If we all took some truth serum, most of us would have to admit to at least one trashy guilty pleasure TV show without any redeeming social value.  Some people enjoy Jersey Shore.  Others watch some variation of the Real Housewives.  The truly prurient are avid viewers of the Oakland Raiders.  My favorite trashy TV choice: Cheaters.

The premise of Cheaters is fairly elegant: a girlfriend/wife that is not quite sure of the fidelity of her boyfriend/husband has the Cheaters private detective squad led by host Joey Greco follow the suspect around with hidden cameras.  In 100% of the cases, the boyfriend/husband is caught in the act of cheating and a highlight videotape is then shown to the girlfriend/wife.  By sheer coincidence in 100% of the cases, the boyfriend/husband happens to be with the temptress at that very moment, which provides the opportunity to the spurned girlfriend/wife to have what it is literally titled in the last segment of every show, “The Confrontation”.  Gloriously, The Confrontation almost always occurs in a public place with the girlfriend/wife dumping the cheating bastard in front of about 150 people (plus 40 cameras), typically after verbally and physically beating down the boyfriend/husband and the temptress.  In a way, it’s the ultimate form of reality TV justice.  Cheaters provides such a high level of quality trash that it’s a constant source of inspiration for Maury Povich, who is essentially the Yoda of Trash TV.

This got me thinking about Missouri and the SEC.  (We could go a whole lot of ways with that one, no?)  Last year, when the Big Ten was going through its expansion evaluation process, Tom Osborne talked about how Jim Delany had him fly to secret locations in order to avoid any press.  Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott has openly complained about people tracking the private jets that he uses via FlightAware, as that could tip off the public about schools he was meeting with.  Last month, a story broke on a random Friday night out of the blue that the ACC was looking to invite Syracuse and Pitt and a press conference confirming the invitations was held less than 48 hours later.  Even with all of the rumors surrounding who the Big 12 would invite over the past few weeks, it has kept and continues to keep its true intentions muddled, with the TCU invite coming quickly and it still being unclear how the conference is going to proceed.  Much like mergers and acquisitions in the business world, the major conferences have tried to keep their expansion plans in a shroud of secrecy and misdirection, which has fueled a cottage industry of blogs like this one along with providing reams of message board speculation.

The SEC, though, doesn’t play that way.  Clandestine expansion operations?  Pfffffft.  Oh sure, Mike Slive will continuously issue official statements that “The SEC is happy right now and it isn’t inviting any school that’s already a member of another conference.”  Of course, that SEC position means that it fully expects and requires any school that wants to join the league to publicly break up with its current conference just like in The Confrontation in Cheaters before applying.  This seems to more than just a legal technicality.  For all of the CYA tactics that Slive and the SEC presidents used prior to admitting Texas A&M, I honestly think that they get a kick out of public institutions openly going through a divorce with their current leagues.  As a result, we have a fairly unprecedented situation where two different schools (Texas A&M and now Missouri) have gone through extremely long, public and acrimonious processes just to get to the point of applying to the SEC.  I can’t really tell you whether this is really the right or wrong approach compared to the Big Ten’s Operation Purple Book Cat, but one thing should be clear: the SEC doesn’t do any super secret invites.  Thus, forget about the thought that the SEC might be targeting West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Florida State and/or Clemson.  It’s all about Missouri right now.

This prolonged period between Missouri announcing that it’s “exploring conference options” and what ought to be a withdrawal from the Big 12 this week has created a whole lot of activity and rumors regarding other schools … but absolutely everything has to be written in pencil.  The Mountain West Conference and Conference USA have announced a 22-school alliance/merger/clambake (AKA Mount USA), yet it’s not quite clear whether the largest names in that proposed league, such as Boise State and Air Force, are even going to stick around in Mount USA since they’ve been rumored to be heading to the Big East.  In turn, the Big East seems to have a goal of a 12-school alignment with the additions of UCF, Houston and SMU as all-sports members and Navy, Boise State and Air Force as all-sports members, but it can’t be finalized without exit fees that are contingent upon at least Navy and Air Force joining, and who knows whether those two would join if a school like Louisville heads to the Big 12.  Lurking in the background, don’t forget about BYU and its own Big 12 prospects.  A number of reports earlier this month seemed to intimate that BYU and the Big 12 couldn’t come to an agreement (or maybe more appropriately, BYU and the Big 12′s TV partners regarding BYUtv), yet the school’s athletic director took pains this past weekend to state that no invite was turned down and kept everything as open ended as possible.  (I’ll reiterate that I believe BYU-to-the-Big 12 will eventually get done.  It makes too much sense.)

A couple of things to note:

(1) The issue with the AQ status of the Mountain West has never been about the strength of its champion and the next top team or two.  Instead, the league has always gotten killed on criteria that deal with depth, as its lower two-thirds have generally been abominable.  I fail to see how the Mount USA merger with C-USA addresses that issue and, in fact, could very well make it worse even if schools like Boise State stay, which gets to the next point…

(2) If there’s been one constant in conference realignment, it’s been that whenever a weaker conference starts thinking that it can attack a wounded stronger conference, that stronger conference slaps the weaker conference back to the stone age.  It’s hard to remember now, but there was about a week in Summer 2010 when the WAC was actually thinking that it could raid the MWC after BYU declared its independence.  MWC commissioner Craig Thompson then proceeded to go off on the WAC like Sonny Corleone on Carlo Rizzi by essentially grabbing everyone except for poor Utah State.  A lot of Big East fans back in August were having thoughts of absorbing a number of Big 12 schools such as Kansas or even raiding the ACC with the promise of a new lucrative TV deal.  That led to the ACC taking two old line Big East members and the Big 12 grabbing didn’t-even-get-a-chance-to-play-in-the-Big-East member TCU while continuing to swarm like a vulture.  We now see the Big East will always be in the position of raidee instead of the raider compared to the other AQ conferences.

Even with all of those losses (and possibly more to come), the Big East still has guaranteed AQ status until at least 2013 (and by other reports, until 2015), which means that Mount USA ultimately isn’t going to fend off a Big East raid, either.  Maybe the service academies would decline the Big East since they are institutions that are in a different realm than anyone else, but all of the others, including Boise State, know that this is their only chance to jump into the “haves” category of college football.  A 10 or 12-school Big East with a guaranteed AQ bid versus a 22-school Mount USA that doesn’t have any guarantee of an AQ bid whatsoever really isn’t a very difficult choice.  While there seems to be a lot of Big East haters out in the college football world these days, rationally speaking, there’s no reason why even a Big East that’s down to 2 members left still isn’t more desirable than the Mount USA simply because there’s AQ status at stake.  There will always be more leverage for a league to retain its AQ status than a newly formed league to attain it, especially in a BCS system that stacks the deck against upstarts.

So, there’s an avalanche of moves on the precipice of occurring, but they’re all waiting on The Confrontation scene between Missouri and the Big 12.  The SEC still only wants single schools to apply.

UPDATE (10/17, 11:50 pm): Big East is reportedly inviting Houston.  This dovetails with a scheduled Big East conference call to discuss realignment on Tuesday, so we also might see invites provided to SMU, UCF, Boise State, Navy and Air Force.

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

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  1. Michael in Raleigh says:

    First again!

  2. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Geaux #1 LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

  3. Christian says:

    Hook ‘em

  4. hangtime79 says:

    One thing about all this Mizzou to the SEC is the thinking that Mizzou actually wants to go. I have a very good friend who is a national sports writer and alum of the Mizzou journalism school. According to her, the alumni feel is still wanting to go to the Big 10 even if there isn’t anything there. In her words when I asked about the chance to play Ole Miss, Alabama, and Florida – “no thanks; whoever thinks its a good idea (SEC) in the admin should be fired”. Her main worry was Mizzou has as much to do with the SEC as Alabama has to do with the Big 10 meaning there is no culture fit between the schools (where have we heard the culture argument before, the SEC). No doubt there is a contingent within Mizzou and alumni that wants to go to the SEC, but I think there is some real stomach churning going on in Mizzou given there is definitely a sizable faction that has no wish to play down south. If you are the admin and curators at Mizzou, you are taking an awfully big chance unlike TAMU – who fits the culture mold – Mizzou does not and by forcing the university when even 30% want to stay or wait out a Big 10 invite then you will have problems.

    • swesleyh says:

      I don’t think there is any question at all that Missouri would fit into the SEC culture a lot easier than WVU or Louisville or Cinncinati or Rutgers or BYU would fit into B12 culture. Not to mention the travel hardships that any of the just mentioned B12 candidates would face. Salt Lake to Morgantown, WV. Whoa. Waco connecting to DFW to Pittsburg driving down to Morgantown. Wow, an all day do, Kinda dwarfs the neighborhood rivalry with Vandy, Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas.

    • MikeF says:

      Hang, if Graham Watson is your very good friend, she is not a barometer on what Mizzou alumni feel about anything. Nor is any other single individual writer who has not spent a lifetime observing the human condition in Missouri. Not even close. As a Mizzou J-School grad and native St. Louisan who’s probably been around at least a couple of decades longer than she has (and probably has forgotten the names of many more alums than she’ll ever know), I’ll call this complete B.S.

      What she claims as SEC opposition is actually a thin slice of a very large pie that overwhelmingly supports the SEC. A tiny and vocal minority of powerless and frustrated Kansas City businessmen with ties to KU and K-State alums are a little too late to stop the powerful political and economic forces in play that are driving this train in a southeasterly direction.

      A small group of bitter academics and wanna-be effete snobs also would fall into the malcontent camp.

      We’re a diverse state that never really reaches consensus. It’s our heritage and goes
      back to Civil War days and earlier. (For any Civil War buffs interested in how vicious Missourians can be, please read “Inside War,” a short, little paperback that details what
      happens when Missouri neighbors are pissed at each other for a prolonged period of time.)

      Your survey of one sports writer is statistically flawed and does not reflect reality. And as far as the “cultural fit” stuff, the lower third of our state is very southern. And while a fairly enlightened breed of Missourians now inhabit the fertile land of Middle Missouri, the central corridor of our state, following the path of the railroad, once included quite a few farmers who didn’t quite appreciate the concept of Emancipation in the middle of the 19th century. We’re a very
      diverse state that is southern, Midwestern, eastern(St. Louis) and a bit western(K.C.) Our state
      fits culturally in three areas.

      Waiting out a make-believe invite to another conference is not of interest to a huge percentage of Mizzou alums who are counting down the days and minutes until our university joins a group of schools that provide at least a little bit of stability, exposure and–oh yeah–revenue compared to the train wreck that is the Texas League & the Big Belt Buckle Network.

      Your friend paints with a brush much too broad. The Big 10 thing is in the rear view mirror and we’re very fortunate that things have worked out this way. Wanting to go to a place “…even if there isn’t anything there.” sounds like an amateurish attempt at hyperbole, a literary device best left to more seasoned writers. Just personal opinion from a longtime broadcast veteran and observer of the University of Missouri–who has watched over many years the precipitous decline of the journalism profession in America.

      • Read The D says:

        Mike, this wouldn’t happen to also be your personal opinion, would it?

        • Purduemoe says:

          Sounds like someone really wants Mizzou in the SEC. I think it is the best move for them, but I don’t think the whole fanbase supports it as much as MikeF does, but then that is an outsiders perspective.

      • swesleyh says:

        Welcome to the SEC!

      • Frank the Ag says:

        Mizzou to the SEC make a lot of sense and as Mike says, consensus will never be found amongst the fans and alums. The choice is really quite simple and obvious when the two options are compared.

      • Brian says:

        This is a pretty accurate summary of the Mizzou situation. A Curator has gone on record stating that 90% of the Mizzou fanbase appears to be in favor of going to the SEC. Deaton was originally on the fence due to a small contingent of academics and KC businesses that were against the move, but is now firmly in favor of going to the SEC.

      • Mack says:

        The SEC cannot raid the B1G because none of the 12 members wants in the SEC. Likewise the B1G cannot raid the SEC because none of the 13 members has interest in the B1G. That will change if Missouri becomes a member of the SEC. It will give the B1G a school they can pick off at any time. Missouri may become the next member of the SEC, but it will not stop her roving eye.

        • vandiver49 says:

          This i think is the SEC major concern with Mizzou. For a conference that purpotedly does not have an exit fee, how do you convince a team to stay with you when you know the B1g is there first choice?

  5. I thought Utah State was initially invited by the MWC over Nevada, but UTST held back out of fear/nobleness for the WAC commish, Benson.

    The UTST AD then bashed Boise State, Fresno State, and the MWC for ditching the WAC, only to get screwed when the MWC raided two more schools shortly thereafter. It got even worse when Hawaii was locked up and the MWC said there was no longer a need for UTST to join.

    • Utah State was never offered an invite, that’s all spin put out by USU to make themselves appear like a bigger fish than they really are. The real story is this: USU’s president is a BYU alum, he tried to help BYU orchestrate their independence bid by giving them a soft landing for their other sports. He was doing this rather than looking out for USU’s best interests, and that’s why they were totally blindsided and left behind when the Mtn West went on their raiding expedition.

      It’s unlikely that USU would have ever gotten an invite over Nevada or Fresno State (both better programs in bigger markets), but there could have been a chance had USU played their cards right. The Mtn West was wringing its hands over losing the Salt Lake market entirely with Utah and BYU gone, and even though USU doesn’t command much of that market there were some who thought it would at least keep the Mtn Wests’s foot in the door there.

  6. Sarcastic Mike says:

    When Mizzou joins the SEC, is there any feeling on how long they would have to sign over their TV rights? Would it in any way be possible for them to leave a couple of years later?

    This is just my backwards way of asking, if one of the B10 dream scenarios played out (ND or TX) that gave them an odd number of teams, could they then poach away Mizzou from the SEC? While I’m sure Missouri would favor that conference if they could choose, and the dollars in this dream scenario would be even higher than in the SEC, would it even be feasible or would they be locked into the SEC for the next decade or two?

    • frug says:

      SEC teams do not have assignment of rights and are proudly declare that they have no exit penalties, so it would be entirely possible for Mizzou to join the SEC and then jump to the Big 10 if Jim Daleny came a-knockin’.

      • Michael in Raleigh says:


        Very true. With the current membership, the lack of exit fees makes perfect sense because it’s the ultimate statement of confidence. Their thinking goes like this: “We’d let you leave for free, but we know you won’t leave because no one in their right mind leaves the SEC.” Maybe, though, with a valuable but flight-risk school like Missouri, the SEC should make sure its sense of stability is backed up by something more. Adding Mizzou, given its obvious attraction to the SEC’s northern rival, should come with a long-term assignment of rights for the rest of the league, whose membership should sign up for willingly because, again, no one in their right mind leaves the SEC.

        • Sarcastic Mike says:

          I call this Jim Delany’s “Long Term Parking” plan. The B10 hasn’t wanted Mizzou on their own and doesn’t right now because they are at best a complimentary piece. However, to me, they are the complimentary piece that is the best fit in everything other than revenue (geography, culture, research, academic).

          So if you’re the B10, you happily allow (and for the conspiracy minded out there, feed rumors of UT leaving the B12 to prod) Mizzou to park itself in the SEC with the knowledge that if you ever did pick up ND you could swoop in and pick up your complimentary piece as needed. To boot, you might make some “interest” on the deal. Which is to say, a few years in the SEC might increase the brand value of the Missouri football program for your cable system…er…conference.

          • John says:

            Mizzou will not jump twice. Mark it down. Mizzou is looking for a conference where no one team believes that they are bigger than the league and therefore acts to the detriment of the league. The SEC is that now, and x1000 if a tier III SEC network comes to fruition.
            Arkansas was a nice rivalry back when Norm & Nolan were around. With the Mike Anderson hatred in Columbia right now, that game will spark a nice border contest…along w/ the fact that Bobby P has been coming into MO for some prized MU recruits lately (Wingo, Walker and now a battle along w/ OU for DGB) they’ll make a very solid cross division game if MU goes into the SEC East.
            Mizzou fans are excited about the tremendous upside the SEC provides and the movement has the vast vast majority of momentum on the conference expansion issue.

          • vp19 says:

            I respectfully have to disagree. Even if Nebraska hadn’t made itself available to the Big Ten, I don’t know if the conference was all that interested in Missouri in the first place, especially since neither Iowa nor Illinois wanted Mizzou to gain equal status for recruiting. Also, thanks largely to Illini spillover, the Big Ten already has much of the St. Louis market, so all it would be adding would be Kansas City and the rest of the state. Missouri is making the right move going to the SEC and liberating itself from Texas, even if some in Columbia deem it the athletic equivalent of dyeing your hair blonde (and dropping your IQ 10 points).

            In the event Notre Dame ever got off its high horse and decided to join the Big Ten, Maryland or Rutgers — both stronger than Mizzou in research, overall academics and new markets — would be viewed as a better complementary piece. Heck, you could make an argument that both as a tandem would work, but until some other BCS conference goes to 16 members, I’m doubting the Big Ten would buy it.

          • Brian says:

            This is a silly and ridiculously naive opinion. This isn’t Madden; it is a significant long-term decision that has required considerable effort to get the large majority of Mizzou Nation on-board with a move to the SEC.

            Frankly, once the Mizzou fanbase fully embraces the SEC sports culture and experience, there will be no remaining desire to join the Big Ten. It’s best for both parties to just accept this and move on.

          • Peter says:

            Missouri would be the only school in the SEC that would conceivably ever want to leave. The B1G still offers a lot more academic prestige and a benefit to the research side (the SEC is athletics only). It would be an upgrade in everything except football & basketball program viability; football will render Missouri a mid-tier at its best & a doormat at worst in either conference and basketball in the B1G is significantly tougher.

            That’s not going to get the SEC to actually make it difficult for someone to leave. The SEC & B1G are not competitors in this sense; they don’t fear each other at all. Look at how little interest they have in chasing each other’s moves. They are both comfortable, natural geography destination conferences with competition limited to the football field; the SEC doesn’t even play the B1G’s research consortium game.

            If the B1G wanted Missouri in 5 or 10 years, the SEC would say, “Have fun” and then invite Florida State.

          • zeek says:

            I’m with Vincent and the others on this.

            The Big Ten is looking east. The Big Ten wants onto the East Coast through Notre Dame + 1. It’s going to be Maryland or Rutgers as the +1 barring some sort of big shift.

            Of course, if Notre Dame never joins the Big Ten, then it will just stay at 12. At this point, there’s no Missouri angle for the Big Ten.

          • Nemo says:

            @vp19 @zeek

            It is interesting to see Maryland’s name appear on your lists to the Big 10. I was startled to see that they were one of the three that fought against the high buyout of $34 million proposed by the ACC and got the cap down to $20 million. Furthermore, Maryland hired a new President, Wallace Loh, who was Provost of Iowa so he must be familiar with the Big Ten.

            President Wallace Loh, UMD

          • vp19 says:

            Nemo, I’m a College Park alum who has been leading the charge for Maryland to join the Big Ten since early 2010. Initially, fellow Terrapin fans thought I was off my rocker, but as time goes on and the sundry academic and athletic benefits of Big Ten membership to the university, more and more people are getting on the bandwagon. If it gets to the point where there is truly serious talk of further Big Ten expansion, I think you’ll see plenty of people associated with Maryland back it. Heck, at this time two years ago, could you have envisioned a majority of Missouri people endorsing moving to the SEC?

          • Nemo says:

            @vp19 I’m a Terp alum too and I am getting pretty tired of the NC “gang” running the ACC as if it were their own fiefdom. Our University has won national championships in basketball and football (men’s and women’s basketball at that) but we are the perennial afterthought to Duke and NC. The entire recent expansion was run by the basketball schools.

            Like you, I am getting to believe that any invitation to the Big 10 would be pretty awesome. Byrd Stadium is small but could you imagine how we’d sell out either FEDEX or M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore if Michigan, OSU or Penn State came to MD? The DC transplants alone would fill the places! We sold out those stadia for Notre Dame, Clemson and PSU in the past. I see no reason why that wouldn’t happen again. The advantages of the CIC alone are worth it.

            Pleased to meet a kindred soul!

          • vp19 says:

            I think the endgame for Maryland is Big Ten membership — academically, athletically and in research, it’s the school that best fits the Big Ten land-grant flagship profile — but it isn’t in their hands right now. I’d love to see conference presidents realize the value of a Rutgers/Maryland combo in both enhancing the value of Penn State (particularly in a post-Paterno era) and establishing a footprint along the eastern seaboard, but it appears College Park will have to wait until South Bend decides it’s ready. At least adding Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the ACC will help the conference for the time being; Maryland and SU have frequently met in football, especially from the ’60s to the early ’80s, and their infrequently lacrosse games have been good ones.

  7. Carl says:

    PSU > Northwestern

  8. greg says:

    Go Hawks.

  9. herbiehusker says:

    Go Big RED!

  10. bullet says:

    Its interesting that Houston is the only school that reports are saying has a Big East invite already. Perhaps its just one booster talking to several different sources. The report said UH officials refused comment.

    Missouri is taking the biggest risk of all the movers so far. Colorado needed to make the move, Nebraska had an easy decision, PItt and SU weren’t giving up much and gained a lot, the WAC movers had easy decisions. And CU and UNL weren’t giving up strong rivalries, Pitt and SU and the WAC schools’ rivals had already mostly moved to the ACC/MWC. Now A&M is taking some risk but they do have pre-existing rivalries with Arkansas and LSU. But Missouri is taking a lot of risk and giving up 150 year old rivalries. Sure, staying is a risk as well. UT may decide the Big 12 isn’t the place for it in 2023 and Missouri may be stuck in a UT/OU less Big 12. But in the SEC, Missouri is guaranteeing they are going someplace they really aren’t interested in, with different recruiting territories and weakening their now solid link to Texas recruiting and turning from the 3rd most valuable program in the conference to an outsider way down the list and 10th on football win % in order to avoid something that may or may not happen 12 years down the road. I don’t see any southern recruits willing to go north to Missouri.

    As for TV $, Slive could have some top secret plan, but every credible outside source indicates that Missouri will make about the same or maybe even less over the next 12 years until the SEC contract is up. Reports say the SEC is not likely to go to 9 conference games which is the best way to ratchet up the existing TV contracts. And the SEC just can’t open up their deal. The SEC has better long range potential, but if you understand the time value of money, a little more $ 12 years down the road isn’t worth a lot. Local $ are important. For Missouri the less attractive from a football standpoint, KU and KSU are important and even ISU matters. I don’t see UK, Vandy or the Mississippi schools generating any interest in Columbia. Winning helps generate local $. Missouri has found a niche that works, winning 40 games over the last 4 years. They give up that niche and those rivalries and get into the strongest football conference and may find a lot more empty seats and less local $ in Columbia. They already have to compete with the Rams, Chiefs and baseball Cardinals, so they are a school that needs to win to fill their stadium. I hope they understand there are risks in going, not just in staying.

    • Yahtzee says:

      In my opinion, the reward far outweighs the risk for Mizzou, for all of the reasons cited by posters above and then some.

      As far as KU, KSU and ISU mattering to Missouri for football – respectfully disagree. The game that Missouri fans (of which I am one) were amped up for each year (Nebraska) is now gone. Games against the TX schools are much more important than the KS/IA schools for one reason… recruiting. Look at how Pinkel has built the football program at Missouri – on the backs of underrated TX recruits. Regardless of what SEC division these Northern Tigers move into, annual games against teams in FL and GA (East) or LSU and A&M (West) will be much more important than protecting traditional rivalries against the aforementioned schools.

      I believe that MU/KU will survive from a non-con standpoint. However – don’t discount a potential MU/Nebraska game in KC to replace that should the Kansas administration and AD prefer to move on…

      • vp19 says:

        You mean…goodbye to the Telephone Trophy?

      • bullet says:

        So, in football, did noone in the Big 12 north care about playing each other????? Nebraska only barely cared about CU and not about any of the others. CU didn’t care much except for Nebraska.

        • John says:

          It’s not that we don’t care about playing each other, it’s that we Big XII North holdovers have been so up & down over the course of the last 20 years that those contests haven’t produce consistently compelling matchups. With the Oklahomas beholden to Texas and Nebraska & CU gone, the camaraderie of the old Big 8 is dead (in football). If we (Mizzou) stay we are beholden to Texas as well, and will forever deal with the fact that they believe the conference exists to support them, not the other way around. Every other major conf (PAC/B1G/SEC) are realizing that pooling rights & sharing the rewards is the most profitable avenue a league & its members can take. UT doesn’t care b/c Texas is in a position where protecting it’s slice of the pie is more important than net dollars.

          • bullet says:

            Big 12 has the same deal on sharing as the SEC now.

          • JEH says:

            The LHN then becomes the elephant in the room, bullet.
            Mizzou has a much better opportunity to maximize 3rd tier revs in SEC than they do in B12.

          • Frank the Ag says:


            But the B12 position regarding tier III rights is much more entrenched than the SEC. Most believe the SEC will soon agree to share tier III rights across a conference network (more likely, networks) whereas that will likely never be the case for the B12.

            If Mizzou is ever going to monetize tier III content is will have to exit the B12.

          • bullet says:

            There is such strong local demand in the SEC, there may be more value in individually selling content. I’ll believe the SEC schools give up Tier III rights only when the ink is dry.

          • Frank the Ag says:


            I understand your perspective. The fact remains, the SEC has the potential for a conference network and the B12 does not.

          • bullet says:

            I can agree with you on that, but as I said, I don’t think its very likely in the SEC.

          • Mack says:

            The SEC exists to support Alabama and Georgia (just ask them). There are just not as many poor relatives to support in the SEC, so the family is closer than the B12. However, several SEC members (Georgia, Alabama, Florida) get more for their third tier rights than Texas is getting this year for the LHN. They are likely to share this revenue with Missouri as Texas is. Top TV payouts for SEC schools (including 3rd tier) is about $30M while the bottom (Mississippi State) is about $18M (almost no 3rd tier). Missouri joining is not going to change that. That is why you have the Texas paradox: Texas showed interest in all of the big 4 conferences except for the one that would have accepted Texas with the LHN.

      • Gopher86 says:

        Doubtful that Nebraska signs with Mizzou in the non-con. In the nine game format the B1G is going to, there will be no room for a neutral site game. This is especially true of Arrowhead, where Nebraska could fill the stadium by itself, no matter the opponent. NU/MU wasn’t a rivalry game– MU was behind OU, & CU historically, and behind KSU and UT in the Big 12 era.

        It isn’t certain that the Border War will survive, either. It’s a money maker for both parties, but KU may poison the well. They have three times as many alumni in KC as MU– it made sense to schedule in Arrowhead for mutual exposure, but it makes no sense to help out an SEC team.

        • m (Ag) says:

          “but KU may poison the well. They have three times as many alumni in KC as MU– it made sense to schedule in Arrowhead for mutual exposure, but it makes no sense to help out an SEC team.”

          Who else could Kansas schedule in non-conference that could make the school as much money as a game against Missouri?

          I agree with you Kansas may ‘poison the well’ and end the series, but it will hurt them more than it will hurt Missouri. That’s not a ‘sensible’ decision…it’s an emotional one.

          • Gopher86 says:

            Nothing about some of these moves seem sensible. It may be cutting their nose off to spite their face, but I wouldn’t put it past them.

    • Eric says:

      Very good points. I agree and think long term, this is not a good move for Missouri. The worst case scenario is one where they stay in the Big 12 (with Texas, etc leaving and no opening for them), but I think their future in the SEC has a very set limited upside while their future in the Big 12 is more likely to be better. With so many fans/alumni on board though I don’t think they turn it down.

      • Brian says:

        How does the SEC have any more of a limited upside than the Big 12? That is the decision here – diluted Big 12 or the SEC, the best athletic conference in the country.

        At worst, Mizzou moves to the SEC, is terrible, but increases their athletics revenue significantly by drinking from the same trough as Bama, Florida, etc (SEC Network will be a goldmine as well). At best, Mizzou continues to build its football program, becomes a regular top-half team in the SEC with years every now and then when they challenge for the top, and drastically increases its revenue, brand, and in-state following (t-shirt fans are much more likely to come out to see Tennessee and Alabama instead of Iowa State and Texas Tech). It seems pretty obvious that this is the best long-term decision for Mizzou, and may be enough to begin taking full advantage of its 6 million residents and two top 30 metro areas.

        • zeek says:

          It’s definitely the best long-term idea for Missouri at this point in time.

          Competitively though, the danger is that they look a lot more like Arkansas of the past 20 years than the Missouri of the past 10 years (which would be easier to maintain competitively in the Big 12).

          But they’re making the same decision as Arkansas for the same reasons. Culturally it’s not as comfortable as Arkansas in the SEC, but over time, it’ll work out just like it did for Arkansas.

          • Brian says:

            You talk as if the Arkansas move was a poor one, but I doubt you can find one Arkansas fan that regrets moving to the SEC. Why? Because the culture, passion, and pageantry of big-time SEC football is infectious. The move to the SEC significantly increased Arkansas’s attendance, big booster donations, facilities, and overall athletic revenue, which helped its non-revenue sports as well. Going 8-4 in the SEC is tremendously more exciting for a fanbase than going 10-2 or 11-1 in a conference like the SWC, which is what the Big 12 is looking like it will become.

          • zeek says:

            I’m not arguing that it was a poor move. I’m just stating that the 10 win seasons in the Big 12 are likely to be gone in the SEC. Much easier to win in the Big 12 than the SEC.

            Over time, it’ll be a good move for Missouri. In a state with so many professional teams in St. Louis and Kansas City, bringing SEC teams will have a big impact on the interest level of Missouri football than Big 12 teams on average.

            And you can’t put a premium on stability. This guarantees Missouri a seat at one of the guaranteed biggest conferences. They have to take that invite because someday the Pac-16 itch might come back…

          • bullet says:

            @Brian. I don’t know that its infectious. Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have all expanded their stadiums (as well as much of the Pac 10 and ACC) over the same time frame. And Arkansas fit better than Missouri will. In football, Arkansas has gone from being a peer of LSU, TN, UGA, UF and Auburn to being a peer of South Carolina. Not that they had a choice at the time of SEC or Big 12-it was SEC or SWC.

        • Eric says:

          Being in the SEC won’t be terrible, but I think being in the SEC is case of what you see is what you get. Missouri will be a program that competes well some of the time, but very rarely wins it all or comes that close (similar to Arkansas time in the SEC). It will have stability for the coming years (until the next wave of college football realignment occurs anyway), but the odds of them not ending up OK were small in my opinion to begin with. In the new Big 12, I think they had a very good possibility of continuing to improve and move up the college football ladder and continue with rivals more than a century old (and better access to Texas recruits). Thus I think they had more upside there even if there was a little more risk too.

          Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Missouri fans are going to be saying they regret this move for the most part in the future (it will be like Arkansas where most fans say they like it, but some still wish for the old days). I think if they stayed though, most fans would also be saying they were happy with that decision in 10-15 years and that it was absolutely the right decision.

          • Brian says:

            So Mizzou could go to the SEC and find themselves competing well some of the time, but rarely winning it all? How is this any different from their current position in the Big 12? How is this any different from how 50-70% of D1 teams fare in their respective conferences?

            Mizzou will be a middle-tier SEC team with years every now and then where they challenge for the division, just like they did in the Big 12 even when it was more stable. The Big 12 has arguably been the 2nd best conference over the last five to ten years, so it’s not as if they are jumping from the MAC.

            I realize this is a Big Ten-centric blog, but I think some viewpoints here understate the excitement of playing an SEC schedule with trips to place like Rocky Top, The Swamp, Death Valley, etc. The Mizzou fanbase is going to trade out trips to Waco, Lubbock, Ames, and Manhattan for this. Of course there will always be some minority contingent that will wish Mizzou stayed, just like there has to be some fans of Nebraska, Arkansas, A&M, PSU that wish they never took the leap. Change is scary. But when it comes down to it, the Mizzou fanbase and leadership is clearly making a statement that the status quo in the Big 12 just isn’t satisfying, and the SEC clearly is. The SEC was never even viewed as an option until this summer, so it may take a bit longer to get everyone on-board, but anyone that has lived in the South or experienced SEC football first hand knows how infectious it can be.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Arkansas just announced a $300mm upgrade to athletic facilities, including a 5,000 seat expansion to the football stadium – mainly club seats and suites.


            Earlier this year, both Ole Miss and Miss State announced football stadium expansions. After these three stadium expansions are complete, the new stadium capacities will be 77,000 for Arky, 70,000 for Ole Miss, and 65,000 for Miss State. Ole Miss is also building a new basketball arena. Arkansas and Mississippi have the smallest populations in the SEC.

            LSU is not far away from announcing another addition (mainly club seats and suites) to the South Endzone of Tiger Stadium, which should bring seating capacity to 100,000.

            Ags & Mizzou – welcome to the SEC. Bring your shovels and hammers.

          • m (Ag) says:

            “Ags & Mizzou – welcome to the SEC. Bring your shovels and hammers.”

            A&M has been steadily upgrading all facilities for about 10 years; the baseball park is undergoing a renovation right now (Blue Bell sponsored!). Oddly enough, football is the last to get upgrades. They were planning on upgrading the quality of seating of Kyle Field so they can charge more $ without affecting capacity much (maybe even dropping some seats). With the new demand from the move to the SEC they’ve thrown out those plans and are re-thinking what they will do.

      • Frank the Ag says:


        Except there is no future in the B12. The league is destined to be in the 2nd tier below the B1G, SEC and PAC. Sure Texas and ND (perhaps OU) will be fine but any other school not in the “Big Three” would be foolish to walk away from an invite.

        • Eric says:

          I disagree. I think the Big 12 might be precieved a little weaker, but once expansion mania cools off, I don’t think the PAC-12 will be seen as a better football conference. The Big Ten and SEC will be, but I’d argue Missouri has a better future in the Big 12, where I think they have a lot going for them to grow into one of the top 3 teams than they do in the SEC where I think they’ll be lucky to be in the top half as a program.

        • bullet says:

          The SEC is a better league than the ACC, but there’s no stampede to apply for SEC membership. There’s a future in the ACC. Unless Texas or OU changes there mind, there’s a future in the Big 12.

          • Frank the Ag says:

            The ACC is a much more stable conference than the B12. It is hard to compare the two and predict similar outcomes.

            If Missouri leaves, the conference is reduced to being an expanded SWC II that is Texas centric with little to no national interest. The Texas vs. OU game is the only commodity of value. I expect TV revenue to dip (compared to the other leagues) in a significant way beginning with their tier 1 rights negotiated in 2015/16.

          • bullet says:

            Unlike a lot of this speculation, we will probably get an answer pretty quick on that. There’s talk of ABC/ESPN doing an early renewal (which benefits them in avoiding bidding and getting 6 more years) when the Big 12 finally figures out who the 10 or 12 teams are.

            Repeatedly, its been demonstrated that brands matter. Most everyone (including the UT President) thought the Big 12 was not viable without Colorado and Missouri and that population. When they did the analysis after losing Nebraska and CU, they discovered those two didn’t matter that much. CU, which won one MNC and came close to two others in a 12 year period was a drag by 2010. TCU was added which was clearly a brand decision and had nothing to do with market. The loss to the Big 12 is potential. A&M has the potential to be a consistently ranked team like they were in the 90s. CU had the potential to get back to where they were in the 90s. Missouri has the potential to be a consistently ranked team. The Big 12 had the potential to exceed what the SEC was the last 10 years (not that I see anyone getting 5 MNCs in a row again) Getting to that point is a lot harder for Tech, Oklahoma State and Kansas than for A&M, CU and MU. But TV isn’t paying for potential. They’re paying for now. I’m pretty confident the Big 12 will be fine financially for the next dozen years (but we should know before 2015). Beyond that is way too long to predict.

    • jtorre says:

      the Chronical headline was more definitive last night. Today it says they “have a shot” but last night indicated the invite was done.

  11. bullet says:

    I wonder how the other AQ conferences feel about the Big East inviting more members to the club, or if they are even thinking about it. The WAC and Sun Belt continue to invite more schools up to the FBS club, but new WAC/MAC/Sun Belt are steerage in FBS. AQ is the first class cabin.

    • @bullet – I think the other AQ conferences would LOVE to see the Big East take Boise State at the very least. The fewer viable programs that would be reasonably compete for an automatic non-AQ conference bid, the better it is for the other AQ leagues. This is a much less acrimonious way of opening up an extra at-large BCS bowl spot compared to taking away the Big East’s AQ status. Everyone else that the Big East is anticipating inviting (outside of maybe the service academies) probably doesn’t pique the interest of the other conferences one way or another.

      • mike in st louis says:

        I’ve thought about this angle as well, Frank. But the question for me is, why doesn’t the opposite argument work? In other words, doesn’t Boise St. have a better chance of making a BCS bowl in a non-AQ conference than in an AQ conference? Especially given the hatred sports writers have for the BCS and the weight given to the polls?

        Is TCU ever going to make the Rose Bowl playing in a conference with Texas and Oklahoma?

        Or are both these schools simply willing to sell football glory for more money.

        Finally, would the Big East make Boise replace that preposterous field?

        • Dave says:

          Boise probably has a better chance to make a BCS bowl in a (presumably weaker) non-AQ conference, but there are a few counter-arguments. First, Boise has to be the top-ranked non-AQ conference champion and in the top 12 to get a BCS bid (or hope for extremely unusual circumstances like the ones that set up the Boise/TCU Fiesta Bowl); if the voters darling is an undefeated CUSA or MAC team for some reason, Boise’s out of luck. In an AQ conference, they just have to win it (even if winning the conference is more difficult, they can lose a game on the way, and losing out of conference doesn’t matter).

          Second thing is that they have a much better chance of playing in the title game in an AQ conference, even if their chance of being in a BCS game is lower. A tougher conference helps in the computers and in the minds of voters.

          Third is that if they don’t make a BCS game, their options are much better in an AQ conference. The MWC’s top non-BCS bowl is vs. the #5 team in the Pac 12 — and the other non-AQ conferences are worse. Whereas the Big East’s #2 plays the ACC #3.

          And fourth is money – Boise’s share of Big East bowl money even when they don’t make the BCS is probably more than they get from making a BCS bowl in the MWC.

          TCU will probably not make the Rose Bowl again any time soon, but the Fiesta is another matter entirely (they just have to win the Big 12 — they probably would have last year, though obviously not this year — or be really good in a year when the Big 12 champ goes to the BCS championship game).

        • Brian says:

          mike in st louis,

          In other words, doesn’t Boise St. have a better chance of making a BCS bowl in a non-AQ conference than in an AQ conference?

          No. To make the BCS as a non-AQ, Boise has to go 12-0 (13-0 with the MWC/CUSA merger). Even while in the WAC, they went undefeated about 50% of the time. This lead to only 2 BCS bowls. The MWC should be harder, making undefeated seasons less likely. The odds a non-AQ Boise makes a BCS bowl with a loss seem slim.

          The current BE has only had an undefeated (in conference) champ twice since 2005 (2005, 2009). Boise would have a decent chance at the BCS bid with 2 losses and a really good shot with 1 loss. An OOC loss would not ruin their shot, either, so they could continue to build their reputation if they want.

          I say the odds of Boise going 10-2 in the BE are better than their odds of going 12-0 in the MWC/CUSA and being ranked high enough to get a BCS slot.

          Is TCU ever going to make the Rose Bowl playing in a conference with Texas and Oklahoma?

          They may not make the Rose, but they might make the Orange or Fiesta.

          Finally, would the Big East make Boise replace that preposterous field?

          They could make it a condition of joining, but why undermine what makes Boise a brand? They are more likely to copy the MWC and ban the all blue uniforms at home for conference games than to ban the blue turf.

        • Josh says:

          Sports writers don’t have a say in the BCS since the AP poll pulled out of the BCS formula. The BCS uses the “Harris Interactive Poll” made up of college football “experts,” mostly retired coaches and former players. They’ve also got some retired sportswriters, so there is that.

          Connecticut made a BCS Bowl after going 8-4 last year. Boise State got left behind at 11-1. There is no way it’s easier for Boise to make a BCS Bowl in the Mountain West.

      • cutter says:

        The other question I’d have is how long do you think Boise State can keep its program at its current level. I admit that given the potential competition it’d have in an enlarged Big East or within the CUSA/MWC Conference, BSU would have as good a chance as it does now to go undefeated and grab a BCS bowl bid. But if Boise State falters, then it’s a moot point. Besides, there may be no really good football programs in the Big East anyway if the Big XII takes Louisville and West Virginia or Cincinnati.

        At that juncture, the Big East is on par memberwise with the CUSA/MWC Conference in terms of whether or not it deserves a BCS bid. What would the other conferences think about the Big East then? Would they cut the BE out of the BCS bowls in order to give themselves a greater chance to take all eight BCS bowl berths? If the Cotton Bowl is added to the BCS bowl list, would the ACC, Big Ten, Big XII, Pac 12 and SEC think that they could collectively provide the 12 teams necessary for the national championship game and the BCS bowls (especially if the limit to teams per conference in the BCS bowls goes from two to three)?

        I think we may wait in order to give this question a good answer. If Missouri goes to the SEC (very likely) and the Big XII goes to 12 members (50-50 chance?), then the Big East may not be as good a choice for a program like Boise if it wanted to get into a BCS bowl. Perhaps the CUSA/MWC Conference with its conference championship game would provide a more likely avenue than a watered down Big East (and its conference championship game).

        We’ll see what happens, The Big East has two major hurdles that it has to face in short order–getting to 12 programs (including Boise State) in order to keep itself together and hoping that the Big XII doesn’t also opt to go to twelve programs. If it falls short on either of those two, then yikes.

    • cutter says:

      If the Big East is able to successfullly get to twelve football teams as part of its conference membership, then the BCS conferences plus the two independents would number in the mid-70s out of 124 Division 1-A fulltime members (scheduled for 2013)

      14-Team Conferences (28 Total): ACC, SEC
      12-Team Conferences (36 Total): Big East, Big Ten, Pac 12
      10-Team Conference: Big XII

      That’s 74 teams right there not including Notre Dame and Brigham Young which are part of the BCS either as a member of with a tie into the BCS bowls.

      If the Big XII goes to 12 programs and the Big East still manages somehow to get to 12 as well (after probably losing Louisville and West Virginia and possibly Cincinnati unless BYU ends up in the Big 12), then there will 78 teams with BCS tie-ins (again, this assumes the Big East finds replacements out of the MWC/C-USA for the loss of Louisville and WVU/Cincinnati).

      The MWC/CUSA Conference would have 17 teams if Air Force, Boise State, UCF, Houston and SMU all go to the Big East. If Louisville goes to the Big XII as its tenth member, than one of those 17 probably end up in the Big East (provided Air Force, Boise State, Central Florida, Navy, Houston and SMU accept the invites) and the MWC/CUSA becomes a 16-team conference, but without no real star power in it. The 17-team league would include:

      CUSA (9): Alabama-Birmingham, East Carolina, Marshall, Memphis, Rice, Southern Miss, Texas El Paso, Tulane, Tulsa
      MWC (8): Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii (football only), New Mexico, Nevada-Reno, Nevada-Las Vegas, San Diego State, Wyoming

      The new Big East would have twelve members:

      Air Force, Boise State, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Houston, Louisville, Navy, Rutgers, Southern Florida, SMU, West Virginia

      Boise State would become the new star football program in the Big East (replacing the role TCU was going to play), but perhaps outside of WVU, there’s also no real star football power in it. Of course, if Louisville and West Virginia or Cincinnati also leave, then the Big East will look even more anemic because the next most likely replacements may be schools like Memphis or East Carolina. On merit alone, I’d be hard pressed to imagine the Big East would keep its AQ status (but then again, it’s not always about merit).

      I think the opinons among the AQ conferences vis-a-vis the Big East might change somewhat based on that conference’s final membership. If the Big XII goes to 12 and you look at a Big East that looks like this . . .

      Air Force, Boise State, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Connecticut, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, Navy, Rutgers, Southern Florida, SMU

      . . . . then the opinions might change among the AQ conferences about letting the Big East remain as a BCS conference. They wouldn’t need the Big East to have majority membership in Division 1-A (the five major conferences would have 66 members plus independent Notre Dame for 67 of 124). If the BCS does add the Cotton Bowl and allows conferences to have three teams in BCS bowls per year, do you think they’d be very supportive of letting the Big East have that autobid or not by 2013 or 2015?

      Adding the Cotton Bowl means there are ten BCS bowl bids plus two that go into the national championship game. If the SEC puts in three teams to BCS bowls annually, the Big Ten from 2 to 3, the Pac 12 adds 2, the Big XII adds 2 and the ACC adds 1 or 2, then that covers those ten spots right there.

      It’s a good question. I think the perception of the Big East will change depending on their final membership and that looks like it will hinge on what the Big XII does (assuming Missouri goes to the SEC) regarding the number of members it wants to have–10 or 12.

    • Gopher86 says:


      • anon says:

        I got no response. The NIT would actually qualify as a good year given the circumstances. Gotta love the Frank Haith hire.

        • Gopher86 says:

          Well, it may be a blessing in disguise. The story came out before it could really do any damage to Missouri. The administration gets a second crack at picking their guy, if they choose.

          • anon says:

            Eventually… Unfortunately it looks like they will stick with Haith until the NCAA finishes their investigation for fear of a Jim O’Brien-esque wrongful termination lawsuit. Meanwhile every notable recruit has basically crossed us off the list ensuring Haith’s legacy lives on for years to come.

            Maybe the biggest winner in the Conference realignment storm (other than TCU who is reunihas been AD Mike Alden.  The potential collapse of the Big 12 basically wiped every other story off the radar.

          • anon says:

            Mobile phone fail with the last paragraph. Here is corrected:

            Eventually… Unfortunately it looks like they will stick with Haith until the NCAA finishes their investigation for fear of a Jim O’Brien-esque wrongful termination lawsuit. Meanwhile every notable recruit has basically crossed us off the list ensuring Haith’s legacy lives on for years to come.

            Maybe the biggest winner in the Conference realignment storm has been AD Mike Alden.  The potential collapse of the Big 12 basically wiped every the hiring debacle off the radar.

  12. bullet says:

    Well since Chip says it, I guess its official. Missouri will vote to leave.


    Seriously, Chip says he’s heard it from 3 different sources and his are not likely Missouri sources, so Missouri is probably spreading the word. The NYT article only quoted 1 who sounded like a curator who may or may not have known what the others were thinking or the AD (who interestingly has been looking for a job-applied unsuccessfully at North Carolina).

    • zeek says:

      I think this is a big long-term hit to the Big 12.

      Competitively, it doesn’t change anything in the near term, but in the longer term it would have been nice for the Big 12 to have a decent mid-tier flagship program outside of the states of Texas and Oklahoma. I don’t think Kansas, Kansas State, and Iowa State can provide that over the long term. Missouri leaving makes the whole thing look a lot more SWC-like than it’d look if Missouri had stayed.

      Interestingly, WVU probably can more than Louisville.

      I think WVU or Louisville will be #10. BYU is going to be the Big 12′s Notre Dame. They’ll go to 12 if they can get BYU or they’ll stay at 10 until they can, just as the Big Ten won’t go to 14 without Notre Dame (and the ACC is equally unlikely to go to 16 without Notre Dame).

      • vp19 says:

        I’m still hopeful that the urchins will join forces, overrule Texas and Oklahoma, and boost the Big 12 to 12 by bringing Louisville, West Virginia and Cincinnati into the fold, as they’d all bring a synergy that none could do on its own. Of the three, WVU is the best single choice, but it’s way too much of an outlier to serve as #10 of 10.

        • zeek says:

          That would be good, but it’s hard to see them overcoming the Texas position without BYU on board.

          For stability purposes, 12 is going to be much safer than 10. 12 just gives the “big boy aura” in an era where the other major conferences are at 12-14.

          Of course, 10 is likely to be safe anyways for the Big 12 or Big East at this point simply because none of the other programs are wanted by the ACC, Big Ten, or SEC outside of Texas itself…

          • Eric says:

            I see that point and don’t disagree, but the counter argument is that one of the sources of instability in the Big 12 was that there was a big division between the north and the south. The north got far less access to Texas recruiting and much less attention in the media. By removing divisions, you have a full round robin and no lesser or greater division. Since new divisions aren’t going to be any easier, I’m not sure 10 team full round robin still isn’t the way to go.

          • zeek says:

            Dodds actually mentioned that if they do another divisional split, they probably wouldn’t include TCU with Texas and Oklahoma.

            At least I think it was Dodds that mentioned that. Not sure where…

      • zeek says:

        I say this mainly because BYU + CCG is a no-brainer move back to 12. That easily covers the cost of going from 10 to 12.

      • Peter says:

        Missouri is worth FAR more to the Big 12 than it is to the SEC or the B1G. A lot of people have difficulty with this concept. Missouri exiting the Big 12 removes a competitive football program but more importantly cripples its population base and media markets. Missouri is on the bigger end of the SEC states and the smaller end of the B1G states. It’s at the margins, which is why neither conference really has cared that much about them.

        However, Missouri is the second-biggest Big 12 state BY FAR and has the only media markets outside of Texas that are worth mentioning. Louisville or WVU are lousy replacements for either. Basketball will be comparable or upgraded & football will be a wash to a downgrade, but there’s no question this net loses a lot of eyeballs and SHOULD result in a large reduction in TV contract value.

        Since Oklahoma can’t leave and Texas apparently wants to be a semi-independent with a bunch of serfs and all the other schools with better options have already left, maybe it works out. But it’s unquestionably weaker.

        • zeek says:

          I agree with respect to long-term TV contracts/eyeballs/prestige, all of that.

          In the short term though, the networks are going to just be happy that they dodged the Pac-16 bullet as it were. They’re going to pay off the Big 12 to keep everyone happy in it.

          But over time (say the 2020 and on years), it’s obvious that losing Missouri will be a big hit; this relegates the Big 12 to 5th place in terms of markets, population, and all those things.

          I think Texas is okay with that though. They know that as long as they’re there, and Oklahoma is there, the conference will probably be fine competitively. The money may end up shorter for Oklahoma, but as long as Texas has the LHN and its payouts, they probably don’t really care.

          • bullet says:

            For everyone except the Wakes and Vanderbilts, there is much more locally generated money than TV money. Being in a smaller conference has value as you can win more championships than you can with 14 or 16. Now long-term, clearly losing Missouri is a blow to potential TV contract growth. But 2023 is a long time in terms of the time value of money. One loss with Missouri out is the geographic continuity. IMO that hurts long-term with rivalries. Certainly on the playing field it does as it splits recruiting areas and the players are less likely to have competed in high school. The ACC has gained geographic continuity to BC with the Pitt and SU additions.

            FSU to the SEC doesn’t make economic sense as FSU is more valuable to the ACC than the SEC because of duplicative TV markets. A&M was different. They add more value to the SEC than to the Big 12. Missouri adds similar value but, I agree, they are are a more important piece to the Big 12.

  13. vp19 says:

    A question on a semi-related topic: How many states allow high schools to hold spring football practice? I know a lot of southern states do, and I maintain this gives them a significant talent advantage, though I think at the prep level the concept is absurd (those athletes should be playing baseball, track or other spring sports) and part of me would love to see the NCAA prohibit this.

    • Peter says:

      How could the NCAA prohibit high schools from holding spring practices???

      • Brian says:

        The same way the NCAA prohibits anything out of their direct control, by making athletes who participate ineligible for NCAA football.

        • Mack says:

          NCAA will not interfere in high school sports because that will doom it as an organization. There are a lot of state politicians that do not believe a college organization should have any say in how its public schools are run. With tens of billions spent on public schools, they will not let the NCAA direct the spending of these tax $$.

          • Brian says:

            The NCAA doesn’t need a say in how high school sports are run. They control what makes an athlete ineligible for college.

            That said, the NCAA is never going to meddle with spring football except for amateurism violations. They understand that decision belongs to the states. Peter asked how they could prohibit it, so I told him.

  14. Oldtimer1950 says:

    For everyone who is stating that Missouri is making a mistake by moving to the SEC I must say you must all be KU fans.

    There are many reasons for the move that far outweigh any of the arguments that I have heard. From an MU alum here is my perspective:

    Missouri is not moving to the SEC because they have the greatest of football programs. They are going due to two singularly important issues. First the lack of respect Missouri has been shown by the Big XII conference in many ways, but primarily in bowl games and scheduling have been atrocious. Bill Self gets in front of the media and declares that he will not play Missouri if they leave. From a Missouri standpoint, “Who cares?”. The rivalry has served Kansas far more than Missouri both in prestige and monetary gain. KU will be the number one victim of this lost rivalry. It will hurt Missouri neither financially or athletically. The Border war held annually at Arrowhead, in KC could easily be supplanted by a Missouri-Alabama, or LSU game. Which would draw more? I personally hope we never play them again in any sport. This lack of respect for MU is a foul smell hanging over everything that is the Big XII. Some are stating that MU is a better fit for the Big X. That conference missed their opportunity to add Missouri last year and for some inexplicable reason chose a state school with no major television markets and less than two million people in the entire state. Idiotic business move. The SEC has shown their superiority in assessing MU for what it brings to the table than all of the other schools that have been mentioned for realignment. Six million people, two major television markets, something that has been sorely underdeveloped by the Big XII. It would be a terrible mistake for the University to even consider the B1G. They aren’t smart enough to run a conference. Their success just stems from having the vast majority of the nations population living in their geography. Second, most of you are dreaming when you say that Missouri is not a “cultural fit” with the SEC. This state is as much Southern as it is Western, Mid-Western, and Eastern. Missouri will, over time, develop even stronger athletic teams, and ties to the schools in the South.

    If they do, and it appears they will, move to the SEC. It should be for at least a hundred years. The Big XII is destined for failure, because of the problem any conference will face with Texas in the mix. You see Texas has never figured out that two teams are required to play a game..

    • zeek says:

      No one (including me) is saying that this is a mistake for Missouri.

      Missouri has to make this move because the Big 12 is not guaranteed of being around for the long-term, and this guarantees that.

      As for the Big Ten thing, the SEC is the same way. If they could have Florida State as #14, they’d take it any day of the week over any choice including Missouri, Va Tech, or WVU.

      • zeek says:

        Also, no one’s denying Missouri’s value; not even here on a Big Ten-focused blog.

        The Big Ten would have gone for a Texas A&M-Missouri combo any day of the week if that could have been worked out…

    • bullet says:

      The Missouri market has not been developed by…Missouri. Missouri should be as strong as Wisconsin-they’re similarly sized states with 1 major school, but they aren’t. Bowls don’t invite Missouri because its fans don’t come. That’s not disrespect of the Big 12-that’s Missouri doing it to themselves. At least in the Big 12, Missouri is ahead of ISU, KSU, BU and now TCU in the bowl pecking order. Maybe OSU. In the SEC, Missouri is ahead of…Vanderbilt. Missouri will almost always get the last bowl chosen in the SEC. And the existing SEC states are all southern with a strong rural influence, not a mix like Missouri. There are strong long-standing cultural, economic and athletic ties. At least with A&M, there are still some ties.

      And I’m in the minority believing its not the best move for Missouri (not a bad move, but not the best). Clearly, staying takes a risk. But Missouri has 12 years to succeed (see TCU) and then there would be no risk to them if Texas and OU left (which I don’t believe they will, but its certainly a reasonable possibility). Missouri would find a place. Missouri should be a very successful program like a Georgia or Wisconsin. And I think they have a better chance of doing that in the Big 12. But it takes some work. In 1996, Texas athletic department made $36 million. Last year it was $140 million. They had a 75,000 seat stadium that didn’t always sell out. They’ve averaged over 100,000 in attendance the last couple of years. None of that happened by chance or by luck.

      • Read The D says:


        Amen to that. So sick of all the Big 12 defectors blaming others for their problems. Missouri is the only school in Missouri. LSU is the only school in Louisiana. I didn’t see LSU trying to get in the big 12 when Florida was on their roll, then blaming the SEC for being to Florida-centric.

        The Big 12 North never held their end of the bargain. Nebraska, Kansas St. and Colorado were supposed to hold up the division at its inception but they’ve all had down periods for the last 5-10 years.

        Now the Big 12 is being blamed for being to Texas-centric. Even that doesn’t make sense because Oklahoma has won more than anyone in the conference.

        The bottom line is the fans and administrators of Colorado, Nebraska, Texas A&M and Missouri are tired of getting beat by the same two schools. The rest of this nonsense about being overlooked by bowls and the LHN and revenue sharing are all red-herrings.

        • Yahtzee says:

          “The bottom line is the fans and administrators of Colorado, Nebraska, Texas A&M and Missouri are tired of getting beat by the same two schools.”


          Try conference stability and increased revenue.

          • Read The D says:

            There was no instability until Missouri started flirting with a girl named Big 10 that didn’t want them.

            Colorado has wanted to be in the PAC forever and they are easily replaceable. I understand why Nebraska left, but blaming others for your revenue problems does not make sense, and on top of that Nebraska always voted for unequal revenue sharing, thus creating the “instability” that is really bogus. Equal winning creates stability. See B1G and SEC.

        • Brian says:

          Ha, there wasn’t instability until little ole Mizzou spoke out of turn? That is rich. I guess nobody noticed the unequal revenue sharing, UT puppet commissioner that replaced Weiberg (who left because of the impending instability), voting down of a conference network, start-up of the only individual school network (backed by conference’s Tier 1 holder no less), lack of a bowl slotting process, move of the Big 12 headquarters from KC to Dallas, etc.

          Other than that, the Big 12 was splendid.

          • bullet says:

            Texas was the one pushing a conference network. But Texas and Nebraska were the only ones interested at the time. The rest didn’t see any value.

          • bullet says:

            As for the conference headquarters, who wouldn’t prefer to be in a city that was a major hub? At the time DFW was a hub for both American and Delta as well as a Oklahoma/Texas hub for Southwest. Kansas City wasn’t even the biggest airport in Missouri.

            Bowl slotting upsets fans everywhere because they aren’t about how good the teams are. Its about how many fans the bowls think they will bring. They did implement a rule when KSU got dropped to the #4 bowl after losing to A&M in the ccg. But they could only do so much-the bowls have a lot of say in it. KSU should have realized San Antonio is a better place to visit than Dallas in December. And Missouri should have beaten OU and gotten in the BCS championship game. The Big 12 didn’t have anything to do with an 11-1 Kansas team getting the Orange over an 11-2 Missouri team. No bowl is enthused about any team that loses a ccg-bowl attendance falls off even for SEC schools.

        • bullet says:

          Its funny remembering all the Big 12 north fans complaining about carrying the Big 12 South in the early years of the conference when Texas and OU were both down. They were complaining about what a bad decision it was to add the Texas schools.

          • Brian says:

            Bullet, i’d love to see any verification you have that Texas and Nebraska were pushing a conference network. I believe it was voted down unanimously (I want to say in 2006, before BTN). We also have no idea what was involved with the vote: was ISU expected to invest the same $ amount as Texas? Was Big 12 network revenue going to be divided unequally, just like Tier 1 and 2 at the time? Too many variables to say definitively who wanted what. Clearly all school presidents like money, and for whatever reason, it was not shown definitively how all the schools would make money under a conference network.

          • Brian says:

            Also you can come up with a counter for each point I mentioned, but that main takeaway was to show that the idea the Big 12 was a perfect little marriage until Jay Nixon made one comment to a newspaper is absurdly inaccurate.

          • zeek says:

            Weiberg left in 2007 because the Big 12 was inherently dysfunctional (as it pertained to leading the new media rush). He was basically frustrated that he couldn’t get anything done on the innovative side for media. That was a harbinger of things to come…

            Quote from when he left about Big 12 Network possibility: “There are some attractive features to it, but our members at the end of the day did not feel like it was right for them,” Weiberg said. “I think the possibility of a channel down the road is something they will have to come back to.”

            Perlman said that the fundamental problem with the Big 12 Network was that there was no way to make Texas “whole” for what it brought to the table because the Big 12 wasn’t a conference with a lot of big, equal enough states. Thus, they didn’t look much further into it…

          • Brian says:


            Any chance you might adjust your name to avoid confusion between us if you’re going to continue posting here? I’ve been here quite a while as “Brian” and it gets confusing when multiple people use the same name.

          • bullet says:


            It was discussed at the time-not sure what was proposed or if anything was actually proposed or merely discussed. Noone was sure it would make money at that point. Texas and Nebraska funded a study when noone else was interested. The study basically said that individual networks were better for those schools than a Big 12 network. I’ve seen that study referenced in several interviews with Dodds (none readily came up in a quick search). One I remember was a Texas alumni magazine, Alcalde, a few months back.

    • Brian says:


      Some are stating that MU is a better fit for the Big X. That conference missed their opportunity to add Missouri last year and for some inexplicable reason chose a state school with no major television markets and less than two million people in the entire state. Idiotic business move.

      I agree the B10 had their chance at MO, but if you don’t understand why NE was an obvious choice over MO then you don’t understand conference expansion. The brand of NE is worth much more to the B10 than adding MO, especially since the B10 already gets part of St. Louis with IL.

      It would be a terrible mistake for the University to even consider the B1G. They aren’t smart enough to run a conference. Their success just stems from having the vast majority of the nations population living in their geography.

      The B10 isn’t an option for MO, but if it was MO would be stupid not to consider it. The academic value is important, as the president and curators would tell you. The rest of your statement reads like poorly informed sour grapes. The B10 has never had the “vast majority” of the US population. At best it has a small plurality.

      Second, most of you are dreaming when you say that Missouri is not a “cultural fit” with the SEC. This state is as much Southern as it is Western, Mid-Western, and Eastern. Missouri will, over time, develop even stronger athletic teams, and ties to the schools in the South.

      You’re reading way too much into things. People aren’t hoping MO is a bad fit in the SEC, but some think that they are. Clearly southern MO would fit in with AR and parts of KY and TN. But most of MO’s population is in the middle, and some people think they might struggle to fit in with the heart of the deep south (AL, MS, SC, GA). It’s a reasonable thing to wonder about.

      • vp19 says:

        Agreed, Brian. For #12, establishing a football title game, the Big Ten needed a top-tier, nationally-known football program, and Nebraska certainly fit that qualification more than Missouri did.

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      “…you must all be KU fans…lack of respect Missouri has been shown by the Big XII conference … The rivalry has served Kansas far more than Missouri …the B1G. They aren’t smart enough to run a conference…The Big XII is destined for failure…”

      OK, who turned the troll filter off?

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      Geez bitter jilted Mizzou fans are funny.

      If you’re complaining about a lack of respect now you’re going to be on suicide watch when the SEC fan bases are literally laughing at you every single week.

      • Brian says:

        I think that would be “fan”, although it is always fun to exaggerate.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          Oh he’s the only one who has showed up here…but he’s not the only one in existence. The “B1G is dumb & SEC is genius for recognizing Mizzou’s importance” meme is making it’s way through the ranks.

          If the SEC had any decent options Missouri fans would still be crying on the Island of Misfit Toys.

          • Brian says:

            It’s called having an opinion, not being bitter or jilted, which you clearly seem to have in spades.

          • Brian says:

            No, having an opinion is thinking that the B10 made a bad long term decision by not adding MO. Thinking the B10 is too dumb to run itself because it didn’t add MO is being bitter and jilted.

            Please stop sullying my name with that kind of argument. I do just fine sullying it on my own.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            That manifesto was a lot more than ‘having an opinion’. It was nothing more than angry lashing out at Kansas, the Big 12 & Big Ten.

            FYI mushroomgod is our official bitter & jilted B1G fan.

    • mushroomgod says:

      As a Smaller 10 fan….sad to say I agree with you. Letting Missouri go to the SEC is an idiotic move on the BIG’s part.

  15. Much as I love conference realignment, this is the real story in college sports this month:

    “A committee weighing a number of potential changes is expected to recommend that the value of individual scholarships be raised by as much as $2,000 in the top-tier Division I, moving them closer to covering the athletes’ full cost of attending school. Full grants currently cover only room, board, books and tuition. ”


    There’s been very little public talk of this, but everything I’m hearing is this is all but a done deal. The slippery slope of paying college athletes is most likely going to start very soon.

    • Weirdly, there’s also been talk of cutting the number of scholarships from 85 to 80. Personally I think that’s a non-starter, but maybe I’m wrong?

    • Mike R says:

      Nothing wrong with that, in my view. Athletes can’t hold jobs, like normal students. Time to pay them something.

      • Not necessarily saying it’s a bad thing, but it’s certainly a big deal. This rule will not apply solely to football; because of Title IX it will be all sports, all scholarship athletes. So even small D-1 schools will be looking at increase of $300,000; bigger schools will be approaching a million, though the big schools should at least be able to afford it.

        • Actually, the point being made is that a lot of smaller schools will elect to not give this benefit to anyone, FB or otherwise. The complaint is that this will make the playing field less level, because after all, a level playing field is FAR more important than helping out student-athletes /sarcasm

          • bullet says:

            That’s part of the reason its a big story.

          • I’m certainly not one of these old-fashioned people that thinks it’s sacrilege to pay college athletes, but it’s a little disingenuous to act like these kids don’t get a pretty good deal. They get full tuition and books, full room and meal plan; they get per diem on road trips that usually well exceeds what a normal college kid eats on; for going to a bowl game or conference tournament they get gifts that can range in value from a hundred bucks or so (for smaller conferences) to literally thousands of dollars in pre-paid debit cards. And these kids are still eligible for Pell Grants and other forms of government assisatance. AND they are allowed to work during the off-season, usually with help finding jobs from the athletic department.

            The idea that these kids are some sort of indentured servant held in poverty while the schools make millions is waaaaaay over-exagerrated.

    • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

      This is a great thing for the product of college football (and college basketball and on down through the other sports). By “product” I mean that your typical sports fan can only wrap his/her head around so many schools. By thinning out the playing field (a bit at first, much more over time), you’ll be giving college sports more “elite programs” and letting the smaller ones fall by the wayside. If you are a fan of a mega-school, this is a good thing. If you’re a fan of a mid-major or a non-football school, you might be upset.

      If college football can narrow to fewer schools (those outside of the NCAA clique might be able to latch on to it more. This is a big deal in the northeast, where the pro teams rule.

      • PSUGuy says:

        It may be great for a sport, but it’ll be horrible for colleges/universities.

        All those “fall by the wayside” shools are actually kids who won’t get scholarships while at the same time more and more money will be funneled into fewer and fewer hands. Even in the Big Ten, you see its more likely to pay a coach millions or expand a “sport specific” building than it is to expand sports offerings and thus the number of kids that actually get to go to school.

        I can’t wait to see all those schools fund football, bball (men’s and women’s to offset each other) and exactly the number of women’s sports to achieve the 80 scholarship number football goes to. Hell, they’ll actually probably just have women’s track, cross-country, and then triple book those athletes for scholarship counting purposes (they are already do it).

    • mushroomgod says:

      My son has “full ride” academic schloarships. These pay about $3700/year over and above tuition, housing, fees et al for transportation, misc expenses etc…..we’re not talking here of “paying” students….we’re talking about covering the full cost of their time at college, which makes a lot of sense because their “job” pf playing full-time D1 sports means they can’t have outside emploument or work study.

      That said, I think the BIG and SEC are interested in competitive advantage as much or more than “fairness” to the athletes……they know they can afford to do this and conferences like the Big East, Mac, Wac can’t….

  16. Josh says:

    The Big East voted to increase its football membership to 12 and to increase their exit fee to $10 million. They said they could play as a 14 team conference for two seasons as they wait for Syracuse and Pitt to leave. Marinatto would not identify any of the teams that the Big East would invite but then said that they would be “open” about the process. They also said they would have no problem expanding beyond the Eastern and Central Time Zones (read: Boise State) and that teams in other time zones would present no problems. Marinatto said that the Big East is not assured of a AQ BCS bid past 2013, but that was true for all conferences. (Of course, that’s not really true.) Also, the conference championship game would be held in New York. (I don’t know whether he meant NJ or whether they’d hold in in Yankee Stadium.)

    All of this was from the conference call this afternoon.

    • zeek says:

      Interesting stuff. The CCG in NYC makes some sense in terms of trying to get the “biggest” stage, although I’d really advise them to look at the Pac-12 approach of using the better ranked team’s stadium. The Pac-12 made the stadium choice based on markets considerations (not wanting to give USC/UCLA an advantage) as well as the problem of the lack of a natural geographic center outside of LA. Plus, you want to guarantee sellouts; home field advantage for the higher ranked team = highest guarantee of a sellout. Finally, the Big East is fighting for relevance and giving the higher ranked team a home field would be nice in terms of getting teams as high as they can go in the BCS standings.

      I understand the allure of NYC, but outside of Rutgers or UConn how’s that going to work for getting fans into seats? Boise State versus UCF or USF sounds interesting on paper, but is that going to get NYC excited enough to buy up tickets? And what happens further in the future when you’re looking at SMU or Houston versus Temple?

      • Other than to do some high-end Christmas shopping or catch the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, there’s no reason to go to NYC in early December. A Big East CCG at Yankee Stadium would be a huge mistake. See the ACC CCG for exibit A of how not to hold a CCG. Zeek is correct that the Big East should follow the PAC 12 (and CUSA) approach and hold their CCG at the higher ranked team’s home stadium. Only conferences with CFB Kings such as the SEC and the B1G should schedule their CCGs at neutral sites.

        • EZCUSE says:

          The 6 ACC conference championships have only twice fielded a team that was in the top 5. And both times, the teams were #5. (5 v 22, 16 v 22, 5 v 12, 20 v unranked, 25 v 10, 20 v 11). The 20 v unranked game was, not surprisingly, the game with the most abysmal turnstyle attendance. And it was a rematch of the prior year’s game in the same stadium. And it involved two teams from farthest away… BC v Va Tech in Tampa. That is quite a perfect storm of attendance issues.

          In contrast, the numerous SEC conference championships have, with only one exception (2000, featuring a #7 team) always featured at least one team in the top 5… and often the second team was no worse than top 12. The game has always been played at a location within the footprint. And the SEC footprint is, itself, a pretty tight geography.

          I think the ACC did the right thing moving the game to Charlotte. Good place for it. Now they just need better teams playing in it.

          For the Big East, New York is probably a mistake. They should choose a location that is equidistant for all the teams and/or a decent destination for the northern teams. Maybe New Orleans or Miami for a destination location? Maybe Memphis or Nashville for an equidistant location?

          • EZCUSE says:

            Although with Navy and Temple added, perhaps D.C. is a good place too.

          • zeek says:

            The ACC CCG was a mistake of chasing matchups instead of choosing the geographic center as you point out…

            Over time, leaving it in Charlotte where it’s within range of most of the schools will prove a good idea. Most of the unallocated tickets should be gone before knowing the occupants (i.e. like SEC or Big Ten), you can only pull that off in the Mid-Atlantic region of the ACC. Trying to chase a Florida State-Miami matchup would only work if one or both of those teams actually appeared in it. But they’ve fixed this problem.

            As it pertains to the Big East though, they don’t have this choice. They really should make it home stadium of the higher ranked team. Maybe if it’s Rutgers or UConn it could be moved to NYC at the last minute, but that’s really not something that should be done unless you know that one of those two is in the game.

            An equidistant location would probably not work (anyone really in a rush to go to flyover country?), and Miami would only work if USF or UCF was in it. If you’re going to chase matchups, you might as well go with NYC, but it’d be the same mistake the ACC made originally.

            But unlike the ACC which had the Mid-Atlantic region, the Big East is more like the Pac-12 in not having a good place to put it; they really should default to the home stadium.

          • bullet says:

            I think NY is a reasonable experiment for them in order to see if they can get press coverage. Just don’t sign a deal for longer than two years.

      • Josh says:

        I don’t think Boise State would have a problem drawing fans in NYC–they’ve become a national team over the past few years. Most of those fans in blue at the Georgia Dome opening weekend were not from Idaho. But yeah, it could be a real problem if the western team was SMU and the eastern team was UCF. That could be a disaster in NYC.

        I don’t think the NY CCG is set in stone yet. I think that’s just the plan as of now.

        • Josh says:

          Apparently it’s Yankee Stadium they want to play the CCG in. Nothing is finalized, but apparently they’ve contacted the Yankees and the Yankees said they’d love to have them.

  17. duffman says:

    @ Frank

    Why so quiet on Missouri? Considering Illinois and Missouri play more than anyone else, and way more than Missouri currently plays SEC teams, I really would like to know how you feel? Are you happy because they will not raid Illinois for recruits, or are you sad because they fit the B1G mold better than most schools out there now and would easily assimilate to the BTN? I know I have been on the Missouri bus since the early days, but now the reality of them pulling out is real, and I can not help but think this is a loss for the B1G. Columbia is less than 400 miles to Chicago in the west and about the same from Lexington in the east. Why do I bring this up?

    Between Chicago and Lexington you have IU in basketball and OSU in football so there was plenty of protection on that flank. From the west tho, there is less of a wall of resistance and the SEC has been shown to turn lemons into lemonade before. Right now Chicago is the battleground for the B1G and B12, but does anybody really want it to turn into one between the B1G and SEC? I know many feel like Missouri will always be there if the B1G knocks on the door, but the B12 thought the same thing about Arkansas. I still think the B1G should add Missouri and Maryland to get the single state AAU schools on both flanks and wait out Notre Dame & Texas as a best hope. Rutgers / Virginia / Kansas / North Carolina / Duke / Georgia Tech / Pitt (pick 2) could be added if it did not work, but at least Missouri would not be in the hands of the enemy.

    • mike in st louis says:

      @Duffman – Of the current Big Ten cities, only State College and Lincoln are significantly further from Chicago than Columbia. Minneapolis is about the same. The other 9 Big Ten schools are all significantly closer to Chicago than Columbia is. Mizzou is not and never has been a factor in Chicago recruiting, and probably never will be.

      And the idea that Chicago is a Big 12/Big Ten battleground is laughable.

      As an Illinois fan, I see pluses and minus to Mizzou to the Big Ten. Mizzou advocates are fond of pointing to the “two top 30 media markets”, but they are both border markets, in each case with only about 2/3 of the population actually in Missouri. Just this past weekend, the St. Louis ABC affiliate carried Illinois/Ohio St. instead of Texas/Oklahoma St. The Big Ten already has a solid foothold in the St. Louis metro area, and Nebraska helps in KC.

      I think ultimately, as others have said, Mizzou would have made a decent “complimentary” addition (as they are to the SEC with Texas A&M). But as a stand alone, I think Mizzou just falls a bit short.

      • vp19 says:

        And the idea that Chicago is a Big 12/Big Ten battleground is laughable.

        If it were, Iowa State — the Big 12 member closest to Chicago — would have much more of a presence in Chi-town than it does now. Some ISU coaches do recruit that area, but it generally isn’t going to beat out Big Ten members for recruits unless he or she falls in love with Ames or Iowa State has an academic program they are especially interested in.

        • duffman says:

          Mike and Vincent,

          About 10 of the Missouri players are from Illinois, not a huge number, but #3 behind MO & TX. If the SEC is adding TAMU they want TX recruits, they are adding MU to get a foothold in the upper midwest then it will stand to reason that kids may want to play for an SEC school in the area. Iowa State has run second fiddle to Iowa in a low population state and 3 Million IA < 6 Million MO.


          You bring up the other point about Illinois / Ohio State vs Texas / Oklahoma but suppose it was Illinois / Ohio State vs Missouri / Kentucky or Missouri / Arkansas? If it is a top tier SEC football school I am not so sure the B1G would get favored treatment, especially over time. The B1G accepts MO as B1G territory, but with an SEC flag planted there, kids will grow up watching SEC sports, and over time the BTN will lose carriage values. Over time the SEC has made Arkansas and South Carolina football a demand product, and Arkansas has an NCAA banner with the SEC, while South Carolina now has 2 CWS flags as an SEC member. I agree with KC going for UNL, and STL running pro B1G, but will it still be that way in a decade or two?

          Remember the SEC allows tier 3 revenue to accrue to each school. Going forward Missouri will have equal revenue in a top league. What will happen if MU has another 10 million a year to add to their sports budget? If the SEC "grows" Missouri – which appears to be the strategy here – then long term MU will not be where it is right now. This is what concerns me.

          • zeek says:

            STL is split between Illinois and Missouri.

            That would be true regardless of which conference Missouri is in…; it’s been split Big Ten-Big 8, then Big Ten-Big 12, and now Big Ten-SEC.

            What exactly are you worried about? That Missouri will become the next Nebraska in the SEC?

            Most likely they become another Arkansas. A couple of strong years along with decent records. Maybe they try to make a run for Atlanta every decade, but it’s not like Missouri going to the SEC really changes anything for the Big Ten.

          • Gopher86 says:

            As a Chicago metro native, I can attest that Iowa State has more of a following in the area than Missouri. Many kids from the metro go to Iowa or Iowa State as a back up to Illinois, Purdue or Wisconsin, or to simply get out of mom and dad’s sweep radius.

            Mizzou is probably in 12th-25th place for alumni in the area. According to their alumni chapters, Mizzou has just under 5,000 members in Chicago, vs. 8,000 for Kansas.

          • mike in st. louis says:

            Duffman – This is just silly. Mizzou has 8 out of 115 players on their roster from Illinois. Exactly one of them is on their two deep, and he is from the St. Louis metro area (Troy, IL). Four of the players are from the Chicago metro area. Mizzou just isn’t a player in Chicago, and being in the SEC isn’t going to change that.

            And BTW, any SEC coach that wastes much time recruiting Illinois ought to have his head examined. There’s lots more talent down south.

          • mushroomgod says:

            I think Missouri will do better in recruiting Iliinois, if they choose to go that route.

            Conferences matter only to 15-20% of the kids, but they tend to matter most to the higher profile recruits. Right now, no ILL recruit would choose to go to MO so that they can compete in the Big 12…..It’s a good league, but it has image issues. On the other hand, an Illinois kid can go to MO, stay relatively “local” and compete in the best football conference. The SEC offers a kid choosing between MO and ILL a choice. If MO had gone to the BIG, it would be “just” another BIG school, like Illinois.

            This has to be a little bit of a hit to Illinois recruiting, esp. in mid to southern Illinois.

          • mike in st louis says:

            @ mushroomgod -

            It’s not a hit to Illinois at all. BTW, how many prospects do you think Southern Illinois turns out anyway? Mizzou is a non-factor in Illinois recruiting and will continue to be. Better question is whether or not the move will impact Mizzou’s ability to recruit as effectively as they have in Texas.

          • Brian says:


            I would guess it will have some impact in the St.Louis/East St. Louis area. That’s what most people consider southern IL.

            It won’t be major, but it might sway a handful of kids (1 or 2 a year, maybe).

    • Purduemoe says:

      How is Chicago a battleground between the B1G and B12? How does Missouri going their change anything? The biggest college team in Chicago is ND, probably by a large amount, then you have a bunch of the B1G teams. Chicago’s a big enough city that you will find fans of every school there, but to claim it could be a battleground with the SEC is ridiculous.

    • Tom says:

      @ duffman

      I also think that the B1G is making a mistake by not inviting Missouri and then adding one of Rutgers / Maryland, or even just sitting at 13 teams. Everyone keeps mentioning that the last two additions to the conference have been home runs and that any further additions should be home runs. In theory, I agree with that sentiment however in reality there are no home runs left. Texas has no interest in the B1G. Oklahoma may have interest but wouldn’t get invited because it’s tethered to Oklahoma State, which has no shot at getting an invite. (The Sooners may not have gotten in alone either.) That leaves Notre Dame, which may be interested but has no desire to give up football independence as long as it has access to the national championship game. As long as there aren’t four super conferences whose champions face off in a four team playoff, I don’t see that changing.

      Missouri is not a home run, however it is certainly a double and possibly a triple. In the past several years, Gary Pinkel has built what I consider a fringe top 20 program. You put them into the B1G, and I think you have a Wisconsin / Iowa type program. Maybe not a king, put definitely just a notch below. In terms of “fit,” I’m not sure if there is a non B1G school that could fit better in the B1G than Missouri. Historic rivalries with Illinois, Iowa, and of course Nebraska. In terms of demographics, the state of Missouri boasts a population of almost 6,000,000. This would put Missouri 5th in terms of population among B1G states, just behind Indiana and ahead of Wisconsin. In the past decade, its population grew by about 7%. It boasts two sold TV markets in St. Louis and Kansas City. St. Louis grew by about 4% and KC grew by about 10%. This is not explosive growth like you will find in Texas, Georgia or North Carolina, but it is pretty healthy growth. I refuse to believe that the B1G would not benefit from adding Missouri.

      • John says:

        B1G continues to lose ground to the SEC across the board. A&M trumps the addition of the Huskers and now SEC goes on offensive w/ Mizzou. With the ACC now looking stable the Big Ten will be effectively boxed in.

        • wmtiger says:

          The B10 only wants Texas or ND so they’ve played the expansion game pretty well… Missouri is of no interest to the B10 and neither is Rutgers; both are only ‘complimentary’ additions along with Texas or ND…

          I really like the addition of A&M to the SEC, they have a lot to offer, only recent success is separating them from being considered one of the top 15 programs in the nation. A&M has a ton of fans in Texas that’ll come back if they start winning again.

      • EZCUSE says:

        Not a B1G fan, but the conference has played this perfectly. Why expand for the sake of expansion? When does that EVER work?

        In what planet is Texas A&M better than Nebraska? Nebraska is a far more midwest state than Texas.

        Missouri wouldn’t cause the B1G to implode, but it really is not worth diluting the other games. Sure, it works for Illinois and Iowa to play them. Nebraska. But they still have 5 other conference games to play. And those 5 games take teams away from their current foes, without adding a draw.

        I don’t think there are any great fits left for the B1G. But that’s because it is sitting so pretty. Not because it is has been fiddling while its footprint has been burning.

        • zeek says:

          It never works to expand for the sake of expansion. It’s like conferences that are just TV contracts (Big 12 and Big East). They never hold together over time.

          The ACC expanded to connect BC to Maryland and to capture the football/basketball relevant parts of the Northeast.

          The Big Ten expanded for another national brand.

          The SEC wants markets along with mid/upper tier brands.

          The Pac-12 wanted markets that would move it east and give it relative dominance of the mountain time zone.

          But now, what’s the point of expansion?
          I agree with you that there’s no Big Ten play here. Just like there’s no Pac-12 play here. Just like there’s no ACC play here.

          Unless Notre Dame or Texas come calling, those conferences are going to stand pat and survey the horizon.

          UConn is nice, but should the ACC go to 16 for UConn and Rutgers? No. Same logic applies to the Big Ten going to 14. The Big Ten doesn’t need a market play right now, so it should just sit.

        • John says:

          My point was that A&M to SEC is a better get than Nebraska to Big Ten. The Nubs brought solely brand value. A&M does more for SEC via TV eyes, recruiting grounds, and academics than what Big Ten is getting from Nebraska. Now if Mizzou goes SEC too you can add to that a SEC advancement into an area that the Big Ten believes it at least partially has. I think most outside Big Ten country would agree that entering expansion the Big Ten was playing catchup to the SEC. If this plays out the SEC will have increased their advantage, imo.

          • Mack says:

            Yes, A&M is a much better addition than Nebraska, but if the SEC follows that up with Missouri they are aknowledging the SEC is second fiddle to the B1G. None of the current SEC members has any interest in the B1G (including A&M). That will change if the SEC admits Missouri. The B1G will be able to pick Missouri off at will.

        • swesleyh says:

          Especially on Earth, A&M is better than Nebraska. AAU? A&M yes Nebraska no. Alumni and future fans A&M 500,000, 50,000 students Nebraska less than 250,000, students less than 25,000. Research dollars A&M is number two and is on the verge of a billion dollar grant to grow antibiotics Nebraska lost their AAU becuase of declining research dollars. TV A&M has ten times as many eyeballs in Texas opposed to the eyeballs in Nebraska. USNEWS educational ranking, A&M wins. I could go on but I cannot think of a single area A&M is not a better home run for the SEC than is Nebraska for the B1G.

          • EZCUSE says:

            I dunno… how about football? The whole reason were are entertaining all of this discussion.
            Football. We are talking sports conferences here. The most important sport is football. And, at football, Nebraska is a King. A&M isn’t. And that is game, set, match.

            Student population? Research dollars? TV markets? AAU status? Subjective academic rankings? What does that matter for football? We spent 18 months digesting all the reasons why all of these things would be more important to the B1G than football. At the end of the day… the athletic conference named the Big Ten took a university that specializes in football. As it should be.

            You want market? Try the whole damn USA. Because Nebraska v. Ohio State is a game worth watching. Nobody is turning in to watch A&M roll over for the SEC schools. A&M needed to master the Big XII before worrying about moving up a level.

            What is A&M’s research going to do for Mississippi St. and South Carolina? Nada. How is that AAU status going to help Arkansas and Florida? How is that academic ranking going to help Ole Miss… is someone going to choose them over Duke because A&M is part of the conference? Please.

            All of this talk of research dollars is stupid. Who cares? What has research accomplished lately? Is cancer cured? Why is there no way to convert the sun’s energy into useful energy to power our Interwebs and iPods? I’d settle for someone being able to tell me whether to eat an egg. Research.

            Again, I am not a Big Ten fan. But that is the conference that got the home run.

            If the SEC wanted a home run–and didn’t care about football–it should have gone after Kansas. Give the world a reason to care about the SEC once football season ends. Kentucky and Florida and 10 turds. Well, now 11.

        • mushroomgod says:

          Nebraska is better for the BIG 10, but A@M is far and away the bigger fish. A&M is a huge research school in a huge and growing state. Nebraska is a school of 24000 enrollment with questionable academics in a state of 2 million. I think there is a very good argument that MO would have been the better choice as #12, although I “get” NEB as a “king” football brand….

          This expansion is a HUGE loss for the Diminished 10……..the league is already perceived by most of the country as part of the decaying “rust belt”. Delaney accurately analyzed the condition….and has done absolutely nothing to fashion a remedy….other than pining for TXX and ND and sticking his head in the sand.

          • @mushroomgod – Sorry, I don’t buy this at all. Expanding for the sake of expanding is the worst thing that the Big Ten could do. It’s about quality, NOT quantity. I don’t quite understand how getting one of the top 5 programs in college football history last year means the Big Ten has been sticking its head in the sand. The TV and media people obviously also don’t buy your statement about the perception that the Big Ten footprint is decaying, either, or else they wouldn’t have made the Big Ten the most powerful and wealthiest league of them all. Do you honestly think that Rutgers vs. Wisconsin would’ve garnered an ABC prime time slot? Missouri vs. Wisconsin? Maybe A&M vs. Wisconsin would’ve made it to that status this particular season, but in any normal A&M season? Are schools going to give up playing Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and/or Nebraska regularly in order to slot in schools like Missouri or Rutgers? Missouri and Rutgers are decent “depth” schools for a conference, but the Big Ten doesn’t need that.

          • mushroomgod says:

            The BIG will stay at 12 and will sustain relative decline v. ACC and the SEC in terms of relevancy and exposure.

            The addition of Nebraska did NOTHING to address the demographic problems facing the BIG as outlined by JD himself before the expansion.

            The BIG is the Smaller 10 after this expansion round, which was a disaster for it’s long-term future.

          • mushroomgod says:

            To follow up, opponets of expansion always use the “expansion for expansion’s sake mantra”…

            That was true when the SEC, ACC, and BIG were all at 12…..there was no particular reason, short-term, to expand at that point.

            That has changed with the ACC and SEC going to, at least, 14

            Now, the demographic rationale that JD outlined for expansion in the first place is more acute…..and the BIG has just given away it’s most logical expansion target in the West. A poor, poor long-term decision.

      • metatron5369 says:

        You’re assuming they’re going to add Rutgers or Maryland at all. If Notre Dame wanted in, the short list would go 1.) Texas and 2.) Missouri.

        If Missouri somehow got it in their head to rebuff us when we come calling, then that’s their folly.

        • SideshowBob says:

          If Notre Dame wanted in to the Big Ten, I don’t see why Mizzou would be considered at all. Surely, the Big Ten would talk to/be interested in Texas (regardless of ND), but if you bring in the Irish, you bring in an eastern team to come along with them. It makes far more sense to maximize the Irish brand and really dominate the northeast. ND + Rutgers/Maryland.

          It would be hilarious, actually, to see the Big Ten add ND/Rutgers and then see the ACC fans complain about how the Big Ten gets far more media coverage in NYC and the populous northeast despite so many ACC schools (BC/Pitt/Syracuse/Maryland) in the region.

          • Brian says:

            Exactly. In fact, I think metatron got his teams reversed. If UT wanted to join, the short list would be 1) ND and 2) MO. If ND want to join, it has to be 1) UT and 2) RU/MD.

          • mushroomgod says:

            newsflash……..ND isn’t coming…….so basing what YOU want to do on what ND wants to do doesn’t make much sense….

      • mushroomgod says:

        You get it Tom…it’s a no brainer…

      • Brian says:


        I also think that the B1G is making a mistake by not inviting Missouri and then adding one of Rutgers / Maryland, or even just sitting at 13 teams.

        That’s a reasonable position. On what basis do you make that judgement for both cases (MO alone and MO+RU/MD)? Money, prestige, academics, athletics, demographics, blocking the SEC, etc?

        Case 1 – Adding MO and staying at 13

        MO adds some population and moves the B10 to the SW. It would limit the SEC’s choices to BE and ACC teams for all practical purposes. MO is a natural rival for NE, IA and IL. MO might provide a tenuous bridge to TX.

        MO is a net negative in money and average academics. The B10 would have to deal with the difficulties of scheduling with 13 teams in football. All the B10 teams would play each other less often, and maybe 1 or 2 more rivalries lose their annual status.

        MO may be around average for prestige and athletics.

        Case 2 – Adding MO and RU/MD

        What changes from Case 1?

        No more 13 teams hassles. East coast access and a partner for PSU is valuable. Academic/research boost is welcome, making it about neutral when paired with MO..

        Playing each other even less often is a minus. Lower athletic prestige, especially in FB (RU is more of a drag than MD).

        A net money loss for everyone. No net gain in prestige.


        While you can make the case for MO, it isn’t an a slam dunk. How are you weighting the various factors to make it such an obvious decision?


        Everyone keeps mentioning that the last two additions to the conference have been home runs and that any further additions should be home runs.

        We say that because Delany said that. We assume he knows what he and the COP/C are looking for in a candidate.

        In theory, I agree with that sentiment however in reality there are no home runs left.

        Basically, yes. That’s why so many of us advocate not expanding right now.

        Missouri is not a home run, however it is certainly a double and possibly a triple. In the past several years, Gary Pinkel has built what I consider a fringe top 20 program. You put them into the B1G, and I think you have a Wisconsin / Iowa type program. Maybe not a king, put definitely just a notch below. In terms of “fit,” I’m not sure if there is a non B1G school that could fit better in the B1G than Missouri. Historic rivalries with Illinois, Iowa, and of course Nebraska. In terms of demographics, the state of Missouri boasts a population of almost 6,000,000. This would put Missouri 5th in terms of population among B1G states, just behind Indiana and ahead of Wisconsin. In the past decade, its population grew by about 7%. It boasts two sold TV markets in St. Louis and Kansas City. St. Louis grew by about 4% and KC grew by about 10%. This is not explosive growth like you will find in Texas, Georgia or North Carolina, but it is pretty healthy growth. I refuse to believe that the B1G would not benefit from adding Missouri..

        I’ll comment on your points in order:
        1. Based on winning, MO is a top 30 program over the past decade, which would put them a notch below WI and IA, but above MSU. Not elite, but not bad.

        2. I think everyone agrees MO would be a great fit culturally.

        3. The population is nice, but the demographics are like most of the midwest.

        4. The B10 already gets a chunk of St, Louis, but adding the rest plus KC would be nice.

        5. I’d just like to see you fairly evaluate what MO adds. You mention lots of pros to adding MO, but skipped over the downsides. You have to look at both sides.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Duff, as fellow IU fans I think you and I think alike.

      Geographically, MO is a nice addition from an IU viewpoint. You can get there easily, whether you need to do it for academic or athletic reasons.

      Culturally, MO is far and away the best available fit. While I agree that Maryland is the better overall option looking at things in a vacuum, I feel many on this board grossly underestimate tradition, culture, rivalries, and geography. ST Louis is, afterall, the historic “gateway to the west”. The historic and cultural connections are many—look at baseball with the Cubs, Reds, Cardinals as an example. Instant rivalries with ILL, Iowa, and NEB. When you look at the overall picture Missouri is the obvious choice, along with either Rutgers or MD in the East. This is going to be a big loss for the smug and arrogant Smaller 10.

  18. Oldtimer1950 says:

    Sorry but you are operating under a lack of knowledge. Wisconsin has only been a really good team for the past five years. Between 1990 and 2005, Barry Alvarez (sp) compiled a 65-60 record, and before him they were terrible, since the early 1950s. Missouri has a very similar record and over the past 11 years under Pinkel, they have been one of the higher echelon athletic departments in the country. Not just football. Missouri is second only to Ohio State, in top twenty five finishes in both football and basketball over the past few years. The Athletic program overall is strong.

    And the failure to develop Missouri is not about fan base, of which there is more than adequate numbers who routinely wear the Black and Gold. Last week it was brought out in the press that Missouri had turned down the television coverage of their game with Iowa State. Why was the game not automatically scheduled by the conference. Missouri has the second largest population in the Big XII states, yet we are always put in the position as the weak little sister of Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, and it used to be Nebraska. Missouri is second only to Texas in economic production for the conference, yet we have never shared equitably in the payout. You want to develop Missouri, give MU fans all their games, not matter what. Don’t make Missouri pick which games they are able to have on TV. In the SEC, I would be willing to bet, every game is televised

    • greg says:

      Fun with selective end points!!!

      Between 1992 and 2005, Wisky went 63-46-3 in the Big Ten (112-57-4 overall) while winning 3 Rose Bowls and going 8-3 overall in bowls.

      Wisky was terrible for a long time until Alvarez, but you are selling him short.

      • bullet says:

        Alvarez has developed Wisconsin. I could have pointed out how Hayden Fry developed Iowa (using lots of Texas talent from his connections there at SMU and elsewhere), but Iowa has a 2nd school and much less population than Wisconsin or Missouri. MIssouri under Pinkel appears to be on the way. They’ve been in the 60s in attendance the last 4 years (but below capacity) after being low 50s. Missouri needs more than 4 years and some conference titles. MIssouri is dead last in the Big 12 overall with 10 titles in conference history and that includes 3 division fb titles (CU has 31, KU has 25, ISU has 12, Tech 11 and KSU 11 for the rest of the bottom half).

      • Oldtimer1950 says:

        Not at all. Alvarez was great for Wisconsin, but BB is the one who has really turned up the program and that is just since 06. My point was that Missouri is in the unenviable position, within the Big XII, of being considered a bad athletic program, because if the Big XII recognized that, they might have to start paying more.

        • zeek says:

          Um no.

          Yes this is a Big Ten-centric blog, but you can’t equate Wisconsin and Missouri over the past 20 years.

          Wisconsin has been to 4 Rose Bowls and won 3 of them as well as had a Heisman winner. They’ve been to several other bigger bowls including Capital One Bowls. Those 4 Rose Bowls were years they were the Big Ten’s champions.

          Missouri has been to 1 Cotton Bowl and the Big 12 CCG twice.

          You can’t even compare that level of performance over the past 20 years.

          • Oldtimer1950 says:

            Um, that is just the point I am making. Currently, MIssouri is just like Wisconsin was under Alvarez (similar records, improvement in football condition). The Big Ten did not hinder Wisconsin from getting the benefits of an improved program during the Alvarez era. They were given equal treatment with the Ohio States and Michigans even though they had a history of poor football teams back to the fifties. Missouri didn’t get that same consideration from the Big XII. As an example, Missouri beats an undefeated Kansas team, finishes ahead of them in the conference standings and the conference does not insist on Missouri going to the Orange Bowl that year. How would Wisconsin have felt if one or two of those Rose Bowl appearances had been given to someone else because the Big Ten wouldn’t insist on the best team from their conference going?

          • Read The D says:


            Bowls choose the teams which will make them the most money. The Big XII has no tie to the Orange Bowl anymore. Why would the Orange Bowl take Kansas over Missouri other than they thought KU would bring in more revenue? Why would anybody else in the conference give a crap whether Missouri or Kansas went to the Orange Bowl?

          • greg says:

            Missouri doesn’t get invited to bowls because they don’t have fans, not due to some B12 conspiracy.

          • Peter says:

            Oldtimer, it doesn’t work that way. The only bowl a B1G team is guaranteed to go to is the champion going to the Rose Bowl (baring that champion playing for a MNC). There are no politics involved. Win the league, you go.

            B1G teams are assigned to their other bowls in order of bowl choice just like everyone else. Choice has only a loose relationship with conference standing. Wisconsin generally gets good bowls for their record because their fans are known to travel in legions. Bowls exist to make money.

            This is also why if a second B1G team is eligible, they will always be grabbed by the BCS. B1G teams bring fans, period.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            “Currently, MIssouri is just like Wisconsin was under Alvarez.”

            -Except for the “regularly winning conference championships & bowl games” part.

          • John says:

            What do you mean “Choice has only a loose relationship w/ conf standing?” I thought the Big Ten had restrictions that prevent the bowls from selecting a team w/ a poorer recorder. Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t there only some wiggle room w/ respect to teams w/ identical records & perhaps 1 game difference in standing?
            In the Big XII bowls can take whomever they want and when the majority of your games are located in Texas/Arz so the North division schools are at a disadvantage b/c of travel. Example, Baylor will get a Texas bowl invite this year over a North school and its not b/c Baylor has better fans than K-State or Mizzou.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            @John – Unless things have changed…

            After the BCS bowls make their selections The Capitol One Bowl must pick either the team with the best remaining record or a team with a record within one win of the aforementioned (ie 9-3 over 10-2).

            The rest of the bowls just get to pick whoever they wish in order. The Outback Bowl gets the #3 pick (#4 if two B1G teams are in BCS bowls) and can pick anyone who is left and so on down the line.

          • Peter says:

            @ John -

            The B1G bowl selection rules & order are such that there would be multiple teams that could be reached by any given bowl under the “no more than one game worse record” rule. The B1G tends to have a whole lot of 8-10 win teams AND tends to get two BCS games. A 10-2 B1G team has a good chance of going to a BCS game if it is at all eligible in the rankings/two team rule.

            Last year was unusual in having three 11-1 teams, which gave the Capitol One a team they couldn’t really pass over (Michigan State) after Wisconsin & Ohio State got BCS bids. But below that, everyone who was bowl eligible could have gone to any bowl the B1G had a tie-in with if that bowl was hypothetically extending an invite before the others.

            Wisconsin actually got the arguable short-end of this a couple years ago when they were 9-3 and got passed over by the Outback because they had been there the previous year and the concern was Wisconsin fans were not interested in another trip to Tampa. Wisconsin wound up playing Miami in the Champs Sports Bowl – good game, lousy bowl, and oddly beneficial to Wisconsin’s run the last two years.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          Bielema ‘really turned up the program’?! To where exactly?

          Alvarez went 9-3 in bowls including three Rose Bowl victories. He also regularly faced BCS level teams in the non-conf schedule.

          Bielema is 1-3 in bowls including an embarrassing loss to TCU and has fed on a slate of IAA & bottom of the barrel FBS patsies.

          Alvarez also didn’t have the luxury of TSUN deciding to stop fielding a FB team for a few years off during his tenure.

      • bullet says:

        For those of you who thought Texas would become independent, you were partly right.

        In refreshing my memory on conference championships, I discovered that with the loss of Missouri and A&M, Texas, with 10 national titles, is now the last men’s swimming program in the Big 12.

        I imagine what sports are offered is an underrated factor in conference realignment, especially when “kings” aren’t involved. For current and former Big 12 members, UNL led with 21 sports. OU has 19, Texas, Texas A&M, Missouri and TCU have 18. Tech, Baylor, KU, ISU, OSU have 16. KSU and CU have 14. Without A&M & Missouri (and not counting TCU), men’s tennis is down to 4 schools, wrestling, women’s swimming and diving and equestrian are down to 3 and gymnastics to 2. All schools participate in 12 sports and all but one in 4 others (source is wikipedia-and this isn’t all consistent since it adds up to 20 sports for Texas & Texas A&M, but it gives a rough idea-maybe m&w indoor track is counted inconsistently)

        • Mike says:

          I don’t believe the Big 12 sponsors gymnastics. IIRC Big 12 schools compete in Mountain Pacific Sports Confederation.

        • Brian says:

          Ah, so now the nefarious plan is laid bare. We’ve been misdirected to look at football while the real key was gaining that precious men’s swimming independence UT has long coveted. That was the real point of the LHN, too, I bet. Any word about when the TX state swimming championships start airing on LHN?

  19. Michael in Raleigh says:

    We’ve had a lot of discussion about how many teams the Big East would have to lose in order to kiss its AQ status goodbye. Some say that as long as Boise and the service academies are added, then the league has nothing to worry about. Maybe. Louisville and West Virginia both leaving for the Big 12 would be devastating, but then again, the idea of an AQ league comprised of all the schools who have any threat on becoming BCS-busters could be appealing to the five more powerful leagues.

    But I have another question: What will it take to keep Notre Dame? Or, rephrased, what would hurt the Big East so badly that the Irish would be compelled to leave?

    One school of thought is that the Irish won’t leave the Big East’s ties to the east coast and long list of Catholic peers unless there’s an armageddon-like realignment of four 16-team superconferences, and that that situation could never be forced on Notre Dame because there would never be a threat that Notre Dame (or Texas, for that matter) would be left out of one of those four. Those leagues would never just leave the Irish on the table. In other words, Notre Dame won’t ever leave.

    Then again, doesn’t Notre Dame want to be in a major conference for its non-football sports, rather than a league that is “major” only in basketball? At what point does Notre Dame decide the Big East is just a mid-major? Miami, Boston College, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, TCU, possibly WVU and possibly Louisville are all gone or will be soon. Great basketball by the other Catholic schools will remain, but those schools help only for basketball competition, not for everything else. They don’t offer a major level of competition for Olympic sports the way the five high-major conferences do. UConn and Rutgers would be the only non-Catholic (i.e., non-small school) members in the Northeast and still would not offer Notre Dame the level of competition it could get from neighboring leagues. In other words, this is not the same Big East Notre Dame joined in the mid-90′s.

    Let’s forget for a moment about the BE’s prospective football-only additions (Boise, Air Force, and Navy) because ND is an everything-but-football member. Their presence can’t help improve the non-football sports, which is what concerns Notre Dame. Let’s consider instead the prospective new full-members: Houston, SMU, UCF, and possibly Temple. Are those satisfactory enough athletic programs to keep Notre Dame around? Would departures by WVU and Louisville be the final straw for Notre Dame to leave for an all-sports conference?

    And if Notre Dame did leave, would it feel the Big 12, which has offered ND a home for non-football sports, is worth joining? ND would be trading membership in a weakened but still strong largely Catholic, east coast basketball league that is otherwise weak in Olympic sports for membership in a conference whose location does not fit its alumni or fan base well but does offer peer levels of competition across the board in sports. Or, is the thinking, “We’re either going to be a football independent and in the Big East, or we’re going to join either the Big Ten or ACC in all sports”?

    • vp19 says:

      Since Notre Dame has been making an effort to be visible to the growing Hispanic Catholic population in Texas (think of the football game vs. Washington State in San Antonio), adding all-sports members in Dallas and Houston can’t hurt from an ND perspective.

      • vp19, I don’t know of any effort by ND to be visible to the growing Hispanic Catholic population in Texas. I’m aware of the game against WSU in San Antonio, but I’m pretty sure it’s more about recruiting in the state of Texas than about outreach to the Hispanic Catholics. Can you shed more light on these “efforts” by ND other than the game against WSU?

        Michael in Raleigh, I’m positive that ND is ok with keeping their Olympic sports in the Big East even if somehow all the football playing members of that league leave the Big East. It will still be an East Coast-Chicagoland (i.e. Catholic) friendly league and I believe that is more important to ND even if the Big East becomes a “Mid-Major” conference.

    • zeek says:

      Vincent makes a good point about ND’s Catholic audience expansion attempts.

      Regardless, I don’t see Notre Dame leaving the Big East unless something really big, really dramatic happens to the BCS.

      The story isn’t the Big East per se; the story is and always has been Notre Dame’s access to the national championship. Almost nothing that happens to Big East membership will change Notre Dame’s desire to house its basketball programs and other non-football sports in the Big East. They need access to the northeast for those programs. They’re best housed in a conference in the northeast because that’s where their audiences are largely and that’s where their recruiting is (Catholic schools).

      The more important considerations for ND: If the road to the national championship or a playoff berth requires or “nearly requires” conference membership, then ND will be much more likely to join a conference; secondly, the NBC national contract, as long as they have that, they don’t need to join a conference.

      To me this would require a playoff system in which most of the slots go to the AQ conferences. The question is whether ND thinks it has enough access if say 2 or 3 of 8 spots are available to non-AQs. They might feel they don’t since it’s incredibly likely that the power conferences have secondary teams near the very top that will get access.

      I really do think it would take an 8 team playoff with 5-6 spots locked in for conferences in order to get ND to join a conference. Anything else is just an issue that can be dealt with, whether it’s Big East membership or whatnot.

      The TV angle is interesting, but I think that’s somewhat receded with the willingness of Comcast/NBC to sign on ND hockey. They didn’t sign on ND hockey if they weren’t going to be willing to continue ND football in 2015. The payout may not be as big as conference, but money isn’t the motivating factor.

    • bullet says:

      I think ND looks to Big 12 as a non-football affiliate or B1G or ACC as full member if UL, WVU and UConn are gone. I don’t think the Catholic league would be strong enough for ND in any sport other than men’s basketball. If UL and WVU are all that leave, they probably stay and see how it goes.

  20. zeek says:

    PeteThamelNYT Pete Thamel
    Air Force in no rush. AD Hans Mueh just told me, “There’s not real impetus to do anything but sit back and watch.”
    25 minutes ago
    Pete Thamel
    PeteThamelNYT Pete Thamel
    Marinatto said there’s been no discussion of how few football schools would have to remain to make Big East football untenable.
    42 minutes ago

    This seems to confirm the idea that the Big East will have to wait (on Air Force and Navy at least) for the Missouri -> SEC storyline to play out…

    I think the Big East is hoping that BYU takes Missouri’s spot and let’s them keep Louisville and WVU. The worst possible outcome for the Big East is losing all 3 of WVU, Louisville, and Cincinnati. Heck, losing the first two really would hurt their TV contract negotiations given WVU’s football brand and Louisville’s basketball brand.

    Maybe the Big East moves forward with UCF, Houston, SMU, and Boise State before that, but I think we’re in a holding pattern for now.

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Assuming BYU isn’t an option, would the Big 12 really want Cincinnati as a #12 team, or would it go after a school that’s in a good-sized market that brings more than a whopping 40,000 fans to its games? Like, say… USF or UCF?

      Cincinnati just doesn’t seem all that more appealing that the Conference USA schools out there. UCF and USF don’t really carry their markets, either, but they are in larger, faster-growing markets with larger alumni bases and better recruiting grounds. Cincy pretty much offers just basketball and continuity between L’ville and WVU.

      • zeek says:

        I think you do want some geographic rationality if you’re the Big 12.

        What you’re stating more though is the idea that the Big 12 isn’t going to settle and will not move to 12 without BYU (and Louisville/WVU).

        If they do have to settle though, I think Cincinnati would make enough sense for proximity reasons and rivalry reasons. Random market grabs is more the province of the Big East than the Big 12; Big 12 looks like they’re more looking for quality programs regardless of market.

      • bullet says:

        Oklahoma State’s President commented about midwestern culture, geography and strong academic programs when TCU was invited. Since Cincy has an excellent medical school and solid graduate programs, they meet those 3 criteria. But I think they stop with Louisville at 10 if BYU can’t be worked out.

        • bullet says:

          I only see 4 serious expansion candidates at this time for the Big 12-UL, WVU, Cincy and BYU, with Cincinnati the long shot.

          • zeek says:

            Pretty much, there’s all the candidates for a move to 12. The only question is 1) can the BYU need for national TV slots be overcome, and 2) does the Big 12 even want to go to 12 (i.e. does Dodds?)?

          • bullet says:

            Dodds has said he wants 10 but could accept 12. Saw one article saying Castiglione favored 10, but Boren has come out for 12. Oklahoma St. is now saying 12. I think they will work to get a consensus. If the majority are in favor of 12, but wishy-washy on it, they stay at 10. I suspect that’s where they are right now, but its fluid.

          • vp19 says:

            How much time does the Big 12 give Brigham Young before it throws up its figurative hands and goes in another direction (east) — even if it has to wait 27 months before acquiring its targets, as is likely the case with the ACC? If worse comes to worst, it might be better to live with nine members for 2012 and/or ’13 before getting fully restocked in 2014.

            I will note this: In BYU’s apparent demands, and I’m not referring to the faith-based ones like no games on Sunday but tier TV requirements and such, Texas is getting a little taste of what it’s like to negotiate with itself.

          • @vp19 – This will be interesting to see. I truly think that BYU has always been the #1 choice for the Big 12, so I think that the conference will essentially work to get a deal done up until the drop dead date where it would be feasible to add them for next season assuming that Missouri leaves immediately. If Missouri has to stay through 2012, though, then the Big 12 and BYU might just take their sweet time.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            If the Big 12 can get 10 years-plus on grant-of-rights, there’s not much point in going to 12, instead of 12, especially if BYU is the school that replaces Mizzou. After all, the main idea of getting to 12 is for long-term stability. Well, long-term grant-of-rights makes the conference poach-proof. Expanding for the addition of Louisville and WVU, even with the conference championship game, would not seem very lucrative.

            I think there’s nothing inherently unstable about 10 members. As a matter of fact, with only ten members this year, the Big 12 is on course to have a conference championship game on conference championship Saturday (first weekend of December) without having an “official” Conference Championship Game, and it will also be a de-facto national championship semi-final. Most people will call it the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State game, but it’ll be a conference championship game.

            Anyway, having 10 members in and of itself does not make the league unstable. It makes scheduling much easier for all sports and allows for a full round-robin in football, which I think is a great idea for a league that, 16 years later, still needs stronger connections between former Big 12 North schools and the former SWC schools. What creates instability is dysfunction among the members, not the number of members. Grant-of-rights would make it stable, even if it remains dysfunctional.

          • bullet says:

            12 helps for two reasons:
            1) the other main conferences are 12 and 14 team conferences so they will be viewed as less deserving with only 10;
            2) its a lot better to have 8 teams left than 6 if UT/OU/TT/OSU were to eventually go to the Pac. And if one or two teams were lost from 12, it wouldn’t be essential to rush to replace them. At 9 it changes your schedules as well as reducing your TV inventory.

            The question is how much in $ 11 and 12 bring. I don’t think WVU and UL bring nothing. And a championship game pretty much pays for 1 team’s share.

          • greg says:

            But the B12 is already receiving the championship game money without holding the game. So expanding to 12 only serves to dilute the money, no team pays for itself.

          • zeek says:


            As I’ve pointed out several times, that’s not really what’s happening.

            The Big 12′s contracts are undervalued relative to the marketplace (the old ones), so the TV networks were basically saying that they didn’t care that the Big 12 keep the CCG money and Nebraska/Colorado money.

            If they had been brand new contracts in place (worth 2-3x as much), then the networks would have cared.

          • greg says:

            zeek, so if the B12 adds a conference title game, the networks are going to give them more money?

          • zeek says:

            I.E. look at the Pac-10 -> Pac-12.

            Say the Arizona schools had left for the Big 12 last year. The Pac-10 contract was only paying like $50-60M per year for all 10 schools.

            You really think that ESPN/Fox would have blown that up? No, because the contracts were severely undervalued (as all old contracts are in an ever-escalating marketplace).

            They would have just told the Pac-8 that they could keep the Arizona schools money for the remainder of the contract.

            Obviously, it’d be different if Utah/Colorado were to bolt right now. Then you’re looking at a contract paying out $250M (or whatever) for 12 schools that’s fairly valued. The networks would take a long hard look at revaluing that downward.

            That’s what happened to the Big 12 with Nebraska/Colorado and the CCG loss.

          • zeek says:

            In their new contract, probably yes.

            It’s just hard to judge what’s actually happening to these contracts because we have expansion/contraction going on at the same time as the contracts are being updated.

            The Pac-10 -> Pac-12 is instructive. No one thinks that the expansion of Utah/Colorado is bringing $200M per year to the table but rather the updated value of the whole (USC + UCLA + Cal + Stanford + Oregon + Arizona + etc.).

            Maybe if they hadn’t expanded they’d still be getting $230-240M per year with 10 schools in a new deal, even without a CCG and extra inventory.

            That’s why it’s really hard to judge what a school brings to the table. Ironically, we’ll learn a lot more with what happens to the ACC and SEC. But there are different factors there too (i.e. the Big East-ESPN negotiations that may be downgraded among other things).

          • greg says:

            zeek, you seem to be arguing how the B12 got to the situation where they are still receiving conference title game money. I don’t care how they got into this situation. All that matters is they are receiving that money, and if they expand to 12, they aren’t going to get another money bump. So the 12th team doesn’t “pay for itself due to CCG money”, as has been asserted.

            It may in the new contract, but for right now, they don’t.

          • zeek says:

            If it pays for itself in the new contract, then who really cares whether it’ll be an immediate money bump? I mean they can’t even add the Big East schools until 2014 which will be bumping up on their new contract entrance anyways…

          • bullet says:

            It might help to explain it this way. The Big 12 got a raise on their regular package even though the contract wasn’t over. That raise is the same amount as the championship game was paying them. They aren’t getting any money for a championship game they don’t have. The TV people aren’t going to pay something for nothing. If they add a championship game they will get additional money for it.

          • bullet says:

            Similarly, the Big 10 got little increase in their basic contract which expires in 5 years, but got significant money for their championship game when they added Nebraska.

          • zeek says:

            Yeah, I’m just saying, ESPN didn’t mind losing Nebraska/Colorado/CCG on that contract but still giving the same $50-60M (for example) because the contract was severely undervalued.

            If the Big 12 still had Nebraska/Colorado and the CCG, that contract would be worth at least 2-3x what it was worth at fair value in today’s market.

            Heck, with just the 10 schools (minus Nebraska/Colorado/CCG), it should have been worth $80-90M+ at fair value when you look at the SEC/Pac-12 payouts and projected Big Ten payouts.

            So ESPN loses nothing by saying “just keep the $50-60M per year” (because the loss of content from Nebraska/Colorado/CCG doesn’t overcome the fact that the contract is still undervalued).

  21. Frank the Ag says:

    “The Big East voted to increase its football membership to 12 and to increase their exit fee to $10 million.”

    Marinatto also stated that the 27 month waiting period would apply. That would seem to be a huge barrier for the B12 to overcome regarding WVU, Louisville and Cincy.

    • zeek says:

      This is probably why the Big 12 will push really hard to get a deal done with BYU.

      TCU was a simple plug in for A&M because they were switching conferences anyways. BYU is the only similar choice as a replacement for Missouri.

      Louisville+WVU would be a solid move up to 12, but using one of those as a replacement has its issues (9 team conference for 2 years).

      • EZCUSE says:

        Isn’t that the perfect scenario for the Big XII? Oklahoma and Texas get to share with only 8 teams for nearly 3 years… while also placating the other teams by agreeing to expand to 12 in the future. 9 teams = 8 conference games, round-robin. 3 more years of big $$$.

        It’s like signing a QB to a 5-year contract extension with a minimal signing bonus. You make the QB happy and it costs you nothing for several years. Worry about 2015 when it comes.

      • bullet says:

        I don’t see any 27 month waiting period if 5 of their 9 schools have left. Basketball schools would be glad to get rid of them for 2013. I don’t think anyone else leaves for 2012, including Missouri.

        • zeek says:

          I think the problem is that it’s like 5 of 17 schools leaving. This would be consistent with how the basketball teams have a say in how everything is run. i.e. invites have to be voted on by the whole membership; same with the buyout or whatever else.

          Even if a majority of the football schools would like to leave, it’s not as simple as the Big 12′s scenario (from 2 years ago), where they could have dissolved the conference and turned out the lights because the basketball schools seem to count for the overall numerical purposes.

          • bullet says:

            The only reason they want them to stay at all is to have time to stabilize the fb conference. The conference is under-valued right now so its not going to hurt the current TV contract. And with fb having 2 more years and bb 3, them leaving and the new schools arriving may facilitate signing a new contract.

            Legally its difficult, but from a practical standpoint, it will work best for all if it happens effective July 2013.

        • charlie says:

          keeping Pitt and ‘Cuse for 27 months seems to be more of a defense against the BigXII-1-1-1 poaching ‘Ville by saying “you want to get back to 12 for your CCG? well, you’re gonna hafta hold off for 2 years after you add these guys…are you sure you wanna do that?”

          • EZCUSE says:

            Again… why would that bother the Big XII? The elite schools have less money to share. The weak links know they have a commitment coming for 3 more schools. Nobody loses–except the Big East teams leaving (and those left behind).

  22. footballnut says:

    Big East gonna make it harder for those schools to leave. Will not go down without a fight. I see Big 12 staying at 10. Maybe go 11 if BYU wakes up and sees they can’t pass up an AQ conference opportunity.

    On another note. Lots of talk about which division of the SEC will Mizzou play in. Looking at the Mizzou alumni map, they have WAY more alumni living in Florida, Georgia, Tennesse and the Carolinas than anywhere else in the SEC. They should be in the SEC EAST. That would make Bama and Auburn happy to keep their rivalries with outher schools going.

    • Why do we assume that the SEC will keep its current setup? Wouldn’t the below be better?

      Vandy-Miss St
      Mizzou-Ole Miss

      I believe that keeps the important rivalries. And it is competitively balanced.

      • vp19 says:

        Texas A&M and Arkansas will be in the same division no matter what. Same with Florida and Tennessee.

        • vandiver49 says:

          I believe you meant UGA and UF. Up until ’92, TN played more team from the SEC West than the East. As it stands, there are only two cross divisional rivals tha really need protected at this point; UGA-AUB and AL-TN.

      • swesleyh says:

        Alabama cross division rivalry game is Tennessee
        Auburn – Georgia
        Ol Miss – Vanderbilt
        LSU – Florida
        Arkansas – USC
        Miss St – Kentucky

        Most prognosticators guess the future will be

        Alabama – Tennessee
        Auburn – Georgia
        Arkansas – Missouri
        A&M – Florida
        Ol Miss – Vanderbilt
        LSU – USC
        Miss St – Kentucky

        But this is most fluid and seemingly hanges every day.

  23. Read The D says:

    Just thought this part was interesting, even though it means relatively little:

    State populations in the Big 12 circa Jan 1 2009 (in millions)
    Texas 25.1 (4 schools)
    Missouri 6.0 (1 school)
    Colorado 5.0 (1 school)
    Oklahoma 3.8 (2 schools)
    Iowa 3.0 (1 school)
    Kansas 2.9 (2 schools)
    Nebraska 1.8 (1 school)
    Total 47.6

    Roughly 3.96 million per school

    … circa Jan 1 2012
    Texas 25.1 (4 schools)
    Oklahoma 3.8 (2 schools)
    Iowa 3.0 (1 school)
    Kansas 2.9 (2 schools)
    Total 34.8

    Roughly 3.86 million per school

    I know it’s eyeballs that drive tv money and not simply people in the state, otherwise New York would be more coveted than it is. However, as long as UT is still in the Big 12 they can still bring in TV $$. Texas is like the Yankees within the state, you either love them or hate them, but either way you’re probably watching.

    A&M and Missouri leaving is worse for the Big 12 than Nebraska and Colorado simply because Colorado had gotten so bad. A&M is like the Red Sox of Texas, either love them or hate them, but either way a lot of people are watching, just not quite as many as watch Texas.

    Missouri is sort of the Big 12′s land bridge to the east, much the same way Colorado was to the west. Without them it makes any eastern additions tenuous.

    The Big 12 has gone from 7 flagship state schools down to 3. The possible expansion candidates include exactly 1 such flagship school, West Virginia.

    Replacing Missouri with Louisville replaces a flagship state school with a population of 6 Million people with a semi-commuter school at best splitting a population of 4.3 Million. Louisville also has no rivalries within the Big 12.

    The league is a joke. I believe Texas and Oklahoma are planning their escapes if they invite Louisville, Cincinnati and West Virginia. That would put the league at 12 by adding 4 recent BCS participants. This will provide a safe BCS AQ conference for OK St. and Texas Tech once the 6 year assignment of rights is up.

    And I predict their escape will be to either the B1G with Notre Dame or to a quasi-independent conference that has been bantered about for a while.

  24. M says:

    Usually, Northwestern beats Iowa, Iowa beat Penn State, and Penn State beats Northwestern. Hopefully this year is reversed.

    • Sportsman says:

      It would be very ironic. As you know, two of the three have already happened… we’ll see if the third comes to fruition this weekend.

  25. bullet says:

    Hartford writer’s reaction to BE news conference. He’s not enthused about BCS driving Boise, Houston and SMU to Big East.


    • vp19 says:

      And to Marinatto: Poke at the ACC all you want for taking members from your conference, but just remember you’re doing (and have done) the same thing to Conference USA.

    • zeek says:

      The Big East and Big 12 chose this world when they didn’t want a playoff or at least a plus one to lead down the slippery slope.

      Granted, the problem was that most, if not all presidents didn’t want a playoff even if there were ADs in those conferences that were supportive like Dodds.

      Even if a plus-one or mini-playoff wouldn’t have been the Delany or Wetzel imagined bonanza, it still would have helped the Big 12 out a lot because the Big 12′s strength was its top-flight competitiveness and if a playoff would have paid significantly more to conferences that got to a second round or further, that likely would have helped the Big 12 out a lot.

      Not sure about the Big East, pretty sure they would have been screwed either way since they just haven’t been that relevant in football outside of the one or two years with Rutgers/Louisville/WVU/Pitt contending.

      And now we’re at the end-result. This all played out how the Big Ten and Pac-10 would have wanted it to play out…; they both got to 12 with the CCGs and regional expansion, and the ACC and SEC didn’t mind going up to 14 to expand their territories. Either way, the power’s been consolidated among those 4 leagues to an unprecedented degree with the Big 12 basically relegated to SWC status and the Big East becoming C-USA redux.

    • bullet says:

      The increased exit fee seems to be just a symbol. Louisville’s AD has already said its irrelevant (probably gets paid off in 1 year in Big 12). Navy and Air Force have said they are comfortable where they are and will wait it all out to see what happens. So we do have a bunch of dominos. Missouri makes a decision, then SEC, then Big 12, then Navy & Air Force & Boise, then UCF/UH/SMU, then MWC/CUSA merger and additional expansion. And possibly on down beyond that.

      • zeek says:

        Exit fee doesn’t even increase until Navy or Air Force joins.

        With them waiting, it doesn’t seem like it’ll impact anything (regardless of whether it had actual impact at all).

  26. footballnut says:

    Swami says MU exits Big 12 Friday, joins SEC following Friday. Adding L-ville and WVA doesn’t do squat for losing Mizzou, as noted in comments above. BYU only addition that helps there. Big 12 will either stick with BYU and remain at 10 or go conference bulldozing and go to 12 by adding L-ville and WVA. Depends on what Texas thinks, as always. They seem to be happy with 10.

    On whether or not Mizzou would fit in the SEC, here’s an interesting historical factoid written by a knowledgable writer on Mizzou’s fairly recent past:

    “I’ve always thought of Missouri as being part of the Midwest, and I love the Midwest. As everyone knows, though, during the Civil War the allegiance of Missouri residents was split pretty evenly between the Union and the Confederacy. The area around Columbia has always been known as “Little Dixie.” Missouri’s mascot, the Tiger, is not named after the animal. Instead, it stems from the Confederate Tiger Brigade that valiantly defended Columbia from Union forces.”

    “However, when I arrived on the Mizzou campus in the fall of 1963, I was greatly surprised to notice that at football games the band played “Dixie,” and many people waved Confederate flags. I found this strange because the school was highly integrated and all races seemed to blend in well. Devine ultimately convinced the band to stop playing “Dixie,” and the Confederate flags went away.”

    • Bo Darville says:

      Florida was originally a Spanish colony so maybe they should form a new conference with New Mexico and UTSA.

      Perhaps the Big XII will block the Big East again and add SMU and Houston???

    • bullet says:

      Saw an interesting tidbit the other day. The capital of Confederate Missouri (Missouri was considered by the Confederates as one of their states as a group of Missourians did secede and create a separate government for the state) for a time was based in Marshall in east Texas.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      So his argument is that Missouri is now regressing?

  27. footballnut says:

    Florida should leave the SEC and join the Big East since half of New York has retired there. Georiga was a penal colony, so they should join the penitentiary football leagues. South Carolina was first to secede from the union, so they should have first pick as to who joins the SEC.

    OK, I get your point….

  28. GreatLakeState says:

    Quantrill’s Raiders, Jesse James – sounds like the SEC to me.

  29. Eric says:

    Do you guys think the Border War will survive this? I think Kansas with a 9 game schedule will have some of the same problems that Texas had with A&M, but with home games being less valuable for Kansas (with less money involved) and with Kansas fans probably wanting the game as much or more than Missouri fans, I think it survives (even if it is gone for a couple of years).

    Missouri, with an 8 game schedule, I think would go for it.

    • zeek says:

      Doubtful. If Texas-A&M didn’t survive, it’s hard to see why Kansas-Missouri will survive.

      Makes it really hard to schedule a marquee non-conference game if you lock yourself in like that…

      • John says:

        It reminds Mizzou fans of the latest round of football games vs Illinois. Might be too risky for a team like KU to schedule a long term non-con game if they think odds are they’ll come away w/ an L far more often than not (ala Zooker’s desire to bring in a cupcake instead of playing Mizzou).
        And I’m not trying to knock Frank’s Illini. MU would have done the same if tables turned. Ez to see the benefits Illinois got this yr from a little early season momentum, and making a bowl game is a must.
        Just another reason to want a playoff!

    • Brian says:

      1. I expect the SEC to go to a 9 game schedule when expansion to 14 teams is finalized. It will be used as a carrot to go back to the table on their current Tier 1 and 2 deals and/or the new SEC Network.

      2. With the move towards a 9 game schedule, I think we could see a handful of traditional non-con games come to an end. Obviously the historic ones will try to remain, but a 9 game schedule just doesn’t give much incentive to play any non-cupcakes in the non-con.

      • bullet says:

        1. See my al.com link near the bottom (TN/AL discussion) with the 10:31 am time stamp. Big boys want the $ from home games. Little guys want the wins to become bowl eligible. 9 games is a very hard sell in the SEC.
        2. Tennessee needs high profile games to recruit since there aren’t many recruits in TN. LSU likes occassional high profile games. Losing FL/FSU, GA/GT and SC/Clemson would be very bad for college football. That’s never been their criteria, but there are political influences to keep those games going.

        • frug says:

          SC and Clemson are legally required to play each other so that one isn’t going anywhere and I can’t see UF-FSU breaking up under any circumstances either. UGA-GT, on the other hand, could be at risk.

          • Brian says:

            Why? UGA wins 60% of the games and it’s so close and in the heart of recruiting territory. I doubt Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate will go away even with 9 game schedules.

          • bullet says:

            Its very intense. UGA fans like sending lots of fans into GT’s stadium. Its unlikely that it goes away. But with the former UF guy now AD, it is possible. He’s trying to make UGA’s ooc schedule as ridiculous as possible. The last two years he’s scheduled REALLY bad FCS schools for home games.

  30. bullet says:

    Found an article on-line I referenced before from the UT alumni magazine. Thought some of you might find interesting how UT increased revenues from the SWC days. It naturally presents a positive picture of DeLoss Dodds. I’m not trying to start a debate, but it does present a different viewpoint than you normally get. DeLoss Dodds is very respected at UT, but there were times when he was the most unpopular man on campus.


  31. bullet says:

    I’ve seen it said repeatedly Texas deceived people this past summer by trying to get a 2nd game on the Longhorn Network, but obviously, none of them ever read the Austin paper when Dodds specifically said they might try to get a 2nd game. This is an article about the Big 12/Fox TV deal.


    • bullet says:

      That last link is just going to a sports page for some reason. You can find the specific article-top line in a google search for big 12 fox reach 13 year

      Some quotes:
      “Financial terms of the conference’s cable rights were not revealed, though the Sports Business Journal reported it could be as high as $90 million a year.”

      “Under its current agreement with the Big 12, Fox pays about $20 million a year to televise half as many games as the new deal allows.” (new deal was 40 games)

      “As part of the deal, each Big 12 school can retain the rights to one football game a season that can be aired on an institutional network. Texas’ Longhorn Network with ESPN will debut in August. Oklahoma has been looking into creating its own network as well, and the remaining 8 Big 12 schools have discussed combining for a conference network.”

      “Dodds, however, said the Big 12′s agreement with Fox didn’t absolutely rule out the possibility of the Longhorn Network getting a second Texas football game if the proper deal could be struck.”

      • Brian says:


        The issues is that everybody thought that statement referred to OOC games. Other than Dodds and Powers, I don’t believe anyone understood the second game to include conference games. That’s why everyone felt tricked.

  32. Richard says:

    Say, wasn’t rich2 saying something about how joining the B10 would be terrible because the league would force ND to play home games at night or something?

    I also got a kick out of his fear that the B10 would start to make ND play weekday games (even though the leagues doesn’t, outside of opening week) if they joined, yet the fact that ACC schools play weekday games all the time somehow doesn’t deter his preference for that league if ND was to join a conference.

    • rich2 says:

      Richard, thanks for the memories. I have attended every night game ever held at ND and I will attend this weekend — the good, the bad and the ugly. I am not against an occasional home night game — if it is our choice. It is the principle that our entire schedule could be shifted with 2 weeks notice — noon, 3:30, 7 or 8 — that I find disagreeable — especially if it is done to maximize TV ratings. The fact that the SEC allowed LSU to play every SEC home game during the afternoon this year is my “canary in the coal mine.” This year, IU began the fall semester on August 29. The trend has been to start the fall semester earlier and earlier. If this blog is still around in five years, let’s see if the Big Ten plays any home games on a Thursday night after the beginning of the fall academic semester and let’s chart the trend. If LSU wants to play five home games next year at 11:20am cst, then it is not my business. If they play five homes at 11:20am cst because this is the “price they must pay” for the Conference members to gain a few extra million each from CBS, then it tells me to be wary of conferences that are worried first and foremost about the dollar value of their contract, every tenth of a ratings point and ADs who are told to “monetize” every conceivable aspect of their sports program — and this does not mean that our AD will not come up with harebrained ideas that follow current trends. My only hope is that we will be among the last programs to resist many of the more egregious ideas. Thus, if a night home game against USC one year and a night game at Wrigley vs Miami is enough to keep NBC content and keep the barbarians outside looking in, then we have already paid a price to avoid noon kickoffs, corporate tie-ins and renting out the stadium during “non-peak” use.

      Of course, joining the ACC would be preferred to joining the Big 10, but not preferable to remaining independent — and the reasons for each (Independence>ACC > Big 10) have been discussed at length.

      • Eric says:

        Valid concerns for sure, but night home games I don’t think would be the worry. All Big Ten night games are decided months before the season and I believe (someone correct me if I’m wrong), the teams can choose if they want night or not. Michigan didn’t have a home night game till this year and Ohio State rarely does compared to several other Big Ten programs (some seasons having none at all) making me think there is a lot of school choice. 3:30 vs. noon isn’t one though (other than maybe something traditional like OSU-Michigan).

      • Richard says:

        “It is the principle that our entire schedule could be shifted with 2 weeks notice — noon, 3:30, 7 or 8 — that I find disagreeable — especially if it is done to maximize TV ratings.”

        That’s certainly true for the B12, Pac, SEC, and ACC. However, while B10 games can be shifted between noon and afternoon, night games are set before the season starts. Another area where the B10 offers an advantage over the ACC.

        You keep talking about what your fear about what the B10 might do, yet_the_ACC_already_does_that, and you don’t hold it against them. That tells me that, your protestations to the contrary, they’re not real reasons and more excuses.

  33. Eric says:

    I just looked up most commonly played rivalries wondering where Kansas-Missouri stacked up. I didn’t realize just how much the splits in the Big 12 were going to hit this list. The 5 most commonly played rivalries in I-A are:

    1. Wisconsin-Minnesota 120 games
    2. Missouri-Kansas 119 games
    3. Nebraska-Kansas 117 games
    3. Texas-Texas A&M 117 games
    5. Miami (OH)-Cincinnati 116 games

    Two of those are definitely gone and a 3rd might be.

    One interesting side aspect of the divisional arrangement that I didn’t think about before was the ability of teams to play twice in a year and move up the list of most common rivalries. If Ohio State and Michigan play in a CCG once, they’ll move up from a tie for 15th of most commonly played up to a tie for 13th. They play twice (assuming others don’t move), they’ll be up to 12th.

    • bullet says:

      One gets renewed. In 1996, #3 was Baylor TCU at 103, just behind WI/MN at 105 and MU/KU at 104. Baylor & TCU didn’t play for 15 years.

      #5 on that list might be at risk. What used to be very balanced with a slight edge to Miami has become tilted towards Cincinnati since they joined the BE. If Cincy goes to the Big 12 and a 9 game schedule, they may not want to tie up a home and away with Miami. There was once a big 4 rivalry between those two, Xavier and Dayton. Xavier dropped football and Dayton dropped scholarships in the 70s.

      The 4 biggest games for Texas in the 70s were 1.OU, 2. Arkansas, 3. Houston, 4. A&M. That’s one left.

    • charlie says:

      I know this is crazy and won’t happen, but what if delany invites mizzou and kansas (without k-state) to the B1G? that would keep rivalries #2 and #3 going. plus, you could shake up the divisions again (and not give them stupid names) and put wiscy and minn together again (I know they’re protected cross-over rivals, but you could make a division with wiscy, minn, iowa, neb, kansas, mizzou, and illinois to make sure all the rivalries stay together). again, I know this is thinking like a fan and not a college president, but, at least kansas and mizzou are AAU, and with the 2 of them together u get both states’ populations and absolutely lock down the cities of st. louis and kansas city

    • Brian says:

      Just following up with some more details. The official list is at:

      Wikipedia also has a sortable list.

      Most Played Rivalries
      # . Opponents (Series leader listed first) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Record . . First Game

      1 120 Minnesota-Wisconsin ………………………………………………………………..59-53-8 1890
      2 119 Kansas-Missouri ……………………………………………………………………….55-55-9 1891
      3 117 Nebraska-Kansas ……………………………………………………………………..91-23-3 1892
      3 117 Texas-Texas A&M ……………………………………………………………………..75-37-5 1894
      5 115 Miami (OH)-Cincinnati ……………………………………………………………….59-49-7 1888
      5 115 North Carolina-Virginia ………………………………………………………………58-53-4 1892
      7 114 Auburn-Georgia ……………………………………………………………………….54-52-8 1892
      7 114 Oregon-Oregon St. …………………………………………………………………..58-46-10 1894
      9 113 Purdue-Indiana ………………………………………………………………………..70-37-6 1891
      9 113 Stanford-California ……………………………………………………………………56-46-11 1892
      11 111 Navy-Army ……………………………………………………………………………….55-49-7 1890
      12 109 Utah-Utah St. (did not play in 2010) …………………………………………….77-28-4 1892
      13 108 Clemson-South Carolina ……………………………………………………………65-39-4 1896
      13 108 Kansas-Kansas St. …………………………………………………………………..65-38-5 1902
      15 107 Michigan-Ohio St. …………………………………………………………………….57-44-6 1897
      15 107 Ole Miss-Mississippi St. …………………………………………………………….60-41-6 1901
      17 106 TCU-Baylor …………………………………………………………………………….50-49-7 1899
      17 106 Tennessee-Kentucky ………………………………………………………………..74-23-9 1893
      19 105 Georgia-Georgia Tech ………………………………………………………………61-39-5 1893
      19 105 Nebraska-Iowa St. ……………………………………………………………………86-17-2 1896
      19 105 Texas-Oklahoma………………………………………………………………………59-41-5 1900
      19 105 Oklahoma-Oklahoma St. …………………………………………………………..82-16-7 1904
      23 104 Tennessee-Vanderbilt ………………………………………………………………72-27-5 1892
      24 103 North Carolina-Wake Forest (did not play in 2010) …………………….. .67-34-2 1888

      No longer in conference due to recent realignment, assuming MO to SEC (4 = 17%):
      2, 3, 3, 19

      Regained due to recent realignment (1 = 4%):

      Long/always OOC (6 = 25%):
      5, 11, 12, 13, 19, 19

      Still in conference (13 = 54%):
      ACC – 5, 24
      BE –
      B10 – 1, 9, 15
      B12 – 13, 19
      P12 – 7, 9
      SEC – 7, 15, 17, 23

      Series with one team dominating:
      NE>KS, UT>TAMU, PU>IN, Utah>UT St, Clemson>SC, KS>KSU, TN>KY, GA>GT, NE>ISU, OU>OkSU, TN>Vandy, UNC>WF

      The original B12 (5) was loaded with lopsided series, but 3 of the 5 are gone. The SEC has 2 in conference and 2 OOC.

      Longest Uninterrupted Series
      1 105 games—Kansas-Nebraska (from 1906)
      2 104 games—Minnesota-Wisconsin (from 1907)
      3 102 games—Clemson-South Carolina (from 1909)
      4 101 games—Wake Forest-North Carolina St. (from 1910)
      5 100 games—Kansas-Kansas St. (from 1911)
      6 99 games—North Carolina-Virginia (from 1910)*
      7 97 games—Kansas-Oklahoma (1903-97)
      8 96 games—Texas-Texas A&M (from 1915)
      8 96 games—Ole Miss-Mississippi St. (from 1915)**^
      10 93 games—Michigan-Ohio St. (from 1918)
      11 92 games—Kansas-Missouri (from 1919)
      11 92 games—Missouri-Iowa St. (from 1919)
      13 91 games—Tennessee-Kentucky (from 1919)**
      13 91 games—Auburn-Georgia (from 1919)**
      13 91 games—Indiana-Purdue (from 1920)

      Lost to recent realignment:
      1, 8, 11, 11

      Long OOC:

      By conference:
      ACC – 4, 6
      BE –
      B10 – 2, 10, 13
      B12 – 5, 7
      P12 –
      SEC – 8, 13, 13

      The biggest losers here are KS. The MO and NE series both had a lot of tradition and value. MO gets the SEC bump to make up for lost rivals, and NE over-matched the B8 rivals so it didn’t hurt as much. I think both UT and TAMU will miss their series. I think it will be similar to the loss of OU/NE.

      OSU/MI and AU/GA can climb the list by meeting in the CCG. MN/WI is on top, but could solidify that spot by meeting in the CCG (unlikely with MN). Everybody will move up the uninterrupted series list as realignment drops 4 of the top 15 from the list.

  34. greg says:

    re: Nebraska vs. A&M

    Interestingly enough, both these teams are on ABC this Saturday at 3:30 ET in “exciting” matchups.

    Nebraska at Minnesota
    A&M at Iowa State

    Maryland/FSU is also in that slot, and will likely be the primary game. But I wonder which game of the B12 escapees will be shown in more of the country.

    • add says:

      Here’s the map- http://www.espnmediazone3.com/us/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/CF_Oct22.pdf

      Looks like a fairly typical regional split (p. 3 is the ABC slotting).

      • Playoffs Now says:

        I’m a B12 fan who loves to bash the B1G as much as anyone, but it is ridiculous that ABC’s central-east prime time game is TTech-OU instead of Wisc-MichSt.

      • 84Lion says:

        What I find interesting is the fine print caveat that some markets adjacent to the OTA aTm-ISU territory (where Neb-Minn will be shown OTA) will receive aTm-ISU on ESPN2 rather than MD-FSU. I don’t ever remember them making that exception before.

    • bullet says:

      Interesting that the only exclusive SEC territory covering FSU/MD on ABC is basically southern Alabama which is mostly within range of Tallahassee TV stations.

      Iowa St. seems to hold out pretty well against MN and Nebraska.

      MN/Nebraska is at least on ESPN2 (when the Big 12 or ACC game is on ABC). A&M/ISU is not. FSU/MD is on ESPN2 in the MN/Nebraska ABC territory.

      • add says:

        Not sure if it’s still the case now, but at least at one point I thought part of the Big 10s ABC/ESPN TV contact that they were the reverse mirror game on ESPN where they weren’t picked up on ABC. Not sure if that’s still the case (or if I’m even remembering correctly), but I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong.

        • 84Lion says:

          The B1G’s current contract with ABC/ESPN stipulates that where the B1G game isn’t shown OTA (otherwise known as “outer market”) it must be carried on ESPN/2 as a “reverse mirror.” That’s only for the 3:30 slot. If a B1G game is shown in the 8 PM slot as a regional telecast, the RM requirement doesn’t apply (although the game will then be provided on ESPN3). This has a potential impact next week as ABC has committed to Stanford-USC as an OTA game and is slotting either Clemson-GT or Wisconsin-OSU as the other part of regional coverage. At this point I’m thinking it’ll be Clemson-GT as the regional OTA counterpart to Stanford-USC, with Wis-OSU going to ESPN and thus avoiding the problem. If not, it’ll be interesting to see what distribution Wis-OSU gets on ABC OTA.

    • Steve says:

      Additional Tweets from the author, David Teel;

      “Yes, I believe Notre Dame and ACC have talked. UConn gets ACC invite only if Notre Dame joins.”

      “I don’t believe ACC and Irish are anywhere close. ND clings to football independence like cub to Mama Bear.”

      • duffman says:

        Trying to attract a football team with basketball chatter can not be helping, and must not make FSU and VT real happy considering if football is driving the bus, these two are paying the bulk.

        • vp19 says:

          Exactly. Those cultural differences are why ultimately (before the end of this decade), either or both will head to the SEC, with West Virginia as backup.

          • EZCUSE says:

            Maybe for FSU, but not Va Tech. The Hokies are right where they belong.

            As for FSU, they might want to worry about having some on-the-field success before they worry about finding a better fit in the SEC. Wake Forest and Georgia Tech have won the ACC more recently than FSU.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      FWIW Dayton only played UC a dozen or so times, pretty much entirely in the 50′s & 60′s. It wasn’t really a big rivalry.

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        Umm this is certainly not where I intended that post to end up. :/

        That being said of course the MWC wants as big a playoff as possible, it would be the best possible option for the conferences with the weakest schedules.

      • bullet says:

        I was in Ohio in the early 70s, so I presumed they always played as it was a regular game at that time.

    • Purduemoe says:

      I don’t think that proposal has a shot at happening, as it probably includes automatic bids for all 11 conferences. I don’t think the big conferences would ever agree to that. I think a plus one is the most they will go for. I wouldn’t mind this, as it would likely mean that the B1G champ would face the Pac 12 champ in the Rose Bowl every year. I will await the deluge of articles from Wetzel et. al. talking about how great this proposal is however.

      • cutter says:

        Any team that gets an autobid would have to be in the Top 30. More likely than not, programs from the WAC and the Sun Belt wouldn’t be included in the playoff even if they won their conferences and the same might well go for the MAC as well.

        I like the proposal, but would recommend they go to eight teams instead of 16. The conference champions from seven of the divisons (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big XII, MWC/CUSA, Pac 12, SEC) would get autobids only if they were in the Top 15 of the polls. A conference champion outside the Top 15 from one of those seven divisions would get an autobid to a BCS bowl game. Ther would be one at large bid, but if a conference loses its autobid, than a second at-large bid would be given.

        I’d also have the first and second round games at the home stadiums of the higher rated programs and leave the bowls out of the entire playoff picture. The only exception would be the national championshiop game, which could be set up at any of the BCS bowl sites.

        Using the BCS rankings, the 2010 playoff would have been something like this:

        #8 Virginia Tech (ACC Champ) v. #1 Auburn (SEC Champ)

        #5 Wisconsin (Big Ten Champ) v. #4 Stanford (Pac 10 At Large)

        #7 Oklahoma (Big XII Champ) v. #2 Oregon (Pac 10 Champ)

        #6 Ohio State (Big Ten At Large) v. #3 TCU (MWC Champ)

        Big East champion Connecticut wouldn’t get in the playoff because it was outside the Top 15 in the polls. UConn would go to where it actually ended up last year–in a BCS bowl (they played Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl). The remaining highly rated programs from last year like Boise State, Michigan State, LSU, Arkansas, etc. would also go to the BCS bowl games.

        Obviously, conference realignment will help shape whatever playoff scenario that does emerge. If the Big East is non-existant in terms of football or is severely reduced, then its conference champion loses the playoff autobid.

        Money also comes into the equation. This article and others have mentioned that a playoff could generate upwards of $700M. There will be 124 Division 1-A teams with full time membership by 2013. While I wouldn’t expect equitable distribution of the revenue to all of these teams, a playoff setup would definitely put more money into the pockets of all the 1-A teams currently in the division than the current bowl system does.

        College football could set up this or most any playoff system it wanted if it desired to do so without all the recent conference realignment that we’ve seen in the past months. Because programs feel that getting into an AQ conference is paramount because of the BCS, they’re more likely to make a move as radical as Boise State going to the Big East. Without it, a program like Boise State might feel that it could be part of the MWC/CUSA Conference and still get a shot at the national championship via a playoff.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          “UConn would go to where it actually ended up last year–in a BCS bowl (they played Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl).”

          —UConn would not have been playing in the Fiesta Bowl as it (the Fiesta) would be part of the tournament.

          • cutter says:

            Scarlet_Lutefish: You’re incorrect on your statement, Per my proposal, except for the final championship game, all the other games in the tournament would be played at the home stadium of the higher rated team. This is where I differ with the MWC Commissioner, who’s proposing having the bowls being part of his 16-team playoff system.

            No bowl games would be involved in the eight-team tournament I suggested, including the BCS bowls. That allows the games like the Rose, Sugar, Fiesta, Cotton and Orange to pick teams not participating in the tournament. In 2010, that would have included teams like Michigan State, Boise State, Arkansas, LSU, etc. Even though Connecticut was the Big East champion, it didn’t get a Top 15 ranking in the BCS polls, so UConn doesn’t get into the eight team playoff. But they would get into one of the major bowls and could have ended up in the Fiesta Bowl.

            I think it’d be a mistake to try and wrap the bowls games into a tournament because of the time constraints involved between the first and second rounds. I would imagine that the first round would be played the third Saturday of December with the second round following the week after. It’d be difficult for the fans of both teams to arrange for transport to the bowl site, but if you have the game at the site of the higher ranked team, it eases the burden on at least one set of fans.

            I also like having the games at the home site of the higher rated teams becauses it reinforces the results of all the games, including during the regular season and in the conference championships. A program would want to be as highly ranked as possible by season’s end in order to have at least one and maybe two home games in the playoffs. It’s a lot better being ranked first or second than seventh or eighth.

            I could then see the national championship game taking place after the major bowl are finished–sometime between the first and second weeks of January. You could put that game at a rotating site among the major bowl sites.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Can’t see the B1G and/or the Pac allowing the Rose Bowl to essentially become a consolation prize. They barely agreed to the current alterations for the BCS. Something like this might push the 4 or 5 major conferences to split and go (back) to the simple bowl setup. Perhaps with a plus one if deciding the “true champion ” of their newly formed college sports association is that important.

          • bullet says:


            Talks about not allowing teams to go to bowls based on APR scores. Note that two Big 12 candidates-BYU and UL are below the 930 limit.

            Also, I’m responding here, because the panel is recommending a 22 day window for bowls. Article isn’t very specific, but mentions the next 3 BCS games would be exempt. i.e. panel is not looking kindly on extending the season with any sort of playoff.

          • cutter says:

            For ccrider 55: In some regards, the Rose Bowl has already become a consolation prize. The way the BCS is now set up, there’s a tier system with the national championship game on top, the major BCS bowls next, the New Year’s Day bowls on the third level and then everyone else.

            Once the Big Ten and the Pac Ten (now 12) opted to make the Rose Bowl part of the BCS, the two conferences already essentiallly agreed to change the bowl’s basic set up. Teams from outside the conference were now allowed to play in the game, so it wasn’t the sole province of the two conferences.

            But the more important thing that’s happened for the Pac 12 and the Big Ten is they’ve introduced conference championship games specifically to compete with the SEC, ACC and Big XII for one of the two spots in the BCS Championship game. If the Rose Bowl was that important, then those two conferences would have never made the move (of course, money is a pretty good motivator) or even been part of the BCS in the first place.

            What the Big Ten did see was Michigan not playing undefeated Nebraska in 1997 for a shot at the national championship because of the Rose Bowl commitment. The reason for the conference championship game was reinforced in 2006 when UM and Ohio State were undefeated thru the last game of the season, but a matchup in the national championship game was denied because Florida won the SEC title a week later.

            As I wrote earlier, it would be very interesting if the Big 5 Conferences all have undefeated teams at the end of the year (LSU or Alabama, Oklahoma or Oklahoma State, Clemson, Stanford and Wisconsin)–that’s not to mention an undefeated Boise State team as well. All the teams except Boise State and OU/OkState will have gone 13-0, but twelve-win Big XII champion would probably go in with the winner of the SEC. Jim Delany and Larry Scott are going to have one hell of a time explaining to Wisconsin and Stanford that the Rose Bowl wasn’t a consolation prize under those circumstances.

          • ccrider55 says:


            That is my point. The B1G and the Pac only begrudgingly gave up the auto tie in to the Rose Bowl in the case of either having a participant in the championship game. I wouldn’t choose to, and I doubt the conferences would either, give up that yearly auto tie in simply for inclusion in an 8 team bracket. Call me old fashoned, but we rarely have more than 3 or 4 teams that can claim legitimate inclusion in a championship conversation and a plus one (selected following the bowl games) is as far as I’d like to go. CFB comes closer than most other sports in “crowning” the best team. Playoffs, while exciting, simply offer the opportunity for the “hot” team to gain the “crown”. (St. Louis won the World Series a few years ago after a barely .500 year) I’d rather have Bowls and an AP vote than playoffs in CFB.

        • charlie says:

          the major issue I see with this is that I can’t foresee having the “Big 5 Conferences” allowing only 1 at-large bid. I think you have to go all or nothing on this – either the CCG for all conferences is like a “first round” if you will, or, open up the draw to potentially allow 3-4 at large bids

          • cutter says:

            For Charlie: Right now, there are only two conferences that are allowed to have teams in the BCS title game with all the others shut out, even if they have an undefeated team. Just imagine the dust that will be kicked up if the SEC, Big XII, Big Ten and Pac 12 all end up having undefeated teams this year with three of them winning 13 games. I don’t think they’ll be too worried about the prospect of having one or two at large bids in an 8-game playoff if that were to transpire.

            But to take your suggestion, you can set it up in such a way that the Big Five Conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big XII, SEC, Pac 12) all have conference champion autobids if their team is in the Top 15 in the polls with three at large opportunities each year. If you do that though, you’d still have the same eight teams that I put in the original set-up, except TCU would get an at large bid because they were #3 in the polls, and not because they were the CUSA/MWC champion (and ranked in the Top 15).

            There’s a rough trade off here that gives value to conference champions while recognizing that they aren’t all of equal value. I set the bar at the Top 15 teams in the country, but you could require a conference champion to be in the Top 12 of the poll to get the bid. If you did that last year, for example, ACC champion Virginia Tech (which was 13 in the BCS poll) would be out and they’d get replaced by Arkansas as the #8 seed. Just keep in mind that you want to have the conferences buy in on this proposal, so if you make it too restrictive, there may be some pushback on having the playoff.

          • charlie says:

            re: cutter

            no, I recognize that conferences are only allowed 2 teams max in bcs games (although, this will probably change for the next round of bcs contracts per comments by slive and delany). my point was more along this line:

            in your original set up, each conf champ would get an auto bid with only 1 open at large spot (pending all conf champs ranked in the top 15). this means that conferences would essentially be playing themselves out of having 2 teams, except only one conference which would get two teams. that’s the important bit. currently, there’s generally 2 teams from the B1G and SEC with occational 2 teams from the big XII-1-1-1 and pac-whatever. this allows the top four conferences a general lock in double dipping on bcs cash. by removing that down to only 1 conference per year, you’re bound to see alot of disgrunted commishes. that’s why I was saying you need to either remove double dipping all together by having the CCGs be play-ins so everyone gets the same payout, or you need to allow the system to continue to operate where the B1G and SEC and occationally big XII-1-1-1 and pac-whatever get to double-dip

          • jcfreder says:

            I think the only way things will change is if there are a couple years in a row of 3 or more undefeated teams. Even then I see the next change as being a plus-one system, either with having two bowls be “national semifinals” or an unseeded version using traditional bowl tie-ins. It’s probably the best way to open up the system further without upsetting the existing stakeholders too much.

          • cutter says:

            For Charlie: If I recall correctly, the current BCS bowl setup allows a conference to have two teams in the games with the first program getting around $17M and the second getting $4.5M for a total of around $21.5M. If the Cotton Bowl is added and a conference is allowed a third team (also at $4.5M), then you’re looking at $26M for a triple dipper in this system. Right now, the current bowl system pays around $230M, if I recall correctly.

            The playoff system we’re talking about essentially trebles that money to around $700M. That’s the figure used in Wetzel’s book for a 16-team playoff and in the article describing the playoff system put forward by the MWC/CUSA. For argument’s sake, let’s say an eight game playoff is worth $500M and the remaining bowls are worth about $150M (because the playoffs reduce ther television value and some bowls will be eliminated due to lack of teams) for a total of $650M.

            In an eight team playoff, there are fifteen shares–eight for the teams in the first round, four for the teams in the second round, two for the semi-final participants and one final share for the winner. If you made each of these shares of equal value, then they’d be worth $33.3M per share. That means any conference which gets only one team in and that team loses in the first round still gets more money than a conference that triple dipped in a BCS conference.

            There are other ways to break up the playoff/bowl system revenue than what I mentioned above–the eight shares for the first round may be worth $25M apiece with shares in the second round being worth more. Some of that money may be set aside for the other conferences in Division 1-A (WAC, Sun Belt) before its split up, so the playoff may be paying only $450M to the conferences participating in the playoff (which means each of the 15 shares would be worth $30M apiece). Each of the major conferences could get another $50M apiece, which means the 15 playoff shares would be over the remaining $200M or so (and worth $13.3M apiece).

            But the larger point here is that these conferences are bound to make more money on a playoff system than on the current BCS system we’re seeing even if their schools don’t go beyond the first round or only have one participant. I’d be hard pressed to imagine this would be something any of the conferences would pass up. Yes, they would have to figure out the mechanism for sharing the revenue and how much the minor Division 1-A conferences would get.

            But in this system, conferences are not only rewarded by getting an at-large program in, but but how far that conference’s champion advances. The SEC, for example could have two teams in the playoff and both of them lose in the first round–the conference gets two shares. The ACC has only one team, but it wins the national championship–the ACC gets four of the 15 revenue shares. In this case, having the winning program is more important than getting a second, at-large program in the first round.

            If you go back to setup I had, among the eight shares from the first round, the Pac 12 would get two (Oregon, Stanford), the Big Ten would get two (Wisconsin, Ohio State), the ACC would get one (Virginia Tech), the MWC/CUSA would get one (TCU), the Big XII would get one (Oklahoma) and the SEC would get one (Auburn). If Auburn wins out like it did last season, but in this setup, then the SEC would end up getting four shares while the others would split the other eleven (and we already know where seven of those 11 shares would go due to the first round matchups).

          • Brian says:


            You are, of course, assuming that the regular season doesn’t lose any value due to a playoff.

            You are also being very generous in your value for the other bowls. With all the top teams in the playoff, the bowls will only serve as filler for ESPN during the holiday season.

          • cutter says:

            For Eric: You can knock down the value of the post season bowls from $230M to zero and a playoff would still make more money for these schools than the current BCS system. Even at $500M for an eight team playoff, you’re still seeing more than a doubling in revenue for the post-season. FWIW, a playoff might also give the NCAA and the conferences more leverage against the bowls for the expenses they incur on teams thru ticket sales allotments, required sponsorships, etc.–but that’s a secondary point.

            I would also disagree with you that a playoff might cheapen the regular college football season. If anytihng, it would not only change the stakes of the regular season and really put value into getting a conference championship, but the number of teams essentially eliminated from national championship play because of one or two losses would be greatly lessened. It’d also give programs from non-AQ programs–with Boise State currently being the poster child–for a real chance at a legitimate national championship.

            It’s roughly akin to the introduction of the wild card into baseball’s preseason. I remember when MLB just had two leagues and when pennant races were pretty much whittled down to just a couple of teams halfway thru the season. Now that divisions and the wildcard were set up, it means more teams have a chance at winning the World Series.

            It’s the same for football. Fans will look at their teams in different ways and nothing will be finally decided until the conference championship games are played and the bye team or teams are selected and put into the playoff bracket. That in itself is going to keep the season interesting. Now add in the prospect of your school hosting the first and or second rounds of the playoff and you’ll see a lot more interest in the post season results than what we now enjoy.

            So no, I don’t think a playoff would make the regular season any less valuable to the television networks.

          • Brian says:


            A playoff would be run by the NCAA, and the revenue would be split much like the tournament money is. How much more would that make for the AQs than the BCS? Why would the AQs want to give up control and give all that money to their competitors? Unless the big boys split from everyone else, they won’t have a playoff.

            As for regular season value, that’s clearly in the eye of the beholder. The fans of more teams may stay interested longer, but the tradeoff is casual fans paying less attention because no regular season game means very much. There are more casual fans than devoted fans, so I think it’s a net loss.

      • Take a look at Wetzel’s twitter feed last night. He and I had a long back on forth on this. He’s VERY much in favor of the proposal.

    • Eric says:

      I would lose a lot of interest in college football with a 16 team playoff (and so would a lot of other people eventually). Every conference making it in means that conference pride will disappear fade (how many baseball fans do you know cheering for the Cardinals because they represent the National League Central?). 16 teams will mean the margin for air in the regular season will greatly diminish and there will be a lot less reason to pay attention to the top teams across the country.

      I love that in college football you have to be about perfect to win the championship most of the time and no team that’s not legitimately one of the top 5 over the course of an entire season ever wins it. I love that the focus is actually on the regular season and winning a conference more so than on the postseason. Please no playoff (and if one comes, no bigger than 4 teams).

      • bullet says:

        16 teams won’t diminish my interest. But I would prefer 8-12. There simply aren’t 16 teams who deserve a shot or who have a shot at winning it. Under this proposal, you still only have 5-8 wildcards. We’ve got 3 or 4 now.

        I’ll settle for a 4 team + 1 right now. Barring unexpected developments, that’s the best playoff proponents can hope for next round.

        • zeek says:

          Doubt it’ll ever get to 16 teams. I mean you’re looking at 5 loss teams in weird years.

          Heck, we’ve already had a 2 loss champion drawn from the top 2.

          I doubt we ever see more than 8 teams with automatic bids to the Big 5 conferences.

          More than likely, we seem some sort of compromise based on playing out the bowl season and then seeding top 2 into BCS Championship (which I’m most in favor of). Or we see some other form of +1.

          Having the actual champions play the bowl games like the Rose Bowl with undefeateds or Sugar Bowl, would have much higher ratings for those games and the subsequent championship game.

          • bullet says:

            I’d rather have the current system than a post bowl +1. One game gets valued way too much and the pollsters don’t remember the other 12 or 13 from a month before. They don’t even remember October games much when they vote in December. A post bowl +1 will also be MUCH more controversial than now as you are more likely to have multiple teams with 1 loss. It also will be very unfair if #1 and #2 meet in a bowl (which would happen if they were B1G and Pac 12).

        • Adam says:

          Hell, I’d rather see every team make it in. I like football because I find football entertaining — the postseason format is irrelevant. Give everybody a chance, make conference affiliation irrelevant, and end this Machiavellian process of playing schools and conferences off each other.

          • Read The D says:

            I think the +1 format makes the most sense, especially now. However, it really only works if the top 4 teams play each other in the bowl games. BCS can add the Cotton Bowl so there are still 5 BCS games. #1 & #2 get to play at their conference affiliated bowl. The Cotton Bowl gets a semi final if #1 or #2 don’t have an affiliated bowl (Big East, ND, BYU, Non AQ) or if Rose Bowl is already taken by one of the Pac or B1G champs.

            Also, only allow in conference champions to the semi-finals as to not diminish the value of the regular season. Non champs can still make BCS games. Plus you don’t want the possibility of teams from the same conference playing 3 times in one year.

            Last, allow the non-semi final bowl games to select opponents based in order of highest seeded automatic participant. For example, this year, if Stanford ends up #5, the Rose Bowl gets first selection of At-large bids. A 1-loss Michigan vs Stanford in the Rose Bowl is a much more interesting game than Michigan vs. Clemson in the Orange Bowl.

  35. duffman says:

    The downside : IU made the Bottom 10

    The upside : UK is on the waiting list

    They really need to bring this game back because it is fairly equal. November 11th, so close, yet so far away.

    • bullet says:

      How is UK only on the waiting list? Did Western Kentucky beat some Sun Belt teams to keep UK out?

      • duffman says:


        To be fair, the gophers are there too. I think UK has 2 wins which is keeping them at the next level. Point was this used to be an equal game historically, and not bad to watch for either side.

      • It’s not about finding the actual 10 worst teams. It’s about throwing something together in an entertaining manner. So UK beating WKU isn’t really going to much matter.

  36. bullet says:

    Article on Missouri’s continuing path to the SEC. Has links within article to quotes from Arkansas AD (SEC won’t be long at 13), a Kansas City Star article and a St. Louis article (probably the best discussion-’official vote’ link), as well as an NBC article quoting Thamel’s NYT imminent departure story.


  37. bullet says:

    TN AD insists on keeping TN/AL


    With a 6-1-1 schedule you only get the teams in the other division twice in 12 years, so its almost like two leagues. But almost everyone opposes a 9 game schedule. With 6-1-2 you get them twice in 6 years, which is ok. With an 8 year 6-0-2 schedule, TN/AL and UGA/AU could be non-conference games 4 out of 8 years and conference games 4 out of 8, while everyone else would be played 2 out of 8. Although, I suspect that would lead to the ending of the series eventually.

    At 12 teams, as with the B1G, you don’t run into as big a problem. Once you get to 14, things get difficult. At 16 its two separate leagues unless you do pods when you have 4 separate mini-leagues.

    I wonder if they are looking at re-doing the divisions, maybe NW/SE. UGA, UF, SC, AU, AL, MS, MSU in the SE would probably make it unbalanced. Still leaves AL/TN an issue. May create issues for LSU. AL/AU east and VU west is way too unbalanced. SEC isn’t going to do something drastic like ACC model.

  38. duffman says:

    Congress is getting involved


    As predicted from conversations on here back in July 2010

    Republicans in Michigan and Texas leading anti trust seems a bit more serious

    • vp19 says:

      Texas I can understand (must be Joe Barton again), but Michigan? Unless the guy is looking out for the MAC, this doesn’t make much sense.

      • Adam says:

        “Conyers said in his letter that he was concerned about the impact that conference realignment would have on lower-profile sports teams and smaller and independent universities — especially historically black colleges and universities.”

        Not to turn this into a racial thing, but Conyers is himself black, and was already in his early-to-mid-30s when the Civil Rights Movement took off in the early ’60s. Historically black colleges and universities were obviously a major source of the intellectual foundations of the movement (e.g., Thurgood Marshall went to Lincoln University for undergrad and Howard for law school). Conyers has one of the most secure seats in the House (2010 was a bad year for him — he “only” got 77% of the vote). So, this doesn’t surprise me at all. He’s free to chase a project that’s important to him personally (the threat to HBCUs) without affecting his electoral chances at all.

        • Purduemoe says:

          Aren’t all the historically Black colleges in the FCS, wher they have a Playoff? Sounds like he doesn’t understand what is going on. There is no threat to those schools!!!

          • Adam says:

            What’s going on at the FBS level has trickle-down effects on the FCS level. For example, if realignment produces 9-game conference schedules, there will be fewer non-conference opportunities for FBS teams to play against FCS teams, and HBCUs in FCS depend (like everybody else) on the FBS paydays to sustain their overall athletic program.

          • vp19 says:

            How many FBS schools schedule HBCUs? Rutgers does so fairly frequently, Maryland faced Morgan State last year, Wake Forest has played Winston-Salem State from across town (not sure if Duke has done likewise with North Carolina Central) and I suppose a few others have from time to time.

          • Adam says:

            Consolidation at the top is also making it harder for HBCUs to compete, it seems to me. It wasn’t that long ago that HBCUs turned out top NFL prospects (e.g., Jerry Rice went to Mississippi Valley State). But as the top programs get into leagues with each other, they make each other more valuable (e.g., Penn State is more valuable in a league with Michigan, Ohio State, and Nebraska than PSU is as an Independent), allowing them to pull even further away from schools further down the money food chain. School A’s $10 million training complex might be “good enough” to attract athletes when competing with School B’s $25 million training complex; it’s harder for School A to compete when School B just sunk $125 million into a training complex. As the top programs make each other wealthier by concentrating in the same leagues, even if that doesn’t make poor schools poorer in an absolute sense, making them poorer in a relative sense is still going to cripple their athletic programs.

            It’s all interrelated.

      • Eric says:

        I call bull on most of congress criticizing the BCS because of hurting the little guy. If you had a playoff that also hurt the little guy just as much or more, most wouldn’t care. Most only dislike the BCS because most people dislike the BCS and it has little to do with the smaller conferences.

  39. swesleyh says:

    Thought you guys may like a dose of the truth. Very interesting knows all tells all about A&M move to the SEC.. Notice the time lines and ask yourself “How did Missouri and Nebraska get blamed for the unrest in the Big 12. Warning, this is lengthly.

    Featured Article

    In a wide-ranging Q&A session, A&M President R. Bowen Loftin divulges how Texas A&M arrived at its 100-year decision to move to the SEC

    Editor’s note: Texas A&M University president R. Bowen Loftin sat down with 12th Man Magazine’s Homer Jacobs and Rusty Burson for an exclusive interview concerning A&M’s exit from the Big 12 and move to the Southeastern Conference:

    Q: In the summer of 2010, there was plenty of conference realignment talk. What brought everything back up in 2011?
    Loftin: Let me take you back to June of 2009. I was interim president and within a few days of that time, I attended my first Big 12 board meeting in Dallas. Even though the presidents who were there were obviously civil and got along pretty well, it was clear there was some degree of difficulty within the conference then in terms of relationships. I call it the haves and have-nots. It was very clear which schools had money, and we were sort of in the middle of that pack. That’s where I first began to have some degree (of concern) on where the stance of the conference was. In the fall of 2009, we began to hear rumors about UT meeting and talking with the Pac-10. I was actually in Austin in December 2009 meeting with (University of Texas president) Bill Powers. At that point, I had asked everyone but him to leave the room so we could talk privately. I asked him if there was any conversation between him and the Pac-10 and his answer basically was, “I can’t talk about that.” The next month, he was in College Station, and we met in my office. I had the same question, and he gave me the same answer.
    Go forward to the April (2010) timeframe…I got a call from (Pac-10 commissioner) Larry Scott indicating he wanted to come see me. Scott shows up here, and we have a meeting. Basically they had been working for months, and he had schedules of not just football but, basketball, soccer and baseball, and they had been working hard on this thing. He did a presentation for us on here’s how we are going to do this. I obviously began discussing this privately with the Board of Regents, and the basic direction I got from them was, “Look, we’ll probably get an offer from the Pac-10 to go join them along with five other schools in the Big 12.” The chairman of the board said to me, “One option is no option. You better figure out what things A&M could do besides follow Texas and other schools to the Pac-10.”
    Q: Were you dumbfounded by this development?
    Loftin: No, I had heard rumors. Powers wasn’t talking to me; I heard rumors and was not\completely surprised. After I had this conversation with the board, I made a phone call (SEC commissioner) Mike Slive and said, “Mike we need to talk.” Ultimately, he came here to see me, and we had a discussion about the SEC as a possible home for Texas A&M. That was late April to early May of 2010. We had a lot of other discussions going on by the time, and we had a clear sense the Pac-10 wanted to do this.
    Q: Did you feel uncomfortable that Texas was trying to persuade A&M to tag along with it to the Pac-10?
    Loftin: Clearly we weren’t driving the train. We were passengers at best, and that was a concern. You don’t want to have your destiny usurped by someone else. We slowed things down, and there was political pressure to not allow the Big 12 to dissolve. As we got to the early June meeting of the Big 12 board in Kansas City, (Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe) had all the presidents, chancellors and all the athletic directors in one room. There were 24 of us there, plus Beebe and a few of his staff. Beebe polled the board and said he wanted us to declare whether we were committed to the Big 12 or not.
    Three schools didn’t commit at that point, and the answer I gave was different from everyone else’s. I said that A&M was committed to the Big 12 as it is today. I chose those words very carefully. Since then, I have been accused of being a liar because I committed based on a 12-team conference as it was structured in June 2010. I said my words very carefully because I was not going to set myself into a situation where the conference was radically changed and we would be committed to being in a conference we didn’t really want to be a part of.
    Q: What was the tipping point to possibly leaving the Big 12?
    Loftin: We went to a meeting, and it was very clear there were three schools that were looking at leaving. There were six other schools that were looking at going to the Pac-10. Over that next week, we felt the pressure building heavily. Then Larry Scott took a private jet and made his rounds to all the six schools. He went to Oklahoma first, then Oklahoma State, and then he came to see me, then to Texas Tech, and was headed back down to Texas. We were at a Sunday meeting at Easterwood Airport. Scott had a draft letter of invitation for me to see. In the conversation I said, “You are aware now that UT wants to retain its local rights to be able to have (its) own network.” Larry said that couldn’t happen. He said he made it clear to President Powers that would not be allowed. I said, “Well, I think there is a misunderstanding here.” I think that was a third factor in the following days for UT not to proceed. I wasn’t there; I can’t prove it, but I think they had a strong conversation.

    Q: You pointed that out to Commissioner Scott?
    Loftin: Yes. I said, “Larry, you told us what the rules are and we understand that. I am hearing from UT a different story right now, and you better explore that with them.” They did, so I think that was part of the equation. We slowed things down, there’s a little (political) pressure, and then this (Longhorn) network thing came about. Unfortunately, Bill (Byrne) was in Idaho that weekend, and the next day we couldn’t communicate well. I finally reached Beebe, and he had five secured letters from other schools that would guarantee a $20 million payout for us, UT and OU if we stayed in the Big 12. That’s where we were that Monday afternoon, and then UT announced they were not going to leave and it all kind of fell apart then.
    Q: Did you always feel the SEC was a viable option for A&M?
    Loftin: In June of 2010 after we made the decision to stay in the Big 12, the first conversation I had was with Mike Slive. We were talking about maybe going to the SEC at that point, so I owed that to Mike and said, “Mike, this is the direction we are going right now, and I want you to know that I really appreciate the interaction we have had over the last several months.” We talked a couple times in the fall of 2010, then I ran into him physically at the Cotton Bowl and we just had a social conversation. I always had a sense that the doorway there was not closed to us and we could certainly come back and talk about this in the future.
    Q: Let’s fast forward. When the SEC presidents and chancellors met on a Sunday in August of 2011, no formal vote was taken to invite A&M into the conference. Yet the media perception was that A&M had been rejected. How frustrating was that?
    Loftin: There were actually three meetings among the SEC (presidents), two face-to-face and one telephonically. That first meeting was informational, trying to get everyone on the same page. For the previous year, Mike Slive had put together a nice presentation on A&M in comparison to SEC schools. He showed in snap shots how Texas A&M looked in comparison to the SEC, such as our enrollment, budget for athletics, academic standards, and other things. He had 20 or 30 slides he put together from the summer of 2010. They had some new members on their board and chancellors, so he was educating them about that.
    Again, I didn’t expect a decision to be made in that August meeting. It could have happened, but I didn’t necessarily expect it to. That was the frenzy the media had because they expected a decision, and that didn’t happen. There were some issues they raised with us. We met with Mike in New Orleans prior to that meeting with our Board of Regents and talked about some issues. After that, their lawyer was looking at the Big 12 bylaws and was as confused as we were about them. There were some things we had to look through from a legal perspective to give them some comfort for this to all take place. So, that’s where we were for our first meeting with SEC leadership.
    Then fast forward, we sort of went through all of those things and resolved them. We had a sense that we could withdraw appropriately from the Big 12 in the bylaws, so I sent my letter in to the commissioner, saying we wanted to withdraw effective June 30, 2012 if we had a membership with another conference. This was identical to how Nebraska did it the year before. Beebe called me along with the chairman of their board and said, “We want you cleanly out, so let’s get this thing resolved. What do you need?” Basically they wrote a letter, which Beebe signed and that their lawyer prepared saying that we were free to go by following the process done by Nebraska that previous year.
    Q: At that point, did you think everything was clear to move to the SEC?
    Loftin: Yeah, we thought this was everything we needed to go forward. A second meeting among the SEC (presidents) was scheduled based on that. The Friday before that meeting is when (OU president) David Boren made his public comments about Oklahoma’s circumstances. Then the day of the meeting on Tuesday is when (Baylor president) Ken Starr made his phone calls and that threw things in disarray again. The (SEC) met and formally invited us, but they did so with the caveat of working through these legal issues that had been primarily raised by Starr, so that’s where we were after meeting two.
    We worked some of these issues out with them over the next several days, and there was a third telephonic meeting that had occurred that Sunday before the Monday when we had our big event here. At that point, we had the statement from Larry Scott in the Pac-12 that they were not going to be inviting OU and OSU to join them, and that seemed to put that to bed. All we wanted to know at that point was if the Big 12 was going to survive or not. If they survive, then there is no harm done; if they fall apart, then there is nobody left to deal with. Either way this goes, we will give them a membership unconditionally in response to their request for membership. At that point, we were ready for it to happen so the (SEC) board then met that Sunday by telephone and unanimously voted us in with no conditions at all. We knew then we could celebrate Monday night (Sept. 26), and that was the end of that story.
    Q: What were your conversations like with Baylor president Ken Starr?
    Loftin: We only had one direct conversation about it. I pointed out to Mr. Starr that what he was doing was more destabilizing than what we were doing because he was trying to coerce a member to stay in the conference. A conference is something you are in because you want to be in it and not because you are forced to be in it. That’s my theory anyway. I likened it to the Berlin Wall in that conversation by saying, “You want to build a wall around people that want to get out, and that didn’t work out too well.” That was my comment to him. I wouldn’t say it was a shouting match, but it was a tense conversation. Since that time, I’ve been in collective telephonic conversations with him but not individually yet.

    : There’s an expression in real estate that states, “Time kills deals.” Were you worried these legal threats were going to kill the SEC deal?
    Loftin: I don’t really think so. Throughout all of this, Mike Slive and (Florida president) Bernie Machen said, “We will get this done. Patience is required, and let’s work through these things.” Of course they were waiting to see which way things would go. There was some risk on our part of being sued, but what basis would you sue anyone on? It was always very carefully done in a sense that the SEC wanted to be sure it was clear that we approached them, not the other way around and that has been well established. We have all been very careful with that approach. I had a great conversation with Burns Hargis, the OSU president who is an attorney and former law school dean himself, who said he actually tried some of these (tortuous interference) cases himself but never won because it’s very hard to prove anyway. Even under the best of circumstances, this was a very clean situation, so we never really felt that.
    Q: You’ve said that this was a 100-year decision. How did you finally make it?
    Loftin: Back in 2010 as I was looking at this whole problem here—and I’m an analytical kind of guy—I was looking for a way to present this to the board the whole time. I did an analysis looking at 21 different issues that deal with conference affiliation for the Pac-12 vs. a reduced Big 12 vs. the SEC. It showed me that the preponderance of compatibility was with the SEC, so I had that in my mind a year and three months ago as an outcome of that analysis. Nothing had really changed about that. It’s the same basic analysis. We looked at land grant heritages, cultures, and fan bases. You find a lot of similarities with Texas A&M and the majority of schools in the SEC.
    I also had (vice president for marketing and communications) Jason Cook looking at issues such as branding, brand value, licensing, revenue and things like that. We went a little bit deeper this time in a few areas we hadn’t looked at before as carefully. I must say Regent Jim Wilson is probably my Siamese twin. Jim is the most active person with his strong interest and background. We worked together last year and this year.
    Q: Is there a misconception about the SEC’s academic reputation?
    Loftin: We looked at it last year and in more detail this year. Some have made false claims that the SEC schools are open admission, which is not true and none of them are. There is a gradation there, obviously. There are fewer AAU schools than there are in the Pac-12 and the Big 12, but there are conferences that are different. Look at Conference USA with Tulane and Rice. Look at the Big West, which has UC-Irvine, Santa Barbara, and Long Beach State. You have these incompatible situations from an academic standpoint all the time in many conferences. I think many of (the misperceptions) are based more on 20 years ago than today. I had (Director of Athletic Compliance) David Batson do an individual roster comparison for me, a spreadsheet that looked at every single player in every SEC school compared to ours. What you find is the average ACT score is different by .1 from ours. The average SAT is a little broader gap, and the GPA numbers are also pretty close together. We are certainly above the average, but not any huge amount there. We are clearly in the upper half of the SEC, but A&M doesn’t stand out as being well above the average in any measure. Again, we looked pretty good compared to them, but we aren’t perfect.
    Q: Will there be a significant financial windfall for A&M once it officially joins the SEC?
    Loftin: We are not going to necessarily see huge TV revenue shifts from going to the SEC. We’ll probably see some, but Jason can tell you that we have the opportunity to do much more with licensing revenue and things like that. We will be competing in national venues vs. regional venues as far as visibility, and that has a big value. So, we see revenue enhancements not just from the TV contracts, but from other areas, as well, that will give us more opportunities to be able to do what we have to do in athletics here as far as keeping coaches and attracting coaches and things like that.
    Q: How’s your relationship with the folks at the University of Texas these days?
    Loftin: Well, I haven’t had a lot of conversations with Bill Powers recently, but we have to hang together in this state in a lot of ways. We are the only two public tier-one institutions in the state of Texas. We did a lot together in this last session and will again in the future. Mr. (DeLoss) Dodds has been plainspoken about the football game. I can’t guess what’s going to happen there, and we have been very clear that we would like to continue playing that game against Texas. Ultimately, it will be their call on whether that happens or not. I think we are prepared for the eventuality we won’t have it. I think the fan base here is OK with that. I think we would like to see it happen, but I think a lot of people have accepted the fact that we won’t play them. I do believe there will be the opportunity for us to play, not every year, but at least from time to time. They haven’t closed the door to it. Their language has been pretty guarded about it, and I can’t guess what’s going to happen.
    Q: Did you think about Gen. Rudder during this process and how monumental this decision to move to the SEC could be?
    Loftin: I wouldn’t characterize this on the same level (as admitting women). That was a very fundamental decision about the makeup of Texas A&M. I would not put this at that level. It’s an important decision for us—it’s a 100-year decision, which is a long time. This is a buy-in to a conference for a very long time. I think it’s an important one. We seek greater visibility for A&M on a national stage, and the SEC gives us that almost automatically. I didn’t see us getting that in the Big 12 as it was and even in the Pac-12 and the Big Ten. They do not enjoy the national visibility. We are going to be seen by a lot by people who aren’t necessarily familiar with us, or seen by our fans who don’t see us right now.
    I also want to add that we are working strategically on how to better exploit our third-tier rights and how to retain and have access to those in the SEC in ways that will really help our fan base locally here enjoy all of the athletics here, not just football. It will take us a while to get there. We have a consultant in place who will help us with this, and we’ll be spending quite a few months developing a strategy that will take years to see. Over time, we will not only have the SEC benefits, but we also will exploit much better the benefits to our fans and our athletes.
    Q: What’s your opinion on how the media handled this huge conference realignment story?
    Loftin: You want the truth? There was some media that were pretty negative at first about us. The biggest thing I saw was the propensity of some journalists to say anything and just hope to be right. They wrote absurd stuff. Nobody verified anything. They just wrote up a headline that was the truth until the next day when it was obviously wrong, and nobody got penalized. I felt, I hate to say it, but irresponsibility was characterizing a lot of sports journalists. It bothered me a bit, and not that I was necessarily angry but I just don’t understand why they do these things.
    Why do you just hope for a story that’s right by just randomly typing things? I do think there were some that were initially negative, and as the story got out more completely, that changed. I give Jason the credit there. Jason was front and center with timing, relationship-building with the journalism community and making sure that for the first time ever we shaped the message and it wasn’t shaped for us.
    I think ultimately if you look today, no one is pointing a finger at us right now. There are fingers being pointed at others, but none at us. I give Jason the credit for that. He has done a great job. That is not the past. It is the present, and we are still trying to figure out how to make this work
    Q: What’s been the reaction by students and former students regarding your decision?
    Loftin: There is a lot of excitement from current and former students regarding this move. That was not true last year. There were lots of mixed feeling from last year, and there was no clear-cut situation. Many donors were reluctant to go that way, but that changed dramatically. Just look at the 12th Man Foundation Board of Trustees. I had a number of them calling me last summer and telling me not to do this and that we belonged with the Pac-12 or to stay with the Big 12. They somehow felt we had to stay with Texas.
    That’s pretty much evaporated now. Nobody really has been driving me that way. I have quite a few Aggies who wrote me or told me face-to-face a few months ago that told me not to do this, and then came back to tell me they were wrong. Very senior people flip-flopped, as they have watched this thing develop and understood more fully what was behind it. Visibility is paramount for us, and increased revenue is a good thing for us to have.
    We just didn’t appreciate the lack of collegiality we were dealing with in the Big 12. Everyone was always civil, but you just don’t feel like you were being treated fairly all the time. I don’t want to blame anybody, but that’s just the way it was as the culture of the conference. I think the SEC has proven to me that they are very focused on compatibility, mutual support and acting as a unit and not individual schools. In the SEC, fundamentally you are going to be treated the same. You may be different because of who you are. If you are Florida or South Carolina, you might have different value tied to your brand and we accept that, but you are not going to be forced into compatibility by the conference’s policies. Everything has been very positive in the SEC so far.


    What surprises me the most here is the early Pac-10 stuff. As I reported back in May 2010, we knew Texas was “coordinating” the Pac-16 proposal and the thought was at the time that Bill Byrne had been consulted and was on-board with Dodds and Powers on the move out west. Then there was the A&M-Texas meeting in Austin that blew up when A&M (Wilson, Loftin) basically said they wanted to slow it down and did not agree to move forward.

    It was this meeting that triggered the initial animosity from Texas. They were visibly upset with A&M. At the time, I thought it was gamesmanship on A&M’s part. But based on Loftin’s comments, it sounds like A&M had very little knowledge of the Pac-16 proposal and didn’t know until that meeting just how far along Texas was negotiating and working out details without the input or knowledge of A&M and the rest of the Big 12 “six”.

    I know a lot of people call Aggies paranoid, including some from within, but based on Loftin’s account the sheer arrogance and audacity of TExas to work all of this out to the level of details while Powers refused to answer questions from Loftin on the status of the Pac-16 blows my mind.

    The other stuff is interesting and follows about what I heard, but the level of arrogance from Texas and that they solely went to the Pac-12 and worked out a deal to the level that schedules were already generated is mind numbing.

    • EZCUSE says:

      I thought it was most interesting that Texas started talking with the Pac-10 in 2009. Remember that the Big 10′s announcement was on December 15, 2009.


      While this seemed proactive, it was actually reactionary.

    • Eric says:

      Very interesting. I’d kind of like to see a few different sides perspective, but like with one of Nebraska’s leaders interviews, this reveals a lot more and will probably end forgotten by most.

    • M says:

      Lies, damn lies, and Aggies…

      Do you know why everyone blames the Aggies? Because everyone in the 10 team conference had agreed to stay together, until Texas gets the LHN with already agreed upon rights and A&M throws a hissy fit. No fanbase is as insular and oblivious as the Aggies, and none are as quick to concoct a conspiratorial scheme to explain their failures.

      My personal favorite line: “A&M doesn’t stand out as being well above the average (SEC school) in any measure.” That should be on the faculty recruitment pamphlets: “Texas A&M: Basically an average SEC school”

  40. Andy says:

    Some of you are saying Mizzou would have been better off staying in the Big 12 instead of moving to the SEC. Others are saying Mizzou should wait to see if maybe some day the Big Ten will finally give Missouri the offer they’ve wanted for the last 30 years.

    I think there are 5 major factors when evaluating whether you want to be a member of a conference: Academics, Money, Football, Basketball, and Stability. You can weight them based on personal preference. For the sake of argument, I’ll weight them all equally.

    Also for the sake of argument, let’s assume that the SEC will in fact create an SEC network. This is what Missouri’s BOC based their calculations are, so this is what they’ve been lead to believe is true.

    Also, for the sake of argument, let’s say that at best the Big 12 gains BYU and WVU along with TCU. Let’s take Missouri out of the equasion for both the SEC and Big 12.

    Here is how the conferences would rank in each of the five categories.

    1. Big Ten, 2. ACC, 3. Pac 12, 4. SEC, 5. Big XII, 6. Big East


    1. SEC, 2. Pac 12, 3. Big Ten, 4. ACC, 5. Big XII, 6. Big East


    1. SEC, 2. Big XII, 3. Big Ten, 4. Pac 12, 5. ACC, 6. Big East


    1. ACC, 2. Big East, 3. Big Ten, 4. Big XII, 5. Pac 12, 6. SEC


    t1. SEC, Big Ten and Pac 12, 4. ACC, 5. Big XII, 6. Big East

    Here are the totals:

    1. Big Ten 11
    2. SEC 13
    3. Pac 12 15
    4. ACC 16
    5. Big 12 21
    6. Big East 26

    So Mizzou is making a huge upgrade from the 5th best conference to the 2nd best conference. They have tried multiple times to get into the best conference and were rebuffed. Some of you are suggesting that they stay in the 5th best conference indefinitely unless the best conference takes them.

    Others are more rational and see that Mizzou should jump at an invite to join the second best conference rather than continue to stay in a conference that is not as good and is getting worse instead of better in recent years.

    As far as geography, it’s not that big of a shift. Mizzou will be in the SEC East, likely with Arkansas as its cross divisional rival. This means they will play 4 boarder state schools every season. In the Big 12 they currently play 5 boarder state schools, so not a huge change. Columbia, SC, Athens, GA, and Gainesville, FL aren’t any farther than Austin, Waco, and Lubbock, TX.

    Yes, many Mizzou fans wanted the Big Ten. But the Big Ten didn’t take us. And where we’re going is still a huge upgrade, and in some categories is quite a bit better than the Big Ten.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      I don’t think anyone is saying Missouri made a bad decision by moving to the SEC.

      What people are disagreeing with is the notion that somehow the B1G made a crippling error in not adding a school that doesn’t improve the conference in any measurable way.

      • zeek says:

        Someone mentioned this before (I think bullet), but in the same way that Texas A&M adds more to the SEC than the Big 12, it adds more to the SEC than the Big Ten.

        The Big Ten already captures the St. Louis markets (at least half) through Illinois. The KC markets are mostly KU markets.

        In the same way, the Big 12 already had full capture on Texas’ markets with or without Texas A&M.

        The SEC is getting access to St. Louis and Houston at least (through Missouri and Texas A&M) along with a decent portion of Dallas and KC.

        It’s a good move for the SEC from the perspective of third tier TV (which they’ll need for an SEC Network someday).

        • zeek says:

          Er, in that first line, I meant that Missouri adds more to the SEC than to the Big Ten.

        • Andy says:

          St. Louis is not half captured by Illinois. If you look at tv ratings for games, alumni count, apparel sales etc, St. Louis is a Mizzou city. It is at least 75-80% Mizzou. KC is not a KU town. There are a lot of KU basketball fans in KC, no doubt. But if you look at tv ratings, etc etc at least during football season KC is very much a Mizzou city.

          Does the Big Ten “need” Mizzou? Of course not. Mizzou would rank in the middle of the Big Ten. Mizzou would fit right in. But they don’t move the dial in any way. That’s why Mizzou is a perfect compliment if ever the Big Ten were to bring in a power school and needed to even out their numbers. They could have added Mizzou along with Penn State for instance. They could also do so if they get Notre Dame or Texas. But does it make sense for the Big Ten to add Mizzou and say, Kansas or Rutgers? Not really unless you buy the theory that growth of the Big Ten network with high population states is valuable, in which case adding Mizzou and Rutgers would make sense.

          The SEC gains a lot by adding Texas A&M and Missouri. They’re trying to start an SEC network. What they lack are high population states and big cities. With this expansion they add KC, St. Louis, and Houston. This is exactly what they need to get their network going.

          I would argue that the Big Ten would have loved to get a combo of Mizzou and Texas A&M. It would really be a good addition to any conference.

          Any dismissal of Mizzou’s ability to deliver St. Louis and KC is misguided and uninformed. Do they deliver 100% of the market? Of course not, but who does? They do deliver the majority of both markets. TV ratings prove this.

          • zeek says:

            Of course the Big Ten would have gone for Texas A&M + Missouri. But that’s never been on the table (even if the cultural fit for Texas A&M would have worked).

            Missouri and Maryland are excellent #14 choices to round out an expansion. But you have to have a #13 first. Since the SEC has that, they’re in a position to round that out with Missouri’s population footprint/TV markets.

          • PSUGuy says:

            Only thing I’d argue with you on the creation of an SEC network and to that point I maintain it will never happen.

            ESPN already covers almost all of the SEC’s (football) games and that would be the driving product to get a new channel up and running. What’s more, adding one mildly populous state (Missouri) and a middle school in a highly populous state (TAMU) is not going to change the other population issues the SEC faces (in regards to starting their own network).

            IMO, its a political piece to get ESPN to renegotiate its contract, but I just don’t see ESPN budging.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            “Does the Big Ten “need” Mizzou? Of course not…”

            —You absolutely get it. For whatever reason a number of Missouri fans take offense over the reality that you stated so well. Adding another mid tier Big Ten team is not only not a priority it is arguably a net negative….but being a labeled mid tier Big Ten team shouldn’t be taken as a slight either.

      • Andy says:

        Some people were saying that Mizzou should stay in the Big 12. It was said by several people above.

        • zeek says:

          I think they’re just talking about football wins. Looking at the whole picture, stability in one of the top 3 conferences trumps that by a mile.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          If people were saying that the Big 12 is a better long term option for Missouri than the SEC right now I missed it and I’ll happily apologize. Still I think that is certainly a minority opinion. It would be hard to seriously argue that out of the two options on the table currently that jumping to the SEC isn’t by far the better choice for long term stability.

          • Eric says:

            I too think its a long run better move to stick with the Big 12. It is possible that this might mean a time in a bad conference situation (although I don’t think it would last more than a couple of years even if it comes to that), but I think they can guarantee the current set-up lasts for quite awhile via signing over rights. Meanwhile, if television dollars are going to continue to be important, we’re going to continue to see gradual shifting of conferences as media changes, as name brands change, and as postseason format possibly changes (a large playoff would economically benefit smaller conferences instead of larger ones like the current BCS does). They call this a 100 year decision, but I’d be surprised if it’s anywhere near that long before things change again. Thus I think the present ideal place (still the Big 12 from a regional and rivalry perspective as well as with a chance to grow) is being too highly underrated and that the long term factors that say a move should happen are too hard to predict accurately anyway.

            This doesn’t mean I think going to the SEC is a bad idea per say, but I think the benefits in the Big 12 might still be better.

        • bullet says:

          I was saying the Big 12 was better. Its definitely a minority opinion because the stability is definitely a risk. With the SEC there is a floor for Missouri. With the Big 12 its possible (I don’t think likely, but its a distinct possibility) that floor disappears in a dozen years if UT and OU leave.

          In academics there are several factors. If you look at USNW, the SEC and new Big 12 are about the same. But Alabama and Auburn are #3 and #4 behind UF and Vandy in that. If you look at ARWU, those 2 are near the bottom of the SEC. USNW is seriously flawed. The SEC is not better than the Big 12, but its not significantly worse than the Big 12-4. But the other factors are how it does on student graduation (UT and OU can’t brag) but the SEC as a whole doesn’t do very well. There’s the intangible that can’t be proven except anecdotally (Loftin seemed to think this wasn’t true in his comments above-or A&M stoops pretty low in who it recruits) about who it recruits. Big 12 has DUIs. UGA had 6 arrests just for driving w/o a license in a year (they obviously had done something to get their license pulled-and UGA had about a dozen other arrests last year for other offenses). Tennessee had 3 players guilty of armed robbery. They held up random people in a gas station. And then there is the cheating. In terms of number of major violations there is no significant difference between the 5 major conferences. But there are different calibers of major violations. Georgia Tech got a major violation because 1 player got $300 in clothes from an agent and their office ticked off the NCAA compliance officials. Kentucky got a major violation because Fedex dropped the envelope they sent with $20,000 to their recruit. And then there is the attitude towards the rules. The SEC clearly wasn’t interested in the Cam Newton deal last year. It wasn’t until the national media spotlighted it that they did something about over-signing. This all goes to the integrity of the institutions, which contributes to the low academic reputation of the conference.

          Your money comment is wrong. Big 12 is already ahead of the ACC and will redo its tier I deal in the next 5 years, if not sooner. There’s a very good chance the Big 12 will be ahead of the SEC in $ when Tier I is redone, until the contracts renew in 2022-2023. But neither conference will be significantly ahead (see Loftin’s comments who thought he would be a little better in the SEC in TV revenue).

          So the SEC has an edge in football and a very big edge in stability. Academic ratings are close but the academic intangibles are much worse in the SEC. TV revenue will be close. Basketball will be better in Big 12. The question is whether Missouri itself will be better in the Big 12 or SEC. That’s where the risk is to Missouri. My point was that they have had success mining Texas recruits. That will be a lot tougher when they only play in Texas every 8 to 12 years. And Missouri will have a very hard time getting southern recruits to go to Missouri. If Missouri loses, they lose attendance and that hurts revenue and future recruiting which leads to more losses….Most revenue is internally generated, not from TV. Missouri is risking that at a time when they seem to be on the way up, as well as leaving behind long rivalries.

          Going to the SEC has less downside potential as the SEC will almost certainly still be solid in 2030 (unless everyone gets on probation at the same time), but its not a risk free move.

          • bullet says:

            There’s a good WV article about facilities and budgets in the Big 12 and SEC. That is something that has concerned Missouri. Missouri was dead last in conference titles in the Big 12 (I’ve read they’ve only won in soccer and softball) despite being in the middle in budgets. They would be near the bottom of the SEC and way below average. Article discusses rumours that WV will replace Missouri in Big 12 and then compares budgets in the two conferences.


          • Andy says:

            For the Big 12, take away Nebraska, Colorado, and Texas A&M and add Louisville, WVU, and BYU.

            For the SEC add Texas A&M.

            Compare the two academically:

            SEC: 1 Elite school (Vanderbilt), 2 high level AAU schools (Florida and Texas A&M), 5 mid tier Universities (Georgia, Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, South Carolina), 2 lower tier Universities (Kentucky, Arkansas), 3 poor academic institutions (LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State)

            Big 12: 1 high level AAU school (Texas), 2 mid level AAU schools (Iowa State and Kansas), 1 mid tier University (Oklahoma), 3 decent religious schools (TCU, BYU, Baylor), 1 lower tier school (Oklahoma State University), 4 poor academic institutions (Kansas State, Texas Tech, West Virginia, Louisville)

            The new SEC is clearly superior to the new Big 12. It’s just wrong to say otherwise.

            If some football players got in trouble with the law at some point that is comletely irrelevant to this equation.

            As for the money, as I’ve said, SEC is currently lower down the rankings but this will change after they create an SEC network. They are projecting after the SEC network is created that each school will earn in the neighborhood of $30M per year in TV money. That would put them at the #1 spot.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            Let me clarify…few outside of Big 12 land think staying in that dysfunctional conference is a better option than fleeing to the stability of the SEC.

            I have no problem arguing that in regards to the long term the SEC will far outstrip the Big 12 financially. Sure the Big 12 will likely edge ahead of the SEC in their next contract…but the SEC will make a massive leap over that when THEIR contract comes due (Slive gets a ding for signing such a long term deal). Over the next 100 years the potential financial windfall of SEC membership far outstrips that of the Big 12.

            Seven of the to 20 revenue makers are in the SEC. Three are in the Big 12 (and the 3rd, Kansas just squeaks in at #20). The SEC has three more in the top 30 vs 1 for the Big 12.

            Bringing eyes to TV sets certainly isn’t in the Big 12′s favor either.

            Academics is a wash although the SEC has a fledgling academic consortium whereas the closest Big 12 equivalent is for engineering departments only.

            As far as integrity goes anyone who shares a conference with Oklahoma best clean up their own home before criticizing the neighbor’s drapes.

          • John says:

            You make a lot of sense, however, Mizzou should not be scared to recruit southern kids. Coaches build relationships and trust with H.S. coaches and recruits then come. We won’t get kids that want to go to LSU/BAMA/FLA the same way we don’t get Texas kids that want to go to UT/OU. But as with Texas, there’s enough talent to go around, its getting some of the current Tenn/SCar/Miss St/Arky talent that will become our recruiting test. You statement could have been made about Mizzou & Texas kids c 2000-2001 as well. We…Trust in Gary!

          • bullet says:

            Missouri isn’t going to get LA,MS,AL,GA kids to go north. They just won’t go. They might get Arkansas, TN and KY kids, but there’s not much football talent there. To succeed in football, they will have to recruit the midwest where they don’t play, continue in Texas where they will play only every 8 to 12 years and recruit in Florida which is very competitive (everyone east of the Mississippi recruits there). It can be done, but its a new path and a more difficult one than they are doing now.

            Financially the SEC should be ahead of the new Big 12 in 2023. But the value of a $ 12 years from now is not very much, only 36 cents using an 8% interest rate and 28 cents at 10%. And the media market makes the Big 12 and Big East look extraordinarily stable by comparison, so you don’t know what will happen. Joining the SEC is like buying an insurance policy or a commodities or interest rate swap to limit risk. Making a decision to buy insurance can’t be criticized as a bad decision, but it could end up costing Missouri more than staying put.

          • bullet says:

            Stoops OU isn’t Switzer’s OU. Oklahoma doesn’t appear to be doing what they once did in recruiting.

    • zeek says:

      The only thing that really matters for this discussion is the stability of joining a 100-year conference.

      The Big 12 is still just a TV contract for all intents and purposes.

      If the LHN flops, who’s to say the Pac-16 doesn’t occur as soon as the 6 year grant of rights is up.

      I think most if not all of us agree with that, even though we may not think it’s as slam dunk of a move for Missouri as it was for Texas A&M which has wanted into the SEC for 2 decades.

    • Jefferson says:

      My rankings are a bit different:

      1. Big Ten, 2. ACC, 3. Pac 12, 4. Big XII, 5. SEC, 6. Big East


      1. Big Ten, 2. Pac 12, 3. SEC, 4. ACC, 5. Big XII, 6. Big East


      1. SEC, 2. Big XII, 3. Big Ten, 4. Pac 12, 5. ACC, 6. Big East


      1. ACC, 2. Big East, 3. Big Ten, 4. Big XII, 5. Pac 12, 6. SEC


      t1. SEC, Big Ten and Pac 12, 4. ACC, 5. Big XII, 6. Big East

      Here are my totals, although I wouldn’t equate football and basketball.

      1. Big Ten 9
      2. Pac12 15
      3. SEC 16
      4. ACC 16
      5. Big12 20
      6. Big East 26

      If you ignore hoops:

      1. Big Ten 6
      2. SEC 10
      3. Pac12 10
      4. ACC 15
      5. Big12 16
      6. Big East 20

      • Andy says:

        When the Big XII had Nebraska, Texas A&M, and Colorado and if you counted MU, then the Big 12 was clearly better than the SEC academically. Now, not so much. After this move the SEC will have 4 AAU schools to the Big 12′s 3. Vandy + Florida + Mizzou + Texas A&M are better than Texas + Iowa State + Kansas State. And if the Big 12 starts adding schools like Louisville and West Virginia, they suddenly have a large and troubling basement of low level schools that also includes Kansas State, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech. At this point the SEC is the better conference academically, even if you take Mizzou out of the equation.

        • Andy says:

          meant to list Kansas as the big 12′s 3rd best school, not Kansas State.

          • duffman says:

            Jefferson, I can be a B1G homer too, but I would not put SEC basketball in last place.

          • Jefferson says:

            Actually a reply to duffman. Basketball rankings are the only ones I did not change. They are largely irrelevant in terms of the success and prosperity of a conference, anyway.

      • Andy says:

        Also, your money rankings are true today, but after the SEC expands and creates an SEC network, they will pass the Big Ten and Pac 12 in money. That is almost certainly true. Those were the numbers leaked by the Mizzou curator. After the creation of an SEC network, Mizzou expects a minimum of a $12M bump in tv revenue. This would put them at around $29M per year. This would be higher than the Big Ten or Pac 12. Mizzou’s BOC are relatively conservative in their estimates. Some on the SEC side are estimating even gaudier numbers.

        • PSUGuy says:

          I said it further up, but I’ll say it again…I highly doubt the SEC network will come to fruitition if for no other reason ESPN is already the de facto SEC network.

          • Andy says:

            The SEC network would include tier 3 football games plus basketball and olympic sports, branded only for SEC 24/7. ESPN does not currently do this.

          • PSUGuy says:

            There are almost no Tier 3 football games because ESPN already airs most of the SEC’s football games and taped versions of the games do not sell at all when compared to their live versions. What’s more Tier 3 has traditionally been “institutional”…each school keeps it own Tier 3 for itself.

            BBall and olympic sports are not big draws in the SEC footprint. What’s more, because of the institutional athletic culture in the SEC (ie: they play football, bball, baseball, and the minimum number of women’s sports to meet Title IX requirements) they don’t have much product to put on tv.

            Even with the additions of Missouri and TAMU the SEC is still a conference with population issues (they own sparsely populated markets or split heavily populated ones).

            All this, plus the fact that the SEC looked into its own network prior to its last ESPN contract and determined it wouldn’t be profitable lead me to believe this sudden talk of a SEC network’s profitability is either 1) Missouri trying to justify more fully its move 2) a PR move by the SEC to try and renegotiate their long term contract or 3)…more than a little of both.

          • bullet says:

            I’m with you PSU guy. I’ll only believe it when the ink is dry. I don’t believe they want to give up what they do have. The values are also more local. Kentucky basketball is very valuable in Kentucky, but not in AL, MS, LA, etc.

          • Andy says:

            The SEC can add content in two ways: 1) it’s adding two more schools, and 2) they can expand to 9 conference games. By doing this they’ll have additional content for their new SEC network. They are absolutely serious about making this happen and will do what it takes. This was the sales pitch they made to the Mizzou administration and was a major reason for Mizzou joining the SEC. It will happen.

          • Mack says:

            Georgia makes more from its 3rd tier rights than Texas does from its LHN. Alabama and Florida are not far behind. Each SEC team gets 1 tier 3 football game. In the A&M president interview post above Lofton discusses the consultant A&M has hired to fully exploit their third tier rights (I feel an Aggie network coming). The SEC schools are not going share this money with Missouri. If Missouri cannot develop its rights it will only get the SEC conference payout (like Mississippi State). The current SEC membership (including A&M) seems comfortable with the current tier 3 rights setup, so I agree that the SEC will never have a Big Ten like network. I also think the top 9 SEC schools can get more revenue from developing their rights than taking 1/14 of a SEC Network payout. The general feeling of these schools is they are already sharing enough revenue with Vanderbilt and the schools that start with Miss.

            BTW: There is a SEC Network. It broadcasts a 12 EST football game sold to TV stations, including a lot outside the SEC footprint.

          • Wes Haggard says:

            Here are two very logical articles explaining how the new SEC 3rd tier network will function very profitably…



            My point is that if they think in SEC land that they can do it, it is very like to happen in spite of the “they can’t fo it” attitude from far away Pennslyvania and further away B12 land.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            PSU Guy – the SEC men’s sports are baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, swimming & diving, tennis, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field. The SEC doesn’t participate in the following NCAA men’s sports: fencing, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, soccer, volleyball, water polo, and wrestling. With the exception of soccer and to a much lesser extent, lacrosse and wrestling, most high schools within the SEC’s footprint don’t field teams in these other sports.

            In addition to all the SEC sponsored sports, the B1G also sanctions wrestling, men’s gymnastics, and men’s soccer – with ice hockey soon to follow.

            But just in case you really think the SEC is just about football, since the 92 expansion SEC schools have won multiple national championships in every NCAA sport in which the SEC sanctions – and many national runners-up as well.

            Here’s the list.

            Baseball (7) – LSU 93, 96, 97, 00, 09; South Carolina 10, 11. Runners-up include: Florida 05, 11; Georgia 08; South Carolina 02; Alabama 97.

            Basketball (5) – Arkansas 94; Kentucky 96, 98; Florida 06, 07. Final Four participants include: LSU 06; Florida 94, 00; Kentucky 93, 97; Miss State 96; Arkansas 95.

            Cross Country (6) – Arkansas 92, 93, 95, 98, 99, 00. Runners-up include Arkansas in 96 and 97.

            Football (9) – Alabama 92, 09; Florida 96, 06, 08; Tennessee 98; LSU 03, 07; Auburn 10.

            Golf (4) – Florida 93, 00; Georgia 99, 05. Runners-up include: Florida 06; Georgia 07, 11; Arkansas 09. NOTE: This past season, LSU students captured the NCAA individual men’s and women’s golf championships.

            Swimming & Diving (8) – Auburn 97, 99, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 09. Auburn was also the national runner-up in 96, 98, and 00.

            Tennis (4) – Georgia 99, 01, 07, 08. Runners-up include: Ole Miss 95, Georgia 93, 97, 98, 02, 06; Tennessee 01, 10; Vandy 03.

            Indoor Track & Field (16) – Arkansas 92, 93, 94, 95, 97, 98, 99, 00, 03, 05, 06; LSU 01, 04; Tennessee 02; Florida 10, 11. Runners-up include: Florida 04, 05, 09; LSU 06; Arkansas 04; Auburn 97, 03; Alabama 02; Tennessee 94, 95.

            Outdoor Track & Field (13) – Arkansas 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 03, 04, 05; LSU 02; Tennessee 01.

            That’s 72 men’s national championships in 19 years by 9 of the 12 SEC schools. Of the three that didn’t win any NCs Vandy was a runner-up in tennis and participated in the College World Series, Ole Miss was a runner-up in tennis, and Miss State has participated in the basketball final four and the College World Series.

            By contrast, with four more men’s sports (and counting Nebraska’s NCs won as a member of the Big 8 or XII, as well as ice hockey NCs won by B1G teams as members of other hockey conferences) ten B1G schools have won a total of 45 NCs in 11 of their 13 sanctioned sports.

            I don’t know if the SEC will start its own TV channel, but if they did, I’m sure they would be able to fill the schedule with a multitude of quality competitive sports event.

            I didn’t even detail the women’s teams in which the SEC has won 60 NCs by seven schools in eight of its nine sanctioned sports.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          Even if the SEC does get a network off the ground (btw wasn’t there a clause in the ESPN contract preventing them from doing so?) the conference just doesn’t have the population to create as much revenue as the BTN.

          That shouldn’t be a barrier from them doing so as it will likely make a profit…just that ultimately it will not bring in as much as the BTN.

    • greg says:

      Andy, how can you rank B10 third in Money? That is the one category they unequivocally are #1.

      • Andy says:

        They are currently #1. But after the SEC adds A&M and Mizzou and creates an SEC network, they will be #1. This is their plan and this is how they sold themselves to Mizzou.

        • Andy says:

          What I mean to say is, the Big Ten is currently #1, but within a year or two the SEC will be #1 if they do what they plan to do.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            I think it’s important to remember that the B1G also has the oldest current contract. When they are up for negotiation in 2015 it’s very likely the new contract will dwarf anything currently on the table. The SEC can’t seriously renegotiate their deal until a decade later (2023-24).

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            Note to self: Aim for less “current” & “currently” redundancy in future posts.

          • PSUGuy says:

            Actually Scarlet the B1G may not even need to wait that long. One of the surprises (for me anyway) was how profitable the BTN is from an advertising standpoint. That portion of the newtwork is still growing and has huge potential considering a lot of the advertising is still regional in scope. More and more the Discover’s of the world (ie: national brands) are going to be paying for premium placement on the BTN and that is going to ensure the B1G is near the top of the heap even before 2015 comes around.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            @Guy – Oh I agree about the success of the BTN but even leaving it out of the equation the B1G’s tier 1 TV contract alone will be bigger than anyone else’s (part of which is of course just due to being signed 3-6 years after those of the Pac & SEC).

          • greg says:

            While I think the chances of an SEC network are better than most, they aren’t going to push the SEC past the B10. BTN profits continue to grow, and their network renewal is right around the corner.

          • Andy says:

            Big Ten states total population:


            Big Cities they have majority market shares in: Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Omaha

            SEC states total population (adding Texas and Missouri):


            Big Cities they have majority market shares in: Atlanta, Houston, New Orleans, Orlando, St. Louis, Kansas City, Jacksonville, Nashville, Louisville, Birmingham

            SEC football is more successful. TV ratings higher. Football attendance higher. Fan interest higher. They can charge more per subscriber.

            I know this is a Big Ten forum so I have to expect some homerism here, but I truly have no clue why you think the SEC can’t make more money with an SEC network than the Big Ten is making with the BTN?

            It’s not difficult to imagine at all, really. They just have to build it. If they’re short on content they just add more schools (which they are doing) and go to 9 conference games (which they will likely do) and then they’ve got their extra content for the SEC network. Mike Silve and his people are very smart. They will find a way to make an SEC Network happen. I see no reason to doubt it.

            In fact, I see these doubts as wishful thinking by the Big Ten. You were hoping they had something unique and special that their rival conferences would never be able to copy. I just don’t see why that would be the case.

          • Peter says:

            The content problem for the SEC is that it is a football conference and nothing else. SEC basketball isn’t interesting unless you are in Kentucky or Tennessee. The other schools are both low basketball quality and low fan interest. Missouri should bring decent basketball but Texas A&M sure doesn’t. The SEC doesn’t care at all about any other sports (besides baseball).

            Any SEC third-tier deal is also hurt by both the success of their football (Texas has the same problem with LHN distribution – no games) and by relatively less statewide loyalty than the B1G schools command in their home market. With the big exception of the state of Alabama & all things football, the SEC states just aren’t as brand loyal. Florida has the only third-tier channel at the moment and splits it with FSU and a whole slew of other programming as Sun Sports Network. Texas A&M probably doesn’t have the muscle to get a hypothetical SEC Network on basic cable Texas-wide either. They have a big fan base, but they are primarily southeastern Texas.

            Adding the state of Texas of course changes the population dynamics to the benefit of the SEC, even part of Texas brings millions of people & at least one major media market, but I’d disagree that it makes the SEC markedly superior to the B1G. The BTN is established, has programming, and is known to work financially for the owners & advertisers, with metrics as to how much B1G fans care about non-football and on reliably delivering the entire states of the B1G schools. It also only gets split twelve ways, as opposed to a hypothetical SEC Network 14-way split. The B1G and the SEC are similar with a bunch of big state schools but the differences are really pretty important.

          • Andy says:

            True, the 14 way split vs 12 way split is a factor and mitigates the population advantage the SEC currently has. And yes, Big Ten basketball is better than SEC basketball. But the SEC does play basketball and has some good teams. Kentucky, Missouri, Florida, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt are all good. LSU and Alabama are decent. Georgia can be alright. Texas A&M has made the tourney for the past few seasons and has been ranked in the top 20. You can’t dismiss SEC basketball altogether. If Big Ten basketball is an A minus, SEC Basketball is a B minus. SEC baseball is a big deal. Most schools average over 5,000 attendance per game. Some average over 10,000 per game. Big Ten baseball attendance typically around 10% of that It’s a totally different situation down in SEC land. They don’t have nearly as many MLB teams down there. SEC baseball on the SEC network can be a ratings-grabber. The SEC holds its own in Olympic sports, racking up lots of national titles. They are up there with the Pac 12 and the Big Ten as far as that goes.

            I see no reason to be dismissive of the SEC’s ability to create a successful network. I think it will likely make more money than the BTN, or at the very least it will make very similar money.

          • Andy says:

            I left out Arkansas in basketball. They’ve been down lately, but they are a traditional power with a national title in the last 20 years and one of the highest average attendances per game in the country.

          • vp19 says:

            At BCInterruption.com, a Boston College fan site, someone listed the Director’s Cup rankings for the ACC and Big East in 2010-11:

            5 — Duke
            6 — North Carolina
            7 — Virginia
            9 — Florida State
            17 — Maryland
            45 — Virginia Tech
            47 — Clemson
            51 — Miami
            59 — Georgia Tech
            64 — Boston College
            67 — NC State
            74 — Wake Forest

            Big East:
            18 — Notre Dame
            34 — Louisville
            40 — West Virginia
            44 — Connecticut
            50 — Villanova
            55 — Georgetown
            61 — Syracuse
            86 — South Florida
            94 — St. John’s
            96 — Marquette
            113 — Providence
            123 — Pittsburgh
            140 — DePaul
            150 — Cincinnati
            158 — Rutgers
            238 — Seton Hall

            Can anyone do likewise for the Big Ten and SEC? Heck, throw the Big 12 and Pac into the mix as well.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            2 Ohio State
            13 Penn St.
            15 TSUN
            23 Illinois
            26 Wisconsin
            28 Indiana
            29 Minnesota
            33 Nebraska (Big 12)
            42 Sparty
            43 Iowa
            46 Northwestern
            49 Purdue

            4 Florida
            (8 Texas A&M)
            19 LSU
            20 Georgia
            22 Tennessee
            24 Arkansas
            25 Alabama
            31 Auburn
            36 Kentucky
            39 South Carolina
            (41 Missouri)
            56 Vanderbilt
            65 Mississippi
            79 Mississippi St.

            8 Texas A&M
            10 Oklahoma
            12 Texas
            32 Oklahoma St.
            33 Nebraska
            35 Baylor
            41 Missouri
            48 Texas Tech
            58 Kansas St.
            60 Iowa St
            66 Colorado
            72 Kansas

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            1 Stanford (Woot!)
            3 Cal (Boo Hiss!)
            11 UCLA
            14 USC
            16 Arizona
            21 Washington
            27 Arizona St.
            30 Oregon
            66 Colorado (Big 12)
            69 Oregon St.
            71 Utah (MWC)
            135 Washington St.

          • PSUGuy says:

            You list “92 million” within the SEC footprint, but explicitly ignore my arguement concerning SEC population issues.

            Of that “92 million”, 43 million (~46%)are located in Florida and Texas…which the SEC has to split other big time football conferences for the purposes of revenue generation.

            Those states truly are “split” in their loyalties. Texas’ favorite university (by numbers anyway) is UT and so long as the Big12 still has a fairly solid contingent of Texas schools Texas (the state) will always be more Big12 than ever SEC. The Gators certainly lead in Florida popularity (though I still maintain Florida’s only “favorite” college football team is whichever one is winning today), but FSU, Miami, and UCS/USF (don’t laugh, those schools pump out students like a factory) eat into the Gators.

            As many a conference before has shown, simply having products (even good ones) in markets does not guarantee penetration…and penetration is what determines the success of many endeavors, but most importantly a conference network.

          • I’m as big of a Big Ten guy as anyone, but I can admit that an SEC network would make an insane amount of money… if it actually has the equivalent rights that the Big Ten Network has. The BTN isn’t really just third tier games – it also has a critical mass of middle to lower second tier football and basketball games that used to be syndicated by ESPN Regional. Essentially, a successful SEC network needs all of those ESPN Regional games (which is what is branded the “SEC Network” today) back under their control. That was the entire point of ESPN of overpaying the SEC (at the time) for all of those games, as that would prevent the creation of a viable SEC network. I’d also be fairly shocked if ESPN didn’t explicitly state in its SEC deal that the conference couldn’t create a network on top of that. As a result, whether it’s an explicit contractual restriction or a de facto roadblock due to a lack of content, the SEC can’t start up its own network until the mid-2020s.

            Now, if we were speaking in hypothetical terms, I have zero doubt that an SEC network would be easily carried within its home footprint at a huge rate if it had the equivalent content of BTN. All of the SEC states are truly delivered by the conference even if they have in-state ACC competition. (It would be no different than the competition that Notre Dame provides the Big Ten in the Chicago market.) The two states that would have the most carriage issues would likely be the newest ones (Texas and Missouri), but even they are much surer bets to get the SEC basic carriage in their home markets compared to, say, the BTN trying to leverage any combo of schools to get into the NY/NJ/CT area. That’s why ESPN was so hot to never let the SEC do this the way the Big Ten did.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:


            You also left out Florida basketball. Those jerks… excuse me… that team won two national titles a few years ago. (I kid because I’m an FSU fan who loathes to see UF succeed in anything.) Anyway, there certainly isn’t the hot-blooded passion for UF basketball the way there is in the Big East, ACC, or Big Ten, but when the team is good, there a ton of “fans” who jump onto that bandwagon and ride it as long as they can.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            I, too, thought the SEC Network was already well in place. In fact, there are way more SEC Network channels than Big Ten Network Channels, and they are distributed to far more households. These channels have entire shows where anchors actually have praise and worship shows for Nick Saban, Les Miles, and everything else SEC because, as they remind us for 3.2 million times and counting, “the SEC is the greatest football conference of all time.” The praise heaped upon the SEC on the SEC Networks is so intense and irrational that one “expert” for a segment the call “First and Ten” said that Oklahoma had no right to claim #1 in college football because, I kid you not, “I feel like the Big 12 is down this year.” That’s right: the SEC is the greatest conference ever, and even thought the Big 12 has 60% of its teams ranked and 90% of them at .500 or better, the league is “down.” I dare say you will not hear such exaggeration on behalf of any other conference, even on the Big Ten Network itself. You can watch these networks at your own home most likely. They’re called “ESPN,” “ESPN2,” “ESPNU,” and the Saturdays-only network, “CBS.”

          • PSUGuy says:


            Well played, sir.

            TBH, since ESPN signed their long term contract with the SEC its been downright unwatchable. I mean don’t get me wrong, I know good football when I see it and the SEC certainly has good football, but they are not as amazing as ESPN pushes.

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            @Andy “SEC … Big Cities they have majority market shares in: …Houston…”

            I’d argue that this is definitely false. Sure, aTm and LSU are popular here. There may be a tiny slice of Arky fans. But there is no way that
            aTm+LSU > Texas+Houston+TexasTech+Oklahoma+Baylor+TCU+SMU+RIce

          • vp19 says:

            Comparing strictly BCS members in their 2010-11 conferences, whereas all ACC members were in the top 75, only four of the eight Big East football members (plus Notre Dame) reached that level, compared to the entire Big Ten; 11 in the SEC; the entire Big 12; and nine of the Pac-10.

            Non-qualifiers were
            Big East: South Florida, 86; Pittsburgh, 123; Cincinnati, 150; Rutgers, 158
            SEC: Mississippi State, 79
            Pac-10: Washington State, 135

            Pitt will have a lot to work on when it enters the ACC, though I believe Virginia Tech had much the same problem in 2004 and has progressed considerably.

            Rutgers at 158 seems shockingly low, though I presume its shaky athletic finances have led to the elimination of several programs.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            @VP – Rutgers eliminated crew, men’s swimming, men’s diving & both men’s and women’s fencing several year ago.

          • Read The D says:

            Let’s be honest. The real reason Missouri is leaving is because they can’t win a damned thing in the Big 12.

            You don’t change conferences over a couple million dollars. You don’t change for an “academically better” conference when either conference you choose will have 4AAU’s.

            Missouri felt underappreciated in the Big 12. Fair enough. That tends to happen when you bring little to the table other than a TV market.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            @D – I just have a hard time buying that argument.

            Missouri is almost certainly not going to be more successful on the gridiron in the SEC….and I don’t think there is anyone connected with the program who thinks otherwise. BB might be a different story but I have trouble believing the move being about basketball. Everything else sports wise is probably a wash…except they are going to need to find a home for the wrestling team.

          • duffman says:

            Not to sound like a total homer, but IU has historically carried the water for the B1G in basketball. I will give my man Izzo props for what he has done while at MSU tho. All that said, it appears as if the greatest tier 3 values accrue to historic basketball schools. The Dosh link that Brian provided awhile back had 3 pure basketball schools in the top 5. I think of Florida basketball the same way I think of Ohio State basketball in that both can win, but they are overshadowed by a great degree by their football programs. Florida has brought home 2 banners, and Ohio State has been close, but I have yet to see either school announce a 25,000 plus basketball arena built just for the college team – no offense to Value City, but basketball at Ohio State is not selling it out. The 2011 numbers for Ohio State – when they had a top team all season – was a paltry 15,000 or so, while basketball neighbor IU was drawing about the same numbers during a dark period in their basketball history. I will give the Badgers their props for pulling 17,000 a game and Frank’s Illinois team for pulling 16,000.

            On the flip side the SEC basketball cupboard is not exactly bare. UK has 2 banners, UF has 2 banners, and Arkansas has 1, meaning the SEC has 25% of the banners in the last 2 decades. I think they had some others in the FF during that time, but will defer to Alan to confirm. The ACC has 8 (Duke 4, UNC 3, and MD 1) , The SEC has 5 (listed above) , The BE has 4 (Uconn 3, SU 1) , The PAC has 2 (UCLA 1, Arizona 1) , and the B1G (MSU) and B12 (KU) both have 1 each. While I would like to have seen an IU banner hung during this time, I am not going to say the SEC is the worst basketball conference. UK may have eyeballs for tier 3 basketball, but I am guessing Arkansas and others follow it as well. I am seeing TAMU as a rising basketball team, and would not discount their viewing ability long term once they are settled in the SEC.

            I think, and will continue to do so, that the values will be between the B1G and SEC going forward. I think baseball will get more play in content fill in the spring, which will help draw viewers to the SEC. ESPN has already bought the rights to WBB, and that will give the SEC plenty of fill space on the ESPN networks. To me the issue of tier 3 values long term is not in football, but in the other sports that individual school can leverage and grow. Tier 3 football is scraping the barrel with limited upside, but Tier 3 seems to be made for schools that can provide content to fill lots of airtime in the winter, spring, and summer. 1 tier 3 UK football game may not be worth much, but 6 tier 3 UK basketball probably is pretty valuable. UT football is down, but having UT WBB on TV every other game has to add something to the bottom line. More importantly WBB fans as kids will grow up to be adult fans and donors. Around 2020 those kids from the 90′s will be filling seats as adults with purchasing power. Same with college baseball and other lesser sports of today. Will they beat football numbers, probably not, but they probably will be the growth end of the college sports market.

            I think this is what UT and ESPN were counting on when they set up the LHN. Pepsi and Coke were smart enough to gets the kids hooked early, so I think ESPN see the same model going forward.

          • bullet says:


            I think you are absolutely right. Tier 3 values are not about football.

            On A&M, they are probably more football centered than Ohio State. They’ve never been that enthused about basketball even when they had good teams.

          • Jefferson says:

            The SEC is screwed, money-wise. They can’t renegotiate their Tier 1 and Tier 2 for another 12 years, which reduces what they get by 12/14 with TAMU and Mizzou aboard. By 2023, the SEC will appear poor. The amount of money from renegotiation of Tier 1 and Tier 2 for the Big Ten, along with the increasing revenue from the BTN, already is more than SEC, and will dwarf it (ie, double the amount in say, 3 years). Pac 12 will likely see an uptick, but we’ll see with the success of the Pac 12 networks.

            As for the SEC Network, let’s wait for the ink to dry. I may not be from Missouri, but show me.

          • Wes Haggard says:

            PSUguy, It could easily be argued that football stadium attendance is a fair barometer of fan interest. Of the top twenty-five attendance leaders, including Texas A&M and Missouri


            the SEC has eleven. The B1G has seven and the PAC has one. If the B1G and the PAc will have a successful third tied network, the fan interest is definitly in the SEC are to duplicate their success.

          • Read The D says:


            To clarify, I don’t think Mizzou is heading to the SEC because they think they will be more competitive. At this point, there is instability in the Big12 and there’s not much to lose for them by going to the SEC. But their feelings of being under appreciated come from the lack of success on the playing field.

            But the only reason for them to leave now are because of instability they helped create. All the other reasons for them to leave are bogus. Money, academics, basketball???, etc. It’s because they felt they weren’t getting a fair shake and thought the grass would be greener elsewhere.

            At this point the B1G still makes so much more sense for them, but the B1G has no reason to expand.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            @ Duffman – Aren’t you being a little disingenuous in regards to Ohio State’s BB attendance. A ‘paltry’ 15K is still in the top 15 attendance wise and during the down years they still tend to be in the top 20 with 13K or so.

            Even during their glory years Indiana’s attendance was only 1K or so more higher at best and looking back through the numbers it doesn’t look like they’ve ever sold out Assembly Hall (if the 17.5K capacity & listed attendance numbers are accurate).

            I agree that Ohio State’s marketing of the Schott has been far from ideal but it’s not like the place is a graveyard & any school that is consistently in the top 25 in attendance going back to the 70′s must have a fair degree of support.

            @D – Thanks for the clarification. It appears to me that Missouri fans’ sense of being ‘dispespected’ stems from actually starting to find a measure of success in FB rather than the opposite. We’re probably essentially talking about the same point from different directions but from the outside it appears similar to what I’ve seen from other fan bases whose teams have a spurt of hitherto unexpected success and suddenly become full of unrealistic expectations (Kansas St, Marshall, NC St, Washing St.).

          • Brian says:

            Part of the problem is that the Schott is so corporate. It doesn’t feel like a college arena. St. John’s was a much better environment.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          Agreed 100% I just didn’t go into specifics. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for St John Arena. Wrestling there at the state tournament was a fantastic experience.

          All they really need to do to make the Schott more enjoyable is move the damn student section to courtside. Of course that will cut into the (more profitable) corporate seating so it’s not likely to happen but one can dream.

          • Brian says:

            The corporate bowl shape hurts too. Old school arenas are more vertical and do better at trapping noise and creating an environment. The new places are designed to be so multipurpose that they suck at their primary purpose.

  41. loki_the_bubba says:

    Not that anyone but me really cares, but Rice is spending $40m to upgrade Historic Rice Stadium.


    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Wow! That’s no small chunk of change. Sounds like Rice is committed to being competitive for the long-haul. Good for your school, loki.

      Rice’s major disadvantage obviously is that it has no shot at an AQ conference. Still, there is recent precedence for success at other schools who require their players to meet the same high academic standards (or at least close to them) as the rest of the student body. Northwestern’s been a bowl regular for 15 years. Wake Forest has been a winner for most of the past 10. Most notably, Stanford football, which is filled with valedictorians, is in the middle of its third straight season with signifcant time in the AP Top 15. It would be really cool to see Rice rise from the ashes of the SWC like TCU did, only it would be even more impressive because Rice has even higher admissions standards than TCU (not to discredit the TCU team’s consistency with very high APR scores).

      • zeek says:

        Yeah, this looks on the surface as a commitment to remaining in FBS.

        • loki_the_bubba says:

          When they break ground my fears of D3 should subside for a decade or two.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            Has anyone made that big of a drop (1A to III) in the post modern era (after the shake ups in the 70′s)?

          • Read The D says:


            New Orleans and Centenary both did very recently. Neither one of those sponsored football, though.

          • zeek says:

            Loki, shouldn’t you guys be thanking the baseball program though (since it’s a strong national program)?

            This may be a misunderstanding on my part, but unlike lacrosse doesn’t that make it much more difficult to do what JHU does with D-1 lacrosse but the rest below?

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            From what I’ve read schools like JHU were grandfathered in when the rules were changed. No new waivers will be give for schools to have one program at a higher division than their other programs.

          • zeek says:

            Well, that’s really good news then. It doesn’t seem like they’d be doing this unless they were willing to make a long term commitment to D-1.

          • bullet says:

            That’s good. Its a great stadium. Hopefully they’ll improve the concessions too.

            Are they demolishing the south end zone seats (where they removed the benches)? I kind of liked sitting there, but Rice certainly didn’t need those seats.

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            I don’t think they’re removing the seating are in the south end zone. That would dig into the structure of the stadium. They’re going to tear down the building that’s attached to the south end zone. This is where the offices/dressing rooms/donor’s room is. They’ll replace that building.

            It’s interesting what some are saying on the Rice board. If we ‘renovate’ the stadium we have to bring it up to ADA code. So they are going to do ‘deferred maintenance’. I suppose there are rules about how much can be done for that. The new EZF should be up to ADA code.

            FYI, they did the same thing for the basketball arena. Left the structure in place and did lots of other upgrades. Looks completely new but they saved 10′s of millions not bring it up to ADA.

          • bullet says:

            Houston Baptist University, which also had no football, dropped to NAIA although they are back in Division I now.

  42. duffman says:

    loki_the_bubba says:
    October 21, 2011 at 5:17 am
    Not that anyone but me really cares.

    Loki, how can you say that? We have all been rooting for Rice on this blog!

  43. Andy says:

    @Frank, yes, the SEC is short on content if they want to create an SEC network right now. But if they add 2 schools and expand from 8 conference games to 9, that adds another 15 conference games to their inventory. This is their plan. That plus their existing tier 3 inventory plus basketball, baseball, and the Olympic sports plus SEC news shows give them enough content to fill the network. SEC leaders fully expect to create an SEC network within the next 1-2 years, and that it will make over $10M per school. I doubt they would have these plans if it weren’t feasible.

    • zeek says:

      I’m not really sure whether it matters that they get a network in the next 1-2 years. They’re taking Missouri and Texas A&M for the long haul.

      My guess is that they renegotiate the current contract up to around $23M+ per school. They’ll deal with the SEC Network stuff when the CBS/ESPN deal is over in 2023… I’d be surprised if the ESPN deal leaves enough outs for an SEC Network right now. Then again, no one really knows what the language is in that contract. Of course, these things are up for negotiation in some sense, but there’s no way that ESPN wants an SEC Network launched.

      They’ll have enough content for an SEC Network. Even if the basketball won’t be as popular as in other regions, the baseball will carry itself (like hockey will eventually in the Big Ten).

      They’ll have enough major cities to get carriage in although they’re in for some interesting fights in places like Dallas (they’ll probably lose there), Kansas City (probably win), and Miami (more likely than the other two to win). Houston is the one that’s somewhat iffy, as loki pointed out, even with A&M, that’s still a more Big 12/non-SEC city than an SEC city. The difference in KC and Miami is that the state flagship is probably enough to seal the deal.

      Missouri and Texas A&M are really important market additions for the SEC for third tier; the question of when they monetize that is less important.

      • greg says:

        The SEC-ESPN contract calls for a lot of baseball and other sports. If SEC wants to put those games on their own network, you can expect ESPN to claim rights to the top games, leaving the lower games to the SEC Network.

        • zeek says:

          Partly why I think this rush to declare this an SEC Network move is premature.

          I mean, all we were talking about back when Big Ten expansion started was TV and markets for the Big Ten Network.

          But that leaves out the fact that the most important contract is Tier 1-2, the national market.

          The other thing is that advertising has become a much more important part of the BTN equation, so you want higher quality matchups on your network anyways.

          The Big Ten’s Nebraska move won’t really fully pay off until the 2016 contract because it was more of a national market move (even though yes the BTN contract was bumped up $7M and the ABC/ESPN contract loosened for BTN pickups).

          The same goes for the SEC here; this move may not pay off more until the next contracts…

        • bullet says:

          Adding teams doesn’t necessarily add Tier 3 inventory. The contract more likely is written so that those games fall into Tier 2 and each school still only gets 1 game for Tier 3. And that Tier 2 is where the schools need to pay for themselves. Why would CBS/ESPN pay anywhere close to $17 million a school for A&M and Missouri if they got the same number of games? Neither is likely to be on CBS a lot. They’ll lose some FL/TN/UGA vs. AL/AU/LSU games in order to get A&M vs. AL/AU/LSU and MU vs. FL/TN/UGA. That’s a loss. Most of the other games A&M and MU would displace are pretty much a wash.

        • Mike says:

          As deep as the SEC is in baseball, chances are those will still be games worth watching.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            A couple of different looks at ‘specific team vs avg ratings’ that I have seen (I believe one was by Mr SEC & the other by Brian on this blog) both tended to show that A&M tends to be a ratings disaster. I am sure the move to the SEC will change that somewhat (everyone likes to see how the new guy will do) but I don’t know what it will mean for them long term

      • William Meyn says:

        For the 100th time, UT is vastly more popular than A&M in Houston, its not close. Please look up the tv ratings for the Houston market. A&M just doesn’t deliver that many eyeballs.

    • greg says:

      Even if an SEC network is created, it will be a long long time before they are making $10M per school, certainly not 1-2 years.

      • duffman says:


        Not sure I agree, as most all SEC schools are already IMG schools. I think they can lever up pretty quickly.

        • greg says:

          BTN isn’t at $10M in profits per school, but SEC will get there in less than 2 years with less inventory? hilarious.

          • zeek says:

            BTN also had huge startup costs that no one is talking about…, plus the carriage fights and whatnot.

            I’m not saying the SEC Network won’t be very profitable, but to say that it (or the Pac-12 Network) will be that profitable that fast is an overstatement…

          • ccrider55 says:

            Don’t know about 1 – 2 years but remember the BTN is splitting with a partner. If BTN followed the P12N wholly owned model it would be considerably over the 10 mill mark.

      • bullet says:

        And in SEC country other than UK and maybe TN, fan support is very football centered. People in south Georgia just don’t pay attention to UGA basketball, even if UGA gets decent attendance in Athens. Basketball on a network just isn’t going to generate the interest it does in the Big 10. And basketball is where the Tier 3 networks have good content.

  44. Andy says:

    Again, I tend to think this is wishful thinking on the part of Big Ten fans, and that’s to be expected.

    All I know is that the SEC plans to start an SEC network in the next 1 to 2 years, and the way it was sold to Mizzou is that it would make $10M+ per school. Maybe that’s a bit optimistic in the short term, I don’t know. I would tend to think that the sports-crazy SEC could support an SEC network, even if they’re a little short on content. I imagine SEC leadership will negotiate hard to get what content they can for it. Worst case it starts in the neighborhood of $7M per school and goes up from there over the years as more content is added. This would still put the SEC on par with the Big Ten in TV money. But the way they’re selling it privately to Mizzou is that it will make even more than that, and it might be true.

    • greg says:

      I think its more wishful thinking on your part. Worst case scenario is $7M from year one? Crazy talk.

      • PSUGuy says:

        Yah, more like worst case scenario ESPN tells the SEC they already own their rights and the expansion has to be paid out via the agreed upon contract (ie: less money per school).

        That’s not going to happen, but the point stands.

        • zeek says:

          You’re making the right point.

          The most likely scenario is that at a minimum the SEC will get a pro-rata bump for Missouri and A&M. ESPN will surely support that because they have no reason to want to upset the apple cart. I have no idea what CBS thinks though given that some high level former CBS executives have said they see no reason why the CBS contract will expand for A&M, but CBS knows how important the SEC is to it, so they may just go along with a pro-rata bump.

          Still, the notion that CBS and ESPN are going to fork over an additional $168 million to the SEC is extremely unlikely at this point in time, and the idea that ESPN will be willing to allow an SEC Network to get the content that it needs is also unlikely.

      • Mack says:

        Why would GA give up its $12M per year to take $7M? About every SEC team that does not start with MISS or VAN make more than that today. If the SEC was making these promises why would Texas A&M have hired a consultant to develop their 3rd tier rights? I think Lofton (president of A&M) has a better view of any future SEC Network than anyone on this board.

    • zeek says:

      The problem is that no one’s seen an explanation for where that estimate of $12M+ (additional TV money) came from in the Curator’s report.

      Every quote former-TV executive has questioned where the explosion in money is going to come from, and many of them had no dog in this race.

      And some (TV people) have stated that FSU would be a more additive school in terms of money immediately because a school like that will be good for CBS and ESPN matchups, which means that CBS and ESPN would be more willing to go above and beyond a pro-rata bump for a school like that…

      All of that makes sense. Right now, the SEC is renegotiating with CBS and ESPN. The ESPN contract was made in order to forgo the possibility of an SEC Network. ESPN probably isn’t going to be willing to remove terms to that effect in the contract. How much additional money CBS and ESPN will want to pay immediately is also in question.

      A pro-rata expansion for the two teams is imaginable. Maybe an additional bump to the entire SEC to raise everyone’s payouts based on the Pac-12′s contract in order to keep the SEC happy, but it’s hard to see why the event of adding two teams results in an SEC Network.

      The reason is that the same thing happened with the ACC yet all they’re talking about is a renegotiation of terms upward for money. Unless the SEC has ESPN’s skeletons in the closet, it’s hard to see why ESPN would allow the creation of an SEC Network at this moment in time.

      Of course, in 2023 all bets are off and the SEC will be able to do what it wants entirely…

      • EZCUSE says:

        ESPN has to make 100 year decisions too. As such, why wouldn’t ESPN want to renegotiate with the SEC to (a) go longer than the current 12 years; and (b) in exchange, allow the SEC to retain Tier 3 rights?

        If ESPN plays hardball with the SEC, I am sure that FOX would be willing to do for the SEC what they did for the Big Ten. If ESPN was annoyed at the Big East turning down its offer… why give the SEC 10 years to get its act together on a network. Unlike the Big East, the SEC can take its valuable football inventory anywhere.

        Or ESPN can just assume the Fox/BTN role and take 50%.

        • zeek says:

          There’s no doubt that ESPN has to make long-term decisions.

          But from every indication of these renegotiations, they do tend to heavily favor the network/cable companies, and this tends to be more true when the contracts are new rather than when they’re expiring.

          That last part though may be what ESPN goes for…, being the backer for an actual SEC Network, not just the SEC Network on ESPN could be an interesting idea.

        • bullet says:

          ESPN has no clue what ad rates or carriage rates are going to look like 30 years from now, let alone 100. The BTN is the only contract that has gone longer than 15 years.

          I don’t think the SEC wants to tick off ESPN. It works both ways.

          Expecting someone to honor their contract isn’t really playing hardball. The purpose of these long-term contracts is that ESPN is taking the risk for the downside and benefits on the upside. The conferences get the much coveted “stability” in revenues. Texas got guaranteed money and ESPN got the network. Big 10 split with Fox 50/50. My understanding of the Pac deal is that basically the Pac is taking all the risk (although some of the cable providers are involved in some manner).

          • EZCUSE says:

            All the more reason to partner with the SEC on an SEC Network. No need to reinvent the wheel… just copy what Fox/B1G did. Only ESPN is far more used to dealing with cable companies, etc. They’ve been down this road with ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN News, etc. Perhaps an ACC Network is down the line too for them. In some states (Florida, SC, Georgia), they could be packaged together.

            No reason for ESPN and the SEC to not be proactive and amicable when looking at things.

            And I still say that ESPN orchestrated the SEC expansion with A&M. That pretty much crushed the Big East. It got WVU looking at the SEC and Louisville looking at the Big 12. It got the ACC nervous that FSU might jump to the SEC, which made the Big East schools even more nervous. Ultimately, Syracuse and Pitt were given the ultimatum to accept now or it will be waiting on ND. So those two schools jumped.

            If the contract was so unbendable, why not tell SEC that “sorry, a contract is a contract …if you want to expand, do it on your own dime”? ESPN did not say that. They worked with the SEC as a partner.

            I know it runs contrary to the monotheistic thought regarding the B1G.

          • frug says:

            Why would ESPN want to destroy the Big East? They went out of their way to keep the Big 12 together last year because they wanted more competition.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            I believe that the story is something along the lines of ESPN being annoyed that the Big East spurned their contract offer and figured it would be cheaper for them in the long run to siphon off the most valuable properties into the ACC.

  45. Mike says:

    Another day, another no decision from Mizzou.

    • zeek says:

      schadjoe Joe Schad
      Missouri’s Deaton says he’d expect to be in whatever league they’re in for next season
      9 minutes ago

      Well there is this. Big 12 is going to try really hard to get a deal with BYU done to replace Missouri next year.

      • zeek says:

        Ironically, such a thing would at the same time decrease Louisville’s chances of ending up in the Big 12 while increasing WVU’s chances, since Louisville would lose the ability to be Missouri’s replacement, but the odds of a 12 team expansion to include those two might increase slightly (simply because those 3 are pretty solid expansion choices to 12)..

        • bullet says:

          I think they made the decision since Deaton can negotiate contracts now. They just don’t want to announce it in case the SEC presidents change their minds and surprise Slive. Or if FSU suddenly changes its mind.

          The interesting question, giving Neinas’ comments about Missouri being in next year, is whether the Big 12 tries to push back on leaving next year. Ken Starr still has Slive’s phone number. I’ve read that several schools have investigated scheduling an ooc game next year and have found its pretty much impossible at this point. And with the trickle down effect, it could be quite a while before every conference knows what its lineup is. CUSA has a 1 year waiting period, but Big East is exploring a 14 team lineup with Pitt and SU next year.

          • zeek says:

            The best thing for Missouri would be if the Big 12 came to an agreement in terms (not yet at the dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s part) to add BYU.

            That would probably enable Missouri to get into the SEC by 2012 at this point.

            Barring that, it’s harder to see the Big 12 just letting Missouri go quickly, but who knows at this point.

          • bullet says:

            If BYU agrees, then the Big 12 probably doesn’t have a problem with Missouri leaving. But BYU/Big 12 negotiations/discussions have clearly been pretty protracted.

          • bullet says:

            Given how unreliable message boards posts normally are, I’m normally skeptical. But I found one that makes sense and is probably true. Supposedly BYU AD said BYU is talking with the Big 12, but BYU doesn’t know what is going to happen and Big 12 doesn’t know what it wants to do.


    • Andy says:

      Mizzou’s BOC granted their Chancellor sole authority to leave the Big 12 and join the SEC without further approval. I’d call that progress. Also, they voted to have an annual football game in KC and host a Mizzou anchored basketball tournament in KC every year as well. No need to do this unless they are leaving the Big 12 (there is already an annual football game in KC against KU and the Big 12 basketball tournament is in KC for now). If you think this means Mizzou might stay in the Big 12 or that they haven’t made a decision then you’re missing the point.

  46. Andy says:

    @zeek and @greg

    Apparently you seem to think the SEC is blowing smoke at Mizzou and won’t actually be able to get an SEC network or any substantial revenue increase any time soon. This would seem to be a fringe minority opinion from what I’ve read, but you’re free to it. I don’t know enough about the issue to know if the claims of the SEC and their supporters of massive profits from an SEC Network are realistic or immediately obtainable, but I strongly doubt your extremely pessimistic view of it.

    • bullet says:

      Loftin, A&M’s president, said in the interview with the Aggie website posted up above that TV revenue wasn’t a factor in the decision and wasn’t likely to be significantly different. Independent people have said the SEC won’t get a significant increase. SEC fans are the only ones saying the numbers will be big. And SEC fans are the biggest homers in the country (see the posts above about SEC TV). Still, I haven’t seen any of them since the 1st days after A&M was invited throw out numbers like in that Missouri report. Now the optomists seem to be saying $25 million/school, not $29 milliion. I think the pro-SEC people at Missouri are blowing smoke at the Missouri public.

      • bullet says:

        Also, I’ve seen in the last week (don’t remember exactly where) Loftin talk of setting up some kind of Aggie network without much specifics. He didn’t mention anything about it being part of an SEC network.

      • vandiver49 says:

        I happen to think that a move to shared 3rd tier right would induce some instability into the SEC. As previously mentioned, team like UF, UGA, AL and LSU already make a significant amount of change from selling their 3rd tier rights. This dual mode system enables to big schools to monetize their value in a way smaller schools can’t replicate. By creating an SEC TV, their becomes no difference between UGA and Ole Miss. The Big schools aren’t going to stand for that as they are they ones that bring real value to the SEC.

        • duffman says:

          You forgot UK which has the most valuable tier 3 deal because of basketball. I have a hard time thinking the folks in Bluegrass country will sign off on tier 3 as that is how they are paying Cal right now.

    • greg says:

      Andy, have you seen the report to Mizzou? Did it state $10M a year per school within 1 or 2 years?

      Knowing how these things work, the report put together a range of numbers, both optimistic and pessimistic, for both short term and long term timelines. The $30M number likely assumed an SEC Network coming into existence and after it had hit its stride, which could take a number of years. Even SEC fans on this board think that the SEC Network is unlikely, due to the 3rd tier agreements in place by many SEC schools.

      I’m more optimistic than the SEC fans it seems in an SEC Network getting on the air. Even without a lot of football, just show 7 days a week of talking heads saying how awesome the SEC is. Get a few football games, some 2nd tier sports (the ones that ESPN doesn’t already own the rights to), and get 30 cents per household (BTN rumored to be 80 to 90 cents per household). Combined with their network contracts and 3rd tier contracts, it amounts to very nice money for the SEC.

      But I’m in the fringe opinion that this non-existent SEC Network will struggle to return $10M per school within 1 or 2 years. Yep.

    • zeek says:

      Fringe minority opinion? Are you kidding me?

      Almost every opinion on the subject points out that there’s unlikely to be a big bump from CBS and ESPN and that’s where the fast money is given the constructs of the SEC’s current contract. I’m talking about every news story that includes quotes from former TV executives.

      Missouri will get a bump to its TV revenue by going to the SEC. It’ll be a lot bigger in 2023 and on than the next decade though…; this move is about stability and not a monetary bonanza.

      Even the Texas A&M sources (including their AD and President) are indicating that the bump to TV money is $5M or so. There’s been no indication from any source outside of the Missouri Curators’ report that there’s a $12M+ increase on the table.

      • Andy says:

        Simply not true. SEC media is reporting the SEC network is coming soon and will bring in millions. Maybe they’re all wrong but I doubt it.

        • @Andy – What media? There’s been speculation that the SEC would *like* to do it, which makes sense. Mr. SEC, for instance, has believed for a long time that the SEC would want to do this (as seen in this blog post a couple of weeks ago):


          However, note that he lists out a bunch of issues that stand in the way, namely that it depends upon the wording of the ESPN contract and any restrictions that are in place on the SEC. My understanding has always been that ESPN paid the SEC specifically NOT to start up its own network. It was clear from the get go and most people in the industry believe that’s explicitly in the ESPN/SEC contract. I like Mr. SEC (as he’s not a standard SEC fan boy), but he’s making it sound like the SEC starting up a network is some type of easy compromise with the “look in” clause when I highly doubt it would be easy at all. Preventing an SEC Network was the entire crux of ESPN agreeing to that deal in the first place.

          • Mike says:

            @Frank – he may be referring to reports quoting Clay Travis and OKTC reports on the SEC network. The tone of those articles makes it sound inevitable, but are his opinion on what Silve is up to. Those articles are are inevitably quoted and cited, where opinion part gets reported as fact.

  47. Read The D says:

    Still don’t think BYU wants to be team #10 because of having to run the Big12 gauntlet every year. But if Big12 adds BYU Louisville and WV that would make for some interesting divisions. Surely one division wouldn’t cover 3 time zones. On top of that I don’t think OU and Texas want TCU in their division.

    • vp19 says:

      How about this:

      Division A (East): Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Louisville, Texas Christian, West Virginia
      Division B (West): Baylor, Brigham Young, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech

      • zeek says:

        I had the same thing with Baylor and Iowa State switched. That way you maintain the Baylor-TCU rivalry (no idea how important that is to either side).

        Competitively, that’s probably the only way to go about it.

        Texas-Texas Tech-Oklahoma-Oklahoma State seem like a group.

        • Jake says:

          Baylor-TCU will quickly become the biggest conference rivalry for both schools. It would be at least on par with SMU for us.

          And if you can’t split up Texas-OU … hmm. That’s a conundrum for any divisional alignment.

      • Read The D says:

        I don’t know. Feel like that makes the West like the old South division which hurt the Big12 competitively.

        I feel like maybe the Texas schools should be split somehow to create some balance. Maybe Tech and TCU in one division and Texas and Baylor in another. Then protect Tech-Texas and Baylor-TCU. Makes it where one division isn’t all Texas. Don’t know if that could be done.

        A (West): Tech, TCU, BYU, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Kansas
        B (East): Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma, Iowa State, Louisville, West Virginia
        You would have to protect Oklahoma-OK St. in that scenario too. Extremely hypothetical.

    • zeek says:

      That last part has been mentioned by Dodds or Powers (not sure who); that they’d want TCU in a different division.

      Pretty sure they’d split the Texas schools Texas + Texas Tech, Baylor + TCU; maybe do that and go from there?

      Big 12 West: Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Iowa State.

      Big 12 East: TCU, Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Louisville, WVU.

      That sounds like the kinds of divisions they’d look at…

      • vp19 says:

        You’ve got Baylor in both divisions and Brigham Young in neither. And poor Iowa State, stranded with the Oklahoma and Texas bullies. It really should be with the Kansas schools, West Virginia and Louisville.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      I find it interesting how adamant UT & OU seem to be about staying in the same division when contrasted against the B1G’s hellbent desire to split up Ohio State & TSUN.

  48. footballnut says:

    I agree, I think the move is all about trust and stability. Mizzou doesn’t trust Texas to hold the conference together. Texas had talked to the Pac 12 as far back as 2009. A 6 year pact isn’t long enough to make a 100 year decision. Stability is what the SEC gives Mizzou. I wouldn’t doubt that big money donors/alumni had a say in it also. It’s a good move. Promising a BB tourny and football game to Kansas City every year doesn’t hurt. Obvious nod to KC to try and take care of them. KC BB and football stadiums are in Missouri, afterall, not Kansas. Mizzou glad to dump Texas, just like the other old Big 8 schools who left.

    • vp19 says:

      Missouri likely envisions an idea of Arrowhead Stadium and Kansas becoming its western equivalent of the Edward Jones Dome and Illinois.

      • Bo Darville says:

        And Kansas likely views that as the Soviets did the 84 Olympics.

      • m (Ag) says:

        If Kansas doesn’t want it, the first school Missouri will call is Nebraska. Nebraska might turn them down, but that matchup would fill the stadium and get some national attention. (Big Ten vs. SEC)

        • Gopher86 says:

          The difference is Nebraska probably loses money on that deal. They could fill Arrowhead by playing any FBS team in the country. No need to split the winnings with Mizzou.

    • Bo Darville says:

      This is almost like Minnesota leaving the Big 10.

      • ccrider55 says:

        Only if they were following PSU, Iowa, and MSU out the door.
        I just can’t see the big increase in TV rights some seem to believe is inevitable for the remade Big 12.

      • bullet says:

        Well if Minnesota switched to the Big 12, they could rename the Big 12 the Big 35 conference. 7 of the 9 teams are within 30 minutes of I-35 and KSU is only about an hour off. Only Tech isn’t in the I-35 corridor.

  49. m (Ag) says:

    On an SEC network, it all depends on the wording of the ESPN contract, and what kind of negotiations take place. I think the SEC is a partner when it comes to selling some of the regional packages. ESPN and the SEC could certainly find it profitable to work together to form an SEC network.

    Many weeks the SEC TV contract goes something like this:

    1 game CBS
    3 games ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU
    1 game ‘ESPN Network’ –national syndication
    1 game to Fox regional sports networks
    1 game to other cable stations

    It doesn’t fill all those slots the entire season, but that’s the general schedule.

    The main money certainly comes from the first 5 games listed there. Those are also the games seen around the country and gets the SEC its publicity.

    If you negotiated with ESPN to sell those last 2 games a week to an SEC network instead of other cable stations and add 1 game a week from adding 2 schools and 1 game a week (of poor quality) currently reserved for tier 3 you could have a network with 2-4 football games every week of the football season.

    The resulting network would not be in high demand around the country (since the games would not be the greatest), but it would be a ‘must have’ for everyone in SEC country; every school would easily appear a minimum of 2 games a season on the network without hurting the ‘national’ games. They could sell it for a fairly high price in SEC country, try to sell it cheaply elsewhere, and make extra money off of advertising. In addition, you also have a platform to put more of the other SEC sports on the air, sell advertising for that, and increase their fanbase.

    No, this would not be as profitable as the Big Ten Network, but the conference already makes a fair amount of money from the 5 ‘national’ games a week. This network has a good chance to make more money off the other games than the regional packages and the tier 3 packages.

    Schools could still make some tier 3 money from coaches shows, rebroadcasting football games, radio broadcasts, and some games from non-football sports that don’t make ESPN networks or the SEC network. Others have pointed out here that Ohio State makes a lot of tier 3 money despite having no TV rights.

    • Brian says:

      Just as a data point, let me throw this into the discussion. ESPNU has 1 lower level SEC every week usually. Atlanta is the heart of SEC country. Atlanta is also a Comcast city. ESPNU is not on expanded basic on Comcast in Atlanta, but Comcast Sports Southeast is. CSS gets the bottom of the barrel SEC games (7 this year), plus replay rights during the week and lots of coaches shows and SEC rah-rah crap.

      If the SEC fans haven’t forced ESPNU onto expanded basic in Atlanta by now, will an SEC network fare any better?

      • 84Lion says:

        Brian, in ATL ESPNU can be had by subbing to the Sports Pack which is a steal at $5 per month, the Sports Pack includes MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL Networks, BTN, and NFL Redzone, in addition to ESPNU. I may be wrong but I believe that ESPNU is also on the next digital tier up from digital basic or whatever Comcast’s calling it these days. Having said that, if an SEC Channel would come to pass, I’m sure Comcast would carry it in ATL on the basic tier. The thing is, they’d still sell the Sports Pack or digital premium or whatever it’s called for ESPNU.

        As an aside, I think people are missing the point with a 24/7 SEC Channel vs. BTN. The Big Ten and its alums are a way different animal. You are not going to see stuff like women’s basketball or volleyball or “academic” shows on an SEC channel. A SEC channel would be mostly there for the football, there might be some interest for basketball and possibly baseball but really I think that would be rather limited. After awhile re-running old Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida games would get old, even for the dyed in the wool SEC fans. I don’t think this network would fall flat on its face but outside SEC country I think it’d have tougher sledding than BTN. Remember that Big Ten alums tend to scatter all over the country and are solid fans, as witness their traveling contingent at bowl games,

        • vp19 says:

          I think you’re selling the SEC a bit short on some of its non-football endeavors. It’s one of the strongest women’s basketball conferences around with the likes of Tennessee, LSU, Georgia, Vanderbilt (and soon Texas A&M, defending NCAA champion), and Auburn has long been a swimming power. I have no doubt “Olympic sports” would be a significant part of any SEC network.

          • PSUGuy says:

            Except the SEC as a whole does not emphasize Olympic sports…typically offering football, bball, baseball and whatever women’s track&field, swimming, etc to cover Title IX requirements.

            The “Big Ten”ers might be selling the SEC short, but then again I doubt it simply base on their historic actions.

          • Brian says:

            The SEC would have football in fall, with games, coaches shows, studio shows, replays, classic games, etc. The winter would get filled with MBB (big for several of the schools), WBB (big for some schools) and women’s gymnastics (big for several non-BB schools) on top of off season FB programming and recruiting coverage after signing day. The spring would be filled with baseball, softball, maybe track and lots of spring football coverage. The summer would be lots of self-congratulatory recap shows, FB previews, etc.

        • loki_the_bubba says:


          If the SEC channel comes to pass, you will see at least one baseball game every day during the season. Teams will move the mid-week game around so that Tue/Wed/Thu are covered. Baseball will be a major attraction to the channel across the region. Some of these schools draw better for baseball than they do for basketball.

        • Brian says:


          Brian, in ATL ESPNU can be had by subbing to the Sports Pack which is a steal at $5 per month, the Sports Pack includes MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL Networks, BTN, and NFL Redzone, in addition to ESPNU. I may be wrong but I believe that ESPNU is also on the next digital tier up from digital basic or whatever Comcast’s calling it these days.

          I know ESPNU is on the sports tier. I was just pointing out that in the heart of the SEC, SEC football games have not been enough to drive ESPNU to expanded basic. That is just a data point to counter some of the people (like you) saying that any channel showing an SEC game will easily get on expanded basic.

          Current prices:
          basic cable – OTA channels plus a few things, $24
          digital starter – 80+ channels, $60 (no ESPNU, ESPN News, etc)
          digital preferred – 160+ channels, $78 (adds ESPNU, BTN, MLB, NHL, NFL, etc)
          sports tier – $5 (adds ESPN Classic, Red Zone, etc)

          I’ll take your word for it if you say that the sports tier also adds all the digital preferred sports channels to expanded basic (their website doesn’t clearly indicate that, but their website sucks for finding any actual information). It’s still not expanded basic, and thus has a much smaller subscriber base.

          Having said that, if an SEC Channel would come to pass, I’m sure Comcast would carry it in ATL on the basic tier. The thing is, they’d still sell the Sports Pack or digital premium or whatever it’s called for ESPNU.

          If the SEC gets all their rights back, then of course an SEC channel would make expanded basic. If ESPN and ESPN2 keep all their same rights, I’m not sure. Maybe if all the lowest rights (ESPNU, local sports networks like CSS, Sports South, etc) revert to the SEC at once it would work, but it probably needs some of the inventory that ESPN and ESPN2 have. If everybody gets to keep their current rights, it won’t make expanded basic.

          As an aside, I think people are missing the point with a 24/7 SEC Channel vs. BTN. The Big Ten and its alums are a way different animal. You are not going to see stuff like women’s basketball or volleyball or “academic” shows on an SEC channel. A SEC channel would be mostly there for the football, there might be some interest for basketball and possibly baseball but really I think that would be rather limited. After awhile re-running old Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida games would get old, even for the dyed in the wool SEC fans. I don’t think this network would fall flat on its face but outside SEC country I think it’d have tougher sledding than BTN. Remember that Big Ten alums tend to scatter all over the country and are solid fans, as witness their traveling contingent at bowl games,

          The fans aren’t that different. Baseball, softball, WBB and women’s gymnastics will all get prominent coverage. These are major sports in the south. Track and swimming would probably also get some coverage. I agree that academic shows won’t be part of the lineup, but I was unaware that was a major part of the BTN’s appeal either.

          The B10 has more alumni living out of the region, so I agree the BTN would have more intentional out of footprint subscribers (I’m not counting those that get the sports channels for other reasons), but it’s not like the BTN is making expanded basic anywhere outside of the footprint. Philly is a struggle and PSU is the most popular school there. With the lower payout for this level, I don’t see this as an important difference in terms of business plan for the SEC though.

          • bullet says:

            Digital preferred is still one of the base configurations. You don’t have to buy a special sports pack. I think ESPN is satisfied with that configuration in Atlanta.

          • @bullet – Yes, there’s “basic” basic, which is essentially 30-40 channels comprised of only the most widely watched channels. (Think of it as the cable package you get in most hotels.) For channels such as ESPNU and the BTN, digital basic is considered to hit the bar for broad distribution as that’s the base package that the vast majority of people get today. I could be wrong, but I’d be very surprised if ESPNU is not on at least digital basic in the SEC footprint. Much of what ESPN was seeking with its SEC package was to build up the distribution specifically for ESPNU. We’ve seen ESPN de-emphasize ESPN Classic in favor of ESPNU over the past few years as they see the latter as the one with greater growth potential.

          • Brian says:

            Frank the Tank,

            @bullet – Yes, there’s “basic” basic, which is essentially 30-40 channels comprised of only the most widely watched channels. (Think of it as the cable package you get in most hotels.) For channels such as ESPNU and the BTN, digital basic is considered to hit the bar for broad distribution as that’s the base package that the vast majority of people get today. I could be wrong, but I’d be very surprised if ESPNU is not on at least digital basic in the SEC footprint.

            That’s what I’m saying, Frank. Digital starter (80+ channels including ESPN, ESPN2, CSS, FSN, Sports South, Golf channel, Speed and Versus) is the mainline cable package. ESPNU is not on it. You have to jump to Comcast’s top end package or add the sports tier to get BTN and ESPNU.

    • PSUGuy says:

      Buts that’s just the point…the SEC has ALREADY negotiated those last two game’s rights away. They don’t “own” them anymore and as such I can’t see how a legal argument could be made for voiding the previous (only several year old) contract to try and make more money (in fact there was a legal ruling in one of the Facebook cases that explicitly stated how one party being a better business entity in a contract negotiations, and thus being able to undervalue/overvalue a product, does not warrant voiding of a legally binding contract).

      Even still, it wasn’t those two games that got the BTN on basic cable…as much as I (PSU fan) like my BIg Ten sports having Indiana vs Purdue on the BTN probably isn’t going to get me to fight for basic carriage in PA. The SEC would need to require Alabama, LSU, Florida, etc to guarantee 2+ games a year on the network and that would eat directly into ESPN’s high profit games (ie the ones they figure to broadcast nationally). One more reason I see no reason why ESPN would renegotiate.

  50. M_in_PHX says:

    It looks like the BigEast has 17 possible schools.
    If the Big12 takes 3 of those schools, they’re left with 14.
    The 17:
    BoiseSt, BYU, AirForce, SMU, Houston
    Memphis, Louisville, Cinci, WV
    UMass, UConn, Rutgers, Temple, Navy

    If the Big12 take: WV, Louisville, …Memphis
    And the following are FB only in the BigEast:
    BoiseSt, BYU, AirForce, Navy, Temple, ECU

    You’ve got 8 acceptable BBall members:
    SMU, Houston, Cinci, UMass, UConn, Rutgers, UCF, USF

  51. M_in_PHX says:

    I think Colin Cowherd talked about how late the MLB playoff games start in the Eastern Time Zone.
    I totally agree.
    The same is true for Thursday night football games. Games go way too late into the night.
    There’s an opportunity for someone like Versus to partner with the BigEast to provide a game at 7pmET every Thursday in the fall. Pre-teen boys (and fathers with young children that get up at 6am) in the eastern timezone might be able to watch a whole game.
    ESPN tries to get a national audience with 8pmET and 9pmET starts, but that too late for many people in the east.

    Another opportunity for the BigEast in their upcoming TV contract would be to provide one 11amET start on saturday that could be televised on say NBC in the eastern time zone, and put on Versus in the west. ESPN doesn’t start games at 11am because they don’t want to steal viewership from Gameday, but NBC and the BigEast shouldn’t care. On the west coast, by 8am, I’m ready for football to start. Both these time slots (7pmET thurs, 11amET sat) would provide great exposure to the eastern division of the new and improved BigEast Football League, an eastern division that wouldn’t initially have the same “brands” as the western division.

    My hypothetical BigEast (after Big12 raids):
    West: BoiseSt, BYU, AirForce, SMU, Houston, Cinci, Navy
    East: UMass, UConn, Rutgers, Temple, ECU, UCF, USF

  52. I’m assuming that this is a plan of last resort for the Big East, but we may see the Big Country Conference on steroids: a 28 to 32 school football-only conference that combines the Big East, Mountain West and C-USA:


    This is actually a legit proposal. Wow.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      Well that would wrap up everyone & solve the BCS access issue…at least until it collapses under it’s own weight.

      • OT says:

        Not quite.

        New Mexico State would still be on the outside looking in.

        So would Texas-San Antonio (which will be a legitimate candidate to join the Big East 10 years from now), Texas-Arlington (if it were to revive football), and Texas State.

        UMass would also be left out (another legitimate candidate for the Big East 10 years from now.)

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          The ‘for every team with a snowball’s chance in hell of ever being a potential BCS buster’ was unspoken.

          • OT says:

            Still on the outside looking in:

            New Mexico State
            Texas-San Antonio
            Texas State

            Sun Belt Conference
            Mid-America Conference

            Texas-Arlington (if it were to revive football)
            Appalachian State (if it were to move up from FCS)
            Georgia State (if it were to move up from FCS)
            Lamar (if it were to move up from FCS)
            Sam Houston State (if it were to move up from FCS)

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            The ‘for every team with a snowball’s chance in hell of ever being a potential BCS buster’ has been explicitly stated.

    • Brian says:

      The really big assumption is that they could get a major rule change or waiver to support this. The current rules wouldn’t even allow them a championship game, let alone a 4 team playoff.

      I see several options:

      1. Get a rule change/waiver allowing them to have a CCG between two of the division champs. I think they would have a decent chance at this with 28-32 automatic yes votes. The down side for the NCAA is if 14-16 team conferences look to also do this if the super BE does.

      2. Get a rule change/waiver allowing them to have a two round playoff among the division champs. I think this has no chance in the near future.

      3. Do a work around by pairing divisions to meet in the last week of the regular season, like: W1/M1, W2/M2, …, E1/C1, E2/C2, …. They would have to assign the home field ahead of time to one division each year (all of the W or all of the M for example), but the actual match-ups wouldn’t be decided until after the previous week. This round would serve as the semi-finals for the division champs as well as the 8th or 9th conference game for everybody. Then they just need a waiver to allow the CCG despite not having a full round robin in each mega-division. I think this would also probably pass, since nobody can play a 13 game round robin schedule.

      If this plan comes together, I expect an NCAA rule change stating that any conference larger than 20 can stage a CCG without playing a full round robin in each division. 20 (2 10 team divisions) is the practical limit for the current rule as it forces 9 division games for a round robin (I think requiring more than 9 conference games is unlikely). 20 is also large enough to be rare, so it wouldn’t come into play much. I’d add the caveat that if any subdivision smaller than 11 exists, that subdivision must play a full round robin. That would mean the super BE could have 2 14 team divisions on paper (West and Mountain versus Central and East), but each actual 7 team division would have to play a round robin to be eligible to have a CCG. That preserves the spirit of the original rule and seems like the desired way to schedule anyway.

      I don’t expect the rules to allow for a 4 team playoff for the conference title.

      If this were to happen, I’d aim for this:

      28 teams
      1. 4 divisions of 7
      2. Pair the divisions geographically for the final week of games (W/M and C/E)
      3. Play a 6-1-1-1 schedule (6 in division, 1 from the paired division, 1 from the other half, 1 final week/semifinal)
      4. Everyone in a division has the same number of home games (the whole division travels to the other half or hosts them, with the paired division doing the opposite)
      5. For balance, the division hosting the final week’s games plays at the paired division during the season and travels to the other half for that game (fans either plan for a long trip in advance or face a shorter trip with no notice, never both in one year)
      6. The final week is: W1/M1, W2/M2, W3/M3, W4/M4, W5/M5, W6/M6, W7/M7 and C1/E1, C2/E2, C3/E3, C4/E4, C5/E5, C6/E6, C7/E7
      7. The winners of W1/M1 and C1/E1 play in the CCG

      32 teams
      0. Mostly the same as above. Changes noted below.
      1. 4 divisions of 8
      3. Play a 7-1-1 schedule (7 in division, 1 from the other half, 1 final week/semifinal)
      4. Everyone in a division has the same number of home games (the whole division hosts or travels the last week)
      5. For balance, the teams with only 3 division home games host a team from the other half while the teams with 4 travel to the other half
      6. The final week is: W1/M1, W2/M2, W3/M3, W4/M4, W5/M5, W6/M6, W7/M7, W8/M8 and C1/E1, C2/E2, C3/E3, C4/E4, C5/E5, C6/E6, C7/E7, C8/E8

      • vp19 says:

        Ridiculous desperation. Having future ACC (Syracuse) defeat possibly future Big 12 (West Virginia) last night, likely resulting in no Top 25 teams next week, doesn’t help the Big East’s BCS argument.

        • EZCUSE says:

          You know… the Big East is the only conference where anybody can beat anybody in conference. It very hard to go undefeated with so little a talent gap between #1 and #8.

          The Big East teams seal their fate OOC though. If you can’t go 5-0 and beat an elite AQ team (or in Rutgers case, not have the balls to even play one), then you will not be in the national title picture. Cincy’s 12-0 season had a win over Oregon St. and Fresno St. That does not cut it.

          If a Big East team were to finish 9-3, they should be ranked though. And there is still a chance for a Big East team to be 10-2. That should be a decent ranking. It’s just that 8-4 doesn’t cut it.

        • Nemo says:


          Read this and weep. This guy has the ACC taking Rutgers, UCONN and USF and FSU going to the SEC. A guy and his computer…. And he has stood firm on this since October 11th.

          Source: Gridiron History.Com

      • Eric says:

        Basically how I was thinking it would have to go down. The NCAA is highly unlikely to allow an extra game, but if you could make sure division champs play Thanksgiving weekend. I didn’t think about each division being home each week, but that makes sense.

        I don’t see this happening though. The other AQ conferences should love this, but the Big East could maintain AQ with the academies, Boise State, and a few others of the best non-AQs. Heck it could probably do it without all of those. It’s a lot more profitable to divide the money 10/12 ways than 28/32 ways.

      • Read The D says:

        @Brian -

        Good description of how that conference set up would have to work. That’s really the only way to find a champion with that many teams.

        However, I don’t think the NCAA should add more rules of how a conference must crown a champion. The more freedom conferences have in regards to scheduling the easier it will be for them to keep their conferences in tact.

        I can just see certain conference formations where it’s not in everyone’s best interest to play everyone.

        • Brian says:

          It’s not adding a rule, but changing one. As is, the super BE couldn’t have a CCG which seems odd. The NCAA clearly wanted round robins as part of the rule, so I tried to adjust the current rule to fit a larger group.

      • EZCUSE says:

        I agree with this concept. Especially the “positional” round for the last week. Pretty neat. Why not give a coupla 1-11 teams a chance to end the season on a high note? I like it.

        If that was the 9th conference game for teams, they could go one step beyond and have games at 4 different neutral locations. One location has 1, 2, 7, 8. Other has 3, 4, 5, 6. Friday at 8pm, Saturday at noon, 4pm, and 8 pm.

        Following week… championship game at some other neutral location.

        I tend to think the powers that be would allow the CCG if based on this type of arrangement.

      • swesleyh says:

        Brian, I like your thought. Hope the NCAA would show some open mindness to allow the “rest of the schools” to work their way into the BCS schedule and creat quite a bit of national interest along the way. Sure to see how it could work out well for everyone and still keep most of the BCS a big boys playground. After all, the BEast already has one BCS bowl so it would only be sharing it with three conferences. Would have to be well managed but sure could work.

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      Marshall, Memphis, Southern Mississippi, Tulane, UAB, Rice, Temple and Louisiana Tech, now that’s a winnable division. Go Owls!

    • Nemo says:

      This guy just will not give up. He has the ACC grabbing UCONN, Rutgers and USF with FSU going to the SEC and being replaced with the other Florida team. He also has Mizzou short of votes on the SEC. Can somebody (anybody) go over and talk sense to this guy? I have only surfed your board for a few weeks but have been educated enormously. Your stuff is primo, Frank. This stuff, however… Geesh!

      The deals are done for conference mayhem

      • fmatxmarine@yahoo.com says:

        That’s the same board (same poster? I dunno) that had OU & Navy to the B1G.

        That’s the Bobcats not the Sooners.

    • M says:

      I know this idea has been shot down before, but wouldn’t this be the perfect setup for a promotion/relegation setup?

      • @M – I’d personally love a promotion/relegation system, but that’s likely anathema to the university presidents that are seeking stability over all else at this point.

        • Brian says:

          Did you see where the foreign owners in the EPL want to do away with relegation? They see the greater value in having franchises that can never drop down, but there are still enough English owners to preserve the system for now.

          Outside of tradition, relegation is a bad system for any business.

          • charlie says:

            as a fan, promotion/relegation is awesome – it gives a ton of life to the end of the season to see who can earn staying in the top bracket, and it allows potential powerhouses to move up and play with the big boys. as a team owner, it’s horrifying – having your team move from the top division to one lower has enormous financial implications. can you imagine if indiana was relegated out of the B1G? the amount of tv revenue they would lose would be insurmountable

        • Mike says:

          I don’t have a problem with regulation for professional leagues, but for amateur athletes in college that is just way too much to put on them. Athletes at MAC/Sunbelt schools don’t need to be told, “win this week or we’re an FCS program.”

      • greg says:

        If you think college sports are corrupt now, go ahead and implement promotion/relegation and see what happens.

  53. Brian says:


    The lingerie football league wants to start a youth league for girls.

  54. zeek says:

    DanWetzel Dan Wetzel
    SEC inquired about TCU, Frogs declined per FWST’s @MacEngelProf. Told you it made sense for SEC tinyurl.com/43oamtj (@DaBigIke)
    2 hours ago

    Wow, what do you guys think about this? I thought Wetzel’s story on it was nuts at the time, but damn that would have been interesting.

    TCU and Texas A&M probably gives you a pretty good shot at Dallas/Houston coverage when combined with the general SEC interests in those cities (high ratings for SEC games combined with SEC alumni presence, i.e. LSU/Arkansas).

    • zeek says:

      Obvious caveats are that Engel has an agenda, but why would he blatantly lie about the SEC calling up TCU to gauge their interest?

      Maybe the SEC was just doing courtesy calls to get information, but they probably would have had to have some interest to do something like that…

      • Yahtzee says:

        Engel is a KU grad, and the article openly slams Mizzou. Giving this article credence might not be the wisest move. No offense to TCU (I live in Ft. Worth), but I just don’t see it.

    • frug says:

      I don’t believe this for a second.

      That said, if TCU did turn down an SEC invite it would go down as the dumbest realignment decision since the Big East rejected Penn St. back in the mid ’80s.

  55. jj says:

    Can State get some respect now!!

    • greg says:

      Congrats to Sparty! What an amazing finish.

    • Brian says:

      Great win.

      Win a significant bowl game, then you’ll get respect. It’s been a while. Way too many people still remember the Cap 1 right now.

      • jj says:

        Yeah. That would be nice. The thing about being a state fan is that if we lose to neb, we’ll drop to about number 24. It’s always a flippin massive hill to climb no matter what.

    • FLP_NDRox says:

      Probably not, since USC made the Irish look awful. IMHO, Boise State doesn’t look that great either, since AFA kept up with them the whole game.

  56. duffman says:

    Wow Sparty!

    Congrats on the win, but now if only you could get Notre Dame back.

  57. zeek says:

    So much for BCS confusion. After Oklahoma and Wisconsin fall, the NC picture looks relatively clean.

    Alabama-LSU winner and then you have Oklahoma State-Kansas State winner, Stanford, Clemson, and Boise State.

    Would seem to me though that if Stanford loses to Oregon and LSU loses to Alabama that LSU would remain ahead of Boise State. That much seems certain to me at this point, although who knows after Oklahoma and Wisconsin go down, anything can happen.

    Right now, it looks as if Oklahoma State controls its destiny due to SOS and the Big 12′s general strength. Their defense though looks like its liable to lose a game…

    I think Stanford right now is the best bet to run the table other than Boise State.

  58. duffman says:

    8 undefeated teams left, 8 max by end of week, 3 min by end of week :

    B12 25% = Oklahoma State 7 – 0 vs Kansas State 7 – 0 : November 5th showdown
    Baylor @ Oklahoma State 3:30 & Kansas State @ Oklahoma 3:30
    SEC 25% = LSU 8 – 0 vs Alabama 8 – 0 : November 5th showdown
    LSU OFF / Alabama OFF
    ACC 12.5% = Clemson : 8 – 0
    Clemson @ Georgia Tech 8 pm
    PAC 12.5% = Stanford : 7 – 0
    Stanford @ Southern Cal
    MWC 12.5% = Boise State : 7 – 0
    Boise State OFF
    CUSA 12.5% = Houston : 7 – 0
    Houston @ Rice 8pm

    If Clemson remains undefeated, could we see an ACC vs SEC BCS MNC?

  59. GreatLakeState says:

    Bret Bielema, Russell Wilson. Wow. The B1G should be printing up Obama-style posters with the world ‘CLASS’ under each of their pictures. That post game Q&A interview with Bielema should be required viewing for every coach and player representing the B1G.
    Also. If I were the BTN -and it were legal- I would be signing Kurt Cousins to a lifetime contract as a studio analyst. After seeing his ESPN interview after the game it’s obvious this guy is ‘Herbie’ 2.0.
    I so wanted Wisconsin to go the the NC game against the SEC, which I think would have happened if they could have slipped by Sparty, but that game was an instant classic and will still pay big dividends for the B1G.

  60. Michael in Raleigh says:

    My conference rankings for the season up to this point:

    1) Big 12–Ahead of the SEC by a nose, based on greater depth this year.
    2) SEC
    3) Big Ten–Five teams have only one loss. Not too shabby.
    4) ACC–Ahead of the Pac-12 based on better non-conference results and fewer weak links at the bottom. A potential 13-0 Clemson and 11-2 Virginia Tech should garner two BCS bids for the league. SHOULD.
    5) Pac-12
    6) Big East–Barely ahead of Mountain West. Difference being that BE has no equivalent to New Mexico or UNLV, although it also has no Boise, either.
    7) Mountain West
    8) Conference USA–Houston representing the league very well.
    9) MAC
    10) Sun Belt
    11) WAC

    If the Big East doesn’t get Boise after losing Pitt, Syracuse, and West Virginia (and never getting TCU), then in the years to come, the Mountain West will vault ahead of the Big East . I expect the computer rankings to reflect this prediction.

    • Jake says:

      Michael –
      It could be tough for the ACC to get that second bid. Six AQ champs, plus a second team from the SEC and Big Ten, plus it’s looking like Boise, maybe Houston as a back-up. That only leaves one spot in the BCS. Ruling out a second Big 12 team (because I have NO clue how that one’s shaking out), you still have Stanford and Oregon. That could be a two-bid league as well.

      Unfortunately, my dream of true BCS chaos ended yesterday. I wanted undefeated Wisconsin and Oklahoma, plus undefeated Stanford and Clemson, to vie for title game berths with the SEC champ (at one loss, preferably) and a one-loss SEC runner-up. I’d love to hear the powers-that-be explain how they picked a clear top two out of that mess.

      • Eric says:

        We are the exact opposite there I guess. I hope for the undefeated teams to lose almost every game if I don’t otherwise have a connection. I was very grudgingly kind of hoping for Alabama and LSU because I figure the SEC is going to get in regardless so we may as well make it work nicely.

      • greg says:

        Jake, a second BCS bid for the B10 is looking iffy at this point.

        • Jake says:

          Eric – I just want a playoff, and chaos aids that goal.

          Greg – With five one loss teams? Including UM, PSU, NU, and UW? Big Ten teams can get in with two losses; I’d be surprised if they didn’t have the full contingent this year. But a lot can happen between now and the end of the season.

          • greg says:

            Jake, I guess I’m just being pessimistic. All the one-loss teams have a lot of games remaining against each other, and it seems they’re gonna knock each other off.

          • zeek says:

            I actually agree with Jake.

            It was actually looking less likely that the Big Ten would get a 2nd BCS slot before the Wisconsin loss (unless Wisconsin went to the NC and the Rose picked up a replacement).

            The other BCS team was likely to come from the Michigan State, Nebraska, Michigan grouping, so that group having 1 less loss probably helps them out…

            Of course, who knows where the rest of this season will go, but I think the Wisconsin loss makes it more likely that the Big Ten gets a 2nd bid.

        • @greg – I disagree. If there are 2 Big Ten schools in the final top 14 rankings, and I think that’s likely, there will be 2 Big Ten BCS bids. Bowl organizers salivate over all of the schools that are in position for bids (Wisconsin, Nebraska, Michigan State and Michigan) over anyone from the Pac-12 and frankly, over any Big 12 school outside of Oklahoma and Texas.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            Frank, do you really think that the Sugar Bowl, for example, would take a 9-3, #12 Michigan team over an 11-1, #5 Oklahoma State team. I’m totally with you on thinking the bowls will take Big Ten and SEC teams any time they can, but how far would they go? And don’t forget that if Clemson finishes 12-1, with a loss in the ACC Championship Game, they’ll still be attractive as an at-large with a high ranking and hoards of fans that travel well.

          • Richard says:

            Don’t forget PSU.

            Mike, there are now 5 teams with 1 loss in the B10, and I’d say that the chances that 2 of PSU, Michigan, MSU, Wisconsin, or Nebraska finishing with 10 wins (2 regular season losses) is fairly high.

            Nebraska has the toughest remaining schedule, against Michigan, MSU & PSU. Michigan also has OSU. PSU has Wisconsin, Nebraska, & OSU. Wisconsin has PSU & OSU.

            It’s going to be hard for MSU to _not_ get to double digit wins. For Michigan & Wisconsin to keep to only 2 losses, they’d have to win at least one of their 2 remaining games against “name” opponents, which certainly seems doable.

            In fact, barring upsets by those 5 to the lower half of the B10, it seems almost inevitable that there will be 2 (“desirable”) B10 teams that are 10-2 or better.

          • greg says:

            My concern was that UM/MSU/NE would beat each other, with a 2-loss team winning the division and going to the CCG, where they would likely lose to Wisky. At that point, I think there is a good chance of PSU losing their division but getting a BCS bid at 10-2. To get to 10 wins, PSU needs to beat Nebraska at home and win at either OSU or Wisky.

            I guess I should just let the season play out and enjoy it.

    • Eric says:

      I agree. I think there’s a big gap between 2 and 3 and then again between 5 and 6 with 3-5 being pretty close, but in the order you put them.

      • Michael in Raleigh says:


        We’re on the same page, for sure. I think the SEC and Big 12 have distinguished themselves pretty well from everyone else. There’s a lot of depth in both leagues. The Big Ten, ACC, and Pac-12 aren’t that far apart from each other, but they all tower over the Big East and MWC.

  61. Jake says:

    Frank –
    Did you know Cheaters was filmed in DFW? I used to watch just to see if I recognized anyone. My favorites were the ones where guys cheated on their wives/girlfriends with their identical twin sisters. WTF?

  62. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Numerous outlets are now reporting that CBS will televise the LSU/Bama game on November 5 in primetime. CBS had to work out a deal with ESPN in order to do so, with speculation that CBS will give up its one primetime game in 2012 in order to televise the Tiger/Tide contest.

    Now if we could just move the game to Tiger Stadium . . .

    • zeek says:

      Who’s to say we won’t see that in effect?

      If Oregon beats Stanford, it’s hard to see what might happen in the BCS if there’s only an undefeated Alabama/LSU winner and Boise State.

      That’s the big difference between this year and the 2006 situation with Ohio State, Florida, and Michigan.

      The head-to-head win between LSU and Oregon could become a major issue down the stretch, and if that’s the case, it’d lead to the rematch scenario. Of course, we’re a long way aways from that, but that’s the thing to watch in my opinion.

      • m (Ag) says:

        The SEC dream scenario:

        1)Oregon wins Pac 12
        2) PSU wins Big Ten
        3) Texas A&M wins Big 12
        4) Cincinnati, UConn, or West Virginia wins the Big East
        5) Whoever wins the ACC loses to an SEC team on the last weekend of the season (Wake Forest? Clemson? Georgia Tech? FSU?)
        6) Boise State and Houston pick up a loss somewhere

        All of the above happening is unlikely, though each are at least conceivable. If it happens, every BCS conference champion would already have lost to an SEC school. It would be very difficult to argue against a rematch.

        • Pezlion says:

          Depends on the outcome of that Bama-LSU game. PSU has already given Bama their toughest game of the year, if Bama were to roll over LSU …

  63. vandiver49 says:

    Does anyone have an idea how this ‘Alliance’ is supposed to work. It just appears to me to be a desperate attempt at relevance that will ultimately backfire. Yes TV network are looking for content, but what network would be will to pay serious jack to watch USM v. SMU?

    Also, this move seems as if its relating scores of teams into permanent second class status based on the belief that the BEast will ‘lose’ its AQ status. For the other 5 AQ conferences, this move is the very definition of ‘never interrupt your opponent while they’re making a mistake.’

    • @vandiver49 – IMHO, the Alliance is putting some Pain-esque lipstick on a pig. It’s the same schools with the same games with a “championship” game slapped on top of it. I don’t see much point in it as a vehicle to AQ status or better contracts – neither are going to come from this. Now, there’s definitely value in the event that Boise State, Air Force and some of the other more desirable schools leave the MWC and C-USA for the Big East, as the Alliance starts looking like a more manageable league and the leagues don’t end up trying to poach each other separately.

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        FWIW it looks like the ‘everybody else’ conference is just an alternative proposal to think about. No real way of knowing yet whether the Big East is looking at it seriously or if it just a paper idea that most of the TPTB are just as skeptical about as everyone else.

      • Mike says:

        One of the early Big 12 proposals was a merger between the SWC and Big 8. Then Texas pointed out that value of the conference would be the same with out the lesser 6 of the SWC, but with less mouths to feed. I wonder how long before someone gets the idea to take the best of what’s left of the Big East football schools, the MWC, and CUSA decide to create a new all sports league to simplify everything. See the birth of the MWC for historical precident.

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          “I wonder how long before someone gets the idea to take the best of what’s left of the Big East football schools, the MWC, and CUSA decide to create a new all sports league to simplify everything. See the birth of the MWC for historical precident.”

          I think this is a great idea, Mike, but there are a few problems. First, if it’s an all-sports league, it would be awfully hard for the current Big East schools to walk away from their popular basketball league. So, for argument’s sake, let’s say that Louisville, USF, and UConn wind up in this all-sports league, and they have to start playing basketball and other sports against Boise, BYU, Houston, UCF, and a few others who fit the bill of “best of the rest” while giving up games against Georgetown, Villannova, Marquette, Cincinnati, Notre Dame, and St. John’s. That transaction just isn’t going to cut it for them. It’s bad enough that they’re losing three of their best basketball programs in Syracuse, Pitt, and West Virginia.

          Second, if the best of the rest is a football-only league, and thus retains the Big East for other sports, what kind of effect would that have on the Big East’s stability over time? If Rutgers and Cincinnati (or whoever) are excluded from a best-of-the-rest football-only league, hasn’t the Big East just created two highly disgruntled, angry members?

          My prediction is that the Big East will go with what effectively is a short-term solution because the only solutions for this league are short-term. The lineup will look something like this:

          All-sports members:


          Football-only members (Non-football conference):

          Boise State (Big West)
          Air Force (Missouri Valley, with Butler or Saint Louis joining that league as #12)
          Navy (Patriot)

          Non-Football Conference Members:

          Notre Dame
          St. John’s
          Seton Hall

          If one of the academies or Boise State gets antsy to leave after a few years, ECU can always step up as a back-up, football-only twelfth member, with ECU joining the CAA, Atlantic 10, or SoCon for non-football sports. Worst case scenario, Villanova can make the upgrade.

          • Mike says:

            @Michael – You are right, there is a lot of inertia against it. However, I have to think at some point someone is going to realize that the money is going to be better in a simpler smaller league (maybe even sans MWC) and will push to create a new league. It remains to be seen if there is enough money there to make it financially worth it. I guess it depends on who’s involved, how desperate Comcast is to get into football, and how desperate ESPN is to keep them out.

  64. Brian says:

    So last week, everybody was ripping Ron Zook for going for 4th and 2 late against OSU when down 10 and in field goal range. They said it was one of the worst coaching decisions ever.

    Bob Stoops did the exact same thing last night but OU converted. Where are all the critics? The announcers made a couple of comments, but they were much harsher on Zook even before IL failed to convert.

    • @Brian – Stoops obviously has just a weeeeeee bit more career success than Ron Zook, so the announcers were probably giving him a little bit more of the benefit of the doubt. Regardless, even though OU converted, it still wasn’t the right call. As a retired dynastic champion of Madden (I’ve had to hang it up for the most part since the twins were born), it is standard operating procedure that if you’re down by 10 with around 1 minute left, you kick the field goal ASAP because no matter what, you’re going to have to recover an onside kick to have a chance to tie. So, you’re better off having more time on the clock if you pull that off. This is even further exacerbated when you’re in a 4th down situation. A combo of a TD and FG is required, so you might as well kick the FG instead of getting nothing (and thereby foregoing your onside kick chance all together) if you turn it over on downs.

      • Brian says:

        It was clearly the wrong decision. Past success doesn’t change that fact. I think it’s a shame that announcers and other is in the media aren’t more willing to critique coaching decisions like that from a “top” coach, too. Zook is easy pickings.

      • Keep in mind that Oklahoma has a crappy kicking game. The field goal they kicked after converting was shorter than the original would have been and it STILL missed.

    • frug says:

      Entirely different circumstances. When Stoops went for it there was about 3+ minutes left on the clock. When Zook made his call there was less than a minute and a half. Also, Oklahoma’s offense is considerably better than Illinois.

      Plus, as Frank said, just because it worked does not mean that Stoops made the right decision.

      • Brian says:

        I don’t thin kit was that different. TT had been moving the ball pretty well all night. There’s a pretty good chance they can kill the last 3 minutes if they take over there. Even with a 3 and out, OU would get the ball in their own end with 2-3 minutes left needing 2 scoring drives. Instead they could get 3 points and face the same basic situation only needing 1 scoring drive. They wouldn’t even have to try the onside kick.

  65. frug says:

    Totally random, but I was playing around with the Sagarin SoS ratings and every Big XII team is currently in the top 30, with an average rating of 10.5. That means, based these ratings, the average Big XII opponent has been about as good as 6-2 Illinois. That is pretty crazy.

  66. Brian says:

    BCS preview:

    Atlantic – Clemson
    Coastal – VT

    Leaders – PSU > WI > OSU for now
    Legends – MSU > NE > MI for now

    North – OR = Stanford for now
    South – ASU

    East – GA > SC > FL for now
    West – AL = LSU for now

    BE: everyone but USF is equal

    B12: OkSU > KSU > OU for now

    At large:
    Boise, Houston

  67. duffman says:

    Going with something frug said in a post above, is the Big 12 overrated?

    Look at the OCC for the B12 this season and I start wondering. Baylor and Texas got early credit for wins against TCU and UCLA, but how big are these wins looking at them today? The same can be said for Kansas State and Oklahoma getting early credit for wins against Miami and Florida State before we learned this would be a down year for the state of Florida. To put it another way look at the OOC for the B12 :

    KSU beat Miami (FL) OOC, but the Hurricanes are currently 4 – 3
    Eastern Kentucky – FCS school and Kent State – MAC school were the other Wildcat wins

    oSu beat Arizona OOC, but the Wildcats are currently 2 – 5
    LA, Lafayette – Sun Belt school and Tulsa – CUSA school were the other Cowboy wins

    OU beat Florida State OOC, but the Seminoles are currently 4 – 3
    Tulsa – CUSA school and Ball State – MAC school were the other Sooner wins

    TAMU lost to Arkansas OOC, and the Hogs are currently 6 – 1
    SMU – CUSA school and Idaho – WAC school were the other Aggie wins

    TT beat nobody of note OOC
    Tx St – FCS school, New Mexico – MWC school, and Nevada – WAC were their OOC wins

    BU beat TCU OOC, but the Frogs are currently 5 – 2
    SFA – FCS school and Rice – CUSA school were the other Bear wins

    UT beat UCLA OOC, but the Bruins are 3-4
    BYU is 6-2, but beating Ole Miss by 1 pt is not good, and Rice at 2 – 5 as their OOC wins

    MU lost to Arizona State, and the Sun Devils are 5 – 2 right now
    Miami (OH) – MAC school and Western Illinois – FCS school were their OOC wins

    ISU beat Iowa OOC, and the Hawkeyes are currently 5 – 2
    N Iowa – FCS school and Uconn – BE school were the other OOC wins

    KU lost to Georgia Tech OOC, and the Yellow Jackets are currently 6 – 2
    McNeese State – FCS school and N Illinois – MAC school were the other Jayhawk wins

    The games in bold above are the quality games in the B12 in their OOC schedule, and none of the top schools have one. To be fair having Florida State, Miami (FL) , and Arizona on the OOC schedules in most years would be good, but this year they are just not great. Texas Tech went to Oklahoma and beat the Sooners on their own turf for the first time in ~ 40 games. Is Texas Tech that good, or were the Sooners just exposed? Look at the TT OOC and you see wins against an FCS school, an 0-7 New Mexico team, and a 4-3 Nevada team. This is not exactly a murderers row of opponents! The B12 OOC looks more like a pillow fight than a high octane OOC.

    Throw in a couple of key early games and it helped the hype. ISU beat Iowa, but they had to go to OT to do it, and have fallen since. KSU and OU beat the Florida schools, but all Florida schools fell from the top 25 for the first time in ages. UT beat BYU by 1 point at home when BYU struggled to beat cellar dweller Ole Miss the week before by 1 point. BU beat TCU in a close game that everybody in the nation saw and got BU the media love. The problem is this years TCU team is not the undefeated one that played the Badgers last year in the Rose Bowl. TAMU had the toughest game OOC against Arkansas as a neutral site game with a rival (TAMU and Arkansas were together in the old SWC) at JerryWorld. The Aggies may have the best first half team in the B12, but it takes 2 half’s to get a win.

    I guess this is making me wonder if the B12 schedule is the football equivalent of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” ? What would Hans Christian Andersen think of the B12 if Hans was a college football fan? To be fair some schools did set up decent schedules but the opponent did not keep their end of the bargain. Throw in all the B12 overexposure over the summer with all the realignment talk that dominated the off season and early season press. Mix in ESPN pushing the LHN ads to get you to call your cable operator and you might be looking at the perfect storm. The problem is how it all ends, and will it mean egg on the face of the school that escapes unscathed by the end of the season.

    Right now the front runner is oSu, and KSU is in the shadows. Say either one finishes the season undefeated, which by default means the other is painted with a loss. Now you have a 12 – 0 team napping while the rest of the power conferences have to go 13 – 0 to cross the final BCS finish line. While these 4 teams (LSU/BAMA/oSu/KSU) may be interchangeable lets say LSU goes 13 – 0 and oSu goes 12 – 0 (I picked Alan’s Tigers preseason, and the Cowboys are #3 in the BCS right now) and meet in the BCS MNC game in January. Suddenly the game becomes “the child” and the B12 champion is exposed for all the USA to see. Compare that to the Auburn vs Oregon game this past january and you get the point.

    Right now Boise State, Clemson, and Stanford are still undefeated and could all finish the season with no losses. Would any of them be the better opponent should LSU/BAMA run the table? Computer love is helping oSu right now (they are #1 in that part of the BCS formula) and hurting the other 3 (Clemson @ #4, Boise State @ #5, and Stanford @ #9) in their quest for a BCS berth. I ask the following questions of the Frank the Tank faithful :

    #1) Is the B12 the best conference in the land, or just over exposed this season?
    #2) If SEC 13-0, B12 12-0, and Clemson or Stanford or Boise state run the table to the end, who is the best choice to play the 13 – 0 SEC team?

    a) 12 – 0 B12 team (oSu or KSU)
    b) 12 – 0 Boise State team
    c) 13 – 0 Clemson team
    d) 13 – 0 Stanford team

    • zeek says:

      The order probably goes 1) Big 12 undefeated OSU/KSU, 2) Stanford, 3) Clemson, 4) Boise State.

      Stanford is going to be #2 in the human polls if OSU/KSU both lose and a win over Oregon should help them enough to secure that ahead of Clemson. Clemson’s clearly going to be above Boise State if they win out because they’ll have much better strength of schedule. Boise State only really gets in if there’s only an SEC undefeated and themselves.

      I really don’t know what’s going to happen if Kansas State somehow runs the table and Stanford does as well. The human polls like Stanford more, but the computers will probably put Kansas State above, so that could be a really interesting turn of events. It’d be an extremely close BCS score.

      As for the Big 12, I don’t think the conference is overrated. The thing is, the only terrible team in the Big 12 is Kansas. In the Big Ten, you can say that Indiana and Minnesota are that bad.

      The Big 12 is going to suffer from parity as much as the Big Ten this year.

      The Pac-12 could produce an undefeated Stanford simply because a lot of teams in that conference look down.

    • anon says:

      @Duffman, here’s my $0.02:

      1.  Some of the B12 non-conf wins are less impressive with hindsight, but all the statistical methods still have the B12 #1 (I checked Saragrin Central Mean, Simple Average, Win%, and Sports Reference SRS).  These systems don’t care about the historical greatness of schools like Miami, UCLA, Arizona.  They also consider margin of victory so UTs 1 point home win over BYU, and BYUs 1 pt win over Ole Miss are factored into those results. 

      In the current BCS rankings, B12 has 30% of it’s teams in the top 10 teams and 60% in the top 25 (SEC has similar numbers, but the B12 has 2 fewer teams this year).  I would still give the B12 the benefit of the doubt for have a really strong year, but the bowls could always prove that wrong.

      2.  Both OSU and KSU have brutal schedules the rest of the way (OSU has 21 Baylor, 8 KSU, @15 TTU, @ 62ISU, 7OU.  KSU has 7 OU, @3 OSU, 6 A&M, @24 UT, 62 ISU – ratings are from Saragrin).  ISU is the only sure win for either.  I think it’s really unlikely either goes undefeated, but if one managed to pull it off I think they would absolutely be deserving of the National Title shot.

      • anon says:

        So I can’t keep track of the # of teams per conference anymore.  B12 has 9 this year, so that middle paragraph should actually be:

        In the current BCS rankings, B12 has 33% of it’s teams in the top 10 teams and 67% in the top 25 (SEC has similar raw numbers of teams (3 and 6), but the B12 has 3 fewer teams in the league this year).  I would still give the B12 the benefit of the doubt for having a really strong year, but the bowls could always prove that wrong.

        Also, I noticed that Missouri is #26 is the Sagarin ratings and there’s a good chance they don’t even make a bowl.  No question that is a very good conference.

        • Scuba Steve says:

          The B12 has 10 teams this year.

        • M says:

          A word about computer rankings:

          The Big 12 has exactly 3 OOC losses: Texas A&M to 6-1 Arkansas (only loss to Alabama), Missouri to Arizona State (the likely Pac-12 South winner) and Kansas to Georgia Tech (the worst team in the conference to an upper tier BCS team). Other than those two and Iowa State, no one in the Big 12 has any transitive losses to anyone outside of Alabama and Arkansas.

          In terms of overall conference strength, what really helps are the wins by the drudges: 0-4 Iowa State beat 2-1 Iowa and UConn (who beat USF who beat ND). Kansas beat 5-3 Northern Illinois. That’s not a great win in absolute terms, but look at it this way: the worst team in the Big 12 has a win over an FBS school with a winning record. The Big Ten has 4 teams without such a win (Iowa, Northwestern, Minnesota, Indiana). The SEC has 5 of those (Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Florida).

          With wins by the lower teams, the conference rating just feeds on itself. Iowa State must be okay because they beat a 5-2 Iowa. Missouri must be better than okay because they beat Iowa State. Oklahoma must be great because they beat Texas and Missouri, who both beat Iowa State, who we know is okay because they beat Iowa. Texas Tech must be stupendous because they beat Oklahoma….

          The same works true in reverse for losses by top teams in the conference. By far the single most harmful game for the Big Ten was MSU (4-0 in conference) losing to ND (who loss to USF). Meanwhile, the top 7 teams in the Big 12 (and top 10 in the SEC) have 0 bad losses (defined as a loss to a team with a bad loss).

  68. Richard says:

    Going on more about the B10 and BCS bids, I think we can safely divide the B10 in to tiers:

    Upper class: Michigan, tOSU, PSU:
    These schools are almost like ND (I would say that Michigan & tOSU are like ND). Get to 2 wins, qualify for a BCS bowl, and they’re in, as they’d trump pretty much any school besides Texas, OU, and the SEC elite.
    Upper middle-class: Nebraska, Wisconsin, MSU
    Middle-class: Iowa (here due to traveling support), Illinois (here almost solely due to the Chicago TV market)

    The thing is that, outside the SEC, there are really only a handful of schools that would even be in the B10 middle-class when it comes to BCS bowl desirability. In the ACC, FSU is upper/upper-middle class while VTech & Clemson are upper-middle/middle-class. In the B12, Texas and OU are upper class while TAMU is upper-middle class. In the Pac, USC is upper-middle class (great TV draw; poor traveling support). Washington is probably middle-class. _Maybe_ Oregon as well.

    The upshot is, now that ND won’t get a BCS spot, you’d have 2 spots remaining for the B10, ACC, B12, and Pac. 2 of the 3 would have to happen for the B10 to end up out of a spot:
    1. OU doesn’t win the B12 but has 2 or less losses.
    2. Clemson/VTech doesn’t win the ACC and has 2 or less losses.
    3. Oregon doesn’t win the Pac and has 2 or less losses.

    Even if 2 & 3 happen, I’m not sure the B10 is denied a second BCs spot. It’s be interesting to see who the BCS chooses between MSU/Wisconsin and VTech/Clemson/Oregon if they have identical records and similar rankings. IMHO, only VTech would challenge MSU & Wisconsin with a similar record and ranking.

    • Mack says:

      A upset in the CCGs is the biggest wildcard in keeping the B1G from getting two BCS bids. B1G should get in over a 10-2 VT team that just lost the ACC CCG, but not a 11-1 Clemson that was upset. A Stanford team with one loss that was upset in the CCG will also beat out B1G (they will need to beat USC and Oregon to get to the CCG undefeated). Both Oklahoma schools in the B12 will get BCS bids if they win out to their head to head matchup on Dec 3.

      • Richard says:

        I’m not at all certain that a 1-loss Stanford or OK State would take a spot from a 2-loss Wisconsin or MSU. I’m confident that a 2-loss Michigan, PSU or Nebraska would get a bid over a 1-loss Stanford or OK State*.

        * Actually, I could qualify that: it probably would depend on the bowl. I think all of the B10 schools under consideration would beat out Stanford for any bowl (only the Fiesta would be close if it’s 1-loss Stanford vs. 2-loss PSU/Wisconsin/MSU). Likely all B10 schools besides PSU would beat out OK State for the Fiesta as well, but that’s moot as OK State likely won’t be contending with the B10 for a spot in the Fiesta. 1-loss OK State may have an edge on all B10 schools except Michigan or Nebraska to the Sugar. All B10 schools would get the nod over OK State to the Orange.

        • Todd says:

          Don’t underestimate PSU’s attractiveness to the bowls if they think it will be his last game.

        • Peter says:

          A two-loss B1G team that is eligible in the BCS standings will go to a BCS game. They fill the BCS stadiums; they will go. The question is if it is possible for the two-loss CCG loser to still be eligible for an at-large. Candidates (record & current BCS ranking) would be:


          Michigan State (No.11)
          Nebraska (No. 14)
          Michigan (No. 18)


          Wisconsin (No.15)
          Penn State (No. 19)

          All other teams already have two or more losses and so would have three losses if they lose the CCG (to say nothing of having no chance of being ranked 14 or higher in the BCS if they lost said game).

          Any of those five would be picked by a BCS bowl if eligible. Nebraska & Wisconsin are automatic traveling hordes and Michigan, Penn State & Michigan State haven’t been to a BCS game in a long time; they would fill the stadium by themselves.

          Wisconsin & Penn State play @ Wisconsin as the last game of the season. BCS at-large elimination game if both win out to that point.

          Michigan State & Nebraska play this week. BCS at-large elimination game. The loser can still win the Legends division, but would have three losses if they lost the CCG.

          Due to already having one loss to Michigan State, Michigan appears to be the only team of the five that could not make the CCG (due to Michigan State also winning out) and have a chance of an at-large. They’re on the cusp now and would naturally drift up to 14 or higher through the second half of the season. For that to work, they CANNOT lose again.

          • Peter says:

            Also FWIW, the selection order for the BCS this year goes:

            –Sugar (replacing No.1 ranked LSU/Bama)
            – Second AQ tie-in Bowl replacing No.2 (unless Boise State is No.2)
            – Fiesta
            – Sugar
            – Orange

          • Richard says:


            If Wisconsin & PSU both win out until the final week, that game would be for the division title. Loser likely gets the consolation prize of a BCS at-large bid.

          • Richard says:

            That would be Peter, not Mike.

          • Peter says:


            If the loser of Wisconsin-PSU is dumped below #14 in the BCS standings, they cannot receive an at-large bid regardless of whether one is given to the loser of the CCG or not. In order for the Wisconsin-PSU loser to even be eligible, those two teams would need very, very high BCS rankings heading into that game. Losing a game to a quality opponent costs anywhere between 6-10 spots in the standings.

            You’d need mass chaos to get Wisconsin & PSU both up into the #4-7 range in the BCS standings. I think it looks something like this with independent events:

            – Wisconsin & PSU win out. Nebraska loses in the process of PSU winning out.
            – Boise State loses. This will not be to a quality opponent and so will collapse them.
            – Michigan State loses again.
            – Oklahoma loses again.
            – Clemson loses.
            – Virginia Tech loses.
            – Kansas State loses.

            South Carolina & Arkansas play, so one of them will lose. Same with Oregon & Stanford.

            It’s not impossible for the B1G to finish with three teams in the Top 14, but it’s not at all likely. And if that many teams are losing, Wisconsin is going to be gunning for someone to beat the Oregon/Stanford winner and someone to beat the LSU/Bama winner…

          • Richard says:


            It’ll be very difficult for either Wisconsin or PSU to drop below #14th in the BCS polls if they finish 10-2. After all, how many teams will finish with 2 or less losses for the year? How many 3-loss teams would be ranked above them? Heck, how many teams would be ranked ahead of 10-1 Wisconsin/PSU heading in to the final week?

            Also, at the end of the year, losing to a quality opponent doesn’t cost you 6-10 spots if you are already highly ranked yourself. Ask Michigan in ’06, ‘Bama in 2008, and UF in 2009.

            Finally, you don’t need to get either team in to #4-#7 or 3 B10 teams in the top 14 to get 2 B10 teams in to BCS bowls, so i don’t get your other points.

          • Peter says:


            It’s a different deal with an undefeated, clearly dominant #1 or #2 team that loses a No.1 v. No. 2 game at the end of the season (your three examples). The PSU-Wisconsin loser will be going to TWO losses and will presumably be ranked 9-12 at best in the BCS prior to the game. They won’t be shown anywhere near as much mercy, especially with how much the computers hate them. Adding another loss is a significant hit to computer profile.

            Remember, in order for the loser to qualify for a BCS game, BOTH of them have to be able to finish above #14 with a loss.

          • Richard says:


            All Wisky and PSU have to do is qualify for a BCS slot, and I don’t see a way for them to finish outside of the top 14 with only 2 losses. All bowls care most about filling seats, and a BCS bowl would pick a #12 Wisky over a #6 Stanford because of that.

          • Mack says:

            Actually bowl matchups (like realighment) is mostly about TV ratings. Almost all bowls have ticket allocations that the schools must buy even if they cannot sell them; therefore, the ticket revenue is the same. Most bowls also have one team that will fill the stadium, and the Sugar and Rose are always that way. Each bowl is slightly different.
            > Sugar wants the highest ranked “easy” name opponent for its SEC team. Sugar likely takes 1 loss Stanford or Oklahoma State over any 2 loss B1G team. More tickets for SEC team. Higher perceived win for SEC. The SEC invitee coach (of course informal and unspoken) seems to have the second strongest influence (after TV) on the SEC opponent in the Sugar bowl.
            > This year the Orange will be happy with its BE / ACC AQ matchup. If the ACC AQ is taken by another bowl, the Orange likely takes a name 2 loss B1G team over 1 loss Stanford or Okie St., undefeated Boise State etc. Against BE, traveling fans make B1G top choice. The big bowls do not like to stick schools with unsold ticket expense, especially its conference tie-in (BE) schools. Clemson (and most other likely ACC AQs) will fill stadium, the BE AQ will not.
            > Fiesta will likely get B12 AQ and Boise State. Might take a two loss Oklahoma if Okie State makes the NC game. Will likely take a 1 loss Stanford over any 2 loss B1G team. B1G has best shot if Okie State is AQ. Less likely if Oklahoma is AQ.
            > The Rose bowl will have the B1G AQ and the P12 AQ unless that team gets the NC game. Despite a preference to replace with another P12 team, the Rose committee has never reached low in BCS rank to replace NC team. If Stanford in NC, could be P12/B12/ACC or Boise State. I expect a two loss Oregon (especially with a LSU-Stanford NC game) will be the top pick.

          • Richard says:

            Also, why do you believe both teams have to finish in the top 14 for the loser to get a BCS bid? I don’t get that.

          • frug says:

            You have to be ranked in the top 14 to be BCS eligible.

          • Richard says:


            All bowls care most about filling up the stadium first (and the ticket allocations aren’t enough to fill up a stadium; the bowls have to sell more than the minimum allocations they force on each school). If one of the schools invited can fill up the stadium by itself, then the second team can be purely for TV value, but TV value is second behind ticket sales.

            1. I think it would be close between a 2-loss B10 team and 1-loss Stanford for a Fiesta Bowl bid.
            2. The Rose took a 3 loss #13 Illinois in 2008.

          • Richard says:


            I understand that, but you don’t need both PSU & Wisconsin to be ranked 14th or better for one of those two to get an at-large BCS bid. That’s why I didn’t understand Peter’s contention.

  69. EZCUSE says:

    Good grief. Can Missouri get this over with? There have been wars started, fought, and resolved in the time that it has taken this below average program to get it’s crap together.

  70. Richard says:

    BTW, does anybody know what clause in their contract allows CBS to move the LSU-’Bama game to primetime? I thought CBS had one primetime SEC game a year. Did ESPN get compensated somehow? Otherwise, I don’t expect the WWL to be happy as they had an almost exclusive hold on SEC primetime games & this would compete with ABC’s primetime matchups (unless ABC isn’t showing football in the evening that day).

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Richard – ESPN siad they traded for future consideration. Speculation down here is that CBS gave their one primetime game for the 2012 season to ESPN.

      The biggest winner in this whole deal is the Army/Air force game which got moved to the CBS SEC 2:30pm slot, up from Versus TV.

      • Just to nitpick a bit, but on the Army/Air Force game I think you mean it got moved from CBS Sports Channel (formerly CBS College Sports) instead of Versus TV (which will be NBC Sports as of Jan 2012). CBS Sports owns the rights to most of the Military Academies’ games and CUSA games. Versus owns Mountain West and I believe some PAC12 and Big XII, but I could be wrong on those last two. Yes, it can all be very confusing, but thankfully all those channels means more college football on TV!

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Correction – CBS did not give up their prime-time game for 2012, as CBS committed their one prime-time slot for 2012 to the Bama/LSU game in Tiger Stadium.

        I just received this letter from the LSU AD:

        “Dear Tiger Fan,

        Thank you to everyone who took time to respond last week to my letter about televised football games.

        It is important for you to know we will always fight for the traditions that are critical to LSU and its fans. When it comes to football, it is the traditions of tailgating, white jerseys and night football that mean so much to Tiger fans on game day.

        So I am happy to inform you that, during the discussions pertaining to the move of the LSU-Alabama game on November 5 in Tuscaloosa to a night time kickoff, CBS committed its prime-time telecast for next year by selecting the LSU vs. Alabama game at night in Tiger Stadium on CBS.

        Of course we will always continue do everything within our means to have as many other night games as possible in Baton Rouge.

        Rest assured that the Southeastern Conference office and all of the league members are aware of the importance of night football at LSU. Just like the cowbells at Mississippi State and traditional match-ups like Alabama-Tennessee and Auburn-Georgia, there are traditions that the SEC works to preserve for the good of the league while remaining fair to all universities.

        This year’s LSU-Alabama game was moved at the request of CBS. It was accomplished only after negotiations between CBS and ESPN, because ESPN by contract televises the night SEC games. ESPN received future scheduling considerations from CBS for making the move. The change in kickoff time was not requested by either participating school.

        Congratulations to both the LSU Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide on their accomplishments to date. They have set up a showdown in Tuscaloosa that will have the world watching because, for the first time in SEC history, the No. 1 and No. 2 teams will meet in the regular season. They will be playing under the lights on November 5, and also next year when they meet in Tiger Stadium.

        As always, we welcome your comments at athletics@lsu.edu. Unfortunately we cannot answer every e-mail we receive, but please be assured they are all read.

        Geaux Tigers!

        Joe Alleva”

  71. loki_the_bubba says:

    University of Houston regents are voting Thursday to leave CUSA…


    “Approval is requested to delegate authority to the Chancellor to negotiate and execute a contract for athletic conference affiliation and to negotiate and provide notice of contract cancellation as necessary.”

    Good bye, Cougar High.

  72. Brian says:

    There has been a lot of talk about the SEC divisions and historical balance before and after adding TAMU and presumably MO. I just wanted to throw a few more facts into the mix:

    Total winning percentage since 1992 (SEC) or 1996 (B12):

    2. FL 78%
    9. TN 71%
    12. GA 70%
    67. SC 49%
    91. KY 42%
    113. Vandy 29%
    Ave. 57%

    15. AU 72%
    19. LSU 66%
    31. AL 61%
    44. AR 56%
    51. MS 53%
    78. MS St 46%
    Ave. 59%

    39. TAMU 57%
    40. MO 57%

    The East is more top heavy, while the West is less extreme (the top wasn’t as good and the bottom wasn’t as bad. TAMU and MO were very similar and would be middle of the pack in either division. The West is better on average, but that is due to Vandy being so bad.

    Total winning percentage since 2006 (5 years):

    4. FL 82%
    21. GA 68%
    46. SC 57%
    46. TN 57%
    52. KY 55%
    106. Vandy 33%
    Ave. 59%

    7. LSU 77%
    14. AU 70%
    20. AL 68%
    31. AR 63%
    71. MS 47%
    71. MS St 47%
    Ave. 62%

    17. MO 70%
    56. TAMU 55%

    The West became top heavy with LSU, AL and AR stepping up their performance at the expense of MS. The East became FL with GA a distant second and everybody else trailing with TN’s demise. MO got a lot better, reaching the top half of either division, while TAMU stayed middle of the pack. The West is better on average, but that is due to Vandy being so bad.

    Many people don’t find total winning percentage a good measure because it can be very dependent on OOC scheduling. To counter that, here are conference winning percentages:

    Conference winning percentage since 1992 (SEC) or 1996 (B12):

    1. FL 79%
    2. TN 69%
    5. GA 61%
    8. SC 40%
    11. KY 28%
    12. Vandy 15%
    Ave. 49%

    3. AL 63%
    4. AU 62%
    6. LSU 58%
    7. AR 47%
    9. MS 40%
    10. MS St 36%
    Ave. 51%

    6. TAMU 53%
    8. MO 48%

    These results are similar to the overall results. The East has the best and worst teams with the West bunched in the middle. Both TAMU and MO would be in the middle of either division. The West is better on average, but that is due to Vandy being so bad.

    Conference winning percentage since 2006:

    1. FL 77%
    5. GA 58%
    7. TN 51%
    8. SC 44%
    9. KY 35%
    12. Vandy 20%
    Ave. 48%

    2. AL 67%
    3. LSU 66%
    4. AU 61%
    6. AR 54%
    9. MS St 35%
    11. MS 30%
    Ave. 52%

    3. MO 62%
    7. TAMU 50%

    Again the conference results match the overall results. With TN fading, the East is bunched in the middle while LSU, AL and AR improving made the West top heavy. TAMU would be in the middle of the SEC, but MO would be a little higher. The West is better on average, but that is due to Vandy being so bad.

    SEC titles since 1992:
    East 11
    West 8

    SEC titles since 2006:
    East 2
    West 3

    BCS bowls

    FL 6 (5-1), 2-0 NCG
    GA 3 (2-1)
    TN 2 (1-1), 1-0 NCG
    Total 11 (8-3), 3-0 NCG

    LSU 4 (4-0), 2-0 NCG
    AL 3 (1-2), 1-0 NCG
    AU 2 (2-0), 1-0 NCG
    AR 1 (0-1)
    Total 10 (7-3), 4-0 NCG

    TAMU 1 (0-1)
    MO 0

    The East has a few more conference titles. The East has more BCS games and more wins, but the West has more NCG appearances and more NC.

    The East and West have been very balanced since the SEC expanded. The East was better at first, but the West has improved lately to become stronger. TAMU and MO both seem like middle of the road teams in the SEC. Putting TAMU in the West and giving those schools TX access while MO goes in the East and gets FL access shouldn’t have a major impact on the balance. MO may get hurt by losing some TX recruiting power, but FL access may balance it out.

  73. michael says:

    A data point regarding the New York City market.

    From the Star-Ledger:
    “The latest TV ratings from Friday night’s two Big East football games show the Rutgers-Louisville game on ESPN2 having more than twice the viewers in New York City than the Syracuse-West Virginia game on ESPN, a meeting that featured a ranked team (the Mountaineers). Both games started at 8.
    Rutgers-Louisville drew a 1.45 share in New York City compared to 0.7 for West Virginia-Syracuse, according to the Nielsen ratings released today.”

    Rutgers was playing a 2-4 Louisville squad. Just one night, but a rare head-to-head test of the draw of Syracuse vs. Rutgers in NYC.

  74. jtower says:

    Apparently Mizzou will not end the misery today.


    • @jtower – Yeesh. To be fair, we can be 99% sure that the delay is on the SEC side. Missouri seems to be drawing all of the blog and message board ire, but it really ought to be directed at how the SEC is dragging everything out on their timeline.

      • zeek says:

        I don’t really understand the delay at this point (or where it’s coming from).

        I mean, yeah you had to deal with Baylor with the A&M situation…

        But at this point, taking Missouri should be as easy as the ACC taking Pitt and Syracuse. Doesn’t seem like there’s any surprises waiting at this point given the Missouri statements from the past couple of days.

        • jtower says:

          Could it be a suitor from the east? VT?? UNC has been the #1 fantasy choice of the SEC, surely they wouldn’t leave the comfort of the ACC. I just can’t imagine FSU.

          • zeek says:

            The ACC looks really solid right now. I think everyone would be surprised if one of those schools bolted at this point in the game.

            The Missouri timeline just looks as slow as the A&M timeline for whatever reason.

    • Gopher86 says:

      DeArmond should really consider making his page more professional looking. I recommend Comic Sans.

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      One of the interesting quirks that will result if the WVU-to-Big 12 and stories are true: Morgantown, WV will be within a five-hour drive of 5/6 of the major conferences. Pittsburgh (ACC) is within 90 minutes, and Maryland is within 2.5 hours, tops. State College and Columbus (Big Ten) are within 3 hours or so. Cincinnati (Big East) and Lexington (SEC) are within about 4 hours. And the Big 12 will be right in town. The problem for WVU is that there will be a couple about 15 schools closer to Morgantown than its nearest Big 12 neighbor.

      I’ll be interested in how much the Big 12 will be able to gain market share on the ACC, Big Ten, and SEC in any of WV’s surrounding states. For example, are there enough WVU fans in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, or Virginia to allow a West Virginia-vs.-Oklahoma game or West Virginia-vs.-Texas game to appear on ABC over a Big Ten or ACC game? Will local ABC affiliates air start airing more West Virginia/Big 12 games in cities like Louisville, Lexington, and Cincinnati instead of Big East games?

      • Brian says:


        There aren’t a ton of WV fans across the river in OH (OSU) or east of the mountains in VA (VT). The KY border is a pretty solid wall, too (UK). Maybe in western MD and SW PA. The only ABC station around there is Altoona/Johnstown, though, which is probably too far into PA.

        WV won’t top the local conferences in Cincy, Louisville or Lexington.

    • hagenr says:

      After reading that story I envision the conference championship playing out like an episode of the Laff-a-Lympics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laff-A-Lympics). MWC = Yogi Yahooeys, CUSA = Scooby Doobies, Big East = Really Rottens

      • 4 divisions, with their champions playing in a football tournament to crown the conference champions, is that even allowed by the NCAA? Man, the MWC wants a tournament no matter what, even if it isn’t for the National Championship.

        • Brian says:

          No, it’s not allowed right now. First, they need a rule change or else they would need a 13-15 game round robin (impossible in a 12 game schedule) to even have a CCG. I described possible scenarios earlier.

  75. footballnut says:

    Chancellor Deaton back today from Dallas. Was on the radio this morning talking “coach speak” or “chancellor speak”, saying nothing, but talking a lot. Says the details are many and require a lot of time and attention. Big 12 says it is begging Mizzou to stay. KC area reps are putting up a big fight to stay. Chancellor says decision will be in Mizzou’s best interest. Well, sometimes you have to look beyond yourself and do what’s good for the community. It’s called being a citizen. True, the Big 12 has given Mizzou no reason to stay as they have been treated very poorly in the past by the conference and especially the Texas schools, but that was becuase of weak leadership, poorly constructed revenue sharing bylaws, and general distrust. Mizzou is no angel, either. Reconcilliation seems to be on the minds of the new Big 12 ledership, but it may be too little too late. I think Mizzou wants to start over somewhere else with a new slate.

    Going to the SEC is basically a “do-over.” But, many would rather see chanigng the Big 12 rather than picking up your toys and going somewhere else to play. The extended time is to let it all play out, probably, IMHO.

  76. Gopher86 says:

    Thamel’s take: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/26/sports/ncaafootball/West-Virginia-Big-12-Big-East.html?ref=sports

    He brings up a good point. Mizzou has to shed their legal obligations. If they leave the teams with one less game on the schedule, they’d have to pony up to fix that problem. At $1mm or so for a MAC-rifice like game, that’s a chunk of change to consider.