As we adjust to a world where Eli Manning has twice as many Super Bowl rings and MVP trophies as his brother Peyton, conference expansion and realignment talk has picked up again along with a major update from the Big Ten on the college football playoff front.  (Note: I love that Peyton Manning is taking a public stance that he supposedly would be open to an incentive-based contract.  You know that his agent is just baiting Daniel Snyder to offer up a $35 million guaranteed signing bonus behind the scenes.  I have a hunch that the NFL’s 2012 season opener is going to be a Manning Bowl between the Giants and Redskins.)  Let’s take a look at these developments in order:

1. Big 12 Expansion Rumors I: The Unrealistic ACC Raid Scenario – The hot rumor going around conference realignment circles right now is that the Big 12 is supposedly targeting Florida State and Clemson from the ACC, with the source being “The Dude” from West Virginia blog Eerinsider*.  Is this really possible?  I guess there’s a smidgen of a chance of this occurring when taking into account the possible TV rights at stake in a new Big 12 deal.  The fact that Clemson has just formed an Athletic Advisory Committee that is going to review a whole range of issues has added some fuel to the fire.  It certainly wouldn’t surprise me at all that the Big 12 has attempted to lure FSU and Clemson over the past few months.

[* If your life depended upon it, which of the following cartoonish caricatures would you trust the most with expansion news?

(a) The Dude
(b) Frank the Tank
(c) The Wolf
(d) Teen Wolf
(e) Craig James

For me, it's The Wolf all the way.]

However, I’ll repeat what I’ve stated many times before on this blog: the ACC is much much much stronger than football-focused fans give them credit for.  Believe me – it pains me to say that as someone that would love nothing more than to see Duke get sent to the Southern Conference.  The problem with all of the rumors that we’ve seen over the years about the ACC being vulnerable is that they fall into the trap of thinking like a fan or even an athletic director or coach (who might actually care about losing BCS bowls all of the time) instead of a university president (where the ACC slaps the SEC and Big 12 around in terms of academic prestige even worse than how the SEC and Big 12 beat up on the ACC on the football field).  As much as people are obsessed with football TV dollars, the difference between what the ACC receives compared to the average Big Ten or SEC school really isn’t that massive of a gap, especially in relation to the overall institutional revenue that schools like North Carolina, Duke and Virginia bring in.  The ACC schools are firmly in the “haves” category.  If you don’t believe me, take from Oklahoma and Big 12 partisan Barry Tramel from The Oklahoman, who had the following response to a question about the rumor at the 11:00 mark in this online chat:

No. I haven’t heard it. And I’m sure the Big 12 has talked to a lot of people. I’m sure the Big 12 called Clemson and said, “Hey, we’ve got a great idea. How about you, Florida State and” “No thanks.” “But wait,” the Big 12 responded, “you didn’t let us finish. We’re talking about you, and” “Not interested.” The ACC is solid. Academically and financially and athletically. Let me promise you, while fans get all worked about how Orange Bowls in a row the ACC has lost, the presidents do not.

Let’s put it another way: once you get past Texas and Oklahoma, is there any other current Big 12 school that is more valuable than Virginia Tech,Virginia, Florida State, Clemson, North Carolina, Miami, Maryland, Georgia Tech or N.C. State?  Heck, is there any other non-UT/OU Big 12 school that would be picked by the Big Ten or SEC (who have more poaching power than anyone) over any ACC school besides maybe Wake Forest?  Kansas is probably the only other Big 12 school in that discussion as a marquee basketball program with solid academics, but even the Jayhawks are one-upped in hoops TV value and ivory tower appeal by UNC and those rat bastards at Duke.  The ACC is significantly deeper than the Big 12 when it comes to the academic, name brand and market values of the institutions from top-to-bottom.  Football fans are focused on the lack of BCS bowl wins by the ACC, while university presidents are focused on the great markets and high academic standards of the conference.  It’s the latter group that makes conference realignment decisions.  So, while the ACC continues to receive potshots from the fan-based blog and message board crowd, I’ll bet heavily that they’re coming out of this unscathed on the heels of their newly renegotiated ESPN deal.

2. Big 12 Expansion Rumors II: The More Realistic Louisville/BYU (or TBD) Scenario – I don’t claim Dude-like sources, but for what it’s worth, I’ve heard from two separate places that validate what The Chronicle of Higher Education reported a couple of weeks ago: the Big 12 wants Louisville as school number 11 with BYU as the preferred choice for school number 12.  Louisville is the easy part of the equation – both parties want each other and if the addition of the Cardinals alone wouldn’t result in an odd number of schools, they would have been in the Big 12 a long time ago.  The issue, of course, is that BYU has been far from easy to work with for any conference.  We actually have to twist the mantra here of “Think like a university president and not like fan” and apply the standard of “Think like a church leader and not like a university president” for the purposes of BYU.  From standpoint of the vast majority of universities, it would have made perfect sense for BYU to have joined either the Big 12 or Big East months ago.  However, the decisions at BYU are being ultimately driven by LDS leadership and it appears that they are enamored of their independent ESPN exposure along with the opportunity to build up a greater audience for BYUtv.  Essentially, they’ve caught Notre Dame-itis.

The problem for the Big 12 is that there isn’t any realistic alternative for school number 12 besides BYU (assuming that, like me, you don’t buy the rumor that the Big 12 will raid the ACC).  Floaters about the Big 12 adding other Big East schools, such as Rutgers or Cincinnati, appear to be red herrings and not serious.  (Note that I personally thought that the Big 12 could try a Northeastern expansion with Rutgers and UConn to integrate West Virginia further.  This should be used as a “The More You Know” public service announcement warning of the evils of drinking while blogging.)  So, the Big 12 seems like they would be willing to pull the trigger on adding Louisville at any moment, but the open question is whether that the league would be fine with adding them as #11 without knowing that there’s a satisfactory #12.  That’s where the two people that I’ve talked to diverge: one says yes while the other says no.  My inclination is that the answer is “no”.  The Big Ten was willing to live with 11 schools for almost two decades, but that’s because (1) school #11 was Penn State that was a clear national football power with a huge market (arguably the entire East Coast) and massive fan base and (2) the league legitimately believed that it would add Notre Dame as school #12 in relatively short order.  As a result, the Big Ten was willing to wait for another football power to shake loose from the realignment tree (which ended up being Nebraska) instead of going immediately up to 12.

In contrast, there’s little reason for the Big 12 to go up to 11 without going all the way to 12.  Louisville is a fairly strong revenue generator (especially on the basketball side), but not at a Penn State/Notre Dame-level where it’s enough to justify passing up on conference championship game revenue with a 12th school.  Now, I could see Louisville being added alone as school #11 if the Big 12 gets to a point where it reasonably believes that BYU (or some other school deemed revenue accretive enough) will join as school #12 within a short period of time (no more than one season).  As I noted in my last post, the opening of the negotiations between ABC/ESPN and the Big 12 regarding an extension of their current contract will be a key date.  Once that starts, the chances of the Big 12 expanding in the near-term drop precipitously since the league needs to have (if it knows what it’s doing) a 12-team setup for a conference championship game to offer by that time if that’s truly their end goal.  That means that further Big 12 expansion, if it’s going to occur, will need to happen fairly quickly (e.g. prior to this summer).

3.  Big East Walking in Memphis: More Than a Rumor – In more concrete news, Brett McMurphy of CBSSports.com has reported that the Big East is in the late stages of negotiations with Memphis to add the school for the 2013 season, with other reports noting that an announcement will be made tomorrow (Wednesday).  This follows up an initial Kevin McNamara Tweet from last week stating the same.  The irony is that the probable elimination of the concept of automatic-qualifier status from the BCS system was the best thing that could have happened to Memphis even though attaining such AQ status was such an important goal for the school for a long time.  Memphis, on paper, is an excellent fit for the Big East as an institution: large urban school with a good-sized market and a great basketball program.  The problem was that adding Memphis, which has been football-inept for several years now, would have destroyed the Big East’s AQ criteria figures.  Without those figures to worry about anymore, the Big East could add Memphis in good conscience, which it otherwise liked overall.

Now, this brings up the question as to whether the Big East believes that it will have to backfill for a potential departure of Louisville to the Big 12 (as described above), so it moved on Memphis before that occurred.  I’m a little surprised that the Big East hasn’t ended up adding another western football-only school to fill out that far flung division (while keeping the all-sports membership at 16), although that could very well be the next move on the table, especially if there are further defections.  For now, though, it looks like Memphis is finally going to get its long-time wish of a Big East invite.

4.  B1G Playoff Plan – Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune had a story that was extremely significant on the ongoing discussion of changes to the postseason: several Big Ten athletic directors have proactively and openly set forth a plan for a seeded 4-team playoff on campus sites with the higher seeds as hosts.  The national championship game would then be bid out separately to neutral sites, similar to the Super Bowl.  Just as Jim Delany stating that he was open to at least a discussion about a plus-one system last month was a large indicator of a future paradigm shift, the fact that a number of Big Ten ADs are willing to go on-record with supporting a seeded playoff is pretty massive.  Not so long ago (AKA December 2011), a Big Ten AD caught supporting any type of playoff would have been immediately summoned to the Big Ten headquarters in Park Ridge and then his lifeless body would be found floating down the Des Plaines River the next day.

To be sure, the caveat to all of this is that, as with conference realignment, any decision regarding the college football postseason will be made by the university presidents as opposed to the commissioners and athletic directors.  However, when the Big Ten as an entity has, for as long as anyone can remember, been so staunchly and uniformly against any hint of a playoff and placed a muzzle on any dissenters, there’s more than just idle chatter here when you see the commissioner and ADs suddenly start openly talk about it.

As Greenstein noted in a discussion on WSCR-AM today, the Big Ten is now effectively saying, “We have now presented a plan for a 4-team playoff.  It’s not our fault if one isn’t passed.”  Thus, it appears that a large impetus for the Big Ten setting forth this proposal is to put some of the onus on the other conferences.  For quite awhile, whether rightly or wrongly, the other conferences could largely deflect criticism over the BCS system onto Jim Delany and the Big Ten (and to a lesser extent, the Pac-12 and Rose Bowl) even if their own university presidents weren’t necessarily on board.  Indeed, the Big 12 and Big East were the ones that ultimately killed a 4-team plus-one proposal from the SEC and ACC in 2008.

One tweak that I’d like to see to this plan (and previously suggested by Andy Staples and Slant commenter Eric, among others) is to have the losers of the semifinal games be placed back into the BCS bowl selection pool.  So, if the Big Ten champ or Pac-12 champ loses in a semifinal game, they would still end up going to the Rose Bowl.  Even though there’s a real concern that the fan base of a semifinal game loser might not be as willing to travel, I don’t see it as being much different than conference championship game losers being selected for top bowls (which happens quite frequently).  Plus, the bowls themselves would still ultimately rather have access to more higher-ranked teams instead of diluting the BCS pool even further.  This seems like a reasonable compromise to preserve the value of the top bowls such as the Rose Bowl while still providing for a seeded 4-team playoff.

To be honest, I never thought that the Big Ten would get behind a seeded plus-one/4-team playoff scenario, much less lead a proposal to do just that.  It’s good to be surprised every once in awhile.

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

(Image from Food Network)

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Comments
  1. B1G Jeff says:

    Go U NU!!!

    Like

  2. Denogginizer says:

    GBR

    Like

  3. greg says:

    Hawkeyes.

    Like

  4. StevenD says:

    I am fully in favor of a four-team semi-final occurring the week after the CCGs; however, I would like to see the champions of the best conferences have automatic entry to the semi-finals. This would make the CCGs for those conferences into quarter-finals for the national championship. It would also increase the importance of conference games, reduce the importance of the BCS beauty contest, and enable potential champions to schedule tough OOC games early in the season without jeopardizing their eventual participation in the NCG.

    The big question is: how do you decide which conference champions get automatic entry to the semi-finals? The fairest way to decide this is on the field early in the season. I suggest that each of the six BCS conferences should play a full-slate of games against one of the others to determine which conference gets the auto-entry to the semi-finals. The B1G and the Pac12 are already moving in this direction. Imagine how exciting the WSU-Indiana and Arizona-Minnesota games would be if the outcomes determined which conference would get automatic entry to the semi-finals. Every game would be crucial and would garner huge TV ratings.

    The SEC and ACC both have 14 teams, so perhaps they would like to have a full slate of matches against each other early in the season? If so, the winning conference should be rewarded with automatic entry to the semi-finals. The same should apply to the Big10 and the BigEast . If all six conferences participated, it would lock up three of the four semi-final positions, leaving the last position to be determined by BCS ranking. However, if two (or four) conferences decided not to participate in these inter-conference matches, then one (or two) more semi-final places would be determined by BCS rankings.

    This combination of inter-conference challenges early in the season and automatic entry to the semi-finals for conference champions at the conclusion of the season will significantly enhance the entire football season. It will put the focus squarely on the conferences, not the BCS, and create a path to NCG determined by conference success, not by arbitrary rankings.

    Like

    • jj says:

      I can relate to this as I feel that winning a conf is a pre-req for a post season appearance. But, I suspect we may be in the minority.

      Problem is you have 5 conferences of “top tier” teams that would demand an auto bid, plus the Beast, ND and the scraps (and I mean that in an endearing way) to worry about.

      If this comes to pass, we’ll end up with a poll or committee or something.

      Like

    • Richard says:

      Pretty much all conferences would want to lock up a semifinal berth for their champ by playing the BE (likewise, all other conferences would want to avoid playing the SEC with a berth for the conference champ on the line).

      Pretty cool idea. Don’t see it happening.

      Like

      • StevenD says:

        Yeah, the BigEast is too easy. So let’s leave them out and let the Big10 and the SEC play for the second semi-final slot. That way two of the slots go to the highest BCS teams and two of them go automatically to conference champions (B1G or Pac12 and Big10 or SEC).

        Like

        • Richard says:

          B12, you mean? I mean, I’d love for the B10 to get a shot at 2 automatic semifinal berths, but I don’t think the other conferences will allow that.

          Like

          • StevenD says:

            Damn, this 10-team Big12 and 12-team Big10 is twisting my brain. Yes, I meant Big12. The B1G already has partnered with the Pac12, so that leaves the Big12 to partner with the SEC. Imagine how interesting the early season games would be with both the Pac12-B1G and Big12-SEC (or ACC-SEC) playing a full slate of matches.

            Like

    • frug says:

      Problem is that every wants to get rid of the concept of AQ and non-AQ. The big dogs are tired of giving up bowl access (and deal with anti-trust complaints) while the mid-majors believe it is worth sacrificing access to eliminate what they consider a caste system.

      Like

    • vp19 says:

      The big question is: how do you decide which conference champions get automatic entry to the semi-finals? The fairest way to decide this is on the field early in the season. I suggest that each of the six BCS conferences should play a full-slate of games against one of the others to determine which conference gets the auto-entry to the semi-finals. The B1G and the Pac12 are already moving in this direction. Imagine how exciting the WSU-Indiana and Arizona-Minnesota games would be if the outcomes determined which conference would get automatic entry to the semi-finals. Every game would be crucial and would garner huge TV ratings.

      The SEC and ACC both have 14 teams, so perhaps they would like to have a full slate of matches against each other early in the season? If so, the winning conference should be rewarded with automatic entry to the semi-finals.

      I’m sorry, but this reeks too much of the “this time it counts” perversion of the MLB All-Star Game. Suppose the Pac-12 and SEC won their respective conference matches, but both Wisconsin and Virginia Tech went unbeaten in the regular season. If only the fourth playoff slot is an at-large, one of those two will be left out.

      Like

      • StevenD says:

        Good point. Two semi-final places must be available to the top two BCS teams. That leaves two semi-final places to be determined by conference challenge matches.

        The Pac12 and B1G have already decided to have challenge matches, so the winning conference should get one semi-final place. The remaining semi-final place would then be available to the SEC/ACC/Big12 (whichever two arranged a full set of challenge matches).

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Again, a neat idea, but there would be an uproar the first time a 9-4 or 10-3 team in Conference A wins Conference A’s title game and gets in while the 12-1 or 13-0 winner of Conference B gets left out because the dregs of Conference A beat the dregs of Conference B (assume the other 2 spots are taken by undefeated teams).

          Like

          • StevenD says:

            Dregs? What about a conference that has no dregs?

            If we are going to play “what if”, what if a conference is very strong from top to bottom and the teams beat up on each other every week, leaving the conference champion with three losses. Doesn’t that team deserve to be in the semi-final?

            By giving two semi-final places to the two strongest conferences (determined by early-season challenge matches), you insure that top teams in tough conferences have the same opportunity as undefeated teams in weak conferences.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Uh, Steve, what conference “has no dregs”?

            OK, scenario with details:

            In 2017, the B10-Pac challenge goes like this (winners in front):
            tOSU-USC
            Michigan-Oregon
            Nebraska-UCLA
            Washington-PSU
            Stanford-Wisconsin
            Iowa-ASU
            Arizona-MSU (MSU loses in the desert where they have trouble dealing with the heat)
            Northwestern-Utah
            Cal-Illinois
            Colorado-Minny
            OregonSt.-PU
            WSU-IU

            Pac wins challenge 7-5.

            In the B10, tOSU rolls through their schedule, but gets upset by Michigan on a bad weather day in Ann Arbor where Meyer’s spread & speed advantage isn’t so effective & UM’s seniors play out of their minds on Senior Day. tOSU beats UM on a neutral field in the title game to finish the season 12-1.

            In the Pac North, Oregon & Stanford win all games except Stanford’s loss at Oregon & Oregon’s loss to Michigan.

            In the Pac South, USC drops 4 games (Stanford, tOSU, Texas, and ND). In the Pac championship game, Oregon meets a dominating D-line for only the second time in the season and lose for the second time in a season to USC.

            Texas is undefeated and gets a berth. ND is undefeated and gets a berth. SEC champ gets a berth (heck, say it’s ‘Bama, and they’re also undefeated). USC finished 9-4 & lost to 2 of the 3 other playoff teams already. However, because their league won the challenge, they get an automatic berth.

            tOSU stays home despite being the strongest one-loss team and gets to watch a 4-loss USC team that they beat play in the playoff instead of them because of your system.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Oh wait; Stanford would have to lose to ND as well. Eh, it doesn’t change anything.

            Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            All conferences have dregs. The mighty SEC has Handy Kentucky and Old Miss, and others who take turns at being lousy. The Big Ten has had Indiana and Minnesota recently. The Big 12 has Kansas and (most years, anyway) Iowa State and Baylor. And so on.

            Like

  5. jj says:

    Nice piece. I’d been out of the loop for awhile so I appreciate the summary.

    Also, totally agree on all points made on ACC. Adding Pitt and Cuse only makes them stronger. If, and it’s a big if, anyone left it would be for the B10 or SEC only.

    Like

  6. Richard says:

    I still believe that the matchups for the bowls (other than maybe the semifinal losers) will be announced after Championship week rather than later. Even if the B10 would like to see their champ in the Rose if they lose in a semifinal (and the Rose certainly would want that), no other conference besides maybe the Pac would get behind the idea of delaying bowl selection (thus making travel plans more expensive) on the off-chance that a B10 or Pac champion loses in a semifinal.

    Semifinal losers may still go to a bowl (if semifinals are played Army-Navy week), but it would be to a bowl with strong local attendance & not dependent on traveling fans (like the Sun Bowl or bowl in Houston; Fiesta Bowl gets strong local attendance as well, but they may pass on hosting the semifinal losers).

    The schedule would set up pretty nicely, actually:
    NYE: Semifinal losers face off
    NYD: Rose + Sugar
    1/2: Orange
    1/3: Fiesta
    1/4: Championship.

    Like

  7. Wes says:

    Frank,

    I am surprised you didn’t mention Tulane (and its under-construction on-campus football stadium) as a possibility for the Big XII if BYU passes. Thoughts?

    Like

    • @Wes – Doubtful that Tulane would be seriously considered for the Big 12. There’s a good chance that if BYU passes, the Big 12 will just sit at 10 – getting to 12 in and of itself isn’t really the goal. However, I definitely believe that Tulane would be high on the list for any further Big East expansion (or as a replacement for any defection). Tulane fits the Big East profile well – urban school in a solid market, with great academics to boot.

      Like

      • Steve says:

        Your buddy Greg Swaim, at Big Time Sports Media, says BYU has worked out their major issues with the Big-12 and ESPN. Just a few minor details left to iron out. Louisville and BYU will be announced as new members separately in June. ESPN is demanding 12 schools and a CCG to reopen the contract early and they badly want BYU for their national following,

        Like

        • vp19 says:

          I’m sure Louisville would love to ditch the Big East (and remember, OT, it’s not all caps) now that Memphis is going to join.

          As for divisions in a 12-team Big 12 that adds UL and Brigham Young, it’s a quandary. You could put the Texas and Oklahoma members in a South division, but your North division would stretch across three time zones — rather unwieldy. There’s talk Texas would like to break up the four state schools, and you could split them into two in each division and have them play each other annually (a la the Pac-12’s four California members). But there’s no truly perfect divisional setup, given geography.

          Like

      • Wes says:

        @Frank- Thanks for responding. Regarding Tulane in the Big East, I just don’t see it. Tulane styles it as a national academic institution that happens to play sports. I think the school is a better academic and cultural fit in the ACC (should it ever need to replace any teams lost to either the BIG or the SEC) than I do the Big East (although, where I am in NYC, there are a surprising amount of Tulane alumni around, so maybe a Tulane – St. Johns tilt at the Garden would draw them out–who knows).

        Now, if the Big East had an academic consortium ala the BIG, then maybe Tulane would be more eager to associate with G’Town, Villanova, and Rutgers.

        As an aside, does the ACC have a CIC component like the BIG does?

        Like

        • OT says:

          Tulane is in the WRONG time zone for the ACC, which wants to remain exclusively in the Eastern Time Zone.

          Furthermore, Tulane is in a shrinking TV market. New Orleans is no longer in the Top 50.

          Tulane is stuck in the no-man’s land that is MWCUSA. Not even the BIG EAST wants anything to do with Tulane.

          The XII has much bigger fish available for its #12 (assuming that Louisville is #11.) Rutgers and Maryland, for example.

          Like

        • frug says:

          No one else has a CIC component. (Though some conferences are in the rudimentary stages of trying to set one up)

          Like

          • Richard says:

            The ACC set up something like that a few years back (due to Shalala at Miami, who’s from Wisconsin), though it’s not as extensive as the CIC. The SEC might have started something as well, but it’s also at the level of the ACC’s (or lower).

            Like

          • frug says:

            That’s what I was referring to when I noted that some had them in rudimentary stages). The SEC and the ACC have systems but they are not integrated to the degree that the CIC is so they are not providing the sort of tangible benefits the CIC offers.

            Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Wes – Tulane’s state-of-the-art 30,000 seat on-campus stadium isn’t under construction yet, but most of the money has been raised. Tulane would be a great addition to the Big XII. This week, Tulane signed its first 4 star recruit in the history go the program, who was previously an Aggie commitment.

      Like

  8. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX 2012 Pre-Season #1 LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

    College Baseball is just around the corner.

    Like

  9. joe4psu says:

    Just want to point out that last year it was thought ridiculous to consider that A&M would join the SEC. I for one will not be surprised if Clemson and FSU end up in the B12. When the B12 negotiates it’s next tier 1 contract the ACC’s contract, which is supposed to last through 2026 I believe, will probably leave them 5 – 7 million dollars a year behind the B12. That is A LOT of money over the course of the contract. Plus, that doesn’t include whatever income the B12 schools can negotiate for themselves from tier 3 rights. The ACC has given their 3rd tier rights to *SPN if I’m not mistaken.

    I have seen no proof that joining the B12 would hurt any school academically or cause them financial damage. It is a bad argument. It is just like the argument that many people make about PSU being dependent on the B1G for their growth in research dollars. In fact, if you look at PSU’s growth in research dollars since joining the B1G it is in line with overall growth in research dollars at all institutions. Our growth has been average. I’m basing this on figures from the National Science Foundation:

    NSF R&D $ – http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/rdexpenditures/

    2009 figures:

    http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf11313/pdf/tab27.pdf

    2008 figures:

    http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf10311/pdf/tab27.pdf

    Like

    • FSUGrad99 says:

      Whatever monetary advantages there are to the Big 12 are quickly undone by the complete mess that that conference is.

      Texas having a sweat deal for themselves may keep the conference together, but it makes it terribly unattractive to schools that have multiple (better) options to chose from.

      If FSU even returns a call from the Big 12, I will personally fire bomb the president’s office.

      Like

      • LonghornLawyer says:

        Texas has no “sweet deal” that everybody else in the conference doesn’t share. Texas gets to keep its Tier 3 rights, just like everybody else in the Big XII. Kansas sells its Tier 3 rights for somewhere around $8M/year. Oklahoma is about to sell its Tier 3 rights to Fox for around $6M. For all its bitching about Texas, Nebraska got $3M for its Tier 3 rights in 2010.

        Right now, the ACC has control of Florida State’s Tier 3 rights. After it negotiates its new contract for Tier 1 rights, it is expected that the ACC media rights package will only earn its member schools $14-15M/year. That’s for its Tier 1, 2, and 3 rights.

        Are you telling me that Florida State couldn’t do a lot better if it kept control of its own Tier 3 rights like every Big XII member (and every SEC member) does now? Are you telling me that Florida State isn’t such a marketable brand that it could sell its Tier 3 rights for at least as much as Kansas or Oklahoma?

        Because I just don’t think that’s true. I think rather more highly of your athletics department than that.

        Of course, that’s on top of the Tier 1 and 2 deal that the Big XII gets. Before last year, the Big XII completed a deal to sell its Tier 2 rights to Fox and ESPN that totaled $90M/year. The current deal with ESPN for Tier 1 is only for $60M/year, which is obviously undervalued. ESPN is eager to renegotiate before the deal expires in two years so as to finish a deal before NBC gets its sports house in order. If that’s true, and given the Tier 2 contract, the idea of a $190M/year deal is not out of the question.

        But being conservative, let’s estimate a $150M/year deal for Tier 1. Together with the Tier 2 rights, that $210M/year, or $21M/year for each member school in the ten-team league. That’s 50% higher than what the ACC media package is getting. And that still allows each member school to market and sell its own Tier 3 rights.

        In other words, Florida State could conceivably make twice as much in the Big XII as it is going to make in the ACC. Would you firebomb the president’s office for doubling the school’s media revenue?

        And by the way, Frank–this math is exactly why I don’t think a Big XII raid of the ACC is terribly far-fetched.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      joe4psu,

      I have seen no proof that joining the B12 would hurt any school academically or cause them financial damage. It is a bad argument.

      What proof would you accept?

      I posit that Princeton would be hurt academically by leaving the Ivy League and joining the B12 because it matters who you associate with. They wouldn’t become a second rate school, but they would lose status. I also posit that PSU would be hurt financially by leaving the B10 for the B12, based on TV deal values. I’ll even posit the NW would be hurt both academically and financially by joining the B12. Do you disagree about any of those?

      It is just like the argument that many people make about PSU being dependent on the B1G for their growth in research dollars.

      The academics at PSU have been quoted many times saying how beneficial joining the B10 was for them, just as NE’s people have said similar things. Are we not supposed to believe them?

      I haven’t seen many people making any argument about PSU’s research money, so I’ll just take your word for it.

      Like

      • joe4psu says:

        @Brian,

        I should have said any school in the current conversation.

        I’m sure B1G membership has made a difference but remember PSU was an independent before joining. Would being a member of the ACC instead of the B1G hurt PSU when they would be associated with schools like Duke, UNC, UVA and UMD? I doubt it. The mission of ACC schools is geared more to undergraduate studies rather than research but these schools are not slouches in research.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          joe4psu,

          I should have said any school in the current conversation.

          Yeah, that’s a very different argument. I wasn’t sure if you meant it that way or in general. I still think being in the ACC is better than the B12 for academics, especially for a school like GT that is AAU, but very few B12 candidates would suffer much if at all from joining. Of those I’ve seen mentioned in comments here, I’d say GT, MD, Pitt and RU would all face a loss academically.

          I’m sure B1G membership has made a difference but remember PSU was an independent before joining.

          True, but NE wasn’t and they have said similar things.

          Would being a member of the ACC instead of the B1G hurt PSU when they would be associated with schools like Duke, UNC, UVA and UMD? I doubt it. The mission of ACC schools is geared more to undergraduate studies rather than research but these schools are not slouches in research.

          Being in the ACC wouldn’t hurt much, but I think PSU might miss the CIC a little. The B12 isn’t the ACC, though. I think PSU would get hurt academically there.

          Like

    • bullet says:

      Does anyone know for sure what the ACC Tier III deal is? I’ve heard them say they share everything, but I’ve also seen figures showing UNC leading the nation with $11 million in Tier III revenue. I suspect they simply share all of Tier I and Tier II and so don’t look much different than the SEC and Big 12.

      While I agree with you Frank that ACC schools to the Big 12 is remote, especially if its only 2, you overstate your case a little. While Maryland may be attractive to the B1G, the SEC would have no interest. They’re a school that has had a lot of athletic department financial difficulties. Their fb attendance would rank them just ahead of Baylor and TCU in the Big 12-and behind everyone else. NCSU is 3rd in their own metro area. Georgia Tech is a very distant 2nd fiddle even in Atlanta. Houston, the ultimate commuter school, has a lot more general support (casual fans who will watch on TV, not necessarily fans in the stands) in Houston than GT, an AQ school, has in Atlanta. FSU, Miami, Clemson, UNC, VT and UVA are a nice core for the ACC, but Texas Tech, Ok. St., Kansas, KSU and WVU are certainly a solid group backing up the UT/OU core of the Big 12. The average fb attendance of the future B12 schools over the last 4 years is 57,000, nearly 7,000 higher than the future ACC schools. The median is 50,264 vs. 48,785 in the ACC.

      And Brian does make the point that money talks. If you think like a university president (especially a state university), you are trying to scrounge up every $ you can right now. If some of these Dude figures are true, FSU and Clemson would listen very closely. I just think the figures thrown out are not at all realistic. If its $15 million in the ACC vs. $20 million in the Big 12 that’s probably not enough. But if its $15 million vs. $25 or $30 million we’re talking $140-$210 million over the life of the ACC contract. But again, if the Pac just signed a deal for $21 million, I don’t see how the Big 12 +FSU/Clemson is worth that much more.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        bullet,

        Does anyone know for sure what the ACC Tier III deal is? I’ve heard them say they share everything, but I’ve also seen figures showing UNC leading the nation with $11 million in Tier III revenue. I suspect they simply share all of Tier I and Tier II and so don’t look much different than the SEC and Big 12.

        http://businessofcollegesports.com/2011/05/05/televison-contract-breakdown/

        “Meanwhile, the ACC’s new deal that begins this fall covers football, men’s and women’s basketball, Olympic sports and all conference championship games. Basically, it’s an all-inclusive package with a sublicensing arrangement in place with Raycom for games not broadcast by ESPN.”

        I think where UNC makes the extra money is radio rights, advertising, etc. OSU has a deal for $10 or $11M for that, so UNC hoops could carry similar value.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          It isn’t clear from her article if the $12.9 million per school from the ACC includes the sublicensing money from Raycom or is just the 1st & 2nd tier. If it does include that, the ACC is further behind the other 4.

          Like

    • Frank the Ag says:

      Texas A&M to the SEC was never ridiculous to conclude. Frank just got it wrong because his assessment came almost exclusively from the Texas viewpoint. A&M insiders never waivered that their was legitimate interest from both sides and the political pressue was almost nonexistent.

      Like

  10. usffan says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but less than a year ago TCU was committed to joining the Big East and there was an awful lot of noise about Kansas moving there if the Big XII fell apart. While we know that Oklahoma is apparently committed to protecting Oklahoma State, it’s pretty clear that Iowa State, Baylor and Kansas State were staring down the barrel of irrelevance. Enough so that Ken Starr was comically pleading to anybody who would listen about the plight that might befall Baylor (and makes it beyond hypocritical to see him condone raiding other conferences). Which makes it really hard to imagine FSU or Clemson walking away from a stable situation to willingly step into that fiasco.

    If/when superconferences come along, it is far more likely that it will be the cream of the Big XII that will be poached, not the ACC.

    Like

    • frug says:

      Yeah, you hit the nail on the head. Thanks to timing and strength at the top the Big XII is likely to make more money than the ACC, but the fact that the Big XII is carrying around so much dead weight makes it more likely to fall apart. Like Frank said, outside of Wake every ACC school is probably more appealing than any remaining Big XII except for OU and Texas (though I think that the Big 10 might prefer Kansas to Pitt since Pitt doesn’t give them anything they don’t already have, while KU adds the KC media market and an elite BB program).

      (Geography also plays a big role since the Big XII has to worry about the Big 10, SEC and PAC, while the ACC only has to deal with the SEC and Big 10)

      Like

  11. Christian in Texas says:

    Hook em

    Like

  12. frug says:

    Just realized that I never made good on my promise to admit I was wrong when I said aTm would never be admitted to the SEC without a national brand like OU or FSU if the Aggies were in fact invited.

    Anyways, consider this me eating my crow…

    Like

  13. Brian says:

    Frank,

    I think every NFL contract should be mostly performance incentives. Have base pay that varies by position and increases with years in the league, but base most of the pay on performance. One contract could cover all players, essentially. But that’s beside the point.

    1. B12 expansion rumor I

    I agree with everything except when you trivialize the monetary gap. The ACC at $13M is way behind the P12 and B10 ($21M seems to be the current number) and even the SEC ($17M), especially since the other leagues seem to also make more from third tier rights. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to the total university budget, but a significant factor in the athletic budget.

    2. B12 expansion rumor II

    I fully agree UL seems likely and BYU is a no go.

    I don’t know that the B12 has no good options, though. The question is who wants to join the B12? Drop all B10, P12 and SEC schools, as well as ND. Who would the B12 accept? Drop all WAC, Sun Belt and MAC schools. That leaves ACC, BE, CUSA and MWC teams as the first rough cut of options.

    The new BE schools aren’t candidates, except maybe Boise. The ACC core is not available. The only ACC school I could possibly see is Pitt, but they have a big raise coming from joining the ACC. I just don’t buy that Clemson, GT or FSU are all that interested. The MWC has no good teams left, and neither does CUSA really.

    Assuming AF goes to the BE and BYU stays independent, the B12’s best bets for #12 are Boise (less travel, a lot more money, strong FB) and Pitt (regional partner for WV, solid FB history, good MBB, decent market). I think Pitt would prefer the ACC for academic reasons, but they don’t have a lot of deep ties there yet (there are some former BE rivals). Boise would love a chance.

    I think one big issue with this whole scenario is that the B12 teams really don’t seem to want the CCG to return. Is the strength of numbers sufficient to justify expanding to 12 teams, even if they lose money by adding teams and not playing the CCG?

    3. Memphis to the BE

    I think this was the right move since the AQ status seem to be off the table. Memphis is a decent fit for the BE regardless of what else happens. I’m curious to see what happens next. The BE is at 11 FB and 17 BB schools once all the moves happen IIRC. So was Memphis a preemptive replacement for UL, or the penultimate step to get to a 12/18 conference? If UL goes, does the BE still aim for 12/18? Sooner or later they’ll have to look at Temple and UMass if they keep wanting to grow.

    4. B10 playoff plan

    Part of me still thinks this is being oversold. It’s not like Delany laid out a full plan and said the B10 is behind it 100%. There was no talk of dates for the games. Delany explicitly said he has to talk to the COP/C and ADs about any proposal. The B10 also mentioned some other priorities that are hard to reconcile with this plan, like preserving the Rose Bowl. On top of that, declaring the use of home games is bound to get a rise from some southern and western teams that don’t want to risk playing a semi in a snowstorm.

    Is this plan an opening position, or a line in the sand? Will the B10 use this as a way to reject any plan that doesn’t meet every part of this proposal? Will they use dates or other details as a reason to reject a plan? The B10 will have to do a lot more to convince me they are really advocating for a playoff. A big step would be getting a president or two to say they are behind this.

    One tweak that I’d like to see to this plan (and previously suggested by Andy Staples and Slant commenter Eric, among others) is to have the losers of the semifinal games be placed back into the BCS bowl selection pool. So, if the Big Ten champ or Pac-12 champ loses in a semifinal game, they would still end up going to the Rose Bowl. Even though there’s a real concern that the fan base of a semifinal game loser might not be as willing to travel, I don’t see it as being much different than conference championship game losers being selected for top bowls (which happens quite frequently). Plus, the bowls themselves would still ultimately rather have access to more higher-ranked teams instead of diluting the BCS pool even further. This seems like a reasonable compromise to preserve the value of the top bowls such as the Rose Bowl while still providing for a seeded 4-team playoff.

    I’d hate that tweak and think it is misguided. CCG losers rarely make a BCS bowl (only if they were a top 5 team, essentially). In fact, they usually drop several spots in the bowl order and then often perform poorly while the fans don’t travel well. Since the bowls are designed to bring in money from tourists, why would a BCS bowl want to take that on unless it was a home team?

    CCG losers and their BCS bowl slot (4)
    2009 #1 UF – Sugar
    2008 #1 AL – Sugar
    2003 #1 OU – Sugar
    2011 #3 VT – Sugar

    No BCS bowl (32, 8 in the top 5)
    2011 GA
    2010 SC
    2007 TN
    2006 AR
    2005 #3 LSU
    2004 TN
    2003 #5 GA
    2002 AR
    2001 #2 TN
    2000 AU
    1999 #5 UF
    1998 MSU
    2010 NE
    2009 NE
    2008 MO
    2007 #1 MO
    2006 NE
    2005 CO
    2004 CO
    2002 CO
    2001 #3 TX
    2000 KSU
    1999 TX
    1998 #2 KSU
    2010 FSU
    2009 Clemson
    2008 BC
    2007 BC
    2006 GT
    2005 #5 VT
    2011 UCLA
    2011 MSU

    That’s 4 of 36 CCG losers that made a BCS bowl. That’s 4 of 12 top 5 teams that lost a CCG that made a BCS bowl (4 of 9 top 4 teams), and only the Sugar Bowl has ever taken one. This is the frequent result you are referencing?

    I think the BCS bowls would much rather have a conference runner up or at large choice instead of a semifinal loser. I also think the NCAA will not allow a team to do both, nor should they. That’s the price you pay for participating in the playoff.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      RE: Big 12 + UL
      11 is a bad number. Only 13 is worse. For the Big 12 11 forces them back to an 8 game schedule meaning 44 conference games vs. 45 now. That is probably a problem for Fox.
      Plus, they would basically pay for the 12th member with a ccg. I’m not sure UL pays for itself without being part of getting to a ccg.

      I suspect its more likely they stay at 10. BYU has been problematic and I’ve read lots that they have gotten frustrated with negotiating with them. So UL + Cincinnati? In addition to the perception, Cincinnati has one of the lowest budgets of any AQ school (I think they are dead last). UL + Rutgers? I think the Big 12 is serious about making some sort of geographic sense and having something other than a TV contract to tie itself together (unless the numbers were really big). UL + Tulane? Think SWC II. The Big 12 would then have 3 small privates that draw less than 40k/game. So I think its UL + BYU or stay at 10. UL + Cincinnati is a possibiity if they really feel the need to go to 12. But what I’ve read is that OU and OSU like 12, UT likes 10 and the other 5 seem to have mixed feelings. WVU likes 12, but they don’t have a vote yet.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        “For the Big 12 11 forces them back to an 8 game schedule . .”

        I don’t see why. You could still play a 9-game conference slate with 2 protected games & rotating the other 7 amongst the other 8 teams.

        That said, I agree that adding Louisville as 11 doesn’t make enough sense financially for the B12 to rationally want to do it.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        bullet,

        RE: Big 12 + UL
        11 is a bad number. Only 13 is worse. For the Big 12 11 forces them back to an 8 game schedule meaning 44 conference games vs. 45 now. That is probably a problem for Fox.
        Plus, they would basically pay for the 12th member with a ccg. I’m not sure UL pays for itself without being part of getting to a ccg.

        I agree 11 is a bad choice. The B10 got away with it for a while but it is almost always a bad decision. I think they have a couple of decent options for #12, though.

        I suspect its more likely they stay at 10. BYU has been problematic and I’ve read lots that they have gotten frustrated with negotiating with them. So UL + Cincinnati? In addition to the perception, Cincinnati has one of the lowest budgets of any AQ school (I think they are dead last). UL + Rutgers? I think the Big 12 is serious about making some sort of geographic sense and having something other than a TV contract to tie itself together (unless the numbers were really big). UL + Tulane? Think SWC II. The Big 12 would then have 3 small privates that draw less than 40k/game. So I think its UL + BYU or stay at 10. UL + Cincinnati is a possibiity if they really feel the need to go to 12. But what I’ve read is that OU and OSU like 12, UT likes 10 and the other 5 seem to have mixed feelings. WVU likes 12, but they don’t have a vote yet.

        I agree that none of those choices is ideal. I think Boise or Pitt would be a better choice. Pitt probably would say no, but Boise wouldn’t. After that maybe you talk to BYU again. If none of those 3 say yes, I don’t see another good choice. There are several OK choices they could live with but I think they would lose money.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          I think Pitt already made their choice. The Big 12 was feeling them out and they wrangled an invite from the ACC. So while they would be a good alternative to BYU or UL, I don’t consider them a possibility.

          I don’t think Boise is a good choice. Too far away, too small a market, too bad in everything but football and one bad coach away from becoming Idaho in football. Yes, they’ve done well with several coaches, but there’s no guarantee Peterson stays or the next one is any good.

          Like

    • Eric says:

      4 of 36 isn’t very reflective since a good portion of them either aren’t eligible or barely eligible. Four of top 9 is more reflective. I think that understates thing too though, because the team they would have lost to in the semi-finals would have been a top 4 team while normally a CCG loser is losing to a team further down the pecking order.

      Let’s remember this doesn’t mean the BCS has to take a losing team, only that they we wait to see if they want to. Let’s think about the losers and who would be more likely to be taken:

      Big Ten/PAC-12 champs: Rose Bowl would almost certainly take these teams over runner-ups if it has the opportunity.

      Big 12 Champ: If you have a top 4 Texas/Oklahoma lose, my guess is the the Fiesta would still want them. The same might be true of others if they were 1/2 before the game.

      SEC Champ: The Sugar will take no questions asked.

      Big East/ACC Champ: The Orange might well prefer a different team and a losing Big East team probably be avoided.

      Non-AQ: Out of it, but probably out of regardless under format changes.

      Non-champs: More likely to be left.

      So that leaves us with the Rose and Sugar definitely wanting the option in my opinion, the Fiesta own to it, and only the Orange probably opposed. I think that is enough to warrant delaying a decision a week.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Other than maybe the B10 (and possibly the Pac, though I have my doubts about those 2 conferences as well), I seriously doubt any other conference cares enough about putting a semifinal loser in their tie-in to seriously dilute the number of fans who will travel to bowl games by pushing back the pairings another week. I mean, pushing back the pairings another week is what you’d do if you really wanted to kill off the bowls. Very few people can travel for up to a week on short notice.

        Like

        • Eric says:

          My initial response was to say it’s still around a minimum of 2 and half weeks, which while not ideal hopefully wouldn’t be killer either. Then it occurred to me the lower tier bowls would have to be accepting team the higher ones passed on and are earlier.

          I think there are ways around this though (note: I’m assuming for this BCS bowls go to being contracts directly with conferences). One bowl (we’ll say the Cotton Bowl for discussion sake, but it would probably be bid out) could always be reserved for teams from that conferences that lost the semi-finals. It wouldn’t necessarily have to be the semi-final losers though. Example: Say Wisconsin is in the semi-finals. If they win they go to the national championship. If they lose, they go to the Rose Bowl. Michigan State is the back-up. If Wisconsin goes to the national championship, Michigan State goes to the Rose Bowl. If Wisconsin goes to the Rose Bowl, Michigan State goes to the Cotton Bowl. Every other Big Ten match-up could still be paired after championship week (or earlier).

          Like

          • Richard says:

            How happy would MSU’s fans be about waiting a week and then not going to the Rose if Wiscy loses? Boy, tons of momentum & excitement for that other bowl! Look, I know that many B10 fans are obsessed with sending their champion to the Rose, but I really don’t think the other conferences & bowls (or even B10 teams who don’t make the playoff) will be willing to put life on hold while the Rose and B10 champ discover if they play in the national title game or not.

            BTW, I had the idea of pairing up semifinal losers, and it wouldn’t be one that’s anywhere as high-profile as the Cotton. Again, it would have to be a bowl that gets strong local ticket sales and thus isn’t dependent on traveling fans. Ergo, the Sun Bowl or bowl in Houston.

            Like

      • Brian says:

        Eric,

        4 of 36 isn’t very reflective since a good portion of them either aren’t eligible or barely eligible.

        I included that stat because Frank said, “conference championship game losers being selected for top bowls (which happens quite frequently).” I don’t think 4 of 36 is particularly frequent.

        Four of top 9 is more reflective.

        That is why I included the number. I think the 4 of 12 number is the best because a committee might well choose what was BCS #5 over BCS#4. I still don’t think 4 times in 14 seasons is frequent, though, regardless of the number of chances.

        I think that [4 of 9] understates thing too though, because the team they would have lost to in the semi-finals would have been a top 4 team while normally a CCG loser is losing to a team further down the pecking order.

        That’s not as true as you think.

        Of the 4 who made a BCS bowl, the CCG winners were:
        2009 #2 AL
        2008 #2 UF
        2003 #15 KSU
        2011 #21 Clemson

        No BCS bowl:
        2005 #13 GA
        2001 #21 LSU
        2007 #9 OU
        2001 #9 CO
        1998 #10 TAMU

        2 lost to top 4 teams (both got BCS bowls), 3 lost to top 10 teams (none got a BCS bowl), 2 lost to top 15 teams (1 got a BCS bowl) and 2 lost to top 25 teams (1 got a BCS bowl).

        Who you lost to didn’t have a major impact. It came down to when the Sugar had an opening.

        I don’t think the difference between losing to a top 5 team or a top 10 team a week earlier is very big in the eyes of the bowl committees, but only 2 of those 5 teams made a BCS game.

        There are factors that make the stat less reliable, though:
        1. The BCS added a game during this period, which changes things.
        2. The B10 and P12 just added a CCG, and the Rose is the most committed to its anchors.
        3. The SEC has had multiple top 5 teams lately, skewing the outcome.

        Like all stats, don’t give it too much weight. The whole point was that 4 instances in 14 years doesn’t equal “frequent” in my mind.

        Let’s remember this doesn’t mean the BCS has to take a losing team, only that they we wait to see if they want to.

        It means more than that. It means every bowl has to wait longer, every school and fan has less time to plan, and that 2 teams get two postseasons to participate in. I don’t see the presidents supporting that, but they could surprise me.

        Let’s think about the losers and who would be more likely to be taken:

        Big Ten/PAC-12 champs: Rose Bowl would almost certainly take these teams over runner-ups if it has the opportunity.

        Says who? Do you have something to back up “almost certainly” beyond your opinion?

        I think they are more likely to take a B10 division runner up than a semi loser or CCG loser. If WI had played in a semi and lost this year, for example, I expect the Rose would have taken MI over MSU and WI. Some years a semi loser may be more attractive, but I doubt they expect a team that just blew a chance at a NC to travel well for a meaningless game 3000 miles away.

        They might be more inclined to take a P12 CCG loser since the travel is less and they have fewer top programs, but they would have taken Stanford if OR lost (or vice versa) this year or last year.

        Big 12 Champ: If you have a top 4 Texas/Oklahoma lose, my guess is the the Fiesta would still want them. The same might be true of others if they were 1/2 before the game.

        History says no, unless nobody else is highly ranked. They would take an also highly ranked OU/TX over a TX/OU that lost a semi. They’d also consider any other highly ranked team in my opinion. I think you underrate the impact losing a playoff game will have on fans and the team. Ask someone whose team lost the NCG recently how excited they would be to go to their team’s usual BCS bowl after that. Most OSU fans were devastated after the losses and wouldn’t dream of spending thousands to go to the Rose.

        SEC Champ: The Sugar will take no questions asked.

        The Sugar has lots of options lately. They might take them or they might take then next team in line. If LSU lost to GA this year, would the Sugar have taken LSU over AL (ignore the NCG for now)? Over AR? It’s not a given.

        Big East/ACC Champ: The Orange might well prefer a different team and a losing Big East team probably be avoided.

        I think they’d hope to not have to accept an ACC team in that case. They could choose another one, but they might prefer to look elsewhere, too, until more ACC teams compete at the highest level.

        Non-AQ: Out of it, but probably out of regardless under format changes.

        Non-champs: More likely to be left.

        So that leaves us with the Rose and Sugar definitely wanting the option in my opinion, the Fiesta own to it, and only the Orange probably opposed. I think that is enough to warrant delaying a decision a week.

        I think the Rose and Sugar would be happy either way. More importantly, I don’t think the presidents are inclined to reward losing in the playoffs with a bowl spot. Otherwise, people are going to start wanting double elimination playoffs outside of baseball to reduce upsets.

        Like

    • Richard says:

      If the BE doesn’t lose Louisville, Memphis would make 12 football schools for the BE (RU + UConn + USF + Cincy + Louisville & Boise + SDSU + Navy + Houston + SMU + UCF + Memphis). 17 bball schools.

      Like

  14. wmtiger says:

    Pretty sure Big XII is the next conference that implodes as that is the conference TCU is in.

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Ha! I hadn’t thought about that, but you’re right. TCU is conference poison!

      From the conference’s founding until the end of the 1995-96 season, TCU was in the SWC. Then the SWC dissolved.

      TCU was in the WAC from 1996-2001. Since then, the WAC has lost 100% of the membership it had at the time, and has lost even more since then.

      TCU was in C-USA, which has lost 9 teams to the Big East, 1 to the A-10, and one to the MWC.

      TCU was in the MWC, which has lost 5 members (and a possible 6 with Air Force to the Big East).

      TCU semi-joined the Big East, which, including TCU, has since lost 4 members (and a possible 5-6 if Louisville and another team goes to the Big 12).

      5 conferences all with either devastating losses or a loss of existence. Common thread: TCU. Wow.

      Like

  15. metatron5369 says:

    Just make the Rose Bowl the NCG.

    Like

  16. Penn State Danny says:

    The Big East makes me sad.

    Finally, they have 12 teams so that they can have a championship game. This league is in such a state of flux that they may only have 12 teams on their potential roster for a week or two.

    I still think that the BE will be flushed into the MWCUSA cluster. Then, when some team is needed for a bigger conference (Rutgers/UConn/etc.) they can easily be plucked from this cluster.

    Like

  17. herbiehusker says:

    GBR!

    Like

  18. Todd says:

    If the proposed BIG playoff proposal became reality, would that change ND’s attitude toward conference affiliation?

    Like

    • @Todd – I don’t think it really changes anything for Notre Dame. As long as there is no structural barrier to getting to the playoff as an independent, then it’s no different for ND compared to the 2-team championship game system that we have now.

      Like

      • frug says:

        The question is if they will institute a rule stating that only conference champs can participate in the playoff. That would force the Irish’s hand.

        Like

        • wmtiger says:

          I don’t think there is a chance ND isn’t invited into any playoff type system, none. The issue isn’t ND’s invitation but the monetary payout to ND when they don’t earn a spot or their payout when they do earn one; which will be a negotiation process.

          Like

        • Brian says:

          frug,

          A conference champion rule most likely wouldn’t exclude independents, just those that failed to win their conference. Big difference.

          Like

  19. cutter says:

    1. I just read the ESPN article on Memphis joining the Big East for all sports and noted the Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino had been lobbying for the move because the two school were natural basketball rivals. It’ll be ironic if UL leaves for the Big XII as part of a two-team conference expansion before Memphis and Louisville play one another on the hardwood as members of the Big East.

    2. Back in October 2011, the Mountain West and Conference USA were talking about a football alliance between the two conferences. The discussion was about how the 22 members of those conferences would play one another in a championship game with the idea that the winner would be eligibile for a BCS bowl.

    Times have certainly chaged in the last five months or so. The two conferences are now down to sixteen members for foootball (Hawaii is a football-only member) and the concept of BCS bowls and AQ/non-AQ conferences is essentially out the window. Here’s the membership of those two conferences:

    Mountain West (8)

    Air Force
    Colorado State
    Fresno State
    Hawaii (Football Only)
    Nevada-Las Vegas
    Nevada-Reno
    New Mexico
    Wyoming

    Conference USA (8)

    Alabama-Birmingham
    East Carolina
    Marshall
    Southern Mississippi
    Rice
    Texas-El Paso
    Tulane
    Tulsa

    I can’t imagine what the futures will be like for these two confernces. Will they merge and form a 16-team entitly like the WAC did in the 1990s? It seems to me like a combined MWC/C-USA Conference would have the same sorts of problems the WAC did a couple of decades ago.

    3. The addition of Memphis means the Big East will have the twelve teams necessary to split into two divisions and to stage a conference championship game. Assuming an east-west division, this might be how the “new” Big East will look in due course, i.e., minus TCU, WVU, Pitt and Syracuse, for football:

    West: Boise State, Louisville, San Diego State, Memphis, Houston, SMU

    East: Central Florida, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Navy, Rutgers, South Florida

    On face value, that doesn’t look like a very compelling line up of football teams. It’l be interesting to see what sort of network deals they get (NBC Sports Network cross-promoting with Notre Dame, perhaps?) and bowl relationships they’ll have. ND has had bowl tie-ins thru the Big East in the past–is that a relationship that will continue going forward?

    4. Prior to 1978, the Big Ten and (then) Pac 8 conferences had 18 teams in them. That number has since grown to 24 with the additions of Penn State and Nebraska to the Big Ten and Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and Colorado to the Pac 8/Pac 10 to make the Pac 12.

    I’m sure the Big Ten and the Pac 12 will work to protect the Rose Bowl when the four-team playoff (I refuse to call it a Plus One) is finally adopted, but what exactly is the conference protecting the RB from? In this past season, the Rose Bowl had Wisconsin (11-2) playing Oregon (11-2) as the two conference champions. If those two teams were to go to a four-team hypothetical playoff, then the Rose Bowl could have had a matchup between Michigan (10-2) or Michigan State (10-3) and Stanford (11-1) or USC (10-2, but not bowl eligibile in 2011).

    Since both conferences now have 12 members, the Rose Bowl can still have a very compelling matchup that will appeal to the three T’s (tickets, tourism, television) even if one or both of the conference champions go into a four-team playoff. If Larry Scott is able to get the Pac 12 up to 16 members and the Big Ten were to bring Notre Dame into the fold as part of a larger expansion, it’ll be even more of a moot point.

    5. I’m hard pressed to imagine that conference championships won’t be an integral part of a four-team playoff. If we had used the BCS rankings from last year, two teams that didn’t even win their divisions (Alabama and Stanford), let alone their conferences, would be playing in it. OTOH, if you remove Alabama from the mix, then you exclude the team that became the BCS national champion.

    I read that there are some sixty different proposals out there for a four-team playoff. If Delany is signalling that the Big Ten would support a playoff with the caveat that the first round games be at the home stadiums of the higher rated teams, then I’m hard pressed to imagine he won’t work to have conference champsions being the prime beneficiaries of this arrangement. I sincerely doubt he’d like to see two SEC teams in such a playoff who would both be hosting games in their home stadiums in the semi-final round–something that would have happened just last season.

    i have a feeling that the four top-rated conference champions are the ones going to such a playoff and that teams like Alabama and Stanford from last year will be on the outside looking in with their destinations being the major bowl games.

    6. By 2014, the five major conferences will have at least 64 members (14 + 14 + 12 + 12 +10), although that number could easily become 66 if the Big XII does expand with the additions of Lousville, Brigham Young or Cincinnati. I think it’s fair to say that we’re on the cusp of seeing the emergence of super conferences in due course, although the final format of the conferences (16 or 20 teams) and their number (at least four or maybe five) is still to be developed.

    I think we’re seeing a convergence in the the college football post-season is lining up along with conference realignment. The conference championship games will become de facto playoff games that will seed a four-team playoff played at the home sites of the higher rated teams and with the championship game at a neutral site. The remaining programs will populate the bowl games–both major and minor–and we’ll have an arrangement that all the stakeholders (television, bowl organizes, university presidents, athletic directors, NCAA) will recognize as optimal.

    What will be the major controversy? If there are five super-conferences in place, one of them won’t be going into the four-team playoff. I’m sure that’d generate some controversy along with the post-season fate of teams outside the super conferences–especially in a setup where there may be fewer bowls. Stay tuned.

    7. Former Notre AD Kevin White coined the phrase “monitoring the landscape” when it came to to the question of joining a conference or not. Along with BYU, ND is going to have some interesting decisions to make going forward. Both schools have to set up their bowl deals outside a conference setting. ND used to do it thru the Big East, but as I mmentioned above, what sort of bowls will the new Big East have to offer Notre Dame?

    Late season scheduling is going to be a continuing question. Brigham Young has a pool of WAC teams it can put on the schedule, but is a lineup that includes Utah State, New Mexico State and San Jose State going to be very compelling on a national basis (or to ESPN)? Notre Dame is losing a little more flexibility now that the ACC has opted to go to a nine-game confernce schedule when Pitt and Syracuse join the conference and the Pac 12 has effectively shutdown the idea of playing neutral site games by demanding media rights to those games. Then, of course, there’s the Big Ten/Pac 12 scheduling arrangement (and the Pac 12 opting to play nine conference games as well) which removes some more pieces from the chess board.

    Then, of course, there’s the quest for a national championship for these two schools. With a four-team playoff on the horizon, under what conditions do they get into it? Would a 12-0 or 11-1 Notre Dame team displace a conference champion that had to win a conference championship game, but may have ended up the season 12-1 or 11-2? It’d be interesting to see what sort of setup would be put together for a four-team playoff that gives Notre Dame and Brigham Young an opportunity to participate and would get a buy in from the ACC, Big Ten, Big XII, Pac 12 and SEC.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Winning a ccg will simply not be an issue. They’ve had the opportunity to do that before after major controversies and never did (Nebraska over CU in 2000 and OU over Auburn in 2003).

      Will they limit the number of non-champs? Maybe. Will they limit home games to conference champs? Maybe. I would like to see that, but they don’t worry about that in determining who gets to stay near home in the NCAA bb tourney.

      This year it may have been we had the two best teams from the same conference (not that ESPN gave us a chance to test that). In 2008 the best team may have been left out of the 2 team BCS when Texas lost the media campaign to OU for the tiebreak (based on the BCS) for their division title. Had LSU lost by a FG to UGA in the SEC ccg it would have been ridiculous, with their schedule, to leave them out. I think limiting it to conference champs is a bad idea. Now limiting the number of teams from a conference is a different matter and something I would support since it tests the theories of who is best instead of it being a popularity contest.

      Like

      • cutter says:

        I ultimately think that college football will get to an eight-team playoff, but it’ll come thru one of two ways:

        (1) If the major conferences expand their membership to 16 or more teams, then the conference championship games become the de facto first round of the championship. Those CCGs would be followed by a semi-final and then a final game for the national championship.

        (2) If some of the conferences expand to less than 16 or even stand pat with their current membership, then the conference championship games help decide who is in the playoff and how they’re seeded. The five major conferences provide an autobid and three at large teams are selected to round out the field. I’ve stated this before, but I would put some requirement on the confernce champion, such as being in the top 14 of the rating system used, to qualify for an autobid.

        I suspect one of the reasons why there’s so many different Plus One scenarios is because people have different criteria for figuring out the top four teams to qualify. You can draw together all sorts of critiera that not only pick which four teams go to the playoffs, but also how they’re ranked 1 thru 4 in terms of which top two teams will host a championship game.

        In the end, I suspect the system that will emerge will be (1). Two of the conferences are just two teams away from getting to 16 teams (ACC, SEC) while Pac 12 Commissioner Larry Scott has made two attepts already to get Oklahoma, Texas, et. al. to join the Pac 12 to make the Pac 16. When he has another opportunity to do it, he’ll try again. That leaves the Big Ten and the Big XII who perhaps have to make up the most ground to get there. Someone will make the first step and we could then see four or five super conferences with anywhere from 64 to 80 teams operating within them.

        Outside of the appeal towards the post-season, I know that people who follow the sport can appreciate other reasons why the conferences could get bigger. It’s obvious there’s a friction between the larger and smaller schools within the NCAA over various rules–most recently, the ones governing giving additional stipends as part of the scholarship. I suspect there are other issues as well that could see Division 1-A split into two different organizations. On a different scale, you could also see programs breaking away from the NCAA and setting up their own umbrella organization to set up rules, tournaments, etc., because the NCAA is incapable of keeping up with their interests.

        Like

    • Zschroeder says:

      I think the MWC and C-USA thing still marches forward, each side has 8 teams, so they can play round robin in each division making up 7 games. Maybe a game or two against the other side, maybe none. I think the idea was to take two conferences that basically function independently of one another like they do today and then just bring each sides champions together for a championship game in the hopes that game could catapult then in the BCS.
      I would not be surprised to see both of those conferences each grab another team or two, and expand to 18 or 20 and continue with a round robin in their divisions, only meeting the other side in the championship game. For C-USA I think both Troy and Arkansas State have some appeal. Utah State was invited to the MWC a couple years ago and passed (they were standing by the WAC), and there is still Louisiana Tech, Idaho and San Jose State all with some attractive and not so attractive attributes sitting in a vulnerable position in the WAC.

      Mountain West Division C-USA Division
      Hawaii East Carolina
      Wyoming UAB
      New Mexico Marshall
      UNLV Southern Miss
      Colorado State Rice
      Nevada Tulsa
      Air Force UTEP
      Fresno State Tulane
      San Jose State Troy
      Utah State Arkansas St

      Like

      • bullet says:

        I’ll think they’ll do something similar to what you say. But I think its a bad idea. They should really get regional, maybe splitting up Texas, and then doing a joint TV contract between two separate conferences.

        If they do a full merge they might stop at 16 in order to allow room for Boise and SDSU to come back. The Semi-Big Country Conference simply can’t last very long.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          They might lose members, but as the CUSA-MWC is pretty much the Big Country (except with even less prestige & TV drawing power), I don’t see why any school would willingly leave to take a step down. I also don’t see why/how the Big Country will implode. Now they’re composed of schools that are roughly on the same level of attendance/brand/revenues (unlike the SWC or even the 16-school WAC).

          Like

          • bullet says:

            @Richard
            I’m referring to the Big East as the semi-Big Country conference. It may just take one more set of expansions from the Big 12 to cause Boise and SDSU to decide it makes more sense to be in a western conference, especially since their basketball will suffer in the WAC and Big West.

            I could see a new western conference with Hawaii, Fresno, UNLV, UNM, UTEP, Colorado St., Air Force, BYU, SDSU, Boise and possibly others and generating TV revenue sufficient to offset most of the bb TV revenue advantage of what would remain of the Big East (if the bb schools haven’t abandoned it by that time).

            Like

          • Richard says:

            0. I know. I was referring to the BE when i said “Big Country”.

            1. If BYU isn’t giving up independence to join the B12, they’re not giving up independence to join that motley collection.

            2. Boise doesn’t care about bball. SDSU could just do what Long Beach State did (look at their bball schedule this year).

            3. Without BYU, I don’t see the rest (without Boise & SDSU) being able to garner enough TV revenue to get Boise & SDSU. Put another way, the rest of the BE without Boise & SDSU is a fair bit more valuable than your motley collection of western teams without BYU, Boise, and SDSU (in football).

            Like

      • OT says:

        North Texas, Florida International, Florida Atlantic, Texas-San Antonio and Georgia State all make more sense for CUSA than Arkansas State, Troy, or Appalachian State.

        Like

      • OT says:

        Hawaii’s contract with the MWC ends in 2013.

        I continue to maintain that Hawaii will not be in the MWC in 2014 because Oceanic Time Warner Cable will force the issue by NOT carrying the mtn.

        Oceanic Time Warner Cable wants to control the rights to Hawaii football. That cannot happen as long as Hawaii is in the MWC.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      cutter,

      1. I just read the ESPN article on Memphis joining the Big East for all sports and noted the Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino had been lobbying for the move because the two school were natural basketball rivals. It’ll be ironic if UL leaves for the Big XII as part of a two-team conference expansion before Memphis and Louisville play one another on the hardwood as members of the Big East.

      Pitino was right to lobby for them. If the higher ups decide to move to the B12 so be it, but he’s looking out for the best for UL in the BE. Memphis benefits either way.

      2. Back in October 2011, the Mountain West and Conference USA were talking about a football alliance between the two conferences. The discussion was about how the 22 members of those conferences would play one another in a championship game with the idea that the winner would be eligibile for a BCS bowl.

      Times have certainly chaged in the last five months or so. The two conferences are now down to sixteen members for foootball (Hawaii is a football-only member) and the concept of BCS bowls and AQ/non-AQ conferences is essentially out the window. Here’s the membership of those two conferences:

      I can’t imagine what the futures will be like for these two confernces. Will they merge and form a 16-team entitly like the WAC did in the 1990s? It seems to me like a combined MWC/C-USA Conference would have the same sorts of problems the WAC did a couple of decades ago.

      http://espn.go.com/college-sports/story/_/id/7554045/conference-usa-board-discuss-possibility-merging-mountain-west-source-says

      The CUSA board will discuss the merger this week. I think it has a good chance of passing.

      An important quote from the article:

      “Based upon my conversations with commissioner (John) Marinatto, the Big East has now completed its future membership plan. If this is true, it is very helpful as we can now move forward with our plans in a more stable national environment,” he said. “We hope that the other conferences appreciate the value of stability in intercollegiate athletics and higher education.”

      I think this merger could be much better than the SuperWAC. The SuperWAC suffered because they used pods and there were split rivalries all over the place. The MWC teams and CUSA teams have essentially no overlap, so the crossover games in FB present no issues with preserving rivalries. I’d say the ideal would be for both sides to grow to 9 teams so they can play 8 division games and no crossovers, but 8 works fine.

      6. By 2014, the five major conferences will have at least 64 members (14 + 14 + 12 + 12 +10), although that number could easily become 66 if the Big XII does expand with the additions of Lousville, Brigham Young or Cincinnati. I think it’s fair to say that we’re on the cusp of seeing the emergence of super conferences in due course, although the final format of the conferences (16 or 20 teams) and their number (at least four or maybe five) is still to be developed.

      I don’t think that’s fair to say at all, unless you mean on the cusp like people saying we’re on the cusp of having flying cars in every garage.

      Like

  20. B1G Jeff says:

    One subtle point I like about the proposal is that it is a means to overcome a competitive disadvantage the B1G faces – the advent of always playing on the road.

    Arguments against playing in cold weather sites need to be balanced against the reality that Michigan, PSU, tOSU and even Wisky constantly fill among the largest stadiums in the country. It stands to reason that those home semifinal games will be very well attended simply because of the size of our stadiums compared to the alternatives.

    Now consider the generally accepted speed advantage of the SEC. That’s perpetually enhanced by playing in warm weather, and enhanced even more by always playing close to home, if not actually at home (e.g. LSU) in BCS games, including championships. What better way to neutralize those advantages than forcing them to play elsewhere, particularly in the North?

    With respect to whether people want to go to a northern championship game, The NFL has led the way in showing that if it’s a championship that’s offered to the highest bidder, people will travel to it, just to say they were there.

    Delany et al, in taking the initiative may have done a bit to better balance the playing field.

    Like

    • cutter says:

      I went to a fantasy football event at the University of Michigan six years ago and then UM head coach Lloyd Carr talked about having a 16-team playoff with the initial rounds being played at the home stadiums of the higher rated teams during a Q&A session.

      Carr certainly looked forward to the idea of playing a home playoff game at Michigan Stadium in December. He talked about the possibility of playing Alabama (Michigan’s oppononent in the 2000 Orange Bowl) in Ann Arbor versus Miami as an example of what would be different.

      But you’re right about the stadiums. They’re all very large, have luxury boxes, and in the case of two of them, have hosted outdoor hockey games in December. Putting a college football playoff game at those sites wouldn’t be a logistical problem for any of them (although i do wonder about how the field turf would be footing wise in the cold).

      The one problem I see for any playoff scenario is the academic schedule. Michigan, for example, had its last day of class in 2011 on 13 December and had exam/study days extend to 22 December. I could see a lot of blowback to hosting a college football playoff game in Ann Arbor during tha time frame, both from the perspective of student attendance in the midst of a major testing period to having the football team practicing and playing during that time frame.

      If a four-team playoff does come to fruition, I could see it being played in late December–perhaps the third or even fourth Saturday of the year–in order to clear the scheduled exam dates.

      Like

      • B1G Jeff says:

        I would have (almost) given a limb to have had NU host a meaningful game during the holidays. It would have added to the college experience (as long as it wasn’t every year and preventing me any family time). Again, I’d welcome the footing issues resulting from frozen or sloppy turf. It would hurt SEC style play more than ours.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        Second Saturday in December would be before final exams. Holding a game during winter break when the campus has shut down already and the students are all away seems quite a bit less appealing.

        Like

        • cutter says:

          While you’re correct that 10 December would be before exams, I don’t know if that’s entirely practical from the standpoint of visiting fans setting up travel arrangements to get up to Michigan in a week’s time. That’s a pretty quick turnaround time–difficult, but not impossible.

          If we were doing it this year, then the first Saturday after exams would have been 24 December. Would students stick around to be in attendance for this game? Probably. Would the university keep the dorms open for a couple of days to accomodate this? I imagine they would given the circumstances surrounding the game.

          If the national championship game was held two weeks later, then it’d be on Saturday, 7 January. That’d be two days before the BCS championship game and it would mean sharing the stage with the NFL. I know they’re talking about getting the NC game closer to 1 January, but it’s hard to manipulate the schedule around what everyone wants.

          The NHL is going to have their 2013 Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium next year on 1 January with 2 January being the alternate date with the Detroit Red Wings hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs. They’re expecting to have over 100,000 fans there and are looking at breaking the record for the Big Chill game between Michigan and Michigan State (played on 11 December 2011). My take from this is that I could see a college football semi-final game played on Christmas Eve at Michigan Stadium having very little problem attendance wise.

          For more on the 2013 NHL Winter Classic, go to: http://www.freep.com/article/20120209/SPORTS05/202090513/Winter-Classic-NHL-gets-Michigan-Stadium-for-cool-3-million?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE%7Cs

          Like

          • The timing is tough. Ideally, everyone wants the playoff system to avoid (1) final exams, (2) competing with the NFL, (3) being on any low-rated TV days (such as Christmas Eve), (4) having the national championship game stretching far beyond New Year’s Day, (5) having fans travel to neutral sites multiple times and (6) giving too little time for fans to make plans to travel to such neutral sites.

            It’s probably going to be impossible to have a system that avoids all of the negatives listed above. In terms of priority, I think avoiding the NFL and low-rated TV dates are absolute requirements for the people that are ultimately paying for the playoff (the TV networks). (Note that what’s best for traveling fans, such as weekend and holiday dates, are often directly opposite to what’s best for the TV networks.) There’s probably going to be some give and take on all of the other issues.

            If what Rittenberg is saying is correct, then I think there will be a splitting of the baby with the semifinals being held 2 weeks after the conference championship games are played. It’s a date that works for TV without conflicting with the NFL, leaves at least 2 weeks (and maybe closer to 3) for the winning teams’ fans to make travel plans to the championship game, allows that championship game to be played closer to Nee Year’s Day, and the semifinals essentially kickoff the bowl season. The finals argument is disingenuous to me (even though it *should* be important) since there are already neutral site bowls being played during that timeframe. The powers that be can’t on the one hand say that traveling hundreds or thousands of miles during finals week for bowls is acceptable while campus site semifinals aren’t acceptable on the other hand. That sounds like another post-hoc justification to me.

            Like

      • Ross says:

        That’s actually a really good point about Michigan’s exam schedule. I graduated from Michigan, and this is spot on. I would have been hard pressed to go to a football game at that point, and I am sure some other Big Ten schools have similar schedules.

        Like

    • Jim in Florida says:

      Just have to put it in here. The SEC does not have a speed advantage over the Big 10 it has a size advantage over the Big 10.

      Like

    • I agree, except I think it is a bluff by the Big10. They know full well none of the warm weather conferences would EVER accept the possibility of having to play in Madison, WI or Ann Arbor, MI in December.

      Like

      • B1G Jeff says:

        Ok, I’ll bite, especially when I hear always or never (ever). Why not? And to what end would you see the ‘bluff’ playing out?

        Like

        • wmtiger says:

          One thought is the B10 is using this as a tactic to gain more bargaining power, just like how the B10/Pac 12 use “their” Rose Bowl as a bargaining chip. Both the Pac 12 & B10 won’t accept any playoff system that they don’t get at least their fair share.

          Like

        • The Big10 knows southern schools will never agree to playing December games in the upper Midwest. As Frank said, the Big10 can no longer be called the obstructionist in the matter of a playoff, they’ve put forward a solid proposal that limits travel and maximizes profits by not paying the middle man of a neutral field.

          Now, if the southern schools shock everyone and agree to this scenario? I honestly don’t know what the Big10 powers would do. I think they’d be crazy to pass it up. The opportunity to face USC, Texas, Florida State or anyone from the SEC outdoors in sub-freezing temperatures would be the greatest advantage imaginable.

          Historically, I can only think of one time when a warm weather school travelled into “cold” weather late in the year with National Championship implications riding on the game. Florida State-Notre Dame 1993. And while it was a classic game, FSU played probably their poorest game of the year and lost the game. Only a Notre Dame letdown the next week allowed them to get back in the title hunt.

          Can anyone else think of such a matchup? Maybe a USC travelled to Washington late in the year with the Rose Bowl on the line? Has USC ever had to play Notre Dame in South Bend when the weather was truly bad? Seems to me like the always play in mid- to late-October before it gets too cold.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            Why would the southern schools oppose this? I think this is a Big 10 fantasy that somehow the southern schools are afraid of playing in the cold, which is really just an excuse for the lousy showing of the B1G in the Rose Bowl over the years and of Ohio St. vs. SEC schools in recent years.

            Now if you have a choice you play in better weather. But southern schools have played in Dallas in the Cotton Bowl in really bad weather. The Big 10 proposal is very reasonable and I don’t think its any kind of bluff.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            The Pacific NW just doesn’t get that cold; chilly and rainy, sure, but pretty much never freezing. With Colorado & Utah added, though, those places _do_ get cold in November (now we just need CU and the Utes to be credible threats).

            Miami had to travel to VTech (and other places up north) late in the year when they were in the BE.

            The B12 did hold their championship game in open-air Arrowhead 5 times (though every time, the South was represented by OU; All 5 times Texas played in the B12 title game, it was indoors or in TX or both; 4 of the 5 times, it was in TX; the only time it was outside TX was the very first B12 title game when they pulled off a shocker against Nebraska in the dome in St. Louis).

            The southern powers in the B12 & ACC do have to venture up north late in the year occassionally, though it’s questionable whether they’ll have to play anyone good in the cold.

            The SEC powers, however, could get away with being pussies. One small benefit to Mizzou joining the SEC is that some of the southern powers in the SEC East may actually have to play a decent team in cold weather (and they already have to visit Lexington late in the year occassionally, though it’s been a while since UK was good at football). The SEC West, however, can still get away with being pussies & play for a national title despite never playing in under 50 degree weather.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Speaking of which, I just looked at Mizzou’s 2012 schedule & it’s hilarious. They have Mizzou on the road all of November. Alabama visits when it’s still nice outside in October. UGa in September. Looks like TAMU may be the SEC West sacrificial lamb that has to brave the MO cold Thanksgiving week every other year, though (at least until the Aggies complain enough).

            Like

          • Richard says:

            The cynic in me says the SEC will never send UF or UGa to play @Mizzou in November. Heck, they may never schedule an SEC East team besides UK or Vandy (or maybe Tennessee) to play @Mizzou in November.

            We’ll see over the next decade.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            Why would the southern schools oppose this?

            You know why people are saying they will oppose this. You may disagree, but don’t act like you don’t know what he is talking about.

            I think this is a Big 10 fantasy that somehow the southern schools are afraid of playing in the cold, which is really just an excuse for the lousy showing of the B1G in the Rose Bowl over the years and of Ohio St. vs. SEC schools in recent years.

            You are conflating two issues. The home field advantage enjoyed by USC in the Rose Bowl due to physical proximity is real. For all your bad mouthing of the B10, these are the Rose Bowl stats:

            B10 – 30-37, 0.448
            B10 not against USC – 24-21, 0.533

            P12 – 47-42-3, 0.527
            USC – 24-8, 0.750 (16-6 vs B10, 8-2 vs others)
            Rest of P12 – 23-34-3, 0.408

            The B10 has a USC problem in the Rose Bowl, and so does everyone else. It’s not a weather thing, especially now that teams have indoor practice facilities. It’s a familiarity and fan advantage, like LSU in the Sugar or Miami in the Orange.

            OSU had a string of bad luck, close games and bad losses against the SEC in bowls (years are the season, not the bowl day):
            1977 AL in Sugar by 29
            19889 AU in HoF by 17
            1992 GA in Citrus by 7
            1994 AL in Citrus by 7
            1995 TN in Citrus by 6 – the illegal cleats game
            2000 SC in Outback by 17 – got Cooper fired
            2001 SC in Outback by 3
            2006 FL in AZ by 27
            2007 LSU in NO by 14
            2010 beat AR by 5 – vacated
            2011 FL in Gator by 7

            Note there was 1 whole game outside of SEC territory. You have 1 game for Woody, 5 for Cooper who never met a big game he couldn’t lose, and 1 for an interim coach. You also have Tressel going 1-3 including losing two NCGs, with LSU playing at home, but the win got vacated.

            Some of those losses were unlucky and some were beatdowns. The rest of the B10 does fine against the SEC in bowls, though. OSU had a bad bowl coach plus some tough competition.

            The issue with weather is that northern teams have to be built to accommodate it while southern teams don’t. If you then play all the bowls in warm weather sites you put the northern teams at a disadvantage. Look at what happened to Miami when it was 50 degrees and they played WI in a bowl a couple of years ago. While the Canes huddled around heaters every chance they got, the Badgers ground them into paste. IA versus GT had some of that too, IIRC. Even the NFL has shown it with southern teams really struggling to win in the north in winter. It is a real factor.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Brian
            Big 10 schools didn’t even play on Thanksgiving until recently. And they don’t play any ooc games after September (unless someone schedules a vacation in Hawaii), so obviously southern schools don’t play in Big 10 territory in cold weather.

            To say they are afraid is totally without any basis in fact. And again, Big 10 fans have been complaining about playing in SEC territory and blaming that on their losses. I said Ohio St., because, as you pointed out, its only Ohio St. who’s had problems. And they’ve been the flagship the last 10 years and so the whole Big 10 has taken a hit.

            As for the Rose, you know full well the Big 10 had a long difficult stretch in the Rose against anyone the Pac sent up following Ohio St.’s ’68 MNC up until the 90s. There were lots of upsets. And all the Big 10 fans were complaining about having to play in California and that’s why they lost. In that stretch USC was 8-3, Stanford was 2-0, UCLA was 4-0, Arizona St. was 1-0 and Washington was 4-1. That was 4-19 and USC had more trouble against the Big 10 than anyone else.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Well, now some B10 teams play OOC games late in the season, and in 2011, a southern team (Rice) even had the gumption to play us in cold weather.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            BTW, the last time UF played in Lexington in November was 1990. The last time they visited Knoxville in November was 1954. I don’t expect UF to ever visit Mizzou in November in my lifetime. I suppose if Vandy ever became a challenge, they’d have to ask the SEC to move that game up before the first week of November as well. Can’t expect the Gators to play against a team that could beat them when the temperature is under 50 degrees, after all. Too much to ask.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Oh man, more SEC scheduling hilarity:

            Over the past 10 years, when UK visited UGa, they played in late November; when UGa visited Lexington, they played in either the first week of November or October.

            I suppose that shows a bit more courage than the Bulldogs did previously; before 2004, UGa _never_ played a game @UK in November.

            Mind you, KY isn’t even in the Midwest (but it could get below 50 in late November!)

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            Big 10 schools didn’t even play on Thanksgiving until recently. And they don’t play any ooc games after September (unless someone schedules a vacation in Hawaii), so obviously southern schools don’t play in Big 10 territory in cold weather.

            To say they are afraid is totally without any basis in fact. And again, Big 10 fans have been complaining about playing in SEC territory and blaming that on their losses. I said Ohio St., because, as you pointed out, its only Ohio St. who’s had problems. And they’ve been the flagship the last 10 years and so the whole Big 10 has taken a hit.

            I didn’t bring up the regular season weather. I fully understand why that happens. I mentioned bowl game weather, and winter NFL weather. If it’s a factor for NFL teams and players, I think it’s fair to consider it a factor for CFB.

            I also didn’t say the SEC was scared. I don’t think they are thrilled at the prospect of playing in Madison in December, but I don’t think they are that worried about it either. They are more likely too arrogant to think the B10 would ever have home field advantage over the SEC. Perhaps you are blurring Richard’s comments with mine.

            As for the home field argument, you’ll never convince me it isn’t valid. It doesn’t cause every loss, obviously, but it makes the difference in some close games. OSU and the B10 would have better bowl records if they played half their bowls in the midwest.

            As for the Rose, you know full well the Big 10 had a long difficult stretch in the Rose against anyone the Pac sent up following Ohio St.’s ’68 MNC up until the 90s. There were lots of upsets.

            Like most things, success has gone in cycles in the Rose Bowl.

            B10 vs P10 in the Rose Bowl:
            1946-1968: B10 17-6
            1969-1986: B10 2-16
            1987-2000: B10 9-5
            2001-2011: B10 1-5

            1969-1986 in detail:

            Closely matched teams
            1969 #5 USC > #7 MI
            1972 #1 USC > #3 OSU
            1973 #4 OSU > #7 USC
            1974 #5 USC > #3 OSU
            1976 #3 USC > #2 MI
            1978 #3 USC > #5 MI
            1979 #3 USC > #1 OSU
            1981 #12 UW > #13 IA
            1986 #7 ASU > #4 MI

            B10 a major favorite
            1970 #12 Stanford > #2 OSU
            1971 #16 Stanford > #4 MI
            1975 #11 UCLA > #1 OSU
            1977 #13 UW > #4 MI
            1980 #5 MI > #16 UW
            1983 NR UCLA > #4 IL
            1984 #18 USC > #6 OSU
            1985 #13 UCLA > #4 IA

            B10 a major underdog
            1982 #5 UCLA > #19 MI

            Those were 18 bad years, including 7 upsets by the P10 (1 by the B10). 6 of those upsets were by CA schools, 4 by LA schools playing at home. Half of the time it was a fairly equal matchup, and the P10 went 8-1 in large part because USC went 6-1 playing at home.

            In summary, USC and UCLA went 11-1, Stanford was 2-0, UW was 2-1 and ASU was 1-0. I’d say home field advantage is a consideration in that streak.

            Still, that was 25 season ago. No current players were alive when that stretch ended. The conferences are even since the 1987 season. You can’t just cherry pick a stretch of years ending 25 years ago.

            And all the Big 10 fans were complaining about having to play in California and that’s why they lost. In that stretch USC was 8-3, Stanford was 2-0, UCLA was 4-0, Arizona St. was 1-0 and Washington was 4-1. That was 4-19 and USC had more trouble against the Big 10 than anyone else.

            You added 5 more years that really belong to the next era (USC went 1-2 and UW 2-0). See my numbers above.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Brian. You’re cherry picking too. The period I stopped at was when Big 10 fans quit complaining about being on the road-because they won 7 of 9 and then the Big 10/Pac 10 Rose Bowl got changed.

            It struck me how the Rose has become as much a Big 12 bowl as Big 10/Pac 10 with the current BCS rules. There was a 5 year period with 4 Big 12 schools. If you count dual hosting after 2009, there have been 8 Big 10, 8 Pac 10, 6 Big 12 (counting UNL and then MWC member TCU), 1 SEC and 1 BE now ACC school over the last 12 years. It has shifted back a little in recent years as Ohio St. and USC haven’t been in as many BCS title games as they were for a while. But you can see why the B1G is concerned about the impact of the status quo on their Rose Bowl position.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            And I don’t think the Rose is a significant disadvantage for the Big 10, if any. The stadium is usually half and half. Even USC and UCLA are usually staying in hotels instead of at home so that’s not an advantage. I know when Texas played USC the stadium was half and half (if not slightly more burnt orange). The Sugar might be a little different with the large local contingent.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            You’re cherry picking too.

            I used the entire history of the Rose Bowl since the B10/P10 agreement started. That’s the definition of not cherry picking. You used 1969~1990. That’s cherry picking.

            The period I stopped at was when Big 10 fans quit complaining about being on the road-because they won 7 of 9 and then the Big 10/Pac 10 Rose Bowl got changed.

            I am not aware that B10 fans have ever stopped complaining. I’ve seen several people complain about it here in the past few months. I changed the end date of that period by 5 years because I think my definition better fits the period of P10 dominance and then the B10’s resurrection before the BCS messed up the game.

            It struck me how the Rose has become as much a Big 12 bowl as Big 10/Pac 10 with the current BCS rules. There was a 5 year period with 4 Big 12 schools.

            I don’t think it’s really fair to count both NE and TCU as B12, not that your point changes much. I would say that 4 in 5 years without a B10/P10 game (as it happens, there was always a B12 team instead plus Miami) explains exactly why the Rose and the conferences complained.

            If you count dual hosting after 2009, there have been 8 Big 10, 8 Pac 10, 6 Big 12 (counting UNL and then MWC member TCU), 1 SEC and 1 BE now ACC school over the last 12 years.

            I don’t count the double hosting because that isn’t the Rose Bowl and nobody cares about the conference match up for that.

            It has shifted back a little in recent years as Ohio St. and USC haven’t been in as many BCS title games as they were for a while. But you can see why the B1G is concerned about the impact of the status quo on their Rose Bowl position.

            Exactly. Except for having to throw a bone to TCU, the Rose has returned to normal.
            ___

            And I don’t think the Rose is a significant disadvantage for the Big 10, if any. The stadium is usually half and half. Even USC and UCLA are usually staying in hotels instead of at home so that’s not an advantage. I know when Texas played USC the stadium was half and half (if not slightly more burnt orange). The Sugar might be a little different with the large local contingent.

            History says you are wrong. It’s a major disadvantage when USC is in it. It is a lesser issue with anyone else. The stadium split isn’t the major problem, although the B10 fans can call it unfair for having to spend so much more than the USC fans (airfare, hotel and food).

            As for staying in a hotel, USC following their standard game day routine but in a different hotel is a little different than traveling 3000 miles to stay in a hotel in a strange city. The B10 has to adjust to the time difference, the food, the bacteria, the air, the weather, etc. They are not comparable situations.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I think the losses to USC are because USC has had some really good teams during the last 40 years.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            Of course that explains some of the losses. But USC wins way too frequently, including upsets, for that to be the whole explanation. Playing the B10 runner up a couple of times recently helped, too, but that isn’t the root of the problem.

            At this point I just agree to disagree with you.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      B1G Jeff,

      With respect to whether people want to go to a northern championship game, The NFL has led the way in showing that if it’s a championship that’s offered to the highest bidder, people will travel to it, just to say they were there.

      Let’s not go overboard here. The northern sites:

      1982 Silverdome (Detroit)
      1992 Metrodome (Minneapolis)
      2006 Ford Field (Detroit)
      2012 Lucas Oil (Indy)
      2014 MetLife (NYC)

      That’s 5 of 48. The coldest site to get 2 is Atlanta, and it has yet to be held outdoors in the north (2014 is the first). Ignored sites:

      St. Louis – new indoor stadium in 1995
      Charlotte – new stadium in 1996
      Washington, DC – new stadium in 1997
      Baltimore – new stadium in 1998
      Cleveland – new stadium in 1999
      Nashville – new stadium in 1999
      Cincinnati – new stadium in 2000
      Pittsburgh – new stadium in 2001
      Denver – new stadium in 2001
      Boston – new stadium in 2002
      Seattle – new stadium in 2002
      Philadelphia – new stadium in 2003

      Also, KC and Chicago renovated somewhat recently. Do you see a trend? Outside of the south and NYC, only new domes get the Super Bowl and only some of those. Outdoor stadiums have no shot. The NFL is hardly blazing a trail of northern championship games.

      Like

      • B1G Jeff says:

        Brian, that’s really not the point. Forget ’82 and ’92, that’s ancient history (i.e. when it was a novelty). Let’s look at ’06, ’12 and ’14. That’s thrice in 9 years. That’s about once every four years in recent history, evenly predicted with a north, southeast, southwest, west rotation.

        The NFL likes domes. Perhaps the NCAA likes 100,000 seat stadiums. It’s to be determined. Hopefully, we’ll see how much sway the B1G (or B1G/PAC coalition) actually has.

        My predominant point is let’s not be dismissive here. There are real disadvantages that we are trying and should be trying to overcome, and negotiating from a position of strength seems like an effective means to counter other built in advantages warmer climate conferences have enjoyed for decades. Who knows how it will work out? I’m just glad our side appears to be rectifying the inherent disadvantages in play.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          B1G Jeff,

          Brian, that’s really not the point.

          Really? What is the point, then? You said:

          “With respect to whether people want to go to a northern championship game, The NFL has led the way in showing that if it’s a championship that’s offered to the highest bidder, people will travel to it, just to say they were there.”

          I think the NFL’s scant history of northern super bowls is very much relevant to the NFL “leading the way” in terms of northern games. They’ve avoided outdoor northern games for almost 50 years, and they’re only playing that one because NYC built a new stadium for 2 teams, the NFL HQ is there and it’s the biggest city in the US. Brand new outdoor stadiums in every other non-southern location have been skipped. Even northern domes only get 1 game and then never return to the rotation. Atlanta barely makes the rotation (2 games – the last in 2000) despite a dome. The precedent the NFL is setting is to never play in the north if you can avoid it.

          Forget ’82 and ’92, that’s ancient history (i.e. when it was a novelty). Let’s look at ’06, ’12 and ’14. That’s thrice in 9 years. That’s about once every four years in recent history, evenly predicted with a north, southeast, southwest, west rotation.

          Yes, that’s very convenient to ignore all the years that don’t favor your argument. History didn’t start in 2006. Your 3 in 9 years is also 3 in 23 years and 4 in 33 years and 5 in 49 years. That’s 1 outdoor northern game in 49 chances.

          The NFL likes domes.

          No, the NFL likes warm weather sites.

          Super Bowl cities:
          10 – New Orleans, Miami
          7 – LA
          4 – Tampa
          3 – San Diego, Phoenix
          2 – Atlanta, Houston
          1 – Dallas, SF, Jax

          Northern domes only got 4 games ever (1 each for 4 sites) and 1 dome never even got 1.

          Like

          • B1G Jeff says:

            Even if your logic is correct, your reasoning isn’t applicable to the challenge in front of us. History didn’t start in 2006, but a modern era may have. Extrapolating your argument to other considerations, throughout American history, women couldn’t vote and Blacks didn’t have rights. Times change.

            I look forward to revisiting this once it flushes out. I’ll remain optimistic. To answer your question, the real bottom line is the B1G needs a competitive disadvantage corrected, and if we don’t negotiate toward that end, we’ll have a higher probability of repeating the same results. I’m just glad our University Presidents are seemingly sharp enough to recognize this (or in FTT-speak, ‘negotiate like a University President’).

            Also, football is uniquely an all-environment sport and should be played in all conditions, it’s not a warm weather beauty content. Americans worship at the football shrine and will do so whether in an Ice Bowl or Fog Bowl.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            B1G Jeff,

            Even if your logic is correct, your reasoning isn’t applicable to the challenge in front of us. History didn’t start in 2006, but a modern era may have. Extrapolating your argument to other considerations, throughout American history, women couldn’t vote and Blacks didn’t have rights. Times change.

            Really? You’re comparing Super Bowl sites to suffrage and slavery? I guess I missed the constitutional amendment and/or major legislation in 2005 that changed the NFL forever. You can’t begin to argue for a modern era that is inclusive of northern sites until a northern site gets a second Super Bowl, preferably not NYC as the city is a bit of a special case. Any other outdoor game in the north would also be a potential signal. All I see is the NFL paying off teams for extorting hundreds of millions from local taxpayers for new stadiums.

            Also, football is uniquely an all-environment sport and should be played in all conditions, it’s not a warm weather beauty content. Americans worship at the football shrine and will do so whether in an Ice Bowl or Fog Bowl.

            I think some other sports would argue about football being unique in that respect. As for whether it should be played in bad conditions, I think that’s a bad choice for a championship. Ideally the weather is not a factor. It shouldn’t be 100 degrees and it shouldn’t be 10 degrees. The field shouldn’t be rock hard or a swamp. The fog bowl was an embarrassment, and so was the ice bowl. If you want to determine the best team, you should have limits for the weather. Reschedule the game rather than play a pseudo-football game completely determined by weather.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Both teams have to play in the same weather, so I don’t get how weather can determine a game. There’s more to football than being able to throw a spiral or catch a ball under perfect conditions. The best team should be able to win under many weather conditions, not just your aesthetic ideal.

            Like

      • Richard says:

        BTW, speaking of sites, I’m partial to letting the top 5 conferences vote. In that case, you may very well see sites that get support from at least 2 conferences. For instance,
        STL (B10 & SEC)
        FedEx (B10 & ACC)
        Atlanta (ACC & SEC)
        JerryWorld (SEC & B12)
        Phoenix (Pac & maybe B12)

        Like

    • B1G Jeff says:

      I think a lot of these comments are overly cryptic. It’s a negotiation. I thought the B1G and the PAC12 had so much clout. Given the removal of home field advantage inherent in the proposal, why not take this at face value and believe this is our negotiating position. It would seem to me nothing is to be gained by public posturing. We could have just said no, taken our ball and kept on. A college playoff without the B1G and Pac12 isn’t happening.

      I like the positioning. Negotiate hard to your strength and bring light to the fact that we’ve been disadvantaged all along without whining about it.

      Like

      • Ross says:

        Anyone wonder whether or not the southern schools will give in on this issue? If the Big Ten is actually interested in making a playoff happen in that format, would they try to get say the Big East/ACC on their side?

        Like

  21. Harris says:

    Don’t sleep on Delaware potentially joining the Big East /ACC. Tons of alumni in NYC/NJ/PA/MD, close to Phila TV market. A dominant FCS football program. Consistently sell out home games against no name opponents. Good academic reputation (#75 in the US News Rankings).

    Oh, and they are expanding their football stadium to 34,000: http://www.tigerdroppings.com/rant/p/20564678/Delaware-Blue-Hens-to-the-Big-East.aspx

    Like

  22. Brian #2 says:

    Very happy for Memphis. They have a great fanbase and this should be a nice boon for the city. Potential home basketball games against the likes of UConn, Louisville, Georgetown, Villanova, etc should provide a nice boost in revenue and exposure. Memphis football is rebuilding but will always have considerable upside given their proximity in the South.

    Like

  23. Good stuff, Frank. I think we’ve all seen that despite the grandiose conjecture, realignment moves pretty slowly, making the talk of Clemson-FSU to the Big 12 seem pretty unrealistic.

    At the end of the day, the whole discussion really comes down to the viability of independence as a business model. That possibility continues to hang out there with Texas, which fuels the perception of Big 12 instability. Plus, you have the Big 12, ACC and B1G (maybe) still wanting to leave their options open in hopes of landing ND.

    Ultimately, the payoff for schools like Pitt, FSU and Clemson in moving to the Big 12 now could be huge down the line. If ND eventually has to join a conference (and I think they will), the ability to keep their third-tier rights would probably make the Big 12 a logical landing spot if the conference had already added some of the ACC schools. But that would take a huge leap of faith the by the ACC schools, obviously.

    Like

  24. bullet says:

    Interesting article on how college football has gotten into politics instead of the other way around.

    Goes back to when WVU’s entry into the Big 12 got delayed and WV Senators acted like idiots holding press conferences accusing KY’s Senator of improper conduct for doing exactly what they had been doing.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0212/72591.html

    Like

  25. [...] to the Big East is complete; more Louisville to Big 12 Rumors Big 12 Expansion Rumors II: The More Realistic Louisville/BYU (or TBD) Scenario – I don’t claim [...]

    Like

  26. joe4psu says:

    C-USA contacts Temple; MWC merger changes weekly – Brett McMurphy, CBSSports.com

    http://brett-mcmurphy.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/29532522/34753656

    Like

  27. Jim in Florida says:

    Jim Delany you where my last hope. Its now only a matter of time before a team with 4 losses is “champion”. I no longer care about the NFL because huge chunks of the season just don’t matter.

    Like

    • I understand what you’re saying, but is there any sport where that isn’t the case? It’s not like college basketball teams are running the table. The greatest NBA team of all time (96 Bulls) lost 10 games. College football is the only sport where champions routinely run the table. And while there’s something kinda cool about that, I think it also has its drawbacks. If a team loses a game on opening weekend in September with a young QB, does that automatically mean they shouldn’t have any chance of playing for the title in January?

      Like

      • Brian says:

        There’s a difference between 0/1 loss or 2/3/4 losses for a champ in CFB. Other champs lose more games, but they also play a lot more games.

        The past 2 super bowl winners were 10-6 and 9-7 in the regular season. Real CFB fans don’t want that sort of crap to happen in CFB. Winning a lot in the regular season should be important.

        Like

  28. GinFizzBear says:

    Frank, let me assure you that if Cal were to make it to a semifinal in Tuscaloosa as a #4 seed, get thumped 59-0, and sent packing to the Rose Bowl, Cal fans would snap up those tickets in half an hour.

    Like

  29. Static4 says:

    It all boils down to Football and Money. The Big-12 offers better football and more money for Clemson, Fsu, and whoever else in the ACC that might be looking at jumping ship. The ACC’s main priority is Basketball and I think that rubs Clemson and Fsu the wrong way. They realize the remain relevant in the football world and be able to recruit against the “almighty” SEC, then they need a better brand of football to offer the recuits. If you were being recruited by FSU and Clemson which would you be more excited about games against OU, Texas, WVU, OKST, and TCU…..or games against Vtech, G-tech, NC, Maryland, and BC. I would pick option 1. If the Big-12 were to reel in Fsu, clemson and 2 others then I believe the “instability” of the conference will go away. How many people actually thought Mizzou would go to the SEC? Just goes to show you anything can happen.

    Like

    • acaffrey says:

      Florida State recruiting does just fine. They simply cannot win any more. Either they are selecting the wrong players or not coaching them up sufficiently.

      Like

      • charlie says:

        @acaffrey: you’re only partially right: it’s not just FSU, it’s the entire ACC. ACC schools consistently pull in some of the best recruiting classes, there’s always tons of ACC kids at the combine, and loads of former ACC players are in the NFL. clearly, the ACC’s lack of success isn’t due to a lack of talent. this year alone, according to espn.com, FSU had the #2 recruiting class, Miami was at #8, and Clemson was at #9. plus, VPI was at #25. if ACC schools are already getting this kind of talent and failing miserably with it, what incentive (from a purely athletic standpoint) would they have to join a tougher conference? it’s not like they’re suddenly going to start to recruit better (FSU ranked ABOVE Texas this year). from an academic point of view, why leave the prestige of the ACC to go to the BIG XII which is losing AAU schools left and right?

        Like

    • wmtiger says:

      The only reason FSU or Clemson would leave the ACC for the Big XII would be if the Big XII’s next tv deal far exceeds that of the ACC’s recent media deal. We’ll have to wait and see how that plays out when the Big XII signs its next deal which likely won’t be for at least a couple more years.

      Like

      • PhilF says:

        FSU and Clemson’s supposed gripes with the ACC revolve around the league’s decision making, not revenue. They’re fed up with how basketball drove the bus on expansion and how football is becoming a 2nd class citizen in the ACC. The SEC has out-maneuvered the ACC in football for years now and FSU & Clemson are fed up.

        Like

  30. As I wrote in my Big Ten playoff analysis http://www.nittanylionsden.com/2012-articles/february/the-empire-strikes-first-delanys-playoff-proposal.html
    I think giving the Semifinal game two weeks to breathe after the CCG would be best for CFB. However, there is no way you can throw the losers back in the pool. No chance. You simply can’t keep all the bowl games in flux until Christmas time.

    The only scenario would be–and this is super weird and foreign to American sports fans–is to have a consolation game between teams 3 and 4. Where to play such a game? Play it four days before the championship game maybe? The media is already there for the NC game. The city gets twice the tourism, as a decent-sized crowd from teams 3 and 4 shows up, even while a huge crowd for teams 1 and 2 is descending. Somebody suggested New Year’s Eve for the 3rd place game…and Jan 4 for the championship game.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Nobody wants a consolation game. Fans won’t travel or watch on TV.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        A game of the semifinal losers wouldn’t pull in ratings as much as what the Sun Bowl or bowl in Houston usually get? I highly doubt that’s true.

        As a comparable, the MSU-Georgia Outback Bowl, matching 2 teams who lost their conference championship game (and going against 3 other bowl games, 2 others also B10-SEC, at the same time) pulled a 5.14 rating. The Sun Bowl pulled in a 2.71. The bowl in Houston pulled in a 2.69.

        Like

        • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

          Thanks for those stats, Richard. I see Brian’s sentiment though…

          When UGA/MSU is scheduled, it’s using the old paradigm of “it doesn’t matter how you got there, you’re there now!” That rules the bowl mentality. (See UCLA/Illinois last year, for more on this.)

          But if the game is literally advertised as the consolation bowl, fans will mock it. But, can bowl execs/NCAA creatively market the game…give it a new title that reframes it as something other than the LOSER BOWL. Maybe the Championship Cup (rather than the Championship Bowl or Championship Game). Sure, everybody will know what it is…but it’s still worth playing for. In reality, winning the third place game means a heck of a lot more than EVERY OTHER bowl out there. No reason it can’t work.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            How about just calling it the Sun Bowl (or Whatever-Sponsor Bowl if it’s in Houston)?

            Like

          • That makes sense. If this goes forward, the old “alliance” system will return. Bowls will be able to lock in conference matchups (the way the non-BCS bowls do today). I’m sure one of the bowls would take a “consolation” game every year. It’d be a great matchup…and OBVIOUSLY no one would advertise it as a consolation bowl.

            You wouldn’t want an enormous stadium to fill just because of the “letdown” of losing the playoff. The Cotton Bowl would be too big but the Orange and Fiesta (both seat about 75,000) would be nice candidates to “lock down” the 3rd place game.

            Or perhaps these “major” bowls would be too concerned about losing prestige. Maybe a lesser bowl (like the Gator or Alamo or Holiday) would take the bowl and hope it would rise even more in prestige.

            Either way, I like the idea!

            Like

  31. Hopkins Horn says:

    Just throwing a name out there for the hell of it since I rarely see them mentioned in this context. If the Big 12 has a serious financial incentive to get to 12, and BYU won’t play ball, why not consider USF?

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Their budget is right around Cincinnati’s near the bottom of the AQs. And they haven’t been FCS for very long, so there’s a perception problem, in addition to geography. And while they have been competitive, they’re one of the few BE teams not to at least share the title in recent years. They haven’t been really good in anything. Personally, they would be #5 of the 5 remaining BE schools.

      Like

      • acaffrey says:

        I never understand “budget” as a consideration. If a school doesn’t have a lot of revenue, how can it have a significant budget?

        Like

        • zeek says:

          It can’t, that’s the entire point. Look at Louisville with their gangbusters basketball revenue and pretty strong overall revenue.

          That’s especially true for the Big East values right now given that they barely receive any TV money, so their revenue is a pretty good gauge for overall strength.

          Louisville pulls in around 50% more revenue than USF or Cincinnati.

          Like

          • zeek says:

            On that note, UConn would be a decent addition to the Big 12 alongside Louisville if it wasn’t so far away…

            Like

    • zeek says:

      It’s not a bad idea, but how much does the Big 12 get out of them other than long distance travel?

      I mean you’ve already made the important point with respect to the financial incentive. If that incentive is there, then it’s just a matter of going to 12 rather than a question of composition (as much), although you would like to maximize value and find another team like WVU (i.e. BYU) in your move to 12.

      If you’re going to 12 with Louisville + 1, then what really is the difference between Cincinnati and USF at this point? Might as well wait and see what becomes of the Big East and how those teams do over the coming years.

      I think the real decision time will be the next contract. That’s when the Big 12 really has to decide whether to forgo the CCG and extra 2 teams inventory…

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Well I think that time is now. ESPN is wanted to re-negotiate early, so they’ll be talking over the next 6-9 months instead of starting 18 months from now.

        Like

    • Richard says:

      Actually, the name I’m surprised no one has mentioned is Miami. People have talked about FSU, Clemson, Maryland, Pitt, Rutgers, and even UNC & Duke joining the B12–pretty much every team in the ACC except Wake and . . . Miami(!)

      Yet if you look at the list of attractive teams who may have an interest in joining, how is, say, Maryland higher on the list (in either category) than Miami? Note that the ‘Canes are scared stiff about FSU ever leaving the ACC, and FSU is the only school that is (barely, but not really) within driving distance of Miami anyway. For whatever conference they’re in, they’d have to fly pretty much everywhere anyway.

      Like

      • Silentrutus says:

        Until everything is cleared up with the latest Miami scandal, I don’t see any conference looking at them.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Not exactly a smart way to make a “one hundred year decision”, so, unless some conferene think’s the U is getting the death penalty, I don’t think it will be an issue.

          Like

  32. RoDi says:

    Frank, I think you underestimate the value of Cinci to the BigXII. No doubt BYU has a large national fan base, but Cinci: (1) would be a natural rival for WVU, (2) has a decent football team, (3) is in a large(ish) market and could build a larger one across Ohio, and (4) is a whole lot closer than Provo. Cinci is a project, but not a bad one.

    Like

    • charlie says:

      @RoDi: as someone who’s lived all over the state of Ohio (Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Columbus, and Cincinnati), I can tell you that you are overestimating the value of Cinci to the BigXII

      1) whether WVU’s “rival” in the BigXII is Cinci or Louisville, it won’t matter: WVU’s main rival is and always will be Pitt
      2) Cinci’s football team was only decent when Brian Kelly was there. now that he’s gone, the football team will decend back to mediocrity. if Cinci joined the BigXII, they don’t have the brand name to compete for recruits with Kansas State, let alone Texas. where are they going to pull big time players from? the state of Ohio? that brings me to my next point
      3) this is the big one for me – for starters: Cinci is smaller than Columbus and Cleveland. second, Cinci is a college basketball town, and we all know that football is driving the expansion bus. the Cinci – Xavier basketball crosstown showdown is the biggest college sporting event in the city. in fact, I would say that in terms of interest of non-professional sports in the city of Cinci, the order goes: 1) college bball 2) high school football (Moeller vs St. Xavier HS) 3) Ohio State football 4) Cinci football. now, to extrapolate that, you cannot claim that Cinci fb can build an interest across the entire state of Ohio when it’s not even the third most popular non-pro venue in its own city. the college sports attention of the state of Ohio is and always will be dominated by Ohio State. even in the couple of years that Cinci was doing well, no one in Ohio really paid attention outside of Cinci. where are you going to generate interest for Cinci fb in the state of Ohio? Columbus is dominated by Ohio State, as is Cleveland. plus, Cleveland and Cinci don’t exactly get along, and, even if they did, there’s so much MAC football in northern Ohio (Toledo, Bowling Green, Akron, Kent) that you’d be hard pressed to make inroads there
      4) yes, Cinci is closer than Provo to WVU, but both schools are pretty much equidistant to Texas (the epicenter for the BigXII). plus, if I were the BigXII, I’d rather go after the Mormon community which is spread nationwide and very numerous

      basically, what I’m saying is that Cinci is a MAC team that got played a favorable hand, but people tend to try to get them to overplay that hand

      Like

      • Dave says:

        2) Cinci was pretty good with Dantonio, too.
        3) Although the city of Cinci is smaller than Columbus or Cleveland, it’s actually the largest metro area (Columbus is the largest city, but the smallest metro area).
        4) The thing is that the Big 12 now has WVU; expansion into the mountain west would make it a three time zone league. And I don’t think women’s field hockey wants to travel from Provo to Morgantown every other year.

        Like

      • indydoug says:

        Don’t think UC will “descend back to mediocrity”. They just won their 3rd BE title in 4 yrs & had school’s best recruiting class ever. So, although they aren’t OSU, they are a solid BCS school.

        Like

        • I was under the impression that WV won the big east (though UC got a share). And didn’t Cincy get waxed by one of the SEC’s worst teams (Vols)? That’s kind of mediocre IMO. Maybe a step above that, but not by all that much.

          Like

  33. frug says:

    Does anyone know if the Fed-Ex guy’s offer to give $15 million (or whatever amount it was) to any AQ conference that added Memphis is still valid?

    Like

  34. Nemo San Houston says:

    Why not Rice to the Big 12 as a companion to ULor even as a stopgap if WVa isn’t allowed out of their Big East contract? Private school in Houston with a huge stadium, great baseball program, will raise the academic profile of the conference as a whole. Apparently the PAC was considering Rice as a travel companion for UT in the latest superconference bonanza.

    Like

  35. BuckeyeBeau says:

    FtT linked an article about the ACC negotiating a new TV rights deal. I am going to link it again. http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2012/02/06/Colleges/ACC-TV.aspx

    Very important point that I have not seen raised — or sufficiently emphasized — here or anywhere else: both ACC and SEC expanded in order to open up their TV deals for renegotiation. Further, both needed two teams to open up their TV deals. (Add to that: BXII is being strong-armed into adding two more teams by ESpin.)

    This suggests several things to me. ESpin and the other networks are the ones really running this conference realignment show. ACC and SEC are not going to expand again anytime soon unless they have to open up their TV deals again. ACC and SEC would not have expanded but for the need to renegotiate their TV deals (or, at minimum, SEC would have stopped at A&M). The B1G will not expand again anytime soon (other than for ND) since, with the BTN, it has no need to renegotiate its TV deals. Thank God for the BTN and for Delany.

    As for the B1G playoff plan, I am with Brian above. I think this is a line in the sand and the B1G is not serious about agreeing to a playoff. This is PR posturing since I think playing semi-final games up North in December is a non-starter for southern and southwestern schools. This is good and my hope, since I oppose a playoff of any sort.

    Like

  36. Mike says:

    http://brett-mcmurphy.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/29532522/34757696?ttag=gen10_on_all_fb_na_txt_0001

    West Virginia and the Big East Conference are nearing agreement on a settlement worth at least $20 million that would resolve all issues between both parties, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.

    The Mountaineers will join the Big 12 for the 2012-13 school year. However, in a bizarre twist, sources told CBSSports.com that West Virginia officials have contacted future Big East members to see if one could join in 2012 instead of 2013.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      It will be interesting to see what the number is. I just don’t see anywhere near $20 million in damages. Their fb TV contract is undervalued at around $16 million a year and they have their replacements in 2013. Losing WVU doesn’t really hurt them in basketball. The only real issue is replacing 7 games for teams that average only 40k a game and only 3 or 4 of those are losing home games.

      One interesting note is that Marinatto says the championship game won’t start until 2015 when Navy joins. So that means PItt and SU will be leaving after 2012.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        You don’t need to have $20M in damages if WV really wants to break the contract. The BE can set any price they want for letting WV out when no clause allows it. Otherwise WV can get stuck in the courts for a long time and pay lawyers most of that same $20M.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          $1-$2 million. I don’t think fees would get that high. WVU gets certainty. But how much is that worth? And the Big East has risk that they spend millions for attorneys themselves and don’t recover any more than now.

          I’ve seen other things saying $11 million but it could all be in the definition. If $11 million is cash out and other things they would have gotten this year make it $20 million then it really is $20 million. And whether the $5 million exit fee is in there impacts how much they are really paying (they’ve paid half). But if the $20 million includes Orange Bowl revenues and NCAA tourney revenues they would get in 2012-13 if they were still a member, that number is overstated for what they are really paying in damages. I imagine it will take an FOI request to eventually get that information.

          Like

  37. PhilF says:

    Interesting in that some Big Ten AD’s now want a playoff, but I think 4 is not enough to satisfy everyone, you need 8 teams. You can bet that if Boise State or Houston are ranked #4 and someone like USC or Texas is ranked #5, there is NO WAY ON EARTH that Boise or Houston is going to the playoffs. Any potential playoff will probably be rigged just like the BCS is.

    Like

    • charlie says:

      you’re assuming that they’re simply going to put the top 4 teams in the playoff. there’s also the possibility that there’ll be a selection committee like in college bb

      Like

    • They don’t need a selection committee to rig it. Voters do it with the polls too. “Boise State ranked 5th before the final week…whoops, we’ll slip Oregon in there ahead of them. There we go. You should play in a tougher conference than the Big East, Broncs. Sorry.”

      Like

  38. greg says:

    I don’t know the how or why, but my guess is that Delany wants a 4-team playoff with auto bids to SEC, B10, P12, and whatever ACC/B12 configuration survives. Home field semis, title game in the Rose Bowl.

    This guarantees B10, P12, SEC one quarter of the bids and the revenues. Squeezes out the little guys in bids and revenue. Notre Dame is theoretically forced into the B10 (or some other conference). SEC may some day have to play a semi road game at B10.

    Like

  39. Redhawk says:

    http://lufkindailynews.com/news/local/article_c7f11fa0-4eeb-11e1-9dcf-0019bb2963f4.html

    the important part about conference realignment:
    Dodds, who has been the UT athletic director since 1981, answered questions from the audience and gave some insight into the future of the Big 12 conference.

    “These last two years have been hard,” Dodds said. “I love the Big 12. I helped build it. We want to keep it together, we have worked hard to do that, and I think that we have been successful.”

    After losing Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri and Texas A&M over the past two years, the Big 12 has added TCU and West Virginia. There was talk of Oklahoma and Texas going to the PAC-12 last year, but Dodds said that if UT ever had to change conferences, the school would look east, not west, for its new home.

    Dodds also mentioned that future Big 12 expansion could target Louisville and Brigham Young University. Dodds said that his personal choice would be Notre Dame, and that he is working hard to garner that addition.

    After fielding questions about college basketball players leaving early for the NBA, whether or not college football players should be paid, and what the next step is in finding a Big 12 commissioner, Dodds flashed the Hook ’em, Horns sign and thanked the crowd.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Oif. Deloss shutting the door on the Pac, it seems like. East as in ACC or B10? Some sort of merger of Texas and OU with the powers of the ACC & ND would be his wet dream, but I doubt it’s realistic.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        That’s an interesting thing for him to say. It pretty much proves that after their initial look into things over the past 2-3 years, they’ve realized that their future is east.

        That makes sense though given that the media markets will always be more dominant in the East, even as the country’s population center moves to the southwest.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          In Atlanta, the paper never even showed the score of the TX/CA Holiday bowl. Even a lot of the central time zone gets ignored in the east.

          But I think there are two things with regard to the Pac:
          1) Their Tier III network philosophy which is diametrically opposed to Texas’ philosophy;
          2) Utah. With CU and 5 Big 12 South schools it made some sense geographically, but the extra school moves the center a lot further west. And I believe every BIG school other than Penn St. is closer than any Pac 10 school to Austin. Its just a long way across west Texas. Its not much different driving to Atlanta than it is to Tuscon.

          Like

          • frug says:

            The thing is every AQ conference except for the Big East (never gonna happen) and SEC (who UT has made clear for 20+ years they have no interest in joining) have policies regarding Tier III that are at odds with the LHN.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Also, only Lincoln and Champaign are closer than Boulder, Flagstaff or Tucson (Madison and Chicago are both about equal).

            Only the SEC has teams that are closer than the PAC in general (the PAC and Big 10 are about equal overall though since the distant PAC teams are further than the most distant Big 10 teams)

            Like

        • frug says:

          The Eastern media bias is definately a factor. Back when the NFL was doing their was recent realignment the Cowboys were originally going to be in the Western division, but Jerry threw a fit and got the team placed in the Eastern. They said it was for rivalry preservation, but the real factor was Jerry wanting to get as many games as possible against teams in the Northeast.

          Like

          • zeek says:

            Yeah, that’s pretty much what I was getting at…

            Texas sees themselves as the Dallas Cowboys of NCAAB in a way; it just makes sense that they’d be looking for a way to get more relevant on the East Coast if they change leagues than if they went to the west.

            There’s a reason the NFL gets an extra $100M for the NFC, and it’s not the NFC West or the NFC South that’s causing that…

            Like

          • zeek says:

            NCAAF I meant…

            Like

          • frug says:

            Actually, I’m guessing that UT’s MBB program would benefit even more from exposure on the East Coast and Midwest than the football team would.

            Like

        • OT says:

          The XII can establish a presence in the Northeast by taking Rutgers as the #12 school, but Boss DeLoss doesn’t want Rutgers.

          Boss DeLoss wants Notre Dame instead, but Notre Dame doesn’t want to bite because Notre Dame doesn’t need to.

          Notre Dame is about to become the most powerful brand in college ice hockey (every home game will air live on NBC Sports Network starting with the 2013-2014 season) in addition to being one of the top 5 brands in college football.

          Like

          • Pat says:

            As much as I like hockey, and the Red Wings in particular, it’s not doing very well on television. An article in SBJ today says reruns of the 3 Stooges is outdrawing the NHL on NBC Sports. I knew the NHL ratings were low, but that’s downright shocking!

            Like

          • Mike says:

            @Pat – I wonder if we are seeing the effects of the NHL not having a contract with ESPN. Deadspin has been tracking the amount of time spent on each sport on SportsCenter. Last I checked, MLB has been getting more coverage than the NHL with the NHL getting about 10 minutes of airtime a week. Without ESPN hyping up the games it seems that the casual fan just isn’t as aware of the NHL.

            Like

          • jj says:

            @ pat and mike

            It’s a regional game. They need to just get over that and quit trying to appeal to people whose only experience with ice involves snowcones. I died a little when they did glowing pucks. That said, kids these days do not play pond hockey. I fear a bit for our future. Then again, it seems kids can’t play anything unless it’s organized by adults, is hyper competitive, and taken way way too seriously.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            The problem is that if it isn’t hyper-organized for them, they stay inside and watch TV or play video games or whatever. When we were kids, we didn’t used to have as many quality distractions and our parents were more likely to make us go outside and play. Now they worry so much about their precious getting a boo boo or being kidnapped or falling through the ice and such that they let them stay inside instead.

            Hockey will become a rich man’s sport in the US.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            It isn’t already? OK, maybe not in Minnesota or the Dakotas, but it definitely is in the Northeast (CT, anyway).

            Like

  40. Mack says:

    TV contract will have contingency for future expansion and ccg, so XII may take years to get to 12 since it is hard to see who will join that has value except Louisville. That may change in a few years if the XII stays stable.

    Like

  41. I’d like to propose a future blog post. I would like to know what the top 15-25 or so FCS schools to get an invite to move up to FBS are. What rumors or scenarios are floating around and what conferences would like to grab which schools. I figure that eventually all these mid-major conferences that are getting poached will want to replenish their ranks and the only schools they will get are FCS.

    Like

    • OT says:

      Montana – WAC or Mountain West

      Montana State – WAC or Mountain West (as package deal with Montana)

      Cal Poly SLO – WAC

      UC Davis – WAC

      Sacramento State – WAC

      Portland State – WAC

      Grand Canyon (Division II) – WAC

      Sam Houston State – WAC or Sun Belt

      Lamar – WAC or Sun Belt

      (Sam Houston State, Lamar, and Texas State are all part of the Texas State University system. Texas State has already made its move up to the WAC.)

      Stephen F. Austin State – WAC or Sun Belt

      Northwestern State – WAC or Sun Belt

      (Stephen F. Austin State and Northwestern State are only 10 miles apart, on opposite sides of the Texas-Louisiana state line. They either will move up together or not move at all. The WAC contacted both schools in 2010)

      Appalachian State – Conference USA (no interest in joining Sun Belt, MAC, or WAC; TV market not big enough for the BIG EAST)

      Georgia State – Sun Belt, WAC, MAC, Conference USA, BIG EAST

      Delaware – BIG EAST, MAC, Conference USA (no interest in joining WAC or Sun Belt)

      Villanova – BIG EAST

      Stony Brook – MAC, WAC, Sun Belt, Conference USA

      (SUNY Stony Brook, despite its physical location on the Eastern part of Long Island in New York State, currently plays its FCS football in the Big South Conference. )

      (Believe it or not, the WAC actually contacted UMASS in 2010, but UMASS chose the MAC instead. Geography is NOT an issue for the WAC, which would seriously consider a school such as Stony Brook if and when Stony Brook were ready to make the jump. Being in the #1 TV market is a plus for Stony Brook.)

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Charlotte is planning on starting a program and their goal was to get back into CUSA. Georgia State has no interest in moving up. Illinois State has frequently expressed interest in moving up when they are ready (and they aren’t). Georgia Southern has talked about it but not seriously. Some of the HBCUs have talked about it.

        I think there are only a handful of schools who could seriously become even as good a program as Wyoming. Pro sports, school size, being in an isolated area and competition from existing programs limit most of these schools. On your list, IMO, only Delaware, UC Davis, Cal Poly and Montana would have a chance of even limited long term success moving up. And the Cal schools couldn’t do it right now. I think Illinois State and Missouri State (who hasn’t had much fb success in FCS) are a couple of schools that are big enough, in populated enough areas, far enough from pro competition, and not in states already filled with FBS programs that they could succeed. Charlotte and Georgia Southern might be able to do it.

        Like

        • OT says:

          The likes of Grambling State, Southern, and Jackson State (the 3 best-supported programs in the SWAC) might be better off moving up so that they can become eligible for bowl games.

          Being in the SWAC is suicidal for these programs, as the SWAC does NOT send its champion to the FCS playoffs.

          Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            OT – the SWAC doesn’t send its champion to the FCS playoffs because it doesn’t make financial sense to do so. Grambling and Southern play in the Bayou Classic in the Superdome and televised by NBC, during a time that conflicts with the FCS playoffs. Other SWAC schools also schedule “classics” during that Thanksgiving weekend for travel purposes. While the Bayou Classic ain’t what it used to be when the greatest college football coach of all time was roaming the Grambling sidelines, its still a much bigger deal than an opening round playoff game.

            Like

      • I’m curious as to why no mention of James Madison, Old Dominion, Liberty, and as bullet mentioned Charlotte and Georgia Southern just to name a few. I think each of those has potential to at least be strong mid-majors, if not more.

        Like

        • OT says:

          Geography is a major problem for those CAA schools, as the Sun Belt, MAC, and Conference USA currently have no room to expand.

          None of those programs are interested in the WAC, which still has 3 openings to fill (just to get back to 10 football members.)

          As we have seen with UMASS, just because the WAC no longer cares about geography (for its football members), the school themselves (perhaps with the probable exception of Stony Brook) still do.

          Like

        • bullet says:

          I think Old Dominion would also have a chance to do well. Liberty is small and James Madison is awfully close to UVA and DC. I think there has been some discussion or study of the issue at those schools.

          Like

    • I would guess that a substantial number of current 1-A’s get dumped back into the muck of AA, either directly or b/c there’s another 1-A split, in the reasonably near future (within 15 years, maybe 10). In other words, long before another 15-25 AA’s can jump up to 1-A.

      Like

      • OT says:

        On the contrary, the Big Sky has just signed a TV deal with DIRECTV (ROOT Sports Rocky Mountain, Utah, and Northwest.)

        The Big Sky wants all its schools to move up to FBS en masse in the near future (and push the WAC out of the west.)

        The WAC has no choice but to move east if the Big Sky were to succeed.

        I would not be surprised if the WAC were to take Grambling State, Southern, and Jackson State. Those 3 programs, with their traveling support, are better off in FBS than in the SWAC (which is FCS in name only, as the SWAC does NOT participate in the FCS playoffs.)

        Like

        • bullet says:

          The Big Sky commissioner has suggested that the WAC will get out of the football business and they might pick up a few of its schools. I don’t think the Big Sky wants FBS as it currently exists.

          Like

        • The point isn’t that the small schools want to be in AA, but that the big schools will eventually force the issue. As time goes on, the big schools will less and less want to be associated with the current crap end of 1-A, and honestly I think they’d like to be rid of the coming CUSA/MWC mess and maybe even the “new Big East.” Change is coming, sooner or later. I think it’s close to inevitable (more on this below in a separate post).

          Like

  42. Playoffs Now says:

    Excellent proposal from Delany. If we are going to start at just 4 playoff teams, this is the way to do it. So what if playing the first round on campus might benefit the B1G, the main point is that it is the right thing to do and the fairest way to do it. The highest ranked teams get home field advantage in the playoffs of pretty much every other sport. Should be a no-brainer.

    What I’m still curious about, is this also Larry Scott’s plan, or will the P12 present one? A P12 AD (AZ’s?) a few weeks ago said they were working on one.

    For everyone moaning about the incongruity of Boise St. and SDSU being in a conference named the Big East, are you ok with the FedEx Conference?

    Nice to finally get confirmation that we indeed will get a college football playoff with at least 4 teams to start. Our long national nightmare is almost over.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      I think Slive below is right. Nothing’s done yet. We’re moving the right direction, but lots can happen between now and the time everyone has to agree on a proposal.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Playoffs Now,

      Excellent proposal from Delany.

      It isn’t a proposal from Delany.

      If we are going to start at just 4 playoff teams, this is the way to do it.

      That kind of talk is exactly what causes the presidents to vote against playoffs. You are assuming bracket creep, and TPTB see that, too. Here’s hoping it comes back to bite you.

      Nice to finally get confirmation that we indeed will get a college football playoff with at least 4 teams to start.

      There is no such confirmation. Delany has openly said he hasn’t talked to the Cop/C. The presidents can easily shut down any playoff plan.

      Our long national nightmare is almost over.

      No, but it might start soon.

      Like

      • Eric says:

        I hope you are right Brian, but I’m (while not quite there) almost to the point I was with Big Ten expansion a month or so before Nebraska joined. I don’t want it, hope it never comes, but think it’s almost inevitable at this point and trying to figure out how it can be least distributive.

        (Actually come to think of it, that’s the other reason I originally wanted teams losing semi-finals a week after championship week to be eligible for bowls, it makes increasing the playoff more difficult).

        Like

        • bullet says:

          @Eric
          Just curious whether you oppose any playoff or only because you expect bracket creep to eventually make it 16 or so teams.

          Like

          • acaffrey says:

            I oppose a playoff, but can live with a 4-team playoff if that is what it comes to.

            I don’t want March Madness coming to football. I like that football is September to December Madness. I love March Madness, but it it its own animal. You cannot duplicate that in football by trying to include every team that could go on a 3-4 game winning streak and win at all.

            If things shift to 7-wins for bowl games and a 4-team playoff, college football will IMO be closer to the happy medium on all fronts. Nobody will be completely happy, but nobody will be completely unhappy either. Except for the Birmingham Bowl committee or whatever.

            Like

          • metatron5369 says:

            With the field as it is, a sixteen-team playoff is the best choice. Especially with the media-driven nonsense that are “rankings”, this ensures that the major conferences receive their token bids but not at the expense of the more deserving teams, like Boise State (or Oklahoma State…).

            Consider that the NFL has a 12-team playoff for 32 clubs, whereas the NCAA Division 1 FBS has 2 teams for 120 schools.

            16-8-4-NCG – That’s one month (December) of games and leads up perfectly to what I believe should be the national championship: The Rose Bowl.

            Like

          • You’re making the assumption that there *has* to be a 120 or so team base. One way to solve the problem is to make the base more like 60 teams, or maybe even fewer. That’s one of the reasons people keep talking about a 1-A split in the near future (the other being the drastic differences in resources, quality and fanbases between the current top and bottom of 1-A, which means that in many ways everyone really isn’t playing the same game).

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Baseball used to have 2 for 20 teams. Then they figured out that more was more profitable and went for 4 for 24 for a while. 12 for 120 would be plenty to include any deserving teams. But its not going to be more than 8 in this go-round and probably just 4. As Matthew points out, there are probably only 60-80 that warrant consideration. In the last 20 years, none of the future WAC or Sun Belt schools deserved a shot. And only Miami and Toledo of the current MAC had teams worth any consideration. So 8 of 80 is the same % as baseball had in the 60s.

            Like

          • Eric says:

            Bullet, good question that I’m not completely sure I have an answer to.

            I’d actually argue that what we have now is a 2 team playoff and I like it. I don’t really want anything bigger, but I’ll accept a 4 team playoff without complaint if it doesn’t mess with the bowl structure. I still want bowl games being the goal, meaning the national championship should be thought of a bowl and playoff losers should be going to bowls. It’s especially important to me that the Big Ten winner go to the Rose Bowl unless they are in the national championship game.

            I do worry a lot about bracket creep too though. I think 4 teams won’t diminish the regular season too much (a little less importance on many games, but overall probably a little more others makes up for it), but I think even 8 would seriously lesson national interest in the sport during the regular season. People would still watch, but there would be a lot less interest in the bubble teams than there currently is for any game involving a potential national title team throughout the season. It wouldn’t be as bad as basketball, but still not what we’ve had either.

            Like

  43. joe4psu says:

    Slive talks about the possibility of a plus one/playoff. Also says that the SEC will not be expanding further any time soon. They have to adjust to the current changes.

    Slive: Changes to BCS at least couple years away – Teresa M. Walker, AP

    http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/news?slug=ap-sec-slive

    Like

  44. [...] rumor seems to fall in the general trap of thinking like a fan and not like a University president. While the Big 12 may ultimately be able to offer more money to both Clemson and Florida State, [...]

    Like

  45. joe4psu says:

    Dang. Done in again by Nova…

    Memphis joins Big East Conference – Lenn Robbins, NYPOST.com

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/college/basketball/big_east_adds_memphis_1Ueo52g3iVHrshlZkvLrWJ

    …Temple, which has a rich basketball tradition and has built a respectable football program, seemed a much better choice to the league, but sources said Villanova was adamant about not letting another Philadelphia-based school into the Big East.

    In case this wasn’t posted already:

    WVU close to settling suit and joining Big 12 this year – Jenn Menendez, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12039/1208979-100.stm

    West Virginia University is close to settling a lawsuit with the Big East by paying the conference $11 million, clearing the way for the school to join the Big 12 starting with the 2012 football season, a source with knowledge of the situation told the Post-Gazette.

    The two sides are scheduled for an 8:30 a.m. status hearing Thursday on a conference call with Rhode Island Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein.

    Like

  46. duffman says:

    @ Frank

    On your original post :

    1. Big 12 Expansion Rumors I: The Unrealistic ACC Raid Scenario

    I think odds are pretty much zero, but not for the reason you suggest. I do not think it is the tightness of the ACC schools as much as the control ESPN can exert over the ACC and SEC as a collective body. I said it before, and will say it again. The day the SEC added Missouri may very well be the watershed moment for proof that the networks are the realignment drivers, and not guys like Delany and Slive. ESPN has a real incentive to keep the ACC intact less any ACC defect to the B1G and FOX.

    .

    2. Big 12 Expansion Rumors II: The More Realistic Louisville/BYU (or TBD) Scenario

    I think the odds of Louisville in the B12 are good, but BYU joining the B12 seems about equal to Notre Dame joining the B1G. I think the B12 want BYU, but I can see far to many issues that will keep them out of the B12. If nobody on this blog can see Notre Dame in the B12, how can you defend BYU in their stead? I am not saying BYU = Notre Dame, but I do think they may be Notre Dame like in a lesser form. With Texas and Oklahoma having inordinate pull I can see BYU saying no. Not only is it the smart short term move, but if they joined the B12, and then UT and OU went to the PAC, BYU would be on the short end of the stick, and probably mired in the remnants for a long future of meh!

    .

    3. Big East Walking in Memphis: More Than a Rumor

    I think this will happen as you imply to backfill a UofL move to the B12. Once the B12 gets to 11 they can wait and see who plays out over the next 5-10 years between Memphis / Cincinnati / Rutgers / ???? for that 12th spot. If the lack of a CCG drives UT and OU out of the spotlight in the next few years, then the B12 will be forced to add a 12 th team with greater urgency. This season proved that oSu did not have the cache of OU for a MNC shot, and KSU did not have the pull of UT as the second best team in the conference. I think Baylor was a once in a generation / lifetime team last season and will fall back quickly. If Iowa beats Iowa State early in the season, it could damage the B12 image early in the B12 season. SMU @ Baylor to open the 2012 season will not get the same publicity TCU did this year. In 2012, ISU has to play @ Iowa, and I am already picking Iowa in that game.

    Look at what is there to grab early viewer interest in the B12 :
    Baylor = SMU, Sam Houston State, and LA – Monroe = no must see TV
    Iowa State = Tulsa, Iowa, and Western Illinois = maybe the Iowa game
    Kansas = South Dakota St, Rice, and Northern Illinois = who watches Kansas football
    Kansas State = Missouri State, Miami FL, and N Texas = maybe the Miami game
    Oklahoma = Notre Dame, but too late in the season to attract early interest fro the B12
    Oklahoma State = Arizona and LA – Lafayette = Arizona is not Oregon or U$C
    TCU = Grambling, UVA, and SMU = not terrible, but not national coverage games either
    Texas = Wyoming, New Mexico, and Mississippi = 3-0 UT, but will anybody outside TX watch?
    TxTech = Northwestern State, Texas State, and New Mexico = total snoozefest
    WVU = Marshall, James Madison, and MD together would not equal the dropped FSU game

    If 2 games is all the B12 has to offer in the 1st 3-4 weeks of football, I am guessing that hurts the conference as a whole, and begins to erode goodwill for any team not named Texas or Oklahoma. By the end of the season it could be a hard sell for any B12 team when it comes to BCS recognition. After 3-5 years, it will take a toll on even mighty Texas and Oklahoma, and their only out them may be a jump to the PAC 14 / PAC 16. UT has had 2 bad seasons, and if they get tagged with 2 losses in the next few years, they are toast for the MNC no matter how big the ESPN deal is.

    .

    4. B1G Playoff Plan

    This actually makes sense as a fall back if Penn State and Nebraska falter, and the B1G reverts to the old Big 10 with Michigan and Ohio State being the defacto B1G standard bearer. If you had told me when the first kickoff of fall 2011 would culminate in 2 SEC teams playing each other for the MNC, I would have accused you of smoking the wacky weed, and yet it happened. I think Delany putting this out there means a backup plan if a B1G team is not #1 or #2 for the next 5-10 years. Look for Jim to try and squeeze a B1G school in, and a B12 school out of the MNC discussion. I also look for him to push that no Boise State or Houston will play for a MNC even if they go undefeated. To much gain for a non AQ school and too little gain for a B1G school can not sit well with with Delany in the B1G bunker. I feel sure he was happy to add Nebraska, but his spirits might have been dampened with losing part of TX and all of MO to the SEC. For the B1G to enter Texas now, they have to cross SEC territory first, and even if he gets the longhorn in the fold, he will still lose a part of Texas to the SEC.

    I have said it time and again, that when you think your enemy will do what you wish, instead of what he wishes to do, you have probably already lost the battle. Looking back I really think the focus was so much on UT, that any shot at TAMU slipped away between the December 2009 announcement, and the June 2010 Cuban Realignment Missile Crisis. The early chatter on here back then was to keep the SEC out of TX, and yet now they have locked down a big chunk of real estate inside the state to grow their footprint.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Don’t understand how Missouri to SEC shows ESPN as a driver? They helped save the Big 12. Why would they help pull it apart 12 months later? It would seem to me A&M & Missouri helped them in the Big 12.

      Like

      • Mack says:

        Fox helped save the XII with the Tier 2 deal. ESPN has a bargain at Tier I, and these $$ were not cut with the loss of teams. If ESPN had cut, that would have allowed the XII to opt out, and even with the present teams the XII will get more $$ on a new TIer I deal. The ESPN LHN deal can be viewed as a poison pill that is keeping TX in the XII and therefore, helps perserve the conference.

        Like

    • Read The D says:

      Overall pathetic OOC scheduling for the Big 12. Instead of simply suggesting it, @DanBeebe should have required all teams to schedule an OOC game with a team from an AQ conference. According to this list there are 7 total.

      WVU’s schedule looks pretty locked in with 9 conference games + Marshall and Maryland. A great reason for WVU to plead for Maryland to join the Big 12.

      Like

  47. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chat/_/id/42440/ncaa-fb-with-rittenberg

    From an ESPN B10 blogger in a chat, answering a Q about the B10 playoff plan:

    “Adam Rittenberg (12:21 PM)

    David, my understanding is that the semis would be played closer to Christmas, maybe between Christmas and New Year’s. One issue that comes up, and fans don’t like to hear it, is final exams. Schools on the quarter system typically have them between Dec. 5-10. Semester schools usually have them between Dec. 17-23. So that’s something to consider when looking at the schedule.”

    It’s details like this that separate the vague idea the B10 ADs talked about from an actual plan, and I think the details will reduce the popularity of the plan.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Another answer from that chat:

      Adam Rittenberg (12:59 PM)

      Ryan, from talking to some folks around the league, this scenario likely wouldn’t happen. The bowls like to have their teams in place much earlier in order to promote the game, have site visits, etc. It also helps fans planning trips to have more lead time. So while I wouldn’t rule anything out, I don’t see this happening.

      Like

    • Eric says:

      Yeah that’s not an ideal time at all and not something I’d thought about.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      Details certainly make it more difficult, but I don’t think exams are a signficant problem in a home field playoff. They have exams during the season. Some schools have finals during ccg week.

      A bowl during exams is a different issue. It not only pulls players out of school longer, it draws lots of non-athletes out of school.

      Like

  48. blindleadingthe..... says:

    First off, I’m a CUSA fan so read this knowing that bias first….I know the logistics of having a conference stretching from Honolulu to Greenville, NC is going to be a mess if the merger does happen……I like the Temple invite and hope they accept as i think they actually could be a sizeable replacement for Memphis in this new league….i came across this blog though (http://short-sideoption.blogspot.com/) and he lays out what the merger conference divisions could look like if the do decide to go the division instead of the pod route. It seems feasible, am I being too optimistic?

    Like

  49. bullet says:

    Georgia’s President Michael Adams expects a four or EIGHT team playoff in 2014:

    http://www.ajc.com//sports/uga/michael-adams-sees-college-1339280.html

    Like

    • Playoffs Now says:

      Unpossible, the usual suspects here told me that the only place an 8-team playoff would even possibly be discussed was in my ‘fertile little mind.’ Yet now we have two from the SEC and P12 who will actually vote on it saying 8 is being considered.

      My guess is the ACC and Big East will end up leaning towards 8 (more likely for them to make it in, and perhaps advocating major conference champs get auto entry or something like the highest-ranked 6 conf champs get it), the B12 and SEC are open to 8, B1G is for 4.

      4 is the floor, push for the better 8. Next several months should be interesting as the proposals are leaked, thrashed about, and narrowed down.

      Like

  50. bullet says:

    Saw another article in the Atlanta paper. Missouri is intending to intimidate their new SEC opponents by copying Texas and Texas Tech. They are haviing a Georgia drum maker build a 9 foot drum. Texas has Big Bertha which it got from U of Chicago after they dropped their football program. Texas Tech, as does Purdue, has an 8 footer, which is the largest currently in the US. New drum is expected to weigh half a ton.

    Like

  51. acaffrey says:

    Anyone see this? Possible home & home between Rutgers-Syracuse to make up for loss of WVU game on schedule.

    http://www.nj.com/rutgersfootball/index.ssf/2012/02/rutgers_could_play_football_ho.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    Like

  52. Curious to get the group’s thoughts on something that I’ve been mulling over for a little while now:

    Right now, economically speaking, the biggest programs seem to generate more value from bodybags than big OOC games. For example, let’s say Michigan makes, $4M in gate + (nearly worthless) TV money less expenses from a pair of bodybags. That’s probably more than what they can get from one big OOC game (since they’d presumably be doing a home and home) in gate + (worth quite a bit) TV money less expenses including the travel for the road game. However, I suspect the difference isn’t huge, and that even for the biggest programs (like Michigan) we’re not that far away from the point where the inequality swings the other way given the continued growth of TV money and the structural limits to ticket revenue (it’s hard to add capacity, and at some price point fans will revolt, though I don’t know what that point is).

    Right now, there’s also the issue of the collectivization of TV rights skewing incentives. MAYBE the logic works today for Michigan to do a big OOC home and home if they get to keep 100% of the TV money from it (I’d guess not, but I’d also guess it’s close). NO WAY does it work if they can only keep 1/12 of it (which is what happens when TV money for all games including OOC gets split evenly). This is probably why the Pac-12/BIG did a league-wide OOC deal instead of individually negotiating; if everyone agrees to do it instead of each team making independent decisions you help minimize the free rider issue. There’s still the issue of Michigan, Ohio St etc. (whose games are worth a lot in TV $$$) subdizing Purdue, Northwestern etc. (whose games aren’t), but at least you’re minimizing the ability of teams to undermine the collective interest with their individual decision-making.

    My GUESS is that not long after the TV money for big games becomes enough to make the net revenue (ignoring the 1/12 issue) for big OOC games substantially greater than for 2 bodybag games even for big places like Michigan, you’ll see leagues collectively assign even more of their games, either by further expanding league schedules or by entering into deals like the BIG/PAC agreement.

    And here’s (IMO) the key point: if and when that happens, it won’t be long until the power leagues perma-ban the little guys and break off either into a new division or walk from the NCAA entirely. They haven’t done that yet both because it’s somewhat useful to have the bodybags available today and because it’s politically unpleasant. But when there’s no longer any economic incentive to do bodybags, the politics almost certainly won’t be enough to keep the status quo intact.

    Right now, the last real holdout on expanding the number of league-assigned games (either league games or PAC/BIG challenge type deals) is the SEC. If and when they change their approach (I don’t know but I’d suspect that when their TV deal is up for renewal that’s when it’d make sense to seriously consider it on their end, since if they change sooner they’re stuck with the same TV deal but with less ticket revenue from home games), IMO that’d be the canary in the coal mine for major structural change in college football. At that point, the last strong holdout of “we get more from bodybag games than good games” would have changed their tune (the BIG is something of a holdout, but given that they had already decided to do 9 league games before switching the 9th game to a BIG/PAC challenge, they’re a weak one IMO, and as the economics continue to evolve, I suspect that they’ll eventually go to 9 league games as well, but probably not for a while).

    On a side note: In the context of this argument, the Pac-12’s approach makes perfect sense. Their ratio of gate revenue to TV revenue is almost certainly the lowest of any of the top 5 leagues, probably by a lot. So economically speaking, of course they’d be the first ones to do 9 league games and of course they’d be the first to up it to 10 collectively assigned games (9 league + 1 vs BIG). This is also why the SEC is the last holdout, since they get huge gate revenue and right now their TV revenue is way less than the BIG (the other big gate revenue league).

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Yep, I see 3 divisions of Div I, with FCS becoming Div I-AAA & the MAC, WAC, and SunBelt being relegated to Div I-A (with some of the stronger FCS programs being promoted). However, with bowl eligibility raised to 7 wins, I also see 2 wins over Div I-A to count towards bowl eligibility because the guarantee games will still make financial sense for quite a while yet (for pretty much any program that can sell out a 60K stadium regardless of the competition).

      Like

      • cfn_ms says:

        I don’t see 7 wins = bowl eligibility as being likely to actually go through. I COULD be wrong, but I’d be very surprised if that passed. I’d expect WAY too much push-back from the mid- and low-tier of most AQ leagues (the teams who get hosed by this), and I doubt the non-AQ’s have enough influence to force it through.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          FWIW, the bowls voted to approve that 2 years ago and probably would again. I know they aren’t the final decision makers, obviously, but the bowls would support it. That may help win the argument.

          Like

  53. joe4psu says:

    Because it’s all about the football! That darn corrupt, sick, incompetent athletic department letting the football program get away with this!

    Nearly 40 Members of Nittany Lion Football Team Earn 3.0 GPA or Higher During Fall Semester

    Sixteen Earn Dean’s List Recognition With 3.5 GPA or Better

    http://www.gopsusports.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/020912aab.html

    And these are real students, no basket weaving 101 in the bunch.

    Like

    • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

      Joe, please keep your facts about Penn State off this blog. We’d like to remain ignorant in our stereotypes and believe every accusatory story ESPN throws our way. Thank you.
      :)

      Like

  54. metatron5369 says:

    Did we ever figure out the identity of the SEC school that wanted to jump to the Big Ten? I mean besides Missouri.

    As unlikely as it sounds, I would welcome Tennessee and/or Kentucky with open arms.

    Like

  55. Pat says:

    Michigan gets $3M for hosting Winter Classic with Toronto on 1/1/13 (per Twitter).
    Tom Leyden @TomLeyden Close

    Michigan gets $3 million plus $250,000 for scholarship fund. That’s it. NHL gets everything else. Parking, concessions, merchandise, etc

    Like

    • wmtiger says:

      Sounds like a great deal for M, loan your stadium for a day for $3.25mil…

      Like

    • jj says:

      I’m curious to see how they serve beer. Also, not to be crass, but can the restroom facilities handle it? They are pretty bad.

      Like

      • Pat says:

        State of Mich approved a special beer license for the Big House. Normally, Big Ten events are alcohol free. They will probably have portable beer taps like they use at Comerica Park.

        Like

      • cutter says:

        The restroom facillites at Michigan Stadium used to be bad. But the renovations added a lot more restrooms for men and women (including some freestanding buildings near the stadium), so it’s much, much better now.

        Like

  56. Eric says:

    I know this is highly unlikely, but how about this for an idea:

    Move the season up a week. Start the week before Labor Day and have championship weekend Thanksgiving weekend. The conferences without conference championship games could still play regular season games Thanksgiving weekend (at least letting Texas keep its Thanksgiving Day tradition). I know its not entirely ideal, but that would let you have the semi-finals the first week of December and ease things with the bowls. It would also give college 2 weeks of games without NFL competition instead of just 1.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      I think its an excellent idea. But its too much of a change. They won’t do it. Too many parties have to be satisfied with the change, especially the TV partners.

      I’d like to see the season end on Thanksgiving and go back to 11 games with an 8-12 team playoff. But they aren’t going to reduce the number of games. 120 teams benefit from that while only 4-8 benefit from an expansion of a playoff beyond 4 teams.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      BTW, as much as Texas has a Thanksgiving tradition, its really about exposure and $. Those are the key elements, not the tie to Thanksgiving.

      Like

      • Mike says:

        Longhorns will expose themselves for money? So that’s how they have the richest AD in the country. :)

        Like

      • Eric says:

        Exposure I’m sure is important, but extra money do they get? The conference as a whole might get more in TV negotiations, but that doesn’t help out UT more than anyone else. As for the game itself, how does it bring in more during Thanksgiving then on Saturday. The game is big and likely to sell out either day.

        I can lean to it being a tradition the fans care for in being the biggest (although not only reason) they play then.

        Like

  57. Eric says:

    I know this has been talked about before, but since Louisville/BYU to Big 12 rumors are going again, what do you think they’d do with divisions with those two?

    I really can’t come up with a good set-up. I put together a few, but I’m going under a couple of assumptions that I can’t make into good alignments.

    1. The conference won’t want one geographic division and one non-geographic division (no Big 12 south with a 2nd division across 3 time zones).

    2. Texas and Oklahoma will want to be in the same divisions.

    3. The conference will want to put all season ending games in same division (no immediate rematches)

    4. The conference will probably want to divide up Texas teams more this time around to help with recruiting.

    In the end though, I think the conference either has to accept the old south coming back though (with TCU instead of A&M) or accept Texas-Oklahoma being separated. If Texas and Oklahoma are divided, this would be my guess.

    Texas———Oklahoma
    Texas Tech—Oklahoma State
    Baylor———TCU
    BYU————West Virginia
    Kansas——–Louisville
    Kansas State-Iowa State

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      For Big 12 divisions this is what I have:

      Texas—Oklahoma
      Texas Tech—Baylor
      West Virginia—Oklahoma State
      Louisvile—TCU
      Kansas— BYU
      Kansas State—Iowa State
      It would be foolish to put OU and UT in the same division together again, especially now that there’s not a third traditional powerhouse to anchor the other division (Nebraska). I also expect the state of Texas to be split, with UT’s division getting its biggest remaining in-state rival, Tech, thus putting TCU and Baylor in the division with OU and OK. State

      Those moves I see as a given. From there, I believe there will be a general sentiment that WVU and L’ville should be in the same division and that BYU should be in the other, so to avoid having a three-time zone division. As for KU and K- State, it only mattters that they play annually, not necessarily that they be in the same division. Iowa State doesn’t have a lot of pull, Soviet theylvjust go where they’re told.

      All this is moot, of course, if BYU doesn’t go into the Big 12.

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Androids + WordPress = typos galore. They do not work well together at all.

        Like

      • bullet says:

        I don’t think they split Texas and OU. But if they did, it would probably be TX schools + UL/WVU in one and BYU + former Big 8 in the other.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          How many votes does it take to decide the divisions, 7 (>50%), 8 (2/3), 9 (75%) or 12?

          Even if it’s only 7, which 7 schools would support TX + UL/WV vs BYU + Big 8? I’m sure all 6 in the TX division would be thrilled, but would any of the other 6 say yes? It may depend on the details of crossover games. Everyone wants TX access for recruiting.

          I think they should learn from the past and try a zipper rather than making it Big 8 versus TX again.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            They could learn from the ACC and know not to do a zipper.

            The N/S divide in the Big 12 was cyclical. At first the north was stronger. Then the 2 northern powers, UNL and CU went on significant downslides.

            But it is much more difficult now w/o Nebraska to anchor the other division and one of the arguments for staying at 10.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            They could learn from the ACC and know not to do a zipper.

            A full zipper looks better on paper than in real life, I agree. I was thinking more a blurring of groupings rather than reinforcing the old divides, though. Split the TX schools, split the B8 schools, split the religious schools, split the MWC schools, split the BE schools, etc.

            UT / OU
            TT / Baylor
            BYU / TCU
            WV / UL
            KU / ISU
            KSU / OkSU

            Lock those games, and play 2 or 3 rotating games.

            That gives everybody a taste of every group, makes every group travel some and keeps old rivalries for the most part. Teams that have to travel both east and west get the benefit of playing UT and near KC. Those with less travel don’t.

            The N/S divide in the Big 12 was cyclical. At first the north was stronger. Then the 2 northern powers, UNL and CU went on significant downslides.

            But it is much more difficult now w/o Nebraska to anchor the other division and one of the arguments for staying at 10.

            In this case I was less concerned about the imbalance, although that is a huge issue, and more with the problems that really destroyed the B12 in my mind. It was always the SWC vs the B8, with OU and OkSU happy to side with the TX schools. The conference never really integrated itself.

            Unless another power joins, I think UT and OU need to be split. They play early enough in the year that a rematch wouldn’t be too bad, although I understand not wanting to have to beat the other team twice. The problem is the TT has to be with UT and OkSU has to be with OU. There is just no way to balance that with the other division. WV and BYU can’t maintain the level of UT and OU.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            The biggest downside of splitting UT and OU is that those are the two schools most likely to challenge for a national championship. If they have to beat each other twice in one of those years where they have a shot, its very difficult. So splitting them up could cost the league a shot at a national championship.

            Also, if they both regularly won their divisions (by no means guaranteed-ask FSU and Miami), it could diminish the earlier meeting.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            The biggest downside of splitting UT and OU is that those are the two schools most likely to challenge for a national championship. If they have to beat each other twice in one of those years where they have a shot, its very difficult. So splitting them up could cost the league a shot at a national championship.

            Also, if they both regularly won their divisions (by no means guaranteed-ask FSU and Miami), it could diminish the earlier meeting.

            Those are clearly the downsides, yes, and I don’t mean to diminish them. I just think the other scenarios are worse.

            There are some silver linings to the downsides, though. In many years, one of UT and OU is clearly better than the other, so winning twice isn’t that big of a deal. However, beating UT or OU twice would normally bolster a resume, helping a borderline team make the playoffs. It also gives them better chances of having an elite team win the CCG than if both kings are in the same division. They could potentially both make the playoff and get to play 3 times with the winner getting a NC.

            Every alignment has potential CCG rematch issues. UT and OU play so early in the year that there is plenty of time to overcome the loss and try to get revenge in the CCG. If you put the TX and OK school together I guess you could keep all the rivalries in division, but you’ll still have rematches in the CCG. Is that better somehow than rematching a rivalry? I don’t think so, because the rivalry adds some spice to both games.

            Like

  58. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Boise State may be heading to the Big East this Fall.

    http://brett-mcmurphy.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/29532522/34773204

    Like

  59. loki_the_bubba says:

    Meeting Sunday between CUSA and MWC. Rumored to finalize the merger. Looks like it’s only a matter of time now. With eight teams each now no one will have to move and no need to raid the WAC or Sun Belt.

    http://www.lvrj.com/sports/mountain-west-conference-usa-to-discuss-merger-139035019.html

    Like

    • zeek says:

      Yeah, it only makes sense for the two of them to rescue one another in such a manner. There’s no reason to just get into a poaching war right now when they’re still vulnerable.

      Like

  60. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7560237/ncaa-proposes-moving-kickoffs-30-35

    Some interesting rule change proposals:

    1. Move kickoffs to the 35 and limit the running start to 5 yards
    2. If you lose your helmet, you must stop participating in the play and sit out the next play
    3. Some blocking below the waist changes
    4. Some blocking on punt returns changes

    All are safety based, and that’s a good thing. I like the idea of punishing people for having their helmet too loose. Way too many helmets have been flying off lately.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Personally, I’d prefer no running start for anyone but the kicker. I mean, players can’t reach top speed after running 40 yards?

      Like

      • bullet says:

        If kickoffs really do produce significantly more and serious injuries, I wouldn’t have any problem with eliminating them. We still would have punt returns. And if teams start getting more like Alabama and LSU, there will hardly be any kickoffs.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          If they eliminate them entirely, then the onside kick goes away, too and they don’t want to lose that.

          They also suggest making a touchback put the ball at the 25 to further discourage returns.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Replace kickoffs with a 4th and 25 from the 50 yard line. Teams that are far behind still have a chance to come back, but during normal circumstances, most teams would opt to punt. It makes it more exciting when the team receiving is trailing as well, as they might opt to rush the punter.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            True they lose the onside kick.

            As for 4th & 25 at the 50, at one time the SWC had 3 kickers who could connect from about that distance. One great kicker and a team might never give up the ball!

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Heh, the chances of a kicker making one 67 yard FG after another is a bit slight. Plus, if he misses, the other team starts with great field position.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            A lot of people don’t remember, but at one time pros and college both kicked off from the 40. They moved it back to increase kickoff returns. Better kickers were knocking it into the end zone almost all the time.

            They could move it back to the 40 and significantly reduce returns while keeping alive the onside kick. They’ve made the on-side kick much riskier than it used to be.

            The NFL got more touchbacks than they expected because kickers weren’t certain of making the end zone so they were kicking it higher and shorter to reduce returns. When they got that extra 5 yards they started going for the end zone more.

            Like

    • bw says:

      I’d like to see them move the spot at the beginning of OT back to the 40. They start too close now.

      Like

  61. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7559536/jordan-jefferson-says-play-calls-hurt-lsu-tigers-bcs-title-game

    Talk about balls. Jordan Jefferson blames losing the NCG on the coaches.

    Yeah, it certainly couldn’t be the fault of having a bad QB that handcuffed the coaches.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      It was both. ‘Bama definitely gameplanned better on both sides of the ball. You said you didn’t watch the game, but I did, and it looked to me like an NFL coaching staff going up against a high school coaching staff.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        From what I’ve read, LSU repeatedly did the same things that didn’t work. It was like they were trying to follow Georgia Southern’s game plan (an option team) vs. Alabama, but did it less successfully. There was a lot of criticism of their gameplan at the time.

        Like

  62. Mike says:

    Jon Wilner (@wilnerhotline)


    MWC is going to have to act fairly soon, whether it’s the CUSA merger or addition of Utah State and San Jose State

    Source who told me last wk that Boise under pressure to join BE in ’12 said Air Force will folo Navy (to BE) but move could be 2-3 yrs away

    Have not heard anything more about BYU (or Louisville) to B12. DeLoss and Co must decide if they want to be 10, 11 or 12.

    I keep hearing there is resistance to 12 because of double-jeopardy aspect of league title game. But BCS changes could affect thinking

    Problem for MWC and CUSA is networks have little interest in alliance/merger

    Realignment moves won’t matter when revised BCS access allows for 5 SEC and 5 B1G schools, and no spots for anyone else. (I joke!) (Sort of)

    Like

  63. Mike says:

    Clemson AD on realignment


    CLEMSON – The rumors of conference realignment and expansion and actual realignment have been swirling over the collegiate landscape, and Clemson University hasn’t been immune to those rumors.

    Last year, it was a potential move to the SEC that was blocked by in-state rival South Carolina, and the most recent rumors have the Big 12 reaching out to schools like Clemson and Florida St. in an effort to bolster its numbers after losing Colorado, Texas A&M, Nebraska and Missouri over the past few seasons.

    In part two of TigerNet’s conversation with Clemson Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips, we addressed those rumors as well as other issues concerning the Atlantic Coast Conference and the recent announcement of the ACC moving to a nine-game conference football schedule.

    TigerNet: There are a lot of rumors concerning a Clemson move to the Big 12…

    TDP: There is no substance to that. None. The Big 12 has a committee formed – I guess you would call it an expansion committee – to look at the future of the Big 12 Conference. I would suspect without knowing that part of the charge of that particular committee would be to look at continual expansion because they are no longer the Big 12. They have lost their championship game and so I would suspect they are looking at it. But in regard to Clemson or Florida St. – of course I can’t speak for Florida St. but I do have a pretty good feel for that part of the country – but I don’t feel like they have talked with anyone or visited with anyone and I can say for sure with Clemson there is no substance to that.

    TigerNet: So no one from the Big 12 has contacted Clemson?

    TDP: No.

    Like

    • Mike says:

      Source: http://www.tigernet.com/view/story.do?id=10366

      I hate to pee on the Dude’s rug and all…

      Like

    • vp19 says:

      I’ve brought up something similar in the past, at least regarding the SEC, but if the Big 12 wanted to pry an ACC member in order to partner with Louisville and wouldn’t mind taking a gamble, how about Wake Forest, currently perhaps the least valuable member of the ACC?

      Wake might like the idea of setting itself apart from its three brethren in the Research Triangle, especially since it now looks to be well behind all three in basketball (even UNC isn’t selling out its visits to Winston-Salem). Rebranding by emphasizing the football brand might work, especially if you can put yourself in a stronger conference, enabling North Carolina recruits to play in a better league than the ACC without having to leave the state.

      Another advantage for Wake — the presence of Baylor, a fellow institution with Baptist roots, along with Texas Christian.

      For football, you can have East and West divisions with relatively little difficulty, playing a nine-game schedule (as the Big 12 does now) with two permanent crossovers and two rotating interdivisional games:

      East: Baylor, Texas Christian, Louisville, West Virginia, Iowa State, Wake Forest
      West: Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Kansas State

      Like

      • Richard says:

        I don’t see why the B12 would want Wake more than, say, Tulane (or Memphis, Rutgers, USF, UCF or any number of BE schools). It’s only an accident of history that Wake is in a major conference and Tulane is not. There’s nothing inherent to Wake that makes it more valuable. Also, the smallest FBS school in a conference far away drawing NC recruits away from marquee names in the heart of ACC country? Color me skeptical.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Also, if the B12 was hellbent on getting in to NC (which I’m pretty certain they’re not; NJ has about the same population and doesn’t have a bunch of ACC schools dominating the state already, for instance), why wouldn’t they take ECU over Wake? if ECU was in the ACC and Wake was in CUSA, would you still advocate that the B12 take Wake? If not, why would the B12 take Wake, considering that it won’t have it’s “ACC-ness” (arguably the only advantage it currently has over ECU) once it’s not in the ACC?

          Like

  64. bullet says:

    http://msn.foxsports.com/collegefootball/story/big-east-west-virginia-reach-agreement-on-exit-021012

    Official announcement expected today according to WVU source. Agreement looks like this:
    15 million damages
    5 million exit fee
    Big 12 is contributing 9 million cash (from other sources it looks like a loan to WVU) and WVU is contributing 11 million from a combination of cash, previous payments ($2.5 million on exit fee) and withholdings from conference distributions due WVU.

    Like

    • Mack says:

      The current ACC schools are not going to kick in $1M each to get Pittsburg and/or Syracuse in 2012 and I doubt either school will pay $20M. Therefore, the BE is now clear to negotiate a much lower fee ($2M-$5M above the standard $5M exit fee) for the 2013 exit of these shcools to the ACC.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Apparently the key was getting enough to pay for Boise the leave the MWC early ($7-9M I’ve heard) and also punish WV for breaking the contract, while keeping it affordable.

      Like

      • Mack says:

        Another key was making it high enough to keep Pittsburg and Syracuse from following WVU. The BE did not want to just depend on the ACC not wanting these schools until 2013.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          I think they delayed it to the point SU, Pitt and the ACC all preferred to wait until 2013. Money has nothing to do with it. I don’t think any of them wanted the scheduling hassles.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            I think they also delayed it to the point that it hurt the BE schools in finding replacement games.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            True, but they may have been having good talks with Boise behind the scenes so they could afford the delay to replace WV with BSU. The BE knew if it lasted long enough, the ACC would rather wait until next year to add Pitt and SU anyway, so no replacements were needed there.

            Like

  65. bullet says:

    ASU president throws out an 8 team proposal he will present to other Pac 12 presidents and says Pac 12 does NOT support the current system as it is causing long term harm to the sport. Personally, I think their hypocrisy on the issues (claiming the extra playoff games would be bad for student-athlete’s health while approving a 12th regular season game for one example) hurts the colleges, not just athletics. The presidents of institutions of higher education are lacking intellectual integrity.

    http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/02/10/sun-devils-prez-pushing-for-an-eight-team-playoff/

    Like

    • Brian says:

      bullet,

      ASU president throws out an 8 team proposal he will present to other Pac 12 presidents and says Pac 12 does NOT support the current system as it is causing long term harm to the sport. Personally, I think their hypocrisy on the issues (claiming the extra playoff games would be bad for student-athlete’s health while approving a 12th regular season game for one example) hurts the colleges, not just athletics. The presidents of institutions of higher education are lacking intellectual integrity.

      I don’t think that example is the best choice. Yes, they recently added the permanent 12th game, but they also eliminated the pre-season kickoff games. Before the 12th game was locked, it was allowed when the season had an extra weekend. People act like this is all recent, but teams were playing up to 12 games in the 50s (first 12-0 team after WWII was 1952). By the 70s at the latest some teams were playing 13 games (1971 – first 13-0 post WWII). OSU was the first to 14-0 in 2002, and that was because they had a pre-season game and the calendar allowed for 12 games. OSU’s first year with 13 games was 1986, and they only had 14 that one time so far.

      Playoff games are different from regular season games. The intensity is higher and the athletes are better, so the collisions are worse in playoff games. Plus, all schools can benefit financially from the extra game while fewer benefit as much from the playoffs, especially when considering the local economy. On the bright side, only a few teams play in the playoff games versus everyone in the regular season so fewer players are risking injury.

      I personally think the bigger issue is playing playoff games in back to back weeks versus having a week off in between to heal (and study depending on timing). I think at least a week off after the CCG weekend is needed for player health and academic concerns. Save back to back weeks for pros.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        I don’t believe there were ever more than 2 pre-season kickoff games and so they went from 4 teams with 12 to 120. The kickoff games were new in the 80s or 90s. They didn’t exist in the 70s.

        In the 50s almost all the schools played only 10 games. And there were only the Big 4 bowls + a handful of others. It was around 1968 they went to 11 games. The 1st championship game was when the SEC expanded. So maybe some teams played 13 or 14 games in the 20s, but 10 games were typical for almost everyone except for the 10-20 playing bowls until 1968. And it was 11 except the 20 or so in bowls for many years. Because one team played 13 doesn’t mean it was at all typical.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          bullet,

          I don’t believe there were ever more than 2 pre-season kickoff games and so they went from 4 teams with 12 to 120. The kickoff games were new in the 80s or 90s. They didn’t exist in the 70s.

          There were at least 3, the Kickoff Classic (1983-2002), Pigskin Classic (1990-2002) and Eddie Robinson Classic (1997-2002). Side note – the only winners of all 3 were OSU, NE and FSU.

          They did go from 6 to 120ish, but those games are the exact mirror of the extra game of a playoff now. A select few teams playing an extra game. That was my point. They got rid of the classics when they went to 12 games full time because they didn’t want to start the season in August.

          In the 50s almost all the schools played only 10 games. And there were only the Big 4 bowls + a handful of others. It was around 1968 they went to 11 games. The 1st championship game was when the SEC expanded. So maybe some teams played 13 or 14 games in the 20s, but 10 games were typical for almost everyone except for the 10-20 playing bowls until 1968. And it was 11 except the 20 or so in bowls for many years. Because one team played 13 doesn’t mean it was at all typical.

          I didn’t say it was typical, but some teams were doing it. That would be true for a playoff, too.

          From 1946-1970 (25 years), 58 teams played 250 or more games (10 per year). The max was 273 (almost 11 per year), which included 15 bowls and probably 8 years of 11 games.

          From 1971-1990 (30 years), 96 teams played 330 or more games (11 per year). The max was 372 (12.4 per year) thanks to 22 bowls and maybe because of a lot of games against HI (not sure when the extra game rule started).

          From 2001-2011 (11 years), 96 teams played 132 or more games (12 per year). The max was 148 (almost 13.5 per year, thanks to a lot of CCGs and bowls). 11 teams averaged at least 13 games per year.

          Your complaint is that it’s hypocritical for the season to have grown by 2 games (and about 20 bowls) in 60+ years? I think that’s a reasonable rate of growth to pull out some of the financial value available without going overboard. The NFL season has grown by 4 games in that time span and was looking at adding 2 more games. The NFL playoff has also grown from 2 teams to 12.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            There was also the BCA Classic. Nebraska & tOSU won all 4.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            It is hypocritical. They grow the season (when they went to 12 and started adding mass numbers of bowl games) at the same time they make the argument they can’t have a playoff because of the wear and tear on the players. Adding a limited playoff would have had an impact on fewer players. Their decisions regarding schedules have almost nothing to do with the welfare of the players. When they couch their decisions in those terms it discredits them. In reality its been about power, boosters and most of all, their share of the money.

            There are other examples. They talk about the value of the regular season, but more and more teams schedule like Alabama, who had Georgia Southern this year and Georgia State, in their 1st year of competition, last year. They schedule games against outmanned teams that noone really wants to see. Georgia scheduled Idaho St. (1-10) last year and Coastal Carolina this year. They talk about how great the bowl experience is and that there should be more winners as the bowls do, but expand the championship field in every other sport and talk about how valuable the championship level competition is.

            What’s different is that TPTB are actually finally talking about the real issues this year. There are legitimate reasons to oppose a playoff. Its just that the presidents either 1) haven’t been talking about them or; 2) acted like they believed the opposite.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            It is hypocritical. They grow the season (when they went to 12 and started adding mass numbers of bowl games) at the same time they make the argument they can’t have a playoff because of the wear and tear on the players. Adding a limited playoff would have had an impact on fewer players.

            Back when people first started bringing up a playoff, nobody was talking about a limited one. The most common plans were 16 teams or more to match the lower divisions, with games every week like the NFL. That’s 3 more games than the bowl system for some teams, with little rest in between the games. I think it’s legitimate to worry about the abuse of the players in such a system. Their staunch resistance to such a plan is part of why more recent plans have been scaled down.

            As for the extra bowls, that did add a 12th (now 13th) game for a lot of teams. Of course, that extra game came after weeks to heal up from the regular season and was intended as a reward.

            Their decisions regarding schedules have almost nothing to do with the welfare of the players. When they couch their decisions in those terms it discredits them. In reality its been about power, boosters and most of all, their share of the money.

            Says who? Do you have any actual evidence that the presidents don’t care about the players? A quote from one of them or something? It is possible to have multiple reasons for doing something.

            There are other examples.

            There are. That’s why I said I thought you picked a poor example.

            They talk about the value of the regular season, but more and more teams schedule like Alabama, who had Georgia Southern this year and Georgia State, in their 1st year of competition, last year. They schedule games against outmanned teams that noone really wants to see. Georgia scheduled Idaho St. (1-10) last year and Coastal Carolina this year.

            The value of the regular season is not predicated on the OOC schedule. It’s about winning in the regular season being really important, unlike in hoops or pro sports, and you know that. As for scheduling, there are several points to keep in mind:

            1. You say noone wants to see these games, but attendance numbers say otherwise. Fans in the south and midwest bring these games on themselves by attending them. The P12 plays a tougher schedule because they have to in order to draw fans.

            2. The presidents don’t make schedules, the ADs do. They are making the financial decision to buy home wins versus playing more home and homes because Title IX has forced them to support so many worthless sports. The revenue from a home game is too valuable to sacrifice for teams with large stadiums. If the seats didn’t fill, or ticket prices were forced down, then a home game would be less valuable than a good home and home.

            3. Part of the recent trend was caused by the move to 12 games. The major schools schedule home and homes way in advance. I think you’ll find most AQs are actually starting to schedule stronger again, with much of the SEC as a clear exception. I saw an AD notice that trend recently. Many conferences have moved or are moving to 9 conference games (ACC, B12, P12), and the B10 has 8 plus the P12 game. If these schools add another home and home, they are playing 10 AQs (11 for P12). That’s not a weak schedule.

            4. The real problem with scheduling is that they allowed 1 I-AA win to count towards bowl eligibility. Drop that rule and see what happens to schedules. They won’t transform, but I’d rather see IN play another MAC school than a I-AA. The big boys may still play a I-AA since they aren’t worried about bowl eligibility, but that would change for some of them too if the NCAA moved to 7 wins as the threshold. Probably nothing will stop the AL’s of the world from playing a I-AA. The one possibility is if SOS becomes a major explicit factor in playoff eligibility, but as long as the n umber of wins trumps the quality of wins it won’t change.

            They talk about how great the bowl experience is and that there should be more winners as the bowls do, but expand the championship field in every other sport and talk about how valuable the championship level competition is.

            They expanded MBB all the way to 68 from 65. That was based on the number of conferences and the negative implications put on the two teams that played in the opening game. I haven’t tracked tournament size in other sports. My guess is they’ve grown as the number of truly competitive teams and the number of fans has grown over time.

            It’s isn’t hypocritical to defend different systems for different sports. Both systems have value, no other college sport can pull 100,000 fans like major CFB, and other sports can play more games more quickly than CFB. As for I-A vs I-AA, D-II and D-III, the differences are the size and speed of the players and the tradition of the bowl games. The other levels can’t support a bowl system, so a playoff was their only choice. The physical wear on the players is less because they just don’t hit as hard.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “4. The real problem with scheduling is that they allowed 1 I-AA win to count towards bowl eligibility”

            That’s also because of finances/economics. You can blame Title IX if you want, but my suspicion is that without Title IX, most of the money that now goes to women’s sports would have simply been funneled in to the coaches’ salary, facilities, and recruiting arms races. Anyway, any school for whom a guarantee game is profitable would want to allow more FCS games to count towards bowl eligibility, as that would decrease the price of guarantee games.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Brian
            The attendance numbers say people don’t want to see these games. That Idaho St. game was the first non-sellout at UGA in ages. We saw people giving away tickets. Coastal Carolina was worse. Tennessee had lots of empty seats at one of their body-bag games recently. And that’s the SEC!

            Texas never played FCS schools (with 1 or 2 last minute schedule change exceptions), but their weak FBS opponents were always easy tickets.

            The crowds just aren’t into those games. They are so non-competitive it undermines the entertainment value. In the long run it damages the “brand.”

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            The attendance numbers say people don’t want to see these games.

            Actual attendance, maybe, but not paid attendance and that is all that matters. When people stop buying season tickets because of bad games, then it will change.

            That Idaho St. game was the first non-sellout at UGA in ages. We saw people giving away tickets. Coastal Carolina was worse. Tennessee had lots of empty seats at one of their body-bag games recently. And that’s the SEC!

            http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/ncaa/gameflash/2010/11/06/42266_recap.html

            UGA/ISU was a sellout, officially. And why should attendance be good when UGA was 4-5 going into the game? It wasn’t all ISU’s fault that there were empty seats. UGA got paid full price for every seat and only paid ISU $525,000. They’ll take that deal forever, especially since the new AD believes in weak schedules.

            Texas never played FCS schools (with 1 or 2 last minute schedule change exceptions), but their weak FBS opponents were always easy tickets.

            The crowds just aren’t into those games. They are so non-competitive it undermines the entertainment value. In the long run it damages the “brand.”

            Until they stop buying the tickets, what fans say they want is irrelevant. They are buying tickets to these games, even if they don’t attend. Stop paying for it, even if it means no season tickets, and then the schools will listen.

            Like

    • cutter says:

      If his system had been in place, then the top 8 conference winners in 2011 would have been (in order per the BCS rankings) LSU, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Wisconsin, Clemson, TCU, So. Miss and W. Virginia. The first round of games would have gone something like this:

      #8 West Virginia (9-3) at #1 LSU (13-0)
      #5 Clemson (10-3) at #4 Wisconsin (11-2)

      #7 So. Mississippi (11-2) at #2 Oklahoma State (11-1)
      #6 TCU (10-2) at #3 Oregon (11-2)

      Like

  66. frug says:

    (And now for something completely different)

    http://www.avclub.com/articles/george-lucas-says-han-never-shot-first-you-were-ju,69159/

    George Lucas says that Han never shot first, the audience was just confused.

    Like

    • @frug – As a huge Star Wars fan, I could go on for an hour about this.

      First, George Lucas is straight-up lying. There’s no confusion. Han shot first in the original. Lucas is trying to retroactively create confusion.

      Second, no one would be bothered by his tinkering of the films if he would just freaking acknowledge the existence of the original versions of the trilogy that, you know, made him a billionaire. All he has to do is simply provide the original cuts cleaned up for Blu-Ray as an *option* and everyone will be happy. He can then make as many other special editions to suit his “vision” to his heart’s content.

      Third, if Lucas really wants to change his movies, he ought to completely remove Jar Jar Binks from the Phantom Menace. That’s a special edition I’ll gladly pay extra for.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Most of his changes didn’t really bother me. They were unnecessary, but didn’t change anything important. Having Greedo shoot first is ridiculous (really, he misses from 4 feet away?) and completely changes the tone of the film.

        It would be even better if he could remove the kid, too. And Hayden Christiansen from the later ones. And rewrite all the dialogue, especially the “romantic” scenes.

        The real problem is the Lucas became more and more kid focused with the story, and that’s why he retconned the shooting scene, made teddy bear ewoks and then added JJB.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          I think Lucas has been captured by political correctness. Good guys can’t shoot first. 1st of all it was self defense even if he shot 1st so what’s the big deal? 2nd, it IS part of his evolution as the romantics pull him from straddling the middle over away from the dark side. What’s acceptable for kids has changed a lot since Lucas was a kid and Star Wars was an homage to the stuff he watched as a kid, not to Disney Pictures.

          Like

        • frug says:

          I agree that most of Lucas’ changes are more silly than anything (i.e. making the Ewoks blink and adding a “NOOOOOOOO!” when Vader throws the Emperor down the shaft at the end of RotJ) but the one that really does get my blood boiling was putting Hayden Christiansen into the last shot of Return of the Jedi. Never mind that I hated Christiansen anyways, but it made no freaking sense at all. After all, he kept Alec Guiness.

          Like

      • frug says:

        I feel that Lucas relationship with Star Wars is a classic case of the art becoming bigger than the artist. The difference here is, the artist is a billionaire who has access to the technology necessary to bring his art back in check. I think that is real reason he won’t release the unedited versions. He doesn’t want people to watch Star Wars. He wants them to watch George Lucas’ Star Wars.

        Contrast that with James Cameron’s thoughts on the rerelease of Titanic:

        When asked about making changes in the movie, Cameron joked that he’ll let George Lucas be the filmmaker who goes back to his earlier work and changes things. “That’s an example of what I don’t want to do,” he quipped, then added. “That’s not a slam. I think he considers his movies a perpetual work in progress. For me, the problem is when you pull that thread, it all unravels because where do you stop? For example, I’ve done three expeditions to the Titanic, I’ve done literally hundreds of hours of exploration of the interior of the wreck, always photographing all the stairwells, so I know the places where the film is wrong.”

        This is particularly interesting given that Cameron has always regretted including a scene where the captain shoots passengers in the lower decks, which did not happen in real life.

        http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=83123

        Like

  67. Eric says:

    The way I see it, there are basically three options for the way the Big East can approach expansion (although several variations on those).

    1. National Divisions

    The Big East can divide things so that all rivals play each other, but so that the divisions are spread out and non-geographic (ideally promoting interest in the whole conference over a wider area). Here is how I’d picture this looking, but you could switch things around a little.

    American———-National
    Houston———–SMU
    Central Florida—–South Florida
    Boise State——–San Diego St.
    Rutgers————Louisville
    UConn————-Cincinnati
    Navy————–Memphis

    This approach gives both divisions a team in recruiting rich Florida and Texas and a western team. It preserves the rivalries I think most would say are most important. It’s pretty random though and most people wouldn’t be able to figure it out. Also forget about the idea of a neutral site CCG.

    2. Geography Divisions

    The Big East is historically an eastern league which has slowly become more national, which is a reason that it might make sense to have an eastern and national division. There would be no crossovers with this set-up.

    Eastern National (no locked crossovers)
    UConn Boise State
    Rutgers San Diego State
    Navy SMU
    Cincinnati Houston
    Louisville UCF
    Memphis USF

    This set-up has the advantage of no locked crossover games (meaning teams play the rest of the other division more) and in putting all rivals in same divisions (rivalries are bigger when division online). It does create one division with a lot better recruiting grounds though.

    3. Old vs. New

    There are 5 existing members of the Big East whom you can keep in a division together with one new member. You can put Navy in as it is the furthest east or Central Florida or Memphis. I guess I’d lean toward Central Florida as I don’t think Navy would mind the west as much and since Memphis is the furthest west of the three.

    East—————–West
    Rutgers————-Boise State
    UConn————-SMU
    Cincinnati———-Houston
    Louisville————Memphis
    Central Florida——San Diego St.
    South Florida——-Navy

    I’ve got crossovers here for the sake of giving Memphis at least one thing it wants, but you could do away with them and everything else would be better. I think this set-up divides the recruiting grounds well and works well for the current schools, but I don’t think the conference will go this way for some reason.

    Like

    • OT says:

      The brand is BIG EAST.

      The division names should reflect the brand: BIG Division, and EAST Division.

      BIG Division

      Boise State
      San Diego State
      SMU
      Houston
      Central Florida
      South Florida

      EAST Division

      UCONN
      Rutgers
      Navy
      Cincinnati
      Louisville
      Memphis

      ==

      The schools in the Big East fit in tidy geographic clusters:

      UCONN, Rutgers, and Navy are in the Northeast Corridor, all within driving distance of each other

      Cincinnati, Louisville, and Memphis are in the Upper South, all within driving distance of each other.

      Central Florida and South Florida are 90 minutes from each other along I-4.

      SMU and Houston are in Texas, about 4 hours from each other along I-35.

      Boise State and San Diego State are west of the Rocky Mountains.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        The chances of the Northeast and Ohio Valley schools agreeing to never playing in either FL or TX permanently is about zero.

        Like

        • OT says:

          With 9 conference games, each BIG EAST team will have 4 crossover opponents.

          There are ways to rotate the cross-over games so that each EAST division team will play on the road in two out of the following 3 states every year: Texas, Florida, and California.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            That should be “annually”, not “permanently”. In any case, there’s no way the NE & Ohio Valley teams would accept visiting TX, FL, and CA 2 out of 3 years when their opponents can do so 2-3 times a year (and when they can do so 1-2 times a year if FL is in the East and TX is in the West).

            The FL and TX schools will be in separate divisions. I’m not sure why you have a problem with that.

            Like

          • OT says:

            @Richard:

            Cincinnati and Louisville both want to be in the “East Division” along with UCONN, Rutgers, and Navy.

            Furthermore, Louisville wants Memphis in its division.

            The only way to keep Louisville happy is to put the Florida schools in the BIG Division with the Texas schools and the western schools.

            ==

            If Louisville were to jump to the XII before 2015, then all bets are off.

            However, I don’t see “Boss DeLoss” signing off on XII expansion until Notre Dame comes off the table (by joining the ACC, for example.)

            Like

          • Richard says:

            OT:

            Do you have any proof of this? Rutgers and UConn want to play in FL. Why would Louisville’s desires outweigh their desires?

            Like

      • glenn says:

        not important, but i-45 goes to houston from dallas, not i-35.

        now, name the interstate that connects the capital city of austin to the state’s largest city, houston.

        is that weird?

        Like

    • Richard says:

      “I’ve got crossovers here for the sake of giving Memphis at least one thing it wants, but you could do away with them and everything else would be better. I think this set-up divides the recruiting grounds well and works well for the current schools, but I don’t think the conference will go this way for some reason.”

      Why not? Also, Navy would want a close school for a crossover, as it’s flying halfway across the country for it’s other permanent games (and it’s not as if it keys in on FL recruiting), so, match up the FL-TX schools for a crossover, Memphis-Louisville, Navy-RU, and them Cincy & UConn can divide Boise and SDSU between them some how.

      Like

  68. Brian says:

    Urban Meyer better be prepared to make a run in the next few years. OSU just locked down the schedules for 2012-2014.

    2012

    Sept. 1 –- Miami (Ohio)
    Sept. 8 –- Central Florida
    Sept. 15 -– California
    Sept. 22 -– Alabama-Birmingham
    Sept. 29 -– at Michigan State
    Oct. 6 –- Nebraska
    Oct. 13 -– at Indiana
    Oct. 20 -– Purdue
    Oct. 27 –- at Penn State
    Nov. 3 –- Illinois
    Nov. 10 –- Open
    Nov. 17 –- at Wisconsin
    Nov. 24 –- Michigan

    The OOC slate is winnable, and then how the team has learned the new systems will be tested in the first 2 B10 games. The finishing games are tough, too, but the team should continue to improve during the season. OSU needs to win at least 8 and 9 would be a little disappointing. I’m guessing most fans will expect 10 wins. 11 or 12 would be a great sign for 2013.

    2013

    Aug. 31 –- Vanderbilt
    Sept. 7 –- Florida A&M
    Sept. 14 -– at California
    Sept. 21 -– Buffalo
    Sept. 28 –- Wisconsin
    Oct. 5 –- at Northwestern
    Oct. 12 -– Open
    Oct. 19 –- Iowa
    Oct. 26 –- Penn State
    Nov. 2 –- at Purdue
    Nov. 9 –- Open
    Nov. 16 –- at Illinois
    Nov. 23 –- Indiana
    Nov. 30 –- at Michigan

    Two AQs OOC, but both are winnable. Yet another tough B10 opener (that’s 3 in a row), but then the schedule is pretty open until The Game at MI. There will be high hopes for that year, with 10 wins a disappointment and 11 wins still below the expectations of many.

    2014

    Aug. 30 –- at Navy
    Sept. 6 –- Open
    Sept. 13 –- Kent State
    Sept. 20 -– Virginia Tech
    Sept. 27 -– Cincinnati
    Oct. 4 –- Purdue
    Oct. 11 –- Open
    Oct. 18 –- at Iowa
    Oct. 25 –- Northwestern
    Nov. 1 -– at Wisconsin
    Nov. 8 –- Illinois
    Nov. 15 –- at Penn State
    Nov. 22 –- at Indiana
    Nov. 29 –- Michigan

    Back to back AQs OOC, but both are at home. Finally a midrange B10 opener reappears. The bye week is really early, meaning 7 straight games to finish. November will be especially tough.
    This should be Braxton miller’s senior year, so fans will expect a lot (again). With the tougher schedule, I’d say most fans will expect 10 or 11 wins.

    Like

    • Eric says:

      I think if there is a season in there to most hope/expect a great season it’s 2013. Non-conference isn’t a cake walk, but manageable. In conference we get both Wisconsin and Penn State at home and play Illinois after a bye week. All of those should help us in divisional play and hopefully get us to the Big Ten championship game. Michigan in Ann Arbor jumps out as the toughest part for right now.

      Like

  69. bullet says:

    Interesting article discussing some of the other issues regarding a playoff beyond the number of teams, including its impact on schedules.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/stuart_mandel/2012/02/10/bcs-playoff-strength-of-schedule/

    Like

    • Brian says:

      http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/stewart_mandel/02/10/bcs-playoff-strength-of-schedule/index.html?sct=cf_t11_a0

      Your link failed for me, so maybe mine will work for others.

      I fully agree with Swarbrick about SOS.

      “I hope that with whatever future model emerges, strength of schedule is an important factor,” said Swarbrick. “Putting greater emphasis on that is good for the strength of the game.”

      I liked the old days when it was a part of the BCS formula. I think they should shift to using the computer models to evaluate how much each team has accomplished in the season (rather than trying to rank how good they are) since that is where the human bias really kicks in. Then let a committee consider all the relevant factors in picking and seeding teams.

      Like

  70. Richard says:

    I’m not on Twitter (and don’t ever plan to be), so will reply here:

    JLin would be like Tebow if Tebow was an undrafted rookie from Harvard who came out of nowhere to lead his team to victory by throwing pinpoint 30-yard strikes down the field.

    What Lin has (vision, great change-of-pace, handles, balance, coolness under pressure, and bball IQ) tells me he’ll be a good point guard for a long time. I’m not convinced that a QB can pass the ball as inaccurately as Tebow and win long-term in the NFL.

    Like

    • @Richard – I agree. The main comparison between Jeremy Lin and Tim Tebow is the extent of the media coverage and how they’re really perfect topics for this age of blogs/Twitter.

      Otherwise, as I discussed with some people yesterday, the best on-the-field comparison (assuming Lin can keep this up) is Kurt Warner. He was undrafted, kicked around the Arena Football League and NFL Europe for a few years, and then came out of completely nowhere to lead the Rams to the Super Bowl.

      I’m half-Chinese, so I’ve been following Lin for awhile. I actually saw him play with Harvard in college versus Penn (my sister and a couple of my cousins went to Penn, so I wanted to see a game at the Palestra during a visit) and we were excited to see a Chinese-American (as opposed to a Chinese national such as Yao Ming) actually being a go-to guy on a Division I team.

      Regardless, this is a story that Hollywood couldn’t make up: undrafted Asian kid from Harvard that’s sleeping on his brother’s couch right now, was in the D-league about month ago, probably was going to be cut if there weren’t some injuries, grabbing the starting job with some 20-point games, Kobe Bryant dismisses him in the media, and and then he drops 38 on Kobe and the Lakers at Madison Square Garden. Right place at the right time in the right system (D’antoni’s pick and roll heavy system) on a marquee franchise in the biggest media market. Truly unbelievable.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Hi Frank,

        Yep, I agree that Kurt Warner is an apt comparison. Both went to small schools (where they lit up the league). Yet both were undrafted & overlooked. Both were cut several times and bounced around in the “minors” (where they both did well).

        I’m Chinese-American & from Taiwan as well, so I knew of Jeremy Lin; I never saw him play in person but from highlights, felt he could contribute in the NBA as a high-energy guy (on the offensive end) coming off the bench by getting in to position for good looks, utilizing mismatches, & finding open teammates. I knew he didn’t have the Kobe-like ability to make any shot from any place on the floor against any defender one-on-one. I wasn’t expecting the highest scoring total over the first 3 starts of a career for any player since the NBA-ABA merger.

        You can really see Lin’s value when he has good complimentary parts to play off of (a big man adept at the pick-and-roll, a couple of spot-up shooters who can hit open jumpers, and some guys who can defend). I think Amare Stoudemire would fit just fine (so long as he’s psychologically recovered) as he did well in D’Antoni’s system with the Suns & Steve Nash running the point, and he adds another shot-blocker in the lane to Tyson Chandler. ‘Melo is another question; if he looks, passes, & cuts quickly, he’d be an improvement, but if he disrupts the offense with his isolation game, the Knicks may be better off without Carmelo Anthony.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        BTW, he’s pretty funny too (or at least his friends who directed this are): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9yVnKQNj58

        Like

    • OT says:

      Jeremy Lin might be better off playing in the CBA instead of the NBA next season.

      Don’t think the Knicks can afford to keep him, and don’t believe anyone else in the NBA can either.

      The likes of Shanghai Sharks (Yao Ming’s old team) or GuangDong Tigers might be a better fit for him.

      (One CBA team that will never touch Lin is the BaYi Rockets. BaYi is the Chinese equivalent of CSKA Moscow, as BaYi is owned by the People’s Liberation Army.)

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Huh? How much do you think the CBA can afford to pay him? Are the riches there why Yao Ming decided to play in the NBA?

        Like

      • @OT – There are plenty of teams that can afford Lin next year, including the crosstown soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets and the Dallas Mavericks (who have a ton of cap room opening up after this season). It’s not as if though he’s going to get a max contract like Dwight Howard.

        Like

        • Read The D says:

          The Mavs actually had him in camp as a rookie and reluctantly released him. There was some talk at the time about how impressive he was. I’m sure the Mavs would love to have him back.

          Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Jeremy can’t Lin them all. The Knicks fall to my New Orleans Hornets in their Mardi Gras gear. The Hornets are currently riding their longest winning streak of the season – 3 games.

      Break up the Hornets!

      Oh yeah, that already happened in December.

      Like

  71. Brian says:

    Since the ACC announced it will go to a 9 game schedule (apparently in 2013), one thing I’ve seen and heard discussed is the impact that will have on OOC rivalries (in part because it’s assumed the SEC will also go to 9 games in the future). There is some talk that UGA/GT, SC/Clemson and UF/FSU could move earlier in the year rather than being season ending games. The thought is that you really don’t want such an emotionally charged game the week before the CCG that doesn’t factor into the race.

    The only impact of adding a ninth game on this is that these teams are now guaranteed 10 AQ opponents each year instead of 9 (Clemson and FSU already play 10 regularly, and UGA used to but is getting away from it). I’m not sure how much it really helps to play your OOC rival early since you’ll be playing a division opponent the week before the CCG with the division race on the line. At least in years when you can’t win the division you can have a game left that can salvage the season.

    I just don’t see any significant benefit to moving the games.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      One reason Miami/FSU play early is so that the loser can recover in the polls.

      But from a fan and player standpoint it makes sense to have the rival at the end. Fans care even if both teams aren’t very good. For the players, its a game to build up to.

      Like

  72. Frank,
    How can you leave out the huge difference in revenue the ACC will see compared to the Pac12, Big 10, Big 12, and the SEC?

    You are right, UVA, UNC, Duke, don’t care because they have many alumni that can drop $50 when they feel like it and they have athletic endowments that only trail Stanford (the first school to start an athletic endowment), but FSU does NOT have that.

    So how do FSU and Clemson who are supposedly trying the carry the water for ACC football (ie trying to win national titles) do this when ever football school out there has $5-$20 more each per school than FSU/Clemson?

    The answer is they don’t are can’t. This is a sure fire strategy to turn these schools into has beens. Maybe they don’t care and will just settle, but future TV contracts will hog tie these schools into oblivion. Why do they care UVA and UNC are financially set…..Clemson/FSU aren’t.

    Reality says they are either accepting they will be like current Big East teams (ie COMPLETELY irrelevant) in football or they are too stupid to see they have to move on to find the funds to compete in football.

    Like

    • Elvis says:

      I wonder the same. Why would Clemson and FSU think they could compete for national titles with such a severe financial disparity with literally every non ACC BCS school?

      Like

      • acaffrey says:

        Florida State is getting the recruits. They are just not maximizing it.

        If you are those two schools, why not wait for the SEC? All the $$$ of the Big XII… better geography… more stability.

        Like

        • Elvis says:

          Yes, FSU is getting recruits now.

          When these TV contracts kick in and the financial disparity starts to add year after year and facilities start to seperate greatly and coaches from ACC football schools get poached. How will the recruiting be in 5 or 10 years?

          SEC schools, and others simply have to go to Clemson and FSU and double the salaries of the best recruiters EVERY year. It will have a SEVERE impact.

          Really respect Frank and this site, but he is missing a HUGE issue here and I am not sure why.

          Like

          • Eric says:

            While I agree that the lure of the Big 12 is largely being downplayed a little and the conference is in a lot better shape than it’s often credited, I also don’t think the disadvantages for Florida State and Clemson are that severe.

            TV money will be lacking compared to others, but that’s only one issue. Direct donations to the athletic department still are a part and even if FSU and Clemson aren’t as effective as others, they are more effective when winning which is easier in the ACC. Florida State is the 2nd biggest school in Florida and will always attract talent in the state. It’s bound to rebound even if it doesn’t return to dominance and better seasons in the ACC will help with donations more than worse seasons in the Big 12.

            Again I think the Big 12 is a lot more stable now than credited and think it’s possible Florida State and Clemson go (even if odds definitely against). I think the TV contract isn’t a quite make or break though too (but is an influence).

            Like

        • Elvis says:

          But I do agree, Clemson and FSU are idiotic to ignore the Big 12.

          What they can’t do is sit back and take 50% of the revenue of their competitors and deal the all the HORRIBLE moves of the basketball only ACC conference.

          Frank says this conference is stable. I promise you…..5 years into this HORRIBLE contract situation and the continuation of the officiating/scheduling issues. It will NOT be.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            You seem not to know this, but FSU already operates at a considerable financial disparity to UF, and it doesn’t seem to affect their recruiting any. Currently, FSU pulls in 19M in football revenues; UF pulls in 69M:

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/sportsmoney/2011/02/24/acc-football-not-cash-cow-like-sec-and-big-ten/

            Also, 50% of which competitors? FSU pretty much never competes with B12 or Pac12 teams for recruits, and the SEC is locked in to their TV contract for many years as well. Yes, they’ll get a bump from adding TAMU & Mizzou, but I doubt it’s going to bump up their annual per school TV payout to $28M or more.

            Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            Horrible moves? The ACC’s only big mistake was the way it did its divisions, which is extremely confusing for anyone who lives outside of my part of the country (and for many who do live around here). Otherwise, what was the ACC supposed to do? It’s not John Swofford’s or the the institutions themselves’ fault that the football teams underperformed and got a weaker contract in 2010 than it would have; they were fortunate to get the contract they did get, considering the football teams’ performances over the past several years, although it’s now under market.

            The additions of Virginia Tech and Miami were the best moves imaginable (outside of impossible additions like Penn State or Florida) at the time; it’s just that no one could have foreseen Miami’s dive into mediocrity.

            West Virginia was never truly on the table, regardless of what “The Dude” says. The ACC has strong schools from top to bottom, and WVU would have been an extreme outlier. The best schools to add were Syracuse and Pitt because Big Ten and SEC schools were not options, at least within the realm of reality.

            I say the ACC has done the best it can with the cards it has had.

            Like

        • joe4psu says:

          One problem with that scenario is that the SEC is most likely never going to want them. They overlap with UF and USCe. The geography issue is not as big a deal if the B12 expands further and adds other schools from the south and east. That may never happen, expanding beyond 12, but it would help with the geography. And as for stability, the schools in the B12 have begun signing over their tv rights to the conference. None of them are going anywhere anytime soon and with the addition of schools like FSU and Clemson the conference becomes that much more stable.

          A&M’s reason for leaving had more to do with doing what was best for them than it did with the stability of the B12. The same could be said of Mizzou as well. They joined the SEC more than they left the B12. The only other schools in the B12 with that option are UT and OU but neither seem interested in the SEC at all. Thus all the canoodling with the Pac the last couple of years.

          It seems like the biggest question for FSU and Clemson is whether they believe that the ACC is committed to being a profitable fball and bball conference rather than a profitable bball conference that plays fball. The ACC has become more like the BE with their latest moves, what does that tell you?

          Like

          • acaffrey says:

            If Clemson and Florida State would just WIN like they are capable of, then the ACC football brand will return.

            Money didn’t make Clemson collapse down the stretch and embarrass itself in the Orange Bowl. What has Clemson done in the past few decades anyway? Money didn’t make Florida State go all these years without a 10-win season. Miami hasn’t done squat since leaving the Big East.

            While Syracuse and Pitt have underperformed in the past 10 years (Syracuse) and relative to talent (Pitt), it’s not like the kings of the ACC have room to complain. Syracuse and Pitt are trying to do it on $10M less per year between them and EVERY AQ school. Right now, the $$$ gap between those schools and the ACC is far greater than the gap between Clemson and FSU & the SEC/Big XII.

            Besides, what else can the ACC do? West Virginia was the best target–but it’s not like West Virginia is a football king. The SEC took Missouri and Texas A&M for markets. West Virginia’s market is dwarfed by those markets. The ACC’s markets brought by Syracuse and Pitt have far more potential to be lucrative financially.

            I will always say that the perfect expansion for the ACC to 16 teams is Notre Dame and West Virginia. WVU’s academics would be offset by Notre Dame’s. And that would juice up football. But that ship has sailed and/or not ready to sail.

            If the ACC kings can get their performances up to par, then the ACC will make $$$. In the meantime, $$$ is just a lame excuse for underperforming.

            Like

          • acaffrey says:

            In other words, you cannot have it both ways, re: money.

            If a narrow monetary gap justifies poor performance by FSU, Miami, and Clemson, imagine what Syracuse and Pitt have faced trying to do it on a few million dollars. Why not wait to see if Syracuse and Pitt can get back to what they have proven that they can be. Neither are kings, but both are capable of providing viewership due to long history and general brand.

            I don’t see it as a basketball move anyway. I see it as a toss-up as to which academically qualified schools to take for football purposes & then allowing tradition/markets/basketball to break the tie.

            Like

  73. Penn State Danny says:

    The Arizona’s president’s plan would have been great if it were instituted 5 or 10 years ago.

    If the 8 highest conference champs were granted entry to the playoffs, realignment would have happened differently. The BE teams wouldn’t have to act like rats leaving a sinking ship. CUSA and MWC could have established themselves as true mid-majors.

    I still basically like the plan. Have the quarter finals on campus. Have the semis at the Orange Bowl and Fiesta Bowl. Have the Rose be the highest remaining teams of the BIG and Pac 12. Have the Sugar have the highest remaining SEC team vs. whomever gives the best matchup.

    It puts a true emphasis on the regular season and the first Alabama vs LSU game as “all important” as it should have been.

    As it is, this plan won’t fly because of all of the recent movement. All the teams that moved from Nebraska to Pitt to TCU to Memphis moved for what they perceived to be a long lasting benefit. Moving to this system now may cause more chaos not more stability.

    Again, if this plan were in place before all of the recent realignment, I think it would be virtually perfect.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      I don’t think this system would have had any real impact on what happened with the Big 5 conferences. Utah and Colorado would still have wanted to go to the Pac. Nebraska would have still gone to the B1G. The SEC would still have supersized with Missouri and A&M. And Pitt and SU would almost certainly still have gone to the ACC. The Big 12 would have re-loaded. CU moved to get closer to their alumni. Pretty much everyone else moved for better TV money coupled with stability.

      There would have been an impact on the non-AQs. And the Big East might not have been able to poach as easily. But it would have made no difference at the top.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        Plus, a lot of these conferences were going to want to go to 12 for the CCG money/setup (since the setup itself helps the lesser teams that only need to beat out 5 other teams in a 12 team conference to get to the CCG). The Pac-12 needed exposure to move East, etc.

        The addition of the CCG is a big part of why everything changed. That and exploding TV contracts made more inventory all the more important (as well as the conference/school networks).

        I definitely agree that the stuff affecting the Big 5 likely wouldn’t have changed. Big East versus MWC/C-USA etc. is more interesting.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          Conference networks, yes. School channel? How is UT, OU, or whoever keeping and profiting from those rights an attraction, except to the desperate?

          Like

          • OT says:

            Notre Dame is using the threat of starting its own TV network to force Comcast (NBC Sports Group) into buying its rights to men’s ice hockey home games in addition to its home and “neutral site” football games.

            (The threat of starting its own TV network is the most powerful bargaining chip for Notre Dame, not actually having its own TV network.)

            BYU is making money from selling sponsorships to its football games on BYUtv. Furthermore, BYU is using BYUtv to exert control over the West Coast Conference, which does not have the resources to start a conference TV network.

            ==

            ESPN, Inc. will eventually force Time Warner Cable to carry the Longhorn Network. That could take 3 to 5 years, as Time Warner Cable renewed with Disney/ESPN, Inc. before Longhorn Network was launched.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            OT:

            ND (assuming your speculation’s accurate) and BYU are examples of school channel discouraging conference affiliation and changes, not inciting it.

            Like

          • frug says:

            ESPN, Inc. will eventually force Time Warner Cable to carry the Longhorn Network.

            Given that the NFL still can’t get the NFL Network on Time Warner after 8+ years, I wouldn’t be so sure about that…

            Like

  74. Penn State Danny says:

    @Frank: I am surprised that you mentioned that you are half Chinese.

    It is hard to tell that from your picture.

    Like

  75. Brian says:

    http://cfn.scout.com/2/1157705.html

    Pete Fiutak makes the argument for only conference champs in a 4 team playoff (independents count since they won a conference of 1).

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Well, the SEC would definitely be against Fiutak’s proposal. ND almost certainly would be against enshrining privilege for conference champions (even if it gives them a way in now, they can see which route this will go in the future). ACC may be for it. B12 & Pac desires are unknown.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        ND almost certainly would be against enshrining privilege for conference champions (even if it gives them a way in now, they can see which route this will go in the future)

        Where do you come up with this? Nobody is ever going to make a rule that locks ND out of the postseason. Why sacrifice value and stir up trouble for a spot ND has shown no ability to fill anyway?

        Like

    • bullet says:

      His argument convinces me even more that it shouldn’t be only conference champs. That plan lets some dogs in there.

      It does make a reasonable argument that we shouldn’t use the flawed BCS rankings (most recent example-Stanford ahead of Oregon).

      Like

      • TX_Andy says:

        His argument helped convince me that it should be only conference champs. In 11 of the 14 seasons, the 4 highest rated conference champs were all ranked in the top 6. The lowest ranked team to get in was Wisconsin this past season and I would have been glued to the tv to see how they matched up with LSU in a playoff. I didn’t care to watch this year’s rematch.

        Most of the controversy with the BCS involves teams that didn’t win their conference. A playoff of champions makes the regular season more important and eliminates most of the controversy.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          Agree.
          But only if a playoff is unavoidable.

          Like

        • StevenD says:

          Yes please, conference champions only.

          The CCGs should be qualifying matches for the semi-finals. If you can’t win your conference, then you don’t deserve to advance.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            But what if it is a co-champ decided by a tie-breaker?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Then come up with better tiebreakers or tough crap. I assume you’re thinking about the B12S in 2008 with the three way tie, since nobody seems likely to face the old B10 co-champ problems (and if they do, they should blame their conference). If the B12 had better tiebreakers, maybe UT would have won the division. However, all they had to do was beat TT and then there would be no issue. If you lose a conference game, you deservedly lose control of your fate.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            There’s certainly no guarantee we don’t have the Big 10 co-champ issue. Iowa and Ohio State both went unbeaten in conference one year. What if the Big 12 expands to 11, or to 12 w/o a championship game? What if Boise and Houston or Louisville or Rutgers both go unbeaten in the not yet 12 team Big East?

            We could have had a 3 way tie in the SEC West this year if one game went differently. Should 2,3 and 4 loss teams be put in ahead of 1 loss teams because they had easier competition (as would happen if we had an 8 game playoff with only conference champs)? You could have an 8 team tourney with possibly the best team left out in 2008 and 2011 (not that Alabama could make that argument legitimately before their 2nd LSU game).

            Practically, I don’t see it having any more chance than a 16 team playoff. They’ve refused to do it before with only 2 teams, and the SEC and Big 12 would oppose it, and the Big 10 probably would as well. The Pac would be the biggest beneficiary of that rule in a 4 team playoff, so its not that big a surprise ASU likes that idea.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            There’s certainly no guarantee we don’t have the Big 10 co-champ issue. Iowa and Ohio State both went unbeaten in conference one year. What if the Big 12 expands to 11, or to 12 w/o a championship game? What if Boise and Houston or Louisville or Rutgers both go unbeaten in the not yet 12 team Big East?

            There’s no guarantee, no. Good tiebreakers would still select the correct team. If not, the team can blame their own conference and push for changes.

            We could have had a 3 way tie in the SEC West this year if one game went differently. Should 2,3 and 4 loss teams be put in ahead of 1 loss teams because they had easier competition (as would happen if we had an 8 game playoff with only conference champs)?

            Yes, especially since we really don’t know if they had easier competition. If you don’t win your conference, tough crap. I have no sympathy for you. And as Fiutak’s column showed, the “worst” team that would have made it over the past 14 years was #10 WI this year. That’s hardly a travesty. Now, realignment has largely taken the MWC and WAC and CUSA out of the mix, so their are fewer champs to pick from so things might change a little. It’s hard to imagine not having 4 good champs or independents, though. I suppose you could put in a cutoff rule, so the champs have to be in the top X teams or the highest ranked non-champ gets in instead. The difference is that you want X to be 4 and I’d say it should be more like 10.

            You could have an 8 team tourney with possibly the best team left out in 2008 and 2011 (not that Alabama could make that argument legitimately before their 2nd LSU game).

            Too bad. If they are really the best team in the country, they should win their conference.

            Practically, I don’t see it having any more chance than a 16 team playoff. They’ve refused to do it before with only 2 teams, and the SEC and Big 12 would oppose it, and the Big 10 probably would as well. The Pac would be the biggest beneficiary of that rule in a 4 team playoff, so its not that big a surprise ASU likes that idea.

            Yes, the practical side is a different story. I think the ACC, BE, B10, P12, MWCUSA, MAC, WAC, Sun Belt and independents might support it. The SEC definitely wouldn’t, and the B12 might not. Everyone else sees how much the rankings overrate the SEC and B12, though, and don’t want to have their playoff chances tainted by that. They’ll have to split the money anyway, so they might as well split the bids.

            Like

  76. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Remember how not all that long ago, many people questioned whether the Big East football schools should have split off from the Big East basketball schools? Frank even wrote a whole post about it in the fall: “No Split For You! Netflix, Qwikster, and… .”

    Now I can’t help but wonder whether the Big East non-football scholar have much incentive to remain with the football members. UCF, Houston, and SMU are lousy basketball replacements for Syracuse, Pitt, and WVU. Memphis is a solid program to help mitigate those losses, but Memphis may in effect only serve as a replacement for Louisville. If that hapens to become the case, Memphis, Cincinnati, and UConn, would be the only football schools who aren’t dead weight in basketball.

    Is it worth it for the Catholic schools to stick with the football members in a massive conference from which they DO NOT receive football revenue? It so, what are their motives for staying with them? Does affiliation with UConn, Memphis, and Cincinnati outweigh the drawbacks of of USF, UCF, Rutgers, Houston, and SMU? Does Villanova desire affiliation because of a hope to upgrade directly to the Big East football league?

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Apologies for the typos such as “scholar” instead of “schools.” Again, Droids plus WordPress equals problems.

      Anyway, what are the prosand cons of the Catholic basketball staying with the hodge-podge of football schools, of which only Rutgers (a non-factor in basketball) and UConn remain as members from just 8 years ago? Do the seven Catholic scoops not named Notre Dame fear losing affiliation with the Irish if they split off, leaving the Irish to stick with the football members or to join elsewhere? Is there some TV value in basketball that I’m failing to see for them to be in a leaguevwiyh schools in Texas and Florida, evben if said schools are terrible at basketball and don’t garner much local attention?

      Like

    • OT says:

      If the Catholic schools were to split off, the spin-off conference becomes the equivalent of the Atlantic 10: a mid-major conference with not much brand power and tiny TV revenue.

      (Remember the fly-by-night basketball-centric league that was the Great Midwest Conference? That lasted only 5 years before it was re-absorbed by the Metro Conference to create Conference USA 1.0.)

      The prestige of being in a “Power” conference still has cachet value to recruits.

      The BIG EAST will land a fat TV contract from either ESPN, Inc. or Comcast/NBC Sports Group.

      The Catholic schools screwed up once when they refused to admit Penn State. They aren’t about to screw up a 2nd time.

      Like

    • Richard says:

      What OT said. Plus, what advantages would the BE bball schools gain from separating from the football schools? I can’t really see any. UConn, Memphis, (and currently, Louisville) would indeed be the only football schools in the BE that are bball brand names; but amongst the bball-only schools, only Georgetown & Villanova are brand-names as well. With their current setup, purely on the bball, they can sell TV execs on a decent number of brands names + a presence in a ton of media markets east of the Rockies (currently, 5-6 brand names, depending on whether you count ND, and 7 of the top 10 markets, respectively). Split from the football schools, and that drops down to 2-3 brand names and 4 of the top 10 markets). I don’t see how a school like Providence would think that’s more advantageous.

      Like

      • frug says:

        They would get more home games against big draws if they split (assuming UL leaves). The other issue is whether or not the media markets the other schools bring outweighs the watering down of the conference.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Huh? With 17 teams, the BE teams will play everyone once a year (& 2 opponents twice). If the bball schools split, they’ll play everyone twice. However, the number of big draws will go down from 5-6 to 2-3, so there’s no gain, unless you’re counting St. John’s, DePaul, and Providence as big draws.

          Also, I don’t know why you’re assuming Louisville’s leaving yet.

          Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            I think it’s kind of an insult to Marquette to put Providence ahead of them as a “big draw.” They’ve had some pretty strong teams over the past several years, whereas I don’t remember the last time Providence was any good.

            Like

          • frug says:

            I put the statement about Louisville in because you had listed them parenthetically with the phrase “and currently”, which I interpreted as meaning you were expecting them to leave.

            As for the other point, you are right. Though it is worth noting that UCONN has said they will accept an invite to any other AQ conference so basing decisions on their continued presence is a risky proposition.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Mike, that’s my point. Outside of Gtown and ‘Nova, none of the bball-only schools in the BE are big draws. Maybe Marquette, though, even though they get high attendance and are one of the highest-revenue bball programs, I don’t see them as a national brand in bball. I grew up in southern Illinois and then moved to Chicagoland, but even though Milwaukee is almost close enough to be considered a suburb of Chicago, I almost never saw them on TV (while Gtown, Syracuse, ND, and Louisville were on all the time).

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Frug:

            Well, the bball-only schools can always split if UConn leaves. What do they gain from splitting preemptively?

            Like

          • frug says:

            I don’t actually think splitting (at this time) would be a good idea and I don’t think they will. I’m just saying that it is at least plausible, and something to think about for the future if things keep changing.

            Like

    • @Michael – Notre Dame alone is absolutely enough of a draw to keep the Catholic schools in a hybrid Big East. The only way that the Catholic schools would split off is if ND comes with them, which likely wouldn’t happen. The Irish are that important – I was at DePaul Law right before they joined the Big East and it was a long-time institutional priority to get into that league specifically and solidify their relationship with South Bend. I’ll reiterate the thoughts from others that a Catholic-only league would end up being Atlantic 10-esque, which they don’t want to happen. The Big East Catholic schools are essentially getting BCS-level status for basketball without having any football programs, which is a massive benefit.

      Like

      • Eric says:

        It also bears noting that all of this was talked about between the football and non-football schools before invitations went out. If the non-football members wanted to split, the easiest way would have probably been to reject any all sports members and make the football schools go their own way if they wanted new all sports member. That didn’t happen at all, which suggest the Catholic schools believe being attached to a strong football league is important and were willing to make concessions to keep it even if their ties to most the remaining football members are greatly diminished.

        Like

      • frug says:

        I asked about this in another thread and you gave a similar answer about ND, but I’m still not sure how much being linked to ND was worth. I mean Depaul didn’t accept the Big East invite because the Irish were in it, they accept the invite because the Big East was better than C-USA. Sure it was nice that ND was there, but that was maybe the fourth biggest (at beast) reason that they switched behind money, prestige, exposure and probably a bunch of others.

        As much as the Catholic schools love being in a conference with Notre Dame, I don’t think keeping the Irish around is going to be enough to dissuade them from bolting if they think the pastures are greener without UCF and SMU.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          As I asked before, though, how are games against Providence and DePaul more attractive than games against UCF & SMU? OK, excluding ND, here’s the new BE lineup of football and non-football schools in order of bball brands:

          UConn — Gtown
          Memphis — Villanova
          Louisville — Marquette
          Cincy — St. John’s
          Houston, RU, USF, UCF, SMU vs. DePaul, Seton Hall, Providence

          Are you telling me that the bball of the bball-only schools, overall, is better than that of the football-schools? At most, they’re equal, and by sticking to the football schools, the bball schools are seen as being part of a major league (as opposed to a mid-major like the A-10, which they would be with only 2 brands in Gtown and ‘Nova) & can get decent money from TV execs because they can boast 5 major bball brands (or 6, counting ND) & a presence in 7 of the top 10 media markets east of the Rockies (as opposed to 4 of 10 without the football schools).

          Like

          • frug says:

            Lower travel costs and traditional rivalries to begin with. And I would argue that Providence and Seton Hall still have marginally more drawing power than SMU and UCF if no other reason than for their association with the Big East.

            All that said, I do feel it is highly unlikely we will see a split in the near future. The Memphis invite was clearly a bone tossed to the BB schools.

            Like

          • joe4psu says:

            What frug said. I’d add that Providence and DePaul have a much richer bball history as well.

            When will DePaul ever get their next Ray Meyer? The state of their bball since he retired is mind boggling. A good school from Chicago with that history? How can they continue to screw this up?

            Like

          • joe4psu says:

            Rhetorical question. I’m sure it has been discussed A LOT on this blog.

            Like

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            @joe4PSU

            I would never claim that Providence or DePaul have a richer basketball history than Houston.

            Like

          • joe4psu says:

            @loki,

            Houston had a nice run during a short period of time, Phi Slamma Jamma, but DePaul was a top 25 level program for years under Ray Meyer. The Providence reference was based on BE membership more than actual accomplishments. Withdrawn. :)

            Like

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            Concentrating on just DePaul then, Houston has five FFs to DePaul’s two. Their success began long before phi slamma jamma as far back as the ‘Game of the Century’ when they beat Alcindor and UCLA at the Astrodome. Elvin Hayes led them to two FFS. So their success period was also about 25 years.

            Like

          • joe4psu says:

            I have to admit that I forgot about E. That success was more like 40 years ago though.

            Like

  77. Redhawk says:

    I’m sure this will be dismissed but, the PAC is about to get seriously paid. There is an arms race in college sports for TV money. Of course for everyone but the ACC, who’s members are happy to be making far, far less.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/pac12confidential/2016090641_pac-12_networks_how_to_get_rich_quick.html

    Like

    • Richard says:

      A note: That 40M subscriber base is almost certainly a potential base (including basic & sports tiers availability), akin to the BTN’s 73M potential base (BTN has 40M on basic tier). I seriously doubt most cable companies will put the PTN on basic tier outside the Pac12 footprint. However, the PTN almost certainly will get on DirecTV & Dish at some point too.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        I think that is the current subscriber base within the footprint for the four cable companies. That is aprox what I remember them saying last year when the P12N and Media Enterprises was announced. It wouldn’t surprise me if there were 40+ million household subscribers in the six states.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Seems a bit unlikely. BTN has 40M on basic tier. The 9 B10 states have more population than the 6 Pac states. Those 4 cable providers don’t account for all pay TV subscribers in the 6 Pac states (I’m sure DirectTV has a big chunk and Dish has a share as well + there are other cable providers), so a significantly larger percentage of the population in the Pac12 states would have to subscribe to cable than in the B10 states who subscribe to cable & satellite for that to be true.

          Or those 4 cable companies are putting the PTN on basic everywhere outside the 6 Pac states as well.

          OK, that isn’t the case:

          http://blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports/2012/01/17/pac-12-conference-updates-on-the-leagues-business-affairs-2/

          Considering that the Pac12 states have about 62M people and on average, a household has 2.5 people in the US, there can’t be 40M cable households in the 6 Pac states, even if every household in those 6 states had cable.

          Like

  78. Richard says:

    I wonder how much of the strength of the B10 in basketball this year is due to the BTN as well. With its own cable network, every school in the league can guarantee to all bball recruits in the B10 states (and anywhere people can get DirecTV as well certain metropolitan areas outside the B10 states) that their parents/friends can see them play every league game (virtually all games except the ones against scrub teams in November, in fact). That has to help when recruiting against BE schools, B12 schools, and other top teams.

    I’m sure the Pac12 network can’t come soon enough for the Pac12 bball coaches.

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      I have seen quotes from Pac coaches, especially in nonrevenue sports, state that they had lost recruits to the B1G specifically because of the BTN.

      PS: I concede your numbers above are logical. But I doubt the Pac cares too much about a specific number. More are likely to be added, and there is no partner to have to split with. (I wonder if restaurants, bars, hotels, motels etc. make up a significant percentage of subscriber numbers. Are they included in “household” numbers?).

      Like

  79. bullet says:

    http://atlanta.sbnation.com/georgia-bulldogs/2012/2/13/2793162/auburn-georgia-alabama-tennessee-sec-football schedules

    Elimination of rivalries still up in air. Writer hits the nail on what makes SEC football special and how the SEC administration is forgetting this chasing $ in the shorter term.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      http://atlanta.sbnation.com/georgia-bulldogs/2012/2/13/2793162/auburn-georgia-alabama-tennessee-sec-football-schedules

      Elimination of rivalries still up in air. Writer hits the nail on what makes SEC football special and how the SEC administration is forgetting this chasing $ in the shorter term.

      Like

    • Richard says:

      The SEC wants to drive UGa (and UF) or Tennessee (and UK) to the B10?

      OK, pipedream, though if they eliminate the cross-divisional rivalry games, UGa & UF would literally not have any historic annual SEC rivalries left besides with each other. If FSU & GTech join with those 2, they’d still have spots in heir OOC schedule left for neutral site games or UGa-Auburn.

      Like

      • metatron5369 says:

        I suppose, but then you run the risk of accomplishing the same here.

        As a Michigan fan though, MSU and OSU are the only in-conference musts, though I would miss the rest of the traditional Big Ten (and Nebraska!).

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Gophers get no love? You guys at least have a history with Minny (really, the entire B10).

          SCarolina & Mizzou are new. UGa only played Tennessee 6 times from 1938-1987 & UK never before 1939. UF only played Tennessee 6 times in the regular season from 1956-1989 & UK 7 times before 1948. SCarolina & Mizzou are new. Neither school has anything approaching a rivalry with Vandy.

          Like

  80. cutter says:

    Interesting article from Pete Fiutak about what the playoffs would have looked like if the four teams selected would have been conference champions only with Notre Dame getting an autobid if it were ranked in the top 4 of the BCS (the poll he used). Here’s the link to the article:

    http://cfn.scout.com/2/1157705.html

    Here’s the results from the proposal comparing what it would look like if the top four teams were taken versus what would happen if the top four conference winners were selected:

    2011

    What It Would’ve Been
    1. LSU
    2. Alabama
    3. Oklahoma State
    4. Stanford

    What It Should’ve Been
    1. LSU (Ranked 1, SEC)
    2. Oklahoma State (3, Big 12)
    3. Oregon (5, Pac-12)
    4. Wisconsin (10, Big Ten)

    The big problem under the Big Ten’s plan: Alabama and Stanford didn’t even win their own divisions, much less their respective conferences. Oregon won the Pac-12 title but would’ve have been in.

    2010

    What It Would’ve Been
    1. Auburn
    2. Oregon
    3. TCU
    4. Stanford

    What It Should’ve Been
    1. Auburn (1, SEC)
    2. Oregon (2, Pac-12)
    3. TCU (3, Mountain West)
    4. Wisconsin (5, Big Ten)

    The big problem under the Big Ten’s plan: Stanford didn’t win its own division but it would’ve gotten in over a red-hot Wisconsin team that was blowing through everything in its path.

    2009

    What It Would’ve Been
    1. Alabama
    2. Texas
    3. Cincinnati
    4. TCU

    What It Should’ve Been
    1. Alabama (1, SEC)
    2. Texas (2, Big 12)
    3. Cincinnati (3, Big East)
    4. TCU (4, Mountain West)

    The big problem under the Big Ten’s plan: No. 6 Boise State would’ve been angry, but it would’ve been a clean Final Four with four unbeaten teams.

    2008

    What It Would’ve Been
    1. Oklahoma
    2. Florida
    3. Texas
    4. Alabama

    What It Should’ve Been
    1. Oklahoma (1, Big 12)
    2. Florida (2, SEC)
    3. USC (5, Pac-12)
    4. Utah (6, Mountain West)

    The big problem under the Big Ten’s plan: An unbeaten Utah would’ve been screaming and yelling that Alabama got in, and USC would’ve been really, really mad after choking away a 13-9 loss to UCLA in the regular season finale. The Big 12 South controversy of 2008 would’ve been solved, but Texas didn’t win the Big 12 title and Texas Tech, who was in the three way tie for the division, would’ve been left out.

    2007

    What It Would’ve Been
    1. Ohio State
    2. LSU
    3. Virginia Tech
    4. Oklahoma

    What It Should’ve Been
    1. Ohio State (1, Big Ten)
    2. LSU (2, SEC)
    3. Virginia Tech (3, ACC)
    4. Oklahoma (4, Big 12)

    The big problem under the Big Ten’s plan: Nothing. In fact, this might have been the best year for the Big Ten’s plan. Virginia Tech was No. 1 at the end of the regular season according to several computer formulas, and Oklahoma was peaking late.

    2006

    What It Would’ve Been
    1. Ohio State
    2. Florida
    3. Michigan
    4. LSU

    What It Should’ve Been
    1. Ohio State (1, Big Ten)
    2. Florida (2, SEC)
    3. USC (5, Pac-12)
    4. Louisville (6 Big East)

    The big problem under the Big Ten’s plan: LSU didn’t even win the SEC West but it would’ve received a new lease on life over more deserving USC and Louisville teams.

    2005

    What It Would’ve Been
    1. USC
    2. Texas
    3. Penn State
    4. Ohio State

    What It Should’ve Been
    1. USC (1, Pac-10)
    2. Texas (2, Big 12)
    3. Penn State (3, Big Ten)
    4. Notre Dame (6, Ind)

    The big problem under the Big Ten’s plan: Ohio State lost to Penn State and was second in the Big Ten, but it still would’ve received a second chance.

    2004

    What It Would’ve Been
    1. USC
    2. Oklahoma
    3. Auburn
    4. Texas

    What It Should’ve Been
    1. USC (1, Pac-12)
    2. Oklahoma (2, Big 12)
    3. Auburn (3, SEC)
    4. Utah (6, Mountain West)

    The big problem under the Big Ten’s plan: The great USC-Oklahoma-Auburn debate of 2004 would’ve been solved, but an unbeaten Utah would’ve been left out for a Texas team that didn’t even win its own division.

    2003

    What It Would’ve Been
    1. Oklahoma
    2. LSU
    3. USC
    4. Michigan

    What It Should’ve Been
    1. LSU (2, SEC)
    2. USC (3, Pac-10)
    3. Michigan (4, Big Ten)
    4. Florida State (7, ACC)

    The big problem under the Big Ten’s plan: The No. 1 team in the country, Oklahoma, didn’t even win its own conference championship, getting blown away by Kansas State.

    2002

    What It Would’ve Been
    1. Miami
    2. Ohio State
    3. Georgia
    4. USC

    What It Should’ve Been
    1. Miami (1, Big East)
    2. Ohio State (2, Big Ten)
    3. Georgia (3, SEC)
    4. Washington State (6, Pac 10)

    The big problem under the Big Ten’s plan: Washington State won the Pac-10 title, beating USC head-to-head, but wouldn’t be in the playoff.

    2001

    What It Would’ve Been
    1. Miami
    2. Nebraska
    3. Colorado
    4. Oregon

    What It Should’ve Been
    1. Miami (1, Big East)
    2. Colorado (3, Big 12)
    3. Oregon (4, Pac-10)
    4. Illinois (8, Big Ten)

    The big problem under the Big Ten’s plan: Nebraska didn’t win the Big 12 North yet would’ve still been in the playoffs. The SEC would’ve gagged its way out with a heavily-favored Florida losing to Tennessee, and Tennessee losing the SEC title game to LSU.

    2000

    What It Would’ve Been
    1. Oklahoma
    2. Florida State
    3. Miami
    4. Washington

    What It Should’ve Been
    1. Oklahoma (1, Big 12)
    2. Florida State (2, ACC)
    3. Miami (3, Big East)
    4. Washington (4, Pac-10)

    The big problem under the Big Ten’s plan: None. It would’ve been a clean playoff with no controversy whatsoever.

    1999

    What It Would’ve Been
    1. Florida State
    2. Virginia Tech
    3. Nebraska
    4. Alabama

    What It Should’ve Been
    1. Florida State (1, ACC)
    2. Virginia Tech (2, Big East)
    3. Nebraska (3, Big 12)
    4. Alabama (4, SEC)

    The big problem under the Big Ten’s plan: None. No. 7 Wisconsin would’ve been mad, but it wouldn’t have had much of a case.

    1998

    What It Would’ve Been
    1. Tennessee
    2. Florida State
    3. Kansas State
    4. Ohio State

    What It Should’ve Been
    1. Tennessee (1, SEC)
    2. Florida State (2, ACC)
    3. Ohio State (4, Big Ten)
    4. UCLA (5, Pac-10)

    The big problem under the Big Ten’s plan: Wisconsin and Ohio State each finished 11-1, but they didn’t play head-to-head. Kansas State was No. 3, but it choked away the Big 12 title game and would’ve missed out.

    Like

    • acaffrey says:

      Someday they will all be in the Big East…

      Like

      • cutter says:

        The other alternative is that some of the members of the Big East will become part of this new conference–especially the ones that are football only memebers such as Boise State and San Diego State.

        If I were a betting man, I’d say that the Big East is going to shed at least one more member in the near future with Louisville going to the Big XII. The twelfth team could well be Cincinnati, although Brigham Young could be a possibility if BYU and the Big XII could work out the television rights and logistics involved in integrating them into the conference.

        But what’s the allure for any of these teams to go to the Big East? There may well be no more BCS status for any conference going forward in a few years, so that’s not it. The bowl lineup that the conference has isn’t that great either. There is, of course, the tie-in with the Big East basketball schools, but that’s going to take a hit without Pittsburgh, Syracuse, West Virginia and possibly Louisville and Cincinnati in the fold.

        This new conference is talking about having sixteen schools with the addition of two to eight more programs. The WAC has (for football) Idaho, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, San Jose State and Utah State. Texas State-San Marcos and Texas-San Antonio will be joining the WAC in 2012 for all sports, including football (three of the other programs joining the WAC don’t have football). The Sun Belt will have eleven football teams in its league by 2013 when South Alabama officially joins the conference.

        I suppose whatever additions that may be made to C-USA/MWC will be ones that make sense in terms of basic geography in order to balance out the two nine-team or even twelve-team divisions–one to the east and another to the west.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Why would Boise and SDSU go back to this conference? They don’t like money? Even with defections, the BE stands to get more TV money per school than this motley crew because they still have better brands and bigger TV markets. I mean, name one BE school that draws as few fans and has as little brandname appeal as Tulsa, Marshall, Rice (sorry, Loki), UAB, Wyoming, Tulane, and Nevada. UAB, New Mexico, UNLV, Tulsa, Wyoming, and Nevada in 2010 had about the same football attendance as some MAC schools.

          Like

          • cutter says:

            Let’s take a look at the football teams in the Big East if Louisville were to leave in addition to Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia–

            Boise State
            Central Florida
            Cincinnati
            Connecticut
            Houston
            Memphis
            Navy
            Rutgers
            San Diego State
            South Florida
            Southern Methodist

            That doesn’t strike me as much of a Murder’s Row either. In fact, most of these schools were former C-USA conference members anyway (with some MWC members in the mix). We actually don’t know how much money this conference will be getting since the Big East turned down ESPN’s earlier offer. It might not be any more per school than what they’re getting now. Plus who’s going to replace Louisville if they were to leave? East Carolina? Temple? Maybe Villanova would upgrade their football program? The only headline football program in the entire group is Boise State.

            Let’s be frank–we’re rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic here. If Connecticut or Rutgers were to move to the ACC or the Big Ten, then the Big East would be even more rudderless than it is now. But let’s do this–we’ll wait a bit to see how the new C-USA/MWC alliance works out, take a look at its total membership, see what sort of deals it makes with television, bowls, etc., and then make our judgements then. We might be surprised to see what happens when the music stops playing.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Yes, but are they more attractive, have more potential for growth, & pull in more money & viewers than Tulsa, Marshall, Rice, UAB, Wyoming, Tulane, and Nevada?

            You seem to lump all non-Big5 schools together, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t tiers in the lower levels as well.

            Finally, I’m not sure why you think the BE would be “rudderless” without UConn or Rutgers. Even without those 2 schools, the rest of the BE would still have bigger brands, pull in more money & attendance, and have more potential for growth than the bottom half of the MWC-CUSA merger. I’d be absolutely shocked if the new MWC-CUSA merged conference gets even the same level of TV money per school that the BE gets (no chance they get more), and you really can’t come up with a reason for why that conference would be more attractive to TV execs and bowls than the BE.

            Like

    • bullet says:

      The Big Country Conference name hasn’t been taken yet! Really Conference USA works pretty well, but that could get sticky since they are dissolving and getting out of existing TV deals. Interestingly, the CUSA deal was just signed last year. Don’t know why the current deal would be much better w/o UH, UCF, Memphis and SMU.

      A couple other articles from Orlando and Las Vegas are more definitive (but don’t really add additional info). It has been decided. They’re just finalizing all the legal documents. One makes the comment that most were in the WAC debacle and have learned from it. 10 of the 16 were WAC members when it imploded.

      Like

    • Mike says:

      http://brett-mcmurphy.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/29532522/34822810


      The institutions from Conference USA and the Mountain West are dissolving both leagues to create their own conference, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.
      The new conference will consist of 18 to 24 members and start in the 2013-14 academic year. It would not only have a conference championship football game, but also conference semifinals. Conference USA and the Mountain West would continue as is for the 2012-13 season

      The reason that the institutions are dissolving and forming their own league and not just merging is for legal reasons, sources said.

      My guess, to ditch the MTN.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I’m curious to see their plans to have semifinals. They have to be the last week of the regular season before the CCG weekend, so I guess they just have a variable schedule for the final week. Current rules don’t allow for semifinals as extra games beyond the 12 and I doubt the other conferences would approve them.

        Like

        • Mike says:

          IMHO, to get around the NCAA restrictions if they want semi-finals they could have an East vs West final week of the season. Seed the teams in both division’s 1-X and have #1 in the East play #1 in the West for the title, #2 East vs #2 West, and so on. East teams are home in odd years and West teams are home in even.

          Like

          • Mike says:

            That should have been East #1 vs West #2, and East #2 vs West #1. Winners to the title game. #3 East would play #3 West and so on. That is assuming they stay at two divisions.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            You can certainly do that, but how is that semifinals? They need to play 1 vs 2 in each division to have a true semifinal.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Mike,

            I don’t think they can do that. That could have #1 E vs #2 E in the CCG and the current rules don’t allow that, either.

            Like

          • acaffrey says:

            Makes pretty decent pods geographically.

            Pacific: Air Force, Colorado State, Wyoming, and New Mexico
            Mountain: Hawaii, Nevada, UNLV, and Fresno State
            Central: Rice, Utep, Tulane, Tulsa
            Eastern: Marshall, ECU, UAB, and Southern Mississippi

            Like

          • Mike says:

            Rats. You’re right.

            Like

        • Richard says:

          They’d probably need a rule change to allow for a championship even if they don’t play everyone in their division. Then they could have pods, where Pods A & B play each other Thanksgiving week based on how they finished (#1 vs. #1, #2 vs. #2, etc.), with the winners of the #1 going to the championship game to face the winners of Pods C & D.

          Everyone in Pods A & B play each other, then Thanksgiving week there is a rematch between the winners of Pods A & B (and Pods C & D).

          Like

        • bullet says:

          Interesting. Most of what I had read recently said 16-20, not 18-24. I don’t know if you are allowed to do provisional scheduling to have semi-finals. I’m sure they won’t get a by-law change to allow 2 post-season conference championship games. They will be doing this when a lot of high profile games are taking place in the Big 5 conferences. Don’t know if it will sell well for TV.

          If they are going to 24, it will be interesting to see if they go for the WAC or the MAC schools. If they stopped at 16, ECU and Marshall are on a bit of an island. I would think they would want to leave room for Boise and SDSU to return.

          Like

          • Andy says:

            I’m not sure how they get to 24 unless they start raiding more conferences. Maybe they take Temple, Buffalo, Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Nevada, Idaho, Utah State, San Jose State? Not sure why they would want to do that…

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            Interesting. Most of what I had read recently said 16-20, not 18-24.

            I’m a little surprised by their size numbers, too. Who’s going to see this brand new mega-conference as an upgrade? The super sized WAC didn’t last. The BE is hemorrhaging members. Their are rumors about the ACC losing people. The SEC is the only truly stable conference of more than 12, and they haven’t played yet. I think most schools would worry about the new conference imploding and then having to scramble to find another new conference. Will the TV money be big enough to attract anybody?

            I don’t know if you are allowed to do provisional scheduling to have semi-finals.

            There’s no rule against provisional scheduling as long as it’s part of the 12 game season.

            I’m sure they won’t get a by-law change to allow 2 post-season conference championship games.

            Agreed.

            They will be doing this when a lot of high profile games are taking place in the Big 5 conferences. Don’t know if it will sell well for TV.

            That’s always been CUSA’s problem. They just aren’t important enough. They could try being like the P12 and MAC by playing the CCG on an off night rather than on Saturday when bigger games are being played. Last year, the CUSA CCG went against 2 BE games and 1 B12 game the whole time slot, and 2 MWC games for the second half. The MAC and P12 CCG competed on Friday night. Thursday night was just 1 BE game. Maybe they could play their CCG on Thursday night instead of Saturday afternoon.

            If they are going to 24, it will be interesting to see if they go for the WAC or the MAC schools. If they stopped at 16, ECU and Marshall are on a bit of an island. I would think they would want to leave room for Boise and SDSU to return.

            I’m not sure their TV money will be big enough to pull that many teams into a new mega-conference, especially with the problems the super WAC experienced.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Actually I don’t think the 24 team semi-final would work w/o a change in NCAA rules. To have a ccg you must play everyone in your division. They would probably be considered to have 2 twelve team divisions.

            They could do 4 five team divisions and have a semi-final to determine the division winner, but then you are only pulling out of 5 teams and may be knocking out the team with the best record. You are more likely to have a weak division champ than with 6 teams. And you could really be in trouble if someone was on probation.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Brian
            I have doubts about their TV money being enough too. But it seems like their philosophy is to be the best of the rest. There will be the Big 5, the Big weast and then the MWC/CUSA. Whatever is left of the MAC/SB/WAC will be far outstripped in exposure.

            Like

          • frug says:

            A semi-final would require a rule change.

            The only way a team can play more than 12 games is games in Hawaii (and technically Alaska and Puerto Rico), bowl games and CCG’s (of which every 12+ team conference is allowed to have one).

            (I guess the conference could agree to have its teams only play 11 games each and the division winners could then play a semifinal as a 12th game, but that won’t happen)

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          • bullet says:

            Well if they did it that way everyone would get a 12th game on semi-final day. But the only way I see to get around the “play everyone in your division” rule to allow semi-finals would be if somehow, you could determine which divisions get to play. If Division I champ beats Division II and Division III beats Division IV and I and III would play for the championship. They could argue that I and III played everyone in Divisions I and III and the other divisions weren’t eligible. But it would be at odds with the purpose of the rule allowing the ccg.

            If that loophole works, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it closed. TPTB have made it clear they don’t think the coast-to-coast conferences make any sense and they don’t want rules that encourage that.

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  81. Brian says:

    Any Maryland fans/residents care to comment on the program. Edsall has driven a lot of turnover on the roster (24 players have left early IIRC, including losing 48 starts of experience prematurely). Now his driven off the former starting QB. Considering Friedgen won 9 games in his last year and Edsall won 2 in 2011, how are the locals and fans reacting?

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    • vp19 says:

      The Terps just got a five-star recruit from Good Counsel (Stefon Diggs, who no one expected them to get) and their new head recruiter (Locksley) has excellent metro D.C. ties, so for now it’s six of one, half a dozen of the other. Maryland appears to be making inroads with several of the area’s best prep football powers, and if it can get its share of talent from those schools — which didn’t happen under Friedgen — the program is going to improve, slowly but surely.

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    • cutter says:

      I live in the DC/Maryland suburbs and the primary reason for much of the turmoil is that Edsall has very strict standards for team behavior, etc. and that the youngsters who were recruited by Friedgien aren’t taking to it–especially with the team losing as badly as it did this past season.

      I saw Maryland play in the spring prior to the season and the team looked solid. But they had problems early on (although they had the season opening win against Miami) plus injuries that just sapped the team thru the year. It was a real death spiral.

      Can Edsall turn it around? It’s going to take a lot of effort and a string of recruiting classes to get the Terps back to any form of relevance within the ACC. Edsall had success at UConn, but can that past experience translate at UMd? That’s the question.

      I don’t know how much time Edsall has to turn things around. Attendance for football has been poor in recent years and the stadium expansion with premium seating and luxury boxes has been a financial bust. I think the athletic department is around $50M in the hole, which is why they’re looking at dropping a half dozen sports. Simply put, it’s not a very good siuation.

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  82. indydoug says:

    Do SMU. Hou. UCF,Mem. & Boise still have to pay exit fees if the conferences dissolve? Does this give Boise opportunity to negotiate smaller exit fee for 2012?

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    • bullet says:

      Boise and SDSU have no exit fees with sufficient notice. So its zero if they leave for 2013, but somewhere between $8 and $14 million if they left for 2012. The CUSA schools have exit fees of around $7.5 million and a 1 year requirement. Don’t know what happens if the conference dissolves. That could be a reason to do an affiliation in 2013 and dissolve for 2014.

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  83. Ron says:

    Have been thinking about possible long term expansion of the Big 12 to twelve. Am wondering if Louisville is in limbo for this, based on the following…
    1. An obvious all-sports addition would be Lousville. They obviously would like to join based on the political maneuvering that came out during the West Virginia jump to the Big 12. The University of Kentucky does not seem to have that state sewn up for football or basketball so Louisville would be a solid addition with regional and past conference ties to new member West Virginia.
    2. Just about every potential additional all-sports addition for the Big 12 brings obvious risks. Cincinnati is a limited market and their football infrastructure could use some investment (in spite of recent team success). Rutgers has appeal but is remote and may ultimately want to join the Big Ten or ACC. BYU has a no play on Sunday policy that makes it hard to deal with for non-football sports. Air Force basketball tends to suffer since plane cockpits limit the feasible size for prime recruits. Any rumored ACC defections to the Big 12 seem to lack credibility.
    3. You really want an even number of conference teams in all sports for scheduling, so adding one all-sports school and one football-only school is not really going to work too well.
    4. If you look west, both Air Force and BYU might be appealing to the Big 12 as football-only additions. They both have national followings, are reasonably close to the Big 12 core region and have been fairly strong in football a long time. If they were to join the Big 12 together, they would keep the conference at even numbers for all sports. For immediate expansion, this might make the most sense.
    If the Big 12 really wants Louisville, they may bide their time to see if one other attractive all-sports alternative will develop in the near future. It really doesn’t seem like Louisville fits the profile of a school the ACC, Big Ten or SEC would want in the near future, so the Big 12 does not have to act quickly.
    Guess this all hinges on a “Noah’s Ark” theory of conference expansion, in this era it generally happens in pairs (or at least even numbers). Unless you’re talking about the Big Ten, of course…

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  84. Brian says:

    The ACC is apparently going to be smart with their 9 game schedule. One of their 2 main scheduling tenets is to have every team in a division have the same number of conference home games (Atlantic gets 5 home games one year, Coastal the next) according to GT’s AD.

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  85. Zschroeder says:

    It is interesting that no MAC team other then Temple is mentioned in any of the expansion talk. Of course they are not going to the SEC, ACC, Big 10, or Big 12, but no interest from the Big East, and there isn’t much talk of their teams for C-USA backfilling other then Temple.

    In the press release from the MWC – CUSA about their merger, they talk of an 18 to 24 team league. That means they need 2-8 more teams (3-9 depending on Louisville leaving the Big East and the Big East grabbing another C-USA team). Other then getting schools to move up a divison they are left with 29 options from the MAC, Sun Belt and WAC.

    WAC

    I would have to think San Jose State is first in to give Fresno State an in-state rival, and they are in a large market… even if the market doesn’t give a crap. Utah State was invited last time but declined to support the WAC, I honestly don’t see their appeal, but see them getting invited again. Poor Idaho… at one time they were in the same league as the PAC-8, but never applied to get in, even whne their main rival Washington State applied and got in, I don’t see a home for them outside the dying WAC.

    Sun Belt

    There are a couple teams with good local support in the league and reasonable financial support. Troy, Arkansas State and Middle Tennesse State could all be potential expansion picks.

    MAC

    Temple will get asked, they have an improved team and are in a large market. The MAC is interesting, it’s a pretty tight regional conference with a handful of teams that have done well over the years, I think you could grab about any of them and they could make a reasonably good fit.

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  86. Zschroeder says:

    I think they would be a good candidate. When your talking potentially 9 teams, I think LTech is very much in the mix. Found an article where a UTEP representitive mentioned Utah State, New Mexico State and Florida Intl (of was it Florida Atlantic?).

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    • OT says:

      Definitely Florida International (in Miami) over Florida Atlantic (in Boca Raton). FIU is the king of the Sun Belt, while the FAU football program has to be completely rebuilt by Carl Pellini after Howard Schellenberger mentally checked out during the last season.

      “Mount USA” lacks top TV markets as it stands. Rice is completely irrelevant in the Houston market (#10).

      North Texas is probably a better candidate than Louisiana Tech, which lacks TV sets. North Texas will allow “Mount USA” to get back into the DFW market (#5), albeit only at the fringe.

      “Mount USA” really needs Temple (#4 TV market, some but not a lot of relevancy.) The question: does Temple jump, or will Temple wait for the BIG EAST?

      UMASS is another possible candidate for “Mount USA”, especially if Temple were to jump.

      (Remember that the WAC actually talked to UMASS before UMASS did its deal with the MAC.)

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      • Read The D says:

        Air Force will inevitably join the Big East so MWCUSA is down to 15 schools.

        UTSA, North Texas, FIU, Temple and UMass make the most sense to me. New Mexico State makes zero sense.

        Also, 20 teams makes the most sense for scheduling. 4 pods. Play your pod and one other for two years, then rotate the pods to create new divisions every 2 years. 9 conference games means you play your division round robin each year and see each school home and home every six years.

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      • loki_the_bubba says:

        “Rice is completely irrelevant in the Houston market (#10).”

        Hey now, baseball season starts Friday!

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