As we come ever so closer to something official somewhere about Texas A&M moving to the SEC, the college football world has naturally turned to speculating on who is going to be SEC school number 14.  I can buy that the SEC might spend a year or two at 13 schools, but with divisional play having long been in place, an odd number of members is not going to work long-term in the same manner that it did for the Big Tweleven.

Mr. SEC had a nice breakdown of the SEC’s realistic expansion options last week and I agree with his overarching point that there are not nearly as many choices for Mike Slive as the average college football fan believes.  (Note that Mr. SEC is as close to that conference as anyone, so he’s not some biased and blasphemous Big Ten blogger like yours truly.)  I’ll reiterate my belief once again that the ACC is much, much, much stronger than so many people that just see the recent results on the field, current TV contract cycle, and preponderance of hookers and blow in Miami seem to give it credit for.  The ACC has extremely strong academics (which, whether sports fans like it or not, actually matter to academic institutions) along with a core of UNC, Duke and UVA that’s never going to realistically leave.  Mr. SEC’s contention (and I once again agree with him) is that when you’re not including ACC schools (although I’ll evaluate a few of them as cursory measure in a moment) and it should be assumed that the Big Ten and Pac-12 aren’t poachable, then the list of schools that can (1) add value to the SEC and (2) aren’t tied down by home state politics (i.e. the Oklahoma – Oklahoma State situation) is cut down to Missouri, West Virginia and Pitt.  That’s it.  As a result, Mike Slive just can’t start blowing up other conferences like Emperor Palpatine (not that it’s in his best interest to do so, anyway).  Let’s take a look at those 3 schools along with a handful of specific ACC members that often get mentioned as potential SEC candidates:


Virginia Tech is probably the most oft-rumored addition to the SEC these days and it certainly makes sense from a financial perspective.  The Hokies have a large fan base that also opens up a brand new fast-growing Southern state for the SEC while providing access to the Washington, DC market.  Here’s the problem (and I know many readers believe I harp on this too much): Virginia state politics.

Let’s take a look at the historical timeline of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s ACC members:

1819 – The dude that wrote the Declaration of Independence founds Big Brother University.

1872 – Little Brother University is founded.

1953 – Big Brother becomes a founding member of the ACC.  Little Brother kicks around in the Southern Conference and then as an independent later on.

1991 – Little Brother joins the Big East.

2003 – Big Brother’s league raids Little Brother’s league.  Little Brother then gets Virginia politicians to pressure Big Brother to scuttle the league’s expansion plans entirely in order to have Little Brother join instead.  It works!

Does that timeline really look like a situation where Little Brother can go and completely screw Big Brother only 8 years when Big Brother directly called in favors to get Little Brother into the ACC?  Make no mistake about it – UVA would be screwed in this situation.  The notion that UV A would be unscathed if Virginia Tech left is a fallacy.  If we believe that the ACC would lose TV money with Virginia Tech leaving (very possible) and/or even worse, the long-term stability of the ACC that UVA founded (another strong possibility), then Virginia legislators are going to put the smackdown on that move.  It’s not just about the ACC or UVA simply surviving here.  At least in the case of Texas A&M, leaving for the SEC wasn’t ever going to damage Texas financially at all and in a strict political sense, the Aggies is closer to UT’s equal in terms of power.  The Commonwealth of Virginia, however, is heavily ACC country and it wouldn’t go over well to see a Virginia-based university that begged politicians to force it in then turn around and completely destabilize it less than a decade later. As a result, I don’t believe that Virginia Tech going to the SEC is realistic.  It’s the best combo of new markets and solid football for the SEC, but that doesn’t mean that they’re attainable.  There’s NFW that a public flagship university that was founded by Thomas Jefferson is going to get screwed by a fellow in-state institution here.

(It’s certainly ironic that a school that the ACC didn’t originally want in 2003 may end up being the key to the conference’s long-term stability.  Just as UVA had circumstantial veto power when the ACC last expanded due to the UNC/Duke bloc against any type of addition, Virginia Tech has ended up in the position where it may singlehandedly determine whether the ACC stays intact.  That’s the type of position that legislators love to pounce upon.)


Here’s a link to the website of the  University of North Carolina system.  If you look at the list of institutions controlled by the UNC Board of Governors, you’ll find North Carolina State University listed there.  This means the UNC system has to ultimately approve any conference move by NC State.  If you haven’t figured out by now why UNC and NC State will never, ever be separated, I can’t help you.  Considering UNC isn’t going to ever head to SEC for academic and control reasons, NC State isn’t going anywhere, either.


Florida State is really the only ACC school that I could realistically see heading to the SEC.  Its Big Brother is the one that’s already in the SEC, so this isn’t a situation where Little Brother would somehow be abandoning Big Brother like Virginia Tech or NC State.  It’s probably up to the University of Florida as to whether FSU would get an invite.  The rumored “Gentlemen’s Agreement” among SEC schools to not add any expansion candidates in current SEC states seems more rooted in giving deference to fellow in-state institutions as opposed to some type of outright ban.  FSU doesn’t bring a new market, but the Seminoles clearly have the top national football brand in the ACC and that may trump any territorial overlap concerns with the Gators.


Clemson is one of the other ACC schools that may accept an SEC invite despite the difference in academics, but the issue is whether Clemson actually brings much to the SEC.  I find Clemson to be more of a fan-based wish as opposed to a financially-sound addition.  To be clear, Clemson has a great fan base and solid athletic programs across-the-board.  However, I think that the SEC looks at them in the same manner that the Big Ten looks at Pitt: a great fit in everything but straight cash homey.  The SEC already has the flagship in Clemson’s home state of South Carolina with a relatively low population while the Tigers don’t have the national name of FSU to compensate.  If you could move the Clemson campus to virtually any state outside of the current SEC footprint, then it would be a top target.  Unfortunately, the one thing that a school can’t change is location unless it’s an online diploma mill.  Speaking of Pitt, by the way…


Even as a guy that is largely known as the blogger that wrote about the possibility of Big Ten adding Texas, the thought of Pitt going to the SEC feels geographically out of whack even though the actual distance may not actually be as far as you think.  It’s a strange thought on the surface and not a cultural or institutional fit, although with the footprint and mishmash of different types of schools in the Big East now, we’re probably at the point where it doesn’t matter.  Pitt has everything checked off that you’d want in a school with great academics, a long football history, and a top tier basketball program.  This would be purely a money play for the SEC to get into Pennsylvania, though, and while money is certainly factor #1 in any conference decision, those types of moves generally don’t work out without some intangible cultural and institutional ties, too.  Pitt might end up being the beneficiary of the domino effect in the event that the SEC takes Florida State and then the ACC needs a replacement (where the Panthers would be a much better match).


A year ago, I couldn’t see any reasonable way for West Virginia to end up in the SEC.  Now, though, the Mountaineers might be the most realistic frontrunner with the way everything has played out.  WVU is pretty similar to Iowa – a rabid statewide fan base in a small immediate market but whose grads disperse to major markets nearby and have an incredible traveling reputation.  (Differences: WVU has a functioning basketball team along with top tier rifle and couch burning programs.)  The Mountaineers would be a great cultural fit with the SEC while getting the conference some exposure in the Mid-Atlantic region.  Whether the SEC can get over the school’s small market the way that the Big Ten got over Nebraska’s low population base is another story.


Ah, Mizzou.  I know that there are a lot of Missouri fans that are convinced that I have it in for them as an Illinois alum, but to be honest, it would’ve been great strictly from an Illini perspective to have had the Tigers as a conference rival in the Big Ten.  The issue was that Mizzou is the kind of school that makes a lot of sense in a multi-school expansion (good TV markets, academics, football and basketball), yet they aren’t necessarily stellar enough in any category to make them the lone addition.  The SEC is probably going to look at Mizzou in a similar fashion, where they likely weren’t going to make the Tigers the primary target but could be very attractive in a pairing with Texas A&M.

My somewhat educated opinion is that the ACC is going to stay intact, so it’s going to come down to a choice between West Virginia and Missouri for the SEC.  Mizzou has the advantage in TV markets and recruiting areas, while West Virginia has the edge in cultural fit and fan base intensity.  If I were in Mike Slive’s shoes, I’d choose Missouri, but I’m getting the impression that Mizzou may stick around the Big 12 minus 2 minus 1.  That’s what happens when your university president heads up the Big 12 expansion search.  As a result, West Virginia is who I’d wager on becoming SEC school #14.

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

(Image from The Movie Mind)

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  1. Jeepers says:

    Bacon. (add)

  2. jtower says:



  3. btrealign says:


  4. greg says:

    #1 Hawkeyes hosting Tennessee Tech this weekend.

  5. laxtonto says:

    Lets not forget that the lawyers on the Big 12 side might let A&M so to the see without rolling out the TI suit card, but taking both A&M and Mizzou would leave the Big 12 no real choice. As it is, A&M/SEC is skating on thin ice on this entire thing. If it gets to the point that the SEC is poaching 2 members of the Big 12, they better be confident that the entire league is going to fold. If not, the entire move will end up tied in court.

  6. M says:

    The ironies of history that West Virginia will be joining the South because Virginia doesn’t want to…

    “…preponderance of hookers and blow in Miami seem to give it credit for”
    The most shocking part of the Miami revelations was the apparent absence of any blow. Has Miami gone so corporate that a Ponzi-scheming jock-sniffer can’t get some of the good stuff?

    The argument laid out in this article points to the SEC not expanding to 14. Negotiators might have trouble saying that A&M adds to the average value of SEC games, but there’s no way A&M + WVU adds to the average value.

    I think the SEC would take one of the other options (not expanding, staying at 13, convincing UF to let FSU in) before taking WVU.

    • @M – You’re so dead-on about Miami. When I was reading the Yahoo! article for the first time, I was just waiting for the point where they were going to start talking about coke dealers. I don’t want to say it was a disappointment that it wasn’t there (because kids should say no to drugs), but if a player at The U can’t score some good product, there’s little hope for everyone else.

    • FranktheAg says:

      I find it hilarious that commenters on this board continue with any discussion that the SEC isn’t adding Texas A&M. The only person who could still make an observation like that has their head in a dark, and stinky place.

      • M says:

        College Station?

        In a little over a year, Texas A&M has been “certain” to stay in the Big 12, go to the Pac-X, stay in the Big 12, go to the SEC, stay in the Big 12, and go to the SEC again. I hope you can grasp why someone might think of them as duplicitous.

        • Frank the Ag says:

          Completely false, but keep spinning. A&M didn’t explore other options until Texas began tallking to the Pac-10 and attempted to package a deal with A&M. At that point, A&M expressed no interest in the Pac-10 and begin discussions with the SEC. A&M and Texas agreed to remain in the B12 (despite the huge lose of NU) based upon assurances from Beebe that revenues would hit $20M and assurances from Texas that the B12 would be their focus. The $20M assurances have yet to materialize and we’ve all seen the LHN contract and its heavy handed approach to denegrate the B12 tier 2 and tier 3 rights.

          Texas crapped all over this deal. Not Texas A&M.

          • M says:

            For Nebraska, the first official announcement of search came two weeks before they joined the conference. The trustees had their vote to enable a conference move in the morning, Tom Osborne had a press conference with Jim Delaney in the afternoon.

            Meanwhile A&M has been grousing for months. They announced publicly with the conference over a month ago. They gave the president the power to move two weeks ago. Either they are simply incredibly disorganized or something is holding them up.

            It could be something unrelated to A&M like looking for a 14th team, but it’s something.

  7. Houston says:

    Frank.. Does adding Virginia do anything for ya? Perhaps VT is the OU of the East…. Would Virginia be an acceptable price to pay in order to get VT, the best remaining choice available ?

    14,15,16… VT, Virginia, and Mizzou or WVU… call it a day.

    • @Houston – Well, UVA has value in and of itself. The issue with respect to the SEC is that UVA is in the same position as UT or UNC where they won’t consider that move because of academics.

      Now, if the Big Ten wants to add both UVA and VT, I’m all over that.

      • cfn_ms says:

        It MIGHT conceivably be possible that the Big Ten adds UVA and the SEC adds VA Tech at the same time, which would presumably be OK by VA politicians. That seems a somewhat unlikely scenario, though.

        PS It’s worth asking whether losing NC St would be a substantial blow to the ACC, and if not, why the NC politicians would especially care about them moving out.

        • @cfn_ms – Yes, I could see where VT could leave if UVA got a Big Ten invite. My question would be whether the Big Ten would just let the SEC take the much better football program in that market. That’s why if the Big Ten could actually pick off any ACC schools (and I don’t think that’s realistic), it ought to target MD, UVA and VT. I know some others like the MD/UVA/UNC/Duke combo, and that’s certainly great for academics, markets on paper and basketball, but a complete downer for football quality (which is the whole point of superconferences).

          I don’t think losing NC State leaving the ACC would be a huge blow to that conference, but there might be no state in the country more intimately tied to a particular conference than North Carolina is with the ACC.

          • Bob says:

            I don’t necessarily agree about the duke/unc anaylsis. I think they would be great for the big ten. In the end we don’t need 16 schools competing for a football national title, we need maybe 8. Just enough to keep the conference in the limelight. The thing the big ten needs is what the big east has, we need to be considered a power confence for basketball also. Duke and UNC bring that along with adding a ton of value to our academics and their expanding TV markets. I would wager that duke or unc will provide more long term value then VT.

          • vp19 says:

            Frank, the ACC “core four” is probably the Big Ten’s best bet right now for expansion, because none of the football “home runs” fit. You’re not getting Notre Dame, which has no reason to abandon its treasured football independence and won’t until absolutely necessary; Texas has shown over the years that it looks out for Texas and no one else, and thus would be a gigantic headache for the Big Ten; and Oklahoma simply doesn’t work academically (not to mention the whole Okie State problem). Better for all concerned to have UT and OU take Texas Tech and Okie State west, where they would be part of the Rose Bowl equation.

            And working with Slive to pick off the ACC (with Virginia Tech and N.C. State going to the SEC, along with A&M and Missouri) helps his conference, too. It seriously weakens Clemson, Georgia Tech and Florida State by rendering them to a second-tier conference.

          • Richard says:

            Better yet, it means the possibility of landing GTech & FSU. I’d actually not as wedded to the ACC core four as I previously was after I looked at how much revenue the athletic departments of these schools bring in. UNC & Duke, despite their stellar basketball, would be middle-of-the-pack at best in the B10, while UVa and Maryland would be firmly in the lower reaches. Even FSU doesn’t bring in that much (though it has the football brand and recruiting). If the ACC is weakened, I think the B10 should make a pitch for GTech & FSU, not so much for themselves (though FSU has value and GTech is in a geographically favorable area, the the BTN would be expanded in to those 2 states at some carriage rate), but if a school in the SEC gets the death penalty or TV ban, the B10 would then be in a good position to pick up UGa & UF if those 2 schools ever were to defect from the SEC.

          • Richard says:

            As for the VTech brand, I do wonder how that would be after Beamer retires. We’ve heard plenty of talk about how sustainable the Duke brand would be after Coach K goes, but what about VTech? They were nothing before Beamer.

          • vandiver49 says:


            I have a hard time buying GT to the B1G based upon the theory that they’ll be able to pick up carriage in ATL. The Jackets command so little of the metro market. Yes, there are a lot of B1G transplants in ATL, but if those numbers couldn’t get the BTN on basic cable, how would adding the Purdue of the South help?

          • Richard says:

            Purdue would get carriage in Indiana.

            Between GTech, B10 alums in Atlanta, and FSU (which penetrates southern GA), I’m confident that the BTN would get carriage in GA. Only question would be the rate.

          • Sam240 says:

            What about a Syracuse/UVA/UNC/Duke combo?

            You mentioned a few months ago that NYC was more of a college basketball town than a college football town, and that the college basketball program with the largest share of the NYC market was — Duke. UNC was #5 there, and and Syracuse was either third or fourth, depending on how UConn was faring.

            If the Big 10 were to get UVA and VT, or even UVA by itself, its footprint would then include the DC area. In that case, adding Maryland would be similar to adding Missouri. Both schools would have support in two metro areas (DC/Baltimore or St. Louis/KC), but the conference would already have a presence in one of the areas, and getting the other one doesn’t add very much.

            Syracuse should be able to add something in football, as it’s the only BCS school in the state of New York, and it does have a long football tradition. Syracuse football might not be enough to pick up the NYC market, but Syracuse basketball, coupled with the UNC/Duke duo, probably would get the BTN carried in the area. (Incidentally, how did Duke become more popular in NYC than St. John’s? And why would UNC be more popular than Seton Hall?)

            To get UNC and Duke out of the ACC, the Big Ten would probably have to invite Virginia as well, as UNC and Virginia also have a long rivalry. Once you have those three, Syracuse would be a much better choice than Maryland as the conference’s sixteenth member.

            Finally, while football quality may be the biggest point of superconferences, a small decline in quality may be an acceptable price to pay for getting the NYC market.

          • vandiver49 says:


            We’ll just have to disagree. If that exclusivity and passion existed, why didn’t the ACC form there own network to monetize it? And while many scoff and the SEC’s decision to partner with ESPN, I think they realized that the dirt road alumni far outnumber real grads and that creating a network would alienate the Harvey Updikes of the world and marginalize the SEC’s appeal.

          • Richard says:


            They don’t have cable in the south? As for the ACC not forming a channel, hindsight’s 20-20. When the ACC was negotiating their TV deal, success for the BTN wasn’t ensured. However, the Pac (which is very similar to the ACC in terms of fan fervor) formed their own channel a couple of years later.

          • Richard says:


            I don’t think the NYC market is gettable without ND, and even with ND, the BTN may not be able to get on basic cable. NYC is very much a pro sports town, and outside of alums, college sports just doesn’t command the interest that the pro sports teams do. There’s also the fact that ‘Cuse, UVa, and Duke would all be below B10 average in football (Duke way below average). That’s a problem in a league that not only splits league revenue equally but also shares football gate receipts (bball gate receipts as well, but the dollar amount of bball sharing pales compared to the football dollar amount). That’s why the B10 would need to add a football king in order to add any other program (UNC & TAMU are probably the only non-kings who can justify expansion solely by themselves).

  8. frug says:

    First reaction is that you may have overstated the degree to which UNC and NC State are bound together. While agree that they would never willing part with one another, I think that the BoG would certainly agree to split them (if begrudgingly) so long as both schools signed off on the move and they agreed to continue playing each other. Again, I don’t think this is likely, but if it looked like the ACC were in danger, it could certainly happen.

    • zeek says:

      The issue is your final statement.

      The SEC is looking for #14. Allowing NCState to become that #14 is what creates the danger for the ACC.

      I think this is the reason why the ACC is so hard to poach at this very moment. With the Big Ten now stable at 12, the only cause of instability to the ACC would be a team choosing to go and be #14 in the SEC.

      At this moment, the stability of the ACC is held in the hands of a school that would choose to bolt.

      That’s entirely different from the Big 12 situation where the power imbalance between Texas and the rest created the inherent instability as well as the fact that the Pac-10 was logically eyeing Colorado, and the Big Ten was looking for #12.

      The circumstances are so much more different with the SEC alone looking for an expansion candidate.

      • frug says:

        I agree, but my point was that it could happen despite Frank’s “never, ever” talk. I mean if Miami gets hits with sanctions that sends it back to the stone age and FSU bolts for the SEC, then the ACC could be in really serious trouble, particularly if the Big 10 were to make a play at a Big Xii school.

        Like I said, UNC is never going to willing let NC State bolt, but a perfect storm of plausible (if not necessarily likely) events were to occur, it may not have much choice.

      • Bamatab says:

        But what would cause the most instability for the ACC? Letting NCST go to the SEC, or forcing the SEC to back and “convince” UF/UGA/USCe (which btw would need one more team to block a vote) to allow FSU join the SEC? I think losing FSU is way more destablizing to the ACC than losing NCST.

        • frug says:

          If UNC believes they have a Big 10 invite in their back pocket, then I’m guessing that they would block an NC State move, and then gamble that UF, UGa, USC and UK (remember they were part of the supposed “gentleman’s agreement) would stick together.

          • Bamatab says:

            I don’t think any team that is potentially affected by all of this is going to be willing to “gamble” on anything. UNC sure isn’t going to “gamble” as to what the SEC will or won’t do. I think Slive has proven that you don’t know what he (and the SEC) is willing or unwilling to do.

            I also seriously doubt that the “gentlemen’s agreement” between UF, UGA, & USCe (if UK is apart of that agreement, which there isn’t a whole lot of speculation that they are, they aren’t near as dedicated as the others due to Louisville not being a serious candidate to be added) would be held together if it meant that the conference as a whole would suffer. Sure…UF, UGA, & USCe don’t want their state counterparts in, but if it meant that the SEC would have to settle on a team that wouldn’t bring in the things needed to improve the profitability of the conference (and thus their schools), they will relent on that agreement.

            The last thing that the ACC wants is FSU or Clemson to leave, if it can sacrifice NCST in their place.

  9. Ross says:

    Something to note, the WVU add would immediately create an intense rivalry with Kentucky. I am a huge UK fan, and, even though Calipari and Huggins are friends, many UK fans absolutely hate WVU and Huggins (from his time at both Cincinnati and WVU).

    In addition, the states border each other, and there is a relatively well known family rivalry on the border from way back…I’d have to recheck the names of the families involved, however.

  10. Jake says:

    You forgot abortions. Hookers, blow and abortions. I’m just going to assume there was blow; maybe finding coke at the U isn’t considered newsworthy these days.

    FSU – seems like Florida might be a state worth double dipping in. SC, not so much. Same goes for Georgia Tech.

    West Virginia – do they really have enough to offer? I mean, how much exposure in the mid-Atlantic are we talking about? Enough to get the SEC Network syndicated games on TV stations in DC/Baltimore?

    Pitt – the SEC will be playing second fiddle to the Big Ten here. Will they be down for that? Do they want a potential 24/7 SEC Network to have to compete with the BTN for basic carriage? And seriously, Pitt?

    Mizzou – this one just feels right. Expands the footprint without straying too far from home, and they would definitely bring in some good markets. The SEC Network currently is not carried by stations in MO, and that would change, for one thing. OK, the Big 12 could sue, but so could any conference. You think the Big East will let WFV go without a fight? You do have the not-insignificant problem of division alignment that comes with adding two to the West, but that may not be insurmountable.

    And as much as I enjoyed Forrest Gump, a more appropriate image for this article might have been Pickett’s Charge, if we’re talking about the South invading Pennsylvania.

    • frug says:

      He also forgot players acting as hired goons.

    • Other Mike says:

      The problem with Missouri is that they may well be the lynchpin holding the Big Xii together right now. If that’s the case, to annex Missouri is to send UT and OU westward and introduce a future contender for top conference in the PAC. That is so no worth it.

      • vandiver49 says:

        Other MIke,

        Look at it from Slive’s prospective. He can’t get TX, so he wants to mitigate his worst case scenario, TX to the B1G. By taking MO, he could force TX to move to the PAC before the B1G is ready to accept them.

        • Richard says:


          I’m not sure why Texas to the B10 is Slive’s worst case scenario or how having another superconference (the Pac16) at his doorstep is better for the SEC.

  11. Houston says:

    Guess I didn’t realize how bottom of the academic pecking order the SEC really was.
    Source for 2010 Rankings –

    I calculated the avg ranking for each conference.

    ACC – Avg 42 – Range 10-102
    Big East – Avg 53 – Range 1-84 – 7 Tier3 Schools (Incl Basketball schools)
    Big Ten – Avg 54 – Range 12-96
    Pac12 – Avg 69 – Range 4-126 – 1 Tier3 Schools
    Big XII-2 – Avg 82 – Range 47-102 – 3 Tier3 Schools
    SEC – Avg 91 – Range 17-128 – 2 Tier3 Schools

    What’s Funny… A&M’s move to the SEC makes those 2 conference virtually tied.
    Big XII-2-I – Avg 86 – Range 47-102 – 3 Tier3 Schools
    SEC 13 – Avg 88 – Range 17-128 – 2 Tier3 Schools

    Another Funny.. Big Ten would have been in 2nd with Avg of 50, before adding Nebraska.

    • Houston says:

      3rd Funny… If Big XII-II-I adds TCU, ranked at 110… It will earn them the title of “Worst Academically ranked Conference ” with an avg of 89

      • Jake says:

        TCU was 99th in the latest USN&WR rankings; these appear to be from the previous year. And we get the new ones in a couple of weeks.

        • Jake says:

          Also, the Big 12′s ranking would be lower if they somehow included the Tier 3 schools in the average. Same goes for the SEC and Pac-12. And wow, I didn’t realize how many Tier 3 schools there were in the Big East.

          Other screwiness: the Big East’s ranking is amplified by Nova and Providence, which are ranked 1st and 2nd … in the Master’s University (North) category.

    • Jake says:

      Those aren’t really all that funny; I would expect that when a pretty good school like A&M leaves the Big 12 for the SEC, it would hurt the former and aid the latter. What’s funny is that if NC State left the ACC for the SEC, both conferences’ rankings would improve. And if Florida joined the ACC, both conferences would drop.

    • frug says:

      Things get for worse the SEC if you use rankings that incorporate graduate programs also (USNWR are undergrad only) since they only have 2 big research schools (though A&M will add a third).

      (FWIW, rankings that include grad schools also push the Big 10 past the ACC)

    • Boomershine says:

      Actually, you should include the Tier 3 universities in the averages. They actually do have a ranking if you pull up their individual page. For example, WVU is ranked 176.

      Given that, these are how the conferences shake out:

      ACC – Avg 48.7 – Range 10-102
      Big Ten – Avg 54.0 – Range 12-96
      Pac-12 – Avg 75.3 – Range 4-139
      Big 12 – Avg 99.9 – Range 47-159
      SEC – Avg 100.0 – Range 17-151
      Big East – 105.6 – Range 58-183 (all schools except Villanova and Providence, which are only ranked as regional universities)
      Big East – 117.1 – Range 58-183 (football schools only)

      So, even with Nebraska, the Big Ten is clearly 2nd based on this criteria. However, given that all of the Big Ten’s universities are in the top 100, and 11 out of 12 are in the AAU (versus only 5 of 12 for the ACC), one might argue that the Big Ten is tops academically out of major conferences.

      And, clearly the Big East is not 2nd. They are dead last, and easily so if looking at football schools only.

      • mushroomgod says:

        BIG is probably first if you factor in graduate schools….issue is what weight to give to each….

        Everyone who talks about NEB in the same breath as PSU should realize that the BIG took a big academic hit with NEB. NEB was in no way as significant an addition as PSU when you factor in enrollment, markets, academic rep, research………I’d rate the recent additions/proposed additions as follows: PSU A+ MD B+ NEB B MO and Rut C+ Pitt C

        • bullet says:

          PSU was way below the Big 10 average in academics when they joined. The Big 10 has dramatically helped them move up. I’ve read several articles where PSU officials have talked about how it helped them to where now they get mentioned in the same lists with Wisconsin, Illinois, etc.

          • greg says:

            PSU was way below average? By what measure?

            The only thing I can find is this link with historic USNWR rankings:


            Earliest PSU entry was 41 in 1996, and it was 47 last year. Which is about B10 average. If it was “well below average” in 1989 (voted entry) or 1992/1993 (actual entry), they made a heck of a turnaround.

          • zeek says:

            greg, bullet is referring to research funding and the like.

            Penn State’s research programs have been helped massively by their inclusion in the Big Ten, and many administrators at Penn State have said it’s made it a lot easier to access such funding. (Over the past 20 years, they’ve posted some of the biggest jumps in graduate research funding).

            Undergraduate rankings aren’t really impacted at all by conference realignment.

          • zeek says:

            In 1990, the year before Penn State joined the Big 10, the university received around $137 million in federal research funding. By 2009, Penn State’s federal research funding had more than tripled, coming in at $446 million for the year.

            Those are the Penn State numbers. I’m fairly certain that their % increase is higher than most, if not all of the Big Ten over that period of time.

          • mushroomgod says:

            PSU wasn’t below the BIG 10 average when they joined………that’s all bunk……and their growth in research $ hasn’t been particularly dramatic either. People like to put the best spin on things. This is one instance.

          • bullet says:

            You didn’t hear PSU mentioned among the best overall graduate institutions in the 80s. Now they clearly are. As Zeek was saying, I was referring to “academic reputation” which primarily means research.

          • mushroomgod says:

            Went back and looked at some research funding #s….In terms of federally financed R@D #s from 2001-08…

            UM……up 49%

            WIS….up 56%

            Pitt……up 70%

            PSU….up 65%

            MINN….up 38%

            OSU….up 108%

            ILL….up 36%

            NW…up 68%

            Iowa….up 48%

            IU….up 60%

            PUR….up 81%

            MSU….up 37%

            Rutgers….up 82%

            NEB…up 97%MO…59%

            Viewing the BIG schools v. would-be BIG schools, there is no correlation # wise to BIG membership and res. $ growth.

      • Houston says:

        Boomer.. Good find. Appreciate the more accurate rankings.

  12. Houston says:

    Yeah.. I’m sure there are more accurate rankings out there… I just went with the quickest ( that sorted by conference).. to get a rough idea since I didn’t realize just how big the gap between ACC and SEC really was.

    • bullet says:

      If you ranked the SEC W and SEC E separately, you would see why many Big 12 schools are reluctant to join the SEC. I haven’t looked it up, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see all the SEC East schools ranked higher than any SEC West schools. Vandy, UGA and FL are clearly the top 3 schools in the SEC 12.

  13. Patrick says:

    @ Frank – Just a thought here – could UNC (aligned with Duke) be willing to ‘allow’ NC State to go to the SEC in a back room attempt to break up the ACC and go with Duke to the Big Ten for academic and Basketball BTN dollars? I know it sounds like a giant conspiracy but maybe Duke/UNC are unhappy about the addition of VT and would like to get their high profile academic programs into the CIC. Delaney said when all this began 2 years ago that he was looking further south than people might think (or something to that effect). I think UNC/Duke is a slam dunk for the BIG TEN, they might need cover though.

    That being said – There seems to be some stuff going on with OU & OSU tonight. Not sure what, but the rest of the week could get interesting. There have been some rumblings of OU / OSU to the PAC. Haven’t seen any others mentioned, seems UT would be left as an independent in this scenario.

    If that is the case, I think Missouri goes SEC and everyone calms down for a while.

    • Patrick says:

      “Think about it,” Stoops said. “A (league) championship game in the Rose Bowl, going to USC to play, the Rose Bowl and playing UCLA (the storied stadium serves as the Bruins’ home field) …”

      A year ago, Stoops endorsed the idea of OU joining the then-Pac-10 when that league attempted to expand to 16 members. He confirmed Tuesday that membership in a Pac-16 still excites him……Stoops also still believes if the Sooners eventually head west that it’s vital to take at least three Big 12 teams with them.

      • mushroomgod says:

        I get it for OK, OK ST, MO and TT…..but I’m not sure there is quite enough there for the PAC……As others have said, it they’ve decided that TX is REALLY off the table and this is the best they can do, I could see it…..but out of 16 teams, you only have 2 traditional powers–that’s a little thin, though better than 1/12…..biggest advantage is the old PAC 8 teams can all be grouped in 1 division……….

        • Patrick says:

          I have seen OU and OSU – maybe stop at 14, but I’ll bet OU is pulling hard for some regional friends and the PAC doesn’t have many options as most have been saying.

          I have no info but I would think that Kansas and Texas Tech go with OU and OSU. Texas would go independent (which I think has long been the goal despite the UT talking points). Obviously in that situation the Big 12 is dead and Missouri, Kansas State, Iowa State and Baylor are left in the cold. I would imagine that Missouri would end up going SEC in this hypothetical scenario. At least OU gets Colorado, OSU, Kansas, Texas Tech (along with UA ASU and Utah) in a Pac 16 mountain division.

          Kansas brings a pretty strong athletic department, especially for BB. This would be ideal for OU – with their support and resources I could see them being THE big dog long term in the PAC 16.

          • Redhawk says:

            KU is more tied to KSU than any school is to little brother as they have the same Board of Regents. While KU is fine, but together they are not in this super-conference race being pushed by football, not basketball.

            it’s OU, OkSt, Tech, and either Texas or Mizzou. It’s all a matter if UT actually wants to be a team player and swallow some pride and arrogance and the LHN, or if they really are looking to be independent (or head of a Neu-SW Conference

          • Patrick says:

            Redhawk, I disagree.

            The super-conference race isn’t being pushed by football – it’s being pushed by money and brand.
            Kansas has pretty good AD revenue from BB and a very good brand. KSU is dead in the water. I don’t think UT has any interest in giving up the LHN for anyone, and I don’t know if Missou would go west. I don’t know how closely KU and KSU are tied, but maybe Texas Tech gets left in the cold instead of KSU. Kansas has a strong value for TV – KSU and TTU have little value.

          • zeek says:

            Patrick, it’s being pushed almost entirely by football.

            Look no further than the Big Ten’s latest two additions: Nebraska and Penn State.

            Penn State’s basketball program just lost an alumni coach (born in Penn., first assistant job at Penn State) to a woeful Navy program. Yes, he’s had a mediocre record in terms of coaching there, but Penn State’s basketball program is one of the worst in the Big Ten. Nebraska’s going to join Penn State’s at the bottom, although they’re putting a new arena together and trying to rebuild what they once had. I’m not saying this as a shot at the schools (as a Northwestern alum, I’ve seen a lot of woeful basketball).

            But, I don’t know how to make it more stark a contrast between the football driving the bus at this point in time, and basketball being along for the ride. The TV money is mostly driven by football, although there are some notable exceptions like UNC-Duke, but those are extremely rare and generally not going to be obtainable.

            Having a football brand is way more important than anything else in the discussion. If a university even moves the football dial even just a bit, it’s going to be more important than the most valuable of basketball brands.

          • Redhawk says:

            It’s brand and market…in FOOTBALL. KU is a great basketball program, and easily the best west of the Mississipi…and still that’s not football. It’s why they would be fine with out Kstate. but add the 2 together..and it doesn’t work

            Also…football recruits come from Texas, not Kansas…so Tech has far more value, plus they have a large alumni base, large school, and really help bring the DFW market.

            As for Missouri…what they want (invite to the B1G) may not be what they get. They would take the PAC over the SEC as the SEC player payrolls are pretty scary.

          • Mike says:

            @Redhawk – How much value does playing in Lubbock have to recruiting in Texas? I’ve been told Lubbock is very similar to Stillwater, a long drive from anywhere.

          • Redhawk says:

            @Mike It is a long drive and it’s way out in west Texas, and not the recruiting hot beds of Houston and South Dallas but OU use to rule recruiting out there especially out of Odessa area.

            It’s still in Texas….which gives it a better draw to recruiting Texas kids than say Manhattan, KS does.

          • Gopher86 says:

            Tech should not be considered a viable target to anyone unless they’re part of a package deal for UT.

            OU is a big enough brand to cover OSU’s entrance in most cases. KU is not a big enough brand to cover KSU’s cover charge. The ideal situation for the Pac 12 would be to take OU alone.

            In the current environment, their best bet is to expand with OU & OSU. This leaves them options should Texas become available. KU & MU add value, but: (1) It may not be enough value given their contracts & (2) Eating up two slots may eliminate the ultimate prize– the Texas market.

          • Patrick says:

            @ Redhawk – I just plain don’t see it like that. The tv market talk is not very important anymore. The BTN see itself as national. As for football, it is more important but not exclusive. Kansasbasketball has a brand, like Duke. While Pitt (or Georgia Tech) would kick them around in football and have good followings the BRAND of Kansas or Duke from their basketball product brings more value.

            As far as football driving the bus – I see the Big Ten Network as driving the bus, the value added to the BTN needs to be maximized. Whether that’s BB or FB I don’t think they care as long as they maximize the value. Comparisons to Penn State aren’t valid anymore as the landscape is so much different, Nebraska made sense because of their brand and revenue. I respect that many of you disagree, but that is how I see it from a tv perspective.

          • Redhawk says:


            Tech is a bigger and more important player on the Texas scene than you give them credit for. They are number 3 in the state as far as popularity and Texas is a BIG state. They have a ton of students, and alumni. They are the state school kids go to that can’t afford or can’t get into UT if they are from the DFW area. (UofHouston being the choice for the Houston area kids) West Texas is HUGE area. TECH is valuable on their own.

            Between Tech and OU, I would say you have almost a majority of the college football fans in the DFW area.

          • Mike says:

            @Redhawk – I would have thought OU was the 3rd most popular team in Texas.

          • Redhawk says:

            I should have said #3 FROM the state of Texas, not IN the state…yeah, OU would probably be 3rd, but it would be close to Tech. There is a lot of people that hate/dislike anything not in or from Texas

          • Gopher86 says:

            @Redhawk – Granted Tech gets you part of Dallas, but what else do you get? Lubbock? Amarillo? If you’re looking for a stand alone after OU, you take MU (state of MO.) or KU (Kansas City).

          • Frank the Ag says:

            I agree with you redhawk. Tech is much more viable than many on this board would suggest. If you are only assessing them as they stand today, then Tech probably misses the mark (other than results on the field in the last 10 years). However, if you project Tech’s potential out over the next 20 years, I think you are looking at a much stronger university with tier 1 status and AAU membership.

            They also have a ton of alums in the DFW area and can get TV sets dialed in when they play.

          • Richard says:

            TTech isn’t joining the AAU in 20 years unless they go on a massive hiring/spending spree and jump over about 50 schools. Considering that the Republicans who run Texas seem keen on cutting public spending on education (including universities) and TTech doesn’t have access to the PUF, that seems a tad unlikely.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Damn, I often feel like I’m the only rational person on this board. Sorry Frank, but your love for all things Miami disqualifies you……….

      So UNC doesn’t like VT? But they’ll move to the BIG, lose all their power, and get along just peachy with UM, OSU, and PSU?

      I don’t want to start a big brewhaha about the CIC, but that is SO overrated and over-blown……as a BIG 10er I don’t like to admit that, but it’s the truth.

      The ONLY reason schools like NC and MD would consider leaving the ACC for the BIG is for TV/BTN $$$, and that’s not enough of a reason to make such a drastic move.

      MD would be an IDEAL Big 10 addition (not UNC), but it’s not happening folks. Get over it.

      • greg says:

        mushroomgod, do you know anything about the CIC?

        • greg says:

          mushroomgod, that came out wrong. I was wondering your level of familiarity with the CIC to make such a statement.

          • mushroomgod says:

            yep…I’ve researched it. It was begun by IU’s most famous president, Herman Wells, back in the late 50s (as I recall).

            Myth is that BIG 10 schools share research funds through the CIC. Doesn’t happen. Biggest benefit is group purchasing arrangements. While nothing to sneeze at, not a huge deal either.

          • greg says:

            I am not too familiar with the research side, which I agree gets overblown. I think its a huge factor institutionally, rather than academically, and group purchasing is part of that.

      • Patrick says:

        Frank alluded to some discontent from UNC / Duke about VT joining the ACC in his post. I’ll try to be more rational with this……

        From a tv perspective Maryland is not as valuable as many other options. I think the power of UNC over the other members of the ACC that you are suggesting is way overblown. This is about money, and more money. The Big Ten and Pac 12 are in a different boat than the SEC because of the BTN and soon to be PTN. They will add value and brand to their networks, they see themselves as national, UNC and Duke BB have that brand. Maryland has no brand in any sport. Maryland is nearly useless to the big ten now. Maryland will never go to the Big Ten, you need to let that die.

        The CIC may be overrated but the presidents value research and the overall profile of a university. From the academic side UNC / Duke are a fit culturally although the students may be more southern, but that could help drive the BTN numbers up through new regions and additional sports.

        Saying UNC will never happen is fine, I actually think it is unlikely. From a tv perspective I think that the BEST play the Big Ten has, after Notre Dame or Texas is to go after UNC / Duke.

        Also, UNC / Duke may consider leaving the ACC if it is significantly damaged by an SEC raid on VT or FSU or NC State and Miami gets a significant penalty.

        • mushroomgod says:

          Pretty silly to say MD would have no value to the BIG……40000 flagship school in a populous state, next door to the entire fed. govt, #17 ranked in Director’s Cup rankings last yr, #42 ranked in fed, res. funds for 2008–ahead of Iowa, IU, Purdue, MSU, Rutgers, Neb, and MO, amoung others…but it’s all academic…..MD’s not going anywhere.

        • vp19 says:

          A university that has, over the past decade,
          * won men’s and women’s national basketball titles
          * appeared in a half-dozen bowl games
          * has significant fandoms in two large affluent metropolitan areas (Washington and Baltimore)
          is no “brand”? has no value?

          I would have to disagree.

          Maryland is no Notre Dame, Oklahoma or Texas, to be sure, but it would have genuine value to the Big Ten.

          • mushroomgod says:

            IMO it would have more overall value, by quite a margin, than did Nebraska, and certainly more than Oklahoma……but it’s not going to happen.

            In explanation, I’m talking about overall value to the BIG universities, not just to the BIG as an athletic conference.

          • You have a curious definition of what constitutes “significant” fandom in football.

            It would be better than Pitt for the B1G, though.

          • Richard says:

            mushroom & vincent:

            Not no value, but UMD’s biggest assets (research, footprint, lacrosse) are outside of athletics (or rather, the athletics that matter: football), and the B10 is first and foremost an athletics conference. That’s why the B10 has lusted after ND even though ND brings no footprint or research prestige.

            One thing to keep in mind is that the B10 shares a lot; not just the CIC and conference money, but also gate receipts, and very few people attend UMD football games. I don’t think schools like Wisconsin or the kings would be happy with essentially another IU leaching off the conference teat. It’s why I’m not as strongly for the ACC core four idea after looking up the amount of revenue these athletics departments bring in (UMD and UVa would pretty much be at the bottom, below IU, PU, and Northwestern).

            It’s also why Nebraska is a much better addition than UMD. Unlike the turtles, UNL would contribute to the conference above and beyond what they would take.

          • Brian says:

            I don’t think schools like Wisconsin or the kings would be happy with essentially another IU leaching off the conference teat.

            NW is by far the biggest leach. NW gained $1.16M in 2010 football revenue sharing (the most of anybody), and NW also gains from MBB revenue sharing. For 2009-2010 NW gained $214,467 (only IA, NW and PSU gained) while IU lost the maximum.

          • Richard says:


            Yes, and if the B10 adds Duke, I’d compare their football to NU. However, I believe Maryland would only leach off about as much as IU.

        • Richard says:


          Well, if FSU is wlling to leave the ACC, I think the B10 should make a play for them too (added to GTech). I don’t think FSU to the SEC is a slamdunk considering that they rejected them last time to go to an academically superior but athletically inferior conference.

      • vp19 says:

        MD would be an IDEAL Big 10 addition (not UNC), but it’s not happening folks. Get over it.

        I like its chances better than Pitt’s, which you promote till the cows come home.

        • mushroomgod says:

          No doubt MD would be a much bigger addition than Pitt……not even close. One thing I found out about Pitt that really bugs me is the size of the campus–132 acres…not exactly like the BIG’s other campuses, even if the Cath. of Learning is very impressive…..The other biggest problem I have is that the overall ath. dept. isn’t very strong–something like 125th in the D.C…..Pitt really only makes sense if ND is coming…….

          Problem is, MD’s not coming. Even if the President/Board was interested, does it make any sense to add a school when 80% of it’s alums/fans don’t want it to happen? So I still contend Pitt’s chances of being in the BIG eventually are greater than MD’s, cause MD’s not coming…..

          • Richard says:

            Pitt, however, is another school who’s athletic department revenue would be at the bottom of the B10 and football attendance would be near the bottom of the B10. Plus they bring no market. BTW, that would true about Mizzou’s athletic department revenue as well.

            New rule of thumb: Candidates for B10 expansion won’t be considered unless their athletic department revenue is reasonably above Northwestern’s and football attendance is at least close to the B10 average (~70K/game) or above.

            Caveat: Candidate may be considered if they are necessary to land a king (so GTech/Miami & FSU, BC/Pitt/GTech & ND, or Rice/Baylor(?) & Texas).

          • UT Austin Campus says:

            I am only 40 acres

  14. kylepitt says:

    As a Pitt fan I hope Nordy says “no thank you” but immediately calls Syracuse and conference-calls the ACC. I prefer “northern” football, but I’d accept the ACC for their pedigree and institutional focus.

    • mushroomgod says:

      ACC would be great for PITT…but you guys are going to have to put some $$$$$ into your athletic programs other than football and basketball…..Pitt was something like 125th in the Director’s Cup standings, and ACC was the #1 conference overall there….One reason ACC might be better is you could get along with fewer olympic sports teams (I would think) than in the BIG…

  15. herbiehusker says:


  16. Todd says:


  17. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Geaux Fightin’ Tigers!


  18. John says:

    Frank says “it would’ve been great strictly from an Illini perspective to have had the Tigers as a conference rival in the Big Ten.” I wish Zook would agree, guess he didn’t like going 0 – 1 every year. : )–20110831,0,7322656.story

    • mushroomgod says:

      Illinois is SUCH an underachieving program—they haven’t REALLY had it all together since 1963………

      • mike in st. louis says:


        The 1983-84 school year says hello (9-0 BT in Football, Rose Bowl; BT Co-Champs in Basketball, 2 seed Elite Eight Loss to Kentucky in Rupp).

        • mushroomgod says:

          Yes, but that was in the Mike White scandal years when Illinois almost quit/was thrown out of the BIG. I’m talking about the program having it TOGETHER and moving in a positive direction for any length of time. Has’t happened since Butkis…..

          And, I wasn’t talking about basketball, but I’m glad you brought that up…….isn’t it AMAZING that Illinois has never won an NCAA championship….several near misses including the Whiz Kids having to go off to war, and the great Battle/Anderson team, and the lass great Dee Brown team….just can’t win the big one………..

        • John O says:

          That team is – and is very likely forever to be – the only one in B1G history to have defeated every other conference member in football in the same season.

  19. mike in st. louis says:

    @Frank – do you envision a time in the near future when the BTN moves up from airing just 3 Tier games to 2nd Tier (i.e. ESPN) games, for both football and basketball? Would this change the expansion formula at all, making football “kings” less important and growing population centers more important?

    Do you think it will ever be feasible for the BTN, via widespread cable/satellite coverage plus online streaming to be the sole provider of in-conference B1G sports?

    • @mike in st. louis – I don’t think it will happen very quickly if ever. The Big Ten understands that the proverbial golden goose is to still have a large national presence and the best way to do that is to use broad-based platforms like ABC and ESPN. The NFL could’ve made the NFL Network into the most valuable network on Earth if the league had kept all of its games for that channel (or even had just moved the Monday Night Football package there), yet it knows that would be getting a short-term revenue gain at the expense of long-term fan interest. I believe the Big Ten (and SEC and the other power conferences) have the same mentality. As long as broad national platforms exist, then the power conferences are going to want to be on them (and after the NFL, college football is really the top sports property for those national platforms). It’s not in the long-term best interests of the Big Ten to only put its events on a channel that is largely geared toward Big Ten fans. The casual fans are the ones that bring in real money, and for them, if you’re not on ESPN or an OTA channel, you’re largely out of sight and out of mind. Keeping ESPN and others as partners also spreads the financial risk – conferences don’t necessarily want to be entirely dependent upon their own networks for TV money.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        In ten years nothing will be on what’s called television/cable. Having access to the BTN online will be just as easy as NBC, ESPN etc. It all comes down to talent. If the BTN has the money to hire the best on-air talent they will win. All you have to do use Netflix as a test case of what is about to occur across the board. They are creating their own original content and are on the cusp of becoming the ‘new’ blueprint. Sorry, but ESPN will continue to lose influence and power as this new world unfolds.

        • zeek says:

          I think this view is missing the point though.

          Most college football fans also watch other schools/conferences instead of just their own alma mater. If you as a conference/school want to get those viewers to randomly tune in as they cruise other games, you had better be on a national platform.

          That’s the point that Frank is making. The Big Ten and SEC (and especially the Pac-12, which needs to grab the less passionate viewers) have to go to where those general college football fans are.

          I watch SEC games on CBS and ESPN, but if they were on their own SEC Network, I’d never watch them, since I’d only go to the non-national platforms for Big Ten teams. I’d imagine a lot of college football fans are like that…

          • bullet says:

            I think that’s right, but change of some sort is coming. People are starting to resist increases in cable rates. Digital hasn’t hit its full stride. In Atlanta with all the sub-channels, we’ve got 60-70 over the air TV Channels (although about 20 are music only). I bet very few know that. But if they unplug, they will start to realize. Personally I’d drop cable except for football season, but my family watches it. I guess now I would need it through March with cable taking over the NCAA tourney.

  20. mushroomgod says:

    Frank—One factor you didn’t mention on the WV v. MO argument is that taking MO and assigning it to the SEC West division would mean having to move either Alabama or Auburn (presumably Auburn), which might cause a few headaches, UNLESS MO is added as an “East” team—–I saw that mentioned in one post on a fan forum, and it might not be too far fetched—-MO to UK, Vandy, TN isn’t too bad distance wise, and you could protect ARK as a rival……If MO MUST be in the West, that’s a big reason to add WV instead……….

  21. Bo Darville says:


  22. George says:

    So what’s this mean for the B1G, particularly if the SEC takes Mizzou? Like the SEC, there simply aren’t that many appealing expansion candidates to get to 14/16.

    From the ACC – Maryland, Duke, NC, Virginina&Tech?, BC?

    Big 12: Kansas? Assuming OU/USO are off the table because of academics

    Big East: Pitt obviously. UConn? Rutgers?

    Independents: If the B1G goes to 16 at some point in the future, ND will be #16.

    If the SEC takes Mizzou I think four 16-team conferences will not happen, because expanding will be a non-starter for the B1G.

    • zeek says:

      I don’t think it really changes anything for the Big Ten if Missouri goes to the SEC.

      OU is focused on the Pac-16 approach (because they can take OSU and at least one or two Texas teams).

      SEC would probably stay at 14 for at least the medium term.

      Big Ten is probably just looking for ND + 1 (Rutgers or Pitt) to go to 14 for the long term.

      • George says:

        The problem with that is ND will not join a conference unless by not doing so they are barred from national title contention (i.e. four 16-team conferences which feed into a playoff). So it’s ND+3.

        • mushroomgod says:

          If that’s REALLY the case, ND will never join a conference, because they won’t be excluded from the NC chase even if conferences go to 16……that’s a lawsuit waiting to happen if it was ever tried.

          I I keep thinking that ND MIGHT join the BIG someday mainly for political reasons. If conferences did go to 16 political power is even more concentrated in the top 3/4 conferences. And if the recent trend of SEC on the field success continues unabated ND might feel it’s in their best interest to join and strengthen the BIG as a countervailing force…….

          • George says:

            ND would have no legal recourse. If the B1G, Pac-16, SEC, and ACC/BE mishmash got together and said “screw the NCAA, we’re just gonna do our own thing,” there’s nothing that could stop them. They could decide that the winner of the B1G and Pac-16 would play each other, and with winner of the SEC-ACC, and then the winners of those games would play each other for the “BCS Title” or the “Big Four Title” or whatever. If the AP or something wanted to name ND national champion in any give year, more power to them. But no one would care.

          • metatron5369 says:

            @George – That’s what already happens, except Notre Dame is invited to the BCS every so often.

            The BCS isn’t a real NCAA championship, but it does settle a lot of the rankings that the NCAA record in their logs.

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        I agree that Mizzu to the SEC changes nothing for the B1G. My feeling is that Mizzu wants to be in the B1G, then wants out of the Texas-ME league. Even if Mizzu goes to SEC, B1G could extend an offer and I bet Mizzu would jump from the SEC to the B1G.

    • Patrick says:

      I could see a scenario where the Big is at 12 teams – the SEC at 14 – and the Pac is at 16 for a few years.

      The funniest part is that the Big Ten has the best resources and the best availability to expand. The PTN isn’t in place yet and west coast fans are less intense, the SEC tv contracts are already written and may need to be re-negotiated. The Big Ten has the BTN and additional schools add additional FB / BB / Hockey / BB games to the Big Ten Network, less repeats, more original content, more BIG games, more viewers and more money. 2 additional schools would add about 18 games / maybe as much as 24 games to the network each year. The Big Ten could add Northern Iowa Community College and they would probably break even.

    • mushroomgod says:

      You could still do ND, Rutgers, Pitt and either Syracuse or U Conn, if you really wanted to……not too exciting…..or just do ND and Pitt/Rutgers and stop at 14.

  23. duffman says:


    If you are gonna put Pitt and WVU on the list, and leave off Maryland, I gotta call foul!

    so he’s not some biased and blasphemous Big Ten blogger like yours truly
    biased = yes, but not sure I would call you blasphemous Frank!

    I still say it is 3 and 3 split between the B1G / SEC similar to this:

    B1G gets UVA + Duke + MD + ND

    SEC gets VT + UNC + NCST + TAMU

    I still say this academic “snobbery” issue is going to backfire on the B1G. TAMU is a huge academic get, and right now they appear SEC bound. Schools are run by boards. These boards are appointed by Governors. Governors are elected by the citizens of the state. Since “fans” exceed “alumni” by a wide margin I think the “academic” argument will not matter to the voters. I said this at the very beginning on the trend to large STATE schools in conference realignment.

    When Loftin turned down the SEC last year from the presidents seat it was from the school. The firestorm that has propelled TAMU since has been driven by voters and donors (things that politicians need to stay in office). I still wonder why TAMU did not go to the PAC, as it certainly offered academic clout, and the only thing I can come up with is the voters / donors said no.

    “the SEC cheats” and yet UNC and Ohio State are in the NCAA spotlight right now

    “SEC academics suck” and yet the best academic school so far in realignment is about to join


    Instead of saying something can not happen, figure out how it does happen. Then you know how to counter this, and win for your side.

    A year ago the Big 12 had seven AAU schools and a year from now they could have 2. That is a huge switch an a very brief span of time!

    • duffman says:

      The Big 3 academic realignment rankings

      #1 SEC – The “dumb” conference is getting TAMU # 53 in the ARWU. While below CU in the rankings now, TAMU has the PUF, a massive student body, 83,000 seats in their stadium, and a growing state population.

      #2 PAC – They got # 24 in the ARWU as a very solid academic add, but CU has a tiny endowment, much smaller student body, a 54,000 seat stadium, and about 1/5 the state population of Texas.

      #3 B1G – The “smart” conference got Nebraska, who has lost its AAU status

      Do not get me wrong, as I love Big Red in the B1G, but from the academic realignment adds the B1G is not winning right now, and the B1G is supposed to be about academics. How do you fix this?

      • mike in st. louis says:



        Bottom line, B1G got stood up by Texas and ND. Nebraska was the fallback to the fallback.

      • zeek says:

        You don’t fix it. You hope that Nebraska over time does what Michigan State did, which is to get AAU (back in this case), and build out its research programs.

        • duffman says:


          I agree! I am not saying I am unhappy with UNL in the B1G at all. I am saying in the public view – ie folks outside of the B1G footprint – the SEC has scored an academic home run. Going forward it will be harder to raise the “academic” argument. Sure they still have the Mississippi schools, but they added an AAU school like TAMU, and not a football school like OU.

          • vandiver49 says:


            You’re absolutely right regarding academics. While people love to pick on the SEC schools, I happen to think they are doing their jobs. Yes, the Miss. Universities are Tier III institutions, but as the state ranks near the bottom in secondary education (as does most of the south), is it really that surprising? The taxpayers expect these schools to primarily educate the in-state residents, not attempt to be the Yale of the deep South.

            This has always been one of my issues with GaTech. In an attempt to because the MIT of the south, standards were raised to the point where in-state residents who wanted to be engineers were being turned away. Auburn and Clemson were more than happy to accept and eventually graduate these kids.

      • M says:

        1- If Nebraska joined the SEC, it would improve their academic standing.

        2- Joining the SEC should be cause for a “Lack of Institutional Control” violation, as it’s clear that the athletic department runs the university and not the other way around (i.e. the definition of lack of institutional control). They have already been admonished once by the AAU and basically blew them off. The only other institution to take that course was CUA, who was subsequently removed.

    • vp19 says:

      I still say this academic “snobbery” issue is going to backfire on the B1G. TAMU is a huge academic get, and right now they appear SEC bound.

      It’s not so much academic “snobbery” as it is culture, which is why A&M is heading to the SEC instead of the Big Ten, and why any thoughts of UNC (or Maryland) going to the SEC are inherently absurd (whereas both would likely feel comfortable in the Big Ten). Also, one would sooner split UNC and State than UNC and Duke, assuming all would find new, profitable homes in a post-ACC world.

      • duffman says:


        To clarify I agree on the “culture” term inside the borders of the B1G, but once you go out of the footprint I hear “snobbery”. My point was more to show how others view the B1G, and not the way we view ourself. What I am trying to suggest is some ACC schools will not equal 4. I look at the following schools for B1G adds:


        Right there you have 8 teams for 4 slots, and that does not include VT, NCST, GT, RU, SU, Uconn, Miami, etc….

        Just saying who lands where is limited by space.

        • mushroomgod says:

          Let me help you out there Duffer………

          UNC and Duke won’t happen….down to 6….

          MD and VA won’t happen……….down to 4….

          Kansas is “Missouri Lite” in every relevant factor except basketball…..smaller enrollment, more distant, in a less populous state, with another BCS school(barely) in state, less R@D $s, less football tradition/prospects…Kansas won’t happen…down to 3 realistic candidates: ND (someday); Pitt; MO. now add Rutgers and got er done………

          • hawkfan says:

            @mushroomgod, You’re a little off. Have you ever been to Columbia? That’s in the middle of nowhere. KU’s in the outskirts of a 2M+ metro that happens to be fanatical about college athletics. According to a recent article here, 46% in Kansas City are college football fans versus the Pac 10 footprint was between 21-27% (I can’t remember the exact number).

            KU has had a larger enrollment almost always except for the past 2-3 years when Mizzou passed KU. KU has the larger alumni base and endowment. If you know you’re geography at all, eastern Kansas and even western Missouri (KC) has a big KU flavor. Just to give you an idea, in KC for every Mizzou alum, there’s 4 KU alums. Even K-State has more alumni in KC than Mizzou and KC has more population on the Missouri side of the line.

            KU’s also been the larger budget school with generally an extra $10 million (more some years) more revenue than Mizzou. Mizzou’s blessing of being in a larger state is also their curse because it’s a little bit of a hike to get there from the state’s two largest cities.

            KU may very well get left in the cold, but someone will be missing a golden opportunity because when the TV dollars slow down, ADs and conferences will be looking for the next growth opportunity and it will be by breaking off from the NCAA to hold their own basketball tournament. The NCAA mismanages that money so badly that the BCS schools could break off, get less than 1/2 the TV deal and probably quadruple the money per school for participants.

          • Brian says:


            I’m not sure sharing the money equally counts as mismanaging the tourney money.

    • Richard says:


      Not sure why you have the B10 adding some athletic lightweights + ND (and FSU going no where). From the B10′s perspective (where the schools share a LOT, including football gates), FSU makes sense even if you have to take GTech or Miami as well, and I’m not so certain FSU would choose the SEC automatically (even if the SEC lets them in) as they chose the academically superior, athletically inferior, poorer conference last time, and this time, they’d get a raise.

  24. bullet says:

    Another comparison of the conferences:
    B1G 9 U of (Michigan, Ohio St. & Penn St. count, Illinois, etc.)
    2 State U (Michigan State, Purdue)
    1 highly regarded private (NW)
    SEC 9 U of
    2 State U (Auburn, Miss. St.)
    1 highly regarded private (Vandy)
    Big 12 4 U of
    5 State U (Tech, A&M, Ok St, KSU, ISU)
    1 good private (Baylor)
    ACC 3 U of
    5 State U (FSU,NCSU,Clemson,VT, GT)
    2 highly regarded private (Duke, BC)
    2 good privates (Miami, WF)
    Big East 3 U of (UConn, WVU, Rutgers)
    1 State U (Pitt is here, but it could fit in commuter)
    3 commuter schools (UL-but could be considered state U, UC, USF)
    2 good privates (SU, TCU)
    Pac 12 7 U of (I’m including UCLA)
    3 State U
    1 highly regarded private (Stanford)
    1 good private (USC)

    This reflects part of the strength of the B1G and SEC. They haven’t filled up their lineup with the State Us, but have taken the top flagship in numerous states.

    • JR says:

      I’m not sure what criteria you used to distinguish between “highly regarded” and “good private”, but USC is #23 in the US News rankings and Wake Forest is #25. You have them in the latter category, while BC at #31 is “highly regarded”. None of those 3 schools (nor Miami at #38) should be in the same category as Syracuse (#62), Baylor (#75) and TCU (#96).

  25. Bamatab says:

    I still don’t buy the theory that Virginia state politicians would be able to block VT from going to the SEC. The same thing was said about aTm ad nauseam. Politicians are far less likely to try and force an issue like this when the backlash from a very strong voting base has the potential to be directed at them. That is one of the reasons that has been suggested as to why the Texas state politicians have backed off from trying to force aTm to stay in the Big 12. Apparently they got inundated with very negative responses by big money donars (and normal everyday voters) that are Aggie fans.

    I think that the political pressure applied by state politicians in this type of situation would’ve been worse in the state of Texas than it will be in Virginia. From what I’ve heard, Texas state politics are far “crazier” when it comes to this football related stuff. Plus, in the state of Texas, both Baylor and Texas Tech are in far more danger of being left out of one of the supposed four super conferences than is UVA. UVA will end up in one of the 4 remaining super conference (if and/or when that happens), whether they get picked up by the B1G, or if they are part of some sort of ACC/Big East merger.

    Back when the ACC was expanding by raiding the Big East, there was real concern that the Big East would lose its AQ status and fall way behind the SEC, B1G, ACC, Pac 10, & Big 12. UNC and Duke had already stated that they were going to vote against expansion and only needed one more team to stop it. So this left UVA with the opportunity to stop the expansion. So the Viriginia state politicians saw this as a great PR move, and an opportunity to gain some more donations from the VT folks, so they convinced UVA (UVA probably didn’t care either way seeing as how they haven’t been tied to VT in a conference is a very long time) to force the ACC’s hand to allow VT in. Now the politicians were able to do this without any backlash from either fan bases since it helped VT and really didn’t pose that big of an issue for UVA.

    Now the situation is different. If the state politicians try and force VT to stay in the ACC against their will, they run the risk of a backlash from the VT fans. And I don’t see the UVA fans applying a whole lot of pressure on the state politicians since they have only recently been tied to VT, and there really isn’t a risk that they’ll be left out of a super conference when all is said and done. I don’t see, when the rubber meets the road (they may posture to begin with, but will back down like the Texas state politicians), the Viriginia state politicians taking the risks when they really don’t absolutely have to. That is just how politicians are.

    • frug says:

      The big difference is that the Texas state legislature is out of session until 2013 and does not have the ability to call itself back into session. (That is one of the main reasons why this has all happened during the summer as opposed to earlier in the offseason.)

      In Virginia, on the other hand, the governor could put the kibosh on all this, adn the legislature could get involved as well.

    • @Bamatab – I understand your point, but the difference is that VT fans aren’t clamoring en masse to go to the SEC in the way that A&M fans have been. Joining the ACC was an end goal for VT for several decades for both athletic and academic reasons. Would joining the SEC be a move that a lot of VT fans would like? Sure. However, staying in the ACC is also perfectly fine for most of those VT fans, whereas the Aggies were ready to torch the capital building if they were blocked from moving. A&M fans have been pushing for the SEC from the moment that the Big 12 was saved last year, while the SEC interest in the VT is more unsolicited. There’s a wide gap in intensity of feelings on this issue.

      I’d also characterize UVA as being completely forced by the legislature to block the ACC’s expansion. UVA certainly cared as they were originally on-board with the Northeastern strategy of adding BC and Syracuse up until the point that the politicians intervened (and then they had to change their tunes). Make no mistake about it – that was a heavy legislative hand meddling with the ACC and, unlike the formation of the Big 12 of the 1990s, those events were recent enough where a lot of the people directly involved are still there. If we were 20 or 30 years removed from the ACC expansion, it would be one thing, but VT only started playing in the conference in 2004, so this is a situation still relatively fresh in people’s minds.

      • Bamatab says:

        I definitely agree with you that aTm’s fan based currently wants to join the SEC a lot more “passionately” than the VT fan base, which would apply more pressure on the politicians to not stand in their way. I definitely won’t argue with you there. But I have been reading several different VT sites, and their fans (and big donars) desires to switch to the SEC are starting to grow. Now it is nowhere near the leval of the aTm fans, but it is growing.

        But with that said, I still don’t see a reason for the Virginia state politicians to put up a big enough fight to keep VT in the ACC, if VT decides it is in their best interest to go to the SEC. Trying to get VT into the ACC was important, not because the state politicians felt the need that the two schools absolutely had to be in the same conference, but because the Big East was/is a far lesser football conference and an all around lesser conference in other sports outside of basketball (which VT isn’t that big in anyways). As you stated, it had been VT’s end goal to get into the ACC for several decades. If VT’s end goal changes, who are the state politicians to tell VT they can’t continue to work towards what they believe is the best direction for the school.

        • duffman says:

          frank and bama,

          I think what both of you are missing is VT is where TAMU was a year ago! The TAMU ground swell took another year to gain a full head of steam. I was on a VT board about a week ago, and I see the same comments I saw on the TAMU boards a year ago. The VT folks are not blind, and if TAMU enters the SEC it only leaves 3 more slots. Do you really think VT will sit there and watch FSU or Clemson claim them first. I have said all along that once you hit 13 in any of the Big 3 B1G / PAC / SEC, all bets are off! If TAMU becomes #13, then no telling where the musical chairs will end.

          On the flip side if Slive lands TAMU, then WVU seems like failure. I just have a hard time thinking this will happen. At least adding Arky got the Wal Mart money, and USC got a foothold in South Carolina. Who is the “sugar daddy” for West Virginia who can buy them a seat at the table?

          • Bamatab says:


            I’m with you on WV. They would be the absolute last choice for the SEC. I think SEC would stay at 13 for several more years (possibly up to 4 or 5) before buckling and adding WV. They would definitely put the kibosh on the UF/UGA/USCe block and add FSU or Clemson way before it came to adding WV.

            As I stated earlier and as you just stated, all you have to do is go over to the VT boards and see that the sentiment for going to the SEC is gaining steam. Reading their boards over the past week or two is far different than it was a month or two ago. The last thing they want is for FSU and/or Clemson (the only other real football traditional schools in the ACC outside of Miami) to jump to the SEC and end up in a weakened (especially from a football standpoint) ACC. Heck from a football standpoint, the ACC is already weaker than the SEC, B1G, and Pac12. What ACC games do you actually get excited about other than when FSU, VT, Clemson, or Miami play each other? I personally would much rather watch a B1G game or SEC game than a VT vs NCST/UNC/MD/or even UVA.

            The ACC football product is already down. Throw in Miami possibly getting hit with sanctions and the possibility of FSU or Clemson jumping ship, I wouldn’t fault any ACC fan base for wanting their school to explore whatever options are available, especially VT’s.

          • WVU doesn’t have a sugar daddy, which is one of the big reasons it’s trying to expand its exposure/revenue via games at FedEx Field in DC.

            The biggest things that WVU has going for it are its level of on-field success / fan interest (higher than MD/MO/Pitt), and that it’s not encumbered (shackled like VT/NCSt or cockblocked like FSU/Clemson).

          • Frank the Ag says:

            Duff – believe my the passion to move to the SEC was there a year ago. If it wasn’t, we’d be in the Pac-16 right now. A&M has been pushing for the SEC since the demise of the SWC, not just since the past year.

  26. Big 10 should really make a play for Oklahoma. If you add four (4) schools, you need to add another power, some fertile recruiting territory and new TV markets.

    What makes the most sense is Oklahoma and Missouri to the West, Maryland and Rutgers to the East.

    You have a perfect geographical split. The East has one more top 10 program nationally, but the West has Iowa and Wisconsin to make up for it. You would add three (3) nice recruiting territories in NJ, Baltimore/DC and Missouri.

    Ohio State
    Penn State
    Michigan State


    • zeek says:

      Oklahoma needs OSU or Texas in the same conferenece (especially when its choices Pac-12/Big Ten are going to be at 9 conference games).

      OU is pretty much exclusively looking at the OU + 3 to the Pac-16 strategy.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Too many moving parts for that to ever happen.

    • Richard says:

      Since the B10 shares gate receipts, you need 2 powers to add 4 teams (for each below the average, you need one above the average). Rutgers & Maryland would be at the bottom of the B10 in terms of football attendance and AD revenue (Mizzou would only be a little better).

  27. Bamatab says:

    The Aggies have now officially stated that they will seek to join another conference.

    • Redhawk says:

      I wonder which conference they will try to join?

    • frug says:

      It’s official, shit just got real.

    • bullet says:

      I misread this the first time. I thought they were sending a letter to apply to leave.

      They only sent a conditional leaving letter. They aren’t leaving unless they get accepted somewhere else. So everyone is still on hold until the SEC makes a formal decision. And that may still be waiting on A&M & the Big 12 reaching an agreement at least on waivers and how to settle the exit fee amount.

      • Frank the Ag says:

        This is the exact process NU followed last year. A&M has been accepted into a conference “somewhere” and the exit fees are finalized. I know you don’t want that to be true but, sorry, it is true. The exit fee has been agreed upon at $12M. There will not be a formal announcement until Tuesday after the games this weekend based on input from the Texas A&M AD (and probably the SEC ADs) to avoid a media circus prior to the games being played.

    • duffman says:


      haha I was still reading it all the way though before hitting the post button, jinx :)

      • bullet says:

        Looks like Frank’s article was pretty well timed. He said he would write this when something actually happened. He beat it by a few hours.

        I read this as Loftin sent an offer on settlement of exit fees and is waiting on an answer.

  28. bullet says:

    I agree with you Frank. Its highly likely everyone higher up their wish list says no. I’d say its 60/40 Missouri says no and they realize they have to settle for WVU and they’re all beginning to wonder how much of this is sound financial decisions and how much is Slive’s ego. Slive’s 16 teams in 15 minutes are A&M and a bunch of Big East and CUSA teams.

    • zeek says:

      My thoughts are similar right now. I’m not seeing why Va Tech and FSU would jump from a stable conference for a few million dollars in exchange for far fewer BCS bowls and the like.

      Any BCS conference could go to 16 in a matter of minutes. The problem is that none of them would be smart moves.

  29. cutter says:

    Is there a possibility that Oklahoma and Oklahoma State make the same sort of calculations that Nebraska, Colorado and Texas A&M have done regarding their future and the Big XII Conference? Would that mean Oklahoma and Oklahoma State would be willing to leave for the Pac 16 without Texas?

    Bob Stoops said a move by OU to the Pac 12 would best be served by having two Texas schools go with them. If Oklahoma’s president and AD feel that their school’s athletic and academic futures are best served by joining by Pac 12 what two Texas schools would they be willing to make the move with if Texas didn’t want to come with? Texas Tech seems one logical choice, but what other school is the next best? The old SWC included Baylor, SMU, Rice, Houston and Texas Christian, so they’d be the more likely possibilities.

    Or is any move by Oklahoma to the Pac 12 effectively checkmated by Texas much like further conference expansion within the Big Ten is vis-a-vis Notre Dame? Could OU make the move if there was only one Texas school included and Kansas was part of the formula? Or would Oklahoma (for recruiting purposes) and the Pac 12 (for network purposes) really need to have two schools in the state of Texas to justify the move? If yes and Texas Tech is one of the schools, should the other one come from the Houston or Dallas-FW metropolitan areas?


    Location: Waco, TX
    Enrollment: 15,000 total
    USN&WR Ranking (2011): 79
    Current Conference: Big XII
    Stadium: Floyd Casey Stadium holds up to 50,000
    Football Record over last 5 Years: 22-39


    Location: University Park, TX (enclave of Dallas)
    Enrollment: 11,000 total
    USN&WR Ranking (2011): 56
    Current Conference: C-USA
    Stadium: Gerald J. Ford Stadium holds 32,000
    Football Record over last 5 Years: 23-40


    Location: Houston, TX
    Enrollment: 5,760 total
    USN&WR Ranking (2011): 17
    Current Conference: C-USA
    Stadium: Rice Stadium holds 50,000 (expandable to 70,000)
    Football Record over last 5 Years: 26-36


    Location: Houston, TX
    Enrollment: 38,752 total
    USN&WR Ranking (2011): Tier 2
    Current Conference: C-USA
    Stadium: Robertson Stadium holds 32,000
    Football Record over last 5 Years: 41-25


    Location: Fort Worth, TX
    Enrollment: 9,142 total
    USN&WR Ranking (2011): 99
    Current Conference: Big East
    Stadium: Amon G. Carter Stadium will hold 50,000 following recent renovation
    Football Record over last 5 Years: 55-10

    • Redhawk says:

      I’m an Oklahoma guy, and I have a few weak connections down there.

      Yes…OU and OkSt are planning on leaving. Yes, to the PAC. They want to Texas schools cause that makes it easier to recruit the state. Texas Tech is in…that’s 3 and one from Texas.

      The 4th is what is going on right now in negotiation. OU wants UT to come along, and actually be a team/conference player, and that would require giving up the LHN as it stands today. UT doesn’t want to do that.

      You can rule out all the religious schools, as that won’t fly in the PAC and with Stanford and Cal especially. My sources/friends are saying that the 4th will be Missouri. KU and K-state are heading east for more basketball oriented grounds but rumors from out of LA media says KU, but for that to happen KU would have to separate from Kstate..and I don’t think that happens

      • frug says:

        If KSU were guaranteed a Big East (best they are going to do if the Big Xii splinters) invite with or without Kansas would the BoR agree to let KU head west? I know they want to be with other basketball schools, but KU the dominate program in the PAC-1X in a way they wouldn’t in the BEast.

        • The Big East should have the statue of liberty as its motto “give meyour poor, your tired”

          K-State, Kansas and Iowa State in the Big East makes little sense. K-State and Iowa State would be best served cobbling together a conference with a couple Texas leftovers (SMU and Rice), couple western schools (CSU, UNLV, Nevada).

          How about this for a conference

          Iowa State
          Kansas State
          Colorado State
          Air Force
          Boise State

          Not bad.

      • mushroomgod says:

        I can see that for the 4 schools involved, but it doesn’t look that great from the PAC perspective, IMO.

      • bullet says:

        If OU and Missouri, and probably just OU stay put, this expansion mania fizzles like last year. Otherwise, it gets even more chaotic than last summer.

        • zeek says:

          This is like a Jenga game. Nebraska and A&M were parallel bricks to OU’s central brick in a row.

          OU (and the Pac-12′s willingness to go to 14 for them or possibly 16 if both sides can work that out) now controls the entire game.

      • Bamatab says:

        It’ll be interesting to see how UT and ESPN reacts here. If there are 4 Big 12 schools (and the four best that are remaining candidates) willing to leave for the Pac 12, then the Big 12 is DOA. That mean that basically UT has two options. Going independent, or changing how the LHN is laid out. And ESPN has the decision to make as to whether or not they want to pay for an independant UT’s 1st and/or 2nd tier rights and still pay for a possibly unprofitable LHN, or do they tell UT they can’t afford both?

        I’m thinking that those scenarios will force UT and ESPN to renegotiate the current tv deal that they have together. If UT goes independent, they’ll have to get ESPN to pay for their 1st & 2nd tier rights. I know that they have a deal with ESPN to pay them for their LHN, but the current amount they get for the LHN isn’t enough to pay them anywhere near what the other Pac 12 schools will be making). And the Pac 12 sure isn’t going to let UT with the current LHN setup. So how would the renegotiations go in either scenario? Then there is still the question as to whether the LHN (in its current form) can even be profitable over the long haul.

        I think both UT and ESPN have to make a decision on whether or not the LHN is even worth holding together (in its current state), or if it would be in the best interest of both parties. While ESPN has to pay UT, what, $15 million a year for 20 years. But UT can make more than that by joining the Pac 12 and turning the LHN into one of the Pac 12 regional networks. And ESPN has to decide whether it would have to buy UT’s 1st and/or 2nd tier rights, and still pay the $300 mil for a network that appears to be questionable (at best) when it comes to profitability.

        It will be very interesting to see how UT and ESPN react if the Big 12 implodes.

        • zeek says:

          Someone actually posted a part of the supposed contract (I think), that basically lays out that ESPN has an exclusive negotiating period for UT’s rights if they end up independent during the LHN contract, and they have the right to match any other offer after that period.

          ESPN’s probably going to be willing to pay for Texas’ independence if they really did insert those provisions.

          • 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.

            (That’s a copy/paste from a post I made in the last thread)

          • Bamatab says:

            I know that ESPN will have 1st dibs on signing UT once they are out of the Big 12. But will ESPN be willing to give them a separate tv deal outside of the LHN deal, or will they renegotiate and combine the two (thus paying UT less than if they kept the two separate).

          • zeek says:

            Well, they’d pay them for like 5 home games on ESPN (ABC) and then let the LHN take the other 2 or so.

            My guess is they’d get a separate contract that would probably rewrite some of the terms of the LHN contract.

          • zeek says:

            As for money yes, the other rights all have to be paid for; LHN is just like an options contract as well has having space for 1-2 Texas football home games and some other things.

        • Redhawk says:


          And that call has to happen BEFORE the Big 12 actually implodes….once OU, OkSt, Tech and Missouri walk to the PAC…it’s too late for UT to join them. (unless the PAC goes to 18 or 20)

          I’m guessing that decision is what is going on in Austin/Bristol right now.

          • StevenD says:

            Why should the PAC stop at 16? By taking Missouri, TexTech, and the OKlahomas, Larry Scott blows up the Big12. Texas then has to decide what to do: join TexTech and Oklahoma, go independent or go to the B1G without a partner. Scott is probably betting that Texas joins its friends in the PAC.
            If Texas does join, then BYU or Kansas will be invited to the PAC18. If it’s BYU, it will be quarantined in the east division (with Utah); and Colorado will go west (it was promised games in California when it joined). If BYU isn’t joining, then Kansas will partner Missouri for a regional channel based in Kansas City.
            Since the original PAC8 don’t really want to play the unsavory teams to the east, they would be happy to play 8 games amoungst themselves (plus Colorado). A PAC18 suits them just fine. Even a PAC20 would be sweet.

          • Richard says:

            18 or 20 actually would be less difficult for the Pac than for any other conference. It’s not like the old Pac10 schools and old B12 schools have rivalries with each other that would have to be broken.

          • Richard says:

            Uh, Steven, BYU isn’t getting an invite to the Pac. Texas may be allowed to bring a friend, though it can’t be Baylor either.

        • bullet says:

          There are lots of options. And the Pac or Big 10 would certainly admit UT and the LHN with an agreement that it eventually gets folded in by some method. Everything expansionwise can be solved by money. I see 4 main options:
          1. Get with ND and others to create as HopkinsHorn posted hypothetically on another board a “national conference.” This is where, if it happened and several other schools were willing to play, expansion could blow up in Slive and Scott’s faces and college football as we know it would be changed forever. This scenario is not likely, but its like the Big 12 inviting ND and Arkansas. Its the first option and you have to ask.
          2. Join the Pac
          3. Join the B1G
          4. Keep the Big 12 5 or so together, invite some non-AQs with high potential and effectively create another BE level AQ conference, while collecting $100 million in exit fees. Then in a few years, re-evaluate everything.

          • zeek says:

            The last option has a lot of potential for the short term at least, while LHN is getting carriage agreements done, etc.

            And for the long term, Texas may be able to declare football independence while keeping the rest of the sports parked in a Big 12 (Big East version).

      • Redwood86 says:

        Redhawk, you are nuts. Consider looking at this from the Pac-12′s perspective for once.

        Why would the Pac-12 expand without Texas? What does it get them?? I could see taking OU and OSU in hopes of forcing UT’s hand, although I am not sure this would be wise. But no way would the Pac-12 ever take TTech w/o Texas. And Mizzou would likely only get an invite as #16 AFTER UT,OU, and OSU.

        • Redhawk says:

          I really have no idea how to explain conference alignment to those that only see 2 schools worthy of expansion…and really think that everyone is really sitting and waiting on what Notre Dame and UT will do/join.

          • zeek says:

            Anyone who doesn’t think OU is coveted by every conference has no idea what they’re talking about; the issue is more what OU wants.

            OU could be in the Big Ten if it was willing to schedule OSU/Texas nonconference (it’s not).

            OU could be in the SEC with A&M if it wanted to be there without OSU (it’s not).

            OU can get into the Pac-12 without Texas (in my opinion), the question is whether it’s a move to 14 with OSU or to 16 with TTech/Mizzou (if Texas isn’t coming).

            OU is one of those schools that easily pays for an expansion to 14 and possibly 16 if the Pac-12 decides that Texas is going independent for the long haul.

          • bullet says:

            I don’t see the Pac going to 16 with those 4. OU/OSU for 14 yes, but not those 4.

          • mushroomgod says:

            I seriously doubt that the BIG presidents covet Oklahoma.

      • Mike says:

        @Redhawk – Isn’t Joe Castiglione on the Big 12 expansion committee? I imagine he won’t broker a deal to expand the Big 12 while brokering his own deal to leave. Is our first sign of PAC expansion Castiglione leaving the committee?

        • Redhawk says:


          “expansion committee” for the Big 12 is akin to rescue party signaler for the Titanic. OU, and the other schools that have choices aren’t going down with the ship as loyal captains.

          There aren’t that many schools for the conference to have leaders from….so no that’s not a sign.

          The sign…if you need it is for LONG TIME OU Media mouth pieces like Dean Blevins in OKC and Dave Sittler in the Tulsa World talking up the PAC and saying OU is going. They are more respectable versions of Chip Brown. If they are saying OU is looking….then it’s beyond the looking stage.

          • Redwood86 says:

            Possibly, the Pac-12 might take OU and OSU to make 14. But, you have not made the case for the Pac-12 to do so. How does the Pac-12 benefit? The schools suck academically and are located in a geographically undesirable market. What’s in it for the Pac-12???

            And Texas Tech provides ZERO net value to the Pac-12 unless UT comes along. Stanford and Oregon already recruit very well in Texas. Being in Lubbock ain’t gonna enhance that.

            As for Mizzou, again, what’s in it for the Pac-12? Mizzou is much more compelling for the Big-10 and SEC. If they don’t see the value, why would the Pac-12??

            Bottom-line, contrary to conventional wisdom here, the Pac-12 has little incentive to expand unless UT is part of the package. That may be unrealistic. But if so, so is the very idea of Pac-12 expansion.

          • zeek says:

            OU/OSU pay for themselves in a move to a Pac-14. OU is a king that moves the dial.

            Heck, OU/OSU add much more to the Pac-12 than Utah/Colorado did. OU is a national brand located in the central timezone.

            They’d be the Pac-12′s second king. Those are the kinds of teams that the Pac-12 has been craving as they’ve targeted the eastern media markets. OU is one of the keys to getting to those markets.

            Obviously, Texas is the biggest key.

          • jcfreder says:

            Yeah, I think it would probably be smart for the P12 to add Okla and Okla St to get to 14. They add a king and solidify their front-runner status as far as someday adding Texas.

            Adding Mizzou and Texas Tech to go to 16 probably doesn’t pay for itself and might also hamper their ability to add Texas later on.

          • bullet says:

            Pac 14 w/OU/OSU has the same issues as the SEC 14 except bigger. They likely move Utah to the Northwest and still leave the Cal schools split. So the NW schools don’t see USC/UCLA much. They would have to trade those issues vs. extra $ OU might bring.

          • Richard says:

            Redwood: Also, the Pac doesn’t care about academics (so long as the school is a non-sectarian research university) as they see themselves as purely an athletics conference. That’s why they were OK with taking TTech last go-around. Trust me, Stanford and the UC schools want nothing to do with WSU academically.

        • Frank the Ag says:

          B12 Committee members: ND, you interested? NO?..ok.

          Arkansas, how about you? No?…ok.

          Pitt, how about you, please? No? Damn…ok.

          Committee disbanded! OU to Larry Scott – can I come over?

      • vp19 says:

        Missouri is a pawn in this game, in order to persuade Texas to join in. Whether Mizzou is a willing — or unwitting — pawn is something else entirely.

      • mike in st. louis says:


        I’m not sure UT *can* do that. They have a big, long contract with ESPN for the LHN.

        Seems to me that UT’s options might be limited to

        1) Football Independence
        2) Patching together a rebooted Big 12 that can a) remain AQ and b) collect the exit fees

        • Redhawk says:

          @Mike in STL

          the LHN contract states that it’s voided if UT joins another conference. It then goes on to say that ESPN gets first right to negotiate the contract for UT in the new conference.

  30. Tim says:

    WVU has historic ties to alot of the SEC teams already…from the SoCon. So BLUF they fit.

  31. frug says:

    Time for college sports over/unders!

    1. Number of days until Texas A&M is granted acceptance to the SEC: 5

    2. Number of months Oklahoma will remain in Big Xii: 24

    3. Number of teams in the SEC on July 1, 2012: 14

    4. Number of teams in the SEC on July 1, 2014: 14

    5. Number of Florida teams in the SEC on 7/1/14: 1.5

    6. Number of Missouri teams in SEC on 7/1/14: 1

    7. Number of South Carolina teams in the SEC on 7/1/14: 1

    8. Number of full members in the Big Xii on 7/1/14: 10

    9. Number of football members in the Big Xii on 7/1/14: 10

    10. Number of teams in the PAC-1X on 7/1/14: 12

    11. Number of teams in the Big 10 on 7/1/14: 12

    12. Number of schools from North Carolina in the ACC on 7/1/14: 4

    13. Number of schools from Virginia in the ACC on 7/1/14: 2

  32. Team Speed Kills did a good piece on WVU being the SEC’s #14:

    WVU’s academics aren’t on a part with Vandy, and nobody would say they are, but they’re not quite the laughingstock that they’re made out to be. To wit:

    WVU is classified as a Research University (High Research Activity) by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

    Twenty-five WVU students have received Rhodes Scholarships for study at Oxford; few public universities have produced more Rhodes Scholars than WVU. WVU’s 25 Rhodes Scholars lead the Big East, and would be second to only Vanderbilt in the SEC.

    WVU ranks nationally for prestigious scholarships. In addition to the 25 Rhodes Scholars mentioned above, WVU has produced 21 Truman Scholars, 33 Goldwater Scholars, two British Marshall Scholars, two Morris K. Udall Scholars, five USA Today All-USA College Academic First Team Members (and 11 academic team honorees), eight Boren Scholars, five Gilman Scholars, two Fulbright Scholars, and one Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholar.

    The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recognized the scope and success of WVU’s impact by selecting it for the Community Engagement Classification, putting WVU in the top 6 percent of higher education institutions that Carnegie recognizes for engagement out of all U.S. institutions.

    WVU’s combined varsity athletic teams have an academic progress rate score of 974. The APR is based on eligibility and retention of student-athletes over a four-year period. The NCAA average score is 970. WVU had six teams with perfect 1,000 scores: cross country, rifle, women’s soccer, rowing, men’s soccer, and tennis.

    More than two dozen WVU graduate programs were ranked by U.S. News & World Report as among the best in the country: primary care, pharmacy, industrial and manufacturing engineering, rehabilitation counseling, and clinical psychology were among the top 50, with another twelve in the top 100.

    The WVU School of Medicine has been recognized as the 7th-best school of medicine in the country for rural medicine, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2012 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.” It also placed in the top 50 for primary care.

    • bullet says:

      They were probably afraid to give those rifle team members lower scores.

    • EZCUSE says:

      In all seriousness…what is “rural medicine”?

      • Brian says:

        Presumably training GPs to work in rural areas where access to hospitals and specialists is limited. Most GPs today just refer people to specialist for anything even slightly unusual, but that’s not really possible for people who live hours away from the nearest specialist. They also have to be more cost conscious since many patients can’t afford much.

        Now, I have no idea how many medical schools even offer this so the rankings may not mean that much. According to USNWR, WV is #7 on their list of top rural medicine programs. They say the full list is 22.

  33. zeek says:

    I’m going to say the odds on the SEC’s 14th team currently look something like this: West Virginia 50%, Missouri 30%, FSU 10%, Va Tech 10%.

    The main reason why FSU and Va Tech are so low is that the ACC is a stable conference with easy paths to the BCS for both of them, and money isn’t a sufficient reason to leave that kind of situation when you’d be going from 3-5 BCS bowls a decade, which is the expectation for each, to probably 1-2 per decade.

    • zeek says:

      Looking up at that TSK post, this line in particular intrigues me about WVU: “The public report of team evaluations done in 1990 had you as the team should South Carolina decline and rejoin the ACC. It’s actually in print so google it. If South Carolina had passed then you’d have been in the SEC for more than 20 years now.”

    • mushroomgod says:

      Pretty good, but I’d say it’s 40-40 between MO and WV:

      MO’s the bigger and better school school…..
      Mo’s the more populous state….
      WV’s football is probably slightly better, long-term…
      WV’s fans are more passionate…
      MO’s basketball is significantly better, long-term…
      MO’s overall ath. dept. is better….
      Adding WV causes less disruptiopn unless MO is added to the East Div…
      MO may not be sufficiently redneck for the SEC…
      The SEC may feel MO secretly longs for the BIG, esp. after they get to know the UK fans…..
      On average, MO residents have 2.8 more teeth than WV resiidents….

      tough call

      • zeek says:

        It’s a really tough call, and all of your reasons are strong for why it’s probably 40-40 between them. I just think that they’re looking harder at schools in the East (ergo a 50-30 split for WVU), and that line above from TSK really intrigues me.

        If WVU was the backup for SC back then, I could easily see it once again as the expected Eastern addition to balance out A&M’s western addition, since it was the backup when SC balanced Arkansas.

        • mushroomgod says:

          yep…..if anything, WV’s academics have improved significantly since then……….it just seems to me MO is the more logical choice…….but cultural fit is big…….

      • Rockman says:

        “MO’s basketball is significantly better, long-term…” about a wash the last 10 years and when they hooked up a couple years ago in the NCCA’s, WVU was the victor.

        “MO’s overall ath. dept. is better….”
        close………..Sears Director’s Cup WVU #38
        Missouri #45

      • Gopher86 says:

        Missouri hasn’t been to a Final Four, their former head coach jumped at an offer and their new head coach has been implicated in a huge scandal during his time at Miami. I don’t see how they have any edge over WVU in basketball.

      • footballnut says:

        HA. In regards to the last aspect, have you been to southern Indiana recently?

    • ChicagoRed says:

      if the odds on Mizzou to SEC is 30%, what are their odds to the PAC? :)

      • duffman says:

        I have been saying this for awhile, MU makes the most sense to the PAC, as the PAC would want them more than the B1G or SEC. If I was Larry Scott I would already be on a plane to Columbia. If the PAC landed MU as their #13, then they have a dog in the fight to land OU or UT. If neither jumps, they can fall back to KU or TT. Missouri is hoping for the B1G instead of courting the PAC where they will have more leverage.

        • zeek says:

          OU/OSU are basically already packaged though as the Pac-12′s #13 and #14. The question is whether they can bring Texas/TTech along or come up with some other arrangement.

      • mushroomgod says:

        It seems to me pretty clear what would be “best” for MO if all options were on the tablel:

        1. BIG

        2. SEC

        3. PAC

        4. BIG 12

        5. Big East
        6. Mountain West or some such conference

        • Richard says:

          They’d prefer the Pac to the SEC. No non-southerner wants anything to do with the SEC recruiting culture, and despite the geographic distance, in cultural distance, Midwesterners have more in common with Westerners than Southerners.

    • bullet says:

      Makes sense to me. I don’t think the SEC would admit a non-AQ, but if the ACC schools turned them down, I’m not sure ECU doesn’t make a better long run choice than WVU. It would be much like the BE betting on South Florida and Cincinnati, except that ECU has better fan support than those two.

      Like I said, the SEC would never do it, but it might be a better long run choice. WVU has good programs, but they’ve got very little upside potential.

      • zeek says:

        That’s an interesting option, but you’re right that the SEC wouldn’t go for it.

      • Richard says:

        If the BE (or any league) had to choose between WVU or Cincy, they’d choose Cincy. WVU has a home state that they have locked down (even if it is small and poor). A school like ECU/Cincy/USF does not.

        • Brian says:

          If the BE (or any league) had to choose between WVU or Cincy, they’d choose Cincy. WVU has a home state that they have locked down (even if it is small and poor). A school like ECU/Cincy/USF does not.

          Impeccable logic. WV has their state locked down, unlike those other schools, so of course the BE would choose UC instead.

          • Richard says:

            Mistyped (though it did come out hilarious).

            Of course, I wouldn’t expect you to have made that leap in deduction that would require you to be more aware than a 5-year old, Brian.

  34. Mike says:

    Interesting. Kirk Bohls (@kbohls)

    If you had to put percentages on it, I’d put chances of Texas in Pac-Whatever at 70%, remaining in Big 12 at 30%

    • Redhawk says:

      that’s actually much more then interesting. Means UT would actually consider giving up/changing the LHN…and so far they haven’t shown any willingness to do that.

      the Remaining in the Big 12 is what I’ve called the “New South West Conference option” . UT could rebuild the Big 12 with SMU, Rice Houston, UTEP, maybe New Mexico, plus Baylor, KU, Kstate, Iowa State, plus UT gets you 10 teams. Maybe add TCU and another they are at 12.

      • zeek says:

        I think you and others have mentioned before, but Texas right now is examining its options as hard as anyone else (like OU, etc.).

        The question is whether they can create a ND-like situation with the remnants of the Big 12 if OU heads west and whether ESPN would be willing to foot the bill for at least football independence, or whether it ends up a better long run solution to just head west and negotiate something with the LHN.

      • bullet says:

        IF the 4 Big 12 to the Pac happens AND UT stays in the Big 12, its more like UT, BU, KU, KSU, ISU, BYU, Fresno, Houston, UNLV, Memphis. Maybe Boise, New Mexico or Colorado St. replaces one of those. They might also peel off part of the Big East-UL, WVU, Pitt, Cincinnati, TCU might be the 5 additions. Notre Dame joining the Big 12 tomorrow is a vastly higher probability than SMU or Rice getting invited to the Big 12.

        Anyone suggesting a “new” SWC just doesn’t understand why it broke up in the first place. 1) TV $; 2) national exposure; 3) non-competitive non-rev progams among the small privates; and 4) empty seats encouraging alums to watch their team in Houston or DFW instead of buying season tickets in Austin or College Station. Maybe you’ve bought into the “Texas wants control” nonsense. What Dodds & Co. want is $$$.

        And Texas Tech going to the Pac 12 w/o any other Texas school is hari-kari. A&M IMO will be hurt by going to the SEC, but they might indeed thrive. Hance is just not so stupid to send Tech off alone to the Pac to commit athletic and student recruiting suicide.

        • Redhawk says:

          I don’t think many of the schools you mentioned would want to switch minor conferences to go to one dominated and owned by Texas. getting to play Texas in Fresno wouldn’t sell that many tickets. But SMU, Houston, Rice, etc are missing the UT teet and would more readily jump back on.

          As far as TV money goes, I remember when the SWC folded. But ESPN has said the only team in the Big12 worthy of any money is UT. So for them, so long as they have UT, the other teams matter little now. …yeah, I don’t buy it, but that’s what they have said.

          • bullet says:

            If you had a chance to quit your job for a job for 4 years that might continue but 75% would go away after 4 years and earn as much in 4 years as you would in 40 otherwise, while improving your skills for a job in the future, would you say no? So you’re saying Fresno shouldn’t schedule Texas or Wisconsin or any other major school because it wouldn’t sell tickets? This argument is even more empty than someone saying OU has no value without UT.

          • Redhawk says:


            It’s not that simple. There is also stability, and using your analogy, only so many jobs, you don’t want to look like a job jumper and go back hat in hand hoping your old job takes you back in. The impact of Texas selling tickets to say Rice or SMU I think would have a greater impact then for Fresno…UT fans can just drive across town to play SMU in the Cotton Bowl or Jerry World, and thus would be more money for those local than it would be for Fresno.

            I look it at more like old lovers….yeah, UT broke there hearts and treated ‘em like crap…but it gave SMU/Houston sweet sweet lovin’. Fresno isn’t missing it so they will be less likely to jump into that sack.

          • bullet says:

            Your “stability” is the 10 times salary and the skills/prestige you built up. It IS that simple. For BE schools maybe its not so simple and its not 10 times salary. But for non-AQ its a total no-brainer.

          • jcfreder says:

            Redhawk, I think the Fresnos of the world would jump at the chance to join a B12 that has a major cable deal and presumably still has AQ status.

            Also I normally would say that bullet is crazy to suggest that ND has a chance of joining the B12, but if enough teams leave the conference, perhaps the B12 could be retrofitted into the “Texas-Notre Dame quasi-independent” conference that some of us have thrown around. But I still have a hard time seeing ND enter into yearly rivalries with Kansas, K-St, Iowa St or Baylor.

        • zeek says:

          Texas would be willing to create a SWC-II if it knew it would leave almost immediately for football independence or quasi-football independence (i.e. schedule 3-4 games against Big 12 remnants) and be able to park the rest of its sports there.

          Texas isn’t going to just sit around in a SWC II and play 7-8 games against that group though…

  35. Adam says:

    Unrelated to this thread, I have this question: where is all of the money going, exactly? Let me explain what I mean.

    Fifteen years ago, the NCAA allowed only an 11-game schedule. Although there were a few “exempt” preseason games (Kickoff Classic, Pigskin Classic, etc.) there were not so many of these that, for all practical purposes, everybody was playing 12; that is a real and recent change. Major programs generally played 6 home games and 5 road games. Of the 11 games, 8 were conference games and 3 were non-conference. Of the 3 non-conference, one was generally on the road. It was not unusual to play a major conference opponent; for example, in 1996, Michigan’s 3 non-conference opponents were UCLA, Boston College, and @ Colorado.

    Since then, we’ve gone to the universal 12-game schedule. Major conference teams all play 7 home games, instead of 6. Stadiums have generally expanded in size. We’ve got a new conference title game which will throw more money in the pot this year. Ticket prices have gone up faster than baseline inflation. Rights fees from the league’s broadcast partners have also gone up faster than baseline inflation. Add to that the fact that the league has a major new revenue fountain in BTN.

    My question is: where is all of that extra money going, exactly? It’s not my sense that the teams are performing any better than they did 15 years ago, broadly speaking. If anything, the minor conferences seem to be closing the gap (15 years ago, Big Ten vs. MAC might as well have been playing a high school team; that is just not the case now). Although some new facilities have been built, these are generally associated with big donations (e.g., Minnesota’s new football stadium and Penn State’s hockey arena each have an Uncle Pennybags), not the general fund. I am not aware of a spate of new teams being launched during the last 15 years; Michigan made waves when it announced that its Lacrosse teams are being promoted to Varsity status because it was like the first new lacrosse program in 30 years, and (again) PSU’s hockey program is only getting off the ground because a bazillionaire is footing the bill.

    The Big Ten has twisted itself into a pretzel with going to a 9-game league schedule because its members all want to play 7 home games a year. This is treated as a virtual necessity. Yet only 15 years ago, relatively few teams played 7 home games a year, and none of this other money existed. Where is it all going?

    • zeek says:

      Well, you’ve got to fund all the other sports, since other than football and men’s basketball, they’re all money drains for the most part (some exceptions for certain baseball/hockey programs that are profitable I’d guess).

      Administrators also have large salaries (mostly 6 figure salaries) at these athletic departments. Obviously, coaches salaries have exploded along with their assistants over the past two decades.

      I’d still say that the main thing is paying for the rest of the athletic department.

      • Adam says:

        Re: your first point, my point though is that those other teams mostly existed 15 years ago, no? There hasn’t been some explosion of golf and cross country and track teams in the last 15 years that would explain what’s soaking up all of the money. The money-losing sports today were losing money 15 years ago, too, and I don’t see what would cause them to lose money at a substantially accelerated rate. If anything, some may lose a bit less now (e.g., Women’s Basketball?).

        I realize that they’re paying for the rest of the athletic department, but they were doing that 15 years ago. What has changed such that enormous new sums of money has flowed in but the quantity of services being provided looks the same?

        • mushroomgod says:

          I think the answer is “everywhere”. There are no entities on Earth that can waste $ like universities. Coaching salaries, even in non-revenue sports, are very high. Asst coaches salaries in the major sports are climbing….You’d be shocked at how much the fricking women’s tennis coach makes……recruiting expenses, facilities…..IU has just upgarded the stadium, added BBall practice center in last few years…now, baseball and softball fields are being replaced….transportation expense–ever seen the baseball team’s schedule? I saw something recently where the ath. dept. pays the U something like $42000 for each sch. athlete (maybe that’s on average, don’t know), and that expense has skyrocketed in recent years…….

          • duffman says:


            I have traveled with the team, and there are no Scots managing the expenses! Thrift is not the mantra in college sports.

      • Adam says:

        Perhaps it is coaches salaries, but I’d be interested in some numbers on that to demonstrate how an increase in coaching salaries is soaking up all of that new money.

        My fear is that, in the last 15 years, athletic departments have added small armies of people with important-sounding titles, which your average person has no reason to know exist (and which may have no actual reason to exist). I’d like to figure out whether that’s actually the case or not.

        • bullet says:

          There are more coaches, vastly higher paid coaches, very expensive facilities, vast tutoring facilities.

          I think what has helped the MAC has been the 85 scholarship limit and the improvement in training and coaching techniques in HS and college. But I think outside football, the gap is growing.

    • M says:

      1. Coaches’ salaries have risen sharply over the last decade, including assistant and minor sports’ coaches.

      2. Tuition has also risen sharply for all students, leading to higher scholarship costs. Considered over the 200-300 scholarships the athletic department pays out, that can form a substantial increase.

      3. Buy game costs have increase substantially

      4. Facilities costs have increased substantially. While they may be associated with large donors, the general fund does provide a sizable amount.

      5. New sports have been launched, but they have mostly been women’s sports as Title IX restrictions were strengthened. That was the first men’s lacrosse program in 30 years, while women’s lacrosse has boomed.

      6. You are incorrect about the relative strengths of the MAC and Big Ten. In the 1990s, the Big Ten had an .887 winning percentage. In the 00s, it was .863. That’s not a substantial change.

      Having said all that, I do think there is some truth in the “make more, spend more” sentiment you seem to be suggesting.

    • greg says:

      It seems that most of the money pouring into universities (both athletically and via tuition) is spent on shiny new buildings. So the REAL beneficiaries are local contractors.

    • zeek says:

      Well the thing is, this explosion of revenue is incredibly recent, like in the past 10 years for the most part. But here’s the numbers themselves off the US govt’s site:

      Big Ten’s 11 schools aggregate football/men’s basketball revenue in 2003: $375M ($276M football, $99M men’s basketball).

      In 2009, that number was up to $584M ($446M football, $138M men’s basketball).

      So in just 6 years, the revenue from those two sports (mostly from football growth) was $209M.

      Now let’s look at the expenses side:

      In 2003, the total expenses for all sports across the Big Ten was $288M. By 2009, that number was up to $484M. You can further break down expenses but the tools don’t seem to be too useful for that kind of exercise.

      • zeek says:

        As you can see though, the point is that even though revenue rocketed from $375M in 2003 to $584M in 2009, most of that ended up spent as the expenses rose at nearly the same pace.

        Of course, that’s all expenses across all sports, whereas the revenue I included just from football and men’s basketball.

      • mike in st. louis says:

        Do athletic departments have to pay the tuition of the student-athletes on scholarship? If so, that would account for a big source of the cost increases.

        • bullet says:

          Most, if not all schools, include that cost.

          • mike in st. louis says:

            What do you mean by “include”? Do you mean the AD pays it, or the school eats it? I know for a fact at least on B1G university where the athletic department pays the university for tuition of scholarship student athletes.

          • bullet says:

            By include, they include it in their expenses. How each athletic dept. “pays” their expenses to the school, I don’t know. Most schools support their athletic department to some extent.

    • London Ruffin says:

      Great question. Money that is donated or distributed to schools pays for coach’s salaries, scholoraships and facilities in that order. Case in point, I was in college from ’86 – ’91. At that time, the cost to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as an in-state resident was about $7K, which included room, board and tuition. It now costs about $38K to attend U of I as an in-state resident. If you are doing the math, that is five fold increase in 20 years. Athletic departments have to write checks to the schools for tuition at a minimum. A large part of the funds athletics receive goes to paying for the scholarship. It’s a huge deal, and it will become even bigger once the schools are able to provide even more money to student athletes. Lower tier schools won’b be able to compete.
      Coach’s salaries speak for themselves, but I think it’s ridiculous tha a non-revenue sport demands a premium salary. I agree with Title IX in theory, but the way it’s being put into practice is criminal. At some point in the near future, the next bubble to burst will be college education/tuition. It simply is becoming to expensive to attend a stata school for the average family.
      Finally, facilities are expensive to build and maintain. Once a school within a conference has an extra “whatever,” other conference schools will want a similar facility for their own. Not to mention that this helps the recruiting process. Add to that fact, that universities are state assisted now, versus state funded and you have budget shortfalls all over.

      So, the need for more money is very real and very serious. Having said that, I believe universities are not being managed effectively or proactively, which is why I believe that bubble will burst in the near future (much like the current housing market).

      I hope that helps…


    • Eric says:

      The biggest factor in my opinion is the reduction in scholarships. Big schools now need to pay a lot more for the absolute best coaches and facilities just to hold onto the advantages they once had being able to recruit higher. The talent spreading around a lot more now leaves a lot less room for error.

      The other factor is actually the BCS. While smaller programs complain about it, it actually levels things out a lot. Boise State could play a WAC schedule and then be given a chance to shine against Oklahoma and used they that experience to build it’s program into something truly special. Meanwhile the Big East would have been dead as a major conference pre-BCS with the ACC raid, but because of BCS status regrew and allowed a new crop of teams to rise up. I think that as long as the BCS exists in its current form, programs in smaller/less established conferences are going to continue to rise, partially at the expense of some of the bigger teams.

  36. M says:

    Not sure how much credibility this has, but from a WVU site via the Conference Expansion message board:

    WVU trying to wheedle out an ACC invitation and thinks they are close.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Hard for me to believe that the ACC would be less snobby about academics than the BIG….if not, I could see WV getting snubbed in an addition including Pitt, Rutgers, U Conn, and Syracuse….all of those schools are highly regarded by US News…..Of course, were that to be on the table, I could see the BIG coming in and offering Rut and MO (if still around)…I don’t think Delaney wants anyone claiming that NY market………..

      • zeek says:

        The other thing is that the previous expansion plans in 2004 had Syracuse above Va Tech.

        And I’d imagine Pitt to be a very close 2nd to Syracuse.

      • Houston says:

        In conference Armageddon.. Big East and ACC are going to be duking it out for survival. I think academics, while important, are no longer the only factor the ACC would consider.

        They need big name acquisitions in order to show VT, FSU, and any other school that the SEC might try to steal, that the ACC means bizness and intends to win that fight.

        I think that’s an interesting article because it’s the first I’ve seen that shows the SEC isn’t picking teams in a vacuum… As good as the SEC is, if the ACC can offer WVU more money, stability, and a seat at the super conference table, without having to go through the SEC gauntlet every yr.. they probably take ACC over SEC.

    • To be clear, WVU would accept an invite from any other AQ conference in less time than it takes you to read this sentence. Everyone with two brain cells to rub together knows that the SEC would be better for WVU than the ACC (and it’s not even close), but I don’t think anybody in AD Luck’s office is going to be that choosy.

    • Eric says:

      Might have some validity, but just for the record, the article was written August 15th.

  37. gobucks1226 says:


    Is Miami an unrealistic target for the SEC because of the “one school per state” expansion mantra or because of the recent Nevin Shapiro revelations?

    • Bamatab says:

      Because Miami doesn’t really add anything to the SEC. They have very little booster and fan support when compared to other SEC schools. Heck, they can’t even fill their own stadium (which btw is smaller than most SEC schools’ stadiums). They don’t add a new footprint. Yes, they have some football power, but without the fanbase to go along with it, it isn’t as attractive as other schools. I would even say that the SEC would rather have WV than Miami, (and I think I’ve been pretty clear on how I think the SEC ranks WV on their wishlist).

    • No fans.
      No football (massive sanctions comin’).
      No basketball.
      No new markets.

      Why WOULD they take Miami?

    • Eric says:

      More than anything else Miami isn’t mentioned because if Florida schools are on the table, Florida State offers so much more.

  38. Redhawk says:

    Missouri to be #14 in the SEC as early as next Tuesday? Rumor from a source that has been on in the past regarding A&M heading to the SEC. His stuff comes from Texas Tech.

    • footballnut says:

      I dunno….got to “show me” before I believe it.

    • NeutronSoup says:

      Interesting… “…Missouri is number 14 unless OU panics…”

      The implication is that OU may try to cut in line to get into the SEC. Given your earlier thoughts on the Pac-X discussions, Redhawk, they would probably prefer the Pac as an option if they can find a suitable 4th team. I wonder if that’s still on the table if Missouri is heading to the SEC and UT declines to join the western exodus. Would there be a 4th team (in addition to OU, OSU, and TTech) that the Pac-X would approve of?

      • NeutronSoup says:

        I should clarify that I don’t necessarily believe that Missouri is really almost in the SEC, but I don’t have any trouble believing that they think they are. Asking the above question as a hypothetical.

      • mike in st. louis says:

        Iowa St? New Mexico? ;-)

      • Redhawk says:


        well, that’s the panic situation for OU isn’t it? Mizzou to the SEC, UT goes Indy, leaving OU, OSU and Tech hanging.

        OU isn’t going to the SEC alone. If OU goes anywhere alone it’s to the B1G.

        If the LA media source is right, it would be KU as #16…I think the NEXT option for the PAC would be New Mexico….which is a rival of Tech, has all the fans of a growing state, would be in the geographical footprint, just built a new basketball arena…..but sucks ass in football.

        After that? Hawaii in football only? Boise St Community College? Houston? i mean the 16th choice all have an issue then.

      • Gopher86 says:

        Just like last time, Mizzou is a stalking horse. The big time conferences will find ways to pick off only the big time programs without letting marginal schools in. There isn’t any bidding war going on for Mizzou– they’ll still be there after the dust settles. OU is the prize here and leveraging other schools is a tactic to get them to sign on.

        • Other Mike says:

          Gopher is spot-on, I think. Nobody seems more willing to be hustled than Mizzou. It doesn’t make any sense that the SEC would want to take them and risking breaking up the Big Xii, which would send the prize(s) westward. They’re trying to contrive a situation that gets Oklahoma to leave OkSU out in the cold.

    • Patrick says:

      If this is true, OU and OSU are going to the PAC 12 – all hope would be abandon for the Big 12. Question is do they bring anyone with? Does the Big Ten / SEC / PAC add any of the remaining schools? Somebody is going to get downgraded here really soon.

  39. gas1958 says:

    Here’s a question for the panel about Texas going independent and about realignment generally:
    If OU/OSU go to the PAC 12, what is the incentive for UT to hold together the Big 12-4? If UT goes independent, what is the incentive for ND to ever join a conference, since many here agree they would do so only if they felt they were on the verge of being denied a seat at the table?

    My point: I love reading the endless scenarios, but most of the discussion seems focused on massive realignment triggered by a few schools moving. Is it plausible to ask what is the LEAST that could happen? For instance: (1) SEC adds A&M+1; That’s all that happens or, (2) SEC adds A&M+1, OU/OSU to PAC 12, and that’s all that happens.. Does this make sense? (Zeek, some help please.)

    • gas1958 says:

      Sorry, the other predicate here was SEC getting to 14 with A&M+1.

      • bullet says:

        It could very easily simply be SEC + A&M + WVU and Big 12-A&M + BYU and BE -WVU + UCF. In fact, I think that’s the most likely. But there’s still the remote possibility the SEC could look at the numbers and balk. And since A&M isn’t leaving unless they get accepted elsewhere, we could have no change as the least that could happen.

    • zeek says:

      There is a case to be made for long term stability if the SEC takes a team like WVU or Missouri to be its 14th (as opposed to an ACC team), and OU/OSU go to the Pac-14. You could end up with a long term equilibrium scenario until some other big shoe drops (i.e. distribution changes much more to online, etc.) or Comcast doesn’t want to renew ND.

      If that does happen, then you’d have the Big Ten at 12 coveting ND, the Pac-14 coveting Texas, and the SEC stable at 14 without needing to go up to 16 for a pod setup (or similar split to Pac-16).

      You could end up with the Pac-14, SEC-14, Big Ten-12, ACC-12, Big East (9 or 10) as a long term solution because the keys to further expansion would almost entirely be held by Texas (Pac-16) or ND (Big Ten-14).

      Texas might seek out quasi-independence if they don’t want to fully give up the LHN to the Pac-16 or agree to a folding in mechanism.

      By quasi-independence, I mean they take the remnants of the Big 12 and go independent in football, while agreeing to maybe schedule 1/2 of the remaining Big 12 every year (after the Big 12 adds maybe 1-2 schools to get back up to 8-9).

      That might end up being the endgame for Texas (and ND by extension, since ND is probably certain of its independence as long as Texas doesn’t join the Pac-16). Texas could schedule OU/A&M every year along with Tech (annually) + 3 of the other Big 12 teams.

      I actually think we’re a long ways off from multiple 16 team conferences. The Pac-16 is the only one that really makes sense unless Slive has some kind of ace up his sleeve to grab FSU or Va Tech.

      But 16 really ruins the intimacy of a conference if you go to 4 pods. The Pac-16 is basically a way of creating a Pac-8 and SWC-II held together by a CCG. I highly doubt the SEC wants to follow that approach to 16.

      • zeek says:

        FWIW, I do think we’re a lot closer to the endgame than most people realize. I really don’t think any presidents want to go to 16 outside of the Pac-16 concept, and like I mention above those presidents really want to recreate the old Pac-8 by sending the Arizona schools with their new additions to the East.

        Bullet makes a good point that if BYU agrees to join the Big 12, we’re likely already at a medium-term equilibrium.

        BYU would likely ask for at least medium-term guarantees (don’t know whether they’ll get them), but I think Oklahoma is likely to stay in the Big 12 if BYU agrees to join. BYU is a decent replacement for the Big 12, since the Big 12 already has Texas’ markets delivered by UT.

        The Big Ten is already at medium/long term stability. Big Ten was at 11 for 2 decades before moving on Nebraska, since we were waiting on ND. Now that the Big Ten is at the most stable number, I really don’t see any Big Ten movement before ND is at risk of losing its Comcast agreement, or something else happens.

        The Pac-12 can’t expand without OU and/or Texas (to 14 with either, to 16 with both probably).

        The SEC has no reason to expand after getting A&M + 1. Unless there’s a national brand like OU or FSU, they have no real reason to go to 16, and it might end up screwing up the intimacy of the conference (not that 14 is even that intimate, but 16 with pods is a mess comparatively).

        I really don’t see the ACC going above 12. There’s no $ reason to, considering it just dilutes the payouts to current teams unless there are teams that pay for themselves. Pitt and Syracuse are their best replacement options if they lose a team, but not a good reason to go beyond 12.

        • ccrider55 says:

          What could the Big12 possibly do to give BYU a guarantee that is not directly opposite of what has just happened to promises just a year old?

          A history of security would be the only guarantee that a not desperate school would look at. I don’t believe BYU is desperate.

          • zeek says:

            BYU isn’t desperate, but at the same time, they have the same BCS accessibility as Army and Navy, which is to say Top 2 for the BCS NC or hope they get picked (IIRC).

            I don’t know what the contract would look like, but it might involve TV rights and big payouts or something like that.

            Maybe just BYU joining for football?

          • ccrider55 says:


            I know I’m in the minority here, and with many of my friends, but I just don’t think the LDS church is worried about a monitary payout. In fact they may find it degrading to be thought of as being up for purchase. It is the church, not the AD or even the school, that would have to sign off on this.

          • M says:

            BYU does have an advantage in that they are willing and able to go independent. If they join the Big 12 and it implodes, they would be no worse off than their current position (I don’t think the WCC would be too upset).

          • zeek says:

            I think M’s point is operative here.

            It wouldn’t hurt BYU in the long run to join in football only or to explain to the WCC that they’re joining the Big 12 for its BCS invite for as long as that’s around. I don’t think they’ll burn the WCC on the way out, so that avenue should always be available to them.

          • ccrider55 says:

            I agree, if FB is the only point. I don’t believe the church and its leaders believe that. In fact they make a stronger statement by rejecting the simple, convenient, possibly profitable move as a principled stand. These are the same people that ended athletics at BYU Idaho (formerly Ricks) because it did not fit the churches mission.

          • bullet says:

            BYU and the Big 12 could always schedule some bb games and make the WCC happy. KU or UT or OU doing home and away with a WCC school along with BYU doing some. Win-Win.

          • Other Mike says:


            I think you’re right that it’d be a principled stand of sorts for BYU to turn down an offer, but I still think it’d be a wrongheaded one, and not just for financial reasons. Being an AQ school offers BYU (and therefore the church) a platform to advertise itself that nothing else can. And I think the LDS knows a little something about advertising. I don’t know what kind of results the pamphleting campaigns achieve, but they still do them, and do them a lot. If you turn down the offer, that’s a one-time statement. If you’re an AQ school (assuming the B12 doesn’t break up) then you have a greater advertising voice for decades to come.

      • bullet says:

        Texas would tell Tech to shove it if they left. OU and A&M add value. Tech is nice but easily replaceable.

        • zeek says:

          In that scenario, Tech would remain in the Big 12. He was talking about the Pac-14 with OU/OSU.

          I think if Tech would stay behind and Texas agreed to schedule 4 games with the Big 12 remnants if they agreed to take the rest of their sports, then Texas would likely make Tech 1 of those 4 games annually.

          • bullet says:

            Absolutely. I thought they were referring to Tech in a Pac 16 w/o Texas and scheduling them as an ooc.

          • zeek says:

            You’d have a Big 12 “remnants” with Kansas, K-State, Mizzou, TTech, Baylor, Iowa State. They would invite Houston and UNLV (or something like those two) to get back up to 8. Texas would agree to schedule Tech + 3 annually in exchange for putting the rest of their sports in that group.

            I’m not saying it’s a likely outcome, but I could see Texas working out this kind of ND-type scenario for themselves. I do think they’d schedule Tech annually in the scope of this kind of agreement with a Big 12 remnants.

        • ccrider55 says:

          TT, or whoever in Texas, may have a somewhat hidden value. The P12N’s carriage agreement makes states within the footprint carry the local regional and the National channel on basic service. If the agreement has language applying this to expansion then TT, or whoever, would have a significant financial attractiveness.

    • Eric says:

      Expecting closer to the minimum is usually closer than expecting whole scale changes in every major conference (at least over the short term). I still think A&M +1 one eastern team to the SEC is most likely with the net result being the Big East loses a year (ACC taking 1 if the Big East doesn’t lose from the SEC) and BYU joins the Big 12.

      That said, I think a lot of possibilities are quite possible right now and most the power is in the hands of the Oklahoma administration.

  40. Mike says:

    I can’t wait to hear what Gov. Jay Nixon thinks about academics of the SEC.

  41. footballnut says:

    Nixon is on Mizzou’s poo poo list anyway. Dude doesn’t send them any love (read $$$).

    • Redhawk says:

      which is his highest percentage. Next is a “strong Big12″ and he counts BYU along with Louisville, Air Force, Pitt as making it strong…

  42. Redhawk says:

    It happened last year….it’s happening again! Plane tracking!!!!

    Plane that Larry Scott used last year’s expansion trips just left Utah. He was on Utah’s campus and is/was there to watch Utah’s game. Is he on the plane? Did he have an emergency change of plans?!/LisaHorne

  43. M says:

    “College football fans will never agree on which conference is the best, which teams are overrated or underrated, whether there should be a playoff, whether players should be paid — but they do seem to universally despise Craig James.”

    Read more:

    Let us remember that what unites us is greater than our divisions.

    • bullet says:

      SMU fans like him. But then noone really likes SMU fans. People talked bad about Texas, but it was the Mustangs and Aggies who competed for the least favorite opposing fans in the SWC.

    • Brian says:

      I’ll certainly jump on board the hating Craig James bandwagon. I also hate several of the announcers that the panelists love, especially Musburger.

      • bullet says:

        I jumped up and down and cheered when Musberger got fired a number of years back. But then ABC hired him. I prefer James to Musberger. I switch the channel when he’s on unless its one of my teams. He’s not as totally uniformed as he used to be, but he still usually doesn’t have a very good understanding. I remember he used to constantly confuse pro and college rules. And he would go on and on about why the refs didn’t get it right. I can’t believe he’s a favorite to those guys.

  44. Bob Nonya says:

    Great read re OU’s position and why Texas is the least liked team in the country (and, no, not b/c they play good football cough6-7cough).

  45. London Ruffin says:

    Question for the panel…

    How hard would it be for universities and conferences to lose their not-for-profit status? It’s becoming clear to me that all of this expansion talk is based on money. Although school athletic departments pay tuition for student-athletes, and sports are part of a school’s fabric, these decisions are not necessarily affecting a schools academic mission. Football is a big business, and the government is missing out on its share by not taxing the process… Given that all states are dealing with increasing budget cuts, this could be a way to earn some money. Is this even feasible?


    • wm wolverines says:

      All the revenue isn’t profiting the schools, its going back to the athletic departments and/or universities. Football is paying the bills at these schools for EVERY scholarship athlete PLUS all of first class facilities in baseball, softball, track & field, soccer, wrestling, swimming, golf, hockey, gymnastics, cheerleading, etc.

    • Brian says:

      They would have to start paying players above the full COA to lose their exempt status. Most schools lose money on athletics, and states have been cutting education funding massively. States won’t benefit from getting to tax sports, since it will eliminate most donations and thus make the schools pay even more to support it.

    • zeek says:

      Most of the universities we’re talking about are extremely well connected to the most powerful legislators in Congress and in the states.

      It would be unimaginable that anything could come out of this that would threaten the not-for-profit status of these universities and conferences, since they’re going to be protected by politicians. We’re talking about mostly state flagships.

  46. duffman says:

    End run around texas?

    Right now the state of Texas is locked in the B12, but what if each gets a piece?

    PAC gets OU / oSu / MU / TT (and a texas foothold)
    SEC gets TAMU + 3 from the east
    B1G gets ??? + ???? + ???? + ????

    fill in the 4 blanks

    • zeek says:

      ND + 1 (whenever ND comes around, whether because of Comcast saying they won’t give them NBC or whatever). The other two blanks remain blank.

      Big Ten sat at 11 for 20 years. No reason why it won’t sit at 12 for at least a decade or two or however long ND wants to be independent.

      • wm wolverines says:

        Maryland is a favorite of mine, if you get ND you can ‘settle’ for #14 and that’ll depend on who is available and who is ‘hot’ at that time.

    • wm wolverines says:

      Pac 12 would get a toe into Texas; Texas Tech isn’t much of an attraction. They are a good distance away from the major population of the Dallas/Forth Worth, Austin, Houston & San Antonio markets.

    • Richard says:

      If the SEC takes 3 from the east (meaning the ACC is dead), the B10 is taking 4 from the east (or maybe Texas + a friend & 2 in the east).

      I still vote for a Big20:
      Texas + friend
      FSU + GTech
      UNC + Duke
      ND + someone (BC? Miami? UVa?)

      an SEC school gets the death penalty and UF & UGa join FSU & GTech

  47. footballnut says:

    As the instigators in the first place, I don’t doubt planes are flying to Chicago right now to meet about moving to 16 teams. Muk-rakers!

  48. Mike says:

    Guess we can cross off VA Tech off of the SEC’s list.

    “Total poppycock. How many times do we have to say it? If one of these rumor mongers, would be willing to cite their ‘multiple sources,’ it might lend some credence. Frankly, we’re tired of other people telling us what our future is.

    “We are not interested. Nothing has changed. My president will not dignify wild speculation. Our last statement (from Aug. 12) still stands. Bottom line: this is not on our radar screen.”

    • zeek says:

      Yeah, it’s just not happening. I put the odds at 10% up above, but even that was being really generous.

      It’s just really hard to see why teams that have easy routes to the BCS in stable, geographically logical conferences are going to leave. This applies to any of the Mid-Atlantic ACC schools especially.

      FSU might be playing coy instead of outrightly denying it as Va Tech, but the notion that FSU is going to give up its easy route to the BCS to play in the same league as its big brother is a non-starter to me.

      Either the SEC settles in at 13, which seems unrealistic, or it takes WVU or Missouri.

      • bullet says:

        When you read their comments during the Cam Newton mess, it just seems hard to believe they would turn around and want in the SEC. And they’ve got a top 5 ranking and recruiting class. I just don’t see it.

        • bullet says:

          I’m referring to FSU.

          • zeek says:

            Yeah, it’s really hard to see what exactly the SEC offers FSU other than just money.

            FSU with a good coach can easily pull in Top 5 or 10 (at worst) recruiting classes every year without breaking a sweat. There’s no reason why they can’t challenge for the NC or a BCS bowl at worst every year from their current perch in the ACC.

            That gives them dominance in the ACC with really good looks at the NC. This isn’t even talking about the academic prestige (mostly undergrad rankings but some strong grad research schools as well) that the ACC has over the SEC.

            They’re going to give up all of that for a few million dollars? And of course, all of this applied to Va Tech as well (minus the same state overlap with UF and obviously not a king, but the dominant power in their division like FSU is; especially with Miami down).

          • bullet says:

            They’re not only in Florida, but they’re closer to the prime South Georgia recruiting areas than any other school.

          • zeek says:

            Look at their current class; they just got Jameis Winston out from under Nick Saban’s nose. They really don’t need the SEC for anything other than a few extra million (although most of the TV sources have indicated otherwise to national sources like Rovell (CNBC) or Thamel (NYT)).

          • wm wolverines says:

            Concur, FSU is close in distance to the Alabama, Georgia recruiting hotbeds and have tons of talent in their backyard…

            Money isn’t ‘that’ significant as the SEC has locked itself into a very long-term deal that other conferences have caught up to be close enough. I don’t see any ACC schools being that interested in the SEC given that success is so much easier in the ACC (you make more money the better your team performs) and the money isn’t too significant…

            School #14 for the SEC is imo likely going to be a Big East or Big 12 school.

    • M says:

      That original August 12 statement:
      “Virginia Tech is exceedingly pleased with our membership in the ACC. It is the perfect conference for us. The university administration has no interest in any discussion concerning affiliation with any conference other than the ACC.”

      These denials generally aren’t worth much, but that’s about as definitive as it gets.

    • duffman says:


      Sounds like TAMU administration last year, and yet here they are after the donors spoke up. Who uses the word poppycock anymore? ;)

    • Richard says:

      VTech to the SEC won’t happen this year. The SEC may have to wait 2-3 years and weaken the ACC first. . .

    • zeek says:

      Wow, that’s a really good looking trophy.

      Overall, the B1G (logo/name) and that trophy are the bright spots in the naming conventions/trophies to come out of this. Hopefully, that Cy-Hawk thing gets fixed, and the divisions will be East/West sometime.

      • Eric says:

        I don’t think the B1G logo/name is a bright spot. It’s better than the full “B1G Ten” logo, but at least that one didn’t start a new abbreviation. I never minded reading B10, but the B1G has become kind of a pet peeve of mine. That said, it probably means it works. The trophy is OK though.

    • jj says:

      Needs more corn and figurines.

    • jj says:

      Also. I bet we see it on hardcore pawn if OSU wins it.

  49. “the dichotomy of the two divisions – the Leaders and the Legends…” yep not clunky at all

  50. bullet says:

    MrSEC’s beliefs are similar to Franks-He isn’t buying the everyone wants to join the SEC and the networks are going to open the vaults ideas:

    • zeek says:

      I think we here in the Big Ten got to that realization last year when it became apparent that TV $ isn’t going to trump geography and culture. The fit issues for both sides really don’t work in a lot of these scenarios.

      We were all throwing around the wild Texas/ND/A&M scenarios last year.

      I think at this point, barring some kind of change out of OU, there’s going to be only a little movement at best.

      And the ACC does appear to be impregnable at this point in time.

      • Redwood86 says:

        I agree that there will be little movement of important schools beyond Texas A&M and one of WVU/Mizzou unless FSU decides to go to SEC or Texas decides to go to Pac-12. Oklahoma need not be hasty unless Texas moves.

        BTW, for SEC to go to 16 teams, the ONLY schools that make sense AND are doable are Texas A&M, VT, FSU, WVU, Mizzou, and Clemson – in that order (in terms of making sense). If the SEC takes A&M, can’t get FSU now, and wants to position itself for 16 LT, it will then take WVU or Mizzou and stand pat until somone else shakes up the landscape further.

        As for the Pac-12, many people out here are quite skeptical of the value that has been created by adding Colorado and Utah. The only discernible benefit that I see is it made a CCG possible. If the rules don’t change regarding the requirements for a CCG, the benefits of expanding further are very questionable.

        To realize the TV and potential recruiting value of having Texas, Oklahoma, and the CA schools in the same super-conference, TX/OU will have to play the CA schools every year, not once every so often. This can only happen if 4 4-team pods are created, with each pod consisting of 2 geographically-paired teams (e.g. – UT/TTU/OU/OSU and USC/UCLA/Cal/Stanford). Each pod would play the teams in its pod plus 2 teams in each other pod. The 2 teams played will be 1 from each geographic pair within the pod. So, UT would play TTU,OU,OSU, one of USC/UCLA, and one of Cal/Stanford EVERY year. This arrangement would bring Texas and Oklahoma into SoCal and NorCal (via TV) every year, and vice-versa – the only way to maximize value to the power schools and create a sense of unity in a super-conference. This would be the only hope of binding UT to the Pac-16 for the LT.

        Unfortunately, IIRC, CCG requires round-robin within 2 divisions (max). Either this rule will have to be changed, or a Pac-16 would have to forego CCG.

        In any event, you guys need to stop blathering about the Pac-12 taking leftover slops from the Big-12 that have been rejected by the SEC and Big-10. It doesn’t need to happen, and it ain’t gonna happen.

        • ccrider55 says:

          So you would institute a situation that reduces regional existing rivalries (which is one of the biggest concerns about forming super conferences) and increases travel costs, etc. as a condition? A reason not to do it is now a requirement? Pac 16(8) west and Pac 16 east is easily the most logical, practical, functional and understandable alignment. Carriage fees will apply whatever alignment and number of particular matchups occur. Pods are simply confusing to anyone not following that conference closely, and even for some that are.

          Put me down as one midwest born and now left coast living person that is NOT skeptical about the long term value of adding Colo and Utah. 2 new states, growing media markets, and solid universities as well as 4 new senators.

          • Robber Baron says:

            I really don’t see what would be so hard to follow about 4×4 divisions. I don’t think Redwood is talking about shoehorning pod scheduling into 2 static divisions whether they are organized by geography or in a zipper arrangement. Nor do I believe he is talking about a variable division model where membership changes yearly or every 2 years.

            I think he simply means 4 divisions: Pac16 NW, Pac16 CA, Pac16 MtnZona, and Pac16 Texoma.

            Ok, one of those needs a better name, but they are all very simple to follow.

            The NW schools have already given up the regional rivalries they truly care about, the LA schools. They will play UCLA and USC twice each every four years under the current Pac12 alignment. That is the exact same frequency they would play the LA schools in a 4×4 division Pac16.

            And travel? We’re talking about one road game each year to each division (with a second road game within your own division every other year). That doesn’t sound so daunting to me.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Robber Barron:

            Perhaps I was a bit harsh but you did have to give me, a person who has been following these discussions, a discription of which “pod system” would be used. I’ll take your word on the frequency. E/W would afford the east schools the same frequency vs LA schools. 7 east games, 1 vs west(cali) and 1 vs west(NW). Rotating them means the east plays every year against a cali, every other year in cali, and every other year vs a LA school. Maintains stronger former Big8(12) ties as well as former Pac 8.

          • ccrider55 says:

            My bad. the frequency would be half. But the benifit is stronger ties to tradition in a new, larger system.

          • greg says:

            As the rules currently stand, you need two divisions to hold a title game:

            NCAA Division I bylaw (c): 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.

            Which is also going to be a huge sticking point if the SEC stops at 13.

        • Robber Baron says:

          I agree, Redwood. If the Pac goes to 16 it should carefully consider the possibility of instituting 4 divisions of 4 (and navigating the NCAA legislative process that would be necessary to allow such an alignment.) While it sounds nice to have the Pac8 back, it would also mean shipping UA, ASU, UU and CU off to the eastern division and only playing them once every 4 years, once every 8 at home. Those 4 schools may balk at such infrequent contact with the west coast schools.

          What kind of rule changes do you envision to make 4×4 divisions possible? 2-round conference tournament? Separate CCGs for 2 pairs of 4-team divisions (with Rose and Fiesta berths on the line?) Or just picking the best 2 out of 4 division champs to square off in a CCG despite the risk of a third division champ never having played either participant?

        • cutter says:

          I don’t know if you need pods in order to have the teams from the eastern division play the California schools each year.

          The eastern division teams would play the seven other from their own divison plus two in the other division. If you pair up the California schools on the schedule with one from Oregon or Washington on the schedule, then an eastern division team will have at least one of them on the schedule each year.

          Schedule pairings could be as follows: USC-Washington State, UCLA-Oregon State, California-Oregon and Stanford-Washington.

          Oklahoma, for example, would play Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech and Utah each season plus two teams from the rotation above. OU would actually play in the state of Californa two years out of four, but would have a Cali team on the schedule each year.

          Obviously, this doesn’t include the conference championship game, which is currently scheduled to be at the home stadium of the higher rated team. That could add another game in California plus there’s the possibility of playing in the Rose Bowl as well.

          I actually like the pod system that you talk about, but the the last time it was tried in a 16-team conference, it didn’t work out well from the standpoint that the fans didn’t like it–I think this was when the WAC had 16 teams.

          Hopefully, we’ll see this happening in the near future. If a program like OU adds an attractive non-conference opponent to the schedule each year, then I think their football schedule will look pretty good and they won’t have any problems recruiting with it.

        • Richard says:

          Redwood: The only recruiting potential the old Pac10 teams care about is SoCal. The only recruiting potential the old B12 teams care about is Texas. TV would be just as valuable even if east and west rarely played. The Pac is the conference that is most ideally situated to expand to 16, 18, or 20.

      • Patrick says:

        I agree that Oklahoma is the key here, I suspect the Big 12 is dead.

        Here is the statement from BYU: “There is much speculation right now regarding conference affiliation that seems to change by the hour. Commenting on such conjecture is not productive and creates a distraction for our program. BYU is focused on the opportunities ahead. We are excited about our relationship with ESPN as a football independent and our affiliation with the West Coast Conference. The university will have no further comment.”

        It sounds to me that other possibilities for Big 12 replacements are going to be ‘hands off’. There is a conference swirling down the bowl that 3 major programs have left in the last 13 months. No AD or university president is going to leave a conference and jump into that train wreck.

        I have heard that the FOX – Big 12 tv contract in null and void if the conference drops below 10 members. Does anyone know if that is true? If it is, would OU stay, would Missouri?

        • Mike says:

          Its true, however, A&M doesn’t actually leave until June 30. If BYU (or Houston, etc) were to join, they could join before that date and not risk the FOX contract.

          • Redwood86 says:

            My post was written in haste. I could have done a better job. Robber Baron has my pod break-up exactly right. The reason why 8-team divisions do not suffice is that they would only allow Texoma to play 1 Cali team per year. Cali is a BIG place (bigger than Texas :-) ). The L..A market is, completely separate from, and still much larger than the Bay Area market. The L.A market is more rabid about college football (no pro team being one reason) than the Bay Area. Finally, SoCal is MUCH more fertile recruiting ground than NorCal. The point being that it is not enough for Texoma to play a Cali team every year, they need to play a SoCal team every year. Hence you need pods v. divisions.

            As for regional rivalries, my/RobberBaron’s pods preserve those rivalries. The PacNW schools only care about SoCal for recruiting purposes and money. The Cali school rivalries are all with each other and, in the case of USC and Stanford, Notre Dame. They only care about the PacNW and Arizonas when a school from those regions stands in the way of the Rose Bowl. Nobody cares about the Arizonas, so they get stuck with Colorado and Utah. Exept for the fact that it can be confusing, I think the pod system would be popular with the Pac-16. Each team will be guaranteed to play at least two of Texas, Oklahoma, USC, and UCLA EVERY year. That is an upgrade from the current Pac-12 arrangement.

            For the CCG, I think you have to pair up the two best teams from the 4 pods. This assumes, of course, that the Pac-16 gets the rules changed. I doubt that anyone of influence would be in favor of a 2-game Superconference championship playoff at this juncture – although I would be.

          • greg says:

            The Pac is never going to get the CCG rules changed to allow for four divisions. Why would the remaining 104 FBS teams pass such a rule? Not going to happen.

          • Eric says:

            I think the biggest reason to have Texas and California in the same conference would be for TV leverage. I don’t anything additional you get by having Texas play in Southern California a year would be worth the confusions/lack of identity the pod systems create. They have mathematical beauty with them I’ll definitely admit (especially for a PAC-16 with 4 from Texas/Oklahoma were the pods would be clear), but I think they make the conference feel too random.

            With a rule change it could certainly work, but I really hope that rule change doesn’t come. I love college football for how important every game in the regular season seems. Having teams at the top of 4 pods (some years meaning 1 is the 7th or 8th best team in the conference or worse) would be worse at putting teams who don’t deserve in than the current CCG approach and the last thing I want in college football in an NFL type of set-up which this feels a lot more like.

            Granted, I’d dump the CCG all together if I could.

          • Richard says:

            The Pac is the conference that is least likely to institute pods, as they have no need to let the Texas schools access to SoCal recruiting or Cali schools access to Texas recruiting.

          • @Richard – I agree. The Pac can naturally be separated into the Pac 8 and the “new” 8. It would be very difficult to not have pods in the SEC and downright impossible in the Big Ten.

          • Robber Baron says:

            The other 104 schools would have no incentive to change the rules to benefit the Pac, just as they had no incentive to allow a CCG for a 10-team league last year, as long as the Pac is the only one at 16 and contemplating 4×4 divisions. But if armageddon really comes and superconferences form elsewhere, isn’t there a chance that the voting block could change? Would other superconferences not want to take advantage of other internal alignment options?

          • greg says:

            Sure, if a miracle happens and 4×16 becomes reality, then the rules will likely be changed. Then again, pigs may fly out of my rear end.

          • Robber Baron says:

            Hmmm, if superconferences form I’m going to have to rethink my love of bacon.

          • RedDenver says:

            For everyone talking about rewriting NCAA bylaws:

            A 4×4 pod system already fits the description of the bylaws in that each year 2 pair of pods would form what the NCAA calls a “division” and they all play each other in a round robin (i.e. two divisions of 8 teams each). The NCAA bylaws do NOT require the divisions to be fixed from year to year.

          • ccrider55 says:

            But it would require playing everyone in those 2 pods every year.

          • Redwood86 says:

            Where is the TV leverage of having Texas and CA in the same conference if they rarely play each other? Why would ESPN, etc. pay more for the same teams just because they are now in a different configuration?? They would pay more to have more of the L.A. market AND the Texas market watching at the same time, more of the Bay Area market and Oklahoma market, etc., etc. Do you really think that Texas v. Arizona, ASU, Utah & Colorado is going to make ESPN pay more than Texas v. A&M, Nebraska, Colorado, and say, Missouri?

            Moreover, what will bind a rather loosely-aligned UT to the Pac-16? The value of the Pac-16 needs to be perceived by UT every day or they will wander. Not sure how being in a division with the Arizonas, Utah and Colorado will bind UT. The Rose Bowl is not THAT appealing.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Leverage is the threat to take the whole Pac to the P12N’s. 25% of BCS FB and BB cutting out the middle man and marketing directly through cable, phone, and internet providers would seem a signifcant bit of leverage. The advantage of being a 100% conference owned network, that has held back a significant amount of tier 1 content for itself at startup.

          • Richard says:


            Where would Texas wander to? By going to the Pac, they’re already rejecting the SEC and B10 (for their own reasons). What would change their mind? It’s not as if they’d get to play in Cali more if they joined the SEC or B10. As for growing interest, fans would still be more interested in teams they’d potentially meet in the championship game and regularly (if occasionally) in the same conference than if they were in a different conference. Note that both back when the SEC played 6 league games in a 10-team league and when they had 2 cross-over games, schools regularly would play 3(/4) schools only 2 times in 8 years. Other than the 2 cross-over games, SEC fans had as much reason to care about teams in the other division as fans in a Pac16 would, yet the SEC didn’t seem to suffer.

            Plus, by consolidating, the market power of all conferences (but particularly the Pac) is improved. Also, deadweight (like ISU, Baylor, KSU, etc.) are shed. $X divided by 16 is a bigger number than $X divided by 22.

        • Patrick says:

          Serious doubts that Pitt would join the Big 12…

          So if Pitt and BYU and Notre Dame and Arkansas and Ohio State won’t join the BIG 12, then it is rapidly boiling down to Houston / SMU / Tulsa / Air Force etc.

          Is this level school palatable for Oklahoma and/or the television networks? I doubt it.

          Maybe the Big 12 can get Texas to rejoin the Big 12.

          • @Patrick – Assuming that the Big 12 keeps Mizzou and isn’t raided beyond A&M, it’s probably BYU or bust for that conference. ESPN and Fox may very well give the Big 12 another contractual reprieve like it did last year – those networks care about UT and OU staying and as long as that’s the case, likely wouldn’t have any use for a Houston-type addition just for the sake of the conference getting back up to 10.

          • ccrider55 says:


            If they do that again, what message can the B1G and SEC take? Effectively renegotiating raises with a conference as it shrinks? Yet not willing to for conferences that have increased inventory?

          • zeek says:

            ccrider55, the Big Ten and SEC will grin and bear it (especially the Big Ten), because those conferences will get the full value of their additions when the contracts come up for renegotiation.

            Nebraska’s full value is realized in the 2016 contract.

            They’ll take the longterm view on this which is that they became stronger conferences for the long haul, and that will be reflected in the next set of contracts. No reason to complain.

          • Richard says:


            Well, ESPN wants to prevent superconferences, so yes, the lesson they want the SEC and B10 (and Pac) to take is to not expand.

  51. [...] come from the ACC (Maryland? Seriously?) and largely agree with both Mr. SEC and Frank the Tank’s take here (emphasis [...]

  52. GreatLakeState says:

    Adam Rittenberg, ESPN’s “far-too-good-for-that-place” B1G blogger has been at BT headquarters all day and seems to be very plugged in. -Anyhooooo, he said he doesn’t think the B1G intends to expand unless a home run comes knocking, and that begins and ends with Texas, ND, Oklahoma. Called Missouri and Maryland singles and doubles. OUCH.

    Love the B1G championship trophy. The (crystal/silver) football on top is removable so they can all pass it around. Also, the winning teams colors will be reflected within the trophy when they award it.

    • Eric says:

      That’s really neat about the colors. I was having video troubles and didn’t make that far into the presentation. My only complaint with it at all is that I don’t care for the “B1G” logo plastered all over the place. I don’t hate the logo completely, but really hope the conference comes up with some variant with the full name (and not the one originally released).

      • GreatLakeState says:

        I like the logo so it doesn’t bother me, but I agree it is a bit too prominently displayed. They better hope it ages like a fine wine (and not some old ABA logo) or we may not be looking at the Stanley Cup.

    • Gopher86 says:

      Bingo. Unless there is a fire sale going on (admit it, you thought about Tobias Funke just now), the Big 10 has no reason to add middle of the road teams. They have four spots open, max. One or two of those aren’t going to singles or doubles unless 3-4 homers can be had.

      The Big 10 wants a slugging % of 0.750. If that makes sense.

    • Richard says:


      I’d put FSU (and of course UF & UGa) in that category as well. Of course, those schools aren’t coming unless something else happens (ACC implodes or scandal down south becomes too pervasive for the tastes of the higher-brow Gators & Dawgs and an SEC school or 2 gets the death penalty).

  53. one Corn nation says:

    OU is the glue that holds the Big 12 together. If OU leaves then we will see the fall of the Big 12. I still think OU/OkSU to the B1G is possible. Let me be the fisrt to say here and now the the B1G will never get ND to join. When the Death Star conferences start. The fourth DS with be the Big East with ND as it’s top dog. We need to look at other teams.

    • vp19 says:

      What happens to the Big 12 remnants in the event of an Oklahoma exodus to the Pac? (And by remnants, I mean likely Iowa State, Kansas State, Kansas and Baylor, assuming Texas isn’t part of this.) If they can control rights to the Big 12 name and the BCS status that goes with it, they might be able to scrape up a reconstituted conference with members such as Boise State, UNLV, Houston, Southern Methodist, Memphis and a few others.

      • Richard says:

        I seriously doubt they’d keep the BCS status (unless the power conferences decide that another BE is worth the price of placating the masses/politicians).

      • Jake says:

        In that scenario, KU would certainly be welcome in the Big East, and KSU most likely would come with them. Not so sure about the Bear and ‘Clones, though. Possibly. Of course, the chances of the BEast getting through this one unscathed seem slim (TCU is joining the conference, after all), so maybe the Big 12 dregs pick off some BEast schools. There are a lot of ways this one could turn out, and it all depends on what the SEC decides to do. Unfortunately, we may have to wait a few months for the other shoe(s) to drop.

      • Gopher86 says:

        I think you need at least five members to have played each other for at least five years to be considered for AQ status. It may be more profitable for the remaining teams to stick together and collect exit fees than to jump ship.

      • frug says:

        If OU, OSU, TTU, UT, Mizzou and KU all decide to leave, they could just vote to dissolve the conference first.

        • frug says:

          Also, if they decided to hold the vote before July 1, 2012 then A&M could (and almost certainly would) join them.

          • Vincent says:

            It might make more political sense to pay the remaining Big 12 schools a modest amount to keep the conference technically in business, so they could expand and take in some newcomers, rather than leave them high and dry, with the very likely possibility they would have no BCS conference to turn to.

  54. Carl says:

    Penn State to the SEC!!!

  55. FranktheAg says:

    So, when the B1G is in expansion mode the ACC targets are realistic and, for the most part, viable. The archives are full of FtheT analysis discussing Maryland, UNC, Duke and Virginia. Yet when the SEC is in the market to expand, the ACC is locked down tight.

    • Eric says:

      The ACC schools snobbery/culture (depending on your perspective, I think both are accurate) would make them more open to the Big Ten than the SEC, but I don’t think (and definitely don’t hope) they are going anywhere regardless.

    • @FranktheAg – I’ve been pretty consistent that I don’t believe ACC schools are realistically attainable for the Big Ten (or anyone else). I spoke with connected people last year that said the Big Ten certainly had ACC schools on its wish list as targets. However, I don’t buy that the any of the 4 core ACC schools (MD/UVA/Duke/UNC) would move to the Big Ten unless there was a complete Armageddon situation.

      • vp19 says:

        Maryland would leave for the Big Ten on its own because its ties to the ACC are weaker than UVa’s, UNC’s or Duke’s; it’s in a state/metro area that already has plenty of Big Ten alums and fans; and because it needs a stronger football brand more than the other three “ACC core four” do.

        • Richard says:

          Likely true. The problem is that Maryland really doesn’t contribute enough in athletic revenue (and that matters even more in the B10 than other conferences because of the high level of revenue-sharing, including ticket sales), so the chances of the B10 taking them without a king are pretty much nil. If a king does come along (ND, FSU, OU, or Texas), they’d likely want someone other than Maryland (B10 may as well).

    • zeek says:

      FranktheAg; I don’t think anyone here has more than suggested that the ACC schools are on the Big Ten’s wishlist at best.

      They’re as realistically attainable as Notre Dame right now for the Big Ten.

      • Richard says:

        Yep. The SEC would have to do the dirty deed and take an ACC school first. It’s not going to happen this year, though 2-3 years from now may be a different story.

  56. coldhusker says:

    If OU/OSU/TT/4th team goes west and the Big 12 dissolves, can Nebraska and Colorado sue to get their money back since the league only lasted 1 or 2 more years?

  57. Bob says:

    I love this blog. Great comments.

  58. PhiladelphiaVT says:

    Virginia Tech isn’t leaving the ACC for the SEC because we’re happy in the ACC, not because the politicians in Richmond would stop us from moving to another conference. VT’s pull in the Virginia General Assembly got us in the ACC and it would get us into the SEC if we wanted to go.

    BTW, the University of Virginia was NOT a founding member of the ACC. The ACC was founded in 1953; UVA joined in 1954. Also, UVA being founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1818 does NOT make them Virginia Tech’s “Big Brother”–LOL! VT is much larger than UVA with a better football program and a much better fan base. If there is a “Big Brother” in the state of Virginia, it’s VT not UVA!

    • zeek says:

      Er, the “big brother” comment doesn’t refer to football status; no one here doubts that Va Tech has the better football program and football brand. It just refers to the flagship state university. That clearly is the University of Virginia.

      It’s not meant to denigrate Va Tech.

    • Atlanticist says:

      Virginia is a strange state in that it has three main universities, all are public and all are completely, totally, and utterly different:

      • PhiladelphiaVT says:

        I might add that the three are also independent of one another. There is no “University of Virginia System” of colleges as there appears to be with UNC in North Carolina. UVA does have a branch college in Wise, Virginia but that’s it as far as I know. Thus the University of Virginia is the “flagship” school of the state in name only.

        What I object to is the writer’s assertion that Va. Tech couldn’t leave the ACC for the SEC because UVA would stop us if we tried. I suppose if UVA felt that VT leaving for SEC would severely harm their interests, they might try to stop us through the Virginia General Assembly. But remember, Virginia Tech has a far larger alumni and fan base in the state than UVA, and politicians tend to listen to the voters. The reason VT is staying in the ACC is because we WANT to stay!

      • M says:

        Don’t forget VCU, the largest university in Virginia.

  59. redbeer says:

    It seems to me that WV is the SEC #14 favorite based on the fact that they were almost invited in the last expansion.

    If Mizzou stays, the big 12 could add Houston/SMU to try and hold it together a little longer.

    If Mizzou is the SEC #14, then I see OU & OKst to the PAC. I could see this happening even if Mizzou isn’t selected. OU/OKst fans are now where A&M fans were a year ago. The LHN was trying to add another Big 12 confernece game to their linup and targeted OKst, and this has really burned some bridges. I think UT has some polical pressure to keep TT in a major conference and can’t leave them behind, possibly forcing them to the PAC 16.

    If the SEC really wants the texas TV market, do they possibly consider TCU? LSU and ARK are already playing games in Dallas.

  60. zeek says:

    Chip Brown’s been right on certain things and had some details a bit less than perfect on other things.

    This Pitt talk though to me, at least right now seems like the same kinds of things a lot of people were guessing about ND and the Big Ten last year.

    At the end of the day, I don’t think you just expand for the sake of “spooking” ND. I don’t think the Big 12 will do that either, especially with the SEC looking at a year or two with 13 teams.

    There are just too many dominoes that have to fall in order for those things to all go right, and there’s not really any reason for that many dominoes to fall if OU remains committed to the Big 12.

    • Gopher86 says:

      It sounds like he’s getting mouth pieced on this one. The OU faithful are seriously considering an exit. Names like Pitt, WVU and BYU instill confidence. Names like Houston, SMU and Air Force do not.

      This conference hinges on OU’s decision making. Austin wants OU to stay. Therefore, Chip is getting info that would influence them to stay.

  61. redbeer says:

    Notre Dame has no reason to move unless unless OU&TX join the PAC. People seem to forget how close UT was to joing the PAC last year, days away. What kept them from going and how has that changed since last year is the question.

    1. The political pressure not to break away from A&M. Not a factor anymore.

    2. Political pressure regarding Baylor being left behind. There was some talk of Baylor being the fifth team to the PAC when only CU had joined. This was obviously not going to fly with the PAC and that door was shut with the addittion of Utah.

    3. ESPN shored up the conference with money by not reducing their TV contract payout despite the conference losing two teams. This was in ESPN’s best interest at the time to keep from having to renegotiate the SEC contract. Now that seems bound to happen.

    The other new wrinkle since then is the new revenue from the LHN. Will they have to or be willing to give this up to join the PAC? How solid is the LHN now? The LHN seemed like they planned to pay the bill by adding conference games to the network and adding HS football games. The HS football games shot down by the NCAA and no significant carriers have picked up the station days away from the only football game that will be shown on the channel this year. Looks a bit shakey to me.

    I think we see UT/OU/OKst/TT to the PAC in the very near future.

  62. redbeer says:

    If I were the SEC, do I necessarily want to add “great” football teams such as OU and FSU? Yes they want to protect their brand as the toughest conference, but at the same time I would assume the big players in the SEC would have issues with that.

    I think the Slive realized his TV deal was undervalued. Looking to open the door for renegotiation they expand. There is debate about whether expansion open the contract for renegotiation. Does adding one team open that door? Maybe, Two teams? Probably, Four teams? Most likely. I think the attibutes in teams they are looking for are good football schools (not great), geographic/cultural fit, and good TV markets. If it takes two teams to open the door for renegotiations, I see it as A&M and WV. If it takes four teams, I see A&M and TCU to the west and WV and Mizzou to the East.

  63. Madison Hawk says:

    Kirk Bohls of the Austin Statesman predicts that Oklahoma will lead the charge to the Pac-16 and Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State will follow:

    “Should Oklahoma act upon its earnest desires and seek an invitation to join the Pacific-12 Conference — something I’m fully expecting to happen within days, if not hours — that decision could well be the killing blow to the Big 12 while also providing Texas the political cover to follow suit and ask for admission as well. . . ”

    • bullet says:

      RedHawk thinks so But I trust RedHawk’s opinion more than Bohl’s on this. Bohl’s talks about OU wanting to go last year to the Pac. Every indication is that OU was dragged along reluctantly last year and was the school most committed to the Big 12.

      The Big 12 just makes so much more sense to these schools than going all the way to the Pac or B1G. And there would be a number of schools left behind. I don’t see how Iowa State, a solid program, makes any of the “superconferences” unless there is a “negotiated surrender” of the Big 12 with the schools parcelled out. With A&M already out the door, that unlikely scenario is even less likely as there’s not enough left to entice the SEC/B1G/Pac all to cooperate. Kansas State has little chance. Baylor’s only chance would be as a tag-along.

      • cutter says:

        I can see where Oklahoma would find joining the Pac 16 to be a very advantageous move. If OU’s leadership feels that 16-team super confrences are the wave of the future in college athletics, then going to the Pac 12 is arguably their best possible option.

        With Texas Tech and Texas in the Pac 16 East, Oklahoma would have enough of a presence wthin the state to maintain its ties with the Texas high schools and the recruits from the state. If you subscribe to the belief that becoming a member of a conference that includes teams on the west coast will open up recruiting in those areas, then OU would have a foot in another high school recruiting hotbed in California.

        Oklahoma would certainly remain as competitive in the Pac 16 East as they would be in the present Big XII. I assume they’ll have seven games against the teams in their division plus two with the teams in the Pac 16 West. Add a conference championship game plus the opportunity to have an attractive non-conference schedule and OU would be in as good position to win the Pac 16 and get into the BCS bowl/championship game as they had in the “old” Big XII.

        I can’t imagine the OU fans will miss playing Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas and Kansas State. I wouldn’t say the same about Texas A&M or Missouri, but look at the teams “replacing them”: Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah from the east (Colorado is an old member of the Big XII) plus a nice lineup of school from the old Pac 8: USC, UCLA, Cal, Stanford, Washington and Oregon. Overall, I’d say that’s not a nice upgrade.

        Finally, the Pac 16 does have arguably the most dynamic conference commissioner in collegiate sports in Larry Scott. When you compare his leadership and vision with Don Beebe, you can see why Oklahoma would want to become a member of the Pac 16.

    • Redhawk says:

      Wow, there’s some major historical revisionism going on in that Bohls article.

      OU didn’t want to go to the PAC last year…OU wanted to stay. It was UT that wanted to go. The entire thing was Doss and Scott. The Big12 was saved when ESPN came in a promised the schools riches cause they uniquely owned their 3rd tier rights. AND they promised everyone would benefit and get huge payouts, OU, A&M, even the 7 dwarfs…but only UT got paid

      Not only did UT get paid, they started to agree to play nice with the rest and go by their rules, then completely ignore the league. (see 1 Conf. Football game, no high school CONTENT of any kind)

      It doesn’t take a genius to know it’s time to look for a better home. For OU the options are limited, IF they want to take OSU along, the only real home is the PAC. I’m not sure OU really wants that NOW. They just want to be in a conference where it’s not run by Texas and for Texas.

      If the B1G would offer OU, Missouri, Kansas and OSU we’d go there.

      and thanks Bullet!

      • mike in st louis says:

        I think realistically the best deal OU could hope for from the B1G would be to bring Mizzou with them. I can’t see a scenario in which the B1G Presidents would take an oSu or a Texas Tech.

        But if I had to guess, I’d think the Delaney would prefer to pair OU with an eastern addition.

        • Redhawk says:

          I agree Mike in STL

          it’s why OU isn’t going to the B!G and why we haven’t heard that even rumored, since it was reported OU and 3 others inquired and were rebuffed.

          I was just saying as an OU alum and fan, that would be my wish.

          • metatron5369 says:

            Is it really that important? You sacrificed Nebraska’s annual game to go play with Texas, but you’re dead set on playing OSU and UT every year?

            I don’t think the PAC-12 is really all that desirable, especially if they go through with the PAC-8/Others divisions. That arrangement screams instability to me.

    • I’m very skeptical of the whole “super conference” idea. Someone may try it, but like the WAC before they’re going to find a 16+ team conference to be very unstable. This won’t be due to pods, or travel requirements or any of the other reasons given for the demise of the “Super WAC” but simply because teams in a large conference have more “exit” options.

      If you’re in, say, a 12 team conference and you want to leave the biggest obstacle is having a place to land. If no other comparable conference wants to pick you up your options are a) go independent, which realistically only a handfull of teams could reasonably attempt, b) go to a lesser conference (which is just dumb, no one’s going to cut off their revenue to spite UT) or c) sit tight and try to work out your issues with the other conference members. aTm wouldn’t be leaving the Big IIX (and still may not) if the SEC (or the Pac12 or B1G etc) didn’t want them. Thus, the major conferences have been fairly stable.

      However, get to 16 teams and you have a hell of a lot more options. Let’s assume that the PAC12 goes PAC16 with the addition of UT/OU/OSU/TTech. Sure, they’d probably get a good TV contract and everyone would play happy-family for a few seasons, but at some point the same BS that one feels in a conference of 12 teams will creep back in, along with the program’s diluted voting power in the conference, more conference programs to squabble with, etc that comes with more teams. Now, though, the alpha dogs in the conference have a new exit option: we’ll leave en mass and form a new conference. How long would it take for USC, UCLA, UT, OU, + the four strongest of the remaining teams to figure out that, since they’re the marquee teams, if they split off and formed the “New PAC(ish)-8″ that they’d be taking most of the value of the PAC16 with them, but now only have to share it with half the teams. Plus, you don’t have to put up with the peons at the lesser schools, making the administration of the conference much easier. You also may have enough star power and room for growth that you can pinch some big names from other conferences (or ND).

      Added to that you didn’t screw the other teams: “Hey, we left you with the PAC-16, we didn’t kick you out of anything”. The downside?

      1) NewPAC(ish)-8 lose the Rose Bowl, at least at the beginning. Not a huge loss as the BSC has diminished that over the last decade anyway, and I assume the Rose Bowl would, as soon as they legally could, replace the PAC-16/2 with the NewPAC(ish)-8.
      2) Assuming the NewPAC(ish)-8 couldn’t somehow finagle the BCS AQ to come along with you they will have lost their automatic bid to January Madness and some of the cash that comes with it. I’d argue that wouldn’t be that huge of a hit as odds are the winner of the NewPAC(ish)-8 will grab the non-BCS conference invite ever year in the first few years. And you can bet the BSC would start changing by-lays very quickly to get the NP(i)-8 back in the fold ASAP. They’re not dumb, they’ll follow the money.

      So, basically any conference that reaches 16 teams will do EXACTLY what the MWC did. The cream will leave and start poaching good teams from other conferences. Except instead of it being among a few mid-major conferences it will be among the big boys. Then things will get really interesting.

  64. duffman says:

    From a VT board,

    note cartoon with homer simpson, I think they get it

  65. duffman says:

    Sorry if this has already been posted

    WSJ now writing about conference realignment

  66. mushroomgod says:

    I sure hate being right all the time. Kinda makes things boring………

    SO……no ACC teams to the BIG or SEC…….

    Either MO or WVU as the 14th SEC team……

    BIG to do nothing, at least until ’14 or ’15 in anticipation of new contract. Possibly/probably nothing then either…Still hope they take Rutgers and MO(if still available) then…

    ND won’t be “forced” to do anything, whatever happens in expansion…

    PAC 12 and ACC the wild cards…blowing up the 12 and BE, or not? The trio of U Conn, Syracuse, and Pitt have always looked like ACC schools…….

    • zeek says:

      I think what protects the Big East from the ACC is the ACC’s fear of ND’s wild card.

      The ACC can hold together at 12 fairly strongly since the major schools (FSU, Va Tech, UNC) are likely to rebuff advances from other leagues, whether the Big Ten or SEC.

      The reason why the ACC is unlikely to go beyond 12 is mainly financial, but as a secondary concern, they don’t want to blow up the Big East, which may send ND to the Big Ten and result in a Big Ten raid for 1-3 of their schools to pair with ND.

      I think the action in the East (ACC/Big East/Big Ten/SEC) is mostly at a standstill unless the Big Ten or SEC wants Big East teams.

      • Richard says:


        I don’t think a raid of the BE does anything. The action in the East is at a standstill unless/until an ACC school defects.

    • duffman says:


      Not saying you are right or wrong, but the next action may have nothing to do with the BE / ACC / B1G / SEC at all. I think the next move will come from Larry Scott and the PAC! The SEC breaks 13 if they add TAMU, and can stop for awhile. The bigger question is if Scott will use this as a window to go after OU + oSu? OU would be a great add for a conference that has academics and eyeballs but needs brands. If he does get the 2 schools he can stop at 14, and wait to fill the last 2 slots. This means 2 out of the Big 3 have passed the 13 barrier, and there will be no putting the cow back in the barn.

      Delany can wait for # 13
      Slive can wait for # 14
      Scott can wait for # 15

      Swofford, Marinatto, Beebe will just have to wait till the top teams in their conferences decide to jump before they get left behind in a sinking ship. Either earlier in this thread or in the last one bullet listed the composition of conferences by flagship institutions and you can easily see the haves and the have nots.

      • Redhawk says:


        OU and OkSt aren’t going to the PAC alone. hell, given that choice, the Big12 just adds Houston and goes on limping along with UT running the league and doing what ever they please.

        • mushroomgod says:

          Agree that OK and OK ST wouldn’t likely go to the PAC alone……..

        • Stopping By says:

          It makes sense for the Pac to offer OU and OkSt alone while waiting for UT to make up teir mind, but not for OU and OkSt to accept as the only 2 additions.

          The reason to extend to OU only first IS to force UT to a decsion though. With OK schools gone and MO potentially to SEC (in addition torecent defectors aTm, Neb, and CO), the UTen is certain to fall apart. They will be forced to make a call – if they go indy then the Pac picks up a TT/KS type 15 and 16. Or UT decides to give up the LHN dream and joing the Pac. OU and UT have only been in a conference together, what – 15 years? They can survive without each other. I like OU to the Pac

          • Vincent says:

            That would be Scott’s reasoning behind bringing in Oklahoma and Okie State — put the pressure on Texas, especially if Texas Tech was brought in at #15 as well. If Texas says no, it’s either forced into independence — leaving the rest of its athletic program in chaos — or to a Big 12 on life support scrambling for any candidates to fill a quorum, while Missouri (a Pac fallback option) takes UT’s place.

    • Richard says:


      I have to admit that I don’t understand your longing to take schools that have so little brand that their athletic departments generate less revenue than either Minny or IU, attract below the B10 average attendance in football (meaning they would be a net drain in gate revenue sharing), aren’t in growing parts of the country, and (in the case of Mizzou) are academically inferior to boot.

      Again, the B10 has no need to expand just for the sake of expansion, and it certainly has no need to expand in order to be a weaker conference.

      Unless the B10 can get a king (OU, Texas, ND, or FSU), it shouldn’t and won’t take a school that is below the B10 average in attractiveness, and then only if the academics are B10-average or above. Unless it can get a king or UNC+Duke, the B10 shouldn’t expand at all.

  67. duffman says:

    Kickoff Tonight!!!!

    Who will you watch tonight when the season opens?

    6:00 PM ET Murray State at Louisville
    7:00 PM ET Villanova at Temple
    7:00 PM ET South Carolina State at Central Michigan
    7:00 PM ET North Texas at Florida International
    7:00 PM ET New Hampshire at Toledo
    Postponed Fordham at Connecticut
    7:30 PM ET Western Carolina at Georgia Tech
    7:30 PM ET North Carolina Central at Rutgers
    8:00 PM ET UNLV at No. 11 Wisconsin
    8:00 PM ET No. 20 Mississippi State at Memphis
    8:00 PM ET Wake Forest at Syracuse
    8:00 PM ET Montana State at Utah
    9:00 PM ET Bowling Green at Idaho
    9:15 PM ET Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky*
    10:00 PM ET UC Davis at Arizona State

    I was thinking badgers, and flipping between WF vs SU if it is a close game

    • @duffman – The Wisconsin game is definitely the most interesting one for me.

      • Jake says:

        If you like blowouts, I guess. A lot of those other games will be more entertaining to watch.

      • jokewood says:

        I’m looking forward to seeing Russell Wilson suiting up for the Badgers. Also, Wisconsin inexplicably struggles in OOC games. Last year, UNLV was a 3-pt game at the half. Wisconsin only beat Arizona State by a missed XP at home. Two years ago, Fresno State took them to OT, and Northern Illinois was only a one score game. Three years ago, Fresno State was a 3-pt game, and 1-AA Cal Poly was an embarrassing 1-pt OT victory. If I wasn’t a Michigan fan, I would laugh at them.

      • duffman says:


        Looks like I was right about the WF vs SU game, close indeed!

        Badger fans,

        looking good out of the box, good luck on the season.

    • jj says:

      like all of NY, I’ll be watching Rutgers! can’t get enough.

    • Brian says:


      According to my local listings, these are my choices:

      8:00 PM ET Central Oklahoma at North Alabama
      8:00 PM ET UNLV at No. 11 Wisconsin
      8:00 PM ET No. 20 Mississippi State at Memphis

      I’ll go WI and watch Russell Wilson, and flip over to MS St/Memphis during commercials.

  68. [...] the Tank looks at the options for the SEC and reaching team number 14. He concludes that the choices aren’t nearly so vast — especially if the SEC does have [...]

  69. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Simple question: Does Texas really find it worth risking the Big 12′s existence and having a safe “back up” conference options (Pac-12, Big Ten) just so it can have the Longhorn Network?

    Let’s face it, Texas has few options outside the Big 12. The SEC would take them, but Texas doesn’t want the SEC. There’s no freaking way that Ohio State, Penn State, Nebraska, and Michigan would permit a new member to have their own network when they’re not allowed to have one for themselves. Thus the Big Ten isn’t an option. Same goes for the Pac-12.

    What’s that leave? The ACC, which shares all media rights and would have to change its bylaws in order to allow Texas in? The Big East, which might be the only league to allow for football independence?

    Someone help me out here and explain why Texas seems to be okay with having a network that is quickly splintering the one conference that could give it what it most wants. Their network has driven away Texas A&M, whose departure may drive away Oklahoma, whose departure would end the conference. Is this what Texas wants?

    • greg says:

      @Michael in Raleigh

      I, too, have found Texas’ behavior to be weird. Why are they destroying the B12 and their chances at any other conference for only $11M a year? I’ve come to believe that their goal is independence and this is the way they think it can happen. Which is why BYU and ND are their best friends and OU is finally leaving them.

      • Jake says:

        But if they go independent in football, where do they put the rest of their sports? The Big East? The Southland Conference?

        You know, that Big East idea might have some merit, with the way UT and ND have been making eyes at each other lately. And it would be kind of fun getting to play the Longhorns in baseball every year.

      • Stopping By says:

        UT probably thinks the LHN is worth the risk because they are betting OU will stick with them, but they may crap out. If they defiantly continue with the insistence of the LHN in the face of all their Big 12-2-1 bretheren, then independence may have been the goal all along.

        If that is the case, I bet that they go indy in football while they leave their other sports in some sort of Mtn West/Big12-most everyone that matters leftover conference. That new hybrid conference will still take UTs non football sports because they are still Texas and can still help with bringing in $$ for Basketball (and baseball?).

    • bullet says:

      I think you’re making the wrong assumption that a network splinters the conference.
      SEC schools have the rights to networks and that conference isn’t splintering.

      The assumption that Texas is wedded to the Longhorn network is also an incorrect assumption. Texas has an asset and has a fiduciary obligation not to just give it away because Aggies are throwing another temper tantrum (like they did when UT and OU said they weren’t going to take the have-nots share of exit fees and the Aggies insisted on taking money from the “poor”). As Dodds said last summer, the LHN isn’t essential, but he had an asset and wasn’t going to give it away without getting value in return.

      Another incorrect assumption is that its Texas or its network driving the Aggies away. Its the Aggies driving themselves away, either because they believe being in the SEC would be better for their football program or just because their inferiority complex is driving them to get away from Texas. Its not really about Texas. Dodds and other conference members tried to talk to A&M to see if they could allay their concerns, but A&M refused to take meetings with anyone. There was a Houston Chronicle article about this with a thinly veiled reference to its source Drayton McLane, Astros owner and Baylor grad. Their mind was made up.

      I also think you’re wrong about the limited options. The LHN couldn’t exist indefinitely in its current form in the Big 10 or Pac, but it could be folded in over time.

      I think the big concern to everyone is really the ESPN connection. But with Fox having 2nd tier rights, that really limits what ESPN can do to favor its network at the possible expense of other Big 12 schools. Fox has to agree to anything. If people calm down, they might begin to understand that.

      If UT were to somehow agree to a Big 12 conference network, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.

      The Big 12 is splintering because CU fit better on the west coast, Delany announced the B1G with its $ and prestige was inviting new members to its party and Nebraska realized it had a better place to go and because the Aggies are….Aggies.

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        I’d never argue that A&M’s stubbornness hasn’t been part of the problem, but really, Bullet? There’s no culpability whatsoever on Texas’ part?

        I don’t argue that a network splinters a conference. But the SEC schools don’t attempt to air SEC games or high school games on their networks. The SEC schools don’t sign contracts with ESPN that say they’ll try any means necessary to air such games, and then turn around and state publicly that ESPN alone is who is pushing for those games. The SEC schools don’t have any AD’s saying they’ve personally made a list of 20 schools that they’d personally invite to the conference, implying the other members’ input is irrelevant.

        I’m not saying it’s all Texas’ fault, but I don’t buy it that it isn’t Texas’ fault at all.

        • bullet says:

          SEC schools are allowed to withhold games for networks. They actually have more rights than Big 12 schools.

          I think the HS bit is really ESPN’s way to sell the network to other than Longhorn fans. UT is cooperating as the UIL is part of UT, but its really ESPN pushing that. Its the ESPN official’s comment about airing Longhorn recruits games that really set everyone off. And the reality is that they can’t do anything without NCAA approval, so its really a non-issue.

          I don’t think UT or ESPN understood how the ESPN connection would alarm people. If that part is UT’s fault, then sure, UT is culpable. As for anything else, its easy. UT and LHN don’t have rights to B12 games-Just say no. The other Big 12 schools can do that. Texas Tech apparently already did.

          Dodds IS throwing his weight around a little on realignment with his statements. And A&M did resent that UT and OU were talking to the Pac 10 on their behalf (and if that is why they are making their decision, the President and AD should be fired and tarred and feathered). But mostly, he’s publically saying what everyone else is doing. Every competent AD is constantly evaluating his school’s options. If his comments slow down Slive and Delany, that’s to the benefit of his KSU alma mater and ISU and Baylor. And UT and OU weren’t trying to leave Ok St. and Tech behind.

          • Jim in Florida says:

            Some more great post bullet.

            I really don’t understand how all of this is UT fault and TAM is a victim. UT has done everything in their power to take care of TAM and yet they are the bad guys. The whole LHN saga is a joke yeah its UT fault that ESPN paid 5 times as much as everyone thought including UT for the rights. They made no secret that they wanted to set up this network and they even offered up a slot to TAM.

            Now look at the actions of TAM. They made this decision at the beggining of a school year, FY and college football season when these issues are the types of decisions everyone else wants to make in the spring and early summer. They rushed head first to the SEC when they did not have the heads up they are in or have done any due dilligence needed to exist the Big 12. They have no idea on how much money they are going to make with this move. They have leaked so much crap in the last month that it might have killed any chance the SEC had of finding a 14th team they actually wanted. They seem hell bent on burning every bridge they cross by trying to avoid and actually avoiding meetings with different Big 12 schools and state politicos.

      • Brian says:


        Does it always look like sunset with those orange colored glasses on?

    • Brian says:

      Michael in Raleigh,

      Simple question: Does Texas really find it worth risking the Big 12′s existence and having a safe “back up” conference options (Pac-12, Big Ten) just so it can have the Longhorn Network?


      Someone help me out here and explain why Texas seems to be okay with having a network that is quickly splintering the one conference that could give it what it most wants.


  70. Gopher86 says:

    The most interesting thing about this article is who was at the meeting.

    If ESPN is pulling strings, then the Big 12 will stay intact at 10 teams with BYU. The last thing they want is a large scale defection to the Pac 1X. They made large scale concessions last year to prevent this very thing.

    • Vincent says:

      If Brigham Young says no despite ESPN’s pressure, does that boost the chances of a OU-Okie State-Texas-Texas Tech Pac defection?

      • Gopher86 says:

        I’d say yes, generally. If you think about it, OU is in the driver’s seat (the conference lives or dies based upon if they stay or go). If it looks like they aren’t going to get a good replacement university (SMU, Houston, Air Force), why would they stay?

    • Brian says:

      I don’t think ESPN can pull the strings, legally. At most they can comment on what adjustments they’d be willing to consider in their contracts with BYU and the B12. Fox would have to also chime in if BYU demanded concessions.

      Most interesting to me is that ND was involved. Maybe this is part of UT’s national conference in which the league stays small and some members play a limited schedule (4-6 games), with the highest winning percentage getting the BCS bid. That could have UT, ND, BYU and OU (assuming they stay) all play each other, plus 1-5 games against the KU, KSU, ISU, OkSU, TT and Baylors of the world.

      ND could have 8 OOC games (play the other 3 plus 1 floater) to play MI, MSU, PU, USC, Stanford and Navy plus two others (BC, GT, etc). UT could play the other 3, plus TT, Baylor and 1-3 games that rotate through the others. Similarly, OU would play the 3 plus OkSU and some floaters. BYU would play a full slate of 8 games, or even all 9. The remnants (BU, TT, OkSU, ISU, KU, KSU) would play a full round robin amongst themselves, plus however many of the powers they get.

      • metatron5369 says:

        What’s even the point of a conference then? Seriously, I want to know.

        • bullet says:

          For sports other than football and filling scheduling holes in October and November.

          • Brian says:

            And an auto-bid to the BCS if you do well.

          • metatron5369 says:

            @Bullet – a four team conference doesn’t really help, does it?

            @Brian – Notre Dame already has an easy path to the BCS, they’re just bad at football.

          • Brian says:


            1. It’s not a 4 team conference. It’s 9 or 10 teams. That’s helpful for hoops and other sports.

            2. ND isn’t the only team involved, but they could lock in a southern and mountain team every year and not have to play the lesser team much. They largely stay independent (8 OOC games), though with the addition of an autobid to the BCS if they play really well. I still don’t think they’d do it unless the BE implodes, since they’d rather park their other sports in the east.

            UT and OU would also get a lot of freedom while having some important games locked.

      • Gopher86 says:

        I’m not sure what it would look like, but the heavy hitters would almost certainly want flexibility if they signed on. I’m talking ‘Incorporated in the State of Delaware’ flexibility.

        I’m not certain if the have nots would agree to such a two tiered system. Sending an equal revenue share out to UT, BYU, ND and OU for a few conference games a year probably wouldn’t fly. However, everything is negotiable.

    • Richard says:

      Can ESPN keep/induce OU from jumping the B12 ship? That’s really the key question.

  71. Gopher86 says:

    Chip Brown reports on the Big 12′s candidates and future. There are a lot of moving pieces, but the Big 12′s competitive advantage seems to be its ‘free-market’ mentality:

    If they can sign on enough big names, then they can prevent a full collapse. If they strike out swinging, it looks like there will be a move west.

    • greg says:

      p.s. Chip Brown may want to ask his sources if Texas gets $15M a year or $11M a year. He may be surprised.

      • bullet says:

        The amount is $15M. IMG gets approximately 15% of that because they already paid Texas for some of those rights. So $15M is not inaccurate.

        • greg says:

          I’m sure OU and the other schools have 3rd tier deals. To report them as pulling in $15M “more than any other school” is inaccurate.

        • M says:

          So Texas receives $11M net from ESPN. I don’t that’s an inaccurate description.

          • bullet says:

            UT will get $12.375 million net from ESPN average over 20 years ($247.5/$300.0 million) and they have a contract with ESPN that pays an average of $15 million million a year are both accurate statements. Chip was right that UT gets $15 million-although saying “more” is not really accurate. But he wasn’t quoting contract terms.

    • bullet says:

      Because Pitt is so far east of everyone else, does Pitt make sense to anyone as a stand alone #10? BYU is far away, but they are never getting in the Pac and are somewhat isolated now. And a western school just seems to fit better than an eastern rust belt school. The rivalries would seem to work better for BYU than Pitt.

      Also, does anyone else believe the SEC talk about not wanting to break up the Big 12? They had no problem ensuring the eventual breakup of the SWC. Taking A&M may well lead to the eventual breakup of the Big 12. The only reason I would believe the SEC would be concerned about the Big 12 would be simply that they don’t want the Pac and B1G to benefit.

      • zeek says:

        If you saw what I wrote above about Pitt, the idea that grabbing Pitt along with the SEC’s domino effect of grabbing a #14 from the ACC or Big East will lead to ND choosing to join the Big 12 is kind of ridiculous.

        A lot of us here who are from Big Ten schools were thinking the same thing, but at a certain point the notion is just ridiculous.

        No one is going to smoke ND out; the Big Ten would have been foolish to try last year (even though it probably seemed to through the media). The Big 12 is doing the same thing, but actually pulling the trigger is different from saying “we might raid the Big East (to smoke ND out)”…

        • bullet says:

          Eliminating the potential ND effect, does it make sense?

          • zeek says:

            The more I think about it, it might actually be the best obtainable choice other than BYU. What you said about BYU holds, I think they’d probably be the best standalone choice, but they might be more interested in trying out independence if they can’t get a “Texas/Oklahoma” guarantee.

            As for the choices behind BYU, I think only Louisville or Pitt really make sense if the Big 12 has to find an option to go back up to 10.

            Houston/SMU don’t really make sense. UNLV/UN-Reno are worth considering, but Louisville and Pitt would both create more compelling matchups and bring basketball value as well.

            If we’re looking at TV and markets and the matchups you get, I think Pitt might end up being almost as compelling as BYU considering that Oklahoma-Pitt or Texas-Pitt matchups would probably drive ratings as well as any other option.

            As for the other half of the equation, you end up looking at whether it works for Pitt. While there might be a bit of a bump as compared to the Big East’s paycheck, I think it’ll center more around whether Pitt thinks that they’ll have a back up option if the Big 12 implodes. Right now, Pitt just has to win the Big East to be guaranteed a BCS bowl. Going through Texas and Oklahoma as well as the distance involved might make that a lot less attractive as an option. Of course, they’ll also have to think that the SEC is at #13 and might be looking at WVU for #14.

            The other thing though, is that right now Pitt can just stay in the Big East and wait for the ACC. If the Big 12 does end up imploding soon, they may not have a landing spot if the ACC isn’t willing to push beyond 12 and the Big East doesn’t take them back.

            But if you’re asking whether it makes sense from a TV standpoint. If I’m ESPN/FOX, I’d probably put Pitt right behind BYU in terms of attractive and potentially available options.

          • Vincent says:

            It might seem rather absurd, but a Pittsburgh/West Virginia/Texas A&M/Missouri SEC expansion could work. If you’re a Pitt administrator and you had your choice between going to a Big 12 whose future no one is sure of or teaming with your closest rival into one of the nation’s most profitable conferences, the choice is self-evident.

            That move would also castrate the Big East as a football conference, with the ACC taking in a few survivors to set itself up as the last of the “big four” conferences.

    • Richard says:

      Chip Brown doesn’t consider that if the SEC deals the ACC a death blow, the B10 would likely be going south as well.

  72. M says:

    For Texas, let’s do a hypothetical “SWC-Texas Nine Challenge” in terms of desirability of opponents:

    Oklahoma v Oklahoma, draw
    Missouri v A&M, A&M wins
    Oklahoma State v Arkansas, Arkansas wins
    Kansas State v TCU, TCU wins (at least the current version of TCU)
    Texas Tech v Texas Tech, draw
    Kansas v Houston, Houston wins
    Iowa State v SMU, leaning SMU
    Baylor v Baylor, draw
    Rice v Rice, draw

    In net, Texas will have decreased the quality of their opponents at every slot .

    • bullet says:

      TCU long run and SMU I would disagree with. And for bb, KS would also be better.

      This same challenge could be applied to an SEC 14 vs. and SEC 12 and the SEC would do worse. That’s the problem with the de-regionalization of conferences.

      • bullet says:

        The Big 12 with 12 was a big step up from the SWC and that’s reflected by the stadium being 25% bigger and ticket prices quadrupling in the last 15 years.
        all the same
        UNL/CU vs. UH better
        ISU/KU vs. SMU better
        MU/KSU vs. TCU better
        Ok St vs. Rice better except for halftime

        • zeek says:

          I actually agree with what you’re saying. And I think it’s the problem with going beyond 12 without the right teams.

          Look at the Big Ten for example, you have two kings in each division along with an upper/middle tier brand (Wisconsin/Iowa).

          Further expansion really has to bring in another king to create as many compelling matchups as you had before, even without considering the move to 9 conference games.

          If I’m Northwestern (or anyone in the “West” division), I want to see Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Penn State more and not less. That’s the main problem I have with the scenarios that get to 14 with say Missouri and Rutgers.

          Both are fine schools, but they dilute the matchups. You end up with less games against the top brands since you’re switching a crossover game to Missouri (or Rutgers if you’re in the “East”), and only have 2 rotating among the rest of other division (if you keep one protected), of which those 2 games will hit the big brands less…

          • bullet says:

            If ND is #13, that’s no problem for them, but #14 would almost certainly diminish quality. That’s where a Pitt might grow into a rival even without adding TV$, while a Maryland or Rutgers might not.

          • zeek says:

            Yeah, I think as a pair though, quality ends up going up if it’s ND-Pitt or ND-Rutgers as 13-14.

            You end up with a division with 3 kings, whereas the other division has 2 kings + Iowa/Wisconsin in all likelihood. The likelihood of playing those teams would end up probably remaining similar to what it was before; similar enough to justify expansion.

          • Todd says:

            I want the push to 16 team conferences begin with the Pac 16. Hopefully this will spur Notre Dame to join the B1G with Miami as team #14 (Yes, I still see value in Miami and don’t care about their current issues). Resulting divisions would be as follows:

            Penn State
            Ohio State
            Notre Dame

            Michigan State

            Plenty of “Brands,” as Patrick would like, plenty of compelling matchups.

          • mushroomgod says:

            You sure do read some crazy things on here……….

          • Patrick says:

            I like the brand argument but I don’t think the BIG Ten would take in a Miami program that may get severe penalties, and I doubt Notre Dame does anything in the short term.

            Medium to Long term – Notre Dame may have a change of heart or conditions may warrant them moving but I doubt it now.

            I don’t know much about the ACC or the politics of the ACC. All I know is what I have gathered from links here. Frank and the posters seem to be of a pretty consistent opinion that the ACC is solid.

            From my perspective I think the BIG Ten should add television brands – National Brands. Notre Dame being one that is unlikely. From a tv side (and academic), I think UNC / Duke is an extremely attractive pair to add. After that, there aren’t many High Brand, High Value additions to make.

            I could argue OU but is OSU attached and are they worth it. I could argue Kansas, but again KSU is useless and really degrades the pair. Maybe Missouri, but who else comes?

            If the Big 12 completely implodes does the Big 10 go after any teams? Should they look at Oklahoma and Missouri…. or OU, Missouri and Kansas? Maybe Missouri and Kansas alone? I really don’t have any answers, but I’ll bet the Big Ten is rapidly studying possibilities and scenarios that would make them the most money and be a net benefit. Maybe there aren’t any that are a big enough plus to pull the trigger. They don’t have to take in wayward schools, they can just drop them off at the pound to be euthanized.

            From a Big Ten Network perspective, more schools and more games equal more money. But it is a finite well, they can only load in so many teams and have the math work out positively. Are these schools the best way to add value? Are there other additions that may be possible in the future? Eventually the big brands will run out and find their own homes. From the current Big Ten footprint I see Notre Dame, UNC/Duke, and OU as National Brands. Missouri, OSU, Kansas, Pitt, Boston College, Syracuse, Maryland, Virginia, VT, NC State as marginal canidates. Everyone else seem like a non-starter.

            I think everything hinges on Oklahoma right now, and I think the Big 12 is dead. What OU does and with whom will key the rest (if any) more expansion.

          • Richard says:


            If the SEC causes the ACC to implode (don’t see it happening this year, but maybe 2-3 years from now), FSU is in play, and I see them as a top brand.

            If VTech defects to the SEC, the B10 should make a play for FSU + GTech/Miami (even with sanctions). Ideally ND as well, in which case all 3 of the above. They could make a run at UNC + Duke, but because UNC’s tied so many ways (to NCSU, Duke, & UVa to an extent as well), Fortress Carolina would be the toughest to crack. I could see the ACC stripped of VTech, FSU, Miami, GTech, and maybe even BC yet the ACC limp along back to it’s former ’70′s size.

  73. coldhusker says:

    Here’s a good acticle on trying to do a 13 team SEC schedule. The takeaway is that its basically impossible, and that A&M needs a partner to get to 14. They also bring up divisions going away until they get to 14, but no way that happens.

    • zeek says:

      Big Ten and Pac-10 didn’t get CCGs when they were below 12. No way the SEC is going to get it for being at 13.

    • greg says:

      Pretty amazing that the guy writes this article without bothering to look up the title game rules.

      • Jake says:

        Greg – indeed. It seems to be fairly common knowledge, and how hard could it have been to find out?

        Here’s my crazy, off-the-cuff 13-team SEC scheduling idea:

        SEC West: 7 teams, each plays 6 division opponents (because they HAVE to play a round robin to hold a CCG), plus two SEC East teams.

        SEC East: 6 teams, each plays two SEC West teams.

        But wait, you’re probably thinking, that only leaves the SEC East teams with 7 conference games. Where will that last game come from if they’re losing one of their cross-divisional games? Answer: SEC East teams would play one opponent TWICE in the same regular season. For example, UT-Vandy, UGA-SC and UF-UK could all be home-and-homes for one year (or for however long until they find #14). Or you can mix it up. The Cocktail Party they probably won’t want to do twice, because that means either two neutral site games, or it’s a home-and-neutral for one team.

        Disclaimer: I have no idea if the NCAA still allows this. I know it used to happen regularly. If that blogger doesn’t have to read the NCAA rulebook, neither do I.

        • Brian says:

          The NCAA doesn’t care what D-IA schools they schedule, as long as they play a full round robin in the division. They could just decide that since the SEC east teams also play FSU, GT, Clemson and UL OOC, the imbalance isn’t a big deal for a year. TN is the only eastern “power” lacking a standard AQ OOC rival, but they always schedule someone tough (I don’t think anyone is worried about Vandy).

    • M says:

      The MAC did a 13 team schedule with two divisions and not-quite round robin for at least a year and maybe more:

      It’s not a great solution, but that’s probably the one they would take.

      • greg says:

        M, MAC received a waiver from the NCAA to avoid the round-robin rule. I thought they received the waiver for doing a solid and giving Temple a place to land. Will the NCAA be so kind to help SEC form superconferences?

      • Jake says:

        M – No matter how they schedule that, two teams in the SEC West will manage to go undefeated, potentially creating an all-SEC national championship game.

        And I always forget about the MAC. I guess round robin doesn’t mean to the NCAA what I thought it did.

        • bullet says:

          The MAC had to completely redo their schedule in 2007 during the summer because they didn’t realize they had to do a round robin. They obviously have gotten a waiver since then, but I have never read or seen anything about it. I don’t see the SEC getting much sympathy for getting a waiver in 2012. And I don’t see the SEC ADs giving Slive much sympathy for taking a long time getting #14 and giving the West a harder road.

          • Adam says:

            I e-mailed the NCAA asking for an explanation for how the MAC was getting around this rule. Someone named Charnele Kemper said that they were “not permitted to provide specific information regarding any specific institution or conference” to me. I was told to contact the MAC, but they did not respond.

            I think the teamspeedkills article is not quite accurate. I remember doing the math and it came out different. For a 7-team group to play a complete round robin, it takes 21 games (6+5+4+3+2+1). I think the MAC East has been playing a 19-game schedule for the last few years (since they received their apparent waiver).

          • Adam says:

            Oh, I should note: I e-mailed them last March (of 2010). That’s when they stonewalled me.

          • Adam says:

            In 2010, the round robin was broken by Kent State not playing Buffalo, and Bowling Green not playing Akron. So yes, it looks like my memory was right, they played 19 games toward a 21-game round robin.

          • Adam says:

            Last year, it at least didn’t make much of a difference, because the missing links were between chumps. In 2009, Temple was the co-champion of the MAC East and didn’t play a competitive Bowling Green team; that, I would think, could have caused some frustrations. (That year, Akron also missed Miami; two cellar-dwellers.)

          • Adam says:

            I was left wondering whether the MAC got a waiver because it’s low stakes. The MAC taking on Temple isn’t sending shockwaves through the world of college football. Texas A&M leaving the Big 12 and potentially joining the SEC is a pretty big deal, and I’m left wondering whether everybody else would have more of a “if you’re going to upset the whole apple cart, we’re going to insist that you follow the rules precisely” mentality.

          • bullet says:

            Its the same two pairs not playing in 2011.

    • Richard says:

      It’s simple. TAMU has to play as an independent, but with, say, at least 6 games against SEC opponents for 2 years in football. Integrated in other sports and financially.

      • bullet says:

        I’m sure they would love that. They could actually do it with them playing an 8 game schedule that counts, just they couldn’t be in the championship game as they would play 4 in each division. Those 4 would play 2 other cross-over games while the other 2 would play 3 cross-over games. Each of the original 12 would, of course, play all 5 in their own division.

  74. GreatLakeState says:

    I think Delany will rue the day (even if the uncompromising presidents wont) that he allowed the Tech problem to keep Texas and Oklahoma out of the Big Ten. The PAC, which are nearly the B1G’s equal in academia will SOMEHOW overlook Okie State to gain recruiting grounds and the academic diamond that is UT. Texas and Cali in one conference? That should be illegal.
    Meanwhile the B1G presidents can bask in the glory that is a dying region with dwindling appeal to sports recruits and brainpower alike. They deserve their ‘stone age’ reputation. They reap what their arrogance has sown.

    • mike in st. louis says:


      The Tech problem didn’t keep Texas out of B1G. Texas didn’t want to come to the B1G. Didn’t want to be part of an upper-midwestern conference, didn’t want equal revenue sharing, didn’t want to be shut out of the LHN.

      “The Tech Problem” became a convenient excuse, but if Texas wanted to be the 12th Big Ten team, they could have made it happen.

    • mushroomgod says:

      TX was never coming to the BIG. Don’t you remember the TX President STIFFING little Gordon Gee (or whatever) when Gee suggested the BIG for TX. Guy basically wouldn’t even return the call. Said there was no way in hell he’d ever send the girl’s softball team to the frozen tundra. No way the BIG would ever consider the BIG as long as that guy is the president………

      • bullet says:

        The quote was, “There’s no way I was going to fly the women’s softball team all around the midwest.”

        My interpretation was that he actually cared about the student part of student-athlete and wasn’t going to subject them to all that travel. You could also interpret it as he didn’t want to spend the money to fly non-rev teams around. But the press conference also contained a lot of Pac 16 discussion and how they were all concerned about the time demands on the students and were working on ways to minimize that and realized they were just creating two separate conferences with one title. So what was the point if you could do just as well in the Big 12?

      • mushroomgod says:

        I will agree with one thing—that Jim Delaney is one huge, arrogant prick…….

        The semi-quote from the BT beat writer in Chicago about the BT not being interested in MO or MD because they are “singles or doubles”….really a dumb thing to say…and it apparently comes from someone is Delaney’s office….

        If you guys get a chance to read the story by the same writer (Green something) about the break-down in the BT-ESPN negotiations that led to the creation of the BTN, you ought to do so…an interesting read for sure.

        Delaney gets high marks for the creation of the BTN, for sure, but he’s also the same guy who gave away Rose Bowl exclusivity, and thought “Legends” and “Leaders” and the Grange-Randle El-Butkis-Griese-Brees Award were good ideas……he’s hardly infallible…

        • GreatLakeState says:

          Those are two different people. Teddy Greenstein (who is with the Chicago Tribune) is the guy that wrote the ESPN/BTN story. It was Adam Rittenberg (ESPN’s Big Ten blogger) who made the singles and doubles comment.

        • willarm1 says:

          I think Delaney is batting a thousand when it comes to expansion additions. The BTN speaks for itself…..When it comes to the little things (division names) he has been less than perfect, no doubt.

          I would guess that was something that was probably delegated to someone else….That he signed off on….(still falls on him)

          Delaney was most certainly more interested in the process of phasing Nebraska into the B1G culture……He spoke about the importance of this at length.

          I personally like the trophy and awards part of the B1G division rollout, I like how it ties the historic players of the past with todays all-american types. I believe it was a great idea, that was cutoff at the knees by those horrible division names….

          When it comes to ego’s, I wouldn’t rank Delaney any higher then the other national players as it pertains to expansion IMO.

          • ccrider55 says:

            It got lost from the forefront because it was posted on the last piece just as this piece went up, but how in heck has Fox managed to now own 51% of the BTN? In an interview during the period when Steve Jobs had been ousted from Apple he was asked what he had learned from building that company. His response was: “Always own 51%”.

        • Patrick says:

          Mushroomgod, I am staring to get the impression that you really, really like Maryland. lol

          From the tv side – Maryland is second tier just like Missouri.

          • Dcphx says:

            Fox had an option to buy up to controlling share in the BTN. I noticed the option last year in one of the articles talking about the network but don’t remember which one and I only saw it referenced once. I thought at the time it was an option that Fox surely would exercise…and apparently they have.

  75. Brian says:

    An interesting blog post (at least, for non-UT fans) by TAMU AD Bill Byrne.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Interesting for sure……mentioning the Big 10 and Pac 12 as well as the SEC……I assume he’s just being a typical academic bull shitter but how can you tell for sure?

    • bullet says:

      Note how he’s very careful about the network question. Basically A&M didn’t pursue the joint network, not thinking it was feasible financially. There were a number of quotes from Byrne about that in the past (before the ESPN deal). And of course after UT (and Nebraska) did a lot of work, A&M wasn’t invited in to the $300 million deal at the last minute.

      I’d be interested in his definition of “coerce.” If offering money to move a game to a network is coercion, I would agree with him. Then Fox also coerced the Big 12 with a $1 billion 2nd tier deal. If its anything else other than offering money, he should say so.

    • bullet says:

      Note how he’s very careful about the network question. Basically A&M didn’t pursue the joint network, not thinking it was feasible financially. There were a number of quotes from Byrne about that in the past (before the ESPN deal). And of course after UT (and Nebraska) did a lot of work, A&M wasn’t invited in to the $300 million deal at the last minute. Unless its a legal tactic to reduce the exit fees, I don’t see why he doesn’t admit they didn’t pursue it. Most people thought the BTN was a bad idea. Most people have been wrong on this area.

      I’d be interested in his definition of “coerce.” If offering money to move a game to a network is coercion, I would agree with him. Then Fox also coerced the Big 12 with a $1 billion 2nd tier deal. If its anything else other than offering money, he should say so.

      He also agrees with my comment above that it is ESPN pushing the HS television and he comments that effort will continue regardless of what conference the Aggies are in.

      I am curious to see what he does have to say after its all over, particularly if it is public rather than just primarily to an A&M audience.

  76. Jason says:

    I’m no expert on any of this stuff, but I do find it fascinating to read about, especially since my alma mater seems to pop up from time to time. There’s always rumors about some of the core ACC schools still being a little bitter about the football expansion. Kind of ironic that the shoe might be on the other foot now. Anyone in the Maryland fan base fighting a move to the B1G is just letting their little brother complex with UNC/Duke cloud their judgment. I guess what I’m wondering is, with the entire athletic department, or more succinctly, new Prez, AD, FB, and MBB coaches if that lends itself more or less to a potential move. Now, in terms of research dollars and all that it pales in comparison, but Under Armor seems pretty intent on making us the Oregon of the East. Oregon was pretty much nobody on the football landscape until Phil Knight starting pumping cash into the program. It’s worked out well for them, from a football success standpoint. I’m not saying Maryland will do the same thing, but, it’s a whole new world in College Park, even from just the turn of the century.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Jason—what would be your guess as to the % of MD fans who would support a stand-alone (ie..with Rutgers or MO, but without UNC, Duke) move to the BIG? And would, in your opinion, the % differ a lot between older and younger fans?

      • Jason says:

        That’s an interesting question. Maryland has no “true” rival. In conference or out. Besides Navy, theres no other 1A school in the state. Nobody circles the MD game on the calendar. Particularly in football. The younger fans would probably point to UNC/Duke, but we’ll never be on either of those schools radar the way they are to each other. And even so, that’s hoops driven. The older alumni (I graduated in 99 as a frame of reference) seem to feel Virginia is the big conference rival. We play WVU a lot, but even that series has had gaps in it. The real push from the fan base would be losing hoops dates with UNC and Duke, were they not to all move as a group. However, I personally think that once tOSU, Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin, PSU etc start visiting Byrd regularly that they’ll get used to it. Take a look at the last few Maryland home football schedules and you’ll see all you need to know about why we don’t fill the joint. Wake Forest? NC St? We’ve only played Miami twice since they came to the ACC, once at home. Monday will be the 3rd time. Back in the 80s and previously we played Penn St a lot, so there’s some history there, and PSU regularly takes Marylands better football recruits.

        But to answer your question, from a purely athletic standpoint, I think it would be about 60-40 against. Maybe higher. But that’s the rub with the ACC, and the BEast too really. It’s a hoops-driven conference in a football-driven world. Speaking only for myself, I’d slap down my credit card the next day for football season tickets if they join the B1G. I think the actual alumni are more in support of a move than the “fans” would be.

        • mushroomgod says:

          Thanks…your % is about what I thought it’d be…..and that’s the problem with a BIG invite to MD. I don’t think the presidentrs would want unhappy campers……..although otherwise, imo, MD would be a great addition.

          • Jason says:

            Some of the boosters/ season ticket holders last year were really ticked that Maryland slid to 8th in the ACC bowl pecking order, even though they finished tied for 3rd in the conference. There’s a perception that because Marylands home attendance has been dropping they don’t travel well, which really isn’t true. But perception is reality. Now whether some of the “Screw Tobacco Road” and NCC (North Carolina Conference) talk was just bluster or not, who knows. Some of it probably was. Not to compare to aTm, but there is always an underlying sentiment that the ACC is more about the NC4 than everyone else. Is it true? I don’t think so. I think it’s a convenient excuse when something doesn’t go our way. But there IS sentiment out there to maybe pull chocks and see what’s out there for us.

  77. Jefferson says:

    The B1G should swoop in and offer OU and TAMU right now, which does two things: effectively kills the Big XII and ignites the powderkeg associated with NCAA realignment. The latter, IMO, will be enough to get Texas and Notre Dame to join the party if TV contracts can be settled.

    • mushroomgod says:

      The problem with that is that 95% of the Aggie faithful have a hard-on for the SEC…….there would be HUGE cultural issues with that move……and huge issues with adding a Tier3 university…….only way in hell I could see that happening would be if TX was also involved…….so it’s about a .2% chance…………..

    • Gopher86 says:

      I’ve found it very interesting that no one is talking about this. It’s the dog that isn’t barking. aTm has been very careful not to name what conference they’re applying to. Certainly, there are legal reasons for that.

      There are the travel/cultural hurdles, but don’t think Delany is a asleep at the wheel on this one. Getting into the Houston market, adding a quality institution, adding a great ADept. and setting up UT for entry would be a huge win for the B1G. Most importantly, it would keep the SEC out of the State of Texas.

      • gas1958 says:

        I think UT and A&M will go into the B1G before OU/A&M will. Translation: it’s not happening. Whatever Delany’s shortcomings are, he can hardly be blamed for feeling as though his conference is the premiere conference; by many yardsticks it is. OK, he failed to get UT or ND last summer, but we can see from this distance that wasn’t going happen no matter what. The fact that the SEC is keeping silent after A&M has announced they are leaving the Big 9 means that the SEC is not the supplicant here–A&M is. The B1G and the SEC can afford not to panic; they will take schools on their terms and timetable. For example, if the standard for B1G expansion is PSU and NE, then my guess is that they are going to stand pat for some time.

        • Gopher86 says:

          Oh, I agree. What I was really getting at is that the media is directing their attention in the wrong places. I’d place aTm to SEC at 99% per the media, but behind closed doors that may not be the case. The Big Ten isn’t favored in this race, but most are foolish to assume they aren’t in it.

          A&M is a triple by itself. It turns into a home run from a game theory perspective. Delany is almost certainly talking to them.

          • Richard says:

            TAMU is a home run. The only non-king that is. A 1-run homer (just like Nebraska, in fact). PSU & Texas are grand slams. ND a 3-run homer. Arkansas & SCarolina triples. Mizzou and Rutgers (and WVU) would be singles.

          • @Richard – I generally agree with your assessment, but ND has got to be the rarest of all: an inside-the-park grand slam. Also, I think UCLA is next to Texas A&M as a non-king that would be a homer.

          • Richard says:

            Right. I didn’t consider UCLA because they’re not (and won’t be) in the expansion sweepstakes.

            Also, they don’t even draw the B10 average in football attendance and generate less athletic department revenues than IU.

            They’d be a home run in spite of themselves.

    • zeek says:

      There has to be fit for both sides. It would be pointless to go and offer OU and A&M right now, since it’s not what either wants.

      OU wants to be in a conference with Texas or OSU (immediately, not waiting for Texas to join later), and their preference is probably to have OSU not get left behind if it doesn’t have to (ergo Pac-16).

      A&M’s preferences match the SEC in terms of culture and where the fans want to go matters as well.

  78. Robert says:

    Anyone think Delaney is regretting making the first expansion move right now? Don’t get me wrong, Nebraska alone was a nice prize.

    But it appears that the end result will likely be A&M moving to the SEC (getting that league into the Texas market) and possibly OU and Texas moving to the Pac (giving that league two king football brands and shutting the Big 10 out of the Texas market forever) or ND and Texas starting their own conference.

    Now there’s still a chance ND winds up in the Big 10, but that seems like a last resort for ND at this point, so I’d say, at best, it’s a 50-50 likelihood if conferences go to 16 and ND is forced into a conference.

    I guess what I’m getting at is if Delaney knew starting up the expansion process would lead to Texas, A&M, OU and potentially ND winding up elsewhere, do you think he would have passed on Nebraska and kept everything status quo?

    • zeek says:

      No. The Big Ten needed to get to 12. If Texas/A&M/OU end up making their homes elsewhere, that’s just how the cookie crumbles. Also, the Big Ten gains from more consolidation either way if there’s less conferences going to get media deals over time.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      If Texas goes to the PAC, it’s only a matter of time before ND joins them there. Think about it. They will be in a conference with USC, TEXAS, STANFORD, UCLA, CAL and OREGON. It will be by far the most prestigious conference in the country (Ivy excluded) and will be a treasure trove for recruiting. Hell, they’ll probably move the campus to do it. While the Big Ten is dusting off their fifty year old trophies, The PAC is pulling the chair out from under them. I have no doubt Delany is wise to all of this, and would love to act, but the Big Ten presidents=delusions of grandeur. I can hear the echo now, from fifty years in the future. “WHAT WERE THEY THINKING!”

      • willarm1 says:

        Sorry, but I can’t see ND’s other sports remotely working in the PAC, Unless of course, they move their campus….

      • mushroomgod says:

        Don’t see it happening….ND would presumably be in a division with TX, OK, OK ST.,TT, AZ, AZ ST, Utah, Colorado—not too appealing I would think….and they would make 17…so you going to go to 18? And are you going to move them in with USC and move (who exactly?) to the west division…….you’re something of a “sky is falling” guy aren’t you? Have you noticed that California has a few problems of it’s own? Do you think ND wants to be a part of Mexico?

        • GreatLakeState says:

          Why did I know you would bring up the 17. Instead of going to 20 I think they would boot someone for Notre Dame. Washington State anyone? Granted this seems like a stretch. But why wouldn’t Notre Dame consider moving their campus for such long term advantages? Besides, technology (and tuition) are going to render ‘campuses’, as we know them, obsolete in fifty years anyway. (athletic facilities notwithstanding) The idea of walking around a campus to go to classes is going to be laughable. Your classroom will be wherever your computer is.
          I can very easily see that Notre Dame, thinking long term, would consider getting out of the Midwest.

          • Vincent says:

            “Booting” a member from a conference sounds great in theory, but is virtually impossible to pull off unless said member has committed a slew of NCAA violations. Yes, Temple was expelled from the Big East football conference a few years back, but it was an adjunct member at best (football was its only conference sport). It would be exceedingly difficult to kick out a full member of a BCS conference against its wishes, and anyone who makes that suggestion likely doesn’t understand the machinations of intercollegiate athletics.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            @Vincent – Remember you’re replying to an individual who seems to believe that Notre Dame

    • Stopping By says:

      Not sure it wouldve mattered if he made the 1st move or not because from everything that I have seen – Larry Scott was probably going to move forward with an expansion plan regardless. Could it have stopped with a simple Utah and Colorado to Pac (I think Colorado would have moved regardles of Nebraska to the Big 10) and BYU to Big 12? Maybe, but who knows…..

      • GreatLakeState says:

        That’s right. No one knows what is, has, or will be discussed. It’s all speculation based on our own personal biases and wish-fulfillment. That’s why I don’t take any of this too seriously, or personally. Let’s face it, we’re probably all wrong.

      • Robert says:

        You may be right about Colorado, although I question whether the Pac would have tried to initiate expansion without any shot at Texas. I’m not sure Colorado and Utah would have been enough to convince Pac 10 presidents that expansion was worthwhile. Regardless, I’m not sure the Big 12 would have cared all that much about a Colorado loss, and might have even stayed at 11.

        But, remember, this whole realignment shakeup started when Delaney announced the Big 10 was looking to expand in 12-18 months and the Missouri governor mouthed off about how Missouri would love to get a Big 10 invite.

        If Delaney doesn’t say anything, I imagine the Big 12 would have remained stable at least for the next year.

        Now, I would say that the LHN may have eventually changed things like it appears to have done with the remaining 10-team conference. And maybe when that network deal was announced, the Nebraskas and A&Ms of the world may have tried to seek out other options if they existed.

    • metatron5369 says:

      No, not in the least.

      Also, in the unlikely situation that Notre Dame ever joins a conference, it’ll be the Big Ten. If it’s not the Big Ten, it’s because the Midwest was destroyed (except, miraculously, South Bend) and they have no other choice.

  79. Gopher86 says:

    Kansas’ Chancellor confirms that KU and KSU are not tied to the hip:

    @mlavieri Mike Lavieri
    Chancellor Gray-Little confirmed that Kansas and Kansas State don’t need to be a part of the same conference. #kubball #kufball #big12

    • Brian says:

      They don’t have to be together, but far behind can KU leave KSU? Would P16 and MWC be acceptable, or does KSU at least have to get AQ status?

      • Gopher86 says:

        Here’s my understanding of the situation. The Board of Regents jointly oversees KU & KSU. The State draws a lot of water from having two BCS programs for their population size. They don’t want to lose that if they can help it. You can also be sure that KSU leans on the BoR will try to give them the best golden parachute possible.

        With that said, KU’s Chancellor is a pure academic. She was the #2 at UNC and has drawn criticism from many for shaking up the academic policies at KU and putting athletics on the backburner (as a KU grad, I love her for this). If a decision arises between athletics and academics, expect her to choose academics 100% of the time.

        The other thing you may want to expect is that KU gets blindsided during this expansion. Word on the street is they haven’t been chattering as much as some of their Big 12 counterparts. During the Big 12 missile crisis last year, the Chancellor was out of the country. In addition, KU has a new AD with fewer connections than their former AD, Lew Perkins.

        All in all, my prediction is this: If KU is lucky enough to get an invite to any other conference at the expense of KSU, they’ll do it. The ideal situation would be to grab a B1G or ACC invite, but those are long shots at this point. I’m certain that if a collapse occurred, the BoR would be ok with KU to the Pac 1X, KSU to the Mountain West.

        • Vincent says:

          I suppose Kansas could be considered a stalking horse for #16 if Texas says no — but Texas Tech is almost certainly a lock for #15; Scott doesn’t want to lack a Texas outlet, even if the only one is in Lubbock, and UT certainly couldn’t deny Tech the opportunity to go west any more than it did A&M’s option east. Missouri, a larger state with somewhat better football, would be my non-Texas preference were I the Pac commissioner, but KU is a suitable alternative if Mizzou winds up in the SEC or elsewhere.

          • Gopher86 says:

            I don’t see the Pac-12 offering KU, MU or TTU just yet. OU/OSU works by itself and they’d be wise to offer them. Down the road, this leaves two spots for TTU and UT (I’ll let you judge how far down the road).

            The point of offering and grabbing OU/OSU first is to destablize the Big 12. Once that happens, if it is made known that TTU has an offer contingent upon UT joining, they may have enough political power to bring UT in the fold. KU & MU may be floated for the Pac 12, but I doubt UT will ever really see them as a threat.

  80. zeek says:

    ccrider55 says:
    September 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    It got lost from the forefront because it was posted on the last piece just as this piece went up, but how in heck has Fox managed to now own 51% of the BTN? In an interview during the period when Steve Jobs had been ousted from Apple he was asked what he had learned from building that company. His response was: “Always own 51%”.


    My guess is that the Big Ten (Delany) decided that since it was a 20 year contract, he would be okay with just having control in the first 5 years after which FOX would switch to 51% for the remaining 15 years. FOX probably pushed for a switch-in-control provision, and Delany might have been willing because the contract does expire in a reasonable amount of time.

    The reason why I don’t think it’s that big a deal is because the payouts will only barely change (a rounding error compared to the growth of it), and because the BTN contract only has another 15 years left.

    • zeek says:

      Also, there are a lot of protections built in, whether you consider the 20 year expiration (15-16 years after the change in control to FOX), the fact that Silverman is currently running the show, the Board that’s running it hasn’t changed, and that the contract also includes protections for what the Big Ten thinks is important.

      I just found it interesting that it happened more than anything else.

  81. cfn_ms says:

    KU Chancellor confirms Kansas & Kansas State don’t need to be part of same conference says @mlavieri

    Thoughts? Huge blow to “legislature always rule” idea if that holds up. Also could be another sign B12 is falling apart.

    • mushroomgod says:

      If the TEX, OK, OK ST, ? expansion happened, #4 would presumably be between TT, MO, and KU….IF TX wasn’t a part of that 1. Pac might not be interested, or 2. 2/3 of TT, MO, and KU would go. It would seem KU would likely be left out… I’m a little surprised he said this….seems like KU’s likely landing place is in the BE with KSU….guess that could change if MO goes to the SEC…

      • Vincent says:

        If the TEX, OK, OK ST, ? expansion happened, #4 would presumably be between TT, MO, and KU

        It’s actually sort of the other way around — Oklahoma, Okie State, Texas Tech and ?, as the Pac’s goal is persuading Texas to become #16. If Texas is already in the fold, so is Tech, for a variety of reasons — especially since UT can’t leave Tech out in the cold, as it likely could with Baylor.

    • jokewood says:

      One by one, Big XII schools are squeezing into their little black dresses, applying makeup, and heading out to the conference bars.

    • Gopher86 says:

      Just to be clear, the guy who originally quoted the Chancellor is a writer for KU’s student newspaper. He followed up with several tweets. He notes that there is no Board of Regents rule against a split, but the Chancellor would prefer KU & KSU together.

    • Brian says:

      What really matters is how far behind can KU leave KSU. Would P16 and MWC be acceptable, or would KSU have to at least get the BE? All of this assumes that KU has multiple choices, some of which bring KSU along (BE maybe) and some of which don’t (P16). If it comes down to both being stuck in a dying B12 and moving to the MWC or one escaping, of course they’d let KU go.

  82. Robber Baron says:

    ACADEMIC PISSING CONTEST 2011 (ARWU Rankings 2011)

    Format is: School WorldRank (NationalRank)

    After WorldRank 100 a ranking range is given instead of an individual ranking. Unranked schools are designated UR.


    Stanford 2 (2)
    Cal 4 (4)
    UCLA 12 (10)
    UW 16 (14)
    CU 32 (24)
    USC 46 (32)
    ASU 78 (45)
    Utah 79 (46)
    Arizona 80 (47)
    Oregon State 102-150 (54-68)
    Oregon 201-300 (90-110)
    WSU 201-300 (90-110)

    Big Ten

    Wisconsin 19 (17)
    Michigan 22 (18)
    Illinois 25 (19)
    Minnesotta 28 (20)
    Northwestern 30 (22)
    Penn State 45 (31)
    Purdue 61 (40)
    Ohio State 63 (41)
    Indiana 82 (48)
    MSU 92 (50)
    Iowa 102-150 (54-68)
    Nebraska 151-200 (69-89)


    Duke 35 (27)
    Maryland 38 (29)
    UNC 42 (30)
    GT 102-150 (54-68)
    Virginia 102-150 (54-68)
    FSU 151-200 (69-89)
    Miami 151-200 (69-89)
    NCSt 151-200 (69-89)
    VT 151-200 (69-89)
    Clemson 301-400 (111-137)
    WF 301-400 (111-137)
    BC 401-500 (138-151)


    Vanderbilt 52 (36)
    Florida 72 (43)
    Texas A&M 100 (53)
    Georgia 102-150 (54-68)
    LSU 151-200 (69-89)
    Tennessee 151-200 (69-89)
    Kentucky 201-300 (90-110)
    SCar 201-300 (90-110)
    Arkansas 401-500 (138-151)
    Auburn 401-500 (138-151)
    Alabama UR
    Ole Miss UR
    Miss St UR

    Texas and Friends

    Texas 35 (27)
    ISU 151-200 (69-89)
    KU 151-200 (69-89)
    Missouri 201-300 (90-110)
    KSU 301-400 (111-137)
    OU 301-400 (111-137)
    Texas Tech 401-500 (138-151)
    Baylor UR
    Okla. State UR

    Big East

    Pitt 57 (38)
    Rutgers 59 (39)
    Cincinnati 201-300 (90-110)
    Notre Dame 201-300 (90-110)
    UConn 201-300 (90-110)
    USF 201-300 (90-110)
    Georgetown 301-400 (111-137)
    Syracuse 301-400 (111-137)
    DePaul UR
    Louisville UR
    Marquette UR
    Providence UR
    Seton Hall UR
    St John’s UR
    TCU UR
    Villanova UR
    WVU UR

    THE BRAGGING RIGHTS (Average Scores by Conference)
    I used the midpoint of ranges when no individual rank was given.

    Big Ten 64 (37)
    Pac12 82 (40)
    ACC 186 (76)

    I didn’t compute the other conference averages, as they include unranked schools.

    • Gopher86 says:

      Just for clarification, these rankings are generally for research heavy institutions. Schools like Boston College, Marquette and Notre Dame are ranked extremely low under their criteria.

    • frug says:

      You can use medians instead of means you can get around the UR problem to an extent. Using those the results are:

      Big 10: 53
      PAC-12: 62
      ACC: 175
      SEC: 250
      Big (I)Xii: 350
      Big East: Unranked (500+)

      (This includes aTm in the SEC and TCU in the BEast.)

      For comparisons sake the Ivy League average is 36 using mean and 10 using median (the fact that Dartmouth College is not a major research school really hurts the Ivies mean).

    • drwillini says:

      I have always contended that the ARWU capture the B1G brand better than any other. You can argue one ranking against another, but you can’t argue that the whatever the B1G has, it is measured in ARWU. Obviousy UNL was a stretch. By this metric a UT, aTm, Rutgers and Maryland addition to the B1G would be perfect and has symmetry across many dimensions.

      • bullet says:

        It also captures the SEC W brand or lack thereof as far as the ARWU. 3 unranked, 2 in 138-151.
        USN & WR doesn’t capture the differences between SEC, especially the W and most of the other AQ conferences as well, although the Big 12-3 isn’t quite at the same level as the B12-0.

      • rich2 says:

        drwillini, ARWU does capture the best of the Big 10. Unfortunately, what is required to keep those rankings steady does not spillover to USNWR rankings (which have declined for the Big 10 steadily and at times startlingly over the past two decades). Having spent the past ten days speaking to various groups of faculty who teach undergraduates, parents of undergraduates and a new group of students who are joining one of the B1G, I wish that the throngs of students that have flooded campus face a brighter career prospects due our ARWU performance – this is simply not the case. Collectively, the Big 10 either needs to do a much, much better job of ensuring that ARWU rankings spillover to enhance the reputation of our massive undergraduate programs or we should do the “unthinkable” — downsize undergraduate enrollments by about 30% to ensure a better fit between ARWU and USNWR. The current “gentleman’s agreement” is dishonest.

        • Richard says:

          “brighter career prospects” than where? Other public schools? The missions of public and private schools are inherently different at the undergrad level. . .

          • @Richard – Yes, there are definitely different missions. At the same time, public schools are at a disadvantage in that all programs are thrown into the same pool even though they may have different entrance requirements. For example, where rich2 works (Indiana), getting admission to the Kelly business school as an undergrad has gotten extremely tough over the past decade. The size of Kelly alone would be larger than a whole slew of private schools and the entrance requirements are just as tough or tougher. It’s the same thing with Illinois engineering or business or Purdue engineering. The comprehensive nature of public universities is inherently always going to be a drag on the US News rankings. I’m fairly certain that of you just took the ag program out of the Illinois pool, the school would shoot up at least 10 or 15 spots.

          • Richard says:

            Speaking of which, some of the guys from UofI engineering (specifically, CS) have done plenty well for themselves (I know since a few of them went to my high school). Granted, UofI CS (UofI in general) graduates a ton of folks every year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the average lifetime earnings of UofI CS grads aren’t lower than any private school CS department (other than potentially Stanford’s)

          • @Richard – Yeah, one of the guys that lived in my dorm was a CS major and went on to be one of the 3 founders of a small startup: YouTube. To say he’s doing well is an understatement.

          • rich2 says:

            “Inherently different” — not true at all. Utter bull****. Tell this line to the parents of undergraduates at any Big 10 school. I notice that you did not attempt to address my point at all — that the reputation spillover (or “trickle down”?) from graduate programs to undergraduates in the same institution is weak.

            What is different between top tier public and private schools at the undergraduate level is that public schools do not execute their goals as effectively as top tier privates due primarily to underinvestment by the public schools in undergraduate education and the necessity to treat undergraduate programs as a profit center. This leads to two unfortunate outcomes for the public schools — 1. they admit too many undergraduates (which dilutes the quality of the undergraduate profile) and 2. too many undergraduates do not graduate.

            Please don’t ever kid yourself again. The majority of parents at top tier public and private schools want their kids to achieve similar outcomes — to graduate and entry to labor force in the most favorable conditions. In fact, it is insulting for 500,000 undergraduates at the Big 10, their parents and families to suggest that they have lower expectations and hopes than the undergraduates at similar top tier privates (again, excluding Northwester, but only Northwestern).

  83. Brian says:

    Kristi Dosh makes a case for UH to the B12 (part 1 of 4). I think her Forbes piece is more interesting (link in above article, along with links to parts 3 and 4):

    “Take a look at some of the following ratings data for the Houston market:

    8.1 Houston vs. Texas Tech (2009)
    5.9 Average ratings of Big 12 games on ESPN in 2009
    5.8 Average ratings of Big 12 games on ESPN in 2010
    5.5 Average ratings of Big 12 games on ABC in 2010
    4.7 Average ratings of Big 12 games on ABC in 2009
    4.7 Houston vs. East Carolina (2009)
    4.5 Houston vs. UTEP (2010)
    1.5 Average ratings of Big 12 games not feature Texas-based schools”

    Her point is that UH B12 games, especially against TX teams, would pull great numbers in Houston. Of course, this data doesn’t show what the ratings for UH/TT were outside of Houston or how much fan interest in non-UH B12 games would grow. So that leaves three big unanswered questions:

    Would the rest of the B12 footprint watch UH?
    Would the rest of the country watch UH B12 games (FSN games, mostly)?
    How much more interested would fans in Houston be of games like KU/OkSU?

  84. metatron5369 says:

    Frank, do your original rankings for B1G Ten expansion candidates still hold up?

    I’m sure Texas and Notre Dame are still at the top, but Oklahoma has got to be third by now. What about Missouri or Kansas? Maryland? Pitt?

    • @metatron5369 – I didn’t examine OU in that original post (as I simply didn’t think of them as a viable Big Ten candidate at the time), but they’d be after Texas and Notre Dame (assuming that they meet the academic threshold). I also didn’t include any ACC schools in the analysis as I didn’t (and still generally don’t) consider them to be poachable. If you recall, I actually had Syracuse at #3 at the time, which probably sounds insane now, although I came into that looking at markets for the Big Ten Network being the top factor and felt (and still feel) that if the Big Ten ever really wants a chance at getting the NYC market, then Syracuse needs to be a part of that mix. NYC is kind of like North Carolina, Kentucky or Indiana – even though expansion in general is about football, those particular markets are really delivered by basketball.

      Off the top of my head, I’d probably rank them this way if we’re including ACC schools:

      (1) Texas
      (2) Notre Dame
      (3) Oklahoma
      (4) Florida State
      (5) Miami
      (6) UNC
      (7) Virginia Tech
      (8) Maryland
      (9) Missouri
      (10) UVA

      Note that I have the top 5 are all kings at some level. I have faith that Miami will get through its current crisis in the long-term. If you’ve been to their campus, you’ll understand why they will ALWAYS be a top place for recruits (just like USC) and I still maintain that their national TV drawing power is as good as anyone else.

      Once you get past the 5 kings, I don’t know if the rankings mean as much as which region the Big Ten may want to concentrate upon. I’m not a fan of complete geographic outliers (unless you’re talking about Texas or Miami), so if the Big Ten wanted to concentrate on the Mid-Atlantic region, then the MD/UVA/VT trifecta is good. If the Big Ten wants the Northeast, then maybe a combo of Syracuse/Rutgers/BC could make sense (provided that ND is also part of that equation). While that’s a private school heavy expansion, that may be necessary in the NYC-to-Boston corridor. Getting UNC would also mean getting Duke. Essentially, the Big Ten would be looking for natural pods in a 16-school setup.

      I really hate leaving Pitt out of these scenarios, but it’s just tough to see them included with Penn State already in the fold. They’d work really well in the ACC.

      • bullet says:

        I don’t think it makes sense for any of the deep south schools to be in the B1G. You get to the travel and cultural issues. The mid-Atlantic-MD, VA, NC might work, but Florida is just too far away and too disconnected unless you get into the 20 team model.

        Going too far just creates long term instability. Delany should solve his demographic problems by simply going for numbers in the NE and growth with MD and VA (not that I like going beyond 12-but if you must).

        • zeek says:

          Over time, I’ve come to this point of view. Culturally and geographically, going south of North Carolina (whether to the west or east) is likely to add teams with weaker ties to the Big Ten, especially as population shifts happen (due to growth), etc.

        • metatron5369 says:

          “Demographics problems”. This annoys me.

          Not only is the entire growing (albeit, asymmetrically), but there’s no good indicator of what the future looks like. Fifty years ago, it was the Midwest that was growing and Dixie that was dying. I think people need to take a step back and realize, that at the end of the day, we’re still talking about football, not chess.

          Besides, adding lackluster programs from states that may or may not “grow” do ultimately little for your reputation. There’s a reason why the Big East and the ACC aren’t exactly respected in football. Even if the program does become popular, it lacks the long-term appeal to survive downturns in an area notoriously fickle about sports.

          Texas is popular expansion candidate because they’re a popular team, not because they live in a populous state. If we wanted eyeballs and hopes and dreams, we could invite San Diego State and Houston. I know, let’s go grab Virginia and kick out Nebraska. They’re in a “dying” state.

          • bullet says:

            The state of Ohio, which has added some people, has 25% fewer High school grads than it did in 1980. That’s a demographic problem for Ohio St. You can also look at who has industries that are growing and who has industries that are shrinking. There’s some pretty clear trends over the next 30 years that the Big 10 area will drop significantly in its % of the nation’s population. Census projections show extremely slow to negative growth in OH, PA, MI and IA as soon as 2030. Illinois is losing people outside the Chicago metro area. In some states they are already looking at a lower local student application pool. Now when you get much beyond 30 years all bets are off.

      • mike in st. louis says:

        Help me out Frank. If the ACC is as stable as you think, Mizzou is the fourth highest non-ACC team on you list. With Texas, OU, and ND unlikely near-term B1G additions, why wouldn’t Mizzou/Pitt, Mizzou/Rutgers, or Mizzou/Syracuse be a resonable next step for the B1G? Would still keep room for one (or even two) kings down the road should ACC destabilize or ND go conference shopping.

        • Richard says:

          . . .because the B10 has no need to expand unless the new additions are additive. All of the schools you mentioned would require a king to come along with them (though at least Rutgers fits in research and Syracuse in undergrad quality) for expansion to make sense, IMHO. The B10 isn’t (and shouldn’t) expand just for the sake of expanding.

  85. Abe Froman says:

    Is Louisville off the table as far as SEC expansion? I thought I read somewhere (a week ago maybe?) that the SEC was considering them and that Kentucky was hip to it.

  86. bullet says:

    Interesting and entertaining article-SI article with some quotes from Dodds. States more importance for the LHN than I have previously heard him say. There’s also a new number in there. Options for Big 12 are 1, 3 OR 5.

    • zeek says:

      Interesting to see that 5 there.

      But I think that’s more bluster than anything else.

      I think the best option is 1 (BYU). Second best option is Pitt if you can’t get BYU.

      Maybe you make a play for all 3 of BYU, Louisville, Pitt.

      The 5 scenario would have to include ND, I’d guess? No way there’s a 5 team scenario that actually pays for itself without ND. That would be one incredibly diluted league, otherwise…

      • zeek says:

        5 would also include Houston or TCU, to replace A&M as another “Texas” game.

      • bullet says:

        I suspect ND would be only in a 3 model. 14 would require too many conference games for them and still not have enough traditional rivals. The 14 team would seem to be a start the superconference wars and make sure B12 is one of the 4 or 5 by taking the best of the BE-Pitt, WVU, UL + 2 others out of UH, BYU, UNM and the rest of the BE (BYU s/b #2 target after ND, but gets a little awkward geographically and splitting divisions equitably if you are adding 4 eastern teams-OU/OSU/TT/BU/UT/BYU + 1 has a least the 3 strongest fb programs).

        Of course, w/o ND, the question is whether 12 makes economic sense, let alone 14.

    • Vincent says:

      Of course, Oklahoma may make Dodds’ big talk moot, whether ESPN likes it or not.

  87. Richard says:

    The Eastern Front

    All of the speculation today has been in the west, about whether OU will decide to form a superconference or keep the B12 a going concern, but I’d like to speculate about what could happen in the east. I don’t think the SEC will settle for WVU (or even Mizzou); they can live with TAMU essentially as an independent in football (but playing SEC teams) and integrated in other sports and financially for 2-4 years. Who they have eyes on is VTech. Right now, the Hokies don’t seem to want to leave, but in 2-3 years? If Miami gets dealt a TV ban or death penalty? Even if the ACC adds WVU and Pitt by that point, VTech may jump. What then? The SEC could get 2 more (to go to 16; I don’t think they would ever go beyond 16), but if I was the B10, I would fight for the only true king in the ACC: FSU. Bringing in FSU & Miami or GTech makes sense financially (academically, FSU is on par with Nebraska, but unlike Nebraska, those schools are in fertile recruiting grounds and adding people). Bring in all 3 if ND is willing to come along (at that point, their late-season options would be limited to BE teams and schools from a weakened ACC).
    The SEC wouldn’t want GTech or Miami; they would only potentially fight for FSU (and even then, I’m not sure how much the AL schools or UGa would want FSU in the SEC). Why would FSU choose the B10 over the SEC? Well, they chose an athletically inferior (and poorer) but academically superior conference before. With other southern schools, the B10 wouldn’t be a purely northern league, making it more comfortable for them to join.

    I think both the SEC and B10 would make a run at UNC, but Fortress Carolina is especially tough to crack given the ties between UNC and NCSU, Duke, and other core ACC schools.

    At that point, the B10 could sit back and wait for UF & UGa if an SEC school to get hit with major sanctions.

    Pipe dream? It may make sense for the SEC to not raid the ACC after all, contenting themselves with TAMU, Mizzou, WVU, and Pitt.

  88. Jake says:

    In other news, football season (ie: the four months every year when teams generally don’t leave their conference) started today. In fact, Wake and Cuse are knotted at 29 with 7 to play as we speak. Fetch me a dream, ESPN Trois!

    • @Jake – Syracuse just pulled it out in OT 36-29. Wake pretty much collapsed in the 4th quarter.

      • Jake says:

        Final play was a bit anti-climactic, but overall a fitting overture to the Wagnerian symphony that will be the 2011 college football season.

    • bullet says:

      Randall Cobb was the most valuable player in college football last year and most under-appreciated. Gave up about midnight on the boring UK-WKU game in the 4th before a mostly empty stadium in Nashville. UK was dangerous with Cobb last year. With him graduated, they got totally dominated by the worst team in FBS last year, but still somehow won 14-3. SEC teams are going to be able to pad their stats with UK this year.

  89. MIKEUM says:

    I am on board with the idea that superconferences are coming. But I believe that once you are on board with that concept, you realize that the battlefront is in the heartland right now, not on the east coast. That wlll come later as the heartland is the Pac’s last hope to expand so they have to move. Right now, it is the Pac, Big 10 and SEC deciding how to split up the Big 12 or let schools “fall” to them based on others’ moves. The Big East will take some of the leftovers. Once the Big 12 is dead, then the Pac will be done (except for UT if they hold out for independence) and the Big 10 and SEC will pick who they want from Big East and ACC and the remainders will band together as a single, 4th conference. The race to superconferences has to have some order to it and having more than one conference destabilized at the same time is worse for the aggressors than just finishing off the Big 12. Big 10 and SEC don’t want to be the bad guys, but the Pac and Larry Scott will gladly start or finish the deed. IMO, if BYU doesn’t join the Big 12, it is history. Then it is on.

    • Vincent says:

      Scott and Oklahoma may render any Brigham Young decision moot.

      Also, there are too many BCS members to do four 16-team conferences. More than likely, you will have three 16-member conferences (Pac, SEC and Big Ten) and two smaller leagues (reconstituted versions of the ACC and Big 12), perhaps adding a few more BCS members for political purposes (Boise State, UNLV, BYU, etc.)

      • cfn_ms says:

        There’s only too many BCS members if you have a problem with leaving some out. My guess is that the ultimate decision-makers don’t really have a problem with that.

        • wmtiger says:

          Good call, schools like Baylor, Iowa State look to be left out in most every scenario… Texas Tech, Kansas State are left out in a lot of them too…

          If the ACC feels the need to raid the Big East (such as if the SEC takes a school or 2), then the Big East gets picked apart by the ACC taking schools like Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse. That would only get them to 14 if the SEC stole a schools. That would leave 6 present Big East members (TCU, Louisiville, West Virginia, Connecticut, Cincy, USF) as a fringe BCS conference. Fringe is exactly right, how many of these schools were actually a BCS school a decade ago? Just WV by my count, which is why I’d hope of any ACC raid that the ACC would take UConn & WV.

  90. Gopher86 says:

    A piece Frank retweeted:

    Good read. It just convinces me even more that there is a bidding war between the SEC and B1G going on with aTm.

    • BoilerTex says:

      Very interesting, thanks for sharing.

    • Mike says:

      I wish he had done the analysis for Notre Dame. I want to know just how much money they would be worth to the B1G.

      • SH says:

        Makes me think that my wish may come true (a very unlikely maybe). A&M officials want the Big 10, the Big 10 wants A&M. A&M fans want the SEC. The SEC probably wants A&M. Not sure the SEC fans want A&M. So how do you please your “customers” (i.e., fan base). Play a little game. A&M basically has seperated from the B12. That relationship is likley beyond repair. The fans are expecting an SEC invite. But what if that does not come. The SEC can say, it just didn’t make any sense to expand to 13 teams unless we had a credible 14th team. The B10 having lived with 11 for so many years can more freely allow to have a 13th team. Plus there options for finding a satisfactory 14th team may be more easily obtained. Particularly if there are discussions with OK. So if the SEC just says now is not the time for A&M – partly because of finances, then the A&M officials can more easily sell the B10. I believe A&M fans would quickly get over not being in the SEC when they realize that the B10 is the premier overall conference. Having national games against Ohio St, Mich, and Penn State will help. If Delaney were to get A&M and prevent the SEC from getting A&M, that would be a great victory. Just a thought.

        • Craig Z says:

          I think the Big Ten would have to add a 14th team. The only reason 11 worked is because they had no divisions or conference championship game. 13 would not work now.

        • Redwood86 says:

          If I were Commissioner of the ACC, and A&M moves to either the SEC or Bigger 10, I would make the move to 16 right now. I would try to reel in Syracuse, Rutgers, Pitt, and West Virginia and cut both the SEC and Bigger 10 off at the pass.

          Everybody thinks that the ACC can be poached by the Bigger 10 and the SEC, yet it has only happened once since 1992, and that may have actually strengthened the ACC conference. Most of the ACC schools look disdainfully at the SEC, as they should. Meanwhile, people here talk about the BTN giving the Bigger 10 a financial advantage, but as the Pac-12 and LHN networks show, anybody can create a network if they have good media markets. So really, what does the Bigger 10 have to offer to ACC schools to entice them away?

          I think the ACC is in good position, but a strong offense will be its best defense.

          • zeek says:

            You state that the Pac-12 won’t go to 16 without Texas, so why should the ACC go to 16? Syracuse, Rutgers, Pitt, and West Virginia are nice add ons for balancing out a king (ND/Texas/Oklahoma) or quasi-king (UNC/A&M).

            But the finances may not work out in stretching the ACC to 16 with those 4 schools. You end up diluting the value of the 3 football brands that they do have (2 kings in FSU/Miami, and a semi-national brand in Va Tech).

            There’s no added revenue bonus as they got from going to 12 with the CCG, etc. Hard to see why the ACC would be so proactive in this situation.

            Pitt, Rutgers, and Syracuse are likely to always be on the table unless one of them goes to the Big Ten with Notre Dame…

        • jokewood says:

          If the SEC were to balk at expansion and if Texas A&M’s relationship with Texas and the Big XII is too far beyond repair, I’m wondering if they would reconsider the Pac-12. I know the school has made statements about not wanting to fly athletic teams to Seattle. But a Pac-16 regional network with Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and friend (Tech? Kansas?) would be a good way to get back at the LHN.

        • Jefferson says:

          Agreed. And getting TAMU makes it much more probable that the Big Ten gets OU, which makes getting Texas and ND much more likely as well.

        • zeek says:

          Extremely hard to see this happening when the administration is gung-ho about going to the SEC and the SEC seems open to the idea of having 13 teams until they find a suitable 14th.

          • Redwood86 says:

            Zeek, you make good points re: Syracuse, Pitt, and Rutgers – although if Virginia Tech is a semi-national brand, then so is West Virginia.

            My thought process was driven by: 1) Preventing poaching of the ACC, and 2) West Virginia and the likelihood of it being team #14 for the SEC. Over time, the ACC is going to come under a lot of poaching pressure from both the Bigger 10 and the SEC. How do they withstand this pressure? Second, losing WVU to the SEC would really hose the ACC on the expansion front, and it seems like expansion may be the solution to poaching. If we are destined to have 16-team conferences, then the ACC needs to get there ahead of the Bigger 10 and the SEC to remain as strong as it is today.

            I actually think that an ACC with BC, Syracuse, Rutgers, Pitt, WVU, VT, UVA, and MD in the north; and UNC, NC ST., Wake, Duke, GT, Clemson, FSU, and Miami in the south would make for a more prestigious football conference without sacrifcing a lot in terms of academics. Not sure if it will be more lucrative, however.

            Your response really highlights to me the lack of good options that both the SEC and Bigger 10 have for expanding to 16 if the ACC holds onto all of its teams. SEC would be relegated to A&M, WVU, Mizzou, and ????? Bigger 10 would be limited to Syracuse,Pitt, Rutgers (whom you seem to assert are not good additions), Mizzou, Kansas, Kansas St., and Iowa St (these latter two are worse than worthless), and of course Notre Dame.

          • Brian says:


            Second, losing WVU to the SEC would really hose the ACC on the expansion front, and it seems like expansion may be the solution to poaching.

            I’d say WV to the SEC helps the ACC tremendously. It greatly reduces the odds of an ACC team joining, and that’s the concern for the ACC. You don’t expand and dilute your conference, losing money per school and weakening the connections between the schools when you’re under threat of losing a team.

    • Vincent says:

      Good piece, Gopher. This article fully explains the difference in the Big Ten model thanks to its network, and while Maryland — though arguably not a “brand” — would hold value for that conference (a value that would be amplified as part of an ACC emigre bloc of four):

      Though it was stated the Big Ten makes 36 cents per subscriber per month, there is a similar distinction regarding within the footprint and without, just as ratings work. Inside the Big Ten states, the network brings in nearly 80 cents per subscriber per month. Outside the footprint, the average is roughly 5 cents.

      There’s arguably no better example than Maryland for why the Big Ten holds a distinct advantage in revenue.

      Currently, the Big Ten encompasses roughly 17 percent of the total households in America. The Big Ten’s goal since the first day it announced expansion plans in December 2009 was to increase the number of households in its footprint, so it could leverage the network on basic or expanded basic in a larger portion of the United States. Remember: earning 80 cents per subscriber per month means by expanding into larger territories, far more people will be subscribing to the network with an interest in the Big Ten, meaning exponential increased revenue.

      Maryland has roughly 4 million total households. Since the Big Ten Network is on in roughly 25 percent of the households outside the footprint, we’re going to assume that 1 million are currently subscribing at 5 cents per month. That’s about $600,000 per year being made by the Big Ten in the state.

      Now let’s assume the Terrapins become the Big Ten’s 13th team. Immediately, the network would be on basic or expanded basic in the entire state through re-worked deals with MSOs at an average of 80 cents per pop. Even at 80 percent of the state now subscribing to the network, we’re now looking at 3.2 million people paying 80 cents per month which is $30.72 million a year. That’s an increase of over $15 million for the Big Ten’s share of the profits.

      But wait, there’s more.

      Using the same logic employed with Texas A&M, we must figure the same for advertising. Since Maryland is roughly half the size of Texas, we’ll just simplify matters by using Texas A&M’s totals and cutting them in half. That’s about $1.7 million without Maryland in the Big Ten. Now bring the Big Ten games into focus, and we’re looking at $10.6 million. That’s an increase of about $9 million, of which $4.5 million would be earned by the conference.

      So again, without any regard to bowl and tournament revenues, Maryland is worth well over $40 million to the Big Ten Network — about $20 million to the conference itself.

      • Other Mike says:

        Maryland is half the size of Texas? Where is he getting that from?

        • Other Mike says:

          Nevermind. I supposed I’m just bewildered to find that Maryland has 4mm households to Texas’s 8mm, whereas their populations are 5.7mm and 25.1mm, respectively. Maryland must have a lot of single people. And here I thought the other side of the Potomac had all the uglies. ;)

          • Brian says:

            I’m sure they’re including DC with MD, which adds another 600,000 people and a lot of single person households. The rule of thumb is roughly 3:1, but I’m sure certain cities skew the number more than others.

            The 4M could also be wrong. DC = 2.3M and Baltimore = 1.1M. I’m guessing they counted all of the DC MSA, even though that includes a lot of N VA households too.

  91. Redhawk says:

    I just heard this one from my connected friend:
    Negotiations are on strong, but the Big12 schools are having a hard time getting the perfect match. PAC has shown the most willingness to talk.

    Tech now has a UT problem, and they maybe out. I’m hearing OU, OkSt, KU, and Missouri to the PAC. PAC could go to 18 later with Tech and UT if UT decides to give up/change the LHN. (I assume in 18, AZ, AZSt go west)

    KU and Missouri like that set up as it’s the Big 8 almost vs the Pac 8. OU really is working on UT who is sending mixed signals, and OU officials and the PAC are tiring of it.

    • Gopher86 says:

      That would make my day if it came to be true (KU alum). I still think KU & MU are pawns in this, though. I don’t know if those four add enough value on their own.

      OU, OSU, KU, MU, CU, Utah, ASU & AU would sit nicely with the old Big 8 alums.

    • jj says:

      I think something like that works very, very well. 16 for the B10 and SEC are logistical nightmares. This is pretty smooth for the P16 and gets them a lot of central time zone play, which is important.

      • SH says:

        I agree, it is much eaiser to picture a 16 team Pac than a 16 team SEC or B10. The only way I see the B10 going there is if means they will get ND or UT and likely both. The only way I see the SEC going there is if the other two conferences go there first, and they just want to keep up.

    • Redwood86 says:

      You Okies are smoking something. Why should the Pac-12 expand now without Texas? OU is a desirable candidate to the Pac-12 in the scheme of getting to 16, and may be enticing to the SEC and Bigger 10. But, the Bigger 10 and SEC do not really want Ok. St, KU, or Mizzou right now. And these schools are just not that valuable to the Pac-12. So why would the Pac-12 blow its wad on 4 schools when only one of them is even close to being highly sought? It makes no sense, and I will be SHOCKED if it happens.

      In the Pac-12′s perfect world, they would add Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. But that almost certainly won’t happen. So the Pac-12 will settle for Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma St. But it will not settle for OU and Big-12 slops who are being spurned by the other major conferences.

      • jj says:

        I think TAM, OU, Kansas and Mizzou would be a home run for the PAC.

      • Richard says:

        The Pac is weaker financially than both the B10 or SEC. The top revenue-generating athletic departments in the Pac (Stanford & USC) would just be middle of the pack in both the B10 and SEC, in part because fans just aren’t as fervent out west. Plus, their expansion options are more limited & they want to get more eastern exposure. KU gets them a BBall brand. Mizzou gets them a decent population (and they don’t care about academics like the B10 does, as they see the Pac as purely an athletics conference)

    • Craig Z says:

      If the Pac goes to 18 like in your example, it will be a 10/8 split. Arizona or ASU will have to go east.

    • Bamatab says:

      If the Pac 12 adds KU & Missou in the place of TT & UT, and they stay with a two divisional format as opposed to a pod system, I bet the Arizonia schools are going to be ticked off. They’ll lose the California recruiting grounds, without being able to substitute with Texas recruiting grounds. That sounds like a raw deal for them.

      And if the Pac 12 were to go to 18 teams if and when the Texas schools join, only one team would have to go west, so I would guess it would be Utah.

    • Vincent says:

      In this scenario (OU, Okie State, Kansas and Missouri, followed by Texas Tech and Texas for 18), if Arizona and Arizona State go to the “coastal” division, does this mean Iowa State and Kansas State could fill things out for 20 in all? The “continental” division would then essentially be the Big 12 minus Nebraska, A&M and Baylor and plus Utah.

    • ccrider55 says:

      What a difference a year makes. “Tech now has a UT problem”.

  92. Daddy Dodds says:

    Texas Tech will not be left out of a PAC 12 expansion with or without Texas. OU/OSU/Tech are pretty much a package deal. UT will decide to join if the rest go. MU/KU should beg the B1G to pick them up. Otherwise S-E-C for M-I-Z-Z-O-U.


  93. KU and MU just became stalking horses to UT (and somewhat for TTU). no way Larry Scott gives up all those Texas TV sets. If Redhawk’s rumor is true it’s an attempt to force UT to playball with the PAC. Either way UT has to give up LHN, – cable providers are simply not going to carry it.

  94. zeek says:

    The Pac-12 holds a lot of cards, but certainly not all of them.

    They need OU or Texas in order to expand.

    If OU tells them that this is likely their last chance at getting OU and eventually Texas, they may jump at the chance to take OU + 3.

    They can always go to a Pac-18 or Pac-20 in order to bring Texas in later, and having OU almost guarantees that they will be the landing spot for Texas at some point in the future.

    Of course, it’s much simpler to let things play out a little longer and then maybe try to grab OU/OSU to Pac-14 and wait for Texas to come around if you can push OU to join with just OSU.

    But, if the Big 12 does manage to stabilize, what are the odds that they get OU/Texas down the road? As we’ve learned, movement occurs when conferences are unstable. The Big 12 is unstable right now, so if Scott wants to set up his endgame scenario with Texas, he might have to do something relatively soon.

    The ACC was unstable a couple of years back; if the Big Ten or SEC had made a play for their schools then, it would have likely been a lot more successful than right now when the conference appears to be strong enough to fend off any suitors.

    The point is that movement occurs when the ground shifts in various places. Right now the ground is shifting. The Pac-12′s endgame in Texas is secured if they can get OU in whether by Pac-14 or Pac-16 (without Texas) because eventually they can get Texas/TTech later on down the road.

    Of course, I’m not saying it’s likely that Scott moves to 16 without Texas, but I’m saying the scenario can make sense if Scott thinks that it’s his only shot at Texas (in a Pac-18/Pac-20) in the next 10-20 years.

    • zeek says:

      Of course, knowing all of this means that OU is really the school that holds most of the cards right now. Texas will stay in the Big 12 as long as OU is willing to stay, so OU holds the key to the eventual Texas endgame that Scott envisions.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        Absolutely. If you’re the PAC 12, with the limited options they have, you have to ‘git while the ‘gittin’s good. They can worry about adding Texas later. I (for once) agree with Drew Sharp in the Detroit Free Press. The Big Ten needs to act now. As for the ACC, I believe they will be the fourth ‘mega-conference’ swiping a could gems(?) from the Big East -and maybe even Notre Dame.

      • Redwood86 says:

        OU does not hold all the cards. That is so off-base. Texas holds all the cards. OU is relegated to trying to prod Texas to do something so that it can improve its own position AND/OR convincing the Pac-12 that it is now or never for getting them. In the latter case, I would call that bluff.

        The facts belie your statement re: conference stability. If, as you say, the ACC was unstable, it does not appear to be now. And while I agree that the Big-12 was unstable last year, it held. Unless Texas wants to move now, the Pac-12 has no reason to make the next move.

        • jj says:

          texas is making itself an island. that’s fine if that’s what they want, but i don’t see any real evidence that they are not doing that. OU & ATM together have just as much pull as Texas if not more.

        • wmtiger says:

          Oklahoma can choose its own destiny, whether that be the Pac 12, B10 or SEC… OU leaving the Big 12 pretty much kills off the conference…

          A year and a half ago the Big 12 had three kings (Texas, Nebraska & Oklahoma) and two other programs in the top 20 in all-time wins; Colorado & Texas A&M…

          • Redwood86 says:

            But OU wants to go to the Pac-12. stay married to Oklahoma St., and keep its ties with Texas. Plus, it has weak academics. Given those constraints, its hand does not look so strong

          • Richard says:

            OU’s hand is strong enough to go pretty much whichever conference it wants to go to. Seems plenty strong to me . . .

            Texas, on the other hand, doesn’t have a B12 to fall back on if OU goes.

  95. GreatLakeState says:

    Interesting article about Delany and the ‘new’ Big Ten in the NYT’zzzz.

    Being the first in the marketplace is crucial and the fact that the BTN is up and running, with wide distribution gives them at least a two touchdown advantage over their competition. i love to hear how the (embryonic) PAC-12 media deal, with its SEVEN networks blows everything else away. Lets see if it can avoid all the pitfalls that the BTN encountered, before declaring it the gold standard.

    • chowder says:

      Well, the Pac-12 hired the underling staffers that helped set-up the Big Ten network, as well as assembling a staff of professional pro-sports television and marketing people (not college people or football people). They were able to learn from all the issues encountered by the Big Ten, mainly saving premium content and securing wide distribution (it has already secured wider distribution than the big ten network, and had a more favorable market to operate within.

      • metatron5369 says:

        I don’t think so. They’re going to need their fans to demand their networks be placed on basic cable packages. Fans who, for the most part, are considered nationally to be fair weather.

      • Brian says:


        The B10 doesn’t save premium games for the BTN because they are more valuable as national games. You want casual fans to watch the B10 too, but they aren’t going to tune in for IN/MN in football.

        As for carriage, the BTN is in roughly 40M households last I heard (same general number the P12N is throwing around), and probably will make more per subscriber than the P12N. The BTN is also available to about 80M households total while the P12N doesn’t have outside carriage deals yet.

        Based on the BTN’s success, the P12 could risk full ownership of their network which is a big advantage. That’s what happens when you let someone else go first.

        This was what grabbed my attention in that article:
        “Off the top of my head, four years from today, I would not be surprised if the Pac-12 schools saw $12-15 million distribution (each) from the Pac-12 Networks,” Maestas said. “The truth is, it could actually be 30-40 percent higher than that.”

        That’s $12M – $21M per school per year by 2016 just from the P12N.

  96. Brian says:

    Bruce Feldman has left ESPN for CBS, and has a few things to say about his former employer.

    • SH says:

      That’s a good complimentary link to the one someone linked to the other day of the waning influence of ESPN. It is likely that ESPN has reached its zenith, and while it may not go away, it may no longer have the influence it once had. That will be for several reasons: its lack of credibility as a news organization and more because there are other options available, such as MLB network, NFL network, BTN, etc. The big three network news organizations are still well known, have a lot of influence, etc., but they no longer have the sole influence they once had. That is probably what will happen with ESPN.

      • Vincent says:

        I am wondering if ESPN may try to use its “journalistic” resources to uh, persuade Oklahoma that its best bet is to be a good boy and stay close to Texas in the Big 12 rather than go to a (shudder!) superconference, especially one tied in with Fox. (In other words, Sooners, we folks from Bristol can blackmail you Okies any time we please.)

        • ccrider55 says:

          Pac 12 primary contract is shared between ESPN and Fox. Wouldn’t they be simply trading one broadcast opportunity for another?

    • Gopher86 says:

      Wow. Pretty scathing. I love it.

  97. Brian says:

    This is why BC is a bad choice for the B10.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      Or UCONN for that matter

    • jj says:


      B10 has very little in the way of realistic options that add legit value. that’s just the way it is.

      • zeek says:

        Considering all of the implications of an admittedly unscientific poll, it is kind of surprising that of a self-selecting group of people (after all college football fans are more likely to vote in that poll than not) that somehow New England posts numbers that bad. It makes sense because of the fact that there’s around a half million students in that area alone yet there’s only two “big time” programs in BC and UConn that only appeal to such a small portion of the population and both have small alumni bases relative to the size of alumni of non-football schools in that region.

        In general, BC is only coming to the Big Ten if ND makes it a condition of their entry (and they’d likely select Pitt for that role instead), but that’s extremely unlikely anyways with good compromise candidates like Pitt out there…

      • wmtiger says:

        Adding value to the B10 is much more difficult than adding value to the ACC, Big East or Big 12.

    • jj says:

      sure sounds like an SEC attitude.

    • SH says:

      With respect to national exposure, IMO B10 would be better for A&M. But his answer on academics certainly sounded like the SEC was where they were going. I think he basically compared A&M to Rice with the rest of the SEC equivalent to the commuters schools of Conference USA.

      • bullet says:

        With the new Fox contract and with a 14 team SEC where they are in the vast middle class vs. 10 team Big 12 where they are in the top 3, I just don’t see how he increases national TV appearances. And since he will be playing mostly in LA,AR,AL,MS I don’t see how that increases visibility over playing in IA,KS,MO,OK and TX.

        • Brian says:

          Their top games will be on CBS, and those games get better ratings than the ABC games. Their other games will be on ESPN, and those games beat the crap out of FSN coverage. TAMU will have more games that casual fans will watch in the SEC than in the Shrinking12.

  98. Brian says:

    An SEC blogger looks at SEC series amongst the “original” 10 teams before and after 1992. This explains why SEC expansion and B10 expansion are such different animals.

    • SH says:

      So who has had the most successful conference expansion in the past 20 years? B10 has added two top tier programs, whereas the SEC did not. However, arguably, the SEC championship game has been one factor as to why they are recognized as the premier conference.

      • M says:

        For the question: “What would this conference be like without these teams, compared to what it is now?”, not “Which conference is best?”.

        1. ACC A+
        FSU, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Miami, Boston College.
        They collectively have 5 of the 6 best conference records since 2005, 10 of 12 CCG appearances, 5 of 6 CCG wins, 11 of 13 BCS appearances and both BCS wins by the conference. Without them, the ACC might not even be a BCS conference.

        2. Big East A
        Cincinnati, Louisville, USF, TCU
        Without these additions the Big East doesn’t exist as a conference. Overall they’ve been pretty much at the conference average. Combined they have 3 of the 6 BCS berths, which is about the expected amount.

        3. Big Ten A
        Penn State and Nebraska. These are two of the legendary (and leaderly) programs in college football. The Big Ten isn’t first because without them, OSU/Mich/Wisc/Iowa is still a good top 4.

        4. Pac-12 B
        Utah and Colorado
        Decent fanbases, decent teams, decent markets.

        5. SEC C+
        South Carolina and Arkansas
        These are the 7th and 8th best teams by conference record. Combined they have 3 CCG appearances and 1 win. Arkansas BCS bid last year was the first for either one. They don’t bring in particularly large markets. Basically, their biggest contribution was allowing the championship game while being about average quality.

        6. Big 12 F
        Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor, Texas A&M
        No explanation needed.

        • SH says:

          Well done. Though I think you may have graded the P10 too high, but it is still early. They also have limited options except by going big.

        • Eric says:

          I understand those rankings, but if I was a member school and voting for conference expansion possibilities, I’d rank South Carolina and Arkansas’s effect a lot higher. If you are a middle of the pact team, it does not help your program long term to be adding too many strong teams (and the SEC already had enough). What I’d want aren’t the best possible teams, but the teams that will bring a lot of fans even though they might not usually be that good. In that light, I’d rank both the SEC and Big 12 higher.

          • SH says:

            A decent point. You don’t want too many kings. I think I would grade the SEC higher simply because the results now are fairly convincing. We could argue over whether Ark/SC had any causation effect to those results. I think he grades the B12 correctly. A conference that has lost 2 members, and on the verge of another, with other members begging other conferences to take them is not a strong conference. Frankly, an F may be too high.

          • bullet says:

            Arkansas was probably a triple at the time, but they have sunk since they have been in the SEC in football. Neither of those two has won a conference championship.

          • M says:

            As a fan of a middle-of-the-pack team, I understand that sentiment, but that doesn’t fit with what conferences have done. Conferences always seem to try to add the best possible teams (assuming they fit other criteria). The Big Ten added Nebraska and Penn State. The Pac-12 tried to add Texas and Oklahoma before getting Colorado and Utah. The Big 8 added Texas and TAMU (who was good back then). The ACC added Miami, FSU, and the rest of those teams which have spent their time beating up the original members. In the early 90s, the SEC tried to add FSU, Oklahoma, or Texas before Arkansas and South Carolina. Currently, the SEC seems poised to add A&M and has been conjectured to add VT and Oklahoma. Those last two would be in the top half the SEC and the first one certainly seems to think they will be. The Big East invited TCU, who would have been the best team in the conference the last few years. The MWC invited Boise State.

            That last got a little long, but the net result is that I can’t think of a single example where a conference rejected a better team because they were worried about additional losses.

          • bullet says:

            Depends on what you are comparing the Big 12 against. If you are treating it as a Big 8 expansion, its hard to rate it an F when you consider where the Big 8 might have been. 3 football national championships and 9 title game appearances in 15 years isn’t too bad.

          • I’d rank the Big 12 a lot more succesful than most. Yes it’s unstable now, but it had a ton of success with the 12 teams (consider the Big 12 vs. the PAC-10 since the formation of the former). The only thing I think that could have realistically been better would have been to not add Tech and Baylor, which would have allowed for round robin and a continued season ending Oklahoma-Nebraska which would have secured the Cornhuskers better.

        • zeek says:

          Fair grading if you’re looking at the teams individually, but overall I think the SEC did as well as the Big Ten, and Big 12 did about as well as the Pac-12.

          If you really think about it, the SEC didn’t need more powerhouses, it had Alabama/Florida/LSU/Auburn/Georgia (Tenn has faded, so I’m excluding them); that’s more than enough teams that can compete for the NC.

          The Big Ten now has 5 in Michigan/Ohio State/Penn State/Nebraska and I’d include Wisconsin as a team that has been ranked in the top 10-15 preseason fairly often enough but hasn’t managed to run the table and get to the NC. Still, the Big Ten needed to really improve the top of the conference, and now it’s done so in terms of teams that can credibly compete for the NC when they’re at full speed.

          The SEC needed to fatten up the middle of the conference as it moved to a full conference schedule and CCG. Adding more kings might have actually been a worse expansion than the expansion that they managed (of course hindsight is 20-20, but you never want a league of all powerhouses).

          In that respect, the SEC’s additions met their needs as much as the Big Ten’s even though the individual additions themselves were nowhere near as valuable.

          As for the Pac-10 -> Pac-12, they needed the Big Ten’s expansion (to fatten up the top of the conference and get a CCG) but had to settle for the SEC’s expansion (two middle-of-the-road teams to get a CCG). That’s naturally a weaker expansion, but I’d differentiate the Pac-12 from the SEC based on the fact that the Pac-10′s needs were closer to the Big Ten’s…

          As for the Big 8 -> Big 12, they really had no choice. Sure they could have held their ground and tried to just take Texas and A&M, but they were so desperate for population mass that they ended up taking all 4 (Baylor/TTech as well). The Big 12 was a television contract; nothing more, nothing less. It had the old Big 8 but didn’t really recognize it, and splitting up Nebraska-Oklahoma was the biggest mistake (although Oklahoma wanted to be with the Texas schools in a North/South split, since they needed the games in Texas for recruiting).

          • M says:

            The “fatten up the middle” idea sounds good, but as I say above the SEC tried to get Texas, Oklahoma, and FSU first. Those teams would have no intention of fattening up the middle.

            The “too many powerhouses” just doesn’t reflect reality. No one is saying “Wow it sucks for the SEC to have 8 teams ranked. They would be better off if some of those teams were not as good”.

          • zeek says:

            That’s fair M with respect to the conference’s first choices, I’m just saying this from a hindsight is 20/20 kind of perspective in terms of which ones worked out the best.

        • Richard says:

          I would rate the SEC higher. Certainly higher than the Pac. Arkansas and SCarolina are better adds than Utah & Colorado.

      • Brian says:


        You asked:

        “So who has had the most successful conference expansion in the past 20 years?”

        To be clear, I’m starting with FSU joining the ACC and stopping with TAMU leaving the B12. I’m not including TAMU to the SEC, because I think you really need to see #14 to evaluate that.

        Right now, I think you have to go:

        1. SEC – They were first to get a CCG and have become the dominant conference. While that isn’t a completely causal relationship, it’s not unrelated either. SC and Ark have provided some memorable games in addition to allowing the CCG to occur. Adding TAMU only furthers their cause.

        2. B8 – Second on the CCG bandwagon and enjoyed lots of great UT seasons (and ratings). The CCG hurt them a few times, but also elevated them in other years.

        3. B10 – Added a king and then waited a long time to add a second one. They are about to get a CCG, but haven’t fully gotten the NE and CCG bump yet. After a few years I’d move them above the B8, but not yet.

        4. ACC – Added some great programs, but it hasn’t quite worked out as expected so far. Everyone’s still waiting for FSU/Miami in the CCG, or for other teams to raise their game. Maybe now that FSU is “back,” the league will start to improve.

        5. P10 – Added two decent programs, but they are great fits. Like the B10, they have yet to reap the benefits of the CCG. If the ACC doesn’t improve soon, the P12 might pass them on this list.

        6. BE – They kept alive, but they’re still too small for a CCG and they had to add non-AQs to replace AQs. TCU should help them, but with the stigma of a non-AQ becoming the top program in the conference.

        7. B12 – They’ve lost a king and two princes so far. They may lose more. Adding BYU would stem the bleeding but it is not a king. The inability to get members to work for the greater good makes the conference look bad.

        If you just want to look at the average value of the additions:
        1. B10 – PSU and NE + CCG
        100% kings

        2. B8 – UT, TAMU, TT, Baylor + CCG
        1 king, 1 prince and 2 others. Unfortunately, Baylor fell off the map after joining.

        3. ACC – FSU, Miami, VT, BC + CCG
        2 nouveau kings, 1 prince and another solid program. While FSU had great years in the ACC, Miami fell off right before joining. VT and BC have been quietly carrying the league. The value here is close to the B8, but UT provides too much value as a king in a huge state.

        4. SEC – Ark, SC + CCG
        Two average programs, and Ark at least had some solid history. Adding TAMU might move them above the ACC if they find a great partner, but otherwise the lack of a king holds them back.

        5. P10 – CO, Utah + CCG
        Two solid programs, and CO had some solid history. Utah being non-AQ hurts the perceived value, though.

        6. BE – added UC, UL, USF, TCU, but lost Miami, VT, BC
        They traded 3 solid AQs programs, including a nouveau king, for a bunch of non-AQs. At least they stayed in business.

        7. B12 – lost NE, CO, TAMU and the CCG
        Losing teams is never good, and losing a king and 2 princes is worse. The CCG loss won’t hurt too much, but they might feel the impact of SEC recruiting coming to TX.

        If you want to look at the total value of the additions:
        1. ACC – FSU, Miami, VT, BC + CCG
        2. B10 – PSU and NE + CCG
        3. B8 – UT, TAMU, TT, Baylor + CCG
        4. SEC – Ark, SC + CCG
        5. P10 – CO, Utah + CCG
        6. BE – added UC, UL, USF, TCU, but lost Miami, VT, BC
        7. B12 – lost NE, CO, TAMU and the CCG

    • wmtiger says:

      Lots of SEC teams now only play teams in their own conference lil’ more than 30% of the time. That would only get less often in a 14-team conference though I’d imagine a 9 game schedule would be a must.

      • Brian says:


        The SEC has a 5-1-2 schedule, as in 5 divisional games, 1 locked rival and 2 rotating games. That means they play 6 of 11 teams 100% of the time, and the other 5 40% of the time.

  99. SH says:

    Ok I figured it out. The B10 just needs to invite Kansas, Oklahoma, and UT – leaving a 4th spot open for ND or MO (which would make it a nice geographicly aligned conference). Also MO would make it easy to split divisions east and west with 3 kings in both. If you go with ND, you can still do the same, with the idea that Wisc/Iowa combined act as the 4th king to the four in the east (assuming ND is counted as a king). You have basically boxed the SEC in. Left the P10 with very little to choose from. You have a great basketball conference. You have a great football conference. You have added three (maybe 4) flagship universities. Now that would be a powerhouse super conference.

    • duffman says:

      ps, loki, Rice is there too!

    • M says:

      Northwestern football wasn’t a joke before 1995. A joke should be funny. Going 3-62-1 over a 6 year period is just sad.

      (The tie was 0-0 against Illinois.)

    • Jake says:

      On this grid, as in the football landscape, TCU occupies a lonely void by itself. Couldn’t we have been a little higher up, though? We’ve only had two major infractions in football, the last one was 25 years ago, and we self-reported.

      Anyway, I’m off to watch my team play an actual game of football. I’m positively giddy.

  100. Redhawk says:

    Barry Tramel of the Oklahoman on the radio said he expects OU and OSU will accept/announce they are leaving for the PAC next week, during OU’s bye week.

    He didn’t say anything about other schools.

    • Vincent says:

      In other words, Austin, the ball is in your court.

      • Ron says:

        @Vincent nice tennis analogy. However it looks to me more like a hanging curve ball in UT’s wheelhouse with the bases loaded (OK on third, OK St on second, Texas Tech on first).

        • Vincent says:

          However, if ESPN is pitching (and has bribed the umpire), all bets are off.

          • Ron says:

            I’m not sure about that. If the Texas A&M move toward the SEC teaches us anything, it would seem that economics and reason may create the framework under which conference realignment occurs, but it doesn’t (always) drive the bus. I think Frank was right in his original analysis that an A&M move did not make sense, but the Aggies were/are simply determined to do it. They look to be paying a pretty stiff upfront price. Am not really convinced ESPN has power to dissuade Texas in any serious way from making a conference move, they’ll just renegotiate when it’s done.

    • drwillini says:

      To me this would be the biggest bomb in armegeddon. You can sort of see the Nebraska, Colorado, Utah and A&M moves. This makes no sense geographically or culturally w/o Texas as a bridge. If this happens w/o Texas, it is armegeddon. If this happens with Texas, it is armegeddon. I really appreciate the folks that tried to look at the situation in terms of the least distruptive stable solution. In that context, what do you all think the least disruptive stable global solution would be if OU/OkSu head west? Is there one?

      • zeek says:

        The least disruptive scenario, if a Pac-14 (OU/OSU) materializes, would be for Texas to commit its non-football sports to a “Big 8″ (TTech, Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Iowa State + 2 new candidates like Houston/SMU or something like that) and agree to play TTech annually along with 3 others in the new “Big 8″ in exchange for parking its non-football sports there. Texas would then be free to schedule 8 games outside of the “Big 8″ including OU and A&M and probably 6 rotating other teams.

        That would be a Texas independence scenario that could keep too many things from changing.

        The issue is that the SEC is likely to target Missouri, and the Big East is likely to target Kansas and/or Missouri if OU/OSU do head west.

        Thus, we’re likely to see some of the largest shifts we’ve perhaps ever seen if OU/OSU head west. It’s highly likely that the rest of the Big 12 disintegrates if OU/OSU head west.

      • Brian says:

        Givens: TAMU to SEC, OU and OkSU to P14

        The least disruptive scenario would probably be:
        The B12 adds some (1 or 3) of the top non-AQs that would add markets and/or football quality (BYU, Boise, AF, CSU, TCU, UH roughly in that order). That should be enough to stay AQ assuming UT and MO stay around. They may need to stop at 8 teams so UT can play the round robin and still schedule OU and TAMU OOC while having 3 more OOC games to rotate around. They could go to 10 and still only play 7 conference games, too.

        That could lead to the WAC and MWC merging again, at least for FB. CUSA could pick up LT if they need to replace someone. The BE can fill TCU’s spot if they lose them.

        I’m not saying the scenario is likely, but it would be the least disruptive I think.

      • m (Ag) says:

        I think the least disruptive global solution if OU and OSU go West is to keep the ACC stable and just shuffle the Big 12 schools:

        1)Texas decides to let the Pac 12 buy out the Network, taking TT with them west
        2) Missouri follows A&M to the SEC
        3) The football Big East schools merge with the remaining Big 12 schools + UCF:

        Midwest division: ISU, Kansas, KSU, Baylor, TCU, Louisville, Cincinnati
        East Division: UConn, WVU, Pitt, Syracuse, USF, Rutgers, UCF

        It would probably be easier to just drop Baylor, TCU, or USF, but that would be a disruption. You could add a Houston or BYU instead of UCF (shifting Cincinnati East).

        That could be stable:

        16 team Pac 16
        14 team SEC, Big 14
        12 team Big Ten, ACC

        Most years the SEC, Big 14 and Pac 16 will send 2 schools to BCS. Big 14 and ACC get at least 1 each. That leaves 2 spots; this actually increases the non-BCS conferences opportunity to get the big time bowls.

        The Big 12 leftovers will actually find their BCS chances improved. But people might not watch much regular season games that aren’t in the ‘Big 3′ Conferences: Big Ten, Pac 16, and SEC.

        • Brian says:

          To me, dissolving an AQ conference and forming the first superconference is pretty disruptive. Opinions can vary, though. Part of me agrees that it could be stable, but the other part tells me the SEC and B10 may not be happy with that arrangement.

    • zeek says:

      I do think it’s plausible that Oklahoma is trying to get ESPN to pay to keep the Big 12 open, whether that means they give a similar (obviously somewhat smaller) deal to the ONE network that Oklahoma has been working on, but who knows at this point.

    • bullet says:

      You and he know more about OU than I do, but I’ll still believe it when I see it.

      Deloss Dodds said in an interview -to paraphrase-everyone was nervous and everyone was checking out all their options. That was to be expected.

      Because they are talking doesn’t mean these deals are necessarily happening.

  101. zeek says:

    This is a really good recap on where the action stands at this moment with respect to all of the leagues.

    • zeek says:

      Should have also mentioned that it has a lot of new information as well.

    • @zeek – Wilner is a good reporter. In a way, some of the “Huh?” scenarios out there are so nutty that it makes them plausible. Rutgers as a Big 12 target? Hey, why not?!

      • zeek says:

        You know, I had that same thought about Pitt. And then I really thought about it, and I was like wait a minute, Pitt is probably the 2nd best choice behind BYU.

        Can you think of a school that would create more compelling matchups and bring a more solid market than Pitt if BYU is happy with its independence? Obviously, the geography is an issue, but TCU is now in the Big East. No real reason why Pitt couldn’t be in the Big 12.

        Rutgers is a bit more out there, but Pitt might want a travel partner, and bringing Texas and Oklahoma to NYC should at least be interesting in some respect, even though Rutgers alone can’t deliver that market.

        Ever since the Pac-16 came to light, the scenarios have just gotten so much more wild.

        And when you hear from Stallings that the Pac-16 was in the works for years (probably even before Scott) when Texas was trying to take Nebraska/Colorado/Oklahoma/A&M west, you just realize that a lot of these things have been in the works for a long time.

      • Jake says:

        @Frank – nothing really seems implausible anymore. You could tell me that Hawaii was going to move its non-football sports to the Big East, and I’d at least think about it for a second or two.

        But if history is any guide, the moves will be big, but not outlandish. A&M to the SEC, Nebraska to the Big Ten, Colorado & Utah to the PAC – these really aren’t huge surprises. That’s why Missouri to the SEC seems like a good bet. Or one or both of the Virginia schools.

        • bullet says:

          Didn’t you hear? Villanova + Hawaii for football only + Alaska Anchorage for football only to get to 12 and encircle the Pac 12 on their Asian plan.

        • bullet says:

          Maybe Pitt is part of a eliminate competition plan and absorb their slots. 14 with Pitt/WVU/UL/RU/SU? That would also asuage their concerns about OU or UT leaving. They would have a sufficient base to continue. But it would have to work financially and that seems questionable. Pitt/RU/UL? Pitt & RU still seem kind of out on a limb. Don’t know how well it would work for them.

    • SuperD says:

      Yeah that is one of the better articles to come down the pipe lately. I think its clear UT wants to protect their current setup at all costs, the question is can they hold on to the rest of the league long enough to put something together, and are there Big East football schools disgruntled enough to take the risk of the Big Tex given how unstable it seems, and how much is ESPN’s finger in the pie to try and help broker the deal. There is plenty of stuff in there to make everybody nervous in the Big East and Big 12, so will someone like Missouri or even Kansas try and push the panic button and force OU to make a decision before Dodds can get something lined up?

    • SH says:

      His final line was interesting. All is quiet on the B10 front, but he wouldn’t expect it to stay that way if dramatic changes take place. What do you think the chances of the B10 expanding again are in the next 5 years? I’d say pretty low – less than 25%.

      • zeek says:

        Nebraska isn’t getting a full share until 2017 because the Big Ten needs its TV deal renegotiated in order to get them up to equitable payments without cutting everyone else’s pay.

        Thus, I’d say extremely remote until 2014-2015 barring something like Notre Dame or Texas being available and willing to join (or the ACC-4).

        • zeek says:

          I should modify this to also say that Nebraska is sort of buying in equity into the BTN/Big Ten’s contracts by taking a smaller payment for each of the next 6 years.

          Regardless, it’s hard to see the Big Ten add another 2-4 mouths to feed off the current contracts until we’re closer to 2014-2015, unless a king (Texas/ND) or quasi-king (UNC) is on the table…

        • drwillini says:

          One of the above referenced blogs did a good job of discussing the value creation of consolidation. It make me wonder about Fox owning 50% of the BTN. The blog showed that Fox gains significant value through an expansion of even a team like Maryland. Seems like they would have some grease.

      • M says:

        The odds of the Big Ten expanding in the next 5 years are the odds the same as the odds that the ACC implodes plus the odds that ND wants to join. So maybe 1% + .0001% = 1.0001%

    • M says:

      Every single source has agreed on one thing: the SEC will not add a school from a state they’re currently in. Whether it’s a “gentlemen’s agreement” or just a desire to add more real estate, I think we can safely rule out FSU, Clemson, GT, and Louisville (and Wetzel’s wackjob suggestion of TCU).

      • bullet says:

        Even Notre Dame isn’t this emphatic about wanting independence. SEC fans-Give it up! Virginia Tech ain’t coming.

        • zeek says:

          Agreed. None of the ACC schools are going anywhere right now (whether to the Big Ten or SEC).

          Missouri or WVU is the most likely choice if the SEC has to pick one in the next year. I doubt anything will change by next summer…

        • Bamatab says:

          They are in total spin mode right now. Now I’m not saying that they are going to leave, but I would take everything coming out of VT with a gain of salt. If you believe the statement which he is quoted as saying “No one’s approached us”, then I have some New Mexico swamp land up for sale. VT is on of the top on the SEC’s list. You know the SEC has at least approached them, even if VT turned them down outright. So if that one comment is spin, the everything else is suspect as well. Again, I’m not saying VT would leave, all I’m saying is take everything coming out of VT with a grain of salt.

          BTW…you do know that a UVA sports writer is the one that wrote this article right?

          • bullet says:

            Are you getting into conspiracy theories? The UVA sportswriter is making up the story or putting in false quotes from a named VT official? This is not the way people talk when they are leaving. If VT is thinking about leaving, they are putting on the biggest smoke screen ever. And they’d be burning a lot of bridges by going out of their way to mislead other ACC people.

          • Bamatab says:

            I just threw the UVA writer observation in there because he would be writing the article from an UVA slant/prespective. I wasn’t implying that he made it all up.

            As far as the comments coming from VT, the phrase “thou dost protest too much” could possibly apply in this circumstance. If you believe that the SEC hasn’t at least approached them, then you are crazy. And if he wasn’t fully honest on that, what else is spin?

            Again, VT may have no desire to leave the ACC. But they seem awfully defensive all of a sudden.

          • bullet says:

            Everything out of the SEC is that they haven’t seriously dug into #14 yet. So, I doubt the SEC has made any direct connections with VT.

          • bullet says:

            Now if the Pac 16 happens, people may think about things they wouldn’t consider before that.

          • Brian