Tis’ the season for debating who’s the #2 team in the country (personally, I feel that Oklahoma State’s better wins trump Alabama’s better loss) and unsubstantiated Internet rumors spreading like wildfire.  Coaches are getting hired and fired, conferences are giving away free tickets to championship games, BCS systems are about to get dismantled*, the founder of Jimmy John’s is going to bankroll a Division I hockey program at Illinois and, of course, the Big 12 is getting ready to kill the Big East again.  Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman lit a match the other day stating that the Big 12 presidents would be discussing expansion again this week while Big East Coast Bias passed along some tidbits that Louisville football coaches were telling recruits that the school would be switching conferences soon.  If there’s one thing that I know, it’s that I’ve never, ever, ever heard of a coach misleading a high profile recruit in order to induce him to commit to a program.  Why do you think Urban Meyer was named after a pope?  A coach stretching the truth with a recruit would be an unprecedented event in the history of the NCAA, so what’s being passed along by the Louisville coaches must be ironclad solid information.

(* With the prospect of a return to a late-90s bowl system, I sincerely wracked my brain to think of a way to incorporate a Semisonic reference into my last post, but to no avail.  Lo and behold, Grantland published a full-scale analysis the very next day about the staying power of the band’s singular hit “Closing Time” after all of these years.  Note that this song came out right smack dab in the middle of my college years and I allegedly went to a lot of bars during that time period where this had to be played every night at last call, so that Grantland piece was right in my wheelhouse.  My nomination for a contemporary song that will be the equivalent of “Closing Time” in the next 10 to 15 years: Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite”.  It’s a peppy song that can be played in a whole variety of venues (it seems to be inexplicably replacing the more topical “Freeze Frame” by the J. Geils Band as the standard crowd music during NFL replay challenges), slightly kitschy but not so much where it crosses into limited life gimmicky territory (unlike many songs by Katy Perry and that no talent assclown Ke$ha), and incredibly simple earwormy lyrics that everyone from toddlers to grandmothers can instantly remember.  Let me know if you have any other suggestions, but I have a feeling that “Dynamite” is going to still be played in every club across America at least once per evening in 2020.)

(** Furthering the college nostalgia kick, my best friend from college (a random freshman roommate placement success story) and I ate enough sandwiches at the Urbana Jimmy John’s at 3 a.m. to fund their entire expansion into Chicagoland.  We deserve a hockey team, dammit!)

So, let’s enter into a mode of suspension of disbelief where there is a world that allows the Big 12 to make more television revenue by going to 12 schools instead of staying at 10 and Texas is willing to add more members.  From what I see, there are three potential pairings from the Big East – two of them have been talked about quite a bit, while the third is what I would do if I were Big 12 commissioner:

Conservative Option: Add Louisville and Cincinnati – This is the straightforward geographically-friendlyish option that would connect West Virginia with the rest of the Big 12.  The problem that I see here is that if the Big 12 really wanted to go this route, it would’ve been done already.  There aren’t any strings attached to these schools in the manner of BYU, so this is too easy of a move for the Big 12 to be waiting on as an ultimate plan.  (The same could be said about the prospect of the ACC taking both Rutgers and UConn.  If that was really the league’s expansion plan, it would’ve been done months ago.)  I’ve always believed Louisville was a very viable option for the Big 12, but Cincinnati seems like they’re being used as a stalking horse in the same manner that the Big Ten used Missouri and Rutgers.  The next option has a slight variation…

Aggressive Option: Add Louisville and Rutgers – This scenario was given credence in an interview by Oklahoma president David Boren, who mentioned both of these schools by name in connection with future Big 12 expansion.  While Rutgers obviously has a distance disadvantage from the rest of the Big 12, the addition of West Virginia has made a potential move further into the Northeast much more palatable.  West Virginia is actually about equidistant from both Rutgers and Louisville (about a 6 hour 30 minute drive from each), so Morgantown could be looked as a geographic pivot point.  The Big Ten and ACC may not find Rutgers delivers enough of the New York/New Jersey market to justify adding them, but the Big 12 has a lot more leeway to take a risk there.  This scenario seems much more realistic to me with more upside for the Big 12 compared to a Louisville/Cincinnati combo.  However, there’s one other option that I haven’t really seen…

Nor’easter Option: Add Rutgers and UConn as all-sports members and Notre Dame as a non-football member – Whoa!  You’re probably asking what I’m thinking here.  Well, let’s go back to the premise that West Virginia makes further inroads into the Northeast much more feasible for the Big 12.  Rutgers and UConn as a pair would have a much more powerful network effect in the Tri-State area than if Rutgers was taken alone.  Just as the theory when those schools were being considered for the Big Ten was that visiting schools like Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State would drive interest in the New York City metro, it would be the same with Texas and Oklahoma coming in to play.

If there’s one thing that the Big 12 showed when it chose West Virginia over Louisville as school number 10, it was that when push came to shove, old money trumped the noveau riche.  Rutgers is certainly old money as a participant in the very first college football game.  Meanwhile, UConn is a very interesting case that makes it difficult to judge how other power conferences value them in realignment.  From a pure football standpoint, UConn is a newbie with a Division I-A program that isn’t even a decade old yet.  This is a massive negative to the Big 12, Big Ten and ACC that I don’t think many realignment observers and UConn supporters fully appreciate.  Power conferences want to see a long football history, even if it’s a bad one like Rutgers has.  (If UConn ultimately gets left behind while other Big East teams leave for greener pastures, it will be for this reason.  That would be a shame as UConn really has done a pretty good job building up the respectability of its football program in a very short period of time.)  However, UConn looks like an old money school in other ways as a flagship university with solid academics and an extended history of success in the Big East in non-football sports (especially men’s and women’s basketball).  Fitting for a Big East school, it’s truly a hybrid.

We also need to take into account the gorilla waiting in the mist: Notre Dame.  Recall that DeLoss Dodds has openly stated that he would happy to invite Notre Dame as a non-football member and Chip Brown reported that the Irish were looking to do just that.  So, Texas is certainly on the record that it’s willing to play ball with Notre Dame in their quest to preserve independence, and where Texas goes, the Big 12 usually follows.  If the Big 12 were to add Rutgers and UConn, that would remove a massive reservation that Notre Dame has in joining that conference, which is that it doesn’t have any Northeastern presence as of now.  This ends up being a pretty good setup for Notre Dame where it would be in a league that has a couple of East Coast schools along with other athletic departments like Texas that are much more like financial peers to the Irish (unlike the other Catholic members of the Big East).

To be sure, I’ve previously warned that the non-Texas Big 12 members may not be keen on allowing Notre Dame to have partial membership as that would set a dangerous precedent for Texas to do the exact same thing down the road (which would be disastrous for the rest of the Big 12).  Still, there are certainly benefits if Notre Dame agrees to an iron-clad scheduling arrangement where the Irish play 3 or 4 games per year (which is much more realistic than the 6 suggested by Brown) against Big 12 opponents.  Schools that would not get a sniff of an opportunity to play Notre Dame would get to do so and a couple Domer games per year would get into the Big 12’s TV package.  Plus, there’s value to the Big 12 in keeping Notre Dame as an independent.  Notre Dame is an effective requirement in order for either the Big Ten or ACC to expand, and if either of them get the Irish, they could very well grab more Big 12 teams (most notably Texas itself) on top.  (The same applies to the Big East, which is why that conference was always willing to tow the line for Notre Dame.  The Irish could unilaterally sign the death warrant of the league at any time by joining either the Big Ten or ACC.)  The point is that if any conference is going to kill the Big East, they’re going to want to do it in a way where either Notre Dame joins such conference or stays independent.  What no one wants to do is kill the Big East and then see Notre Dame head to some other league for football.

The Big 12’s lack of consensus of whether it should be at 10 or 12 members is inherently because there aren’t obvious options that jump out at them.  Most expansion candidates for the league have some type of major flaw (i.e. small market, bad geography, not great football program, etc.), so that makes it difficult to achieve an agreement on any moves.  Getting Notre Dame involved, though, can change the equation drastically for the Big 12.  If adding Rutgers and UConn is the combo that ultimately induces the Irish to move its non-football sports to the Big 12, then that’s something I could see the conference pulling the trigger.  Semisonic really does sum up conference realignment well: every new beginning is some other beginning’s end.

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

(Image from MP3Crank)

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Comments
  1. greg says:

    Hawks #1 in the Meineke Car Care TicketCity.com Bluebonnet Bowl.

  2. Christian in Texas says:

    Hooke ‘em.

  3. Denogginizer says:

    GBR

  4. Jeepers says:

    Eggs.

  5. Carl says:

    PSU < Wisconsin

  6. Eric says:

    Very good piece. I agree and have been thinking for awhile the Big 12 would at least look at the northeast schools. I hadn’t considered the added benefit that would be to Notre Dame though and you are absolutely right. That would give them northeast exposure and Texas exposure that they would really like.

    • Sean says:

      UConn and Rutgers aren’t going to the Big 12 because they’re waiting for better offers — UConn is thinking ACC, Rutgers is keeping its Big Ten pipedream alive.

      If the Big East can survive, why join a Big 12 conference that is one Texas move (to independence, to Big Ten, to Pac-12,etc.) from completely dissolving with ZERO hope.

      The funny part in the whole thing is that if the ACC really wanted to kill the Big East….they would’ve taken UConn & Syracuse. Pitt means nothing to nobody. UConn means everything because of basketball.

      UConn & Syracuse were the Duke & UNC of the Big East. Duke/UNC suck at football but drive the conference. If UNC left, the ACC would be in huge trouble. Ditto for UConn & the Big East.

      Now, the Big East will rebuild with UConn & Syracuse as the main pillars piloting the ship.

      If someone wanted to kill the Big East, they would’ve taken UConn, Syracuse & Louisville. Pitt/WVU brought NOTHING to the table.

  7. indy doug says:

    UC is in a tough spot. THREE (3) Big East Chamionships in 4 yrs. & they’re still an afterthought. As a double UC alum, that stinks & hurts.

    • duffman says:

      indy doug,

      UC was killed the day they went from public to private. What was your double in? Problem is DAA and CCM are not as sexy as engineering and business.

      • indy doug says:

        Duffman,Mathematics (1982)& Law(1986)

        • duffman says:

          UC has one of the oldest law schools in the country and having a beer in the Tangeman was a plus.

          I am seriously thinking that the majority of the folks on this blog are lawyers!

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            duff – speaking of old schools, my daughter and I went to Athens after the SEC Championship Game and toured UGa. On the tour, we learned that UGa is the oldest public university in America.

            Georgia has a very nice campus, and Athens is a great college town. Both she and I were impressed. TCU is still #1, but LSU is coming back into the picture the closer it gets to actually leaving home.

          • indydoug says:

            Duff, are you a UC grad too? When & what?

  8. vp19 says:

    Interesting idea there. Of the four Big East possibilities listed above (not counting Notre Dame), Louisville has the best and wealthiest athletic program, Connecticut the next-best (although some of the problems tied in with Jim Calhoun may lessen its value somewhat) and Rutgers would probably provide the best access to NYC media markets. Would Notre Dame be interested in latching onto a Louisville-Rutgers combo?

  9. Wes Haggard says:

    First, congratulations to the B1G for putting on a whale of a CCG. The location was nuetral and the dome took the weather out of it. And FOX did a terrific job with 1st class announcers.

    Second, your suggestion would be a winner for the Big 12 and probably Abc/espn too. Would not be a Big East to do a TV package for. ND would put the finishing touch on the DeLoss Dodds, legacy. Only question is if the existing members would settle for a reduced yearly income with the addition of two more. But, it could have an other side of the coin in providing the other members a better long range future.

  10. zeek says:

    Brad Edwards gives his projections (Bama at #2)

    “Even though Oklahoma State made up some nice ground on Alabama in the coaches poll, Alabama remains No. 2 and ESPN BCS guru Brad Edwards said that according to sources, the Crimson Tide also ranks second in the Peter Wolfe poll, which is one of the six computer polls.

    By Edwards’ calculations, Oklahoma State would have to be ranked second in the Harris poll in order to jump Alabama in the final BCS standings.”

    http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/54984/edwards-projects-bama-to-be-no-2

    Figured I’d put this here; he’s been right about some things and wrong about some things so take it with a grain of salt. But still, it does seem as if OSU needs to be 2nd in the Harris to make it work.

  11. zeek says:

    Interesting shenanigans may be at work here; watch for where Penn State lands tonight.

    • SideshowBob says:

      It’s an interesting question. I can understand the Insight passing over them and the Gator setting up a Ohio State/Florida Meyer bowl if that is available, but I don’t get the Meineike Bowl passing on PSU to take 6-6 Northwestern as some have predicted. That seems to be a lot of ticket sales and TV ratings to leave on the table. Maybe I’m wrong.

      • zeek says:

        Aggie twitter feed reporting on it now.

      • Richard says:

        If the Houston Bowl gets TAMU (which they did), they don’t have to worry about selling out the stadium and have the luxury of passing on a toxic backstory.

        TicketCity Bowl needs every butt they can sit in the humongous Cotton Bowl.

        • duffman says:

          With TAMU going to the SEC, you would think they would have sent them to a bowl against an SEC opponent.

          • Richard says:

            The bowls (who do the actual selecting) care most about what’s best for them and nothing about anything else.

          • Mack says:

            The only SEC – B12 bowl is the Cotton (Arkansas:Kansas State) so that was not an option for A&M. The others are 2 with B1G, 2 with PAC12, and 1 with BE. A&M got the lowest tier B1G matchup. With no second BCS bid, Missouri did not get one of the B12 bowls; got selected by the Independence Bowl (replaced MWC) to face North Carolina.
            :
            Because of the one BCS bid, most of the matchups look favorable for the B12, so I expect the computers will continue to overrate the conference. (OKSt:Stanford, WA:Baylor, IA:OK, CA:TX, and Rutgers:IASt).

  12. Michael in Raleigh says:

    There are a lot of unanswered questions before the Big 12 could expand again.

    First, the future format of the BCS has to be figured out. If the “Delany plan” comes to fruition, where the BCS beomes solely about 1 vs. 2 while the Orange, Sugar, Rose, and Fiesta revert to independently negotiated tie-ins, then that would affect whether Notre Dame would move to another conference. My feeling is that the Big East will not be able to get a tie-in to any of those bowl games. A #3 pick from the SEC or Big Ten and a #2 pick from the Pac-12, Big 12, or ACC would have more value on the open market than the Big East. The Big East’s best hope for a tie-in to one of those bowl games is to offer one of those bowl games EITHER Notre Dame (up to three times in a 4-year cycle) OR the Big East champion… and that still may not be enough. In effect, Notre Dame may find itself in a situation much like BYU: stuck going to a middling December bowl game unless ranked in the top two. Under “Delany plan” rules, sure, switching non-football sports to the Big 12 would be very attractive for Irish.

    (I suspect, though, that instead of completely going to a system where all the spots in the current “BCS bowls” are tied-in, we’ll instead just go to a tweaked system. (This is all assuming there’s no plus-one system, which I’ve come to accept as being less likely than me winning the lottery, which is pretty grim considering I don’t play the lottery.) The NCG would be No. 1 vs. No. 2 and rotate sites; Rose would get B1G and P-12 champs; Orange would get the ACC champ; the Sugar the SEC champ; and either the Cotton or the Fiesta would get the B12 champ. From there, it would go to a selection process. The Orange, Sugar, and Fiesta/Cotton could be free to select whomever they choose, in theory, but they’d have certain stipulations. For instance, non-Big Five conference champions OR independents ranked highest within the top 14 or 16 would have to be guaranteed one of the at-large spots. Also, the limit on total teams from one conference in the BCS would be raised to three. Such a system would benefit the Big Five, rightfully reduce the Big East’s automatic access while not removing it completely, and arguably increase Notre Dame’s access by making its standard to reach the BCS on par with non-AQ schools.)

    A second issue regarding Big 12 expansion, regardless of what happens with the BCS, is consensus within the conference about the idea of Notre Dame joining. Texas cannot completely dictate everything about the Big 12. It still has to have votes from its fellow members to allow something as radical as allowing a non-football member to join, which, as Frank says, would set a dangerous precedent. The schools most likely to buy into Notre Dame joining are West Virginia and current Big East members who haven’t even been invited yet.

    A third issue is whether expansion is what’s best for the conference. The highest priority should be conference stability via granting television rights, which would guard the league from the sense of turmoil. Granting rights would allow any expansion to be a clear sign of strength, not just a defensive move.

    I agree with Frank that Cincinnati’s chances of joining the Big 12 are very dim.

    • Sean says:

      The “Delany Plan” ain’t happening. A majority of conferences have to approve the new BCS system. ACC, Big East, all the non-BCS schools would never vote for it.

      “In effect, Notre Dame may find itself in a situation much like BYU: stuck going to a middling December bowl game unless ranked in the top two.”

      Dude, what are you smoking? If the Delany Plan happened, it would be just like the old days when Notre Dame played on New Year’s Day every year regardless of record. Who can forget the glorious 1995 Fiesta Bowl when 6-4-1 Notre Dame got thrashed by Colorado? That was the last pre-BCS/Bowl Coalition/Bowl Alliance/whatever bowl season.

  13. cutter says:

    Notre Dame may not have killed the Big East by joining another conference, but ND’s actions to date (or perhaps inaction would be a better way to describe it) has certainly put the BE on life support.

    Miami-FL, Boston College, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia have left or are going to leave for other conferences–and this is all while ND was a full-time conference member for every sport outside of football. Now we’re discussing scenarios where Louisville, Connecticut or Rutgers could leave for the Big XII with no action by Notre Dame. If that were to happen, then I don’t think any of the original football members of the Big East would be in the conference.

    With that lesson in mind, why would the Big XII be happy to grant Notre Dame the same sort of associate membership that the Big East did? It didn’t help the Big East keep together, so what are the odds that it will help the rather unstable Big XII? If Notre Dame agreed to play four Big XII football teams per year, where’s the guarantee it’d actually happen? ND said it was going to play three Big East games per year, but that never materialized. Heck, ND never played Cincinnati or Louisville or West Virginia or Rutgers in that time span. Do you think Notre Dame is going to be on Iowa State’s or Texas Tech’s or Kansas’ schedule in the near future?

    I also wouldn’t be so sure that having ND as a semi-independent is a major deterrent to ACC or Big Ten expansion. The ACC went from 12 to 14 without Notre Dame and the Big Ten went from 11 to 12. I don’t know if anyone could have envisioned that happening two years ago, but it did. Who’s to say the Big Ten won’t go from 12 to 14 w/o Notre Dame just like the ACC did if presented with the opportunity? If Rutgers and UConn provide necessary prerequisites for ND to join the Big XII as an associate member, how would their memberships in the Big Ten be perceived by Notre Dame?

    • Eric says:

      While it having Notre Dame in hasn’t saved the Big East, it hasn’t hurt them either. It probably helps the basketball TV contract, has helped in the bowls before (even if it might not be right now). Besides, if this goes down like this, there will be a written agreement for Notre Dame to play x number of Big 12 teams (as opposed to a former official at Notre Dame just planning on it).

  14. vp19 says:

    If Rutgers and UConn provide necessary prerequisites for ND to join the Big XII as an associate member, how would their memberships in the Big Ten be perceived by Notre Dame?

    Apples and oranges, since the Big Ten philosophy works against “associate members” in sports under its aegis. Were that the case, the Big Ten simply could have assimilated the CCHA or WCHA, moved its member schools from one to the other conference, and made the non-Big Ten schools associate members. It didn’t. The Big 12 is weaker, and knows Notre Dame as a full-fledged member is out of the question.

    • cutter says:

      I was talking about UConn and Rutgers becoming full time members in the Big Ten and how Notre Dame would perceive it as a prerequisite for full conference membership in the B10.

      There’s no way the B10 or even the ACC would accept ND at anything less than as a full member. My question is this–if Rutgers and UConn add a northeastern presence to the B10, does that make the conference more palatable to ND becoming a full member?

      Because if it doesn’t, then I have to question how much having Rutgers and UConn in the Big XII will be seen as a major positive for ND to pursue a course of becoming an associate member. With only four football games under contract each year, how often do you think RU or UConn is going to be on ND’s schedule? The same goes with basketball–maybe two games apiece with those two schools (and Rutgers isn’t exactly a basketball powerhouse).

  15. duffman says:

    Frank,

    I said it awhile back, UL and UC to the B12 as a pair makes the most sense. Especially if WVU is already B12 bound. For that part of the division it would give two schools straight up I 71 and WVU closer by as a way to help travel better for all 3 schools. UL has basketball, WVU has football, and UC has a Billion Dollar endowment. None are great, but none are terrible, and all three give the B12 a foothold in the Louisville, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh corridor which has to be better than adding Houston + 2 more Texas schools and overlapping UT’s footprint.

    The bigger issue is it keeps the B12 as an AQ level conference should UT and OU depart someday for the PAC. I really can see Notre Dame and Uconn joining the ACC someday to get them to 16, so UL + UC jumping ship now seems not all that bad. I think the B12 allows beer sales and UL & UC already sell beer in their venues. As a basketball guy having KU and UL in the B12 has possibilities. I think UL with the YUM would have the #1 basketball venue (size and profits) in the B12, and the Pizza Pit fits well with the general size of the football schools in the B12 not named UT or OU.

    Uconn is tied to ESPN and I just see them there more than anywhere else. If there had been no Uconn and ACC, then ESPN may have never grown in the beginning. WIth FOX having part of the B12, I just find it hard to believe ESPN will not protect Uconn in someplace they have full ownership and control.

    • vp19 says:

      Uconn is tied to ESPN and I just see them there more than anywhere else. If there had been no Uconn and ACC, then ESPN may have never grown in the beginning. WIth FOX having part of the B12, I just find it hard to believe ESPN will not protect Uconn in someplace they have full ownership and control.

      Such “protection” didn’t come about in the most recent ACC expansion, even though ESPN was apparently consulted over which members to choose to grow to 14. I don’t Connecticut is ESPN’s “house school” anymore.

      • EZCUSE says:

        The ESPN grew based on the Big East. The 1980’s were dominated by Georgetown, Syracuse, Villanova, and St. Johns. UConn did not become a factor until much later.

        • duffman says:

          EZCUSE,

          Rasmusssen – the guy that founded ESPN – had his first deals with hockey and the local college. Pretty sure that is why they are headquartered in Bristol Conn. If this is not correct I have been going on bad info. Please link a better source.

          • greg says:

            duff, you’re correct that Rasmussen and ESPN had originally intended using Connecticut content as the starting point of their new network.

          • Sean says:

            The first live sporting event ever broadcast on ESPN was a UConn basketball game.

  16. bullet says:

    I’ve got to partly disagree with you. Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night” is the theme song for conference realignment.

    Doing stupid things, getting thrown out or leaving, getting ready to do it all again next Friday night….

  17. frug says:

    You know, naming this post after Closing Time is pretty dark given how close the Big XII has come to Apocalypsing. Twice.

    • frug says:

      Oh, and on a semi-related story, I was down in Champaign a couple years ago and some store next to Papa Dels was selling Semi-Sonic T-shirts. My friends and I got a real kick out of that.

    • bullet says:

      Well it may well apply to the WAC and Big East. And with regard to the MWC they won’t stay there. There’s only one, CSU, of the 10 MWC members next year (10 until 1/3 leave for the BE) who has ever won the MWC title.

  18. duffman says:

    jj,

    Sorry Sparty did not get a trip west, but they played a good game.

    Badger fans congrats for getting a B1G team in the top 10 in the polls, hopefully they will get a good spot in the BSC this evening, but after a year of poor computer bias I am not holding my breath. Sorry to be so grumpy about the B12 but we got the Big Red Thrashin Machine and I refuse to believe the B12 is a tougher conference without Nebraska in it. I now hope B1G and B12 schools must play each other in the bowls, and that the B1G dominates the B12. A part of me dreams of an OU vs UNL bowl game where the folks in Nebraska beat the folks in Oklahoma.

  19. Mack says:

    I think the B12 will wait and see how WVU works out and try to stabilize as a 10 tema league before expanding again. The B12 has time since expansion is not likely until more TV money is available for adding teams and restoring the CCG until their tier I agreement expires. It is not like there is a lot of demand for any of these teams, including Notre Dame as an associate member (full membership is what B1G and ACC demand). The last thing the B12 needs is temporary members, and a few years will clarify if Rutgers or UCONN has any shot at getting into either the ACC or B1G.

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      @Mack,

      I think you’re right. The main thing the Big 12 needs to do is rebuild trust and focus on building consensus, in and of itself. Expansion is just details if members can figure those things out. Plus, as you said, there’s no hurry to expand given their TV situation.

  20. zeek says:

    Big News for B1G bowl lineup:

    AggieFootball Aggie Football
    Texas A&M to play Northwestern in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas in Houston on December 31st. #tamu #gigem
    8 minutes ago

    That means that Penn State may have actually been pushed down to TicketCity. A lot more to develop on that front…

    • bullet says:

      Its listed on ESPN.

      NW was in Dallas last year as well as regular season at Rice and now in Houston this year.

    • Brian says:

      If true, NW’s bowl losing streak will continue. That’s the “benefit” to NW for getting a better bowl.

      • Peter says:

        Texas A&M may well not show up for that game. Their team of the century flopped to 6-6, they lost to Texas and their coach was fired.

        • Brian says:

          Yes, but they’re playing in Houston in front of friends and family and facing a beatable opponent. Is there a worse way to enter the SEC than off a loss to a B10 team?

          • zeek says:

            Nothing is going to match how they feel about that loss to Texas in front of their actual home crowd…

      • Abe Froman says:

        If Northwestern can keep it within 17 points at half time, they should win easily.

        • Brian says:

          Unfortunately for NW, TAMU is usually great in the first half. It would be typical for them to get out to a 24+ point lead. TAMU is also known to blow that lead, though, so maybe NW can actually finish one of their patented second half bowl comebacks for once.

  21. Abe Froman says:

    Watching Nebraska-Creighton on ESPN3 and the entire halftime was taken up with some Longhorn Network programming (Roundtable of former Texas basketball players talking about what a great family they are). Puke!

    I hate when they try to push TLN on the other ESPN channels.

  22. Trace Armstrong says:

    Houston should be in the Big12.

  23. Brian says:

    Frank,

    Why would ND agree to play 3-4 FB games against the B12? UT and OU I understand, but the rest of them? They have almost no history with any of the other B12 teams. Why agree to play in Ames, the other Manhattan, Lubbock or Waco? Maybe they’d take neutral site games in KC (ISU, KU, KSU), Dallas (TT, Baylor, OkSU), Houston (Baylor) or DC (WV), but certainly not a home and home. Would they be enough to get those schools to set a precedent for UT to go independent in football? I don’t think so.

    The B12 would have to give them something in FB to get that many games. A bowl alliance like ND has with the BE? That could do it, especially if there were no limits on how often ND could be chosen. Just treat ND like a conference member for bowl selection (except for the BCS autobid if it exists).

    I just don’t see how this plan works for either side unless ND is desperate, and that seems unlikely.

    As for your music choices, I’ve never heard of Semisonic. I’ve heard “Closing Time” a couple of times (it’s the wrap music for a podcast I’ve listened to several times), but I don’t know if I ever heard it on the radio or while out. I’ve never heard “Dynamite” either (or heard of the artist), but I think that’s my gain based on the first 30 or so seconds of it. So of the three, it’s “Freeze Frame” for the win.

  24. Brian says:

    I want to get this out there before the BCS rankings are announced:

    If LSU and AL play a rematch, fans of any other team should boycott the NCG. Don’t watch any of the 87 hours of hype ESPN will spin about it before the game, don’t watch the pregame coverage and don’t watch the game.

    I certainly won’t watch a second of it. Money is the only language these people understand, so only a lack of fan support can drive the necessary changes to the system.

    • bullet says:

      I was already thinking that way.

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Ditto.

        • bullet says:

          I’m inclined to believe that if Ok St and OU reversed positions and OU had Ok St’s season, they would easily beat out Alabama for #2. I also wonder if Ok St. would be be ahead comfortably if they had lost to a 6-6 Texas A&M instead of a no-name 6-6 Iowa St. I’m sure they would be ahead if they lost in week 4 instead of week 11.

          • duffman says:

            bullet,

            I think you are right. Like it or not, it has always been about brands. Oklahoma and Alabama are brands and Oklahoma State is not.

          • jj says:

            And that’s why it sucks.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            jj, I feel bad for ya, man, especially since I know this has happened to Michigan State before. I’m not just talking about last year, either.

            I remember the ’99 season when I read these lines from an si.com article where the bowl system was being critqued:

            “Michigan State beat Michigan.

            “Michigan State is 9-2. Michigan is 9-2.

            “Michigan is going to the Orange Bowl. Michigan State is going to the Florida Citrus Bowl.

            Michigan State beat Michigan.

            “So why is Michigan in the Orange Bowl?”

            Sorry, man.

          • jj says:

            Thanks Michael,

            That was the Y2K debacle.

            Try living with these insufferable bastards. I hate them with the power of a thousand suns.

            I hate the system even more. No matter what happens, we get the shaft.

            On one hand I love the title game because we can just win it on the field. On the other hand, the reality is that we cannot get the level of talent that others have so out shots are few and far between.

          • Richard says:

            JJ:

            MSU can not reliably get the talent tOSU and PSU can get, but in their own division, Sparty should be as competitive as anyone besides UM (during an up phase). Dantonio’s D-line is as good as any in the B10. Detroit is the most fertile area for football talent in the B10 outside of OH and PA.

          • jj says:

            As long as I’m bitchin about them, the worst of the lot are the die hard “walmart” wolverines. God those bastards drive me nuts.

            I feel for Hoke though. When a giant chunk of your fans are the same folks that are pepper spraying each other over 3 toasters or whatever instead of having a thanksgiving dinner, you’ve got a tough job.

          • jj says:

            @ Richard

            Not when they are coming in the door. Michigan and OSU generally blow our friggin doors off. We have no 5 star recruits – ever that I can remember. We barely get any 4s – ever. Half our best players seem to be walk ons.

            Detroit is easily, easily controlled by Michigan fans.

            We’re not recruiting the same players most of the time.

            I’m not saying we’re alone here, I’m sure there are a lot of places like this.

            I’m not whining or anything either. I’m just stating a fact of life. It’s hard for a lot of teams to compete and when they do win, they get dicked.
            Look at okie state.

          • Richard says:

            William Gholston: 2010 Rivals 5-star recruit.

            You guys seemed to be beating UM in MI recruiting when RichRod was in charge. Heck , RichRod barely recruited MI. 4 MI kids out of 27 commits in 2010 (2 of them from Ann Arbor, so they may even have walked-on if not recruited). 4 of 22 commits in 2009. 4 of 24 commits in 2008.

          • jj says:

            Well I stand corrected on the 5 star thing. But the general level of talent is leagues apart coming in the door. You will never convince me otherwise. That said, Dantonio has been doing really well.

          • Richard says:

            You guys did luck in to 3 years of RichRod. Still, MSU should be able to recruit as well or better than all the non-UM teams in its division. Put it this way, you’re not NU, where getting a 4-star recruit is a decent coup.

  25. Richard says:

    Mandel says rumors that Sugar takes VTech?

    No one saw that coming, but it makes some sense. Sugar doesn’t have an SEC team but they can say that they have a southern team (which they’ve had every year since 1972, when they matched up OU with PSU). VTech fans had a reputation for travelling, so maybe they’d go to Nawlins instead of Miami for the 4th time in 5 years. VTech vs. Michigan in Sugar?

    Still, if they wanted a southern team, why not Baylor vs. Michigan in Sugar?

    • zeek says:

      Choices are Baylor, K-State, or Va Tech? This is only if TCU doesn’t reach T-16? I’m assuming they don’t if these rumors are floating.

      Va Tech makes the most sense of those I guess; although K-State had an exciting season, and Baylor has RG3…

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Don’t forget Boise State. There’s nothing that says they’re off-limits.

        • zeek says:

          That’s true. I kind of forgot about them, but if there’s no non-AQ because of TCU, who knows what the Sugar Bowl will do.

          Michigan is really all they need as an anchor, they just need an exciting matchup now…

      • bullet says:

        As I pointed out below, with OU going to Insight against Iowa, that means the Big 12 will not get an at-large this year.

    • Nostradamus says:

      It isn’t clear that Baylor is going to be in the top 16. Plus Baylor fans historically have a hard time showing up to games at their own stadium, much less traveling.

      • zeek says:

        Baylor will be at least 15 for sure, not sure if they’ll jump to 14 though. Their computer numbers are really that high…

        • Nostradamus says:

          I obviously meant 14th instead of 16th for Baylor. If they aren’t in the top 14, they wouldn’t have been eligible. I don’t think they make it into the top 14, if TCU didn’t make it into the Top 16. (Why I accidentially typed 16th as 16th for TCU would’ve given them an auto-bid).

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Where does Mandel say anything about Va. Tech in the Sugar? Selfishly it would be nice to see two ACC teams in the BCS for the first time in the 14-year history of BCS bowls, but I don’t see it happening and I don’t think the Hokies deserve it, either.

    • SideshowBob says:

      If I were running the Sugar, I’d take Va Tech too over other options of Baylor, K-State or Boise St. I don’t see what would be surprising here.

      • @SideshowBob – I’m not surprised, either. It’s why I’ve been saying that the ACC has been underrated for bowl purposes lately – if there’s some combo of VT, Clemson and FSU in the top 14, they have a very good chance at getting 2 BCS bids. That’s no different than the main at-large attractions of the Big 12 being UT and OU.

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          I’m happy about it. I’ve become a big “ACC fan” the past few years, rather than simply a Florida State fan, so it’s nice to see the conference recognized. It’s amazing it’s taken nine years for this league to get two teams into the BCS, especially considering the lineup of FSU, Clemson, Miami, and Va. Tech, not to mention strong-traveling fanbases in NCSU and UNC.

          Maybe this is something of an affirmation that Virginia Tech is a “prince” or a “baron,” to use the Mandel terms. I think of them as a peer to Wisconsin or Oregon.

          That said, let’s be real here: Neither Va. Tech nor Michigan “deserve” to be in BCS bowl game. Michigan State, Arkansas, Boise State, South Carolina, and quite arguably Georgia all have better resumes.

          • bullet says:

            As I pointed out on another thread, VT fans probably outnumbered UT fans when they played in the Sugar in 1996. I’m sure the Sugar remembers how well VT showed.

          • Abe Froman says:

            I would argue quite the opposite about Georgia. I can’t believe all the hype they’ve been getting as a good team. Look at their year:
            Losses to South Carolina (at home) and Boise State (in Atlanta)
            Beat FCS Coastal Carolina and horrible New Mexico State easily.
            Their 3 SEC West Division foes were Ole Miss, Miss St. and Auburn. They avoided LSU, Bama and Arkansas in the regular season.
            In Division, they beat a horrible Tennessee team by 8, Vanderbilt by 5, Kentucky by 9, Florida by 4. Any of those teams would be complemented to be called mediocre.
            Georgia’s greatest accomplishment was beating Georgia Tech, which they did easily. I’m not too high on GT though, as I think they are annually overrated because they will always upset at least one decent ACC team due to their funky offense. And this wasn’t even a good year for Tech, they were what 8-4?, playing in the ACC and three cupcakes for non-con besides Georgia.
            What I’m saying is, GT is Georgia’s best win, I guess. That really says it all.
            Then Georgia capped the year by making the SEC title game even though South Carolina went 5-0 against the SEC East. South Carolina didn’t have quite as easy as a cross division schedule as Georgia as they had to play at Arkansas (though they also avoided Bama and LSU). And somehow South Carolina lost to Auburn. This wasn’t even a good South Carolina team either, once their RB went down. So, Georgia makes the SEC title game, basically by default, and gets to play LSU in Atlanta. LSU is coming off a big game against Arkansas and has nothing to play for, doesn’t play any offense in the first half and still completely routs Georgia.

            If the Michigan State team we saw in Indy on Saturday shows up at the Outback Bowl, I think they win easily.
            I think Nebraska will beat South Carolina too. Other than last year, Nebraska has done well in bowls under Pelini. And the Cocks have done pretty bad in bowls under the Old Ball Coach.

    • Richard says:

      Incidently, the other times the Sugar didn’t feature a southern team were early on in 1946 (OK St. vs. St. Mary’s) and 1942 (Fordham beating Mizzou in a 2-0 thiller). I guess they learned early that they’d better have a southern school to anchor their bowl.

  26. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7316201/former-ohio-state-buckeyes-qbs-coach-joe-daniels-dies-69

    OSU’s former QB coach finally died from cancer. He was replaced on the field by a GA a couple of years ago since his health wouldn’t let him handle the whole job.

  27. bullet says:

    Houston gets rewarded and Oklahoma and Penn St. get punished.

    Houston goes to Dallas to play Penn St. in an attractive matchup for them. Ticket City is about the #6 bowl for CUSA and #7 for PSU. Maybe everyone was afraid neither team’s fans would show up so they both slipped.

    Oklahoma goes to the Insight Bowl to play Iowa in a no-win matchup. OU wins the Big 12 and goes to Arizona. They finish 2nd/3rd and still go to Arizona. They have got to have Arizona fatigue. Insight is #4 in the Big 12 pecking order.

    KSU is obviously getting bypassed by VT as well as Stanford, Michigan and Alabama for BCS. Or VT gets knocked out by TCU in the top 16. Cotton gets 2nd option on B12 (1st after champ), Alamo 3rd and Holiday has dropped to below Insight to 5th, so KSU, Baylor and Texas are getting those 3 bowls. A&M is #6 choice to play NW in Houston. If OSU gets beat out by Alabama in additon to getting no at-large bids, B12 is going to be very unhappy.

    • zeek says:

      Big 12 gets really snubbed. I thought they were in line for 4 bids (including TCU + at-large), but now it seems as if TCU will be #17 and there won’t even be an at-large; just OSU and WVU.

  28. Abe Froman says:

    Nebraska vs South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl – just announced.

  29. frug says:

    I hate Nick Saban.

  30. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX #1 LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

    • duffman says:

      Alan,

      Congrats on your tigers.

      I think they are the best but still not sure about Alabama in the MNC

      Part of me says that LSU and Alabama are the best teams in the country and they should play each other if they are the best. On the flip side the other teams in college football have not stepped up to the plate!

      Virginia Tech scheduled weakly, and it came back to haunt them
      Oklahoma State scheduled weakly, then lost to a 6-6 Iowa State
      Stanford schedule seemed suspect, then the Ducks beat them at home
      Wisconsin could have been, but lost to a weakened 6-6 Ohio State
      Penn State jumped the track off the field, an collapsed at the end
      Kansas State lost to top ranked teams, but lost twice
      Oregon followed the Kansas State model, with U$C being a “phantom” Top 10
      “also rans” Boise State, TCU, and Houston all shot themselves in their foot

      Before we blame the SEC media machine I am struck by 2 thoughts :

      1) Alabama has a defense
      2) This is one year we do not need a BCS MNC game

      It seems so obvious, but we are getting sidetracked by our own thoughts and the media hype. This is a fluke year where the MNC should not be played at all. LSU played a tough schedule (I still think they played the toughest schedule in the nation) and won each and every game. They played a tough conference schedule, and won every game including @ Alabama and their Golden Boot rival Arkansas. They played a tough OOC schedule and won against Oregon and West Virginia on the road. When it was all done, they played an extra game against a 10-2 Georgia that was basically a home game for Georgia.

      Maybe the issue is not that LSU plays Alabama again, but that LSU should have been awarded the trophy without having to play the MNC in the first place. We are conditioned to crown the winner from a bowl game, but maybe this was a freak year when the BCS MNC game was not necessary. LSU is the only team sitting at the end of the season (and post CCG’s) at 13-0. Give them the glass trophy now and skip the BCS. Maybe in the future they will skip the MNC altogether if one team is the clear winner at the end of the season.

      • Richard says:

        Duff:

        1. Not going to happen because of the money.
        2. Huh? Oregon agreed to play LSU almost 2000 miles away from home. They showed that they have no business in a national title game, but you can’t accuse them of scheduling weakly.

        • duffman says:

          Richard,

          I did not accuse them of scheduling weakly. I actually respect the Ducks for scheduling even tho it cost them an extra loss. The weak schedulers were Stanford, Oklahoma State, and Virginia Tech. I think a 2 loss Oregon is better than the 3 named as 1 loss teams. I am not saying the Ducks would beat the Tiger’s in a rematch, but I do think they would play better later in the season than they did.

          I agree that it will not happen because of the money, but it would solve the problem of who LSU should play. It would also kick Alabama to the Sugar Bowl, with a potential matchup with a B12 school (Oklahoma State) in a battle for who is #2.

          • Richard says:

            You said “Oregon followed the Kansas State model”.

            I guess I don’t know what that means then. Pretty certain they don’t heavily rely on juco’s either (or why that should be a knock against them).

          • duffman says:

            Oregon and Kansas State both were 2 loss teams that could have been 1 loss teams. If Oregon had not played LSU they would have been 11-1 with their only loss to U$C. That KSU vs oSu game could have gone either way, but the blowout by OU sunk the Wildcats.

            Oregon losses to LSU and U$C – neither were pushovers
            KSU losses to OU and oSu – neither were pushovers

            KSU had Miami FL on their OOC, but then Miami got busted in scandal, and was weak this specific year.

      • bullet says:

        @Duffman
        Alabama-Kent St. 5-7, Georgia Southern FCS, North Texas 5-7 to go along with Penn St.-7 bowl teams
        Ok St.-Louisiana Lafayette 8-4, Tulsa 8-4, Arizona 4-8, 9th conference game-9 bowl teams

        Oklahoma St. did not schedule weakly, but Alabama had no business scheduling 3 such overmatched teams as they did, an FCS school and the two weakest programs in recent years in the MAC and Sun Belt.
        With Auburn squeaking past previous #25 Missouri into the final BCS standings for #25, both played 4 top 25 teams. OSU beat 8, 12, 14, 24. Alabama lost to 1, beat 6, 22, 25.

        The BCS game is supposed to be a subsitute for a national championship and it doesn’t make sense to make LSU play someone with a lesser record who they have already beaten.

        LSU seems to be the best team and deserved to be #1 seed in the BCS game even if they were 12-1, but they have weaknesses. They had ZERO first downs in the 1st half vs. UGA. They need to be challenged by someone with a good QB and an offense that isn’t one dimensional like Alabama. If UGA didn’t drop 2 1Q open TD passes, covered punt returns (a weakness for them all season-but in fairness LSU clipped several players and didn’t really score on the 1st one) and avoided those 2 3rd quarter turnovers (one just a bad decision by the QB not to hold the ball tighter or take a slide, the other a unrushed risky throw on which the defender made a great play), LSU is down 21-0 starting the 4th quarter with scarecely a 1st down in the game. Instead they are up 28-10 and UGA folded the tent and mentally gave up late in the 3rd quarter. LSU takes advantage of all opportunities (which their defense and special teams provide a lot of), but they need to because their offense is pedestrian. They are #105 in the nation in passing.

        • duffman says:

          bullet,

          oSu played Arizona OOC
          Alabama played Penn State OOC

          Are you seriously comparing Arizona to Penn State in historic football prowess? Everybody plays an FCS school, and a weak FBS (I pointed this out in several other posts on here) so that balances out. What I was looking at is who you schedule says much about you. Call me silly, but I respect anybody who schedules Penn State over someone who schedules Arizona in college football. Maybe I am the only one who sees this, but I am guessing I am not the only one on this specific point.

          The BCS game is supposed to be a subsitute for a national championship and it doesn’t make sense to make LSU play someone with a lesser record who they have already beaten.

          I agree, which is why LSU should have been declared the winner sans the MNC game and let Alabama play Oklahoma State for bragging rights on who is #2. They say defense wins championships, so if oSu wanted to be in the MNC they should have built a defense to go with their offense. I watched many B12 tams this season, and not one of them made me say “WOW” that team has a stout defense.

          • frug says:

            Oklahoma St. played notably more difficult schedule than Alabama. A 9 game schedule in the strongest conference in the country is outweighs Penn St. vs. Arizona

          • Brian says:

            They did shut down OU pretty well. Maybe playing B12 offenses made their D look worse while AL’s look better from playing SEC offenses.

          • bullet says:

            I’m comparing Arizona to Kent St. Ok St. played LA-Lafayette instead of recent cellar dweller North Texas. And they played Tulsa instead of an FCS squad Georgia Southern. So the comparison is middle of Big 12 Missouri with the 9th conference game vs. Penn St. after Alabama has been vastly weaker on the other 3 games.

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Duff – thanks again for your Tiger support. I do agree that if there is ever a year to cancel the BCS NCG and mail in the trophy, its this year. As the only undefeated team left, #1 LSU has defeated 9 teams with winning records, 8 bowl teams, 8 teams that were ranked at the time of the game (7 of which are currently ranked), the Big East and Pac-12 champs in addition to the SEC schedule, with 5 road games and 2 neutral site games. Every week the Tigers took their opponent’s best shot. While it wasn’t always pretty, other than against #2 Bama at Tuscaloosa, the closest margin of victory was 13. I can’t recall a more difficult path to a championship in my 30 years of closely following CFB.

        While I think Oklahoma State deserved to play in the BCS NCG, playing a Nick Saban-led Alabama team provides the opportunity for LSU to exercise many demons that have tortured the Tigers for many years.

        While a lot of people like to complain about LSU’s offense, there is a method to the Mad Hatter’s madness. In the first half, even when LSU is not gaining yards, their offensive line and backs are punishing the opposing defense. Its like a boxer who hits his opponent in the shoulders and ribs for 8 rounds, the opponent finally starts dropping his gloves, and then the knock-out blow is delivered. Also, due to outstanding special teams play, the LSU offense has been playing on short fields all season, while the opponents have generally had very poor field position all season.

    • Brian says:

      No offense, but I hope every player on both teams gets hurt (nothing serious, just game ending) while playing to a 0-0 draw in 87 OTs after a storm knocks in the roof of the Superdome and ESPN’s cameras are blacked out.

  31. frug says:

    Just ran the numbers and if my math is right (admittedly a big risk) Alabama still would have made the CG even if OSU had been number 2 in all the computers. Alabama would had of lead of about two-tenths of one percent (0.2%).

    • Mack says:

      That is correct, 4-0 (vs the actual 3-1) in the computers would have cut the lead by .667%. That would have left a gap of .2%, but you would only need to flip the votes equal to .1% (since it is a subtraction and addition) to put OKSt ahead if OKSt had been ahead in either one more computer (since one gets thrown out).

  32. frug says:

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/bowls.htm

    Complete Bowl lineup and schedule.

    Cotton Bowl (K-State vs. Arkie) looks like the best non-BCS game

    • Richard says:

      You mean you’re not excited about the Zookless Zookers facing off against the non-Neuheisels? Think about it: You could be witnessing history in the making!*

      *I’m quite certain no bowl team has ever lost 8 games in a season.

      • frug says:

        Looking for Illinois to become the first team to start 6-0 and finish with a losing record.

      • zeek says:

        One team gets to be the first bowl team to ever lose 8 games in a season. The other gets the chance to be the first bowl team to lose 7 in a row.

        Should be an exciting matchup to avoid that ignominy…

    • Brian says:

      The best game is usually the Idaho Potato or Holiday Bowl.

      Also, they have UVA in 2 games.

    • vp19 says:

      The USA Today bowl roster lists Virginia in two bowls — Music City vs. Miss State, Chic-fil-A vs. Auburn. Which is correct, and what is the matchup of the other one?

    • bullet says:

      Two interesting Cotton Bowl games. Ticket City has Houston, #1 offense and #41 defense against Penn St., # 5 defense and #110 offense. I suspect Sumlin will still end up somewhere else so it might be another coachless wonder game.

  33. Hopkins Horn says:

    Haven’t been here much lately, but I do want to point out that the overall screw job received by Big 12 teams today top to bottom illustrates why I, as a Texas fan, have been seeking a life raft out of the conference.

    • Richard says:

      However you can look at it this way: Despite losing a big bowl favorite in UNL, the B12 still has tie-ins to a top non-BCS bowl (Cotton) as well as 3 mid-tier bowls (Alamo, Insight, and Holiday). That’s better than the ACC or Pac’s 0 top non-BCS and 3 mid-tier bowls even though those conferences have 2 more schools.

      • Hopkins Horn says:

        6-6 Ohio State and 6-6 Florida are playing on New Years Day.

        ‘Nuff said.

        • Brian says:

          True, but neither is quite coached by Urban Meyer which makes them extremely valuable somehow.

        • Richard says:

          Eh. Texas is going to the Holiday Bowl. In the B10, maybe they would have beaten out Iowa for the Insight Bowl (though not if the Insight picked OU). The next one down is the Houston Bowl.

          In the SEC, maybe they would have beaten Auburn out for the Chick-A-fil Bowl (though I doubt it). Assuming the Gator would have still taken UF, the next down are the Liberty and Music City Bowls.

      • SideshowBob says:

        The Big 12 is benefitting from bowl contracts signed under with their previous membership. I’d expect their bowl arrangements to change significantly under the next cycle of bowl deals, especially if they stay at 10 teams.

        I also expect the Big Ten to add another decent bowl to their lineup with Nebraska now around. I’d love to see them get the Alamo Bowl back, though I think it might be something like the Pinstripe.

        • Richard says:

          Alamo would be nice, but if no Alamo, I’d like to see

          2. Cap One
          3. Outback
          4. Insight
          5. Houston
          6. Charlotte
          7. Memphis
          8. Pinstripe
          9. Pizza! Pizza!

          DC as backup.

          No Jacksonville, please, and TicketCity Bowl organizers are a mess. Sun would be OK too. Holiday Bowl would be great, but the travel costs likely would make it too unattractive.

          • Brian says:

            Do you see Memphis and Charlotte as improvements over Jacksonville and Dallas, or do you prefer the geographic spread for some reason?

          • Richard says:

            1. Memphis and Charlotte are actually within driving distance of some B10 states. Dallas and Jacksonville aren’t (well, maaaybe the Metroplex for Nebraskans).

            2. Memphis is more fun for a tourist than downtown Dallas or Jacksonville. Charlotte is a clean new city which I enjoy visiting. Don’t think that’s as true for Dallas or Jacksonville.

            However, while the main reason I have for dumping the Gator is because it’s in Jacksonville, the main reason I want to dump the TicketCity Bowl is because I’m not sure it’s well-run enough and has a whiff of sleaze about it (the participating conferences hadn’t gotten the promised bowl payouts from the TicketCity Bowl many months after the game, when all other bowls had already paid out; not sure if they have yet; that’s why the NCAA delayed certifying the TicketCity Bowl for this season).

          • @Richard – You’ll get no argument from me about Memphis. It’s a VERY fun town. My best friend from law school and I took a short spring excursion down there and we shut down Silky O’Sullivan’s (among other places). Tunica isn’t quite the same as Vegas, though.

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            My only concern would be the weather. Dallas and Jacksonville aren’t always great, but Memphis and Charlotte are much farther north.

          • Purduemoe says:

            Frank, Tunica is better than Vegas. Free Drinks at the Fitz, just walk up to the bar. Also, was there for a bachelor party and there was a dog running around the gentlemans club we went too. How can you beat that?!

          • Richard says:

            I don’t go hunting in strip clubs.

        • @SideshowBob – I think the Holiday would be a very good possibility for the Big Ten. If we could keep the current bowl lineup and integrate the Holiday into the 5th/6th selection spot, that would be a great set of destinations.

          • SideshowBob says:

            The Holiday would be an awesome addition, especially if it gives us another matchup with the Pac-12. Another bowl on the west coast would be good.

            Speaking of matchups, it would be nice if we swapped one of the Big 12 or SEC matchups with something tied to the ACC in the next cycle. It’s a lot of the same teams over and over and the Big Ten really doesn’t play the ACC much in general (yes, I realize that UM is playing Va Tech this bowl season).

          • Richard says:

            Frank,

            Yeah, if I was thinking only of fan destinations, they’d be

            2. Cap One
            3. Outback
            4. Alamo
            5. Holiday
            6. Houston/Charlotte
            7. Memphis
            8. Pinstripe
            9. DC
            10. Kraft

            (Would be pretty good for recruiting as well)

            However, The Holiday is not so attractive to the league as they can’t raise the payout as much as the other bowls with their old stadium and the travel costs are more for B10 schools than any bowl in Texas or points east.

          • @Richard – I think the main question is where the Holiday would be in the selection order for the Big Ten. It can’t outbid the Insight and Gator for the 4th and 5th selections (which are both bowls that I think are good for the conference with Phoenix being such a massive home for Midwestern transplants and the Gator being a traditional New Year’s Day bowl), but if the Holiday becomes the Big Ten #6 bowl, then that’s a major upgrade over the Texas Bowl in that spot. The SEC’s #6 bowl is the Gator, so the Big Ten could certainly go deep in its selection order with another traditional option like the Holiday.

          • Basically, what I was thinking was that the Holiday Bowl could take Big Ten #6 and then push the Texas, TicketCity and Pizza! Pizza! Bowls down a slot on the selection order. I doubt that the Big Ten would ever drop the Pizza! Pizza! tie-in for political/goodwill reasons, but if the conference office were given some truth serum, they’d probably prefer heading to a place like San Francisco for that slot. That’s probably some of the motivation with the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl taking Illinois as its Army replacement this year – they’d like to show it off to the Big Ten as possible #8 or #9 bowl slot down the road.

          • Richard says:

            Bob:

            The ACC bowls are concentrated on the East Coast, where the SEC gets the premier bowls. I think that’s part of it.

          • bullet says:

            I’m not sure the B10 would want another distant west coast bowl. Midwesterners like driving/flying down to Florida.

          • greg says:

            bullet, I agree that West coast bowls wouldn’t be a good addition. I know plenty of Hawk fans that drive to Texas or FLA, while something like San Diego isn’t an option. There would still be plenty of fliers, but driving not being an option will hurt the turnout.

        • Mack says:

          The B12 Bowl agreements were reworked after NE & CO left. Three of the 6 bowls are Texas based and will never drop the B12 tie-in unless it implodes. The other 3 are in Phoenix, San Diego, and NYC. B1G is already in Insight (PHX). Pinstripe (NYC) is most likely of the 6 to drop the B12 tie-in.

          • redwood86 says:

            Why would Pac-12 ever agree to have its #3 play Big-10 #6??? It is bad enough that it often gets stuck with inferior Big-12 teams.

    • zeek says:

      Hopkins Horn is right.

      The Big 12 had the best computer rankings (I think anyone has ever had) along with the most teams ranked for several weeks.

      But the problem is that K-State and Baylor can’t win at-large beauty contests and get snubbed in favor of 11-2 Virginia Tech that just got blown out…

      The Big 12’s at-large hopes are very dependent on Texas and Oklahoma now and in the future without Nebraska, etc.

      The Sugar Bowl’s selections just make this plainly obvious. The ACC and Big Ten each got two despite rather horrible computer numbers for most of the season, etc.

      • zeek says:

        Other thing to point out is the rest of the matchups: Oklahoma got Iowa, Texas got Cal.

        The previous bowl agreements were made with Nebraska and Texas A&M in the fold under the assumption that you’d have Nebraska and/or A&M typically fighting for those bids, etc.

        Not sure they’re going to have as favorable a bowl lineup in the future (obviously, they’ll keep the Cotton Bowl among others), and combined with the fact that they’re less likely to get at-large bids due to the beauty contest nature of all of this, it just doesn’t help.

        • bullet says:

          Don’t think the bowl lineup gets hurt. Holiday has fallen to 5th choice (with no 2nd BCS bid) and still stuck with Big 12. Big 10 likes Florida too much to try to steal western bowls. They are more likely to try to peel off BE or ACC bowls.

          • Richard says:

            Bullet:
            The Holiday signed on with the B12 when they had the Big Red Horde + a western team with lots of alums in CA. Holiday and Pinstripe Bowls are the 2 B12 bowls most at risk. Insight likely will still take a B12 team to ensure getting the B12 champion. On the other hand, if the B12 loses those 2 bowls, they likely gain back the Independence, which would be good travel-wise for B12 fans in east Texas and environs.

          • bullet says:

            The Holiday used to have the #3 pick, just after the Cotton. They signed back on with the Big 12 despite being demoted to #5. There just aren’t many options for the bowls, especially in the west. Western Kentucky at 7-5 and Ball St. at 6-6 were the only eligible teams not to go bowling-and WKU is out only because UCLA got a waiver.

          • Mack says:

            Holiday also had #2 PAC, but was demoted in favor of the Alamo Bowl by both PAC and B12. Alamo now has both picks the Holiday used to have. B12 also demoted it below Insight bowl, so now Holiday has #3 PAC vs. #5 B12. Holiday could not increase its payout (old stadium, etc. as noted in previous posts) and this is now significantly below the Alamo and Insight. The PAC’s laid back fans do not support secondary bowls as well as the B1G/B12/SEC. So PAC12 has Sun #4, Las Vegas #5 against MWC, Kraft (SFO) #6. The only one of these bowls that would be attractive to the B1G is the Alamo, and that was just lost since the B1G is sending its better teams to east coast matchups against the SEC. Looked at from a conference pick standpoint, the old Alamo machup has been moved to the Insight bowl.

          • Richard says:

            I wouldn’t be surprised if the Holiday goes with Pac vs. BE if the BE adds BSU, SDSU, AFA, and Navy and has ND and BYU amongst their possible selections.

      • frug says:

        The ACC and Big Ten each got two despite rather horrible computer numbers for most of the season, etc.

        Actually the Big Ten has had fine computer numbers. The ACC though has been awful (worse than the Big East by some systems)

        • zeek says:

          I meant Wisconsin among other things (they were somehow unranked by several computers after their loss to Ohio State until their win against Michigan State). From a look at it though, a lot of the Big Ten teams typically had worse computer ratings than their poll ratings.

          • frug says:

            Ahhh.

            The Wisconsin thing is easy to explain; they played an insanely easy OOC schedule. You are right about the other schools.

      • bullet says:

        One of the oddities of the computers is that with no interconference play by SEC or Big 12, somehow Missouri dropped in the computers enough so that Auburn moved into the #25 spot. Makes LSU, Alabama, Arkansas, UGA and Clemson look better and OSU, OU, KSU, Baylor all lose one top 25 win. Oklahoma St. is still the only one other than LSU with 4 or more wins. Alabama, Wisconsin, Baylor and Clemson all had 3. Arkansas, KSU, S. Carolina, OU, Mich. St. and UNL had 2. Virginia Tech, Houston, Penn St., W. Virginia and Texas had none.

        Vs. top 25 BCS (+ USC)
        LSU 6-0
        Alabama 3-1
        Oklahoma St. 4-0
        Stanford 1-1
        Oregon 1-2
        Arkansas 2-2
        Boise ST. 1-1
        Kansas St. 2-2
        S. Carolina 2-2
        Wisconsin 3-1
        V. Tech 0-2
        Baylor 3-2
        Michigan 1-1
        Oklahoma 2-2
        Clemson 3-1
        Georgia 1-3
        Mich St. 2-2
        TCU 1-1
        Houston 0-1
        Nebraska 2-2
        S. Miss 1-0
        Penn St. 0-3
        W. Virginia 0-1
        Texas 0-4
        Auburn 1-5

      • Brian says:

        zeek,

        The ACC and Big Ten each got two despite rather horrible computer numbers for most of the season, etc.

        The computer numbers are never right. They can’t use points and they can only judge your resume, not how you played in the games (the dreaded eyeball test).

        That said, the B10 really hurts it’s computer numbers by playing MAC and I-AA teams. The B12 gets a ninth conference game instead of a cupcake so it really helps them.

        • @Brian – The big thing this year was that the Big 12 had close to error-free non-conference results from top-to-bottom, which then led to the strong computer numbers perpetuating themselves the entire season That being said, my own eyeballs told me that Oklahoma State should be in the national championship game, which reflected the computers but not the humans.

          • Brian says:

            I agree on OkSU over AL. AL never impressed me that much. The computers can luck into being right, but the restrictions imposed on them by the BCS and the nature of modelling mean they are rarely right for all the right reasons. The best thing about them is that they don’t care about brands or ESPN hype.

          • bullet says:

            Polls and humans are both questionable. Its another reason 2 teams is too few. Two computers still have Texas #13 which I would think would be too high even if you gave UT credit for having their top 4 playmakers injured the last 4 games of the season (which they don’t). Based on actual results it makes no sense. Billingsley (who doesn’t rank Texas) all year has lots of teams outlying. Its hard to understand why they keep him except that he’s been around forever.

            Humans have their biases: late loss, focus on one big win or loss, school history of success, regional, # of losses vs. schedule, and now ESPN hype. I think human pollsters are getting dumber. Clemson has trounced VT twice, only has one more loss, but are well behind in the coaches poll. Oregon should be ahead of Stanford since Oregon trounced Stanford at Stanford and their extra loss was to LSU. At least those are understandable, but VT and Stanford ahead of Oklahoma St. with the same record as many pollsters did is just ridiculous (although Stanford will get a chance to prove them right in the Fiesta).

            I think there’s a fair chance Ok St. outscores LSU. It would have been an interesting matchup. I think LSU or Alabama would have been easily beaten by any of the last 10 national champions. How many teams have gotten zero 1st downs in a half this year? Probably noone but LSU. Its a down year throughout the top 25.

          • bullet says:

            It would have been even closer to error free if Pinkel wasn’t “coaching under the influence” by calling 2 timeouts to ice his own kicker in that Arizona St. game. It was a very makeable FG in the closing seconds of regulation. That has to be the strangest coaching call of the year. Then the only losses would have been A&M’s typical 2nd half fold against Arkansas and Kansas vs. Georgia Tech.

            Big 12 won’t get any respect in the bowl games unless they win all 8. They should be favorites in all but KSU/Arkansas and maybe Ia St/Rutgers (which is probably their surest win).

          • zeek says:

            Say what you will about Oklahoma State’s defense.

            But if LSU had played the first half of a game against Oklahoma State like they did Georgia, the score would be 28-3 at the half. At worst 21-3.

            Georgia dropped a lot of wide open passes with blown coverage in that first half. They made some plays defensively, but it says more about LSU’s offensive incompetence in the first half that they were the first SEC team since 2002 to fail to have a first down in a first half.

          • greg says:

            OSU defense led the nation in takeaways.

          • zeek says:

            @bullet

            His last point is the best one. If you change the name/brand at the top of the resumes, this isn’t even a debate if it’s Alabama with OSU’s resume and OSU with Alabama’s resume.

            People would be trashing OSU’s schedule so hard if that had been the case.

  34. duffman says:

    The bowl picture if I had the power :

    BCS game = no game as LSU is declared winner at 13-0

    Rose Bowl = Stanford 11-1 vs Wisconsin 11-2 : battle of reds and QB’s

    Fiesta Bowl = Oregon 11-2 vs Michigan State 10-3 : battle of greens and matchup

    Sugar Bowl = Alabama 11-1 vs Oklahoma State 11-1 : defense vs offense

    Cotton Bowl = Arkansas 10-2 vs Kansas State 10-2 : SEC vs B12

    Orange = South Carolina 10-2 vs Boise State 11-1 : Boise gets nod over Va Tech

    Chick Fil A = Georgia 10-3 vs Clemson 10-3 : SEC vs ACC matchup

    Capitol One = Nebraska 9-3 vs Oklahoma 9-3 : return to history

    Outback = Michigan 10-2 vs Virginia Tech 11-2 : B1G vs ACC

    Insight = Penn State 9-3 vs Baylor 9-3 : defense vs offense

    Ticket City = Houston 12-1 vs TCU 10-2 : Texas vs Texas

    West Virginia 9-3 plays Notre Dame 8-4
    Cincinnati 9-3 plays BYU 9-3

    Once you get past 9 wins, do you really care? I have said it before, but if you can not win 8 games in the regular season you really do not deserve to be in a bowl!

    • Brian says:

      duffman,

      How dare you mess with the Rose Bowl? You of all people should respect the tradition.

      • duffman says:

        Brian,

        I agree, but for some reason I really wanted to see Sparty play the Ducks. Since Oregon won the PAC CCG and the Badgers won the B1G CCG there was no way to get the Ducks and Sparty together this season. :(

        I was trying to keep the Rose Bowl with B1G vs PAC teams, but tried to allow the Michigan State vs Oregon game to happen (and yes I envisioned Sparty putting the smackdown on the Duck mascot) even tho it did not fit the Rose Bowl perfectly. I was at a Oregon game once, and that duck mascot picked a fight with the other mascot. I wanted to see how Sparty responded if provoked. ;)

        • Richard says:

          Personally, I think Sparty matches up better against the Ducks than Bucky, as MSU has the D-Line to cause the Duck offense problems.

          • Brian says:

            On D yes, but I think WI’s offense is harder for OR to stop. What may kill WI are special teams.

          • Richard says:

            Well, Paul Chryst is perfectly capable of stopping the Badger offense all by himself, thank you very much. In both the Rose Bowl game last year and the B10 title game this year, Bucky’s O-line was opening huge holes for the Badger RB’s (and thus gaining 5-7 yards each running play) when Chryst decided that passing’s the thing to do, thus allowing the opposing side to use their quick D-line to regain the advantage (Wiscy’s massive O-line: great at opening holes on running plays; not so agile pass-protecting against quick pass-rushers).

  35. Mack says:

    Given recent records the Illinois:UCLA matchup should be called the Death Spiral bowl. Not only has no bowl team ever lost 8 games (UCLA), no bowl team has ever lost 7 in a row (Illinois). One of these records will be set at the end of this bowl if it does not end in a 0-0 tie. With Zook gone, Illinois should win this one.

    • Brian says:

      Or the players miss their coach, even if he wasn’t great, and they don’t get excited to play a 6-7 UCLA team in SF.

      I could see any score from 72-0 to 0-72 with these two teams.

  36. zeek says:

    A question for all: why won’t this Alabama/LSU stuff not happen again in the future?

    The addition of Texas A&M and Missouri makes it more likely that more and more top SEC teams won’t play each other.

    Look at the facts: why are so many SEC teams ranked so high? They almost all missed each other. How many games did we see crossover between the Top 3 of the West and the Top 2 of the East? One game between those 5 teams until the SEC CCG?

    Isn’t that going to happen a lot more when they only have 1 changing cross-over game among the 6 teams they don’t play annually?

    Unless the SEC goes to 9 games, I think we can expect to see more and more SEC teams in the top 10-15. If we go to a playoff, that’s only going to help the SEC. Could have almost had 4 SEC teams in an 8 team playoff this year…

    • jj says:

      Good thoughts. I have no answers.

    • bullet says:

      Well normally, the middle of the SEC isn’t so mediocre and the bottom so bad. This year after the top 3-5 there was a big dropoff.

      • zeek says:

        Were there any big upsets in the SEC this year? I can’t think of anything like Texas Tech @ Oklahoma or Northwestern @ Nebraska that happened in the SEC this year.

        • Brian says:

          There haven’t been for several years, since Tebow’s speech. I complained about it on the last post of Frank’s. It’s a big part of why the SEC keeps winning titles, and makes me wonder how tough the SEC really is if the top teams never lose.

        • bullet says:

          The closest to an upset was Auburn over South Carolina. Noone from the bottom 6 beat anyone in the top 6 (LSU,AL,AR,UGA,SC,AU). #7 Florida lost to the 5 above them that they played and beat the 3 below. #8 MSU lost to the 6 above and beat the 2 below. #12 Ole Miss lost to everyone. UK, TN and Vandy split with each other, lost to the teams above and the ones who played Ole Miss beat them. You could rank the teams #1-#12 and the only teams beating someone above them were SC over Auburn and TN over Vandy (or UK over TN or Vandy over UK)

        • PSUGuy says:

          I honestly think you are starting to see the “Nutt Rule” and focus on limiting over-signing at play here. The secondary/bad schools simply can’t churn though the 3* and below to get those guys that “grow into” good college players and you are seeing it in the ability for them to “play above” their tradition to knock off the big time/secondary schools every so often.

          IMO, its also why the “Top 2″ teams in the nation have glaring weakness while just a couple years ago they’d be legit semi-pro teams with plenty of depth.

    • Brian says:

      There will be less crossover, but more teams per division means more good teams in each division. It should be less likely to have a 6-0, 5-1, 4-2 arrangement than 5-0, 4-1, 3-2. As the reduced oversigning rules kick in, the SEC West should come back to the pack too. Having 20-25 extra 4 and 5 stars to choose from tends to make your teams pretty tough.

      • Richard says:

        Does make you wonder if that’s the reason why the SEC West has been more dominant recently, considering that FL and GA are the most and second-most fertile states for football talent in the SEC (due to their big population advantage). UF and UGa, however, don’t oversign.

        • Brian says:

          It’s a remarkable coincidence otherwise. The SEC dominance didn’t start until oversigning fully kicked into gear. Suddenly UT couldn’t compete. UGA had a few years under Richt and then had depth issues when injuries hit. Only UF was left to uphold the east, and that worked as long as they had an elite coach that recruited as well as anyone ever has. Even then, a small slip and the east is almost irrelevant in the conference race.

      • zeek says:

        This entire cfb season has been the equivalent of the college football oversigning cup…

    • Ross says:

      That’s one of many unfortunate outcomes from this game. Now what happens when we have multiple teams with the same records in the future? Will the SEC now always get the benefit of the doubt because of prior seasons? I wasn’t aware prior seasons were factored into the present seasons’ records or outcomes (Michigan would most certainly be outside of the BCS in that case).

      What’s more, is it helps cement the SEC as being the best conference now and in the future, even when it isn’t. If other teams aren’t afforded a chance to play for the title, despite playing tougher schedules, winning their conferences, and having the same records, then how will we definitively know which conference/team is the best? The Big Ten used to be the best conference, but we wouldn’t have known that Michigan and OSU weren’t the best two teams in 2006 had a rematch been permitted. Perhaps the present-day SEC bias wouldn’t exist had those teams played each other again. It’s actually kind of funny to think about.

    • metatron5369 says:

      Why are so many SEC teams ranked so highly? Because college football is a cruel, unfunny joke.

  37. frug says:

    So, I just watched some of ESPN’s BCS show and realized Craig James was making the most coherent arguements.

    Yes, that Craig James.

    I would say let that sink in, but I died a little inside after I did.

    • Read The D says:

      I was thinking the same thing and was equally as shocked. Mark May was terrible and the rest of them were making arguments full of half truths. Hard to watch. I turned it off.

      • bullet says:

        I realized they were just going to be a hype show when they didn’t even mention Oklahoma St. a couple of weeks ago and were talking about whether Stanford and VT had an argument.

  38. Brian says:

    Several people have been discussing potential bowl alignments above. I think the real difficulty is figuring the cascade of changes that might follow one simple change.

    Current AQ bowls
    BCS

    Rose – B10 1 vs P12 1
    Sugar – SEC 1 vs BCS
    Orange – ACC 1 vs BCS
    Fiesta – B12 1 vs BCS

    B10
    Capital One – B10 2 vs SEC 2
    Outback – B10 3 vs SEC 3/4
    Gator – B10 4/5 vs SEC 6
    Insight – B10 4/5 vs B12 4
    Houston – B10 6 vs B12 6
    Dallas – B10 7 vs B12 8
    Detroit – B10 8 vs MAC 1/2

    Notes – Too many SEC and B12 games. I’d like a BE and an ACC game in there instead.

    SEC
    Capital One – B10 2 vs SEC 2
    Outback – B10 3 vs SEC 3/4
    Cotton – SEC 3/4 vs B12 2
    Chik-fil-A – SEC 5 vs ACC 2
    Gator – B10 4/5 vs SEC 6
    Memphis – SEC 7/8 vs CUSA 1
    Nashville – SEC 7/8 vs ACC 6
    Birmingham – SEC 9 vs BE 5

    Notes – Only the B10 plays the SEC straight up (2/2, 3/3). I’d probably trade the BE for another B12 game or maybe a P12 team.

    B12
    Cotton – SEC 3/4 vs B12 2
    Alamo – B12 3 vs P12 2
    Insight – B10 4/5 vs B12 4
    Holiday – B12 5 vs P12 3
    Houston – B10 6 vs B12 6
    Pinstripe – B12 7 vs BE 4
    Dallas – B10 7 vs B12 8

    Notes – Good distribution.

    ACC
    Chik-fil-A – SEC 5 vs ACC 2
    Champs Sports – ACC 3 vs BE 2
    Sun – ACC 4 vs P12 4
    Charlotte – ACC 5 vs BE 3
    Nashville – SEC 7/8 vs ACC 6
    Shreveport – ACC 7 vs MWC 3
    DC – ACC 8 vs Navy

    Notes – A little odd to have so many western opponents. A B10 game should be in the mix.

    P12
    Alamo – B12 3 vs P12 2
    Holiday – B12 5 vs P12 3
    Sun – ACC 4 vs P12 4
    Las Vegas – P12 5 vs MWC 1
    SF – P12 6 vs Army
    New Mexico – P12 7 vs MWC 4/5

    Notes – Too many non-AQs perhaps.

    BE
    Champs Sports – ACC 3 vs BE 2
    Charlotte – ACC 5 vs BE 3
    Pinstripe – B12 7 vs BE 4
    Birmingham – SEC 9 vs BE 5
    St. Pete – BE 6 vs CUSA

    Notes – Odd that they play the B12 and not the B10.

    • Brian says:

      So if I was to make changes for the B10, I’d try this (new team in bold):

      Gator – B10 4/5 vs ACC 3 (SEC 6)
      Champs Sports – SEC 6 vs BE 2 (ACC 3)

      Pinstripe – B10 7 vs BE 4 (B12 7)
      Birmingham – SEC 10 vs BE 5 (SEC 9)
      Dallas – SEC 9 vs B12 7 (B10 7, B12 8)

      You could move the locations around too, I was just looking at pairings. I added SEC 10 to account for 14 teams and dropped B12 8 for the drop to 10 teams.

      • Phil says:

        A few things about the Pinstripe. It was finalized too late in the process last time after most bowl contracts were already signed. The payout is better than the matchup, and the B12 even made some comments at the time that the Pinstripe payout justified a better slot than #7 if those deals weren’t signed already.

        Supposedly, the Yankee people really want the Big Ten next time, and there could be an upgrade in the payout amounts. A NYT article last year pointed out how the Yankees have been able to leverage the bowl with their baseball sponsors to where they basically make enough from sponsorships and TV rights to cover the current payouts before they sell one ticket to the game.

        • Brian says:

          They will always be limited by NYC not being an ideal winter vacation spot for midwesterners. FL and TX win that battle every time.

          • Mack says:

            The B12 wanted the Pinstripe for east coast exposure and took it rather than the Sun Bowl. NYC is warm compared to Kansas and Ames, Iowa and it is still NYC. If the B12 does not sell tickets, the affiliation will probably change when the contract expires to either ACC or B1G. Almost all bowl contracts (including this one) are coordinated with the BCS expiration in Jan’14. So the Pinstripe and B12 have 3 more years to see how this works.
            :
            Ticketcity (Dallas) is a B1G:CUSA matchup by contract. Texas Tech was a replacement team in the first year. Even with TT did not have ticket sales from Northwestern to keep out of financial trouble. As a new bowl, the NCAA required a $1M+ payout per team. Only half of the non-BCS bowls have better payouts.

          • Phil says:

            Fans would definitely want to go somewhere warm, but I would expect the Pinstripe to overpay for a decent (5-7) Big Ten slot next time. Remember, this is an organization that makes so much money that when they signed Kei Igawa and realized he was a stiff, they could afford to pay him $10mm a year to pitch in AAA for three years.

          • m (Ag) says:

            “Ticketcity (Dallas) is a B1G:CUSA matchup by contract. Texas Tech was a replacement team in the first year.”

            Actually, the original contract was for CUSA and Big 12 to alternate years playing in the Bowl against a Big Ten team. Apparently the Big 12 connection was dropped after Nebraska and Colorado left.

            On the general subject of SEC/Big 12 bowl matchups, I believe there were 3 before this last round of contracts, when several other bowls offered more money for SEC teams. With A&M and Missouri now moved to the SEC, I think at least one of the Houston/Ticketcity bowls will offer the cash for another Big 12/SEC match-up.

          • Richard says:

            Is warm weather something that people want more when they get older (or is this a rural thing)? I’d much rather visit places like NYC or DC rather than Jacksonville even in December. I mean, what do you do in Jacksonville?

          • Richard says:

            BTW, about the weather: Speaking as someone who grew up in Illinois, lived in NYC, and visited DC around the winter holidays, NYC in December wouldn’t feel too cold most of the time (and one year I was there, it was downright balmy in to December). DC in December would feel like spring weather to someone from the upper Midwest. This is because, for whatever reason, Indian summers last on the East Coast, so the winters both start and end later (and NYC winters never get as cold as Chicago’s due to being near an ocean).

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            @Richard,

            “Is warm weather something that people want more when they get older (or is this a rural thing)? I’d much rather visit places like NYC or DC rather than Jacksonville even in December. I mean, what do you do in Jacksonville?”

            When I was in college, I went to the NC State-Notre Dame Gator Bowl with my then-girlfriend’s (now wife’s) family. It was a relatively short road trip for us, coming from NC. Anyway, we stayed a couple of nights in Savannah, GA, which is an incredible town. New Year’s there was low-key but a lot of fun. We simply drove into J-ville in the AM, about a 2-hour drive, then drove back to NC after the game. There’s also St. Augustine, FL about 45 minutes south of J-ville.

            Those aren’t exactly Disney World-types of attractions, but there are great restaurants, historical sites, and things for kids to do. Just some ideas.

          • bullet says:

            In Jacksonville people go to Jacksonville Beach & the bars & restaurants in central Jacksonville. They may stay on one of the islands on either side of the GA/FL border or down in St. Augustine. I was in Orlando one New Year’s Day when Ohio St. was in the Citrus and Daytona Beach was filled with Ohio St. fans.

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            Is warm weather something that people want more when they get older (or is this a rural thing)?

            I’m sure age is part of it, but it also depends what you like to do. Lots of people don’t like to hang out in cities. The southern bowls offer more outdoor activities (golf, beaches, etc). Also, those people who just go for the game probably prefer a warmer environment.

            I’d much rather visit places like NYC or DC rather than Jacksonville even in December. I mean, what do you do in Jacksonville?

            What do you do in cities? Shopping, museums, sightseeing if you’ve never been there before?

      • Richard says:

        I’d drop the TicketCity (vs. B12/CUSA; likely B12 vs. BE in the future) inf favor of the Pinstripe (vs. BE) and Charlotte bowl (vs. ACC).

        I’d drop the Gator (vs. SEC) in favor of any 1 (or 2, if possible) of Alamo (vs. B12), Sun (vs. Pac), or Liberty (vs. CUSA/SEC).

        • Richard says:

          . . .if I was in charge of the B10, I should add.

          Also add in the DC bowl near the end if possible.

        • Brian says:

          I dropped the TicketCity for the Pinstripe. I kept the Gator but switched it to the ACC. That got the B10 to 2 SEC games, 2 B12, 1 P12, 1 ACC, 1 BE and 1 MAC. That’s a good spread, so I don’t want another B12 game. Another P12 game would be OK but it has to be high in the order to justify the trip west. I’d prefer not to drop the ACC (Gator) to get the P12 again, so that means dropping an SEC or B12 game, and I like having 2 each. I think the Rose should stand alone as B10/P12.

          I know you don’t like Jacksonville, but as I said I was only looking at the pairings, not the locations. If another bowl is willing to pay as much as the Gator, that’s OK. Unfortunately, the Gator pays $2.5M and few bowls come close to that. Chik-fil-A pays almost $1M more, but the Alamo ($2.25M) and Champs Sports ($2.125M) aren’t too far behind. Atlanta will keep ACC/SEC, and San Antonio will want the B12, so that leaves Champs Sports as a potential ACC/B10 replacement for the Gator. Is Orlando better for you?

          I don’t think the B10 needs another bowl since the BCS keeps taking 2 teams. I’d rather have #10 float than regularly fail to fulfill all the bowl commitments. It sounds better. But a tie-in in DC would be OK (maybe with the MAC as a backup) otherwise. Another ACC game perhaps, since I have no desire for CUSA.

  39. metatron5369 says:

    What does Notre Dame really offer anyone? Instability? Broken promises? What did they offer the Big East, other than disunity and insult?

    I’m entirely serious here. Why do people insist on listening to their siren song? They’re a siphon for cash; a mooch and a user. Texas is a big enough headache, why add someone who has nothing of value to add?

  40. herbiehusker says:

    Go Big Red!

  41. Grassman says:

    Is ESPN trying to rehabilite Craig James’s reputation with the fans? During the Bowl Show on ESPN last night he continually took the popular fan point of view. Just wondered if anyone else noticed…

  42. jj says:

    Miles voted Michigan 8th.

    8th?

    This is such a load of crap way to settle anything.

  43. bullet says:

    Pat Hill is out at Fresno after 15 years. With Paterno out, I can’t think of anyone who had been at one school longer than Hill. I know Mark Richt with 11 years is the dean of SEC coaches. Mack Brown is the elder statesman in the Big 12 with 14 years.

    • greg says:

      bullet, Beamer is the longest at 28 or something. I think the Troy guy is at 20. Hill was third.

      • bullet says:

        Forgot about Beamer and Blakeney(sp?). Snyder at KSU and Ault at Nevada have more total years, but they took breaks. More than 6 or 7 years makes you an old-timer.

    • zeek says:

      Same story in the Big Ten now that Paterno, Tressel, and Zook are all out.

      Basically, you’ve got Ferentz in his 13th season followed by Fitzgerald (age 37) and Bielema (age 41) in their 6th seasons.

      I didn’t think Fitz and Bielema would get up there in tenure this fast…

      • bullet says:

        by comparison with most conferences, the B12 is, from the coach’s standpoint, a model of stability-Brown 14, Stoops 13, Briles 9, Gundy 7, Snyder 3 this time but 19 total, Rhoads 3, Tuberville 2 and soon to be leaving Pinkel 11. A&M and Kansas are looking. Newcomers Patterson has 11 while Holgorsen is in his first year. Below the AQ, teams have a hard time keeping coaches. Just browsing through the MAC I saw two coaches starting their 7th year. Noone else had more than 2 years tenure going into this season.

        • zeek says:

          Yeah. I actually think though that the group in the Big Ten right now should be mostly stable for the next couple of years although you can never tell.

          Ferentz will probably retire sometime. Fitzgerald (extended to 2020) and Bielema (has a long term extension in place) seem like they’ll be at Northwestern and Wisconsin as long as they want with how they’re performing. Dantonio and Hoke could be at Michigan State and Michigan for a while. No idea how long Urban plans to be at Ohio State, but he could be there for as long as he wants as long as he get the team performing to expectation.

          Minnesota seems like they’re going to give Kill a long term chance to rebuild with his new contract (which is really the only proper way to do it). I don’t see Wilson getting fired at Indiana without giving a chance to build the program for a couple of years. I know Kansas wasn’t performing, but 2 years isn’t enough time to really do anything with the lack of talent those kinds of programs have…

          Penn State and Illinois are looking for coaches, although I think Penn State’s next coach will just be a short term coach until they look for a “whale” type of candidate.

          • bullet says:

            I think Pellini will shoot himself in the foot before too long and head off to the NFL as an assistant. I read where Carl was expected to be hired (or already had been) as a head coach.

          • bullet says:

            Carl’s replacing Snellenberger who is finally retiring.

    • jj says:

      Anyone know who that guy that just retired within a year or so was? He coached in D2 in Montana or somewhere. He had all kinds of hilarious quotes over the years.

  44. EZCUSE says:

    Big 12… isn’t it possible the Big 12 could go with Louisville and USF? In USF, you get inroads into Florida and a nice destination & decent market.

    Cincy is a better athletic program. But Tampa is Tampa.

    • Gopher86 says:

      By that logic, why not pick UNLV?

    • Jim in Florida says:

      USF is not attractive at all. Play off campus and I doubt they will ever have the money to build on campus. Can barely get 30k at games and they basically give tickets away. A distant 3rd in the Tampa market at best and would not be surprised if there were several out of state teams that had more popularity. Not sure if they even have a winning record in the Big East yet. Basically the only players the can pull in state are players that uf and FSU do not want or can’t take otherwise they are not even in the top 10 for most players.

      On top of all that they allegedly were a big part of the reason Pitt and Cuse left the Big East. Allegedly there blocking of UCF and pushing the Nova move up when Pitt wanted UCF and Cuse wanted Houston made the two look at the leadership like are they idiots and opened the door for the ACC.

    • jj says:

      Saban voted his hair number 1.

    • bullet says:

      Interesting. One conflicted SEC coach and one future SEC coach had OSU #4. Stanford’s coach also had them #4. Cutliffe, former SEC coach, now at Duke, and Marrone, Syracuse coach had OSU #4 (private school sympathies?). The Air Force coach had OSU #5 behind Stanford and Arkansas.

      • Brian says:

        The Harris Poll was worse. One voter kept UH at #5, above OkSU.

        • bullet says:

          He either sent in his ballot last week or has a connection to Saban.

          • bullet says:

            I wonder how the BCS would have been if the idiots had been removed. Voting Alabama or Oklahoma St #4 qualifies as mindless (voting on feelings not looking at actual results). Lower that #4 is total idiot (I realize its all opinion, but IMHO opinions that ignore results on the field are really unjustified). I counted 2 putting Alabama at #4 with 9 putting OSU at #4. 4 voters put OSU at #5 and 3 put them at #6. Alabama beat OSU by 32 in the coaches and 69 in the Harris poll.

            The #5/#6 voters accounted for 24 of the 69 vote difference and the #4 voters accounted for another 14.

            By my calculation, if the #5 and #6 voters were removed from the Harris poll, Alabama would have ended up .0003 ahead of Oklahoma St. in the BCS. If the #5 and #6 voters were removed and Nick Saban’s vote was removed from the coach’s poll, Oklahoma St. would have won by .0011. If simply the eight #5 and #6 voters were removed from both polls, OSU wins by .0015.

            So it looks like OSU got knocked out of the BCS by 8 people who shouldn’t be voting.

          • frug says:

            Okie St. blogger runs the numbers adjusted for the dipshit voters and finds that Alabama still would have made the championship.

            http://www.cowboysrideforfree.com/2011/12/5/2612976/analyzing-the-final-coaches-poll-and-harris-poll

          • bullet says:

            I was completely throwing out those 8 #5 and #6 votes, but I forgot to divide by 3 in my quick calculation (1/3 coaches, 1/3 Harris, 1/3 computers). Those 8 votes accounted for 36% of the difference. Dropping those makes the difference .0055. The 8 votes combined with the net 12 #4 votes (coaches 5 @#4, harris 9 OSU, 2 AL @#4) accounted for 63% of the difference between the two schools which otherwise would have been around .003.

  45. bullet says:

    On the topic of stability, I think UConn and Rutgers would bring in the most $, but would also bring the most instability. The Big 12 is not desperate. They have 10. UConn and Rutgers would leave at the first opportunity. They just don’t fit. To make WVU fit, Louisville needs to be added. Then they need to figure out if they can make BYU work. If not, then Cincinnati. Or wait on UL and try to see if some other school steps up-Memphis, Colorado State, New Mexico, Louisiana-Lafayette, Northern Illinois. Maybe target some of these schools and help by scheduling them.

    • zeek says:

      I actually agree with this line of thinking. If you bring on Rutgers or UConn, you’re just setting yourself up for one to leave when/if ND ever joins the ACC or Big Ten.

      BYU + Louisville is too perfect for the Big 12. I think they just have to hold out until it works out; maybe it will if BYU decides that it needs that kind of thing at some point and is willing to join on the Big 12’s terms.

      • Phil says:

        I really don’t see RU having a wandering eye if they were offered a home in the Big 12. They lived with the consequences of passing on a good opportunity (the Big East) because you thought a great one (Paterno’s eastern conference) would happen.

        Also, they have had to face the abyss since the Pitt/Syr move was announced. They should have the same attitude as Iowa State, Kansas State, etc. if fortune pulls them back from the edge.

  46. zeek says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7320125/chris-petersen-boise-state-broncos-everyone-tired-bcs

    “Everybody is just very tired of the BCS,” Petersen said. “I think that’s the bottom line. Everybody is frustrated. Everybody doesn’t really know what to do anymore. It doesn’t make sense to anybody. I don’t think anybody is happy anywhere.”

    ———————————————————————————-

    I get his angle entirely, but I’m just not sure if more access is necessarily in the cards.

    Look at the NBA lockout; not exactly the same situation per se, but everyone knew the players would get screwed compared to what they had before at 57% BRI.

    Everything I’ve seen from the big conferences points to more access for them, possibly at the expense of the Boise State’s of the world.

    The possibility of a 3rd SEC or Big Ten team might be considered.

    The old bowl system with just BCS 1v2 matchup would absolutely kill the access of the non-big 5 conference teams.

    The only thing that might increase access is the +1 approach. But that doesn’t help Boise State in a year like this where they have to win a beauty pageant to get to a BCS Bowl.

    The +1 only helps if they’re actually in the title hunt itself, but one loss removes them from that anyways if they don’t win the conference as a result of the loss…

    • bullet says:

      Really what has locked out the Boise St./TCUs of the world isn’t so much the BCS as everything beyond that. In the old days, the Cotton or Orlando Citrus or Chick Fil A Peach might have picked up an 11-1 Boise or 10-2 TCU. Now nearly every bowl is locked up by a conference. The bowls and conferences are afraid of being left out and noone wants the previous system where teams got bowl bids in October. The system creates a lot of bad matches, at least on paper, which often lead to poor performances by the favorites.

      Short of a playoff, no AQs and no more than 3 bowls locked by a conference would improve things for nearly everyone (as long as bowls weren’t going back to the October official/unofficial invites).

      • zeek says:

        Agreed; the tweaks in discussion don’t really help teams like Boise State that drop from BCS to MAACO or Poinsetta with 1 loss.

        I just don’t know how you really fix that kind of problem considering that the big conferences want to keep the big bowls to themselves.

        Look at how big the payouts for the big bowls are now: $9M for Cap 1; $7+M for Cotton; $7M for Outback, etc.

        • duffman says:

          zeek,

          It is a beauty contest where the fans are the beauty queens. Until Boise State can sell bowl seats, they are going to stay out of the picture. Anybody with a 90,000 + seat home stadium is always going to get a better bid than a school that seats 45,000. Bowls are a business and have little to do with actual sports. At least in basketball the first round venues are smaller so not as many tickets to sell.

          As pointed out above the difference between a Michigan and a Michigan State or Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. If it had been Michigan vs Wisconsin in the B1G CCG you know they would have gotten a boost for being Michigan. If Oklahoma had beaten Oklahoma State they would have gotten a better bowl than a 2 loss Kansas State or Oklahoma State. I do not always agree with this, but I am not blind to the fact that it really is about the money.

        • Brian says:

          I just don’t know how you really fix that kind of problem considering that the big conferences want to keep the big bowls to themselves.

          I think you have that reversed. It’s the bowls that keep the little guys out, not the big conferences.

          • zeek says:

            Access is a zero sum game here though…

          • bullet says:

            They would be willing to get the “little guys” with the right matchup. Georgia-Boise St. in September was worth a lot of money played in Atlanta. If you have 1 team to bring the fans, you may choose another to generate TV interest.

            Reality is there are only about 30 teams really attractive to the bowls and only some have good seasons in a given year. ND, USC, UW, UT, OU, A&M, VT, Clemson, FSU, Miami and about 10 teams each from the SEC and B1G and perhaps a few others are the attractive teams. But a 7-5 MIchigan State doesn’t generate that much bowl interest while a 9-3 does.

          • Richard says:

            I think you listed it pretty well, Bullet, though I’d break it down further:

            Schools that bring only fans:
            WVU, KSU, Boise, BYU, UDub(?), Oregon(?)

            Schools that bring only viewers (to bowls outside their home state):
            USC, Miami, maybe UCLA

            Schools that bring both:
            ND, Michigan, Texas, tOSU, UF, PSU, ‘Bama, OU, FSU, Nebraska, UGa, LSU, Tennessee

            Schools that bring fans but viewers to a lesser extent (or vice versa):
            Iowa, Clemson, Auburn, Wisconsin, VTech, TAMU, Arkansas

            I think I covered all of them.

          • frug says:

            @Richard

            To be honest, it’s been so long since Tennessee was a real power I’m not sure they would drive ratings like the others in the Both category.

  47. Brian says:

    Does anybody have a link to the TV ratings for the various CCGs this weekend?

  48. duffman says:

    Bowl cross games by conference and Sagarin rank : B1G vs B12

    B1G schools

    Wisconsin 11-2 vs Oregon 11-2 : balanced : #9 vs #6
    Michigan State 10-3 vs Georgia 10-3 : balanced : #20 vs #18
    Michigan 10-2 vs Virginia Tech 11-2 : balanced : #17 vs #25
    Nebraska 9-3 vs South Carolina 10-2 : balanced : #21 vs #14
    Penn State 9-3 vs Houston : balanced ? : #26 vs #22
    Iowa 7-5 vs Oklahoma 9-3 : imbalanced : #43 vs #4
    Purdue 6-6 vs Western Michigan 7-5 : balanced ? : #72 vs #75
    Northwestern 6-6 vs TAMU 6-6 : imbalanced : #65 vs #13
    Ohio State 6-6 vs Florida 6-6 : balanced : #42 vs #34

    Like OU playing Uconn last bowl game, are they stacking the deck yet again for an OU win? Hawkeyes need to demolish OU for good measure! If Sagarin was correct about the B12 all season then TAMU should demolish NU. Time for the Wildcats to take down the Aggies to show Sagarin that he under rated the B1G this season.

    B12 schools

    Oklahoma State 11-1 vs Stanford 11-1 : balanced : #3 vs #5
    Kansas State 10-2 vs vs Arkansas 10-2 : balanced : #12 vs #7
    Baylor 9-3 vs Washington 7-5 : imbalanced : #10 vs #40
    Oklahoma 9-3 vs Iowa 7-5 : imbalanced : #4 vs #43
    Missouri 7-5 vs North Carolina 7-5 : imbalanced : #15 vs #48
    Texas 7-5 vs vs Cal 7-5 : balanced ? : #16 vs #30
    TAMU 6-6 vs Northwestern : imbalanced : #13 vs #65
    Iowa State 6-6 vs Rutgers 8-4 : imbalanced ? : #29 vs #49

    The B1G plays 3 SEC schools (Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida) yet the only B12 vs SEC matchup is Kansas State vs Arkansas? The only 2 head to head between the B12 and B1G have huge Sagarin differences. While I have no problem rooting for the B1G, I will really be rooting for Iowa and Northwestern.

    .
    .
    .

    Yeah I am just a bit ticked that two 7-5 teams made the final BCS Top 25 rankings when there were many 8+ win teams that did not make the list.

    Arkansas State 10-2
    BYU 9-3 (who only lost to Texas by 1 point @ Texas)
    Cincinnati 9-3
    Ohio 9-4
    Notre Dame 8-4
    Rutgers 8-4
    Florida State 8-4
    Virginia 8-4
    Georgia Tech 8-4
    Wyoming 8-4
    SDSU 8-4
    Tulsa 8-4
    La Tech 8-4
    Temple 8-4
    Toledo 8-4
    La La 8-4
    FIU 8-4

    Here are the 7-5 teams that did not make the final BCS

    Auburn (lost to Clemson by 14, Arkansas by 24, LSU by 35, UGA by 38, and Bama by 28)
    Texas (lost to OU by 38, oSu by 12, MU by 12, KSU by 4, and BU by 24)

    Iowa (lost to Iowa State in OT @ Iowa State)
    Washington (lost to Nebraska, Stanford, Oregon, U$C, and Oregon State)
    Cal
    Utah
    NC State
    UNC
    Missouri (who beat Texas)
    Louisville
    Air Force
    SMU
    Utah State
    Nevada
    Western Kentucky
    Western Michigan

    I can see Auburn getting some poll love as an SEC member and the defending National Champion but I really am beginning to loathe all things ESPN + LHN! I am beginning to think ESPN will pimp UT at all costs because of their investment. Sorry to rant, but this LHN is not good for the overall health of college football. No wonder Colorado, Nebraska, TAMU, and Missouri all wanted to get away from UT and their network. I actually feel bad for the Missouri fans for the Tigers being 7-5 just like UT and beating them when they played them, yet being behind them in the rankings.

    • bullet says:

      Texas has gotten no love in the polls so ESPN has nothing to do with it. You can rant about the computers, but you’re missing the mark complaining about ESPN. When UT deserved some votes this year they got very little. The reason they are in the rankings now is solely the computers. I think they only have 1 human vote between the coaches and AP and very little in Harris.

      I can’t believe you are serious about those 8 win teams. Except for Notre Dame, FSU, Virginia and Georgia Tech, they have no business being ranked. And the ACC schools got hurt by their conference’s inability to win ooc games, meaning low computer rankings. Notre Dame, for a change, is getting no interest from the voters.

      Its been a odd year where its hard to find 25 teams who deserve a top 25 vote.

      • duffman says:

        bullet,

        I listed them all just to give the overall picture. The point was Auburn and Texas getting in the top 25 in the BCS. My biggest issue was with Texas getting in above Missouri (especially in light of both were 7-5) when Missouri beat Texas this year! To be fair the the short list would look more like this :

        8+ win teams

        BYU 9-3 => who only lost to Texas by 1 point @ Texas
        Cincinnati 9-3 => 2 road losses, and 3 point loss to WVU
        (2 spots for CUSA and only 1 for BE seems unequal)
        Notre Dame 8-4 => loss to USF 3pts, UM 4pts, U$C 18pts, and Stanford 14pts
        Florida State 8-4 or Virginia 8-4 or Georgia Tech 8-4
        (probably give the nod to FSU for playing OU close early in season)

        7-5 teams : BCS ranked teams in BOLD with U$C as a Top 25 team

        Iowa => lost to Iowa State in OT @ Iowa State, PSU, Minnesota, MSU, UNL
        Washington => lost to Nebraska, Stanford, Oregon, U$C, and Oregon State
        Cal => lost to UW 8pts, Oregon 30pts, U$C 31pts, UCLA 17pts, Stanford 3pts
        Missouri (who beat Texas)

        I keep looking at that Iowa vs Iowa State game. It was @ Iowa State and went to overtime (so it could have gone either way) and was a rivalry game. That was the only game between the B12 and B1G, and I wonder how it would have affected the Sagarin VERY early in the season. Multiplied week by week that single game may have resulted in a lower Sagarin for the B12, and a higher one for the B1G.

        Texas : Neutral or away in bold
        Losses and points KSU 4pts, oSu 12pts, MU 12pts, BU 24 pts, and OU 38 pts
        The squeaker at home to BYU, and the squeaker @ TAMU could have Texas at 5-7

        Auburn : Neutral or away in bold
        Losses and points Clemson 14pts, Ark 24pts, Bama 28pts, LSU 35 pts, and UGA 38 pts
        Add in 3pt win to USC as loss and you are at 6-6, granted it was brutal road schedule.

        That is still a pretty solid 8 teams that could argue for being above both Auburn and Texas

        .
        .
        .

        As a side note compare head to head BE vs CUSA

        WVU 9-3 SoS #67 vs Houston 12-1 SoS #107 : BE SoS +40
        UC 9-3 SoS #80 vs Southern Mississippi 11-2 SoS #100 : BE SoS +20
        Rutgers 8-4 SoS #76 vs Tulsa 8-4 SoS #60 : CUSA +16
        Louisville 7-5 SoS #66 vs SMU 7-5 SoS #75 : BE +9
        Pitt 6-6 SoS #54 vs Marshall 6-6 SoS #57 : BE +3
        Uconn 5-7 SoS #65 vs ECU SoS #74 5-7 : BE +9
        USF 5-7 SoS #63 vs UCF 5-7 SoS #104 : BE +41
        Syracuse 5-7 SoS #61 vs UTEP 5-7 SoS #89 : BE +28

        I have to think the BE could take 6 out of 8, and possibly sweep all 8, yet the BE only has 1 BCS Top 25 school. and CUSA has 2. Making my point again that voters pick undefeated teams with weak schedules over beaten teams with tougher schedules. And I would give no points to scheduling weak vs strong. Penn State scheduling Alabama home and home gets way more respect from me than Texas scheduling Mississippi home and home.

    • Eric says:

      I don’t really understand the problem with the Longhorn Network in all of this (and think it was a red hearing with everyone else too, every single team would have left with or without it).

      Texas is a big name that isn’t far removed from greatness. Those kind of teams get a little bigger bump simply because people expect that they are better than the record indicates. Until a couple of years ago, the same always happened for Notre Dame and Miami too.

      Maybe I just miss it, but any push for the Longhorns pales in comparison to the SEC love fest (I don’t think it was any conspiracy, just honest opinions, but they really downplayed Oklahoma State until the absolute last minute after the the votes were pretty much in).

      • Eric says:

        To be clear, not saying the LHN is necessarily a good thing, just don’t think it’s effected coverage much outside of a little promotion of the network itself on ESPN.

        • duffman says:

          Eric,

          Long ago I was the guy who did the pre screens for movies before they hit the general audiences. Watch the movie “America’s Sweetheart” and the whole junket thing. To say that big media does not influence what gets released to the general public is wishful thinking at best. Folks get wined and dined to get favorable media and press. Sea Biscuit was not the best horse of the era, but his owner gave free cases of booze to the guys in the press box. The world of modern sports promotion need only look at Sea Biscuit’s owner to see the affect of mass promotion.

    • zeek says:

      Well, Texas A&M was a pre-season top 10 team, and they were favored in 11 out of their 12 games (only one they were dogs in was @Oklahoma). It’s understandable why they are heavy favorites against Northwestern (10 points-ish).

      Oklahoma was preseason #1 weren’t they?

      I’d expect both Iowa and Northwestern to naturally be big underdogs even though Texas A&M especially did vastly underperform their expectations…

      I don’t think it says anything about the rankings process if Iowa and/or Northwestern gets blown out…; they got really tough matchups considering how the season went for their opponents.

    • John says:

      @Duffman,
      Good post, as a Mizzou fan one aspect I really didn’t understand is that I believe MU was #25 in BCS after week 14 & Texas was at #22. So in the final week of the season UT loses to Baylor while Mizzou is idle and UT finishes #25 & MU unranked???
      If you’re system doesn’t make sense it’s a bad system, and to me that doesn’t make sense. We beat them head to head, finished ahead in conference standings and I believe had a better schedule. Media bias is a wonderful thing…

      • duffman says:

        John,

        I really wish you guys were in the B1G instead of SEC bound, but it is what it is. MU getting ranked below since they beat Texas has been like sand in my eye and just as irritating. Granted I can be a homer, but I have been pretty up front about the teams. I do try to remain neutral tho on issues like the MU vs UT ranking, when it seems so obvious, and so hard to defend UT on this one. Since the Holiday Bowl is in San Diego I am picking Cal to beat Texas and put a dent in the B12 is the greatest conference this year argument. I am not saying the B12 is bad, just that they have seemed over rated all year.

  49. hinode says:

    On a different sports alignment note, it seems the NHL has approved a new format for next year:

    @TSNBobMcKenzie Bob McKenzie
    New four conference format gets approval by NHL B of G.

    This is almost certainly the format reported on HNIC last Saturday:

    — Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey, Washington and Carolina.

    — Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Boston, Buffalo, Florida and Tampa Bay.

    — Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Colorado and Phoenix.

    — Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Minnesota, Nashville, Columbus, Winnipeg and Dallas.

    • Eric says:

      Good. I’m not an NHL fan, but eastern time games being better or not I would prefer Columbus be in a largely Midwestern division.

    • Brian says:

      The scheduling matters more than the divisions or conferences or whatever. Do they play the other 3 equally, or is it split East and West again? How many games in division, how many not?

      • @Brian – The new NHL setup will actually be 4 separate conferences of 7 or 8 teams. Each team would only play a home-and-home against everyone outside of their conference and then all other games are intra-conference matchups. The first two rounds of the playoffs would also be conference-based, which is a throwback to the old divisional playoffs back in the Wales/Campbell days.

        Personally, I LOVE this setup. Hockey is very much a rivalry-based sport and some of that was lost when Bettman realigned the league back in the 1990s with less of an emphasis on divisional games. Both the regular season and playoffs are going to be much more interesting, IMHO.

        Also, I’ve never bought the thought of Detroit moving over the East in the more “conservative” realignment. It would’ve turned the West into a complete ghetto for TV purposes with the exception of Chicago and I just couldn’t see the league overall going for that. Gary Bettman effectively said today that the “simple solution wasn’t really a simple solution”, which is likely a reference that no one other than Detroit was really keen on them just swapping with the new Winnipeg/old Atlanta.

        • Brian says:

          I doubt it was just Detroit in favor of the simple plan, but we all agreed long ago it would be tough to get that plan to pass.

          One team doesn’t make that much difference in terms of the west being a TV wasteland, though. It’s not like they could show Detroit or Chicago every night. That’s your fandom coming out. The whole NHL is already a TV wasteland in the US.

          So for an 8 team conference, that’s 44 games OOC and 38 in conference, or about 5 games per team. For 7 teams, it’s 46 OOC and 36 in conference, or 6 games per team. That seems OK, but they’ll miss some of the old match-ups. I hope the NHL suffers for continuing to screw Detroit over, though. They couldn’t care less about half of their conference, which equals 25% of their schedule.

    • jj says:

      i like the 4 divisions, love the full home and homes.

      divisions are ok.

      really wish detroit could have gotten toronto back.

    • jj says:

      This basically assures the death of the islanders as well as they have zero chance to compete in that. Quebec here we come!

  50. Jake says:

    What’s up, gang? Man, I wish I could talk about sports on the Internet more, but it turns out grad school is kind of hard, and the end of the semester is a bear. Quick thoughts:

    -if the last 13 years didn’t demonstrate the need for some kind of expanded playoff (after all, a two-team title game is still a playoff), then I’m not sure if anything will, but this year is a start. I don’t know whether OSU or Alabama is more deserving, and neither does anyone else, from what I’ve heard so far.

    -Big 12 expansion? I’d just like to know who will be on the conference slate next year, thanks. But since you asked, my off-the-wall suggestion: Miami and Florida State. I doubt they’ll bite, but it never hurts to ask, and if there are going to be four superconferences, better make sure you’re one of them.

    -I’m a fan of the new NHL alignment. Dallas gets to play Central Time Zone teams (including big-market teams like Chicago and Detroit, plus Minnesota is kind of a rivalry) on a regular basis, and combined with the Astros’ move to the AL West, that means my two favorite professional sports teams will be playing fewer 9:00 PM weeknight games.

    • Jake says:

      And as for the last topic, which I missed completely, I didn’t have any major problems with the bowl access. Worked out pretty well for Utah, Boise, and TCU. Hawaii notwithstanding, the non-AQ participants in BCS games acquitted themselves pretty well. Some of the match-ups and at-large selections were questionable, but … whatever. My biggest problem has always been title game access. And I think unhitching the title game from the bowl selection process might help that. Once the bowls are a bit removed from the title game, it opens up the somewhat-less-remote possibility of adding a couple of national semi-finals at some point in the future. And from there, who knows?

    • Eric says:

      I personally don’t think the last 13 years have suggested we need an expanded playoff at all outside of one year (Auburn being left out). Our problem this year isn’t that we don’t have enough spots, it’s that only 1 team actually earned their way in and we are left fighting over who #2 could be.

      (And I completely sympathize with grad school, glad I’m done).

      • bullet says:

        Last year TCU was left out and may well have been the best team. Texas got left out in 2008 in favor of OU and FL beat OU by the same margin Texas did. USC and Utah also thought they deserved a chance in 2008. 2000 was similar to this year with Miami clearly #1 and Nebraska, Colorado and Oregon clamoring for the #2 spot. 2006 had the OSU/UM/FL controversy. 2007 had Ohio St. and LSU/MO/WV/UGA. A clear case like 2005 Texas/USC is the exception.

        • Eric says:

          Where I think we differ here (and where I differ from most) is in how many teams I think actually earn a chance for the national title. I love that the margin is so small and think that makes the champion more legitimate rather than less. If you are an AQ team, you finish undefeated or you don’t deserve to go to the championship. If you are a non-AQ, you blow everyone out (especially if you’re non-conference schedule isn’t lights out) or you don’t deserve to go. Since we have to have 2 teams for the bowl, we end up taking someone who doesn’t deserve to go sometimes, but that doesn’t mean the problem is too few spots; it’s too few teams that earned a chance to win it all. If we add several spots for a playoff, then we are lowering our standards for a national champion (they can afford to lose more).

          In my opinion, any team that doesn’t finish undefeated doesn’t have room to complain. Maybe you were the best team that year, but you lost the right to play for the championship when you lost your game and can only get another shot by luck. The only AQ teams that have finished undefeated in the BCS era was an Auburn (which does have a legitimate complaint in my opinion even if the other 2 were both also qualified) and Cincinnati a few years ago (who got demolished by Florida in the Sugar Bowl and had a very weak Big East that year).

          For the non-AQs, given the schedule differences, they have to be blowing out everyone to have a legitimate shot claim to the national championship. Given the schedules and play of the schools in those years, the only non-AQ I remember really feeling bad for was the first Utah team that made it to the BCS (Urban Meyer’s team that was blowing out everyone). The rest have been good stories, but none of the them who finished undefeated were dominant enough to warrant a national champion.

          I understand most disagree with me here, but I love how interesting this makes the regular season. Oklahoma State @ Iowa State on a Friday night was a huge game because Oklahoma State really couldn’t afford to lose it. Wisconsin losing to Michigan State was a big deal beyond the conference races. Alabama got away with losing to LSU, but again getting in was still luck. Any AQ undefeated team would have beaten them and they had to to watch the rest of the games hoping everyone would lose and luck would go their way. That was also interesting to see. If all that excitement costs us a little in the bowls themselves, I think it’s a small price to pay.

          • bullet says:

            I will strongly disagree about TCU. They did blow pretty much everyone out except Wisconsin. Auburn and Oregon struggled at times with admittedly, tougher schedules. I don’t have any real problem with Auburn and Oregon getting in the game because of their schedules, but IMO TCU was the best team last year. People are putting Alabama in this year despite their schedule, just because, in their opinion, Alabama is the 2nd best team.

            The other problem I have with your argument is when everyone has a loss. Its usually very arbitrary which teams get in.

    • EZCUSE says:

      I am tired of the playoff talk. For all the talk of what kind of system to create, there would still be mega-controversy.

      If you take away the names from the 2011 results and just looked at the results, LSU-Alabama is a no-brainer.

      LSU is, by far, the #1 team. 13-0. Scored 500 points and allowed 137. Played OOC games against Oregon and WVU, in addition to a tough SEC schedule.

      Alabama is 11-1. Lost to the aforementioned #1 team in overtime. Played an OOC game against Penn State, as well as a tough SEC schedule. They gave up 106 points. Total. And that includes 21 to Georgia Southern at the end of the season/meaningless type game. Plus, they scored 432 of their own.

      While Oklahoma State had the best offense of the three teams, scoring 592 points, their OOC schedule was carried by a home game against 4-8 Arizona. While the Big 12 had a quantity of good and very good teams this year, only Kansas State and Oklahoma were truly on par with the SEC West. Okie State got both of them at home and obviously destroyed Oklahoma. But this is the same Oklahoma that lost to Texas Tech.

      And then they lost to Iowa State. If you just compare losses, Alabama lost in overtime to the unanimous #1. Much more reasonable than losing to 24-point underdog Iowa State. The edge has to go to Alabama.

      And then you look at the defense. The Cowboys scored a lot, but they gave up three times as many points to Alabama. LSU average 40 pts per game, but scored 9 against Alabama. Meanwhile, Alabama still averaged nearly 40 pts a game on its own.

      If you take away the names and just look at things dispassionately, I am not sure how anyone could vote for Oklahoma State over Alabama based on the objective numbers. The only reason not to vote for Alabama was to avoid a rematch. However, even if we had a playoff, a rematch would still be possible. So the exclusion of Oklahoma State just does not get me all that charged up.

      Finally, I just got done commenting on how playoffs are overstated on a more general basis.

      http://atlanticcoastconfidential.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/college-football-playoffs-be-careful-what-you-wish-for/

      Just my uninvited, self-promoting two cents (and then some)

      • metatron5369 says:

        >SEC
        >Tough

        Not this year, sorry.

        • EZCUSE says:

          Tougher than the Big 12.

          LSU > Oklahoma State

          Alabama > Kansas State

          Arkansas > Oklahoma

          South Carolina > Baylor

          Georgia > Texas

          Auburn ~ Missouri

          Florida ~ Texas

          Mississippi State ~ Texas A&M

          Iowa State ~ Vandy.

          Moreover, Alabama and LSU had the tougher side of the SEC. Had this been Georgia at 11-1 (say South Carolina won the East and lost to LSU), then the argument would be different. But Alabama did not have an easy road to 11-1 and took on Penn State too.

          • EZCUSE says:

            And Ark only lost to LSU and Alabama! That’s a strong 10-2.

          • zeek says:

            See, my problem with that argument (even though you may be right in terms of the comparisons individually) is that this year the Big 12 played round robin, whereas the SEC top 5 only played 1 game against each other cross-over.

            Among LSU, Alabama, and Arkansas from the SEC West and South Carolina, Georgia from the SEC East, there was only 1 cross-over game Arkansas-South Carolina until the SEC CCG.

            Alabama’s schedule was LSU, Arkansas, Auburn, Ole Miss, Miss State, Vanderbilt, Tenn, and Florida in the SEC, and they lost the game to LSU.

            So of the good teams that they beat, it’s just Arkansas, Penn State, and Auburn.

            To call that a tough SEC schedule is a joke. That’s 2 tough games (LSU and Arkansas), one decent game (Auburn 7-5) and 5 mediocre squads (Florida 6-6, Vanderbilt 6-6, Miss St. 6-6, Tenn 5-7, Ole Miss 2-10).

          • EZCUSE says:

            Not as tough as a typical SEC schedule… but a pretty good indicator of how good they are. Those 6-6 teams that are fodder are not much different than Texas, A&M, and Missouri. And Alabama added Penn State to make it even more formidable. How many Big XII schools even TRY to play a Big 10 school OOC?

            We can split hairs as to who played the overall tougher schedule, but it’s not like the Alabama was in the Pac 12 South. They had to overcome quite a bit to get to 11-1. It’s a legit 11-1, compared to say Boise State.. who beat Georgia and only Georgia.

            The bottom line is that with comparable schedules, Alabama did better overall.

          • Brian says:

            ISU played Iowa. That’s 1-1. Most of them played P12 or ACC teams instead while TAMU played the SEC. That’s on top of playing 9 conference games.

          • EZCUSE says:

            Toughest OOC–AQ or major nonAQ:

            Alabama played Penn State

            Arkansas played Texas A&M

            Auburn played Clemson

            Baylor played TCU

            Florida played Florida State

            Georgia played Boise St & Ga Tech

            Iowa State played Iowa and UConn

            Kansas played Ga Tech

            Kansas State played Miami

            Kentucky played Louisville

            LSU played Oregon and WVU

            Ole Miss played BYU

            Miss State played nobody

            Missouri played Arizona State

            Oklahoma played Florida State

            Oklahoma State played Arizona

            South Carolina played Clemson

            Tennessee played Cincinnati

            Texas played UCLA and BYU

            Texas A&M played Arkansas

            Texas Tech played nobody

            Vandy played UConn and Wake Forest

          • bullet says:

            The computers will disagree with some of your assessments. All of the computers rank the Big 12 as the best conference this year. The fact that noone in the bottom half of the SEC beat anyone in the top half tells a lot about the lack of depth this year. In the Big 12, #8 and #9 had wins against #3 and #1. Yet noone in the bottom half of the SEC could beat Auburn, Georgia, South Carolina or Arkansas, let alone Alabama and LSU.

            I think Oklahoma takes out Arkansas (but Arkansas has such a weak schedule its really impossible to know much about them except they lose by 24 to the top 2 teams in the SEC) and Baylor takes out South Carolina. I think Missouri is a little better than Auburn and A&M and Iowa State are both definitely better than MSU and Vandy. I’m guessing you’re comparing Texas Tech to Florida since you already have Texas up there. And the Big 12 has 1 deadweight team while the SEC has 3 or 4.

            In any event, its about the individual schedules of Alabama and Oklahoma St. As someone else put it, if you put Alabama’s name on Ok. St.’s schedule and OSU on Alabama’s, Alabama still gets the #2 spot and noone questions it.

          • bullet says:

            Comparing schedules using Sagarin’s Predictor (all polls and computers are flawed, but his Predictor is significantly less favorable to the Big 12 than his ELO BCS model):
            AL OSU
            LSU #1 lost OU #4
            Arkansas #14 A&M #11
            Penn St. #27 Missouri #13
            Vanderbilt #37 Baylor #15
            Florida #39 Texas #18
            MS St. #41 Kansas St. #24
            TN #56 Tulsa #38
            Auburn #65 Ia St. #46 lost
            Georgia Southern #76 Arizona #53
            MS #116 Texas Tech #60
            North Texas #121 LA Lafayette #91
            Kent St. #127 Kansas #112

            You can argue about teams ratings, but the obvious fact is that there was a huge dropoff in Alabama’s schedule after the 1st 3 while OK St. didn’t have that. Alabama’s schedule is not tough just because Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida and Auburn were all pretty good 3 years ago. OSU’s opponents, on average, were 20 places higher than Alabama’s.

          • EZCUSE says:

            I get what you are saying. But an opponent is not weak just because they have lost to a bunch of really good teams.

            Look at who UConn basketball lost to last year. All made the Big Dance. Everyone though UConn was a mediocre team. Instead, it was a team that did not fare well against the gauntlet laid in front of them during the regular season, but put it together in March. Nobody saw that coming… they were bubble heading into Manhattan.

            Who did UConn play in the Big Dance? A 14 seed… a 6 seed… a 2 seed (San Diego State)…a 5 seed… a 4 seed… and an 8 seed. It did not play a #1 seed along the way. None made it to the final four.

            That’s the way basketball works. Play all season just to qualify for the tournament and then start over & see what happens.

            You cannot have it both ways. If the regular season is just for seeding, it loses some luster. It just does. UNC can lose to UNLV and still win it all.

            Not sure it is an improvement to go in that direction.

      • EZCUSE says:

        The idea of having a playoff system that results in Kansas State playing Oregon for the national title does not enthuse me. The beauty of college football is that every week truly is the playoffs.

        If Oklahoma State had beaten Iowa State, Alabama would be moot. Unfortunately, the Cowboys couldn’t take care of business. An outstanding season, but one that is not destined for a #1 season. Nor should it…having lost to Iowa State.

        Meanwhile, if Alabama beats LSU, it would be an extension of their overtime game. Winner takes all…

        • TheArsenal says:

          I am glad you pointed out that Oklahoma State losing to Iowa State precludes them from any mythical national championship consideration as this line of reasoning invalidates Florida’s (2006 season) and LSU’s (2007 season) mythical national championships.

          • EZCUSE says:

            If you lose, you lose the chance to control your destiny. You are eliminated, but can be pulled back in if sufficient teams also lose.

            The disappointment in losing that game is tangible and real. No team can complain too much about being excluded when they put themselves in that situation by losing.

            The other solution is to let the undefeated team keep the championship. But we choose to make them play one more to show that they are for real. Just in case you are skeptical of the regular season slate.

        • Brian says:

          EZCUSE,

          The idea of having a playoff system that results in Kansas State playing Oregon for the national title does not enthuse me. The beauty of college football is that every week truly is the playoffs.

          Right. Remind me how AL losing to LSU was a playoff?

          That said, I’m anti-playoff. I just find your arguments weak and unpersuasive.

          • EZCUSE says:

            What are your strong and persuasive arguments?

            Alabama losing was an elimination game. Fortunately, Oklahoma State suffered a worse loss, getting them back in the picture. There was going to be a 1-loss team in the title game… and it ended up being Alabama.

            Again, though, share your strong and persuasive arguments.

          • Brian says:

            It can’t be an elimination game if you aren’t eliminated.

          • bullet says:

            Elimination games are only if you aren’t an ESPN darling that year.

            I’m more impressed by who you beat than who you lose to. Don’t know if you’ve read my comments before, but Tulsa is a world beater by that argument. They lost to Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Houston and Boise St. when all were ranked in the top 10.

          • EZCUSE says:

            If everyone is eliminated, you have to pull someone into the final game. If OkSU beats Iowa State, they get it. They lost… allowing a comparison between OkSU and Alabama. They SAVED Alabama by losing to Iowa State.

          • Mack says:

            Actually Baylor saved Alabama by upsetting Oklahoma. Even with the missed field goal at ISU, the computer polls and several voters would have flipped if OK St had pounded a 11-1 OU rather than one that had been upset by a last second touchdown the previous week.

      • TheArsenal says:

        You are correct and here is the resume in favor of Alabama:

        Alabama Resume Top 20 wins-5, Top 40 wins-6, Opponents Win %-.59, Avg. Point Diff. +23.09 Avg. Sagarin Rank 37.18

        OSU Resume Top 20 wins 2, Top 40 wins 7 Opponents Win % .59 Avg. Point Diff. +27.45 Avg. Sagarin Rank 53

        • Brian says:

          Based on bullet’s post above, your numbers are wrong. OkSU played the tougher schedule in terms of average Sagarin rank. These are Sagarin’s predictor ranks (using points) instead of the BCS numbers he generates which like the B12 even more.

          AL OSU
          LSU #1 lost OU #4
          Arkansas #14 A&M #11
          Penn St. #27 Missouri #13
          Vanderbilt #37 Baylor #15
          Florida #39 Texas #18
          MS St. #41 Kansas St. #24
          TN #56 Tulsa #38
          Auburn #65 Ia St. #46 lost
          Georgia Southern #76 Arizona #53
          MS #116 Texas Tech #60
          North Texas #121 LA Lafayette #91
          Kent St. #127 Kansas #112

          AL Top 20 wins – 1, Top 40 wins – 4, average rank = 60.0
          OkSU Top 20 wins – 5, Top 40 wins – 7, average rank = 40.4

          You may want to check your math.

      • cutter says:

        I read your article and I disagree with your sentiments on a playoff system. An eight-team playoff could be readily implemented and award the top teams in the country with a chance to become national champion.

        The Massey Ratings website has a composite poll with 112 ratings listed on it–go to http://masseyratings.com/cf/compare.htm Using that as the rating system (and not the BCS poll), we’ll put together an eight-team playoff with the following criteria:

        1. The conference champions of the ACC, Big Ten, Big XII, Pac 12 and SEC get autobids provided their teams are in the top 15 of the rating system utilized.

        2. The three at large teams are the three highest in the rating system utilized that are not a conference champion per (1) above.

        3. If there are one or more conference champions from (1) above that are not in the Top 15 of the rating system utilized, the next highest rated team will be given an at large bid.

        The quarter- and semi-final games would be played at the home stadiums of the higher rated teams on the third and fourth Saturdays of December. The championship game will be played two weeks later at a neutral site. Using the ratings linked above plus the three criteria, here’s how the first round of the playoff would look:

        #8 Wisconsin (11-2, Big Ten Champion) at #1 LSU (13-0, SEC Champion)
        #5 Oregon (11-2, Pac 12 Champion) at #4 Stanford (11-1, Pac 12 At Large)

        #7 Oklahoma (9-3, Big XII At Large) at #2 Alabama (11-1, SEC At Large)
        #6 Boise State (11-1, MWC At Large) at #3 Oklahoma State (11-1 Big XII Champion)

        Because Clemson (10-3) is ranked #21 in the polls, the ACC does not provide a team for the playoff. If Virginia Tech had beaten them, then VaTech would have replaced Oklahoma in the playoff.

        The composite poll has USC (10-2) ranked at #9. If the Trojans had been eligibile for the post-season and beaten the Ducks in the Pac 12 Conference championship game, then USC would have replaced Oregon in the playoffs. Vice versa works as well, and with a win over USC, Oregon might have been vaulted into the polls at #4 and Stanford would have gone to #5.

        The bowls would continue on as before with the major bowls staying with their same dates, and if they desire, their same conference affiliations. Here’s some potential matchups:

        Rose Bowl – #17 Michigan State (10-3) v. #15 Georgia (10-3). This is the upcoming Outback Bowl moved to Pasadena that includes the two conference championship game runners up from the Big Ten and the SEC. If USC had been eligibile to play post-season, then the loser of the Pac 12 Conference championship game would have played in this bowl. #11 Michigan (10-2) would also be a possibility here.

        Fiesta Bowl – #10 Arkansas (10-2) v. #13 Kansas State (10-2). This is the upcoming Cotton Bowl moved to Arizona. Since the Fiesta Bowl has a relationship with the Big XII, K-State ends up here.

        Orange Bowl – #11 Michigan (10-2) v. #14 Baylor (9-3). Denard Robinson v. Robert Griffin III. While the OB has its existing arrangment with the ACC, this matchup was too good to pass up in terms of tickets, tourists and television (although I can’t see too many Baptists ending up on South Beach). If Georgia were to get bumped from Rose Bowl by USC, then perhaps they play here and Baylor replaces Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl.

        Sugar Bowl – #13 South Carolina (10-2) v. #18 Virginia Tech (11-2). Since Hokie fans travel and are tired of trips to Miami, they get to play in the Sugar Bowl, but instead of Michigan, they play the South Carolina Gamecocks.

        And for fun, here’s one more . . . .

        Cotton Bowl – #16 Houston (12-1) v. #19 TCU (10-2). This is an all Texas affair with teams that will soon be residing in the Big East and the Big XII.

        You can come up with different bowl arrangments, but the bigger idea here is that the major and secondary bowls would have a big enough inventory of teams to select from to make the games attractive and fan friendly. Now would the major bowls take a step back in terms of prestige? Yes, I’d say a bit. But with the first two rounds of the playoffs already completed by the end of December, they’d also be the only college football being played between the two semi-final games of the playoffs and the final. They might be as lucrative as they are now in the BCS format, but as part of an overall post-season package that includes the playoffs, the total amount of money coming to collegiate sports will far outstrip the current arrangement.

        • EZCUSE says:

          I am fully aware that you can design a playoff system. There are 1,000 ways to do it.

          My point is that how is the winner of the post-season tournament truly the “best team”? If you can lose 2 or 3 regular season games and still be the national champion by winning the post-season tournament, that pretty much degrades September through November IMO.

          I, for one, am growing real cold on this idea of weakening the regular season. As a Syracuse fan, I enjoy these December basketball games. But nothing is exciting like the win or go home of the Big East tournament and to a far greater extent the Big Dance. Elimination games are exciting. And the whole college football season is one giant series of elimination games. Adding more at the end of the season changes very little.

          If Boise State beats TCU, they might be playing LSU. If Oklahoma State beats Iowa State, the would be playing LSU. Each team had its chances. By losing, it came down to a comparison of wins and losses.

          • Eric says:

            There are two big things lost with most playoff proposals that I think are always undervalued in the current system.

            1. Conference loyalty. This has become more important than ever in the BCS era and there is a reason for it. Compare the number of Ohio State fans cheering for archrival Michigan with the number of North Carolina fans cheering for archrival Duke to see an example of how this is more important in football. You see a lot more support of OSU for Michigan than Carolina for Duke. Conference loyalty means we watch our conference mates and cheer for them out of conference (and cheer against other conferences even when it doesn’t effect our conference directly) . It means there are a lot more games of importance to us than there would otherwise be.

            Much of this conference loyalty is a direct result of the system where the strength of your conference matters. If the Big Ten champ is a playoff regardless, there is a lot less reason to care if Northwestern (to choose a random school) wins its bowl game or non conference games. In fact, like in most other sports, having weak conference strength would help you. I can guarantee you that there are few Reds fans who could mind if the rest of the division sucked right now for instance.

            2. Importance of regular season games: This has been harped on enough so I won’t add much more, but suffice to say, every potential loss by a top team has national title implications all season long and that gives those games a lot more national relevance. As an Ohio State basketball fan (but not a big general basketball fan), I don’t have much interest in regular season non conference games even if they are between 2 of the top teams in the country. The teams aren’t playing a conference championship and the game doesn’t really alter anything beyond a little seeding, so it just doesn’t seem important.

          • cutter says:

            EZCUSE: I would argue that a playoff system actually strengthens the regular season and expands fan interest through the latter weeks of the year at a higher level than the BCS.

            First off, the playoff system would give a non-AQ program an opportunity to play for the national championship game. We’ve seen a couple of teams from smaller conferences go undefeated and be told they weren’t good enough to play in the NCG because their schedule wasn’t good enough. If Boise State this year had gone undefeated (including a win over Georgia), there’s no guarantee they would have played in the NCG with LSU over Alabama. In a playoff system, Boise State would be able to put it to the test on the field (and might even have been the host of a first round playoff game).

            The BCS system basically tells teams that once you’ve lost two games, you’re out. With a playoff system, two losses isn’t fatal, but it probably does mean you have to win your conference championship game to get in and that your team won’t be seeded in the top four. There are the rare exceptions to that rule, but this is the general expectation. Being seeded as high as possible and hosting a game is an advantage in any playoff format and it reinforces the fact that every game does count not only when it comes to getting into the playoff, but where you’re going to play.

            If there are more teams with possible playoff opportunities, there will be greater fan interest late in the season. A playoff will also change the narrative of the conference championship games. We may have just gone thru “Championship Saturday” a few days ago, but only two of those games had any direct relevance to which two programs were going into the national championship. With a playoff, all those games would count in terms of who goes and where the programs are seeded.

            A playoff system would end many of the arguments concerning 1 v. 2 in the BCS that we hear more years than not. This year, there were points made on both side about who should be #2–was it Alabama or Oklahoma State? In this system, if both teams won their first round games, it’d be decided on the field in Tuscaloosa, AL on the fourth Saturday of December and not by the computer polls, coaches’ polls and Harris Poll that makes up the BCS.

            So again, I have to disagree. Polling data has shown that the general public and the fans prefer a playoff. The same goes with the players, who also like the bowl system. I say put together a college football post-season that combines a playoff for eight teams and a slate of bowl games for the other teams that qualify as a reward for their seasons and as a treat for their fans.

          • EZCUSE says:

            OK. So fast forward to 2016.

            Oregon at 10-2 is playing USC at 8-4. If Oregon wins, they are in the playoff. If USC wins, the Pac-12 does not get a team. The CCG would be interesting. But if the calls go Oregon’s way… how is that going to play out?

            On the other extreme… suppose Ohio State is 12-0 and Nebraska is 9-3. But Nebraska wins. Nebraska goes not qualify because of its low rating… but Ohio State is chosen as at at-large. How is that going to play out? The CCG is irrelevant.

            In the middle… 10-2 Va Tech plays 10-2 Clemson. Winner goes to playoff, loser stays home. Isn’t that pretty much the same as now?

            In the Big East… Boise State is 11-2 and qualifies. Are they seed #4 or #5? If #4, they get a home game in Boise. If #5, they play a road game against Florida in Miami. They are seeded #5. Now they are in the playoffs, but screwed by the seeding. Not surprisingly, they lose.

            The SEC has 13-0 LSU, 10-2, Alabama, and 11-2 Florida. Does Alabama get in as team #8 or someone else? What about 10-2 Stanford, who started 0-2, but got its QB back in Week 4 and has been undefeated since then. And then there is 10-2 Kansas State, who started 10-2, but lost their QB in November. How does one compare all season, early season, post season, etc? It may be that Stanford is the best team in the country healthy, but cannot even get into the playoffs.

            Will we fall back to… the 8th/9th team is not going to win anyway… like we do for teams on the bubble in the NCAA. But, if that is the case, why go 8 deep?

            And if 13-0 LSU loses in the first round to 10-2 Kansas State, who rolled to a 66-3 win over hapless Kansas the weak before, getting to rest its starters, while LSU was battling Florida for the SEC Championship…. how will that be fair?

            And so on…

          • Jim in Florida says:

            Cutter
            First off, the playoff system would give a non-AQ program an opportunity to play for the national championship game. We’ve seen a couple of teams from smaller conferences go undefeated and be told they weren’t good enough to play in the NCG because their schedule wasn’t good enough.

            And they are not good enough to even play in a playoff. The MWC is a bad bad conference its average team is ranked 67 while the average AQ is 40-46. Its not hard to win when you play that much of an easier scedule. And than there is the issue of no one will actually want to watch them if they made a playoff.

            The BCS system basically tells teams that once you’ve lost two games, you’re out. With a playoff system, two losses isn’t fatal

            How does this make the regular season mean more?

            If there are more teams with possible playoff opportunities, there will be greater fan interest late in the season.

            I disagree. Even in the best case lets say there are 15 teams still in the running late for 2 spots that still leaves fans of over 100 schools not caring at all. Now with the current system you have teams that are close to bowl elgible caring or hoping for a better landing spot than Jacksonville. Bowls are dead if their is a playoff so no this will still not go on.

            With a playoff, all those games would count in terms of who goes and where the programs are seeded.

            Using your system

            ACCCG only can knock out a team as clemson never had a chance of making it. How likely are they going to play if they had nothing to play for?

            Pac 12CG again at most was a possible knock out game only Oregon even with a loss might still have made it in. UCLA would have nothing at all to play for except spolier.

            SEC- Meaningless for LSU. They were not dropping past 2.

        • Jim in Florida says:

          Cutter The Massey Ratings website has a composite poll with 112 ratings listed on it–go to http://masseyratings.com/cf/compare.htm Using that as the rating system (and not the BCS poll),

          Why use this poll instead of the BCS poll? If I was a cynical man I would suggest it was to avoid putting in a 3rd SEC team, making Wisconsin fit in easy for being top 8 instead of outside that top 8 and to get rid of the Clemson problem.

          1. The conference champions of the ACC, Big Ten, Big XII, Pac 12 and SEC get autobids provided their teams are in the top 15 of the rating system utilized.

          You just ran into both a system no president of those 5 conferences will vote for without a sure spot in the game no matter the ranking and one open to anti trust issues.

          2. The three at large teams are the three highest in the rating system utilized that are not a conference champion per (1) above.

          Again a system that is not going to have much support from anyone really. The SEC and Big Ten right now are almost gurenteed a second sport in the BCS every year not so much with this system. Where is the money going to come from to make up for this to get the presidents support? And why would any conference agree to a system that could potentially send 4 teams from one conference.

          The quarter- and semi-final games would be played at the home stadiums of the higher rated teams on the third and fourth Saturdays of December.

          Two of the lowest TV rating weeks of the year. Even the NFL sees a dip in the ratings these two weeks. And how exactly are you going to get 20 to 30k visting fans to Madison or Stillwater with 1 week notice during one of the buisest weeks of the year for the airlines? Where are you going to house the 20k students that show up? Just a few of the many logisitic problems of the playoffs.

          Oh and what games get doubled up by the way? There is 3 Time Slots and if 2 northern teams get home field they have to start by 330 eastern. A game on Sunday will get killed by the NFL. Also have to hope that the NFL is willing to stop its Saturday games this time of year. A game on Friday night lol at the ratings. Especially this time of the year.

          The bowls would continue on as before with the major bowls staying with their same dates, and if they desire, their same conference affiliations

          The bowls die if there is an expanded playoff. The NIT makes less than 2 million a year in TV revenue and only the finals is played in NY to give you an idea how little people care about the non playoffs.

          The championship game will be played two weeks later at a neutral site.

          What day of the week do you propose? If its Saturday its dead in the water going up against the NFL.

          The problem with all these great playoff ideas

          -Never address the logistic arguments except to say it will work it self out.
          -Never address where the money comes from except to say Playoffs obviously will make more money despite ignoring how much the Presidents will need to even think of a switch and how much networks really will pay due to the bad calander.
          -Never address the political issues
          -Never address the legality
          -Never address the selection process in a realisitic manner.
          -Never address the long term effects to non playoff programs
          -Pretend that the bowls will live on just with slighly less prestige again not saying where the money is going to come from

      • Brian says:

        EZCUSE,

        If you take away the names from the 2011 results and just looked at the results, LSU-Alabama is a no-brainer.

        No, it isn’t. LSU is a no-brainer.

        OkSU was a conference champion, AL wasn’t.

        AL already lost to LSU, OkSU didn’t

        OkSU played a tougher schedule. Don’t buy the SEC hype, especially since the east was down and the top west teams didn’t even play the better east teams except for AR/SC.

        AL’s loss was better (both in overtime, but LSU > ISU)
        OkSU’s wins were better.

        AL’s defense was better.
        OkSU’s offense was better.

        Both teams finished 11-1 in major conferences and have holes in their resumes.

        Based on the conference championship and rematch, I’d say OkSU is more of a no-brainer than AL if you took away the names from the results. OU would have gotten in over AL if OU had OkSU’s resume. It the name AL that got them into the NCG.

        • EZCUSE says:

          OkSU was a conference champion because it didn’t share a conference & division with the aforementioned “no-brainer.”

          OkSU didn’t lose to LSU, instead it lost to ISU.

          No SEC hype… I could give two craps about the SEC. But the SEC need not apologize to anyone about the strength of its conference this year.

          Florida might be 6-6, but their six losses were to teams that finished: 13-0, 11-1, 10-3, 10-2, 8-4, and 7-5. Florida had no losses as bad as the OkSU loss.

          Auburn was 7-5. Its five losses were to teams that finished 13-0, 11-1, 10-2, 10-3, and 10-3. Auburn had no losses as bad as the OkSU loss.

          Mississippi State was 6-6. Its six losses were to teams that finished 13-0, 11-1, 10-2, 10-2, 10-3, and 7-5. Again, no losses as bad as the OkSU loss.

          None of those three mediocre SEC teams lost to a team as bad as Iowa State. Of their 17 losses, 14 were to teams that won 10 games. Those are three “non-tough” wins for Alabama that are underrated.

          In the Big XII, Oklahoma was 9-3, but could not fend off 5-7 Texas Tech at home. Baylor was 9-3, but lost to 6-6 A&M. Missouri was 7-5, but lost to 6-6 ASU.

          If there is an edge, it would be that OkSU played one more .500 team than Alabama. And that is because of the 9th conference game. And Alabama can respond by pointing to its defeat of Penn State, at Penn State.

          Oklahoma State’s offense was 3rd in the country. Outstanding, to be sure.

          Alabama’s defense was 1st in the country.

          Alabama’s offense was 28th in the country.

          Oklahoma State’s defense was 103rd in the country. Bottom 20.

          If we are taking names off the stats, give me Alabama. I would have preferred OkSU for variety, but Alabama has the better resume to me.

          • cutter says:

            EZCUSE-

            I say play it on the field.

            As I pointed out in my post above, if Alabama and Oklahoma State both won their first round games in the eight-team playoff, the two of them would be meeting the fourth Saturday of December in Tuscaloosa, AL to decide which of them would get into the national championship game.

            If you value head-to-head competition as the ultimate arbiter of which team is better, then you’d advocate this approach hand’s down. You might design your playoff system differently than mine, but the result would pretty much be the same (unless you’re that one 80-year old Harris Poll voter who put Oklahoma State at #9, I think).

            If you want to argue statistics and which team had the stronger schedule (Oklahoma State) or the better win (Oklahoma State) or the better loss (Alabama) or the better turnover differential (Oklahoma State) or played in the statistically better conference (Big XII) or you don’t think a rematch is fair (LSU-Alabama), then you’re in the decided majority in terms of where the public, fans and players want the college football postseason to go.

          • EZCUSE says:

            What I do know is that the current system has hugely meaningful games from September 1 to the end of the season.

            OkSU can feel angry, but all they had to do was beat Iowa State. That’s it. Iowa State.

            Turns out, OkSU vs Iowa State was the same as a 2 v 7 game in the playoffs. Had Alabama lost to Auburn, OkSU would have gotten it. But Alabama beat the 7-5 team, while OkSU lost to the 6-6 team.

            To have a perfect system… how about a 128-team playoff, with the top X # of teams getting byes to make the numbers work. Right now, with 120 teams, that would be 8 teams getting a bye. Wouldn’t that be the best way to decide it on the field? That way, team 3, 5, 9, and 17 all get their fair chance. Even a playoff system is still setting an arbitrary dividing line where it is not being decided on the field.

          • bullet says:

            Again, Florida, Auburn and MS St. didn’t beat anyone. And Auburn needed a miracle finish with 2 TDS in the last 2 minutes to beat Utah St.

            MS St.’s best win was Louisiana Tech in OT. 2nd best was Kentucky!!!!!
            Auburn did have a South Carolina win to go with their overwhelming Utah St. win. Their 2nd best was Florida.
            Florida did win 6 games-and their best win was at Kentucky!!!!! Powerhouses, UAB, Furman, Florida Atlantic, Vanderbilt and a 5-7 Tennessee also fell to Florida.

            Kentucky lost to teams that were 12-0, 10-2, 10-3, 7-5, 6-6, 6-6, 6-6. Are you going to argue that they are good?

          • duffman says:

            bullet,

            Say what you will about Kentucky, but under Joker

            Monkey #1 beat Spurrier for the first time ever
            Monkey #2 beat Tennessee for the first time since early 1980’s
            Monkey #3 beat Florida for the first time since the mid 1980’s next year?

            For a non winning school, he is the first guy in over a quarter of a century to win the games nobody else could.

          • Brian says:

            EZCUSE,

            OkSU was a conference champion because it didn’t share a conference & division with the aforementioned “no-brainer.”

            You don’t know that. That’s why you play the games.

            OkSU didn’t lose to LSU, instead it lost to ISU.

            Yes, we all know that.

            No SEC hype… I could give two craps about the SEC. But the SEC need not apologize to anyone about the strength of its conference this year.

            Every unbiased system thinks the B12 is significantly better.

            Florida might be 6-6, but their six losses were to teams that finished: 13-0, 11-1, 10-3, 10-2, 8-4, and 7-5. Florida had no losses as bad as the OkSU loss.

            Who did they beat? Sagarin ranked ISU #46 using points (his preferred and more accurate method). That’s a better loss than #65 Auburn. Their best win was #37 Vanderbilt. UF was #39, or about the same as ISU.

            Auburn was 7-5. Its five losses were to teams that finished 13-0, 11-1, 10-2, 10-3, and 10-3. Auburn had no losses as bad as the OkSU loss.

            Auburn was #65, much worse the ISU. They beat #20 SC, then #39 UF.

            Mississippi State was 6-6. Its six losses were to teams that finished 13-0, 11-1, 10-2, 10-2, 10-3, and 7-5. Again, no losses as bad as the OkSU loss.

            MS St was #41, about the same as ISU. MSU also lost to #65 Auburn, much worse than ISU. MSU beat #42 LT in OT for their best win. Next best was #93 UK.

            None of those three mediocre SEC teams lost to a team as bad as Iowa State. Of their 17 losses, 14 were to teams that won 10 games. Those are three “non-tough” wins for Alabama that are underrated.

            Two of those teams lost to someone worse than ISU (Auburn). None of those teams had a win as good as ISU’s. ISU also beat #45 IA and came close against #24 KSU. What you have done is show that #8 (of 10) in the B12 was about the same as #6 (of 12) in the SEC. Again, the B12 was a better conference.

            In the Big XII, Oklahoma was 9-3, but could not fend off 5-7 Texas Tech at home. Baylor was 9-3, but lost to 6-6 A&M. Missouri was 7-5, but lost to 6-6 ASU.

            That’s a double edged sword. It could mean the top of the B12 was weaker or it could mean that the bottom of the B12 was much tougher than the upsetless SEC.

            If there is an edge, it would be that OkSU played one more .500 team than Alabama.

            Not all 6-6 teams are equal. That’s why I don’t like that sort of stat.

            And that is because of the 9th conference game. And Alabama can respond by pointing to its defeat of Penn State, at Penn State.

            OkSU beat #38 Tulsa at Tulsa. They also beat #53 AZ and #91 LL.

            PSU is #27. AL also beat #121 North TX, #127 Kent State and #76 GA Southern (I-AA).

            Who did more OOC?

            Oklahoma State’s offense was 3rd in the country. Outstanding, to be sure.

            Alabama’s defense was 1st in the country.

            Alabama’s offense was 28th in the country.

            Oklahoma State’s defense was 103rd in the country. Bottom 20.

            The problem with these stats are that they aren’t adjusted for the competition. The SEC is full of bad offenses and solid defenses (look at how much more successful OR and WV were than the SEC teams). The B12 is full of potent offenses and weaker defenses, but SEC defenses didn’t have to face the same level of offense. Neither is inherently better.

            If we are taking names off the stats, give me Alabama. I would have preferred OkSU for variety, but Alabama has the better resume to me.

            I’ll take OkSU’s resume over AL’s any day. The lack of rematch is a great bonus.

          • bullet says:

            @Duffman. They’ve been fairly solid-until this year. But they lost QB Hartline and Mr Everything College MVP Randall Cobb and they’ve got no offense. They are just very bad this year. But TN may be even worse. My problem isn’t with Phillips this year. He just has MAC level offensive talent (or lower). He lost some excellent talent and didn’t have much to work with. In the last 5 years UK started looking like an SEC team (not as good as the top half-but competitive).

          • EZCUSE says:

            Brian: That said, I’m anti-playoff. I just find your arguments weak and unpersuasive.

            Still waiting for why you are anti-playoff. Anyone can criticize…

          • EZCUSE says:

            Oklahoma State lost to the #46 team then. And that’s the team we want to trust to beat LSU?

            Sure, OkSU beat the rest of the teams on its schedule, but it lost to one of the worse teams on its schedule. In contrast, Alabama beat every team that was worse than it on its schedule and only lost to the consensus #1 team in the country. In overtime.

            If Alabama had lost more convincingly, then perhaps the argument is that Alabama had its chance. But the game went into overtime. They stayed with LSU for 60 minutes. So we KNOW that they CAN do it.

            As someone with no horse in this race, I really don’t care who plays LSU. But if I had the decision, I would say Alabama over OkSU. A bottom 20 defense against ANY conference slate is terrible. I get that the Big 12 is tough… but OkSU allowed more points than Texas, Missouri, and Oklahoma–despite Oklahoma playing a tougher OOC slate. The tough schedule didn’t prevent Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas A&M, and Kansas State from fielding more formidable defenses–close to top half of all of FBS based on yardage.

            But the main point in all of this is that OkSU controlled its own destiny. Until it lost to Iowa State. And then they put their fate into others… and it did not pan out. Nobody cries for Pitt losing to Butler and being eliminated in the Big Dance last year. You lose, you drop out. At least in football, it is possible to get pulled back in. The voters and computers pulled Alabama back in instead of OkSU (and others). Next time, beat ISU.

          • Brian says:

            If Alabama had lost more convincingly, then perhaps the argument is that Alabama had its chance.

            That’s nonsense. They played LSU, therefore they had their chance. The score has nothing to do with it.

            And as it turns out, I’m not your trained monkey that posts on demand. I’ve made my anti-playoff arguments several times before here, and feel no need to do so again. It’s a pointless argument since almost no CFB ever seems to change their mind on the issue.

          • frug says:

            @EZCUSE

            Yardage is an absolutely worthless way to judge a team’s defense (or offense for that matter). (It has been proved time and again to be the worst predictor of future performance than any other statistic people talk about)

            Also, the power (and speed) of OSU offense makes their defense look worse, since they face more opposing possessions than other teams.

            They stayed with LSU for 60 minutes. So we KNOW that they CAN do it.

            We know they can lose at home to LSU. That is it.

          • acaffrey says:

            FRUG

            Scoring defense: Alabama 1st, LSU 2nd, Oklahoma State 60th (4th in their very conference).

            The 60th best defense.

          • frug says:

            @EZCUSE

            You are still failing to account for the number of drives they face and opponent quality. I suggest you check out more advanced statics:

            http://footballoutsiders.com/stats/fplus2011

          • frug says:

            And if you think that is too high check this

            http://footballoutsiders.com/stats/ncaadef

          • bullet says:

            105th best passing offense. I guess we need to exclude LSU from the championship game.

            It doesn’t matter if you do it by defense, by offense, by running or by passing or by special teams. Each of those is only one phase of the game. Georgia TOTALLY dominated LSU in the stats for 3 quarters–and they were behind 28-10.

  51. joe4psu says:

    Another report that the BE will finally expand this week.

    Big East ready to expand – Mark Blaudschun, Boston.com
    http://www.boston.com/sports/colleges/extras/colleges_blog/2011/12/big_east_ready_2.html

    • bullet says:

      For about the 15th time it is imminent.

      Reading various places that there’s lots of uncertainty about how much their TV contract will generate. That was why BYU wasn’t willing to give up home TV rights immediately.

    • bullet says:

      Newark paper saying “goal” is to start in 2013.

      • Eric says:

        Interesting that Air Force and Navy not included. I wonder if the plan is for PItt and Syracuse to still be in then. I also wonder if the two have made up their minds.

        • OT says:

          I have my doubts about both Air Force and Navy, both of which will be punching bags in the Big East. They are better off as independents in football (through Air Force can opt to stay in the Mountain West.)

  52. OT says:

    BIG EAST football conference possible alignment in 2013:

    BIG Division

    Boise State
    San Diego State
    SMU
    Houston
    Central Florida
    South Florida

    EAST Division

    Louisville
    Cincinnati
    Rutgers
    Connecticut
    Syracuse
    Pittsburgh

    For 2014, subtract Syracuse and Pittsburgh.

    I have my doubts about Air Force and Navy.

    That would open the door for Villanova, Temple, and possibly UMass.

    • EZCUSE says:

      It would be more fun if the Big East kicked Syracuse and Pitt out on April 1, 2012, effective immediately. The ACC would have to scramble to try to fix up its schedule.

      Not sure what remedy those two schools would have–you left & the Big East decided to waive its 27-month window. Time to move on.

    • Sean says:

      The next two, if Air Force & Navy leave, are Temple & Memphis. Temple is a no-brainer. Memphis is next to appease the basketball schools (namely Louisville) and provides a big market with great HS football talent.

      UMass has zero chance.

      Villanova had their chance and couldn’t get the $$$$ from alums to make the move. UConn was in the same position as Villanova 15 years ago….but UConn alums/donors provided money to upgrade all the facilities. Nova doesn’t have those commitments. At least not yet. Villanova would be a Plan C at this point. Maybe even Plan D, since the Big East would probably take another run at BYU.

  53. Josh says:

    That thing about Rutgers winning the first college football game is bogus. Read the description of the game and don’t look at the drawings which were made years later. It was a soccer match. They played by London Association rules (i.e. soccer) and advanced the ball by kicking it or batting it with feet, hands, sides or head. OK, so they could slap at the ball, but maybe they just meant the goalie.

    The first college football game, under the definition of the game that we understand it, was McGill at Harvard in 1873,

    So Rutgers doesn’t even have that going for it.

    http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/rugby/articles/they-picked-up-the-ball/

    • Eric says:

      After reading a lot of history of the sport awhile back I agree completely. Harvard vs. McGill was really the game I think that should have been regarded as the first football game. True it wasn’t exactly the game we see now, but it was what started the evolution of rules that led us here.

  54. zeek says:

    Regardless of Rick Pitino’s words about a raise for Marinatto for getting these teams in, if I’m Louisville, I’m not happy about the proposed realignment:

    Big East-West Division could end up as Louisville, Houston, SMU, Air Force, Boise State, San Diego State; that’s a ton of travel for Louisville’s football program as well as basically moving them out of the Eastern time zone… (yes I know where Louisville is located).

    They must be pushing incredibly hard for the Big 12 to go back up to 12…

  55. bullet says:

    @Frank re: tweet
    Was that BE $6.4 million all sports or only football?

    If only football that’s about the range of the leftover 5 +Pitt/SU/WVU/TCU offer which was $11 million with the majority for football. I think they take a major hit unless they end up getting Air Force and Navy.

    • @bullet – That’s the football-only estimate. Still seems a little high, but with an overall bull market in sports rights, it’s certainly possible. With the NFL’s current TV partners about to sign massive extensions, Big East might be the only halfway decent sports property up for bid next fall.

      • zeek says:

        And there are plenty of networks that could use content like NBC Sports…

      • Brian says:

        They are gaining some new markets but losing a lot of MBB power. Boise is the only team adding much to FB, the others fit in or form the new bottom. I think the loss of name brands will hurt their TV deal relative to ESPN’s offer.

  56. [...] Big 12 Expansion Options: Every New Beginning is Some Other Beginning’s End [...]

  57. Sean says:

    NOTRE DAME IS NEVER JOINING A CONFERENCE FOR FOOTBALL

    All conference realignment stories should include that sentence. Notre Dame has proven, by not joining the Big Ten, that it’s willing to sacrifice money for independence. And really, it still makes a LOT of money, it could just make more.

    Think about it…if ND joins the Big Ten….and plays football games on the Big Ten Network….that channel would be on basic cable maybe nationwide. The subscriber fees alone would put the Big Ten, and Notre Dame, miles ahead of anybody and keep them there forever.

    But Notre Dame doesn’t care. It wants the freedom.

    Also, it’s pretty well-known that Notre Dame has been driving the Big East realignment talks for football to keep it stable. And has been working with Comcast/NBC to get it done.

    The Big East is about to make a ton of money from a desperate Comcast/NBC, who is reeling from missing out on the Pac-12 and needs real college football (i.e., not Mountain West) for Versus/future NBC Sports Channel.

  58. Mack says:

    What happened to Mizzou? Finished 5th, but fell off the B12 board to at large Independence bowl. Maybe Texas and A&M is due to bowls liking big names even with poor seasons, but Iowa State?
    :
    Maybe part of inviting VT to Sugar Bowl is the SEC working on them for future #15 consideration. Like the past two Orange Bowls, VT is having trouble selling tickets. KSU sold Cotton ticket allotment out immediately.

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