The past week has featured more conference realignment moves and rumors in quite some time.  Seven schools switched conferences last Friday, all of whom are really pawns in the college sports game of double chess.  Stewart Mandel has pointed out that ever since the Big Ten announced that it was going to expand back in 2009, 25% of all FBS schools (31 in all) have changed leagues.  Inspired by the use of a classic presciently-titled Beatles song* (along with an appearance by Mr. Belding from “Saved by the Bell”) in “Mad Men” this past week, let’s look into the future** by answering some questions that I’ve been seeing from a lot of readers lately:

(* The cost for “Mad Men” to use an actual Beatles master recording as opposed to a cover version: $250,000.  It was well worth every penny.)

(** As the friendly posters at TexAgs seem to enjoy reminding me about once a month, I had this doozy of a wrong prediction last year.  I’m certainly not a soothsayer.  However, what I hope that readers will appreciate that I try to dig a little deeper than the surface level view to get them to think about the issues of the day in a different way.)

1. Does the removal of AQ status and resignation/ousting of Big East commissioner John Marinatto mean anything for Boise State and San Diego State? – Not really.  BCS auto-qualifier status in and of itself would have been nice for Boise State and San Diego State, but they were well aware months ago that such designation was on its way out the door.  What’s more critical for those two schools is the amount of the next TV contract for the Big East, which should be substantially more than what they would have received in the Mountain West Conference even in the worst case scenario.  The main issue for Boise State will be whether the WAC will continue to live on as a non-football league for the Broncos to place its basketball and Olympic programs.  As long as there’s some home for Boise State’s non-football sports, they’ll be in the Big East (meaning that San Diego State will be there, too).

2. Does the removal of AQ status and resignation/ousting of Big East commissioner John Marinatto mean that the Big East will split? – No.  If anything, it’s a sign that the conference is going to be sticking together for the foreseeable future.  This was a move that appears to have been driven by the Catholic members of the conference and the football members ended up agreeing.  As I’ve stated in prior posts, the Big East isn’t going to be getting a bonus from a TV network for its football league just because it’s an all-sports league as opposed to a hybrid league.  The value of the Big East football side is what it is regardless of the conference’s structure.  In contrast, it’s really the value of the basketball side of the conference that’s the variable and it’s clear that keeping Georgetown, Villanova, St. John’s, et. al will garner a better per school package than a split league.  As USA Today reported today in an otherwise somber assessment of the future of the Big East:

The conference could begin television negotiations as early as September. College football officials inside the league and out, and others well versed in TV negotiations all said the league would be best served if it stayed together, even in its unwieldy current configuration.

Even if no one in their right minds would create the Big East as currently constituted from scratch today, the Catholic and football members of the conference are still more valuable together than they are apart.

3.  Is the Big 12 raiding the ACC? – I don’t believe so (and you can refer back to my post from February on some of the reasons that I think still stand today).  Sometimes, I feel like I’m a crotchety guy constantly throwing a wet blanket on rumors that the Big 12 is going after the likes of Florida State and Clemson, but everything that I’ve heard on this topic has either originated from not-quite-reliable locales and rooted in what sound like football fan-focused concerns as opposed to university president-focused.  For instance, I see a lot of comments that a school like Clemson would want to join the Big 12 because of the “football culture” compared to the Tobacco Road dominated ACC, yet that belies the facts that (1) Nebraska and Texas A&M, two of the most football-focused schools in the country, couldn’t run from the Big 12 fast enough and (2) the ACC didn’t exactly decide to add Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College back in the day due to hoops prowess.  That’s what I mean by a “football-fan focused concern”.

Now, TV revenue disparity is certainly a university president-type concern that could make the Big 12 attractive compared to the ACC on paper.  The Big 12 reportedly has a verbal agreement with ESPN to kick up its total annual TV rights revenue to approximately $20 million per year per school.  (That figure would be the combination of ESPN first tier and Fox second tier TV rights but doesn’t include third tier TV rights controlled by individual schools, such as the Texas deal with ESPN’s Longhorn Network.)  However, it’s still unclear what ACC will end up after its renegotiation with ESPN.  There was a SportsBusiness Journal report in February that each ACC school was looking at around $15 million per year, yet that hasn’t been finalized.

Here’s one thing that’s clear to me, though: ESPN has zero incentive to see the ACC get raided.  None.  Nada.  Unlike its contracts with every other power conference, ESPN has complete top-to-bottom control of all ACC TV rights.  This means that ESPN has more of a vested interest in the survival of the ACC specifically over every other conference – it’s the one league that the people in Bristol aren’t sharing with Fox, CBS or the Big Ten Network.  In fact, think of it in these terms:

The ACC is the single largest content provider to all of the ESPN networks, whether college or pro.

Let that sink in for a moment.  The ACC provides more live content to ESPN than the NFL, Major League Baseball, NBA, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12.  So, do you really think ESPN wants the ACC to lose anyone, much less actually enable another league (the Big 12) to poach Jim Swofford’s gang?  Is ESPN going to want to trade an entire slate of Florida State games that’s guaranteed annually in order to receive only a handful of tier 1 Seminole games that’s variable from year-to-year?  Well, for all of the talk about how sexy of a matchup Florida State vs. Texas would be, check out the number of times that FSU vs. Miami appears on the list of highest rated games in the history of ESPN.  Since many sports fans tend to forget the existence of anything that happened beyond one year ago, they have forgotten how strong the ACC has been as a TV property over the long haul.

No one knows how much ESPN can single-handedly shape conference realignment more than the Big 12.  There’s one reason why Texas and Oklahoma aren’t in the Pac-16 today: the Longhorn Network.  ESPN was willing to pay Texas $15 million per year alone for bottom-of-the-barrel TV rights just so that its limited tier 1 Big 12 package would be kept alive.  So, my educated guess is that ESPN is going to be more than willing to throw at least an extra $30 million per year toward its single largest content provider of the ACC to make it at least revenue neutral on the TV front (where it’s close enough to the value of the Big 12’s TV deal that any difference would be offset by higher travel expenses) or even more to remove any doubt that the ACC is on equal standing with the other power conferences.

As I’ve stated in prior blog posts, I’m not saying this out of any love for the ACC.  Personally, there’s nothing that I’d love more than to witness those douchebags from Duke get relegated to the Southern Conference.  However, I try my best to separate what I want to see happen from what I believe will actually happen.  In this case, I believe that ESPN is going to end up paying the ACC enough to remove TV revenue as a reason for any school to leave that league for the Big 12.

4. Is the Big 12 going to expand with non-ACC schools such as Louisville? – I find this scenario to be much more likely than any type of Big 12 raid on the ACC, but the issue that the options for the Big 12 besides Louisville are limited.  BYU has been brought up on several occasions as a possibility, but the Cougars have such stringent requests regarding its own TV packages that even Texas says, “Damn!  You’re giving us nothing!”  Cincinnati is a geographic bridge between Louisville and West Virginia, yet their fan base size and football stadium situations aren’t making the heads of anyone in the Big 12 turn.  Rutgers and/or UConn are intriguing options for the Big 12 in my personal opinion, but that hasn’t been validated by anyone that’s actually associated with the conference.

Unfortunately for Louisville, they need a twelfth school to join them, as the Big 12 isn’t going to add them alone as number 11, and there isn’t anything close to a consensus on who that twelfth school should be.

5.  How are the non-power conferences going to end up? – The non-power conferences are in a worse position than they were 4 years ago.  While they will have more access to the new college football playoff on paper, they have few (if any) programs that have the resources to legitimately challenge for one of those 4 playoff sports on a consistent basis.  At the same time, those depleted leagues will likely be giving up any access to the other lucrative BCS bowls, which are going to be even more geared toward contractual tie-ins and a free market system of choosing the most popular schools that draw TV ratings and sell tickets.  To the extent that the Big East might get raided again by the Big 12, the Big East can then turn around and poach from the Mountain West and Conference USA even further (so fans from those conferences should not get any joy in any manner from all of the Big East doomsday stories).

If there’s one rule in conference realignment, it’s this: Shit ALWAYS rolls downhill.  When you’re at the bottom of that hill, you’re the WAC.

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

(Image from Gothamist)

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  1. Christian in Texas says:

    Hook ‘em

  2. duffman says:

    Wait long enough and folks repeat what you say

    seems like back in the spring of 2010 I suggested this very thing on here, and some variations between east and west coast involving Army, Navy, and Air Force as well. The catholic basketball league with all the independent football schools.

    • @duffman – I just know this about DePaul specifically: any configuration where it would no longer be in a league with Notre Dame is a non-starter. My feeling is that most (if not all) of the other Catholic schools feel the same way and the Irish have made it clear that they don’t want to be in a CYO league.

      By the way, the first commenter in that Travis blog post that you linked had a great analogy comparing conference realignment to a Chris Rock comedy bit about malls.

      • frug says:

        I don’t know. If the basketball conference continues to be watered down then eventually the Catholic schools may have no choice. Breaking with Notre Dame is only a non-starter until the money becomes too big an issue. The loss of Louisville and/or UCONN would probably force the Catholic schools to break away (or at least seriously consider it) unless the FB schools and ND were willing to make major concessions to them.

        • Richard says:

          Well, if the Catholic schools leave, they’d be in a conference as watered-down with less money. I mean, I like SLU and Xavier, but even if you say Xavier is on par with Cincy, SLU and Dayton (and heck, add in Creighton as well) do not have anywhere near the brand names or media markets of Temple, UConn, and Memphis. Even if you add St. Joe’s, they definitely trail Temple in popularity in Philly, while SLU & Dayton simply can’t match UConn and Memphis. As for the other BE schools, UCF, USF, Rutgers, SMU, and Houston aren’t much in bball (though Houston has some history), but they’re all in major and/or growing markets.

          Bottom-line: There’s no way the Catholic bball schools in the BE can get anywhere near the same amount of TV money as an independent Catholic bball league unless ND joins them, and all indications are that the Domers do not want to go that route.

          • frug says:

            I said it would only happen if UCONN and/or Louisville left. That said, keep in mind that from a media market perspective Temple doesn’t give them anything they don’t already get from Villanova. And while they might lose some interest from the TV networks if they “lost” the Houston and Dallas media markets (not they will ever really get them for basketball) they would be offset by lower travel and logistical costs. Add in that they would probably make more money in gate revenue with a round robin against their traditional rivals and think it could make sense.

            Again, I am not saying that it would definitely happen, but under the right circumstances ditching the Notre Dame would not be “non-starter”.

          • Richard says:

            I’m assuming Louisville leaves in my scenario already. As for “traditional rivals” & gate receipts, I doubt Seton Hall, Providence, StJ, or DePaul (sorry, Frank) provide much of an attendance boost. In fact, I’d wager they provide none. Pretty certain that SLU and Dayton won’t either. They would play G’Town & ‘Nova more, but I doubt 2 X G’Town + 2 X ‘Nova > once each vs. G’Town, ‘Nova, Memphis, & UConn.

            Bottomline: I just don’t see any way for an all-Catholic conference to make as much or more in bball than as part of the BE hybrid.

          • frug says:

            A) I never said they would leave, I just said they would have to consider it. Specifically, the possibility of ditching Notre Dame would no longer be “non-starter”

            B) I said this only applies if they start losing UCONN and/or Louisville. If one of those departs they it is highly unlikely they would leave, but it wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility. On the other hand, if both left there I’d say there is least a 50/50 chance of the Catholic schools leaving with or without ND.

            Without UCONN and Louisville the only FB school that would bring real BB value would be Memphis and that may not be enough to justify having to send your non-revenue teams all over the country to play a bunch of schools that aren’t even delivering you a media market.

            Remember the issue isn’t would an hybrid without Connecticut and Louisville make more revenue for the non-FB schools as Catholic league would; it is worth it would make a larger profit. Even if a Catholic League made only the same amount of money as a hybrid, or even a little less, it would lower travel and logistical costs, maybe even to a level that offsets the lost revenue. (And this is to say nothing of the intangible cost of not having to deal with constant instability).

            Again, I’m not saying that they would leave, just that under the right circumstances it wouldn’t be a non-starter.

        • morganwick says:

          How much does adding Memphis mitigate matters?

          • frug says:

            Memphis was the FB schools way of tossing the BB schools a bone, and while the Tigers will certainly help they can’t come close to covering the cost that comes from the loss of Syracuse, Pitt and WVU or the addition of UCF, Houston and SMU (Temple was probably revenue neutral of the basketball schools).

            Outside of UCONN (who has already publicly stated that they will accept an invitation to any other AQ conference) and Louisville (who is already has the moving vans on standby for a potential move to the Big XII), Memphis is the only football school the Catholic schools miss if they bolted and that isn’t going to be enough to make them stay if UCONN and Louisville (or maybe even just one) defected Notre Dame be damned.

          • Richard says:

            Frug: The BE hybird as it currently stands doesn’t have to match the BE hybrid as it was for the Catholic schools to stay. They just have to bring in more bball money per school than a smaller Catholic League with smaller private schools in a smaller footprint.

            I’ll repeat what I said above:
            “Bottom-line: There’s no way the Catholic bball schools in the BE can get anywhere near the same amount of TV money as an independent Catholic bball league unless ND joins them, and all indications are that the Domers do not want to go that route.”

          • frug says:

            It didn’t say they would leave because the current alignment didn’t make as much money as the previous version. What I said was that the addition of Memphis does little to offset the damage done to the conference by the other movements (which is true).

            I then went on to say that additional movement at the football level could cause the basketball schools to split.

            (I’ll refer you to my previous post as well)

      • NatNoles says:

        Frank do you think there’s any chance ND would join the ACC in the future if the conference is stable with a bigger ESPN contract and the possibility to keep their NBC rights?

  3. Adam says:

    Something I’ve noticed in the last few weeks: it’s interesting to see how the conference commissioners treat this process as though it’s something for them to negotiate among themselves. At no point has anybody I’ve seen quoted so much as mention the NCAA governance process. This is the case even though the NCAA Manual is going to need to be amended to create some kind of wording that allows for these semifinal bowls-that-aren’t-bowls, and that allows the winners of the semifinal games to play an additional game beyond the 12-game limitation (i.e., that creates a new category of exempt contests). There’s also going to need to be some process to license the new semifinal bowls if they are, in fact, new games.

    I am certainly not surprised that the big conferences and conference commissioners plan on getting what they want. I am a little surprised that I have not heard the name of a single NCAA committee mentioned so much as a single time. To put it another way: this matter does not appear to be headed to the Football Issues Committee.

    • Adam says:

      Other names you haven’t heard mentioned: Postseason Bowl Licensing Subcommittee, Bowl Licensing Task Force, not to mention groups that aren’t specifically tied to football (Legislative Council, Board of Directors, etc.).

    • Adam says:

      Also not clear to me how this fits in with the Collegiate Model-Rules Working Group.

      • bullet says:

        There’s more and more discussion, even by NCAA prez Emmert, that there will be some sort of realignment of the NCAA. I think the rest know they need to rubber stamp what the big conferences are doing on this.

  4. frug says:


    This is totally and completely off any topic and something that I suspect no one else on this blog will appreciate, but a friend of mine just directed me to the revision page of Professor Carmen’s Wikipedia page. Really great stuff ranging from his invention of the spork and his magical lion fighting ninja powers to his more well known stream of consciousness lectures/tirades, degradation of students, and of course his famous lists including the legendary ranking of the 10 most beautiful women of all time and 100 greatest athletes (which is “patented and resting at home in his private safe.”)

    (I’m going to assume that law guy like you took con. law as an undergrad)

  5. Andy says:

    I think conference realignment is over for the most part. We’ll see a few more moves, but the major moves are done. Why? Because the Big 12 has stabilized and won’t be collapsing. Texas won’t be going anywhere. The ACC looks solid and won’t be breaking up either. The Pac 12 and Big Ten have formed a partnership and seem satisfied to not add any more members.

    I think you’ll see the SEC stay at 14 for a long time, until either the ACC or Big 12 destabilize and some of the top schools (Oklahoma, Florida State, North Carolina, etc) make themselves available, which may never happen.

    I think the Big Ten will stay at 12, and so will the Pac 12, indefinitely.

    Notre Dame seems determined to stay independent. I’d be surprised if they join a conference.

    The WAC will die and the Mountain West and CUSA will gather up what they can and settle in with new rosters. They will be lesser leagues than they were before, but they will survive.

    The Big 12 will add two more. My best guess is Louisville and BYU, but Rutgers or Cincinnati may find their way into BYU’s spot.

    The only remaining question really is what happens with the Big East. After Louisville leaves it will look something like this: Temple, Cincinnati, Rutgers, UConn, South Florida, Houston, Southern Methodist, Central Florida, Memphis, Boise State, San Diego State. That’s 11 football schools plus maybe Air Force and Navy or someone else like East Carolina, Fresno State, or Tulane. Plus there are all of the private catholic schools for the non-football sports. It’s a big mess and I’m not sure how they’ll hold it together. Maybe they will, I guess we’ll see.

    • Playoffs Now says:

      Eh, I’d just assume the B12 doesn’t expand if no ACC schools are available. It appears we are down to 4.75 power conferences with the B12 one of the top 4, usually in the top 2 in SOS, and so no need to water the conference down.

      • bullet says:

        I’d guess its still 50/50 whether the Big 12 expands. I think they need the numbers just to have the numbers (as long as $ are close).for exposure and influence. They definitely don’t feel that way. From comments by Neinas, Bowlsby, and Dodds, its clear they definitely like the round robin and want the additions to add value, not just expand to get to 12. I wouldn’t be enthused about UL and UC, but if that was all that was available and the $ were there, I would go with it.

        If they do expand w/o ACC schools I suspect it will end up being Louisville and Rutgers. Personally I think Rutgers creates another island that doesn’t fit with the rest, and, while they have potential, they still haven’t gotten there. Cincinnati has the problem of low attendance, small stadium and penetration in a smaller market than Rutgers, but offers proximity,competitiveness, rivalries, good basketball and good recruiting grounds. I think the biggest drawback on Cincinnati is they have one of the smallest athletic budgets of AQ schools. There would need to be a committment. BYU would add the most value, but clearly adds too many complications. Sunday play is one of the more minor ones.

        ACC discussion is heating up, so I think that’s still a pretty fair possibility. $ talk.

    • bullet says:

      I think the contrary. I think we will not see another period of relative stability like we did in the 60s-80s. The Big 10 contract is the next trigger, although major changes may not happen until the mid 20s when all the TV contracts come up. I don’t see the colleges needs for cash and strained state budgets changing drastically. Some form of NCAA realigment of Division I will probably happen and that will trigger changes similar to the race for the AQ.

      There was a quote from an AT&T president in the 90s about technological change which fits with realignment. To paraphrase: Change will happen slower than you expect, but when it occurs, it will be more fundamental than you can imagine.

  6. [...] Tomorrow Never Knows: The Latest Conference Realignment FAQ « FRANK THE TANK’S SLANT [...]

  7. Jeremy says:

    WRT the Big 12 raiding the ACC:

    1) Nebraska and Texas A&M left for conferences with equal or greater football emphasis, more money, more prestige, and (at the time) better stability. Plus, their fans and alumni had serious issues with the Longhorns. Those examples don’t help your argument because they aren’t comparable to FSU, Clemson, and the ACC.

    2) I understand your ESPN argument, but the money in the rumors really centers on the BCS playoff. How much $$ can ESPN counter with if the playoff swings the money heavily away from the ACC?

    3) What if Miami was part of the group that left for the B12 and thus still available to ESPN through the B12 deal?

    • GreatLakeState says:

      Exactly right. This playoff is no friend to the ACC. The only thing that might hold Florida State and Clemson back is academic considerations. With that said, Florida State relies so heavily on its football program for respectability I suspect they will choose to partake in the Game of Thrones and just ship along with Clemson and perhaps even Miami and Georgia Tech (less likely)

    • bullet says:

      One aspect of the academic quality of a league that doesn’t get discussed much is the values side of athletics vs. academics. That applies to boosters as well as the school itself. Its why FSU isn’t terribly enthused about the SEC. That’s why Texas will never join the SEC. That’s why OU isn’t interested in the SEC. The former Ole Miss coach now at Texas Tech when talking about SEC recruiting said they start recruiting players in 7th grade! And while the ACC has the 2nd strongest academic lineup of schools in FBS, they’ve had some really bad stuff recently. Miami’s booster has reinforced the gangsta image of Miami. North Carolina has gone even further. The agent stuff was bad, but now they apparently have a pretty large case of academic fraud which involves more than just athletes with not just ficticious grades, but ficticious courses. Academic fraud threatens the integrity of the whole university and its degrees and is the most serious violation IMO.

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        bullet – don’t let facts get in the way of your argument. FSU applied for SEC membership repeatedly throughout the 60s, 70, & 80s (with Florida’s support) and was rejected. In the early 90s, Bobby Bowden (not the president) chose the ACC because he knew he could dominate it. Money was not nearly the same consideration back in the 90s, and FSU had a great run clobbering their out-manned ACC brothers.

        Texas can look down their nose at the SEC, but nobody ever confused the SWC and the old Big XII for the Ivy, B1G, or ACC. Academically, the old Big XII was slightly better than the old SEC. Regarding academic prowess of the new SEC and the new Big XII – advantage SEC. The SEC has 4 AAU schools and 7 schools ranked in the USN&WR top 100. The new Big XII has 3 AAU schools and 4 schools ranked in the USN&WR top 100.. Furthermore, the Big XII has two schools (Texas Tech & West Virginia) ranked lower than the SEC’s worst school (Miss State).

        There are a lot of excuses as to why Texas would not want to join the SEC, but if Longhorn fans want to spin academics as THE reason not to join the SEC, they just aren’t being honest with themselves.

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          Academics of the new SEC v. new Big XII using AAU membership and USN&WR rankings.

          #17 Vandy (AAU) v. #45 Texas (AAU)
          #58 Florida (AAU) v. #75 Baylor
          #58 Texas A&M (AAU) v. #97 Iowa State (AAU)
          #62 Georgia v. #97 TCU
          #75 Alabama v. #101 Kansas (AAU)
          #82 Auburn
          #90 Mizzou (AAU)
          #101 Tennessee
          #101 South Carolina
          #124 Kentucky v. #101 Oklahoma
          #128 LSU v. #132 Oklahoma State
          #132 Arkansas v. #143 Kansas State
          #143 Ole Miss v. #160 Texas Tech
          #157 Miss State v. #164 West Virginia

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          Texas couldn’t be the sole alpha dog in the SEC the way it is in the Big 12, where even Oklahoma is decidedly #2 influence. The rest of the B12 seats fewer than 70,000. The SEC, by contrast, has 10 schools who seat 70,000 (all but the Mississippi schools, Kentucky, and Vandy).

          Wanting to carry a domineering influence over a league is Texas’s prerogative, and there’s little in the way to stop them.

          So no, I don’t think it is about academics for Texas as a reason not to join the SEC.

      • bullet says:

        You two both totally missed the point. Its more than just academic rankings (and if you really believe anyone in academia thinks Alabama and Auburn are the 3rd and 4th public schools in the 12 team SEC, I’ve got a bridge in Arizona to sell you). Its the balance of academics and athletics-the cheating, the academic compromises. Over-signing is the biggest sign of academic compromises there is. They are saying that many of our signees can’t do college work. Texas doesn’t want to be a in conference where someone with Dexter Manley’s academic skills could play for 4 years(Oklahoma St./Redskin player who couldn’t read). The one non-negotiable point on Texas joining the Big 12 was the end of partial qualifiers.. You two can fictionalize about Texas’ motivations all you want but you haven’t a clue. If there is an element of control, its about having a conference where academics doesn’t get over-ridden by overzealous boosters. They don’t want to be in a conference where a school sends 20k in a fed-ex packet to a basketball player or where a Jan Kemp gets hounded for complaining about academic fraud (note: I used examples from 2 of my other schools so as not to offend anyone) or Cam Newton’s dad believes he can get tens of thousands of $s for sigining.

        As for FSU, academics was a factor in 1990. How much, only the participants know. But FSU’s president did make the comment last year about how glad he was FSU was not in the SEC when the Cam Newton mess was coming out. Tuberville (former Ole Miss coach now at Texas Tech) talked about how recruiting was a whole ‘nother world in the SEC. It was bloodsport. They start in middle school. So its about more than just the school’s academics and the school itself. I’ve heard lots of negative stuff on the Texas boards about Miami because of their boosters. Several supposed insiders say Texas is very opposed to being associated with them because of that.

        And I think the ACC’s “academic” prestige has taken a serious hit with the Miami and the latest UNC problems, two very good schools that have had people break the rules. It taints their schools degrees. Texas fans really want to win, but the ones who are willing to taint their degree are few and far between.

        • bullet says:

          And if you lived through the SWC 80s, you could understand why Texas doesn’t want to be in a conference where a lot of schools are breaking or bending the rules. The SWC had long term financial structural problems, but the cheating destroyed the conference and its competitiveness. The probations and SMU’s death penalty hurt every athletic program in the conference. Troy State has a better chance of ever being in a conference with Texas than SMU (they may have cleaned up their act, but they are all-time top 5 in major violations along with A&M, Auburn, Wichita St. and Arizona St.)

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            bullet – now you’re just typing nonsense. Texas is joined at the hip with Oklahoma (7 major infractions). I’m assuming you think Florida State to the Big XII is a good idea. Let’s see . . . Florida State also has 7 major infractions. A&M and Auburn have 7 major infractions, as does Minnesota, Wisconsin, Wichita State and Memphis. Arizona State is the cheating champ with 9 major infractions, and SMU is the runner-up with 8.

            So for Texas its OK to cavort with known rule-breakers Oklahoma and FSU? You also can’t seriously imply that Texas was completely clean during the SWC days.

          • greg says:

            Alan, what is your source for violations?

          • bullet says:

            OU has cleaned up their act. But yes, they have historically been up there. This isn’t Barry Switzer’s Oklahoma anymore.

            FSU must have moved up since I last saw the list.

            Everybody but Rice got hit with major violations during the 80s in the SWC. SWC recruiting was about as dirty as it has ever gotten anywhere. Texas doesn’t want that pressure (and Texas’ major was relatively minor compared to the rest).

            TCU, SMU and A&M all got caught paying players during the 80s. There was a big contrast between TCU’s response and SMU’s. Everybody knows about SMU. They kept doing it. TCU’s coach Jim Wacker publically apologized and the school made a major effort to clean up (and paid for it in W/L record). Now that’s not why TCU is in the Big 12 and SMU is not, but that’s why SMU will never be in it. At least not as long as Texas is in it.

          • gas1958 says:

            The biggest reason UT will never join the SEC is that A&M is there. The Longhorns would never put themselves of either (a) being a supplicant or (b) allowing A&M to say “I told you so.” Ain’t happenin’ no way, no how.

          • frug says:

            hmmm. Appears that page is having some tech problems right now. You can check this series of articles for ranking of “dirtiest” ADs based on major infractions:


          • bullet says:

            That OSU fan went to a lot of work. I’ll have to read it sometime when I have a few hours free.

            As for the UT system components, UT-Austin has no more control over them than Cal has over UCLA or Grambling has over Louisiana or UL-Monroe in the University of Louisiana system. Maybe the LSU system is different. I understand LSU-Shreveport would much rather be Louisiana Tech and New Orleans wants to get out from Baton Rouge control as well.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            bullet – in earlier posts you discussed that UTx didn’t want to be associated with cheaters. I just pointed out that half of the new Big XII has at least 5 major violations, as do two UT system schools. So it looks like the ‘horns are directly associated with 7 of the biggest cheaters in the history of the NCAA. While I’m no expert in UTx governance, I would have to assume that that UT-Austin, UTEP, and UT- Pan Am are all managed by the same BoS that hires chancellors/presidents and approves coaches contracts. Correct me if I’m wrong.

            I get that Texas doesn’t want to be in the SEC and haven’t lost a wink of sleep over it. Just don’t use the academic and corruption excuses to attempt to validate that decision. The new SEC is academically stronger than the new Big XII, and to call the SEC corrupt when you’re teams is in a conference with 5 of the biggest cheaters of alltime, along with 2 of your sister schools in like the pot calling the kettle black.

            Regarding Louisiana higher ed politics, our governor attended Brown and was formerly the UL system president. He has no connection to LSU. UNO wanted to leave the LSU system and LSU didn’t care. LSUS wants to stay in the LSU system, but LA Tech is pushing the merger. Its Tech’s first play in their attempt to take over LSU’s Med School in Shreveport.

          • frug says:


            I should note that since that articles publication Oklahoma has addmitted to two other major infractions by its MBB team, but the NCAA may have only counted it as one since they occurred and were reported at the same time.

          • bullet says:

            UTEP and UTPA do have the same chancellor-Cigarroa. But there is a lot of independence. Texas wasn’t particularly happy when it was renamed from The University of Texas to The University of Texas at Austin on behest of the other UT schools. There was a bumper sticker that simply said “The University” and I had one when I was there (naturally Aggies were mad thinking it was all about them when it was all about UT system politics). Contrast that with the fits LSU legislators have given the school in Lafayette over their effort to change their name from U. of Southwestern Louisiana to some form of the University of Louisiana.

            And UTPA got most if not all of their problems before they joined the UT system in the late 80s/early 90s as a result of a lawsuit to improve educational opportunities in S. Texas (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi of the Southland was added to the A&M system as well as universities in Laredo and Kingsville, with PanAm and Brownsville colleges added to the UT system). UTEP’s problems are probably mostly since they joined the system in the 60s. Believe it or not, I think the worst of them had to do with track and field. That OSU fans blog would probably verify it, but I haven’t taken the time to read it yet.

            We’ve been in a recruiting cesspool in the SWC and we don’t want to do that again. You may think its BS, but its not any self-justification. That’s just the way UT thinks about it as I’ve heard lots of comments over the years. I think a lot of polls are BS, but that is really the way those pollsters think.

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          Greg – here you go:

          All-time NCAA offender list of five or more major violations per school arranged by conference realignment:

          Pac-12 (7 out of 12 schools (58%)): Arizona State (9), Cal (7), UCLA (6), USC (6), Arizona (5), Colorado, (5) & Washington (5).

          SEC (6 out of 14 schools (43%)): Auburn (7), A&M (7), Georgia (6), Kentucky (6), Alabama (5) & Miss State (5).

          Big XII (5 out of 10 schools (50%)): Oklahoma (7), Kansas (6), Kansas State (6), Baylor (5), West Virginia (5).

          Big Ten (4 out of 12 schools (33%)) Minnesota (7), Wisconsin (7), Illinois (6),Michigan state(5).

          ACC (3 out of 14 schools (21%)): Florida State (7), Miami (5), NC State (5).

          Big East (3 out of ??): SMU (8), Memphis (7), Cincy (5).

          Misc: Wichita State (7), UTx Pan Am (6), UTEP (5).

          So half of the new Big XII is on the all-time offender list and two UTx system schools are on the list as well , and the SEC offends Texas’ morals? UTx spin on academics and cheating is debunked by the facts. My guess is that Texas likes the Big XII just the way it is so they only have to play a few meaningful games a year, and they control the conference.

          • Read The D says:

            I believe Texas has become the boogeyman in conference realignment because they are an easy target. That being said, I think a large reason Texas doesnt want cheating in their conference is because if the playing field is level, they have a huge inherent advantage between financial resources and available talent.

          • bullet says:

            There’s a big gap between major violations. What has happened at UNC and Miami far outweighs GT’s major for 1 player accepting $300 in clothing and ticking off the NCAA investigator.

            Read the D has a good point. There’s a difference between a cheater who doesn’t do it very well and Florida who kept getting their SEC titles vacated until Spurrier arrived and Auburn who always seems to be in controversy when they are successful.

            I don’t have any stats on the timing of those violations. It would be interesting to see how these schools have done in the last 20 years or so. Of the Big 12 schools, Baylor, who had a bad bb issue, is the only one that immediately comes to mind. All of those 6 SEC schools have had big issues in roughly that time frame. UGA had Jan Kemp and academic fraud in the late 80s. UK had the 20k cash breaking open in the mail in the early 90s. Alabama had all kinds of issues that doomed Mike Shula as a coach about 10 years ago. Texas A&M and Mississippi St. both had Jackie “probation” Sherrill issues in the 90s. Don’t remember what Auburn’s probation was for, but their undefeated season was right around a bowl ban.

          • yoyoma says:

            First, Dexter Manley meet Vince Young and his 6 on the wunderlick. Second, OU hasn’t cleaned up its act. Basketball was just placed on probation last year and football just came off major violations a few years ago. Okie State has a horrible reputation and has no academic standards (see Dez Bryant for one).

            Baylor basketball was just sanctioned for both their men’s and women’s teams.

    • Richard says:

      “I understand your ESPN argument, but the money in the rumors really centers on the BCS playoff. How much $$ can ESPN counter with if the playoff swings the money heavily away from the ACC?”

      1. Regular season TV rights are worth far more than playoff money in college football. This will be true even after the 4-team playoffs start.

      2. Considering that the major conferences have split the postseason pot relatively equally up to now, it seems unrealistic that the B10, SEC, and Pac will gang up with the B12 to deny the ACC postseason money.

  8. duffman says:

    Frank, on your 5 points :

    1. Does the removal of AQ status and resignation/ousting of Big East commissioner John Marinatto mean anything for Boise State and San Diego State? – Not really.

    I tend to agree

    2. Does the removal of AQ status and resignation/ousting of Big East commissioner John Marinatto mean that the Big East will split? – No.

    I see the East West basketball conference with football independents as a possibility, and have said so for several years. It would be easy to do a 12 team basketball conference with 4 teams that play as independents on each side of the Mississippi River – 16 on each side more or less with 25% that play football at the D1 level. That said, seeing it, and having happen are two different issues.

    3. Is the Big 12 raiding the ACC? – I don’t believe so (and you can refer back to my post from February on some of the reasons that I think still stand today).

    I think the B12 is starting to see their star fade, and need at least a hit to get back in the game. The bloggers are pushing for the home runs, but in the end it will be a single or double, because face it all the best players are on a better team right now. The biggest difference between this wave of traffic, and the stuff in the past was the quality of data. Right now the WVU / B12 folks are spinning fantastic tales, but offer no links to back it up, or engage in any meaningful back and forth discussion.

    In the past we had FOIA requests, pages of financial data, plane stalkers, and well vetted documents like your blog and Mr SEC to pick up the slack in the south. I see none of that right now, and when you press people they get defensive and resort to insults / name calling. That right there tells me they have little or no credible information at all. I have found the free sites like this offer the best communication, and as soon as it goes behind a paywall the fantasy spinners are hard at work keeping it folks on the hook to keep the money rolling in. This of course just feeds the frenzy even more, and you have escalation in a time where saner heads should prevail, but get shouted down.

    I think you and I see pretty much the same thing in ESPN, and the value of protecting the property they have the biggest control of. Throw in the fact that the ACC is what got ESPN programming in the first place when the major conferences all had their contracts with ABC / CBS / NBC, and that pretty much means they are safe. Even if they do get threatened, they have the SEC to cover their back. SEC fans travel to ACC stadiums in bulk, and both are ESPN conferences so they have plenty of cross conference games they can use to keep the eyeballs on that part of the country.

    I think you summed it up pretty well what has been said on here for some time. 15 Million for UT is not the same thing as 15 Million for the majority of the bulk of the B12 schools, and ESPN can backload a premium on Tier 3 via the LHN easier than adding those same millions to multiple schools with much less appeal to a national audience. With the ACC they get all kinds of content fill for year around broadcast that they do not get from the B12. Kansas may have basketball value, but Texas is still a football state, and the Longhorns have never won the basketball crown in spring. Even their baseball can not generate the same demand that the ACC and SEC do for their baseball inventory. Even WCBB gets more coverage in the ACC than anywhere else and that just ads more new content for ESPN at a cheap cost.

    4. Is the Big 12 going to expand with non-ACC schools such as Louisville? – I find this scenario to be much more likely than any type of Big 12 raid on the ACC

    I tend to agree and feel that UL is the first choice, but I never got on the BYU bandwagon the first time, and still feel they will not wind up locked in a conference with few mormons. I still see them as ND lite as a school that has a unique niche to do what it wants to. I still think UL + UC makes the most sense (remember UC played OU in Paul Brown to a very narrow loss) to give WVU some eastern anchors for travel. However, this “team escalation” stuff being bantered about seems crazy for the markets served. Each team added has to worth more than the average to keep the acquiring conference with media leverage. the bloggers seem to keep forgetting this simple fact.

    5. How are the non-power conferences going to end up? – The non-power conferences are in a worse position than they were 4 years ago.

    Tend to agree with this, and still say we wind up with FCS schools, FBS schools, and a new level somewhere in the middle to fill the niche for the schools that do not fill either the top or bottom end. These schools will fill regional spaces where they can find a midpoint between travel expenses and maxing media values at a lower level.

  9. joe4psu says:


    Something just occurred to me about the BE splitting. This makes me think it is more likely. It would be exactly the WRONG thing to do. The NFL is NATIONAL, it keeps the fans attention NATIONALLY because the teams play other teams from across the country. This is another area where old college thinking has held football back, the setting up of and protection of regionalism. College football would probably pick up more fans by having national conferences. I look forward to the day there is a new classification or schools break away and a “commissioner” of the group is selected. Then they can negotiate tv contracts as one, have centralized scheduling to try and balance schedules like the NFL and realign into a more reasonable division/conference alignment. You get you’re cake and eat it too. Smaller divisions/conferences that are regional but a game that is national.

    • bullet says:

      The whole idea of the CUSA/MWC merger is that as a national conference they have more value to TV. So what I am saying goes against what the TV consultants are saying. But I think it makes more long range and intermediate range sense. Possibly even short range. The key is $ to each school and the 18 team monstrosity IMO doesn’t help.

      The BE for sports other than football is still eastern and central time zone, not trully national. A single conference will only get so many time slots and it won’t be many for teams in 18th place. I think the Big East has too many basketball powers and has harmed several programs. Having two separate leagues not only splits the powers, but might give you more time slots combined than a single league would get.

      The Big East could be GT, Villanova, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Providence, Northeastern (new for boston), DePaul, Marquette, + western new members-Xavier, Dayton, Butler and St. Louis. This would be a strong conference with great markets. And it might be very good for the teams who have been in the bottom half behind Syracuse, UConn, and UL. Marquette is probably the only Catholic that has done as well as it did before the 2005 realignment. VU and GT are fine, but SJU, SH, Providence and DePaul have really struggled. And the best basketball playing football programs may be gone in the next few years. UConn and UL are definitely trying. Pitt and SU have already said goodbye. But the schools may get more NCAA credits. The NCAA has a really hard time inviting a #12 team in a conference.

      The Big East football guys are not as strong in basketball without Pitt, SU and WVU. Still, UL, UC, Memphis, Temple, UConn (again assuming everyone stays together) make a pretty good core. UCF has been doing well, SMU just hired Larry Brown and UH has a great history. USF and Rutgers provide someone to finish in last. Add ECU for a team whose fans go to bowl games, NIU for at least some exposure to the Chicago market, keep Navy and go for at least 1 other military academy as partial members. The loss of Georgetown, Villanova and Marquette may make UL, UC, UConn, Memphis and Temple even stronger as they will have more wins, which helps get better recruits.

      • bullet says:

        I don’t read firing Marinatto as a sign of a split. I don’t think the football schools will split. #1 they don’t have Pitt, SU and WVU so they aren’t as dominant as they were. Memphis and Temple help, but aren’t quite as good as the programs lost. And the new schools are enthused about the basketball conference. UH and SMU, even if the $ were even, would not go back to CUSA or MWC. I don’t think the basketball schools are thinking that way. The TV consultants seem to be tellling them they need football and it gives them additional influence in the NCAA. But as I said above, maybe they should think about splitting.

      • bullet says:

        Big East basketball is kind of what Big 10 football would be like if they expanded to 16 with Notre Dame, Texas, OU and Virginia Tech. It would be bad for everyone.

    • Adam says:

      I, for one, like college football because it isn’t national. If college football isn’t going to be regional, I’m not interested in it.

      • joe4psu says:

        You don’t want more national games? I’m glad that Nebraska is now a yearly game for PSU but I wish that Bama, UT, ND and USC were too. We have played each a few to quite a few times since I became a fan and while playing B1G games can be exciting these games are always more so because they are NOT conference games.

        • Adam says:

          I want more national games. I do not want them to be conference games. I am not interested in the sport unless the sport retains a primarily regional character with national flavoring. The national flavoring must remain subordinate to the primarily regional character, though.

          Consider an analogy to golf. I thought it was great that the PGA TOUR wanted to make the end of their season more interesting and dramatic. I completely and vociferously reject any effort at trying to compete with the majors by creating something that purports to be a “playoff” for the season. The 4 majors are the “playoff.” The PGA TOUR was wise to try to spice up the end of its season — but it should have created something that remained clearly subordinate and inferior to the majors.

    • morganwick says:

      I got shouted down last time I brought up this idea, but I wonder what you would think of my Great College Football Promotion/Relegation Scheme:

      • joe4psu says:

        I think I’d prefer a larger top level and maybe only two levels. That way the top 20-25, maybe 30 are where they belong and it is the other 6, 12 even 24 that fight to move up or get moved down. I think it was Frank himself that has pointed out that these systems generally favor those at the very top. I’m not convinced that a system like this can’t be made fair but it’s like realignment and the play-off, very complicated with unintended consequences. Nice piece though. Seems well thought out but the topic is so deep.

  10. Elvis says:

    Clemson/FSU to the Big 12 points ignore a HUGE number of issues.

    First, even the most optimistic numbers have the TV contract at about $3-$10 Million less than competitors when you throw in tier 3. And you have to throw in tier three because the ACC basically sold those to the benefit of the non football schools in the conference.

    Second, the new playoff system will have a financial component. The system, based on RPI most likely, will basically show that the ACC will get paid at a HUGE disadvantage to the Pac 12/SEC/Big 12/Big 12. These financial numbers will be HUGE and ACC payout will be at a huge disadvantage because there are few teams who will make the top 4. When you look at the past 10 years and apply some of the suggested systems, the ACC would have made a top 4 ONCE.

    Those two HUGE financial numbers together PLUS a conference that screws the football schools with HORRID scheduling, reffing, etc, etc. How do these schools say….

    $18 Million in the ACC versus $28 Million in the Big 12 (with tier 3)

    small number in the ACC versus HUGE number in the Big 12

    FSU’s athletic budget cut the last two years. This year the cut was $3 Million. Competitor UF added $2 Million at the same time.

    This is simple. Want to fade away into a basketball conference with no revenue and no care for football, or move?

    Time to move.

    And the suggestion that ESPN will pay the ACC just to keep it from being raided suggests you really don’t understand the financials. No disrespect, but that is just reality. They aren’t going to go from $12.9 to say $25 Million because they added Pitt and Syracuse. That is the LOWEST number they would have to go to to get CLOSE to these other conferences with tier 3 rights.

    EVEN if ESPN does that, you still have a situation where a conference with 1 MAYBE 2 schools with a shot at the top 4 based on the last 10 years, puts those members in a bad situation all the time. See Clemson’s schedule last year for evidence. And that will have a HUGE impact with the new playoff system and the financial numbers.

    For example, you know the SEC will have 1 or 2 teams in the playoff EVERY year. How much will they get paid for that? How much with the ACC get paid for having maybe 2-3 teams over a decade? How huge will that difference be.

    This is simple for Clemson/FSU. Stay in the ACC, your football will die, and it won’t be a slow death either.

    • Elvis says:

      Follow up I read elsewhere:

      “In order for the ACC to get an increase to even $20 million per team would mean that for some reason ESPN would offer an additional $7 million per school for 12 schools=$84 million, plus $40 million for full shares for SU and Pitt.
      $84 + $40 million =$124 million per year. Increasing to $21 million would require ESPN to for over $42 million for Pitt and SU PLUS an additional $8 million per 12 exisiting schools. That is $138 million extra per year–for adding Pitt and SU? So people spreading these stories think that for some reason-only one I’ve heard is to “save” the ACC from expansion taking teams—that ESPN is going to add to the ACC’s contract more than 3 times the entire BE media deal for simply adding two programs from the BE.

      There just isn’t any reason for ESPN to do any such foolish thing. The arguments about “saving” the ACC don’t hold water because–how many times now has ESPN let other conferences take teams from the Big East–only to pay huge increases to the new league when they did so? They’ve paid the PAC more for CU than they ever paid the BIG 12 for them and its believed they’ll give A & M and Mizzou huge increases as well for moving to the SEC.
      Why then would the ACC be any different? Didn’t ESPN own ALL rights to the BE? Yet twice they will have paid someone else the entire BE contract for taking teams from that league. That argument doesn’t hold up.”

      • Elvis says:

        And those numbers are for $21 Million which wouldn’t put Clemson/FSU CLOSE to Big 12 numbers after tier 3.

        • Mike says:

          Tier 3 revenue is overblown. How much is anyone not named Texas making in tier 3? Is Clemson going to come close? Is Florida St? Both schools have trouble selling out their stadiums, what demand would exist for the worst home game on the schedule.

          Does anyone know how much Oklahoma is getting from Fox?

          • greg says:

            I don’t think Tier 3 revenue is overblown. I do think some people confuse the different pieces of Tier 3 and treat them as one. ESPN controls the ACC’s tier 3 broadcast rights, but there is a lot left after that. Elvis posits that no ACC schools will receive any income beyond the ESPN contract, but that simply isn’t true.

            NC State just signed a 10 year, $49M deal with Learfield Sports, this release is dated March 14, 2012:

            Even with B10/BTN owning the B10 3rd tier broadcast rights, Iowa makes roughly $6M per year, and OSU is in the $11M range.

          • bullet says:

            That article gives a good delineation of the portion of Tier 3 that the ACC schools still control-things like coaches shows.

          • greg says:

            bullet, thanks for pointing that out. One thing I’ve noticed is that the Kirk Ferentz show now has BTN as a producer and a copyright holder, although the show still airs first locally over the air, then on BTN later in the week.

          • greg says:

            I should mention that BTN is a producer/copyright holder in addition to Learfield Sports still being the primary. If my memory is correct.

          • Mike says:

            Didn’t the LHN contract include everything not covered like coach’s shows? If so, then the only thing the LHN has over tier 3 contracts in other conferences is a crap football game (unless they buy another) and a handful of primarily non-conference basketball games. So to compare Texas and Ohio St’s school only tier 3 (BTN revenue not included, since BTN gets the football game and basketball games) is Texas gets ~5 million more for the worst football game on the schedule and some basketball games.

            Using your example, NC State gets 5 million from their tier 3 contract. If they switched to the Big 12 would they get an additional 5 million for a football game and some basketball games? Would Clemson? Would FSU? I highly doubt it. In Nebraska’s last year of the Big 12, they were selling football games to PPV outlets for ~$200,000. The available tier 3 inventory isn’t the panacea that some fans think it’s going to be. I, for one, am going to be eagerly watching the deal that WV puts together.

          • greg says:

            I don’t know what items the LHN contract covers. But I do know that it will pay UT $11M per year and IMG $4M. OSU makes ~$11M, Florida makes ~$10M, so the LHN is not some gigantic unheard of financial windfall for UT.

            Looking at schools’ tier 3 deals, and looking at things like the BYU/ESPN contract, it seems that a AQ football game has a TV value of roughly $1M. So schools in the SEC and B12 have roughly $1M in tier 3 value more than schools in conferences which don’t get a game (ACC, B10). Obviously this varies by school, but its a decent enough rough estimate.

          • bullet says:

            Tier 3 includes everything. Texas gets a large amount in merchandising on top of the $15 milliion LHN. The network includes 1 or 2 fb games, a number of basketball games, coaches shows and every other sport that Texas plays that is not on network (i.e. everything but conference meets and tournaments). The IMG portion is due to media rights Texas had already sold to IMG. There was some contract with them a year or two before (maybe $10 million-don’t remember-quick search didn’t find amount). This link shows the services they have been contracted to do: http://www.texassportscom/sponsorship/tex-sponsorship.html

            Its hard to compare because every conference is different and every schools puts things in different buckets. It seems that BTN owns all the tier 3 broadcast rights (anyone have the definitive answer?) but doesn’t include things like merchandising and websites. The Pac 12 shared Tier 3 even includes the teams websites, so it is more inclusive than the BTN. Greg’s article identifies the pieces of Tier 3 that NCSU controlled under the ACC deal which seems to be a little less inclusive than the Big 10.

            tier 3 is a big deal and is growing, especially the website side.

          • frug says:


            List includes tier 3 TV, radio and internet. Those rights can be worth a lot

          • Mike says:

            @frug – The deals can be worth a lot. However, is the additional value the Big 12 adds to those contracts worth moving from the ACC like the rumor posters say they will? Greg estimates a value of 1MM per football game. The ACC is rumored (after the SU and Pitt additions) to get 15MM, the Big 12 is going to get just short of 20MM. If a jump to the Big 12 nets you a total of 6MM a year (before exit fees) is that worth it?

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Like Frank said, ESPN ain’t paying the Big XII to raid the ACC. ESPN and FOX saved the Big XII over the last two years. While I think all this Florida State/Clemson to the Big XII talk is Big XII fantasy, let’s assume FSU and Clemson are interested. Big XII commish calls Mr. ESPN and Mr. FOX and asks for another $40mm per year so the existing teams don’t take a haircut, plus a bump. I’m guessing the conversation goes something like this:

            Mr. ESPN: “We are already paying you $200mm per year for Red River Rivalry. Everything else is crap! You want me to agree to jeopardize FSU/Miami and maybe FSU/UF and pay you more?” CLICK!

          • Mike says:

            Let me refine the statement. The additional value added by the Big 12′s contract to a schools sellable tier 3 rights is overblown for anyone not named Texas.

          • bullet says:

            So when Mike Slive calls up ESPN and says I want you to pay me a bunch more for Texas A&M and Missouri who were getting $15 million a year in the Big 12, ESPN says, “yes sir!”

            Sorry Alan. It works both ways. I don’t recall you spouting that nonsense, but a lot of SEC people have, like Clay Travis. Reality is that the SEC will get something more than $17 million apiece for A&M and Missouri. ESPN/Fox aren’t going to say, no we won’t pay a dime for FSU/Clemson to the Big 12. But of course, they aren’t going to pay $200 million either, like some people are saying.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            No bullet, I don’t subscribe to the Clay Travis ga-zillion dollar theory, and have not written anything like that on this board. But looking at the SEC’s success on the field (5 different teams winning 8 of the 14 BCS NCs) and the fact that the SEC is clearly ahead of every other conference in the TV ratings, I don’t expect the SEC to be 4th in TV revenue either. The SEC has clearly outplayed their contracts and has attracted two new marketable schools that add some value.

            As I haven’t seen the SEC contracts with CBS and ESPN, I don’t know how the added inventory of Mizzou and A&M homes games is addressed, if at all. Based on looking at summaries on the SEC website with regard to ESPN, and the Cox summary with LSU, I assume that there is a finite number of games ESPN gets to broadcast and syndicate. If ESPN isn’t interested in paying for that additional inventory, a “Tier 2-B” contract could be negotiated if those assumptions are correct. While I haven’t heard anything to substantiate this, CBSSN would appear to be a logical place to drop that excess inventory. They have carriage issues and the an SEC package could do for them what it did for ESPNU. Plus, it helps an existing TV partner.

            I would think that once the dust settles, TV revenue for the SEC, B1G & Pac-12 will all be very close. The Big XII will be behind those 3 and slightly ahead of the ACC. There’s a lot to be said about timing of contracts, but value can’t be dismissed regarding the SEC’s look-ins either.

          • part of the issue right now is that the SEC has a LOT less useful content than the other high-paid AQ leagues, without any real plans to increase the content. The SEC and Big Ten both currently have 8 league games with a very soft OOC (the Big 12 WAS in this boat, but went to 9 league games and appears to be toughening up OOC as well). The Pac-12 is, and the ACC will be, at 9 league games. The Pac-12 and Big Ten are also entering into a “one OOC per team per year” arrangement starting this decade. At least for now, the SEC has no plans to increase the number of league games or do anything meaningful OOC. As such, it makes perfect sense for their TV deal to lag behind. Essentially, they’re trading TV $$$ for gate $$$ (fewer good games to watch, more home bodybag wins). In terms of total revenues, they’re probably #1 (MAYBE #2 behind Big Ten, but I’d guess not), and that’s not likely to change. It’s just the relative distribution of revenues between TV and gate that is different.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            matthew – huh? By adding A&M and Mizzou, the SEC just got 16 more conference football games. Also, all conference games are not equal. Look at Franks’s Neilson post from a few months ago. The SEC has national windows for CBS, has at least one primetime game on ESPN/ESPN2 each week, usually two.

            To respond to the OOCs statement, every school that ESPN and CBS cares about plays at least one decent OOC game. Last season the SEC had the following interesting OOC games: LSU/Oregon, LSU/West Virginia, Alabama/Penn State, Arkansas/A&M, Auburn/Clemson, UGA/GA Tech, UGA/Boise State, Kentucky/Louisville, Ole Miss/BYU, USCe/Clemson, USCe/Navy, Tennessee/Cincy, Vandy/Army, Vandy/Wake Forest, and Florida/FSU.

    • Ted says:

      Elvis – I think you’re over exaggerating the payout difference for playoff versus non-playoff qualifying conferences out of the five big ones. A lot.

  11. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

  12. Brian #2 says:

    Regarding the ACC…..a few random questions I have:

    - Could the ACC support its own tier 3 network, similar to BTN?

    - If not, is there any way that ESPN could convert the ESPNU channel to some sort of an ACC network proxy and give the conference a slice of equity?

    - How important is it for the SEC to keep the ACC together and prevent other conferences from gaining a foothold in the Southeast region? If it is important….

    - Could the ACC and SEC join forces on a conference network, either with a new network or the ESPNU idea I floated earlier?

    • metatron5369 says:

      1. No.
      2. They could, but they won’t.
      3. Not at all.
      4. No, because ESPN wouldn’t give them the rights to do it, and nobody would watch it.

  13. [...] Tomorrow Never Knows: The Latest Conference Realignment FAQ (Frank the Tank’s Slant) [...]

  14. duffman says:

    @ Frank,

    I am amazed at all the nonsense and chatter on Clemson, but you would think folks on message boards with actual degrees from schools in the B12 would do the simple things first :

    a) I am guessing Clemson, like pretty much every school in the BCS runs on the fiscal year instead of the calendar year. This is why this stuff happens in May and June so invitations can be given and excepted before incurring greater penalties from the conference you are leaving. As we have plenty of experience with this in the past you would think the folks on the B12 / ACC message boards would do the easy things first, but they have not.

    b) Since they did not take 5 seconds of internet time I went to this link to discover the April meeting had come and gone with nary a pixel of discussion of realignment speak we have become used to. As the next meeting is set for mid July (and past the fiscal year deadline) I am guessing that is reasonable proof that all this is hot air.

    c) If that was not, then look at who is actually on the BoT for Clemson and look how many have Columbia mailing addresses. Aside from the fact that the University of South Carolina is in Columbia, so is the state capitol which means the odds of leaving the ACC is about none, especially when you remember that Clemson was a founding member of the ACC.

    d) Clemson is operated under the Trust of T G Clemson (link posted in reply below) for all the legal eagles on here to give advice, but something tells me the folks running the place may view folks from places like West Virginia, Iowa, Kansas, and points west as modern day carpetbaggers trying to feast on Clemson for their own self interest. I see the chatter coming from the B12 to the ACC and not the reverse.

    In short, I got your back Frank on your belief that all this is a bunch of nothing

    • duffman says:

      here is link

      to his estate planning

    • bullet says:

      Deadline for withdrawal from the ACC is August 15-at least I have seen that posted.

      • Brian #2 says:

        Didn’t “The Dude” tweet that he would never post again if FSU and Clemson have not agreed to move to the Big 12 by August 1?

        • bullet says:

          West Virginia keeps losing their “insiders!” Lost a few after the WVU to SEC deal didn’t happen. Although they probably just change screen names so he’s not taking much of a risk.

          I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened, but I can’t believe its a done deal when they haven’t even settled the BCS changes and the Big 12 and ACC contracts just got finalized in the last couple of days. Now would be when the serious analysis starts.

  15. Zschroeder says:

    Frank – How do you think the WAC breakup effects BYU’s plans? They were leaning hard on the WAC to provide them with games, especially in the late season when everyone is busy with their own conferences. In 2013 they only have one game schedule in November, which happens to have 5 saturdays in 2013…. those are going to be hard to fill. In 2012 those dates are filled with Idaho, San Jose State and New Mexico State. I just don’t see the MWC offering them the same deal.

    • joe4psu says:

      Very interesting…What to do for BYU.

    • Josh says:

      I think those WAC schools that had been planning to play BYU would still agree to the games. BYU is a big payday for those schools, whether it’s in Provo or at home.

      BYU and BSU have agreed to a home and home series through 2023. So that’s one rivalry that they have going.

  16. [...] The ACC is the single largest content provider to all of the ESPN networks, whether college or pro. __________________ Is there any in this rout with authority to treat with me? Or indeed with wit to understand me? [...]

  17. Nostradamus says:

    Per SBJ, The ACC has locked into a new deal through 2026-2027 rumored to be $3.6 billion over 15 years, or an average of $17.14 million per school annually.

    • Brian #2 says:

      Wow – is John Swofford the new Dan Beebe?

      This probably wasn’t what the ACC had in mind when they envisioned locking up the eastern seaboard.

      Anyone care to change their opinion on the FSU/Clemson to Big 12 smoke?

      • zeek says:

        No. If anything they got a pretty good deal.

        Their old deal was $13M per school. They got a $4M per school boost (on top of adding 2 schools).

        Sure, the Big 12 will get a bit more, but it’s not like $3M per year is a good reason to change conferences.

        I would tend to think this locks the ACC up pretty tightly unless the Big Ten or SEC comes calling…

        • Christian in Texas says:

          But, it would be more than a $3MM difference. Getting to 12 would add a conference championship game and more top notch games (if FSU is one of the additions). A lot of argument over how much that would add (us Big 12 fans are very optimistic, everyone else on here acts as if the Big 12 would be lucky to get enough extra to cover the two additions), but I think $25MM / team is a reasonable estimate. Is an $8MM difference enough to get FSU to move?

          • greg says:

            So you think ESPN would raise the B12 payout from $200M a year to $300M a year in order to steal the rights of two schools they already control?

          • zeek says:

            Pretty much what Greg said.

            I’m just not seeing it. What’s the value to ESPN to sending teams from a conference whose rights they control in a much stronger fashion to a conference whose rights they don’t control anywhere near as much and whose kingpins could go anywhere after this next round?

            ESPN loves the ACC as it is. It gives them a boatload of East Coast content at a relatively cheap price compared to the other conferences. They don’t have to worry about the conference imploding either.

          • vp19 says:

            ESPN loves the ACC as it is.

            Trouble is, Clemson and Florida State don’t, and this slight increase in money isn’t going to satisfy its fans or boosters. It’s still a dreadful football brand.

          • Christian in Texas says:

            Yes, I do think they would. ESPN may desire the status quo, but if FSU and Clemson make up their mind that they’re moving to the BIg 12, and the Big 12 asks for an upgrade in money that has been provided when much weaker properties have been added to other conferences, I think ESPN is somewhat obligated to give them the market price upgrade. If ESPN refused and it went to arbitration, I think the Big 12 wins that easily.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Somewhat obligated???

            I wish my boss was governed by such, or that I could just change positions and get the bump I deem proper.

          • Phil says:

            greg said- “So you think ESPN would raise the B12 payout from $200M a year to $300M a year in order to steal the rights of two schools they already control?”

            Given that they raised the ACC payout about $80mm because they added football weaklings Pitt and Syracuse, is that so outlandish?

    • @Nostradamus – $17 million per year for the ACC is what I had in mind. That’s why I thought that ESPN would kick in at least $30 million more per year to the ACC (a bit over $2 million per year per school above the initial $15 million offer). I believe that’s enough to keep all of the ACC schools in the league.

      • Brian #2 says:

        What does it say that ESPN didn’t kick in that extra money, despite the fact they (and Fox) paid the Big 12 a premium when it was looking unstable?

        • @Brian #2 – ESPN did kick in that extra money. The final agreement is almost exactly $30 million more per year above what was originally speculated upon in February.

        • greg says:

          ESPN did kick in extra money. I don’t know why you think a 30% increase per school per year isn’t impressive.

          I don’t see how FSU/Clemson would consider moving to the B12 for $3M a year. Even if they gain another million in tier 3 rights, they’ll spend a lot of that in travel costs for their various athletic teams, not to mention the loss of academic prestige from the ACC to B12. Actually, I think either institution would be INSANE to make such a move.

          • Christian in Texas says:

            Why do you all keep comparing the $17MM/yr ACC deal to the current $20MM/yr Big 12 deal? Do you all really think that the addition of FSU and Clemson and a conference championship game would only be enough to keep the 12 teams at $20MM per year?

          • Mike says:

            I do it because, the ACC deal is the only instance where in mid contract money was added to increase the per school pay out after an addition.

          • zeek says:

            In all honesty, it’s not about the money.

            It’s about the fact that the ACC is the ESPN’s most tightly controlled property that they aren’t going to ever really be at risk of bolting (much less likely than the SEC to go off on their own network path if that does happen at some point).

            ESPN gets the ACC’s content with far less hassle than its had with the other conferences; it just doesn’t seem like its worth ESPN’s time to fund a move of any schools from the ACC to other conferences, since it has far more control with the ACC.

          • ccrider55 says:

            C in T:

            Yes. Why would ESPN pay more for teams it already has, risk damaging existing valuable rivalries, and hurt it’s wholly owned subsidiary’s (the ACC) overall value?

            I don’t see any top conference’s schools moving to one that has burned halfway down, and is still being run by the same school(s). Only move ups would take the risk, and some of those may defer.

          • joe4psu says:

            You don’t seem to be paying attention on tier 3 rights. FSU especially, but even Clemson, stands to gain in tier 3 rights. You can say they don’t even fill their stadium but having access to the tier 3 rights that the ACC gave up (remember, no other conference has done that) is worth a lot more than $1mil.

          • joe4psu says:


            And IIRC, the Big 12 has NOT officially signed the contract extension with *SPN. If they can sweet talk some ACC schools and *SPN doesn’t want to play ball, call off the wedding.

          • greg says:

            joe4psu, I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention, but we spent most of today discussing Tier 3 rights. If you think its worth way more than $1M, please outline this windfall that will come to FSU in the B12.

          • joe4psu says:

            OSU makes $11mil on top of the BTN. FSU is worth more than $1mil. That seems obvious but I’ll comb previous posts and others sources and post more later.

          • greg says:

            Thanks, I’ve only mentioned OSU and $11M at least 3 times today.

          • bullet says:

            Does everyone forget that CBS/ESPN already promised the SEC they would get at least $17 million per school more in mid-contract for Missour/A&M who were getting $15 million in the Big 12? They paid $85 million for Pitt/SU + a 4 year extension and some other concessions.

            Fox/ESPN will pay at least $40 million more for FSU/Clemson in the Big 12. $3 million is not enough to get them to move, but the amount is $3 million + any increase for adding them + Tier 3 + any projected increase from changes in the BCS revenue distribution (which is unknown at this time).

            The ACC is ballpark with $17 million. $14-$15 would probably be too little. But it all depends on FSU’s evaluation of their Tier 3, BCS revenue and any Big 12 increase.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            bullet – I’m not aware of any announcements about increased payments to the SEC by CBS & ESPN. The SEC usually keeps things close to the vest, as Mizzou and A&M will learn after their messy entrances. I would expect an announcement regarding restructured TV contracts at the SEC’s annual meeting in early June or at media days later this Summer.

          • joe4psu says:

            From a Chip Brown source via a post by Pat:


            TOO GOOD TO PASS UP?: One industry source said if Texas can command $300 million over 20 years – $15 million per year in additional TV revenue – for its own network, Florida State should be able to command at least a third that much ($5 million), if not more, in a state with so many television sets and a passion for FSU sports.

          • bullet says:

            Slive was talking about it in a link I saw to an A&M website recently. It isn’t settled yet. They are working on it. But every President or AD has said the SEC wouldn’t have expanded if they weren’t going to get more money. I’m sure they’ve got assurances they will at least get the same average per school and probably a small bump. The ACC got a decent bump but gave ESPN more rights and an extra 4 years.

            I would guess you are right on the timing. ESPN is settling all these about the same time. I can’t imagine the SEC going into the season not knowing what they will be paid. Slive didn’t make it sound like the negotiations were contentious (although he wouldn’t necessarily indicate if they were). He sounded just like the ESPN guy who said it was simply a look-in and they would work together to see what they could do better.

      • Pat says:

        As mentioned in an earlier blog, some conferences are willing to sacrifice a few $$$ for more exposure. Clearly, mass exposure is what the ACC is getting. I was expecting $18-19M, but I think this is a pretty good deal; But I’m a little surprised there was no mention of an ACC network. Maybe all the exposure over the ESPN networks and the ACC Digital Network (web site) will serve a similar purpose.

        • zeek says:

          I’m not really sure we’ll ever see an ACC network.

          Outside of the Maryland to South Carolina region, would it be feasible?

          What parts of the Northeast do you get with BC, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh? Georgia Tech and Florida State/Miami would probably face coverage issues as well…

          It worked for the Big Ten because they’re mostly large primary state universities in separate states with large DMAs and large alumni bases inside and outside of the footprint.

          How would it work for a conference in which it mostly has smaller private universities and/or non-flagship state schools with smaller alumni bases?

          • Pat says:

            Just heard Swofford say the new 15 year contract allows for “look-ins” every 5 years to further enhance revenue such as the possibility of an ACC channel.

  18. Mack says:

    Although the XII is unlikely to get any ACC school the right to poach the ACC will be protected in the XII contract with ESPN. There may even be specific named pools (ESPN will not want to pay the same for Cincinnati as for FSU) and minimum $$. The XII will sign with Comcast before it accepts any terms from ESPN that would disadvantage expansion from the ACC. That leaves ESPN the option of bidding against itself and paying any increase to all 14 ACC schools. ESPN is probably counting on lack of ACC interest in the XII to protect it.

  19. All right, I can’t wait to hear what you guys think about this. My thesis is that the “top 4″ playoff proposal will win but the new “poll” that decides the top 4 will have conference champions as a strong point value…thus, pushing conference champs up from the 5…or even 6 spot…over a weak #4 ranked team. I like it because it keeps the playoff selection process simple…but still rewards conference champs and allows for variety of leagues to be represented.

    • Eric says:

      That’s a pretty good way to do it. It would probably be better to hurt a team for losing a conference than give them credit for winning one (or a combination of the two) though that way its closer to neutral on independents.

    • bullet says:

      Intersting ideas.

      But the ccg bonus penalizes conferences without one and double counts that game. The polls and computers already factor that in.

  20. duffman says:

    @ Frank,

    The other shoe is dropping to stamp out the B12 rumors

    here is a new ESPN link

  21. Christian in Texas says:

    This whole discussion will end immediately if the ACC gets everyone to sign a grant of rights for 10 years or so. FSU and Clemson and VaTech and NC State can really show their commitment by signing a GOR immediately. Has any article mentioned if Swofford will try to get everyone to sign a GOR?

    • Eric says:

      Even while I doubt the Big 12 rumors, I also doubt several members would want that. Some of them, while not open to the Big 12, might really like a Big Ten (or maybe SEC) offer.

      • Christian in Texas says:

        Good point. So, if not all ACC schools are willing to sign a GOR, that would signal that they have some members waiting for the opportunity to join the BIG or SEC. Our mostly circumstantial evidence then is 1) ACC contract that is well behind the Big 4 conferences, 2) speculation that the forthcoming playoff structure will be unfavorable to the ACC, 3) possibility that other conference mates are looking at greener pastures (ACC certainly less stable than the Big 4), and 4) apparent football school discontent with the Tobacco Road mafia. Is geography and ACC brotherhood enough to keep the football schools in the ACC, or will it require a deus ex machina in the form of Notre Dame to save the ACC?

        • Richard says:

          “1) ACC contract that is well behind the Big 4 conferences”

          I don’t consider a few million difference (much of which will be eaten up by increased travel costs) to be “well behind”.

          “2) speculation that the forthcoming playoff structure will be unfavorable to the ACC”

          Speculation which is almost certainly wrong if the conferences act as they have every time before in determining how to split up BCS money.

          “3) possibility that other conference mates are looking at greener pastures (ACC certainly less stable than the Big 4)”

          Considering the history (4 schools left one conference, which was on it’s deathbed recently and exists solely because a school that has burnt orange as its color wants it to while none has ever left the other), I would not opine that the ACC is less stable.

          • Christian in Texas says:

            We know that no one will leave the Big 12 over the next 13 years, can’t say the same for the ACC, so the Big 12 is definitely more stable going forward, the recent past notwithstanding.

            Although we obviously don’t know with absolute certainty that the PAC12 network is going to put the PAC 12 well over $25MM total or that the SEC is going to get a big bump in their renogotiation or that the BIG is going to blow past their current TV money in their new contract or that the Big 12 will blow past $25MM when they add two teams and a championship game, I think most prognosticators assume each of the Big 4 will leave the ACC far behind in TV money.

        • bullet says:

          FSU and Maryland are reported to have shot down an increase of the exit fee to $34 million a few months ago. It was only raised to $20 million. I can see Maryland wanting the door to remain open with the B1G contract coming up in 5 years.

    • greg says:

      GOR is a last resort for conferences that are falling apart.

      • Christian in Texas says:

        Certainly the Big 12 required a GOR to keep Texas and OU anchored and ensure potential suitors that the Big 12 had a long life expectancy. Why did the B1G do it? Was it BTN-related?

        • Peter says:

          The B1G grant of rights is in keeping with the unified & democratic nature of that conference. It was pre-BTN but it had nothing to do with stability. The B1G is THE longstanding athletic conference bar the Ivy League.

      • ccrider55 says:

        Didn’t the B12 just do a limited GOR? Doesnt the B1G have a GOR? The P12 has full GOR.

        Is a GOR the first, and essential move, in starting a solid conference network?

    • Pat says:

      I wonder if the new contract contains an escalator clause for expansion with Notre Dame or Rutgers/UConn? Picking up two of those schools would totally lock up the east coast markets with their massive population.

    • vp19 says:

      With Big Ten expansion a possibility, there’s no way Maryland would sign a GOR. It’s the same reason it wouldn’t consider the Big 12 despite its current money woes and its proximity to West Virginia. (And the same reason it and Florida State persuaded the ACC not to boost its exit penalty to $34M, settling for a more manageable $20M instead.)

      • Peter says:

        The B1G is why Maryland dug in their heels when GOR & expensive buyouts came up, but not for the reasons you think. Maryland’s interest in the B1G has little or nothing to do with football. They would want to join the CIC and they have a huge research arm to offer in return (as well as large TV markets for BTN purposes). If anything, the football is an afterthought.

        Much of the same can be said for UNC. UNC-Chapel Hill is UW-Madison in a different state. UNC to the B1G would only happen if the ACC completely collapsed, but that’s another one that is driven first by academic fit & research.

  22. Jericho says:

    The people who put forth the claim that Clemson/FSU will go Big 12 will also tell you conference realignment is all about the money. Except, it isn’t.

    I can’t think of one realignment decision where a team purely moved for more money. I see plenty on non-BCS schools moving up to a BCS conference (Utah, Memphis, Temple). I see schools fleeing the reach of UT (Colorado, Nebraska, A&M). And I see teams fleeing the Frankenstein hybrid of the Big East (WV, Syracuse, BC). Sometimes geography plays a big factor (Miami, TCU). Sometimes politics does (VT). And sometimes it is about stability and staying in “major conference” (Pitt). But I see no team that’s left a well functioning major conference to join another one for a few extra dollars.

    I’m also skeptical of the numbers being thrown around. People talk about how the Big 12 teams will be making $30 million per year against roughly half that for the ACC. All of this before any of the following is finalized: (1) A new Big 12 deal; (2) a renegotiated ACC deal; and (3) a finalized BCS plan for determining a champ and how that payout is alloted. Until anyone knows these numbers, I don’t know how anyone can make a well eduated decision on which conference is best. Sure, the Big 12′s new deal and the new BCS system are starting to round into form. But these rumors have been going on for months. The same rumors persist despite the fact key facts remain unknown.

    There’s also the open question as to why no one major is reporting on the FSU to the Big 12 rumors. Since it’s been around for months, why isn’t anyone credible (ESPN, Fox, CBS, Comcast) latching on to this? It’s one thing to sneak under the radar a make a move like Syracuse/Pitt. that came out of nowhere and was done seemingly overnight. But this rumor’s been out there forever. Why is no one picking up on it?

    • #2 already happened. #1 hasn’t been signed (I think), but when numbers have been publicly announced, it’s pretty darn close to a done deal. I’d agree on #3 not being done, though. I’m also skeptical about the whole enterprise, but not due to #1 and/or #2.

    • Eric says:

      I agree money is very overrated here. The Big Ten and PAC-12 were the older more elite brands and it was going to be difficult to stop either from being a threat unless everyone was committed (and Colorado and Missouri had been pushing to get into them a long time). At the time, the PAC-10 actually made less the Big 12 and by accounts would have been expected to continue making less and Colorado still didn’t hesitate a second. Texas A&M probably is going to be making less in the SEC too (or at least not any more). They left though because it was a chance for their brand to shine in a way it wasn’t while in a conference with Texas. Everyone else went into conferences there were clearly superior to their current ones or to a status that made them more distinctive (BYU).

      • bullet says:

        Colorado was about money, just not TV money. They wanted to connect to alumni in California and Arizona. They were willing to go for less TV money. Apparently fund raising was very successful when their football team went to LA.

      • yoyoma says:

        Texas A&M won’t be making less. The B12 deal, once signed will be back loaded like every other TV deal. It’s paying $14M or so now and I’ll bet it lands around 17M next year. The SEC pays $17M now and after the look-in will probably move to $20M.

  23. Pat says:

    Interesting comments from regarding Big-12 expansion.

    “For weeks and months, I had been told the Big 12 was good with 10 schools. Nine conference football games. Home-and-home in basketball league games. Good. No need for a Big 12 championship football game because it would only risk knocking a possible undefeated or one-loss team out of a national title shot with an upset.

    But last week I talked to some people who said, “Well, if it’s the right two.” And that was different from what I had heard before.

    I was also told that studies had been done looking at what value might be added if any of the original members of the Big East (Louisville, Cincinnati, etc.) would bring to the Big 12, and that report did not come back favorably, sources said.”

    • Mike says:

      One industry source said if Texas can command $300 million over 20 years – $15 million per year in additional TV revenue – for its own network, Florida State should be able to command at least a third that much ($5 million), if not more, in a state with so many television sets and a passion for FSU sports.

      According to Kristie Dosh FSU’s Tier 3 revenue take in 09-10 is ~350,000 [feel free to post newer numbers]. Will one football game and a handful of basketball games get them an additional 5MM? Will a network? I don’t see it. Texas is a special case, and I would be surprised to see ESPN or anyone else front the money for a school specific network until the LHN actually works out. I’m a little surprised the failure of the mtn. isn’t slowing down the “need money, start a network” crowd.

      Again, Florida State could come out later today or tomorrow and say a move from the ACC to the Big 12 is utterly preposterous. But until that happens, there is reason to pay attention.

      The Big 12 would take FSU in a heartbeat. That isn’t news.

      I will admit I was wrong about A&M’s SECede movement, and I could be wrong here, but it seems to me this is just a zombie rumor that won’t die.

      • texmex says:

        From the link that was posted, you’ll notice from that 6 of the top 20 Tier III revenue schools from 09-10 were current or former Big 12 schools. So yes, it’s possible FSU’s Tier III revenue could see an increase of about 3 million if they play their cards right especially with Florida receiving 7.4 million. However, let’s say FSU gets back to their old winning ways and top 10 finishes in football….their Tier III rights would still be owned by the ACC for football eventhough the value of those rights would greatly appreciate if the school owned them. No matter how good you are, there’s always at least 1 non-conference game that falls to Tier III status. Combine that with a rising basketball program and one of the top baseball programs in the country and they could make some money from Tier III if they exclusively owned them.

      • joe4psu says:

        What did she value FSU’s tier 3 rights owned by *SPN?

        That number sounds awfully low for a school that is a national draw with a huge market and a passionate fan base. The end of the Bowden era may have hurt some but I can’t believe that FSU is not a top earner.

        • Mike says:

          Tex and @Joe

          From the discussion above, greg found a link to NC State’s new school only tier 3 contract. From that we can infer what the ACC contract covers for tier 3 and what it doesn’t.

          What they are making now is largely irrelevant. In fact, if I had to guess that number is much higher today after a re-negotiation or extension of its school only media deal. What matters is what they gain from moving from the ACC to the Big 12. The only difference between the Big 12 and the ACC is that the Big 12 gives each school a football game and a handful of basketball games. Value that, and that is what the school will gain in tier 3 revenue from a move.

          Notre Dame gets 15MM per year for its home slate of football games. If ND has 8 home games NBC is paying roughly ~2MM per game average. That contract was signed before the market exploded, so (for arguments sake) assume ND’s contract doubles to 30MM putting it far ahead of every conference. NBC would then be paying ~4MM per game average. That includes the best games ND has rights for, i.e. USC, Michigan, Michigan St, etc. Using the average value assumes that a USC game is worth the same as a ND guarantee game. We all know that’s not true, and devaluing the worst game on ND schedule only helps this argument, but I will use the average value anyway.

          Chip Brown is implying that a move to the Big 12 will gain FSU at least 5MM. How will FSU net an additional 5MM for the worst home game on its schedule AND the worst home basketball games when the average value of a ND game (using the assumptions above) is 4MM? I just don’t see it.

    • vp19 says:

      If Florida State and Clemson did leave the ACC for the Big 12, one by-product might be the ACC would ditch its silly “Atlantic” and “Coastal” divisions for a simple North (Boston College, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech) and South (Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Wake Forest) setup. The four N.C. schools would like to resume annual rivalries, and this format would probably give them a better chance to win the South division, this boosting the value of the Charlotte CCG.

    • Robber Baron says:

      Is that a sly way of saying that it should only be conference champions (and independents)?

      Don’t non-division-champions tend to have more sympathy than division-champions who lost their CCGs?

      • Eric says:

        Usually. Unless the underdog wins the CCG, a 2nd BCS team seems more often than not from the same division.

        • bamatab says:

          Only 3 teams have made it to the BCSCG that weren’t conference champs. Two were non-division champs, Bama this past year and Nebraska back in 2001. Oklahoma lost their CCG in 2003, but still played in the BCSCG. That isn’t a big enough sample to really say one way is more likely than the other for a non-conference champ making it into a BCSCG.

    • I agree. He’s going to get flack for this…but I hope his staunch position (and the Pac-12′s) will at least get compensation when the poll is created. Something like this would make everyone happy, I think. (I was shocked to see Wiscy’s Alvarez advocating for a selection committee…I don’t know about that….)

    • bamatab says:

      Here is an interview that Saban did today on Tim Brando’s show:

      I’m guessing he tad bit of “put off” by Delany’s comments.

    • bullet says:

      FCS has a totally different view of football playoffs. They are expanding to 24 in part so the Pioneer League, which doesn’t even offer scholarships, can get an automatic bid.

      • Brian says:

        They are also expanding to 8 seeds from 5. That leeway to place teams could help I-A make better games, but people won’t go for it. Take last year:

        A – LSU/OkSU & OR/AL (no semi rematch, 50% chance of finals rematch)
        B – LSU/AL & OkSU/OR (1 semi rematch, 25% chance of finals rematch)
        C – LSU/OR & OkSU/AL (1 semi rematch, 25% chance of finals rematch)

        Pure seeding would have given you C, but A is clearly the best choice for most neutral fans and definitely for TV.

        I’d also point out that I-AA is about the same size as I-A, and 24 is way too many teams for I-A. I-AA has almost no games outside of their region, so they have no basis for comparing teams from different regions. That’s a main reason every champ gets in. I-AA also has smaller differences between the top and bottom schools in terms of money.

  24. morganwick says:

    At this point, the Big East splitting would either mean no longer being a football conference, or having a separate football-only conference. It doesn’t mean what it once did.

  25. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    I just ran across ESPN’s College Football Live post-Spring Top 25.

    Rankings by conference:

    SEC (6) – #2 LSU, #3 Alabama, #6 Georgia, #8 South Carolina, #9 Arkansas, and #25 Florida
    Big XII (6) – #5 Oklahoma, #11 West Virginia, #13 K-State, #14 TCU, #21 OK State, and #22 Texas
    B1G (5) – #10 Michigan, #12 Michigan State, #16 Wisconsin, #17 Nebraska, and #20 Ohio State
    Pac-12 (3) – #1 USC, #4 Oregon, and #15 Stanford
    ACC (3) – #7 Florida State, #18 Clemson, and #19 Virginia Tech
    MWC – #23 Boise State
    Ind – Notre Dame

    If the season rankings ended like this, under Slive’s plan we would have #1 USC v. #4 Oregon and #2 LSU v. #3 Alabama. Under the Delany plan we would have #1 USC v. #5 Oklahoma and #2 LSU v. #3 Alabama. Under the “just champions” plan, we would have #1 USC v. #7 Florida State and #2 LSU v. #5 Oklahoma. Under my wildcard/MLB rules plan, we would have #1 USC v. #3 Alabama and #2 LSU v. #5 Oklahoma. I declare my plan the winner.

  26. Playoffs Now says:

    …There remains a desire among some member schools to leave. Multiple sources with direct knowledge of their situations told that Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich told the Big East board of directors that the Cardinals want to be in the Big 12 or the ACC, opting for transparency by making members aware of his school’s true intentions.

    No invitation has arrived as of yet and the only likely one would be from the Big 12 if new commissioner Bob Bowlsby sees the need to recommend to his board that an expansion to 12 teams is in the league’s interest. Last year, Louisville made a strong push to get into the Big 12 over West Virginia but was rebuffed in the 11th hour.

    Connecticut, meanwhile, states publicly that it wants to stay in the Big East, though a number of UConn sources have said privately that they want to be in the ACC with Notre Dame.

    The Irish have so far publicly remained committed to independence in football and the Big East in all other sports. But an Irish source said that they are evaluating the new landscape in the Big East. Still, it would take a major decision by the Irish to give up independent status in football.

    One veteran of the Big East said that had the league accepted ESPN’s nine-year offer last year, estimated at $1.4 billion, then Pitt and Syracuse would not have left for the ACC since it would have showed stability. Instead the offer was voted down by a 12-4 vote.

    The source rejected the notion that there is a rift between the schools with FBS football programs and those without, and that the non-FBS schools are not planning to depart the league. Of course, the Big East’s addition of Temple and Memphis are moves that helped reinforce the league’s basketball standing as well as placate any idle thoughts, too.

    There is no movement to orchestrate a split, according to sources. The most powerful basketball-centric player in the Big East, according to sources, is Georgetown and the Hoyas aren’t interested in splitting up the league….

  27. Playoffs Now says:

    I really hate to link to any WV rumor board, but can’t find the original source yet. Really try to avoid reposting entire posts, but there is just too much gold to excerpt. Chock full of info and offers a better and more nuanced understanding of all that gets inaccurately lumped into Tier 3. Legit? I dunno, but it sure sounds more knowledgeable than 99% of the lunkheads arguing over Tier 3 and related issues.


    I can’t vouch for the guy quoted but it seems to make sense.

    OldGoldnBlue posted the following on CSNBBS quoting Orangebloods. If true… holy crap.


    excellent post from a Rivals Texas poster(Standaddy88) explaining the contracts

    “I had heard a lot of estimates but none of them were lower than $15 million and none were higher than $19 million. That means that the estimates were right on target. There is def blood in the water… no estimate I have heard for the Big12 is below 24 million. For the Big12, they currently have $20 million a school… this is a post from the other thread
    There are a lot of moving pieces to conference realignment, and even the most knowledgeable posters don’t know all of them. I’ve been lucky enough to have had a number of clients that are directly or indirectly involved with conference realignment on the side of Texas, Oklahoma, ESPN, and others, share a little insight. I’m by no means an expert, but I have a pretty strong understanding of some of the dynamics that you won’t see in print.

    First, at this point, everything is a guessing game as to whether the ACC is or isn’t raidable. It’s going to come down to their final TV payout.

    Tier 3 Programming & Payouts

    Where the ACC is severely limited is that their ESPN contract is for Tier 1, 2, and 3 programming, which leaves no sports programming for teams like FSU, Clemson, and VA Tech to sell to regional and national carriers. Shared Tier 3 payouts isn’t a bad thing if you’re getting a strong payout on Tier 1 & 2. But, when you’re a team like FSU or Clemson, which has a strong following, your “value” is being used to subsidize teams with lesser value. So, your take home is much lower than if you controlled your own Tier 3 rights.

    Unfortunately when it comes to Tier 3 payouts, most don’t understand exactly what Tier 3 refers to, how the contracts differ from school to school (and conference to conference), or the various levels even w/in Tier 3 contracts. The numbers most like to throw around aren’t even Tier 3 payouts. Tier 3 refers to ONLY those sporting events which the conference’s network partners have opted not to televise in any capacity. Yet, most of the numbers tossed about included everything BUT actual Tier 3. Most of the ISP, IMG, Learfield Sports, etc contract numbers tossed around are nothing more than payouts for coaches shows, radio broadcasts, stadium advertising rights, website operation rights, and various other marketing & advertising related enterprises.

    First things first, think of ISP, IMG (ISP’s parent corp), and Learfield, etc as pimps. They don’t actually provide a service. Rather, they connect universities to various services, and act as the go-between in exchange for a fee (generally a percentage of the take home). Let’s use ISP and Florida as an example. ISP negotiated and handled the 10 year/$82M Sun Sports contract for Florida. They also negotiated all of Florida’s radio contracts. They sell the advertising in their stadium, produce their game day programs, establish endorsements for the coaches, manage the Gator’s website, and advertising for it, etc. So, Florida gets $8.2M/yr from a hybrid-Tier 3 package from Sun Sports + another $2M+/- from ISP for advertising and management related services, for a total annual payout in the $10M range. But, not all of that is Tier 3, only a small piece.

    One of the other issues is most don’t understand that the true Tier 3 figures teams have gotten in the past are going the way of the dinosaur. Texas reset the bar on true Tier 3 payouts (not to be confused w/ contracts that include “other” services). Most quote Texas as receiving $15M/yr for Tier 3. And, that’s true. But, what made Texas’ deal such a landmark is that is ON TOP of their IMG contract, which pays an additional $9.4M/yr for radio, stadium advertising, game day programs, website rights, etc. Texas is actually getting $24.4M/yr for their all-in package, not $15M. Now, compare that to Florida’s $10M and Florida State’s $6.6M. The reason this is important to note is b/c the numbers discussed for Florida (which are most often mentioned in these discussions) are from 4 years ago. It’s a whole new world from a financial perspective, and when their contract expires in a couple of years, they’ll resign for $15M – $20M for their all-in package (my opinion).

    FSU currently gets $6.6M/yr from their ISP package, which includes coaches shows, stadium advertising, radio, etc. The issue with the ACC’s ESPN deal isn’t that it costs a team like FSU the measly $3M-ish difference between what they get and what Florida gets from true Tier 3 production currently, but that it costs FSU a much larger sum that is now available on the market. The SEC doesn’t allow standalone networks like the LHN. That’s what makes the Big XII such a strong entity from the standpoint of true Tier 3 earnings. Oklahoma, for instance, is about to sign the 2nd largest true Tier 3 deal here shortly. A school like FSU should have no problem getting an additional $5M – $8M in today’s market on top of their radio, coaches shows, advertising, etc package they’re getting from ISP (potentially more)…….especially if they can put out a really strong season before signing. And, in the right conference, that amount could increase even more.

    Also, the SEC’s TV deal allows for “up to” 1 football game a year for Tier 3 broadcast, but it doesn’t guarantee it. Last year, CBS televised 15 SEC games, and the ESPN network televised the other 75 games. So, no SEC football games made it to Tier 3 distribution. Thus, the Florida deal is not only undervalued from a time/inflation standpoint, but also from an inventory standpoint. There is a big difference between network contracts that leave NO football inventory and the Big XII’s which guarantees at least 1 per team, and allows you to purchase your OOC home games for Tier 3 distribution (the same as how Versus purchases Big XII games from ESPN/FSN for Tier 3 broadcast). Plus, the Big XII’s contracts allow for more basketball games for Tier 3 as well. Texas, for instance, had 12 Tier 3 basketball games last year. The Big XII’s current contracts are only for 59 of the 75 Big XII home football games, which leaves more inventory for sale by every team.

    Tier 3 is a much bigger monster than everyone realizes, b/c everyone’s going off of the meager contracts that were signed 2, 3, 4, 5 years ago. And, in the past, ISP, IMG, Learfield, etc largely reached out to regional players for broadcast arrangements. Now, there is an established market (and vision) for larger scale Tier 3 deals………deals that will make the old PPV ways of the past look downright laughable.

    Big XII’s Tier 1 & 2 Payouts

    It’s been leaked that the Big XII is at the cusp of signing an extension with ABC/ESPN that will pay the conference just shy of $20M/yr for Tier 1 & 2 programming, beginning in 2016. However, that number was leaked with the purpose of driving the price higher, the same as what the Big XII did to drive their FSN contract 50% higher when it was signed in April 2011. With Fox now working to share a split contract with ABC, the number is expected to push closer to $21M for Tier 1 & 2, possibly a smidgeon higher.

    Beyond the Big XII’s payout for Tier 1 & 2, I can tell you they were wise enough to build into the preliminary ABC contract an escalator that will increase their payout a fixed amount if at least 2 teams are added to produce a championship game. The exact “per team” increase is dependent upon the total teams added, but will be in the $1.5 – $2.5M range.

    In addition, there are out clauses in both contracts that will open them up for renegotiation at market value should the Big XII expand further. Much of what’s said about the Big XII’s contracts as far as certain teams being on the “list”, etc are message board fiction. But, there is, from what I’ve been told, an understanding as to potential ranges with certain teams added to the Big XII. So, while it isn’t in print, it is understood.

    ACC’s Payout

    Much has been made about the article that estimated the ACC’s payout would be in the $15M/yr range once it’s reworked. I think most at ESPN are expecting that number to be higher, but not nearly high enough to stave off any expansion threats from neighboring conferences. Many have asked why ESPN wouldn’t simply pay them enough to prevent poaching. The answer is, it’ll likely cost them more to prevent it than otherwise. Think about it. In order for the ACC’s 2 y/o ESPN contract to go from $13M/yr to the $25M/yr they’d need to prevent being raided, ESPN would have to increase their annual payout $168,000,000. On the flip side, if the best teams are picked off the ACC and added to the SEC or Big XII, it will not cost them $168M in escalations. And, they still get a huge inventory to broadcast, while cutting out a lot of the weaker teams that don’t draw on TV: ala BC, Syracuse, Wake, Duke (football), Maryland, etc.

    Also, ESPN’s contract w/ the ACC is for a fixed amount of inventory. For their contract to increase at a high rate, ESPN has to buy more inventory than they’re getting. And, as it stands, the ACC’s available inventory to sell is only increasing 16.7%. Plus, if football drives the boat (and it does), then to presume that 2 lackluster football teams + 2 years of inflation could drive up a contract $100M+ (which is what would be needed to hit $20M/team), then you would have to kiss the thought of Notre Dame joining a conference goodbye. Because…….if you can get a $100M bump from 2 middling teams & 2 years of inflation, then what is Notre Dame football worth on the open market? And yes, I realize ESPN is getting football, basketball, and baseball, as well as Olympic sports from the ACC, while NBC is getting just football from Notre Dame. But, I think it’s safe to say football at the very least, accounts for 50% of the ACC’s contract (if not 75%). So, even if football is only half of the $100M bump, you’re essentially saying Pitt football is worth $25M/yr. So, what’s Notre Dame football worth then?

    That’s why in many respects, the numbers through around for pay increases are absurd, b/c people are saying Pitt & Syracuse are each worth $50M/yr each out of one side of their mouth, but NBC may not want to pay Notre Dame $15M out of the other. SMH.

    An Add’l Big XII Angle

    Another wrinkle the Big XII has that isn’t set in stone, but has been discussed is the possibility of opting for an 8-team conference slate in a 12-team or 14-team conference. Why would this be beneficial in their pursuit of any high-value ACC teams? B/c when the ACC switched from an 8-game to a 9-game conference schedule, it cost each school 1 home game every other year. At FSU or Clemson, based on attendance, a home game is worth around $8M in terms of gate receipts, concessions, etc. Switching from a 9-game slate to an 8-game slate would afford each school an additional $8M+/- every other year in additional revenue ON TOP of the additional revenue they’d pick up in TV payout.

    Plus, it would mean that those teams wouldn’t have to cancel their higher caliber OOC games, like Clemson had to do with Georgia, and is at risk of having to do with Oklahoma State & Ole Miss in coming seasons.

    Now, in fairness, the ACC’s schedule hasn’t definitively cost each team 1 home game every other year. But, in order to continue having the 7-8 home games a year most teams prefer, it means high quality OOC games like Clemson/Georgia have to be axed in favor of scheduling a “buy” game against a cup cake. Just looking at the numbers, it would appear there is about a $3M swing in revenue in switching from a traditional home & home series against a quality OOC opponent to paying a lesser team to come to your house to get whipped.

    Adding it All Up

    Obviously, we’re talking hypotheticals here, but there is a very real possibility that by switching to the Big XII, a team like FSU, VA Tech, or Clemson would be able to make:

    $20M – $25M/yr on Tier 1 & 2
    $3M – $10M/yr on true Tier 3 (not including radio, etc)
    $1.5M – $2.5M on a CCG
    $3M – $8M every other year from an additional home game

    When the dust settles on the Big XII’s contracts, most of the teams will be making $25M – $35M annually on true Tier 1 ? 3 payouts. And, that doesn’t include escalations from a CCG or the bump in payout that would result from procuring 2 or 3 high-level teams through expansion.

    For the ACC to keep up, they’re going to have to double their current contract, b/c otherwise, it will be very easy to offer FSU, VA Tech, or Clemson a $10M+ increase in annual TV take home.

    I’ve heard many say that’s not that big a deal. But in reality, it’s actually a bigger deal than most realize. FSU & Clemson specifically, compete annually against Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, and South Carolina for recruits. Each of those teams (aside from USC) has a significant edge in attendance at games. Why is that important? Because TV money aside, if you assume every fan in attendance is worth $100 to the athletic department’s coffers, the difference in per home game take home between an FSU and an Alabama, is about $2.4M. Add that up over the course of a season and you’re talking about an $18M shortfall in revenue vs a regional competitor. Now, add an additional $10M – $15M in TV revenue shortfall, and you can see that it won’t be hard to fall behind significantly.

    Sadly, IMO, college athletics is looking more and more like professional baseball, where money drives success. But, if that doesn’t change, a program like FSU, Clemson, and VA Tech cannot operate and compete at an annual $30M revenue shortfall to their competitors. At some point, something has to give, b/c coaching salaries are going to push beyond many teams’ ability to compete and pay……as sad as that may be. So, while geography or travel may not make sense, their hand may be forced if (and that’s a big if) the ACC contract does not come back at a competitive rate. And IMO, that will have to be around $25M.

    And, before anyone says travel will eat up a lot of the extra $…..the Big XII has an option to offer an adjusted payout based on annual travel miles. So, there are opportunities to make FSU, Clemson and others wholes in that respect.”


    • Playoffs Now says:

      I don’t know how much money it would take to lure FSU away from the academic prestige and comfort of the ACC, but would guess the B12 would have to offer at least a $10+ million a year increase. And don’t rule out an SEC of B1G offer to FSU if B12 talks actually get serious.

      OTOH, other than GT, the rest of the ACC is relatively far away from Tallahassee, requiring plane trips for the athletes. On average the difference in travel for them in the new ACC versus a new B12 or B14 would be well less than an hour of flying time. And while FSU has a big fan base in Atlanta, every road game besides Miami is a long drive or worse for their fans in most of Florida. GT is 7 hours from Orlando, Clemson and the NC schools 9 or 10 hours, and even longer for Miami and Tampa fans.

    • Richard says:

      Numbers are wrong.

      1. I’m quite certain Texas does not get close to $10M from Learfield on top of the LHN money; in fact, I believe they had to buy their way out of the Learfield contract.

      2. FSU and Clemson do not get $8M/game in gate receipts and concessions. Texas does. OSU might. FSU and Clemson most certain don’t. An idiot using Google could have seen that.

      ESPN data published in 2010:

      Money from (all) ticket sales: $13,393,780

      Money from (all) ticket sales: $21,097,510

      There might be more inaccuracies in that long spiel. I wouldn’t be surprised.

      • Nostradamus says:

        Just skimming it, it appears to greatly over emphasis the importance of 1 football game and a couple of basketball games for 3rd tier rights as well. Will that 1 game become more valuable to schools in their next contract negotiation? Of course it will given the rights fee increases across the board. That said, a Pac-12 school, an ACC school, and the Big Ten to an extent are going to see an equal or greater increase with their conference deals.

        • bullet says:

          His article said Texas got 12 basketball games. I knew it was a large number, but couldn’t remember the exact amount. Look at the top schools in Tier 3-UNC, UK, Kansas. I actually think basketball is the biggest potential Tier 3 moneymaker.

          And Texas is less than $24.4 million, but its still over $21 million. The writer forgot about IMG’s share of the LHN payout (17.5%).

          As for WVU, they are talking about it, so it attracts people who are interested in talking about it. I haven’t read the link, but this sounds like an analyst who was originally on the UConn board.

          • greg says:

            So let me get this straight. FSU wants to leave the ACC because they are tired of a bunch of basketball schools “controlling” the league, and making a bunch of basketball decisions and not caring about football. But in moving to a football conference that makes football decisions, the biggest money difference is…. Tier 3 basketball games? Thats rich.

          • Mack says:

            For a school like FSU or Clemson that one football game is more valuable than the basketball. For the likes of NC, Duke, or KS more third tier money can be made in basketball. So despite the ACC’s saying that revenue is shared equally, that only applies to football money and the basketball schools are more equal than others in the ACC. At some point will this result in FSU or Clemson wanting to leave? I think they are ready now to make a move to the B1G or SEC, not the XII. However, that situation may change in a few years if the ACC does not make the football playoffs and no invite comes. …. CT or Rutgers is probably more valuable than Clemson is to ESPN in the ACC, so I do not see them blocking this move.

      • Bob in Houston says:

        The contract was with IMG (ISP), not Learfield. The LHN contract pays IMG for rights that IMG owned that are being transferred to ESPN. There is an escalator in the contract every year.

        In the first year, Texas netted a tick under $11 mil, and kicked $5 mil of that to the school for academics. There is a 3 percent escalator in the contract every year. Basically, once ESPN makes back its investment, ad proceeds are shared. IMG is an agent for ad sales.

    • Andy says:

      Amazing how the WVU fans get all the great scoops when every other fan base is in the dark.

      They were really on top of that whole WVU to the SEC instead of Mizzou thing too.

    • duffman says:

      Playoffs Now says:
      May 9, 2012 at 7:02 pm


      I can’t vouch for the guy quoted but it seems to make sense.

      OldGoldnBlue posted the following on CSNBBS quoting Orangebloods. Is true… crap.

      Hope that fixes the comment correctly :)

  28. Christian in Texas says:

    More WVU message board fun. I know you all hate unsourced message board “insiders”, but this guy has me convinced that he’s an ACC official. His comments about FSU’s worth to ESPN (they get all FSU content if they’re in the ACC, only 3-4 games if in the Big 12) mirror some of Frank’s thoughts. Some good stuff, I want to believe….

    • ccrider55 says:

      I have a bridge for sale…

    • metatron5369 says:

      If by “mirrors”, you mean “copied”.

    • bullet says:

      I’ve read him on there before and he is pretty convincing that he does work for the ACC. It sounds like the same guy (presuming there isn’t one letter off in that name and he is actually someone else assuming his identity!). Previously he said there was no way FSU would seriously consider the Big 12. So now he is saying that they aren’t happy even though he doesn’t expect them to leave.

    • Andy says:

      the best way to get a rumor going is to make up something that a lot of people want to be true, and can’t easily be disproven. WVU fans seem to have perfected this.

  29. Read The D says:

    If you look at conference expansion from the XII’s point of view, they absolutely must wait until the new playoff structure comes into focus.

    First of all, the financial increase of adding some combination of ACC schools may be $2-5MM each from what I’ve seen here. That’s good but not game changing.

    If the playoffs are made up only of the top 4 conference champs/independents, Texas and Oklahoma will have zero desire for more competition for that slot.

    Another thing to look at is how the money will be divided up among the “6 Game Event” participants. If every participant gets an equal share, the XII may want to jump to XIV to get their hands on some more money. If Semi-finalists get a large cut and everything else is rationed out in some manner to participating conferences, the XII may stay at X.

    The point is, until Texas and Oklahoma know how the new playoff system is structured, I don’t see how they sign off on any further expansion, whether it’s Tulane or Florida State.

    • Valid point…but I don’t think the “majority” will allow someone to slip in with a loophole like that. I think the majority will enforce a rule that helps the majority (like conference championship bonus points in the poll or conference championship spot plus just one at-large or strength of schedule boost (which naturally happens with an extra CCG appearance).

      Don’t think the Big Ten and SEC are going to be shaking their fists at the Big 12 and Big East for finding a loophole and staying at 10 teams. They’ll make sure that CCGs do NOT hurt them at all.

      • Read The D says:

        That’s true. It will be interesting to see if the conferences with 12+ members force the others hand to expand to 12. Either way, the new championship rules will probably play a role in which way the Big XII decides to pursue expansion.

      • bullet says:

        They aren’t going to force other’s hands because they wouldn’t want their hands forced. It was like the people who said Texas would use the Texas legislature to force A&M to stay in the Big 12. There was no way Texas would want the legislature telling them what to do, so they were not about to start the ball rolling on someone else. The B1G, Pac 12 and SEC aren’t going to force 12 on anyone else.

        • That all sounds polite and all…but this is big business. They do need to be political, granted, but they aren’t going to do anything to cost themselves money. A loophole for independents or small schools or non-championship game leagues COULD cost the others money. They will safeguard against that. The consequences are up to ND and the Big 12 and Big East. No one will FORCE them to change…but they’ll have to live with negative consequences if they disagree with the majority.

          Another caveat…no penalty in the polls for losing a conference championship game.

          • bullet says:

            They are making $20+ million for the ccg. They would be taking away from others while getting money themselves. The ccg is making them money.

  30. frug says:

    Somewhat random thought; if the Big XII expands do is there any chance the conference would go back to an 8 game schedule? One of the stated reasons for staying at 10 was that the CCG made it harder for teams to make the NCG, so if the CCG were to return do you think they would back bake to 8 conference games to mitigate the damage?

    (Remember that with 12 teams the Big XII could still meet its inventory requirements for its TV contracts)

    • I would THINK that the TV deals would preclude 8 games. Or they’d have a certain level of inventory, so that 12 teams + 8 games would about equal the total payment for 10 teams + 9 games (i.e. the per team number would decline). I could be wrong but that’s my guess.

      • frug says:

        I don’t remember the exact number of conference games that the Big XII is required to play, but I do know 12×8 would meet it.

      • texmex says:

        A 12 team big XII would have the below game inventory breakdown

        36 non-conference home games (12 teams x 3 home games)
        30 division games
        18 interdivision games

        That’s a total of 84 possible games for television

        12 games are reserved for Tier III (1 for each team), leaving 72 games left for Tier I and Tier II

        ABC/ESPN can televise up to 20 games right now

        The FOX contract last year said they could televise up to 40. Don’t know what the new deal will be. Let’s assume it’s the same for now

        So that leaves 12 more games really up for purchase by either network. That’s where the additional money comes in for the teams. Even if ABC/ESPN decide not to purchase, FOX could very well decide to knowing new markets exist.for their Tier II inventory. What Fox has done is buy the extra games and then license those over down to Versus or now perhaps some other network.

        So an increase to the Big 12 TV agreement may not come from ESPN but rather FOX.

      • bullet says:

        I would think they could, but I don’t think they would. 12 teams would give them more content, but 8 conference games would take away some of the value.

  31. [...] and 18 conference basketball games. The ACC will be a huge presence on ESPN (for good and ill). As Frank the Tank notes, this means that the ACC has an extra shield against any potential raid. ESPN has zero incentive to [...]

    • bullet says:

      You can’t trust Texas Monthly but it sounds like something Perry would do. He tried to force down a proposal that would have decimated research and the Texas-Exes organized and shut it down. His proposals actually got A&M a warning letter from the AAU as they took their alumnus’ ideas and implemented some. Perry can’t fire him. He can only appoint trustees who might do it and trustees have specific terms of office. There’s a history of governors interfering with UT and there would be a backlash that would make the A&M to the SEC crowd look rather anemic.

      Perry is rather tone deaf to public opinion. He pushed a trans-Texas corridor concept (1/2 mile wide corridors for toll roads, trains and utility ROWs) long past the time it was obvious he and his appointees were the only ones still liking the idea.

    • frug says:

      University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, responding to a news report suggesting UT Board of Regents Chairman Gene Powell had asked him to fire University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers, said Thursday that Powell “never directed me to fire anyone.”

      …sources close to the Board of Regents told the Tribune that while tensions have been high between board members and Powers since last week’s meeting, they have simmered in recent days. Though they acknowledged that even board members who have defended Powers have become frustrated with him, they said there is no plan to call any special meeting to seek Powers’ termination. The regents will, however, meet in August for an annual review of the performance of top system officials and campus presidents, including Powers.

      Technically this doesn’t complete contradict the previous report, but it comes pretty close.

      • bullet says:

        Ultimately, this is what the issue is:

        Perry & his group want to fundamentally remake the major research universities. The link to Jeff Sandefer explains the issue more. With budgets tight, don’t think this is just a Texas issue. It will be replayed in many places.

        • Jake says:

          Already starting. Oklahoma was doing better than most states, but now it wants to get rid of its state income tax, which will heavily affect funding for education (at all levels). President Boren responded that tuition hikes at OU would likely be necessary – he had pie charts and everything. We’ll see how this plays out.

  32. Peter says:

    Boards of Trustees, regardless of who appoints them, also have fiduciary duty to the institutions. Something spiteful, harmful or obviously politically motivated would result in a lawsuit that the board would probably lose.

    • frug says:

      I have a really difficult time seeing the BoT losing if they were sued over this (if it happens). All they would have to say is that they believed Powers decision to speak out showed his attitudes towards the University were incompatible with the direction they are going and so they felt they had to replace him.

      Anyways, the only person who would have standing to sue would be Powers and a breach of fiduciary duty wouldn’t have any relevance to his case.

  33. Great Lake State says:

    As soon as the ACC brought in Pitt and Syracuse I assumed it was because they sensed Florida State and maybe another member would be leaving. I absolutely believe FS is considering the B12 and the ACC’s pathetic contract only confirms my suspicions. Put whatever stock in Orangebloods you like but where their are smoke signals this large, there’s fire. Here’s just the latest from an increasing number of MSM outlets taking it ….semi-seriously.
    Gee. MrSEC doesn’t think it’s going to happen. What a shock. Poaching two antebellum beauties from the hog tied SEC (unless Florida caves) is bound to rankle.
    FSU B12 bound by September.

    • metatron5369 says:

      I’m not sure the SEC would pass on Florida State. Slots #15 & 16 need to be filled, and there’s not much out there.

  34. Great Lake State says:

    where ‘there’ are smoke signals. -A Lannister always pays his debts…and fixes his grammaticals.

  35. Mike says:



    First-tier rights: $480 million, ESPN , eight years through 2015-16
    Second-tier rights: $1.17 billion, FOX, 13 years through 2024-25
    Per-year average: $150 million
    Per-school, per-year average: $15 million


    First- and second-tier rights: $3 billion, ESPN/FOX , 12 years through 2023-24
    Per-year average: $250 million
    Per-school, per-year average: $20.8 million


    First-tier rights: $825 million, CBS, 15 years through 2023-24
    Second-tier rights: $2.25 billion, ESPN, 15 years through 2023-24
    Per-year average: $205 million
    Per-school, per-year average: $14.6 million


    First-tier rights: $1 billion, ESPN, 10 years through 2016-17
    Second-tier rights: $2.8 billion, Big Ten Network, 25 years through 2031-32
    Select basketball rights (minimum of 24 games, men’s tournament semifinal and championship games): $72 million, CBS, six years through 2016-17
    Football Championship Game: $145 million, FOX, six years through 2016
    Per-year average: $248.2 million
    Per-school, per-year average: $20.7 million


    First-, second- and third-tier rights: $3.6 billion, ESPN, 15 years through 2026-27
    Per-year average: $240 million
    Per-school, per-year average: $17.1 million


    First-tier rights: $200 million, ESPN , six years for basketball through 2012-13; seven years for football through 2012-13
    Second-tier rights: Basketball, $54 million, CBS, six years through 2012-13

    • bullet says:

      SEC is currently $17.1 million per school. On July 1, or until their contract is revised that revenue is divided 14 ways as Dosh has done above. Most likely they will have their contract revised by then. And the Big 12 will have its $20 million/school deal signed.

      Big 10 and Pac 12 have potential Tier 3 network profits on top of those figures. ACC does not.
      SEC and Big 12 have individual school’s Tier 3 on top of those figures.

  36. zeek says:

    I think the Maryland situation is what could potentially trigger FSU or Clemson to leave, but I just doubt that they’d be the first two to go. Two reasons: 1) stability, and 2) Notre Dame potentially going to the ACC to fix their football brand.

    Maybe if the Big Ten (or SEC) poaches schools, then the Big 12 would be able to poach, but I just have a hard time seeing the Big 12 having the ability to be the first mover just because of the past instability surrounding Texas/Oklahoma.

    Bullet again brought up the point that Maryland was one of the schools voting against significantly raising the ACC’s exit fee. That’s a good point to bring up.

    I just think that the ACC is too stable right now unless the ACC is shaken up by the Big Ten or SEC (neither of which looks likely at the moment, but may in the future). Yes, these schools might be able to make a couple million more in the Big 12, but the long-term stability factor (and all that other stuff that academically minded presidents care about) favor staying in the ACC.

    Now if Notre Dame decides it wants a conference and takes Maryland with it to the Big Ten, then the Big 12 may have an opening. After all, everyone knows how hard the ACC has worked to get Notre Dame over the past 10-15 years. FSU and Clemson obviously know that the ACC is a potential landing spot for Notre Dame, and if the ACC can’t get Notre Dame and loses Maryland on top of that, that could be a potential trigger for those two to leave. Outside of that, I don’t see the Big 12 angle at the moment.

    • Read The D says:

      The Big XII’s angle will be a combination of money + whatever rules come out of the “6 game event” and playoff negotiations. If Miami, Florida State and Clemson can bring an Orange Bowl tie-in, or if the playoff becomes a strict 1-4 seeded tournament, there are reasons for some ACC schools to jump ship.

      If the Big 12 can add ACC schools and have bowl tie-ins with the Fiesta, Cotton, and Orange there would be some incentive.

    • Peter says:

      Maryland voting against the exit fee is because they want to go to the B1G. The SEC makes no sense for them – it’s culturally wrong and a pure (and rigorous in football) athletic affiliation for a school that doesn’t particularly care about athletics. That refusal was solely about the potential B1G and is mostly about the CIC. Maryland has huge research spending and is generally high academic quality.

      Maryland alone isn’t worth the B1G going on the offensive for the first time in its history, though. I can’t see how the B1G would move first other than Notre Dame calls them up and says “Hey, we’ll join & we want a partner school from the ACC.”

      • vp19 says:

        The Big Ten might do it studies show that adding Maryland and Rutgers, in conjunction with Penn State, locks down the Northeast corridor and provides millions more subscribers for the BTN.

        • metatron5369 says:

          That’s still only a short-term gain for a partnership that will last indefinitely. Cable’s a fuzzy business, and only seems to stay alive through bribery and legal intimidation.

          Money’s important – it’s very important, but it isn’t everything. If Maryland joins the Big Ten, it’s because the Big Ten sees it working out on several levels.

          • Brian says:

            The BTN may be a short term gain, but MD and RU would both do wonders for the CIC and helping the B10 get more research funding. Both are also research-focused flagship state schools that fit the B10 mold. On top of that, both are near PSU so they would have some common culture and synergy in eastern markets. That would make some PSU fans happier, and solidly grab the DC to Philly to Newark corridor.

          • wmtiger says:

            Locking up the northeast with Penn State, Rutgers and Maryland could be very beneficial to the B10 and BTN. College football isn’t huge in the northeast but locking up those states/universities could help both parties…

            Rutgers & Maryland’s programs could distance themselves from their ACC rival schools by having more money to spend on better coaches, facilities, etc to prop themselves up to B10 standards on the football field. As stated above, both are very good research universities and would benefit the B10 schools research via the CIC.

          • vp19 says:

            Maryland and Rutgers will never be kings for football, but both can bolster Big Ten depth at the level of a Michigan State or Illinois, perhaps optimally reaching the heights of a Wisconsin or Iowa. There’s a lot of prep talent in both states, and joining the Big Ten might persuade some of that talent to stay home.

          • PSUGuy says:

            And has been stated numerous times…there’s a lot of B1G alumni in those states already. They wouldn’t be building a fan-base from scratch.

  37. Bob in Houston says:

    From the Orlando Sentinel blog:
    ‘FSU athletics director Randy Spetman just issued a statement regarding the extended television deal for the ACC and ESPN. Here’s what he said:

    “We are pleased that the ACC and ESPN have readjusted and extended the television package. The addition of Syracuse and Pittsburgh along with the extended ESPN contract further strengthens the position of the ACC and each of our institutions in the college athletic landscape at a critical time. The additional revenue for each school will be significant as is the exposure for all our sports across the board.” ‘

    Notice what he did not say… anything close to, “We are fully committed to the ACC as a result of this new contract.”

    • GreatLakeState says:

      Exactly. If there was ever a time to put the kibosh on these rumors that was it.
      -cue swamp crickets.

      • frug says:

        I agree that FSU isn’t going to be leaving the ACC but it’s worth noting that Missouri, Texas A&M, WVU, Syrcause and Pitt all said the same thing about the Big XII and Big East and we saw how that worked out…

        • frug says:

          I guess I should that the Big East didn’t get a new TV deal like the ACC or Big XII, but all the BEast schools actually voted in favor of a 27 month waiting period to leave and WVU already violated it and Syracuse and Pitt are probably going to.

        • bullet says:

          Kirk Bohls of the Austin American Statesman, the UT beat writer tweeted that he had talked to Texas Tech and Texas officials and one of them commented, “First I’ve heard of it.”

          Doesn’t mean that much that they are denying, but it does make the “done deal” comments less credible.

          • Jake says:

            As a recent convert to Big 12-fandom, I’d love to see Clemson and FSU on board, but I’m skeptical. I think the Big Ten or SEC would have to go after an ACC school first, and then the Big 12 could pick up the leftovers. I doubt the Noles would be among those, but Clemson might. I thought the rumors might be an ACC ploy to get more money from ESPN, but the new contract is signed, it’s lower than the projected Big 12 contract (which doesn’t take into account a possible Florida market presence or conference championship game, which would likely give the Big 12 a further boost), and the rumors continue. This should provide some quality summer entertainment.

      • Elvis says:

        FSU football likely won’t move……it likely will never be heard from again after the next 2-3 years.

        Good decision FSU.

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      I really want FSU to stay in the ACC for a number of reasons: 1) to maintain FSU’s two biggest rivalries annually vs. UF and Miami, 2) to remain in a league that makes more geographical sense than any other one besides the SEC, 3) to continue affiliation with academic powers like Duke, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Maryland, North Carolina, and, well, just about the entire group, 4) to continue building the rivalries that FSU has been building over the past 20 years, which covers almost the entire time I’ve had an understanding of college football (and pretty much anyone under 35), 5) to avoid the pointless trade off games against somewhat distant road opponents/”boring” home opponents like Duke, Wake, or BC for games against very distant, very unfamiliar (and “boring”) opponents like Iowa State, Kansas, and Baylor, and 6) obviously, I would much rather see FSU play multiple games in the part of the country where I live and in the conference I’ve grown to appreciate than in one that is primarily well west of the Mississippi River.

      That said, I am concerned that FSU might move anyway. Costs of running an athletic department as competitive as FSU’s are very high, and as much as the ACC is paying, it still may not be enough. For instance, FSU almost lost Mark Stoops, their defensive coordinator, to Auburn this past off season because Auburn’s SEC money let’s them pay more for assistants. Also, FSU is unable to give ACC Coach of the Year Leonard Hamilton a contract extension, even after winning the ACC tournament for the first time ever. Meanwhile, schools who add almost zero TV value like Wake Forest and fail in making both bowl games and the basketball postseason (BC, Maryland Wake) get paid the same as FSU. So I can understand why FSU would consider leaving.

      As an FSU who might be in the minority in wanting FSU in the ACC only (not in the SEC or B1G, let alone the Big 12), I do think the ACC needs to offer FSU some concessions. Now I’m not talking about uneven revenue sharing, which would only make the ACC even more vulnerable to poaching. Rather, the ACC needs to give FSU more of what it wants with scheduling. FSU has been pushing to get Georgia Tech into the Atlantic in exchange for Boston College or Maryland for years. GT is FSU’s closest ACC opponent, yet they are set to play only twice every six years. Atlanta is also home to more FSU grads than any city outside of Florida. Additionally, as the guys on an FSU SB Nation podcast said, FSU-Clemson ought to be saved for November. Why create an anticlimactic division race by putting it so early? Why not set up teams for their best performance by putting Thursday road games after easy home games rather than after their toughest ones? Finally, the best thing the ACC can do is to do everything humanly possible to get Notre Dame. With the Irish in the fold, FSU would be ready to sign a Lon term grant of rights and the league’s stability would match the other bit Five. And, of course, conference TV revenue would become a non-issue.

      (Hopefully John Swofford is somewhere out there paying attention.)

      • bullet says:

        It amuses me to see the people talking about a raid of the ACC talk about setting up some kind of zipper divisions in an expanded Big 12 like the ones in the ACC. The WAC 16 got cute and it contributed to the conference falling apart. The ACC has their semi-zipper and they have the least interest in their ccg. B1G isn’t truly geographic, but it almost is. If NW swapped with WI it would be a true N/S. For that matter the SEC isn’t truly E/W (Vandy is W of Auburn), but it is close enough. Divisions should be easy for the fans to understand. As for balance, BC and VT who would be in the North have as many division titles as the rest of the league combined.

      • Elvis says:

        FSU football dies in the ACC. Revenue is too far behind.

  38. Kristi Dosh has a list of the current TV packages for the 6 AQ conferences:

    This doesn’t include the reported new Big 12 deal (as that hasn’t been officially signed yet). One thing that surprised me was how much the Big Ten CBS basketball package is (averages $12 million per year) – it’s more than I’ve been assuming all this time (where I thought is was much lower in the $3 million per year range). This is more than the Big East’s CBS basketball package ($9 million per year). It’s also confirmation that the Big Ten is receiving over $24 million per year from Fox for the conference championship game.

    • did everyone who re-signed have the new #’s apply immediately, or is it a couple years away? I’m curious specifically if the ACC and Big 12 bumps apply right now, and if not, what their current payouts until then look like. Anyone have any insight in that area?

      • bullet says:

        Pac 12 started around $180 million with a 3% escalation. UT had a similar deal on the LHN, so I presume that’s pretty standard.

      • Nostradamus says:

        What are the new numbers to you? if you are referring to the average life of contract values i.e. conference x will make $200 million a year or $20 million a year per-team, then no. It doesn’t happen right away and in fact the conference will only hit that number for a year or two over the life of the deal. All of these contracts start at a discounted value. The tradeoff is this also means the contracts on the back end will be in excess of the reported average life values. Timing of where a conference is at right now in these deals matter.

        Here is my best estimate right now.

        For 2012-2013 (this coming season) I show about:
        Big Ten- $18.1 million
        Pac-12- $15 million***
        SEC- $13.75 million*
        Big XII- $13.6 million**
        ACC- $10.47 million**** $13.47 million if everyone gets another $3 million right off the bat

        *Based on 12 team SEC, does not attempt to account for additions of Missouri and Texas A&M
        ** Based on assumption ABC/ESPN extension kicks in immediately
        *** ESPN/FOX deal only, network not accounted for
        ****Old ACC deal for 12 teams then adding

        ACC number is based on the old contract

      • Mack says:

        The ACC deal does not kick in until the new memebers join. I see another big payday for the Big East to allow Pitt and Syracuse to leave in 2013. Expect early exit fee of $5M-$7M on top of the $5M standard exit fee. This will still be very positive for the ACC as a whole, so I expect a deal will be made.

        • bullet says:

          They are only making $4 million more with the new deal. They aren’t going to pay $5-$7 to get out 1 year early.

          • bullet says:

            You may be right they will get some above the $5 million. I was thinking the ACC schools are only making $4 million more, but PItt and SU will be doing better than that and that ACC figure is 12X4=$48 million overall.

            However, its in the BE interest to move on with their new membership instead of having 14 in 2013. That costs each school 1/6th of their revenue.

  39. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Frank the Tank,

    Considering the picture of Bill Cosby you posted on your blog when Temple was admitted to the Big East, I think you’ll enjoy this:

    Bill Cosby is coming to Booooooooooooooone, North Carolina

  40. Richard says:

    Seems that IU doesn’t want to play UK neutral site because they’re afraid that a 50-50 ticket allocation at any neutral site game would lead to a blue-majority crowd. So how about alternating between 2:1 & 1:2 allocations? Financially, I’ve got to think that 2 neutral site games in domed football stadiums bring in more money than a HaH series.

    Another objection IU has is that they already play in Indianapolis in the Hoosier Classic. So how about alternating between Lucas Oil and the EJ Dome in StL and/or Ford Field in Detroit (where UK gets the majority allocation for the games in StL and Detroit)?

    Financially, I can see why UK prefers neutral site games (Rupp doesn’t have corporate boxes), though any series is better than none for these 2 schools. What are the ADs of these 2 schools thinking?

    • Brian says:

      The IN AD is probably thinking that now they are finally good again, it would be a shame not to get some great home games against UK like in the past. Why give up home court advantage half the time? As you point out, they already play in Indy every year so IN doesn’t gain anything from that. I don’t know where else would benefit both schools and be acceptable.

      • Richard says:

        More money from playing in domed stadiums. For a long time, the series was neutral court. In fact, since 1991, they’ve played neutral court for over twice as often as on-campus (13 times vs. 6 times). If they’re so concerned about students being able to see the game, hold it over Christmas break and give the students tickets to the game in Indy (vast majority of IU’s student body is in-state). This decision really makes sense only if IU believes that, on average, they’ll have inferior talent vs. UK (which a strong home court advantage can negate).

    • zeek says:

      Well, didn’t Calipari say that with Indiana coming online (back to perennial contender status) and SEC expansion, that they’d have to consider dropping 1 of Indiana/Louisville/North Carolina?

      • Richard says:

        Pretty certain they’re going to let the UNC series lapse (unless that one is also neutral-court).

  41. Playoffs Now says:

    TCU goes from 12,000 season ticket holders in 2009 to 30,000 and climbing. Stadium will open in Sept at 44,000 seats + a few thousand standing room only. Can be expanded to 50,000 seats in a single offseason.

    • Brian says:

      And they only needed 6 11+ win seasons in the past 7 years in the MWC to do it. How were they only at 12,000 after 5 11+ win seasons in the previous 7 years?

      • Bob in Houston says:

        Pretty sure you know the answer.

        It’s a pro market and the schedule was not worth spending money on.

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          And TCU is a small school (8,000 students) with a small alumni base (less than 80,000 worldwide), without many t-shirt fans.

          I’ll be attending the TCU/Virginia game in September, and may make the TCU/OK State game in Stillwater.

          • Jake says:

            Well, they WERE putting the finishing touches on the stadium. Then they took apart the last section of the East stands. We might have packed up the crane too soon. Here’s the webcam if anyone’s interested:


            As for season tickets, no one felt compelled to buy them since we almost never sold out. I just became a season ticket holder a couple of years ago; before then I just walked up on game day, bought a GA ticket, and then sat by friends and family who had season tickets. We always had a lot of walk-ups, which is nice for fans but drives an AD nuts. Can’t get away with that anymore. Also, they got this new system for scanning student IDs last year; before that, recent graduates would just flash their old IDs to get in. Not that I ever did anything like that.

  42. Mike says:

    Boise to stay in the MWC?

    An industry source told that Mountain West representatives met with Boise State officials earlier this week to persuade the Broncos to remain in the MWC. Adding to that possibility is that the Broncos still haven’t formally notified the Mountain West they are withdrawing from the league. asked Boise State for a comment about the MWC meeting and why the school had not formally withdrawn from the Mountain West. “We are actively monitoring the changing landscape in college athletics and remain committed to making the best long-term decisions for Boise State,” a spokesman said.


    Boise State is concerned about the WAC’s future and has asked the Big East for help in placing its non-football programs in another league, the Idaho Statesman reported Wednesday.


    Former Big 12 acting commissioner Chuck Neinas told USA Today Monday that the Big East is no longer a power conference, and consequently, shouldn’t be paid like one.

    Another unknown is how much the Big East’s new media rights deal, which the league starts renegotiating on Sept. 1, will be worth.

    Last year the Big East turned down a nine-year, $1.4 billion deal ($155 million per year), which would have been worth about $14.3 million a year to the full members and about $3.2 million to the non-football members.

    If the Big East’s new deal is worth the same amount per year ($155 million) each school would receive a smaller amount than the deal the league turned down last year because there are now more members. Full members would receive about $11.4 million per year, football-only members Boise State and San Diego State would receive about $8.4 million annually and non-football members about $3 million a year.

    • Eric says:

      Interesting that they haven’t formally withdrawn. I imagine they have to do that by June 1st to avoid larger exit penalties.

      My guess is that they are pretty sure they are going. The Big East will end up reluctantly helping out financially in finding a conference for their non-football sports if necessary. Only way I see Boise State not making it to the Big East are if all of the following happen a) They can’t find a better non-football conference, b) The Big East won’t help on that matter, c) Boise State starts to think the new Big East contract won’t be very good (and they probably have to make a decision before negotiations start), and d) the Mountain West offers extra. I don’t know if the conference has equal revenue sharing now, but it would probably have to end it in order to get the Broncos to stay (I know people love this as a point of stable conferences, but I think whether its stabilizing or not depends on circumstances).

      • frug says:

        $5 million if they announce they are leaving by June 30, $10 million if they announce after that unless the Big East were to lose its AQ designation. Then they can leave without penalty.

    • Jake says:

      “Former Big 12 acting commissioner Chuck Neinas told USA Today Monday that the Big East is no longer a power conference, and consequently, shouldn’t be paid like one. ”

      Glass houses, Chuck. Glass. Houses.

  43. Jericho says:

    Isn’t a lot of this realignment talk due to the myth about Tier 3 rights? Everyone thinks non-ACC schools will be raking in millions upon millions above their stated network TV deals and the ACC will get nothing else. When in truth, schools get very little for their Tier 3 rights. One million dollars might be a reason sum, although some schools will exceed that amount. When people read reports of Kansas making $8 million off their Tier 3 rights, I’m pretty sure that’s including lots of non-Ier 3 stuff, things like coach’s shows, radio rights, other multimedia, etc… And every school, even ACC schools, sell that. The Tier 3 stuff might cost a school like FSU $1 million dollars, assuming absolutely nothing flows through from the ACC contract with ESPN.

    I have no doubt FSU could make more money in the Big 12. Based on the TV deals, its around $3 million difference right now. Some will say adding FSU and a conference championship would raise the total contract price $2-$5 million per school. While I question the ability of the Big 12 to get $25 million per school when even the SEC and Big 10 aren’t touching that, I’ll at least say that it is possible. But that’s about it. The Tier 3 stuff might add another million. In an abolute best case scenario, that’s $9 million more for FSU in the Big 12. Probably more like $6 million or so is a reasonable expectation before factoring in anything else like travel, acaedmics, etc… Is $6 million really going to be enough? I have a hard time buying it.

    • rich2 says:

      Agreed, Jericho. Why do so many of you believe that any school would do anything to their students, their alums, their faculty or the students, alums, and faculty of other schools in order to make a few million dollars? What is the evidence that Michigan or Northwestern, for example, is so craven that they would urge the Big 10 to screw anyone else in collegiate sports to make an extra million? I bet no one on this board will argue that either school would take such actions (leave aside renting out Michigan Stadium for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, that is a different issue). But regularly the motives of other schools that are not typically represented by posters on this board are described very differently.

      • Bob in Houston says:

        Big Ten schools are a bad example, since they already share the biggest rights pie by far. It’s easy to look down your nose at others when you’re getting yours.

    • Brian #2 says:

      Exactly correct. Everyone knows the tier 1 and 2 deals, but the data on tier 3 revenue is very fuzzy. However, the majority of the argument in favor of leaving the ACC for the Big 12 is based on fuzzy estimates of tier 3 upside. Frankly no one outside of the university higher-ups knows the specifics.

  44. Mike says:

    Another attempt to kill zombie rumor.

    Still, two sources indicated that Florida State’s name has not yet been mentioned in expansion talks among Big 12 athletic directors. One source also wondered about the rumor’s resiliency and what it said about legitimate Florida State discontent.

    And multiple sources listed Louisville as the most likely Big 12 possibility, given the wobbly Big East and the Cardinals’ runner-up status to West Virginia in the most recent expansion sweepstakes. That would put the Big 12 at 11 teams and in a holding pattern.

    The scenario would then be to see how Notre Dame reacts to having its non-football sports in the reworked Big East. The Big 12 could be a landing spot for the other Irish sports, as well as a football scheduling alliance. That would be 11 in football and 12 in what would be a remarkably deep basketball conference.

    • bullet says:

      Anyone who suggests that the Big 12 would go to 11 to add Louisville has zero credibility.

      Notre Dame yes, just about anyone else, no. Its 14 or 12 or 10. It will not be 11.

      • Mike says:

        IMHO – Chuck Carlton has done a fine job reporting on Big 12 and realignment. Is he Brett McMurphy? No. However, I find his reporting to be very credible.

        • Bob in Houston says:

          This is now. There is always later. Just like sources often have agendas to say things of varying truth, in this case they may also have an agenda NOT to say something.

          One of the big levers supposedly being used to pry these schools loose is the supplemental bucks to be earned in the BCS playoff. Incremental TV payouts of a mil or two or three will be meaningless if the amount to be distributed is close to correct.

          But the BCS system and payouts won’t take shape until next month. Until then, if the B12 is trying to keep things on low heat, they’re going to deny everything. Or, this is being kept tight enough that the sources are not in the loop. I tend to doubt the latter, but I sure could believe the former.

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      There’s no way the Big 12 goes to 11 and stays there. An 11-team league makes 9 conference games per team mathematically impossible. Ten conference games is mathematically possible but a completely unrealistic idea. So the only option would be thd formerly 11-team Big 10′s 8-game model, which yielded 43 conference games. That takes away the popular round robin schedule without adding a CCG, and it actually reduces the total conference games from 45 to 43.

      Thus expansion will only occur in multiples of two.

      • zeek says:

        You can go to 11 for a whale (Penn State equivalent). Otherwise, just no. It makes no sense to just go to 11 unless it’s a school that can increase the pot more than its share alone, especially considering that you have to go from 9 conference games to 8…; only Notre Dame is available to do that…

    • vp19 says:

      Would a Louisville/Clemson expansion pair win approval from the Big 12? Possibly, but so many Big 12 schools recruit in Florida that FSU would seem to be the conference’s top target.

      • Brian #2 says:

        I can’t see Clemson going if FSU doesn’t go too. The only reason to make the move to the Big 12 would be for football, and Clemson’s recruiting would drop off dramatically by losing access to Florida.

  45. We’ll see if this kills off the FSU/Clemson to Big 12 rumors (probably not since people will claim that this is “spin”):

    Florida State AD shoots the rumors down:

    Texas AD shoots the rumors down:

    Clemson AD shoots the rumors down (article behind a paywall):

    • bullet says:

      Actually there were FSU people in Austin last week, which could be the basis of some of the rumours. People from their athletics fundraising group were in Austin inspecting athletic facilities.

      Dodds should know since he’s on the expansion committee although his wording (I don’t think) is odd.

      • zeek says:

        Yeah, I can see that being the basis of the rumors (I mean who wouldn’t go to check out Texas’ facilities if you were planning a renovation, theirs have to be on top 5-10 lists in virtually every sport given their budget/fundraising).

        Still, Dodds would know more than anyone else if there was anything going on in that respect. And if there was, I don’t think he’d make any comment on it.

    • bullet says:

      Texas Tech AD says they are happy at 10.

      But he also makes a negative comment about the “electronic footprint” which the new conference commissioner endorses.

      I don’t think its anywhere near as simple as Texas is for 10 (unless its the right 2) and everyone else is for expansion.

      • zeek says:

        That’s definitely going to be a big issue for the Big East, C-USA, and MWC going forward.

        For the 5 power conferences, it’s just a fact of life now. The ACC stretches up and down the entire East Coast. The Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC footprints have all gotten massive even if they are contiguous.

        The Big 12 is the only one that hasn’t gotten massive, and instead just has one outlier (WVU) with a reasonably tight geographic group of 9 other schools.

        • zeek says:

          My personal take on it is that there’s two factions in the Big 12. Oklahoma and its group want 12, whereas Texas and its group want to stay at 10. I could see the Texas based schools all in UT’s group because of the fact that any more schools are going to be farther away from them than anyone else in the conference.

          The rest of the schools probably side with Oklahoma in wanting a 12-strong group to more tightly bind Texas/Oklahoma to it in the future and the money from a CCG and extra inventory.

          • bullet says:

            The 2 new schools are apparently for expansion. WVU’s Luck has made it clear. I’ve read people saying TCU is for it but haven’t seen any official quotes. 5 of the 8 old Big 12 schools were the have nots. I think a lot of them are very much into $. RR scheduling generates $ when it means UT or OU at home every year instead of WVU or Louisville.

          • zeek says:

            Other thing that might force them to stay at 10 is that the division setup could be a nightmare.

            Do you really want to split Texas/Oklahoma up like the ACC split Miami and FSU up?

            Or if you keep them in one division, would anyone care about the other division in the national media, and there’d be hell to pay due to the decrease in visits from Texas/Oklahoma on the schedule?

          • Mike says:

            @zeek – I think they would split them up. Image a Texas – Oklahoma Big 12 championship game. Since UT-OU play in October its not like UM and OSU playing two weeks in a row.

          • bullet says:

            Texas and OU fans, and from what I’ve read, the administrations are all very against splitting into different divisions. So that is an issue if you don’t get an FSU for #11 or #12.

  46. GreatLakeState says:

    Funny, I couldn’t care less if they go to the Big 12, but I think they will and these statements convince me even more. What a bunch of parsed nonsense.
    “We aren’t going to the ACC, I’ll stake my job on it.” That’s a Shermanesque statement.
    “We’re committed to the ACC. I’m not out negotiating.” That’s a guy leaving the door wide open.
    What do you expect him to say. “Damn right, can’t wait to jump ship!”
    Think back to the other expansions, who at this juncture wasn’t making similar statements?

    • greg says:

      Yesterday you joined in on the complaints that he didn’t swear commitment to the ACC. So then he does say they’re committed, and you claim its bullshit. No wonder these guys can’t win.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        Wow, this seems to be a passionate issue for you. I yield, seeing as I have no passion for it.
        As for my skepticism concerning his denial, apparently I’m not the only one.
        This guy at the Orlando Sentinel has it about right.

        FSU very well may stand pat, but nothing they’ve said so far rules out a move.

        • bullet says:

          The FSU AD’s language was very carefully worded in everything that was a direct quote. All he really said was that they hadn’t made a decision to leave and weren’t in negotiations.

          That could be interpreted as things may be happening back channel but we aren’t in negotiations yet. It could be interpreted as we aren’t doing anything, but that doesn’t mean we won’t consider it. It could also mean that we aren’t thinking about this at all, but we aren’t going to say we will never ever do anything.

        • frug says:

          I seriously doubt we are going to see FSU leave for the Big XII unless Big 10 or SEC attacks the ACC first.

          That said;

          Unless the ACC is willing to actually sign a GoR I am not going to rule anything out. The fact they haven’t even raised the topic publicly means at least some schools believe they may have superior options to the ACC available to them in the future.

  47. Psuhockey says:

    Looking at this logically, there is only two properties that would make the Big Ten expand again: Notre Dame football and Duke/North Carolina basketball. The ACC just signed a contract paying out 17 mil a year for sports broadcasting. The Big Ten makes a little more today but by 2016 when the new 1st tier contracts are signed, each school will probably take home double that at least. Will that, coupled with research money, be enough to get Duke/UNC to join? I know that they are the back bone of the ACC but so was Nebraska once in the Big 8 until expansion diluted that relationship.

    • zeek says:

      UNC-Duke is always an interesting idea because of how much value there is there.

      But UNC really has no reason to leave. Yes, money is always good; but they rule the roost in the ACC. They run that town like it’s a fiefdom given their control over NC State and their general posse of Tobacco Road schools.

      Unless something happens that breaks the ACC apart, there’s really no reason to expect UNC-Duke to be a first mover. They get to run their own power conference. It’s really hard to see them leaving the de facto East Coast Conference to join the Midwest/North conference as a Mid-Atlantic anchor.

      As for expansion possibilites, it’s hard to see the Big Ten going anywhere without Notre Dame deciding it wants to go somewhere first. The Big Ten really doesn’t want to go to 16 because pods are not an ideal situation for a conference that has a lot of important geographic rivalries. Holding a spot for Notre Dame in a move to 14 seems to be the long-term thinking, and it’s hard to fault that idea.

    • metatron5369 says:

      Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven.

      You’re asking Tobacco Road to dismantle their empire, the cadre they’ve carefully assembled around themselves for their pure benefit to join a foreign league where they might make more money?

      You might as well ask China to join the United States.

  48. frug says:

    MBB attendance numbers. Big Ten leads all conferences in attendance for the 36th straight year. Kentucky leads all schools for the 16th time in 17 years (7 consecutive). MWC tournament in Las Vegas drew 4,000 more fans than the PAC tournament in LA.

    Top 5 Conferences (per game)
    1. B1G 12,868
    2. SEC 11,513
    3. B XII 11,057
    4. BEast 10,881
    5. ACC 9,876

    Top 5 Teams (per game)
    1. Kentucky 23,721
    2. ‘Cuse 23,618
    3. Louisville 21,503
    4. UNC 20,159
    5. Wisconsin 17,181

    Creighton (#6) is highest ranking non-AQ. Big Ten has 3 top 10 and 5 top 20. Highest PAC team is Arizona (#19) behind luminaries like New Mexico, Vanderbilt and UNLV.

      • frug says:

        Sorry for the triple (!) post, but I want to add two more tidbits

        1. Despite an overall drop in MBB attendance and the addition of decidedly football oriented Nebraska, the Big Ten actually averaged more fans per game than they did last year.

        2. The PAC actually ranked 7th in attendance behind all the other AQ’s and the MWC. They really need UCLA to get its act together.

        • zeek says:

          It’ll be interesting to see how Nebraska does with its new arena (16k capacity) and if it can put together a decent team. That’s a fanbase that can probably get to the Big Ten’s average and possibly above from where it is now (10k out of 13k capacity).

          • Mike says:

            If Nebraska has a good team, the people will be there. Nebrasketball has been very mediocre the past 15 years. You don’t have to look much farther than the attendance for Creighton. Nebraskans will show up for a competitive team.

        • bullet says:

          Some Big East bb school notes:
          #13 Marquette
          #35 Georgetown
          #44 Villanova
          #54 St. John’s
          #63 Providence
          #67 DePaul
          #76 Seton Hall

          Potentials for a split conference:
          #28 Dayton
          #39 Xavier
          #66 St. Louis
          #78 Butler
          #93 Richmond (5,660)

        • frug says:

          Just took a second look and the PAC is not only behind the MWC, it’s just barely above the MVC (621 fans per game difference)

          • frug says:

            Miss typed. That is only a 79 fan/game difference, not 621.

          • Jake says:

            I’m not sorry TCU’s joining the Big 12, but I will miss the old MWC in a few ways. That basketball tournament in Vegas was getting to be a pretty big event. Fans really traveled to that, and there were some intense rivalries. I guess it’ll just be UNM and UNLV now. Maybe Utah State will still be good. Are they joining the MWC? I can’t keep track anymore.

          • Brian says:

            Heck, Jake, USU may be in the BE by the end of the month.

        • wmtiger says:

          They need more than a dominant UCLA, they need a few consistent top 15-20 teams.

    • Andy says:

      Adding Missouri and Texas A&M only helps the SEC. Both schools have strong basketball attendance.

      • Brian says:


        “Adding Missouri and Texas A&M only helps the SEC. Both schools have strong basketball attendance.”

        Not true. MO would help slightly (increase by about 23), but TAMU would hurt a lot (-318).

        SEC average = 11,513
        #32 MO = 11,830
        #71 TAMU = 7383

        New SEC ave = 11,241

  49. Mike says:

    Pitt suing the Big East.

    First reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pitt filed a lawsuit Friday to allow the Panthers to join their new home on July 1, 2013 without penalty or interference.

    The report from the Post-Gazette states Pitt believes departures by TCU and WVU to the Big 12 have “cost the University of Pittsburgh lost ticket sales, buyout fees and game fees for two valuable home football games those opponents scheduled, then abandoned, leaving Pitt scrambling to find replacements at additional cost.”

    Additionally, Pitt is asking for (yes, they’re asking for stuff) “revenue received by the conference during the 2011-2012 conference year, including money received from TCU and WVU; and reimbursement for damages such as the fees Pitt paid to secure the lost home games with TCU and WVU and to secure replacement games with lesser rivals, the lost ticket sales from disappointed fans, court costs and other financial losses.”

    • duffman says:

      Lets see….

      Big East head man turned out to pasture
      Boise State says not right now to Big East
      Louisville says they are gone
      Pitt sues

      Looks like rats leaving a sinking ship or at least all the aliens bailing in MIB!

      I get the feeling BSU + UL = B12

      • frug says:

        There are at least a half dozen teams that the Big XII could get at any time that would be more valuable than BSU.

        • Brian says:

          Name those 6.

          • vp19 says:

            I guess the same schools Slive said he could bring into the SEC in 15 minutes.

          • largeR says:

            Love it!

          • frug says:


            UConn, Cincinnati, Rutgers, UNLV, Houston, and Nevada to start with.

          • largeR says:

            I live in Nevada, so excuse me while I stop laughing.

          • frug says:


            The Nevada schools may not be great, but they still add more than Boise St. At least Nevada is a big media market.

            Also, you can add USF to that list and Air Force and BYU would probably take accept them this time.

            Boise St. just does not bring much to the table.

          • Brian says:


            “UConn, Cincinnati, Rutgers, UNLV, Houston, and Nevada to start with.”

            The B12 could probably get all of those if it wanted them. UConn and RU might not want to go that far west, though. It’s a lot longer trip than for WV, and a much bigger cultural difference. I have a hard time believing the B12 wants UH in any way, shape or form, though.

            As for adding more value, UH adds nothing. The B12 owns TX as much as it ever will without TAMU. NV brings Reno, and Las Vegas doesn’t care about UNLV football. I see little value for the B12 there, either. UC brings part of Cincinnati and a regional partner for WV, and they are solid in MBB, but Boise is a much more respected football team. RU brings NYC access but nothing in sports, and UConn only brings hoops.

            FB is worth several times more than MBB, and Boise is by far the biggest CFB name of that group. It’s a name that will bring more viewers than any of the others despite having a small local fan base.

            Look at the past 10 years:

            Boise – Ranked every season for 108 total weeks. 2 BCS games (2-0). 10 straight bowl games

            UH – Ranked in 3 seasons for 36 weeks. 0 BCS games, 7 bowls.
            NV – Ranked in 1 season for 16 weeks. 0 BCS games, 7 bowls.
            UNLV – Never ranked, no bowls.
            RU – Ranked in 3 seasons for 21 weeks. 0 BCS games, 6 bowls.
            UC – Ranked in 4 seasons for 34 weeks. 2 BCS games (0-2), 7 bowls.
            UConn – Ranked in 3 seasons for 6 weeks. 1 BCS games (0-1), 5 bowls.

            Boise has more BCS wins than the other 6 combined, and was ranked almost as many weeks as the other 6 combined (113-108). The other 6 got 1 more BCS game, but 1 was clearly an AQ gift. I think the football value of Boise trumps the markets the other 6 might have.

          • vp19 says:

            But can Boise sustain it? It may well be the football equivalent of Tarkanian’s UNLV team, which had a similar run but no staying power.

          • Brian says:

            Sustaining it will be hard, but people have been saying that about Boise for 8 years. They’ve made it through multiple coaches and now have a young coach that seems to want to stay there for a long time. CFB success is harder to achieve than in MBB, and the brand names last longer. Boise keeps getting more money which will help them grow the program, and with that comes more coverage and better recruits. If they can weather the storm of graduation this year, I think their future is fairly bright for a while.

          • People are saying the same thing about Boise that they’ve said about every other lower-end program that get hot. Usually they’re right. Not always, of course, but when you consider that programs like TEXAS can’t even sustain success every year, it’s easy to see a decline for Boise as practically inevitable.

          • Brian says:

            Of course Boise will have a decline. But even then, which of UConn, UC, RU, UH, NV and UNLV would be a bigger CFB name?

          • frug says:


            A) UConn has already said it will accept a bid to any other AQ conference and the extra revenue that they will make in the Big XII will more than offset the added travel costs (or course with the Big East spreading from So. Cal, to Boise, to New England and South Beach with stops in Texas and Midwest I’m not sure how much more the travel costs would actually be)

            B) Boise St. has a decent brand name in football, but that is it. They play in a 30,000 seat stadium, have a small alumni base and no media market. Plus, their ability to draw casual viewers is entirely dependent on their ability to continue winning. They don’t have the cache that Texas or Michigan has where they will draw eyeballs regardless of how well they are doing.

            C) Travel to Boise is more time consuming and expensive than the other schools I listed.

            D) Houston would at least give them a presence in East Texas and give the non-Texas schools another game in the state which is important in recruiting (expansion will mean the conference can no longer guarantee everyone two games in Texas every year).

            In short, unless you believe Boise St. is going to continue to win 10+ games a year for at least the next decade their is no way to justify taking them over all the schools I listed and maybe even a few I didn’t (like USF and UCF).

            (And this of course is to say nothing of schools like BYU or perhaps Air Force who would probably take a bid since declining an invitation would mean their non-FB sports would forever be trapped at the mid-major level.)

          • “which of UConn, UC, RU, UH, NV and UNLV would be a bigger CFB name”

            none of the above. Which is why the Big 12 isn’t much interested in any of them. MAYBE you could argue that the TV markets for Cincy or Rutgers would be worthwhile, but it’s a reach.

            Remember that BYU (a far bigger FB name than Boise or any of those you listed) isn’t likely for the Big 12. If the Big 12 won’t take BYU, they certainly won’t take Boise. They’re interested in upgrades or at least programs that slot into the middle of the league in terms of prestige, markets, recruiting grounds, acadmics etc. They’re not interested in taking a program who’d be last or near-last in everything but how hot their program has been lately. It’s about what a program can contribute to a league, and in terms of that test, Boise fails on virtually every front.

          • Brian says:


            “A) UConn has already said it will accept a bid to any other AQ conference and the extra revenue that they will make in the Big XII will more than offset the added travel costs (or course with the Big East spreading from So. Cal, to Boise, to New England and South Beach with stops in Texas and Midwest I’m not sure how much more the travel costs would actually be)”

            Distance is a two way street. Have you considered that’s one reason they’ve never been invited? TCU and WV apparently had more value than any of these schools, and the B12 already owns the TX market.

            “B) Boise St. has a decent brand name in football, but that is it. They play in a 30,000 seat stadium, have a small alumni base and no media market.”

            It’s above decent. Their stadium seats 37,000 now and is about to expand to 53,000 in stages (stage 1 is before the 2013 season). That would be bigger than TCU’s expanded stadium.

            “Plus, their ability to draw casual viewers is entirely dependent on their ability to continue winning. They don’t have the cache that Texas or Michigan has where they will draw eyeballs regardless of how well they are doing.”

            Totally true. Remind me of the drawing power of UNLV, NV, UC, UConn, UH and RU for casual fans, please. Include TCU, ISU, KU, KSU, OkSU, TT and Baylor in that, too.

            “C) Travel to Boise is more time consuming and expensive than the other schools I listed.”

            Boise has a commercial airport serviced by several airlines. It’s the #76 airport in the US, with about 2.8M passengers per year. It can handle a FB team. That beats getting to WV or TT. Expense depends on where you are coming from. Boise is closer than Storrs, CT or Piscataway.

            “D) Houston would at least give them a presence in East Texas and give the non-Texas schools another game in the state which is important in recruiting (expansion will mean the conference can no longer guarantee everyone two games in Texas every year).”

            UT gives them much more of a presence in east TX than UH ever could. And they could still promise 1 game in TX and another at home against a TX team. It’s not like these potential new additions are dependent on TX recruiting except for UH.

            “In short, unless you believe Boise St. is going to continue to win 10+ games a year for at least the next decade their is no way to justify taking them over all the schools I listed and maybe even a few I didn’t (like USF and UCF).”

            Sure there is. If they only win 7 games a year, that’s still more than most of the schools you listed will manage. UConn has never been good, RU sniffed the top for a year sort of. UH rode a pass happy offense against bad defenses to get ranked one year. UNLV has been terrible forever. NV is dependent on a HOF coach that has already retired once, and even then has never been elite.

            “(And this of course is to say nothing of schools like BYU or perhaps Air Force who would probably take a bid since declining an invitation would mean their non-FB sports would forever be trapped at the mid-major level.)”

            The B12 already has turned down AF and BYU once.

          • frug says:


            1. Just because the Big XII passed on Air Force and BYU in the past doesn’t mean they are not more valuable Boise St.

            2. All those flaws you pointed out for Houston? You could have same about TCU and the Big XII added them. Between UT, Tech and OU they had Dallas even more locked down than they do Houston but they added TCU anyways because of how important Texas access is to the conference. As for riding a pass happy offense through a parade of poor defenses, have you ever seen a Big XII South game before?

            3. Just because football is more important than basketball does not mean BB is not important and I’d be willing to wager that UConn’s basketball team is more likely to be a top program in 10 years than Boise St.’s FB program.

            4. If Boise doesn’t keep winning they are not going to be a bigger draw than any school I listed.

            5. Media markets. There is no way to know where these teams will be in 10 years from a competitive standpoint; we do know where they will be from a geographic and population standpoint. Boise’s media market isn’t getting any more attractive.

          • Brian says:


            “1. Just because the Big XII passed on Air Force and BYU in the past doesn’t mean they are not more valuable Boise St.”

            Nothing you’ve said means they are, either. And BYU and AF weren’t in your initial group. BYU might well be more valuable if they didn’t come with all that BYU baggage like no Sunday play, their own TV network, etc.

            “2. All those flaws you pointed out for Houston? You could have same about TCU and the Big XII added them.”

            Except TCU had some real success and was already accepted to the BE, so they didn’t carry the same negative connotations that adding UH would. Being added doesn’t prove TCU was worth more than anyone else, just that the other 8 felt they were an appropriate choice.

            “Between UT, Tech and OU they had Dallas even more locked down than they do Houston but they added TCU anyways because of how important Texas access is to the conference.”

            According to you. Just being in the neighborhood may have been the reason, too, combined with their success.

            “As for riding a pass happy offense through a parade of poor defenses, have you ever seen a Big XII South game before?”

            Yes. The defensive numbers are very similar, but the B12S also had the #2, 3, 5, 7, 23 and 84 pass offenses. CUSA had #1 and then #24 as second best.

            I’ll take the UT pass defense over the UCSA defense any day.

            “3. Just because football is more important than basketball does not mean BB is not important and I’d be willing to wager that UConn’s basketball team is more likely to be a top program in 10 years than Boise St.’s FB program.”

            Probably true, but a football team doesn’t have to be top 10 to have the same value as a top 10 MBB team. That’s the difference. If UConn slips after Calhoun leaves, UConn loses value too. At least Boise has prospered under several coaches.

            “4. If Boise doesn’t keep winning they are not going to be a bigger draw than any school I listed.”

            Bull. NV pulled 15,776 last year and 19,576 in 2010 with their big season. UNLV pulled 21,199. Boise is expanding their stadium towards 53,000. They’ll need to lose a lot to drop to those levels.

            “5. Media markets. There is no way to know where these teams will be in 10 years from a competitive standpoint; we do know where they will be from a geographic and population standpoint. Boise’s media market isn’t getting any more attractive.”

            Boise works more like NE but to a much lesser extent, pulling a few viewers from everywhere. Nobody outside of Reno gives a rat’s ass about NV, and most of the locals don’t care either. The same is true for UNLV in Las Vegas or RU in NYC. You can’t just claim major benefits because people live near by. They have to want to watch the team, and only Boise can provide that from the group you listed.

      • ccrider55 says:

        You’re saying UT holds is academic nose when talking of the SEC but will invite the Idaho school of hotel management and truck driving training?
        Just kidding Bronco fans…sort of.

        • Brian says:

          I assume he’s saying they might invite the football team, and hold their nose at the rest. Boise wasn’t bringing all it’s teams to the BE, so the B12 could just get the FB team.

      • Phil says:

        I wouldn’t read too much into the Pitt lawsuit. Everyone has expected, and Marinotto even made some public comments, that Pitt/Syr would be gone from the Big East for the 2013 season. Now, with the Big East having to scramble to get Boise to officially join, search for a new commissioner, and prepare for the TV negotiations, Pitt is probably concerned their situation won’t be treated as a priority so the lawsuit forces the BE to settle it.

  50. Mike says:

    More from Harvey Pearlman

    »On whether he or anyone at NU instructed Brown not to attend a Lincoln City Council hearing last week: “No, certainly not.”

    »On whether he or other presidents are thinking differently than the BCS commissioners, who are exploring a four-team playoff: “I think honestly, the sports columnists around the country are assuming more about where the commissioners are than is legitimate. They may be reading their own wishes into it.

    “Now, some are in favor of a four-team playoff, or some versions of a playoff. I think what they are doing is exploring options. Jim Delany is exploring options. Every time he throws an option on the table, everyone thinks he’s in favor of it. That isn’t necessarily true.

    “We talk three or four times a week. I think we would find, he and I would find, some versions more acceptable than others. I think we’re trying to be realistic about the pressure to do something. I don’t think we ought to do much. But I understand that we will have to do something.

    “I’m open-minded. I represent the Big Ten presidents. We’ll have a discussion. I’m not going to throw my body down in front of a 15th game. But I want to do what’s best for the student-athletes. That hasn’t changed.”


    If the FSU to Big 12 rumor didn’t seem to have any legs before, that sure seems to have changed. I’m still skeptical it’ll happen, but when the chairman of the BOT publicly says they should think about it, that’s a good sign that they’ll be thinking about it.

    • texmex says:

      “On behalf of the Board of Trustees I can say that unanimously we would be in favor of seeing what the Big 12 might have to offer. We have to do what is in Florida State’s best interest.”

      Well then….that will generate some discussion

      • Andy says:

        Yes, I was very skeptical until now. At this point if I had to bet I’d say FSU will leave the ACC for either the SEC or Big 12.

    • Eric says:

      As odd as this feels, I almost think we may have a case where the internet rumors started out as just that, internet rumors, but have made the next step much easier.

      The Big 12 has seemed sincere in their willingness to stay at 10 (shooting down constantly the notion they have to expand, and a lot of reports suggesting that was actually their preference). Meanwhile we weren’t really getting anything from Florida State were you’d expect the rumors to be originating (since its ultimately their decision).

      There is legitimate anger from people close to Florida State though even if the president and the athletic director don’t necessarily feel it (nothing said so far indicates they do although they might). These rumors are something to hold on to for those angry at the ACC though and with the right spark (such as the new contract), something that can be pushed even if there was nothing to them before.

    • Eric says:

      For the sake of discussion, if Clemson and Florida State do bolt, what else happens? I’m still giving 2 to 1 odds against it happening, but that’s a lot closer than it was before. My guess is the following:

      1. There is a big push in the Big 12 and from Clemson and Florida State for a larger expansion. The 2 newcomers want other ACC schools, West Virginia wants someone closer. I think the conference gives in to these pushes and goes to at least 14. There are several possible combinations they aim for there, but I think Georgia Tech is a definite if they are interested (and they probably would be, but it might come down to academics). If it’s only 14, then I’d guess Pitt or Miami (FL) are the other (Miami is the bigger name, but I could see the conference avoiding them).

      2. The ACC would some counter expanding. If the Big 12 went to 14, the ACC would follow suit and take UConn and Rutgers most likely. If a Florida presence is vitally important though and they lose Miami as well, then maybe they take a chance on Central or South Florida.

      • Brian says:


        “For the sake of discussion, if Clemson and Florida State do bolt, what else happens? I’m still giving 2 to 1 odds against it happening, but that’s a lot closer than it was before. My guess is the following:

        1. There is a big push in the Big 12 and from Clemson and Florida State for a larger expansion. The 2 newcomers want other ACC schools, West Virginia wants someone closer. I think the conference gives in to these pushes and goes to at least 14. There are several possible combinations they aim for there, but I think Georgia Tech is a definite if they are interested (and they probably would be, but it might come down to academics). If it’s only 14, then I’d guess Pitt or Miami (FL) are the other (Miami is the bigger name, but I could see the conference avoiding them).”

        I don’t see this happening, at least not quickly. 12 is the best number financially, and it’s hard to absorb a large number of new teams smoothly. I think the B12 would happily sit at 12 and see what their new and improved TV deal would be. Set up divisions of 6 and sit tight and see what else happens.

        B12 NE = FSU, Clemson, WVU, ISU, KSU, KU
        B12 SW = OU, OkSU, UT, TT, TCU, Baylor

        No locked rivals, but everybody plays in TX a lot anyway (once every year at least).

        “2. The ACC would some counter expanding. If the Big 12 went to 14, the ACC would follow suit and take UConn and Rutgers most likely. If a Florida presence is vitally important though and they lose Miami as well, then maybe they take a chance on Central or South Florida.”

        Assuming just the two leave, I think the ACC stands pat at 12 until they hear back from ESPN how much they’ll lose. They can’t really gain value by taking anybody but ND. Do they take UL and UConn and just give upon CFB completely? Does that make them more money? I think the old guard of the ACC would be happy to let FSU and Clemson be replaced by Pitt and Syracuse and focus on hoops.

        That leaves the SEC at 14, the ACC, B10, B12 and P12 at 12, and the BE at 13?.

        • frug says:


          I’m not sure KU, KSU and ISU would go for that split. It puts them a strong financial disadvantage (longer road trips and no annual home game against either OU or UT) and reducing their access to Texas. I’d be shocked if they agreed to expansion if they didn’t get assurances before hand that would not be the divisional alignment.

          • I’m sure KSU would. Bill Snyder had been publicly plugging for any scheduling setup that’d get him in the other division from Texas and Oklahoma, and I’m guessing he has substantial influence there.

            Also, I’m guessing that expansion doesn’t need unanimous support, and that the bigger schools can ultimately ram through whatever setup they want. I’d be surprised if that the whole “we’ll split 1/2 tier revenue equally” deal wasn’t accompanied by an understanding that Texas/Oklahoma drove the bus on expansion / alignment / scheduling decisions.

          • Brian says:


            They’ll get more money by allowing expansion, and can still be promised 1 game in TX every year and another at home against a TX team every year with that split. On top of that, they get more FL access where they can compete with Purdue and such for lower tier players.

            Besides that, how much power do those 3 have? KU can be placated with some hoops concessions and KSU wants to be away from OU and UT so they can have an easier schedule. All they have to do is make 1 trip to the SE each year generally. The conference will probably comp them a certain amount for travel expenses to balance the costs.

          • vp19 says:

            The Big 12 will almost certainly retain its 9-game conference schedule, and in an east/west setup where ISU, KSU and KU are aligned with Clemson, Florida State and West Virginia, all would play four West teams annually. Even in a format with two permanent cross-division opponents (and FSU and CU, not to mention ESPN/Fox, would likely demand that Texas and Oklahoma be theirs), everyone would be assured of seeing OU or UT every other year.

          • frug says:

            Besides that, how much power do those 3 have?

            It takes 8 votes for new additions so as long as they stick together those three can block any expansion. One game in Florida every other year is not going to make up reduced Texas access, especially since A) the Big XII teams don’t really have any recruiting networks in the Florida (unlike the Big Ten who has worked there extensively) and B) the Texlahoma schools will be able to lock up the state of Texas even more than they already have since the Texas and Oklahoma schools will have a schedule way more interest to local kids.

            Plus, they will lose a huge amount of money since they will no longer get an annual visit from either Oklahoma or Texas (Florida St. is not going to draw the same fan interest).

            There is just no way the Midwestern schools are going to agree to those divisions unless the rest of the conference is willing to make major concessions elsewhere.

          • Brian says:


            “It takes 8 votes for new additions so as long as they stick together those three can block any expansion.”

            If they prefer to give away money, then they could do that. However, they need the money more than the southern schools do.

            “One game in Florida every other year is not going to make up reduced Texas access,”

            Considering they only get the dregs from TX now, nothing will likely change there. They may get a few more kids from FL, though.

            “especially since A) the Big XII teams don’t really have any recruiting networks in the Florida (unlike the Big Ten who has worked there extensively)”

            The B10 teams all started from scratch, too. It’s not that hard. You send a guy to FL to talk to HS coaches and get the kids UF, FSU, etc pass over that want to prove themselves in a big boy league, especially against FSU.

            “and B) the Texlahoma schools will be able to lock up the state of Texas even more than they already have since the Texas and Oklahoma schools will have a schedule way more interest to local kids.”

            Because ISU and KU and KSU were beating out UT and OU for players before?

            “Plus, they will lose a huge amount of money since they will no longer get an annual visit from either Oklahoma or Texas (Florida St. is not going to draw the same fan interest).”

            How much less will they make playing FSU?

            2011 data:
            UT @ ISU – 56,390
            KU @ ISU – 51,575
            #2 OkSU @ ISU – 52,027

            For ISU, UT brought an extra 4800 fans versus KU. KU pulled 4500 more fans for KSU than OU, and more for NIU than either one of them. For KSU, OU outdrew ISU by 3600 fans.

            These are the major money losses you’re worried about?

            “There is just no way the Midwestern schools are going to agree to those divisions unless the rest of the conference is willing to make major concessions elsewhere.”

            You have no idea what they will or won’t agree to, or what concessions may be necessary. They already got equal revenue sharing and a GOR which are major benefits to them.

          • vp19 says:

            I’m not that familiar with Kansas State or Kansas, but over the years Iowa State has done a bit of recruiting in Florida. ISU certainly didn’t exploit it to the extent that Greg Schiano did in his years at Rutgers, but the Cyclones are no stranger to the state, and playing every other year in Tallahassee wouldn’t hurt where recruiting is concerned.

          • frug says:

            If they prefer to give away money, then they could do that.

            Well the PAC schools did the same thing when they turned down the Oklahoma schools last summer in large part because the CU, Utah and the Arizona schools didn’t want to sacrifice there access to LA.

            Plus, while adding FSU and Clemson might make more money it would also make competing more expensive since they won’t be getting as much access to Texas at the same time everyone is going to have more money to spend. If the costs of staying competitive exceed the additional revenue then it is perfectly reasonable to keep the status quo.

            (Also, KSU turned a profit for 2010-2011 and successful seasons for the FB and MBB teams means they probably will this year also)

          • Brian says:


            “Well the PAC schools did the same thing when they turned down the Oklahoma schools last summer in large part because the CU, Utah and the Arizona schools didn’t want to sacrifice there access to LA.”

            Hard to say. Going to 16 and splitting the pot more ways reduces any financial gain as did the LHN. Add losing the feel of being a conference, and getting 2 academic deadweights plus a laggard (OU), plus a huge geographic expansion and there were other concerns besides LA access.

            “Plus, while adding FSU and Clemson might make more money it would also make competing more expensive since they won’t be getting as much access to Texas at the same time everyone is going to have more money to spend.”

            That reasoning doesn’t hold up. They aren’t competitive now. Plus, less TX access doesn’t automatically make competing more expensive. As previously mentioned, the B12 could easily defray travel costs to make the divisions. I don’t see how everyone having more money to spend is a factor either way.

            “If the costs of staying competitive exceed the additional revenue then it is perfectly reasonable to keep the status quo.”

            What are these costs, and how do they apply to a KU team that hasn’t won their conference since 1968 (co-champ – not outright since 1930) or ISU that hasn’t won it since 1912? KSU won in 2003 (and lost 2 earlier B12 CCGs), but before that it was 1934.

            “(Also, KSU turned a profit for 2010-2011 and successful seasons for the FB and MBB teams means they probably will this year also)”

            And that means they don’t want more money to increase future profits or decrease future deficits?

          • frug says:


            I wasn’t talking about going to 16, I was talking about going to 14 with just OU and OSU. They would have stayed one conference but it would have meant that ‘Zona, ASU, CU, Utah and (probably) Cal and Stanford would no longer get annual games in LA and they felt that wasn’t a tradeoff worth making (Colorado’s President actually came out and publicly stated he didn’t want any additions that would reduce the number of games that played on the west coast and especially Southern California where 45% of their out of state alumni live).

            As for increasing the cost of recruiting it is pretty simple. All current Big XII schools are dependent on Texas to if not completely furnish their teams (and it comes pretty darn close for a lot of teams) then fill the holes they can’t get with local recruits. The more games they have in Texas, the easier that is. On the other hand, if they get fewer games in Texas then they have to either began recruiting nationally (which is tough sense none of them is a national brand) or taking more trips to Texas and invest in recruiting services. Either way it is going to increase their expenses. And while they may not be beating out UT and OU they can still be competitive with Tech, Baylor, TCU, Rice, SMU, Houston and whatever Big East teams are going to start getting annual games in the state.

            And the reason have more revenue would increase costs, it would mean that everyone would have more money to spend and if the Big XII becomes more competitive through expansion (and that is likely if the additions are FSU and Clemson) then they will need to invest more to try and keep up.

        • Eric says:

          I can definitely see you being right here Brian. Things do get messy though if Florida State and Clemson want a wider eastern division as a requirement for membership. It’s something I can almost see them asking for and something I think the Big 12 would give them.

          In the end, you are probably right though and it would just be them though. If expansion over the years has taught us anything, it’s that moves are usually slow and there’s not a lot of reason to think this would be any different if it happened.

          • Brian says:


            It’s certainly possible they would jump straight to 14, but that would be adding 6 new teams in 2-3 years. It’s really hard to stay cohesive that way. In addition, 13 and 14 will cost everyone else money. Both Clemson and FSU already have an in-state OOC rival they’ll keep on their schedule, so that would be 3 eastern games every year (WV, Clemson/FSU, SC/UF) plus any local cupcakes (another 2 probably), with 3.5 of them at home each year. In addition, there’s another 6-7 conference games, so 3-3.5 more home games. That’s 8 eastern games every year, and only WV isn’t easily drivable.

            That’s plenty of games at home, plus a game in a nearby state that’s good for recruiting every other year. On top of that, they get a toehold in TX to get a few recruits.

            Would they like to add GT or Miami or maybe VT? Sure, but I don’t think it’s a dealbreaker. Miami is small and has fair weather fans, plus FSU already plays UF. GT is small, but getting to Atlanta helps a little for recruiting (both already recruit Atlanta decently). What they’d really prefer is to stay in the ACC with some changes.

    • Brian says:

      Matthew Smith,

      You neglected to mention this little detail which helps explain his stance:

      “It’s mind-boggling and shocking,” said Haggard. “How can the ACC give up third tier rights for football but keep them for basketball?”

      Haggard is referring to the fact that the ACC surrendered all third tier television rights for football to ESPN/ABC but kept them for men’s basketball. That arrangement will likely result in substantial revenue for schools with a strong basketball following like North Carolina and Duke. On the other hand, it will do very little for schools with a more traditional football following like FSU, Clemson, Virginia Tech and Miami.

      Being behind the other big boys by a few million may not be a dealbreaker, but feeling like a second class citizen in your own conference when you are the biggest football brand certainly is a problem. People often talk about Tobacco Road running the ACC, which I think is overblown, but clearly that’s who won in this contract. The thing is, the whole league signed off on it. On top of the four he named, GT and BC also don’t benefit from this. How did this deal get done if 6 of 12 school don’t like it? Didn’t they stay updated on the negotiations? This sounds more like a disconnect within the schools between administration and the fans.

      • Eric says:

        Agreed and that’s a really good point. If that is true with the contract (and I’ve read from a couple of people saying its not), then how did it get approved. While I think these statement should be taken seriously, it might be just as likely he responded without all information, not realizing how far his words would go.

        • Brian says:

          Yep. I don’t know if he’s right or not. If he isn’t, I won’t be shocked. He probably heard a rumor and reacted to it.

          If it is true, it’s a legitimate issue.

  52. Pat says:

    I wonder if this is posturing by the FSU BOT in an attempt to soothe and quiet a restless fan base (ie: big donors). Or, to obtain a bid from the SEC (not happening) which really doesn’t want the B12 in it’s backyard. Hopefully, this will blow over. FSU is a very bad fit for the B12.

    • Eric says:

      I don’t think it’s an attempt to soothe because I think this will ultimately just make demands to go larger. I do think however that it’s possible its an attempt to get concessions from the ACC. Maybe they agree to throw all 3rd tier basketball into a bigger pot too, maybe they make a portion of the contract based on appearances rather than completely equal revenue sharing.

    • Andy says:

      don’t be so sure a bid from the SEC won’t happen. FSU is a valuable school. The SEC might just take them. And FSU would almost certainly choose the SEC over the Big 12.

      • bamatab says:

        As a fan of a SEC team, I wish that the SEC would offer FSU. They fit the SEC like a glove, and are a top football school (maybe not a king, but definitely a prince). Their inclusion would create some great games in the SEC east. As a fan I’d much prefer FSU over any other ACC team.

        But I’m in the camp that believes that the whole UF, UGA, & USCe allience has some truth behind it. I also believe that the SEC PTB covet the NC & VA markets. Now would a jump to the Big 12 by FSU & Clemson cause enough instability in the ACC? Who knows for sure. VT would be the most likely I guess. I doubt UNC would go anywhere (they like their basketball conference) and NCST would have to have UNC’s blessing to go. I could see UVA consider the B1G (along with Maryland).

        I would love to see the SEC offer FSU and wait and see if VT would come. But I think there are too many politics within the SEC working against FSU. I wish/hope that isn’t the case, but I’m guessing it is.

        • Andy says:

          FSU and VT would be a good combo. Both would fit in well with the existing members of the SEC. It would be nice to add some more academic prestige to the league by taking UNC, Duke, Virginia, Maryland, or Georgia Tech, but most of those would be hesitant to join the SEC unless the ACC were failing completely.

          • bamatab says:

            Yeah, academic prestige is the other aspect working against FSU. The SEC took Mizzou over WVU not only because of the tv markets, but also because Mizzou is an AAU school. I think that the SEC presidents would love to get at least one more AAU school in the next expansion. But it would shock me if that were to happen. JMHO

          • bullet says:

            Mr. SEC doesn’t believe in the gentlemen’s agreement. The SEC has offered FSU before. I just don’t believe it. I do believe UL and GT offer the SEC nothing and Clemson doesn’t offer enough, so they wouldn’t be invited. But FSU is a different case. Should FSU decide to leave, they will probably have a choice.

    • Steve says:

      It’s hard to believe the FSU athletic director and president could be so far out of sync with the FSU board of trustees. This has to be an orchestrated public relations tactic to obtain something, either an SEC invitation or concessions from the ACC. Otherwise, there appears to be either a serious disconnect, or worse, warring factions within the FSU administration.

  53. Steve says:

    Terrible FSU home schedule for 2012 (listed below) and it doesn’t get much better the next few years. That’s why they can’t sell out the expanded stadium. This looks more like an administration screw-up than the ACC disrespecting FSU. Not sure B12 move will solve these problems. By the way, Wake Forest has beaten FSU 4 of last 6. If you want the big bucks, you gotta beat WF.

    Murray State, Savannah State, Wake Forest, Clemson, Boston College, Duke, Florida

    Savannah replaced West Virginia which dropped out of it’s scheduled home-and-home with the Noles after WV joined B12 which has a 9 games schedule.

  54. zeek says:

    Just wondering, if you’re Delany, do you consider Florida State-Maryland in a move to 14?

    Personally, I’d find that to be about as attractive as anything outside of a Notre Dame or Texas expansion.

    • Playoffs Now says:

      Lastest rumor is that VT has approached the SEC. So the real question should probably be, “If you’re Delany, do you consider FSU, GT, NC, and VA in a move to 16?”

      Starting to look some of the rumors might be true, that the B12 (with the assistance of ND) and then SEC could be taking up to 6 ACC schools. Probably a good guess that the B1G won’t sit still if the SEC goes to 16, so if this keeps progressing NC may not be able to avoid admitting defeat. A bit sad, but so was the demise of the SWC, WAC, and the decimation of the BEast.

      OTOH, we still have a ways to go before anything is actually finalized. If the SEC doesn’t expand, B12 may stop at 12 or 14 and B1G stands pat. ACC survives at 12 or reloads to 14. Or NC wises up and compromises on certain ACC ‘core principals’ that keeps FSU (and might even allow for a everything but football ND addition.)

      • zeek says:

        Yeah, I’m just kind of stunned that the NC schools pulled off the move on 3rd tier rights.

        Giving up all football 3rd tier rights but no basketball 3rd tier rights? What exactly were FSU, Va Tech, Miami, etc. doing at the bargaining table? How in the world do you come up with a compromise like that?

    • Brian says:


      “Just wondering, if you’re Delany, do you consider Florida State-Maryland in a move to 14?”

      Probably not. The word on the street is the COP/C said no more borderline academic schools, and FSU is on par with NE in USNWR and not AAU.

      “Personally, I’d find that to be about as attractive as anything outside of a Notre Dame or Texas expansion.”

      It’d be good from a football POV, but I don’t think the president’s would OK it. There is the small matter of distance/culture too. I don’t want the B10 to become a national conference geographically. If that’s going to happen, you might as well throw USC and UCLA in the mix.

      • zeek says:

        That’s a fair viewpoint, and it’s probably where the COP/C actually is right now. Every indication seems to be to stick to 12 until ND makes a move.

    • frug says:

      As long as AAU membership remains a necessary condition of admission for all non-ND schools, then no.

  55. Pat says:

    Doesn’t the ACC have their conference meeting this week in Florida? Why wouldn’t the FSU BoT wait until after those meetings before going public? Casts FSU in a bad light by going to the media and throwing the school president and AD under the bus. I get the impression the football boosters are in charge down there. Not good.

    • Elvis says:

      FSU has a lame duck AD. Long story, but he is a hold over from the old president who was less than qualified and wanted to play AD.

      Also he is part of the reason FSU is in the red with budget.

  56. Elvis says:

    I tried telling folks here about FSU and their feelings on the ACC.

    Plus with FSU’s budget issues, it was obvious.

    Love Frank’s insights and his blog, but I have been telling him he was off re: the stability of the ACC for a while. The money alone showed that.

    The ACC Tobacco Road overplayed their cards and the football schools can’t live with it anymore.

  57. GreatLakeState says:

    The starting quote in the first article says it all:
    “Florida State’s status in the Atlantic Coast Conference was safe and secure on Friday and anything but on Saturday based on separate interviews with Seminoles powerbrokers”

    CBS sports, Kansas City Star, Orlando Sentinal. This is no mere blog chatter.
    Laugh if you like. It’s coming. Their going.

  58. hangtime79 says:

    Looks like we are in for another realignment summer with the Big 12 as a major actor. Real glad we are the hunters and not the hunted this time. Bring on FSU and Clemson to the Big 12!

  59. Jake says:

    I’ve been out all day and I’m moderately inebriated. Can someone catch me up on what’s going on?

  60. Steve says:

    FSU football coach getting in on the action. Says FSU should investigate B12.
    Why is the coach even opening his mouth? This is not good for FSU. Makes the school leadership appear to be out of control and a bunch of loose cannons.

    • frug says:

      It’s possible that the Fisher and the BOT chairman are speaking out to give FSU’s prez and AD some leverage to use against ACC while still being able to play the good cop (“Listen, I hate to cause problems but my boss…”). I still everyone would prefer the ACC to the Big XII but they want the ACC to make some concessions.

      • vp19 says:

        What concessions could the ACC make that would satisfy FSU without seriously altering the ACC’s inherent philosophy of financial equality and basketball over football?

        • frug says:

          Well if it’s true that tier 3 FB rights are bundled but BB are not, that might be one place to start…

          • Brian says:

            Apparently that isn’t true based on a tweet below from an ACC associate commissioner.

        • Eric says:

          If they actually have a goal of changing something in the ACC, it probably is financial equality. People talked about it as a source of stability last year, but it’s just as likely to be a source of instability (it’s just easier to enact with stability which gives the impression its a cause rather than an effect). If you base revenue somewhat on TV appearances, that might give Florida State room to make as much in the ACC as the Big 12.

          For all the talk of basketball focus over football, I’m not sure I really see it. They invited Florida State for football. Expansion to 12 was for football. Expansion to 14 was arguably because they were worried about a football raid and if you consider West Virginia out for football issues, they took the teams with the most football history (even if they are stronger with basketball). The biggest reason the conference is seen as a basketball rather than football one is that the top end of the basketball conference has lived up to national hype, while the power houses in football have failed the past decade to make a national impact.

    • wmtiger says:

      The dominoes are starting to fall for the an exit by FSU (& others in the ACC), much like the dominoes that led to A&M & Nebraska leaving the Big XII…

  61. GreatLakeState says:

    Keeping the third tier rights for basketball and selling them away for football was the last straw.
    It’s so egregious you have to wonder if they don’t WANT the less-academically inclined football teams to leave. …..Hmm?

    • Chrispy says:

      Except the contract gave ESPN Tier 3 rights for both football and men’s basketball. Confirmed below with an ACC associate commissioner:

      Other sports can sign Tier 3 contracts per an earlier tweet from the same Tallahassee Democrat editor, but no football or men’s basketball games are available.

      Looks like the trustee picked up some bogus information from a message board rant.

      • Playoffs Now says:

        Um, you really think that matters? Seems pretty clear this is about way more than tier 3 bouncyball rights.

        So far we’ve now got leaks from schools and the ACC that FSU, Clemson, and now Miami are feeling out the B12 and V Tech the SEC. MD has long been rumored to be pursuing other options, and Pitt sure hasn’t been shy about looking around the last few years.

        Recall Oliver Luck’s comment from a few weeks ago at the B12 meetings in Phoenix about how nice it was to be able to talk to AD’s from the P12, B1G, and SEC out there (attending a concurrent Fiesta Bowl conference.) Note what conference he didn’t mention.

        If the SEC and B1G do expand, it looks like the Phoenix is the new Yalta.

        • bullet says:

          Yalta led us to 44 years of cold war. Probably noone under 30 can grasp the exhiliration from the fall of the Berlin Wall.

          • Playoffs Now says:

            Well, someone may get stuck in the B1G evil empire.

            CoolStoryBro: I visited E. Berlin years before the wall fell

          • zeek says:

            Wouldn’t surprise me.

            If you recall, the Big Ten has some kind of secret location outside the Big Ten footprint where they met with Nebraska and would not share the location because it may come up in future situations…

          • Brian says:


            If you believe EDSBS, they may have met at the mythical school of Purdue. That would explain why nobody saw them.

          • bullet says:

            There’s a place in W. Virginia where Congress was supposed to meet in the event of a nuclear war. Got taken off the list after it became public in the 80s. But you can get a tour of the bunkers now.

          • Brian says:

            Under the Greenbrier, right?

            It must be a tough call – be stuck in WV for an indeterminate amount of time or get nuked in DC.

          • bullet says:

            @Brian-yes, that’s the name of the place.

        • Brian says:

          Playoffs Now,

          “Um, you really think that matters? Seems pretty clear this is about way more than tier 3 bouncyball rights.”

          Since that was exactly the issue the BOT chair sited, yes it matters.

        • Chrispy says:

          If this trustee doesn’t know what is in the contract and decides to shoot his mouth off rather than find out from the AD or president what is in the contract, are we really supposed to believe he is allowed in on any conference realignment discussion?

      • bullet says:

        Actually I saw some guy claiming to be in the ACC office saying bb games could be sold. I think there’s a lot of confusion. ESPN press release clearly says they have all rights to all men’s bb.

        • greg says:

          This ESPN article says the new contract adds 30 regular season basketball games, and 2 additional conference tournament games. Fourteen additional football games, which would seem to be two teams’ entire home schedule.

          Syracuse played 21 home games last year, Pitt probably something close. I would guess that ESPN would be interested in taking all the football inventory it can get a hold of, but doesn’t necessarily want to buy every basketball game and probably passes on a lot of OOC games. The conference itself, rather than individual schools, might sell any of the extra games to Raycom-ish parties.

          • bullet says:

            My understanding is that ESPN owns those rights-and sells any it doesn’t want to Raycom.

        • Pat says:

          Here’s a statement from the ACC that I picked up from a KC Newspaper. It verifies that ESPN owns all football and men’s basketball rights.

          “Nothing has changed,” said Amy Yakola, ACC associate commissioner for public Relations and marketing. “There is no inconsistency between the football and men’s basketball rights.”

        • Chrispy says:

          Women’s basketball games can be sold after ESPN makes its selections. Baseball and other non-revenue sports can be sold after ESPN makes its selections. The ACC sold men’s basketball and football Tier 3 rights to ESPN as part of the contract.

  62. texmex says:

    With the contract ESPN gave the ACC, it’s almost as if they’re trying to get FSU in the BIg 12. Maybe they view the FSU/Clemson brands as more valuable in the Big 12 than the ACC.

    • mountainerd says:

      Bingo! From what I’ve gathered from tea-leaf reading, ESPN would rather have the top football brands of the ACC (Clemson, FSU, and possibly Miami) in a football-focused conference (Big 12) and force the ACC to focus on hoops, which is what the Tobacco Road snobs want to do anyway.

      It makes sense for every party involved:

      - FSU and Clemson (and possibly Miami) would stand to make anywhere from $10-15 million (depending on how much they get for tier three rights) more in the Big 12 than in the ACC, and would have better match-ups and better bowl opportunities, especially if the Big 12 ends up with tie-ins to two “BCS” bowls in the new post-season agreement.

      - The ACC could then respond by adding some combination of UConn, Rutgers, and Louisville, effectively squeezing the last breath out of the Big East and thus becoming the undisputed king of Eastern Hoops. UNC and Duke would rejoice and ESPN would shill out a huge hardwood contract that would marginalize their mediocre gridiron rights.

      - Speaking of “the Network,” the driving force behind much of realignment would be happy to have obscenely good options for their Big 12 tier one (Texas vs. FSU, Clemson vs. OU, Miami vs. WVU) to go along with total control of an ACC that’s a stripped-down dynamo of a hoops league.

      The Big 12 is rich, the ACC is back to it’s roots, ESPN is still in control, and the Big East is finally dead: everyone’s a winner!

      • Brian says:


        Your ideas seem a bit far-fetched to me. ESPN just extended the ACC deal until 2026, and losing 2 schools would only allow for a small adjustment. That means overpaying the ACC for 15 years for virtually worthless football. In return, they split the extra profit from the enhanced B12 with Fox and they have to pay the B12 more after just giving them a raise, too. Financially, I have to think ESPN is better served by FSU staying put.

        • mountainerd says:

          @ Brian

          ACC football as a brand is more or less worthless as it stands, at least compared to the other power conferences.

          The worthwhile football programs from a ratings/marketing standpoint are FSU, Clemson, Miami, VPI, and to a lesser extent, GA Tech and NC State. By moving FSU, Clemson, and possibly Miami and/or VPI, to the Big 12, ESPN would still be able to show all the games between those programs, plus have match-ups like OU-FSU, Clemson-Texas, Miami-WVU on a regular basis. Remember, ESPN has tier one rights with the Big 12; they’d be able to get all the games they really want.

          Meanwhile, they’d end up up with a renegotiated ACC deal that would probably be a bit lower than the one currently reported to average $17million per school. If the ACC replaced FSU and Clemson with UConn and Louisville it would obviously be a blow to it’s value as a football conference, but it would make the ACC the most attractive basketball conference ever assembled.

          I know very well that hoops are secondary in all this, but they’re not exactly irrelevant. Assuming that ESPN is about to lose the remnants of the Big East, they may have decided that the best course of action is to add the last salvageable parts of that conference to an ACC that’s refocused on hoops.

          Would an even more football-light/basketball-heavy ACC be worth around $15 million per school to ESPN? I really have no idea. But if they really want FSU to remain in the ACC, then they’ll have to make the new deal a lot sweeter than it’s reported to be. Otherwise, the ‘Noles would be bat-shit crazy NOT to join the Big 12.

          • Brian says:

            The BE offer from ESPN was $3.2M for hoops only versus the $11+M for football schools. The ACC minus all the FB powers would not be worth $15M per year.

          • mountainerd says:

            @ Brian

            Alright, and that $3.2 million was part of the $11 million total for the BE football schools, correct? And the ACC was set to make about $14 million before the additions of Pitt and Syracuse, right? So why is it a huge stretch to believe that ESPN would be willing to pay $15-16 million per school for the ACC, minus it’s football schools and plus 4/5 of the Big East’s best assets, considering that they were willing to pay a total of $25 million per school for the Big East and ACC?

            If this all goes down like I think it might, ESPN will have effectively retained the rights to all the Big East schools it actually wanted without having to pay for the Cincinnati’s, USF’s, and DePauls, etc.

            Plus, in moving WVU, FSU, Clemson, and possibly Miami and/or VPI to the Big 12, they will have maximized the market value of the best football schools of the Big East and ACC by placing them in a superior football conference, which tier one’s value has now been expanded significantly.

            PLUS, they’ll have created a wet dream of a basketball conference by putting Syracuse, UConn, Pitt, and Louisville together with UNC, Duke, Wake, and Maryland.

          • mountainerd says:

            @ Brian

            Alright, and that $3.2 million was part of the $11 million total for the BE football schools, correct? And the ACC was set to make about $14 million before the additions of Pitt and Syracuse, right? So why is it a huge stretch to believe that ESPN would be willing to pay $15-16 million per school for the ACC, minus it’s football schools and plus 4/5 of the Big East’s best assets, considering that they were willing to pay a total of $25 million per school for the Big East and ACC?

            If this all goes down like I think it might, ESPN will have effectively retained the rights to all the Big East schools it actually wanted without having to pay for the Cincinnati’s, USF’s, and DePauls, etc.

            Plus, in moving WVU, FSU, Clemson, and possibly Miami and/or VPI to the Big 12, they will have maximized the market value of the best football schools of the Big East and ACC by placing them in a superior football conference, which tier one’s value has now been expanded significantly.

            PLUS, they’ll have created a wet dream of a basketball conference by putting Syracuse, UConn, Pitt, and Louisville together with UNC, Duke, Wake, and Maryland.

          • vp19 says:

            ESPN can’t force the ACC to take in Louisville, which academically makes WVU look like Cal-Berkeley. And ESPN didn’t put a (figurative) gun to Swofford’s head last year and tell him, “Take Connecticut (the network’s de facto “house” team) or else.”

          • mountainerd says:

            Yeah, heaven forbid the ACC would bring in a school that accepts poor kids from broke public schools. I mean, a sense of egalitarianism in the Tidewater Conference? What an insult!

            I would love to see the snobbery of the ACC continue to hold them back. The Big Ten gets away with it because they actually have the football programs and the CIC swag to back them up. The ACC might be on the verge of losing the programs that have made the conference even close to relevant on the gridiron, and if it happens the Tobacco Road aristocrats will be more worried about replacing them with schools that have high admission standards/high tuition rates.

            Hell, they’re probably still miffed over being forced to let those hilljacks from Blacksburg into their club. That’s cool, the Big 12 will be happy to take whatever gridiron-obssessed schools those worthless aristocrats in Chapel Hill, Durham, and Charlottesville find to be unrefined.

  63. Pat says:

    New FSU article from Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports is below.
    Been checking several message boards and sports web sites and it sounds like the crux of this issue is that FSU wants to start their own network similar to the Texas Longhorn network so they can generate enough money to keep pace with Florida and other SEC schools that they compete with for recruits, etc. Since the ACC gave away all 3rd tier rights for football and basketball FSU doesn’t have much left to offer a network. Not sure jumping to the B12 to start a network is the right decision. I suspect they will regret it in the long run. Plus, being Bevo’s bitch will be far worse than dealing with Swofford and the Carolina schools. My guess is this gets worked out at the ACC meetings in Florida next week.–florida-state-trustee-sparks-firestorm-with-desire-to-join-big-12.html#more-id

    • vp19 says:

      Plus, being Bevo’s bitch will be far worse than dealing with Swofford and the Carolina schools. My guess is this gets worked out at the ACC meetings in Florida next week.

      Yes, but at least Bevo speaks the same language as FSU — football first — something those basketball-oriented people in North Carolina merely pay lip service to. If you’re going to be someone’s slave no matter what, you may as well get more money out of it…something the status quo people don’t seem to understand.

      • acaffrey says:

        Florida State is delusional. Texas only cares about Texas. Texas does not care about football. Texas cares about Texas football. But even that is secondary to caring about the University as a whole.

        All of this Florida State stuff is absurd. They cannot win the ACC. That is not about money, that is about incompetence. An extra $5 million/year is not going to help the football team win.

        More money did not help Clemson beat West Virginia. Or USF, for that matter. It’s just an excuse.

        To date, teams have been moving for stability. Florida State would be the first to move because it cannot accept responsibility for its own mismanagement of its University and its football team.

        • bullet says:

          Schools have moved for various combinations of reasons- stability, money, enhanced competition (primarily in football). Given that the ACC is behind the other 4 conferences in money, all 3 of those apply for FSU. Colorado is the only school who moved primarily for other reasons-connecting with its alumni (although that is indirectly about money).

        • jtower says:

          Aggy most certainly did notmleave the big xii for stability. The wanted unequal revenue sharing which the other schools accepted to keep them happy and in the conference. Had they satayed and signed gor with the other schools mizzou would have atayed and signed and i would be suprised in the big xii sould consider any expansion mcertainly not WVU or TCU. Aggy wanted the football glamour and prestige of SEC SEC SEC.

          • Wes Haggard says:

            jtower, you have no idea of what you speak. Aggies left primarily to be away from from you arrogant horns.

  64. Pat says:

    FSU President issues statement. Dan Wetzel and Dennis Dodd both Tweeting it.
    “Florida State University regrets that misinformation about the provisions of the ACC contract has unnecessarily renewed the controversy and speculation about University’s athletic conference alignment. Florida State respects the views of the Chair of its Board of Trustees that, of course, any university would examine options that would impact university academics, athletics or finances. At the same time, Florida State is not seeking an alternative to the ACC nor are we considering alternatives. Our current commitments remain strong.”

    • Andy says:

      sounds like a civil war over there. President on one side, Board of Trustees and football coach on the other. Strange stuff.

      • Brian says:

        It’s hard to say, because the BOT may not really agree with the guy that shot off his mouth, especially after finding out he was factually wrong. Give it a day or two for the dust to settle and then we’ll see where the BOT stands. The coach doesn’t matter at all in this. Bowden would have had influence, but not Fisher.

    • bullet says:

      Swofford and ACC are spreading a little misinformation about the ACC contract. It may be an average of $17.1 million BUT the $4 million increase doesn’t kick in until 2021. When you look at the present value, that original $15 million may be a little closer:–florida-state-trustee-sparks-firestorm-with-desire-to-join-big-12.html#more-id

      • Steve says:

        One of the newspaper web sites, I forget which one, shows the new contract starting at about $12.5M in the first year after Pitt and Syracuse join with annual increments reaching $23M per year in the final year. The average is $17.1M per year.

        • Bill says:

          I wonder if the new B12 contract is a firm $20M per year from the start? Or, is $20M the average over the life of the contract? In other words, the contract might start at something like $15M per year and escalate to $25M per year in the final year.

          • bullet says:

            It definitely escalates. But the ACC deal appears to be backloaded rather than merely escalating.

          • Brian says:


            I don’t think we have any real evidence that it’s significantly worse than the other deals in that sense. The “standard” deal seems to be about a 7.5% escalator, meaning the value doubles in 14-15 years. I think the writer chose the term backloaded without realizing the deal is fairly standard.

          • bullet says:

            $1 million increase the 1st year is not standard. This deal is an average $4 million more. I believe the Pac 12 and LHN deal both have 3% escalators. Don’t know if it has been disclosed on any other deals. This one would be a 6-8% escalation.

          • Brian says:


            The small bump in year 1 is unusual, but they just signed the old deal. That’s also unusual. It’s still a jump of 9% in a year or so.

            As for escalators, I seem to remember reading fairly recently where a source said 7.5% was typical. Isn’t that about what the B10 deal has been doing in the past few years? 3% would be just above standard inflation, so that seems low since we know rights have been dramatically increasing in value.

          • bullet says:

            I haven’t heard anything about any contracts other than the Pac and LHN. There may (or may not be) be BTN profits driving Big 10 revenue growth, if it is growing at that rate.

            I don’t know what’s typical for media contracts, but in things like leases an inflation escalator (which would be more like 3%) is typical.

          • Brian says:

            I know 3% is more typical in real life, but clearly TV rights grow in value faster than that and both sides know it. I’d guess most of them get 5-6% at least.

          • Nostradamus says:

            It is going to be in the 3-5% range in most deals.

          • Nostradamus says:

            Brian the non BTN (ABC/ESPN plus CBS basketball deal) for the Big Ten grew 5% from 2009-2010 over 2008-2009, and 3.9% from 2008-2009 over 2007-2008. The Big Ten did have a huge spike in overall television revenue last year, but the widely accepted belief on that is that it has to due with BTN profitability. 3-5% is the standard.

      • Nostradamus says:


        I think you might be misreading the article. For starters, Swofford and the ACC haven’t said anything technically. Now obviously someone has spread the $3.6 billion over 15 years and they very well could be affiliated with the ACC, but that is all they’ve said. There is no misinformation there.

        BUT the $4 million increase doesn’t kick in until 2021.
        The more accurate way of phrasing this is the existing 12 ACC schools won’t be making $4 million more than they are now until 2021. If I divide out the $3.6 billion over 15 years assuming 14 teams, you hit the $17 million range per school in 2020-2021. That doesn’t mean they won’t be making more money from the start. Again, they added two teams, and a couple of years to there contract to virtually double the overall pot to split.

        • bullet says:

          The article says that they are only getting $1 million more the 1st year. Its a high escalation rate (6-8%) to take 9 years to get to a $4 million increase over the 2008 contract.

          • bullet says:

            They claim the contract is up from $12.9 average to $17.1, but that is misleading. It is only up about 8-9% in the 1st year ($1 million on $11 or $12 million).

            Just to assume some numbers and show how misleading it can be:
            Assume on the $12.9 million/school contract it started at $9.7 million and escalated at 4%.
            Assume the new 15 year deal starts at $12.8 and escalates at 4% and averages $17.1 million. If you take off the last 4 years, the average is only $15.7 million. And its even lower if you factor in the years already passed. Given how much it escalates, the average before the last 4 years impacts it as well. Using a 6% escalation, you start the revised contract at $11 million and only average $14.9 million excluding those new 4 years.

            So the true gap is almost certainly more than $2.9 million. You really need to look at it year by year.

          • Nostradamus says:

            The article says that they are only getting $1 million more the 1st year.
            I’m not going to take Dan’s word as gospel on this one particularly because on face the numbers don’t make sense.

            Its a high escalation rate (6-8%) to take 9 years to get to a $4 million increase over the 2008 contract.
            Which is why there is something more going on here. ESPN isn’t going to pay an 8% increase annually to the ACC in my opinion. It isn’t a smart business move. It likely cuts into their margins, and it sets a bad precedent for them going forward into future negotiations.

          • Nostradamus says:

            They claim the contract is up from $12.9 average to $17.1, but that is misleading. It is only up about 8-9% in the 1st year ($1 million on $11 or $12 million).
            Who is they here though? Like I said earlier, I think the number that gets leaked is usually we are making $3.6 billion over 15 years and then the reporter infers the average per year. I’ve been on here for long enough for you to know that I don’t think the average values mean much as it tells you nothing about 1) what the conference is actually making this year and 2) where that compares to conference X,Y,Z this year. IMO, those are the more relevant numbers to be looking for and comparing too.

            That said, I don’t see anything misleading on its face about a reporter saying the Big Ten has a $100 million a year contract for 10 years or an average of $9.1 million a year per 11 schools. It is a really simple comparison between conferences.

            So the true gap is almost certainly more than $2.9 million. You really need to look at it year by year.
            Just based off of what Dan has reported, my guess is that in 2014 the ACC contract may contain a large escalator (20 to 25% in 1 year increase) to account for the addition of ‘Cuse and Pitt. That seems to be the most logical way to reconcile what Wetzel has said about only a $1 million increase for next year and the fact that they are going from a $1.86 billion/12 year deal to a $3.6 billion/15 year deal.

    • Brian says:


      I found this tidbit interesting.

      “While you never say never, the Big 12 is not in expansion mode at the moment. That could change in a heartbeat but it’s not FSU that would make expansion desirable to the Big 12, it would be the school’s dance partner.

      Don’t think Clemson, think Virginia Tech.”

      FSU wouldn’t be the big fish, VT would? How so? FSU is a bigger brand, FSU has national titles, FL is more populous, VT doesn’t really control the major VA markets apparently, FL offers better recruiting. The only VT advantage I can think of is the rivalry with WV.

      • Steve says:

        I think Virginia Tech has a big following in Maryland and DC which is a growing, affluent area and pretty good recruiting. Lot’s of eyeballs for TV. Remember when Boise St played them in the Redskins stadium a couple years ago? It was basically a home game for Tech.

        • Brian says:

          I based that off the supposed results of the study done for the SEC when looking to expand. Apparently Vt didn’t carry the major markets in VA as strongly as they would like.

        • Other Mike says:


          Buckeye living in Northern VA here. VT doesn’t have a “big following” here, compared to the followings Big Ten schools have in the midwest. They’re popular-ish. The area is too transient for any of the local schools to dominate, and DC is more of a pro sports town anyway.

          • Other Mike says:

            If UVA had Tech’s football program, that’d be a hell of a candidate for any conference to consider. But Blacksburg is just too damn far away (4 hours from NoVa) to control the DC market.

  65. Bill says:

    Andy Haggard’s term as Chair of BoT at FSU is expiring as of the next board meeting. Not sure if he’s staying on as a trustee.

  66. Bill says:

    Can’t find a single mention of this FSU fiasco anywhere on the ESPN website. LOL
    I wonder if the contract was actually signed, or if they just had a verbal/handshake agreement?

  67. Steve says:

    What a cluster-fuck for FSU !! Was Haggard drunk when he spoke to
    How do idiots like this work their way into prominent positions like BoT Chair?

    • Clusterfuck is exactly how I’d describe these competing FSU statements.

      • zeek says:

        This is a debacle more stupendous than what went on with OU.

        I don’t think I’ve ever seen this much discord within one school playing out like this. You have the BoT Chair and Coach speaking out on one side, while the Prez and AD are on the other.

        Haggard was clearly a loose cannon as his statements to Warchant over the past 2 years can attest, and now it’s escalated.

        FSU has to figure out what its position is first and get everyone to the same page. This is an all-time embarrassing level of ineptitude for a major university.

        You can’t get 4 people on the same page without having competing statements in both directions?

        • Eric says:

          I don’t know about worse than at Oklahoma or even at A&M. A&M at the top level committed to the Big 12. Fan/alumni reaction was terrible and less than a year later, they are off to the SEC. Oklahoma meanwhile is a superpower who applied for the PAC-12 and fairly publicly got rejected. Granted this is embarrassing, but they’ll be on the same page soon and going for the same objective.

  68. Daniel "Redhawk" Dayton says:

    This site was once great for Conference Realignment stuff. Now it’s so biased that only conference anyone would EVER want to join is the Big 10. Everyone else is happy, happy, happy.

    • I wouldn’t say that at all. Any Big East team should be begging to get into the Big 12. Pretty much any Big 12 school besides Texas would find any of the Big Ten, SEC or Pac-12 more hospitable. Haggard from FSU sounds like a football fan (down to the statement that academics don’t matter) as opposed to someone in charge of the university and the fact that my understanding is that he’s the outgoing chair likely tempers the impact of his statements.

      That’s not to say that there are disgruntled FSU fans and they might push their school to the Big 12 in the same way A&M fans pushed their school away from the Big 12. However, the hook for the moves of Big 12 schools to the Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12 and then Big East schools to the ACC and Big 12 went beyond just TV money – there were stability and prestige factors, as well. A move from the ACC to the Big 12 would be almost *solely* about TV money.

      Once again, that’s not to say that it’s not a critical issue, as I had been trying to tell people to focus upon TV deals years ago when most fans just focused upon geography. However, it’s almost like a 180-degree turn where many fans now believe that getting the largest TV deal is the only consideration for choosing a conference, which I don’t think is the case, either. This isn’t a clear cut case like A&M going to the SEC (no-brainer to me on A&M’s part even if I didn’t initially think the quick timing would allow for the SEC to reciprocate) or a school trying to leave the Big East for the Big 12 or ACC.

      If FSU straight up needs the money, then I can’t blame them for leaving, but this is far from a no-brainer when taking account virtually every other factor (academics, cultural fit, geography, markets, etc.).

      • Elvis says:

        FSU DOES straight up need the money.

        ALL the items that you seem to think should keep FSU in the ACC…..NONE of them allow FSU to avoid major financial issues.

        FSU has had to cut the last two years. If it happens next year, it is cutting a sport. The BBall facility needs major renovation. The president who wants to stay in the ACC (so he can rub elbows with academic super stars) said as much in the paper a few weeks ago.

        Start with this….can FSU balance it’s budget in the ACC? The answer is no.

        FSU just sent a mass email to boosters two days ago begging for money.

        This is all BEFORE SEC and other conferences started raking in the big bucks and driving up salaries, better facilities, etc.

        What is FSU supposed to do that makes it reasonable to stay in the ACC? Beyond cut 3-5 sports of the 19/20 FSU has, and simply removing the ability to hold onto any coach with a darn, I don’t see a way out.

        FSU is a cluster right now….no doubt….but that does NOT change the reality that FSU doesnt’ really have a choice right now and I think you are ignoring that.

        • Brian says:


          “Start with this….can FSU balance it’s budget in the ACC? The answer is no.”

          That’s pure BS. Of course they can balance their budget, and they do every year. They’d prefer to stop taking money from the school to do it, but that’s just poor management. They can cut salaries, teams, travel expenses, recruiting expenses, other expenses (gear, etc), or raise revenue via ticket prices or concessions or student fees or increased donations or many other things. They have chosen not to do those things so far. That’s very different from being unable to balance the budget.

      • Daniel "Redhawk" Dayton says:

        Other Factors:
        1 academics? Really? does being in a conference with Virginia or Duke add one DIME to FSU in any way….at all? Only matters to 2 conferences that share research money
        2) Cultural Fit. Big 12 is FAR closer to a cultural fit for FSU and Clemson then UVA, UNC, and Duke. The Big 12 is looked down on like 2nd class white trash…it’s obvious you see it on this board….that plays great football. Sounds like Big 12 and FSU have that in common.
        3 Geography. Really? you are saying Syracuse, Boston College, Pitt, are a geographical fit to Florida? If Miami and Clemson come with FSU they have 2 of their 3 closest ACC foes coming with them. I don’t see this as any argument at ALL.
        4. Markets. I’m not sure what you are tying to say? That FSU wants to market to Boston HS kids? But not to Texas and Oklahoma kids? How about…using your own argument why Texas to the Pac was great because it married the Texas market to the California market. 2 of the top 3 most populous states and markets. Well, this marries Florida and Texas…2 of the 3 most populous states and markets.

        NOW…throw in the money difference, and it could be HUGE at least $ 7 million dollars a year difference, and if you believe some of the rumors at much as $15 million more, once you add in Tier 3 rights.

        But…again….to you…no one would want to leave the GREAT ACC for the Big 12. Everyone would want to leave the Big 12……

        You (and others) have a HUGE built in bias against the Big 12. Blind to any value the Big 12 would ever have to anyone….ever.

        • frug says:

          1 academics? Really? does being in a conference with Virginia or Duke add one DIME to FSU in any way….at all? Only matters to 2 conferences that share research money…
          Everyone would want to leave the Big 12…

          Again you are the one on this board who screaming for weeks that OU to the PAC was a “done deal” and that the promise of AAU membership within a decade was the thing that sealed it. Sounds to me like you were admitting that

          A) People did want to leave the Big XII
          B) Academics to matter

          I have absolutely no bias against the Big XII (both my parents went to OSU and grew up in Tulsa where virtually all my extended family still lives) and I can say that given the option any Big XII school outside of Texas and perhaps Oklahoma would accept an invitation to the PAC, SEC or Big 10. Now the grant of rights makes that impossible but that was signed specifically because it was the only way to guarantee that no one would leave.

          (You can check my lower post regarding schools that would jump at the chance to join the Big XII and there are a lot of them)

          • frug says:

            I meant that I grew up in Tulsa. My was from Tulsa (but went to Jenks schools). Dad was from the NW originally but moved there when he was in middle school.

          • bullet says:

            Given that Texas and OU wouldn’t leave, there’s not a school in the Big 12 who would leave for the Pac 12 and only WVU would prefer to be in the SEC. And the Big 12 South schools would much prefer being with Texas and OU than Big 10 schools. The GOR is about locking in Texas and OU.

          • Daniel "Redhawk" Dayton says:

            Here’s what I wrote:
            1 academics? Really? does being in a conference with Virginia or Duke add one DIME to FSU in any way….at all? Only matters to 2 conferences that share research money

            Those 2 conferences are the Big 10 (CIC) and the PAC. Academics do matter for a school if they are joining those 2 conferences, cause it can mean more money for a school on the academic side. But NOT the ACC

          • frug says:

            The PAC does not share research dollars. The only conferences with a research consortium are the Big 10 and (you guessed it) the ACC who is currently setting one up at the suggestion of Miami’s president who used to be at Wisconsin.

          • frug says:


            You can’t really think that Iowa St., Kansas and K-State wouldn’t jump at the chance to join the Big 10 could you? They have far more in common with them and they wouldn’t be treated as second class citizens for the first time in history (even though the GOR and equal conference distributions keep them from being bullied they still aren’t treated well by the other schools).

            That said, the reasons that any other school would jump are the same reasons that Missouri did

            1) They would make more money
            2) They would be assured of a permanent home.

            The other 9 schools had already signed off on a GOR but Mizzou left because they knew once it expired they wouldn’t be guaranteed a spot in top conference. The Big 10, PAC and SEC are always going to be around, the Big XII may not. OU and Texas are the only Big XII schools that would assured of a spot in a major conference if the Big XII collapsed after the GOR expired and that is why every other school would move to one of the “Big Three” if they could.

            (The fact that the pay is doesn’t hurt either)

          • Mack says:

            Yes, AAU members IaSt and KS will accept a B1G invitation, not so sure about SEC or PAC. These schools and KS St are a net negative to all of these conferences, so if MO did not make the cut for the B1G it is not happening for these schools. They are also not about to block any expansion agreed to by TX, OK, WV, etc. If they tried, they would become the next Idaho’s.
            Idaho was a member of the pre-PAC PCC, but when the 8 powers dissolved the conference they were not invited to the new PAC-8 conference that was immediately created. Now Idaho is an orphan in the WAC and will probably wind up in FCS. Ia.St. will not let the same thing happen to it.

          • bullet says:

            I said the Big 12 SOUTH schools would rather be with UT and OU. Of course, KU, KSU and ISU would jump at joining the Big 10. But only Kansas has a snowball’s chance of ever being invited.

          • frug says:


            Yeah, I misinterpreted what you wrote, but I standby statement. Absent a GOR the only schools guaranteed spots in a major conference are UT and OU and that is why the rest would leave for the PAC, Big 10 or SEC given the chance.

        • Brian says:

          “But…again….to you…no one would want to leave the GREAT ACC for the Big 12. Everyone would want to leave the Big 12……

          You (and others) have a HUGE built in bias against the Big 12. Blind to any value the Big 12 would ever have to anyone….ever.”

          Do you need a tissue after that pity party you threw for yourself?

        • metatron5369 says:

          Right, and the fact that the Big XII had four major defections had nothing to do with it. Or the fact they’re entirely reliant on Bevo’s good graces to keep them together.

          You want us to pretend the Big XII is a happening place to be when you yourself wanted out desperately not but a year ago.

    • frug says:

      No one ever said FSU, Clemson et. al were happy, just that they are unlikely to be unhappy enough to change conferences.

      Anyways, every Big East football member would accept an invitation to any other AQ conference as would any non-AQ outside of perhaps BYU and the service academies.

      If the blog as any bias towards realignment it is towards the status quo and generally believes that inertia is the natural order, a belief fueled in part by being stung by the way big deals that looked like sure things fall apart at the last minute (and lest you forget it was you that repeatedly stated on this blog that OU to the PAC was a “done deal”)

    • GreatLakeState says:

      I think its pretty much a consensus that unless Notre Dame joins the B1G, it will stand pat.
      As a result we spend most of our time talking about every conference BUT the B1G. The titles of his last ten posts bear this out. It is simply not accurate to claim this is a Big Ten ‘homer’ site.

      • Playoffs Now says:

        I think its pretty much a consensus that unless Notre Dame joins the B1G, it will stand pat.

        Um, yeah, and the last ‘pretty much a consensus’ around here was that FSU and every other ACC wouldn’t even consider joining the B12 slum.

        Betcha B1G ends up with 4 of GT-Duke-NC-VA-MD-Rutgers. Maybe even pursues FSU or Miami.

        • frug says:

          There was never even close to a consensus that no ACC schools would jump to the Big XII (at least after the Big XII signed its grant of rights and got a new TV deal). There was a consensus it was unlikely (and even with all that has gone on today it still is) but no one ever said wouldn’t happen.

          That said, there is a consensus the Big 10 won’t go to 16 without ND because they won’t. Eventually Notre Dame is going to have no choice but to join a conference and until that happens the Big 10 will always leave them a seat at the table.

        • GreatLakeState says:

          Not without Notre Dame they won’t. With that said, I believe ND will join and when all the dust settles ND, North Carolina, Duke and Virginia will end up there as well (unless ND demands to choose their partner).

  69. Playoffs Now says:

    I realize there is a desperate desire by some for this to be just a crazy outgoing BOT stirring up crap, since otherwise it kills a big part of their worldview. But if what Wetzel writes is true, the ACC may be in real danger of crumbling. Stable conferences usually don’t crumble at the first crisis.–florida-state-trustee-sparks-firestorm-with-desire-to-join-big-12.html;_ylt=AqbhxMYKJFDfTTK34wMIDF8LcykA;_ylu=X3oDMTFsYmxwdDFlBG1pdANCbG9nIEluZGV4IGJ5IEF1dGhvcgRwb3MDMQRzZWMDTWVkaWFCbG9nSW5kZXhUZW1w;_ylg=X3oDMTFrODdzYXZuBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANhdXRob3IEcHQDc2VjdGlvbnM-;_ylv=3

    …The reality was bad, however. The initial bump in television revenue is actually just over $1 million a year, sources said, and a total in the $12 million range next season. The deal is back loaded so the bigger money comes in escalator provisions that, considering how broadcast rights keep growing, probably will be below market by the time any sizeable gains are realized.

    That additional $4 million per school, per year? That won’t come until 2021, nine years in, sources said.

    Privately, almost everyone was troubled by the deal.

    Furthermore, there was consternation over the length of the deal, which could favor ESPN. Some wondered if it wasn’t agreed upon just to save face, the later money making it look like the ACC landed a windfall in today’s dollar.

    The deal is done though. The only option is to further expand to 16 teams and force renegotiations. Unless that means adding Notre Dame (highly unlikely) there is no one available that would improve the value of the league…

    • zeek says:

      In all honesty, everyone should be troubled by the deal.

      Why? Because the ACC payouts will be totally obsolete (by a range of at least 7-10M within the next decade) by the end of the contract.

      And the ACC is the most dependent on its top 4-5 schools for its value (FSU, Miami, Va Tech, UNC-Duke basketball).

      You take FSU out of that, and the remainder is not going to be worth anywhere near as much.

      In terms of future valuations, the ACC does have a lot of issues, especially if FSU and Miami don’t figure out how to win big and soon…

      • Steve says:

        Winning is the key. Those contract “look-ins” at 5 and 10 years might have real value if FSU and Miami can start winning.

        • Brian says:

          That’s what amuses me. One big reason the ACC contract is so small is that FSU has failed to return to the top in CFB, and that may drive FSU to leave. So basically, they’re making the rest of the ACC pay for FSU’s lack of success while they’ll get a raise for it.

          • vp19 says:

            Brian, your new coach in Columbus may have been the person most responsible for making ACC expansion fail. Had Urban Meyer not been hired by Gainesville, Florida State and Miami may well have been able to keep up their championship pace, if not for national titles at least top 10 and ACC success. But Meyer made UF the unquestioned “top dog” in the state, giving the Gators the lion’s share of top recruits. Take Meyer out of the equation, and ACC expansion might well have worked.

          • largeR says:

            I have read this blog for hours to see that succinct overview. Thanks.
            Geez, I’m sorry the Rockies lost!

          • Brian says:


            I think you give Meyer too much credit. FSU has always had to fight AL, UGA and UF for recruits in northern FL. Miami started to decline when Larry Coker took over for Butch Davis. He did great until Davis’s players started to graduate and Miami moved to the ACC. Having some actual competition in conference took it’s toll, and as Miami lost games they also lost their mojo (like Tiger Woods in the past year). Miami was 72-11 in the BE and that kept their aura. They are 33-31 in the ACC because teams know they can beat them. FSU also got worse when Miami and VT and then BC joined the ACC.

          • Mack says:

            Like a CEO at a poorly performing company. Make a few comments to the press, put the company in play for a takeover and leave with a big payday. The BoT comment put FSU in play. They probably hope to catch interest from the SEC or B1G. The XII can pay half the ACC buyout for 2 teams since that is about the new TV revenue from the first year of a reinstated CCG, but that may not be enough to get any ACC school to move.

    • frug says:

      The issue regarding extentension of the deal is actually something I felt was underreported. By tacking on an extra four years ESPN cost the league one of the few advantages the original deal gave the ACC; the fact it was only 12 years in length enabling them to get back on the free market much faster than most other conferences.

      • Nostradamus says:

        It sort of is what it is at that point though. The ACC wanted money and ESPN told them we’ll give you money, but you have to tack 3 years onto the deal. The ACC wanted/needed the extra money and had to go with it. It also bolsters the speculation of people on here including Frank, that the networks aren’t just going to roll over on this. ESPN expected and got something in return (the “extension”).

        We’ll see what this ends up meaning in the context of the ongoing SEC negotiations if anything. It is also interesting to contrast this to how the Big Ten handled things last summer where only moderate changes were made to the deal without an apparent extension. For Delany on the back-end of a deal now it likely made more sense to wait and largely ride out the existing contract.

    • Playoffs Now says:

      Another possible bombshell from Wetzel’s article:

      Sources say the ACC has not distributed the contract with ESPN to member schools. It rarely, if ever, does.

      If true that is shocking, from several angles.

      • Nostradamus says:

        Playoffs Now,

        I don’t find that to be a bombshell I guess, nor do I think what the ACC is doing there is particularly out of the ordinary. Typically these deals have confidentiality clauses attached to them. The schools will appoint the commissioner and or consultants to negotiate on their behalf. The negotiator will come back with the relevant terms of the deal and they’ll vote on it. I understand the implication that somehow the schools aren’t seeing the whole picture, but I doubt that is the case.

    • Brian says:

      Playoffs Now,

      “I realize there is a desperate desire by some for this to be just a crazy outgoing BOT stirring up crap, since otherwise it kills a big part of their worldview.”

      You’re crazy. An FSU move would provide months of fodder for Frank’s blog. Very few people here have a vested interest in the ACC or B12.

    • Nostradamus says:

      Wetzel’s whole analysis is a little off here..

      …The reality was bad, however. The initial bump in television revenue is actually just over $1 million a year, sources said, and a total in the $12 million range next season. The deal is back loaded so the bigger money comes in escalator provisions that, considering how broadcast rights keep growing, probably will be below market by the time any sizeable gains are realized.

      Every deal is back loaded. Just taking that quote from Wetzel that Playoffs Now posted makes it look like the ACC committed some mortal sin that no other conference has ever done. When in fact every conference’s contract works exactly the same as what Dan laid out here.

      What we can say for certain is this. The ACC signed a new television deal for 15 years and $3.6 billion over that time period. No, they aren’t going to get $3 million more per school right away. What they are going to get for certain is nearly double the money of their “old” deal while tacking on a couple of extra years.

    • frug says:

      The fact is consolidation of power by the top conferences at the expense of the NCAA, TV networks, smaller conferences and member schools themselves has been the defining trend of the top level of college athletics over the past three and a half decades ever since they cut DI in half in the late ’70s. From the schools wrestling control of their TV rights from the NCAA in the mid-80s, to killing off the independents in the early 90′s and the development of the BCS in late ’90s to limit individual conferences ability to directly deal with the top bowls and create a formal caste system to separate the haves from the have nots every move whether intentional or accidental has served to help concentrate more and more power within a handful of conferences.

      Hell, in the past half decade alone we have seen the PAC and Big 10 create their own TV networks, the PAC and Big XII join the Big 10 in signing GORs that make it impossible for member schools to leave even when they want to, and all the major conferences expand aggressively. The fact is, Larry Scott’s dream has been moving towards reality since a two decades before most current players were born.

      (For the record, this is the same reason why there is no doubt in mind that the other conferences are going to quit dancing around ND and force them to join a conference within the next decade at most. But that is another post)

      • Brian says:

        I think your ND timeframe is too short. I could eventually see ND joining somwhere, but not in 10 or fewer years. Nobody wants to force the independents to do anything, they want to convince them that joining is for their own good. That’s what happened in the 90s, and now you have 2 religious schools and 2 academies (1 has plans to join a league in 2015 but I think that’s still up in the air). Eventually I think the academies can both be convinced to join somewhere, and BYU may struggle as an independent with consolidation hitting the west.

        I expect ND to be the last independent left. Unless they stink the next few years, I have to think they’ll still get a decent TV deal for FB in 2015. That means money won’t drive their move. I don’t see the playoff format forcing it either, as there will be some way an independent can get in. That leaves the demise of the BE as the likely driving force. At some point, the other sports may be important enough that ND has to join a conference to protect them. The B10, P12 and SEC wouldn’t take them as a partial member I don’t think. The ACC has said they won’t, but losing FSU and someone else might change that. The B12 has sounded welcoming, but their tune may change a little if nobody else is willing. I think that ND would go for a while even after a BE split to see how the new conference worked out before taking the step of last resort, joining a conference in FB.

        • frug says:

          I don’t want to get too much into this because we have discussed it death, but I do take issue with one thing:

          Nobody wants to force the independents to do anything…

          The reality is no one ever wants to force anyone else to do anything unless it benefits them. The SEC had always argued for keeping signing rules a conference issue not a national one right up to the point that they instituted their and rules on oversigning and then muscled it through the NCAA rules committee. The major conferences did the same thing with the stipend issue. They wanted it, no one else did so they used an NCAA process that allowed it despite almost 2/3 of all NCAA schools voting against it.

          I could go on, but the point remains while conferences would certainly prefer persuasion to hostile action they have no trouble resorting to strong armed tactics if they think it will benefit them.

          (All that said, I agree that the 10 years might be a bit to short but I expect that the next few years are going to result in some fundamental changes in college sports that is going to lead the Irish no choice even if the conferences don’t take direct action like banning independents form taking part in the playoffs (though I wouldn’t be shocked at all if they did))

          • Brian says:


            “I don’t want to get too much into this because we have discussed it death, but I do take issue with one thing:

            Nobody wants to force the independents to do anything…

            I should point out I’m not including fans in that statement, because obviously a lot of fans want to see ND get forced into something. Fans don’t really count, though.

            “The reality is no one ever wants to force anyone else to do anything unless it benefits them.”

            It’s more than that. The schools generally don’t like to force things on other schools, because they don’t want things forced on them. There is not enough benefit from eliminating ND as an indie to take all the crap associated with forcing the academies to do something. I’m sure it would go over well for 50% of the impacted schools to be owned by the federal government. Now if the other 3 all join conferences, leaving just ND, I still don’t see any immediate pressure. If I-A also splits into a smaller group after that point, then I could see some pressure based on the new group being 4 or 5 major conferences and everyone wanting a cleaner system by not having anomalies like ND. The problem is, there’s no good justification unless there are only 4 conferences and that seems unlikely right now.

            “The major conferences did the same thing with the stipend issue. They wanted it, no one else did so they used an NCAA process that allowed it despite almost 2/3 of all NCAA schools voting against it.”

            It was optional, not mandatory, so they didn’t force anything. It’s also a little different than everybody telling 4 schools to change something fundamental about their nature for no significant reason. Look at the reaction to the forced removal of Indian mascots, and that at least has a basis (whether you agree with it or not).

            “(All that said, I agree that the 10 years might be a bit to short but I expect that the next few years are going to result in some fundamental changes in college sports that is going to lead the Irish no choice even if the conferences don’t take direct action like banning independents form taking part in the playoffs (though I wouldn’t be shocked at all if they did))”

            I tend to expect few structural changes in the first few years of the new postseason, especially after everyone gets on their new TV deals.

    • Brian says:


      I think you mischaracterized what Dodd was saying. He said their would only be 4 true power conferences in FB if FSU and VT went to the B12, not that the ACC would disappear or ND would be forced to join somewhere. The point was a 4 team playoff of just champs becomes easier if there are only 4 power conferences, not that there would be only 4 superconferences.

  70. Andy says:

    re: FSU’s presidents comments tonight:

    “Missouri, which also held a news conference Thursday, said it will remain a member of the Big 12. Chancellor Brady Deaton said Missouri is committed to the league.”

    • Andy says:

      My point is when Missouri was in the process making a move, their leaders said exactly what FSU’s leaders are saying. The difference is that while members of Missouri’s board of curators were doing some talking behind the scenes and if you were tuned in you might pick up on some of it, they certainly weren’t going out and doing interviews with reporters. Sounds like maybe Andy Haggard jumped the gun as far as making public statements, but that doesn’t mean that what he said in the interview isn’t what FSU officials are thinking in general behind the scenes.

  71. Playoffs Now says:

    frug says:
    May 13, 2012 at 12:00 am

    The PAC does not share research dollars. The only conferences with a research consortium are the Big 10 and (you guessed it) the ACC who is currently setting one up at the suggestion of Miami’s president who used to be at Wisconsin.

    The B12 is also planning to set up a CIC equivalent.

    Say it ends up being a B16, the additions being Miami, FSU, G. Tech, Clemson, Maryland, and Notre Dame (whether fb or not.) Is that really an academic slum? 5 AAU schools, Miami, Baylor, TCU, and Notre Dame have excellent reputations academically, OU, Clemson, and FSU are good schools within the top 110 and climbing, with only Texas Tech, K. St, Okie St, and WVU bringing up the rear. That’s not that different a range than the P12′s, which has big disparity between its top and bottom.

  72. If Big 12 can get FSU and Louisville (this is a big enough bomb, IMO, no need to swipe mulitple ACC schools all at once)…
    who does the ACC take to get back to 14?
    Do they go for 3 Big East schools and go all the way to 16?

    One school…UConn should be the no-brainer choice…but BC blocked that once, didn’t they? Rutgers actually has a bit more football cache (and a bigger overall TV market, even if they don’t have the national name recognition of a UConn.

    Three schools…after UConn and Rutgers, who knows? Cincy seems like a distant third to me, and I don’t think ND would want to join the Big East 2.0 (ACC) with its lucrative football assets in hand.

    • vp19 says:

      The lawsuit Connecticut’s ambulance-chasing attorney general filed nearly a decade ago, and Jim Calhoun’s rather underhanded recruiting, hasn’t won UConn many friends in the ACC. If only one new member was needed, it would likely be Rutgers. For a No. 3 choice, don’t rule out Temple. It’s academically a better institution than Cincinnati, has a large, somewhat untapped market, and is probably a bit undervalued, particularly for basketball.

      • bullet says:

        Louisville’s basketball might be enough to get them considered.

      • But remember how ESPN controls this thing…and HQ for ESPN is UConn. I know bball is just a drop in the bucket compared with football money…but Rutgers doesn’t have much more of a draw in football than UConn. Rutgers DOES have a foot in the door of a larger market though…so I’ll never count Rutgers out.

        I will count out Temple though. No way.

  73. Hopkins Horn says:

    Hi all, quick drop-bye (boy, it’s fun being the hunter and not the hunted, no?).

    A quick thought I had last night . . . even though this completely violates a rule I like to rigidly enforce at BON.

    For fun, let’s assume that this FSU-to-the-Big-12 thingie has legs. (I was completely dismissive of the possibility until the last day or so, but there is definitely some smoke out there right now.) Would the existence of a conference with Texas, Oklahoma AND Florida State finally be incentive enough for a certain school whose name I don’t mention in realignment rumors, in an era of an expanding playoff (I’m still unclear how this cuts for that certain school) and a disintegrating Big East (I don’t that that certain school signed up for parking its Olympic sports in a conference in order to play Navy in soccer and Houston in swimming), to finally make a move into a conference.

    A quick search of this thread revealed a number of people speculating that that certain school could still be targeted by the ACC even if FSU (and a second school — VT?) left, but why would that certain school even consider a conference which will have been weakened considerably in football if it hadn’t gone that way already?

    Or, playing complete fantasy now, since I’ve also seen a “Miami wanting to tag along with FSU” tweet from a credible reporter . . . what if the addition of both FSU and Miami to the Big 12 were enough to get both of the religious-based independent powerhouses to join the Big 14 in tandem as well?

    If nothing else, this is a very healthy reminder that discussions of adding Louisville just ’cause are not particularly helpful.

    (And I realize that supporters of that certain school will likely chime in to say how ridiculous to speculate on that certain school joining a conference. I admit that’s still the most likely outcome. However, if it were ever to consider joining one, a special storm of unique circumstances might be developing now.)

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      A related thought: if there’s a conference which thinks it has a snowball’s chance in hell of luring that certain school into its grasp in the near future, that conference should be the one leading the charge for a “conference champs only” playoff structure, no?

      • bullet says:

        Maybe FSU/Clemson leaving makes the ACC a more attractive place to Notre Dame. There would be a higher % of privates, along with schools like UNC and UVA. And they might be willing to bend a little after having already lost FSU/Clemson. And ND might be enough to get the ACC back even with the other 4.

        There are rumours that the bb schools are ready to give up on the Big East if they lose anyone else (i.e. UConn or Louisville). The ACC could tell ND that they are going to replace FSU/Clemson with two Big East schools. That could force ND to make a choice. ND could be in a north division with BC, SU, Pitt, MD, VT and perhaps Rutgers. South would be UVA, 4 Carolina schools, GT and Miami. Their only other options would be the Big 10 full membership or talking the Big 12 into a partial membership or full membership there.

        • jokewood says:

          I wonder if the ACC would change their views on Notre Dame partial membership should they lose Florida State and one or both of Clemson/Miami. It’s easier to a talk about the value of equality when you’re a growing rather than a shrinking conference.

      • frug says:

        Well I have been criticized for this in the past but I have always thought that the playoff debate would be the perfect chance for the Big 10 to pull a power play if they wanted to. That said, I still can’t imagine why He Who Shall Not Be Named would have any interest in the Big XII even if they add a couple ACC schools. No one outside of Deloss Dodds has ever shown any interest in offer ND partial membership and the rest of the schools don’t want to set a precedant that could allow Texas (and possibly Oklahoma) to go independent in FB (and the GOR means that they would have no reason to take HWSNBN as a defensive move since the conference can’t be raided anyways).

        As for full membership? Just don’t see what the Big XII has to offer that is superior to the Big 10 (and maybe even the ACC). I guess games in the Southeast and Southwest would help preserve their “national” appeal, but it would make it harder to preserve historic rivalries and I don’t see that school in South Bend having any desire to take trips to Lubbock, Waco, Manhattan, KS and Ames (and to be honest they probably wouldn’t be thrilled with going to Stillwater and Morganstown)

        • bullet says:

          The ACC offers more schools like Notre Dame and smaller publics. The Big 12 offers something other than the midwest and more schools that are more like Notre Dame in size as well as control of Tier 3. The Big 10 offers Northwestern and a bunch of schools like Michigan and Illinois, enormous state universities (Big 12 really only has 1 now that A&M has left, although some are getting there). I know Syracuse, for one, was concerned about being swallowed up if they were ever to go to the Big 10. One of their past presidents was asked a hypothetical about BE, ACC and Big 10 (doesn’t mean SU would necessarily have selected ACC over Big 10 if they had a choice, but ND has more options and resources).

          • PSUGuy says:

            Bah, had a nice response then something dorked it up and deleted. IN the end, you simply get this:


          • PSUGuy, I’m sure it was great. :)

            To further your point, not only do Catholics make up a larger portion of the population in the northeast and upper midwest, those areas are more densely populated than just about any area of the country other than the western edge of California. I will NEVER buy any theories of Notre Dame going to the Catholic-sparse and people-sparse midwest/southwest. Ever. And according to your map, they aren’t really doing themselves any favors by going to the ACC. Their population base is Big Ten and Big East, all the way.

          • bullet says:

            They play their home games in the midwest. The ACC stretches into the northeast. Notre Dame has played as many as 5 Big 10 teams. Now its never more than 3 and sometimes 2. They have been decreasing their midwest presence. Where Catholics are is not their only motivation.

    • zeek says:

      The thing is, Notre Dame is Notre Dame.

      Their thought processes are different from everyone else. They want a far flung schedule with an emphasis on the coasts.

      That’s why I guess they may not really care whether FSU and/or Clemson leave the ACC if they have to join a conference.

      It’s pretty clear that money isn’t going to be a major consideration, and they probably think that they have enough of a spotlight that it doesn’t matter where they go…

      But there’s no question that if the Big 12 pulled FSU and/or Miami/Clemson (or whoever), it’d create a really interesting situation with respect to the future of Notre Dame and the ACC schools in general.

      • cutter says:

        What exactly is a far flung schedule for Notre Dame with emphasis on the coasts?

        Let’s look at last year’s schedule and see where Notre Dame actually played its games. Here’s the list:

        South Bend, Indiana – 6 (South Florida, Michigan State, Air Force, USC, Navy, Boston College)
        West Lafayette, Indiana – 1 (At Purdue)
        Ann Arbor, Michigan – 1 (At Michigan)
        Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – 1 (At Pittsburgh)
        Landover, Maryland – 1 (At Maryland)
        Winston-Salem, North Carolina – 1 (At Wake Forest)
        Stanford, California – 1 (At Stanford)

        Eight of these games were played in Indiana and Michigan with the ninth in eastern Pennsylvania. Perhaps three of these games could be categorized as actually being played on the coasts (at Maryland, at Wake Forest, at Stanford).

        Now if you look at where their opponents are actually located, you get a different picture:

        Indiana/Michigan/Eastern Pennsylvania – 4 (Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State, Pittsburgh)
        Atlantic Coast – 5 (South Florida, Boston College, Maryland, Navy, Wake Forest)
        Pacific Coast – 2 (Stanford, USC)
        Other – 1 (Air Force)

        Finally, of course, you can look at the conferences:

        Big Ten – 3 (Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue)
        ACC – 3 (Maryland, Wake Forest, Boston College)
        Big East – 2 (South Florida, Pittsburgh)
        Pac 12 – 2 (USC, Stanford)
        MWC/Academy/Indep – 2 (Air Force, Navy)

        There are seven programs on the schedule that are located on the east and west coasts of the United States with the other five being elsewhere. Could Notre Dame emulate that by becoming part of a 14 or 16-team ACC or Big Ten Conference?

        ACC: Notre Dame wouldn’t have any problem getting its share of game with opponents up and down the Atlantic seaboard (or among former Big East programs). The ACC is adopted a nine-game conference schedule, so that shouldn’t be a problem. That status of Florida State (and possibly Miami) could undermine ND’s possible exposure in that state, however.

        With a three game non-conference schedule, ND could keep its series with USC in order to have a presence on the West Coast. The future of the series with Navy as an OOC game may be in question, however, as Notre Dame may perfer to play program in other geographic areas in order to stay closer to its scheduling strategy as an independent.

        Big Ten: Would a 14-team Big Ten keep an eight-game conference schedule like the SEC is attempting to do? If yes, would the B10 keep its scheduling agreement with the P12 starting in 2012? Assuming the answers are yes and that Notre Dame’s membership in the Big Ten would include a team currently in the Big East (Rutgers) or ACC (Maryland), then what would Notre Dame be looking at in terms of schedule?

        Assuming ND keeps its series with USC and Navy intact, then at least one game a year will be on the East Coast (either Rutgers/Maryland or Navy) and another game will be played every other year on the West Coast (USC). That leaves Notre Dame a decision to make with its two remaining non-conference games regarding the geography of the opposing teams.

        If Notre Dame opted to play two home-and-home non-conference series each year (USC and one other opponent), then that could best be done with the Big Ten and not the ACC. A combo of non-conference games with Southern Cal and Texas (which is actually taking place in 2015 and in three seasons following) or Alabama or Florida, etc. on top of a Big Ten schedule would be pretty attractive.

        The summary to all this is that Notre Dame would probably have less geographic diversity in the teams it played regardless of conference, although the ACC with teams spanning from upper New York to Miami would probably be more attractive than the Big Ten going from Lincoln, Nebraska to a solitary team on the East Coast.

        OTOH, having nine conference games vs. possible eight in the Big Ten gives the B10 a bit of an advantage. There’s also the question of which conference offers more high profile opponents for Notre Dame to possibly play in conference or in a conference championship game. IMHO, the Big Ten with Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Nebraska as traditional powers with a strong Wisconsin program in the mix would trump the ACC with Miami, Florida State and Virginia Tech.

        The other question to consider is bowl games–which conference has a better line up for bowl matchups? Does the Rose trump the Orange? How about the other bowl games? I suspect the Big Ten would do better on that measure as well.

        In the end, it’s pretty clear Notre Dame wants to remain independent in football and I trust the ND leadership will continue to keep to that path for as long as possible. But in terms of scheduling and joining a conference, they may have to set aside geography and look at flexibility and the number of available non-conference games, possible conference and conference championship game opponents plus the desirability of the possible bowl matchups instead.

    • Brian says:

      Hopkins Horn,

      “For fun, let’s assume that this FSU-to-the-Big-12 thingie has legs. (I was completely dismissive of the possibility until the last day or so, but there is definitely some smoke out there right now.) Would the existence of a conference with Texas, Oklahoma AND Florida State finally be incentive enough for a certain school whose name I don’t mention in realignment rumors, in an era of an expanding playoff (I’m still unclear how this cuts for that certain school) and a disintegrating Big East (I don’t that that certain school signed up for parking its Olympic sports in a conference in order to play Navy in soccer and Houston in swimming), to finally make a move into a conference.”

      Why would 2 kings and a prince ND rarely plays (UT, OU and FSU) be sufficient if 1 rival king, 3 other kings, a rival prince and a rival peasant (OSU, MI, PSU, NE, MSU and PU) aren’t?

      I think it will take I-A splitting into a smaller group of true power teams AND those teams forming just 4 conferences to force ND’s hand. If the BE splits, the B12 will take ND’s other teams and the ACC might take them too if they’ve lost FSU (essentially becoming the new BE). If and only if there is a 4 team playoff and only 4 conferences left in the top group will ND finally be forced to join a conference because it will become a champs-only system. Otherwise, it’ll take TV refusing to give them a big enough deal to suit their ego. If more than 4 teams make the playoff, ND will still have access most likely.

      • Frug says:

        Why in the world would the Big XII agree to be ND’s parking lot? They won’t agree to anything that would set a precedent for Texas and possibly OU to go Indy in FB, and with the GOR they have no reason to take the Irish as a defensive move. (plus adding Notre Dame as a non-FB member would require a reworking of the GOR and NOBODY is going to agree to that)

        A weakened ACC is somewhat more likely but they turned the Irish down in 2003 and Texas last year.

        • Brian says:


          “Why in the world would the Big XII agree to be ND’s parking lot?”

          As a foot in the door for getting ND football if/when they fell compelled to join a conference.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Agreed, but I believe it’s only getting a foot in the servant’s quarters door.

          • Frug says:

            They will add ND’s non-FB sports because it might marginally increase the conference’s chances of someday adding ND’s FB program at some indefinite point in the future even though there is no gaurantee that day will ever come and even if it does there is gaurantee the Irish would join the Big XII?

            Don’t think so.

          • Frug says:

            *… there is NO gaurantee they would join the Big XII.

          • Brian says:

            If the money is right, they’ll do it. Especially if they get 1-2 ND football games per year for it. Any chance of adding ND football in the future is a bonus.

          • Frug says:

            “If the money is right…”

            You do realize that ND’s non-FB sports are basically worthless ( there MBB team loses $4 million a year) which is why the Big 10 and ACC (ND’s most likely future conference mates) have never been willing to deal with them. Also trusting Notre Dame to live up to its football commitments is just dumb. Back in 2003 Notre Dame pledged to play 3+ Big East teams a year and has never done so.

            Of course all this irrelevant since the will NEVER alter their GOR.

          • Brian says:


            “You do realize that ND’s non-FB sports are basically worthless”

            Yes and no. Most non-FB teams are worthless. As long as the current schools don’t lose much money by adding ND, they won’t mind adding them. ND will get more hoops coverage than they deserve, which helps. There will be many sports that don’t overlap, probably.

            “( there MBB team loses $4 million a year) which is why the Big 10 and ACC (ND’s most likely future conference mates) have never been willing to deal with them.”

            That has nothing to do with why the B10 won’t deal with them, in my opinion. The B10 believes in equality and wouldn’t allow 1 school to be that special. The ACC also has too much ego to treat ND that specially.

            “Also trusting Notre Dame to live up to its football commitments is just dumb. Back in 2003 Notre Dame pledged to play 3+ Big East teams a year and has never done so.”

            No, treating an oral commitment as binding is dumb. Get it in writing. It’s true in recruiting and also in business.

      • Brian, I’m convinced that no one will/can force ND into a conference. I’m not sure anyone would want to (meaning, who would want to force ND into a rival conference’s bed?).

        ND though may join a conference when it falls behind significantly in the dollar column. It’s been long-established that Purdue and Indiana currently make far more per year than Notre Dame does. What happens to that number in 2015 when the Big Ten gets its new deal? I know ND is due to get more as well (someone WILL pay, I’m sure). But at some point, the money could be so inferior that they must join the Big Ten, for their own fiscal good. No crazy amount of donor dollars will be able to make up the difference, either.

    • wmtiger says:

      ND wants to play games in California, near New York and games against a few midwest rivals…

      Big XII doesn’t offer that, ACC really doesn’t either and the B10 schedule makes it difficult as well. ND is going to stay independent unless they are nearly forced into a conference by the possible playoff proposals.

  74. Wes Haggard says:
    Article raises a good question or three. Would the SEC sit by and let the Big12 take FSU and Virginia Tech? Would the SEC jump to dismember the ACC by taking two very good football schools. Would the B1G jumpin with both feet? Maybe take FSU, Georgia Tech and Miami for a geographic southern pod and take Notre Dame to go with them? Or maybe look further North and decimate the Big East by taking UConn and Rutgers to leave Nortre Dame with no place to go and cherry pick Maryland from a weakened ACC? Would the leftovers still intrigue the Big 12? Left overs would not be too shabby (Pitt, NC, NC State, Virginia, Clemson, Syracuse, Duke, Wake, BC) and there would be no more squabbles about inviting the champs of the still standing conferences to the playoffs. Interesting possibility the chance that this would be a natural selection to solve all questions for the MAJOR players.
    May 13th, 2012 01:17 from Mr SEC
    For months, we’ve blown off the rumors of Florida State and Clemson jumping to the Big 12. When it was reported in the last week that a secret deal was already in place for the Noles and Tigers to move, we scoffed. Most any journalist who actually signs his name to his work did. Oh, at the time we gave it the standard, “Never say never,” (now you see why) and we admitted that ADs and presidents often lie.
    But we at spoke to sources at SEC schools who thought realignment was slowing down, not speeding up. We spoke with officials from two ACC schools who we have connections to and they both thought the talk of FSU/Clemson to the Big 12 was absolutely bonkers. ESPN had just cooked up new television deals for both those leagues. Why would they do that if they thought all that work could soon go up in smoke? Even — the Rivals site that covers Texas — had repeatedly called the idea a “longshot” and like, oh, so many others had said there had been no contact between Big 12 officials and the folks from Florida State and Clemson.

    Add to this 20 years of Florida State officials talking about how partnering with ACC schools had helped their own academic image and it was hard to imagine the FSU administration backtracking. Plus, the commissioners of all the conferences are currently working on what’s expected to be a new postseason playoff plan. Seems like it would be difficult to agree on a plan if you don’t even know who’ll be playing where in a couple of years.

    So we were inclined to buy it — for once — when FSU athletic director Randy Spetman said this on Friday:

    “We’re in the ACC. We’re committed to the ACC. That’s where our president and the board of trustees has committed to, so we’re great partners in the ACC.”

    Well, uh, no. At least that’s not the case according to the outgoing chairman of Florida State’s board of trustees, Andy Haggard. On Saturday, he completely cut the legs out from under his school’s athletic director, the Atlantic Coast Conference, and ACC/FSU television partner, ESPN. Hell, Haggard sawed through more legs than a Civil War doctor. His barrage against his own league and — by default — his own athletic director was epic.

    He was ticked that the ACC gave away its Tier 3 rights for football to ESPN while holding on to its basketball rights:

    “It’s mind-boggling and shocking. How can the ACC give up third tier rights for football but keep them for basketball?… It continues the perception that the ACC favors the North Carolina schools.”

    (Remember that part. It’s important.)

    As for the long-held argument made time and again by the “Knowledge is Good” crowd in Tallahassee that ACC + FSU = Win, Haggard scoffed:

    “No FSU graduate puts on his resume or interviews for a job saying they are in the same conference as Duke and Virginia. Conference affiliation really has no impact on academics.”

    And then he dropped the bomb that yes indeedy he wants Florida State to start talking to the Big 12:

    “How do you not look into that option? On behalf of the Board of Trustees I can say that unanimously we would be in favor of seeing what the Big 12 might have to offer. We have to do what is in Florida State’s best interest… With the SEC making the kind of money it does it’s time to act. You can’t sit back and be content in the ACC. This is a different time financially. This isn’t 10-15 years ago when money was rolling in.”

    “On behalf of the Board of Trustees I can say that unanimously.” Really?

    Boom. (And we ain’t talkin’ Will Muschamp.)

    We’ll break this down from a few different angles below, but that’s just an amazing interview for Haggard to have given — the Rivals site covering FSU — just one day after his own school’s athletic director had said the complete and total opposite. We know — we’ve written it — ADs lie. You can call it spinning if you like, but technically, they lie. Often. Still, they’re usually not outed within 24 hours by their own top trustee.

    Just remarkable.

    Even more amazing? Seminoles football coach Jimbo Fisher — who sources had pegged as a pro-ACC guy — told The Orlando Sentinal post-Haggard’s rant:

    “There have been no official talks, but I think you always have to look out there to see what’s best for Florida State. If that [jumping to the Big 12] is what’s best for Florida State,then that’s what we need to do.”

    If Haggard dropped Fat Man, Fisher unloaded Little Boy. Both fell right into the laps of Spetman and the ACC.

    Some thoughts:

    It seems the tail’s been wagging the dog at FSU

    You would think Haggard would be pretty clued in to the ACC/ESPN television contract. He’s FSU’s top trustee until his term ends — reportedly — at the next board meeting. But like so many others in the last few days, he was actually all wrong regarding those hotly-debated Tier 3 rights.

    Jim Lamar of The Tallahassee Democrat reports that ACC assistant commissioner Michael Kelly said Saturday that all ACC schools have the exact same Tier 3 rights. Moreover, all the men’s basketball and football games go to ESPN. Now, that won’t put any more cash in FSU’s coffers, but the idea of the basketball schools being given an advantage? Unless Kelly is lying — and the contracts would be pretty hard to forge — Haggard was 100% off base on that front.

    Which makes this writer wonder just how connected to this process he’s been. Could that be the source of his anger? Is this an Arab Spring type of moment we’re witnessing, driven by rumors, exaggerations, anonymous blogs and social media?

    Think about it: The ACC cuts a deal with ESPN. One blog drives the story that FSU and the Big 12 are talking. Somebody floats their rage over the Tier 3 rights on a messageboard or two. It hits Twitter. An outgoing, left-out (and possibly angry about it) Haggard sees all this and decides to do a number on his own AD and ESPN because he believes what he sees in the blogosphere, the messageboards and Twitter. But then it turns out that a good part of his spiel is based on faulty information. ”They’re favoring the North Carolina schools!” Uh, no, actually they’re not.

    Additionally, FSU reportedly made all of a whopping $350,000 last year on its Tier 3 rights. In other words, it’s not like the new deal with ESPN is really going to cost the Florida State a whole lot of cabbage. It wasn’t making it under the old deal, either.

    Trouble is — the damage is already done.

    What can the ACC say now?

    Nothing. There is no way back from what Haggard’s done. Perhaps as an attorney and uber-booster he knew all along he could drive FSU to the Big 12 by simply opening his mouth. Trustees at Missouri forced chancellor Brady Deaton’s hand last year. Key boosters and trustees led the charge for Texas A&M to join the SEC, too.

    The ACC has already come out to declare that the deal is even-Steven for everyone. They’ve said the perception of uneven Tier 3 rights is “totally inaccurate”. Kelly also said, “There is no change in fundamental rights at this time. ESPN does have the rights to all of our football and all of our men’s basketball games. There is no opportunity for our conference or our schools to produce games beyond that in those two sports.”

    So it’s the exact same deal ESPN and the ACC had put together years ago. They just extended it.

    Some FSU fans won’t care, though (and that number grows every time a guy like Haggard spreads inaccurate information about the deal that was cut). The deal may be even, but it’s still worth $3 million less per year than what other schools in other conferences are making. Nevermind the fact that if the Seminoles had been winning as much as the ACC expected when it brought them in, the league’s contract would’ve probably paid a whole lot better.

    Ironically, the ACC’s spring meetings begin today in Amelia Island, Florida. Oh, that should be a fun event. Especially for Spetman, who thanks to Haggard, will arrive without the use of this testicles.

    What can Spetman do?

    Call Bill Byrne at Texas A&M, perhaps? Call a realtor?

    Spetman’s been emasculated by his school’s top money man. Whether he’s the chairman of the board or just Johnny Millions, Haggard will continue to have clout via six-inch sheets of green paper. Lots of ‘em. And clearly he’s not in the same corner as his athletic director when it come to the Atlantic Coast Conference.

    Worse, nothing Spetman says from this point forward can ever be believed again. Literally. He was either a liar regarding FSU’s interest in the Big 12 (and was outed quicker than most lying ADs) or he is just a stooge standing in front of the real power brokers on FSU’s board (which is closer to the truth for most athletic directors, including Spetman).

    He may stay in Tallahassee and Haggard may be discredited as having gone rogue, but Spetman’s credibility is kaput. Dunzo. Finito.

    What can FSU do to save face?

    Florida State president Eric Barron put out a press release Saturday night trying to calm the storm (or cover up whatever’s happening behind the scenes):

    “Florida State University regrets that misinformation about the provisions of the ACC contract has unnecessarily renewed the controversy and speculation about University’s athletic conference alignment. Florida State respects the views of the Chair of its Board of Trustees that, of course, any university would examine options that would impact university academics, athletics or finances. At the same time, Florida State is not seeking an alternative to the ACC nor are we considering alternatives. Our

    • metatron5369 says:

      I feel like the tail is wagging the dog here.

      Even if this was all nothing, it could snowball here now that the greater fanbase realizes something may come of it.

      • metatron5369 says:

        Oh look, that metaphor was already used in the article you quoted.

        Maybe I shouldn’t skim these things.

    • Brian says:

      I think it’s important to note that even Mr. SEC says that academics are, in fact, important to conference alignment and anyone who doesn’t believe that is crazy. They aren’t everything, but they still are an important consideration.

    • rich2 says:

      How much are tier 3 football rights worth to FSU? A quick search shows that FSU has an operating budget of approximately 500million dollars, 300,000 living alums and 40,000 current students. I know very little about FSU as an academic institution — they appear to be very average with very average students – but if they current enjoy an alumni giving rate of
      50%, then doesn’t it mean that if alums care they can cough up $20 apiece to cover any gap in the athletic budget — without cuts to any program. Could current students pay $2 per credit towards a “save
      our athletics program”? Or cut something? It is inconceivable that FSU would align itself with the very middling academics of the Big 12 to gain an extra 3million? Charge 50 cents more for a large diet Coke at football games? Charge $1 more for the “Seminole Souvenir Cup.” To trade affiliation with Duke, WF, GT, Virginia and UNC for OSU, ISU, TT, OU
      and WVU for 3 million or so is academic malpractice. What is the old chestnut — own the smallest house in the most expensive neighborhood — …

  75. Brian says:

    Some clarification on the BE vote to turn down the old ESPN offer:

    “One veteran of the Big East said that the Big East initially approved the ESPN $1.4 billion deal by a 12-4 vote. But while the Big East was going over the final details, ESPN struck a deal with the Pac-12 (a combined $250 million with ESPN and Fox), so the Big East had second thoughts and conducted a new vote. That vote was 16-0 against the deal. ESPN and the Big East have had limited discussions since the Pac-12 deal was announced.”

  76. Brian says:

    Some completely off topic info for those interested in ticket policies and such. OSU is moving to semesters in the fall, so there are some changes coming for football tickets.

    Stadium capacity – 102,329

    Alumni – still get 160,000 single game tickets (equivalent 22,857 season tickets usually)
    Students – reduced to 28,700 season tickets from 30,000
    Faculty/staff – reduced to 13,700 season tickets from 15,000
    Combined – 65,257 (64%)

    $70/game (Season tickets require donation, alumni tickets do not)
    $32/game for students (costs OSU over $7.5M per year)
    No game day tickets available (season tickets sell out the stadium)

    • Eric says:

      Does that mean they are going to start denying students tickets? It was always anyone who order them in the window (sometime in the spring) got them in the past.

      • Brian says:

        If you read it, they are offering students 4 game B10 tickets and the full season. I’m guessing that flexibility allows them to give students what they mostly want and give more OOC seats to alumni.

        That said, the student allotment hasn’t been unlimited for a long time. It’s capped, but it rarely (if ever) is a problem. I have a hard time feeling too bad for students when they get over 1/4 of the stadium at more than half off the face value and will always get a MI ticket. We all know that many students get the tickets and then turn around and resell them for a profit, especially MI tickets.

        • Eric says:

          I know that was an option a lot considered in 2006 (I didn’t though and it was an experience I’ll never forget). It sounds basically the same. It used to be all games that started after fall quarter started counted, which took out the first 3 weeks or so.

          Since so much emphasis is on these being student-athletes (lol), I think the students should be given very preferential treatment. More than $30 a ticket isn’t cheap so I’m OK with them getting s lot even if they sell.

          • Brian says:

            I don’t mind them getting a discount, but I do mind them selling the tickets. They have to pay the difference from face value to convert it to a ticket anyone can use, but it’s just wrong to let random fans of the enemy get student seats and even worse to profit from it.

          • Eric says:

            I’d probably agree 100%, but when tuition comes close to doubling in 4-5 years (it did when I was there), I can understand students taking that as money back.

          • Brian says:

            I don’t buy that excuse because even a scalped MI ticket isn’t going to go all that far. If money is your issue, take out a student loan and/or get a job like thousands of others do. They don’t have to buy tickets if they want to save money. If they want to scalp their seat in Econ 200, more power to them.

  77. Playoffs Now says:

    Did Matt Hayes go to an ACC school? Not sure why he is being such a pouty little bitch on twitter about the FSU story.

  78. Eric says:

    I think the ACC and/or ESPN need to act pretty quickly or this is going to spiral out of their control. The longer this goes on, the more trustees and fans simmering are going to turn to wanting to leave. That became an unstoppable force at Texas A&M and pretty quickly reversed the presidents decision to stay in the Big 12. It also made it almost impossible for Missouri to turn down an SEC offer (not sure they would have, but there was no question by the time they left). ESPN and the ACC need to offer some concession that is going to give Florida State closer to the value of teams in the Big 12 to cool this down soon. Otherwise even if academics win out and they stay, the question will always come up and donors are always going to be pushing.

    • vp19 says:

      I’m frankly not sure this could be rectified by money alone. It’s a cultural matter, a view on Florida State’s (and Clemson’s) part that the ACC is run by a cabal of North Carolinians for whom basketball trumps football, at least where decisions are concerned — something severely out of step with how college athletics is run everywhere else in the country (or at least all conferences based south and west of the Eastern Seaboard/Mid-Atlantic region that comprises the Big East and ACC). The new playoff system almost certainly will further isolate those conferences, sharply reducing their chances for qualifying for berths in the 4-team tournament and relegating Clemson and FSU to permanent second-class status in their SEC-dominant home states.

      Imagine if the Big Ten were run along basketball-centric ACC lines, where Indiana and Purdue were the UNC and Duke of the conference, endowed with disproportionate power over its rivals. That’s essentially what you have here, as I can’t ever imagine the ACC hiring a Scott type (as the Pac has done) to upset the apple cart and take the NC four out of the comfort zone it’s had for nearly six decades, the first two-and-a-half of which it comprises half, or even slightly more than half, of the conference.

      FSU in the ACC may have made sense 20 years ago, when the college athletics landscape was considerably different. It doesn’t anymore.

      • greg says:

        What ACC decisions are basketball-centric? The addition of FSU and Miami? Putting the football title game in FLA? Selling their basketball soul for football?

        • acaffrey says:

          Agreed. What decisions?

          Nothing more than a disgruntled fan base using the ACC leadership as a scapegoat for the failings of its football team.

          Maybe it IS time for Congress to step in and end the absurdity. If these schools are going to make decisions based solely on money, then they should be treated like businesses and lose tax-exempt status.

          It is one thing for schools to seek stability. The Big XII schools that left were legitimately concerned about Texas leaving or going independent. The Big East schools were afraid of collapse. The non-AQ schools were concerned about having any future.

          FSU is just leaving for a few dollars. That is a business decision. Their new revenue should be taxed like a business.

          • bullet says:

            What about the ACC’s extra revenue for adding Pitt and SU? Or the SEC’s if they get any for adding Mizzou and A&M? Or the Big 10′s for adding a school about to get kicked out of AAU?

          • acaffrey says:

            I am talking about the institutions themselves. The conferences are plainly for-profit businesses, IMHO. Only the schools pretend to be about something other than for-profit entities.

            So far, nobody has left just for money. And that is what Florida State would be doing. All of this bullcrap about “basketball culture” is just excuses. Can somebody name an actual anti-football decision? The ACC added Miami and Virginia Tech. Of FSU, Miami, and Virginia Tech, only the Hokies have done squat since then. That’s not the ACC’s fault.

            Syracuse/Pitt have tons of football tradition. If FSU thinks its tough to compete with only $13M, think of how Syracuse/Pitt have had to do it with $3M. 25% of the revenue.

            But the bigger issue is that those teams left the Big East because it was at risk of crumbling. WVU was already talking to the SEC. This was after everyone lifted their skirt in the Big 10′s direction. ND issue was outstanding. The Big XII defectors had the Texas issue–Pac-16 or independent–looming.

            Again… only FSU is leaving for $$$$$$. Once that domino falls, what is to stop the whole thing from imploding. 4 super-conferences leaves too many teams out of the mix to pass muster.

            All for a few million dollars. And all because FSU cannot convert a bunch of 4-star and 5-star players into success on the field.

          • The irony of all of this is that FSU’s basketball team has been performing much better than the football team lately: 4 straight NCAA Tournament appearances and defending ACC Tournament champs.

          • bullet says:

            I don’t know if any of this is true, but I’ve seen several FSU fans post this:
            FSU has asked for bye weeks before TH games but hasn’t gotten them. In some cases their oponent has.
            FSU and Clemson have both gotten difficult conference games scheduled right after difficult ooc games, despite their request for a break.

            In addition, ACC has played TH games for exposure which hurts schools like FSU and Clemson which have high attendance and benefits schools like BC, MD, Wake, Duke and GT and Miami.

            And the conferences are the schools. All the Big 10, ACC and SEC schools are inviting teams from other conferences for more money. So should the schools in those conferences get taxed on that money? In the Big 10′s case, the conference made the 1st move by announcing they were expanding. In the SEC’s case, they clearly approached A&M and Oklahoma in 2010.

          • texmex says:

            The entire ACC contract shouldn’t rest on the shoulders of FSU football

            The ACC is getting 3.6 billion over 15 years for 14 teams plus championship game with a population footprint of 95 million

            The Big 12 is getting 2.6 billion over 13 years for 10 teams with no championship game with a population footprint of 37 million.

            The Big 12 has an 18% per team per year payout higher than the ACC despite the ACC having a 250% larger population footprint.

            It’s clear what the networks think between ACC vs Big 12 and FSU recognizes this for the long term.

          • acaffrey says:

            No, the entire contract should not rest on FSU’s shoulders. But FSU has not carried its own weight for 10 years.

            Compare with West Virginia, which carried the Big East for several years. They can make the argument that the Big East was living off them. Same with Miami in the 1990s with the Big East.

            If Florida State was dominating the ACC, then I can see them being disgruntled about the value. But when they cannot play like Kings, it is not surprising that ESPN does not want to invest in the ACC as if Florida State is a King.

            Obviously, Miami has been a disappointment too. So they share some blame too.

            If Miami and Florida State were still cranking out 10+ win seasons, the ACC would be valued like the Big XII. Instead, those schools are not generating enough interest to make even their head-to-head matchup must-see TV.

            If Duke and North Carolina started going to the NIT, it would hurt ACC basketball. It would be absurd for those schools to then blame the rest of the conference for basketball woes.

            The easiest way to fix the ACC is for FSU and Miami to dominate on the field.

          • zeek says:


            I said this earlier, but it’s hard to understate the point that the ACC comes nowhere close to capturing its population footprint.

            Outside of North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland, the ACC’s footprint is extremely weak. If you tried to get an “ACC Network” carriage, would it get much of Florida, Georgia, or South Carolina? Would it even touch any of the Northeast? Maybe PIttsburgh itself, but that’s only a decently sized city…

            The ACC has the worst population “capture percentage” of any of the Big 5 conferences.

            Pac-12 is strong throughout its footprint (even though it’s nowhere near as strong as the top 3).

            The SEC, Big Ten, and Big 12 are thoroughly dominant across their footprints.

            Stadium size and attendance for football games are much stronger proxies for capture percentages than just raw population sizes. There’s a reason why the ACC lags significantly by that measure…

  79. Michael in Raleigh says:

    At least FSU has a united front, huh? Nothing speaks high functioning leadership like a university president and a BOT chairman contradicting each other.

    I still hold out hope that the Noles will stick around in the ACC and somehow get what they’re looking for. Maybe some concessions like allowing GT into their division or unequal revenue sharing (although that kind of model does not lend itself to long-term conference health).

    I just dint think the grass would be greener switching out Duke and Wake Forest games for Iowa State and Kansas games. The NC schools are at least in the same time zone and same region of the country. Plus, joining the Big 12 is not going yo alleviate concerns that schools in a distant state control the league. Texas and Oklahoma would be overwhelmingly more domineering over conference affairs than the NC schools could ever think of being. But sadly, this is probably going to come down to money, and the ACC will result in FSU falling far, far behind the many SEC schools with whom it directly competes against on the recruiting trail. Ugh. FSU looks like it’s Bug 12-bound.

    • vp19 says:

      The NC schools may be in the same time zone as FSU, but they don’t speak the same “language”; at least Texas and Oklahoma do. If the ACC loses FSU, it has only itself to blame.

  80. Read The D says:

    The FSU situation is turning into an ugly combination of the Nebraska & Texas A&M situations.

    Nebraska – culturally more aligned with another conference, much more than they are with the leaders of their current conference AND haven’t been holding up their end of the competitive bargain within their current conference.

    Texas A&M – Athletic Director and school leadership apparently on different pages and fans begin stirring for greener pastures.

    • greg says:

      The FSU situation is looking eeriely like Nebraska. A failed king starts blaming their conference for all their problems without taking ownership of themselves. Thursday night scheduling is FSU’s reason to leave?

      • Mike says:

        @greg: IMHO – There are differences. It appears that the FSU2Big12 crowd is using the SECede model (fire up the fans and boosters and drag your school out). Nebraska’s fan base may have hated Texas (losing does that), but there was no movement to actually leave the Big 12. The NU Administration led the charge to the Big Ten out of fears that it would get left behind. This is more similar to Pitt and Syracuse than to Florida St.

        To be honest, the Texas “boogeyman” gave NU a ton of cover with is fan base to sell the move. Had it not been there it would have been a much tougher sell to the traditionalists. To this day I’m surprised how little of a fight the traditionalists put up to leaving a 100+ years of history, trading 7 schools within an eight hour drive for two, and completely giving up Oklahoma football games. These are the same people who at a mention of change to the uniform will completely freak out.

        • vp19 says:

          The NU administration led the charge to the Big Ten out of fears that it would get left behind.

          This is indeed similar. If a 4-team playoff forms, it’s going to be substantially tougher for someone from conferences #5 and 6 to crash the party. Florida State fears not only less revenue than the SEC rivals it competes with for recruits, but to be locked into a conference that’s increasingly perceived as far closer in status to the Big East than to the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac.

          • acaffrey says:

            I don’t buy it. Are you telling me that a 13-0 FSU is getting excluded? Along the way, they would have beaten Clemson, Miami, a few OOC teams, probably Va Tech. No way.

            12-1… now you are mixed in with the other 12-1 teams. Some years, you might have the schedule strength, other years, you might be a #5 team. But that could happen to ANY 12-1 team in ANY conference.

            The real problem FSU has is that it cannot go 12-1 anymore. Heck, when is the last time it lost fewer than three games?

            Being 8-4 in the Big XII, but having some theoretically greater access to the playoffs is a weak reason to leave the ACC.

            FSU fans can continue to use the ACC as a scapegoat for its failings, but it is pathetic.

          • @acaffrey – I’d have to agree with you there. Outside of the SEC lately, this is variable from year-to-year. The computers loved the Big Ten and hated the Big 12 in 2010, yet it was reversed in 2011. Also remember that Virginia Tech was ranked #5 heading into the ACC championship game last year. If they don’t crap the bed against Clemson, they likely would have jumped Stanford to get into the top 4 (which would have been a playoff berth in the new system). Being in the ACC in and of itself isn’t an impediment to making it into the playoff. (I can’t say the same about the Big East or non-AQ conferences.)

            By the way, a new post will be going up later tonight.

  81. John says:

    I don’t have time to read through all the comments, so here’s my question:
    If FSU is looking for a home, is the Big Ten interested?

    You want to get South. You want to get “Brands.” You want academics, and I have to think FSU easily rates higher than Neb. But even if not, the AAU argument is now toast.
    FSU would be on par w/ TAMU as a “get” in terms of location & recruiting & TV viewers…and way bigger splash than Neb, Mizzou or and other expansion moves so far.

    • greg says:

      The Big Ten is not interested in FSU.

    • vp19 says:

      I think what happened with Nebraska regarding the AAU has made Big Ten presidents more insistent on academics, not less, and that they will make sure what happened in Lincoln is a one-time anomaly. The one potential non-AAU exception is of course Notre Dame, but it has unique institutional reasons.

      • ccrider55 says:

        They were fully aware of what was coming regarding AAU when Neb was extended an invitation.

        • ChicagoB1GRed says:

          B1G AAU schools voted against Nebraska in a close vote, so its hard to see why AAU membership as a qualification for being in the conference was a big deal to them

  82. Read The D says:

    I don’t think FSU will end up in the XII. What better 16 could the SEC want than Virginia Tech and FSU? Notre Dame, Texas, UNC, Virginia, etc. are never joining. The SEC could forever lock up the state of Florida if FSU comes on board and turn Miami into a more minor player.

    Would Maryland ever be interested in the Big 12?

    If so, I think Pittsburgh and Maryland could end up being who lands in the XII. Both are rivals and geographic neighbors with West Virginia and both would be attractive in getting Notre Dame’s minor sports on board.

    • vp19 says:

      Just don’t see it from a Maryland perspective, despite its recent athletic money woes. Unlike WVU, it has a legitimate potential alternative to the Big 12, which is of course the Big Ten (largely comprised of large land-grant AAU institutions similar to College Park). The Big 12 grant of rights would more or less doom any chance for Big Ten membership in a possible future expansion. Many, if not most, current Big 12 members are 1,000 miles or so from the Maryland campus; among Big Ten members, only Nebraska has such distant travel.

      • Read The D says:

        Good point on the GOR. I know Missouri feels the same way about the B1G but they obviously don’t have the GOR issue.

      • Brian #2 says:

        Agree on Maryland. I think they are in great shape to be a complementary school in future B1G expansion if Notre Dame joins, and I don’t see them giving up that option for the Big 12.

    • Brian #2 says:

      A couple considerations for the SEC:

      1. Would U-Florida alone get the SEC Network full carriage in the state of Florida? I’m not sure, but I have no doubt that adding FSU would do the trick.

      2. Is the playoff going to be conference champs only? If it is, then it drastically decreases the incentive for the SEC to make their league even more difficult by adding FSU and another school.

      • Read The D says:

        #2 Is why I don’t think we’ll see any movement whatsoever until we know the new playoff structure. No way Texas and OU allow more competition for their seat if it’s champs only. If it’s a straight 1-4, like Boss DeLoss is on record in support of, bring on a league of kings.

      • zeek says:

        My guess is that UF is probably more powerful in Florida than UT is in Texas just given how much more UF commands in terms of allegiances of non-UF grads. It’s really only the Miami and FSU grads that tend to dislike UF. In the state of Texas, there are a lot more schools that play football at a higher level, and given that the schools are similarly sized, it’s not a stretch to think that UF would be more dominant in Florida than UT is in Texas.

        Whether that guarantees you full carriage is an entirely different story. I mean the LHN doesn’t really have anywhere near full carriage does it?

        Also, South Florida isn’t really as much of a destination region for SEC alums, and while there is plenty of UF following in that region, I have no real clue on whether you get carriage.

        Obviously, the SEC would end up a lot more concerned on what it’d get out of Texas A&M. There are a lot more SEC alums in Texas than Florida I’d guess, so that perhaps helps, but I guess we just don’t know.

        The SEC is so different from the Pac-12 and Big Ten in terms of its fanbase spread and TV markets. It’s hard to really figure out what it would have. It’d obviously be valuable given how rabid the SEC fanbase is, but I don’t think we know until we see it.

  83. hangtime79 says:

    Going to have start following now. Sic’em

  84. bullet says:

    One thing this latest round of expansion is doing is throwing out a lot of our notions about value.

    Once you got beyond 12, it seemed like it was really hard to justify, especially at these inflated values. I figured there were no more than 14 schools who could possibly justify expansion beyond 12-and UCLA and A&M were maybes in that group of 14. Realistically UT, OU, Notre Dame, FSU, Miami and A&M were the only ones with any chance of moving. Yet the SEC added A&M and Missouri. The ACC added SU and Pitt. And both appear to be getting raises. An FSU official speculated the SEC will be at $20 million when they renegotiate (1st time I’ve heard a figure other than message board-it might have been Haggard, but I don’t remember where I saw it).

    It seems like Tier 2, in particular, has exploded in value. When the Big 12 was formed, they asked TV officials what a Big 8 + Texas + A&M would be worth. Then what those 10 + Tech and Baylor would be worth. It was the same answer, even at those low 1994 prices. They had to get a ccg to break even with the extra 2.

    • zeek says:

      I’m not so sure anything has changed.

      Above, I made the argument to the effect that the ACC got a short term raise but may face a longer-term shortfall due to its expansion. Do you really think that Syracuse and Pitt add long-term value to the ACC? Eventually, they’re just 2 more mouths to feed given how much power the big brands have.

      The ACC got a raise because the overall contract was undervalued (i.e. FSU, Miami, Va Tech, and UNC-Duke basketball), and the window was reopened.

      Think about it in the longer-term. That ACC contract is only going to fall behind further as other contracts revalue. They got a short-term bump because the contract entirely reopened and was revalued, not because Syracuse and Pitt on their own expand the value of the ACC for the long haul.

      There’s a crucial distinction to be made there. It’s also why the Big Ten and Big 12 are so hesitant on expansion from where they are.

      As for the SEC, Texas A&M was clearly worth expanding for, and Missouri probably comes as close to being worth it as any non-power school comes. I don’t really think you can compare those two with Syracuse and Pitt (which I think were more of a defensive play against the Big East to create separation between the two conference and to reopen the contract and get some more money now); we can’t judge Syracuse/Pitt until 10-15 years from now when we really see where the ACC contract is valued…

      • bullet says:

        I don’t see how Missouri has an advantage over Pitt or SU. They’ve all got different strength and weaknesses, but Pitt and SU do have a MNCs, even if long ago and SU has bb championship. Both are in bigger markets. All 3 compete with the pros. Missouri was next to last in the Big 12 in conference championships in all sports. The only advantages Missouri have are they have the state to themselves and seem to be on the way up in football while Pitt and SU are in a down cycle. But TV doesn’t pay for potential.

  85. bullet says:

    I don’t see where anyone has answered your question about Haggard Frank. Seems like an easy one, but its not easy to find on the web. I think its because Florida changed the way its universities were governed a few years back. I don’t have the answer, but I did see where he was appointed in 2004, the trustees have 4 year terms and can be reappointed. But from his bio, he’s someone to be listened to even if he isn’t on the board. He’s done about everything at FSU and seems to be a huge supporter of the school:

  86. Wes Haggard says:

    With reports surfacing over the last few days that Florida State would entertain conversations with the Big 12, a member of Miami’s board of trustees doesn’t see Miami considering a similar move. “It’s highly unlikely,” the BOT member, who wished to remain nameless, said. “I’m not sure Miami’s academic standards are a good fit in the Big 12.”

    But I found this quote from Miami ironic considering how viciously the Horns derided the SEC’s academics.

    Many conferences, like the Big Ten, ACC, and SEC have conference-based academic initiatives (CIC, ACCIAC, and SECAC respectively), so academics isn’t completely irrelevant, though they are not first priority when choosing a conference.

    Interesting thought.

    If in addition to Clemson and FSU, if the Big 12 would also go ahead and take Louisville and Cincinnati, it would do great damage to the Old Big East. Should the SEC accept Virginia Tech and a North Carolina school, the ACC would need some replacements, which could easily be UConn and Rutgers totally decimating the Old Big East. One would then question if Notre Dame might then wish to join the B1G (Big Ten). Would the ACC still be considered a major conference and invited to the playoffs?

    • greg says:

      The Southeastern College Art Conference?

    • GreatLakeState says:

      Can you imagine how quickly they would become marginalized. I would almost feel sorry for them. I think a more likely scenario is that they convince the B1G to allow them to choose their partners and have an east coast foursome (including Penn State).

      • vp19 says:

        You vastly overrate Miami’s football brand. It’s more along the lines of UNLV basketball in the Tarkanian era, a stylistic “outlaw” battling the establishment. That’s not sustainable, and its home football attendance was relatively weak even in its glory days. Anyway, any Big Ten talk is moot until Miami gains AAU status, if ever, and even then, I don’t think Miami is the type of institution (a relatively small, private university) that would appeal to Big Ten presidents.

    • Mike says:

      Key points to me.

      It will cost between $20M and $25M to leave the ACC ­ we have no idea where that money would come from. It would have to come from the Boosters which currently are unable to support our current University athletic budget, hence the 2% cut in that budget.

      The faculty are adamantly opposed to joining a league that is academically weaker ­ and in fact, many of them resent the fact that a 2% ($2.4M) deficit in the athletics budget receives so much attention from concerned Seminoles, but the loss of 25% of the academic budget (105M) gets none when it is the most critical concern of this University in terms of its successful future

    • Mike says:

      Also interesting. Who knows that off the top of their head.

      the estimate is that the travel by plane required by FSU to be in the Big 12 appears to exceed the $2.9M difference in the contract ? actually giving us fewer dollars than we have now to be competitive with the Big 12 teams, who obviously do not have to travel as far. Any renegotiated amount depends not just on FSU but the caliber of any other new team to the Big 12.

      • bullet says:

        2009-2010 FSU spent $5.162 million on travel per the USA Today website and that apparently includes lodging and meals in addition to transportation costs (and of course bowl travel which is very expensive). Atlanta and the Northeast are relatively expensive flight markets. The Great Plains has Southwest Airlines all over. Of course, Tallahassee has limited service. I’ve seen people calculate the mileage and its not 50% greater. And much of that $5.1 is from the bowl and lodging and meals which would not be impacted.

        So estimating that it would increase $2.9 million is hard to believe even if Notre Dame was team 12.

        • mountainerd says:

          The FSU President is not even close to being right about the revenue difference between the ACC and the Big 12 when the new agreements are signed.

          He’s completely ignoring the tier three rights provided by the Big 12. Considering that Kansas made $8 million off their tier three, it’s safe to assume that FSU could make at least $5 million of theirs. Also, from what I’ve read at least, the Big 12 deal is supposed to have a clause that increases the per school tier one and two payment by $2 million for each school it adds (for up to four schools I believe). If FSU and Clemson jumped ship, the Big 12 contract will go up to $23 million a year, per school for tier one and two rights.

          Let’s say the $2.9 million extra in traveling expenses is accurate (which I highly doubt), and let’s also assume that FSU makes only $4 million on their tier three rights (I’m nearly positive they could make double that). The ‘Noles would still stand, after traveling expenses, to make $7 million a year more in the Big 12 than in the ACC. They would probably stand to make at least $10 million more.

          For a school with a reported $2.4 million AD budget shortfall, in a state that has been slashing funding for secondary education, that extra $7-10 million a year is going to be awfully hard to turn down.

          • Richard says:

            KU has basketball, which is worth a pretty penny if you’re a bball king (ask UNC, which draws about $10M in radio rights, mostly because of their bball). FSU made a pittance in third-tier rights back when they owned them.

          • mountainerd says:

            @ Richard

            When was the last time FSU owned their tier three rights?

            I’ll put it this way: ISU makes $3 million on their three rights. FSU should be able to make more than that on theirs.

          • Mike says:

            Florida St. has already sold its radio rights, coaches shows, etc. The only thing the Big 12 will give them is the worst football game on the schedule and a handful of baseketball games not fit to air on ESPN. The Kansas and Iowa St deals include radio, shows, the football, and basketball games.

            What do you think the value of a crap football game and handful of basketball games are?

          • mountainerd says:

            I dunno, more than what Iowa State’s are?

            Anyway one can spin this, FSU would stand to make a helluva lot more money in the Big 12 than in the ACC. That’s the bottom line here.

          • Nostradamus says:

            Yeah it depends on how you want to derive 3rd tier rights. Historically (and largely other than Texas presently as well) the vast majority of the value in 3rd tier rights has been derived from the school specific radio deals and advertising. In pretty much every conference, the schools still retain these rights. I have a hard time believing Florida State vs. Savannah State and some assorted basketball games derives significant value.

          • greg says:

            Iowa State makes $3M? Iowa makes $6M in a conference that supposedly doesn’t have individual 3rd tier rights. Maybe the B12 isn’t the windfall you seem to think it is.

            The football game that FSU gets is worth about $1M. That is the Tier 3 increase they’d see.
            The other numbers are funny numbers based off The Dude.

          • mountainerd says:

            Well, how much does FSU make on their tier three rights as it stands? Does ESPN not own all of the ACC’s tier three rights?

            These are honest questions, I’ve a skeletal knowledge on how tier three rights function.

            The details of the new Big 12 deal have been fairly well documented. They’re clearly superior to the ACC deal by at least three million dollars. That should go up to seven million dollars after two teams are added. Whatever additional tier three rights are available would be gravy.

          • Nostradamus says:

            I show Iowa State has a $53 million/13 year contract with Learfield. That averages to $4.8 million per year. Staying in state, Iowa is making more than that. going a state to the east, Nebraska is making more than that. Both of those schools obviously have no football or basketball games to sell. By-and-large, these “3rd-tier” rights don’t have the value many think they do.

          • mountainerd says:

            Yeah, you’re comparing Iowa State with Iowa and Nebraska. Not exactly an even contrast.

            Even if the difference between what FSU could make on tier three rights in the Big 12 compared to what they make in the ACC is minimal, they’d still be making roughly $7 million more in TV rights. In a better football conference with better match-ups, a better bowl line-up (likely including two tie-ins with major bowls), and better access to the four team playoff, especially if any sort of RPI-esqu formula is used.

          • Nostradamus says:

            @mountain red,
            I can’t find exact numbers on Florida State, but if we have the following….

            Pre- ESPN/Texas deal this is the list that i’ve seen pieced together based off of various press-releases announcing deals for 3rd tier broadcast/advertising deals.

            1. Georgia = $92.8 million for 8 years with ISP Sports = $11.6 million a year
            2. Ohio State = $110 million for 10 years with IMG College = $11 million a year
            3. Florida = $100 million for 10 years with IMG College, Sun Sports = $10 million a year
            4. Alabama = $85.0 million for 9 years with ISP/Learfield = $9.44 million a year
            5. Texas = $94 million for 10 years with IMG College = $9.4 million a year
            6. Nebraska = $112.5 million for 13 years with IMG College = $8.65 million a year
            7. Tennessee = $83.4 million for 10 years with IMG College = $8.34 million a year
            8. Connecticut = $80 million for 10 years with IMG College = $8 million
            9. Kentucky = $80 million for 10 years with IMG College = $8 million
            10. North Carolina = $97.5 million for 13 years with Learfield Sports = $7.5 million a year
            11. LSU = $74.5 million for 10 years with CBS Collegiate Sports Properties = $7.45 million a year
            12. Arkansas = $73 million for 10 years with ISP Sports = $7.3 million a year
            13. Michigan = $86 million for 12 years with IMG College = $7.16 million a year
            14. Arizona = $80.4 million for 12 years with IMG College = $6.7 million a year
            15. Oklahoma = $75 million for 10 years with Learfield Sports = $6.33

            It stands to reason access to a football game, some basketball games, some baseball games, etc. Isn’t worth as much as people think it is. Yeah there is some value there as there are quite a few SEC schools there. That said, you also have 2 Big Ten Schools in the top 6 that have no 3rd tier television rights as far as event broadcasts go. Conservatively, I’d put the value on the difference between the ACC and Big 12 3rd tier rights for Florida State at $1 to $2 million. It isn’t worth as much as you think it is.

          • mountainerd says:

            Kudos for being willing to research this. Perhaps FSU could renegotiate/rework their tier three rights after joining the Big 12? I’ve heard rumors of Texas and ESPN looking to spread the access of the LHN to other Big 12 schools, as well as the idea that some Big 12 members are looking into pulling their resources to maximize their tier three value. Not sure if anything will come of any of that or not, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some kind of extra incentive thrown FSU’s way regarding tier three if negotiation is going down.

            But even if the ‘Noles only stand to make an additional $1 million on tier three per season, they can happily throw that into the pile of additional $7 million per season they’d be making on tier one and two.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Take AZ off the list. All the PAC schools bought out their individual deals and every thing media related (except local radio, I believe) is the property of PAC 12 media enterprises starting this summer.

          • Nostradamus says:

            Thanks ccrider55,

            That is my 2011 list and included all deals up until then. I haven’t updated or sought out any deals since then. I should’ve made that clear. I’d wager though that Arizona is still keeping a fairly significant chunk of the deal listed for themselves though.

          • bullet says:

            Interesting work. But the key is apples and oranges. What is exactly covered? ESPN paid IMG 17.5% of the LHN contract-average of around $3 million a year. The rest of the Texas 9.4 million has nothing to do with broadcast rights. It isn’t clear whether broadcast rights are included in those SEC deals. Florida has an old deal that pays them about $8 million a year for broadcast rights.

          • Nostradamus says:

            Agreed bullet. The problem is an exact apples to oranges comparison is dare I say, impossible given the nature of the situation. For Florida though with the $100 million/10 years here is a SBJ story on it…

            “The University of Florida and Fox’s Sun Sports have signed a media rights deal that is not only one of the most lucrative in the country, but also could end the likelihood of an SEC channel being created any time soon.

            The deal will pay Florida’s marketing arm, the University Athletic Association, roughly $10 million a year for the next 10 years.”

            “To help manage the Gators’ property, Sun Sports has brought in IMG College, created when IMG acquired Collegiate Licensing Co. and Host Communications. The overall value of the deal is believed to be just less than the 13-year, $112.5 million agreement that IMG College recently guaranteed the University of Nebraska for its rights, making it among the most lucrative college rights deals. “

            I fully acknowledge I could be underestimating some or all of the SEC schools’ rights in my list above, but this SBJ article specifically on UF makes me think I’m not.

        • Mike says:

          mountainerd –

          I believe that FSU has a contract with IMG College. I haven’t found the value. I did see that they sold some baseball games for ~100K last year.

          Take a look at some comments earlier in this page, greg found a link to NC St’s new “tier three” deal. As far as I can tell, the only difference between the ACC and the Big 12 is the crap football game and the basketball games are held back for the school to sell.

        • Nostradamus says:

          Yeah, you’re comparing Iowa State with Iowa and Nebraska. Not exactly an even contrast.
          Hey, you are the one that brought up Iowa State’s $3 million. It actually is $4 million and Nebraska is earning $8.65 million in a conference where it can’t televise anything on their own. My point is the value in 3rd tier rights is still by-and-large coming from things other than rights to 1 televised game a year like in stadium advertising, radio advertising, and the radio broadcasts them-self. There is value in that football game and assorted basketball games depending on the school, but other than Texas so far, no one has really cashed in on them. The fact that a Nebraska or Ohio State or Michigan, etc. is getting equivalent cash with less to offer serves as proof of that.

          Even if the difference between what FSU could make on tier three rights in the Big 12 compared to what they make in the ACC is minimal, they’d still be making roughly $7 million more in TV rights.
          That is still a fairly large assumption at this point. As it stands right now you have an about $3 million difference between the ACC contract and the Big XII contract, and a maybe $1 million increase in what FSU could expect in 3rd tier rights. That is $4 million. Still two shy of $7 million. ESPN isn’t going to be overly willing to shill out cash for a team moving that they already have the rights to presently. If you go to 12 maybe you get a paycheck from getting back to a ccg, but these are fairly significant assumptions.

  87. OT says:

    Liberty wants to move up to FBS:

    Sun Belt office receptionist: Commissioner Benson, Dr. Falwell on Line 1…

    • vp19 says:

      That would be Falwell Jr. calling. Falwell the elder left us in 2006.

      The Sun Belt would seem to be the FBS landing point that makes the most sense, as I don’t think C-USA would be interested unless it was really desperate (and it’s not).

  88. OT says:

    Realignment never ends.

    VCU moves to Atlantic 10 to replace Charlotte (which went back to CUSA).

  89. zeek says:

    Also, it wouldn’t shock me at all if Clemson fans try to agitate more strongly than FSU fans and if we see a move made to get their BOR into the action.

    Clemson has no alternative to the ACC other than the Big 12. At least FSU theoretically has the potential of an SEC invite at some point down the road because it’s a king.

    Clemson doesn’t have that because of USC(e). So Clemson would have to latch onto an FSU move if such a thing were being contemplated.

    • Read The D says:

      I assume Clemson is more valuable to the XII than Louisville would be but I have no idea if that’s really true. Clemson is not close enough to FSU to actually be a travel partner for non-rev sports so that angle doesn’t fly.

      How funny would it be if this comes down to Clemson and Louisville fighting for the right to be in the new Big 12?

      • vp19 says:

        I think the distance from Clemson to Louisville is roughly similar to from Clemson to Tallahassee. But would the Big 12 be interested in a Clemson-Louisville combo, in lieu of Clemson-Florida State? I tend to doubt it, although UL’s basketball revenue might make the difference a little bit smaller than one would think.

        • zeek says:

          Naw, the word is that the Big 12 wants to keep Oklahoma and Texas in one division.

          The other division would be anchored by a king + West Virginia and whoever else is in it.

          FSU, WVU, Clemson is a strong top 3 for a division.

          • mountainerd says:

            That’s jives with what’s being discussed on the WVU Scout site’s Big 12 board:

            Texas, OU, OK State, Texas Tech, Baylor, and TCU in the West Division

            FSU, WVU, Clemson, Kansas, K-State, and ISU in the East.

            FSU and Clemson would be given Texas and Oklahoma, respectively, as cross-division rivals to help sweeten the pot for the Noles and Tigers (and to give ESPN the best possible match-ups).

            Division parody is a major factor of Big 12 expansion. The conference would rather stay at 10 and play a round-robin than go back to having two very uneven divisions.

          • Richard says:

            I’d imagine that they wouldn’t want a parody, then . . .

          • mountainerd says:

            Well, Texans are more in to satire, I suppose…

            Me fail English, that’s unpossible!

          • @mountainerd – I don’t personally agree with a number of your arguments, but you still win brownie points with me for quoting Ralph Wiggum.

          • mountainerd says:

            Cheers! Just don’t you dare bend my wookie…

  90. Read The D says:

    Message boards are extrapolating this out to another Threat Level Midnight for the Big East. If the BE is almost toast, ND gets left hanging. Best guess would be ND stays indy in football and moves their other sports to the A-10.

    Big 12 needs to find out which travel buddies ND prefers and go for a Pac-16 style expansion that Larry Scott tried to pull off with Colorado, Texas and Oklahoma.

    Invite FSU and a travel buddy + ND and 3 of their buddies and hope you end up with FSU and Louisville.

    Maybe… FSU + Miami and ND + Pitt, Boston College, and Georgia Tech?

    • vp19 says:

      Call me crazy, but I simply can’t see Boston College in a conference with Texas Tech. Also, as stated earlier, Notre Dame won’t go anywhere until any sort of playoff system implemented inherently precludes it from qualifying as an independent, and even then, it would only select the Big Ten or (less likely) the ACC.

  91. vp19 says:

    ACC-Big Ten men’s basketball challenge has been announced, with some interesting games:

    Nov. 27

    Maryland at Northwestern

    North Carolina at Indiana

    N.C. State at Michigan

    Minnesota at Florida State

    Iowa at Virginia Tech

    Nebraska at Wake Forest

    Nov. 28

    Ohio State at Duke

    Virginia at Wisconsin

    Michigan State at Miami

    Purdue at Clemson

    Georgia Tech at Illinois

    Boston College at Penn State

    Looking forward to UNC-IU, NCSU-Michigan, Minn-FSU and MSU-Miami.

    • Playoffs Now says:

      Looking forward to…Minn-FSU

      Dozens thrilled.

      • Richard says:

        Heh. That’s rather unkind to Minny. The Gophers are top 25 in attendance despite hardly ever being top-tier in bball. Maybe because it’s too frozen in the wintertime to do anything other than head indoors to watch a game up there. The comment would apply better to BC/PSU or even Nebraska/Wake,

  92. Mike says:


    FSU’s apparent strategy is to tick off everyone and go independent

  93. Playoffs Now says:

    Funny how the sports reporters jump all over the FSU BOT chair’s 1 inaccurate statement, but so far is pretty much giving a free pass to the FSU president’s multiple inaccuracies in his auto reply.

    …In support of a move are four basic factors argued by many alumni…

    4. The Big 12 contract (which actually isn’t signed yet) is rumored to be
    $2.9M more per year than the ACC contract.

    The difference is more than that, because the B12 contract doesn’t cover Tier 3. Does he not know or is he intentionally misleading to make his stance seem more reasonable?

    But, in contrast:

    The ACC is an equal share conference and this applies to football and to basketball ­ there is no
    preferential treatment of any university with the exception of 3rd tier
    rights for women’s basketball and Olympic sports.

    Wait, so the FSU BOT chair was actually partly correct?

    2. Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas A&M left the Big 12, at least in
    part because the Big 12 is not an equal share conference. Texas has
    considerably more resource avenues and gains a larger share (and I say
    this as a former dean of the University of Texas at Austin – I watched the
    Big 12 disintegration with interest). So, when fans realize that Texas
    would get more dollars than FSU, always having a competitive advantage, it
    would be interesting to see the fan reaction.

    A bit misleading, since Tier I and II are equal share. Or maybe he doesn’t know that, either? More misleading, is that Neb and aTm repeatedly lobbied for and voted for a far more uneven sharing of revenue until they left. The noble Aggies were the only school to take, and in fact insist on, the ransom offer from the smaller B12 schools proffered to keep UT, OU, and aTm in conference when the P12 was wooing. Uneven revenue sharing had zero to do with Nebraska, Colorado, and aTm leaving, it was just an urban myth used to scapegoat.

    3. Much is being made of the extra $2.9M that the Big 12 contract (which
    hasn’t been inked yet) gets over the ACC contract. Given that the Texas
    schools are expected to play each other (the Big 12 is at least as Texas
    centered than the ACC is North Carolina centered), the most likely
    scenario has FSU playing Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, and West
    Virginia on a recurring basis and the other teams sporadically (and one
    more unnamed team has to join to allow the Big 12 to regain a championship

    Maybe. More likely (based on the Baylor 247 leaker who has been more dead on than any other source) is that FSU and Clemson would bring 2 more of GTech, VTech, or Miami. All those and WV would sell plenty of tickets at home (witness FSU’s angst at WV cancelling, though much of that was also about the last minute timing) and they’d only have 1 home game per year vs probably KSU or ISU. Plus a home game against a B12 team from Texas or Oklahoma, half of which would be able to be sold at a premium. If it is an issue, I’m sure the B12 (and ESPN/Fox) would be glad to schedule an FSU home game each year featuring UT or OU.

    we realize that our sports teams can no longer travel by bus to
    most games ­ the estimate is that the travel by plane required by FSU to
    be in the Big 12 appears to exceed the $2.9M difference in the contract ­
    actually giving us fewer dollars than we have now to be competitive with
    the Big 12 teams, who obviously do not have to travel as far.

    First off, how many schools do they travel to by bus now? GTech is the only one within driving distance. Clemson is 6.5 hours, Miami 7.5 hours, NC schools over 9 hours away. Pretty sure the B12 now pays for all travel costs to equalize WV, ISU, etc.

    4. Few believe that the above teams will fill our stadium with fans of
    these teams and so our lack of sales and ticket revenue would continue.
    5. We would lose the rivalry with University of Miami that does fill our

    Spin, see above. And with the B12 offering an 8 game conf schedule, no reason to drop Miami. Especially if Miami joins, too. Funny how Haggard is considered a renegade that may not reflect the BOT’s views, but the single anon Miami BOT member who says they may not move is considered the undisputed voice of the university.

    6. It will cost between $20M and $25M to leave the ACC ­ we have no idea
    where that money would come from. It would have to come from the Boosters
    which currently are unable to support our current University athletic
    budget, hence the 2% cut in that budget.

    If the past is a guide, most would be paid for by the B12, probably all in the case of FSU. He once again understates the $ difference by comparing apples to oranges. And the recent past has also shown conf moves create a big jump in donations when the fan base is enthused. See TCU’s new stadium expansion (paid in cash, not credit) and almost tripling of season ticket sales. See aTm’s new stadium plans and bragging of how the changing of conferences has been a boost. See Missouri’s big stadium plans. Even the same for U. Houston to the Big East.

    • opossum says:

      I think if this deal includes a locked-in home/away game against UT and OU every year then FSU and Clemson should consider it. If it’s a home and away game against a “Texas or Oklahoma” team every year, then it’s probably a wash at best for them. Texas Tech? TCU? Is Tulsa in the Big 12 yet? If it’s less than that, forget it. Maybe they’ll try to move just because their fans are so worked up, but not for any actual gains.

      But even if FSU and Clemson are interested why will the Big 12 go for this when ESPN offers to pay them the same or less per school per year without those guaranteed annual Clemson-UT-OU-FSU games — ESPN already owns FSU-Clemson and probably cares about FSU-Iowa State or Clemson-Kansas about as much as their viewers and those schools’ fans would.

      Also, I would hate to be the guy who decided to sign FSU or Clemson to a 13-year grant of rights to join the Big 12 right before the SEC starts looking to move to 16. I think the grant of rights (which neither the ACC nor SEC require) would be a deal breaker.

      Bottom Line for me, if I ran Clemson or FSU would be to 1) get a definative “never” from Notre Dame to join the ACC as a full member; 2) get a definative “never” from the SEC to join; and 3) get all the scheduling and reveunue gurantees from the Big 12 to make sure it’s worthwhile (ie, home and aways with Texas and Oklahoma every year for anyone joining from the ACC). Otherwise stay put and enjoy the “easy path” to the Orange Bowl and the National Championship (watch out for Wake).

      • vp19 says:

        It would be done, if only to enhance the value of the conference package for ESPN. I can’t imagine Clemson and Florida State joining the Big 12 without being assured of Texas and Oklahoma as permanent cross-division rivals. Play a 9-game conference schedule, and Clemson and FSU will still play Baylor, Okie State, Texas Christian and Texas Tech twice every four years (assuming the other East teams are West Virginia, Iowa State, Kansas State and Kansas).

  94. mountainerd says:

    @Playoffs Now

    Excellent, excellent breakdown of the ridiculous statement by the FSU President. I’m aghast that none of the major CFB pundits have yet to jump on his absurdly inaccurate arithmetic in regards to the difference between the Big 12′s new deal and the ACC’s.

  95. Guido says:

    BOT and other similar Public Univ boards are typically politically motivated individuals who occasionally say outlandish things for a variety of reasons. The fact he made those statements publicly tells me the board as a whole is probably not pursuing anything regarding expansion as that would have been kept behind loosed doors. Maybe it was said out of frustration, or maybe for political gain- I don’t know enough about him or their BOT to have any insight on why it was said, but it surprises me that comment could lead to so much discussion and speculation on a move.

    All that said, I’m sure FSU is at or near the top of schools the Big12 or SEC would call if they decide to expand. Just haven’t seen anything to indictate FSU would be interested. And Jimbo’s comments don’t carry much weight on this type of discussion, he’ll be lucky to still have a job at FSU if they ever do switch conferences at his current pace.

  96. Guido says:

    ***loosed = closed!

  97. Wes Haggard says:

    Interesting “PAC 12″ type invitation list. Question. If FSU, Clemson, Georgia, Tech, Louisville, Pitt and ? jumped to the Big 12, would the per team TV money go North or South. CCG would be very big $$. But if this hypothetical list really came to pass, what would the B1G do? What would the SEC do?

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