There’s a general assumption by much of the public that the dominant force of home entertainment in the future will be video streaming.  Whether it’s viewing TV shows via the Internet instead of cable or picking out movies for the evening, streaming enables immediate access to content with video quality that is continuously improving.  Thus, many investors earlier this year were pushing Netflix to move away from its cash cow DVD plan business and instead emphasize its streaming service.  In fact, a popular view on Wall Street seemed to be that Netflix’s largest problem was that too many people were still using the DVD-by-mail service that had made the company so dominant in the first place.  So, the opening salvo was when Netflix separated its DVD and streaming plans with higher prices (with the intended effect being that subscribers would choose dropping the DVD plan).  That move was about as popular as Santa Claus at an Eagles game.  Still, Netflix pressed on by subsequently announcing that it would completely split off its DVD business into a separate company called Qwikster, which would force customers to create different accounts for each service.  The public immediately vomited all over this plan and the investors that were pushing Netflix to go full bore into streaming started crushing the company’s stock price.  Finally, Netflix ended up issuing a mea culpa yesterday and reversed its decision to split the two sides of the business.  A firm that had built one of the most loyal customer bases through word-of-mouth over the past decade effectively wiped out all of its goodwill reserves within a couple of months.

The problem with Netflix is that even though it pushed streaming as the future, its streaming content isn’t satisfactory in the present.  There’s only a fraction of the number of movies and TV shows available on the streaming service compared to the regular DVD-by-mail, particularly new releases.  As a result, consumers that once saw Netflix as a good deal started thinking that it wasn’t providing great value any longer.  At the same time, Netflix customers (including me) have generally been perplexed as to why improvements in streaming and the use of DVDs need to be mutually exclusive.  (To be sure, my 2-year twins use the Netflix app on our iPad all of the time to stream Sesame Street and the abominable Spanglish of Dora the Exploer, so there’s certainly a convenience factor for me personally.  It’s also a testament to the late Steve Jobs that he created such intuitive products that my kids were able to figure out how to use our iPad and iPhones by the time they were about 16 months old.)  Netflix gave the public a message that the DVD service was holding the streaming service back, but the reality is that one has little to do with the other.  Instead, Netflix’s issue is that the streaming content still needs a ton of improvements regardless of the state of the DVD business and, more importantly, the service faces paying skyrocketing streaming rights fees to and direct competition from the movie and TV studios themselves (such as Hulu).

The Big East is the Netflix of the college sports world.  It has a product (basketball) that completely built the conference and is still regarded across the nation as high quality.  However, the conference knows that its weaker product (football) is the revenue driver of the future.  The problem is that improving the football product isn’t that simple and really has little to do with basketball.  A lot of Big East football fans would tell you that the basketball side of the conference has been holding the football side back and that’s the reason why schools like Syracuse and Pitt ended up leaving for the ACC.  Therefore, the argument goes, the Big East would be served best by the football members splitting from the rest of the conference.  However, this is a straw man argument similar to Netflix claiming that it needed to get rid of its DVD business in order to build its streaming business.  Just because the Big East was excellent in basketball didn’t mean it caused any type of problem for its football league.  If anything, the only reason why Big East football gets any ESPN coverage at all is its ties to the basketball side.  The Big East’s football problems have been with the performance of its football programs themselves and a lack of a national brand name ever since Miami left for the ACC in 2003.  In fact, the Big East football league was born with two left feet since it never had the one school that really mattered on the East Coast: Penn State.

Ultimately, the Big East’s presidents know this, which is why they haven’t been exactly quick to add on new football schools willy-nilly even with its league under attack and aren’t even considering a split from the Catholic members.  With the Big East basketball TV contract already larger than the football TV contract (both in total amounts and on a per school basis), keeping the top basketball brand names and large markets is now more important for the whoever remains in the conference than ever (even if a lot of Big East football fans are now even more vehement in pushing for a split).

Switching to the Big 12 expansion drama for a moment (as it has a great impact on what the Big East will end up doing), I won’t believe that BYU isn’t joining the Big 12 until that league expands to 12 schools again without them.  Put me in the tin foil hat category of thinking that the reason why BYU has supposedly “fallen off the Big 12 list” according to a number of reports is that DeLoss Dodds and company is trying to put public pressure on the Provo school by getting their alums all riled up.  It appears the major sticking points are TV rights issues with BYUtv, which believe it or not actually receives more rights to broadcasts and rebroadcasts than the Longhorn Network.  However, this all seems to be resolvable by both parties.  If BYU turns down a Big 12 invite because of reruns of football games, then the LDS leaders are on LSD.  BYU makes complete sense as school #10 in the Big 12 if and when Missouri leaves for the SEC.

Therefore, let’s assume for the moment that the Big East retains all of its remaining 6 football members, including but not limited to Louisville and West Virginia.  With the news that the Big East now wants to go up to 12 football schools (although I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it stayed at 10), it obviously begs the question about who the league should add.  These seem to be the main tiers of candidates that the Big East is looking at:

(1) Service Academies (Navy, Air Force, Army) – By all accounts, Navy, Air Force and Army are the top priorities for the Big East as football members.  As I’ve mentioned previously, adding these schools would be a smart move because I believe that none of the other AQ conferences are going to remove AQ status from a league that has all 3 service academies (or even just two of them).  The academies have great brand names, traveling fan bases and political protection.  Of course, that’s also why they’re going to be hard to get and it’s not a guarantee that the Big East can add any of them.

(2) Classic BCS Buster (Boise State) - It warms my heart that my Big Country Conference dream of a football-only league combining the Big East with the top non-AQ schools from the west is starting to seem plausible with the Providence crowd looking to add Boise State.  (The schools in that original Big Country Conference post will need to change, but the concept remains the same.)  Boise State is in a bind since the Pac-12 will never accept it due to academic and cultural reasons while the Big 12 doesn’t seem to be seriously interested, either.  Meanwhile, the Big East is seeking to strengthen its AQ credentials as much as possible (even though I personally don’t believe the league’s bid is truly in danger of being taken away after 2013, which is when the current BCS cycle concludes).  Thus, the only BCS option for Boise State appears to be the Big East and the Big East’s best option to add some national cache seems to be Boise State, which looks like a horrific geographic fit on paper but really isn’t that bad if it’s a football-only membership.  Football really isn’t the killer on travel costs since it’s only a handful of trips every year – it’s the non-football schools that bear the brunt of travel issues.  Let’s say that the Big East adds Air Force as a football-only member and a couple of Texas-based schools (which will be discussed in a moment) to create a western division.  That cuts down the geographic concerns of Boise State a bit further for football and the school could look to place its other sports in the WCC or WAC.  Karl Benson, the WAC commissioner, has already stated that he’d be open to discussing a non-football arrangement for the former full member Broncos.  This seems like a long-shot for the Big East, but Boise State would be the one potential addition that would truly move the needle nationally, so John Marinatto needs to try it.

(3) Inside the Footprint (Central Florida, Temple) – Most conferences are looking for new markets when considering expansion candidates.  However, the Big East is a bit different because it’s never had an issue with markets themselves, but rather the lack of the ability to deliver such markets.  Therefore, the Big East doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) have the same issues with potentially “double dipping” in many of its home markets since the conference may need to do so in order to even hope to deliver them.  Enter UCF and Temple, which by a number of accounts appear to be the two most likely and immediate all-sports additions to the Big East as the interest seems to be reciprocal between the schools and the league.

In the case of UCF, it’s a massive school in a football recruiting stronghold that would prevent South Florida from being a complete geographic outlier in the conference.  Personally, I see UCF’s ceiling as basically being another version of USF.  I’ll always be skeptical that either of those schools can breakthrough in one of the most competitive college football fan markets in the country with the presence of Florida and Florida State casting overwhelming shadows along with Miami (who I believe a lot of conference realignment observers seem to be mistakenly underrating in terms of long-term staying power) not too far away.  However, the Big East is going to have a tough time to find any school that’s going to be considered #1 or even #2 in any market of substantial size, anyway, so doubling down on the Florida market is a fairly reasonable approach.

For Temple, it’s a matter of location, location, location.  The Philadelphia market is obviously an attraction on paper and, maybe more importantly, it’s virtually impossible to position yourself as a Northeastern football conference without at least some presence in the state of Pennsylvania (which has gone out the door with Pitt to the ACC for the time being).  Temple has made a ton of strides with the financial support of its football program since it was ousted as a football-only member of the Big East several years ago and has a lot of basketball tradition.  At the same time, the objections that Villanova have had (and may still have) to Temple entering as an all-sports member are likely going to go be the wayside (or at least ignored by the other Big East members) when the very survival of the conference itself is in jeopardy.  I’m someone that really respects Villanova as an institution (great academics with a marquee basketball program), but the school has had chances to jump up to AQ status for football that around 60 other football programs would KILL for yet they’ve never grabbed the proverbial bull by horns.  It has always seemed that Villanova considering a move up from Division I-AA status to Division I-A was simply about protecting its basketball program as opposed to actually investing in football, so now the school is going to have to live with the long-term consequences of its slow actions by probably having to let in (or maybe more appropriately, be forced to live with) a direct competitor for all sports in its own backyard.

(4) Yellow Roses of the Big East (SMU, Houston) – If Boise State and/or Army don’t end up joining the Big East as football-only members, then I expect SMU and Houston to be next on the list as potential all-sports candidates.  I’ve really been warming up to SMU lately despite its taint of Craig James, as it’s a great academic school in a top-tier market.  If the Big East basically believes all of the C-USA candidates are effectively on the same tier of quality (and I think that’s essentially what the league is thinking), then SMU starts looking pretty attractive as an overall institution.  As a school, there are a lot of similarities there to the former Big East member that never played a Big East game TCU (albeit not with the same recent football success).  Houston doesn’t bring in great academics (which is a mark against them), but fits the urban profile of the rest of the Big East as a similar school as Louisville, Cincinnati, USF and potential member USF along with bringing in another large market and recruiting territory.  It also helps that Houston has been fairly competent on the football field lately and can point to excellent tradition in basketball.

(5) So You’re Telling Me There’s a Chance (East Carolina, Memphis) – Speaking to a lot of Big East football fans, it seems that East Carolina is a common “people’s choice” as an expansion candidate.  It makes sense on some levels as it’s a program that has fairly strong attendance and fan support for a non-AQ school as well as being unequivocal in its desire to join the Big East.  However, I get the impression that the Big East looks at East Carolina in the same manner that the SEC looks at West Virginia: despite a geographic fit and solid fan base, those factors aren’t enough to overcome what’s perceived to be a small market (unlike a national name like Nebraska or Boise State).  East Carolina is arguably the best pure football school on paper out of the Big East candidates besides Boise State, but the Pirates aren’t so far ahead of the other C-USA candidates that the Providence crowd would choose them over schools located in better markets or have stronger academics.

Meanwhile, there might not be a school in the country that has had worse timing in terms of going through its ugliest stretch of football performance (or non-performance) in its history than Memphis.  If the Memphis football program had ANY type of pulse, it would be near the top of the list of Big East expansion candidates with its strong basketball fan support (which could conceivably bleed over to football), FedEx corporate ties, a Liberty Bowl tie-in and traditional rivalries with Louisville and Cincinnati.  Instead, the Tigers are almost certainly going to be relegated to non-AQ status for quite awhile.

Call me crazy, but put me in the camp as someone that believes that the Big East will continue to survive as an AQ conference in some shape or form.  Notre Dame certainly wants the league to live (although not enough to actually join the Big East as a football member) and the other AQ conferences aren’t really that hot to either destroy the Big East completely or kick it out of the AQ club.  Continuing to grant a BCS bowl bid to the Big East champ is chump change to the rest of the AQ conferences compared to the political heat that could result from throwing out a league that has any service academies and large flagship universities in the Northeast.  It’s imperative to the Big Ten, SEC and other AQ conferences that the BCS system itself is preserved, which likely means that they need to keep the Big East in the fold.

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

(Image from moviefone)

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  1. greg says:

    Hawkeyes #1 team in the Motor City Bowl!!!

  2. herbiehusker says:

    Go Big Red!

  3. duffman says:

    repost from last thread,

    Big 12 – 1 – 1 – 1 + 1 +/-1 to remain at 10 for 2012

    • John says:

      This is almost funny. By what grounds does the Commish have to say that Mizzou is locked in for 2012? What a difference 24 hrs can make. On Monday TCU switches conferences, on Tuesday B12 commish says it’s too late to be switching conferences for next season. That’s rich! : )

  4. Christian says:


  5. zeek says:

    Breaking news on Missouri. Staying for 2012.

    So SEC is likely to actually do the 13 team setup for 1 year at least…

  6. zeek says:

    Neinas says Missouri report is inaccurate

    A 45-page study out of Missouri was leaked to the Associated Press on Monday and stated that the university could gain $12 million per year with a move to the SEC. Neinas isn’t buying it.

    “If an institution in the Southeastern Conference is going to get $12 million more annually, and there are 14 members, that means they would have to increase their annual income from TV by $168 million,” Neinas said.

    He followed up after being asked if he thought that was possible.

    “I don’t think that’s accurate,” he said. “You can ask ESPN or somebody if they want to pay another $168 million. I don’t think that’s in the cards.”

    Neinas said he thought the money would be a wash, and noted that he hoped Missouri would realize the Big 12 has some cards to play, too.

    “I would like to see it,” Neinas said of the report. “I’d like to know who wrote it.”


    This guy is definitely the right guy to be in charge of the Big 12. Not that things would have been necessarily been different, but he just has the aura of competence. That can only help in a situation like this…

    • bullet says:

      I get the impression Neinas is viewed like a grandfather figure and has everyone’s respect.

      As I said to Duffman’s post, in the other thread, it looks like Missouri decided the cost to get out for 2012 was too expensive.

  7. bullet says:


    I don’t think the academies care about AQ. So I think they only harm the BE AQ bid. They hurt in perception and they hurt in strength and don’t help politically. I do think they may well be among the best schools for exposure and TV value.

    The bowls don’t want the BE. Only WVU brings fans. UL, USF and Cincy don’t carry a lot of political clout. They are newcomers. I think BE AQ is at real threat, if not in 2013, 4 years after that. Rutgers has some political clout, but they don’t have athletic success and they have a lot of faculty opposition. UConn has some political clout, but is a newbie to FBS. WVU is the only school who is unquestionably AQ level in terms of fan support, success and history. And WVU seems likely to end up in the Big 12 if the Big 12 decides to give up being mathematically challenged.

    Most importantly, if the BE doesn’t weaken CUSA and MWC, the gap between the BE and them decreases or becomes in the other conferences’ favor.

    • EZCUSE says:

      Again… what about the actual numbers regarding AQ status?

      We all talk about names… but GERG put Syracuse in the Bottom 10 more often than not. For the Big East losing USF might have been worse for AQ status than losing Syracuse. Losing Cincy might be worse than losing Pitt. If Lville got snagged by the Big XII, they might lose the Kragthorpe era. That has to be better than losing UConn (although Pasqualoni might make that a close call).

  8. bullet says:

    Think there is some point where the basketball schools grow tired of adding schools they don’t really want? If WVU and UL leave would they consider just telling Cincy, UConn, RU and USF they could stay but have to play football somewhere else?

    Have they already reached that point with the Villanova and service academy expansions?

    • vp19 says:

      On the surface, that would make sense. But the basketball schools would run the risk of Notre Dame deciding to park its non-football sports in another conference.

      Just another reason to hate this silly, clumsy hybrid.

    • gregenstein says:

      I don’t think so for what it’s worth. The Big East gets some of it’s recognition from being an AQ football conference, and I think that trickles over to basketball. The Catholic schools really could have terminated the contract according to what Frank posted a while ago since 2 schools are leaving, but they seem to be very willing to keep it together. That tells me they like having the “brand recognition” of being an AQ. Otherwise, they’d look a lot like the Missouri Valley conference and I don’t think they want relegated to being labeled a “mid major” even if now it seems kind of appropriate.

      • zeek says:

        Other thing is that the Catholic schools need the basketball from the football schools. They need Louisville and WVU for basketball credibility.

        • Dave says:

          Because Villanova, Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame, and St. John’s lack basketball credibility somehow (Providence and Seton Hall are respectable, though DePaul is not)?

          • zeek says:

            I meant they need that credibility in order to remain in competition with the ACC as the best basketball conference or a close #2 with the loss of Syracuse/Pitt.

    • Eric says:

      I’ve wondered the same thing. I think it’s absolutely in the best interest of the football schools to have an expanded hybrid, but the basketball schools themselves might be better off on their own if the only way to get there is adding more schools way outside the footprint. Syracuse and Pitt both were very much in the footprint and combined the football and basketball interests. If the all sports replacements are mostly for teams in Florida and Texas (and a Temple team that Villanovia will oppose), maybe the basketball teams best interest is too turn down any new invitees, indirectly leading to the football schools leaving. Then they could add some basketball powers in the northeast and Midwest and might actually be better for it.

  9. EZCUSE says:

    The Big East will survive. But the teams will always have one eye on the door.

    How funny would it be if the Big East cultivates Temple into a solid football program this time around… and then Temple becomes the plausible 16th team to join a hypothetical ND @15 some day? If you get ND, do you really need UConn or Rutgers for the NYC market anymore?

    Meanwhile, that solves the BC problem with UConn and what should be a Syracuse problem with Rutgers. Syracuse’s 15-winning season streak was built on talent from NJ, Conn, and Florida.

    While Pitt brings W PA, Temple could bring E PA. There has to be enough talent in that state to support three AQ teams. Temple just needed to commit to it.

    Picture this:
    Atlantic: BC, Temple, Pitt, ND, Syracuse, Maryland, Va Tech, Miami
    Coastal: Clemson, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Duke, UNC, NC State, Virginia, Florida State

    Locked in rivalry games, plus 1.

    An ND schedule would include potential trips to Boston, Pitt, Philly, NYC or Meadowlands (via Syracuse), Maryland, Va Tech (in DC? sometimes), and Miami. Plus a locked-in regional game with Georgia Tech (Atlanta?).

    Throw in a game in California (USC)… Navy…. and a rotating cast of characters in game 12 (Michigan, other Big 10 schools, Stanford, Texas) and you have as close to a national schedule as they will ever get in any conference.

  10. gregenstein says:

    Good call on this one Frank. I’d actually be somewhat surprised if they don’t get the Service Academies. Their appeal stretches beyond schools with a similar amount of “fans”. Air Force and Navy both seem open to it. While it’s not an ideal scenario for them to be in separate conferences, having all the service academies in 1 conference makes their scheduling lives so much easier. Notre Dame would be ecstatic as well since they have traditional rivalries with both the Black Knights and Midshipmen. They might be hard to get, but no AQ conference has ever offered a seat for all 3 simultaneously. That’s the key difference here.

    Assuming those 3 can be convinced to join, that leaves 3 spots. My best guesses those go to UCF, SMU, and Boise.

    I can see the basketball divisions now: Pistol and Pope.

    • EZCUSE says:

      If the Big East was REALLY smart… they would add about 8 teams. Temple and ECU. And if Boise St says no, then Houston. Get markets. That was what the Big East was always about.

      Now… if a few teams leave, you drop to 12 teams.

      Put that conference on the open market in 2012-2013 and see who pays what. Got to be better than the pittance ($4.5M) that the Big East had from ESPN these past several years.

      • gregenstein says:

        I could see this being smart trying to setup a West Division like Frank said. Throw in SMU and Houston, and you have a nice western flavor with something that is harder to break up.

        You almost have to put the 3 service academies in the same division though to allow them to play their annual round robin, and thus that throws off the East/West split for divisions. For football though, the ACC and B1G already threw geography out, so no qualms there. They could maybe go mostly North/South though with no protected games. This actually protects all the rivalries worth saving in this particular 14 team fantasy league. Not exactly a gang busters league but potentially still worthy of BCS inclusion…or rather, not worthy of the backlash of being kicked off the island…

        North: Air Force, Army, Navy, Boise State, Rutgers, UConn, WVU
        South: SMU, Houston, UCF, USF, ECU, Cincinnati, Louisville

  11. Purduemoe says:

    I’m beginning to think that the Big East is dead as a football conference. If Mizzou is in the Big 12 next year, I think that means that WVU gets the SEC invite. With WVU gone, you would then have to add 7 teams. Has any conference ever done that sort of thing? There would be no continuity in the conference. This looks more like the last desperate death throws then a viable plan, but maybe I am wrong and they can survive in football.

    Having said that, the Big East is still a strong basketball conference, and probably will survive. But you have to wonder if they are going to have to add some basketball names to maintain. Losing Pitt and Syracuse, and potentially a WVU or even a Louisville would be a huge blow to the league’s prestige.

    • zeek says:

      Big East has already been through this with the loss of Miami/Va Tech/BC. Look at where the teams are from; USF, Louisville, and Cincinnati, were all from C-USA. UConn has only been D-1 for a decade.

      WVU and Rutgers are really the only “longtime” members, and it’s obvious at this point that WVU is the only team with tradition. Pitt and Syracuse had a lot of football tradition from the 70s/80s even though they haven’t done much of late…

      As for basketball, they’re still the 2nd or 3rd (at worst) best basketball conference in the country, maybe even competitive for first with the ACC. Sure they lost two glamour names in Syracuse and Pitt, but the basketball is not their problem. Maintaining the football AQ entirely is.

      They’re probably going to lose WVU to the Big 12 or SEC depending on Missouri’s decision if the ACC remains intact. Don’t really know how they’d be any different from C-USA in terms of tradition if they lose WVU. As others have pointed out, WVU is basically their main bowl/TV draw now…

    • Yahtzee says:

      Mizzou to SEC is not dead by any stretch. Anyone closely following this can see that Neinas’ comments since assuming the captaincy of the Titanic have thusfar mimicked the scattershot approach of Chip Brown (err, DeLoss Dodds) — throw baseless ideas out there to determine what sticks.

      When all is said and done (and I still believe that this will happen in time for 2012), Missouri will be moving to the SEC.

      • vp19 says:

        Agreed. At most, this is a holding pattern by Slive; perhaps by waiting a year, he can corral Missouri, West Virginia and either Virginia Tech or Florida State for the 16-member SEC he desires.

        • hangtime79 says:

          Or Neinas keeps Mizzou and grabs Louisville and WVU, locks’em all down for six years (Mizzou has the time to wait the Big 10 out), and puts the SEC up the creek. That to me is a much more likely scenario then a 16 team SEC. The SEC is not pulling anyone out of the ACC at this point that much I believe to be true. Va Tech has made its wishes known to stay. FSU and possibly Clemson are the only two wavering members and even then neither brings new markets. Again, despite what Slive has said about getting to 16 in 15 mins his conference has the most difficult task in adding any new members. He is geography constrained (can go no further west then Texas and no further north then Virginia, needs cultural fit (large public universities with outrageous fan bases), and big-time media markets (again given the geography his only options are DC, NC, DFW, Houston, and St. Louis. These factors severely limit his options. TAMU was a perfect fit but don’t think for a minute they wanted them this coming year. Five years, maybe; but not the headache that it brought on this year.

          • vp19 says:

            I would be shocked to see Missouri stay, no matter how many concessions it was given; the fan base has been teased too often to continue as an Austin vassal. This one-year delay is probably at the behest of the SEC to let it catch its breath as it goes to 13 for 2012-13, then brings Mizzou in an orderly manner for 2013-14.

  12. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Geaux #1 LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

  13. zeek says:

    News from the Big East:

    “Rutgers would be in the same division as Connecticut, Central Florida, South Florida, Temple and Navy in a tentative rough draft of the reconfigured 12-team football league that came out of today’s conference call, a leading college official said.

    West Virginia, Air Force, SMU, Houston, Louisville and Cincinnati would comprise the other division under that scenario.

    The official requested anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss details of the conference call of the football-only schools this morning.

    Boise State remains a target of the league for the same reason TCU originally was: The Broncos will help the Big East when it is evaluated for the next round for receiving an automatic bid to the BCS starting in 2014.”

    Straight from their conference call; they’re targeting Boise State, but if they can’t get them, then Navy/Air Force/SMU/Houston/UCF/Temple.

    • zeek says:

      “Though Big East presidents are hesitant to add Boise State at this point, the league’s athletic directors are pushing for it because of what it means for football, the official said.

      The first draft of the future Big East could blow up if Louisville is grabbed by the Big 12 or if Navy — still fence-sitting about the conference — decides not to join for football only.
      If Navy isn’t part of the expansion, Villanova could be the replacement.”

      Presidents hesitating is interesting, but the ADs are right that the Big East needs as many BCS points as it can get. And you know the WAC would love to take Boise State’s non-football sports.

      Big East-East:

      Big East-West:
      Air Force

      That puts a lot of details into place. It seems as if Army isn’t interested and the backup plan for Navy is Villanova…

      • Bo Darville says:

        I was really hoping that the Big XII would get Houston & SMU. Then all I’d need is the Fall Guy back on TV and I’d be back in the early 80’s.

      • vp19 says:

        A plan hanging by several threads, and losing even one probably throws it off (we’re to believe Villanova will go in for I-A football now?).

        • vp19 says:

          Oh, and if they are going through with all this, why not ditch the “Big East” name once and for all and call it the “Big America Conference”? You only think of Boise State as “east” if you live in Spokane.

        • zeek says:

          Yep. This proposal is extremely tenuous right now, especially with the SEC at 13 and the Big 12 probably looking at a replacement for Missouri along with 12 team models.

          I still don’t get the Villanova thing. They didn’t move up 13 years ago when UConn did. What are the chances that they could help the Big East any time in the next 10 years (when 2 BCS evaluations will come up) if it took that long for UConn to even begin fielding better teams?

          Just take Temple and forget about Villanova for football; Temple is the better play in any case because they already have the stadium situation and the much bigger alumni base/fanbase in the area. They’ve decreased their commuter-ness and might be able to help for football someday.

          I still think they’re making a big mistake by not discussing ECU higher up in the list. ECU is the one school that I can see becoming the next big thing of all the schools on their list. UCF’s ceiling is similar to USF; a decent program that will be competitive…

          • Read The D says:

            I thought this time around the Big East rejected Villanova because of their stadium situation. If that’s true maybe the Big East is willing to bend and let Nova move up and not play in the Linc.

            Also, why would Air Force join if both Army AND Navy don’t join. Why not just stay in the MWC with Boise and some neighbors?

          • EZCUSE says:

            ECU averaged 50K/game last year. How can the Big East turn that away?

          • EZCUSE says:

            Plus, it would be good P.R. “The Big East just landed the 3rd best team in North Carolina. Hopefully, they can become the best NC football team soon enough.”

            Let the ACC figure out who #4 and #5 are. If it comes down to arguing whether ECU is truly better than Duke and NC State… you’ve already won.

          • Mike says:

            Wasn’t it Temple that wouldn’t let ‘Nova play at Lincoln Financial Field?

          • zeek says:

            @Mike, I think Temple was discussing some kind of sharing of Lincoln Field with Villanova (probably similar to Giants/Jets although you’d expect more home games in cfb than the even split in NFL, but then again you can play cfb on Thursday/Fri/Sat) if both joined the Big East.


            That’s pretty much the argument for ECU. ECU’s ceiling is #2 behind only UNC in the fastest growing of regions (with the added benefit of that region having no true king for recruiting purposes).

            USF and UCF will always have the ceiling as #4-5 behind Florida/Florida State and glamour program Miami. Their ceiling will always be much lower than ECU’s in terms of things like attendance/fan-support because of those three programs breathing up most of the oxygen.

            ECU could easily be at 60-65k attendance within 10 years of Big East play and much more easily able to compete with the top programs in the Mid-Atlantic for recruits than USF/UCF will be able to…

          • vp19 says:

            ECU averaged 50K/game last year. How can the Big East turn that away?

            It’s the Big East. Next question?

      • bullet says:

        This would be bad for the left out MWC and CUSA and REALLY bad for Rice and Tulane. But with Boise in BE, MWC and CUSA would both have 8 members.

        • zeek says:

          It goes back to what you said in the previous thread; the Big East is looking to hit the MWC and C-USA hard to make itself the clear #6 behind the other 5 AQs. They’re trying to make the argument that the BCS should keep the AQ slot, and it would never have to take a non-AQ for a BCS slot the next time around by taking all the potential BCS-busters…

        • EZCUSE says:

          Tulane had MAYBE a few thousand people…. MAYBE… at its game hosting Syracuse. If I could post a photo, you would laugh. And a substantial percentage were Syracuse fans.

          Don’t feel sorry for Tulane. They don’t care. With attendance like that, they should drop to D-III.

          I mean… seriously… playing in the SuperDome just makes it worse. They could have played in the Saints practice facility.

  14. zeek says:

    Just trying to think out of the box, but could WVU go independent in a year or two if it doesn’t get an invite to the Big 12 or SEC and say Louisville instead gets chosen to replace Missouri?

    If the Big East doesn’t get an AQ again, what’s the rationale for WVU to stay? They have the most tradition of all of those schools by far and they can probably cut a deal with a mid-tier bowl to take them every season along with maybe a deal with ESPN that includes some Thursday/Friday and ESPN2 games.

    They can then cut a deal with BYU for say an annual cross-country rivalry and maybe even ND would give them a home/home/FedEx game deal or something like that. Possibly an annual rivalry with Pitt that the ACC would probably be willing to work in like Georgia/Georgia Tech or Clemson/South Carolina, and it could probably work out for them.

    They do have Oliver Luck running the show, so if there’s someone who can come up with an out-of-the-box plan, it’s got to be him. I don’t think they’d make a move until the Big East loses its AQ, but if it did happen, they could probably succeed as an independent if they’re willing to make some sacrificies (weekday games, etc.).

    • Read The D says:

      Yes. And WVU also has a history of being independent. Couldn’t this scenario also collapse into the leftovers of the Big East being folded into other football conferences and keeping their basketball in the Big East?

      For example:

      Big 12 takes Louisvlle and WVU for 12.
      SEC grabs FSU for 14.
      ACC grabs UConn for 14.
      MAC grabs Rutgers for 14.
      CUSA grabs USF and Cincy for 14.

    • bullet says:

      In reality, the new BE will make many times what the MWC and CUSA are making ($1-$1.5 million/school/year). It may be half or a third of the Big 5 (roughly $15-$22/school/year), but it will also be more than they are making now ($3 million per year).

      If Boise could make 2 BCS bowls in the WAC and TCU could make 2 BCS bowls after being left for dead, is it all doom and gloom for WVU in the BE?

      • zeek says:

        That’s fair, I’m just asking about what the future would look like if the Big East lost another team and then lost its AQ as well.

        Exposure-wise, they might do better as a football independent in that kind of scenario. Why wouldn’t ESPN just offer them $6-8M a year for their football and the Big East keep the rest of their sports.

        Of course, the Big East schools probably aren’t dumb enough to let them take their football out and leave the rest of their sports in… since WVU’s football value is what they need most now.

  15. bobo the feted says:

    Why doesn’t BYU talk to the BE about joining as FB only? Keeps BBall schools happy, keeps BYU in WCC, college football isn’t played on Sunday, in the same part of the country as AFA and Boise State, gives them access. Is it really about ByuTV?

  16. Rich says:

    It is not surprising that BYUtv earns more money than the Longhorn network. BUYtv has been around for several years and is established. There are more than 6 million LDS members in the USA. More importantly, there are members in every state and there are ten states with at least 100,000 LDS members. This is important when considering cable and satellite carriage. These ten states represent about 110 million residents, more than four times the size of Texas. That’s a lot of cable and satellite subscribers. BYUtv is carried by cable systems all over the country. Outside of Texas, there isn’t going to ever be much demand for LHN. Moreover, BYUtv has an advantage over the LHN in spiritual connection meaning that there is probably more demand for it than for LHN. BYUtv is not just about televising BYU sports. Many LDS-centric programming is available on BYUtv.

    • ccrider55 says:


      I don’t believe BYU charges for carriage, or if they do it is tiny. BYUtv has been around more than several years, more like a decade. I recall watching a FB game, on what ever it was called at that time (perhaps the BYU owned PBS station) back in the late 80’s or early 90’s. BYU has history in broadcasting and it has to do with promotion of the faith – not with monitizing athletic events but with using those events as useful in that promotion.

    • Jake says:

      I think Frank was saying that BYUtv gets more games to carry, not that it makes more money for the school than LHN. Pretty sure BYU isn’t getting $300 million for that.

  17. zeek says:

    PeteThamelNYT Pete Thamel
    More Gene Defilippo: it was inappropriate to express personal feelings that might have been construed as the position of BC or the ACC.
    16 minutes ago
    Pete Thamel
    PeteThamelNYT Pete Thamel
    BC AD apologizes: ‘I spoke inappropriately and erroneously regarding ESPN’s role in conference expansion.’
    18 minutes ago
    Pete Thamel
    PeteThamelNYT Pete Thamel
    Was just told by a Big East official that “nothing will happen this week” in regards to expansion/UCF.
    4 hours ago

    Was expecting the BC backtracking. But his comments re: UConn were probably very close to the truth. It wouldn’t shock me at all if the expansion list of 1) Syracuse (was supposed to be #12 last time before Va Tech grabbed their spot as #12), 2) UConn, 3) Pitt, was made in consultation with ESPN before BC said they’d prefer Pitt…

    • vp19 says:

      Was expecting the BC backtracking. But his comments re: UConn were probably very close to the truth. It wouldn’t shock me at all if the expansion list of 1) Syracuse (was supposed to be #12 last time before Va Tech grabbed their spot as #12), 2) UConn, 3) Pitt, was made in consultation with ESPN before BC said they’d prefer Pitt…

      If that was the ACC’s initial position, conference officials were thinking basketball first, football second (as usual); Pittsburgh has far more of a football brand than Connecticut ever will. Give ESPN credit for setting the ACC straight and not aiding its “house” team in Storrs. Such a mindset from the ACC honchos probably doesn’t give comfort to people in Tallahassee or Blacksburg, and just reinforces the notion that the North Carolina four still run the show where the conference is concerned.

      • zeek says:

        That’s my impression of the ESPN/ACC list based on Defilippo’s comments.

        When you think about it though, this shouldn’t be a surprise.

        • zeek says:

          Also, Krzyzewski and the basketball coaches have tended to be the ones lauding the addition of Pitt/Syracuse.

          Va Tech’s AD had favorable words as well, but most people have viewed it as a basketball upgrade to circle the wagons and clear out the Big East.

      • bullet says:

        Pitt does have to compete with the Steelers. From that standpoint, UConn and SU have advantages.

        • vp19 says:

          True, but Pitt has frequently overcome that hurdle and draws reasonably well. It’s sort of the eastern equivalent of Minnesota in that it has a solid football heritage with national championships and such, but the last time Pitt sank to the nadir of the current Gophers was in the late ’60s and early ’70s. It’s struggled at times since, but even at its worst has generally been competitive.

          • SideshowBob says:

            Look at Pitt’s results in the 90’s. They were at a pretty bad nadir during that decade including multiple seasons with 4 or fewer wins and some really awful losses (72-0 to Ohio State, for example). I think the comparison to Minnesota is very apt, though Pitt had a semi-recent period of football greatness in the mid 70’s/early 80’s (including the 1976 championship) but have been largely unremarkable since WWII.

          • zeek says:

            Pretty amazing when you think that the Backyard Brawl is split 61-39-3 all time in favor of Pitt, but post-1991 it’s 13-7 in favor of WVU. Prior to Big East football, it was 54-26-3 in favor of Pitt.

            Anyone would say that WVU is the better program, but the historical record is Minnesota-esque in a way if you compare it to Minnesota-Wisconsin (although that’s more extreme in how dominant Wisconsin has been the past two decades; could easily see Wisconsin take the all-time record in their series very soon).

    • EZCUSE says:

      I heard a rumor that Rutgers was ahead of UConn and Pitt, but turned it down to wait on the B1G.

      • vp19 says:

        I might take Rutgers over Connecticut, if only because New Jersey is a larger state and you can argue that school might not underperform in a different conference, but I certainly wouldn’t choose it over Pittsburgh. If Rutgers is overly enamored with and pining for the Big Ten, it’s merely the Missouri of the east.

        • EZCUSE says:

          That’s insulting to Missouri. Rutgers hasn’t even played a football King since 2003.

          • vp19 says:

            I was more referring to delusions rather than the quality of their program. Both are so obsessed with the Big Ten that they don’t see the forest for the trees.

      • Phil says:

        There is NO, ZERO, ZIP, NADA chance that RU turned down the ACC to wait for the Big Ten. Rutgers is the one team that stuck with Penn State and turned down the Big East when it was formed, and spent 10 years in the wilderness because of it. It destroyed their basketball program (which was pretty successful in the late 70’s/early 80’s) and set back their other sports a ton.

        • vp19 says:

          You’re likely right that Rutgers wouldn’t turn down an ACC invite, but as a #13-14 option for the ACC it certainly ranked below SU and Pitt.

    • mushroomgod says:

      ie…”It was inappropriate for me to tell the truth. I will try to watch that in the future.”

  18. Bob in Houston says:

    FWIW, as to BYU, I have heard that Fox Tier 2 rights in the B12 are an obstacle as regarding BYU being an ESPN property.

    • bullet says:

      Again, FWIW, some people on the BYU board have said BYUtv wants immediate re-broadcast rights while Fox insists on a 72 hour delay since many Fox networks are on a pay tier. That may be a different issue than Bob in Houston is referring to, but it is related.

  19. Carl says:

    PSU > Purdue

  20. imho says:

    Great post Frank, BUT regarding the service academies. I can’t even began to imagine all of the potential conflicts of interest if the service academies joined a Major AQ conference. I would even go so far as to double its legality.

    Could one of you lawyers out there answer the following questions:

    1.)What are the legal ramifications of the United States Navy receiving checks from ESPN from condom commercials… What are the political ramifications?

    2.)Would any contract with the Big East, by law, have to go to the highest bidder like all government contracts (military included)?

    3.)Would the other AQ conferences have grounds to sue, since the United States Government is now officially and explicitly backing a major AQ football league. I mean, the Federal Military Industrial Complex, in addition to fighting foreign wars, would now be throwing it’s full weight and support behind the Big East…. Ummm isn’t that fundamentally against our laws regarding fairness. What manner of government corruption or bribery cases could that open up?

    4.)When they are negotiating with the ABC, will our Commander in Chief close the deal, or will they delegate that to the Chairmen of the Joint Chief of Staff, or maybe the 5-start General who is Commandant of the Academy will be chosen to go toe-to-toe with a public corporation.

    Disclaimer: These questions aren’t actually serious. I’m just trying to make the point that the Service Academies CAN NEVER join a major AQ conference!

    • EZCUSE says:

      I triple its legality.

      All of these questions are worthless, which prevents any point from being made.

      • imho says:

        Touche… I guess I did say double.

        But seriously, your reply is worthless. Those questions were meant in jest, but they do began (just barely) to illustrate the million reasons something like this could ever happen.

    • imho says:

      Or some political reasons.

      The United States Military is concerned with maintaining a global empire, and protecting our resources on a planetary scale (not to mention our substantial outer-space assets). They rely on funding to the tune of 600 BILLION dollars a year to do this. In what universe do the Joint Chiefs risk pissing off B1G, Pac, ACC, and SEC Congressmen and Senators… Just for a shot at a higher ranking in the AP Poll… I don’t think so.

      And god forbid an academy would win the division and take a BCS game away from an actually public university. Would that cash prize go into the national treasury?

      • zeek says:

        The schools are operated at an arms length from the government, especially where the athletics departments are concerned.

        I don’t really see what your questions have to do with anything. You do realize that Air Force is in the MWC right now (for all sports), and that Army football was in C-USA before, and that Navy has its sports in like 8 different leagues along with football independence.

        There are no downsides to the academies having their football in the Big East other than issues of competitive fitness. They’ll have to recruit to win against Rutgers/UConn/UCF/USF/SMU/Houston or possibly even Boise State.

        The upsides are 1) political protection for the Big East if Pentagon/Congress gets involved in asking why the Big East lost its AQ after adding the academies, 2) good TV ratings and good attendance numbers since the academies have strong brands, 3) benefits to the academies for recruiting/exposure if they’re playing games in Florida, Texas, East-Coast generally and playing on TV more often.

        The downsides are whether they’ll be able to compete at that level (Army dropped out of C-USA after losing most of their games over the 6 years they were in there).

        • EZCUSE says:

          Zeek… but what about our assets in outer space? You are just ignoring that?

          • imho says:

            Quit being a jerk… The point is that the Military has concerns and interests infinitely more important that feakin college football… In no way shape or form will they subvert those interests

        • imho says:

          Hi Zeek, you just named a few reasons why this makes no sense.

          “…The schools are operated at an arms length from the government…”

          That’s a vague, nebulous, and ill-defined statement. We are talking about contractual and legally binding relationships here. And legally speaking, the service academies and part and parcel of the United Stated Government.

          “… political protection for the Big East if Pentagon/Congress gets involved in asking why the Big East lost its AQ after adding the academies…”

          Which is exactly why no United States Government Agency would ever take sides by injecting themselves in the middle of big-business capitalism. And exactly why the B1G, PAC, ACC and SEC would sue… and win!

          In the entire Western world, the only examples I can think of where a government partners with business is in Socialist Europe (think AirBus), or when the US government partnered with GM… You guys are talking about fundamentally changing the way our government operates… why can’t you see that?

          • EZCUSE says:

            “Which is exactly why no United States Government Agency would ever take sides by injecting themselves in the middle of big-business capitalism”

            Are you serious? What planet are you living on?

            And since when is the Big East even remotely confused with “big-business capitalism”?

            The only difference between the Big East and the MWC is that the Big East has an AQ spot for the BCS bowl for 2 more years… and the MWC does not. In 2013, both may have it. Or neither may have it.

            Or maybe the MWC will have it and the Big East will not. What if THAT happens? Will Air Force be mandated to leave the MWC and join the Big East then? After all–your argument seems based on concern about Air Force being in an AQ conference.

            Switching to the Big East is so far from a “fundemental change[ in] the way our government operates,” that I cannot even understand why I am arguing this…

      • EZCUSE says:

        There are zero reasons why the military academies “cannot” join a conference.

        We know this because Air Force is in a conference and Army has been in a conference.

        As for BCS bowl money, Navy and the academies already get bowl money. It’s just not BCS bowl money. In fact, Navy has a bowl tie-in all for itself. How many schools have THAT? I don’t hear anyone crying.

        There are no political reasons to worry about. If Navy deserves a BCS bid, they will get it. If they don’t, they wont. Nobody will begrudge Navy earning a spot over someone else. And even if there was controversy—well there is controversy every single year. Every single year. No different.

        The Joint Chiefs of Staff? How are they going to piss off the ACC or SEC? Just give me one example of how that is even possible. What does Navy being in the Big East have to do with it. In the meantime… what if the Military pursues research that requires the B1G/CIC to get involved? Isn’t that going to poss off the ACC or SEC? If so, you don’t need Navy in the Big East for that to happen.

        Conversely, having the military academies fund their athletic departments WITHOUT taxpayer funding would be a strong political reason to make the move.

        • imho says:

          Holy Crap, I’ll speak slowly and in simple words.

          First, no one cares about the mid-majors… they are minor and there are no serious conflicts of interest.

          Now, The guys with guns have lots of important stuff they have to worry about. All of that big important stuff dwarfs any considerations regarding college sports with rubber balls. In no situation can the guys with guns put the athletic interests of an academy before the important stuff.

          Part of the important stuff is not appearing to ever take sides in civilian matters. When you have to manage a planets worth of affairs, it’s sorta important to at least appear to be fair. Those important guys with guns and shiny stars on their uniforms, just may deem it not in their interests to align themselves, in a hugely public way, with this college football money grab… (opps I mean college football re-alignment).

          For some more important stuff, All of us B1G members get to collaborate with fellow conference members for academic stuff. How do you thing the Dean of Physical Sciences at Northwestern will feel when the Cincy Dean gets to hob-nob with military brass… IE some one from the organization the gives grants.

          Military grant research and military contracts go through formal, legal, and heavily regulated bidding processes. This is true for all government agencies, NSF, DOE, etc. This is by design to eliminate conflicts of interest, remove corruption, and reduce appearances of impropriety. Putting, an government agency in a blatantly-capitalistic money-driven association is antithetical to every rule of governance.

          • EZCUSE says:

            How is joining the Big East interfering with military interests in ANY way?

            Sure, they have more important stuff to deal with. That is why the hire an athletic director for their educational institutions. Between the AD and the folks that run the academy, they can do whatever it is you think the Joint Chiefs of Staff might do.

            If the NW dean wants to hobnob with military brass, he certainly can. Nobody is stopping the B1G from accepting Navy. Nobody. Nobody freaking cares.

            As for bidding… why should the academies “bid out” who is going to PAY THEM? How many people PAY the Navy? Yes… they bid out what they pay out. But they aren’t paying the Big East anything.

            Regardless, it would take about twelve seconds for a super-majority of Congress to provide any exception that would allow you to sleep at night. 500 legislators can go back to their constituents saying that–on their watch–taxpayers stopped subsidizing academy athletics.

        • imho says:

          No political problems… WTF?

          You don’t think that Delany and Slive may have a teeny-little problem with one of their direct competitor conferences, gaining an advantage by contracting with an United States Government Agency (without a public bid mind you).

          Does that even sound reasonable?

          • EZCUSE says:

            I am pretty sure you are the only person that cares. The other conference commissioners are more concerned with the smooth running of their own conferences.

          • Imho says:

            No No No… Am i the only one who paid attention in college?

            Huge difference between the government contracting for services rendered via highly regulated bids… Where the government WRITES the check.


            The government entering into a business partnership with a civilian entity for profit.

            So again, name me one time in all of history where this has happened

            And btw, grants are monies GIVEN by the government to further a percieved national interest

            This is not rocket surgery people


        • Imho says:

          Ok… I’m going to bed after this. I will say this as simply as I can. In the entire history of the United States of America, name just 1 time a government agency has entered into a business relationship with a civilian agency… GM’s recent debacle excluded of course….

          • ccrider55 says:

            Government research grants to universities?
            Provide funding to all inumerable state agencies to do their job for them?
            oops…that’s 2.

          • Mike says:

            Does the defense industry count?


            How about the private contractors who bulld roads?


            How about the private companies that manage the internet for the Commerce Department?

            Airport security companies pre-TSA?

          • frug says:

            name just 1 time a government agency has entered into a business relationship with a civilian agency

            Umm they do they literally every day. The government has contracts with literally thousands of private businesses. They buy planes from Boeing (many of which the DoD helps design), the Social Security Administration buys paper to print checks on etc…

            If you want an example of a no-bid look at the deals the DoD and DoS made with Haliburton in Iraq.

          • greg says:

            Is C-USA or MWC a civilian agency? Because Army and Air Force have entered business relationship with each of them, respectively.

          • SideshowBob says:

            Or the Patriot League. Or Atlantic Hockey. Or the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association. Or so on. The military academies have been affiliated with a number of different conferences over the years, I don’t see what the difference would be with joining the Big East.

          • Imho says:

            Huge difference between the government contracting for services rendered via highly regulated bids… Where the government WRITES the check. Congress has written dozens of laws to make sure there are no colflicts in these simple cases.

            What we’re talking about is completely different.

            We’re talking sbout The government entering into a business partnership with a civilian entity for profit.

            Can you understand the difference, and the problems that creates.

            So again, name one time in all of history where this has happened

            And btw, grants are monies GIVEN by the government to further a percieved national interest

            Btw, I accidentally posted numerous times. I apologize, feel free to delete

          • Imho says:

            The difference between the mid majors and the big east is a billion dollar television contract…

            That’s the entire point and what makes it unworkable

          • ccrider55 says:

            So a hooker isn’t a hooker unless she gets paid a threshold amount?

          • SideshowBob says:

            Exactly. the MWC and Conference USA (at least, no idea about the Patriot League for hoops) had TV deals that brought in revenue. Obviously, the scale is different with the Big East, but it’s not like the service academics haven’t gotten conference revenue in the past. It’s not exactly uncharted waters. t

            For that matter, Army and Navy make money off their TV deals with CBS. And the schools have also gotten revenue from their appearances in bowl games.

          • imho says:

            Of course, there is a threshold amount. Of course scale matters.

            In a mid-major an atheletic department is a net cost. That means the schools WRITE checks. And it’s fine for the United States Government to be a net contributer to the economy.

            In a major AQ conference there is the potential for MILLIONS in profit. The United States Government now CASHES checks and become a net drag on the economy. Not only is the antithetical to a capitalistic free-market governance. It opens up appearances of favoritism, possibility for corruption, and a litany of other problems.

            Maybe in Socialist Europe of Communist China… Not in our Capitalist Country!

            Let me repeat… In a free-marked economy, the United States Government can not have a vested financial interest in a single party. The Government can no more join the Big East, than it can partner with Google, for profit, to the detriment of Microsoft.

          • @imho – You bring an interesting viewpoint, but I don’t understand it. Navy and Army have TV contracts with CBS and ESPN directly. Air Force gets a payment from Comcast for the Mtn Network. Navy moves games against Notre Dame to larger NFL venues to make more money. I’m failing to see why joining the Big East represents some type of massive shift of the government entering the private sector compared to what the service academies already do.

          • EZCUSE says:

            I cannot believe we are still discussing this.

            Explain to me why the government can spend trillions without it being an issue, but the raise in revenue to the government from $2m in the MWC to $7M in the Big East suddenly represents a huge scale collaboration with the civilians. The revenue is miniscule compared to the government’s involvement in the GDP.

            Your concern regarding scale is unfounded. The Big East turned down $1B to its detriment. They will not see that again. If the Big East schools were netting so many millions, Pitt and Syracuse would not have left. Both schools have stated in public that they will see an increase in funding. The MWC to Big East is so much smaller than if Air Force went to the Big XII.

            Sure, if you ignore all the small acts of government (partnering with the MWC, bowl tie-ins, television contracts) and large acts of government (various bailouts)… that only leaves medium acts. But how can something that is legitimate at $1,500,000… and legitimate at $100,000,000,000 be prohibited simply because it is $5,000,000 or $10,000,000. That is nonsensical.

            As for suits against the government, you’ll need to get by the concept of governmental immunity. But what would be the basis for a suit anyway? In what way has Air Force damaged the ACC, Big XII, B1G, etc? If anything, the involvement of Air Force in an AQ conference would allow the expansion of the BCS brand. The more schools involved, the better. Adding teams with a national following, such as Air Force and Navy, would not harm the BCS at all. Further, I think folks would be less critical of an 8-4 Navy in the BCS than an 8-4 UConn. So how would there be damages?

            Moreover, even if the conferences could somehow articulate damages, why would they take on the government. This is the same government that some states have claimed SHOULD get involved to take down the BCS. If they were to sue the government, they would be inviting government to have a reason to get involved in college athletics. The IRS could determine that colleges athletic programs are taxable…and so on. If the IRS did that, it would be taking a stance that would impact “civilians.”

            Meanwhile, I challenge you to find a federal governmental agency that DOES NOT contract with “civilians.” And even if you can find one… then find one that does not, by regulation, accomplish much more “participation” in civilian affairs than if it just contracted. Big government is alive and everywhere. This isn’t you great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather’s USA.

          • imho says:

            Hi Frank, thanks for this blog. I’m sure it’s a time sink…

            Anyway, it’s not simply the act if making money, althought that’s troublesome in-and-of itself. It’s the act of making money while choosing sides and shifting the balance of power in a free-market industry… that’s unprecedented and for good reason. A television contract competes against no one. Its no different that the Military channel. But a partnership in an AQ conference give unfair advantage. It’s a government organization supporting one private sector onganization over another.

          • frug says:

            In a mid-major an atheletic department is a net cost. That means the schools WRITE checks.

            Wrong. The ADs at BYU and the service academies have operated in the black for years as members of mid-majors. In the mean time, only one of the Big East’s public schools turned a profit last year (WVU).

  21. zeek says:

    ‘Beyond Navy, Air Force and UCF, a league source said “no one team is definitely next” as an expansion candidate.

    A league source also told that Army is no longer being considered as a candidate by the Big East. “They’ve been honest with us and that they’re not interested because of the challenges they had previously in Conference USA,” the source said.

    Army was in C-USA from 1998-2004. The Cadets were 9-41 in C-USA play and finished last in the league five of the seven seasons.’

    Army seems to be officially out according to that source (no reason to disagree with him), so I’m interested in whether that will affect Air Force’s consideration

  22. Eric says:

    BYU is no longer a candidate (want to remain an independent) according to Chip Brown. I think this is a mistake on their part, but I think the evidence they actually want to remain an independent is mounting.

    • Eric says:

      If BYU is actually out, I wonder if that makes the Big 12 more or less likely to go to 12. I could see either way.

      • frug says:

        Depends if Missouri stays or goes. If Mizzou sticks around they all agree to assignment of media rights I’m guessing they stick with a 10 team conference for at least a few years.

    • zeek says:

      Makes sense I suppose.

      I said before that if they were going to join, they probably would have before TCU.

      Perhaps BYU will be the Big 12’s Notre Dame. They may just stay at 10 for a while and gauge BYU’s interest every year or two (privately).

      I think this development makes the Big 12 less likely to expand at this juncture. BYU + CCG could easily pay for a two-team expansion to 12 if Missouri stays. Perhaps Louisville + WVU makes sense for a 12 team model if Missouri stays and the presidents absolutely want a CCG back.

      If Missouri leaves, I think they’ll only go to 10. Hard to see them adding 4 new members to the group (including TCU).

      • bullet says:

        Basically there are 4 candidates for 3 slots if Missouri leaves-BYU, Louisville, WVU and Cincinnati. The eastern candidates work better with Missouri still in the league as a bridge.

        • vp19 says:

          If Missouri leaves in 2013 (and I think it will) and Brigham Young decides to stay independent, West Virginia and Louisville are probably locks. I’m not sure the Big 12 is sold on Cincinnati as #12, and I might go with South Florida instead; a faster-growing area than Cincinnati, better recruiting territory for the conference and a football program that is gradually improving.

          • duffman says:


            putting UC and UL together in a conference makes sense as a rival pair since they are about an hour to an hour and a half apart. both have basketball schools and football programs of similar nature. They were in the old metro conference together.

  23. imho says:

    No No No… Am i the only one who paid attention in college?

    Huge difference between the government contracting for services rendered via highly regulated bids… Where the government WRITES the check.


    The government entering into a business partnership with a civilian entity for profit.

    So again, name me one time in all of history where this has happened

    And btw, grants are monies GIVEN by the government to further a percieved national interest

    This is not rocket surgery people

    • Mike says:

      That’s not what you asked.

      In the entire history of the United States of America, name just 1 time a government agency has entered into a business relationship with a civilian agency…

      a formal contractual relationship established to provide for regular banking or brokerage or business services; “he asked to see the executive who handled his account” [syn: account]

      If you want to know if ‘The government entering into a business partnership with a civilian entity for profit.’? How about, the US Government owning a chunk of Chrysler in the 80’s?

      • ccrider55 says:

        Would the savings and loan crisis/bailout qualify?

        • Imho says:

          Yes… Chrystler qualifies, and these bank bail outs are similar… S&L in the 80’s and tarp today…

          And that is EXACTLY my point, those are the types of things it takes to force the government into business partnerships. College football realignment doesnt exactly qualify

        • Imho says:

          Lol.. Imagine this list of government partnerships during the past 200 years

          Fannie May
          Big 3 auto makers
          Big east football


          • EZCUSE says:

            You left out C-USA. MWC. Television deals. Bowl tie-ins. And that’s just the military academies themselves.

  24. imho says:

    No No No… Am i the only one who paid attention in college?

    Huge difference between the government contracting for services rendered
    via highly regulated bids… Where the government WRITES the check.


    The government entering into a business partnership with a civilian entity
    for profit, where they RECEIVE checks to do so.

    So again, name me one time in all of history where this has happened

    And btw, grants are monies GIVEN by the government to further a
    percieved national interest. This is not rocket surgery people

  25. M says:

    I’m gone for a long weekend and miss… absolutely nothing.

    I would like to comment about a conversation on the other thread about private schools not seeing a bump in applications from football performance. The year after the Rose Bowl, Northwestern received a record number of applications. That record was not broken for almost a decade.

    I can’t say how many of those additional applicants were the type of student Northwestern would like to attract, but every school, public or private, benefits from good publicity.

    • zeek says:

      I actually had that in mind when I made the comment, but that wasn’t a sustained bump.

      Yes, Northwestern got a few thousand people interested in applying for a year, but it didn’t create a sustained awareness.

      Of course, sports help branding so much nowadays, especially college football/basketball, that applications are only one tiny part of the overall story.

      • Jake says:

        This may be relevant to the discussion:

        Personally, I think credit should go to the shiny new admission center.

        • PSUGuy says:

          Nah, getting a name on TV is huge in publicity circles. Why do you think they always have the two schools playing with tv comercials during their game?

          Thing I just don’t get it why do people pay $30k+(depending on room/board) for a school. And I’m not just talking TCU..I’m talking about any small time liberal arts college. Smaller classes and having that “small town feel” are nice, but in the end I can get a very similar education at a much less of a price in a State U and IMHO be more prepared for actual life since most folks/places in this world aren’t all that interested in giving you “one on one” anything…except maybe a swift kick in the !@#.

        • zeek says:

          I didn’t even realize how small TCU was until recently. I thought Northwestern had it bad as a small fish in a big pond, but TCU’s alumni base is extremely small compared to even the other BCS private schools. That was a surprise to me.

          • zeek says:

            Also, good luck to the TCU admissions committee modelers. That job is already hard enough with how minor yield changes and ever-escalating applicant numbers can create havoc on the number of students that enroll (especially when you don’t really have space to withstand a margin of error of 50 or so students). Having to deal with a Rose Bowl bump is going to throw the entire model out the window.

            They might have to significantly depress the acceptance rate and go with a much bigger waitlist to sort this year out…

          • Jake says:

            zeek: Those numbers were for this fall. I believe they managed to keep the class size the same with a lower acceptance rate. USN&WR eats that up, which is nice. It was rougher the year before with the (smaller) Fiesta Bowl bump; TCU ended up with a larger than ideal Freshman class. I think they learned from that experience.

      • Eric says:

        Not sustained no, but a one time appearance isn’t going to be. If it’s conceivable going to the Rose Bowl would up Northwestern applications, it’d also make sense that playing in the Big Ten (where they are more visible) would get them a few more applications on a yearly basis than playing in the MAC.

        • zeek says:

          Yeah, I’ve mentioned before that it certainly helps when prospective students are deciding where they want to go. It’s always going to be an edge against peer schools to have the “big time college feel” that you get as part of a major conference which Stanford, Duke, Northwestern, BC, ND, Vanderbilt, etc. have relative to their peers; many of which do not, especially the Ivies and other private schools in that tier (JHU, WUSTL, Georgetown, etc.).

  26. Penn State Danny says:

    My current hunch is that in 2013, Missou does go to the SEC and BYU goes to the Big 12 keeping the Big East alive.

    If I’m the BE, I think that I just add Temple and UCF and be done with it.

    The league will continue to be propped up by the other 5 leagues because it is in their best interest to have them around.

    The focus of the league itself will always be basketball. The time for long term thinking for football has passed.

    Poaching of the BE will inevetably continue. I would just replace teams on a one for one basis. If WVU or UConn does move on someday, replace them with ECU or Houston or whomever is next in line.

  27. loki_the_bubba says:

    More on Tulane being a possible target:

    “The source said that Tulane would become a viable option for the Big 12 if it were to grab four schools to beef up the membership to 12, in a situation where BYU decides it doesn’t want to leave its football independence or its new tie to the WCC in all other sports. Tulane is interesting to the Big 12 because of its location in New Orleans and in a state, Louisiana, where the Big 12 is absent, as well as the school’s renewed commitment to sports and facilities after Hurricane Katrina.

    A source with knowledge of Tulane’s situation told that the Green Wave have privately been making overtures to the Big East and Big 12 about possible membership but didn’t want to upset Conference USA as that league looks to form a partnership with the Mountain West.

    Tulane is also a member of the Association of American Universities — the only AAU member listed as a possible addition. The prestigious AAU tag is something that the SEC has looked at as an important criterion for expansion, as evidenced by the league promoting Texas A&M as one of three AAU members in the SEC in a news release announcing the Aggies’ addition. Florida and Vanderbilt are the other two in the SEC.”

    This inches us closer to the nightmare scenario for the Rice Owls. Tulane to the B12. Then SMU and Houston to the BigEast. At that point UTEP would be much more willing to talk to the MWC. Leaving Rice essentially alone on an island. At that point our powers that be would evaluate whether we even belong in D1A football. Economically, D1AA, D1 non-FB, and D2 are not viable according the Rice/McKinsey report. So we bulldoze Historic Rice Stadium to build a law school and drop to D3. Sigh…

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      The Rice/McKinsey report, for those with time to kill:

      • Gopher86 says:

        Holy cow. What a report. Lots of thoughtful analysis, but it certainly is not a casual read.

      • duffman says:


        I was noticing page 74 and thinking about Rice vs Vanderbilt

        I know there were serious folks on the TAMU boards saying if they went to the SEC they would like to have Rice go to as a West division balance to Vanderbilt. I know Rice has good baseball and if Rice bumped their equestrian team from club sport to full team status the SEC has a strong conference for it. The USC equestrian folks are pumped at TAMU equestrian joining. Rice has AAU status, and while remote, it is an interesting possibility.

        • vp19 says:

          Are you saying the SEC sponsors equestrian competition? If so, you learn something new every day.

          • bullet says:

            UGA has a team.

            Some schools do rowing for Title IX, some do equestrian.

            Naturally, the SEC doesn’t do that sissy form of futbol. UK men’s team plays in the MAC.

          • vp19 says:

            Speaking of soccer, while the ACC is a power in both genders of that sport, its southernmost men’s team is Clemson. Any non-Hispanic male in the Deep South who plays soccer automatically has his masculinity questioned.

          • duffman says:


            It is my understanding that the majority of the conference has either a team or a club. TAMU I think has a club, but their gymnastics is club level too. My thinking is both will move to full team status within a year or 2 of full SEC membership. I think Auburn, LSU (confirmation from alan perhaps?), Mississippi State, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and TAMU all have some form of team. Right now there are 18 NCAA sanctioned teams in the country and the SEC has 4 of them, or roughly one 1/4 to 1/5 of all the current teams. If TCU joins the B12 they will have 4 as well. Of the remaining 10 teams, 5 are in the SEC footprint.


            I noticed that as well. The argument came up about Baylor being the Vandy of the B12, but it was suggested that Rice was the better representative of a “west” mirror to Vandy in terms of academics, size, secondary sports, and other issues. When I read the report I was surprised Vandy was segregated as it was because it really appears to be a better peer for Rice. Any personal thoughts on your side why they chose to project it the way they did?

          • loki_the_bubba says:


            I’m not certain how the peer group was initially established. But here’s my guess by reading between the lines. Rice considers itself a very good research institution, so the AAU members are one peer group. Rice also considers itself an outstanding undergrad institution. The COFHE seems to a proxy for that, consisting of high-end liberal arts schools. And of course D1A athletics. Eliminate state schools and your left with an intersection consisting of Rice, Stanford, Duke and Northwestern.

            As for Vandy, my personal view over the years was that they were a very good school, but just below that peer group. Sort of the Audi to the Stanford/Duke/Rice/NW Mercedes or BMW. I don’t think think that’s reflected in the objective scores or rankings. But that’s the way it always SEEMED to me. I put Tulane in that group too.

          • bullet says:

            That was my feeling about Vandy as well. Its a half step below those 4.

          • m (Ag) says:

            At one point I tried to find out more about college Equestrian at one point last year. Never found much that was very enlightening to newbies on the web, so I don’t really understand the Equestrian in’s and outs, but:

            -A&M does compete in the NCAA
            -it’s classified as an “emerging sport” by the NCAA,
            -There aren’t a whole lot of schools participating at the NCAA level. The Big 12 and SEC seem to have the most schools participating from FBS conferences (though not most schools in either conference)
            -There are 2 Equestrian events. At nationals last year A&M finished 1st in Western, 6th in Hunter seat, to finish 3rd overall behind Auburn and Georgia. (S-E-C!)
            -No, I couldn’t explain to you the difference between Western and Hunter

          • Brian says:

            m (Ag),

            Re: NCAA equestrian events

            -No, I couldn’t explain to you the difference between Western and Hunter


            Think cowboy/rodeo versus fox hunting/show jumping. The saddles are different, the horses are a little different and the criteria are different. Hunter is the more traditional equestrian events like in the Olympics while Americans have added the Western bit based on our use of working horses.

        • loki_the_bubba says:


          Interesting to me was on p65, not having Vany in the peer group. They defined the peer group as D1A+AAU+COFHE, leaving only Rice, Duke, Stanford, and Northwestern. And then they say:

          “Within the COFHE, athletic budgets of Division I-A schools look dramatically
          different from the budgets of other schools in the Consortium. Among the I-A
          COFHE schools, Rice’s budget is an outlier on two dimensions: it is significantly
          smaller and it makes up a significantly larger portion of total operating expenses.”

      • bullet says:

        This is why Villanova’s position is so hard to understand. They should have been jumping immediately with both feet when invited to the BE. They are losing $4-$5 million a year in FCS. Its really untenable for a private school. Several in the Southern Conference do it. But Villanova is alone in the northeast for scholarship FCS. If they don’t get even in the new Big East, they need to either drop football totally or join Georgetown in the Patriot League.

        As for Rice, in the worst case scenario-dropping football, the conferences have changed since 2004. The WAC would be delighted to have them back and Missouri Valley might consider them.

        • zeek says:

          Yeah, that was easily one of the biggest mistakes of the past 15 years. And we have a test comparison in UConn. That decision put them on completely different paths…

      • zeek says:

        That’s a good report, with a lot of relevant stuff for the discussion.

        It’s interesting that the two biggest changes to the bottom-line in a discussion of where to put Rice are the scholarships and salaries. Those two alone are a half of the deficit and would be mostly wiped out in a move to D-III.

        It’s hard to see what the best option here is other than to wait and try to navigate a way forward. As bullet said, there should be an option open somewhere, but travel expenses look set to rocket either way.

        And it’s doubly hard considering that Rice has an incredibly strong baseball program in terms of competitiveness, attendance, and the whole works. Maintaining that is an obvious priority but it’s a lot more difficult to do than say JHU’s lacrosse program in the context of the upheaval in FBS.

    • Gopher86 says:

      As a Big 12 fan, I’d rather see Rice as an addition if this is a play for academics. Rice has a nice stadium, it’s in Houston (which used to be our backyard) and they have exceptional baseball.

      Not to offend our favorite Rice alum, but I’m not sure the Big 12 is seriously looking at the C-USA for teams.

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        No offense taken. I assumed the same thing. But this is the second mention of Tulane in the last few days. As far fetched as it may sound, they may have been discussed. But I’d put the odds of it actually occurring at around 1%.

        • EZCUSE says:

          How can you take a school that draws 2,500 fans to any of its games? Moreover, this was Syracuse… while far from a King, the best OOC team on its schedule. Especially at home.

          That is not Big XII level. That is not even D-II level.

          I remember the putrid crowds for Temple games. This was a far cry from even that.

        • bullet says:

          One thing I read was that they were doing due diligence on anyone who called. I think its extremely remote. If BYU doesn’t work and they aren’t satisfied with Cincinnati as a choice, I think they stop at 10 rather than adding Tulane.

          • EZCUSE says:

            I guess. But are you really getting into the LA market via Tulane with that little support? That’s like taking FAU to get into Florida or Akron to get Ohio.

            Actually, Akron had about 10k watch Syracuse play last year. So let me back off Akron.

    • vp19 says:

      Nothing against Tulane or its AAU status (and trips to New Orleans are always welcome), but this would merely seem like tit-for-tat from the Big 12 (“Hey, you mean old SEC, you stepped on our territory, now we’ll step on yours!”). If that’s the goal, don’t do Texas-for-Louisiana — go on a higher scale, do Texas-for-Florida, and invite USF. A lot more prep talent can be mined from that state.

      • bullet says:

        I think La-La has more potential than Tulane. They have filled the stadium in Lafayette for big name teams. But, of course, they are low on the academic totem pole.

  28. TheBlanton says:

    West Virginia

    Central Florida
    South Florida

    The Big East needs to get their numbers up, quick. I don’t see the service academies joining right now. This alignment would give them a good foothold in southern major urban centers. Memphis is no academic prize, but AAU members Rice and Tulane can provide the academic cred. SMU ain’t that bad either.

    Of course lines should remain open to ECU and Temple in case (when) the Big XII comes knocking on the Louisville/ WVU door.

    This alignment provides two geographically similar divisions. It also adds Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Memphis, and Orlando to the “footprint”.

    Even if UConn does bolt for ACC pastures and Cincy miraculously gets an invite to the Big XII (I only see this if westward Big XII expansion fails to land BYU, Air Force, Boise, and one other western school… UNLV? Vegas road trip baby!) This could still be a viable 10 football team league with possible expansion if Villanova can get their big boy pads to fit; or maybe the Big East could promise shiny new Army and Navy recruiting centers inside every Big East stadium. Otherwise… Miami (OH) anyone?

  29. TheBlanton says:

    Regarding Netflix, and a bit off subject.

    I would love to see the LHN, BTN, BYUN, PAC12 networks, SEC Network, Sunshine Network etc. streaming live on Netflix service. I would pay a premium for that.

  30. When conference realignment began and there was much talk about 4 16 team conferences, the expectation would be there would be fewer schools with access to the BCS, now instead of 64 with access we are looking at 74-76 depending on if the Big 12 goes to 10 or 12, and if in fact the BigEast expands to 12. MWC and C-CSA looks like they will be stripped down to 9 each, so if their merge gets what they are wanting, an automatic bid to the BCS for their champion, then we are looking at 94 teams with access to the BCS. Nearly 50% more than many of our initial expectation of 64.

    • vp19 says:

      It’s both easier and more politically expedient to invite new members to the BCS than to whittle some. Yes, the Big East did it with Temple some years back, but at the time it was easily the most impotent member of the BCS. I’m not sure any of the current schools in BCS can compare in fan support or performance. And as stated earlier, the Longhorn Network both keeps the Big 12 in business (because Texas needs it) and scuttles any 4 x 16 scenario (the Big Ten, Pac and SEC were safe both geographically and economically, and the fourth conference would have to cover the east, and now the ACC has supplanted the Big East in that part of the country). Any 4 x 16 would have had the Big 12 disappear, as for a variety of reasons — geography, population, uneven revenue distribution — it was clearly the most vulnerable of the BCS leagues.

      • bullet says:

        TCU, SMU, UH and Rice got dropped from the BCS predecessor as well. There were 67 teams in the top group (Pac 10, Big 10+1, Big 8, SWC-8, SEC-12, ACC-9, BE-8, ND-1). Over time those 4 and Temple got dropped. UL, UConn, USF and Cincinnati got added. Now TCU is back and Utah has been added. WVU and Rutgers are the only BE members who have been AQ for more than 7 years.

        Someone made the comment Memphis picked a bad time to collapse in football. UH did the same thing in football and basketball in the early 90s. If the Big 12 had been formed two years earlier, UH would have been in and KSU probably would have been out.

        • With that kind of increase in BCS access, and some of the bigger conferences wanting more access as well, does the Cotton Bowl get added to the BCS Bowl lineup?

        • frug says:

          KSU couldn’t have been left out. While the Big XII does not claim the Big 8 history, the conference was formed as an expansion of the Big 8. All four of the Texas schools petitioned for admission to the Big 8. It wasn’t until the first meeting that the the Big XII decided to regard itself as a new conference.

        • Mack says:

          Not a chance. The Big 8 being the next to weakest conference canibalized the Southwest as the weakest tier I conference by proposing the 4 big Texas public schools join the B8. Texas arranged for it to be formed as a new B12 league. Texas state politics (especially the governer being a Baylor alum) pushed out Houston in favor of Baylor. The B8 was willing to accept one of the private schools as long as A&M and Texas were included. If Houston had been better at the time it might have edged out Texas Tech, but the fix was in for Baylor as part of the package. Does anyone think that a conference composed of 8 large public midwestern universities thought they needed to add a small private Baptist school lousy in athletics? Like the P10 with Texas Tech, that was baggage the B8 was willing to take to get Texas.

          The B12 was always a shotgun wedding since its primary purpose was to keep the B8 from being canibalized by its more powerful neighbors (B10, Pac8) by adding Texas TV markets and a CCG. However, geography (in the middle of the 3 most powerful conferences) and lack of tradition worked against the B12. So what did not happen in the mid-90s was just delayed for 15 years. If the LHN and Sooner networks are big successes then the B12 may survive long term. If not the B12 will probably lose its remaining kings in another 6-10 years.

          • bullet says:

            There was some discussion of OU and OSU joining the SWC. It was never certain who was going where. KSU prior to Bill Snyder had the worst football program in any major conference. He did an incredible job.

    • joe4psu says:

      I don’t remember if the article below has been posted before but I thought this quote was very interesting. Wonder when the sportswriters will catch up.

      “Many in Division I accept the expectation that eventually there will be five to six super conferences and are trying to determine where they will fit when that does happen.”

      College Football Needs Way to End Conference Panic, NCAA Chief Emmert Says – Curtis Eichelberger, Bloomberg

      • greg says:

        Emmert and the NCAA have one easy way to slow down expansion, if they can get one rule passed. Change the conference title game rule. Both that you don’t need 12 teams, and you don’t have to play round robin.

        The 12 team rule encourages schools to expand for the conference game payout. Allow the B12 to stage a title game with 10 teams, and they are less likely to expand.

        Remove the round robin rule. Let each conference come up with their own reasons. The SEC is only being forced to go to 14 due to the title game rule. If they can decide how to decide their division champs, I imagine they’d be happy at 13.

        Some conferences may be against the change, but they would likely be the minority.

        • zeek says:

          That ship has already sailed though. While I think that kind of change might have helped before, the Big Ten was looking for 12; the Pac-10 needed to get dominance over the MWC region (and move east); the SEC was always staring at Texas A&M; and the ACC was forced to react to protect itself.

          Not really sure what it would do now with everyone except the Big 12 at 10. And if the Big 12 takes WVU or the SEC does, then you’re just left with 5 power conferences with only the Big 12 under 12…

          • greg says:

            What would it do now? All of college football is waiting for SEC #14 to upset the apple cart. If Emmert got the rule changed, we have have stability (for now).

          • zeek says:

            The SEC is going to go to 14 regardless of the round robin rule or anything like that.

            Odd numbers beyond 10 are inherently unstable for providing for a CCG in terms of competitive equity and all of that.

            You do have a point with respect to the Big 12 at 10 teams staying at 10 with a CCG, but other than that, I don’t see how it helps.

          • greg says:

            SEC may eventually go to 14 regardless, but I think it can take its sweet time, as in years, if it so chooses. Title game stuff forces it to act more quickly.

            There is no logical NEED to enforce the 12/round robin. Modifying the rule may help limit realignment in the future. The Big East may pouch fewer CUSA. CUSA poach fewer Sun Belt. Etc.

          • bullet says:

            The logic in enforcing it is that otherwise there is no real justification for the extra game.

          • zeek says:

            Except it doesn’t really force expansion…; Big Ten stayed at 11 despite knowing about a CCG at 12 for around 19 years. Of course, they kept trying to grab Notre Dame, but it’s not like they settled solely for a CCG.

            Pac-10 did the same; waited until an opportunity could be made on Texas (and when they got an aggressive commissioner).

            SEC is going beyond 12, already having it, just to get into Texas. They’re just trying to figure out how to get Missouri to be #14.

            ACC went beyond 12 to protect itself.

            Conferences have tended to expand naturally over the past 100 years. Whether the CCG rule influenced that (as it clearly did in the case of the SEC originally and the ACC when it went to 12 from 9) is somewhat debatable in the current circumstance.

            The conferences would have still expanded even if they all had CCGs already. Pac-10 needed to move east and get the MWC neutralized. Big Ten was going to need a #12 at some point to even out divisions. SEC and ACC went beyond 12, so the CCG point is mostly moot.

            Big East is looking at 12 because of the CCG rule, so that I guess is valid…, but the other 5 conferences were going to do what they were going to do regardless of that rule.

        • Brian says:


          I totally disagree with you.

          First, the NCAA shouldn’t be in the business of trying to slow down expansion/realignment. It’s not their place. The NCAA should be neutral on expansion. Second, the CCG rule isn’t bad.

          Smaller conferences shouldn’t play a CCG. They can play a round robin to determine their champion. The only sizes that can maybe make a case are 10 and 11 schools, and the recent growth of 9 game conference schedules eliminates 10. That leaves 11 team conferences, which are fairly rare, and even they can play a full round robin. The point of a CCG is to determine a champion in a conference which is too large to play a full round robin. The money is a bonus for AQ leagues. If you don’t have 12 teams, you shouldn’t have a CCG.

          The round robin part of the rule is obvious and necessary. To play a CCG you need divisions, and unless you have 21+ teams in the conference there is no excuse not to play everyone in your division. This part of the rule acts to restrict expansion anyway, by reducing how often conference members will play each other if the conference gets too large.

          Odd numbers are a problem for scheduling in football, so conferences of 7, 9, 11, 13, etc will always look to even up their numbers. It has nothing to do with a CCG.

          I’m guessing your proposed changes would fail miserably in a vote. Why would other conferences change the rules to benefit the B12, especially when others have tried to change the rules and failed?

          If the NCAA administration wants to change anything, it should focus on the process of expansion instead of the fact of expansion. They could potentially set time windows when certain events are allowed to happen, much like they do with recruiting, and that would keep the worst of this round from happening. The membership might support that kind of change, but in general the schools want their conference to determine the rules for them rather than having one national rule for everybody.

          • bullet says:

            The time window is a good suggestion. Some of the negatives (and some even worse potential negatives as the impact trickles down) are because everyone is rushing to get it done very late in the year. Its also distracting the ADs and Presidents from doing their main jobs.

            It could be a specific time frame such as April 1 to August 31 or a time constraint such as noone invited after August 31 is eligible for a conferences’ automatic birth in any sport until 24 months have passed.

    • No guarantee whatsoever you’d see increased access. It is still VERY possible that the Big East loses AQ (or instead of a MWC-CUSA game for an AQ each year [which NO ONE running the BCS or an AQ league has said or even hinted is on the table], you might see a BigEast-MWC game for an AQ each year, which keeps the Big East in a “prefferred” position but has the net of freeing up a big each year, since lately both BE and MWC have gotten one).

  31. [...] Netflix, Qwikster and the Big East (Frank the Tank): Great post from expansion aficionado Frank the Tank, who was on top of the Big Ten expansion from Day 1. He compares the Big East’s decision to sell its basketball soul for football to Netflix’s short-lived and ill-fated decision to split its DVD and streaming services into two separate companies. [...]

    • vp19 says:

      It’s suggested there the ACC will retain the current Atlantic and Coastal divisions, adding one of the newcomers to each. I’m guessing it will be Syracuse to the Atlantic, where it can renew rivalries with Boston College and Maryland, and Pittsburgh to the Coastal, where it can play Virginia Tech again, with SU-Pitt joining the cross-division game lineup.

      Someone suggested this to the Daily Press:

      “I’d prefer a division arangment of ‘old’ vs ‘new.’ The Coastal (Old) can be the pre 1978 ACC of UVA, UMD, UNC, NCSU, Duke, Wake, Clemson. The Atlantic (New) GT, FSU, Miami, BC, VT, Pitt, Syracuse. If the time comes for a 16 team expansion, move GT to the ‘old’.”

      • EZCUSE says:

        The problem with Old/New is the unbalanced football. Apparently, FSU doesn’t like North/South for that very reason. Old/New is even worse, as Miami, Va Tech, and FSU are all in one.

        I would say that this would work though:

        Atlantic: Miami, Va Tech, Pitt, Syracuse, BC, Maryland, Virginia
        Coastal: FSU, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Wake, Duke, NC State, NC

        That is North/South with Miami sliding up. Teams are located above rival. Open season against rival. That way, if Miami-FSU make the CCG, no worries about a rematch. Or fewer worries.

        This also works for hoops. Pitt-Syracuse-Maryland v Duke-UNC.

        • The simplest is to bunch the six north schools (Pitt Cuse BC MD UVA VT) and one other (either Miami to preserve old BE rivalries or Wake to make it geographic), and then protect a couple inter-division games (UVA-UNC; Miami-FSU if Miami goes North or Wake-NC St if Wake goes North; and maybe a couple others I’m drawing blanks on). Since it’s the ACC though, they’ll probably just keep the dumbass Atlantic/Coastal splits adding one newcomer to each.

      • Eric says:

        I agree Syracuse to the Atlantic and Pitt to the Coastal is most likely. It’s not the worst they could do, but I think they could also do far better too. How about this (with maybe a few changes to the crossovers to due to rivalries I’m not 100% familiar with)

        Florida State——–Miami
        North Carolina—–Virginia
        Clemson————Boston College
        Georgia Tech——Maryland
        North Carolina S.-Virginia Tech
        Wake Forest——-Pitt

        This would give both divisions access to Florida (that’s not going to disappear under any circumstances in my opinion), have all the North Carolina schools playing each other, have all the former Big East schools playing each other, be geographically friendly (outside of Miami in an otherwise northern division), and I think preserve almost all rivalries (might be missing some though).

        • bullet says:

          Expansion would be a good time to get rid of their ridiculous divisions and perhaps build on regional rivalries instead of splitting them up.

          I like Eric’s divisions. The keys are putting the NE schools back together and making sure FSU, Miami and VT aren’t all in the same division. Two other alternatives:
          to be more geographically accurate, switch Wake Forest and Miami in Eric’s divisions. The other would be to split the states of VA and NC:

          In terms of 4 year attendance, the Southish would have 1 Clemson -77k, 2 FSU-76k, 4-UNC-58k, 6 UVA-51k, 7 GT-49k, 8 Miami-48k, 14 Duke-26k
          Northish would have 3 VT-66k, 5 NCSU-57k, 9 Pitt-47k, 10 MD-46k, 11 BC-39k, 12 SU-37k, 13 WF-32k.

          To get the attendance numbers up for the NE schools, they need for them to play someone they care about. Putting them together helps.

    • zeek says:

      Have to think ND is off the table if they go to 10. 9 for the Big Ten and ACC makes the decision that much more difficult if the day ever comes…

      It’ll be interesting to see how much more they get; I can see $15M per team as others have suggested earlier. That puts ESPN at around $30M for Pitt/Syracuse + $24M for the other 12. $54M a year for more inventory and higher quality inventory (9 versus 8 conference games) as well as the big reduction in the Big East’s offer (or might just let that go entirely)…

      • PSUGuy says:

        Interesting thought…everyone is thinking that the increased size of conferences may force ND into one of them, but the reality is if all the major conferences move to 9 game schedules (or even 10) it may becoe impossible for ND to play its main rivalry games simply due to $$$.

        If the major powers NEED 7 home games to pay the bills, but only have the three (or two) OoC games to be home games ND might not just have a problem scheduling compelling teams in the later part of the season.

        • redwood86 says:

          Why do you people buy this total BS that the major powers need 7 home games to pay the bills? I mean, really, the Bigger Ten teams earn multiple of dollars more than they did a decade ago yet that 7th game is all that keeps their ADs from being in the red? Please. Most major powers are afraid to play real competition in a hostile or neutral environment. End of story.

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            It’s not about fear. It’s about money. The rich need to get richer. NCAA needs to step in and say everyone must have a balanced home/home schedule. That’s a question of fairness on the field.

          • crpodhaj says:

            Yes, actually, they need that 7th game to stay in the black or near-black. Remember, football pays for nearly everything in an athletic department. And, while I cannot remember the numbers, about a sixth of the schools actually made money last year – a few broke even and many lost money or bolster their athletic departments from the general fund. That 7th game actually is huge.

          • loki_the_bubba says:


            That 7th game would have an effect on Temple, Boise, SJSU, or any other team. Allowing the big schools to have 7 or even 8 home games is travesty. Fair play demands a balanced schedule. They are making a mockery of sports.

          • greg says:

            I guess we need to also enforce “balanced” schedules in basketball, baseball, wrestling, and probably every other sport that the NCAA sponsors, because those are even MORE unbalanced.

          • zeek says:

            That 7th home game is worth like $4-6M for schools like Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Alabama, Texas, Florida, LSU, Nebraska… And as loki and crpodhaj are saying it’s about money (in the context of the arms race) and paying for the rest of the department…

          • loki_the_bubba says:


            I’m very much in favor of balanced sport in everything. Make LSU baseball travel outside Louisiana for an OOC series for the first time in three decades.*

            (*not literally, hyperbole, they play about 95% of their ooc in LA)

          • greg says:

            loki, go ahead and petition Rice baseball to balance their schedule first.

          • loki_the_bubba says:


            I have done that before. I did not get as good a response as I had hoped. We’re one of the ‘haves’ now in baseball and are trying to keep it that way. That doesn’t make it right.

          • EZCUSE says:

            If a school makes $20M in TV revenue, but still requires a 7th home game to break even… I think it is time for new management. Is it THAT much more expensive to run Nebraska than it is West Virginia?

          • zeek says:

            It’s that they spend almost every dollar they take in…

            But you do have a point, these same departments are taking in like 40-50% more than they were just 8-10 years ago due to much bigger TV contracts (like 200-300% bigger in most cases) and much higher ticket revenue.

            A department that was spending like $60M just 8-10 years ago is now spending $100M+ now. Hard to see where all of that is going other than to coaches salaries and the like. It’s not like the fundamental structure of the departments has changed to justify the much bigger expenditures…

          • frug says:


            That’s a really terrible idea for everyone. The have nots need those gaurenteed games to pay the bills. Selling home games is actually more profitable for a lot of non-AQs than playing home games.

          • PSUGuy says:


            PSU supports 29 (soon to be 31) scholarship sports teams. WVU supports 17. Yes, that extra home game is that important…at least for some schools

            For example:

            ~110,000 tickets @ $55 / ticket = ~$6 million
            ~55,000 parking passes @$10 / pass ($40 gameday) = ~$550,000
            ~25,000 buy concessions @ $20 / trip = ~$500,000

            So just going off the “easy” estimates a home game to PSU is worth at least $7 million and that doesn’t even include local advertising, games rights, etc.

          • PSUGuy says:

            Also, I forgot about PSU’s 68 club teams. They don’t get “tons” of money but they are paid out (last I heard) from athletic department funds.


            That’s my major gripe about the whole process. A school like Texas goes out and spends $5-10 million on a coach that really doesn’t strike me as all that good (relying on institutional churn to maintain competitiveness levels), LSU and Bama hire Miles and Saban to over-sign like crazy, and everyone spends millions on “football only” infrastructure when they could be standing up a women’s badmitton team with full scholarships.

            IMO, there should be a % of total budget dedicated to scholarships (and I mean closer to 75%) or some alteration to the scholarship quotas (perhaps a “Title IX like rule where if you have football and men’s bball, you must have those scholarships + women’s scholarships + an additional % or scholarships…basically forcing schools that “spend the minimum to play football to expand their athletic offerings).

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            To me, all of these economic arguments are not relevant. Adjust the schedules to make competition fair, balanced home and away, and the schools will each find their own path to adjust to the economic realities. There is no argument that Sand Diego State should be at a competitive disadvantage in scheduling just because tOSU has 32 varsity sports and Penn State has 68 clubs.

          • EZCUSE says:

            My point is that… for all the talk of the B1G raking in money… there is no suggestion that they are comfortable. And if the richest schools in the NCAA cannot find a comfort zone, what chance do the rest of the schools have? What is wrong with the ADs at the B1G?

            Pitt’s revenue last year was less than $5M. Unless Penn State has 4 times as many programs… how can Penn State have any financial issues at all. Plus, Joe Paterno’s salary is based on inflation never happening after 1970. :-) Imagine if they had to hire a head coach who was money motivated.

          • zeek says:

            PSUGuy, you might be changing your tune on that when Penn State offers Urban Meyer a $4-5M per year contract.

            EZCUSE, it’s become like a business enterprise now. Have you seen what Dave Brandon’s done with Michigan? He’s basically made it into a corporation. That place is monetizing value like it’s never done before.

            Michigan could go from like $80-90M revenue to over $130-150M in under 5 years (and that’s before the Big Ten experiences a big bump from TV in 2016). That’s what we’re talking about…, these departments are being run like revenue generators now. Anything and everything that can be monetized is being done.

            The war over coaching salaries/assistant salaries (Mattison as def. coordinator is a case in point; easily one of the most expensive assistants if not the top one in the Big Ten) is just the start.

            Michigan and other big schools have been adding seat licenses and the rest like you see in the NFL.

            None of this is being done to add new sports or scholarships or anything (yes Michigan is adding men’s and women’s lacrosse, but that probably only requires another $2-3M annually to run at the maximum).

            The big boys are basically trying to differentiate their brands from everyone else and grow them out; the schools that are lucky to be in the same conferences: Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC, ACC, Big 12; will likely experience a lot of growth as well as a side-effect, so they’re just going to be happy to be at the same table. But more than likely, the very top will continue to distance themselves from the rest.

            I’d venture that we see 2+ universities pulling in $200M+ annually before we see 25-30 hit $100M. But that’s the nature of the game, the biggest names are figuring out that they’ve left many millions on the table in terms of brand value and are now trying to grab that…

          • bullet says:

            What makes sense in the close distances of the midwest and north east doesn’t make sense everywhere.

            Why should all sports be intercollegiate NCAA? When I was in school there was some organization with some name like ACUI that sponsored a number of competitions (bowling and chess are two I can remember, but there were many others) on regional bases. And some things make more sense just as intramurals.

            When you look at Texas, there are only 3 NCAA sports they don’t sponsor that have any popularity in Texas-men’s soccer, men’s wrestling and women’s gymnastics. At one time in their past they had fencing, but how many people really do that, especially outside the northeast? And with title IX you have to do women’s sports like rowing and equestrian to offset the football scholarships. To add more men’s sports means more obscure women’s sports.

          • zeek says:

            Ice hockey proves that point bullet.

            Penn State needed a $90M gift in order to fund an arena and scholarships to launch that program. How many of the current ice hockey schools could really afford that (if they didn’t have those programs)? How many non-ice hockey schools could afford that?

            The schools that got in a lot of sports when this was all much cheaper (more than 10+ years ago) are benefiting now from the largess of running their operations.

            Adding sports now is way more costly than it was just 10 years ago…

          • 84Lion says:

            You might be changing your tune on that when Penn State offers Urban Meyer a $4-5M per year contract.

            Zeek, I sure hope you’re right that that’s “when” as opposed to “if!”

          • bullet says:

            Even maintaining sports is much more expensive than it was 10 or 15 years ago. The indoor practice facilities and weight training facilities are much more elaborate now in order to attract recruits. Baseball facilities were a flat field, chain link fence and some wooden bleachers in most places not too long ago. That’s the reason a large, realtively wealthy school like Texas A&M has an athletic department that is struggling for funds. They’re spending a bunch on facility upgrades.

          • PSUGuy says:

            “PSUGuy, you might be changing your tune on that when Penn State offers Urban Meyer a $4-5M per year contract.”

            @zeek – Personally, if he (or anyone else) get’s that much while maintaining the current 70-90% yearly (federal) PSU graduation rate and doesn’t oversign, etc (and winning ridiculous amounts obviously)…I’ll grumble, but think he was worth it. Odds are he won’t and I’ll just have to accept it as “the times”, but I’ll never like it.

            “Why should all sports be intercollegiate NCAA?”

            @bullet – I’m not talking about “all sports must be offered in all places” I’m saying if an athletic department ends up raising more $$$ its first priority should be in expanding the scholarship athletics the university offers under the (original) mission of offering education to as many people as possible. Not rolling that into $100 million “practice facilities” or “recruiting bonuses” for head coaches who are just going to cut the players anyway. If one region prefers baseball to soccer to fencing to tennis so be it.

            “Adding sports now is way more costly than it was just 10 years ago…”

            @zeek (again) – First off, I tend to see this as an extension of the “arms race” you see in the “big” sports. If you’re willing to spend millions more on those sports (football, men’s bball) spending a couple extra thousand doesn’t seem like such a big deal (see Cael Sanderson at PSU for a perfect example). As such its kind of hard to feel sympathy.

          • Brian says:


            You do realize that the member schools of the NCAA will never vote to force balanced schedules on themselves, right? They all benefit from unbalanced schedules in various ways (competitively, financially, exposure, etc).

            You also realize that if CFB was forced to a 6/6 schedule, you are definitely punishing the little guy. If OSU has to play only 6 home games, all OOC games will have to be home and homes with other major schools (OSU isn’t going to play at Akron). Say goodbye to money and exposure for the little guys. The other option is a lot more neutral site games.

            What do you do with neutral site games? Do those count as away games now (so 6-4-2 or 6-5-1 = 6-6 for your balanced schedule rule)? If so, the big boys may just play their patsies at nearby “neutral” sites. OSU would presumable alternate between Cleveland and Cincinnati as neutral sites to play MAC schools, and even then would need a favorable contract to make money on it. OSU playing in an NFL stadium would make millions less than for a home game. The other option is to continue playing patsies at home and replacing big boy home and homes with neutral site games, which punishes the local fans.

            Your rule would suck money out of the sport, and that always hurts the little guy more. Trying to legislate fairness in scheduling is a fool’s errand when some schools seat over 100,000 people while others don’t seat 30,000. Nobody forces the little guys to play fewer home games, they choose it as a way to make more money.

          • zeek says:

            I actually think that it’s benefited smaller schools as much as it has benefited the larger schools that can afford to have the biggest operations (Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State).

            Schools like Northwestern can focus on trying to be dominant at a more niche sport (women’s lacrosse) in order to build out their brands. Northwestern has basically made that out to be its most important sport behind football and men’s basketball. And it’s paid off with 6 of the past 7 national championships.

            Even schools not in the major conferences, like Rice can do that as they’ve done with baseball in becoming one of the top 10-20 schools at that sport.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            @Cuze – Pitt only sponsors 19 varsity sports. They averaged $40M in AD revenue from 05-09. PSU averaged $83M over the same time frame and supported 10 more programs.

            @Loki – SDSU isn’t at a competitive disadvantage because of the number of varisty programs. It’s at a competitive disadvantage because it didn’t invest in the infrastructure to build a competitive FB program decades ago.

  32. M says:

    I haven’t put these up in awhile, so here are the transitive rankings after this week:
    Top 25
    1 Alabama 83-0 (6-0) 21
    2 Oklahoma 70-0 (5-0) 30
    3 Clemson 67-0 (6-0) 66
    4 Illinois 66-0 (6-0) 84
    5 Texas 66-1 (4-1) 11
    5 Georgia Tech 65-0 (6-0) 44
    5 Kansas State 65-0 (5-0) 54
    8 Arkansas 64-1 (5-1) 34
    9 Baylor 63-1 (4-1) 17
    9 LSU 62-0 (6-0) 22
    9 North Carolina 63-1 (5-1) 43
    12 Arizona State 62-1 (5-1) 36
    13 Boise State 60-0 (5-0) 37
    13 Michigan 60-0 (6-0) 91
    15 Rutgers 61-2 (4-1) 10
    16 Southern California 60-2 (4-1) 75
    16 Wisconsin 58-0 (5-0) 113
    18 Penn State 58-1 (5-1) 27
    19 Nebraska 57-1 (5-1) 55
    20 Iowa State 59-4 (3-2) 1
    20 Oklahoma State 55-0 (5-0) 76
    22 Virginia Tech 53-1 (5-1) 31
    23 Iowa 57-7 (3-2) 15
    23 West Virginia 51-1 (5-1) 70
    25 Syracuse 54-6 (4-2) 45

    (6 B1G, 6 Texas Ten, 4 ACC, 3 SEC, 3 Big East, 2 Pac-12, 1 Boise State)

    The last number is a SOS rank.

    LSU’s schedule looked impressive, but so far the best win by an LSU opponent was either Florida over Tennessee or WVU over Marshall. For comparison, Alabama has Penn State over Iowa, Arkansas over Auburn and Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt over Connecticut (as well as UF over UTn).

    The Big 12 ended up with 3 out-of-conference losses, the “worst” of which was Arkansas over A&M (a middling SEC team beats a Big 12 title contender). Unless Arkansas plummets and A&M ends up in the top of the Big 12, there’s no way the computer rankings will have the SEC above the Big 12 before the bowl games.

    The SEC only has 3 in the top 25, but has 6 in the 26-40 range. I expect a few of those to rise up and distinguish themselves.

    4 Illinois 66-0 (6-0) 84
    13 Michigan 60-0 (6-0) 91
    16 Wisconsin 58-0 (5-0) 113
    18 Penn State 58-1 (5-1) 27
    19 Nebraska 57-1 (5-1) 55
    23 Iowa 57-7 (3-2) 15
    37 Michigan State 50-15 (4-1) 79
    50 Ohio State 47-29 (3-3) 68
    88 Purdue 21-56 (3-2) 97
    99 Minnesota 18-67 (1-5) 88
    101 Indiana 0-59 (1-5) 41
    110 Northwestern 10-99-1 (2-3) 93

    I don’t think that Northwestern is the worst B1G team, but so far Army has lost to Northern Illinois, Miami (OH) and Ball State. NU’s only FBS win was over BC, whose only win was against a bad FCS team. These rankings remain unimpressed with Wisconsin, who has had the 113th hardest schedule in FBS. Their win over Nebraska helps, but Nebraska hasn’t beaten anyone that great either (Washington and OSU).

    Bottom 10 FBS:
    86 Kentucky 24-55 (2-4) 50
    88 Purdue 21-56 (3-2) 97
    89 Virginia 19-55 (3-2) 105
    99 Minnesota 18-67 (1-5) 88
    101 Indiana 0-59 (1-5) 41
    104 Colorado 12-96-2 (1-5) 96
    110 Northwestern 10-99-1 (2-3) 93
    115 Oregon State 1-105 (1-4) 53
    116 Boston College 0-105 (1-5) 71
    119 Arizona 0-106 (1-5) 31

    The Pac-12 (4) and Big Ten (3) do not do well here.

    • EZCUSE says:

      This should be one of the “Computer polls” factored into the BCS. I know it’s screwy… but isn’t that the point?

      Anyone can arrange the undefeated teams… and then the 1-loss teams… and so on.

      This one is pure, simple math.

      • zeek says:

        Yeah, this kind of rankings takes out the bias of making an algorithm weighted to a result you want.

        In this case, it’s just total wins and total losses of the schedule.

      • M says:

        These rankings have the benefit that they are easy to understand and intuitively reasonable. By the end, they fairly closely match other computer rankings, but they are much better at answering “why is team A ranked higher than team B?” questions.

        As Zeek says below, they have the added benefit of having no mysteriously chosen weights or unusual operations.

    • Read The D says:

      Explain how this system works again. If Team A beats Team B they also get the wins that Team B has and so on? Same with losses?

      • M says:

        Exactly. These rankings guarantee that if Team A beats Team B, Team A is higher ranked because they get all the wins from Team B and Team B gets all of the losses from Team A.

        The only exception comes from cycles (e.g. Ohio State beat Toledo who beat Temple who beat Maryland who beat Miami (FL) who beat Ohio State). The system gives the head-to-head win to the team with the shorter path.

        In that case, Ohio State get wins over Toledo (path length 1 to beat, 4 to lose to) and Temple (2,3), but losses to Maryland (3,2) and Miami (4,1). This seems fair to me, but in this case OSU doesn’t get all the wins that Toledo has (as Toledo gets the win over Maryland that OSU doesn’t). With any rankings system, a cycle inevitable causes a team to be ranked lower than a team it beat, but this seems like a good resolution to me.

    • zeek says:

      That Illinois win over ASU could look huge come the end of the year (as your rankings bear out).

      ASU could easily be in the Pac-12 title game, and that could be a boost to Illinois’ BCS bowl chances in the computer models.

    • mwp says:

      M, who releases those rankings? Pretty interesting ranking that isn´t heavily biased toward pre-season predictions, like most of the polls we see.

  33. loki_the_bubba says:

    Navy does not want to go to the Big East (fb-only) until the BE can stabilize its future,

    • zeek says:

      As Zachary says, how can this possibly happen until Missouri does something and the SEC reaches 14.

      If you’re WVU or Louisville, there’s no way you can make a firm commitment if you know that the SEC will need a #14 and that might give you a spot in the Big 12 (either) or SEC (WVU).

      • zeek says:

        The other thing is, won’t this keep Air Force out? Army already said no (for competitiveness reasons), and Air Force was all gung-ho about being with the other academies. With Navy holding out (not unlike BYU and the Big 12), it’s hard to see how Air Force could make this move alone…

        • EZCUSE says:

          That’s what the official notice will be. But, deep down, Air Force will simply bow out because it would change the history of mankind—nay… the history of the Universe—if they were to slide up one level in the conference pecking order. I think the Big Bang would reverse itself.

  34. Gees, nothing can happen now until Missouri makes a move.

  35. cutter says:

    It looks like the air has gone out a bit on Notre Dame’s television ratings this season. The high so far was the ESPN game against Michigan with a 4.5 U.S. rating and 7.541 million viewers, The ND game on NBC in Week 3 with Michigan State was 2.6/3.831M, the Pittsburgh game on NBC in Week 4 had a 3.1 rating and 4.322 million viewers. The opener with USF was a 2.4. I couldn’t find data on the game with Purdue.


    Teensy-Tiny Notre Dame Football Numbers For NBC: Saturday’s college football game between Air Force and Notre Dame earned a mere 1.2 overnight rating on NBC, down 43% from NBC’s third Notre Dame telecast last year (STAN/ND: 2.1), and down 64% from the third such telecast in 2009 (WSH/ND: 3.3). (Houston Chronicle)

    USA Today:

    Running numbers:Notre Dame’s home win against Air Force on Saturday might set an NBC record as the network’s lowest-rated Irish football game. The game drew a 1.2 overnight, translating to 1.2% of TV households in the 56 urban markets measured for overnights.

    National ratings for sports are often lower than overnights. When this game’s national rating comes out, it has a solid chance of going below the 1.2 national for a 2007 Duke-Notre Dame game, the low for an Irish game on NBC.

    Records are made to be broken.

    Moving on, here are the national overnights: Boise State-Fresno State, 1.1 (ESPN, Friday); Minnesota-Purdue, 0.6 (ESPN); 2:30 p.m. regional games, 0.6 (ESPN); Auburn, Alabama, 1.8 (ESPN); Louisville-North Carolina, 0.5 (ESPN2); Georgia-Tennessee, 1.5 (ESPN2); Cardinals-Brewers Game 1, 2.4 (TBS); Oklahoma-Texas, 4.5 (ABC); 2:30 p.m. regional games, 3.1 (ABC); Ohio State-Nebraska, 3.7 (ABC); Florida-LSU, 3.2 (CBS); Tigers-Rangers Game 1 (excluding rain delays), 3.9 (Fox); Air Force-Notre Dame, 1.2 (NBC).

    One writer from Bloomberg Business Week isn’t too enamored with the value of Notre Dame football– see “Notre Dame, the Fleecing Irish”

    • zeek says:

      Two things though protect ND’s contract with NBC.

      1) It’s become severely undervalued compared to other high quality football properties (Big Ten, SEC, Pac-12). Right now, it’s worth as much as the ACC-14 probably expects to get for its 14 schools. ND games are surely worth much more than that. The ND contract is based off valuations from before the current rights explosion started by the BTN and SEC-ESPN; thus, NBC is probably happy with it even though ND hasn’t been pulling in bigger numbers. That contract is “cheap” until 2015, and ND doesn’t really care about the money, they might be willing to just continue it at an undervalued rate (say bump to $20-23M which is going to be well below the Big Ten or SEC or Pac-12) in order to keep the national platform on NBC.

      2) NBC Sports just signed on ND hockey for 2013 and on…; if they were going to hesitate about the football program, they probably might have been hesitant on that contract. I don’t think you sign onto their hockey program only to jettison their football program two years down the road.

      These two factors are working to Notre Dame’s favor.

      • zeek says:

        As to my first point, I would go so far as to guess that at current valuations, ND’s contract should be around $20-25M per year. That’s a big discount that NBC is getting from having that locked in; neither side is going to complain because they each get a benefit. NBC gets relatively cheap content (compared to Big Ten/SEC/Pac-12), while ND gets the national platform.

        But there is one concern that your articles bring up. ND has become like MLB in terms of its ratings among younger age groups (significantly older age group than comparable groups). That’s something to watch, and it’s something that M has brought up in the past. ND has to figure out a way to turn that around…

        • vp19 says:

          Notre Dame still appeals to older urban ethnics, but their number is declining. Apparently ND is trying to boost its impact among Hispanic Catholics (hence games in San Antonio, a series with Texas, etc.), but I’m still skeptical whether this strategy will work.

          • zeek says:

            Agreed. I think it’s something to watch because ND to me is similar to MLB in many ways (especially appeal/audience focus). While the Big Ten itself isn’t growing as fast as other regions, it’s not yet at risk of population loss significantly, and even then, the schools should be able to weather the storm by attracting students from other regions as many of them are doing. They rely much more on their alumni bases than ND does for ratings, etc.

            Yet I tell anyone who’ll listen that I expect the NBA to surpass MLB within the next two decades unless they totally screw up the CBA. ND has to figure out a way to make their ratings younger. The 18-49 group is their replacement audience and if that remains small, it’s hard to see them pulling the same ratings in 10-20 years.

          • bullet says:

            I think ND needs to strike while they are still relevant, which means the next 10-15 years. Unless their current coach or next coach hits a really good streak, the B1G and ACC may not be interested. Pitt and Minnesota once filled stadiums. ND’s appeal to subway alumni is a combination of success (haven’t had that lately) and the discrimination that Irish Catholics felt (nothing like it was for the older people).

          • Mike says:

            I’m sure not one ND fan will agree with me, but if ND wants to be relevant (nationally) they have to have more to play for than a National Title. They lost two early, and could conceivably still make a BCS bowl but their games are not “must see TV” anymore this year. Yes, the games against USC and Stanford will attract attention, but their games would be much bigger if there was a conference/division title on the line.

            The same argument goes for BYU, IMHO

          • zeek says:


            That’s actually a fair statement, I mean the ratings for teams goes up and down based on how highly ranked they are (within reason; obviously a low ranked or even unranked king will still pull in decent ratings).

            Having something to play for (Big Ten or Pac-12 bid for the Rose Bowl) or whatever still gives a lot of value.

            This will only become more true when a playoff (even just 4-8 teams) comes around. People will mostly focus on playoff participants. In years where ND isn’t ranked highly enough or loses 1-2 games early, that will really hurt them. Maybe more than it hurts now to lose those games…

        • Read The D says:

          I would think the easiest way to become relative to younger viewers is to win something in their lifetime.

          • mushroomgod says:

            Which makes ND’s scheduling delimma interesting…… the AF ratings #s indicate, scheduling cupcakes kills the ratings…on the other hand, scheduling teams that can really beat you, even 20-25% of the time, doesn’t work, because ND can only lose 0 or 1 game and remain relevent, given no conference affiliation.

        • cutter says:

          The range you’re talking about ($20M to $25M) is comparable to the Big Ten’s conference distributions which include television revenue for football and basketball, money from the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and net bowl revenue. Michigan reported its revenue projection for FY 2012 from these sources at $23.8M (which is what about all the Big Ten schools will get).

          I think Notre Dame’s valuation at around $15M for the NBC contract to televise seven home games per season is actually a bit overvalued. The ABC/ESPN contract plus the BTN and CBS (for basketball) paid Michigan $17.58M of the $23.8M in FY 2012. Admittedly, the contract were signed in 2006 for the media rights, but the ABC/ESPN contract definitely has an escalator clause in it and the BTN is outperforming expectations.

          What is NBC getting in return for its $15M? While Notre Dame’s scheduling quality varies from season to season, NBC is televising games against Southern Florida, Michigan State, Air Force, USC, Navy, Maryland (in Washington DC) and Boston College with three games in prime time (Purdue, USC, Maryland) .

          If you go into past history, you’ll see that ND generally has two high ratings games regardless of the circumstances–Michigan and Southern Cal. The ratings for the other games really depend not only on how well Notre Dame is doing, but the quality of the opponent as well. ND could be doing great, but if the opponent is middling, the ratings generally reflect that as well. Who knows what the surveys are saying? Perhaps fans also don’t keep interested in Notre Dame once they’re out of the national title hunt or for a BCS bowl because there are no conference stakes. Maybe the late season schedule isn’t very compelling.

          That’s not to say that NBC/Comcast won’t continue the relationship with Notre Dame, simply that it might be revalued in future years. I don’t think that revaluation will drive into ND into a conference because football and men’s basketball more than pay for themselves and for the other programs in the athletic department.

          What the biggest problem Notre Dame will have is attracting bigger viewership. With the conferences getting bigger (and with the ACC now contemplating a nine-game conference schedule along with the Pac 12, Big XII and the Big Ten starting in 2017), it’s going to get even more difficult for ND to get high quality games in the latter two months of the season. USC and Stanford both have waivers with the Pac 12 to play ND in October and November, but any other Pac 12 team that wants to do that will need approval of all the other ADs in the conference. There’ll still be programs from the Mountain West, plus BYU and the academy independents who might be available, but the pickings might be slim among the teams left in the Big East.

          The other problem Notre Dame will be running into is the last week of the season when the conference championship games are being played and ND is essentially shut out of the season ending discussion (a problem the Big Ten felt it was encountering by not having a conference championship game).

          Now I’m not going to say that Notre Dame’s viewership is going to go kerplunk tomorrow. But if the narrative ND football provides over time isn’t compelling because of the lack of quality opponents or due to the lack of season end exposure or because ND isn’t a consistent national contender, the things could get problematic for them. They could still play on NBC and they could still get paid, but will Notre Dame football be must see TV? Stay tuned–or not.

          • zeek says:

            While your analysis is fair, I don’t think you’re looking at ND-specific factors.

            They have 1 marquee home game per year (Michigan or USC), and then they typically have 6 other home games.

            There was one ACC-based analysis which put ND games at $3M valuation per (presumably based on the average ACC opponent). Michigan-ND or USC-ND are worth more than that, so those 7 games are probably worth $20-25M including the less value games like Army.

          • cutter says:

            For Zeek:

            NBC renewed its contract with Notre Dame in June 2008 to run thru the 2015 season. The previous contract paid $9M per year with the new contract paying upwards of $15M per year (although there’s never been strong confirmation of that figure nor has there been any discussion about an escalator clause either).

            In three to four years’ time, the NBC/Comcast management team is going to have to make a decision on its relationship with Notre Dame vis-a-vis football. Will they continue as before with perhaps another $6M bump to get to around $21M per year for those seven games? That would be consistent with the ACC analysis that you’re citing, i.e., each ND football game is worth $3M per game to the televising network.

            Or are the decision makers (who aren’t the same as the ones who extended the contract back in 2008) going to look at Notre Dame differently? The lack of ratings wasn’t much of a deterrent to NBC in the past (the contract renewed in 2008 came off the worst season of ratings NBC has had with ND football). But will they be looked at in another way now that a different set of eyes is looking at them?

            If Notre Dame does remain independent thru to 2016, it’s very possible that ND’s “anchor conference” for its non-BCS bowls and its sports programs other than football will not be the Big East–perhaps the ACC or maybe even the Big XII. But with larger conferences on the horizon llikely to schedule nine conference football games, there’s still going to be the problem of getting quality games on the latter part of the schedule. How will NBC/Comcast’s new management look at a less than inspiring latter part of the season when it comes to negotiating a new contract with Notre Dame? Exactly what sort of eye appeal would Notre Dame have operating in that kind of environment?

            We’ll see what happens. As long as NBC feels Notre Dame is a profitable deal for them and ND is willing to be in a lag position in terms of television revenue in order to maintain itself as a football independent, then I don’t see the television relationship changing very much.

            The ratings numbers do make you wonder if Notre Dame is suffering from a slow erosion in its brand name and standing in college football not so much due to wins and losses, but because its being slowly pushed into the role of a relatively minor player in an environment where the discussion and interest is going to be placed on the even larger conferences. As I said in my previous post, ND is largely out of the discussion when the conference championship games come around. Imagine what it’d be like if those games end up being key in deciding seeding and participation in a post season college football playoff—that would really change things.

          • zeek says:

            Yeah, I tend to agree with all of that.

            As others have mentioned, the lack of winning big has hurt the most because it’s essentially created a lost generation of would-be ND fans that went and became fans of teams in conferences (and thereby fans of those conferences themselves). That’s a problem that has to be rectified soon if ND wants to slow the decline in % of its viewers in the 18-49 category (which MLB has largely failed to do as well as its postseason ratings show the same issues).

            The one thing that really protected ND was that the brass at NBC was so favorable towards them (although Ebersol liked to throw around NBC’s money towards anything, i.e. way overbid Olympics).

            However, they did get that NBC Sports contract signed for their hockey to start in 2013. If Comcast approved of that, you’d have to think that they feel okay about ND going forwards into these next contract negotiations.

            But the long-term problem of the decline in the 18-49 segment is real, and that has to be solved or ND won’t be anywhere near as valuable a property as it was in the 90s or even the past decade….

          • vp19 says:

            Notre Dame has been aided a bit in that the network — and its advertisers — are headquartered in New York, arguably the biggest national anomaly in markets where college football is concerned. Notre Dame looks more appealing than it truly is because it’s reflected through the prism of New York, perhaps the least knowledgeable market for college football, where ND has been a presence since the 1920s. But as the population ages, and there are fewer old ethnic farts (of European Catholic ancestry) in New York, Chicago and other longtime Notre Dame mainstays, it suddenly diminishes to a fringe player on the college football landscape and loses plenty of its luster for NBC.

            Once that happens, South Bend’s at a crossroads: Stay independent, and find your late-season schedule teeming with games against Tulsa and MAC schools no one wants to watch, or swallow your pride and join a conference to stay relevant?

  36. bullet says:

    College Station, we have a problem.

    SEC has apparently finally figured out what Adam and I were pointing out weeks ago. One inaccuracy in this article. The MAC has not been ignoring this NCAA rule since 2007. The first year they were at 13 they did a mad scramble to change their schedules in June because they realized they were violating the rule. But starting in 2008 they quit following the rule and no longer had round robin play in each division. I believe Adam has asked the MAC and NCAA about this and has gotten no answer.

    Its not really an impossibility to follow the rule. Its just that 4 teams in the 7 team division would have to play 9 games. Then you would have to figure out how to determine the champion-count division only or use % or arbitrarily don’t count 1 game for the 4 playing 9 and then whether you used the same method for the 6 team division where everyone plays 8 games. If you ignore the rule, two games in the 7 team division would not be played-for example, Alabama would skip A&M and Auburn would skip LSU.

    There is one possibility not mentioned which I saw suggested somewhere, which is simply to screw A&M. Make them play 4 teams in each division and not be eligible for the championship their first year. Since A&M created the mess by starting this process so late and burning all their bridges (Arkansas stayed 2 years in SWC before they left), it wouldn’t be entirely inappropriate to make them compensate for being in such a hurry.

    • EZCUSE says:

      I have been wondering about this all along.

      And it’s not like team #14 is walking through that door tomorrow. If the SEC takes WVU, then they have to wait until 2014. Who is to say the Big XII would let Missouri go at this point? You could see a lawsuit about THAT. “We are fine with you leaving, but not for 2012. We cannot replace you because WVU/Lville cannot come until 2014.” That has more teeth than merely seeking money damages.

      Here is a radical thought. A temporary team #14. Suppose the SEC allowed a random C-USA team to be SEC for one year while waiting for Team #14. Competitive imbalance? Sure. But imagine the P.R. if East Carolina was playing in the SEC-East for a season. if they went 2-6, it would be a success. If they went 4-4, how could the Big East turn them down later? Kind of a twist on relegation.

      I think there is a better chance of me being the next Batman. But it’s a fun thought.

      • bullet says:

        Its a good thought. They could even do a Sun Belt team such as UNT or LaLa. CUSA might have a problem with their championship game if it was one of their schools. But then the SEC could compensate CUSA in some manner and not even pay out a full share to ECU or whoever was the school. Maybe Memphis deserves to be in the SEC for 1 year? Or they could do a reunion with Tulane.

        • zeek says:

          While it’s an interesting idea, I’m pretty sure the collective ego of the SEC (or Big Ten for that matter) would ever let that happen.

          Could you see how badly guys like Finebaum would be ripping the SEC brass if they tried to pull a stunt like that for a year and then settled for a WVU anyways?

        • Eric says:

          Interesting idea. What about this? The Conference USA champion this year gets to play in the SEC for one year. While that might suck for Conference USA next year, this year it would really help ratings as a lot would want to see who was going to get the 1 year bid.

          • jcfreder says:

            Pretty sure the MAC has a waiver — how else could they keep having a championship game otherwise? The SEC will get the same waiver. I’d be shocked if no one at the SEC did due diligence on this. The SEC will be able to stay at 13. Not the optimal solution though, I still think there is pressure to get to a clean 14.

    • m (Ag) says:

      “There is one possibility not mentioned which I saw suggested somewhere, which is simply to screw A&M. Make them play 4 teams in each division and not be eligible for the championship their first year.”

      Well I suggested this here a month or so ago (while also talking about having some schools play 9 and some 8 conference games). Pretty sure you commented on it, too!

      I don’t think it would be controversial if it was only for a year or 2. We’d essentially be an independent with an SEC scheduling alliance. The only real controversy would be in the national media if we go 12-0 or 11-1 and didn’t play the SEC champion in the regular season. The media would debate having A&M in the BCS championship game against the SEC champion. I know no Longhorn fans would even contemplate that scenario!

      • bullet says:

        Actually I’m pretty sure I first saw the suggestion on some SEC board because I remember thinking the Aggies probably wouldn’t be happy about that. Maybe I also read yours as well.

        I think right now, noone outside the SEC wants to see an LSU/Alabama rematch this year. That could be a real issue as vulnerable as the SEC middle has looked this year and if the other 11 unbeatens lose.

        • zeek says:

          There won’t be an LSU/Alabama rematch unless only Boise State is undefeated outside of the SEC Champion. Pretty sure the Big 12 or Wisconsin or Stanford will produce an undefeated champion to go up against the LSU/Alabama winner.

    • Adam says:

      I wrote to the NCAA a year and a half ago (my e-mail indicates it was sent March 12, 2010, and the response was March 23, 2010). I wrote:

      “I have been trying to research a matter, but keep coming up empty. Perhaps you can help.
      “The Division I Manual requires that, to hold an exempt conference championship game, a league must subdivide into divisions with “regular season, round-robin competition” (or something like that; I don’t have the text right in front of me).
      “In 2009, the Mid-American Conference had 13 members split into East and West Divisions of 7 and 6 teams, respectively. In a group of 7 members, a round robin entails 21 games. However, the MAC East only played 19 games in 2009. (I’d have to check to see which 2 pairings weren’t held; I don’t recall off the top of my head, but I remember that it was 2 from when I checked on this.)
      “I am wondering how this came about, because it does not seem consistent with the rule. Did the MAC get a rules interpretation or other sort of formal NCAA approval of this, and if so, what form did it take?”

      I got a response from Charnele Kemper, where she said:

      “Thank you for your written inquiry related to the application of NCAA rules. In order to better serve your needs, please contact NCAA academic and membership affairs staff by telephone at the number below so that your issue may be addressed as thoroughly as possible. Many issues may be resolved by accessing and researching the necessary information on the NCAA Web site (
      “Academic and Membership Affairs Rules Interpretation Phone Information:
      “General public phone hours: noon to 4 p.m. Eastern time.
      “Phone No.: 317/917-6222
      “However, we are not permitted to provide specific information regarding any specific institution or conference. Therefore, since it appears that your question is specific to the Mid American Conference, you may be best served by contacting the MAC Conference office directly at 216-566-4622.”

      I found this response exceedingly strange. The NCAA consists predominantly of public schools and is at least a semi-public institution; certainly, it seems like it should be considered an extension of the government under the rule of Brentwood Acad. v. Tenn. Secondary Sch. Athletic Ass’n, 531 U.S. 288 (2001). So, I tried contacting the Mid-American Conference. However, every e-mail I sent them bounced back as suspected of being spam — I presumed they had some kind of internal white list that bounced back e-mails that weren’t on the approved list.

  37. [...] have more optimism for the conference to keep its BCS AQ status. Whether it is political forces: Continuing to grant a BCS bowl bid to the Big East champ is chump change to the rest of the AQ [...]

  38. bullet says:

    Much more gloomy BE scenario than we have heard so far:

    Says bb schools & fb schools are having a hard time agreeing on expansion.

    • zeek says:

      Most likely the reason why it hasn’t gone anywhere yet. They were fighting over the Villanova move for a year or so and it’s cost them the initiative relative to the Big 12 and ACC.

      They really needed a commissioner who could get the job done of upgrading football earlier. Navy and Air Force should have been invited last year if they wanted to go that route. They could have also looked at UCF or ECU at that time.

      Now it’s too late. Navy is hesitant which makes Air Force less likely. At 6 who or what could prevent them from just being C-USA a couple years ago because they’re just looking at C-USA teams?

    • joe4psu says:

      What a big ole freakin’ surprise. Any fb member of the BE that doesn’t see that they have to separate from the BE bb schools is a fool. I’d bet that if the BE fb schools formed a new conference with it’s current members they would be allowed to keep their AQ status. Heck, the top fb/bb schools could make a deal with the BE to be bb only members. It may tick off the new members of the new conference but everyone would still be better off than they are now. It seems as though the bb school are almost trying to force the fb schools out.

  39. Mike says:

    Big East waiting on Mizzou?

    But if Missouri leaves-and as of this morning the prevailing theory was that the Tigers were still focused on joining Texas A&M as the 13th and 14th members of the SEC.–the Big 12 would make a move to go from 9 to 12 teams with Big East members Louisville and West Virginia as the prime schools on their wish list. Such a move might also happen even if Missouri remains. With the uncertainty of the Big East future, both schools would make the move.
    “Once that happens, all sorts of things happen, none of them good for the Big East,” said one Big East source. “Without those two schools, the non-football (7 members) would say they had enough and break off on their own. Notre Dame would be forced to make a decision and probably head to the ACC, (which has openly said that any expansion beyond 14 teams would probably be predicated on Notre Dame being one of the teams). If Notre Dame goes, then UConn would be the 16th team on that list.”
    Without Louisville, West Virginia or Louisville, the Big East would be reduced to three survivors–Rutgers, South Florida and Cincinnati. Of that group, Rutgers would have the best chance of hooking up with a BCS conference, with the Big 10 the most likely, if only realistic, possibility. The Big Ten has studied the feasibility of moving further into the Northeast with Rutgers being the prime focus as an Eastern partner with Penn State.

  40. Grassman says:

    Hail to Pitt!

  41. bullet says:

    Really good article with lots of different perspectives on the Big 12 situation. Key quote: “That’s how crazy the whole situation has become. Nobody really knows what’s going on-and if anyone did, they’d probably lie about it, anyway.” Several administrators believe Big 12 will be 12 and that Louisville is #1 on the list. BYU is apparently not particularly interested according to 1 BYU source. But do those people know and if so, are they lying about it?

    • zeek says:

      ‘One Big 12 administrator insisted that the conference, which now has 10 members with the addition of TCU, is a cinch to expand back to 12.

      “That’s the right number,” he said. “It gives you two divisions, so you have the revenue back from a football playoff game – plus it adds some depth, in case a school decides to leave later on.

      “I think Louisville would be an automatic choice. It’s an excellent school academically with a healthy athletic budget ($74 million annually) that would be among the largest in the Big 12 — and the Louisville TV market is the 16th-largest in the country, which is a big plus for us.

      “Where’s the downside to Louisville? It has the prestige and athletic success in all sports to match Missouri or (Texas) A&M.

      “It’s not like Louisville would say no, either. You think they want to stay in a collapsing Big East?”‘

      These comments to me sound the most interesting because it gives you an insight into what they’re weighing in terms of budget, academics, and TV. Louisville is an extremely logical choice to replace Missouri as well from a regional/geography perspective as well as not having a dominant football power in state.

      • Ross says:

        Course, football just doesn’t matter in the state of Kentucky.

        • duffman says:


          Untrue, as UK is always in the top 25 in attendance numbers in the NCAA every year. The problem with Louisville is it sits right between IU in the north and UK in the south. UK owns the market and historically IU held the second spot. UL was the third place team in its home market, which is limited to a commuter school like UC is in Cincinnati. High school ball in the state is big, and Louisville + Cincy/NKY + Lex have big catholic high schools that produce players.

          Problem is KY is a small pop state, so they just do not have the volume to recruit. Since most kids come from a 200 mile radius of their home the numbers just are much more difficult. A school in a small state with no competition (like Nebraska) can maximize area talent by focusing the youth to one location. 250 miles from UL includes IU, PU, OSU, UC, UK, UT, and Vandy means many schools fighting for any kids that can play.

      • jcfreder says:

        But the B12 never lost the championship game money, right? ESPN allowed the B12 to keep the same payout without 12 teams. So not sure there’s economic sense to going to 12 if you are already getting the cash at 10.

        • zeek says:

          While that’s correct in the sense that they didn’t lose the allocated CCG money, the question is whether they’re giving up value in the future.

          I.E. the Big 12 contracts were severely undervalued coming into the expansion discussion. Their CCG was earning only around 1/3 to 1/2 of what the Big Ten negotiated after adding Nebraska. In the same way, their main ESPN/Fox contracts were also undervalued, so the networks were willing to let them just keep all that money because it was much cheaper than blowing up the contracts and revaluing them.

          • zeek says:

            As an example, let’s just say the Big 12 was earning $100M per year among its 12 teams including the CCG payout of say $10M. If you cut out 2 teams, then technically pro-rata-wise the contract should go down to $75M due to the loss of two teams and the CCG.

            But if you’re ESPN and Fox, why not just give them the $100M because compared to the Big Ten, SEC, and Pac-12 payouts, that’s really cheap and a way to get them to just stay together since they’ll get marginally higher payouts until they renegotiate.

            So that’s what we’re talking about…; in a sense, the fair market value of their contracts is probably around $180-200M per year and the CCG would probably be around $15M or so per year.

            Basically, ESPN/Fox was trying to pay them off to not separate because that contract was severely undervalued anyways.

            That doesn’t mean that the CCG wouldn’t still be worth an additional $15M or so above what the Big 12 is currently bringing in…

          • Mack says:

            It does not seem that the Big 12 having started with 12 teams gets to renegotiate for getting back to 12. Therefore, there is no financial driver to add CCG until the tier I contract comes up for renewal. Any team the B12 could get to join now will still be available in 5 years. By that time the BE could have lost its AQ status or it could be diluted. I expect there will be no danger from CUSA after the BE raids it again. However, if Boise remains strong and the rest of the MWC seems on par with the BE I can see the BCS telling the BE and MWC that neither can get a AQ on its own so they will need to make a football only merger (FBS football actually being a separate conference) where the two sides play a CCG to see who gets the AQ for that year. MWC proposed this with CUSA. Although that is dead now, I can see the BCS forcing it as the price of the AQ slot. Less political opposition by keeping 16-20 teams in the tent (and alll the BCS busters).

  42. Mike says:

    Rutgers? Did I miss something?

    There had been speculation that Pernetti would publicly receive the authority to explore conference options for the school, which would mean the Board was prepared to approve the $5 million Big East exit fee if the decision is made to change leagues.

  43. frug says:


    Navy won’t join Big East until conference raises its exit fees, conference won’t raise exit fees unless and until Navy joins.

    Read about it here.

  44. curious2 says:

    “Big East expansion talks clouded by different agendas”

    Confirms and adds to detail of article:

    “• Though Boise State is the Big East’s best chance to retain its automatic bid to the BCS when the next evaluation period comes up in 2014, Louisville, Cincinnati and South Florida are lukewarm to the idea. And Boise won’t commit to the league until the six holdover football schools do;

    • The basketball schools proposed doubling the exit penalty to $10 million while also asking for a 15-year commitment. The football schools have flatly rejected that, causing a bigger fissure between the two sides;

    • Villanova spent part of yesterday’s conference call undermining Temple as an expansion candidate, saying it would accept the Owls as a football member only. The football schools want Temple as an all-sports addition;

    • The football schools are trying to put together an expansion plan that meets with approval from the basketball schools, since DePaul’s vote on any proposal counts as much as West Virginia’s (or Rutgers’).

    The next big threat to the Big East’s future could come from the Big 12, which reportedly has Louisville and West Virginia in its sights if it goes to 12 schools — whether Missouri stays or bolts for the SEC.”

    • frug says:

      As I see it there are only two scenarios that could convince the FB schools to split. One is if the non-football schools tie their hands on expansion (which could endanger their AQ status), the other is if things get ugly with the TV contract negotiations.

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        Both seem to be very real possibilities right now.

        • frug says:

          Yeah, the tensions have already started to show. Promoting ‘Nova was suppose to be the “cost” of getting the Catholic schools to agree to admit TCU as an all sports member, and the Catholic schools were peeved when the FB schools didn’t live up to their end of the bargain (though ‘Nova deserves a lot of the blame for taking forever to make a decision).

          The even bigger issue though was the FB members vetoing ESPN’s $130 million offer. The basketball schools felt they would never have any higher leverage coming off the 11 bid NCAA tournament were ready to jump at the deal but the FB schools wanted to wait and go to the open market. The FB schools looked like geniuses when the PAC got its huge deal, but the departures of Pitt and Syracuse (who were instrumental to turning down the ESPN deal) means the Big East may not even be able to get the $130 million they turned down.

    • vp19 says:

      Please, Big 12, take Louisville, Cincinnati and West Virginia, and let this stupid hybrid of a conference collapse like a house of cards.

    • M_in_PHX says:

      The BigEast FB and BB schools really need to divide into separate divisions, each with some amount of autonomy.
      The FB schools need the freedom to try to save the BigEast FB league.
      The BB division should just have a requirement something to the effect of:
      – The FB division must contain 4 for the following 5 schools for the BB division to remain associated with the FB division: UMass, UConn, Temple, Memphis, Louisville.

      The strengths of the BigEast are:
      – the brand “BigEast”. The BB schools need a relevant FB league, or they become the A10.
      – the BigEast BBall tournament in Madison Square Garden. the FB schools need the BB schools to remain the preeminent conference tournament.

      The BB and FB schools need to give each other freedom to operate. Maybe when this is over, the combined BigEast can remain in those division for BBall. Maybe the two divisions will only have 2 to 4 cross division games per team in the regular season. That way if the FB schools want to bring in UCF and ECU, they’ll be the ones stuck playing them in other sports as well.

      If the BB schools continue to have veto power of FB decisions, the BigEast is doomed.

      • bullet says:

        Its like its been said about other conferences-stable conferences have commonality. This is far and away the most diverse group of schools-Notre Dame, Providence, UConn, Cincinnati, South Florida, Rutgers-it would be hard to deliberately create a more different group (unless you add Boise, Navy and Air Force to the group). It will die and should die. The only question is when. It may take another 20 or 30 years because of the AQ issue for football and the fears of becoming Qwikster by the basketball schools. The conference just makes no common sense. The football conference has been weakened by the needs of the basketball schools and the basketball conference has been weakened by the needs of the football schools. Now they hold onto each other because both sides have been weakened. DePaul, St. Johns, Seton Hall and Providence are all much weaker than they were in 2005 when the 16 team conference was formed. The football conference has lost SU and Pitt and everyone else wants out also.

        • zeek says:

          You bring up a good point that it may carry on for a while…

          In a sense, the Big East is held together by 2 things: 1) AQ, and 2) TV contract.

          It’s not too different from the Big 12, although the Big 8 or SWC wouldn’t have had a problem of AQ with Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas A&M. That was more of a pure TV situation due to the lack of TV sets in the Big 8 and the lack of geographic diversity in the SWC-Arkansas.

          Getting back to the Big East, the one thing that could hold it together even if it loses AQ is the TV contract (i.e. like the Big 12). If they do poach 6 schools in different markets (SMU-Dallas, Houston, UCF-Orlando, etc.), then even if they don’t get a $11M per school offer, they’ll probably get a $7-9M per school offer from someone who wants that inventory. That’ll at least put them well above C-USA and MWC for the next decade or so. That would mean that breaking apart will be relatively impractical because it’s not like there’s any real alternative since the leftover MWC or C-USA schools don’t bring any bigger names or bigger markets, so they’ll all be stuck together.

          As long as the TV money holds it together and the bigger conferences don’t move on their schools, they have a chance. The problem is that last bit with the Big 12 at 10 and the SEC at 13. At some point I do in fact expect the Big 12 to move back to 12 for a CCG because I do think Texas will realize that the Big 12 is going to be its longer term home into the 2020s. Whether it’ll happen anytime soon is anyone’s guess…

    • @curious2 – This gets to my point that this isn’t simply a football vs. basketball divide in the Big East. The major problem is that the football schools themselves can’t get on the same page. I’m fairly surprised that the 3 schools opposing Boise State are Louisville, USF and Cincinnati. I would’ve thought the major heartburn for adding them would come from the older money Northeastern schools.

      Villanova, though, has to accept its fate for not ever moving up to Division I-A football. They clearly want the Big East to stay together, so they’re going to have to bite the bullet on Temple.

      • curious2 says:

        Shocker in article is the BB schools supposedly want a 15 year committment from the football schools. If true, that indicates the BB schools may want a split, feeling their BB brand is going to be harmed regardless of whether the proposed football adds are BB members or not.

        The BB schools have an unusual degree of commonality and community. And perhaps they feel that is something important to preserve and build on.

        WVU, UL, Cinn are unlikely to make any committment until the Big 12 and Missouri and SEC make their decisions, and even then, the possibility that 6 years from now UT and OK may move to the PAC opening up the Big 12 to further expansion, or possible additional SEC, ACC, Big 10 moves makes such a long term committment beyond unlikely.

      • Sam240 says:

        Frank, have you considered the possibility that Villanova doesn’t see Division I-A football as a good fit? You mentioned that about 60 other schools would “KILL” for a chance to join a BCS conference. I would think those other schools are all in Division I-A.

        From what I understand, Villanova’s stadium holds just 12,500 people, and the NCAA requires an average attendance of 15,000 for I-A status. It’s right up against US 30 on one side, and Jake Nevin Field House is at one end of the field, so expansion is nearly impossible. If Villanova could figure out how to cram another 3,000 seats into the place, it’s doubtful that they could get government permission for the extra parking.

        Building a new stadium may very well require more debt than Villanova would want to pay for. That would be the least of the university’s worries, since I don’t see any place on the campus that could hold a larger field. A map of the area can be found at

        — although it’s small, one can click on that page for a larger map.

        The nearest suitable off-campus stadium is PPL Park, located in Chester. It is about 30 minutes away from campus by car. At that distance, it is apparent that football would no longer be part of the campus experience. If moving up to Division I-A meant moving football games that far away from campus, I wouldn’t move up to Division I-A, either.

    • jcfreder says:

      Inertia and politicians are the Big East’s best chance to keep the AQ bid. I’d be surprised if the BE were stripped of it’s bid unless another mid-major conference lands one.

      Odd that the football schools would make a big deal of Temple being all-sports. The addition of Temple in basketball, etc. is a direct threat to Villanova so it does not surprise me that Nova is upset about it.

  45. Carl says:

    PSU > Iowa

  46. Mike says:


    Action: The Big 12 adds Texas Christian, says it will be a 10-team league in 2012.
    Reaction I: And now we wait … for Missouri, which could be waiting … for the SEC. I took the SEC’s non-action to mean either 1) Mizzou doesn’t have the votes or 2) there are legal issues to be resolved. But don’t think for a second that either party has lost interest in the other. (The SEC athletic directors took a look at mock schedules for a 13-team league and were not happy, according to a Hotline source.)
    Reaction II: Either way, the Big 12 will be a 10-team league next fall, according to interim commish Chuck Neinas, who indicated that Mizzou would not leave until 2013, if at all.
    Reaction III: Neinas didn’t rule out the possibility of the Big 12 having 12 teams in 2013 and beyond, but I’m skeptical. Texas has agreed to an equal split of 1st and 2nd tier TV revenue, to not show prep football highlights on The Longhorn Network and to accept TCU (the Longhorns had long been opposed to TCU). Obviously, Texas needs something in return for those concession and I’m guessing that something is a 10-team league. UT athletic director DeLoss Dodds has always favored 10 because it’s easier to reach the BCS without a conference title game.
    Reaction IV: Despite a bevy on internet reports indicating BYU to the Big 12 was essentially a done deal, I have not confirmed that the parties are anywhere close. In fact, my sense is that the Big 12 would have to beg BYU, with concessions in hand, and it’s hard to to imagine that happening.
    Reaction V: And without BYU, there is no way Boise State’s getting into the Big 12, despite the best behind-the-scenes efforts of president Bob Kustra. (It would have been tough for Boise State even with BYU.)
    Reaction VI: Clearly, the two biggest realignment winners, dating back 18 months, are Utah and TCU. The Utes joined the Pac-12 just in time for a $3 billion TV deal while the Horned Frogs went from the Mountain West to the Big East to a league that has Texas and Oklahoma and isn’t in danger of losing its AQ status.

    Action: ACC commissioner John Swofford says the conference will renegotiate its TV deal with ESPN after adding Pittsburgh and Syracuse.
    Reaction I: The league signed a $155 million/yr contract in 2010 and then was left in the dust when, a year later, the Pac-12 secured its $250 million/yr deal. (The Pac-12 had the benefit of fabulous timing but was also much more creative in leveraging its assets during negotiations.)
    Reaction II: Sure, protecting itself against an SEC raid was part of the reason the ACC invited the two Big East schools. But make no mistake: It was also motivated by the prospect of renegotiating the TV deal in the wake of the Pac-12 bonanza — just as the prospect of a new TV deal is fueling SEC expansion.

  47. Mike says:

    Duke’s Coach K and Maryland’s Coach Turgeon

    he [Krzyzewski] said it “seems to me that if you’re going to go 14, then you should go 16.”


    If the ACC stops at 14 teams, Krzyzewski said he would a two-division setup with seven teams each and a 19-game conference schedule in which schools would play divisional opponents twice and cross-divisional opponents once. Krzyzewski said the idea of four-team pods “makes [him] vomit” because “you’ve got to be careful about splitting up your brand too much and regionalizing within your region.”


    “I was happy with the ACC adding two great basketball programs and solid football programs – it solidifies our league,” Turgeon said. “Is 14 a good number? We’ll make it a good number. Right now, that’s the number.

    “I didn’t come to Maryland to be in the Big Ten or the Big East.

    • zeek says:

      Interesting statement at the end there, but this is all about football and protecting the football brands of conferences since that’s what’s bringing in the dough. Not sure it really matters what basketball coaches (or any other coaches) want. Football coaches probably get a little bit of input, but that’s about it.

      Case in point: Boeheim.

      • vp19 says:

        Agreed. Turgeon didn’t come to Maryland to be in the Big Ten, but if it somehow happened, he’d take it. On the other hand, if Maryland somehow joined the Big East, he should resign immediately for his own psychological good.

  48. zeek says:

    Figured I’d post this if anyone wanted a little humor in their day.

  49. Read The D says:

    I know the Big East looks like the biggest loser with the worst leadership, but the real loser is the Mountain West Conference.

    The MWC was a virtual lock to be an AQ when the rug was swept out from under them, qualifying in 2 out of 3 criteria and qualifying for a waiver in the 3rd.

    Utah, Boise St., TCU, BYU and even Air Force could have battled for a BCS spot. Now Utah has to beat USC and Oregon. TCU has to beat OU and Texas. BYU has to beat everyone to maybe have a chance. Boise St. and Air Force are thinking about joining the Big East???

    The writing on the wall at the time said go for the big money. I believe in hindsight they will look back and realize that these past couple of years is the moment when their football teams went from BCS contender to Holiday Bowl contender.

    • zeek says:

      The BCS conferences are like Lucy holding the football compared to Charlie the MWC.

      It’s much better to be a mid-tier BCS squad than the top of the MWC. For one thing, the money and stability are just incomparable. Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC just grow. They don’t shrink unless it’s because a member decided to de-emphasize athletics and get out of the race.

      Yes, it’s easier to get a BCS bid out of the MWC if you have a great coach and great players, but that’s the exception and not the rule.

      You have to go undefeated or close to that to get a bid out of the MWC. And as for an AQ bid, those guidelines only gave AQ for the contract; what happens in the next BCS contract when ESPN decides to put its foot down and say no more Big East AQ or MWC AQ or whoever. At that point, everyone outside the top 5 conferences might be fighting for the one non-AQ slot, and the money gets divided among everyone in those conferences.

      Plus, attendance, fan support, alumni donations, etc. are all going to be much stronger in a BCS conference than outside of that.

      • Read The D says:

        My point is that the MWC was on the brink of becoming a BCS conference and gaining all the trappings of stability and money that come with it.

        You can point to Baylor and Iowa State in the Big 12 as schools that are in an AQ conference yet have very little stability on their own. Baylor and Texas Tech don’t even halfway fill up the cotton bowl when they play there.

        Attendance has a lot to do with opponents. TCU has a hard time filling Amon Carter against SMU, but the Big 12 is wanting them to move games to Cowboys Stadium because they think they’ll lose ticket revenue if the games are on campus. (I’m from the state of Texas so I apologize for all the Big 12 references.)

        That version of the MWC would have remained ahead of the Big East forever, virtually locking in their AQ spot. ESPN sets up early season games with Boise St. every year and has a TV contract with BYU. ESPN won’t kick good programs/stories out of the BCS. And if it’s true that they could/would, then if the ACC continues it’s downward trend, they could also be on the outside looking in.

        In general, is there more stability by joining an existing AQ, especially the PAC where Utah went and started the whole process? Absolutely, but it’s a short term vision.

        • zeek says:

          That version of the MWC might have gotten an AQ, but why exactly wouldn’t the other 5 conferences shut both them and the Big East out in the next round?

          • Read The D says:

            What’s the precedent for them shutting a league out? Everything I’ve seen/read seems to indicate that once you’re at the AQ table it’s hard for you to get kicked out.

            My point is not necessarily for the MWC as a whole. It’s more for those 4 main institutions: Utah, BYU, Boise St. and TCU.

            Boise did not join a major conference or go independent and will have a much better shot at a BCS bowl for the foreseeable future than any of the other three, regardless of AQ status.

          • zeek says:

            There’s no precedent, but the BCS contract will be up for renegotiation and it’s up to the power conferences to decide whether to bring along the Big East.

    • MWC was NEVER a virtual lock to be an AQ. Even before re-alignment hit, they needed a waiver (the avg computer ranking number was AWFUL for them), which meant a vote/negotiation, NOT a guarantee. And it’d just be a 2-year waiver even if they qualified (which, again, was FAR from a sure thing), which could have plausibly been taken away in subsequent negotiations.

      • joe4psu says:

        But with the addition of BSU and the improvement at SDSU, thanks to Brady Hoke, that average would surely have gone up. NM and UNLV are the only two that seem to be permanent dead weight. Others like Wyoming and CSU have their ups and downs but they do have ups.

      • Read The D says:

        I respectfully disagree. They were a virtual lock. They were 7th in the computer averages. They were ahead of the Big East, ACC, and Big Ten in other categories.

        A 2 year waiver for an automatic bid is still better than the prospects that Utah, Boise, BYU and TCU are facing regarding getting to a BCS game.

        And yes, the waiver could have been taken away. But if they take the MWC waiver away, they would have to take away the Big East’s AQ at that point also, because we know they won’t measure up in the next qualification period. That would mean 10 BCS spots go to 5 conferences and Notre Dame. More consolidation means more political pressure on the BCS.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          How would they have been a ‘virtual lock’ when you yourself admit that they do not meet all three of the required criteria points?

    • zeek says:

      That’s a good find. It’s always nice to get actual quotes from media types like the former president of CBS Sports.

      I find it hard to believe that ESPN is going to increase the value of that contract by a substantial sum per year. And most of these clauses only require good faith offers on the part of the provider.

      Even if it ends up in front of an arbitrator (which I find unlikely), adding A&M and Missouri doesn’t justify ratcheting up the contract based on the fact that overall media deals have gone up in the wake of the Pac-12 negotiations.

      • Mike says:

        This is a much grimmer picture of the situation than if you read Clay Travis of Out Kick the Coverage’s analysis. He has been very bullish on the SEC network.

        • zeek says:

          One of the reasons I’m not bullish on an SEC Network is that Florida’s locked into Sun Sports until around 2019. I’d imagine that a lot of the other SEC schools are currently locked into those types of contracts.

          Big Ten and Pac-12 didn’t really have those kinds of issues (obviously Big Ten has had grants of rights since the late 80s, so no one’s had their own 3rd tier rights outside of some select situations).

          • ccrider55 says:


            Yes, the Pac did have those kind of issues. Az had just signed a 7+ mill/year multi year deal only a year before. All the schools had their own deals (some bigger than others, obviously). The schools in the Pac seem to subscribe to the philsophy that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and appearently enough greater that the few pulling in significantly more individually that they saw the benifit. All the schools are/were buying out their prior arrangements.

          • zeek says:

            Ah, that’s a good point then.

            I think that’s a bigger impact here then; are schools like Florida or Kentucky going to buy out of deals that range in the $100M+ over 10 years?

          • ccrider55 says:


            For the promis of potentially more, in addition to the increased leverage a 13-16 team bargaining position would bring, I believe they would.

        • greg says:

          Pilson says that the SEC has “very minimal” tier 3 games leftover, but isn’t that going to change with two new teams? It may be all they need for an SEC network.

          I’m more bullish on the SEC network than most appear to be. We’re talking about the most rabid fanbase in the country. Even if they only have one football game per week, they can fill the hours with a bunch of rednecks in a studio talking SEC football and it will draw pretty good ratings in the footprint. I probably watch more BTN studio shows than I do BTN football games, since there are a lot more hours in the week to fill with studio shows.

          They’ll also have other sports to place on an SEC network, although ESPN already has rights to air some of them.

          • bullet says:

            You’re first assuming the schools want to share. I can see UK and Florida not wanting to pool their assets. Also, they don’t necessarily have more tier 3 inventory. Depending on the contract, they probably just have more tier 2 inventory.

          • PSUGuy says:

            Another thing is population base vs reward.

            Fact is the SEC doesn’t have a lot of population base to sell for a conference network. It has Atlanta (though I’ve always felt cities have problems due to the professional competition), Florida (which is split several ways), and soon to be eastern Texas (look how hard it was to get the LHN on Texas cable…you think the SEC could get on with only TAMU as its “Texas school”?).

            They may have to fight way too hard to get too little in return with a lot of risk in the bargain.

      • cutter says:


        Do you still think Notre Dame’s seven games on NBC are worth $20M to $25M when this consultant looks at a 14-team SEC and says the programs are each worth somewhere in the low 20s for their full inventory of games?

        I realize Notre Dame is unique here and that a network that televises the SEC won’t have every game on their primary channels, but I’m hard pressed to think ND’s home football games are worth really worth that much in today’s market.

        • zeek says:

          Yes because those are two teams that would barely make a dent in the CBS contract, and their impact on the ESPN contract will just be additional inventory.

          ND’s inventory is all first tier games; that’s why the ACC study had it at $3M per game against the average ACC opponent for which the conference would own rights. That’s probably 9-10 games per year.

  50. zeek says:,0,5647050.story

    ‘Consider Notre Dame’s two basketball coaches officially worried about what the future holds for the Big East and their programs’ place in it. While McGraw and Irish men’s basketball coach Mike Brey didn’t sound a death knell on Wednesday when asked separately about the conference’s fate, their outlook didn’t ring of optimism, either.

    “I’m concerned, there’s no question about it,” Brey said. “The Big East has been great for us. That connection back to the East for our basketball program is very important. Playing in that corridor back there has been very important for us.

    What Brey said he made clear to athletic director Jack Swarbrick was the need to mantain that connection to the East Coast no matter what occurs. That’s about as close to crystal ball-reading as either coach came Wednesday, given that the ACC provides the only viable East Coast option outside of the Big East.’


    I would think think this makes the Big 12 non-football option unlikely. However, I still think Notre Dame will be football-independent throughout this decade.

    When you read what their coaches are saying (obviously not as important as football, but an indication of what they’re looking at in terms of non-football sports), it seems obvious that they want that East-coast connection.

    I think they’ll stay in the Big East and work to rebuild it. That’s probably why they really want a football team restored in Philly either through Temple getting invited in for all sports or Villanova moving up. Having a strong Pennsylvania presence has to be important to what ND wants out of the Big East.

    Also, it brings up the point of how many different agendas there are in the Big East. With the Big Ten or SEC or Pac-12, you can just say “this is what that conference wants, whether it’s more kings in the case of the Big Ten or more eastern/national exposure in the case of the Pac-12 or more markets in the case of the SEC.

    With the Big East, there are so many actors that want different things that it’s hard to figure out what direction they need to go.

    • Mike says:

      I will quote zeek, who said something wise earlier today.

      Not sure it really matters what basketball coaches (or any other coaches) want. Football coaches probably get a little bit of input, but that’s about it.

      • zeek says:

        Fair enough; I did say that.

        But ND is different because their football program is not in the same conference as the rest of their sports. Their basketball program is the flagship program of the rest of their sports.

        I think their basketball program’s wants will be instrumental to what happens to their Big East affiliated sports.

        I mean, comparing non-football ND in the Big 12 and comparing non-football ND in the Big East is vastly different from any other school where the football program’s wants in a conference will direct everything else.

        • Mike says:

          I didn’t intend on being a jerk with that comment so if you took it that way, I apologize.

          I think the basketball coaches are going to want Big East just due to the recruiting grounds. A move to ACC, Big 12, or even the B1G would cause a shift in how they recruit and may make it a little tougher.

          • bullet says:

            ACC doesn’t make much difference in their recruiting area. They aren’t in Chicago and Milwaukee, but the ACC is now all over the east with BC, Pitt, SU and, if ND were to join, either UConn or Rutgers.

          • cutter says:

            It would have been interesting to hear Brey and McGraw’s opinions on Notre Dame being part of a 16-team Big Ten Conference if Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Connecticut were included in the package. ND would have had its eastern presence while playing teams in the Midwest like they do in the current Big East.

            It might have been heresy for them to have said it, but they probably would have been fine with that setup. When they talk about the east, they’re reall talking about the northeast to mid-Atlantic regions here. Admittedly, those teams listed above don’t give them exposure to the major metropolitan areas (NYC, Philadelphia, DC) that some of the Big East teams provide, but those are among the major power programs in the conference.

          • FLP_NDRox says:

            IIRC, Brey is the ONLY leak for the rumored 2003 ND-B1G courtship.

          • mushroomgod says:

            Cutter, that wouldn’t work for the Smaller 10. Those 4 teams, if added, would be the four smallest enrollments in the BIG. Substitute Rutgers for Syracuse, which is a poor match anyway, and you might have something, except that I seriously doubt the presidents want to go to 16.

    • Sportsman says:

      With all of the agendas in the Big East, wouldn’t the FB members like to add s schools that are an Institutional Fit? And wouldn’t the BB members like to add institutions that have, at least, some BB history? Here’s my convoluted idea…

      BBall Members:
      – DePaul (Chicago, IL)
      – Gerogetown (Washington, DC)
      – Marquette (Milwaukee, WI)
      – Notre Dame (IN)
      – Providence (RI)
      – St. John’s (NYC)
      – Seton Hall (NJ)
      Villanova (Philadelphia, PA)

      All Sports Members…

      State Division:
      – Connecticut
      – Massachusetts
      – Rutgers (SUNJ)
      – West Virginia
      – Central Florida (Orlando)
      – South Florida (Tampa)

      City Division:
      – Buffalo (SUNY; Upstate NY)
      – Charlotte (NC)
      – Cincinnati (OH)
      – Houston (TX)
      – Louisville (KY)
      – Memphis (TN)

      * That’s 20 BB members in 16 states, plus DC (11 states for the 12 FB members).
      * The FB schools would be as institutionally (if not culturally) similar as could be hoped for.
      * Other than UB & UCF, the new members have some BB history.
      * UCF strengthens their presence in FL & guarantees many at least one trip there annually.
      * They go to 10 FB members now, with UMass & UNC-Charlotte as Non-FB members.
      * When Charlotte is ready (FBS), then they are invited, along with UMass, as FB members.
      * If UL leaves, then Temple joins.
      * If WVU leaves, then ECU joins.
      * If UConn leaves, UMass keeps their presence in New England.

      I understand that there are many flaws with this scenario, including, but not limited to…
      (A) the current quality of some of these programs are… underwhelming.
      (B) adding 2-3 MAC teams (UB, UMass & possibly Temple) is highly unlikely.
      (C) adding UMass, when they won’t be FBS eligible, until 2013.
      (D) adding UNCC, when the don’t even have a FB program (FCS, let alone FBS).
      (E) and numerous others that I just don’t feel like listing.

      I believe that these schools, in an AQ conference, will be able to improve markedly (as UConn, UC, UL & USF did when they joined in 2003). This also assumes, that the MWC-USA does not receive an AQ for their superconference.

      I know this idea is going to get shredded, but I just can’t get over the symmetry of it.

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        I think the primary criticism you are going to get is just because of what is driving expansion right now (media entities etc). In a more rational world your plan would make a certain amount of sense.

  51. zeek says:

    “The embattled Big East has an added inducement to offer football schools interested in joining the league but hesitant to do so because of its uncertain future: The league’s BCS bid, secure through the 2013 regular season under the current contract, will likely be stretched to 2015 season because of a two-year grace period built into the deal, according to a report on

    Citing an unnamed source, quoted a college official familiar with BCS requirements as saying that “as long as the conference maintains at least an eight- team membership for football, the contract is iron-clad for (the next) two years and there is also a two-year grace period which extends it through the 2015 season.”

    The Big East, like the other five BCS conferences, will still have to undergo an evaluation following the 2013 season to be approved for future automatic bids, but the two-year grace period means the league will have a lucrative BCS berth for the next four years as long as it maintains the minimum number of schools.”

    There’s the Boston article on it.

    “During that period, the Big East must meet the minimum performance requirements like the other BCS conferences which have automatic BCS bids (Big 12, Big Ten, SEC, Pac-12, Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference), but if a school such as Boise State which has been in the Top 10 the past several years can be added to current members such as Cincinnati and West Virginia who have finished in the Top 25 in the BCS ranking the past few years, meeting the minimum standards should not be an overwhelming obstacle.”

    Basically, the Big East will be AQ until 2015. That’s the news out of that.

    • vp19 says:

      “as long as the conference maintains at least an eight- team membership for football, the contract is iron-clad for (the next) two years and there is also a two-year grace period which extends it through the 2015 season.

      “The Big East, like the other five BCS conferences, will still have to undergo an evaluation following the 2013 season to be approved for future automatic bids, but the two-year grace period means the league will have a lucrative BCS berth for the next four years as long as it maintains the minimum number of schools.”

      In other words, if the Big East somehow decided to invite Memphis as a member (probably more for hoops than football), through 2014 it would be theoretically possible for Memphis — the worst I-A program in the country — to participate in a BCS bowl even if West Virginia and others left, as long as the Big East had eight members. Wow.

      • zeek says:

        My guess is that all of this applies as long as the BCS in some form is still in place as the BCS.

        However, this two year waiver makes it more likely that the Big East would eventually be let go. The other 5 will look at it as if they’ll give the Big East a chance and see whether it can maintain its AQ by the numbers on its own. If it can’t, they just won’t give them the waiver they gave in 2008-2009.

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        New Mexico State, Utah State, Western Kentucky, North Texas & Eastern Michigan make Memphis look like the ’66 Packers.

  52. zeek says:

    LSU’s chancellor speaks:

    ‘As for the talk of Missouri becoming the SEC’s 14th member, Martin can “safely say” the college would be a good fit as a land-grant university near a large media market that would add prestige as an Association of American Universities member.’

    • PSUGuy says:

      Doesn’t that sound like saying “the hot chick with a good personality and a flush bank account would make an excellent wife”?

  53. MikeF says:

    LSU chancellor “…can ‘safely say’ Missouri would be a good fit for SEC’s 14th member.”

    LSU Chancellor Michael Martin is playing a key role in an upcoming national conference to discuss ongoing problems with NCAA violations, athletic conference realignments, the lessening of the “student” in student-athlete and much more.

    Martin is one of three guest panelists featured in the Oct. 24 Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics meeting with former LSU chancellor and current NCAA President Mark Emmert in Washington, D.C.

    Martin said Wednesday in an interview that he was asked because he represents one of the nation’s largest athletic departments at LSU, and because he came from one of the smallest Football Bowl Subdivision programs at New Mexico State University before joining LSU.

    Martin said he sees the addition of Texas A&M to the Southeastern Conference as the restoration of a natural rivalry with LSU, even if it means LSU will no longer play Florida every year in football.

    As for the talk of Missouri becoming the SEC’s 14th member, Martin can “safely say” the college would be a good fit as a land-grant university near a large media market that would add prestige as an Association of American Universities member.

    But Martin said there is no rush toward further growth as a “super conference,” especially because every decision has been “reactive” instead of based on a proper vision.

    “In some ways the SEC is in the driver’s seat, but we’re not necessarily comfortable, because we’re not sure where we’re driving,” Martin said.

    Martin said he believes stopping at 14 SEC teams is appropriate, rather than expanding to 16.

    “I don’t see Texas following Texas A&M. I don’t see Oklahoma going anywhere without Oklahoma State,” he said.

  54. zeek says:

    “Following a six-hour meeting in late September, the Resource Allocation Working Group, chaired by Georgia President Michael Adams, agreed to consider a reduction in FBS football scholarships from the current number of 85 to 80 and a reduction in the number of FCS football scholarships from 63 to 60. The reductions would likely follow a move toward a full cost-of-attendance scholarship that is expected to be passed in early 2012. In addition to football, the group agreed to consider a reduction in the number of men’s basketball scholarships from 13 to 12 and in women’s basketball from 15 to 13.

    The cuts are just a few of the controversal recommendations the working group is expected to pursue prior to their presentation to the Board of Directors at the NCAA Convention in January. According to a summary of the group’s update, obtained by, it was agreed upon to recommend eliminating all foreign travel, reduce mandatory out-of-season practice time and explore a reduction in competition (i.e. cutting the number of games for several sports).”


    As others have mentioned, the biggest advantage the top recruiting schools have is top flight depth. Losing just 5 scholarships per program, would again shift more high end talent to lesser schools as well as reduce the margin of error again as previous reductions had done. That would be another big shift towards parity.

    • Read The D says:

      I hope this comes to pass. There are entirely too many scholarships given out in D1 football. They can basically go 4 deep at every position. Compare that to basketball which gets 13. Baseball gets something like 11 and a half.

      I understand that football makes schools a lot of money, but it can lose schools a lot of money too. That 85 number needs to be cut simply so lower tier schools can compete financially.

      • Brian says:

        I disagree. The cost of 5 scholarships isn’t what keeps the little guys from competing financially. They aren’t required to fill all 85 slots anyway.

        They don’t get near 4 deep. A defense has 4 DL, 4 LB and 6 DBs as “starters” based on the need to switch from a 4-3 to a dime package. The standard offense has 5 OL, 2 TE, 2 RB, 5 WR and 1 QB to range from short yardage to spread. That’s 29 starters, and a punter, kicker and long snapper make it 32. You also have kick and punt coverage teams to think about. On top of that, you need a 2 deep to allow for rotating out tired players. Then you factor in injuries, suspensions and illness. Don’t forget these things often focus in one area (OL or RB, etc), so you need at least a 3 deep to cover the season.

        You also have to look at the need for a lot of depth for the safety of the players in college. If you keep reducing their practice time and their numbers, you’ll reach a point where they continually hurt each other because they aren’t physically able to sustain the constant impacts. The NFL uses 53 man rosters plus a taxi squad plus they pick up free agents during the year to replace the injured. They also get paid 6, 7 or 8 figure salaries to compensate for the abuse their bodies take.

        There are no other college sports comparable to football in terms of impact and injury risk.

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        “The reductions would likely follow a move toward a full cost-of-attendance scholarship that is expected to be passed in early 2012.”

        I think people should pay more attention to that part of the statement as it is where the importance lies.

        Going from 85 to 80 while increasing to full CoA scholarships is probably going to carry a much higher financial burden & will do more to separate the haves from the haves not than the extra five players that Texas, Oklahoma, USC or Penn State won’t be able to sign (I didn’t mention Ohio State because they were rarely hit 85 under Tressel) will do to narrow the gap.

    • bullet says:

      I think exposure has helped as much as scholarship limitations. Someone can play at Miami U. in Oxford and be on ESPN. Texas is down to two scholarship QBs as two are transferring. Back in ’77 Texas lost 2 QBs in the OU game and played their 3rd string, McEachern who led them to an unbeaten regular season. The QB had been 7th string in spring practice, but two better athletes were moved to different positions and as I recall, 1 was injured and only 1 transferred. Nowadays many players transfer rather than being stockpiled.

    • Madison Hawk says:

      @ Zeek: I agree. However, unless something is done about creating uniform rules oversigning, certain schools will continue to have a significant advantage.

    • Eric says:

      I hope this doesn’t work out. Reducing it this much has already redirected the big schools into an arms race with coaching salaries and facilities (since they can’t load up on talent), they need to do everything possible to get the best of what is there. We have a lot of parity right now and I don’t think creating more seasons with bad Michigan, Alabama, Notre Dame, etc teams is a good idea (all and many more have been down when they likely wouldn’t have been as extreme in the past).

    • PSUGuy says:

      Nice…reduce scholarships in sports where the athletes actually graduate (women’s bball) yet don’t address any real problems in college sports today (ie: oversigning).

      Might as well say schools aren’t allowed to build stadiums over 115,000 seats for all the good it’ll do the student athletes.

    • Rich2 says:


      Just happened to be passing through when I read this thread. Could this board please try to be realistic — going to 85 to 80 will make a difference only if there is implemented a comprehensive set of other academic reforms — which does not seem likely. You can’t legislate academic integrity. There will be no shift in talent at all. There would be no shift towards parity — there will be more oversigning, more JC transfers, more scholarship athletes not having their scholarships renewed, more medical hardships, more greyshirts, and more ____ (new practices that I cannot even envision today) —- all designed to skirt the potential impact of reducing scholarships from 85 to 80. When a school or a conference decides that they are in the entertainment business and their criteria for “relevance” is tv ratings and per-conference member revenue share, then a rule in isolation for 85 to 80 means absolutely nothing. It simply enhances the value of “aggressive roster management.” In fact, the result will actually be to put at a greater disadvantage those schools that voluntarily do not oversign, cut players, encourage transfers, give out medical hardships freely, enroll JCs and so on. For example, I bet this proposal will not even be fought by the SEC. I would urge ND to fight the proposal since we keep every player we enroll on a 4-year scholarship. Our disadvantage would only increase.

  55. cutter says:

    I’m actually a bit suprised that the NCAA is looking at this as a possibility. For the reasons pointed out above, moving the scholarship limits down further to 80 (it went down to 85 twenty years ago) helps reduce the competitive advantages the resource rich programs have over the smaller ones.

    Of course, all these programs would have plenty of money to fund their scholarships if Division 1-A opted to have a post-season playoff instead of the bowl system. But that’d just be too easy to do . . . .

    • Eric says:

      Disagree about them having more money if they went to a playoff. They’d make more on the playoff, but less on the regular season in my opinion (at least within 10 years it would be like that). Conference loyalty and regular season upsets aren’t as big a deals with bigger playoffs as they are in the current system.

      • cutter says:


        I disagree with much of what you’re saying. The current BCS system pays around $230M gross via the bowl games, but the take home amount is actually much less due to the requirements for teams to buy tickets/sponsorships, stay in predesignated hotels for a prescribed period of time, etc. Dan Wetzel outlines some of the more outrageous cost items in his book on the BCS.

        Wetzel also talks about the various estimates for a college football playoff systems with the minimum coming around $700M. Even when he testified before Congress, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said a college football playoff system would make three to four times as much as the current bowl system in terms of revenue.

        So let’s combine an eight-team playoff along with a bowl system that takes teams which don’t qualify for the playoff and say that Divison 1-A CFB would make around $800M net after expenses. In 2013, the division will have expanded to 124 full time members. If each program were to get an even cut (not likely, but we’ll do it for illustration purposes), then each school would get about $6.45M.

        How many scholarships does $6.45M purchase these days? If each scholarship was valued at $50K per year (and that number would likely be less for smaller schools, instate tuition, etc.), then that would pay for 129 scholarships. With that money alone and at the current scholarship levels, you could pay for the football team, both the men’s and women’s basketball teams and still have enough money for another 13 scholarships.

        To illustrate how markedly different that is from the current situation, Michigan and the other Big Ten schools, as part of their conference distributions, is projected to get $2.23M from the net bowl game revenue that the B10 receives in FY 2012. That’s over four million dollars less than the projections above, and that’s assuming equal revenue sharing for every school from the University of Texas at Austin to the Uniiversity of Texas at San Antonio.

        I also have to disagree with you that having a post season playoff will somehow erode conference loyalty or make rivalrly games or upsets any less impactful. If anything, many of the conference moves are being made to ensure higher revenues and a certain level of security as the confernces grow larger in terms of their membership. Putting in a playoff system and adding another $6M plus into the pockets of a lot of these programs would actually make them more likely to stay in place and not run for safer, green pastures.

        College football in Division 1-A doesn’t need a 4 X 16 or 4 X 20 setup (despite its inherent logic) to be able to set up a playoff. You could pretty much freeze the conference membership after this currently realignment process is in place and say that the winners of the six BCS conferences plus two wild card teams will be seeded into the playoff. If a BCS conference winner is not in the top 15 of the ranking system utilized, then that conference doesn’t have a playoff participant, but it will have a team in one of the major bowl games. Play the first two rounds at the home stadium of the higher ranked team starting the third Saturday of December and finish up with the national championship game in early January–the same time frame that the bowls are played.

        If something like this was done last year, and using the (imperfect) BCS rankings, the Big East would not have had a representative, but UConn would have ended up right where it went anyway–in the Fiesta Bowl. Another at large team replaces the Big East champion and the opening round goes like this:

        (8) Virginia Tech (ACC Champion) at (1) Auburn (SEC Champion)

        (5) Wisconsin (Big Ten Champion) at (4) Stanford (Pac 10 At Large)

        (7) Oklahoma (Big XII Champion) at (2) Oregeon (Pac 10 Champion)

        (6) Ohio State (Big Ten At Large) at (3) Texas Christian (MWC Champion At Large)

        That would have left programs like Michigan State, Arkansas, LSU, Boise State, Missouri, and Oklahoma State, Nevada, Texas A&M and Alabama to play in the major bowl games (along with UConn) to play in the Orange, Rose, Fiesta and Sugar Bowls.

        Because playoffs and the prospect of hosting a game in the first and/or second round of a playoff game would be goals during the regular season, there’s no reason to thing teams would have any different motivations that they do now in the bowl system. In fact, because one loss or even two losses wouldn’t necessarily elminate a team from the national championship game, the stakes would be completely different.

        • greg says:

          cutter, your multiple-week playoff proposal doesn’t have any travel costs and other overhead involved in your $6.45M payout. It’d be way lower if you include overhead.

          And the equal payout to all 124 is why a playoff won’t ever happen.

        • Purduemoe says:

          I am so sick of Wetzel and his acolytes. They want to take the one thing college football has above all other sports in this country, the regular season, and grind it into crap so we can have playoffs. I personally hate playoffs, in almost all sports they don’t give you the best team. Look at UConn last year in basketball. They didn’t win their league (in the regular season), but they got hot at playoff time and won the tournament, beating another team that didn’t win their league(in the regular season), Butler. It was exciting, and I enjoyed watching it, but don’t tell me that UConn was the best team in the country when they weren’t even the best team in their league. If you really want to see who the best team is you have everyone play each other home and away. Then you know how every team does against every other team, and there are no issues with scheduling. Any other solution has problems with its selection, whether it is a mediocre team that gets hot or a pollster who doesn’t watch all the games, or a team that faces a cupcake schedule.

          Of course playing everyone is impossible in College, as you have 124 FBS teams in football and over 300 D1 teams in basketball, so you have to accept some form of compromise. The NCAA has specifically set up in football two types of compromises for division 1, the bowl system and the playoff system. Neither provides you an inherently “better” champion, as none of the teams play everybody. So if you enjoy playoffs so much, watch FCS and ask your school to take part.

          • greg says:

            Purduemoe, this is a nation obsessed with playoffs. College basketball is, in most people’s eyes, The Tournament. Everything before it is meaningless to the casual fan. Its unfortunate.

            MLB expanded their playoffs to satiate the public. Now the playoff “problem” is the wild card, so their solution is…. an additional wild card! Brilliant!

            Fortunate for us, the college football power brokers aren’t in a hurry for a playoff.

          • Sam240 says:

            For the record, if the NCAA men’s basketball tournament were limited to regular season conference champions, Butler WOULD have been part of it last season. They DID earn a regular-season championship last year.

            The Horizon League had a three-way tie for first involving Cleveland State, Butler, and Milwaukee; hence, Butler is listed as one of the league’s three regular-season champions. For the record, Milwaukee had the number one seed for the tournament. However, without a tournament, the Horizon would have broken a tie for the conference championship the same way that the Ivy League does: a playoff involving the teams that were tied at the top.

            During the Horizon League tournament, Butler defeated Cleveland State in the semifinals, then beat Milwaukee in the final. A playoff limited to those three teams would have ended the same way: Butler would have won the league title.

    • Mike says:

      I’m not surprised. There are a lot more schools that are “have not” than “haves” when it comes to athletic budgets.

    • ccrider55 says:

      Reducing scholarships looks to me to have resulted in a different kind of arms race. Who can build the coolest new arena/practice/training/weight/academic help for athletes facilities? See U of Oregon’s new BB Arena, 60-90 mill athlete only academic center, planned multi floor football operations center Or UT, nations largest athletic budget yet only sponsoring 2 more sports than Wazzu.

      Could a potential scolly reduction possibly be linked to the idea that has been floated about giving athletes “full cost of attending” scholarships? If that idea gains traction its impact would be partially offset by a reduction in the number given out

      • bullet says:

        IMO this would have happened anyway. With all the money, more schools are trying harder to keep up. Just in the Big 12, Missouri has 40 wins over the last 4 years. Kansas was in the Orange Bowl 3 years ago, Oklahoma St. is #6, Texas Tech got to #2 in 2008, TCU was dismal from 1965-1995 and finished #2 last year, Kansas St. was a perennial near the top of the bottom 10 in the 80s and has won several Big 12 North titles and is currently ranked. Pac 12 and Big East have similar stories. Wake Forest won the ACC and is leading their division early this year. Northwestern has 3 Big 10 titles since 95. Not sure anyone other than Ohio St. has more. In basketball the rise of programs who didn’t care before is even more pronounced.

      • bullet says:

        I think its a good idea. The big programs don’t need those extra 5 players. The schools will probably take fewer academic risks and that’s a good thing. There may be a little less red-shirting which is good and bad. But the NFL got by with 40 man rosters for years. I believe its only 53 now. Colleges can do it with 80.

        Actually basketball is the bigger issue. BB has fewer players and a school can get burned by having players transfer, flunk out or go to the NBA. You’ll probably see more walk-ons. You’ve only got 2 spares at 12 for scrimmages.

        • Brian says:

          I think they’ll do the exact opposite. They’ll take even more risks to get the best athletes and create even easier courses for them to take to stay eligible because the recruiting busts will hurt even more.

          It’s wrong to compare adult, full time professional athletes with CFB players. The NFL pays them 6-8 figure salaries for the abuse, and they have years of extra weight training to harden their bodies. The NFL also has a practice squad and the ability to sign free agents during the season. Southern Miss can’t pick up Brett Favre if their QB gets hurt. College players have a limited amount of practice time and aren’t fully grown adults when they start. It’s apples and oranges.

          • bullet says:

            80 is 50% more players and double what NFL got by with before. Plus the schools often redshirt 10-20 players a year. Most big schools have 20-25 walk-ons as well.

          • EZCUSE says:

            How about this?

            A school gets 80 scholarship players starting in 2020.

            However, if a team graduates more than 70% of its players recruited from 2013 through 2015, then they get 5 bonus scholarships = 85. 65% = 84. 60% = 83. 55%= 82. 50% = 81.

            Roll the numbers for 2021 to reflect 2014 to 2016. Reward the teams that graduate players, rather than punish those that do not.

            Real simple… let the football factories work with 80 scholarships. Let the colleges that graduate players have a few extra scholarships. Win/win?

            Create a rule that any kid who signs a letter of intent gets a 5-year scholarship to the university with no exceptions. If the team oversigns and wants to kick a kid off the team, they can. However, they must honor his academic scholarship absent poor grades & discipline issues. If the kid is good enough to transfer to keep playing–he can. But, if not, he can opt to just get his degree. The notice of intent guarantees any recruit the opportunity to get the degree–even if the athletic prowess falls short.

            If a team inadvertently oversigns, that must be corrected in the next recruiting class. I.e…. If it turns out that you were supposed to have 82 scholarships, but had 83 players… the next year’s recruiting class must take the school up to 81 max. Or some sort of way to make sure that the remedy for a mistake is not voiding some innocent kid’s notice of intent. One scholarship in either direction shouldn’t make or break anything.

            If a kid leaves after 3 years to go to the NFL, so be it. Just make sure your whole team doesn’t do it. Or… hope that the kid can complete his 4-year degree in the offseason.

            In short… use this 5 scholarship window to actually make a difference education-wise.

          • Brian says:


            No matter how many times you make it, it’s still a bad comparison. CFB != NFL.

            There’s no reason they need any scholarships at all, if you want to play the numbers game. They can just go D-III. There is no problem with 85. Boise and TCU have shown the little guys can compete with that number. The cost of 5 scholarships (10 if you cut 5 women’s scholarships too) is not all that significant. That’s not what holds MAC schools back from competing with the B10 or the Sunbelt with the SEC financially.

            This is exactly the sort of rule that could persuade the big boys to leave the NCAA. That would really help the little guys.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            Brian when was the last time Ohio State had a full 85 scholarship players on the roster (not counting one year gifts to walk-ons)?

          • bullet says:


            Last I checked Georgia (Mike Adams) was a big boy.

            Most of the schools in the Big 6 conferences lose money on sports (at least prior to the latest TV contracts). Paying the full cost of attendance makes that worse. I could see them opposing going to 60. But I doubt many will have a problem with 80. And its the Presidents deciding this, not the football coaches.

            Some of the women’s sports have more scholarships than they need, simply to try to balance football.

          • Brian says:


            I’m not sure if Tressel ever had a full 85 not counting 1 year gifts to walk-ons. Cooper may have been the last time OSU had 85 true scholarship players (I’m guessing he did at some point).

          • Brian says:


            Last I checked Georgia (Mike Adams) was a big boy.

            Sure it is, but that doesn’t mean Adams is representative of all the big boy presidents. His conference is still struggling to keep their teams to 85 scholarship players, so I’m not sure how much support 80 would get from AL, LSU, MS, etc.

            Most of the schools in the Big 6 conferences lose money on sports (at least prior to the latest TV contracts).

            You buried the lead there. With the new TV deals coming, how many of the AQs will still lose money? How many of them could avoid losing money by just showing a little prudence?

            Paying the full cost of attendance makes that worse.

            Most of the schools are looking at an extra $3M or so for full COA scholarships. That won’t break the bank, and the new TV deals will cover it for most of them.

            I could see them opposing going to 60. But I doubt many will have a problem with 80. And its the Presidents deciding this, not the football coaches.

            The presidents also know that fewer players will lead to even more of a facilities and coaching salaries arms race. Dropping to 80 will probably cost them more money than staying at 85.

            Some of the women’s sports have more scholarships than they need, simply to try to balance football.

            So save everyone a lot of money and change Title IX. Changing football because women’s sports have too many scholarships is a bad plan.

        • PSUGuy says:

          Agree with brian…they’ll take more academic risk athletes and oversign the crap out of them to boot.

          Its just asking for more “creative rules interpretation” to get around the increased competitiveness this will bring.

          • bullet says:

            With an academic risk, you may get somebody who can’t play. When you’ve got 85, you’ve got more margin for error.

          • Brian says:

            With only 80, you have less room for error with busts, too. The coaches will want the dumb star over the smart backup every time. They only need grades good enough to squeak in. If they don’t make it, they don’t hurt the 80. Once they’re in, they can be coddled for 4-5 years to keep them available.

          • Eric says:

            Also with fewer players it each individual players becomes more and more important giving added incentives to avoid reporting problems or “help” students through however you can.

        • wmtiger says:

          CFB teams only have about 30-45 upperclassman and ~40-55 underclassman, I think the 85 number is good and right where they should be..

          • Read The D says:

            It’s mind-boggling to think that CFB coaches who get paid millions of dollars need 85 scholarships to figure out which players are good enough to play for their teams.

            Anyone who is for a playoff in CFB should be for a reduction in scholarships. This is another tool the big boys use to monopolize their sport.

            A full cost of attending scholarship will not change the recruiting landscape for the have nots. Maybe Western Michigan can’t afford to give the full cost off attending but Michigan can. It’s not like that’s going to change the decision for a kid. He’s going to Michigan either way.

          • Brian says:

            Read the D,

            Why do you assume most of us favor a playoff? I certainly don’t. If I wanted a playoff, I’d watch the NFL.

            Why do you assume the big boys dominating the sport is bad? It is much better for any sport to have some major brands that win a lot than to have complete parity.

          • Read The D says:


            I’m assuming that because every survey says the majority of college football fans prefer a playoff. You may change your mind after this year. If Oklahoma an SEC and a B1G team all go underrated, B1G looks like the odd man out.

            I don’t think dominant programs are bad for football. It’s good to have dominant teams that people can be for or against. Like I said Michigan will always beat Directional Michigan for recruits.

            My point is that football budgets have a trickle down effect on other sports. If football can be made cheaper for the lower tier schools it allows their other sports to be better funded.

          • Brian says:

            I won’t change my mind. Playoffs are bad. I don’t like them. They ruin the regular season, too.

  56. Mike says:

    Mizzou update via Dave Matter (@dave_matter):

    Was told MU officials may not know more on Big 12/SEC until “late next week.” Curators have regularly scheduled mtng next Thurs-Fri @ UMKC

  57. Pat says:

    At little off topic;
    But since hockey has begun, here’s an update on the Red Wings and NHL realignment. As a Red Wing fan, I would hate a move to the Southeast.

    • jj says:

      This is the stupidest gd idea I ever seen.

      No doubt it’s Bettman’s.

      • Brian says:

        While not ideal for Wings fans, it would be a huge improvement. I’d gladly trade the 10:30 pm starts for games in FL or NC. Plus, you get the Eastern conference rivals back and more games against Ovechkin and Crosby.

    • Brian says:

      Two important quotes (to me):

      As much as the Detroit Red Wings would love to move to the Eastern Conference next season, they gladly would accept staying in the West if the NHL would alter its scheduling matrix.

      If the league allows Detroit to make only one trip each to the West Coast and Western Canada, instead of two, that would be enough to satisfy the Red Wings.

      How dare someone offer a compromise? Don’t they know sports is all about ultimatums? That said, I don’t know if this is realistic or not. Would it be one long trip instead of two shorter ones, or fewer games?

      Columbus and Nashville also are lobbying to move East but have been told by the league that Detroit, which has been around much longer and has always cooperated with the NHL in matters related to realignment and scheduling, will get first priority.

      As it should be. Suck it Columbus and Nashville supporters.

      The real problem is that any plan needs a 2/3 majority, and there are several different plans out there with no real consensus. It could turn into really long meetings this December to make a decision.

      • jj says:

        this proposal is a non-starter for the wings.

        there are many good options floating about.

        i still like 2 coast to coast conferences like MLB and NFL best; named Campbell and Wales and then split into 4 divisions total – don’t care as much what they name those.

        the east-west thing is kinda nonsense in a league that is so heavily eastern.

        • Brian says:


          From the article:

          The Red Wings don’t believe this will happen, but they would fully support the move.

          “We’ll have a party,” one member of the organization said.

          Doesn’t sound like a non-starter to me.

          There are many options floating around, but I don’t know how many of them are good. It depends what (and which teams) you value most.

          The problem with 2 coast to coast conferences is that it exacerbates the time zone issue. Rather than just Detroit and Columbus, everybody would be playing a bunch of late night games on the west coast or early games on the east coast. That’s bad for the sport, if more “fair” for everyone. The NFL plays on Sunday afternoons so it’s less of an issue.

          • jj says:

            Even the mighty red wings are having a hard time selling out right now. No one wants to see a lot of these teams that the current schedule loads on us. Southeast would be even worse IMO.

            It would be good for tv, but they don’t really need that.

            I almost view it as an ultimatum. It’s like, ok you want the east? Here you go. I’d rather stuck with what we have than this.

            Spreading the travel is fair and good for everyone as most of the premier teams are in the east and the east coasters wan to see the wings, hawks, stars, Canucks and sharks.

          • jj says:

            I mean let’s face it, that division sucks. You could pack half of it up and no one would care. Wings fans are highly, highly traditional. Some will want it just because it’s the east, but most will want no part of this.

          • Brian says:

            Really? Ovechkin would be less of a draw than the Coyotes?

            Moving to the SE would get Detroit in the east. That’s good from the perspective of the eastern teams that want to play the Wings more. On the other hand, the western teams will probably complain (esp. Chicago). Everybody will have to make sacrifices to make realignment work.

            Maybe they settle for forcing the western teams to start games earlier when playing eastern teams. Still, someone has to go east and the SE has a hole.

          • jj says:

            Big o could be traded tomorrow. I’m talking about franchises with clout. The se is terrible and Johnny cone latelies. I’m telling you man, i have a really good read on this. The org might want it for costs and tv, but the fans will not.

          • Brian says:

            Even in the SE, the Wings would get 4 games against all the eastern big boys. That’s much better than now (1-2 each). Plus they reduce the number of late night games. That’s an improvement over the current schedule, even with 24 games against the SE.

            If playing the SE bothers a fan more than late night games and rarely playing the eastern teams, that fan is welcome to their opinion. It doesn’t mean the NHL or the franchise is going to listen to them when they know what is better financially.

            Shockingly, realignment means compromise because nobody can get everything they want.

          • Adam says:

            I agree with Brian that 2 coast-to-coast conferences makes the time zone issue worse and is foolish. Making it “fair” is pointless — the alignment should seek to maximize the gains it can. The league is saddled with an awkward geographic layout of teams. Make the best of that instead of wishing it were otherwise.

      • Adam says:

        I do not see how it does anybody (including Detroit) any good to take a “suck it” approach. This isn’t emotional, it’s business. Columbus has a 1/30th equity stake in the league. Shouldn’t we be trying to help them succeed? How does it do any other franchise any good to take such a “survival of the fittest” attitude? Everybody’s franchise values would take a hit. In a situation where it’s a close call between Detroit and Columbus, the bias should be in favor of the team whose finances are shakier. If other business factors force Columbus to fold or relocate, fine, but I don’t see why the NHL should be abetting that via the alignment.

    • @Pat – I don’t understand this at all. Putting aside my disagreement in general with having the Red Wings move to the Eastern Conference (leaving the Blackhawks as the only Original Six team in the West and essentially making that conference a ghetto in terms of media coverage), I could at least understand if Detroit were put into a division that would enable it to renew its rivalry with Toronto. Putting Detroit in the Southeast seems to remove any point of moving them to the East in the first place.

      I really hope the 4-division plan gets put into place. Count me in as someone that loves the prospect of divisional playoff games again.

      • Brian says:


        The point is to fix the time zone issue for one of your core franchises. With the current scheduling, they’ll play Toronto 4 times. That’s better than the 1-2 promised now but less than the 6 for sharing a division. So Detroit gets the east which they have wanted for a long time, but doesn’t get everything they want so people don’t feel like the NHL bent over backwards for them. It would also let the other eastern teams keep their rivalries intact.

        I’m not saying it’s the best plan, but it might be a passable compromise compared to pairing Detroit with Toronto, or Columbus or Nashville getting priority over Detroit.

      • Adam says:

        Not a fan of a 4-division approach. If you can’t divide the teams evenly, it’s not a good divisional alignment. I’d love the prospect of divisional playoff games again, but I’m not going to root for teams to go out of business, and that’s the only way we should be seeing divisional playoff games again.

    • metatron5369 says:

      Hell no. I’m not giving up the Blackhawks for any of those.

      I have a better solution: get rid of these pointless divisions and play every team in the league in a home and home and round-robin the conferences.

      There’s no reason we shouldn’t play Toronto every year.

  58. bullet says:

    Thought some of you might be interested in seeing the coverage map this weekend. Two 3:30 games are UT/OkSt and Illinois/Ohio St. Big 12 game has two ranked teams and is the ‘national’ game. So it is interesting to see what ABC considers the Big 10 zone of influence where the Big 10 games gets on ABC-Big 10 states except western Nebraska + most of KY,WV,TN,ND,SD, far eastern Missouri including St. Louis, southern NJ and western NY.

    • zeek says:

      That’s a fairly accurate representation of the Big Ten’s zone of influence for an unranked Ohio State or even Michigan (since their zones are similar) against a middle of the road ranked team.

      I’d venture that an unranked Penn State would be able to get more of the northeast if it was subbed in for Ohio State (possibly into the NYC to Mass area). Nebraska would probably cover the Montana/Wyoming region if it was unranked although you might lose the Kentucky/Tenn/WV areas…

      But you know what that map really shows? it shows that the Big Ten didn’t need Pitt or Syracuse. That shows that an unranked Big Ten king (probably just the 3 Eastern ones, not Nebraska) would still capture up-state New York up against comparable non-Syracuse matchups. Of course, we all knew Pitt couldn’t add anything in terms of markets to the Big Ten.

    • metatron5369 says:

      You know what it tells me? The Big Ten needs NBC to offer them a deal.

      1. NBC
      2/3. ESPN
      2/3. FOX
      3/4. BTN

      And that’s just counting the day games.

      • Kevin says:

        I wonder if NBC would rather broadcast a ND home game in the afternoon against say Pitt vs a Big Ten tier 1 matchup?? I would think the Big Ten contract would make more sense as you would likely guarantee better games in most years.

        • zeek says:

          That’s the nature of a conference though. I mean who just 3 years ago could imagine that the first week of Big Ten play would be opened with two top 10 teams not named Michigan, Ohio State, or Penn State and that those two teams would be playing in the national night-time spot head-to-head with Alabama-Florida on CBS?

        • metatron5369 says:

          Oh, they’d rather have the Big Ten. The collective weight of all Big Ten fanbases is larger than Notre Dame’s and the chances of getting a better match up are greater.

          They’ll try to get the Big Ten, and the Big Ten needs to take their offer. The SEC has one national game across CBS, we can fit at least two, maybe more if we jump to sixteen and get better draws.

          • dchorn says:

            I think it shows the pulling power of Texas more….Outside of OU, name two other Big 12 schools that would pull favorably between Illinois and Ohio St…

    • wmwolverines says:

      If Ohio was undefeated and ranked in the top 10 this comparison would be much, much more relevant.

      • zeek says:

        I disagree. I think you learn a lot more about what the core region of a conference is when it’s posting a regional matchup against a more favorable national matchup featuring dual ranked teams from another conference.

        The point isn’t to examine the Big Ten’s drawing power of two equal matchups. The point is to examine where ABC/ESPN thinks draws better when it’s clear that the Big Ten is providing a regional matchup…

      • Brian says:

        Really? You want this to turn into that kind of sophomoric site where it’s Ohio and scUM? That’s what rivals and scout are for.

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        Ohio plays in the MAC…and so would TSUN without players from Ohio.

  59. Kevin says:

    Interesting that a lot of the ACC states are showing the Big 12 game.

    • @Kevin – It’s a function of Ohio State having a down year. If they were ranked, I think this game would’ve received better distribution outside of the Big Ten footprint. I love my Illini, but we’re not a national draw by ourselves.

      • zeek says:

        Agreed, but what it does show as I mention above is that the Big Ten didn’t really need Syracuse. If an unranked Ohio State captures that, it means unranked Penn State or Michigan probably does as well…

        • duffman says:

          Frank, Ohio State may be down but Michigan is rising, which is keeping the historic viewers in place. While I may agree about the unusual position Illinois is in, and yay for you, UM does have the actual long term base. I hate to be the cynic here, but is it possible they are both ESPN properties? The ACC has historic ties with ESPN, and UT has the LHN. I tend to feel the game is broadcast in ACC country because Texas is playing. oSu is more like Illinois in terms of national draw, so if it were oSu vs say Baylor, it would not get the ACC coverage. Why would ESPN help FOX via the BTN in a time slot they can help a network – the LHN – they actually own. If oSu knocks UT out early in the game, as I feel they will, the guys at the network have to be smarter than me, and know that will be a dog game in the second half. Yet still they have taken the risk to put it in that time slot.

          My guess is they will use the ACC coverage to promote the Kansas game the following week with plenty of the “call your cable operator” ads running during the game. While I am not saying this is the case, lets say it would not surprise me if this was the logic behind it. I am guessing there are more B1G alumni in the northern east coast TV market than UT grads. At this point this dealing by ESPN to cover UT is not good for college football fans in general.

          • EZCUSE says:

            How does this map show anything? There are two games and two networks… ABC/ESPN divided up the country. One portion gets one, one portion gets the other. Both games are appearing on major networks. Just a matter of which gets which.

            Does this mean that Texas/Oklahoma have the Massachusetts market and the Florida market? No. So how does it mean that the Big 10 has Kentucky, New York, etc?

            My god, you people will rely on anything to rationalize the B1G not expanding and/or taking the leftover princes like Missouri/Rutgers.

          • @duffman – I honestly don’t really think it’s that underhanded. ESPN has been and showcasing Nebraska and Wisconsin plenty over the past month, so it’s not really about the BTN or LHN. From an objective standpoint, if you’re in a neutral area, the Texas vs. Oklahoma State game is much more compelling with the Cowboys within at least an earshot of the national title race and Texas being a marquee school being ranked. We can point to plenty of examples where the Big Ten game of the week has received a lot more national coverage compared to the Big 12 or ACC game going on the same time (and in fact, that’s usually the case). Plus, with the Big Ten always guaranteed to receive reverse mirror coverage on ESPN/ESPN2, the entire nation is always going to have access every conference game (whereas Big 12, ACC and Pac-12 games can all be missed in certain markets at times).

          • zeek says:


            It shows how ABC/ESPN divide up the country between the network and cable channel. The Big 12 game is the national game since it features two ranked teams (one of which is a top 10 team). The Big Ten game is a regional game since it features an unranked Ohio State up against an undefeated but not really NC contender in Illinois.

            In the past the Nebraska/South Dakota area would typically not be with a Big Ten regional game in this situation.

            Typically though, the Big Ten has still gotten coverage in the Kentucky/TN area and parts of the Northeast when up against a national game from a different conference.

            Again, it depends upon which conference has the national game (i.e. top 10s Miami/Va Tech would probably take more of the Northeast on ABC…).

            You get a better idea of what the bigwigs at ABC/ESPN see as “Big Ten country” when it goes up against a far better matchup in a different conference and yet certain areas still get the Big Ten “regional” game on their slot…

            i.e. the fact that Nebraska/South Dakota are going to get the Big Ten game on ABC even though it’s clearly not the marquee matchup…

          • EZCUSE says:

            OK. So? Does this mean that the B1G can rule out expanding into the Dakotas? Glad this week’s schedule provides the comfort for that decision.

            As for the Northeast and other parts of the country, isn’t competition relevant? West Virginia and Syracuse both have the week off. Pitt and Rutgers are OOC at noon (pretty sure). This 3:30 game is in a vacuum.

            Plus, it is one week. Maybe ESPN will learn that it screwed up the decision. Wouldn’t you need a much larger sample size?

            And I think a decision between which of two generally available networks is less important than the decision between television and no television. Or basic cable vs. expanded cable. Or cable v ESPN3. And so on. I am sure that there was some thought put into some of the boundaries… but having ESPN as the fall back is pretty safe. Not like all those Texas fans in Buffalo are going to be too upset about having to watch the game on ESPN.

            I get that y’all want to feel good about the B1G’s decision. But, man, adding Nebraska was a HR. No brainer. Great decision. Doesn’t require any proof. And Rutgers/UConn/Missouri just aren’t a HR. No colorful map this week is going to change that. Non-expansion continues to be the B1G’s best move…

          • Mike says:


            This week is kind of an anomaly in Nebraska. Both Lincoln and Omaha have ABC stations. It seems that when there is more than two games on ESPN at 2:30 the station in Omaha will carry the B1G game, the one in Lincoln will carry the Big 12 game and ESPN will have a PAC/ACC game. Since there is only two, both ABC stations are carrying the B1G game.

          • zeek says:


            It’s just one data point. ABC/ESPN chooses a game to be its national headliner and then chooses a game to go up against it if there’s regional interest.

            Then they dissect the markets based on which ones the regional game would probably take.

            If you look at past split maps where there’s a national game and a Big Ten regional game, North Dakota was typically included in the Big Ten’s regional area. My guess would be that North Dakota is viewed as being attached to Minnesota.

            Nebraska/South Dakota were typically not included of course, but now that Nebraska is in the conference, those two are included in a regional map (again just one data point).

            My guess is that the Big Ten’s core region is the Big Ten’s states + North Dakota (Minnesota) + South Dakota (Nebraska/Minnesota) – Pennsylvania.

            Then they look at Pennsylvania and look at the matchup specifically. If it was a top 10 ACC matchup (say Miami v Virginia Tech), they’d probably give most of Pennsylvania and all of NY/NJ to the ACC matchup. But because the national matchup is a Big 12 matchup, they’re more willing to give those regions to the Big Ten’s regional matchup on ABC.

            Louisville entering the Big 12 would probably result in a change in this map in the future but it’s a very specific data point of a ranked Ilinois against an unranked Ohio State versus a top 10 OSU against a top 25 Texas.

            You can look at older coverage maps from ABC/ESPN and that’s just more information. Again, it’s just interesting to see what the TV honchos think is a more compelling matchup in each of the regions (and yes it does depend on which schools are in which conferences to some extent, exceptions include Pennsylvania which is really dependent on the matchups specifically).

          • zeek says:

            FWIW, I don’t really think this has anything to do with expansion other than to probably point out that the Big Ten has no pull in Maryland or south of there (I’ve looked at other coverage maps which seem to confirm this)…

            The Eastern Missouri part of the map is the one part that Illinois is delivering that a different matchup probably wouldn’t deliver.

            For example, if this was a ranked Northwestern team instead, the map might look the same but exclude parts of St. Louis.

          • EZCUSE says:

            OK, I was referring to this: “But you know what that map really shows? it shows that the Big Ten didn’t need Pitt or Syracuse. That shows that an unranked Big Ten king (probably just the 3 Eastern ones, not Nebraska) would still capture up-state New York up against comparable non-Syracuse matchups. Of course, we all knew Pitt couldn’t add anything in terms of markets to the Big Ten.”

          • zeek says:

            I think my last line refers to that. The Big Ten has regional pull outside the footprint in the Northeast, Midwest/parts of Northwest, and in the border states in the Southeast, mostly outside of the Mid-Atlantic.

            Outside of Penn State, the Big Ten really has no pull on Maryland or D.C. You could probably say the same for Missouri outside of Illinois, since my guess would be that Illinois is the reason STL is getting this game on ABC in the eastern third of Missouri.

            For expansion, what does it mean? Not much other than that the Mid-Atlantic is probably the weakest area of delivery for the Big Ten outside of its home base. But we already knew that…

            FWIW, I don’t think adding Rutgers to the Big Ten would change that coverage map. My guess would be that the NYC region would still find the Big 12’s national matchup more interesting than the Big Ten’s regional matchup.

  60. Big East is voting to increase exit fees tomorrow:

    It appears Louisville isn’t going to show up to the vote. I don’t think it takes much to figure out why that would be the case. Also, it’s difficult to see how these schools that rejected $10 million in exit fees earlier this week would agree to exit fees that could be in the $15-17 million range only a few days later. That being said, if you actually do see exit fees passed tomorrow, it might mean that there’s a compromise or at least some clarity as to who’s actually staying and who’s going, so the Big East can actually move forward with expansion at that point.

    • zeek says:

      This signals that Missouri -> SEC and Louisville -> Big 12 are mostly a go.

      But that’s a really harsh looking exit fee at 3x per TV revenue. If they get even just $7-8M in the new deal, that would turn into $20M+. If the new deal is closer to $10M, that would be around $30M.

      They need 11 of the 14 members to vote Yes? So if only 3 others abstain or vote no, that isn’t happening.

    • curious2 says:

      Why not wait till Missouri and Big 12 make a decision?

      Or could this be a way for the BB schools to set up the basis for a split: if the football schools don’t committ to the conference, they won’t add new schools.

      However, unless UL and WVU (and Cinn) have given up hope of going to Big 12 (or wherever), they certainly can’t be happy being forced to a decision at this point if they are hoping for a way out.

      As zeek mentions below, this seems like a high penalty, almost akin to the rediculous 15 year committment the BB schools supposedly wanted.

      • @curious2 – The flip side is if schools like WVU and Cincinnati have determined that they have no way out, then the only realistic action that they can take at this point is to go full bore in stabilizing and expanding the Big East for the long-term, which means that they’re going to need to agree to higher exit fees to make it palatable for targets like Navy and Air Force to join.

        My impression for quite awhile has been that the Big 12 would not expand any further than 10 schools, which means spot #10 will to go to either BYU (which is what *should* happen if the LDS leaders come to their senses) or Louisville (who has surged ahead as the top non-BYU candidate). So, if WVU and others are getting that impression, too, while UConn and Rutgers are fairly assured that they’re not leaving unless Notre Dame heads to either the Big Ten or ACC (and note that they’ll get an indicator of whether that’s happening depending on how ND approaches the exit fee issue itself), then we could very well see these higher exit fees pass tomorrow. The Big East might be saved only because it’s another maximum security prison.

        • frug says:

          Can you explain your thinking on BYU? Unless they can get assurances from both ESPN and the WCC that they can go return to their present deals if the Big XII folds within X years I’m not it’s worth risking a pretty darn good deal.

        • FLP_NDRox says:


          I would be a bit surprised if ND voted against any increase to the Exit fee. No one has more incentive than the Irish to keep the Big East status quo.

        • bullet says:

          I get the same impression from what I’m reading about the Big 12 stopping at 10. Texas and now Oklahoma want only 10. Noone else seems to feel strongly enough about 12 to push it now. At least there is noone on record touting it. So with no consensus, they stay at 10.

          If I were a President at a school other than Texas or OU, I would want 12 for the stability factor. The ccg should be enough that the $ would not be significantly lower and might even be a little higher if BYU was one of the additions.

          Also, it really is time for the Big East to die. There will be no good reason it should be AQ ahead of MWC with the strength (or lack thereof) of the programs they are trying to add.

          • jtorre says:

            Although Stoops and Mack may prefer to avoid the CCG, with the possible compliment of the North, it may not be much of a challenge for the winner of the South (unless K-state returns to glory). Besides the defacto ccg is in the cotton bowl the second staruday of october. It seems the North schools would want to keep 10 teams to maintain two games in Texas each year.

          • Mike says:


            Besides Texas and Oklahoma all we have to go off of is what the beat writers have said on this topic, so it makes it a little difficult assigning motivation to specific schools. That being said, it makes sense for Texas and Oklahoma to want a ten team league. Win the Red River Rivalry and most years you have a good shot at a conference title. Lose and you have a month and a half to work your way back up the polls to get in a BCS game.

            However, for the other schools, resource (budget, facilities, recruiting, etc) wise they are and will be behind UT and OU for the foreseeable future. That will make winning conference titles more difficult because not only are they resource constrained but they have to play both UT and OU (obviously UT and OU can’t play themselves). The thought is a conference championship game gives one of the other schools greater odds to win a title in a winner take all game (see Kansas St, 2003).

        • EZCUSE says:

          This is actually a pretty good move by the Big East.

          Think about it. The more money the Big East gets in its next TV deal… the greater the exit fee. If they can pull of $10M per school per year… that is a $30M exit fee.

          If that’s the case, how can a Rutgers or UConn justify leaving for the ACC w/ND? And if they cannot leave for the ACC, there is no 16th team to join ND. And if they cannot leave the Big East, there is no reason for ND to have to be team#13 for BIG or team #15 for ACC anyway. They still have a home.

          This protects the Big East against an ACC raid because the ACC TV contract is just not enough of a boost anymore.

          Now… it might not protect against Rutgers going to the Big 10. But if Rutgers goes to the Big 10, it is probably part of an ND move to the Big 10 too. So Rutgers and ND would presumably both be content with that.

          Moreover, ND’s share of the revenue as a non-football school is so low that 3 x’s the revenue share is meaningless to them. If they want to go to the ACC or the B1G they certainly can.

          The real losers are WVU and Louisville. They may or may not have options on the table. This forces them to commit and abandon those options or leave the Big East immediately. Can they do the latter? What if no other options emerge?

          And what does the SEC do for Team #14 now? If they pass on Missouri and WVU, this leaves them with having to pry an ACC school. That wouldn’t bother the Big East at all. Meanwhile, would UConn be able to replace a Florida State to keep the ACC at 14 if it cost that much?

          The potential backfire is this mobilizing the SEC to make a quick decision on team #14. If they pass on WVU, and Missouri never gets approved and an ACC school cannot be lured, then what? 13 teams just does not work out well. Do they get forced to make a decision? Does the Big XII get antsy and force Missouri to make a decision–in or out… you want out, fine. We’ll take Louisville and move on. If the Big East cannot expand without the Big XII and SEC sorting out their issues, this is a good–but risky–move to get on with things. If the Big East dies, it was already dead. If it survives, it has a bit of momentum back.

          I find it amusing that the Big East’s rejection of the ESPN deal has driven this expansion bus this time… and that the Big East’s own plan while in ICU may force the bigger conferences to speed things up.

          • EZCUSE says:

            The interesting thing is what is needed to pass. 75% of whom?

            If it is the football schools only… that means you need 5 out of 6. Two football school can block.

            If it is all schools… you need 11 out of 14. That would require 4 football schools to block.

            If 4 football schools block, why should the basketball schools do anything to save football?

            Man… this is a very good play by the Providence crowd.

          • vp19 says:

            The SEC isn’t passing on Missouri. This is merely a one-year delay to get everyone’s house in order while it adjusts to the addition of Texas A&M.

            If I’m the West Virginia administration, I get on the phone with every Big 12 member not named Texas or Oklahoma and plead with them to override the “big two” and expand to 12 members. WVU would have value to the Big 12, as would Louisville and even Cincinnati (which likely would agree to play a few games each year at Paul Brown Stadium; it’s doing that for UL this Saturday and WVU later this season).

          • EZCUSE says:

            Absolutely. But if the Big East is going to die, I think the Big East would rather die today. Why run up all these expenses chasing football schools only to die in 4 years anyway.

  61. frug says:

    So who is the worse commissioner Bebee or Marinatto? My vote is Bebee. Marinatto only took over in July 2009 so he inherited more problems than Bebee.

    • zeek says:

      Can’t really blame either.

      Lest we forget, Kevin Weiberg (Delany’s deputy for 10 years prior to his Big 12 Commissioner role) was in charge of the Big 12 from ’98 to ’07.

      He tried to push for a network, for equal revenue sharing, for all of that for several years.

      He left because he was frustrated with how dysfunctional the group was. As a testament to that, he left the commissioner job for a Big Ten Network job and then after spending 2 years helping the Big Ten set up that, he left for the Pac-10 to take a deputy job to Larry Scott.

      The guy basically took a demotion in the Big Ten and Pac-10 because those were more stable situations where he could help build out TV enterprises.

      If Weiberg couldn’t really fix the Big 12’s problems in a decade, what were the odds that Beebe was going to be able to in just 2-3 years?

      As for Marinatto, he’s dealing with an even more dysfuncational group. You have the basketball schools, Notre Dame, and the football-basketball schools, and they all have competing interests. They all recognized the importance of BCS, but the basketball schools have probably been resentful of how much they’ve tried to prop up the football schools by taking all these random C-USA schools.

      That’s why they tried to put the brakes on it by only agreeing to add TCU and then really wanting to look at adding Villanova. They didn’t want to become a random mish-mash group of former SWC schools, former C-USA schools, former WAC/MWC schools, whoever. But they’re in danger of becoming that anyways. Ergo why they want to really build a giant wall around the conference in the form of exit fees set at 3x one year’s TV revenue.

      All I’m trying to say is that there’s a limit to how much a commissioner can push a school to go against its most natural self-interest. Texas is in a group where the schools are mostly significantly less valuable than it (outside of A&M and Oklahoma and Nebraska, but even those three are less valuable in TV terms since they’re two relatively territory-less kings as well as A&M which is not a king but has redundant territory).

      The Big Ten’s region is much more equal in terms of territory and school size (most have enrollments over 40k, even Northwestern’s is near 20k); as for territory, the three territory bringing kings have states of 10-12M, but the non-kings bring significant territory as well, i.e. Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, and Iowa (the first three of which contain significant media markets), as well as a prince in Wisconsin.

      You could say the same thing about the Pac-12. Those schools have a natural inclination to share because they cover such a broad swath of territory even though USC/UCLA are more valuable than the rest, the others still bring more to the table. Their relative distance from the other conferences and need to work together to get exposure in the East is also a driving force behind them working together to support the whole.

      You can’t blame the Big 12 and Big East commissioners for having groups that aren’t anywhere near as equal or willing to give up for the whole as the Big Ten or Pac-12.

    • Phil says:

      I don’t think it is fair to say Marinotto inherited problems in 2009. To really understand Big East leadership you need to look at the Providence mafia through its entire reign of incompetence, kind of like when looking at North Korea you would consider the current wackjob’s rule a continuation of his father’s.

  62. Penn State Danny says:

    My hunch is that Frank is right.

    I think Missou does indeed leave for the SEC after next year. I also think that the Big 12 will take BYU mostly to keep the Big East alive.

    Louisville, WVU, Cincy, Rutgers and UConn all were options if the 4 by 16 would have happened. It never was going to happen so these teams are stuck in the prison that is The Big East.

    I said this up thread but I will say it again: the BE should just add Temple and UCF and stay at 8 teams. These 2 schools both want to come, would add markets and would fit in. I doubt that the basketball schools would object to either. The 2 dissenters would be Villanova with regards to Temple and USF with regards to UCF. The BE should be able to placate those two teams. (Notice that I didn’t mention either of them in the preceding paragraph)

    Remember, the other 5 BCS conferences want to have the BE as the weak sister. They do not want another conference in the mix and the Big Ten, PAC, Big 12 and ACC don’t want the SEC to be able to get a 3rd team into the equation as an at large.

    • zeek says:

      Not sure BYU is there for the taking though.

      If BYU couldn’t agree to come on as the Texas A&M replacement, then what are the odds that whatever the source of disagreement (Tier 1 TV guarantees because Texas/OU take up a lot of the T1 slots or Sunday play or whatever) would be fixed later?

    • vp19 says:

      In a 4 x 16, there would be no Big 12, just the Big Ten, PAC, SEC and either ACC or Big East to serve the seaboard. And why wouldn’t you want to take what’s of some value from the Big East (notably Louisville and West Virginia)? That conference will have apparently have an automatic BCS through 2015 if it keeps the eight-member minimum, so let it scramble to find replacements for a few years, then give it a mercy-killing.

      • There was a line by Jon Wilner recently to this effect and I think it’s a great one: Every conference wants to line its pockets with more money, but no one wants blood on their hands.

        The SEC was (and is) willing to take valuable assets from the Big 12, but they have taken pains to make sure that they don’t kill them (or at least get sued for killing them). It looks like the Big 12 is going to take the same approach with the Big East. They’ll replenish their ranks with a Louisville-type, yet I don’t see any desire to actually kill the conference off. In my opinion, the only way either the Big 12 or the Big East gets killed off is if Texas and Notre Dame respectively leave those leagues. The Big Ten and ACC are ultimately fine with killing off the Big East if it means that Notre Dame ends up joining them, but neither of those conferences are willing to have blood on their hands simply to add Rutgers and/or UConn.

        The 4 x 16 model is attractive to a lot of people on paper because it looks so nicely organized and logical. However, there are too many individual forces standing in the way, not the least of which are Notre Dame’s steadfast commitment for independence and Texas having a Longhorn Network that is toxic to anyone other than the Big 12. Those are the 2 schools that are absolute requirements to form superconferences, yet they are the 2 schools that are least willing to move from their current homes. That’s why I think we’re going to see all 6 of the current AQ conferences survive in some form, even if they’re bludgeoned.

        Maybe I’m naive, but I don’t see this overwhelming desire by the Big Ten and SEC to get rid of the Big East. What they’d probably love to happen instead is to see the Big East take in schools like Boise State in order to free up the non-AQ BCS bowl bid spot more often. Granting the Big East a BCS bowl spot is the cost of doing business to ensure that politicians don’t get involved in the BCS system more than they have already.

        • zeek says:

          That last point is underrated.

          When you think about the BCS busters, most of them have already been dealt with… BYU went independent and has no guarantee now; TCU is in the Big 12 fighting for the Fiesta Bowl; Utah is in the Pac-12 fighting for the Rose Bowl.

          The power 5 would love for Boise State to enter the Big East along with the strongest programs from the MWC and C-USA (UCF, Houston, SMU, etc.) because that means they’re all fighting for that one AQ spot.

          Maybe another BCS buster arises later, but by then the BCS will likely have abolished the two team limit and might have a 5th BCS Bowl…

          • bullet says:

            I think the political influence of the remaining BE schools may be overrated. Senator Byrd is dead and WVU might very well still find a new home. Rutgers doesn’t care that much about sports. We’re left with UConn who is a newbie. UL, UC and USF don’t matter.

            I don’t think any conference is anxious to kill off the Big East, but I don’t think there is much political influence left there. It was different when Penn St. was the only BCS school in the northeast. But now PItt, SU and BC are in the ACC.

          • zeek says:

            That’s probably why they’re going after the academies as well as Houston/SMU and UCF. Those are schools that might be more able to call upon stronger politicians for help. We don’t really have to go into the academies, but Houston/SMU probably have friends in the Texas legislature (and we know how they love to run head-first into a college sports fray). A lot of Florida politicians (specifically from the Orlando area) seem to be ticked that USF has been seen as holding out on UCF.

            I mean, it’s obviously a desperation ploy, but it’s not a bad hand to play. Of course, the academies may not even be interested, but I think they’ll get Air Force at least. Navy will probably come along if the buyout gets raised to 3x the annual TV payment.

            Houston, SMU, UCF all make sense for markets and ability to have programs that can perform at the AQ level (due to where they’re located in the heart of the biggest recruiting beds in the country).

        • duffman says:


          I tend to agree, especially the SEC. Not sure there is a Big East team they would love to have. As I said in the long post in the last thread, only 3 teams really matter for the final push to 16:

          Notre Dame = History and eyeballs
          Oklahoma = History
          Texas = Eyeballs

          Not to bash UT, but they are the 3rd wheel in the B12 behind Nebraska and Oklahoma. Sure 4 MNC’s look good compared to a majority of schools, they still are on the bottom end of the Top 10 brands when it comes to winning the hardware. If Oklahoma / Nebraska had more people, and Notre Dame was not in the current slump then UT would not be in the catbird seat they are. The thing that puts UT over the top is the fact that Texas is a HUGE state that loves football. If TAMU thrives and grows in the SEC long term, it would break the monopoly UT enjoys now. I think due to long term history this is unlikely, but it does open the door to the possibility.

          West Virginia has to be a last resort for the SEC, and UL and UC are already in the B1G (via OSU and IU) and SEC (via UK) footprint. That would leave USF, which I put in the same odds of ECU getting the SEC invite. The B1G at most would view Rutgers and Uconn on the possible list, and that would mean the home office in IL already knows what Notre Dame will do at that time (meaning no hurry by the B1G to act). That leaves only the ACC to pick on the BE (which is the very scenario we discussed on here back in the spring of 2010) but not enough to totally kill it off. Yes if Uconn and ND joined the ACC then the BE is finished as a FB conference, but such a move will force the PAC and SEC to head to 16 as well, and the B12 as an AQ will be DOA. For better or worse the departure of UNL, CU, and TAMU took schools off the top of the B12 and not the bottom. Once you get past the history and stadium disparity the schools not named Texas or Oklahoma make the BE look like a power conference.

          TAMU = -8 million eyeballs
          CU = -5 million eyeballs
          UNL = -1.8 million eyeballs
          MU = -6 million eyeballs

          Losing 21 million eyeballs is nothing to sneeze about! Adding back WVU + UL + UC is maybe going to get back 2 – 4 million at best, which still means a net loss of 17 or 18 million folks to draw from. I keep saying it is not about the 6 AQ’s as equals, but as a top tier (B1G / PAC / SEC), and a second tier (B12 / ACC / BE). The schools like BSU in the future will have to cut their teeth in the B12 or BE for a chance to move up, but don’t hold your breath to them drawing level with a top tier school.

          • zeek says:

            The one thing that’s different between the Big Ten’s Big 2 Little 8 period and the Big 12’s coming Big 2 Little 8 period is the Texas recruiting grounds and the $ and sheer importance of football performance.

            The world is different; I think that the Big 12 can survive as long as Texas or Oklahoma is playing at a high level and 2 or 3 of the other 10 are performing at a high level. Texas’ massive pipeline in terms of recruiting as well as the huge amounts of money and scholarships limitations would make it possible for other programs in the Big 12 to compete.

            Of course, we can’t read the future, but right now the Big 12 is clearly at a peak performance level. We’ll have to judge what you’re saying when the Big 12 endures a relative slump compared to other conferences.

        • Sam240 says:

          There’s another, much better, reason for the BCS to keep the Big East’s berth. There are 124 Division I-A schools. For the BCS to keep the NCAA from adopting a playoff system, it has to give at least 63 teams a chance at an automatic berth and a shot at winning a national champion, either through winning an AQ conference title, or, in the case of Notre Dame, going undefeated through a national schedule.

          There are currently 67 schools in BCS conferences (counting TCU), plus a 68th school in Notre Dame that would vote with them to preserve the system. A 68-56 split (or 54.8%) provides more breathing room than the 64-60 split (51.8%) that the 4X16 model would give.

          If the other five AQs would drop the Big East, that would provide a 62-62 split (counting Pitt and Syracuse as ACC schools), and it would take just one defector from the five BCS conferences to wreck the entire BCS. The BCS 62 would include Notre Dame, which means that a majority of Division I-A teams would be outside the five AQ conferences. Forget about granting the Big East a BCS bowl spot to keep the politicians from getting involved; the other five conferences need to keep the Big East involved merely to keep the BCS alive.

          Furthermore, there are three teams in the leftover Big East which have at least one BCS bowl appearance and at least one men’s basketball Final Four appearance since 2005: Louisville, West Virginia, and UConn. UConn is the current national champion in men’s basketball. If I were at the University of Kansas (2008 Orange Bowl, 2008 NCAA men’s basketball national champion), and any one of those three Big East teams were to lose AQ status, I would be extremely, extremely nervous about my school’s athletic future. I might be nervous enough to start a revolt against the BCS itself. That’s one defection, which is enough to ruin a 62-62 split.

          If I could get someone else to join in a Kansas-led revolt, that would turn the 4X16 model’s 64-60 split into a 62-62 split, and the addition of one more team to Division I-A would produce a 62-63 loss. Vanderbilt, with three bowl appearances over the past 50 years, and no conference championships since it won the Southern Conference back in 1923, would be a likely ally in such a revolt.

          Well, let’s say that the Big 12 grabs Louisville and West Virginia, and the ACC takes UConn. The ACC needs one more school to get to 16. Could it be Rutgers? Well, that leaves Cincinnati in the cold. Cincinnati, the school, has had two BCS bowl appearances in the past five seasons. Part of Cincinnati, the metro area, lies within Ohio’s 8th Congressional District, represented by John Boehner, Speaker of the House. Leaving Cincinnati out would certainly result in more political interference. Well, could the ACC take Cincinnati instead? That would leave Rutgers out. Rutgers is the one BCS conference school within the New York Metropolitan area. Kicking it out of the BCS system would result in a giant political headache.

          Let’s face it. The only Big East football school that could be kicked out of the BCS without risking the destruction of the entire BCS system is South Florida. The other five members, along with the current and future members of the 5 guaranteed AQ conferences, come up to 66 teams, and Notre Dame would make 67. There’s no way to fit 67 teams into four 16-team conferences without having three left over. In that case, what three teams could the BCS safely drop?

          • zeek says:

            The numbers don’t really matter. The whole 4×16 thing is mostly a mirage. It never really had a chance of existing (because the Big Ten/ACC have no real interest in 14 or 16 respectively without ND and it’s hard to see why the SEC would go to 16).

            I mean at some point, the biggest 5 can tell the rest, “take it or leave it”. And if they select leave it, the 5 conferences just go back to the old bowl system with no non-AQs to spoil the party.

            Not that I think it’ll go that far, but I do think eventually that the Big East is going to lose its AQ. It’s just a matter of when. It might not happen in the next negotiation or the one after that, but at some point, the numbers just won’t work. Probably because the 5 conferences will set the bar too high for them to make it, and just won’t feel like granting them a waiver.

            I think ESPN’s involvement in the BCS makes this more likely. None of the Big East teams really move the dial or travel that well other than WVU. At what point do they just put their foot down and say that they don’t want them to have a guaranteed slot?

            Of course, that could go away if Boise State joins and there are no non-AQs continually jumping into the fray…

        • Quiet Storm says:

          I agree with you Frank. A lot of people assumed the move to superconferences was going to happen intstantly, but conference expansion has been more like a game of chess. I think the SEC and Big Ten while surprised initially by the ACC’s move in adding Pitt and Syracuse are probably pleased overall with the move. With Pitt and Syracuse in a stable conference, the Northeast will still have a significant presence in the BCS with Penn State in the Big Ten and Pitt, BC and the ‘Cuse in the ACC.

          If the Big East expands with Boise State, UCF, Navy, Air Force, SMU and Houston you actually have a pretty good conference made up of the best non-AQ programs, which minimizes the whole “BCS buster” conversation. The formula is easy now, win and you are in. If you split them into East and West divisions you now have a potential new rivalry/ annual championship game between WVU and Bosie State; two teams with exciting offenses.

          Houston has some BB tradition and can become an asset on that side of the conference, the irony is there will be more pressure on Providence, DePaul and Seton Hall to improve their programs so they can maintain their position as one of the top leagues. This side of the conference is where the tension is going to be.

  63. Mike says:

    Comments from Texas Pres. Powers

    He repeated that Texas had no interest in exploring the possibility of joining either the SEC or the Big Ten, but confirmed the school did have discussions with the Pac-12 and Atlantic Coast conferences.

    • bullet says:

      Drives home some thoughts I’ve had about the supposed instability of Big 12.

      #1 ISU,KSU,KU,BU,TCU aren’t going anywhere.
      #2 TT,OkSt aren’t going anywhere unless UT and OU go.
      #3 OU got turned down by the Pac and apparently discouraged from applying to the Big 10 and really has no interest in the SEC unless there are no other alternatives. They turned down the SEC last year and had plenty of chances to talk to them this year. So OU isn’t going anywhere unless UT leaves.
      #4 UT has repeatedly said they aren’t going independent. Powers also said once again that geography is important. He said it in the news conference last year when they decided not to go to the Pac. In this interview and others, he has made it clear he is not interested in the Big 10 and its geographic challenges. And the Big 10 is the one conference that could really generate dramatically increased revenues and would definitely be more prestigious from an academic standpoint. The Big 10 could work, but UT is willing to forego the advantages. UT didn’t work a deal with the Pac in the last two go-rounds. They don’t want to go to the Pac if they get similar $ in a more geographically compact conference and they don’t want to lose control of the Longhorn Network. The ACC would present similar geographic challenges as the Big 10 now they only have two slots left. Texas will not join the SEC.

      So noone is leaving the Big 12 unless Texas does. The only way Texas leaves the Big 12 is if the conference gets left in the dust financially or competitively. And that isn’t happening anytime soon. As for Texas sneaking off in the night, they have kept people informed. UNL was told Texas was talking to the Pac last year.

      So how is the Big 12 unstable? Its not.

      • zeek says:

        The Big 12’s stability is entirely dependent on the LHN’s success.

        As long as the LHN remains intact and ESPN a willing partner, the Big 12 will thrive. I’d guess that if the LHN runs into carriage trouble or isn’t generating enough revenue, then maybe we could see the Pac-16 talks start up again, but that seems unlikely for the next 10-15 years.

        The world is going to be an entirely different place when the LHN is up for renegotiation, and ESPN is gambling (correctly I’d think), that betting $300M on keeping the Pac-16 from happening is a good move especially since they might end up turning a profit on it regardless. Even if they don’t, they prevented a much more costly result in the form of a Pac-16 for the next decade or longer. That in and of itself is a valuable outcome.

        The Big Ten doesn’t make sense for Texas regardless of what PBC comes up with…; only the Pac-16 is really an option for Texas to have its regional grouping and be tied to a similar demographics region. The Big Ten might have made sense for Texas in the 80s or early 90s, but not now.

        As for Notre Dame, I can’t see them joining the Big Ten or ACC at any time in the near future or next 15 years or so. The Big East looks like it has a chance at finally achieving stability because it’ll be made up of C-USA football schools that no one else wants. Plus, NBC Sports just signed on ND hockey to start in 2013. That doesn’t seem like the move of a Comcast desperate to jettison the football program.

        Of course, the world can all change pretty quickly if another school forges itself into a national power (i.e. like TCU or Boise State did the past 5 years) in the Big East. That might create another expansion option for the Big Ten or ACC or Big 12 to consider…

        • bullet says:

          Don’t know how reliable NY Post is, but there are some interesting comments on what is happening within BE and how fractious it is right now-nearing split-back together-still undecided
          on who to add, but supposedly now starting with Boise/AF/Navy followed by UCF.

          • vp19 says:

            “Page not found.”

            And since it’s probably from Big East lackey Lenn Robbins, not all that reliable to begin with.

          • bullet says:

            Can’t see what I’m doing wrong on the link. Its Robbins. Shows up first in a google web search Big East if you want to look it up.

            To summarize-2 days of “acrimonious” conference calls led bb schools to consider splitting. But now they’ve reached a general agreement to raise exit fees and invite Boise/AF/Navy followed by UCF. Then 2 out of Temple/Houston/SMU.

      • ccrider55 says:

        “The only way Texas leaves the Big 12 is if the conference gets left in the dust financially or competitively. And that isn’t happening anytime soon.”

        I doubt any conference with UT and OU will be left in the dust, but I don’t doubt that it will fall behind. The Big12, while not meaning to slight the possible adds to reach 10 or 12, simply is diminished. You can’t lose UNL, CO, aTm, and MO to other conferences and expect to hold even with them. Those conferences are adding, not attempting to replace value. Unless you actually have comparable schools from the conferences that those leaving have joined decide to switch to the Big12, every time the Big12 aproaches (or passes) the media rights level of the B1G, Pac, and/or SEC, it will simply up the ante for them.

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        How is a school that lost Nebraska, Texas A&M & Colorado has Missouri looking for a way out and had Oklahoma making an escape bid unstable?

        Really how could people ask such a silly question? :|

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      Powers also said the Pac-12 discussions weren’t “to lure Texas out of the Big 12″ and that other schools don’t remember things as correct as he does.

      So more than a little disingenuity there.

  64. Mike says:

    SEC Scheduling with TAMU

    Three conceptual scheduling options for the SEC have emerged if it stays at 13 in 2012. Equally splitting Texas A&M’s opponents between divisions would cause the fewest headaches, particularly since every SEC team’s nonconference schedule is set, Templeton said.

    “If A&M plays four in one division and four in another, there are probably eight different schedules that could come together off that,” Templeton said. “As a former AD, I would prefer the least-disruptive schedule that’s as competitively balanced as possible for one year, knowing that everybody has to sacrifice a little bit but that we’re fair to our new conference member. A&M has had as much say as any other school. They will be involved in how we determine the final concepts.”

    Another option discussed is every SEC West team plays six division opponents, including Texas A&M, and every SEC East team plays five division opponents.

    “I’m not prepared to say we wouldn’t do that,” Templeton said. “But mathematically, I don’t think it can be done.”


    The third SEC option is to pick eight conference games for Texas A&M regardless of what division those opponents come from, Templeton said.

    “If they have the best record, they’re the division champion,” Templeton said. He added that the league intends to make Texas A&M immediately eligible for the SEC Championship Game because the school was accepted as a full member

    • bullet says:

      The fact that they are seriously considering eliminating Alabama/Tennessee and Georgia/Auburn for 2012 shows what a ridiculous idea superconferences are and how messed up the SEC expansion process was.

      Note that the MAC commissioner says that they did get a waiver after the 2007 season on the NCAA rules to play every team in the division. But there is no guarantee the SEC gets such a waiver. There’s a difference between playing in the Motor City Bowl and playing in the Sugar or possibly BCS championship game.

      • jcfreder says:

        The SEC will get a waiver. The precedent has been set, regardless of the “lower stakes” in the MAC. Does anybody seriously think there isn’t going to be an SEC championship game when TAMU joins?

        • bullet says:

          MAC didn’t get a waiver the 1st season. MAC’s excuse was ignorance and then lack of viable candidates for #14. SEC wasn’t ignorant and has had the opportunity to alleviate the problem and hasn’t yet.

          Also, is there anyone who is feeling sympathetic toward the SEC right now? They’ve taken a Big 12 school, working on another and have kept them on edge since August. They may take a Big East school and have been working on ACC schools. MWC and CUSA are likely to lose schools to the Big East and WAC and Sun Belt may get raided in turn, all ultimately due to the SEC taking A&M. Personally, I’d be inclined to tell them they’ve made their bed, sleep in it. Presidents may be more collegial, but BC had a long memory about UConn suing them. This is all a lot more recent.

          • duffman says:


            Unequal revenue started this..
            B1G got UNL
            PAC got CU
            SEC got TAMU

            The bed was made early on, and all 3 power conferences had a hand.

        • Brian says:

          You don’t have to believe they’ll get a waiver to believe there will be a SECCG. They might get a waiver, but they also might be forced to follow the rules. It isn’t that hard to schedule a full round robin in the division. Some schools will play 9 CG and others 8. BIg deal. Make the ones playing 8 be the ones with the tougher OOC games in 2012 (FL, GA, SC, KY in the east).

      • m (Ag) says:

        “The fact that they are seriously considering eliminating Alabama/Tennessee and Georgia/Auburn for 2012 shows what a ridiculous idea superconferences are and how messed up the SEC expansion process was.”

        I would be surprised if Alabama/Tennessee and Georgia/Auburn aren’t played next year.

        I’m guessing LSU and Florida are asking for their game to be skipped next year. They will use playing A&M as the reason, but I believe both schools would rather lose the fixed game. Arkansas/South Carolina might prefer it as well, or at least don’t care. Not sure about the other 4 schools.

        Once the SEC goes to 14 schools, I wouldn’t be surprised if 10 schools dropped the annual rivalry to rotate opponents more often, while Bama/TN, & Georgia/Auburn kept theirs.

        • bullet says:

          I’d be surprised too, but the very fact that they are thinking about that indicates what’s wrong when you get beyond 12. Even in the Big 12 they gave up OU/UNL because OU didn’t want to be disadvantaged.

          They’ve already rotated most of the annual rivalry games. I think AL/TN, AU/UGA and LSU/UF are the only ones played every year since they went to 12 teams. They originally had two rivalry games and wanted to see the other 4 more than twice in 8 years and AU felt disadvantaged with both UGA and UF. Ole Miss had big games against TN and UGA and lost both of those. For UK they had LSU every year since forever and they lost that one (probably not as big to LSU). They had to sacrfiice some to get to 12, but there’s more to get to 14.

    • Mack says:

      And to get a good welcome to the SEC those 8 games should be:
      Arkansas, LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina
      And if they are undefeated after that schedule you could just hand A&M the crown.

  65. ChicagoMac says:

    “The Big 12′s stability is entirely dependent on the LHN’s success.”

    I would add that underlying all of this is the instability in the Cable business right now. Cable MSOs are starting to warm up to the a la carte model in a big way. I’m not sure what an a la carte world does to ESPN’s appetite for rights, let alone networks like NBC, FX, VS, etc, but this change *could* lead to big changes in the way these rights are valued.

    • zeek says:

      That’s a good observation, especially at this point in time.

      Just 3-4 years ago, everyone thought the SEC had landed the jackpot in its CBS/ESPN deals. The Big Ten was being criticized for trying to fight for carriage. Fast forward to 2010-11 and the Big Ten was viewed as getting the better long-term arrangement. The Pac-12 is now viewed for having gotten the best deal in terms of full ownership of the Pac-12 Networks.

      But all of that can change if the Cable/Network broadcast business changes. We’ve taken for granted the ever-escalating valuations on rights, and that’s tied to the success of the BTN and other conferences rights negotiations. It could all change again in the next 5 years. We could be looking at a somewhat different world when the Big Ten goes into its next negotiation for first tier rights.

  66. Mike says:

    Missouri beat writer for the KC Star Mike DeArmond (@sptwri).

    Missouri has no friends in the Big 12. No school has friends in the Big 12 anymore. The[y] all dislike each other


    • bullet says:

      I think its just that everyone dislikes Missouri. They burned everyone last year and they are doing it again this year.

    • greg says:

      I wouldn’t say there are no friends. I am sure that ISU/KSU/KU are pretty tight. Maybe just ISU and KSU. Or maybe just ISU.

  67. Mike says:

    Why BYU isn’t in the Big 12

    Why is that? Well, according to a report in the Salt Lake Tribune, the Big 12’s television partners put the kibosh on BYU.
    Although BYU’s flirtation with the Big 12 may yet be renewed at some point beyond next year, The Salt Lake Tribune has confirmed what the Tulsa World first reported on Oct. 7: Big 12 talks with BYU hit a snag last week and the league, at the behest of its television partners, quickly moved to invite TCU.

    “There is some rigidity at BYU in terms of what they will and won’t do,” Tulsa World columnist Dave Sittler wrote, quoting a Big 12 source. “Some of it has to do with [LDS Church] rules, and also the way they engage with media partners.”
    It seems both ABC/ESPN and Fox Sports also had problems with BYU’s policy of not playing sports on Sundays. Not for football as much as any other sports the networks might want to televise.

    In addition the report also says that BYU wanted assurances that an unspecified minimum of the school’s games would be televised nationally, and it also wanted the ability to show BYU games that weren’t picked up by Fox or ESPN on BYUtv.

    • bullet says:

      Regarding LDS rules, FWIW, I saw some BYU speculation one of the issues was that BYU wouldn’t sell caffeinated drinks in the stadium and those guys are major sponsors of the Big 12.

      • greg says:

        So you’re saying Dr. Pepper kept BYU out of the B12?

      • Mike says:

        I think that’s a reach. Both Nebraska and Colorado are Pepsi schools (i.e. no Dr. Pepper).

        Doing a little research here is a PDF from Oklahoma expressly prohibiting purchasing Dr. Pepper.


        • Mack says:

          Bogus: Both diet and regular Dr Pepper are produced in no caffeine versions. Cannot get shelf space everywhere like Coke or Pepsi, but in strong sales areas like Texas all 4 are on the shelf. If LDS does not like caffeine then the non-caffeine versions should be in Utah.

          The real reason BYU did not get an invite is that whatever concessions the TV networks make to BYU will also have to be made to both Texas and Oklahoma (neither will pay second fiddle to BYU) and maybe others.

          • zeek says:

            Just a hunch, but after dealing with the LHN, I doubt anyone in the Big 12 has the patience to deal with a list of demands from BYU about the number of games on Tier 1 and that the rest of the games go to BYU TV.

            Texas gave up a lot just to get 2-3 games onto the LHN. No way they cut BYU an even more favorable deal than that…

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            What did Texas actually give up?

          • ccrider55 says:


            They gave up the HS games that nobody outside ESPN (probably including UT) thought they had a right to…..

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            The same HS games that from all accounts were an idea being pushed by ESPN rather than the Longhorns. So really Texas gave up nothing of real value and the rest of the Big 12 caved.

          • ccrider55 says:

            As predicted several months ago….

        • bullet says:

          Although in certain parts of the country, Coca-Cola is now bottling Dr. Pepper (through the purchase of the main Coca-Cola bottler).

          I hate DFW. You can’t find anything but Pepsi products in the whole airport. They’d have a hard time doing that if Delta still had a hub there.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            Dr. Pepper has always been available through Coke distributors in some areas (and Pepsi distributors in others).

          • bullet says:

            The difference is that it was CCE (at least in 80% of the country) before which was a separate public company. Now the bottler is owned by Coca-Cola.

  68. Mike says:

    Update on the Big East

    Once divided on whether to invite Boise State, the Big East is now united on extending an invitation to the Broncos, along with Air Force, Navy and UCF, college football industry sources told

    Boise State, Air Force and UCF have indicated they are receptive to joining the Big East. Navy is prepared to also commit once a higher exit fee has been established, sources said. The official invitations to UCF, Boise State, Air Force and Navy could be extended as early as next week.
    Big East representatives, including Commissioner John Marinatto, will meet with UCF officials today in Cincinnati. On Thursday, Boise State and a Big East representative spoke via telephone about the Broncos joining the Big East.

    • zeek says:

      They really need to get to 12 (because they’ll lose Louisville or WVU anyways) and this is a decent start. I really only wish they had done this a while back. Two years ago this move could have saved the Big East. Instead they got into the Villanova imbroglio and here we are.

      • EZCUSE says:

        Poor ECU. Left out again.

        If there is one lesson from expansion, it is “never ask for admission to a conference in public.”

        Do what you need to privately–and I am looking at you Missouri, ECU, and SMU–but keep out of the news about it.

        • footballnut says:

          Hard to reign in exhuberent govenors, alumni, and lesser school officials “speaking only with the assurance of anonimity.” What a crappy job being a school chancellor and having to deal with all of that nonsense, and what a crummy time to be a one. Well, maybe not as bad as back in the 60’s and early 70’s with all the Vietnam War demonstrations or 50’s and 60’s race riots.

          Frank, remember “hash Wednesday” on the quad in front of the Illini Union? I remember streakers parachuting into the quad smoking dope. Now THERE’s something for a chancellor to chew on. BUT NOTHING compares to the whole chief mess in Champaign. Drove many Illinois presidents crazy, and still does.

        • Mike says:

          At least the ECU administration can go to their fans and tell them they tried. I’m not sure why the Big East doesn’t want ECU.

          • zeek says:

            Apparently, the Big East didn’t figure out why the Big Ten invited Nebraska or why the ACC went after Syracuse.

            Their shortsighted chasing of markets will cost them in the longer run because ECU’s ceiling might even be higher than USF or UCF who will always be fighting for #4 behind Florida’s three kings.

            Heck, they’re going after Boise State, shouldn’t they realize that the quality of the program is what matters the most here? ECU can deliver 50k+ to games against UAB in C-USA. That’s a program with a ton of upside in an area where there are no kings (just princes like Va Tech and UNC)…

          • bullet says:

            1st step seems to be to get the affiliate members. If they get those 3, then UCF goes well with USF and seems to be the top candidate out there. I imagine the bb schools would only want 1 more full member, but Villanova doesn’t want Temple.

            ECU and Houston seem like the logical next two. Both have excellent potential.

          • zeek says:

            Houston and UCF both make sense. I think ECU is a better choice than SMU or Temple/Villanova.

            Yeah markets are important, but none of those 3 teams are going to deliver their markets in the Big East.

            I do think ECU will get in at some point, especially since the SEC at 13 and Big 12 situations are unresolved…

    • bullet says:

      This is consistent with the NY Post article.

  69. Mike says:


    Brent Zwerneman (@BrentZwerneman): A&M AD Bill Byrne just told me that Texas has told him there is no room on Horns’ football sked at least through 2018

    • EZCUSE says:

      I think it’s funny. A&M wanted to leave. Enjoy your new home.

      TCU replaces A&M on the Texas schedule. Life goes on.

      Hard to feel sorry for A&M, who didn’t feel sorry for Iowa St. when taking a disproportionate share of the revenue. There is a moral in here somewhere.

      • zeek says:

        I agree completely. A&M knew that this was the cost of leaving the Big 12.

        Sure their institutional identity in sports especially is built as anti-UT, but they went down this road knowing where it would lead.

        The same is true of Nebraska relative to the Big 12 North schools and OU or Colorado relative to the Big 8 schools.

        They’ll get matchups with Arkansas and LSU annually (although maybe not in the first year due to this 13 team mess).

        UT has enough on their plate with a 9 game conference schedule and then matchups with ND, BYU, and others OOC…

    • Mack says:

      If this game goes away it is because A&M will not meet Texas on its terms (turf). I think Texas will make its last trip to Kyle Field this year. If A&M wants to play Texas they will have to go to Austin, and I do not see that happening. Texas still thinks it is owed a return trip for this years game, so will not schedule A&M on a home and home basis.

      • bullet says:

        Texas really does have its schedule full for the next 10 years. There is 1 slot in 2018 and 2 in 2019 and 2020. But I doubt A&M gets in any of those years. 2018 has Maryland and USC and Notre Dame is on the schedule in 2019 and 2020. In between they have Notre Dame, Cal, BYU, Arkansas and Ole Miss in addition to some 1 game home series.

      • Eric says:

        With only 3 non conference games (unlike others, the neutral site game with Oklahoma automatically makes 7 home games the max) and.with the schedule pretty full, I doubt Texas wants A&M yearly for the simple reason that it would leave them no flexibility. It will become like Penn State-Pitt, a game that one team wants every year, but which the other only wants on a periodic basis.

  70. Mike says:

    Via Joe Schad (@schadjoe)

    MWC-CUSA joint announcement tonight

    • zeek says:

      Now that’s going to be interesting. My guess is that the Big East finally getting around to moving on Boise State, Air Force, and UCF has forced their hand on a merger of sorts…

      The one thing that C-USA did right was buyout (and they did better than MWC on TV as well not getting stuck with a mtn. boondoggle): C-USA’s buyout is $500k + 5 years of TV revenue from CBS/FOX.

  71. Eric says:

    Mountain West-Conference USA merger official. Announcement missing many details, but they’ll play as one conference for football.

  72. Nemo says:

    Mountain West and Conference USA to merge forming a 22-team football conference.


  73. Eric says:

    I think this merger likely is happening right now as the prospect of losing several teams actually makes it easier. You have to have round robin play in division for a CCG, meaning a 22 team conference (with two 11 team divisions) would have to have 10 conference games which wouldn’t be good for most teams. If you lose 4 teams though, you are down to 9 team divisions and 8 conference games which is probably ideal. They’ll probably lose at least that many, meaning a 1 or 2 other schools will be invited.

  74. jj says:

    The curse of mike hart continues tomorrow

    Um 10
    Msu 17

  75. Mike says:

    Pete Thamel (@PeteThamelNYT):

    The agreed upon 12-team model preferred by Big East is now: Boise, Air Force, Houston, SMU, Navy and UCF.

    • @Mike – Not a surprise at all on this. If Louisville ends up leaving, then plug in Temple.

      • zeek says:

        Yeah that makes sense. As much as Villanova doesn’t want Temple, they need to hit 12 regardless of the SEC’s #14 or Big 12’s Missouri replacement. Big East can’t wait a couple of years for Villanova to move up and sort out its stadium situation.

    • Eric says:

      How many of those as all sports members? I’m guessing UCF, SMU, and Houston, but the basketball schools would prefer none I’m sure (none of them benefit more sharing of money for the basketball league). It might be possible for some to stay in Conference USA in other sports now though thanks to the merger there (as football might no longer be an official Conference USA sport, depending on NCAA ruling).

      • zeek says:

        C-USA might kick those three out though and say they don’t want their non-football sports.

        Boise State is probably going to park its non-football sports into the WAC. Air Force is going to park its non-football sports in the MVC.

        UCF, Houston, and SMU should all be all-sports invites to the Big East. That would put them at 17 basketball schools I guess.

        • largeR says:

          Is anyone able to explain definitively the rule for football in one Div 1-A conference and all other sports in what type of coNference? I don’t think you can put all of your non-football sports in one Div 1A conference(Boise State in the WAC) and your football in another Div 1A conference(Boise State in the BIGLEAST). Several people have written as though this is possible but I would think not.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Only works for FB independence. Need a conference that doesn’t have FB to “park” nonfootball sports if joining a conference for football. At least that’s my understanding.

          • m (Ag) says:

            Would the WAC be able to split it’s football competition into a (technically) separate conference, ‘Western Football Conference’, allowing everyone to put their basketball (and other sports) in the regular ‘WAC conference’? Or would NCAA regulations interfere with that?

          • ccrider55 says:

            Why would the WAC do that? Did they recently become an official farm system? Whether realistic or not have they forfeited being a conference like the big boys?

          • m (Ag) says:

            The WAC is trying to be the best conference it can for both football and for other sports. If it can do that by splitting football off separately, I think they’ll do it.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Seems more like being someone’s b!+ch farm conf.

    • Eric says:

      So if those schools are it, then (until/unless someone else leaves), what do you guys think of divisions? I think they’d like to divide the Florida schools for recruiting reasons, but that would also require separating the Texas teams leading geographic divisions. Since that’s less than ideal in other ways, I think they’ll try east-west, but that will mean at least 1 permanent crossovers to keep Navy-Air Force. I’m guessing they’d probably give everyone one (although definitely don’t have to).

      Navy——————-Air Force
      South Florida——–Cincinnati
      Central Florida—–Louisville
      West Virginia——-Boise State

      • bullet says:

        That is the setup in the articles I have seen.

      • @Eric – This looks like the setup that would be anticipated. If Louisville leaves, I’d anticipated Temple to be added with the setup looking like this:

        West Virginia

        Air Force
        Boise State
        South Florida
        Central Florida

        I’d just have Navy and Air Force as a protected rivalry. There’s really no need for any others.

        • Stopping By says:

          I know there are reasons (political and such, etc) and all, but it just boggles the mind that a conference looking like that is at the BCS table with SEC, B1G, Pac, ACC, and the UTen.

          or maybe it is just me?

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            Oh it isn’t just you.

          • EZCUSE says:

            The only real problem is if one of those teams goes 13-0 and displaces a better 12-1 team. But we have yet to see that happen in the BCS era.

            Giving one of 8 or 10 BCS slots to the Big East and this new mega-conference is really not that big a deal. Their champions can meet in the Cotton Bowl and take their money. The remaining 4 conferences can put 2-3 teams each in.

            The NCAA basketball tourney allows some pretty crappy teams in. That does not take away the fun. Given how little all but 1, or maybe 2, bowl games matter… who really cares?

  76. zeek says:

    So the merged MWC-CUSA will most likely lose Boise State, Air Force, Houston, SMU, and UCF. This is assuming that Temple will be the replacement for Louisville going to replace Missouri or WVU to the SEC #14.

    Colorado State
    Fresno State
    New Mexico
    San Diego State

    East Carolina
    Southern Miss.

    The one good thing about this is that Rice probably won’t be stranded in Texas since the MWC will just take Utah State as #9 since they were looking hard at Utah State as a replacement for Utah/BYU earlier (and also as a dig at the WAC for taking Boise State’s non-football sports if that does happen). I know loki was worried about it earlier, but this might be the best option in terms of stability for the MWC and C-USA. They won’t have to worry about raiding one another.

    Just have each play round robin of 8 games and then the champions meet in a CCG. It’d just be a MWC-CUSA-18 approach. Benefits are that this would probably be stable relative to the conferences below WAC, SunBelt, MAC, and a bit below the Big East which will finally be at 12 and not looking at raiding it again.

    They would only need 1 new team for the MWC under the approach they seem to be aiming for…

    • m (Ag) says:

      While they could add another school in the MWC to be even, they don’t have to unless the MWC likes the scheduling better. With no cross-divisional play, there would be no pressing need to have the same number of schools in each division.

      • ccrider55 says:

        Conference must be evenly divided unless at 13, 15 etc.

        • m (Ag) says:

          In this instance we are talking about 17.

          • zeek says:

            Agreed that they don’t need to make a move in the MWC.

            But for scheduling purposes? 8 teams means only 7 conference games. Maybe that’d let them have more buy games from outside.

            But I think it’s easier having 9 in each of the two conferences/divisions, and just doing 8 conference games and 4 non-conference.

            They’ll have to decide whether a 9th is worth it in that case.

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      Actually, this pretty much puts Rice alone no matter what UTEP does. Texas is a very wide state. Distances from Rice to some others:

      Houston 3 miles
      SMU 241 mi
      Tulane 348 mi
      So Miss 436 mi
      Tulsa 495 mi
      Memphis 571 mi
      UAB 668 mi

      UTEP 747 mi

      All of the CUSA-West teams and even one of the CUSA-East teams are closer than UTEP.

    • EZCUSE says:

      Here is an interesting thing… what happens if Boise State, Air Force, Houston, SMU, and UCF all were to decide to stay in this new experiment? With 22 teams, this is an awfully hard minority of teams to exclude from the BCS.

      Especially when the Big East at 6 schools. Temple could come from the MAC. That gets to 7. Maybe Navy agrees to football only to get to 8?

      Meanwhile, if the Big East loses anyone else–which seems likely–now they are back to 7. Now they need someone else. Marshall? UMass? Villanova again?

      How does the Big East then consider itself superior to the Big Ole’ 22-team Conference? WVU vs Boise St.

      But let’s say Temple and Navy decide that there is no point in joining the dead. That leaves the Big East at 5. Where do those teams land? If it is Louisville to the Big 12… that means WVU, UConn, USF, Rutgers, and Cincy are now homeless and screwed. But maybe with THAT writing on the wall… the Big XII takes WVU and Cincy.

      Maybe this new conference decides to accept all remaining 3 or 5 for football only? Wouldn’t that be ironic. USF trying to convince UCF to not block it. Repeatedly rejected East Carolina weighing the merits of UConn and Rutgers.

      Suddenly… the most powerful football teams in the expansion mix are Boise St., Air Force, Houston, SMU, and UCF.

  77. zeek says:

    It seems to have happened according to ESPN.

    “NEW YORK — If all goes according to plan, the Big East will end up replacing outgoing Pittsburgh, Syracuse and TCU with full-time members Houston, Southern Methodist and Central Florida, while adding Air Force and Boise State in football only.

    According to a source with direct knowledge of Friday’s Big East conference call, the conference has sent conditional invitations to Houston and SMU for all sports and Air Force and Boise State for football only. The Big East informed the four schools that if all four agree to join the Big East then the remaining schools would agree to an increase in the exit fee from $5 million to show a commitment. However, the six remaining football playing schools won’t commit to raising the fee unless all four commit to joining the Big East in football with Houston and SMU joining in all sports.

    Meanwhile, the Big East sent a separate all-sports invitation to UCF and are expecting the Knights to accept, the source said.

    The Big East also is working on a separate deal with Navy, the source said, but the Midshipmen are skeptical of accepting.”


    The Navy bit is the part to watch. That’s interesting to see that Navy might be skeptical…

    They’re needing a commitment from all 4 schools: Houston, SMU, Air Force, and Boise State; in order to vote on the fee increase. Interesting that UCF’s invite was separate of that.

    • bullet says:

      UCF fits geographically and provides a travel partner for teams visiting USF. The rest don’t make as much sense unless they are going to 12. I don’t see Air Force moving unless Navy does also.

      • zeek says:

        That’s a good point.

        As to that last one though, that’s chicken-and-egg kind of stuff.

        Air Force wants Navy in, but rest of the schools won’t commit unless Air Force commits. And if Navy is still skeptical…

      • bobo the feted says:

        Hoe do travel partners save money exactly? It doesn’t save money on football… Is the idea to have say the volleyball team go to Tampa by plane and then bus to Orlando? Won’t the student athletes be gone for several days in a row from school?

        • ccrider55 says:

          If you are going to play everyone it makes time and financial sense to try to get somewhat like 2 for 1’s as possible. 10 team conf BB schedule, playing everyone twice (H and Away) would involve 9 trips individually, or 4 double destination trips and a single (to the school you are a pair with).

        • m (Ag) says:

          If your sport plays one game on Friday and another on Sunday, you will always miss class time for the Friday away games that are a bit far. You don’t lose any more school time by making the Friday and Sunday games one trip.

          Same thing for games on Saturday & Monday.

  78. KnightTower says:

    Frank, does the MWC-CUSA merger merit a new blog post?

    • zeek says:

      It’ll be included as an afternote to the Big East post that’ll probably be coming soon.

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        Sigh, an after thought to the Big East. This new world of have and have nots in CFB is really getting under my skin. It used to be there was a wide continuum of perception in college football, from the big guys all the way to the bottom of D1A. Now its binary. You’re either AQ or not. That sucks.

        • zeek says:

          This level of reorganization will push that to the maximum.

          Now most of the remaining “haves” in the non-AQ world will be moving into the Big East.

          We’re essentially going to have 3 tiers of FBS much more distinct than before.

          Tier 1: Big 5 conferences; the AQs with kings/princes. Tier 2: Big East-12 holding the entrance gate separating AQ from non-AQ. Tier 3: non-AQs led by the MWC-CUSA-17 being only a bit above the SunBelt/MAC/WAC but having lost most of the programs with BCS potential.

        • Brian says:


          I don’t think this is a new world at all. For casual fans, and fans of the “haves,” it’s been pretty black or white for a long time. The devoted CFB fans see the continuum within each group, but there really isn’t that much overlap. Fans of the “have nots” have always focused on the continuum more because it’s more important for them.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          This is nothing compared to the 1A – 1AA split 30 years ago.

  79. bobo the feted says:

    NYTimes article about Big East Expansion

    Looks more and more like the Big12 is gonna stay at 10 and that SEC is not going to invite Mizzou. Thats taking so much longer than expected it’s probably dead. SEC is waiting for a team in the East and WVU is clearly unacceptable. The SEC wants either VaTech or FSU. I don’t think Big12 will invite either WVU or Louisville because of distance and academics and Cincinatti probably was never in the mix, small stadium another commuter school. Big12 stays at 10 simply because other than BYU no candidates are worthy.

    Speaking of BYU – how the heck does Boise state get into an AQ before freaking BYU does? If I was a BYU fan i’d be cajoling the LDS church leaders to at least get into the BE.

    • Eric says:

      I don’t think Missouri to the Big 12 is dead. It took awhile for A&M to happen too.

    • bullet says:

      ESPN scrolling last night during HI-SJSU bobblefest (12 turnovers-6 for SJSU in 2nd half-game won basically because SJSU blocked a PAT and returned for two points by a guy who had a cramp in the middle of his run-it was that type of game!) that Boise was leaning towards staying in MWC and Air Force was having 2nd thoughts as well. UH and SMU invites were conditional on those two accepting. But UCF alone only gives them 7 teams.

      • vp19 says:

        If that’s the case, Temple or East Carolina might get in after all, possibly both if the Big 12 does decide to go to 12. Things don’t look anywhere a lead-pipe cinch for the Big East, no matter what kind of spin Providence and its media acolytes decree.

        • EZCUSE says:

          Temple and East Carolina only get the Big East to 8. So if anyone else leaves–which seems improbable with a Louisville to Big XII–the Big East would still need another school.

          Big East: Cincy, UConn, Rutgers, WVU, USF, Temple, ECU, and Villanova someday?

          And with Rutgers and UConn and WVU all hiking their skirt, and with $10,000,000 not being an incentive not to jump to the Big XII, ACC, SEC, or Big XII… why would ECU see this as a solution? Especially when they will be choice #8 for the Big East (after Navy, Air Force, Boise, Houston, SMU, UCF, Temple).

          ECU and Marshall could say thanks, but no thanks. If they leave and Big East football implodes… then what?

          All in all, I think this mega-merger could be horrible for the Big East.

      • zeek says:

        There must be a lot of people in the MWC/CUSA rooting for the SEC to finish taking Missouri soon or decide to go after WVU.

        • Nemo says:

          Are you familiar with this blog? FSU to SEC This guy supposedly has an “in” with sources in the SEC and he swears FSU is headed to the SEC lock, stock and barrell. That could have an impact on the Mizzou, WVU and Big East situation.

          As for the new “meg-conference”, I propose it be called the BA Conference with the acronym B referring to Big and the A referring to a common anatomical term. ;-o)

          • zeek says:

            Not really sure though how much you can trust this.

            This guy has Iowa State and Ohio as Big Ten’s looking into 16.

            USF as a substitute for FSU?

            I’m not really sure the SEC has taken a vote on anything yet other than Missouri. Hard to see why they’d be looking at 16. Pods for the SEC (or Big Ten) would be extremely annoying. You’d lose a lot of rivalries and regionality by going to 16.

            I do agree with what he’s saying about Alabama and Missouri. I think that Slive is going to try to twist Alabama’s arm on that to get Missouri in…; other than that, I don’t see the FSU or WVU angles. We haven’t seen any movement on either front (outside of Haggard’s flapping lips).

          • vp19 says:

            The Missouri SEC divisional setup can be easily solved by putting Missouri into what is now called the East, Texas A&M into the West, then renaming the divisions North/East and South/West. There is a geographic line between them — from the Missouri/Arkansas border down the Mississippi River to Tennessee’s southern border with Mississippi and Alabama. If the SEC ever picked up two of the usual suspects from the ACC/WVU group, move Mizzou west and re-establish the East/West divisions.

          • frug says:

            This site demonstrates that Mizzou could work geographically in either the East or West without any weird gerrymandering.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            @frug – Nice map on that site but the claim near the bottom that the B1G isn’t a benefit academically because Nebraska’s ouster from the AAU came after they joined is just laughable.

            I know that’s really a tangent from what you were addressing but I thought it funny enough to mention.

  80. loki_the_bubba says:

    I’ve not yet seen an explanation of how the MountCUSA could work if there are no defections. Sure the MWC side could play a round robin regular season, but how does CUSA, with 12, adhere to the rules? Are they going to have an 11-game conference season and 1 OOC?

    • Eric says:

      My guess is the assumption is they lose some which is why it went down. If not, the plan is probably for 1 Conference USA team to play with the Mountain West teams so you’d have two 11 team divisions with 10 conference games each. I don’t think they are too worried about that though.

    • wmtiger says:

      Big East has likely told them both that the Big East intends to get to 12 football members, the only conferences the Big East is able to raid that they’d want programs from is the MWC & C-USA…

  81. Playoffs Now says:

    Why is Michigan State wearing a Baylor costume for Halloween?

    • Mike says:

      Nike and their silly Amateur Pacifist program…

    • @Playoffs Now – They’re awful and I’m not a fan of Michigan’s gear, either. Of course, I’m a compete traditionalist when it comes for uniforms. I like jerseys and helmets that could have been worn in the early 1960s.

    • jj says:

      I’ve come around. I like everything but the helmet. They should keep the molan labe.

      Michigan’s are ridonkulous.

      Bring on Bucky!

      • zeek says:

        Makes it easier when you win in them.

        That being said, Michigan’s uniforms were damn ugly today. I much preferred their under the lights look.

      • FLP_NDRox says:

        I guess I was the only one that loved MSU’s look. I’ll second the nomination for retention of Molon Labe.

        Michigan’s road look was even worse than the home look against the Irish.

        Thanks, Sparty, for avenging us. =)

  82. frug says:

    I’m normally not one for hyperbole, but Ron Zook is THE worst game coach in D I-A. He has absolutely no concept of clock management. I am convinced that his decision making is actually some sort of bizarre performance art piece.

    • frug says:

      Oh and for the record, he made the exact same asinine decision to go for it on fourth, down by 10 a few years ago against Ohio State and the same thing happened.

      • @frug – He’s all about symmetry, where he went for 2 in the 2nd quarter after a TD for zero reason at Indiana just like 2 years ago. Anyone with any experience playing Madden knows basic play calling better than Zook. That was absolute garbage today.

    • Mike says:

      Has he iced his own kicker, Twice? Pinkel may have one on the Zooker.

  83. hagenr says:

    If Boise and Air Force turn down the Big East, and conditional offers to SMU and Houston fall through as a result, the BE is down to only a few options. Are they in WAC/Karl Benson desperation territory? Maybe. After seeing about 5,000 in the stands for today’s SMU home game against CFU, it would appear that perhaps they are that desperate.

    An implausible, but creative solution would be to orchestrate a merger or strategic alliance with the Atlantic 10. It is a crazy thought, however it would product a set of interesting options for the BE to provide stability over the next 10 to 20 years for all sports.

    Football Options:
    The six remaining football programs can be grouped into three “brand” categories:
    Football Brands: WVU
    Leveraging Basketball Brands: UConn, Louisville, Cincinnati
    Market Potential Princes: Rutgers, South Florida (Central Florida would also fit in here if invited and accepted)

    A full merger with the A-10 would bring in Temple and UMass (FCS play in 2012) in the Basketball brand category. UMass is currently planning to play in the MAC, however if Navy turns down the BE,

    The A-10 also brings in schools with higher profile FCS programs that could form the nucleus of a new FCS league to serve as a ‘little brother’ to a BCS conference. A little brother conference could act as a platform to groom schools like Villanova or Richmond or any existing member looking to start a program, to build their football brands and join the BCS league. Charlotte is a case in point. The 49ers will begin FCS play in 2013 with plans to be a full FBS school in three years. Charlotte has great potential to become a football player in the Carolinas and would fit nicely with the two Florida schools as potential princes.

    Regardless of a merger, the big brother league would need to add at least two football brands to remain relevant, whether that’s Navy, Air Force and/or Boise.

    Big Brother BCS League:
    UMass (FBS play in 2012)
    South Florida
    Central Florida (if invited and accepted)

    Little Brother FCS League:
    Charlotte (FCS play in 2013)
    Rhode Island
    Fordham (Started offering scholarships in 2011)
    Dayton (Currently in Pioneer league – no scholarships)
    Georgetown (Currently in Patriot League – no scholarships)

    Basketball Options ~ As discussed ad naseum by @FranktheTank, basketball does not move the needle on realignment, but it’s fun to think about the options on that side as well.
    The Long Awaited Catholic Basketball Conference
    Notre Dame
    Saint Louis
    St. Bonaventure
    Saint Joseph’s
    Seton Hall
    La Salle
    St. John’s

    There are probably 3 or 4 schools that don’t belong in that conference, but it wouldn’t be the ‘Catholic’ thing to boot out St. Bonny’s, La Salle or Fordham. :-)

    The “Other” Conference
    West Virginia
    South Florida
    Rhode Island
    George Washington
    Central Florida

    This would be an elite basketball conference with UConn, Louisville, Huggy Bear, Temple, Richmond all being headliners. The Other Conference would also split the current BE non-football and football schools, perhaps aligning like minded institutions to create a stronger more cohesive conference.

    • vp19 says:

      I don’t think the Big East would have the chutzpah to agree to a merger of sorts with the Atlantic 10.

    • subrosa says:

      George Mason and VCU should be included in any east coast elite basketball conference.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      Interesting idea. Not sure in the BCS world it is feasible in the long run because you would always be bringing up ‘little brother’ programs that would be at the bottom of the pack and would hurt the conferences ranking in one of the BCS performance criteria.

      PS – The University of Dayton would be in the Catholic Basketball Conference. ;)

    • EZCUSE says:

      Basketball hasn’t moved the dial on realignment.

      The Big East–which was founded on basketball, urban markets, and television never figured out a way to leverage that into more $$$. I will never be disabused of my belief that the Big East should have been looking into a network for itself either long before or not later than shortly after the BTN started looking into it seriously. Sucking at the gradually diminishing teat of ESPN got the Big East nowhere in this football driven realm.

      You just cannot tell me that one football game per week is worth more than 4-5 basketball games per week. Maybe it is in the Southeast & Southwest… but the Big East is not a Southern conference. It is a Northern/Urban conference. And basketball is most popular during the time of year that people in the North are stuck indoors.

      Even if a Big East network would not have been a monetary home run… when your other contracts lag so far behind the other conferences, not so sure you need a home run to justify it. The goal is to–at the very least–catch up.

      Add that to the Big East never having the chutzpah to make a move that wasn’t reactionary to a loss–and that spells disaster.

      • zeek says:

        I think the problem with a network is that you need a strong commissioner who can get all of the schools to commit to the conference for 10-20 years and to commit their rights to the conference for that period of time.

        Plenty of those schools had their eye on the Big Ten’s #12 spot and the ACC as well.

        The other thing is who brings what to the network? Do the football schools get a larger % ownership because they’re bringing a handful of football games or does it go nearer to 50-50…

        It seems like it’d be much more difficult to work in a network for a hybrid structure. As to the financial benefits, I think it would have been a bonanza. The sheer amount of content that you’d have on a network like that would be huge with that many basketball games (with a lot of popular basketball programs in the Northeast).

        I think it would have been a home run, the question is whether the batter would ever get to the plate…

        • EZCUSE says:

          The batter never did.

          The ship has sailed and will not return until a true conference apocalypse happens…. something along the lines of the Ohio States, Floridas and USC’s deciding that sharing money with Mississippi St, Minnesota and Washington State is stupid.

      • Jake says:

        The Big East has been doomed since they rejected Penn State back in the ’80s. They add PSU to their basketball league, then bring them in when they start up football, well, pretty much everything in conference alignment plays out differently. I don’t think a league with PSU, Miami, VT, etc. gets raided by the ACC. Might be the other way around.

        • zeek says:

          That’s all the more interesting considering that Syracuse as well was strong in the 90s in football. Pittsburgh was probably a better brand back then as well as it’s languished much of this decade with coaching turnover and whatnot, especially of late.

          Big East with Penn State would have been a stronger football league than the ACC for a while, and the more interesting thing is that the SEC likely would have been able to take Florida State from the ACC if the Big East wasn’t raidable for the ACC-12 and then ACC-14 this decade.

          Of course, we could go into interesting hypotheticals in a lot of directions. Heck, the Big East could have protected itself better by just getting to 12 and not getting involved in the Villanova promotion mess…

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            FWIW as bad as Pitt has been the past ten years or so they were dreadful in the 90’s. I believe they only had one winning season the entire decade. They actually went a long way towards righting the ship in the 00’s.

          • redwood86 says:

            I thought it was Penn St. that rejected the Big East.

          • vp19 says:

            About the time of the 2003 ACC expansion, the State College newspaper reported that had the ACC — which had examined both Syracuse and Florida State as expansion candidates in the late 1980s before settling on FSU — invited Penn State about that time, somewhat before the Big Ten came along, it would have accepted. That’s how desperate PSU was to join an all-sports conference.

          • PSUGuy says:

            No, PSU wanted to join the BigEast, they just rejected them. A history lesson (as I know it):

            In the (later) 1970’s Joe Paterno, as AD of PSU, wanted to create an all sports conference focusing on the mid-atlantic / north-east. Schools of note include Pitt, Cuse, WVU, Temple, BC, Rutgers, etc. However, the BigEast (as a basketball conference) had just been stood up and the other schools were reluctant to leave so soon and nothing really got traction.

            Fast forward to the 1980’s and PSU applied to the BigEast (which is still a bball conference) and is denied admittance. The basketball schools (read: bball mafia that still runs the BigEast today) didn’t want PSU because they knew it would push to have football added as a sport and soon the BigEast would become an “all sports” conference instead of the bball only like they wanted. PSU wanted (needed) to get into a conference though so it applied to the BigTen and the rest is history.

            Joke is the BigEast got basically what it wanted and its the conference that is looking at being disappearing from the college football landscape (as it stands today anyway).

      • Brian says:


        The problem with a BE network is that the BE is founded on large urban markets, generally competing with pro franchises. It is hard to get carriage on cable in those markets. At best it gets on the sports tier for pennies per subscriber who has that package. How much profit does that make after all the overhead and start-up costs?

        I think cable streaming makes more sense for them. No carriage issues, no start time conflicts, no fighting over which games get covered.

  84. M_in_PHX says:

    If ECU has upside for the BigEast (in my opinion), shouldn’t it also for the SEC?
    What if the SEC offered East Carolina like 15 or 20 years
    before they earned 100% share?
    Let’s say they start at a 50%, and every 4 years they gain a 10% share.
    At 20 years they earn a full earnout of SEC money.
    The minute East Carolina are in the SEC, they are 1a and 1b in the state
    of North Carolina along with UNC.

    The SEC has two problems:
    – They’re locked into a long term TV deal.
    – Good teams don’t want to join the SEC and risk becoming average.

    Solution: Spend 15 years growing a team, a team that will be 1a/b in North Carolina.
    That’s a bigger upside that WV or Louisville.
    Bonus: it weakens the core of the ACC.

    • EZCUSE says:

      Strictly speaking, it makes sense.

      The biggest problem is that it does not placate the egos that are at least a part of all this expansion stuff.

      • zeek says:

        ECU to the SEC would probably be the strongest long-term play if we’re projecting out the future.

        But like EZCUSE says, there’s a huge ego-driven aspect in all of this in all of the conferences. They all want proven brands or proven winners or schools that already have established themselves with big stadiums or tradition from the 80s/90s. How would it look if the SEC took Texas A&M and a C-USA school to matchup with the Big Ten taking Nebraska or the ACC taking Syracuse and Pitt or even the Big East taking Boise State. Everyone would be like “E-C-Who?”

        Another way to think about it is why didn’t anyone take Virginia Tech earlier; they spent a long time trying to get into the ACC before having to break the door down with politicians to take Syracuse’s #12 spot? Virginia Tech would have been a great long-term play by the SEC in the early 90s in hindsight.

        But that’s all hindsight. In 20 years, ECU could be the 2nd strongest football brand in North Carolina behind UNC if it becomes a BCS buster in a watered down MWC-CUSA and builds out its stadium and fanbase. I’ve argued before that ECU today is like the Virginia Tech of the 80s-90s; they’re in a perfect spot in a Mid-Atlantic without a king (and the nearest football power being Va Tech itself).

        • Brian says:


          ECU to the SEC would probably be the strongest long-term play if we’re projecting out the future.

          Really? ECU > FSU, VT, UNC, MO, etc?

      • duffman says:

        EZCUSE and zeek,

        I have said all along you have to think the SEC will move at the same level as the B1G. To imagine they would move in weakness is folly. It has nothing to do with egos in the SEC as you imply. Adding ECU to the SEC would be like Delany adding Boise State to the B1G in the hope of growing it. Setting the football argument aside there are at least 2 much bigger issues with ECU:

        a) Their endowment is only 130 Million
        b) Their other sports are not great

        Endowments indicate academic prowess, and winning other sports shows a strong overall sports program. Sure the SEC is strong in football, but they are also strong overall across the spectrum of sports they compete in. TAMU was an academic for the SEC, and I said it back in spring 2010 that the SEC wanted academic additions. Tulane and Rice have better shots at the SEC than ECU, and it has nothing to do with football.

    • vp19 says:

      If conference helps develop a “brand,” couldn’t the SEC try a similar tactic involving Wake Forest? At least it would be working with a school that’s already in the BCS and has shown it can play with the big boys.

      • EZCUSE says:

        Would Wake Forest even want that? Not like they have been dominant in the ACC. And now another comparable university in Syracuse is being added to the mix. What other conference has 4 private universities?

        In contrast, East Carolina is hungry to move somewhere, anywhere. The fact that the Big East is not taking them does not help the argument that the SEC should from a reputation standpoint. ECU is to the Big East what Missouri is to the B1G.

        • loki_the_bubba says:

          CUSA currently has Rice, SMU, Tulane, and Tulsa.

        • vp19 says:

          It was probably hypothetical on my part; I doubt Wake would be interested in leaving the ACC, but if it wanted to differentiate itself from its Triangle brethren, it might be worth exploring (just as some at N.C. State might want to, but don’t have the political wherewithal or courage to free itself from UNC’s grip). And the SEC would be more receptive to Wake than to a directional school that’s viewed as fifth wheel in its state.

          • joe4psu says:

            You might also consider that ECU fills about 50,000 seats each home game IIRC. Wake, with their tiny student body and fan base, not so much.

    • Brian says:


      I think you and zeek greatly overestimate ECU’s potential.

      1. Having potential to help the BE in football is very different from having potential to help the SEC. The BE has seriously considered adding a I-AA school. Do you hear any talk of the SEC adding App State?

      2. NC is a BB state, and within NC ECU is the fifth FB program in prominence (AQ trumps winning) and fourth in success. As weak as the ACC teams have been in football, why does ECU have a losing record against UNC, NCSU and WF since joining CUSA?

      3. ECU is an upper level non-AQ, but they are nothing special. Their claim to fame is winning CUSA in 2008 and 2009. They hosted the CUSA CG in 2009 and only drew 33k. They’ve never finished the season ranked. They last got ranked for a couple of weeks for beating VT in 2008, but before then they were last ranked in 1999. They are a long way from being Utah, Boise, TCU or BYU. Since joining CUSA, ECU is under 0.500.

      4. Why would the SEC waste 15-20 years hoping a non-AQ grows into a solid program? What if they don’t? Why take the heat for adding a nobody? Why risk having to kick them out and search for #14 again?

      • zeek says:

        That’s fair but you could have said the exact same thing about Va Tech in the early/mid-90s.

        And of course it’s easier for a program to develop in an easier league. That’s not to say that ECU will follow the same trajectory as Va Tech, but in the context of expansion, hindsight is 20-20. And the story is different for everyone whether it’s UConn or USF or Army going to C-USA.

        I agree that you can’t really take a risk on it and so you take Missouri as #14 because they’re the best developed choice out there.

        But the SEC probably would have liked to wait until a slam dunk #14 appeared to pair with Texas A&M.

        You could say the same about the Big Ten. Right now, the best choice for the Big Ten is to wait and see whether anyone nearby catches fire and becomes the next great thing.

        That’s all I’m really saying; if there was a feasible way for the SEC to stay at 13 for 2 decades, that would be nice, but since there isn’t, they might as well grab Missouri.

        • Brian says:

          The SEC is the majors. You don’t develop players in the majors and hope they eventually become good. That’s what the minors (BE) are for.

      • Michael in Raleigh says:


        A few quibbles about ECU because I think their candidacy should be considered with fairness:

        1) ECU is not the fifth FB program in prominence in North Carolina. Sure, the average or even below-average AQ trumps a winning non-AQ, but come on. A consistently atrocious AQ team (i.e., Duke) doesn’t trump a winning team, nor does an embarrassingly low attendance record against attractive schedules trump sell-out crowds against a boring C-USA schedule. Duke went about 4 straight years at one point without winning an ACC game and has had multiple winless seasons in the past decade. Duke cannot even sell out tickets in its 30,000 seat stadium for games vs. Stanford and Florida State. ECU is the more prominent program, and suggesting otherwise is silly.

        2) ECU has finished ranked, although it’s been a long time. They finished #9 in both major polls in 1991 with an 11-1 record, losing only its opener to Frank’s Illini and beating S. Carolina, Syracuse, Pitt, Va. Tech, and NC State. (No idea how good those teams were that year, but 11-1 is 11-1.) In 1995 they also finished ranked in the coaches (23) but not in the AP.

        By all means ECU is worthy of a fair look by the Big East, if for no other reason than its attendance and assurance for bowl partners of good travelers. But ECU is no national name like the academies, nor is its local TV market (which I say is all of eastern NC, including Raleigh-Durham) even close to the size of UCF’s, SMU’s, or Houston’s.

        • Brian says:


          1. As an ACC school, Duke is more prominent than ECU. Duke stinks, but people know it exists. They even get on national TV occasionally. Many people are unaware of ECU. ECU may be more prominent in the state, but I was talking national prominence.

          2. I only considered ECU’s time in C-USA (since 1997), since it’s too hard to evaluate independents. I should have said that explicitly.

      • I tend to agree with Brian regarding ECU. The only attribute that I see from them that is better than most other non-AQs is their attendance. However, it’s pretty damning when they’ve had this type of attendance advantage over other C-USA schools and STILL haven’t done very well competitively. So, I don’t buy the argument that if ECU moves up to AQ status that they’ll magically be competitive even in the Big East, much less the SEC. Plus, the North Carolina market is already the most saturated AQ college sports market in the country. Forget about Duke and Wake Forest – even if they didn’t exist, UNC and NC State alone are already more than enough to suck up all of the coverage in the most ACC-heavy territory anywhere. California has 4 AQ schools and larger states such as Illinois, Pennsylvania and Ohio only have 2 AQ schools. The NC market doesn’t justify the 4 AQ schools that it already has, much less a 5th one. Being the #3 football school in North Carolina is not a good selling point – that’s the same position as Northern Illinois in Illinois, Western Michigan in Michigan or Miami of Ohio in Ohio and none of those schools are anywhere near any AQ radars.

  85. duffman says:

    In realignment we keep talking about kings, princes, knaves, et al, but why do we forget to rank the conferences?

    The Adults :

    B1G / PAC / SEC

    The Teens :

    ACC / B12 / IND

    The Kids :

    BE / CUSA / MWC

    The Infants :

    MAC / WAC / Sun Belt

    It all relates to the process of growth and size as schools move up the ladder.

    • Brian says:

      What are you talking about? We always rank the conferences. It’s implicit in almost every post about realignment, and explicit in the others.

      • duffman says:


        I was trying to clarify by giving names, like with kings, princes, etc. What I was trying to point out is that we give names to one, and not the other.

        • Brian says:

          Predators and prey sound familiar? Big boys, big 4, etc?

          There are so few that it hardly seems worth it to create a name to cover 3-4 conferences.

    • Sportsman says:

      As much as I’d like the B1G to be #1 in FB (& all else), the hierarchy (FB-wise) is…
      SEC > B1G > P12 > ACC > B12 > BE > MWC-USA > MAC > SBC > WAC.
      This is top to bottom, not just which conference has the best team(s).

      • John says:

        What are you guys smoking? The B1G is an horrendous football conference this year. Outside of Wisc you don’t have a legit BCS contender. Further, the B12 is ranked 5th in both you’re lists? What? Even with the loss of NU/A&M/CU, the B12 is still clearly the #2 fb conf this yr.

        • greg says:

          Horrendous, John? Sagarin has B1G #3:

          1 BIG 12 (A) = 82.78 82.75 ( 1) 10 82.81 ( 1)
          2 SOUTHEASTERN (A) = 80.48 80.94 ( 2) 12 80.42 ( 2)
          3 BIG TEN (A) = 75.43 74.76 ( 3) 12 75.02 ( 3)
          4 PAC-12 (A) = 74.47 74.60 ( 4) 12 74.51 ( 4)
          5 ATLANTIC COAST (A) = 73.35 73.39 ( 5) 12 73.33 ( 5)
          6 BIG EAST (A) = 72.05 72.34 ( 6) 8 72.24 ( 6)
          7 I-A INDEPENDENTS (A) = 69.00 69.00 ( 7) 4 69.00 ( 7)
          8 MOUNTAIN WEST (A) = 65.18 65.90 ( 8) 8 65.00 ( 8)
          9 CONFERENCE USA (A) = 63.98 63.25 ( 9) 12 63.82 ( 9)

          Massey compiled computer rankings has B1G #3 (scroll to bottom):

          • John says:

            Greg – ok, horrendous may be strong. jeff’s computer rankings do show a clear break between SEC/B12 and everybody else. B1G is closer to being ranked 6th than they are 2nd.

      • Read The D says:

        A little confused why the B12 would be put on par with or below the ACC or PAC. I know this is a B1G board but the B12 is usually right behind the SEC in terms of conference strength. This year the computers have the B12 ranked as the best conference.

        Other than Nebraska, who hadn’t won a championship in nearly a decade, the B12 hasn’t exactly lost any football powers in terms of recent (last decade) on the field performance.

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        I can’t imagine the ACC being ahead of a conference with OU, oSu, UT, aTm, and Baylor. In fact I would put the B12 in second.

        SEC > B12 >B1G > P12 > ACC > BE > MWC-USA > WAC > MAC > SBC

        • greg says:

          I agree with loki’s rankings, and may even put B12 #1 for this year. SEC is still the best league, but maybe for one single season they may not be. Then again, LSU or Bama will likely win it all and the debate will be moot.

          Btw, congrats to Alan on LSU’s #1 BCS ranking.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Greg – thanks. Hopefully, my Tigers will still be at the top of the BCS rankings at the end of the year when it really counts.

            If LSU does win it all this season, nobody can say LSU didn’t earn it. This Saturday, LSU plays its fifth ranked opponent so far this season – defending national champion and 20th ranked Auburn. LSU still has to play #2 Bama and #9 Arkansas later in the season. Even without Newton and Fairley, any Auburn/LSU game is tough, and Auburn has shown an uncanny ability this season to win when they shouldn’t. LSU opens up as a 22 point favorite.

        • wmtiger says:

          Depends how your ranking the conferences? Financially, which in the
          B10 w/ the CIC can’t be separated from academics? Stability? Football success? Athletics? Academics? Prestige? Tradition?

          A combination of all?

          B12 seems a clear #4 when you include all of the above and maybe even behind the ACC.

      • duffman says:

        Sportsman, I was talking about long term, not any given year. I was also discussing security more than on the field performance. I thought it was a simple post, but it went in an unexpected direction.

        The Adults = The most stable conferences, teams unlikely to be poached

        The Teens = Less stable, can poach, but can be poached as well

        The Kids = Unstable, and poachable

        The Infants = Incubators, but protected by poaching by the top tiers

        • Sportsman says:

          duffman (et al),

          My apologies… I completely agree with your assessment. FWIW, I meant to do something similar, but I wasn’t fully awake, at the time. And, my B1G bias was really showing through. I was projecting, based on what we know the conferences will look when this round of realignment is done. Also, as lowly as the SBC has looked, I think they pass the WAC, as all of their best schools will be gone.

      • Brian says:

        He wasn’t implying an order among members of the same tier. He listed them alphabetically (B10, P12, SEC for example).

        • duffman says:


          although putting them alphabetically always puts the B1G in the first slot.

          I agree, as I started the predator and prey thing, but folks seem to think the ACC is more predator than prey. I am still not sold on this being the case. I was correct about the other two, as both have been eaten by the top. Unless the ACC can land Notre Dame now, I am still not sold they will survive at the top.

    • Rich2 says:

      Driving this morning I heard something on Sirius Radio that I cannot confirm: that LSU will not play a night home game this season against a SEC opponent for the first time since 1935. The reason offered for this scheduling decision is the dictates of TV contracts and SEC agreements. If this is true you could not possibly find a better example against the prevailing sentiment on this board (…”if we do this ___, we will make our conference look better for TV and the TV Overlords… then the per-team distribution can increase by a couple of million.”). I have attended LSU night home games twice on different recruiting trips in the past decade and enjoyed them thoroughly. They were great entertainment. I cannot believe that this scheduling change reflects the collective will of LSU fandom. And before someone says — it is a trade-off and LSU needs the money — really? If IU has 500,000 living alums, I guess that LSU has 250,000. If they love LSU — donate $50 a year, charge another $10 for a home game ticket and your school’s finances will be under your control. Then you can can decide when to have night games not someone in Bristol, CT or at CBS.

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Rich2 – I can confirm that LSU will not play a night game against a SEC opponent this season and that does suck for us LSU fans. Night football is our tradition, gives us more tailgating time, and builds the anticipation for the game to a fever pitch (and the level of intoxication for many). Most national reporters report that the atmosphere for a big LSU night game is unparalleled in college football.

        Under the old TV contracts, ESPN was able to choose ahead of CBS for one week during the season. Some of the epic LSU/Auburn or LSU/Florida games in the last decade were under the lights in Death Valley. Under the new contract, CBS gets the first pick every week and CBS only televises one night game per season.

        The reasons for no LSU SEC night games this season, includes the distance between Bama/LSU and the rest of the SEC, and that Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee are all down this season. The LSU/Kentucky game should have been a night game, but the SEC network hasn’t televised a game at LSU in about 4 years. The SEC Network rarely picks up LSU home games as they respect our traditions, but they take a LSU home game about once every four years. It was just our turn. LSU only has 6 home games this year, which is also a problem. We will have 8 home games next year, though.

        While I hate that LSU won’t have any big night games this season, I can’t complain that LSU will probably have a total of six CBS games, and has already had two ABC night games, and an ESPN Thursday night road game.

        Its a price to pay for having a very successful season, to this point.

        • rich2 says:


          As a domer, I know that you can’t control what happens when you play on the road. Further, I know that you have to throw a bone to your TV partner at times in order to keep the relationship moving forward. However, you don’t see that a line has been crossed when TV contracts can tell LSU not to have night games? Why does LSU have to pay such a hefty price? Because MSU is poor? MSU will always be poor. If the conference tells LSU to take this “once in 75 year” step for the good of the Conference’s relationship with TV what is next? What if in 2013, you have no night games and play every game at 11:20am because of how things shake out?

          What about holding Auburn – Alabama on Thursday night? What about wearing patches of sponsors’ logos on your “throwback” uniforms ( a caveat: for MSU and UM last Saturday, a large “Pennzoil” logo on the back of the jersey would have been an upgrade)? What will be the relationship between teams, conferences and TV by 2020? By the way, the 4 superconference plan that everyone seems to want, will only raise the role of TV $$$, not lessen it.

          Bristol, Fox and CBS simply see you as an entertainment product — same as “Sing Off.” If your conference demands more $$$, then they demand more ways to generate an equitable return on their investment. The Conferences are selling more shares of their “stock” to a handful of buyers — this cannot turnout well for the conferences. Stop selling shares. Build your endowment and buy back your shares (and control) over what makes your institutions special to your alums.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Rich – as I said before, not playing a night game of consequence in Tiger Stadium this season is terrible and we all hate it down here. Unfortunately, CBS nationally televised day games are the price of success in the SEC. If LSU was 4-3, we wouldn’t be having this discussion, but I’d rather be #1 and 7-0 and be forced to play day games. Would it have been nice if the SEC limited a certain school to a maximum number of CBS games? For LSU, the answer is yes, but I don’t think any other school – inside or outside of the SEC other than Notre Dame – would turn down a nationally televised broadcast.

            That being said, LSU was allowed some flexibility in that the SEC network, with its 11:20am Central Time kick-off, can only grab a LSU home game once every four years. This just happened to be the year with the Kentucky game. Also, LSU will never be required to play a Thursday home game.

      • Adam says:

        Or, rich2, you can do what you suggest and do what CBS/ESPN tells you to do and collect on both pots of money.

        The problem is this: the conferences, by seeking to accommodate TV broadcast partners too much, are risking killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. I am interested in the Big Ten, at least (and I suspect SEC fans feel the same way) precisely because I like the idea of identifying with a league that sets the terms. We don’t let the broadcasters tell us what to do; we tell them, and they accommodate us, at least on the issues that matter. As soon as the league starts worrying about accommodating broadcasters (something that it already did with the stupid divisional alignment), I am less interested. I only am interested in the Big Ten if it dictates the terms to the broadcasters and doesn’t give a shit what their complaints are; “if you don’t like how we do business, we’ll find someone else who does.” If anything, I’d like to see the league go out of its way to annoy broadcasters, just to show who is in charge. That’s how you’ll get donations and ticket purchases out of me. So the question is: are LSU fans going to be so alienated at the lack of a home night game that their enthusiasm will dampen in a way that impacts business? Perhaps that will be a canary in the coal mine.

        • rich2 says:

          I agree with you. When I posted here 18 months ago during the first phase of this conference re-alignment, I expressed concern over the “end game” strategy that conferences had for their relationship with TV.

          As others have noted, sports revenues have dramatically in the last decade for schools, yet they have not maintained their profit margins. Instead they spend more and more on salaries and facilities. This means that in every conference the best bet is that in five years from now — more, not fewer, schools will need more TV revenue to balance their books. This means that more conference members will ask the membership to do stupid things to satisfy their TV partners. And the asymmetry is obvious: the leagues sports programs are receiving less state support and are fragmented vs. well-financed TV giants. These negotiations are not akin to the NFL and TV. Carolina and NYG are more likely to hold a united front than MSU and LSU or IU and Michigan — and five years from now more schools will be more dependent on the TV cash.

  86. duffman says:

    From the weekend….

    WEEK 7 summary – Top 25 and conference alignment – teams with loss in [bracket]

    B1G 6/25 = 24% : Wisconsin, [Michigan], Nebraska, [Illinois], Michigan State, Penn State
    B12 6/25 = 24% : Oklahoma, oSu, Kansas State, [Texas], TAMU, [Baylor]
    SEC 4/25 = 16% : LSU, Alabama, Arkansas, South Carolina
    ACC 3/25 = 12% : Clemson, [Georgia Tech], Virginia Tech
    PAC 3/25 = 12% : Stanford, Oregon, [Arizona State]
    BE 1/25 = 4% : West Virginia
    CUSA 1/25 = 4% : Houston
    MWC 1/25 = 4% : Boise State


    WEEK 8 preview – Top 25 : BCS week01 : #1 & #2 in BOLD – Conference and OOC

    B1G 6/25 = 24% : Wisconsin, Nebraska, Michigan State, Michigan, Penn State, Illinois
    10 teams : 0 SEC : 0 B12 : 5 B1G : 0 PAC : 0 ACC : 0 MWC : 0 BE : 0 IND : 0 OTR
    OFF : Ohio State, Michigan

    SEC 5/25 = 20% : LSU, Alabama, Arkansas, South Carolina, Auburn
    08 teams : 3 SEC : 0 B12 : 0 B1G : 0 PAC : 0 ACC : 0 MWC : 0 BE : 1 IND : 1 OTR
    OFF : Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi State

    B12 5/25 = 20% : Oklahoma, oSu, KSU, TAMU, Texas
    08 teams : 0 SEC : 4 B12 : 0 B1G : 0 PAC : 0 ACC : 0 MWC : 0 BE : 0 IND : 0 OTR
    OFF : Baylor, Texas

    ACC 3/25 = 12% : Clemson, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech
    12 teams : 0 SEC : 0 B12 : 0 B1G : 0 PAC : 6 ACC : 0 MWC : 0 BE : 0 IND : 0 OTR
    OFF : NONE

    PAC 3/25 = 12% : Stanford, Oregon, Washington
    11 teams : 0 SEC : 0 B12 : 0 B1G : 5 PAC : 0 ACC : 0 MWC : 0 BE : 1 IND : 0 OTR
    OFF : Arizona State

    MWC 1/25 = 4% : Boise State
    5 teams : 0 SEC : 0 B12 : 0 B1G : 0 PAC : 0 ACC : 2 MWC : 0 BE : 0 IND : 1 OTR
    OFF : Wyoming, SDSU, UNLV

    BE 1/25 = 4% : West Virginia
    6 teams : 0 SEC : 0 B12 : 0 B1G : 0 PAC : 0 ACC : 0 MWC : 3 BE : 0 IND : 0 OTR
    OFF : Uconn, Pitt

    CUSA 1/25 = 4% : Houston
    12 teams : 0 SEC : 0 B12 : 0 B1G : 0 PAC : 0 ACC : 1 MWC : 0 BE : 1 IND : 0 OTR
    OFF : NONE


    10 undefeated teams left, 10 max by end of week:

    B12 30% = Oklahoma 11/29 & 12/03, Oklahoma State11/05 & 12/03, Kansas State : 6 – 0
    Oklahoma vs Texas Tech / Oklahoma State vs Missouri / Kansas State vs Kansas
    SEC 20% = LSU 7 – 0, Alabama 7 – 0 : November 5
    LSU vs Auburn / Alabama vs Tennessee
    B1G 10% = Wisconsin : 6 – 0
    Wisconsin vs Michigan State
    ACC 10% = Clemson : 7 – 0
    Clemson vs North Carolina
    PAC 10% = Stanford : 6 – 0
    Stanford vs Washington
    MWC 10% = Boise State : 6 – 0
    Boise State vs Air Force
    CUSA 10% = Houston : 6 – 0
    Houston vs Marshall

  87. vp19 says:

    Lenn Robbins is at it again…

    The Big East left a lucrative TV deal on the table several months ago. That decision seemed like a major blunder when Pitt and Syracuse defected. But a highly placed source in college media said the Big East still could land a better deal if it solidifies.

    Yeah, right.

    • bullet says:

      The Big East Country will definitely get a “better deal” than they currently have. Getting a “better deal” than they one they turned down is another question.

      From the tone of the one quote, the football schools should get away from the basketball schools. Sounded like that person could care less what happened to the football schools.

      • footballnut says:

        I was at the Missouri – Iowas State game. 71,000 people showed up to see Mizzou win 52-10. One curious thing I noticed. The Big 12 Logo that’s usually painted on the grass on both sides of the field was erased. No sign of a Big 12 Logo anywhere, and I believe it’s a league rule for all teams to display the logo somehwere in football and basketball venues. Hmmmmmmmm…..

  88. EZCUSE says:

    Interesting. Value of public football programs:

    1. Texas $848.3 million
    2. Georgia $483.6 million
    3. Penn State $446.9 million
    4. Florida $421.8 million
    5. LSU $397.4 million
    6. Michigan $393.5 million
    7. Alabama $374.3 million
    8. Auburn $359.4 million
    9. Oklahoma $343 million
    10. Tennessee $321.3 million
    11. South Carolina $316.8 million
    12. Ohio State $292.8 million
    13. Nebraska $284.7 million
    14. Texas A&M $245.9 million
    15. Iowa $245.8 million
    16. Michigan State $239.4 million
    17. Arkansas $235.7 million
    18. Oklahoma State $155.2 million
    19. Wisconsin $153.3 million
    20. Kentucky $152.5 million
    21. West Virginia $141.2 million
    22. Washington $136.2 million
    23. Mississippi $136 million
    24. Virginia Tech $134.2 million
    25. Clemson $131 million

    Other notables:

    33. Missouri $99.4 million
    45. Central Florida $53.8 million
    47. Pittsburgh $44 million
    58. Maryland $14.99 million
    83. UConn $0
    93. Rutgers -$19
    95. Houston -$4.3 million

    • frug says:

      Talk about a fall from grace. Rutgers invented the game and now its program is worth less than nothing.

    • Brian says:

      The methodology seems flawed to me. These AD’s aren’t designed to maximize profits like a business, so Valuing them like a business seems wrong. No fair FB valuation would have OSU worth 2/3 of PSU.

      • frug says:

        Actually, in 2009-2010, Penn State’s football program turned a profit $50,427,645 vs. $31,986,964 for Ohio State, or about 57% more, which actually slightly more than the difference between the two for this list (52% advantage for PSU)

        • Brian says:

          Since when is profit margin the best guide to value of a program? It’s not a business. Those numbers are also highly dependent on how revenue and expenses are allocated within the AD and the school in general. Everybody does the accounting differently.

          Game day expenses: OSU – $5.2M, PSU – $2.3M

          Do you really think OSU is magically more than twice as expensive to run a game, or are they perhaps including expenses that PSU is not?

          • zeek says:

            In all honesty, pure revenue is the best measure of the financial power of a heavyweight.

            If you can grow the bigger pie, then you’re the bigger dog.

            Spending/expenses are going to be different based on a whole host of factors that’s really hard to measure as you point out…

          • EZCUSE says:

            @ BRIAN Pretty sure the list is EXACTLY an attempt to determine the value of a program IF it was a business.

          • Brian says:


            Pure revenue would make sense (more than profit, anyway), but that isn’t what frug was arguing for. You still have the problem of making sure revenue is allocated the same way for each program (are TV dollars allocated by sport or not, advertising and merchandise revenue splitting, etc). It’s not as simple as it seems.


            I realize the list is trying to value them like businesses. My points are:

            1. The data aren’t the same for each school, making any comparison difficult and inaccurate.

            2. A school’s philosophy may prevent them from maximizing certain revenue sources that a business in their place would maximize (MI not having advertising in the Big House, for example). That skews the results unless it is factored in.

            3. The article didn’t explain the methodology, so we don’t know what factors were used or how they were weighted. I don’t put much faith in any list that doesn’t explain it’s methodology at all.

          • frug says:


            The methodology is available in the print edition of the IBJ as is the 271 page research paper, that said, I don’t have access to either of them.

            Also, many companies do not maximize revenue because of institutional philosophy.

    • AstroBoiler says:

      What’s surprising to me is that Auburn’s football team is nearly as valuable as the school’s endowment ($402M).

      • frug says:

        Based on this, LSU’s football team is worth $122+ million more than the school’s 2009 endowment (the last year I could find).

        • frug says:

          I am referring to the Baton Rouge campus not the system.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            frug – the LSU Foundation’s total endowment as of 6/30/11 is $526mm. Before the LSU/Auburn game, the LSU Foundation will celebrate the culmination of the Forever LSU Campaign that raised $800mm for LSU from private funds. Out of that $800mm, approximately $122mm has been designated to be added to the current endowment.

            LSU’s endowment certainly isn’t where it should be, but since former Chancellor Mark Emmert stepped on campus, LSU is certainly making significant progress. Winning two BCS National Championships in the last 8 years has also helped with academic fundraising, applications, and the quality of applicants.

            Also, the LSU Athletic Department, which doesn’t take a dime from the state and assesses no student fees, provides millions each year to LSU academics.

          • frug says:

            Yeah, that I guess I should have qualified that. The LSU system runs 9 different campuses/institutions which hurts the endowment number for the flagship, particurally since the law school, BRC and agriculture center aren’t counted as part the Baton Rouge campus despite being in the city.

            Plus, 2009 was terrible year for endowments nation wide (Harvard’s alone lost something like $6 BILLION).

            More importantly, comparing endowment totals to football program value is like comparing apples to race cars; they have nothing to do with each other.

  89. Phil says:

    If you are going to post a Lenn Robbins Big East article, here is a better one:

    I don’t know which snippet gives a better idea of how f’ed up the Big East is:

    “The league does not want talk of expansion to overshadow the basketball players and coaches, so no invitations will be extended before Wednesday”


    “Marinatto, who for the fourth straight day did not return several calls and text messages from The Post”

    • vp19 says:

      And Robbins is assuming Navy is in, even though its AD expressed skepticism about an invite to the Washington Post over the weekend.

      But you’re right — it is a screwed-up conference. It’s what happens when your conference hub is New York, an area ignorant about college football unless it’s named Notre Dame.

      • Phil says:

        No offense, but I have to jump on that last comment.

        You would THINK the conference hub is in NYC, since that is where anyone with half a brain would put it (especially when the conference’s most notable event each year is the basketball tournament in MSG).

        Instead, the Big East has its offices in Providence, its annual media event in Rhode Island and all three of the commissioners in its existence has been tied to Providence College.

        As a Rutgers fan my head knows that keeping the conference together (and keeping the BCS bid through at least 2013) would be the most financially beneficial short term outcome, but my heart wants this conference to die yesterday.

  90. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Citing Missouri’s Rivals site, Power Mizzou, Mr. SEC is reporting that Mizzou-to-the-SEC is moving along and will wrapped up by the end of the month.

    • bullet says:

      Alan-any idea who is dragging their feet on this? Is it the SEC figuring out the divisions, maybe making sure FSU isn’t interested? Or Mizzou dealing with the revolt by Kansas City who doesn’t want to lose the Big 12 tournaments and the related business?

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        bullet – I don’t think there much foot dragging going on. It seems like Mizzou is following the same time line as the Ags.

        1. Mizzou tells Chancellor its OK to look around
        2. SEC C&Ps express disinterest
        3. Mizzou files for divorce (later this week)
        4. Mizzou asks the SEC out (next week)
        5. SEC says yes (the following week)

        BTW – Mizzou to the Eastern Division is not as crazy as it sounds. I recently did a mapquest mileage search from Columbia, Mo, to each SEC town for that I’ll try to find and post later today.

        • zeek says:

          One thing about Missouri to the East is that for recruiting purposes it doesn’t really change much for Missouri other than to probably help open up Florida/Georgia. The protected cross-over with Texas A&M should help on their Texas recruiting, although I have no idea how it will look without playing multiple games in Texas each year.

          • vp19 says:

            Expect Missouri’s crossover to be Arkansas, with Texas A&M getting a crossover with South Carolina (the Razorbacks’ current crossover). Mizzou and A&M may both be Big 12 emigres, but they really have never had any rivalry.

          • zeek says:

            Be that as it may, I’d expect Missouri to want a game with A&M annually whether in division or crossover.

            Missouri needs Texas recruits as its lifeblood and that’d be an important game to them. Not really sure Arkansas or South Carolina would care one way or another whether they’d keep theirs.

            Missouri-Arkansas is interesting, but I don’t really think they care one way or another about playing annually; not like how Nebraska-Iowa really wanted it. Maybe I’m wrong about that, but I’d expect Missouri to prefer A&M.

          • m (Ag) says:

            From what I’ve seen, Missouri & Arkansas both want an annual rivalry, and they’ll get one. Missouri borders Tennessee and Kentucky, but the border with Arkansas is much bigger. In addition, Fayetteville is awfully close to that border.

            The school that will come out best in this SEC expansion is Arkansas. It’s often considered itself as an isolated and somewhat forgotten outpost in the SEC, and now 2 natural rivals are coming into the league to play it every year.

        • bullet says: