Conference Realignment: If I Was Richer, I’d Still Be With Ya

Posted: September 8, 2011 in Big East, Big Ten, Sports
Tags: , , , , , , ,

It’s been a crazy couple of days to say the least.  We saw the SEC vote to conditionally accept Texas A&M, Baylor and a bunch of other Big 12 schools holding up the A&M move by refusing to sign some legal waivers, rumors stating the Pac-12 doesn’t really want to expand but will still add Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, Texas and Notre Dame are heading to the Big Ten, and the Big East may pick up some Big 12 leftovers, and now it may be all for naught with the Big 12 possibly being saved (in part by BYU).  So, by the time you read this post, it might be completely outdated with how fast the news and rumor mill has been churning.  Anyway, I have few thoughts on the latest developments:

1. Can’t blame Baylor (and others) for legal stance – As a lawyer, if I was representing any institution in this scenario, whether it’s Baylor, Iowa State or Texas, there’s NFW that I’d let it sign a blanket waiver of legal rights to the SEC and if such institution wanted to proceed, I’d insist upon some type of considerable payment in return.  A waiver of this nature wouldn’t be enforceable without some type of consideration from SEC, anyway.

In the case of Baylor, there might literally be no amount of consideration outside of the preservation of the Big 12 itself (as long-term AQ status trumps short-term monetary payoffs) that could justify signing that waiver.  Whether Baylor actually has a case with respect to tortious interference against the SEC isn’t really relevant here.  At face value, this type of case is probably a loser.  The Big East attempted to sue the ACC on similar grounds back in 2003 and ultimately settled for $5 million total, which is effectively pocket change that wouldn’t even cover 50% of one year of conference TV revenue for just one Big 12 school.  However, Mike Slive would know that insisting upon a waiver of legal rights would cause an allergic reaction among Big 12 members as a legal principle.  I don’t think much of Dan Ponzi Beebe, but he was correct in his statement that it’s unprecedented for a raiding conference to ask for waivers of legal rights from those left behind in the raided conference.  It doesn’t make sense for the SEC to do this from a practical standpoint unless they have some other motives outside of the legal realm (which we’ll get to in a moment).  That being said…

2. Can’t blame Texas A&M for being volcanically pissed off – As a business man, I have a hard time seeing the value in attempting to keep around a school that clearly doesn’t want to be there.  As long as Texas A&M pays all of the exit fees that it has agreed to with the Big 12 (which by all accounts it plans to do), then the Aggies should be free to go as they please.  Whether Oklahoma or others might leave after the Aggies (thereby dissolving the Big 12) shouldn’t be the problem of Texas A&M or the SEC.  It’s in the best interests of everyone within the Big 12 to move on as quickly as possible.  Now, I believe that Aggies have some misplaced anger toward Baylor in the sense that the SEC is the entity that is requesting something that no other Big 12 school (unless it’s heading out the door for the West Coast) would reasonably sign.  Which gets to the next point…

3. SEC isn’t doing this for purely legal reasons – As I’ve done several times before on this blog, I’ll point to Mr. SEC, who I believe had a spot-on commentary on the SEC’s true motives in asking for these waivers: Mike Slive wants to see if he can cause Larry Scott and the Pac-12 to act first.  Personally, I doubt Slive will win this particular game of chicken since, by all accounts, the Pac-12 is only going to act if A&M moves first.  Still, it doesn’t really hurt the SEC to attempt this tactic, where the conference can just wait awhile and then decide to proceed with expansion without the Big 12 waivers.

4. Big Ten looking to form the “Fuck You, Pay Me” Conference? – The famous Purple Book Cat of the resurfaced last night with the following rumor: the Big Ten is looking to add Notre Dame and Texas with a bevy of conditions, including folding the Longhorn Network into a “BTN2″.  The proposed solution to the “LHN problem” actually makes some sense, although I don’t quite understand the issues that the Big Ten would have regarding ESPN supposedly pushing the UT-to-the-Pac-12 angle (as the channel actually has a much closer and wider-ranging relationship with the Big Ten compared to the Pac-12).  Chip Brown of Orangebloods separately stated the following, as well:

An outside the box option would be something like a conference such as the Big Ten allowing Texas to join the league and only make money off of LHN and not share revenue from the Big Ten Network. File that one away.

Should any of us really be giving this idea any credence?  Probably not.  I don’t see how the Big Ten is going to provide special arrangements to Texas when Jim Delany spent a TON of capital in convincing power schools like Michigan and Ohio State to sign up for the Big Ten Network instead of forming their own individual networks.

At the same time, if there’s any truth to the notion of Notre Dame joining a conference, I have faith that it will be smoked out by the school’s alumni base long before a decision is made.  They’re on a 24/7/365 Independence Watch over there, so this isn’t a matter that’s going to get agreed upon in a backroom at least as far as South Bend is concerned.

Regardless, assuming that no one knows what they’re talking about on anything regarding conference realignment (which is true), we can at least play along and put together a B1G 16 Fuck You, Pay Me Conference pod setup with, say, Syracuse and Rutgers (PURELY for discussion purposes – substitute Missouri, Pitt, Maryland, Boston College, or anyone else if it makes you feel better) in addition to UT and ND with each school having a protected cross-division rival (in parentheses):

Michigan (Ohio State)
Michigan State (Rutgers)
Notre Dame (Texas)
Purdue (Indiana)

Ohio State (Michigan)
Penn State (Nebraska)
Rutgers (Michigan State)
Syracuse (Minnesota)

Texas (Notre Dame)
Illinois (Iowa)
Northwestern (Wisconsin)
Indiana (Purdue)

Nebraska (Penn State)
Iowa (Illinois)
Wisconsin (Northwestern)
Minnesota (Syracuse)

If the Big Ten has an 8-game conference schedule as proposed in the Purple Book Cat scenario, that means each school would play its 3 podmates annually plus 1 cross-division rival and then rotate through the other pods each year on an NFL-style basis.  From a Notre Dame perspective (who is really the one that needs to get pleased even more than Texas), this setup keeps their 3 traditional Big Ten rivals, secures an annual game with Texas, and then allows them to still schedule USC and Navy home-and-home in the non-conference schedule.  That’s about as close as you can get to a national schedule for Notre Dame while preserving the maximum number of rivals within the confines of a conference.  While that’s likely never going to be enough for the independent-minded Notre Dame alums (as independence is really an identity issue for that school as opposed to a financial stance), I doubt the Irish could get much better from a pure scheduling standpoint.

Anyway, this is all a hypothetical… like everything else in conference realignment.

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

(Image from Zap2It)

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  1. Jeepers says:

    This whole thing has more drama than a Telenovela. (add)

    • wm wolverines says:

      I absolutely hate pods along with 16+ team conferences. After Texas & ND, anybody else more or less ‘dilutes’ the B10 and takes more than they add, I don’t see any good reason for a program #15 or #16…

      Divisions should be based upon rivalries, which is generally based upon geography. Texas & Notre Dame would certainly mess a ton of things up in terms of rivalries, geography and the like…

      14 teams with only 8 conference games certainly is a challenge, if you have a cross-division rivalry (something I don’t care for); you end up very rarely playing the universities in the other division. This is one of the few reasons pods make sense but imo they cause a hell of a lot more chaos than benefits…

      My futile attempts to arrange a new 14-team B10 is pretty chaotic itself, no easy solutions as there are a ton of rivalries to take into account.

  2. derek says:

    Instead of reading I should have just said “first”. My priorities blow.

  3. frug says:

    Quick question. Why is everyone operating under the assumption that the conference would add two schools in addition to ND and UT? Adding anyone else would simply dilute the financial boost that would come from adding the Irish and the Longhorns.

    • Brian says:

      Presumably because pods work a little more cleanly at 16 than 14, UT and ND would more than pay for it, you could expand the footprint significantly (towards NYC in Frank’s example), and many believe 4 x 16 is the end game.

      • frug says:

        Why would they even go to pods with with a 14 team conference? It works just fine in a divisional alignment. And while I understand that 4×16 may be the end game what’s the rush? Having already added UT and ND the Big 10 will have no problem finding new member if/when they are forced to do so.

        • Dcphx says:

          With pods in a 14 team structure (2×4 & 2×3 with the 3’s switching every 2 years), you can go home & home with everyone over 4 year stretch, but no rivalry game outside of your pod.

          • mstinebrink says:

            A tongue-partially-in-cheek spin off of Dcphx’s idea…

            LOONS DIVISION:

            Michigan State
            Notre Dame

            ORANGE HOOSIER CAT POD: (in honor of Purple Book Cat, of course!)

            ILL-LION-BUCK POD:
            Penn State
            Ohio State

            Teams would play each of the schools in their pod or division, annually. Then, the pods would be paired up with the divisions, on a biennially rotating basis, such that schools in a given division would play home-and-home series versus the 6 schools in the pods, over the course of 4 years, while schools in a given pod would play home-and-home series versus the 8 schools in the divisions, over that same time frame.

            The following would be protected, annual rivalries:

            Nebraska vs. Penn State
            Texas vs. Notre Dame
            Northwestern vs. Illinois
            Indiana vs. Purdue
            Michigan vs. Ohio State

            That would leave at least one at large game, per season, per school (or two games for schools without protected rivalries or for schools that have fulfilled their protected rivalry as part of their division-pod combination). The at large game(s) would always be between teams from opposite divisions or opposite pods, since those schools would otherwise never play each other. In other words, there would be at least a 25% probability that a given Loon would play a given Lunker, in a given season. And, there would be at least a 33% probability that a given Orange Hoosier Cat would play a given Ill-Lion-Buck, in a given season.

            The only “lost” rivalries would be as follows, list in order of age/significance (with percentage chance of the rivalry being played, in a given season, in parantheses):

            Little Brown Jug (1903): Michigan vs. Minnesota (25%)
            Purdue Cannon (1943): Illinois vs. Purdue (50%)
            Old Brass Spittoon (1950): Indiana vs. Michigan State (50%)
            Land Grant Trophy (1993): Michigan State vs. Penn State (50%)
            Governor’s Victory Bell (1993): Minnesota vs. Penn State (50%)

          • mstinebrink says:

            An addendum to my Loons/Lunkers sorta sarcastic solution:

            All of the at large contests couldn’t exclusively be limited to interdivision or interpod match-ups. These schools would have 2 at large contests, in years when the Loons Division was paired with the Orange Hoosier Cat Pod:

            Minnesota (Loons)
            Wisconsin (Loons)
            Iowa (Loons)

            Michigan (Lunkers)
            Michigan State (Lunkers)
            Ohio State (Ill-Lion-Buck)

            Let the Little Brown Jug live! Then, whichever of Wisconsin or Iowa played Michigan State, that school would be limited to either Michigan, Purdue, or Notre Dame (the other Lunkers), in the other of it’s two at large match-ups. Ohio State would play one at large match-up versus a Loon (i.e. Wisconsin or Iowa), before playing an Orange Hoosier Cat (i.e. Texas, Indiana, or Northwestern), in the other of it’s two at large match-ups.

            These schools would have 2 at large contests, in years with the Loons were paired with the Ill-Lion-Buck Pod:

            Nebraska (Loons)
            Iowa (Loons)
            Wisconsin (Loons)
            Minnesota (Loons)
            Penn State (Ill-Lion-Buck)

            Michigan State (Lunkers)
            Purdue (Lunkers)
            Notre Dame (Lunkers)
            Texas (Orange Hoosier Cat)
            Indiana (Orange Hoosier Cat)

            Again, there is an uneven number of free Loons and free Lunkers. Thus, there would be at least one division-versus-pod, at large contest, in addition to the strictly interdivision/interpod, at large contests to complete the 8-game schedule.

            It’s a beautiful Saturday in Wisconsin’s northwoods. I should shut down the computer and go catch me a lunker, in a loon-infested lake, while the DVR takes care of recording the actual football game for me!

  4. FLP_NDRox says:

    Hmmm. *8* Conference games to lure ND and Texas…

    Purple Book Cat was the one throwing around the *7* game conference schedule last summer as the B1G’s Godfather offer to ND/Texas. I, like many if not most of you, just assume he’s the B1G Chip Brown in this situation.

    Obviously I’m not buying it, but I haven’t figured out to what end TPTB at either Northwestern or B1G HQ want that out there.

    • zeek says:

      I agree; PBC is clearly the Big Ten’s Chip Brown, and I do think he’s getting the information for the basis of his posts from the Big Ten HQ in some form.

      I think the point may be what bullet said in a previous thread, which is to make Slive and Scott think they overplayed their hands and rein in this impending free-for-all on the Big 12. I really don’t get why he’d re-emerge with this kind of scenario otherwise. Not that I think it’s that effective a strategy, but it might be something they decided to throw out there.

      • Bob in Houston says:

        Well, it helps Texas convince Scott to back off whatever demands he’s making about the LHN. But I don’t think it’s about that.

        This guy just has the OK to channel these things. We eat it up because they have detail, they make sense, and give us a peek at what these people argue about.

        I am not sure what the Big Ten gets out of it; clearly they could isolate his source and cut it off at the knees if they cared to.

    • jamesinsocal says:

      Got one for ya. What if the whole, “Moving to a 9 game schedule” is nothing more then to make ND agree to 8 games vs 7? Then once they are in and the deals are signed, the other schools stay at 8 games as well. (I know, stupid…but it just crossed my mind and my coffee hasn’t kicked in yet)

  5. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Geaux Fightin’ Tigers!

    Free the Aggies.

  6. Adam says:

    Haha your division rival is perrrrfect for MSU: Rutgers.

    The Jersey Shore trash of the Big Ten gets to annually play against Jersey’s state school.

    On the real, I think the Big Ten goes 14 (ND and UT) or none at all. Additionally, I think the scenarios with the LHN and NBC contracts will have them folded into BTN’s structure over the course of joining (2013? 2014?) and the beginning of the new ABC/ESPN contract (2016?), folded in meaning having Big Ten, UT, and ND content slowly integrated into a BTN and BTN2 (or regionalized BTN2 networks a la P12) structure.

    Fuck You, Pay Me is right on the money for the conference name, though.

  7. Carl says:

    Beat the Irish!

  8. Mac says:


    Wake me up when somebody signs something…

  9. Wes says:

    In the event of a B12 collapse, would Iowa face political pressure from state leaders to make sure little brother Iowa State is not cast out into the non-AQ wilderness? The Iowa House Speaker is an ISU alum…

    • Frug says:

      They may face pressure but it won’t do any good. Since Iowa will never leave the Big 10 and won’t ever be in a Position of having a deciding vote in realignment the state pols won’t have any leverage.

  10. M says:

    So the SEC won’t move unless Oklahoma goes to the Pac-X. Oklahoma won’t move until A&M goes to the SEC. Baylor/Iowa State/KU/KSU won’t drop their suit until Oklahoma agrees to stay (at which point A&M will leave, allowing Oklahoma to leave). Seems simple enough to me.

  11. Art Vandelay says:

    Question: Would the addition of Notre Dame, Texas, Syracuse and Rutgers to the current B1G be enough leverage to get the BTN on different cable stations in New Jersey and New York?

    Maybe a better question is whether it could possibly be enough leverage to get it put on cable stations nationally.

    While I understand football brand is really the most monetarily beneficial factor, isn’t brand compounded by populous markets also a very intriguing possibility?

    • Fryguy says:

      I have said this before, but the only schools that lock down the NYC market would be ND, UNC and Duke. I think Syracuse might, and I think that Rutgers does not. Neither Rutgers football or basketball moves the meter enough to get the BTN into those households. The amount of alums the first three schools have in the NYC area is huge, plus the addition to your national brand would force the BTN into NYC.
      That being said, unless the SEC raids the ACC, this is not happening. The Big 10 will not raid the ACC to get Maryland unless they get Duke/UNC too.

      • bubblescreen says:

        Notre Dame is the only school that would lock down the NYC market. Duke & UNC have no pull in NYC. It’s not like the NY Post is writing Duke & UNC articles.

        Frankly, the Big East school with the best hope of reigning in NYC is UConn. A ton of people work in NYC and live in Fairfield County in Connecticut, where they all get NY channels.

        And SNY (the Mets cable channel) made a deal to show all…..UConn football/basketball games not aired nationally. Not Rutgers. Not Syracuse.

        UConn also adds a killer men’s basketball team and the ONLY women’s basketball team in the world that sells out arenas on the road. And its football team has gone to more BCS games in the past decade than Syracuse & Rutgers combined. I know it’s only one, but still.

        Notre Dame, Texas, UConn & Syracuse make the most sense for 16. If ND is willing and Texas isn’t…..ND & UConn to get to 14 would work. UConn could also potentially bring in Boston as a market since no one in Boston gives a youknowwhat about Boston College. UConn/ND actually had a football series lined up in Boston at Foxboro before Connecticut lawmakers got involved for who knows why.

        • StvInIL says:

          Notre Dame, Texas, UConn & Syracuse.

          I can see this. I always thought out of the big east UCon would make a better Big Ten school than the rest. but I would nix Syracuse and capture another market. Maryland.

          • bobestes says:

            Did you see UConn’s ticket sales for the Fiesta Bowl last year? Anemic. Even Cincinnati brought 35k to the Sugar Bowl. That is a university that baaaarely supports college football.

          • wm wolverines says:

            My preference is to just stop at 14 unless you want to dilute the conference with programs like Missouri, Rutgers, Pitt, Syracuse & UConn…

            All ‘fine’ programs but all would take more than they add in a conference with Texas, Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Nebraska, Wisconsin, etc.

      • Brian says:

        I think the value of Rutgers might be felt more (in combination with MD, especially) in the Philly area (BTN is not on exp. basic there). Getting PSU games nearby may lead to the BTN getting added soon.

  12. joe4psu says:

    Why don’t the schools/conferences enter the 21st century and do their tv negotiations together? Whether the schools align by current BCS conferences, current fbs schools or a new alignment of their choice this brings consolidation to it’s logical conclusion. Then realignment becomes a non-issue. Conferences can go back to geographic and historical reasons for existence.

    • Larry says:

      I don’t understand why the B1G and the PAC can’t get together and cover 2/3s of the nation in the BP network (<– name needs work). They have a history together and the network would have an unprecedented footprint. The time zone spread would enable the BTN to have a late game and the PAC network to have an early game. They could even have a conference challenge with 12 games between the conferences spread throughout the year to help publicize it. With 24 teams in the network, they could look at Thursday night games also (although I don't think the coaches would be that excited about it). Between the B1G and PAC, their alumni and prestige, they might even be able to reach outside the footprint into other states.

  13. PeteP says:

    Too logical Joe4psu. The CFA worked for almost a decade, until ND and the SEC blew it up. Of course, you could just blame CBS, which after it lost the NFL to Fox had a lot of money to burn and the need for content.

    Of course, once conferences become meaningless for TV contracts and bowl games, then independent looks even better than being in a conference…

  14. Mike Sanders says:

    I used to think that Northwestern board guy was trustworthy for describing the Big Ten’s actions and strategies, but no more. Too many important people discredited what was basically his report yesterday (Notre Dame and Texas making a joint presentation to the Big Ten) to take him or her seriously. Even if it was an honest mistake, the margin of error for a message board “insider” is too small to allow a major screw-up like that.

    • Bob in Houston says:

      Which important people? Unless any of them were named Swarbrick, Dodds, Powers or Delany, I’m not listening.

    • bubblescreen says:

      Isnt that the point? To get out the information? Sources don’t release information on stuff that is going to happen. They release stuff that is DISCUSSED to happen, to get a gauge on public opinion.

      Remember when it was leaked the NCAA Tournament was expanding to 96 teams, then everyone screamed, and it was only 68?

      Sources have motives. Texas is obviously considering the Big Ten if the guy is writing about plausible scenarios.

  15. mwp says:

    I wanted this to happen before, but now I need it to happen just so we can adopt the ¨FYPM¨ moniker.

    ¨B1G¨ was alright, but ¨FYPM¨ is much more to the point. Seriously, even if we don´t expand, can that be our new logo?

  16. Todd says:


  17. mouse says:

    ESPN reported this morning that Texas and Texas Tech have agreed to sign aTm’s release. Does that sound like. “Boys, we is headed West,” or what.

  18. Cochese says:

    OK, who else is singing “F— you, pay me” to the tune of Lionel Richie’s “Say You, Say Me?”

  19. hagenr says:

    Here’s an attempt at making 2+2 equal 76. Notre Dame was to announce their intentions for a college hockey conference August 15, but did not do so. Could they be working on a membership deal with the new B1G hockey conference that turned into a discussion about the full membership? Again 2+2 = 76, however it is rather curious that ND has gone radio silent following the postponement of a planned conference alignment announcement. Everyone loves a conspiracy theory.

    • jj says:

      that is kind of an oddity now that i think about it. puttin’ on the old foil hat.

    • FLP_NDRox says:

      There’s enough there for me to get out my tinfoil hat.

      Of course, I’m well past annoyed that the plans for ND hockey have yet to be announced. If there were, as expected, only the NCHC and HEC options, this should be over, but if the ADs office is working on an all sports to B1G…


      also, add

  20. gregenstein says:

    This “conference” lends itself to a nice secondary headline. You’ve set the protected games up, but didn’t account for what happens when say, East plays West and Penn State/Nebraska is already protected, thus these teams are, in essence, losing a game.

    The B1G could do make up games the week before OSU/Michigan in what should be advertised as “Clusterfuck Weekend”. Games that don’t fall into the normal pod rotation get played here, and everyone knows ahead of time this game is being played outside the normal parameters of the intra pod games, cross pod rotational games, or the team’s protected game.

  21. GreatLakeState says:

    Lull on Sports twitter reads like realignment Manga (in a good way). I believe he’s telling the truth, but I also believe TX/ND to B1G is a ‘fail safe’ option that comes to fruition only at the end of a long obstacle course. At this point I think the Big 12 survives and that it’s the best outcome for college football.

    • bullet says:

      If the B12 survives, the biggest positive is on the non-rev sports who don’t have to travel so far when there’s plenty of competition close by.

      • zeek says:

        At this point, I’m kind of hoping that OU stays in the Big 12 and sees if it can be saved for the long haul.

        As I mentioned in the previous post, the only schools that are coveted are Texas and OU at this point.

        Missouri’s last shot at getting out is to get an SEC invite at this point. The rest of the schools have no other options.

        I do think the Pac-12 will make a really strong push at OU/OSU if the SEC does get A&M to get to 13. But if OU turns that down, the Big 12 might finally have reached a sustainable result.

        • bullet says:

          In the interview from the AJC I posted below, none of them seem enthused about superconferences, just resigned. I don’t remember if it was you zeek, but I agree with the poster that equal revenue sharing is a function of stability, not a cause. It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with competitiveness. The most unequal conference was the Pac 10 which was the most competitive top to bottom. In recent years the equal Big 10 +1 has been dominated by Ohio St. Texas and OU dominated the relatively unequal Big 12, but everyone but Baylor has had their moments-KU,KSU,TT,MU,OSU, even ISU has spent time in the top 10. And Baylor has had some moments in basketball. Equal or more equal revenue sharing hasn’t helped MN, IU, Duke or Vanderbilt win in football.

          Similar institutions led to the revenue sharing rules in the B1G and ACC. Their similarity also made banding together more profitable for everyone than going it alone. SEC schools were also more similar. In the Pac USC and UCLA dominated revenues and led to unequal revenue sharing, but the others realized those 2 had no options and Scott did a big deal that made them more money. In the BE the rules were written for Miami. In the Big 12, the rules were written for the 7 haves (especially UNL,OU,UT) while there were 5 who were very much have-nots. The BE and Big 12 were patched together for TV. Unequal revenue sharing has benefitted the 3 who have or who are trying to leave the Big 12 (although not always CU).

          CU left the Big 12 because they have 30k alumni in CA, 16k in the other P12 states and 11k in all the Big 12 states put together (and 6-7k of those are in 1 state-Texas). UNL didn’t leave because of unequal revenue sharing-they were closer to UT on that issue than anyone else. OU is flirting with leaving, but they pulled the biggest share of Big 12 distributions last year. The only advantage of equal revenue sharing for stability is that it is all settled and you don’t have the constant give and take that can be an irritant to the CEOs. I suspect T. Boone is right that the Big 12 (less 3 haves) will decide to equally share tier 1 and 2 like the SEC and quit talking about it.

          • zeek says:

            Yeah that was me, I don’t see what revenue sharing has to do with stability other than as a side-effect of stability, definitely not a cause.

            Stable conferences tend to dominate a geographic region with similar-caliber/similar-brand/similar-value (fewer stragglers in terms of bringing population value) schools.

            The Pac-10 is stable because of its distance from the other conferences and the fact that it thoroughly dominates to the West of the central timezone.

            The SEC is stable because it dominates the deep south. The ACC is stable because it dominates the Mid-Atlantic, and the Big Ten is stable because it dominates the Midwest.

            Equal revenue sharing wouldn’t make the Big 12 or Big East any more or less stable. Nebraska was going to leave if it got a Big Ten invite regardless of revenue sharing, especially since it was one of the 4 schools consistently voting for unequal revenue sharing.

            Colorado was going to leave because its interests (alumni, student target base) were always on the west coast even though it was in the Big 8/Big 12.

            A&M has been looking at the SEC for 20 years, and it was one of the schools favoring unequal revenue sharing.

            The Big 12’s instability comes from the fact that it’s between the 3 stronger conferences with schools that all were targeting and that wanted to go to those conferences.

          • zeek says:

            Also, the Big East has finally reached some semblence of stability (although WVU is probably an SEC target) because of the fact that it has no major poachable additions.

            None of the Big East schools alone justify expansion other than as an add-on (#14 or #16 to even out expansion) or replacement.

          • bullet says:

            There’s a NYT article yesterday where Delany is quoted as saying something very similar to what you said-that its a function of stability, not the other way around. Specifically he was talking about the Pac 12 and Big 10 assigning media rights to the conference. ACC has equal revenue sharing, but the article implies by ommission they haven’t assigned the rights. (I was reading the article around midnight and it suddenly turned into a pumpkin and required a subscription as I was reading the 2nd page so I’m not linking it).

      • Patrick says:

        At this point, I really don’t see any way that the Big 12 survives. After being resurrected from life support last year and 2 schools leaving, now a 3rd has left.

        This is a dysfunctional 9 team conference right now, and regardless of Baylor (and others) lawsuits, Texas A&M ain’t coming back. They have followed the leaving procedures and won’t EVER go back to the Big 12. Why any AD and university president would willingly join that Cluster$#^k is beyond me, and I don’t think they would.

        Without an addition and without Texas A&M, I just don’t see Oklahoma staying in this train wreck. Maybe it lingers for a few years as a nine team conference though?

  22. greg says:

    Go Hawks.

  23. duffman says:

    @Frank, from the other thread because splitting in state schools is wrong!

    updated data from the other thread, including basketball data

    My version of adds:

    East: Ohio State, Penn State, Pitt, Maryland – 2 solid brands

    South: Texas, Notre Dame, Purdue, Indiana – 2 solid brands

    North: Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois, Northwestern – 1 solid brand

    West: Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota – 1 solid brand

    7 CG = 3 in pod fixed + 1 +1 +1 in each other pod rotate + 1 fixed rival

    Frank, The problem is ND

    I see your pod of UM / MSU / PU / ND

    by teams played their pod would be PU / MSU / Pitt, followed by NU / UM / IU

    Here are some issues I see that make my pod attractive:

    #1 ND plays Home and Lucas vs PU and IU

    ND seats 81,000
    Lucas seats 70,000
    Ross – Ade seats 62,000
    Memorial seats 53,000

    #2 ND plays UT every year to compensate for Stanford

    Texas gets more national exposure than Michigan State

    #3 SoS favors ND with a MNC shot with a reasonable schedule

    Make MSU their fixed, and the other 3 float so that PSU, UM, tOSU, UNL do not all hit their schedule in any given year, as it would be brutal, and not be fair to the Domers. You can not expect ND to give up U$C and their OOC, or play a murderers row and expect them to want to join

    #4 Adding UT and ND in the same pod allows “new” rivalry

    East = PSU vs tOSU, and PSU vs Pitt
    South = ND vs UT, and IU vs PU
    North = UM vs MSU, and Illinois vs Northwestern
    West = Wisconsin vs UNL, and Iowa vs UNL

    B1G schools by games played all time in football

    ND vs Purdue : 54 – 26 – 2 : 1896 – 2010 = 82 games
    ND vs Michigan State : 45 – 28 – 1 : 1897 – 2010 = 74 games
    ND vs Pittsburgh : 45 – 20 – 1 : 1909 – 2010 = 66 games
    ND vs Northwestern : 37 – 8 – 2 : 1889 – 1995 = 47 games
    ND vs Michigan : 15 – 22 – 1 : 1887 – 2010 = 38 games
    ND vs Indiana : 23 – 5 – 1 : 1898 – 1991 = 29 games
    ND vs Iowa : 13 – 8 – 3 : 1921 – 1968 = 24 games
    ND vs Penn State : 9 – 9 – 1 : 1913 – 2007 = 19 games
    ND vs Nebraska : 7 – 8 – 1 : 1915 – 2001 = 16 games
    ND vs Wisconsin : 8 – 6 – 2 : 1900 – 1964 = 16 games
    ND vs Illinois : 11 – 0 – 1 : 1898 – 1968 = 12 games (family @ 1898 game ? )
    ND vs Texas : 8 – 2 – 0 : 1913 – 1996 = 10 games
    ND vs Ohio State : 2 – 3 : 1935 – 2005 : 5 games
    ND vs Minnesota : 4 – 0 – 1 : 1925 – 1938 = 5 games
    ND vs Maryland : 1 – 0 : 2002 = 1 game

    OOC schools by games played

    ND vs Navy : 71 – 12 – 1 : 1927 – 2010 = 84 games
    ND vs Southern Cal : 43 – 34 – 5 : 1926 – 2010 = 82 games
    ND vs Army : 38 – 8 – 4 : 1913 – 2010 = 50 games
    ND vs Ga Tech : 27 – 6 – 1 : 1922 – 2007 = 34 games
    ND vs Air Force : 22 – 6 : 1964 – 2007 = 28 games
    ND vs Stanford : 17 – 8 : 1924 – 2010 = 25 games

    If you want to add ND and UT how else will you give them a pod that allows them maximum OOC scheduling, while rotating in and out all the major powers of the B1G. UT may want to keep OU and TAMU, and ND will want to keep U$C and Navy. Both ND and UT have the bigger stadiums in college football so having them as home and home every year is a good selling point to both AD’s to get them to come.

    While I agree ND and MSU should play as the protected out of pod rival, I am not as sold on Michigan. ND has played MSU all along, but Michigan has really just gone for about the past 30 years. At about 30 games, Michigan is roughly equal to Indiana. ND, PU, and IU are all in the same state, so why would you break that up unless you were prepared to put Michigan and Michigan State in different pods, or Northwestern and Illinois in different pods. Both Pittsburgh and Northwestern have more games than Michigan so they should be in ND’s pod first. However, to do so would disrupt pods that involve their in state rivals.

    Now look at this from a basketball point:

    The old Big 4 was good in the old Hoosier Dome, but imagine a new Big 4 in Lucas that puts IU vs UT and ND vs MSU.

    Butler 71 – 31 = 102 games
    Michigan State 59 – 35 = 94 games : B1G
    Northwestern 63 – 24 – 1 = 88 games : B1G
    Indiana 47 – 21 = 68 games : B1G
    Kentucky 41 – 18 = 59 games
    Pittsburgh 28 – 27 = 55 games : B1G 16
    Purdue 20 – 20 = 40 games : B1G
    Valpo 37 – 3 = 40 games
    Illinois 26 – 13 = 39 games : B1G
    Wisconsin 16 – 11 = 27 games : B1G
    Louisville 16 – 9 = 27 games
    Michigan 15 – 7 = 22 games : B1G
    Minnesota 15 – 7 = 22 games : B1G
    Maryland 10 – 8 = 18 games : B1G 16
    Xavier 15 – 3 = 18 games
    Iowa 8 – 5 = 13 games : B1G
    Ohio State 7 – 5 = 12 games : B1G
    Nebraska 5 – 2 = 7 games :B1G
    Penn State 3 – 1 = 4 games : B1G
    Texas 2 – 1 = 3 games : B1G 16

    I thought you were supposed to be the basketball guy Frank, and yet you leave this part out of the equation. Throw in Women’s basketball and you get:

    Notre Dame = 3 FF / 1 NC
    Purdue = 3 FF / 1 NC
    Texas = 3 FF / 1 NC

    MD in the east adds 3 FF / 1 NC

    Iowa, MSU, Minnesota, PSU, and tOSU all have a FF

    I gotta call foul Frank, if you really want to get ND and UT.

    • Purduemoe says:

      Why would Purdue ever agree to move its home game with Notre Dame from Ross Ade to Lucas Oil? They have played that game at Ross Ade something like 41 times. They would be giving up revenue for what purpose? I think even ND would prefer the game at Ross Ade, as that game seems to be a chance for a lot of ND fans from Chicago, etc. to go to another game close by, while Lucas is another hour away. Being a Purdue grad living in Indy I wouldn’t mind it, but I don’t think Purdue would agree to it. IU definitely would however.

      • duffman says:

        Purduemoe, It was really aimed at IU, but it was a secondary to PU where Lucas gives PU 70, 000 seats to sell, but lets ND pick up all unsold – or sets aside 5,000 seats and equal corporate boxes for the ND grand poohbahs. Realignment is about money, and money means corporate folks, and Lucas is set up better to take advantage of this. if the SEC has Atlanta to call their galactic central point, why not Indianapolis for the galactic central point for the B1G? Corporate suites and media junkets in a major US city like Atlanta or Indy will be the future wether I agree with it or not. I think PU has many alumni in the south in Indy, Cincy, Louisville, Nashville, ??, that may be a selling point.

        My primary point was PU has the history with ND, so ND should be in an Indiana pod, before a Michigan one, as Notre Dame is actually in the state of Indiana.

        • StvInIL says:

          Then why not play one of those games in (soldier’s field) Chicago. Chicago is a huge ND satellite and close by for Purdue. Physically it is a true neutral site.

          • duffman says:


            I thought it was smaller, and Wik lists it at ~60 K – so say you have 10,000 less seats @ 100 a ticket. That is a million less on the tickets alone, and 10,000 less folks to buy concessions, parking. programs, ect.

    • Brian says:


      Why does splitting state schools into separate pods matter if they have a locked game anyway?

      My version of adds:

      East: Ohio State, Penn State, Pitt, Maryland – 2 solid brands

      South: Texas, Notre Dame, Purdue, Indiana – 2 solid brands

      North: Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois, Northwestern – 1 solid brand

      West: Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota – 1 solid brand

      By obsessing about geography, you make really imbalanced pods.

      E – 2 kings, 2 tradesmen
      S – 2 kings (1 more a prince by performance), 1 tradesman, 1 peasant
      N – 1 king, 2 tradesmen, 1 peasant
      W – 1 king, 2 princes, 1 peasant

      7 CG = 3 in pod fixed + 1 +1 +1 in each other pod rotate + 1 fixed rival

      You have to have 2 full divisions playing a round robin, so 7 CG = 3 in pod + 4 in paired pod with no locked games or inter-division games. Not only did you make the pods imbalanced, but now you’ve downgraded OSU/MI, ND/MI and ND/MSU from annual (or nearly annual) games to twice in 6 years. Unacceptable.

      I see your pod of UM / MSU / PU / ND

      by teams played their pod would be PU / MSU / Pitt, followed by NU / UM / IU

      Why do you assume that the importance of a series is solely based on the total number of games played? I’m quite certain MI is more important to ND than Pitt or NW. ND has changed who they play over the years, as shown below.

      All time games: PU, MSU, Pitt, NW, MI, IN
      Last 50 years: PU, MSU, Pitt, MI, NW, PSU
      Last 20 years: PU, MSU, MI, Pitt, NW, PSU

      Here are some issues I see that make my pod attractive:

      #1 ND plays Home and Lucas vs PU and IU

      ND seats 81,000
      Lucas seats 70,000
      Ross – Ade seats 62,000
      Memorial seats 53,000

      Why would PU agree? Why would ND want to play IN more than MI or MSU or Pitt?

      #2 ND plays UT every year to compensate for Stanford

      Texas gets more national exposure than Michigan State

      Your pod would greatly reduce MI and MSU games. Does UT get a lot more exposure than MI?

      #3 SoS favors ND with a MNC shot with a reasonable schedule

      Make MSU their fixed, and the other 3 float so that PSU, UM, tOSU, UNL do not all hit their schedule in any given year, as it would be brutal, and not be fair to the Domers. You can not expect ND to give up U$C and their OOC, or play a murderers row and expect them to want to join

      ND’s OOC schedule isn’t the B10’s problem. As I pointed out above, you can’t have a fixed game with only 7 CG. They’d play their pod plus one other pod.

      #4 Adding UT and ND in the same pod allows “new” rivalry

      East = PSU vs tOSU, and PSU vs Pitt
      South = ND vs UT, and IU vs PU
      North = UM vs MSU, and Illinois vs Northwestern
      West = Wisconsin vs UNL, and Iowa vs UNL

      And you’d be killing OSU/MI. Don’t forget that minor detail.

      While I agree ND and MSU should play as the protected out of pod rival, I am not as sold on Michigan. ND has played MSU all along, but Michigan has really just gone for about the past 30 years. At about 30 games, Michigan is roughly equal to Indiana. ND, PU, and IU are all in the same state, so why would you break that up unless you were prepared to put Michigan and Michigan State in different pods, or Northwestern and Illinois in different pods. Both Pittsburgh and Northwestern have more games than Michigan so they should be in ND’s pod first. However, to do so would disrupt pods that involve their in state rivals.

      Ancient history doesn’t matter. Who ND has chosen to play lately does. Other than your bad choice of going to 7 CG, why would splitting state schools into different pods matter?

      Now look at this from a basketball point:

      Let’s not. Pods don’t apply to hoops. Hoops may not even use divisions. Besides, hoops doesn’t matter to the equation. It’s something important to figure out later.

      • jj says:

        As you know Brian, ND values those games that go way back to when they had a hard time getting scheduled. They have shown a willingness to let up a bit recently, which kind of disappoints me frankly, but maybe these were mutual desires.

        • Brian says:

          I know, and I didn’t discount any of their outside rivalries (USC, Navy, etc). But what percentage of ND fans or alumni value NW or Pitt over MI?

          • FLP_NDRox says:

            Brian says:
            September 9, 2011 at 6:13 pm

            I know, and I didn’t discount any of their outside rivalries (USC, Navy, etc). But what percentage of ND fans or alumni value NW or Pitt over MI?

            Answer: NONE, for your information

      • duffman says:


        I would be much happier with divisions, but everybody keeps talking pods, so I tried my hand a making a pod. I think with realignment you are going to see more in conference games, and fewer OOC. I said earlier you may see a move to 10 conference games and 2 OOC games in a 12 game season. My choice of 7 was just a minimum. You get 1 opponent with double rotation so if ND vs Michigan was the double rotation they fit as an every other year team. My thinking on pods were 7 conference games and to use ND, would look something like this:

        Home Pod = ND / IU / PU / TU
        Pod A
        Pod B
        Pod C
        Fixed game = MSU

        Game #1 in home pod
        Game #2 in home pod
        Game #3 in home pod
        Game #4 in pod A
        Game #5 in pod B
        Game #6 in pod C
        Game #7 fixed opponent


        Year #1
        Michigan State

        Year #2
        Ohio State
        Michigan State

        Year #3
        Michigan State

        Year #4
        Michigan State

        Now look at the Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois, Northwestern pod where Ohio State is the fixed team for Michigan.

        Year #1
        Ohio State

        Year #2
        Ohio State

        Year #3
        Ohio State

        Year #4
        Ohio State

        In short you play your pod every year, you fixed opponent every year, your double rotation every other year, and all other conference members every 4 years. This method takes care of 4 primary teams every year, 1 secondary team every other year, and everybody else every 4 years.

        ND plays PU / IU / UT / MSU every year, and Michigan every other year

        UM plays MSU / NU / Illinois / tOSU every year, and ND every other year

        so why does this not work? How does this kill Michigan vs Ohio State?

        On your comment about basketball, I beg to differ, as structured correctly, the BTN could make gravy on the basketball. Look at the list Dosh put up for 3rd tier rights, and look how well the basketball schools did!

        • Brian says:


          My choice of 7 was just a minimum.

          I can only work with what you post, and you said 7 games. The more games, the less offensive your pods are. In a 16 team conference, 7 CG means playing everyone in your pod (3), everyone in one other pod (4) and nobody else. You can’t lock games with any team outside of your pod because the pods have to rotate. You’d play 3 teams annually and the other 12 twice in 6 years.

          Home Pod = ND / IU / PU / TU
          Pod A
          Pod B
          Pod C
          Fixed game = MSU

          Game #1 in home pod
          Game #2 in home pod
          Game #3 in home pod
          Game #4 in pod A
          Game #5 in pod B
          Game #6 in pod C
          Game #7 fixed opponent

          No, that’s not how it works. In order to keep the CCG, it would have to be:

          Game #1 home pod
          Game #2 home pod
          Game #3 home pod
          Game #4 pod A
          Game #5 pod A
          Game #6 pod A
          Game #7 pod A

          with A, B and C rotating every year or two.

          You can not have any locked rivals with 7 games, nor can you cherry pick 1 team from each pod. That’s how your system kills OSU/MI since they were in different pods.

          On your comment about basketball, I beg to differ, as structured correctly, the BTN could make gravy on the basketball. Look at the list Dosh put up for 3rd tier rights, and look how well the basketball schools did!

          I’ve seen her list, and hoops doesn’t make squat compared to football because regular season ratings are so much lower (for most games, for most teams, for most areas of the country). Besides, as I pointed out, pods don’t apply to hoops. Divisions may or may not apply. Hoops scheduling is a detail you work out after deciding to join a conference. The only point to hoops any more is to get more tourney dollars as a conference, but you have to spread it over more teams.

          • duffman says:


            this is why I never get pods over divisions, if you are so tied to only 1 other pod, what is the point? to me pods should open up the entire conference, not constrict it.

            if you have divisions with 8 teams that is 7 games right there, if you go to 8 you pick up one in the other division, much easier.

            on basketball, it was about the money, and not the pods, sorry if I did not clarify it better. If the BTN is about developing lower tier revenue and content outside of football, still not sure how I am missing the added revenue stream. Again, with a few super conferences, they could break away from the NCAA altogether. In such a case more non football revenue would go directly to conference members bottom line.

        • @duffman – I see what you’re getting at, but I think you’re giving WAY too short of a shrift to the ND-MI rivalry. For better or for worse, I know a lot of Domers and reducing the Michigan series would be a non-starter. USC might be ND’s biggest rival, but Michigan is probably their most hated rival (if that makes any sense). It’s inconceivable to me that if ND were to join the Big Ten that they’d actually play Michigan (of all schools) *less* than when they were independent. In fact, if there’s any “traditional Big Ten rival” that ND would be willing to drop, it would be Purdue much more than Michigan and Michigan State. Anyway, I look at it as an easy “give” to ND to put them in a pod with their 3 most common Big Ten opponents. It makes perfect geographic sense, so it’s not even special treatment. A Big Ten with ND means that the ND-MI automatically becomes the second most important rivalry in the conferece after MI-OSU.

          • duffman says:

            @ Frank,

            I agree that UM vs ND is important, but if ND winds up with continual “meh” performance for another decade then their “brand” will be under stress. ND can beat PU and IU which becomes their conference patsy, so not so sure they will drop PU so easily. Politics in the state of Indiana may be more related than folks may think. Long term UM vs ND will have to be a match of equals. Todays game is a good example, as neither are ranked or serious contenders for the MNC this january. However, they are fairly well matched, and it should be a close game, which will keep both sides happy, no matter who wins.

            Look at IU vs UK, or UNC vs Duke. When one side gains too many wins, the other side has less interest until they can be competitive again

            On a side note I just went with 7 teams, but if realignment really is about controlling the product, I feel it will be 9 or 10 conference games and fewer OOC (just my opinion)

            On the pods thing, it there a “pods for dummies” link or publication? I see pods with the same confusion as the popularity of Oprah.

          • Purduemoe says:

            @ Frank

            Bull on ND being more willing to cancel the Purdue series than the Michigan series. That may be a fans perspective, and a young fans perspective at that, but look at what the schools have actually done. ND and Michigan have had breaks within the last twenty or so years, the last break in the Purdue ND series was in the forties. I don’t think ND wants to cancel any of these series, but to think that they would cancel purdue is ridiculous. I think Purdue would also doe everything in its power to make sure that series doesn’t end. From a purdue perspective it is the second biggest rivalry after IU.

          • FLP_NDRox says:

            Notre Dame has no real pull in Indiana politics outside of South Bend Metro. Also, the State of Indiana has very little leverage on ND.

            That said, it’s a rivalry I know Purdue values very seriously but when maybe 1 out of six Domers is a Hoosier, it just isn’t as big a deal for us, and only rarely has Purdue been good since it abandoned training QB to run the wishbone back in the 70s.

            On the other hand, we are also used to UM shenanigans when it comes to scheduling games, so it’s really par for the course with them and if they tried to get out of it, it would not be a shock =p.

  24. Is anyone else thinking that the Big East has more power right now than the Big 12? The Big East just shot down ESPN’s (generous) bid for re-upping their television rights in order get onto the market and get Fox and others to compete auction-style for their rights. Everyone thought the Big East was going to be ripped apart at the beginning of this whole process a year and a half ago but they found a way to survive and actually got stronger by adding a football power in a great media market (despite not being the top dog in the state). I think that right now the Big East could take more schools from the Big 12 than the Big 12 could from the Big East and it looks like we may see that happen.

    The Big East shot down Villanova from joining the conference for football after they promised to vote them in if they brought in TCU. Did the Big East foresee something going down in conference realignment and know that they may be in a more powerful position rather than be the conference that gets eaten alive?

    • bullet says:

      The BE is still only talking $11-$14 million. The Big 12 is at $15 even before renewing their 1st tier rights. Unless or until UT and OU leave, noone is leaving the Big 12 for the BE.

      • But doesn’t Oklahoma leaving look almost guaranteed at this point? And how much longer is Texas hanging around with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Nebraska, and Colorado gone? If Fox, or anyone else for that matter, makes a significant bid for the Big East, then I can see a pair of schools like Kansas and Kansas State solidifying their future while the Big East is calling with openings instead of getting left in the dust later after the Big East takes other schools or chooses not to expand.

  25. bullet says:

    A general discussion on realignment with Tony Barnhart-AJC, Brock Huard-ESPN, Ivan Maisel-ESPN in today’s AJC:

  26. BuckeyeBeau says:

    Here is what puzzles me: why does the BXII dissolve even if OK/OKST/Tex/TT (and A&M) leave? put another way, why do the remaining five need “soft-landings” in the BEast or anywhere else?

    Why can’t the five Orphans find three-to-five more teams and keep the BXII’s AQ status, renegotiate the TV deals, etc.

    So, Baylor, KS, KSST, Missou, IowaSt add Boise, Houston, TCU (maybe), Nevada and SMU

    Won’t get the current level of TV money, but should be at least BEast worthy.

    Take College Hockey as example:

    WCHA loses five members to the NCHC, but then takes 3-5 (depending) from the CCHA and keeps it’s AQ for the Frozen Four playoff.

    So, I am a bit confused by all the hand-wringing for the five orphans.

    • Bob in Houston says:

      The leftovers don’t want to face potential non-AQ status. Plus, the four former B12N teams care about basketball and wouldn’t want that as hoops partners.

      Boise, in particular, does not fit, football aside. Even in football, they seat less than 40,000. Networks will not pay for Boise. TCU/SMU do not carry weight in DFW, as Houston does not in Houston.

      It’s a severe comedown.

    • bullet says:

      They’d make a lot less money. And there doesn’t seem to be any desire to stick together. If it did break up and they were smart, they would just say, “We’re here and we’re staying. Who wants to join?” I would think joining them would make more sense for the BE fb schools than being in a 20-22 team conference. And if they wanted, they could bring in the cream of the BE bb schools. It wouldn’t be a case of kicking anyone out. They could just leave them behind. Although it would be more collegial to leave all the bb schools behind so they could rebuild.

    • Brian says:

      In hockey, the total number of schools is all that matters to keep a playoff spot. The BCS cares about the quality of the teams. They have to perform at a certain level to keep an AQ spot. Would your new B12 produce enough elite champions and teams in the top 25? Would the average computer ranking be high enough? You’re basically combining the bottom of the B12 with some medium to upper level non-AQs. I’d expect them to be worse than the BE.

    • vp19 says:

      I sense the BCS powers that be would prefer to see the Big 12 remnants pick up the Big East football members for a 14-team league under the Big 12 banner, rather than the other way around. All things being equal, they would like to see the Big East out of the football business entirely so that in the event the BCS leagues finally decide to split from the NCAA, those pesky basketball schools such as Seton Hall, Providence and Georgetown won’t be able to tag along.

  27. herbiehusker says:


  28. royal oak says:

    Just stop at 14 and divide the teams between east and west. The divisions would be balanced and almost all of the big rivalries would be preserved:

    Ohio State (Wisconsin)
    Michigan (Iowa)
    Penn State (Nebraska)
    Notre Dame (Texas)
    Michigan St (Minnesota)
    Purdue (Illinois)
    Indiana (Northwestern)

    Texas (Notre Dame)
    Nebraska (Penn State)
    Wisconsin (Ohio State)
    Iowa (Michigan)
    Illinois (Purdue)
    Northwestern (Indiana)
    Minnesota (Michigan State)

    6 games in division each year, plus 2 or 3 from the other division on a rotating basis, or keep a protected cross over game.

    • royal oak says:

      Alternatively, this arrangement would give Notre Dame a game in Chicago and preserve the Little Brown Jug trophy game:

      Ohio State (Wisconsin)
      Penn State (Nebraska)
      Michigan (Minnesota)
      Notre Dame(Texas)
      Michigan St (Iowa)
      Purdue (Indiana)
      Northwestern (Illinois)

      Texas (Notre Dame)
      Illinois (Northwestern)
      Nebraska (Penn State)
      Wisconsin (Ohio State)
      Iowa (Michigan State)
      Minnesota (Michigan)
      Indiana (Purdue)

    • cutter says:

      If the Big Ten does adopt an 8-game schedule with 14 teams in the conference, then having one protected inter-divisional rivalry means there will be only one schedule slot available to play the six other teams in the other division. That means it’d take 12 years to get home-and-homes with those six other teams.

      The pod system does work well, and it was used before when the WAC has 16 members. The problem with its use over the short-terms was that the fans couldn’t understand it and that it wasn’t designed well enough to keep the rivalries within the conference intact. I like the arrangements that other posters have made, but if the B1G wants to stick with convention, then they’ll go with two fixed 7-team divisions.

      The poster on the Northwestern board was relatively clear that Notre Dame wanted to play Texas each season–he mentioned something about ND wanting to play a national rival. So if you make up two divisions, don’t use pods and only play eight conference games, then you need to put ND and UT in the same division.

      There’s another school of thought which indicates that Notre Dame will want to play Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue each year. As a UM alum and fan, I can understand why some people may think that’s a prerequisitie, but I don’t necessarily agree with it. But if you put UT, UM, MSU and PU in the same conference together, then that means Ohio State has to go in there as well. This is what the two divisions would look like:

      Division A – Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Purdue, Texas

      Division B – Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Penn State, Wisconsin

      The clear downside of thie arrangement is the geography. The closest game Texas would be playing in conference would be in the state of Indiana. For Penn State, the closest opponent is probably Northwestern. For the rest of the schools, this set-up probably works out fine. The other problem is perceived competitive balance with UM, OSU, PSU and UT in one division.

      In the setup above, teams would play three games home and three games away within their divisions plus two games against teams from the other division. For Notre Dame, that probably means at least one game a year with one of Nebraska, Penn State or Wisconsin.

      If you set aside the requirement to have ND play UM, MSU and PU every year, but want to keep Texas and ND together in a confernce, then this alignment makes a bit more sense and helps divide almost all the teams into the two different time zones:

      Eastern Division – Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue

      Western Division – Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Texas, Wisconsin

      For ND, it means annual games with Texas, Nebraska and Wisconsin, plus one inter-divisonal game with one of UM, OSU and PSU. With Purdue and Indiana in the other division, it means fewer games within the state and the opportunity to play more games west of the Missisippi. Obviously, in both scenarios, Notre Dame would have two non-conference games in place (besides USC and Navy) to add a little more diversity into their schedule. The set up above also is a bit more balanced competitively with UM, OSU and PSU in one division and UT, ND and UN-L in the other. Sadly, the annual Illinois-Northwestern game may go by the wayside and Michigan will only play Minnesota two years out of eight for the Little Brown Jug :( But if Missouri and Pittsburgh were added to the Eastern and Western Division respectively, the Illini would get a great rivalry game back with Mizzou and PSU/Pitt would be an annual affair as well.

      • Brian says:


        The pod system does work well, and it was used before when the WAC has 16 members. The problem with its use over the short-terms was that the fans couldn’t understand it and that it wasn’t designed well enough to keep the rivalries within the conference intact.

        I don’t think lack of understanding was nearly as big of a problem as losing rivalries. The WAC chose to have pods that never were never paired (if pods are A, B, C and D, they only used AB vs CD and AC vs BD for divisions). This has pluses and minuses.

        The B10’s problem is that pods don’t cleanly split the teams without losing some rivalries or being very imbalanced (EX. ND, MI, MSU, PU, IN, OSU and PSU are all linked by rivalries – no pod of 4 can be cleanly separated).

        • cutter says:

          What the Big Ten can learn from failed 16-team WAC experiment

          Major college athletics’ first superconference made a bold boast with its first logo. Unveiled in June 1995, more than a year after Western Athletic Conference presidents had voted to enlarge the league to 16 schools, the logo of the new WAC proudly bore the slogan “Poised for the Future.”

          WAC leaders may have been correct. Massive conferences may indeed be the future of college sports. Though Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany has tried to tap the brakes on runaway speculation, his conference is examining expansion models that could grow his league from 11 to 16 teams. If that happens, other power conferences might follow suit.

          Unfortunately for the WAC, the world wasn’t ready for a 16-team league in the ’90s. Because of financial, geographic and structural issues, the arrangement crumbled in 1998 after only two years in practice. The presidents of BYU, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado State and Air Force met secretly in the Denver International Airport and decided to break away. Over a period of weeks, they added New Mexico, San Diego State and UNLV. It was decided that after the 1998-99 school year, the league would split in half. The defectors called their new conference the Mountain West.

          So why, if the 16-team concept failed once, would one of the nation’s most successful conferences consider trying it again? And if the Big Ten — or any other conference — decides to supersize, what can be done to eliminate the issues that doomed the expanded WAC?

          “It was a different era. It was a different time,” WAC commissioner Karl Benson said of the massive conference he was hired in 1994 to run. “I’ve been asked before, is 16 manageable? I’ve said it before. If the geography is right and if the characteristics of your membership are correct.”

          Delany wasn’t addressing any expansion in particular, but his assessment of previous expansions during this week’s Big Ten meetings perfectly described the WAC’s expansion to 16. “A lot of them have, in my view, been improperly studied,” Delany told reporters. “Didn’t understand the logistics. Didn’t understand the culture. Didn’t understand the academic fit. Didn’t understand how people did their business. Didn’t really understand whether they were doing a merger or whether they were doing an expansion.”

          So it was for the 16-member WAC, which spanned nine states and five time zones. The 16 schools weren’t exactly peer institutions, either. “We had six privates and 10 publics,” Benson said. “We ranged from 2,500-enrollment Rice with average SAT of whatever to California state system schools with 25,000, 30,000 or 40,000.”

          With the exception of Northwestern, the Big Ten schools are large state institutions. The eight-state footprint is geographically contiguous, and unless the Big Ten pulls a shocker and lands Texas, all the expansion candidates mentioned — all large state institutions aside from Syracuse — would allow the league to maintain a contiguous footprint. And even if that footprint stretched 1,065 miles from Syracuse, N.Y., to Lincoln, Neb., travel between the two farthest-flung schools would seem like a Sunday drive compared to the 3,826-mile journey from Tulsa to Hawaii in the 16-member WAC.

          As important as geography and membership are, they’re not as important as television revenue. WAC presidents voted to expand before the breakup of the College Football Association, the consortium (or cartel, depending on your perspective) that negotiated TV deals for major programs at the time. Even after the CFA dissolved, WAC presidents were optimistic their league, with several huge television markets, could command a lucrative TV deal.

          The league would lose money on the front end, because before expansion was finalized, presidents approved a contract with ESPN/ABC that would pay the league $3.5 million a year for five years starting in 1996. That deal was designed for a 10-team league. The WAC signed another deal that would pay $1 million for the rights to the football championship game, but presidents had to accept the fact that they would lose money on the front end with the hope of a big payday when the negotiating window opened again in 2000. With the huge TV markets the league had added, WAC presidents believed they had a product they could sell easily to television networks.

          That wasn’t the case.

          As the ratings came in during the first year of the 16-team league, it became obvious that just because TCU was in the conference didn’t mean people in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex would tune in en masse. Ditto for Rice and the Houston market and San Jose State and the Bay Area market.

          “Just because you have Houston in your market doesn’t mean you can deliver Houston,” Benson said. “One of the other keys to a large number of schools is how much they can deliver your population. … We advertised that we had the Houston market, the Dallas market and the San Francisco market, and yet there was such minimum penetration.”

          This question of market penetration has arisen as the Big Ten ponders expansion. Rutgers and Syracuse are believed to be candidates. The reason? The massive New York City television market, which boasts nearly 7.5 million households. The Big Ten’s cable network already is available in the market on cable carriers’ premium tiers, but the hope is that the inclusion of local schools might convince cable carriers to place the Big Ten Network on their expanded basic tiers. In the eight-state footprint, where most carriers already have the BTN as an expanded basic channel, the Big Ten collects about 70 cents a month per cable subscriber.

          But whether those schools would deliver the New York market remains the key question — and the likely focus of the Big Ten’s research. Thanks to the BTN, a contract with ESPN/ABC, bowl revenue, licensing and NCAA tournament payouts, the Big Ten will distribute an estimated $22 million to each member school this year. Unlike the WAC presidents who took a big loss on the hope of future earnings, Big Ten presidents aren’t likely to approve any expansion plan that takes money off the table for each member.

          The WAC’s Benson said the Big Ten has historically made its TV partners very happy. “What’s been unique about the Big Ten in general is that they deliver,” Benson said. “The population that’s within the Big Ten footprint, they deliver.”

          So how would a 16-team conference look? Probably not like the WAC, which employed a confusing quadrant system that separated teams into blocks of four. Quadrant one, for example, was called the “Y’all Corner” because it contained Tulsa and former Southwest Conference members Rice, Southern Methodist and TCU. In 1996 and 1997, the Y’all Corner combined with Quadrant Three (BYU, New Mexico, UTEP, Utah) to form the Mountain Division. Teams played eight conference games, three against their quadrant, four against the other quadrant in their division and one crossover game. So in 1996, BYU played everyone in quadrants one and three and also played Hawaii.

          WAC Superconference Members and Configuration

          Quadrant 1


          Air Force

          Brigham Young

          Fresno State

          Quadrant 2


          Colorado State

          New Mexico


          Quadrant 3




          San Diego State

          Quadrant 4




          San Jose State

          After two years, the quadrants would rotate, forming different divisions. Confused yet? So were fans. The biggest rivalries (BYU-Utah, for example) were preserved. Other long-standing series were ignored. That caused issues. “You’ve got to have some geography. You’ve got to have some history,” said Craig Thompson, the former Sun Belt commissioner hired by the WAC defectors to run the Mountain West. “Some fans saying, ‘I just hate that color.’ That’s the part of this that sometimes gets lost.”

          In the Big Ten, breaking into two divisions or four quadrants could be especially contentious. Many of the conference’s football rivalries date back to the 1800s. And what of all the trophy games? Would Floyd of Rosedale have to cool his ham hocks for two years if Iowa and Minnesota wound up in different quadrants? While that particular scenario seems unlikely given the geography, any format will create friction.

          In the 16-team WAC, the league’s basketball coaches blasted the format. It didn’t bother the football coaches much, though. “There were some issues that happened about that time that made it so it wasn’t in the best interests to expand that much,” former BYU coach LaVell Edwards said. “As far as the playing part of it, I didn’t have any problem with that.”

          The problem came after BYU won the inaugural WAC title game and finished the 1996 season 13-1 and ranked No. 5 in the nation. One of the motives behind expansion was to gain more sway with bowls and possibly to gain an automatic berth in the Bowl Alliance, a precursor to the BCS. BYU seemed in line to go to the Fiesta Bowl, which was part of the Alliance. The Fiesta chose No. 7 Penn State instead, forcing BYU to accept a bid to the Cotton Bowl.

          A BYU marketing professor and several students set bags of Tostitos ablaze in protest, but burning the tortilla chips made by the bowl’s title sponsor did nothing to improve the WAC’s standing. Even though it had 16 teams, it still lacked real power. To make matters worse, the league had lost out on a fat payday. WAC members were relying on the $8.5 million Fiesta Bowl payday — which would have been distributed throughout the conference and would have helped offset some financial losses. Also, the Holiday Bowl used the WAC’s expansion to escape its deal with the league. “That was the biggest thing I remember,” Edwards said. “It gave the Holiday Bowl an out.”

          Eventually, the financial, scheduling and geographic issues became too much to bear. The schools that would eventually become the Mountain West broke away, leading to a contentious WAC meeting in 1998. “I remember some of us went into one room and some of us went into another,” said Richard Peck, the former New Mexico president and author. “After that, a lot of old friends didn’t want to talk.”

          For the WAC, 16 proved too big. The superconference failed from the inside. But Benson is quick to point out it was successful on the field and on the court. “From an outside standpoint, we were looked at as being pretty valuable,” Benson said. “In the first two years of the 16-team WAC, there was BYU that very easily could have been playing in the 1997 Alliance Championship game, and Utah played for the freakin’ national championship [in men's basketball] in the spring of ’98. We had some momentum going.”

          The 16-team WAC’s on-field success suggests that if a league could get its financial ducks in a row and determine a structure agreeable to all, a superconference could survive and thrive. The Big Ten has proceeded more prudently with its expansion plans than the WAC did. Delany and company may not reveal for a while how many schools they hope to add, but an expansion to 16 remains a distinct possibility.

          So maybe the Super WAC didn’t fail after all. Maybe it was just ahead of its time.

          Read more:

        • Vincent says:

          Big Ten pods could work quite well if one of them was the ACC four of Duke, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia (Big Ten South). The other three pods could be Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue (Big Ten East); Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern and Wisconsin (Big Ten North) and Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska (Big Ten West).

          Here, under a nine-game conference schedule, you could theoretically set up two guaranteed out-of-pod games, since in two of those three years of the cycle one of the two would be within your division. So Michigan could be guaranteed Ohio State and Minnesota, Northwestern guaranteed Illinois and Duke, Ohio State guaranteed Michigan and Illinois, and so on.

  29. jj says:

    Detroit News’ wojo sums up ND/Mich (aka the Ego Bowl) pretty well.

    Luckily, I was able to fabricate and secretly record the entire pregame exchange at midfield between the coaches, for your reading pleasure:

    Hoke: “This is MICH-i-gan.”
    Kelly: “This is $&*%#* Notre Dame.”
    Hoke: “Well, we’re MICH-i-gan.”
    Kelly: “Well, we’re $&*%#* Notre Dame.”

    • footballnut says:

      Some random thoughts:

      1. I think it’s ironic that for so long, bloggers have talked about how important it is for the B1g to get into the east coast markets and they ended up going west to Nebraska (great move), while if the Big 12 dissolves, the leftovers will could join the Big East and be a poart of that coveted East coast market.

      2. Intuition tells me that BYU will save the day for the Big 12 and it will move forward with 10 teams next year and beyond. Texas really prefers to keep the Big 12 intact, with joining the B1G as an alternative to going indy. Teaveling expenses and time changes would be a real headache for the olumpic and “minor” sports.

      3. So, when it’s all said and done, I think most folks, even the Pac 12, would prefer not to move to megaconferences at this time.

      • ccrider55 says:

        And OU wants to stay in the Big MWC?

        • Redhawk says:

          Beats the Big South West Conference with SMU, Houston, Rice coming back

          But no…OU doesn’t want that. I’m not sure UT really wants it, but they are blinded by their PRECSIOUS!!!! the LHN

        • Eric says:

          The Big 12 with BYU added (and A&M gone) would still probably beat the schedule OU would have in a PAC-16. They’d be replacing games against traditional Big 8 opponents, Baylor, and BYU for games in Utah, Arizonia, and Colorado (and 2 crossovers a year likely rotating evenly). I don’t think that is really any better schedule wise.

          I also would like the set-up a lot if I was a Sooner fan. It’s actually a lot like the old Big Ten. There are 2 superpowers (which means you are going to win a lot and your rivalry game matters a lot) and a lot of other programs which still add value on their own.

  30. Frank Sturgis says:

    #1 Unless the Big 10 or Pac 12/16 finds a way to keep the LHN as a UTexas only network, Texas will stay in the Big 12 and add desperate teams like UofH, SMU, New Mexico & Memphis.

    #2 Slive is going to have to blink and accept A&M without the waivers because I will have a 3some with Kate Upton and Candice Swanepoel before Baylor EVER signs that waiver.

    • footballnut says:

      Ya think maybe Texas and BYU officials will be talking this weekend other over some BBQ’d brisket in Austin…that is, if the wildfires don’t burn the stadium down. They play at 6pm tomorrow night. Hope ESPN interviews Deloss Dodds to see what kind of corporate crap he’d have to say.

      Big 12 would add teams OUTSIDE of Texas, so I think you are right at going with New Mexico. But think west, like Air Force, BYU, Nevada, UNLV, Fresno State, San Diego State, even Colorado State. They have no reason to add SMU, Houston, or Rice. None of those would increase the size of the “footprint” or add TV markets. Memphis is not a football town.

    • StvInIL says:

      Big fish in a little pond. How desperatly do they want to be that? While looking over at the SEC, Big Ten and Pac 12?

  31. Mike says:

    Independant Aggies? FWIW there are still schools that have holes in their schedules for next year (i.e. Nebraska)

    Following this school year, A&M intends to be in the Southeastern Conference, and assurances out of Aggieland on Thursday night are that an announcement on that front is simply a “matter of time.” If the SEC agreement somehow falls through – and chances are great it won’t – the Aggies might go independent for a year.

      • Redhawk says:

        Also in the San Antonio paper too:

        Texas A&M Independent?

        Money quote: No matter Texas A&M’s direction from here, there’s one place the Aggies won’t be after next summer: the Big 12.

        • Mike says:


          Any Response to Wilner’s (@wilnerhotline) tweets?

          Heard momentum turning in Big 12. League has chance to survive. OU may be backing down. Good source but ONLY ONE SOURCE. Still digging.

          To be clear on previous post: Source said, essentially, what looked like lost cause is no longer lost. But situation remains very fragile.

          • Redhawk says:

            I haven’t heard anything but OU is heading for the PAC…come hell or high water. Promise of AAU membership too great to pass up…plus it’s 10-15 Million dollars more a year for the Athletic Department.

          • greg says:

            PAC can’t promise anything about the AAU. If that is the reason OU is going….

          • Redhawk says:

            they can’t “guarantee” anything….but they can promise to “help”.
            1) AAU membership is damn political as it is anything…so you need help and votes
            2) you need money…which the PAC shares in Fed Research Grants similar to, but not as organized as the Big10 they can help boost there

            The SEC can’t offer that, and the Big10 thinks OU is low class trash that should use the servants side entrance to even talk to them.

          • NeutronSoup says:

            Yeah, as I said in the last thread, if it’s true that the Big Ten won’t even consider OU, that’s a mistake on the B1G’s part, I think.

            I just don’t see how Oklahoma can justify NOT heading to the Pac. If they’re willing to take OU and OSU without Texas, it’s just too good a deal to pass up membership in a stable, solid conference like that.

          • Mike says:

            Texas Tech made a similar comment, so I imagine that must be a recruiting tool that Larry Scott must be using. I’ve always thought of OU as a more undergrad first, hence its relatively low research numbers (to say recent AAU cast offs Nebraska and Syracuse). Is there a shift going on at OU or was I just mistaken?

          • Redhawk says:

            baby steps man…baby steps…have to walk before you can run. OU finally made Tier 1. Now they can look at the next goal, and that is AAU membership.

            I talked to President Boren about 5 years ago, and asked him if OU would ever try for AAU membership. He said, he didn’t know if OU would ever have that broad of a research program due to funding, but they wanted to be great in a few areas (meteorology, Petroleum, Geology), and their first goal would be Tier 1, then OU would consider going for AAU membership.

        • bullet says:

          The Mississippi State president said the same thing in an interview-that the Aggies would be in the SEC, Pac or independent, but not in the Big 12. Definitely shows that this is an emotional, not a rational decision. They are viewing it like a divorce now and getting out regardless of the consequences to themselves and their various sports, especially the non-revs. The SEC not happening is pretty remote, but they sure are cutting off their options.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Not sure it “definitely shows” it’s emotional (although it may very well be). It does show that they have decided where their future now lies, and where it does not, and will do what it takes to get there.

          • joe4psu says:

            It’s obvious you care so much.

            What is rational about forcing a school to remain in a conference against their will? The irrational decision that A&M made was staying in the B12 last year believing that things would be different this time. They have gone about their separation from the B12 by the book and have met the guidelines set out. They announced their decision in a timely manner and reached an agreement with the conference on separation fees.

            Are you saying that they should stay in the conference because Baylor/Texas wants them too? If no agreement can be reached by June 30, 2012 what do you propose they do?

          • hangtime79 says:

            joe4psu…no Big 12 school is forcing TAMU to stay or talking about suing TAMU. TAMU is free to pay its exit fee, follow procedures, leave, and become independent without fear of a lawsuit.In fact as its been stated here and elsewhere nobody can sue a public institution for large damages, but the SEC as a private corporation can and will be sued if the Big 12 blows up by my guess Baylor joined by at least ISU, and possibly KU, and KSU. However, the SEC is worried about a lawsuit against the SEC not TAMU thus it isn’t the Big 12 that saying that TAMU can’t go to the SEC, it is the SEC.

            My guess with the speed and craziness of what happened last summer the SEC attorneys were a little wary about TI even if doesn’t have much of a chance for success in the courts thus the waiver. Also, I doubt the SEC wants lawyers in its business for the next three years. Without some sort of very large consideration, a soft landing for the Baylor, KU, KSU, and ISU or guarantee of the conference’s continued existence – there is no reason to sign the SEC waiver for TAMU.

            Trammel at the Daily Oklahoman said it best:
            “So did you get that? A&M is waiting on Baylor, Baylor is waiting on OU and OU is waiting on A&M.”

            I guarantee you at least one of those is not going to budge and that’s Baylor. My thought is the one that will budge is OU after getting some sort of better deal or consideration from the conference. At that point TAMU will run into the SEC’s arms and will be done with this business for at least until next summer.

          • joe4psu says:


            How in the world can you say that no B12 school is forcing A&M to stay and then admit that the SEC would be sued, which is what is keeping A&M in the B12 against their will? You can’t separate the two things.

            I am not arguing that anyone should sign a waiver for the SEC, I’m saying that there should be no reason for a waiver. If the B12 schools that can’t support themselves have a problem let them work it out with their conference mates, their willing conference mates. Schools shouldn’t blame other schools or conferences for their ineptitude, or simple lack of worth based on market forces. There are conference by-laws dealing with separation from the conference based on exit fees. As long as A&M, or anyone else, abides by those rules they should be free to associate with the conference of their choice.

            I don’t see how OU get’s a better deal out of this from the B12. The conference is moving toward equal revenue sharing which would adversely affect OU. They are one of the beneficiaries of the unequal revenue sharing model the B12 currently uses. ESPN or another network could step in and give OU a big contract for third tier content like UT got but it would have to be to their benefit as well. OU does not have anywhere near the value of UT in third tier content based on a subscriber network.

  32. bullet says:

    SEC realignment hasn’t been discussed-but Auburn is talking:

    He’s thinks its wise Slive hasn’t discussed scheduling yet. IMO its only wise if you want to get the deal done, not if you want it to work well. The SEC is going to be in for some tough discussions both for any time at 13 teams and for scheduling for 14.

  33. bobo the feted says:

    Wilner is probably referring to Boone Pickens comments during the OSU/Zona football game Thursday. Pickens stated that there had been some movement in the Big12 towards equal revenue distribution of T1 and T2 rights “like the SEC, like the Big Ten” but I don’t know if he realizes the revenue distribution models of those conferences are quite different. SEC only splits T1 and T2, Big Ten splits everything equally even ticket sales. Assuming Big12 goes towards SEC model – this doesn’t solve any of the instability problems the Big12 faces. The Big12 was already moving towards that, going from a 50/50 appearance-based/equal distribution formula to a 25/75 appearance-based/equal distribution formula next year. Going to 100% equal distribution helps the middle and lower tier schools (Mizzou,TTU, KU, KSU, ISU, BU) by decreasing money from UT and OU. However UT will still have the LHN which will pump them 15 million a year which will still keep the conference destabilized unless ESPN gives OU something in the same ballpark.

    If I was OU I would force UT’s hand and move to the PAC12, exactly like A&M is forcing UT’s hand by bolting for the SEC.

  34. Mike says:

    Iowa St. Needs the Big 12!

    Do you know what happens to Iowa State if the Big 12 goes kaput and ISU’s chunk of the TV swag disappears?

    “They become Northern Iowa with a $5 million scoreboard,” says Michael Gartner, who recently left his position on the Board of Regents. “Without that money, they’re dead in the water. No way they can run an athletic department then without a subsidy. I bet it would be a $10 million subsidy, too.”

    • Brian says:

      I know it makes no financial sense, but if the B10 does get UT and ND and the B12 dies I’d like the B10 to pick up ISU. They bring no market and marginal revenue sports, but are solid academically. Maybe that’s the B10’s way of getting any B12 remnants to agree not to sue the B10 or UT.

      • jj says:

        It would kind of be the right thing to do. Hard to take them over Mizzou though.

        I really think if ND and Tex come on and they go 16, teams 15 and 16 do not have to be “home runs”. The cultural fit can outweigh cash considerations for those teams.

        Thoughts Greg?

        • greg says:

          First off, I don’t want the B10 to expand at all. Secondly, Texas and ND are nightmare additions who would seemingly want special treatment and at least one would eventually leave.

          Unlike a lot of Iowa fans, I hope ISU does well. It is bothersome that ISU may be one of the shafted schools if radical realignment occurs. But I think it’d be a big mistake to invite them into the Big Ten. What do they offer the conference? Below (B10) average academics, very small fan base, and a terrible football program. They are Rutgers, but in Iowa instead of NJ.

          • Adam says:

            I also agree that I don’t want to see the Big Ten expand either — at least not with Texas. I think the only way ND joins is under circumstances where their status as a “nightmare addition” would be mitigated out of necessity, so that worries me less.

      • Adam says:

        I, too, would like to see that happen. We ought to do right by a sister school to one of our member institutions when we can.

  35. OT says:

    Don’t be surprised if Texas were to end up in the WAC as a non-football member (if the Big East and the ACC were to tell Texas to take a hike after the Big 12 blows up.)


    The University of Texas system already has 2 schools in the new WAC: Texas-San Antonio and Texas-Arlington.

    The WAC is the type of conference that suits Texas well:

    1. It is weak and desperate

    2. It can be controlled by the University of Texas system itself, and by extension, by the University of Texas at Austin.

    3. Texas can play virtual “home” games on the road, at San Marcos, San Antonio and Arlington.


    The new WAC, after all the dust settles, might look like this:

    WAC West

    Seattle (non-football)
    San Jose State
    Utah State
    Denver (non-football)
    New Mexico State

    WAC South

    Louisiana Tech
    Texas (non-football)
    Texas-Arlington (non-football)
    Texas-San Antonio
    Texas State
    either Lamar or Sam Houston State (whichever one is ready to make the jump)

    (Don’t expect Lamar or Sam Houston to be ready until 2016 at the earliest.)

    • zeek says:

      Texas will not put its non-football sports in the WAC. You think they want Texas basketball playing in the WAC?

      Yes football is driving the bus, but you’d better believe that Texas will make sure that its non-football sports end up in a BCS conference.

      • OT says:

        On the contrary:

        1. Texas and ESPN, Inc. need more live event programming on the Longhorn Network in order to get on the major cable and satellite TV systems. As of now, there is no reason for Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Charter, etc. to sign until next season because the only live football game of 2011 has already been aired on the Longhorn Network.

        2. By cutting a deal with the WAC, Texas and ESPN, Inc. can bring a ton of programming inventory for the Longhorn Network, including:

        a. All WAC tournament games not televised by the ESPN Networks, including early-round WAC basketball tournament games

        b. All Texas-San Antonio home football games and basketball games

        c. All Texas-Arlington basketball games (and home football games If UTA were to add football.)

        c. All Texas State home football game (and basketball games)

        d. If and when Lamar and/or Sam Houston were to join, all Lamar and/or Sam Houston State football games (and basketball games.)

        That will put enough programming inventory on the Longhorn Network in order to get carriage by major cable and satellite TV companies.


        The WAC was willing to take BYU and Hawaii as non-football members.

        I would not be surprised if WAC commish Karl Benson and the CEOs and ADs of Texas-San Antonio and Texas Arlington have already reached out to DeLoss Dodds and co.

        • Jake says:

          Yeah, I’m sure the WAC is willing to take just about anyone right now, but Texas has better options than the WAC. Missouri Valley, for starters. If the Big 12 totally folds (which is almost guaranteed if Texas goes indy), and the Big East picks up, say, Kansas, KSU and Mizzou, that could be a pretty good home for UT non-football sports. Four schools in roughly your geographic region, plus quality athletic programs (outside of football, anyway). A lot of other TCU fans aren’t so hot on the idea, but I wouldn’t mind an annual baseball series against Texas. Not to mention basketball. It’d be quite a boost to the Big East as it’s negotiating a new TV contract, and it probably wouldn’t hurt the bowl tie-ins, assuming the arrangement with Texas was similar to ND’s.

        • bobestes says:

          Rick Barnes will take the first job he’s offered if Texas ends up in the WAC.

  36. metatron5369 says:

    I’m not sure if geographical divisions are the way to go, if we do expand into “pods”. Assuming Penn State and Nebraska are considered “expansions”, I’d hope we have no more than two “new” teams per division/pod/quadrant/subsection.

    It’s important that we play our traditional rivals.

    • metatron5369 says:

      I should remind everyone that while we were focused on making up divisions with Nebraska, the Big Ten actually consulted their schools and worked out a series of compromises based on the desires and needs of all their schools.

      I mean to say, simply throwing Ohio State into a Penn State/Maryland/Rutgers division won’t fly, because Ohio State will veto it.

      • Eric says:

        Good point and grateful for that. Nothing wrong with those programs, but putting Ohio State has been in the Big Ten 100 years next year. To not be playing any traditional midwestern team in division would not be fun at all.

        • Other Mike says:

          As I’ve said elsewhere, the Buckeyes always get shafted in these mix-ups. Penn State, I’m totally fine with, but we always get thrown in with the newb east coast teams. I know, I know, the Nebraska & co. pod sets itself up real well, and we’re trying to accommodate Notre Dame as best we can, but I just don’t think this maximizes quality matchups year in, year out. Unless the two eastern schools have something to do with each other (like Duke/UNC) why even put them in the same pod?

          • jj says:

            what is an ideal OSU pod? PSU is gonna be there no matter what, I think. Who’s the other 2?

          • Eric says:

            It really depends on who is in the conference and the number of games. We could actually get rid of crossovers all together and play everyone in a 2 year on/ 2 years off (and pod teams every year) with 9 games if done right. Regardless, I wouldn’t want OSU’s pod to be supper tuff, but the thing I really want regardless of set-up is to have Michigan in it (I don’t want them as a crossover). I’d leave Penn State out unless there is a 2nd equally strong pod that we could leave in the opposite division every year (say Texas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska).
            If we are talking about ignoring everyone else’s wishes and needs (and I don’t want to do that, but just thinking about truly ideal), I’d do the following
            Ohio State
            That would give us two kings, put the Michigan game in division, renew the Illibuck and give a little bit of balance to the pod vs. others. That said, I wouldn’t actually want this pod because I know it would mess things up too much for others.

          • Eric says:

            Rereading, I think I misinterpreted the question. If Penn State in the pod, my preference (that’s realistic) is:

            Ohio State
            Penn State
            Michigan State

            I know that’s supper tough, but I’d rather not be in a seperate division from Michigan and Michigan State has to come along so this would be my vote. I’d take ANY current teams over being pushed into a pod of eastern teams though. I like some of the pontential additions, but I don’t want to feel like we are playing in a new eastern league, I want to continue playing primarily Midwestern football.

          • jj says:


            I empathize, but the OSU UM in the same division ship seems to have sailed. I get why they split em and the topic has been beat to death here, but it does still seem wrong.

          • Adam says:

            I refuse to accept that the ship has sailed on that. If that is true, then we have visited a real tragedy upon the traditions of college football.

          • Other Mike says:


            An ideal OSU pod? That’s tough. I think you immediately face a decision in whether you want to be with Michigan or Penn State, and I would rather be with Michigan and have Penn State as our crossover any day of the week. Of course, if we have Michigan, then Notre Dame can’t. OSU’s interests, insofar as pods are concerned, directly conflict with Notre Dame’s, it would seem.

            What if you paired us with Michigan, then made a Notre Dame-Penn State pod? People are always talking about leveraging Penn State’s brand on the east coast. Give them Notre Dame and 1 or 2 of the newb schools, and let us keep Michigan. I don’t particularly care who the other two teams are (though Illinois is perhaps preferable to anyone else). Just give us Michigan. We’ll take our crossover with PSU, and ND can have a crossover with whomever they want and maybe give one of their pod spots to Purdue or whoever.

  37. IMO this would be the best pods to keep yearly rivalries

    Texas (ND)
    Mizzou (Neb)
    Illinois (Iowa) lose IND
    NW (Minn) lose UP

    Neb (Mizzou)
    Wisc (RU)
    Iowa (Illinois)
    Minn (NW)

    ND (Texas)
    Mich (OSU)
    Mich St (PSU)
    UP (IND) lose NW

    OSU (Mich)
    PSU (Mich St)
    RU (Wisc)
    IND (UP) lose Illinois

    • footballnut says:

      I grew up in llinois and my mom and two brothers are Illini alumni. Never thought of Iowa as THE “rivalry.” Much more hatred towards Indiana than anyone else. Recent years Missouri has been a manufactured rivalry, and a good one too, in both basketball and football. Some rivalries persist over time – like MU/KU, OSU/UM, and UT/aTm. Other rivalries come and go with the times and Illinois is one such school, IMHO. For the pod set-up, I would see Iowa-Neb as better rivals and keep Illinois-Missouri as rivals. MU’s largest number of out of state students come from Illinois and even more now recently from the Chicago area. MU’s largest out of state alumni organization is in Chicago too.

      But, this is all for nothing. I really expect the OU to stay inthe Big 12 and for them to stabilize things by bringing in BYU. I’d bet my under-water mortgage on it.

  38. Eric says:

    In none of the pods set-ups have seen have Penn State and Notre Dame been a yearly game. I get why given the parameters that has been, but I think the conference would really like to make that a big game given those are the two biggest teams in the east. It seems like it would also make sense from a Notre Dame perspective as they’d like to highlight themselves in the east where so many of their fans are.

    Random thought: if you could arrange the divisions/pods rights, the conference would probably love for the two to play their conference season ending game (before USC-Notre Dame) as neutral site New York game (or any other game for that matter). I couldn’t see either school going for it, but if the conference wants to be in New York better without adding any east coast teams, that would be the way to do it.

    • metatron5369 says:

      I’m wondering if “pods” are the way to go. If we’re duct taping together two divisions, why do we need two groups of four? Why not four groups of two?

      Further more, why don’t we propose a rule change to the NCAA instead of trying to work with a rule set that doesn’t work for us?

      • Adam says:

        Why would anybody want to go along with that? Many leagues have already had to swallow their lumps regarding getting to 12; for example, when the ACC was sitting on 11 for a brief time, they asked for a waiver, which was blocked, so why would they now want to loosen up for someone else? Plus, a rule change would seem to me to encourage further consolidation of FBS, which the bottom cannot be excited about, and the bottom accounts for a lot of votes in the NCAA’s legislative process.

      • Eric says:

        A rule change would be difficult and unlikely in my opinion. If we were to get one I’d just want it to eliminate the need for divisions and just let the highest two play. I’d oppose any rule change for a playoff for a conference championship. College football is supposed to be mainly decided in the regular season.

    • jj says:

      If PSU wanted that as an annual game or at least a series, they could probably just pick up the phone and make it happen.

  39. Add, and while I’m at it any updates on whether or not PBC has a clue?????

  40. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Baylor returns over 3,000 tickets of its 3,850 allotment for their game with A&M at College Station, wchich is less than 100 miles from Waco.

    • Jake says:

      I saw that yesterday from a local news source. As much as I love to dump on Baylor, that can’t possibly be right. Granted, that number doesn’t include the band, but 830? And why return them this early?

      • Badgerholic says:

        @Jake I don’t think Baylor fans are going to be given a warm reception upon entering the town, let alone the stadium. If I was a Baylor fan, you couldn’t pay me to go to that game.

    • @Alan – Something tells me that green won’t be a popular color in College Station that weekend (and Baylor knows it).

    • bullet says:

      If I were a Baylor fan I wouldn’t go to College Station with the Aggies history. The Rice MOB had to have a police escort to get out of town one time when they made fun of their traditions. The Corps member went after an SMU cheerleader with a sword for cartwheeling on their field (until a male cheerleader decked him). I’ve read TCU fans talking about a baseball game incident where they were taunting (and maybe even throwing beer at-but I don’t remember that last bit for sure) a TCU player who was severely injured. I’ve had my car vandalized in Houston (they scratched up my bumper to “saw the Horns” off a bumper sticker-I always suspected it was my 20 something Aggie neighbors). You can only imagine what they will do with Bear fans and their cars.

      You better watch what you and the SEC ask for Alan. You might get it. These are the traditions Loftin wants to share with the nation. Many Aggies are part of an Aggie cult and cults don’t always act reasonably.

      • Jake says:


        God bless the MOB. IIRC, just before the game in question, Reveille, A&M’s collie mascot, had died. The MOB came out on the field, made the shape of a fire hydrant, and played “Oh Where Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?”

        And people wonder why I miss the SWC.

      • EZCUSE says:

        Swords, I can understand. But throwing beer? That’s just crazy.

    • hangtime79 says:

      Having been to Kyle Field on a few occasions as a Baylor fan, I can tell you its not an inviting place (as in verbal insults being hurled on more then a few occasions). I can only imagine what that game is going to be like this year. The chances of something bad happening is going to be high. I am sure the Aggies will have extra security on hand for a very rancorous crowd, more so then usual, but it only take two or three Aggies after one too many to get a little crazy. Again, good chance it won’t happen but I wouldn’t take that chance. All you have to do is go read a few messages on TexAgs and you wouldn’t want to go there either as Baylor fan.

  41. Seth9 says:

    If the Big Ten were to expand with Notre Dame and Texas, I sincerely doubt that they would expand to 16 and keep an 8-game conference schedule. The options would be forming two divisions with one cross-divisional game, a setup that would inevitably be unacceptable to a multitude of teams, or create a difficult pod schedule which would still irritate a multitude of teams because they would only play each other twice out of every six years. For instance, in the pod schedule above, Michigan would only play Texas, Nebraska, Indiana, Minnesota, Penn State, Rutgers, and Syracuse twice every six years, and would only play Iowa, Northwestern, Illinois, and Wisconsin ten times every 24 years. I sincerely doubt the Michigan administration would be OK with playing a bunch of schools only a couple times every six years. The same goes for every current member of the Big Ten, with the possible exceptions of Penn State and Nebraska.

    A nine game schedule, however, would allow every team to play each other two out of every four years, provided that Notre Dame is willing to give up on playing all their current rivals every year. In this setup, there are two ways to set up a series of four pods. The first is for pods to rotate as they would in Frank’s setup above, in which case you would setup pods of four teams without permanent cross-divisional rivals. One possible formation would be:

    Pod A: Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State, Illinois
    Pod B: Texas, Notre Dame, Purdue, Indiana
    Pod C: Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota
    Pod D: Penn State, Northwestern, Syracuse/Whoever, Rutgers/Whoever

    This is a decent arrangement, but numerous teams would be somewhat unhappy. Nebraska, for instance, would probably want another big time team in their pod. Penn State would be very upset about not being in a pod with OSU. And so on and so forth. Every possible arrangement in this setup would have similar issues, but a solution could be worked out that everyone could live with. Paired pods would form temporary divisions every year, and the champions of said temporary divisions would face off in the Big Ten Championship Game.

    A better option, however, would be to create two “anchor” pods that would never be paired together. The strongest programs would be put into these two pods, along with required rivals (Michigan State, for instance, would be put in Michigan’s pod). This would allow for the following arrangement:

    Pod A: Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State, Notre Dame/Penn State
    Pod B: Texas, Nebraska, Notre Dame/Penn State, Purdue/Expansion Team
    Pod C: Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Northwestern/Expansion Team
    Pod D: Illinois, Indiana, Purdue/Expansion Team, Northwestern/Expansion Team

    In this arrangement, Pods A and B would never be paired together (and as a result, neither would Pods C and D). However, every team in Pod A would play two teams in Pod B and every team in Pod C would play two teams in Pod D. To explain how the scheduling would work, I’m going to set the following arrangement of teams and give a sample schedule for Notre Dame:

    Pod A: Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State, Notre Dame
    Pod B: Texas, Nebraska, Penn State, Syracuse
    Pod C: Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Rutgers
    Pod D: Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Northwestern

    Year 1: Vanderbilt, @Navy, Michigan, Texas, @Nebraska, Iowa, @Wisconsin, Minnesota, @Rutgers, Ohio State, @Michigan State, @USC
    Year 2: Washington State, Navy, @Michigan, @Texas, Nebraska, @Iowa, Wisconsin, @Minnesota, Rutgers, @Ohio State, Michigan State, USC
    Year 3: Duke, @Navy, Michigan, Penn State, @Syracuse, Illinois, @Indiana, Purdue, @Northwestern, Ohio State, @Michigan State, @USC
    Year 4: Fresno State, Navy, @Michigan, @Penn State, Syracuse, @Illinois, Indiana, @Purdue, Northwestern, @Ohio State, Michigan State, USC

    This type of schedule is arguably better, although Notre Dame might object to either playing Texas and Purdue twice every four years (although playing OSU every year might help take the sting off), and Texas and Penn State might be unhappy if Notre Dame was in Pod A. However, I imagine every other team would be happy with that arrangement.

    However, if it is absolutely necessary to keep an 8 game schedule, I would simply expand to 14 teams. There would be two divisions consisting of four permanent members and three variable members who would switch divisions every two years. For instance:

    Not Legends: Michigan* (Ohio State), Nebraska* (Penn State), Notre Dame (Texas), Michigan State (Northwestern)*, Illinois-Indiana-Purdue
    Not Leaders: Ohio State* (Michigan), Penn State* (Nebraska), Texas* (Notre Dame), Northwestern (Michigan State)*, Iowa-Wisconsin-Minnesota

    *Permanent member

    In this setup, Michigan, Nebraska, and Notre Dame would have permanent rivalries with Ohio State, Penn State, and Texas respectively. In addition, Michigan State and Northwestern would be permanent members of their divisions. To illustrate how scheduling would work, I will create sample conference schedules for Penn State and Minnesota.

    Penn State
    Cycle 1: OSU, Texas, Northwestern, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Nebraska
    Cycle 2: OSU, Texas, Northwestern, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Notre Dame, Nebraska
    Cycle 3: OSU, Texas, Northwestern, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan State, Nebraska
    Cycle 4: OSU, Texas, Northwestern, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Michigan, Nebraska
    Cycle 5: OSU, Texas, Northwestern, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Nebraska
    Cycle 6: OSU, Texas, Northwestern, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Michigan State, Nebraska
    Penn State plays permanent division mates Ohio State, Northwestern, and Iowa every year; permanent rival Nebraska every year; plays variable division mates Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, and Purdue twice every four years; and rotates between permanent cross-divisional teams Michigan, Notre Dame, and Michigan State.

    Cycle 1: OSU, Texas, Penn State, Northwestern, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Purdue
    Cycle 2: Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana
    Cycle 3: OSU, Texas, Penn State, Northwestern, Iowa, Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana
    Cycle 4: Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Purdue
    Cycle 5: OSU, Texas, Penn State, Northwestern, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana
    Cycle 6: Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana
    Minnesota plays permanent group teams Iowa and Wisconsin every year. They play their rotating division mates twice every four years. And they play opposite group teams Illinois, Purdue, and Indiana four out of every six years.

    This setup allows every team to play the teams they care about the most every year (with the exception of Purdue-ND), and creates a system where most teams play twice every four years. Alternatively, they can create groups of three teams with cross-divisional rivals and four teams without them, which would, in this setup, ensure that every team played each other at least twice out of every four years.

    • Eric says:

      Very nice run through. I don’t want any of these, but if we go to 16 with these teams, I’m rooting for #1

    • Other Mike says:

      I like your setup, Seth. One thing…it requires 9 conference games. If the rumors are true, ND and Texas want 8. If that’s the case, then things get considerably tougher.

      • Seth9 says:

        That’s why I believe that the Big Ten will stick with 14 teams if they add Notre Dame and Texas under such conditions. It is much easier to implement an 8 game system with 14 teams that ensures that teams play each other reasonably often, which I feel is important because it strengthens ties between conference members and appeases the traditionalists within the current Big Ten members. Furthermore, there isn’t a very strong financial reason to expand to 16 if we take Notre Dame and Texas either, seeing as adding two additional schools would almost certainly result in a conference payout to individual schools than simply adding Notre Dame and Texas.

  42. Eric says:

    One possibility if ND and Texas joined would be to only count divisional games in the standing and let them only play 8. This would require them being in opposite divisions though (but they could have a permanent crossover).

  43. zeek says:

    ACC debating upping buyout from 10-13M. Doesn’t say where to, but I’d imagine it’d go to at least 20-25M (not that it’s necessarily going to prevent anything).

  44. glenn says:

    question for reasonably unbiased attorneys.

    a&m fans, anyway, are saying they plan to go independent, assuming neither at least one of the holdouts nor the sec budges.  my suspicion is that the baylor people are convinced that tampering occurred and will make every effort to drag the sec into court where subpoena powers will let them pore over conference records.

    my question: if the aggies go indy after this year, and the sec still wants to take them in, how long before they would be a safe addition, assuming the departure does shatter the conference and the holdout schools are harmed?

    • glenn says:

      more to the point, i’ve seen the comment that a&m wishes to be independent for a year and then go into the sec.

      let’s say that baylor is right and the sec absolutely must keep hostile noses out of their records, would the sec be safe to attach a&m after one year of independence?  (and assuming harm, etc.)

      • Brian says:

        Once TAMU is independent, the SEC can do what they want unless it can be shown that the SEC enticed TAMU to go independent. A year should be sufficient (as opposed to a day or a week). If the SEC interfered it wouldn’t matter how long TAMU was independent, because the claim that the SEC interfered with the old contract would still apply.

        The problem is the SEC has now told TAMU they can join as soon as they’re free. That could be viewed an enticing TAMU to leave the B12, at least enough to get to court with.

        • glenn says:

          yes, my scenario assumes that for some reason the sec has to avoid litigation. i had read somewhere that there is a two-year statute of limitations on an t.i. event, but i have no idea whether that is accurate and no idea whether a period of independence would affect the situation.

          thanks for the word.

          regardless, shame on all parties. this should be off-season entertainment.

  45. MIKEUM says:

    I can’t believe that anyone is still talking about Texas to the Big 10. There is as much chance of that happening as the talk of Notre Dame to the Big 12. If you lived in Texas and heard and read what anyone I have ever heard say about realignment for over a year, you would realize that it is a pipe dream. Ironically, the Orangebloods comment on it is the only concievable way that it would happen (deep though Chip). Keep in mind that even though some younger Texans may see the Big 10 as a possibility and with an open mind, the old guard, mostly baby boomer generation Texans are still in control and allowing A&M to seek out the SEC next door took every bit of “progressive” Texas thinking to allow to happen. It would not have happened 16 years ago when more of the “greatest generation/WWII” generation was still alive and in still in political power.

    Outside of including TX in this FTT clip, the rest of the article is solid though. I wish the Big 12 gulag would just end so BIG and SEC can move focus to the east and get this over with. The Pac will be full.

    • Eric says:

      I don’t think most of us really think there is much of a chance of Texas. It’s an interesting enough senario though that it’s neat to go through how it could/couldn’t work.

      • David Brown says:

        Although I do not think Texas & Notre Dame are coming to the Big 10, I think it becomes more likely than before. If Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and say Missouri go to the PAC, it would likely send Kansas & Kansas State to the Big East. One possibility could involve Pitt & Rutgers heading to the Big 10 (Being replaced by KU & KSU (Keeping the Big East intact)). That leaves Baylor, Iowa State & of course, Texas to deal with. There are rumors coming out of NY that the Big East would possibly take Baylor as a rival for TCU (For Notre Dame?), and if so perhaps it might be enough for UT & ND to come on board. It could work like this:
        East: Indiana, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn St, Pitt, Purdue, Rutgers
        West: Iowa, Illinois, Michigan St, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Texas, Wisconsin.
        Under that scenario you could have four elite teams in each division: Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State (East). Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Wisconsin (West). Under this scenario, There would be 9 Conference games, 7 Divisional and 2 protected (One would be elite, one would not). For example: ND gets to keep 3 traditional rivals (Michigan, Pitt & Purdue), out of 7 divisional games, and still play Purdue & Texas as protected rivalry games. This adds up to 9 Conference Games. They can still play Navy, USC & 2 more out of Conference Games.From the prospective of Penn State, they can get Minnesota & Nebraska, plus 7 divisional games.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          The negotiations over divisions last year made it abundantly clear that Iowa &
          Wisconsin are not ‘elite’ teams in the eyes of the powers that be.

          That scenario would place four elite teams (read TV rating monsters) in the east & two (Nebraska & Texas) in the west. Even more importantly the only power teams in one division are both new additions placing all three of the current powers (Ohio State, TSUN & Penn St) in the other.

          The odds of that flying are zero. TPTB also were hell bent on splitting up Ohio State & TSUN. There isn’t much chance they would do a 180 on that choice.

          TSUN would probably stay in the Wegends with the Huskers & Texas while ND would slide into the Eaders with the Buckeyes & Penn State.

          • StevenD says:

            It would be better to move OSU+Illinois west and Michigan+MSU east. That way Notre Dame gets to play Michigan and MSU (and Purdue) every year.

        • joe4psu says:


          What would you do about OSU and PSU? Putting ND, UM and MSU together makes a lot of sense from a scheduling perspective but there are a lot of people who will be dead set against ending the yearly OSU/PSU game. I definitely want PSU to play UNL every year as cross division rivals so I don’t want the OSU game to replace them. If ND is in our division I may be able to live without the OSU game but many would not.

          • @joe4psu – Yeah, I would put OSU-PSU into the same category as ND-Michigan as mandatory to be protected in any scenario. Pretty much any traditional rivalry ought to be protected if at all possible, but especially ones with two high profile programs playing each other.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            I could care less about Ohio State & PSU. The only people who would throw a fit over losing it are Penn State fans…and quite frankly seeing them whine about another ‘anti Penn State’ conspiracy theory is always good entertainment.

          • greg says:

            Well, not a single person in the B10 gives a shit about Rutgers.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            LOL You’ll get no argument from me there. I throw up in my mouth a little
            whenever they are mentioned in B1G expansion.

            BTW think Scarlet & Gray rather than Scarlet Knights. ;)

            The point being was that Ohio State/Penn State is not a traditional rivalry & is
            a critical one to a single fan base…the one in Happy Valley.

            That being said remember I did say the most likely course would be to keep them &
            Ohio State together in the east with ND. As much fun as it is to needle PSU fans
            for the victim complex, as an institution that has earned it’s share of equity
            in the conference after close to two decades. I’m inclined to give their wants/needs
            a slightly higher priority than a new program just coming on board.

            That isn’t to say that things should be dictated to ND (or whomever) in autocratic
            ‘take or leave it’ terms but we can’t forget that there are a dozen other institutions
            that are already members whose voices should not be ignored just to placate
            the Domers.

            Swapping Ohio State & TSUN (+MSU, +1) runs the risk or angering at least three
            involved parties. The Nits would fight any scenario that splits them from the
            Buckeyes. TPTB in Ann Arbor seemed determined to be in the west (& not just to
            separate themselves from Columbus). Would they be on board with the switch? And
            how would Ohio State feel about the matter? Would they be for or against moving
            now? What about Sparty & the team that would be their partner in the swap; would
            they want to move because the conference wanted to accede to ND wishes (and how
            would the move affect everyone else’s rivalries)?

            I have a strong suspicion that reopening arguments that were fought over & settled
            a year ago wouldn’t be quite that simple.

            Finally how wedded would ND be to playing both TSUN & Sparty annually when faced with
            the long term prospect of seeing Ohio State, Penn St, Nebraska & Texas show up on
            their schedule regularly?

            The short version of all that is that the path of least resistance (in the
            mythical +2 of UT & ND)that would likely ruffle the fewest feathers would be to
            just slot UT in the Legends & ND in the Leaders while leaving everyone else in place.

    • mike in st. louis says:

      I think the bottom line is that the Pac12 is hardly an ideal home for Texas. Why would Texas want to be in a conference where 10 of the teams (8 after Halloween) are two time zones away? And the conference network set-up (regional channels) is more more difficult for integrating the LHN that the BTN would be.

      I think it’s obvious that Texas would prefer to stay in a weakened Big12 over moving to another conference, for a variety of reasons.

      But if the Big12 dies, neither the Pac12 nor the Big10 are a perfect fit.

      • vp19 says:

        The time zone thing isn’t that big a deal for one simple reason: The Pac-16 would be divided into “coastal” (the old Pac-8) and “continental” divisions; the latter would likely consist of Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Okie State (all Central) and Arizona State, Arizona, Colorado and Utah (two of which are Mountain year-round, the other two effectively Mountain from November to March). A conference football schedule would almost certainly have nine games — seven in your division and one home and one road vs. the other division. Thus, the four Central members would each have one game a year on the West Coast.

        • bullet says:

          I was intrigued with a Pac 16 last year, but the more I think about, the less it appeals to me as a Longhorn. Its really a step down from the old Big 12. I realize the old Big 12 is gone, but if you took a pay cut in your current job, would you be enthused about moving across the country for a job that pays more than you make now, but less than you used to?
          Pac 16 vs. Big 12 schedules


          Utah vs. ISU/KU rotating-wash

          Arizona St.-A&M
          While the 2 Pac opponents would probably be stronger on average, they just don’t generate the interest of playing the neighbors. So it nets out worse.

          CU vs. CU/UNL rotating-worse

          Pac 8 vs. MU/KSU-as well as MU has been doing the last few years and KSU having UT’s number, the competitiveness is not as clear cut as it would be at first thought. And really none of the Pac 8 except the LA schools are particularly interesting barring a good season. And USC/UCLA could be (and have been) scheduled ooc.

          The 12 team tighter conference is just more appealing.

          So you do the Pac 16 for lack of alternatives, but you don’t try to make it happen.

          • Vincent says:

            I have to question your reasoning. Utah is a better program than either Iowa State or Kansas, and has been for quite some time.

          • bullet says:

            Utah has had some good seasons lately. But then Kansas has been in the Orange Bowl. It remains to be seen how good Utah will be in the Pac 12. They aren’t a king, a prince or even a baron. They’re a school that has had a number of good seasons over the last 10 years. So its a wash. If they continue like they have for another 10-15 years, they’ll be viewed as better, but it takes a while.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            How do you figure that the Pac16 would entail a pay cut over the old Big 12 days?

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            @bullet – The only reason Kansas played in the Orange Bowl was due to conference affiliation. While Utah hasn’t been facing murderous row in conference play I don’t think there are many folks nationally who view the Utes to be down at the same level as perennial basement dweller Kansas.

          • bullet says:

            By “pay cut” I’m referring to the desirability of the opponents from a fan’s standpoint, not actual $. Kings and princes are nice, but regionality beats strength when you get below that level. Actual $ would probably be better in Pac 16, but its not clear whether that difference would be significant. Last year they figured Big 12-2 was worth about the same per school as Pac 16, although that was before anybody’s recent TV deals.

            As for Kansas, they were 12-1 and finished 7th in the national polls that season. Their only loss was to #4 Missouri. That was a good Kansas team. As for Utah, you should have heard all the people in the southeast talking about how a UGA team with lots of question marks was going to demolish Boise, and Boise has done more than Utah. I don’t think Utah gets much respect among average fans.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            Thanks for the clarification. I do tend to agree with you that the Pac 8 + Dust 8 is likely to be less appealing to Big 12 fans than it looks at first blush.

  46. Pezlion says:

    In my opinion, if ND and TX end up in the B1G, you stop at 14 and you still go with pods. The problem with 7 team divisions is it take years to cycle through everyone in the other division. The solution is 2 four-team pods and 2 three-team pods, and the three-team pods swap sides every other year. Each team would have a locked rival in the opposite pod, and the 8th conference game rotates through the rest of the opposite pod on a home and home basis. The four-team pods would play everyone in the league at least twice every six years and the three-team pods would hit everyone at least twice every four years. I think the pods would look best like this:

    ND (pu)
    MSU (psu)
    UM (osu)
    TX (unl)

    IU (mn)
    NW (ia)
    IL (uw)

    OSU (um)
    PSU (msu)
    UNL (tx)
    PU (nd)

    IA (nw)
    UW (il)
    MN (iu)

    Purdue is a bit out of place here, and the division with 3B in it would be much tougher for those two years, but this is the general idea.

  47. TheBlanton says:

    If B1G manages to pull a coup and get Texas and ND I think that Kansas and Missouri make a tremendous amount of sense as #s 15 and #s 16 for a few reasons.

    First, they have a built-in BITTER rivalry. Not to mention that it would make Illinois/Missouri all the better.

    Second, he B1G has a distinctly mid-western identity, consisting mainly of large state universities in college towns. A common identity is part of what makes the B1G so stable and attractive.

    Third, It makes for a natural pod consisting of the former BXII schools. Plenty of hard hits in that league, and maybe just a little bad blood.

    Fourth it makes the B1G a legitimate basketball conference.

    If they takes Mizzou/Kansas it also prevents the pac16 or the SEC from getting them if they can’t land Texas for themselves , keeping them limited in their choices. Pac 10 (OU, Osu, Tech and Baylor?)

    Big east should try to pick up the leftovers ISU, KSU, Baylor? Tech? saving them for a few more years at least.

    SEC is also prevented from encroaching on Mizzou/Kansas Midwest territory that should B1G country. They mus look to Virgina, West Virginia, Carolina(s) etc.

    It allows A&M to go to the SEC (who maybe should look into Tech as well if they can’t land VT or Mizzou or any of the ACC schools.) It really would increase their presence in Texas. There are a ton of fans of Tech in Texas.They could offer OU and OSU too.

    • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

      I don’t think your “it’ll keep the Pac from getting Kansas” argument flies. The Big Ten isn’t out to hurt other conferences as much as it wants to position itself. I know it’s sound business argument…but there are more factors in play here. The B1G will go with what makes it strongest…not with what makes it strongER but everyone else weaker.

      Also, too many Big 12 teams can cause an identity crisis. If the Big Ten could end up with my “dream 16″ it’d ultimately have…
      the original 10
      Penn State, a former Eastern indy
      Nebraska and Mizzou, former Big 8 schools (then Big 12 school)
      Texas, a fomer SWC (then Big 12 school)
      Notre Dame, national independent
      Rutgers, Big East

      The three Big 12 schools are the most powerful block (powerful PSU and little Rutgers don’t form any alliance)…but their varied histories make them un-unified.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      The B1G has done just fine at being a ‘legitimate’ basketball conference.

  48. tt says:

    I actually think frank’s pod alignment would work. Texas wants to keep the LHN and while ND likes its independent identity, it also enjoys its own network. what if the BTN took a page out of the Pac-12’s playbook and created regional-pod-based subnetworks? so, there would still be the BTN flagship channel, and then each pod would get its own network in its area (like the Fox Sports Net setup). the LHN could get rolled into frank’s ‘south’ pod. this would also free up ohio state and penn state to have a regional eastern channel. michigan and notre dame would get a network for the north pod

  49. M says:

    I’ve said this before, but it seems particularly appropriate now: one of USF, UCF, FAU, or FIU will reach a BCS bowl before Miami does so again.

  50. Olorin says:

    Just something to think about. Nebraska and Oklahoma thought they could control the longhorns influence over the then New Big12. Back then they were amongst the elite teams in the country.
    I am not so certain that the B1G understands what kind of “partner” they might be inviting into the fold.

    • Eric says:

      I think the control issue is greatly overstated. Texas wouldn’t have had a problem with a Big 12 Network if it could have been close to as profitable as going solo. Problem was they held too much of the conferences value by themselves. That wouldn’t be true in the Big Ten. Outside of the Longhorn Network, I don’t think there are really any serious complaints against UT. Nebraska didn’t like somethings they liked, but they lost most those votes 11-1 so it’s not like UT was alone. Some of the other would like equal revenue sharing (although not Oklahoma, A&M, or Nebraska), but that wouldn’t be an issue with the Big Ten as the issue has been settled. There’s nothing I’d see Texas pushing.

      Note: I’m not for adding them though. 12 is more than enough.

    • vp19 says:

      I can’t believe how many on this board are falling for this Northwestern Rivals Kool-Aid. The Big Ten isn’t going to invite any member which won’t play by all of its rules…and that includes Texas and Notre Dame, neither of which has a history of doing that.

    • Adam says:

      A Lord of the Rings username on a college football realignment blog is kind of an interesting mashup.

      • Stephen Folkers says:

        Yeah I know it’s a Tolkien username (I prefer the Silmarillion myself), but I have many
        other interest as well. This was my first comment to this blog and I see no reason to use different identities for different areas of interest. I am actually surprised anyone recognized the name as it is not really a well known signiture.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      Conversely I’m absolutely certain that some don’t understand the amount of power & influence various B1G powers wield not only individually but as a group, and that’s without taking into account the issue of a Texas (allegedly) coming in without a unified power block of former SWC hangers on.

  51. jj says:

    Let’s go full crazy

    West – neb, ia, wisc, minn

    South – Tex, ou, byu, ill

    North – nd, msu, psu, nw

    East – mich, OSU, ind, pur

  52. curious2 says:

    Re: time, sequence, motivations:

    Frank: another interesting article:

    1) SEC request for legal waivers:
    most interesting part is SEC’s request for legal waivers: and the possibility that they want to make OK/ PAC12 move first.

    Big 12 conference waiver plus Big 12 written provisions for a school to withdraw should be determinative: the question is did A&M and the others make some kind of unconditional pledge of membership for the life of the TV contract? And if so what are the written penalties and terms of such a pledge. If A&M contacted the SEC, what possible liability can the SEC have?

    So it will be interesting to see how OK and PAC 12 play the “game”. Stay in Big 12 and A&M is free. Leave, and Big 12 is almost certainly history. Seems like a very smart move by SEC.

    2) What’s the motive:

    Lot of interesting posts on how a 14 or 16 school schedule might look and its impact on rivalries. Impossible to see a 14-16 team conference limited to only 8 conference games: terms of maintaining cohesion among conference members, strengthening the conference brand which is critical, and also from perspective of maximizing inventory.

    From conference perspective: the only motivation is to position the conference as a tier one national brand with maximum reach/visibility as a “must carry” addition to Basic cable and enhance out-of-market TV interest.

    That can mean expanding based on adding a Nebraska with a strong national/regional brand or an A&M as bringing the SEC into a huge additional market. The end game presumably is that ESPN and the other channel middlemen are going to eventually end up taking a smaller cut and be limited to non-carry PAC 12 or Big 10 or eventually SEC markets.

    3) The rumors flying around are similar to last year where all sorts of trial balloons were floated for all sorts of reasons, some cynical, some designed to test the reaction.

    If Texas were to go to the Big 10, then all the conventional wisdom about lack of affinity seem to have been thrown out the window. With OK seemingly out of the picture, is Texas and fans ok with midwest Nebraska as its partner school? Same with ND: if Texas and ND are ok with 9 conference games and other issues are settled and the outstanding character of such a combination resolve the “affinity” issues, then this should work out amazingly well.

    Personally I’ll believe it when I see it.

  53. Chas. says:

    The worm turns again. Apparently Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott has been given the mandate from his universities that they are not interested in further expansion and to stop stoking any fires. So, if OU has no invitation it means that the Texas’ Big XII playground will remain intact, therefore the dawn of the superconference is held at bay for a little while longer.

    Nevertheless if the B1G pulled the Texas/ND coup, it would stop at 14 and go with the zipper plan with 7 team divisions with one permanent cross-over rival, playing the other six schools once every three years, necessitating a nine game conference slate. Texas would join the Leaders, while ND would join their Legend brethren Michigan and MSU.

    • zeek says:

      That’s not what happened at all. He was very careful in his statement as he was a few days ago in a public chat with a Seattle paper online.

      ‘”Our hope is that there is no expansions and all conferences that are at 12 stay at 12. That would be our vote,” he said. “We’re very happy where we’re at and we’ve got a lot to do over the next year.”‘

      That’s what he said. He’s very careful to note that the clear preference of the Pac-12 is to stay at 12 if everyone stays at 12.

      He’s been directing that statement explicitly to the SEC and A&M as well as OU/Texas. Baylor and co. also understand that as they try to rein in the process.

      Now the question is, does he pull the trigger on OU/OSU if A&M breaks the seal on 13+ team conferences with the SEC.

      The SEC wants the Pac-12 to pull the trigger first. The Pac-12 is clearly saying they won’t. They’re putting this all on the SEC and A&M.

      • @zeek – I agree. This looks like posturing in creating a perception that the Pac-12 isn’t actively looking to expand and that it would only be reacting to schools approaching them (not the other way around). Essentially, it’s all to ensure that they don’t get sued by Baylor if they take OU.

        • EZCUSE says:

          The SEC certainly comes out weak here.

          First, they don’t even need A&M. They are already the best football conference.

          Second, it is not clear that the have a great option for #14. To me, it is either (a) Va Tech; (b) Oklahoma (not happening); or (c) go to 16 with FSU, Clemson, and Ga Tech and trashing the gentlemen’s agreement. I think that (c) is really the best option for the SEC because it locks in the southeast and kills the ACC anyway. But nobody is asking my opinion.

          Missouri and WVU are possible… but not much different than if TCU decided not to come to the Big East, and the Big East decided to take Houston. It’s nice. But sometimes doing nothing is better than “settling” for a solution to a problem you created.

          Third, this whole thing about waivers is weak. These schools don’t have much of a cause of action. And no self-respecting lawyer would recommend that they sign a release without consideration. Is there release even binding without consideration? And even if there was consideration proposed, it would dwarf what Baylor and Iowa St. stand to lose. So how could they ever release. And why would they anyway?

          Fourth, taking Texas A&M and even Missouri throws the divisions off. Taking WVU helps. But now you’ve disregarded “markets” by adding a school that is the king of the football Big East (primarily because they have avoided those “wheels falling off seasons”), but has not exactly been a king on the national landscape. A nice basketball upgrade… but since when does that drive the bus.

          Finally, if this does become a rush to 16, I am not sure that the SEC ends up a winner. Making the Pac-12 and Big 10 expand somehow will only improve those conferences. Regardless of who the SEC adds, it dilutes the gauntlet that it already is. It dilutes the rivalries forged over many years. Florida-LSU should not happen every 4 years.

          • Vincent says:

            BCS officials should guarantee Baylor, Iowa State, et al that the Big 12 will survive as a BCS conference, and gently (or not-so-gently) persuade Big East football members to move west into a reconstituted Big 12. Any Big East football schools that don’t (Jim Boeheim, this means you) will lose its BCS status. This is the best way to pressure the Big East out of the football business, where it frankly doesn’t belong.

          • EZCUSE says:

            Why should the Big East schools move? If the Big 12 leftovers want BCS, they can come to the Big East.

          • wm wolverines says:

            SEC wants the recruits in Texas, its protecting its status as the best football conference. With the state of Texas, team #14 isn’t too critical; they could take any of Missouri, Louisville or West Virginia and they’d be more than satisfied with their expansion.

          • Vincent says:

            Why should the Big East schools move? If the Big 12 leftovers want BCS, they can come to the Big East.

            Two reasons:

            1. Why make a big, clumsy hybrid of a conference even bigger and clumsier?

            2. I am certain one of the goals of the BCS is to eventually get the Big East out of the football business (it controls the rights to the name if the football members divorce the conference) so that in the event of the BCS schools fleeing the NCAA to form their own organization, the Big East members that have no top-tier football teams won’t tag along (in other words, no Providence, Georgetown, Seton Hall, Villanova, De Paul, Marquette or St. John’s). If this means the end of the SU-Georgetown home-and-home, tough.

          • @Vincent – It would seem to me in your scenario that it wouldn’t matter whether it’s the Big East that dies or the Big 12 as long as all of the schools end up in one of them if the idea is to eliminate one AQ conference. The hybrid is really irrelevant to the rest of the BCS – it’s about the football product, so I’m not sure why it would somehow be more favorable to have all of the BE football schools move to the Big 12 instead of vice versa. If anything, the hybrid helps the BE because they have Notre Dame involved (who carries a ton of influence) and the East Coast-media loves the hoops. You’re going to have a lot more people championing the causes of St. John’s and Georgetown than Iowa State and Kansas State.

          • vp19 says:

            Let Notre Dame remain in the Big East for non-football sports, playing Seton Hall, Providence, etc. I simply think any all-sports conference at the BCS level should be reserved for BCS members only, Jim Boeheim be damned — and I’m sure many BCS administrators consider the Big East the fly in the ointment.

          • @vp19 – My impression is that to the extent any BCS administrators have an issue with the Big East, it’s much more with the noveau riche football members (i.e. South Florida) than the non-football schools. I honestly don’t believe anyone in the BCS cares that the BE is a hybrid. What they care about is seeing an unranked UConn team taking a BCS bowl slot.

  54. vp19 says:

    Somebody’s going to have to show the courage to make the first strike in expansion. If not, the status quo will remain and Texas A&M will be forced to play the 2012 season as an independent.

    If you see more Baylor football and basketball games than usual on ESPN this year, you’ll know the fix was in.

    • David Brown says:

      There is no one in the country who is intimitated by Baylor, they are essentially a Jack Russell terrier (Lots of bark but no bite). Heck they even lost the opportunity to have the Bush Presidential Library to SMU (NOT not to mention the $$$$ generated by that project, Even more damming to Baylor is the fact that Bush Ranch is in Waco (Baylor’s home)). If the Big XII, breaks up, there will be some kind of a small deal to satisfy Baylor & Iowa State, to grease the wheels and to make things easier (One obvious example could be Iowa continuing to play Iowa State at Ames (Assuming UT will go to the Big 10)). But longer-term, Baylor is stopping no one from doing anything such as switching conferences.
      The big question then becomes would be why would Bevo the Bull(y), be willing to keep its huge ego in check to join the Big 10 (Which would be required as part of membership)? The answer could very well be that they can make more considerable money for the University in general as a member of the Big 10, then as an independent or as a member of the Big XII. The keys behind this thought process are research $$$$$ and increased student population. Lets use Penn State as an example: They just opened the Milininum Science Center (at a cost of over $225m) in order to help generate even more research $$$$ and they also just announced they are having the second biggest freshman class in PSU history (This despite a horrible economy and charging the highest tuition for state schools in the country). If UT thinks they could do that (Huge long AND short term economic benefits to the school), it might make just sense.

      • EZCUSE says:

        The SEC is.

        Otherwise they would not have demanded a waiver/release from Baylor.

        A&M fans being pissed at Baylor is misdirected. They should be pissed at the SEC for conditioned on an unreasonable obstacle–schools disregarding their obvious self-interest to sign something that unfrozen caveman lawyer would say “NO WAY” to.

        But, hey, at least they don’t have to deal with Texas anymore.

        Way to win the battle and lose the war. Sissies.

      • bullet says:

        UT has been fighting to keep enrollment at 50k for 30 years. They don’t want more students. That’s part of the reason A&M has gone from 20k to 45k over the same time period and Texas State has gone from around 15k to around 35k. And with UT and now A&M trying to hold the line on enrollment, Tech, Sam Houston, SF Austin, UH and the other UT schools are all growing.

        You do have a point on your research $.

      • bullet says:

        I saw one theory that Fox and ESPN were putting them up to it to stall for time to negotiate. Don’t really believe that, but its an interesting take.

      • hangtime79 says:

        1. Baylor had no chance at the Bush Library. When your wife seats on the board of the ultimate winner, it was kinda of in the bag for SMU.

        2. No one is intimidated by Baylor in football, agreed. However, everyone fears a $2 billion lawsuit launched by ISU and Baylor possibly KSU and KU sitting in an east Texas courtroom regardless of the probability of outcome. Even if you there was only a 5% chance of that happening, that negative EV of $100MM and that isn’t chump change even in the world of major college football. Once it gets into the courts anything can happen.

        3. TAMU has two outcomes now independence or the SEC they kinda of burned that Big 12 bridge this past week.

        Thinking more about Berry Trammel’s comment earlier this week I think I would expand it further

        TAMU waiting on SEC – SEC waiting on Baylor – Baylor waiting on OU – OU waiting on Pac 12 – Pac 12 waiting on the SEC

        TAMU made its move, it declared it was leaving the Big 12. Loftin doesn’t have any more moves left at this point. TAMU is now at the mercy of the game.

        So who is going to break this chain:
        The SEC could waive the waiver and add TAMU. Given the possible lawsuit, its size, and its annoyance factor; they don’t have to move. The SEC loves TAMU, but is not IN LOVE with TAMU. They can take’em or leave’em, but there not spending capital for them. The SEC is the #1 conference and if the dominoes don’t fall it continues that way.

        Baylor has the most to lose of anyone so there going to the mat regardless.

        OU really likes the Pac-12 and given an invite would most assuredly go, but their fans are on the fence when it comes to the Pac-12. The Pac-12 would improve the university’s academic credentials, but would hurt those around them. I think OU is the one player who could waffle here and recommit back to the Big 12 and stop this madness. At that point, Baylor lifts the possibility of lawsuit and TAMU goes to the SEC.

        Pac 12 is in the same position as the SEC with one additional factor of integrating a new member that will be ticked if they do not get two games on the West Coast. Ultimately, the Pac 12 doesn’t need to grow if the SEC doesn’t grow and they would most likely face the same sort of suits that the SEC might now. Scott has played it very close so I could see him going either way.

        If nothing changes and no one budges TAMU will have to go independent for a year or two. Of course at that point the legislature will be back in session and then anything can happen. If TAMU wants to get out then they need to be convincing OU to stay and saying super nice things about the Big 12 so that someone will replace them. The angrier TAMU becomes and the harder they fight the tighter this chain will get and the more likely they will end up as an indpendent next year and beyond. This may not be a bad thing for the football but would kill every other sport as no conference would want them to park their spring teams in their conference one year. Those conferences would want a multi-year commitment in order for that to happen. Who knows. If this scenario came to pass then TAMU would be the first independent Texas school, not UT.

        • David Brown says:

          Here is the problem with your Baylor lawsuit theory is this: The harder Baylor and Iowa State push, the more likely it is that Oklahoma eventually leaves. The logic behind this is simple: The very reason why Nebraska & Texas A&M left the Big XII, is they had enough of being dictated to by Texas. Keep in mind, this is the UNIVERSITY of TEXAS, not pissant schools like Baylor and Iowa State (ISU might be the most meaningless BCS school in history (Washington State included)). Oklahoma knows that if Baylor and ISU can essentially blackmail them into staying (And get away with it), they will essentially become the Baylor Bears Bitch (Even worse than being Bevo’s Bitch (At least Bevo represents a winning program)), which means becoming a laughingstock of college sports (Remember how Ken Starr BAYLOR President was ridiculed over his hitching his school to Texas? This will be one hundred times worse, and I cannot see a former United States Senator (David Boren OU President)) allowing that to happen).
          Baylor and ISU are the kind of programs that can drop the football program and basically the country would say WHATEVER (As opposed to OU & A&M possibly dropping UT from the schedule (Or vice versa)), which means that larger schools can essentially not play these schools on the road and get away with it (As noted before, Iowa NOT playing ISU in Ames is an easy example of this, so would OU, OK St, UT, Tech, and last but certainly not least A&M, deciding not to play in Waco). If that would occur, Baylor MIGHT be lucky to schedule to SMU & UTEP in Waco, and as for ISU? Try Northern Iowa (There goes lots of $$$$$$$$$$ down the drain).

          • hangtime79 says:

            Don’t forget Governor David Boren as well. I grew up just outside of OKC and crazy enough was at Boren’s induction as OU President as a high schooler (that was a miserable day as it rained buckets and trying to get around to all the talks on the OU campus that day we got drenched) so I am well aware of his prominence and effectiveness. As for being Baylor’s concubine, I don’t think anyone in the country is under that delusion regardless of this outcome. I think if OU kept the B12 together, Boren would be praised as “the level-headed one that did what was best for his university and college football”.

            Again, the only school that has made an emotional decision in this entire process has been TAMU. Not OU, OSU, Baylor, UT, KU, KSU, ISU, Mizzou, or the SEC for that matter. Keep the chain in mind. Everyone else is thinking in terms of what’s the most money and what’s best for their university. If it makes sense for OU, OU will stay or if it thinks its good go. Ultimately, I think Boren’s comment last Friday was made out of frustration as people continued to ask him about what is he doing about conferences. Spending two summers in a row dealing with this mess would wear on anyone. I’m tired of talking about this mess and he has been neck deep in it.

            Also, OU has to rely on invite from the Pac 12.

            Question: Why would the Pac 12 go after OU right now? Larry Scott has no need to bring discontent into the league even if it is for OU. He can slow play and wait five years and OU will still be there for him. Right now if he gets involved, he is going to have to deal with a very angry Colorado and the potential for multiple lawsuits. Also, while OU is a national power (king) – adding Oklahoma’s TV sets isn’t going to grow the potential of Pac 12 network that much especially without Texas. OU may want to come to the Pac 12, but I doubt Larry Scott wants to step in this mess right now. I think Scott plays it just like Slive. Scott loves OU, but is not IN LOVE with OU. Also, Scott knows that OU will not go to the Big 10 and they despise the SEC. So if your Larry Scott you have an open-ended option on OU which is pretty pricey right now. Why not wait to lower in value once everything cools off and then go after five years down the road. Now if UT decides to bail for the Pac-12 as well, all bets are off and I think Scott says bring all coming lawsuits.

            My real thought, Mom and Dad (OU and UT) are going to sit down at the table and work this out. OU wants to go back to 12 teams, I think the Big 12-2-1 is in a better position to add teams then other leagues. This is where the central location helps instead of hurts them. Are they going to be able to pull out a Big 10 or Pac-12 member, no, but they could a number of different schools and still keep it together (TCU, BYU, and Air Force) would be logicals. As soon as OU recommits the other schools will feel fine to join. OU will get a new network which they may or may not own with OSU in the next two years and Tier 1 and 2 cable rights for the league will start getting split equally among the schools. This has never been about TAMU, its always been about Oklahoma but its a two step process. Boren has to want to go and the Pac 12 has to be willing to take the risk.

            As for your last comments about Baylor not being able to schedule anyone. I share that concern. However, when nobody likes you anyway it doesn’t really matter who you make mad because you are the same place. Who fights harder, the invading force or the one protecting their home. Ultimately, the invader may win but unless they can turn the people they get partisans and have to wage a long war of attrition. Baylor has nothing to lose at this point and is not just fighting for its athletic survival but also the university’s and the surrounding areas so I can guarantee when someone says lay down and take it to Baylor, no one at Baylor is listening.

          • bullet says:

            Oklahoma has nothing to worry about if they commit until 2022 as all 10 schools did last year. They just need to insist on the ESPN renewal expiring at the same time.

          • Dcphx says:

            I’ve been on the defense side of a “$2b lawsuit”. You can claim $2b all day long but if your best day is short of $100m well it just isn’t as scary as you think.

  55. allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

    This stuff changes hourly…but here’s my take on the remaining 7 schools’ futures (assuming OU, OkSt, and TAMU are gone).

  56. Abe Froman says:

    Question for the crowd:
    Does anyone have any idea why college football has a blog for each BCS conference, plus Notre Dame, plus Stanford??
    Bad enough they have a Notre Dame blog, but at least the Domers are independent and have a somewhat national following.
    Not a super important issue to me, but just wondering why ESPN would pay someone to cover just Stanford, especially given that the Cardinal is already covered by the Pac-12 blog.

  57. duffman says:

    Peace in the barnyard till 2015 or 2016?

    Lets say A&M goes to the SEC, and the SEC gets 1 ACC school as well (VT or NCST). If VT feels “little brother” to UVA or NCST feels “little brother” to UNC it releases the “steam” so the radiator does not explode. USC was “little brother” to Clemson, and Arkansas was “little brother” in the old SWC. Maybe the SEC is the home for “little brothers”. The upside is “big brother” is not tied down going forward. UVA and UNC become single state schools like Maryland and Missouri.

    ACC takes a BE school (say Pitt) but works out a inter conference schedule agreement to make both side feel safer if armageddon comes.

    None of these moves involves a “brand”, and there will be sub tremors, but no major shifts in the Big 3. This allows several years for things to move slowly, and lets the PAC and B1G get used to a CCG and how it affects their representation in the MNC under the current BCS. It also allows the media deals to have time to bear fruit before the next round of contract talks.

    looking at it by conference


    VT / NCST are not top adds for the conference, and still keeps all 4 slots open in a 16 team model. If the B1G adds 4 ACC schools down the road (UNC / UVA / MD / Duke / GT) pick 4 of 5 this makes such a move much less complicated. It also keeps KU, MU, OU, UT block intact if it went with a western expansion block – two protected flank move. It also leaves ND + 3 on the long term table. In short it forces the SEC to use 2 of their 4 slots now, so they only have 2 left in the future.


    Keeps all 4 slots open. VT or NCST is not going to matter, and trying to get TAMU over the next few years would be like stirring up a nest of African honeybees. Better to let them do what they want, than get stung to death in the process. The issue with the PAC is the Mississippi river may indeed be a real barrier. Look at states west of the Mississippi, and who may appeal to the PAC

    Hawaii (1)
    Idaho (2)
    Nevada (2)
    Utah (3) ==> Utah is in, BYU is longshot
    Wyoming (1)
    Colorado (3) ==> Colorado is in, Air Force is longshot
    New Mexico (2)
    California (7) ==> 4 are in, 3 will not be
    Kansas (2) ==> KU
    Iowa (2) ==> Iowa is B1G
    Missouri (1) ==> MU
    Arkansas (2) ==> Arkansas is SEC
    Oklahoma (3) ==> OU : oSu
    Louisiana (5) ==> LSU is SEC
    Texas (10) ==> UT : TT

    Save the loki option : Pac adds OU + oSu + Rice + Tulane (hey they played in the Rose Bowl in 1932), Scott is limited to just SIX schools for 4 slots. This probably just means 2 options.

    a) Scott add Texas, and gets UT + TT + OU + oSu
    b) Scott does not add Texas, and gets OU + oSu + MU + KU


    TAMU is not a brand, and are toxic in the B12 right now. Moving them to the B1G or PAC right now would probably mean riots in College Station. If VT or NCST may be the TAMU of the next year or two, solve the problem now before it throws turmoil across the ACC. The SEC is willing to take them, and it shuts down 2 future expansion slots. Seems like a win – win for the B1G and PAC.


    Losing VT or NCST now may be a good way to calm things down while they fix the Miami problem. Adding Pitt means a move up the east coast and may make MD and BC happier and feel less like the “fringe of the empire”. Pitt in the ACC opens up a recruiting foothold in PA and WV (without having to add WVU). If VT wants 80,000 stadium and sees only SEC fans as a way to sell it or NCST is tired of running 3rd to UNC and Duke what better way to catch the “unhappy” cancer before it can grow and spread. If Wofford had Pitt in his pocket and went to VT and NCST and asked if either wanted the “trade” to slip away it seems like you have cut the weakest conference bond, and allowed the next weakest bond the chance to leave.

    BE + CUSA + WAC have 5 more years of relative peace to see if they can produce football values or fall farther behind. BU and TCU may become the case studies for future football power. TCU has earned it on the field and that may be the best way for fans of the game. The more I watch BU in the press, they less I like their method.

    This may not stop the super conference, but will allow the next 5 – 10 years to allow a more gradual time frame where all parties are fully prepared when it comes.

  58. Penn State Hockey says:

    Be warned: Long Post.

    If you look at this logically, it is not a question of if Texas and Notre Dame will join the Big Ten Conference, it is a matter of when. These schools have no better option if conferences go to 16 teams. The Big Ten has positioned itself to be the best funded conference athletically and research wise. Every other conference has a fault that limits what they can offer.

    The SEC has a reputation for poor academics. Neither Texas nor ND will join for that reason. The academic reputation hinders the SEC so much that all you have to look at is their choices for the 14th school, Missouri and West Virginia. The only additions the SEC can add of any traditional football brand significance are located within their geographic footprint already. Which brings me to the ACC.

    The ACC as a football conference has failed. None save FSU, Clemson and maybe VT have any significant football following at least on the scale of Nebraska, Penn State, Ohio State, or Michigan. I wouldn’t even put any ACC school in the Wisconsin or Iowa level. If anyone doubts that, look at the attendance of the ACC title game. They, like the Big East, are a basketball conference first and foremost. That is why the ACC’s television contract will always fall below, well below, the Big Ten, SEC, and Pac 10. Unless there will be unequal revenue sharing, which as all can see by watching the Big 12 is a death sentence for a conference, there is no reason for ND and Texas to join and make less money.

    The PAC 10 is hindered by geography. They will always be 3rd place behind the SEC and Big Ten simply due to their location and being located in the pacific time zone. There is far greater media attention on the east coast than the west coast. Deserving Pac 10 teams have often been passed up as the 2nd BCS team for a Big Ten or SEC team, due to lack of exposure and projected rating/fan interested that is usually greater for the eastern team. It is true that the PAC 10 currently has the biggest TV contract for 1st tier rights, but that is more of a product of having their contract come up at the right time versus real worth compared to other conferences. The PAC 10 knows this that is why Larry Scott is doing everything to add Texas and Oklahoma, save blowing up their revenue sharing model. Texas Tech and OSU would never be taken by the Big Ten, yet the PAC 10 for all the academic snobbery in Stanford and Cal is willing to do so just to get the national appeal of Texas and Oklahoma. Without those, the PAC 10 has no good expansion targets that add to their brand. Regardless of whether or not Texas joins, the PAC 10 will always be a west coast league. If Texas is fine with that, than I can see a move there but I don’t think Texas is fine with that. I think Texas would rather be associated with the east coast instead. There was an article posted on here that says just that, I think from the San Jose Mercury. But if you want further proof just look at the Dallas Cowboys.

    When the NFL expanded and changed their division lineups, the Cowboys were tagged to move to the Western Division with Arizona and San Francisco. Jerry Jones refused. Rivalry’s were stated as being a predominant reason, but Jones also knew that the national appeal of the Cowboys would diminish if it didn’t play regularly in New York, Washington, and Philadelphia. The east coast megalopolis drives ratings and national attention in professional sports. College sports as a whole has yet to fully tap into that area, yet decent benefits can be seen with Notre Dame, Penn State and Duke basketball. The Big Ten is set up to break into that market. The Big Ten currently has the most popular team in that area in PSU. If they coupled them with Maryland, the Big 10 would own Baltimore and most of D.C. Couple them with Notre Dame, and you definitely got NJ and more importantly you got New York. A conference with PSU, Maryland, and Notre Dame would be a gold mine as far a media attention and national ratings on the east coast. That would be too tempting for Texas to pass up. Some can debate Maryland coming to the Big Ten but I think it is a done deal. That is for a different post though.

    In a 16 team conference setting, Notre Dame will be joining the Big Ten. Academics, research and athletic money, location, and rivalries all point that. No amount of booster hatred will stop that. Notre Dame officials already have been trying to brace the subway alumni for that day with their statements that they can see a set of circumstances where Notre Dame loses its independence. When that day will come, who knows. If 16 team conferences come to fruition in the next couple of years, my guess would be around 2014. The Big Ten’s TV contract is up in 2016 and ND’s is up in 2015. I do not think the Big Ten wants to expand until closer to the contract date anyway. Without a new contract, you would just be splitting up the pie even smaller. Nebraska payed for itself with the conference championship game.

    So while Notre Dames choice is obvious, what about Texas’s. Maybe the Pac 10. Espn sure hopes so. If Texas went to the Big Ten, they will have an all out bidding war for the 1st and 2nd tier rights. The numbers would be staggering. NBC/Comcast would be a huge player, so would FOX, who already owns the Championship Game and part of the BTN. The LHN would end and all that money invested would be down the drain. If Notre Dame joined too, it truely would be the Fuck You, Pay Me Conference. Some say Texas would just form the SWC2, but would that really be in the best interest of the University. If Texas had a “Tech problem” before, what would having a “Baylor”, “SMU”, “Houston” and so forth problems do to their ability to move in the future? They would end up being the sole provider for the secondary schools in Texas indefinitely. If Texas has the political cover now with A&M bolting and the Big 12 dying, you better believe they would have to use it or forever lose it. Is the LHN worth that much to completely regionalize the school forever, or for a very long time? And that says nothing for the one thing everyone mentions but never takes it to account; ego. Texas Officials are said to have a huge ego. Is that ego served best by creating an athletic conference of little sisters of the poor for the purpose of an individual network and bullying, or would it be served by being associated with some of the most prestigious research institutions that happened to be located in the most elitist (snobbiest) areas of the country? I think Texas, and Notre Dam, to the Big Ten is the logical conclusion, but most things in life defy logic. So who know.

    • SH says:

      Good analysis. The only hesitation is I have is how would the Texas/ND personalities mesh with the B10 – which has always been able to keep its egos pretty much in check. Could they do that with Texas? If 16 team conferences are inevitable – though I agree with Zeek they are not – then it is the most logical outcome. At that point the B10 would have a lot of options as to who Nos 15 and 16 would be. I think Rutgers is a bad choice when there are so many better choices out there. Syracuse, MD, UVA, UNC/Duke, Pitt. I would argue that UNC/Duke would be the top choices as they are the top brands of those schools listed. It taps into a growing market, and would be a great basketball conference. But I don’t see Duke/UNC leaving the ACC. MD may make sense, but I think they are being overvalued personally. I think Syracuse is underrated, but I don’t live in the NY area so I don’t know how they are viewed up there.

      • Penn state hockey says:

        I think Texas’s personality would be held in check. I think that Texas has always held their current conference brethren in contempt. Nebraska and Oklahoma were rivals on the field but not in the classroom. Texas A&M was always little brother. Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio State have the academic clout and athletic prowess to equal or surpass Texas. Penn State is not far behind. It would be hard to bully any of those schools. Notre Dame I would worry about, but if they keep taking a beating on the field, they might gain some humility.

        • wm wolverines says:

          Agree, Texas has never been in a conference with universities it considers peers like it would have in the Pac 12 or B10…

          Their idea of being superior than their conference mates were legitimate as they do pull in a ton more revenue than their fellow conference members and many of their current (& former) conference members are profiting pretty well off of Texas.

        • David Brown says:

          Almost everyone who comments on this board believes Texas is extremely arrogant and self-centered (Unless of course, they are hard core Texas grads and/ or fans). What I find interesting is how Texas perceives the situation they are in, and how will they react to it? We all know what the options they have: A: Stay put. B: Pac Conference. C: Big 10. D: Independence. But how much weight they give to each option, the advantages and disadvantages to each is the big question.
          The real issues facing Texas are 1: Will staying put hamstring the entire University, ie: Being saddled with Baylor, Kansas State & Iowa State for the next 25 years (Like they were with Rice, SMU & TCU in the Southwest Conference)? 2: Will Oklahoma long-term stay in the Conference? They simply have no way of knowing the answer to this. I am sure they must be shocked that Little Brother” A&M, is living the Aggie fight song “About leaving Texas University behind”, and this fact must enter into their calculations. If they think the answer to those questions will likely be yes and no respectively, then they should go somewhere else, if not , then they should stay, its that simple.

          • Playoffs Now says:

            Almost everyone who comments on this board believes Texas is extremely arrogant and self-centered…

            Actually it is pretty much limited to those who have no idea what they are babbling about. The simpletons who every time it rains they angrily blame Bush/Halliburton/Vaccines/Leprechaun Sock Thieves/Insert Your Bogeyman Here.

    • bullet says:

      One thing this doesn’t consider is that Notre Dame is much more similar to the ACC schools than it is to the Big 10. And it has longer histories with GT and Miami than it does MI. BC is also frequent on their schedule. The ACC only has one Big 10 sized university (MD) and 4 privates. If the 16 team conferences happen, I think its a tossup between the ACC and B1G for ND’s destination.

      • M says:

        The fundamental problem with the ACC is its location. NC, VA, SC, and GA have some of the lowest per capita catholic populations in the country. Those states contain 8 of the ACC schools. It’s not a stronghold of ND fans.

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        Where do you come up with the idea that ND has a longer history with Miami than Michigan?!

        ND has a longer history with Indiana than it does with Miami & has faced Iowa an equal number of times.

        Yes GT has played the Irish two more times than Michigan…but to say that they have a longer history is to display complete ignorance of the two schools’ long & acrimonious relationship.

        Fielding Yost is laughing in his grave.

      • FLP_NDRox says:

        bullet says:
        “Notre Dame is much more similar to the ACC schools than it is to the Big 10…The ACC only has one Big 10 sized university (MD) and 4 privates. ”


        And, let us not forget that “dinky” “little” Northwestern has almost TWICE the enrollment of Notre Dame last I checked.

        • M says:

          I’m not sure when or where you checked, but it would have taken you 5 seconds to check again.

          Undergraduate enrollment from Wikipedia:
          Notre Dame: 8371
          Northwestern: 8425

          I don’t think that’s two times, except for very small values of 2.

          • frug says:

            I believe he is referring to total enrollment. Northwestern has a MUCH larger graduate enrollment.

          • frug says:

            For the record:

            ND – 11,733 (3,362 Postgrad)
            NW – 19,184 (10,759 Postgrad)

            (By the way, it would have taken you about 5 seconds to check this out)

          • M says:

            I realize that Northwestern has a much larger graduate enrollment, but most of those students are at the downtown campus and have little contact with the undergraduates.

            Should the ~10000 students at other Holy Cross colleges (including ~2000 at other colleges adjacent to ND) count towards Notre Dame’s total?

          • FLP_NDRox says:

            Thanks, Frug, I was.

            And like everywhere else, the grad and undergrad students don’t mix much.

            At the end of the day, though, Northwestern’s attitudes and voting patterns will be more similar to the other B1G schools with their 5 digit grad enrollments as opposed to Notre Dame. Thus said Ara, and it’s probably worse now than when he was asked.

            Also, I wouldn’t count any other CSC schools. SMC and Holy Cross answer to a whole other chain of command, unlike NU’s downtown campus.

  59. mstinebrink says:

    Ha! This is not unlike what I wrote, last November:

    A few of points from my post that still hold true:

    (1) Pods preserve historic and geographic rivalries, while ensuring that all schools get to play all other conference members at least once every 3 years.

    (2) Pairing-up the pods, on a rotating basis, gives you 2, dynamic, 8-team divisions, the champions of which will meet in Indy, for the B1G title game. In other words, your 8-team divisions change every year, but your 4-team pods do not, thus institutionalizing the challenge of memorizing which school is a Leader and which is a Legend. ;)

    (3) Don’t force protected rivalries. Nobody needs to see Michigan State vs. Rutgers, or Syracuse vs. Minnesota, every year. The 8th game for those 4 schools would be an at-large contest, to be filled by any school that fulfills it’s protected match-up by having it’s pod paired with the pod of it’s protected rival.

    (4) An 8-game B1G schedule allows Notre Dame to preserve their top-7 rivalries: non-conference games vs. Navy (84 games played), USC (82), Pitt (66), and Army (50), and conference games vs. Purdue (82), Michigan State (74), and Michigan (38). Throw-in Texas, as a protected match-up, and Notre Dame preserves it’s “national schedule.”

    (5) Competitive balance becomes more elusive as a conference grows beyond a number that allows each school to play all other schools in the conference, annually. But, competitive balance is mostly a fool’s errand, anyway.

    With all that said, I am resigned to the probability that, even if Delaney hits a walk-off, grand slam, by landing UT and Notre Dame, we will probably be stuck with a podless, 14-team conference, of two, ridiculously named, 7-team divisions.

  60. royal oak says:

    Forget pods. Why not make two fresh new divisions every year based on the previous years’ record? You’d play each team in your division and the team with the corresponding “rank” in the opposite division. This would leave one additional game for protected rivalries, if necessary.

    Under this system, you’d have about a 50-50 chance of playing each team each year. And competitive balance would never be a problem.

  61. OT says:

    Because Texas needs the following:

    1. The need to control a conference

    2. The need to make more money than anyone else in the conference

    3. The need to load up Longhorn Network with as much football inventory as possible in order to force Time Warner Cable, Comcast, and Charter to sign on

    Texas should have already discussed the following scenario:

    1. Go independent in football and put all home games on The Longhorn Network

    2. Cut the following deals with sister schools Texas-San Antonio and Texas-Arlington, as well as the WAC, so that:

    a. Texas will join the WAC as a non-football member, with the stipulation that Texas will HOST a minimum of 4 WAC opponents each season in football (i.e. Texas-San Antonio, Texas State, Louisiana Tech, and one other school on a rotating basis) and Texas will ONLY play WAC opponents at Memorial Stadium or at neutral sites (so that Texas won’t have to play at Idaho’s tiny Kibbie Dome or at San Jose State’s dilapidated home field.)

    b. The Longhorn Network will have the rights to all Texas-San Antonio and Texas-Arlington home sports events including football games. That means 12 more football FBS games will air on the Longhorn Network each season.

    c. The Longhorn Network will have the rights to all WAC conference championship events that are not televised on the ESPN Networks, including early-round men’s basketball games and all women’s basketball games except the final (which will be on ESPNU.)

    d. Texas will have a 51% cut (or more) on any basketball and Olympic sports TV deal the WAC signs with ESPN, Inc. (or another entity) The other WAC schools will split the remaining 49% (or less).

    That way, Texas gets what BYU has: control over a conference, a 51% cut of a conference’s basketball TV contract, lots of inventory for the Longhorn Network. Furthermore, Texas won’t have to deal with the other Big 12 egomaniacs anymore.


  62. drwillini says:

    Assuming UT and ND are #13 abd #14, what comes next? The addition of these two raises the bar significantly, and it is hard to imagine a university that is non-dillutive. On the other hand, it is hard to imagine any university not considering an overture for admission. Let me go on the record saying that IF B1G gets UT and ND, the Florida Gators will be #15. Whatever accomodation the B1G makes for the LHN will set a precedent for the sunshine network. (Probably a dated reference, I have not lived down there for 15 years.) Hard as it it for a midwesterner to believe, Florida is as much of a geogrpahic outlier as MD in the ACC. I recall the Tallahassee tourism slogan – “Florida – with a southern accent.” (Tallahassee is on the northern border of Florida.) Florida is the only SEC school with the academics to even be considered by the B1G (Vandy the other). Florida is the land grant school, flagship U., law school and med school, etc. Basically UF is a big ten school. SEC gets FSU, we get UF.

    As for #16, I would say MD for the above mentioned reasons. A wild card here might be UC Berkeley for all the same reasons as UF. But in the end, I think we need to shore up the east coast, leverage PSU and ND, and Maryland would do that. So would Rutgers or Syracuse, but UMd is more of a B1G school.

    • royal oak says:

      There can only be so many good teams in one conference. Florida would be too much.

    • gnqanq says:

      If you remember correctly, a few years back (2005-2007) Barry Alvarez made the comment that someone completely out of the box had approach the Big Ten. People figured out that it was Florida. So, Florida is not completely out of the range (don’t expect it though).

      • Other Mike says:


        I want to believe you, but that’s just the weirdest, most outlandish thing I’ve ever heard. It makes sense in plenty of ways, but it also doesn’t in plenty of others.

        • gnqanq says:


          Here is a link to a message board in 2007 where they were talking about it. Barry Alvarez originally made his statement in a Wisconsin State Journal back in 2005. The article no longer exists today on the web (I do remember reading it back then).

          Here is a link to another board back in 2007 where they were talking about expansion at the same time. One poster mentions both Texas and Florida. He had a link to a Penn Live site which again the article no longer exists.

          Many of the message boards of that time concluded that the school was Florida. Most of that information and postings from that period are long gone but I do recall the conversations by sports fans and bloggers going on at the time.

          Florida is an AAU member, has a good academic standing and has a broad academic/athletic programs. As back then and as of today I don’t expect it. But I could imagine Florida using it as a means to keep out certain schools (FSU, Miami, etc).

      • Playoffs Now says:

        People figured out that it was Florida.

        Link? Although that was talked about here extensively and occasionally still pops up now and then, I don’t recall any consensus or solid evidence that Florida was the school.

  63. ccrider55 says:

    From Wilner today:

    “Action: Public silence from the southern Plains as the Big 12 works through its legal issues and behind-the-scenes political maneuvering.
    Reaction I: The sense I’ve gotten in the past 48 hours is that the league has a pulse — it just might live to see the 2012 football season, after all. And the reason? Texas is making concessions to keep the Kansas schools happy and to potentially satisfy Oklahoma (although that may be a lost cause at this point).
    Reaction II: Yes, you read that right: The Longhorns are desperate to keep the Big 12 intact (more on that here) and the Kansas schools have an unofficial offer from the Big East, so they’re calling the shots, it appears … When Manhattan says jump, Austin asks how high.”

    • Jake says:

      I doubt that; the Big East is a landing place for Kansas & co. They want a back up, but they want the Big 12 to survive more than anyone (other than ISU and Baylor, natch).

      And all of this is just being leaked to tease me, I firmly believe. They want me to get the idea in my head that the BEast might come out of this not only unscathed but stronger before they dash my dreams and spirit away WVU to the SEC. Same trick the powers-that-be pulled last year with the Mountain West.

    • bullet says:

      Kansas had the 3rd most revenue from the Big 12 distributions last year, just barely behind #2 UT. So I just don’t see it being financial concessions. Especially since Kansas is the one agreeing to be the 2nd game on TLN.

      I also really don’t see Texas staying in if OU leaves. There will be a big financial hit as well as athletic prestige.

      Again I think Wilner is being fed info by somebody who doesn’t know what they are talking about or are just spreading someone’s party line.

    • frug says:

      Unless UT is willing to start sharing revenue from the LHN I don’t understand how equal revenue sharing is going to help keep the conference together. Sure it would make the have nots happy, but at this point Oklahoma is the key and equal revenue sharing would mean a pay cut. Can’t imagine they would stay in order to make less money.

    • David Brown says:

      This will NEVER happen. There is no way Texas will be dictated to by Kansas State (Although for some reason they are on the field, (KSU is the #1 Bevo beater in the Big XII)). Perhaps the approach should be to go retro. UT, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Baylor could announce they are leaving and will be creating a new Conference. They can invite SMU, TCU, Houston, Rice, UTEP, and for the benefit of Oklahoma, Tulsa & Tulane. You get a 12 team Conference complete with a Championship Game. The name? The Southwest Conference. Think about it, UT & OU never have to travel to unpleasant distant places such as Manhattan & Lawrence Kansas & Ames Iowa, again. Instead, you get Houston, El Paso, Dallas, Tulsa, and of course, New Orleans (What a recruiting tool, come to UT or OU, and you get a weekend in “The Big Easy” all expenses paid).
      All jokes aside, the entire problem with the Big XII (Like the Southwest Conference was years ago), was with Texas’s attitude towards its fellow Conference Schools (In their mind, they are Snow White, and everyone else is a dwarf (Guess why Nebraska & A&M left, and if they could, so would Missouri?)). The only things that could possibly change that attitude in Austin are: a: Teams refuse to play them. We know that will NOT happen (See Notre Dame and BYU being added, plus the usual desperate schools. ie: Baylor & Rice). b: They start to see top IN- STATE recruits choose A&M and other SEC Schools such as LSU & Alabama over UT. c: They are in a Conference where they are making boatloads of $$$$$$$ and the name UNIVERSITY of TEXAS becomes more prominant both in sports and in the Academic World. This is where the Big 10 comes in. For example: Oklahoma is a great FOOTBALL University, but Ohio State, is a great football University and a great ACADEMIC University. In fact, so are Michigan, Penn State & Wisconsin (Iowa is not far behind). These types of schools are NO ONE’S dwarf, and Texas knows that they are not pushing OSU, UM, PSU or UW around like they are Baylor or even Texas Tech.

  64. zeek says:

    And that’s why Michigan-ND is on ESPN at night. What a game. Instant classic.

    • @zeek – That last 1:12 is going to remembered for a loooooong time in both Ann Arbor and South Bend.

      • zeek says:

        The defense was so bad, but that made the big plays all the more ridiculous. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the ending of that game. That last quarter and especially the last 2-3 minutes featured some of the biggest swings I’ve ever seen.

    • metatron5369 says:

      Forget the Big Ten; Notre Dame will be lucky if the MAC takes them.

      • zeek says:

        Those two programs need to do so much work in terms of getting talent on the defensive side of the ball. The stat lines were astonishing; Denard had like 330+ passing yards on just 11 completions.

        • jj says:

          I have seen these guys pull more late wins out than I can remember. It’s really astonishing.

        • metatron5369 says:

          11/24, 3INT 4TD.


        • bullet says:

          They need talent on the defensive coaching staff side of the ball. Those teams were just badly coached. It wasn’t a case of an Olympic class sprinter just outrunning someone. Those defensive teams just didn’t know what they were doing.

          • Ross says:

            Michigan actually has a very good defensive coaching staff. They obviously have Mattison, which speaks for itself, and they have Hoke who coached Michigan’s D-line in the late 90’s (when they won their last title).

            Problem is RR did a horrible job recruiting the type of defensive players the B1G demands. I expect the defense to improve and be better than when Greg Robinson and co. coached it, but most B1G teams have better defensive personnel (at least for the B1G) than Michigan.

        • wm wolverines says:

          Denard is the reason for that…

          ND didn’t want to get beat by Robinson on the ground like last season, so they kept at most 1 safety deep and had at least 8 in the box. Deep pass plays were open all game, Denard missed a handful of them and his receivers bailed him out a handful of others. If Denard connects just a few more completions to wide open receivers, he’s well above 400 yards passing.

  65. duffman says:


    yay Rice!

  66. M says:

    NDNation has a solution to their conference dilemma:;pid=233247;d=this

    “Call the Ivies. Buy a med school, say “why you no like our med school” then call Vandy and A&M and say “we can make the ivy a ten team conference, and you can slide right into the sEC!””

    • bullet says:

      Rice tried to merge with the Baylor Medical School in Houston but the deal fell through. Baylor Medical School is still available for the Irish. UT, A&M, Prairie View, Texas Women’s, University of Houston all have medical related institutions within a mile of Baylor College of Medicine and Cornell provides doctors to The Methodist Hospital across the street from Baylor-why not the Irish as well?

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        BCM is no longer on the market. The reason the Rice deal fell through is that Baylor U. squashed it. Although BCM is nominally independent, since the ’60s iirc, BU still appoints part of the board and controls the name. I doubt they’d be more likely to let it go to ND when they wouldn’t to Rice.

        • duffman says:


          Can you split Baylor for us?

          Baylor Waco = % research dollars?
          BCM Houston = % research dollars?

          Would Rice + BCM = Vanderbilt?

          I thought M D Anderson was part of UT, so how does that all fit together?

          • bullet says:

            The University of Texas figures do not include any of the UT medical institutions (Dallas, Galveston, San Antonio, Houston, MD Anderson). Those are all treated separately in any of these listings. And Baylor University and Baylor College of Medicine are also separate for any of these research listings. Baylor University does not control Baylor College of Medicine, although it appears they have the legal means for hampering mergers they don’t like.

            And somewhat like A&M, BCM was in debt for building a bunch of big new facilities they built to keep up with the Jones’. That encouraged them to look for a merger, coupled with the fact that they had some falling outs with longtime partners at the Methodist Hospital as Methodist wanted more control of the relationship (encouraging TMH to look for partnerships far to the north and east with highly regarded institutions in alignments that seem to make little geographic sense). BCM debt definitely made Rice leery of any potential liabilities in they event they brought BCM into their group.

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            Latest I can find:
            BCM $438M
            Rice $70M
            total $508M

            Vandy $399M

            BU did not make this list so they are under $36M


          • duffman says:

            loki and bullet,

            exclusive of debt and board membership issues, and I am not discounting this, but….

            would BCM make more sense as part of Rice, or staying with Waco? I just can not see Waco ever getting to Rice status in terms of national recognition, so why overlap if it just doubles costs and may not work anyway? As an outsider this just seems crazy.

            if loki’s numbers are right, Baylor would have to at least double just to be where Rice already is.

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            Nothing is ever ‘outside of debt’. But I think a closer alignment with Waco is the last thing BCM would want. BU still has and intelligent design research center. I think being aligned with Rice would have been in their best long term interests. But that did not happen. Talking to some doctors from other parts of the country, BCM used to be top20, but their reputation is starting to suffer due to the debt and the falling out with Methodist Hospital.

          • bullet says:

            There were a lot of potential synergies for both institutions and Houston in bringing BCM and Rice researchers closer together. Rice is right next to the Texas Medical Center where BCM is located. It made a lot of sense without the debt issue. There were a lot of Rice faculty very concerned about the debt issue. BCM built a hospital building as most other top medical schools have a hospital. The building is an empty shell right now. Although BCM is “A&M” in my analogy above, their hospital was their TLN and strained already difficult relationships with the hospitals they provided doctors to. So maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised at what happens in relationships with academic institutions in athletics if it happens in other fields as well.

          • bullet says:

            There were “sources” claiming that The Methodist Hospital would be willing to get back together with BCM, but only after a merger with Rice. Again, the analogies are amusing.

          • duffman says:

            loki and bullet,

            If I am understanding this correctly

            TAMU to SEC = BCM to Rice

            Both make sense, but Baylor (Waco) is unwilling to let go even tho it is not the best long term solution for TAMU or BCM. TAMU seems to fit the SEC culture, and BCM will fit long term demographic trends of an aging Houston area population. The problem with both is that Baylor in Waco has neither the finances or bodies to jump up to the next level. If BMC is going down, then nobody will win in this situation.

  67. bullet says:

    Interesting read on why Sooners might prefer certain conferences. (no real new info).

    Pretty much applies to any fanbase. Also kind of reflects the Longhorn football coach civil war that variously simmered and flared from 1977-1997 (beer drinkers won but did find a coach acceptable to the wine drinkers).

  68. duffman says:

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

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

    B1G 5/25 = 20% : Wisconsin, Nebraska, Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn State
    7 wins vs 5 losses = 58% : losses to B1G schools = 0

    B12 5/25 = 20% : Oklahoma, oSu, TAMU, Missouri, Texas
    4 wins vs 1 losses = 80% : losses to B12 schools = 0

    PAC 3/25 = 12% : Stanford, Oregon, Arizona State
    8 wins vs 4 losses = 67% : losses to PAC schools = 2

    ACC 2/25 = 8% : Florida State, Virginia Tech
    8 wins vs 2 losses = 80% : losses to ACC schools = 1

    MWC 2/25 = 8% : Boise State, TCU
    4 wins vs 3 losses = 57% : losses to MWC schools = 1

    BE 1/25 = 4% : West Virginia
    4 wins vs 4 losses = 50% : losses to BE schools = 0

    + Missouri lost in OT
    + UT = BYU = Mississippi, how safe is Mac Brown’s job?
    + Richt has the hottest seat, was USC the final straw?
    + Auburn has the luck of the Irish, Notre Dame does not
    + Iowa 3pts, Minnesota 7pts, IU 3pts, PU 2pts – all were close
    + Coach Kill best wishes for you
    + 9/11 we remember

  69. Guido says:

    A few things from the past week that stand out and seem to create a roadmap in my mind:
    1- PAC 12 is not actively interested in expanding at the moment ( but would likely consider it if forced to by a changing landscape.) Translation: they won’t strike first to go above 12.

    2- A&M and now OU will not play in the Big 12 next season ( and therefore Okie St won’t either). The various statements and sentiments coming from these 2 schools make it unlikely they can push it all aside and ” just get along” with their Big 12 frenemies anymore.

    3 – SEC is ready to grow. They agreed to add A&M, even if they stalled the process a bit with an absurd demand for the waiver of legal rights. I believe that demand an attempt to delay until they can finalize a jump to 16 in one big day of press mania. Slive always wanted to “out do” the other conferences on expansion, and if 16 is the number everyone is headed to (apparently only because it keeps getting reported that it’s “where everyone is headed to” despite the possible downsides and perils likely with revenue and scheduling) he’s going to get there first.

    Given all those factors, seems like a roadmap exists for A&M to bring OU and OK St with them to SEC along with West Virginia ( no direct in state hit for existing SEC team, rabid fan base, relationship already with conference due to scheduling SEC team past few seasons). It’s widely assumed the SEC doesn’t want OK St (that’s not going to stop them if it means getting OU), and that OU prefers PAC 12 (That offer doesn’t seem to be coming anytime soon and OU is going to make a move soon). Yet I have not seen any credible sources to validate those assumptions. I get that nobody really says much credibly regarding this stuff, but it seems really opinion based and guesswork with the OK schools. Plus I have a feeling Slive can be pretty convincing when talking to someone looking for something Slive can offer. Nothing will surprise me though, I’m really just guessing too!

    • bullet says:

      I think you are wrong on OU. I don’t think they have burned any bridges. It is very much up in the air what they will do.

      • zeek says:

        Agreed; I still think that the odds favor the Big 12 surviving with 9 right now. OU is the lynchpin but I’d say their odds look something like (Big 12 – 66%, Pac-12, 33%, something else 1%).

        • Redhawk says:

          I’d flip those numbers. On Monday I would have said the odds were PAC 95%, Big 12 4%, Other: 1%. I think the Big 12 may live one more year because of the delays, but A&M is out the door, and a 9 team conference doesn’t work.

          UT has offered according to rumors equal revenue sharing…for tier one and two only…which would actually cost OU and Kansas money, while UT still gets their ESPN money, so that’s really not a workable solution. There is just more money in the PAC than the Big 12

          • zeek says:

            Fair enough, my numbers were implying a short term solution for the Big 12.

            Long term, there’s a 99% chance in my mind that OU is in the Pac-12 within 5 years. No idea whether that means that means 2012 or 2013, but for sure I don’t see the Big 12 surviving this for anything longer than a stop-gap solution.

          • bullet says:

            I think there’s a very good chance if it survives this year, it lasts until at least 2022 when the Fox contract comes up. I’d put it at about 80%. Maybe 19% it fails when ESPN comes up in 5 years. 1% it fails before then. I wouldn’t lay odds on what would happen this year. Thinking this year is a sure thing reminds me of how many thought the USC-Utah score was final. I’m also not 100% sure that MI (if he was legally allowed to advance the muffed onside kick) didn’t score on that last play vs. ND. He was very close to the goal line.

    • hangtime79 says:

      1. Agreed. I think Scott doesn’t need to move yet. All the pieces he would want are not going anywhere at this point.

      2. TAMU yes, OU no. OU has not said they won’t play in the B12. Boren said he was exploring options. Big difference and important one. If OU had submitted, WWIII would already be happening in the courts as we speak.

      3. Boren has spent his career at OU trying to get the academics up, there are only a limited number of circumstances where he would contemplate the SEC and none of those have occurred yet or are likely too.

      Boren and Pac 12 have time – their option is open-ended. Boren doesn’t have to decide to go to the SEC just because. He knows as long as he and UT are committed to the Big 12 it will continue as an athletic conference. Flip side is Scott knows that OU can’t get to the Big 10 without Texas and just as much as TAMU wants to goto the SEC, OU administrators want to stay out of it. Scott has no resaon to move at this point even if the SEC goes to 14. Remember the only conference we have seen go to 16 imploded on itself in 2 years. Why not wait out a 1-5 years to see if it makes that much of a difference for the SEC. People think you have to get big fast but when the pieces can’t move, there is no reason to rush. The only reason the SEC is rushing is that TAMU is throwing itself at the SEC otherwise I think all conferences would be fine the status quo for the moment.

      • wm wolverines says:

        Ball is in Oklahoma’s court, not the Pac 12 who claims they aren’t looking to tip anymore dominoes…

        Oklahoma has the keys to the whole super conferences, them leaving for the Pac12 would almost assuredly blow up the Big XII.

    • Scott’s comments basically mean “A&M has to go first, and at that point we’ll do the same dance with Oklahoma that the SEC did with A&M.”

    • wm wolverines says:

      I think its more that Slive prefers to add #13/#14 together in addition he likely wants #14 be a program from the ACC (Fla St, Clemson, etc) than settle for a school like West Virginia, Missouri or Louisville right now…

      The ACC universities can’t get out of their contract in time for the ’12 season. If Slive prefers an ACC school, he’s better off waiting and getting who he really wants.

      • vp19 says:

        Slive’s #1 goal from the ACC (for 2013) is Virginia Tech, because he can’t get Florida State (or Clemson, or readmitting Georgia Tech) without getting all sorts of ire from South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Better to get a new state and a member with a football-oriented mentality, then hope the ACC sufficiently destabilizes (via the Big Ten?) to isolate and weaken FSU, Clemson et al. Look for a groundswell of Tech-to-SEC support from the fan base, building in Blacksburg just as it did in College Station.

        Missouri would be fine as member #15, giving A&M a partner in the west, but Slive doesn’t want to make Mizzou #14. Slive’s most likely target for #16 is N.C. State (because North Carolina wants nothing to do with the SEC, and Duke and Wake Forest probably don’t either, though neither would make sense in an SEC scenario). NCSU would be Slive’s best candidate for entry into North Carolina. West Virginia only gets in if State turns an invitation down.

  70. duffman says:

    Question for Frank the Tank readers.

    Will the Baylor threat against the SEC affect the coaches poll about to come out?

    Baylor was sitting at spot #26 with 117 votes. #17 Mississippi State, #19 Missouri, and #20 Penn State all lost. Baylor was idle, but #27 USF beat Ball State while #28 Iowa, #29 Utah, #30 Georgia all lost.

    • Eric says:

      Doubt it. Coaches don’t even have time to really look at most the teams they are voting for, doubt they’d be giving this much thought while going through ballets.

      • @Eric – During last year’s Big Ten expansion search, I spoke with someone that was very close to a Big Ten head coach. Let’s just say that outside maybe JoePa, none of the coaches looked at anything in realignment with a big picture conference level view. The primary thing that they might have thought about is how it might have changed recruiting areas (which is very low on the totem pole in terms of university president expansion issues).

    • M says:

      I think coaches have demonstrated again and again that they only have the vaguest idea as to what conference their team plays in.

    • duffman says:


      Even before I got farther down I was already humming “Ice Ice Baby” :)

      What about this

      Let TAMU go
      Boot out BU

      add Rice and TCU

      That keeps you at 10, and you can always add SMU and Houston to get to 12 if BYU and UNLV do not join. Baylor looks like the weakest link, so why not do some housekeeping right now. if Baylor wants back in, let them earn it like TCU and Rice.

      • mike in st. louis says:

        Wouldn’t it be a smarter political play to extend an offer to Boise St over SMU or RIce?

        And Baylor just wants to stay in an AQ conference. No reason to boot them out; it just causes more problems.


    • London Ruffin says:

      That was pretty good. If someone did that to A Tribe Called Quest’s “What’s the Scenario?,” I would have lost it….

  71. Gman says:

    Spent the weekend in Austin attending the Texas-BYU, and the almus are ready for all this conference business to end soon. But in just casual conversation, if the Big 12 collapses, there does appear to be growing support for joining the Big 10. I’m passing along this link just in case no one has posted it:



  72. duffman says:

    WEEK 3 beginning – Top 25 and conference alignment – Conference games in bold

    SEC 7/25 = 28% : Alabama, LSU, South Carolina, Arkansas, Florida, Auburn, *MSU
    12 teams : 3 SEC : 0 B12 : 0 B1G : 0 PAC : 1 ACC : 0 MWC : 1 BE : 1 IND : 3 OTR

    B12 5/25 = 20% : Oklahoma, oSu, TAMU, Texas, Baylor
    10 teams : 0 SEC : 0 B12 : 0 B1G : 1 PAC : 2 ACC : 1 MWC : 1 BE : 0 IND : 5 OTR

    B1G 4/25 = 16% : Wisconsin, Nebraska, Michigan State, Ohio State
    12 teams : 0 SEC : 0 B12 : 0 B1G : 2 PAC : 1 ACC : 0 MWC : 1 BE : 2 IND : 6 OTR

    PAC 3/25 = 12% : Stanford, Oregon, Arizona State
    11 teams : 0 SEC : 1 B12 : 2 B1G : 1 PAC : 0 ACC : 2 MWC : 1 BE : 1 IND : 2 OTR

    ACC 2/25 = 8% : Florida State, Virginia Tech
    12 teams : 1 SEC : 2 B12 : 1 B1G : 0 PAC : 2 ACC : 0 MWC : 1 BE : 0 IND : 3 OTR

    MWC 2/25 = 8% : Boise State, TCU
    7 teams : 0 SEC : 1 B12 : 0 B1G : 2 PAC : 0 ACC : 0 MWC : 0 BE : 0 IND : 4 OTR

    BE 2/25 = 8% : West Virginia, USF
    7 teams : 1 SEC : 1 B12 : 1 B1G : 1 PAC : 1 ACC : 0 MWC : 0 BE : 0 IND : 2 OTR

    moved in : USF, Baylor
    dropped out : Penn State, Missouri
    * teams losing in previous week in bold

    So what are your 3 must see games for WEEK 3?

    • Brian says:

      OU @ FSU – Is FSU back?
      OSU @ Miami – alma mater
      MSU @ ND – 0-3?

      Also interesting:
      AU @ Clemson – Another last minute win?
      Pitt @ Iowa – How does IA respond?
      UT @ UCLA – How bad are these teams?
      ASU @ IL – the idiocy of Vontaze Burfict versus that of Zook
      Utah @ BYU – the Holy War with AQ/non-AQ tension added

  73. vp19 says:

    In many of the discussions about bringing an ACC bloc of four to the Big Ten, the quartet mentioned is Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Duke. Would substituting Georgia Tech for Duke be more palatable for Big Ten fans, given that Tech has a reasonably good recent football tradition and Duke has more or less struggled for the past few decades? Tech is now an AAU institution, provides a share of the Atlanta market and has a quasi-brand where football is concerned.

    It might be difficult to persuade UNC to give up conference ties to Duke (which would probably remain in a reconstituted ACC), but Delany could tell Carolina officials they would have to do likewise with N.C. State, and there’s no reason UNC couldn’t retain athletic relations with both on a regular basis, although with a nine-game conference scenario, the Tar Heels might have to occasionally skip football games with Duke or State until a 13-game schedule is established (which may happen in a few years), and play one basketball game a year with each (as well as Wake Forest). Delany could also remind UNC that being the state’s only Big Ten member would assist recruiting.

    • metatron5369 says:

      There’s two kinds of minds on the issue: those who want those four, and those who want nothing to do with the ACC.

      There’s very little in-between.

      • @metatron5369 – I like schools from the ACC a lot, but I continue to believe that (1) the ACC overall is much more tightly knit than what people give it credit for (it is NOTHING like the Big 12) and (2) markets for the sake of markets don’t do much good in 16-school superconferences – it is even MORE about football power more than expanding to 12. That’s why if the Big Ten were to hypothetically raid the ACC, Virginia Tech should be high on the list. Is the Big Ten going to head into the Mid-Atlantic region and then just let the SEC take the one school in that area that actually plays football consistently well? Why?! Expansion candidates need to be academically acceptable to the Big Ten and markets certainly are important, but let’s not lose sight about the entire point of superconferences: football, football and more football. Without elite football power programs moving, superconferences don’t get formed in the first place.

        Regardless, there will always be one spot in a 16-school Big Ten for Notre Dame. If the Big Ten ever expands to 16, it’s going to be part of a widespread conference Armageddon, which is the one situation where ND would join a conference.

        • vp19 says:

          I’m beginning to believe the Big Ten would grow in groups of two, rather than one four-member expansion. Would a Maryland/Virginia Tech combo as #13-14 be palatable,with the conference eyeing Notre Dame and Rutgers as #15-16?

          • mushroomgod says:

            Rutgers is the only one of the four that wants to come to the BIG…….

          • joe4psu says:

            If the B1G could get those 4 I’d consider it a success. UMD, ND and RU definitely fit in academically, UMD and RU are AAU members. I’m not sure exactly where VT stands but I think their academics would be acceptable. ND is a huge national attraction and could be the BTN’s best bet to get into NYC. I don’t know what affect they may have on the BTN’s penetration into NJ in addition to RU but they certainly don’t hurt. Adding NJ, MD and VA for the BTN and recruiting is a great move.

            Adding ND and VT football would be a big plus for the B1G and every conference needs weaker schools along with the kings and barons. RU and UMD fit that role nicely.

        • metatron5369 says:

          This is why I’ve been a big backer of Kansas. I think the available football powers are dwindling and were exluding some outright (Oklahoma).

          You made the point of why Pitt was a good pickup last year, about basketball being underrated (after everyone discarded it). Kansas is a huge name and it’d be a shame if we lost them to the Big East.

          Of course, there might not be a Big East in a few years anyway…

          • mushroomgod says:

            Kansas is Missouri Lite…….smaller school, less research $, lesser football history and prospects, more distant, smaller state population with another BCS school in-state.

          • metatron5369 says:

            Kansas is Kansas, which is to say, a phenomenal, national basketball program in the Midwest.

            They’re the next tier of target schools. There are only so many football powers in the nation, and in the seemingly unlikely event that any conference balloons to sixteen, you have to evaluate what else other schools bring to the table.

            Granted, all of those things you said are true, but I think there is an emphasis on prestige, not practicality. Research “dollars” have to be overrated, else the CIC would have expanded on their own and Nebraska would’ve never received an invite over the likes of Rutgers or Pitt.

            The thing you can’t overrate, however, is the University of Kansas’ basketball following. While we all know that football is the impetus for expansion, at some point basketball has to be a factor. We see this in the ACC scenarios (though, admittedly, they have much more in their favor past basketball), but I do not believe this is either likely or a good fit.

            Enhancing our basketball profile can help us in our negotiations for Big Ten basketball television rights (currently held with CBS, IIRC), the added games can be shown on the Big Ten Network (increasing demand slightly, but increasing advertising revenue), and give our teams strength of schedule bonuses when being considered for the NCAA tournament, something that pays out to the conference as teams progress.

            I’m not a Kansas fan, I’m a Michigan fan in Michigan, but I think we’re overlooking our options. At this point, I think they rank higher than Missouri.

          • SideshowBob says:

            If the emphasis is basketball prowess, why not just take Syracuse? You get a similar level of basketball “king” as Kansas, but better academics, much bigger state and no little brother issues. Yes, they are out of the AAU, but they are pretty large for a private school and do a fair share of research (middling compared to Big Ten schools overall, but not small in a grand scheme of US universities).

          • greg says:

            Syracuse’s research funding is way below any of the B10, and solidly below Kansas. They do have a solid USNWR ranking.


          • M says:



            Syracuse spent $38 million on research last year, good for 198th in the country. The lowest Big Ten school (Indiana) spent $150 million, not counting the jointly run IUPUI (which is effectively IU’s medical school) which spent $260 million. Notre Dame (no medical school) spent almost 3 times as much as Syracuse ($97 million).

            Syracuse at this point is almost exclusively an (excellent) undergraduate school.

      • frug says:

        Actually, there are a decent number of people who would be happy with just UNC and Duke (though they are a minority)

  74. Chip Brown from Orangebloods reports that Oklahoma will apply to the Pac-12 by the end of the month:

    • gobux says:

      Sometimes I wonder if Chip Brown is being given misinformation, in order to put pressure on Oklahoma.

      • PSUGuy says:

        When it comes to Texas, I think he spouts misinformation (for Texas’ benefit). When it comes to other schools I think he’s given good stuff (again, for Texas’ benefit).

        Basically it strikes me as a Texas play to get the rest of the Big12 to react as they did to the TAMU move. “Let the cat out of the bag” for Oklahoma officially moving, get the smaller schools to threaten the same legal action as against TAMU/SEC and then let Oklahoma/OkSt fall into the same “stand-off” TAMU finds itself in. Basically ensuring the Big12 limps along for another season (or couple).

        TBH, the more I think about it I really believe Texas NEEDS the Big12 to be alive and viable until ~2015 to get its LHN up and legitimately on TV so that it becomes a legitimate part of its athletics department and thus “untouchable” when it comes time to officially join a conference. If its just a glorified ESPN payoff with no real expsoure there’s no justifiable reason why Texas should keep it (and the rights it entails) when the other members of a conference have already given up those same rights.

      • bullet says:

        From his language and the things he reports, he clearly has some sources around the conference. But obviously, his Texas connections are the strongest.

        This report sounds believable. Boren’s original timetable was 3 days to 3 weeks. We’re about 1.5 weeks in.

        • bullet says:

          Of course, it is real quiet. Whatever they talked about, they are keeping it close to their vest. Another report I saw drew the exact opposite conclusion of Orangebloods-that the meeting was to keep the Big 12 together (although they didn’t site any anonymous sources as to why they drew that conclusion). Its kind of like last week when Texas was going to the Pac 12, Big 10 or staying in the Big 12 depending on which connected Texas source you listened to.

          I do think this quiet indicates we are going to see a lot of activity very soon. I would guess the next week. Either the good, the bad or the ugly is going to blink pretty soon.

  75. coldhusker says:

    From Kirk Bohls twitter (@kbohls):

    UT group including president and 2 ADs flew to Norman Sunday for last-ditch effort to keep OU in Big 12.

  76. Paul Smith says:

    I think we could very well end up with 5 major conferences. Pac-14 (adding the Oklahoma schools), SEC-14 (adding TAMU and Missouri), B1G-14 (adding Texas and Notre Dame), ACC-12 (standing pat), and the Big East-12 (adding TCU, Iowa State, and the Kansas schools). The only current BCS school left on the outside looking in would be Baylor.

    The Pac-14 would have to switch to a zipper division model, splitting all the paired teams.

    The B1G plus ND and Texas could go with a straight East/West split down the Illinois/Indiana border.

    The SEC could move Auburn to the east division to accommodate TAMU & Missouri.

    The new look Big East could split into the “Big” Division (TCU, Iowa St., Kansas, Kansas St., Cincy, & Louisville) and the “East” Division (Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse, U-Conn, West Virginia, & S. Florida).

    All that would be necessary to start this ball rolling would be the Pac-12 admitting the OK schools.

    • mushroomgod says:

      *14 probably doesn’t work well for the PAC. What school from the original PAC 8 would be willing to go to the Eastern Division?

      *14 wouldn’t work as well for ND and TX in the BIG. If TX came, they’d probably like MO with them. If ND came, they’d probably like Pitt with them. I like the idea of others on here that if the BIG went to 16 teams with 8 conf. games (probably a necessity for ND), you could still schedule BIG teams as OOC games

      • mushroomgod says:

        They wouldn’t go with a geographic split—you’d have OSU, ND, PSU, and MICH in the same division……v. TX and Neb. in the other division. If they didn’t like geography before (I did), they won’t like it if ND and TX join.

        • mushroomgod says:

          If the BIG did add ND, Pitt, TX, and MO, you could put ND and Pitt in the east and TX and MO in the west..

          ILL IN OSU PSU PUR WIS Pitt ND

          Iowa Mich MSU MINN Neb NW TX MO

          but that screws uo ND’s schedule…..switch MSU and WIS



          This is better except you’d have to have MSU-Mich as the protected game and would lose ND-Mich as an every yeargame

    • Actually, at 14 the PAC could just put Utah (or Colorado, but I’d guess Utah) in the North division, make Utah-Colorado a protected rivalry game, and be done with it. Scheduling would be a bit awkward with the CA games all protected as well as Utah-Colorado, but I doubt it’d be very difficult to come up with functional schedule models under those constraints.

      Cal and Stanford would play 1 of the 4 AZ/OK schools every year, and UCLA/USC would play 1 of the 4 NW schools every year, which would obviously ruffle some feathers, but it’d still be functional. Doubt that zipper ever happens. Negative reaction to it has been brutal in the BIG, and it certainly hasn’t done anything for the ACC. Difficult to think that it’d be the eventual outcome of negotiations in the PAC.

      • Eric says:

        I think if you add the Oklahoma schools and stay at 14, you keep the divisions but put Oklahoma in the north and Oklahoma State in the south. I don’t think the PAC-12 would put USC and Oklahoma in the same division.

      • m (Ag) says:

        Zipper California:

        UO, OSU, UW, WSU, Cal, UCLA, Utah
        OU, OSU, UA, ASU, Stanford, USC, Colorado

        You can flip Cal/UCLA with Stanford, USC if you want more parity, but I think Cal has more of a rivalry with the north schools.

        This sort of alignment gets everyone into LA every other year.

  77. Redhawk says:

    Hearing Tech is in the the PAC group. Right now it’s OU, OkSt, and Tech that are in. Just trying to figure out #16. UT? doubtful. Kansas? More likely. Missouri….leaning SEC Hawaii? Long shot but it’s out there.

    Just rumor at this point

    • mike in st. louis says:

      Why would the Pac12 want Texas Tech without Texas? It’s a Tier 3 academic school in West Texas. Their New Year’s Day Bowl game in Dallas couldn’t even fill half the Cotton Bowl.

      • bobo the feted says:

        I don’t think TTU is that attractive without UT either, but OU and OSU will want something, ANYTHING, in Texas for recruiting reasons. TTU does play half decent football and has some recent success and pretty good facilities. I think the reason TTU is being brought in is to line up with the PAC12’s “One of Each” Strategy – somewhat forcing Texas to go to the PAC, or for the newly expanded PAC to be ready for Texas once it gives up the LHN. It’s a gambit on the PAC and OU’s part. Even if UT doesn’t join, TTU is a good expansion candidate for a couple of reasons:

        1) If they play OU/OSU play TTU every year in San Antonio/Dallas/Ft Worth it gives the Oklohoma schools exposure in Texas regardless of UT’s conference alignment.

        2) Texas Tech as a decent sized fanbase in DFW area and most of rural West Texas (thats still alot of people).

        3) Texas Tech has a good prior history of rivalry with both Arizona schools

        4) Academics at Tech are improving – it controls two medical schools now, a law school and there are plans to eventually open a vet school.

        • ccrider55 says:

          TT probably gets the P1xNetwork on basic in the state?

          • Jake says:

            No way. If the LHN is struggling, a Tech channel wouldn’t have a prayer, even if it is carrying other Pac programming. They need another Texas school. I’d be surprised if Tech went anywhere without UT.

          • ccrider55 says:


            It wouldn’t be a “Tech channel”. It is/would be a P16N channel serving a region. Yes, UT would make it work logically but assuming OU, OSU, KU, TT I’d bet on an Okla’s channel and a TT/KU channel. All of these channels also have access to inventory from all the other regions. The LHN is struggling with carriage. the P12N already has carriage in 60+ mill homes, and basic carriage within the footprint.

        • vp19 says:

          Adding Texas Tech certainly puts the pressure on Texas to join the Pac, or else cobble together some old SWC buddies for a relatively unappealing Big 12, version 2.0, that wouldn’t add much allure to the Longhorn Network.

    • mike in st. louis says:

      If OU/oSu/Kansas/TT go to Pac16 and aTm/Mizzou go SEC, is the Big12 dead?

      Or can they save it by adding Boise St., TCU, BYU, Houston, Rice and SMU?

      • vp19 says:

        That would be a weird 10-team blend — six former SWC members (Texas, Baylor, Texas Christian, Houston, Rice and Southern Methodist), two old Big Eight members (Iowa State, Kansas State), plus Brigham Young and Boise State from the west.

      • metatron5369 says:

        What’s the difference between this and the MWC? They still need two teams at this point if they want a conference game.

        Unlikely they’ll go past that, if they expand at all, given their history.

        • mike in st. louis says:

          CCG is the least of the Big12’s worries at this point. They want to remain AQ. And after their TV money didn’t get cut even though they couldn’t offer a CCG, they seemed pretty proud of themselves.

          If they can’t get Boise St. or BYU to join, they might try to get some Big East schools.

          BTW, when I say “they” I mean Texas. Because at this point, Texas is the Big 12; the Big 12 is Texas. As others have pointed out, it wasn’t Dan Beebe that flew to Norman, it was DeLoss Dodds.

  78. mouse says:

    And Notre Dame isn’t joining another conference (for football, ND is it’s own conference) so long as they have a home for their minor sports, and the Big East would still give that.

    I’m curious about the situation with the Big 12. The Texas legislature has seemed on earlier occasions ready to step in to put pressure on people. This has typically been on teams threatening to leave. Here the problem keeps coming back to the LHN. Isn’t that the point where the pressure should be applied? Couldn’t the Legislature call in Texas and thank them for getting this extra fifteen million a year as it helps with the budget crisis, and reduce their state funds by, say, sixteen million (that extra million is for processing fees). Texas might then rethink the benefits of the LHN, and if it goes away, a lot of the points of friction with other league members go away.

    • mushroomgod says:

      The LHN won’t go away, if for no other reason than the loss of face TX would have to endure……..

      I tend to agree on ND not leaving with the BE intact….except I do see ND-TX to the BIG, along with MO and Pitt, as a long-shot possibility. If the BIG agreed to an 8 game conf. schedule that arrangement might be hard to pass up…………all of this assumes A@M and ? to the SEC, and at least OK, OK ST. to PAC……….

    • Eric says:

      I think a lot is made of the LHN, but it hasn’t actually done 1/10 of what it is blaimed for. Nebraska and Colorado were gone last year and the possibility of the LHN wasn’t the reason. A&M fans may blame it, but they’ve been wanting out since they were offered SEC last year. Oklahoma is more fed up with conference instability than anything else. Getting rid of the Loghnorn Network would accomplish very little.

      • bullet says:

        Even if it were the reason, its really too late to make any difference for the Big 12. OU will make their decision one way or the other and the Aggies have already made their call.

      • ccrider55 says:

        Perhaps I am “misrememering” but I think I read where Osborne asked UT if they would go all in for a conference network and, upon recieving a reply in the negative, made the call to tell the Big10 now or never.

  79. MaroonHoosier says:

    New, new B1G division names:

    Leviathan, and

  80. Some random observations:

    1. Why is 16-member super conferences the future when the past suggests that they haven’t been successful yet? I know the sample size is admittedly small but why is right this second the best time to go to 16?

    2. Why would TCU join the Big 12 if they received an invite after Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and/or Missouri left? TCU would be fresh in the Big East after waiting for years to join an AQ conference so why would they spurn the conference that gave them that chance, especially within years of accepting that conference membership? Also factor in the potentially high chance that the Big 12 will crumble anyways after a short period and TCU will find it hard to get in another AQ conference especially after burning their bridge with the Big East. This applies to a lesser extent to Boise State.

    3. I see a lot of predictions indicating that Pittsburgh would be brought into the Big Ten if they expand to 16 schools. What do they offer? The Big Ten’s criteria appears to be football brand, academics, and market. Pittsburgh really hasn’t done anything of late as far as football brand goes and the future doesn’t look brighter. Their market is completely dominated by Penn State and Ohio State, and wouldn’t expand the BTN or conference footprint. They are a very good academic school but that positive is far outweighed by the two negatives. The rest of the criteria, like basketball brand, is more like a tie-breaker if the competing schools all had met the first three criteria. It isn’t a knock on Pittsburgh because they make for an important member of the Big East and would make for a strong addition to the ACC, but they just aren’t Big Ten material.

    • bobo the feted says:

      Prior history of the WAC says that 16 team conferences will break apart, but the money is so big now that it’s all about TV sets, viewers, and cable network subscriptions. This forces conferences to grow. From a scheduling and geographic division standpoint 16 teams in 9 conference games is easier to schedule mathematically than 14 teams in 8/9 conference games, or 18 teams in 8/9 conference games. In a sense 16 is just big enough to increase the TV money but not big enough to become to unwieldy or to the point where teams only play each other once in a decade.

      TCU won’t be joining the Big12, at this moment with the Big East about to redo its TV contracts, the Big East will likely offer TCU more money and stability than the Big12. Still TCU has always wanted to be in the Big12 (all the left out SWC schools do) and being the lone geographic outlier isn’t that appealing for the program or its non revenue sports (Volleyball/Baseball etc travel is killer). Boise State is in the same bind, but because of their geography they are even more limited. The PAC12 makes the most sense for them geographically but PAC12 schools don’t want BSU because the academics are not good.

      Pitt is attractive to the BigTen for a couple of reasons. Great academics, good winning tradition (9 MNCs in football), good football. Pitt has always been mentioned as a excellent candidate because Joe Paterno at PSU has always wanted them in the BigTen. In addition if Notre Dame joins up Pitt would be an established rivalry.

      • footballnut says:

        Well, as I see it, here we are:

        For aTm to join SEC, SEC will have to back off its requirement for the other Big 12 schools to waive their litigation rights, because there is no way the little 5 will do that.

        PAC 12 won’t expand unless SEC does. Also, wants no litigation problems.

        Question is, does Baylor have a chance? Ken Starr is no dummy.

        OU is having hotflashes, but will cool off if aTm to SEC falls through and the status quo is sustained.

        SO, everything rests on how/if/when aTm goes to SEC. Until then, nothing happens. Even if OU/OU apply for Pac 12 membership, Pac 12 won’t blink until SEC admits aTm. If that happens, then its every school for themselves.

      • vp19 says:

        Pitt wouldn’t give the Big Ten anything Maryland wouldn’t — and at least Maryland would give the conference a virgin market, something Pitt can’t claim.

    • bullet says:

      Division II has different economics, but the PacWest and Lone Star became mega-conferences and both collapsed shortly. The Lone Star just fell apart this year with the various Oklahoma and Arkansas schools heading in a couple different directions.

      The Missouri Valley in the 70s was viewed as the first superconference as they went to 12 when most conferences were at 8 to 10. They were very powerful in basketball. It also collapsed quickly. Louisville, Cincinnati, Memphis, St. Louis, W. Texas St., North Texas and New Mexico St. are a few of the schools that passed through quickly, with Tulsa leaving eventually for the WAC.

      But then CEO types frequently believe they can succeed where others fail.

    • zeek says:

      The main difference is that the players weren’t right in the past. The Pac-16 will work financially (which is where most previous 16-football team configurations failed, like the WAC-16).

      You’ll have the population bases of California and Texas to serve as the main base of support for 2 divisions along with Washington/Oregon in the new Pac-8 division and Arizona/Colorado/Utah/Oklahoma in the SWC-8 division.

      If the finances work, the question is whether all of the egos would work. I think they would because I think Texas knows what it would be getting into by joining the Pac-16.

      • Eric says:

        Financially is a key issue short term and I think things can work in that matter for a little while. Long run though, I think they only are great given a current realitity of revenue sources that can and will dry up/change in the future. Once that happens, I suspect the 16 team conferences might as well.

  81. jj says:

    For entertainment I’ve been mulling this over.

    The number of games is the backbreaker.

    8 is just too few games in a 14 or 16 scenario.

    9 is really bad for ND as they will get stuck with 1 game to schedule each year (USC and Navy eat the others no question about it).

    ND joining really helps MSU, UM and Pur but it really hurts ND.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, ND’s price might be bringing Navy along for the ride.

    • bullet says:

      Navy would almost certainly say no. Not everyone would say yes to the B1G.

      • zeek says:

        I don’t understand how the service academies would even compete in major conferences. It’d be a huge mistake for both sides. Last I checked, their mission statements don’t include getting involved in athletics arms races…

        Pitt. or BC are the only schools I could really see ND trying to bring along if it ever joined the Big Ten. Navy just doesn’t make sense for either side.

    • jj says:

      I get it. The schedule issue is a major problem here though.

    • FLP_NDRox says:

      That’s been a major complaint about the idea of conference affiliation for twenty years or more for ND. Only 3 OOC games means that our schedule is locked in for all but one game a year.

      That said, Navy won’t be coming through that door. They saw what happened to Army when they went to CUSA.

      • vp19 says:

        And it’s the reason why Notre Dame isn’t going to join any conference for football unless the BCS landscape exhausts all its other options — and as long as schools such as Texas and Brigham Young want independence as an option, Notre Dame will have it, too.

  82. zeek says:

    “A national college athletes’ advocacy group and a sports management professor calculate in the report that if college sports shared their revenues the way pro sports do, the average Football Bowl Subdivision player would be worth $121,000 per year, while the average basketball player at that level would be worth $265,000.”

    “The report said that players at the most powerful programs are worth far in excess of even the average athlete. The report estimates that Duke’s basketball players are worth the most, at around $1 million each, while Texas’ football players top that sport at $513,000 each.”

    • footballnut says:

      But only 8 D-1 schools ended up in the black last year. Go figure…

      • bullet says:

        They don’t have cities to build their stadiums. The NFL doesn’t have massive tutoring operations to keep the players eligible. And the NFL, unlike baseball, doesn’t have to pay for a farm system and unlike colleges, doesn’t have 15-20 other sports to support.

        • Eric says:

          There’s also the fact that since colleges can’t pay players they spend that money elsewhere to attract them. There are facilities for college players which apparently can put even some NFL ones to shame (not sure that’s right, but have heard it before). There is also a lot spent on coaches as they are the key to finding and getting the right players. If you directly payed the players, coaches salaries could probably drop.

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        Male Track & Field athletes are worth -$150,000…Women’s volleyball is worth -$210,000…

    • ccrider55 says:

      If they don’t like the deal they are getting in college let them start a NFL farm system with all that worth, or join a semi-pro team…

  83. bullet says:

    It is an indication of weak leadership that OU’s president was talking to A&M to keep them in the conference and now UT is talking to OU. Beebe doesn’t seem to be able to get everyone to talk.

  84. Redhawk says:
    you all are slow…cause it’s on!
    Slive: A&M is accepted into the SEC. SEC working on 2012 schedule with A&M. No 14 team talked to.

    Missouri Board to meet to night. 2 items on agenda, one a mystery item in executive session.

    • frug says:

      Hooray! Actual news, not just idle speculation!

      (Now let the speculation about the SEC’s 14th member and the reactions of OU/OSU/UT and the PAC1X commence)

    • jj says:

      I bet the secret topic is what gift to get A&M for the going away party.

    • bullet says:

      Well I did say in my 1:10 post today that things were so quiet it was likely to be on real soon.

      So now its in OU & the Pac 12’s court.

      • Patrick says:

        It appears to be in Mizzou’s court.

        OU & OSU are on lockdown but all indications are that in the 9/19 Board of Regents meeting they will withdraw from the Big 12 and make motions toward the Pac 12, OSU will be right behind.

        Mizzou is in an emergency BoR meeting right now. started at 6 PM this evening.

        What happens to Missouri (I am guessing SEC #14)

        I think OU and OSU go to the PAC 12 with Kansas (and everyone keeps saying Texas Tech) but I think that it could be Kansas State (I say this without any prior knowledge, speculating) but it may help with the PAC network arrangements. WSU – UW / OSU – Oreg. / CAL-Stan / UCLA-USC WESTERN —- EASTERN Col -Utah / AZ -ASU / Okla – OSU / Kansas – KSU

        Texas is going independent, Texas Tech, ISU and Baylor are the schools left scrambling.

    • greg says:

      “We remain optimistic that Texas A&M will be a member of the SEC.”

      Slive must not have heard from the Aggies that its a 100% done deal.

      • bullet says:

        When you read the SEC website carefully, nothing has changed. ESPN article also indicates nothing has changed. I thought it was done until I read the ESPN article.

        Maybe they have gotten some news that encouraged Slive to speak publically, but there’s no welcome Aggies sign up yet at the SEC.

        • ccrider55 says:

          I did not read the ESPN article, but that is what I took from the SEC statement also. However, there is no need for a statement of any kind unless things have changed behind the sceens. Perhaps this is a way of telling Baylor(UT) it’s time to stand, down or off to court we go? Or is it the announcement of the league being willing to schedule aTm next year either as a member or OOC? The statement regarding being satisfied at 13 sounds similar to one regarding 12…Mizzou in special executive meeting…OU/OSU possibly readying a move…lots of smoke in many places. Yes. Nothing has changed, but that doesn’t nean the storm has stopped its approach and the sky isn’t darkening.

          • bullet says:

            Probably not a coincidence he makes his statement after the OU/UT meeting. Possibly OU/UT agreed to stay or agreed to give up or maybe Slive is just pressing the issue for OU.

          • Mike says:

            I imagine OU told Texas they had the support of the regents and the intention to move west. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Texas flew up to meet with OU and the next morning Chip Brown runs a story with insider information outside of Oklahoma.

          • bullet says:

            There’s a Kentucky paper saying its official that puts in Slive’s statement, but in it Slive says,
            “We remain OPTOMISTIC that Texas A&M will be a member of the SEC….”

            From the SEC website:

            Slive was either a little sloppy or a little sly in his statement when he starts by talking about A&M being the 3rd member accepted in the history of the SEC.

          • bullet says:

            It wasn’t an extended meeting. Some reporter met them coming and going from the airport and said they landed around 2:30 and returned around 6:00 (report had an actual time to the minute-wonder if he was plane tracking). So that’s only 3.5 hours including flying and driving time.

  85. metatron5369 says:

    I had to get a screenshot of this.

    (^Big pic, SFW)

    Deal with it, SEC.

  86. Redhawk says:

    Other News:
    Tulsa World reporter John Hoover on Twitter:
    OU regents will meet in Claremore, OK on Mon. My source on Board was asked not to talk. “Negotiations are sensitive.

    Then followed up with this one:
    What I expect: OU regents will vote on Big12/Pac12 move next Mon. Will be approved. OSU will follow suit. Pac-12 will announce soon after.

    Hoover and the Tulsa World isn’t Chip Brown, or some random blog or guy with a radio show. This is pretty plugged in stuff.

    • metatron5369 says:

      Well, good luck and hopefully we’ll see you in the Rose Bowl.

      It’s pretty special.

      • Redhawk says:

        yeah it is….and Oklahoma has been there before. I was there. Cool as heck to see the schooner in the Rose Parade, and the horses (boomer and sooner) draped in roses

  87. Patrick says:

    Twitter – MsPotts_ESPN Keri Potts

    For ND v Mich, Chicago (9.6) & Detroit (18.8) set records for highest-rated cfb games on ESPN. Their previous bests in 2000, 8.9 & 14.7.

    That is the goal, move those meters.

    • bullet says:

      Pretty bizarre. I just doubt that the B1G or UT operate that way. Talking to different groups with different goals? Having this type of discussion with boosters in the room? I just don’t see anyone letting a T. Boone into the room when discussing these sorts of things. Maybe it does happen that way as I have certainly never been in one of those discussions, but my call is that PBC is a creative fiction writer.

      • metatron5369 says:

        Seems to me a few of the bigger boosters tried to get involved on Texas’ behalf. Doesn’t necessarily include a meeting; could be phone calls or dinners.

        But business is business, and we’re professionals up here.

      • Richard says:

        I’m quite certain T. Boone was involved with getting OSU in to the P16 last year and will be involved with moving OSU with OU this year as well. Remember that until it gets to a later stage, these are meetings/calls between intermediaries (possibly school officials in the B10 & maybe boosters on the Texas side) so that both Delany, Deloss Dodd, etc. can truthfully say that they haven’t talked to the B10/Texas or even that the B10/Texas hasn’t been in contact with Texas/B10 in case it becomes negative for them to say that they have for whatever reason. Plausible deniability isn’t just useful during recruiting.

      • mike in st. louis says:

        Yep. PBC jumped the shark with this post.

        The part that got my attention was the whole cutting out other “networks” (i.e. ESPN) angle, and the possibility of regional BT Networks. I don’t see that as wise or necessary. And there is no way the Big Ten office would allow the incendiary talk about ESPN to be leaked.

        I’m now convinced PBC is a poser.

      • M says:

        I’m not defending PBC directly, but I think that these negotiations work more like what he’s described. There are a lot of different groups that make up the collective “will” of a university. Many of them see themselves as the particular guardians of the university’s mission as they see it.

        In other words, I have no doubt that T. Boone is involved in any discussions or negotiations that OKST has had. If he’s not directly in the room, he’s on the Skype connection.

      • David Brown says:

        I understand that Baylor, Iowa State etc can sue to block the breakup of the Conference, but the reality is there is basically nothing they can do about it. No matter what anyone thinks about the University of Texas (And I am certainly no fan), they are a game changing program, as is Oklahoma for the PAC, and to a lesser degree TA&M for the SEC. Those Conferences will essentially make sure Baylor is screwed if they try and block things from occurring (By having their members refuse to play Baylor in Waco (As previously mentioned, Iowa has a lot of power over ISU (ie: Not playing them in Ames)) . As I pointed out over a week ago, the school to watch is Missouri. If Missouri goes to the SEC (With A&M), the probability is the ACC to a lage extent (For now) will remain intact, while the Oklahoma Schools head West (Will it be alone? Will it be with the Kansas Schools? Or will it be Texas Tech (With Kansas)). This of course, is the scenario most favored in Austin, and at Big 10 Headquarters, because UT will have found away to divorce themselves of not only A&M, but Tech & Baylor as well, and thus will likely be heading to the Big 10, probably with Notre Dame and a couple of smaller schools (Maybe two of Pitt, Maryland & Boston College).If that occurs, the remaining schools (Baylor, Iowa State & Kansas State) can then head to the Big East to strengthen the football Conference.

    • I’m not saying that this will all come true, but PBC is definitely connected within the Big Ten.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        PBC is the king of Expansion Fan Fiction. And when I say ‘fiction’ I’m not implying that he’s some poser. He is definitely serving a purpose. Whether as an in-house propagandist, a trial-balloonist or an ExpansionGate deep throat, I don’t know, but it sure is entertaining and I believe as accurate as is allowed.

        • zeek says:

          This is the correct point of view on PBC. He does have a source (maybe sources), but he is most likely a mouthpiece for Big Ten-favorable news re: expansion.

          He’s the Big Ten’s Chip Brown with respect to Big Ten related news. Someone inside the Big Ten is leaking this “news” to him for outside consumption.

    • FLP_NDRox says:

      Forget PBC’s stuff, which is basically there was a conference call with some Texas randoms, the interesting stuff to me is SpecialK discussing that there may be something to this because there has been absolutely no movement or public discussion on the Notre Dame Hockey conference search. Sure, most of that is because I doubt more than 10K people care, but the silence is really getting to me on this. I would like to know who I’ll be watching us play when the CCHA goes belly-up in 2013.

      • @FLP_NDRox – That was actually the most interesting point to me, as well. The fact that ND hasn’t bothered to move at all on this yet (and hockey has essentially gone through its own complete conference realignment Armageddon) does carry some weight.

        • GreatLakeState says:

          ND holding off on their hockey affiliation tells me they’re in a holding pattern.

          • Patrick says:

            I totally agree.

            Now bring Boston College along with Texas and Notre Dame for the new hockey conference and the New England market and you may have a winner there. Who else would you invite in a scenario with Notre Dame, Texas, and BC…… anyone you want? lol

          • Richard says:

            Rice for the academic prestige and to give Texas a school they can bus to?

            I think that if the B10 lands Texas and ND, though, they’ll sit on 14 unless ND and Texas absolutely demand to bring along BC & Rice.

            BTW, the New England market is pretty worthless as college football just doesn’t matter there.

          • vp19 says:

            The Big Ten isn’t going to play lapdog to Notre Dame’s demands, so forget Boston College, which wouldn’t be considered apart from ND. (Same thing with any school it doesn’t want, but that Texas insists on as part of a package deal.)

          • FLP_NDRox says:

            BC wouldn’t come in as an ND pet project (mainly because I doubt the ND administration has any desire to go out of their way to help the Jesuits at BC) so much as a way to get the BTHC to eight teams, since BC is the only decent hockey school with a B1G appropriate football team, and would make the BTHC the dominant hockey conference.

            But, as we all know hockey is a non-issue compared to football, and I know I can’t see a B1(4)G with Boston College.

            @Frank — While it’s been pretty nuts in hockey this summer, it’s only been so west of the Alleghenies. The REAL hockey conference Armageddon would start if ND joins Hockey East and Hockey East raids the ECAC for #12 causing a seismic shift in the east as well.

          • EZCUSE says:

            So basketball doesn’t matter, but hockey does.

            The world is off its axis.

          • GCS says:

            @EZCUSE Not quite. Football is still all that matters in making the decision in what conference to join. Holding off on joining a hockey conference just makes the transition easier once that decision is made.

          • EZCUSE says:

            I am talking Boston College as an addition. How does that make sense for the Big 10?

          • GCS says:

            It doesn’t, and that’s why they haven’t been mentioned as an option other than in two offhand remarks and the responses dismissing it as nonsense.

    • derek says:

      An update to the original PBC update…

      “The second group of boosters came in to push the envelope now with the B1G. As in they want Texas to publicly get the B1G invite tomorrow, with no conditions from UT, without regard for the political situation or for the other Big XII members.

      The “official unofficial” Texas delegation has consistently expressed to the Big Ten a desire to allow other schools to break up the conference before making Texas’ move official.

      The conference’s posture toward Texas remains unchanged.”

  88. Abe Froman says:

    I really don’t get why Texas would want to join the BIG in this scenario. If they go to the Pac-X, at least they would have regional teams and traditional rivals along with them. If they go to the BIG, Nebraska is the closest school.
    Nice to associate with the BIG schools academically, sure, but it’s not that different than the Pac-X and it doesn’t seem like Texas has cared much about the academic standing of their conference mates in the past. Nebraska and Oklahoma moving to the BIG and Pac will help them step up academically, I don’t see a similar move mattering much at Texas.
    Texas isn’t exactly hurting for money either, so they have less need to move for financial considerations.
    Also it seems like Bevo probably wouldn’t be excited about having substantially less clout as the new kid on the block with Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Penn State, etc always looking a little wearily at them.
    So really, why would Texas want to join the BIG? Maybe they are just exploring all their options as they are looking for somewhere to park their non-football sports after they go indy. Though I imagine their baseball team would protest such a move.
    Maybe that’s what Notre Dame is looking for as well, a move for their non-football sports out of the Big East in order to find a nice home for their Hockey team and preemptively ditching the vulnerable Big East.
    That is, if there is any truth to the Texas, Notre Dame to the BIG rumors, which I personally doubt.

    • metatron5369 says:

      Maybe they want some of your delicious sausage?

    • Richard says:

      The Big Ten does have the CIC, which means actual research cooperation, not just prestigious academic association. Plus, Texas figures to have a constant recruiting advantage, especially if they are put in a “western” division with Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minny, Northwestern, and Illinois). In terms of football prestige, the “desert” division of the Pac isn’t better (I daresay it’s worse) than even the less prestigious western half of the B10, and the crossover games with ND, OSU, Michigan, and PSU blow away anything collection the Pac8 has to offer. Finally, by pairing with ND, they’d be able to create the absolute leader in conferences. No conference would be able to surpass (they’d at best match) in terms of academics, football, basketball, money, fervor, brands, and footprint.

    • mike in st louis says:

      Abe – It would be a mistake to underestimate the importance of the time zone differentials with the Pac12 schools. There are 8 schools that are two hours behind Texas all year, and the Arizona schools are two hours behind for most of the football season. When the Pac12 Network wants to have a triple-header, guess whose home games get to be the 11 am central start? Not Oregon, not USC, Not Stanford. It’s going to have to be the central tz teams, especially non-conference (when it’s hot) and against the other central tz teams.

      And does Texas want their men’s and women’s basketball teams playing weeknight games that start at 10 pm central when they go to Washington or UCLA?

      • bullet says:

        I believe that Missouri/ASU game started at 10:30 eastern time. I was wondering if that would affect Mizzou at the end. But then I thought, no those are college kids-they get started at 1:30 or 2.

  89. bullet says:

    Couldn’t find the link, but there was an interesting article on TV in the AJC college football preview section back on August 28-“Glut of College games shows no sign of abating.”

    A couple of interesting points, “ABC and the various ESPN networks will combine to televise more than 250 games, and hundreds more will air on other national networks, regional cable networks, syndication packages and on-line. Many major-college teams will have all of their games televised.”

    “Even with all of its broadcast platforms, SEC and ACC rights-holder ESPN doesn’t have room for all of the available inventory; therefore, many games are sub-licensed to regional cable networks or syndicates of stations.” The Fox Sports South and Sports South official interviewed says how delighted he is to be one of those “piplines” for the ESPN overflow.

    So how much will ESPN really want additional inventory from any conference? And does that make it a benefit to sabotage the Big 12 to get those slots?

  90. Mike says:

    This can’t be good.

  91. hangtime79 says:

    Let’s play Game Theory because there is a ton going on right now between the SEC and the Pac-12.

    Let’s parse out Slive’s release this evening. Who was that press release for:
    a. TAMU fans
    b. Baylor
    c. OU
    d. Larry Scott

    If you said (d) you are correct and an 1/8 of a point if you said (a). Let’s walk back through this poker hand so far

    1. TAMU hates LHN, decides to leave B12 and begins talks with SEC
    2. Slive tells TAMU to get its affairs in order
    3. TAMU goes through the withdrawal process as outlined by the Big 12.

    Stop here: I believe Slive saw this exact scenario coming. He saw the crap that was going to go down when TAMU put in its papers and wanted no part of it which is why he told Loftin to get his affairs in order. However, Loftin and his counsel thought this meant make sure you go through the Big 12 bylaws not thinking about everybody getting mad and starting to sue which is what Slive was anticipating.

    4. TAMU announces its leaving
    5. OU’s Boren gets frustrated or intentionally slips that they are looking to leave as well.
    6. Baylor and perhaps other schools panic and let it be known that they were willing to sue to keep TAMU from blowing up the conference
    7. Slive protecting the SEC while giving TAMU as much rope as he can give puts the legal waiver condition on TAMU.

    Stop Here:
    TAMU is now out of moves and has to wait on OU to recommit or leave.
    Slive has one direct move to get TAMU to the SEC, the release of the waiver – but he is worried about the lawsuits and besides he owns the biggest, baddest conference in the country, why does he need to grow, so he sits on it. His indirect move now is to get Larry Scott and Pac 12 to push the button and implode the Big 12. Once there is only wreckage of the Big 12 Slive gets at least TAMU and maybe Mizzou.

    8. Last Thursday, we hear from Larry Scott on the ESPN telecast. He isn’t budging. He does not want to take the first shot at mega-conferences (or get sued). Ball back in Slive’s court. Scott has his own problems at home with Colorado getting uppidity if they aren’t able in California twice a year. With a new TV deal he isn’t too enthusiastic about expanding.

    9. Nothing heard over the weekend. No news is generally good news as people are talking, Mom and Dad (OU and UT) seeming to be working it out.
    10. Today, lots and lots of chatter about OU leaving for the Pac-12 means things did not go well in Norman…I’m sure of that.
    11. Slive fires back at Scott tonight, which many misunderstood as to be a wholesale acceptance by the SEC (not necessarily a bad thing for Slive). Slive tells Scott in the strongest terms he can that he is growing with TAMU past 12. The key idea being conveyed you better take OU and OSU when they come calling because I’m growing. Slive is trying to get the Pac 12 to move by laying the groundwork for OU and OSU.

    That brings us to the current situation. OU and OSU are lining up for Pac 12. If Scott were to deny them this year it wouldn’t necessarily be bad, but it might poison the well for the future. Scott needs an out if is going to say no to OU and he really needs it before they apply.

    Couple of moves now:
    1. OU and OSU apply and are accepted. College football goes nuclear as Baylor and possibly others sue the Pac 12 and the SEC.
    2. Pac 12 declines OU and OSU’s invitation to apply.
    3. OU recommits to the Big 12. Big 12 adds 1 – 3 members.
    4. OU decides to do nothing and let’s this just play out.

    I truly believe Larry Scott does not want to move, but he is running out of options at this point. If OU leaps now he has to catch them especially if they apply publicly.

    Now for my own play:
    As Baylor fan I am always looking for the angle on what’s best for us so here’s my dream scenario.

    Knowing that Scott doesn’t want to move – he needs a reason to get OU to back off. If the Presidents of Baylor, KU, KSU, and ISU jointly announced that they together would sue any respective conference that made a play on a member, that might be enough leverage for Scott to signal that he would be unwilling to take a chance on anyone. Once the Pac 12 is off the table, OU would not recommit to the conference, but would sulk back. The Aggies then have two options A) go independent for a year, lose ~$40 MM, have no chance at the Director’s cup, and give their non-rev sports the equivalent of a one year death penalty or B) come back to the Big 12. Given that option, I think TAMU has no option.

    This move would poison the conference dead. Just 10 real unhappy folks living together, but it may keep it together for another 2 – 3 years enough time to effect a consolidation with the Big East once their contract is up. The addition of 8 other members is some interesting media markets may help it or consolidate everyone into the Big 12’s package. Whichever makes the most $ sense. Listen I don’t believe the “Don’t Mess with Texas Football” spin, nor am I naive enough to believe this isn’t about 10s of millions of dollars a year, and I am under no delusions that Baylor would be able to swing an AQ conference by itself, therefore, Baylor has to play this game perfectly and has to play it ruthlessly. That would be about as ruthless as it could get, blocking two schools from leaving via lawsuits against other conferences.

    Unless the Big 12 blows up the number of moves on the board is growing smaller. OU and the Pac 12 are going to have to make a decision. If OU leaves then all hell is going to break lose and I hope you enjoy reading legal briefs because there are going to be a lot of them. If OU stays then I think TAMU will have to stay because they will be out of options and we end this realignment round at least for another year.

    As much as I enjoy thinking about this stuff, it really is productivity suck, and I am hoping that ends soon.

    • Patrick says:

      Pac 12 isn’t going to reject OU or OSU, these things have already be arranged or OU wouldn’t be making such a ruckus.

      In a way easier fashion, Maybe they vote to just flat out disband the Big 12.

      Texas A&M and Missouri likely to SEC they vote to kill it.

      Oklahoma & OSU likely to the Pac 12 they vote to kill it.

      Kansas & (KSU / TTU) likely to Pac 12 they vote to kill it.

      Texas likely ends up independent but is going to attempt to look under every conference rock to see if it can keep LHN. They Abstain.

      Baylor, ISU, and (KSU/TTU) vote against. But now they have no conference to hold these schools in.

      Ends up 6-3-1. Blood and guilt is off Texas hands, everybody goes about their business. LHN continues , no other conference will allow it and Texas ends up independent. They will claim that they tried everything, but the reality is that they tried everything except give up the LHN…. which triggered this in the first place.

      • vp19 says:

        Patrick, for Texas’ sake, Texas Tech had better be included in a Pac-16, because if this ended with Tech being left high and dry, UT would have a lot to answer for in the state legislature. And I still believe it would be more difficult than one thinks to separate KU and KSU.

        Might Missouri wind up as the Texas Tech partner in a non-Texas Pac scenario? If so, then Slive is left scrambling for #14, and Virginia Tech may be back in play.

      • hangtime79 says:

        Patrick I absolutely agree if OU and OSU apply; they will be accepted. I believe I made that point. The problem is that Baylor and others have to get to the Pac 12 ahead of time.

        Let’s play our scenario:

        Let’s assume their is a vote to disband: I believe the disband vote takes 75% of the conference, but let’s make it tougher on Baylor and make it 60% can disband (6 out of 10).

        Agreed on TAMU and Mizzou I think vote yes.
        Agreed on OU and OSU, yes go the Pac 12.

        Agreed on Baylor and ISU, No. 4 against 2.

        KSU, KU, TTU, and UT remaining.

        That’s 4 schools and only two openings in the Pac 12 which is all you need right? What combinations would the Pac 12 take and not take? I think the Pac 12 takes any combination that includes UT and only UT. I believe the California schools and Colorado puke on any 2 team combination that doesn’t include UT. Why invite anymore pain from the Colorado and academic sub-standards as perceived by the California schools.

        KU – UT (KU then has a KSU problem, UT has a Tech problem)
        KSU – UT (KSU has a KU problem, UT has a Tech problem)
        TTU – UT (the only one that’s really possible because you can’t split the Kansas schools)

        So we have one combination that would be amenable to both the Pac 12 and the schools. Maybe Scott can get OU and OSU, but he will not get to 16 unless he gets UT. So we come back to the original problem from last year, what does UT want.

        So let’s say that UT decides independence and Scott can get the Pac 12 to take the Kansas schools, and UT has no problem kicking TTU to the curb. Where do UT’s non-rev sports go? The SEC, they won’t want them. The Pac 12, if they deny Scott he won’t take them. There is no Big 12 at that point. Where do Dodd’s non-rev sports go? He needs a home and he isn’t putting them in the MWC. He then needs the Big 10 G and for the Big 10 to take TTU which is not going to happen. Also, UT can get away with kicking Baylor to the curb, but if TAMU and UT leave TTU as well now the two largest schools in Texas in 17 years have single-handedly killed football at Rice, SMU, TCU, UH, Baylor, and TTU there is ABSOLUTE hell to pay once the legislature comes back into session at that point and PUF money is then on the table for those schools.

        So the moves once OU and OSU are taken:
        UT and TTU to Pac 12
        UT and TTU to the Big 10G

        Pac 12: Pac 12 makes that deal, but does UT?
        Big 10G: UT makes that deal but does the Big 10G?

        UT can’t go independent because once it does, it doesn’t have a home for its non-rev teams – see above my discussion of TAMU.

        • vp19 says:

          In other words, Texas has effectively outsmarted itself, and the Longhorn Network — which was supposed to make UT all the more powerful — has instead severely limited its options; it has to accompany Texas Tech into a Pac-16, with relatively little power to orchestrate terms. Checkmate.

          • mike in st. louis says:

            As I outlined above, Texas still has moves left that don’t involve saving the Big12 or moving to the Pac12 on the Pac12’s terms. They can reboot the Southwest conference (with some strategic additions).

            Plus, I’ve read elsewhere that Scott really likes the idea of adding Kansas. So if Tech can be the fourth addition the the Pac16, that eliminates the “Tech Problem”, and Texas to the B1G would then be an option.

          • vp19 says:

            1. A rebooted SWC would have little appeal, and would effectively reveal Texas’ desperation.

            2. Scott may like Kansas, but does he like it enough to invite Kansas State as well? KSU may have no T. Boone Pickens, but it does have plenty of clout in Topeka, and I don’t think it can be divorced from KU.

            3. As long as the Longhorn Network is part of the equation, Texas is verboten to the Big Ten.

          • Scott MAY really like the idea of Kansas, but I doubt the league presidents do. And no one likes Kansas enough to take KSU. At best it’s a “team #16 if other stuff falls through” option.

          • mike in st louis says:


            A rebooted SWC is better than independence, and if it contains BYU, Boise St. and TCU, wouldn’t be totally unappealing on a national level, and would be very appealing in Texas.

            KU’s chancellor has already adressed the KSU issue: they aren’t tied together like the Oklahomas. KSU has no TBoone.

            Regarding the LHN, check out this article from the Houston Chronicle from last week. SIAP:


            If Texas changes conferences, they have an out with ESPN.

          • Bob in Houston says:

            Scott doesn’t want to miss on Texas. Texas Tech won’t cut it. If Texas has an option, Scott has to deal.

    • redwood86 says:

      Wow. I guess reading comprehension is not a prerequisite at Baylor.

      Slive’s whole press release is about how the SEC has accepted just 2 new members in 78 years, but that A&M was an exceptional unsolicited applicant that was too compelling to refuse, and so is #3. Your interpretation of these comments is that Slive intends to expand by more in 1-2 years than in the previous 78 years?

      Meanwhile, you posit that the Pac-12 is so desperate for OU that they could possibly be smoked out by Slive at the risk of potentially losing OU forever. Why is it so difficult for folks to accept the fact that the Pac-12 only wants Texas, and that it will only take OU (and OSU) if it enables them to get Texas?

      • frug says:

        Your interpretation of these comments is that Slive intends to expand by more in 1-2 years than in the previous 78 years?

        Your condescension would carry more weight if it weren’t for facts that:

        A) Adding A&M and another school would not expand the SEC more than it had in the previous 78 years combined


        B) The SEC had no problem expanding by more than they had in the previous 59 years in the course of a single back in 1991.

      • Mike says:

        italic fix test

    • Dcphx says:

      You’re missing what Slive and Scott may ultimately do, together. Baylor might have a shot at decent PR by filing suit against just the SEC, but if they file against both the SEC and the PAC they’re done. They’ll get dismissed and fast.

      • hangtime79 says:

        Absolutely agree on them working together, but one thing. These are two masterminds that are very happy to play the game and enjoy its fruits, but this time one of them is going to have to put the gun in their hands and pull the trigger. When that trigger is pulled there are going to be real consequences this time to one or more academic institutions. We have never witnessed large schools going from AQ to non-AQ, but we only have to look at the TV contracts to know the magnitude of that jump.

        Question: The Big East payout right now is ~$7MM.

        Do you think the two Kansas and ISU are going to take $10MM+ paycut because the SEC and Pac 12 wanna grow when they don’t have too?

        Slive through his words and actions has proven that he won’t pull the trigger, he doesn’t have too. Its up to Scott now. If Scott calls his bluff, TAMU can’t move for a year and then falls back in line and we have the Dysfunctional 10 once again.

        • joe4psu says:

          There is no $10mil pay cut. The BE is headed into negotiations at the best time in history to negotiate fb rights. They will probably end up around $15mil due to timing. The ACC is currently at $13mil and stuck for a long time. Plus, since they chose not to create their own network they have no growth to look forward to from that source. The BE is very intent on creating their own network and taking advantage of that.

          • hangtime79 says:

            Ok Joe: Let’s walk down that scenario.
            Big 12 implodes. UT, TTU, OSU, and OU goto the Pac-12. Mizzou and TAMU in the SEC. Baylor in the SOL. ISU, KU, and KSU get ready to get on the Big East bandwagon. Is there a Big East after the first set of dominoes fall?

            Ahhh…so let’s play this out in

            You now have this configuration:
            Pac-16: 16
            Big 10: 12 – (add 1 for ND)
            SEC: 14
            ACC: 12
            BE: 9 possibly going to 12

            If you are the Big 10 and UT is out of the picture, do you wait for the Big East to get that big payday or do you pick up schools beforehand.
            If you are the ACC are you worried about the SEC to your South and maybe thinking about grabbing some Big East schools just in case.
            If you are the SEC can you hang at 14 schools or do you push it to 16 like the Pac 16 and be done.

            The uncertainty creates fear and fear creates action. If the Big 12 falls, the Big East will fall as well and we will get to our equilibrium of 4 conferences, but that means three schools not including if BYU or Boise want to get in on this circus in addition to Baylor that are not going to have a chair when that scenario finishes.

            If you are ISU, Kansas, KU do you take that risk and be at the mercy of everyone else or do you try to stop this before it starts.

    • bullet says:

      I don’t think A&M is bluffing. They will cut off their nose to spite their face and go indy. They’ll just ask the boosters pushing this to write some checks. They’ll rile alumni up with save us, mean old Baylor is beating up on us. A&M has always been about football. They want to do well in everything, but they’d sacrifice everything else for football. What college president would talk about being held hostage? It was like when I saw the Aggie bonfire on TV back in the mid-90s and the previous Aggie President came up and said, “We’re going to kick those t-sips asses back to Austin and they’ll drive back to Austin in their little cars (implying little foreign cars instead of pickups like Aggies drive) with their tail between their legs.” What other college has presidents who talk this way? When it comes to A&M, Frank is wrong-don’t analyze them by thinking like a college president-think like a rabid fan.

      • joe4psu says:

        Interesting perspective. Wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that A&M happens to be a rival of your alma mater would it? You need to step back and breath. Anyone reading this blog for the first time would automatically pick up on your prejudices.

        Just accept the fact that A&M is gone.

        • bullet says:

          They are gone. That’s what I said. Its not prejudice-its experience (coupled with a little sarcasm). A&M is unique in many ways, some of them good-for one they do a very good job of creating a sense of community for such a big institution. They have some saying something like if you are inside (A&M) you can’t explain it and if you are outside you can’t understand it. I really did think Byrne and Loftin would tone it down, but Loftin has made some ridiculous, irresponsible and inflamatory statements(held hostage-its un-American…). Those are not statements that a person in a position of responsibility makes if he is thinking rationally (fans have license to say that sort of stuff-not college presidents). There have been lots of reports that important boosters were VERY unhappy they didn’t go to the SEC last year. And if you read what the Aggies have said and what the MSU President said, none of them think it is a bluff. And there’s no doubt the SEC will pick them up at some point, whether its 2012 or 2013 or 2014. The Aggies will sacrifice a year or two to get where they want to go.

          • bullet says:

            There is supposed to be a little grin marker after “experience”! Didn’t come through.

          • joe4psu says:

            I’m not sure what to think about the hostage statement and others. It would not seem out of place in politics but I guess we should expect more from university officials. As political as they are. Statements like that from Byrne wouldn’t bother me at all. AD’s are representatives of the university but not in the same way as university presidents.

            Loftin really seems to have increased his popularity with the SEC move and I suppose statements like that are meant for the meat eating, diehard, crowd. I’m sure he doesn’t want to see any alumni/booster doubts cropping up at this point.

          • bullet says:

            I did see someone analyzing his statements and suggesting it was intended for internal consumption. But he was pretty public about it and his “meat-eating” crowd was already pretty fired up. The comments by that previous president in the 90s were definitely only intended for the meat-eating diehard crowd at their bonfire.

    • joe4psu says:

      Your first statement is that A&M hates the LHN. A&M had no problem with the LHN until ESPN, and UT, finally revealed that they intended to broadcast high school football and wanted more than the one agreed upon football game. UT was also supposed to try to get B12 championship games from other sports on the LHN. After this came out ALL the B12 schools had a problem. A&M was the first to act but as it turns out OU had been working on a move to the Pac-12 themselves.

      • glenn says:

        joe, i’m convinced that deloss, anyway, had no intention of airing hs games in a way that would influence players to commit to texas.  he tends to say what he means, and he was on record indicating that the lhn was intended to be a service to the people of the state when it comes to airing hs games.

        the unfortunate thing for texas in this situation is that espn people make the decisions on content.  that was necessary to avoid concerns that the school is too closely connected to the network.  the espn people know that footage on longhorn commits and targets would bring viewers on a large scale, and that’s what they want and need, but deloss’ preferences have been a matter of record and i believe what the man says.

        • joe4psu says:

          Whether Dodds, or UT, intended for the broadcasts to have an influence on recruiting or not, it was not something that was commonly known to the B12 conference or schools at the time that the network was formed. Only later did word get out and boom, blowback came not only from conference members but most of cfb and the NCAA. It was just a bad idea and if it wasn’t meant for influence it was still a mistake by Dodds and UT.

          And there’s still the issue of UT promising, in the contract, to try and get atleast one more game for the network when the agreement with the conference was one game from the beginning. What did they think would happen when it came out that UT would have to try and get more fb games for the network and championship events in other sports? It was either a deal done in bad faith toward the conference, bad judgement by the UT bosses or both.

          I don’t mean to make it sound like I blame UT for everything. This situation is a result of the B12’s flawed, IMO, makeup and philosophy. Interestingly, the conference made 2nd tier rights equal shares with the new Fox deal and now it is talking about the same for 1st tier rights. That might be a good idea, people can disagree on that, but it doesn’t address the issues that caused UNL, CU, A&M and now the Oklahoma schools to leave. CU may have had their own reasons but I think for UNL, A&M and OU it came down to what they wanted in their relationships with their conference partners.

          • bullet says:

            The ESPN person lit the fire by emphasizing showing recruits. Clearly that would be inappropriate. And with any HS games, maybe you’ve got too slippery a slope.

            As for the extra game, the conference can just say no if it doesn’t believe its in their best interests.

            IMO the concern is 1) the relationship with ESPN combined with 2) the money.

            Noone expected the money and I don’t think the concern about the ESPN relationship could have been anticipated.

            Dodds does push for his school’s interests. But I don’t think there has been any Big 12 issue UT has put their foot down on except for UNL’s partial qualfiers-and that deal was settled informally before the conference even started. UNL brought it up again. A lot of things have gone UT’s way in the Big 12 but much is because Dodds is one of the most successful in generating money and one of the most respected ADs out there (former bb coach Tom Penders would dissent on that). Things like putting the championship game in JerryWorld benefitted everyone.

          • Mike says:

            @Bullet – Here’s an example. Texas didn’t want a conference network unless it benefited Texas. I don’t blame them, why would they share the profits with Baylor and K-State when they could generate it on their own. Then again, why does Michigan and Ohio St share with Northwestern and Indiana?

            “But there was also talk of a Big 12 network,” Perlman said. “Texas held off its pursuit of its own network so the other schools in the conference could look at a (league) network. It ended up not happening because there was no way to make Texas whole from the money they would lose by not having their own network. Or, the other schools didn’t want to do that (give UT a bigger share of a conference network).”


          • bullet says:

            MI and OSU share because they benefit by being together with WI, IL, PSU, etc.. The B1G schools are more equal. In the Big 12, a few schools carry most of the value. UT could join the B1G and probably come out ahead by being in BTN instead of being separate.

            Also, the Big 10 did their network before anyone except them thought there was a lot of value in such a network. And noone thought single school networks were particularly valuable, including Texas, until they signed the contract.

            MI and OSU aren’t being unusually altruistic.

          • glenn says:

            actually, i’m convinced that deloss, anyway, had no intention of airing hs games in a way that would influence players to commit to texas. he tends to say what he means, and he was on record indicating that the lhn was intended to be a service to the people of the state when it comes to airing hs games.

            the unfortunate thing for texas in this situation is that espn people make the decisions on content. that was necessary to avoid concerns that the school is too closely connected to the network. the espn people know that footage on longhorn commits and targets would bring viewers on a large scale, and that’s what they want and need, but deloss’ preferences have been a matter of record and i believe what the man says.

  92. What would stop the NCAA from limiting the maximum number of schools in a football conference? I know the NCAA has a minimum requirement but why not a maximum? The reason I would see the NCAA to step in would be to prevent super conferences from leaving the NCAA football and starting their own organization like it is rumored. I’m assuming the NCAA would lose a ton of money if the BCS schools left to do their own season and postseason.

    • ccrider55 says:

      Do that and they are guaranteeing the formation of an alternative to the NCAA in the not very distant future. Allow them and the ncaa can accommodate (and see continued revenue from) the major schools that drive viewer ratings.

      • And if they are going to leave anyways? Maybe they preserve what they have now because schools won’t want to leave the NCAA without guaranteeing their future in the new potentially money maker organization.

        • Richard says:

          . . .or maybe the power schools are comfortable staying the NCAA even after forming superconferences but would leave if the NCAA, for whatever reason, decides to essentially push them out by banning superconferences.

          I’m not sure why you have the idea that superconferences leaving the NCAA is inevitable.

    • Eric says:

      The schools run the NCAA, not the other way around. Conferences, even if they like the current set-up, are going to be reluctant to give up their options.

    • Brian says:

      A giant lawsuit?

  93. bullet says:

    Austin article says OU has given up on Big 12 and UT is looking at options on the coasts (not the coasts of the great lakes).

    • bullet says:

      Interesting that the article says the student-athletes are the first consideration for Texas. The proposed super-conferences put the student-athlete last. I don’t remember which official said it last year, but there really is a place for a major conference in the central US. Unfortunately, unless the Pac 12 or OU puts the student-athlete first, it looks like that is unlikely. So Cal, Stanford and UCLA may be the ones who scratch the student from student-athlete.

      Unlike most, I feel for Baylor (and ISU and KSU also). Baylor forced their way into the Big 12, but contrary to what you hear now, they were easily the 4th best program in the SWC at the time and it wasn’t close (you could even argue they were 3rd ahead of Tech). TCU was pitiful, SMU cheated all the time yet still only rarely had good spells and was fresh off the death penalty, Rice was just too small and Houston’s administration was too incompetent-driving off fans and making bad coaching decisions.

      • cutter says:

        I find it interesting that the Big Ten isn’t listed as an option in this article. Here’s the criteria Texas will alledgedly use to make a decision:

        1. Travel for Student Athletes – If Texas were to join the Big Ten with Notre Dame to become the 13th and 14th teams, the conference would have seven teams in the eastern time conference (Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue) and seven in the central (Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Texas, Wisconsin).

        That either gives UT teams in the eastern time zone or ones that are closer than any ACC team in the central time zone.

        2. Economics – Enough said here. Add ND and UT to the Big Ten and they’ll be making money hand over foot.

        3. Traditions & Rivalries – If the Big Ten stays with eight conference games, that allows UT to continue playing Oklahoma and Texas A&M as non-conference games. Add in two more non-conference games within state and UT could be playing eight or nine games per year within the boundaries of Texas. That works with both the ACC and the Big Ten.

        4. Pods – Instead of setting up two fixed divisions, the Big Ten (if it went to 16 teams) could have four 4-team pods for football scheduling purposes. Add Missouri and Pittsburgh for the sake of this discssion to the conference with UT and ND and you get this:

        Pod A: Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State

        Pod B: Indiana, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue

        Pod C: Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Wisconsin

        Pod D: Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas

        This has been discussed ad infinitum on this board. The Big Ten could do pods just like the ACC or Pac 12.

        5. Longhorn Network: Can anyone say BTN2 or BTN3? Everything is negotiable, and you would certainly expect to see additional Big Ten Network Channels activated as the conference expands. While I can’t see the BTN being branded with the Longhorn Network, the additional channels could be more regional in nature.

        And while Texas is making a windfall on its third tier rights, they’d also be making a windfall within the Big Ten Network and as part of a Big 16 Network.

        • vp19 says:

          The Big Ten simply doesn’t work the way, and it probably insists on nine conference games to keep sufficient inventory in-house. So for Texas, the ACC is the next best option.

          • cutter says:

            The Big Ten isn’t going to nine conference games for another six years.

            Given the choice to include Texas and Notre Dame in the B1G and staying at eight conference games or not adding those two programs and sticking to that schedule of nine conference games in 2017, I strongly suspect Delany & Co. would go for the former.

            What they would also do is play conference games in the early part of the season, i.e., the first four weeks of September to ensure there was enough high quality content for all the networks (including BTN) through the entire football season. There’s no reason, for xample, why there can’t be an early season Texas-Ohio State game–the two player each other in a home-and-home non conference series not too long ago.

            The only pro-ACC argument that resonates with me surrounds Texas attempting to preserve the Longhorn Network in something close to its current format. The same goes for Notre Dame with NBC–it comes down to a question of how much do they value that relationship.

            We might well see exactly how attached UT is to the LHN in due course. Assuming Texas A&M is formally scheduled to go to the SEC and Oklahoma/Oklahoma State are headed to the Pac 12 (with perhaps Texas Tech and a fourth team TBD), Texas now has a decision to make. If Dodds & Co. attempt to keep the remnants of Big XII intact as a newer, modified version of the SWC or UT joins the ACC or UT goes independent, then the network will be a (if not “the”) prime driver for the decision.

            If Texas opts for the Pac 12 or even goes to the Big Ten (perhaps in concert with Notre Dame), then keeping the LHN and the contract with ABC/ESPN formally intact moves to a secondary consideration subject to negotiation or modification.

            We’ll see what happens. Unless the Big XII stays intact, Texas is going to be driven out of its comfort zone one way or another (perhaps less so with the ACC). How UT adapts to its new situation will be telling.

          • bullet says:

            A new SWC just isn’t going to happen for the same reasons it fell apart the first time (and those reasons apply to all sports, not just football). I don’t see UT staying in the Big 12 if OU leaves, but if they did, it would be some sort of B12/BE merger. B12-7 + 5-7 BE teams for a new Big 12 or Big 14. That number of BE teams would give them comfort that they wouldn’t be leaving to join a conference that would just take off and leave them.

        • mushroomgod says:

          The President OF UT seemed pretty anti-BT the last go around……I basically think they don’t want to allign with a cold-weather conference…..

          IF TX DID go to the ACC, I would think the ACC would be more attractive to ND…….I could see a TX and ND combo in the unkikely(to me) case that TX goes to the ACC.

          • cutter says:

            Considering the nature of the drought in Texas, perhaps UT would actually like to be in a cold-weather conference–or at least one where it rains from time to time.

            One thing I find interesting about this discussion regarding Texas and football is this mantra about player’s families being able to drive out to all the games. In the “old” Big XII, the northern division schools weren’t all exactly within easy reach via automobile.

            If Texas were to join the ACC or Big Ten while Oklahoma went to the Pac 12 and Texas A&M went to the SEC, UT could well find itself still playing a strong majority of its games within the state’s boundaries.

            Assuming four conference games in Austin plus the Red River Rivalry in Dallas and a non-conference home-and-home with ATM and that automatically means six of ten games are in Texas. That leaves UT with two other non-conference games with at least one being against a program in state (ex. Rice this season). As far as the final non-confernce game, that could go to another school in state (ex. Texas Tech, perhaps) or a home-and-home series with another BCS team (ex. UCLA this year). In that setup, Texas could play seven to eight games a year within the state’s borders.

            The travel question has me a bit perplexed as well. The drive from Austin to Stillwater, OK (Oklahoma State) is 7.5 hours, from Austin to Lubbock (Texas Tech) is over 6.5 hours with Waco (Baylor) and College Station (Texas A&M) at roughly two hours away. Obviously, the college towns within the conference in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and (formerly) Colorado are even further away.

            In the meantime, the flight time from Austin to Minneapolis is a little over two hours and Chicago is about 2.5 hours. So the tradeoff here is that Texas may play one game or so less within the state and have to fly charters to the Big Ten schools that take the same time it does to drive to Waco and College Station. Obviously, there’s more involved to flying then just getting a team (or a family) onto a bus and going down the highway, but outside the cost (and Texas has a lot of money), there’s not a big time difference here.

          • Bob in Houston says:

            mushroomgod: UT and B1G talked very little because of the Tech problem. That’s no longer an issue. As to the ACC, I believe that’s a wedge. Last resort before independence.

            cutter: At least you had the option to drive, and there were nine or ten games in Texas. They’re looking at eight in the new setup, wherever that might be.

    • vp19 says:

      One of the options is apparently the ACC, according to this:

      A high-ranking Texas source said that the ACC has been in contact with Texas, but added that talks hadn’t progressed to a mature phase. In fact, the source wasn’t sure what other schools the ACC would look to add besides Texas.

      Don’t take that to mean it won’t work.

      The ACC is willing to talk about a unique conference format that has intrigued Texas. Instead of divisions, the conference could be divided into four pods, with each pod containing four teams, to aid scheduling.

      So don’t completely fall asleep on the ACC, although Texas would probably prefer it bring along at least one partner, probably Texas Tech.

      Let’s say this went through, assuming the current 12 ACC members stayed as is. They can easily be divided into three pods — north (Boston College, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Virginia); central (the four NC members, Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State, Wake Forest) and south (Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami). What would a Texas or west pod consist of, assuming Texas Tech joined Texas? One would think Baylor would tag along — the ACC has several private institutions, and it would have an instant rivalry with fellow Baptist college Wake Forest. The fourth member could be Southern Methodist, Houston or even Rice, given the ACC’s academic image.

      • Richard says:

        I have to say that the ACC option for Texas doesn’t make a lot of sense unless Texas is first and foremost interested in preserving the LHN _without_regard_to_financial_windfall.

        I say that because even though the LHN is nice financially, it adds only an extra $5M annually to Texas’s coffers ($15M – $10M media rights that were folded in to the LHN). That isn’t enough to make up for the vast advantage in what the Pac (and in 2016, the B10) first tier rights deal brings in/will bring in compared to the ACC first tier rights deal, and that doesn’t even take in to account the conference network shares.

        In other aspects, the ACC doesn’t hold an advantage in travel, football prestige, or academics (and the Pac is a match in weather); really only bball (and even there, the B10 is equal in at least fervor if not brands).

        If Texas chooses the ACC, that tells me that they care mostly about preserving the LHN beyond all else, including financials or travel (or maybe bball, though since it’s Texas, we know that it can’t be that).

        • bullet says:

          If $ were the only focus, the B1G would be a no-brainer for UT. The B1G already makes as much as anyone else with older deals. Affiliation with the CIC is also a big advantage. On top of that, affiliation with institutions viewed as peers is a plus.

          From what I am reading, the LHN seems to be valued as a 24 hour infomercial for UT. They were willing to do this, according to Dodds, even if they had to pay to put it on.

    • coldhusker says:

      This article has a lot of info that I’m guessing was was put in there for a purpose.

      – It lists student athlete travel as #1 and economics as #2. I don’t buy it. If that was the case, then they would get rebuild a SWC. This is all propoganda.

      – It’s heavy on ACC talk and includes Pods!!!

      – The Pac-16 divisions would be West/East (old Pac-8 / new schools). Texas wants to be in the same division as the LA schools for recruiting.

      – No mention at all of the B1G.

      • bullet says:

        I can see your point about the source having a purpose.

        However, I don’t think the travel bit is propoganda. Its like the B1G expansion. Academics matters, but only as a floor. Once you’re above that floor it doesn’t matter. Economics matters, but once you are competitive with other conferences, you don’t need to maximize it. And the converse is true of student travel. You don’t need to minimize it, but once it gets beyond a certain point it is a problem. And with the Pac 12-apparently the 1st choice after the Big 12, it starts to become a problem and so is issue #1. During the press conference last year when talking about the Pac 10, President Powers said there was a lot of discussion and concern on all sides about how to minimize student travel. That was when the deal really started to come apart as they realized they were minimizing travel, but essentially creating two separate conferences. They stepped back and said, if we are creating two separate conferences, why are we doing this?

        • Dcphx says:

          The fact that there have been several similar articles talking about what UT’s priorities may or may not be and clearly the B10 qualifies to meeting some of those priorities but is not even mentioned even to state ‘here’s where the B10 meets these stated priorities but UT isn’t interested’ is pretty suspicious. The take away from the read isn’t that UT is considering the ACC and PAC or prefers to keep the B12 alive. The take away is that there is a huge elephant in the room wearing a B10 blazer that everyone is avoiding looking at or commenting on.

          That doesn’t mean UT is headed to the B10, but why isn’t it addressed? The articles from the national media on down to the locals and locals in other markets refuse to comment on the B10 as if the writers didn’t notice that the B10 exists. Maybe that’s UT’s play to intentionally avoid any commentary on the B10 to make Scott and/or Swofford believe that the B10 is the end game unless the PAC or ACC give UT what it wants.

      • vp19 says:

        Going to the ACC with some Texas partners would certainly be an offbeat solution — especially since three major Longhorn coaches are ACC emigres (Brown from UNC, Barnes from Clemson, Goestenkors from Duke). UT and A&M would be visiting three common states (South Carolina, Georgia and Florida) in their new conferences.

        For Swofford, it would probably be a great insurance policy in case of raids from the SEC or Big Ten (though I doubt it would dissuade Maryland from leaving if the Big Ten came calling), and adding Baylor and possibly Rice or Southern Methodist would be palatable to a conference that has long had private schools in its membership, but can he hold Texas in check, especially in a conference where Chapel Hill has always been the alpha dog?

        Finally, I think the conference would officially alter its moniker to simply “ACC” — no more Atlantic Coast. (Maybe “American Coast Conference”?). It would also have not one, not two, but three “Techs,” assuming TTU was part of the expansion. Also, one would hope Boston College would enjoy its occasional visits to Lubbock.

        • bullet says:

          It would be a demographic dream. With Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia, it would have 5 of the fastest growing big states in the country-5th through 8th and 16th fastest growing in the 2010 census and the western states of CO, WA and AZ are the only other top 16 states with more than 3 million people.

          In terms of actual number of people in growth, it would include #1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 14 and 30.

          Big 10 in terms of % growth-# of people growth
          MI #51 (incl. DC)–#51
          OH #48–#31
          IL #42–#16
          PA #41–#15
          IA #40–#35
          WI #34–#24
          IN #31–#18
          NE #30–#36
          MN #26–#21

          • vp19 says:

            Texas and the ACC each have something the other needs desperately; Texas needs a top-tier conference, one with a solid academic reputation, to park its entire athletic program, while the ACC needs a football king to build its currently negligible football brand. It’s an ideal partnership.

            To paraphrase Katharine Hepburn’s famed comment about Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, he (Astaire/ACC) gives her (Rogers/Texas) class (academics), she gives him sex (football). And remember, while Ginger was born in Missouri, she spent much of her youth in Fort Worth.

          • bullet says:

            The one thing I don’t understand is how the LHN would fit into the ACC structure. My understanding was that the ACC threw all rights into the same pot just as the Pac 12 did. On the other hand, that Dosh article shows UNC as the biggest money-maker with 3rd tier media rights. Wonder if we have any ACC fans who understand how it works.

          • Richard says:

            . . . but how does the ACC trump the Pac in those regards?

          • Mike says:

            Check out Frank’s tweets above. ESPN owns the ACC’s all of the rights and the sub-licences some games to Raycom Sports. There is the allure of the ACC. Any game ESPN doesn’t want to show nationally it can move to the LHN.

          • Mike says:

            (lets try that again)

            Check out Frank’s tweets above. ESPN owns all of the ACC’s rights and the sub-licences some games to Raycom Sports. There is the allure of the ACC. Any game ESPN doesn’t want to show nationally it can move to the LHN.

          • bullet says:

            That would solve the rights issue. Still leaves open the revenue sharing issue on tiertiary rights.

      • bullet says:

        SEC says they haven’t talked divisions or #14 and are just now talking scheduling.

        It sounds like CU president wants to talk divisions before he admits anyone else, whether its OU, Texas or Iowa State. I don’t think its good for long term stability to add first and figure it out later. The 4 California schools and UW took off and left the rest back in the 60s only gradually letting Oregon, Oregon St. and WSU back in. They never took Idaho back. When you get to 16, such a thing is more feasible than at 12.

        • ccrider55 says:

          Not exactly. It was in the 50’s and the conference disolved over pay for play scandle at Cal, SC,
          UCLA, and UW. Those reformed (in more ways than one), along with Stanford and within a few years all but Idaho were together again.

      • Bob in Houston says:

        coldhusker: I think there’s a zero-tolerance from the B1G on any talks. Sure seems like it, anyway.

    • Illinifan82 says:

      It is odd that they didnt even mention the big ten if even it was to say why it was not viable.

    • M says:

      Interesting article, but there’s a bit of double talk there.

      “The first is the well-being of its student-athletes. Traveling back and forth across the country and different time zones can make life extremely difficult for students trying to cram for midterms. The ACC with its Eastern time zone would present a more favorable option for game times and late-night travel than the Pac-12.”

      “”Texas really isn’t happy with the way the Pac-12 would like to align the conference,” a well-placed source said. “They want to put all the former Pac-8 schools in one division and group all the former Big 12 schools (assuming Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech join) with Utah and the Arizona schools.”

      Texas wants to be in the same division as UCLA and Southern Cal, which would be tougher, but it would also guarantee the Longhorns a trip to Los Angeles every year”

      So Texas doesn’t want to join the Pac-X because they don’t want to play game in the Pacific time zone. However, if they do join the Pac-X, they want to play as many games as possible in the Pacific time zone.

      • zeek says:

        Well I think the “well-being of student-athletes” thing only refers to non-football, even though I get your point about the double-speak nature of it.

        Football players are going to be sent where-ever in whatever the biggest $ scenario is. It’s basically like ND and its football independence vs. Big East home for non-football sports.

        Same consideration here for Texas. For scheduling purposes, they’d probably like games in California for football, but for the rest of their sports, they probably don’t mind a totally regional East/West split.

        Regardless, if the Pac-16 does come to fruition, I’d fully expect Pac-8 and SWC-8 splits.

      • Patrick says:

        Of course it’s full of double talk…… it came from UT and Dodds. They are giving excuses for why everything won’t work so they can go indy. I know there are many on this board that disagree with me, but I see Dodds giving way more excuses as to why they can’t be here or there. All the conferences that they are ‘talking’ to and there is no sense that any of them will work out. He is softening the landing for the fan base, they already know.

        • bullet says:

          That doesn’t make sense with his downplaying it consistently. He’s always made it sound like UT could go indy, but doesn’t consider it a good option. Its kind of a “well if we absolutely HAD to, we could make it work.” That’s not consistent with your theory. It that was the goal, he wouldn’t be making it sound like a barely palatable alternative (especially so when he is communicating with internal audiences). I don’t know if you have actually heard him speak instead of just reading his comments, but from hearing him, he clearly sounds as if he doesn’t like the indy alternative.

        • hangtime79 says:

          If UT were to go Indy, where would all the non-rev sports play? Same problem as TAMU having to sit for a year, you’re sentencing your Non-Rev to death. With no Big 12, the Pac 12, ACC, SEC, and Big 10 are not going to allow UT to plop their non-revs there, welcome to the WAC or MWC for UT athletics. No chance. Big East only allows ND because they need them and I don’t think the Big East needs another non-football member.

  94. EZCUSE says:

    The Big East still is the school with the power to radically alter the landscape. #1, they (we?) are desperate. #2, we are already so hybrid-ed up, that further hybrids don’t matter all that much. Not like it is a sell out.

    Real simple. ND and Texas have their networks. Fine. The Big East takes ND, Texas, and Texas Tech.


    Notre Dame

    5 division games. ND and Texas may or may not play each other for a 6th conference game. Those two schools can decide whether they have any interest in playing a 7th conference game. Regardless, all other teams play 8 conference games. Divisions decided by overall record, rather than conference record. If Texas and ND are 12-0, so be it. Not like anyone can complain. If you want to unseat them for the CCG, beat them on the field and control your own destiny. Besides, the Big East needs more 10-2 teams in the BCS and fewer 8-4 teams. It’s great you can beat the conference teams, but all anyone cares about is overall record and BCS standings.

    The only thing that ND and Texas do not get is the CCG on their networks and a split of Big East revenue for football. They would get a basketball split though if they were in for all sports. Texas would have room to keep an A&M matchup periodically, but certainly Oklahoma (if they are willing).

    You could even go one step further and add Baylor to the West and maybe VIllanova to the east. That would make it 6 division games. ND would get to play throughout the Northeast, while still having ample room to play Navy, Michigan, MSU or Purdue, USC, Stanford or Northwestern, and another team (if Texas not in the mix that year). In that scenario, you would have 3 divisions of 7 in basketball somehow.

    OR, if you wanted to go really crazy. Add Air Force to the Southwest with Baylor. Add Army/Navy to the Northeast. That bumps it up to 7 CCG for Texas/ND. But the military schools could keep the same program as Texas/ND… only play in-division games. True, that is 7 per school. But it doesn’t impact Notre Dame because they would play Navy anyway.

    You end up with this:


    Air Force

    Notre Dame

    If ND schedules Texas, Baylor, TCU, or Air Force, they get extra conference games. If not, they can schedule Northwestern, Stanford, etc. Army-Navy-Air Force get 7 or more conference games.

    If the Big East is going to bastardize the conference scheme, they need to go all in.

    • EZCUSE says:

      I suppose you could do pods, with

      A. ND, Army, Navy, Air Force

      B. Texas, TCU, Tech, Baylor

      C. WVU, Pitt, Syracuse, UConn

      D. Lville, USF, Rutgers, Cincy

      Year 1: A & B, C & D
      Year 2: A & C, B & D

      Given that ND would not want to make the D rotation, that would eliminate the A/D, B/C split. Frankly, I don’t think there would be too much concern with losing those games because you could still play those teams in a championship game. If WVU wants to play Texas, beat them in the CCG. Or they could do a thing where A/D and B/C happens every 5 years, just to ensure some familiarity.

      Again, the gist would be that Texas, ND, Army, Navy, and Air Force would not have to play more than 7 conference games, whereas the other schools could play 8 or 9.

      • vp19 says:

        If Texas isn’t interested in a cold-weather conference where it could make a lot of money (the Big Ten), what makes you think it would be interested in a cold-weather conference where it would make considerably less (the Big East)?

        • EZCUSE says:

          Is the Big 10 going to let Texas be the big dog? I think not. Texas and ND can run the Big East…. whereas Texas and ND have to check their egos at the door at the Big Ten.

          The Big East can allow special rules for Texas/ND that the Big Ten never would. Unless you believe Northwestern message boards. And if that’s the case… why shouldn’t the Big East do the same thing?

          The Big East can allow ND and Texas to use their own networks/potential networks to maximize their own revenue in a truly capitalistic nature…. rather than having to share with the algae at the bottom of a conference.

          If the Big Ten wants to roll over for ND and Texas, I am sure they will jump at the opportunity to run that league.

    • bullet says:

      I think any number of surprising combinations are still possible. What about OU/OSU/TT/UT to the ACC? The B1G could change its mind on OU if it looks like ND isn’t coming and UT is going elsewhere. Or, as in your case, UT might become part of a Big East.

      I do think OU finalizes its decision pretty quickly and staying in the Big 12 is unlikely now. Boren doesn’t want to be spending all his time on conference alignment. That is supposed to be automatic and these issues taken care of by the conference commissioner. Scott, Delany and Slive are doing most of the work in the other conferences. The presidents and ADs seem to be doing the work in the Big 12.

      • vp19 says:

        Going to the ACC? Such an about-face (not only geographically) would be a loss of face for OU and Okie State. While both would have been amenable to having Texas (with Texas Tech) join them west to the Pac, following UT’s lead to the ACC would make it appear Texas was in control once more — and there’s no guarantee Swofford could hold the Longhorns in check. By now, it makes sense for OU and OSU to get out of the burnt orange conference shadow.

  95. mushroomgod says:

    Breaking News—-IU LAW rated #23 in US News 2012 ratings…Other BT law schools:

    UM 7 NW 12 MINN 20 ILL 23 Iowa 27 OSU 35 WIS 35 PSU 60 Neb 84 MSU 95

    In undergrad ratings:

    NW 12 12 last yr
    UM 28 29
    WIS 42 45
    PSU 45 47
    ILL 45 47
    OSU 55 56
    PUR 62 56
    MINN 68 64
    MSU 71 75
    IOWA 71 75
    IU 75 75
    NEB 101 104

    Others of interest: ND 19 TX 45 MD 55 A@M 58 U CONN 58 Pitt 58 Syracuse 62 Rutgers 68 MO 90 Kan 101 OK 101

    • vp19 says:

      Just for the record, Penn State’s law program is conducted in Hershey, near the capitol of Harrisburg, not at State College/University Park. (And the University of Maryland law school is in Baltimore alongside the school of medicine, not in College Park.)

      • glenn says:

        vp, are there some really notable bars in that town?  if so, i think i’ve heard of them.

      • 84Lion says:

        PSU either merged with or took over Dickinson College some years back; Dickinson used to be a law school and it’s located in Carlisle. PSU’s medical program is in Hershey at the Medical Center there, unless something’s changed and I missed it.

      • SideshowBob says:

        As already stated, PSU’s law school is Dickinson and it is in Carlisle, PA not Hershey (Hershey is the med school). Carlisle is on the far side of Harrisburg from Hershey.

        Furthermore, as of 2006, PSU actually runs two law campuses — the one in Carlisle and a new one in State College — which are part of the same school. So, your statement is incorrect about there not being a law school at the main campus.

  96. Boomershine says:

    FWIW, I ranked conferences based on average Directors’ Cup ranking, in order to put some sort of measurable on each conference’s athletics strength. I only ranked BSC conferences, and I only ranked those conferences based on the univerisities that play football in those conferences (hence, DePaul and Notre Dame, for example, are not included in the Big East).

    Average by conference:
    Big Ten – 28.9
    Pac-12 – 31.8
    SEC – 36.4
    ACC – 40.2
    Big 12 – 48.2
    Big East – 86.3

    Big Ten comes out on top, barely nudging out the Pac-12.

    Best by conference:
    Pac-12 – Stanford – 1.1
    SEC – Florida – 4.7
    ACC – North Carolina – 6.3
    Big Ten – Michigan – 7.9
    Big 12 – Texas – 8.2
    Big East – Connecticut – 53.8

    Stanford, because they have finished #1 every year except one, has an average of just 1.1. All of these are probably not surprising leaders in their conference. Note how lowly the Big East’s best is, though.

    Worst by conference:
    Big Ten – Northwestern – 50.6
    ACC – Virginia Tech – 73.5
    Big 12 – Kansas State – 79.0
    SEC – Mississippi State – 85.9
    Pac-12 – Washington State – 92.3
    Big East – Cincinnati – 130.3

    Yes, the Big Ten’s worst finished higher than the Big East’s best. The Big Ten’s excellent strength from top to bottom is what gives them the best overal average ranking.

    Best by univeristy (top 25):
    Stanford – 1.1
    UCLA – 4.3
    Florida – 4.7
    North Carolina – 6.3
    Michigan – 7.9
    Texas – 8.2
    USC – 10.7
    Ohio State – 11.8
    Georgia – 12.3
    Penn State – 12.4
    Arizona – 13.2
    Arizona State – 13.4
    California – 13.8
    Tennessee – 16.1
    LSU – 16.6
    Virginia – 17.0
    Duke – 18.2
    Notre Dame – 18.4
    Nebraska – 18.7
    Minnesota – 19.3
    Washington – 20.6
    Auburn – 22.9
    Wisconsin – 23.0
    Texas A&M – 23.8
    Oklahoma – 26.1

    Probably not too many surprises here. Most of these universities are acknowledged as athletic powers.

    • hangtime79 says:

      Good read bullet. Thanks.

    • zeek says:

      That’s a solidly majority perspective I’d imagine in all parts of the country (Pac-12, Big Ten, and SEC areas in particular even if you change the names of the universities being targeted slightly).

      The only issue I’d take is that I do think there’s a lot to be gained for the Pac-12 to having games being played in the central timezone, especially one with as big a stage as Oklahoma as a national brand.

      I mean just look at MNF coverage last night, Patriots v. Dolphins as the headliner with Broncos v. Raiders as the late game.

      There’s always going to be an east coast media bias with respect to the parts of the country in the Eastern and Central timezone. I think OU is clearly a net beneficial addition in the long term.

      Of course, there are bigger questions at play like geography (fit-wise, not just $ and moving east) as well as cultural fit, travel distance, how to divide it (although I think it’s easy to just move Utah to the North).

      • mike in st louis says:

        Yeah, but the downside is that Oklahoma and Texas have a lot of tradition behind playing games at night (not the RRR, home games).

        So although it is good for the Pac12 to have noon eastern inventory for a change, I’m not so sure Oklahoma and Texas would be that thrilled about providing the inventory.

        • TwoPalePonies says:

          Oklahoma and Texas play games at night for two reasons: it’s often hot as hell during the day early in the season and the teams generate enough interest that the various networks often pick up options to show the games at times they can get big audiences. Most Oklahoma alums (and I expect Texas alums also) prefer day games after September, so I don’t think providing some daytime (Eastern) exposure would be a problem.

  97. LonghornLawyer says:

    I fundamentally take issue with your assertion that Baylor’s potential tortious interference claim against the SEC is “probably a loser.” That A&M would breach a contract by leaving the Big 12 is not really in dispute. Nor is the fact that their departure was induced by the SEC’s invitation in dispute–A&M’s own “conditional withdrawal” notice pretty well sets forth that they would remain in the Big 12 but for an invitation from another conference (i.e., the SEC).

    I happen to do a fair amount of tortious interference work here in Texas, primarily in the employment context. These claims are not particularly novel, and Texas courts are pretty familiar with the general fact-pattern. Obviously, I can’t predict what evidence would be adduced in discovery. But based strictly on what we currently know from the various parties comments, I’m fairly comfortable stating that Baylor would be able to state a claim against the SEC and would be able to produce enough evidence to create a fact issue.

    As an aside that Frank and other lawyers on this board might find interesting, Baylor is generally regarded as a top trial advocacy law school in this region. Baylor is unique in that all of its students have to go through a pretty strenuous trial advocacy program. As a result, many of the best litigators in Texas went to Baylor (and I say that as a litigator who did not go to Baylor). Texas perhaps has more famous and flamboyant litigators (e.g., Joe Jamail and Racehorse Haynes), but Baylor produces very competent litigators who know their way around the courtroom.

    Obviously, Baylor may not hire a Baylor lawyer–I just thought it’s an interesting side point.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Why would it be breach of contract for A@M if they pay the departure fee? Isn’t THAT the contract?

      • hangtime79 says:

        It wouldn’t. The TI would be against the SEC not TAMU.

      • Bob in Houston says:

        Well, IMO that would be an important issue. A&M would say the departure fee is liquidated damages for leaving the conference, and they are done. Baylor would say that the conference’s corporate rights have nothing to do with Baylor individually and that it was damaged more than that.

        • Bob in Houston says:

          And, sorry, also, hangtime is correct. TI is against the SEC.

        • LonghornLawyer says:

          Right. Thank you for clarifying. Regardless of whether you characterize it as a contractual exit fee or as liquidated damages, A&M’s liability is capped at whatever the contractual fee states.

          But that contractual term does nothing to limit the SEC’s potential liability. If Baylor can make its case that the SEC tortiously interfered with its contractual relationships with the Big 12 and A&M, and if it can prove that that interference caused it damages, the SEC could be on the hook for a substantial amount.

          And when I say “substantial,” I mean nine figures. I’ve heard various sources state that Baylor estimates the worth of being in an automatic qualifying BCS conference to be around $75 Million per year to the athletic department and the school.

          Quibble with that number if you want. The reality is that the Big 12 distribution to Baylor is going to be around $12M; a Conference USA distribution would be a fraction of that. But beyond the damage to the athletic department is the damage to the school. The reality in Texas–and as a native Texan I’m not proud to admit this–is that if you don’t have a big-time college football program, you ain’t shit in the popular opinion.

          Compare Baylor with the four SWC teams that didn’t make it into the Big 12. Baylor is very similar in academics, size, tuition, and student profile to TCU. But if you asked ten Texans which is a better school, I guarantee you nine of them will say “Baylor.” SMU is a better school than Baylor and Houston has become a reasonably good research university, but neither is regarded as highly as they probably should be due in part to their lack of association with a BCS AQ conference.

          That has a major monetary effect on the bottom line of the school. Without that association and the higher and more favorable profile that the conference association brings, the school won’t be able to attract as many high quality students. And that means that it won’t be able to inflate its tuition as much as it otherwise would. Which in turn prevents it from hiring high-priced professors. Which in turn prevents it from getting the best graduate students. Which in turn . . . .

          The SEC has a lot to worry about from the prospect of a Baylor lawsuit. Discovery will no doubt probe into things the SEC would rather keep private. And ultimately, the SEC could face crippling liability.

          • bullet says:

            There was an analysis somewhere (don’t remember where) listed 6 points for this type of lawsuit. 4 were easy for Baylor to prove. The two in question were:

            Did the SEC interfere and were there damages?

            The article thought it was possible it could get thrown out on the SEC interfering, but also said it was possible as LonghornLawyer said, they could make it a factual issue to be determined in court. They also suggested a possible Baylor position that the SEC contacted A&M last year first and that could be part of their case. It could be a continuation, as well as interference in the ESPN contract.

            On damages if the Big 12 falls apart, that’s easy. Last year with CU and UNL it would have been real hard to prove damages since the contracts improved. It would probably be difficult if the 9 schools stay together this time. If it falls apart, then the point in question is whether the SEC was responsible for the loss and that would be the challenge to prove. The article suggested that the intangible losses would be hard to prove, but the TV contracts would be easy. IMO if the judge allowed them to ask for damages for lost ticket sales, I don’t think that would be hard to prove.

          • curious2 says:

            Re SEC liability for accepting A&M’s application to become a member

            So are you saying neither the SEC nor any other college athletic conference can accept an application from another school because a school or schools in that conference might be hurt by the loss of the departing school?

            And are you saying no University can depart its current conference because the sconference it wants to associate with is going to be sued by schools not invited?

            Maybe Baylor should sue Missouri by signaling it wanted to be part of the Big 10 or the Big 10 for announcing it planned to expand last year?

            Football lawyer: “The reality in Texas–and as a native Texan I’m not proud to admit this–is that if you don’t have a big-time college football program, you ain’t shit in the popular opinion”

            Gee that sounds like a winning legal argument. Maybe it just exposes that Baylor on its own is worth “sh–”

            If it sounds absurb, maybe it is.

          • bullet says:

            The issue that potentially makes the SEC vulnerable is interrupting a TV contract instead of at the end of a contract. If the Big 12 Fox and ESPN contracts expired in June 2012 there would be no basis for any claim. Its worth noting the Big East football contracts expire next year.

            A lot has changed. The $ are astronomically bigger and long-term TV contracts have become the norm with contracts lasting 12, 15 and 20 years. In 1991 ABC got the College Football Assocation (the 60+ major colleges other than Pac 10 and Big 10) TV contract for 5 years for $175 million, $35 million a year. Some individual schools are likely to soon make that each year.

          • hangtime79 says:

            Bullet: think you are referencing this article:


            No, no one is saying that any school can’t leave a conference; that’s what exit clauses are for in the first place. However, TI is against those that would interfere with the execution of a contract, ie did the SEC approach TAMU or did TAMU approach the SEC. This year I have no doubt TAMU approached the SEC, now last year…lots of the things were happening and maybe the SEC got a little sloppy and maybe that’s part of the reason as to why Slive put the waiver provision on TAMU’s entrance. We still don’t have a good answer only conjecture as to why Slive put that provision in place and put TAMU in this holding pattern. The further question is if the contracts are with the university’s or with the league and by talking to an individual school is a foreign league helping breaking the contract. That’s a theoretical question at the moment that would need to be tested in court as the bylaws for the Big 12 were apparently done by an intern paralegal if you read through them.

            “Gee that sounds like a winning legal argument. Maybe it just exposes that Baylor on its own is worth “sh–””

            Frank has created a nice forum here that isn’t the echo chamber of a rivals site or other comments board. Most of us have been posting here for over a year now as we enjoy the thoughts and the game theory behind all this movement. We all have our affiliations, but we aspire to league commissioner levels of dialogue, get most of the dialogue at college president’s level, and sometimes dip down to an AD. There is no need to approach others on this board in such a fashion in your address. If you want to attack, attack an argument and do it respectfully otherwise I would direct your commentary towards a site like TexAgs or BaylorFans. Both of those boards are cesspools. Please keep Frank’s forum clean, respectful, and above all at high level of discourse.

          • Dcphx says:

            But aTm leaving to the SEC doesn’t end or even particularly cripple the B12…OU leaving does. The fact that Baylor has said they will let aTm leave if OU commits speaks volumes. Baylor has no TI claim.

          • bullet says:

            IMO that would be the tough point to prove. Whether the SEC interfered depends on how the law is interpreted by the judge. With the right interpretation, its not too hard. And all the game playing and posturing by the SEC just makes the judgement worse if they lose. The real question is whether losing A&M causes the league to collapse or whether, assuming OU leaves, it was Oklahoma’s decision.

            But they don’t have to have a 50% chance to win to achieve their goals. They’ve already delayed things, giving themselves more time to find alternatives. Where the SEC (and A&M) is really screwing everyone else in the country is doing this so late in the year that people are rushing and others have limited opportunities to work out fall back positions. This could conceivably trickle down all the way to the MAC, WAC and Sun Belt. And this is something the SEC supposedly doesn’t really want to do.

          • Bob in Houston says:

            “So are you saying neither the SEC nor any other college athletic conference can accept an application from another school because a school or schools in that conference might be hurt by the loss of the departing school?”

            It depends on what the conference rules say. In case of the B12, the members re-upped for five years last summer. There is a period for withdrawal, beginning, I believe, in 2014.

            If teams followed the contract and withdrew then, it doesn’t mean that Baylor wouldn’t be damaged, but they wouldn’t have had a legal remedy.

          • LonghornLawyer says:

            I would further say that from a purely legal standpoint, it doesn’t matter who called whom first. If the SEC answered A&M’s call knowing that A&M was bound by a contract and induced them to breach that contract, then they may be liable for tortious interference. After all, the tort is “interference,” not tortious “solicitation.”

            As to curious’s question, no–the point is not that a school cannot ever change conferences. Far from it. Conference contracts are not indefinite in term. They are for a set number of years, and that term generally coincides with the term of the conference’s television contracts. A school is perfectly able not to renew its conference contract at the end of that contract, and a competing conference is perfectly able to encourage a school to switch conferences at the end of the school’s existing contract. What it cannot do is encourage a school to breach its contract in the middle of the contract’s term.

            But even if it does so–as the B1G and the Pac-12 may have done last year with Nebraska and Colorado, respectively–it may not be actionable if there are no damages. As with most torts, damages is an element of a claim for tortious interference. When Nebraska and Colorado left, Baylor had no damages because the television networks agreed to continue paying on their existing contracts. So the television money ended up being split ten ways, rather than twelve, actually giving Baylor more money. So without any damages, Baylor had no claim against Nebraska or Colorado.

            But this is different. If A&M leaves, Fox has already indicated it would cancel its contract, and there is every indication that the league would fold. So Baylor would undoubtedly have damages. The only question is one of causation: whether A&M’s departure caused Baylor’s damages or whether a superseding cause (e.g., Oklahoma’s departure) interrupts the chain of causation. It’s pretty obvious that this is where the legal and factual argument will hinge, and without knowing what the evidence would bear out, it’s impossible for me to give you any intelligent analysis. But I do think that Baylor has at least a cognizable claim that A&M’s departure set in motion a series of events that inevitably led to the dissolution of the league, and hence its damages.

          • curious2 says:

            Re: decorum and Baylor’s case against whoever (hangtime)

            I agree. Frank has a wonderful site and the best part is that views expressed are civil even when there is disagreement on what is likely to happen or what should happen.

            If Baylor has a legal case against the SEC or A&M or potentially OK and OSU or PAC 12 or Texas and the Big 10 for the email discussion mentioning the “Tech problem” last year, lets hear it, but lets get to the specific facts and not general concepts or anecdotal statements that imply A&M and all other conference members have handcuffed themselves to the Big 12 for the life of the conference TV contract.

            Please also note I certainly am not a “fan” of A&M or Baylor or OK.

            The quote you reference in my post comes directly from the post of LonghornLawyer above:

            “The reality in Texas–and as a native Texan I’m not proud to admit this–is that if you don’t have a big-time college football program, you ain’t shit in the popular opinion.”

            Frankly, that is not a legal argument that has much merit and I wonder why it was thown into the discussion.

            If an attorney wants to explain why he believes Baylor has a case against the SEC or whoever, I would love to hear the specific contract agreements that A&M has committed itself to, and the specific provisions and penalties that apply should they leave the conference.

            I assume the TV contract only applies to A&M as long as they are a conference member. That is why the conference, the collective membership, has a contract spelling out terms of withdrawal.

            And then there is the question of “inducement”:

            If A&M approached the SEC to understand their options, and the SEC provides information, and then A&M makes an application to the SEC (and even receives an initial BIG 12 letter waiving claims beyond what is in the conference contract), and A&M pays its conference exit penalty, then I would like to know specifically where the SEC liability lies with respect to “inducement”. Should the SEC have said don’t call us until the Big 12 contract has terminated?

            What about the PAC 12 or Big 10 or ACC? If reports are even remotely true, then all the conferences have held discussion, exchanged information with members of other conferences. Are all these conversations potentially lawsuits waiting to happen?

            A&M is a tier one university headed by a sophisticated leadership and board of Trustees that have stated they want out of the Big 12, approached the SEC, and are ready to pay exit fees.

            General or theoretical comments are not a substitute for the specific contractual provisions; between A&M and the Big 12 conference or if applicable between A&M and the conference TV contract or A&M and Baylor.

            Did A&M additionally sign a contract making committments with respect to the TV deal? What are they and what are the actual terms that specify what happens if a specific school leaves the conference, and what penalty applies to that school if they leave beyond the provisions of the conference contract? Did A&M and all the other Big 12 schools waive their right to withdraw from the Big 12 for the life of the TV contract?

            It’s interesting that there is no talk about the media company suing A&M for breach of a TV contract signed with the conference.

    • LonghornLawyer says:

      Curious–you ask “Did A&M additionally sign a contract making committments with respect to the TV deal? What are they and what are the actual terms that specify what happens if a specific school leaves the conference, and what penalty applies to that school if they leave beyond the provisions of the conference contract? Did A&M and all the other Big 12 schools waive their right to withdraw from the Big 12 for the life of the TV contract?”

      The short answer is “yes.” A&M signed a contract with all of its fellow conference members back in 1996, and renewed that agreement earlier this year. That contract requires the member schools to remain in the conference and provides penalties/fees for withdrawal. I believe based on the date of A&M’s notice, it would have to forfeit all of its conference revenue distribution for 2011 if it wants to leave the conference at the end of the 2011 academic year and begin competing in a new conference for the 2012-13 academic year.

      Aside from the duties created by the contract, under Texas law a party has a legal duty not to interfere with other people’s contracts. You ask, “If A&M approached the SEC to understand their options, and the SEC provides information, and then A&M makes an application to the SEC (and even receives an initial BIG 12 letter waiving claims beyond what is in the conference contract), and A&M pays its conference exit penalty, then I would like to know specifically where the SEC liability lies with respect to “inducement”. Should the SEC have said don’t call us until the Big 12 contract has terminated?” My answer is “yes.” If you know that another party has a contractual relationship, and that party calls you and asks, “curious, will you help me breach my contract,” then yes–it is a very good idea from a legal standpoint to hang up the phone.

      Baylor can prove a cause of action against the SEC for tortious interference with its contract with A&M if it can show (1) it has a valid contract with A&M; (2) the SEC willfully and intentionally interfered with the contract; (3) the interference proximately caused Baylor’s injuries; and (4) Baylor incurred actual loss or damage. You note, “What about the PAC 12 or Big 10 or ACC? If reports are even remotely true, then all the conferences have held discussion, exchanged information with members of other conferences. Are all these conversations potentially lawsuits waiting to happen?” Right now, those discussions have not come to fruition and hence there are no actual damages suffered by Baylor. For that matter, there are no damages from A&M’s discussions with the SEC. But if the Big12 fails, there would be. And the only question would be the third element–whose intereference caused the damages arising from the Big12’s failure.

      Baylor will certainly argue that it was the SEC’s. The SEC will argue that the Big12 remained viable even after A&M’s departure and it was really Oklahoma’s departure that caused the failure. It’ll be a fun cursing match.

  98. zeek says:

    Latest OU news from ESPN’s sources.

    ‘The University of Oklahoma’s leadership is interested in a move to the Pac-12 from the Big 12, but such a move is far from a done deal, as the school’s overriding concern remains assuring a stable future for its athletic programs, a source said.

    “There is strong interest within the leadership of Oklahoma about the Pac-12, really strong, but to characterize it as already (having) been done, well, that’s going too far,” said the source. “It is fair to say there is strong interest, but that doesn’t mean the Big 12 is not an option anymore. The concern is long-term stability.”

    The Sooners don’t have a specific timetable for reaching a decision, but there remains hope that one can be reached within three weeks, the source said. It’s not too late for the Sooners to make a move and be in a new conference in time for the 2012 football season, the source said.’

    • zeek says:

      I think we all knew that this is where OU was in the process. Some of the other stuff seems more speculative, like OSU not maybe getting admitted, but that just seems extremely unlikely given the Pac-12’s Noah’s Ark model and that outside of California the sister state university is much weaker academically in the Pac-12’s other states.

    • zeek says:

      And here’s the latest from Chip Brown on Texas’ 5 options:

      I find his view on the Pac-12 to be interesting, especially since it seems to strongly support the notion that Texas’ preference is that it really doesn’t want to join a conference where it’d be a “junior” partner (like the Big Ten or Pac-12).

      There might be more to this ACC option than meets the eye, and I still think quasi-independence through a reformed Big 12 is a possibility if Texas and ND can work something out with the Big 12 taking WVU (if not to the SEC), Louisville, Pitt, Rutgers, Cincinnati, while Texas and ND park their non-football sports in the Big 12 and agree to play 4 games a year in it.

      • footballnut says:

        Pretty good summary article by John Wilner within the last few minutes. ACC option for Texas for all sports but football seems like the way it may go, with football going indy. But, hey, makes your head spin thinking about all the possibilities.

        • vp19 says:

          I don’t think the ACC would accept Texas without football.

          • zeek says:

            Agreed, the ACC isn’t the Big East here. It’s one thing to negotiate a way for the LHN in or to create a pod system with a pod for Texas + 3. There’s no BCS conference that would consider Texas’ non-football sports only other than the Big East or a Big 12 “remnants.”

          • cutter says:

            I also agree. I seem to recall that Notre Dame looked at joining the ACC at one time not too long ago as an associate member, i.e, independent in football with the remaining teams housed within the conference. The ACC wasn’t interested in that prospect at the time.

            Obviously, times change and I suppose there’s a possibility that the ACC would think about it. But the conference is also a prime target for the SEC as it goes to 14 or 16 members. Adding Texas without football will not help the ACC in that sort of scenario.

          • OT says:

            Texas should just end all the drama and pull a “BYU”. The WAC is desperate enought to be available for that purpose:

            1. Texas goes independent in football with all home games on the Longhorn Network.

            2. The Longhorn Network already has a deal with Texas-San Antonio for TV rights to its football games that are not part of a conference’s TV package (that means all home games in 2011 and all non-conference home games in 2012 and beyond.) One would assume that the Longhorn Network can cut deals to get the TV rights to Texas-San Antonio (WAC), Texas-Arlington (WAC), and Texas-El Paso (C*USA) basketball games that aren’t part of their conferences’ packages.

            3. Texas would park its basketball, baseball, softball, and Olympic sports in the WAC under the following conditions:

            a. Texas will end up with at least 51% of the revenue from the WAC’s TV deals for basketball (i.e. with ESPN, Inc.) The other 49% will be split among the WAC’s remaining schools.

            b. Texas will agree to play 4 or 5 WAC opponents in football each season, but all at Texas Memorial Stadium with its 100,000 seats. The opponents will include Texas-San Antonio and Texas State (both within 1 hour of Texas.) If Texas-El Paso can be pressured to re-join the WAC, then Texas will host UTEP each season. if Texas-Arlington were to add football, then Texas will either host Texas-Arlington or play Texas-Arlington at “neutral” Cowboys Stadium. In any case, the Longhorn Network will have the rights to all football games in which Texas will play WAC opponents.

            c. Texas will offer its vastly superior facilities to host all WAC conference championship events in baseball, softball, and Olympic sports (especially swimming and diving.) In exchange, the Longhorn Network will have the TV rights to all those events.

            d. The Longhorn Network will have the rights to all WAC conference basketball tournament games that aren’t televised on the ESPN Networks. Those will include all early-round men’s basketball games and women’s basketball games through the semifinal round.

            The above will ensure that:

            1. Texas will have total control over a conference with no other egos to challenge Texas’ superiority

            2. Texas will make more money than everyone else in the conference combined

            3. The Longhorn Network will end up with at least 8 Texas football games, 6 Texas-San Antonio football games, possibly 6 Texas-El Paso football games, plus a ton of basketball and Olympic sports events involving Texas, Texas-Arlington, Texas-San Antonio, and possibly Texas-El Paso. Time Warner Cable will have no choice but to sign on to carry the Longhorn Network.

          • bullet says:

            I can’t imagine why they would do that. BE has done it. But I can’t imagine ACC.

          • ccrider55 says:


            The WAC didn’t take BYU’s other sports. They are in the West Coast Conference.

          • Bob in Houston says:

            OT: Non-football affiliation with the WAC would destroy basketball. No way that happens.

        • Patrick says:

          Maybe Texas could play Basketball in the ACC, Baseball in the SEC, Track and Field in the Big Ten, Womens sports in the Pac 12 and Football could stay independent?

          I think Texas looks around the landscape ‘leeks’ some wacky plan that no conference in their right mind would accept, then claims they tried oh so hard to make something work.

        • Jake says:

          If Texas wants to go independent, the Big East would make more sense for non-football sports. They’re amenable to the arrangement, you already have a nearby rival in the conference, and if KU, KSU and Mizzou join the BEast (which they might have to do if Texas goes Indy and ends the Big 12), then you’ve got a whole western division ready to go.

      • cutter says:

        This is a pretty funny article.

        Chip Brown talks about reducing travel for student-athletes being a primary concern for Texas, but acknowledges that the reason why the ACC is a possibility is because it might be the most viable conference for UT to keep the Longhorn Network intact in its present form. If Texas was so concerned about the issue, it’d work to essentially reconsistitute the Southwest Conference by bringing Houston, TCU, etc. into the Big XII to replace OU, OkState, Texas A&M and possibly Texas Tech (not to mention KU, K-State and Mizzou if they head to the Big East).

        It’s certainly praiseworthy to read that Texas is interested in keeping the LHN intact because it’d provide $5M per year to the academic side of the university (with the other $5M going to the athletic side). However, when you realize had $2.24B in operating expenses in 2011 (see, you have to realize that the $5M is a miniscule contribution (of course, given the status of the Texas state budget and the shorfalls in the UT system, perhaps you can’t ignore any amount of revenue). If a future Pac 16 Network paid as much or more money as the LHN, then revenue and contributions to the academic side of the university is a moot point. Of course, keeping the gold plating on the athletic facilities to a minimum might help as well–see

        The two nuggets of truth in the article are (1) Texas would have a smaller seat at the table if they went to the Pac 12 or Big Ten (and even within the ACC) and (2) keeping the LHN in its present form and format is the primary item driving which option Texas would exercise in the end. Just like Notre Dame would be loath to give up its independence, UT will do its utmost to hold onto the LHN because its a unique platform to promote the university and its sports teams.

        I had to laugh at the comment that if Texas Tech overplays its hand vis-a-vis the Pac 12, it might be left behind. Good gracious–talk about calling the kettle black. If this works out for Texas Tech, it might be the Longhorns who are being left behind (especially if they exercise the independent option).

        One last thing about the travel question. If Texas were to join the Big Ten with Notre Dame, half of the conference’s teams would be in the Eastern time zone and the other half would be in the Central time zone (including UT). That certainly make the B1G as “travel friendly” as the ACC, if not more so. Of course, Delany & Co. aren’t likely to allow UT to keep the Longhorn Network in its present form–and that’s the rub. Perhaps it could become a regional BTN network for the Central time zone (BTN2?) and the programs in the Big Ten West Division–that’s probably the best Texas could hope for at this juncture.

        It’ll be interesting to see what happens as this unfolds. With ATM headed to the SEC and OU/OkState seeming to be steering towards the Pac 12, Texas is going to have an interesting decision to make.

      • imho says:

        It may be UT’s 2nd preference to turn the ACC into the new Texas-centered Big 12, where UT keeps the LHN plus takes a share of ACC revenue… I doubt it… I don’t see the ACC falling for that, and making them selves Big-12 2.0

        • vp19 says:

          The ACC is so desperate for a football brand — something even the likes of Florida State, Miami, Georgia Tech, Clemson (all of which have won national titles in the past 30 years) and Virginia Tech haven’t helped it accomplish — that it might make a Faustian deal with Texas.

  99. Mike says:


    *** There have been discussions between Oklahoma and Pac-12 officials, but nothing of a formal nature will happen until Texas A&M joins the SEC. Nothing. Larry Scott won’t make the first move toward superconference status.

    In fact, Scott has positioned himself perfectly against potential super-conference backlash from fans, media, the NCAA or university presidents nationwide.

    He can always say, “We were happy at 12. We weren’t looking to expand. The SEC made the first move. Mike Slive has been the predator, not me.”

    *** My sense is that the ACC might be more accommodating to Texas’ demands — err, needs — in terms of logistics, revenue and TLN than the Pac-12.

    The Pac-12 won’t budge on its principles of revenue distribution and the planned network structure to satisfy any school.

    Nor should it.

    *** The Oklahoma schools are almost certain to receive an invitation to the Pac-12 if they apply for admission.

    Multiple sources have told the Hotline that Scott believes the conference must expand — to 14 and perhaps 16 — in order to protect itself in the future when the SEC and Big Ten are both at 14+.

    Despite grumbling from Colorado and others, Scott will have the votes he needs to add the Oklahoma schools.

    *** Oh, and a quick word to Colorado officials and fans concerned that the Buffs could end up in a different division than the L.A. schools:

    Get. In. Line.

    Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State all had to give something up in order to make the 12-school conference work, and that something was being paired with the L.A. schools.

    (In order for the California schools to play each other every year, the NW schools actually have less access to L.A. than if there had been a division split with no California adjustment.)

    But the NW schools did it because it was in the best interest of everyone.

    Soon, it may be Colorado’s turn to suck it up for the greater good.

    *** If Texas ultimately comes aboard with Texas Tech — and that’s the only way TTU is getting in, by the way — then the league will split into the two eight-team divisions sketched out in the spring of 2010 (with Utah filling Texas A&M’s slot).

    My sense is that those divisions would be somewhat akin to the American and National leagues:

    There would be inter-division play, but to a certain extent they would exist independently — intense focus on your own group of eight, paths occasionally crossing with the other … and then the championship game collision, of course.

    I’d also imagine the the conference office would open a eastern branch, probably in Dallas.

    *** If Texas is not involved in the equation, would the Pac stick on 14 or find two additional members to reach 16?

    This, to me, is the most interesting issue.

    Scott and the league’s CEOs are not interested in expansion for expansion’s sake, and with Oklahoma (in) and Texas (out) accounted for, there would be no obvious must-have.

    But at the same time, 14 is not very manageable in terms of scheduling and divisions.

    • bullet says:

      I wondered if it was considered since the issue was never discussed in public, but apparently it was. The CA/AZ schools together gave the NW schools the best access for southern California (splitting the CA schools requires a 5-2-2 with the CA schools playing each other-otherwise it could be a 5-2-2 and the NW schools each got a southern California school every year if the California schools were in the same division). Having all the biggest media markets in one division was apparently the problem with that scenario.

      That same issue means a Pac 14 most likely just sends Utah to the North as Zeke suggested. And that significantly reduces the NW access to southern California. Having the Pac 8 less WSU leaves those biggest media markets together as OKC would be the smallest market. And I think they realized last year that zippers are a cheap solution that usually comes off track pretty quickly.

      • Eric says:

        I think it’s more likely the conference keeps the current divisions and splits OU-OSU between the two. Competive balance may not have been the PAC-10/12’s focus like it was the Big Ten’s, but I bet they don’t want OU and USC in the same division.

        • zeek says:

          But isn’t that what OU would want (and maybe even USC as well) for recruiting and a national rivalry?

          I mean OU would be joining the conference under the assumption that it’d be with USC/UCLA in a Pac-14 South or with Texas in a Pac-16 East. That’s just my guess though.

          I don’t think competitive equality really matters here, since they’d just hope that Oregon/Washington/Stanford/Cal (whichever team is up in the cycle) would just carry that division even though none is a national brand and those teams are only relevant when they’re in the top 10.

          • Eric says:

            Maybe, but long term I think it would be worse alignment than the north-south in the Big 12. They at least had Nebraska in the north. OU-USC would outshine everybody in the north. (although the other top teams in the north are better than the other Big 12 north schools were).

          • zeek says:

            Yeah, that’s a good point, but wasn’t it like that before to some extent anyways with USC dominating the national spotlight.

            It’s more like the ACC in my mind with FSU/Miami. I think keeping them in the same division is a smart idea, since it’s more of a guarantee that OU and USC have a big showdown each year and the winner goes to the Pac-14 CCG almost every year.

            The Big 12’s issue was similar but they had 3 national brands in Texas/Oklahoma/Nebraska. Even though the Big 12 North didn’t work out once Nebraska went into decline, the south pretty much featured Oklahoma or Texas most of the time.

            I think the Pac-14’s more similar than the ACC though, but you never know how these things are until 20 years later when you have hindsight.

    • metatron5369 says:

      Suck it up? They’re determined to destroy themselves, aren’t they? They’re essentially paying the Arizonas an severance package.

      Not to mention the fact that there will be a 50% chance the Rose Bowl gets an expansion team now. That’s just great.

      • Richard says:

        Where would the AZ schools go?

        Oh, and I agree on what Wilner said to the Buffs. Evidently, being in the B12 infects schools there with an outsized sense of importance/ego and self-interest. The NW schools had to sacrifice (visiting SoCal) to make the Pac12 work. The SoCal schools sacrificed in equal revenue sharing. If there is an ocean/desert split, the AZ schools have more of a right to complain, yet they’re willing to take one for the team. You’re _Colorado_ (not USC, Texas, TAMU, or even UCLA). If you don’t like it there, leave.

        • bullet says:

          Its tough if you’ve been longing for something for 15 years and it gets pulled away from you just as you get there.

          • metatron5369 says:

            You’re finally invited to the popular clique’s party, only to be pushed into the back room with the rest of rejects.

            This is one of the many reasons why any future Big Ten expansion CANNOT have more than two expansion teams (including Penn State) per division/pod/quadrant (if we go into groups of four).

    • ChicagoRed says:

      “I’d also imagine the the conference office would open a eastern branch, probably in Dallas.”

      That’s priceless, they could move into the old XII offices, cheap office space for rent.

  100. frug says:


    (move along folks nothing to see here)

    • Mike says:

      Sorry, there is a malformed HTML italic tag in your reply to redwood86 that causes every reply after yours in my browser to be in italics. I was trying to see if I could fix it.

      • frug says:

        Yeah, sorry about that. Not sure what happened. If you are using a WordPress account to post you can try logging out and then back in.

  101. mushroomgod says:

    This TX to ACC stuff really makes no sense to me.

    I’m sure TX is shopping for the best deal…and talking to all the conferences….

    But in the end the PAC makes far more sense, with the BIG second.

    In the PAC, TX could be in the same conference as OK, OK ST, and/or TT, MO, KAN

    In the BIG, TX could be in with NEB, MO, and ND.

    Being in the ACC with TT, unless, at a minimum you could also get ND to join, sounds less than attractive.

    ESPN “owning” both the ACC and the LHN is the only reason this is being discussed. I find it hard to believe the TX fan base would put up with ESPN picking their conference…………

  102. Milton Hershey says:

    VP – PSU has a law school in Carlise (Dickenson) and a new one in State College. The Med School is in Hershey.

  103. Bamatab says:

    Looks like FSU is gearing up for the expansion onslaught:

    I wonder how many more of the ACC and Big East schools are getting antsy right about now?

    • bullet says:

      I think every FBS school not in the SEC or B1G or a Pac California school is nervous right now.
      Oklahoma & the Pac are waiting on A&M & the SEC. Texas is waiting on Oklahoma. The rest of the Big 12 is waiting on OU and UT. The ACC is waiting on the SEC. The Big East is waiting on the Big 12, SEC and ACC. The non-AQs are waiting on the Big 12 and Big East. The 4 NW Pac and 4 SW Pac schools are waiting on Scott and OU and division discussions.

      And all of this could take effect on July 1, less than 9 months.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Saw one site where they said FSU was against TX to the ACC….and that could drive FSU to the SEC……

      Boy things are flat out crazy right now. I think the only moves that are RELATIVELY certain are A@M to the SEC and OK and OK ST to the PAC. After that, everything’s up for grabs……….

      • Bamatab says:

        This may be the first “chink” in the ACC’s armor. If FSU starts making public statements like aTm & OU did, then the other ACC schools, who everyone thought were tied to the ACC no matter what, may end up getting spooked and decide to jump to another conference while they have a chance. If FSU start sabre rattling, that might just what the SEC and B1G were waiting on.

        • vp19 says:

          I’m trying to figure out what would make Texas so distasteful to FSU, unless it’s simply seeking an out of any kind to escape to the SEC (and that’s assuming it would discard its “gentlemen’s agreement” not to invite an institution that’s in another member’s state).

          There’s also some talk the Texas-to-ACC pod would include Texas Tech, Kansas State and Kansas, which would sweeten the pot for the basketball-oriented schools such as NC’s “big four.” If that happened, and Baylor and Iowa State went to the Big East, it would still need a 12th member for a CCG. Brigham Young? Houston?

      • Richard says:

        The only reason I can think of for why FSU would oppose letting in Texas is because Texas would require special privileges to go to the ACC. That would be especially galling for FSU as they see themselves as a “king” like Texas (and have the national brand of a king) but have a drawing power that is more like TAMU’s, so they wouldn’t be able to take advantage of third-tier rights the way Texas or UNC can. I can see them not wanting the ACC to forsake equal revenue sharing.

        In any case, if FSU leaves, I think the B10 should make a play for them. I think the B10 would have a pretty good shot as well, as FSU clearly cares about academics, and the SEC may still decide to stick with their policy of not expanding in states where they already are dominant. Academically, FSU is clearly above OU (and you could say they’re above UNL as well), being in the small group of schools that have a good shot at becoming AAU within the next decade or two.

        • @Richard – I agree. If the Big Ten wants a king that will gladly take equal revenue sharing in the league, Florida State should be on the target list.

          • Richard says:

            Especially since that select list is rather small. We know that ND and Texas want special privileges where ever they are. Now that PSU and UNL are taken, here’s the list of kings outside the SEC and east of the Rockies who would be happy to be an equal partner in a power conference (assuming they want to leave their conference):
            –OU (purportedly rejected because of academics, though wanting to be tied to OkSt. makes it a moot point)
            –Miami (if you still consider them a king; I have a feeling that Shalala’s already tried to get the U in to the B10 several times but the B10 presidents aren’t willing)
            –VTech (if you consider them a king; I consider both VTech and Miami borderline because they don’t generate king-level revenues, plus, I’d have to see VTech prosper after Beamer to consider them a true king)

        • M says:

          From the leaked documents in Nebraska’ AAU defense, we actually have the rankings they use for membership (or least the ranking in which Georgia Tech was the highest non-member and Nebraska and Syracuse were the lowest members).

          31 Yeshiva
          36 Boston University
          37 Dartmouth
          44 Tufts
          45 UMBC
          49 Utah (I bet they’re in relatively soon)

          Other FBS schools
          56 Wake Forest
          59 Miami (FL)
          61 Cincinnati
          63 Colorado State
          66 Oregon State
          68 New Mexico
          78 Hawaii
          80 Connecticut
          86 Arizona State
          88 South Florida
          89 UMass
          90 NC State
          91 Oklahoma
          92 Virginia Tech
          93 FSU
          95 Kentucky
          96 Louisville
          97 New Mexico State
          98 Notre Dame
          99 Mississippi
          102 South Carolina
          103 Houston
          105 Nevada
          106 Syracuse
          107 Utah State
          108 Nebraska
          109 Georgia
          112 LSU
          113 WSU
          115 Mississippi State
          118 Idaho
          119 West Virginia
          121 Temple
          122 Clemson
          123 Kansas State
          124 Southern Miss

          The AAU is about 60 and seems to want to keep around that size. A new member will definitely have to be in the top 60.

          • frug says:

            You forgot Alabama-Birmingham (40). I am always surprised at how high UAB does on these. Most people (including me) don’t think of it as an elite university (it’s not even the system’s flagship) but it also ranks very high on the The Center for Measuring University Performance’s 2010 list.

          • bullet says:

            UAB has a very good medical school.

    • @Bamatab – Jim Delany at least needs to make a phone call to Talahassee. I’m not joking. Out of all of the “Southern” states, Florida is the most “Northern” with the largest number of Big Ten transplants outside of the Midwest. It’s not an accident that after the Rose Bowl, the next 3 top Big Ten bowl tie-ins are in Florida.

      • bullet says:

        Yes, but you would have to get Miami or USF. They say the further south you go in Florida, the further north you get. I don’t think I heard as many New York accents in New York as I did the last time I was in Miami. And they call Jacksonville the capital of South Georgia. The biggest Georgia Bulldog club outside Georgia is in Jacksonville. You see more pickups in Jacksonville than just about anyplace outside of Texas. Gainesville (an hour out of Jacksonville) and Tallahassee have a lot more in common with Albany and Savannah than they do with Miami or even Orlando.

      • Abe Froman says:

        You are thinking like a B1G football fanboy, rather than a University President here. FSU and the B1G is not a cultural match in any way, shape or form. Additions like these would only serve to disturb conference unity. You can’t just cramp the best available football schools together and call it a conference.
        And, I’ve spent time in Tallahassee. It is nothing like any B1G town.

        • Richard says:

          At the university president level, I don’t think culture is what you think it is. These guys are from around the country and are not tied to a particular region. For instance, FSU’s current president did get his graduate degrees in Miami, but he was dean at Texas and PSU before that.

          As for conference unity, as much as Texas and ND are the loveliest ladies out there, you know that they’re high maintenance and would do more to disturb conference unity than a school like FSU. ND is smack dab in the middle of the Midwest, but in both profile and the goals of most of its constituents, it’s much farther away from the B10 than FSU is. What matters, when forming a cohesive group (at work or otherwise) isn’t whether someone speaks with a drawl but whether they share the same ideals as you.

          • mushroomgod says:

            Point to Abe….what the heck does the BIG have in common with FSU…complete silliness…..

          • Abe Froman says:

            I have no doubt that a lot of University Presidents from far-flung schools can get along quite nicely. But saying that Michigan’s President and Florida State’s President can rub elbows and share cocktails doesn’t mean the University of Michigan, its students, its alumni, its fans, the city of Ann Arbor can mesh with Florida State’s students, alumni, fans, etc. I just have a feeling that if Florida State joins the B1G, it wouldn’t last. Too much of an outlier from every other school, and I’m not simply speaking geographically. Too many barriers, not enough common ground.

            Texas, I could see possibly meshing, if they weren’t, well, Texas. Both the Longhorns and the rest of the B1G would have to give a little ground to make it work. And should the other 12 schools forfeit some of their identity to bring Texas in? Just for the money? I don’t think so, both parties do well enough financially already.

            I’d be happy if the B1G stayed at 12 members for the next 20 years. I have a feeling that 16 members is not going to work as well as many seem to think it will.

          • bullet says:

            I keep reading all these articles from sportwriters saying noone they talk to wants 16 team conferences. Yet they all are trying to do them. Self-fulfilling prophecy? One article just chalked it up to greed. The B1G, SEC, Pac all want to have more than the rest.

        • Richard says:

          BTW, if the B10 presidents cared about the “culture” you think about rather than the “culture” they think about, they wouldn’t have tried to get UF & UGa, and they would have been happier pursuing OU than Texas.

          • mushroomgod says:

            Everything I’ve heard about the UT campus culture indicates it is a lot more like Madison there than in Norman. I have no idea why you think OU would be closer to the BIG culturally than TX>

          • Richard says:


            I don’t, but I was replying to someone who thinks culture has more to do with geography rather than the ideals and motivations of the stakeholders of the school. I personally believe UT is closer to the B10 culturally than OU, even though OK is Midwestern and TX isn’t.

      • Bamatab says:

        @ Frank – I think you are right. Delany making a call to FSU would probably be a smart move. They might even be able to pick up a tag along mate like Miami (assuming the NCAA doesn’t hammer them). You are right that a lot of northerners have migrated to Florida. Heck, some southerners consider Florida a yankee state. But like bullet stated below, Tallahasse is almost in Alabama with a lot of southern roots and ties.

        But here is the deal with FSU. There is a portion of their donars and the fanbase that want into the SEC (not all of them, but a portion). And while there may be a “gentlemen’s agreement” not to take schools from states already in the SEC footprint for the 14th team, that could change for the 16th team. I still think that Slive (and the rest of the SEC) would “overturn” the gentlemen’s agreement and allow FSU into the SEC if they don’t want to add a school like WV, ECU, or Pitt.

        I just find the timing in all of this (regarding FSU) strange. Why would FSU make that public statement now. Especially after what is transpiring in the Big 12 right now with the posturing that OU is publically doing. Does FSU want to create instabillity in the ACC?

        Slive (and thus the SEC) stated that he is content to stay at 13. But the SEC also said that they weren’t looking to expand to 13, yet here we are with aTm about to join. So once Slive said that he plans on going to 13 and doesn’t plan on going to 14 immediately, FSU makes a public statement that they are going to consider their options (just like OU did).

        If FSU “initiates” contact with the SEC or B1G, what affect will that have on schools like VT and NCST. Heck, what affect will it have with the ACC bluebloods like Maryland, Virginia, UNC, and Duke? Could FSU’s conversations with other conferences open the ACC up for the B1G to make a grab for Maryland, UVA, UNC, & Duke. Would FSU/SEC talks cause VT or NCST to explore a move to the SEC?

        Like I said, I don’t know what FSU is thinking right now. The last thing the ACC needed was a school like FSU to pull an Oklahoma and make everyone in the ACC nervous. It is very strange timing IMHO.

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        I can only speak for myself, but count me among the FSU fans who wants them nowhere else but the ACC. An ACC without Texas. No offense to Bullet or Hopkins Horn, but I think Texas would find a way to continue its pattern. I would expect UT to create turmoil in the nearly 60-year-old league, whose roots really date to the early 1920’s with the SoCon, and somehow UT would blame other schools for the league’s ultimate demise. As I’ve stated many times, I have zero interest in the SEC. FSU does not need the SEC for recruiting advantages, as evidenced by success in recruiting efforts. Nor does it need the SEC to be competitive in Olympic sports, as evidenced by FSU’s strong finishes in the Director’s Cup. Nor does it need to be associated with Florida, Vanderbilt, or A&M academics when the ACC can counter with its laundry list of great universities. Nor does a university who wants to shed its reputation once and for all as the “Criminoles” need to join a league whose reputation, fair or not, is one that has less respect for the rulebook than any other.

        In an “Armageddon” situation where the ACC’s demise is unavoidable, I want FSU in the Big Ten. In my mind, there are no other good choices.

      • mushroomgod says:

        Only if he has dry cleaning he has to pick up down there…………otherwise, makes 0 sense.

  104. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Here’s an interesting article from 1994 regarding Baylor’s move to the Big XII.

  105. bullet says:,0,1229798.column

    Another column discussing why superconferences are happening when noone seems to want it.

  106. bullet says:

    Ran across an interesting article on UNL going to the Big 10. Talks facts about a lot of things people make assumptions about. I don’t think its ever been posted here in full (at least I don’t remember it). There wasn’t the acrimony that was assumed. Makes it seem like, as I saw someone say, the Big 12 is facing a run on the bank instead of a real crisis.

    • metatron5369 says:

      That’s entirely what it is. Missouri spooked the herd, and the Big XII freaked at every level.

      They were inherently unstable with three teams wanting to be elsewhere and the anchors not having an emotional or historical tie to the league or their fellow schools.

    • Mike says:

      Its been referenced here a few times. FWIW its one of the few World-Herald articles that doesn’t push the “Nebraska left because Texas runs the Big 12″ storyline.

      • bullet says:

        And to the extent UT was exploring its options with the Pac, UT stirred the pot. However, they were willing to commit when it came down to it if everyone else did. But it didn’t really matter with Nebraska. UNL had an offer too good to refuse.