In the past 2 weeks, we’ve seen stories that Texas is saving the Big 12, moving west with Oklahoma to the Pac-12, joining the Big Ten with Notre Dame and now the ACC is the new frontrunner for the Longhorns.  The only constant seems to be that Texas wants absolutely nothing to do with the SEC (even though that conference might most easily be able to take on the Longhorn Network without disruption to the rest of the league’s revenue and TV rights structure) because of a combination of academics and cultural fit.  (It’s NOT about “being scared” of the SEC, as Clay Travis suggests.  I like Clay and he normally avoids the fanboy-type of arguments you’ll find on a lot of message boards, but he’s way off base here.  No school moves from or avoids conference because they’re “scared” or really much of anything to do with results on the field.)

THE POSITIVES FOR TEXAS

There are a few items that seem to make sense for Texas in a possible move to the ACC:

(1) ESPN controls all ACC TV rights – Out of the three main contenders for the services of Texas, the ACC has a clear advantage over the Pac-12 and Big Ten in that ESPN controls all ACC television rights at all tiers.  In contrast, the Pac-12 Network that will be wholly-owned by the conference has control of a large chunk of football and basketball inventory while Fox is the Big Ten’s partner on the BTN.  While ESPN sublicenses syndicated packages of ACC games to Raycom, the Worldwide Leader is still ultimately in control of all of that conference’s content.  This makes it much easier from a pure TV rights perspective for the ACC to take in the ESPN-owned Longhorn Network.  There would need to be some maneuvering with Raycom, but certainly not to the extent that would need to occur with the respective networks run by the Pac-12 and Big Ten.

(2) Top Tier Academics – If Texas is going to leave the Big 12, then academic reputation of the destination conference is an important factor and a big reason (if not the top reason) why the school has never been interested in the SEC.  On this front, the ACC is arguably the best of all of the BCS conferences at least on the undergraduate level, where 7 of its schools reside in the top 50 of the latest US News rankings.  (The Big Ten generally gets the nod as the top academic BCS conference at the graduate level.)  Note that when I talk about academics, I mean overall institutional reputations as opposed to, say, the classroom performance of football players in Miami that reek of stripperfume.

(3) ACC is much stronger than what people give it credit for – I’ve said this in the majority of blog posts that I’ve written on conference realignment for the past year because there have been so many rumors about certain ACC schools (particularly Virginia Tech) going to the SEC and I’ll repeat it again: the ACC is much stronger than what people give it credit for.  Academics matter to the university presidents that make conference decisions and the ACC is solid from top-to-bottom on that factor.  At the same time, the likelihood of the core of the conference (UNC/Duke/UVA) ever leaving the ACC is about as likely as Michigan and Ohio State leaving the Big Ten, which means there’s much greater stability factor in the ACC compared to the Big 12 or Big East.  No one that is thinking straight believes the ACC is going to disappear like the Big 12.  At the same time, the reason why the SEC or Big Ten would ever want any ACC schools in the first place is because the league certainly has valuable assets in terms of flagship schools and desirable demographics.  The conference has a lot to work with even with direct competition with the SEC in a number of markets.

Now, the main exception to all of this is Florida State.  I’ve stated previously that it’s the one ACC school that I believe would take an SEC invite, so it didn’t surprise me that the Seminoles are forming an expansion/realignment committee to evaluate their options.  An ACC-less Florida State certainly changes the equation for Texas and anyone else that might consider heading to that conference.  For what it’s worth, if Florida State is truly available, Jim Delany and the Big Ten should be on the phone to Tallahassee immediately.  That’s a discussion for another day.

THE NEGATIVES FOR TEXAS

(1) Equal Revenue Sharing – The ACC has long shared all TV revenues equally among its members and there’s plenty of people that believe (including me) that it’s a fundamental tenet of a strong and unified conference (even if the actual dollar differences might not be that large in an unequal system).  Texas would need to get to move the ACC from this position, which may be just as difficult in Greensboro as it would be with the Big Ten and Pac-12.  North Carolina and Duke have disproportionate power within the ACC and it won’t be easy to get them on board with providing special concessions to Texas (although they weren’t able to stop the conference’s expansion in 2003).

(2) Lower Conference TV Revenue Compared to Big Ten and Pac-12 – Compounding the equal revenue sharing equation (not even taking into account the LHN) is that the ACC has lower overall conference TV revenue compared to the Big Ten and Pac-12 and it will be the case until at least 2023.  The ACC will be making an average of $155 million per year ($12.9 million per school) while the Pac-12′s new deal is worth an average of $250 million per year ($20.8 million per school) and that’s without including the Pac-12 Network.  Meanwhile, every Big Ten school received almost $8 million last year in equal distributions from the Big Ten Network alone.  That’s on top of the average of $100 million per year ($10 million per school) that the Big Ten is receiving in its current ABC/ESPN contract that is due to be replaced in 2016 (and will likely be substantially higher than the Pac-12) plus reportedly over $23.3 million per year ($1.94 million per school) from Fox for just the Big Ten Championship Game.  With all of the focus on the third tier rights of the LHN, many people are forgetting that the value of the first and second tier rights at the conference level are ultimately even more important.

UPSHOT

Texas may very well be making less TV revenue with the combination of the LHN and ACC conference TV package than it would in an equal revenue sharing system in the Big Ten or Pac-12.  (The LHN is going to provide UT about $11 million this year.  The oft-reported $15 million per year figure is an average over the 20-year life of the contract.)  Considering that the BTN figures don’t include the new revenue from the addition of Nebraska, one could only imagine what adding all of the households in the state of Texas (and beyond if a school like Notre Dame joins, too) would do to those figures.  It would be the same type of calculation if the state of Texas was added to the Pac-12 network.

As a member of the Big 12, it makes sense that Texas would want an “eat what you kill” approach to TV revenue since the main market of value in that conference is the state of Texas.  In the Big Ten, though, there are marquee markets such as Chicago and Philadelphia that are being brought to the table, while the Pac-12 has the state of California.  For that matter, the ACC brings in the state of Florida and a whole slew of fast-growing Southern and Mid-Atlantic markets.  From a TV revenue perspective, it’s not necessarily an easy call for Texas to give up access to dollars coming in from other Big Ten or Pac-12 markets compared to the non-Texas Big 12 markets.  This is a point that a lot of commentators are missing when evaluating the financial aspects of the LHN – the money isn’t really that mind-blowing compared to what every single Big Ten and Pac-12 school (from Michigan to Northwestern and USC to Washington State) already receives.

However, the value of the LHN seems to be more about branding than money (similar to Notre Dame’s contract with NBC).  It puts Texas into that “special” category as the one school that can carry its own cable network… besides BYU, of course.  Seeing the reports coming out of Austin, the intangibles of the LHN could outweigh greater revenue potential in equal revenue sharing conference networks.  So, that’s why Texas is searching for a conference that allows the LHN to stay as-is (or as close to as-is as possible) and if the ACC is the one league that makes concessions on that front, they can get the Longhorns.

Of course, as we’ve seen in conference realignment many times over the past 18 months, nothing is a done deal until contracts are signed and there’s an announcement (and in the case of Texas A&M to the SEC, a done deal doesn’t even mean there’s a done deal).  In June 2010, Larry Scott was belting out “Free Fallin’” in his rental car after meeting with Bill Powers and DeLoss Dodds in believing that his Pac-16 mega-dream was going to come to fruition.  We ended up seeing that deal collapse in less than 48 hours due to forces beyond Scott’s control.  So, even if the ACC is the proverbial leader in the clubhouse right now for Texas, it doesn’t mean very much in such a fluid situation.

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

(Image from Deadspin)

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Comments
  1. greg says:

    Hawkeyes #1 in the Legends.

  2. Jeepers says:

    bacon (add)

  3. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX Fightin’ Tigers!

    We need less cowbell.

  4. Denogginizer says:

    Add. GBR

  5. Sportsman says:

    While I’m aware how much value UTx would bring to any conference, I don’t want them anywhere near tBT. I believe the negatives outweigh the positives.

  6. jtower says:

    What bout ND hockey?

    • Adam says:

      The real $$$ is in an 8-team Big Ten hockey conference with ND and UT starting a program. Dolla. Dolla. Billzzz.

      • FLP_NDRox says:

        One of the things that gives me hope in this is that I can’t figure out who team #8 would be in a BTHC. BC is the obvious option as it has academics, a BCS football program, and top-flight hockey. That said, there’s no way I can see them coming in as B1G #14.

        The only other way to get to eight is for another school to start a program…and really, how many sugar daddies are available to drop the 9 figures needed for that? I suppose Indiana or Illinois (maybe Iowa?) could promote their club teams, but I doubt they will.

        I still don’t have a preference as to where the Irish end up between Hockey East or the NCHC…I would just like to know before the puck drops this year.

        • Sportsman says:

          I, for one, would love it if Iowa moved their club team up… imagine, the Hockeyes playing Hawkey!! Or something like that…

        • mike in st. louis says:

          Problem is, with Title IX, schools that would promote their club teams would also have to add a women’s sport to compensate, essentially doubling the cost to add hockey. The three “I”s aren’t exactly in a great spot to add Women’s Crew.

        • Patrick says:

          FLP – Many posters on here keep insisting that BC will not be included in a Big Ten Expansion and I’d like to know why. Is it cultural? Is it because they are not a major football power?

          Looking at numbers I don’t see BC as a main addition, but I could see them easily coming in as a partner with a big time Athletic Department (like ND). BC has good athletics and strong academics, while football isn’t Nebraska or Penn State their Athletic Department revenue puts them in the Maryland, Virginia Tech range (roughly 55-60 million / year). I have no ties to BC, but from a numbers standpoint I don’t understand why they keep getting discarded. If it is because they aren’t a football power, then I would just disagree with them being passed over.

          • @Patrick – Personally, I wouldn’t automatically discount BC in any Big Ten discussion. I wouldn’t necessarily add them without Notre Dame, but having them in conjunction with ND makes them attractive. BC is much more in the Mizzou or Rutgers category for me as a school that is acceptable in a multi-school expansion. BC in a “package deal” with ND is fine in my eyes since there’s definitely TV value there, where they’re kind of like a Northeast version of Miami where the local support and attendance is fairly weak but they historically draw good TV ratings nationally. In contrast, a school that’s a “little brother” tied to the true target big brother purely for political purposes and doesn’t meet the minimum academic threshold isn’t going to work.

          • Richard says:

            Frank:

            I wouldn’t include Mizzou in that category as their research and academics are closer to OU than they are to the B10 average. I agree that BC, Maryland, Rutgers, UVa, or GTech may come in if a king comes with them, though.

          • Sportsman says:

            I’m thinking that BC to tBT (w/ ND) would include winners in tBT, the ACC & Boston… My understanding is that the ACC has been unable to fully tap the MA/New England market. If they were to join tBT (again, w/ ND), it would seem that the market would be more successfully penetrated. Then, the ACC would be able to invite another institution (SU?). How many BT and ACC alums are in MA/N.E.?

          • Richard says:

            Sportsman:

            I think BC comes in only if ND insists on it. Personally, I think Syracuse is a better “get” in almost all regards.

        • Mike says:

          FWIW – There is enough support for hockey in Nebraska where I believe UNL could support a team. Lincoln has a USHL (Junior A) team that averages 4K+ a night and Nebraska-Omaha’s D1 team plays in a 16K seat arena.

          • zeek says:

            Agreed, but as FLP_NDRox is saying, who’s going to be able to foot the startup costs for this.

            It took something like 20 years for Penn State to finally get a donor in Pegula who was willing to spot $90 million in order to fund all the scholarship changes necessary as well as the arena.

            I’d imagine it’s going to be as much of a struggle for any other Big Ten program to get one up and running.

          • Mike says:

            A new arena in Lincoln will be in place in 2013. Practice ice may be the problem, although there is plans (and money) to build a new club hockey arena so that could be used. The only real issue is having enough men’s support to offset the costs of whatever women’s sport that is added.

            I’m pretty surprised that Iowa doesn’t have a Hockey team. The state of Iowa supports four USHL teams, which tells me amateur hockey should work well there. If it seems like I’m a little obsessed with the USHL or Junior hockey it’s because leagues like the USHL are essentially farm teams for NCAA schools. The level of play is a step below, but if people will pay to watch 15-20 year olds working towards a scholarship, they probably would pay to see those same players play a higher level of hockey.

          • vp19 says:

            When Hilton Coliseum at Iowa State was built (it opened in 1971), it was constructed with ice and hockey in mind (ISU had a club team then as now) in addition to basketball, wrestling and concerts, and I believe an NHL exhibition or two was played there in the ’70s. That’s not making a case for Iowa State as a Big Ten candidate, because it isn’t happening, just stating a fact. I don’t think the old Iowa fieldhouse had a hockey capability; I know Carver-Hawkeye doesn’t.

          • N says:

            Nebraska might be more of a struggle than you think Mike given the UNO situation. I realize they are and clearly will always be second fiddle to UNL. That said, now that they’ve dropped football and wrestling, they’ve staked their entire AD future on hockey. That decision only makes sense if UNL doesn’t start up a hockey program and If Trev Alberts had some assurances that UNL wouldn’t.

          • Nostradamus says:

            Nebraska might be more of a struggle than you think Mike given the UNO situation. I realize they are and clearly will always be second fiddle to UNL. That said, now that they’ve dropped football and wrestling, they’ve staked their entire AD future on hockey. That decision only makes sense if UNL doesn’t start up a hockey program and If Trev Alberts had some assurances that UNL wouldn’t.

          • Pezlion says:

            Someone just needs to convince Cuban that it’s a good idea to help his alma mater make the leap.

          • Mike says:

            @Nostradamus

            UNO did cut FB and wrestling, but both were money losers. UNO’s hope is that moving to D1 can help make basketball profitable to help take some of the pressure off of hockey. I feel that Lincoln alone could support a D1 program as its average USHL attendance last year would place it 19th right behind Ohio St.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Nostradamus:

            As a former wrestler I must object. UNO wrestling was self funded save the same aprox 30K budget they had maintained since the ’70′s. If funding was an issue that easily could have been raised also and the cost to the school would have been 0. No warning, other than Alberts obvious antipathy toward the program and coach, was given or goals set to retain the program (which had just won their 3rd consecutive D2 national championship when, literally, Albert called to interupt the post win celebration with the announcement they were cut)….Can you tell I’m a little bitter?

          • ccrider55 says:

            Sorry Nos, that should have been directed to Mike.

          • Mike says:

            CC – You are correct, wrestling itself wasn’t a big a money loser as I made it sound, especially compared to football. However, in order to go to D1 UNO had to meet the requirements of the Summit league by competing in the sports it offered. That meant in order to keep wrestling they would have to raise the additional funds to upgrade to a D1 wrestling program and additional funds to fund the offsetting women’s sport they would have to add.

            Now, how Trev broke the news, completely unprofessional.

            I’m hoping that the rise of the UFC yields greater interest in wrestling so the sport at the college level can start making money and reverse the losses of opportunity.

          • Richard says:

            Isn’t wrestling at least revenue neutral at Iowa, ISU, Minny, and PSU?

          • ccrider55 says:

            Mike:

            I understand what you are saying. However, there are no sports except FB and BB that are able to make any real money. Is that the criteria for a sports existance in schools?

            There are several members of the Summit that manage to have wrestling and affiliate with another league or regional. There was a complete lack of open process, or even a cursory exploring of options, supporters and school officials were sidestepped in this case because the outcome would have been changed.

            Sorry…rant over now. Returning to the previously scheduled realignment discussion.

          • greg says:

            @Richard,
            I’m sure wrestling is a revenue sport at Iowa, but our home attendance is roughly double the second best school in the country. I think I read last year that 24 of the top 25 dual attendances all time have been Iowa-ISU duals. A sport being revenue neutral at a handful of schools doesn’t mean a whole lot.

            The way that UNO dumped their team was a travesty. Everything that college sports shouldn’t be.

          • Husker Al says:

            I don’t see this happening.

            Tom Osborne stated this spring that adding hockey would create some Title IX challenges, forcing the department to “[add] a women’s sport and maybe two,”

        • mushroomgod says:

          Why do you need 8? My understanding is that 7 was enough…….

          • FLP_NDRox says:

            You NEED 6 for the automatic bid. But an even number of teams makes late season scheduling so much easier.

          • SideshowBob says:

            Well, if Alabama-Huntsville continues to be screwed out of a conference, there’s at least them available for late season games.

      • jj says:

        In terms of cost, maybe we could start a pond hockey league and go from there.

        In all seriousness, you can have a tiny arena for college hockey. I think you can get one rolling for way less than 90 mil. I’d love to see iowa, ill, and/or neb get one up and running. If they have club teams, they have ice. Just slap some benches in and let’s go!

        • mushroomgod says:

          Hockey is also an expensive sport to maintain, apparently…..

          I can’t see IU ever going to D1 unless the poipularity of college hocket explodes…

      • mstinebrink says:

        I always thought that D-I, varsity hockey would work well, at Illinois. Has anyone ever been to an ACHA game there? Is it popular?

        As a Wisconsin fan, I am accustomed to seeing an Illinois-born player or two on the roster–the Chicago suburbs have produced two All Americans, who played for Wisconsin: Tony Granato (Downers Grove) and Jeff Dessner (Skokie). And, a quick look at a few 2011-12 D-I rosters reveals that there is sufficient talent to fill-out a homegrown roster, especially if cherry-picking the St Louis area, too:

        Notre Dame
        Sam Calabrese – Park Ridge, IL
        Kevin Lind – Homer Glen, IL
        Billy Maday – Burr Ridge, IL
        Garrett Peterson – Manhattan, IL
        Robbie Russo – Westmont, IL
        T.J. Tynan – Orland Park, IL

        Nebraska-Omaha
        Jaycob Megna – Northbrook, IL
        Jayson Megna – Northbrook, IL
        Dominic Zombo – Ballwin, MO
        Terry Broadhurst – Orland Park, IL
        Bryce Aneloski – Pekin, IL
        Brian O’Rourke – St Louis, MO

        Wisconsin
        Michael Mersch – Park Ridge, IL
        Frankie Simonelli – Bensenville, IL
        John Ramage – St Louis, MO

        Michigan State
        Brock Shelgren – Chicago, IL
        Chris Forfar – Darien, IL

        Ohio State
        Ryan Dzingel – Wheaton, IL
        Cal Heeter – St Louis, MO

        Minnesota
        Sam Warning – Chesterfield, MO

        So, which Illini alum has a spare ~$90 million laying around???

        • @mstinebrink – I’m not just saying this as an Illinois alum: the general consensus is that Illinois is the school in the best position to have a Division 1 hockey program out of anyone. The club program is extremely strong and sells out a couple of thousand seats per game (once again, this is just for club level games). Most students come from Chicago where they’re naturally predisposed to following hockey and it’s a recruiting area that Illinois could dominate. The issues, as with anyone that wants to add a men’s sport, is getting enough funding for the women’s sports that would need to be added to comply with Title IX.

          • John says:

            Dang it. Where was this discussion last yr when my Tigers were chasing spot #12. Mizzou could have promised a promotion of our club team to D-I in exchange for that invite! We’re already seen as whoring ourselves to you guys in every other way…
            Plus we can secure plenty of open ice time at the Sprint Center in KC!!! :)

      • FLP_NDRox says:

        Kinda fun watching the USCHO fan forum discussing football realignment once you get to page 67 =)

        http://board.uscho.com/showthread.php?96499-The-new-Super-League-is-going-down-the-tubes./page67

        Not enlightening, but entertaining.

  7. M says:

    Wow that article is just about the epitome of “Dem Longhorns are skrrrd”. I can’t take a writer seriously after reading something like that.

    I don’t know why the ACC (or any conference) would take the Longhorns with the LHN. It’s a deal with the devil that will fall through eventually, and the ACC has been really hesitant about previous expansions (always coming down to within a single vote). If they can’t get strongly behind Miami and FSU with no restrictions, I don’t think they’ll roll out the red carpet.

    I also don’t believe for one moment that that the LHN is about branding or proselytizing. The Pac-X networks would have a similar effect. If the money isn’t the reason, they could say they would throw the money into the conference pot and everyone would be willing to take them.

    • vp19 says:

      The chief reason the ACC would do this is that it may be its final chance to assert itself as a football brand. The national championships Clemson and Georgia Tech won in ’81 and ’90 didn’t do it; Florida State’s dominance in the ’90s didn’t do it; the additions of Miami and (under duress) Virginia Tech haven’t done it. This may not enable the ACC to vault past any of the top three of Big Ten, Pac and SEC, but it would at least narrow the gap. That said, with the Longhorn Network, there is sort of a Faustian gamble to all this.

      • Brian says:

        Clemson didn’t do it because they won 8, 6, 12, 9, 9, 7, 6 and 8 games. GT won 5, 2, 3, 7, 11, 8, 5, 5, and 1 games. Teams have to be consistently good to build a conferences reputation.

        FSU didn’t prop up the ACC because they went 70-2 in their first 9 years in conference (1992-2000). That kind of dominance proved that the rest of the conference wasn’t on their level.

      • M says:

        Texas wouldn’t grow the ACC football brand. It would grow the Texas football brand.

  8. Jake says:

    Oh, Jerry Maguire – you complete me.

  9. vp19 says:

    One stipulation the North Carolina schools would want — especially UNC — would be to get Kansas in the Texas ACC pod (and it would be a four-team pod; I simply can’t see UT entering the ACC on its own, or having the other three new members come from non-Texas/Big 12 territory). KU has a special relationship with the ACC, specifically for basketball, as Dean Smith is a KU grad and Roy Williams coached there.

    This would be where politics would get tricky for UT, since it’s possible — but unlikely — that KU could detach itself from K-State. I think it’s better than 50-50 that KU and KSU go as a unit. So what happens next? Either Texas Tech or Baylor couldn’t accompany Texas eastbound, meaning lots of grumbling in either Lubbock or Waco. Here’s where Scott has a quandary: assuming OU and Okie State get in as #13-14, does he invite Tech as #15 (as we all know, Baylor is a Pac non-starter)? If so, where does #16 come from? One longshot scenario: Make K-State the Pac’s #16, enabling Texas to make Kansas, Baylor (instant rivalry with Wake Forest!) and Iowa State its partners (if the SEC takes Missouri). Everyone in the Big 12 gets a BCS home and all lawsuits likely disappear. Suddenly, the pressure is on the Big East in a presumed 4 x 16 endgame (one I still doubt will happen).

    If the ACC loses some members (hypothetically Florida State to the SEC with Missouri, Texas A&M and West Virginia; Maryland and Georgia Tech to the Big Ten), it has the upper hand in which Big East members it takes in as substitutes (unless the Big Ten grabs them first).

    If this weird blend of the Plains and the Mid-Atlantic goes through — if Bevo suddenly develops a taste for Cheerwine and Krispy Kreme — it’s going to be fascinating to see how the burnt orange behemoth consorts with the Carolina quintet (NC’s four plus Clemson) and the rest of the ACC old guard.

    • Jake says:

      a) What makes you think the ACC wants Baylor any more than the PAC?
      b) Tech on its own to the PAC?
      c) K-State on its own to the PAC? Why would Larry Scott do anything to make it easier for Texas and KU to go to the ACC?

      • vp19 says:

        a) The ACC already has a number of private institutions, including one with Baptist ties in Wake Forest. Baylor has also shown some recent success in men’s and women’s basketball, another plus in the eyes of the ACC.

        b) Tech by itself to the Pac has already been discussed. It wouldn’t be my #1 choice if I were Scott, but if it’s the only way to get into the state of Texas, do it.

        c) KSU would be to the Pac what Iowa State would be to the ACC — someone to fill out the conference and probably prevent a lawsuit over losing BCS status. And public colleges with statewide constituencies probably have more at their legal and political disposal than private schools such as Baylor. (Of course, it’s possible that ISU could go to the Pac and KSU to the ACC.)

        • Jake says:

          They may have been discussed, but K-State and Tech are schools you take to get someone else, not stand-alone candidates (unless you’re the Big East – they’d be all over that); the ACC had a hard enough time agreeing on slam dunks like Miami and VT. And again, why should Scott care about preventing a lawsuit from K-State? That’s the ACC’s problem, assuming they’re interested in KU.

          • Brian says:

            The ACC didn’t have that hard of a time agreeing. UNC and Duke said from the outset they were against any expansion, and would have said no to anybody. It was about principle, not the schools. UVA was forced to insist on VT, and the ACC had their 3.

          • bullet says:

            I think VP is saying Tech and ISU and Baylor are so that OU and UT can leave.

            But for a real rivalry, let’s keep the Battle of the Brazos. SEC takes Baylor in order to let A&M go!–And the Pac/ACC get KSU/ISU.

          • Larry says:

            It might make sense to take Tech to get into the Texas media market and work with Tech to grow as a brand. Tech is a #4 in Texas (after UT, Oklahoma, and A&M) but Texas is a big state and can support four programs. This would be a synergy move between Tech, OU and the PAC. Everyone gets something.
            - Tech = stable conference, product differentiation, better recruiting
            - OU = play games/be on TV in Texas
            - PAC = network exposure in Texas, open Texas to recruiting

            The irony for the ACC is adding UT with special considerations will likely force the conference to break up. At the very least FSU wouldn’t tolerate an ACC where it is a second class citizen.

            P.S. The PAC force Tech to rehire Leach as a condition of joining (any pub is good pub!) <– This part is a joke for the humor impaired.

    • Richard says:

      No reason for the Pac to take KSU just to help out the ACC and Bevo. I believe Redhawk when he says NM is more appealing if Texas, Mizzou, and KU all fall through.

      • Stopping By says:

        I see no real appeal for UNM to the Pac. They bring very little and my guess would be they do not bring enough to keep the pie split as it is now (ie the Pac brings them in to lose money vs the pie splits as they are today…well, starting next year). I would think it would be better to stay at 14 w/ a zipper vs bringing in UNM.

        • Richard says:

          Well, this is assuming that the Pac is hellbent on going to 16, decides that TTech is worth it, and must find a non-sectarian 16th team. Personally, without Mizzou or KU, I’d stop at 14, but who knows what the Pac is thinking.

      • Jake says:

        I throw up in my mouth a little every time I hear someone recommending New Mexico to the Pac, but I guess it makes some sense. They’re sort of a poor man’s Utah. A poor man who’s really bad at football.

        • mike in st. louis says:

          Agree, Jake. From a football perspective, all NM does is lower the conference’s profile and reduce the other members’ shares.

          BYU makes the most sense at #16, and maybe they’d have the votes with the new members.

    • Red R says:

      I also believe Oklahoma and Okie Light will go to the Pac12 but I can not see Kansas and K-Light going their own way. Although they do not like each other much they are truly bound at the hip. It makes no difference if they go to the ACC or Big East, they will do it together. I truly believe the only BE school which might be willing to go to the ACC would be Syracuse and they would be a very good fit. Seeing Missouri in the SEC is something of a stretch but Florida State is a natural. However Florida does not get along with the State boys at all. Some accomidation would have to be made. We all know that BYU would be a natural for the Pac12 but they add no new market and the California schools are dead set against the LDS and it’s school. I expect UCF and Baylor will end up in the Big East and will be good football adds. However Ken Starr reached his height as a federal judge, slipped as a special prosecuter and has hit rock bottom as a university president. ND will ALWAYS be an independent, money means nothing to them. They are all about control. Lastly I know this has been said before but UT’s arrogance destroyed the Big12 and will eventually destroy whatever league Texas joins.

      • Mike says:

        You think ‘Cuse, Rutgers, UConn, et al wouldn’t jump at the chance to join the ACC? You’re insane. The Big East is a sloppy sixths conference on the football side. Entirely different story on the hoops side, which is why the split will eventually happen.

  10. Slick says:

    “You give them an inch, they’ll take a mile and lap you twice while they’re at it.”

    ^^ This is what happens if you negotiate with Texas.

  11. Dcphx says:

    I found this barking carnival article earlier today with a out of the blue reference to the B10. Not sure if ‘the Big Cigar’ is someone worth reading or just another poster without connections.

    http://barkingcarnival.fantake.com/2011/09/13/mondays-in-the-humidor-with-the-big-cigar/

    JS: Finally, everyone wants to know your thoughts on realignment?

    BC: I told you back in August to watch for Boren to see how he reacts. He and Baylor were two of the things that could kill Texas’ dream to form a new conference by adding like-minded schools such as BYU and Notre Dame. Baylor is just being Baylor, but Boren’s under tremendous pressure from his Board of Regents and big money guys to not come off as if Texas is leading the OU program around by the nose. If they bolt to the PAC 12 then Texas has to look to join a conference. The problem is that when OU leaves, Texas loses leverage with conferences like the B1G as far as getting special treatment for the LHN. As for the ACC, I don’t buy it. But stranger things have happened and they’d be open to the LHN. The PAC 12 will never happen until they change their stance on our network.

    • vp19 says:

      But as we all know, the Big Ten doesn’t play “leverage” — something followers of teams in Austin or South Bend apparently don’t understand. No package deals, no junior partners, none of that.

      • Illinifan82 says:

        I agree completly, we dont need to espand, we are not going to starve or perish should Texas or ND not come knocking. The longer Texas/ND hold out the less we need them. The beautiful thing about the B1G is that our pie is big enough for everyone to have a kings share of the loot. And guess what the Pac also has a nice pie split 12 ways as well even without OU. Let the guys down in Austin stew in thier own mess, no one needs Texas. And as far as Notre Dame is concerned; once they come to the understanding that independence sounds great but it going the way of the dodo they can come tot he table with the rest of the country. yes they have national appeal but it IS fading. They are based in Indiana and have a small alumni base and to be quite frank have done nothing to deserve the reverence they seem to have in the nation. They are one generation away from irrevelance in the minds of todays youth no matter what the old guard think.

        • Red R says:

          ND’s glory days were all 20 to 80 years ago and they have done nothing in the past four lustrum. It is difficult to see why they receive the respect they do as their teams are middling at best. True it is a very good university but Stanford and Duke are better. Even Frank’s beloved Depaul is the academic equal of ND though it’s sports are at the elementary school level. However it is not true that the Big10 can hold out forever. Should the Pac12, SEC and other BCS leagues go to 16 schools the Big10 MUST eventually follow. This will in all probability cause the BCS to either create a new division in the NCAA or abandon the NCAA entirely. These are days much like those which preceded the French revolution. Full of excitement, energy and hope but likely leading to despair, chaos, bitterness and for some demise. And then their is Texas.

          • Brian says:

            Red R,

            However it is not true that the Big10 can hold out forever. Should the Pac12, SEC and other BCS leagues go to 16 schools the Big10 MUST eventually follow.

            Why? What would force the B10 to expand? What is the benefit of expansion unless it includes top teams? In your scenario, there wouldn’t be any good options left except maybe ND, and they won’t go anywhere until they literally have to join in order to compete for the NC.

          • Stopping By says:

            @Brian. That is unless there are benefits to it beyond expanding the BTN (which is a benefit in itself), such as 3 BCS slots available to 16 team conferences, etc.

            Granted that would have to voted in, but I am thinking outside box reasons that may entice them to move

      • mike in st. louis says:

        @vp -
        Yeah, the “leverage” comment was strange. But I doubt is has anything to do with “junior partners”. With the well publicized “Tech problem” from last year, I think UT finally gets that there will be no Texas Tech in the Big Ten.

        I would guess that the “leverage” comment is more aimed at money/equity negotiations around the LHN/BTN or around a timeline for entry into the conference.

        One thing to keep in mind: if the Big Ten is willing to go the regional network route (as opposed to the current model of alternate channels, which is kind of a mess), then I could see this working. The partner is Fox, who knows how to do the regional stuff. And if they brand the regionals, then Texas would get everything it wants. Or at least everything it says it wants.

    • glenn says:

      the big cigar is a big money donor to the texas program, so he has access to persons and events that very few have.  no doubt he knows a good deal more than he can say, and what he knows is mostly just what the longhorn program believes to be true.  but, given those cautions, what he is willing to say is very much worth paying attention to.

  12. Jake says:

    If Texas joins the ACC, DeLoss Dodds needs to start the press conference by announcing that he’s taking his talents to South Beach. But this sounds more like Texas is trying to get another conference to buckle to their demands by throwing the possibility that the ACC might be more amenable.

    Here’s my somewhat plausible scenario. OU and OSU head to the Pac. The SEC adds one more along with A&M to even things out – let’s say WVU, for simplicity. Texas decides no conference can look after all of its needs and goes independent. They still need a home for their non-football sports, and the Big 12 is dissolving around them. So they take a page from their spirit brothers up in South Bend and join the Big East, but they bring some old friends along with them. The BEast ends up looking like this:

    FOOTBALL

    WEST
    Texas Tech
    TCU
    K State
    Kansas
    Mizzou
    Louisville

    EAST
    Cincy
    Pitt
    Rutgers
    UConn
    Syracuse
    USF

    NON-FOOTBALL
    Texas
    Notre Dame
    Marquette
    DePaul
    Villanova
    Seton Hall
    St. John’s
    Providence
    Georgetown

    Alternately, the SEC takes Mizzou instead, and you slide Cincy over to the West. SEC goes to 16, all bets are off.

    The BEast loses a key member, but ends up looking pretty good, with basketball even tougher than before. Texas gets a quality home for non-football sports (a step up from the WAC, Southland or Missouri Valley, at the least), they have some not-too-distant rivals, plus they can join just in time to have a say in the new TV contract negotiations. It’s one scenario (along with Texas to the SEC) that hasn’t been talked about, which might just make it that much more likely.

    Anyway, that’s what I came up with at 12:30 on a weeknight.

    • mwp says:

      ¨If Texas joins the ACC, DeLoss Dodds needs to start the press conference by announcing that he’s taking his talents to South Beach.¨

      +1. Very well played.

    • Grassman says:

      Why would the BE agree to this? The B12 leftovers can be had without Texas.

    • Phil says:

      The Big East would do that in a second. I can’t believe that ESPN would let that happen though. They had to show stuff like Australian Rules football for content when they started ESPN while the basketball conference you listed above would be a hell of a way for NBC Comcast to make a splash with their competing sports channel.

      • Jake says:

        @Grassman – because Texas basketball on its own wouldn’t be a bad addition to the conference. And giving UT a home for non-football sports makes it easier for them to go indy; if Texas doesn’t go indy, the Big 12 might not break up, and none of those teams will be available.

        @Phil – ESPN could still land the next Big East contract; the BEast is just shopping around right now.

    • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

      You realize you have 21 basketball schools right? 20 is perfectly fine…but not 21. (Mild sarcasm…)

      • Grassman says:

        @Allthatyoucantleavebehind – I agree and should have mentioned that Texas puts the BE to 21 teams. My question assumes that the B12 is beyond saving and the B12 leftovers are scrambling for life rafts. At that point, they don’t need Texas to make deals, its every man for themselves (not that isn’t already happening.

        @jake – I don’t disagree that there is value in Texas BB but is that value worth the unbalanced schedule? Additionally, why would the BE want to aid in the breakup of the B12? It is in the BE’s interest to have the B12 continue on as there willl be no further raiding.

        @Phil – I do think that NBC/Comcast is looking at the BE for content, and that is why the BE rejected the ESPN offer. Why wouldn’t NBC/Comcast push ND to align with the BE in all sports to increase the value of the content? Some on here are assuming that ESPN is manipulating Texas.

        • Jake says:

          @Grassman – A depleted Big 12 is as likely to feed off the Big East as anyone; if the BEast can remove at least one rival, all the better for them – one BCS conference might bite the dust, but probably not two. As for the unbalanced schedule, even with 20, you’ve already got more than you can schedule in conference play, so what’s one more (and yeah, I think UT hoops is worth that minor sacrifice)? You’d have to move to some sort of divisional set-up for basketball (among other things), which could only make the conference tournament more interesting. Maybe you add YET ANOTHER basketball program (Butler? Creighton?) to get to 22, split into 11-team divisions, play everyone in your division once, a couple of protected home-and-homes, a few inter-divisional games. If the BEast has a shot at landing some or all of the programs I listed above, they’ve got to go for that.

  13. Stopping By says:

    I think that those ACC numbers ($155M per year) would change dramatically. ESPN with the control they have over both the ACC and UT via TV deals can easily bribe the ACC to take UT. If the big 12-2-1-everyone ceases to exist – that frees up money no longer being spent that can be shifted over to the ACC.

    ESPN: Hello ACC, remember when you were stoked with the 155M/yr deal you signed last year.
    ACC: Yeah and then, the market blew up and everyone is going to be lapping us.
    ESPN: Well, I have an extra $65M per year lying around now – you want it?
    ACC: Hell yeah! Thanks!
    ESPN: But you have to take UT and a couple of their buddies and let them keep the LHN. Let me know………

  14. FLP_NDRox says:

    When is the BCS agreements up for renegotiation?

    The reason I ask is because I wonder even if Armageddon is averted if there will still be six AQ conferences. Let’s face it, a OU-less Big XII-ish and the Big East generally do not have many teams that are high on Bowl games wish lists (Look at their tie-in bowls, particularly the Big East’s).

    I would not be surprised if Jerry Jones ended up getting the Cotton Bowl on the BCS rotation (possibly in place of the Fiesta…how did that ugliness ever turn out?), the Bowls allowing up to three (3) teams from each AQ conference and making only the “predator” four conferences AQ. I would imagine that the Big East remnants and the Big XII would get the same deal ND does.

    You can say that there are only 64 seats at the big table, but I wonder if there are enough schools to make it worthwhile for all four to expand to 16. Looking at the schools with the potential to become available if something happened to the Big XII and Big East you have:

    ND
    Texas
    Oklahoma/OkSU
    Kansas (basketball)
    Pitt
    Syracuse (who can’t stay down forever)
    West Virginia
    BYU
    Missouri?
    TCU?
    U of L?
    Rutgers?
    UConn (who ate all that money on unsold bowl tix)??

    There not really 16 teams available to make it cost effective for the conferences, so why bring on relative welfare cases?

    What it seems like is that the future “Kings” of the sport will mainly be main flagship State institutions in large states. Of the top 10 states by pop in 2010, only Texas has a flagship school that is not in a predator conference. New York doesn’t have a football flagship school. New Jersey (Rutgers) is 11th, Massachusetts (none) is 14th, Missouri is 18th, and Maryland is 19th.

    Of those schools in conferences that are at risk, only Texas seems likely to be a king a generation from now. The longer this goes, the less likely it seems to me that we get to a 4-16 scenario, since there aren’t 64 schools in the NCAA that increase the value as much as needed. Soon all conference will find themselves in a “Max Security” safety that Frank once said the BXII was in before TAMU reopened the logjam.

    • Dcphx says:

      I don’t think 4×16 ever comes to fruition. There are two problems, you’d have to lose 6 teams and realistically a break from the NCAA would be around the corner and would be necessary to create a playoff which is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

      There are currently 66 schools in the AQ conferences plus ND and BYU. TCU joins the ranks next year for the 69th AQ team. Boise would be 70. I just don’t see 6 teams to vote off the island. It is becoming quite obvious over the last 7-10 days that the economic impact to the schools of losing AQ level conference television money is crushing.

      While many just want to write of Baylor, they’re currently a ranked team and not so easy to shuffle away. None of those 69 or 70 teams looks likely to voluntarily drop down. Find 3 realistic candidates.

      However…P16, BIG14, SEC16, ACC12, BE12 = 70. Now it’s just a matter of fitting those 70 teams into slots. This is where the BE’s willingness to be a hybrid conference will result in their survival.

      B10 adds ND and UT
      P16 adds OU OSU KU KSU
      SEC adds aTm, WVU MO NCSU
      ACC adds (as replacement) Pitt
      BE adds ISU, Baylor, TCU, TT, Boise (fb only), BYU (fb only)

      Some of those could move around a bit but the basic framework is distributing the B12 teams around and finding a landing spot for ND, BYU and Boise.

      • frug says:

        Good luck finding 60 Senators to force the AQs to keep Baylor and Iowa State in their ranks.

      • vp19 says:

        Not a bad idea for a framework, but it would be better to find some way to prop up the Big 12 in some sort of post-Texas form and have the Big East members slide over there; once the revolution comes and the BCS members say goodbye to the NCAA, you don’t want any silly hybrids hanging around. Also, you’re not getting Notre Dame and Texas to join the Big Ten, the first for independence, the second for control.

        • bullet says:

          If OU decided to stay in the Big 12 some of the BE likely do move to the Big 12.

          • EZCUSE says:

            Why? Why would any Big East school leave to join a doomed Big 12?

          • joe4psu says:

            EZCUSE,

            That has been my position in the past but if OU makes a commitment to hold the B12 together and the conference becomes serious about expanding, which I think OU wants, then the conference could stabilize. The B12 has supposedly agreed to equal revenue sharing, tier 1 and 2, so that is no longer an issue. The only remaining issue is the LHN and what exactly the B12 is willing to give UT and ESPN.

            I haven’t heard that any BE schools are interested but a stable B12 with tier 1 negotiations coming up soon begins to look much better. I think the BE is going to cash in and atleast equal the ACC revenue but can they really expect more? They may be able to get ACC money from ESPN/Fox/Comcast AND create a conference network. That should jump them ahead of the ACC but the success of a conference network is not guaranteed.

            I still think that OU ends up in the Pac whether UT joins them or not. Then I doubt that any BE schools will be interested in the B12.

          • According to this (http://espn.go.com/college-sports/story/_/id/6970677/big-12-schools-face-economic-impact-shuffling) the Big XII were going after Pitt, WVU and Louisville from the BE, along with Arkansas and BYU. I doubt Arkansas would leave the SEC for the Big XII, but any 3 of the remaining 4 are not bad adds.

    • frug says:

      I believe the current BCS contracts expire in 2014. However, if the Fiesta Bowl were to lose its tax exempt status a slot would open up. Also, the collapse of the Big XII would require a reworking of the current system since the Fiesta Bowl would lose its tie in.

  15. frug says:

    One thing to keep in mind when talking about UT and realignment is how little conference distributions matter to the Longhorns. Their financial dominance is such that last year UT would have had the highest grossing athletic department in the country even if it received ZERO dollars in conference distributions. Not saying conference payouts are not important for UT but they well down the list of priorities when it comes to changing conference affiliations.

    (Oh and one small nitpick Frank; the average payout for ACC schools is $11.9 million not $12.9 since the conference gets an equal slice of the TV money)

    • bullet says:

      That’s why I don’t think the LHN $ are really the issue other Big 12 schools have. They’re really irrelevant.

      • zeek says:

        Stoops himself said that; Texas is always going to have the most money regardless of conference affiliation. The rest of the issues (control, high school recruiting impact, etc.) are what is at stake here.

  16. michael says:

    I’m beginning to wonder where the pressure for 16-team conferences really is coming from. None of the scenarios really seem as though they would be particularly pleasing to any one of the powers that be, and every schema either ties one of the moneyed powers to someone they’ve been going through the whole realignment process to get away from to begin with or doesn’t satisfy one of the powers in a significantly greater way than does the statis quo.

    • Bo Darville says:

      I agree with michael. It almost seems as though this is a blogger invented end game because they want to have a simple system that inputs into a playoff in a way that kind of resembles pro sports. It almost seems more likely that something else happens entirely. Maybe an alien invasion.

      • bullet says:

        Well the Aggies are going to the SEC and the Okies may be going back to California. That could be considered an alien invasion. And you might have Longhorns roaming free on the Atlantic coast.

    • PSUGuy says:

      The “pressure” came from the original B1G expansion investigation that brought Nebraska into the fold. Originally, single schools like Mizzou, Pitt, Rutgers, etc were the only candidates because all the talking heads were going off the old(er) paradigm of the SEC 12 school with championship game. It was quite a shock when official reports came out of B1G offices stating they were looking at the possibility of 14 or 16 teams.

      See, the B1G changed the rulebook though with the creation, and successful launch, of the BTN which showed how it was possible to be much more profitable than under the old(er) paradigm…and you didn’t even need to have traditional big sport powers to do so. Once it was proven schools like Indiana and Minnesota, long out of the national football discussion, could acquire basic cable carriage for a conference centric network in their home states (and the $$$$ it brought) it was only a matter of time before the other conferences started looking to the viability of major expansion. Combine this with the fact that so long as you continue to add the right schools (ie: those that get you carriage rates in the expansion markets that provide enough $$$ to offset their inclusion) you basically have a recipe for “unlimited” expansion.

      IMHO, the conferences love the idea of larger conferences (for the most part) because it means more money in general and more of the “like-minded” (ie: traditional sports programs) are grouped together and have access to the real money (the Iowa St. and Baylor’s of the world are relegated back to C-USA type worlds). The tv networks love the idea because it consolidates product (they get to “buy on volume”) and also heavily discount the “have-nots” when it comes time to sign them to contract. And sports fans “in general” love it because its one step closer to that playoff system for football.

  17. Brian says:

    While all this UT speculation is fun, let’s look at another angle. The SEC says it is looking at schedules for 13 teams next year. My guess at what they do:

    1. TAMU joins the West
    2. The original 12 play their existing 2012 SEC schedule (5+1+2)
    3. In addition, TAMU plays everyone else in the West plus UT, VU, and UK for 6+3

    That means 10 of 13 teams play 9 conference games while UF, UGA and SC only play 8 (in 2013 they would play TAMU instead of UT, VU and UK if the SEC is still at 13 teams). Those three get the break because of their ACC rivalry games and/or tough locked rivals. The East winner will be based on winning percentage rather than just wins (9-0 > 8-0 > 8-1 > …).

    They could cut a game out of the schedule (5 + 1 + 1 + TAMU), but I don’t think 3 teams want to drop to 7 conference games on such short notice.

    • Jake says:

      That could work if everyone is okay with the unbalanced schedule, but some SEC teams already have four non-conference games scheduled (I only checked LSU, who does); presumably Arky has Aggie scheduled already, so they’re solid. They could all drop one, but it won’t be cheap.

      Here’s my out-of-the-box SEC scheduling suggestion:

      A&M plays all six West division teams, plus two East division teams, as does everyone else in the West.

      East teams play five division opponents, plus two West teams. To make up for the cross-division game they’re essentially losing to A&M, they each play one division opponent twice. For example, Tennessee-Vandy, UGA-South Carolina and Florida-UK could all be home-and-home. Or pair them up another way; the Cocktail Party is the only one you wouldn’t want to double up on, since it’s neutral site, and those teams probably won’t want to give up another home game.

      I checked the pertinent section of the NCAA rule book, and I didn’t see anything against scheduling the same team twice; I know it used to happen pretty often.

    • bullet says:

      Everything I’ve seen indicates the SEC has no interest in permanently going to 9 games.

      The first thing they will do is try to get a waiver as apparently the MAC has. That would mean two division games, say A&M-AL and AR-AU wouldn’t be played.

      If not, I think it works somewhat like you suggest in that 4 western schools temporarily get 9 games-could be any of the 4. Most likely the ones with the smallest stadiums and shortest membership-A&M, AR, MSU, UM. That’s 4X3 + 3X2 for 18 cross-division games. The 6 eastern teams will each play 3 cross-division games. Then they have to decide whether to go with winning % or choosing the champ in at least the west by division play only.

      I don’t think they worry too much beyond 2 years. They will realize what a mess it is if they don’t already know and will get #14.

  18. herbiehusker says:

    add

  19. cutter says:

    What’s the likelihood of Texas and Notre Dame both joining the ACC?

    Assuming Texas A&M finally becomes the 13th member of the ACC and Oklahoma/Oklahoma State head off to the Pac 12 (14) in due course, then we all know UT has to make a decision about its future–become a member of the Pac 16, join the B1G, become an independent, perhaps reconsisitute the Big XII with MWC and C-USA member (not likely), or head out to the ACC.

    As Frank points out, the ACC does offer the best opportunity for ND and UT to have their own networks. The academic side doesn’t seem to be a problem in terms of peer membership. Having Notre Dame and Texas would certainly bolster the conference’s image/perception in football and men’s basketball–the two money sports in college athletics. It would certainly make the conference more steady, although there would need to be a healthy dose of acceptance to having these two schools join along Tobacco Road.

    As far as Notre Dame is concerned, there might well be a tipping point where they feel that joining a conference for all sports is more worthwhile than remaining an independent. With ATM going to the SEC, it would be fair to assume that that conference would at least go to 14 (and Florida State would be the primary candidate in terms of brand name), if not 16. The Pac 14 could also look for two more members (Texas Tech, Missouri, Kansas?) to get to the sixteen number as well and to get some penetration into the Texas/Kansas City/St.Louis markets. Of course, there’s also consideration as to what the B1G may or may not do in the calculation as well.

    Notre Dame values its independence immensely–they don’t want to become “regionalized”. But with annual games against teams from Florida, Texas and California (non-conference), the ACC might be the best mix of teams (and potential football recruiting areas) in terms of geography that they could possibly ask for at this point.

    Here’s an alphabetical list of a 14-team ACC with ND and UT in the mix:

    Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami-FL, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Texas, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest

    • Dcphx says:

      I think the problem from ND’s point of view is that they have certain teams that MUST be on their schedule, Navy USC and some of MI, Purdue and MSU. They have a pretty good inventory of teams that the play fairly regularly and would like to keep on their schedule: BC Pitt GT Air Force. In the ACC they’d lose at a minimum one of the B10 games and have zero scheduling flexibility. They’d gain BC and GT annually depending on the division set up. The B10 makes sense for ND because three of their annual games would be in conference.

      That isn’t to say the ACC is impossible, but ND would have to pay a price in scheduling that is probably more significant than they would be willing to do.

      • FLP_NDRox says:

        ND has the same problem in any conference where there are only 3 OOC games available: the scheduling straightjacket. In the B1G the schedule would be conference, Navy, USC, one to rotate. In the ACC it would be the same, but the rotation would likely be UM, MSU, Purdue.

        As far as ND is concerned, neither Purdue nor Michigan State are high level rivalries. The games are there if the other side wants them, but few alums will get bent out of shape if they take a few years off.

        Also, Pitt is not a rivalry to ND. It’s a game we play often because it’s traditionally been convenient and because of the traditional recruiting grounds of Western PA. That’s why I don’t see ND demanding that Pitt come with.

        • Patrick says:

          How many / which games would you consider mandatory for ND (in football of course)?

          • FLP_NDRox says:

            Navy is mandatory until they release us. We OWE them. USC is the next highest on the Need To Play List. No other schools will likely appear on >90% of student/alumni “need to play” lists.

            Everyone else is nice, but unnecessary. Fairly common opponents include, but are not limited to: Purdue (near annual), Michigan State (ditto), Pitt (non-rivalry), Army, Northwestern (nice to play in Chicago), Michigan (but that rivalry is really more OFF the field), Georgia Tech (most played southern game), Air Force, Stanford (only a rivalry for TPTB, important because it has been played a year ending Cali trip when we play USC @ Home in October), Miami, BC, and PSU. All teams played over ten times. Games that could be interesting include UNC, Nebraska (who *was* the big western trip for the Irish pre-SC), LSU (most Catholic “Southern” state), Texas, Oklahoma (we break their streaks), Washington, Bama, BYU, Florida State, Syracuse. And all of those teams have been played at least five.

            Glancing at the Ohio State and Illinois media guides I was shocked how few games they have played against any single non-conference opponents. The only semi-common major college OSU regular season opponent was Pitt at about two dozen games. That’s about the same number Illinois has against it’s only semi-common major college opponent: Mizzou.

          • Richard says:

            PU has been an annual ND game since WWII.

        • SideshowBob says:

          Regarding Pitt, I would imagine that if Notre Dame was playing PSU annually (or at least regularly), it would make it easier for them to justify dropping Pitt. As you note, a big benefit of playing Pitt is a steady presence in football rich western PA, but that can be accomplished just as well by playing PSU. FWIW, when ND and PSU played in 2006-7, it was during a break in the series between Pitt/ND.

        • Chas. says:

          For the sake of argument, let’s suppose that the era of the super-conferences is upon us and that 64 teams will splinter off from the NCAA in order to establish a college cartel of the strongest teams. In order to participate in the eight team playoff, Notre Dame would have to forgo its independence and join one of the four 16-team leagues. ND would not be alone in having a difficult schedule in order to maintain its historic rivals. All teams would be forced to eliminate their cup-cake games against FBS or lower tier teams because colleges would be limited to scheduling the other 48 schools as their three potential out-of-conference games. In all likelihood, each league would follow the Big Ten’s lead and affiliate with a specific network. Just like the NFL, The Big Ten home games would appear exclusively on Fox, the SEC on CBS, The ACC on ABC/ESPN and the PAC-16 could sell their rights to NBC/TNT. Then the only question is where the Fighting Irish’s loyalties lie. Do they stay geographically aligned with MSU & Purdue, go west with USC & Stanford or stay with the Big East remnants in the new ACC?

    • bbobbo177 says:

      No way in hell…ND will not join the ACC. It would be good for academics, but the Big 10 would cancel ND off the schedule. There is no way they would let that happen and keep the ND rivalry. They would have to form their own rivalry’s in the ACC.

      ND has 3 annual rivalry’s with UM, MSU and Purdue.

      It’s been stated that if UT and ND was added to the B1G than they could be cross conference rivals with UM, MSU, and purdue on same side with ND. Plus the B1G has flirted with ND for around 20 years.

      The one thing that you hit on that could be dead on is the 14 team conferences. I love that idea, and i think that’s where we are heading right now, not 16.

      PAC 14 = Add OK, OK ST.
      B1G 14 = ND + ? (hopefully UT as I don’t see Delany going for anything but Gold standard, we sat with PSU at 11 for 20 years, no reason for 14 right away if not a big fish)
      SEC 14 = TAMU + WVU (I see them as a fit for the SEC)
      ACC 14 = Pittsburgh + Missouri (Focusing on academics + athletics+tv)

      Big East = may not be eligible after Pitt, and WV are gone. They may grab leftover KU, KSU, and possibly TT, but this is still a weak conference not deserving of a bcs bid.

      After this, I see a 2 game playoff with conference championship winners between the top 4 conferences, and than a championship game.

      There also could be a bottom bracket for lesser conferences, sorta like a NIT bracket with the next top 8 teams, could be conference champions here as well for a few other conferences. This would still be a big bowl game championship here, but a lesser version of the main trophy. It would be amazing football.

      • FLP_NDRox says:

        If ND joined the ACC they wouldn’t care that much about yet another Big Ten boycott since they’d only be able to schedule, at most, *one* B1G team a year unless the ACC keeps 8 game conference schedules. While the Big Ten has been seeking ND since the Irish got the NBC contract, they spent at least 40 years blowing off ND’s requests to join since the Roaring Twenties.

        As a Domer, it is more interesting to me watching the fight between Purdue and MSU to keep us on their schedules. Both were telling Michigan, et al., to stick it even back in the day, and for that, I am grateful. I understand that the ND game is the big a financial windfall for the Boilers, and I believe they’d hate giving up that rivalry.

        ND already has history with the current ACC. ND has often played Miami (24 times) and GT (since 1922), and has played at least one “Game of the Century” with Florida State (I suppose to go with the ones with Ohio State and Michigan State). BC is already hated by the fanbase. If Texas joins, there’s that much more going for the conference.

        • rich2 says:

          ND to the ACC creates an academic monster… not in terms of citations of researchers to other researchers… but in the real source of academic power… the smartest, most talented students: Duke, UNC, Virginia, WF and ND… you could not find a more formidable fivesome (quintet?) in any conference in the BCS. By the way, FLP_NDRox, I hear that for the incoming freshman class hit an average ACT is 33 with a 25% – 75% of 32 – 35. I am talking top half of the Ivies.. I convinced myself a year ago… if all of this consolidation is a foregone conclusion, we should pick the ACC.

          • Richard says:

            Stanford, Cal, UCLA, USC, and UDub would beg to differ.

          • frug says:

            Yeah, I’d say the PAC-5 has the edge, but if you add in BC and go top 6 then the advantage shifts to the ACC.

          • @rich2 – Putting aside the “independence at all costs” stance of Domers (I understand it and I’m not going to argue that) and the knee-jerk (albeit a bit myopic, IMHO) reaction of “anyone but the Big Ten” for a conference, let’s look at it from a pure football standpoint. Let’s say Purple Book Cat’s prediction comes true and the Big Ten adds just ND and Texas. I know I’m stretching here, but let’s also say that the Big Ten office decides to keep it simple and have east/west divisions based on geography (East: MI/OSU/PSU/ND/MSU/PUR/IN; West: UT/NEB/WI/IA/IL/NW/MN) with Texas being a permanent cross-division rival.

            That means ND would preserve its 3 traditional Big Ten rivals in its own division along with basically trading Pitt for Penn State (which would seem to be an upgrade and be the most-watched game of the year in the Northeast) along with adding Ohio State (if not national in geography, that’s certainly national in terms of football stature). Essentially, Indiana is the only “bleh” game in that division for ND, and even the biggest powers need some “bleh” games on the schedule.

            Even if the Big Ten has 9-conference games, ND would then have an annual game with Texas as 1 of 3 cross-division games and then most years have either one of Northwestern or Nebraska on the schedule, who are also historical opponents for ND. Essentially, there would be maybe one “bleh” cross-division game from the ND perspective if that. Add in USC and Navy in the non-conference schedule (maybe making Navy into ND’s annual neutral site game that changes locations every year so that ND can get exposure in whatever region it wants) and in all honesty: WTF would ND have to complain about from a pure football perspective IF it had to join a conference (which I understand will always be worse than being independent, but let’s just play this out here)?

            In this scenario, ND is playing the top schools on the East Coast (Penn State), Midwest (Michigan/Ohio State), Southwest (Texas) and West Coast (USC) annually along with preserving/rekindling the highest number of traditional opponents compared to anyone else (Purdue, Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern). I like the ACC and understand the possible allure for ND from a pure private school standpoint, but I see that as ND getting a bit warped in its long-term thinking. As much as it’s a “national” school, the majority of its alums and fans are Catholics that live in the Midwest and Northeast. Out of all of the AQ conferences that ND could choose, the ACC would have the lowest per capita population rates of Catholics next to the SEC (and remember that the SEC has heavily Catholic Louisiana). From a football perspective, even with complete autonomy over scheduling today, ND chooses NOT to be complete road warriors by playing 3 Big Ten opponents per year plus another firmly within the conference footprint (Pitt). That doesn’t look like a school that, if push comes to shove, wants to just drop all Midwestern opponents to play a Southeastern-based schedule. Since the ACC can’t offer more money, more rivals, a footprint where ND fans actually live, or better football to ND, I guess its main allure is that it’s just not the Big Ten.

          • Richard says:

            rich2:

            Thinking about it more. . .
            It seems that you have a thing against citations, but graduate research is really what sets the best American universities apart from the rest of the world & what benefits the world at large to such a large degree. Undergraduate education is a good signifier, and benefits accrue to those universities/colleges that can collect the best & brightest, but it actually doesn’t benefit the world that much (at least at the elite levels).

            A study has shown that not only do those kids who got accepted at an Ivy but decided to go elsewhere do just as well in life as Ivy League grads, but even those kids to _merely_applied_ to Ivy League schools (but didn’t get accepted) do just as well later on in life as Ivy League grads. Evidently, if you are ambitious & self-confident enough to apply to an Ivy, you have the character traits necessary to do just as well in life as those folks who got in. At the very top level, then, it seems that undergraduate education provides nothing that the next best alternative doesn’t.

            Podunk State U probably enriches our country’s society & economic productivity more by taking kids who otherwise would not go to a 4-year college and giving them skills they otherwise would not have than any elite college/university at the undergrad level.

          • bullet says:

            Notre Dame has played more nationally than other schools, but until NBC took over their scheduling they were basically playing a northeast/midwest schedule with a few out of region “out of conference” games. When conferences expanded from 6 or 7 conference games to 8, they started scheduling other independents like Miami, Georgia Tech and Air Force, but they still had that midwest/northeast core from Chicago to Boston. Purdue, MSU, UM, Pitt, Navy and BC, 6 of their annual games are all in that area. Northwestern used to be on their schedule every year and Army still appears frequently. Notre Dame is a nationally known football power, but their draw is still predominately regional, even if its more than just one state, and their schedule still mostly reflects that.

    • Mike R says:

      ACC works for TX b/c of ESPN’s relationships with the conference and LHN. ND’s big contract is with Comcast/NBC/Universal and they want to keep ND football for several reasons, not the least of which is their development of VS into a competitor with ESPN.

      Its easy to dream a situation with ND and UT joining a conference in tandem; in reality it would be very hard to pull off.

  20. bullet says:

    The ACC idea seems to be growing on people on the UT boards, although some still hate it.

    Here’s my guess on what UT is thinking (under the assumption OU goes Pac 14)-but its totally a guess:

    #7 Rebuilt Big 12-s/b easy enough to get BE schools together with B12 remnants, but its not a lot better than the current BE. It will be the #5 conference with no chance to be #1. Been there, done that, SWC 80s.

    #6 SEC-lots of out of control boosters, schools with a reputation for cheating even though UT could have its way on LHN. Been there, done that, SWC 80s.

    #5 Independence. I think most everyone besides Notre Dame realizes it is no longer working for Notre Dame. It wouldn’t work for Texas. Only way it happens is as an interim 5 to 10 year measure.

    #4 B1G-Most money, peer institutions, great competition (except baseball), admission to CIC. Everything is perfect-except it doesn’t pass the smell test. UT would be out on an island and student-athletes would have massive travel demands. UT fans just won’t warm up to spending a cold fall with Iowa and Wisconsin. They’re more familiar with Pac and SEC states. Very remote.

    #3 Dream conference.-Creating their own conference that would put Slive, Scott and Delany’s dreams to shame, gettting great programs from various conferences. Problem is that Notre Dame isn’t playing. And alone, UT doesn’t carry enough weight to get others to consider it. There’s also not much time (see #5).

    #2 ACC-See Frank’s discussion. It works as well as Pac if you get a foursome from the west to join. If UT is alone, the B1G makes more sense.

    #1 Pac-I still believe this is 1st choice. But its not a solution that generates a lot of enthusiasm.

    I think we will see #1 or #2. But nothing’s done until its done. OU to the Pac 12 seems likely, but its not a done deal on either side. They were a lot closer to pulling the trigger on the Pac last year and it didn’t happen.

    • Purduemoe says:

      I think your ranking has as much validity as any for what UT is going to do, but personally I don’t see the ACC fit. Why do people think the ACC is going to let Texas take any three teams they want with them? I think the ACC would consider it if Texas brought along ND, KU, and MU, but I don’t think that Texas can or will do that. I don’t think the ACC wants or will accept any of the other Texas based Big 12 schools. I also think that UT realizes that the dream conference idea is dead. Having said that, there seems to be enough smoke with the ACC rumors that there may be fire. I see the only realistic options, in no particular order, as PAC, B1G, and ACC, with each option having problems.

      • vp19 says:

        I think the only Big 12 partner the ACC would insist on would be Kansas, for reasons I’ve mentioned several times in this thread, but I don’t think its absence would necessarily be a deal-breaker, and since the ACC has a number of private institutions in its membership — one even being a Baptist school — it would accept Baylor (which probably has no other BCS alternative, save the Big East, if the Big 12 collapses). The only condition the ACC might place on a Texas partner is that it already be a BCS member.

    • M says:

      In terms of travel, the B1G is noticeably less than the ACC and substantially less than the Pac. Texas would be an island in any of those, but the time zones and flight times are least bad for the the Big Ten. For weather, October in through much of the Big Ten is not significantly different than Virginia or Maryland (or Massachusetts).

      I’m also skeptical about pulling away Big East schools for #7. I think any school would view that as a temporary measure, because Texas would leave that conference in a decade or less. Would Louisville rather be in the current Big East or in the Big 12 minus Texas, OU, and A&M?

    • Bob in Houston says:

      If #3 is still what they really want, they really can’t go to an existing conference before then. Thus the PBC-inspired rumor of a proposal of 2014 BT entry. They would try to put together the Dream League with ND, but if that failed, they’d be able to move into the Big Ten.

      That means independence moves up the list. Two years of hell for the non-football sports, and then… who knows, exactly?

      The other primary concern for them is saving the LHN. Nobody knows what it will do, but nobody outside of Texas really wants them to have it, either. I think there’s a lot of fear and jealousy there. May be founded or unfounded, but it’s definitely there.

      • bullet says:

        I suspect Dodds is thinking the whole delivery of college sports is in the process of changing and doesn’t want to lose that vehicle. I don’t know if Scott had decided to throw absolutely everything in the pot including school websites this time last year or if some of that was decided later. That could be a factor influencing the enthusiasm or lack thereof for the Pac this year.

        I think any BE school other than SU or UConn would move in a heartbeat (as long as they had friends coming along) to a 7 team Big 12. SU and UConn would think about it, but would come around. Option 7 would be a 12-14 team Big 12, so you would have 4 to 7 Big East teams. It would basically be a merger. And since the SEC would be picking off a team directly (WVU) or indirectly (ACC team who then takes a BE team), the BE fb schools would have to be nervous. Are ECU/UCF/UH/Memphis/Villanova more attractive than KU/KSU/MU/ISU/TT/BU/UT?

        • Grassman says:

          Why does everyone assume that the BE schools would jump to a reconstituted B12? The folks on this board seem to undervalue the Basketball side of the equation and those rivalries. From a cultural perspective, the BE is closer to the ACC in terms of the importance of Basketball.

          • bullet says:

            TCU,WVU,USF,RU aren’t.

            PIt has historically been more of a football school, but they have recently turned into a basketball power.

            UC,UL are new to the conference.

            Even UConn’s bb coach has said they need to make decisions more on what is good for football.

            Most of the basketball power is in the football side-UConn, SU, UL, UC, Pitt, WVU.

            On the basketball side its GT, Villanova and Marquette.
            It isn’t Ray Meyer’s DePaul or Lou Carnessca’s St. John’s anymore. Seton Hall and Providence aren’t final 4 threats anymore either. Notre Dame is solid, but they are definitely a football school.

            And they are an example of the problems with superconferences. They’ve got all kinds of different priorities and have a hard time working it out. Witness the Villanova fb fiasco.

          • Grassman says:

            @bullet – I should have specified the SU, UConn, Pitt, Villanova, Georgetown rivalries. I believe the core of Pitt, SU, UConn and and to some extent WVU will try to stay together. If they can’t move as a group, they will try to preserve what they have within the BE. There is a huge attachment to the BE Tourny at MSG from both the national appeal as well as the recruiting implications.

        • Richard says:

          All the BE schools value stability before all else, and a conference with other weaker brands midway across the continent doesn’t exactly scream “stability”.

      • mike in st louis says:

        @Bob – If you believe PBC, then the B1G has put the possibility of regional networks on the table with UT. And if UT is the only Big Ten team in Texas….

        Longhorn Sports: One of the Big Ten Networks.

    • Mike says:

      @bullet

      I don’t think all of the Big 12’s problems were caused by Texas. I would say the root cause is economic disparity of the members (when created it was four high revenue, four medium, and four small) and the competing agendas that will inherently create.

      When I look at the ACC I see something similar, but not as bad as the Big 12. I looked at this article for BCS Athletic Department revenue:

      http://www.aolnews.com/2010/07/01/duke-basketball-makes-good-use-of-a-budget-suitable-for-football/

      Texas is tops at $138.45 million. Eight ACC schools are +/- five million of $70 million in revenue and the other four well below. Is the ACC another spot where Texas inherent wealth creates the instability? By that I mean, does at some point Maryland or Boston College realize that no matter how much they spend they can’t catch up to Texas, so they start looking for another league with a better offer than the ACC (i.e. Missouri and the B1G).

  21. Mike says:

    I think the geographic “as the crow files” closeness of schools is over-emphasized in this discussions. Austin as a city has a lot in common with the research triangle and Boston in particular, and to a lesser extent DC and Miami. Austin is very “Texas” of course, but it is also big in technology industries, biomedical/biotech, online media, and music. In terms of student-athletes and fans travelling to these locations (and DC and Miami), they are also easy direct flights. Driving to Lubbock takes much longer than flying direct to NC, DC, Boston, or Miami.

    I am sure Texas would like to have other traditional foes with it in the ACC, but I don’t think Austin would be nearly as much “on an island” in the ACC as people might be assuming at first glance.

    • mike in st louis says:

      I used to live in Austin. Nobody drives to Lubbock. They take the “bus” — Southwest Airlines. And while Austin is certainly the hippest city in Texas, the notion that Austin “has a lot in common with Boston” is particularly laughable.

      I don’t know what’s funnier, picturing a Texan trying to figure out where to get off the rotary to catch a flight from Logan in a snowstorm, or a Bostonian trying to decide what to say when the taco stand guy asks, “Rojo or Verde?” when he gets his breakfast burrito while sweating through his sport coat in 100 degree September heat.

      • Mike says:

        I’m a Texan living in Boston, and a LOT of business travel is swinging back and forth between these areas (and the Research Triangle). It is the business/industrial overlap I am referring to, not the food or the weather.

  22. GreatLakeState says:

    If Texas goes to the ACC and Florida State goes to the SEC, Florida will no doubt leap at the chance to replace them in the ACC. Florida is too good for the SEC and would love an academic upgrade. What better opportunity than a conference that will likely include Texas and perhaps Notre Dame. If that occurs the B1G will be the new PAC with few (i.e. NO) home-run expansion candidates to choose from. They should have grabbed Oklahoma when they had the chance.

    • EZCUSE says:

      So the SEC would trade Florida to the ACC for Florida State? Why?

      • GreatLakeState says:

        I can’t imagine. My scenario would only occur if Florida, truly wanted to leave the SEC and was willing to sit on their hands while Slive corralled the necessary votes to bring Florida State in (against Florida’s wishes). Then, once Florida State is an active member. Florida, at some juncture, would use that as their excuse to bolt to the ACC. I can’t believe Slive would risk Florida’s defection to bring in Florida State, but MrSec claims Florida State is their number one target, and that Slive & Co. are pressuring the dissenters

        • Bamatab says:

          Florida isn’t going to leave the SEC. They may not want FSU in the conference, but they sure aren’t going to leave just because they are added. They would have a full scale riot on their hands if their PTB decided to leave the SEC for the ACC.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      The B1G is not going to get left behind because they have no interest in Oklahoma.

      Florida isn’t going to leave the SEC over FSU.

      ND isn’t going to the ACC.

      World leaders not hybrids secretly working for their lizard overlords.

    • duffman says:

      Florida to the ACC ! ? ! ?

      about as possible as Ohio State in the ACC.

      Florida joined the Southern IAA in 1910

      Ohio State joined the Big 9 in 1912

      National Championship hunting teams do not go to conferences where they drop in probability to get in said game.

  23. Joe says:

    Remember last year when FtT called the Big XII a prison that no one could get out of? Turns out that prison was Arkham Asylum. Every inmate has a key!

  24. jj says:

    One thing on “culture” that I think seems to get missed. “Culture” is important because a lot of the school’s fans do not attend the schools they root for (e.g. walmart wolverines). A good lot of these guys want to beat the crap out of the guy next door, not the guy 1,500 miles away. The best rivalries are homegrown. The long distance ones often fade quickly.

    • jj says:

      Should be schools’ in the second line. I knows my grammar, sorry (plus, add).

    • zeek says:

      That’s somewhat of a fair point, but we all know TV is driving this. I mean OU/OSU vs. Pac-12 teams is great for television obviously (bringing the Pac to central times as well as the national stage that OU commands), but I doubt it does much for rivalries in the sense that OU/OSU won’t really feel like rivals with anyone else (maybe OU v. USC could become a rivalry in a Pac-14 South annual matchup).

      The same is true of any Texas to the Big Ten or ACC scenario.

      But I agree; the best thing for these schools in terms of what the “fans” want is to keep things more local.

      But the presidents/boards of these schools are running the show and the most important considerations for them are money, geography, branding.

  25. drwillini says:

    Been following the discussion via iPhone the last few days so following are some “pent-up” comments:
    - Reasons for 16 team conferences: I do think that some of the rationale is a natural feeder into a 8 team (counting CCGs) playoff. A better reason is that 16 team conferences allow a natural symmetry with 8 team divisions a 9 conference games so that you play everybody in your division every year, and allows for 2 cross-over games that lets you cycle through the other 8 once every four years – so a “typical” student gets to have their team play the other part of the conference once in their BS experience. Obviously this logic does not allow protected rivalries. The 16 team conference also would allow 4 team pods that tries to do a simlar thing. I submit that anything bigger than 16 is really two different conferences.
    - Need for B1G expansion: Don’t think the big is pressured to expand in order to be “locked out” of home run candidates. In the last quarter century of expansion, the B1G has captured Penn St and Nebraska, nobody else can compare. More than any other conference, B1G is comfortable in its own skin. The others can cite how their faculties stacks up in ratemyprofessor.com, we talk about how our faculty are rated by the Nobel Prize committee. Others talk about USNews rankings, we talk about research funding and ARWU. I was never a fan of the Nebraska addition, but as I read Pearlman’s response regarding USDA funding and med school affiliation, I am persuaded that they are not as far off as I might have thought, and I really don’t care that they are 25 places behind the rest of the B1G in USNews rankings. Obviously PennSt might be the best all around expansion ever. Delany might feel the need to play “stratego” with Slive and Scott, and counter moves of other conferences, I think the Presidents are very happy how things are.
    - Culturally UT has more in common with B1G than any other conference. . . by far. . . My biggest concern with them is if they can play well with others athletically. I view this whole captivating saga as an excerise in self-selection. If UT is willing to enter into a peer relationship, the B1G is their best option, and they are smart enough to realize it and it would be a great thing for the B1G. If they want to run a conference, we don’t want them and they don’t want us. Their choice. Frankly, with FSUs rumblings I think they would soon destabilize the ACC and Delany might have his core in play after all.
    - ND: ND is less a cultural fit than UT, but obviously a better geographic fit for the B1G. ND to ACC makes a ton of sense to me, much more than UT. I think in the back of the big alumnae minds, however, is the notion that if they ever do lose their independance they want to go to the B1G, and I would think the CIC would be huge for their faculty.

    • bullet says:

      Many might not remember, but the faculty was very excited back in 99 when ND was invited to the Big 10. But then the trustees killed the idea.

      • FLP_NDRox says:

        Parts of the Faculty were very excited: Sciences, engineering, etc. The humanities less so. It was the Grad Student Union that was the only universally excited group about the idea.

        What I’ve been hearing in the last few years is that there is more opposition to the CIC than I was aware of before, mainly because it is believed that the CIC would eventually become a trojan horse that would destroy the Catholic character at ND which has been under attack since Land o’ Lakes. I may not get all of it, but I know y’all do NOT care. =)

        M- great stat in the LA Times article:
        “The school’s alumni association reported 99.5% of its members opposed changing Notre Dame’s “brand name.”
        Now, that was in 1999, but from what I’ve been hearing I can’t imagine it’s much different.

        drwillini- “I think in the back of the big alumnae [sic] minds, however, is the notion that if they ever do lose their independance [sic] they want to go to the B1G,”
        Don’t be so sure. Just as the BTN is an “Up yours!” to ESPN, ND Independence is an “Up Yours!” to Michigan and the rest of the Western Conference and for very similar reasons. The ACC is not cutting our nose off to spite our face so much as a more Private and undergrad focused landing spot. Not a first choice, obviously, but it does have the bonus of NOT being the B1G, and for non-Midwestern Alums, that’s no small bonus.

        • M says:

          I don’t know if you have these numbers, but any idea on what proportion of ND students/alumni are from North Carolina, South Carolina, or Virginia? I’m guessing it’s very low.

          As far as the alumni association, from my experience, the younger the alum, the less likely that they went there for the football team and more likely that they went for the academic institution. From your reference to the Big Ten as the Western Conference, I’m assuming that your age must be somewhere in the triple digits. I don’t know that the preference for the ACC just to spite the Big Ten is as prevalent among alums that are half or a quarter of your age.

          • FLP_NDRox says:

            Per http://nd.edu/aboutnd/profile/students/
            11% of the incoming freshmen were from the Southeast US. There are four alumni clubs in each state you asked about (as opposed to 12 in Indiana and 15 in Illinois). I’d guess maybe 10% tops of the Alumni are in the ACC heartland, and a pretty good number are in and around Boston. On the other hand, I bet it’s growing =D

            I was there in ’99 when we protested joining the Big Ten. Joining the ACC is not a popular opinion. I personally am against it, just as I am against joining the Big Ten. But, as the Big Four conference with the most Private Schools and most emphasis on undergrad education, I don’t see near the same systemic problems for ND as I do with the B1G.

            Of course, that’s probably because I haven’t contemplated them as much.

            The older alums (age 50+) seem to have more animosity toward the B1G than the recent alumni, but even the young ones view the B1G as last resort, a practical surrender, and only mildly better than the death of the program.

          • M says:

            @FLP_NDRox

            I have no doubt that the region is one of the faster growing for ND students, especially in the Charlotte and Atlanta areas. From that link though, I would think that of that 11% in the “southeast”, a solid majority come from Florida (admittedly another place with 2 ACC schools) and Louisiana, leaving under 5% (or fewer than 100 students per year) for the 10 other southeast states.

          • mushroomgod says:

            You Domers are certainly melodramatic.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          “…it is believed that the CIC would eventually become a trojan horse that would destroy the Catholic character at ND which has been under attack since Land o’ Lakes. I may not get all of it…”

          –Two words:
          Stem Cells

          • metatron5369 says:

            Because the Big Ten can really force it’s members to undertake projects.

          • M says:

            Not to get dragged into a political/ethical/scientific debate, but none of the successful clinical applications of stem cells have involved embryonic stem cells. The successful treatments have involved reconditioning the patient’s own tissue to exhibit stem cell behavior and avoid immune system rejection. This technique doesn’t involve the destruction of any human embryos and thus has far fewer ethical problems.

        • frug says:

          The CIC thing is weird. My only guess would be that in order to achieve the maximum academic benefits of CIC membership, ND would be required to “surrender” a bit of its academic “sovereignty” to an organization that is otherwise composed entirely by secular universities.

          Another less likely (though theoretically plausible) possibility is some members of the administration fear that CIC might encourage the school to shift more resources to its research departments which could (theoretically) have a negative impact on the school’s primary mission of providing students with a high quality Catholic education.

    • bullet says:

      As for expansion, don’t forget the ACC. They may be in a bit of a slump (and without Tressel and someday soon Paterno and MI down, Wisconsin and UNL could be carrying the B1G for a few years), but they have brought in FSU, Miami and Virginia Tech along with Georgia Tech and BC. FSU and GT have won MNCs in the conference. FSU,GT,VT and BC have won 10 of the 12 division titles.

      • zeek says:

        The ACC has gotten the most out of its expansions competitively by far of any of the conferences.

        Without those 4 schools, the whole conference would have been totally irrelevant given how much of the banner has been carried by those 4 with respect to football.

  26. Bamatab says:

    Here is an interesting article from the Tulsa World: http://www.tulsaworld.com/sportsextra/article.aspx?subjectid=203&articleid=20110915_203_B1_OLDFAS164035

    It talks about UT’s options withering. But the part I found interesting is that OU seems to be trying to form a coalition with Ok St (which everyone knows already), Texas Tech, and Mizzou to go out west. Mizzou better be careful how they play this expansion round, consider what happened in the last round. OU may be using Mizzou to force UT’s hand and try and get them to submit and go out west with them. If that happens, guess which school will get dropped from OU’s coalition?

  27. I still think that the UT-to-the-ACC rumors are just Texas doing what it does best. Spread “possibilities” out there so that they can gain leverage for what they really want. They did it last year and they got the Big XII to allow the LHN. Now they are doing it again in an attempt to get some new conference (PAC or B1G most likely) to let them bring their LHN along for the ride.

    “The ACC will let us bring in our LHN, why won’t your Mr. Delaney/Mr. Scott.?”

  28. Michael in Raleigh says:

    When the Southwest Conference broke up, no single party could be blamed, but SMU owned the greatest share of it. Texas could rightfully claim the breakup wasn’t its fault, but the league’s demise was not certain until it left for the Big 12.

    If/when the Big 12 breaks up, no single party can be blamed, but the controversies in the league mostly point back to decisions made by Texas and the schools’ reactions to them. If Texas claims the breakup isn’t its fault, sure, it would be partially accurate: Larry Scott’s aggressiveness last year caused schools to have a wandering eye towards other leagues; Colorado and Nebraska both left without a lot of stated objections to Texas; and A&M is leaving after having “committed” to at least ten more years in the league just last summer. But it appears that Texas decision to go forward with the LHN is driving away A&M and Oklahoma, the only two must-keep members (from Texas’ perspective) in the conference it so loves to control.

    So does John Swofford realize there’s a pattern going on here? Does he think old-line, “core” ACC schools like UNC, Duke, and Virginia are ready to behave like Baylor, Iowa State, and K-State, begging Texas to stay and to do anything Texas wants as long as joins/remains a member of their league? Does he think football powers Florida State and Virginia Tech are not going to be at odds with Texas on a regular basis, just as Nebraska was, or that they’ll sheepishly “go wherever Texas goes,” as Oklahoma said it would do last year?

    I understand the appeal of Texas. It’s the most marketable brand in college sports. But adding them and their ego would upset fanbases in the “core four” that we talk about because games between each other would be less frequent, and it would take diminish one of the biggest incentives to keep FSU in the league (easier path to the MNC than the SEC).

  29. laxtonto says:

    I am more surprised that people are not picking up on the angle on how much this absolutely screws the SEC. The SEC went into expansion thinking that taking A&M would just be the start with a 14th team of FSU, VT or even OU or NC could be a potential option. Those are legit names that would significantly change the bottom line of the SEC and make expansion worthwhile in the short term. Watching OU and OSU leave to the Pac-12 and UT go to the ACC in effect sews the SEC into a narrow corridor of expansion and removes the ACC from play.

    If people do not realize yet so be it, but without the ACC schools or the top of the line Big 12 schools the SEC will further fall down the average payout ladder. As it sits the Pac-12 and B1G are the teams at the top and SEC expansion was supposed to reset the apple cart and push them back to the top. Without the premier names, this is not going to happen. There have already been subtle leaks that A&M is not enough alone to rework the SEC deal and now when WV or Mizzou are the best choices at 14, the likelihood of an upgraded payout per school has been diminished even further.

    Where does the SEC expand to? Who are their choices if the ACC and UT/OU (and ND for that matter) are not available? Everything else at this point is going to be filler. The big fish, the trophy programs, will not be heading to the SEC. People will dismiss it as say the SEC is the top conference right now and the other conferences are still trying to catch up on the field, but the long term out look is dramatically different. It is simple economics. More money per schools= better facilities = better recruiting = more $$ for coaches = better product on the field. It will not be an instantaneous thing but an incremental thing that seem from the macro view will slowly show a shift in conference power.

    • Bamatab says:

      You are basing your statement on the assumption that by getting UT, the ACC will become more stable. I wouldn’t bet my house on that assumption. FSU is already rattling their sabre, and you can bet that UNC, Duke, UVA, and VT aren’t going to be pleased with any “special treatment” given to UT by the ACC. UT has made one thing crystal clear in all of this expansion mess, they are out for themselves (not that they shouldn’t be, but it can come to the determent of a conference). The core ACC schools probably aren’t going to like that stance if UT continues with it. I don’t think anyone can truely say whether or not the addition of UT makes the ACC any more or less stable at this point. One thing I think it does is add another layer of uncertainty to what it will cause, and that may be just be enough for some of the other ACC schools to explore their options like FSU is currently doing.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        Tobacco Road used to own the ACC and weren’t happy when Florida State came in to share the spotlight. I can’t imagine this is going to go over well with NC and Duke.

    • @laxtonto – Oooh… I like the way you’re thinking. How about this: is a UT threat to go to the ACC a last-ditch effort to get the SEC to not proceed with A&M (and thereby leaving the Big 12 intact)? Not saying that it would work, but UT in the ACC impacts the SEC a whole lot more than UT in the Pac-12 or Big Ten.

      • ccrider55 says:

        I’d bet Scott’s phone number is still available to aTm if the SEC were to not proceed (but I think that is a done deal just waiting for the other chips to fall) and the Pac wasn’t at 16 yet.

      • glenn says:

        yes, lax and frank.  look at texas’ recruiting this year, particularly. while oklahoma has been working vegas and the west coast pretty heavily, texas has taken dead aim at sec country and is getting some top kids to pay attention.  if the longhorns keep that up, some kids are going to start falling, particularly if the new coordinators turn out to be as witchy as they presently are looking.

        i hadn’t considered it before reading this, here, today, but an acc move falls right into that line of thinking.  i think deloss and crew are planning, along with others, to take the rogue sec down a notch or two.  especially if the ncaa and its crack investigative wing (yahoo sports) is serious about corralling the miscreants.

      • laxtonto says:

        People keep looking way to short term in all of this. This entire exercise should be a two pronged approach balancing both the short and long term with the long term getting precedence on any tie breakers.

        Why should other schools automatically be assumed that the SEC is going to be a top or even viable destination for expansion. It is just as likely that during a period of massive shifts that the conferences on top begin to suffer and slip down the proverbial ladder. This is all a game about what conference can get the most pieces that fit together that make the most money in the end.

        Adding Texas to the ACC does 2 major points. It adds the Texas market to the ACC and now stretches the Texas brand into both the Eastern and Central timezones. Most of the existing markets that UT is already broadcast in will most likely be retained (except Missouri unless the ACC takes them as well), so they are not losing branding power. They might not be gaining as much as a move to the SEC or Pac12 or B1G would give them, but that difference is being made up by the LHN. Now go a step further and with UT playing on the east cost expect the LHN to slowly make it way into some of the major markets on the eastern seaboard.

        • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

          Having lived in both PA and CA, I think Texas has more appeal to West Coast audiences. Yankees have some disdain and hesitancy towards the South (in general) and particularly that wild west state of Texas.
          West Coast folks seem to feel like Texas is the east coast…only closer. And orange is the color of the sunshine and CA people like sunshine. :)

      • Grassman says:

        FtT – You could also look at it as maybe Slive is holding off on aTm to give Texas a chance to put the B12 back together. Texas is working the ACC angle to force OK’s hand and bring them to the table. Why hasn’t OK committed to the PAC12? What are they waiting for? Texas is making OK question the move to the PAC12. Slive is hoping the B12 survives as an intact B12 keeps the PAC12 and B1G off of the SEC doorsteps.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      The SEC’s position on the ‘payout ladder’ is directly related to the cyclical nature of when contracts are negotiated. I have little doubt that if they were coming up for a new TV contract within the next year that it’s numbers would easily eclipse the Pac’s recent deal.

      Just as the B1G’s will in a few years when it comes up for bid.

  30. Hopkins Horn says:

    Two posts passing in the night.

    I posted this last night on BON.

    I still prefer a move west, but I am warming to at least the idea of a move to the ACC. (Nothing intrinsically wrong with it, in my estimation, beyond a gut feel that it doesn’t “feel” right in much the same was a move to the Big 10 doesn’t feel right culturally, apparently, to the Powers That Be.)

    But while it’s pretty easy to figure how how a Texas move west would look — we’d go with OU, OU and Tech; we’d go because Larry Scott is more or less expansionist; we know what the division would probably look like; we know what the scheduling regimen would probably be — there are so many more moving parts to how a Texas move to the ACC would look. Do we go alone? Do we go with a 14th or with 15th/16th schools? Would the AcC be as willing to accept Tech as the Pac-Whatever seems to be? Would Tech even want this move? What would the divisions look like?

    No idea.

    • M says:

      There’s some interesting stuff there, but I don’t get why the Big 12 doesn’t just add Notre Dame, BYU and Arkansas to replace A&M. Wouldn’t that be much simpler?

    • zeek says:

      I think an ACC move will end up being more tricky although there might be an “FSU assist” to Texas.

      ACC expansion has typically had the problem that the NC schools (in particular UNC-Duke) don’t favor expanding the conference and usually have allies in this sentiment (see most ACC expansion attempts). Unlike the Big Ten and SEC and now Pac-12, they also tend to feature a much stronger COP/C-oriented power structure than a commissioner who can do almost anything he wants (i.e. Scott getting OU/OSU into the Pac-12 without too many objections).

      The FSU expansion and Big East raids both show just how anti-expansion the core ACC members can be in terms of bogging down the process.

      But FSU might be able to do for Texas and co. what USC did for the Arizona schools: basically, force them to overcome their parochialism and accept Texas + 3 and move to pods. Texas in my mind would get a unanimous vote, so that’s not where the issues are.

      The Tech problem will be the same as it is for the Big Ten unless FSU and other schools can combine the votes necessary to overcome the expected opposition.

      I think figuring out the other 3 schools is way more tricky for the ACC than for the Pac-16 because of the way Scott was able to sell that as a Pac-8 + SWC-II approach that really delighted the Stanford/Cal/Oregon/Washington factions.

      There isn’t going to be an easy sell job on extra additions simply because of the way the ACC values academics, which seems to be different from even the Big Ten (more undergraduate oriented rankings (US News) along with some graduate research focus as opposed to the primarily graduate research/AAU focus of the Big Ten).

      • vp19 says:

        Getting Kansas in the west pod would probably secure UNC’s vote. Baylor might do likewise for Wake, though it wields far less weight than Chapel Hill does.

        • Chrispy says:

          I doubt WF needs to have its vote swayed; Wake voted yes on every expansion vote in 2003, including Duke & UNC’s attempt to invite Miami alone and the attempts to bring in Syracuse as #12 and BC as #12 for the 2004 season UNC, Duke, and NC State voted against Syracuse as team 12 and BC as team 12; NC State’s president thought Notre Dame could be enticed into the ACC.

          That said, it wouldn’t surprise me if Wake, Duke, Miami, and BC would prefer to see one of the Texas private schools brought in instead of Texas Tech as a Texas travel partner. But you would probably get support for that idea from UNC and UVA as well.

          Negative #1 is still the one that is the most difficult to get past. But given that Texas is the ideal expansion candidate outside of the LHN, I think the ACC will find a way to make it work if Texas is willing.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            “That said, it wouldn’t surprise me if Wake, Duke, Miami, and BC would prefer to see one of the Texas private schools brought in instead of Texas Tech as a Texas travel partner.”

            If the ACC had to take Texas, my preference for team #14 would be TCU. Not Texas Tech because of academics. Not Pitt, although that would be a great addition. Not Baylor because it has been a far inferior program to TCU since 1996 despite benefiting from up to 10X more conference TV revenue. TCU is in Fort Worth, which is larger than Waco, Lubbock, or even Pittsburgh.

            Of course, I want no change to the ACC at all, but hey, adding TCU wouldn’t be a bad addition at all.

  31. gas1958 says:

    This is probably just me, but I’m having a hard time getting my mind around UT to the ACC. I just can’t believe it’s anything more than a ploy, albeit a very clever one, to keep the B12 from further imploding. And I think Zeek has identified the problem: Who comes along with them? Based on Zeek’s last paragraph, I would say ND is the most logical choice to go into the ACC with UT. Now wouldn’t that roast Delany’s (buckeye) nuts.

    • bullet says:

      UT, KU, MU and TT or KSU. The basketball schools wouldn’t be unhappy (at least from a basketball standpoint).

      I just don’t see ND giving up on independence yet. They will be the last domino to fall. Although that would be funny if the conference most opposed to super-conferences became the big winner in the Scott/Delany/Slive game.

      And the ACC could take anybody they wanted from the BE if they wanted to remain a coastal conference, even if Austin is 150 miles from the 3rd coast.

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        “even if Austin is 150 miles from the 3rd coast.”

        Random, off-topic thought here: Some Ohio natives can correct me on this if I’m wrong, but didn’t Cleveland at one time call itself “America’s third coast” or “north coast” or something?

      • Bob in Houston says:

        Can’t foresee Texas going for the deal without a in-state partner.

  32. Bamatab says:

    Here are the items listed for the Oklahoma BOR’s meeting on Monday:

    Item 28 – ISSUE: CONFERENCE ALIGNMENT – NC

    ACTION PROPOSED:
    The Board of Regents will discuss potential legal ramifications of athletic conference
    realignment options and/or consider new athletic conference membership and take any
    appropriate action. An executive session may be proposed pursuant to Section 307B.4 of the
    Oklahoma Open Meetings Act.

    Item 29 – LITIGATION – ALL

    ACTION PROPOSED:
    This is reported for information only. No action is required.
    An executive session may be proposed for the purpose of meeting with General
    Counsel for a report on pending and possible litigation pursuant to Section 307B.4.

    http://www.ou.edu/regents/official_agenda/SeptemberFinalAgenda.pdf

    • bobo the feted says:

      MU’s president as the lead on Big12 expansion committee HAS to be optimistic in his statements. Even if the Big12 is saved as a 7 team + newcomers league (some combination of BYU/Boise/TCU/Houston/SMU/others) and had equal revenue sharing, it would still be held together with duct tape. LHN would continue to destabilize the conference, Mizzou would always look to the B1G, Baylor/ISU/TTU would continue to be vulnerable to be left behind when the next conference shift occurs. Plus the quality of football would really suffer, it would literally be TEXAS! and whatever scraps were left.

  33. Mike says:

    Frank tweeted this.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904060604576570672011904838.html


    To find out which major-college football team plays the most academically prestigious schedule, the Count averaged the results of three commonly cited academic rankings to assign a value to each 2011 opponent played by every school in major-college football.

    1 Southern California Pac-12
    2 Boston College ACC
    3 Arizona State Pac-12
    4 Stanford Pac-12
    5 Wake Forest ACC
    6 Notre Dame Ind.
    7 Colorado Pac-12
    8 Purdue Big Ten
    9 Oregon State Pac-12
    10 Utah Pac-12
    11 Northwestern Big Ten
    12 Virginia ACC
    13 Duke ACC
    14 Nebraska Big Ten
    15 California Pac-12
    16 Minnesota Big Ten
    17 Miami (Fla.) ACC
    18 Ohio State Big Ten
    19 Georgia Tech ACC
    20 Indiana Big Ten

  34. Stephen says:

    Notice Arizona State, Oregon State, Purdue, Nebraska, Ohio State, and Indiana on that list. They are on this list because they don’t have to play themselves.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      Interesting that the two mid-pack B1G schools would benefit from ‘not playing themselves’ more than say the 5-6 schools in the conference ranked lower.

      AWRU/USNWR
      Ohio State 40/55
      Purdue 43/62
      Indiana 50/75
      ASU 46/132
      Oregon St 55-69/138
      Nebraska 70-89/101

    • Purduemoe says:

      Purdue is the no 23 ranked public institution in the country, 43 in AWRU and 62 in USNWR. And that is with our rankings being brought down by the Ag school. So take your condescension and stick it where the sun don’t shine Stephen. How many alumni from your university have walked on the moon? Purdue has the same amount as we do NFL hall of fame quarterbacks and current NFL starting quarterbacks. We’ve also had 7 nobel prize winners. How is that for a sports and academics combo. Purdue might not be a football king, and we might not be the ivy league, but we aren’t chump change either.

      • Stephen says:

        Hey, I know Purdue is a good school, but they aren’t Northwestern, Michigan, Illinois, or Wisconsin. Care to compare Purdue’s nobel prize winners to Illinois’? The astronaut thing is cool, though. They have a good aviation school.

        Northwestern is on that list because of their non-conference scheduling — they like to play similar institutions to themselves, such as Duke, Vanderbilt, Rice, and Boston College.

        • AstroBoiler says:

          In the non-conference schedule, Purdue plays Rice and Notre Dame, while Illinois plays South Dakota State and Western Michigan. And you think the reason that Illinois doesn’t make the top 20 is because they have to play lowly Purdue, Indiana, and Ohio State?

          Looks like the University of Illinois!

          • @AstroBoiler – To be fair, we have a not-so-easy game against Arizona State tomorrow night. If anything, Illinois has completely mismanaged non-conference scheduling during the Ron Guenther era by making even cupcake games on paper tougher (i.e. going on the road against non-AQ schools in a way most Big Ten schools smartly avoid). It took Guenther about 20 years to figure out that having at least 7 home games is how you’re supposed to do things these days (and even went crazy by having 8 home games this year) and then he promptly retired.

          • mike in st. louis says:

            Unrelated to expansion, but I’ve never understood why so many think this clip is such a clever dig at the U of I. So Illinois was the safety school for a kid from Glencoe who wanted to go to Princeton? That’s not an insult, that’s reality. Wouldn’t be surprised if some Princeton applicants use Northwestern or Michigan as their safety school. LOL.

            The real irony is that Joel’s credentials, as I recall them from the movie were quite average, and wouldn’t have gotten him into the College of Commerce at Illinois, much less Princeton.

          • AstroBoiler says:

            I thought it was appropriate because Stephen was claiming that Illinois is on the same academic tier as Northwestern, when U of I is actually much closer to the three Big Ten land-grant universities he insulted.

          • BoilerTex says:

            Arguing how much better the 10th best public school is compared to the 20th best public school seems exceedingly pointless (I’m paraphrasing rankings…being a Purdue grad, I’m too lazy to look them up). Can’t we both agree that we’re better than IU and move on with our lives :-)

          • AstroBoiler says:

            Hey, we all know Indiana is a good school, but they aren’t Harvard, Princeton, Illinois, or Purdue. :-)

          • mike in st louis says:

            LOL. I almost posted that “Joel” could have gotten into IU, but not Illinois or Princeton, but left it out, forgeting that you were a Boilermaker and would have appreciated it.

          • Stephen says:

            Purdue fans — Just beat Notre Dame and we’ll all be happy. :)

  35. metatron5369 says:

    I don’t care what anyone says, I’m calling shenanigans on this.

    Chip Brown is really channeling his inner Baghdad Bob on this one.

  36. GreatLakeState says:

    Grab your chisels and prepare a tablet! PBC says it will all happen ‘sooner rather than later’ and that he will be posting about it….. ‘in due time’.

    -Alright, you’re all free to go back to your reality based lives.

  37. Playoffs Now says:

    No school moves from or avoids conference because they’re “scared” or really much of anything to do with results on the field.

    Not scared, but aTm is fleeing to the SEC primarily because so many fans and boosters suffer from Jan Brady Syndrome, in no small part a result of being overshadowed on the football field for most of their lifetimes.

    http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5291/5414872485_54c3c484af.jpg

  38. metatron5369 says:

    Part of me wishes Notre Dame would join the ACC. Nothing says “national” like a subpar conference that’s #2 in it’s own region.

    • metatron5369 says:

      Though, admittedly, a 24-team merger between the ACC (minus BC, maybe WF/add Mizzou) and the SEC would be beastly. (11/10 + 13/14)

      Unwieldy, but beastly.

  39. metatron5369 says:

    Well, I got bored and created FOOTBALL divisions based on a hypothetical 8-game conference slate (3 own division, 4 opposing division, 1 permanent rival/random); Texas, Notre Dame, Missouri, & Kansas join the Big Ten.

    A.
    Michigan
    Michigan State
    Notre Dame
    Texas

    B.
    Ohio State
    Penn State
    Indiana
    Purdue

    C.
    Wisconsin
    Minnesota
    Iowa
    Nebraska

    D.
    Illinois
    Northwestern
    Missouri
    Kansas

    I wanted to keep it fairly balanced (though Division D looks a little weak), and preserve the strongest rivalries. I also wanted to spread out the expansion teams as much as possible, to integrate the newer schools and to make sure traditional Big Ten teams continue to play each other as much as possible.

    Thoughts? I left the permanent rivals blank, because I’m not sure who will want to play what. I figure UofM/OSU and ND/Purdue are a given.

    • Ross says:

      Gotta bump Texas from A to D, division A is ridiculous.

      • Ross says:

        Probably flip Northwestern, I know playing them regularly was a sticking point for MSU in the recent realignment round. Plus, you probably want to separate your two Chicago programs.

      • metatron5369 says:

        Texas/Northwestern swap?

        I’m not comfortable with having three expansion teams in one division though.

        • Ross says:

          Might try something with Pod B then, as there are no expansion candidates there.

          Or…

          Pod A:

          Michigan
          Ohio State
          Michigan State
          Northwestern

          Pod B:

          Penn State
          Notre Dame
          Purdue
          Indiana

          Pod C:

          Minnesota
          Wisconsin
          Iowa
          Texas

          Pod D:

          Missouri
          Kansas
          Nebraska
          Illinois

          Although Illinois is somewhat by itself, Nebraska will have at least been in the league a year, and Illinois-Missouri is certainly a rivalry.

          • metatron5369 says:

            I count Penn State, just so people don’t throw Ohio State in some weird, east-coast division.

            I know Texas, MSU, ND, and U of M looks stacked (well, because it is), but both Notre Dame and Texas would sign that deal instantly if we presented it to them.

    • Richard says:

      Mizzou and KU won’t be the expansion candidates. Even if the B10 can’t pick off any ACC schools, Rutgers & Syracuse would be more appealing (especially since ND could leverage the east coast).

      • vp19 says:

        Syracuse losing AAU membership takes it out of the Big Ten derby after the Nebraska fiasco. And Maryland is far more attractive to the Big Ten as a large, land-grant flagship with a solid athletic program and a research budget that dwarfs SU’s.

        • Richard says:

          Well, I said even if the B10 can’t pick off any ACC schools. In any case, any of UMD, Rutgers, UVa, GTech, BC, and even the ‘Cuse (of course FSU, VTech, and Miami if they meet the academic standards) would be more attractive than Mizzou and KU.

      • I agree, KU and Missouri are not likely… personally ND, Texas, Kansas and Missouri would be my favorite combination of schools. Both KU and Missouri are respectable research institutions, there addition would capture two decent markets in Kansas City and St Louis, and they would add some interesting cross border rivalries. Missouri and Illinois are already rivals. NU and Missouri were developing an intense rivalry in the last 10 years of the Big 12, Missouri and Kansas are already rivals.

        ND has huge popularity in the east coast already… would there even be a need to pick up a Rutgers or Maryland?

        • Richard says:

          You still need schools physically there as well, IMHO, to get in-state carriage fees. PSU is probably as popular as ND in Jersey, yet the BTN isn’t on basic cable in that state yet.

  40. drwillini says:

    UT, ND, UMd, UF

    pod 1:
    UT, UN, Iowa, ND
    pod 2:
    UI, IU, PU, NW
    pod 3:
    UMinn, UM, MSU, UW
    Pod4
    tOSU, PSU, UMd, UF

  41. 78lion says:

    Frank, I watched an ACC matchup between Buttgers and UNC last Saturday that was not on a Disney station. Doesn’t what once was Jefferson/Pilot – Raycom own some level of ACC TV rights?

  42. jj says:

    Attn All Domers:

    I’m pumped up for this weekend. Should be a good one.

    I predict MSU wins after ND buffs a fake field goal in overtime. Let’s discuss!

  43. Richard says:

    Not expansion related, but I really don’t get the animosity towards Kevin Kelley of Pulaski High for onside kicking and not punting all the time. How is being unconventional “unsportsmanlike” or a “douchebag”? Is he suppose to line his smaller, slower players up and play straight up so that Pulaski can be beat by schools with 8 times more students the old fashioned way? I really don’t get the visceral hatred people have for him and his tactics*.

    *OK, I can see the argument that onside kicks have a higher risk of injury than normal plays, but then you should just ban kickoffs, as kickoff returns are probably the most injury-prone plays out there. Oh, and he doesn’t return punts either.

  44. Hopkins Horn says:

    Slightly OT: we’ve invented a term for the realignment version of Godwin’s Law. Enjoy.

    • jj says:

      that’s funny dude. i can’t believe no one has violated godwin’s law here yet (NTIAO). this has to be a world record.

    • M says:

      So I follow that link, and happen to take a glance at the next article down:

      http://www.burntorangenation.com/2011/9/15/2428031/why-texas-is-doing-the-rest-of-the-ncaa-a-favor-longhorn-network

      “Why Texas is doing the rest of the NCAA a favor with The Longhorn Network”

      While the points he makes aren’t horrifically wrong, but arguing that the LHN is good for anyone but Texas is a hard sell right now, given that it has destroyed two relationships that at one point were thought indissoluble (with Oklahoma and A&M), will probably end up destroying a conference leaving as many as 5 schools scrambling, and may push the entire system towards the 16 team conferences that no one seems to want.

      I suppose that what I’m saying is that perhaps all the schools in the NCAA should chip in a couple million each to Texas to thank them for helping everyone out.

      • Hopkins Horn says:

        Well, again, the relationship with A&M was destroyed looooong before LHN was around. Any issues around LHN are a smokescreen behind A&M’s real reasons for departing to the SEC.

        And I would hardly say our relations with OU are “destroyed.” Strained right now? Probably. But certainly not destroyed.

        And you’ve been on this board long enough to know that the factors at play here and nationwide go well beyond LHN. Again, trying to blame LHN for everything that’s going on is way too simplistic.

        • Hopkins Horn says:

          That being said, M, I sincerely ask you, if you disagree with the points being raised, to raise your points with the author in the comments. We welcome intelligent dissenters to the burnt orange kool-aid. :)

        • TwoPalePonies says:

          Agreed that OU-UT relations aren’t destroyed. OU wants to get UT to join a move to the Pac so we (OU) can keep the relationship, but with a real counterweight to Texas’s population.

        • M says:

          Blaming LHN for everything is a little simplistic, but I still don’t think the premise that Texas has done everyone a favor by starting it passes the giggle test.

          As far as apportioning fault for the worsening relationships, I would simply note that during the last conference shakeup a year ago, Oklahoma’s president (or AD?) said that wherever Texas goes they will go. A&M was at least willing to stay in the Big 12. Now, Oklahoma appears poised to leave the conference with or without Texas. A&M decided to do everything in their power to do the same while burning every bridge behind them (Aggies might be crazy, but that’s beside the point).

          As far as I know, the only significant changes since then have been that the Big 12 received a very large television contract and Texas started the LHN. Obviously, correlation does not imply causation, but there’s a lot of correlation going on.

          I’ve commented on BON a number of times. It’s a good community and for the most part has reasonable people. Every so often, I run into the “Screw you, we’re from Texas” mentality, but I try to take it as part of the charm.

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      Funny, Loki, as some otherwise sane people were chiming in with a similar thought on our ACC thread, enough in fact that I started emailing offline with someone I trust on this topic.

      The MOB must have made a heckuva impact a couple of weeks ago!

    • duffman says:

      loki, after the way Baylor bumped you guys out in the Big 12 formation, it would be pretty sweet. I saw a blog a week or so ago saying TAMU should take Rice with them to the SEC.

      Maybe hitch a ride with TCU, KU, and KSU for a ride to the Big East maybe? Would make a 4 pod group.

    • Robber Baron says:

      That would be very fun. I’d love to see a halftime show featuring both the M.O.B. and the LSJUMB.

    • Gopher86 says:

      UT likes games in the state of Texas. An ACC pod would need at least two Texas schools. These schools would have to do two things:

      (1) Compliment UT’s brand, recruiting and LHN carriage.
      (2) Be academically acceptable.

      Eyeballs wise, TTU is probably the best partner. It needs a lot of help academically (compared to some of the other options in Texas and the ACC standards).

      Rice gets you a foot in Houston, but offers no penetration. From UT’s perspective, they could continue a non-con rivalry. Another thing to remember is that A&M & OU may be non-cons post-Big 12.

      Houston is a non-starter for me athletically and academically. The market penetration is marginal and the academics need work.

      TCU is a reasonable pick-up. Assuming the Okie schools aren’t playing UT any more, they’d need more Dallas coverage to appease their alumni. Plus it is a good football brand with decent academics.

      SMU is great academically. It gets the second fiddle treatment here, though. Rice is a better research University if you go the egg head route, and TCU is a better Dallas football brand.

      Baylor is a non-starter for me. If they had their Med School under their umbrella, they’d have a shot.

      Balance-wise, the ACC probably wants two Texas schools and two Florida schools. UT probably wants two other Texas schools to ride along (more games in Texas, better state-wide exposure).

      For the strength of the overall league, you’d want a pod that looks like this:

      1. UT
      2. KU
      3. MU
      4. TCU/Rice

      If you’re Texas, you want a league that looks like this:

      1. UT
      2. TCU
      3. TTU
      4. Houston

      A realistic league may look like this:

      1. UT
      2. TTU
      3. Rice
      4. KU (1-1-1 scheduling with a game in Dallas)

  45. Sportsman says:

    Random thoughts…

    I find it interesting that some have believed the various conferences/institutions/individuals have “all” of the “power” at any given time. At some point tBT/Delaney, the Pac-1#/Scott, the SEC/Slive, UTx, aTm, OU (even Baylor has “flexed their muscle”) have controlled the destiny of the entire world of college athletic alignment. The reality is that all schools are going to exert their influence on the outcome of any/all realignment issues, because there is so much at stake. Whether that be: causing chaos as to where they will end up (UTx), trying to follow their own path (ND), or trying not to be left behind (BU, K-St, ISU). There are too many players/moving pieces/politics involved, and to pretend that the “power” resides within only a few is unture.

  46. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Oklahoma at Florida State. Who ya got?

  47. allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

    ACC South
    Kansas
    Kansas State
    Texas
    Baylor
    FSU
    Miami
    Clemson
    Georgia Tech

    ACC North
    BC
    VaTech
    UVA
    MD
    Duke
    UNC
    Wake
    NCSt

    • vp19 says:

      Instead of permanent divisions, there would be four pods, rotating (think of the mid-’90s WAC, but this would work considerably better). The pods — we’ll call them North, Central (the four North Carolina members), South and West (the four Big 12 emigres) would alternate in divisions over three years, enabling all of the original 12 members to face Texas and its western companions every three years. (There might be some guaranteed out-of-pod matchups such as Virginia-North Carolina, Wake Forest-Baylor, N.C. State-Clemson and so on.) For men’s and women’s basketball, a similar schedule — 18 games, home-and-home within your pod, one game against each of the other 12 members.

      Incidentally, Caulton Tudor, longtime Raleigh News & Observer columnist and unofficial member of the ACC “establishment,” has come on board with the concept of Texas in the ACC, though he doesn’t elaborate on it regarding potential UT partners: http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/09/16/1492219/texas-acc-a-good-fit.html

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      The ACC’s deficiency is purely financial. There isn’t a lack of cultural commonality (save for Boston College) or stability. There isn’t a lot of butting heads.

      In other words, this isn’t the Big 12. League members feel more secure together despite having less TV revenue than the Big 12 schools do with more, so they don’t feel the need to add teams just for the sake of adding teams.

      Therefore I don’t see adding Kansas, K-State, and Baylor. They neutralize the financial benefits of adding Texas and, if taken by themselves, would reduce the average value of ACC teams.

      • bullet says:

        I think Kansas taken with Texas would be an easy decision for the ACC. They add substantial value to the basketball side and the ACC doesn’t need as much value and has a different financial structure than the B1G with its BTN. Now Baylor AND Kansas State would probably be tough to accept, but one as a #16 would work with someone like Missouri as #15. And for the ACC, 16 with Texas works better than 14 with Texas, unless maybe its just Texas and Baylor (or Rice?) and you can combine the travel.

        • vp19 says:

          I wouldn’t mind having Missouri in the mix, but this is based on the assumption that it ultimately ends up in the SEC. Also, Kansas may have to pair with K-State for political purposes, and Texas going to the ACC without a Lone Star partner (Texas Tech or Baylor) would probably result in a backlash in the legislature. Baylor, in more need of a home than Tech — assuming OU, Okie State and Scott can persuade Pac members that having one Texas member, albeit in Lubbock, is preferable to having no Texas members at all — would be the logical choice, especially since the ACC already has several private institutions.

  48. bullet says:

    Berry Tramel thinks the Sooners should posture with the SEC:

    http://blog.newsok.com/berrytramel/2011/09/16/ou-football-time-to-play-the-sec-card/

    Also comments that a Pac 14 isn’t something the Pac or Sooners would be totally thrilled with and that a Pac 16 would be preferable for both sides.

  49. Penn state hockey says:

    I believe that Texas to the ACC will be good for the Big Ten if it happens. If Texas comes in with the LHN as is, it will create instability in the conference. Unequal revenue sharing leads to instability. As conferences grow old alliances weaken, especially with such a large and diverse geographic footprint. Geography is a reason why I am not sold on Texas being a member of the Big Ten due to the fact that is will be two states away from the next closest team. If the bonds that hold the ACC together weaken, I think the Big Ten could come in and grab a few schools, as well as the SEC. Maryland and UVA would be great gets for the conference. If there is enough resentment to the longhorns, perhaps UNC will be more open to a move. The LHN will destroy any conference it associates with.

    • yahwrite says:

      I had the same thought. I think conference networks are the future, and the LHN hampers any conference Texas is in from forming a network that includes all schools. Not every school has the captive geographic population that Texas does to capture the revenues from basic cable. I do think LHN will eventually make its way to the basic service in Texas. So if schools want to be part of a conference network, they are better off not being in a league with Texas.

    • Other Mike says:

      @Penn State Hockey

      You could be right. I’d love to see UNC in the B1G too. We need to get in North Carolina!

  50. laxtonto says:

    I have a couple of points that seem to be overlooked:

    1. There is no way UT goes to the ACC without their picks on who goes with them. It makes no sense from the non-revenue sports side that UT is the only ACC team in the state of Texas and even though UT carries the state, the penetration in the fringe markets away from their core DMA’s can use some help. In comes most likely TT and then a mixture of Mizzou, UH, Kansas, and for that matter even UCF. The Texas market is the real crown jewel here. Anything else is just window dressing. The only way this happens is if UT is happy. The only way UT is happy is that if they have games in state. The idea that UT will accept not having multiple in state travel partners is a pipe dream.

    2. The entire basis in UT’s firm hold on the LHN is their steadfast belief that the individual private network is the next progressive step in college athletics media distribution and brand management. The Pac-12 is already pioneering that concept with the dual school regional network content model and the LHN is just a further more direct example of it. Who has control or who is receiving the payout is meaningless. The true battle is over brand, brand recognition and brand merchandising. The value of the LHN is not the $12.5M UT gets it is the fact that it keeps longhorn fans happy and helps create new longhorn fans through secondary saturation. If UT is always on or always around people will eventually accept them as a household institution. The eventual extension of that is that UT merchandise is also an accepted household institution. If UT keeps thier fans (one of the most profitable things in sales) and then uses their brand power to continue to generate new fans (due to institutional status) the merchandising sales will dwarf the media revenue. That is the real market and the area that UT is well out in front of everyone else.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      If the Big 12 is doomed, IF the LHN is a barrier to joining the Pac12 & B1G AND if independence is not a palatable option then how much leverage does UT really have in ‘picking’ who the ACC must accept?

      • Patrick says:

        They keep saying that independence is not an option, and many on this board will echo that sentiment. I believe that independence is their goal, money and football matter most. The Olympic sports will do what they are told.

        • bullet says:

          I think you underestimate how important non-rev, especially women’s sports are to Texas. Chris Plonsky is women’s AD. I don’t know if anyone else has that type of setup. She really did a lot of the legwork last summer as opposed to the 72 year old Dodds. Both of them along with Powers went to Norman last week. And baseball, women’s basketball and women’s volleyball aren’t really non-revs at Texas. They do pretty well. I imagine they would like to do the same with women’s soccer. Football does provide most of the money, but they aren’t going to sacrifice everything else. And don’t forget that Dodds ran track at KSU.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          I tried to specifically emphasize the “ifs” for just that reason.

          One thing that makes it difficult to believe UT sincerity on that issue is the LHN…the contract almost reads like a road map to independence.

    • vp19 says:

      There is no way UT goes to the ACC without their picks on who goes with them

      Agreed, but getting Kansas involved somehow would probably make ACC approval that much easier…and I would think the ACC would prefer that any other pod members already have BCS status.

      • laxtonto says:

        KU, TT, UH and UT would be the best possible scenario to guarantee both full coverage in Texas, regional partners and a palatable mix of sports and culture. UT covers the state, TT helps reinforce DFW due to OU being in a different conference and UH does the same in Houston vs. A&M and LSU to an extent. The problem is I can pretty much bet Baylor is going to be there instead of UH due to their willingness to pitch a fit. The real question is can UT leverage the idea that bringing in TT and UH into the ACC helps provide the potential enhance the academic rep of those two schools in their attempts to reach Tier 1 status. That holds much more weight than anything Baylor and throw up.

        The other question is how many teams is required to keep the Big 12 BCS birth? Does a conference headlined by Baylor, ISU, KSU, and Mizzou keep a birth if they add to it the best of both the MWC and CUSA? At this point the Big 12 has the paper but not the substance. We have already seen that the paper means much more than the performance on the field. By bringing in the best of the rest you can make the argument that the Big 12 can stay BCS relevant. The payout will not be as high, but the BCS tag means that it still will be higher than the MWC or CUSA. Can that be the excuse that the rest of the Big 12 can use to escape the true problem of the Big 12; poor population distribution and schools grandfathered into the BCS system without financial infrastructure to support it.

    • Penn state hockey says:

      I agree about branding and marketing being driving force in keeping the LHN, I just don’t think it will be successful. I also don’t think that individual networks is the future and I also believe that the PAC 10 regional networks will tank for the same reason: content. I don’t think these ideas will work because there is not enough content to place on these channels that people will want to see and thus cable companies will want to pay for. I know the Big Ten network has been a successful but even that channel is starving for content with 11 and now 12 teams to choose from. Just look at some of the crap that is on there now. Look at the struggle the LHN is having getting on cable in the state of Texas. Cable companies are losing business now do to the recession. The will not increase their rates in order to show 2 football games and 8 basketball games. The Olympic sports are nice but don’t move the needle very much. That is why expansion has been about football since football games make a network profitable. The BTN works because you have Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin , and Iowa football games on most weeks of the football season. 2 football games will not fund a network. The PAC 10 will learn that regional networks are great in theory until you actually have to put enough oregon state and oregon content on to support them.

      • drwillini says:

        In my opinion (and in the interest of full disclosure I am a Big Ten junkie) I think the BTN content has really improved and is now borderline excellent. The studio shows are of ESPN quality, and some of the features, such as the Icons series, are excellent (i.e. better than ESPN). They have upgraded their announcing stable (e.g. Gus Johnson). The olympic sports championships are usually well done (except for golf, don’t know why they whiffed on that). I don’t see how a single school channel is able to pull off the studio shows and features year after year without getting repetitive. Even at the conference level I’m not sure there are many that could pull it off with a quality that would engage even a passionate fan in anythign other than live events. Obvioulsy the SEC could. Not sure about the PAC. Maybe its a bias of mine but I just can’t see a USC fan watching a feature on UWash the way a Ohio St. fan would watch a feature on Wisconsin. The ACC would obviously have this type of interest in hoops, but is that enough to sustain a network. All we have heard to date is that football is driving this consolidation.

  51. greg says:

    @Frank

    The Illini are #7 in the country in the NCAA’s statistics-driven Power Rankings.

    http://www.ncaa.com/power-rankings/football/fbs/2011/02

    • footballnut says:

      You need at least 8 teams in a conference for a BCS birth. If Texas and KU went to ACC, and OU/OSU went to Pac 12, that would leave MU/KSU/ISU/Baylor/TT/ to scramble for 3 more BCS “quaity teams.” BYU probaby would not be interested, but just for grins, lets say they are. Need 2 more…most likely from Texas. SMU/Houston/Rice, maybe New Mexico. Would this look like a BCS conference?

      Mizzou
      Kansas State
      ISU
      Baylor
      Texas Tech
      SMU
      Houston
      New Mexico

      maybe add two moore

      Rice
      UNLV

      • Patrick says:

        No – that does not look even close to a BCS conference

        • Gopher86 says:

          Plus, MU will have a better life raft elsewhere.

          • vp19 says:

            Missouri will likely end up in the SEC, leaving five slots open between an OU/Okie State Pac and a Texas ACC. If Scott eschewed Texas Tech and took Kansas/KSU, the ACC would be left with Tech, Baylor and Iowa State as partners to Texas. A happy ending in Ames, perhaps not so happy for people in the ACC (especially Chapel Hill) who wanted KU in the mix.

    • Illinifan82 says:

      Glad our pounding on cupcake teams is good for something besides warming up for real teams and padding stats :)

  52. morrighu says:

    I I really don’t care where UT Austin goes as long as they up about it. Frankly, from a purely educational standpoint, I find this emphasis on sports in general and football in particular to be disturbing. If you devote all your time to working out and running plays, you are not absorbing your academic material. I recall my own time in college and a disporportionate number of the athletes were “Kinesology” majors – a really fancy way of saying “P.E.” Very few of them had anything that was considered to be a “real” major – in other words – a degree plan that you could actually get a job with that didn’t involve “Would you like fries with that?”

    So while football scholarships might be enough to get the kids into college, it is almost diametrically opposed to an individual getting an education that will serve them along after their college football days are over. Less than 2% of them will ever go on to play professional football. That means 98% of them need to have a real education so that they can make their way in the world after the jersey gets hung up for the last time. Too many make it though the system and end up with a college diploma but aren’t even able to read. Dexter Manley and Albert Means are hardly isolated incidents. Talk about living the sterotype – that of the dumb jock.

  53. Mike says:

    Good expansion Q&A for the Florida St. fan. A shout out to Frank as well. Worth your time.

    http://www.tomahawknation.com/2011/9/14/2425346/conference-reallignment-and-fsu-an-faq

  54. [...] do believe Florida State is the only ACC school that would accept an invitation to join the SEC. Virginia Tech isn’t going anywhere and the SEC is not prying North Carolina away from the [...]

  55. SpaceTetra says:

    I see alternate BTN channels on my cable service – This blog has gotten me to think of these as regionals. How about

    BTN East – Ohio State, Penn State, MI, MI State
    BTN South – Texas
    BTN Central – Notre Dame, Indiana, Purdue, Illinois, NW
    BTN West – Minn, Iowa, Nebraska, WI

    There has got to be a better arrangement than this for four regionals. Maybe due to size, MI and MI State get pushed in with the Indiana schools and the Illiinois schools get pushed west as well?

    • Mike says:

      I just patented the use of the words “Hee Haw” in conference network jokes in case any of you thought about getting cute.

    • M says:

      The problem with regional networks is that I don’t really think the BTN is currently “overfull” of stuff to show.

      If anything, I would prefer to see the BTN use their second and third channels as “BTN2″ and “BTN3″. As far as I can tell, those channels are only in use on the first few weeks of football season when there are too many games.

      • Illinifan82 says:

        Yes they are overfull on some weekends when games have the same kickoff time and espn is not airing the game. I watched Illini vs Arkansas state on the BTN when at the same time nebraska was playing a game on the BTN as well. What you watched was based on where you lived.

    • Kevin says:

      I think regional BTN channels would be a terrible idea. One of the great benefits is the national appeal of the network. It helps schools in recruiting across the country and creates national exposure for schools that would not normally receive the attention.

      Not too mention the significant cost of going regional with the additional on-air talent that would have to be hired etc… I like having one consistent message from the conference. The only advantage of having say BTN2 is to broadcast more games at the same time. We already have that with the overflow channels for football and could be adopted for other events.

      I would also doubt that cable companies would give incremental sub fees for basic carriage to the regional channels.

      • OT says:

        The Pac 12 network’s programming model:

        1. 350 events (football and men’s basketball plus a handful of baseball, softball, and olympic sports events) will air live simultaneously on Pac 12 National and all 6 Pac 12 regional networks

        2. Other live events (#351 and beyond, i.e. crap such as Oregon State vs Washington State gymnastics dual meet) will be regionalized.

      • SpaceTetra says:

        The reality is that the additional BTN channels already exist and are basically not being used. They redundantly show the BTN itself. What is the value of showing the same programming on five channels. Admittedly, the additional BTN channels are all high numbered second tier channels, but they already exist. If Texas wants/requires that the LHN becomes BTN2, then there is a way to make this happen nationally on an existing channel. And if Texas wants their own channel, then you are certainly going to have to offer at least some of the other schools the same thing. A Michigan/Ohio State channel (even high tiered) would have better value than showing the same BTN material on five channels. As far as getting cables to pay for these, I suspect that the BTN already bundles all five channels under one price. The value to the BigTen is that they can now offer more second tier sports nationally. This is already giving them a recruiting advantage in the lesser sports. People want their folks to see them on TV.

        Why waste the four alternative existing BTN channels? And how else are you going to let Texas have the LHN without upsetting everyone else? Simple, give the other schools their own channels as well (but in groups). Also, once these existing channels have real content beside redundantly showing the BTN, I have got to believe they can up the price to cable companies. And even if they can’t, there is still value there in exposure, at least more value than redundantly showing the BTN five times.

  56. OT says:

    Absolute last resort for Texas if both the ACC and Big East tell Bevo to take a hike:

    1. Independent in football. That means 8-10 home or “neutral site” games each season on either the Longhorn Network or the ESPN Networks.

    2. WAC in basketball, baseball, softball, and Olympic sports, with ALL WAC conference championship events (except women’s basketball final and 4 men’s basketball games) on the Longhorn Network. Agreement would also include 4 WAC football opponents at home plus hosting rights to all WAC conference championship events except basketball

    3. The 4 WAC football opponents will include Texas-San Antonio and Texas State. Will also include Texas-Arlington if UTA were to start football. Will also include UTEP if UTEP were to rejoin the WAC.

    Hypothetical football schedule:

    Week 1: Tune-up game at home, vs the likes of Rice or Sun Belt conference team

    Week 2: WAC opponent at home (i.e. Texas State or UT-San Antonio)

    Week 3: vs Pac-12 opponent from California (i.e. Cal, UCLA, Stanford, or USC)

    Week 4: WAC opponent at home

    Week 5: Oklahoma @ Fair Park in Dallas or Cowboy Stadium

    Week 6: Navy (alternating between Austin or Fed Ex Field)

    Week 7: Notre Dame (alternating between home, away, and neutral sites such as Soldier Field)

    Week 8: WAC opponent at home

    Week 9: BYU (4-for-2 deal)

    Week 10: Army (alternating between Austin or Yankee Stadium)

    Week 11: WAC opponent at home

    Week 12: BYE

    Week 13: Texas A&M (Thursday night)

    ===

    Not exactly murderer’s row, but not a weak schedule by any means.

  57. hangtime79 says:

    Need everyone’s thinking caps on for the moment.

    I have been trying to think if there was another angle as to why Texas Tech may already have an invitation to the Pac 12 without UT. Now, I am not saying they do or not; but we have heard some rumors that TTU was already. Would Larry Scott do that deal without UT?

    So I have been playing in mind why he would invite TTU already. To do that you have two basic assumptions:
    1. Scott has already telegraphed to OU/oSu that they are in the Pac 12 and he has votes and power to do it.
    2. Scott is going to 16

    Here is what I have:
    1. It buys an option on UT. The most valuable option outcome is the chance to get UT playing in the Pac 16. Working with TTU early increases the likelihood of that outcome.

    2. This one creates the value in the TTU option outside of the above. While many have said TTU gives entre into the Texas market for the Pac 12 I think its simpler then that. TTU + OU + oSu gets the Pac 12/16 network very close if not on the basic tier in DFW. There are not enough alums individually, but together I’m thinking the Pac 16 creates enough interest to warrant its inclusion in basic tier cable programming. Now that’s not the rest of Texas but adding a Top 10 media market with every household watching the Pac 12/16 network definitely increases value for the rest of the conference. Without TTU and only the Okie schools this is not possible. BTW, UT comes on board and then becomes a slam dunk not just in DFW, but in Austin, San Antonio, and Houston as well.

    3. Why give up the option of grabbing two other teams and choose TTU ahead of time. My thoughts would be its getting to be 2:00 AM, the bar is closing and its any port in the storm. Really the only scenario Scott gives up with TTU on board is bringing KU and KSU into the conference together. That doesn’t mean he still couldn’t get KU it would just be tougher. That said if he is going to 16 as in our assumption is the combination of a Mizzou + TTU, Hawaii + TTU, BYU + TTU (yes, I know it will never happen), Boise + TTU (hahahah), New Mexico + TTU (huh?) are those scenario significantly worse then KU + KSU? I don’t think so.

    So the critical assumptions: the Okie schools are in, Scott’s going to 16. Is it that far-fetched to not go ahead and telegraph a move to TTU?

    • EZCUSE says:

      The other option is that Texas just wants a home for all of the other teams before it goes independent. If Tech were to somehow land in the Pac-12… only Baylor and non-AQ’s would be left standing. Texas is then free of its “Tech problem.” I just tend to think that the academics makes it a non-starter.

      • hangtime79 says:

        UT has to have a big time conference to place its non-revs in or it doesn’t work. That scenario only happens if the Big 12 is crippled and on life support otherwise UT has to find a home. Dodd isn’t going to send his teams to MWC, WAC, but maybe the Big East (Big East kicks out ND before they accept UT given the way ND has treated the Big East). For the same reason TAMU isn’t going to go independent for a year, UT will not go independent for life.

        Wanting something and being able to execute it are two different things. I believe UT likes the idea of independence, but not at the expense of the rest of the athletic program.

        • Dcphx says:

          The BE isn’t kicking out ND. There are 7 reasons why: DePaul, Providence, St. Johns, Georgetown, Villanova, Marquette, Seton Hall. They are all Catholic/Jesuit run universities. None of them play football and get significant benefit from playing other sports with the highest profile Catholic University in the country.

    • Rakesh Singh says:

      Texas Tech Alumni hear, following the blog for the past year. Here a few facts about Texas Tech that many on the board may not be aware of. There are ~140k living Texas Tech Alumni, which a significant amount of Alumni in Dallas (closest large City to Texas Tech, largest supplier of Under grad students come from DFW). Of the Texas schools (UT, A&M, TTU) and Oklahoma’s schools Texas Tech has the second largest Alumni base in Dallas Fort Worth. We have an estimated Alumni number of 80k+ (some even put this number at 100k), http://www.doubletnation.com/2011/9/12/2421706/houston-demanded-numbers-for-how-many-techsters-are-in-dallas-ft-worth

      Currently A&M would be #3 @ 50k alumni (http://www.aggienetwork.com/clubs/findmyclub.aspx?club=HEJuziJvWDXBBNM32hfheg%3d%3d) There are like 4-5 clubs you will have to looks up in the DFW to get the total.

      Texas Tech alone with the alumni base and fan support in Dallas would carry the DFW market alone. And some analysis completed by a Houston sports writer shows the most watch College Football games in Houston in 2008 and 2009, which shows Texas Tech is only behind Texas with the number of most watched games in Houston (granted A&M was bad those years). http://blog.chron.com/sportsmedia/2010/06/some-college-football-ratings-to-ponder/

      In 2008 – Texas Tech had 3 of the highest rated games in Houston, Texas had 3, and A&M had 0

      In 2009 – Texas Tech had 3 of the highest rated games in Houston, Texas had 6, A&M had 1,

      • bullet says:

        3 of those 6 games involved Texas or Houston and the Tech/OU game was nationally significant, much like those high rated SEC games.

        Interesting that Alabama/LSU outdrew A&M/OU in the same time slot.

  58. SH says:

    Looking at the map of the US, and the schools that were there, along with the money being given now for football, doesn’t it seem a little amazing that the B12 was not able to hold it together with the schools they had? Its not like other conferences don’t have big ego schools – why couldn’t Neb, UT, and OK play together in the same sandbox? One wonders if it was just doomed from the start or could have been held together somehow. I’m sure it isn’t really surprising, but kind of a little surprising no?

    • OT says:

      The Big 12 (and any other major conference that will be willing to take Texas) is doomed because Texas insists on the following:

      1. Total control over conference operations, including TV rights.

      2. The ability to make more money than everyone else in the conference combined

      I still maintain that the WAC, and only the WAC, will be willing to accomodate Texas after the dust settles. Not the B1G, not the PAC, not the ESS ESS CEE, not the BIG EAST, and not the ACC.

      • SideshowBob says:

        Why just the WAC? Why not Conf-USA as an option. I really they are now all sports for all members, but I’d think they’d be willing to take on Texas for all but football. They are credible in basketball and have 4 Texas schools already, three of whom are former rivals from the SWC. And some decent academics among them (Rice, Tulane in particular).

    • Mike says:

      I mentioned this earlier, but I would say the root cause of the Big 12′s problems is the economic disparity of the members (when created it was four high revenue, four medium, and four small) and the competing agendas that will inherently create. For the most part, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas got along fine. Once the middle class of the Big 12 (i.e. Missouri) started seeing how they could get a better deal from other conferences and started campaigning for it, the league with no history or ties was in trouble.

      Nebraska didn’t leave because of Texas, Nebraska left because after the Big Ten there were no other good options. Remember the PAC 16 was still on the table, Missouri was still an option for the Big Ten, and the SEC was talking to A&M and OU.

      I get why OU is contemplating leaving, however, I still haven’t completely understood the A&M vs. Texas issues. I haven’t seen the compelling argument spelled out by the Aggies that shows the Aggies in the SEC will be better off. I think you can make the case that Nebraska, Colorado, and Utah are all in better positions academically and athletically than they were before. I’m not sure you can do that with the Aggies.

    • zeek says:

      I don’t really think it’s surprising at all. We’ve gone over the history of the Big 8/Big 12 in several threads, and the main problems are that the conference is 1) in a really bad location geographically (for a conference, not the schools themselves which have stronger value due to location especially Nebraska/Oklahoma/Texas), 2) the population distribution is the worst of any conference by far, and 3) they had bad timing with TV contracts. What I mean by the first point is that the conference is sandwiched squarely between the three most stable/strongest conferences.

      If you really look at it, the Pac-12′s strength is its distance from the other conferences (also its greatest weakness due to the natural East Coast media bias) along with California as a population center.

      The SEC’s strength is that it’s the dominant conference of the Deep South with few professional football teams in its area along with Florida/Georgia as a population center.

      The Big Ten’s strength is that it’s the dominant Midwest conference centered around Michigan/Ohio/Illinois and Pennsylvania more recently.

      ACC’s strength is that it’s got the Mid-Atlantic region locked down as its population center along with more recent additions that have at least added football brand value and Florida as a population center.

      When you think about what the Big 12 once was, you have to remember that it was just 12 schools tied together by a television contract meant to merge Nebraska and Oklahoma with Texas’ population base/brand (the idea of the Big 8′s history was destroyed when Nebraska-Oklahoma were separated and that rivalry was killed and because the Texas schools wanted it to be an entirely new conference as opposed to the Big 12 just adding 4 schools, or really 2 as should have been the case). One of their biggest weaknesses of course was timing (in hindsight). If they had already revamped their TV contracts 3-4 years ago, they might have been spared this turmoil because back then the Big Ten Network wasn’t a cash cow and the SEC hadn’t done its historic (at the time) deal.

      The biggest weakness of all was population skew. As alluded to by Perlman, a big part of why a Big 12 Network never got off the ground was because they couldn’t figure out how to make Texas whole for bringing in so much of the population. Do you give Texas 40% ownership of the conference’s network because they bring in so much population to basic carriage?; of course the other schools would reject that kind of model.

      There were a lot of mistakes made though that could have been rectified in hindsight (some harder to have gotten than others, and leverage was lacking on the Big 8′s side). #1) Texas Tech and Baylor should not have been invited into the conference. It should have been an expansion by the Big 8 instead of a merger of unbalanced groups. A 10 team conference would have probably held together stronger based on a Big 8 expansion. #2) Contract timing should have been together and shorter not spaced out 4 years apart. #3) They should have committed their Tier 1 TV rights to the conference for the extent of the TV contracts at least.

      All of those are really hard to envision happening in the 90s; the problem was the Big 8 only had like 6% of the US population within its borders; the conference was basically obsolete outside of its national brands in Nebraska/Oklahoma and Kansas basketball. The conference needed Texas so badly that they pulled off the merger with Texas + 3 instead of scattering to the wind.

      In hindsight though, this perfectly suited the needs of Texas/Oklahoma/Nebraska/A&M. Think about it, Texas has really come on as a power in the Mack Brown era with an athletics department full of cash and the LHN. They’re much better off joining a conference on terms now than they would have been in the 90s.

      For Oklahoma and Nebraska the same is true; Nebraska wanted the Big Ten in Devaney’s days but the Big Ten only had eyes for Notre Dame as the 12th school. Nebraska needed a good half-way point until it could get to the Big Ten. The Pac-10 wasn’t interested in expansion until Scott came around (or only a bit before Scott at best), so Colorado never really had a chance to get out west. Texas A&M has wanted into the SEC for a long time as well. Now its football program is ready to go (right now anyways), and they’ll probably easily be at a 100k seat stadium within 10-15 years after joining the SEC. Oklahoma too comes out better with the ability to get into the Pac-14/Pac-16; they never would have had that opportunity without Scott and may have ended up in the SEC if this all went down in the 90s.

      So for the power football schools and Colorado all of this ends up better than it would have without the Big 12. For Oklahoma State as well, they’ll probably get a landing spot in the Pac-14/Pac-16 alongside Oklahoma. TTech might be in the same spot as OSU if a Pac-16 materializes. Those two schools may not have had as good options (or anywhere near the options they’re going to get in a Pac-14/Pac-16) if not for the Big 12 era.

      The schools that really end up worse off in all this is Baylor/Kansas/Kansas State/Iowa State and Missouri (although they might get Big Ten/SEC), but wouldn’t that have happened anyways? They got a 15 year reprieve on obsolence in the case of the first 4.

      • hangtime79 says:

        Zeek I agree with your basic premise that the addition of Baylor and TTU probably added wood to this fire, but ultimately the conference would have never happened if that were the case. The political winds were way too strong (Baylor or otherwise) against TAMU and UT leaving a Texas-based conference. The political threat of the loss of PUF money was very real and going to keep both TAMU and UT in line.

        I do agree with you in that it may have been better for all involved if the Big 8 had split and gone its separate ways rather then vice versa. However, like you point out conferences had a problem going to 12 let alone going beyond at that time. An interesting thought exercise indeed.

      • Eric says:

        Very good post that looks into the difficulties of the Big 12 great. I agree that if the Big 8 had expanded by two, things would have been better. You could have kept Nebraska-Oklahoma as a season ending game (something that would have gone a long way to helping keep them), divided the money fewer ways, and played everyone more often (no north-south split).

      • SH says:

        Zeek very good analysis. I agree entirely that the biggest problem was that Baylor and TT got invitied to the party. Plus I think breaking up Neb/Ok was harmful as well. But it may be that the B12 was always destined to be an interim conference until the conditions could ripen for the other schools and the conferences they wanted. Having talked expansion for over a year, its still a little surprising to me that the B12 couldn’t survive with its power house schools, some large population bases, etc.

        • zeek says:

          It was all of those things: the Big 12 was a way to keep Iowa State/Kansas/Kansas State/Baylor relevant in a BCS conference in the center of the country; it was a place where Texas could become the mega-brand before joining one of the other 4 “better placed” conferences; it was a place where A&M could wait till it got an SEC invite; it was a place for Nebraska to be relevant until it had a Big Ten invite available; it was a place for Oklahoma to wait until it’d be able to join a Pac-12 with OSU; it was a place for Colorado to wait for Scott to shake up the Pac-10, etc.

          The Big 12 did what it needed to do for everyone involved; all of the schools in the Big 12 are better off for having been there before getting scattered to the wind.

          • Richard says:

            Good post, though I wouldn’t say Nebraska had to go to the B12 to be relevant again. They were plenty relevant (probably more so than now), winning national titles in the waning days of the Big8, but they had to clean up their image first (I think the Big10 would never be accepting UNL if they were still playing partial and non-qualifiers).

      • ChicagoRed says:

        Zeek,

        having lived in the Midlands and watched the Big 8 since the 60′s, your post is the best synopsis I’ve read on the history, general circumstances, and forces driving the Big 8/Big XII and the various players.

        Now one was “to blame” then or now, just a bastard child doomed to a short life from the start, or an arranged marriage, pick your metaphor.

        I especially agree with your point about what a windfall BXII membership was for Nebraska and Colorado, who were able to join their ultimate conference of choice using the XII as a bridge from the old CFB world to the new. Not sure the same will be said about OU and Texas but will be interesting to watch.

      • vandiver49 says:

        Zeek,

        Thanks for the insight. I’ve been trying to determine for awhile if there were any moves that could have been implemented to save the conference at its inception. I always thought it strange that the B8 schools conceded so much the the Texas refugees. I think you point that the B8 was already obsolete and the B12 was more of a new conference than adding 4 schools to 8 is somethings I’ve missed.

        I do have one quibble in that construction of the B12 IMO was similar to the of the SEC. For example, if you were to remove North GA and FL south of Orlando, the SEC is mostly empty space. Yet somehow those schools were able to band together to create a highly profitable brand name. So I’m not sold the polarization of population centers ranks nearly has highly as what you’ve stated as the prime cause the league failed; that it was simply a stop-gap measure for certain schools until there desired destination finally opened up.

        • Richard says:

          vandiver:

          Well, the SEC, even without FL and GA, has a fair bit more population than the old Big8 states. More importantly, though, besides having more top brands and a solid middle class, they are chock full of football talent. (The high plains, not so much.) Thus, even though AL & LA are 2 relatively small-population states, LSU, ‘Bama, and Auburn have all won national titles (and without having to really rely on the big population states in SEC territory to do so). Win national titles, and it’s easy to band together to create a highly profitable brand name.

          • One significant advantage the SEC has over say the B10 is they aren’t challenged near as much by the NFL. In B10 country you have the Vikings, Packers, Bears, Colts, Lions, Bengals, Browns, Steelers & Eagles. Most of which have firmly established fan bases with rich tradition…

            SEC doesn’t have the same amount of NFL competition as the B10, that is why relatively small states like Arkansas, Alabama, South Carolina, etc have huge rabid followings. The NFL teams in the SEC region are mostly newer franchises with a fraction of the following of the NFL fan bases in B10 country.

          • Richard says:

            We were comparing SEC and Big8.

            As for the B10, sure, there are NFL teams with massive followings, but that hurts mostly only Minny, Northwestern, maybe the In schools, (and maybe Michigan). Central PA is far more likely to follow the Lions first and foremost; same with Columbus (which is a decent-sized city) and OSU. South central MI and points west are far closer to MSU than the Lions (same with WI and the Packers). Iowa doesn’t have a pro team, and central Illinois is much more likely to be devoted first and foremost to the Illini. Plus, in the SEC, all of the states without pro teams (besides KY, which doesn’t have the talent base, or AK, which is small) have to share fans and talent with 2 top college teams.

          • vandiver49 says:

            Richard,

            Even back in ’95, MO and CO were still decently populated states. I think the fact the SEC was started back in 1932 when all of the respective schools were in the same position when it was created. Also, if the high plains lack talent, how was UNL able to become that dominant?

      • schwarm says:

        Nice synopsis zeek, but I will add a few comments.

        I’m pretty sure CU was invited to the PAC about the time of the formation of the Big 12, and they were still invited last year after their football program collapsed. So I don’t think they really benefited from the Big 12. Perhaps they stuck around because they were a football power in the best football conference at the time (see below).

        As a follower of Nebraska football since the 70′s, it was interesting to see how fan opinion of UNL to the Big 10 coalesced last year. You are correct that there was historic interest in joining the Big 10, but has been off the radar for many years (fortunately that fossil T. Boone reminded us). A few of the more astute fans on bulletin boards realized it would be an excellent destination, but overall there was little talk about conference change (unlike CU or Missou). Early last year a lot of UNL fans got very nervous about the fate of the Big 12, and most realized that UNL needs a stable conference to be nationally relevant. Independence or their their own network just isn’t going to cut it in a state of less than 2 million. And UNL was not going to the SEC or ACC, and the PAC didn’t seem likely with Texas and (temporary) friends apparently taking that conference to 16 teams. So there was a lot at stake last year for UNL.

        I agree with your thoughts about taking the Big 8 to 10 teams. Recall that in 1995 the Big 8 had 4 teams (half the conference (!)) in the Top 10. And that was with OU down. If the conference just adds two teams, keeps all the old rivalries, and opens up the conference to more Texas talent and TV’s, maybe it has a chance to survive. But of course that was all flushed down the drain for a new model. I guess it helped OU and UT back to national prominence.

  59. Mike says:

    Aaron Dickens (@aarondickens)

    Texas has scheduled a special BOR meeting for 3 pm Monday; conference affiliation is on the agenda

  60. Grassman says:

    Rumor from the UNC Board is that SU and Pitt are going to the ACC. Poster said this was announced on a Raleigh ESPN affiliated radio station.

    • vp19 says:

      If that’s the case, it effectively means UNC/Duke/basketball have triumphed over football, the ACC has resigned itself to being the BCS lapdog once the Big East is put out of its misery, and schools such as Florida State are fuming.

      • vp19 says:

        Another possibility — SU and Pitt are going in with Texas and Texas Tech (or Baylor), which wouldn’t make much sense from a UT perspective. Then again, this is the ACC, where basketball uber alles.

      • EZCUSE says:

        Or maybe it means compromise, with the addition of Texas and Texas Tech on one side and Pitt and Syracuse on the other. Or maybe FSU is giving bad vibes and Baylor will be joining too. That really is a series of good fits for the ACC. I always have thought that Rutgers and UConn fit better with the Big 10 someday. And WVU to the SEC makes some sense. You could switch UConn and Pitt and it still works. But I never really saw Rutgers in the ACC or Syracuse in the B1G.

        That being said, since when is ANY radio station or “board” been remotely accurate on expansion subjects? I’d sooner believe that ScarlettJohanssen_5555@hotmail.com is really her…

  61. Sidd Finch says:

    The University of Texas Board of Regents has posted a notice for an emergency telephone meeting on Monday afternoon to discuss “legal issues related to athletic conference membership and contracting” and to take action on such matters. Same day as Oklahoma.

    • Bird says:

      mattmosley Matt Mosley
      Wonder what ol’ Nebraska would think if the Horns petitioned to join the Big 10, say, next week. #osborneanddelossreunited
      1 hour ago

      mattmosley Matt Mosley
      Granada Market in Las Colinas one of DFW’s best-kept secrets. The best place to accidentally bump into Big 12 commish Dan Beebe.
      1 hour ago

      • PSUGuy says:

        I don’t think Nebraska would really have a problem because I think they are already very well “meshed” with the rest of the B1G already in mind-set. Texas could try and do whatever it wants, but it’d have 12 other schools easily able to outvote it.

        The real question is if that did happen, and the LHN was sacrificed as “proof” that Texas is serious about its new conference, how do the final slots fall out?

        Mizzou, Rutgers (I just don’t see Maryland leaving the ACC), and the world stares at Notre Dame and says “Final chance guys…”

      • metatron5369 says:

        Powers and Perlman are fairly close; it was Powers who warned Nebraska about the Pac-10′s designs on the Big XII last year.

        Nebraska would get another rival and make more money. I’m sure the leadership would love it.

      • mushroomgod says:

        Read a post on one of the forums (can’t recall which) to the effect that the “big $ donors” EBC said met with Delaney do in fact exist, and that they are pushing the BIG….while Doss wants the ACC……have NO idea whether any part of that is true……..but do know Powers has been anti-BIG, and haven’t seen anything to lead me to believe Doss is pro-BIG…..I believe I also read somewhere where Doss wanted the PAC last year, while Powers wanted to stay with the 12……..

        • Boomershine says:

          I think you are referring to this:

          http://texas.rivals.com/forum.asp?sid=902&fid=61&style=2

          Rumor: High $ Donors want B1G.

          This is hearsay, a ruumor, but I can say that there is some truth to it. According to PBC from the NW site, there was a 2nd group of UT reps who have met with the B1G. Come to find out from 2 of my co-workers, that 2nd group was indeed high dollar donors, and they are the ones who are pushing Texas to the B1G ad Dodds is pushing Texas to the ACC.

          If all is true, this makes for a very interesting situation.

    • frug says:

      According to both Orangebloods and the Austin American-Statesman (via collegefootballtalk) are reporting that the BoR will empower UT President Powers to make conference affiliation decisions unilaterally (i.e. not making him return to the BoR for approval of realignment) just as A&M did and Oklahoma might.

  62. Theta says:

    someone on orangebloods is claiming:

    Texas already has a package on the table from ESPN that would send every sport to the ACC except Football.

    Football would remain independent and get 8 home games and 4 road games that are guaranteed nat’l television on either an ESPN network, ABC, or LHN. 4 of the 12 game schedule would be against ACC teams each year. The contract would pay UT over $1 Billion.

    • mushroomgod says:

      extremely doubtful

    • @Theta – Not completely implausible, but ND sought a similar deal from the ACC back in 2003 and got rejected. I don’t think UT wants to be independent (unlike ND), but the combo of the LHN plus that extra ESPN money could certainly change some minds quickly.

    • metatron5369 says:

      That’s not even remotely plausible. They’re going to bump off Big Ten or SEC games to showcase Texas vs. Nobody?

      I almost hope it happens; it only hastens ESPN’s demise.

    • vp19 says:

      That proposal: DOA to the ACC.

    • Theta says:

      Ya guys, I don’t see the ACC doing this. Also Texas has repeatedly said they don’t want to go indy.

    • OK – let me put my tinfoil hat on for a moment. Let’s suspend our temporary disbelief and assume that the ACC is open to a hybrid conference (I will note my heavy skepticism about this being true):

      RUMOR 1: Texas and ND have been keeping each other apprised of each other’s plans and each school is the biggest potential lure to the other school if there’s Conference Armageddon.

      RUMOR 2: ACC is interested in Pitt and Syracuse.

      RUMOR 3: ACC is looking to offer UT membership in non-football sports and allow the Longhorns to be independent in football.

      RUMOR 4: Out of all of the Big East schools, ND is closest to Pitt and Syracuse. Not shockingly, those are the 2 BE schools that ND has regularly scheduled on equal terms with (unlike 1-and-done blood money games with the likes of USF and UConn). I have been told that these 3 schools were intertwined last year in conference discussions.

      FACT: ND sought non-football ACC membership in 2003 when the Big East was about to implode.

      THEORY: IF the ACC is going to go down the hybrid route, then it’s no longer going to have an objection to ND joining on a non-football basis. ND would easily and happily fulfill a 4-game requirement to play ACC teams with BC and Miami already on the schedule, potential new conference mates Pitt and Syracuse already ND regulars and historical series with Georgia Tech, Maryland and Florida State. The Irish would have an easier time providing the ACC 4 games per year than giving the BE 3 games per year (which it promised but never fulfilled) as there are a number of ACC schools that ND would play as an independent, anyway. It could also add on a Texas series and essentially keep the rest of its traditional schedule with Big Ten and Pac-12 schools intact. A full ACC football schedule never made sense for ND (as I argued earlier today), but a partial one certainly could.

      Adding Pitt and Syracuse to the ACC would give ND its 2 closest BE allies to go along with Boston College and make the non-football portion somewhat manageable geographically. Texas would also be an important ally, too. So, the ACC would have a 14-school conference that connects more fluidly up the East Coast plus the 2 most powerful brand names in college sports as non-football members.

      RATIONALE: Why would the ACC do this? Because the conference that the ACC is truly scared of poaching them isn’t the SEC. Instead, it’s the Big Ten (who can offer academic prestige on top of football dollars). Giving ND and UT homes where they basically have no football incentive to join the Big Ten means that Big Ten expansion might be precluded forever (and even have the Northeast market more locked down with Syracuse).

      This is just me thinking off the top of my head. I don’t know if the ACC would actually go for this (as they are an “all are equal” league as much as the Big Ten), but we can’t discount anything these days when schools like ND and UT might be on the move.

      • vp19 says:

        Intriguing scenario, but if I’m the University of Maryland president, it still doesn’t dissuade me from pursuing Big Ten membership. Having Texas and Notre Dame in my conference doesn’t translate into research $. I wouldn’t be surprised if administrators at Georgia Tech thought likewise, though its ties to ND over the years might preclude that.

        • vp19 says:

          Rutgers would also be available for the Big Ten under this scenario, so while Delany might not get a football king out of this, with Maryland and Rutgers he would get two schools in big states that provide plenty of BTN subscriptions.

        • @vp19 – It may not dissuade MD’s leadership, but it could very well dissaude the Big Ten from expanding altogether. That would make MD’s desires as moot as the desires of schools like Mizzou and Rutgers that also would jump in a heartbeat (which is my overarching thinking about why the ACC could possibly do this). Notre Dame is a virtual flatout requirement for a B1G 16 (if not a B1G 14).

      • zeek says:

        The only thing that makes me really pause on these scenarios is just how anti-expansion UNC and Duke are. The ACC had such a hard time bringing in FSU as well as Miami/Va Tech/BC that it’s hard for me to see a majority of their schools agreeing to that.

        Then again, we saw how USC threw around its weight in forcing the Cali schools to accept the Arizona schools into a Pac-10.

        FSU might be angling for the same approach in such a scenario.

        But again, that scenario you posited is not really any different from anything PBC has posted, and it “works” as a logical outcome in the same way.

        • frug says:

          The only thing that makes me really pause on these scenarios is just how anti-expansion UNC and Duke are

          It depends on how far UNC and Duke are willing to go to stop realignment and whether or not anyone will stand with them. The reason is that Stanford and Cal caved back in the ’70s was the fact that USC and UCLA made clear they would leave the conference if the AZ schools were not added, and the Oregon and Washington schools were in favor of expansion.

          UNC and Duke don’t really have the same option that USC and UCLA had. Independence isn’t an option so the only way they could hang this deal up is to lean on NC-State, Wake Forrest and UVa (FSU might also try and block this but it would do so for its own reasons).

          True, they could threaten to join the Big 10, but that would defeat the whole purpose of trying to preserve the status quo.

          • GreatLakeState says:

            They aren’t called the Demon Deacons for nothin’.
            Let’s just hope those Tar heels……drag their feet as well.

      • Patrick says:

        I think a slight adjustment to that, Frank.

        Texas goes ACC with Pitt and Syracuse all in, Boston College leaves the ACC

        and joins the Big Ten with Notre Dame.

        Oklahoma and Ok State go to the Pac 12 and Missouri and Texas A&M go SEC

        The 4 big conferences at 14 – hopefully leading to some temporary stability after the Big lEast picks up the leftover Big 12 scraps that are palatable.

        • vp19 says:

          BC isn’t an institutional fit for the Big Ten, which isn’t going to accede to that kind of ND demand (if ND would make that kind of demand in the first place). Also BC is ridiculously overvalued, as it’s delivered next to nothing for the ACC where the Boston market is concerned.

      • drwillini says:

        Interesting scenario, but I think the ACC has too much conference pride to turn itself into a TV prostitute, ala the Big East. The ACC presidents will believe there is somethign special about an ACC school that is not captured by all-but-football memberships. Scott/Delany/Slive & perhaps now Scott are the “stratego” players, but eventually they have to get their schemes approved by the presidents that have the real brand concern. If this happens it could be a great thing for the B1G. Within a few years the B1G will be very attractive to the ACC core. To me this will be a more compatible conference than one including ND and UT that have not checked their egos in at the door.

        • Richard says:

          Fear makes people do irrational things, and while VTech has professed undying devotion to the ACC, losing FSU (which could make UMD, UVa, and VTech; maybe GTech and/or BC and/or Clemson ripe for the picking by the SEC and/or B10) could force the NC braintrust in to thinking that _if_ the ‘Noles do go, they better have picked up some pretty good reasons for the other non-NC schools to stay.

          The irony is that adding ND and Texas as partial members may hasten the departure of FSU, and if they decide on the B10 (and there’s mutual interest), possibly Miami as well. Still, that may happen anyway, and it makes sense for the NC braintrust to add Pitt & Syracuse (which would also solidify the northern schools of the ACC) & get ND & Texas on board in some fashion before that happens. An ACC that has ND & Texas on board in some way (and willing to play 4 games each against ACC opponents) is going to be more enticing to Pitt and ‘Cuse than an ACC that doesn’t have FSU (and maybe Miami).

      • DDDCCC says:

        So does Texas then have to go on bended knee to the BCS to try to get a sweetheart deal like Notre Dame? I’m assuming since they’re not part of the ACC conference structure that they would not be eligible for the ACCs auto-bid.

        If Texas works a back-door deal with ESPN and the ACC behind the Big 10 and Pac 12s back, how easy do you think it’s going to be to get that sweetheart deal … and how soon before Notre Dame’s gets … “mysteriously removed”?

      • Abe says:

        This sounds very plausible… and epically disappointing. Effectively, it changes nothing. Texas and ND keep the same schedule essentially – other than adding one another. Syracuse/Pitt to ACC is hardly world changing. Sure it kills the Big East… but it was already dead.

        Sigh. I actually think that takes us FURTHER from the 16 team conference. What does the B1G do then? Missouri? who else… This sucks.

        • Richard says:

          Hail Mary for FSU (and Miami). If that doesn’t work, just sit tight at 12 (and wait for Texas to drive the ACC to implosion some day).

          Patience, grasshopper.

      • curious2 says:

        Re: UT, ND, Pitt, SU, ACC speculation (Frank)

        Frank: brilliant post;
        even understanding this may not be true; and just the latest UT spin, if your speculation is how events unfold, this will be a conclusion that I doubt anyone would have forseen yet has a huge amount of logic.

        And amazingly now there is this report in the NYTimes that something may really be happening.

        For ACC: if they could add ND and UT for all sports but football, with 4 football games from each, that could be a huge benefit for the ACC should they use these non-football conference games for their own channel at some future point, not to mention the benefit of adding 8 UT, ND ACC football games for national or regional TV.

        It’s not just the inventory: more importantly, the ACC brand becomes changed from a regional conference to the equivalent of an east coast PAC, with ND reinforcing the northern part of the brand and UT reinforcing the south.

        Further, contrary to the idea UT would drag along TT or other midwest teams, creating a true hodgepodge, here there is a geographic logic, where the ACC fills out its northern space with Pitt, excellent large public school and SU, excellent private school, in important states, filling in the geographic and emotional space now separating BC from the other conference members. And avoids possible lack of conference unity that a UT contingent of tag-along schools would create.

        Adding UT and ND on these terms is clearly the strongest add for the ACC:

        The ACC is vulnerable with a relatively weak TV deal, face the threat of an SEC or Big 10 move if the PAC also goes beyond 12, and are currently top-heavy in NC with 4 teams, and compete with the SEC in FL, GA, SC for viewer interest. They are under pressure:

        Questions:

        If this happens, does this make FSU and VT want to remain?

        UT would be moving into a brand new world; from a very regional mindset to a partnership with schools many states away, without the advantage of regional partners of TT, OK, OSU, and the AZ schools the PAC would offer. Is this really acceptable to UT fans? Perhaps the LHN ironically makes this less of a problem since it permits unparalled coverage of UT athletics.

        For ND, this aligns them with many excellent private and medium size public schools, in a true east coast conference, with UT included and preserves their football independance.

        This would be quite amazing if this happens;

        Will the Big 10 or PAC make a counter offer?

        • Richard says:

          curious:

          It could very well drive FSU away. Adding the northern schools (at least Pitt) should strengthen VTech’s bonds with the ACC.

          • curious2 says:

            Re: impact on FSU (Richard)

            FSU’s decision to form expansion committee presumably means they want to explore SEC option or they want to influence ACC expansion.

            Yet, what would be FSU’s goal for ACC expansion?

            Do they want UT as a full member only?

            Is there another school they want ACC to add?

            If FSU is SEC bound, what does VT do and would ACC remain attractive for UT and ND?

          • Richard says:

            curious:

            Considering that the BE was attractive enough for ND, I’m plenty certain that the ACC sans FSU (or more) would still be far above the sufficient level for both ND and Texas to park their non-football sports. I mean, the ACC + Pitt + ‘Cuse – FSU (and either – Miami or + UConn) would be an even stronger bball conference.

    • greg says:

      ESPN is now handing out ACC invites? Some folks will believe anything.

    • Richard says:

      Theta:

      Hard to believe that an independent Texas would not do a 7-1-4 (preserving the Red River Shootout).

      8 home-and-homes (4 ACC, 1 TAMU. . .maybe, and 3 others). 3 guarantee games.
      Or maybe Texas would do a bunch of 2-for-1s with Rice, Houston, etc.

  63. mushroomgod says:

    Lots of rumors swirling this evening about various BE schools possibly going to the ACC…….Pitt, Syracuse, U Conn, Rutgers fans all paying attention……..

    If TC DOESN’t go to ACC, but rather to PAC, does ACC take those 4 to get to 16?

    If I was a WV fan I’d be pretty nervous, and praying for that SEC invite……..

  64. GreatLakeState says:

    Second look at Oklahoma?
    If the PAC deal falls through without Texas, an Oklahoma/Maryland combo would work, but I don’t think Maryland would come.

  65. Gopher86 says:

    Former KU AD sheds a little light on last year’s realignment:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/seth_davis/09/16/Kansas.Big.12/?xid=cnnbin

    Seth Davis gets a C- on this piece. It would have been a B+, but he ended with a banal Wizard of Oz reference.

  66. Gopher86 says:

    Something has really been sticking with me from the Atlantic piece. It was when the shoe guy told the Knight commission that ‘you’ll take our money’.

    Delany, Scott, Slive, etc. are smart enough to know that they have the means of production here. The big picture often gets tossed aside in favor of the details and fun cloak-and-dagger rumors. What all this ultimately comes down to is a turf war over control of the college football medium.

    Small conferences mean de-centralized power, more small market teams, more mediocre AQ teams, etc. In other words, ESPN is able to divide and conquer. The ACC doesn’t want to play on Thursday night? Ok, the Big 12 will.

    When you have big conferences, you have: (1) Fewer potential bidders for slots (2) A clear demarkation between quality (B1G, SEC, Pac, ACC) and mediocre (Big 12 remains, Big East remains, WAC, MtnW, MAC, Sun Belt). This means ESPN and the likes can’t low ball or play the field as much. In effect, 4 superconferences could be college football’s attempt at unionizing against the networks.

    Think about it– there are hundreds of millions of dollars on the table for a playoff. Why do you think the leagues haven’t jumped at the opportunity? (1) Because they don’t want to share it with any of the small market AQs or non-AQ leagues (2) They’ll all get a bigger slice of the pie if the four superconference leagues are under the same banner at the bargaining table. It makes no sense to start a playoff system now and risk getting (1) stuck with small time teams in the system (2) getting lowballed.

    ESPN may have its faults, but they aren’t stupid– they see this coming. They’re going to do all they can to keep this from happening. UT was given blood money, and will get even more if they play their cards right. Every year that ESPN drives a wedge into the superconference model, they collect millions of dollars that might otherwise have fallen into the pockets of a united group of conferences.

    This is why I firmly believe that the LHN will survive. What ever league takes UT on with the LHN will serve as ESPN’s vessel to mitigate any chance of a playoff system. Why would any league agree to such a thing? Money. You’ve got three leagues that are interested in UT and all three claim to be tied to the equal revenue model. One of them will cave. Guess which one has an under-valued contract with ESPN?

    The ACC will add UT and the LHN because ESPN can offer a $100mm a year bump to the other schools. In return, ESPN guarantees a degree of chaos and prevents the ACC from ever unionizing. They’ll take their money.

    • MIKEUM says:

      This is exactly right. Those who control the product (conferences as of now) will eventually control the distribution medium. Conference networks are ESPN’s worst nightmare because one day they may no longer need ESPN to distribute or ESPN is reduced to an additional medium. Now, everyone has seen the NFL network struggle for viability and carriage, but the fact remains that as technology advances to advance the distribution means of the product, the Fox’s and the NBC’s of teh world may not be as necessary.

      • vandiver49 says:

        MIKEUM,

        While conference owed networks might prove viable, they won’t actually kill ESPN. While everyone thinks eliminating the middleman would be great for the sports fan, Frank has shown in previous posts that such a move would be self-destructive to the bottom line. No conference will ever own the distribution hardware itself, whether that be the Internet or airwaves, b/c of the capital costs are staggering. So even if you believe that you’ll be able to select that games you want via the ‘net, you really think Comcast and AT&T are going to just sit around and NOT find a way to monetize this demand thats hogging all its bandwidth?

    • vandiver49 says:

      Gopher,

      I read the article and found it very entertaining. I’m glad many people distanced themselves from the whole ‘slavery’ again (since everyone enters into the college football world voluntarily. I happen to think that athletics is one of the few arenas where Marxists principles are applicable(the other people employ owned businesses) since the players don’t just own the means of production, THEY are the product. Unfortunately, no one yet seems willing to ackwowlege the fundamental problem in paying football and mbb players; (Frank, maybe you could tackle this one) That the best solution is the least profitable.

      Everyone knows that minor league football would be the best solutions, but it wouldn’t generate anywhere near the revenue that CFB enjoys right now. The name of the front of the jersey has a significant dollar value attached to it and transferring that over seems impossible (I once read that you could just make the two sports for profits centers similar to a univ owed tech park but I don’t see how public univ could pull that off) So while you have people thrown around number like $120,000.00 for the value of a CFB player, there appears to no way for that player to see that money in the current system.

  67. Pitt and Syracuse to the ACC story has been slightly upgraded from “message board rumor” to “New York Times report”:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/17/sports/ncaafootball/syracuse-and-pitt-in-talks-with-acc.html?_r=1

    • zeek says:

      My question is what models they’re looking at (replacement of 2 to 12? or expansion to 14?), and why the FSU saber rattling at this moment in time (aimed at warning of leaving or pro-expansion message for UNC-Duke and anyone else hesitant).

      Somewhere in those 4 possibilities in parenthesis are probably the answers.

      My guess is that the ACC is looking at a 14 team model, but I guess you can’t discount the wild 16 team model (14 football) with Texas/ND. They’ve definitely been approached by all these parties, so you never know at this point.

      • zeek says:

        One thing I will add though is that while I’m a skeptic of the Texas/ND business or FSU->SEC, this begs the question of “Why Pitt/Syracuse?”

        Neither will get ESPN to reopen its deal with the ACC; neither will change the fundamental economics of the ACC; both together don’t really justify a move to 14.

        The only real answer to “Why Pitt/Syracuse?” is that something outside-the-box is on the horizon in terms of Texas/ND or FSU because I don’t see how a move to 14 really does anything.

        • Richard says:

          zeek:

          I think you’re exactly right. If the ACC is raiding the BE again at this exact moment, that means either Texas and/or ND is coming in some form or FSU is leaving (or both).

          With ND & Texas (and Pitt & ‘Cuse) coming, the ACC solidifies their northern flank so that BC, UMD, and (especially) VTech and UVa stay even if FSU leaves.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      The possibility of the ACC making the first actual move puts things into perspective regarding the various insiders who have talked about what is going to happen in absolutes.

    • M says:

      Wow things are moving fast on this. It skipped right over the “Missouri radio station” stage.

    • Gopher86 says:

      I like how they called the Pitt Chancellor at home, twice.

      This move makes sense for the ACC, because:
      (1) It creates an open season on the Big East, which may distract other large fish from nibbling on the ACC. The focus is now on free agents like Rutgers and WVU, rather than ACC targets.
      (2) It guarantees that the Big East becomes the AQ version of C-USA. The ACC could have taken KU & MU, which probably have more value. However, it stretches their footprint and doesn’t weaken the Big East’s East Coast footprint. This makes the ACC the de facto East Coast conference.

      This isn’t a ‘football is driving the bus’ play, this is a long term strategy / leverage play.

    • wm wolverines says:

      Pitt and Syracuse make a lot of sense even without all the other expansion hoopla going around everywhere else…

      Big East without those two shouldn’t be an automatic BCS bid conference. Who would be left? UConn, Rutgers, WV, TCU, Cincy, Louisville & South Florida. Only a few of those were even in a BCS conference in 2003.

      ACC should just put the nail in the Big East’s coffin and take UConn & Rutgers too.

      • Redhawk says:

        @wm Wolverines

        You forgot Iowa State, K-state and Baylor

      • Gopher86 says:

        As Redhawk points out, the Big 12 and Big East remains will merge to keep a fifth AQ league going. No need to pick up UConn and Rutgers– they’ll be there when the dust settles.

        An old rule about fighting– always throw the first punch, aim for the nose and follow through as if going through the head. The ACC has made the first move on its terms, it targeted two schools that add to their footprint at the expense of their chief competitor, both meet the academic standards, it sets up a nice landing spot for ND (rivalry wise) and it pre-empts any strike by the B1G or the SEC.

        The SEC can scoop up WVU without uproar (as opposed to an onerous process to bed FSU) and the B1G can forget about a NYC or Beltway play with a strengthened ACC.

        • Richard says:

          I can’t see the SEC choosing WVU over Mizzou (or FSU). Well, OK, I could, but I think it would be stupid.

          The thing, though, is that I don’t see how picking up Pitt and ‘Cuse satisfies FSU. Taking the BE schools would help keep the northern end of the ACC in the fold, but to FSU, it’d just means more non-brand name faraway cold-weather schools it’ll have on its schedule. Even giving ND and Texas special leeway probably sticks in the Nole’s craw as they think of themselves as much of a king as those 2 (though FSU obviously doesn’t have the same market power).

          I think FSU is still very much in play (either as the 14th school in the SEC or to the B10 with Miami).

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            @Richard
            “I can’t see the SEC choosing WVU over Mizzou (or FSU).”

            Why can’t all three come with aTm to go to 16?

        • B10 is only interested in ND or Texas at this point, this doesn’t affect them in the least. They might add a Syracuse, Rutgers or Missouri in addition to one of the two kings that aren’t really even available (ND & Texas) but I can’t see them adding two of those Big XII/Big East schools.

          • Gopher86 says:

            I guess the point I was making is that the ACC’s move cuts off a B1G attempt to feather a ND nest. Maybe it means something, maybe it doesn’t. It certainly complicates any future B1G attempt at setting up an East coast block in an effort to lure ND into the fold.

          • Dcphx says:

            I interpreted FSU’s sabre rattling to be a warning not to add UT. UT in for all but football is the same result for FSU.

      • frug says:

        Techincally a Big East without Pitt and Syracuse could not be an AQ conference since you team 8 teams to be a conference at the DI-A level.

      • rgd213 says:

        Correct me if I’m wrong… But doesn’t a conference have to retain 5 existing members to retain AQ status to began with? The Big East is in serious trouble of being able to do just that with the lose of Syracuse and Pitt. I can see W.Virginia and U Conn and possibly Louisville going elsewhere. If that were to happen even the addition of Iowa St , Kansas St , Kansas, and Missouri won”t save the AQ Bid….The samething exsist in the Big 12.

        • @rgd213 – Back in the 1990s, a whole slew of Sun Belt schools left that league. What the NCAA did was broker a deal where the American South Conference would merge with the Sun Belt, with the incentive being that new leaguewould retain all of the Sun Belt’s NCAA Tournament credits. I could easily see some type of similar merger between the remnants of the Big 12 and Big East so that one league would retain all of the NCAA credits and an AQ bid.

          • rgd213 says:

            Ok.. seems like if I’m in the Big 12 and I have Baylor, Missouri, Iowa St, Kansas, and K.St left..Why would i take the chance of joining the Big East…….If I don,t know for sure that the AQbid remains with the Big East, when in reality the Big 12 would still have the 5 required? Seems chancy to me …..without knowing for sure 1st

          • rgd213 says:

            Let me put it another way…In this day and age could you not see another conference suing the NCAA for having rules on just such a thing and going back on them instead of awarding the AQ bid to a different conference…..Another sign that the rules can be bent for the Big Boys…and again keeping the big money away from the other….or small guys who are in the process of qualifing now?

    • duffman says:

      It tells not that the ACC is proactive, but that they are adding two, because they are about to lose 2 or 3.

      • Gopher86 says:

        I read it differently. If UT (and by extension, ESPN) has a hand in this, it could mean the ACC is in for a windfall.

      • frug says:

        I think it’s both. It puts them in a position to grab future schools if necessary, but also gives them insurance if they are raided.

      • Richard says:

        duff, that’s my take as well, though I don’t think they lose more than one unless FSU decides on the B10 (and Delany & company finds them acceptable), joining with Miami or GTech.

        Gopher:
        How would the windfall be justified? They’d have to seriously overpay to get the ACC up to what the Pac got, and remember that the Pac got their lucrative deal only with Fox partnering with ESPN to take some of the Saturday inventory (allowing ESPN to fill weekday slots with Pac games).

        I think ESPN would be happy to have both Texas and ND locked as indies for the foreseeable future even if it means losing FSU.

        • Gopher86 says:

          Maybe so. We all know the ACC’s contract is 1/3 – 1/2 of fair market value. Bumping it up a little to insure that Texas doesn’t jump into a league that would kill off their $1b investment may be worth it. UT wants the B1G or the Pac (for rivalries), but it wants to save the LHN first. ESPN also gets a seat at the table in any future ACC dealings, which can’t be underestimated.

    • Jake says:

      Lots of people in that report making exactly the non-statements you expect from someone about to switch conferences. Sigh. Well, here we go again. I deceived myself into thinking the latest round of conference roulette might be different, that THIS time sweet fortune might smile upon TCU and its league du jour, or that, at the very least, after a 15-year-long sojourn through the underbelly of college football the mighty tectonic forces that periodically rain sudden, terrible destruction upon the landscape might allow us to settle in our new house before shaking its foundations to dust, but enough fooling around: the Big East was doomed from the moment the Frogs tricked that unwieldy confederation into extending an invitation. Now there’s nothing left for it but to survey the smoking wreckage of our future home, banish the tantalizing visions of much-speculated NBC/Comcast contracts, and start looking for another willing suicide pact partner. Who’s it going to be, folks? Pac-16? Zombie Big 12? The MAC’s been a bit too stable lately, don’t you think?

      My Friday night drunk has been slightly upgraded from “pleasant buzz” to “Christopher Moltisanti’s night on the town with Roger Sterling.”

  68. Cd says:

    Dude, you know your shit…you need a column with a national pub

  69. AJ says:

    Football is driving this bus, but the ACC agrees to take Texas in everything BUT football??? How does this rumor make sense at all?

  70. bobo the feted says:

    It’s kinda foolish to be an independent in the era of 16 team super conferences don’t you think? Why would UT and ND continue to do this when schools are lining up to join? Also regarding UT to the ACC – this makes sense because the LHN and ACC (all tiers of media) are owned by ESPN, how does ND going to the ACC make sense (their media contracts are owned by NBC).

    • Richard says:

      The era of 16 team superconferences isn’t going to begin (in large part, it seems, because ESPN and the other networks don’t want it to, for good reason).

  71. Abe says:

    This is a disaster for the B1G if true. ACC goes to 14… SEC will be at 13 with 14 to come. PAC will be 14…

    B1G will be at 12 with no one to add.

  72. Abe says:

    If this is possible, the B1G should make an immediate run at FSU, Maryland, UNC, Duke, GT, and BC. Screw the ACC. If they pull this, let’s destroy it. We have more money than the ACC and equal – if not better – academics.

    • Richard says:

      Patience, Abe. FSU would be worth it (and I think they will be in play). The B10 could try to get FSU and Miami. The Noles could very well go to the SEC, though. In that case, just wait for Texas to work its magic and for the ACC to implode a decade or so later.

      • Abe says:

        If your going to let ND/Tex stay independent and keep nationwide audiences, then we HAVE to attack the east coast. This is about television sets. Once Texas and ND are off the table, It’s simply not a choice. So I think it starts with FSU and Maryland.

        In short, the B1G should attack the ACC right now. This is not the time to sit back… Let’s get these TV markets asap. This might render the ACC unstable. That’s unfortunate and I’m sorry for that.

        Independence has been of questionable value to ND over the past 20 years. Its not clear that it will be a major win for UT either. Still, if this is their choice, we have to do what’s best for us.

        • Richard says:

          FSU & Miami. The ‘Noles would want a partner, and I doubt UMD is their first choice.

          Maybe GTech instead of Miami, but I think they’re harder to pry away and not as attractive as the U.

  73. SuperD says:

    I guess this kinda makes sense under a UT goes indy / ESPN only playing for containment of Slive/Delaney/Scott scenario.

    Show of hands from any folks who thought that the frigging ACC could end up with UT and ND as associate members as the end game to all the realignment stuff we’ve been discussing for more than a year.

  74. zeek says:

    Everyone needs to be patient here. As I stated before, just Pitt and Syracuse in a move to 14 is not necessarily an apparent winner for the ACC or anything close to the endgame right now. The contracts aren’t going to be redone by ESPN for Pitt/Syracuse (so everyone would have to take an effective paycut to do that). They’re not gaining a CCG for expanding like Utah/Colorado or Ark/SC for the Pac-10/SEC.

    Yes, in the medium/longer term it would neutralize the Big East, but that’s not a good enough reason to expand. I’m skeptical that the 12 ACC schools (and especially schools like FSU/Va Tech/Maryland with options or UNC/Duke for that matter) are going to take a paycut to allow Pitt/Syracuse in right now unless ESPN surprisingly built in an expansion provision, but it’s hard to see why Pitt/Syracuse are enough to justify a contract enhancement for the ACC.

    Something has to be happening with Texas or ND or FSU for the ACC to be calling Pitt/Syracuse. Harming the Big East is not a good enough reason for the ACC to go to 14 at the apparent detriment of its members’ paychecks…

  75. [...] thinking about this rumor a little bit, though, I posted this comment on my previous blog post connecting Notre Dame, Texas, Pitt and Syracuse (which happened to be [...]

  76. rod cherrington says:

    Go Nitts and go Hawkeyes!

  77. GreatLakeState says:

    Have to give ESPN/ACC credit. Not only are they being pro-active but understand that there has to be a certain amount of give-and-take in this process to come out on top. the PAC appears to know this (OkSt) as does the ACC (Pitt/Syracuse). Hopefully the Big Ten, having been caught flat footed yet again, will just stand pat instead of expanding for expansion sake.

    • zeek says:

      I’m not really sure the Big Ten has an option here if the ACC is really willing to give Texas and ND their quasi-independence.

      The only option the Big Ten would have is to go after OU/OSU as a combo or something? I mean the Big Ten isn’t really in a position to take schools if they’re looking for other types of deals…

  78. Madison Hawk says:

    The B1G is in a very good position and does not need to do anything. The B1G studied its expansion options very carefully during the last round of realignment. If the B1G wanted to, it could have any combination of Missouri, Pitt, Syracuse, Rutgers and UConn last year. The B1G chose to take Nebraska and stay at 12 because none of those teams added sufficient incremental value.

    If the B1G did not expand for those teams last summer, it certainly will not add teams (other then Texas, Notre Dame and possibly North Carolina, Duke, Maryland, Virginia, FSU), if they were ever interested. The B1G is in a great position in that it can stay at 12 for a while and let other conferences make the move to 14 and 16. There will inevitably will be a lot of indigestion in that process and the B1G can benefit down the road.

    • Gopher86 says:

      Bingo. The B1G will not be reactive in their next move. UT & ND will continue to press their luck over the next 10-15 years, and if things fall apart the B1G will be right there to pick up the pieces.

  79. Husker Al says:

    I’ve been reading these threads for over a year now, and have been caught up in the TV and revenue numbers and the drama surrounding every new rumor as much as anybody else.

    But I have come to believe minimal realignment is best for the entire college football brand.

    Nebraska fans have the unique experience of being part of two conference realignments in 15 years, both as a founding member of a conference and as the new guy in another. We have experienced the compromises to important rivalries, and thought about what moving to a conference that is a “better fit” actually means. From this fan’s point of view, the importance of cultural identities and rivalries cannot be overstated. Diminishing the NU/OU rivalry certainly contributed to Husker fans’ disconnect with the Big 12, but games against Baylor and Texas Tech, A&M and Texas damaged it even more.

    People who live in the Southwest and Midwest perceive each other as having different mindsets, different values, different struggles. Having lived in both areas I think that perception doesn’t quite match reality, but that regional differences exist is indisputable.

    The reason the Big Ten is a fit in the eyes of many Nebraska fans is Iowa. Wisconsin. Minnesota. Michigan. We share the hardships of brutal winters and destructive springs. We are largely aligned politically. There is a strong agricultural connection. Similar bonds exist for the SEC and the ACC.

    Destroying those bonds as part of an intellectual game of Realignment Risk will unquestionably have an impact on the product and the fan base. Even talking about eliminating the Red River Rivalry is preposterous. The thought of breaking up Alabama/Tennessee or Georgia/Florida is absurd. For a great many people, the Big Ten vs the SEC and Pac 12 aren’t just rivalries between conferences – they are rivalries between regions.

    The average football fan in Seattle or Eugene is not excited about Oklahoma joining their conference, especially if it means fewer games against USC/UCLA. I cannot believe that the average fan in Columbus or Iowa City is excited about a rotating pod system in order to accommodate the likes of Rutgers or even Texas. Destroying those regional ties is a mistake.

    I’ve seen studies that show the median age of the college football fan is increasing. If TPTB are really looking 50 years into the future they need to consider that the best rivalries are those passed down from generation to generation. Sacrificing those games in search of TV dollars may lead to four 16-team superconferences in the short term, but I suspect we will shift back to six 10-12 team regional conferences within 25 years.

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