone to another university.

            That’s one of the things that makes people in College Park salivate about becoming part of the Big Ten. They see what’s happened in State College, and what will soon happen in Lincoln.

          • FranktheAg says:

            Graduates of Texas A&M fully understand the CIC and its benefits. We also understand that A&M does quite well attracting federal research grants (and the trend is extremely positive) without the CIC. Its doubtful that will change by affiliating with the SEC.

            The geographic fit between A&M and the B1G just doesn’t work. It’s that simple. 1000 mile road trips just are not that appealing.

          • wm wolverines says:

            I don’t see the Pac 12 accepting Oklahoma & Oklahoma State together. Oklahoma isn’t great enough of a draw to have OSU as a tag along, not even for the Pac 12. Not saying it won’t happen but I don’t see the Pac 12 accepting OSU unless it gets them Texas too.

          • M says:

            Road trips from College Station:

            Morgantown, WV: 1312
            Blacksburg, VA: 1171
            Columbia, SC: 1035
            Lexington, KY: 981
            Knoxville, TN: 936
            Gainesville, FL: 925
            Athens, GA: 896
            Auburn, AL: 756

            Furthest Big 12 trip:
            Columbia, MO: 752

            I can see how geographic fit has been a guiding principle for A&M’s decisions.

          • wm wolverines says:

            The above message was suppose to go elsewhere in this discussion…


            You’d be the exception Frank(ag) in terms of Aggie fans understanding the academic side to the B10 with its CIC. Far and away, most everyone I talk to outside of B10 country (not just Aggie fans) doesn’t understand the magnitude that the CIC has in terms of the B10′s exclusive club of elite research institutions… Like BoilerTex says, explaining the CIC to anyone results in deaf ears…

            This is why I’ve been vocal here about the B10 being very unlikely to reach 16 members anytime soon, let alone some peoples hypothetical 20 member B10 conference. There just aren’t many universities that are peers to the B10 academically and/or athletically. Most of those peers are in a very stable ACC (North Carolina, Maryland), in the B10′s footprint (Pitt), takes way too much pride in its independence (Notre Dame), or wants to run its own conference (Texas)…

            FWIW I believe A&M is one of those peers, they just fit geographically much better in the SEC and for conference stability better off in the SEC.

          • bullet says:

            Their reaction to your CIC comments explains why they are a perfect cultural fit with the SEC.

          • Vincent says:

            There just aren’t many universities that are peers to the B10 academically and/or athletically. Most of those peers are in a very stable ACC (North Carolina, Maryland), in the B10′s footprint (Pitt), takes way too much pride in its independence (Notre Dame), or wants to run its own conference (Texas).

            While Maryland would optimally prefer to enter the Big Ten as part of a bloc with Virginia, North Carolina and Duke, it would enter in a #13-14 combo with some other institution and leave its ACC rivals behind. People in College Park realize the value of the Big Ten, not just for football and athletics, but as an all-around force. It would be the last piece in the puzzle for the university reaching a level similar to its land-grant peers.

          • BoilerTex says:


            Thank you M for those distances. I completely agree that geography is the least of any school’s concern right now and as conferences continue to expand their footprint, it will become even less so. The number of flights the TAMU Olympic sports will have to make to play the eastern half of the SEC are going to be very similar to anything they would have encountered in the B1G.

          • m (Ag) says:

            Missouri is the farthest Big 12 school from A&M only if the Longhorns removed Iowa State from the conference. I admit that’s conceivable, but I think I would have seen the press.

            Every school in the SEC West except Auburn is closer than Kansas, KSU, Missouri, and Iowa State, who are currently permanent opponents.

            BTW, I wouldn’t have objected to a move to the Big Ten. My first preference was to move there with the Longhorns. After that, I don’t see any real advantage academically to being in the Pac 12 or Big 12 over the SEC.

          • M says:

            Like many other college football fans, I had forgotten the existence of Iowa State. College Station to Ames, Iowa is 904 miles, closer than the two Alabama schools.

          • duffman says:

            I know this was not the deal breaker, or deal maker, but the non football sports mesh

            TAMU baseball = SEC baseball
            TAMU T&F = SEC West T&F
            TAMU WBB = SEC WBB
            TAMU Equestrian = SEC Equestrian
            TAMU gymnastics = SEC Gymnastics

            B1G has hockey, and that is not a hot button for TAMU

          • FranktheAg says:

            Per Mapquest the distance to SEC West teams A&M will most often play:

            LSU: 350 miles
            Arkansas: 180 miles (games played in DFW)
            MSU: 550 miles
            Mississippi: 650
            Alabama: 650
            Auburn: 750

            No idea what point you were trying to make “M” other than to hide the facts by cherry picking schools. If you use Houston as your primary departure point (where most Ags will travel from) the distances reduce by 90 miles.

            A&M to the B1G? Closest school is NU. Every other school exceeds 1000 miles.

            Your interpretation of what Ag’s think about the CIC is just your bias and nothing else. The fact remains A&M does an excellent job attracting federal grant dollars and so the rest of your point is more adhominem attack for an argument of merit.

          • Brian says:


            M gave these trip lengths:

            Morgantown, WV: 1312
            Blacksburg, VA: 1171
            Columbia, SC: 1035
            Lexington, KY: 981
            Knoxville, TN: 936
            Gainesville, FL: 925
            Athens, GA: 896
            Auburn, AL: 756

            You responded with these:

            Per Mapquest the distance to SEC West teams A&M will most often play:

            LSU: 350 miles
            Arkansas: 180 miles (games played in DFW)
            MSU: 550 miles
            Mississippi: 650
            Alabama: 650
            Auburn: 750

            While I agree with you that TAMU is a better geographic and cultural fit with the SEC (at least the west), I think M’s point was that if geographic fit was so important TAMU would stay in the B12.

            It was presumably in response to you saying:
            The geographic fit between A&M and the B1G just doesn’t work. It’s that simple. 1000 mile road trips just are not that appealing.

            Once you threw out the 1000 mile number, he pointed out how far some of the SEC schools are from TAMU. To further explain his point, let me add these trips (distances from Rand McNally):

            Baylor 93 miles
            UT 107
            OU 357
            OkSU 435
            TT 456
            KU 655
            KSU 661
            MO 822
            ISU 949

            To help your point:
            NE 804 miles
            IL 965
            IN 990
            IA 1050
            PU 1059
            NW 1111
            OSU 1153
            MN 1158
            WI 1231
            MSU 1279
            MI 1298
            PSU 1477

            The SEC west schools are certainly closer, but the SEC east isn’t much closer than the B10 which was M’s point. The B12 schools are obviously the closest.

          • m (Ag) says:

            To echo FranktheAg, google claims College Station to Tuscaloosa is 630 miles.

            And Duffman, I don’t believe A&M has a scholarship gymnastics team, though maybe they’ll add one in the SEC. Your other sports are good, though.

          • Brian says:

            m (Ag),

            Assuming you’re responding to me, I quoted FranktheAg’s distances. He’s the one that said it was 650.

            I only generated the B12 and B10 distances.

  56. bullet says:

    Some buyout discussion. Will be discussed today in B12 meeting.

    Given that its nearly September and the new Fox deal is signed, I find it hard to believe they would give them as good a deal as Nebraska got. I also think it unlikely they do a suit that delays departure of a school who wants to go. But they might sue the SEC, A&M and potentially ESPN for damages if it hurts the TV contracts.

    • Bamatab says:

      The Big 12 won’t sue because they’ll get a 10th team (I wouldn’t be suprised if they don’t already have one or two lined up). Whether it is BYU (which I think makes the most sense), or if it is Houston or TCUor even an SMU or Air Force, they’ll get one lined up before the Fox tv deal is put into jeopardy.

      • Eric says:

        It’s very short notice that they need to come up a new school though and that might well make it more expensive for the new school to come. I think the timing of this should result is higher exit fees for A&M at least.

        • FranktheAg says:

          This is now a game of chicken. Texas A&M has asked the B12 to explain the exit process. If A&M decides to follow the by-laws and avoid a large exit fee, it could simply choose to give notice that it intends to leave the B12 by 2014. Anyone think the B12 wants to hold steady in this state for another 3 years?

          A&M and the B12 will more than likely settle on the same exit fee as those paid by CU and NU as BOTH sides have an incentive to resolve this now (with BYU ready to join) vs. in 3 years.

          • bullet says:

            I think you are right everyone will want it over. But the Aggies won’t get the same deal in $ terms. The Big 12 has spent $1 million in marketing, the time frame for next year is very short and the revenues are a lot bigger than they were just last summer. For the Aggies 2 years is going to be around $31 million vs. under $20 for UNL. CU did give the 2 year notice. They were allowed out early with the 2 year fee to get things resolved.

      • bullet says:

        I read one rumour they already have a contingent offer out to ND and BYU. As for suing, it depends on the TV contracts (Big 12 and SEC) and, of course, their evaluation of the liklihood of success. If ESPN were to offer the SEC a lot more money or the Big 12 took a per school cut, I think they would sue. ESPN is in a particularly delicate position. The SEC is walking a fine line as well. I can’t remember a team leaving any conference this late. That they are talking about fall 2012 in late August is really disruptive to everyone (and everyone’s TV contracts) and is a bad reflection on the SEC and the Aggies. Besides, this is supposed to be an off-season discussion!

        • Jake says:

          BYU left the MWC around this time last year. Of course, they were going independent, so it may have been a simpler process.

          • bullet says:

            You’re right. It was very late-August 31. Conferences used to have deadlines like June 30. The MWC (looked it up) was August 31.

    • Mike says:

      The new Fox deal is signed but doesn’t take effect until next year. IMHO is why the Aggies are in such a hurry.

    • zeek says:

      (As a response to that article.)

      At this point, they have no choice. Texas is probably going to succeed in putting a Big 12 conference game onto the LHN. I’m just not seeing how the Big 12 will be able to stay competitive with the other conferences if that kind of creep grows given that Texas is the most valuable football property.

      For long term stability, A&M has to get to the SEC; at this point, no one knows how long the Big 12 will last.

    • FranktheAg says:

      Wow, a Texas alum (Solomon) who doesn’t agree with the move. Who would have thought that would be the case? That opinion piece has more whine to it than Napa Valley.

      I’m just stunned that A&M is heading off to the SEC since;

      1) A&M never had an invite other as an attempt to get OU; and
      2) Texas politicians would never allow it.

      Since those “facts” propagated across the interwebs (and entangled the Tank) by Texas-Exes everywhere have been proven false, how long will it be before the latest “fact” is proven wishful thinking (the SEC won’t gain any financial increase by adding Texas A&M)? I’ll give it 6 months.

      It is also interesting that now that those same sources are discussing ND to the B12, the Tank has abandoned them as rumor-mongers. Given the last two ridiculously incorrect posts about A&M and the SEC, I’m guessing the Tank wishes he’d come to that realization some time ago.

      • duffman says:


        I have tried to get FranktheTank to see a different view, but mine is not borne out of a love or hate of UT or TAMU. I am looking at it as WWBSD (What Would Bob Sugar Do – yeah jerry mcguire was on the other day, and I keep seeing Bob Sugar as the future of college football. I see much similarity to real life IMG as the fictional SMI (similar to HAL and IBM in 2001 : A Space Oddessy). As I have said earlier, I am not sure this is good long term for college football, but money drives the bulldozer, not the fans.

        My focus is still WWJDD.

        • bullet says:

          What Would JD on ‘Scrubs’ do? No wonder we have such a mess!

          It gets entertaining for a while reading the Aggies’ comments hyperventilating over Solomon’s column. I think it was 3 pages of attacks before some guy named something like Joe6pack made a rational response. It was just like reading Auburn fan’s comments last year about anything related to Cam Newton. But after a while, it just gets old.

  57. Todd says:

    SIAP…census data on population growth. If you look at the % growth by state the atlantic coast and texas are huge. Delaney knew what he was talking about. VA, VT, MD, UNC, Duke, GT and Miami look even better now,

  58. bullet says:

    Finally decided to satisfy my own curiousity on BYU & Sunday play and how that might impact things. Big 12 championships this year that involve Sunday play:
    Women’s soccer W,F,Su
    Men’s & Women’s tennis TH-Su
    Men’s & Women’s golf F-Su
    Men’s & Women’s track F-Su
    Baseball W-Su

    All the others end or take place on a Saturday. I can’t think of any regular season events that would normally be on Sunday. Of the championships, soccer, tennis and golf would require more lost class time, but that would be only one day. Track is after most schools are out-May 11-13. Baseball is also after. Attendance would be hurt at track and baseball.

    • Bamatab says:

      BYU currently has a spot for all of its other sports (minus football) in the WCC. I think it is plausible that BYU could join the Big 12 in football only, and leave the other sports in the WCC. That may end up working out better for both parties anyways.

      • Mike says:

        I believe that there is an NCAA rule that says if you play football in a conference, all your other sports must participate in that conference if that conference sponsors it.

        • RedDenver says:

          Somebody better tell the NCAA about Notre Dame then.

        • OT says:

          No such rule.

          Hawaii will be in the Mountain West for football-only in 2012 and 2012 (2-year contract), and will park basketball, baseball, volleyball, etc. in the Big West.

          • Eric says:

            There is a rule. It states that a team can’t play a sport in one conference if it’s a member of another conference that sponsors that sport. Notre Dame can be a member of the Big East and play football as an independent, but could not play football in the Big Ten. Hawaii can play in the Mountain West because the Big West doesn’t offer FBS football (same for Temple with the Atlantic 10).

          • frug says:

            Beat me to the punch.

        • frug says:

          I believe the rule is you can’t have your football team in one D-IA conference and your non-football sports in another D-IA conference (though you can put a non-football sport in another D-IA conference if your primary conference does not sponsor said sport. Ex. Boise St.’s wrestling team is the PAC-12 since the WAC did not sponsor wrestling).

        • Bamatab says:

          The WCC doesn’t play football. So BYU could keep their other teams in the WCC and place football in the Big 12.

          • SideshowBob says:

            Right. BYU playing just football in the Big 12 would be similar to the Temple (or Va Tech, etc) in the Big East for football and everything else in the A10 scenario.

      • Brian says:

        Wouldn’t BYU push for a full invite instead? It’s more money and more exposure for them, and it means they aren’t a second-class citizen.

  59. bullet says:

    Chip Brown is saying the Aggies are expected to apply to the SEC next week. Didn’t state who believed that or why.

  60. Redhawk says:

    Interesting stuff on the Twitterverse today. I’m too damn lazy to link them all.
    David Sandhop of websider: Admin at A&M told me the university is shooting for presser next Thursday to announce move to SEC if all goes as planned

    Aaron Dickens of Red Raider Sports had Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance on the Radio. Here’s 3 tweets from Dickens attributed to Hance:
    *If A&M bolts, Hance said they’d “be replaced by at least one and maybe three excellent teams that’ll be a bigger story (than A&M leaving).” *
    Hance on Tech: “If there are changes, if there are shakeups, I think we’ll still be fine. We’ve earned our position nationally on merit.”
    Hance said Tech hopes to become an AAU school within next 10 years. Indicated TTU on track to reach billion $ fundraising goal by 2013.

    There was another Twitter last night from a BYU fan saying he had an inside source and employee at BYU which told him BYU would be the 10th member of the Big 12. Notre Dame was offered too.

    My take: Hance saying both that the Big12 would add teams and that TECH was was fine if major changes would happen to me is where all of the Big12 is right now. They don’t know where the wind is going to blow them any more than posters here. If we are headed to the Super-conference era with playoffs which would mean the Big12 would break up, OR are we heading to a period of relative conference stability if conferences don’t find expansion profitable enough, meaning the Big12 schools don’t really have any place to go to.

    For what it’s worth I have a friend well connected to people that are well connected to the University of Oklahoma, and he seems to think OU is going to end up in the Pa16, it’s just a matter of how it gets done, and with who. He said OU is still trying to take Ok. St. along where ever OU goes. The B1G has shown interest in OU, it’s Ok. St. they seem to be balking at.

    The big question/fear seems to me, is will the TV networks pay for the super-conferences in a large enough proportion to make the expansions worth it to the current member schools.

    • Stopping By says:

      *If A&M bolts, Hance said they’d “be replaced by at least one and maybe three excellent teams that’ll be a bigger story (than A&M leaving).” *

      Hmmmmm……..Not exactly sure what he is trying to say here. He is either A) implying that there is a bigger school with more merit than aTm joining the Texas 10 or B) he is just tring to put a positive spin on the conference losing its 3rd member in 2 years. I’ll go w/ B, but thats just me.

      • bullet says:

        Saw Tech AD made the same statement as Hance.

        • Redhawk says:

          have you noticed that Tech and Baylor have been the most vocal about A&M leaving? Baylor is just scared that they will be exposed as a BCS fraud, but interesting to me that Tech is being so vocal. Almost like “Hey, don’t forget about TECH!”

      • zeek says:

        That ND-BYU-Ark (or Pitt instead of Ark) rumor is what he’s referring to…

        Most likely it’ll just be BYU, but that’s just my guess.

        • bullet says:

          If it really is BYU + ND +1 that would drawf the SEC story. However, that is a gigantic IF. I just can’t see how the Big 12 could get ND in football and give them enough flexibility with only Pitt among their longtime rivals. The ACC could give them BC, Pitt, Ga Tech and Miami who are among their most frequently played opponents as well as teams in the mid-Atlantic they would want to play. The B1G could give them UM,MSU,PU,NU along with Penn St. Those teams in areas they want to play would allow them room ooc for USC, etc. The Big 12 just doesn’t unless they only play 5 conference games and I don’t see that lasting long term.

          • zeek says:

            If they pull off that ND/BYU/Pitt expansion, it would easily be the biggest expansion story in a long time.

          • BoilerTex says:

            “If they pull off that ND/BYU/Pitt expansion, it would easily be the biggest expansion story in a long time.”

            At which point monkeys will fly out of any number of my bodily orifices.

      • Stopping By says:

        The one thing that this does signal to me, that is – if any public comments are to be believed, is that Oklahoma has decided that it is not bolting anywhere. As long as OU wants to stay, then the UTen survives (w/ duct tape and paper clips).

        I don’t believe (until it happens), any rumor of ND to the conference either for all the reasons that have been listed here throughout the last year+. They would almost have to make so many concessions that ND would almost be a psuedo member vs a full participant. At least thats my take. .

        • Richard says:

          A TTech person saying the B12 will add attractive members doesn’t tell me that OU isn’t going anywhere. It tells me that TTech is desperate.

          Now if it was an OU person saying the same thing, then it would be a different story.

    • Other Mike says:


      Can you explain the Oklahoma-Okie State dynamic for us outsiders? I always got the impression Oklahoma was reluctantly tied to OkSU…

      • Redhawk says:

        I wrote a full article on that here (well, really with the angle of is OU and OSU a legal package deal…which it’s not)

        OU Administration so far to me hasn’t been reluctantly tied, but rather actively trying to protect OkSU from getting left behind. I’ve heard also recently, that OU is scared they could end up in a Conference set up that didn’t include Texas OR OkSU as in-conference games. OU wouldn’t want to have to play both those as OOC games, as that would really tie up scheduling.

        • Redhawk says:

          I should add for those outside of Oklahoma, that current Oklahoma Governor is Mary Fallin, and she graduated from OkSt. Ultimately she would have to sign off on OU or OSU going to another conference.

    • Gopher86 says:

      Considering that Tech almost lost its engineering accreditation a few years back, I don’t believe they’ll be making the AAU any time soon.

  61. GreatLakeState says:

    If Oklahoma goes alone, it’ll be to the Big Ten. If if has to go with Oklahoma State, it’ll be the Pac-12. Without Texas and Oklahoma State I can’t imagine why the eastern conference of the Pac-12 would appeal to them. No rivalries, a different time zone. I have to believe they would rather follow Nebraska, unless OSU is involved. ALSO, I just read an article at Sports Illustrated (online) that said Oklahoma’s administration is intent on AAU membership and that the PAC-12 commissioner told them they would have it within ten years of joining. If the Pac-12 can elevate them, the B1G should be able to as well.

    • zeek says:

      I know there’s been a lot of talk of Oklahoma and Texas Tech pursuing AAU membership (along with many other universities, including some in the ACC and SEC.

      It would be really interesting to see what would happen if they did in fact manage to get that…

      • M says:

        There are 30 schools ahead of Oklahoma and 100 ahead of Texas Tech. That would be some decade.

        • zeek says:

          Yeah, especially considering that Nebraska could probably be considered to be closer to regaining AAU membership than either Oklahoma or Texas Tech to getting it for the first time…

  62. Rakesh Singh says:

    Following the blog since last years re-alignment scenario. Wanted to post a new orange bloods article, which states which schools the big 12 discussed to expand to. Most of these schools have been discussed on this blog outside of Pitt, I have no idea why Pitt would have interest in the big 12, but it looks like the big 12 maybe targeting them.

  63. Bamatab says:

    Multiple media outlets are reporting that after today’s Big 12 meeting, that aTm will be leaving the conference by the end of next week. Here is one link:

    I think we can expect that as soon as aTm announce that they have left the Big 12, that the SEC will announce that they have receive a request from aTm to join the SEC and have accepted their offer.

  64. bullet says:

    Interesting take on possible impact of SEC move. A believer in superconferences and thinks the A&M move will benefit the Big 10 and Pac 12 as much as SEC. Also suggests a reason the non-Texas schools might be more interested in Houston in the Big 12 than the Texas schools.

    One point I think they miss. The SEC W schools do currently get Texas players as they say in the article. But they get very few of the top 100. LSU is the only regular to get into that group. UT,OU and A&M pretty much get the very top. The rest of the Big 12 get most of the rest of the top 100 or so after those 3 are done. That’s very different from the late 80s and early 90s when about half of the true blue chips were going out of state and out of conference. Now, almost all the impact players are staying with UT, OU and A&M. In SWC days, Arkansas got a fair share of those players but that doesn’t happen anymore.

  65. Brian says:

    This isn’t automatically a big deal, but could it look any worse for UNC?

    • bullet says:

      It looks like that Robert Quinn he is suing for 300k he advanced is a Tar Heel.

      • Brian says:

        And UNC really needs to be employing a sports agent right now, especially one that represented one former UNC player and tried to represent one of the players involved in the recent scandal.

        • duffman says:

          brian, by your logic, is UNC heading for the SEC?

          • Brian says:

            No, they are heading to hiring more oversight people that will look at things like the backgrounds of anyone they hire to make sure they aren’t agents.

          • duffman says:


            It was meant to be funny, as the commentary on here of the SEC cheating and all that has gone down at UNC for the last year or so. See why I need to use the :) face.

          • Brian says:


            i knew you were kidding, but I wanted to answer the question anyway. Otherwise, you’ll show up as an anonymous source on some other blog indicating that UNC is headed for the SEC.

    • @Brian – Interesting to think about the situations where a university employs a sports agent. When I was at DePaul for law school, my sports law class was taught by NBA agent Henry Thomas, who is most known for representing both Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh (so he was at the center of last year’s free agent craziness along with getting PAID). While he was teaching a law school class where he wouldn’t come into contact with undergrad athletes, it does bring to question whether universities should be hiring any sports agents at all under current NCAA rules. (Granted, I think that current NCAA rules are backwards and ridiculous, but that’s another discussion.)

      • Brian says:

        Especially since this guy was involved with Robert Quinn. It might be different if he didn’t represent a former UNC player or wasn’t suing another former UNC player that was just in NCAA trouble.

      • metatron5369 says:

        I wonder, how exactly are universities (and the NCAA) allowed to prohibit students from receiving legal counsel from sports agents?

        I leave the law to those who practice it, but there’s something about that provision that doesn’t sit well with me.

        • Bob in Houston says:

          Private organization that can make its own rules, as long as those rules don’t violate the U.S. Constitution.

  66. Redhawk says:

    Dean Blevins Twitter
    Joe Castiglione tells me doesn’t know what’s going 2 happ long-term w #Aggies #Mizzou #OU #Longhorns and #Big12. “Lots of moving parts”..

    Dean Blevins is a former QB for OU, and former drinking buddy of Barry Switzer. He’s as much an insider as he is a reporter/news anchor. So for him to get this quote, tells me that the Big 12 isn’t stable. If there is anyone that would know the future, it’s Joe Castiglione, the AD at Oklahoma!

    • zeek says:

      OU seems to be the most in control of action barring something totally unexpected like ND accepting some kind of offer to the Big 12.

      Texas is only going to react/leave the Big 12 if OU is on its way out…; I think they’ve made that much clear. They’re not going to blow up the Big 12 if OU sticks around.

      The question of course is what OU plans to do and when they make a move.

      • zeek says:

        FWIW I do think there’s interest on the Big Ten side, but as mentioned many times before the OSU issue is going to be the roadblock for both sides.

        OU’s going to want an arrangement with either Texas or OSU in the same conference as mentioned before (especially with 9 conference games in all of the conferences that it would join/stay in (Big Ten, Pac-12, Big 12).

        I’d still reiterate that if Delany had to pull an expansion scenario to 14 without ND or Texas, it would be OU-Missouri. That’s the only practical expansion scenario to 14 that pays for itself without Texas or ND…

        • Richard says:

          Yeah, but we already know that OU isn’t going anywhere without either Texas or OK State. It’s OU+Texas or look elsewhere for the B10 (elsewhere being ACC country + maybe ND). the B10 _may_ take Baylor to get the 2 kings, but I still think OU & Texas to the Pac is most likely because they’d get to bring OKSt. and TTech with them.

          A Big20 expansion that eats up the academically elite schools of the ACC down to FL & including ND still makes the most sense long term for Delany&company, IMHO.

          • Brian says:

            The B20 only makes sense to you, Richard.

          • Richard says:

            IMHO, it makes more sense than a B16 or even a B14, and I think superconferences are an eventual inevitability.

          • Other Mike says:

            I agree with Brian. The B20 stuff seems really out there. Hell, I’m not even convinced ND would get their absolute choice of 14th/16th school. If Notre Dame told me they wanted to bring Pitt, I’d politely tell them to find someone else. Baylor for Texas? Nahhhh.

          • Brian says:

            First, the key is that it’s your opinion (and I doubt the H). You’ve never shown anything to indicate Delany or any of the presidents have any similar thoughts. The B10 has always been the most conservative conference in terms of growth. Why would they suddenly decide to support aggressive growth? They like a small, tight knit group. Unless the B10 starts to fall way behind financially, I don’t see the COP/C looking to grow that big.

            Second, a B20 means 4 mega conferences containing more than 70 teams, and probably more than 80. One of the keys to expansion is to separate from the little guys, not add them to your conference. All the conferences would lose financially by getting that big, plus they’d lose the ties that make good conferences work.

        • aps says:

          In defense of Richard, I too believe that the Big Ten could well go to 20 or more teams. From the Omaha World Herald last year,Harvey Perlman said that he had seen models of up to 24 teams. This was back in April before Nebraska had joined the Big Ten.

          “I don’t think anyone can dismiss anything out of hand,” he said. “If you take the wildest predictions about mega-conferences — 16 is the number you see most, but 24 has been floated though not publicly — we certainly have to act in the interest of Nebraska.”

          • Brian says:

            Anyone can come up with models. What is the driving force that makes the B10 do it, though?

          • zeek says:

            I’m with Brian.

            Money (specifically from football) is driving this bus.

            To go beyond 12 teams, the teams must be able to pay for themselves (or an additional team to get to an even number).

            What scenario besides Texas, Notre Dame, or Oklahoma pay for themselves? There’s the ACC-4 strategy, but that’s as farfetched as anything else.

            It’s just hard to see a big style expansion plan that would change the conference so dramatically.

          • bullet says:

            Its about power vs. the networks. Its also about making sure there are no more Boise St.s.

            I think its pretty remote, but the positives of the idea are understandable.

          • Richard says:


            Add 8 teams including ND, FSU, Miami, UNC, & Duke, and you add 3 football powerhouses and 2 bball powerhouses (add VA & MD as well and you get the whole of the core ACC area that generates football-level ratings for basketball games). You’d put the B20 in major growth areas with fertile recruiting grounds. As an added plus, you’d also make the Northeast B20 territory by default as the BE wouldn’t be able to challenge for viewer supremacy there as they wouldn’t have the brands (or ND) while the SEC and Pac are too far away.

            I agree with Bullet and think the economics would make sense, especially if the Pac expands to 16 or 20 by eating up the Big12.

  67. Brian says:

    An SEC look at TAMU coming.

    Some tidbits:
    Chance Texas A&M joins the SEC: 99 percent
    Chance Texas A&M joins the SEC in the next week: 55 percent

    I found this quote from a NYT piece interesting:
    “Multiple presidents on the call used the words “amicable divorce” when discussing the Aggies departure. That would seem to suggest that there will not be any protracted legal wrangling.”

    That sounds like they don’t think it will turn ugly. I hope that’s true. Lawsuits don’t really help anyone in a case like this.

  68. Brian says:

    The College Gameday guys made their preseason picks. They are unanimous about FSU winning the ACC and OU winning the B12. 2 of 3 pick USF in the BE, Oregon in the P12 and Alabama in the SEC. The B10 was the only conference they all disagreed on, but 2 of 3 had OSU in the game and 2 of 3 had NE in the game so I guess that is their consensus pick. They all had different National Champs (2 of 3 had Alabama losing the NCG) and Heisman winners, too.

    ACC – FSU
    Big 12 – Oklahoma
    Big East – West Virginia
    Big Ten – Neb. over OSU
    Pac-12 – Stan. over ASU
    SEC – LSU over UGA
    NC – OU over LSU
    Heisman - L. Jones (OU)

    ACC – FSU over VT
    Big 12 – Oklahoma
    Big East – USF
    Big Ten – OSU over Iowa
    Pac-12 – Oregon over UCLA
    SEC – Bama over SC
    NC – Oregon over Bama
    Heisman - L. James (Oregon)

    ACC – FSU over VT
    Big 12 – Oklahoma
    Big East – USF
    Big Ten – Wisc. Over Neb.
    Pac-12 – Oregon over ASU
    SEC – Bama over UGA
    NC – FSU over Bama
    Heisman - E.J. Manuel (FSU)

  69. Brian says:

    So there has been lots of theorizing and speculation. Let’s put our cards on the table. No big theories or discussion, just some simple questions that require specific answers:

    1. On what date will TAMU be officially accepted into the SEC?

    2. How many teams will the SEC stop with (13, 14, 16, 18, 20)?

    3. What team will be the 14th member of the SEC (if they go to 14)?

    4. When will the 14th team be officially announced?

    5. In 2015, how many teams will be in each AQ conference?

    6. When will the era of superconferences (16 or more teams in at least 3 AQ conferences) start?

    • Brian says:

      My answers:

      1 Monday, 9/5/11

      2 14

      3 WV

      4 June 2012

      5 ACC 12, BE 10, B10 12, B12 10, P12 12, SEC 14

      6 2027

    • Bamatab says:

      1. I’ll go with 9/2. I think they officially withdrawal from the Big 12 on 9/1, and could send in their request to join on the same day. I guess it is possible that the SEC could except them on the same day, but I think they’ll wait a day.

      2. For the next 3-5 years, I think the SEC stays at 14.

      3. I think VT will be the 14th team. There seems to be more and more talk from the VT folks that has been coming out over the last couple of days that the big money donars are wanting to move to the SEC.

      4.) I think aTm joins for the 2012 year, and the 14th team joins for the 2013 year.

      5.) I think the Big 12 gets BYU to join which will halt the superconference boom for a few more years. So in 2015, I think the SEC will be at 14, the Big 12 will be at 10, and the rest will stay the same once the ACC brings in a replacement for VT. The Big East may get poached by the ACC and may add a team to fill in that spot.

      6.) I think it could be another 5 or 6 years before the other conference go to 14 teams, and the SEC beyond 14. Now if the LHN turns out to be a failure and can’t be sustained, then all bets are off. UT could then be on the phone with the Pac 12 the next day and all heck breaks loose.

    • bullet says:

      1. Who knows? It all depends on how much conversation the SEC has had with the networks. If they haven’t it still might not happen. I they have and like the answer it will be pretty quick.
      2. 13 for 2012.
      3. WVU will be 14 for 2013
      4. Spring 2012
      5. ACC-12, B1G-12, SEC-14, Big 12-10, BE-10, Pac 12-12

    • Eric says:

      1. I think they withdraw from the Big 12 late this week and are announced into the SEC Friday or next week. I’ll say Friday on the thought the conference wants to get this through before the football season starts.

      2. 14. They’ll go with 13 for a year or two, but will need a 14th school. There is not going to be support for going to 16 though. 14 was a very special occurrence with the ability to take A&M (and get into Texas). I don’t think there will be the same support for anyone else.

      3. Though one. So many have indicated no, but it’s without an offer on the table. I’ll say West Virginia as the past of least resistance. I think North Carolina State at the top levels is too close to North Carolina and won’t take the leap. I think Virginia Tech will be tempted, but without a definite yes, the SEC goes on to West Virginia. I do think both Virginia Tech and Florida State are in play though.

      4. It will be announced this year late in the season (October/November), but they won’t join until 2013.

      5. Listed in descending order of confidence: SEC: 14, Big Ten: 12, PAC-12: 12, ACC: 12, Big East: 10. My guess is that the Big 12, unable to land Notre Dame, will take BYU and stop at 10. The Big East would replace West Virginia (or a team lost to the ACC) before the next contract. It might go up to 12, but I’m still guessing against that.

      6. My guess is that these are actually only tried out of economic desperation. In a very bad economy, schools are dropping most sports. Football stays and presidents are willing to consolidate in the hope they’ll make more. It will, contrary to current trends, only be for football though. I’ll say 2019.

    • cutter says:

      1. The SEC will formally acccept Texas A&M on Monday, September 12. The Big XII and ATM will announce their separation on Tuesday, September 6 (right after Labor Day) along with the timeline for their departure.

      2. The SEC will stop with 14 teams in the interim with further expansion in place NLT 2015.

      3. Virginia Tech or Missouri will be the 14th team in the SEC with a slight edge to the Hokies.

      4. The 14th will be announced NLT September 30.

      5. By 2015, this will be the conference alignment:

      Big Ten – 16
      SEC – 16
      Pac 12 – 16
      ACC/BE – 12

      The Big XII will no longer be an AQ conference in 2015.

      6. The super conference era will start in 2015 with the Big Ten being the main driver. With the ABC/ESPN contract in its final year, Delany will make moves to ensure he has the best leveage available going into the rights negotiations and he’ll be one of the driving forces towards the superconference movement in concert with Larry Scott and Mike Slive.

    • M says:

      1. On what date will TAMU be officially accepted into the SEC?
      Not in 2011.

      2. How many teams will the SEC stop with (13, 14, 16, 18, 20)?

      3. What team will be the 14th member of the SEC (if they go to 14)?
      WVU or Missouri, if any

      4. When will the 14th team be officially announced?
      Jun 2012, if at all

      5. In 2015, how many teams will be in each AQ conference?
      B1G 12, Pac-12 12, Big 12 10 (BYU or Houston), ACC 12, Big East 9 (UCF), SEC 14 (WVU)

      6. When will the era of superconferences (16 or more teams in at least 3 AQ conferences) start?
      Not in my lifetime.

    • zeek says:

      1) By September 10th.

      2) 14

      3) West Virginia

      4) In 2012

      5) SEC – 14, Pac-14, Big Ten (12), Big 12 (10), ACC (12), Big East (10)

      6) In 2024-2026.

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      1. Monday, 9/5/11

      2. SEC stops at 14.

      3. WVU

      4. WVU will announce in November.

      5. In 2015: Big 12–10 (BYU); Pac-12–12; Big Ten–12; SEC–14; ACC–12; Big East–10 (UCF and ECU).

      6. Hopefully the era of superconferences will never start.

    • duffman says:

      So there has been lots of theorizing and speculation. Let’s put our cards on the table. No big theories or discussion, just some simple questions that require specific answers:

      1. On what date will TAMU be officially accepted into the SEC?

      Accepted – EOY (june) – I still stand by my announcement day of sept 1 (+ / -) few days

      2. How many teams will the SEC stop with (13, 14, 16, 18, 20)?

      13 or 14 now / 16 when realignment ends

      3. What team will be the 14th member of the SEC (if they go to 14)?


      4. When will the 14th team be officially announced?

      depends on exit terms, fees, EOY, and who “asks” the SEC

      5. In 2015, how many teams will be in each AQ conference?

      If 16 happens by 15′ B1G / PAC / SEC = 16, the rest must “play in”

      6. When will the era of superconferences (16 or more teams in at least 3 AQ conferences) start?

      If TAMU goes, it already has, when it will finish, not as clear

    • jj says:

      1. Sept 12

      2. 13

      3. Clemson

      4. about 2-3 years

  70. vp19 says:

    1. On what date will TAMU be officially accepted into the SEC?
    Tuesday, Sept. 6

    2. How many teams will the SEC stop with (13, 14, 16, 18, 20)?
    Ultimately, 16 (though it may briefly remain at 14)

    3. What team will be the 14th member of the SEC (if they go to 14)?
    Virginia Tech

    4. When will the 14th team be officially announced?
    Spring 2012, with entry in the fall of 2013.

    5. In 2015, how many teams will be in each AQ conference?
    SEC, Big Ten, Pac, 16 each; ACC and Big 12, 12 each. The Big East will no longer sponsor football.

    6. When will the era of superconferences (16 or more teams in at least 3 AQ conferences) start?

  71. SH says:

    Just to spice it up. I think a&m withdrawals but the sec balks. This gives a&m and the B10 cover to come terms. I think the administration would rather go there bc of academics but it needs to deal with the fans desire to go to sec. If sec holds up their admittance that may give them the cover they need. B10 gets a strong Texas school with passionate fans wo the ego of ut who’s conference track record is not very good. I disagree with zeek, I think a&m culturally fits in well with b10. And when they are playing annual games against the likes of psu, Ohio st, and um MI the fans will get over it. That is my current conspiracy theory which has a likelihood of less than 1 percent. But I think it would be a very desirable outcome.

    • jtower says:

      Aggie to BIG doesn’t seem likely but would be great. It would make the chances of Texas joining much greater. They could bring OU and have 2 geographic partners It also may entice/force ND to come on board. Otherwise add Mizzou. LHN will be worked around for that kind of conference and the CIC.

    • EZCUSE says:

      Of all the talk of the Big 10 and the SEC doing “something” or “anything” to counter the moves by each other, I find the battle over Texas A&M and Virginia Tech to be the most legitimate. If the Big 10 had a Texas school, that would help Nebraska and perhaps other Big 10 schools. It might hurt the SEC schools that recruit in Texas (LSU/Arkansas). And it would add a huge market to the BTN that would give the Big 10 a financial boost. Virginia Tech would be another massive football boost. On that basis, it is not difficult to envision why the SEC would want those schools.

      Otherwise, I just don’t see any need for either conference to be overly concerned about what the other conferences do. This is particularly true with basketball schools and Missouri.

      This is not a true “war,” where there has to be a winner or loser. Both conferences can pile up tons of dough. And getting to argue about which conference is superior is beneficial to both conferences. Texas A&M and Va Tech would upgrade either conference… and is therefore actually worth trying to get.

  72. Redhawk says:

    1. On what date will TAMU be officially accepted into the SEC?
    A: It’s been reported that the target for the presser for the announcement will be this Thursday Sept. 1st

    2. How many teams will the SEC stop with (13, 14, 16, 18, 20)?
    A: 16

    3. What team will be the 14th member of the SEC (if they go to 14)?
    A: Virginia Tech (with West Virginia and Missouri as strong possibilities)

    4. When will the 14th team be officially announced?
    A: (January 2012…after the bowls)

    5. In 2015, how many teams will be in each AQ conference?
    A: SEC-16
    ACC/Big East-16

    6. When will the era of superconferences (16 or more teams in at least 3 AQ conferences) start?
    A: 2015

    I wasn’t a believer in the superconferences, but I am now. The Pac/B1G agreement on how to deal with the Rose Bowl and agreeing to a seeded plus one set up was the clincher for me. I also believe there will be exemptions for major independents in that system.

    • vp19 says:

      The 4 x 16 scenario won’t work because there are currently more than 64 BCS (67 this year, including Notre Dame; 68 next year with Texas Christian, and if Brigham Young enters the Big 12, it becomes 69). I think it would be politically difficult to kick out BCS members. Therefore, a scenario of 3 x 16 and two smaller conferences is more likely, probably with the Big East getting out of the football business.

      • zeek says:

        This is especially true given the economics of going over 12 teams.

        There’s no reason for the ACC to go over 12, especially not if the 4 teams that it adds to go to 16 come from the Big East.

        As clean as the 4×16 scenario sounds, the end game is going to be more messy than that.

        I could see 3×16 easily, however, given that the Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC are likely to have the financial ability to reach 16 (and probably will have available teams that make it profitable).

      • Redhawk says:

        I really don’t think the big boys give a crap about leaving out a team or two from the Whatever-comes-after – bcs set up.

        But like zeek said this is looking far more messy. It actually would be pretty easy for Scott/Silve/Delany to sit down and divide up the college football pie landscape, allowing the Big East/ACC survivor to piece together a conference from the pieces.

        • vp19 says:

          I really don’t think the big boys give a crap about leaving out a team or two from the Whatever-comes-after – bcs set up.

          Yeah, but Congress will — and chances are anyone left out this time around would have a lot more clout on Capitol Hill than Temple did nearly a decade ago — especially large state institutions such as Kansas State or Iowa State. Even the likes of Wake Forest and Baylor would have their defenders. And any potential playoff would likely include a few at-large entrants, so having more than four BCS conferences won’t hurt that.

          • frug says:

            Good luck getting 60 Senators to stand up for KSU and ISU, especially since the most powerful schools would be benefiting for the system.

          • Brian says:

            Exactly who in congress is going to care that the B10, P12 and SEC chose not to add ISU or KSU? It’s a business decision, and congress is all for that. It would be different if the B12 was told it had to kick them out to get into the new system, but nobody is going to force a conference to add them.

        • bullet says:

          Well antitrust lawyers would care. The NCAA president couldn’t even have his meeting with conference commissioners without consulting his lawyers first. No way they could even indirectly try to divvy up the rest.

          • Redhawk says:

            but it’s not an anti-trust. The schools are free to form their own group. Is Montana State suing the BCS for anti-trust? No…cause Montana State is still allowed to do business, and to make money. heck the MWC commission talked about it and threatened it….but didn’t. Why? cuase he had no case.

            It’s also not something that congress has any authority over. Their is no law about the university sports conferences on the Federal level. They can bitch and whine and look tough in the TV cameara’s which will win votes back home in Utah….but they have no jurisdiction in the matter.

          • bullet says:

            Its an anti-trust isse if the 3 conferences work together to select who is in and who is out.

      • vandiver49 says:

        I’ve always thought that 5 x14 team conferences would be the best way to go. That gets you 70 BCS teams and 5 AQ champs plus one at large bid for the playoffs. The top two teams get byes during the first round.

      • Richard says:

        There’s no magical reason for all the power conferences to expand to 16 and then stop there. As I’ve said before, for a conference where schools like to play each other (B10), 20 makes more sense than 16, and for a superconference that would essentially be 2 conferences playing a title game, 20 is the same as 16. I see a Big20, a Pac16/20, a 16-school SEC, and then the BE adding some leftovers (like BC, maybe Wake, KU, Mizzou & KSU) to get to 10/12/14.

        Conferences will expand when it makes sense to and stop when they decide it makes sense to.

  73. Jake says:

    Idle thought: if Texas A&M and, let’s say, Missouri both leave the Big 12, could they just change their name to the Big 8? Technically the Big 12 is a different conference, so who owns the rights to that name?

  74. largeR says:

    Yes, but…………………., do they have the UTC. :)

  75. bullet says:

    In case you missed any of the comments on the Aggies to the SEC or responses of Big 12 fans and schools, its all in this thread-just in parody format:

  76. zeek says:

    For Big Ten expansion, the dates to focus on are the end of this contract negotiation as well as the subsequent one.

    That means 2014-2015 (for the 2016 contract), as well as 2024-2025 (if a new 10 contract year is signed) or 2026-2027 (if a new 12 year contract is signed).

    Of course, Notre Dame would be able to apply on its own time, but if the Big Ten is going to actively search for new partners, it’ll be around those dates barring some kind of change with the Big 12 (OU decides to bolt, or something of that nature).

    • Kevin says:

      Totally agree with that timetable. How would new members be paid out in the interim otherwise? Certainly existing members would not dilute there share for a few years while they wait for the ESPN/ABC deal to expire. BTN revenues will not be sufficient.

      • zeek says:

        Yeah, the deal with Nebraska was a totally different situation from what’s coming in the future.

        Big Ten was at 11 and the BTN as well as other schools/conferences talking about networks created the instability these past two years.

        With the Big Ten at 12, the monetization of a CCG is off the table now, so the 13th and 14th schools must pay for themselves.

        Unless a king becomes available, that means it has to happen around the future contract expiration dates.

    • David Brown says:

      The only way the Big 10 will add teams in the next 5 years, is if a: Notre Dame wants to join (Probably bringing along Boston College or Pitt). b: Texas & Oklahoma want to join together. c: The SEC or Pac force the issue by expanding beyond Texas A&M. There is one thing and only one REALISTIC thing that could cause those things to occur…. Miami gets the Death Penalty. If that would occur, then Florida State might just jump right to the SEC (As team 14), and without FSU and Miami, the ACC is DEAD as a football conference, and the Big 10 is now in position to take some ACC schools (Such as UNC, Maryland, and a couple of others), or force Notre Dame to come once and for all. Finally, if they get ND, they might even snag Texas & Oklahoma (Unless they prefer going out to the Pac).

      • ccrider55 says:

        I understand UT or perhaps OU, but not UT and OU. That would only leave room for ND and a friend, and would be redundant in the same (Texas+) market. Is ND’s friend the friend PSU has awaiting in the east?

        • zeek says:

          Yes. Most likely ND will be paired with an Eastern university (Pitt or Rutgers or Maryland being the obvious choices).

          • ccrider55 says:

            I would bet there will, eventually (next week/decade?), be ND, at least two from the east, and maybe one from the B12ish. Not betting on which one though.

        • jcfreder says:

          @ccrider – if Tex and Okla are on the table, the B10 has to make that move. If anything these additions would make it more likely that ND eventually joins, because it secures the B10 as the #1 football conference.

        • Richard says:

          Again, 16 isn’t a magic number. If you can get Texas and OU, get Texas and OU. Worry about ND and other possibilities (all of which are worse than or at best equal to Texas & OU) later.

      • jcfreder says:

        There seem to be two separate lines of thought here:

        1) the B10 won’t look to add teams until TV negotiation time

        2) There are only a limited number of scenarios that the B10 would entertain.

        I think these two ideas are contradictory, and #2 makes more sense than #1. I think most people would agree that the B10 won’t move unless there’s a real home-run scenario. But that means the B10 has to act when the home runs are available, not when the TV contract is up. I also think this means that there’s almost no way the B10 adds only single or double level schools at TV negotation time just to get some more money in a new deal. So ultimately, the TV timeline is largely irrelevant.

        • Kevin says:

          Let’s assume your scenario #2 is accurate. How do you suppose the existing members will agree to receiving, say, less conference revenue in 2012 vs. 2011? Unless of course the ABC/ESPN contract allows for an incremental increase for additional schools. ie. if avg payouts per school are $10 million @ 12 schools or $120 million in total, each new school added will receive $10 million or $140 in total annually for 14 schools. Not sure if the contracts work that way and it certainly does not include the increase in market value for the television rights that will be received in the 2015/2016 negotiations. That’s the only way I see your scenario # 2 working.

          I just can’t envision current members willing to take $2-3 million less annually as revenues are diluted through the 2015-2016 re-up.

          Even though that’s a relatively small number most of the budgets of these schools are razor thin.

          • jcfreder says:

            @Kevin – the upshot of your position is that the B10 would NOT add Texas or Notre Dame today if they came calling. That’s obviously false.

            This is true even supposing the pie gets split more ways without actually growing for a couple of years (although it’s almost certainly not true. Even if the ESPN deal didn’t get renegotiated, the BTN would see revenue skyrocket virtually immediately neder this type of move because of more households added/fees raised).

            But OK, assuming the pie doesn’t get bigger, the B10 would do it because it’s an investment in the future, just like taking on debt to finance a new area, etc.

        • Richard says:

          2016 isn’t exactly far away. A couple years of slightly decreased revenue is nothing compared to several decades of highly increased revenue. The B10 will expand if it can grab a king or several.

  77. m (Ag) says:

    Everybody has sources!

    Claims from a BYU source: BYU wants to know if ND is going to join a conference (any conference, not necessarily the Big 12). If they are, then BYU will probably accept a Big 12 offer. If ND is committed to staying independent, there’s a fair chance BYU will stay independent as well.

    • vp19 says:

      Of this is the case, bad news for the Big 12, because Notre Dame isn’t joining any conference for football anytime soon.

      Should Brigham Young say no (which would work against any potential goal of getting BCS status, which it almost certainly won’t as an independent), the Big 12 becomes less stable, and Texas may renew thoughts about taking Texas Tech, Okie State and Oklahoma west if the Longhorn Network can be worked into the Pac’s plan.

      • ccrider55 says:

        LHN can only be worked in by delivering all rights to the PAC. Don’t think ESPN will just forfeit the rights they just paid a pretty penny for. Unless there is some out clause contingent on conference failure, UT may have to live with their Faustian bargin.

        • bullet says:

          That’s just details. It could all be worked out. If fox and espn could jointly bid on Pac and could agree on letting a B12 game slip down to LHN, this could easily be worked out. If UT sees more value, the details won’t be that hard. But I think it will be hard to convince them that there is more value than the current setup over the next 10 years.

          • ccrider55 says:

            UT no longer has the rights. I believe ESPN is UT’s rights holder for 20 years, and has the right to match other offers for the rest of the rights not yet held if the conference fails. Perhaps I misunderstood the LHN contract language. I’m not a lawyer and wouldn’t know how to play one. :) Whether UT sees value may no longer matter.

          • frug says:

            If at any time during the lifetime of their contract with ESPN UT is no longer a member of the Big XII, ESPN has a 60 day exclusive window to negotiate the purchase of ALL of UT’s tv rights, and if a deal is not reached ESPN will have the right to match any offer from any conference or other media company.

    • Kevin says:

      @jcfreder The two schools you suggest are obvious adds financially but not so sure culturally. Texas added to the BTN with carriage fees would obviously pay for itself regardless of the ABC/ESPN deal. With regards to ND they would just enter the conference in 2015.

      It’s the other schools not Texas or ND that I am referring too.

      Athletic Department budgets are very tight with the exception of a few schools in each major conference.

  78. Redhawk says:

    I disagree with the “They must pay for themselves” argument against conference expansion. If that were the the case NO school, not even Notre Dame would be worth going past 12 and a conference championship game for ANY conference.

    BUT…when you end up with Super-conferences, the game all changes. Fewer conferences mean less supply. Less Supply means the Conferences will demand higher TV deals.

    Also with the less supply you get the ability (or threat) for those superconferences to leave the NCAA and start a playoff system, if the NCAA doesn’t allow for that, when the BCS contract is up in 2014. A playoff could be a HUGE financial windfall. One the Big boys dont want to share with the Mtn Wests or the C-USA’s of the world.

    This is about Money and Football is the driver of that money machine.

    • ccrider55 says:


    • bullet says:

      Then you get into game theory. The 1st to move loses.

    • zeek says:

      Not exactly sure what you’re referring to by saying that schools don’t pay for themselves.

      Look at the Big Ten contract for example.

      Say it pays out $220M for 11 schools (before Nebraska).

      Michigan/Ohio State/Penn State bring most of the marginal value; schools like Michigan State, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa bring some of the marginal value, and schools like Indiana, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue bring in almost no marginal value.

      For example, a TV executive might say it looks like

      Michigan: $50M
      Ohio State: $50M
      Penn State: $50M
      Wisconsin: $20M
      Illinois: $15M
      Michigan State: $10M
      Iowa: $10M
      Indiana/Purdue: $7.5M
      Minnesota: $7.5M
      Northwestern: $0M

      That’s what the schools bring to that $220M contract at the margin if you look at it like that. (Note the irony that only 3 schools easily pay for themselves and Wisconsin pays for itself perfectly by that guesstimate).

      Take Nebraska. Nebraska is worth around $40M as a king even though they don’t bring a big population (alumni and state population are relatively smaller than the other three Big Ten kings) like the other kings.

      So with Nebraska if you revalue the contract, it’s worth $260M for 12 schools. They clearly paid for themselves if you divide the pie into 12 parts.

      Notre Dame is easily worth around $50M just like Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State.

      You can pair Notre Dame with anyone (even Pitt, which might have a marginal value of $5M or less) and it would pay for both the schools to be added to the conference.

      You’d end up with a contract worth around $315M with Notre Dame and Pitt on top of the current 12 (including Nebraska).

      That’s how it works. You need to think about the marginal value of school (i.e. if you replace Ohio State with Cincinnati, what happens to the Big Ten contract? It probably loses around $50M…)

      Obviously, you need filler in a conference for the kings to play. No one wants to see a 3-4 team conference made up of teams that pay for themselves…

      • zeek says:

        One other thing I forgot to mention, the valuation of a school only impacts the contract when the contracts are renegotiated (whether triggered by expansion or in the alternative, at the expiration of the prior contract).

        Thus, Nebraska’s value isn’t going to be present until the revaluation of the Big Ten contract.

      • Redhawk says:

        so you are trying to say, that Notre Dame, is grossly underpaid right now? by over 100%?

        I understand your point….but there aren’t many schools worth 25 Million it would take to pay for themselves. Especially ones that might be interested in leaving a conference for a new one.

        • zeek says:

          Notre Dame is somewhat underpaid but it’s hard to tell because NBC only televises around 6-7 of their games per year. The conference setup would change that because their away games in conference are also added to the contract. That isn’t true of ND’s current contract.

          Regardless, my point stands. The marginal value of schools like Texas, ND, Oklahoma are what brings value to the contracts. The rest of the schools don’t pay for themselves in fact, except for rare exceptions like a school like Wisconsin which probably does…

          You make a good point that getting to 4×16 makes it a lot easier for a conference to get higher contracts through constrained supply of higher quality schools.

          But expansion at this point isn’t focused on that, and won’t be until we see what Oklahoma does. I think we need to see the three main conferences (Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC at or above 14 for that to start to take place, even though it somewhat already does…)

        • zeek says:

          Just think about it like this; say for example the current Big 12 contract was worth around $160M per year with 10 schools.

          If you take away Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M, and replace them with Houston, Tulsa, and SMU; what happens to the Big 12′s contract? It’s probably worth no more than $25M per year with those 10 schools.

          A TV executive is going to look at the conference and say:

          Texas: $70M
          Oklahoma: $40M
          Texas A&M: $25M
          Missouri: $12.5M
          Kansas/K-State: $5M
          OSU: $2.5M
          TTech: $2.5M
          Iowa State: $2.5M
          Baylor: $0M

          You replace Texas, Oklahoma, and A&M with Houston, Tulsa, and SMU (all of which probably bring no marginal value), and you have a contract basically being carried by Missouri, which isn’t going to be worth anything.

          Note, however, that Texas A&M’s value in the Big 12 is less than it would be in the SEC without Texas. As the second school in the conference behind the state’s flagship/king in Texas, it’s value is not anywhere near what it would be in the SEC.

          A&M’s value in the SEC might be around 25-50% higher in the SEC as the SEC’s flagship Texas school…

          • zeek says:

            Yeah Brian, your analysis is more complete re: ND. I definitely think ND would be worth at least 100-150% more to the Big Ten than its current NBC contract is worth.

            Throwing in the fact that the Big Ten would own their away conference games along with what you state and generally higher quality matchups, etc.

        • Brian says:

          ND has more value to a network in the B10 than as an independent:

          1. The network would get more game than NBC does now (10-12 games versus 7).

          2. ND/MSU and ND/PU games, and maybe even ND/MI, would gain value as conference games, since more people would watch and care about the outcome.

          3. ND games against other mid-level AQ teams would gain a lot of value when they impact a conference race rather than just being OOC games.

          4. The network would get a chance to really tap the eastern TV market with CFB with games like ND/PSU.

          5. The network would gain multiple king/king games every year – ND/MI becomes annual instead of semi-annual for the network, plus they likely get 2 of ND/OSU, ND/NE and ND/PSU every year as well as ND/USC every other year.

          6. ND is a midwestern team and more fans may tune in to see them play other midwestern teams than for some of the “lesser” national games they play (the UNC, MD, Utah, etc type games). The alternative, of course, is that fewer ND fans watch since they will lose some of their annual rivalries and most common opponents in favor of playing even more B10 teams, but I think their would be a net gain of viewers for the games.

          7. The CCG become much more valuable with the chance to get ND in it. I know it’s a separate deal for now, but that could change in the future.

          • vp19 says:

            That’s perfectly logical thinking…but when dealing with Notre Dame football, logic never applies.

          • Brian says:

            I only said ND is more valuable to a network in a conference, especially the B10. I’m not saying it is good for ND or that they should do it. It was a follow up to Redhawk asking if ND was undervalued by more than 100% and zeek explaining the value per school. Several points are critical to understand here:

            1. $50M was a guess
            2. ND makes more than the $15M that is rumored (reduces how much they are underpaid)
            3. ND would be more valuable in the B10 than indy (reduces how much they are underpaid)
            4. ND has been underperforming versus their norm (reduces how much they are underpaid)
            5. ND doesn’t care about the money (much)

      • David Brown says:

        The problem with that theory is the way you allocate $$$$ amounts to the teams. For example: Penn State> Michigan State (Football) but Michigan State> Penn State (Basketball). I also think even a school like Northwestern has a greater value in football than Indiana or Minnesota. The issue of research $$$$$$$ is also huge as well.
        The key to any Conference’s success is remembering the “Law Of Diminishing Marginal Returns.”. Which simply put, in terms of the Big 10, does adding a school bring more to the table in terms, of sports (Particularly football), name value, and last, but certainly not least academics, then it will cost? In addition, do they expect that in the future they can grow, or will they become stagnant (See the Minnesota Golden Gophers & Indiana Hoosiers)?The Big 10 is willing to look at this from a long-term point of view. Penn State is an obvious example of this: They had the name, and were superior at football, but their academics were middle of the road Big 10. Now their academics are top flight, as are the “Olympic” Sports like wrestling and volleyball (And their impact on hockey may become the biggest of all). They turned out to be the right school for the Conference (And I believe Nebraska will be as well). But if they they bet wrong, they lose big time, which is why they are selective about who they add (Missouri was avoided because unlike Nebraska, they bring nothing to the table). Keep this in mind, when you see who (If anyone) they add in the future.

        • vp19 says:

          The Big 10 is willing to look at this from a long-term point of view. Penn State is an obvious example of this: They had the name, and were superior at football, but their academics were middle of the road Big 10. Now their academics are top flight, as are the “Olympic” sports like wrestling and volleyball (and their impact on hockey may become the biggest of all). They turned out to be the right school for the conference (and I believe Nebraska will be as well).

          That’s probably why, in lieu of waiting for the unattainable Notre Dame, the unmanageable Texas and the academically unexceptional Oklahoma, Delany is aiming for the ACC “core four” — which already would bring a lot to the Big Ten table in Olympic sports, academics and research — would likely become all the more valuable under the Big Ten imprimatur, and are in a region that is rapidly growing in affluence and influence. What might seem “out of the box” thinking today would be perfectly sensible 25 years from now.

          • willarm1 says:

            I believe the ACC 4 is an intriguing option. It addresses The B1G population issues, It addresses new markets for the BTN, It adds quality institutions that fit the B1G academic criteria, It adds National Brands albeit in B-Ball, and it does all this with out watering down the B1G main football brands (which I believe is a subject many overlook)

            For example, I know of some within University of TN who are a little concerned about adding more football powerhouses to an already loaded conference. They seem to believe adding a Va Tech, A&M may take away from schools like UT (a vested member) and Arkansas, in the long run. (Now add possibly an Oklahoma, or FSU?)

            I think a rush just to add more powerhouse football members may take away from some of the members who have made the conference so successful in the first place, I think there is a possibility of watering down the iconic programs that many identify a conference with.

            Who knows?

          • Atlanticist says:

            As mentioned before, adding the ACC four makes the Big Ten the new lacrosse conference. No one is arguing that football isn’t still king, but adding several of the top programs (unfortunately missing Syracuse and Hopkins) for a growing sport can’t be a bad move.

            In terms of academics and research, it would be another three ARWU top 50 schools (Duke, Maryland, UNC).

          • frug says:

            That might true Atlaticist, if it weren’t for the fact that the Big 10 doesn’t sponsor lacrosse…

        • zeek says:

          Football TV money is 80-90% of the equation, and Basketball TV money is 10-20% of the equation (unless you’re the ACC or Big East where your basketball quality is among the highest in the country, whereas the football quality is among the lowest of the major conferences).

          And the only reason why Northwestern brings in no marginal value (and I say this as a Northwestern grad), is because it’s easily interchangeable. You switch it out for Northern Illinois, and I guarantee you, there’s no change in the contract. This is regardless of the fact that Northwestern is more often than not a mid-tier football team instead of at the bottom (especially over the past two decades).

          Indiana/Purdue bring a bit of basketball money as well as plenty of eyeballs in the state of Indiana. Michigan State does bring in some money in basketball as well, but because they’re in a conference with Michigan, they’ll naturally be undervalued. Michigan State could easily be worth significantly more if they were in a conference without Michigan (see Texas A&M).

          If you asked a TV executive how the contracts work, and what schools bring the marginal value to the contract, I’d be fairly certain that you’d get an answer close to what I gave.

          • David Brown says:

            Northwestern has a tremendous value to the Big 10 because of the Academic reputation of the school (A similiar concept to Vanderbilt (A school that excels at one sport, baseball, although because of their high standards, they will never reach the consistant level of LSU, South Carolina, Georgia or Florida)).
            As for Michigan St, I do not think Sparty is quite A&M, and there are three reasons behind that……. 1: The culture of the Big 10 is quite different (Share and share alike (UM included)), vs Texas’s Bevo first mentality. 2: MSU has always known that Michigan’s biggest rival is Ohio State (Except in hockey of course), so it is not like they woke up and found that your biggest rival replaced you as being their more important game (Which is what happened with both A&M & Nebraska). 3: Perhaps most important, MSU knows that it always has a place at the table in the Big 10, as long as it wants it (Like the College of Chicago still sharing in Research even though they gave up sports, and NOT kicking out Northwestern for Penn State (The NW vote was pivotal for the Nitts to be allowed in the Big 10)). On the other hand, A&M knows that anytime UT wants to, they can (And will) leave schools by the waste side (Ask Houston, TCU, SMU, and most importantly, Rice (A school with NW and Vanderbilt level academics) about it sometime).

          • zeek says:

            Yes, the Big Ten’s academic brand is something else entirely as compared to the nuts and bolts of the TV contract.

            I’m just saying if you look only at the TV contracts from the perspective of a TV executive who’s valuing the contract 80-90% on football quality and 10-20% on basketball quality; then, this is the kind of valuation breakdown that you get.

          • bullet says:

            To support your comment, the Big 12 was rather surprised that CU, who had probably the 4th best football brand in the conference, was a drag on conference revenues. Because they didn’t have the avid support, when they left, the average per school went up.

            I suspect TT, Baylor, Ok St, KSU and ISU could individually be replaced by just about anyone with no impact (not all 5 together, but individually). MU would probably be like CU. The bulk of the value is in 4 schools-UT, OU, A&M and KU with their basketball brand. KU was actually 3rd in distributions last year, just behind UT.

          • Brian says:


            BTN money is generally split 65-35 (FB/MBB), and BTN and ABC/ESPN are about equal any more. Add in the MBB TV deal with CBS, and I’m guessing the split is 75-80% FB and 20-25% MBB for the B10 right now.

            That isn’t what each school is worth, obviously, but how much they get paid.

          • Richard says:

            As you mentioned, the ACC has some of the top bball brands, and maybe just as importantly, probably the most valuable bball-watching region in the country. Bball gets football-level TV ratings (average football, not powerhouse football, but still football-level ratings) in MD, VA, & NC, and while that may be true for KU and UK as well, KS & KY are small population states while the core of the ACC is as populated as Texas. Add in the growing population, the fertile football recruiting, and the stellar academic/research reputations, and I think the ACC core four pay for themselves in the longrun and would be a good first step towards a Big20. Next 4 would be ND/UF/UGa (don’t laugh; the Gators and Dawgs may come if the B10 is already in the south with the core ACC schools & an SEC team gets the death penalty) + some combination of FSU, Miami, GTech, or BC to fill out. Even without UF & UGa, ND+FSU+Miami+GTech is nothing to sneeze at and would more than pay for themselves.

          • zeek says:

            Richard, I agree that the ACC-4 pay for themselves. UNC is like a quasi-king in that respect (especially with Duke paired with it).

    • RedDenver says:

      That’s assuming playoffs are the end goal. That plan may be ultimately self-defeating. The formation of the playoffs will probably decrease the money conferences are receiving for the regular season, which in turn may no longer make 12+ team conferences feasible.

      Regardless, I think the huge money boom for college football won’t last and conferences larger than 12 will face financial challenges in about 15-20 years. On the bright side, we’ll be able to talk about conference dealignment in those offseasons.

      • RedDenver says:

        I was replying to Redhawk, if that isn’t clear.

      • bullet says:

        Change is inevitable. It could well be that cable TV which is driving a lot of these $ will be a dinosaur is 15-20 years. Everyone will be watching their home team over the internet and conferences could be unimportant in TV negotiations. So I agree, with the future media so unpredictable, these mega-conferences could be very unstable. I do think Delany, Scott and Slive are aiming for 14-16 team conferences. But not everyone wants to play along, including ESPN.

        • zeek says:

          This is a very strong argument for why the “super”-conferences should only come about naturally instead of as a big mish-mash of teams (i.e. slapping a pod of 4-6 schools onto a conference).

          This is also why you’re highly unlikely to see a 16 team ACC/Big East football conference. It would be no different from the previous attempt at the WAC-16 that went up in flames.

          The Big Ten and SEC are especially going to be focused on expansion that brings in teams that won’t leave under any circumstances in the future (i.e. Nebraska, A&M); those are schools that plan to park themselves in those conferences for the next 100 years.

          And it’s why the Pac-16 may inherently be unstable if the two halves (Pac-8, SWC-II) aren’t bringing in equal money to the contract. You may eventually see the SWC-II split off and take the Arizona schools with it (especially if the Arizona schools end up getting significant recruiting boosts out of Texas and think that’s where their bread is buttered).

    • zeek says:

      FWIW, the ACC-4 would be the only group of schools that pays for themselves without a king because of UNC’s status as a quasi-king in terms of its population/brand, and their value in basketball as the most valuable basketball property in the country (UNC-Duke).

      Of course, whether those 4 would split from the ACC even with a strike from the SEC at Va Tech (for example), is endlessly debatable.

    • Brian says:


      You say you don’t think schools have to pay for themselves, but then your argument is based on the schools paying for themselves through TV contracts and a playoff.

      Bigger conferences reduce the number of suppliers of games to networks, which can certainly increase value (the BE is counting on it). However, there’s only a few networks and the number of conferences won’t change all that much. There is a limit to the increase in contract value this will cause. More of the value comes from having more inventory in each conference. This assures the networks of having better games to air with their picks, and that is much more valuable to them.

      Remember that ESPN is buying from everybody already. Recombining those teams into fewer conferences doesn’t change a lot for them. UT/OU has roughly equal value to them in the B12 as it does in the P16. Conferences can demand much better deals, but they only have a few networks to demand that from. They’ll quickly reach a maximum value that nobody else will top.

      Fewer conferences will also reduce the regionalization from ABC/ESPN. If they only need 3 games instead of 4, they save money and end up showing better games. On the downside, it is possible that viewership goes down overall if the regions become so big that many fans don’t really care about the teams involved in the games. That is the risk of a superconference. Will fans in the midwest tune in to watch former ACC teams play? Will fans in the west tune in to watch plains states teams?

      The AQ conferences could leave the NCAA right now. The only thing that’s stopping them is themselves. Likewise, they could have a playoff if they wanted it. It’s not like the small schools would vote no. School presidents make these decision, so superconferences have zero impact on the discussion.

      A playoff would make more than the BCS. How much more depends on the size and type of playoff, of course. However, there is the chance that a playoff reduces the value of the regular season. If casual fans watch fewer games because teams will make the playoffs anyway, a playoff may or may not make up the difference.

      There are also all those other factors seemingly nobody but the school presidents believe in, like the impact on academics, increased injuries, loss of tradition and hurting the communities. Until the presidents become convinced all of that is worth it, there will be no playoff.

      With no playoff, do superconferences make sense financially? Maybe, but you’d have to be very selective. You know, like only taking schools that pay for themselves.

      • Richard says:

        ESPN is not a monopoly. Right now, there are 5 good conference properties (and the BE). Breaking it down further, 2 really good properties (the B10 & SEC), 3 good properties (B12, Pac, & ACC) and the BE. However, if the B12 and ACC get divvied up, you’d be left with 3 awesome properties and the BE. Right now, ESPN can afford to be outbid on a conference or 2. However, if there are only 3 properties worth having (and 2 of them put significant inventory on their own networks), the price for college football rights would go up more. No one wants to be in the position CBS was in after they lost the NFL, and right now, CFB isn’t even a loss leader yet (from what I can understand). There’s still plenty of room to grow profit for the superconferences.

        • Brian says:

          I didn’t say ESPN was a monopoly.

          Why would a B20 or P20 even bother to sell rights to other networks? They might be valuable enough to force national carriage for decent money at that point. That would leave just the SEC20 and BE. How long until the SEC20 starts their own network as well?

          The price for any one conference would go up, sure, but there will also be fewer conferences to pay. CFB may still be undervalued right now, but you can’t attribute that part of the growth to expansion. The question is how much more the total rights for all CFB would cost solely because of consolidation.

          • Richard says:


            You said “Remember that ESPN is buying from everybody already.” which is true now, when the college football universe is relatively fractured, but may not be so true in the future.

            As for selling rights, I think the conferences still see the value in putting their highest-profile games on a platform that reaches a national audience, and even if a Big20 comes about, the BTN isn’t going to reach more than half the households in the country (while other conference networks would have a smaller reach). That’s part of the reason why the Big10 shows a weekend bball game on CBS for essentially free, for instance.

          • Brian says:


            Buying from everybody is nothing like being a monopoly, and you know it. If ESPN was a monopoly, nobody else would be buying from the conferences. ESPN has some primary rights, some secondary rights and now some tertiary rights, while Fox, CBS, the BTN and the P12N have other rights. You know this as well as everyone else does.

            Why do you insist on intentionally misrepresenting what I say?

          • Richard says:


            Did I say you said “ESPN is a monopoly”? No. So develop some reading comprehension and reasoning skills.

            Let me spell it out slowly:
            1. You said “Remember that ESPN is buying from everybody already.”
            2. You said “Recombining those teams into fewer conferences doesn’t change a lot for them.”

            I contend that 1. is a meaningless point because ESPN is not a monopoly (so recombining teams _does_ change a lot for them _next_time_rights_negotiations_occur). If they were a monopoly, then you made a substantive point, as recombining teams would not change the landscape for them. As they are not, conferences can go to other networks for better deals (because ESPN is not a monopoly), which means “ESPN buying from everybody now” in a landscape with 5 attractive conference properties is an insignificant point if the number of attractive conference properties decreases to 3, the number of media conglomerates is at 3+ (ESPN/ABC, Fox, NBC/Comcast, & CBS) and you take a century-long view.

            Again, no network wants to be in the position CBS was in when they lost the NFL. As I’m quite certain college football isn’t anywhere near being a loss leader yet, I’m also quite certain that there’s still value to be extracted, as TV ratings blockbuster properties will be bid up until they are close to being loss leaders (which the NFL is/was).

          • Brian says:


            Did I say you said “ESPN is a monopoly”? No.

            As the opening line of a direct response to a comment of mine that mentions ESPN (not in question form), that statement implies that disagreement with something I said. I think you may be educated enough to know that, too.

            Let me spell it out slowly:
            1. You said “Remember that ESPN is buying from everybody already.”
            2. You said “Recombining those teams into fewer conferences doesn’t change a lot for them.”

            I did say those things, and neither says or implies that ESPN is a monopoly.

            I contend that 1. is a meaningless point because ESPN is not a monopoly (so recombining teams _does_ change a lot for them _next_time_rights_negotiations_occur).

            You are adding conditions here. Many of the future rights negotiations are a decade or more away. Many things could change for ESPN by then. Does it change a lot for them right now? Does the RRR suddenly gain or lose value if ABC shows it as a B12 game versus a P16 game?

            Bidding on 4 conferences instead of 6 isn’t necessarily a big deal since the number of games isn’t changing. They just have fewer contracts to deal with. ESPN has first tier rights with all but the SEC, and they have all their second tier rights (P12 first tier rights are partial). Many teams can move without greatly impacting ESPN right now. For all we know, there won’t be TV negotiations by 2023 (the next time a bunch of right come free).

            CBS hasn’t shown any real desire to get deeply into non-SEC CFB. That leaves ABC/ESPN, Fox and NBC/Comcast for the most part. How much is Comcast willing to spend to get more CFB? How many channels will/can they devote on Saturdays? Fox has just recently started to take CFB seriously. ESPN has the advantage of huge monthly subscriber fees to bankroll them, so who can and will challenge them? Will someone focus on alternative sports programming to get all the non-CFB fans instead?

          • Richard says:

            Brian, I’m sorry, but if you can’t make simple deductions and need every step spelt out like for a 5 year old child, there’s not much I can do for you.

  79. Redhawk says:

    so how about some old fashion plane tracking? I know it’s so 2010 but it’s back:

    Plane: OU/Norman, OK to Columbia, MO to Norman, OK to College Station, to Norman, to Columbia

    Several are speculating on what that could mean. Personally I think it’s bringing the exit papers and fees to A&M.

  80. Redhawk says:

    How about some old fashion airplane tracking? I know it’s so 2010 but we have it!
    Norman, OK to Columbia, MO to Norman, OK, to College Station, TX to Norman, Ok to Columbia

    Not sure what they are doing in that shuttle, but my assumption would be delievering the exit papers and fees to A&M.

  81. Redhawk says:

    Well we have some old fashion plane tracking going on. For some reason when I post the link this post doesn’t work, but on Texasag board and board we have a plane going from Norman, to Columbia, MO, to Norman, to College Station to Norman, and now back to Columbia.

    Any guess as to what that means? Mine is it’s exit papers and fees (if any)

    • m (Ag) says:

      Fun with wild guesses!:

      -OU wants A&M to stay and establish a 3 team network of OU, A&M, and Missouri
      -OU is trying to convince A&M to skip out on the SEC and join the PAC with OU, OSU and Missouri
      -They’re negotiating to join the SEC with A&M acting as a go between.
      -The Big Ten has made a 3 team offer of A&M, OU and Missouri
      -The universities have decided to get together and pick out a really nice birthday present for Deloss Dodds!* And now you’ve ruined it by posting their flights all over the computer!

      If this isn’t important, the people in the Universities’ computer parties need to hook up their guys’ with teleconferencing equipment.

      *Note: I have no idea when Dodd’s birthday is.

      • zeek says:

        None of those guesses is particularly wild in my opinion (except for the last one lol).

        All of them actually seem like logical reasons for why those three schools would be collaborating.

      • bullet says:

        Bill Byrne is trying to find a new job? Noone listens to him in College Station.

      • mushroomgod says:

        First 3 are all plausible. I don’t think the BIG scenerio is plausible. The BIG wouldn’t take OK, and A@M has no interest in the BIG.

        • Richard says:

          Quite certain the B10 would take OU if they don’t have to take OK State. Heck, we already have Nebraska, and academically, Mizzou isn’t much better (except for being AAU. . . for now).

    • vp19 says:

      One guess: A&M and Slive are trying to find a partner for SEC membership; they probably prefer Oklahoma, which repeatedly said no, and now are pursuing Missouri as a fallback option.

    • Stopping By says:

      Weird flight patterns. Wild speculation obviously, but they are probably all getting together so that they can discuss leaving the conference all at the same time (assuming aTm is a lock to leave) so they dont have to pay jack in exit fees. They are making the promises in blood I guess, or they dont believe in teleconferences. But why OU present and not OkSt? Hmmm…

      Of course it might just be the barefoot bandit screwing everyone addicted to conference realignment.

    • Brian says:

      The internet doesn’t work in Norman, OK so they can’t video-conference?

      OU engineers have developed the world’s first passenger boomerang, so it has to keep returning to Norman?

      Someone in Norman has a rookie pilot who only knows how to fly to one city and back?

      Someone in Norman came up with some really good Longhorn jokes and just had to share them in person?

      OU is trying to get MO to stay, and they’re promising to help TAMU get a lower exit fee if they don’t take MO with them?

  82. Ethan says:

    BYU is really the only program to choose from from the field (not counting ND which I think is a long shot). Consider the growth potential by including BYU:

    1. There are 6 million LDS scattered across the nation who will fill stadiums and watch TV.
    2. BYUtv is in 60 million homes already and BYUtv International plays on most continents, something the LHN can only dream of. People in Johannesburg and Paris have BYUtv.
    3. BYU’s stadium holds 65,000 and is ranked most beautiful setting in the nation.
    4. BYU is the most popular school in the US (Harvard #2) for number of accepted apps who enroll.
    5. LDS membership projected to explode. Utah fastest growing state, Provo area grew 40% in last decade.
    6. BYU is a brand with large campuses worldwide: BYU Hawaii, BYU Idaho, BYU Jerusalem, soon to be BYU Vegas.
    7. They have a winning tradition in both FB and BB.

    Seriously, BYU should have been in a BCS conference ages ago. Jump on BYU.

    • frug says:

      Everyone on this board agrees that BYU is easily the most valuable non-AQ still on the board, but geography and a refusal to play on Sundays means that their only options for full membership in an AQ conference are the PAC-12 (which Cal and Stanford have made clear they will never allow under any circumstances) and the Big Xii (which is perpetually on the verge of implosion). This leaves a FB only membership in the Big East as the only AQ option, but if BYU had any interest in that they would already be a football only member of the Big East.

        • zeek says:

          That’s a very fair take on the situation. BYU has everything it wants except for being in an automatic BCS conference.

          They need exposure more than they need money, and they’ve already signed deals to play Texas and ND. The question is whether the BCS bid is enough to bring them into the Big 12.

          The bigger question is what kind of guarantees do they get out of Texas and Oklahoma?

    • vp19 says:

      I concur that Brigham Young makes the most sense as a tenth member for the Big 12, for many of the reasons you cite above. However, if BYU is using Notre Dame to help guide its destiny, it is defeating itself, because Notre Dame will only join a conference when absolutely no other options are available — and it might even choose to forgo BCS participation were football conference participation made mandatory. Brigham Young has had decades of football conference competition in the WAC and more recently the Mountain West, so its history is altogether different. It’s simply not a Mormon Notre Dame.

      • metatron5369 says:

        The Church frowns upon suicide, so no, they’ll join a conference eventually.

        • bullet says:

          They left the MWC and teams they had been with for decades for 4 times the money and more exposure.

          The idea that they won’t leave independence (where they could always go back) for 4 times their indy money, more exposure and AQ status is a little strange.

      • Ethan says:

        I forgot to mention that USA Today declared Provo the “biggest college town in America.” Ann Arbor was #2, this is based on highest percentage of students in cities over 100,000 population.

  83. Redhawk says:

    from Dean Blevins Twitter (again, former OU QB, and now TV anchor in OKC, and more “insider” than reporter)
    DeanBlevins Dean Blevins
    Records show 1 plane went betwn #Norman, #CollegeStation & #Columbia 2day. Sources confirm not coincdntal as #A&M plans 2 join #SEC #sooners

    DeanBlevins Dean Blevins
    Good source re #Aggies 2 #SEC:”Lots of moving parts-b ready when dominoes bgin 2 fall-mayb #NotreDame,#BYU & #Pitt” #Sooners #UT want #Big12

    My guess it’s A&M’s walking papers but that’s twice in 2 days Blevins has used the phrase, “lots of moving parts”…there really isn’t lots of moving parts with just A&M going to the SEC…that’s just one easy part.

    Also in person discussions are not privy to freedom of information act requests.

    • derek says:

      it really cracks me up to think some people believe ND and Pitt would consider the Big XII.

      • Eric says:

        I don’t believe that Notre Dame is going anywhere, but I think that if they were, this is a much better fit that is being credit for. If they could be part of a Big 12 division with only 6 games and Pitt included in that number, they could still play a lot of out of conference games and they’d be much less likely to gradually blend into the Big 12 than the Big Ten.

        As for Pitt, I think they’d seriously consider it even without Notre Dame. They might or might not accept, but they’d probably make more in the Big 12 (at least a little) and there is a very good chance that the Big East is going to be directly or indirectly effected by team #14 for the SEC.

        • vp19 says:

          It’s the longest of longshots, but I suppose theoretically possible that the Pittsburgh-West Virginia “backyard brawl” someday could be a battle between the Big 12 and SEC.

        • metatron5369 says:

          Even with a six game conference schedule, playing Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue eats up three. They’re essentially in the same position as they would be in the Big Ten, except they’d be playing Baylor over Northwestern, Iowa State over Iowa, and Kansas State over Penn State.

          Not to mention that they’d have to move their Big East affiliated sports to the Big XII.

    • Bamatab says:

      I’m with you in guessing that they are just delivering aTm their “walking papers”. I believe that the Mizzou president is the Big 12 Chair of the Board of Directors (or some such title). And isn’t the OU president the Big 12 Secretary?

      Here is a Big 12 rule that I got off another website: The Secretary shall be a Director and shall: keep the minutes of the Board of Directors; see that all notices are duly given in accordance with the provisions of the Secretary and such other duties as from time to time may be assigned to him or her by the Chair of the Board or by the Board of Directors. The Secretary shall serve as a member of the Executive Committee, as provided in Section 1.6.12.

      The line of interest in that by-law is “see that all notices are duly given in accordance with the provisions of the Secretary and such other duties as from time to time may be assigned to him or her by the Chair of the Board or by the Board of Directors.”

      So if OU’s president is indeed the Big 12 Secretary (maybe you can confirm if that is the case), then it would make sense for the OU & Mizzou presidents to fly to aTm.

      But with that said, it would be something if OU and Mizzou were joining aTm in going to the SEC.

      • Redhawk says:

        Yes, OU president David Boren is the Big 12 Secretary.

        Also I’ve now seen several tweets this morning on exit fees for A&M. The Big 12 estimates it at $28 Million…A&M is looking around half that.

        I don’t think it’s coincidence that we know have exit fee negotiations in the press after this shuttle diplomacy.

        • bullet says:

          For those who haven’t followed closely, $28 million is the calculation of what the by-laws call for. UNL paid $9 million which was about half of what the by-laws called for, so A&M expects the same deal.

      • EZCUSE says:

        I guess they don’t have email? Or fax machines? Or a FedEx/UPS dropbox?

        • bullet says:

          Given Kentucky’s experience with Fedex (or UPS) and Dwayne Casey’s package, they may not want to risk it. Think A&M is sending $28 million in the mail? (Duffman-I’m sure you remember what I’m referring to!)

    • swesleyh says:

      Redhawk, those schools jsut came down for a conference. Maybe they wanted to talk the Aggies out of leaving, last ditch effort. Or they just wanted to plalaver for a while. That is all.

  84. Mike says:

    If SEC calls, Virginia Tech would listen

    This is interesting….

    • Eric says:

      If Virginia Tech is willing to listen, I think they instantly move up to the top of the list for #14. They add a national name (not as big as Florida State or Oklahoma, but bigger than everyone else mentioned). They add a new large southern state. They perfectly balance the east and west and don’t force a big divisional shift.

    • zeek says:

      Va Tech and FSU will certainly listen to their offers to be the #14 school in the SEC.

      The question is whether $5-7M per year is enough of an inducement to leave the ACC for the SEC, since the ACC is quite stable if they choose to stay unlike the Big 12′s powder keg.

      There’s also the issue of football competitiveness. Va Tech has won the ACC three times in the past 6 years and appeared in a 4th ACC CCG. FSU knows that it has a strong path to the BCS NC if it goes undefeated. They both have easy paths to the BCS just by winning the ACC.

      Joining the SEC is not going to be anywhere near as favorable from a competitiveness standpoint as it might be for Texas A&M (which hasn’t done much in the Big 12 and hopes to improve its recruiting/brand outside of Texas’ shadow).

      With Miami seemingly down for another few years or a decade perhaps, those two are going to rule the roost. Va Tech has already established itself as the clear #3 football brand behind FSU and Miami in the ACC.

      Yes, money is important, but the ACC has a strong play for long-term stability (since the Big Ten’s ACC-4 strategy depends on an SEC raid, and the SEC raid is mostly going to be focused on FSU and Va Tech).

      I’m just not seeing that $5-7M is worth getting behind the SEC’s giants in the pecking order when they comparatively rule the roost of the ACC and have much easier chances of getting to the BCS and in FSU’s case especially, making a play for the NC.

      • vp19 says:

        Virginia Tech has overtaken Miami (which in its seven years as an ACC member has neither won a football title nor even reached the CCG) as, at least, the conference’s #2 football brand behind Florida State.

        Another thing for both Tech and FSU to consider: At what point does it become a disadvantage to have an easier path to the BCS if the conference is perceived as so weak that top recruits don’t want to go there? In the long term, being a middle-of-the-pack SEC member may be more profitable than being an elite ACC member.

        • zeek says:

          I don’t think that will happen. Va Tech is pulling in solid recruits from the Mid-Atlantic region that want to go to BCS games and play on the big stage.

          FSU is a national brand and although a slight step behind Florida, they will always be able to fill a Top-10 national class as long as they have a good coach. The state of Florida is just that potent of a recruiting ground.

          Considering that most recruits come from within 300 miles of a school, especially for two schools in such talent rich areas; there’s no recruiting rationale that could justify it, even if the ACC continues its big game/BCS woes.

          There’s too much population/eyeballs on the ACC for that to happen, so as long as the ACC remains a BCS conference, that’s going to be the best spot for FSU and Va Tech to get to the BCS with a shot at winning it all.

          Yes, an undefeated ACC champion is likely to fall behind SEC/Big Ten/Pac-12 and even Big 12 undefeated champions (which is what I think you’re getting at), but that’s still better odds than what they’d get in the SEC in terms of needing to be undefeated…)

      • bullet says:

        True or not, there is a definite perception that the SEC schools massively cheat in recruiting. An FSU official (I think the AD) made the comment a few months ago that he was glad they weren’t in that mess (following the Cam Newton issues). That, in addition to the academic prestige factor, are real impediments to those schools moving. The Texas Tech coach didn’t say anything about cheating, but commented something to the effect of, recruiting is a whole ‘nother world over there, that they start recruiting in junior high. Any team or coach would have to really change their ways of doing things.

    • mushroomgod says:

      What a BS article….based on 1. count em 1, “insider” who apparently has no connections to the university’s president, AD, or football coach.

  85. footballnut says:

    No one is talking Arkansas, which is the dark horse in all this mess. They are NOT happy in the SEC and never have been a good fit there. Jery Jones has been on the Arkansas to BIG 12 band wagon for years. I see a swap. A&M for Arkansas and leave it at that. Forget BYU and ND going anywhere, unless BIG 12 sees a need to go bigger to “nip it, nip it in the bud.”

    • mushroomgod says:

      They may not be happy, but they’re not stupid……at least not that stupid.

    • bullet says:

      I don’t see it, but their Texas recruiting took a nosedive when they left the SWC. Per a previous thread, Arkansas’ standing in the AP Poll by decade
      60s-SWC Frank Broyles #2
      70s-SWC Broyles, Lou Holtz #10
      80s-SWC Holtz, Ken Hatfield… #20
      90s-SEC #42
      00s-SEC #37

    • zeek says:

      Arkansas wants the best of both worlds (Texas’ recruits squarely in the SEC for them to grab, i.e. what bullet is talking about).

      But they’re not going to go back to the Big 12 just because their recruiting would admittedly be better…

      Their best hope for that kind of long-term success is to hope that Texas A&M joining the SEC opens the tap enough to the cream of the crop recruits in Texas for them to once again thrive.

      • footballnut says:

        Arkansas would make more money in the Big 12 than in the SEC, would have a chance to be more successful than in the SEC without LSU, Auburn, in the West to beat, let alone Florida and Alabama and others in the East. Has long history with Texas schools in old SWC…lots of reasons to switch. Big 12 would take them over any Conference USA school in a heartbeat. But, still a long shot for sure. Seems like Arkansas is more of an extension of Texas than an extension of Louisianna and the rest of the west side of the SEC culture-wise. Bottom third of Missouri more of an extension of Arkansas too. I think it,s a better fit in Big 12, but, then, this may come down to what ESPN and other TV networks really want to see.

        A swap would be easy. Adding aTm alone won’t work, need some more school (s). Gets really messy then and all hell breaks loose.

        • SH says:

          That’s an interesting thought regarding Arkansas. Initially, I would have lauged off any thought of Arkansas leaving the SEC, but after further thought, it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility. Its history is with Texas and Jerry Jones would salivate at the thought of getting him to play at Jerry World more often. Could they work out a deal where they get a home game or two at Jerry World?

          Anyway, this makes me wonder about those schools who have “larger than life” donors, like Jones and Pickens. How much control/influence do they really have in the matters.

          Zeek’s question regarding Va Tech/FSU going to SEC is a good one – is it worth it for an extra $4-5 million. So is it worth it to Arkansas to stay in SEC when it could move to Big 12, if it only lost $5-6 milliion. Jerry Jones does have a strong incentive to keep a conference going in which Dallas is the geographic center.

      • bullet says:

        I’d rather the Big 12 not take Arkansas and solve the SEC’s 13 team problem for them. Let the SEC get stuck with adding Louisville or WVU for #14 and decrease their average value per team.

        Now if Arkansas was #12 with BYU and ND, that would be a different issue. But noone believes ND is anything but the remotest long shot.

  86. swesleyh says:

    Neither, In my wildest dooms day scenario or my wildest imagination, do I see Arkansas giving up the money and security of the SEC to join with the broken Big Twelve.

    This is an interesting post from the main columnist (a Texas-EX BTW) supporting this thought:

    Just an additional sidenote. I know that rewriting history is not possible, but can you imagine how powerful and stable the Big Twelve would be today if the Longhorns had devoted their power and money and prestige to the Big Twelve in the same manner that Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State and USC did to their respective conferences. As oppopsed to devoting all of their efforts to UT.

    I expect that there would be no problems in the Big Twelve and the conference would have the original 12 teams and in fact could get just about any other University to join.

    • SH says:

      See my reply above. I could see it happen, but it is unlikely. They should probably thank their lucky stars that they were pulled into the SEC when they were. Your point about UT is a good one. Give the B10 credit, they have a lot of big schools with reasons to have big ego’s, but for the most part they have always looked after the B10 brand. That is the problem with a big expansion – rather than the more diliberative approach taken by the B10. Also is why I question whether the B10 would take ND on any sort of condition – such as we want this school to join.

      Without a doubt, the B10′s expansion over the past 20 years has been the best, in that they have secured two rich powerhouses, without having to resort to taking Ark and SC, or settling for Colorado or Utah, or the potential imbalance of the B12 or the ACC, which both may have grown too quickly without focusing on assimilation first.

      I don’t expect to see much more movement with the B10 for another 10-20 years.

  87. LonghornLawyer says:

    I respectfully disagree with Frank’s categorical assertion that Notre Dame’s joining the Big 12 is impossible. As things stand in a stable college football universe, it is impossible. But if Texas A&M goes to the SEC, then the college football universe becomes intensely unstable.

    The first reason for that instability is that the SEC is not going to stay at thirteen members. They will either pick off Missouri from the Big 12 or look for a team from the Big East or ACC. Either way, that has serious consequences both for the Big12/ACC/Big East as well as for the raiding conferences (i.e., SEC, B1G, Pac 12).

    The B1G and the Pac 12 aren’t going to sit by while the strongest conference gets even stronger by picking up the most attractive programs. SEC expansion will cause panic within the other two raiding conferences–a dynamic we saw just two years ago when both conferences took programs that were less than ideal out of a sense that they needed to expand to preempt other conferences’ expansion.

    When that happens, the Big 12 is finished, either because Missouri’s departure destroys it or because the other conferences are able to make an unrefusable offer to Texas. Either way, Texas is left joining a power conference. And that is going to cause the consolidation to the much-anticipated 16-team power conferences.

    What does Notre Dame do then?

    Notre Dame already has trouble scheduling November games. They already have trouble maintaining BCS acquiescence to their ongoing independence. The consolidation of the universe to 16-team conferences will make their position untenable.

    So then it’s just a question of which conference should they find a long-term home in. The issues with the B1G have been thoroughly discussed. The Pac 12 and SEC are possibilities, though neither are ideal. Only the Big 12 could give Notre Dame a quasi-independent position while still keeping them on the inside of a four 16-team conference college football landscape.

    • vp19 says:

      You are buying the 4 x 16 BCS landscape, which I don’t foresee because it already has more than 64 members. More likely is a 3 x 16 (Big Ten, Pac, SEC) first tier, with the remaining members in two smaller conferences (probably reconstituted ACC and Big 12), with Notre Dame remaining as an independent and likely playing the bulk of its non-traditional (Purdue, Michigan State, Michigan, Southern Cal, Navy) schedule against teams from the latter two conferences.

      • duffman says:


        I agree with you on this one. I really think the future is the Big 3 + ?? The B1G / PAC / SEC can still pick the low hanging fruit. Nobody else in the country has the size or stability to make this claim. I really think the B12 made the best merger by putting 3 “brands” in the same conference [UNL / UT / OU] and getting secondary schools like TAMU + Missouri + Kansas to built a decent secondary base. Sure the bottom were not great, but you deal with what you have. Back then they may have been able to dump Baylor and add Arkansas to firm up the conference along with Colorado. How they took that potential, and drove it into the ground is just sad. Nebraska is now got to the B1G, Colorado is in the PAC, and it looks like TAMU is SEC bound. No way they could they lure Arkansas when the top end of the schools are leaving. All 3 schools mentioned were AAU when they left, so they have gone from 7 AAU schools down to 4 in just a year or two.

        Nobody doubts the academics in the ACC, but they never had a brand to start with, and they still have few “must see TV” football schools. Clemson and FSU have the stadiums and fans, but they still fall a peg below the real “brands” of the football fraternity. Folks outside the fan base tune in to see what the Mad Hatter will do next, but how many can name the coach at Clemson? More folks know Jimbo, but the old boss was know by fans in other conferences. Ask your casual football friends, if you have any ;) , to name all the ACC football coaches, and see how many can’t get past Frank Beamer. I am not picking on the ACC, just trying to show how little the brand has penetrated the national mind beyond the borders of the ACC states. In basketball the whole country can name at least 2, and probably get at least 2 more coaches names right in the sport. You see my point.

    • mushroomgod says:

      I’m sure ND would love being in a conference with all those crackers…

    • Mike says:

      Ames, Lubbock, Manhattan, Lubbock, Waco, Stillwater. Small towns, small stadiums, and small stages. I just don’t see Notre Dame giving up independance for three road games a year in those places.

      • footballnut says:

        But then there’s Columbia (70,000 stadium), OU ( a whole bunch more), Tx (even more), plus the all important AQ conference status, keep your own TV network plus get another 20 mill on top.

        From a Texas standpoint, you really think flying into small town South Bend from Austin would look any different than flying to Waco? Or playing a less than relevant team in recent years in a boring round bowl Michigan wannabee antique stadium?

        I’m not an ND hater, but the hype they enjoy goes beyond reality, I think. I fully realize their value and tradition, and they would be a good assett for the Big 12 or anyone else, but c’mon man, get real.

        • Mike says:

          You are assuming Mizzou doesn’t head for the SEC…

          I just can’t ignore years of precedent, especially when nothing has changed to limit Notre Dame’s BCS access. Notre Dame has turned down more money to join a conference in the past. Notre Dame rarely, if ever, plays in small stadiums, in small stages, in small towns in the middle of nowhere. There is a big difference to Notre Dame between playing K-State in Manhattan, KS and Army in Yankee Stadium. If they want to play Texas and Oklahoma they will do it without joining the Big 12. In fact, they are. They have a four game series with Texas and a home and home with Oklahoma coming up.

          • footballnut says:

            True, ND has already scheduled Texas and OU and they don’t need to join the Big 12 to play them, and ND does find big stages like USC, Michigan State, and others. Good points to be sure. But on the other hand, you need to play beatable teams to pad the win column to get to a desired bowl. Can you do that as an independent and keep playing the big houses and win enough games to go to a BCS bowel? I dunno about that. Been struggling with that lately…

            As for Mizzou going to the SEC..doubt it. Half the school’s football team is recruited from Texas, the second largest Mizzou alumni organization outside of Missouri is in Texas, (First is Chicago, Illinois), and the second highest number of out of state students are from Texas (first is Illinois). The school is very mid-western in culture and gathers most of it’s in-state student body from along I-70 (2/3′s from STL and 1/3 KC and elsewhere). It is NOT a southeastern school by any means. Bottom third of the state is more southern in culture and the Arkansas schools draw well from there, along with Missouri State and SEMO, but you have to look at the school’s demographics, not the entire state. D

          • vp19 says:

            Missouri may not want the SEC, but it’s apparent the Big Ten simply isn’t interested and the Big 12 is a house of cards, three-card monte from Austin. If you’re a Mizzou official, the SEC is probably your best realistic alternative, unless you’re truly excited about winding up in some sort of low-revenue patchwork conference with Iowa State, Kansas State, Kansas and a few Big East and/or ACC remnants.

          • duffman says:


            you bring up a important point. The SEC does not need to add FSU or Clemson to the fold because they already schedule them.

        • M says:

          Look at ND’s road games the last decade. Outside of games at “peer” private schools (BC, Syracuse, Stanford), service academies, and Purdue, they have played one road game at a school that could be considered lower than a “Knight” class (Hawaii, which has some benefits but lead to Charlie Weis in a lei).

          If A&M leaves, the Big 12 has 2-3 (Texas, Oklahoma, maybe Missouri) teams that ND would contemplate scheduling a home-and-home with. The Big Ten has 8-9 (Michigan, MSU, Purdue, Penn State, Ohio State, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Northwestern, maybe Iowa) that ND would consider on the same basis. If Notre Dame is somehow “forced” to join a conference (which I am highly skeptical will ever happen), they would join the Big Ten.

        • Brian says:


          But then there’s Columbia (70,000 stadium), OU ( a whole bunch more), Tx (even more), plus the all important AQ conference status, keep your own TV network plus get another 20 mill on top.

          His premise was that UT left and maybe MO did. I presume that UT leaving means OU would leave as well. If MO is the best road trip for them, why would they join?

          From a Texas standpoint, you really think flying into small town South Bend from Austin would look any different than flying to Waco? Or playing a less than relevant team in recent years in a boring round bowl Michigan wannabee antique stadium?

          Yes, since ND is closer to Chicago than Baylor is to Dallas, and UT already owns Dallas. ND is always relevant, just not so impactful on the NC race lately. ND will stop being relevant when the media stops covering them incessantly.

    • EZCUSE says:

      Why can’t the Big 10 sit by and watch the SEC get stronger? And, frankly, short of Va Tech or Florida St. going to the SEC, I am not sure it truly gets stronger. The SEC may make more money with A&M, but that doesn’t make the SEC stronger. Even so, the Big 10 teams will still make more money. Regardless, who cares about $$$? If the SEC leapfrogs the Big 10 by $1.6M per team, I doubt that is going to cause the Big 10 to take action. The Big 10 let the SEC be a 12-team league for a long time before matching it.

      If anything, all of this discussion is taking media time away from the Big 10–who is about to debut with Nebraska! Plus, Utah and Colorado in the Pac 10. That seems to be a bigger deal than the SEC suddenly becoming some uber-conference just because they add 2 solid programs.

    • Brian says:


      You’re welcome to your opinion, of course, but I’m having a hard time following your argument.

      Which part do I have wrong?

      1. TAMU to SEC causes instability
      2. SEC will go to 14 by poaching, leading to even more movement
      3. The B10 and P12 will respond (see my opinion of this below)
      4. “When that happens, the Big 12 is finished”
      5. UT joins a power conference (P12, B10 or SEC, I presume)
      6. 4 16-team conference start to form
      7. ND needs a conference and has issues with the B10, P12 and SEC
      8. ND joins the B12

      What happened to the B12 being finished? How can they make ND an attractive offer if they are finished? Why would ND join if UT, TAMU, maybe MO and presumably OU are all gone? How does the B12 become one of the 4 16-team superconferences after losing everyone of value? Why would ND volunteer to play ISU, KSU, KU, TT and Baylor in conference when they could play multiple rivals in another conference?

      And some problems I had with part of your argument:

      The B1G and the Pac 12 aren’t going to sit by while the strongest conference gets even stronger by picking up the most attractive programs. SEC expansion will cause panic within the other two raiding conferences–a dynamic we saw just two years ago when both conferences took programs that were less than ideal out of a sense that they needed to expand to preempt other conferences’ expansion.

      1. The B10 and P12 won’t expand just because the SEC does. They need value and willing members. They aren’t going to add just anyone to get to 14 and match the SEC.

      2. There was no panic last time. The B10 looked into expansion, the P10 offered 6 B12 schools, the instability led to NE being available for the B10, and the P12 settled for CO and Utah to get a CCG and some new markets. All three schools are good fits for their new conferences.

      3. The SEC expanded in 1992. The B10 had just recently added PSU, although they didn’t start playing FB in conference until 1993. Neither the B10 nor P12 responded with expansion until 2010. Some panic.

      4. NE was a “less than ideal” addition to the B10? Compared to whom?

      5. How did B10 or P12 expansion preempt anything? Were CO and Utah going to the SEC? Was NE?

  88. Bamatab says:

    Check out who Dennis Dodd seems to think that the 14th SEC team would be according to his twitter entry.

    dennisdoddcbs Dennis Dodd
    SEC No. 14 down to Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Missouri. May not happen until ’13.
    4 hours ago

    Don’t get me wrong, I think the last two on that list are far more likely than the first two. But it is interesting that he lists Maryland & UNC when not very many others are mentioning them. He should have a blog posted shortly explaining why he tweeted that.

    • frug says:

      The SEC may want UNC, but there is no way they are going to get them. First and foremost because they share a BoR with NC State (they are members of the same school system) but also, they will never willing split with Duke and their reliance on their MBB makes them a poor financial fit since the SEC doesn’t have enough BB schools.

      • duffman says:


        This is why I suggested NCST as #14 as an end run on VT and UNC. Not saying it would work, just saying it is possible. Look at how it could play out.

        SEC adds TAMU / NCST / VT
        B1G adds MD / Duke / UVA

        I still say slot #16 is for ND, so SEC gets UNC, If not B1G gets UNC but might have UVA join VT in the SEC, which means B1G gets Pitt.

        I just can not see 18 / 20 / ?? as 16 just seems like a limit. How many schools have 30 + million a year in media value? I think zeek is spot on in looking at how individual teams add media $$$$. I am hard pressed to get past 16. Go back to “brands” in football or population.

        UT = yes, brand state + brand program
        ND = yes, brand program
        OU = yes, brand program
        TAMU = yes, brand state

        VT = maybe, near brand program + near brand state
        UNC = maybe, near brand program + near brand state (basketball)

        after that you are adding more marginal values – from the media value end

        Duke = no football, private school
        NCST = no brand FB + near brand state
        Missouri = no brand FB + middle brand state
        FSU = near brand FB + brand state (overlap for SEC)
        Clemson = middle brand football + middle brand state
        Ga Tech = middle brand football + near brand state

    • vp19 says:

      SEC membership might boost Maryland’s football allure (and in 1952, after the Southern Conference ruled it and Clemson ineligible for violating its no-bowl policy of the year before, both played a quasi-SEC football schedule), but it would be a dreadful cultural mix. Better to wait for the Big Ten to come calling; it would provide the same sort of revenue bump, with better academic and athletic comfort for Terrapin fans.

    • Atlanticist says:

      There is no way that UNC, Duke, UMD, UVA, GT, or Wake go to the SEC.

      • Richard says:

        Wake is probably desperate enough (because if the ACC implodes, they have no where to go), but they’re not getting a call anyway.

    • bullet says:

      That’s the SEC list. Replace Maryland with Arkansas and UNC with Notre Dame, Virginia Tech with Arizona St., Missouri with BYU and you have the Big 12′s list. Every bit as realistic, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

      If I’m the SEC I would be 1. FSU, 2. VT, 3. UNC, 4. UVA, 5. NC St., 6. Missouri, 7. WVU.

      • zeek says:

        Agreed 100% on that SEC wishlist.

        • EZCUSE says:

          I still say Oklahoma tops their list. Then Va Tech. Then the schools that duplicate other schools (FSU, Clemson, Ga Tech). Not sure any other ACC school is enough of a football grab. West Virginia is moving up my list, although I’d hate to see them leave the Big East.

          • @EZCUSE – Up until very recently, the thought of WVU getting an SEC invite was unthinkable to me (not because they’re not a great sports program, but they don’t have a great population base and they’re not quite a national name). Now, though, I think it’s going to come down to either Mizzou or WVU for spot #14 in the SEC unless they think Florida State is both attainable and acceptable to UF. VT isn’t going to the SEC – despite what anyone else says, that would truly screw UVA, and UVA ain’t getting screwed by the Hokies on this issue. (And when I say screwed, I mean UVA making less money in a VT-less and unstable ACC. I’m not buying that the Big Ten would just annex the MD/UVA/Duke/UNC foursome.)

          • bullet says:

            OU is probably on their list, but they really don’t work as #14. Divisions don’t work. They would work as #15.

          • Vincent says:

            Frank, I see your point about Virginia Tech, but as stated before, the ties between UVa and Tech aren’t anything like UNC and NCSU or OU and Okie State. Over the years, they’ve rarely played in the same conference, and chances are that were Tech to leave, the ACC would plug in #12 with Syracuse, finally achieving its original expansion of 2003 (though it might be a temporary arrangement). It’s where UNC and State are concerned that a joint SEC/Big Ten raid on the ACC might be politically necessary. In other words, get Tech in #13-14, then NCSU as #15-16.

    • jtower says:

      I agree with frug, Nc and Md and not looking to join the SEC. SLive wants MD, NC then VTech as possible matches with aTm. in fact perhaps aggy would be the #14 to MD or NC as #13 if it were up to Mike Slive. Not going to happen but they might as well dream big.

  89. Sorry LonghornLawyer, but I’m with Frank and vp19 on this one. No way Notre Dame goes to the unstable Big XII. They simply don’t need to join a conference, especially one which even you have to admit won’t be around much longer. I’m a domer hater, but even I have to admit that Notre Dame moves the needle unlike any other CFB progam. Even without sniffing the National Championship for nearly two decades, they are still the CFB equivalent of the NY Yankees, LA Lakers, and Dallas Cowboys. They will keep their BCS exemption even if CFB goes the 16 team superconferences.

    • LonghornLawyer says:

      There’s no way Notre Dame goes to an unstable Big 12 today. That’s certainly true. But if their independence becomes untenable, because of a combination of scheduling, finances, and BCS issues, then the Big 12–which wouldn’t be “unstable” with the addition of BYU and Notre Dame (and the subtraction of A&M)–may be the most attractive move for them.

      • Brian says:

        Even though the Big 12 has reached out to the Irish as a possible replacement for Texas A&M should the Aggies bolt for the SEC as is widely assumed, Notre Dame, in all likelihood, is staying put as an independent, its athletic director just told me.

        “Our priority — and our clear priority — is maintaining our football independence and continuing to build our relationship with the Big East with our other sports,” Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said Monday morning when asked if there was a viable chance his school could join the Big 12 now or in the near future.

      • jcfreder says:

        I just don’t see ND ever joining the Big XII as it is currently constituted. For one thing, I’ve seen at least one proponent of this plan suggest that ND could play a limited schedule, but that’s not how the conference is currently set up. That said, the “limited schedule” idea is on the right track I think, considering that ND is going to bristle at having a ton of weeks wrapped up in conference committments. No way they join a conference to play K-State, Iowa State, Baylor and the like.

        But if push ever comes to shove, conference armageddon is happening and ND needs to find a home, I have to think that they’d at least consider checking in with some other schools that appear to fit more of an independant mold and creating their own conference that creates a smaller committment.

        This is where the B12 comes in, because I think Texas does seem to be a ND ally and also values control/independence. I don’t think ND ever joins the B12, but Texas could bring its pals into a new conference. You could create a pretty competitve conference like this . . .

        West: Texas, Oklahoma, T Tech, Okla St, Baylor
        East: ND, Pitt, BC, Syr, BYU

        Play five conference games a year, round robin division and a permanent partner (ND gets Texas, of course). Or add two teams and play a championship game.

        • Richard says:

          Sure, if those other schools prefer to be Texas and ND’s b*tches. The West schools may not have a choice (though I think OU & OK State would leave for the Pac), but would the BE schools give up the BE (even with the inferior TV deal) to join such an unwieldy lineup were the schools have virtually no history of playing each other and minor sports have to be flown half way around the country most of the time?

          • jcfreder says:

            Again, part of this scenario is that there is conference armageddon, so the ACC is already getting broken up, etc. Plus, as you’ve mentioned, Baylor, T Tech and Okla St are already not in control of their own destiny. (and if Texas chose this route over a P16, I’m not sure the financials make sense for the P12 to take Okla, Ola St and two other schools).

            Plus, it’s not like I’m saying Pitt plays the entire West every year. Like I said above, 5 conference games, only 1 cross-division. Both divisions are chock full of long-played rivalries, except for BYU, but I figure they might be interested in playing ND annually as well as on the eastern seaboard a couple of games a year.

            And I never said this was an all-sport conference. The western teams can have their track meets on one side of the country, and the eastern teams can have theirs.

            Finally, Richard, honestly, this plan is “unwieldy”? — Aren’t you the proponent of the B20?

          • Richard says:


            1. Well, if the ACC gets broken up, the BE is safe, so I can’t see Pitt and Syracuse leaving.
            2. I’m a proponent of the B20 in part because I don’t think it would be unwieldy to have virtually all the AQ high-quality secular like-minded research universities east of the Mississippi together in one conference. Plus with population, football brand, bball brand, and academics in all of the states of the B20, no one or two members would be able to boss anyone else around.
            Your proposed conference has an imbalance of power and there is no unifying thread tying these schools together, as you have small undergrad-focused private schools, academically pedestrian public schools, high-powered research universities, giant state land grants, metropolitan colleges, sectarian and nonsectarian schools all thrown in to the same pot.

    • bullet says:

      Stability isn’t the issue for ND. Its all the other factors.

      ND joining the B12 makes it stable. Then you have 3 anchors in UT, OU and ND.

  90. Mike says:

    Pittsburgh beat writer on Pitt to Big 12.

    Also, the report said Pitt’s name was mentioned, which should tell you how desperate that the Big 12 is becoming.


    If this were a meeting of ACC, SEC or Big Ten presidents and they were talking about Pitt and West Virginia, I’d say the Big East has something to worry about but the Big 12 doesn’t seem to make sense on any level and nothing I’ve heard about the subject of expansion over the past year would lead me to believe that this is even remotely being considered.


    I will say this – don’t believe for a second that Pitt is so married to the idea of staying in the Big East that they will stand on the deck playing their cello while the ship around them sinks.

    The university wants to be proactive on this and frankly wants the Big East to be more proactive than it has been. I think one of the most interesting pieces of information I gathered at the Big East meetings in Rhode Island a few weeks ago was that a group of athletic directors, led by Steve Pederson and Oliver Luck, are not happy with the way Big East commissioner John Marinatto has handled this expansion issue and they don’t think he’s acted fast enough – or decisively enough – to stabilize the conference.

    • vp19 says:

      The university wants to be proactive on this and frankly wants the Big East to be more proactive than it has been. I think one of the most interesting pieces of information I gathered at the Big East meetings in Rhode Island a few weeks ago was that a group of athletic directors, led by Steve Pederson and Oliver Luck, are not happy with the way Big East commissioner John Marinatto has handled this expansion issue and they don’t think he’s acted fast enough – or decisively enough – to stabilize the conference.

      The question is, do Big East football members have the cojones to break away from the rest of the silly hybrid conference and control their own destiny — and can they do it as a unit? There’s always the fear that Jim Boeheim (aided by Syracuse alums in New York who want to see his team play at Madison Square Garden) will go on one of his basketball tantrums and scuttle the whole thing, in which case the SU president and AD must have the guts to tell Jim, “Thanks for the work you’ve done for the university, but times have changed. Go join your pal Gary Williams on the golf course.”

      • m (Ag) says:

        Back when Nebraska and Colorado first left, I think I mentioned the idea that 2 Big East teams (Pitt and West Virginia would have been my first thought) would make as much sense as anyone to replace those schools. Getting interesting matchups with schools that have some resonance (even if they aren’t nearly a ‘king’) and fan followings would be more valuable than getting close schools.

        So I think Pitt makes more sense, but I think they make a lot more sense if you’re going back to 12 because you’d want at least 1 more school as a travel partner for non-revenue sports. Obviously Notre Dame would be a travel partner, but I don’t think that’s happening. I’m guessing the SEC will either take West Virginia, or the ACC will take WV to replace a school the SEC takes. That leaves…Rutgers, UConn, Syracuse?

        • zeek says:

          ACC’s first choice is going to be Syracuse or Pitt to replace a school they lose. WVU’s academics makes the SEC almost their only option if the Big East implodes.

      • Richard says:

        Except that I believe Syracuse is one of the few schools where bball brings in more money than football, so they have to listen to Boeheim.