When it comes to choosing a conference, the University of Texas has a choice: does it want the nicest house in Compton or an average house in Beverly Hills?

The former is what it would have if it chooses to stick around the Big 12 to keep the Longhorn Network in a Big 12 that definitely won’t have Texas A&M, very likely won’t have Oklahoma and, by extension, Oklahoma State, and possibly won’t have Missouri, either.  UT could continue to be the richest person in the neighborhood by a mile and control the local scene.  Of course, the issue is that everyone in the area that has scrounged up enough of a down-payment is moving out to nicer places.  The latter is what it would own if it becomes an equal TV revenue sharing partner in the Pac-12 (or for that matter, the Big Ten or SEC).  In that case, UT would be another rich guy in a whole town full of rich guys, but it also won’t have to worry about the value of the house going down.

It’s a fundamental question about what UT wants/needs to be.  The Big 12 as saved last summer was really UT’s dream scenario: they essentially were earning independent-type TV money in a conference with their primary regional rivals.  Now that one of their rivals (A&M) might be headed out the door as early as tomorrow and their other main rival (OU) has all but declared it’s heading west to the Pac-12, is the Longhorn Network (which hasn’t even been on the air for a week) more important than UT’s conference?  Larry Scott knows, just like Jim Delany and Mike Slive, that equal revenue sharing is a primary tenet of strong conference unity, so he’s not going to let UT have a separate TV deal when the schools in California like USC have already given up unequal shares in the new monster Pac-12 TV contracts.

Now, I consider Bill Powers (UT president) and Deloss Dodds (UT athletic director) to be smart men.  The Longhorn athletic department didn’t become the wealthiest in the country (even before any LHN cash started coming) by accident.  They likely thought that they controlled all of the cards, where as long as UT stayed in the Big 12, the other big guns of OU and A&M would, too.  I certainly thought that way.  While it wasn’t a surprise to find that the Big 12 wasn’t long for this world, I didn’t believe that it would be killed off only a year after its Summer 2010 stay of execution.

I can’t blame UT for going out and getting the LHN deal.  Any other school that had that type of leverage would’ve done the same thing.  However, I also can’t blame either A&M or OU for looking out for their own interests.  Most people here know me as the guy that wrote about the possibility of Texas going to the Big Ten last year, and as much as I’d still love to see that happen in many ways, there’s really no better conference deal out there for UT than a Pac-16 that includes Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.  Neither the Big Ten nor SEC would ever grant spots to OSU and Tech and even if they’re not outright political requirements for OU and UT, they ensure that the two power schools won’t be complete geographic outliers.

At this point, I can’t see how OU could rationally stay in the Big 12 (particularly after OU president David Boren’s explicit statement of no-confidence in the conference).  (Note that rationality doesn’t always apply in conference decisions.)  The Pac-12 would certainly be willing to take them and OSU without having Texas schools coming along, as the Sooner are a top 10 college football brand.  It’s the LHN that makes what UT will ultimately decide difficult to predict.  There’s just no way that channel could continue to exist within the confines of the Pac-12 (at least as a UT-branded entity).  UT is going to have a really nice house no matter where it lives.  What will be instructive is whether it wants the nicest house on the block or a better neighborhood.  The Longhorns may not be able to have both.

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

(Image from musicnotes.com)

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  1. mike in st. louis says:


  2. mike in st. louis says:

    Frank, what do you think about Kyle Lamb’s “Long Con” theory?

  3. Jeepers says:

    UT: Cali? “Man, I don’t think so.” I just can’t see someone with that much ego admitting defeat.

    Anyone else get the feeling this will end up with the BE grabbing some B12 teams and UT getting an ND type football independence dealie?

  4. Patrick says:

    Right on the money Frank. Nice post.

    I am curious as to what happens with Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Tech. Those 3 schools may have their fate tied to Texas’ decision. Also how Texas schedules if they go independent.

    UT independent – Missouri / Kansas to Pac 16 and Tech left out.

    UT Pac 16 – Missouri SEC / Tech Pac 16 and Kansas Big East?

    • Sarcastic Mike says:

      Missouri’s fate is only tied to UT if they don’t get an offer from the SEC. The “risk” portion of the risk/reward calculation for Mizzou staying with the B12 is much higher than UT, OU, OSU, & TT, as they could easily be left behind with the dregs of the conference. If they get an offer from the SEC, they will (and should) take it without blinking.

      Actually, this brings up something I have been wondering. I assume that Mizzou would prefer to head to the B10 as it is a better cultural, geographic, and educational fit. Is it possible that they could head to the SEC with the idea that they could always leave for the B10 if Notre Dame comes around in 10 or 20 years?

      Put another way, would Jim Delany be willing to let Mizzou go to the SEC with the thought that if he eventually needed them as a good fit to round out the conference at 14 or 16, he could still poach them away? This all assumes that the B10 stay above or even with the SEC monetarily, of course. But in a universe where the B12 has imploded and the B10/SEC dollars are roughly equal, I could see the fans and academics willing to ditch the SEC after less than a decade for the B10.

      Am I crazy?

      • GCS says:

        If they were to get into the conference, I don’t think Missouri would leave the SEC in the near future. They’d just be like VT in that they’d be unwilling to stab a conference in the back after getting a lifeline out of a bad situation.

      • Other Mike says:

        1. Not enough sarcasm.

        2. I think you’re right about everything, though perhaps a little high on the B1G’s willingness to take Mizzou in my opinion. As you said, they’d be a round-out add — and they’re definitely a round-out add — but I’ve got a hunch someone better might be available. As has been said elsewhere, Mizzou just doesn’t have anything to hang its hat on.

      • SideshowBob says:

        Ultimately, I don’t think the Big Ten simply doesn’t want Missouri. I mean, they’d potentially take them if they needed them to fill out the conference due to other moves, but there is zero chance that the Big Ten goes after Missouri as a specific target school. Not unless their academics or athletic appeal changes significantly — they have had a certain level of success athletically, but aren’t really a name that would move the needle at all.

        I actually think there are many on here who vastly overrate the appeal of Mizzou to the Big Ten.

  5. Christian says:

    So, is Larry Scott totally immovable on the LHN? He won’t give Texas even a little concession, considering that the current Pac members will make more money based on Texas’ entrance, and Texas will give up a lot? What if Texas says, “Okay, we can get the same deal from the B1G as from the Pac, so we’re going to the B1G unless you cut us a deal, Larry”? What does Scott do in that case?

    • Redhawk says:

      @Christian. I sure hope not. UT thinks by the virtue of being Texas they should get special treatment. But USC, Stanford, Cal, Oregon, all have decided to be equal….so should Texas. Give ‘em an inch and next you know UT would be killing their 3rd conference.

      • bullet says:

        Texas just wants everyone to have the same deal, a kind of “keep what you kill” deal. The 7 haves in the Big 12 wanted that too. It was A&M that wanted special treatment.

    • Art Vandelay says:

      Larry Scott’s reply: “Fine, but you will have to risk giving up, and almost certainly diminishing the Red River Rivalry, and you’ve probably already lost A&M. It’s hard to maintain a national brand without the high profile games.”

    • Nman says:

      Texas will still get it’s own network in the Pac-12… kind of. It will have to share with Texas Tech and become the Lone Star Network. That’s the way the Pac-12 is set up, with regional networks each covering two local schools.
      So the LHN would have to morph into one of these regional networks, and it might work out for the better. I think ESPN is starting to see that they way overspent on the LHN, which is struggling for content and viewers. Adding another school to the mix (Tech) would make those efforts twice as easy. It’s not often you get a mulligan on a disasterous decision like the LHN, but ESPN may just get lucky.

    • cfn_ms says:

      My GUESS (and I can’t emphasize enough that it’s just a guess) is that they’ll tweak the revenue model so that the local teams get a substantial chunk of the revenue generated from the local networks, while the national TV deals and the overall Pac-16 network revenue get split equally. That way Texas still makes more than, say, Wazzu, but not a lot more.

      • ccrider55 says:

        Absolutely not. If you don’t accept the equal model then there is create the Bevo conference (by joining one that will bend to their will, or from the ground up made up of schools that also will), or independent.

  6. (Posted this in the comments for Frank’s previous post, but it applies even more to this post)

    Welcome to the pissing contest between PAC 12 Commish Larry Scott and Texas AD Deloss Dodds. Here is the sequence of events as I remember them (please correct me if I’m wrong.):

    1. (Summer 2010) Texas suggests moving all six members of th Big XII South into the PAC 10. Scott invites Colorado.

    2. (Summer 2010) A&M flirts with the SEC. Texas suggest moving remaining 5 members of Big XII South to PAC 10. Baylor is unacceptable so Scott invites Utah into the PAC 10.

    3. (Summer 2010) Texas clings to idea of LHN. Scott says he’s done with expansion and wishes Big XII good luck.

    4. (Summer 2011) OU flirts with idea of getting out of UT’s shadow. Will Scott take OU/OSU and force UT’s hand once again?

    My guess is Texas will try desperately to salvage Big XII by adding at least 1 school from either MWC or CUSA. BYU won’t come despite Big XII offering automatic BCS bid. If Texas does accept PAC 16 membership, Scott is going to regret it. They will be a pain in the ass and will likely lead to the breakup of the conference a la the MWC schism from the 16 team WAC a few years back.

    • Bingo. I argued in the previous post that in a short time (within a decade I’d argue) a PAC-16 will lead to a NewPAC(ish)-8 with all of the powerhouse teams and everyone else in the existing PAC-16/2. A sixteen team conference is inherently unstable as a team (or, more to the point, a group of teams) has more options around leaving when they decide that they don’t like the way things are going.

  7. Brent says:

    Who’s Kyle Lamb and what’s his long con theory?

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        Hmm… I’ll summarize so everyone can skip the article.

        On thing that prevented TX from going to the B1G was the “tech problem” famously referenced in the email forwarded to Delany by tOSU Pres Gordon Gee.

        Now, with OK/OKST going west, A&M going east, the “tech problem” has disappeared. Lamb suggests that this was engineered by Delany — or is accidental. Thus, the “long con.”

        My issue with Lamb’s imagination is that Texas DOES still have a “tech problem.” No scenario I have read so far gives TTech a “soft landing” that allows TX to go alone to the B1G or to the Pac12/16/18. TX to the Pac-16 is assumed to be bringing TTech along. Otherwise, it’s independence for TX along with exile for TTech (maybe a Big East invite to pair it with TCU?).

        Anyway, imo, Lamb is having a fun dream/fantasy worthy of the TV show “Lost” that he references.

        • The Pac-12 would still consider Tech without Texas. Heck, look at their options to get to 16:

          Oklahoma St.
          Texas Tech
          Iowa St.
          Kansas St.
          Boise St.?

          If Missouri is offered — and accepts — an SEC bid, then who in that list do you actually think would get a 16th spot in the Pac-12 over Tech? The pickings are slim.

          Bottom line is that Tech is in a state with a ton of households. Even if you exclude the Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi and Beaumont markets to the East, there are STILL 1.2 million households in the western half of the state. If you haven’t noticed… the Pac-12 is launching a TV network that will be partially predicated on new viewers.

          You don’t think the Pac-12 would want to have a presence in Texas even without the Longhorns? C’mon. Again, this is about revenue.

          This isn’t fantasy, this is economic reality. Even the entire state of Kansas is about 800,000 households. Texas Tech’s half of the state is 50% larger than that excluding all those markets I mentioned.

          Tech has been hitching its wagons to Oklahoma lately. They’re quietly becoming a quasi-package with the Sooners and Cowboys. Texas joining is the ultimate prize for the Pac-12, but it will go forward with 16 teams with or without. And especially if Missouri leaves for the SEC, Tech will be a part of that expansion plan.

          • spartakles78 says:

            remember when Frank first started talking about Texas? It seems clear that the end game was always 16 schools and that Delany wasn’t going to settle for less than at least 2 football crown jewels. Other sports would make nice settings for the jewels in expansion but not a priority. All other factors including academics serve as a foundation for talking points about institutional fit etc. but not the reason for expansion. The interest & discussion with Texas & Notre Dame never really ended.

          • Seth9 says:

            Problems with this line of reasoning:

            1. If Missouri is not an option, then it is very much in doubt whether the Pac 12 will expand at all. And if they do expand, there is no guarantee that they go to 16 when they could just go to 14 with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. While the Pac 12 apparently prefers having 16 schools over 14 schools for scheduling purposes, there’s no reason to think that the Pac 12 will expand to 16 if they’ll lose money on the deal.

            2. Even if the Pac 12 does choose to expand to 16 in spite of a potential move by Missouri to the SEC, there is no guarantee that Texas Tech will be the 16th admitted team. It is unclear that Texas Tech can deliver a substantial portion of the Texas audience by itself and does not have a natural partner for a regional network. As such, there is a significant chance that the Pac 12 would invite Iowa State or Nevada or someone first. Or, they could choose to take the high risk, high reward approach and invite the University of British Columbia.*

            3. As it is by no means certain that Texas Tech will be invited into the Pac 12 without Texas, the Texas Legislature will still have an interest in forcing Texas to watch out for them.

            4. While Texas Tech would certainly like to hitch itself to Oklahoma to ensure themselves a spot in a new conference, there is no reason to assume that Oklahoma is going to watch out for Texas Tech, particularly if doing so is detrimental to their own interests.

            *UBC is not athletically ready to join Division 1 football at present, let alone a BCS conference. However, the influx of money from a massive TV deal with the Pac 12 will help them to quickly advance their athletics to the point that they could compete in the NCAA. Even so, it is unclear that UBC would accept an invitation given their situation. Regardless, it is an interesting possibility if Texas isn’t coming.

  8. imho says:

    The most reliable source if probably the straight-shootin T. Boone Pickens: he says

    “But DeLoss had too many cards and he played every damn one of them. I think that’s too bad. You get tired of saying ‘aaah’ while you get something shoved down your throat.”

    “You can fix the Big 12 now, but it’s got to go to an equal deal, and it’s not equal.”

    So there you have it… The Sooners want an equal conference (the foundation of all stable conferences). Texas probably won’t budge… Say hello to the PAC 14. The only question what UT decides to do afterwards?


    • Aggie in Fort Worth says:

      Boone is a hypocrite. Just a few weeks ago he was on the verge of demanding A&M to leave the state of Texas since it was no longer wanting to be in the Bevo10 Conference. Now he is charging straight ahead to join another conference?

      Where was the Oklahoma State leadership when Nebraska and Texas A&M were fighting the Longhorns and their continual pushing of the envelope of gaining more power and more wealth? When A&M brought forth their grievences a couple of months ago, OSU backed the Longhorns. Now OSU is starting to show a little backbone as a better option opens up to them to join the PAC-Whatever Conference and get equal revenue sharing.

  9. Bamatab says:

    Here is an interesting article talking about how ND joining a conference could be closer than most people think: http://thexlog.com/201109050846/xtra-point-football/ncaa/the-demise-of-the-notre-dame-football-program/

    • bullet says:

      I think the article is probably about 10 years too early. ND isn’t to that point yet, but I think they will be.

      • zeek says:

        They will get to that point eventually; I think you’re right on the time horizon.

        But that article could be relevant due to the fact that NBC has probably changed dramatically with Comcast in charge.

        Ebersol was easily their strongest defender at the network; with him out, I’m really interested to see how NBC’s relationship with ND changes; especially with respect to their next contract negotiation.

        • zeek says:

          Of course, the easiest way to avoid all of this is to start winning again, and fast.

          They really do need to get the ratings back up in the next few years if they want to avoid a tough negotiation for the next contract.

      • Brian says:


        I think it could come to a head by 2014 (when ND will start to negotiate their new TV deal). If Brian Kelly also fails to revive the Irish (I’m not saying he will fail, just if he does), what sort of offers do they get? The Lou Holtz era is getting farther away and Kelly is thought to be a great coach. At some point it becomes who ND is. On the other hand, if Kelly gets them back to multiple BCS bowls by then, ND will get another 10 year deal with NBC.

      • mushroomgod says:

        I don’t think joining a conference will have any major impact on the success, or lack thereof, of ND’s football team. The reasons to join or not join a conference relate to matters other than on-the-field football results…..the huge exception to this being, of course, the size of the next NBC contract, is any………..

    • M says:

      When I want good information, I always go to “Xlog: A Rise in Xcellence, A New Era in Xpert Web Logging Begins”…

      The premise of this article is false. Notre Dame has been able to get consistently good players (if you believe recruiting rankings), nearly always in the 10-15 range and #2 in 2008. Meanwhile, South Florida was 5th last year… in the Big East. No one can make the argument that South Florida has a talent advantage over Notre Dame. Well, no one except this guy apparently.

      The way we will know ND is irrelevant is when they are bad and no one notices. Clearly we are nowhere near that point.

  10. Redhawk says:

    From CBS Sports Ray Rato http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/15531092

    take away: it looks mostly like Texas saved the Big 12, tried to then eat it and ultimately killed it.

    • bullet says:

      The end lessons are true that its not over until its over. We were closer to the end of the Big 12 last year than we are YET this year.

      And again there is that distortion that DeLo$$ Dodd$ is trying to take from others. He’s, as T Boone said, simply playing all his cards. He’s trying to maximize his brand, not take it out of the hide of others. Everyone in the Big 12 has had the opportunity to benefit from Texas maximizing its $. USC and UCLA were unhappy about sharing in the Pac, but didn’t have a choice. Texas has choices, but probably not particularly palatable ones (again assuming OU leaves). Frank’s Compton could refer to a Big 12 remnant, or, if they really wanted to tick off the Aggies for being the 1st one out the door, the SEC.

      • Patrick says:

        Bullet, while I agree with you that nothings over until we decide it is. It wasn’t over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor………….. but I think that we are closer to the end of the Big 12 now then we were last year. OU is gone with or without Texas, and that is the difference this time around.

      • m (Ag) says:

        “if they really wanted to tick off the Aggies for being the 1st one out the door, the SEC.”

        The Longhorns going to the SEC would be a joke on the Aggies who thought the most important thing was getting away from them. It would also be a joke on the Longhorn fans who’ve disparaged the SEC.

        That said, last summer the A&M administration tried to convince the Longhorns to go to the SEC with them, helpfully pointing out that they could form their network under SEC rules.

        • Patrick says:

          I don’t think that A&M would even be upset with Texas coming to the SEC. I don’t think Nebraska would be upset with Texas joining the Big Ten. It comes down to Texas playing with the same set of rules as an equal in a conference. The issue is the LHN. Which Texas would have to give up to join the SEC or the BIG or the PAC. That would be Texas, dropping it’s tail between its legs and joining a pack, that would be enough. Texas has shown no interest in giving up the LHN though, so I see them as independent and without some key games like OU and A&M when the dust settles.

          • bullet says:

            There’s that false info again that the SEC shares everything. The Pac (starting this year), the ACC and the B1G share. The SEC allows the schools to keep their tertiary rights, so the LHN would fit right in. Florida made $8 million last year on their network programming. MSU had a few hundred thousand. SEC is closer to the Big 12 model than the B1G/ACC/Pac 12 revenue sharing model.

          • m (Ag) says:

            There is a segment of the A&M fanbase that would be upset; I think a larger segment (me included) would find it quite amusing.

          • ccrider55 says:


            Again, If all the LHN needed was tertiary rights the Big12 would not now be in jeoprdy, and ESPN would not be paying even 1/4 as much for it.

          • StvInIL says:

            After watching how things played out last year I do not think I like the idea of Texas joining the BIG. I see Texas as a destructive force because of their selfish tendencies to lift themselves above others by crook or by crook. You would think that the competitive advantage they have on the field and in recruiting and in facilities would be plenty. It seems that Texas is like some warped personalities that feel they have to rig the game in any case. No longhorns and no long horn network for me please.
            I would add this though, If they came in with say a Notre Dame it would be a powerful addition to the BIG. ND would also help to mitigate some of the academic deficiencies of both NE and TX. ND also has a huge ego problem but and would have to give up totally its independence. An uphill situation for both but if the landscape is really changing again we know the guy that moves slowest in musical cheers is the most unhappy one.

            Both of these entities understand well that THEY must be happy. With choices beginning to dwindle, they still yet have an opportunity to make that decision before it’s actually made for them.

          • bullet says:

            You can say what you want about Texas greed. But ND making up for academic deficiencies of Texas? In what the Big 10 Presidents care most about, graduate research, ND would be the most academically deficient school in the conference. And Texas could complain about the academic deficiencies of Ohio St., IU, Purdue, Mich St., Iowa (which are all outstanding schools). There’s noone in the Big 10 that would look down on UT academically except perhaps Michigan. Most of the schools would consider them peers.

      • Dcphx says:

        Someone should get Dodds a copy of A Beautiful Mind and reply the bar scene over and over for him until he figures out that sometimes trying to maximize your brand leaves you and your teams at the bar alone while your former conference mates go home with the girls.

      • mushroomgod says:

        Hmmmm, didn’t they try to take it from others when splitting up the NEB and COL exit fees………?

        • bullet says:

          The 5 left behind offered UT, OU and A&M their share of the UNL and CU exit fees if they would stay.

          UT and OU refused, saying noone should get a special deal, it should just be split according to conference rules. A&M, on the other hand, insisted on a guarantee. Texas Tech actually whined at one point that they wanted part of that deal and was mad it was offered to the other 3 and not them.

          So UT and OU took the high road. A&M and Tech took the low road. Its amazing how much misinformation there is out there in the media (and I’m talking the newspapers-not just the internet which has always had it).

  11. Carl says:

    California, Here We Come!

  12. bullet says:

    It does look like OU managed to get the spotlight off the Aggies and SEC.

    Anyone else get annoyed that LSU players and headlines were talking about SEC supremacy because LSU beat Oregon, despite BYU winning at Oxford, Boise winning in Atlanta and Utah St. nearly winning at Auburn?

    • Brian says:

      Don’t forget UK barely beating WKU.

      That said, you knew this would happen if OR lost big. Only the top matters anymore to the media.

      • duffman says:

        brian the SEC is all about 6

        UK, UGA, and Mississippi are not in the 6
        Auburn was in the 6, but Cam is gone (Sorta like UGA after Herschel went to the next level)

        The 6 are not fixed, which is why the SEC is so annoying. As soon as Tennessee gets smacked down to dust, South Carolina rises from their ashes. If USC gets knocked down, you know it will be UGA feeding on their bones. Like it or not the majority of the B1G since WW II has been carried by Ohio State or Michigan. Now the B1G has PSU and UNL as well, so hopefully the B1G will develop their own 6 to level the field. If it does happen I still suspect Indiana and Minnesota will not be in the 6.

        • Brian says:

          UGA was in the 6 a few years ago, which is why the fans are so mad. And any loss to Boise is big news in the SEC. You should have heard the local UGA fans about what a blowout this was going to be because UGA has SEC speed.

          Every conference works that same way. One falls down and another rises up. The difference is that certain kings haven’t fallen back much recently (OSU, OU, etc).

        • M says:

          The 6 are pretty fixed. UF, Tenn, UGA, AL, AU, LSU. Those teams have 33 championship game appearances and every championship game win. The remaining teams have 5 appearances and 0 wins. One of those appearances was due to AL having a postseason ban. In 4 of the 5 appearances, the lower class team was ranked #19 or lower. Those 6 have the 6 best conference records since 1992, and all of them except LSU are over .600 (LSU is .580). Arkansas is at .465 and no one else is above .400. Those 6 teams have every BCS berth for the conference except Arkansas last year.

          Every so often, a school like South Carolina can “rise up”, go 5-3 and hope the top teams in their division all have a bad year (like what happened last year). I wouldn’t bet on any of them winning anything substantial though.

  13. schwarm says:

    Oregon has been impressive in the conference, less so against top non-conference foes. they may have to rethink the offense if they want to be an elite national team.

    • Brian says:

      I think the extra prep time really puts the OR offense at a disadvantage. The P10 teams never got weeks or months to prepare for them, but BSU, OSU, AU and LSU did. OR needs more power to compete in the big bowls or early season games.

      On the other hand, look at Boise. Everyone says they have a finesse offense and can’t compete without extra prep time, but even good defenses don’t shut down their offense with extra prep time. Why can’t OR achieve the same results?

      • Richard says:

        Well, Boise doesn’t have a finesse offense, unless by “finesse offense”, you mean “our O-line shoves your D-line off the ball”.

  14. Denogginizer says:

    Add. GBR

  15. Eric says:

    Not that it matters that much for the conversation, but I’d argue stable conferences produce equal revenue sharing rather than the other way around. The PAC-10 last year wasn’t anymore equal revenue than the Big 12 is. The conference was in a position of strength though and the non-LA schools voted overwhelmingly to go to an equal revenue model. Since UCLA and USC leaving the conference wasn’t a viable threat, the other schools had no problem voting for it. If there had been a viable threat of the LA schools leaving, I don’t think they would have voted for it, but that wouldn’t be unequal revenue sharing causing instability, it would have been instablility preventing equal revenue sharing.

    I’ll go a step further and say that if the models change again and a lot of big programs open more up to leaving their current conferences, that the equal revenue sharing could cause instability.

    • zeek says:

      Agreed, the whole equal revenue sharing thing is overrated, since only the Big Ten really practices it to the max (i.e. gate sharing, etc.).

      Geography and having a clumping of flagships/second universities that dominate an area that is distinct from other conferences is much more indicative of stability.

      The Pac is stable because no one is going to poach from them.

      The Big Ten is stable because they’re the de facto Midwest conference. The ACC is the de facto Mid-Atlantic conference, and the SEC is the de facto Southern conference.

      All of those regions have multiple population centers that are tied together with multiple universities.

      The Big 12 was a TV contract designed to merge 2 national brands in the Big 8 with a national brand/population center in Texas as well as A&M.

    • StvInIL says:

      “The PAC-10 last year wasn’t anymore equal revenue than the Big 12 is”
      Yeah but the Pac 10 has a unique situation. The west, population-wise is extremely California heavy. And there are far more Universities out east or in the Midwest and south then there are in the west region. So the west simply does not have as many major college options as do some of these other regions. Some great academic options but overall not as many options.

  16. bullet says:

    Found this link on Hornfans with a link to Kansas-its a twist I thought about this morning, but thought noooo-not enough close neighbors…..Just proves everyone is looking at everything and anything is still possible.


    • zeek says:

      If I’m the ACC, I offer Texas the deal that the Pac-12 isn’t willing to offer.

      • Brian says:

        I wouldn’t offer UT any special rights. If the LHN can fit better in the ACC with their current TV contracts, that’s one thing, but I wouldn’t give UT anything extra and certainly no conference FB games (they can have replay rights, though).

        FSU and Miami could form a network, possibly with UF, and make good money. Certainly the NC schools could make one. GT would need UGA, and Clemson would need SC. UVA, VT and MD maybe. BC would be SOL.

      • jj says:

        That’s how problems start. No deals like that.

    • Gopher86 says:

      Boy, if the ACC allows the LHN, they’re asking for trouble and deserve every bit they get.

  17. BigTen Jeff says:

    Brought over from the end of the last post…

    Just maybe… The B1G is illustrating that academics and research are considerations that won’t be compromised in the pursuit of expanding its football brand/imprint, and they are at least as important as athletics. The intelligence of this blog still remains in what I believe is the most accurate reflection of the perspective of TPTB, and the prism through which this all should continue to be viewed: FTT’s opening salvo (you had me at hello) of “Think Like a University President”. TPTB likely believe what many across the blogosphere (thinking like fans or ADs) either ignore or forget. The B1G already considers itself the preeminent collection of combined academic, research and athletic universities in the country. Its dominance in and commitment to research is unquestioned, and its position in academia, particularly among state universities and on the graduate school level, is unparalleled (looking at this through my prism says we take this seriously enough that we’d punish one of our own – Nebraska – as a challenge, instead of engaging in cronyism that dilutes the true value of our brand, until the appropriate level of commitment is shown by Nebraska to warrant reacquiring AAU status). The B1G’s revenue generation in athletics is at the top of the heap, indeed is the new paradigm, and it’s scheduled to leap by even more dramatic bounds within the next five years (can you say BTN2 and contract renewal?).

    Consider the following. While other conferences are struggling for survival and/or securing the future, the B1G has already won. We talk a lot about the performance of the BTN. We don’t talk enough about the escalator effect that will occur once Fox recoups its initial investment in the BTN in just a couple of years. The per school take will skyrocket again. Indeed, what’s the worst case scenario if we stayed at 12 for another 20 years, assuming Notre Dame is still independent? Our schools will be taking home $30M/year, courtesy of our current maneuvers/position, which will still be more than any other conference, (especially with Pac16 dilution). Are we that concerned about National Championships in football? Even if we are, we will always still have a great shot at them: we have four Kings on our team and two very strong Princes. There’s no way super conferences happen without the direction and leadership of the B1G, whether we’re at 12 or 16. Not only are we the B1G; we’re the B1G dog here. Guys, we know what we’re doing. Have there been any better conference moves (including integration) in the last 2 decades than either PSU or Nebraska? Patience is a virtue.

    Look to the end game. The B1G can watch with amusement while all the other chess pieces are played, all of which serve to circle the wagons around securing ND (plus possibly/presumably additional population growth-centered, academically stable universities. I’m not saying we’re oblivious to expanding, we just don’t need to compromise or rush). We don’t need to react, much less overreact, to anything. Yes, UT would be great, but only because of the state’s population. Would you marry a schizophrenic supermodel who will destroy your family and ultimately leave, scarring your reputation forever? Yes, Stanford, UF, UNC, UVa, FSU, Maryland, USC, TAMU, etc. would be great, but we can’t have everyone! Yes, OK would be great from a football perspective, but we aren’t taking OkSU (can it be more clear that this is a package deal? That’s the Pac12′s game). Even alone, OK is perhaps a rung too low on the academic/research front (Nebraska comparisons are irrelevant because OK is bound to OkSU). No addition, even Texas or ND would make us greater than we’ve been for a century (insert Legends and Leaders commercial here); it would only enhance what we’ve already created. Notre Dame rightfully is clinging on to their independence for as long as they can. However, ND alone among the remaining Kings fits within our footprint and still offers us the national footprint we seek without disrupting what feels right about being the B1G. When they enter, I hope it’s done with an understanding that we’ve respected their history enough all these years such that integration can be complete and permanent.

    I’m ok with waiting unless another King of academia, research, AND football/population growth centers comes calling. I think – and hope – that’s what our university presidents are thinking.

    Go U NU!!

    • rich2 says:

      Could not agree more. I fully support your analysis. Having participated in two “MoU” tours this summer, one in India with an IIT and IIS, and one in China with Peking and Tsingua Universities, the Big 10 will have its hands full keeping its rankings at the graduate level (especially if the Tea Party exerts greater political control domestically). Quite simply, we are in the battle of the century. Logically, if your domestic student body is 20% the size of both of your primary competitors (India and China) and if your students typically perform significantly lower in math and science than your competitors’ students (in the most recent OECD results [much of South Asia outperforms us]), when the trajectory of investment in higher education and in research is greater among our competitors, and of course when your competitors are “pro-science and pro-math” do you really expect to maintain your rankings? In fact, I am so depressed after writing this, I think the Big Ten should disband its sports programs :). The Big Ten should consider the old bromide “core competencies” and focus on graduate research and graduate education, period. Plenty of schools do a much better job in educating undergraduates and many schools are more than willing to become a source of entertainment for their states’ residents. Why do we need to be “all things to all people”?

      • Eric says:

        I just don’t think the sports and academic sides are that connected. There is a little bit of academic prestiege that can be lost, but that’s the only loss. None of the Big Ten schools will be any better or worse because they are in a sports conference with teams that are better or worse than they are.

        (And off topic, but I don’t think think the Tea Party influence is bad at all, in fact I welcome it given the absolute waste I see with colleges :) )

        • Eric says:

          Ignore my Tea Party comment. I couldn’t help myself, but that isn’t the purpose of this blog. Sorry.

          • Chas. says:

            While not wanting to venture into a taboo political discussion, you are partially correct. Our universities compete in a very bad paradigm, relying on research grants from the National Science Foundation. It would be better if state governments, particularly Illinois, had their fiscal houses in order so that they could prioritize higher education and not need redistributed income from the feds. Universities ought to be in the business of preparing students to be productive members of the private workforce, where they will get paid to make the next technological advance.

            From my very partisaned Illini perspective, I couldn’t be much happier with the latest round of expansion now that we have all our trophy games played annually. I can hardly wait for 2017 when we return to the nine-game conference schedule so we can play the Legends more often.

            However, I believe Jim Delany’s robust cost/benefit analysis about multi-team expansion is instructive. The purpose of conferences is to play each other more often. Secondary is moving into additional markets for BTN revenue. While Texas may be an elusive pipe-dream for us, I still believe the Mid-Atlantic states are ripe for poaching if the SEC destabilizes the ACC. Why wouldn’t Delany, the UNC grad, want Maryland, Virginia, UNC and Duke as part of his legacy? They all add to the CIC’s academic cache and move the BTN into growth markets. Plus, we become the quintessential basketball league while adding more football wins for our premier members. Win-Win.

          • Brian says:


            As an IL alum, I’d like to get your opinion on IL’s B10 rivalries. Would you rate the other 11 teams in terms or importance of the FB game to you, on a scale of 0-10?

            We don’t get a ton of IL alumni on here, and this is always one of the issues we wonder about. Any other IL alum that wants to do it is also more than welcome. Graduation years might be helpful clues if there are differences of opinion.

      • BigTen Jeff says:

        Some perspective here is needed. Our universities simply cannot be all consumed by athletics; these are our pastimes, not our raison d’etre. Our country really is in a fight for tomorrow, and our institutions of higher education have to been the sources of innovations, human and technological. I have to believe athletics is fuel to the fire, not the end all, be all. What continues to impress me most about The B1G is how well we incorporate all considerations. Thanks for the validation.

        • bullet says:

          Its a problem when alumni value winning a football game over the value of their degrees and the stain something like what went on at Miami can have on that value (I’m using Miami as an example of the bad stuff, not of a school whose alumni don’t care).

          • BigTen Jeff says:

            I’ve always laughed it off as being an NU grad during the “Stop State at 28″ losing days, then a U of Ill grad with only basketball success, but I’ve always cared as much as knowing about the Nobel Prize winners and recent research/tech advances coming from my alma mater as NU’s improvement on the gridiron. I’m certainly not sending my kids to a college primarily based on who has the best football experience… The really cool thing about our schools is we don’t have to compromise on either metric. Speaking of Miami, it is notable and an interesting turn of events that NU is marketing itself as ‘Chicago’s B1G Team’. Alums and Fans are two separate groups; Miami certainly shows that, for better or worse.

          • bullet says:

            That’s one of the strengths and weaknesses of the SEC schools. They have a lot bigger fan base than their population would indicate, but they’ve got more fickle fans who only care about winning.

    • SH says:

      Well said. This relates to my question on the last blog – who has had the most successful expansion. I say the B10. You can make the argument with others (the ACC adding a lot of football powers), the SEC being able to get to a CCG. But the B10 took what was already the top power conference and made it better, but has done so without taking any marginal schools or without upsetting its core institutions. The ACC is a much better football conference than it once was, but it has certainly given up its basketball-based identity in in the pursuit of football glory. The B10 has not really done that. I continue to believe that the B10 is patient. They will let others prove that a 14/16 team conference will work.

      My only complaint with the B10 is the divisions. I still think they should have not done divisions and just had the top two play each season as the itle game. I know the NCAA has some silly rule requiring divisions, but I would have simply ignored it or forced the NCAA to change it. It is a silly rule.

      • Adam says:

        The rule makes sense. It was designed for leagues which were so big that it was difficult for everybody to play each other, so they split into divisions to emphasize playing at least some teams regularly, with a title game at the end to settle the conference championship. If you’re small enough that you can compete as a single section (or at least your membership is willing to go along with that), you don’t need a title game very badly.

        • SH says:

          Disagree, it serves no purpose. The NCAA should have no say over it. Of course, I think the NCAA should have no say over Div 1 college football.

          • Brian says:

            The NCAA is made up of the schools that play the games. Your argument is that the schools should have no say over the teams.

      • Brian says:


        You don’t get to ignore rules just because you think they are silly, and you can’t force the NCAA to change it. The rule is smart. The only way a CCG makes sense is if there are separate divisions. Otherwise, it’s an in conference bowl game.

    • StvInIL says:

      While I agree that the patience has been a good thing, waiting may not be a good option at this point. I also think that the conference should make a statement that it will not advance past 14 teams at the most. 2 more really good additions could be way better than 4 so, so ones. Because all we are doing is adding numbers.

  18. mwp says:

    Real good column by Kyle Lamb. He has it exactly right. I think the only question is what the Pac12 does after adding OU and OSU. Do they take Missouri and Kansas? Texas Tech and Missouri? Or do they reserve two spots for Texas?

    Regardless, Texas to the Big 10 is the angle that everyone´s forgotten, but it looks like the most likely scenario at this point.

    • zeek says:

      Texas’ thought process right now is as follows:

      1) What can best accommodate the LHN? Quasi-independence (football independence with non-football sports in a Big 12 “lite”). Or maybe this ACC angle.

      2) Where can they get the most favorable deal if the LHN has to be given up? Pac-12 (since they do have some form of a regional network for their Noah’s Arc model).

      I have to believe the Big Ten and SEC are entirely off the table, but I could be wrong.

      • mwp says:

        I doubt Texas would be forced to give up the LHN in the Big 10. There´s no reason for that to be the sticking point.

        If Texas wants to keep the LHN, then it´s pretty simple: They don´t share in the BTN revenue. Revenue is then split among 13 schools, not 14, and, at the same time, the BTN and the LHN go Tier 1 throughout Texas.

        • jamesinsocal says:

          Is it possible for the BTN to take the LHN over and cross it over to the BTN, this would cut through the chase of getting the BTN on basic cable tier. (I assume that the LHN would be on the basic cable tier already)
          If that were the case, The that problem would be solved. No?

          • wm wolverines says:

            B10 network would demand at least one or two UT games be on the BTN, to get those carraige fees from the 25+million Texans.

          • StvInIL says:

            How about if they allowed them to wind down the network over 3 – 4 years. It would not be cold turkey. They would also only get only half their league payout until they are fully on board. Texas has to decide if they really want to be in a conference or independence is a better fit for them.

        • Patrick says:

          I sure hope the Big Ten would NEVER do that. It is that kind of garbage that destroys conferences.

          If Texas gets different rules, why doesn’t Ohio State, why doesn’t Michigan? Screw Indiana, they had low football attendance, lets cut their BTN take.
          My point is, everyone plays by and agrees to the same rules. No exceptions, if Texas can’t agree to the BTN having all of the secondary rights, then no invite for Texas. These are the rules, this is the freaking BIG TEN, not the MAC.

        • frug says:

          No way the “lesser” schools ever sign off on a deal that sets any precedent for any form of unequal revenue distribution.

      • Aggie in Fort Worth says:

        Someone with more knowledge can correct me if I am wrong when it comes to the SEC television rights, but the LHN can exist in the SEC, but only as a third-tier rights — none of this “I have a contract with ESPN to show multiple football games exculsively on my own channel!”

        The SEC package, I believe, shows all of the football games on television as it is; so the LHN provision to have at least two games on the station would not occur.

        • bullet says:

          No. The SEC schools actually get to select a game to withhold for their own network. I don’t know what the restrictions are on what they can withhold. Maybe one of the SEC people can shed more light on that. Florida made $8 million from the Sunshine network last year which televised their sports (but not exclusively Florida sports).

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          FW Aggie – I brought this point up last year. The LHN could easily exist in the SEC. Each SEC team gets to keep one game for PPV, although its usually a Sunbelt or 1-AA game. As I’m most familiar with LSU’s 3rd tier package with Cox, I’ll use that as the example. After CBS, the ESPN family of networks, and the syndicated SECN pick their games, either to televise or sell to FSN or CSS, each school can cut their own deal for the leftovers. During the 2010-11 academic year, 6 men’s basketball games and 19 baseball games were televised by Cox. LSU produces their own PPV football telecast outside of the Cox agreement. Cox also show re-plays of all LSU football games, but they have to use their own cameras, announcers, etc. Women’s and other Olympic sports are also televised on Cox. Cox doesn’t show or produce the various coaches shows as they produces by LSU and syndicated. Cox does provide LSU with various weekly “round-up” type shows.

          Its certainly not enough to fill up a 24 hour channel, but its a lot of content, and Cox shows NBA Hornets games, high schools games, multi-directional college and Tulane games, and minor league baseball games. Cox probably could do more, but I think they’d rather have more live content, even if its not LSU. For a state with less population than the Houston metro area, LSU may be getting more bucks for their bang than UTx is with their LHN.

          LSU’s deal with Cox is very similar to what the other SEC have in the way of 3rd tier rights, with the exception of the MS schools and Vandy. I think UF, UGa, Bama, and Kentucky all have better deals than LSU.

          UTx, on the other hand, could probably fill up a network under the SEC’s 3rd tier restrictions with more Olympic and Women’s coverage, original programming, and classic telecasts from ESPN/ABC.

          One thing to remember about the SEC contracts, as well, is that the SEC did not sell their digital rights. From time to time, on Cox, I can see for example, the ESPN telecast of the 1988 Earthquake game with Auburn, with a skinny, baby-faced Chris Fowler serving as the sideline reporter.

          • duffman says:

            I think UK has the best deal for 3rd tier rights because of basketball where the values can grow quickly. UNC is #1 and KU is high up the list. If anybody has the dosh link handy, add it here and you can see how schools with solid basketball get added value.

        • Frug says:

          In theory the LHN could exist in the SEC, but I strongly suspect the league would make dismantling the network a condition of admission.

      • gas1958 says:

        Zeek, a small aside, if I may. The irony to me, as someone who grew up in Texas and went to graduate school at UM (I also lived in Austin for a short time), is that Texas is still, in many ways, a perfect fit for the B1G: a large flagship school, huge grad and UG population,
        highly regarded professional schools, research orientation, etc. Geography is an issue, but surmountable, if they wanted to do it. I agree with you about the SEC and B1G, but I think
        it’s shame in a way. Had Delany gotten what I think he wanted–UT, ND and NE–that would be the ultimate super-conference at 14. Unfortunately UT doesn’t share that particular vision.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      The mystery of why no one will link to the Lamb article continues. I’ve googled every Kyle Lamb combo possible and I can’t find it.

    • mushroomgod says:

      I don’t think it’s the most likely scenerio at all.

      TX’s President has no interes oin the BIG. He completely stiffed G. Gee when he broached the subject……and why would TX come to the BIG without either A@M or OK?? Not going to happen…….

  19. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX Fightin’ Tigers!

    I just made it back from Arlington. Wow! What a great start to the CFB season. I was optimistic about the Oregon game, as Les and the Tigers always seem to respond well to pressure. Whether it be hurricanes or Les-to-Michigan rumors, you can now add bar fights/suspensions to the adversity overcome checklist for the Mad Hatter.

    • duffman says:

      Congrats on your Tigers Alan, 2 schools have now shown the other PAC schools how to control the Ducks. I really think they will take the Tide this year but stumble on a lesser foe. They are still my pick for the MNC game. I will have to see how UNL affects the B1G this season before I know who is in the B1G CCG to meet the Tigers. If OU jumps in the next week or two, they will get enough bad calls in league to see their hopes fade.

      • Brian says:


        That’s 4 schools, not 2. Boise and OSU did it before AU and LSU.

        LSU plays at AL, so I’d give AL the edge. Also, AL has a coherent offense to go with their terrific defense.

        AL has the easier SEC schedule, so I lean towards them playing in the CCG.

        • Chas. says:


          Above you asked for my impressions about Illinois’ football rivalries. Based on my experiences, graduating in 1999, Illini fans only hate two schools: Michigan (Muck Fichigan) & Iowa (series hiatus from 1953-1966), both occupants of the opposing division. However, it is a welcome change to play our three trophy annually: The Cannon with Purdue, Illibuck with Ohio State and the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk/Land of Lincoln politically correct replacement with Northwestern. As a Bears fan that believes that the Packers are the ultimate form of evil, its nice to have my favorite rival Wisconsin in the Leaders division, even though they got hosed in division alignment.

          Below are our respective series records:
          G W L T
          Northwestern 103 52 46 5
          Ohio State 96 30 62 4
          Michigan 91 23 66 2
          Purdue 85 41 38 6
          Wisconsin 77 36 34 7
          Iowa 69 38 29 2
          Minnesota 63 28 32 3
          Indiana 66 43 21 2
          Michigan State 43 17 24 2
          Penn State 17 3 14 0
          Nebraska 10 2 7 1

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Thanks Duff. The game really had a BCS feel to it. With the BCS NCG in the Superdome, we are all hopeful that things continue to work out for the Tigers, but it won’t be easy. LSU can take a breather this week (Northwestern State), then its back to one of the most difficult Septembers ever with a Thursday night game at StarkVega$ against #16 Miss State followed by another road game at Morgan Town against #19 West Virginia.

        In honor of the Tigers first ever trip to West Virginia, WVU AD Oliver Luck was able to pursuade his BoS to allow beer sales at Milan-Puskar Stadium. Mixing Cajuns and Hillbillies in a confined space with alcohol should be a socialogical case study. I’ll report back to you all with my evaluation as to whether the ‘eer fans are SEC-worthy.

  20. bullet says:

    Fits a little better in the last post, but some comments on the SEC recruiting in Texas, including some of Saban’s about how PSU helped the B10 recruiting by opening up the east.


  21. GreatLakeState says:

    Kirk Bohls, the old-school know-it-all at the Austin Statesman says:
    “if I were Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, I’d invite Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Notre Dame (very improbable likelihood this would happen)”

    • drwillini says:

      Make that Texas, Oklahoma, ND and Pitt/Maryland and I’d be on board. As much as I hate Notre Dame if they are going anywhere I have to say they belong in the B1G. We need an eastern school to leverage PSU, we need a good academic school to balance OU.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, ND
        Texas, Oklahoma, Maryland, ND
        Either would be fine with me. If only it were so.

        I don’t know why Bohls chose Kansas, unless he just assumed Missouri is going to the SEC.

        • bullet says:

          Ever heard of basketball? Its nice to have an IU with your Ohio States. They give the Ohio States wins in football and bring something on their own.

          • duffman says:


            I loved KU last year for that reason but got clobbered on here. KU would do best in the B1G or PAC where their basketball “brand” will be preserved and enhanced. IU vs KU in the B1G or KU vs UCLA in the PAC.

        • SideshowBob says:

          I’d rather have Kansas than Mizzou. But, really, I’d rather have neither. If we want basketball, Syracuse is a better get than Kansas based on academics and potential market (yes, I know Cuse is not in the AAU).

          And that ignores that if the Big Ten could poach ACC teams, then schools like Maryland or UNC are better choices than the non UT/OU Big 12 teams.

          • Richard says:

            Seconded. OU, Texas, ND, and Syracuse (if you have ND, leverage to crack the East Coast markets) should be Delany’s wet dream.

  22. Eric says:

    Texas to the ACC is a bit far fetched, but also could make a certain amount of sense. I think PAC-16 still makes more sense as they could anchor a southwestern division with Oklahoma, but the ACC would be crazy not to offer the incentives the PAC-12 might be hesisitant too.

    Texas (and probably Texas Tech) would allow the ACC to rearrange the divsions so that Florida State and Miami could be in the same divsion and might also allow for the Carolina schools to get back together (although that would be easier with 16). Without looking through and knowing all the rivalries, I could see is something like this:

    Texas Tech
    North Carolina
    North Carolina State
    Wake Forest

    Florida State
    Georgia Tech
    Boston College
    Virginia Tech

    To get Texas they might have to offer more than the Carolina schools on an yearly basis though, so maybe the Carolina schools remain divided.

  23. drwillini says:

    Somebody please explain the Maryland uniforms to me. They are so offensive I must re-evaluate my support for them joining the B1G. I confess I have no artistic sensibility, but I’m not sure this requries any to intepret.

    • SH says:

      Ha, I was thinking the same thing. Let’s see you take one of the “busiest” state flags and just put pieces of it on your uniform. Nothing goes better with red and white than yellow and black.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        I love the tortoise shell design (except for that checkered pattern down the center). I also like the matte black helmet. The rest of the uniforms, however, are hideous.

        • vp19 says:

          As a Maryland alum, I want to apologize for the hideous uniforms. There are better ways of blending red, white, black and gold than trying to turn the state flag into a football jersey. (It sort of reminded me of that silly “Turn Ahead The Clock” MLB promotion from the late 1990s — remember the “Mercury Mets”?).

          Nice win, though a bit too nerve-wracking for my tastes. (And kudos to Terrapin radio broadcaster Johnny Holliday, who went 2-for-2 Monday — doing the Nationals’ pre- and post-game shows in their victory over the Dodgers from Nats Park in the afternoon, then scooting up to College Park for the football game.)

    • Bobestes says:

      I am a designer, and I am horrified.

      • bullet says:

        UGA and Boise both got universally panned in Atlanta. LSU won that night (since I couldn’t get the LHN to see Rice and UT) almost by default-UGA, Boise, the always ugly Ducks.

        • Brian says:

          They looked like XFL uniforms. Someone has to stop Nike (and adidas, and UnderArmour).

        • Bobestes says:

          Oregon is original, if flawed. Taking a state flag and chopping it up is just a totally obvious and low-hanging concept.

          It’s the kind of thing the CEO draws on a napkin and tells an intern to figure out.

          • bullet says:

            That’s my concern about expansion. The CEOs (regents) are getting involved and telling the ADs to just figure it out.

    • Brian says:

      They are so busy they make the opponents’ eyes water, giving MD an advantage?

    • m (Ag) says:

      Two Face now has a new favorite College.

    • jj says:

      Ok. I’m crazy, but I like them. The shoes are horrible though and I would just do the numbers in black.

    • Atlanticist says:

      They are supposed to be state pride uniforms. The new coach was tasked with getting fans in the stadium, so his plan is to tap into state pride. That’s why the “Terps” logo is gone.

      I doubt that confusion over the school mascot was the issue. But we’ll see what happens.

    • Richard says:

      I love the Maryland helmet. Heck, I thought UnderArmour didn’t go far enough; the whole uniform should have had the flag pattern!

  24. jj says:

    I predict Texas will opt for Compton. They love being the big fish too much. See you at the swap meet!

  25. m (Ag) says:

    “Neither the Big Ten nor SEC would ever grant spots to OSU and Tech and even if they’re not outright political requirements for OU and UT, they ensure that the two power schools won’t be complete geographic outliers.”

    Last year in an interview to a Texas newspaper, Slive said he could make room for 4 schools…he was implying OU, OSU, UT, and A&M. I know we linked to it here, but it would take forever to find it.

    As much as the Longhorns seem to be trying to save their network, I’m beginning to think the SEC may end up being their conference. I believe the SEC would prevent them from airing a conference game, or airing high school stuff, but otherwise it would work. Since the SEC already has A&M, would they take other schools to get the Longhorns? UT, TT, and Missouri, maybe?

    • Eric says:

      While I don’t see the SEC having a chance, the contract stuff would actually work out. ESPN has most the rights to the SEC and the LHN meaning it could probably work contractually.

    • Aggie in Fort Worth says:

      Texas is a prize to capture – no doubt about it. With that said, the rumors have been that the addition of Texas A&M was to be the western boundary of the conference expansion. Any other conference additions would come from the eastern side of the current boundary.

      The problem with the addition of either Texas or Missouri to the SEC would cause an imbalance in the western sub-division to cause one of the teams to move to the eastern sub-conference, unless there teams #15 and #16 have been idenitfied to play in the eastern sub-division.

  26. Redhawk says:

    Chip Brown has chimed in again:

    “A source close to Texas put the chances of UT going to the Pac-12 at “50 to 60 percent” on Friday night and had those odds increasing as of Saturday. But on Sunday, those percentages dropped to “20 percent,” according to the source, because Texas wanted to explore ways to hold onto the Longhorn Network.”

    “The $300 million, 20-year contract Texas signed with ESPN has become important to UT’s board of regents”

    These were the big take aways, that and he said it would be ARMAGEDDON if OU left.

    • mwp says:

      I think OU/OSU are probably already gone. Once A&M makes their announcement, OU is free to make theirs.

      It´s also pretty clear that the LHN isn´t going away.

    • ccrider55 says:


      Do you think it a “speak now, or forever hold your peace” moment that is being asked of UT the day after aTm is officially gone? Possibly tomorrow or wednesday?

      • Redhawk says:


        I wish…but for Texas I think it’s more of a “We’re going too. See ya around….give us a call when you pull your head out of your ass”. I’m thinking they will have a seat at the table. I think a PAC 18 is just as workable as a PAC 16.

    • bullet says:

      What’s significant about all of this (not just this latest turn on the rapidly changing expansion carousel), is that it used to be the 1st tier that generated the money. In the Big 12, 1st tier was $60 million, 2nd tier was $20 million and 3rd tier was very little as far as TV was concerned. Now 2nd tier is $90 million ($9 million/school) and UT is getting $15 million for 3rd tier. It calls into question all the assumptions about where the revenues are coming from, what’s important and how conferences and schools should think about their various rights. Major change can lead to major instability, not just in one conference.

    • metatron5369 says:

      I don’t trust Chip Brown at all, but Missouri receiving feelers from the Big Ten makes me feel better. No offense to these schools, but if at the end of the day, the Big Ten ends up with Iowa State and Rutgers, I’m going to be angry.

      Oklahoma (unlikely), Notre Dame, Missouri, Kansas. Maybe Texas (God only knows). This is a proud, Midwestern conference, we ought to keep it that way as much as possible.

    • cutter says:


      ACC commissioner refutes Texas to ACC report

      Posted on: September 5, 2011 10:07 pm

      COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Atlantic Coast Commissioner John Swofford shot down a report Monday night that his league was considering adding Texas, Syracuse, UConn and Rutgers.

      “I need to read more to see what we’re doing,” Swofford said laughing. “That’s news to me.”

      Orangebloods.com quoted a source Monday night that the ACC, trying to fend off a potential raid by the SEC – who might take Virginia Tech – would look to add Texas along with Syracuse, UConn and Rutgers for a 16-team league. Swofford spoke to reporters from CBSSports.com, SI.com and the New York Post at halftime of the Miami-Maryland game.

      “I think we see a lot of things that are written, blogged and speculated about right now,” Swofford said. “We’re not a point at doing anything from a conference standpoint other than a lot of discussion, analysis and seeing what the landscape may hold moving forward. That’s way beyond any type of discussion we’ve had.”

      The ACC’s current media rights deal is split evenly among all members. If, hypothetically the ACC added Texas, the Longhorns would bring their Longhorn Network and earn more than the other ACC members.

      Swofford said equal revenue sharing among ACC members “has been a very strong principle of our league since the middle ‘80s.”

      “I was AD in this league when we went to that fundamental principle and it’s been a very strong one ever since then,” Swofford said. “I think that it’s one that has a lot to do with the stability of conferences, just fundamentally.”

      Swofford also was asked about the, uh, colorful helmets Maryland debuted on Monday night.

      “They’re unique,” Swofford said. “And I think they’re appropriate for the state of Maryland with the flag and wearing the state colors for a state university.”

  27. duffman says:


    How many 5 star recruits come out of Compton?

    How many 5 star recruits come out of Beverly Hills?

    Football is a sport best played by those that have know the pang of real hunger

    • Mike says:

      Please tell me this post was a joke…

      • duffman says:

        Mike, my family came through Ellis Island with less than nothing. They were hungry, and sports was a ticket out of hunger. Whole different set of motivation than those with everything from the start. Look at those second generation kids of Polish, Irish, and Italian and tell me they did not make their mark on the sports of their era.

        • Mike says:

          If your point was about sports being an outlet for socioeconomic improvement perhaps you could have picked two areas with less racial overtones.

          • jj says:

            Compton & Bel Air?

          • duffman says:

            Mike if I say Hells Kitchen the young folks will not get the history, and Little Italy is not the same 100 years ago. My grandfather made his stand with his fists, and my dad made his in a uniform. When you are hungry you fight with your body, and when you get past that need you fight with your mind.

        • Gopher86 says:

          “When I was a young fellow (he started fighting at 15 against bigger and older opponents) I was knocked down plenty. I wanted to stay down, but I couldn’t. I had to collect the two dollars for winning or go hungry. I had to get up. I was one of those hungry fighters. You could have hit me on the chin with a sledgehammer for five dollars. When you havn’t eaten for two days you’ll understand.” – Jack Dempsey

    • Brian says:

      How many come out of B12 country minus TX and OK (Compton)?

      How many come out of P12 country (Beverly Hills)?

  28. ccrider55 says:

    The Big 12 would not be in jeopardy now if UT and LHN would do (as they said they would when they were allowed to start the LHN) that you are suggesting the SEC would be able to require of them. Without all that other stuff the LHN cannot be worth what (some est near 1 billion over the life of the contract) that ESPN will be spending on it.

  29. loki_the_bubba says:

    Biggest loser in these developments? Houston. UH was positioned to be the team to move up to either the BE or B12-2-1. Now the number of seats at the AQ table is contracting. The Cougars are perhaps the one one losing the most. Unless Baylor drops to the MWC/CUSA tier.

    • Bobestes says:

      Wait until one or two big east schools go from BCS to CUSA. THOSE will be the big losers.

      Looking at you, Cincinnati…

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        Why Cincy or Louisville instead of Baylor or ISU?

        • Bobestes says:

          Good point. All of them (except Louisville).

        • SideshowBob says:

          ISU really has the most to lose of any school IMHO. They benefit the most from simply having a historical connection to other, actually valuable schools. Wrestling prowess ain’t going to get you far (and didn’t help them keep their stellar coach in that sport to a big name school).

          Really in any conference explosion, Iowa St literally brings nothing to the table. Their only hope is that the Big 12 remains intact in some form that would keep them around. Baylor at least can point to being in Texas, but Iowa St is in Iowa. And isn’t even the big school in Iowa.

          Sorry to any Cyclone fans reading this.

          • Bo Darville says:

            Sanderson already left to go coach Penn State.

          • ccrider55 says:

            That is what he was saying.

          • M says:

            For all the crap Iowa State gets on this board, their football attendance last year was higher than Baylor, Syracuse, Kansas, Connecticut, TCU, and the Big East average last year. That was without getting Texas, Iowa, or Oklahoma at home.

            They’re the 11th or 12th best program in the Big 12, but they’re better than half the Big East (and way better than whatever CUSA/FCS programs the Big East was contemplating).

            The Big East will probably end up as (Big East + Kansas + KSU + Missouri + Iowa State) – WVU/Missouri.

          • Brian says:


            The BE goes after large markets. ISU doesn’t bring any market.

  30. BigTenForEvery says:

    Why not Iowa State and Kentucky to the Big Ten!

    • BigTenForEvery says:

      It makes sense.

    • StvInIL says:

      Iowa State would add literally nothing to the BIG. Kentucky would be a plus in Basketball. They have a good supportive fan base in state. Nice facilities. They bring a few more TV’s. But really the focus of these additions is Primarily Football. Academically they do not bring a lot.

  31. Mike says:

    Baylor: Don’t mess with Texas Football.


    Don’t Mess With Texas Football

    Nothing is more beloved in Texas than Texas football. Entire towns travel to neighboring communities on Friday nights as rivals meet under the Friday night lights; Saturday mornings find families rushing out to pee wee football games and spending their afternoons with friends tailgating or watching some of the most historic and storied football rivalries in the nation; Sunday afternoons see families gathered in living rooms across the state to cheer on the Cowboys or the Texans.

    Football in Texas is more than a passing interest, it is a part of the fabric of this great state.

    •Will Texans stand by and watch hundred-year-old rivalries be cast aside as the state’s largest universities align themselves with other states across the country?
    •Will Texans sit and watch as Texas’ flagship universities pledge their loyalties to other states?
    •Will Texans stand by as our most promising student athletes are lured out of Texas by new rivals?
    •Will Texans watch as our most precious resources—the great minds of the next generation—are exported to new conference institutions?

    Texans must stand up and call the leadership of the University of Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech to clear-headed thinking about the state’s future. Texas’ flagship institutions of higher learning are the guardians of the state’s future—their loyalties must first be to Texas and to her citizens. Ask these leaders to take a stand for Texas and to stop this madness that will lead to the dissolution of the Big 12 and the end of an era for Texas.

    • Redhawk says:

      where was Baylor when they were leaving SMU, Houston, Rice and TCU behind?

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        No comment…

      • Mike says:

        @Redhawk – Shhhhh. Don’t mention that.

      • hangtime79 says:

        Don’t blame the last guy to get on the lifeboat, blame the guy who sunk the ship. A pretty damn good case could be made that none of the schools belonged (Baylor included) in the Big 12. Baylor got lucky in that it was a good spot politically at that point. It was 17 years ago now. Where is the hate for Tech, did they belong? Where is the hate for TAMU, couldn’t they have saved the SWC? Where is the hate for UT, hell they blew up the SWC and now the Big 12? That’s right blame Baylor for the implosion of SWC and the subsequent aftermath, makes a whole lot of sense – obviously because Baylor has so much power over the situation.

        Ann Richards is RIP.
        Bob Bullock is RIP.
        Baylor’s gone through like 5 presidents since then.

        No one who was a part of that decision is still in office or in the administration. What was Baylor supposed to do? Hold out for TCU, SMU, and Rice? What actual leverage did it have other then being the last one on the life boat?

        Wanna hold a grudge. Hold it against UT.

    • Gopher86 says:

      In all seriousness, this looks like Baylor is setting off emergency flares. They pulled a similar grass roots campaign when the conference looked to collapse last year.

  32. Brian says:


    There are reports that TN is buying out of their return game at OR in 2013, which TN denies. Last year TN cancelled the series with UNC at the last minute and they avoided USC. UGA also cancelled a series with OR last year (2015-6). UF won’t leave the state. Is the SEC East scared?

    • duffman says:


      are they buying out because they know TAMU is coming in?

    • bullet says:

      UGA hired someone who used to work at Florida. Previously, UGA wanted exposure around the country and played home and home with schools like Colorado, Arizona St. and Oklahoma St. He adopted the Florida scheduling philosophy of scheduling guaranteed wins at home against the weakest possible opposition.

  33. Brian says:


    According to the NY Post, several sources indicate the B10 is trying to lure MD although it is still considered a longshot for now.

    • SideshowBob says:

      Happy to hear it. Outside of the kings (ND/UT), I really think Maryland is the ideal expansion target for the Big Ten. At the very least, the Big Ten needs to be talking to them in case a lot of parts start moving rapidly and the ACC begins to look unstable.

      • tt says:

        as someone who’s been living in the dc area the last 3 years, living both in maryland and virginia, I can say that getting just MD or VT alone will not capture the market. the states of maryland and virginia, even though they’re just separated by the potomac river are very different places. in terms of market shares between the 2 schools, I’d say in maryland it’s 70:30 MD:VT, in northern virginia, it’s something like 65:35 VT:MD. I’d say in the district, VT probably holds a slight advantage, however, surprisingly (or unsurprisingly to this board perhaps), I think that ohio state, penn state, and michigan have a larger market share in DC than VT and MD. in general, no one in this area cares about UVa’s sports programs (including UVa alumns). so, if you really want to capture the dc metro area, I think you need to get BOTH MD and VT. however, we know due to virginia politics, UVa is tied to VT at this point, which means you have to invite all 3 schools. obviously the endgame to B1G expansion is ND, but what if ND demands to have another school included with it such as Pitt or Boston College? that means someone’s being left out of this round of musical chairs….

        • vp19 says:

          Big Ten presidents will tell Notre Dame it joins the conference on Big Ten terms, not Notre Dame’s. This “we’re bigger than the game” mentality won’t work for either Texas or ND where the Big Ten is concerned.

          • Ross says:

            Yeah, people seem to really be getting into the whole Texas keeps its LHN but joins the B1G without BTN profits. Sorry, no way.

            First of all, the LHN excludes UT from participating in any other conference network, and it would seem difficult to even get Texas games on the BTN. So, exactly how is having Texas useful from a BTN standpoint when few if any games will ever even make it to that platform. The contract itself might be valued more highly for its ABC/ESPN portion, but the goal is expanding the BTN footprint and maintaining/strengthening conference stability, something adding Texas with special privileges fails to accomplish.

            The B1G will bow to neither ND nor UT. They can continue to be an exceptionally stable conference without expanding at all, let alone with major power schools that may compromise that stability.

        • Richard says:

          If the SEC picks off VTech, would the B10 take Maryland & UVa? I know UVa isn’t a great brand in football, but with UMB and the B10 brands, they should at least get the BTN on basic across the state of VA at some carriage rate, right? UMD and UVa are desirable in every way (academics, research, growing population, fertile football recruiting, large media markets, bball and other non-football sports) except football, and maybe the UnderArmour guy can do for the Terps what Boone Pickens and Phil Knight did for their alma maters. . . .

    • jj says:

      I’d love to know a bit more about this. Any truth to the craziest rumor; Texas to ACC? Is MD considering running from Texas?

    • vp19 says:

      I’m always a bit skeptical of what Lenn Robbins, generally a Big East lackey, writes. Remember, in 2003 he reported the ACC would become a 14-member conference by also adding Syracuse and Notre Dame in addition to the teams that did join.

      Also, Maryland wouldn’t be invited by itself; a 14th member would have to be admitted, too. I honestly don’t think the Big Ten feels all that threatened over Missouri going to the SEC, although this could be a situation where the western members want Mizzou, the eastern members want Maryland (from a Big Ten perspective, the most suitable eastern candidate), and this would be a way to satisfy both camps.

      • Richard says:

        Mizzou brought in with Maryland would be horrible. The B10 needs a king (or something close to it) to justify UMD. So one of OU, ND, Texas, VTech, UVa, UNC, Duke, FSU, Miami . . .

      • Richard says:

        Also, I’m not sure that the western B10 schools want Mizzou. Mizzou’s not Nebraska, and the former Illinois president said that they had considered Mizzou in the past (around the time they brought in PSU & were thinking of a 12th school) but the academics weren’t up to par.

  34. GreatLakeState says:

    The Northwestern board actually has some really interesting posts about Texas.
    One, convincingly explains how it would be in the B1G interest (financially) to take Texas and allow them to keep the LHN. Hey, are you going to argue with a Northwestern accounting wiz?
    Another believes that Texas, knowing that ND will eventually be in the B1G, can’t possibly turn down what would be the ultimate conference. Many won’t buy these opinions, but they are interesting.


    • StvInIL says:

      Want to see a long established conference implode? Allow Texas in with the LHN. I can see them wean them off over a 3 – 4 year period. Otherwise cold turkey would be the best way to put them in the proper frame of mind of being in a “conference” and not a rigged game.

  35. zeek says:

    If the Big Ten absolutely had to expand right now to prevent the SEC from taking Missouri, then the best possible option is Missouri/Maryland.

    • zeek says:

      Of course, I’m among those who believes that the ACC is untouchable, and that Delany is waiting on ND, but he probably has some scenarios that he’s thinking about…

      • Penn State Hockey says:

        I am confused how everyone keeps saying the ACC is untouchable. Maryland’s athletic department lost millions last year. The Big Ten offers more money for athletics, same or greater academic prestige, and more opportunities to access the biggest money maker of them all, research dollars. The SEC might not be able to break into the ACC but the Big Ten absolutely could. Maryland will not continue to lose money for the sake of all rivalries especially in this climate.

        • Atlanticist says:

          If the offer came from the Big Ten, Maryland would take it. Maryland may be a wealthy state, but we need the money and the exposure.

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          @Penn State Hockey,

          I’ll grant you that the Big Ten would offer Maryland a lot more money than the ACC could, in the long term. At the same time, it’s worth noting a few things:

          1) Maryland is about to receive a huge spike in TV revenue from the ACC starting this year, the first year that the $155M/year TV contract goes into effect.
          2) Maryland would not receive equal payouts from the Big Ten for several years, just as Nebraska must wait several years until the league’s next TV contract is negotiated and the payouts begin.

          So while the ACC would not be able to offer as much money as the Big Ten, it still is offering some relief to the Maryland athletic department that it could not offer with the now-expired TV contract.

          • Penn state hockey says:

            True Maryland will receive more money from the new ACC tv contract. However, the Big Ten’s new tv contract will be coming into play in 2016. That contract will dwarf every other contract out there especially if there is expansion. I think Nebraska is only getting a partial share of the BTN, not the regular television contract. I could be wrong about that though. If that’s the case, Maryland will be getting much more money from the new Big Ten regular contract in 2016 than the ACCs, so a partial share of the BTN will simply be gravy eventually. I think the Big Ten will have it’s choice of ACC schools not in North Carolina in 2015. That includes UVA and Maryland. The money difference will be too great.

          • vp19 says:


            * Football drives the college athletics bus, no matter how much the basketball people like to deny it.

            * The Big Ten has a recognizable football brand; the ACC’s brand, though competitively not much different from the Big Ten aside from the very top, is negligible.

            * It’d be a heckuva lot easier to fill up Byrd Stadium with the likes of Penn State, Ohio State and occasional visits from Wisconsin, Michigan State, Iowa and Michigan than it would be with Clemson, Wake Forest and Boston College.

            Yes, you may not make as much money right away — but come 2041, where would you rather be? (And this doesn’t even take into account the academic and research opportunities that come with Big Ten membeship.)

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            “It’d be a heckuva lot easier to fill up Byrd Stadium with the likes of Penn State, Ohio State and occasional visits from Wisconsin, Michigan State, Iowa and Michigan than it would be with Clemson, Wake Forest and Boston College.”

            This is a ridiculous comparison. Why not just say, “It’d be a heckuva lot easier to fill up Byrd Stadium with the likes of Penn State, Ohio State and occasional visits from Wisconsin, Michigan State, Iowa and Michigan than it would be with Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, and Kentucky?”

            You chose two of the three least attractive ACC teams and compared them with the Big Ten’s most attractive, while ignoring interesting ACC home games against teams like FSU, Virginia Tech, Miami, and UNC and the uninteresting Big Ten opponents like Indiana, Northwestern, Minnesota, and Purdue.

            Look, I’m not saying the Big Ten doesn’t have a better brand. It most certainly does. But you have to compare apples to apples. You’d have to ask how tickets would sell for:

            An Ohio State game compared to a Florida State game?
            Penn State game compared to Miami game?
            Michigan game vs. Virginia Tech game?
            Nebraska game vs. UNC game?
            Wisconsin vs. Clemson?
            Iowa vs. NC State?
            Michigan State vs. Georgia Tech?
            Illinois vs. Virginia?
            Purdue vs. Boston College?
            Northwestern vs. Wake Forest?
            Indiana/Minnesota vs. Duke?

            You have to remember that a big reason for Maryland’s failure to sell tickets is not because the ACC is so uninteresting. It’s because Maryland football fans are fickle. If the team is mediocre for a few years, they’ll have trouble selling tickets, even if there’s a turnaround season like last year. You cannot blame the ACC for Maryland’s woes in ticket sales, nor can you expect the Big Ten to change that. Winning would be much harder to happen in the Big Ten.

          • FryGuy says:

            I still think that if the Big Ten is going to raid the ACC, they would try to take UNC/Duke. While they do not move the meter football wise (and Duke is very bad), they are perhaps the only schools that move the meter from a basketball perspective (perhaps with the exception of Kentucky and Kansas). They also bring you more coverage in the NYC market than Syracuse or Rutgers would (Duke is the number one watched school in the NYC media market). You would also go a long way towards DC and the Mid Atlantic. If you simultaneously added MD or UV, you would completely lock down DC. In addition the NC schools are a better academic fit and certainly add significantly to the national brand. It would also make the Big Ten the preeminent basketball conference. While I know that this is all about football, basketball will serve the purpose of getting the BTN on TV sets in the Northeast, more so than any college football team not named Notre Dame would. Not every football team can be a perennial winner and the basketball of these two schools would make up for the lack of football. Add this to the fact that I think Duke and UNC would listen to the Big 10, because they are still upset at the football expansion from several years ago, which did not pan out like everyone expected.

            All this being said, I do not think this will happen, I think the ACC is an extremely stable conference, but that changes if the SEC poaches Clemson or VT or FSU.
            I just think that if Delaney is going to raid the ACC, then he will go for UNC/Duke, who as a combo I would consider a king, instead of settling for MD or UVA.

          • Richard says:


            The problem is that Fortress Carolina is hard to break and would be the last to fall in the ACC. I was an early proponent of taking the ACC core four, but the problem is that UNC needs to play UVa, Duke, & NCSU every year in football, they need to play Duke twice a year in bball, and they share the same administration with NCSU, so they’re not going anywhere unless the SEC graciously takes NCSU.

    • frug says:

      Why would the Big Ten feel a need to preemptively grab Missouri?

    • Richard says:

      Zeek, taking Mizzou in order to prevent the SEC from taking them would be, IMHO, a godawful decision. Mizzou wasn’t a threat when they were in the B12. How would they enhance the SEC or be a threat when they’re jostling with either the MS schools or UK/Vandy to stay out of the cellar?

  36. M says:

    The supposed day of reckoning is upon us (yet again). Will something actually happen this time?

  37. herbiehusker says:


  38. bullet says:

    Mike Stoops at Arizona had an interesting quote regarding a Pac 16:

    “When you look at the amount of quality teams we would have in one conference, its kind of scary, especially if you don’t have a long term contract.”

    It seems relatively quiet on the Texas side. I suspect they are in a planning & waiting mode to see what OU decides.

    • zeek says:

      I think Texas is waiting for A&M to sign onto the SEC. Then there’ll be a lot more movement on whether something ends up happening to OU.

  39. Aggie in Fort Worth says:

    An article from today’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The author is the local sports guru.


    Lots of quotes that show the hubris coming out of Austin, but here is a telling tale of what Texas may have to do to survive:

    “Of course, that would require compromise — never a Texas strong suit, dating to Southwest Conference days. But these are dire times and the Longhorns may be out of better options if they don’t want to wind up as an independent. And from all indications, they do not.”

    • bullet says:

      I know that’s the standard line, but I doubt Texas proposed changing the Big 12 revenue sharing from 50% equal, 50% based on appearances to 3/4 equal, but that is what was approved after CU and UNL left the league. That’s a compromise. It was probably required because with the loss of those two teams, the Big 12 is a 5/5 split on haves and have-nots (at least this week its still 5/5) , instead of 7 haves and 5 have-nots. What it means if the Big 12 survives is the spread from top to bottom, based on a $17 million average, would be $15.5 to $18.5 million instead of $14 to 20 million.

    • NeutronSoup says:

      I wonder if the line at the end that says “At that point (2016), if the Pac-12 and the SEC have grown to 16 teams, then Notre Dame will join the Big Ten.” is based on a source, or is just speculation on the writer’s part.

    • Gopher86 says:

      A lot of good info there from Wilner. I wonder what the CEO’s of the Pac 12 think of the KU & MU Pac-16 scenario being floated around? It sounds like they’d be fine with 14.

      • bullet says:

        Anyone know what the Pac 12 rules for expansion are? 3/4 vote, 2/3 vote?

        I wonder if OU/OSU will get the votes if it is only an expansion to 14. Stanford is often very reluctant. WSU, UA, ASU, CU are likely separated from the CA schools and may not like that without TX exposure to compensate. If they just move Utah into the North, then the 4 NW schools may be unhappy since they will rarely see USC or UCLA. If the CEOs really aren’t enthused about going beyond 12, there could be quite a few no votes for going to 14.

        Of course, I’m assuming the Presidents will think about the logistical things. They may just say Oklahoma is ok, now let the ADs deal with the consequences. That’s basically what happened in the WAC. The ADs voted to go from 10 to 12 with just TCU and UNLV. It got inflated to 16 and they never figured out how to do the divisions.

        • Redhawk says:

          you need to read the Wilner/Mercury News article above.

          Quote: Said another source: “If Larry (Scott) thinks adding (Oklahoma and OSU) is the right thing, the CEOs will ultimately fall in line.”

        • zeek says:

          It’s a 3/4s vote. But at this point, if Scott wants OU/OSU, he’ll get them into the Pac-12 if they want to go, and it’ll be unanimously approved.

        • frug says:

          The PAC-10 (and presumably still the PAC-12) requires unanimous consent for expansion. However, last year the conference granted Scott unilateral authority to pursue expansion (with a few exceptions like BYU) since he knew he would need to make package deals that some schools (specifically Cal and Stanford) wouldn’t sign off on if they had to be voted on. I’m not sure if Scott still has that power.

          • zeek says:

            “2. New Members.
            Membership shall be limited to institutions of higher education holding Division I membership in the NCAA.
            Applicants shall provide such information as may be deemed necessary and appropriate by the Commissioner.
            New members may only be admitted to the Conference by three-fourths vote of the entire CEO Group. (6/10)”


            (Posted by ccrider on Wilner’s blog). They changed the rules to make it easier on Scott.

          • frug says:

            Thanks for the info. Good movie by the conference.

  40. Michael in Raleigh says:

    So, what’s your best guess for what the end result will be in 2015, conference by conference?

    (Please provide minimal explanation. For the purpose of this question,I’m most interested simply in opinions of who ends up where, not so much why they end up there.)

    1. ACC: Adds ___________. Loses ___________.

    2. Big 12: Adds ___________. Loses ___________.

    3. Big East: Adds ___________. Loses ___________.

    4. Big Ten: Adds ___________. Loses ___________.

    5. Pac-12: Adds ___________. Loses ___________.

    6. SEC: Adds ___________. Loses ___________.

    7. Others: Adds ___________. Loses ___________.

    • SH says:

      By 2015, I think the B10 will still be the same 12 schools it is now.

      • footballnut says:

        Wilner article states why SEC would want to expand…jealousy of Pac 12 TV deal and greed. Think anyone would rise above the money and just say no, let’s maintain the staus quo? Not so far. aTm would not be so bold without a wink and a nod from SEC, they’re not stupid. So, here we go.
        Texas will NOT go to PAC 12 if OU/OSU leaves becuase of the “tech problem” and the LHN. Will NOT go indy because of scheduling of sports besides football. I see Texas keeping the Big 12 together. Mizzou will not go to SEC, nor will the BiG feel a need to expand just yet. I see SEC adding aTm and someone else..who cares. Big 12 will add BYU, Houston, SMU and Rice. BYU wants exposure, doesn’t care about money and needs a conference to do that. So in the end, the Baptists, the Methodists and the Mormons will all duke it out in football Armageddon. (HA)

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      My answers:

      1. ACC: Adds no one. Loses no one.

      2. Big 12: Adds no one. Loses everyone.

      3. Big East: Adds Kansas, Kansas State, and BYU. Loses: No one. (Splits off from b-ball schools and into divisions. West: BYU, KU, K-State, TCU, L’ville, Cincy. East: USF, WVU, Pitt, Syracuse, Rutgers, UConn.)

      4. Big Ten: Adds no one. Loses no one.

      5. Pac-12: Adds OU, Ok. St., Texas, Texas Tech

      6. SEC: Adds A&M and Missouri. Missouri joins East division.

      7. Mountain West: Adds Baylor and Iowa State. (Splits into divisions for football: West: Hawaii, Fresno, San Diego State, Nevada, UNLV, Boise. East: Wyoming, Colorado State, Air Force, New Mexico, Baylor, Iowa State.)

    • Gopher86 says:

      1. ACC: Adds 0, Loses 0 – 12 Teams
      2. Big 12: Adds 0, Loses All – 0 Teams
      3. Big East: Adds 4, Loses 1 – 12 Teams
      4. Big Ten: Adds 0, Loses 0 – 12 Teams
      5. Pac-12: Adds 2, Loses 0 – 14 Teams
      6. SEC: Adds 2, Loses 0 – 14 Teams
      7. Mtn West: Adds 2, Loses 0 – 12 Teams
      8. Texas Indy

    • zeek says:

      1. ACC – unchanged.

      2. Big 12 – loses everyone.

      3. Big East – Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri; no one lost.

      4. Big Ten – unchanged.

      5. Pac-12 – OU/OSU/Texas/TTech; no one lost.

      6. SEC – A&M, WVU; no one lost.

      7. MWC: Iowa State, Utah State; no one lost.

      8. WAC: Baylor; loses Utah State.

      Tough to determine whether the MWC goes after Baylor or Utah State. I think they’d want Utah State to plug the hole in their Utah map, but if you base these things somewhat off stadium size (because I’m not really sure either moves the dial), Baylor might make more sense. I’ll stick with Utah State though, just because the MWC almost added them the last time around.

      Recap: Pac-16, SEC-14, Big Ten-12, ACC-12, Big East-12 (20 BB), MWC-12. BYU/ND unchanged.

    • bullet says:

      Right now, I’ve got no best guess of what will happen except that A&M will almost certainly go to the SEC. And if OU leaves and the Big 12 holds together, it will be because the Big 12 and BE football schools basically merge into one conference-The Big 12-2-1-2 + UL,UC,Pitt,WVU,RU and possibly SU and UConn. BYU is someone who seems likely to be left on the outside in the OU to Pac scenarios.

    • duffman says:

      Sticking with my Big 3 top tier formula

      So, what’s your best guess for what the end result will be in 2015, conference by conference?

      1. ACC: DOA

      2. Big 12: DOA

      3. Big East: DOA

      4. Big Ten: Adds UVA + Duke + [ND or Pitt or UNC or MD] pick 2

      5. Pac-12: Adds OU + oSu + KU + MU

      6. SEC: Adds TAMU + VT + NCST + [UNC or MD] pick 1

      7. SCRAPS: FSU + Clemson + Ga Tech + UL + UC + WVU + UT + TCU + TT + Uconn + RU + BYU + KSU + ISU + 2 of the 4 that did not land in the B1G

      I have said all along that realignment is about contraction, not expansion!

    • Dcphx says:

      ACC adds Pitt, loses MD
      B12 loses everyone
      BE adds ISU, TT, Baylor (+TCU = 12) loses Rutgers, Pitt
      B10 adds UT, ND, MD, Rutgers
      P12 adds OU OSU KU KSU
      SEC adds aTm MO

    • Grassman says:

      ACC adds 0, loses 0
      B12 adds BE Football Schools to Keep BCS for FB and BB tourney credits, loses UT, aTm, OU, OSU, TT, MO
      BE adds A10 BB schools (Keeps ND as Independent) maintains credits for BB tourney, loses Football Schools – Pitt, Rutgers, WVU, UConn, SU, USF, UL, UC, TCU
      B10 adds 0, loses 0
      P12 adds OU, OSU, UT, TT
      SEC adds aTm, MO

      Stays this way through 2014/2015 and the next round of TV contracts where B10, ACC and SEC will go to 16 picking off the infant B12 w/BE schools. Delay gives the conferences at 12 a chance to evaluate the value of the 16 team model by watching the P16.

  41. SH says:

    When is the SEC invite to A&M to be expected? Any chance that they don’t invite A&M? Would certainly not look good for the Aggies. Could we expect a long delay as they work out a 14th team so they can make a joint invite? Or do we expect them to invite A&M and then a 14th team later on? Seems like that is the first domino that needs to fall in this round of realignment, and I simply want the process to start.

    • zeek says:

      It should happen in the next week. A&M’s bye week this weekend makes this the perfect time to announce it if it’s going to happen.

      SEC will announce A&M by Sept. 15 and then think about #14 after the season in Jan. The best two guesses right now are Missouri or WVU.

      If the SEC doesn’t think either is adequate, they’ll wait for a year or two at 13. Not sure whether they’ll be able to get the ACC team they have their eye on (Va Tech or FSU); I think those teams are really happy where they are.

    • footballnut says:

      1. ACC-inchanged
      2. Big 12 – Loses 3 (aTm, OU/OSU) adds 3 (BYU, Houston, SMU/Rice)
      3. Big East – loses one (West VA)
      4. Big 10 – unchanged
      5. Pac 12 – adds OU/OSU
      6. SEC – adds 2 – aTm, West VA
      7. MWC – no change
      8. WAC – no change

  42. Redhawk says:

    This just in, my 2nd Alma Mater, Colorado State, would listen if called, but are just perplexed as to all the moving around.

    Quote from CSU’s AD: “I’m sure every school has kind of assessed their situation and is trying to decide where they fit in or what the strengths and weaknesses are of our various programs,” Kowalczyk said. “I think we’ve been doing that at CSU anyway, needless to say.”

    um…now exactly who would be calling Col. State? PAC?…no…um Big 12…hey it just died…B1G? lmao..yeah….no….Mtn West…HEY they already are in the Mtn West.

  43. SH says:

    Another question for more knowledgable minds on this board. If the B10′s next contract is set for 2016, will they want to expand by then to maximize that amount, or wait and see how much that expansion genearates before evaluating whether an expansion is worth it, or to show potential big targets that the $$ is just too rich in the B10 to avoid.

    • zeek says:

      Delany/Silverman and company are already working through those issues.

      The negotiations for the 2016 contract will occur in 2014/2015. Nebraska gets a full share in 2017 (presumably somewhat as buy in on the BTN and because the TV contract doesn’t have Nebraska’s value in it yet, so everyone would have to take a paycut to get them a full share).

      Most likely, the Big Ten will entertain expansion in the 2014/2015 years because that’s also when ND’s NBC contract comes up and so they will presumably be surveying the landscape.

      But they already know what the numbers are going to look like. Say they get an offer for $3 billion over 10 years. Maybe that becomes $3.5-3.7 billion over 10 years if the Big Ten adds the right two teams. There are plenty of TV people in the Big Ten to work over those numbers, and I’m sure they crunch over them every year.

    • Patrick says:

      The Big Ten has accountants, business and marketing leaders (and legends) that would give them VERY strong numbers. For every scenario they could come up with, they would have a very good ballpark number on what that means overall / per school / before 2016 / and after 2016. They know how much each live football, basketball, AND hockey game earn and have full projections on each (exactly the reason for the BT Hockey conference).

      Sitting here on the side, I can see that the BIG and the PAC earn more money in total and per team with additions (as long as they are reasonable). They have a magical number that they believe will earn the most for the right amount of schools, the question is is that number 12, 14, 16, 18, 24???? They can be choosy and they want the RIGHT schools to join to maximize profit.

      From a tv perspective, they would make more money with Western Michigan and Buffalo as additions, but way more money with Notre Dame and Boston College (or whomever). It’s about maximizing the revenue potential.

  44. kappadoce says:

    So where does this leave the Big Ten. Lets say Texas, OU, OSU & Texas Tech go to the PAC 16. And the SEC takes Texas AM, Mizzou to make 14. And ND stays independent. How does the Big Ten react? In my opinion the “big fish” are off the board, and if the Big Ten is to keep up with the other conferences (from expansion Point of View), who is there to go after that is considered a Big Fish? This is very reactive and not proactive by the Big Ten.

    • zeek says:

      The only schools that we know are guaranteed to make expansion worth it at this point in time are ND, Texas, Oklahoma, and A&M. The Big Ten’s contracts don’t get renegotiated for another 3-4 years, so unless a king or quasi-king is on the table, the Big Ten isn’t moving.

      Also, the Big Ten is unlikely to want the addons of TTech or OSU, and A&M clearly only wants the SEC.

      The Big Ten doesn’t really need to expand if it eventually expects to be able to add Notre Dame at some point in the future. 14 is probably the ideal number for the Big Ten.

      • kappadoce says:

        Yes – But can anyone explain to me, how the wait and see (reactive) approach is beneficial to the Big Ten. It is inevitable that there will be 4 super conferences with 16 teams each. It is not inevitable that ND will want to join any conference. the other conferences are discussing expansion with the schools mentioned above, and if it turns out that they do expand with those schools, this leaves the Big Ten in a bad position because they did not join in and now have to react with what is left over. I understand the point of “not expand unless it is worth it right now”, but it is evident that other conferences are expanding, and to keep up, the Big Ten will need to expand, so given that why not join in now?

        • kappadoce says:

          The big ten is hedging their bets on Notre Dame wanting to join a conference in the future? While other conferences take the cream of the crop out there right now.

          • zeek says:

            While I see what you’re saying, the 4×16 scenario is hardly inevitable.

            All of this hinges on whether Texas wants to go to the Pac-16. Even then, there’s no guarantee that the SEC will go to 16 without ACC teams that might not be poachable. The ACC isn’t a lock to go to 16 either.

            Most likely we end up with several different conference models; the 16, the 14, and the 12. And it’s more than likely that we end up with 5 major conferences in those models, although the ACC and Big East are likely to be the stragglers.

          • zeek says:

            Also, it’s not just about adding teams.

            If you don’t add strong brands, then the amount of games between strong brands is diminished.

            If you add Missouri and Rutgers for example, the number of games between Nebraska and Ohio State or Michigan and Penn State will decrease over a decade. While Nebraska is getting the hardest schedule possible in their first years, you don’t want to dilute the conference and make it less likely that the schools that move the dial play each other less…

          • GreatLakeState says:

            You’re right, there is a very small window and I don’t doubt for a minute that Delany (despite his public proclamations) is working it for all he’s worth. I just fear that he isn’t being allowed to play his best hand.

        • greg says:

          4×16 is only inevitable in the minds of fools.

          • cutter says:

            Utah’s head coach Kyle Willingham must be a fool then because he was on the college sports station on Siriux XM doing an interview with Jack Arute and Mike Leach. He was asked about reallignment and he plainly stated he thought there’d be four 16-team super conferences and that the timetable for it to be set up is in 2-3 years.

          • greg says:

            Then Kyle Willingham is a fool.

          • Brian says:


            Thinking it will happen and thinking it is inevitable are two very different things.

        • vp19 says:

          4 x 16 is not inevitable, because there are already more than 64 BCS members and you’re not kicking anyone out. More than likely, the Pac, SEC and Big Ten will end up with 16 members each, and the ACC and Big 12 will wind up in reconstituted form with fewer members than the top-tier conferences. The Big East will be out of the football business, which is how the BCS wants it, because they don’t want any basketball members messing up things should they ultimately break off from the NCAA.

          • Brian says:

            If the B12 implodes, pray tell what will force another AQ conference to add Baylor or ISU? If the ACC splintered, who would add WF?

            Teams could easily get dropped in the shuffle. No existing AQ conference will kick out a member right now, but it doesn’t mean they are all guaranteed AQ spots.

          • bullet says:

            Teams could be dropped. But TPTB certainly understand the political implications of that. And I’m not talking about just Texas state politics.

          • Brian says:


            I don’t see any significant political implications if Baylor, ISU or WF get left out if their conference implodes. Being an AQ school isn’t a right for them, they have to earn their keep. It might be different if they were kicked out (private schools don’t get much political sympathy), but if there are numbers to justify replacing them then so be it.

          • bullet says:

            I’m talking about the anti-BCS politics. Utah and Texas politicians were leading the fight. Utah and TCU are now in BCS conferences. And its been a really bad year for college sports with Cam Newton, Ohio St. & Jim Tressel, Miami, and the agent deal involving UNC and just about half the schools in the south. Plus there’s been all the over-signing, medical scholarships & grey shirting abuses by the SEC schools.

            If KU, KSU, MU, ISU and Baylor get fully or partly left behind, that’s a lot of unhappy politicians. I’m not saying it will stop realignment. But the university presidents in the Pac and SEC have to think about that.

          • frug says:

            You keep bringing this up, but I don’t see any reason why all current schools have to stay BCS. The fact is, if the Big XII breaks ISU (for example) will have no one to protect them. Iowa will never leave the Big 10 nor will it ever be in a position where it holds the deciding vote for expansion so the local pols won’t have any leverage and there is no way anything happens at the federal level (you are not going to get 60 Senators to do anything about the BCS).

            Now it is certainly possible that all current AQ schools will keep their status, but it is by no means guaranteed.

        • Brian says:

          1. It is not inevitable that there will be 4×16 conferences.
          2. The B10 won’t expand just because others do.
          3. You’re assuming the B10 isn’t talking to people.
          4. The B10 can’t force people to want to join (TAMU, ND).
          5. The B10 seems unlikely to totally sacrifice its principles just to expand, despite the desires of many fans. That means TT and OkSU aren’t welcome, which probably prevents OU and UT from coming.

          • Ross says:

            I would really emphasize #2. I think the Big Ten is in a really great position right now. Super conferences just seem inherently unstable. You may as well be two separate conferences united by a title game. The B1G is currently geographically and culturally unified, with a great product on the field and strong television contracts (and that’s without the renegotiated contracts in 2016).

            I really don’t think Delaney has a single reason to expand right now, and I don’t think he should do it even if it means getting Texas and ND. That’s too many “kings” in one conference, and two very large egos that aren’t necessarily interested in sharing.

          • Ross says:

            As a quick follow-up, I’m a Michigan fan and alum. I really don’t see how adding UT and/or ND offers me or Michigan any real benefit. Great, our contracts go through the roof, but Michigan is already in the black and has a very large endowment. Most Big Ten schools really don’t need the boost, especially when we are already counting on a significant one in 2016.

            I frankly don’t want to have to deal with Texas and Notre Dame in order to win the Big Ten title in the future. Nebraska was a cultural and geographic fit and gave us the title game many have wanted. I am perfectly happy to stay as we are.

        • SideshowBob says:

          1. 16 team super conferences are not “inevitable”.

          2. Even if they were, of the team you are talking about only Texas and Texas A&M are teams that IMHO the Big Ten would care about missing out on. I don’t really think they would want Oklahoma all that much given the academics and since they already took Nebraska as a stretch (and Oklahoma is worse).

          I’m sure that the Big Ten has spoken to – or is currently speaking to – both the Aggies and Longhorns. If they do not come the Big Ten’s way, I don’t know what more the conference could do to be “proactive”. I wouldn’t advocate taking the likes of Mizzou or Kansas St just for the sake of being proactive. If the Big Ten can’t get Texas or A&M, they’d be better off looking East for teams than at the Big 12.

      • BigTenFan says:

        I strongly believe that North Carolina & Duke can be added to that list. UNC adds a football program that rakes in 60,000 fans for home games & UNC/Duke add a ton of TV brand value for basketball.

        Basketball adds a huge amount of additional inventory in a 16 school Big Ten (more inventory equals more viewers & more advertising and that equals $$$), and it would more or less guarantee that ESPN would have to pay the Big Ten whatever it wanted for its TV contract.

        The Big Ten could arguably be the strongest basketball conference in the country with the additions Duke/UNC – ESPiN loves to think it is the world wide leader in college basketball. The thing that would make the Big Ten’s contract more appealing to ESPN than the SEC/PAC 12 conference in this scenario is that the Big Ten could draw easily the best basketball ratings of any other conference. So instead of paying a HUGE contract for ratings from September-November, ESPN could pay a larger contract and get inventory from September-March – much better investment IMO.

        Duke/UNC are one of the very few basketball schools who draw basketball ratings comparable to average football ratings….that is something that people often overlook with the mind set that “football is the only thing that matters in realignment” – that isn’t exactly true.

        Football is a big piece, but it isn’t the only piece. TV brand, academics, & potential TV subscribers are all extraordinarily important – and UNC/Duke are out of the park homers in all three of those criteria. If the Big Ten could pull them (and that is a big if in this scenario), it would clearly be the best move for the conference.

        Add ND/Duke/UNC/UVA (my reason for thinking UVA is because they are UNC’s oldest football rival, which will be a key part of luring them to the Big Ten – and UVA’s academics & state population speak for themselves as well), and the Big Ten would have the following TV brands in the Big Ten:

        Notre Dame
        Penn State
        Ohio State
        North Carolina

        That is a conference set up for monster TV numbers – both in football & basketball – essentially for 7 months out of the year.

        • Redwood86 says:

          Bigger 10 puts a great football product on the field? Are you kidding me?? Of the 12 games scheduled by most Bigger 10 teams, usually no more than 6 are competitive and worth watching. Moreover, the Bigger Ten’s record in the Rose Bowl and NC games speak for themselves, not to mention its other bowl game appearances v. SEC and Pac-12. Great product indeed.

          • Brian says:


            Who are you comparing the B10 to, exactly? Few teams play more than 6 good games a year.

            B10 results:
            BCS NCG 1-2
            BCS games 11-12 (10-10 in non-CG)
            Rose Bowl 30-35

            P10 results:
            BCS NCG 1-2
            BCS games 10-5 (9-3 in non-CG)
            Rose Bowl 47-43-3

            USC results:
            BCS NCG 1-1
            BCS games 6-1 (5-0 in non-CG)
            Rose Bowl 24-9

            P10 – USC:
            BCS NCG 0-1
            BCS games 4-4 (4-3 in non-CG)
            Rose Bowl 23-34-3

            Yes, clearly the B10 has done terribly. They are just below 0.500 in all categories. The P10 is only better in the Rose Bowl because of USC, playing in their home city.

            B10 vs P10 in bowls:

            B10 vs SEC in bowls:
            24-39 (OSU is 1-9 mostly from John Cooper, MSU 1-5, WI 2-6 – subtract them and it’s 20-19)

        • roachjl says:

          This is what I have been saying. Adding those four schools (ND/UNC/Duke/UVA) is a slam dunk for academics, national brand and basketball. More importantly you go a very long way to locking up the NYC market (As well as DC). If there is any weakness in the ACC over the next few months, I think the ACC core four bolt to the big 10.

        • Vincent says:

          BigTenFan: Do you still do it if you have to substitute Maryland for Notre Dame?

          • BigTenFan says:

            Personally, I think that 16th spot is essentially destined for ND.

            I am a big fan of the Pod system….try making those pods work with four eastern schools….much more difficult to get good pods than adding ND + 3 eastern schools. For instance:

            Great Plains


            Great Lakes

            Ohio State
            Michigan State


            Notre Dame


            Penn State
            North Carolina

            Those are pretty well balanced (with at least one “king” in each division) and with the rotation of sister divisions, it would even out the slight imbalance in the Great Plains & Great Lakes division – try putting together four pods with four eastern schools and see where you get – its tough to make those pods competitively balanced while respecting long term rivalries and geography.

          • Brian says:


            Great Plains


            Great Lakes

            Ohio State
            Michigan State


            Notre Dame


            Penn State
            North Carolina

            Those are pretty well balanced (with at least one “king” in each division) and with the rotation of sister divisions, it would even out the slight imbalance in the Great Plains & Great Lakes division – try putting together four pods with four eastern schools and see where you get – its tough to make those pods competitively balanced while respecting long term rivalries and geography.

            I don’t see the B10 going with pure geography like this. The pods are way too imbalanced.

            Conference winning percentage since 1993:
            1 OSU 0.788
            2 NE 0.707
            3 MI 0.674
            4 PSU 0.625
            5 ND 0.610 (total WP)
            6 WI 0.608
            7 UVA 0.556
            8 IA 0.524
            9 UNC 0.493
            10 MSU 0.490
            11 PU 0.462
            12 NW 0.431
            13 IL 0.344
            14 MN 0.319
            15 IN 0.236
            16 Duke 0.146

            GP 2, 6, 8, 14 (7.5, 0.540 ave)
            GL 1, 3, 10, 13 (6.75, 0.574)
            Central 5, 11, 12, 15 (10.75, 0.435)
            Colonial 4, 7, 9, 16 (9, 0.455)

            I don’t see that going over very well.

            I think the B10 would prefer to achieve better balance.

            Paying more attention to balance but still keeping rivalries:
            A – OSU, WI, PU, IN (8.25, 0.524)
            B – NE, IA, NW, IL (8.75, 0.502)
            C – MI, ND, MSU, MN (8.00, 0.523)
            D – PSU, UVA, UNC, Duke (9.00, 0.455)

            Pure balance:
            A – OSU, IA, UNC, Duke (8.5, 0.488)
            B – NE, UVA, MSU, IN (8.5, 0.497)
            C – MI, WI, PU, MN (8.5, 0.516)
            D – PSU, ND, NW, IL (8.5, 0.503)

    • SideshowBob says:

      Then the Big Ten does nothing and is happy with it. There is no need for a conference to “do something” just because other conferences do. The Big Ten will expand beyond 12 teams when it feels that those additions benefit the conference and the current teams.

  45. ChicagoMac says:

    What does ESPN want?

    Last summer, ESPN worked behind the scenes to prevent major consolidation of the conferences.

    Since then, they worked with UT to create the LHN which, amongst other things accomplished the following:

    1. Set conference consolidation in motion again.
    2. Gave ESPN access to the biggest bargaining chip in Expansionpalooza.

    ESPN has contracts with each of the major players here. I’m not talking about just the Conferences either, they have contracts with DirecTV, Comcast, and all the other players in the TV ecosystem. ESPN has the most levers here to influence the outcome and the biggest lesson learned from last summer’s sequence of events is that ESPN is willing to renegotiate contracts to influence outcomes.

    So the question is this, what is the best outcome for ESPN?

  46. GreatLakeState says:

    Nobody. Which is why I still contend Oklahoma (even if it means bringing Oklahoma state) is the gateway to Texas and Notre Dame. If you can add Texas, Notre Dame and Oklahoma at the cost of Oklahoma St. to round out your sixteen, you do it. Somehow Stanford and Cal Berkeley can bite the bullet on Oklahoma State but the B1G can’t? Yes, I know some of you love the Midwest cocoon and others think the mid-Atlantic is the best option, but since I don’t believe the ACC is going to crack and I want the B1G to remain relevant for the next century and beyond, this seems like a best option for expanding our horizons.

    • footballnut says:

      NY Post article on KU/MU/KSU to Big East rumors:


      Seems like KU/MU don’t want to give up their rivalry. Big East would work with KU/MU/KSU/TCU/Cinicy/ and Loooavul in a West division. Heck of a basketball conference.

      • John says:

        As a Mizzou fan I say NO NO NO.
        Our admins will have a ton to answer for if they choose not to pursue SEC spot #14 with full force.

    • SH says:

      I suspect they would do that if given the opportunity, but I doubt that opportunity exists in such a simple form. There is also a very real risk of adding 3 kings at one time without taking the time to integrate the schools. In this regard, I think the B10′s slow but methodical expansion approach is a real winner. There is a very real risk that a 16 team super conference would not be stable over the long run, and could allow for 8-10 teams to break off. While this probably isn’t a concern to Kings, Princes, schools in the same state as Kings (e.g., MSU), it is probably a concern to the smaller schools (e.g., Purdue) and schools in small states (e.g, Iowa). UT and ND don’t exactly have an “all for one attitude.” So while you immediately would make the conference better by adding them, you do risk long-term statbility. I have no doubt that the B10 would add UT/ND as a 13 and 14 team if given the opportunity. But again, you cannot lose your conference sole simply for the sake of expansion. A slower expansion one or two teams at a time allows you to retain your conference identity. To add those four schools at one time is tantatmount to a merger with the B12 powerhouses, plus ND. Yes it creates a power conference, but it is hardly recognized as the B10 at that point. Not a reason not to do it, but something that should be considered.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        I would agree if I thought Oklahoma or even Texas were a cultural mis-match. I, personally, feel that the Big12 schools (missouri, kansas, Oklahoma) are a much better cultural fit than the eastern seaboard schools. And they love football. Texas, where I used to live, is not a particularly good cultural fit, but I as someone who has also lived in California, it is a far better fit for them than the West Coast.

    • zeek says:

      Well the case against your scenario is that ND is only really going to join if it feels that access to the BCS, especially the NC, is problematic. It wouldn’t be problematic if OU/OSU come to the Big Ten.

      The Pac-12 would remain the same, and the SEC would likely stay at 14 along with the Big Ten at 14.

      You wouldn’t have any superconferences…

      • GreatLakeState says:

        Texas is not going to remain independent. They are going to have to land somewhere and that somewhere is going to be with Oklahoma, Nebraska and most assuredly Notre Dame. If Texas joined the Big Ten, Notre Dame is going to join. And if the Big Ten adds Oklahoma and Texas the SEC is not going to stop at 14. We just disagree.

        • gregenstein says:

          I see a little fuzzy logic here…how can Texas land in the same place as Oklahoma and Nebraska when those two aren’t going to end up in the same place? Nebraska is in the Big Ten; Oklahoma is either staying in the Big 12-2-1 or joining the Pac-12/16. How can Texas go to both?

        • Eric says:

          If we get to the point Notre Dame has to land somewhere, I’m not sure I’m going to be a college football fan anymore. If they want independence, they should be able to keep up.

          Side Note: Long run, I think they are more valuable as an independent than they’ll ever be in a conference. Part of what makes people love and hate them is their independence status. Put them in a conference and they lose a big part of what makes people care so much.

    • Brian says:

      I have no idea who you were replying to, so your comment is a bit of a non sequitur. Nonetheless, what you fail to understand is that the P12 is only an athletic conference while the B10 is an athletic and academic conference. The P12 still likes to keep high academic standards for new members, but they already have WSU, OrSU and ASU so it’s a bit hypocritical.

      Academic ranks (USNWR, ARWU, AAU)
      Current P12
      SU 5, 3, AAU
      UCB 22, 2, AAU
      USC 23, 32, AAU
      UCLA 25, 11, AAU
      UW 41, 14, AAU
      CO 86, 25, AAU
      OR 111, 90-111, AAU
      WSU 111, 90-111
      AZ 120, 45, AAU
      Utah 129, 47
      OrSU 139, 55-69
      ASU 143, 46

      Current B12
      OU 111, 112-137
      OkSU 132, not in top 187
      TT 159, 112-137

      Current B10
      NW 12, 21, AAU
      MI 29, 18, AAU
      WI 45, 15, AAU
      IL 47, 19, AAU
      PSU 47, 31, AAU
      OSU 56, 40, AAU
      PU 56, 43, AAU
      MN 64, 20, AAU
      IA 72, 55-69, AAU
      IN 75, 50, AAU
      MSU 79, 49, AAU
      NE 104, 70-89

      You tell me, where do the B12 schools fit better?

  47. drwillini says:

    How about this scenario: the SEC gets cold feet about destroying the Big 12, and that combined with no #14 that gets them excited provokes them to pull back the welcome mat for A&M. Having burnt its bridges with the Big12 and nowhere to go, little brother is rescued by big brother and they ride off together to the B1G? Sort of forces the Texas politicians to chose between taking care of A&M and TTech. Not saying that I think this will happen. What I am saying is that I don’t believe that Delany is happy at 12 when OU, Texas, and A&M are in play. We were pretty responsive and flexible when Nebraska was available, and I can see that Nebraska is a little better geographic fit, not as much academic (at least as UT and A&M), and perhaps not as demographic and certainly the national brands of UT and Oklahoma are comparable to Nebraska.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      Thank you sir, I have also pondered this scenario.

      • duffman says:

        I offered TAMU and UT to the B1G very early on, but judging by the TAMU fans, if they wind up anyplace other than the SEC there will be riots on campus.

        • SideshowBob says:

          Which is a little sad IMHO given the respective academic reputations. I mean A&M is a great academic school, wouldn’t their alumni have at least some yearning to join a group that is academic peers?

  48. Redhawk says:

    Colorado president is not happy…he’s not happy at all!

    • zeek says:

      I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that Colorado would probably be the only school unhappy with the setup, along with maybe Arizona and Utah.

      The original Pac-8 would be restored, so you know those 8 will be happy. The Arizona schools lose out on South California but gain Texas instead; ditto Utah. Although Arizona might feel slightly unhappy at being shoved aside for the original Pac-8, they’re not going to complain about the flood of money, the same goes for Utah.

      Competitively, however, Texas and OU will dominate that group over time, whereas right now they mainly just have to go through USC.

      • Brian says:

        I’d say CO, AZ and ASU would all be unhappy. AZ and ASU have been members for over 30 years and I doubt they want to be shunted aside with the B12 newbies. CO joined specifically to get away from TX and into CA, and this would undo it. Utah is just happy to be AQ, but would prefer more CA access than TX access I’m guessing.

        • schwarm says:

          Agree with Brian, and dividing up the Pac into old Pac-8 and new schools might be bad for conference stability.

        • ccrider55 says:

          While it might not be quite as nice for Colo and the Az’s as the current setup is, it is the arrangement that they were all on board for last year. I doubt Utah has come down from the high of being in an AQ conference, and won’t mind where in one of those they are.

    • John says:

      SIAP: But where’s was this CU outrage when PAC was taking them 1st so that they didn’t lose their spot to Baylor? They took their PAC spot knowing full well a PAC16 may very well happen w/ the Big 12 South schools. Now a year later they’re pissed?

    • John says:

      Although if Wilner’s correct, then maybe CU’s pres is just stating what the PAC CEOs want him to say?

    • bullet says:

      This is what I was pointing out above. If its a Pac 14, there are a lot of people who would not be happy with who they WEREN’T playing, not a concern about who they were adding.

      It’s not hard to imagine 4 no votes to a 14 team Pac. A 16 team with both OU and UT would probably lucrative enough to overcome most of those objections, but UA,ASU,CU might still not be happy and Stanford definitely considers more than just $.

    • Patrick says:

      Wow, he should just stfu.

      The difference with the new arrangement is Oklahoma (and possibly Texas) have to play by the rules that have already been set up instead of making up their own rules and imposing them on Kansas State and Iowa State.

      We all know that Boulder’s pseudo hippie culture and academic pipe dreams place them with Cal and Stanford, but reality is closer to a western Kansas.

      He’s in a good situation, he should keep his fool mouth shut.

    • metatron5369 says:

      Nor should he be.

      Colorado joined to play in the PAC-12, not the Big 12.

      • metatron5369 says:

        I’d also like to point out that I’ve been predicting that a “PAC-8 division” would cause factionalism and drama for some time now.

        • John says:

          Still like the “zipper” idea that was floated b4.
          Say they add OU, oSu, MU & KU
          D1: USC, Ore St, Okie St, Wash, Ariz, Mizz, Stanford & CU
          D2: UCLA, Ore, OU, Wash St, ASU, Kansas, Cal & Utah

          Easy to figure your “protected” rival huh? And everybody gets games in Cali.

          • John says:

            Any NCAA bylaws people out there…
            Can you do traditional East/West divisions for basketball & other sports, and have a different alignment (zipper) for football?
            I seem to remember that last yr wilner’s blog a lot of folks that liked the zipper idea.

            Would work for 14/16 or sub UT/TT if UT decided to drop LHN and go w/ OU/oSu.

          • Gopher86 says:

            ‘Zipper’ would be in the best interests of the conference. You want to create league unity.

          • zeek says:

            John, the divisions are only required for football to have a CCG and only require round-robin of 6 or more members.

            The basketball situation is entirely separate and can have whatever format that a conference wants (no divisions, different divisions than football, tournament, whatever).

          • bullet says:

            Conferences can and do totally different divisions depending on the sport. Its up to the conference.

          • bullet says:

            I think the zipper is too complicated. ACC has a zipper that has been a flop. Even people who follow things closely have a hard time remembering who is in each division.

            And the WAC’s pods were a disaster.

            Also in the Pac, the 4 Cal schools all want to play each other, so you have two protected rivals.

          • metatron5369 says:

            I almost prefer random divisions.

            Too bad we can’t do round-robin and playoff the top two.

          • John says:

            Thanks guys. So it sounds like consensus is that zipper makes more sense than Legends/Leaders! : )

          • Dcphx says:

            A zipper in the Pac is nothing like the ACC zipper. The Pac has ‘sets’ of schools in each state. With the exception of CO and UT, every Pac state has 2 teams w/CA as 2 northern CA and 2 southern CA.

          • frug says:

            A zipper alignment would work much better for the PAC-1X than it would for any other conference since the PAC schools are naturally arranged in pairs (WA, OR, NoCal, SoCal, AZ, Mountain and (if they join) OK and TX or Midwest) instead of geographic regions. The only real problem would be finding a way for all the California schools to play each other (even though the only NoCal/SoCal schools that HAVE to play are Cal and UCLA since they are part of the same school system), but they currently use a geographic alignment and have pledged to let the Cali four have an annual round robin.

            That said, if the PAC goes to 16 I think they would be better off going standard East/West (if they can get the AZ schools to sign off) so the PAC-8 and Big XII schools can all play each other.

  49. Assuming the LHN would be somehow folded into the B10 network, who here supports taking Texas Tech if it means we get Texas?

    Texas Tech is well below B10 standards, but like it or not Texas is THE preeminent school from a poachable conference, perhaps from ANY conference.

    If A&M and Missouri to the SEC and OK and OK State to the Pac-12 is on, the balls are in motion. Who’s left? The East Coast nobodies? I think it’s worth betting on Tech to raise their academic profile, we need to look at this 20-30 years out.

    • jj says:

      i don’t want texas under any circumstances.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      I would take either Oklahoma State OR TT if it meant getting Texas, Oklahoma and Notre Dame. I would be far less likely to take Oklahoma State and Texas Tech to get Texas and Oklahoma.

    • mushroomgod says:


    • gregenstein says:

      I don’t get this fascination with Texas. I know financially they are the “crown jewel”, and academically they are a peer, but if you’re actually asking me the Penn State fan whether I want TTech and Texas in the Big Ten, the answer is a resounding No.

      I’ve got nothing against those schools, but I’m kind of happy with the way the conference alignment turned out with just adding Nebraska, and I’m thrilled they are the “rivalry” game from the opposite division.

      It might be neat to see Texas playing some of the Big Ten schools, but I don’t want to lose the protected game with Nebraska or Ohio State.

      Thanks for the question though. It forced me to think about what I actually want out of the Big Ten instead of thinking just about “how best can we get to 16″. Here’s hoping our conference stays pat for another 20 years or so.

    • Richard says:

      I vote “NAY”.

  50. Peter says:

    If Texas must take Texas Tech, their only option (other than staying in the Big 12 husk) is the Pac-16:

    – The B1G will never grant membership to a third-tier academic school and probably wouldn’t have accepted Oklahoma even without OSU. Texas is the only one of the UT/OU/OSU/TT four-pack that the Big Ten considers even acceptable. Of course it is tremendously desirable as well, but that doesn’t mean the others are borderline. They’re automatic no’s.

    – The ACC has a very good academic roster, roughly the same strength as the B1G. TT simply doesn’t belong and would be dilutive financially and academically. The cultural fit is zero. I haven’t seen anything that’s an absolute ban like with the B1G, but the disconnect is jarring. The only school remotely comparable to TT in the ACC is NC St and that’s not much. Everyone else is considered good-to-elite academically and most of those schools are every bit as proud and rich as Texas.

    – Texas has always expressed negative interest in the SEC and the SEC has negative interest & need for Texas Tech. A third Texas school would be nothing but financial dilution and no SEC school is going to be convinced that they need to worship at the alter of UT to survive and so should assume Texas Tech for zero gain. A&M is more than they need because of their national brand & CBS; they get on TV in Texas just fine.

    – The Big East isn’t a destination conference. It’s pretty much two conference at this point already, with a mix of middling institutions, institutions with no better home, football schools that make little geographic sense and basketball schools that can’t/don’t play D-I football but who hold too much financial sway because of residuals payouts to discard.

    Texas either has to dump/transform the LHN (the Pac-1X will never accept it as is) or they need to sacrifice Texas Tech. To go to the B1G, they would need to dump both the LHN and Tech.

    • zeek says:

      I wouldn’t be so sure that Oklahoma itself is a no. I think Delany could get Oklahoma and Missouri through if he wanted.

      But I agree that that’s all a moot point because OSU is an automatic no along with Texas Tech. There’s not going to be any desire on the part of Texas and OU to join a conference without some regional allies (like OSU/TTech). That ship already sailed.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        If they could take Oklahoma alone they would take them today-imho.

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          But that point is moot. Oklahoma has to be in a conference with at least one out of Texas and OSU.

        • SideshowBob says:

          I’m skeptical they would take Oklahoma given the academics. Not unless the Big Ten’s hand was forced and they decided they had to expand.

          But I think the Big Ten is happier with the current status quo than it would enjoy adding Oklahoma.

    • M says:

      Oklahoma isn’t particularly distinguishable academically from Nebraska at this point. It just depends on whether Nebraska is the new minimum standards, or if it was a one-time exception that the COPC wouldn’t do again.

      • Peter says:

        There was a lot of wailing & gnashing of teeth over admitting Nebraska. Wisconsin & Michigan (the two top public academic institutions in BIG) subsequently voted to strip Nebraska of AAU status. These guys mean business.

        Oklahoma would be an incredibly difficult sell academically & culturally. It looks like a no-brainer in football but football doesn’t necessarily run the Big Ten.

        • GreatLakeState says:

          UofM (and Bo) also did all they could to stop Penn State from joining. In hindsight, I have to believe they would acknowledge their (short sighted) error in judgement. The administrations are also aware that economic austerity means less research money in the near future and perhaps long term. They’re smart enough to recognize that the BTN is their new golden goose. If Delany can make the financial case to them, and the school isn’t a travesty, I believe they would begrudgingly agree. Oklahoma State? Now that would make M go Blue.

          • jj says:

            PSU is a whole different animal than OSU. Not a chance this happens with OSU or Tex Tech on board. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

          • Jefferson says:

            Michigan and particularly Schembechler voted against PSU because Bo was left out of the loop, so he cried about it.

        • metatron5369 says:

          Oklahoma would be fine. Nebraska’s admission was unanimous, and OU is dedicated to improving their standings in the academic world.

          Part of the reason they’re going west, I believe, is because they can do this and maintain their rivalries. They get to have their cake and eat it too.

          • Jefferson says:

            That could be accomplished with a move to B1G (Nebraska and potentially Texas). It cannot be done in conference anywhere else (Nebraska).

      • Patrick says:

        The difference being Nebraska spends more on research than Oklahoma by about $100 million and that’s not including the University of Nebraska Medical Center (separate campus).

        Undergraduate rankings / admission criteria are very similar, it is the graduate research dollars and programs that are different. It is my opinion that too many people are looking at undergrad rankings and not enough time at federal grants and graduate research dollars.

        • bobo the feted says:

          OU and NU are essentially equal in academic prestige, OU also has an off campus med center in OKC that doesn’t count towards their AAU status as well. No doubt plenty of research is being done at NU on a daily basis, unfortunately a large amount is agrarian/farming/ranching which doesn’t add to academic prestige.

          • frug says:

            OU and NU are not of equal academic prestige. Nebraska’s research budget is more than 260% of Oklahoma’s and there isn’t any bias against agricultural research in the Midwest. While OU and NU have similar undergrad profiles, their research departments (which is what the Big 10 really cares about when evaluating the academics of schools not located in South Bend, IN) are not even comparable.

        • zeek says:

          You’re drawing too fine a point. The main difference between them perception-wise with respect to research grants/funding was AAU membership, which has since been revoked for Nebraska.

          As M said, the issue is whether it was a one time distinction (since the Big Ten presidents knew that Nebraska’s AAU membership was likely to be revoked). As to that, we can all agree to disagree.

          As many of us have pointed out, it’s a moot point regardless, because even if Delany could get Oklahoma/Missouri through the process (I think he could), OU isn’t interested in joining without OSU.

        • SideshowBob says:

          Plus Nebraska is actually geographically closer to the core of the Big Ten. I think if Nebraska were located where Oklahoma is, I’m not so sure they would have been invited to join last year.

          I’m also of the mind that the Big Ten was willing to relax their standards somewhat for Nebraska, but will be loath to do so more additions. They won’t want to weaken the academic brand any further, That’s why I think Mizzou has no chance to join unless they are absolutely needed for some other addition.

          I really don’t see any western expansion for the Big Ten that doesn’t involve Texas or A&M. Without them, it’ll be ND and Big East/ACC teams.

  51. Drew says:

    Frank, you say that “Larry Scott knows, just like Jim Delany and Mike Slive, that equal revenue sharing is a primary tenet of strong conference unity,” however, the SEC grants its tier 3 rights to its members. So, UF has a $10 million/year deal for one fb game. Not as good as Texas, but way more than anybody else in the SEC.

    • greg says:

      UF doesn’t make $10M “for one fb game.” They make that much on a wide variety of athletic events, coaches shows, and other programming. OSU makes $11M. Iowa makes $6M. All the big names make millions on third tier rights, not just the SEC. It is hard to make an exact apples to apples comparison to see just how much that FB game brings in.

  52. jj says:

    We’ve beaten this to death three times over.

    Let’s change gears.

    Who on this board is most likely to actually be:

    a) Delany
    b) Slive
    c) Beebe
    d) Scott
    e) Chip Brown


    • zeek says:

      Well he’s not here per se, but that Northwestern guy who was posting all those scenarios was definitely the Big Ten’s version of “Chip Brown.”

    • M says:

      Dan Beebe is too busy on Twitter to come to this blog:

      • metatron5369 says:

        That’s still up!?

        I love it.

        • M says:

          It’s by far the best fake account I’ve seen:

          DanBeebe Fake Dan Beebe
          I fear that my status as a visionary is in jeopardy. That fear, however, is but a tiny speck in the emptiness that is now enveloping me.
          20 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply

          DanBeebe Fake Dan Beebe
          My phone has rang all day long. I don’t dare pick up. Not today. Not anymore.
          20 hours ago

          DanBeebe Fake Dan Beebe
          I see flames licking at my feet, but all I feel are chills. I suffer claustrophobia in an empty room. This is no longer a welcoming world.
          20 hours ago

          DanBeebe Fake Dan Beebe
          I never was one to believe in omens, or superstition. But the clouds today are different. Darker. Worse.
          20 hours ago

    • Adam says:

      You have, at long last, exposed me: I am Jim Delany.

    • duffman says:

      We’ve beaten this to death three times over.

      Let’s change gears.

      Who on this board is most likely to actually be:

      a) Delany ==> brian works in his office
      b) Slive ==> Alan
      c) Beebe ==> not on here
      d) Scott ==> Just lurking
      e) Chip Brown ==> Hop Horn

      • ccrider55 says:

        Man! What did Hopkins ever do to you?

        • duffman says:


          my post was a response to JJ’s original post. I figured jj was joking, so I tried to look at posters and how they fit. Hop was the source for all things Texas on here in the beginning, so Chip Brown seemed to fit as best as anybody. Not intended it as an insult.

  53. Bob Nonya says:

    What’s the story w/ the Pac12′s voting requirements for expansion nowadays? The Pac10 had a unanimous voting req. Can CU keep out they’re ol’ B12 buddies? I hope so, would love to see CU screw Texas.

  54. Mike says:

    Haven’t seen this posted yet.

    “Billion Dollar Bevo, Part II: The Bloody LHN Carriage Negotiations”


    • Mike says:

      If you missed it, here is “Billion Dollar Bevo, Part I: Inside the UT/ESPN Longhorn Network Deal”


      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        Wow, excellent article.

        Money quote! I mean it, read this… think what this means. ESPiN is not really all that interested in the survival of the BXII.

        Someone asked above: What does ESPiN want? The answer is inventory and money (via market share and viewership).

        The money quote:

        “So why would ESPN make what amounts to a $1 billion commitment to a dedicated UT network when the rights to its marquee programming – Texas football – are so thoroughly restricted by the existing Big 12 TV contracts for at least the next six years?

        It wouldn’t, unless it was betting that the broadcast rights for UT football games aren’t going to be encumbered by the Big 12 for much longer. It’s that simple.”

        Once BXII implodes, LHN gets the inventory of TX games.

        ESPiN is about acquiring inventory in opposition to Fox, B10 Network, NBC, et. al. Now have the whole of SEC, then TX thru the LHN, now A&M through SEC invite.

        So, ESPiN is trying to stop OK and OKST to PAC-12 (Fox) and Mizzu to B1G (Fox). ACC is okay for now, since SEC is the main nurturer.

        It is really this simple.

        • There’s a major problem with that theory: namely the latest Pac-12 deal signed was a joint venture by ESPN/Fox that splits the Tier 1 & Tier 2 rights. So ESPN has no reason to deny Texas to the Pac-12 as ESPN can still take a couple games and put it on the Network. The issue is whether or not Texas can keep revenue to itself from the network, and that’s where the Pac-12 might balk.

          The ACC thing was nothing more than trying to throw the public off the trail. It has little to do with ESPN.

          • duffman says:


            I tried to email you, but could not get you link to work, can you post it on your blog somewhere so I can enter it by hand?


          • Duffman, you can use my generic email account ( ksl_2001@hotmail.com )

          • mike in st louis says:

            Kyle: do the economics of the LHN make sense for ESPN? Can they get their money back showing Tier 3 football games, a handful of basketball games, plus baseball?

          • Mike, I think so. As such, the only game guaranteed to be on the LHN this year is Rice. Contractually, it only calls for one football game and ideally a second. That tells me that if ESPN can fill the network with two tier-2 football games and a handful of basketball games, they could recoup whatever monies they hope to earn provided it’s carried by most of the state of Texas.

            If they can receive 75% of the state being a subscriber (there are 8 million TV households in Texas) at 25 cents per subscriber per month, the network would earn $18 million, which would be enough to more than pay what they’re obligated to pay Texas ($12 mil). Assuming even 30% in advertising receipts, they’re clearing $23 million total. That would pay Texas, cover operating costs and still net a profit.

            Remember: all this is without regard for whether the network ends up on DirecTV and Dish. There would be some additional subscribers through sports tiers if it lands there.

            Bottom line is that the network can be profitable by having some Tier 2/3 rights, even on a limited basis. Obviously though they need at least some live inventory for football and basketball to make it work.

        • ChicagoMac says:

          I don’t think it is that simple at all.

          As the article points out, ESPN has $1B investment over the next 20 years in the LHN, but it has a much bigger investment overall in college athletics. In that way, think of this $1B investment in the LHN as an ante to give it some control in the much larger game that is to be played out.

  55. zeek says:

    Jake_Trotter Jake Trotter
    Wow. Stoops doesn’t rule out possibility of OU-Tex series stopping. “life changes”
    1 hour ago
    Jake Trotter
    Jake_Trotter Jake Trotter
    Sure, stoops said when asked if he could see pac16 w/o Texas
    1 hour ago

    Figured I’d post those tweets of what Stoops said. Obviously, he’s not controlling anything with respect to expansion, but I’d be surprised if he wasn’t at least kept in the know by Boren and Castiglione.

    • zeek says:


      Here’s Tramel’s article on it. Makes it seem more as if OU is playing poker through Stoops, but regardless, the idea of a Pac-16 without Texas and Oklahoma having to blow up its non-conference contracts in order to schedule Texas is being contemplated (as well as the possibility of a Pac-16 without Texas). Is it likely? Probably not; I still think the endgame is Texas joining the Pac-16. The problem is, they want some kind of negotiated deal rather than just dropping the LHN and getting the same deal as everyone else.

      • SH says:

        Almost all college football fans want to see rivalries continued. But they do end. OU-Nebraska. Why would OU-Texas be different? Just because it is played at a neautral field. There is no reason why both OU-Texas and A&M -Texas couldn’t continue wherever UT ends up. Sure OU and A&M have a say. Things change, but they do not have to be inevitable. UT needs the rivalries as well. Part of what makes a program storied is the rivalries it has. When you lose those, you potentially lose a lot of the allure of your program. Does anyone really think that if ND joined the B10, they would give up the USC or Navy rivalries?

        • Gopher86 says:

          It sounds like Stoops is trying to antagonize the situation.

        • schwarm says:

          UT/OU is for bragging rights between the two top dogs in Texas recruiting. I guess as long as OU thinks they can recruit Texas, they can threaten to dump the UT game, but its seem like a bit of a gamble to potentially play no Texas teams going forward.

    • bullet says:

      I don’t see any sentiment for dropping OU. The schools will figure out how to make that happen even if it means a very tough ooc for one or both schools. Both schools rely on donations that give you access to those tickets.

      On the other hand, with regard to A&M, the majority sentiment on the Texas boards was best expressed by the MOB at halftime of the Rice game, using a line from A&M’s fight song: Texas A&M is saying ‘Good-bye to Texas University.’ And they are FINALLY leaving!

  56. Mike says:

    Andy Staples:


    If Aggies get SEC invitation today, they will accept as early as tomorrow
    If another league expands, the Pac-12 will be more likely to move as well
    We don’t know if Mike Slive wants to go to 16, but we know that he could

  57. Mike says:

    From Billy Liucci (@BillyLiucci)

    SEC presidents meeting/voting today. Translation: Ags have officially submitted their request for admission into Southeastern Conference

  58. ChicagoMac says:

    You left off Kansas State, which is where Texas Tech might have a big issue with its own version of California Dreamin’ under the Mizzou to SEC scenario.

  59. StevenD says:

    TexTech to the Pac16? Maybe not. Why would Texas want to share the revenue from the LHN with TexTech?

    If Texas, Oklahoma+OSU, and Kansas join the Pac16, then the Pac16 East network could cover OU, OSU and KU while the LHN (renamed Pac16 Texas) would cover the just the Longhorns.

    • Peter says:

      Kansas dumping Kansas State is about as politically realistic as OU dumping OSU. These are public institutions, they’re not going to be allowed to sentence Little Brother to death.

      Texas shaking Texas Tech off of their leg is far more likely. Tech is just another public university in Texas as opposed to one of basically two in Kansas & Oklahoma.

      • Gopher86 says:

        The KU Chancellor confirmed that the two aren’t tied to the hip. If KU gets a Pac-1X invite, the BoR would be foolish to turn down that offer. It isn’t realistic to expect both KU & KSU get invites to a major conference. OSU and TTU can realistically ride coat tails, though.

        • Peter says:

          Whether or not its legal isn’t the question. The stuff about “tied together as a matter of law” is always baloney no matter which state it is. As a practical and political matter, a public university that answers to the legislature abandoning Little Brother public university isn’t going to fly.

          It’s not impossible if the Big 12 completely collapses, but any sort of instigating move of Oklahoma leaving by itself or Kansas leaving by itself is nonsense. Totally different situation than Texas with Tech or Baylor.

  60. Gopher86 says:

    BYU ain’t walking through that door:


    More of what has already been discussed. It sounds like BYU will bide its time and try to jump in a viable conference. Not much news there.

  61. bullet says:

    MOB and ESPN
    (not that mob-the MOB-This is for you Loki)


  62. duffman says:

    WEEK 2 – Top 25 and conference summary – teams with loss in bold

    SEC 7/25 = 28% : Alabama, LSU, South Carolina, Arkansas, Auburn, MSU, Florida
    10 wins vs 2 losses = 83%

    B1G 5/25 = 20% : Wisconsin, Nebraska, Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn State
    10 wins vs 2 losses = 83%

    B12 5/25 = 20% : Oklahoma, oSu, TAMU, Missouri, Texas
    10 wins vs 0 losses = 100%

    PAC 3/25 = 12% : Oregon, Stanford, Arizona State
    8 wins vs 4 losses = 67%

    ACC 2/25 = 8% : Florida State, Virginia Tech
    8 wins vs 4 losses = 67%

    MWC 2/25 = 8% : Boise State, TCU
    5 wins vs 3 losses = 63%

    BE 1/25 = 4% : West Virginia
    8 wins vs 0 losses = 100%

    Dropped from poll = Notre Dame & Georgia
    Added to poll = West Virginia, Arizona State

    What is the game you would watch in week 2 if you could only watch 1 game?

    • PSUGuy says:

      PSU v ‘Bama – Mostly cause I’ll be there, but also because I think it’ll actually be a good game.

      • Brian says:

        I really hope it is, but I fear a repeat of last year. I’m having a hard time picturing PSU generating much offense.

        • PSUGuy says:

          With the way ‘Bama’s QB’s played last week they might have similar worries.

          In any case, a game is always better in person (and drunk)!

          • Brian says:

            No doubt that live games are always best.

            Alabama’s QBs struggled, but I think their D is better than PSU’s. Their running game looked better, too. We’ll find out in a few days.

  63. bullet says:

    Kansas writers are taking the situation with a little humor:


  64. bullet says:

    And from the Kansas State side a look at a future in the Big East:


    All the talk is, if 4 to Pac happens, of the last 5 panicking and jumping into the BE if possible. What if they were sensible and suggested the BE fb schools join them. Then you might have 14, but not 22 or 36 or 40 schools.

  65. Richard says:

    The Illinois AD wanting more games in Chicago got me thinking:

    _If_ the ACC falls apart due to the SEC raiding off VTech (unlikely, I know), and the B10 manages to add FSU, Miami, GTech, and ND (even more unlikely, I know), then with the following pods:

    Pod I:
    PSU, FSU, Miami, GTech

    Pod II:
    Michigan, OSU, MSU, Illinois (or NU)

    Pod III:
    ND, IU, PU, NU (or Illinois)

    Pod IV:
    UNL, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minny

    (pods I & II always in different divisions)

    Illinois and Northwestern can stage neutral site OOC games in Chicago (Soldier Field or Wrigley or the Cell) in the years they don’t meet in conference play.

    For that matter, OSU & PSU could hold lucrative OOC games half the time, alternating between Pittsburgh and Cleveland (and sometime Philly for the east coast exposure and Cincy). It’d be especially lucrative (following the Texas model) if the tickets are divided 50-50, as then the tickets would have to be limited to the highest donors.

    Even the Little Brown Jug game could be worth playing OOC. To make decent revenue, it may actually have to be played in a baseball stadium (like Target Field or Comerica or maybe even in Chicago, where both schools have large numbers of alums), again to limit supply.

    I wouldn’t mind NU playing ND neutral site (East Coast/West Coast/Texas) a few times either. IU may not as well.

  66. zeek says:

    “I feel comfortable that we’ll end up in a situation that’s right for the University of Texas, whether that’s belonging to a conference or not,” said R. Steven Hicks, a member of UT’s governing board. “I understand we’re committed to our partnership with ESPN on the Longhorn Network, and I don’t see anything that changes that going forward.”


    Wow, that’s a really strong statement.

    • Ross says:

      Or maybe it’s just a sign that all this conference domino stuff is overstated, and the Big-12 will survive with or without A&M (we still aren’t even certain that A&M is gone, I wouldn’t jump to conclusions until the deal is done).

    • Kevin says:

      I think the board member is posturing. I would put UT’s probability of going Independent around 5%. Less money to be made as an independent in the long-run and limited options for the Olympic sports. The Pac is really their only option. Especially if Oklahoma makes the first move.

      • Redhawk says:

        No, UT has one other option: Rebuild the Big 12 into a new South West Conference. Bring in Rice, Houston, SMU, UTSA, UTEP,…..and I think they they think that is an option

      • Gopher86 says:

        I think there is a lot of posturing going on, but both sides have golden parachutes. Check out Barking Carnival’s write up on the LHN. If they add a mix of SWCish teams and renegotiate the Big 12 contract, they’ll probably make more than they stand to make in the current Big 12 or Pac 12.

        Feudalism isn’t dead in Texas.

      • Patrick says:

        I totally disagree, respectfully, but we will all find out soon enough.
        I think this has been UT’s end game since the negotiations began with ESPN about the LHN. Texas was trying to piss on everyone around them until they left, now they will blame Texas A&M / Colorado / Nebraska / Arkansas / Oklahoma / Oklahoma A&M for destroying the Big 12 /SWC while they “tried sooooo hard to save it”. Texas is getting their independence just the way they wanted.

        • jj says:

          i’ve heard much crazier theories, but they still need a home for non-football sports. they can’t truly go alone. i think trying to get SWC 2.0 is a realistic possibility.

          • Patrick says:

            What does BYU do? Olympic sports to MWC? I think it is a concern… but not a major one (except for Basketball and Baseball) – Basketball only member of the Big East?

            Notre Dame and BYU have found ways to go it alone….. without $300 million ESPN reasons to do it. Texas thinks that they can do it better that ND or BYU, and I’ll bet they give it a try.

          • frug says:

            UT isn’t BYU. They are not going to let their non-football sports go slumming with some mid-major. And while the Big East schools would no doubt shit themselves at the chance to add UT as a non-football members, I’m not sure that Texas would go for it. All those games out east against tiny private schools most people in the Southwest couldn’t care less about would really hurt their recruiting. Plus, let’s be honest, I doubt UT regards the Big East as worthy competition for teams outside of basketball.

          • Richard says:


            You have to remember that this is a school in Texas you’re talking about. The 3 most important sports in the state are football, football recruiting, and spring football. Plus, I’m not sure baseball is a revenue sport even at Tejas.

            BTW, CUSA is a better bet because they have so may TX schools already, so there’s more chance for Longhorn alums to see them play.

  67. MIKEUM says:

    I for one am totally hoping for the hapless SWC ver. 2.0 to come to fruition for a long hard laugh.

  68. royal oak says:

    It probably has no basis in reality, but the BIG TEN would be awesome if it managed to add just Oklahoma and Notre Dame.

    Look at the beautiful divisions:

    East: Penn St., Ohio St., Michigan, Michigan St., Notre Dame, Purdue, Indiana
    West: Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Northwestern

  69. Mike says:

    Not sure what there is to negotiate…

  70. loki_the_bubba says:

    Why aTm to SEC is not yet a done deal…


    • glenn says:

      you type faster than i do, loki. : )

    • M says:

      From the article:
      “The SEC presidents voted to admit Texas A&M as the 13th member of that league so long as each individual member of the Big 12 waives its right to litigation against the SEC.”

      “Hey Baylor, we’re pulling out the bottom block in the Jenga pile that is your chances at staying in a BCS conference. We cool, right?”

      • hangtime79 says:

        I call BS on Chip Brown. Why would the SEC put that condition on TAMU’s entrance? Who would actually sign-off on it anyway. Makes no sense.

        • Gopher86 says:


          He’s been very spin happy this go round.

        • greg says:

          Maybe the SEC has decided expanded isn’t worthwhile, and this is a way they can get out of it and put the onus on some other entity.

        • glenn says:

          this is no different from what the sec has said all along.

          they originally said that the aggies have to ‘straighten their affairs’, and my guess is that meant they expected the ags to clearly exit the big 12 or arrange for an amicable release.

          the ags didn’t do that.  they issued a notice that they are looking around and if they get an invitation that suits them, they are gone.  that’s not what the sec asked for.

          what this stipulation does, assuming it is, in fact, the case, is force a&m’s hand.  the aggies tried to pull a fast one and slip away into the night, but the sec has clearly made their case that they don’t want to have to deal with any baggage.  the ags have to satisfy the sec and quit playing around or forget about it.

          my guess is that there are two, or maybe three, unhappy camps in the big 12 over this, if it is real.  the ags, of course, the sooners, since they are looking for greener pastures as well, and the longhorns, who are wanting the ags gone.

    • frug says:

      Why would the ISU and Baylor agree to waive litigation? Even if they have no intention of actually suing they have nothing to gain by helping A&M leave and hasten the end (or at least severe diminishing) of the Big XII especially since A&M is presently trying to negotiate down its exit penalties to the tune of about $14 million?

      • jj says:

        What is the consideration for this? In other words, what is the SEC giving these schools in exchange? Sounds like bs to me.

        • bullet says:

          The exchange is A&M agreeing not to sue about the exit fees and agreeing on an amount. In return the Big 12 doesn’t sue A&M or SEC. I think Frug is right. ISU and Baylor have a decent case supporting exit fees and the potential $ loss to them (from $15 million annual TV money to $1 million in CUSA) dwarves any exit fees.

          I don’t know that this is true and if true if it stops the SEC, but it does make sense.

        • mike in st louis says:

          @jj The SEC is giving the remaining B12 schools leverage in exit fee negotiation with Texas A&M. If I was A&M, I’d be moderately peeved about this, if it’s true.

  71. glenn says:

    hxttp://texas.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1261679 (remove the ‘x’ from hxttp)

    your fave, chip brown, says there is a contingency that each remaining big 12 school must waive its right to litigate. he says if any school refuses the deal may go sour.

    regardless, a&m has to go somewhere. maybe the big ten if the sec passes?

  72. frug says:

    From Chip Brown (via Twitter):

    “Hearing the SEC vote to admit Texas A&M was 10-2 and that West Virginia is squarely on the SEC radar as a potential 14th member.”

    So we are guessing Vandy and who else? I would have said one of Tenn/Alabama/Auburn who might not want to have Auburn slide East, but if WVU is the other addition that wouldn’t matter.

    • Other Mike says:

      Could depend on what you think the chances of FSU getting through are. If I were Florida, I’d vote it down just to keep that from ever happening.

    • bullet says:

      If it was 10-2, I would guess S. Carolina or Florida as the other one. They have the least to benefit from Texas recruiting and would likely prefer Bama, Auburn or LSU more often instead of getting A&M.

  73. loki_the_bubba says:

    West Virginia has a Board of Regents meeting scheduled Friday…

    • bullet says:

      The WVSports board seems to all be talking about those rumours, although just skimming, I didn’t see any hard info.

      A&M and WVU would be two more doubles for the SEC.

      • Richard says:

        TAMU’s a homer (1 run homer); the only non-king that is (IMHO). WVU may be a double, but I’m more inclined to see it as a single. WVU is not SCarolina or Arkansas.

  74. Jeff says:

    There is nothing on the WVU’s Board of Governors’ agenda about conference expansion.

    WVU Board of Governors’ Agenda

  75. John says:

    SEC strategy…
    Doesn’t it really look like Slive has forged an ACC alliance to box in the Big Ten? Permission to negotiate w/ Mizzou & WVU. Nothing protects SEC country like a solid ACC. Pick off WVU and then perhaps the ACC goes to 16 w/ Pitt, SU, RU & UConn. Add Mizzou to the SEC while OU & oSu go off to the PAC and what does Delaney have left to choose from? Kansas may well be headed PAC’s way since UT won’t let go of LHN. Either way, doesn’t appear Big Ten has much to choose from outside of hoping that LHN doesn’t make it?

    • mushroomgod says:

      None of the ACC schools were ever going to go to the SEC. It was all urban legend.

      • mushroomgod says:

        It was always going to be WVU or MO for the SEC. On the MO board they’re saying WVU has a 2 year notice requirement and $5M exit fee to leave the Least. If the 12 breaks up completely MO is left without such issues. MO seems to be trending as the top choice. Biiggest problem I see is they would prefer a team for the East Div. If they pick MO they may stick MO in the East instead of moving ALA or AUB………….

        • Ryan says:

          I think the WVU piece is all a negotiation tactic on the SEC’s part. Can anyone give me a reason why the SEC would prefer WVU over MU? Can’t think of any myself…

          • mushroomgod says:

            I can give you a few:

            –MO fans/state isn’t sufficiently redneck..ie “southern”. No problem there with WVU

            –WV fans are more passionate about the U and football than MO fans

            –If MO goes to the West Div. either ALA or AUB has to go East. WV would be added to the East Div. (I think they add MO to the East)

            That said, seems like the signs are pointing to MO, which would be the better choice………..

    • mike in st louis says:

      @John Not sure ACC teams were ever in the cards for B1G anyway. The football powers (VT, FSU, and Miami) don’t really fit. Maryland makes some sense, but only as a complimentary addition along with somebody like ND. Slive didn’t need an ACC “alliance”. ACC was always solid.

    • @John – I don’t think it’s quite like that for the SEC. More likely, as I’ve been saying all along, is that the ACC is simply much tighter than people give them credit for. The Big 12 and Big East were essentially leagues built upon TV arrangements, whereas the ACC is in the same vein as the Big Ten and SEC as being more than just a business partnership. There’s not really a “boxing in” of the Big Ten when the most important target is actually within the conference’s own footprint (Notre Dame). One “king” like Nebraska is worth exponentially more than a school whose main value is simply its location.

  76. Illinifan82 says:

    The thing is I dont see any confrence building an alliance when it comes down to expansion. Everyone seems to be looking out for thier own intrests first and the other confrences be damned. If they wanted to box in the Big Ten they would not have poached from the Big 12 in the first place. Why would Slive give Delaney and co a chance to land Texas or an OU even if the chance was remote?

    I can see the Big Ten staying at 12 even if the SEC and Pac went to 16 unless a major addition could be found. At least the Illini are in a stable confrence, imagine how all the have nots in the big 12 are feeling this morning.

    • John says:

      It’s not just nots. I grew up w/ a Big 8 banner on the wall next to my Tiger paw. KSU, ISU and yes, even KU, should not have to put up with this. Some may end up with decent homes, but lets not kid ourselves, the Big East is NOT where any of these schools would prefer to be. Just don’t understand how it got to this point & why University Presidents couldn’t have enough foresight to tell Texas to stick it where the oil don’t flow long before now?

  77. Jeff says:

    Stewart Mandel from SI on twitter: The SEC makes it official: Voted unanimously to accept Texas A&M.

  78. Jeff says:

    So much for Chip Brown’s 10-2 vote. That guy is such a shill. I guess all you have to do is make stuff up and quote “confidential sources” to be a reporter these days.

    • bullet says:

      The vote is always unanimous, regardless of what the initial vote was. I saw an Aggie site reporting it was 11-0 with an abstention or 12-0.

    • duffman says:

      “The moon is made of cheese” says my confidential source named Jeff ;)

      Hey it really does work that way! :)

  79. EZCUSE says:

    I still say that this move is a giant F-U from ESPN to the Big East. Reject our contract? Really? We are the dog, you are the tail.

    Fine… we’ll just give the extra money to the SEC to take your best football team. How about them apples?

    Running scoreboard:
    ACC 1
    Big East 0

    ESPN 1
    Big East 0

    Baby with candy 1
    Big East 0

    Feather 1
    Big East 0

    Can the ACC just take Rutgers, UConn, Syracuse, and Pitt and get it over with? Put me out of my misery.

  80. Jeff says:

    What does Texas A&M do next? Threaten a counter lawsuit? I am not lawyer (calling for you Frank), but it seems that by the Big 12 already releasing A&M and the SEC, they allowed this ball to move forward. By pulling the rug at the last second, does A&M have grounds to go after Baylor?

    • glenn says:

      the sec isn’t worried about the big 12. the sec is worried about individual big 12 schools. a disgruntled school could file a very nasty lawsuit, and the sec and slive want no part of that.

      the aggies have to get free and clear — whatever that takes — for this to go forward.

  81. mushroomgod says:

    Anyone see the alleged letter to Sliva from Beeba promising no litigation over A@M’s departure?

    Pretty odd letter, imo.

  82. Phil says:

    The question is, after the Big 12 is blown up and the SEC gets to 14, what is ESPN’s next move?

    I know the Big East is the weakest of the BCS football conferences. However, ESPN has offered them a 250% raise (which the BE turned down) just to keep them from going to market and possibly ending up on NBC. Now, if they get Kansas, the BE basketball package would be even more attractive to an NBC who wants their sports channel to be a competitor to ESPN.

    If they can eliminate the Big East, the NBC sports channel has only the NHL, MLS and the odd ND football game until more sports rights packages become available in 2015-2016.

    If ESPN was going to pay the Big East a couple of hundred million dollars a year, is it worth for them to spend some of that money to get the B10 and SEC to go to 16 and end up with the 4th conference as 16 teams of ACC and BE leftovers (that fall under the ACC contract)?

  83. Bob Nonya says:

    That letter sure looks like a bang-up waiver. The condition precedent of going public by 9/7 looks to run in favor of the B12, and, thus, should not provide any wiggle room for Baylor. I think this deal gets done, but not w/out a check from aTm. The real question now is how much getting out cleanly is worth to aTm. 20 million? 40? 50?

    • Bob Nonya says:

      To be sure, a proper waiver by the B12 would have run 100 pages at least and would have been full of explicit language. I think a judge in Texas, for example, could easily find the letter to be an ineffective waiver for lots of reasons. I just think it improves aTm’s bargaining position and the deal will get done.

      • bullet says:

        Does the lack of performance prior to Baylor’s withdrawal give Baylor substantial leverage, especially considering the dramatically changed circumstances in the Big 12? The SEC hadn’t invited A&M and A&M hadn’t written any checks to the Big 12.

        I suspect Baylor is not going to do any waivers for OU & OSU, let alone UT.

    • Peter says:

      I am a lawyer. That’s nowhere near long & absolute enough to be a waiver. Giving up or assigning legal claims is taken extremely seriously and the SEC lawyers would never have assumed said letter was a waiver. Baylor is simply changing their minds on an informal promise, which parties can always do and which is why everyone wants formal, legally effective waivers (or outright assignment of claims).

      The SEC isn’t being nefarious, by the way. A TI suit has potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in economic damages to the lesser Big 12 schools if it costs them their TV contract/conference. Even a low probability of that would be enough for them to be extra-careful.

      • Peter says:

        Also, maybe someone at Baylor’s BoR woke up and realized THEY could be sued for breach of fiduciary duty if they went along with this. Assisting something that blows up the Big 12 is manifestly not in Baylor’s interests.

  84. Redhawk says:

    On what grounds is Baylor suing? Tortuous Interference? That seems far fetched, as A&M/SEC have done everything by the book and in order. Breach of contract against A&M? Which to me would have a few more leg to stand on as A&M would be breaching the Big 12′s TV deal, but that’s why the Conference has exit penalties.

    • Peter says:

      Baylor isn’t suing on specific grounds. They are just saying they are not giving up their right to sue. They would probably sue over TI and breach of contract as well as any other ancillary claims they could think of.

      The threat of a suit is enough to get the SEC to back off. You see this frequently in M&A transactions. If there’s a contingent claim out there that is potentially enormous, even if it is low probability, it can be a deal killer.

    • footballnut says:

      I don’t get the Baylor thing either. The Big 12 gave aTm a formal letter saying it’s OK to leave the conference last weekend, hence the SEC vote.

      Hope Big 12 brings in BYU to replace aTm and be done with all the other expansion talk. I like 6 AQ conferences. OU needs to calm down. Valium anyone?

    • frug says:

      Baylor doesn’t need grounds to sue because they don’t actually need to sue period. According to the conditional invitation, all they have to do is not pledge to waive litigation to derail this whole deal for the Aggies.

    • Dcphx says:

      Never let facts or the truth stand in the way of a good lawsuit.

  85. Patrick says:

    I looked but didn’t see the letter. Here is a link RE: Big 12 agreeing not to sue SEC


    Looks pretty straightforward.

  86. Jeff says:

    Interesting article on Texas and realignment Texas Realignment Strategy

  87. Mike says:

    Wilner on Texas


    I’ve talked to two sources in the past 36 hours who have a keen understanding of the realignment puzzle in general and the University of Texas culture in particular … and neither believes UT will join the Pac-12. Ever.


    But sources believe there are larger issues at play that will keep Texas out of the Pac.

    “It has a different culture,” one source said.

    Another suggested UT’s future conference affiliation is more about state political aims than football revenue. And the Lone Star State’s true power-brokers have always looked east — to the halls of Washington in particular.


    One source believes UT will do whatever it takes to keep the Big 12 breathing, even if that means making fiscal and Longhorn Network concessions to Oklahoma.

    And in the event of departures by Texas A&M and Missouri and the Oklahoma schools?

    The Longhorns — with the aid of ESPN, which wants the Big 12 to survive — would attempt to reconstitute the conference with Texas Tech, Baylor, Kansas and Kansas State, Iowa State and a handful of newcomers (Houston? SMU? Pittsburgh? Louisville?) before throwing in the towel.

    • footballnut says:

      Link to letter sent out by Baylor Nation:


    • Patrick says:

      I believe that is a pretty likely scenario as to how this plays out. I also see that Texas has thought through all of their steps in order for the ‘source’ to get to the conclusion that Texas really wants (in my opinion, I know most disagree with me though).

      Notice how they…
      A) prefer to keep the Big 12 together – but actually run EVERYBODY off
      B) Piss on the idea of Texas in the Pac 12 (because that is the most logical solution if they aren’t going to be independent) – saying cultural and academic differences, except the ‘cowboy’ culture fits more western and Stanford, Cal, and UCLA don’t count.
      C) Blame the politicians for wanting to look east – Even though they know the LHN will NOT fly in the SEC.
      D) We’ll make some fiscal concessions to Oklahoma – too little, too late – without A&M, Oklahoma is convinced the 12 is dead
      E) Make some lame-assed attempt to draw in some schools – many of whom have already been floated (while OU and OSU were still on the table) and they laughed at you myopia.
      F) Are aware that a 6 team conference is not going to work so then, and only then, will Texas throw in the towel and go independent. But you all left us with no choice.

      • Patrick says:

        Oh and also saying that this isn’t about the Longhorn network….. it has ALL been about the Longhorn network. Just remarkable the stuff that they make Chip Brown say versus reality.

    • bullet says:

      I wonder who Wilner talked to. Probably not anyone at UT. UT has always looked to the Pac as its alternative stopping point. The state has a lot more ties to California than to the midwest and probably more than to the Southeast other than Louisiana. The last President went from UT to Cal. UT looks at Cal, UCLA, the other UCs and the Big 10 schools as its peers. Powers got his undergrad at Cal. Wilner’s a good knowledgable writer, but I think he whiffed here.

      • zeek says:

        Agreed; I think this is a miss.

        Texas wants to keep its LHN in some form and is trying to see whether they can get some kind of better deal for it.

        And as others have indicated, the Pac-16 was originally Texas’ idea a few years ago with Nebraska/Colorado/Texas/A&M/OU as a really unstoppable superconference. Stallings indicated as much recently.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        I assume you’re talking about Austin/UT, not the state. No doubt that Austin feels a kinship with the West Coast, but as political and cultural opposites I never got the feeling Texans (as a whole) felt anything but disdain for the West Coast.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      Actually felt bad for some of the more naive Sooner/Pokes fans after visiting a couple Pac-12 blogs, at Espn and SB Nation. They seemed like nice people, excited by the prospect of joining the PAC, but what they got back was a wave of condescension. People here talk about the Big Ten culture and how these schools aren’t a good cultural fit, but I think Oklahoma (without Texas) is in for surprise at how they are perceived on the west coast -and how resistant some of the schools are to accepting them.

  88. Jeff says:

    Check out this statement on Baylor’s website. It is laughable. Baylor Statement

  89. Bob Nonya says:

    I think Baylor sues on every conceivable theory that they can come up w/. Baylor would be crazy to only sue aTm (which may have sovereign immunity arguments) and not the SEC (a very suable non-profit corp w/ deep pockets).

    There is no safe-harbor for TI. Just because you come out and say you are going to interfere w/ a contract, doesn’t some how make your actions OK. But I HIGHLY doubt any judge will force aTm to perform its obligations under the Big12 contracts. This is really about (1) time (how long will it take to resolve litigation), and (2) money (what will aTm pay). Ultimately, if those two variables get too out-of-whack (ie, a year of litigation + 50 million in fees), aTm might be in a bind. And, as far as I can tell, Baylor doesn’t HAVE to answer to any Texas politicians.

    • bullet says:

      This is really about 1.OU 2. UT

      A&M will get to leave, but Baylor will make them pay in some way.

      • bullet says:

        And maybe its a clever strategy to delay this until at least October 15th Baylor at A&M. Have A&M show its character by its treatment of Baylor and its fans and get the SEC to rescind its invitation. If I were a Baylor fan, I wouldn’t go to College Station on that day.

      • Patrick says:

        More like 1) Longhorn Network 2) UT 3) ESPN 4) OU 5) UT again

  90. Bob Nonya says:

    and don’t forget that Baylor’s President is Ken Starr. Starr is a former Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher litigation parter. He took on the Presdient of the United States. This B12 scuffle is nothing compared w/ the litigation he’s been through. I find this part hillarious, of all the university president’s for Baylor to have, they’ve got one of the best litigators in the country.

  91. Redhawk says:

    From Stewart Mandal of Sports Illustrated twitter:
    slmandel Stewart Mandel
    Reminder: Leftover Big East schools sued the ACC to try to stop from taking Miami. What league is Miami in again?

  92. Bob Nonya says:

    yeah, but in that case, the schools followed the Big East by-laws requiring just 1 million in exit fees and a year’s notice. the lawsuit was a crappy “secret conspiracy” theory suit. here, the money is MUCH higher and there are specific contract provisions that aTm will have to breach in order to leave. I’m not saying Baylor has a winner suit, I just think they have the short-term power to cost aTm time and money.

    • Aggie in Fort Worth says:

      How many hurdles does Texas A&M need to overcome? This whole process was very fast-paced to only be slowed down to make sure all of the proverbial t’s and i’s were done correctly. I do wish that A&M does not pay a dime to Baylor to drop this threat (at this time that is what it is, but may change later).

  93. ChicagoMac says:

    So the SEC issues a statement that aTm must accept by tomorrow and they need substantial assurances that the SEC is clear of legal liability from the B12.

    Meanwhile, Baylor renigs on their agreement to let aTm leave without much of a fuss.

    This is great theatre.

  94. hangtime79 says:

    The Aggies are losing their mind right now. Already received a delete/kick/ban from TexAgs this morning for posting this.

    Because none of you seem to be able to understand why Baylor would welch, let’s go through the math. BTW, if Boren doesn’t shoot his mouth off last Friday about leaving for the Pac-12 – Baylor probably signs off. Once TAMU’s leaving starts the dominoes, Baylor is going to stop you in anyway it can.

    So this about two things – athletic dollars and enrollment AQ vs non-AQ. The athletic dollars we know call it about $10MM. The real money though is in enrollment.

    The key is the assumption of how much AQ vs non-AQ enrollment loss is for Baylor. My source tells me the scenarios used were between 15% and 33% for Baylor going to a non-AQ. Type in whatever you want but I have heard enough of you trash Southland, WAC, MWC, C-USA to know that there quite a few young people choose their school based partially on athletic conference.

    Now the math:

    Best Case Scenario
    Baylor loses 5% of their new undergraduate population going forward 12,500 x 5% = 625.
    Current tuition and fees are $38,279, assume Baylor students pay ~40% of that $16,000.

    Enrollment Loss: -625 x $16000 = -$10,000,000
    Athletics Loss: -$10,000,000
    = -$20,000,000

    Now let’s do worst case scenario:
    Both Baylor grad and undergrad lost 25% of 15,000 = 15000 x 25% = 3750
    Assume Baylor students pay ~50% of that $20,000.

    Enrollment Loss: -3750 x $20000 = -$75,000,000
    Athletics Loss: -$10,000,000
    = -$85,000,000

    This does not take into account future loss of alumni donations, research grants, rising price of tuition, etc., etc. Throw in your own numbers but that’s the equation Baylor is facing and the reason we will not let you go and are more then happy to take 100 years worth of Aggie hate.

    Also, those numbers are probably what the SEC is most afraid of in terms of a lawsuit. We may only have 5% chance of winning the lawsuit, but that lawsuit is going to start at roughly 1 billion. =PV(.10,100,100,000,000) x .05
    Expected Value = -$50,000,000

    Thus I come back too, if you want Baylor’s sign-off on your move to the SEC then its in your best interest to help find us a spot otherwise we are going to all be here for awhile.

    Cuss us, call us Gaylor, how much we are enjoying the butt hurt, whatever – this is about dollars and Aggie hate doesn’t change the equation.

    • zeek says:

      The enrollment loss would be negligible.

      Their acceptance rate was 31%. Even if they lose 15% to 33% of their applications (highly unlikely) just due to getting demoted to non-AQ status, their acceptance rate would just rise to around 40-50% in order to maintain their enrollment, assuming a constant yield. If the yield goes down, then the acceptance rate will have to rise farther.

      Regardless, this has nothing to do with Baylor’s enrollment.

      A loss of prestige? Yes. A loss of alumni donations associated with said loss of prestige? Yes. A loss of athletic department funding from AQ football (attendance, TV contract, etc.)? Yes. Those are the major things at issue here, especially the last one.

      • zeek says:

        FWIW, I’ve worked at admissions at a private university, and the way that these universities work is they target enrollment numbers based on formulas that approximate the impact of changes to the yield and application numbers. For a school like Baylor with an acceptance rate at 31%, they will easily be able to maintain their class regardless of a situation like going non-AQ.

        The loss of athletics department revenue (and possible loss of donations due to loss of AQ “prestige”) is where Baylor will take a pocketbook hit.

        • hangtime79 says:

          That’s assuming you lowered your admission standards to accept 50%. That’s not something that’s great for a university nor research $, USNWR rankings, etc – you still end up in the same place, a huge money hole in the middle of the budget.

          • zeek says:

            Fair enough, my point was that the biggest argument is going to be the direct hit on the athletics department and the secondary hit to donations.

            Losing 15-20k fans in the seats per game from their current 35-40k is really where the big hit will come from over time. That loss combined with the loss of the TV contract will make it much more difficult to fund the athletics department.

    • bullet says:

      Was it Baylor that did the study? There was one I saw in the last two or three years about the impact on enrollment and it was incredibly high.

      Just having football vs. not having football is viewed as valuable by virtue of all the commuter schools and small privates that are starting programs.

      • hangtime79 says:

        Internal projections based on surveyed incoming student interests and preferences. The key assumption is whether you think its 2%, 5% or 20%, its a big hole you blow in middle of the budget regardless.

        • Jake says:

          A winning football program certainly seems to have an impact on applications. But you may not have to be part of an AQ conference to see the benefit. For example:


          That was last year. Applications to TCU this (post-Rose Bowl) year were over 18,000 for 1,800 spots. I can only imagine the boost Boise State has gotten from their football team; that place was a junior college not too long ago. Who knows – maybe losing the seat at the AQ table will be the best thing that ever happened to Baylor football. There are certainly plenty of TCU fans who feel that getting left out of the Big 12 ended an era of complacency and forced us to renew our commitment to our athletics program.

  95. Jeff says:

    This drama is better than anything on TV. What are we all going to do when realignment is done?

  96. Mike says:

    A&M’s Loftin


    We are certainly pleased with the action taken last night by the presidents and chancellors of the Southeastern Conference to unanimously accept Texas A&M as the league’s 13th member. However, this acceptance is conditional, and we are disappointed in the threats made by one of the Big 12 member institutions to coerce Texas A&M into staying in Big 12 Conference. These actions go against the commitment that was made by this university and the Big 12 on Sept. 2. We are working diligently to resolve any and all issues as outlined by the SEC

  97. Bob Nonya says:

    I’d get this thing filed in Ames ASAP. Too much risk filing in Texas.

  98. bullet says:

    Ran across that Dosh article about individual school’s media revenue that you were looking for. There’s also a different site that was posted here at one time that has everyone’s revenue by category (at least the public schools) and one of the categories is that separate media revenue.


  99. Boomershine says:

    There is new chatter that Baylor is now backing off from its threat of a lawsuit.

  100. Playoffs Now says:

    If OU, T Boone Pickens, and Aggie leave, the most likely outcome may be a merger of the B12 and BEast leftovers with UT going independent in football, just like with Notre Dame. WV or MO to SEC would leave it at 14 fb and 22 for all sports.

    • zeek says:

      I do think there’s a ND-Texas scenario that’s still possible (albeit remote in terms of odds). If Texas goes football independent in the Big 12 with TTech, Baylor, Kansas, KState, Missouri, Iowa State, and the SEC invites WVU, then the Big 12 could invite Pitt, Rutgers, Louisville, Cincinnati, TCU, and Syracuse to recreate the Big 12. Heck, even if they lose Missouri to the SEC, that might still be possible.

      In that case, the Big 12 would have 12 football teams (with the remaining 6 as the Big 12 West, and the Big East teams as the Big 12 East, and with Texas football independent, and ND joining as well in all other sports.

      It’s a remote scenario to be sure, but the Big 12 could have life if Texas could hold it together and poach off Big East teams. I don’t know how likely that is, but ND could support that if it is a stronger guarantee of its long-term football independence.

      • zeek says:

        It’s basically the same scenario as your Playoffs Now, but I think they’d use the Big 12 as the vehicle to pursue it as opposed to the Big East.

    • footballnut says:

      Nope. Don’t agree. UT wants to keep B12 intact. MO not interested in leaving anywhere except for B1G, and that ain’t happenin, so I look for OU/OSU to stay and just add BYU. If OU/OSU leaves, look for Big 12(UT) to go hunting for OUT OF STATE PEOPLE. Think BYU, New Mexico, Air Force for the first three, then Colorado State, Boise State, Houston as , long shots.

      MU, KU and KSU will go to Big East if all else fails, but they really want to keep the Big 12 alive. MU to SEC is NOT happening. WVA is the school of choice for the 14th spot.

  101. Gopher86 says:

    Letter sent out to all KU Alumni:

    “Dear Jayhawk:

    Amid the latest round of conference realignment discussions, I want all KU alumni to know that Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and Dr. Sheahon Zenger, KU athletics director, are aggressively pursuing the best possible outcome for KU. As the chancellor expressed yesterday, they will continue to keep our community informed.

    The unsurpassed loyalty of the Jayhawk Nation is one of KU’s greatest assets. Thanks for all you do to strengthen KU.

    Rock Chalk!

    Kevin J. Corbett, c’88

  102. bullet says:


    Nice interview with Mississippi State president. Interesting read.

    • bullet says:

      I liked the comment about Mississippi State not being afraid to compete against schools with bigger budgets. He also comments that A&M is not under any circumstances going to stay in the Big 12, even if they don’t get in the SEC.

  103. Wethorn says:


    Can you clarify for me why the LHN can’t be folded into the PAC tv deal without openin it to Txtech? As I understand it we’re largely talking tier 3 rights. So why can’t equal sharing prevail for tier 1 and tier 2 rights, then allow each university to secure tier 3 rights however they see fit. For some, that might mean a regional PAC channel. For UT it’s LHN. I’d think that the biggest brands might value the option of their own channel, such as OU and USC, and perhaps also UCLA, Stanford and Oregon.

    • Stopping By says:

      The Pac, if I understand correctly, retains all rights (including Tier3) for FB as well as BB games and pulls all into the confernece pot that will then be distributed equally.

      One of the reasons for the big TV Contract (other than the hot market) was the sheer inventory available I believe. Scott also was smart enough to retain up to Tier 1 rights for the Pac regional networks as well.

      • ccrider55 says:

        Stopping By:

        That is correct. All rights are with the conference, and essentially the P12N is a junior partner with ESPN and Fox. The term “tier” is not really applicable as there is only one group of events on which to bid for a part of, ie the pac 12. Next year the P12N will have first selection of games in two weeks and second selection in five of the others. The order of selection will also be determined prior to the setting of the schedule. All rights that have not been assigned to ESPN and Fox remain with the conference

    • @Wethorn – The issue is that the Pac-12 just got all school TV rights assigned to the conference (where it was a quasi-Big 12 setup previously) in order to get the new massive TV deal into place. This included an agreement from USC and UCLA to share revenue equally if certain revenue targets were hit (which happened). So, for UT to come in and demand what USC and UCLA just gave up seems to be a non-starter on its face. In theory, the money generated by UT might trump all of that from a pure financial standpoint, but I don’t think the Pac-12 is solely looking at it from that angle. Stability and a perception of equality among members matters a ton, too (as Baylor is finding out).

      Also, I think UT is uniquely positioned in terms of being able to have a viable TV network with the size of its population base (the entire state of Texas) and rabid fans. The only other school in the country that comes close to that combo is Florida (and the Gators have much stronger in-state competition from FSU and Miami). USC has the population base, but not the rabid fans. Oregon is the opposite. So, that’s why I don’t believe individual networks are anywhere near the selling point for other power schools in the manner that it was a selling point for UT. That’s why everyone in the Big Ten and Pac-12 have signed up for conference-wide networks. Not even Notre Dame is well-positioned for its own network – their draw is suited to over-the-air coverage, where they have a dispersed nationwide base of casual fans. Successful sports networks, though, are really based upon intense concentrated regional interest.

      This is both a blessing and a curse for UT in the sense that the LHN could become golden handcuffs – none of the Pac-12, Big Ten, SEC or ACC would accept the LHN, which means UT’s only options if it wants to keep the channel are to (1) keep the Big 12 alive, (2) try forming a different conference or (3) go independent. Keeping the Big 12 without OU would look like the SWC. Forming a different conference would likely just result in a mish-mash of Big 12 and Big East members (as other power schools, as I’ve noted, don’t really find having individual school networks to be nearly as compelling as UT does). Going independent would likely have a hugely detrimental effect on UT’s non-football sports. I’m not really sure what compromise there could be on the LHN because it’s so fundamentally at odds with how the Pac-12, Big Ten and ACC run things.

  104. Gopher86 says:

    Purple Book Cat speaks: http://northwestern.rivals.com/showmsg.asp?SID=901&fid=57&style=2&tid=162289928&Page=2

    “The Big Ten has already approved an arrangement by which Texas could become a member of the Big Ten conference, and maintain its Longhorn Network. All bowl and other revenues would be divided in the same way as the other schools, however Texas would not share in the revenues of the Big Ten Network.”

    • Stopping By says:

      Weird to think that the B1G would allow that.

      • zeek says:

        It clearly won’t happen; there’s no way the smaller schools will allow it let alone Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State which are already sharing with the smaller schools.

        • bullet says:

          I could see that happening for the life of the ESPN contract. I could see it even being extended, but with equal revenue sharing.

    • Mike says:

      That does sound like something a check your ego at the door, all for one – one for all conference would do.

    • greg says:

      Purple Book Cat seems to be a troll.

      LHN in the B1G ain’t gonna happen. If it does, it will be the first time a member eventually leaves the conference (without dropping athletics).

    • Last summer I became increasingly convinced that some of the guys there were just making stuff up. I could be wrong, of course, but it looks like more of the same to me.

    • Gopher86 says:

      It isn’t the weirdest thing I’ve heard all day. I’ll put it that way. UT is going to multiple conferences, looking for the best deal for the LHN. Eventually, one of them may cave to some concessions.

    • Ross says:

      Someone else at one point pointed out on there that PBC is a mouthpiece for the B1G just like Chip Brown is for Texas. I don’t remember where the post was, or what its validity was, but it seemed like a reasonable explanation and certainly fit with PBC’s past discussions.

      I do not buy this latest update for a second. The LHN explicitly prohibits being on any other network, and the BTN is a driving force for expansion in the B1G. If the BTN literally gains nothing from this and has no reason to be carried in Texas, then what the hell is the point? The Big Ten becomes that much harder to win, that much more fragmented/destabilized, just to see an increase in the ABC/ESPN contracts when there is already going to be a big bump in 2016.

      • Boomershine says:

        If the B1G landed Texas, there is a huge reason for the BTN to be carried in Texas – Tier 2 football games, basketball games, etc. The LHN only carries Tier 3 matchups and other programming – stuff that ABC/ESPN/BTN wouldn’t carry – perhaps like Texas vs. Rice in football.

        Assuming Texas joined the B1G bringing along the LHN, in today’s world Texas-Nebraska football games would typically land on ABC or ESPN, Texas-Purdue would typically land on the BTN, and Texas-Rice would land on the LHN.

      • Gopher86 says:

        Please feel free to shoot holes in this, but this is my understanding:

        * LHN is tier 3 and follows UT in a jump to a new conference (B1G). UT has to make a good faith effort to get clearance for 2 games on the LHN.
        * BTN is all rights inclusive– equal share to each member. It is a 50% equity play for games that don’t get play on network tv (first tier) or cable (second tier).

        The deal is the LHN gets to run its course parallel to the BTN, until the BTN potentially surpasses the LHN payments. In the mean time, all first and second tier rights and bowl revenues are split amongst conference members.

        According to the Barking Carnival analysis, the LHN should be viable with a few non-cons a year and carriage rates in Texas alone. It has the potential to earn much more than $15mm/yr. The thing is, UT doesn’t have an equity stake in the network—this is risk free cash, but it throttles their full cash potential.

        The Big Ten doesn’t exactly lose here—the only downside is the potential for one of its conference partners (Texas) to take home some more revenue. UT first and second tier rights are retained within the conference—which are FAR more valuable than the average Big Ten team’s rights. Their conference gains a foothold in Texas—great for recruiting, snowbird alums, future population growth and keeping the SEC & the Pac down. The benefits academically are also exceptional: AAU, strong research, and a lot more votes in Washington.

        Think about these benefits and then think of this: what’s the money difference between UT going indy and UT being in the Big 10? Probably a few million? They’re going to make that money with or without the B1G, so why turn your nose up at the other benefits that come with inviting them? It’s not like UT is going to exert enough influence in the league to push anybody around—kick them out in a few years if they misbehave.

        It’s a deal with the devil, but it’s a HELL of a deal with the devil.

        • Gopher86 says:

          Oops. BTN gets remains of 2nd tier rights and doesn’t share with UT. The deal is even better for the BTN, because it could mean carriage in the State of Texas.

        • mike in st louis says:

          Not a deal with the devil at all.

          Here’s a simpler way to look at it: even if the existence of the LHN cut the value of UT to the B1G in half, adding UT would still bring as much value to the B1G as adding Penn St. did.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Has this guy ever been right about anything?

  105. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Recents thoughts from Mr.SEC regarding Ken Starr:

    “And should it really come as a shock that Baylor president Kenneth Starr — unable to proactively draw any interest from other leagues in his university — has decided to take a “by any means necessary” approach? After all, when he was unable to find any evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Bill Clinton in the Whitewater mess, he instead trotted out a semen-stained dress. Like Clinton or dislike Clinton, Starr showed 15 years ago that he would go to any lengths to achieve his goal. So a lawsuit coming from this guy — in an attempt to impede an entire system on the verge of evolving — shouldn’t surprise a soul.”

    My thoughts:

    As a good Republican, you’d think Ken Starr would subscribe to the conservative philosophy that society is too litigious and that junk lawsuits impede business. Uh, I guess that’s unless you didn’t get an invite to the party, or any other party.

    While I’m a lawyer, I don’t do much litigation. I’m a deal maker, and here’s my compormise:

    A&M signs a 30 year home and home agreement with Baylor for all sports. The other SEC members agree to a home and home with Baylor in football over the duration of the A&M agreement. That way Baylor makes up some anticiapted lost revenue, and the Aggies and their new brothers in the SEC get to pistol-whip Baylor on the field for threatening a lawsuit.

    • Mike says:

      If you give Baylor that deal, what’s to stop Iowa St or Kansas St from seeking the same deal?

    • Bob Nonya says:

      Clinton lied under oath and was disbarred by the Arkansas Supreme Court. Witnesses went to jail rather than respond to Starr’s subpoena. That aint nothin’.

    • that’s way too generous. I’d gave Baylor a $5M check and say “see you later.” But that’s just me.

    • bullet says:

      So like everyone else, Baylor is protecting their own interests and playing their limited cards. Unlike the SEC, Pac, Big 10, UNL, A&M, etc.etc., for Baylor its a matter of survival. Everyone else is trying to get more. Baylor is trying to avoid losing nearly everything they have.

      Hypocrisy is the most conservative major public university in the country insisting on guarantees from the poor to support their lifestyle and then talking about equal revenue sharing after voting for unequal revenue sharing since SWC days.

      • mike says:

        Wrong again bullet, more spin/lies about the $20 mil guarantee.

        A&M’s position last summer was: We want equal sharing of tiers 1 & 2 so this conference has a better chance to work. But if it’s not going equal, we are not going to be the suckers here. We’re getting what Texas and OU get, or we’re leaving.”

        Texas would not do equal revenue, the smaller schools were scared Texas would leave and went along w/ what Texas wanted, thus keeping the skewed revenue system.

        At the time A&M still wanted to make the B12 work (I didn’t), so we stayed, to our detriment. In return we get lies like this, and lawsuits.

    • ccrider55 says:

      Or you counter sue having an agreement in hand that all members of the Big 12 signed off on and was delivered to aTm and in turn given to the SEC.

      aTm folks seem to feel that the Baylor threat is blunted, if not ended already. Perhaps just a cry out from wilderness.

      • bullet says:

        Remember how the UNL people on here were almost unanimous that Nebraska wouldn’t pay a dime in exit fees (only off by $9 million)? Relying on the A&M people on this topic is like asking Auburn people about Cam Newton’s recruiting.

  106. duffman says:

    “While I’m a lawyer, I don’t do much litigation. I’m a deal maker, and here’s my compormise”

    see, I told you Alan = Slive :)

  107. loki_the_bubba says:

    Hearing that the B12 conference call is over and nothing was resolved. Aggies are depressed that the Baylor threat may actually work.

  108. glenn says:

    “Pac-12 raid is what would really kill Big 12 (not the SEC adding A&M)”

    a little like saying, “i didn’t push the old lady down the stairs.  i just pushed her down the first step.  she fell the rest of the way.”

  109. ChicagoMac says:

    What if LHN essentially became BTN2 where ESPN was the partner instead of DirecTV?

    What if they even called it BTN2 but allowed UT to keep LHN brand as a sub brand the way ESPN currently does with the SEC Network for events where UT is the host school?

    What if the deal involves 3 other schools joining UT in the B10, and the B10 commits to rolling over some of its games onto the new channel? What if UT is guaranteed 1 OOC and 1 Conference game as part of the channel under LHN brand where UT gets to pick the announcers? What if there are enough other Super Sized B10 games on the channel that the value of the network increases dramatically?

    What if the value goes up enough that ESPN agrees to forfeit 51% ownership of the network to the B10. What if UT is given a full share immediately vs. Nebraska and other schools that have to earn their way in. Let’s say everything else is divided up equally as per norm.

    Now the B10 can get their equal revenue split. They get to greatly expand their TV deal and deepen their relationship with ESPN. They expand their footprint into Texas for recruiting purposed and do so with the possibility of airing games the recruits will play in on the channel bearing the conferences name. They land UT and probably 3 other schools.

    UT gets to be tied for first for the Media fees it garners. Despite suffering through the indignity of being tied for first from a Media fees standpoint, it can get a win by keeping the LHN brand alive while also gaining some influence over announcers, etc, helping to soothe the Longhorn ego. UT probably nets some influence on which schools join it in this round of expansion.

    ESPN gets to see its $1B investment for the LHN generate a massive return despite giving up 51% of the equity. ESPN gets that much closer to a college football playoff which would add immense value to its HUGE investment in college football that spans just about every conference out there. ESPN gets to wield some influence on the schools that ride in on UTs coattail.

    Anyway, that is one school of thought for how the LHN might fold into the B10.

    • drwillini says:

      I have thought about this and think you are right. A lot of it would come down to a negotiation between ESPN and Fox as well, but you would think that the addition of Texas enhances the BTN value, and the addition of B1G conference games enhances the LHN beyond a BIG12 -2 -1 (-4+x) schedule that a win/win scenario is created. Those kind of negotiations are easier than dividing up a dwindling pot. I really can’t even see an issue with LHN showing high school football games, I would argue that’s good for everybody.

  110. Jeff says:

    A Brokered Deal
    I think all of this might lead to a brokered deal. The Iowa State’s and Baylor’s of the conference have no place to go. But they also realize the Big 12 is going to blow up. If I were them, I would work on a negotiated termination of the Big 12 Conference that lands all the leftovers in the Big East. It probably isn’t exactly what the Big East wants but they would probably take the bad with the good. In an ideal situation, the Big East ends up with KS, KS St. Mizzou, Iowa State & Baylor. That leaves them with 14 schools. It probably isn’t everything the BE wants but they might go for it given that their tv contract is up in November of 2012. Texas A&M, Texas, Tex Tech, OK, & OKie State might all have to pitch in and send a big check to the Big East, but that is probably the best outcome for everybody.

    • footballnut says:

      Adding mizzou, ku, and ksu would give the big east 20 basketball teams. Adding ISU and BAylor gives them 22. I think that’s a deal breaker there. 22 teams in one conference?

    • hangtime79 says:

      +1 Jeff probably the smartest alternative out there of all and the one that dodges College Court Armageddon. Baylor may not like it but a bucket full of cash to take have nots of Big 12 and send them to the Big East probably has them and the others stand down.

      The question is are the haves in the Big 12 interested in creating soft landings for their brethren. After a few more days like today and they might be.

  111. Jeff says:

    It might be. But here are the BE’s choices. Take the three schools you want and fight a protracted legal battle with ISU & Baylor (along with the PAC10 and the SEC), or take all five schools, get a nice check from the Big 12 and have a smooth, easy transition. Neither choice is easy but I think the latter is more manageable.

  112. Jeff says:

    The other alternative is to have Baylor, KS, KS St, Mizzou and maybe Texas keep the Big 12 and pouch all of the BE football schools to the Big 12. Although I am sure that would cause a ton of lawsuits as well.

    • curious2 says:

      Best case and worse case for Big 12:

      Baylor’s ligitation thread causes SEC to withdraw offer to A&M; PAC 12 offer to OK and OSU contingent on SEC expansion; Tech loses chance to go to PAC 12 and share state network with UT;

      Sounds like a recipe for a fun football season.

    • bullet says:

      Just invite most of the schools for football only until the BE bb contract is up. The Big 12 would need to be a least the Medium size 8. If they need 3 schools, think the BE would have any trouble letting TCU, USF and WVU go right away?

  113. Jeff says:

    I hear you footballnut, and you might be right. But this time, it just feels a little different. Remember, with the ACC, it was the ACC that pursued expansion, not the schools. This time around, it is TX A&M, as well as OK pursuing exits. It sounds at least from the SEC’s perspective, that they don’t have the stomach to fight a protracted legal fight. But we will see.

  114. mike in st louis says:

    Isn’t it obvious what’s going on here? The SEC is just trying to buy some time to hammer out a deal with #14. The SEC isn’t scared of Baylor or Iowa St.

    Or better yet, OU and T Boone U get antsy, jump to the Pac 12, and saves A&M the exit fee.

  115. Grassman says:

    IF Baylor and ISUare patient, the ACC and SEC may pick off enough BE schools that they can join without the lawsuit.

  116. zeek says:

    “ScottyGKFAN Scott Garrard
    RT @1053thefan: BREAKING NEWS: reporting that KU and K-State are joining Baylor in legal actions against A&M going to SEC.
    6 minutes ago”

    No idea whether this is valid. But we could be in for quite the ride.

    • Gopher86 says:

      If they didn’t pursue their legal rights in defense of their Universities, the leadership may be open to a breach of fiduciary duty.

  117. greg says:

    As much as I hate to link to Dennis Dodd:


    However, the source said Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin had difficulty getting assurances for what were termed “release of claims,” from other Big 12 schools. That was following a Wednesday Big 12 conference call that included what were estimated to be at least seven Big 12 institutions but not all 10.

    “At least half, if not the majority are going to reserve their rights for litigation,” the source said. “Unless you’ve got great options that would not be a wise document to sign.”

  118. zeek says:


    Waco Tribune (so take it for what it’s worth):

    “UPDATE, 3:55 PM: Baylor was among six Big 12 schools that will not sign a waiver to allow Texas A&M to go to the Southeastern Conference following a meeting of the Big 12 presidents Wednesday afternoon, a source close to Baylor told the Tribune-Herald.

    The other schools were Kansas, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Iowa State and Missouri.

    If Oklahoma reaffirms its commitment to the Big 12, the schools are expected to sign the waiver that would allow the Aggies to go to the SEC without any legal action. The Sooners, who are reportedly considering a move to the Pac-12, are expected to make their decision within the next two weeks.”

  119. loki_the_bubba says:

    As speculated, the real reason six schools are doing this is to stop OU, not aTm…

    “Baylor was among six Big 12 schools that will not sign a waiver to allow Texas A&M to go to the Southeastern Conference following a meeting of the Big 12 presidents Wednesday afternoon, a source close to Baylor told the Tribune-Herald.

    The other schools were Kansas, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Iowa State and Missouri.

    If Oklahoma reaffirms its commitment to the Big 12, the schools are expected to sign the waiver that would allow the Aggies to go to the SEC without any legal action. The Sooners, who are reportedly considering a move to the Pac-12, are expected to make their decision within the next two weeks.”


    • zeek says:

      We posted at the same time, but I agree.

      The real target here is definitely OU/OSU. If they leave, the whole place implodes. If they can get OU/OSU to stay, they’ll let A&M walk.

      • jokewood says:

        I hope Oklahoma will complete the circle of blame and only commit to a Big 12 that includes Texas A&M.

      • Patrick says:

        What if Oklahoma just up and withdraws from the conference?

        Then the schools will sue Texas A&M and file a new lawsuit against Oklahoma? Would OU have grounds for leaving, tv contracts void if schools drop below ten? Can 6 schools from a 12 school conference sue the other members and former members for leaving? If Texas is so intent on keeping the Big 12 together, why aren’t they suing Texas A&M? The whole thing is intriguing because of the desperation of Baylor, poor sad Baylor, that was only included in the Big 12 because of political pressure initially.

        I want to file a lawsuit against that girl who dumped me in college! I wasn’t ready to split up yet, and we had an arrangement for Organic Chemistry lab. My GPA was irreparably harmed.

  120. zeek says:

    Here’s the SEC’s stance on all this:

    “It’s in the hands of Texas A&M and the Big 12,” Jones said. “We’ve been clear that we’d be happy to receive them if they’re unfettered of obligations. We gathered to have a vote. We had a letter that clearly gave us legal clearance. It was frustrating to be gathered and then have things pulled out from under Texas A&M like that. We’re disappointed for Texas A&M.”

    But the league doesn’t want to wage a court battle for the Aggies.

    “Texas A&M is a great school, but we don’t’ want to involve ourselves in any legal action over all of that,” said David Williams, Vanderbilt’s vice chancellor for University Affairs and Athletics.

    He added that “all 12 schools are together on that statement.”


    Either way, this could completely thwart Boren’s timetable on OU’s move to the Pac-12. The whole thing could end up stalled for a while.

  121. zeek says:

    One other thing worth mentioning: the Big 12′s waiver letter re: A&M-SEC expires tomorrow at 5 central. So if A&M isn’t in the SEC by Sept 8 at 5 central; that letter should expire as well.

    • mike says:

      If the promises made in the letter don’t mean anything, why does the deadline in the same letter mean anything.

      One thing that is clear in this: Beebe and Baylor/Starr are liars.

  122. cutter says:

    Deal Reached: A&M going to SEC

    According to our Baylor affiliate, there will be no legal action against Texas A&M or the SEC, allowing the Aggies to officially join the Southeastern Conference in 2012.


    • Gopher86 says:

      So all the individual Universities and the Big 12 have agreed to allow them to depart? Why would they agree to that?

    • bullet says:

      FWIW, there’s a post, with no explanation of the source, on one of the Texas boards saying OU agreed to stay and so everyone reached agreement that the Aggies can go.

      Note that this is in contradiction to another comment here that only 7 schools were on the conference call.

  123. Jeff says:

    Cutter, that’s behind the paywall. Grrrrr. What does it say?

    • cutter says:


      What you read in my post is word-for-word–it’s a very short entry from hookem.com which is run by 24/7 Sports and the Austin-American Statesman

      As of 6:42 PM Easter time today, that link says it’s 39 minutes old. That means it was put up shortly after 6 PM.

      I have read no additional sources to confirm this, so stand by for other sources to chime in.

  124. eapg says:

    Litigation possibly bringing nearly all parties involved in the conference realignment circus into court? Subpoenas for phone records, discovery, a lot of people who have spun the day’s story to their own purposes suddenly under oath? Please, spare me Baylor.

    For a more recent example of Baylor’s shenanigans than the breakup of the SWC, wasn’t it just last year that they tried to strongarm themselves into a Pac-12 invitation over Colorado? By all means Baylor, let’s have the lawyers dig into all the details of how events have unfolded in order to bring us to where we find ourselves today.

    And, if this was any real threat to TAMU, all they need do is leave the Big 12. Where they end up doesn’t have to be specified, thus forestalling Baylor having anyone to sue, until the rest of the wheels of the Big 12 go shooting off in all directions.

    • bullet says:

      If the Aggies breach the Fox contract, they could still try to sue the Aggies.

      But as the stories above say, this is really about OU and UT leaving. For the right price they will let the Aggies go.

      • eapg says:

        The Aggies are gone. A process to leave the conference is in place, and they have followed it. To imagine for a moment that they can be forced to stay through legal machinations is utter moonshine, the primary reason for which being what I stated. The big players aren’t going to have lawyers poking around their business in open court. Baylor surely doesn’t want, and they aren’t a big player.

        • bullet says:

          What does Baylor have to fear? Maybe UT, OU, A&M and the SEC, not Baylor. And Baylor has everything to lose if the Big 12 totally falls apart.

          • eapg says:

            I’m sure if TAMU had to defend themselves, they’d point to the events of last year in regards to being packaged to the Pac 10 as generating that which has come about. And Baylor’s hands were just as dirty as anyone else’s.

        • bullet says:

          And as someone pointed out above, no judge is going to make the Aggies stay if they want to go independent or even to the SEC, but that doesn’t free them from risk of liability.

          • eapg says:

            The process to leave is spelled out. The parties to the TV contracts had those rules for leaving available to review when the contracts were made. Baylor isn’t threatening to sue TAMU, they’re threatening the SEC. SEC can withdraw the invitation, TAMU can still leave the Big 12 and settle accounts. Once that’s done how do they have liability if they then seek another invitation and join another conference, including the SEC?

          • bullet says:

            Actually they are refusing to sign a release. They can sue anyone they want. But for now they are just refusing to say they won’t. And that could kill A&M’s SEC deal.

            As for A&M, they signed a TV contract running to 2022. They are breaking that contract. That’s where the POTENTIAL liability is. Also A&M is trying to get a deal like UNL to pay less than the $28 million specified damages in the by-laws. Even if they paid the $28 million (which they have no intention of doing), it isn’t clear that Baylor couldn’t sue anyway. It would depend on the exact wording of the by-laws. Baylor could use Loftin’s words-”the by-laws are very confusing on exit fees.”

          • eapg says:

            The conference signed a TV deal. The conference also has rules, however well or badly written, that allow teams to leave, notification, forfeiture of revenues, etc. No team in the conference, big or small, signed up for indentured servitude, but most certainly the big schools weren’t locking themselves into that. Should the Big 12 vote for absolute, equitable revenue sharing, Texas, for the primary example, would cut the check covering their exit before the meeting was over. If TAMU leaves, as they are by the bylaws of the conference allowed to do, the TV contract is not their lookout, it is up to the remaining members of the conference to deal with any fallout from that particular turn of events.

          • bullet says:

            What part of a contract don’t you understand? A&M is a party to the 12 year TV contract. It is a contract between the Big 12 and ALL its members and Fox. A&M is abandoning it and unless the Big 12 gets an acceptable replacement the contract has been voided. Sure A&M can leave the membership in the conference (which is a separate contract). That doesn’t mean they don’t have the potential of paying damages for breaking the TV contract. Doesn’t mean they would lose, doesn’t mean there are necessarily any damages, but there is definitely a risk.

          • mike says:

            Sorry bullet. A&M is not “breaking” a contract. It is exercising one of it’s rights under the contract, which is to leave under agreed set of procedures, which it has followed.

            The Big 12 tv contract does not prevent A&M from leaving. All parties of the tv contract entered it knowing that all members have the right to leave as described above, which is why fox put a 10-team clause in. It’s the Big 12′s duty (not A&M’s) to ensure there are 10 teams in the conference to fulfill that clause of the TV contract. And there are several willing schools wanting to join.

            If schools made building plans that they can’t pay for, that’s their fault, not A&M’s.

          • eapg says:

            Seems to me the television contract was signed with the legal entity known as the Big 12 conference. That conference, while hiking the price of leaving, didn’t, and couldn’t, close the door to leaving. The power schools weren’t going to give up that option, even if legal language that would stand up in court could somehow be crafted that imprisoned schools for the length of the TV contract, which it appears you are hanging your hat on. I’m no lawyer, but I’m sure they’re putting their gear on, so I guess we shall see how all this plays out over the next few days, weeks, or months. If it ends up being anything more than stalling for time, I’ll be very surprised. The Baylors and Iowa States of the world aren’t going to determine realignment, the Corvettes will scrape their way over the speed bump, then be on their merry way.

  125. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    LSU’s AD Joe Alleva was just interviewed on the local Baton Rouge ESPN Radio affiliate.

    The highlights include:
    1. The SEC won’t take A&M if the threat of litigation persists.
    2. The ADs don’t want 9 conference games.
    3. LSU and Florida are in favor of eliminating cross-division rival games.
    4. LSU is doing the math on a Tiger Stadium expansion that would add a third deck to the South Endzone with additional club seats and suites. That probably gets LSU over 100 thousand seats.

    • bullet says:

      LSU and Florida don’t have to do rival games. The rest of the schools would be glad to rotate. Several schools have rotated games. If the rest of the SEC tries to eliminate Alabama/Tennessee and Georgia/Auburn, those 4 might leave the SEC to join the Big 12. And UGA is not about to do a non-conference game with Auburn to get the game when its not on the SEC schedule.

      Alabama is Tennessee’s biggest game. Auburn is every bit as big to UGA as Georgia Tech and Florida. And I think for Auburn its #2 to Alabama and even more important for recruiting. I can’t see any of those 3 giving up those games. I don’t know as much how Alabama feels, but I suspect they would feel every bit as strong as the other 3.

      • bullet says:

        Reading this I’m not being real clear. What I am saying is even if the SEC kept one “choose your own opponent” game, Florida and LSU wouldn’t have to choose each other every year. Some years instead of USC-AR and FL-LSU it could be FL-AR and USC-LSU. Or they could mix in the MS schools. Meanwhile AL-TN and UGA-AU could continue to be played each year.

        • vandiver49 says:

          So basically some school would do 6-1-1 while others would go 6-0-2? How many schools would you need for that format? I lot of good rivalries were lost in the last realignment (as a TN fan I miss TN/AU), I’m quite surprised that LSU and UF don’t particularly like their game.

          • m (Ag) says:

            LSU and UF feel they have the hardest road to a championship game because of their game.

            If Al/TN and AU/Georgia keep their games and the SEC remains at 8 conference games they will see the other 6 teams in the other division 1 home and away series every 12 years.

            The other 5 teams in a division would see the 5 teams from the other division for a home and home series once every 6 years (while seeing AL & AU or TN & Georgia once every 12 years).

          • bullet says:

            That’s why superconferences are a lousy idea. If AL and AU could be moved east in a 16 team league that would keep the most important rivalries but would make the east ridiculously difficult.

            Auburn gave up Florida because they had the toughest schedule in the league with UGA and UF every year back when the SEC had a 5-2-1 schedule.

  126. bullet says:


    Interviewee says it really started with the SEC declaring war on the SWC in 1990 and we’re still feeling the aftershocks that got delayed by Lt. Gov. Bullock.

    • Gopher86 says:

      Jeez. Beebe appears to be more and more useless by the minute:


      His letter to the SEC was either deceptive or ignorant to the legal reality of the situation. Either way, what is the point of having a spokesperson for a group of institutions if that spokesperson doesn’t truly speak for them?

      • Patrick says:

        Beebe appears to be more and more useless by the minute.

        No kidding!

        At least he keeps Dodds suits pressed and drives him into work on time.

      • StvInIL says:

        Well, you have to feel sorry for the man. If I were him I would feel like one of those creatures with a parasitic bug eating them from the inside.
        Big 12 [9] WHATS NEXT!
        Boise State?
        Or mushroom cloud?

  127. metatron5369 says:


    How “locked up” are the Big Ten’s television rights for basketball?

    A lot of people have been ignoring the relevance of basketball, but I have to wonder if a powerhouse like Kansas would bring a lot to the table. Not only is that more games you can show on the Big Ten Network, but you get better conference matchups to sell on ESPN/CBS, and to propel your teams into the NCAA tournament (which pays out to conferences based on invites and advancing).

    A Notre Dame/Missouri/Kansas + 1 (Pitt? Maryland? Syracuse?) scenario looks really good, and it avoids a lot of the headaches that the other schools add.

    • metatron5369 says:

      If the +1 is Texas, that makes this all the sweeter.

      I’m having a hard time imagining Kansas not receiving an invite, especially over the likes of Maryland or Rutgers.

      • Dcphx says:

        Pull up Wikipedia and search for state populations. Find New Jersey. Find Maryland. Then Find Kansas. If you are still having a problem, repeat.

      • SideshowBob says:

        Huh. I personally have a hard time imaging Kansas getting an invite over a school like Maryland or Syracuse. Kansas over Rutgers I could see depending on the relative value the conference places on basketball over academics/population, but I definitely think the Big Ten will go for academics and population over purely athletic considerations among marginal (non-King) candidates, especially after signing a borderline academic school like Nebraska.

  128. SuperD says:

    If this tactic works…does this effectively shut down the threat of super-conferences. If the Baylor’s of the world are able to stop this with a credible threat to sue, then why wouldn’t the same thing work if B1G wants to go after Rutgers or Maryland, or the SEC tried to get WVU?

    • bullet says:

      If you destroy a conference its a credible threat. But it only works in the middle of a TV contract. When the contracts expire, all ties are off. BE contracts come up shortly.

    • frug says:

      This only works if the predator conference is unwillingly to risk litigation. If the SEC was willing to risk going to court then Baylor wouldn’t have any leverage.

  129. duffman says:

    Some observations from the fringe:

    6 schools are mentioned as blocking TAMU:

    Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Iowa State and Missouri.

    No matter what happens, I think it is safe to say that Missouri can no longer be considered an option for the SEC. The SEC does appear to be a family and Missouri may now be Fredo. I think this means if TAMU goes to the SEC, the SEC may sit at 13 for some time rather than add a school like WVU just to get to #14. Time is on their side, and landing TAMU means they can afford to sit back and wait. Say what you will, but I think this just upped the probability of seeing UT in the SEC.

    Now the real elephant in the room is what happened on the plane? If you ever saw the movie “Contact” remember the exchange at the end:

    Rachel Constantine: The fact that it recorded static isn’t what interests me.
    Michael Kitz: [pauses] Continue.
    Rachel Constantine: What interests me is that it recorded approximately eighteen hours of it.
    Michael Kitz: [leans forward so he is looking directly in the camera] That is interesting, isn’t it?

    You have a top official from Oklahoma and a top official from Missouri on a plane together – and away from reporters, FOIA requests, Dan Bebee, and any UT folks – for hours of flight time. Both schools have been speculated as expansion targets, and both are at the mercy of UT. They could have talked about the weather, or just about anything else, but what if they spent the time discussing their options long term. Oh to hear what was said on that flight.

    Baylor has been played by somebody else. Normally I hate intrigue because it can often lead to unexpected results, and outcomes you may not want. In this case however I do not think Baylor actually led this charge. Sure they ran out ahead, but I will bet my bottom dollar that somebody else wound them up and let them go. They were the cannon fodder to advance the cause of somebody who wanted to stay out of the fray and off the radar. I am not 100% who the puppetmaster is but I would lean to a larger member of the B12 or a media entity. No matter who is pulling the strings does not matter, as the bigger issue is the world of sports I grew up with is now just a pawn of corporate america. My observation is that bigger is not always better.

    • StvInIL says:

      Bigger is definitely not better. 16 teams? If this is a family 8 kids live on main street with mom and 8 live Dad in his condo. The teams in a big conference like that will not all see each other each year. The guys at the bottom of the pecking order have just been unofficially relegated in their own house European style. Big bowl invitations are going to be even harder to get.

      • metatron5369 says:

        Eh. I imagine the number of bowl games the Big XII loses will closely mirror the amount that the Big Ten/Pac-12/SEC pick up.

        But hey, maybe the Cotton Bowl will get their wish and the Fiesta Bowl will die.

        • Dcphx says:

          More like the Fiesta will consistently take two of the Pac/Big/SEC #2 that aren’t in the NCG, the Rose Bowl or the Sugar Bowl.

    • mike in st. louis says:


      #1 Not clear that there are 6. Baylor and Iowa St for sure, K state maybe, and from what I’ve read, Texas Tech has said they won’t resist. No way Mizzou messes with their chance at an SEC invite, unless they’ve been told they won’t get one.

      #2 It’s not that hard to figure out what they talked about. Mizzou probably told OU that if they could dump oSu, they could both get B1G invites. OU answered that the ship has sailed. Too much T Boone. What about Pac 12? Sounds good, but do you really want one of 4 central tz teams in a 16 team league and always get forced to play your home games at 11 am? What about stayiing in the Big 12? Nah, Deloss smells like death.

      #3 ESPN told DeLoss to tell Beebe to tell Ken Starr to sue the SEC. Maybe Loftin told Rick Perry to tell George Bush to tell Ken Starr to sue the SEC so Duffman would blame it on Texas and ESPN.

      I still say the SEC doesn’t really care about lawsuits, they’re just buying time to line up #14.

      • duffman says:


        The 6 I listed were in loki’s link above. It sort of reinforced my thought on the other thread that Missouri was just smoke to the SEC, and they would be better served just making a deal with Scott than wait on Delany or Slive.

        I was thinking more of OU / oSu / KU / MU moving to the PAC and leaving UT behind. OU came out in public after this flight and made their comments about the PAC.

        I think media folks had an agenda that filtered down. ESPN would want TAMU to go, as they already have the SEC contract, but OU to the PAC, and OU’s vocal move in past few days makes me think the conduit flowed from OU to Baylor.

    • M says:

      So in terms of football records of remaining teams, the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th in the conference are threatening to sue to keep the team with the 6th best record (over the last decade).

    • M says:

      If I’m Missouri (and I want into the SEC), I play the Boston College role and sue up to the point that the ink is dry.

  130. Nick in South Bend says:

    I will admit that I had complete faith in Delaney’s strategy about a year ago when all of this started. An I also believe that he did the right thing adding Nebraska and stopping. I do not think, however, he accurately weighed the possible ramifications of the chaos last summer, and that is beginning to bite him in the but….and I think is a bit of a failure on his part.

    There seem to be five major issues that Delaney did not account for, or possibly realized he was powerless to stop any way.
    1) TAMU had no desire to be in any conference other than the B12 or SEC….at all.
    2) Slive and the SEC were willing to be the first to go above 12 if needed.
    3) Larry Scott ended up being an equal to Delaney an Slive in the tactical department.
    4) The ACC has been a tighter knit unit that anyone gave it credit for (at least among the schools the B10 would want…UVA, MD, UNC, Duke).
    5) That Texas was completely ready to exist on their own merits, not having to bend to a “real” conference any more.

    Seemingly, and sadly, I think these are major oversights on Delaney’s part. He could have just quietly attempted to get Nebraska on board, without helping foster the uncertainty that ensued. I think the position the B1G would find themselves in would be much more stable. Again, I am not saying that adding Nebraska was a bad thing to do, more that the way it went down was poorly planned and executed. I am sure on some level he thought that the more chaos that happened the more likely Texas and Notre Dame were willing to truly negotiate, and it appears that his two main competitors will strengthen their hands more than he did. Maybe that was inevitable, but I do not think so.

  131. loki_the_bubba says:

    The Aggies finally came up with a workable plan for dealing with Baylor.

    • bullet says:

      That’s nothing new. They planned that with UT in 1994. They planned it with OU this year. It just doesn’t seem to work.

  132. Ross says:

    So the potential lawsuit would come from the accusation that the SEC deliberately interfered with the Big-12 contract (that’s the Big-12′s argument). Now, by all accounts Oklahoma has been reaching out and discussing its options with other conferences, in particular the Pac-12, because the Big-12 seems unstable and they appear to be bothered by UT. If Oklahoma were to leave, and the appearance that the Pac-12 did not initiate the breakdown between OU and the Big-12 were to be true, the Big-12 would have no grounds for a lawsuit, correct? If it is Oklahoma actively pursuing a better place to be, then how could the Big-12 accuse the Pac-12 of interfering when it simply has a better deal to offer that Oklahoma is interested in?

    Of course, if OU then left and the Big-12 had no grounds for a lawsuit, wouldn’t that enable A&M to then leave? They would have several events to point to as grounds for leaving (Neb/Colorado leaving, arrival of the LHN, OU leaving).

    In addition, what can the Big-12 really do if OU says it is committed to the conference, A&M leaves, and then OU says screw you we’re leaving anyway? I mean, the biggest binder to the Big-12 conference is the media contracts that OU has, and it is clearly willing to break those to join the Pac-12. I am really confused by the demands that OU commit to the Big-12. Exactly what can the Big-12 do to ensure that OU keeps its commitment?

    • Ross says:

      In addition, if the reports that Kansas, KState, Missouri, and whoever the fourth team was are in talks with the Big East, I cannot take litigation from those schools seriously for one second. I mean, jesus, it seriously looks like A&M can point to every single school save for maybe Baylor and Iowa State as causes for wanting to leave the Big-12. How in the world could the SEC seriously be the target of a lawsuit when there has been so much instability and backroom negotiating going on in that conference since before Nebraska and Colorado left?

      • Ross says:

        And let’s be honest for a second, being in a conference with Iowa State and Baylor is reason enough for wanting to leave, so they can really point to any of their conference brethren.

  133. Ross says:

    Anyone else hear the rumor that the SEC would/could threaten a lawsuit against the Big-12 for talking to Arkansas? Arkansas’ AD, interestingly enough, did recently announce that the Big-12 contacted them about returning to the conference, so that would be an attempt to tamper with SEC contracts. Is there a “tampering” suit that could be thrown at the Big-12 by the SEC, or at least threatened if they seriously attempt to block A&M?

  134. royal oak says:

    If getting to four super-conferences of 16 is inevitable, what will it look like? Seems likely that the two BCS conferences left out (or gone) will be Big XII and Big East. And four BCS teams (including TCU as a BCS team) will be left out. So how could it reasonably play out?

    Pac-12 starts the ball rolling by adding 4 (OK, OK ST, TEX, TT)
    B1G adds 4 (Notre Dame, Missouri, Rutgers, Syracuse/Pitt)
    ACC adds 4 (Kansas, Kansas St, Conn, Pitt/Syracuse)
    SEC adds 4 (Texas AM, West Virginia, Louisville, TCU)

    Left out: Baylor, Iowa State, Cincinnati, and South Florida.

    No matter how you eventually get to 4X16, it’s messy.

  135. Mike says:

    Baylor: We are the good guys


    Since the news of a possible Texas-A&M-to-the-SEC move broke about a month ago, Baylor officials have been consistent in their stance and message, emphasizing the importance of not throwing away successful, historic rivalries for the sake of bigger TV contracts.

    Recently, it has looked as if college athletics was about to turn into a free-for-all, with conferences raiding one another just to avoid being raided themselves. Lost in the midst of this mad scramble for the next lucrative TV contract is any sense of what’s best for the universities involved. Absent from the discussion is any consideration of the welfare of the student-athletes, the best interests of the fans (who watch historic rivalries go by the wayside), the effect on the home states involved (which have much to lose in the shuffle), and the impact such hysteria can have on the very essence of the collegiate football experience.

    At the moment, the carousel’s turning has at least slowed as regards the Big 12. Currently, SEC leaders are awaiting written assurances from each Big 12 school that they will agree to waive their institutional rights regarding future conference expansion and any negative impact that might have on member institutions. In a statement issued earlier today, Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe made it clear that each of the schools in the Big 12 retains its individual rights. He further noted that significant changes to the Big 12 membership could negatively affect Big 12 institutions that were counting on revenue streams from contracts that were previously approved unanimously by Big 12 members, including Texas A&M. I have yet to hear of any Big 12 institution that has signed such a waiver.

    As always, Baylor officials are working hard with the university’s best interests in mind. It’s important that Baylor remain on the national stage, so that people nationwide get to learn about BU and all that it has to offer — as they did with the big win over TCU Friday, and the men’s basketball team’s Elite Eight run, and the women’s basketball national championship, and … well, you get the idea.

    But there’s something bigger than just Baylor’s interests at stake here. This is about doing the right thing. There are real costs when universities begin to break commitments and contracts (beyond simply setting a bad example for the young minds on campus) — up to and including anarchy in the world of college athletics.

    Baylor is standing up for itself and for the integrity of college athletics, and people are starting to take notice. The Sporting News called Baylor “the closest thing to a hero at this point,” adding that BU “is fighting to keep alive a workable business that has value to literally millions of people.” CBS Sports applauded Baylor for speaking out. CNN has picked up the story. A Yahoo! Sports headline today reads “College sports realignment capers a study in greed.”

    In short, Baylor is standing up for our university, but also for something bigger. Our leaders have stepped into a space that few would have the courage to enter, but one that is gaining traction. Of that, we can all be proud.

    Sic ’em, Baylor!

    • jj says:

      Key statement -”it’s important Baylor stay on the national stage.”

    • SuperD says:

      Yeah as Colorado fan…I would have a lot more sympathy for Baylor’s attempt to portray themselves as the last true Texas hero standing up for the purity of collegiate athletics if they hadn’t attempted to use every dirty trick in the book to steal our spot in the proposed PAC 16…when we were a school the PAC had wanted for nearly 20 years.

      They apparently had no qualm’s for ditching the rest of their Big 12 buddies then as long as their spot was secured…just like 1994 when they butted their way into the Big 8. I wish someone in the national media that seems to be fawning over Baylor’s principled stand against greed in college athletics would point that out. I understand they are in a predicament that sucks…but you sure don’t see ISU or KSU (or hell the rest of the MWC last year) rolling out any of these tactics.

    • Brian says:

      Recently, it has looked as if college athletics was about to turn into a free-for-all, with conferences raiding one another just to avoid being raided themselves.

      Um, no. I don’t think the SEC or P12 are worried about getting raided. In fact, the only conference that might be looking to raid another to protect itself right now is the B12.

    • spanielboy says:

      Thank you Clarke Kent for fighting for “Mom, apple pie, and the Baylor-kind-of-life we can all strive for”. I can see why Baylor is fighting, but to wrap itself up in the flag is not the way to do it.

      Baylor is fighting for its own identity and there is a history that it will look out for itself beyond those “little guys” of like SMU, TCU, Rice, Houston, and nearly Colorado.

      Now onto A&M and wanting to leave the Big12. A&M has a contract with the Big12 and not Baylor. A&M understands that exiting the contract early incurs penalty fees, and it has asked the Big12 office for a clarification and has negotiated a compromise to what those fees were. A&M has met its requirements and now a parasite institution is wanting more money/resources.

      If Baylor was truly worried about the “little guys”, it would have fought a little harder for its own rights when Texas came in with their Longhorn Network. Baylor rolled over when Texas started to demand more than what s in the Big12 rules about the 3rd tier rights – much like all of the other eight programs. Your fight really began in December, and now you want to throw a pity party at the last minute?

    • SideshowBob says:

      I am so glad Baylor is fighting the good fight by emphasizing historic rivalries. That’s why they’ve been pushing so hard for SMU, Houston and Rice to join the Big 12, right?

  136. Mike says:

    More Wilner:


    *** They don’t want to be the Pac-14 right now, but they’d accept the Oklahoma schools and become the Pac-14 in order to protect the conference down the road — to give it the size and power to compete with the expanded SEC and Big Ten.

    If the CEOs were to pass on OU and OSU now — especially if they were to pass on a football brand as powerful and lucrative as Oklahoma’s — there’s no guarantee they could get them later.

    At least, that’s my sense of how the Pac-12′s power brokers are approaching the current situation.

    *** And if Oklahoma and OSU were to climb aboard in the next few days or weeks, then Scott would take the time to make sure Texas is off the table … and then he’d move on.

    How long he’d wait for Texas to decide its future, I have no idea. But eventually the Pac-14 would examine other options for its 15th and 16th teams. (The league has probably done some of that legwork already.)

    Without question, Kansas and Kansas State would be given serious consideration — and those schools would know they were receiving serious consideration, thus delaying a possible move to the Big East.

    Guessing along with Scott is a risky, risky venture, but I think he thinks the Kansas basketball brand is strong enough to offset the weak football brand … and strong enough to haul KSU along with it.

    Then again, it’s possible the conference would stop at 14.

    • Ross says:

      What are good options for the Pac-12 other than the Texas schools? You mentioned Kansas/Kansas State (though I have a tough time buying Kansas State if the Pac-12 is trying to combat an expanded SEC or B1G).

      Some other possibilities?

      UNLV – A Dark Horse perhaps, but if the Pac-12 were to grow UNLV into a football power and reestablish its basketball program (they actually used to be a pretty big basketball power), then they could lay claim to one of the fastest growing states and cities in the nation and within its footprint. if they’re planning for “down the road” scenarios, then UNLV might be a future home run if the Pac-12 were to seize the opportunity to take Nevada/Las Vegas now.

      Boise State – I have to think they are never going to be a realistic option for the Pac-12.

      New Mexico/New Mexico State – Another school(s) in a state without a BCS program, though they would have considerably less value/potential than UNLV. I am not completely familiar with the program’s history, but I don’t know of anything notable about them, unlike UNLV which was a household name in the 90s (and even now to some extent).

      Missouri – Really pushing the conference footprint out there, but they are a solid program in a large state. The Pac-12 likely wouldn’t frown on their academics.

      Other than those teams, does the Pac-12 really have great options? Even two of the programs I mention are not BCS level, and they would require some work.

      That being said, I think the Pac-12 has access to a few non-BCS programs that, with time and success in a BCS conference, could become real boons for the conference. In particular, I think the Pac-12 would at least look at UNLV if the Texas schools were off the board. If they were team 16 in a Pac-16 that included say, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Kansas, then they could really build value over time.

      • Stopping By says:

        Not a lot of good options there if there is no UT for #15 and 16 (which is why the Pac NEEDS OU if there is further expansion):
        -UNLV doesn’t even draw within their home base (so many transplants) and from what I recall reading, their facilities are fairly poor.
        -Although BSU has had recent success, and Pac has shown to bend on the academics – I would still have to think BSU is so far down the academic totem pole to receive Pac consideration.
        -I lived in NM, and I can tell you NMSU is a no for a million reasons. UNM is currently or has recently upgraded their football stadum and the Pit for basketball. That said, they are terrible in football, but the one thing Abq loves is their Lobo basketball. But not a likely addition.

        Further expansion beyond 14 (assuming OU/OkSt are on board) really only makes sense with KU and MO (and maybe TT). They already welcomed the best mid major option available w/ Utah – there really isnt another one beyond them.

        • Jim in Florida says:

          Boise is a no go. They only seat 32k and can not fill the stadium as it is. Never mind their community college level academics. If they did land a Pac invite their program would tank because of Pac rules that prevents them from taking anyone off the street.

        • Ross says:

          That’s surprising to hear about UNLV’s fans. They’re still the first team I think of when I think of non-Power 6 basketball programs finding success in the NCAA tournament.

        • Jake says:

          @Ross – If the Pac invited TCU, we’d accept in a heartbeat. Not a realistic option, I think, but better than most of the ones you suggested. And it wouldn’t be a bad pairing with Tech. Tech + TCU could almost carry a regional network. But probably not.

          Scott has to take OU & OSU if he has the chance; they’re a good get on their own, plus you boost your chances of landing the big fish. It’d be a funny looking conference, but at least it would be contiguous. That’s more than you can say for the ACC and Big East right now.

  137. M says:

    Let’s see if I can summarize…

    Texas A&M wants to go to the SEC. The SEC won’t take them unless the dwarves drop the lawsuit. The dwarves won’t drop the lawsuit unless Oklahoma agrees to stay in. Oklahoma doesn’t want to stay in, especially if A&M leaves, but they don’t want to leave before A&M does.

    I think that meets all of the conditions for deadlock (circular wait, no shared resources, no preemption).

    • Gopher86 says:

      Or both of them talk to their lawyers, realize that the case has no grounds and both decide to leave.

      The Big 12 members may have unanimously agreed to certain binding contracts, but they also unanimously agreed to set exit procedures, which have been followed. If the dwarves didn’t wish to be left behind, perhaps they shouldn’t have signed off on weak (but nonetheless contractually valid) exit procedures.

      • hangtime79 says:

        Here’s the deal. The SEC does not want to be in court for the next 5 years airing its dirty laundry. They may win, but I don’t think they want that fight. Jeff has best deal for everyone involved on his comment at September 7, 2011 at 2:12 pm. Bucket full of money provided to the BE by the Big 12 haves and safe passage for the four have not schools to join the BE conference. I might also add raise for BE and its own television network courtesy of ESPN (they did just make an offer of a 250% raise over the BE last contract).

        • FLP_NDRox says:

          Wait, what is in this for the Big East? Kansas and Mizzou hoops? Not worth it to almost (if not) half the schools in the Big East. A 22 team conference is probably a no-go, and the football schools will be seeking a split. Knowing that, the Catholic Basketball schools would have to be against any 22school conference since as likely as not they would find themselves in Baylor, et al.’s situation, as a mid-major within a year…and potentially a week. They are not going to want to commit that financial suicide to help public schools half a continent away. If UCONN and the Cuse are still more serious about playing Georgetown and St. John’s in basketball than directional Florida schools and Iowa State in football they will come to the same conclusion.

          A Big East without Kings…and few princes…and looking as week as the MWC at the end of the day is not what any of these schools want, but it is what they’ll find. Those Big East football schools have to know they will likely lose BCS slots when that gets redone since they have no teams that really put a skip in the bowl reps’ steps. And let us not forget that the BCS is not a way for the ‘have’ conferences to print money, but for the Big Bowls to not have to constantly duel each other for the impressive premiere fanbases/teams. The current Big East princes/next step down may well come to the same conclusion as I. If I’m them, I’d prefer a chance to be one of the four that get into the ACC-16 than accepting the leftovers of the Big XII&falling and likely losing BCS status, anyway.

          • hangtime79 says:

            Wait, what is in this for the Big East?
            A bucket full of money and new markets that will allow the Big East to expand and stop the break up the conference

            Kansas and Mizzou hoops?
            Mizzou goes to the SEC. Kansas gets a home

            the Catholic Basketball schools would have to be against any 22school conference…
            As opposed to waiting for Delaney or the ACC coming to pick off their best football programs and betting the side blown out of it. Then the B-Ball schools are betting on splitting off and at that point the Big East football is going to have to grow regardless.

            They are not going to want to commit that financial suicide to help public schools half a continent away
            Money and prospects of non-AQ has a funny way of getting people to do things.

            The current Big East princes/next step down…
            Here is the problem: what is the likely scenario are we working from, the Big East getting blown up, staying together or getting divided. If the conference gets blown up, at least one and as many as three schools are going non-AQ.

            Rutgers – Big 10G if it grows?
            Pittsburgh – Big 10G if it grows?
            Cincinnati – ACC?
            Connecticut – ACC?
            Louisville – ACC?
            Syracuse – ACC?
            USF – ACC?
            West Virginia – (either Mizzou or WV go to SEC – possibly neither if VT goes)
            TCU – No Home

            The AQ vs non-AQ is the barrel no wants to face.

            If you keep the Big East or divide you have to more teams regardless if they are princes or not to keep pace. If not, then there is no protection for the football schools from poaching. So do you risk not finding home maybe if you are Pittsburgh or Louisville but if you are Syracuse, USF, or Cincinnati do you take that risk?

  138. Ross says:

    Someone is going to have to explain something to me. How in the world does the LHN work within the B1G and its BTN in their current forms? Is the Big Ten really going to let Texas come in with the LHN and force fans of B1G teams, who have always been able to see their teams on a national network or the BTN, to purchase the LHN to watch a conference away game? If the prerequisites are the same as they are currently in the Big-12 (conference and school agreement), and those prereqs aren’t met, where the hell does the game get aired? Do the rights revert to the BTN? How can you not pay Texas part of the profits then? How can the LHN be successful if no schools will agree to force their fans to pay for the LHN in order to watch an away game (which they would be totally right in doing, I’d be furious if Michigan ever caved on something like that)?

    I just do not see how these claims about Texas to the Big Ten being the master plan and Delaney ultimately planning for all of this are even in the realm of plausibility (these are the things being pushed by Purple Book Cat and Evanston Cat from the Northwestern Boards). I just think it’s totally absurd. The LHN would still need to have its contract provision about Texas not being allowed to participate in another network removed for the BTN to even benefit from Texas joining, and there are the problems I mentioned above as well.

    • Brian says:

      1. The LHN would have to change
      2. The LHN wouldn’t get any B10 games FB (maybe replay rights, though)
      3. The LHN might get hoops games and such that the BTN streams
      4. The LHN contract is void if UT joins another conference, IIRC. Besides, the conference contracts always have priority (ABC/ESPN/CBS & BTN). The LHN would only get events the BTN rejects.

      I don’t buy any of the master plan crap, but it isn’t impossible for the B10 to find a way to work with an adjusted LHN.

      • drwillini says:

        This was discussed earlier yesterday. If UT to B1G creates enough value this can happen. In addition to Brian’s list, I’d say LHN revenues and BTN revenues are shared among all B1G teams. In this case 3rd tier B1G football as well as basketball are tied to ESPN and Fox, and LHN becomes BTN2, BTNSouthWest, whatever you want to call it. I don’t even think any B1G schools would care if LHN showed their high school games, that wouldprobably just elevate the entire conference in Texas – surely with an advantage to UT but they will have that anyway. Not saying it will happen, just that it is easier to negotiate splitting a growing pot than a dwindling one.

  139. Brian says:


    PBC is at it again.

    Earlier this evening, Notre Dame and Texas jointly presented the Big Ten Conference with their proposed terms of entry into the conference. These terms resulted from lengthy discussions among both schools and the Big Ten over the past several months.

    The major items include:
    1. The preservation of an eight game (plus championship) conference football schedule. Both ND and Texas wish to preserve rivalries with non-Big Ten universities on a regular basis. This would require the Big Ten to abandon its current plans of a 9 game conference schedule.
    2. The staggering of the schedule to allow for mid-season scheduling with non-conference football opponents.
    3. The preservation of the status quo conference makeup until approximately 2014, unless the Big XII fails to retain key (NOT including A&M) conference members. This will provide the member schools, acting in unison, with the greatest leverage negotiating ongoing television contracts, particularly with ESPN.
    4. Should Texas depart the conference for the Big Ten before ND due to the further disintegration of the Big XII, ND will remain independent until approximately 2014
    5. The Longhorn Network would remain independent until approximately 2014, at which point the network would become a part of an expanded Big Ten Network (specifically referred to as “BTN2″), likely either in partnership with Fox, NBC, or less likely ABC

    The Big Ten just wrapped up a meeting to initially consider all of the terms presented by the schools, including the aforementioned.

    Notably, there is a general discontent with the reporting of the situation by ESPN with specific regard to Texas. ESPN has, for self-serving purposes, drastically exaggerated the lean of Texas to the Pac12 conference in nearly all commentary. ESPN has essentially waged a propaganda campaign to drive support among the Texas stakeholders to the Pac12 conference. ESPN has gone so far as to attempt to accelerate the disintegration of the Big XII to pressure Texas into making an immediate conference change decision. Texas has steadfastly resisted change, and will do so until the appropriate time occurs for Texas to stand in a strong position to renegotiate television contracts, including with ESPN.

    In reality, the preference expressed by Texas’ relevant leadership is to depart the Big XII for the Big Ten at the time that gives Texas the greatest leverage in negotiating a new television rights deal. The Big Ten and Texas agreed that Texas should do what is best for Texas, which they also both agree is a move by Texas to join the Big Ten Conference. Delaney’s top priority has been to create an environment for Texas and Notre Dame to join the conference on mutually benefical terms.

    Notre Dame has an interest in preserving its traditional rivalries, three of which occur already in the Big Ten, and creating a new national rivalry with a traditional powerhouse. The Big Ten believes that ND prefers independence, but realizes that it will soon have no choice but to join a conference. The Big Ten also believes that ND is trying to position itself so that if it must join a conference, it does so on the most favorable terms possible. Hence the return to the 8 game schedule and a protected game with national power Texas. The Big Ten will attempt to create a mutually beneficial environment for ND that allows it to preserve a great deal of independence to retain all its traditional rivalries within the conference context.

    The initial mood at the Big Ten to the terms provided by the two schools is “receptive.”

    • mike in st. louis says:

      Color me skeptical. There a few things in that scenario that don’t add up.

      1) Texas knows that no Texas equals no Big12. No way to preserve Big12 if Texas leaves

      2) What interest does ESPN have in reworking LHN contract in two years?

      3) How does ND sell this to alums that prefer independence?

      4) The staggered schedule doesn’t seem workable

      • NeutronSoup says:

        I don’t know…

        1) I don’t see anything in that post that says that Texas is really concerned about the survival of the Big12 after they leave.

        2) Good question. Not sure about this one.

        3) Another good question, but if the other conferences grow, the ND alumni are going to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century anyway.

        4) I don’t see why not. Many conferences do it now. Just means that some conference games are played earlier than they currently are in the Big10

        If I remember correctly, PBC had some pretty out-there stuff last year, but nothing that has been specifically disproven. It was mostly along the lines of “The BigTen and Texas/ND are talking, and this is what has been presented.” Take it with the same grain of salt you take Orangebloods.com postings.

    • jcfreder says:

      Well, I don’t believe PBC, but if these are the terms, the B10 should jump at it. An 8-game, staggered schedule should be fine for everyone given the cash that would be coming in. The one big downside is that the non-protected rivalries barely get played under such a scenario. Also, the divisional setup becomes difficult if the B10 sticks to competitive balance as the first priority.

      • StevenD says:

        Balanced divisions are not that difficult. Just move Mich+MSU to the East (with Notre Dame) and OSU+Illinois to the West (with Texas). That puts three kings in each division, splits Wisc and Iowa, and divides the bottom-feeders evenly.

        • Richard says:

          Actually, it’d be easier: Just divide by the IL-IN state line. Sure, you’d have 2 kings in the west and 4 in the east, but the great thing about ND is that they’re a “king” in drawing power but not in actual ability to win anything (while Wisconsin & Iowa, to a lesser extent) are the opposite.

    • Stats says:

      And this from the UT side would seem to bolster PBC a bit:

      Post #14
      Add Buddy
      Ignore Re: Terms Presented by Notre Dame and Texas Reply

      I’m a Texas alum. I’ll preface this post by saying that I am not a super-connected guy with friends in the deepest parts of Bellmont but I am friends of friends who have very good connections. I hear 3rd party info that is normally on the mark.

      The Texas interest in the Big 10 is stronger than most people think. It is tied to academics and the traditional football powers of the Big 10.

      I too have heard that ND and Texas would join together BUT I have heard that Texas and ND are insisting that both schools are able to keep their own networks indefinitely for their 3rd tier football rights. How is this to be resolved? I don’t know. However, Texas will go independent before it agrees to any plan to end the LHN or roll it into the Big 10 network.

      Posted on 9/8 7:42 AM | IP: Logged

    • Mike says:

      PBC LOL

      ESPN attorneys have already contacted the Big Ten regarding the content of this post. Again, I am in no way affiliated with the Big Ten conference nor should anything I write be considered credible in any context.

      However, ESPN has unfairly used its bully pulpit to influence Texas stakeholders to prefer the PAC. The Big Ten feels that if the current trend of reporting that Texas only has interest in the PAC 12 continues, this would merit a major legal action against ESPN.

      • Ross says:

        Lord, can a lawyer (Frank?) please comment on this? I just don’t see how this isn’t a complete joke. The Big Ten would pursue legal action against ESPN because…ESPN talked about Texas to the Pac-12 too much…


    • SpaceTetra says:

      If ND and Texas join, it raises the interesting question of what next for the Big Ten?
      Do they stay at 14?
      Are they forced to take someone like Texas Tech?
      Can the Big Ten finally take a shot at the Big Kahuna which is Tier 1 cable placement in the North East? By adding Rutgers and either MD or Pitt or Syracuse to go with ND and Penn State, can the BTN force itself on to Tier 1 cable rights in New York, NJ, and other large sections of the northeast?
      A lot of interesting possibilities.

      • zeek says:

        Well, people are throwing around the scenario of getting two schools with them like Maryland and another.

        I doubt you’d want to take more kings. Maybe it would just stay at 14 to maximize the money per school, but who knows…

        • Other Mike says:

          If you can’t have Oklahoma, just sit at 14 unless the ACC implodes and you can grab UNC/Duke. Maryland isn’t worth enough by themselves or with just one other ACC school, IMO.

  140. Illinifan82 says:

    –Blink– I kind of remember Purple Book Cat from last year but the problem is I dont remember exactly what he said, if he was right etc I got up early to get ready for work so my brain is not firing on all cylinders and to be honest I am too tired to search for PBCs posts from a year ago. I will just check this blog from work and wait to be educated by you guys who have a better understanding of the situation. My initial reaction was a WTF followed by a big dose of doubt on anything I just read from him. (PBC) that is.

    • Eric says:

      Yeah. He said some believable things at first that made it sound like he was hearing talk in the Big Ten, but it quickly grew to the point that I don’t believe anything he says. He’s been talking about Notre Dame and Texas talks to the Big Ten for a long time and was still on it last year when it was evident the Big Ten was the last place Texas was going to end up.

    • M says:

      I can’t really say much about his thoughts on realignment, but PBC always seems to know what bowl Northwestern is going to a day before everyone else. I don’t know how high up his sources sit or if they are being misled, but he knows someone.

  141. bullet says:

    Having read about the UT regent who didn’t want to give up The Longhorn Network, its becoming really funny that the whole college football world has gone apoplectic over TLN and that it was a trigger that precipitated chaos in the college football world when it was never about football OR money. UT was going to do this to promote non-rev sports and the university in general. They were even planning to do it if it cost a little money. DeLoss Dodds was as surprised as anyone when it generated so much money. UT made a lot more money than anyone else the last couple of years WITHOUT TLN. In fact, the athletics department is going to get less from its 3rd tier rights than most of the SEC and perhaps all the Big 10 schools. They’ve committed a minimum of $5 million a year (UT’s total net comes to $10.89 million the 1st year) to academics, meaning the athletics department will get less than $6 million. It will probably end up being more than $5 million to academics as that was just the guaranteed amount. In times of tight budgets, that’s become important to the academic side. And the academic side is going to fight tooth and nail giving up any academic $ to fund Iowa State or A&M’s athletics departments.

    • Patrick says:

      Why play Texas anymore? From a conference or independent perspective.

      Here’s the issue – If my Iowa State Basketball team goes to Austin and plays UT, that game gets put on the Longhorn network – supported by ESPN.

      So Texas gets positive news coverage from ESPN, more highlights of their players dunking on mine even when they lose, they earn money for the LHN by the fact the game is on cable, they get increased visibility with recruits, they get replays of the game so the players can watch themselves later, and Texas keeps all the money. Your not giving up money to fund Iowa State, they played a game where only one side got paid, Texas. I know you think that Iowa State should just start their own network then….. but you know that even if they do they will make very little. This is why CONFERENCE NETWORKS work well, because the home and away teams get equal coverage and both get paid.

      Why would I schedule that if I’m an AD? In Iowa State’s case – because they have too, in Oklahoma’s or Nebraska’s or Colorado’s or Texas A&M’s they won’t.

      • bullet says:

        So why should anyone ever schedule a home-and-away series in football or basketball if one side makes more money out of its media rights? Pac 10 schools should never have scheduled Big 10 schools in football because Big 10 made more money on their TV deals? Big East schools should never schedule home-and-away series with SEC schools because the SEC deal pays more? Houston shouldn’t schedule UCLA 2 for 1 because UCLA gets 2 home games and gets more media money and makes more on their home gate than UH?

        Maybe the Big 10 should just schedule an 11 game round robin and play themselves in bowl games since they make more than anyone else.

        There’s value for both sides. ADs do what is in their school’s interest and rarely make decisions out of jealousy. Otherwise Notre Dame would never have anyone to schedule.

        • Patrick says:

          Home and away because the team comes back to your house and you get those ticket sales. Houston does a 2 for 1 because they add the value of a home game against UCLA which they would never get otherwise. There is little value for a big name school in playing Texas on the Longhorn Network. They can schedule UCLA or Alabama or anybody else without the bias ESPN coverage and the free recruiting highlights for UTESPN. High school highlights makes it even more lopsided. When the little school come play the Big guys, they get paid.

          The LHN is very different from Notre Dame, because NBC sports doesn’t run Notre Dame high school recruiting videos on a 24 hour tv channel.

          You are correct and I agree 100% that AD’s will do what is in their schools best interest. I see nothing about playing Texas that would be advantageous to any school of any significance, when you can play one of the other 118 D1 schools without bias coverage and giving them fuel for their network.

      • duffman says:


        I would go a step further on the non football sports. Your women’s basketball should be the way it is done. Your school has built it from the ground up with a keen eye on the rank and file fan. Long term you have built the next generation of fans the right way. Along comes the LHN that tries to suck the life out of such a group and replace it with corporate sports is a real fear and threat. Under the LHN you become little more than corporate subsidiaries where the exposure and money is funneled upstream to the corporate parent. If folks outside the B1G think them snobs, and the folks outside the SEC yells cheaters, both conferences are long standing stable institutions because they share inside their member schools.

        Yeah I am a big Fennelly FAN :) I have never gotten to the Hilton, but it is on my bucket list.

  142. EZCUSE says:

    I am no longer buying the 4-16 team conference program.

    I think we will see 5 14-team conferences (70). Or a blend of 16′s, 14′s, and 12′s. That leads to 5 automatic qualifiers for an 8-game playoff, with 3 at-larges that would potentially include a worthy non-AQ conference.

    Or maybe we will see someone go to 18. Not sure 18 is worse than 16. In 18, you get 7 division games and 2 OD games in football… and a complete round-robin in basketball.

    • bullet says:

      Oliver Luck suggested (thinking out loud-not really promoting) an 18 team merger of the Big East and Big 12-2-1.

      If OU does stay, that general direction may be the most stable way for the Big 12 to go. Something like UC/UL/Pitt/RU/USF to Big 12 after WVU to SEC and followed by SU/UConn to the ACC. If the B10 gets in the act, then TCU and BYU could find homes in the Big 12. And possibly (but only remotely so), USF could find a better fit in the ACC or even the SEC (if WVU liked B12 or ACC better).

  143. MIRuss says:


    Are you out there? I’ve been trying to follow all the comments in your latest entry and while they are all good and are reviewing the conferences and how they will look at some point int the future, I would like (love) to see a lawyer’s view on the latest Baylor/ISU strategy re: Suing the SEC.

    1. Can a university under contract in a conference really do this? Do they have a legal leg to stand on?
    2. Why not add the B1G 10 to the suit (and the Pac 12, also)?
    3. When does Texas (like you stated in your last post) start to see the error of the OCHO and figure that being part of a better neighborhood?

    • EZCUSE says:

      I don’t think it matters whether they have a leg to stand on. The SEC has requested that they declare that they don’t have a leg to stand on. Baylor is just refusing to do so. Why should they?
      Would you?

      If you were leaving the grocery store and someone asked you to sign a waiver of harm based on being in the store… why would you? You didn’t threaten to sue. No known injury. Nothing in it for you at all. Instead, it makes you wonder–was I exposed to something? Did the cashier have Ebola? WTF? Probably some people would do it, but a lot wouldn’t.

      Here, Baylor may or may not have a viable suit. But why should they provide a release? They can just decide to not sue by allowing the statute of limitation expires. If you want certainty, A&M and SEC, provide Baylor something in return. If you can’t, tough luck there.

      As for Beebe’s letter, does he have authority to bind Baylor? Maybe Baylor was under the impression that the Big XII was simply not going to sue on its own behalf and authorized that. Meanwhile, Beebe went too far. That’s his mistake. Or maybe it was deliberate to smoke out the SEC and A&M.

    • @MIRuss – It’s been a little crazy but I’ll have a new post on soon. Briefly and generally speaking, a lawsuit by Baylor would likely be a loser. The Big East schools tried suing the ACC on similar grounds and ultimately settled for about $5 million total, and that was a situation where the ACC annexed 3 BE schools by itself (including its biggest revenue generator in Miami). That being said, the SEC demand for a signed waiver from the Big 12 schools is pretty unreasonable. I don’t agree with Dan Beebe on very many things, but his statement that such a request from the SEC is unprecedented in conference realignment matters is correct. If I was advising one of those schools, it wouldn’t even matter if my client ever wanted to sue – I’d have a hard time advising him/her to ever waive those rights ahead of time.

      I think someone earlier posted something yesterday from Mr. SEC where he thought that Mike Slive’s real intention is to see if he can get the Pac-12 to act first. He’ll wait awhile to see if that happens, and then if it doesn’t, the SEC will move on with adding A&M despite not getting the waiver letters. Mr. SEC’s explanation makes much more sense to me than the SEC scuttling this whole thing over something that a first-year law student would know is going to be a legal non-starter.

      • EZCUSE says:

        Or… if you subscribe to the theory that the conferences compete against each other off the field… the SEC forces Oklahoma and Oklahoma St. into NOT going to the Pac-12. If those schools reaffirm their commitment to the Big 12 in a meaningful way… Baylor signs off. If Baylor signs off, then A&M can come. The SEC gets the big P.R. push of having the only different conference in 2012 and no Pac-12 expansion anyway.

      • bullet says:

        Didn’t the ACC part of the suit get totally thrown out and BC pay the $5 million?

  144. mushroomgod says:

    Visited some forums today and see that the PBC report is getting a lot of play………….

    Assuming for a moment that some or all of the report of discussions is accurate….some comments:

    1. I can’t see the BT going back to an 8 game schedule if it adds TX and ND, although I do see why both would favor that…

    2. If you were going to add ND and TX, wouldn’t you have to “dilute” the conf a bit by adding a couple middle-roaders like MO and Pitt? Otherwise, if you’re OSU/MICH et al, you’re looking at 2 of the other 6 inta-division rivals being “kings”. In their case, the protected inter-div. game would also be a “king”. That’s 3 biggies to play in the BT before you even get to the BTC game. That’s a lot of losses. In ND’s case, you also have to play USC each year. It just seems to me that 6/14 members being top 10 all-time teams is a bit much……

    3. On the other hand, going to 16 means seeing the BT schools in the other div. less frequently….

  145. bullet says:


    Good take on it all. I’m for laughing right now. We have been rolling on the Texas boards. Loftin talking about trust after he broke his own promises and not understanding the double talk?. Of course Baylor talking about Texas football is quite funny to the Ponies, Frogs, Cougars and Owls. And we realize Baylor is not trying to handcuff A&M but its really OU and UT. And, of course, as always, the Aggies probably think this song is about them. They’ll get to go their own way soon enough.

    • EZCUSE says:

      They probably don’t have a basis to sue. But why does the SEC need a release? And why should Baylor give it to them???

      The SEC can add A&M. If A&M is mad, it should be at the SEC for demanding a release from an unsuccessful lawsuit that would probably never be filed in the first place.

    • hangtime79 says:

      Whether Baylor has a basis to sue or not is irrelevant and ultimately is not what the SEC is concerned about. The SEC may have a good case and at trial may in fact win. The SEC is worried about what comes OUT during the case. Discovery, witness depositions, so many buried skeletons can come out during a case especially when the venue will be sitting in a Texas court. Imagine what correspondence could be subpoenaed. I don’t think ANYONE wants that out in the open. No the SEC is going to try and avoid litigation altogether.

  146. M says:


    I found this at Dr. Saturday.

    Basically, Rice runs a “This is American football” bootcamp for international students. I’ve often thought that Northwestern should run something similar, but include New England students too.

  147. mushroomgod says:

    Visited some forums today and see that the PBC report is getting a lot of play………….

    Assuming for a moment that some or all of the report of discussions is accurate….some comments:

    1. I can’t see the BT going back to an 8 game schedule if it adds TX and ND, although I do see why both would favor that…

    2. If you were going to add ND and TX, wouldn’t you have to “dilute” the conf a bit by adding a couple middle-roaders like MO and Pitt? Otherwise, if you’re OSU/MICH et al, you’re looking