There’s obviously tons of conference realignment news out there from a lot of different fronts, so let’s get right to it (and I’ll warn you ahead of time that I’ll be jumping around a bit):

(1) ACC officially adds Syracuse and Pitt – I don’t know if adding Syracuse and Pitt alone makes financial sense for the ACC, but it’s a great move from a cultural fit standpoint.  Neither Syracuse nor Pitt were likely going to receive Big Ten invites, so it made sense for them to jump at the chance to move to the more stable ACC.  (Personally, I’ve long been a proponent of Syracuse receiving a Big Ten invite and thought that if Pitt could just trade locations with Rutgers, they would’ve been invited to the Big Ten many years ago.  Alas, the Big Ten is looking for football grand slams, which I’ll get to later on.)  This might not be a great football move on paper, yet from a market and academic standpoint, it still makes the ACC stronger than where they were a couple of days ago.

(2) Is 14 (not 16) the new 12? – With the Pac-16 looking like it might come to fruition (Oklahoma seems to be steamrolling over there) and speculation turning to the ACC supposedly not being done and planning to move up to a 16-school league (with candidates like Texas, Notre Dame, Rutgers and UConn being thrown around), the argument is that we are on the precipice of the full-fledged superconference era.

Call me skeptical right now.  The Pac-12 is on the verge of going up to 16 with both Texas and Oklahoma, which certainly justifies an expansion to 16.  For the Big Ten, ACC and SEC, though, there isn’t quite as compelling of a financial argument to move beyond 14 (or even 12 in the case of the Big Ten) simply for the sake of getting to 16… unless we see Notre Dame join one of them.  I’ll have more on that in a moment.  Otherwise, there’s just not enough firepower available for spots 15 or 16 in these leagues to justify large-scale expansion.

Regardless, there are a bunch of schools in the Big East and Big 12 (i.e. Rutgers, UConn, Louisville, maybe West Virginia, maybe Kansas, etc.) that are better off either with as little change as possible (i.e. Texas deciding to stay in the Big 12, which makes that a more palatable destination) or full-fledged realignment Armageddon with 4 16-school superconferences (of which those schools would presumably be in the “top 64″ to be included).  What’s NOT good for them is a “tweener” superconference era of 14-school leagues, as they’ll likely end up in a league with Big East and Big 12 retreads without any football kings.

(3) What should the Big Ten do? – Since I’m a Big Ten guy, lots of people have been asking me what Jim Delany should be doing right now.  My unequivocal response: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING UNLESS NOTRE DAME AND/OR TEXAS WANT TO JOIN.  The Big Ten has a tight-knit conference with a national TV network, huge fan bases, great academics and four football kings (Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Nebraska).  There is absolutely no reason to have Big Ten expansion without Notre Dame (and/or the much less likely Texas) involved.  If the Irish come calling, then my feeling is that the Big Ten would look to add Rutgers to provide a direct New York City market presence (even though I believe UConn has the better overall athletic department).  The Big Ten seems to like Rutgers but not enough to add without Notre Dame.  With the amount of money that the Big Ten is splitting already, the standard is massively high.  Speaking of the Irish…

(4) Notre Dame has to start thinking again – Let’s be clear about one thing: from a pure football perspective, Notre Dame will never be forced to give up independence.  As long as the BCS exists, it’s going to deal with Notre Dame on favorable terms.  When BYU can get a multi-year multi-million dollar TV contract from ESPN, it shows that Notre Dame is not within one iota of being in danger of losing its NBC contract (or having someone else like ESPN pick it up instead).  TV networks and bowls will always want Notre Dame while power schools such as Michigan and USC will continue to schedule the Domers no matter what.

The irony is that the main way to get Notre Dame to join a conference has nothing to do with football.  My reader M pointed out a blog post that I wrote back in June 2010 that could almost be written verbatim again today (Pac-16 on the horizon, Texas A&M going to the SEC and the Big East in danger).  In that blog post, I referenced a source that had knowledge of the Big East conference agreement, which states that in the event the league loses 2 football members, the football and non-football sides can split and maintain their respective revenue distributions (i.e. NCAA Tournament credits).  At that time, what I was told was that the Catholic members were actually the ones looking to opt for a split in the event of the loss of any members.

It’s unclear whether there’s the same understanding now, but either way, Notre Dame’s overall athletic department has progressed to the point where a league with only the BE Catholic schools wouldn’t be satisfactory for a program of the size that’s in South Bend.  Basketball would be fine, but it’s everything else that would be a large problem.  While Notre Dame’s alumni base might be willing to throw all non-football sports under the bus in the sake of football independence, Jack Swarbrick and the rest of the leadership at the school aren’t going to have the same perspective as they have to weigh the interests of a whole lot more student-athletes.  Like Texas, Notre Dame was in the position of having its cake and eating it, too, with football independence coupled with a BCS-level league for non-football sports.  Now, it’s probably going to have to give up one or the other, and considering that Notre Dame was on the verge of joining the Big Ten in 2003 when the remaining Big East schools were much more attractive than whose in place now, it’s an indicator that independence is in danger.  It would be great if the ACC could offer them non-football membership outlined in my last post, yet that seems extremely unlikely now.  Granted, independence is still an institutional identity issue for the school more than a money issue (which is contrary to what a lot of college football fans believe), so you never know where the Irish might come out on this.

One thing to note (and I’ll have to give credit to one of the Northwestern posters on a Purple Book Cat thread on for pointing this out, but I can’t find the link right now): keep a close eye on what Notre Dame is doing (or not doing) with respect to hockey conference membership.  The college hockey world experienced its own Conference Realignment Armageddon this past summer after the formation of the Big Ten hockey conference and a new league that siphoned off many of the best of the remaining WCHA and CCHA programs.  Notre Dame, though, hasn’t announced a single thing about joining a different hockey league even though everyone else had done so a couple of months ago.  If you see Notre Dame announcing that it’s joining the Hockey East next week, it’s probably a pretty good indicator that the Irish aren’t joining the Big Ten.  However, the longer that Notre Dame doesn’t say anything about hockey, the more likely it means the Big Ten is a viable option.  Consider the Notre Dame hockey program the college football realignment canary in the coal mine.

(5) Mergers and Acquisitions – A couple of mergers might be on the horizon to create even more mega-conferences.  CBS Sports is reporting that the remaining Big 12 and Big East football schools are exploring a potential merger.  This makes sense in a number of ways since as long as the Big East and Big 12 are existence, they will have BCS AQ bids through 2013.

Someone that had worked with a conference office told me a couple of weeks ago that a merger between the Big 12 and Big East would be a smart move for the leftover schools.  A conference merger actually occurred in 1991, where the American South Conference merged with a wounded Sun Belt Conference that was on the verge of collapse after losing nearly all of its members.  Why did the American South step in to save the Sun Belt?  It’s because in the event of a merger, it meant that the Sun Belt wouldn’t dissolve and therefore, the NCAA ensured that the new merged league (which would decide to keep the Sun Belt name) would retain all of the NCAA Tournament credits of the departed schools.  In the cases of both the Big 12 and Big East, there’s an even stronger incentive for both conferences to avoid dissolution in order to preserve the NCAA Tournament credits of the schools that left their respective leagues (which are actually quite substantial with schools like Syracuse and Pitt involved) along with AQ status for football.  At the same time, the SEC, Pac-12 and ACC all have fairly strong incentives to see a merger occur as it lowers their potential legal exposure from schools such as Baylor and Iowa State that might otherwise be left out of the AQ level.

On the non-AQ front, the Mountain West and Conference USA are considering a football-only merger in an attempt to procure BCS AQ status.  It will be interesting to see whether a mega-league would be persuasive to the BCS powers-that-be on that front since the issue has largely been about the weakness in the bottom halves of those 2 conferences, which won’t go away (and might even be exacerbated) with a merger.

(6) The Geography of Conference Realignment – Finally, as a political junkie, one of my favorite analysts out there is Nate Silver of the FiveThirtyEight blog.  So, I was ecstatic to see him post a massive analysis of college conference realignment to determine the different values of various schools.  I actually wrote about the CommonCensus Sports Map Project several years ago (prior to when most of you had stumbled onto this blog) that Silver used in his posting and had noticed at the time that the SEC schools were largely underrepresented in the college football fan numbers.  Regardless, both the Nate Silver piece and the CommonCensus Sports Maps provide a starting point and an incredible amount of data points to examine for anyone interested in how fans of sports teams are distributed by market.

Over 1500 words about the latest in conference realignment and I’ve barely talked about Texas.  Don’t worry – I’ll be writing much more about the Longhorns soon.  Until then, enjoy the hourly changes in the rumor mill.

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

(Image from TV Tropes)


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  1. joe4psu says:


    How do you keep up with all the comments? I’ve been going crazy lately, skipping hundreds of posts. That’s a problem since I’m a bit obsessive and always worry about what I’m missing in the posts I skip. :)

    Do you actually read everything?

    Thanks by the way. Always interesting and entertaining.

    • @joe4psu – When we go through mushroom cloud periods (like right now), it can be tough to keep up, but I still try to read everyone’s comments since this is truly an incredibly insightful group of commentators. It helps that I have an iPhone with a WordPress app that gives me pretty quick access to everything that comes in. I also have 2-year old twins, which means I really have no life outside of the home these days and why you usually see new posts come up around midnight. It’s not like I can go out partying after they go to bed.

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        “It’s not like I can go out partying after they go to bed.”

        -Sure you could! It would probably make a horrible parent & a terrible person but you COULD do it. ;)

        Congrats on the twins BTW mine will be 3 in Jan (fraternal girl & boy).

    • Sportsman says:

      Agreed… On his last post, I commented before catching up w/ all of the other comments and almost my entire post was old news.

  2. Denogginizer says:


  3. zeek says:

    I posted this before, but the Big Ten has researched every possibility including the former (and current) Big East schools.

    If none of them work in terms of growing the pie more than their share, then it’s just not going to happen (or if they dilute the brand name matchups that you get with 4 out of 12 kings along with an addition 2 out of 12 upper/middle tier brands).

  4. monty says:

    The smartest move for the big12/big east left overs is to take UCF, Houston, SMU and TCU and become the east, with the MWC + BYU in the west:

    The 11×11


    New Mexico

    Iowa State

    Each side is self-contained, plays a title game between the leagues, plays title ix sports in their region, has easy bball scheduling for RPI games, or has a really good tourney if they cross that over too.

    Recruiting for both sides, big markets, and will produce year-on-year a better football champion than the ACC

    • Sportsman says:

      At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if UTx ended up in the new Big 12 (B12/BE leftovers).

      East: ISU, Cin, UL, MU/WVU, USF & RU/ND(?)
      West: BU, KU, KSU, TCU, TTU & UTx
      * UConn &/ BYU could be included to round it out
      (depending what teams are left w/o a conference)

      This conference would maintain it’s BCS AQ. They could play 6-9 conference games, so UTx (& ND?) would have scheduling flexibility. The conference SoS wouldn’t be overly difficult, so UTx could keep OU & TAMU annually. Presumably, UTx could keep the LHN. UTx would get everything that it wants, or so it would seem.

  5. frug says:

    A TV Tropes image? Frank you have to start doing pop culture posts sometime!

  6. M says:

    The CUSA/MWC has all the hallmarks of “starts as merger, ends as raid” setup.

    I think the ACC plans to go to 16. Either they’re waiting for ND to join, or Rutgers is waiting to see if ND joins the Big Ten so they can come along.

    In some sense, the ACC additions of Syracuse and Pitt calls in the basic assumption that all expansion decisions are about football. I don’t think you can argue that they improve the ACC in football, either on the field or from a media perspective. Both of them are below the ACC average in attendance and combined they have 2 BCS bowls total. This was a basketball move by a basketball conference; check out any FSU message board or blog if you think differently.

    • @M – Totally agree regarding your C-USA/MWC comment. If they really want to have a serious shot at an AQ bid, it would best to take the cream of one of the conferences (maybe the top 4 schools) and add them onto the other.

      • zeek says:

        Agreed on both counts.

        Why does this read exactly like the original MWC split off the WAC-16?

        Plus, considering the history of the MWC, if I was C-USA, I’d be very careful about this arrangement…

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Which “cream of the crop” is stronger?

        Mountain West

        Boise State
        Fresno State
        Air Force



        Worth noting:
        – C-USA currently has the better TV deal
        – ECU has the highest attendance of any non-AQ program in the country, except for BYU
        – Air Force has a modest-sized yet national following
        – Boise State is by far the best at drawing in casual sports fans’ viewership

        • zeek says:

          It makes sense though to just combine Boise, Fresno State, Nevada, Hawaii, Air Force, and UNLV with UCF, ECU, etc.

          Everyone knows the MWC TV deal is crap, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if they used this as a way of jumping the ship.

        • monty says:

          You forgot SDSU, SDSU has won 45 of their last 52 in football and bball, has a bigger market than most of those teams, is doing big ratings in San Diego, academics is the same or better than most of those. SDSU is averaging 46k in football so far, and sold out all but 2 games last year in bball

          And. CUSA’s deal is worth slightly less per team than the MWC and was signed 6 years later. Hard to say they have the better tv deal. The MWC also can apply for a BCS waiver, CUSA can not.

          MWC is the hunter. Any group left after the big 4 finish up would be silly not to make sure they have Boise, SDSU and UNLV anchoring their west

          • bullet says:

            Although it could be a prelude to a raid, CUSA has geography on its side. And the Texas schools would be very leery of the MWC. They’ve had experience with them. Rumours are that the Utah St. expansion story to MWC was dependent on UTEP saying yes and they refused. There are also rumours that SMU and UH have been approached by MWC and also had no interest. In any event, SMU and UH don’t do anything until the 12East or East 12 or Sunbeast 666 appear.

            With the right combination of factors, the raid could go the other way. What about Navy, Army and Air Force all joining a CUSA West with the private schools? Army & Navy would be football only. It would probably be a better setup for Air Force.

          • The problem with SDSU is this is the absolute high-water mark of their athletic history, kind of like when Cincinnati went to the BCS. Historically SDSU is average in football and terrible in basketball. Now, I’m not saying that things aren’t changing for the better at the Mesa, but right now the sample size is too small to start talking about the Aztecs like they’re a top-end mid-major.

  7. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Geaux Fightin’ Tigers!

  8. Alan from Baton Rouge says:


  9. Andy says:

    While it makes sense for fans of current Big Ten schoosl to be resistent to change and to be against further expansion other than Notre Dame and Texas, I think what we’re experiencing right now is a once in a century seismic shift, and the Big Ten is not going to want to be the Little 12 among 3 Big 16s. The Big Ten was the conference that started all of this in the first place. And why did they do it? The Big Ten Network. Look at this article from last year:

    Key quote: “Take the state of Missouri as an example of the profit potential for the Big Ten. The state had an estimated 2.2 million households in 2008. Let’s assume that almost all of those have satellite or cable or both. If the Big Ten added the University of Missouri, it could potentially increase those subscriber fees from 10 cents per person to 70 cents. That’s the difference between a gross of $220,000 and $1.54 million per month. ”

    Multiply that times 12 and you get $15.84M in increased revenue for the Big Ten for adding Missouri from the BTN alone. Add in other revenue and they easily pay for themselves and then some. And Missouri’s population is only 6M. New Jersey’s is 9M, albeit with a smaller fanbase. Both schools would be easily worth it, money-wise. No, they wouldn’t make a huge splash like Notre Dame and Texas, but they’re both big flagship state schools with 33k to 38k students, both are AAU members with huge campuses. Both would fit right in with the Big Ten.

    That gets the Big Ten to 14. Other than raiding the ACC, which looks difficult right now, the only other candidates would be Notre Dame, Kansas, and Connecticut. Notre Dame of course was the goal all along so I’m sure the Big Ten will do its best to get them. UConn and KU don’t bring much as far as football, but what they bring in basketball is substantial. KU is AAU, UConn is not.

    Nate Silver’s analysis in the NYT today was amazing. You can see exactly where the expansion candidates fit in with the current Big Ten:

    1 Ohio State
    2 Michiga
    3 Penn State
    *4 Notre Dame
    12 Wisconsin
    15 Iowa
    18 Nebraska
    20 Michigan State
    *23 Missouri
    27 Illinois
    28 Minnesota
    *30 North Carolina
    *32 Rutgers
    *36 Virginia
    *40 Kansas
    44 Indiana
    46 Purdue
    *47 COnnecticut
    *51 Duke
    54 Northwestern
    *58 Maryland

    As you can see, Notre Dame and Missouri are no-brainers. Rutgers is prett good too. North Carolina and Virginia would be nice if the Big Ten could get them, but that’s doubtful. Kansas would work as a school 16 if it came to it, plus their basketball is very strong. UConn and Maryland are not good choices.

    • Richard says:

      I don’t think the ACC is off limits forever (or even now). Miami, for one, would always be receptive if the B10 ever calls, as they know that they’re screwed if the SEC ever goes to 16 and takes FSU.

      I know they have Nevin-gate right now, but you don’t base half-century-long decisions on sanctions that have an effect over at most a decade. Academically, Miami is trending in the right direction and is already on the AAU threshold. Athletically, despite their meager local support, they’re a brand on TV.

      That’s why I don’t think the B10 moves without ND, because even if Rutgers is off the table, I believe Miami would always be available.

      • Andy says:

        I agree that the ACC isn’t off the table, which is why I included 4 ACC schools in my analysis. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Big Ten was able to get Maryland and/or Virginia. Getting North Carolina and Duke out of the ACC seems almost absurd, but not completely beyond the realm of possibility. Georgia Tech and Miami don’t make any sense at all geographically, so I consider them highly unlikely additions to the Big Ten, but not impossible.

        A great combo for the Big Ten if they can’t get Notre Dame might be Missouri/Rutgers/Maryland/Virginia.

        • mushroomgod says:

          The ACC IS off the table, and always has been.

          Possible exception is VA TECH, FSU, and/or Clemson in case ACC goes to 16 by adding Rutgers and U CONN. That trio couldn’t be thrilled by the addition of 4 NE schools, 3 of which are “basketball schools”.

          • Richard says:

            Uh, so if there are exceptions, then ACC schools aren’t off the table (as an ACC weakened by an SEC raid would be susceptible to an B10 raid as well no matter how many BE schools they add).

            BTW, if FSU is an exception, Miami is as well (if they ever get an offer somewhere), as they’d have little reason to prefer the ACC over, say, the B10 if FSU isn’t in the ACC any more.

        • Richard says:

          I actually think getting GTech and Miami are more realistic than getting UNC & Duke as that is the heart of the ACC, and I’m now convinced that they’d defend the ACC to the death with whatever number of BE castoffs to at least have a premier NC-centered bball conference.

    • Richard says:

      BTW, school that isn’t at least B10 average in support or academics isn’t a no-brainer.

      • Andy says:

        Fair enough, not a total no-brainer, but definitely a high value acquisition. One of the better options out there, especially if you take geography into account.

  10. zeek says:

    Gonna post this even though you already tweeted it Frank.

    Chip Brown: Decision within 2 weeks.

    Biggest two weeks in the past 20 years of college sports.

    • zeek says:

      I know Chip’s reporting from a Texas angle of things, but is the Pac-12 really going to let Texas be “more equal” right off the bat before things even out?

      Maybe they’ll all take the long view on these things, but it just doesn’t seem like the right way to start off what you expect to be a 100 year decision…

      • zeek says:

        Also, I have to believe that anything about Tech in the SEC is a way of urging the Pac-12 to make the first move on Texas. Hard to see why Tech would ever leave Texas’ side.

      • M says:

        “is the Pac-12 really going to let Texas be “more equal” right off the bat before things even out?”

        This has been the fundamental question of conference realignment for two years: which conference will fold and give in to Texas’ demands. The Big 12 rejected them (or at least Nebraska, Oklahoma and A&M rejected them). The ACC and Big Ten have apparently rejected the unequal treatment as well. Will the Pac-12 resist, or will it swallow the poison pill? If it rejects Texas’ demands, will Texas drop them or cobble together a new conference of minions?

      • bullet says:

        Again, USC and UCLA were made “more equal” just last year with guarantees while the Big 12 has not done anything like that. UT and OU refused guarantees. A floor for UT could be worked out, especially if the Pac 12 network is as lucrative as predicted which would make such a floor moot in short order. Telling someone we’ll deem to let you in our club if you share your income with us since we make less than you doesn’t exactly seem like a good start either. A good deal is a win-win.

        In my mind the trickier parts are negotiating with ESPN, agreeing on the branding part and figuring out what gets thrown into the common pot. Apparently UT believes there is a lot out there beyond TV that is going to become very valuable in the future and is reluctant to give that up.

        • ccrider55 says:

          As you well know the financial arrangement for current members was a stepping stone to full equality, a way to not require a reduction while the others were catching up, and was never likely to be required as projections even at that time had the Pac coming in above the threshold.

          Agree with the possible probs with ESPN. UT kind of signed a Faustian bargain. There will be no ESPN involvement in the P16N, Texas beyond what it takes to release the rights to the Pac.

  11. M says:

    I’ll just leave this here for the ND fans who want to join the ACC over the B1G:

    In the ACC, only FSU and Clemson are over 70,000 attendance, compared to 7 Big Ten schools. The average attendance at an B1G game in 2010 was 20,617 more than the average ACC game, . This was before the addition of Nebraska, which will push the Big Ten average up by roughly 1000 (without considering any secondary effects of Nebraska road games). It’s also before the addition of Syracuse and Pitt, who will push the ACC average down by approximately the same amount.

    Have fun playing half your games on the grandest 50,000 seat stages that the ACC has to offer.

    • zeek says:

      Well that’s the decision isn’t it? Playing against what are likely to be less high profile opponents on average, but more geographically located to their alumni/fan bases.

      It would also make it easier for them to schedule. ACC is likely to have 9 games. Play Navy, USC, and Stanford annually to get a game on the West Coast.

      Sure they lose their Big Ten rivals, but location-wise, they’d be playing 6 games at home in the Midwest along with 5 games on the East Coast and 1 game in California.

      It wouldn’t be optimal at all, but if geographic mix is their goal it makes sense.

      They’d be betting that their being high profile outweighs some of the less high profile matchups they’d probably have in a 16 team ACC as opposed to a 14 team Big Ten.

      Maybe they’d end up in a pod of ND/Miami/BC/Pitt or something like that, so 3 of their 9 conference games for sure would be typical games that they’d expect.

      • M says:

        The problem is that the ACC (especially the original ACC) is not more geographically located to their alums. I would bet that there are more ND alumni in any Big Ten state except Nebraska (and maybe Iowa) than in VA, NC, SC, and GA combined.

        If the ACC put ND in a division with Pitt, Syracuse, Rutgers, Maryland, Miami, FSU, and Boston College, that might be close to equaling the alumni reach of the Big Ten. Would the oldline ACC members be willing to give up almost all their games against any team in Florida or the northeast? Would Maryland give up playing UVA and UNC with any regularity? Would these teams agree to having FSU, Miami and ND in the same division?

        Also, that division isn’t that much different than the Big East conference circa 2002 (just swap Maryland and FSU for VT). If ND wasn’t willing to join the Big East in football then, why join it now? An extra game against FSU? Not to harp on attendance, but other FSU none of the other teams are in the 30 in country. 3 of them were under 41000 last year.

        ND joining the ACC would be like throwing the remote through your television when your team does something stupid. It might make you feel good to do it, but you’re worse off for having done it.

        • zeek says:

          I actually tend to agree with what you’re saying here.

          I’m just offering the rationalization you’re going to find mostly centered about ND as an East Coast school. If it’s from Wetzel and co., you’ll also find the typical stuff about the Midwest dying off and all that.

          The main problem I see with the ACC for ND’s football is that too many of the ACC schools are primarily basketball schools, which is pretty much what you’ve stated as well.

          Outside of Florida State, Miami, and Va Tech, the football brands haven’t really developed as strongly as they can. Clemson has strong attendance but outside of that it’s going to be problematic.

          • M says:

            Wetzel and co need to take a look at the unemployment, poverty, and education levels in those states and then consider where a university would like to affiliate. Other than Texas and maybe Florida, the Sun Belt has far greater economic problems than the midwest (other than Michigan).

          • Purduemoe says:

            I hate everything written by Dan Wetzel. I have never been a fan of him or his opinions. His anti Midwest stuff is just stupidity. I would put the economy of where I live, Indianapolis, up against just about anywhere else in the country.

            I think the ND to the ACC fans are mostly the subway alums who have regaled themselves with stories about how fielding yost tried to black ball Notre Dame. Of course that ignores the fact that Purdue and Michigan State continued to schedule them, but whatever. If they feel that way, fine. As a Purdue fan I just hope we still have ND on the schedule, no matter where they end up. If they aren’t onethe schedule anymore, that will be disappointing, but life goes on.

          • jj says:

            @ Purduemoe

            Totally agree. I don’t want the midwest to sink to the south’s and atlantic coast’s level. There are nice places and sh*tholes in both regions, but the bottom line is that the midwest enjoys a better overall standard of living in basically every facet of life. Busting families down to taking $12-$15 an hour or worse for a job is not my idea of prosperity.

            I also agree with you about ND. They have what is generally a friendly rivalry with MSU, and it seems to be the same with Pur. MSU and ND helped each other get to where they are. On the other hand, UM tried to keep them both down – that’s just a historical fact and it carries over to this day.

            These days you also get a lot intellectual snobbery about ND being a religious school. As if you can’t be religious and intelligent. I went to UM. A lot of the people are great and the school is world class, but there are certainly a lot of douchebags and ultraliberal elitists. I suppose the domers can be pretty obnoxious too; I think I just relate to them better – I went to 12 years of catholic school.

          • FLP_NDRox says:


            From my understanding the biggest thing is that unlike the B1G with it’s ONE private school and all heavily grad focused universities doesn’t LOOK as much like ND as the ACC with it’s four-ish (I still don’t quite get Pitt’s set-up) private schools and much smaller and more undergrad focused flagships. Also, the ACC has schools in Florida, Boston, near DC, and now NY and PA. Get Texas (becoming more unlikely) as a non-football (which means they’d be open to us as non-football as well) and the ACC looks even better.

            Only three stadiums in the ACC are under 50K. And ND has played home and homes with BC in the past. The B1G has only one (NU), but I don’t remember the Irish @ NU, I thought it was @ Soldier Field.

            Even though the ACC doesn’t look *good* they do look better than they did, and are a potentially viable alternative to the B1G if push is truly coming to shove.

            IIRC, Michigan State and ND started the series because Michigan was blackballing both of us. Purdue ignored Michigan because they needed a second local rival. Michigan State didn’t get in the B1G until 1950, after Chicago deemphasized. ND also sought that spot, IIRC, and were turned down. Michigan’s blackball was effective…since we were only sought to join the B1G in 1999, over 50yrs after Yost’s death.

          • Purduemoe says:


            I understand what you are saying, and I agree that Yost did try to blackball you. But Others in the B1G didn’t. I also understand the private school aspect, but Northwestern is doing just fine in the B1G, and has for decades. The CIC already includes another private school in the University of Chicago. I don’t think ND would be on an island in the B1G. Like I said before, as a Purdue fan, as long as we keep the ND game I don’t care where ND lands in a conference, the rivalry is important to me. I was at Purdue the same time Brees was there, and the 99 and 2000 ND games were two of the most exciting games I ever saw, one in person. I love the atmosphere for the ND game at Purdue, as we always get a bunch of ND fans in there, most of whom are very well behaved and fun. I think ND is a good fit for the BIG, but it seems like the winds are blowing towards the ACC. If ND goes to the ACC I think the Purdue game is one of the rivalry games ND will cut, since Purdue isn’t the name like USC or Michigan, and didn’t save the school like Navy. Like I said all things pass, but I hope it doesn’t.

            As an aside, I do think some of the message board talk of ND being afraid of the B1G is ridiculous. ND has always played anyone, and has never ducked a matchup, at least that I know about. But I do think ND needs to think before it essentially gets rid of some longstanding Midwestern rivalries.

          • M says:

            I never understand the Yost blackball theory. In that 39 year gap (1903-1941), 4 of ND’s 10 most commonly played opponents were Big Ten schools (Northwestern, Indiana, Purdue, Wisconsin). ND also played every Big Ten team except Michigan and Chicago at least twice.

            If Yost tried to stop Big Ten members from playing ND, he did an extraordinarily poor job.

        • @MaroonBadger says:

          Have to rep the history of the alma mater: University of Chicago stands 5-0-0 against Notre Dame and remains (for obvious reasons) the only program undefeated against the Irish in multiple contests to date.

    • Ryan says:

      In rebuttal, I will just leave this here for why the ACC makes more sense for Notre Dame than the B1G.

      What you argue as a strength may in fact be a weakness, depending on your perspective.

    • bullet says:

      Rice #3!

      Big 12 set a conference record for attendance at nearly 63k. Well ahead of Pac and ACC.

    • bullet says:

      Also brings up the 9 game conference schedule. UGA’s game vs. Coastal Carolina broke a long sellout streak with 800 seats unsold and an estimated 10,000 empty seats at the start. Not as unenthused a crowd as Idaho St. last year (when people were giving away tickets-1st prize-2 Idaho St tickets, 2nd prize-4 Idaho St. tickets…), but not much better. People were leaving at halftime (35-0 and the game wasn’t that close). Maybe half had left by the end of the 3rd quarter. We stayed until the end and beat the traffic. There was NOONE left on campus. Everyone was long gone. You would have thought it was summer as empty as the campus was.

      A 9 game conference schedule gives you fewer of those type of games.

      • bullet says:

        I was at UT’s 1997 66-3 loss at home to UCLA in 95 degree weather and there were probably as many people left in the stadium at the end of that game than at the end of UGA-Coastal Carolina (and it was a perfect football Saturday). The ADs are not thinking long term with these types of matchups and mega-conferences which kill rivalries.

        • TwoPalePonies says:

          To be fair to the rivalry question, there weren’t many UT fans in the Cotton Bowl beyond the third quarter of the OU games in 2000 or 2003, and that’s both a long-term and conference rivalry. Getting drilled encourages people to leave the stadium.

    • metatron5369 says:

      Their fans don’t care. Notre Dame’s an East Coast school located in the Midwest.

      They might have a national fan base, but the majority of them are on the East Coast, and the majority of them would rather play against Syracuse and Maryland than Ohio State and Wisconsin.

      • M says:

        If they really wanted to play the small east coast schools, they would have stopped playing Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue years ago and substituted Wake Forest, Duke and Syracuse.

        As I state below, the best case scenario for joining the ACC is nearly indistinguishable from the Big East circa 2002. ND didn’t want anything to do with that conference (even though they probably could have kept the whole together had they joined).

  12. Pat says:

    Stupid question: what are NCAA Tournament credits?

    • M says:

      Credits come from playing games in the NCAA tournament (one credit per game). Revenue from the tournament is split into equal amounts per credit. Credits count for 6 years, so the money is spread out. Generally, the revenue based on the credits go to the conference, instead of the school participating. Thus, the Pitt and Syracuse revenue from 2006-2011 tournaments remains with the Big East unless the Big East dissolves. In that case, they revert back to the school that earned them.

    • metatron5369 says:

      Something that makes Kansas valuable to the Big Ten, despite no one believing me.

  13. zeek says:

    ESPN finally picks up the story on the MWC trying to lure back TCU. FWIW, I think a new Big 12-Big East would likely become the new “little brother” conference with a BCS slot if they voted alongside the other conferences as the Big East previous received…

    That’s mainly why TCU is likely to stick it out with Kansas/Kansas State/Missouri or WVU (whoever isn’t taken by the SEC if that happens)/Iowa State/Baylor/Louisville/Cincinnati/USF/UConn/Rutgers (if the latter two are ignored by the ACC).

  14. GreatLakeState says:

    Google’s Larry Page and Nate Silver only lived a stone’s throw from each other in East Lansing and went to the same high school. I remember when Nate Silver was younger he became a local celebrity for his obsession with batting averages and the unsolicited advice he sent to MLB managers who quickly pegged him as a genius. He’s a real straight shooter. His stint at Daily Kos notwithstanding.

  15. vp19 says:

    I could see the ACC letting Connecticut twist in the wind for a while, perhaps even relegating it to the conference of misfit toys for a few years. There are still plenty of people in the ACC hierarchy who resent UConn for a variety of reasons — Jim Calhoun’s recruiting, the 2003 lawsuit the state filed against the conference, and so on. Since it has nowhere else to go (no AAU status will prevent it from entering the Big Ten, which was a longshot to begin with), Connecticut would be taken out of circulation for a while facing largely second-tier opponents in conference #5, and perhaps learning a bit of humility when the ACC finally deigned to take UConn in expansion to 16. (One wonders whether Bristol-based ESPN — which originated in 1979 as a way to show Connecticut sports — will coerce the ACC into taking the Huskies without delay.)

    The only bad part of this scenario is that Rutgers suffers, too.

    • swesleyh says:

      VP19, Same could apply to Baylor also.

    • FLP_NDRox says:

      And remember, the Huskies have only had FBS football since 2000. They are a glorified basketball school, historically speaking. I’m hopeful that the Eastern conferences will stop at 14 until ND’s future will be determined. I’m not sure how much of a boost Rutgers or UConn football will be.

      • vp19 says:

        In SU and Pitt, the ACC acquired colleges with legitimate, longtime “big-time” tradition. In contrast, 40 years ago Rutgers was an ersatz Ivy and Connecticut was playing Vermont (which still had football then) and other New England schools in the Yankee Conference.

    • jtorre says:

      ESPN – which originated in 1979 as a way to show Connecticut sports –

      So the LHN is really just a subsidiary of the UConn family of networks. Now can everyone let up on Texas?

  16. ShawnO says:

    I’ve got insomnia, and I think I may have figured the end game out while I tried to fall back asleep.

    ACC: Stays put at 14, leaves UConn twisting in the wind

    SEC: Goes to 14 by adding TA&M and Mizzou

    Pac X: Adds UT, TT, OK, OkSt

    BIG: Adds Notre Dame, Rutgers (why Rutgers? Nate Silver’s terrific 538 post explains it best. This would give the BIG the 3 most popular teams in NYC)

    Big East/12: Basketball only schools spin off the oft-discussed Catholic league. Remaining teams from both leagues merge (including TCU). That is still a pretty good league and should be able to keep its BCS bid.

    MW/CUSA: Merge for football, as described earlier to try and fill the remaining sixth BCS bid. Keeps politicos happy because the non-bcs schools now have a shot.

    Even Sun Belt, WAC, MAC are happy because they could now fill one of the non-BCS slots in the future, if they have the right team.


    One final thought before I attempt to fall back asleep.

    BIG could add just Notre Dame only and stay at 13. How? Notre Dame becomes a ‘floater’ team between Legends and Leaders each year. It plays in the Legends one year, Leader the next, and alternates back and forth for football only. The get to keep NBC for home games (because it is over the air network that all BIG fans get without any extra effort). BTN/ESPN get all ND road games, including non-con. That money is all pooled and split between all 13 schools. BIG goes to already planned 9 game sched, so ND gets 3 non-cons per year (USC, Navy and one other). This allows each BIG team to play at ND once in 4 years, ND to keep relationship w/NBC, BIG gets to rake in even bigger $$$, and ND gets a semi-national sched each year. Mizzou goes to SEC. ACC may or may not take UConn, Rutgers in this scenario.

    Whew. Ok, back to bed.

    • ShawnO says:

      I don’t believe that any of the remaining ‘big 4′ (SEC, ACC, PAC X, BiG) would ever allow a non-football membership. The ND deal destabilized the BEast in the end, and did not help it. This is why ND is in a vary precarious position right now. They could still be independent after all of this, and put their non-football sports in the aforementioned Catholic League, but they may get shut out of many schedules because football is going to 9 and maybe even 10 conference games. Independence is their goal at all costs, and they will probably achieve it, but at what price? BiG will only expand for ND at this point. Delany has made it clear that he thinks 12>16. Its quality over quantity.

      • FLP_NDRox says:

        The Big East was/is intrinsically unstable because the northeast is focused on the NFL. No traditional football kings reside in the Northeast…unless we’re calling Happy Valley NE. Or at least they haven’t since Army and the Ivies abdicated in the 40s and 50s. Syracuse was a prince, and could easily be again.

        The problem is that today the money doesn’t come approximately equal parts football and MBB, but far and away from football. While NYC loves it some college hoops, with no local football king, the Big East is a casualty of the new era in television.

      • vp19 says:

        That could leave an opening for a Big East/Big 12 blend where Notre Dame and Texas participate in everything but football, but agreeing to play conference schools a few games a year. ND could continue that role with the Big East emigres, while UT could do likewise with its Big 12 counterparts. It makes sense as an endgame for all concerned.

    • bullet says:

      5 conferences works much better for an 8 team playoff than 6 with autobids. I don’t see why the big conferences would want to go from 9 or 10 of 10 slots to 8 or 9 just because they all got bigger. CUSA/MWC merger for autobid is unrealistic. And a championship game means there is a greater risk the team isn’t deserving.

    • FLP_NDRox says:

      I’m sorry USC, Navy (neutral site), and X equals “semi-national” how?

  17. Sportsman says:

    According to SportsCenter… ND plans on remaining in the Big East. If that becomes impossible, then they will seek to join the ACC, not the Big Ten.

    • zeek says:

      Not really sure that’s something they’re going to decide in a matter of minutes after getting blindsided by this Pitt/Syracuse to the ACC move.

      ND is under no pressure to join a football conference at this point in time. They can wait and see what happens to the Big East and consider joining the Catholic schools.

      Their NC/BCS access is not changed by this move.

    • M says:

      So ESPN says that ND plans on remaining in the conference that ESPN basically founded. If not, it will join the only conference where ESPN controls all of the media rights.

      I trust ESPN to broadcast games, compile highlight reels, and devise catchphrases. As a news organization, it has roughly the credibility of Missouri radio stations.

      • Sportsman says:

        Agreed, but I still think it stops the ACC from moving to 16, right now. Much of eSECpn’s reporting is quite Chip Brown-ish… but, why should facts get in the way of a good story/spin. I get sick & tired of the way they ridicule the B1G, but the SEC can do no wrong.

      • Adam says:

        M wins. Most of this ‘reporting’ is ESPN manipulation.

    • Sportsman says:

      With ND stating, per ESPN, that they’d prefer the ACC, it would seem that the conferences will have: B1G (12), ACC (14), SEC(14) & Pac-1# (14/16). But… for whatever reason, I have a hunch that the B1G will end up w/ 14.

    • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

      We all love a good conspiracy theory…but PBC’s “ESPN vs. The Big Ten” power play theories seem to work with every new story that comes out. Again, I admit to having “Big Ten glasses” on as I read this, but it just seems like every story goes against anything that the Big Ten would want to do.

      • Purduemoe says:

        I have thought the same thing as time has gone on. Now it may turn out the PBC is completely full of dung, and heck that is probably the most likely outcome, but it seems like ESPN is reporting everyone to everywhere but the B1G. This makes sense with Delaney’s comments, and I thought nothing of it, until I heard on Mike and Mike this morning that they think Notre Dame would go to the ACC before the B1G. Maybe thats true, but it just doesn’t smell right to me. It seems like ESPN is trying to use the bully pulpit to get UT and ND into the conference where they control all of the media rights.

    • FLP_NDRox says:

      I just read that as, “ND believes it has a shot to get in as a Non-football school in the ACC, and knows it has no shot to pull that stunt with the B1G.” It seems like Swarbrick was just as shocked as the rest of us that Syr and Pitt bolted.

      I didn’t catch Sportscenter this morning, so if I’m wrong, plz correct.

  18. Al in San Fran says:

    Frank, do you think Delaney laughed a hard and sinister laugh when he heard Pitt And Cuse left for the ACC? “Mwahahahahhahahahahahahhahahahah!”

    • bullet says:

      Actually, he probably was getting a little distracted while putting. His filler is rapidly disappearing. He wants ND and UT, but what if he only gets one? Pitt and SU are off the board. UConn and Rutgers may be. Missouri could be in SEC. Or Kansas/Missouri could end up in Pac with their rights sewn up for 15 years.

      So does he bring in Iowa State if Notre Dame comes calling? 13 is just not a tenable number for more than a couple of years. The Cyclones may be the only AAU member available.

      • greg says:

        If ND comes calling (which I doubt), the B1G won’t be stuck with Iowa State. Rutgers and others will still jump to the B1G if the chance to join with Notre Dame is there.

        Hopefully the B1G is “stuck” with 12.

  19. Will says:

    Hey Frank.

    I’m an ACC guy (UVA!!)

    I think at the end of the day the world will still turn and people will find a way to cope no matter what happens……

    BUT, what do you think about Florida State?

    They voted to up the conference buyout yet made a committee to “examine realignment options”. Also message board buzz from Noles fans are horrfied at the additions of Pitt and Cuse.

    You think they leave?

    I think it’s either or because the educational brass reportedly likes the ACC partnerships.

    • zeek says:

      What the fans want is honestly worth diddly-squat.

      Florida State’s administration has been outspoken in favor of the Pitt/Syracuse additions and all of the ACC members voted to raise the buyout.

      Obviously raising the buyout is a signal that you’re playing defense, and the Pitt/Syracuse moves were made with the thought that “the best defense is a good offense”.

      Yeah, FSU fans would have wanted the ACC to get either ND or Penn State, but other than that, what logical alternatives did they have? There’s a lot of synergy between UNC/Duke and Syracuse/Pitt for basketball, and even though this doesn’t really do anything for football, it helped their market presence in the Northeast.

      It seems highly unlikely that the FSU brass would want to leave the ACC, since according to the ACC they can renegotiate (or maybe that means just getting a pro-rata raise) from the contract language, so that might help fix the distance in $ between the ACC and SEC.

      The FSU administration isn’t really concerned with creating the best matchups for the fanbase. They’re concerned with money, educational prestige, as well as probably the ease with which they can get to the BCS.

      For most of the ACC teams, the SEC doesn’t make sense. Va Tech and FSU can get to the ACC CCG any year they want, and if they run the table, they get to the NC. There’s no evidence that the SEC would improve recruiting since FSU already can pull down top-5 classes without much effort.

      • mushroomgod says:

        “What the fans want is honestly worth diddly-squat”

        I call BS on this. Just ask the A@M administration. At these sothern schools the football coach calls the shots, and the administration listens.

        • Adam says:

          While I agree about A&M’s fans wanting to leave the Big 12, I think that is a broad generalization to say Southern schools’ football coaches call the shots. I’d like to hear what Bernie Machen or Michael Adams have to say about that. It’s not like A&M is leaving the Ivy League for the SEC – they’re leaving a league that is arguable worse on the bottom academically than the SEC.

          And considering the Big 12 and SEC conference relationships don’t have any meaningful academic affiliation outside of general association and reputation, I think it means even less.

          I think Zeek is dead-on about FSU: the school itself is very young and has benefitted significantly in academic circles from its loose affiliation with the ACC school and their reputations. TPTB will always listen to fans; that doesn’t mean they’ll act on their wishes.

          • bullet says:

            Michael Adams would never make a Gee type quote about Mark Richt firing him (of course Richt is the one on the hot seat).

            And with A&M it wasn’t the mass of fans, it was the key fans-the big donors and the board of regents. A&M’s never worshipped its football coach-its the program. Dana Bible, Bear Bryant, Gene Stallings and RC Slocum for that matter all left or got run off. Texas and Alabama are grateful for the great coaches A&M has sent their way.

          • mushroomgod says:

            As to that generalization business….was it Bear who said “This football team needs a university it can be proud of….”?

          • Bob in Houston says:

            mushroom god: It was George Cross, a former long-time president of OU.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            “Michael Adams would never make a Gee type quote about Mark Richt firing him…”

            —Which is neither here nor there. Gee’s quirky sense of humor hides the fact that no one pushes him around.

        • zeek says:

          FSU is different from A&M. A&M’s fanbase and administration think alike.

          As for FSU, sure coaches call the shots, but at this point, FSU is entrenched in the ACC. The academic side of FSU likes being associated with those schools. The football coaches like the idea of being able to offer kids a shot at the BCS (or NC) every year.

          It’s a totally different situation.

          A&M was in a perfect spot to move to the SEC in terms of needing to get out of Texas’ shadow and create its own brand. The fanbase has long wanted that.

          There’s no rush to join Florida in the SEC for FSU.

          • bullet says:

            You make a good point about A&M which also applies to Frank’s think like a college president. A&M’s current president is a former student. 2 of the last 4 have been former students (and 1 of the others got run off in a year). Most schools have the philosophy that they want outside thinking and usually don’t have former students as president. So at A&M the college president may think like a fan in addition to thinking like a college president.

          • gas1958 says:

            I think this is right about A&M. The LHN was the last straw for them and the SEC is more than happy to have them–it will help the academic standing of the conference. Let’s see, if after 20 years, A&M–like Arkansas–hasn’t cracked the conference football elite, how the Aggies feel about their brand at that point.

          • joe4psu says:

            If the A&M admin thought like the fans they would have been in the SEC last year. The fans/donors pressured the admin and the “details” of the LHN was the last straw from where I’m sitting.

          • Frank the Ag says:


            …and Florida wouldn’t support FSU anyway. FSU doesn’t have the opportunity right now, so it is very hard to get a quality assessment of their interest level.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          Replace football coach with boosters & you’re nearer to the mark.

      • Bamatab says:

        If the big money donars/boosters want to move to the SEC (and if the SEC wants FSU), then FSU will be in the SEC. The screams of the average fan may not be enough to force FSU’s administration’s hand, but you can bet that the big money folks’ screams will. And there were a lot of big boosters that wanted to go to the SEC back when the SEC last expanded, but were appeased by Coach Bowden and his insistance on having the easier path in the ACC. Bowden is no longer there, and I don’t think Fisher will be that upset about moving considering he is from the SEC. If the Big money folks start screaming, and if the SEC will accept them, FSU’s administration will not fight it.

  20. herbiehusker says:


  21. Guido says:

    I still don’t see how Texas to PAC at the moment makes sense in any way. It could only happen with true equal revenue sharing, the main thing OU is demanding for wherever they end up. If Texas will truly accept that revenue model, they would just stay and do so in the Big 12.

    From the PAC side, there is major concern with adding any additional teams even with equal revenue sharing. Any proposal to give Texas more than an equal share is likely to be rejected, or risk destabilizing the long term future of the conference.

    Essentially, a “Texas” that could maybe get PAC acceptance is a “Texas” that OU would be willing to stay in Big 12 with.

    • TwoPalePonies says:

      Equal revenue sharing isn’t really an issue for OU. Stability is. The former is a means, the latter is an end.

      UT probably can do nothing to salvage the Big XII at this point. Most importantly, there is no trust, and no demographic counterweight to UT if it should ever leave.

  22. Bill B. says:

    Revenge of the Leftovers.

    As I understand it, a majority of Division I members can vote to authorize a playoff. To date, the 6 BCS conferences have held together a slim majority of Division I schools that has prevented that from occurring (that is why talk of the Big East losing its automatic bid has always been misinformed). But with the implosion of the Big East and Big 12, there are currently a majority of schools on the outside looking in.

    Instead of those schools prostituting themselves to get into one of the 4 remaining “super-conferences” or otherwise competing with each other to form a conference that can get an automatic bid from the BCS, they ought to simply combine within the NCAA to vote to authorize a Division 1 playoff. That would force the super-conferences to either accept it or split from the NCAA. Splitting from the NCAA is not nearly as easy as a lot of people think, and it would face enormous resistance from Congress and the public.

    I think the leftover schools should unite and take over the NCAA and bring some sanity back to the system.

  23. yatesc says:

    WVU fan here. I am panicking, worried that we’ll wind up in the Island of Misfit Toys conference.

    Kansas State
    Iowa State
    and maybe Houston/SMU/UCF/etc. for spots 10-12.

    …wouldn’t be that bad, right?

    Okay, no, that’s pretty terrible. F***.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Sad to say, I think you’re there. SEC would be unwise to take WV over Missouri. ACC isn’t going to happen.

    • bobestes says:

      News flash: WVU is a misfit toy.

    • Jake says:

      Take it from the board’s resident TCU fan: no one here cares what happens to us. They’re too busy drawing up B1G 16 pod alignments.

      And yeah, that’s terrible. It’s really not so much different from the current Big East, but when everyone around you is forming 16-team mega-conferences that can ditch the NCAA and leave you behind, it starts looking a little worse. That’s why I’m still letting myself get my hopes up over the Pac-16 and the ACC, even though everything indicates that my school doesn’t even register for those conferences. What else can I do?

      • Mike says:

        If it makes you feel better, I care. A class mate of mine was a scholarship athlete for TCU ’99 – ’02.

      • zeek says:

        I think at this point, most Big Ten fans are hoping everyone just stays at 12 and ND stays independent.

        If that doesn’t happen, I think we’re hoping that the Big Ten stays at 12, and there’s as little movement elsewhere.

        Honestly, I think we were all hyped up about getting to 14 and 16, and now it just doesn’t make as much sense.

        Yeah, it’d be nice to have ND in the conference, but we’ll be fine without them.

        The Big 12 surviving would be nice, but I don’t think Beebe has anything left to offer and OU/Texas are going to have to work it out between themselves.

        A lot of us wanted TCU to get a Big East invite, although we assumed that the Big East wouldn’t get raided by the ACC. The latter was our big mistaken assumption.

        • joe4psu says:

          I don’t know whether I not a B1G fan or if I’m just not most B1G fans. I’d like this process to play out quickly and go away for another 20-25 years. If the only changes are A&M to the SEC and the ACC’s addition of Pitt and SU, then I think this continues to bubble up every year or so. I hope I’m wrong.

          Although I’d miss all the speculation on this board. :)

      • zeek says:

        Also, I just want to say, I have a huge amount of respect for the TCU program.

        Like most Big Ten fans, we all rooted for Wisconsin against TCU in the Rose Bowl, but we all came away with a huge amount of respect for your program.

        As a Northwestern fan, our situation is similar to yours (without having access to Texas) in terms of trying to make a dent in a pro-sports market where college football for us hasn’t been relevant in 50 years. The fact that you guys are succeeding among giants like Texas, OU, and A&M is pretty impressive.

        In any case, I think TCU will come out of this fine as long as the Big East/Big 12 hybrid can hold together and come up with a way to maintain a decent national profile.

        • Jake says:

          @zeek, mike – Thanks. Unfortunately, the giant state schools in our historic, regionally based conference decided they didn’t want to carry around private schools anymore. Doesn’t look like that will be a problem for NW. Must be nice. And while the Big Tweast might be okay for a little while, when the Big 4 decide they’re tired of sharing, that’s going to be the first conference on the outside.

          • zeek says:

            I think the key in all honesty will be keeping Notre Dame out of the Big Ten and ACC.

            As long as the Big Ten stays at 12 and ND stays in the Big 12/Big East; I don’t see that conference getting left out.

            Maybe we go back to the older bowl system, but I think there’ll still be at large slots open for ND and the Big 12/Big East.

          • Pezlion says:

            I’d prefer TCU not be in a BCS conference because I want your coach. No offense of course.

    • bullet says:

      You just got rid of SU (10 or so miserable years), Rutgers (136 of 142 miserable years) and UConn (not much history at all). TCU, Kansas, Kansas State and Baylor are improvements. Pitt will almost certainly play you ooc. BYU joins at least for football.

      UL, UC and Kansas makes for a serious basketball conference even if its not the BE.

      You don’t have the hybrid monster from Providence deciding what you do. You’re taking a step up.

      • yatesc says:

        Thanks for the pep talk, needed that. :)

        Just throwing an idea out there: should WVU try to go football independent if the Big XII/Big East merger happens? WVU has been independent for most of its history, could schedule whoever it wanted, and could presumably rejoin the A10 for non-football sports.

        • Peter says:

          WVU does not have the national cache or track record to get a BCS – or even a decent – bowl tie-in as an independent, and has no TV draw to get it any money. WVU is also in the bad category of schools that aren’t sure wins for your team but which provide little cred for beating them.

          Independent football would be suicidal for WVU.

          • yatesc says:

            Makes sense. Figured it was a crazy idea.

          • Jake says:

            @Peter – Nah, beating WVU is a solid win, particularly if you do it in Morgantown. TCU was in the in-between category for awhile, but I think we have the cred now where big schools won’t face an existential crisis for losing to us. We’ve got OU coming to town next year, plus home-and-homes with Arkansas and LSU in upcoming seasons, so I guess they’re not too worried.

            But independence is still a bad idea. BYU can pull it off because they have fans all over the country and their own cable channel supported by the church. And they apparently don’t care too much about BCS bowl games.

          • Danimal says:

            I am pretty surprised that the SEC would be after WVU. I am not sure as to their appeal in the region however they are an after thought in the Midwest and Western regions. Good bball program with Huggins there with a good fb program that has hired a good offensive minded head coach. Perhaps the play is to not only hopefully expand up the east coast in conjunction with adding a mid tier program to the already tough SEC. I suppose when you weigh them out against Missouri that they currently have a better athletic outlook however not by much.

        • Jefferson says:

          PSU fan here. I feel for WVU. WVU supported the Eastern All Sports Conference proposed by Joepa as AD. WVU supported it, but Pitt and SU did not. They voted against PSU in the Big East, and the Big East has been a second rate hoops conference ever since. And now they bolt from the conference of their own making? Texas and Notre Dame only wish they could be such prima donnas. And who gets screwed (twice)? Hoopies.

          • gregenstein says:

            Penn State wouldn’t have done diddly squat for the Big East in Hoops. That said, it should have been worked out somehow 30 years ago.

            I’d still rather see Pitt on the schedule every year sometime around Thanksgiving. That ship sailed a long time ago.

    • zeek says:

      Look, you guys are going to be needed. Don’t forget that the other 4 conferences (ACC/Big Ten/SEC/Pac-16 if that happens) are going to only have around 56-58 schools.

      They’ll need the hybrid Big 12-Big East conference to become the new 5th conference that tags along and helps vote for whatever excuse against a playoff that comes around in the next deal.

      I can easily see that Big East/Big 12 conference surviving. It would porbably get a decent deal from ESPN, maybe $5-7M per year.

      You’d have Kansas carrying the lot in basketball; TCU/WVU and probably USF carrying the load in football. I think you would want to consider inviting Boise State possibly to help the image of the league, since they obviously have a competitive program in place.

      The best thing you could do (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) is to give Notre Dame a home for its non-football sports. That would probably help your bowl slots and help your national profile.

      Maybe consider inviting schools like the Nevada schools or UCF or Houston if you need more territory.

      There’s still a chance for that conference to survive but it would probably require the ACC to stop at 14 and the SEC to only take 1 of Missouri or WVU. I really don’t think that conference has too much of a chance otherwise.

      • Jake says:

        Yeah, that was pretty much my assessment. Of course, SEC expansion might help some of us – if they take two ACC teams, the ACC might respond by taking four from the Big Tweast group. Which would only leave the left behind-left behinds that much more f%&@eder.

        At least we can always go back to the MWC.

      • bullet says:

        If the BE got $11 without bid and most was for football, I think the 12East will get more than just $5-$7 million.

        • zeek says:

          It depends on a lot of factors though; I also think that split may have been something along the lines of 60-40 football-basketball. Who’s left? If UConn and Rutgers leave, they’ll probably be nearer to that range I mentioned. Ditto for if ND doesn’t come to an arrangement with them for non-football and maybe an agreement to play 2 or so of them every year.

          The basketball side loses Syracuse/Pitt and MSG. The latter is the real thing they’d lose, since they’ll be gaining Kansas.

          I don’t know. It depends on so many factors that can’t really be measured right now.

    • WVUer as well. I think we’re going to the Island as well (I’m betting against SEC and ACC invites). I don’t actually think that conference is all that bad. Who in the Big East (current or past) is demonstrably better than that lineup? VTech maybe. Not Miami, not BC, not Pitt (under the ‘stach they had one big win to knock WVU out of title contention, one year where they were pretty well ranked and WVU returned the favor), nor Syracuse (they’ve been a football poo-poo platter for the last 15+ years).

      Where this move makes things worse is in Basketball. Kansas is a decent add, but certainly doesn’t come close to making up for all the talent that’s lost.

  24. GreatLakeState says:

    Interesting interview with former BE Commish MIke Tranghese. I know the first quote has been reported, but the rest is interesting.

    “You know who’s going to be the winner in all this when it’s all is said and done if you want to talk about conference? Big Ten. The Big Ten is sitting there, they took Nebraska, they’re on the sidelines, they’re watching all this chaos, everybody’s going to be taking people. And you know you could be standing there all alone at the end? Notre Dame and Texas. And the Big Ten would not be accused of raiding because they’re just going to be sitting there.”
    Commissioner Jim Delany’s patience might pay off, according to Tranghese.
    Tranghese also discussed whether the Big Ten would pursue Rutgers and Connecticut.
    “I don’t think so. … Before the Big Ten took Nebraska, knowing Jim Delany as well as I do … Jim did a lot of work. He did a lot of analysis, and I believe that Rutgers was looked at, and Pittsburgh was looked at, and Syracuse was looked at, and Connecticut was looked at. And a lot of schools were looked at. And I think the Big Ten came to the conclusion that the addition of any one of those schools wasn’t going to deliver them the New York market. … So that’s why I think that ultimately led them to Nebraska. Now they sit there and they ask themselves the same question: Can they get the New York market with Rutgers or Connecticut? You can do it with Notre Dame.”

    • Phil says:

      Nothing is more infuriating to fans of the remaining Big East schools than to have one of the idiots who mishandled this conference into oblivion being allowed to spout off now like he is an expert. The salt in the wound is his confirmation of all of our worst thoughts when he also said in this interview that recently deceased commissioner Gavitt’s number one request of Marinotto in this trying time would be that he “make sure Providence College is taken care of”.

    • EZCUSE says:

      Yeah… that’s like taking beauty advice from Roseanne Barr.

  25. Sarcastic Mike says:

    One more factor that I think plays into the 14 instead of 16 numbers game: Brand Value.
    The bigger a conference gets, the more fragmented it gets.  Just look at the monstrosity that was the Big East and try to remember all of the teams that were in that conference.  But beyond confusion is the watering down of rivalries, which makes the rights fees for games less valuable.  Sure, Iowa fans are always going to care about playing Ohio State.  But is a UI/OSU game in a future 16 team conference where they are in different divisions as valuable from a national ratings perspective as an UI/OSU tilt in the old 10 team conference?  This is dissolution of brand value, albeit outside the core market.
    Of course, there are certainly positive factors to size such as greater basic tier carriage footprint, more inventory for your self-owned network, and better quality games (read: higher ratings and thus more advertising revenue) on your self-owned network.  But don’t forget to factor the potential negatives into the equation.  Think of the dogfight that was ACC basketball back when it was only a 9 team league and how that drove up both the competition and value for all their games, not just the marquee matchups.  A 12 team B1G could actually be the small powerhouse conference in the future.

    • bullet says:

      The SEC has such great rivalries. There’s an intensity to nearly every game. A&M and WVU/Missouri dilute that. Other than Arkansas and LSU, noone cares about A&M in the SEC. They really don’t care much about Arkansas and they’ve been there 20 years. For the eastern schools they get WVU or Missouri and occassionally A&M and less of Alabama, Auburn, LSU and Ole Miss who they have been playing for at least 80 years.

      • Frank the Ag says:

        You are single mindedly obsessed with Texas A&M. I’m sure A&M and the SEC will be just fine there, bullet, so don’t lose any sleep over it. At least you’ve come to terms with the fact that A&M will actually BE in the SEC so kudos to you for that “growth”.

        A&M is a perfect fit for the SEC and the rivalries that come out of playing each other will grow. Fact is, A&M vs. both Arkansas and LSU will be instantly be heated. How many rivals exactly does it take after that?

        • bullet says:

          I grew up an SEC fan and am married to a UGA grad, so I’m quite familiar with the SEC.

          I don’t like superconferences. Its nothing against A&M in particular in the SEC. I wouldn’t want OU or Texas or FSU either.

  26. mushroomgod says:

    A few comments on where we are:

    *I think ACC stays at 14 for awhile. Yes, they want a shot at ND, but just as important is what VA Tech, FSU, and Clemson will want. These schools are already upset that ACC football doesn’t match that of the SEC. Adding Rutgers and U Conn means you’ve added 4 NE schools, all of which are middle of road football schools, 3 of which are presently known more as basketball schools. Not good culturally, and not particularly good for football.

    *As an advocate of adding RUT and MO to the BIG, I have to admit adding them together does liitle to entice ND. That would be adding 2 more large state schools, when the ACC just added 2 smaller schools, one private, one semi-private.

    *To Frank’s point about the non-revenue sports being important to ND’s decision–I would think that would point to the BIG over the ACC for 2 reasons: transportation/time lost to students due to transportation, and hockey, which is a large and recent investment. As to basketball, what priority will ND basketball have in a league which includes Carolina, Duke, Pitt, Syracuse, and, possibly U Conn?

    *Although I think Frank’s comment about a base for ND’s non-revenue sports is spot on, I still think they trudge on as is for at least a couple more years. They will want to see what NBC and BTN networks #s look like in 2 years when everythings being re-done. They will also look at the ESPN/ACC #s…

    • drwillini says:

      The more I think about it this could be the exact PBC scenario. Sounds like the UT BOT is going to scrub anything Powers comes up with that is not staying in the Big 12, and buy time to see how LHN evolves. Pac will likely wait on 14 as long as UT is in play. ACC will likely wait for a bit at 14 for ND, but seems to me like they will want to get to 16 to make sure they are the Eastern conference. B1G is in no hurry to expand with anybody other than UT and/or ND, so we could be in a holdign pattern untill 2014.

      • Peter says:

        I’d imagine if Powers came back with “The PAC has caved to all of our demands,” the Texas BoR would jump on it.

        The issue is that Texas’ demands essentially turn the PAC-16 into the Big 12 Mk. II with Texas as boss school. If Scott somehow accepted that, the actual PAC schools would vote it down in flames.

        • Karl Benson says:

          No chance Texas can get a special deal from PAC, B1G, ACC, or ESS EEE CEE.

          Does Texas want to be part of the new B1GEA2T? I don’t think the B1GEA2T will allow a special deal for Texas either. TCU, Kansas, K-State, and Iowa State will object.

          Conference USA, Mountain West, Missouri Valley, and Southland aren’t desperate enough to take Texas.

          That leaves the WAC as the only conference that is willing to cede control over to Texas.

      • mushroomgod says:

        Neither Powers nor Dodds has any interest in the BIG. The BIG isn’t an option as long as either of them are in office.

        • Peter says:

          That’s not really the best negotiating posture with the PAC for them and I think it’s a little too much of the “Texax uber alles” framing. The B1G was never going to compromise on:

          — Equal revenue sharing
          — No OU/OSU/Tech
          — No LHN

          That’s not up to Powers/Dodds or what the B1G thinks of Powers/Dodds (probably not a lot after the whole “dying Midwest” schtick…). It’s a nonstarter regardless of who the figures at the table are. You have those all the time in business, where both sides are not mutually better off by doing the deal and so they don’t bother to talk beyond initial feelers.

          Texas SHOULD be compatible with the B1G but that sure doesn’t look like the way they want to go.

    • metatron5369 says:

      As long as the ACC has openings, ND can’t be pushed. Once they invite UConn and Rutgers, we can become the Cumaean Sibyl.

      Until then, we must wait.

  27. duffman says:


    I still feel the B1G missed the boat on Pitt, but I understand the argument. I still say the PSU overlap was worth it if the long term dealings between Pitt and Notre Dame gave the Domers a better feeling of security. I know I may be in the minority, but I think the ACC move was directly aimed at getting ND in the ACC fold. If the PAC takes oSu to get OU, then how is taking Pitt any different in trying to get ND?

    • Peter says:

      It’s entirely different. Taking Oklahoma State is a 100% requirement to getting Oklahoma. That’s been made extremely clear by everyone from that state who has opened their mouth. It’s a necessary condition. Don’t like OSU? Don’t call us.

      There’s no actual connection between Pitt & ND that is either a necessary or a sufficient condition of getting ND to join a conference.

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        Oklahoma & Oklahoma St are siamese twins while ND & Pitt are two guys who get together
        somewhat regularly to shoot hoops at the Y.

    • Purduemoe says:

      Not frank, but I think if the Purdue, MSU, and Michigan ties aren’t enough for ND, then I don’t think Pitt would add much more. Purdue and MSU both have played ND more than Pitt, and the ND/Michigan game is huge even when both teams are down.

      • SideshowBob says:

        And the biggest advantage for playig Pitt — exposure in Western PA, with a good recruiting base an a number of fans for ND — is accomplish just as well with playing PSU regularly. I think playing Pitt might be a slight extra incentive for the Irish, but small enough to not make a difference really.

    • jj says:


      If ND called in 2014 and said we’re coming & let’s get Pitt too, I think we could get Pitt then. I agree Pitt is a fine addition to any conference.

      • duffman says:


        sort of my point, as Pitt looks most like a B1G, not already in the B1G.

        B1G 16 = ND / Pitt / Toronto / MU or MD ;)

        I am still not convinced UT in the B1G 16 is a good fit.

  28. Karl Benson says:

    Once again, the Western Athletic Conference would like to welcome the University of Texas at Austin as a non-football member.


    WAC basketball divisions

    WAC West

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

    WAC South

    Texas (non-football)
    Texas-Arlington (will add FBS football by 2020)
    Texas-El Paso
    Texas-San Antonio
    Texas State
    Louisiana Tech


    University of Texas annual football schedule

    Week 1: Rice or Sun Belt Conference opponent at Austin – Longhorn Network

    Week 2: Navy (at Austin or Fed Ex Field) – ESPN Networks

    Week 3: PAC opponent from California (USC, UCLA, Cal, or Stanford) – ABC (at Austin), ABC or FOX (at PAC)

    Week 4: WAC opponent at Austin – Longhorn Network

    Week 5: Oklahoma at Fair Park in Dallas – ABC

    Week 6: WAC opponent at Austin – Longhorn Network

    Week 7: Notre Dame (at Austin or South Bend) – ABC (at Austin), NBC (at South Bend)

    Week 8: WAC opponent at Austin – Longhorn Network

    Week 9 : BYU (at Austin or Provo) – ESPN Networks

    Week 10: WAC opponent at Austin – Longhorn Network

    Week 11: Army (at Austin or Yankee Stadium) – ESPN Networks

    Week 12: BYE

    Week 13: Texas A&M – ESPN

    WAC opponents: Texas-San Antonio, Texas-El Paso, Texas State, and Texas-Arlington or alternate opponent

    • EZCUSE says:

      Nice cut and paste.

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      And once again Karl Benson, you look like a fool.

      • Josh says:

        I just keep laughing at the idea that this really is Karl Benson and that the WAC has gotten so desperate that he’s reduced to campaigning for UT to join the WAC on this board.

        Meanwhile, his wife and kids have moved out and are living in Craig Thompson’s basement.

    • footballnut says:

      I think Rick Barnes would committ suicide. No way Texas BB in WAC. PAC 16 real deal, plus I see Missouri to SEC, rest of Big East combines with Big 12 to make the “Not ready for prime time players” conference.

      Getting mean out there, isn’t it?

    • jcfreder says:

      I know you’re pushing this, Karl, but I don’t see it. Even assuming that Texas chooses not to join any of the superconferences but would rather go independent, why wouldn’t they just do that by parking the non-football sports with the B12, which could add WV, Louisville, Cincy, etc, plus maybe even BYU? You are placing WAY too much emphasis on the LHN’s ability to carry Texas-San Antonio games.

      • SideshowBob says:

        Heck, if there were going to join a conference for all but football, I think Conf-USA would be a better choice anyway. Better hoops, still a bunch of Texas school (including old SWC rivals) and bette academics. And I feel pretty secure that Conf USA would let them in for all but football even though they are no longer a hybrid.

  29. mikebuz says:

    I still say UT joining the Pac 12 or any of the other three power conferences (B10, SEC, ACC) is unlikely, and not just because of the LHN. The LHN is a symptom of the larger problem, which is that UT will have a difficult (if not impossible) time adjusting to a conference where it will have to coexist with other alpha dog members that are a lot more entrenched than it is. Plus, I think the Pac 16 scenario has the added problem of maintaining a conference where there is a bloc of four new members (UT, TT, OSU, OU) with no historical appreciation of the group’s traditions, and which are from a geographically and–especially–culturally/politically alien land. We’re talking meshing solid red Texas/Oklahoma with solid blue Bay Area/Pacific NW.

    Further, the newcomers include a school that already has trouble sublimating its individual interests to group goals. This, my friends, has disaster written all over it, even if somehow an LHN compromise is cobbled together.

    More likely is a Weekend at Bernie’s version of the Big 12 that includes UT and the six dwarves plus a series of newcomers from the disintegrating BE (Cinci, Louisville, TCU, maybe even SFU), BYU and some Conference USA/WAC/Mountain West wannabes attracted by an AQ conference (Boise State?) that gets the number to 12 and therefore a CCG. This conference may even merge/affiliate with the BB schools left from the BE disintegration (Marquette, St. Johns, GT, Nova, etc.) and welcome ND’s non-football package as well. It would be a damn good BB conference though a lackluster FB conference, but might be able to finagle an AQ extension.

    And meanwhile UT gets to keep the LHN, which it seems to hold in the same regard as Gollum regarded the Ring…

    • footballnut says:

      Before the Big 12, Texas was in the old SWC and OU was in the Big 8. They’re not married to each other and probably found out that being in the same conference was too much to handle. I think that’s another reason why Texas may keep the big 12 alive, and your scenario is highly plausable.

      • TwoPalePonies says:

        Being in conference with UT is very desirable for OU — that’s what kept OU in the Big XII last round. OU is working very hard to get UT on board with going to the PacX. OU is no longer willing to sacrifice stability just to stay in conference with UT, however.

    • Wethorn says:

      Love your gollum analogy there, but I hope we’re not that far down the self-delusional path.

      With repect to Texas and blue/red states, I have to disagree. Basically Austin has sucked the vast majority of any liberal elements that are in the state into Austin. Austin cultutlrally is more akin to San Fran and Berkeley than anything else in Texas. I think the cultural fit will work out just fine for Texas. But I think your point is valid for Tech, OU and OSU.

  30. Mike says:

    New ACC TV contract?

    Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver:

    But expansion will allow the ACC to renegotiate its contract with ESPN to give members more revenue to share.

    “The renegotiation of the television contract will certainly help us handle all the additional travel costs that we might incur,” Weaver said.

    • zeek says:

      We’ll see whether that’s a full blown renegotiation or a “good faith offer” from ESPN. I’d find it hard to believe that the ACC contract has more lenient terms than the SEC contract.

    • yahwrite says:

      This helps build the theory that ESPN influenced the ACC to expand after the Big East rejected their offer. They don’t want the new Vs/NBC sports network to gain programming so they’re trying to knock off the Big East..

  31. NC Bob says:

    ND has positioned itself well despite this turmoil. Both the ACC and B1G are poised to accept them. And they can stay independent until the mega-conference landscape is settled. What’s the hurry? Living here in the Triangle I am amazed at how little ND talk there is. I don’t believe the ACC Presidents or AD’s are obsessed with ND like the B1G. College football is important for the local rivalries, but basketball drives the students, alumni and donors. Obviously the addition of Pitt and Syracuse are for benefits other than filling football stadiums. So I believe ND will have to officially ask the ACC to join and will be treated as an equal. I say all this as one who has allegiance and affection for both the ACC and BiG.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      What have they done to position themselves?

      From all appearances there in the same exact position they were a decade ago. Now they may be well positioned but I don’t see that as due to any recent moves on their part…rather it’s the same as it’s always been, they generate interest & have name recognition based on a history of storied accomplishments (not that there is anything wrong with that).

  32. footballnut says:

    New Big 12 mabey:

    Texas, TT, KU, KSU, MO, Louisville, Cincy, TCU, then pick BYU, SMU, Houston, and (Fill in the blank) to get back to 12.

    Sort of a middlin’ conference. Not a player, but no wall flower either.

    • zeek says:

      Texas probably won’t stay in that kind of conference. They know how irrelevant the SWC was becoming, and without OU, it’s just not practical for them to stay there.

      • zeek says:

        The Big 12/Big East hybrid has a chance to survive if Texas goes to the Pac-16 and they can keep a BCS slot while agreeing to vote with the other conferences. Giving ND a place for their non-football sports is probably their best bet at this time.

        Texas just won’t stay without OU. It’s probably as simple as that.

    • Karl Benson says:

      The new B1GEA2T:

      South Florida

      Kansas State
      Iowa State
      Texas Tech

      Central Florida

      Notre Dame (non-football)

      BYU (football only)


      Didn’t make the cut:

      East Carolina
      Southern Mississippi
      Boise State

    • vp19 says:

      You can’t leave Baylor and Iowa State out of that grouping in favor of Southern Methodist and Houston.

    • Jake says:

      If UT, Tech and Baylor (who you forgot, not that I blame you) are in the conference, TCU won’t be.

  33. FLP_NDRox says:

    I know no one saw the Syracuse and Pitt move to the ACC coming, but I think there may be a few assumptions we are making that are incorrect.

    1. “Think like a university president” is most accurate for the B1G and ND, but most other university president’s are going to heavily consider the AD’s advice (and in the state of Texas, the legislature). We have been underestimating AD power, it seems.

    2. AQs are permanent and transferable.
    The BCS is designed for the Bowls (to guarantee good ratings, ticket sales, and holiday vacationers for the home cities) and the Conferences (to make $$$). When the current BCS began (1998), each of the AQ conference had at least a “king” and some pretty good other teams for bowl purposes. However, the facade began to crack when the Big East lost its resident “king”, Miami, in 2004. Now with all the adjustments we have UNRANKED UConn losing it’s shirt because of unsold tickets to a New Years Day BCS bowl and TEN teams outside the top 10 played in these major bowls since 1/1/2005. I don’t think this is what the Bowls or the Big conferences had in mind. I think the BCS will be blown up again in 2014 when the contracts expire.

    The MWC remains on the outside looking in because neither the bowls nor the public wants to see any of their schools on NYD unless they are undefeated and beat some big time teams (lately, that means BSU). There are no teams in the CUSA that move the needle for the Bowls, so even if the MVC raids the CUSA, they will remain on the outside. Any combo of the Big XII without Texas or OU and the Big East has the same problem. WVU on it’s own does not an AQ make. TCU is essentially Boise with history and better facilities. If they want in, they’ll have to win out or find a conference with a king to escort them.

    The conferences on the borderline were not brought in as units, they were brought in for specific schools. The ACC and Big East got in because of FSU and Miami respectively, and the bowls figured any team that could beat them would be worth having. Without a “king” you won’t be AQ in 2014. That’s what Syracuse and Pitt correctly anticipated, and why they got off the sinking ship.

    3. Frank’s right: Sixteen is less inevitable than we think since there aren’t that many schools on the outside that will increase payouts.

    We talk about 4 x 16, but there doesn’t appear to be 64 programs that will cause the schools already in the big 4 to make more money. In the end, it may well be that we end up with 59 haves and a lot of have-nots. Oh, and there are 59 Div.I hockey schools; what a coincidence.

    Not one we are missing, but that was a great defensive maneuver by the ACC going to 14. They insure themselves of a conference championship game even if they are raided for #14 by the SEC. Furthermore they now made themselves THE destination for schools east of the Rockies who have no stomach for SEC shenanigans and lack AAU credentials that keeps them out of the B1G.

    • zeek says:

      I agree with a lot of what you’re posting, but I don’t necessarily think access will be that heavily restricted in the next contract.

      I still think ND will figure out a way to be independent, and if they can make a deal for non-football sports in the Big 12/Big East conference, I think there’ll be a way for that conference to get an AQ slot.

      Maybe the other conferences will remove the limit on BCS teams (or raise it to 3), but as long as it’s not the 4×16 scenario, it won’t really change that much.

      With the Big Ten at 12 seemingly for the haul and ND independent, I agree that the max schools the BCS will have is 56-59 with ND included. I think they’ll want to bring in the Big 12/Big East as long as ND is independent in order to vote for whatever system they make.

      Maybe it’s not sustainable for the long haul, but I do think there’ll still be some level of access for the rest as long as ND isn’t in a conference.

      • FLP_NDRox says:

        I concur. I can easily see where the Bowls (probably five: Rose, Sugar, Orange, Fiesta, Cotton) will be allowed to take up to three from the 4 AQ conferences so long as they are in the top say 10, and be obligated to take any school in the top 6. I would imagine in the future that there will be fewer auto-qualifiers, more at-larges, bowls will have more say, but that will be limited so that we won’t see a situation where a bowl takes a 7-5 ND team over someone in the top 10.

        • zeek says:

          Yeah, that’s how I’ve been envisioning it breaking down. 10 BCS slots; 5 AQs. ND will get some kind of preferential treatment (Top 8 guarantee or something). Other 5 BCS slots will mostly go to the other conferences, but that’s how they want it…

      • M says:

        My pet theory about the BCS is that it will dissolve after 2014. The championship game will still be played, but the bowls will revert to their old system. I think they are prepping for this result by separating the championship game from the bowl game itself in this contract.

        • Mike R says:

          I think the BCS is with us for some time … but maybe there will be a +1 or +2 playoff. It is in the conferences’ best interest to maintain the BCS, which they control directly.

          Part of what this musical chairs is all about is determining who will have access to the BCS as an AQ, and the TV contracts that go with that status.

          The endgame here is whether the big conferences, having secured all of the football revenue, strike at the heart of the NCAA by seceding from the D1 basketball tournament.

          • M says:

            “It is in the conferences’ best interest to maintain the BCS, which they control directly.”

            The big conferences have lost control of the BCS. The Rose Bowl didn’t get to do Pac-10/Big Ten. They’re now forced to take 8-4 Connecticut, which they wouldn’t do otherwise. They’ve been forced to add the effective berth for the non-AQ.

            By dropping the BCS system and returning to the old bowl system, the Big conferences regain the ability to sign the best bowls instead of being restricted.

          • joe4psu says:


            The old system didn’t sign the best bowls. They signed the best bowls possible with their tie-ins. Big difference. If the conferences are stupid enough to go back to the old system they get what they deserve.

            I’m not a traditionalist with the bowls, Rose included. I was just as happy to see PSU play in all the various bowls as I am to find them tied to the Rose if they win the B1G regardless of the matchup. I’m sure USC was thrilled to get Illiniois a couple of years ago.

            Give me a playoff or give me PSU independence! :)

    • ChicagoMac says:

      Yeah, I agree that the BCS will be blown to pieces when the current contracts expire.

      I fully anticipate a quasi-playoff system centered around the 4 or possibly 5 major conferences.

  34. greg says:

    A 12 team B1G while the other conferences go to 16 may be what Delany wants. Let the other conferences kill each other and limit the number of conferences for networks to bid on, yet the B1G benefits earliest with their upcoming first tier negotiation.

    • zeek says:

      I honestly just think it’s as simple as that they crunched the numbers and decided that without Texas or ND; there’s no reason to have less matchups between Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin as well as with the other half of the conference (that like seeing them visit and fill their stadiums with marquee names as well as raise ticket prices; TV likes having more matchups of those teams rather than less).

      Texas for a whole host of reasons isn’t looking at the Big Ten. It would be on an island (in the Big Ten or ACC), since the only partner it’d probably have is Missouri (same goes for Oklahoma in the Big Ten). They’re a natural fit with the Pac-16 scenario of OU/OSU/Tech in terms of geography, demography, climate, fit.

      Notre Dame for its own set of reasons isn’t looking at the Big Ten; namely, independence as its football identity and institutional identity. For that matter, they probably aren’t looking at the ACC. Going to either means they probably lose games in the Southeast (in the case of the Big Ten), or only play in South Bend in the Midwest (in the case of the ACC).

      The Big Ten is stable at 12. Although our group includes a disproportionate amount of Big Ten fans, there’s not going to be any action on the Big Ten front for a long time.

  35. ChicagoMac says:

    Doesn’t this whole thing come down to how much UT and ND value their pet projects?

    It seems like one of two outcomes is inevitable:

    1. They align themselves with some kind of quasi-alliance of schools in the current Big12 and BigEast allowing each to retain these pet projects largely on their own terms or
    2. They end up sharing equally as members of the ACC, Pac12, SEC or B1G.

    Feels to me like the oligarchy of conferences mentioned above are combining to force the hands of these two schools.

    • zeek says:

      They’re different though.

      As others have pointed out, Texas really values the overall image of their programs. They have an AD for women’s sports; they want their non-football sports to be in a major conference. The Big 12 can remain a major conference as long as it has OU and Texas. If OU leaves, then Texas is going to have to figure out what the best choice is for the whole department.

      It’s pretty clear that the Pac-16 is the best choice for a lot of reasons we’ve gone over. If OU leaves the Big 12, then Texas is likely to have little choice but to negotiate the best possible entrance into the Pac-16 (if that’s even possible).

      For Notre Dame, they want to be independent as a core goal of the institutional identity in football. You can’t really reconcile that with joining a conference, since they’re regional in nature.

      • ChicagoMac says:

        Right. Agreed that they are different.

        What I am saying is that ultimately they will need each other if they want to maintain their individual and different “Pet Projects”. I was careful to call it an alliance rather than a conference, an alliance that not only protects their “Pet Projects” but also gives each school’s non-football sports the best possible landing spot(s) that doesn’t include joining one of the major conferences.

        IMO, it is pretty obvious that neither UT nor ND is going to be given special privileges in aligning with any of the major conferences.

        If UT decides it needs to find the best possible landing spot for the non-football sports then it will be giving up the advantages it has with the LHN. ND is not going to find a conference willing to give it the sweetheart deal it got from the Big East.

        If UT joins one of the major conferences then I think ND will also be forced to join a conference and vice versa. Not necessarily the same one, of course.

        • zeek says:

          I mentioned earlier, but I really think there are only 3 things that can force ND to join a conference.

          1) Too restrictive BCS (or whatever playoff or replacement there is) after 2014 contract.

          2) Comcast/NBC pulling the plug on their TV contract and FOX or ESPN/ABC not offering one

          3) Situation becomes too problematic for non-football sports.

          At this point, none of those 3 is really a problem for ND. BCS and Comcast/NBC are fine until 2014 at the earliest. And the non-football sports issue can be solved by aligning with the Big 12/Big East or joining the Catholic schools.

          Until a lot of things change, there’s nothing pressuring ND into a conference at this point.

          • ChicagoMac says:

            Agree with your POV. The only difference is that I am saying that UT joining a conference will force NDs hand on numbers 1 and 3 above.

            1. ND has bowl agreements with the BigEast that are now in jeopardy.
            2. It is staring at some big unknowns when the BCS contract ends.
            3. The Big East is going to separate and it is going to further water-down an already weak field of conference-competition for ND.

          • zeek says:

            Those are fair points; I’d just add that the 3rd consideration is by far the weakest of the 3.

            The bowl agreements and the unknowns surrounding the BCS are by far the biggest issues in 2014 (along with Comcast/NBC).

      • bullet says:

        Texas has been among the forefront in women’s athletics (and still lost a lawsuit). They are not just lip-synching on Title IX. And some on here complain that Texas doesn’t have a lot of sports like B1G schools, but there is a different philosophy. If Texas does it, they want to fund it to a level that they can be nationally prominent. They have national championships in 4 of 9 men’s sports and 7 of the 11 women’s sports and have become competitive at their 3 newest women’s sports-softball, soccer and rowing.

  36. Boomershine says:

    It looks like West Virginia isn’t going anywhere (besides a possible reconstituted Big 12).

    @McMurphyCBS Brett McMurphy
    Multiple Big East sources said they have been told by WVU officials that WVU rejected by ACC & SEC

    • Jake says:

      Bad for WFV, good for Team Misfits. I wish my school was getting rejection letters; it would at least mean that we’re trying.

    • mushroomgod says:

      That pretty much means Missouri to the SEC, it seems. Delaney is a smug, arrogant bastard who is fucking this up, imo.

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        That same smug, arrogant b**tard who has overseen the addition of two of college football’s most powerful programs to the mix and ushered in the ultra-successful Big Ten Network? The man who chose to approach expansion by being forthright with the media AND his competitors about the Big Ten’s intentions to expand, rather than being sneaky like Swofford with the Big East, attempting to kill off a conference like Scott, or putting a competing conference AND a prospective new member like Slive?

        So far, the only major conference that has handled conference expansion without being truly cutthroat in the past ten years has been the Big Ten.

        And just look at the results: Three programs who draw over 100,000 per game even in down years. Two more which draw over 80,000 per game, one of whom is the newest member and is matched only by Florida for most national titles since 1990. Two more which draw over 70,000 per game. Two teams making the BCS every single freaking year. A conference which was taking baths in money BEFORE adding Nebraska and BEFORE the market for college sports content skyrocekted in the past 18 months. Just think what the conference will make when its next TV contract is up for negotiation!

        • EZCUSE says:

          Without Missouri, who do you pair with Rutgers to add to the Big 10? I think that’s Mushroom’s point. Which is based on the assumption that Rutgers is somehow needed.

          Why the wealthiest and happiest conference needs to expand at all is beyond me. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

          The Big 10’s net gain in this process is making the Big 12’s football teams spread out among a few conferences, including the Big 10. Good for OSU, PSU, Michigan, Wisconsin, etc. The Big East’s basketball teams are similarly diluted. Good for MSU, Indiana (someday), Illinois, Purdue.

          • Peter says:

            Exactly, EXCUSE. There is no B1G Rutgers without Notre Dame. Rutgers + Missouri for 14 will not happen, ever.

          • SideshowBob says:

            Even assuming you want Rutgers with ND (already a doubt), why not UConn? Why not Kansas theoretically? Heck, why not be able to poach a team from the ACC like Pitt, Syracuse, Virginia or Maryland?

        • mushroomgod says:

          He had NOTHING to do with PSU joining…check the history on that…it was all the work of the PSU and ILL presidents…

          To those of you who think this smug asshole is infallible consider Legends and Leaders and the Butkis-Grange-Randle El-Dirty Brees award…..

          • zeek says:

            He’s clearly made his share of mistakes. No one is saying he hasn’t.

            But the point is, as EZCUSE and Peter are implying: Missouri makes perfect sense for a #14. Not so much for a #13.

          • Mike R says:

            Yes. PSU is in the B1G because of the relationship between the then-president of the U of I, Stanley Ikenberry, and Penn State. Ironically, Joe Pa’s vision as AD was to construct an all-sports conference anchored in the northeast, what he liked to call “the Big 10 of the East,” and it was Pitt and Syracuse that insisted most strongly on staying in a basketball-centric Big East.

          • Jefferson says:

            And on PSU joining, Michigan was very opposed to us joining. If we can get over it, so can Notre Dame.

        • Other Mike says:

          That same smug, arrogant b**tard who has overseen the addition of two of college football’s most powerful programs to the mix and ushered in the ultra-successful Big Ten Network?

          This. Jim Delany is The Kid Who Only Hit Homers.

      • greg says:

        There is no incentive to expand with Rutgers and Missouri. What is the point?

    • zeek says:

      The question becomes, who is the SEC’s #14? Are they willing to go for Missouri, or will they wait at 13 as the Big Ten waited at 11. (Obviously, it’s a lot harder to wait at 13 since you have 2 divisions as opposed to 11 where you have no divisions).

      • bullet says:

        That’s also a sign that either Missouri has told the SEC OU is definitely leaving (and no decision has been made is a Boren negotiating ploy for the Pac) or someone in the ACC is talking to the SEC.

        But if OU stays and noone in the ACC goes, WVU would seem to be back on the table as #1.

        • zeek says:

          Agreed; I don’t think this “rejection” of WVU by the SEC really changes anything. It could still happen if the other things you state are also what’s in the works.

  37. Karl Benson says:

    Looks like West Virginia will be stuck in the new B1GEA2T:

    The new B1GEA2T:

    Notre Dame (non-football)
    West Virginia


    South Florida
    Central Florida

    Kansas State

    Iowa State
    Missouri (if it doesn’t end up in the ESS EEE CEE)

    Texas Tech


    BYU will probably be invited for football only, but BYU will probably reject the invitation.


    Didn’t make the first cut:

    East Carolina
    Southern Mississippi
    Boise State

    • EZCUSE says:

      Add UConn and Rutgers. I don’t see them moving right away.

      Slide Baylor ahead of UCF. I think current BCS teams get the edge over non-current.

      ND for all sports? Be pretty funny if this new conference said “no thanks.” We saw what happened to the Big East. ND basketball is nice and all… but so what? And no hockey or lacrosse in this league either.

      • Karl Benson says:

        The B1GEA2T doesn’t want to do business with nutjobs such as Kenneth Starr (let him sue everyone) and Fred Smith (who will NEVER be able to buy Memphis a place at the big boy’s table.)

        Central Florida makes much more sense than Baylor if the B1GEA2T will be the surviving entity instead of the XII.

        • vp19 says:

          This new conference wouldn’t be under the thumb of Providence. You don’t have to spell it in ALL CAPS.

        • Mike R says:

          T. Boone must have a much bigger stack of Benjamins than Fred Smith. OK State looks pretty well set for a place @ the table when this storm passes but there’s no talk of Memphis catching a ride into a reconstructed BCS conference.

      • vp19 says:

        Boston College has parked its hockey aside from the rest of its athletic programs. ND can do likewise.

      • Mike says:

        The Big Ten (in 2013), is the only non-hockey only conference.

    • Patrick says:

      If ND gets to play in a conference with everything EXCEPT football, I would bet Texas is in that conference EXCEPT for football as well. They want to do anything to save the LHN.

      So I’d say, put Mizzou in the SEC and put Texas in that spot (everything but football).

      Would these schools agree to let Texas and Notre Dame own them? probably.
      Is that conference too slummy for non football sports at UT and ND? Maybe.
      Does that type of conference get ‘looked down’ upon by the other power conferences? Absolutely
      Would they keep AQ status? Definitely

  38. zeek says:

    Really good article from Mr.SEC on the thought process going on in the SEC. He’s definitely got his finger on the pulse of the SEC much in the same way that we’ve focused on the pulse of the Big Ten.

    All of his points are salient for the continuing discussion of #14 (just modify the statements about WVU).

    • ChicagoMac says:

      Yeah, he’s also touching on something that I think is being overlooked in the aftermath of the news that PItt/SU would head to the ACC eventually.

      Namely that there are a few football-heavy schools in the ACC that might well be interested in overtures from the SEC.

      While all eyes are on Norman and Austin, there could still be some big expansion news along the Eastern seabord.

  39. bobo the feted says:

    I think Mizzou to SEC is a lock at this point, SEC won’t go to 16, they will stay at 14 play a 9 game schedule of 7,1,2 (7 intra division, 1 fixed rival, 2 rotating) move Auburn to the East and DONE!

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Nah, they’ll just put Missouri in the East. It’s in the SEC’s best interests to be able to maintain Alabama-vs.-Tennessee, and if Auburn’s in the East, then Alabama can’t play both Auburn and Tennessee every year. Missouri, as the new kid on the block, would just have to suck it up and deal with it.

    • Karl Benson says:

      Mizzou has been playing the B1G against the ESS EEE CEE.

      However, neither one has to blink first.

      The B1G still wants Bevo and ND.

      ESS EEE CEE still wants Florida State.


      My bet: Mizzou will be in the B1GEA2T along with Kansas, K-State, Iowa State, and TCU.

  40. SH says:

    Here are my thoughts related to B10, UT, and ND:

    B10 – they seem to want UT and/or ND and no one else.

    UT – they want to see how the LHN will work out.

    ND – they want independence, but do need a good home for their other sports.

    Can ND maintain their independence forever? Maybe. Can UT make the LHN work out? Maybe.

    So the conditions for UT/ND joining the B10 may simply not be favoarable at this point. So why would the B10 expand? I see no reason for it. Yes, the midwest is losing its share of population to the South, but in terms of college athletics, the B10 is still top dog. Some times you just have to wait until the conditions are ripe. Now may not be the time.

    • zeek says:

      Regardless of PBC’s source(s), I don’t think there’s a grand play for ND here.

      If it was going to happen it would have already happened. I mentioned above, but what about this raid on the Big East changes ND’s position re: anything? Nothing changes for ND here.

      I also don’t think anything changes for the Big Ten. The Big East and Big 12 were its competitors in the Northeast and Midwest. Now it has no competitor in the Midwest and the ACC is a competitor to both the SEC and Big Ten.

      A strong ACC is in the Big Ten’s best interests…

      • mushroomgod says:

        “Nothing changes for ND here”?

        I’d suggest a couple of changes–

        1. ACC is far more attractive as a potential ND destination than it was previously.

        2. Big Misfit conference is a less than desirable landing place for ND’s non-revenue sports. Tennis at TCU anyone? How about hockey v. that KSU juggernaut?

        Whether the changes are enough to force ND to go a different direction is another issue.

        • mushroomgod says:

          Looking at that potential new conference–

          maybe baylor
          maybe memphis

          Final Director’s Cup standinds 2010-11

          WVU 40 Cincy 150 UL 34 USF 86 UCF 63 Kansas 72 KSU 58 ISU 60 TTU 48 TCU 53 Baylor 35 memphis 159

          ND was #18

          Pretty bad….but overall not much worse than the Big Least actually…so I guess ND could survive with this mess….however, the Catholic schools are gone and travel will be worse…

          • mushroomgod says:

            Looking at a Catholic schools conference for all sports–

            Villanova 50 georgetown 55 ST Johns 94 Marquette 96 dayton 110 providence 113 Depaul 140 Xavier 150….doesn’t look doable for ND…

        • Jake says:

          TCU has a really nice tennis facility, fwiw. I used to go there just to study because it was such a pretty spot. But I’m sure the Irish got a good look at TCU’s facilities when their brass came down for the Big East invite in November. And ND can keep their hockey … wherever it currently is, I suppose.

          I’d really like to see ND and Baylor try to coexist in the same conference. Talk about a holy war. Throw in BYU for good measure.

          • jcfreder says:

            Yeah, hockey has nothing to do with where ND parks its other non-football sports — The BE/B12 leftover conference won’t sponsor hockey. The only think hockey tells us is that maybe some discussion are going on with ND and the B10, because otherwise ND probably would have picked a hockey conference by now.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            Get Yeshiva to start up a FB team & you’re really set.

  41. Peter says:

    Ouch for West Virginia. Permanently known as the school rejected by the SEC for academic reasons.

    The ACC reject you could see coming a mile away, though. That was about as likely as the B1G deciding that WVU was their newest best friend.

    • yatesc says:

      Here comes the first of what I suspect are many refutations of the “WVU rejected by SEC” story:

      • EZCUSE says:

        This is relevant to the Big East schools, who now know that WVU is not right behind SU/PItt walking out the door. They’ll be around for a bit anyway.

        This is also relevant to Pitt and Syracuse because a viable Big East means that they have to wait until 2014. But this is far from over too. Depending on who survives the merger of the Big XII and Big East, the timeline will speed up anyway. Either the Big East will want the room to add its new schools or there will not be a Big East schedule to require Syracuse/Pitt.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          -“Not right now” could just as easily mean “just until we get the A&M mess cleared up” so we could still be looking at time table in the area of weeks rather than years.

          I have little doubt something will be worked out so that ‘Cuze & Pitt aren’t stuck as lame ducks for two years.

  42. Danimal says:

    I am not sure as to the accuracy of this info however I found it interesting as it shows the current average ticket price for tickets to specific College Football Teams with Nebraska currently ranked #1.

  43. laxtonto says:

    This may not be a popular stance here, but I think people might want to really examine the Pac-12 and tell me in the future what a Pac-14 without UT looks like and how it works economically. The Big 12 needs to be a precautionary tale for everyone.

    So far if you analyze the P12 you see many of the symptoms that were fairly evident in the Big 12. The superior leadership of the P12 has lead the way, but eventually the underlying symptoms will erode the P12 from within unless kept in check. Look at the early Big 12 and what did you see? Skewed population patterns, have and have not programs, unbalanced power within the conference divisions and internal strife due to the combination of a long standing conference with revenue issues with the absorption of the profit centers of another conference and unbalanced divisions.

    The P14 would still be a heavily skewed conference as far as population density goes. One of the major problems within the B12 was that Texas routinely made up over 60% of the population footprint of the old Big 12 and it began to effect both the TV value and the overall perception and branding of the conference. Combine that with several state run institutions that are currently or continuing to be hit by a poor state economy and a steady reduction in funding for capital sports projects. Even with equal revenue distribution you are going to see a continued rise of have and have not schools. The only way to begin to buffer that possibility is to raise the floor of each schools athletic budget considerably by the continued leverage of their media distribution rights.

    The problem with raising the floor to unprecedented levels is that currently the RSN market in LA is causing concerns with carriers about carry the Pac12N, much less the regional network that would supplement it. If there are problems gaining market traction due to the LA centric nature currently, how does the P12 launch it nationwide? That would be the only way to drive revenue high enough to raise to overall floor of the have nots to levels comparative to the haves or middle of the pack players in other conferences. Hopefully the added national prominence allows the Pa14 to peruse a national distribution model, but I have my doubts.

    Now look at the old Pac-8 schools and the voting block they have created. Looks strikingly similar to the Big 8. In conference politics everything is going to go through them. Expanding to 14 does nothing to change that. Being on the continued losing sides of votes vs the Pac-8 hardliners will eventually create a divide. The only real way to become close to balancing that power is a 16 team, not 14 team league. As the time line stretches conference politics tends to have a cumulative effect and eventually that bitterness and rivalry spills out. When will the idea that the Pac-12 expanded to 14 just to make sure we made more money go away? When to the Pac-10 schools treat the other 4 as equals? There are still strife between the original Pac-8 schools and the Arizona schools. Does anyone think that all of those problems will disappear just because they went to 14?

    How does the Pac-14 function? 7 team divisions? Who of the original Pac-8 members get sent to play with the also rans? How do you work around the historically strong Cal schools and then OU and everyone else. We have gone down this road. Eventually OU will become a point of spite due to the perceived “easy” schedule to the conference title and the bloodbath it takes to get out of the West. The inability to balance a conference is just one more thing the Big 12 got wrong and more importantly something the Pac 14 would have to figure out.

    The problem is that many of the solution to these problems are tied to the elephant in the room, Texas. Adding Texas and TT fixes the uneven population distribution. Adding UT allows for the ability to if not launch the Pac-16N nationally, at least in every household west of the Mississippi.As an added bonus, any move for the Pac-12 that gets UT, keeps UT away from strengthening their own or another RSN that could be used to either price out or lock out a potential PacN from individual markets. Hopefully that allows for enough revenue to help insulate against the continued fall of the have not schools of the conference. Hitting 16 provides a balance between the old Pac-8 and everyone else. The Arizona schools may not be happy about the idea and most likely have just exchanged one slave master for another, but balancing the voting blocks will most likely lead to doing what is best for all parties, not what is best for the west coast. Adding Texas to OU gives the East the clout, and the political savvy and cold bloodedness, to stay on somewhat equal footing with the Pac-8. 16 allows for pods instead of straight divisions, and in effect limits the power of OU and UT by locking them into a continued duel instead of allowing for OU to dominate a side of the conference. Make no bones about it, without Texas to balance OU, OU can becomes just as much of a monster to the rest of the Pac-12 is left unchecked as bringing in Texas on their own.

    The next time someone says that UT has no leverage with the Pac-12, try to determine how in depth there analysis really is. The Pac-12 should in no way shape or form cave to every UT demand, but to say that the Pac-12 is in a position to make a full scale take it or leave it proposition is extremely off base. Some form of compromise should be reachable at this point. I am not sure that the UT ends up in the Pac-16, but long term it is the path to real stability for all parties involved. Adding OU and OSU is just a band-aid that does not fix many of the underlying problems. Until those are addressed the Pac-12 will be vulnerable to instability and without strong leadership can potentially fall back down the overall national hierarchy on conferences.

    Sorry for the essay.. got rolling and should really just learn to shut up

    • jtower says:

      Homerun analysis laxtonto

    • zeek says:

      UT has some leverage; the question is what it really wants.

      UT wants the Big 12. It wants to buy time to further secure the LHN (carriage, etc.) and then make the negotiations to enter into a Pac-16 or whatever conference it wants (most likely the Pac).

      That’s what this is all about. If UT can’t get OU to change its mind (all indications are no as of now), then it would have to negotiate an entrance into the Pac-16.

      The Pac-12 knows that UT doesn’t really have other options due to the Tech problem among other things.

      Also, they don’t want to put Tech in a bad spot. How can you start off a 16 conference with one member “more equal” and one “less equal” than the rest (if the network is based more on UT coverage). I honestly don’t think there’s any way most of the Pac-12 will go with that. The other thing is with respect to everyone else. USC and UCLA agreed to give up their “sweetheart” deals when they got the new media contracts. All of a sudden they’ll let Texas get one when they don’t have one?

      • Jake says:

        @zeek – Tech will do just about anything, I’d wager, to get into the Pac right now. As for the rest of the schools, I don’t think that’ll be too much of a problem. UT already makes more money than anyone else, so what does it matter if they take a bit more from Tech so long as it doesn’t come out of anyone else’s pocket? And USC and UCLA didn’t give up all of their special privileges in the new contract – they still had a few guarantees. They might just see Texas as a potential ally.

        • zeek says:

          I don’t know, I mean if I’m Oregon State or Washington State or Arizona State, it might set a bad precedent to let Texas be more equal than Texas Tech.

          Yes money can solve problems, but they’d obviously prefer for Texas and Texas Tech to enter on the same terms as OU and OSU.

          Maybe Scott can work out a deal to sell to the Pac-12 presidents, but I think some of the schools will want to make sure Texas doesn’t start out “more equal” than them (USC, UCLA) or “more equal” than Tech (OSU, WSU, ASU).

    • Jake says:

      The question is whether the Pac sees it that way. All of the problems you listed might be ones that they see as surmountable. While the old Pac 8 are tight, there are divisions within that group, and USC, for example, may find they have more in common with OU than with Stanford and Cal. And if Texas plays too hard to get, the Pac has other options, and while none of them are nearly as desirable as Texas, they would at least balance the conference.

      • laxtonto says:

        I am not sure that the individual schools see it that way, but I am fairly sure that Scott has. There has been too many issues that the Pac schools have leaked that would be problems that Scott has said could be worked out. If he though the same way as the presidents he would just parrot the line.

        We heard that the LHN was the problem leaked from Pac officials and then Scott goes on the record saying no, that was not the issue. Then we hear that the LHN will never be accepted and then Scott throws out that it is just something that needs to be negotiated. At some point either the unnamed sources throughout the Pac have no knowledge of what Scott is doing or Scott knows that even if the hardliners are apprehensive about UT, it is in the best interest of the conference.

        As far as being equal or more equal than others, the UCLA/USC sweetheart deal is only not applicable now because the average payout is above the threshold. Scott knows that little concessions are worthwhile long-term and can be negotiated into deals. The presidents of schools might be concerned about UT, but Scott will get what he wants. His vision is what makes him great. If he can pull this off, long term the Pac-16 will dominate college football until we see the next major paradigm shift in college football due to the divergence from the current model for media distribution. As long as the carriage rights model survives, Scott is building a monster.

    • mikebuz says:

      This sounds like a formula for interminable war within the conference. Boy would I like to be a fly on the wall during some of these projected Pac 16 board meetings. I think this whole OU/OSU/TT/UT move to the Pac is a recipe for disaster waiting to happen. You’re introducing a bloc of four alien members, representing a quarter of the votes, into a conference whose traditions, culture and values they don’t understand or appreciate. That’s on top of two other new arrivals. And one of the new members has already shown a disturbing inability to sacrifice individual advantages for the sake of the group and a proclivity for making its own rules, to the point of alienating longtime partners. Good luck with that.

    • Bob in Houston says:

      laxtonto: Jon Wilner says the Pac-14 would use the zipper method: One natural rival in one division, one in the other.

    • Eric says:

      Very, very good post I agree with almost completely. A PAC-16 with Texas works much better long term than a PAC-14 without it. If equal revenue sharing for absolutely everything means we get the latter instead of the former, then the conference is LESS stable because of it rather than more and would be better off returning 3rd tier rights to the schools.

  44. Mike says:

    Missouri beat writer for the KC Star and unabashed curmudgeon for truth, justice and the American way

    Story going up momentarily at that Missouri has an offer from SEC but that SEC is willing to wait on implosion of Big 12

    • bullet says:

      Maybe this is what the SEC is scared of. Sounds like Baylor’s smoking gun. Still doesn’t solve the problem of saying the SEC caused it if everyone leaves.

      The SEC and Pac still have to figure out how to solve the KU/KSU/ISU/BU problem. 6 schools X 28 million exit fees split 4 ways is $42 million apiece + NCAA credits. Might be enough.

      • John says:

        Ken Starr on Cap. Hill. T Boone alluding to A&M backtracking. KC Star writing article on MU to SEC w/ incendiary quotes regarding who pursued who. Seems like the OU & UT Regent votes set off a last gasp salvo to try and stop conference realignment.

        Stay strong OU!!!

      • Mike says:

        Mr. SEC on Missouri (Emphasis mine)

        Associate commissioner Charles Bloom has now stated that “The SEC has not extended an invitation to any school beyond Texas A&M since it extended invitations to Arkansas and South Carolina.”

        As was the case with Texas A&M, the SEC does not want to appear to be breaking up other conferences (nevermind that the ACC, the Big Ten and the Pac-12 have all raided rival leagues in the past 14 months). The folks in the SEC aren’t happy that this story got out as it did.


        Our take? The SEC has an under the table agreement with MU officials that if the Big 12 implodes, explodes or any other kind of plodes, the Tigers will join Slive’s band of 14.

        But it’s highly doubtful that the SEC has extended an “official” invitation to Missouri or anyone else. That’s not done until the process is complete so both parties can save face should something go wrong.

        Here’s one last concern on all of this, though. The SEC is darn good at closing ranks and keeping quiet. Georgia AD Greg McGarity said yesterday that Slive met with the leagues ADs in a regularly scheduled get-together a few weeks ago and he would not talk expansion with them. He told them to trust him and trust their presidents. That’s how you control leaks.

        Well Missouri has already sprung a leak in its dealings with the SEC. More worrisome — Mizzou totally misplayed things last year with regards to the Big Ten. Tiger brass made no bones about the fact that they wanted out of the Big 12 and into the Big Ten. When the invite didn’t come, they were left with a full omelette on their face.

        This isn’t a dealbreaker by any means, but one has to wonder if Missouri is capable of playing high-stakes poker alongside its potential new leaguemates.

  45. Richard says:

    A little tidbit on the NU board from a purported Pitt insider on what the ACC was thinking:

    “Basically, the ACC was afraid that they were going to lose Florida State and likely Virginia Tech – they believe that the SEC would like to go to 16 teams, not 14 teams – so it made an aggressive overture towards both Notre Dame and Texas to see where they stood.

    ND was cool to the whole thing (but is still possibly in play in some capacity – at least in the opinion of one person with whom I have spoken) but Texas was another story altogether. The Longhorn brass seemed eager to speak with the ACC so off they went to try and hammer out a deal.

    While talking to the Longhorns it became clear that Texas’ priority was the LHN (big surprise there, right?) and for reasons that I don’t quite understand that didn’t fit into what the ACC was looking to do. However the real killer was that Texas wanted basically the same deal that ND has with the BE (or with some minimal number of guaranteed games against ACC schools) and they insisted on Texas Tech coming along as well. And to get to 16 teams that also likely meant other B12 schools.

    That was a killer for the ACC because it is very market hungry. Remember four of that league’s 12 teams are located in the same Raleigh, NC DMA. That is a problem for that league and why they were always going to be forced to go outside their footprint. Now they have the only major college football program in the entire state of heavily populated New York and one of two major programs in similarly heavily populated (and recruiting rich) Pennsylvania. That is a BIG deal for the ACC and way more than Kansas or K-State (the other schools believed to be in the discussion) could have given them.

    Still, even despite that, Texas was STILL in play because they are Texas. However after speaking with the UT officials for a few days the ACC people began to believe that they were being used as leverage for what Texas really wanted – either a reconstituted B12 (with the LHN of course) or an invitation to the Pac-16 (also with the LHN as part of the deal).

    What the ACC began to suspect was that Texas was using them to bluff others into staying in the B12 and that the meetings on Monday were going to be to announce that they presidents had the sole authority to find the right league for their schools and that they were first going to try to make the B12 work – with the BE programs in tow.

    It made the ACC nervous that the B12 was going to aggressively pursue the Northeast and they were worried that their inactivity was going to cost them the Noles and the Hokies to the SEC so they acted first and instead offered Pitt and the Cuse – the two BE football programs with the best overall academic profiles and the best football traditions. No offense to WVU or Louisville or anyone else but if you put an all-time team from all of the rest of the BE schools combined it would not compare to either Pitt’s or SU’s.

    However the ACC’s offer was conditional on the schools immediately accepting their invites/applying for membership. If they hesitated, the ACC was simply going to move down their list until they found some teams in the NE that were willing to say yes. I’m told that this all happened “incredibly fast.”


    The ACC’s plan is not to stop at 14 teams but rather to go to 16 teams and they plan to do so quickly. I am told that they actually asked both Pitt and Syracuse who they would recommend for those extra spots if push came to shove? I found that piece of info absolutely fascinating. I don’t know who SU’s preferences were but Pitt’s were believed to be West Virginia and Rutgers. My personal choices would be WVU and UConn but I guess I can live with Rutgers.

    Apparently the goal is to make one more run at ND and perhaps Texas – and Texas alone – for those spots to see if they can make a deal work. However that is considered a very long shot so then they are likely to go after two of Rutgers, Louisville, Connecticut and West Virginia. If the league loses two schools – which could still happen even after raising the exit fee to $20 – I’m told that all four schools would likely get in.”

    • jj says:

      I know we’re all content and all in B1G land, but ND joining up with the ACC seems very plausible to me the more I think about it. If the ACC lands Rutgers (I know) and ND, they are suddenly a mother of a conference. UConn would probably work well too.

      If I’m Big Jim, maybe I put the clubs down and see what’s up.

      • zeek says:

        I’m not really sure the Big Ten can or should do anything.

        ND wants to be on the coasts. The Big Ten can’t do that for ND. It’s really as simple as that. It’s up to them to decide what to do for themselves.

        We all talked about the potential of a Big East raid spooking ND into making a decision. But it’s obvious the world doesn’t work like that or the Big Ten might have done that years ago.

        I’m pretty sure Delany will know when ND will join a conference, and if they’re only focused on the ACC, then that’s how it goes.

        It’d be a loss for both sides in terms of the Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue rivalries with ND, but that’s a loss for both sides. Sometimes, that’s just what happens in this realignment business (see Nebraska-Oklahoma).

        • Richard says:

          Nonsense. The B10 adding Miami along with the Domers gets ND on the coasts. So does adding BC. Now if you’re saying that the B10 shouldn’t add Miami or BC, that’s a different proposition.

          If ND joins a conference, they likely can bring Miami or BC along with them (or maybe even any 3 of Miami, BC, GTech, & FSU), whether that’s the B10 or ACC. Then, the question becomes, would ND rather play Michigan, OSU, and PSU or Clemson, VTech, and UNC in football?

      • SH says:

        I can’t believe we have moved from ND will never give up its independence to join the B10, to I can see why ND would want to join the ACC.

        The ACC is a great long-standing conference. But let’s be honest, it is #4 in terms of football prestige, even though it has some great programs.

        But how does the ACC make more sense to ND than the B10.

        • jj says:

          Some plusses.

          The ACC basically owns the east coast at this point in terms of old money and academics

          8 games – end up in some pod with Pitt, Syr and Rutgers/Uconn, play the U, FSU, NC and MD on a regular basis, keep USC, Navy, one body bag and start rotating the B1G 3. They’d probably be more likely to win this over the B1G.

          Great BB

          Many similar institutions

          Join Hockey East

          If they have to do something, this is pretty interesting.

          • jj says:

            my only real point is, this looks plausible to me if the Beast falls apart . if ND is thinking about it, Jim needs to pick up the damn phone because if ND is moving, you want them.

          • Ross says:

            Not sure it really matters what JD says if that’s what ND wants, but mark me down as someone who thinks ND is still independent when all is said and done.

        • zeek says:

          It’s simple. 6 games in South Bend, 5 games on the East Coast (Navy + 4 ACC or 5 ACC), 1 game in California (USC or Stanford). As opposed to 6 games in South Bend, 4 games in the Big Ten’s Midwest footprint, 1 game in the East (Navy or Penn State), 1 game in California.

          You’re basically looking at 10 games in the Midwest in a 9 game Big Ten, with only 1 game in the Northeast and 1 in California, at best.

          You’re basically looking at 6 games in the Midwest in a 9 game ACC, with 5 games on the East Coast and 1 in California.

          Sure the stages won’t be as big as you get from the top half of the Big Ten. But I’m not entirely sure the argument about being on the biggest stages would outweigh the ability to travel to 5 East Coast locations over 4 in the Big Ten’s Midwest footprint.

          • jj says:

            i haven’t thought the numbers through all the way, we’re on the same wavelength dude.

            who gives a crap if PSU, OSU and UM put 100K or 500K in a stadium, the ACC appears to spread them out over the country better and ND doesn’t really care about CIC. They’re a bit more akin to the U, Duke, and Syr if you ask me, which no one ever does.

          • zeek says:

            Well the TV ratings won’t be as good as matchups with Big Ten teams, but I don’t think ND is going to choose to join a conference because of TV ratings…

          • cutter says:


            What Notre Dame’ schedule looks like actually depends a bit more on whether or not the ACC goes to pods or divisions and how those two are set up.

            If its divisions based on a north/south axis, then you have something like this (assuming UConn is the 16th team):

            ACC North – Boston College, Connecticut, Maryland, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech

            ACC South – Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami-FL, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Wake Forest

            Notre Dame would play seven games against opponents within its own division with alternating years of three and four home games with those teams. Any away game ND plays against those teams will be in an area between Boston and Charlottesville. Of the remaining two games, one per year would be south of the North Carolina-Virginia border. Add in a game against Navy (usually played in Baltimore or Washington, DC) and that means four to six games per year are played in the northern half of ACC territory with the remainder in South Bend and alternating seasons in California.

            So while you talk about ND being stuck in the Midwest if they were part of the Big Ten, the ACC doesn’t provide too much geographic diversity with this setup.

            Now if the ACC were to have a zipper format with teams divided on an east-west access, it might help out a bit, but at that point, we’re probably looking at protected interdivisional rivalries and that means ND would only rotate thru one team from the other division each year.

            Now if the ACC did pods, it’s a whole other story. Assuming this set up with four pods based on geography with ND playing the thee in its own pod every year plus two each in the other three pods:

            Pod A – Boston College, Connecticut, Notre Dame, Syracuse
            Pod B – Maryland, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Virginia Tech
            Pod C – Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Wake Forest
            Pod D – Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami,FL

            Then Notre Dame would be getting games up and down the coast with two years out of four in Florida (one against FSU, one against Miami-FL). That would probably suit ND better if getting a real geographic mix was part of the appeal.

          • zeek says:

            Fair enough cutter. I also tend to just think that ND will stay independent. There is no evidence that a Pac-16 or even an SEC-16 and ACC-16 would force ND to reconsider as long as it has a path to the BCS/NC. Right now that’s still not at stake.

          • EZCUSE says:

            You can’t do pods that way. You have to have divisions and round-robin within the division. The 3-2-2-2 does not work. Need 3-4-1-1.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            “who gives a crap if PSU, OSU and UM put 100K or 500K in a stadium, the ACC appears to spread them out over the country better”

            —If exposure is your real goal then games against PSU, OSU & TSUN are going to get more eyeballs on you than playing in Blacksburg, Chapel Hill & Clemson. Yes that’s cherry picking but even swapping in Miami & Tallahassee won’t tilt the balance.

        • willarm1 says:

          I agree, Isn’t it possible that ND and UT (in an attempt to go Independent) were just inquiring if the ACC would give their Non-football sports a place to land?

    • bullet says:

      Big 12 was looking seriously at Pitt. Although another article said Pitt approached the ACC first.

  46. footballnut says:

    I still think B1G is a better fit for Mizzou, but that won’t ever happen. They won’t kick the SEC out of bed, though. Columbia will be rockin’ and rollin’ to see neighbor Arkansas in town for basketball. Can hear the boos for Mike Anderson already cranking up. Seeing KY in BB and the bigs (Alabama, et al) in football will mean big local $$$.

  47. jake gittes says:

    Joe press conference this afternoon

    On Pitt and Syracuse’s move.

    Joe: I very rarely look at things like this. I thought Syracuse and Pitt were talking to them. Has it been accomplished? (Yes). I think it’s a good move for the conference and the two schools. Obviously with Penn State I’ve been trying to get one of those schools in the Big Ten. I think there’s a tremendous market for recruiting and marketing for the areas that these kids are into. I would imagine that moving into the ACC would be an asset football-wise but also in basketball.

    The problem that you have right now is that things are changing and you’re not sure what direction it’s going.

    There’s speculation that Penn State is going to look into something different or try to get some more eastern schools into the Big Ten. Go to Delaney and say, ‘Why don’t we take a good look at Rutgers or someone in the East?’ I think there’s people talking about that.

    I think it’s a good move for Syracuse and Pitt. A lot of those guys that are associated with those programs I grew up with.

    • zeek says:

      Interesting on that last bit. I’ve heard him mention Rutgers and Pitt as expansion candidates a few times; maybe even Syracuse.

      • jake gittes says:

        Here’s a link:

        Paterno also addressed Penn State’s future as a result of the sudden flurry of expansion.

        “Things are changing and you’re not really sure what’s going to happen,” Paterno said. “I don’t know where we’re going to end up. There might be even some speculation that Penn State maybe ought to get into something different, or we ought to try to go out and get some people from the East to come into the Big Ten.

        Read more:

        • Mike R says:

          Love Joe Pa, but only an insane person would suggest that PSU even think about leaving the B1G. The university has benefitted immensely from that status.

          • jake gittes says:

            As I keep posting, from PSU’s perspective, MD, DC, VA, NC and further south are a more fertile recruiting and marketing area that benefit them more NOW than MI, IN, IA, WI etc. People stream up from those southern areas to PSU games. I think the population growth and wealth creation in those areas dwarfs and will dwarf the midwest.

            PSU has benefited from the Big Ten, but this isn’t a one way street.

        • zeek says:

          Yeah, Paterno is right that Syracuse and Pitt are attaching themselves to a good conference for recruiting, etc.

          But I don’t think this changes anything for Penn State. They can’t leave until 2027 or 2032 at the earliest, so this is all a moot point.

          Whether there is a viable Eastern expansion possible, I’ll be waiting to see.

          • jake gittes says:

            “But I don’t think this changes anything for Penn State. They can’t leave until 2027 or 2032 at the earliest, so this is all a moot point.”

            Assuming that is airtight.

          • zeek says:

            If all of the schools were giving their TV rights to the conference as a way of ensuring stability and as partial inducement for the BTN contract (which seems to run parallel to the assignment of rights this time), I’d have a really hard time seeing how any university could just walk out of the Big Ten with any of their TV rights.

            Plus, the schools already did this in the 80s until 2007. I’m sure the language was tighter the second time around.

            Perlman himself said that the only ironclad way to bind a school to a conference was assignment of TV rights. He told Texas that the only way Nebraska would stay in the Big Ten is by assignment of TV rights.

          • zeek says:

            Er, meant to say Big 12 in that last statement.

          • jake gittes says:

            And also, I would think Joe would know if it was a moot point.

          • zeek says:

            That’s just Joe Pa being Joe Pa. I mean he’s always said that no one asks him what he thinks about things like expansion since it’s just Delany and the presidents in charge. Look at what is going on in the SEC right now. The ADs and coaches have almost no idea what’s going on with expansion. The same thing happened with Nebraska.

            Look, he might be nostalgic for his super east conference. But the idea of Penn State leaving the Big Ten is beyond absurd.

            It’s an impossibility. You think Pegula throws $80M at a hockey program, and the Big Ten starts a hockey conference so that Penn State will get regular visits from the marquee hockey teams in Minnesota/Wisconsin/Michigan/Michigan State and then decides to join the ACC because Syracuse and Pitt joined the ACC?

            If this was even remotely a concern for Penn State’s president or anyone in charge at Penn State (including boosters, or whoever), they would have flatly told Delany “Get Pitt and Syracuse into the Big Ten or we’re leaving.”

            Obviously, they didn’t do that. Ergo, Penn State isn’t going anywhere. If getting Pitt and Syracuse or Rutgers into a conference was required to keep Penn State in, it would have already been done. There’s really nothing else to discuss in this matter.

          • zeek says:

            I would appreciate it if you would take that last set of points to the posters at Penn State’s Rivals site who seem to have gone off the deep end over this.

            If there was any reasonable chance that Penn State would leave the Big Ten for the ACC because Pitt and Syracuse went to the ACC, then those two programs would have been put in the Big Ten a long time ago (or some combination of teams).

            What a subset of fans want has no bearing on what the power brokers want.

          • EZCUSE says:

            Explain this… what if Penn State just gave up its media rights? What does that even mean?

            If Penn State plays Alabama… does Penn State’s contract with the B1G prevent Alabama from having its own media rights? Do the B1G and SEC sit down and negotiate who gets the TV rights in a deal like that? Do the schools?

            If so, what stops Penn State from joining the ACC and doing so without its rights? If the ACC can still televise the games, the market benefit is there. If the B1G still owns those rights, so be it. Are they going to televise PSU v Clemson on the BTN just because they can? Does that just give more exposure to PSU and another conference? Does BTN even care? Viewers are viewers.

            Not trying to be a jerk or naive… but how does the assignment play out?

          • zeek says:

            Well it’s an assignment of all TV rights that the university would own for sports, so my best guess would be that it’s an assignment of all TV rights for all home sports games over that period of time. i.e. home football v Alabama, home basketball v whoever, etc.

            Think about whenever you schedule a home-home with a non-conference team. You basically agree to play on the home team’s media arrangement (if they have one) and then maybe you make an agreement for the away team to be able to use highlights in their media arrangement.

            So basically, the Big Ten owns the TV rights to all of Penn State’s home games in all sports until 2027 or 2032.

          • EZCUSE says:

            Interesting. That’s a poison pill to be sure.

            But if you are ESPN and wanted to deal a blow to the B1G and BTN, why not just agree to pay the ACC for PSU’s value, without regard for how many home games it would be able to show. They still get all the road conference games. PSU @ FSU on ESPN.

            And what’s the BTN going to do? NOT show PSU-Va Tech? That would cause PA to drop BTN.

            I am not sure Texas A&M would be so pissed off as to bring on this dispute, much less the happy PSU/B1G family, but it mostly centers on money. And when the issue is merely money, obstacles can be overcome. If ESPN sees this as a way to get back at BTN/B1G, why not pay for it???

          • EZCUSE says:

            Let me go one step further. If the PSU left the BTN and joined the ACC… wouldn’t the end result be the BTN owning the rights to a bunch of games involving schools in that region. Way to expand your footprint indirectly. FSU @ PSU… on the BTN. I guess folks in Florida need the BTN now. Charge $10 for the BTN for a season–even though that means only one pertinent game. Multiplied by all the home games PSU has, think of the numbers. Heck… send Nebraska to the Pac 16 and do the same thing. You’d have a coast to coast footprint for 20 years. :-)

            The assignment benefits the BTN, which benefits the schools. Neat.

          • drwillini says:

            The reality is it would be a good business move to leverage the Penn St. brand on the East Coast. I don’t buy that exit fees will prevent poaching, and I don’t buy that a school that gives every indication to the BEast that they are loyal while they are pusuing the ACC will not be in play in two or three years when a better offer comes around from the B1G. When the time is right Rutgers, Pitt or Maryland will be there. I could be OK with any of these three as a complementary add.

          • zeek says:

            I agree 100% drwillini.

            I’ve said many times here that getting Maryland and Rutgers would be a pretty big coup for the Big Ten. Penn State’s alumni base location being centered in the NYC to DC corridor along with bringing the 4 national brands to NYC and D.C. would probably have a lot of synergy to it.

            That being said, we’ve all long doubted Maryland’s availability in all of this…

          • zeek says:

            @ EZCUSE

            When this all settles down, I fully expect the ACC to adopt assignment like the Pac-12 just did. Kind of surprised they haven’t already given the situation.

          • Richard says:

            Regardless of whether PSU can leave or not, why exactly would they (the administrators, that is, not the fans who only care about football)? The B10 is going to have higher payouts _even_if_ND_joins_the_ACC, has a visible network, and while the undergrad academics are similar (though there’s no Clemson in the B10), if PSU cares about research at all, I can’t see why they’d want to leave the CIC.

          • EZCUSE says:

            Richard, I just want to know how it works to get an idea of whether it is a virtual impossibility or a mere difficult obstacle.

          • 84Lion says:

            According to this:
            Graham Spanier says PSU ain’t goin’ anywhere.
            Now if he could only find the stones not to renew Joe’s contract…

  48. Mike says:

    Hey, a new Pickens plan.

    Boone Pickens doesn’t believe the Big 12 is dead. The Oklahoma State benefactor even believes Texas A&M’s departure for the SEC can be stopped.

    OSU booster Boone Pickens says he thinks the Big 12 is not dead, and he’s urging Texas Gov. Rick Perry to step in and do something about all this realignment mess. Pickens has even pulled out the big sales job. He’s petitioned Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination.

    Pickens said he told Perry to show America that “you fix problems, don’t contribute to ‘em.”


    Pickens said his plan for A&M is to tell the University of Texas that the Aggies will stay in the Big 12, but only if UT folds its Longhorn Network into an equitable revenue distribution. However, that’s a different cause than what irks A&M and OU about the Longhorn Network. The network’s association with ESPN, which has pushed to air high school content, bothers the Sooners and Aggies, who believe it would give Texas a recruiting advantage.

    “I would cut them off on that thing real quick,” Pickens said. “Your problem is DeLoss (Dodds, UT’s athletic director). DeLoss is a guy who’s always played with all the cards.

    “I told him six weeks ago, ‘we understand you’ve got the best hand. But you can’t keep doing that to people. You gotta show leadership.

    “Big 12, come to your senses. Step up on leadership. Explain to Texas that whatever they have that’s different, it’s not (going to be) different anymore.”

  49. bullet says:

    In the SEC, the ADs are totally out of the loop on expansion. Its being driven by Slive and the Presidents and ADs are told nothing, except “Trust me.”

  50. Mike says:

    OU will stay if reforms are implemented.

    The University of Oklahoma is considering remaining in the Big 12, but only in a “reformed” version of the conference that includes hard and fast rules for Texas’ Longhorn Network and removal of Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe, a high-ranking Big 12 source told The Oklahoman on Tuesday.


    The other reform the Sooners demand is Texas and ESPN retreating on some its plans for the Longhorn Network. The UT/ESPN partnership angered Big 12 members on two counts: 1) the network reached an agreement with Fox Sports to move a conference game to the Longhorn Network; and 2) The Longhorn Network announced it would show high school highlights even after the conference voted to keep televised high school games off school-branded networks.

    • zeek says:

      OU is drawing a line in the sand. That’s a really strong stand out of OU.

      • Kevin says:

        I think it’s an attempt by OU to appear as if they are saving the conference. They know their demands can’t be met and are headed to the PAC.

        • zeek says:

          Those demands are fairly ordinary. I mean getting rid of Beebe? Just having the LHN only have 1 non-conference game and no highlights for recruits?

          If I’m Texas, I’d compromise on those issues.

          I really don’t see OU demanding anything egregious…

          • ChicagoMac says:

            I would think the big issue is that UT’s partner in the LHN, ESPN, won’t be thrilled with the idea of trying to build a TV Network in an environment where it has to answer to 8+ entities that aren’t directly involved with the actual business.

        • bullet says:

          Beebe is easy. The others depend on how much Fox and ESPN want the Big 12 to survive.

          They aren’t unreasonable demands. I think the fears on HS games are overblown, but it is a slippery slope.

          • zeek says:

            I really don’t see anything in there that Texas would say it can’t agree to…

            The revenue sharing thing might be something, but that would have happened in the Pac-16 anyways…

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          Pulling their own longhorn gambit eh?

      • michael says:

        This is admirable, but can also be dismissed as posturing. They know Texas won’t compromise to that degree. When they leave and the Big12 falls apart, the party responsible will be clear.

        As it is now, when OU and OSU leave, Texas has plausible deniability.

        Of course Texas will not compromise since OU is demanding the same deal Texas would have in the PAC_N, ACC, or Big Ten. One would have to believe Texas cares about the Big 12 even if it is not in their long-term financial interest.

        On the other hand, the play here might not be UT, but rather Texas politicians.

        • zeek says:

          Agreed, there are going to be a lot of people reading this out of OU that will lobby Texas to compromise and stay. This isn’t just targeted at Texas.

          • bullet says:

            It could also be targeted at the Pac 12.

            You’re never sure what is just posturing for negotiating position.

      • frug says:

        (Copy paste from something I put in the previous thread)

        Last question asked at David Boren’s press conference was whether he had any regrets about not being more proactive last year. His response:

        I have tremendous regret that that’s happened. I would simply say it is not a strong vote of confidence in the conference office that this has happened in such a short period of time.


        I think that is closest anyone of significance has come to publicly faulting Dan Beebe for what has happened over the past 18 months. Makes me hope someone from SU or Pitt will take a final shots at Marinatto.


        Well, if we came up with our own network, we think it would be financially successful. Let me say that we’re in the process, at this moment in time – because we’re still a member of the Big 12 – for months, for more than a year, of planning our (network). I would say the level of interest of those who would like to be partners, media partners in our network, has gone up considerably – even over the past few weeks. There are a number of financial opportunities for the University of Oklahoma, too. The important thing is, if we have a network of our own, we want to run that network in a way that doesn’t seek to advantage us over other members, particularly in recruiting and other areas like that.

        Significant for two reasons:

        1. Boren has no philosophical objections the LHN

        2. Multiple media companies have suddenly taken an increased interest in creating a Sooner network on OU’s terms. Sounds like someone is trying to make OU an offer it can’t refuse to stay in the Big XII.

        I think its clear that Oklahoma would actually be willing to stay under the right circumstances.

    • Patrick says:

      OU is making demands that they would love to see, and deep down they know Texas will not agree to them. It is a public way to deflect blame back to Texas when this comes crashing down.

      I think Texas *should* make concessions but I don’t think they ever will. But OU doesn’t want to hear the Texas blame game that it is all SMU, Arkansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma’s fault that the Big 12 feel apart.

      They are finally putting into words exactly what A&M and Nebraska said, putting their issues into the public forum before ejecting.

      • Hopkins Horn says:

        For the OU fans here:, this is a sincere request.

        And the impression has been that Texas, via Beebe, has run roughshod over the Big 12.

        “The perception is, he answers only to one school,” the source said. “That does not work.”

        “Impressions” and “perceptions” are one thing, but reality is another. What specific actions has Beebe taken which have been advantageous to Texas which have also been opposed by Oklahoma?

        Methinks it’s a very short list.

        • Hopkins Horn says:

          The second and third paragraphs in that were quotes from the article, BTW.

        • SH says:

          I just want to know about the OU-Neb game? Why didn’t both schools insist on maintaining it annually? Did they both want to stop, did they stop because of the divisions (which could have easily been overcome)? I have never understood why either school or the B12 gave up a big rivlary game. Did the schools feel it would be a competitive disadvantage if they had to play each other each year? If so, I think they missed the forest through the trees. Anyway, could someone give me the history. Other than simply saying OU was in the South and Neb in the North. Unless it is just that simple.

          • bullet says:

            My understanding is that OU felt like it would be a competitive disadvantage. Nebraska wanted to keep it.

          • coldhusker says:

            From a NU perspective:

            At the time of the formation of the Big 12, Nebraska was the best program in the country and OU was at its lowest point in 50 years. OU didn’t want to take the annual ass whoopings that Nebraska was handing out at that time.

          • Mike says:

            It was the split that made the most sense and Nebraska and Oklahoma took one for the team. Nebraska wanted to play even if the game was considered out of conference, but Oklahoma declined. I don’t blame them, remember when the Big 12 was formed Oklahoma was way down. Their schedule was tough enough without adding Nebraska to it in years they didn’t have to.

          • frug says:

            Yeah, ending the NU-OU game was one of the most short sighted decisions in modern NCAA history. I still maintain that if the Big XII had offered to return it to an annual game and put the CCG in Arrowhead every other Nebraska would have stuck around. But I guess it was not to be…

          • zeek says:

            I still think even all that might not have kept Nebraska in the Big 12.

            Nebraska is one of the schools with the fewest options (as is the case for the Big Ten schools in the Midwest).

            Powers tipped off Perlman about the Pac-16 talks, and he knew he would have to find a seat for Nebraska.

        • frug says:

          Hopkins –

          I was clicking around the BON comments, and it got me wondering. Do you think even anyone at UT still wants Beebe? It seems to me that the fan base, at the minimum, would have no problem with kicking him to the curb, but what about the Powers and company?

          • Hopkins Horn says:

            No clue about what the Powers That Be think, though I suspect he’s less of a Texas puppet than he’s made out to be in the popular fictionalization of events which is occurring nowadays. As for the fanbase, if one bases an opinion on what BON readership thinks, it’s clear a strong majority thinks he incompetent and needs to go. Being from the “geography is destiny” camp on this, I’m not really sure what anyone could have done differently with the siren songs of Big 10, SEC and PAC membership at the conference’s doorsteps.

      • Christian says:

        I disagree, these are easy concessions for Texas, considering the alternatives are a) give up the LHN in the Pac, or b) stay in a crappy Big12/BigEast hybrid. Firing Beebe? No problem. No high school content? No problem, that one pissed everyone off anyway, and would probably ultimately be totally nixed by the NCAA. No Big 12 game on LHN? Ugh, that one stings a bit, but is probably a fair compromise.

        • bullet says:

          The Big 12 game had to be approved by the conference anyway. Its not something ESPN had in hand when they signed the LHN deal.

          • zeek says:

            Agreed, didn’t ESPN just say in the contract that Texas had to push for multiple games? If the conference rules that out, then Texas can’t push for multiple games and the point becomes moot.

            Regardless, I really don’t see no conference game on the LHN as a big stumbling block here. The LHN is about a lot more than that.

          • ChicagoMac says:

            If anyone involved with the Big12 has any foresight (and let’s face it, right now it seems like that skill was unique to Boulder, Lincoln, and College Station) they’ll understand that this is still an environment that probably cannot work over the long haul.

            If I’m Kansas, I’ve got to think I have better options than being UT and OU’s b*itch.

            If I’m Baylor, ISU or Kansas St. I have to wonder if I would be better off competing with the BCS powers from the same angle Boise State and TCU have done so recently.

          • zeek says:

            No one is guaranteed to have better options outside of Texas and Oklahoma along with Texas Tech and OSU if they take them with them. Missouri is likely to have better options with Big Ten and SEC as possibilities.

            But there is no way anyone else has anything remotely comparable to what they have now.

            Kansas especially needs the Big 12 to survive. It’s a weird thing, but to really be a primary basketball power, they need to be in a high profile football conference.

            It shouldn’t matter but it does. Kansas State, Iowa State, and Baylor have no other options.

            They’re all in the middle of massive $ upgrades to better compete with BCS programs.

          • Bob in Houston says:

            zeek: The contract uses the words “mutual desire” for a second game. This sounds like something, but it’s actually nothing. It doesn’t obligate either party to do anything.

        • jtower says:

          Sure until LHN offer more than 5 million dollars for a team to agree to LHN. That’s better than the pay out most of the teams will get for a bowl game. When the have nots want more they may change their tune.

    • Kevin says:

      The reality is that the conference would still only have Texas and OU and a bunch of mediocre schools. Long-term they will continue to see major separation from the rest of the power conferences and the Big 12. All this does is buy the league another 3-5 years.

      • bullet says:

        Last 10 years:
        CU,UNL, A&M 122-118 in Big 12. A&M was 6 games under .500.
        Big 12 has arguably been the 2nd best conference over that time period. Noone could reasonably argue they weren’t in the top 4 and close to #2. The schools with a mediocre history have gotten better-Missouri, Texas Tech, T Boone State.

        Big 12 is 1st in the ESPN power ratings so far this year. They finished 4th last year but were 1st in the computer rankings.

        There’s no problem competitively and financially they are up there with everyone else, at least for now.

  51. Lord Willie says:

    As any good consultant or I-banker knows, after every good merger, comes a consolidation. Look mout if your stadium cannot bring 70k fans per game. The new college football will be about yield, more than just revenue.

  52. Adam says:

    A few thoughts:

    1. It seems to me the only way ND joins a league is if the writing is on the wall and we’re looking at a 4×16 arrangement.
    2. It seems to me that the only way the Big Ten expands is if ND joins.
    3. This seems to imply two things to me:
    a. The only league ND could end up in is the Big Ten, and then only when the other 3 putative “super conferences” have already cast their lots with 16 members. Moreover, it would seem to require that the Big Ten mutually agree to go to 16 for the sake of being at 16 (i.e., taking some new members that do not carry their weight in revenue just to fill out the league size, in order to enable the discontinuous leap in revenue that would be a playoff).
    b. The Big Ten would add 4 schools all at once.
    4. It seems to me that, if the Big Ten were to add 4 schools all at once, there’s no intrinsic reason why it could not poach schools from other “strong” leagues which are considered a good fit. E.g., I see no reason why Pittsburgh can’t be had from the ACC (this $20 million exit fee is less than 1 year’s worth of revenue distributions from the league office, and we can expect those to jump substantially if ND joins). Similar observations are possible for Missouri.

    Just kind of thinking out loud.

    • zeek says:

      The ACC is likely to have assignment of rights fairly soon. I doubt it’ll be poachable after that.

      • Richard says:


        They haven’t yet. If FSU is asked to commit to the ACC forever, they may suddenly ask the SEC if they have any interest in expanding to 16. I’m not sure the ACC will demand that of their schools any time soon.

    • royaloaker says:

      You make a great point. What is motivating Notre Dame is the desire to be left out of a 4X16 arrangement. (The posters at Irish Envy all seem to think that 4X16 is a foregone conclusion). If 4X16 actually were coming, and Notre Dame actually HAD to do something, it would probably join the ACC. (All things considered, the ACC makes the most sense for Notre Dame in a conference setting because it allows ND to play a more national schedule.)

      But, Delaney knows this! That is why he is being so adamant about the Big Ten not needing to expand. As long as the Big Ten stays at 12, Notre Dame can stay independent. If the ACC gets itchy and expands to 16 with Rutgers and U-Conn, then the Big Ten is the only conference that can end up with Notre Dame.

      If getting Notre Dame is the end game, then all the B1G has to do is be the last conference to get to 16. Until then, it’s a stalemate.

      • royaloaker says:

        Sorry, it’s the desire NOT to be left out of 4X16.

        • vp19 says:

          Then it behooves Notre Dame to aid the schools in danger of falling off the BCS cliff — Baylor, Iowa State, Cincinnati and the like. Being a non-football member (with or without Texas) of a Big East/Big 12 hybrid helps keep the BCS membership above 64, preventing Notre Dame from ever having to make that 4 x 16 decision.

  53. jake gittes says:


    “If there was any reasonable chance that Penn State would leave the Big Ten for the ACC because Pitt and Syracuse went to the ACC,”

    You really aren’t paying attention.

    • zeek says:

      I’m paying complete attention.

      My point stands. If Penn State had any and I mean any concerns about being the only Eastern team in the conference, they would have taken them directly to Delany.

      If you really think about it, if there was any chance that Penn State would leave because of a lack of Eastern teams in the conference, that would have been dealt with already…

      • Lord Willie says:

        Penn State hates eastern football becasue of its non-invite to the Big East in 1979. Even Holy Cross was invited to join, but said no. Additionally, they cannot stand Pitt and will not even agree to play them on a regualr basis ditto for the ‘Cuse.

        • PSUGuy says:

          So wrong on so many points…

          -PSU doesn’t hate eastern football. Why hate teams it beats regularly? Fact is they stopped scheduling their traditional “rivals” because of scheduling realities when they first joined (the first 4 games could basically stay but anything scheduled after Oct, where most of those eastern schools would have been placed, had to go for B1G conference play).

          -PSU doesn’t really care about Pitt any more than it does Temple, Rutgers, Cuse, etc. Pitt wanted to maintain a home-and-away relationship with PSU on a yearly basis. Problem was PSU needed the flexibility to schedule its other traditional playing partners from the old eastern independent days while still maintaining at least 3 home OoC games per year. Playing Pitt as a home-and-away would make that very difficult (and still maintain the same scheduling methodology). PSU responded with a “2 home, 1 away” in PSU’s favor and Pitt said hell no. As such Pitt became one of the “random” old eastern independent games that gets rotated through every 5-10 years)

          Interesting FYI…the Pitt / PSU series is split 75/25 % Pitt / PSU as far as where the home game has been played and Pitt regularly doesn’t sell out it’s 60000 seat pro stadium. Wonder why PSU didn’t mind putting that rivalry on the back-burner…

      • jake gittes says:

        “If Penn State had any and I mean any concerns about being the only Eastern team in the conference, they would have taken them directly to Delany.”

        What makes you think they haven’t? Joe has brought up adding Eastern teams to the Big Ten at least a dozen times in his press conferences.

        “If you really think about it, if there was any chance that Penn State would leave because of a lack of Eastern teams in the conference, that would have been dealt with already…”

        Penn State keeps saying how important it is to them, and nothing has been done about it. So I have no idea what you’re trying to say here. You claim that this airtight agreement holds us to the conference until 2027 (and maybe it does), so why would the Big Ten be doing anything “if there was any chance we would leave”? You’re arguing two different sides of the coin simultaneously.

        Doesn’t address what I’ve been saying:

        “As I keep posting, from PSU’s perspective, MD, DC, VA, NC and further south are a more fertile recruiting and marketing area that benefit them more NOW than MI, IN, IA, WI etc. People stream up from those southern areas to PSU games. I think the population growth and wealth creation in those areas dwarfs and will dwarf the midwest.”

        • jake gittes says:

          Pitt and Syracuse going to the ACC doesn’t change that last paragraph above.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          “I think the population growth and wealth creation in those areas dwarfs and will dwarf the midwest.”

          GDP rankings by state ($Millions):
          5 Illinois 644,200
          6 Pennsylvania 575,600
          8 Ohio 483,400
          9 Virginia 427,700
          10 North Carolina 407,400
          13 Michigan 372,400
          15 Maryland 300,000
          16 Indiana 267,600
          17 Minnesota 267,100
          20 Wisconsin 251,400

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            Sorted per capita:

            1 District of Columbia
            9 Virginia
            13 Maryland
            14 Minnesota
            15 Illinois
            17 Nebraska
            19 Iowa
            25 Pennsylvania
            29 Wisconsin
            30 North Carolina
            32 Ohio
            35 Indiana

    • gnqanqgnqanq says:

      jake, I will be the first to say that I think it is in the best interest of the Big Ten that it had a travel partner for Penn State from the east. Has a number of good points to it.

      At the same time, there are so many parts moving we have no clue what the Big Ten is really doing or going to do. Could the long term strategy be that the Big Ten plans to expand into the east to mid atlantic area. Delany last year talked about it as far as demographics and growth.

      Just because schools realign now does not mean that they are going to stay put or that the present members are happy about what is going on. The SEC has only so many options and a lot of those options point to the ACC. If certain members are targeted and do leave, the ACC could become a glorified better version of the Big East. Then other members might entertain options else where.

      I assume that the Penn State and the other members of the Big Ten know what the grand scheme is and whom they are interested in. I believe it is beyond UT & ND whom the Big Ten is interested in long term.

  54. [...] Conference Realignment Chaos: It’s On Like Donkey Kong (FRANK THE TANK’S SLANT)Call me skeptical right now. The Pac-12 is on the verge of going up to 16 with both Texas and Oklahoma, which certainly justifies an expansion to 16. For the Big Ten, ACC and SEC, though, there isn’t quite as compelling of a financial argument to move beyond 14 (or even 12 in the case of the Big Ten) simply for the sake of getting to 16… unless we see Notre Dame join one of them. I’ll have more on that in a moment. Otherwise, there’s just not enough firepower available for spots 15 or 16 in these leagues to justify large-scale expansion. [...]

  55. Scott Hevel says:

    Listening to BTramel’s insights, some interesting logic just hit me. First, I think the Pac10 has pushed back against the 4 Big 12 schools. I don’t think OU would be offering demands to stay if they had a clear road to move ahead. Think about when you fight with the cell phone company. If you wanted to change service providers, you just go. If you don’t, you’ll start to say something like, “if you give me X,Y, Z, I’ll stay in hopes they agree to it”. I have a feeling Colorado will vote NO on anything involving Texas because of they way they got treated last year and I think Cal and Stanford will vote NO on anything involving Texas just because they don’t like Texas on principal. My gut tells me the Pac 10 schools are saying no to Tech and OSU and AZ/ASU are saying no to a pod system that cuts them off from LA.

    I have a feeling for the first time in my gut that we are going to wake up 6 months from now and we are going to wake up empty…like last year. My gut tells me the Big 12 stays in tact, brings in a couple of Big East teams, lets ND and BYU(?) stay independent and have their non football schools play in the conference. They bring back TCU and maybe Boise and the Big 12 now becomes a major conference again and the only casualty is the Big East.

    It’s all clear to me now. Thoughts?

  56. zeek says:

    bullet, you might have been on to something:

    dennisdoddcbs Dennis Dodd
    Good point by P. Thamel. If Beebe was so bad why was he given a raise and extended in June? OU doesn’t have Pac-12 votes, pure and simple.
    9 minutes ago

    Not that I think Dodd knows the inner workings, but why in the world was Beebe given a raise and extension in June…

    • zeek says:

      RT @DufresneLATimes: Hearing today of tremendous push back from block of Pac 12 prezes re expansion with 4 schools mentioned.

      • zeek says:

        DufresneLATimes Chris Dufresne
        Nine votes needed for expansion changes in pac 12. Can Scott get them? We’ll see. Sentiment seems different from last year’s push to 16
        2 hours ago

        • ccrider55 says:

          Perhaps this is a warning from the Pac to OU, etc ? Make a decision soon, Little brother’s welcome won’t last as long as yours?

      • Patrick says:

        Is it 4 schools that are getting the pushback?
        RE: Texas not giving in on the LHN and the Pac Presidents are balking at that. Could they vote in OU and OSU independently? Is Texas and the LHN the sticking point?

        • zeek says:

          He didn’t specify what his source(s) were telling him. Just that there’s a lot of pushback from around 4 presidents. Issues would probably include South California exposure, cohesiveness of the conference, academics, a possibly unequal entrance for Texas, not wanting to just go to Pac-14, etc. There’s a lot of issues at stake here…

        • Patrick says:

          Seeing new tweets, OU and OSU are in if they choose. Texas will need to give up the LHN.

          Texas has already wrecked the Big 12 (it’s more geographically natural home) with the LHN, if they won’t give it up for their current conference why give it up for some new conference?

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      I’ve liked Dodd’s reporting throughout the realignment messes — he seems to have original takes and observations — so this makes sense.

      The Dufresne twit raises all sorts of questions…

      • Hopkins Horn says:

        Completely randomly: I just pulled up Dodd’s bio — I thought he was an OU grad. (One of those CBS guys is, I think — nothing bad, but might reveal particular insight.) He’s not, but I did see that he’s 54. 54?!? Never would have guessed that.

      • zeek says:

        We’ve all commented on it, but access to California is a big deal. Right now if you’re Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, and Utah, you get to play in South California every year. That’s so big for recruiting that it really changes a lot of things.

        I don’t see why they’d all want to give that up so soon for a Pac-16 with pods or whatnot.

        The Pac-12 money is already going to be gigantic; more money doesn’t solve the issue of lost exposure in South California.

        If I was those 4 schools, I’d really be wondering why we’re trading a bit more money for a guaranteed game in South California…

        • Hopkins Horn says:

          But the Pac 16 would give them access to California AND Texas, if the issue of access is that important.

          • bullet says:

            But a Pac 14 would not. And probably wouldn’t raise the $ that much.

          • Illinifan82 says:

            Could be that they just dont want to go to Texas or that they want to be connected to California like Colorado. Does anyone know exactly why they dont want to be grouped with Texas really?

            What if there is a Tech/Okie Lite issue like there is in the B1G?

          • zeek says:

            bullet is right about the Pac-14.

            If you go Pac-8, SWC-II, they lose access to California almost completely.

            And in pods, you’d have a pod of Arizona, Arizona State, Utah, and Colorado. They’d be gambling that Scott’s proposal of games gets them a game in Texas every other year with a game in California every year.

            Is that as good as a guaranteed game in South California in a geographically cohesive conference?

            The money is already mindboggling for a school like Utah that has never seen this kind of TV money from a Pac-12.

          • bullet says:

            We know that its important for the AZ schools and CU to be connected to California.

          • plague.of.crickets says:

            Part of it may be fear of the unknown. They know California, but they don’t know Texas nearly as well. In addition, they know that they can convince California kids to move, but hey don’t know whether they can convince Texas kids to move.

          • ccrider55 says:

            And yet just a year the 16 with an E/W arrangement was what everyone was on board for….

          • zeek says:

            I think they were all on board with a Pac-16 because they weren’t yet at a Pac-12.

            It’s different going from Pac-10 to Pac-16 than it is going from Pac-12 to Pac-16.

            They’re cozily in divisions now with Colorado/Arizona/Arizona State/Utah all having a game in South California.

            They have a gigantic media deal similar to the Big Ten’s deal with additional local networks for the pairs.

            The world is a different place from a Pac-10 that was way behind and needing the 6 to catch up to everyone else.

          • EZCUSE says:

            Query… who has the absolute most to gain by the Big XII surviving?

            I say Notre Dame. If the Big XII survives with 9 + +… the Big East has to add schools (rather than disband or take on other teams)… which leaves a viable home for Notre Dame’s other sports… which staves off “difficult decision time.”

          • @EZCUSE – I agree that Notre Dame is the biggest winner if the Big 12 lives because that likely preserves the Big East hybrid (which they still want badly). The less change, the better for ND.

          • EZCUSE says:

            I mean…other than the Big XII schools not rumored to be going anywhere desirable.

          • Eric says:

            Last year they wanted a much bigger media rights deal. Now they got a big one even without Texas. I think they’ll be more picky even if adding 4 will bring them more.

            A bigger point might be that it was assumed that bringing Oklahoma automatically would bring Texas. Adding OU and OSU without Texas might not be ideal for the conference. With Texas, the eastern members can at least shift recruiting/attention focus from California to Texas which is just as important. Without gains in Texas to counter it, losing California exposure is a much bigger deal.

          • frug says:

            The problem for the Big East is that they will have to find at least one more football member in order to qualify has a D-1A conference and their are going to be VERY limited if the Big XII survives.

            Plus after the Villanova debacle the basketball schools may be in no mood to help if they can’t find anyone to go football only.

          • vp19 says:

            If it has to be the Pac-14 with OU and Okie State, do a zipper involving Southern Cal and UCLA. Since Westwood is north of Exposition Park, put UCLA in the North and SC in the South (he said facetiously).

  57. Bo Darville says:

    If Texas, TT, OSU, and Oklahoma stay in the Big XII, would they still add the Big East leftovers or maybe just pluck West Virginia and Louisville? Or do the Big East leftovers go after Central Florida, East Carolina, and make a go on their own? I hope they both survive. No need to give ESPN and Fox any discounts by being able to buy bulk.

    • Eric says:

      I think they go back to 12 now. If Missouri leaves I’d guess they add add Louisville, Rutgers, West Virginia, and UConn. If Missouri stays, keep them, but cross out West Virginia who will end up in the SEC.

  58. bullet says:

    @Frank and your tweet
    With the Navy/AF to BE we can see why Pitt and SU left. The rest need to find a home as quick as they can somewhere else. Villanova, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard. Yet noone picks up a phone to Provo.

    At least the Big 12 doesn’t have Marinatto.

    • zeek says:

      Seriously. Navy? Air Force

      ‘No official invitation was extended by the league, but both parties had extensive discussions about Navy joining the league in football only and it very well could have happened in the next couple of weeks, college football industry sources told

      Besides Navy, the Big East also was targeting Air Force and league sources felt confident both schools would have been Big East members, perhaps within the next year – that is until Pitt and Syracuse announced they were leaving for the ACC.

      “Navy is one of the most special things out there, prestige,” said an administrator who would benefit from Navy being in a BCS league.

      “I don’t see why Air Force doesn’t fit in a BCS league,” said the same person. “Class, class, class.”’


      This is worse than Villanova. Are you kidding me? The Big East’s problem was that it wasn’t competitive in football (the exact opposite of the Big 12’s problem). Navy just makes the Big East less competitive in football. Air Force even more so.

      Who the hell is an administrator that would benefit from Navy being in a BCS league? Navy’s president? Jack Swarbrick? (The latter in jest, he’s clearly too intelligent to be the person behind these quotes).

      BYU and Boise State should have been way in front of Navy, Air Force, Villanova, and whoever else they were thinking of….

      They got TCU right, but their next couple of choices were horribly wrong.

      Pitt/Syracuse was pushing for a 12 team conference. Now we know why they didn’t stick around to see them try to bring it to 12.

      Honestly, how does anyone even consider Villanova, Navy, and Air Force to be BCS-level programs. Did Navy’s mission statement change to becoming a football factory when I wasn’t looking?

      • bullet says:

        And it would be bad for Navy and Air Force. Unless Villanova, UMass… were used to fill out the conference.

        • zeek says:

          What a horribly run situation.

          The obvious thing for a conference lacking football prestige was to go to BYU first. If they didn’t pick up the phone go straight to Boise State.

          We’re talking about survival. I know Boeheim and the basketball schools would have thrown a fit over having 20 basketball members, but the Big East really needed to think outside the box in order to survive.

          Total short-sightedness to the end. They had a chance to get to 12 football schools if they had just taken Boise State, UCF, and ECU (or Houston or someone like that). Boise State may be a short term phenomenon but the Big East just has to survive BCS contract to BCS contract. UCF is basically USF in Orlando. A lot of upside to being a school 4th or 5th in Florida. ECU can pack a 50k stadium and seems to pull in similar ratings to NC State against BCS-level competition.

          Letting basketball considerations get in the way of saving the conference (and they were already at 17 basketball schools, what’s the difference between 17 and 20 when we’re talking about saving the conference) is a total debacle.

      • vandiver49 says:

        Someone has got to explain to me this fascination with Army/Navy joining a conference? Whoever said they would ‘benefit’ fromNavy joining the conference clearly is looking at the revenue from the Army/Navy/ND games. Why does anyone think after Army’s experience in C-USA that the service academies would be willing to split those profits?

      • frug says:

        If BYU had any interest in being a football only member in the Big East they would already be a football only member in the Big East.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      Psst there is no USMC Academy. :p

  59. Illinifan82 says:

    Trying to entice ND with Navy being a member?

  60. metatron5369 says:

    Am I the only one who wishes the University of Toronto was a viable member? I doubt they’d want to come, but we should still look into working with the U15 all the same.

  61. Scott Hevel says:

    If Big East is entertaining Navy, etc, I’m really thinking the Big 12 is staying together. I thought the initial move would be the football conference would essentially merge and play football under the Big 12 flag and the basketball would stay under the Big East contract flag.

    I think if the Big East is reaching, they now feel that there is a good chance they can’t get a block of teams matched up with the Big 12 and they are trying to fend off having to be part of Conference USA. Ha.

    The bigger question is whether this means the Big East is trying to angle to keep ND in non football sports or if it means they know that ND wants to move to the ACC and it’s left Rutgers/WVU/UConn in play which they could argue keeps the conference viable in football.

    Very interesting to see how the smaller conferences are freaking out when I really feel more and more like we will still see the Pac12, Big 12, Big 10, SEC, and ACC conferences after it’s all said and done and probably only the ACC, if any of them, actually go to 16 teams.

    • EZCUSE says:

      I think the Big East WAS interested in doing so.

      That would be a fine idea in conjunction with Army, Air Force, Texas, and Notre Dame playing partial football schedules to maintain a national presence. Independently? Not so sure.

      Maybe Navy can be Penn State’s eastern partner though. It’s got the right location and would facilitate Notre Dame’s addition. One less OOC game to worry about. Navy football is about legends, while Navy itself is about leaders. Tough choice there. This paragraph is 98% tongue in cheek, btw. I don’t need 12 reasons why it doesn’t work…

  62. Scott Hevel says:

    On a separate note, any chance ESPN steps in and offers the Big 12 money equal to the Pac 12 if they can keep it together and maybe add Boise (and possibly WVU, etc)?

  63. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Y’all are killing my inbox. I have a hearing all day and return to my computer to find over 280 Frank the Tanks in the inbox.

    Since West Virginia is such a hot topic ( and I’m not even to 11am post yet), I thought you all might enjoy this blurb from a local news service in Baton Rouge.

    “Apparently, West Virginia University students have a tradition of setting fires to celebrate athletic victories, and Morgantown Fire Chief Mark Caravasos believes the 16th-ranked Mountaineers have a real shot of toppling the 2nd-ranked Tigers on Saturday night. The Dominion Post reports Caravasos’ is trying to prevent the spectacle of nationally televised street fires by ordering hundreds of people to remove furniture and other flammable material from their properties. The city, which has been trying to end the victory burns for years, had posted nearly 700 notices in problematic neighborhoods as of Monday. Residents have until 8 a.m. Thursday to comply or face fines of up to $1,000. ESPN’s GameDay is visiting Morgantown for the first time ever on Saturday, with kickoff set for 7 p.m.”

    • duffman says:


      I will hope your tigers win. Take a couch or two with you then light them and run. ;)

      GameDay folks will think it was a few of the locals, just getting ahead of themselves. :)

  64. bullet says:

    All kinds of stuff swirling around. One report that expansion in Pac 12 will be voted on this week. And this UCLA’s ADs decidedly unenthusiastic comments on expansion:

  65. Peter says:

    Frank’s Twitter sounds like Texas is being given an ultimatum – ditch LHN and all financial special treatment or no PAC for you. So much for the idea of the PAC surrendering to Texas, must not have anywhere near enough votes.

    • vp19 says:

      But does no Pac for UT mean no Pac for OU (and Okie State), or Texas Tech for that matter?

      If I were Scott, I’d go for the jugular — invite OU/OSU/TT, then say #16 is there for Texas if it accedes to the Pac conditions, or it goes to another Big 12 member (Kansas?). Make the Board of Regents sweat out the possibility that UT could be left not as king of the hill, but king of a molehill.

      • Peter says:

        There’s no way Texas Tech would have the votes to join without Texas. OU & OSU go to 14; Tech would be a #15 which causes a lot of logistical issues totally forgetting about everything else that makes Tech a problem from the B1G’s or ACC’s perspective.

        You can’t sit at an odd number of schools in a divisional set-up once you have more than 12.

      • schwarm says:

        Inviting TT without UT is getting rid of the TT problem and increasing the chance of UT going to another major conference.

      • Eric says:

        Very big risk for the PAC-12. If UT says no, you have to go to 16 still I suspect a lot of PAC-12 members wouldn’t like that arrangement without UT (it might not even pay for itself). Also if they come later, you are forced up to at least 18.

        • Redwood86 says:

          I said a couple of weeks ago that the Pac-12 will not take the Oklahomas, let alone Texas Tech, without Texas. It just ain’t gonna happen, no matter what Redhawk says. And pods probably are necessary to make this expansion to Pac-16 work. But, how can you do pods without giving up the CCG?

          • Eric says:

            Pods actually work out very well for a PAC-16 if you get OU and UT (big if I’m beginning to think for the first time in awhile). You have a California pods, an Oregon/Washington pod, an Arizona/Utah/Colorado pod, and a Texas/Oklahoma pod. They rotate to create new divisions every 2 years. You play every team in your division every year and 2 teams from your assigned adjacent pod. The Texas/Oklahoma and California pods are always separate (and thus so are the other two pods from each other), but will always play their out of division games against each other (as will the other two pods).

            This would lead to playing every team in your pod every year, everyone else 2 out of 4 years, equal access to California/Texas from those from other regions, annual games between USC and one of Oklahoma/Texas.

            Example: Let’s say you are USC and in year 1 you have the northern schools in your division. You’d play all your pod teams (California teams) and all the Oregon/Washington schools. You’d also play 2 of the Texas/Oklahoma schools (say Oklahoma and Oklahoma State). Year 2, you have the same schedule, but rotate home and away games.

            In year 3, you’d have the Arizona/Colorado/Utah schools in your division instead of the Oregon/Washington schools. You’d continue to play all the California schools (your pod) and this year play the Arizona/Colorado/Utah schools as divisional opponents. As crossover games, you’d play Texas and Texas Tech. In year 4 you’d rotate home and away.

            Note: I know this would be hard for fans to understand, but it’s the way pods would probably have to work.

          • bullet says:

            Its a rather big risk depending on pods when they didn’t work the last time they were tried.

      • wolverines says:

        No reason to add Tech unless Texas is going to accept.

  66. Indy doug says:

    If the BE/B12 misfit merger occurs, how can anyone argue that a FB conference with
    UC, UL, USF, TCU, WVU, KU, KSU,BU, ISU plus any 3 of the following (Boise, BYU, UCF, Upgraded Vill.,) is not stronger than the current 8 team BE?

    • royaloaker says:

      I think they should go all the way to 14.

      Iowa State
      Kansas State
      Boise State

      West Virginia
      East Carolina

      There’s some pretty good basketball tradition in the mix too.

  67. derek says:

    Anyone notice PBC’s forum posts are being deleted? If you click on most of his recent posts they say the message is no longer available, leading me to believe they are being deleted by a moderator or administrator. Wonder why? He has even posted saying that they have been being deleted recently. I am not one to wear a tin foil hat, but WTF?

  68. ccrider55 says:

    UCLA AD probably uninthusiastic about much related to FB….

  69. Richard says:

    I haven’t read all the comments yet so I don’t know if this has been proposed, but now that the ACC has taken Pitt and ‘Cuse, I would take Rutgers and Miami if I was the B10. These aren’t the home runs that PSU and UNL were, but I don’t think Texas is worth the divisiveness, and if you take those 2 schools (who I believe would jump this instant), you are set up for FSU and ND in the future–2 true kings. Plus, unlike Texas, FSU & Miami are brand names that want equal revenue sharing. Taking Rutgers not only solidifies PSU but gives the large number of B10 alums in NYC a chance to see their team. Plus, if the B10 adds Miami, FSU, and Rutgers, they’d be in 3 geographic regions; ND would not be able to find a more national conference. Academically, Rutgers is a perfect fit and the U actually is good in undergrad and is knocking on the door of the AAU already. FSU is more problematic, but they also have an upwards trajectory and are in a large population growing state. Culturally, FL (especially SFL) is pretty close to the north. The ‘Canes do have to deal with Nevin-gate, but you don’t base half-century decisions on what happens in the next few years, especially since the U actually seems to be well along the path trodded by Stanford, USC, and NYU before from rich kid backup party school to academically prestigious private school.

    A BigTen plus FSU, Miami, ND, and Rutgers) wouldn’t be surpassed, no matter who the SEC adds and even if Texas goes to the Pac.

    • Jefferson says:

      Why not offer FSU and Miami right now, if you’re the B1G? It really screws the ACC, which now becomes the Big East with a championship game – a basketball conference with VT and Clemson as middle of the road football powers. This firmly puts the B1G in Florida. Next round, add in Notre Dame and Texas, and you’ve hit NYC, Florida and Texas, surrounding the SEC and weakening the ACC in the process. And the ACC may feel threatened and raid more Big East teams, which accelerates ND joining.

  70. royaloaker says:

    Notre Dame fans hate the Big Ten. It will be insufferable having them as conference mates. I really really hope they go to the ACC and get this thing over with.

  71. Eric says:

    If anyone else legitimately hoping the Big 12 survives. I hope Texas and Oklahoma stay in it and it continues. 16 team conferences don’t excite me at all (even if the process does).

  72. Gopher86 says:

    Looks like we’re in the middle of a caulk measuring contest in the Mid-Continent.

  73. Patrick says:

    Questions for the UT fans here….

    If (when) OU and OSU leave for the Pac and A&M and Missouri leave for the SEC……

    1) Would Texas attempt to go independent and leave it’s olympic sports in a WAC’esque composite of Big East and Big 12 leftovers?

    2) Is Notre Dame heading for this WAC’esque composite also with it’s non-football athletics?

    3) Would a conference made up of Iowa State’s and South Florida’s generate enough interest for ND and UT’s other sports?

    • Karl Benson says:

      Texas’ 2 options for football independence

      1. The B1GEA2T

      Big Division

      Kansas State
      Iowa State
      Texas Tech
      Texas (non-football)

      East Division

      Notre Dame (non-football)
      West Virginia
      South Florida
      Central Florida

      (Did not make the cut: Baylor, Memphis, East Carolina, Houston, Southern Mississippi, Boise State. BYU rejected football-only membership to remain independent.)

      2. The WAC

      WAC West

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

      WAC South

      Texas (non-football)
      Texas-Arlington (non-football for now)
      Texas-El Paso
      Texas-San Antonio
      Texas State
      Louisiana Tech

      • frug says:

        I’m beginning to suspect that you are not the real Karl Benson.

      • vp19 says:

        The B1GEA2T

        Big Division

        Kansas State
        Iowa State
        Texas Tech
        Texas (non-football)

        East Division

        Notre Dame (non-football)
        West Virginia
        South Florida
        Central Florida

        Methinks the “little 10″ of that group would like two more members for a football title game (since you need 12 football-playing members), so in that scenario, Baylor enters the Big and another school enters the East — heck, if Rutgers and Connecticut aren’t taken by the ACC if it chooses to hold at 14, bring them in and not Central Florida.

        Oh, and no revenue from that game would go to Texas or Notre Dame, just the 12 football conference members. Could be a sweetener UT would offer in exchange for its keeping the Longhorn Network.

      • hagenr says:

        Karl, the Big 12 may need a new commissioner soon, are you interested in the job. :-)

    • bullet says:

      No. UT joins Pac or B1G or ACC or even SEC before staying in that and trying to go indy.

      • Karl Benson says:

        Texas will NEVER share revenue equally.

        That means no B1G, no PAC, no ACC, and no SEC for Texas.

        That also means the XII will fold. The B1GEA2T will clean off the carcass of the XII.

        Texas can choose between the B1GEA2T and the WAC as non-football options.

  74. jj says:

    I am I the only one concerned that rotel is gonna cost 10 bucks a can when this is all over?

    • Patrick says:

      LOL – That’s it you’re Facebook……. deleated.

      I spent half the summer telling my wife I was glad to be rid of those crappy Ticket Express commercials, then football starts and they are still there!

      • duffman says:


        To be fair, way back in March of 2010 I believe we were discussing swimming pools filled with Ro*tel as a concession.

        • Patrick says:

          That’s the championship game prize, right? A swimming pool full of Ro*tel.

          In reality though the BTN is really coming along with better programs and better commercials.

          In a tv perspective, if you want to know how well a network is doing, count the automotive commercials. They are typically big spenders, nationally and locally, corporate and dealer. First show I watched this season on BTN Mercedes Benz was the sponser. They are savvy advertisers, and it shows that the BTN is going to earn lots and the viewers have some cash. That is really good for the BTN.

          • jj says:

            Some seem to think that the money in play is limitless. I don’t. Some of the rescue plans floated have small value that only goes down as the big fish feast. If I were anyone in the beast or b12 I’d be proactive as hell right now.
            Someone mentioned the tulip craze awhile back. We may well be in the middle of one.

  75. Tom Smith says:

    If report is true about Mizzou being offered SEC slot, will B1G also make Mizzou an offer? As an Illinois and B1G fan, I feel like SEC is creeping into B1G territory and I don’t like it….

  76. wolverines says:

    Missouri by itself doesn’t add enough, they’d need to come with a king for the B10 to be interested; certainly Missouri + 1 of Rutgers/Syracuse/Pitt doesn’t add enough… IMO A&M is undervalued after underachieving so long is why the SEC likes those two, in the late ’90s they were near king status.

  77. metatron5369 says:

    Missouri is trying any and everything to avoid heading to the SEC, but why? We dog on the SEC, but they’re good at being a conference. The dining room on stilts that is the Big XII can’t be preferable, unless Texas A&M really is a taking a big pay cut to play JUCO ball.

    I’m guessing they’re #14 when Notre Dame comes around. They have to be, nothing else makes sense.

    • Patrick says:

      I’m not sure that I see Missouri like this. The president of Missouri is also the current head of the Big 12 presidents. He is going to try to make something work, if only to cover his own backside, then when any other schools move, he’s off like a shot to the SEC. I don’t see Mizzou trying to avoid the SEC as much as trying to make it appear that they are negotiating with the Big 12 in good faith.

    • bobo the feted says:

      If Mizzou is in the SEC – you know those great seasons a few years back with Chase Daniels at QB, where Mizzou won 9-10 games a year and was ranked as high as number 3? In the SEC those types of seasons are gone. That is why Mizzou doesn’t want to go to the SEC, nevermind the academics, dirty recruiting and long travel. In the Big12 Mizzou was a rising football power – basically in the same second tier as Texas Tech and Ok State. In the SEC Mizzou would be only slightly above Vanderbilt and Kentucky, and a notch below A&M, SC and Ark.

      • vp19 says:

        Yeah, Missouri, avoid the SEC, despite its money and stability, for fear of looking bad in football. Place your bets on the most dysfunctional conference west of the Mississippi, or continue your Big Ten pipe dream. This has South Carolina 1971 written all over it.

        A few years from now, when you’re stuck in the conference of misfit toys and continuing the Telephone Trophy game with ISU followed by trips to Baylor and Cincinnati, you’ll be kicking yourself.

  78. MichiganDav says:

    Why would ND be so averse to parking it’s non football sports in a Catholic league made up of Georgetown, St. John’s, Marquette, Providence, etc? It seems like a Catholic sports league would garner a lot of interest in basketball.

    • Eric says:

      I don’t entirely understand that either (particularly since they’d probably expand with a few more stronger basketball schools). I think most of the logic though is outside of basketball. Notre Dame’s football obviously can pay for a lot more sports than most of the athletic departments without football so it needs a stronger conference to put a lot of sports in and doesn’t want the conference to be weak in most those sports.

    • SideshowBob says:

      They could, and very likely would at least initially. But IMHO such a league is going to fall off eventually, as more and more recruits will go to bigger name schools with bigger facilities and better TV deals. Eventually, I would expect to such a conference to be similar to what the A10 is today — a good mid-major, but clearly not at the top. And I don’t think that that would be an ideal place from Notre Dame’s perspective.

      And, as said, it probably would be pretty mediocre in most other sports. And Notre Dame is an institution that prides itself in a quality across the board athletic department.

    • Hank says:

      because those schools have a fairly limited number of other sports. ND’s basketball would be
      alright in the speculated Catholic sports league but a lot of Notre Dame’s other sports would
      be left without quality competition. And those teams and their student athletes are important
      to ND. They really need their non football sports in a league with other football schools that have the resources to support a larger number of teams.

    • Josh says:

      Notre Dame sponsors 26 varsity sports. Georgetown has 23. St. John’s has 17. Marquette has 11. Providence sponsors 19. Seton Hall 14. DePaul has 13. Starting to see the problem?

  79. MIKEUM says:

    I for one stand corrected from the other day about the Big 12…it is still, unbelievably, breathing. But I am glad that it sounds like OK said here is the slate of what it will take for us to stay. No grudge against Texas other than athletic competition is not like monopoly. If there is no competition, then people like me don’t bother watching. competition is what makes athletics compelling. I still don’t see the Pac turning down OK and OK State if they went without UT.

  80. bullet says:

    In case noone else has posted, here is Chip Brown’s latest. Note the reference to the ND AD.

    • zeek says:

      Wow, that’s an interesting set of events. Must be a part of the reason why Dodds and Swarbrick are so tight…

    • vp19 says:

      The proper OrangeBloods link:

      The other one had all sorts of UNC-related stuff from 2002.

      • bobo the feted says:

        This is getting ridiculous – how many times will a conference have to go through a “last second hail mary” attempt to fix the conference before the schools themselves realize that there is something inherently unstable in the conference? Super Conferences are coming whether people like it or not, A&M is still moving to the SEC and Pitt and Syracuse are still going to the ACC.

        Hopefully OU isn’t stupid enough to fall for this a SECOND time and pack their bags for the Pac.

    • Eric says:

      If successful, do you guys think the Big 12 would stay at 9, go back to 10, or back to 12?

      • royaloaker says:

        It would be cool to see them add West Virginia, Louisville (for basketball), and TCU (to replace TAMU).

        • Eric says:

          If the Big 12 took those three and West Virginia is still open (looking more likely) then Missouri is probably gone so they’d probably add one of BYU (if they’d come), UConn, Cincinnati, or Rutgers too. That would be extremely bad for the Big East as it would leave them with at most 4 conference teams. Under those circumstances, do you think the basketball schools would even vote to add 4 new football members? Other than maybe Temple (whom Villanovia would oppose), most possible teams are outside the core of the Big East and I’m not sure the basketball schools would go for that as their link to the football schools is dropping quickly without Syracuse and Pitt.

      • zeek says:

        If this is successful and I very highly doubt that it will be since I agree with the train of thought that this is a public relations attempt by OU image-wise, then it will go back to 10 at least.

        They surely won’t stay at 9.

      • bullet says:

        10 now, 12 in the spring

  81. ccrider55 says:

    Wow. 500 posts in less than a day.

  82. zeek says:

    Big East has pledged to stay together? Until someone gets an offer from a conference, which they obviously can’t refuse. Why would a pledge mean anything? 5 Big East schools have left that conference within a decade, what in the world could a pledge possibly mean?

  83. bobo the feted says:

    BREAKING Larry Scott says PAC12 WILL NOT EXPAND!

    • zeek says:

      wilnerhotline Jon Wilner
      Scott: “after careful review we have determined it’s in the best interests of our member institutions .. to remain a 12-team conference.
      4 minutes ago
      Jon Wilner
      wilnerhotline Jon Wilner
      Pac-12 announces it will NOT expand
      5 minutes ago


    • Kevin says:

      I am surprised by that. Missouri is likely headed for the exits. Can’t see a Texas and OU conference hanging together in the long-term. Could be Pac12’s last chance to expand for a long time.

    • metatron5369 says:

      Holy shit. Boren must be pissed at Texas, but I bet Slive is going to buy them flowers.

    • Mike says:

      The SEC said that too…

    • Eric says:

      I think I actually believe this too. My guess is that OU couldn’t get the votes without UT coming along and surprised the PAC-12 by not going along. First time we’ve seen these meeting to give president authority and then not see a move follow it up if this is true. Let’s see if Oklahoma State still has there meeting. It’s tomorrow right?

    • frug says:

      Scott’s statement:

      “After careful review we have determined that it is in the best interests of our member institutions, student-athletes and fans to remain a 12-team conference. While we have great respect for all of the institutions that have contacted us, and certain expansion proposals were financially attractive, we have a strong conference structure and culture of equality that we are committed to preserve. With new landmark TV agreements and plans to launch our innovative television networks, we are going to focus solely on these great assets, our strong heritage and the bright future in front of us.”

  84. bobo the feted says:

    LOL I bet OU is really wishing they had just left last year…

  85. London Ruffin says:

    I find it incredibly ironic that the Pac12 pumped the brakes on expansion. I lived in northern Cali for five years, and those folks are fiercely loyal to the region and the lifeystyle it affords its residents. We all assumed that the Pac12 wanted more east coast attention and bias…. Perhaps that assumption was wrong, and maybe the conference prefers its west coast orientation. This is in addition to Stanford and Cal saying “Hell No” to Okie State….

    Wow…. Did Not See That Coming….

    • Peter says:

      This looks like an academic revolt. Presidents & chancellors saying “enough is enough” on bringing in the substandard schools for football.

      I thought something like this could happen, but I was more thinking it would be over Texas Tech’s general Techness or UT’s demands versus USC/UCLA. That they’re not even going to 14 signifies that enough of them thought that the Oklahoma pair wasn’t worth the headache even without the Texas fiasco.

      • zeek says:

        That’s my guess too.

        I think fit became a big questionmark.

        • Bob in Houston says:

          It’s as much a revenue issue. OU and OkState are a drain. Scott needed to land Texas. Until he does, there’s no reason to add anyone.

          I can’t remember when I saw it, but it was 24 hours or less that the thinking was that the Pac would take OU and Ok State and wait for Texas. I was skeptical.

    • bullet says:

      Everyone’s been blasting the greed of the conferences and schools and the bad effect on the student-athletes. That was bound to have some effect on the academic side.

      As quick as this vote happened after the OU leaks yesterday, I don’t think it was OU and UT backing off and the Pac 12 voting to save face. In addition to the academic pushback, I think they were struggling to get a deal with UT and decided OU alone wasn’t worth it. OU/OSU didn’t do anything academically for them, a Pac 14 as I have been saying was real awkward and OU/OSU didn’t add enough money to make it worth it. OSU doesn’t add anything financially to a conference with OU already in it and if OU increased the value of the Pac contract by 1/3 (probably a generous estimate), it would only mean an increase from $21 million to $24 million a year. And they probably diluted the tier 3 rights as there wouldn’t be much OU football on there and they only add a small market.

  86. So are A&M and/or Missouri still going to the SEC?

  87. So one of two things need to happen the SEC has to drop their requirement that all B12 schools agree to not sue them and man up.


    B12 teams sign the agreement not to pursue action against the B12.

    Since it looks like the B12 is sticking around for a little while longer it looks either of the two are feasible.

    • Justin says:

      Man, if I were Delaney, I’d look very hard at adding Rutgers and Oklahoma to the Big 10 right now. Rutgers gives you an East Coast travel partner for PSU, and a fertile recruiting state in New Jersey, and Oklahoma gives the conference another powerhouse program.

      Then the Big 10 would be positioned to add Texas or Notre Dame down the road when superconferences inevitably emerge.

      The divisions would work perfectly into an East / west breakdown

      East – Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, Purdue and Indiana
      West – Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Northwestern

      • Bob in Houston says:

        Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are still linked. And I suspect that OU would have the same lack of excitement for going to B1G venues by itself.

        • Steven D says:

          Oklahoma would love to be in the same division as Nebraska. It’s also used to playing in Iowa. A division comprised of Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Minnesota is reasonably comfortable.

      • joe4psu says:

        I’m all for that.

    • laxtonto says:

      OK does not come close to the academic requirements for the Big 10. If you think that the Pac-12 presidents were complaining…

      • joe4psu says:

        The Pac presidents were not upset with the idea of OU, it was OU and OSU without UT.

        The B1G needs to get off their high horse. It is eventually going to bite us in the butt. I can see not wanting OU and OSU but turning down OU and RU now, with UT and ND as future targets is not a good idea.

        UT won the game out west by sticking to their guns and betting that OU didn’t have enough juice to get the invite on their own. This doesn’t change the fact that UT will only stay in the B12 if OU is a member. The B1G should move now with OU and RU, forcing UT to make a decision. That decision may be independence but how long do you think that would last? The B1G can afford to wait on UT and ND as long as it takes.

        Add RU and OU today.

        • Steven D says:

          Yes, they should add Oklahoma, but I’m not sold on Rutgers without Notre Dame. If Oklahoma is coming in, I’d rather see Maryland as #14. Or, if Maryland passes, Missouri. Then you wait for Notre Dame and/or Texas.

          • joe4psu says:

            I didn’t say RU without ND. I said add RU now with OU and get ND when they’ll join. UMD makes alot of sense too but I think that RU offers the best chance of penetration into NYC along with ND and PSU. Some people will say that ND and PSU get you as much attention in NYC as you’re going to get, I just happen to disagree. During RU’s big year, 2006 I believe, they set ratings records for NYC. You can say that that was only 1 year but RU with B1G money for continued facilities improvements and quality coaches, which the school has committed to, can become as successful as Iowa and Wiscy.

  88. bobo the feted says:

    LOL it would be funny if Mizzou suddenly takes their SEC golden ticket and says “aite we OUT suckas!” No one puts Mizzou in a corner!

  89. Kevin says:

    I think this is a temporary move. I just don’t see the Big 12 hanging together. TAMU is already in the SEC and they’re going to add a 14th and likely move to 16. The PAC could be out of options.

  90. Hopkins Horn says:

    Well, hell. See y’all here this time next year?

    • jj says:

      So much drama. So little payoff.

    • zeek says:

      This year on as the Big 12 turns. We’ll see you next year.

      • bullet says:

        I kept saying we weren’t as far along as they were last year. Last year the board meetings that got cancelled were to approve the contracts. Scott had already flown to the cities to meet with the Presidents. They didn’t have the deals done yet this time.

        Still pretty surprising that OU didn’t go to the Pac after all the talk from both sides and also that UT didn’t go to Pac or B1G or somewhere other than Big 12. But after last year I kept some skepticism until the ink was dry.

        Seems the OU leak was a face saving gesture, knowing the Pac vote was coming.

        • bullet says:

          I also figured the exit fees coupled with some scheduling guarantees would be adequate to satisfy the future members of the 12East to not sue the Pac and SEC. Split 4 ways the fees add up. At the full price, it comes to $42 million per school and that doesn’t include the bb credits. The Fox contract for 12 years and ESPN for 3 total $126 million/school ($180 million if you count ESPN for 12) and they would have gotten a decent contract in the 12East, given that the BEast was going to get $11 million a year. Assuming $10 million a year, that would generate $120 million + $42 million gives you $162 million, nearly to the value of both contracts for 12 years.

        • bullet says:

          Until the ink is dry applies to Big 12 reform as well. The Big 12 staying together this year is only slightly more likely than OU to the Pac 2 days ago.

  91. jtower says:

    1. PAC 12 refuses to expand.
    2. B1G remains above the fray.
    3. SEC denies aggy unconditional love.
    4. ACC adds 2 maybe 4.
    5. Big 12 fires Bebee and restructures equal revenue blah blah blah
    6. ESPN starts a new regional network in Tulsa focusing primarily on collegiate sports (but perhaps also some relevant h.s. extra-curriculars) with on campus studios in Norman nd Stillwater.
    7. OU and OSU enthusiastically support new Big 12 and ESPN agrees to RENEGOTIATE tv contract of the conference if they add more teams.
    9. Big Eastfits join bring total membership to 15 with a nintyhundremillion dollar contract leaving a spot for….

    …NotreDame to New Big 12

    The first superconfrence appears, the realignment era ends and the Domer Law is realized in nine easy steps.

  92. frug says:

    And there was dancing in the streets in Waco, Manhattan, Ames and South Bend

  93. MIKEUM says:

    I read the Wilner article. If this is true, all the PAC assumptions are out. Of course what you hear for the next 24 hours is that UT deep sixed OK’s plans.

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      Good point. It will ALWAYS be Texas’ fault if something bad happens to someone else!

      • zeek says:

        Honestly, OU should get their share of the blame for this one.

        They totally bluffed on every with an Ace (themself) and a 4 (OSU).

        The Pac-12 folded.

        Texas is still holding the LHN (two aces; one for themself, one for the LHN).

        And it’s just became obvious to everyone in the universe that OU is bluffing (re: Beebe, the LHN, everything, since there’s no conference that will take them and OSU).

        Texas just won this round of the great game.

      • bullet says:

        HH you have to change that Pac 16 avatar on your board now.

  94. jtower says:

    apparently 12 is the new 16

  95. zeek says:

    PeteThamelNYT Pete Thamel
    Now you have to wonder how much of Oklahoma’s decision today is tied to them having a sense they would get shot down by Pac-12 presidents.
    28 minutes ago

    Now what for OU? They put down a big list of demands, mostly reasonable. But including firing Beebe and all that too. This is a very interesting plot twist.

  96. frug says:

    So how long before the Oklahoma to SEC rumors start?

  97. MIKEUM says:

    Big 12 = Ron Zook, aka “the rooster.” They just can’t die

  98. Eric says:

    So the PAC-12 is going to remain the PAC-12 and the ACC is going to 14. Umm…Who saw that one coming.

  99. MIKEUM says:

    The SWC version 2.0 is the rooster as well. Although there are some better additions out there now. The beast is mortally wounded.

  100. M says:

    I think Dan Beebe himself describes the events best:

    The most urgent questions: would Missouri stay in a revamped Big 12? Does the SEC “raid” the conference against their previous statements? Does Baylor still threaten to sue? How does Rick Perry keep his hair like that?

  101. Craig Z says:

    It’s Swofford’s master plan. Uninvite Pitt and Syracuse. Texas, Texas tech, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State to the ACC.

  102. plague.of.crickets says:

    This is surreal, and a complete embarrassment for all involved. How could Scott and OU, let it get to this point if there wasn’t strong support for expansion with just OU/OSU? It particularly makes Scott look untrustworthy. Maybe it’s just a temporary position (ala SEC)? Or maybe OU got cold feet?

    • zeek says:

      OU threw Beebe and Texas under the bus today with no backup plan. They’re the ones who are going to have egg on their faces tomorrow.

      That PR stunt to put this all on Texas exploded.

    • Peter says:

      My personal feeling is that Scott (and OU) badly underestimated how easy it would be to get the PAC-12 to go along with (a) adding OU & OSU, and (b) laying the groundwork to go to 16 teams and cause the pod problem for SoCal access.

      If the PAC does not want to go to 16 – for a variety of reasons, i.e. who #15 & #16 are & what they want, who gets to play in SoCal etc. – then ramping up the arms race to 14 and blowing up Texas’ home in the process makes little sense.

      I can come up with reasons why every school in the PAC would have voted against it. Doesn’t mean they all would have/did in this straw poll, but no school in the PAC stood to benefit. Totally different situation than telling the B1G presidents they get a CCG, higher visibility and a super TV deal in the future for Nebraska.

      • bullet says:

        Ego. Scott wanted to build his empire and didn’t consider that college sports have some different implications than pro sports. And he was dealing with a lot of egos in the Pac who suddenly realized they were being viewed as the SEC Pacific in doing everything for money and not caring about academics and the student-athlete.

      • bullet says:

        Note the ESPN article mentions that NCAA Prez Emmert DID have an impact in arguing against the super-conferences.

  103. GreatLakeState says:

    Oklahoma, Okie St. Missouri, aTm to the SEC is the hot topic on ESPN.
    Oklahoma has been determined to upgrade their academics. I hope it’s not true
    that Delany turned them down, even after they inquired about coming alone.

    • zeek says:

      They didn’t inquire about coming alone. Big Ten didn’t turn them down.

      It just won’t happen with OSU. Just like it didn’t happen with the Pac-12.

      • EZCUSE says:

        If B1G took Oklahoma (hey, we tried, you suck Okie State) and Missouri, would the SEC take Okie State to go with A&M?

        • zeek says:

          Well the SEC is indicating that they only want OU, not OSU.

          And even if OU/Missouri was obtainable, the Big Ten would much much much rather have the Big 12 survive than force any action anywhere. I don’t think the Big Ten wants to be the one to annihilate the landscape, so they’ll stay out of this…

          Best case scenario is for everyone to stay in place until the Big Ten gets its T1/T2 rights upgraded in 2014-2015. Then the Big Ten will figure out if 14 is worth it.

          But, I really don’t think OU goes anywhere without OSU so that makes it unlikely to go anywhere.

          • zeek says:

            I have to admit I’m shocked that the ACC is the only one at 14 right now (although I assume the SEC will join them).

            But I’m glad that Syracuse and Pitt ended up in a conference that makes sense for them.

            Didn’t feel that way until I heard about the Big East’s attempt for Navy and Air Force…

      • GreatLakeState says:

        Well then, you and PBC can have a cage match to see who is right because he claims they did.
        When someone asked:
        “PBC when you said the Big Ten said no to Oklahoma is that because of Oklahoma State or is it that they just would not offer them period.”
        PBC responded
        “Nothing was mentioned of Oklahoma State.”

        However. Based on your all-knowing tone, I assume your a fly on the wall, so I stand corrected.

        • zeek says:

          Boren implied what I said. Didn’t mean to write it as if it was sourced to me.

          Two days ago Boren said that he had had preliminary discussions with several conferences and wasn’t rejected by any.

          I’d assume today is the first rejection they’ve received.

    • vp19 says:

      If that’s the case — and from an SEC perspective it would make sense, because you could simply slide Auburn and Alabama over to the East — Texas loses hand (again), as does Florida State. It would also benefit the Big East remnants, because the Big 12 would diminish to six and would need to be replenished (WVU, Rutgers, Connecticut, Cincinnati, Louisville, South Florida). Alas, Texas Christian might be odd member out, even though it’s clearly the best geographic fit.

      • vp19 says:

        The case being Texas A&M, Missouri, Oklahoma and Okie State go to the SEC (and if I’m Slive, I give in and admit T. Boone Pickens U. — heck, you already have Miss State).

    • @GreatLakeState – I honestly don’t think the SEC wants to kill off the Big 12. Maybe they still try to take Mizzou, yet it’s not so easy now if the Pac-12 isn’t on the attack. Personally, I would take Oklahoma in a heartbeat if I were running the Big Ten, but only if they were coming alone. The ability for them to come alone doesn’t appear to be a viable option, though.

      • Walk72 says:

        I’d bet Delany would take Oklahoma solo too. Just like Scott would add Oklahoma and OkSt to the Pac12. But neither has the votes.

  104. zeek says:

    @PeteThamelNYT: Pac-12 decision came down Scott meeting with Texas and realizing no way conference could be one of equals. So they passed
    16 minutes ago

    This makes it pretty clear that Texas is going to do its own thing.

  105. EZCUSE says:

    Query: Is a King still a King if it must be accompanied by a pig?

    Nebraska and Penn St. Kings flying solo.

    Texas and Oklahoma. Kings with tagalongs that cause problems.

    At what point does the laden down King become a mere Prince?

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      In the case of Texas, you’re assuming that Texas wanted to leave. To my annoyance, I’m thinking Texas got exactly what it wanted.

      • zeek says:

        Texas did get exactly what it wanted.

        Reading Scott’s remarks as well as the reporters covering the situation, the Pac-12 simply didn’t think that Texas would be willing to be an equal in the conference.

        Then they decided that adding just OU and OSU wasn’t worth it.

        • Eric says:

          If this deal was blown up because the PAC-12 couldn’t adjust 3rd tier media, then I’m even more firmly of the conviction that equal revenue sharing has nothing to do with conference stability. It’s often a by product of conference stability (smaller teams will vote for it knowing the bigger ones won’t leave), but we have a concrete example of a big school not coming because of it now.

      • bullet says:

        Unless Texas was trying to sabotage the deal and call the Pac and OU bluffs, it really would have been easy to do a deal similar to USC’s if the Pac wanted to, whereby Texas would get a guarantee until Pac 16 revenue caught up. But maybe Scott overplayed his hand taking a hard line or just overestimated how much his Presidents wanted to expand and is using Texas intransigence as his excuse. Hard to tell with all the spin that happens in these situations.

        Only things reasonably clear are that Pac decided OU/OSU alone wasn’t worth it and UT and Pac didn’t reach a quick settlement of the LHN issue.

        • Bob in Houston says:

          You can also find opinions that say the Pac representative’s position on important issues may have, um, shifted unexpectedly.

  106. Hopkins Horn says:

    So my initial reaction is whether the Big Zombie Conference (please credit me for that one, as I never got my credit for “Conference Realignment Armageddon” last year) will attempt to stick a fork in the Big East as a football conference by going for three (or four, depending on Mizzou) schools from the group of Louisville/Cincinnati/WVU/Rutgers/USF. (I’m assuming UConn is ACC bound or too far away to make sense anyway.)

    This time last week, I wouldn’t have entertained the thought, as the Big East was projecting more stability than the Bog Zombie.

    Today? All bets are off.

    • EZCUSE says:

      Another scenario…. WVU to the SEC with A&M.

      CIncy, USF, and Lville to the Big 12/10/9/12

      TCU to the WAC, I guess.

      Rutgers and UConn… wait patiently for the ACC.

      Although with Rutgers 3% of the NYC market, they could go independent. :-)

    • M says:

      Now there’s an intricate and multifaceted question: which is more stable, the Big East or the Big 12? What happens when a stoppable force meets a movable object?

      • EZCUSE says:

        That is outstanding.

        The Big 12 is like the Black Knight in The Holy Grail. Take Colorado? Just a flesh wound. Nebraska? Tiz but a scratch. A&M? Hey… where are you going….coward!

        The Big East is like a university laundering service. Spend 8 years there and you have some AQ cache for your next move. USF? Nothing in 2001. Possible Big 12 addition in 2011. Louisville? Some people think you are SEC-worthy. CIncy? Sorry, no refunds.

    • zeek says:

      This should be the topic of Frank’s next post.

      It’s obvious that OU at least would want the Big 12 back to 12 for some semblence of stability.

      In a way, Frank’s description of the LHN as golden handcuffs has come to pass entirely.

      OU is binded to OSU, so they’re not going anywhere either.

      Take 3 others and figure out how to make it work… FWIW, I think Missouri will stay, all evidence is that they’ve helped lead the charge to keep the Big 12 intact even though they have an SEC invite under the table.

      • vp19 says:

        Has some sort of mind-altering gas descended upon the Great Plains states, so that schools that actually have some options instead decide to remain a burnt orange vassal? It seems so self-defeating, along the lines of domestic abuse victims who can’t bring themselves to leave.

        Maybe Missouri is playing this to a T, thinking Slive’s fear of having to admit WVU will ultimately lead him to invite Mizzou. Or perhaps Columbia is delusional, too, dreaming of a Big Ten date that will never come.

        As for Oklahoma, I swallow my pride, call Slive and say, “I’ve had enough — so have my cousins in Stillwater; you’ll like them, honest. Please take us in.”

        As for the Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas State and Kansas serfs, I call up the six remaining Big East football members (and Texas Christian, too) and say, “Let’s talk about getting together and finding a marriage that works. We need to liberate ourselves from the Bevo bully, and we all need a good home. (Who would you bring in as #12 for a CCG? Memphis? Houston? East Carolina? Brigham Young?)

        Simply put, everyone in the Big 12 not named Texas needs to extricate themselves from this mess, and all have possible ways to do it. Who will summon up the courage to actually do so?

        • zeek says:

          They may not have choices in all of this.

          What evidence is there that the SEC wants to go to 16?

          The SEC just wants to go to 14 with A&M + 1 as of right now.

          Yes, Missouri is still dreaming of that Big Ten invite, but I think it makes sense for them to stick it out with the Big 12 as long as they can. Not really sure the SEC is right for them. They aren’t Arkansas.

          • zeek says:

            Forgot to mention, the rest may have no choice. The Big East will be killed by the Big 12.

          • @zeek – One other thought – there could still be a merger between the Big 12 and Big East football schools (with the Big 12 being the ultimate destination conference). There’s 9 remaining Big 12 schools and 7 Big East schools (if you include TCU). Put them together and – voila! – we have an instant 16-school superconference! If Missouri or West Virginia end up as #14 in the SEC, the league can just plug in BYU as a replacement. Notre Dame would also probably find this to be a satisfactory home to be a non-football member and maintain independence.

            The Big East Catholic schools could then stay together and keep the Big East name.

          • vp19 says:

            Okay, let’s say the A&M-less Big 12 does stick together. If the six remaining Big East schools (assuming the ACC declines to pick up Rutgers and Connecticut) plus Texas Christian come in, you have your 16. How do you divide things? The Big East emigres + TCU + Iowa State in the East, and Missouri, the Kansas duo, the Oklahoma twins and the three Big 12 Texas schools in the West?

          • zeek says:

            Well I think they’ll just go for 12 and leave some out. Maybe they go for 16 though; no idea what’s going to happen at this point.

            I just think the lure of being with Texas and OU is too strong to resist after Syracuse/Pitt broke ranks.

          • bullet says:

            Missouri, like Texas and OU, doesn’t want to go to the SEC.

            If the Big 12 holds together, it gives them a better chance to eventually go to B1G. Plus, they probably make more money.

          • mushroomgod says:

            Theri fans sure do. The administration does not.

  107. Karl Benson says:

    The Western Athletic Conference would like to welcome the University of Texas at Austin as a non-football member.


    WAC basketball divisions

    WAC West

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

    WAC South

    Texas (non-football)
    Texas-Arlington (will add FBS football by 2020)
    Texas-El Paso
    Texas-San Antonio
    Texas State
    Louisiana Tech


    University of Texas annual football schedule

    Week 1: Rice or Sun Belt Conference opponent at Austin – Longhorn Network

    Week 2: Navy (at Austin or Fed Ex Field) – ESPN Networks

    Week 3: PAC opponent from California (USC, UCLA, Cal, or Stanford) – ABC (at Austin), ABC or FOX (at PAC)

    Week 4: WAC opponent at Austin – Longhorn Network

    Week 5: Oklahoma at Fair Park in Dallas – ABC

    Week 6: WAC opponent at Austin – Longhorn Network

    Week 7: Notre Dame (at Austin or South Bend) – ABC (at Austin), NBC (at South Bend)

    Week 8: WAC opponent at Austin – Longhorn Network

    Week 9 : BYU (at Austin or Provo) – ESPN Networks

    Week 10: WAC opponent at Austin – Longhorn Network

    Week 11: Army (at Austin or Yankee Stadium) – ESPN Networks

    Week 12: BYE

    Week 13: Texas A&M – ESPN

    WAC opponents: Texas-San Antonio, Texas-El Paso, Texas State, and Texas-Arlington or alternate opponent

  108. zeek says:


    As Hopkins mentioned, a Big 12 raid of the Big East has to be on the table.

    How could Louisville, WVU, Cincy, TCU, Rutgers, even UConn, turn down the Big 12 if Texas and OU are there.

    That conference will still be getting money hand over fist. Big East’s situation is way more precarious today than it was yesterday.

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      Let’s not forget BYU, either, with OU recommiting to the Big Zombie like the good little team players they are.

    • @zeek – I wouldn’t doubt that at all. What’s interesting is that a month ago, I had heard rumblings about Louisville and WVU being possible targets for the Big 12. (This was when the assumption that it would only lose A&M and before the OU to the Pac-12 storyline started.) I talked to a few people from those schools and they wanted absolutely nothing to do with being a part of a Texas-run Big 12. After the latest ACC raid, though? The prospect of being a Texas worker bee looks pretty damn good right now.

      • zeek says:

        Agreed re: that last sentiment. Wouldn’t it be odd if the ACC’s raid of the Big East led to long term stability with a survivable Big 12 (maybe with ND there as well in non-football sports)?

        • EZCUSE says:

          Poor Marinatto… with the Big XII imploding, he at least had a chance. Goes to a meeting. Rallies the troops. And now the Big XII is looking for a couple teams. Unreal.

          I feel sorry for him now. I do.

          • bullet says:

            He was going to add Villanova, Navy and Air Force to a BCS conference. Don’t feel sorry for him.

            Maybe the BEast can upgrade their commissioner. I understand there’s one in Dallas sending out resumes.

          • Phil says:

            “Rallies the troops”?? No, that was him just talking out of his other end as usual. He said after the meeting that the seven remaining schools committed to the conference, now multiple annoyed leaks have stated as many as three schools (WVU,UCONN, RU??) refused to do so.

          • M says:

            Bold idea: The Big East seems to want a new commissioner. Dan Beebe seems like he’ll be looking for a new job.

      • Hopkins Horn says:

        For the last year, my standard reaction has been “BYU or none of the above” when asked who I think the Big Zombie should target as replacement schools.

        Today? Not so sure. My initial reaction is to be aggressive in the face of a surviving a near-death experience and go for BYU/TCU/Louisville to get to 12. Or add Cincy/WVU to get to 14.

        • zeek says:

          I’d really lean towards being aggressive. 12 or 14 makes more sense than 10 to me for the Big 12.

          Texas is not going to be looking around anymore, and it’d be better for the conference if it has at least 8-10 if Texas and OU try to jump ship again.

          Plus, if you do that, you can take ND on as a non-football member.

        • Eric says:

          I think the old logic of TCU in the Big 12 still applies. With Texas already in there (plus Baylor and Texas Tech), they don’t really add that much and the focus should be elsewhere.

        • bullet says:

          From a financial standpoint Louisville + 3 Texas teams is probably an upgrade over having 4 Texas teams. UL and BYU are good adds. WVU is solid, but I think the SEC comes back and apologizes. Not sure who #12 is if WVU is gone. USF and TCU seem unlikely. 14 with UL,BYU,RU,UConn,UC maybe?

    • Craig Z says:

      I agree. Wouldn’t the Big 12 get their tournament credits since they are leaving as a group? If they did take those teams, that would be a pretty good basketball conference. It would also let Beebe say “See, I’m not the worst conference commissioner.” Assuming he still has a job after this.

      • vp19 says:

        Someone here earlier in the thread compared Dodds and Scott, saying his money was on Scott winning because of his Harvard degree, whereas Dodds was a track coach and an alum of Kansas State. Well, K-State just beat Harvard, though to be honest I think Berkeley and Stanford helped.

  109. frug says:

    Statement from David Boren:

    We were not surprised by the Pac 12′s decision to not expand at this time. Even though we had decided not to apply for membership this year, we have developed a positive relationship with the leadership of the conference and we have kept them informed of the progress we’ve been making to gain agreement from the Big 12 for changes which will make the conference more stable in the future. Conference stability has been our first goal and we look forward to achieving that goal through continued membership in the Big 12 Conference.

  110. EZCUSE says:

    Let’s run through our commissioners:

    Swofford: Added Pitt and Syracuse. I am personally pleased, but what was the ACC rush? Not like the B1G was swooping in on either school. And if the concern was football schools leaving, not sure taking two hoops schools is going to smooth things over. But… could be worse.

    Slive: Added A&M. Or wants to. But can’t because of Baylor’s power. Oh. Well, at least the SEC could get to 16 in 15 minutes. Except the ACC just upped their exit fee by 40%. OK, well… still have WVU and Missouri. Chooses Missouri. Whoops. But it could be worse.

    Scott: Just got the Pac-12 a raise by adding a non-AQ and a castoff from the Big XII. The Midas Touch. Heck… he’s so good, he can take more Big XII schools. With enough time, he’d solve the Middle East. Texas and Oklahoma don’t even really hate each other. FAIL! Oh well, the Presidents support me. FAIL! Well, it could be worse.

    Marinatto: Woken up from a slumber with news that Pitt and Syracuse defected. Curious as to why Navy and Villanova weren’t seen as long-term solutions. Oh well, the mascots sent by the football schools to the meeting in NY were friendly. The one that looked like a dog was cute. And they all wagged their tail at the idea of staying here forever. That’s never happened before. So he bravely announced that the Big East is stronger than ever!!!! Still… it could be worse.

    Lazarus Beebe: Just hangin’ on. Somehow. OU wants him out. And they have no leverage. So I guess he’ll stay. It will be interesting to see how few schools the Big XII can get to without changing their name.

    And then Delaney. He dropped the ball by not getting Missouri and Rutgers, according to some. Laughable. Last I checked, those two schools are quite available.

    • zeek says:

      I’ll add various schools and conferences:

      Big big win for Syracuse and Pitt. Without question. They secured their future today.

      ACC gets a win for mortally wounding the Big East, and there was a legitimate concern that Pitt might go to the Big 12 if it survived all of this. Not saying Swofford had the foresight to get that far ahead of the game, but Pitt/Syracuse were the best options to an ACC-14. No loss to the ACC in going there. Renegotiating its deal even for just a pro-rata increase would be fine. ACC might be impenetrable now. No concern at all about schools leaving unlike just a few weeks ago.

      This will lead the Big 12 to go back to 12 by raiding the Big East.

      Big East is the biggest loser here. They end up facing a split up football/basketball schools as well as a Big 12 raid.

      OU has a bit of egg on their face after today’s list of demands which were all a big bluff. They’re a bit of a loser here for not being able to land a Pac-14 invite at least. Not clear whether the SEC is interested in 16 to take them and OSU.

      Texas is a winner here. Gets their quasi-independence back (i.e. Big 12) in the form of keeping the LHN

      ND is a quasi-winner here. Big East could explode. But Texas/Big 12 might offer ND a spot for football independence (rest of sports in Big 12). That would make them a winner since the Big 12 might actually reach long term stability.

      • vp19 says:

        If the Big 12 only partially raids the Big East remnants (assume the Big 12’s current nine stays intact, leaving three vacancies), who goes in, who’s out, hanging by a thread for their BCS lives?

        Set up two scenarios where it only grows to 12 — A) where Rutgers and Connecticut are part of the mix, and B) where they’re ACC-bound and off the table.

        A. Rutgers, Connecticut, West Virginia
        B. West Virginia, Louisville, Cincinnati

        South Florida might enter via “B,” if only to get some sort of foothold in that talent-rich state, but Texas will try to keep Texas Christian out (and if it can’t, put TCU in an “opposite,” eastern-oriented division).

        • zeek says:

          Should we not assume BYU for #10 though? BYU makes the most sense, straight up.

          For #11-12 I’d go with WVU for sure along with Louisville probably? If they want 4, WVU, Cincy, Louisville, TCU in a move to 14.

          Something tells me Rutgers and UConn won’t have a Big 12 spot unless they move to a Big 16.

  111. M says:

    BYU Rivals site says BYU will be joining the Big 12, assuming they can be “assured” of stability.

    • zeek says:

      2 more to 12 if they want that. Who knows where this goes next.

    • vp19 says:

      Brigham Young probably just put the kibosh on Texas Christian in a reconstituted Big 12; even if it has 16 members, BYU would join the current Big 12 nine and the six Big East football members that are already in that league.

      In that vein, if you’re Rutgers or Connecticut, do you go with this league or still covet an ACC invite? Texas, Oklahoma and BYU for football probably have more potential appeal than North Carolina, Duke or Syracuse basketball.

      • zeek says:

        If the rest of the Big East schools are going, you have to go. You have no choice. Can’t wait out in the wild for the ACC.

        • Yeah, but what happens if they throw on a large “you owe us $20 million if you want to leave” or other onerous condition for joining? That’s when it will get interesting. If I was the Big XII the last thing I would want is more teams leaving in the next few years. I bet they’ll try to go the ACC route and put major penalties in place.

          • Phil says:

            Rutgers would take any offer they got. They already played the game when they turned down original Big East membership (sticking with Penn St and the dream of an eastern football conference) and cost their sports programs 10-15 years in the wilderness.

  112. plague.of.crickets says:

    I can see some or all of those schools accepting a Big 12 invitation out of desperation, but unless Texas and Oklahoma play nice, they’d just be jumping from a burning house to a snake pit. I feel bad for all involved; this whole realignment mess has benefitted some (NE, CO, Pitt, Syracuse), but seems to have made life worse for most (maybe even for Texas). I’m sure glad Nebraska got an early call.

  113. frug says:

    At the risk of looking like a jackass in a week, it’s worth reiterating that we aren’t done yet. There is still a mess in Providence, TAMU, Pitt and Syracuse have to find exit strategies, the SEC needs to find a 14th and the Big XII has some “issues” to work through.

    • zeek says:

      I’d think a lot of us would agree we’re nowhere near done yet.

      Even if BYU goes to the Big 12, do they stay at 10? Why not go for 12 or 14 which allows for a CCG and might be a stronger conference with the Big East schools in tow.

      Would ND come along for non-football?

      You’re also right that the Big East basketball schools and SEC’s #14 are also huge issues.

      Lot’s left to this drama.

      • vp19 says:

        If the Big 12 future is indeed secure and there’s less of an inclination for lawsuits, Slive still might pick off MIssouri, putting pressure on Texas to let TCU join the party.

    • Eric says:

      And then there is the big question of divisions. ACC divisions at 14 actually look pretty nice to set-up. Big 12 divisions if they go to 12 though are much harder to figure out.

      • bullet says:

        Most likely OU and UT stay together. That means BYU has to go in a northern division. Someone like Louisville gets put in the South.

        The alternative is the Big 6 in the north with BYU/TX schools and 2 eastern schools in the south.

        Its awkward, but its just for football. They gave up divisions in bb.

  114. zeek says:


    (SEC or Big Ten options at all?)

    “Well, I wouldn’t comment on that. If I told you, I’d have to kill you. (speaking to Dean Blevins; Berry Tramel heard advocating this in background) You’re too good of a person for me to have to want to do that. I think we’ve had options. It’s pretty well known we had options last year.

    (Pac-12 say to back off? Academic stuff? Just OU/OSU?)

    “No one has given us any words of discouragement on any front. No conference. Nor has the Big 12 given us any words of discouragement, either.


    From Boren’s chat earlier with Henry of the Oklahoman (I think).

    Who are you going to go with, Boren or PBC. Look, I get that OU might have some egg on their faces after that bluff today got exposed by the Pac-12. PBC has sources, but he also has his own agenda. I’ll take Boren’s word over PBC. No reason to believe that OU has been rejected by anyone other than the Pac-12.

  115. AstroBoiler says:

    If the Big 12 survives and the remaining Big East football schools join the Big 12, would the new Big 12 offer Notre Dame the same partial membership the Big East did? It was rumored that DeLoss Dodds offered Swarbrick this deal last year, but I’m not sure if Texas will have the same kind of power in a merged Big 12/Big East that they had previously. For instance, I can’t imagine Beebe lasting long on the job now that OU wants him gone.

    • zeek says:

      It seemed like Dodds offered ND a full spot in the Big 12, which ND wasn’t interested in…

      However, what you’re referencing is probably that Dodds mentioned offhandedly that the Big 12 might consider a similar non-football style relationship with ND at some point.

      That might be coming soon if the Big East schools move to the Big 12.

      • AstroBoiler says:

        Right, this was back before the Big Ten added Nebraska, and everyone expected them to destroy the Big East. Notre Dame would have been left without a conference for its non-revenue sports, and I think Dodds made some assurances to ND that they could stay independent in football.

  116. zeek says:

    Huge information out of Chip Brown:

    “I’ve been told Texas and Oklahoma officials will get together in the next week to iron out differences and pledge to at least a five-year commitment in the Big 12.

    The Longhorns, who had been hoping the Big 12 could stay alive from the beginning, got the news early Tuesday from Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott that he didn’t have the votes to expand.

    Sources told at least six Pac-12 presidents opposed further expansion, and Larry Scott needed nine of 12 votes to approve any new additions.”

    • zeek says:

      At least 6? Stanford, Cal, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Arizona State, and UCLA against it?

      Only USC + the 4 Washington/Oregon schools for it, is my guess. Mainly because it gets Washington/Oregon schools more games in South California if you go to a Pac-16. USC seems like it’d favor going East for exposure.

      Not sure whether this is for a Pac-16 or Pac-14 though. Seems like those ones against it would definitely be against a Pac-14 if it meant less South California or in the case of the first two (academics problems).

  117. M says:

    My final linked tweet for the night:

    PeteThamelNYT Pete Thamel
    My final thought for the night is that I’ll be STUNNED, after talking to 3 people today, if Mizzou ends up in SEC.

  118. RedDenver says:

    As a Nebraska fan, chalk us up as winners right now. Not involved in the ridiculous drama of the Big Zombie Conference (all rights for name to HH). Don’t have to deal with the now completely unstoppable force that is UT and the LHN (could be showing HS games by end of the month). Looking forward to playing football against the new conference mates.

    Now just waiting for UT and LHN to use some of that new-found super power to reel aTm back into the fold. The wailing and gnashing of teeth from College Station will be biblical. (Sorry, Aggies.)

  119. michael says:

    I think people have missed the story re: ACC move to 14.

    The story is not ACC moves to kill the Big East but rather the Big East has finally ruptured. It is true that conference realignment is in the air, but what happened here was the key Big East football schools have finally given up on the conference. None of this a surprise. The writing was on the wall when Marinatto was elected Big East commissioner, continuing the dominance of the basketball schools. The strategic plan to strengthen the (football) conference, built around promoting Villanova to D-1, was designed to improve the conference only somewhat, so as to not challenge the control of the conference by the basketball schools. TCU was a good move but after that — nothing. This was by design. Pitt and Syracuse quit the Big East — the ACC did not poach, notwithstanding the fact this move fits ACC’s strategic needs in this stage of conference instability.

    Nobody saw it coming because we were all thinking in terms of proactive moves by the stable conferences. It is more than a little interesting that all of the moves so far have been by schools that were unhappy to profoundly unhappy with their conference. So far, realignment has been driven mostly by schools leaving dysfunctional conferences (Big 12 and Big East) rather than being solicited by the desirable conferences. Of course, there is still the bouncer at the door — certain unhappy schools are not member-worthy ( cf WVU).

    It will be very interesting to see WBWD now that PAC has rejected OU etc. Assuming Texas is not hep to revenue sharing, has OU already decided to go to the SEC (assuming an OU/OSU package)? Would OU join forces with the rest of the Big 12 to force equal revenue even that means Texas leaves? There would be schools interested in a Big 12 sans Texas that still had the OK schools and Missouri. I doubt the Big East heals itself. Things are terribly broken.

    • zeek says:

      Look up to a few hours ago, the problem was the Big East’s strategy of returning to football prominence was to #1 get TCU (so far so good). Next, to not disturb the number of basketball schools (because heaven forbid we have 20 basketball schools in a conference when we’re already at 17), they tried to get Villanova up to FBS. The football schools weren’t biting.

      The next strategy apparently (new info today) was to get Navy and Air Force as football-only schools.

      Are you kidding me? On what planet would Navy and Air Force be able to restore respectability to the Big East’s football ranks. They’re military academies. It doesn’t even make sense for either side to consider this in an attempt to fix the Big East’s lack of football power.

      After that, Pitt/Syracuse decided enough was enough and Pitt (with Rutgers) pulled the plug on the $11M ESPN offer. Both jumped to the ACC.

      The Big East had a chance to survive this. They had to force the basketball schools to accept 20 schools in the basketball conference and go for some combination of 3 of Boise State, UCF, ECU, Houston among others.

      They were fiddling with the deck chairs while the Pac-12 was considering Texas/OU, and while the SEC was considering A&M. It was obvious that they weren’t making any attempt to try to even rationally keep up with the other conferences, so Pitt/Syracuse ran.

      Now, the Big 12 is reformed at 9, possibly with BYU at 10. They’re likely to go to 12 or 14 (or maybe 16) for a semblance of stability. Say hello to Louisville, WVU, Cincinnati, and USF or TCU or Rutgers or UConn.

      • EZCUSE says:

        Zeek… did you see Boeheim’s comment about ND nixing the $1B offer?

        A: With the state the Big East has been in and the fact that certain schools and Notre Dame’s one of them that voted down the football contract, we’d probably be in the Big East right now if it wasn’t for that. But now they’re crying about us leaving. They shouldn’t have even voted on the football contract because they’re not even in it.’’

        Q: To clarify, you’re talking about Notre Dame’s Father Jenkins being on the committee.

        A: “Yeah. I don’t know why that is. Why would he have a say on the football contract when they don’t participate in it? If they really wanted to keep the Big East together they would have come in in football, then we wouldn’t be talking about this.

        • zeek says:

          Ah, didn’t realize that. Well, I’d only seen the reports that it was Pitt and Rutgers that pushed against the contract. Didn’t realize that ND had a vote on the football contract…

        • gas1958 says:

          Boeheim said this on Pardon The Interruption yesterday also, although I don’t think
          he named names (ND) outright, but the inference was clear.

    • bullet says:

      The article someone posted the other day was interesting in that the ACC did it as a defensive move. Their biggest concern was that they would be locked out of good candidates if Pitt went to the Big 12. So the SEC and Pac convinced the ACC to expand.

  120. GW says:

    The one thing that seems to have been more or less missed on this board is the ACC’s motivations, perhaps due to Frank’s confusing post on the subject. It seems pretty clear to me that the ACC was/is very concerned about being raided.

    Sequence of events:
    1. FSU forms committee on realignment.
    2. ACC raises exit fees.
    3. ACC invites Pitt/Cuse

    1&2 happened more or less concurrently.

    ACC expansion had nothing to do with Notre Dame or Texas, imo. Someone reposted a Pitt insider’s take earlier that said as much and Coach K alluded to it, saying they might lose a few teams. All this leads me to believe that they had legitimate reason to fear, and the SEC/FSU chatter will heat up in the coming days/weeks.

    In light of this, the interesting nugget of the past few days is that Mizzou has an SEC invite. If true, the SEC could very well be gunning for 16.

    • GW says:

      btw, I have really been enjoying kirk bohls’ twitter throughout the Pac16 talks:

      kbohls kbohls
      Thank God Texas and OU decided to do what’s best for the student-athlete. Oh, right.
      49 minutes ago

    • M says:

      If the SEC could get to 14 by adding FSU and A&M, they wouldn’t go to 16 by adding Missouri and WVU.

  121. vp19 says:

    If this tweet above:

    “Big 12 schools told BE schools on Tuesday that they didn’t want a merger”

    is true, seven schools (including Texas Christian, if it’s not a Big 12 candidate) are in major difficulty. Are they doomed to remain with Marinatto, perhaps adding East Carolina and a few other members of dubious value?

    The ACC now has them behind the 8-ball, particularly Rutgers and Connecticut.

    • zeek says:

      Of course, they didn’t want a merger.

      And now that they have Texas and OU back (and Ponzi Beebe firmly in command), they’ll raid the Big East and offer ND a spot for non-football sports.

      I have to believe that the Big 12 brass will view it as imperative that they get back to 12-14 for some semblence of stability as well as a CCG.

      That means BYU and 2-4 of the Big East schools will get spots.

  122. Ross says:

    Here’s an interesting question, if Louisville is looking for a new home in the conference shuffling, how does that impact their AD revenue and, specially, the new KFC Yum Center?

    The Big East allows Louisville to sell alcohol at its games, which obviously produces revenue in itself but also means that alcohol companies also pay for advertising at Louisville games. If UofL were to join a conference where the sale of alcohol at athletic events is forbidden, how much does their revenue suffer? The alcohol sales would seem to be a big part of their payment plan for the new arena, and I know they top the basketball revenue charts solely because of that revenue.

    Interesting dilemma for the Cards, for more than just the obvious problems facing both them and their Big East brethren.

    • EZCUSE says:

      Yep. Good day to invest in flask futures.

    • RedDenver says:

      I thought the NCAA banned alcohol sales within 100 yards of any NCAA event. It’s why the Coors Event Center in Boulder quit selling alcohol years ago.

      • Mike says:

        West Virginia started selling beer this year, to help curb drinking. Seriously.

        I believe the alcohol ban covers NCAA championships only (exceptions exist for club levels and suites, which is why you can buy drinks at the College World Series). Schools can sell alcohol if they choose. I thought Colorado stopped selling beer due to behavior problems, but I could be wrong.

  123. Andy says:

    If the Big 12 decides to go to 16, their best option my be something like this:





    Iowa State
    Kansas State


    Air Force


    Texas Tech

  124. Andy says:

    My best guess at how it will sort out:

    Big 14

    Uconn/Rutgers/Louisvlle/Missouri/Iowa State/Kansas/KSU

    Texas/Texas Tech/Baylor/TCU/Oklahoma/Oklahoma State

    Notre Dame – Independent in Football, Big 14 in other sports

    SEC 14

    Texas A&M/LSU/Arkansas/Ole Miss/MSU/Alabama/Auburn

    West Virginia/Kentucky/Tennessee/Vandy/South Carolina/Georgia/Florida

    ACC 14

    Syracuse/Boston College/Maryland/North Carolina State/Wake Forest/Clemson/Florida S

    Pitt/Virginia/Virginia Tech/North Carolina/Duke/Georgia Tech/Miami

    Pac 12

    Washington/Washington State/Oregon/Oregon State/Stanford/Cal

    Colorado/Utah/Arizona/Arizona State/UCLA/USC

    B1G 12

    Nebraska/Michigan/Michigan State/Iowa/Northwestern/Minnesota

    Ohio State/Wisconisn/Penn State/Illinois/Purdue/Indiana

    USF and Cincinatti back to CUSA

    • Andy says:

      +BYU in the Big 14 Southwest

    • vp19 says:

      So under your scenario, instead of Baylor and Iowa State losing at musical chairs, it will be Cincinnati and South Florida. (If Florida State was picked off by the SEC, USF could certainly plug into FSU’s ACC slot. And if Brigham Young was insistent no alcohol be sold at conference events, Cincinnati might get a Big 12 nod over UL, which possibly then could find a home at the SEC should it go to 16.)

  125. MIKEUM says:

    Mentioned earlier by post but yes, Kirk Bohls at the Austin American Statesman newspaper provides pretty accurate reporting. Read today’s article, that the Pac basically was exhausted with the whole expansion thing and tired of negotiating.

    • Hank says:

      “the Austin American Statesman newspaper provides pretty accurate reporting”

      weren’t they reporting a couple of days ago that Scott was making concessions on the revenue model and it was just a matter of days?

      • zeek says:

        That might have been Chip Brown more than the A-AS.

        Wilner has been shooting that down though consistently saying that there’s been no headway between Texas and the Pac-12 at any point.

  126. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Seems to me that the Big 12 needs a Larry Scott-type of commissioner: a consensus-builder. The Pac-10 was not a particularly united conference prior to Scott’s arrival, with USC and UCLA commanding an unequal amount of revenue and influence. Now, Washington State, Oregon State, and, by 2014, Utah all will get the same amount of revenue as USC, Washington, Cal, and UCLA. With the exception a few whining USC fans who fail to realize that the newfound strength of the conference is from its equality, the result is that everyone in the league is very happy.

    In no successful conference does any single member carry such a disproportionate level of influence on policy to the point that members want to leave. Granted, Colorado wanted to leave not because of Texas; rather, they left because a west coast league was its more natural home. But Nebraska might have stayed had it not been for Texas’ persuasion of Tech, Oklahoma, Ok. State, and A&M to flirt with the Pac-10. A&M certainly would have stayed had it not been for Texas’ influence and the Longhorn network. A strong commissioner would keep the Longhorns’ power in check and keep the Longhorns happy all at the same time.

  127. PSUGuy says:

    Looks like OU/OSU are stuck unless they try and finangle a deal to head to the Big East as Pitt/Syracuse replacements (IMHO unlikely) or manage to swing the SEC invite (can’t see why they wouldn’t be offered).

    Now there’s a thought…SEC picks up TAMU, Ok, OkSt, and Mizzou(hope not)/WVU (sorry, still just don’t see FSU leaving the ACC). Texas is left with the Big12 which basically means “AQ independence”.

    • PSUGuy says:

      You know, once I think about it though…I really expect the SEC to continue to push for TAMU and stop at 14 with WVU. FSU will stay in the ACC (which sits at 14) and Mizzou will stick with the (more) depleted Big12 with Texas and Oklahoma. The Baylor’s of the world will allow TAMU to leave since Texas is staying (because OK is staying).

      The Big East / Big12 probably add a midling school or two off the usual list (then again maybe Boise finally gets a nod) to get their numbers back up, but in the end we finish up this year with two 14 team conferences (ACC, SEC), two 12 team (Pac, B1G), and the “leftovers” are left to simmer for another year.

      However, I expect the same type of conference conversations to be happening again next year…

    • Peter says:

      The SEC won’t offer them because OSU is extreme financial dilution. They are West Virginia in the Big 12 – no TV value and no institutional academic value. They are married to Oklahoma but Oklahoma is not an imperative for the SEC. The SEC has excellent national distribution as-is with their CBS deal and plenty of dominant football programs.

  128. diddly says:

    The National Collegiate Hockey Conference did NOT add Notre Dame with its two new additions.

  129. Eric says:

    What do you guys think the odds are that the Big 12 doesn’t expand past 10? I know that seems to be the assumption, but it might be difficult to find members who add more value than they take at that point (especially if we are going to more equal revenue sharing) and division issues are pretty big with two kings who want to remain in the same division.

    • bullet says:

      I think the idea is that 12 adds stability. Its easier to absorb the loss of 1 or 2 (as long as those aren’t UT or OU). The championship game adds enough to pay for 1 school even if the two adds were UTSA and Texas State.

      I’m pretty certain they get back to the Big 12 even if its slightly dilutive. In any event, they will all be making more when the ESPN contract comes up shortly.

      BYU this week or early next. They may sit back until spring when they have more time to run through the scenarios for #11 and #12 and they have a chance to get some sleep. But then again, the whole BE is probably flying down to Dallas this week with their applications, so it may be quicker.

      • zeek says:

        Agreed; the semblance of stability is important.

        The CCG will help cover a lot of the costs of adding 2. Getting back to 12 is imperative in my mind. Being at 10 isn’t really that great an idea when you’re in a world with several 12-14 team conferences.

    • SH says:

      I think for UT/OK it is a wise move. A CCG hurt the B12 in the past with respect to getting 2 teams into the BCS.

  130. footballnut says:

    Well, maybe add BYU, Louisville, Cincy. But, traveling out to the east coast for vollyball an swimming and such from BYU or UT/OU would take its toll.

    I think you are right that they would be happy at 10 if the TV dollars didn’t add up for adding Cincy, UL or WV. And to be honest, those schools add basketball value but not much football (sorry WV).

    It’ll be intersting what concessions UT will have to make with the LHN for OU. Big drama there.

  131. EZCUSE says:

    I take back my pity for Marinatto. Last night’s comments were about taking people at their word, etc.

    NO… today’s era is about actions, not words. Make the football schools pledge to stay–double the exit fee or leave. Where are they going to go? You’ve got the leverage, use it.

    Then, locking in the 7 football schools, you have a solid foundation to build on. And if any school refuses to sign–pretty good indication that you should not be taking their word.

    Heck, most conferences should periodically bind themselves more. The ACC’s exit fee raise should be revisited every few years. The B1G media rights assignment–same thing. Rolling 25 year assignment. If you’re in, you’re in.

  132. Mike says:

    For Jake

    via @Dave_Matter

    Heard this from Big 12 school official: If Big 12 can survive, league needs to get Texas to change mind on letting in TCU.

    • EZCUSE says:

      I think Texas could spin a TCU addition to its favor. “We lost A&M, but we are getting TCU–the only other Texas team to make a BCS appearance in the past ___ years. If TCU could be successful with limited resources, we are confident that TCU can do wonders with the resources that A&M had while in the Big XII. We look forward to an exciting in-state rivalry.”

      • EZCUSE says:

        Just throwing this out there. Would a TCU/Notre Dame combination be enticing for ND to join the ACC?


        A: ND, BC, Pitt, Syracuse, Va Tech, Maryland, Virginia, Miami
        C: TCU, GT, Clemson, FSU, NC 4.

        Heck, you could swap Miami and TCU too. Regardless, ND and TCU could play their games in the Jerry Dome. ND and Carolina in Charlotte. ND and GTU in Atlanta. In fact, if TCU was a protected rivalry, they would always get Texas visibility.

        Add USC to the West, Navy, and Michigan. What is more national than that for ND?

        ND and TCU would placate FSU. The ACC would keep up with the SEC in having a Texas footprint.

    • Eric says:

      I don’t really understand why the non-Texas schools would want TCU so badly. What do they add that BYU or someone else doesn’t? Is there a desire to get back to 12, but not expand into the Big East?

      • Eric says:

        I should have said current Big East. I know TCU is heading there next year.

      • EZCUSE says:

        Why not add both BYU and TCU? What’s the downside? And if they added Boise St. too, you are looking at quite the football conference again. The three biggest football non-AQ powers, all at once.

        Regardless, forcing Texas to not be happy for once would probably make some schools happy. Plus, if Texas makes a ton of $$$ on LHN and leaves somehow, they still have a solid core to build around too.

  133. jcfreder says:

    Very interesting development, in part because some parties have extended themselves assuming that the Pac16 was going to happen, but it didn’t, and now we’ve seen their cards.

    –Oklahoma clearly wanted out, made a bunch of threats about what it would take to bring them back to the B12, but now they have almost no leverage. Why should Texas cave on the LHN stuff now? Where is Oklahoma going to go as a credible threat? Now that the B12 is in reconciliation mode, does this cut off the Sooners’ ability to start their own network? They seem like the biggest losers here by far.

    –The SEC must have felt pretty confident about Mizzou, but now do they have to go back to WV after the Mountineers have already been rebuffed? I can’t see the SEC staying at 13 for the long-term, so there should be some intrigue here.

    –As for B12 expansion, I can’t see them going beyond 12 because the money won’t be there. Adding BYU is a no-brainer.

    –The Big East is not out of the woods. Both the ACC and B12 could come calling for the likes of UConn, Rutgers, LVille, etc. If either of these conferences makes a move, the BE is in real trouble, which brings me to . . .

    –Notre Dame, which has to be sweating this a bit. The loss of Syracuse and Pittsburgh was a big blow to the BE, but if it can hang on without further losses, Notre Dame probably stays in the BE. If the conference is gutted, it creates a real problem. We’ve already heard that it would be unlikely for ND to park its non-football programs in a Catholic league, but at least such a league would fit the school’s image and geographical desires. If there’s no BE, then it does raise the question whether B12 non-football status is available (I think it would be), but the geography of it is awful for the Domers’ east coast identity. Another option is the ACC, but would they bring in the Irish as a non-football member? If the only non-football option is the B12, would ND go with that over finally biting the bullet and joining a more prestigious and geographically friendly conference (ACC or B10) for all sports?

    • Mike says:

      Big winner: A&M. OU stays and Baylor won’t sue.
      Big loser: Baylor’s lawyers and their billable hours.

    • M says:

      Oklahoma to Texas “Stop treating us like a kept mistress.”
      Texas to Oklahoma “We’ll do whatever we want. You have nowhere to go.”

    • Larry says:

      Texas played OU like a fiddle. OU was making noise about leaving to the PAC with or without UT and next thing you know Texas appears to be on the PAC bus with OU. But Texas must have known its unequal revenue plan would never fly in the PAC “culture of equality”.

      Machiavellian Texas appears to be accommodating OU while simultaneously scuttling the deal, stopping the OU (and OSU) exodus, and retaining their beloved LHN. Additionally Texas effectively removed any leverage OU has.

      • Eric says:

        I don’t think there was ever going to be a deal without Texas. Scott was good, but he is never going to get the votes for less California access (especially southern California) if it wasn’t at least made up for with big exposure in Texas.

  134. footballnut says:

    Lots of U of Houston support though too. That’s quite a fight if BYU does not join. Big 12 leaders already talked/talking to BYU, not anyone else. If BYU thing falls through, then you have a good fight between Uof H and TCU. U of H is big…38,000 and has a ton of legislative support. U of H could play at Reliant stadium if they wanted too. TCU small, but successfull. Crummy small stadium, but strong Dallas support. Interesting side battle there.

    Big 12 will leave Big East orphans alone because ND is running that show. They need a league to park their non-football sports and will work to keep the BE alive in some form. Can’t belive they turned down a BILLION dollar offer to join BE in football. Arrogance….

    • zeek says:

      TCU is rebuilding their stadium I thought. Should be pretty nice when it’s done. I recall hearing something about the Camden Yards of Texas or something like that.

      • Jake says:

        @zeek – Indeed, it’s about halfway finished. Should look pretty slick when it’s done. I don’t know about this Camden Yards of college football thing, though. It’s an art deco style, doesn’t look much like any ballpark I’ve seen. Supposed to seat around 43,000 when it’s done, with ample standing room and the ability to expand well beyond 50,000 “at a moment’s notice,” if the press releases are to be believed. And if we have a really big game, there’s a pretty decent stadium about 20 miles away in Arlington. I think they played some kind of bowl there back in February.

        Here’s a link to the latest on the stadium:

        Houston’s advantages are entirely political; it’s a state school with some friends in Austin (the capitol, not the 40 acres). Yeah, it’s big, but it’s also a commuter school with pretty poor fan support. But they are fun to watch. They keep talking about building a new stadium to replace that former high school stadium they’re in, but I haven’t heard much about moving dirt.

    • EZCUSE says:

      Notre Dame apparently voted to turn down that deal. While I understand the not kicking ND out part, I don’t understand the ND having a vote on football matters part.

      • Eric says:

        Wasn’t the deal for all the sports though? Did they vote on the basketball and football parts separately or just turn down the whole thing?

  135. mushroomgod says:

    Did someone say WV was #179 in the US News ratings? I think the SEC is looking at A@M in the 60s or so and wanting a better academic match. So they have a problem right now. If I was the ACC I wouldn’t go to 16 with Rutgers and U CONN at present, as it might put FSU, Va Tech, or Clemson in play………

    • zeek says:

      ACC’s best play is to stay at 14 and protect its flanks. FSU and co. were all on board with the addition of Pitt/Syracuse as it removed its main competitor…

  136. Mike says:


    If the collegiate athletic landscape were static, then passing on OU would have minimal impact on the future. But we all know the Big Ten and SEC will grow in the next few years.

    You get a chance to grab a program of OU’s caliber, you have to take it — not for today but for 10 or 20 years down the road.

    Instead, the Pac-12 took a pass because the CEOs are content with where the league stands right now. They’re content with the money and the TV network and the structure … the whole shebang, really.

    You know what? They were content in a decade ago, too, and look what happened.

    • Mike says:

      If I’m Scott, I let Nevada and UNLV know that they need to up their academic and athletic profile. If they ever want to expand their best choices are the Nevada schools, Hawaii, and New Mexico.

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      So, in other words, they should have had the foresight to cut a deal on LHN today if they want to think decades down the road.

      • Mike says: