After what seemed like a dozen false alarms over the past few weeks, the Big East is poised to finally add Houston, SMU and UCF as all-sports members and Boise State and San Diego State as football-only members with the schools joining for the 2013 season.  Navy won’t be able to join until after 2014, which likely means that Air Force won’t come until that time, as well.  (Colorado Spring Gazette Air Force beat writer Frank Schwab has been fairly consistent over the past month that the decision for the academy is actually extremely tough.  It’s interesting to recall back in September that Air Force appeared much more enthusiastic about joining the Big East than Navy, but now the roles have switched.)

A year ago, I wrote this post proposing that the Big East ought to form a conference by adding football-only members from the West (which I called the “Big Country Conference”) while keeping the hybrid intact for non-football sports.  While the actual schools have changed a bit as a result of defections to the ACC and Big 12 and my proposal was for a 16-school football league, it delights me to no end that the Big East is effectively going to employ this format conceptually.

Would anyone choose to build what the Big East is going to look like from scratch?  Heck no!  It’s a Frankenstein-looking conference spanning from the northeast corner to its southwestern border with football-only members and non-football members.  (I keep imagining that John Marinatto’s press conference to announce the new alignment will look like this.)  However, there are really only three conferences that are in 100% control their own destinies (Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12) and another that is reasonably assured of not suffering of any defections (ACC).  We’ve already seen everyone that had the ability to leave the Big 12 do so, which indicates that conference stability is virtually impossible outside of those top 4 AQ conferences.  As a result, in terms of a triage procedure to keep a viable football league alive, I actually believe the new Big East/Big Country looks pretty good.  All of the current Big East members might still always look for greener pastures (see my last post about possible Big 12 expansion scenarios), but that doesn’t mean much if other conferences aren’t reciprocating.  Therefore, they needed to make their current home as strong as possible and the best way to do that was adding the top non-AQ schools from the west (particularly Boise State).  Limiting themselves to only more geographically friendly schools from Conference USA or the MAC would’ve been a major mistake.  As ugly as the new conference might look on a map, it really doesn’t matter much as a football-only entity.  The real travel concerns come from having non-revenue sports traveling across the country, which won’t be happening here with the western outposts being football-only members.

Regardless of whether AQ status for BCS bowls exists in a few years, the schools that are about to join the Big East are going to be better off, as well.  Houston, SMU and UCF would be in a moving to a stronger top-to-bottom all-sports conference even without the football consideration.  At the same time, those that follow conference realignment closely know that TV money is really the largest financial driver for moves.  San Diego State has apparently been told by outside media consultants that the projected low end for the new Big East TV contract would be $6.4 million per year per school for just football compared to $1.5 million per year for all sports in the Mountain West.  The increased TV money alone would be enough to justify Boise State and San Diego State to sign on as football-only members.  Finally, it’s a classic “bird in the hand” situation regarding the AQ status of the Big East.  Many people speculate that the Big East would lose such status, but that’s simply all it is at this point: speculation.  All we know is that if Boise State was a member of the Big East this season, they’d probably be heading to the Orange Bowl as opposed to a pre-Christmas bowl in Las Vegas for the second consecutive year.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with Vegas.)  To the extent there’s an overhaul of the BCS system, it’s likely going to look more like the Jim Delany Proposal of a more exclusive club consisting of those on the inside, so this is effectively the only way that schools like Boise State will even have a chance of being part of college football’s power structure.  If they get kicked out of that power structure in a few years, then they’ll still be no worse off than if they didn’t take the chance and just stayed in the Mount USA (the Mountain West/C-USA Alliance).

While the Big East has made a lot of mistakes over the years, the fact of the matter is that the conference doomed to be perpetually unstable the day that Penn State joined the Big Ten.  Couple that with the fact that Miami was always going to take an ACC invite if it ever came their way and it would never have mattered if the Big East would’ve split up its hybrid structure or added more football members earlier.  Every Big East member would have still left for one of the other AQ conferences if they had the choice, so the league would have been in the same position today from a big picture standpoint.  Of course, as we’ve now seen, every Mountain West and C-USA school would leave for the Big East in a heartbeat, as well.  They know that being in an unstable conference that might only have AQ status for a couple of more years is still a more valuable home than any of the non-AQ conferences.  The Big East did the best that they could do with the pieces they could reasonably work with and from a pure competitive football standpoint, the new setup looks like it’s going to be an entertaining league.  In a Big Country Conference, dreams stay with you.

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

(Image from blog.mcall.com)

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Comments
  1. monty says:

    I can’t even elaborate on how wonderful it is to finally free ourselves from the BYU and Rocky Mountain Schools’ yoke.

    Poor UNLV and Fresno

    Great Day to be an Aztec

    Free (of the) Range

    • bullet says:

      I wonder if CSU & Wyoming are regretting getting with Air Force and breaking up the WAC 16. They are about to be in a CUSA/MWC 16 to 20 without BYU, Utah, Air Force, San Diego St., TCU and SMU. Instead they have Nevada, Tulane, Memphis, UAB, USM, Marshall, ECU and possibly Utah St. and Louisiana Tech.

      Not so sure the Big East breaks up if they had split around 2000 and been a more homogenous group that cared more about football. BC and Syracuse liked the Big East. If they had been happier and didn’t start looking at ACC, Virginia Tech doesn’t get an invite, only Miami. So you have:
      West Virginia
      Virginia Tech
      Pittsburg
      Boston College
      Syracuse
      UConn
      Rutgers
      and most likely:
      Louisville
      USF
      Temple or Villanova

  2. Brian says:

    I agree this plan makes sense for Boise, SDSU, SMU, UH and UCF. I’m less convinced SMU and UH make sense for the BE. I think they had better choices that wouldn’t stretch them all the way to Texas.

    • bullet says:

      Houston will thrive. Not so sure about SMU. Don’t know if that was a travel partner issue or an attempt to get back at TCU. Wouldn’t put it the latter past them.

      • zeek says:

        Houston makes a lot of sense; and the TV considerations trump the travel issues.

        Houston can get more play in a large market than some of the other choices and with fertile recruiting grounds, they have a chance to put together a strong program.

        Ditto UCF, San Diego State.

      • Brian says:

        Presumably a combo of a travel partner and adding the metroplex. I just don’t see how UH and SMU hoops and other sports help the BE. More markets, but more bad teams too. Who wants to watch SMU/Providence or Houston/Marquette?

  3. Brian says:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/chi-delany-move-up-bcs-title-game-20111206,0,3810244.story

    Delany wants to move the NCG up closer to 1/1 and kill the AQs. I think those would both be improvements.

    • charlie says:

      for as much as people slag off Delany, you do have to admit that he’s in a pretty tough position re: CFB post-season. on one hand, he has to hear all of the cries for the plus-one system. on the other hand, he has to answer to the administrators, fans, and alumni of the B1G schools who find the Rose Bowl sacred. it’s not exactly an easy balancing act. plus, he has had to negociate the BTN, expansion (twice), along with a whole litany of other duties a conference commish has to deal with

  4. michael says:

    Fresno, Hawai’i, and the two Nevadas getting left out is a shame, SDSU’s inclusion really seems interesting when you consider how low the program was just like, two years ago. Glad to see them get a shot at an autobid to a major bowl and be the first in California outside of the Cartel Four to do so since… St. Mary’s in 1946?

  5. Penn State Danny says:

    Frank

    I saw on Twitter that if a candidate wants to win the presidency next year, all he (or she) would have to do is win the states (plus DC) that will have Big East teams.

    The additions of California, Idaho and Texas give the conference a total of 270 electoral votes which is the exact number needed to capture the White House.

  6. tomdauwwg says:

    Spartans > Bulldogs

  7. greg says:

    Go Hawks!

  8. herbiehusker says:

    GO B1G RED!

  9. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX #1LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

    Honey Badger for the Heisman!

    • mnfanstc says:

      Your Tigers are for real, Alan, but it’s a shame that ‘Bama is getting a rematch for the mBcS championship…

      In the current world of BcS opinion and corrupt polls, ‘Bama is considered the 2nd best team out there……….This year proves more than ever that a playoff is needed…

      Speaking of shame… Boise State/TCU (or both) got shafted (again!!). It’s time for the big boys to realize that there are a couple of legitimate teams in the non-AQ world. There’s nothing wrong with sharing the wealth with those that deserve (have earned) a share…

      • Cliff's Notes says:

        Nope. When Boise State and TCU play a real schedule and can survive the emotions and injuries and fatigue that comes with it, then I’ll consider them relevant. Until then, no, getting up for one or two games and playing cupcakes the rest of the year doesn’t impress me. Or many others. And I certainly don’t want my school to play a Big Ten schedule and lose a bowl bid to a team that didn’t play anybody.

        Michigan State endured a four game stretch of @ Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, and @ Nebraska.

        Nebraska played Wisconsin and Ohio State back-to-back, and closed the season with a five game stretch of Michigan State, Northwestern, @Penn State, @Michigan, and Iowa.

        Michigan had 12 teams on their schedule this year. 11 were bowl eligible, and 10 are going to bowls.

        Boise State has proven they can get up for a big game twice a year. They haven’t proven they can do it 7 or 8 times a year.

        • duffman says:

          Nope. When Boise State and TCU play a real schedule and can survive the emotions and injuries and fatigue that comes with it, then I’ll consider them relevant.

          Pretty well sums up my feelings on teams in powder puff conferences. I think if you want to be a champion, you have to play a championship schedule! Looking at Stanford (playing Duke OOC) and Virginia Tech (playing nobody OOC) I just lose all respect for undefeated teams that only scheduled the defeated.

          • michael says:

            guys, it’s really freaking hard to go undefeated in any conference. This season, only one team was able to do it. It’s pretty hard to finish a season with only one loss- only five teams could do it. Every conference has good teams, guys. Every conference has bad teams. Winning all of your games in a season is not easy, it really is not. If it were so freaking easy, someone from the Sun Belt or the MAC would do it every season. They play football games on football fields, and to deny really good football teams the chance to prove themselves against other teams is really inexplicable to me.

          • Jake says:

            TCU didn’t get shafted by the BCS. We lost to SMU – there’s really no comeback to that. Although we did get shafted on the MWC bowl tie-ins. We won the conference, we should have gone to Vegas instead of the Poinsettia. I doubt anyone else cares about that argument, though.
            As for the rest, deserving teams will continue to be screwed as long as the present system persists. I mean, has anyone been more hosed than 2004 Auburn? It’s very rare that there are two, and only two, teams that seem like real title contenders. As for schedules, don’t blame a team for the conference they play in. If Boise could join the Pac, they would. A playoff would give teams a real chance to prove their relative merits, but we’ve been through that argument before.

          • Jim in Florida says:

            If boise cared more about improving their school than crying about no one wanting to play them and than lying about Bama and turning down Nebraska while making demands that almost no one is going to accept than why should the be rewarded in anyway?

  10. hey diddle diddle says:

    will it keep the BCS AQ status?

    • charlie says:

      in this contract cycle (which goes through 2013), there’s no language describing how conferences can lose AQ status, only language on how conferences can gain AQ status. with only a couple more years to go, I don’t see an conceivable way that the BEast can lose its AQ status. especially when you compound that with the fact that all of the conference commissioners are getting together in April of next year to lay out the details of the next BCS contract. as per quotes from Delany and Slive, it doesn’t seem like AQ is even going to exist in the next round of contracts, so, there won’t necessarily be anything for the BEast to lose. however, the BEast would take a huge hit if AQ status is done away with because then the individual ‘BCS’ bowls would go back to straight conference affiliation. as the BEast really doesn’t have any historical ties or current tie-ins with any of the BCS bowls, there’s a good chance that they’re gonna be left out in the cold

  11. bullet says:

    Given the speed with which the Big East makes decisions, maybe they did read Frank’s Big Country post and like it. Its just taken a year to make it happen. AND it still hasn’t happened yet. I’m not totally convinced until there’s a posting on the website (wait, didn’t the SEC do that…). Alright maybe until the press conference.

  12. m (Ag) says:

    So it’s finally official?

    In a few years, we won’t talk about AQ and Non-AQ conferences. We’ll talk about Conferences With Texas presence (T) and Conferences Without Texas presence (Non-T).

    Conferences With Texas:
    Big East
    Big 12
    MountUSA
    SEC
    SunBelt
    WAC

    Conferences Without Texas:
    ACC
    Big Ten
    MAC
    Pac 12

    The MAC stands out there; how will a small conference survive without a Texas school? Perhaps they can try and steal Texas State from the WAC.

    The MAC is also the only one of the 4 Non-T conferences we haven’t heard negotiating with a Texas school in the past year. Perhaps they’re just better at keeping things secret?

    • OT says:

      The MAC could easily lose Temple and UMASS to the BIG EAST, which still needs 2 schools to replace Syracuse and Pitt for the 2014 season (now that we know Navy and Air Force won’t make the jump.)

      Hawaii is the other school that is in play for the BIG EAST for football only for the 2014 season, after Hawaii’s 2-year football-only agreement with the Mountain West expires.

      Texas-San Antonio would be another candidate for the BIG EAST further down the line in order for the BIG EAST to complete the Texas triangle.

      Also, keep an eye on Georgia State, another school that would fit the profile of the BIG EAST – urban schools in large TV markets.

    • acaffrey says:

      Texas just has so many teams. No other state can compare to that.

      Florida is Big East, ACC, SEC, and Sun Belt. 4.
      California is Pac-12, WAC, and MWC… Big East taking MWC’s spot there. So that is 3.
      Ohio has Big 10, Big East, Mac. 3.
      Pennsylvania has Big 10, ACC/Big East (Pitt), Mac (Temple)… 3.
      Kentucky has Big East, SEC, and Sun Belt… 3.
      Louisiana has SEC, C-USA, and Sun Belt… 3.

      Not sure anyone else gets to 3.

    • duffman says:

      The MAC is a wholly owned subsidiary of the B1G! ;)

  13. bullet says:

    I understand the attraction of San Diego St. to the Big West, but I can’t understand why the WAC is taking Boise St. They aren’t especially good in sports other than football and they make it that much more likely that the MWC takes another WAC football school. For the schools other than Utah St. and San Jose St., that would seem to indicate they should vote no. Boise has sure never done Idaho any favors. And it seems like the WAC is Boise’s only option. WCC is religious, Big Sky needs a fb school and is waiting for Idaho or San Jose to drop down and Big West has supposedly told Boise no.

    • OT says:

      The WAC needs warm bodies to survive as a Division I league (FBS or unclassified a.k.a. I-AAA), knowing that Utah State and San Jose State are both out the door the moment they receive calls from “Mount USA”,

      Ditto Louisiana Tech and New Mexico State, both of which would prefer to be in “Mount
      USA”.

      Ditto Texas-San Antonio, which will eventually outgrow the WAC and would be a natural fit for the BIG EAST (to complete the Texas triangle.)

      The WAC was looking at UMASS before UMASS joined the MAC in football only. UMASS is another one that will eventually find its way into the BIG EAST.

      The WAC also looked at Stephen F. Austin State and its rival, Northwestern State. Those two rural teacher’s colleges (NE Texas and NW Louisiana) are less than 20 miles apart. Neither want to leave FCS.

      The WAC also looked at Sam Houston State and Lamar. Both are trying to get their act together before making the jump from FCS.

      Georgia State and Appalachian State are also on the radar, though App State wants nothing to do with the WAC or Sun Belt and would prefer to jump into “Mount USA” right away if it were the make the jump from FCS.

      • m (Ag) says:

        Are there really going to be any additions to MountUSA?

        If you shift UTEP West and assume Air Force leaves, we have these divisions:

        East:
        Alabama Birmingham
        East Carolina
        Marshall
        Memphis
        Southern Miss
        Rice
        Tulane
        Tulsa

        West:
        UTEP
        Colorado State
        Nevada
        UNLV
        New Mexico
        Wyoming
        Fresno State
        Hawaii

        That makes 7 division games. If they want 8 or 9 conference games they can always schedule a couple of cross-divisional games.

        • OT says:

          Hawaii’s football-only membership contract with the Mountain West Conference is only for 2 years: 2012 and 2013.

          Once the idiot administrators at Hawaii figure out that Oceanic Time Warner Cable will NOT add the mtn. at any price (Time Warner Cable San Diego still does NOT carry the mtn.), Hawaii will have no choice but to 1) go independent, or 2) apply to the BIG EAST for 2014.

          Hawaii really shot itself in the foot by taking an 80% TV rights fee cut to sign on with the Mountain West Conference, with no guarantee that residents of the State of Hawaii will be able to watch Hawaii Warriors football on cable TV.

          (if Hawaii had not signed with the Mountain West a year ago, one would suspect that Hawaii, not San Diego State, would be the one joining the Big East today.)

          ====

          The top administrator at the USAFA does NOT want Air Force in the Big East.

          UTEP wants to be the “USA” division of Mount USA, not the “Mountain” division, because UTEP wants to play road games in Houston and the DFW Metroplex.

          One would have to expect the “USA” division of Mount USA to add Florida International and North Texas to maintain access to recruits in Florida and the DFW Metroplex. Sorry, Louisiana Tech.

          • m (Ag) says:

            “UTEP wants to be the “USA” division of Mount USA, not the “Mountain” division, because UTEP wants to play road games in Houston and the DFW Metroplex. ”

            If they add UNT, that will work. As it stands now, there is no school there, so UTEP is better off in the West and playing a fixed rivalry with Rice. They can try to schedule non-conference games with UTSA, SMU, Texas State, UNT, or any new school the WAC adds in the next few years.

  14. Mack says:

    BE doomed itself when they rejected Penn State membership, 5 years before PSU joined B1G.
    :
    Expect MountUSA to move to full merger with 16-18 teams. Will keep Olympic sport travel costs down by having very little crossover between E&W divisions except for championship meets.
    :
    If no one comes to BE in 2012, is BE going to play with 7 teams or SEC with 13? I expect B12 will have 10 even if that results in lots of lawsuits between BE/SEC/B12/Missouri/WVU/A&M.

    • wmtiger says:

      They rejected PSU only as a basketball member, Big East didn’t have football back then and I still see PSU in the B10 by now.

  15. joe4psu says:

    http://ideas.time.com/2011/12/07/paternos-revenge-penn-state-football-is-no-1-in-academic-bowl/

    New America Foundation 5th Annual Academic Bowl Championship Series

    1 – PSU
    2 – Boise St
    3 – TCU
    4 – Stanford
    5 – Alabama

  16. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    If any Michigan fans are interested, I have access – at cost – to several Sugar Bowl tickets in the lower bowl and club sections. The Sugar Bowl committee required purchase of both BCS NCG and Sugar Bowls tickets for access to several sections. Most of them are lower end-zone corner seats (Section 107) on the Michigan side or end-zone club tickets on the loge (2nd) level (Section 302 or 304).

    Lete me know if you are interested and I’ll provide more details.

    • Mack says:

      That explains why Sugar Bowl tickets are going for half the price of Cotton Bowl tickets on Stubhub. A lot of tickets between $110-$130. I expect they will drop a lot as it gets closer to the game.

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Mack – the Stubhub price ranges in Sections to which I’m referring start out at $233 and go up to $400. Face value is $140 for lowers and $170 for clubs. I’m just trying to help any Wolverine fans on here get decent tickets for face value, if any are interested. You may want to wait until the last minute and possibly get a deal better than face.

  17. indydoug says:

    What happens to Big East in 2012 if WVU wins its suit vs. BE & WVU , Syr. & Pitt. leave & only 5 are left? Can it exist as a 5 school Conference & retain AQ status or even Conf. status?

    • charlie says:

      AFAIK, ‘Cuse and Pitt can’t join the ACC until 2013 as per rules on the ACC’s side, so, the BEast would be fine. But, no, you have to have at least 6 football teams in your conference to compete in NCAA D1-A

      The more interesting question I think is what happens if WVU loses the lawsuit and can’t join the Big XII until 2013, but Mizzou leaves for the SEC for 2012 as they’ve been on record saying they’re going to do. The Big XII would have a whole lot of open dates to fill

      • Mack says:

        The BE will be a conference in 2012 and have AQ status because there is a 2 year grace period in NCAA rules for conferences that lose teams to get back to the 8 minimum and there is no specific definition of conference in the BCS contracts so it falls back to the NCAA recognition.
        :
        WVU has already claimed sovereign immunity in its response to the BE lawsuit in RI, Even if the BE can get a RI court to rule in its favor, it will need to get the state of WV to enforce ther order and that is not going to happen. I doubt any judge in WV will order specific performance (WVU must play in BE) rather than just determine monetary damages if it is found that WVU broke the BE contract. Therefore, the B12 will have 10 teams for 2012. It is really just a matter of how many lawsuits that generates. Neither A&M or Missouri has been released yet from the B12. Because the BE TV contracts are less valuable the damages will be lowest if the BE plays a team short. The BE will probably sue everyone (B12, WVU, Missouri, A&M, SEC, Disney, Fox) to recover its losses. The B12 will claim that it is mitigating its damages by adding WVU, and therefore, sue A&M, Missouri, and the SEC to recover any and all damages assessed against it by BE litigation. The BE will lose 7 conference games that will be replaced with less valuable OOC games.
        :
        There is ZERO chance that the ACC willl get involved in this mess. It has 12 teams so does not need Pittsburg or Syracuse to show up in 2012 without a BE release. I expect something to be worked out such that this happens for 2013 rather than the 2014 the BE is stating now. So the BE is likely invite two more teams to join by July 2013 to allow for a CCG.

  18. acaffrey says:

    Here is a question to ponder.

    Big East has 8 schools. 8 others are non-football. 16.

    3 want to leave…WVU in 2012… Syracuse and Pitt, presumably for 2013 season. 13.

    5 are coming on. Back up to 18.

    If you are the current Big East schools, would you prefer to get the buyout $$$ from Syracuse-Pitt-WVU now–when it can be divided 13 ways… rather than wait until later? I think $2.5M per school per year of early departure is pretty darn reasonable. Let’s say WVU paid $5,000,000 extra…. a cool $10M. And Syracuse/Pitt paid $2,500,000 extra…. a $15M between the two of them.

    That’s $25M.

    13 ways, that is $2M per school.
    18 ways… that is $1.4M per school.

    And that is before litigation expenses. The longer this drags out, the more money gets diverted from the leaving schools to us lawyers.

    • charlie says:

      firstly, Boise and San Diego would be football only, not full members, but, yes, that still puts the conference at 18 schools

      secondly, I’m sure there’s going to be some language in the contracts for the 5 new schools outlining revenue (tv monies, whether or not they get part of the buyouts from the defectors, ect). Nebraska had to go through a similar process when joining the B1G – we didn’t give them full tv money up front: first, they had to ‘buy’ their share of the BTN, then we’re gradually increasing the amount of money they’re receiving from the BTN – they’re not getting as much as say Indiana or Ohio State right out the get-go

    • frug says:

      Yeah, the current schools can make waiving any share of WVU, Pitt and ‘Cuse’s exit penalties a condition of admittance.

  19. Carl says:

    PSU #1! (in graduation rates :-)

  20. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Only 9 of the 35 bowls feature two ranked teams.

    BCS NCG – #1 LSU v. #2 Alabama
    Fiestsa – #3 OK State v. #4 Stanford
    Cotton – #6 Arkansas v. #8 K-State
    Rose – #5 Oregon v. #10 Wisconsin
    Sugar – #11 VA Tech v. #13 Michigan
    Capital One – #9 South Carolina v. #20 Nebraska
    Outback – #16 Georgia v. #17 Michigan State
    Orange – #15 Clemson v. #23 West Virginia
    Ticket City – #19 Houston v. #22 Penn State

    • Brian says:

      B10 – 5 bowls, 5 teams (lower ranked in all 5 games)
      SEC – 4, 5 (higher ranked in all 4 games)

      That’s 10 of the 18 spots.

      ACC – 2, 2
      B12 – 2, 2
      P12 – 2, 2
      BE – 1, 1
      CUSA – 1, 1

      This is why the B10 has the hardest bowl slate. No other conference matches the SEC slot for slot (2 in BCS, #2 vs #2, #3 vs #3/4). The B10 also faces the B12 on par (#4/5 vs #4, #6 vs #6) and the P12 (#1 vs #1).

      The B10 generally ends up the underdog in most of their bowls, and then gets disparaged for winning half of them. The addition of NE should help ameliorate this as there should be more highly ranked teams. This year is better, except for games like IA/OU.

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Brian – I don’t follow your assertion that the B1G has the toughest bowl slate. Just looking at the slotting, the B1G should be about even in most matches. In reality, the B1G may not be favored in most of the bowl games, but its not due to the slotting.

        Rose – B1G #1 v. Pac-12 #1
        Cap One – B1G #2 v. SEC #2
        Outback – B1G #3 v. SEC #3 or #4
        Insight – B1G #4 or #5 v. Big XII #4
        Gator – B1G #4 or #5 v. SEC #6
        Meineke – B1G #6 v. Big XII #6
        Ticket City – B1G #7 v. ?
        Pizza Pizza – B1G #8 v. MAC #1 or #2

        In contrast, regarding the SEC’s slots, its members are either even or play up in each bowl game.

        BCS/Sugar – SEC #1 v. BCS At Large
        Cap One – SEC #2 v. B1G #2
        Cotton – SEC #3 or #4 v. Big XII #2
        Outback – SEC #3 or #4 v. B1G #3
        Chick-Fil-A – SEC #5 v. ACC #2
        Gator – SEC #6 v. B1G #4 or #5
        Music City – SEC #7 or #8 v. ACC #6
        Liberty – SEC #7 or #8 v. C-USA #1
        BBVA Compass – SEC #9 v. Big East #5

        • Brian says:

          I wasn’t talking just this year. In general, the B10 is favored in fewer games than anybody else. There’s also the fact that the B10 plays road games in all of its bowls except the Pizza Bowl and sometimes the BCS at large while the ACC, B12, P12 and SEC generally play home games. The top few games: P12 in CA, SEC in FL, SEC in FL, B12 in AZ, SEC in FL, B12 in TX. The SEC ventures all the way to TX, which is now in the footprint too.

          Also, everybody knows that the SEC is so superior to everyone else that the slotting of their opponents is inconsequential. Besides, comparing slots to the ACC, BE and CUSA is meaningless.

    • zeek says:

      9 sounds about right given that it leaves only about 7 teams out. Among the misses:

      Boise State
      TCU
      Southern Miss
      Baylor
      Oklahoma
      Texas
      Auburn

      Boise State, TCU, and Southern Miss have to deal with not having the kinds of bowl opportunities in their current conferences that would enable ranked matchups.

      Baylor, Oklahoma, and Texas are more interesting to me. That speaks to the typical problem the Pac-12 has in getting teams ranked more than anything else (as well as the obvious missing USC that would help by creating another ranked matchup).

      As for Auburn (and Texas), 5 loss teams generally aren’t going to be getting ranked matchups; you really only “expect” it for 3-loss teams or less. That’s really Baylor/Oklahoma other than the non-AQs.

      If you add USC and drop Auburn (or Texas), you end up with 10 double-ranked matchups and only 5 teams left out (of which 3 would be non-AQ). That’s not bad at all.

      Plus, one of those is somewhat of an anomaly considering how far 9-3 Penn State fell in the Big Ten’s bowl chain (below 6-6 Ohio State, 7-5 Iowa, and 6-6 Northwestern).

    • indydoug says:

      Well, the most possible is 12 so 9 out of 12 ain’t bad.

  21. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post?id=40929

    A poll on an interesting subject:

    Would you rather be a division winner, beat your rival, lose the CCG and go to the Outback Bowl (MSU) or lose to your rival, not win the division and play in the BCS (MI)?

    The early voting favors MSU 55-45.

    I vote for MSU, too. You beat your rival and had a chance at the Rose Bowl. That beats getting a BCS at large any day to me.

  22. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7327447/athletic-directors-say-college-football-playoff-inevitable

    ADs are against a big playoff (16?) but think a plus 1 is inevitable. Unfortunately for them their lack of desire for a big playoff plays right into the bracket creep argument. They’ll never convince Delany that 4 won’t become 8 and eventually 12 then 16. They may have to wait for a new B10 commissioner.

    • bullet says:

      I liked the last comment from ESPN-”The fan discontent concerns us.”

      Maybe a loud boycott of the ESPN selected championship game. Their bias and campaigning has been really over the edge this year. I can certainly understand people thinking Alabama is the 2nd best team, but ESPN acts like there is no question. They campaigned, but not so blatantly, for OU in 2008 (payback for Vince Young and UT spoiling their USC for team of the century year long campaign in 2005?). They also campaigned hard with “they didn’t win their conference” for LSU over Georgia in 2007.

    • cutter says:

      When the athletic directors see what a Plus One would look like this year based on the BCS ratings, what will they see regarding the four participating teams and the others who just came up short:

      A. Two of the teams didn’t win the division in their own conference are in the playoffs – Alabama and Stanford

      B. One team won its conference championship, but didn’t play in a conference championship game is in the playoff – Oklahoma State

      C. One team won its division and its conference championship game while playing the most difficult schedule of the four playoff teams – LSU

      D. A team with a 11-1 record the same as Alabama and Stanford that won’t be in the playoff – Boise State

      E. Three teams that won their divisions and their major conference championships but also won’t be allowed in the playoff – Oregon, Wisconsin and Clemson

      Now you might argue that Clemson doesn’t belong in a conference championship game because of its 10-3 record or its rating in the polls. If Virginia Tech had won the ACC championship, then VaTech would have been 12-1, but wouldn’t have been allowed in a Plus One playoff.

      While the SEC, Big XII and Pac 12 might be happy with the results from this year, I don’t think you’re going to get any major buy ins to a Plus One based on this scenario from the Big Ten or the ACC–not to mention the non-AQ conferences.

      If you want the conference championship games to mean something, then you need to have an eight-game playoff and you have to make provisions in it to include the conference champions in the ACC, Big Ten, Big XII, Pac 12 and SEC in it every year. You might make a rule that a conference champion needs to be in the Top 14 of the polls, for example, to get into a playoff, but you have to give them an opportunity to get in (along with the non-AQ teams).

      • Brian says:

        You are assuming a four team playoff. That’s not actually a plus one, although it is very similar. In a plus one, #5 has a chance to make the NCG with an impressive win and the right losses. There are many variants that properly fit the moniker “plus one.”

        Unseeded +1
        The bowls stay as they are now. After the BCS bowls, #1 and #2 play in the NCG.

        Semi-seeded +1
        The ACC, B10, B12, P12 and SEC keep their tie-ins, but the other teams are paired with them to come as close as possible to 1/4 and 2/3. The remainder of the bowl slots fill like now. After the BCS bowls, #1 and #2 play in the NCG.

        Mostly seeded +1
        The Rose Bowl keeps it’s tie-ins, the other teams split as close to 1/4 and 2/3 as possible. The remainder of the bowl slots fill like now. Teams honor their tie-ins if possible. After the BCS bowls, #1 and #2 play in the NCG.

        Fully seeded +1
        1/4 and 2/3 are paired. The remainder of the bowl slots fill like now. Teams honor their tie-ins if possible. After the BCS bowls, #1 and #2 play in the NCG.

        Fully seeded +1 variant
        If they want, they could completely eliminate the tie-ins and just rotate the 1/4 and 2/3 games like the NCG rotates now. The rest would be as above.

        • bullet says:

          Sounds like, in that SI article, if the some of the ADs had their way (and I’m extrapolating from their comments-noone specifically said this), there would be a fully seeded +1, perhaps at the home field of the higher seed the 2nd week of December with the final at a neutral site shortly after January 1 and that site selection would be handled by the schools independent of the bowls.

      • redwood86 says:

        Right on, Cutter!

  23. duffman says:

    Alan, I put up a similar response last year when Oklahoma played Uconn who was not even in the BCS final Top 25 last season. Look how it would actually look if you used this years BCS ranking.

    LSU vs Alabama = SEC vs SEC
    Oklahoma State vs Stanford = B12 vs PAC
    Oregon vs Arkansas = SEC vs PAC
    Boise State vs Kansas State = NAQ vs B12
    South Carolina vs Wisconsin = SEC vs B1G
    Virginia Tech vs Baylor = ACC vs B12
    Michigan vs Oklahoma = B1G vs B12
    Clemson vs Georgia = ACC vs SEC
    Michigan State vs TCU = B1G vs NAQ
    Houston vs Nebraska = B1G vs NAQ
    Southern Mississippi vs Penn State = B1G vs NAQ
    West Virginia vs BYU = BE vs IND

    Such a series of games actually blends the conferences pretty well except for the B1G playing 3 NAQ’s but that could be adjusted somehow.

    I actually like most of those games, and yeah I dropped Texas and Auburn for BYU who had the better record. The more I think about it I think I would like to have seen LSU vs Stanford and Alabama vs Oklahoma State as offense vs defense games just to settle the arguments out there on which is more important. Besides, if Luck is going pro, he will get to play against the guys who will be seeing him in the pros from Alan’s Tigers.

  24. duffman says:

    Finally, it’s a classic “bird in the hand” situation regarding the AQ status of the Big East. Many people speculate that the Big East would lose such status, but that’s simply all it is at this point: speculation.

    West Virginia => B12
    Pitt => ACC
    Syracuse => ACC

    Louisville => B12 ?
    Cincinnati => B12 ?

    USF
    Uconn
    Rutgers
    Boise State
    SDSU
    Houston
    SMU
    UCF

    If UL and UC go, that is a much weaker BE 8 teams than the current 8 in the BE today. B12 lost Nebraska, Colorado, TAMU, and Missouri. I am not willing to say the B12 is better this season than they were last season with Nebraska and Colorado. If CUSA can get 2 BCS spots this season to the BE’s 1, you will see more losses for a school like Boise State, which will water down their status going forward. Miami and FSU have had and extra loss or two per year since the ACC went to a 12 member conference. If the BE was shaky with the likes of WVU, it will be even more so when they are no longer there.

  25. bullet says:

    ESPN must not be expecting the new Big East TV contract, they’re bashing it pretty bad:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7327913/additions-boise-state-broncos-houston-cougars-additions-new-big-east-conference

    Interesting comments at the end. Now Neinas does talk a lot, but I doubt he would say he was in favor of a playoff without some discussion with the Big 12 Presidents. So he and Dodds are both speaking in favor of a +1. I can’t imagine the BE continuing to oppose it with their AQ status in jeopardy.

    • zeek says:

      But wouldn’t the Big East prefer AQ to +1? I mean, it’s not going to be easy for them to get teams to the top 4.

      If we do go to a +1, does that mean the BCS Bowls go back to being 4 separate bowls with their own selection processes?

      Are C-USA/MWC, etc. really going to support that as opposed to a BCS where they get a champion to T-16, and they’re home free?

      • zeek says:

        What I mean is, here are the obvious motivations for supporting a +1 if it means the end of the BCS Bowl era:

        SEC: 1-2 teams in the 4 team playoff every year + Sugar Bowl + the rest.

        ACC: more likely to get a team into the 4 team playoff than currently likely to get to top 2 + still have Orange Bowl.

        Big 12: ditto ACC but with Fiesta/Cotton tie ins.

        Pac-12 ditto ACC but with Rose tie in.

        Maybe that’s enough, but then what about the rest? Big Ten won’t support it, and why would the Big East, and the rest of the non-AQs? It’s way easier to get a conference champ to the T-16 for the non-AQs and then fight over which has the highest ranked non-AQ champ.

        Big East has the same story, are they really going to have teams going for top 4? They barely have teams getting to top 20 by the end of the season let alone top 4. They’d probably rather keep the current system because they have no more teams to get poached. The AQ is their calling card.

        ——————————-

        Now, the alternative is to go +1 but keep the AQs. But then why would the Rose Bowl or any of the others participate in this kind of farce? Shouldn’t the BCS Bowls just leave the BCS and then let the +1 go its own way apart from them?

        Then you go back to the above discussion…

        • bullet says:

          The non-AQs are already for it. They get shut out of the championship game now. This will generate more money which they will get some portion of (better than none). And it gives them an outside shot of making the top 4 and the +1 playoff.

          With the BE, they are basically a non-AQ. They aren’t going to make the top 2. And AQ for them is going away at some point. A +1 gives them a shot and generates more money.

  26. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/pac12/post/_/id/31357/the-sec-is-doomed

    Brock Huard said the P12 is poised to surpass the SEC as top conference in football. Huard’s full article is behind the pay wall, but link goes to a blog post about it.

    • Jake says:

      If by surpass he means make more money, then I guess that’s true, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be the best football conference. The Big 10 has been making as much or more money than the SEC, and that hasn’t made them the best. Although I suppose it’s possible the SEC will fail to win a BCS title at some point. Not this year, though.

  27. Brian says:

    We all know the BE is now a marriage of convenience. How long do Boise and SDSU stay in the BE and build their programs before joining the P14? 10 years? How long do UH and SMU stay before the B12 comes calling? If any of these schools put together a solid 5-10 years as an AQ, I can’t see them sticking around. Suddenly having a P16 and B16 seems reasonable again, and the SEC and ACC could easily jump from 14 to 16. Delany’s successor is likely to be the one to take the B10 to 16 unless ND changes their mind soon.

    • redwood86 says:

      Boise St. is at least 50 years from getting into the Pac-12. Academically, it is currently little more than a JC. Similarly, SDSU will have to distinguish itself academically from SJSU, Fresno St., UC-Davis, UCSB, Cal-Poly SLO, CSU-Fullerton, CSU-Northridge, CSU-Sacramento, etc. if it ever wants to get into the Pac-12. I think that it is more likely that UC-Davis develops a powerhouse football program to get into the Pac-12 than SDSU develops the academics.

      • Brian says:

        Just because that has been the traditional stance doesn’t mean it will always be that way. The P12 may at some point consider adding athletic only members with lesser academic standing in order to grow. They may not, too, I’m not saying it is for sure. It probably depends on their next TV deal and/or the power of Scott’s leadership.

    • bullet says:

      They’ll stay until the money ceases to be significantly better.

    • joe4psu says:

      Houston and SMU aren’t getting an invite to the B12 as long as there are 4 Texas schools in the conference.

      • Brian says:

        I don’t see that as set in stone. If they get successful while the BE transplants continue to suck, the B12 may need them to expand again.

        • bullet says:

          Been there, done that. SWC Not going to happen again. Even if SMU and UH start drawing 60k a game (which SMU won’t and UH probably won’t).

      • vp19 says:

        If, for some reason, the Pac and the Texas/Texas Tech/Oklahoma/Okie State combo finally came to an assimilation agreement that satisfied all parties, I could see Houston and Southern Methodist enter the Big 12, though with those four leaving, it would essentially devolve into the Big East of the Plains (plus West Virginia and a few other newcomers).

        • frug says:

          If UT/TTU/OU/OSU all departed it is unlikely that SMU and Houston would join since the Big East would be the stronger conference.

        • bullet says:

          The BE would probably not be stronger and it would definitely have higher costs and continue to be dysfunctional. UH and SMU in that scenario would end up in Big 12.

          • frug says:

            BE would be about equal in football and would definitely be stronger overall since at least they would give UH and SMU games against the Eastern basketball powers.

            Plus, if the PAC-4 split there is a good chance Kansas would catch on somewhere else on the strength of its MBB program, meaning they are looking at joining a conference of Baylor, TCU, K-State, Iowa State and WVU. Even if KU stayed that would still be worse than the Big East.

        • joe4psu says:

          I agree. My point was that the B12 as it is today won’t invite UH and SMU.

    • acaffrey says:

      If you are saying that the Big East will be alive in 10 years to LOSE any of these schools… I think that they would say “deal.” Right now, it is about making it to 2014, not worrying about 2021.

  28. bullet says:

    Air Force says no. I can’t imagine Navy joining BE alone.

    http://www.gazette.com/sports/expanding-129756-story-marinatto.html

    • Brian says:

      Good for them. This pretty much assures that Navy won’t join. Maybe Navy could join the MWC/CUSA merger for football? Army could too, despite their CUSA failure. After all, AF has shown an academy can compete.

  29. cutter says:

    It sounds like there may be a second Big Country Conference on the horizon as C-USA and the Mountain West look to merge into a single all-sports conference. Per the article below, the membership would include the following schools:

    East Carolina, Marshall, Memphis, Rice, Southern Miss, Tulane, Tulsa, UAB and UTEP from C-USA and Air Force, Colorado State, New Mexico, UNLV and Wyoming from the Mountain West along with new members Fresno State, Hawaii and Nevada for a 17-team conference. Air Force was being sought after by the Big East, but the Gazette reported Tuesday evening that the Falcons would remain in the Mountain West.

    See http://brett-mcmurphy.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/29532522/33745889 for more information.

    • Brian says:

      Nothing really new here. They announced their plans a while ago. I’d like to see them get Army and Navy to join, though.

      • cutter says:

        Actually, there is one new thing here and that’s the apparent decision they’ve made that it will be an all-sports conference. Unlike the Big East, which will have teams that are football only, it appears to me that the MWC/C-USA is going to be more all-encompassing.

        Also, of course, there’s the fact that Air Force has opted to stay in MWC as a member of this conference instead of going to the Big East. That strikes me as somewhat significant because it gives an indication that the BE is not that desireable a destination.

        We’ll see if they pull this off and become the Second “Big Country” Conference on the model that Frank wrote about earlier.

      • cutter says:

        One more thing that will be interesting is how they work an eighteen-team conference format for football in terms of scheduling with two 9-team divisions (I assume). They could go with eight divisional games and four non-conference or perhaps they’ll look at nine division games.

        I don’t know if pods would work with 18 teams–that might be a bit tricky. If anything, though, it could provide another test run for what a super conference will look like and operate in the future with the old 16-team WAC being the first attempt at this.

        • Brian says:

          I’d assume they play a round robin in division and no crossover games except their CCG. They may not crossover in any sport. Who knows?

    • bullet says:

      This seems like another AQ influenced deal. They are trying to separate themselves from the WAC/MAC/SB schools. IMO they would be better off long run in trying to form two separate regional conferences stripping the MAC and WAC in the process. They could do a scheduling alliance leading to a joint TV contract when their current deals run out.
      CUSA:
      South-Tulsa, Tulane, USM, UAB, Memphis, ECU, FAU (SB)
      North-Marshall + best of MAC-N. Illinois, W. MIchigan, Toledo, MIami, Ohio, Temple

      MWC
      West-Hawaii, Fresno, UNLV, Nevada, Colorado St., Wyoming, San Jose St.
      East-Rice & UTEP (from CUSA), North Texas (SB), New Mexico, Air Force, Navy, Utah St.

      An alternative would be for CUSA to get UMass and send Tulsa to MWC with USU or SJSU missing out or to stop at 12 with USU & SJSU left out of MWC and Ohio and Temple or Miami left out of CUSA.

      The remaining WAC, MAC and Sun Belt would probably seriously consider returning to FBS, but most likely the MAC and Sun Belt would form a mirror to CUSA along with La Tech and perhaps 1 or more of UTSA, TX St & New Mexico St.

      I think megaconference CUSA, WAC 16 on steroids or whatever it becomes called won’t last 5 years even if the Big 5 conferences stand pat.

      • Brian says:

        It is partially AQ influenced, but I think it is also about helping their top team get 1 more good win to climb in the rankings. The problem with your regional conferences is that you are basically reassembling former conferences that broke up for a reason. You don’t think the SWC will return, but you think the WAC and MWC should merge? You think Marshall and the MAC should get back together?

        I think the core of the MAC would be hard to steal. The Ohio MAC schools are all part of the same university system. They would likely protect Kent State, BGSU and Akron by not letting the others go. I think the ties between the Ohio schools are strong enough to keep them together. It’s not like there would be any serious money in your CUSA.

        The lower level schools will also take travel costs more seriously. Travel means nothing to the big boys but is a serious concern for MAC, Sun Belt and WAC schools.

        • bullet says:

          Without BYU, SDSU, Utah and TCU, yes it makes sense. Toledo has been talking to CUSA before. Not sure they protect each other.

  30. bullet says:

    Interesting article. UCF students aren’t too excited. I think the Big East made a major strategic blunder stringing out UCF, UH and SMU. They lost all the excitement and news factors on those campuses.

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/college/knights/os-ucf-big-east-campus-reaction-1208-20111207,0,429566.story

    • Brian says:

      Hard to get excited about something that’s been rumored/known for months. Being finals week and the off season in football didn’t help. They’ll be plenty excited when they start seeing USF on their schedule every year. I’ll bet the AD is thrilled at the prospect of getting that BE TV and tourney money.

  31. bullet says:

    Looked like BE was inviting SMU and UH coachless (UH coach is mentioned for EVERY opening). June Jones was on his way to ASU, but they pulled the offer after it had been accepted in principal, apparently because fans didn’t like the hire. Sounds pretty low life. Maybe Jerry Sandusky would fit ASU. I can imagine everyone will use this against them in recruiting. If they pull offers to coaches, how can a recruit trust them?

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7327205/arizona-state-sun-devils-pull-coaching-offer-smu-mustangs-june-jones-sources-say

  32. Christian in Texas says:

    Hook ‘em

  33. bullet says:

    Really interesting quotes from ADs about +1, bowls, an NCAA split. Plenty of fodder for a future post(s) for you Frank. Its also interesting to note that its the “IMG” forum.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/andy_staples/12/07/img-forum-plus-one-ncaa/index.html?eref=sihp&sct=hp_t11_a2

    Many think +1 is inevitable, bowl hierarchy is unnecessary, cutting out the middleman on +1, big schools pulling out of 300 school NCAA Division I. Big 12 ADs approved supporting a +1.

    • charlie says:

      I read that article as well earlier today – he has some interesting points and quotes in there

      for the plus-one model, I forget which article it was said, but someone made the point that really, the only 2 conferences still objecting to it at this point are the B1G and Pac-12 (to preserve the Rose Bowl), however, Larry Scott has been thinking progressively. even though Delany seems to be innately against it, the B1G and Pac-12 will go hand-in-hand on any decision, so, if Scott comes around, Delany should soon follow

      as for the BCS conferences breaking off, I’ve had that idea for about a year now, and it seems like the only logical conclusion. for starters, giving the same rules for sports to Ohio State and the University of Rhode Island is asinine. secondly, the $2,000 stipend will definitely cement the line between the haves and have-nots. but, mostly, I’ve always thought that the BCS conference schools have growing too big for the NCAA, and, at this point, they can survive with the NCAA. think about it: a group consisting of Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Florida, Texas, USC, Bama, ect doesn’t need the NCAA to survive, and more than likely wants to set up its own rules regarding recruiting, amature status, ect. D1-A has already broken off partially from the NCAA in terms of the bowl season, there’s no reason to think that they won’t go all the way and completely set up an entirely separate entity

      • bullet says:

        It was interesting that Stanford’s AD as well as Washington said +1 was inevitable. I don’t think the Pac 12′s and Big 10′s interests with regards to bowls necessarily coincide. The bowls don’t want the Pac 12 schools for the most part.

        • OT says:

          If Jim Delany and Mike Slive had their way, the bowls will line up like this in 2014:

          BCS Championship – #1 vs #2

          Rose – PAC vs B1G

          Fiesta – PAC vs XII

          Cotton – XII vs SEC

          Sugar – SEC vs B1G

          Orange – SEC vs B1G

          No more big bowls for the ACC or BIG EAST.

    • Brian says:

      It’s very important to note that it is only AD’s saying this, not presidents. The B12 ADs and Beebe were in favor before and the presidents of the B12 said no. I haven’t seen evidence that the presidents are changing their minds yet.

    • Brian says:

      http://cfn.scout.com/2/1136886.html

      Pete Fiutak at CFN responds by explaining why a plus one is a bad thing. CFN also has an article showing what every year of the BCS period would have looked like with a plus one (there’s a link in the Fiutak article). It doesn’t turn out well most years.

      • bullet says:

        It all looks fine to me. There are no “Monster” controversies. This year isn’t great since Stanford is so over-rated simply because they have only one loss. And 2008 would be controversial, but it was already extremely controversial.

    • frug says:

      I read that last night and the thing that struck me was the implications that the have nots might be the ones that trigger the breakaway (if it’s the AQ’s that leave the NCAA) if/when they decide they can longer keep up with the Big Boys.

      • Bullet says:

        Actually I think very few are truly opposed to a plus 1, including the Big 10. They are opposed to the possible implications of a plus 1:
        1) the possibility of losing control of the revenue stream (other conferences and players); and
        2) bracket creep which could harm the regular season or their differentiation from
        the non-AQs.

        • Brian says:

          Very few who? Fans, ADs or presidents?

          I’ll guarantee you Delany is against a plus 1, and he presumably has the support of the COP/C for his stance since he has been so vocal about it. The B12 presidents shot down the idea before. I think a lot of presidents are and will remain against this.

          • bullet says:

            Very few fans, ADs OR Presidents. They’re opposed to the consequences that they believe might follow in future years. The anonymous quotes (which carry more weight than public explanations which are just propaganda) talk about bracket creep and damage to the regular season. When they publically talk about the number of games or wear and tear or class time-they turn around and expand the number of games and the number of games played in DC or Arlington or Atlanta and they try to expand the playoff field in every other sport, to say nothing of abandoning regional conferences and increasing travel (I’m talking about A&M,Missouri, Pitt and SU, not just Boise and SDSU) You also hear them anonymously talking about avoiding the NCAA bb tourney where the revenue is shared and basically funds the whole NCAA organization.

            I think there would be extremely wide support if somehow they could be guaranteed 4 doesn’t lead to 8 to 16… and that the big conferences could still control the revenue distribution.

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            I think there are more presidents against it than you do, and I while I agree the potential consequences are a big part of it, I think many of them believe the other reasons (injuries, class time, extending into a second semester, etc) too. I believe many of the presidents feel athletics are getting too big and too powerful and they will fight what they see as a pure money grab that is not intended to help the students in any way.

  34. OT says:

    One model being discussed for the new “Conference USA”:

    USA Division

    Marshall
    East Carolina
    Memphis
    UAB
    Southern Mississippi
    Tulane
    Tulsa
    Rice
    UTEP

    Mountain Division

    New Mexico
    Air Force
    Colorado State
    Wyoming
    UNLV
    Fresno State
    Nevada
    Hawaii (football only, through 2013)

    UTEP would move over to the Mountain Division if Hawaii were to leave.

    Let’s see whether the 3 Pacific Time Zone schools (UNLV, Fresno, Nevada) really want to be part of this league, with no TCU or Boise State.

    =================

    Realignment is far from over.

    Still in play:

    1. Notre Dame – ACC?

    2. Rutgers or Connecticut – ACC?

    3. Louisville – XII?

    4. Hawaii – Independent or BIG EAST?

    5. Temple and/or UMASS – BIG EAST?

    6. Villanova – BIG EAST?

    7. Appalachian State

    8. Georgia State

    9. Lamar

    10. Sam Houston State

    ==

    No longer in play:

    BYU – independent in football for the forseeable future

    • bullet says:

      Georgia State just started football last year. They are essentially next door to Georgia Tech. They are not moving up.

      Sam Houston can’t afford it. Lamar has to find someone who wants them.

      I suspect Villanova had their chance and blew it by taking too long and trying to get in too cheap.

    • Mack says:

      Where would NV, UNLV, and Fresno go? Back to the WAC with 3 CTZ and 3 MTZ members in the round robin? The big country CUSA will have 5 teams in MTZ and only have one or two cross division games in CTZ or ETZ. So yes they will stay. I expect Hawaii to leave because it will be better off as an independent. It will not get a BE invite. That is two time zones too far, and does not have that much of a following.
      :
      Unless Notre Dame makes a move (highly unlikely), the ACC will not expand again until several years after it is running with 14 members. The BE still needs 2 more members to have a CCG if Pittsburg and Syracuse start in the ACC in 2013 which is likely.

      • OT says:

        Football TV outlets for the WAC, CUSA, and MWC:

        WAC – ESPNU, ESPN3.com

        CUSA – FOX Sports Net (with final on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPNU as lawsuit settlement)

        MWC – the mtn., CBS Sports Network, NBC Sports Network

  35. OT says:

    As for the BIG EAST and its next TV deal:

    1. NBC Sports Network has a ton of time to fill on Wednesday nights, Thursday nights, and all day on Saturdays.

    (NBC Sports Network will have NHL on Monday and Tuesday nights, and Notre Dame hockey every other Friday night.)

    2. Turner Sports wants to use sports to jack up subscriber fees for truTV (the way it used the Braves to build up TBS and the NBA to build up TNT.)

    The BIG EAST will get its money, one way or another, because too many TV networks want the inventory (even if ESPN, Inc. has no room for BIG EAST football anymore.)

    ===

    the mtn. might be put out of its misery sooner rather than later if the Mountain West Conference were to be absorbed into the new “Conference USA”.

  36. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Today, Tulane University announced plans to construct a 30,000 seat $70 million on-campus stadium to be ready for the 2014 season.

    http://www.tulanestadium.com/

    Earlier this week, Tulane announced the hiring of Saints receivers coach Curtis Johnson as its next head coach. Johnson is a New Orleans native and brings over 25 years of coaching experience from both the collegiate and professional level to the Green Wave and has been a part of an NFL Championship with the New Orleans Saints and an NCAA National Championship with the University of Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes.

    Watch out C-USA, the Greenies might just be respectable in a few years.

    • bullet says:

      I’ve been surprised by the schools investing in the program instead of folding. Akron built a new stadium. SMU did in the 90s. UCF, FAU and FIU have. TCU has. UNLV is seriously talking about it and Houston is almost there on fundraising. Colorado St. is talking about it. Tulane is doing it now. Baylor has plans as well. Akron and Tulane are two schools I had expected would decide the cost wasn’t worth it and would have dropped football sometime this decade.

      Except for TCU and UH (which has a glorified HS stadium), all the others are moving on campus from off-campus sites. Among AQs, Minnesota also recently moved from a pro stadium to a new on-campus facility.

  37. Brian says:

    Charlie Weis? Really KU? Was it the terrible UF offense this year or the lack of success at ND that made him attractive? Maybe it’s that he will fit in Mangino’s hand-me-downs?

    • Abe Froman says:

      The obesity is the first reason that popped into my head too. KU remembers success under one Jabba the Coach, so now they are going after another.
      I don’t see it working.

  38. Brian says:

    Larry Fedora to UNC is interesting. He had a winning record every season at USM, and was 33-19 overall. UNC offers a lot more resources, but it is definitely not a football school. This sort of hire makes it seem like UNC is aiming to be solidly above average in the ACC but nothing more.

    • vp19 says:

      I’m still surprised Fedora chose UNC over A&M, especially given family ties to College Station. But I sense he’s using Chapel Hill as a steppingstone, just as Mack Brown did.

      • m (Ag) says:

        The reports have been that if A&M doesn’t hire a big name (and there have been several names rumored) then Kevin Sumlin of Houston will be the choice. He has his own ties to A&M, having spent 2 years as an assistant coach there.

    • rich2 says:

      Before the dust settles this academic year, our Big 10 leaders will wish that it had “encouraged” PSU to self-impose a ban on bowl participation (University of Miami) instead of allowing PSU to represent us at the Ticketmaster Bowl (or is it the StairMaster Bowl). I listened to a forum led by H.G. Bissinger (“Friday Night Lights”) in which he argued so eloquently and forcefully on behalf of the duty that PSU has to place institutional integrity above any one game, it made me realize again that the steps taken or not taken by PSU and the Big 10 now will be mentioned in news reports and stories for decades — and of course I thought about the “show must go on” advocates on this board.

      • Bullet says:

        Some of us don’t believe in collective responsibility. In the worst interpretation of events, only a half dozen or so people were involved and only Joe Paterno was currently directly involved with the football program. Why punish these players for something the school administration did that didn’t directly affect the football program? In fact, no athlete at Penn St. was ever involved with these matters.

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