Boyz II Men, ACC, BBD: The Atlantic Coast Family Looks to Add Pitt and Syracuse (and What it Means for Texas, Notre Dame and the Big Ten)

Posted: September 16, 2011 in Big East, Big Ten, College Basketball, College Football, Sports

What have I kept saying for over a year now? The ACC is much stronger than what people give it credit for.  Pete Thamel of the New York Times is reporting that the ACC is in discussions with Pitt and Syracuse.  This rumor had been floating around in some circles for a couple of days and then confirmed by this story on Friday night.  The latest news is on top of word that the respective Boards of Regents for both Oklahoma and Texas are meeting on Monday to authorize their presidents to negotiate and make decisions about conference membership.  This was a step that Texas A&M took right before it received its SEC invite last month, so a board action is more of a signal of the end of a process as opposed to a beginning.

Now, if we want to look at Thamel’s report as a straightforward story, we can just surmise that the ACC simply wants to go up to 14 schools with two institutions that are fantastic fits athletically, academically and culturally.  However, I’m going to put my tinfoil hat on for a moment (to the extent that all of you don’t already believe that I wear one 24/7/365).  We already know that one monster from Austin is looking at the ACC.  What are the repercussions for that other monster that lives in South Bend?  Let’s go through two scenarios that deal with two separate rumors that are circulating heavily in the blogosphere/Twitterverse/message board world (I’m not claiming either are valid, but rather performing a mental exercise in seeing how various dominoes can fall):


The hot new rumor via Orangebloods (from a connected insider but not Chip Brown) is that Texas is looking to go independent for football and will then place all of its non-football sports in the ACC.  As part of this deal, Texas would play 4 ACC schools per year while ESPN would effectively be footing the bill on all fronts by increasing the currently below-market ACC contract along with paying a gargantuan amount of cheddar to the UT to televise all of its home games on one of its networks (ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 or LHN).

My initial knee-jerk reaction to this: there’s absolutely NFW that UNC or Duke would sign up for this.  The ACC is as much of an “all for one and one for all” conference as the Big Ten and it would be massively out of character.  Plus, it would seem to make little sense for the ACC to take in UT without football (which is where the ACC needs the most help, especially to ensure schools like Florida State don’t leave).

After 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 several hours before the New York Times broke the Pitt/Syracuse to the ACC story).  Here’s an updated version of it encompassing the latest developments (follow the chain):

CONFIRMED: Pitt and Syracuse are speaking with the ACC.

RUMOR 1: Texas and Notre Dame 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 looking to offer UT membership in non-football sports and allow the Longhorns to be independent in football.

GENERAL PERCEPTION: Out of all of the Big East schools, Notre Dame is closest to Pitt and Syracuse. Not shockingly, those are the 2 Big East schools that Notre Dame has regularly scheduled on equal terms with (unlike their 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, including with the Big Ten.

FACT: Notre Dame sought non-football ACC membership in 2003 when the Big East was about to implode, which the ACC reject.

THEORY: IF the ACC is going to go down the hybrid route, then it’s no longer going to have an objection to Notre Dame joining on a non-football basis. Notre Dame would easily and happily fulfill a 4-game requirement to play ACC teams with Boston College, Maryland and Miami already on the schedule in coming years, Big East mates Pitt and Syracuse already regular opponents and historical series with Georgia Tech and Florida State.  So, the Irish would have a much easier time providing the ACC 4 games per year than giving the Big East 3 games per year (which it promised back in 2003 but never fulfilled) as there are a number of ACC schools that ND would play as an independent, anyway. It could have a new annual series with Texas and essentially keep the rest of its traditional schedule with Navy, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, USC and Stanford intact. A full ACC football schedule would never make sense for ND (as I argued separately here), but a partial one certainly could.

Ultimately, the ACC would have a 14-school football conference that connects more fluidly up the East Coast and a 16-school league for all other sports with the 2 most powerful brand names in college athletics  (Notre Dame and Texas) as 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 expanding that mortifies them as Jim Delany can offer academic prestige (which is key for the ACC) on top of a war chest of football dollars.  I’ve long stated that the Big Ten isn’t going to be expanding with Notre Dame and/or Texas (and in turn, could try to go up to 16 with schools like Maryland, Virginia and/or Virginia Tech).  Therefore, if the ACC provides homes to those superpowers where they basically have no football incentive to join the Big Ten, it means that Big Ten expansion might be precluded virtually forever.

This is just me thinking off the top of my head. I don’t know if the ACC would actually go for this since they are very much an “all members are equal” league, but we can’t discount anything these days when schools like Notre Dame and Texas might be on the move and ESPN possibly offering Pac-12/Big Ten/SEC dollars to the ACC to give them incentives to make concessions.


Let’s flip Scenario 1 on its head.  Once again, we’ll assume that the ACC takes Syracuse and Pitt.  However, the ACC refuses to deal with a hybrid model (which would probably be wise).  Regardless, the ACC’s move will obviously create a great amount of instability in the Big East, which is what many of us believed the Big Ten would try to do last year by targeting other members of that conference in order to lure Notre Dame.  Ultimately, there are really only two scenarios where Notre Dame joins a conference: (A) there are 4 16-school superconferences with a playoff system and the Irish need to join one of them in order to structurally compete for the national championship or (B) the Big East collapses and Notre Dame has no option better than the Atlantic 10 or a league made up of the Big East leftovers to put its non-football sports in (which some alums might say would be fine in order to preserve independence, but I know others with connections there that have said otherwise).

This gets us to the famous (at least in conference realignment circles) Purple Book Cat scenario of the Big Ten having invites out to Notre Dame and Texas.  As stated in Scenario 1, the theory all along is that the presence of Notre Dame would be the single biggest attraction to Texas in terms of joining a conference and vice versa.  However, Notre Dame ain’t joining the Big 12 and any hypothetical new conference formed by them (which is a popular option among many Texas fans) likely would contain largely a “meh” combo of Big 12 and Big East leftovers, anyway.

With the Big 12 and Big East collapsing (and none of it done at the initiation of the Big Ten), it plays right into Jim Delany’s hands to put the Purple Book Cat scenario into motion.  From a financial and national exposure standpoint, there’s no conference combination that would be more powerful than what I had affectionately called The “Fuck You Pay Me” Conference featuring the Big Ten plus Notre Dame and Texas.  Maybe the Big Ten could add two more schools to get up to 16, but there might not be any point in doing so (especially if 14 becomes the new revenue maximizing conference membership number the way that 12 is today).  Notre Dame and Texas would see that even equal shares of “Fuck You, Pay Me” Conference revenue would make their respective NBC and LHN contracts look like pocket change and thereby be convinced to join.

Once again – is this happening?  No one knows.  It’s still hard to see the Big Ten making any concessions on the LHN, but this conference realignment process has already seen a lot of leagues and schools do the unexpected.



Enjoy the games this weekend.  (Go Illini!  Go Bears!)  Come Monday, we might be looking at a completely different college sports world.

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

(Image from LastFM)

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  1. frug says:

    What have I kept saying for over a year now? The ACC is much stronger than what people give it credit for.

    With all respect, I’m not sure this proves your theory. The question wasn’t if the ACC was strong enough to attack the Big East (it was always assumed they would if expansion became necessary), it was whether the league was strong enough to defend itself from the SEC and the Big 10. Now, the possibility of UT was never really considered (there had been talk of ND), but all that proves is that its strong enough to provide a home for schools that can’t get what they want from other conferences.

  2. Greg says:

    I’d love for option 2 to be the case…. Unfortunately I think option 1 is more likely.

    Why is the hybrid conference so bad for the ACC? It ensure its survival.

  3. zeek says:

    My problem with this whole bit of news out of the NYT is that I don’t think the ACC goes to 14 with Pitt/Syracuse unless something happens.

    I really don’t see ESPN upping the ACC deal unless something crazy is worked out with Texas/ND. The alternative of course is the idea of FSU or Va Tech or Maryland jumping the ship and the ACC needing replacements. That’s the much more natural course, but it certainly wouldn’t be possible to view the ACC as speaking from a position of strength if they’re moving to 14 because they expect a move back down to 12 in the near future.

    Whatever else, I’ll be shocked if the ACC moves to 14 with Pitt/Syracuse and that’s all that happens. I don’t see how that’s a viable result considering it would seem to just lessen everyone’s payday (which certainly can’t help the stability front with respect to FSU/Va Tech/Maryland).

    In this case, the most boring scenario seems to be the most unlikely, which I think may be a new thing as far these discussions go…

    • Phil says:

      I don’t agree that adding Syracuse and Pitt would be a dilution for the ACC members. I have been posting for a while that the end of this just had to result in the Big East being severely weakened or destroyed, because ESPN is losing the rights to the Big East in 2013 and doesn’t want NBC to be able to get that live content for its competing sports channel.

      Since the Big East has refused to resign with ESPN and was going to take their rights package to the open market, ESPN may have decided to take some of the money they offered the BE to reup and instead give it to the ACC to break the Big East up.

      • EZCUSE says:

        This is what I have seen saying with the A&M rumors broke. ESPN and the Big East are causing this.

        The ESPN was part of CREATING the Big East. ESPN offered a massive financial raise. The Big East probably did the right thing in saying “not so fast.” But ESPN is understandably pissed. Whereas the Big 12 allowed itself to be saved by ESPN, the Big East kind of blew off ESPN, rejecting a deal at the last minute. All of this is in response to the Big East and ESPN.

        If you are ESPN and your choices are to (a) pay even more than the already over market value offer to the Big East; or (b) take that same increase in money and give it to the SEC and ACC… while also providing potential schools to slide over to the Big 12…. why not do that? What is a better value… an extra $80M/year to the Big East or an extra $50M to the SEC and an extra $30M to the SEC?Throw in the maintaining viability of the Big 12 and the LHN. Throw in preventing Fox and NBC from gaining an AQ conference.

        While you Big Ten folks think Rutgers (or maybe UConn) carries NYC, ESPN knows the real deal. Nobody carries NYC for football. And, basketball-wise, it’s Syracuse and St. Johns. Remember… Syracuse playing in MSG is considered a “home game.” Heck, Syracuse playing in Atlantic City last year was considered a home game. And I am sure that an FSU defection could be responded by an offer to UConn, if necessary.

        • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

          We “Big Ten folks” don’t think that Rutgers carries NYC…but they carry NJ and it’s a well-populated state in and of itself. If it helps the Big Ten make inroads into NYC as well, that’s just gravy. And when you’re jumping up to 16 teams, adding one creampuff on the schedule isn’t horrible.

          • EZCUSE says:

            OK. Enjoy your market and creampuff. It’s all about the $$$ for the Big Ten, I guess.

            That $$$ doesn’t make NW good at hoops or Indiana good at football. And it doesn’t help OSU keep up with the SEC in anything other than scandals.

            Not sure going from $$$ to $$$$$ is going to help either.

            Those who advocate adding Kings have right idea.

          • PMI says:

            “OK. Enjoy your market and creampuff.”

            —He said upon hearing upon hearing the possibility of the ACC adding Syracuse.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            Oops, wrong login.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            Let’s try this again -

            EZCUSE – “OK. Enjoy your market and creampuff.”

            –He said upon hearing the possibility of the ACC adding Syracuse.

            Seriously it is mind boggling that you could post that with a straight face.

          • PSUGuy says:

            “Enjoy your market and creampuff. ”

            Every conference has them and every conference needs them. At least Rutgers brings something to the table (academics, population, proximity to NYC) that most “creampuff’s” don’t.

        • largeR says:

          Wow! Lose Florida State and add UCt; that’s a lose-lose. By the way, if you were reading these threads, you would know that us ‘Big Ten folks’ don’t think any combination of Scuse, Gers or UCt carry NYC. If they did, they would be in the B1G!

          • EZCUSE says:

            Totally agree. FSU for UConn is a gigantic loss. But if you are going to lose a King, having a logical addition is better than having nothing but poor choices–i.e. see current Big 12. Nobody would ever willingly make that trade. But it is better than deciding between East Carolina and Memphis.

            I will never understand the level of infatuation with Rutgers that anyone has had on this board. Read enough threads and you will see a ton of forecasts that have Rutgers in lieu of other Big East schools. They have become something other than fodder by playing a terrible slate of OOC games during a period of Big East turmoil. They are not even a prince. If that carries NJ, then we all have another reason to feel sorry for NJ.

        • Sportsman says:

          As Scarlet_Lutefisk intimated, I find it very interesting that the tone of EZCUSE’s posts have changed dramatically with the news of a Pitt/SU move to the ACC.

      • zeek says:

        Why again would ESPN want a consolidation of the East Coast, and why would they pay the ACC an extra 16.6% to take on 2 additional members (to its current 12)? ESPN wants there to be more properties to be bid on, even if they don’t own that content.

        ESPN and Fox would much prefer 6 BCS conferences to 5 (even if Big 12 holds out); and 5 (if Big East survives but Big 12 doesn’t) is certainly more favorable to 4 (both Big East and Big 12 being destroyed).

        This is about content providers versus media distributors. Less BCS conferences only hurts ESPN in the long run, since they’ll have to pay bigger premiums to the remaining conferences.

        The Texas -> ACC makes sense for ESPN in terms of the fact that they own the rights to both sides.

        ESPN shelling out 16.6% to the ACC to take Pitt/Syracuse in a move to 14 doesn’t make as much sense. Maybe this is a really long term play by the ACC to get rid of the Big East for its own benefit (even though it will face short-term dilution that might weaken it), but I have to believe that something is up with FSU or Texas/ND with respect to the ACC that’s forcing its hand.

        • EZCUSE says:

          If the ACC cannot be broken, then a 4-team superconference world includes the ACC and does not include the Big East. If the Big 10 cannot penetrate the ACC and the SEC cannot penetrate the ACC, then the ACC wins.

          The Big East could still survive as a basketball conference with Villanova, STJ, Georgetown, and numerous other schools. Same access to the markets. Just no need to overpay because of an AQ conference tag along.

          You Big 10 folks underestimate the value of the Big East schools anyway. Pitt and Syracuse restoring rivalries with BC, Va Tech, and Maryland will juice up the ACC football. And I would not be surprised if UConn and WVU (if they are available) is the Plan B to get to 16 if all else fails. Throw in Virginia and you have a solid hold on the NE with those 8 teams in an ACC North.

          But to answer your questions: WHy would ESPN want to consolidate the East Coast? Because they get it within their umbrella. Keeping it separate apparently means losing it to NBC or Fox who can overpay ESPN’s overpayment.

          Why pay ACC an extra 16.6%? Isn’t that better than paying 225% to the entire Big East? And what good is it to have another AQ conference to negotiate with when that can help improve Fox and NBC. If the Big East dies…that props up the Big 12–an ESPN entity. Having that extra conference to negotiate with does not help if that conference is willing to take its stuff elsewhere.

          I think Fox would prefer the Big East to survive, but ESPN only does if they are going to be part of the ESPN umbrella. Otherwise, it is better to let it die and prop up the entities you do have long-term control over. The money is the same, ESPN just harms a competitor.

          • zeek says:

            That’s all true if you’re not talking about future contracts with the SEC, Pac-12, Big Ten, and even the future ACC.

            Less stuff for Fox and NBC to bid on right now means they’re going to end up overpaying on everyone later because there’s less properties for Fox and NBC (and ESPN) to bid on; for example, if ESPN gives up the Big East contract to Fox or NBC right now, that might mean whichever one gets it is less interested in bidding for the Big Ten’s contract in 2015.

            Yes, this brings those two schools under ESPN’s umbrella right now; but the future contracts are only going to be that much larger because of this kind of move. I can see why the ACC wants to do this from a future perspective.

            But then, why not do this move before negotiating the contracts? It was surely a feasible move 1-2 years ago, so why not go for it then? I think there’s a lot more to this than meets the eye with respect to schools either leaving the ACC or Texas/ND getting a deal with the ACC.

          • EZCUSE says:

            Who knows what the future brings? By 2020, it may be that schools like OSU and USC look at the landscape and feel that they MUST create their own TV network/Internet stream.

            And if they prevent NBC from ever becoming a true player, that’s one less entity to bid against in 2020.

            Why would any network be happy with the Big East…. so happy as to not bid on the Big 10?

            Besides… the Big East implosion could boost the Big 12. Consider if the Big 12 lands several Big East schools. Keeps Texas happy. Keeps LHN in place. And now ESPN has ACC, SEC, Big 12, and a piece of the Pac 12. That’s BC to USC and a lot in between.

            If a conference has to die, doesn’t ESPN want it to be the Big East IF the Big East is willing to leave the ESPN umbrella?

        • EZCUSE says:

          Assume the Big 10 has its sights on the Virginia/Maryland corridor.

          If you add Pitt and Syracuse, you can now break off into a N/S division scheme that makes some sense (admittedly, the 7th team for the north is dicey).

          North: BC, Pitt, Syracuse, Maryland, Virginia, Va Tech, Wake Forest
          South: NC, Duke, NC State, Ga Tech, Clemson, Miami, FSU

          If Maryland jumps to the Big 10, they give up games against 5 regional foes to play PSU and a bunch of teams they have no history with and barely any geographic relevance to. Same with Va Tech.

          And imagine being able to dangle a ND pod of BC, Pitt, and Syracuse down the road.

          If you think like a network, keeping the Maryland/Virginia corridor happy keeps TV markets within your umbrella, rather than Fox/BTN.

          • kylepitt says:

            It’s a good pod, but not as good as Purdue-Michigan-Michigan State. Or substitute PSU for any of those.

            I see a hybrid option as being more likely than angling for a 16/4 pod arrangement down the road.

        • bullet says:

          Possible ESPN thinking-Pay $13 million/school for 14 schools instead of:

          $13/school for 12 school ACC AND
          $13/school for 9 school BE ($11 million per football school was their offer)

          Is there really much value in the rest of the football schools-4 former CUSA, 1 new arrival from I-AA, Rutgers and a WVU that may be on their way to SEC? They all make good filler, but alone they probably aren’t worth anywhere near the $11 million previously offered.

      • Gopher86 says:

        It’s no coincidence that the Big 12 was looking at the Big East, as well. ESPN never wanted to pay the Big East a fair contract– it’s much easier to push conferences to poach each other. ESPN is fine with breaking up schools in order to keep from paying fair market value to a united conference. It makes far more sense for them to pay for the schools that make money on a case by case basis (Pitt, Cuse).

        Take some of the money the Big East would have gotten for their re-up, take some insurance blood money for the ACC to accept the LHN and give it to the ACC members to get them closer to fair market value. Everybody wins, but ESPN especially wins.

        • Mike says:

          ESPN has the ACC locked up, but the Big East is determined to go to market. Why not stear the best football brands (assuming WV to the SEC) out of the Big East to make the Big East less attractive when it goes to market. That will teach the Big East to say no to ESPN.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            ….and yet we talk about the likelihood of success of a TI lawsuit against the SEC.

          • bullet says:

            I think WVU was leading the way on SEC #14 and UT to ACC rumours were gaining steam and Pitt made their move considering that. So Pitt probably approached ACC 1st and then ACC approached ESPN. And BE contracts expire in 2 years for fb and 3 for bb. BE requires 27 month advance notice for leaving, so there’s no TI exposure. ESPN didn’t make the 1st move and there’s no contract to interfere with given 27 months notice.

          • Morgan Wick says:

            Man, reading some of these comments you’d think ESPN was Vito Corleone.

            “I’m going to make the Big East an offer they can’t refuse.”

          • joe4psu says:

            “Man, reading some of these comments you’d think ESPN was Vito Corleone.”


            Except that with Vito it was only business.

          • joe4psu says:


            I’m OK, my fingers are dyslexic.

  4. M says:

    Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to the Pac X and debating dropping the RRS. Texas joining the ACC with Notre Dame. A&M joining the SEC to make 13 teams there.

    I guess what I’m saying is that reality crossed into tinfoil hat territory a couple of months ago and hasn’t turned back.

    With that in mind let us reconsider this statement:
    “With the Big 12 and Big East collapsing (and none of it done at the initiation of the Big Ten)”
    Jim Delany and John Swofford were jocks together at North Carolina in the 70s. Clearly they’ve been planning this all along. Also, guess how many characters are in “North Carolina”? 14, obviously indicating that both conferences will end with 14 members (Pitt and Syracuse for the ACC, Texas and ND for the Big Ten).

    • Bo Darville says:

      I like it…. You know, Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln and Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy and both Lincoln and Kennedy have 7 letters in their names. One letter for each team in the new divisions of the SuperACC. Texas & Notre Dame are represented by the secretaries. Then John Wilkes Booth was from Maryland, so we have to watch what the Terrapins do and Lee Harvey Oswald was originally from New Orleans so look for Tulane to become a player. Reading the tea leaves it looks like Tulane & Maryland will play in the Motor CIty Bowl in 2060.

    • ccrider55 says:

      “Also, guess how many characters are in “North Carolina”? 14″
      I didn’t realize spaces between words counted. :(

    • bullet says:

      Off the internet for little over 24 hours and all this happens! Heard about Pitt and SU on ESPN radio.

      I was starting to think the UT to the Pac deal made no sense. The only things that made financial sense for UT were ACC (UT + 3) and, once again, B1G, or if OU stayed, then the Big 12. Now all this means either the Pac has come up with a concession for UT (which I considered unlikely given how hard it would be to justify to USC and UCLA), Frank’s ACC hybrid model is occurring, or more remotely UT is going to the ACC as a western island, or PBC’s B1G scenario is unfolding.

      Pac w/o UT concession makes no sense financially for UT. UT could replicate their revenue model in SEC or do better. B1G would likely be better. Pac would be $20 million/year + some future benefits from Pac network. Unlike LHN, Pac owns 100% and therefore must put in 100% of investment, meaning it will take time to get a payout. UT’s current contracts pay $15 million average from Tier 3 and $15 million average from Tier 1 & 2 with UT’s share probably $16-$17 million and a renegotiated contract in 4 years. That comes to $32 million/year which will likely go up to $37 or more (if Big 12 held together). That’s what’s truly different from last year in their interest in the Pac. They would be dropping to $20 million/year + a promise of future Pac network $. Now Scott could sell USC and UCLA because they were going from $7 million/year to $20 million + a promise. That’s a lot harder to sell to someone at $32 million with the promise of a little more.

      UT wouldn’t have scheduled the board meeting unless the decision was near. So someone has offered a deal that makes sense if OU leaves as expected.

      • bullet says:

        And since Notre Dame seems surprised by the BE changes, I’m thinking the Pac is most likely, but any of the scenarios are possible.

    • Jason says:

      Under option #1, would it not be plausible that the ACC sees things pretty much the same way Notre Dame does? That ND, and also, UT, as Indies would hold out aligning their football programs in a conference as long as humanly possible? If the dominoes fall, and aTm and say Mizzou SECede, the OK schools head to the PAC, the landscape would be headed towards the 16 team model, but not quite there yet. They could, theoretically wait it out, presumably, either the BEast would attempt to survive with some mishmash of Big XII leftovers and/or CUSA schools, or both conferences become the buffet table for the B1G/SEC. Under either scenario, there are schools out there that would essentially be free agents. If West Virginia gets antsy and bails to the South, the B1G invites Rutgers for a night on the town, etc etc IF it comes to the 16 team model, wouldn’t the ACC be best positioned to bring UT and ND in for football, seeing as they already have those schools non-rev/Olympic sports? The ACC, if my eyes don’t deceive me at this early hour, already have all the sports UT competes in, yes, even women’s rowing. So while it doesn’t immediately improve the football brand, the ACC would hold a lot of cards in the event of Conferencegeddon.

      One question about this, though, what about the “Tech Problem”? Can Bevo extricate itself from Tech, and to a lesser extent, Baylor, so easily? I wouldn’t anticipate Ken Starr and friends getting too far suing 3 different conferences.

      At some point though, some conference is going to have to bite the bullet and do something it wouldn’t normally do. Whether it’s take a lower academic institution, deal with the inequality of the LHN, accept BYU despite the LDS, and so on and so forth. If there were 4 perfect matches each for the 4 big dogs, it would probably have happened already.

      • vp19 says:

        There could be three 16-member conferences (including the ACC, going against conventional wisdom), one 12- to 14-member league, and a fifth conference for what’s left of the Big East and Big 12 so they can keep their BCS invite for the lowest-tiered of the major bowls (which the Fiesta may have to agree to in order to stay in the group, with the Cotton Bowl taking its place in the title game rotation).

  5. Denogginizer says:

    Add. GBR. Go B1G.

  6. bobo the feted says:

    Dude thats some crazy speculation…

  7. zeek says:

    I would love to see Florida State in the Big Ten, but I just don’t see how it would work for them logistically.

    FSU is a king; they typically don’t relocate to far off regions unless they have an absolutely pressing reason to (OU because Big 12 is broken and Texas to preserve the LHN/and because the Big 12 is broken), and even then would they even be interested? From what I’ve seen, they were debating SEC v. ACC down to the wire the previous go around and came up with ACC.

    FSU/Ga Tech would actually be a solid expansion attempt (or FSU/Maryland), but it’s just so hard for me to see FSU wanting to be so far away from the rest of the conference.

    I think FSU’s in the same kind of position as Texas A&M. They’re going to stay in the ACC or they leave for the SEC.

    It’d be a great idea for Delany to at least put in a phone call and see what’s up, but I don’t see how it works for either side.

    • Richard says:

      FSU is a king that doesn’t have the revenue-generation power (for itself) of a king. In the SEC, likely more than half that conference can leverage more money for themselves by third-tier rights than FSU can with its. Plus, they seem to care a lot more about their academic prestige than TAMU. Equal revenue sharing is quite appealing to them. In the 2 examples you stated above, both OU and Texas could have opted for the closer and more appealing (in football prestige) SEC, yet both would much rather send their women’s softball teams to conferences much farther away who they have absolutely no previous attachment to in any way/shape/form.

      Academics and the snakepit that SEC recruiting is perceived to be are big factors. Maybe FSU doesn’t leave the ACC (yet), but if they do, I don’t think it’s a slam dunk that they’d choose to go to the SEC, especially if Miami comes to the B10 with them.

      • M says:

        This point isn’t brought up enough. Just look at attendance: FSU would be 8th in the SEC, right between South Carolina and Arkansas. Their revenue numbers are far behind any King and behind many schools that would never be considered a King. In 2009, their revenue was 53rd, lower than 10 current SEC schools (including Vanderbilt).

  8. toddluvslounging says:

    The Big East is about to get paid and probably getting a Pac-type conference and regional deal. Syracuse and Pitt really need to think hard about getting into bed with ESPN/Longhorns/ACC. Disney/ESPN has been making obscene profit from unpaid labor and now are trying desperately to maintain their cartel by using Texas and, now, the ACC. Where’s the outrage that Disney essentially wrecked the Big-12 with the LHN and now going out of there way to damage the Big East?

    • vandiver49 says:


      Please explain how the BEast is going to get a monster deal. I understand they turned down the ESPN offer, but the assumption they are going to get a contract akin to the PAC seems to be predicated on nothing more than a feeding freezing between various media outlets. I understand its all speculative, but is the BEast saying its MBB is equal in value to CFB? Is it media markets and access to population centers?

      I just have a hard time believing that Marinatto is going to walk into a room with various media members and say ‘ladies and gentlemen, these negotiations will start at 7 billion for 10 years; now what am I bid.”

      • EZCUSE says:

        The Big East had negotiating power. With a rumor here of WVU going to the SEC, and a rumor there of Pitt and Syracuse to the ACC… where is that negotiating power now? The Big East can survive Rutgers to the Big 10. ESPN has the money to get those schools a raise one way or another. Do you hold out for more NBC money when you can get more money plus stability?

      • bobo the feted says:

        The Big East probably wouldn’t get a Pac type money deal (20 million per school) but they probably would have gotten much more on the open market (with bids between FOX/ESPN/Comcast) than what ESPN was initially offering. Rumor had it the original ESPN offer was for 1 billion or 11 million per Big East school, pretty sure on the open market they would have gotten more than that, probably close to the ACC’s 13-15 million per year (if not more because of over bidding).

        The media spending on college football is no longer rational – CFB gets the second best TV ratings behind the NFL – more than NBA, more than MLB – and this in turn drives advertising dollars and leads to media companies (comcast and fox in particular to overbid).

        Big East made a huge mistake – the trend was conferences expanding, yet they only expanded by 1 team (TCU) when they could have gone larger to 12 teams in all sports (assuming bball schools separated). They are paying for it now.

      • Morgan Wick says:

        “Please explain how the BEast is going to get a monster deal. I understand they turned down the ESPN offer, but the assumption they are going to get a contract akin to the PAC seems to be predicated on nothing more than a feeding freezing between various media outlets.”

        (Wow, that’s a dated reference already.)

        No fewer than five media companies (throwing CBS and Turner in there) have dollar signs in their eyes wanting a piece of ESPN’s gazillions of dollars – especially Comcast who want to become a force to be reckoned with on par with ESPN itself. Having first-tier rights to ANY BCS conference is enough to make them drool.

  9. Rich says:

    I’m sure Nebraska will be thrilled to have Texas join the Big Ten

    • mike says:

      any word on how texas would arrange access to the BCS and bowls under this independent/ACC scenario ?

      • Hopkins Horn says:

        That’s one of the big concerns we Texas fans have about independence or quasi-independence. I’m assuming we wouldn’t even get the ND deal, at least at the onset.

        • Richard says:

          If Texas meets the BCS eligibility criteria, it’s hard to see any BCS bowl turn down the Longhorns. Granted, they lose the safety net of being the winner of a crappy conference and getting in to a BCS bowl while unranked, but in what conferences would they be able to pull that off anyway? BE? ACC? Plus, as an independent, it really should be easy to rack up wins. Assuming a 7-4-1 setup, that’s 4 ACC teams, ND, OU, and BYU accounting for 7 games and either 3.5 away games (or a little less if BYU agrees to 2-for-1′s). That means the other 5 games are virtually all going to be against CUSA and WAC patsies who are willing to come for guarantee games (or at least agree to 2-for-1′s). Maybe 1 of the 5 is a home-and-home against an equal. If Texas can’t muster 10 wins against that lineup, do they really deserve to get in to a BCS bowl?

    • Cisero says:

      If Texas was willing to abandon LHN and share revenue equally for the betterment of the conference without throwing their weight around on some super power trip, then Nebraska would welcome them into the B1G. That’s just not a likely scenario in all of this. Texas isn’t willing to concede anything for the betterment of a conference. They’re too proud to share things equally across the board. Too many egos to deal with.

    • Husker Al says:

      Speaking only for myself, I would love for Texas to join a Big Ten that puts conference needs above those of individual teams. The academic and athletic programs UT brings to the table are top notch.

      Of course, Texas hasn’t shown any desire to be treated as equals, which is why I don’t think the Longhorns will join the Big Ten.

    • Mike says:

      The fan base will whine. The World-Herald will run features about evil Texas is. Then Osborne will tell everyone how good it is NU and the Big Ten and the grumbling will be low rumble.

  10. Heh, you may have been the only one saying it, Frank, but FAR from the only only thinking it, sir. Those who have been saying the BE was stronger than the ACC were simply whistling past the graveyard. And now the gravedigger comes to reap his bounty…. sadly the BE will not be able to meet Charon’s fee, and to the void it is with them.

    At any rate, we approach the end game for this particular round of expansions. Should be enticing to see just which institutions are left standing to swing another round…

  11. joe4psu says:

    Maybe I missed something in the reading but if the ACC is talking to SU and Pitt doesn’t that mean that UT is not interested in the ACC? If UT were interested in the ACC, the ACC would be talking to schools like KU and Mizzou whether UT were joining as a full member or a non-football member. I don’t see UT sending their Olympic sports clear across the country without a travel partner or two, or three.

    Maybe this is a message from the ACC that they aren’t interested in UT. If they see UT as too high maintenance or they’re concerned that FSU would bail were UT given special treatment this would be a good way to settle feathers within the conference.

    • Bo Darville says:

      Travel partners? Would Texas pick up the K-State track team on the way to the meet in North Carolina?

    • 78lion says:

      UT doesn’t want to be paired up with other ex-Big 12 schools in one of 4-4 team pods in a 16 team conference. Doesn’t do much to increase their visibility. That is what the PAC 12 wants to do which is a stumbling block for Texas joining. Texas wants to be in LA every year in the PAC 12 and would want multiple trips east (DC, Atlanta, Miami come to mind) to increase the national visibility.

      ACC adding sPitt and ‘Cuse is a self-preservation move.

  12. Albino says:

    Texas is like a drunk weaving across both lanes, from pillar to pole. From the Pacific to the Atlantic, it doesn’t matter as long as you hang onto that hooch with both hands.

  13. PSU Hockey says:

    Option 1 is also great for the Big Ten. Having Notre Dame and Texas “more equal” than other members just to prevent the Big Ten from raiding their teams will have the direct opposite effect on the ACC. Do you think Duke and UNC will stand by while ND and Texas have sweet heart deals? There is no way. FSU is already puffing out their chest about leaving. There is one other marketable commodity that would make expansion worth it for the Big Ten: UNC vs Duke basketball. I would put that fourth on the list of the most valuable sports commodities not in the Big Ten, SEC or Pac Ten currently (1. Texas Football 2 ND Football 3 Oklahoma Football 4 UNC/Duke Basketball). According to most ACC people, UNC and Duke have just as huge an ego as Texas and wield the same power in the ACC. If they start getting pushed around by the new guys (which will no doubt happen as history proves), founding member or not (so was Nebraska once upon a time), they will be out and right into the arms of the Big Ten. UVA probably walks with them and then either Maryland or VT as the 16th member. Its not the “Fuck You, Pay Me” conference, but it expands the Big Ten into the growing mid atlantic region, adds desirable content to the BTN well into March, adds two prestigious research institutions to increase funding (where the real money is anyway) to the BIG overall, and has the conference one step closer to capturing NY City with Duke basketball and college basketball in general being very popular there. Delaney has played this perfectly. Either he gets the Big Fish to play nice with others in the Big Ten or he watches them destroy his alma mater’s conference in time and picks off the next best ting.

    • RedDenver says:


      I doubt the ACC lasts longer than 10 years with the “equal but not equal” UT and ND in the fold. This reasoning is VERY much in line with how the B12 formed. Much like the B12, the ACC is in a dangerous geographic position with the predator conferences (B1G and SEC) right next to it, and a few scavengers (BEast, CUSA, MAC, etc.) to pick over the carcass.

      UT and ND partially to ACC might be the best scenario long-term for the B1G.

      • bullet says:

        ACC has better, faster growing markets than the SEC, just not better football right now. Big 12 doesn’t have the markets. That makes them vulnerable to predator conferences. Even with Texas, there are a lot less people in the Big 12 than in the surrounding conferences.

    • Jason says:

      I would be very surprised if FSU leaps. Just last week they voted to up the exit fees for bailing. 12-0 passage raising it to $20M to get out. Sure, an 11-1 vote might have been obvious, but I don’t think you’ll be seeing anyone leave anytime soon.

      • If FSU thinks that SEC is in their best interest for the long run I don’t think the extra 8 million will dissuade them.

        They’d definitely make the money up playing in the SEC and that is including how much they’d have to bump up their recruiting expenditures.

  14. derek says:

    It’s kind of stupid that pitt and syracuse aren’t already in the acc. They are a perfect fit for each other.

  15. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Geaux Fightin’ Tigers!

  16. [...] out the two biggest fish in the conference expansion pond — Texas and Notre Dame – joining the conference as non-football playing members, especially if the Big East implodes and the Irish are left with a conference like the Atlantic 10 [...]

  17. Todd says:


  18. greg says:

    Hawks -3.5 Pitt

  19. Kevin says:

    If UT goes independent what guarantees their BCS access? I am thinking that a 14 team SEC and PAC may think they deserve 3 BCS slots.

    Also, what sort of TV money will ND and UT receive for their non-football sports? Would they get a cut for their 4 games that are essentially non-conference games? Hard to see scenario 1 creating a financial windfall for ND and UT. Would likely see them fall significantly behind the other major conferences over the long-term.

    • zeek says:

      They’re not going fully independent; just football independent. Their other sports will be in a conference, and they’ll be paid like that.

  20. Garret says:

    Brett McMurphy at just reported that the ACC has received letters of application from Pitt and Syracuse. So, it looks like things have gone beyond the talking stage and Pitt/Syracuse have been invited to join the ACC.

    • Bamatab says:

      If Pitt and Cuse have already submitted their applications, then they already have the ACC’s assurances that they are in. There is no way that they apply without those assurances, especially these days when everyone knows your business via twitter and the internet.

  21. Redhawk says:

    Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to the West Coast! West Coast yo! *flashes my west coast gang sign….that I really have no clue how to flash

    • vp19 says:

      The question now is, who goes west with them, and who gets left behind in a forced marriage with Big East remnants (including Texas Christian, which becomes a remnant before it had a chance to start)?

      • Redhawk says:

        @VP19 Tech looks more and more like a lock for 15.

        16 is looking like a complete mystery.
        1) UT: Indy/ACC
        2) Missouri: SEC
        3) Kansas: ACC
        4) New Mexico, ? Rice ? Houston ? TCU ? Boise St ? Hawaii ? K-state alone??

        • Richard says:


          I think the Pac likely will get to pick up KU. _Maybe_ the Jayhawks are crazy and want to be under UT’s (and ND’s) thumb in a new ACC that’s sure to be full of tension, but I doubt it. Granted, KSU may be able to force KU to go to the ACC, but it would be hard to see the ACC adding both those schools. Adding more football nonentities is a sure way to force FSU out of the league (IMHO).

      • M says:

        It’s probably coincidence, but if Syracuse and Pitt go to the ACC, that would mark the 5th time in a little over 15 years that a conference with TCU has had teams leave (SWC to SEC and Big 8, WAC to MWC, CUSA to Big East, MWC to indy and Pac-12, and now Big East to ACC). That’s an impressive/scary record.

        • Jake says:

          Tell me about it. The one immutable fact of conference realignment, it seems, is that no matter what else happens, TCU gets screwed. If it was up to us, we’d still be in the SWC. Oh, and Arky left for the SEC a couple years earlier than the rest, so it’s really six times in 20 years. Anyway, go Frogs, beat Louisiana Monroe.

          This is a first for me – I’m listening to the game on the Internet radio stream and watching it on the stadium construction webcam. Not the greatest picture.

    • Gopher86 says:

      (1) Tuck your thumb into your palm
      (2) Spread out all of your fingers, like you’re asking for ‘four’ of something (American four, not the German four).
      (3) With your pinky and index fingers still outstretched, wrap your ring finger over your middle finger.

      Hold straight up. Sideways may be misconstrued for ‘East’ side.

  22. Eric says:

    As a Big Ten fan who wants to play in a conference that looks like the Big Ten, I’m hoping for option A. Let the ACC have Texas and Notre Dame. We’ll play all but two of our fellow Big Ten members every year (after we go to 9 games).

    I do have to say though, I didn’t give much weight to that senario when you posted it yesterday, but it’s a lot more believable now. Sadly, I think option b is a little more likely.

    • Richard says:


      ??? Why? As an independent, Texas will be showered with filthy lucre. ESPN and Fox are paying the Pac12 an average of $250M a year for 44 football games (+ some BBall games, but we know how much bball matters). Say only 75% of that contract is for the football games. That still comes out to over $4M per game, and they’ll be for such scintillating affairs like Arizona vs. Utah.

      I have no doubt that, conservatively, Texas will be able to get paid at least $5M per home game. At 8 home games, that’s $40M just from football, plus whatever share of the ACC bball contract they get, which is a few million more each year.

      I have no doubt that ND will also be able to get at least $5M per home game in their next TV contract as well. As they’ll play 6-7 home games, that’s $30M+, but don’t kid yourself, they’ll make at least double what they make now from their current $15M/year NBC TV contract.

  23. spwolverine says:

    Um. This pretty obvious.

    UT is going to the Pac 16.

    Thus ESPN is going to lose money on the “revamped” LHN.

    So they shell out more $ to ACC to kill the big east and that is far cheaper than paying the big east more money than they already offered.

    ESPN can they pay less for a depleted big east (when they add some scraps) for more content. But in the end ESPN…

    -gets ACC at a good price

    -pays less for big east

    We will find out next week when UT announces, but that is my well-educated guess

    • Bo Darville says:

      Probably a good guess. Seems like that’ll get us back to the Pac8 in short order, though.

    • Playoffs Now says:

      Most likely. UTx and ND are issuing their final call for bids. ACC is all setup for ND, how effectively can Delany counter offer?

      Will Larry Scott make the obvious concession of switching the P12′s odd regional channels’ Noah’s Ark pairings into simply offering each subscriber the choice of which school to be the brand of their regional channel? Do that and the LHN problem is likely solved, it is far more about UTx branding than how to share the $’s.

      If ND does go ACC, and taking a block from the ACC ain’t happening, can the B1G really afford to insist there’s still a “Tech problem?” Hell, at that point I could even see UTx negotiating to bring both TTech and Baylor, with maybe UHou or KS or MO to fill out the pod for travel and voting block reasons. Or Tom Osborne’s nightmare of a UTx, TTech, KS, and Neb pod.

      Ultimately I think the P12 reaches an agreement with UTx.

      • Richard says:

        “If ND does go ACC, and taking a block from the ACC ain’t happening, can the B1G really afford to insist there’s still a “Tech problem?””

        Yes. The B10 doesn’t have to do anything. Not sure why you think it does. They most certainly don’t have to take Tech. FSU & Miami as equals would be more desirable in any case. Also, I can’t see how the Pac is more desirable to Texas than independence if they can park their nonfootball sports in a respectable league. Considering that the Pac is getting about $4M per game (or more) from their new contract (featuring such eyeball-drawing fare as Cal vs. ASU), I don’t think $5M/game for Texas as an independent ($40M for 8 home games) is really unreasonable, and they’d get a few million from the ACC bball contract as well.

  24. ferretboy says:

    I think it all boils down to television markets.

    Texas is needing major markets, outside of the state, to start picking up LHN on basic cable. You can bet that the contract with ESPN has some fairly aggressive sales goals in mind particularly with the money that ESPN is paying them. Let’s look at the targets for Texas so far:

    1) Big 10. Yeah I know that Chip Brown says there were no talks. But there is enough in the way of rumors and other stuff out there, that I am convinced there was some major league flirting and handholding going on. A number of top 50 television markets. But Delaney would have made it clear, the LHN would not be acceptable. So Texas went to choice 2:

    2) The Pac10/12. Yeah, Texas spun it as their attempt to keep a large part of the conference together. But make no mistake about it. This was their attempt to tap into the large markets of the west Coast. But Larry Scott and his relationship with Delaney, he probably knew, even before he got the phone call from Dodds, what was going on. After having to twist some arms (especially with the LA schools) to get equal revenue sharing through, there was no way he was going to sign off on the LHN. Leaving Texas to look at choice 3:

    3) The ACC. Major television markets with Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte, Baltimore, D.C., Boston (?). It would give them a toehold outside the state of Texas. And those are just the major markets. Add in the 5 or 6 midlevel markets and this would be a slam dunk for them. Also consider the fact that they are only making concessions for football with regards to television rights. Does this mean that they will get a sizable portion of their basketball home games for the LHN? If so, that would be a major sell for the network in ACC country. Basketball fans would have to subscribe to view those road games.

    This explains why, academics aside, the SEC is not on the Longhorn wish list. Of the major conferences, it is a distant fourth with regards to top 50 television markets in their footprint. (not sure but that they wouldn’t have been fifth if the Big 12 had stayed together). It says a lot about the excellence of their football programs that they are getting the kind of television money they are, with that kind of handicap.

    The ACC in talking to Pitt and Syracuse is taking the same logic.

    Adding Texas and its television markets would be good when you have to renegotiate your TV deals in the next couple of years. But with the demands that Texas and ND are including, it would introduce an instability to the ACC that its presidents and AD’s would be wary of, considering the recent example of the Big12. Pitt and Syracuse would give them new major markets without that kind of drama. In addition, you severely weaken your main competition for the title of premier college basketball conference, and you can be sure with the culture in the ACC that that is a major selling point as well. It eliminates the instability that would arise of FSU left for the SEC as it would eliminate the Big East for consideration in the inevitable 4 super conference model. And finally, it buffers the conference against the possibility of Jim Delaney raiding their conference. The schools he might target, are more likely to stay, now that they know the conference is more likely to be standing at the end of the realignment game.

    Realistically, the ACC, in talking to Pitt and Syracuse, is most likely making it clear to Texas, that they do not need them. And that if Texas joins the ACC, it will be on their terms and not UT’s.

  25. allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

    Adding is a sign of strength and stability. Everyone wants to do it.

    Pac-12. Check.
    Big 10. Check.
    Big East. Small check.
    SEC. Check.
    ACC. Check.

    Big 12. Nope. Good-bye Big 12.
    And Big East, by virtue of their “small check,” also is in danger.

    Look at that! Four conferences left!?!?

  26. jj says:

    I’d personally like to see this happen. I like the ACC and it’s a good move for all involved.

  27. allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

    What about option 1B?

    ACC with pods
    Pitt, ‘Cuse, ND, BC

    MD, UVA, VaTech, Miami

    Duke, UNC, Wake, NCSt

    Texas, FSU, GaTech, Clemson

    Do a 7 game schedule with pods rotating and no cross-pod protected games? That would give ND and Texas maximum OOC scheduling possibilities. Give every school “third tier” rights…cut Raycom out of the deal completely.

    The conference could even petition for a semi-final round for conference play. Let’s say North/Coastal and South/Mid-Atl were the pairing for the year. The top seed from the North could play the top seed from the South (and be assured that they did NOT already play once) while the top Mid/Atl would play the Coastal top seed. Then winners play in the ACC champ game for a chance to move on to the NCAA Final Four.

    All I’m saying is…why has everyone ruled out Texas and ND as full-fledged members?!?!?

  28. Aaron says:

    Couple things.

    1) Texas loves it’s leverage and wants to keep it’s LHN no matter where it goes.
    2) Texas spreads rumors to enhance their leverage.
    3) Texas has a tendancy to let the cat-out-of-the-bag. See here:

  29. Nathan Stenftenagel says:


  30. Nathan Stenftenagel says:

    Any chance Florida ends up in the B1G? It has been mentioned in the past how Florida would be a great fit in the B1G. Would ND and Texas to the B1G entice Florida to be the 15th school?

  31. OT says:

    I continue to maintain that the WAC, and only the WAC, will want to take Texas as a non-football members at Texas’ terms after the dust settles.

    Not the B1G, not the ESS EEE CEE, not the ACC, not the BIG EAST, and not the PAC.


    1. The WAC already has 2 schools from the University of Texas system (San Antonio and Arlington). UTSA has already flexed its muscle in the WAC by pulling in Arlington as a non-football member. Don’t be surprised if UTSA is already doing the dirty work behind the scenes for Bevo.

    2. The Longhorn Network needs a lot more live sports events. Having one Texas and 6 UTSA home football games each season is NOT enough to convince Time Warner Cable (which controls Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, and El Paso) to sign. But if the Longhorn Network were to have 8 Texas football games, 8 UTSA football games, 8 UT Arlington football games (when, not if, Arlington adds football), and 8 UTEP football games (after the UT system pressures UTEP to rejoin the WAC,) then Time Warner Cable will have to succumb.

    3. Texas can pull a “BYU” with the WAC by demanding a) 51% share of the WAC’s basketball TV contract revenue, and b) hosting rights and TV rights for LHN to ALL WAC Conference championship events except basketball. That will put 90% of all Texas sports events on LHN. The WAC, and only the WAC, will agree to this. Not even the Mountain West, Southland, or Missouri Valley are that desperate.

  32. Boomershine says:

    Still lingering is the fact that Notre Dame has yet to choose their home for hockey, when they were planning to announce on August 15.

    hagenr says:

    September 9, 2011 at 6:41 am

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

  33. drwillini says:

    Before getting into the “stratego” scenarios, in and of itself this is a great move for the ACC and Pitt and ‘Cuse. These schools are consistent with the ACC academic expectation, geographically contiguous, and add lucrative markets. The only downside of this for the schools is the opportunity cost of not being able to be a complementary invite to B1G. Congratulations to Swafford, the ACC, Pitt and ‘Cuse. This is a rational move that will reinforce and extend the ACC brand, thereby creating long term value. Also, in a general sense it is good for the B1G and SEC as the entrenched leaders, as it will not upet the applecart.
    The biggest loser in this move is Kansas. Kansas best shot was to be part of a western ACC pod led by UT. If this scenario is off the table, its hard to see another good landing spot for Kansas. Same logic probably holds for Baylor, although their chances of ACC inclusion were probably not as great, so they had less to lose.
    Rutgers is the big winner in this scenario. ‘Cuse and Pitt were likely their competition for a B1G complementary slot, so their chances for that have increased, although their chances of a consolation spot in the ACC have diminished. Similar logic for UConn, but I’m not sure they are as attractive to B1G. Missouri likewise has become more valuable to the B1G as the potential complementary invitees has gone down, but Missouri also was mentioned as a western ACC pod member, so it is probably a push for them.
    It is possible that this addition is backfill for an exit by VaTech and FSU to the SEC. This scenario would keep the western ACC pod alive and mitigate the above arguments, however it seems like this would be putting the cart before the horse, assuming that some lips are looser than others.
    The addition of Pitt and ‘Cuse would be complementary to ND going to the ACC. I have said elsewhere that ACC is a better cultural fit for ND, but I think the big-shooter ND boosters would prefer B1G if forced to chose a conference.
    This addition in and of itself seems to discount the probability of UT to the ACC. Without moving in with a western pod, the only reasonable scenarios are UT coming in as an unequal partner, and I’m not sure tobacco road would buy into that. I still think the most probable place for UT to land is the PAC. I think the desperate combination of ESPN and Scott will make an irresistible offer appealing to UT’s ego. PBC’s scenario of a joint ND/UT B1G entry is definitely still in play with this news, and probably even slightly more probable as it takes some alternative scenarios off the table. I say the UT probabilities are: 50% PAC, 30% BIG, 10% IND/ACC, 10% Big 12. I think the chances of ND to B1G are 80% by 2014, with the other alternative being ACC.
    Frank, thanks for the commentary and the forum for this discussion. Owe you a beer at the next Illini Rose Bowl.

    • vp19 says:

      This also raises the stakes on Pac expansion. If Texas Tech joins OU/Okie State, either Missouri becomes member #16 (unlikely, though possible) or Kansas and K-State have to break up. If Scott decides he has to take the KU/KSU combo, Texas Tech is in limbo.

      The losers probably end up partnering with Iowa State and what’s left of the Big East (Texas Christian, South Florida, Louisville, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Rutgers, possibly West Virginia) in a rather motley league.

      Another thing — if Texas goes it alone to indy/ACC status, what are the in-state political ramifications where Baylor and Tech are concerned?

  34. ChicagoRed says:

    Texas-Notre Dame connection…..constantly referenced in multiple scenarios on this board…can someone explain it, ’cause I don’t get it.

    They’ve played 10 games in their entire history. Last played 15 years ago, and only three times in the last 35 years. Yes, I know they’ve scheduled a few games and their AD’s are friendly. But this doesn’t seem like the type of connection to fuel all the theories posted. So what am I missing?

    • ccrider55 says:

      Similar egos, although different temperment.

    • Bob in Houston says:

      When they talked in setting up those games, I think they talked about a lot more than games and found they had similar problems and philosophies about solving those problems, and became allies.

      My best guess.

  35. Eric says:

    Thinking through the Notre Dame playing 4 football games in the ACC every year this might cause problems for Big Ten teams.

    Does anyone know the exact terms of their contract with NBC? I think it’s 7 home games and 1 neutral site game that appear on NBC.

    If Notre Dame has 4 home and home games in the ACC and keep traditional rivals that would leave home and home games with USC, Stanford, Navy, 4 ACC schools, 3 Big Ten schools. That’s 10 games, 5 home and 5 away. Just getting to 7 home games would require both other schools to be 1 and dones which means not playing a team like Texas (I’m assuming Texas wouldn’t count in those 4 games as a non-football member). That doesn’t even get into the neutral site game which would have to be dropped.

    Even if the neutral site game is dropped, Notre Dame might well want more flexibility. USC and Navy are going nowhere and the 4 ACC games would be required with the agreement. I think Notre Dame would want to continue ending every season in California which means Stanford stays too. That only leaves the Big Ten schools to adjust. I’d expect a few more breaks in those series (which might not bother them or might).

    • Richard says:


      After their previous hare-brained AD got canned, ND has dropped the unworkable 7-4-1 formula and now pretty much never has more than 6 home games a year (though they still try to have 1 neutral site game a year):

      Note that’s true this year as well.

      In any case, I see both Michigan and MSU playing ND only 4 times every 6 years anyway once the B10 goes to 9 conference games (in order to have HaH series against decent opponents every so often).

  36. Husker Al says:

    Posted this in the previous thread by mistake:

    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.

    • Adam says:

      Amen. As I’ve said over and over, by chasing after profits you make the sport less interesting. It’s interesting to me to the extent that they’re willing to leave money on the table to preserve its traditional, regional character. Once they let that go, it loses interest to me.

    • Eric says:

      I agree whole heartily that this isn’t good for college football as a whole. I think consolidating brands is good short term, but long term damaging.

      Let’s imagine we get down to 3-4 big conferences and they last for 50 years. Not all the teams which have been big in their present conferences can be big in those conferences. There’s just not as much room. That’s going to lose some fans.

      Also think about the odd quark of college football in conference loyalty. No one in baseball, the NFL, the NBA, etc. cares how good their division/conference/league is except in the sense that it makes their road easier/harder. The reason people care in college football (and it spills into basketball) is a) conferences matter (since bowls and national championships are effected by perception) and b) the common culture of conferences. I love the Big Ten as a Midwestern conference. Penn State is a stretch, but it still kind of fits. If we go further into the northeast or south though, I’m not going to care as much about the conference.

      • Kevin says:

        Totally agree. That’s why when it comes to bowl season we like to see how our midwest/northern teams stack up against schools from different parts of the country. If the Big Ten adds then I hope they stop with a ND/Rutgers or ND/Maryland.

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      That kind of thinking dies with the SWC.

    • bullet says:

      As I said on the other thread, the same forces driving 16 team conferences will drive 10-12 to secede in time from the 16 team conference.

  37. GreatLakeState says:

    If the B1G doesn’t get ND and TX, I would much rather have them in the ACC (as football indies) than in the PAC, BIG12 or SEC. I think FTT’s option two is the smart move for all involved, but since ESPN is now the ‘HAL’ of college football, I’m guessing the greed scenario wins out.
    I realize people will think I’m suggesting this out of spite, but if this occurs I would hope the B1G would cut all ties with ND. There is something distasteful and offensive about our conference continuing to propagate their ‘legend’ status with our -traditional- alliance when the prospect of a TRUE alliance is repugnant to them.
    As for B1G expansion options, if FTT’s scenario 2 occurs, I’m afraid their nil and -one.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      “I’m afraid they’re nil and one” – (for all my english teachers of yore.)
      On a lighter note, ‘Welcome Jerome Bettis and Lloyd Carr to the U of Michigan Hall of Fame!
      Hoke takes on Ron English today. -MgoBlue! -and most of all Denard!

    • Ross says:

      Still don’t see how Baylor has a viable lawsuit against the SEC when they are doing stuff like this.

    • vp19 says:

      Wonder if the ‘Clones lost themselves a vote by winning at Connecticut Friday night. It’s a great story in Ames, as ISU — fighting for its BCS lives — has won three nailbiters.

    • Gopher86 says:

      The last two links in there say a lot. The Big East commish found out about this in the Maryland press box. There’s no requirement to tell the Big East you intend to apply to another conference. Wow. Really?

  38. Pitt and Syracuse going to the ACC perhaps might open up the can of worms on the Big East, are there any worms in that can that we want?

    It seems we’re in a holding pattern until we can figure out what Notre Dame and Texas are doing, but once the balls are in motion who do we want for the 15th and 16th teams?

    I know most of us are assuming Missouri is always going to be in play but if they go to the SEC/PAC then I doubt that is the case. Their profile is known already, better than average sports, average academics, geographic contiguity, and the only relevant public school in a state of 6 million.

    Same with Rutgers only downgrade the athletics, upgrade the academics and make the state population size nearly 9 million. Rutgers will be a great fit for a conference that can monetize the additional households, and makes sense if you’re adding two or three football brands already. However, unlike Missouri they will be in play much longer.

  39. Playoffs Now says:

    Everything is still on the table, including as many as 7 current ACC schools ultimately ending up in the B1G and SEC. And if the ACC really is willing to allow ND and UTx join while staying fb indy, who’s to say the ACC doesn’t go to 16 + ND and UTx? Baylor and TTech or TCU or UHou as #15 & 16, solving lots of potential political problems for Texas.

    If UTx, ND, and all ACC schools are no longer options for the B1G, who’s to say that the P14 and/or B1G don’t water down their conferences with further expansion but instead ‘partner’ with schools for football only to fill out their sides of a 4×16 bracket that forms a new NCAA division?

    If we don’t break down into a clean 4×16 alliance, does a 5th BCS mop up conference survive (on a much smaller TV contract per school) as a political relief valve with at least token access to whatever replaces the BCS? 5×16, or 5×14, or maybe 5 x (12 to 14) + independents?

  40. metatron5369 says:

    This is it. We can do nothing, or we can do everything.

    Even if we add Texas and/or Notre Dame at this point, it’s a stepping stone to 15 & 16. If we don’t hurry up, Central Michigan might just get than invite after all…

  41. ESPN is saying ten teams have inquired about ACC membership, who might they be? At this point I’d assume all of the B12 teams sans Texas, Tech, and the Okies have inquired.

    1. Pitt – confirmed
    2. Cuse – confirmed
    3. Baylor
    4. KU
    5. KSU
    6. Iowa State
    7. Missouri

    Who are the others from the Big East?

    • @brindelin – Well, Texas has definitely contacted the ACC, which presumably means that Texas Tech has done so, too. Rutgers, WVU, UConn and Louisville would all certainly love ACC invites (and at least have the athletic departments strong enough to think that the ACC will at least take them seriously).

      • Redhawk says:

        are you forgetting that the PAC right now has 2 empty seats? That pay more than the ACC?

        Tech looks to be going west…not east. And before anyone says “UT WILL MAKE ‘EM GO Where they are TOLD”, I’ll give you exhibit A: Texas A&M to the SEC

        • Eric says:

          Tech might choose the PAC-12 over the ACC, but with neither are guarenteed to offer, I’d be willing to bet they’d talk to both to maximize their chances of making it somewhere.

          • Redhawk says:

            I would put money on the PAC offering Texas Tech. The PAC wants Texas TV’s and a Texas presents. OU wants to play in Texas. If you can’t get UT or TA&MU your next call for the state of Texas would be Tech.

            The PAC can’t stay at 14…they really need 16 schools to get the pods so teams get a quicker rotation into the LA markets.

          • Jake says:

            @Redhawk – the Pac may be TCU’s only hope at this point. Maybe we can sell a package deal with Tech. Otherwise, things start looking pretty grim. Pitt and Syracuse to the ACC, plus the WFV fans seem pretty certain they’re headed to the SEC.

          • frug says:


            The PAC has given Larry Scott a no religiously affiliated schools order.

          • Jake says:

            @frug – TCU’s religious affiliation has been greatly exaggerated. We have prayers before football games and a campus chapel. That’s about it. We’re no BYU. Or Baylor, even.

          • frug says:

            I know TCU isn’t as “religious” as a lot of other schools, but according to Jon Wilner (who seems to have the best connections inside the PAC for this stuff) the California schools (especially Cal and Stanford) are taking a pretty hard line the issue.

          • vp19 says:

            The irony, of course, is that the University of Southern California was founded as a Methodist institution.

          • Jake says:

            @vp19 – That was not lost on me. But different standards apply to USC.

          • bullet says:

            Essentially the entire Ivy League were originally religious institutions as well.

        • Eric says:

          Besides I don’t think anyone ever thought Texas wound force Tech anywhere. The real concern was the always the opposite that Texas couldn’t go somewhere without taking Texas Tech with it. Tech going somewhere else actually makes their options simpler as it means they are probably free to choose whichever conference they want.

        • bullet says:

          You forget that Tech is in Lubbock. They need Texas or Texas A&M. If they go to the Pac without another Texas team they become UTEP. I doubt that TCU or UH would be enough for them.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            While Tech alone might not be a huge draw in Texas, being a member of the Pac-X is still quite a far cry than languishing in CUSA. That alone will keep them from falling anywhere close to UTEP’s level (that & the commitment to athletics they’ve made over the past decade or so).

      • @frank – Yeah I overlooked Texas but on that note I’m not so sure Tech has contacted the ACC or K-State for that matter. If Texas is driving Tech’s bus to some degree and KU is driving K-State there isn’t so much of a need for both schools to make initial contact to gauge interest.

        Perhaps throw ND on the list, but I’m guessing they aren’t inquiring directly in so much as getting their otherwise.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        All Comers Confernece -Yip-Yip-YAHOO! Rollin’ 30 deep!

    • Jake says:

      I can only pray that TCU has talked to SOMEONE about a new home. Past experience has taught me to expect otherwise, however.

  42. Boomershine says:

    PBC speaks:


    So, PurpleBookCat

    What is happening? Why the silence at this darkest of hours?

    Did Delany blow it?

    PURPLE Book Cat

    Re: So, PurpleBookCat

    I’ve posted three or four times in the other threads and for some reason these posts were either blocked or deleted.

    This is true, I think, because his posting history shows posts at particular times, but when you click on them, they are not there.


    Re: So, PurpleBookCat

    Your post here seemed to work. So, yes or no. Did Delany blow it?

    PURPLE Book Cat

    Re: So, PurpleBookCat

    I will post tomorrow to recap the week.

    Bottom line is that ESPN continues to actively divide the Texas stakeholders. The Texas leadership has pushed for B1G, and when they were about to announce the discussions, ESPN created the ACC opportunity out of desperation.

    The B1G expects this to be a passing fad, re: Texas, but the Syracuse and Pitt involvement was unexpected.

    • metatron5369 says:

      You know, I wish he’d just post here outright.

    • Gopher86 says:

      This ESPN interference makes sense. When the LHN dies, so does their ability to bend college athletics to their will. The power will reside with the conferences.

      • zeek says:

        I definitely agree with this. If ND and/or Texas fully joins another conference, then the Big 4 (Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC, and ACC) will pretty much control all of the TV value, and they’ll probably control the valuable bowl slots entirely (not that they mostly don’t already), etc.

  43. metatron5369 says:

    Well, The Big East now has seven (five if UConn and Rutgers leave) football members. That’s a good number for Baylor, ISU, and KSU.

    I wonder if they’ll just break off and form a new conference. They might add a few C-USA/MAC schools, but with their AQ status in doubt, it’s unlikely.

  44. bobo the feted says:

    In the end Texas will go to the PAC, it is doubtful they will be able to hold onto the LHN in either the B1G, PAC or even ACC – simply because the LHN inherently brings instability to a conference. I think UT can be placated in a PAC model (if its not really about the money) by having the regional PAC network give the educational fund 5 million per year to placate the Board of Regents, and distributing content in a manner that maxizes viewership, ie Longhorn centric porgramming throughout most of the State except near Lubbock and West Texas (where it would be 50/50). Thus the PAC-Texas network in reality is still largely the Longhorn network. ESPN is placated by getting a % ownership of the PAC regional networks.

    For UT it’s the best possible outcome for them – they get to keep their most important rivalry with OU, get a voting block of 4/16 in conference issues (vs 1/16 or 1/14 in B1G and ACC), keep most of the Texas Legislature happy and get access to media markets in LA/SF/Seattle/Denver and SLC.

    • Richard says:


      Long-term, the LHN breeds instability, but while the B10 and Pac are not desperate and fearful, the ACC is (about losing their football kings, who are also amongst the most recent to join and don’t have a deep emotional attachment to the ACC, to the SEC or B10). When any entity is desperate and fearful, they’d do anything to stay alive in the short-term; long-term be damned. I most certainly can see the ACC granting Texas (and ND as well) unequal privileges. We’ll see how this plays out, but Texas in the Pac is far from certain, even in the long-term.

      BTW, they’d be able to play OU annually as an independent as well.

  45. Gopher86 says:

    Per Bohls: Larry Scott thinks the timetable is moving faster than anticipated

    • zeek says:

      I think most of the power brokers thought that the Big 12 had bought at least 2-3 years. To see it come to the brink in under a year along with the Big East also being brought to the verge of collapse is a shocker.

      The question is whether this forces ND to finally make a choice, and whether Texas commits to a conference fully or whether this result in a quasi-independent state for both…

      • wmtiger says:

        I’d assume Texas & ND are bargaining with the ACC for leverage and probably as a home for its non football sports if they go indy as it looks like the Big East got knocked down a notch with Syracuse & Pitt asking to leave. I can’t see either playing football as a member of the ACC.

  46. BoilerTex says:

    I’m sure this has been posted already but I’m posting it again. Funny stuff from Lance Zierlein in Houston.

  47. Quiet Storm says:

    I’ve been reading this blog for over a year but never posted until now. A couple of thoughts about Pitt and the ‘Cuse:
    1. Syracuse is a founding member of the Big East and has been a very loyal member. The fact they are moving now says a lot about what they think of the BE’s future and the leadership of John Marinatto. It may be harder for some whose alma mater or favorite team is in an all sports conference where everyone plays FB and BB to understand this but Syracuse has very close relationships/rivalries with Georgetown, St. John’s, Villanova and UConn so to walk away from those relationships is big move for them. Syracuse is not a school to panic or make a rash decision; if the BE was worth fighting for they would.
    2. For Pitt this move actually helps them re-establish their football identity; the BE has never truly focused on developing the FB side of the conference and that has hurt Pitt, being sandwiched between Penn St to the east and the other BIG Ten schools to the west. While the ACC may not be much better than the BE in terms of on the field quality, it has a better overall FB brand, more tradition rich programs (Clemson, Georgia Tech, FSU, Miami) and conference stability. The BB program is strong already and this will not damage that brand.
    3. If the ACC can keep all of it’s programs, their best move for expansion was always to become a coastal conference and expand into the Northeast. If Frank is right about his option 1 then the ACC is in a great position. He’s also onto something about ND, Pitt, and the ‘Cuse having a good working relationship because I don’t see the two leaving the BE unless they have some insight that ND may not be long for the BE. If that is the case the conference doesn’t have much of a chance to survive. For all the whining and complaining by BE media types and FB coaches, ND’s presence in the conference gave them more clout with their peer conferences.
    4. If everything does go down I don’t think there will be a BE or a Big 12 to absorb the remaining teams. My prediction is that the ADs from Kansas, Louisville, TCU and perhaps any other prominent school left on the outside will work to form a brand new conference with a new Commissioner and try really hard to get BYU and Boise State to create a credible enough conference for those teams to remain somewhat competitive and exist with a large enough TV contract to allow their BB programs (e.g. KU, UL, KSU, UC) to maintain their status.

    Frank I love the titles you select.

  48. SH says:

    I’m hoping for any scenario that means in 5-10 years ESPN will have less influence.

  49. zeek says:

    Sept. 17, 2011 3:14 p.m. – by Brett Friedlander – AD Baddour responds to expansion rumors
    UNC AD Dick Baddour responded to reports that Pittsburgh and Syracuse are about to become the newest members of the ACC. “It’s obvious that the world is turning upside down and we want the ACC to be in a position where we are strong,” Baddour said. “It’s absolutely the right thing to do.” Heels RapidReports

    Figured I’d post this. While these decisions are made at the presidential level, that kind of endorsement out of UNC’s AD speaks to a reversal in the ACC’s thought process of late possibly. Raising the buyout to $20M to leave as well as getting quick applications from Pitt/Syracuse means they’ve been very aggressive.

  50. greg says:


  51. derek says:

    A few thoughts of mine.

    With Pitt and Cuse leaving, does this force WV to look elsewhere? (SEC?) Getting them to 14 without any “blood” on their hands?

    If WV does leave the BE, I doubt it would exist anymore, at least as a viable home for major school’s sports. Does this finally force ND to the B1G? Does a ND+B1G look tantalizing enough to lure Texas?

    I think I can see the end game here. B1G with ND+Texas. SEC with WV+A&M. PAC12 with OU & OSU.

    • derek says:

      I guess I should include ACC with Pitt & ‘Cuse. I think this a win for these conferences. Huge losses for Big 12 and BE.

      • OT says:

        West Virginia has no reason to hang around the Big East once Pitt leaves.

        West Virginia is a better fit for the SEC than the ACC.

        SEC: lousy academics + small market with rabid football fan base

        ACC: snooty academics + Tobacco Road basketball culture + big TV markets with lukewarm football fan base (with the exception of Florida State)

    • EZCUSE says:

      I think everyone goes to 14 (except the Big 10) and waits for Texas/ND to decide what they are doing.

      We could see 14 and then a long, long wait until the next move. And I see no reason for the Big 10 to go to 14 just for the sake of it. Everyone around here has been pretty clear on that.

      The SEC is likely go to 16 first because they are least likely to add Texas/ND. But I am just not sure who they take that adds enough value to justify it. Hard enough figuring out how they get to 14. WVU? Missouri? If you assume ACC teams are off the table for a while, does anyone else move the needle at all??? If 14 and 15 are doubles, why add 15 and 16? And even if they did, that add cannot really force Texas or ND.

      So Texas/ND together have the ability to hold everything together for a while by working together to stay independent (or in the Big 12, in Texas’ case). And neither have any reason to leave if there are slots available for them in two conferences. How does THAT stalemate get resolved?

      Not only do the left behind teams get the anxiety of continuing to wait for this to resolve, it may not resolve for a while.

      • cutter says:

        How long do you think Texas is going to wait around while being a member of a seven-team conference? Or how about a six-team (if Texas Tech goes to the Pac 12) or five-team conference (if Missouri goes to the SEC)? I don’t think they have the luxury of time here.

        The same goes for Notre Dame and the Big East. The BE would have seven teams in football with a great possibility of going to six if the SEC needs a 14th team such as West Virginia. While ND has only minimal football ties with the BE thru the bowls and a handful of football games per year, they have to decide if the BE is where they want their non-football teams to reside pretty quickly.

        Oklahoma is meeting Monday and if they opt to move out of the Big XII, there’s not much doubt the Pac 12 would take them and Oklahama State because they essentially have no other option. I’m sure they’ll offer to take Texas Tech in a hearbeat if UT goes with them to make a pac 16 Conference.

        Texas is meeting on Monday to make a decision as well. Everybody is going to have to make decisions in the short term or be left behind.

  52. Kyle Peter says:

    Read on ESPN that apparently Iowa State & Baylor may be next to join the ACC. Hadn’t seen or heard anything about that elsewhere.

    “Reaction to ESPN ACC blogger Heather Dinich’s report that Pittsburgh and Syracuse had applied to join the Atlantic Coast conference (leaving the Big East in the dust) was fast and furious.

    * In her initial report, Dinich says that Baylor and Iowa State may be the next schools to join the ACC.”

  53. OT says:

    Big East founding commissioner Dave Gavitt has passed away at the age of 73, within hours after word leaked out that Syracuse and Pitt have one foot out the door.

  54. OT says:

    The “new” Big East football conference after Syracuse, Pitt, and West Virginia (which no longer has a reason to stay once Pitt leaves) all leave:

    Connecticut (will it also leave for the ACC?)
    Rutgers (will it leave for the ACC or B1G?)
    Cincinnati (nowhere else to go, lousy academics)
    Louisville (ditto)
    South Florida (no room at the ACC or SEC for this Florida school)

    Knocking on the door:

    Kansas (will the ACC or PAC take the Jayhawks instead?)
    Kansas State (see Kansas above)
    Missouri (would prefer B1G or SEC instead)
    Iowa State
    Central Florida

    Doesn’t hurt for the Big East to ask again:

    BYU (football only)

    Probably won’t make the cut:

    Baylor (no conference would want that nut job named Kenneth Starr)
    Memphis (Not even FedEx boss Fred Smith can buy a seat at the big boy’s table for Memphis)
    Boise State

    • cutter says:

      Notre Dame would then have to ask a question about whether or not it’d want to stay in the Big East composed of those teams for all sports other than football or not.

      The one team that Notre Dame has on its future schedule most from the present Big East is Pittsburgh with Syracuse being second. If those two teams go to the ACC, does ND have to scramble around to reschedule those teams? Speaking of scheduling, how much realistic flexibility will ND have if there are at least three 14-team super conferences? ND’s been able to schedule Big East and ACC teams in the latter two months of the season (along with USC and Navy)–what happens when teams from those conferences are no longer available to play them?

      • wolverines says:

        Big East as it once was, is dead…

        No Miami, Virginia Tech, Boston College (when they were good), Syracuse, Pittsburgh. We don’t even know if the SEC is going to take West Virginia or not…

        Almost everyone in the conference wasn’t in a BCS conference in ’03. Among them: TCU, Connecticut, Cincy, Louisville & South Florida. Those are 5 of the 7 members after the ACC raided them twice within a decade, the long standing Big East programs are just Rutgers & West Virginia..

        I can’t see them keeping automatic BCS qualifier status, it was questionable (but likely) before this recent raid. This goes a long ways to erase the questionable part, they’ll most certainly lose status as a BCS conference…

        Basketball? Yes, they’ll still be pretty powerful but the ACC just pulled the Big East’s pants down, again.

    • vp19 says:

      Memphis (Not even FedEx boss Fred Smith can buy a seat at the big boys’ table for Memphis)

      Not so fast. This hypothetical reconstituted conference is hardly comprised of “big boys,” and it might be willing to take those Memphis millions.

    • Paul Smith says:

      Boise should be added for on-field credibility.

  55. duffman says:

    Lots of sound and fury signifying nothing

    I hate to be the wet towel, but how does Pitt and SU up the ACC football values?

    If the ACC wants to survive as a serious 4th conference, they are gonna have to land UT and ND

    • Paul Smith says:

      I disagree, I think all the ACC has to do is kill off the Big East. Mission accomplished.

      • Paul Smith says:

        Even if Florida State leaves, which I think is likely, getting these two key pieces from the Big East keeps the ACC in position no. 4.

        • bobo the feted says:

          I don’t think FSU is going to leave. The exploratory committee formation was likely just posturing to prevent UT from joining with special status. FSU and VaTech both agreed to increase the exit penalty fee for the ACC – those aren’t the actions of a school that is leaving. This is a marginal improvement in football for the ACC, Pitt is certainly usually better than Duke/UNC/Maryland/WF, and Syracuse can be great. But I agree it will still keep ACC as #4 unless Miami/VaTech/FSU become dominant powers again.

          • Paul Smith says:

            The vote means nothing. 10-2 would be the same result as 12-0, but the politics would be worse. The fact that they were discussing the exit penalty in the ACC shows that the conference is reading the tea leaves and is worried about exits.

            I think this is a defensive move by the ACC (and probably a smart one).

          • duffman says:

            paul, my point was the ACC is not picking up any brands with Pitt or SU

            OU is a brand, and UT is a brand, but not those 2. The more teams you add, the more they should bring in above average revenue streams.

          • SH says:

            Syracuse is a brand. Not a football brand like OK – but it is like Duke, UNC, Kansas (though probably behind all those), it is still a brand. Pitt – I would agree with you.

          • Richard says:


            True, but survival is more important than picking up brand names. We should come up with a Maslow’s Hierarchy for conferences.

    • metatron5369 says:

      They’ll survive, it’s just on their own terms.

      There was a rumor that the Tech problem resurfaced, and the ACC said no.

      • Paul Smith says:

        They may “survive,” but they won’t be the 4th super conference, if that eventually comes to be. Any debate about supremacy between the ACC and Big East has been resolved in favor of the ACC.

        As a Midwestern Big 10 fan, I think I’m happy about this. Would much rather see Kansas and Missouri come into the Big 10, then any ACC or Big East teams. The B1G should stay a midwestern conference.

        • SH says:

          If this stabilizes the ACC, then without ND/UT, why would the B10 expand? Particularly, with MO or Kansas? I don’t think the B10 has to expand. Let the other conferences go to 16 teams if they want, but there is no reason for the B10 to expand just to match them.

          • vp19 says:

            This probably doesn’t satisfy Maryland, which won’t get much of a football attendance boost from Syracuse and Pittsburgh. It may still let Delany know it’s interested, and if it could be partnered with Kansas bolsters the Big Ten in hoops at the very least as it waits for Texas and Notre Dame (and neither will be in a position to demand a “junior partner” go in under its wing).

          • Paul Smith says:

            I agree. I would just rather have Midwestern teams if expansion is necessary.

          • SideshowBob says:

            to vp19: I think this hurts the odds of the Big Ten getting Maryland considerably. They are no longer a quasi-outlier in their conference (BC didn’t help stop that because they were far away) and Cuse and Pitt give the conference a more “northeast” character which goes only with the culture of Maryland — it’s not a southeast state despite the location of the Mason-Dixon line. And it gives them more good basketball rivals, which is really what the school is centered on now.

            With this news, I’d only see Maryland (or Virginia) coming along as part of a MD/UVA/UNC/Duke type block for the Big Ten — which could only happen if something like ND/Texas get admitted under special rules and Tobacco Road central gets pissed and teams leave.

        • joe4psu says:

          “As a Midwestern Big 10 fan, I think I’m happy about this. Would much rather see Kansas and Missouri come into the Big 10, then any ACC or Big East teams. The B1G should stay a midwestern conference.”

          As a PSU fan, taking only athletics into consideration, I wish we’d never joined a “midwestern conference”. Never liked it, never will. Since academics is the more important consideration, I have hold my nose and swallow.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            The “we’re going to own the Big Ten” predictions never quite came true did they?

          • Brian says:


            I think your last paragraph could use some explanation.

            As a PSU fan, taking only athletics into consideration, I wish we’d never joined a “midwestern conference”. Never liked it, never will. Since academics is the more important consideration, I have hold my nose and swallow.

            With the same stipulation about only considering athletics, would you rather have joined the BE or ACC instead? How much of a factor is PSU’s ability to do better in FB in either of those conferences than in the B10?

            And, seriously, you have to hold your nose to play B10 schools? It’s that offensive? Most of the fans seem pretty excited for OSU, MI and Iowa games, and look forward to NE. Perhaps you prefer those compelling USF, UC and UL games. Or maybe it’s WF, Clemson and UVA you want.

  56. zeek says:

    Pete Thamel at NYT has been on top of this story; some tweets:

    PeteThamelNYT Pete Thamel
    Big East folks/schools are STEAMED at Pitt, which led the charge (with Rutgers) to reject a lucrative long-term TV deal a few months ago.
    1 hour ago

    Big Ten Commish Jim Delany went golfing today. He’s that unconcerned with expansion. “We’re as comfortable as we can be,” he told me.
    23 minutes ago

    RT @ChiTribHamilton: #NotreDame AD Jack Swarbrick on Big East turmoil: Independence remains priority. Story:
    21 minutes ago

    RT @ralphDrussoAP: FSU Prez Barron confirmed to AP that Pitt & Cuse have applied to ACC. Said he’d be surprised it’s not done by Sunday.

    That first tweet is the most interesting. Pitt totally played the Big East over hard. And ESPN must be laughing as pulling Pitt and Syracuse strongly downgrades the value of the conference.

  57. John says:

    “RUMOR 2: ACC is looking to offer UT membership in non-football sports and allow the Longhorns to be independent in football.”

    Unless the ACC presidents change the conference constitution, that won’t be happening. Constitution says compete in all sports or you’re out.

  58. bobo the feted says:

    I think this will be the end game for a few years:
    Pac16: +UT/OU/TTU/OSU, pod scheduling
    ACC14 + SU/Pitt
    SEC14 +A&M/WVU
    B1G 12 (no change)

    BE football splits from BE Bball, joins Big12 remnants + C-USA raided again
    ND remains indy keeps non revenue sports in BE bball

    (Rutgers. Louisville, Cincinnati, UConn, USF, UCF, Memphis, Mizzou) Eastern Division
    (TCU, Baylor, SMU, ISU, KU, Kstate, SMU, UH) western
    biggest losers – TCU, Mizzou

    • wolverines says:

      ND is going to need a conference when the superconferences emerge, only way to play with the big boys.

    • metatron5369 says:

      There’s no way the SEC takes WVU over Mizzou. There’s no way Missouri turns them down either, unless they know they’ve got a Big Ten invite waiting for them.

      • bobo the feted says:

        SEC seems to care a little about culture and fit, and Mizzou despite the geographic fit doesn’t fit the southern culture of the SEC. WVU gives you access to the Pittsburgh and Washington DC markets – just as much as Mizzou can deliver StL and KC. Could go either way, but lets face it Mizzou has been used so many times as a stalking horse in realignment they might never get a conference invite,

  59. coldhusker says:

    Chippy’s back…

    Main takeaway:

    That Big 12 administrator said the ACC is reluctant to bring in Texas for three reasons:

    1) how the Longhorn Network would be worked into its revenue sharing;

    2) that the ACC sees itself as an east coast conference and wants to protect that by not reaching into the southwest (no matter how much TV money adding Texas would mean); and

    3) Texas indicated to the ACC it would need to bring Texas Tech with them to the ACC, and the ACC members were not excited about that because of Texas Tech’s academic standing (No. 160 in latest U.S. News and World Report).

  60. zeek says:

    Via ESPN’s story on story:

    ‘Florida State President Eric Barron told The Associated Press on Saturday before the Seminoles played No. 1 Oklahoma that the ACC was excited about adding to its “northern tier.”

    “Pittsburgh and Syracuse, who have applied, these are solid academic schools, and the ACC is a truly academic conference,” Barron said. “Certainly great basketball teams, a good history of football.

    “I’m sure consideration will be very fast. I’ll be surprised if it’s not tomorrow (Sunday).”

    He confirmed that 11 of 12 ACC presidents attended a meeting in Greensboro, N.C., on Tuesday — the other participated by phone — and unanimously approved raising the exit fee to $20 million — up from $12 million to $14 million — for any member leaving the conference.’

    Certainly doesn’t sound like a president looking to skedaddle…

  61. Quiet Storm says:

    Pitt will be made to look like they stabbed the BE in the back however a majority of schools, both FB and BB have been upset with the BE administration for how they handled expansion.

    When you look at the Big 12 and the BE it is a simple case of both conferences having poor leadership at the top. Marinatto and Beebe made some horrible decisions and this is what really has really created this superconference expansion.

  62. gadgetrush says:

    try yellow.. and forget about the rest..

  63. SH says:

    So if the SEC tries to poach a team from the ACC, what team would the ACC want poached? Has to be NC State, right? That would free up the ACC to then grab UConn or Rutgers? With UConn, you do have a damn good basketball conference. Either one really locks up the east coast. I mean NC State doesn’t really offer much to the ACC but could offer something to the SEC, and may be more easily obtainable than VaTech, who may have some political issues. Just food for thought on a Saturday night. Too bad FSU couldn’t help the conference out with an upset of OK.

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Whether your name is “NC State,” “Florida State,” or “Virginia Tech,” you don’t vote to increase the exit fee by $8 million and then immediately exit the conference. The SEC won’t be getting anyone from the ACC anytime soon.

      The ACC will be going after WVU, Louisville, Missouri, or maybe even TCU or Texas Tech.

      • @Michael in Raleigh – My feeling is that 14 is the new 12 for conferences as the natural stopping point for conferences (for now). The only exception is the Pac-12 in the event that it can get both OU and UT (plus OSU and TT). No one is going to expand to 16 just because someone else has done it. The reason why conferences are willing to move right now is because a bunch of big fish (UT, OU and even A&M could be put into that category) are looking to move.

  64. MIKEUM says:

    Longhorns are simply carrying too much baggage. The Tech problem continues- not that there is anything wrong with the institution, it being what it is, but UT is finding out that they can’t just get them into any club they want. So the LHN anchor and the Tech anchor, continue to drown out their possibilities

    • zeek says:

      If the rumors that Tech is unacceptable to the ACC are true, then that means that the only real solution to the Tech problem is the Pac-16.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        Yes, but it will cost them their network. If the rumor is true that the B1G has worked out an ‘everybody wins’ scenario to include the LHN, I have to believe maintaining their network carries twice the weight of sharing a conference with TT.

      • OT says:

        Not a problem at all.

        Texas Tech will be one of the refugees scooped up by the Big East Football Conference


        Meanwhile, Texas and ESPN, Inc. will get what they wanted all along:

        1. At least 8 Texas football games on the Longhorn Network

        2. At least 6 UT San Antonio football games on the Longhorn Network

        3. At least 6 UT Arlington football games on the Longhorn Network when (not if) Arlington adds football

        4. At least 6 UTEP football games on the Longhorn Network when (not if) UTEP leaves Conference USA

        5. Permanent hosting rights and TV rights for the Longhorn Network for the conference tournaments in baseball, softball, and Olympic sports

        6. 51% share of the revenue from a conference’s basketball TV rights contract (translation: Texas will earn more than the rest of the conference combined)

        7. All conference basketball tournament games that won’t be on the ESPN networks will air on the Longhorn Network

        One conference that is desperate enough and crazy enough to admit Texas on Texas’ terms and cede control to Texas is of course…

        The Western Athletic Conference

        • frug says:

          UT will never let its not football sports going slumming with a mid-major. They have too much institutional pride.

          • zeek says:

            Agreed, I think people don’t realize that although there are similarities between the Texas and Notre Dame mindsets, there are vast differences between their historical experiences and needs/views with respect to football in the scheme of their athletics departments.

            For Notre Dame, football independence with a feasible route to a championship is the absolute goal.

            For Texas, exposure within/and outside Texas are the goals as well as maintaining the pre-eminent budget/etc., but the means are not going to include football independence if that means harming the prestige of the rest of the department. Texas is not going to consider football independence without a BCS conference (at the least, might not even be sufficient if it’s a Big East/Big 12 remnants hybrid) to house its other sports. Texas basketball/baseball/etc. are not going to be thrown away in order to maximize football. That’s not how they’re approaching this at all.

      • bullet says:

        I don’t really believe that. Tech is moving up and isn’t that different from several ACC institutions. I think the biggest issue would be whether they thought breaking out of their geographic niche made any sense. I would think the LHN could be worked around over time, unless they had the concern about ESPN having a direct realtionship with UT instead of through the conference. The ACC’s original 12 team plan was SU and BC. They wanted to be the biggest conference in the NE. Swofford and the ACC have been a voice of reason during all of the realignment of the last couple of years.

        But we don’t know that Texas to the ACC is closed. I suspect it is still an option. But a 4 team western branch of the ACC is definitely dead.

  65. M says:

    Some food for thought:

    Best programs in CUSA 2005
    South Florida

    Best programs in Big East 2012:
    South Florida

  66. Old Tascosa says:

    PurpleBookCat’s end game would be very good for Texas and ND except that Texas values the opportunity for branding that the LHN affords too much to give the B1G control of all rights; 1st, 2nd, 3rd tier, and web, for 25 years. This flies in the face of the direction the media is going and is the exact opposite of what Texas sees as the future of elite college athletic programs. While the money is great, the branding opportunity is more important.

    Look at the other option being discussed. Assuming OU and OSU to PAC, ACC takes Pitt and Syracuse along with non-football membership of Texas and ND, and the SEC takes either West Virginia or possibly Missouri along with A&M, the remaining Big East could apply to the Big XII to bring that conference back to Twelve and maintain its much more lucrative TV contracts with Fox & ESPN; big win for both the remaining members of each conference. With the remaining BIG XII teams now secure in their membership and contracts, the threat of suits against the SEC can be dropped and A&M can freely join the SEC.

    Texas and ND Bball and spring sports provide additional media demand and footprint for the ACC’s media rights, thus greatly increasing their payout in addition to the 4 additional home football games their membership requires. That plus the new $20MM exit fee UNANIMOUSLY agreed to secure their future from SEC?B1G encroachment.

    Both Texas and ND continue to maintain independence and control over their own networks. Revenue from the non-football sports could even be calculated and evenly distributed if this becomes a sticking point. Texas might even consider adding soccer and crew to their sports lineup as they have excellent facilities for both, and it appears that money will not be an issue.

    B1G & Big XII happy at 12, PAC & SEC strong at 14, and ACC much stronger and richer at 14+2.
    5 solid conferences and Armageddon averted.

    • Richard says:

      It’s the Pac that has the most restrictive control of individual schools’ rights (including their website), not the B10.

  67. Gopher86 says:

    ACC presser at 9:30EST tomorrow. They aren’t wasting any time.

    • Jake says:

      Best not to leave us Big East folks suffering for too long. Get it over with and let everyone start picking up the pieces. Unlike the SEC, which just toys with us all.

      And I would like to announce that the TCU fan base, for one, has passed the denial stage. Most have gotten all the way to acceptance and are trying to picture life in a Big 12-Big East ragtag hybrid, but a few are still stuck at anger, whether at Pitt’s alleged betrayal or ESPN’s string-pulling. I guess it’s easy to move on when you never even got a chance to be part of the conference.

      • M says:

        I still think that TCU has improved their position. They’re at least more likely than Baylor to be in an AQ conference when this all settles.

    • @Gopher86 – ACC speed > SEC speed for expansion

      • Eric says:

        Sure are. Kind of like the all the attention on the Big Ten last year and then the PAC-16 rumors coming almost out of nowhere. This is more extreme though. No big rumors of this till last night and it’s official tomorrow.

      • metatron5369 says:

        Well, the difference being that nobody who has options really wants to join the SEC, save for TAMU, and the ACC doesn’t have that many options.

      • vandiver49 says:


        With a Beast required 27 month notification before leaving, the ACC will either have to do some serious financial negotiations or Pitt and “Cuse will play 2 lame duck seasons. I’m sure it gets worked out so that the latter doesn’t happen, but to say that the ACC move is w/o entanglements similar to what the SEC is facing wrt A&M is a presumptuous.

    • M says:

      Note to Texas A&M/Texas/Oklahoma/SEC: this is how changing conferences is done. 72 hours between message board rumors and the press conference. Instead, we have day 57 of “As the Big 12 Turns”.

      • metatron5369 says:

        Eh. The lumbering giants don’t have to hurry, they’ll have a seat at the table when it’s all said and done.

        Pittsburgh and Syracuse jumped and the ACC invited them because Texas is skulking around. It’s like Baylor and Colorado last year; now there’s no room for Texas’ luggage.

      • Hopkins Horn says:

        But what would I blog about if I didn’t have realignment?

      • joe4psu says:

        I’ll bet Delany and the B1G never make some grand announcement about considering expansion ever again. It may have seemed like a good idea to be upfront and honest about their dealings but it didn’t work out the way they wanted. Internet message boards and 24/7 news cycles make slow deliberate public steps seem like indecision and even incompetence.

        You don’t have to move quicker, you have to be ready to move quickly when word gets out.

        • Husker Al says:

          On the other hand, it was that public comment that ignited the powder keg of instability in the Big 12 and led the Big Ten to add Nebraska. If his goal was to simply destabilize the Big 12 Delaney did it perfectly.

          The movement we are seeing now are continued aftershocks of that announcement, based largely on the fear of conferences and schools being in left in an inequitable situation.

          • greg says:

            Delany’s public announcement is what directly led to Nebraska. No announcement, no Nebraska. I’m sure Delany is pretty happy with that announcement.

            B1G has added PSU and Nebraska in the last 50 years, and we’ll sit fat and happy.

            RUTGERS?!?!? Ha!

          • joe4psu says:

            Very good point.

          • joe4psu says:

            The very good point comment was directed to Husker Al.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          How do we know it didn’t work out like they wanted?

  68. Michael in Raleigh says:

    After that Oklahoma-FSU game, I guess the Noles are only 90% back to its 90′s/late 80′s form.

    Dang it. What a game, though.

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      The ACC deserves some more credit after today’s results. 2-2 today vs. ranked teams from other leagues. The losses were both really close, one of which came against the #1 team in the country. It’s got to count for something.

      Hopefully the “experts” will stop trashing the league for a while for on-field performance. For once, this year, the criticism isn’t warranted.

      • Ron says:

        The ACC is roughly comparable to the Big Ten for football this year (especially with Ohio State down). Problem with the ACC has always been a lack of marquee football programs, it was utterly dominated for a long time by Florida State and now in recent years by Virginia Tech. Don’t get me wrong, I really respect both those programs over the years, but if that’s the creme de la creme of the conference with a lack of serious challengers, you’ve got problems. Going forward, the ACC may prove a lot better on this point. It’s actually quite a tribute to the general strength of the conference in other areas that it has thrived despite its lackluster football history.

  69. MIKEUM says:

    SWC version 2.0 = WAC version 8.0 plus friends of Texas. ACC seems to have decided that they don’t cut side deals. Alot of Chip’s stuff is pretty UT slanted but the latest gets my attention because he does not sound to be confident that the ACC is a realistic option anymore if it ever was. If this Tech problem is bedrock solid for UT, then they are completely down to Pac 12 or SWC version 2.0/WAC 8.0 as the only options if Oklahoma bolts west. I could see the fuck me pay me conference happening but not if the Tech problem has to come along.

  70. Eric says:

    If the ACC adds Pitt and Syracuse, doesn’t lose anyone and stops there, what do you guys think the divisions will/should look like? I could see them just adding them to opposite divisions and making them crossovers, but I think that would be a mistake. I’m thinking something like this might be ideal:

    Boston College
    Virginia Tech
    Virginia (permanent crossover with North Carolina)
    Miami (permanent crossover with Florida State)

    Florida State (permanent crossover with Miami)
    North Carolina (permanent crossover with Virginia)
    North Carolina State
    Wake Forest
    Georgia Tech

    This would give both divisions access to Florida, but give the more northern oriented school to the otherwise northern division. It would combine all former Big East schools and all North Carolina schools. It would also give us divisions more people could remember.

    You could assign permanent crossovers for everyone or just give them to the teams listed above.

    • metatron5369 says:

      I think they’re waiting to get to 16, and this is how it’ll play out:

      Boston College

      Virginia Tech

      North Carolina
      North Carolina State
      Wake Forest

      Georgia Tech
      Florida State

    • Jake says:

      Yeah, why not.

    • M says:

      Wow. They should just call it the “We don’t like you West Virginia” Conference.

      • metatron5369 says:

        True, but they’re at least somewhat likely to get an SEC invite at some point.

        At least, more than Louisville and Cincinnati, who have to figure their way out of this mess on their own.

        • Eric says:

          Mountaineer fans have to be standing on pins and needles until then if this is true. They are either in the SEC or with the leftovers in a Big East-Big 12 hybrid.

          • metatron5369 says:

            If they don’t, they’ll certainly bring a lot of clout with them wherever they go.

            The WAC isn’t secure and the MWC is unknown. A new football only conference with the ashes of the Big East/XII and whatever old SWC teams are lying around could do well together.

        • wolverines says:

          Cincy & Louisville enjoyed their stay in a marginal BCS conference while it lasted; its back to C-USA for them. West Virginia at least has some hope of getting picked up by the SEC.

          • joe4psu says:

            Cincy and UL will be fine in whatever combo of BE/B12/MWC/C-USA schools band together for the 5th, and possibly 6th, BCS conference. Just because the big dogs want to consolidate schools doesn’t mean they plan to squeeze others out. The myth of 4 super conferences to rule them all is that, a myth.

            If you saw the post above, congress is gearing up, with no little thanks to Ken Starr I’m sure, to stick their nose in where it doesn’t belong. I’m guessing that the brain trusts that have been working on all the realignment issues are all too aware of the game about to be played. How do you get more pie for yourself without hurting others? Grow the pie. I’d expect we see 3 BCS spots per conference, 14 or 16 member conferences anyway, and additional BCS bowls before we see schools getting shut out of the BCS world.

    • vp19 says:

      I wonder if ESPN is forcing Connecticut onto the ACC, whose officials still remember the 2003 lawsuit and probably had a gentlemen’s agreement to give Boston College ACC New England exclusivity. Believe me, if the conference had its way, Temple would get the nod with Rutgers.

  71. MIKEUM says:

    Rutgers has location advantages but I could see them falling to oblivion like Iowa State, which is also an AAU, state university, that carries no athletic clout.

    • M says:

      Rutgers is the primary state university for New Jersey (a larger state than Iowa), has more students, and a better academic reputation. Oblivion could happen, but I’d be less surprised if it happened Iowa State.

      Of course, Buffalo is the primary state university for NY and they’re in the MAC.

      • joe4psu says:

        I was thinking the same thing about Rutgers. Plus, they have a pretty good athletic talent pool. Football wise anyway.

        I hadn’t thought of the state of NY and Buffalo, but Buffalo has never been part of the silver spoon group. They wouldn’t be missed.

        • Gopher86 says:

          Rutgers is like a second tier version of Illinois. Great school, the flagship of the entire state and a great talent pool. They just never seem to be able to put it together.

          I can see the Northeast play, but adding Rutgers, Cuse and UConn is quite a bit of mediocre football to digest. Plus, Boston College would certainly try to keep UConn out.

          • joe4psu says:

            The ACC seems to have their own plan in mind. It seems like they’re not concerned about expanding their football power and I get the feeling that FSU is quite happy about that. The joined the ACC as the path of least resistance and it remains that.

  72. Hopkins Horn says:

    OK, here’s a random Wake Forest blogger popping up tonight with sources (no link, unfortunately) claiming that Texas will be voting on the ACC Monday.


  73. Eric says:

    Show of hands. How many people thought the ACC would be the first one to offiicially make a move? Amazing how all this goes. I just keep hoping we don’t see the Big Ten adding anyone.

  74. mushroomgod says:

    What do you guys think of Delaney’s reaction to all this? He certainly seems to be whistling past the graveyard. I am amazed that the ACC could potentially add Pitt, Syracuse, Rutgers, and U CONN with NO reaction from the BIG—just a year ago Delaney said something to the effect that ‘those who would ignore the NY market do so at their peril’—wtf??

    I know all about ‘we don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes…blah, blah, blah’…but it is all very odd….I haven’t seen any real ‘smoke’ even with TX and ND–no urgency at all–do you guys think the Presidents have just told Delaney that they’re not expanding whatever anyone else does, so that his only option is to abide the old Bobby Knight advice–’when rape is inevitable, enjoy it’??

    • metatron5369 says:

      I don’t recall him saying anything at all.

      He doesn’t have to.

      • mushroomgod says:

        He’s said a couple of things…

        A week or two he said the BIG would have no reaction to OU and OSU going to the PAC

        Yesterday or today he was out playing golf (Nero fiddling?)and said something to the effect that ‘we’re very content where we’re at’………

        • Gopher86 says:

          Delaney isn’t going to tip his hand. The guy has all the due dilligence done from last year. If he really wants a University, he’ll poach them from the ACC. But he’s not in the business of adding singles and doubles.

          • joe4psu says:

            The ACC was always going to be a tough nut to crack and now it’s only tougher. The 12 current members didn’t decide to add Pitt and SU on a whim. Plus they just raised the exit fees by what, $8mil? Not Delany, and not Slive, are likely to get any schools from the ACC.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            IMO getting together to raise the exit fees is a sign of weakness. If there wasn’t a fear that someone wanted to jump ship there would have been absolutely no need to do so.

          • Mike says:

            @Scarlet_Lutefisk – I read that the SEC has a $50 yearly fee to be a member, no exit fees. Stability.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            @Mike – I’d never heard that before. If it’s true I really like the confidence/cheekiness it displays.

            To be honest what hasn’t been looked at yet is the possibility that the Pitt & Syracuse moves are a reaction to the possibility of losing two teams (FSU & Maryland perhaps?).

    • Eric says:

      I don’t think there is support in the Big Ten for further expansion and if there is no risk of the Big Ten itself being raided, why jump at teams that will likely dilute the pot and mean less games against each other? You can’t univite someone in the future which means going too high can be risk, especially in a conference with as many interlocked rivalries as it has.

      • mushroomgod says:

        Makes no sense to me for the BIG to stay at 12 teams when the ACC, PAC and SEC will all have either 14 or 16………Nebraska’s addition didn’t do much to expand BTN markets or change demographics

        I don’t mind Pitt and Syracuse to the ACC, because I think they’re better fits there….but I sure as heck don’t want to see MO to the SEC , U CONN and RUT to the ACC, and TX and OK to the PAC…..

        • Eric says:

          But expanding for expansion sake is very risky. If 16 proves to be a better stopping point, we can always expand to that later. If it turns out the conferences are too big and unwieldy in changing economic conditions, we risk the conference itself if we over expand. I don’t think any of the available teams are worth that risk.

    • zeek says:

      From Thamel at NYT
      Big Ten Commish Jim Delany went golfing today. He’s that unconcerned with expansion. “We’re as comfortable as we can be,” he told me.

      But, honestly, what did you expect? The Big Ten has no need to kill off the Big East like the ACC had. The ACC can at least justify its place in the hierarchy of things by taking Syracuse/Pitt even if the money won’t immediately work out in such a move.

      What is the Big Ten supposed to do? Expand for the sake of expanding?

      Again, the Big Ten is at 12 with 4 national brands and Wisconsin/Iowa as its mid-tier brands. What exactly can the Big Ten do right now to improve.

      Texas A&M is the driver to get the SEC to 14 since it delivers a substantial portion of Texas and can be a power in its own right.

      OU/OSU easily justify a Pac-14.

      Syracuse/Pitt + destruction of Big East + being ahead of the pack in expansion as a protective measure to keep FSU/Va Tech/etc. is the justification for ACC expansion.

      So what justifies Big Ten expansion? A naked landgrab for the portion of New Jersey and Missouri that Rutgers/Missouri deliver, even though that’ll probably just hurt the payouts of the current Big Ten schools?

      Big Ten expansion is dead until 2014-2015 at the earliest unless Notre Dame or Texas makes themselves available. If the Big Ten expanded now, everyone would take a haircut for the next 4 years. That will only happen for Notre Dame/Texas.

      • mushroomgod says:

        The problem with that thinking is taht there are options available now that won’t be present in a year or two…….

        • M says:

          No one associated with the Big Ten (and I mean absolutely no one) will be that upset if Pitt, Syracuse, Rutgers, UConn, West Virginia or Missouri are no longer available. If the Big Ten wanted any of those schools, it would have invited them last summer.

          If ND or Texas would like to join on an equal footing, the Big Ten will expand. Any of the above additions would simply dilute the conference.

        • EZCUSE says:

          The Big 10 can save everyone a lot of trouble by holding out for Texas and ND. At 12, that prevents the 4 x 16 and keeps a viable 5th AQ conference alive.

          The only questions is whether the ACC is making a play for ND as part of all of this. If the ACC gets to 16 by adding UConn and Rutgers, that pretty much eliminates that.

          Again… 14 is the stepping stone. At 14, the message to TX and ND is clear. At 16, you remove yourself from the equation (until 2020, when 20 becomes the “in” thing.”)

          • EZCUSE says:

            Other current Big East members also expressed surprise.

            “I probably had a lot of scenarios in mind,” Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick told reporters at the Irish-Michigan State game, “and this was not one of them.”

  75. AstroBoiler says:

    Being a Purdue fan, I’m mostly worried about how this will affect things basketball-wise. The B1G’s record in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge was bad enough before, now it’s going to be a lot tougher. That’s not even taking into account that Nebraska will be an automatic loss starting this year.

  76. [...] permalink Boyz II Men, ACC, BBD: The Atlantic Coast Family Looks to Add Pitt and Syracuse (and What it Means f… [...]

    • Dcphx says:

      You have to be Ishing me? No one can say ISU isn’t invested. They have a 855 page thread with over 13,000 responses and 800,000 views? Since 8/11/11, that’s flat out amazing.

  77. GreatLakeState says:

    USA TODAY has (an ACC source claiming) Uconn and Rutgers will round out the 16

    • Brian says:

      That’s not what it says. It says the ACC hasn’t closed the door on the idea of taking more BE teams, and if they did then UConn and Rutgers would be the two they’d want.

  78. Richard says:

    Found this. Thought it would be a good reference for helping to determine which candidates are most attractive:

    Of schools who went to bowls a majority of the years 2002-2009, the top schools who overperformed in bowl ratings (on average) were
    1. ND
    2. FSU
    3. Michigan
    4. Texas
    5. tOSU
    6. Miami

    Of worst underperformers (using same criteria of 5 games as cutoff), OU heads the list (and it’s not close).

    • Brian says:

      What a novel concept – ranking schools based on TV ratings for their bowl games compared to the average for those bowl games. Why didn’t I think of that? Oh, wait, I did. And I posted it here about the same time this guy posted his.

      • Richard says:

        Uh, Brian, feel free to post again.

        It’s virtually impossible to dig through the old posts to find stuff written several months ago. Maybe Frank should have a folder link for reference information/posts that we can all easily access on the side of this website.

  79. erstwhile says:

    Since it looks like the ACC is the first to go to 16, the PAC and SEC won’t let themselves be far behind. I can’t in good conscience think that Delany will be okay with letting the B1G sit at 12 when the other conferences are at 16. That’s a fairly substantial deficit when it comes to landing BCS invites, especially since having a championship game weakens the 2nd place B1G team in the season ending polls.

    I guess I see the potential for the conference to fall behind if we’re not making things happen. I’m not totally convinced a conference with 12 teams can compete for bowl invites with those at 16, even if those 12 teams are the ones we’ve currently got in the B1G. 14 would be competitive, if the extra two teams are ND and UT.

    • Brian says:

      So you’re worried about Syracuse, Pitt, UConn and Rutgers taking BCS spots away from the B10? Or is it TAMU, MO and WVU in the SEC (as opposed to FL, LSU, AL, etc)?

      There is still a 2 team limit. That can’t change until after the 2013 season. Nobody knows what the system might be after that, or at least they aren’t mentioning it publicly. The conferences would have to vote to move the limit to 3 teams, so why would the non-AQs, ND or the B10 agree if they fear losing BCS spots?

  80. joe4psu says:

    It had to happen eventually.

    Congressional Scrutiny of Conference Realignment Is Said to Be Likely – Pete Thamel, –

    In a telephone interview early Sunday morning, a congressman from a state with a university that could be harmed by realignment said that the issue raised concerns over taxes, antitrust law and potentially Title IX.

    While no one has formally approached Congress yet, the congressman, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the situation was “spinning out of control.”

    “I think the situation is rising to a level where getting Congress engaged may be unavoidable,” he said.

    • joe4psu says:

      I still say that when the B1G received a letter from Big Brother, (Grassley and Harkin?), last year it put a chill on any further expansion. I don’t remember what came of the situation after Nebraska was added but the government has a way of slowing things down. Like the economy (smiley face).

    • SH says:

      congress was always going to be a wet blanket over expansion. As I have stated many times on this board, if the 4 team superconference is inevitable – which I doubt – they better figure out a way to get as many states included. Otherwise Congress would take an interest, just as Orinn Hatch did on Utah’s behalf. Imagine if Boise St was shut out of BCS because of the Superconference. Idaho’s two senators would demand hearings. That is the last thing anyone wants. As you point out there are multiple angles for Congress to get involved – antitrust, tax-exemption, and I guess Title IX, but the former two are the biggest and would give the colleges/conferences the most concern.

      Whether Congress should involve them in this issue is beside the point.

    • Brian says:

      Oh no, a couple of hours of grandstanding in a hearing from some congressmen who have better things to do. This won’t change anything. Do you really think they can get the votes to remove the tax exemption because a few schools change conferences? Realignment has no impact on antitrust or Title IX issues.

  81. Milton Hershey says:

    So much for the Big Ten expanding East. JD was too busy coveting ND that he lost sight of other opportunities. East coast Big Ten fans really wanted to see another NE team added.

    • wolverines says:

      The Big Ten wasn’t interested in any of Rutgers, Pitt, Connecticut or Syracuse as a duo. Their only interest in them was as an addition along with a king like ND or Texas…

      Big Ten only wanted schools who up the bar for them athletically and financially (& pass the academic test); very, very few schools do that. You need to be around or above the level of say Wisconsin (Big Ten #5 program) if you want to join the Big Ten. The most interesting Big East program was Pitt and that was already in the Big Ten’s footprint, Rutgers has a nice amount of population but a rather pathetic following…

      The other most interesting addition would be Missouri, they are a solid addition (imo) but they along with say 1 of Rutgers, Pitt, Connecticut really don’t help the Big Ten command a significantly larger payday when they negotiate their 1st/2nd tier rights.

      • Richard says:

        I largely agree, though I think MSU is the median point of the B10 and the barely minimum any school has to be able to match athletically to warrant inclusion in the B10 (on their own, not as a partner for a king). None of Rutgers, Pitt, UConn, ‘Cuse, or Mizzou draw as many fans for football games or garner as much athletic department revenue as the Spartans. Only Rutgers and Pitt would be comfortably in the B10 range academically/research-wise.

    • Bo Darville says:

      Now that any NE options are gone for the Big 10, maybe they’ll rethink the Oklahoma, Kansas, MIssouri options. If they offered without the little brothers getting involved I wonder who would take it?

      • GreatLakeState says:

        Wolverine: Exactly right (of course)
        Bo: After ND/TX, Oklahoma/Maryland would be my first choice to get to 14, Oklahoma/Missouri my second. Unlikely as either scenario is.

    • Brian says:

      Milton Hershey,

      East coast fans may want to see an eastern team added, but that doesn’t mean Delany or the COP/C thought any of Syracuse, Pitt, UConn or Rutgers were good additions. Delany didn’t lose sight of anything, perhaps he just doesn’t share your opinion on the value of these teams. For all we know, Delany talked with these schools and neither side thought it was a good fit.

      Western fans wanted a midwest addition and got NE. Show me an equivalent team in the east that Delany has overlooked.

      These are the top 60 teams by winning percentage over the last 50 seasons:
      (Columns = Rank, School, Winning Percentage, Wins, Losses, Ties, I-A Games)
      B10 already

      1 Nebraska 0.78454 474 128 6 608
      3 Ohio State 0.76325 427 129 10 566
      4 Penn State 0.74027 436 152 3 591
      8 Michigan 0.72384 417 156 10 583
      48 Michigan State 0.53375 295 257 11 563
      57 Wisconsin 0.51842 289 268 13 570
      58 Iowa 0.51140 286 273 11 570
      59 Purdue 0.50894 280 270 9 559

      7 Alabama 0.72892 421 155 5 581
      10 Florida 0.69224 405 177 11 593
      12 Tennessee 0.68687 401 179 14 594
      14 Georgia 0.68112 393 180 15 588
      15 Auburn 0.67728 389 183 9 581
      17 Louisiana State 0.66126 381 192 13 586
      18 Arkansas 0.64897 374 200 10 584
      38 Mississippi 0.55194 309 250 9 568

      9 Southern Cal 0.72344 421 156 16 593
      20 Arizona State 0.64060 362 202 5 569
      25 UCLA 0.59948 336 222 15 573
      28 Washington 0.58916 333 231 8 572
      35 Colorado 0.55363 316 254 8 578
      40 Utah 0.55009 311 254 4 569
      47 Arizona 0.53812 298 255 11 564
      49 Oregon 0.53246 299 262 9 570

      11 Florida State 0.68793 392 174 14 580
      16 Miami-Florida 0.66235 382 194 3 579
      21 Virginia Tech 0.62413 356 213 7 576
      23 Clemson 0.60174 341 224 10 575
      31 Boston College 0.57509 324 239 3 566
      39 Georgia Tech 0.55113 313 254 10 577
      43 North Carolina 0.54435 310 259 6 575
      45 North Carolina State 0.54261 307 258 10 575

      5 Oklahoma 0.73990 435 150 9 594
      6 Texas 0.73305 429 154 7 590
      29 Texas A&M 0.57759 332 242 6 580
      34 Texas Tech 0.55903 317 249 10 576
      55 Missouri 0.52452 293 265 13 571

      Other AQ
      13 Notre Dame 0.68229 389 179 8 576
      22 West Virginia 0.61372 350 219 7 576
      42 Syracuse 0.54482 307 256 6 569
      52 Louisville 0.52589 291 262 7 560
      53 Pittsburgh 0.52548 294 265 10 569

      2 Boise State 0.76821 231 69 2 302
      19 Brigham Young 0.64775 386 209 4 599
      24 Miami-Ohio 0.60162 327 214 15 556
      26 Southern Miss 0.59325 331 226 6 563
      27 Fresno State 0.59278 343 235 4 582
      30 Central Michigan 0.57595 312 228 13 553
      32 Bowling Green 0.57468 310 228 11 549
      33 Toledo 0.57219 317 236 8 561
      36 Louisiana Tech 0.55280 254 205 5 464
      37 Hawaii 0.55277 315 254 9 578
      41 East Carolina 0.54741 304 251 4 559
      44 Air Force 0.54325 310 260 8 578
      46 Nevada-Reno 0.54020 213 181 4 398
      50 San Diego State 0.52881 253 225 8 486
      51 Houston 0.52822 294 262 11 567
      54 Western Michigan 0.52477 282 255 8 545
      56 Ball State 0.52315 277 252 11 540
      60 Central Florida 0.50838 91 88 0 179

      Not making the list but mentioned in realignment
      62 Maryland 0.50617 284 277 6 567
      66 Rutgers 0.50092 270 269 6 545
      67 Oklahoma State 0.50000 277 277 11 565
      70 Virginia 0.48418 273 291 5 569
      81 Kansas 0.44128 242 308 12 562
      104 Duke 0.36000 193 347 10 550
      Unlisted because they are so new – UConn

      Who are reasonable candidates for B10 expansion?

      Remove the B10 teams, and you’re down to 52.
      1. Non-AQs are unacceptable – 34
      2. SEC is untouchable – 26
      3. P12 is untouchable – 18
      4. TAMU is going to the SEC (see #1) – 17
      5. Academics matter (WV, UL, TT) – 14
      6. Parts of the ACC don’t fit at all (Clemson, NCSU) – 2

      Being generous, that narrows the list to:
      5 Oklahoma – OkSU problem, shaky academics
      6 Texas – wanted
      11 Florida State – highly unlikely
      13 Notre Dame – said no repeatedly
      16 Miami-Florida – highly unlikely
      21 Virginia Tech – highly unlikely
      31 Boston College – highly unlikely
      39 Georgia Tech – highly unlikely
      42 Syracuse - went to ACC (better fit there)
      43 North Carolina – highly unlikely
      53 Pittsburgh – went to ACC (better fit there), plus in the footprint so no new TVs
      55 Missouri – begged last year

      Who exactly are the east coast teams you wanted the B10 to add? Ignoring the southeast, that leaves you with BC, Syracuse and Pitt as eastern teams plus Rutgers and the highly unlikely MD from the bad teams list.

      Would those teams have accepted an invitation? Probably for PItt and Rutgers, BC and Syracuse are more iffy (better ACC fits) and I’m unconvinced MD would leave the ACC.

      Would those schools have made the B10 more money? No.

      Would they have improved the B10 in any way? Yes, in academics and/or hoops for most of them.

      Should the B10 have offered them (independent of adding OU, UT or ND)? Not in my opinion.

  82. bbobbo177 says:

    Viable Candidates:
    No one from ACC, SEC, PAC. Not possible to poach ACC anymore ($20 mill buyout), SEC/PAC stable.

    Will there be a superconference for the B1G, my answer is: No. I see only 14 teams, can’t see 16 as it won’t be viable money unless Texas says it must bring Tech along, than I could see 1-4.

    1: Notre Dame (1a)
    2: Texas (1b)
    3: Missouri (if 1 or 2 only come, fill in for 14, although Tech could be fill in as well).
    4: Texas Tech (if Texas won’t come without it)
    5: Rutgers (I could see Rutgers in ACC)
    6: UConn (I could see UConn in ACC)

    I didn’t see Pitt as a fit for the B1G as they were not a money adder to the conference. Syracuse would have been nice, but ultimately Notre Dame brings New York area tv market (#1 in NY TV Market for College) more than Syracuse does (Fact).

    If Acc gets Texas/ND somehow. B1G will stay at 12…no reason to expand as no one else fits with Missouri and will Missouri really add money to conference when we are getting ~22 Mill a year.

    • Richard says:


      I think it’s all dependent on ND & Texas (isn’t it always).

      If those 2 behemoths come, the B10 sits at 14 forever (or at least until Texas decides to look out for number 1 again and try independence).

      If those 2 join the ACC in an unequal arrangement (and I don’t see those 2 schools joining the ACC as equal partners under any scenario), the B10 should (and will) sit pretty at 12 and wait for the ACC to implode, picking up some of FSU/Miami/maybe UNC&Duke/Texas?/ND? later.

      If those 2 go independent (maybe parking their non-football psorts in a B12/BE hybrid), expansion sprobably over for now, or at least until the hybrid falls apart.

      Same for if Texas joins the Pac as an equal partner.

      Personally, I actually hope that the ACC is suicidal enough to take in Texas and ND as unequal partners as I’d rather try to add FSU & Miami as equal partners than Texas and ND under any arrangement that does those 2 any favors.

  83. allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

    My analysis of what’s left to come on our death march to 4 sixteen team conferences…

    Short of stopping at 14 teams each, there actually aren’t a ton of scenarios out there.

  84. coldhusker says:

    If it is Rutgers and UConn to get the ACC to 16, then that kills all the Texas/ND ACC stuff, keeping them in place for the B1G.

    And here would be your new Big TwelvEast:

    South Florida
    West Virginia
    Iowa State
    Kansas State
    Texas Tech (maybe PAC?)
    Missouri (maybe SEC?)

    In order to get to 12, options include Boise, Houston, SMU, Rice, Memphis, UNLV, New Mexico…

    • Jeff says:

      Yeah but at least ONE of these schools are going to the SEC. They are not going to stay at 13. My best guess is West Virginia

    • OT says:

      West Virginia is as good as gone from the BIG EAST now that Pitt has departed.

      West Virginia is a better fit for the ESS EEE CEE than the ACC because:

      1. ESS EEE CEE – small market schools with lousy academics and lots of rabid football fans

      2. ACC – big market schools with snooty academics, Tobacco Road basketball culture, lukewarm football fan support, and mediocre to lousy football (with the exception of Florida State)


      The “new” Big East football conference is not very good, but won’t be bad either:

      South Florida

      (Rutgers if the ACC does not take them)
      (Connecticut if the ACC does not take them)

      Kansas State
      Iowa State
      Texas Tech

      (Missouri if the SEC does not take them)

      Central Florida

      (BYU might be asked again to join as a football-only member)


      Probably won’t make the cut:

      Baylor (no conference will want to do business with that nutjob named Kenneth Starr)
      Memphis (Fed Ex boss Fred Smith won’t be able to buy Memphis into the Big East at any price.)

  85. bullet says:

    Unnamed representative shoots the national political card across the bow of the NCAA/BCS in NYT article. There may be a need to find a home for everyone, particularly schools like KSU, ISU and Baylor that have made committments based on existing contracts, committments that could impact state governments.

    • joe4psu says:

      Seems I may have read that somewhere before. Oh yeah, in this thread.

      Leave it to the guvmint. On second thought, for the sake of the children keep the dang guvmint out of this!

    • MIKEUM says:

      Whoever earlier brought up the Iowa state senators’ inquiry last year- I think that federal involvement is the one thing that scares Delaney to death as well as the other commissioners evaluating any state school left out. Iowa State could seriously make Big 10 life a Baylor like hell and deep 6 the Big 10s plans. Kansas and K State being out in the cold without a Big East backup, Rutgers,and don’t forget about Florida’s investments in USF and UCF. The private schools can operate as they choose but the state schools are another story as they could bring a lot of real heat at the federal level.

      • schwarm says:

        Well, it looks like there will be two 2 BCS AQ’s available shortly, so just gather up the remnants into a new league and give them an “AQ” to one of the irrelevant BCS bowl games.

      • SH says:

        The real worry is the loss of tax-exemptions for colleges or more specifically athletic programs. With such a large deficit and with some schools making incredible sums from TV contracts, etc., there is an argument to be made that athletic programs should not continue to enjoy their tax-exempt status. This is the real worry.

        • SH says:

          And the presidents know this.

          • London Ruffin says:

            I’ve been concerned about this for two years. Given the level of tv money the conferences are receiving, I could see some of the states/federal government wanting a piece of that pie. I don’t think the schools should lose their tax exempt status, but the athletic programs are big time businesses now. And, they should be treated as such….

          • frug says:

            The problem is, about 90% athletic departments lose money and depend on student fees, state support and direct institutional support to stay in business. You start taxing athletic departments the people who will end up paying for it are student and tax payers.

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      Well, Kenn Starr did spend a couple of days last week lobbying in DC.

      But what in the heck are the “potential Title IX violations” than unnamed source is referring to? Are they taking a note from the realignment playbook and making shit up?

      • Josh says:

        A lot of big time BCS schools are technically in violation of Title IX, but if it’s not to egregious, the Feds look the other way because of the political influence these schools have. What this congresscritter might be saying is that maybe they won’t be looking the other way anymore.

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      Hmmm. Now that the threat of Congressional action has raised its head, does that perhaps increase chances that everything might be wrapped up by, say, tomorrow?

    • ccrider55 says:

      Can the auto worker in Detroit sue GM because he made house payment commitments based on income that GM provided…right up until they offshored/downsized his area?

  86. Gopher86 says:

    ACC’s press release. The site says updates with video will follow.

    • Mike says:

      Do they join in 2012 or 2013?

      • Eric says:

        Didn’t say on the article, but that is a key question.

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          27 months notice puts their departure date in December of 2013, so ‘Cuse & Pitt either offer the Big East some type of settlement to move sooner, or wait until July 2014 to start playing in the ACC.

          • Hopkins Horn says:

            Wouldn’t you suspect that, as these things usually work out, everyone strikes a deal to accelerate everyone’s departure dates?

          • Jake says:

            A Big East fan (WFV? USF? Can’t remember) stopped by the TCU board yesterday and said that the 27-month rule expired last year. If the conference doesn’t even require schools to NOTIFY THE @#$!@% COMMISSIONER before applying to another league, I can’t imagine it’ll be too difficult to get out, 27 month rule or no. I bet we see those two in the ACC starting next year.

  87. 84Lion says:

    Assuming the Pitt, ‘cuse, Rutgers, and UConn to ACC comes to pass and starts in 2012, it’ll be interesting to see what the ABC 3:30 distribution charts look like. Let’s say you have Nebraska-MSU up against VT-FSU – which one gets play in Pennsylvania and New York? More to the point, let’s say it’s Pitt-UNC against PSU-Illinois – which one gets shown in Western PA and New York (I’m guessing Pitt-UNC). IMO this really puts a big dent in the Big Ten’s value to ABC in the eastern markets.
    I know, the Big Ten games will be on ESPN everywhere as a reverse mirror. Maybe I’m old-fashioned but I think conferences still need (and will continue to need) a big-time OTA game each week that is national or at least thoroughly covers the conference footprint and then some. I believe Fox will make a play for Big Ten OTA and cable rights but that’s 4 years in the future and in the meantime the ACC will be getting a nice national showcase on ABC/ESPN and good coverage in the big eastern markets (which admittedly aren’t as CFB-crazy as some but still have a lot of eyeballs).

  88. coldhusker says:

    What do you think Notre Dame is thinking about the Big East falling apart? Can they keep the other sports in the Catholic School side of the Big East? Would the new Big TwelvEast let ND play in everything but football? Or is this enough to force them to the B1G?

    If this does force ND to the B1G, and assuming Texas goes PAC, who comes with now? Missouri?

  89. Madison Hawk says:

    @ Coldhusker: The B1G divisions are perfectly set up for Notre Dame and Missouri. Notre Dame would join the Legends and have Purdue as a permanent crossover. Missouri would join the Leaders and have Iowa as a permanent crossover. Notre Dame’s annual B1G schedule would be Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Northwestern, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and two of Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri and Indiana.

    One other byproduct of superconferences is that I believe we will see a 13 game regular season sooner rather than later. This would allow for 9 conference games and 4 OOC games.

    • coldhusker says:

      If Mizzou gets put in the opposite division from Nebraska, I would prefer them to be the annual crossover game for Nebraska instead of Penn St. The Nebraska/Mizzou rivalry was getting nasty the last 10 years or so.

      • joe4psu says:

        This says it all about PSU’s place in the conference. We are no ones rival and no one wants us as a rival. WE NEED AN EASTERN RIVAL!!!!!!!!!!!

        Joe! Get on Delany’s case. We’ve got RU, UConn and squat after that. How I dislike being in a midwestern conference.

        • EZCUSE says:

          There is always Temple.

        • naturalmwa says:

          Iowa would much rather be PSU’s rival then Purdue. The hawkeyes love the lions.

        • Brian says:


          MSU and OSU like you as a rival, just not as their primary rivals. You had an eastern rival and you stopped playing them once you joined a conference. You don’t get to complain about not having a rival after that.

          • PSUGuy says:

            Which eastern rival was that? Pitt? Last time I checked that’s OoC and besides, why should we tie up 25% of our OoC schedule to go into an area we already have in our footprint (and is picked over by OSU anyway) to play a school that demands one-and-one when they can’t fill their own stadium and have more games historically than PSU at a 3-1 advantage.

            PSU (ie: Paterno) has always wanted the Big Ten to move further east to get a traditional rival into the fold just like Nebraska already has built in regional rivalries with the Iowa/Wisconsin/Minnesotta set.

          • jokewood says:


            Penn State does not have any eastern “rivals.” Penn State has eastern punching bags. Against schools from surrounding states – Syracuse, WVU, Rutgers, Maryland – Penn State is 75-5-1 over the last 40 years. And since 1995, the recent two-game series with Syracuse are the only games Penn State has played against those opponents.

            It’s difficult to feel sympathetic for Penn State here. The Georgia-Georgia Tech, Clemson-South Carolina, Iowa-Iowa State, and Florida-Florida State have all managed to continue on despite the teams being in different conferences. I don’t see why the Big Ten should make a big effort to bring into the conference teams that Penn State has made little effort to play out of conference.

          • PSUGuy says:


            You could say the same thing about OSU/MICH for most of their collegiate football lives as far as win/loss goes…don’t see anyone looking to boot those “bottom-feeder” schools out of the B1G.

            As for scheduling…joining the B1G in the early 90′s completely screwed our OoC scheduling. In an effort to maximize the impact for the new conference we spent the 90′s playing a national schedule (teams like Southern Cal, Louisville, Southern Miss, Arizona ,etc) while letting our traditional rivals (and the local exposure to recruits that entailed) rot. Next thing you know we had the early 2000′s with losing seasons. We’ve since (thankfully) started putting at least one regional rival on the OoC schedule per year (Syracuse, ND, Rutgers, Pitt, Virginia, Navy) and have been trying to find a ” middle ground” by getting some national type games in as well.

            To be honest though the argument is a joke. Every other team in the B1G (including the new Nebraska, though they like to recruit nationally) can get away with playing the conference to solidify their local recruiting base. PSU is the only B1G school that has to devote substantial OoC schedule to do the exact same thing since their traditional recruiting base is from eastern PA/NJ/central NY (which is why the B1G wanted them in the first place).

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            So it’s the Big Ten’s fault that Penn State stopped scheduling cream puff NE teams & started having losing records.

            Got it.

            PS – Over the past 40 years Ohio State & TSUN are 19-19-2. Remember we’re talking about rivals right?

          • Brian says:


            Yes, Pitt was you eastern rival and you dropped them as soon as you joined the B10. Other AQ schools (IA/ISU, UF/FSU, UGA/GT, Clemson/SC) have managed to keep an OOC rivalry going, so you get no sympathy here. You go on to make excuses for not playing Pitt, but that’s not compatible with complaining about not having a rival. You had one and chose to give it up. What if the B10 adds someone eastern and you get sick of playing them all the time? Do we have to kick them out and get you a new toy?

            You talk about NE having built rivalries with schools near them like IA, WI and MN. Perhaps you are familiar with OSU. They are your neighboring school and an equivalent rival. Just because PSU will never be OSU’s top rival doesn’t mean PSU has no B10 rivals.

            As for your eastern “rivals,” since 1993 (18 seasons) PSU has played these eastern teams more than twice:

            Temple – 10
            Pitt – 4
            Rutgers – 3

            For comparison, MI has played:
            ND – 14
            EMU – 4
            WMU – 3

            And OSU has played:
            Pitt – 4
            UC – 4
            Ohio – 3
            BGSU – 3

            Do you hear OSU asking for UC, or OSU or MI asking for the local MAC schools?

            Who was the B10 supposed to add that was important to PSU? Temple is a MAC school, and OSU has played Pitt as much as PSU (not to mention Pitt being in the footprint). Who is this great eastern rival you wanted?

          • PSUGuy says:

            Reading comprehension much?

            I don’t care one bit about “rivals” (and don’t really consider any of the old “eastern independents” rivals)…it has nothing to do with that. It has everything to do with making sure PSU remains the dominant mid-atlantic university (football wise) in the face of continuing progress of the rest of those mid-atlantic universities in order to ensure the Big Ten’s continued coverage in said mid-atlantic area.

            Like it or not, what I said was true…every single traditional Big Ten school can rely heavily on its conference schedule for recruiting purposes while PSU is truly an island on the other side of a mountain called tOSU and UoM, forced to play heavily in an area it does not, and has never, recruited well. Now this is is part and parcel of joining the Big Ten (which has been MUCH better in all aspects than any of the other possibilities), but to ignore the problems it creates for the conference is to be very short sighted.

            I said it elsewhere…if you want PSU to become another Minnesota…a school that used to have greatness and now is just a doormat…keep ignoring the fundamental scheduling problems PSU has when it comes to the possibilities of conference expansion.

    • StevenD says:

      If Notre Dame and Missouri join the B1G, then ND should go to the Leaders and Missouri to the Legends. Then move Mich+MSU+NW to the Leaders and OSU+Wisc+Illinois to the Legends. That gives you the best competitive balance (ND+Mich+PSU versus OSU+Neb+Wisc+Iowa) and divides the conference geographically (except for OSU).

      LEADERS: PSU, Mich, MSU, ND, Pur, Ind, NW
      LEGENDS: Neb, OSU, Wisc, Mo, Iowa, Minn, Ill

      Missouri is in a division with existing rivals (Neb, Ill) and so is Notre Dame (Mich, MSU, Purdue).

      • wolverines says:

        OSU needs to play PSU annually in addition to Mich, they need to be in the same division as one of them…

        Putting Illinois in the leaders in exchange for PSU solves a lot of issues while creating a few of its own.

      • Brian says:


        That gives you the best competitive balance (ND+Mich+PSU versus OSU+Neb+Wisc+Iowa) and divides the conference geographically (except for OSU).

        LEADERS: PSU, Mich, MSU, ND, Pur, Ind, NW
        LEGENDS: Neb, OSU, Wisc, Mo, Iowa, Minn, Ill

        Based on conference winning percentage (overall WP for ND), you have:
        Leaders – 3, 4, 5 (0.674, 0.625, 0.610 = 0.636 average)
        Legends – 1, 2, 6 (0.788, 0.707, 0.608 = 0.701)

        That isn’t very equal. For balance, try:
        Leaders – OSU, PSU
        Legends – NE, MI

        WI and ND are basically equal in performance, and there are 5 kings so I’d go (in order of locked rivals):
        Leaders – OSU, PSU, ND, PU, NW, IL, IN
        Legends – MI, NE, MSU, WI, IA, MO, MN

        The Legends is tougher in the middle/bottom, but that was necessary to preserve rivalries. The top 6 are balanced, though, and that’s important. ND gets to keep 2 of its 3 rivalries annual, play in Chicago every other year and play the easternmost team annually. ND/MI would lose its annual status, but ND would get OSU to replace them. The western teams all stay together, too, so nobody is isolated geographically. The biggest complaints would come from MI and MSU I assume.

  90. Penn State Danny says:

    Growing up here in Western PA, when I fell in love with college football in the 80s, Pitt PSU and WVU were all good and all rivals.

    Now, all 3 teams will play in different conferences and it is quite possible that none of them will play on an annual basis.

    It is just weird to me that what I considered the epicenter of college football as a teenager has now become one of the areas of the country that has just imploded.

    I am (obviously) happy that PSU moved to the Big Ten in the 90sbut it is a bit sad that things have worked out this way.

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      Welcome to my world of Texas, Texas A&M and OU.

    • OT says:

      Western PA, Texas, and Florida have way too much talent for one superconference to keep for itself.

      They have to be balkanized in the superconference world.

      Western PA – ACC, BIG TEN, SEC

      Texas – BIG EAST, SEC, ? (PAC or ACC or indy), Conference USA, Sun Belt, WAC

      Florida – ACC, SEC, BIG EAST, Conference USA, Sun Belt


      The only talent-rich market that is monopolized by one superconference is California, and that’s only because none of the other superconferences want to do business west of the Rocky Mountains.

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        Western PA has less talent than Ohio & the Buckeye State is locked up by one BCS conference (no kids UC doesn’t count).

        • Richard says:

          Yep. Western PA also has less talent than Eastern PA, NJ, & greater DC (Maryland & NoVa) each. If you want to talk about concentrations of football talent, that I-95 corridor probably has the greatest concentration of football talent in the north (NE Ohio & W. PA would be second).

    • PSUGuy says:

      TBH, I’ve always considered this an indication of the state of the Industrial base of the USA (for good or bad).

      Chicago through Western PA used to have a massive population base of blue collar “shift” workers which permitted their kids to play sports (as opposed to working in the fields) while also instilling in them a work ethic which pushed them to succeed on the field. These people had a decent life, but wanted more for their kids and a football scholarship was possibly the only means of achieving it.

      With the change in American society over the past 50 years (loss of industrial base, population movement, etc) as well as the change in college availability (more scholarship schools, easier loans, etc) I really think we’ve seen football move from a “means” to an “ends”. By that I mean football (or sports in general) used to be a method to ensure a future (via college) when the alternative was living a hard life following “in pop’s shoes”. Now-a-days there are football factories for kids as small as 10 (100′s of kids at practices throughout the year, with multiple coaches at all positions), schools churn through players chasing “the W”, and everyone chants the mantra of “I’m gonna be a NFL supa-star!” Few realizing that is like pulling a winning lottery ticket.

      I’m not naive in thinking things were always rosier in the “good ole days” but I really think the size of the college sports landscape today means there are a lot of wasted lives because no one really gives a $h!t about ensuring a kid graduates (notice I didn’t say “makes the grades”)

  91. Jake says:

    Hmm. The Big TwEast looked a little better with UConn basketball, but let’s see what we’re left with:

    Mizzou/WFV – whichever one the SEC doesn’t take

    Then maybe you add three more from:

    Air Force

  92. EZCUSE says:

    Nicely played by the ACC. Take the 2 schools from the Big East that ND likes the most for football/basketball. Do so in surprising fashion, catching even ND off guard. Along with BC, the ACC now has three teams that ND schedules fairly often (albeit obviously not to USC/Navy/Mich level). Sitting at 14 and talking UConn/Rutgers now puts the ball in ND’s court. For that reason, I just don’t see the ACC adding those two schools for a while. A UConn/ND add would be pretty significant way to conclude:

    North: ND, BC, Pitt, Syracuse, Maryland, Virginia, Va Tech, UConn
    South: Miami, FSU, Clemson, Ga Tech, NC 4

  93. Rich says:

    The B1G needs to add Notre Dame, Texas, Oklahoma and Mizzou all at once – sooner rather than later. It will be a victory for the four schools and the conference. The Big Ten will hold the premier programs in most of the nation’s top TV markets.

    School (Primary Rival/Protected Inter-Divisional)

    Indiana (Purdue/Michigan State)

    Notre Dame (Penn State/Texas)

    Penn State (Notre Dame/Ohio State)

    Purdue (Indiana/Michigan)

    Iowa (Nebraska/Minnesota)

    Nebraska (Iowa/Wisconsin)

    Oklahoma (Texas/Missouri)

    Texas (Oklahoma/Notre Dame)

    Illinois (Missouri/Northwestern)

    Minnesota (Wisconsin/Iowa)

    Missouri (Illinois/Oklahoma)

    Wisconsin (Minnesota/Nebraska)

    Michigan (Ohio State/Purdue)

    Michigan State (Northwestern/Indiana)

    Northwestern (Michigan State/Illinois)

    Ohio State (Michigan/Penn State)

    • Rich says:

      School (Primary Rival/Protected Inter-Divisional)


      Indiana (Purdue/Michigan State)

      Notre Dame (Penn State/Texas)

      Penn State (Notre Dame/Ohio State)

      Purdue (Indiana/Michigan)


      Iowa (Nebraska/Minnesota)

      Nebraska (Iowa/Wisconsin)

      Oklahoma (Texas/Missouri)

      Texas (Oklahoma/Notre Dame)


      Illinois (Missouri/Northwestern)

      Minnesota (Wisconsin/Iowa)

      Missouri (Illinois/Oklahoma)

      Wisconsin (Minnesota/Nebraska)


      Michigan (Ohio State/Purdue)

      Michigan State (Northwestern/Indiana)

      Northwestern (Michigan State/Illinois)

      Ohio State (Michigan/Penn State)

    • mushroomgod says:

      OK might have an OSU problem. Otherwise, I think I agree with you, but I don’t think the BIG Presidents are up to it. IMO, they are all expansioned-out.

      One thing to remember about this is that TX’ attractiveness to ND is BASED on their independence…actually being a a LEAGUE with those bastards might not be as attractive.

  94. Illinifan82 says:

    You know a part me is thinking ‘Delaney you sly fox, you got the ACC to pressure ND for you by NOT expanding into the east coast” All you had to do was let the ACC rape and pillage the husk of the Big East. Now if OU and OST bolt to the Pac without texas that leaves the B1G in a better (still slim chance) of nabbing the 2 remaining kings on the board.

    If Texas does not bend on the LHN for the Pac then i see the Pac expanding without texas.

    I still dont see Texas to the ACC…..

    A part of me just wishes we could fast forward 6 months to a year and see where everything is when the dust settles.

  95. Eric says:

    It is amazing how quickly things change. The talk was about carving up the ACC and now, between the higher buyout and new teams, it’s possible there isn’t a single team who would leave for either the Big Ten or SEC.

    This definitely changes the northeast balance. Before, the Big Ten had 1 northeast team, the ACC had 1, and the Big East had 4 (5 if you count West Virginia, but I don’t). Now the Big Ten still has 1, the ACC has 3 and the Big East has 2. If the ACC goes for the last two, that is a big leg up for them long term. Penn State is still a bigger name than any of the rest, but long term playing in a Midwestern conference is going to dilute its influence in the northeast compared to teams that play several regional games. I hope the Big Ten doesn’t expand further, but I can understand why they’d want to be closely looking at Rutgers and UConn right now.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Frank and at least one other poster (now who was that?) always said the ACC was going to emerge intact….

      I think this ACC move causes serious intermediate issues for the BIG.

      For 10 years, PSU asked (reasonably, I feel) for an eastern partner. The BIG just blew them off.

      The ACC moves makes them far more attractive for both ND and PSU. With respect to ND, BC and Pitt atre long-time rivals, Syr , Miami and several of the old ACC teams are sometimes rivals. ND’s BE ties have been dimished. ND’s overall athletic program was already too strong for the remainder of the leagu. The ACC’s olympic sports ratings are excellent (although) Pitt and Syr actually diminish them a bit in that regard). Most importantly, Pitt and Syr are institutional fits with ND—very good undergrad education, somewhat selective, relatively small (Pitt at 28000 or so is a “tweener”, but SYR is relatively small, and private).

      With respect to PSU, PSU fans have to start asking why they are in the BIG and not the ACC. PSU’s alum and student connections are primarily to the east and se, as is its recruiting base, and all of its historic rivals. Only $ and institutional fit (size) tie them to the BIG. These are big considerations for sure, but I wonder about PSU and the BIG in the long-term. For these reasons, I think the BIG needs to stop dicking around and add Rutgers and MO………

      Perfect is the enemy of the possible. TX is not coming to the BIG guys. Powers, their President, hates the idea of the BIG for TX, and there’s no evidence to think Dodds feels otherwise. It ain’t going to happen, just as Carolina, MD, FSU, Miami et al were never going to happen.

      • zeek says:

        The only two schools that made sense for the Big Ten from the start to pair with Penn State were Rutgers and Maryland. Pitt didn’t make sense because the Big Ten already has Pennsylvania.

        This move by the ACC changes almost nothing for Penn State or the Big Ten other than taking Maryland entirely off the table (when the odds there were previously extremely low anyways).

        • mushroomgod says:

          Pitt was only going to come if ND wanted them as part of a 2 or 4 team expansion. They would have worked out fine in that scenerio……..

          I agree that Pitt to the ACC isn’t a loss for the BIG in and of itself, but I don’t like the way this is shaping up….

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        And our resident mycanid steps off the path of reason into the void.

        If you NEED to add Rutgers and/or Missouri then your conference is in a world of hurt.

        The B1G is not in a world of hurt.

        PSU is not joining the ACC.

      • wolverines says:

        Texas ain’t coming to the Big Ten because the Big Ten won’t budge on the ‘Tech’ problem and they don’t see Oklahoma as much of a prize if it comes with OSU baggage (imo I agree, OU is pretty overrated in terms of ratings other than when they play Texas)…

        Getting Texas & Oklahoma would be great but not at the expense of only getting one good academic school of the four. Pac 12 is going to cave in for Texas more than the Big Ten; you saw that when they reached to pickup Utah and Colorado while the Big Ten added a ‘king’ in Nebraska.

      • Richard says:

        “Only $ and institutional fit (size) tie them to the BIG.”

        Um. Research? Academics?

  96. zeek says:

    The Big Ten’s goal here is still ND + Rutgers to 14. Pitt/Syracuse to the ACC doesn’t change that.

    Obviously, if Rutgers goes to the ACC (in a move to 16), that will dramatically changes things since it will be obvious to everyone that we’re going to have 3 14-16 team conferences at least.

    • mushroomgod says:

      If you’re not going to add both MO and Rutgers, at least add Rutgers now (or let them know you’re keeping a spot open for them).

      Most of the Rutgers fans would favor the BIG over the ACC at this point. Rutgers looks more like a BIG school, and they are somewhat leery of the elitism of some of the smaller ACC schools….but they don’t want to be left out and will jump at an ACC offer if one from the BIG is not coming.

      Right now, I suspect the BIG presidents are weery of all this expansion stuff, and not ready to do anything that doesn’t involve ND. These guys have never thought like robber barons…..they are mostly institutional fit guys are are fat and cozy where things presently stand………

      • zeek says:

        I see what you’re saying, and all I’m saying is that Pitt was never on the expansion list for the Big Ten unless ND wanted them as a partner in the Big Ten. Pitt has always made more sense to the ACC. Syracuse to me was the same.

        Rutgers makes sense though to be Penn State’s eastern partner. The problem is that unless it ensures that ND is coming, I don’t see Delany going for it…

        • mushroomgod says:

          From my perspective, ND isn’t the issue there. The issue is the long-term viability of PSU in the BIG.
          If Rutgers goes to the ACC, that’s going to be an issue down the road…….you can quote me on that in 5 years………

          • zeek says:

            I don’t understand how any of this changes Penn State’s position in the Big Ten. Yes it’s an east coast school, but all media rights are owned by the Big Ten for at least the next 15-20 years, so Penn State is going nowhere unless it wants to leave its T1/T2 rights behind…

          • EZCUSE says:

            Agree with Zeek. PSU could, in theory, look longingly at the ACC. But how does anyone recommend a revenue cut? How do you finance all those other Olympic Sports? And if Rutgers is all it takes to keep PSU happy, they can be team number 16 in 2016. What’s the hurry?

          • mushroomgod says:

            The hurry is that Rutgers isn’t going to wait around to 2016, IF it has the ACC option……putting them on indefnate hold won’t work, imo.

          • mushroomgod says:

            zeek, what do you mean by “all media rights are controlled by the BIG for at least 15-20 years’…are you saying PSU can’t move it’s media rights? If so, I don’t think that’s correct……….

          • zeek says:

            mushroomgod, since the 80s, the Big Ten schools have assigned most of their media rights to the conference for a period of 20-25 years. The Pac-12 just started doing it.

            The Big Ten renewed its 20-25 year ownership of the T1/T2 media rights of the schools in 2007. There was an NYT article referencing this fact. So unless Penn State plans to leave those rights its assigned to the conference behind for the next 20 years, it’s going nowhere…

          • mushroomgod says:

            Can anyone esle confirm this…………?

          • ccrider55 says:


            I can’t say I’ve seen it as regards the B1G, but something along those lines did catch my eye in the link to the Pac rules posted when there was discussion regarding how many votes it took to admit a new member.

          • zeek says:


            ‘If some form of equal revenue sharing is agreed upon now, then the Big 12 will probably have to show that its dysfunctional family will not be in therapy again next year. One sure way to do that is to have members sign a grant of rights to media properties.

            The Big Ten and Pac-12 members have signed grants of rights, which basically give all of the television rights from each university’s sports to the conference for a specified number of years. If a member switches conferences, the rights cannot be transferred.

            The Big Ten has had this arrangement since 1988, the year before Commissioner Jim Delany arrived. The Pac-12 members did so, soon after Scott took office.

            In a phone interview on Friday, Delany said the Big Ten had extended the grant of rights in 2007 for either 20 or 25 years. That he could not remember says a lot about how secure the league is. When the Big 12 situation is settled, it will make sense for the A.C.C. and the Big East to push their members to make such a commitment.

            “Only two leagues have it,” Delany said. “There are more than two stable conferences. It’s a chicken-and-egg thing. You do it not to become stable, but you do it because you are stable.”’

            So, until 2027 or 2032 at the earliest, the Big Ten controls all of Penn State’s television rights. Pretty sure, that’d cost hundreds of millions to undo if they tried to leave the conference… (not that they’re even remotely close to considering anything like that).

        • bullet says:

          I agree. Pitt and SU never made B1G sense.

      • metatron5369 says:

        Elitism? Rutgers is an Ivy that doesn’t play in the Ivy!

    • EZCUSE says:

      Lol @ Rutgers. The Big 10 is becoming the monopoly player with a lot of cash from getting all 4 railroads (BTN), the utilities (the intangibles), and hotels on the oranges. Looking pretty by jumping out to the big lead. A lot of cash, but no other place to build hotels. And now the other opponents are starting to trade (i.e. expansion). They’ll start building houses and hotels too.

      Rutgers will give the Big 10 one of the light blue properties. And with Syracuse and BC (“vermont ave”) in the ACC, with UConn (“connecticut ave,” to keep things simple) to possibly follow, hotels aren’t going in there anytime soon.

      • mushroomgod says:

        That’s a pretty damn good analogy……

        Those light blue properties are pretty valuable if you get ALL of them.

      • SH says:

        Begs the question – what is UT? Can’t be community chest, maybe chance?

        • EZCUSE says:

          I don’t know, but Notre Dame is free parking. Everyone wants to land there. Nobody is sure why. Most people I know give out money for landing on free parking. That’s not in the rules though. It’s a valuable property all the same. Nobody really knows why. And it doesn’t fit with any of the other properties.

          ESPN is “Go.”

          Chance: “Your favorite booster announces from prison that he bought strippers for players, Pay $150.”

          Community Chest: “Your favorite donor donated $3,000,000 to name the new practice facility after himself, collect $20 from each player.”

          Can we create this game already???

          • spartakles78 says:

            yeah everyone thinks Boardwalk (NJ) is the best property to own but you can get a better ROI with Illinois Ave, New York Ave, B&O RR and the Reading (PA) RR. Pick up the utilities for cash flow…

          • wolverines says:

            Notre Dame means huge ratings, even when they play Army, Navy, Connecticut, Boston College, Purdue… Enormous ratings when they played Michigan last week…

            They are a home run addition to any and every conference. They’ve got a ton of leverage and value their independence above all. They’ll be the last ones to hold out and eventually join a conference but only after the new bowl agreements essentially force them too, which is what insiders are saying are part of this four 14-16 team super conference plan.

  97. OT says:

    Again, University of Texas and ESPN, Inc. are not sweating this one bit.

    Texas will simply become a media company for the University of Texas System. The Longhorn Network will load up its live events inventory:

    1. At least 8 Texas football games

    2. At least 6 Texas-San Antonio football games

    3. At least 6 Texas-Arlington football games when (not if) Arlington adds football

    4. At least 6 Texas-El Paso football games when (not if) UTEP leaves Conference USA

    5. Hosting rights and TV rights for the Longhorn Network for all conference baseball, softball, and Olympic sports tournaments

    6. TV rights for the Longhorn Network for all men’s and women’s basketball tournament games that don’t air on the ESPN Networks

    7. 51% share of the conference’s basketball TV revenue.


    The new Texas-centric Western Athletic Conference

    WAC West

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

    WAC South

    Texas (non-football)
    Texas-Arlington (will eventually add football)
    Texas-San Antonio
    Texas-El Paso
    Texas State
    Louisiana Tech

    Texas can fulfill its 4-game WAC football requirement by hosting Texas-San Antonio, Texas-El Paso, Texas State, and Texas-Arlington.


    Texas will be able to play a national schedule in football, with trips every two years to Yankee Stadium (vs Army), Fed Ex Field (vs Navy), and either Los Angeles or the San Francisco Bay Area (vs USC, UCLA, Cal, or Stanford).

    Texas will still be able to play Oklahoma and Texas A&M every year.

    Hypothetical Texas football schedule as an independent:

    Week 1: tune up vs Rice or Sun Belt conference opponent – Longhorn Network

    Week 2: vs local WAC opponent (UTSA or Texas State) – Longhorn Network

    Week 3: vs PAC opponent from California (USC, UCLA, Cal, or Stanford)

    Week 4: Navy (alternating between Austin and Fed Ex Field) – Longhorn Network

    Week 5: Oklahoma (at Fair Park in Dallas or at Cowboy Stadium)

    Week 6: vs WAC Opponent – Longhorn Network

    Week 7: Notre Dame (alternating between Austin, South Bend, and neutral sites such as Soldier Field in Chicago)

    Week 8: vs WAC Opponent – Longhorn Network

    Week 9: BYU – Longhorn Network

    Week 10: Army (alternating between Austin and Yankee Stadium) – Longhorn Network

    Week 11: vs WAC opponent – Longhorn Network

    Week 12: BYE

    Week 13: Texas A&M (Thanksgiving Thursday night)

    • frug says:

      Do you work in the WAC front office or something? It’s been said here and elsewhere numerous times that there is no way UT will NEVER put its non-football sports in a mid-major under any circumstances.

    • frug says:

      Do you work in the WAC front office or something? It’s been said here and elsewhere numerous times that there is no way UT will EVER put its non-football sports in a mid-major. Period.

  98. gas1958 says:

    ND is still the best bet for B1G penetration into the northeast/NYC markets, isn’t it? I don’t see how Rutgers or UConn makes much of a dent. Nonetheless, here are a few questions for everyone:
    (1) Does the ACC move w/Pitt & ‘Cuse make a UT/ND pairing more or less likely?
    (2) If more, will it mean they go to the ACC or B1G?
    (3) Does UT still have a TTech problem?
    (4) If so, does it make a move for the two less likely, or does it make a move to the PAC more likely than the ACC? (The second part is pretty easy, I think)
    (5) Will Congress step in to prevent the formation of a bizarre “Who’s Left” conference drawn from:
    Boise, BYU, TTech, TCU, Baylor, Iowa State, KU, KSU, UH, Rice, Louisville, Cincinnati, Missouri,
    Please keep your answers brief.

    • zeek says:

      I think Syracuse/Pitt makes an ND/Texas pairing extremely unlikely because of the Tech problem (yes that’s still around, and the ACC/Big Ten want nothing to do with it) and the fact that the ACC probably doesn’t feel like it has to give a sweetheart deal to them anymore.

      I think this makes it more likely that Texas ends up in the Pac-16 (with TTech) due to the fact that it likely has no other landing spot and more likely that ND ends up in the ACC, since it has always seen itself as an East Coast school.

      Congress has no power here. The 4 power conferences will be way beyond anything else on the landscape.

      • SH says:

        How can you say Congress won’t be a problem? Congress pushed the addition of more BCS non-AQ teams. Congress helped push Utah to the P10. Congress will most definitely have its say if the likes of Idaho, WV, Kansas, MO, etc. get shut out of the super conferences or the BCS. Congress won’t dictate which schools end up where, but they will definitely have their hand in the process.

        Regarding PSU – that would be something if PSU ended up in the ACC as the 16th school in a few years. But really hard to see that happening. We are forgetting how much more money and prestige the B10 has. It is for that reason why ND and UT will end up in the B10. To say that ND has more in common with the ACC is just not true. By far, ND has more in common with the B10 than any other conference in the things that really matter – geography and historical football hierarchy.

        • ccrider55 says:

          Congress did not push Utah into the Pac. They were a perfectly acceptable U in their own right, and enabled the Pac to get to 12 (CCG) when UT scuttled the move to 16 last year. If cause needs to be assigned I’d say UT pushed Utah into the Pac.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            If anything the strongest argument is probably that the 2002 winter Olympics are what pushed Utah to the Pac-X.

        • frug says:

          Congress had absolutely nothing to do with Utah moving to the PAC. Utah was always Scott’s backup plan to bring along with Colorado if the Texas quintet backed out.

          (And for the record there is very little Congress can do about this. There is no way 60 Senators are going to go to war with the NCAA in order to protect the Baylors and ISUs of the world)

          • bullet says:

            Only takes one committee chairman. What if the head of the agriculture committee that gets involved in research grants is from Iowa? Think A&M will do real well there if Iowa St. is in the CUSA?

          • frug says:

            Do you really think he’d be willing to screw over Iowa (the school) in the process? That’s the thing to remember. The more powerful schools are the ones that going to be taken care of.

          • bullet says:

            He doesn’t have to screw Iowa, merely schools like A&M & Oklahoma St (assuming its agriculture), or several others if it is broader based.

            A politician can’t neglect one school when that school has nearly as many alumni as the name school. And he might be an alum of Iowa St. or Kansas St. or Baylor.

    • mushroomgod says:

      1 and 2. My guess is that the ACC wouldn’t want to take on both TX and ND w/o their football programs. I don’t see both joining to be full members. So the anwser, imo, is that it makes TX and ND to the BIG slightly more likely, but that it won’t ever happen because TX has very limited interest in the BT.

      3. Yes, but it’s a different problem than TT being a clinger..,..the need is from TX’ end. They need someone else to join them in the ACC or BIG. I’ve thought NEB and MO in the BIG would be somewhat attractive to them, but apparently not.

      4. I still think they’ll go to the PAC, and the LHN will somehow be converted within the PAC tv plan……and they’ll do that kicking and sctreaming……

      5. No….they’ll be some blowhards and threats that might slow down or even stop the process, but it won’t be a formal thing……..

    • London Ruffin says:


      (1) I don’t think it makes the pairing more likely because I don’t see these two coexisting in the same conference (imo). I do think these two will keep each other apprised of their thoughts and intentions to an extent.

      (2) Neither. I think ND believes an invitation will always be there from the BIG, so it’s something taken for granted. Usually, those things lose value over time. I don’t know what or where Texas is headed. I don’t know what their thoughts are right now, or what their end game will be.

      (3) Yes and no.

      (4) If Tech prevents Texas from realizing the full value of the LHN, then I believe the “Tech” problem goes away, which is where things are headed.

      (5) I don’t think Congress will step in to help form a conference for the schools left out, but I do think the tax exempt status of the athletic departments will generate a huge debate. These are large sums of money being discussed received by schools and conferences. Given the current recession and the number of states facing significant budget deficits, if I’m a senator or a house member, I’m thinking about making sure my state benefits too. Athletic departments are operating like mini corporations with no tax penalty…

      • joe4psu says:

        So you think that politicians would want to be seen as killing secondary sports? Taxing schools athletics departments will only lead to the athletic departments being forced to cut programs.

        Actually, that may not concern a lot of politicians. They don’t seem big on envisioning unintended consequences.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          It probably wouldn’t concern a lot of academics either…to be honest there are many who would see that as a fringe benefit.

    • bullet says:

      1-1 less option so it makes Pac for UT or UT/ND to B1G both more likely
      2-ACC less likely
      3-probably still a Tech problem
      4-Pac more likely
      5-Congress, if it steps in, would promote the “Who’s left” conference.

    • FLP_NDRox says:

      1. slightly less
      2. ND *more* likely to the ACC, Tejas less.
      3. Probably
      4. PAC over ACC or Big Whatever
      5. No

  99. bobo the feted says:

    Pac TV plan is set up to make money, which means the % of Content distributed will be adjusted according to the local market. In Texas that would mean basically a Longhorn dominated programming in DFW/SA/Houston and almost 100% in Austin with probably a 50/50 mix in West Texas and probably 80% TTU programming in Lubbock. The PacTV Texas while shared in name would still be a defacto Longhorn Network in the state of Texas. Let’s face it LHN would have failed as a national network anyway.

    From comments from the the ACC people like coach K and the Maryland AD – looks like the ACC is looking east for expansion, they specifically want teams in the EST and that fit the cultural and academic profile and play decent football and really good basketball. So this means UConn is likely and probably Rutgers.

    • vp19 says:

      Many in the ACC are still sore at Connecticut for the lawsuit in 2003, and Boston College in particular will do all it can to ensure it retains New England ACC exclusivity. So UConn is not a lead-pipe cinch; the ACC will do all it can to make folks in Storrs twist in the wind, perhaps even deciding to admit Temple alongside Rutgers.

      • EZCUSE says:

        Temple actually could make sense more than either. Philly market. No real conflict there.

        Query… assuming for the sake of it that ND would go to the ACC as #15 if it could pick #16, who would ND pick? UConn? Rutgers? Temple? Navy? Other?

        • zeek says:

          If I was the ACC, I’d take ND-Rutgers in a move to 16. Navy wouldn’t join because I don’t think it makes sense for either side (or ND) to try to force Navy to compete with huge athletics departments when that’s not its business.

          As for Temple, they couldn’t cut it in the Big East, so it’s hard to see them as a viable option for the ACC.

          It basically comes down to ND-Rutgers or ND-UConn. I think ND-Rutgers is the obvious choice. New Jersey is a bigger market, they have a huge alumni base; proximity to NYC is a plus for bringing your teams to NYC, etc.

          • EZCUSE says:

            The question is who would ND want?

            From the ACC perspective, the coin flip between UConn and Rutgers is one thing. Frankly, I think the ACC should want UConn more. Equal access to NYC and top-notch hoops. Football performance is a wash, as UConn’s hiring of Pasqualoni promises to drop them down to Rutgers level soon enough.

          • metatron5369 says:

            @ EZCUSE

            Nobody. They’d love to join the conference with no one else; they’d keep all their money.

          • vp19 says:

            Temple couldn’t cut it then because the Big East treated it as an adjunct member, and it really had no legitimacy. Make Temple a full-fledged member of the ACC — with its solid basketball program joining football — and it suddenly gains recognition as the real deal in Philadelphia, likely replacing Villanova as the city’s top hoops brand.

            I’m not claiming by any means that Temple is a “sleeping giant,” but the Big East has effectively isolated it into a stepchild over the past three decades. Making it an honest-to-goodness BCS school, and it no longer underperforms.

            Temple plus Rutgers to the ACC weakens both Connecticut (to the advantage of Boston College) and Villanova.

  100. MIKEUM says:

    I think the Big 10 HAS to consider at least 1 easternish school for Penn State. I thought that was going to be Syracuse but it appears that ship has sailed

  101. Peter says:

    I’ve said for a while now that if Texas has to take Tech with them, the Pac-whatever is their only option. The B1G & SEC will not consider Tech and the ACC almost certainly won’t, for the same reasons as the B1G. It’s financial dilution for all of them & academically unacceptable to the ACC & B1G.

    If Texas has to take the LHN with them, that eliminates the B1G right off the bat. The B1G simply will not compromise on this and I don’t know why it’s that hard of a concept. The ACC compromising on it was always a bit odd, as FSU or UNC/Duke do not get such special treatment. The PAC has always seemed at least SOMEWHAT open to the idea, which is important in negotiations. If the other side won’t take an essential point no matter what, you can’t get started.

    You can of course also triple-rule-out the SEC due to interest. Texas has never wanted to go to the SEC. That’s never even been rumored. They shot it down in flames last time they moved and nothing at all has changed as far as they are concerned.

    So if you eliminate the SEC for sake of reality and eliminate the B1G & ACC for Tech/LHN reasons, a Texas that cannot shed its baggage has no choice but to go to the PAC. They’ll take academically useless Little Brothers and work with a “regional” network structure.


    I don’t think the B1G will expand at all without Texas unless its Notre Dame with a “pair” school for an even number (Missouri or Rutgers). They don’t want anything the ACC or SEC is taking from the Big East except for a fantasy Rutgers that gets the BTN on NJ/NYC TV. Pitt was financial dilution and Syracuse was junk in football; West Virginia is unacceptable academically & financially.

    • ccrider55 says:

      Wasn’t President Powers the one who had to be talked out of the move to the Pac last summer? If, as suggested, the BOR gives him authority to make the move without further BOR meetings I think I know what destination I’d place a small wager on.

  102. M says:

    A few afternoon thoughts:

    -16 team conferences are not an inevitability and they are not a requirement. At no point is some all-powerful entity going to approach the Big Ten and say “You didn’t add Rutgers when you had the chance. You must be at 16 teams, so here’s Toledo”.

    -I am highly skeptical of Congress removing the non-profit tax exemption on schools. I would love to be the Senator who goes to Iowa State and has this conversation:
    “Good news. We’ve starting taxing athletic departments to punish those schools that left you behind.”
    “We have an athletic department that was already strapped for cash. Now we have to pay taxes as well??”

    Expansion has actually happened, so the expansion board has gone down again…

    • EZCUSE says:

      Yep. B1G can stay at 12 forever.

      And nobody can say that 16 is the end-game either. It could be 18 or 20 or 24.

      I think 9 is the perfect number. 8 football conference games, 4 H, 4 A. 16 basketball conference games, true round robin with H/A.

      18 may be the next perfect number. Same as 9 with football, only within the division. And then 17 games for basketball–true round robin. Plus, maybe one rivalry game with a H/A, and then 8 H and 8 A against the remaining 16.

      But 14 probably is even better. Play the 6 division opponents in football, plus 2 from the other division (get to play everyone every 4 years). For hoops. play division opponents twice (12) and other division once (7) for a total of 19. A big high, but workable.

      • zeek says:

        The weakness of going beyond 14 is that you become either a confederation in pod form or two divisions that are basically nearly conferences (i.e. Pac-8/SWC approach for Pac-16).

        18 basically is just two conferences of 9, so I don’t see that as a perfect number. 20 might actually be the next perfect number beyond 16, but how are any of these conferences going to get to 20…

    • I agree about the inevitability of 16 team conferences, especially for the B1G. They’ll happily sit at 12 unless/until ND or Tx (minus the LHN) decide they want to join. I’ll still argue that 16 team conferences are inherently unstable. The B1G doesn’t want to be the guinea pig to prove that [in]correct.

      As much as I’d love to see WVU (being an alum) land somewhere like the SEC I doubt that will happen either. I think they and the other football teams in the BigEast need to leave – the hybrid nature of the conference will continue to hinder the growth of the football side of things. They should probably join the Big XII, but insist that it becomes a new conference (much like the ex-SWC insisted that the Big XII not be an extension of the Big 8) and ditch the current Big XII management. The only issue there would be can the new entity secure an AQ bid.

      I’d go with 10-12 teams to start, with some room for expansion once things solidify a little:

      S Florida
      Kansas State
      Iowa St
      Boise St

      I guess I should add Rutgers and UConn, but since the ACC has said they’re on their expansion list force their hand. Plus, they’re too far away from the geographic center of the new conference. If the conference wants to expand at a later date there are other options.

  103. Michael Cole says:

    With Pitt and Syracuse gone to the ACC, the Big Ten is forced to move to take Rutgers (or assure them that their application will be accepted). All of the due diligence in B1G and at Rutgers has already be completed and the (pre)application was made over a year ago. Assuming things have not changed, at least one Rutgers B1G home game per year will be at Giants stadium.

    Apart from RU’s excellent cultural fit as a big state flagship and excellent academics/research (right in the middle of the current B1G profile), the NJ/NYC/Phil markets are (obviously) too important to ignore if one is playing a 50 year game. Put another way, letting the ACC grab (sans Temple?) every significant D-1 large school in the NE not named PSU is unacceptable. Thinking like a university president — if the ACC schools are off the table. Rutgers is now the sole remaining option in the entire east of the country with the research/academic pedigree wanted for membership in the CIC.

    The big strategy has been hashed out in Frankthetank many times. If the Atlantic coast is off the table, what is the strategy? Go south? (Texas + Missouri +? Miami). A southern strategy seems very hard to execute now with the ACC moves.

    Would you hang your entire access to the East coast on ND (+PSU) for the next two generations? For those that argue RU is irrelevant in NYC, how many seats get sold in the Meadowlands (~ 15 mi from Manhattan) for RU vs. Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio State, etc? There are a lot of B1G graduates in the Tri-state area.

    I think it is highly likely RU is a B1G member in the near future. In any case, the tell will be clear enough in the next few weeks. If RU is not announcing a move to the ACC then it is only because a B1G invite is in the bag. RU fits very well with the academic elite of the ACC (UNC, Duke, UVa, UMd, and now Pitt and Syracuse). UConn — not so much. There is no argument against the ACC not making the move to lock up the NE if they can.

    Things are quiet now because Texas has not made a decision. When they do (tomorrow?!), the rest of the moves will play out in short order.

    • EZCUSE says:

      Nebraska is a HR for the B1G, but at the end of the day will it seem that way? After announcing a plan to expand…

      The SEC got A&M and someone.

      The Pac-10 went to 16, with Oklahoma and Texas.

      The ACC went to 14 with Pitt and Syracuse, and is set up nicely to add ND someday, but most importantly solidified their internal relationship to prevent poaching. Don’t think for a second that the adds of Pitt and Syracuse were not at least partially to keep Maryland and the Virginia schools happy. North will make more sense than Coastal.

      And now the B1G is looking at Rutgers. Taking Rutgers over the Big East schools is defensible. But, when the others are gone, taking Rutgers is going to look like a marriage between two 36-year olds that “want kids and aren’t getting any older.” You can say it’s love, but it sure seems like Plan B.

      • michael says:


        Do you think this is only about football? B1G and CIC are much more than that.

      • greg says:

        B1G ain’t taking Rutgers, Michael Cole’s wishes be damned.

        B1G is going to remain #1 in per-school revenues for the foreseeable future, so I don’t care if their expansion is not viewed as “the best” by the public.

        • michael says:


          Do you really think the goal is to maximize athletic revenues/school? If so, over what time frame?

          This game has several dimensions.

          • Brian says:

            According to whom? Please share this set of rules the “game” is being played by.

            The best I can tell, everyone is trying to maximize their financial returns while staying (somewhat) true to their guiding principles.

            TV deals – money
            TV households – money
            larger markets – money
            better ratings – money
            fewer conferences leading to leverage – money

          • michael says:


            “while staying true to their guiding principles”

            Yes — these are rules too. For example, a near requirement for peer institutions. That should not be underestimated. Most of the readers here understand that implicitly.

            CIC synergy is also part of the money equation for university presidents.

            B1G is both an athletic and research/academic conference. That is a significant difference with the other conferences (the ACC is closest to B1G in this regard).

            My point in the previous posts is just that if B1G wants to expand the athletic footprint with peer institutions, the available options are down to exactly one (Rutgers) in the eastern half of the country if one thinks the ACC and SEC cannot be raided. When Texas moves, the in the western half of the country there are zero schools, unless one believes the Pac16 can be raided. (or Rice is a viable option).

            If B1G is willing to accept good institutions that are at/below the current bottom of the conference membership, then there are a couple of acceptable markers left on the table – Missouri, Iowa State, Kansas (maybe), and … that’s about it.

            ND remains the outlier — a Hamlet.

            I think there has been so much (enlightened) discussion on this board that it is hard for people to acknowledge the conference alignment end game relevant to the Big Ten is happening right now.

          • Brian says:


            I fail to see where you’re adding any dimensions. Conferences having academic standards isn’t a dimension added to the game, it’s a restriction on the movements of certain conferences.

            Besides, the only academics over money decisions the B10 could have made are saying no to OU by itself, or not accepting little brothers (TT, OKSU) to get OU or UT. I’m not sure how far they would bend on the LHN question, but we don’t know that to be the reason UT isn’t joining the B10. Nobody else that was going to make them money (i.e., not BE and ACC schools) was at all interested (ND, TAMU).

          • michael says:


            If you are happier seeing these as constraints on the process of optimizing athletic revenue, I’m OK with that. Beyond that, this has become a discussion about semantics.

            To summarize:
            Suppose UT is gone to the PAC_N.
            Assume the SEC, PAC, ACC cannot be raided.
            If B1G is looking to add D1 schools with the academic/research pedigree of the existing members (and I treat Nebraska as the outlier), there is exactly _one_ school left in the country.

            Of course, ND is the sole exception to the academic/research pedigree constraint. A few other options are available if the constraint on academic/research prestige is relaxed to allow significantly weaker additions (MU,KU,ISU).

          • Brian says:


            The point is that those other schools wouldn’t add anything anyway. The B10 isn’t harmed by not adding KU or MO unless you believe the B10 has to reach 16 no matter what.

            The only schools that would add value are ND, UT, OU and TAMU, and none of them seem all that interested or wanted major concessions (little brothers, TV deals, etc).

      • Brian says:


        Nebraska is a HR for the B1G, but at the end of the day will it seem that way?


        After announcing a plan to expand…

        The SEC got A&M and someone.

        Assuming facts not in evidence. TAMU hasn’t even left the B12 (yet), let alone joined the SEC. And the generic “someone” is hard to argue against since they could be anyone. How do we know “someone” provides anything other than an even number of schools to the SEC?

        The Pac-10 went to 16, with Oklahoma and Texas.

        Assuming facts not in evidence. Texas has talked to every AQ conference with the possible exception of the BE. How many times have we heard a deal is “imminent” for UT to move somewhere, yet they remain in the B12? Nobody gets to count UT as a member until UT signs on the dotted line. OU is still in the B12 as well. In addition, you don’t list the P12 taking OkSU and TT presumably, which dilutes the value of the growth.

        Get back to me when this isn’t all hypothetical, Chicken Little.

        • hangtime79 says:


          TAMU has already submitted its resignation to the Big 12. They have yet to receive an unconditional acceptance from the SEC. So in effect they have left the Big 12, they do not have a definite, but likely landing spot in the SEC.

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            aTm has not left the B12. Their letter was conditional on being accepted by another conference. That has not happened.

          • hangtime79 says:

            I stand corrected.

            “The statement from Texas A&M University President R. Bowen Loftin after the school officially notified the Big 12 Conference on Wednesday that it will end its membership effective June 30, 2012, if it is accepted by another league:”

    • Paul Smith says:

      What’s wrong with staying at 12? Still plenty of money, less watered down, and an easier path to the championship game.

      Some of you people have too much expansion fever.

    • Brian says:

      Michael Cole,

      With Pitt and Syracuse gone to the ACC, the Big Ten is forced to move to take Rutgers (or assure them that their application will be accepted).

      No, they aren’t forced to do anything.

  104. bobnonya says:

    Notre Dame’s 0-2 start and their complete irrelevance in the BCS discussion for more years than I remember has to weigh on the average fan’s mind w/r/t conference. OK. so ND is out of the BCS discussion right now and will have a very tough time getting back into it.

    But, if they were in the B1G or ACC, they would have a conference championship to aim for and an automatic BCS bid (not to mention a whole bunch of bowl options other than their usual feast or famine).

    I know they LOVE their independence, but it seems to be costing them year-in year-out, and I wonder if the average fan wouldn’t like to play for a conference championship and a bid to Outback, Citrus, CapOne should they have a so-so season.

  105. Madison Hawk says:

    Chip Brown’s latest:

    “DeLoss Dodds has told people who matter that Texas does not want to go independent and does not want to go to the Big Ten. Dodds has said the growth in the United States is south, and the Big Ten is not in the south.

    It’s not a done deal, but it’s looking more and more like the Pac-12 with a modified version of the Longhorn Network, probably renamed as something like the Pac-12 Texas Network.”

    • zeek says:

      The Pac-16 is basically a done deal at this point. We’re looking at a Pac-16, SEC-14 (WVU or Missouri), ACC-14, Big Ten-12, and some mix of Big East/Big 12 survivors as a 10-12 team conference.

      The Big East/Big 12 hybrid is going to look like Missouri or WVU (whichever SEC doesn’t take), Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Baylor, TCU, Cincinnati, Louisville, USF, Rutgers, UConn. Maybe they invite Houston or UCF or ECU to be their 12th team.

      This depends on what ND does and whether ACC stays at 14 (I think both will stay put for now).

      • michael says:

        Rutgers is not staying in the Big East with Pitt and Syracuse gone and UConn working hard to leave. The schism between the football and bb schools has been a basic problem in governance for a long time. The Pitt and Syracuse moves show the fault line has ruptured.

        Rutgers will move now because it can. It has no reason to work to keep the Big East intact. There is no longer a peer institution in the conference. The only (football) schools that want to keep the Big East are those who have no good options. In this sense it is exactly like the Big 12 after OU, OSU, and UT are gone.

    • Peter says:

      This is a bit of a personal pet peeve, but I get tired of people living in a growing ecological disaster (the inland Southwest) spewing this demographic Manifest Destiny crap. The region’s water supplies are very badly outmatched already and the faster it grows, the worse it gets.

      • gnqanqgnqanq says:

        Bingo, we have a winner.

        I believe the same thing. The midwest (Great Lake states) have such an enormous amount of fresh water without touching the Great Lakes. The natural moisture out of the gulf with the air patterns that combine for enormous amount of rain/snow that fills our lakes and streams.

        On the flip side, I would hope the Big Ten adds a travel partner for Penn State by adding Rutgers or Maryland (unlikely).

      • greg says:

        I agree that the “everyone is fleeing to the South!!!” meme is overblown. I think everyone should be careful assuming the growth rates in the South will continue once water is on the wane and climate change likely continues to heat things up.

        Even if the the growth rates continue, B1G has plenty of people and will be fine. If the ecological disaster changes things, BIG may be even better.

        • Paul Smith says:

          When is JD going to play the “ecological disaster” card? Does he wait for the actual disaster to strike or hype it up now….?

          • Abe Froman says:

            “When is JD going to play the “ecological disaster” card? Does he wait for the actual disaster to strike or hype it up now….?”

            I think he missed a great opportunity with Katrina. And Irene was (literally) a gift from above in order to get in a pot shot at the ACC.

            Oh well, there’ll be another disaster soon enough.

        • bullet says:

          Most of the south has plenty of water. Tennessee alone has enormous resources. Its Arizona, Nevada and California that have issues.

          • Brian says:



            Look at a current drought map. The worst category is excessively dry, and right now that includes:

            Essentially all of TX (a small part is severely dry)
            Most of OK (part is severely dry)
            SW KS (about 22% of state, another 22% is severely dry)
            SE CO (about 25%)
            E NM (over 50%)
            SW WY (about 15%)
            S AR (about 30%)
            NW LA (about 25%, another 15% is severely dry)
            S GA (about 65%, another 10% is severely dry)
            NW SC (about 33%, another 33% is severely dry)
            S NC (about 11%, another 11% is severely dry)

            Plus states that top out at severely dry:
            N FL (about 50%)
            SE AZ (about 67%)

            Atlanta still doesn’t have a satisfactory water supply, especially with the court decisions against them. They are counting on building new reservoirs faster than demand increases as well as drastic water conservation methods (cutting over 12% of current use while growing supply about 50% in 25 years). Where the money will come from and whether they can meet their goals is questionable at best.

            Water is a significant current and future issue for the south, and global warming is expected to make it worse for parts of the south. The current rate of growth is not sustainable for many of these areas in the long term.

          • bullet says:

            Houston had something like 6 inches of rain last I checked when they average 45 inches a year. They had 30 of 31 days in August over 100 when they normally have 2 or 3 a year. That is a drought, not a water shortage.

            Georgia won the appeal of the court case. Like everything else, Georgia has taken shortcuts. They will find the money if they want to build the resevoirs. Atlanta had something like 3 years with less than half of their 55 inch annual rainfall and Lake Lanier was way below norm. Then we moved here from Houston and there’s been a lot of flooding. And Houston now has a drought. Maybe Congress can pay us $20 million instead of spending on disaster relief and we can take the rain back to Houston.

            Even if you firmly believe in global warming, the key factor is that weather impacts will not be predictable in the short run (50 years).

          • bullet says:

            I actually agree with all of you that parts of the West won’t grow like they have because of water. Phoenix and Las Vegas and southern California are going to face real issues.

            As for the rest, I trust the census bureau projections.

        • Dcphx says:

          Every B10 state except Michigan has had real population growth from 1990 to 2000 and 2000 to 2010. Michigan is slightly less in 2010 than 2000 but still more than 1990. MI is down 55k population out of nearly 10 million. Granted they are growing slower than many other places but the meme that people are flocking out of the midwest is more than a little overdone.

      • Jake says:

        @Peter – It’s okay, President Perry will just open the nation’s strategic prayer reserve to bring the blessed rains to the parched lands.

      • Redwood86 says:

        Well, if you midwesterners were not a bunch of narrow-minded socialists, you still might have some growth up there.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          Well if you southerners ever looked at the actual demographic predictions you’d realize that the ‘massive population shift’ in your region is primarily due to a large influx of immigrants. I’m sure your history of open mindedness will serve you well when your neighbors are speaking spanish.

          • Rich2 says:

            … and the highest unwed teenage pregnancy rate in the nation. If southern girls ever use science instead of prayer, the pronounced demographic “shift” will lessen considerably.

          • Richard says:


            If you’re relying on that, then the babies will continue.

          • bullet says:

            And you wonder why the SEC people are so united and so resent Yankees. Its not just Sherman’s march (and Sherman is still not a name to be spoken in proper company in Georgia).

          • M says:

            “And you wonder why the SEC people are so united and so resent Yankees. Its not just Sherman’s march (and Sherman is still not a name to be spoken in proper company in Georgia).”

            So you’re saying southerners are good at uniting and hating a large group of people based a few stereotypes? I learn something new every day.

        • jj says:

          growth is easy to show when you’re starting on the lower end of the scale. this looks like more or less the entire south to me.

          • M says:

            If the SEC adds WVU, they’ll have 8 of the “top” 9…

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            Linking the huffpo show a lack of seriousness. I read FTT to avoid discussions like this.

          • jj says:

            I agree about huff, but it was the first thong that popped up on google on the issue. The numbers appear real and and relevant though. redwood was getting close to playing the hitler/Stalin card and I though some facts were in order. If I have a dollar and get another, it’s a 100 percent economic boom!

      • metatron5369 says:

        Just wait until the Congress comes to try and take it from us because “they need it”.

    • Gopher86 says:

      That story read like this to me:

      We had an offer to a conference with rivals OU, Tech and OSU on the table, but we decided to shop around to see if we could launch our own network. The ACC and B1G said NF(easible)W. So we ended up coming back to the table with our tail between our legs and haggled over minor concessions to save face.

      But it was Tech’s fault we couldn’t get into the ACC. And we didn’t want to go to the B1G anyway– it’s the rust belt.

      Sorry, try selling me another narrative, Chippy.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      “DeLoss Dodds has told people who matter that Texas does not want to go
      independent and does not want to go to the Big Ten. Dodds has said the growth in
      the United States is south, and the Big Ten is not in the south.”

      —Translation – “The B1G so far has not budged in regards to our demands.”

  106. zeek says:

    UConn is pushing really hard for the ACC right now. We might have two 16 team conferences within a week.

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      If Pitt and Syracuse don’t dilute the TV power/football strength of the ACC, how does adding Connecticut not do the same?

      • bullet says:

        Contrary to what most of us thought, it doesn’t seem to be that hard to financially justify 14 teams. When the BE is worth $11/million/team without bidding, it would be pretty easy for their two most valuable programs-SU and Pitt-to be worth at least as much as the ACC $13 million/team and to get ESPN to pay at least $13 million for the 2 extra.

    • M says:

      Michael Cole mentions this scenario higher up, but let’s look at it more directly:

      Known points
      1. The ACC states that it has “philosophical objections” to 16 teams.
      2. UConn really wants into the ACC.
      3. Rutgers (presumably) doesn’t want to stay in the smoking crater that is the Big East.

      I can think of a few explanations for these points:
      A. The ACC doesn’t really want to go to 16. Possible, but unlikely based on all the statements from both Swofford and various ACC potentates.
      B. Rutgers is dragging its feet, hoping for, expecting, or being told to expect a Big Ten invitation. Also possible, but would require a high value team (presumably ND or Texas) as 14 for the Big Ten.
      C. The ACC hopes to go to 16, but has a different team in mind for the 16th addition, presumably either ND or Texas (or both?).

      My guess is either B or C. ND seems to have been caught with its pants down on this one and is probably taking some time to consider its options.

    • schwarm says:

      If the ACC waits, what options does UConn have? ACC is probably hoping for ND at 15 like the Big 10 wants them at 13.

  107. Michael in Raleigh says:

    My preference for divisions in the ACC, as a fan of FSU:

    South (North permanent crossover)

    FSU (Miami)
    Ga. Tech (Pitt)
    Clemson (Va. Tech)
    Wake (Syracuse)
    NCSU (Maryland)
    Duke (Boston College)
    UNC (Virginia)

    Except for Miami being in the north, it’s pretty easy to understand for any joe-schmo football fan.

    Perhaps this setup would make it easy for end-of-season rivalries for everyone in the conference:


    Ga. Tech-Georgia
    Clemson-South Carolina
    Pitt-West Virginia


    Va. Tech-UVA

    I fail to see, though, how this strengthens the ACC. Pitt and Syracuse are obviously great universities, but short of adding a “king” like Oklahoma, Texas, Notre Dame, or the ultimate long shot Penn State, there aren’t really universities that give the ACC enough leverage to renegotiate its TV contract. Heck, if the ACC’s contract language is similar to the SEC’s, adding anyone may not allow it to increase its per member payouts any more than at a pro rata basis.

    This whole thing just strikes me as very bizarre and panic-driven.

    • EZCUSE says:

      I doubt the ACC made this move without talking to ESPN. ESPN wouldn’t have said yes, but they might not have said no. Maybe something like “look, if you add schools that add value, we’ll negotiate in good faith.”

      Of course, Nobody benefits from the implosion of the Big East like the ACC and ESPN. If the Big East teams had raised the exit fee to $20M and assigned their media rights for 10 years, then they would have been sitting pretty going into the 2012 renegotiating period. Perhaps more money than the ACC. Big problem for ACC. Big East schools making more money. That could lead to schools like FSU thinking SEC or Maryland thinking Big 10.

      But the Big East told ESPN “not so fast.” Big problem for ESPN. ESPN was already offering above market value. To keep the NE, they would need to outbid others. A bidding war in a seller’s market like that was not good. That would add inventory to an opponent or cause them to lose massive $$$.

      Now, with the Big East weakened by the SEC talking WVU and the ACC raiding the BE, now things are looking good for ESPN. If the remaining BE goes to Fox, who cares? It is a MWC of the East. If ESPN keeps the BE, it can be hoops only and appropriately priced. If the BE dissolves, then the key components go to the Big 12. And if the Big 12 doesn’t survive this either, the amt. they agreed to pay last year suddenly goes out the window. So more $$$ for ESPN.

      While ESPN could not agree in advance to offer the SEC or ACC money to do this, that does not mean that they will not at least consider some sort of re-doing of the deal to increase the shares pro rata. Someday, these schools will be up for renewal. Might as well keep them happy now.

      This also hurts the Big 10 by forcing their hand with Eastern expansion… Rutgers, UConn are less of a lure for Notre Dame than Pitt or even Syracuse. And always were. ND can now sit on the fence for longer too. If the ACC is at 14, ND can use that to justify staying independent and saying no to B1G. That’s what really hurts. And if the B1G took Rutgers and UConn, that wouldn’t make a difference to ND at all, as they still have a potential home in the ACC. And if B1G took Rutgers and UConn and Missouri and said… ND… its Kansas or you… ND could STILL say no because they have an ACC out. So why would the B1G ever go beyond 12 at this point.

      Instead, they are better off saying “quality over quantity” and doing nothing for now. And that seems like what is going to happen.

      • michael says:

        Only if Delany is willing to bet ND + PSU gets the mid-Atlantic and NE. Is it too obvious to point out ND to the B1G is not a given? The TV markets involved are #1, #4 in the country and > 20mm people. This is no small bet.

        Suppose B1G says “not now” to Rutgers, but maybe if/when ND joins. You can be assured Rutgers will go to the ACC in short order. Now suppose ND eventually goes to the ACC and Texas goes to the Pac12. What is the best remaining strategy for Delany? Delany knows the university presidents will point out the the universe of CIC-worthy football/basketball schools is empty unless they are willing to admit schools at/below the bottom of the current B1G (i.e more Nebraska-level universities).

        A critical aspect of cost/benefit analysis depends on the time horizon considered. One rarely has the luxury of waiting to see if the optimal outcome can be achieved.

      • greg says:

        ESPN just stabbed Big East in the back, but now the ACC is going to trust their “good faith”? If so, they are fools.

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        Why do you believe that Syracuse is a ‘lure’ in regards to ND? They’ve met 3 times in football since ND joined the Big East.

        The only schools that ND seems to have any actual interest in are the Catholic institutions, none of which field IA/FBS football teams.

        From everything I can see ND doesn’t care one whit about where Pitt ends up let alone the likes of Syracuse or Rutgers.

        • EZCUSE says:

          The schools are both private. Adding Syracuse to the ACC means that the ACC now has a nice chunk of private schools. The B1G only has one.

          It’s not like these schools are going to carpool to the mall of be best buddies. But when you are looking at being competitive, ND is a private school and should play other private schools more often. You know, like USC, Stanford, BC, Northwestern, etc.

          Also, Syracuse was willing to play ND in NYC. So I am sure they are closer now than they were before. Although today’s news shocked the ND A.D. So there’s that.

          In the end, most people think that the ACC is a better fit for ND. Adding Syracuse and Pitt makes that more so. Sorry if that disappoints the B1G faithful.

          • greg says:

            Most of the B1G faithful want no part of ND in the B1G. Go ahead and take your private schools to the ACC.

          • EZCUSE says:

            OK then. Glad we settled it.

            Enjoy Rutgers and Missouri.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            “the ACC now has a nice chunk of private schools.”

            —The ACC already had a nice chunk of private schools.

            “ND is a private school and should play other private schools more often.”

            —ND wants to maximum their national exposure. Playing small private schools with minimal national interest is not going to further that.

            “Syracuse was willing to play ND in NYC.”

            —Ahh that’s the appeal…Syracuse is willing to be ND’s patsy.

            “Sorry if that disappoints the B1G faithful.”

            —Disappointed by what? ND may well end up in the ACC…but Syracuse will have exactly jack all to do with it if they do. That’s what we were discussing.

          • EZCUSE says:

            There are two Kings on the table. ND and Texas.

            In taking Pitt and Syracuse, and rejecting Tech, the ACC allowed Texas to walk. That leaves ND.

            If the ACC does not want ND, then I guess it does not matter and you are right. The ACC just wanted worthless Syracuse and Pitt.

            But if the ACC does want ND, then they would have made the moves that make the most sense to predict what ND would want to see. And that is, obviously, Pitt and Syracuse.

            If it was about markets, wouldn’t Pitt and Rutgers make the most sense? If the ACC felt it already had enough of the right combination of schools, then $$$ should have been the answer, right? Or even UConn/Pitt. Or UConn/Rutgers for that matter. Great hoops school, iconic women’s hoops, recent BCS football appearance, etc.

            If nobody cared about Syracuse, it wouldn’t have been Syracuse. But it was. So, yeah, if ND comes to the ACC, Syracuse will have more than “jack” to do with it.

            Have a beer, you seem stressed out. You don’t want any private schools in the B1G anyway. They’re probably sour anyway…

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            “Have a beer, you seem stressed out.”

            -Absolutely no reason to stress here. Your passive aggressive tirades are quite entertaining.

          • Brian says:


            In the end, most people think that the ACC is a better fit for ND. Adding Syracuse and Pitt makes that more so.

            Care to back that up with some evidence? Where do you see most people thinking the ACC is the best fit for ND? I haven’t seen it in the media or non-ACC blogs. On top of that, you need to show that adding Syracuse and Pitt make an even larger majority of people think ND fits the ACC best.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:


            Forget the Big Ten or ACC. The best conference fit for Notre Dame is the Big 12. Just ask Big 12 commissioner Deloss Dodds… I mean Dan Beebe.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            lol @ Micheal


          • EZCUSE says:

            Most people on here, is what I meant. Strictly speaking,folks in Calcutta are probably in the “undecided” category.

            Anyway, I have been an active contributor to this board for over a year now and that was my general sense of the consensus… that the B1G has to overcome the fact that ND “looks like” more of the ACC schools than the B1G schools. And that was, obviously, before this latest move.

            I was always surprised by the amount of rationale thought behind that feeling. My pre-Frank the Tank assumption was that ND was a natural fit for the Big 10. So I was re-educated on that issue by the blogger himself and the educating comments. If I am wrong, so be it. It was my perception.

            I guess ND will make the ultimate decision if and when it has to. In the meantime, I guess all the B1G hardcore fans will straddle the line between “really really wanting ND” and “not wanting ND, so quite glad that they have gone elsewhere.” And that’s why ND is so valuable, I guess. You either love them or hate them…

          • EZCUSE says:

            Rational, spelling fail.

            Maybe someone should take a few polls.

            #1 Do B1G fans want ND or not. Yes or no. Not, yes but only if …. Just a simple answer… do you want them. Yes or no.

            #2 Do you think ND will come to the B1G or ACC? Not “none of the above.” Which one.

          • Brian says:


            Most people on here, is what I meant. Strictly speaking,folks in Calcutta are probably in the “undecided” category.

            Anyway, I have been an active contributor to this board for over a year now and that was my general sense of the consensus… that the B1G has to overcome the fact that ND “looks like” more of the ACC schools than the B1G schools. And that was, obviously, before this latest move.

            I don’t get that sense at all from this blog. I’ve seen a few people say ND looks like several of the ACC schools, but not many say that it fits better in the ACC. There are more private schools in the ACC, but schools like FSU, Clemson, NCSU and VT are just as unlike ND as NE, IA, WI and MN and farther away. The midwest and the southeast aren’t exactly similar, either.

            I was always surprised by the amount of rationale thought behind that feeling. My pre-Frank the Tank assumption was that ND was a natural fit for the Big 10. So I was re-educated on that issue by the blogger himself and the educating comments. If I am wrong, so be it. It was my perception.

            ND is assumed to be a natural B10 fit for good reasons. ND the school is similar to several ACC schools (smaller and private), but ND athletics fit the B10 better (geography, rivals, football history, FB > BB).

            In the meantime, I guess all the B1G hardcore fans will straddle the line between “really really wanting ND” and “not wanting ND, so quite glad that they have gone elsewhere.”

            There are clearly several groups of fans. Some want to expand, others don’t. Some want ND, others don’t. Many are indifferent to ND. I don’t think the B10 fan base is any different than the other conferences are about ND, we’ve just had longer to live with the dance. ND has been interested but not joining for a long time. Some subset of fans is bound to get upset by that. See the BE fans for another example.

          • frug says:


            I don’t think anyone on this board has ever had a problem with the Big 10 adding private schools. There was a lot of support for grabbing Duke if the ACC started to crumble and Syracuse was a popular choice until they were forced out of the AAU (technically they are leaving voluntarily, but that’s only because they knew they would chopped a la Nebraska if they didn’t).

            Heck, I think everyone was on board with taking USC and Stanford (along with Cal and UCLA) as part of a plan to steal the state of CA from the PAC. True it was all in fun since everyone knew it would never happen, but the point is if it had been feasible, no one would have had a problem.

            Big 10 fans don’t hold every school to the same standards when it comes to expansion. Any resistance to Notre Dame comes only from the idea that they may not be willing to play by the same set of rules everyone else (i.e. conference controls all TV rights, all members play the same number of conference games). It has nothing to do with the fact that Notre Dame happens to be a small private school.

          • frug says:

            Big 10 fans don’t hold every school to the same standards when it comes to expansion

            Should read:

            Big 10 fans hold every school to the same standards when it comes to expansion.

            (Boy was that a big typo)

        • frug says:

          Big 10 fans don’t hold every school to the same standards when it comes to expansion

          Should read:

          Big 10 fans hold every school to the same standards when it comes to expansion.

          (Boy was that a big typo)

    • Eric says:

      Exact divisions I came up with. Hopefully the conference doesn’t just keep the same ones and add a team to each current one.

  108. Mike says:

    The Pac-12 appears to be working out the final details of a deal that would bring Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech to the conference, sources close to the situation told and the Austin American-Statesman on Sunday morning. Â Nothing has been accepted or approved, yet, but the deal would allow the Longhorns to keep the Longhorn Network

    • M says:

      So the Pac-12 has caved to Texas’ demands. I wish them well, and hope that at least the Pac-8 can stay together when their conference breaks up in a decade or two.

      • Redhawk says:

        it will be the PAC 12: Texas Network (as in state not University). there will be a PAC 12: LA, a PAC 12 Northern California, a PAC 12 Oregon, a PAC 12 Washington, a PAC 12 Arizona….etc

        So having a PAC 12: Texas isn’t anything special…..or caving

      • Gopher86 says:

        Given the current agreement between schools in the Pac, UT would have to sign all of its rights over to the conference for a given period of time. It would make it almost impossible for them to change conferences or go indy down the line.

    • Eric says:

      Seems like a good compromise if true.

    • ccrider55 says:

      Yeah, right. The LHN keeps them out for a year and now when they have no choice other than independent the Pac caves? Highly unlikely at best..

    • John says:

      Wow, slightly confused. The statesman article makes it sound like UT will NOT have to share the LHN w/ Tech. Could that be? And if PAC 3rd tier revenues > LHN revenues the league would split things evenly to make up the difference for poor old UT?

      If so, again WOW. That means that the PAC has learned nothing from the case study that is the Big XII.

      • Jake says:

        “If the Longhorns were in Pod A, they would play the other Pod A teams (Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech) every year. They would also play two teams from Pod B, Pod C and Pod D, bringing the total to nine conference games every year.”

        That doesn’t sound like a divisional round-robin to me. Either the AA-S needs to check its story, or the Pac is taking a liberal view of NCAA regulations.

    • imho says:

      I call BS.

      ALL pac 12 teams have to give 1st 2nd and 3rd tier rights to the conference (the B1G has a similar arrangement)… So your telling me that USC, stanford, oregon, etc have signed ALL television rights to the conference, but will happily let UT keep their own AND earn unequal revenue to boot… nonsense

    • vp19 says:

      One of the Statesman responses “named” the pods:

      PAC16 Pods:

      Sponsored by Microsoft & Nike:
      Washington, Washington St, Oregon, Oregon St

      Sponsored by Disney & Apple:
      USC, UCLA, Stanford, California

      Sponsored by Ping & K2 Skis:
      Arizona, Arizona St, Colorado, Utah

      Sponsored by Michael Dell & T.Boone Pickens:
      Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St

  109. GreatLakeState says:

    As I’ve said said day one. Oklahoma was the key. Delany should have taken them in a heartbeat. That would have led to Texas, which would have led to Notre Dame. The idea that a home run like Oklahoma shouldn’t be considered because they are less than ideal academically is ludicrous. Especially when you consider that they epitomize the whole idea behind expansion. Bringing in eyeballs (and money) with brand name programs. Like it or not the Big Ten is the hardest sell for any team outside the midwest, which means a bit of give-and-take is necessary for success.
    The Big Ten will (arguably) be the perennial number ‘four’ from here on out. ND is there only hope and they could just as easily go elsewhere. The B1G will always be a draw because of its alumni base, but it needed some new recruiting grounds/BTN territory. I hope Delany has a rabbit in his hat.

    • schwarm says:

      I suspect that OU would have gone west anyway because the PAC was willing to take Ok State.

    • Peter says:

      Oklahoma was never an option for the B1G because the Oklahoma politicians mean it when they say Oklahoma & Ok.State are a package deal. Oklahoma might be extreme borderline acceptable for the B1G (I’d still lean no because the academics are atrocious and they don’t have even nominal AAU membership), but State is a dealbreaker, just like Texas Tech is w/ Texas.

      The only pair the B1G would ever have taken from the Big 12 was Texas & Texas A&M.

    • frug says:

      Delany should have taken them in a heartbeat

      It’s not up to Delany. The presidents and chancellors told him no.

      Plus, OU won’t go anywhere without eat least one of OSU and UT and OSU has even more unacceptable academics than the Sooners, I there is no way Delany could guarantee UT admission because of the LHN.

    • EZCUSE says:

      I don’t think the B1G is #4. You can’t add Nebraska and lose ground to the ACC adding Pitt and Syracuse. And I am a (was?) Big East guy. For most years, that will still be the ACC in football. If FSU and Miami aren’t playing like Kings, the ACC is 4th. The Pac-16 is just a winner here… gaining 2 major programs to add to USC and Co. It will still have to be settled on the field to see if anyone can topple the SEC. And it would be that way with or without A&M.

      For basketball, the ACC moves up to #1. But the B1G will not fall behind the SEC. And rarely the Pac-16. The demise of the Big 12 and Big East actually HELP the B1G in this regard. Perhaps adding Kansas and UConn would help get the B1G into a hoops war with the ACC though. Kansas, UConn, MSU, Ohio St., a resurrected Indiana? Duke, UNC, Syracuse, Pitt, Maryland. Game on at that point.

      Funny thing is that ND would not change the analysis at all in either sport.

    • Bo Darville says:

      Shouldn’t the Big 10 move on Kansas & Missouri now? They should get the best of the rest.

    • I agree, if OU was serious about coming to the Big Ten without little brother Delaney was crazy for not accepting them.

      Agreed they are have a poor academic profile, from a small population state, and have relatively poor recruiting grounds but they’re a king and they fit geographically. Plus they perhaps unlock Texas as you said.

      I can’t see why OU would come to the B10 without Okie State when they can get the P10 deal with State and more than likely UT comes as well though. I’m guessing the Big Ten rejected the overture as they saw OU was just lining up their options.

    • wolverines says:

      Oklahoma ONLY makes sense if they guarantee Texas, which they don’t, they just help a lot. Plus they have that bagage called OSU.

    • Paul Smith says:

      Number 4 in football quality? Maybe.

      No way they will be no. 4 in popularity/prestige, not with marquee teams like Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, and Nebraska–not to mention Wisconsin, Iowa, MSU, Illinois…

      • GreatLakeState says:

        I agree. I should have clarified ‘in football’. This opinion is no doubt influenced by the embarrassing performances of MSU and OSU yesterday. As I watched I was having Apocalypse Now type flashbacks of the 2011 bowl season.

    • greg says:

      GreatLakeState, frankly, you are a fool. I’m tired of your “woe is the Big Ten” bitching.

      OK/UT/ND, even if that miracle occurred (we’d have to have OkSU and TTU in there too, so at least 17 or 18), would have led to the conference breaking up at some point in the future.

      What will the B1G be #4 in? Not per-school revenue (#1). Not academic prestige (#1). We’ll also remain #1 in conference unity: just wait until Arkansas hosts Alabama once per decade and Oregon hosts USC once per decade. B1G may not be the best in football, but we never were going to be anyways.

      The other big three will likely breakup in the future. Those other conferences can have fun with that, while the B1G keeps chugging along as the best conference in the country.

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        …but, but Ohio State after an off-season of turmoil, a new head coach & without a number of starters played poorly yesterday.

        THE B1G IS DOOMED!!!

  110. M says:!/colin_dunlap

    colin_dunlap Colin Dunlap
    Same university source who told me Dana was getting hired–& was spot-on re: everything–says WVU sent paperwork to SEC today. We’ll see.

  111. loki_the_bubba says:

    “The ACC officially pulled out a cap gun Sunday, preening and posturing its proactive shot in college football expansion for all to see.

    Careful fellas, don’t shoot your eye out. The big guns are up next.”

  112. S says:

    Frank the Tank – what are your initial thoughts of this afternoon’s activity? Is Uncle Jim dropping the ball?

  113. greg says:

    (working through thoughts I’ve had the last few days that I never had time to post)

    3 simple steps that could have saved the B12:

    1. B12 is an outgrowth of the B8, not a replacement
    2. Continue NU-OU series
    3. Even revenue sharing

    IMO, the biggest problem the B12 had was the frustrations created by uneven revenue sharing. When it doesn’t make that huge a difference in the long run. The current distributions are, I believe, $14 to $20M annually. Do you think it would have made a big difference if Texas was getting $3M less in revenue and ISU was getting $3M more? No, Texas would still be the king of the NCAA revenue list.

    Look at the B10. OSU is still way out in front. NW is still at the bottom. So its not like shared revenue is making everything equal for all parties. What it does is make all parties happy with the conference. OSU is still going to kill everyone in ticket sales, 3rd tier media rights, etc.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      Ticket sales? Really?

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        Ohio State average home attendance = 105K. Average ticket price = $74. Multiply that by 7 or 8 home games. I’d say $54 to $62 million each year = yeah really.

    • frug says:

      I’ll give you one and two, but three is off base. Remember, the schools that are leaving (OU, TAMU, NU) are the ones that benefited from the unequal distribution system.

    • Eric says:

      I think equal revenue sharing would made the conference even more unstable. Texas, Nebraska, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma were all opposed to it. If you had it, it would have benefited the smaller schools (Baylor, Kansas State, etc) at their expense and given them even more incentive to leave.

      I agree on the other two points though. The Big 12 was a media alliance in a lot of ways between the brands and populations of both conferences. It set-up a situation where Nebraska felt it lost its conference though and thus had little reason to stay and where A&M felt like the 3rd wheel team in the south behind the UT-OU rivalry that dominated everything. This created friction for both schools fanbases and when scenarios emerged where they could leave, both fanbases jumped at the opportunities and their schools went with their wishes. With a lot of the name brands gone, the conference was no longer appealing to OU which made it no longer appealing to UT. I think that a 10 team conference (no Texas Tech or Baylor) would actually still be around and doing well. Nebraska fans wouldn’t have liked leaving if the OU rivalry was kept as a season ending game and even though Colorado probably still would have left, they were easily replaceable. If 12 was necessary, then it would have been better to keep OU and Nebraska in the same division (keeping UT has a permanent crossover). That may have downplayed the Red River Shootout a little compared to what happened, but OU-NU and UT-A&M would have been emphasized instead and no one would want to bail.

      • Nostradamus says:

        Exactly. Unequal revenue sharing wasn’t an issue in the Big XII. I’m not sure why this continues to be perpetuated. It looks like 3 of the first 4 to leave the conference were 3 of the 4 effectively blocking equal revenue sharing. The issue with revenue in the Big XII was always there was a lack of it compared to the SEC or the Big Ten.

        • Husker Al says:

          Nostradamus said:

          “Exactly. Unequal revenue sharing wasn’t an issue in the Big XIIThe issue with revenue in the Big XII was always there was a lack of it compared to the SEC or the Big Ten.”

          It is true that NU, OU and A&M all favored uneven distribution at some level. But the LHN changed the dynamics . . . not because of the dollars UT ended up getting – no one knew the contract would be worth that much. Rather, NU’s issue was the reluctance of Texas to commit some of their LHN rights to the Big 12 Network. Without those rights, there was effectively no Big 12 Network, which would again reduce TV revenue when contracts came up for negotiation.

          There is something to be said for pursuing a situation that is best for your university, but there is also to be said against poisoning the wells of your business partners. At some level, NU, OU and A&M all recognized that the business environment of the Big 12 was no longer in their best interests. Equal revenue sharing requirements certainly didn’t stop those schools from joining their new conferences.

          • Husker Al says:

            Grrr. Proofreading skills failed again. That should say “there is also something to be said against poisoning the wells of your business partners.”

          • Nostradamus says:

            Husker AL, Nebraska and Texas are both IMG schools. Nebraska and Texas jointly had IMG looking into individual school networks right up until shortly before Nebraska left the conference. Given the unequal revenue sharing formula that Nebraska helped enforce, it made little sense to set up an “equal” conference network for either Texas or Nebraska.

            And I’m a Nebraska fan…

        • greg says:

          Nostradamus, it seemed that the biggest problem in the B12 was the schools just didn’t get along. Did Nebraska leave the B12 because they were only the 8th highest revenue program? It sure didn’t seem to be that way. It seemed that they left due to disagreements and feelings of inequality. (NU-OU, partial qualifiers, league office being moved, CCG being moved, etc.)

          I think if a few steps could have been taken at the outset, they may have been tighter from the beginning and the slights that did rise would not have taken so to heart to such a degree.

          • Nostradamus says:

            The unreported footnote to the 8th in revenue sharing for Nebraska was pay-per-view broadcasts. In the old Big 12 revenue sharing formula if your game didn’t get picked up, you had the option of PPV’ing it through Fox if Fox felt they could make money on this. The revenue from PPV’s didn’t fall under the Big XII revenue sharing formula.

            In 2008-2009, Nebraska had 4 PPV’s. It has been reported by both major Nebraska newspapers that NU was averaging $300,000 to $500,000 for each PPV. Figure they averaged $400,000 on each PPV or $1.6 million and they are still in the top 4 then of Big 12 revenue. If that unequal formula no longer benefited them, they would’ve switched their vote plain and simple.

            The real reason Nebraska left the conference is they realized the Big 12 was incredibly unstable. Missouri was flirting or at least appearing to throw themselves at the knees of the Big Ten, and the Big 12 South was trying to sell themselves to the Pac-12. Nebraska saw an opportunity to go into a stable conference that earns more revenue and they took it.

            The other issues with partial qualifiers and league office location we largely irrelevant by that time.

    • StvInIL says:

      “Look at the B10. OSU is still way out in front. NW is still at the bottom. So its not like shared revenue is making everything equal ”

      I think you are speaking clearly out of your own perception here and not reality. Realty is that NU Northwestern is typically no further than 6 to 8 spots outside of where the Ivey league schools line up in the top 16 in the nation. Ohio State? Never close. So basically you have Harvard, Yale or Princeton being extremely competitive in a Big Boy athletic conference. The revenue will NEVER help them become #1 or #2 in the B1G. But it will help them compete at a respectable level. NW can not admit most of the top 100 Athletes to its school. And given the facts ath the level they have compete at IS outstanding!

      • greg says:


        I am speaking clearly about athletic revenue. I am quite aware that NW is the academic leader in the B10.

      • gnqanqgnqanq says:

        Please remember that Ohio State has the largest athletic department in the country. It is those tickets sales (football revenue) that allows this to happen. So instead of pouring all of this money into football, they spread it out to support a total of 36 sport teams.

        • ccrider55 says:

          Very true, and admirable. Meanwhile a certain burnt orange school with the largest athletic dept. budget only supports 19 or 20. Never understood that.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            Florida fields around 20 teams as well correct?

            I believe the athletic departments UF & UT both funnel a large amount of money back into the school’s general fund whereas the Ohio State AD’s goal is to break even. So really just a difference in priorities I suppose.

  114. MIKEUM says:

    Chip’s 3.35 pm posting makes Pac for UT TTECH OK OKST a mere formality for tomorrow.

  115. While we may shake out to be the number one conference when it comes to revenue I think the ACC, arguably already our superior, with the addition of Cuse and Pitt has a great case to be considered #1.

  116. coldhusker says:

    Rutgers talking to ACC and B1G.

    “Rutgers has been involved in talks with the ACC about possible membership over the past two days and its lines of communications with the Big Ten have remained open and “are active,” according to a highly-placed college official.”

    • ohiomarc says:

      I call BS. They may have been in talks with the ACC, but the only thing “active” about their communications with the B1G is the pleading coming from their end and the silence coming from Delaney in response.

      • SideshowBob says:

        Well, I think they would be active in the sense that the Big Ten would be willing to add them as a complimentary addition (e.g. Notre Dame along with Rutgers). Rutgers does fit the Big Ten profile well, in addition to bringing in a populated state and at least nominal access to NYC. If Notre Dame does decide to join the Big Ten in the near future — and with all the Big East chaos/uncertainty, it seems plausible — then Rutgers to me seems like best choice for #14 among the usual suspects.

        • ohiomarc says:

          Agree with most of that, except ND has shown no sign of changing their mind, and Rutgers will not be getting a B1G invite without them (and maybe not even with them).

  117. rich baxter says:

    Will we see an ACC/SEC “trade” as part of realignment? It appears that the SEC will not be poaching from a strengthened ACC. Perhaps, they can do each other some good. Why not move Vanderbilt to the ACC, where they are more congruous academically and athletically? They are no longer the Vol’s season ending rival – in fact they’ll end the season against Wake Forest. It would stretch the map some more for the conference.

    In turn, the ACC can send NC State to the SEC, also expanding the conference footprint. The Tarheel State is overrepresented in the ACC with four teams. The Wolfpack could set themselves apart in the SEC, and would fit in culturally as well.

    Obviously, both schools and conferences would need to approve the “trade” and perhaps they would. It seems like it would be a win all around without a loser in sight.

    • Brian says:

      Vanderbilt was a founding member of the SEC’s predecessor and they will never leave it voluntarily. The ACC also has no desire to let the SEC into NC. All that does is hurt the ACC and help the SEC.

      If you want to propose ridiculous trades, do it right. The SEC gives up UK (a BB school in a FB league) and gets FSU (the ACC is over represented in FL with 2 schools anyway, right?).

    • Dcphx says:

      Plus Debbie Yow (NCSU AD) said today (paraphrased), ‘We haven’t won an ACC football title since 1979, why would we ever go to the SEC?’

  118. RedSwan says:

    Based upon where this is likely to be by next week [Cuse & Pitt to ACC from BE; OK, OK lite, Tex Tech, & Tex to PAC from B12; Tex AM & West Virg to SEC from B12 & BE; and several other possible moves in the making], BIG should make move to enlarge its footprint in strategic areas, east and west, with important schools in play to accomplish this now, and go to 14. Penn State wants eastern neighbor that warrants BIG consideration that further opens N.Y. market (go after either Rutgers or UConn, Maryland if this were possible, but add one of these). Two very high quality state university schools are available in the west (KU, with its K.C. market and national brand basketball program – Jayhawks; or MU, with its quality football and basketball prgams and support in both K.C. and St. Louis metro markets). Both are too good for the BIG to not consider in the current environment, particularly if it becomes apparent three of the conferences (PAC, SEC, ACC) are going to 16. Slot could be kept open for ND, even as BIG makes important, strategic choices now and goes to 14, if not 15. This could be done even if, on the margin, one or more of these additional schools don’t add net revenue per school. It’s becoming a matter of what do we want when this is all over as four conferences each move to 16, I think. Add Rutgers/UConn and MU/KU now, then save last move of ND with whoever of the first four remain.

    • bullet says:

      Don’t forget the Baylor, ISU, KSU issues. The Pac and SEC still don’t want to make the first move.

      • RedSwan says:

        Before very long if not now, KU must look out for itself (sorry K-State), Baylor has made its bed and all the other schools who “belong” will not want to be anywhere close to them – they are on their own with whatever court they can find to listen. ISU will find itself in the “leftovers” conference (sorry). The PAC and SEC are just posturing. They already know where they are going.

        BIG should make strategic positioning move now, with KU and Rutgers or MU and UConn, whichever east-west twosome makes most sense, then sit at 14 and ponder ND, if that seems necessary. After a few more moves, things are likely to happen fast. Best to make strategic move now, then wait on final one as remaining options evaporate and schools become locked-in.

        • wolverines says:

          To go to 14 teams, the B10 needs a ‘king’ like ND. Its harder to pay your way to get into the B10 than it is to the ACC, which is why the ACC sees value in schools like Pitt, Syracuse and the B10 doesn’t…

          When you look at what teams draw money to a conference via media rights, its largely the top 4 or 5 teams that draw in 75% of the money with the remaining 7 or 8 teams bringing in the other 25%. To bring in money to a new conference, you need to be among the top 4-5 media revenue producing schools.

    • Brian says:


      Why does having 3 conferences of 16 mean the B10 should go to 14+ if it means losing money, not playing each other as often and not gaining any FB brands? Why does the B10 care if it’s the P8, P10, P12 or P16? Why does WV to the SEC suddenly mean the B10 should add a school it rejected last year? What is the big deal about other conferences being bigger? The B10 and P10 waited a long time to get to 12, and 12 came with the added benefit of a CCG.

      • RedSwan says:

        I think ultimately this is about the future organizational structure of major college athletics, with that being, at the highest level, the emergence of four conferences of 16 each, 64 schools in all, and these essentially then operating in a much different way relative to the ncaa (they may create their own governing and oversight structure outside of ncaa, with ncaa continuing to oversee all the rest not absorbed into the dominant conferences. And I think the major conferences are being driven to this by the media and marketing dollars that are involved, which is why ESPN is working so hard to weaken or difuse this overall restructuring. So, BIG can’t simply sit pat while everyone else makes their move. This realignment is only complete after four conferences reach 16 each. BIG could sit pat at 14, I think, pending the last two moves. But if it sits now while the others go to 16, it won’t leave much in play, like KU, MU, UConn, and Rutgers, maybe Maryland, for example. So I think BIG cheery-picks now and gets two of these, then sits pat, irrspective of the net revenue. It’s about positioning for the final outcome of this. Big could sit pat, but why with so much now in play?

        • Brian says:

          The structure isn’t changing unless the schools want it to change. What are they going to do if only those 48 schools vote to create a new NCAA division, for example? Are they going to leave the NCAA behind even if ND and the B10 won’t go? Are they going to force the B10 to expand to 16 somehow? Do you think the rest of the NCAA schools would let schools start a separate football group (and presumably MBB too, since they want to make more money) but remain for all their other sports?

          The B10 can very easily sit pat no matter what others do. They are a conference of universities with other priorities than athletics revenue.

          • RedSwan says:

            Fewer, larger major conferences shift the balance of power with regard to media dollars (a larger number of smaller conferences keeps bargaining power with distributors – ESPN, FOX, etc.). So while distributors attempt to guide process, power ultimately resides with a small number of major conferences, and the further development of their own media, and this change has only just begun. As major schools re-align and form larger conference affiliations, BIG can sit or participate itself strategically. ND ultimately will not be able to sit it out. Nor will the BIG at 12. It’s not a simple matter of incremental gain, considering one move at a time, when so many pieces are now in play and may not be later. I expect BIG to make a couple plays soon, if the current dynamics continue. I will be surprised if it doesn”t.

      • frug says:

        I think if ALL three of ACC, SEC and PAC go to 16 then the Big 10 probably will need to expand as well since consolidation of the three could (and probably would) have significant ramifications for not the only college football’s post-season but college sports economics, and the Big 10 would need to be on equal footing with the other power conference. That said, if the ACC and/or SEC stop at 14, then the Big 10 should stand pat until the TV contracts expire.

        • Brian says:

          How are they going to change the postseason? They’re going to replace the BCS with rules that require 16 team membership to be eligible? How would they get the votes for that, since the non-AQs have a say too? Or are they leaving the NCAA, even if the B10 and ND don’t? How does having 16 teams make the threat any different? They could try to do the same things now.

          • frug says:

            If the ACC, SEC and PAC all go to 16 it will result in the destruction of at least one of the Big XII and the BEast, and quite possibly both. This would mean a complete reworking of the BCS would be necessary. Eligibility for at large bids would need to be reworked and as would the issue of the Fiesta Bowl’s tie in (if it had its choice, the Orange Bowl would drop its bowl tie in NOW will throw a fit if the Fiesta Bowl becomes At Large vs. At Large, and it is stuck with the ACC).

            More importantly, if whatever is leftover from the Big East and Big XII are not able to remain an AQ level conference (and it very well may not) and the Big Ten does not expand, the non-AQ’s will a numerical advantage (63-61 including ND as an AQ vote) by 2013 when South Alabama, Texas State, UMass and UTSA become full members at the DI-A level. At that point the non-AQ’s could impose a whole slew of changes to CFB. And it is obvious that is not something the Big 10 wants to risk.

  119. Jeff says:

    I think what everyone should be focusing on now is Notre Dame. I don’t think the BIG makes amove until it knows what ND is going to do. I have seen very little lately with what ND’s next move is. Is it plausible for them to stay in the Big East without Pitt, Syracuse, maybe WV & Rutgers for their non football athletics? Does this now force them to join a conference? My predicition is until Notre Dame makes a move, Delaney does nothing, which in my opinion is what he should do. If we land ND, then grab the best team left on the board and stop at 14.

    • zeek says:

      It all depends on what happens to the Big East. ND won’t have to make a move for another year or two at least.

    • wolverines says:

      ND & Texas’ HOPE is that they can land in the ACC for non conference sports. I don’t believe either ND or Texas want in the ACC for football.

    • drwillini says:

      Taking Rutgers and UMd ups the ante for ND. Assuming the magic 16 number, four available slots go to two. If UT goes to PAC I think this would be the correct move. Take Rutgers and UMd, solidify the eastern flank with schools that enhance the brand (all but cornfields) and leverage Penn St, and you still have a spot left for ND and one other. With all the chaos in place the B1G needs to take advantage of its unique position. W/o UT I don’t think there is any futuer to the West. UNL is as far as makes sense.

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        One thing that really worries me about Rutgers is that their athletic department seems to be very poorly run. B1G money might fix that but it isn’t guaranteed. There are some red flags there that might make them not worth the risk.

        Maryland’s AD is in the red as well…but seems to have a better long term plan in place.

        • drwillini says:

          If these two were better run they would be “home runs.” This is clearly a play on potential. Not sure this is the B1G thinking, given the last two adds are Penn St and UNL, but as I said above, if UT goes to PAC on Monday, I think this is the play.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            Even with solidly run AD’s I’m not sure I’d call either a home run but they both could be solid acquisitions for the conference (Maryland more so than Rutgers IMO).

        • wolverines says:

          Concur, the academic side of Rutgers has major issues against the athletic department and for good reason as the AD is loaning money from the general school fund. Rutgers athletic department isn’t self sufficient.

          • Phil says:

            1) I don’t think many of the B1G schools would be self sufficient if they only got Big East TV money either.

            2) the press outlets that are complaining about RU’s athletic spending now are the same ones that raised holy hell a couple of years ago when RU cut six of their 30+ sports to save money.

            3)The athletic subsidy, which they are working to lower, is about 1.4% of the RU annual budget, while spending on research and instruction is about 48% of the budget. It makes a good story to write that the spending on athletics is having a major negative impact on spending in other areas, but that isn’t the case.

          • PSUGuy says:

            I also read that the amount of money Rutgers pulled form the academic side of the fence (via student funds) was approximately $16 million…pretty darned close to what the BTN pays out by itself…

          • EZCUSE says:

            The Big East payout is what it is. Somehow the rest of the schools are able to manage without issues. Schiano should have bolted for Michigan when he had the chance.

      • RedSwan says:

        Your reference to “cornfields”, as being something against BIG expansion to the west. I guess you’re referencing the cornfields of Nebraska and Iowa, maybe Minnesota and Wisconsin, oh yes and Illinois and Indiana, oh and all that corn grown in Ohio and, yes, even Pennsylvania. Cornfields are pretty pervasive in the Midwest, which is the heart of the BIG.

        Aside from this diversion, the very best “brand” that may be in play, aside from ND, is Kansas Jayhawk basketball, which by itself can draw a large crowd to the Garden, particularly if they were playing UConn or Indiana in the conference final someday. I know football brands count most in this but Jayhawk basketball and a very fine academic institution like KU (which would only grow in the BIG) would be a strong addition. I would guess more TVs come on to watch the Jayhawks than the Scalet Knights, irrespective of Rutger’s far-eastern location and surrounding population base.

        The BIG will make a mistake if it builds its remaining strategy for expansion almost solely around ND. It will need to plan for a future with or without ND, and probably the latter. The PAC, SEC, and ACC are moving toward 16 and schools are making choices now. The BIG could decide to stay at 12, but I think it may want to move to 14 with so much on the board now that’s in play. Once the next set of choices are made, they could be firm for a long time.

        Getting KU and also possibly MU or Maryland if this were possible, firmly establishes the BIG’s western and southern footprint with very good schools, and may preclude the creation of a overly competitive new conference composed of B12 and BE leftovers firmly up against the BIG’s southern and eastern flanks. Best to take two more now and then let it play out. Wait and the choices will be limited. However, there are many ways to look at this.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          The problem with Kansas is two fold…

          1. All signs imply that football rather than basketball is a much larger factor in expansion.

          2. The possibility that the Jayhawks are tied to Kansas State.

          • metatron5369 says:

            1. The availability of football powers is limited, and with the scheduling difficulties inherent in 13, 14, or 15 teams, you have to consider other factors when considering expansion candidates. Kansas increases the basketball profile of the conference tremendously, which helps for a multitude of reasons.

            2. They’re not. Everyone in the state of Kansas would love for those schools to remain together, but the Jayhawks are in panic mode. We could probably invite them for pennies on the dollar and they’d jump at the chance. But that’s cruel.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            1. No one has really shown a way that adding a BB power that has no FB brand or population base pays for itself as addition.

            2. Typing “they’re not” doesn’t make it true. The simple fact is that we don’t know categorically one way or another.

      • Brian says:

        Why do you think MD is available? The ACC just added teams and raised the cost of leaving.

    • jj says:

      The Spartans should have focused on them

  120. M says:

    Andy Staples
    “Realignment update after getting some feedback from those who know: Pump the brakes on Tex/Pac-12. Might happen. Not imminent.”

    Obviously after considering the idea for 15 months, they need to think about it a bit more.

  121. bobo the feted says:

    What would be wild is if the following happens:

    Big16 Conference (BigEast Remnant+Big12 Remnant+MWC+C-USA)

    MW Pod – Boise, BYU, Colorado State + New Mexico (or Nevada)
    Texas Pod – TCU, SMU, UH, Rice (or Baylor – but given their behavior I doubt anyone will want them as conference mates)
    Plains Pod (Iowa State, KState, KU, Mizzou)
    Eastern Pod (Memphis, Louisville, Cincinatti + USF)

    Doubtful this will happen though bc I think Mizzou and KU will probably be off somewhere.

  122. MIKEUM says:

    One thing the past year and half has shown is that almost all sportswriters are very against any movement against the status quo. Consequently I pay little attention to any of their opinions. Anyone who has read the Dallas Morning News for the past 2 years realizes that they collectively know nothing and rely on Chip and the Austin Statesman for their information.

  123. A bunch of people have been asking me what I think the Big Ten should do in the wake of all of the latest moves.

    It’s pretty simple: assuming that Texas is going to the Pac-16, the Big Ten should do absolutely nothing unless Notre Dame wants to join. There’s no reason to expand for the sake of expanding just because some other conferences have gone up to 14 or 16. The Big Ten was perfectly fine sitting at 11 for two decades in order to wait for the right school even though there was a direct financial incentive (a conference championship game) to get to 12. We have a tight-knit conference with like-minded institutions, logical geography and 4 football kings. There are aspects that I like about Rutgers, Missouri and Kansas (and I have always thought extremely highly of Syracuse, which is now off the table), but none of them provide enough to justify expanding without Notre Dame involved. If Notre Dame never joins, so be it.

    • BoilerTex says:

      Absolutely agree. No move is the best move right now.

    • jj says:

      Agreed. Let the others push nd to us.

    • StvInIL says:

      Yeah the B1G has not done too badly waiting on the Stars not the ateroids.

      Hmm? who would count as a commet?

    • greg says:

      The Big Ten was perfectly fine sitting at 11 for two decades in order to wait for the right school even though there was a direct financial incentive (a conference championship game) to get to 12. We have a tight-knit conference with like-minded institutions, logical geography and 4 football kings. There are aspects that I like about Rutgers, Missouri and Kansas (and I have always thought extremely highly of Syracuse, which is now off the table), but none of them provide enough to justify expanding without Notre Dame involved. If Notre Dame never joins, so be it.

      Frank, you can say it much more elegantly and succinctly than I can. Well said.

      (although I do disagree about Syracuse. Private, sort of small, and low research makes them a poor fit. They are a very good fit in the ACC.)

    • jcfreder says:

      Agreed no reason for the B10 to expand just for the sake of expansion. My take on a few other issues:

      1) Ultimately, the politician angle is a bit overblown because no current BCS school has to be left out of the BCS mix going forward — the B12 and BE castoffs can form a league together. If either the B12 takes on the BE rejects or vice-versa, I can’t see the BCS stripping that league of an autobid, What would be more interesting is if both leagues try and continue as autobid leagues (taking on a bunch of East Carolinas, Houstons, etc to get there). I guess it’s possible that two autobids wouldn’t be available, particularly where the MWC would start to have an argument for an autobid under such circumstances.

      2) I don’t see the “castoff” league as going to as many as 16 teams as some others have suggested. They will still be trying to maximize TV revenue per team as much as possible. I can see the league trying to add BYU straight-up, but otherwise if the B12 and BE consolidates, I don’t see the new league adding non-BCS teams unless it is trying to get to 12.

      3) It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the BE basketball-only schools. Their best-case is probably to absorb Mizzou, Kansas and the rest of the B12 castoffs and maintain a hybrid league that is still afforded (kinda) major status. If the BE castoffs get absorbed by the B12, then I think the basketball-only schools will reload with some other (probably Catholic) schools like Xavier, Dayton, Saint Louis, etc. Worst case is if the football schools and basketball schools fight over the Big East name. The basketball schools would do well to keep the name because a newly created conference is going to have to fight perceptions of being a mid-major league.

  124. M says:

    So I was reading another article that links to an old FtT entry:

    It’s from 15 months ago, but it could be published tomorrow with very few changes (Opening lines “Before we get to talking about Notre Dame, the fate of the entire college sports landscape is being decided in Austin and College Station this week. Who knows if the Big Ten will ultimately be a part of this (I know that they are trying very hard), but I do believe this: Texas A&M would be insane to turn down an invitation from the SEC. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of my discussions with Texas fans over the last few months, but the prevailing belief among the Longhorn faithful that A&M would be making a mistake by taking that deal is complete nonsense”)

    The reason that the article linked to it was this paragraph:
    “A source with knowledge of the agreement that was entered into by the Big East schools following the ACC raid of 2003 states that in the event that 2 football members leave the conference, the football and non-football members can split the league without any penalty and retain their respective revenues, such as NCAA Tournament distributions. What is surprising is that the Catholic non-football members comprise the faction that is pushing the issue. If you recall, those schools met back in March to discuss “contingency plans”. Apparently, the Catholic schools have decided that they will exercise the split option if 2 Big East schools leave the conference (no matter who they might be) and have informed Big East commissioner John Marinatto as such.”

    How is that source doing these days Frank? Care to give him a call from all of us?

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      That’s kind of funny in retrospect given that Pitt & Syracuse did not actually inform Marinatto (and apparently were not required to do so).

  125. royaloaker says:

    Here’s where we seem to be. Correct me if I’m way off:

    (1) Texas and Oklahoma are going to the Pac-16. This is the long-awaited seismic shift.

    (2) Notre Dame will then choose between the ACC and the Big Ten.

    If Notre Dame chooses the Big Ten, then Rutgers becomes no. 14 in the B1G. Right?

    [Does the Big Ten then go to 16 with Kansas, Missouri, etc.?]

    If Notre Dame chooses the ACC, then U-Conn becomes no. 16 in the ACC. Right?

    [Does the Big Ten then go to 14 with Missouri and Rutgers, or will it just stay at 12? I think it will stay at 12.]

    The big question is: WHICH WAY IS NOTRE DAME LEANING? Something tells me they will decdide to go East Coast and take the ACC in order to avoid being labelled “just another midwest team.”

    (3) West Virginia will take the SEC to 14. (Weak move, in my opinion.)

    (4) Big-12 will replace its departed members with the leftovers from the Big East and elsewhere.

    (5) The Big East will drop football or fold entirely.

    The moving will pause at this point:

    Pac-16 (adding Tex, TT, OK, OK St)
    ACC-16 (adding Pitt, Syr, Notre Dame, and U-Conn)
    B1G (standing pat at 12)
    SEC-14 (adding TAMU and West Va.)
    Big 12 (replacing Tex, TT, OK, OK St, & TAMU with Rutgers, Cincinnati, Louisville, TCU, and Houston and adding two of BYU/Boise State/UCF to get back to 12).

    A lot of people would complain about the B1G staying at 12 and failing to get ND or Tex, but I think it would be fine. The B1G would remain a tight-nit Midwestern conference with an easier path the the BCS title game and less scheduling headaches. The SEC and The ACC would both be watered down, to some degree (though ND would be a huge gain for the ACC). The Pac-16 would be a monster!

    • royaloaker says:

      I left South Florida and Baylor out. My mistake. The Big 12 will look something like this:

      Iowa St
      Kansas State
      BYU/Boise State

      South Florida

    • vp19 says:

      ND could well stay in the Big East for non-football sports. Remember, it would still have Georgetown, Villanova, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Providence, De Paul and Marquette, regardless of what the Big East football members do or where they go.

      • SideshowBob says:

        That might not seem to bad at first, but long term they’ll become more like the A10 than the ACC and probably be a less than ideal place for Notre Dame to park other sports. Those are a lot of smaller schools with more limited followings and in areas where pro sports competition is steep.

        Regarding Notre Dame, the question simply is “are they willing to give up football independence now”? I’m not sure such a big decision (for them) is going to be decided quickly, but I do think more instability in the Big East (e.g. WVU to the SEC, the basketball/football schools splitting so the football schools can join with Big 12 remnants) is going to likely force their hand.

        It doesn’t hurt that Notre Dame ice hockey is at a crossroads at this very moment, trying to decide where to go when the perfect home in the Big Ten is just sitting there.