Bowling for Dollars: New SEC/Big 12 Bowl and Realignment Rumors

Posted: May 21, 2012 in Big East, Big Ten, College Basketball, College Football, Sports
Tags: , , , , ,

The SEC and Big 12 had a major announcement this past Friday that the two conferences are creating a new bowl pitting their champions against each other (provided that in the event either or both champions end up in the new college football playoff, the bowl will select other “deserving” teams from those conferences). Coupled with ongoing speculation that at least Florida State is looking to move to the Big 12 (with possibly Clemson following behind them), conference realignment fever is back once again. Let’s breakdown a number of questions that have come up regarding the new playoff system and conference movements in the wake of recent news:

(1) How will the new SEC/Big 12 bowl impact the college football postseason? – I’ll give the lawyerly answer that it could range from having very little impact to having a massive impact, with the likely outcome being somewhere in between. Here are the three main scenarios:

(a) Low Impact Scenario: Semifinals Rotated Among Bowls – If the new college football semifinals are simply rotated through 5 or 6 bowls on a regular basis, then this new SEC/Big 12 bowl won’t look too much different than the current Cotton Bowl matchup in most years despite all of the superlatives being thrown around in the media. (To be sure, the perception of where the conferences stand as a result of this new bowl is more important than the matchup itself, which I’ll get to later on.) All this is doing is effectively moving a team that would have played in the Fiesta Bowl to play the SEC champ in the Sugar Bowl (or whichever bowl or site ends up with the new matchup). It creates a clear separation of the Rose Bowl and the SEC/Big 12 bowl from the others in terms of the quality of the matchup and prestige, but doesn’t really impact the nature of the playoff itself in this scenario.

(b) Moderate Impact Scenario: Semifinals Slotted According to Bowl Tie-ins – What’s interesting is that out of all of the hub-bub about the SEC/Big 12 bowl on Friday, very little was mentioned by the media about a playoff format that received a ton of positive traction after last month’s BCS meetings: the semifinal matchups could be slotted according to bowl tie-ins (e.g. a #1 Big Ten champ would play the #4 team in the Rose Bowl, a #2 SEC champ would play the #3 team in the Sugar Bowl, etc.). Under that format, this new SEC/Big 12 bowl is fairly important since, just by basic arithmetic, a bowl with two contractual tie-ins is going to have a higher chance of hosting a semifinal than a bowl with only one tie-in and in practicality, a bowl with two tie-ins with conferences that have performed as well on the field as the SEC and Big 12 lately has an even higher chance of being a semifinal site.

If semifinals are slotted according to tie-ins, it would even further separate the Rose Bowl and the SEC/Big 12 bowl from the others. For example, if the playoff system were to use the selection criteria I proposed here (take the top 3 teams regardless of conference affiliation and the 4th spot goes to the highest ranked of a top4 independent or top 6 conference champ, and if those aren’t available, then it goes the #4-ranked team that isn’t a conference champ/independent), then the Rose Bowl and the SEC/Big 12 bowl would have hosted both semifinals every single year since the BCS system was overhauled in 2005 with the exception of 2009. The Rose Bowl and SEC/Big 12 bowl would more likely than not be semifinal sites on an annual basis.

(c) High Impact Scenario: Return of the Unseeded Plus-One or 4 Teams Plus – An unseeded plus-one system should be dead. The outcome of the BCS meetings indicated the support for a 4-team playoff and the Big Ten (who would have been most likely to fight for a plus-one) has come to a consensus that it supports it at a high level. However, Pete Thamel of the New York Times threw this wrinkle in his commentary on the new SEC/Big 12 bowl:

One notion that became more viable that had long been disregarded is an actual Plus One — the often misused term for a one-game playoff after the bowls are played. If all the power in football is consolidated in the Big Ten, the SEC, the Big 12 and the Pac-12 — especially if teams flee the A.C.C. — could the Rose Bowl and Champions Bowl serve as de facto national semifinals and the top-ranked teams play a title game?

It wouldn’t be a playoff, technically. And it would alienate fans, who want simplicity after years of frustration and confusion. But there is an argument that will be heard in the next few weeks that the four league title games would be (essentially) quarterfinals, the Rose and Champions Bowl semifinals and the Plus One game a title game in most years.

Remember the “4 Teams Plus” idea from reportedly Jim Delany that had the Rose Bowl matchup guaranteed to be the Big Ten champs vs. Pac-12 champs regardless of ranking and then the four highest-ranked teams outside of the participants in Pasadena would play each other? Pretty much everyone outside of the Big Ten and Pac-12 hated that idea at the time, but that sentiment could theoretically change quite a bit if the new SEC/Big 12 bowl also had a protected matchup just like the Rose Bowl.

Let’s say the the Big Ten champs and Pac-12 champs would always play each other in the Rose Bowl, the SEC and Big 12 champs would always play each other in their new bowl, and then the 4 highest ranked teams outside of that group would play in two other bowls. Would the ACC, Big East and other conferences actually like that format better since they’d have a better chance to be in that “other 4″ group than in a pure top 4 playoff? Would the SEC and Big 12 like having de facto bids to a semifinal game every year?

Personally, I think we’re so far down the path of going toward a 4-team playoff that to reverse course suddenly isn’t realistically possible. However, no one can put it past for the rulers of college football to muddy the waters quickly. My guess is that we’ll end up with the Moderate Impact Scenario because it’s a way to enhance the values of both the Rose Bowl and the new SEC/Big 12 bowl without going away from a 4-team playoff. Speaking of which…

(2) What do the Big Ten, Pac-12 and Rose Bowl think of the new SEC/Big 12 bowl? – A lot of media-types enjoy playing up a supposed rivalry between the Big Ten and SEC and, in turn, want to project a similar rivalry between the Rose Bowl and the new SEC/Big 12 bowl. However, as I’ve said several times before, when it comes down to revenue sharing, which is what is truly contentious about the new postseason system (much more than which teams actually get into the playoff), Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and SEC commissioner Mike Slive are brothers-in-arms: they believe that they should receive a helluva lot more money than everyone else.

Up until now, much of the college football playoff debate has been characterized as the Big Ten/Pac-12/Rose Bowl standing in the way of everyone else. Now, that trifecta has company, where the SEC and Big 12 have similar self-interests to protect the value of their new bowl. Frankly, this new SEC/Big 12 bowl is the best thing that could have happened to the Big Ten/Pac-12/Rose Bowl since there are now 4 heavyweight conferences seeking to maximize their respective bowl tie-ins (instead of just 2).

(3) Does the new SEC/Big 12 bowl mean that Florida State and Clemson are heading to the Big 12? – Not necessarily, but each new bit of news indicates that it’s more likely than each passing day. I’ll fully admit again to being a long-time skeptic of any Big 12 poaching of ACC schools and still believe that it would be a bad idea for Florida State to move (unlike Texas A&M and Missouri, who were 110% correct in moving to the SEC), yet if the money is good enough, no one can actually be surprised at this point. The new bowl game itself really isn’t a game changer – as I’ve stated above, it may end up being the current Cotton Bowl matchup most years under different management. However, the perception of where the conferences stand seems to have changed, which is a much larger take-away. If the mighty SEC deems the Big 12 worthy to have their respective champions play each other, then by extension, the SEC sees the Big 12 as an equal. That viewing of equality between the SEC and Big 12 is certainly a massive change from last September when the SEC raided the Big 12 of two key schools and Ken Starr was ready to use any legal means necessary to stop it.

I don’t know if the new SEC/Big 12 bowl is the panacea of revenue and power that many SEC and Big 12 partisans are trying to make it out to be, but the new deal is really the first indication to me that the Big 12 is truly stable. Oh sure, I wasn’t one to believe that the Big 12 would completely collapse. I haven’t been a subscriber that Texas would be moving anywhere ever since the Longhorn Network was started. At the same time, UT’s modus operandi has been to run a conference in the same way that Notre Dame wants independence in and of itself as opposed to money (which I’ll expand upon further in a moment) and the Big 12 was always in position to get a great TV as long the Longhorns and Oklahoma in the fold. The conference members even agreed to grant its TV rights to the league for the next 13 years in the same way that the Big Ten and Pac-12 already do, which means that even if a school were to leave, such school’s TV rights would still be retained by the Big 12.

Still, it all felt like a situation where there was one big dog in the room (Texas) that had enough power by itself to throw just enough cash out to make the others stay (even if they would all leave if the Big Ten, SEC or Pac-12 came calling). A league with a healthy backbone doesn’t lose Nebraska, Colorado, Texas A&M and Missouri (all 4 of whom are valuable schools) in the span of 14 months. What the new bowl deal indicates is that the Big 12 has something beyond the value of its current TV contracts to provide. That’s a big change from the chaos of 2010 and 2011.

Is that enough for Florida State to move? In turn, if this new SEC/Big 12 bowl is going to be a massive revenue generator, how much is the Big 12 going to be willing to expand further? My feeling is that the new bowl isn’t a definitive objective catalyst for major conference changes, but it plays into the shift in the subjective belief that the Big 12 is in one of 4 power conferences while the ACC is on the outside.

(4) Is the ACC going to die? – If there’s one thing that I’ve noticed over the past couple of years in writing about conference realignment, it’s that people love apocalyptic scenarios. For example, if Florida State and Clemson leave for the Big 12, one thought is that schools such as Virginia Tech and North Carolina State might look toward the SEC and the Big Ten could end up getting Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Duke, which in turn would kill the ACC completely. In the same way that people slow down to watch car wrecks, it’s almost addictive to plot out ways how a conference can be destroyed.

My response to this: simmer down! Just look at the Big East, which has only two members that were playing football in the conference prior to the ACC raid of that league in 2003 (Rutgers and Temple), and one of which (Temple) was actually kicked out and only invited back after the league was raided again. If any conference should be dead, it ought to be the Big East. Despite of all of this, the Big East still lives on*.

(* Counterpoint: Maybe the Big East was never alive in the first place.)

Even in the worst case scenario for the ACC described above with the Big 12, Big Ten and SEC simultaneously raiding the conference, the ACC could still backfill with schools such as UConn and Rutgers and continue to exist in some form. In the more realistic scenario of the ACC losing 2 schools, the league could still choose to take in UConn and/or Rutgers or simply stand pat at 12 schools.

Remember what I stated a couple of weeks ago about the one rule that we have learned in conference realignment: Shit ALWAYS runs downhill. The ACC might get weakened or even mortally wounded, but it’s far from the bottom of the hill. If you’re a fan of a school in a conference other than the Big Ten, SEC, Pac-12 or Big 12, be careful in delighting too much about the ACC’s suddenly undesirable place in the college sports world, because you’re probably next in firing line.

(5) Can the ACC maintain a place at the big boy table? – I honestly believe that they can, even if they lose Florida State and/or others. My feeling is that UNC, UVA and Duke are wedded to the ACC as much as Texas is to the Big 12 and Michigan and Ohio State are to the Big Ten, and as long as those three schools are there, they’re going to have a seat at the power table. The on-the-field focused people might say, “Those schools haven’t done jackshit in football for years,” and they’d be correct. However, they are also three schools with disproportionate influence and power in the college sports governing structure due to their combination of athletics and academics.

To put the ACC onto the same level as the Big East is misguided. Even if the ACC is the #5 conference today, it’s still quite far ahead of #6 when considering its roster of flagship schools and top academic institutions. On-the-field, Virginia Tech likely would have been in a 4-team playoff last year if it hadn’t crapped the bed in the ACC Championship Game and I believe that it’s foolhardy to believe that Miami is going to be in some permanent funk considering its unbelievable recruiting location advantage, both in terms of local recruits and national allure to 18-year old kids to its campus and metro area, which is only comparable to USC. I’ve seen many arguments about why Miami supposedly won’t bounce back, such as its fair-weather fan base, off-campus stadium and the fact that it’s a private school. All of those certainly are disadvantages compared to the Ohio States and Alabamas of the world. However, what football recruiting ultimately comes down to is convincing 18-year old kids to commit to a program. As a 34-year old with a wife and twin 2-year olds, I might not want to live in Miami, but if I’m a single hotshot 18-year old recruit that is able to be on a gorgeous campus in a place with great weather and basically limitless extracurricular activities with beaches and models galore, I may have a vastly different set of priorities. Don’t count Miami out for the long-term. People were writing the same obituaries about the Hurricanes in the late-1990s, after which they promptly went on a dominant tear of success in the early-2000s.

On the bowl front, the ACC champion was never going to play the SEC or Big 12 champs in bowls, anyway, so the new SEC/Big 12 bowl won’t have a true practical impact. So, let’s say that the Orange Bowl ends up pitting the ACC champ versus Big Ten #2 or SEC #2. The Orange may not end up providing the same payout as the Rose Bowl or new SEC/Big 12 bowl, but it may actually end up being an upgrade compared to the current BCS system (where it seemed as if though the Orange got stuck with a less-than-desirable Big East school a disproportionate amount of the time).

There could also be a rotation from year-to-year among tie-ins either to account for semifinals or at-large bids in a new BCS system (or whatever it’s called). For purely the sake of discussion, let’s say that the Sugar Bowl becomes the home of the SEC/Big 12 bowl and then the Cotton and Capital One Bowls are elevated to top tier status. In year 1, the tie-ins could look like the following:

Rose Bowl: Big Ten #1 vs. Pac-12 #1
Sugar Bowl: SEC #1 vs. Big 12 #1
Orange Bowl: ACC #1 vs. SEC #2
Fiesta Bowl: Big Ten #2 vs. Big 12 #2
Capital One Bowl: at-large vs. at-large
Cotton Bowl: at-large vs. at-large

Then, the tie-ins would rotate the next year as follows:

Rose Bowl: Big Ten #1 vs. Pac-12 #1
Sugar Bowl: SEC #1 vs. Big 12 #1
Capital One Bowl: ACC #1 vs. Big Ten #2
Cotton Bowl: Big 12 #2 vs. SEC #2
Orange Bowl: at-large vs. at-large
Fiesta Bowl: at-large vs. at-large

Depending upon which format is used, the at-large bids can also be placeholders for the 4 teams that are playing in the semifinals of a playoff (or even the “other 4″ in a 4 Teams Plus system). This way, conferences such as the Big Ten and SEC get bowl tie-ins in the markets that they care about the most regularly (Florida and Arizona in the case of the Big Ten, Florida and Texas in the case of the SEC) while not subjecting their fans to fatigue of having to travel to the same set of locales every year.

Regardless, the ACC still has assets to get a good bowl tie-in, even if it might not be great on the level of the Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC or Big 12. I can’t really say the same about anyone else in the new system.

(6) What will Notre Dame do? – My 99% feeling is absolutely, positively nothing. There is .99% of me that thinks that Notre Dame could end up in the Big 12 as a non-football member, and I’ll leave a .01% chance that the Irish give up independence in football. As I’ve stated in several other posts, Notre Dame is NOT an independent as a result of money from its NBC deal. If Notre Dame simply wanted to make the most TV money possible, it would have chosen to be an equal revenue sharing member of the Big Ten. Instead, Notre Dame is independent because its alums have completely and thoroughly convinced themselves that independence in and of itself is the end game value that makes the Golden Dome special. I have a good number of Texas and Texas A&M readers and enjoy their stereotyping of each others’ fan bases – it’s what takes college sports fandom to another level beyond pro sports fandom. However, there is absolutely nothing compared to the laser-like unwavering focus that Notre Dame alums have upon independence with a groupthink that crushes every single other argument that the entire rest of the world deems to be “rational”. While Florida State alums might be wondering why the Seminoles aren’t maximizing their TV dollars as a member of the ACC, Notre Dame alums are the opposite and constantly on guard (and withholding large donations) about selling out independence for a few more dollars. Unlike many other schools, where members of the board of trustees might be political appointees, the alums are truly in control of Notre Dame.

The upshot is that Notre Dame alums aren’t rational regarding the issue of independence and that matters because they have the ultimate power at that school (as opposed to the board of trustees or the university president). As a result, attempting to use rational arguments to say, “Notre Dame needs to join a conference to be competitive for the college football playoff” or “Notre Dame could keep its NBC deal if they joined us instead of them” isn’t going to get anyone anywhere from South Bend on board with that. Believe me – I’ve tried.

For what it’s worth, the Domers aren’t completely irrational, either. BYU has a freaking TV deal worth millions of dollars per year with ESPN and Texas gets paid $15 million per year for bottom-of-the-barrel sports rights on the Longhorn Network, so the thought that Notre Dame couldn’t sell 7 home football games (of which there is guaranteed to be at least a game against Michigan or USC every year) for a price where it can more than afford to maintain independence is ridiculous. With every article, column, blog post and column that I see claiming that Notre Dame is “irrelevant”, I also see at least 3 power conferences (the Big Ten, Big 12 and ACC) that would add the Irish in a heartbeat and if the Pac-12 and SEC were actually viable options, they’d take the Domers, too. Every power conference bending over backwards to add a school is the antithesis of irrelevance.

Now, could I see Notre Dame end up moving its non-football sports to the Big 12? That’s certainly possible if the Big East gets raided again, although if the Irish haven’t left the Big East by now when schools that it actually cared about such as Pitt, Syracuse and Miami left, it’s hard to see them getting too hung up about the likes of UConn, Rutgers or Louisville leaving. Let me put it another way: Notre Dame would absolutely take a non-football membership in the Big 12 before it would take an all-sports membership in the ACC or Big Ten because independence is truly the end game for the Irish. However, there shouldn’t be any assumption that the willingness of Notre Dame to take a non-football membership in the Big 12 has any bearing on whether the Irish would ever join the Big 12 for all-sports. The Big East already knows that very well.

There are countless possibilities of how the college football world is going to look by the end of the summer, whether it’s how conference realignment is finalized or what format will be used for a college football playoff. Some words of wisdom actually come from Chip Brown of Orangebloods, who stated that “it’s important to remember that realignment plays out in real time. So you have to keep up. If you want to keep score on stories like these, good luck. Everyone will. But you have to keep up, because what is true now, might not be true in a week, a month, a year.” Lots could be happening or nothing could be happening at all, but only time will tell.

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

(Image from Bleacher Report)

About these ads
  1. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX SEC Baseball Champion LSU Fightin’ Tigers!. On to Omaha!

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Frank – instead of calling it the SEC/BigXII Bowl, just go ahead and call it the Sugar Bowl. New Orleans CANNOT lose this fight. Its a big event town like no other.

      • @Alan from Baton Rouge – I agree that this game *should* be in New Orleans. My test for a great bowl site is whether I’d actually take a plane for a vacation there *without* the bowl game and New Orleans obviously fits the bill. However, my feeling is that it’s going to the highest bidder (which may or may not be the Sugar Bowl committee).

        • Bob in Houston says:

          Sleep on Jerry Jones at your peril.

          • glenn says:

            i think austin/san antonio is a great place for it.  hotels, music, history, fun and frolic.

            have the game at dkr and immediately start on the south end zone.  seat 115,000.

    • Playoffs Now says:

      At a minimum, I think we see in the next few month or years:

      SEC takes VT and NC St. SEC network likes footprints
      B14 ends up with FSU, Clemson, GT, ND (maybe another if it is the B15 with ND indy for fb.)

      NC and VA might stay in the ACC, but I bet they’d go B1G. Either way, anyone honestly think the ACC will ever be viewed on the same level as the power 4 conferences once most or all of their football schools have left? (Miami is traveling the SMU path to irrelevance.)

      • VT isn’t leaving unless UVA has another home lined up. Any claim to the contrary ignores (literally) generations of Virginia politics.

        • bamatab says:

          I’m not saying that is a true or not, but we heard the same arguement back when TAMU was looking to leave. The Texas politicians didn’t keep TAMU out of the SEC, and the Texas politicians had already proven that they would step in if they really wanted to back when the SWC imploded.

          • Mack says:

            A&M had to convince only one politician: Gov. Perry, and he is an Aggie. The Texas Legislature only meets for 6 months every 2 years. A&M announced it was leaving after the session closed in 2011. When it meets again in Jan’13 A&M will have already completed its first football year in the SEC. This alignment of politics and A&M leaving was not random chance.

      • JMann says:

        Same goes for NC State and UNC. They are actuully both part of the UNC system and thus governed by the Same Board of Governors. No way the same set of folks lets one go to the SEC or Big 10 without the other.

        • bamatab says:

          Now the NCST/UNC connection is a lot stickier than the VA schools IMO based on what you just stated. I’m thinking that the only way one leaves is if the other is assured a landing spot in another conference. If UNC is assured of a spot in the B1G then NCST would be allowed to go to the SEC, or if NCST was assured a spot in the Big 12, then UNC would be allowed to go to the SEC. But if once of them is stuck in a deminished ACC, then I don’t seeing the UNC system allowing the other to go unless the prevailing thought is that if they don’t let at least one go, then both will die on the vine.

  2. Carl says:


  3. Great Lake State says:


    • Great Lake State says:

      The BigHouse=the Wall
      Wolverines=the Starks
      Spartans=The Wildings (:

      • Jake says:

        I played around with that last year, and I came to the conclusion that the B1G is House Targaryen. Old money, blue blood types, haven’t been too successful in battle lately. Also, Jim
        Delaney is impervious to fire. True story.

        The rest:
        Pac = Lannister; they’re newly rich, they live out west, and they’re cool with midgets and incest.
        Big 12 = Stark; they lost a rather prominent relative and are dealing with an intrusion into their homeland, but they bounce back and keep winning on the field
        SEC = Baratheon; they got to the top by winning battles; also, they like to drink a lot
        ACC = Greyjoy; a sea-going people, they’re known for raiding other houses.
        Big East = Tully; not exactly a major family, they’ll marry literally anyone to improve their position.

        • GreatLakeState says:

          Just off the top of my head I would round mine out like this
          B1G= Winterfell/Starks (cold north country)
          PAC= Targaryen (Fantasy heavy with Dragons and platinum blonde/silver hair. And they were
          the original sibling couplers. The Lannisters are copycats)
          SEC= Baratheon (self-explanatory)
          ACC= Greyjoy (for perfect reasons you stated above)
          B12= Dothraki (Texas is Drogo)
          B East=Tully

          …and Notre Dame is Loras Tyrell

          Good Job Jake!

          • Jake says:

            You Big Ten people – why can’t you just accept that you’re not the protagonists? Being the evil empire isn’t all bad.

          • bamatab says:

            @Jake – Wait a minute. I thought the SEC was the evil empire? :)

          • The B1G is House Stark. Honor (academics) matter above all else. They’re the oldest and most traditional house/conference. They still worship the old gods (tradition). They’re located in the North. There’s an old pride in the B1G that is more important than winning at all costs.

            The SEC is House Lannister. The schools are cut-throat to get ahead. They have the inherent wealth advantages by having an abundance of gold mines (fertile recruiting and fervent fan bases) compared to the other conferences.

          • Great Lake State says:

            SEC/Lannister – “We Dwarf the Competition”

          • Brian #2 says:

            I’m not sure if I like “rich as a Slive” or “a Slive always pays his debts” better.

          • PSUGuy says:

            Have you actually read the books by Martin? It doesn’t end well for either houses…

          • GreatLakeState says:

            I’m on the third book, please don’t ruin it any more.

    • The SEC is Lannister. Wealthy, successful, and entitled. They have an inherent advantage because of the abundance of gold mines in their land (recruiting and fervent fan base). The schools are cut-throat and will do anything to get ahead.

      The B1G is Winterfell/Starks. Tradition and honor oriented. They are located in the North, worship the old gods (tradition), honor (academics) matter(s) above all else.

      • Oops, didn’t see the first one post, so I wrote it again.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        Funny, my original thought was to have the B12 be the Baratheons and the SEC the Lannisters
        The SEC’s natural wealth and technical proficiency in battle make them very Lannister like, but the Lannisters seem a bit refined for the SEC. That one was the toughest call for me.
        -Verry good reasoning FAE.

        • GreatLakeState says:

          I guess that makes Delaney the great weirwood tree
          And Slive….. Tywin

          • Jake says:

            I can see Nick Saban as Tyrion.

          • Art Vandelay says:

            Nah, Delaney is Eddard Stark from the time of Robert’s rebellion (when ESPN scorned him so he decided to start his own network) to the time of being made hand of the king (the Big Ten’s next TV deal). Now we have to wait for the SEC to somehow betray and kill him in the coming years

          • Art Vandelay says:

            Saban’s got to be Jaime. There’s few people he couldn’t kill in a fight.

          • Brian #2 says:

            Does that mean Les Miles is Cersei?

          • Great Lake State says:

            …..or Aerys Targaryen, the Mad King, which Saban, the King Slayer, beat in the last Championship.

          • Jake says:

            The Tyrion comparison was a jab at Saban’s height. A low blow, I admit, but EDSBS goes for it on a weekly basis, so why shouldn’t I?

          • GreatLakeState says:

            Saban is Tyrion-like in a few ways. A cunning, self-interested master of the game who surrounds himself with the right players at the right time.

  4. greg says:


  5. Really torn on whether FSU to the Big XII is a good move for them. All the reasons you’ve stated against them going make sense, but on the other hand… FSU will always have a presence in Florida recruiting (duh!), would any losses they suffer in Georgia, Alabama, etc. be made up for by getting a foothold in the Texas recruiting ground?

    I suspect FSU would lose (at least temporarily) their matchup with Miami, but they’d still have Florida on the schedule. Throw in games with Texas and Oklahoma (depending on how divisions are made up) and I have to believe top kids would want to play that schedule every year.

    • bobo the feted says:

      It comes down to cold hard cash. If FSU stands to make more money over the next 13 years in the BigXII than the ACC, they should join the BigXII. That being said FSU’s recruiting is mainly based in Florida, which they will always have access too. The remaining recruits are from Georgia. Alabama despite the success of the Crimson Tide is not that fertile of a recruiting ground. If the BigXII were to take 4 schools from the ACC, some combination out of FSU/Clemson/Miami/GTech/VaTech. They should still have excellent access to recruiting.

  6. hookemhornsj says:

    I think you’re slightly wrong on the impact of this game. On one hand, you’re correct in saying that people are jumping the gun as far as how this game would translate into blocking other conferences out of the 4-team playoff. As of now, the plan that the SEC and Big 12 have announced doesn’t say anything about it affecting the National Championship stuff. Could it play a role eventually? Sure, but that’s a pretty huge jump based on nothing at this point.

    On the other hand, this game is huge for the 2 conferences involved for a few reasons. For one, the ACC and Big East (or the ACC and anyone) could not create their own bowl and have it be as big a deal right now. Whatever the ACC could demand with any partner, as far as media coverage, time and date, sponsorship, and just money in general, it won’t be nearly as good as the SEC and Big 12 will get for this.

    Additionally, the money situation involved in this new bowl should be interesting. The 2 conferences will basically be splitting all the money made from the TV deal, sponsors, advertising, ticket sales, refreshments, etc. Other bowls don’t work that way. As long as the match up is a compelling one (and it should be most years), that translates to a lot of money for 2 conferences already poised to make… a lot of money. And if we’ve learned anything from realignment, it’s that it’s about money first. Florida State athletics is a powerful brand that is currently losing money. The Big 12 and SEC just figured out yet another way to get MORE money. It’s something they probably will have to think about.

    • bamatab says:

      Yeah, the revenue that the SEC & Big 12 will gain by basically owning this new bowl will be very interesting. That is the big difference between this bowl and the Rose Bowl. I’m curious how long it will take before the B1G & Pac 12 try and create a bowl that they own.

    • Jake says:

      I think Frank understated the financial aspect of the Champions Bowl (sorry, Alan – I’m sticking with this until further notice). This bowl could have as big of an impact on college sports as the Big Ten Network. Maybe bigger.

      • cutter says:

        So exactly how much do you pay to see Arkansas play Kansas State in the Champions Bowl?

        As of 2012, the Cotton Bowl Classic payout was $7.25M per team–a game with had Arkansas playing Kansas State. If a four-team playoff had been in place, then the Champions Bowl would have had the same matchup.

        Is this game worth $20M? $25M? $30M? At that point, we’re starting to equate it with a BCS bowl game and not the Cotton Bowl.

        In 2011, the game would have been Big XII champion Oklahoma (who beat UConn in the Fiesta Bowl) v. Arkansas (who lost to Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl). That’s obviously a better situation for the Sooners, but sort of a wash for the Razorbacks in terms of opponent, etc.

        I could be surprised by what finally transpires in terms of the bidding, but is this game really worth more than a BCS bowl where each team received around $17M apiece? Even if you cut out the bowl committee and put it up to bid, is it really going to be worth an impressive amount more than a BCS bowl game?

        • bamatab says:

          I don’t know hoe much it would be worth, but there wouldn’t be a payout like the other bowls (since the conferences wouldn’t be paying themselves). The SEC/Big 12 would be putting the location of the game up for bid, and would also be putting the tv rights up for bid. That is possibly two different forms of revenue going to the conferences. While I’m sure that the tv contract with whichever networks wins the bid would be a multi-year contract (how much does ESPN pay the Sugar Bowl for the right to broadcast the game?), if the SEC/Big 12 were smart they would bid the location in short term (possibly yearly) intervals. Who knows how much those two streams of revenue are worth?

          • Jake says:

            Kansas St./Arkansas wouldn’t be a typical match-up. That was a flukey year with two SEC teams in the title game and both OU and Texas having down seasons. Assuming the Big 12 and SEC get their champs into the top four pretty much every year, you’d have the runner-up in this game – and in the case of a tie, the bowl will take the better ratings draw. So, Texas-Florida, OU-Alabama, or perhaps FSU-LSU, might be more typical match-ups. I’d watch that. The SEC might get two teams in the playoff some years (they’ll certainly try), but even their #3 should still be pretty good.

          • cutter says:

            Jake: While last year may have been an unusual situation, it’s very likely that we won’t see the actual Big XII champion playing the SEC champion every year. The 2011 situation where Oklahoma would have played Arkansas is perhaps more likely to unfold, i.e., one conference has its runner up in while the other provides its conference champion. Of course, if both the SEC and Big XII provide a team for the playoff, then it’ll be a game between two second place teams.

            That said, what about this bowl matchup wise really differentiates it from a major BCS bowl game? As I pointed out before, in 2011 Arkansas played Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl. In this new scenario, it’d be Razorbacks against the Oklahoma Sooners. In terms of matchups between major programs, that’s essentially a wash for most college football fans.

            One more thing to keep in mind is that as long as the Big XII has ten teams, the possibility of the conference’s second place team being somewhat less than stellar is greater than the 14-team SEC. The Champions Bowl game could prove to be something of a mismatch between the two programs. Even if the ACC were to add up to four teams, would any of the possible additions (Florida State, Miami, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Clemson) really put the Big XII on par with the SEC overall? After all, the reason why the ACC is “in trouble” is that FSU and UM haven’t been able to maintain their national profiles on the field. Does that change for them if they’re in the Big XII?

            While bidding out the Champions Bowl to different cities might provide a financial windfall, does it really gain traction as a “must see” event? Part of the allure of the Rose Bowl is the parade, the setting, the city of Pasadena, etc. If the Champions Bowl flips from Atlanta to Dallas to New Orleans, it becomes hard pressed to compete with the Rose Bowl in those non-football areas. Now that may be of secondary concern to the Big XII and SEC, which is fine. But that’s one of the shortfalls of instant traditions.

          • Brian #2 says:

            “Jake: While last year may have been an unusual situation, it’s very likely that we won’t see the actual Big XII champion playing the SEC champion every year. The 2011 situation where Oklahoma would have played Arkansas is perhaps more likely to unfold, i.e., one conference has its runner up in while the other provides its conference champion. Of course, if both the SEC and Big XII provide a team for the playoff, then it’ll be a game between two second place teams.”

            Agree. It is much more likely we see the SEC’s #2 or #3 team play the Big 12′s #2 team. In most cases, that would be a Bama/LSU/Florida/Georgia versus an OU or Texas (or Florida State?). That matchup would be worth a ton of money.

            “That said, what about this bowl matchup wise really differentiates it from a major BCS bowl game?”

            Have you seen the recent Fiesta and Sugar Bowl matchups? They have been pretty mediocre, as both conferences have gotten the shaft by playing unattractive Big East or wildcard teams. In just the last five years, teams such as Cincinnati, Hawaii, Utah, and UConn have played mighty teams from the SEC or Big 12. Both conferences are tired of playing these type of opponents, and this bowl will ensure it doesn’t happen again.

            “One more thing to keep in mind is that as long as the Big XII has ten teams, the possibility of the conference’s second place team being somewhat less than stellar is greater than the 14-team SEC.”

            I doubt the SEC would have agreed to this if the Big 12 didn’t share a fairly detailed expansion plan. I think the SEC knows the Big 12 is taking Florida State and possibly Clemson, and the SEC has given its blessing.

            “While bidding out the Champions Bowl to different cities might provide a financial windfall, does it really gain traction as a “must see” event?”

            The two conferences have been the most successful in the last decade with a handful of elite programs. I see no reason why a match-up between two of the conference’s teams would not be very attractive to college football fans (and advertisers).

          • cutter says:

            For Brian #2:

            If one of those SEC teams you’re mentioning were to play a 9-4 or 9-3 Texas or Florida State team, then that might not be such an exciting matchup.

            The bowls all come down to matchups. Last year’s Fiesta Bowl between Stanford and Oklahoma State was an excellent game. The year previous with Oklahoma and Connecticut was a dud.

            But major bowls occasionally being a dud is a reality and might be especially true with the four-team playoff in place that siphons off the conference champions and/or an at large team.. One of the things that actually helped the Rose Bowl was when teams from outside the Big Ten and Pac 12 Conferences participated, such as TCU against Wisconsin and Texas v. Michigan. A bowl game that is set in stone between two conferences (and with one only having ten members at present) doesn’t give you that flexibility.

            If the SEC went into this agreement because the Big XII had a detailed expansion plan, then I think Mike Slive has started to lose it. We all know that expansion plans can often go awry and if recent history provides a guideline, then the Big XII’s management isn’t exactly the best group to execute them either (and yes, I know Neinas is there now, but he’s only temporary, and Texas is still Texas).

            So I’d wait a bit to see how things work out regarding the four-team playoff before we think this bowl is the next best thing since sliced bread and that it’s going to be a major money tree for the two conferences. If anything, the teams playing might not be the factor that makes it attractive to the conferences. It’s the idea that a bowl game can be bid out and be played without a conference committee extracting huge overhead costs to the participants in order to put it together.

            Because if the latter is successful, then that practice will be emulated by the other conferences to the best of their ability.

  7. Given that the SEC seems to be very likely to set up a network in the near future, I am VERY curious to see how that goes in Texas. They’ll get the #2 school in the state who is very big in the East part of the state and much less so elsewhere. Can they somehow get on basic carriage state-wide, or will they be stuck in just College Station and the surrounding area?

    Something tells me that if the SEC pushes for state-wide carriage at a high subscriber fee, they’re going to be in for a fight as nasty as any the Big Ten ever had. I wouldn’t be surprised to see areas of West Texas where many more people call their cable companies to demand that they NOT have the SEC channel than to demand that they do. If the SEC wins this fight, then I think that NC ST and VA Tech are likely to be 15/16, since those are presumably easier fights than Texas carriage. But if not, I think that this throws a major wrench into the dreams of 16 teams that many people seem to be having. And if the SEC doesn’t go to 16, then I can’t see the Big Ten or Big 12, which means that 4×16 is never going to happen. IMO this is one of the biggest storylines that really hasn’t gotten much of any coverage to date.

    • Playoffs Now says:

      If ESPN partners with the SEC, and perhaps also on a B12+ network, it/they probably get bundled with the LHN in negotiations for Texas and rammed right through.

      • That’s plausible. Combined they succeed where individually they’d fail. It’d be an interesting result. If I’m ESPN I’m making that point to the SEC during contract negotiations and trying to own some percent of the SEC Network like Fox does for BTN. I think if the SEC goes it alone and tries to hardball cable providers they may be in for a rough patch, though I certainly could be wrong…

    • FranktheAg says:

      You think West Texas is going to be the sticking point? Really? Did the population of Texas suddenly shift from Houston and Dallas to Midland?

      An SEC network would have ZERO problems getting carried in the major markets of Texas.

  8. Well Played Mauer says:

    Good post Frank,

    Last year I posted a comment in one of your articles that I thought the SEC & Big 12 might pair up in bowl to put themselves on the same footing as the PAC, Big Ten & Rose Bowl. I thought they would choose the Sugar Bowl though and did not thing they would use a start-up bowl.

    At any rate with everything I have read so fare and if all the conflicting wants and needs of all the conference are taking into account, could we see the Intertwined BCS replaced with a more loose nit confederation of some sort. If we assume the WAC will not sponsor football after 2015 I could see the ten remaining conference pairing their champions in 5 bowls and those bowls all getting some special moniker say hypnotically the “Bowl Tournament Series”. Each one of the 5 winners would be placed into the selection pool for the National Title Game. On paper all ten conference champions would have access to National Title Game but with the PAC-12 & Big Ten Champs playing the Rose Bowl, and the Big-12 and SEC Champs playing each other everyone and the dog knows which 4 conferences will be putting teams in the Title game 99 years out of 100.

    And I know what people are already saying, there is no way the Fiesta bowl wants the MWC champion and the Orange bowl does not want the Sunbelt champion. And that is correct. But this hypothetical “BTS” label would only be a marketing moniker and a on-paper umbrella qualifier for the 10 I-A Conference. The individual bowls and conferences would wrangle their own tie-ins, associations, and TV deals. So in theory the Danica Patrick prick tease bowl in Mobile could host the Sunbelt & MAC champions and be designated a BTS Bowl but it would still only garner whatever money it garners now. It would not be up to the BTS to garner money for the conferences it would be up to the conference to eat what they kill. The BTS only provides [on-paper] access, not guaranteed riches. Maybe with the exception of the TV revenue from National Title Game which possible could be split up with similar shares as the current BCS?

    So in theory the new BTS system could select 2 of the 5 winners from the following bowl match ups to play in the National Title Game:

    Rose: PAC-12 vs. Big Ten
    Startup: Big 12 vs. SEC
    Orange: ACC vs. Big East
    Independence: MWC vs. CUSA
    Go daddy: MAC vs. Sunbelt

    While I like the Rose Bowl match up being preserved, I do not know if this would be my first choice for the new post season. But look what this system provides.

    Preserves the Rose Bowl.
    Separates the big 4 from the rest of the pack while also taking away any on paper delineations between the I-A conferences [which as been reported the non-AQ conference our willing to give up access to top tier bowls to gain.]
    Maintains importance of regular season.
    Bowl Tradition maintained.
    Bowl interests may return.
    On paper access for all [to address those pesky antitrust issues]
    A return to the free market system that the Big Ten and SEC both want.
    Champions only which the PAC-12 and ACC want.
    The ACC & Orange Bowl stays at the big boy table more or less.
    The Big East maintains a level of AQ or at the very least is not reclassified as a mid-major
    The current bowl sites as well as new site get to bid on the Title Game.

    Almost everything that as been reported to be wanted by everyone is gained, and all they have to do is ignore the wants and wishes of the fans. Which they have already been doing for years.

    One of the wants that would not be addressed would be the SEC getting to put more than one team in the “playoff event” however they [and all other power conference] should be able to garner more money for the 2nd and 3rd place teams now that the other bowls know they will not loose them to a at large BCS bid.

    Another would be the Orange Bowl may not like the Big East tie in, but while that tie in may not be as sexy as the Rose or new SEC/12 Bowl it is still a Champ vs. Champ Bowl that will likely be played at 1pm on New Years Day as a lead in to the Rose and SEC/12 Bowl so it is not the worst thing in the world either.

    And The Fiesta may not like getting the boot, but with the Big-12/SEC announcement that has pretty much already happened, and now they will be free to use their war chest to maintain the #1 Big-12 pick after the champion and get in a bidding war with the Tangerine Bowl for the #1 after Champion Big Ten Pick, at the very list on the free market the Fiesta should not do any worse that a Big-12 #2 vs. Big Ten #3. On a Open Market The Fiesta, Cotton, and Tangerine still probably end up on the tier just below the Rose & SEC/12 Bowls, which is not too bad.

    It would not surprise me in the least if the Presidents and CEOs did something like this and completely scrapped the 4-team model. Would not be the first time they got peoples hopes up and then dashed them on the rocks.


  9. Brian #2 says:

    Is the SEC ready to expand again? They seem to have a lot on their plate already. And is Va Tech going anywhere without UVA on board too?

    Clay Travis

    ESPN’s Chris Low talking odds of Virginia Tech to SEC if FSU leaves. Says he got text from from staff member saying, “We’re ready.”

    Paul Finebaum

    Reax pouring in following Chris Lowe’s comment here earlier, saying, “beyond a shadow of a doubt, SEC has their eyes on Va Tech.”

  10. Gobux says:

    @Frank Any chance the B1G offer ND a spot for their Olympic sports and let them have their football independence? What do B1G fans think of this idea?

    • ccrider55 says:


    • Eric says:

      Goes against everything it’s done up till now. It didn’t even take anyone as a one sport member for hockey and had to wait till Penn State moved up to sponsor the sport.

      I think the ACC is actually the bigger possibility if things start moving. If they lose a few key members, bringing Notre Dame in is a powerful ally. If they start inviting a couple more northeastern members, that’s especially true.

    • frug says:

      Any chance the B1G offer ND a spot for their Olympic sports and let them have their football independence?

      Absolutely, now way in hell.

      What do B1G fans think of this idea?

      They think that if the conference did this the correct response would be to march to Park Ridge and burn down the league offices then hang Delany’s body from a gas station Mussolini style as a warning to any future commissioners.

  11. bamatab says:


  12. ChicagoMac says:


    It seems like Stuart Mandel is also hinting at possible unseeded plus 1 like scenarios.

    I could see the 4 conferences with all the leverage using that to either a: keep floating that as a “nuclear option” to make sure they get the payout they want or b: just saying screw it and going heavy on this model since it could actually work and be better in some ways than a straight 4 team seeded playoff.

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Its nice to see that Stewart Mandel of and Pete Thamel of the NY Times read this blog and write columns about my post from last week, ie the unseeded +1 being back on the table.

      • Playoffs Now says:

        Alan from Baton Rouge says:
        May 21, 2012 at 6:20 pm

        Its nice to see that Stewart Mandel of and Pete Thamel of the NY Times read this blog and write columns about my post from last week, ie the unseeded +1 being back on the table.


        Haha, it is nice to see that Alan from Baton Rouge read this blog and wrote a post about my post from last week, ie the unseed +1 being back on the table. (Though I highly doubt I was anywhere near the first to notice this possibility.)

        Playoffs Now says:
        May 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm

        So, um, have the odds just jumped substantially that there will be new objections and the BCS meetings won’t be able to agree on a 4-school playoff? No agreement ends up after many months and dust and tears with a simple True Plus One of choosing 2 teams after all the bowls?

        Think about who benefits now that SEC-B12 champs commit to a bowl. Rose gets P12 and B1G always. B12-SEC champs bowl winner almost certainly ends up with a top 2 ranking. Keeps theoretical access for all conferences, but usually Rose and Sugar winners will be in the nat’l title game.

        Perhaps explains DeLoss Dodds’ recent positions on a playoff and shots at B1G’s positions. Posturing, when they may actually be on almost the same page behind the scenes?

        Not saying I like this, but…


        Alan from Baton Rouge says:
        May 18, 2012 at 4:18 pm

        I’m starting to think think that with this SEC/B12 Sugar Bowl alliance (it just CAN’T be anywhere else!) puts the unseeded Plus-1 format back on the table. The Sugar and Rose become de facto semifinals. The Orange can take the ACC champ and a best-of-the-rest team, but the Orange’s winner gets left out of the NC game 90% of the time.

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          playoffs – congrats. I guess you are a little more of a prophet than me. I guess I should have read the gazillion e-mails in my inbox on Friday before posting.

          • duffman says:

            Chill both of you guys, I said back in 2010 that is would be the Rose and Sugar (I still think New Orleans wins the bid – see below) in a playoff to see who would get to be in the MNC game, and this is just the next step to getting there. ;)

            Why New Orleans hosts :

            + good mid point between UT / OU & Florida State / Georgia Tech / Clemson
            + New Orleans as destination > Dallas / Houston / Atlanta / ?? at New Years
            + Hotels / food / entertainment / weather all are advantages
            + Sugar Bowl has had success there
            + While new, Tulane was original site of early “historic” bowl – Sugar
            + More economic input in a post Katrina state means national politics factor
            + Only LSU gets “home” team status – TX / FL / GA have 2 or more teams
            + In political fights, only LA has a monopoly of cause


            @ Alan, if this comes to pass remember me well if I ever need good tickets :)

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            duff – thanks for the Sugar Bowl love. New Orleans is a tourist city and its economy depends on big events much more than the other cities mentioned. NOLA won’t let this one get away. If it gets into a bidding war, the city and state (even though we are broke) will step in and help out.

            And of course I will help you out with tickets, except for next year’s Super Bowl.

          • Playoffs Now says:

            playoffs – congrats. I guess you are a little more of a prophet than me. I guess I should have read the gazillion e-mails in my inbox on Friday before posting.

            Neither of those was my point. But I’m pretty sure you already know that.

        • Jericho says:

          As a fan, an “unseeded pus one” plan is an awful, awful “solution” to this. It solves nothing.

          • ChicagoMac says:

            I think it isn’t ideal from a fan perspective but I also think you could make a case that it is a better setup in some ways. Look at last season for example:

            BCS Standings
            1. LSU
            2. Alabama
            3. Okie State
            4. Stanford
            5. Oregon
            6. Arkansas
            7. Boise State
            8. Kansas State
            9. S. Carolina
            10. Wisconsin
            11. VaTech
            12. Baylor
            13. Michigan
            14. Oklahoma
            15. Clemson

            Now let’s assume the Orange Bowl has a deal with the ACC to take its champ + one at large and the Fiesta Bowl has a deal to take two at-large teams. Let’s assume that the Orange and Fiesta bowls give priority on at-large with the following rule: If the ACC champ is Top 5 the orange gets first at-large, if not the Fiesta Bowl gets the first 2 at large selections.

            Here is how it would have played out:

            “Sugar” Bowl: #1 LSU v. #3 Okie State
            Rose Bowl: #5 Oregon v. #10 Wisconsin
            Fiesta Bowl: #2 Alabama v. #4 Stanford
            Orange Bowl: #15 Clemson v. #13 Michigan

            I would like to see a bonus fr conf champ that would have seen Oregon and Okie State jump Stanford and Alabama respectively but this is still a pretty good outcome as each of the top 4 ranked teams would control their own path to the championship.

            Let’s assume for a second that there was a conf. champ bonus which led to this setup:

            “Sugar” Bowl: #1 LSU v. #2 Okie State
            Rose Bowl: #4 Oregon v. #10 Wisconsin
            Fiesta Bowl: #3 Alabama v. #5 Stanford
            Orange Bowl: #15 Clemson v. #13 Michigan

            It looks bad b/c you have #1 playing #2 in a semi-final but in reality nobody could agree on which team was #2 anyway so what difference does it make? Also a problem here is that Oregon is top 4 and they wouldn’t control their own path to the championship, they would still have a shot to get their if Stanford would have beaten Alabama. Stanford as the #5 team also would have had an outside shot at advancing if Oregon would have lost to Wisconsin.

            In practice, this set up maintains a huge premium on the regular season by placing a huge premium on finishing #1 or #2. That is the only way to absolutely guarantee that you have a chance to play for the championship by winning your Bowl game. Team #3 will control their own fate more often than not, and #4 will on many occasions.

            The reason this is viable from a business perspective is that there could be up to 4 games where one of the teams playing could end up playing for the national championship which will naturally add significant value to the whole of the TV contract.

            Let’s run this through a viability checklist:
            * Does it improve upon the existing structure: Yes
            * Does it create more revenue: Yes
            * Does that revenue get distributed more favorably to those that hold power: Yes
            * Does every team have access to the title: Technically, yes.

            Add it all up and I wouldn’t bet the ranch that this plan wouldn’t win out.

          • Jericho says:

            But you still leave the wide open argument of what if LSU lost? Oklahoma State would have to advance to the final under any scenario, but a true +1 system does not have a semifinal. It’s just another round of games and then schools are selected based on some metric. If LSU lost, do you take LSU or do you take Alabama? Unless you have a real semifinal, there’s no absolute answer.

            I’ll grant you that any system will have some arguments. But this is a pretty major argument when you still have no consensus on who should be in the finals. A 4 team plyoff woul at least generally have it settled on the field. Sure, any team not invited to the playoff would have an argument. But it’s a lot less compelling if one cannot crack a consensus top 4.

          • ChicagoMac says:


            I think they would just cut off the rankings prior the bowl games and make it such that only Bowl winners are eligible for the National championship game. If you do this each team would know exactly what has to happen for them to advance.

  13. texmex says:

    1) It should be emphasized that this new game between the Big 12/SEC is attempting to cut out the concept of a “bowl” and thus, a bowl committee that is a middle man. An genius idea that hopefully sets a precedent going forward. The game may be played in New Orleans, but it won’t be the Sugar Bowl. It will be something like the “Direct TV SEC/Big XII Invitational” played on New Years Day.

    2) I actually think this ensures that neither this new Rose Bowl or the SEC/Big 12 game are hosts for the semi-finals in the new playoff. I think both games will be played on New Years as the anchor of January 1st. One of the objectives of the recent BCS meeting was to take back New Years Day….mission accomplished. I think the semi-finals get played around Christmas time with the championship game played about 10 days later which will be a few days after January 1st.

    3) Notre Dame – the plight of ND will be settled once the conference commissioners decide on a playoff format. If the playoff format resemble what the Big 10/PAC 12 want, ND may need to join a conference. if the playoff format is what the SEC wants, they will stay independent. The Big 12 has not announced their position and won’t until the Big 12 meetings take place at the end of this month

    4) The BCS will not exist as of the 2014 season. I believe we are moving toward a true free market approach towards bowl games and payments directly to the conferences. The conferences can now dictate the order of selection, and when the games are played. The free market approach will also make it easier for the Big 4 conferences to informally disband from the rest of the leagues to crown a champion.

    • Eric says:

      I disagree. I think that either a bowl committee wins the bidding (submitting to various demands) and its in the Sugar/Cotton Bowl or the Big 12/SEC label it the (insert sponsor) (random name) Bowl. Dodds seemed like getting away from the bowl system, but that is not at all how I thought it sounded like from the Big 12 press.

  14. Marktheshark says:

    One minor quibble…

    The new bowl is not essentially the Cotton Bowl. The Cotton Bowl receives the 3/4 pick from the SEC, after the Sugar and Capital One. The reason I call it the 3/4 pick, is because it’s essentially a shared pick with the Outback Bowl, where the Cotton prefers a team from the West Division and the Outback prefers a team from the East Division. It doesn’t always work that way since the pecking order of available teams may be skewed towards one Division or the other, but customarily that holds. Finally, since the SEC usually gets 2 teams in the BCS, the 3/4 pick effectively becomes the 4/5 pick. The Cotton Bowl, which can easily receive the 5th pick from the SEC is far from what the new bowl would be. Since I’m an SEC guy, I’m not exactly sure which Big 12 pick makes it into the Cotton, but I believe it is the second, which would effectively be the 3rd team from the Big 12 due to the likelihood of the Big 12 receiving two BCS bids as well.

    So SEC #4 or #5 vs. Big 12 #2 or #3 is far from the #1 teams from each Conference.

  15. Jake says:

    I think we’re assuming that the Orange Bowl will still want the ACC champ as a tie-in. If FSU leaves (or even if they don’t), the Orange might be better served by pursuing the Capital One’s Big Ten #2/SEC #2 tie-ins. Since every bowl arrangement appears to be up for grabs (except, of course, for the Rose), why not? Why risk getting stuck with Wake Forest?

    As you said, shit runs downhill, and that goes for bowl games as well as conferences. Six new spots are being created at the top, which means it all trickles down until the six weakest bowls either have to scrape even deeper into the bottom of the post-season eligibility barrel, or just fold up altogether.

    • frug says:

      If FSU leaves (or even if they don’t), the Orange might be better served by pursuing the Capital One’s Big Ten #2/SEC #2 tie-ins.

      I have been saying this for months. I have always contended that the ACC #1 is at best the 7th most valuable bowl tie in behind the B1G/PAC/SEC/XII #1s and B1G/SEC #2s. Without FSU the ACC would then also fall behind the XII/PAC #2s, B1G/SEC#3s and ND (and even if they keep FSU they would still arguably be worse less than those anyways).

      That said, unless a revamped Sugar Bowl becomes the new host of the SEC/XII bowl game and/or the new bowl is a semifinal, then it is unlikely this would actually happen since the SEC would want to keep the Sugar Bowl as their #2 and the playoff would take one team almost every year meaning the best the Orange Bowl could get would be the SEC #4

      • Richard says:

        Frug: You overrate the Pac. Remember that this is a conference that has to send its #2 to the freakin’ (non-NYD) Alamo Bowl. However, without FSU & Clemson, I almost agree as I’d have the ACC champ as 11th most desirable, which would be around the neighborhood of the Cap One Bowl. Hey, they could go back to sending their champ to Orlando just like the good old days when the Cap One was the Citrus Bowl! Score one for tradition! :)

        • frug says:

          Part of the problem is the dearth of quality bowls in the western half of the country*. If the Fiesta Bowl were to open up, then I think the PAC would have a pretty good shot at getting its #2 in, and with the new SEC/Big XII game they could probably get a tie in there.

          *I know bowls are about traveling fanbases, but it is hard to convince someone on the West Coast to travel to Florida for a football game. Certainly harder than convincing a Midwestern.

  16. Jake says:

    Also, Notre Dame is definitely* heading for the Big 12! Non-football sports soon, football after their TV contract ends:!/GSwaim

    • Mike says:

      And giving up Navy?

    • Carl says:

      Just curious: to what degree does anyone here believe Swaim’s ND -> Big 12 rumor is likely?

      • vp19 says:

        A bit skeptical — but if the Rose Bowl and Big 12-SEC games are controlled by their respective conferences, it could mean everyone outside the “big four” conferences is going to be locked out. If that’s the case, retaining Tier III rights may be why Notre Dame would choose the Big 12.

      • Jake says:

        Non-football? Skeptical. Football? Snowball in hell.

      • glenn says:

        Ingram Smith ‏@IngramSmith
        Looking more and more like the Big 12 will grow to 12.5 (Notre Dame Olympic sports) with a plan for full membership down the line

        • glenn says:

          i’ve seen mention that the transition period will be 2 years, but i don’t know that that is right.

          whatever, it is apparently the period until the nbc contract expires.

        • glenn says:

          the transition period (2 years or whatever it is) will begin when olympic sports arrive.  not 2 years starting now.

      • glenn says:

        Greg Swaim ‏@GSwaim
        The #ND deal apparently was a catalyst for getting #FSU aboard all along. This thing is happening fast now for the #Big12…

        i’ve seen this reported elsewhere also but i can’t recall where.

        most surprising thing i’ve come across in this story.  fsu didn’t attract nd.  nd attracted fsu.

        • bullet says:

          I’ve seen it a couple places. Swaim is copying what some others have said.

          I think ND is evaluating their options under various scenarios. Their bb coach Brey said as much.

          I still don’t think ND is going full in now anywhere. But they are thinking about it. And none of the rumours involve the Big 10.

      • Eric says:

        I think Notre Dame to the Big 12 is remotely possible (for all sport, but football), but Greg Swain saying it does nothing to change the odds at all.

        Sadly he is proof that you can make up whatever you want and as long as you report enough people will pick up on it all over.

    • zeek says:

      I have a hard time seeing why ND would choose to make any move before the playoff situation is announced.

      They’re Notre Dame. They’ll get whatever they want. Full membership in the SEC? Done. Literally, they can get anything…

      What exactly is the point of setting up a transition to the Big 12 before the new playoff system is decided?

      Money? They don’t need money. Access to bowls? They don’t need that either. Any cutoff meeting ND team is guaranteed a BCS bowl, so it’s not like they need access to that Big 12/SEC bowl.

      The Big East is rebuilt and is a good home for their non-football sports. What exactly would they gain by going to the Big 12? They already schedule Texas and OU in football anyways…

    • Pat says:

      Rumor has it Pitt is the preferred B12 travel partner for Notre Dame as the Panthers have had long rivalries with both the Irish and West Virginia which is now in the B12. West Virginia is currently on an island unless Louisville or Pitt joins.

      • Richard says:

        True, ND has played Pitt a ton, but their subway alums are even more concentrated in Boston and (especially) NYC. Some combination of Pitt, BC, Syracuse (if they agree to all ‘”home games” against ND to be in/around NYC), GTech, & FSU, Miami would be ideal for ND.

        They want nothing to do with playing WVU, Clemson, ISU, KSU, or KU.

        BTW, I brought up this possibility in the previous posting: the B12 adding FSU + ND + 4 of ND’s friends (GTech and Miami likely make the cut because FSU as well as the rest of the existing B12 want to visit Atlanta & Miami as well). Then it’s 2 of Pitt, Syracuse, or BC). TCU and Baylor join the new schools in the “East”. WVU still stays in the west. Only required conference games are the 7 intra-divisional games (ND still would want to play USC & Navy every year as well as Michigan, MSU, PU, and Stanford at least half the time), though everyone else besides ND will schedule more (so the TX schools will still play each other OOC, for 9 games & WVU would play Pitt, if they join) annually. Maybe the OK schools will play the FL schools annually.

    • bamatab says:

      Here is a map that someone over on shaggybevo did of a Big 12 with ND divided up into pod:

      It does make some pretty interesting pod, and does divide up regionally pretty nicely. But I’ll believe that ND joins the Big 12 when I see the press conference.

  17. vp19 says:

    My feeling is that UNC, UVA and Duke are wedded to the ACC as much as Texas is to the Big 12 and Michigan and Ohio State are to the Big Ten, and as long as those three schools are there, they’re going to have a seat at the power table.

    But when their football revenue declines to East Carolina levels, even they may have to rethink their positions. ACC members have substantially more value than the Big East, so it might behoove the ACC to simply fall on its sword, let the Big 12, Big 10 and SEC pick and choose, then let the survivors regroup with Big East emigres.

    This particularly makes sense if the Big 12 takes in Notre Dame for non-football purposes, then aids the Irish by agreeing to have a few of its members play ND each season — and such members would include traditional Notre Dame rivals such as Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh. With Notre Dame off the boards in a 13-year non-football GOR, the ACC “core four” and its collective synergy may look a lot more attractive to the Big Ten.

    • duffman says:

      If it is 4 big conferences this is what I think happens. The ACC is basically the SoCon without the SEC schools. UNC and UVA may go back to where they were before. Trinity (now Duke) was a southern college in the mold of Sewanee until Mr Duke (native born but New York convert) changed the dynamics. Now it basically a northern school in a southern state. Wake Forest may find what Tulane already knows. In such a scenario it is not hard to see :

      B1G + Duke + Maryland + (Rutgers + Uconn) or (Boston College + Notre Dame)

      SEC + Virginia + North Carolina

      B12 + FSU + Clemson + GT + NC ST + VT + Miami

      PAC can stay at 12 because of time zones geographic moat to other 3

      • JMann says:

        you obviously know nothing about academics; UVa and UNC feel just as strongly about never joining the academically inferior SEC as Texas does

        • FranktheAg says:

          Right…academics. That’s why ND is hooking up with okie state, Tech and Kstate.

          UNC favors a move to the SEC if the ACC is raided. Either UVa, VPI or NCSt partner…unless the SEC goes to 18 and brings 3 from above and Maryland.

        • duffman says:

          @ JMann,

          What I may or may not know about academics is more than off set by a muti generational affiliation with UVA. UVA is an academic school but they are also a “good old boy” school full of alumni who have degrees from there with no academic ability. These are the guys that write the donor checks, and the smart UVA guys work for their companies. Make no mistake that UVA is a dual school, but never underestimate the power of a few folks at the top to make decisions based on who they socialize with after college.

  18. FLP_NDRox says:

    I’ll leave the assertion that the alums at ND are irrational re independence alone.

    I can see no way that the Irish would ever go to the Big XII, with or without football. The truth is that it leaves too many Olympic sports (both lax teams, both swimming teams, mens soccer) homeless. A problem they do not have even now in the Big East, and would not have in the ACC or the B1G. For that reason alone, I don’t think that the NDAD’s office is looking at the Big XII.

    I don’t think that getting shut out of the Big Bowls is necessarily going to put more pressure on the NDPTB to join a conference. For 45 years the Irish didn’t go Bowling. I think at the start it was to impress the B1G and after a while it was to reduce the perception that ND was a “football factory”. We played our first non-New Year’s day bowl in only the early 80s.

    ND alums write the big checks, hold the overwhelming majority of BOT and BOF seats, and the current and former presidents are Domers. The only thing that may get the alumni backing off from “Independence or death” is the first or second time the Irish get screwed from a playoff spot. Let me emphasize “may”. And even then, it’s not sure where the Irish’ll end up.

    • Playoffs Now says:

      I can see no way that the Irish would ever go to the Big XII, with or without football. The truth is that it leaves too many Olympic sports (both lax teams, both swimming teams, mens soccer) homeless. A problem they do not have even now in the Big East, and would not have in the ACC or the B1G. For that reason alone, I don’t think that the NDAD’s office is looking at the Big XII.

      I’m pretty sure that with expected per school revenue to double for B12 and ex-ACC schools to double to $30+ mil if ND comes, they can afford to add more Olympic sports if that is what it takes. Some have already been rumored to be in the process of stepping up to compete for the Sears Cup. Look at what Baylor has already accomplished.

      Not saying ND to the B12 is a shoo-in by any means, but scanning ND Nation and other boards it doesn’t seem as unfathomable as it once was. And a B12 with FSU, GT, one or two Northeastern schools and maybe even BYU would be more of a national conference than any other.

      But I’m not buying at all that the majority of ND Alums (including the big donors) would be ok with missing out on the playoffs and major bowls.

      • zeek says:

        Like he said though, it’s just hard to see ND make any move towards a conference (even in part) until their route to a NC is challenged.

        As of now that doesn’t seem to be on the table at all.

        And in reality, the only way that’s really possibly threatened is if we move to a 4 superconference world.

        • bamatab says:

          I want to first say that I would be shocked if the Swaim guy is 100% correct on this. But let’s say for the sake of arguement that he is. Maybe the potential revenue gap is starting to cause ND to come to their senses? With these escalating tv contracts that these conference are getting, maybe they see a future resource gap and are finally coming to reality?

          With that said though, I also find it very hard to believe that ND would choose the Big 12 over the B1G or the ACC. Maybe they think that holding onto their 3rd tier rights is worth it to them, along with the belief that the ACC is dead man walking? When it comes to their olympic sports that the Big 12 doesn’t offer, maybe the other Catholic Big East schools have agreed to let them keep those sports their (I’m probably just pulling that one out of thin air)?

          I still have serious doubts myself. Not necessarily that ND is willing to join a conference, because sooner or later the revenue gap would’ve become to great. But the abruptness of this, and the fact that it is the Big 12 as opposed to the B1G or ACC makes it very hard for me to believe.

    • @FLP_NDRox – Note that I also said that ND alums aren’t irrational, either!

      It’s not that ND alums are wrong to believe what they do. In fact, I think it makes a lot of sense. I’m just emphasizing to the outside world that may not deal with ND people regularly that they can’t be talked into giving up independence no matter how much money might be thrown out there. Believe me – a lot of people that I’ve talked to in Big 12 country sincerely believe that “all ND needs to do is hear how much money they’ll make and they’ll change their minds.” It’s a “rational” argument in their minds because basically every other school responds to that logic. That’s just not how ND alums operate (as you’ve noted yourself before).

      • FLP_NDRox says:

        I know =) that’s *why* I’m leaving it alone.

      • bullet says:

        Its not the money. Its being relevant. They have just been locked out of the 2 biggest bowls. Their conference is getting chewed up and becoming directional and city schools. And they’ve had a long period of decline which IMO is partly due to their independence (not that I think they believe that-but they understand what decline is).

        I think their AD sees it. Their admin may see it. Its still a hurdle convincing the trustees. I doubt they are ready to see it.

  19. cutter says:

    Don’t count on Notre Dame playing Michigan beyond the next three years. The Big Ten Conference put out the 2015/6 schedule and it shows UM playing Nebraska, Wisconsin and Ohio State all in Ann Arbor in 2015 and all on the road in 2016.

    Michigan Athletic Department Director David Brandon has been very clear in the press that he couldn’t support playing ND, UN-L and OSU all on the road or all at home in alternating seasons. Now that Wisconsin is also on the same schedule cycle, that makes the schedule even more unbalanced in terms of the relative strength of the home and road opponents.

    That means the UM-ND series could be finished. The agreement between the two schools gives each the ability to opt out three years in advance. That would mean the series could end in 2015 or 2106 if either school gives notice. Since Notre Dame wants to have Michigan and USC one on the road/one home each season, ND isn’t likely to change. That leaves one possible option for Michigan–end the series and find another major non-conference opponent for a home-and-home series to replace ND. Michigan might try something else to replace ND, but whatever they do will look to balance out the schedule.

    Also keep in mind that the Pac 12 home-and-home series with the Big Ten starts in 2017. While all the B10 and P12 schools won’t be participating that first season (ex. Ohio State) due to other scheduling commitments, Michigan’s schedule is still open at this point. That would be another reason why the Michigan-Notre Dame series could end.

    We’ll see what happens, but don’t be surprised if there’s an announcement soon that puts this particular series on some sort of hiatus. A two-year break was scheduled for 2018/9. That break might actually come two or three years earlier and could be somewhat more permanent.

    • Pat says:

      Michigan and Notre Dame parting ways would not be a big surprise. This has been rumored up here in Detroit and Ann Arbor for the last two years. Look for Michigan to play more neutral site games similar to the Alabama contest in Dallas this year. Been hearing speculation that the Wolverines might play Florida or Miami at Dolphins Stadium in Miami. Or, Georgia or Tennessee in Atlanta.

      • Steve says:

        The potential game at the Miami Dolphins stadium was mentioned by Dave Brandon, Michigan AD, at an alumni meeting last week. It was widely reported in the Detroit newspapers. It was also stated that Michigan will be announcing a game(s) with a PAC-12 opponent very soon. The games would likely be prior to 2017.

    • frug says:

      I don’t think anyone would floored if the Michigan series went away. About 9 months ago Michigan’s AD said that Michigan would no longer play any OOC road games except for ND and one off neutral site games like Alabama in Dallas, but backed off after the PAC scheduling arrangement was announced. With the PAC alliance they will have to start cutting the ND series back if they want to maximize home games.

      • frug says:

        I will say that if there is one thing that could keep the series going it would ND agreeing to switch up the hosting cycle so that Michigan doesn’t have ND, OSU and UNL all on the same cycle. The problem is ND likes to have Michigan and USC at home on alternating years, so who knows.

      • I try to avoid injecting too much emotion into what I write, but I would REALLY hate to see ND-Michigan be anything other than an annual game. There’s a difference between a non-conference king vs. king game (let’s say, Ohio State vs. Texas) and a game with two heavyweights where there’s legitimate juice and bad blood like ND-Michigan. My hope is that all of this talk about the series possibly ending is CYA and they’ll end up getting an agreement into place.

        • frug says:

          Well the new contract already calls for “regular two year breaks”. What that means (4 years out of 6? 8 out of 10? etc…) hasn’t been clarified yet, but it does mean it won’t be annual anymore.

        • cutter says:

          If the Michigan-Notre Dame series does come to an end, it would be done with the blessing of the Big Ten Conference.

          As I wrote earlier, Brandon was very clear about not wanting to play ND, UN-L and OSU all on the road or all at home, but now we see that trend is going to continue thru 2016. When you add Wisconsin along with Nebraska and Ohio State to that grouping, the the schedule becomes even more unbalanced quality wise for the 2015/6 seasons.

          Jim Delany and the B10 Conference staff had to know about Brandon’s thoughts on the manner. Whether it’s a case of being consistently competitive in future seasons or it comes down to selling luxury boxes and PSLs, it’s not likely Michigan won’t do something to change this and that means replacing ND with another program to make sure the home schedule is attractive each year going forward, not just in alternate seasons.

          We’ll see what happens. The Pac 12 scheduling agreement in 2017 adds another element to consider going forward. Right now, Michigan is able to maximize its ticket revenue by having alternating years of seven and eight home games. A commitment to play a Pac 12 team in one home-and-home series along with a second one to Notre Dame caps the number of home games to seven per year. While UM’s athletic department has been consistently profitable for awhile now, the school also has to pay down the debt on the most recent building and renovation projects while spending an additional $250M over the next seven to ten years on other planned improvements in the athletic campus’ infrastructure. It’s kind of difficult to set aside the approximately $5M Michigan gets for a home game with those plans in mind (especially if those future renovations include the addition of a structure to the south part of the stadium that would enclose it with 8-10,000 more seats along with connecting the concourses in the east and west structures).

          OTOH, with the Big Ten due to come up with a new television contract in the near future, Michigan might be able to afford having two non-conference home-and-home series and only seven games per year. That’ll be up to the bean counters to see if it’ll provide enough revenue for UM to do something like that (not to mention how the post-season playoff, etc. will be set up).

          Frankly, as a Michigan alum and fan, I’d welcome seeing Notre Dame drop from the schedule for some new blood (sorry, Frank). ND has been a regular there since 1978 with three 2-year hiatuses and another one scheduled for 2018/9. Like most major programs in the BCS era, UM scheduled one major non-conference opponent and that’s been ND for a number of years now with a few exceptions (such as next season with Alabama and Notre Dame on the schedule or in 2007 with Oregon and Notre Dame on the schedule).

          If the future includes a combination of teams from the Pac 12 and some other major conference in a couple of home-and-home series, than I’d be very happy to see it. That’s not to exclude Notre Dame from any future schedules, but instead of making it an annual event, playing the Irish two years out of every six or eight would be just about right.

          I took an unofficial poll about six months back on a Michigan board to find out what teams UM fans would like to see on the non-conference schedule. The top three were Texas, LSU and Georgia. In the course of Michigan’s football history, the Wolverines have played UGa twice during the regular season, UT once in the Rose Bowl and have never played the Bayou Bengals. While the inaugural Under the Lights game last year against Notre Dame was very successful in terms of ratings and attendance (114,800), I could see much the same with games against Texas and LSU (perhaps not Georgia–sorry Bulldogs fans, but I do love the Silver Britches Band).

    • jj says:

      Brandon’s just talking. I don’t buy it.

  20. GreatLakeState says:

    I went to the ND Nation site and read a ton of the comments. Funny stuff. I can’t believe how obsessed they are with the B10. The $25 million, the 3 year rolling contract. How we would force them into a division with Ohio state. Laugh out loud stuff.
    I was also surprised at how many are already getting cold feet at the prospect of joining the B12 in the scaaaary southwest, -even if football isn’t included.

    • FLP_NDRox says:

      Weird, I didn’t see any of that.

      Actually, I was surprised there wasn’t more “That’s BS” discussion of Greg Swaim’s tweet. Clearly it’s BS since losing Navy at the least is a non-starter from every known statement from the NDPTB.

  21. Christian in Texas says:

    Hook ‘em

  22. vp19 says:

    Let’s hypothetically say this ND to Big 12 for all sports (along with Clemson and FSU) is the real deal. That would give the Big 12 a total of 13 members, meaning you have to add at least one more. Swaim also tweeted that Louisville could be #14 (if only to get Mitch McConnell out of the Big 12′s hair after what happened with WVU last fall). And let’s say ND requested two more members, preferably schools close to its student/alumni base of the east. Who do you go after if you’re Bowlsby?

    I would guess #15-16 would be Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh, two schools with whom ND has traditional football ties. Both are also AAU members, which would please Big 12 AAU Texas, Iowa State and Kansas.

    • Jericho says:

      You’re talking about 16 teams, 6 more than the conference currently has. Although Notre Dame helps make the financials interesting, it’s still a lot to add in one fell swoop. Not to mention you grow so big as to make some of the additions irrelevant. If FSU and Texas rarely play, you lose part of the point of playing in a conference with Texas (or Florida for that matter).

    • bullet says:

      The idea seems to be 14. And since ND would need some time to transition, there would be no need to rush. The idea is GT/Pitt/UL as most likely.

      • Richard says:

        Hard to see ND wanting UL (or Clemson, for that matter). GTech and Pitt are fine. They’d want Miami and one of ‘Cuse/BC (‘Cuse if they agree to play their ND “home game” in NYC. It’s actually hard to argue that Louisville is better than Syracuse. They both are great (and bring in tons of dough) in bball while neither are great in football. Likewise, current scandal not withstanding, it’s hard to say Clemson is a much better choice than Miami. I think if Miami is willing to play half their home games against ND in NYC, they’ll get in as they’d have ND’s support.

        • Jake says:

          Wouldn’t ND want lots of games in South Florida? Whole bunch of Catholics in those parts. Is playing games in New York something they’ve really been working for?

          • Richard says:

            Jake, remember that NYC has more than 3 times Miami’s population. Plus a higher percentage of the population is Catholic (Miami’s Hispanics are Catholic, but almost no one else is; in NYC, there are tons of white ethnics who are Catholic as well as Hispanics):

            The Irish know that, which is why from 2010 to 2016, ND will have visited NYC at least 4 times (some of the currently unscheduled Navy games may end up there as well); 4 times in 7 seasons is more often than they would visit if they permanently played an annual game against a team based in NYC. When they visit Miami in 2017, it will be the first time in almost 30 years that ND has played a regular season game in S. Florida. Plus, ND can visit Miami for a bowl game. They really can’t do the same (well, they wouldn’t want to) for NYC.

  23. morganwick says:

    My hunch is that “Four Teams Plus” is now more like “Two Teams Plus”. The two champion bowls really take care of like 80-90% of the teams that would be in a four-team playoff, so you’re really unlikely to NEED more than one more game.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      I agree. Don’t think they’ll be willing to leave that much money on the table, but could go that way.

  24. Steve says:

    Football 80% of ACC contract. Good interview with Clemson AD.

    • Bill says:

      Interesting comment from Clemson AD; “The ACC now understands that football is king, and that moves have to be made to protect those football interests. If you don’t your relevance goes away.” In other words, don’t vote down West Virginia or make any other similarly stupid decisions based on basketball and academics.

    • bullet says:

      The amazing thing is that they are still trying to get clarification on that 3rd tier business that confused FSU. This is NOT a new contract. Its a revision. I can’t imagine DeLoss Dodds not knowing what was in the Big 12 TV contract. It sounds like he’s not even sure what the $ are by year (although he could be talking about other conferences in that paragraph where he discusses it). Given all the possible conflicts of interests involving Swofford and his son at Raycom, I would be really concerned if I was a conference member about the details.

  25. Eric says:

    I really hope we get the Moderate Impact Scenario, but think the low impact one is more likely.

  26. Steve says:

    Virginia AD says ACC has plan for Orange Bowl with Notre Dame and FSU not leaving.
    (Very long, but worth it.) I copied this from a free Pitt message board.

    UVA AD Littlepaige & BB Bennett met tonight at Marriot in Arlington, Virginia on the 14th Floor overlooking DC with UVA Top Alumni Contributors.

    1. The UVA AD said these rumors were started by the Former Big-12 Commissioner that brought in Bowlsly and ONE FSU BOT Member that was totally ignorant on the ACC TV Deal. The Big-12 Third Tier TV Rights are meager for all schools except Texas, which will have $15 million that they will share just a few points with the conference schools. WVU, KU, KSU, ISU, Baylor, TT, TCU, and OKSU will be lucky to earn $500,000 from local TV & Radio. WV has just 174 High Schools and there not much more in Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa. The only school that matters in Texas is UT, Baylor, TCU, and Texas Tech will not earn much either with the Longhorn Network dominating.

    On the other hand, the ACC ESPN Third Tier TV Rights will be on ESPN Channels that everyone can find right away and expose them to Recruits that turn to those ESPN channels. The ACC will be paid far more than anything for those Third Tier Rights Nationally and can be sold to other Networks in other ACC Sports. They will be all shared and it is expected that those Rights sold to advertisers that way will bring in another $5 to $7 Million per schools based on how the schools are winning and being ranked. About the only school that will earn more is UT but not the entire BIG-12. ND is earning just $6 million right now from CBS. The Big Ten Per School gets about $8 Million from Fox Big Ten Network. So, the ACC Contract is far more national in scope and depth by having ESPN handling them and sharing all income with all schools, unlike the Big-12 or SEC or PAC-12. The amount cannot be disclosed right now until PITT & CUSE join and see the ratings that come in as National Advertisers bid higher for commercials on ESPN, well WVU, Kansas, or Iowa State have to advertisers selling manure or lower paying advertisers selling local products.

    2. The reason why the Former Big-12 Commissioner is bragging so much is really out knowing the Big-12 almost collapsed last year. It is like a wounded Bear crying to keep predators away. The Big-12 TV Contract is not equal for all schools and that is the dirty little secret no one in the Big-12 wants out.

    3. All the ACC Schools and AD’s are very happy with the ACC TV Deal and many aspects the ACC does not want to reveal for current and future Athletic planning for each school in the ACC. FSU is going nowhere and nothing the Big-12 can offer can make that happen.

    4. The big talk now and although not a done deal is that the ACC is reaching out to Notre Dame for Two Plans:

    PLAN A:
    The ACC Conference Winner that does not qualify for a Playoff spot will play ND at the Orange Bowl every year as means to counter the Rose Bowl & BIG-12-SEC Bowl. Notre Dame sell outs every Bowl they play in and the Orange Bowl is delighted about this aspect.

    SPORTS TV Executives feel that will be bigger and better than anything SEC-BIG-12 offers since mostly their Conference Winner with be #2 pick in most years and God Forbid KU or KSU or ISU or Baylor. Just like the Rose Bowl has often not sold out when the Big Ten or PAC-12 #2 Schools plays in it. However, Notre Dame faithful fans come out at most all ND Games played anywhere. This also keep ND from joining another Conference.

    PLAN B:
    The ACC also feels by having this Bowl Association with Notre Dame, they will play more ACC Teams every year, and eventually this mutual beneficial sharing of Bowl Money and goodwill result in ND coming to the ACC when it decides it is joining a conference if ever. The ACC although they want to have ND join is very happy at 14 right now and if ND wants to stay Independent and still be part of BEC BB and All Sports, fine. But the bottom line this is the best plan for a Big Post-Season Bowl than having to play the BEC or Mid-Major!

    5. The ACC is very happy that PITT is coming to the ACC and said PITT will be there in 2013. The ACC is feels it has re-entered and won back the Pennsylvania-Ohio and New York-New Jersey Markets they lost when BC, Miami & VT left the Big east and few to none ACC Games were shown here. The WV Market is too small to even consider since the TV Stations are in Pennsylvania that carryover to OH and WV, as well as Philly and New York City that smothers New Jersey. ESPN is delighted about this aspect of the ACC TV Contract and so is the ACC. In addition, heavy consideration for ACC to locate ACC BB Tournament to New York City although some push back from UNC, DUKE, NCS, WAKE, and GT who want at least the Tournament to switch between NYC, Atlanta, and Greensboro!

    6. Told personally to one key big alumnus that do not listen to the rumors put out by the Sports Reporters, Big-12 Bloggers, and uninformed posters due to being worried that the Big-12 is really a Big Two League that Texas demands to run as they want, and UT can decide anytime to leave and they can do nothing about it. Many in the Big-12 are very happy at 10 Schools anyway to date.

    Now this is coming from another ACC AD, and we heard from GT, FSU, PITT, UVA, VT, and CLEMSON AD’S on the solidarity of the ACC and playing Notre Dame every year will be just as exciting as anybody as their CF Program starts to recover.
    This post was edited on 5/21 10:29 PM by CaptainSidneyReilly

    5/21 10:01 PM | IP: Logged

    • vp19 says:

      Sorry, I don’t buy it.

      • glenn says:

        deck chairs.

      • zeek says:

        I don’t know. The only reason why I don’t think it’s anywhere near set is because we don’t know the shape of the new playoff. But, there’s a way it could work.

        The ACC and Orange Bowl are both going to be desperate. The Orange Bowl is going to need a good matchup in years where it doesn’t have a semifinal game (if the semifinals are played in the current BCS rotation).

        Now, the main reason why I don’t think this is going to work is because I still think the Orange Bowl would rather contract out an SEC #2 or Big Ten #2 instead of ND which isn’t guaranteed to be good every year…

        And of course the main thing is that all of these possibilities are speculative until we see the shape of the postseason.

        After that, there’ll be a mad scramble by the bowls to set up for their next 4+ year period.

      • ccrider55 says:

        Not sure I buy it either. But it seems more likely than ND to the Big XII to me.

    • @Steve – I think Littlepaige is understating the third tier rights aspect for the Big 12 (although I also think a lot of Big 12 partisans overstate it).

      A deal between the Orange Bowl, ACC and Notre Dame wouldn’t shock me at all. It’s probably the best play for all of those parties now that the Big 12 and SEC are locked in playing each other.

      • Bw says:

        Here are some third tier revenue figures from a few years ago. Some big 12 schools on there

        I assume now they are a bit higher and that’s after the 19-21 mil the schools get with the new conference deal.

        • Jericho says:

          I think those figures are factoring in a whole slew of revenue streams beyond Tier 3 TV rights. That’s the only real difference between the ACC and the Big 12 deals in terms of content. Tier 3 TV rights. When people use the term Tier 3, they are sometimes refering to just Tier 3 rights and sometimes try to a lump a whole slew of other items (like coach’s shows and so forth) in to a catchall “Tier 3″.

          Tier 3 TV rights are essentially whatever is not shown on Tiers 1 and Tiers 2. For olympic sports – it’s everything. For basketball and football, it’s basically the bottom of the barrel games. There’s usually no guarantee any football makes it to Tier 3 (except the Big 12 specifically guarantees one game). Bsketball may be a bit more uncertain. I believe Texas got 1 football game (which I do not believe is promised to the LHN) and about 8 basketball games. Kansas should have gotten something similar. I don’t which specific games fell into Tier 3, but looking at Kansas’s 2011-12 schedule – likely most of these match ups: Towson, Florida Atlantic, USF, Long Beach State, Davidson, Howard, North Dakota, etc…

          I’m fairly certain Kansas is not selling those small selection of games for $6-7 million. Not to local/regional stations. No matter how basketball crazy the state is, those games are not getting roughly $1 million a piece. If it were, basketball contracts as a whole are severely undervalued. The numbers reported for Kansas are likely for all Tier 3 rights.

          Another note. The original post is right. While Texas is making out on Tier 3 TV rights (included in the LHN), the other schools in the Big 12 likely get very little off their Tier 3 TV rights. That’s why other conferences (Big 10, Pac-12, ACC) pool them together. The Pac-12 Network is a compilation of all the schools’ Tier 3 rights (plus I believe some coach’s shows and other stuff). The Big 10 Network is similar (although I believe the BTN includes some Tier 2 rights as well). The ACC goes through ESPN who then subs it out to Raycom. It is probably easier and more lucrative to bundle these together in one package than to let the individual schools sell them. That is, unless you are Texas.

    • Bob in Houston says:

      Interesting stuff. I had not realized that Chip Diller had taken over as SID at UVa.

    • Bill says:

      When Littlepaige refers to the former Big 12 commissioner, is he referring to Chuck Nienas? In other words Nienas is feeding bogus rumors to people like Greg Swaim to create fear and uncertainty among the fan bases of FSU, Clemson and the ACC. If that’s true, it sounds like Nienas is trying to create the Big-12 version of the “Arab Spring”. Maybe we should all be checking Facebook in addition to Frank-the-Tank.

    • bullet says:

      If this post is real, the UVA AD is a desperate, desperate loser. #2, #6?

      #1 I don’t think the AD of a major school would be this unprofessional. #2 There’s no fanbase that is more hostile and delusional towards this than Pitt where this was posted (Carolina is close-but they don’t have a WVU rivalry). But if he really said these things he would only be this desperate if there was some truth in it.

      • bullet says:

        Someone linked a UVA board-the Sabre. People said other than the comment about the FSU trustee it was all fiction. Again, not surprising coming from Pitt.

    • Read The D says:

      It’s been noted and linked several times on this board that Kansas absolutely kills it on 3rd tier rights for it’s basketball games.

      This reads as an ACC sales pitch to keep members who may be thinking of leaving, which is fine and probably should be done.

    • Jericho says:

      Two issues imemdiately pop into my head when reading this:

      1) Where is this $5-$7 million in additional money coming from? I don’t see it. I would agree that Tier 3 rights are vastly inflated by many (or at least include other rights that some do not count as Tier 3). And yes, Texas is not really comparable to anyone else. But I must be missing something. Sure, being on a national network like ESPN (where national advertising is possible) is better than selling rights locally to some Kansas TV station. But I’m still not seeing where this additional money comes from. If rights do flow through (I would think they would) and those sports not shown to ESPN can be resold – who is buying them? Would that not be regional and local stations? Without knowing the exact contract details I guess I cannot fully comment, but I don’t think the math adds up

      2) A Notre Dame-ACC Bowl makes some sense. But what if Notre Dame sucks? Or if they somehow get into a Top 4 scenario? I guess that’s unlikely. Certainly a Notre-Dame-anyone bowl is good for the Orange. It’s good for the ACC. And it’s probably pretty good for Notre Dame. But you’re relying an awful lot on one school.

      • mountainerd says:

        @ Jericho

        ” Where is this $5-7 million in additional money coming from?”

        ESPN and FOX. More so FOX, from what I’ve heard.

        With the additions of FSU and Clemson, and a conference title game, the Big 12 contract is supposed to get bumped up to at least $23 million per team. So if that’s true, which it must be for FSU and Clemson to be strongly considering this move, that’s a base difference $4 million dollars.

        The variables are additional tier three revenue, payouts from the new playoff set-up, and profits generated by the “Champions Bowl.” Who knows how much all that will be worth, but it should be substantial.

        • Jericho says:

          @ mountainnerd – I think you misunderstand. My post was in reference to the claims that ACC schools will make an addition $5-$7 million, not the Big 12. Unless the UVA AD was speaking of the basic multimedia rights that all schools sell. But it sounded like he was trying to imply the ESPN contract would generate more money by the subcontracting of Tier 3 rights. It’s possible, but I do not buy it.

          • mountainerd says:

            My bad. I’m becoming reflexive.

            Has anyone actually confirmed that the UVA AD actually said any of this, or was this all just a desperate rumor started on the Pitt board? They seem to be in the midst of the bargaining stage over there.

          • bullet says:

            Someone on the WVU Scout board posted a link to the Sabre, a UVA board. Basically said it was all made up. UV AD did make the comment about the FSU board member, but none of the other stuff.

    • ChicagoMac says:

      The ACC needs a formal relationship with Notre Dame and in that context I could see option B playing out. I can see an Orange Bowl where the selection is ACC Champ/ND vs. At-large being a valuable bowl and roughly on par with the Rose/Big12Sec deals.

      I could see ND committing to a deal where they play two home games and two road games against ACC foes which would add value to the ACC’s ESPN deal and help ND with their negotiations with NBC Sports.

      • Jericho says:

        I don’t think the ACC wants to cede its spot in a Major Bowl to Notre Dame. It would have to be ACC v.s Notre Dame, or else Notre Dame may get selected most years

    • SuperD says:

      Well that conveniently ignores any comparison of what the ACC is getting in comparison to the PAC and how they will likely be dwarfed by the SEC once they get their network up.

  27. nathan says:


  28. nathan says:

    Doh, forgot to check the checkbox.

  29. hawkfan says:

    I’ll have to admit I’m a little disappointed in the post. I used to think your blogs were really enlightening. I’m a little shocked at some big picture items that you’ve just completely missed or chosen to ignore.

    1. The Big 12 / SEC bowl game is a game changer. It’s the first league owned bowls. So rather than having all that extra money to enrich the bowl organization, city it’s in, or bowl’s executive director, this bowl is being run to make money for the two leagues. It’ll ultimately generate a much larger payout to the two leagues.

    2. On FSU / Clemson, the money in the Big 12 is going to be phenomenally greater than the ACC. Probably $125 million different over a 10 year period in TV money (never mind the additional playoff appearances the Big 12 will have). You really think it’s a great idea for FSU / Clemson to sit around the ACC while their in-state rivals financially destroy them? Come on. You’re smarter than that. Texas A&M / Mizzou will make relatively little money in the SEC than the Big 12. FSU / Clemson have far more to gain making their decision a no-brainer.

    While you and Chadd Scott have been sitting around burying your heads in the sand, pretending there was no scenario possible that would send FSU / Clemson to the Big 12, people that were actually paying attention started looking at the TV money differences and the playoff format (and ability to qualify for it), which no matter what you think of the Big 12, make the decision a no brainer for FSU / Clemson.

    • Elvis says:

      You are correct. Just think Frank is missing the boat on a lot of this with FSU/Clemson.

      It was good for A&M and Mizzzou but not FSU? He simply doesn’t know much about FSU or it’s situation…..and a double standard for some reason

      • acaffrey says:

        I think we have all heard from FSU fans complaining about all the reasons why everyone other than FSU is at fault for 11 years of mediocrity. No need for Frank to rehash it all.

        The Seminoles got their wookies all bent when the ACC had the audacity to not add the Dallas Cowboys in the last round of expansion AND scheduled a Thursday game.

        The horror.

        • Elvis says:

          Yes because a conference should be carried by one team right.

          If that is the case, why the hell would that one team even join a conference?

          The SEC has seen UF, Bama, UGA and other great teams have down years….but someone else steps up.

          If FSU only puts together a 14 year streak in the top 5 and top a 28 year one…….THEY are a fault for slipping.

          The same folks who say that also ripped FSU for not giving Bobby ANOTHER 10 years to wallow in medocrity at the end.

          FSU was at fault no matter what it did according to most. A no win situation apparently.

    • Richard says:

      “It’ll ultimately generate a much larger payout to the two leagues”.

      People keep saying this, but how much do you think those bowl committees take in? Remember that the vast majority of the people organizing those things are volunteers. The payout may be a few million more, but more than that and you’ve lost your sense of economics (see how much tickets and TV revenues for one game, which would be pretty much all the revenues generated by a bowl, are.

      • @Richard – I agree. It won’t necessarily be a massive windfall just because the conferences are running the game as opposed to a bowl committee. As Eric noted previously, it’s not as if though universities are models of cost-saving efficiency.

        Now, the game *itself* might be worth a lot in the open market to various TV networks and sponsors, so that’s where the potential windfall may come from. The main comparison is the Rose Bowl itself since it has its own TV contract that’s separate from the BCS.

        • bullet says:

          I do agree that you are missing the point on the bowl. I think the payout will be substantially more, but that’s not the key thing.

          Before, the bowls were like a game of musical chairs with every conference scrambling to make sure they had a chair. The Big 12 and SEC have just said, “We will create our own chair.” Now the bowls are scrambling to avoid being left out. The schools are setting the agenda and the terms. And there are 4 conferences who are setting the agenda.

        • bamatab says:

          @Frank – As I have said before (in this same blog just a few threads up), that when calculating the revenue for this new bowl you have to realize that there will be at least two sources of that revenue, possibly three (I had forgotten about the sponsors). The tv networks will be bidding on it, the locations (stadiums and/or cities) will be bidding of it, and any sponsors (like Allstate does for the Suga Bowl) that want to have their name tied to this new Bowl. That is 3 different revenue streams that will be bidding some pretty decent money for this bowl.

          • Jericho says:

            But those revenue streams are already there. It’s just that the Bowl does it all. And then pays out the teams. All you do here is cut out the middle man. That likely means more money, particularly since you can get a fresh new TV deal on it. But you also have more expenses to run it. The bottom line question is what is the net gain from it all?

          • ChicagoMac says:

            But those revenue streams are already there. It’s just that the Bowl does it all. And then pays out the teams. All you do here is cut out the middle man. That likely means more money, particularly since you can get a fresh new TV deal on it. But you also have more expenses to run it. The bottom line question is what is the net gain from it all?

            Spot on @jericho. Of course none of that matters since this seems to be largely a PR game where the goal is to scare enough FSU and ND alums into an arranged marriage with Bevo.

        • mountainerd says:

          @ Frank

          There’s plenty of money to be made by the SEC and Big 12 by cutting out the corrupt, largely worthless middle men.

          • Richard says:

            They’d still have to hire people to put the game together, get sponsors, and do the other stuff to put on a bowl. Again, I think there’s a few million extra you can get out of it, but some of the stuff I read earlier (bigger financial windfall than a 40+ game TV contract? Uh, no.) were detached from financial reality.

    • jj says:

      I would say this bowl announcement places FSU to B12 in the plausible dept.

    • FranktheAg says:

      So over the next 20 years the B12 and SEC will be close to equal in TV revenue? Wow. More delusion.

  30. zeek says:

    Frank, a lot of good points with respect to the Big 12/SEC game as well as Notre Dame.

    My only quibble is on the ACC. I don’t think they’ll break apart quickly, but if FSU and Clemson do leave, that conference is going to have to break apart at some point or another.

    It just won’t be a strong enough conference by 2025 or so in terms of money. Obviously, they could just hope that Miami re-emerges and Va Tech carries them, but it’s just unrealistic. Those schools (especially UNC which would hold it all together) are going to have to make the active choice to turn away from the rat race of $ that the other 4 big conferences are in…

  31. MiamiWolv says:

    Sorry have to disagree Frank.

    I think the Plus One is now the most likely outcome. Pearlman — the Nebraska AD — and the Oregon president came out a couple weeks ago and proclaimed that the Plus One format was the preferred choice of their leagues because it preserved the sanctity of the bowls, especially the Rose Bowl.

    Now, the Big 12 and SEC have created their own version of the Rose Bowl (please let it be the Sugar Bowl as a traditionalist, I’d cry if the NY Day game was some new game).

    The Big 12 and SEC’s newest creation only bolsters the B1G and PAC 12′s Plus One argument and preserves the importance of the Rose Bowl. In a Plus 1, the two most likely teams to finish as #1/#2 will be the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl winner.

    These four leagues now could all be aligned with a Plus 1 format. It would also maximize the money from the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. Throw in some provision that the Plus One participants must have (1) won their bowl game and (2) won their conference, and I think this is the likely outcome.

  32. frug says:

    If you want to know what the Big Ten’s conference schedule will be for the next four years here ya go

  33. GreatLakeState says:

    Breaking: ACC pimping out their Football rights to the Oprah channel!
    Including the year end Round Robin!

  34. Elvis says:

    Don’t get your logic at all with FSU/Clemson. We have seen countless schools jump conferences for even lesser money differences, lesser stakes, etc and few object. FSU and Clemson and staring at being in the next Big East and they are somehow seeing it wrong?

    Give me the scenerio where FSU is surrounded by it’s recruiting competitors in the SEC (Auburn, Bama, UGA, and UF) all making $10-$20 a more just in TV money, being outside the new perceived TOP 4 (good luck recruiting), having more basketball mouths to feed, a conference more firm in their commitment to basketball and not football, new playoff system that will esentially lockout the Big East….I mean ACC, yet FSU should stay?

    Think it is an emotional argument, not a logical. If FSU was UVA or UNC where it had Billion endowments and donors that can write $50 checks… MIGHT have a point, but FSU simply doesn’t have the resources to slowly die in the ACC. Don’t think Clemson does either.

    Arguing the ACC will be a player in the future is like arguing the Big East is now. Nobody really believes that….it is more HOPING they are….or arguing techically they are….but we all know they aren’t going to be.

  35. Pat says:

    “The Southeastern Conference’s 12 current schools each stand to add about $8 million a year in revenue under soon-to-be-renegotiated television agreements, but they will be well short of what Pacific-12 Conference schools might get from the combination of their recent TV deals and new conference-owned networks, according to an estimate prepared for USA TODAY Sports by a college sports rights-valuation firm.”

    • Richard says:

      Yep, and remember that the B10′s 1st tier rights come up for bidding mid-decade with every other college conference locked in to decades-ling deals. As I said before, don’t be shocked by $40M/school payout annually to each B10 school after that deal.

      ND also won’t be joining a conference because of TV money; they’ll get $35M-$45M a year in their new TV deal as well.

      • Mike says:

        @Richard – If I had to estimate it, I would put ND’s new deal around 28 – 32 million or 4 to 4.5 million dollars a game (assuming a minimum of 7 home games). That’s roughly comparable to the Big 12’s current deal*. If they go as high as you are suggesting, they risk setting the market higher just before the Big Ten starts to working on their deal.

        * 200MM payout per year (20M*10 Teams) / 45 league games = 4.4M a game [TV networks don’t explicitly pay for non-conference games]

        • Richard says:


          ESPN and Fox are paying the Pac an average of $250M annually for 44 football games, or $5.68M/game. I can’t imagine that ND would do worse, which is why I thought $35M for ND was the very low end. Come to think of it, $50M is not out of the question. I mean, it’s hard to imagine that ND would be comparable to an average B12 or even Pac12 game. I mean, WVU vs. TTech? Washington vs. Arizona? I’d expect ND to do better than that.

          That’s also why I’m confident that the B10 can get $40M/school annually by mid-decade.

    • Andy says:

      “The estimate, premised on the SEC continuing without a conference-owned network and again having 15-year deals, would give the SEC more guaranteed TV revenue than any college athletics conference: nearly $25 million a school per year over the full contract term ($5.2 billion total).”

      Except according to The Sporting News, the SEC is working on creating a network. This will probably get them into the $30M range.

    • Jericho says:

      The numbers may be a bit inflated. It’s my understanding that CBS is already playing a bit of hardball with the SEC on a rengotiation. Although it will depend on the exact wording of the contract, I suspect the SEC is renegotiating on the added value of Texas A&M and Missouri, not the actual value of the SEC on the open market right now. As such, they will be limited in what they can do. Much like the ACC was limited in their renegotiations.

  36. hangtime79 says:

    Frank, we have some disagreements tonight my friend.

    1. I think you are completely wrong on the economics associated with the “Champions Bowl”. While the match-up may not be as good as a CCG, I think the ability to bid out the location year-to-year will make it as valuable or more so to both conferences. Think of it as a CCG+. You will have better contract then a conference CCG (more TV set interests) and cities all along the south bidding on the product. As you have said on this blog many times, why does college football outsource its most valuable product. I think in this case we’re seeing the conferences take the first steps to bringing this back in house. The conferences will run this for the benefit of THE CONFERENCES not for a few good ol’boys who are big shooters in their town. Think professional management versus small family business.

    2. Big 10/Pac 12/Rose Bowl:
    I could care less about how they feel about it now. I would suggest the Big 10 and Pac 12 start jonesing for a piece of the Rose Bowl action now because the train is leaving the station. I could also see maybe another bowl one slot lower “created” for the Big 12/SEC. Again, somebody is making money off this stuff, why can’ it be the conferences. Not saying they want to run the Motor City Bowl but I the top 3 schools in the SEC/Big 12 sure have more drawing interest and can bring some money today. We could see an entirely new paradigm in TV negotiations as I believe the bowl broadcasting rights have not been owned by the conferences.

    3. FSU/Clemson
    Yes. The money is too big now of a difference and neither schools has the issues that the Big 12 had in leaving. As for the health of the Big 12, standing on the edge of the cliff and watching what might happen probably smacked a crap ton of sense into both Norman and Austin. Norman because it found out what it was worth on the open market and nobody wanted Stillwater and Austin because it found out it couldn’t have it all. Now you get rid of 4 schools that have been historically honery (Nebraska, Colorado, TAMU, and Mizzou) and add back two schools (WVU and TCU) and its ALMOST addition by subtraction. You lose much larger schools with more eyeballs but you get back to successful programs that are happier to be in the conference.

    4. Is the ACC going to die / 5. Can the ACC maintain a place at the big boy table?
    No the ACC will not die, but no they will not have a place at the big boy table as they will be irrelevant as Southland conference football. Once the football schools leave the ACC will be the Big East 2.0 with a contract already with ESPN. In a Q&A, the AD for Clemson mentioned in an interview that 80% of the rights fees associated with the ACC ESPN contract were due to football. even with how good the basketball has been along Tobacco Road. I don’t see how a conference that loses all its football power is going to have any gravitas afterwards. Nobody talks about the A10 during football season and no one will be talking about the ACC either if it loses any of 4 of the following: Miami, FSU, Clemson, G-Tech, V-Tech, Maryland.

    6. Notre Dame
    Can we give the Domers a rest. No one is going to give the Domers the deal they have now. They have already welched on the current deal with the Big East, why would they not do the same thing to everyone else. I pray the B12 doesn’t take the Domers in as a non-football member. They have value in one sport only, football (see Boise State). Nobody wants to incur the costs of sending the rest of their teams to South Bend if their is no football to go along with it. I think Swarbrick said the other day ND has many options; I’m hoping every one of those options has them attached to a conference in all sports regardless of where that it is. Full Independence or Full Membership, no more in-between.

    • glenn says:


      there isn’t that much ‘honer’ among those four, historically speaking or not.

    • bullet says:

      I think what everyone misses is that, with the exception of WVU, all of those schools are right where they want to be. Would they leave for a conference making a lot more (especially B12N)? Sure. That’s what Frank is saying FSU should not do.

      Texas is as much a Big 10 school as anyone not in the Big 10. At least when I was there, the profs were mostly Ivy League or Big 10. They have the “arrogance” of a Big 10 school. Austin politically is to Texas as Bloomington is to Indiana. Yet the Big 10 seems to be 4th on their priority list. The President said he “didn’t want to be flying the softball team all over the midwest.” He also said student travel was a big factor in skipping the pac 16 idea in 2010 (and Texas seems most opposed to the expansion ideas which would definitely stretch the footprint).

      Noone in the Big 12 really awants to be in the Pac 12 (admittedly OU’s president might have, but that infatuation seems to have passed). Noone in the Big 12 really wants to be in the SEC (WVU would be an exception). Noone in the Big 12 South wants to be in the Big 10. I think KU,KSU,ISU might prefer the “fit” of the Big 12 if there were no CIC and the $ were equal. That the Big 12 is surrounded by rich, powerful neighbors is a function of the neighbors, not the Big 12. A number of SEC schools would think about leaving if they were in the ACC’s position competitively and financially for an extended period. Maybe not the LA/MS/AL core, but the outlying schools would think about it. Losing money and football games will do that. The SEC hasn’t been in that position, so its a hypothetical, but I can’t see UF/UGA/S. Carolina sitting back in a situation where they were dominated by ACC in-state rivals.

      And the 4 leaving the Big 12 each had their own reasons. CU was a misfit. Its alumni and economy are tied to the West Coast. Nebraska lost their OU rivalry and didn’t have much else. CU was the only school they played that beat them with any regularity. MU and ISU wins over Nebraska were rare and KU and KSU had decades long losing streaks. They had nothing to hold them in. A&M moved for their internal reasons. Missouri moved to a conference that was academically weaker than the one they ridiculed in 2010. It was about money and security. If FSU moves, it will be for those same reasons, although perhaps for the security of being able to compete.

      • mountainerd says:

        @ Bullet

        WVU is exactly where it wants to be: the hell out of the Big East.

        I can only speak for myself and the handful of Mountaineer fans I know personally, but I don’t think very many of us would rather be in the SEC, at least now that he Big 12 is stable, wealthy, and expanding eastward.

    • Bob in Houston says:

      “As for the health of the Big 12, standing on the edge of the cliff and watching what might happen probably smacked a crap ton of sense into both Norman and Austin. Norman because it found out what it was worth on the open market and nobody wanted Stillwater and Austin because it found out it couldn’t have it all.”

      This probably sums up the story of last summer in two sentences better than anything I have heard or read.

      That said, Texas didn’t go for equal Tier 1 and Tier 2 revenue sharing until the LHN check cleared. They are still out for No. 1 — as all schools should be. That’s why FSU and Clemson will leave.

      • ccrider55 says:

        Austin still has all it wants. Well, most of it (made a few concessions). Just found out where the only place they could have it was in what they created to begin with. There is no place like home…

        Question: has the B12 actually steped back from the cliff edge, or have they just steadied themselves? I’m not sure anything has fundamentally changed since last year if FSU doesn’t move. Will a couple more mid major invitations constitute stability and a top four conference? An awfull lot hinges on this play.

  37. Quiet Storm says:

    I find it interesting that all of the hype surrounding the SEC/Big XII deal is being spun by Chuck Neinas and the media located primarily within that footprint. The SEC at the time the deal was announced made their statements and have moved on with other business. I get the sense that the Big XII wants everyone to believe that this is a much bigger deal than it is and really push the idea that they have become an attractive conference for other teams.

    What I don’t get is why the Big XII would be so interested in expansion right away. If this deal truly validates that they are one of the top 4 conferences there isn’t a real need to add more teams right now. They can afford wait to see how things play out with a playoff and be selective in terms of who they target.

    • @Quiet Storm – If I were running the Big 12, I’d want to expand prior to signing a new TV contract (and maybe they don’t have a choice since I’m not sure why ESPN would want to finalize anything with the Big 12 until expansion decisions are finalized). It doesn’t behoove either party to sign a new deal and then have to reopen it again only a couple of months later with expansion. That could play into the sense of urgency.

    • acaffrey says:

      One would think.

    • frug says:

      If this deal truly validates that they are one of the top 4 conferences there isn’t a real need to add more teams right now. They can afford wait to see how things play out with a playoff and be selective in terms of who they target.

      Actually the fact that the playoff format hasn’t been finalized is all the more reason to expand now. The stronger they are going in to the negotiations the more impact they will be able to influence the outcome. While they are strong, the fact they are only at ten teams and have a small population footprint means they are still in a minority position relative the other power conferences. Moreover, depending how the playoff system ends up working they could (theoretically) make staying in the ACC a more appealing option for FSU and miss out on a major opportunity.

      • frug says:

        I also meant add that the idea they could be more selective doesn’t really make any sense since their will never be a more attractive target available to the Big XII than FSU outside of ND who would actually be more likely to join the conference if FSU were added.

  38. Playoffs Now says:

    Let’s not forget today’s biggest story, Pam Ward is gone from ESPN.

  39. Andy says:

    There’s a lot of talk about Virginia Tech to the SEC. I guess I can see how that could be a good move for both parties. But the question is who would be team #16. Many people say NCSU would be a good fit, but I’m not so sure. Maybe I’m wrong, but I kind of see NCSU and a Kansas State-like school. Some die hard fans locally, and some sporadic success, but kind of small time. And ho-hum academics. Would it even be worth it for the SEC to add them? Maryland or even Florida State would seem to be much better targets. If NCSU is the best the SEC can do I wonder if they’d be better off not expanding at all.

    • vp19 says:

      Of the schools in North Carolina, N.C. State may be the best cultural fit for the SEC. No matter how good football may become at the other two schools in the Research Triangle, it will always run second fiddle to hoops. Put NCSU in the SEC and it probably takes quite a few home-state recruits away from UNC, East Carolina, Wake, Duke and even Appalachian, such is the lure of SEC football.

      • vp19 says:

        And that would probably still apply, albeit to a slightly lesser extent, even if UNC and Duke moved to the Big Ten at the same time State joined the SEC.

      • Brian #2 says:

        If cultural fit was the #1 priority, then FSU and Clemson would be in the SEC by now.

        Conferences want value though, and I agree with Andy that NC State just doesn’t move the needle much. They are mediocre in both athletics and academics, and will never be more than the 2nd or 3rd most popular brand in their own state. I can’t see an argument that they would carry their own financial weight without diluting the overall conference pie.

        Now if they brought UNC with them, that could be a different story.

    • bullet says:

      Maybe Arkansas can be Big 14 #14! That would let VT be #14 in the SEC.
      It would make setting up divisions a lot easier in both leagues. TCU makes expanding to 14 awkward for the Big 12. The SEC is awkward right now with their 14.

    • JMann says:

      You have to factor in state politics and college governing boards. In Virginia, there in now way VT goes anywhere and leaves UVa in the crumbling ACC. Governor and state politicians will never allow them given how they go into the ACC in the first place. In NC, both UNC and NC State are part of the UNC system with the same Board of Governors – no way they will let one school go to the SEC and leave the other behind.

  40. Richard Cain (@Rich_Cain) says:

    Here is how it should be:
    The Super 64
    The four conferences are set up like this:





    BIG 12


    PAC 12



    *Each division plays full round-robin; seven games
    *No “cross-over” games.
    *If schools feel the need to schedule with rivals in
    the other division, they can do so as one of the five
    out-of-division games. Games of this sort do not
    count in the standings determining division champs.
    *Division champs meet to determine conference champs.
    *The four conference champs face off in semi-finals.
    *These matchups are not seeded. They are a rotating
    schedule. SEC v Big Ten & Big 12 v Pac 12 in year one,
    Big Ten v Pac 12 & SEC v Big 12 in year two,
    Pac 12 v SEC & Big Ten v Big 12 in year three, and
    so on.
    *All playoff games at neutral sites determined by
    competitive bid process. No bowl sites unless they
    win the bids.
    *Semi-finals played on New Year’s Day or on the following
    Monday if NYD falls on a Sunday.
    *Championship game played on the Monday night
    following semi-finals.
    *Conferences are free to negotiate other post season games
    at their discretion. These games can include existing bowls
    or any other game so long as the participating teams
    meet required criteria.
    *Teams will not be allowed to participate in games
    run by third parties if those third parties make ticket
    purchase requirements of the schools, require lodging
    arrangements at a specific hotel, mandate a length of stay in the
    host city or charge schools for the seats provided for school bands. Third party payouts must cover reasonable travel expenses plus at minimum 50% more.
    *Participants must have a minimum of 7 wins verses
    Division 1-A teams and have a winning percentage
    greater than 50%.

    Revenue is obviously a big issue in all of these scenarios and in the real life realignment. In my mind, if the schools are going to form something like I’ve proposed, they ought to do so as partners and as equals thereby sharing all national media rights equally. If that isn’t good enough, then each individual school ought to negotiate the media rights for each individual game.

    • frug says:

      In world does that even remotely make sense? I mean do you really think it would make the Big Ten stronger to put 3 of its 4 most valuable programs in one division? One of the biggest reasons for splitting the conference OSU/PSU and UNL/UM was to make sure that they didn’t concentrate all the money in the East.

      • frug says:

        Also, you put Notre Dame in a division it would never join and done an even worse job of wealth distribution in the PAC than you did in the Big Ten.

        Not all conferences naturally align geographically. Deal with it.

  41. Art Vandelay says:

    I know this is off topic, but I was wondering. Is there anyway that the Big Ten starts looking primarily to get the BTN in more households by expanding its footprint, as opposed to just gaining leverage for its tier 1 TV deal as we get closer to when the conference collects 100% of the revenue from the BTN? Already, the BTN brings in almost as much as the deal with ABC/ESPN. By 2027, when Fox gives up its 49% stake in the BTN, each school could be looking at making $30-$40 million just from the BTN per year. At that point, doesn’t it make more sense to expand with flagship universities in populous states? I’m not sure the likelihood of it, but getting UVA and UNC would be great for this.

  42. As one of the “armageddon reactionaries” that Frank mentions above, I appreciate his steady hand.

    The major question is does the expansion candidate not just hold their own weight, but increase everyone else’s future gains as well. Mizzou and TAMU, by expanding the SEC’s markets, did so. FSU and Clemson, for the same reasons as above in addition to CCG and overall stability measures, can do the same for the Big 12.

    In the current environment, I could very easily say everyone staying put where they are. ACC/BigTen/Big 12/Pac-12…all at 12. The SEC at 14. The ACC could probably keep the money from ESPN that they just got. The Big 12 would sign its new deal. ND could stay independent.

    The only major shift, and one which I’d like to hear discussed more often, is the cable channel creation. Currently, the Big Ten is the only conference with its own channel. It’s very much a supplementary channel for die-hard fans of schools within the conference. Which there is a large number of. ABC/ESPN carry the prime events from the Big Ten conference, making it the top dog among sports networks.

    In a few more years, the Big Ten’s rights will be up for grabs. Frank mentioned a few months ago how and why no conference would want to remove itself from the “mainstream” of sports programming by leaving ESPN. I’ll stick with his safe premise and assume the Big Ten keeps its Tier 1 with ABC/ESPN. But what if the Big Ten retained its Tier 2 rights?

    If they wanted to up their Tier 2 product, they might not necessarily be after elite football programs, or even football that’s “Saturday-only,” like most of the Big Ten’s teams host. Also, if they wanted more Tier 2 product, they’d need more elite basketball teams to fill up the winter programming. And maybe some better baseball, while they are at it.

    Under the current paradigm, the Big Ten should not be thinking expansion.

    If the paradigm shifts (and Delany is the prime-mover), the Big Ten might be thinking expansion.

    • bullet says:

      The question is what justifies going beyond 12? What do they have to bring to the table to balance off splitting the pie more ways and all the headaches associated with larger conferences? As I’ve said, I was surprised more than a handful of schools could justify going beyond 12, but the ACC already did it with SU and Pitt and they paid for themselves. Does a big market for a network or potential network bring in enough or can you do it through Tier I and II? How much penetration do you have to have in that market? Is ESPN taking a lower profit margin on the additions to consolidate properties (I guarantee they are not losing money on any deal)?

      The 4X16 model assumes that a lot of schools can bring enough $. Even some of the pro-expansion “insiders” in the Big 12 are starting to talk of discussion about whether bigger expansion pays for itself. FSU and Notre Dame are one thing. Georgia Tech, Pitt, Louisville and Maryland aren’t as clear cut. Would Maryland, Duke or Georgia Tech pay for themselves in the Big 10 where the average payout is higher than the ACC? UVA and UNC probably would, but would it be enough to be worth the trouble?

    • Psuhockey says:

      I read the article about Espn but I am not totally convinced that the Big10 will re-up with them in 2016. NBC could overpay and snag both tier 1 and then tier 2 for their sports network. Once upon a time it was believed that the NFL had to be on NBC, ABC, and CBS; that it would fail miserably on Fox. Like the NFL, Big10 football fans are fanatical and will find the game no matter the channel. Like Fox did many years ago, I could see NBC making the Big10 an offer they can’t refuse.

      That being said, the Big10 won’t expand until 2016 because their is no financial gain to do so. And the only two commodities it will expand for is Notre Dame football and UNC/Duke basketball (I could see them taking UVA first as a step to securing them later).

    • BigTenFan says:

      I sincerely hope that the B1G’s TV contract goes to anyone but ESPN in 2016. They have a monopoly on college football, & I’d love for the B1G to be the one that breaks it.

      Let NBC show us the money and air B1G games on NBC national at 12, 2:30, & 7PM every Saturday – that’s a hell of a lot of air time for the B1G on a channel that would actually appreciate the conference, rather than dump on it like ESPN does with every opportunity it gets.

      • @BigTenFan – Possible, but my early prognostication is that would be extremely unlikely. Similar to the NFL and SEC, the Big Ten doesn’t want its top tier games on a fledgling network. It’s one thing if games are on NBC national, but it’s doubtful that there would be a tripleheader (especially with indications being that Notre Dame is going to sign an extension with NBC), which means that the bulk of the games would be on the NBC Sports Network. As much as many fans criticize ESPN, it is still the main place where most sports fans instinctively turn to every day, so it’s very very very unlikely that the Big Ten would abandon its anchor time slots on ESPN. I have also never heard any fan base ever think that ESPN wasn’t biased against them. (I challenge anyone to find a thread on any fan message board outside of maybe Texas that says “ESPN treats us so well!”) In reality, the Big Ten has little to stand on when ESPN’s main college football promotional vehicle (College Game Day) features a former Ohio State QB, a former Michigan WR, and a former Indiana coach as analysts. When you take a step back, we have it pretty good compared to every conference outside of the SEC.

        Now, I could see the Big Ten doing something along the lines of the Pac-12 deal where there are over-the-air games on Fox and cable games on ESPN. My feeling is that ESPN is going to be willing to pay up – they can’t afford to lose the Big Ten to a rival.

        • Great Lake State says:

          In ’16 BTN should offer Herbsteit a mogul size piece of the pie to take the network to an ESPNU level.

        • Do Tier 1 and Tier 2 go hand in hand? Sorry if this is a dumb question. Could the Big Ten sell its Tier 1 to NBC or ESPN…and its Tier 2 elsewhere…maybe even in its own BTN?

        • BigTenFan says:

          Let’s assume ND joins a conference in 2016 – that leaves NBC with nothing.

          If they have no other college football to air, why wouldn’t they air a triple header of Big Ten football? If they’re paying for it, they may as well make the advertising revenue off of it.

          I have no doubt that some of the B1G games would end up on the “Versus” channel, but as long as I can watch, I really don’t care all that much if 3 B1G games per week go national.

        • bullet says:

          ESPN used to not treat us Longhorns well. Even now, they don’t let us see our games!

  43. [...] Bowling for Dollars: New SEC/Big 12 Bowl and Conference Realignment Rumors (Frank the Tank’s S… [...]

  44. [...] the one hand, this triple hearsay was posted on Frank the Tank: Stevesays: May 21, 2012 at 8:58 [...]

  45. Guido says:

    What role will ESPN and the Feds (Anti Trust) play in this supposed game changing move to 4 super conferences?

    The idea of this occurring, while fun to speculate, would essentially throw the entire ACC into scramble mode to fit somewhere into the big 4 along with Big East and the Boise’s, BYU, etc. of the world. That seems like some major content, and financial access losses that might not sit too well with some powerful people.

    Also, unless all the Presidents (who have not been overly excited on realignment) vote to make the Rose and Jerry World Bowl (SEC-Big 12) as the official semi finals in a playoff, how will this new bowl ever really be the champ of those two conferences unless those conferences have a major down year and don’t factor into the playoff?

  46. Read The D says:

    I feel like the SEC/Big 12 Bowl SHOULD be rotated around to different cities. That would be the best way to maximize bidding dollars IMO. It also won’t hurt tradition one bit. Hasn’t hurt the Super Bowl or Final Four and sort of creates a uniqueness for the game.

    The conferences could choose from a pool of Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta, maybe Miami or San Antonio or even Indianapolis or St. Louis depending on how/if Big 12 expands or ties in Notre Dame to their bowls.

    Not sure open air Memphis, Nashville or Charlotte is a good move for Jan 1.

  47. MiamiWolv says:

    I cannot imagine the B1G adds four teams without adding one football power.

    A quartet of Duke, UNC, MD and UVA does nothing for football. And if you’ve been following realignment, its football that drives the bus.

    At least one of those four teams must be a top 15 caliber program, because to increase the value of the national TV Contract, you need to have more high caliber matchups.

    I still like UVA, MD, Rutgers and Virginia Tech to the B1G in a 4 team expansion. That foursome would include one of the finest public schools in the country (UVA), two AAU schools (MD, Rutgers) and Virginia Tech, which is #71 in the latest US News rankings but rising rapidly due to the influx of money from Northern Virginia.

    You add these four teams, and you can lock down the DC market forever, get the BTN network on basic cable in the NJ/MD/VA region, and mark NJ, MD and VA — three of the most fertile states for high school talent — as new B1G recruiting territories.

    Further, Virginia Tech brings a football pedigree into the mix. Yes, they’re not ND or Texas, but they’ve been the most successful ACC program by far since the ACC expanded, and they have a huge presence in DC.

    I don’t think UNC and Duke do anything in football. And basketball doesn’t matter, people need to understand this.

    Its more important to get a stranglehold on the Washington DC area than to put a school in North Carolina or Georgia. Those states will never be B1G states, won’t happen. They’re Southern and more inclined to watch the SEC — just as if the SEC added Pitt, it wouldn’t all of the sudden make the SEC network must see TV in Pennsylvania.

    • mushroomgod says:

      I think you make some good points.

      I like your 4 better than UNC, Duke, VA, and MD.

      VA Tech is interesting, in my view, because of its engineering school. The BIG already has many of the finest engineering schools in the country. VA Tech wouldn’t be up with Purdue, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, or NW, but its pretty good.

      Generally agree with your view that DC market is more important and a better fit than NC market, which remains too southern for BIG 10 tastes…..

      Some issues I have with all this—

      #Generally don’t think the BIG will go to 16 w/o ND……unless all hell breaks loose.

      #Love the IDEA of Rutgers, NY market et al……but that school has a lot of issues. For one thing, there is a long-standing feud between the academics and the jocks. Many faculty have been very critical of big-time athletics. Also, Rutgers ath. dept. overall is pretty inept, I assume because of inadequate facilities…..they are way, way below any current BIG team in the Director’s Cup standings They would have to invest heavily in facilities, coaches et al….which brings us back to the geeks v. jocks feud.

      #VT fans are pretty serious football fans and would probably prefer the SEC.

      • mushroomgod says:

        OK….so after visiting the VT forum, I see little interest in the BIG option……….

        I think BIG fans, generally, completely overstate how attractive the BIG is to southern schools. The football is seen as plodding, and there is no cultural fit. All of which brings us back to the reality of the matter…..which is that realistic BIG exspansion candidates are not all that numerous, a point I tried to make when the MO to SEC move went down……………..

        • zeek says:

          It depends on what the administration, coaches, etc. want.

          The fans don’t really have control of the situation at most schools…

          • zeek says:

            I just mean, if we cared about what Penn State fans wanted; we wouldn’t have brought them to the Big Ten.

            They see themselves as an East Coast school more than anything, yet they’re with us.

          • mushroomgod says:

            really?……what about ND, Texas A@M, and Missouri?

          • Brian #2 says:

            “It depends on what the administration, coaches, etc. want.

            The fans don’t really have control of the situation at most schools…”

            I’m not sure how in the world you can draw this conclusion after what we’ve seen in the last year. The fans of A&M and Mizzou absolutely were driving forces in those schools going to the SEC, and the fans of FSU and Clemson absolutely appear to be the driving forces in those schools exploring the Big 12.

            The fan vote is EXTREMELY important when changing conferences. If the fans don’t buy in, then the move will be a disaster.

          • zeek says:

            ND has to do with not wanting to be in any conference.

            Texas A&M has been pushing for an SEC invite for around 2 decades and Stallings has been pushing internally for a while. A lot of things came together for that to work out…

            Missouri went after a Big Ten invite first. That didn’t happen. Then the OU -> Pac-12 situation happened, and their school made contact with the SEC since they needed a #14 and were looking. That came together at the same time the fans were pushing for it.

            In those situations, you also had the coaches and administrators taking the same positions.

            With other schools, it’s not that simple. The ACC schools in the Mid-Atlantic region aren’t at all that similar to FSU or Clemson, which have situations much more similar to what you’re describing.

            Beamer and Va Tech’s AD were both hesitant on the SEC given how much of a smaller fish they would be in terms of stadium size, budget, etc. if you go back to their more recent interviews.

            We’ll see what ends up happening, but each situation is different in terms of the influence of the fans relative to the influence of the administrators…

        • Psuhockey says:

          I think your are over estimating the southern culture in reference to the four teams discussed above. Having lived in the triangle region of North Carolina for a couple of years, a large segment of the population are transplants from the North and the Rust belt due to the job market. Duke takes a lot of students from the affluent urban Northeast. The only people I know who make a big deal about the culture are usually fans of the sports teams particularly those that don’t live in those areas of the colleges.

          The BIG10 would be hugely appealing to the faculty and presidents of UNC and Duke because of the CIC and a chance to exponentially grow their already sizable research departments. UVA would be the same. This is not about a bunch of fans in Tarheel t-shirts, this about those directly responsible for the prestige and well-being of the University. The BIG10 offers the most athletic money, the most research money, and a chance to be affiliated with some of the most prestigious universities outside of the Ivy League. UNC, Duke, UVA, and UMD would all love to be part of that. The only thing I believe would cause UNC trepidation is losing control and becoming equals instead of leading the agenda. If the ACC collapses, they will run to the BIG in two seconds.

          • bullet says:

            I wonder how much the Big 10 would care about locking up UVA and UNC in the CIC and having essentially all the top public research universities not in California or Texas. The CIC has value, but is it marginal and more in the prestige factor?

          • zeek says:

            bullet, given that the Big Ten doesn’t seem to want any schools that are questionable academically, my guess is that any future expansion will have to include some schools that are unquestionable in that respect.

            Of course, it all depends on what happens with the FSU/Clemson situations and how that destabilizes the ACC…

        • MiamiWolv says:

          It doesn’t matter what the fans want.

          I’d bet a sizeable sum that the VT administration would prefer a B1G invite, especially if UVA is also going to the B1G. VT is trying to elevate its reputation as a major research instiution for engineering and the sciences.

          The problem when fans of certain ACC schools contemplate a B1G invite, they almost always view the invite as if they would be the only team added. They immediately think of replacing UNC, Duke and Clemson with annual games against Minnesota, Iowa and Northwestern.

          But, we know that VT would definitely be invited with a few other regional partners. And there is no way VT is going to be playing Iowa or Minnesota on an annual basis.

          • mushroomgod says:

            It sure as heck mattered in the MO and A@M situations. It sure as heck mattered when ND was on the verge of joining the BIG. Of course it matters, and a lot. Not that the administrators really give a shit what the fans think………..but those are the donors as well, and the squeaky whells……..

          • bamatab says:

            So you’re telling be when the booster start threatening to with hole money from the AD, that the PTB at any school wouldn’t listen to them? Booster support is one of the major drivers in college athletics. When Bama decided to expand Bryant-Denny stadium, who do you think bankrolled that expansion? It sure wasn’t the university. If you want a successful athletic problem, you have to have the support of the booster (who are really just fans with money).

        • Brian #2 says:

          In general, I agree. Southern schools (and fans in particular) want to stay in the South instead of joining Midwest conferences. There is a strong Southern culture in these states, and that seems to get ignored when evaluating massive conference realignment ideas.

          • Psuhockey says:

            The whole discussion about the ACC schools is predicated on the ACC collapsing and/or falling way behind the other four in money and access to the playoffs. So under that scenario, the question becomes will these southern schools align themselves with the SEC or the midwestern BIG. if you pose the question that way, UNC/Duke/UVA have way more in common with the BIG schools than the Alabamas and Arkansas of the SEC.

          • ChicagoMac says:

            This whole cultural argument strikes me as silly. History seems to have shown that the hierarchy of needs when it comes to realignment is something like this:

            1. TV $$
            2. Institutional fit
            3. Geographical fit
            4. Other stuff, including I suppose cultural fit

          • Brian #2 says:

            There are two separate issues that are becoming clouded: what the administrators want and what the fans want.

            While the administrators of UNC/Duke/UVA may prefer B1G, their fans (located in Southern states) may actually prefer the SEC (UNC message boards clearly are in favor of the SEC over B1G if the ACC collapses). While the CIC is valuable, it doesn’t trump overwhelming fan dissatisfaction with a move to a Midwestern conference.

            There hasn’t been one major conference realignment move that did not have overwhelming fan approval. If the athletic money is equal but the culture, geography, and fan approval weighs toward the SEC’s side, then I have a difficult time seeing UNC in the Big Ten.

          • glenn says:

            i’m not sure i see unc going anywhere.  that is a proud school, and they were big-time embarrassed, i gather, by the butch davis/john blake scandal.  i won’t be surprised if they hunker down and play some basketball and stuff.

          • vp19 says:

            i’m not sure i see unc going anywhere. that is a proud school, and they were big-time embarrassed, i gather, by the butch davis/john blake scandal. i won’t be surprised if they hunker down and play some basketball and stuff.

            If they wish to be reduced to the East Carolina of Chapel Hill, only with better basketball, then go right ahead and stay aboard the ACC sinking ship.

          • glenn says:

            their big love is basketball.  we all know that.  as youth, football is what they do to stay in shape until basketball season gets underway.

            if their distaste in general for football, together with the bad taste in the mouth from that scandal, causes them to downplay the pointy ball game, the acc might be an ideal place for them.  their interest in football has never been stronger than iffy except for a few, relatively brief moments, but they’ve never really had impetus to dislike it until now.  the embarrassment of that scandal may deep-six their sporadic interest in football.

            there’s nothing wrong with being a basketball school.  there’s nothing wrong with a school that doesn’t emphasize sports at all.  there’s a lot of good schools like that.

          • Richard says:

            Brian #2:

            It may be before you time, but: PSU. Support of the fanbase was not overwhelming. Many didn’t understand why they couldn’t stay independent and an Eastern league was more to their liking.

          • Elvis says:

            FSU has BC, Syracuse and Maryland in their division.

            The ACC does not offer a ‘southern conference’ for FSU.

    • schwarm says:

      The cultural issue with southern teams is a good point, but I think G Tech has many good qualities that merit strong consideration. New AAU, best engineering dept. in the SE, football tradition but left the SEC in part because of recruiting issues. They would be an outpost in the SE, but there are many B1G alums there, and playing in Atlanta every few years would be a great draw. Also no baggage in terms of other state schools or scandals. Not sure of the mutual interest, but in a list of teams that could be B1G schools in the future, I would think they would be pretty high on the list.

    • BigTenFan says:

      To those of you slamming UNC/Duke – you clearly don’t understand the impact they have on the BTN.

      Regardless of whether they are football brands or not, they are NATIONAL sports brands – which sells subscriptions to the BTN all over the country. While adding in footprint subscribers is most profitable, adding national brands like Duke/UNC gives the BTN the ability to renegotiate its out of footprint rate in addition to selling more subscriptions.

      Also, I have a really hard time believing Maryland could ever get the BTN on basic cable in Baltimore or DC – that is a pipe dream. Their stadium seats 54,000 & their average attendance last year, in a season with a new coach, was under 40,000 – no one cares about Maryland football in Baltimore or DC.

      Further, I’m not a fan of Va Tech – they and UVA pretty much had mirrored success prior to Frank Beamers arrival – Va Tech is a one coach football program – I need to see them succeed after Beamer to believe they are truly an elite type football property.

      • MiamiWolv says:

        DC is far more important than getting some viewers in Carolina.

        Here’s the thing. If you add just Maryland, then you’ve got a presence in DC, but you don’t control the whole market. If you add Maryland, UVA and VT, then you control the DC market.

        When you play monopoly, the goal isn’t to add a couple houses on 5-6 properties. You want to add hotels on the big properties. That’s how you win. Adding VT, MD and UVA, and the B1G will have put a hotel on Boardwalk — Washington DC is the 2nd or 3rd largest market in the country.

        • Playoffs Now says:

          DC is far more important than getting some viewers in Carolina.

          DC-Balt CSA is about 7 million.

          NC by itself is 10 million. UNC alone would carry its state.

          • Richard says:

            However, MD has 6M and VA has 8M. Add the PSU and other B10 transplants in MD and the DC area, and those 2 states would be locked down.

            The problem with UNC is that they’re not going anywhere without one of NCSU or Duke (and likely a home would need to be found for NCSU if they leave with Duke).

      • GreatLakeState says:

        I only see two likely expansion scenarios for the B1G
        -Notre Dame and partner
        -UNC/DUKE UVA/VT (I don’t think any ACC schools come without a foursome)

        The rest is all expansion for expansion sake and as nice as it would be to rack up academic gems, that’s not what expansion is about.
        I would love a Florida State, Miami, ND, VT foursome, but that the B1G’s style.

        • GreatLakeState says:

          Oops. But that’s NOT the Big Ten’s style.

        • mushroomgod says:

          VA, while unlikely, is at least as likely as Duke. Maryland, although unlikely, is more likely than VA or Duke. So you’re short a few scenerios.

          • GreatLakeState says:

            Yes, but I’m assuming neither UNC or UVA would leave the ACC without their partner.
            ….unless the SEC takes VT first

  48. Mack says:

    With the end of the BCS and AQ, all bowls are except Rose are up for grabs, and it is the match-up that counts, not history. The Rose is the only top tier bowl that has its matchup locked in. Any of the other BCS bowls could be demoted out of top tier status by a city with deep pockets and a good stadium (Atlanta, Dallas, Tampa). The Orange Bowl will be second tier if the best matchup it can get is ACC#1 vs. ND.
    SEC and B1G bid out SEC#2 vs B1G#2 to Orange, Peach, and Outback (why stop at 1 game?)
    > Losers go after ACC#1, ND, B1G#3/4, SEC#3/4
    Fiesta: B12#2 vs. PAC#2 or B1G#3
    Cotton: B12#3 vs. PAC#2 or SEC#3/4
    Sugar: wins bidding for SEC#1 vs B12#1
    Capital One (Citrus): loses its premier matchup due to poor facilities and becomes “Gator” level bowl. There could still be a top tier “Capital One” bowl; it just will not be played in Orlando. If there is it means that the Citrus loses both its matchup and name sponsor.

    • texmex says:

      I think the only bowl committees left will be the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, and Orange. The other upper echelon former bowl games will be agree upon matchups between the conferences and game sites. I think the conference commissioners will honor the tradition of the Rose, Sugar, and Orange bowls, however everything else will be up for grabs.

      Rose Bowl: Big 10#1 vs PAC 12#1
      Allstate Invitational: SEC#1 vs Big 12#1 (Atlanta and San Antonio)
      Outback Invitational: SEC#2 vs Big 10#2 (Tampa, FL)
      Tostitos Invitational: Big 12#2 vs PAC #2 (Glendale, AZ)
      Capital One Invitational: SEC#3 vs Big 10#3 (Orlando, FL)
      AT&T Invitational: Big 12#3 vs PAC#3 (Dallas, TX)

      Sugar Bowl: Playoff Semi-Final#1
      Orange Bowl: Playoff Semi-Final#2

      • Eric says:

        I get a change in a lot of the system to an extent, but why drop the bowl name? They have been talking about bringing value back to the bowl system, I don’t think they want to drop the notion of bowl games.

  49. duffman says:

    As I have been saying for awhile it is an either / or plan for the B1G but not both :

    a) Notre Dame goes to the B1G
    b) UVA / MD / UNC / Duke go to the B1G

    Many on here seem to forget 12 + 5 = 17, not 16

    I think this B12 vs SEC is the first move for the B12 to become the “collection” of #2′s who will revolve in the UT driven Sun, and exist under the gravity of OU driven Jupiter. Look at it in simple math if the longhorns want control (which they will not get in the B1G / PAC / SEC) by each school in each conference :

    SEC = #1 Florida : B12 = #2 Florida State + #3 Miami
    SEC = #1 South Carolina : B12 = #2 Clemson
    SEC = #1 Georgia : B12 = #2 Georgia Tech
    SEC = #1 North Carolina : B12 = #2 North Carolina State
    SEC = #2 Texas A&M : B12 = #1 Texas
    SEC = #1 Virginia : B12 = #2 Virginia Tech (remember Beamer is not immortal)

    Before you say there is no way consider Texas, TAMU, the SEC, and the ACC were historically tied to each other in the beginning of college football so there is already a precedent for a such and arrangement.

    Duke and Maryland are the northern outliers which is why I can see them in the B1G. Virginia is on the fence and can go either way. North Carolina is very much a southern school. If Virginia Tech and North Carolina State have safe homes in a stable B12 then the politicians of both states will be able to sign off on such a move. At the same time the B1G can add Duke and Maryland to get to 14 while waiting out their last 2 additions, especially if one of them is Notre Dame.


    The B1G, who has no problem moving slowly, lands 2 more AAU schools

    The SEC, who wants better academics, lands 2 more AAU schools

    The B12, who wants to survive, but maintain control, gets 6 homeless schools

    Politics work in VA are happy because UVA and VT wind up in the “Big 4″

    Politics work in VA are happy because UVA, VT, and Duke wind up in the “Big 4″

    B1G maintains all AAU status, SEC gets to 6, B12 gets 4

    B1G gets the north, B12/SEC the south, and PAC gets the west

    B1G vs PAC in OOC football, B1G vs SEC in OOC basketball

    SEC vs B12 in OOC football, B12 vs PAC in OOC basketball

    FBS primary = B1G + B12 + PAC + SEC in 4 team playoff

    FBS secondary = everybody else in D 1 – B football playoff (see map)

    128 teams in 2 playoffs where everybody has a chance at a championship
    BCS type for Big 4, NCAA controlled playoff for everybody else

    • zeek says:

      Why is anything either/or?

      You can’t go to 18?

      Does anyone really think the Big Ten would ever say no to Notre Dame at this point?

      • zeek says:

        I’m pretty sure that whatever the number of schools in the Big Ten (whether 12, 14, or 16), if Notre Dame ever asks to join the Big Ten, they’re in…

      • B1G Jeff says:

        I doubt it, but I wish that wasn’t the case. It’s not because I dislike ND (or am particularly interested in the drama either, although I clearly see the value they would bring). I simply accept the fact that they want their independence, and I choose to respect that, regardless of the consequences to them or the lost opportunity for us.

        Let’s say ND joins against the wishes of its alums. Fast forward 5 years. Explain to me please how this is a good situation. We’ve introduced discord and bitterness to a group where none previously existed. ND on the way in earns concessions that neither PSU nor NE were able to achieve. There’s a sense of ongoing mutiny. How is this a good thing?

        ND is not a cultural fit. Small, private, fiercely religious (Politics aside, suing the government? Really?) and self-contained, if not self-absorbed (not a criticism, just an observation) doesn’t lend itself to the cohesion the B1G is accustomed to.

        Why can’t we allow them to evolve on there own and pursue our own interests without chasing a white whale? It’s a big embarrassing, IMHO.

    • glenn says:

      precedent for a such and arrangement

      that doesn’t read quite right, and i’m assuming you meant to say precedent for a suck end arrangement, and i’d like to say i agree completely.

      • duffman says:

        glenn, at one time all the schools were in the same conference. This is historical fact and not fiction. My point is at some point the B1G will have to say they want 4 from the ACC as a southern option, or they want Notre Dame and some east coast schools as the northern option. It seems impossible to get both when the SEC still has 2 slots and the B12 has 6. Not many games allow one opponent to move unfettered without the opponent moving at the same time or in turns.

        The Duke + Maryland to 14 first move allows both the northern and southern option to remain till the hand plays itself out. If Notre Dame joins and brings a friend, you get to 16, but if Notre Dame joins another conference, it allows the B1G to round out their 16. No matter how you slice it the PAC is limited in the schools possible to a 12 – 16 member conference. Expecting the B1G or SEC to pass 16 seems to invite more problems than it solves.

        I think the B1G expecting to get 18 or 20 teams is greedy and reaching, and could backfire strongly in terms of the rest of the country. The B1G (and all the other conferences) can not operate in a vacuum without expecting the other conferences to block them. This is why I argued on Missouri to the B1G as a footprint expansion that blocked both the B12 and the SEC. To win, you must outthink your opponent with a macro view.

        • B1G Jeff says:

          Duffman, what’s the logic in The B1G going to 14, 16, 18 or 20? Aside from massive expansion of BTN or the CIC, I don’t get it. Hasn’t our exceedingly slow growth been related to entrants needing to at the very least pay their own way? What that has occurred of late changes any of that? I’d love Duke, MD, UNC, UVA, Rutgers, etc, but only because I’d love to have the NC, MD/VA/DC, NYC/NJ markets. Otherwise, I’d happily continue to enjoy the historic rivalries I grew up with. How do we get penalized by staying put until and unless a king (either in football or in ability to deliver a contiguous target state or enhanced CIC opportunities) presents? What am I missing?

          • duffman says:

            B1G Jeff,

            Early on Frank kept talking about new markets for the BTN. While I was reluctant at first thinking Pitt and ND would be good additions, I have changed my thought to were untapped territory is which is why I am not sure about not getting Missouri while it was there. The thing Frank has not addressed is the argument for a line of supply on the territory the B1G has gotten. It is why I disagreed with Frank early on about Miami and Georgia Tech as they are too far no matter how good they may appear.

            Missouri and Maryland are closer and seem to have a northern feel. According to Frank, Pitt will never get the invite because of the PSU overlap. I think Duke is the basketball half to a possible Notre Dame football ad in that they both draw well in the east coast markets without actually being located in the east coast. I am not saying the B1G ever has to expand past 12, but they do not have the geographic isolation the PAC does in the west coast to not lose markets to other conferences.

            Now that Missouri is off the table, adding Duke for basketball and academics seems to fit, and adding Maryland – who plays Notre Dame, has fertile recruiting grounds, and gets the BTN in the bottom half of the east coast carriage potential seems like conservative middle ground move till the final realignment arrives. This is not to say attack the ACC if it can hold itself together, but if 4-6 schools jump including Clemson as a founding member, then the ACC must be considered prey. Better to strike after the beast is down than to wait till the end to pick at the bones.

          • B1G Jeff says:

            Duffman, we don’t disagree at all. I’m just surprised that not much has been said with respect to the financial impact of adding anyone. Specifically, on these posts we’ve previously identified viable candidates based on either revenue neutrality or multiplicity based on some consideration of BTN revenue generated by instate (population times x cents per subscriber), out of state BTN reach (.05 cents per subscriber) and in NE’s case, adding the B1G Championship Game.

            Even though many schools were deemed great due to contiguity, AAU status, and/or football tradition, often that was only the threshold that had to be reached to be considered. The financial portion was the ultimate means test, because conference members aren’t interested in smaller pieces of the overall pie.

            My point is why would we assume that’s changed in any of the potential candidates? Exactly what pressure is the B1G under to expand? Getting ‘left behind’ hasn’t been a reason in the past. The argument I’d make for UNC/Duke might be the UNC subscriptions plus national basketball reach. Football is king but in the world of cable, programming is king. Good basketball and baseball is much higher on the totem pole than academic programming (as the BTN has recently learned).

            I’d think the key is to financial quantify that impact. I’d still suggest that unless the financial threshold is reached, further expansion is a non-starter.

          • duffman says:

            B1G Jeff,

            Somewhere in the past on this blog I had a long debate with Brian on the concept of models on college football and conference realignment. A point of debate in that it really is realignment and not expansion as many early on acted like it was. I wish I had bookmarked the thread but I will try to sum up the points :

            #1 realignment is a zero sum game so for one to rise (expand) another must fall (contract) in the process. The Ivy League and private schools of early football success are no more. As the public state schools of the GI Bill era prospered, they did so at the expense of the early powers of college football who were small and private.

            #2 models drive realignment, but the base number for D I football is and always has been about 48 – 64 total schools. This is where Brian and I seemed to disagree, but my basic model (with admitted outliers) was the movement from 8 to 12 to 16, and I have been pretty adamant about this since I first started responding on this blog :

            a) 8 team model allows for local rivals and independent schools with power
            b) 12 team model allows for a CCG and added revenue while IND seek shelter
            c) 16 team model allows for pods, added playoff money / control, and eats the weak

            The B1G and SEC are the apex predators in that they have big footprints and the big stadiums across their conferences. In addition they have cultures that promote stability among members which makes them that much stronger. This said, the game changer in the past decade has been the CCG and now it is the norm. The PAC is unique in that it has no apex predator in the territory it controls. The ACC / B1G / B12 / SEC must all defend their borders from multiple neighbors to retain a position of power. Movement has been slow getting to this point, but the move to 16 means a definite power play to lock down a conferences share of 500 million dollars a year. Getting to 16 is a means to eliminate dividing 500 million by 5 or 6 when at 16 you divide it by 4. Look at the math :

            500 million / (12 schools x 6 conferences) = ~ 7 Million per school per year
            500 million / (16 schools x 4 conferences) = ~ 8 Million per school per year

            While 1 million per school increase does not look so big, the real thing happening is a larger and larger barrier to entry to stay at the top. Like the NFL, the talent pool for college football is finite, and subject to the law of diminishing returns. A school like Ohio State can go 3 deep in talent while Boise State must rely heavily on their first string. Not to be totally cynical about the heads of media companies, but I think they want stable long term predictability of “brands” like Ohio State over “cinderella” Boise State. Sure the Broncos have offense (good for the casual viewers) and story (SmurfTurf) but Ohio State bring steady eyeballs to see ads for beer and deodorant.

            Getting to the “playoff” may be the final model because at this time I can see no model past 16 that increases revenue without diminishing returns for added schools :

            8 team model got us bowl games for the revenue bump
            12 team model got us CCG’s for the revenue bump
            16 team model gets us the 4 team playoff for the revenue bump

            Going from 8 to 12 meant eliminating competition
            Going from 12 to 16 means eliminating competition

            The basic question is adding Duke worth getting current B1G another 8 million?
            The basic question is adding Maryland worth getting current B1G another 8 million?

            If it really is (4) 16 team conferences, Notre Dame may be forced to give up independence or face becoming another casualty like Harvard, Yale, Chicago, and other great names from the ghosts of football past!

          • Mack says:

            Your revenue bump is from reducing schools from 72 to 64. Just declare the Big East a non-factor and you have 63 schools (w/ND) in 5 conferences and a better payout than 4*16. If the ACC is weakened by the defection of its top 4 football schools there will be 53 schools sharing in 4 conferences. No need to go to 16 to get more playoff money. There are not many schools that could get in a 4 team playoff outside the 48 schools in the top 4 conferences today (ND, FSU, and Miami if they get their mojo back; Clemson, VT, GT??).

          • ChicagoMac says:

            The only quibble I have is the infatuation with 16/pods.

            It could well be that we are already in the “Age of the Superconference”, leading to the 4 team playoff and it could well be that each of these 4 conferences will be free to operate at whatever number suits them.

          • B1G Jeff says:

            Well stated, Duffman, but as a macro argument. I’d guess by extension, you’d argue that supply creates demand here. On the micro level, Delany et al have been rather insistent that new entrants must at least bring enough to the table as not to dilute the B1G’s pot. I’ve heard that assertion more than anything else as an official proclamation (closely followed by the desire to target markets, which isn’t the same as obtaining new teams). Thus, in order for all to be well as you’ve outlined it, the pot would have to grow beyond the $500M example you provided, and this growth would demand a 4 super conference structure. Otherwise, I believe the evidence is aligned with ChicagoMac’s point, and the 12 team B1G would simply choose to allow the distribution to its components to grow (the Big XII has stated the same desire).

            The B1G seems to believe it will be fine at whatever number it chooses to stay at, and its decision to grow will be entirely based on metrics it chooses. One could surmise that the B1G’s position is that there hasn’t been any inertia (outside of the blogosphere) for it to create barriers to entry through expansion. Other conference’s expansions and/or realignment simply hasn’t affected the B1G’s bottom line at this point.

            Just as we allow the notion that ND can stay independent (relatively) forever, the B1G is just as good at the long game and can stay at 12 for another decade or two.

          • duffman says:

            B1G Jeff,

            I can see the 12 or 16 team model work either way. What you are gaining in going from 6 conferences to 4 it picking off the market leaders, and dooming the problem children. Wake Forest, Boston College, Tulane, and Rice are not bad, they just can not keep pace with a close competitor. What you are really getting with that 500 million is peace of mind and add on value.

            If the B1G added :

            Maryland + Duke + UNC + UVA
            Maryland + Duke + Notre Dame + Rutgers

            What they are getting is
            + more money and presence in new member markets (over the 500 Million)
            + no upstarts to demand a piece of the pie – no more BE or ACC means no threat
            + you become an oligarchy with each group over a section of the income stream
            + media is happier negotiating 4 contracts instead of 6 or 8

            Watch any business or industry and you always see consolidation to reduce overcapacity and inefficiency while rewarding stronger players to survive and profit form the consolidation. I was lucky to see college athletics in what I really believe was the golden age. Like it or not it is a business who is driven by revenue streams. The days of college kids in boarding houses and riding trains because the sport had no money is not due to return. When my generation dies it will no longer even remain a memory to wax nostalgic about.

    • mushroomgod says:

      BIG won’t add MD and Duke as 13 and 14……… way, no how.

      • JMann says:

        Top academic schools like Virginia and UNC have less interest in the SEC than Texas does

      • vp19 says:

        Maryland could enter the Big Ten with a partner other than UVa, UNC or Duke. I don’t see either of the latter three going into the Big Ten except as part of a four-team group with Maryland, the most Big Ten-like of the four in terms of land-grant flagship status and research (or to have the SEC take in UVa/UNC/Duke as a trio, which isn’t happening). That probably means the SEC had better take Virginia Tech and N.C. State or risk being shut out of both states.

        • JMann says:

          except VT and NC State are not going anywhere unless UVa and UNC go with them – too much state politics involved – and UVa and UNC are not ever going to the SEC – so that door is closed

          • duffman says:

            I tend to disagree. I do not think they have to travel in pairs as much as both have to have a stable landing spot.

        • duffman says:

          I know I have been the contrarian all along, but I remain skeptical that UNC and Duke are tied at the hip where ever they wind up. I know this is the popular opinion, but Tulane is no longer in the SEC and they were a private academic school who lost their hold in football.

          Having Loki on this board reminds me that Rice was in a similar position when the SWC became a memory. Nobody doubts their endowment and academic credentials but nobody is saying they will join the B12 or SEC. Duke has basketball and academics that could fit well in the B1G over the football centric B12 and SEC. Maryland can fit in the B1G better also and would move the B1G to the east coast corridor.

          That leaves the states of VA and NC with the most options, and the most political issues to deal with but I would not rule out a B12 & SEC sweep of both. While UNC and GT have the academics, they would be the fringe of the B1G when it came to football and keep in mind these are state schools which means the governor has more pull than the professors. Board of Trustees at state schools are political appointees which means they are probably big donors and there are more voters in in a state than alumni.

          While you may say this is not important, I feel sure that the hotel owners and food places in the triangle know that 10,000 – 20,000 fans showing up form almost all the SEC schools is a reality. A school like UVA or UNC has to see that and know a stadium expansion of 10,000 – 20,000 seats is not out of the question. That means contractors and construction folks who have a vested financial gain in seeing these schools gain SEC membership. Do you really think contractors are not the biggest donors in most state related elections, including the office of the governor?

          • Wes Haggard says:

            Duff an, By Jove, I believe you have got it. Another way of saying you nailed it. Good posy.

    • JMann says:

      “Politics work in VA are happy because UVA, VT, and Duke wind up in the “Big 4″

      also, what are politics works??
      and if you mean politicians, why would politicians in Virginia care anything about Duke?

      • bamatab says:

        They said the same thing about Texas politics. That didn’t seem to keep TAMU from leaving. And their were more Texas schools at stake if the Big 12 would’ve crumbled as a result.

        • JMann says:

          Actually it did. The BIG 10 wanted Texas but the tole the Big 10 they could only come if they invited A&M and TT too. Then, when Texas flirted with the PAC, they had to bring Texas Tech along if they wanted Texas.

        • zeek says:

          UT is different though in that they’re the giant of giants. A&M leaving didn’t hurt them. A bit different here.

          This is more like how OU and OSU are tied together…

        • ccrider55 says:

          But aTm, TT, and of course UT had landing places. Only Baylor didn’t and look what happened. aTm landed in the SEC while TT and UT provided Baylor it’s place by not leaving after all. I can’t say Texas politics dictated the method, but it seems the result was to their liking.

          • bamatab says:

            It worked out to the Texas politician’s liking, but no one really knew what was going to happen. Baylor getting left out to dry was a big possibility, and no one really knew what UT was going to do. They weren’t going to the Pac 12 with the LHN, so if they would’ve gone independant or to the ACC (which was rumored also), then TT would’ve also been left out to dry.

          • ccrider55 says:

            ESPN hadn’t made their Faustian offer yet. There was no LHN, only rights, that the ACC required same as the PAC. Choice was PAC w/o rights and Baylor, Indy with rights but w/o TT, Baylor, and perhaps the RRR, or shelter TT, Baylor the RRR and keep rights.

        • frug says:

          The key with A&M was timing. The SEC waited until the legislature was out of session for two years and the governor (the only person who could call them back into session) was busy running for president.

          • Ron says:

            Rick Perry, our governor and supposed Republican presidential favorite, was also an Texas A&M Aggie “yell leader” in college, which also probably played into A&M getting its way. It’s been fun watching conference realignment from the standpoint of the state of Texas. TCU wound up with an upgrade to the Big 12. SMU and Houston got invites to the Big East. Even schools like North Texas and UT-San Antonio wound up with invites to Conference USA and Texas State goes to the Sun Belt. So political non-intervention by Texas politicians has worked okay up to now. Even though the old adage about a blind sow finding an acorn now and then comes to mind…

          • bullet says:

            Not for Rice.

      • FryGuy says:

        Politicians in NC don’t care that much about Duke……

      • duffman says:

        @ JMann,

        Politicians in VA care about UVA and VT

        Politicians in NC care about UNC and NCST – and some care about Duke

        Such an arrangement outlined above allows the politicians of both states to insure the state schools in their state wind up in one of the Big 4 conferences. It also allows Duke to land somewhere where basketball has value. The only one who gets killed is Wake Forest, and they just have too little to offer a big conference anymore.

        • JMann says:

          Politicians in NC do not care about Duke AT ALL – its a small, private institution, not a state school. Most of its students come from out of state and few stay in NC after graduation

          • duffman says:

            Duke has a medical center that employs around 10,000 folks and got 50 Million from Bill Gates so I feel sure the politicians in the state care about the jobs Duke provides, and the payroll taxes that flow into the state coffers. While they may not have as many jobs as UNC or NC State, I feel fairly confident that they matter as a large employer. Not to many politicians would ignore a Fortune 500 company in their midst and keep getting elected.

            If a politician put Duke in the B1G, UNC in the SEC, and NCST in the B12 I feel fairly sure he would have insured survival of all three via diversification among 3 of the 4 future power conferences. If you can not understand this simple concept, maybe you need to spend more time around politicians.

    • Richard says:

      Um Duff, you assume the B10 would want Maryland and Duke by themselves. I see the B10 preferring to stand pat rather than adding only those 2 (unless the B10 gets ND as well).

      • duffman says:


        I am thinking of it in stages

        #1 Florida State and Clemson join the B12
        Keep in mind that Clemson is a founding member which means more than FSU going

        #2 Miami and Georgia Tech join the B12
        Keep in mind GT was a member since the 70′s and an AAU school

        If we get to this point the ACC is toast and will never be a CFB player as a predator

        At that point is when I would add Maryland and Duke to the B1G as # 13 & # 14 because that would mean 4 of the primary ACC schools were now gone (South Carolina, Clemson, Duke, Maryland) and only 4 remain (UNC, NC State, Virginia, and Wake Forest)

        #3 Maryland and Duke join the B1G

        If the ACC is gone, then so is the shelter the ACC can provide for Notre Dame now that the Big East has been gutted. This means Notre Dame will have to join somewhere, and the B1G becomes the best option to the PAC, B12, and SEC.

        This means your last 2 slots are for one of the two options :

        a) Notre Dame and a friend
        b) UNC and Virginia

        I am not saying the B1G does this as a first strike, but as a response to what the B12 is trying to do. If the ACC is gone at the top level, you have to think the big schools will want to find another place to land. The other option is the ACC becomes the next Ivy League in sports where their historic past is lost to a dead and dying generation.

        • Richard says:

          Duff, you provided a lot of good reasons for why Duke, UMD, et al would want to leave the ACC and none for why the B10 would want to take Duke and UMD (only). You also didn’t mention ND at all in your original post. The B10 isn’t going to take UMD & Duke in the hopes of landing
          some combination of ND, UNC, or UVa in the future. UMD and/or Duke will get invited only as a package deal where some of ND, UNC, or UVa also join.

          It’s my opinion that ND can stay independent in football pretty much forever. They don’t need a “shelter” anywhere.

          • duffman says:


            All along Frank has discussed getting the BTN in the east coast as a big deal for growing the B1G footprint. The east coast has lots and lots of eyeballs and a high concentration of B1G alumni. Correct me if I am wrong but Maryland is the bottom part (Washington, Baltimore) of that corridor, and Duke is the upper part (New York City, New Jersey) of that corridor. Having both these schools should affect the carriage rates of viewers. If this is not about new footprints then why would realignment be happening at all? Duke and Maryland both are AAU, and not in any danger of losing this the way Nebraska did.

            The issue is the greater limitations of schools that fit the B1G vs the other power conferences. There are currently 61 AAU schools and it is the subtractions from that point to a much smaller pool of possible schools in what remains for B1G additions :

            61 = current AAU schools
            - 2 = McGill & Toronto (I think jj and I are the only supporters for Toronto)
            - 12 = current B1G schools + former B1G Chicago
            - 8 = current PAC schools
            - 4 = current SEC schools
            35 = Sub total – Canada, B1G, PAC, SEC
            - 5 = California schools
            - 7 = Ivy League schools
            -10 = D III schools not already counted + FCS school Stoney Brook
            13 = Schools left on the short list

            (5) EAST COAST SCHOOLS
            Buffalo = MAC
            Maryland = ACC
            Duke = ACC
            Rutgers = BE
            Pittsburgh = BE

            (4) SOUTHERN SCHOOLS
            Virginia = ACC
            Georgia Tech = ACC
            North Carolina = ACC
            Tulane = CUSA

            (4) WESTERN SCHOOLS
            Iowa Sate = B12
            Kansas = B12
            Texas = B12
            Rice = CUSA

            Take out Buffalo, Pitt = overlap, Iowa State = overlap, Rice, and Tulane and here is your short list :

            (3) EAST COAST SCHOOLS
            Maryland = ACC
            Duke = ACC
            Rutgers = BE

            (3) SOUTHERN SCHOOLS
            Virginia = ACC
            Georgia Tech = ACC
            North Carolina = ACC

            (2) WESTERN SCHOOLS
            Kansas = B12
            Texas = B12

            Now since the B1G did not add Missouri, it is safe to say that Kansas is out. Georgia Tech would be very hard to support in the B1G based on SEC all around. Texas appears PAC bound if the B12 is no longer based on their response in the 90′s and now with their failed move in 2010. Adding 2 ACC schools that fit the east coast seems the most logical interim step in acquiring UNC + UVA or RU + ND. How is that hard to understand as a positive for the B1G?

          • Jericho says:

            @ Duffman – Duke is in North Carolina (Durham to be exact), almost right next to UNC in the research triangle

          • vp19 says:

            Why not simply take the ACC “core four” of UMd/UVa/UNC/Duke (or GaT in lieu of Duke), then eventually take Notre Dame and the one you didn’t choose in an expansion to 18? First, you get the synergy of four ACC members, amplifying the sum of their parts in the Big Ten, then you can add ND and a partner. (I might select Georgia Tech over Duke in expansion to 16 because Duke would be easier to pry later on, whereas GaT might go to the Big 12 where a GOR would jeopardize its later entry.)

          • duffman says:

            [i]Jericho says:
            May 23, 2012 at 9:03 am
            @ Duffman – Duke is in North Carolina (Durham to be exact), almost right next to UNC in the research triangle[/i]

            My grandfather told me as a wee lad that getting to NJ from NYC was a short drive across a bridge, but getting to NYC from NJ is a lifetime. The older I got, the more wisdom I found in his observation.

            UNC = southern school in southern state
            Duke = northern school in southern state

            I have been to both places often enough to know in person how close they are in physical distance, but they are a lifetime apart in real distance, and I have seen this personally for a long, long, long time.

          • Richard says:


            It’s hard to understand because adding Duke and UMD (only) would not raise the average TV payout to the current B10 schools.

            Duke would “deliver” NYC about as well as St. John’s would. Any plan to capture the East Coast would require ND. If that wasn’t the case, Rutgers would be in the B10 already.

            Any first step requires some combination of ND, UVa, and/or UNC. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but there is no imperative for the B10 to expand. “Necessary” is not the same as “sufficient”.

          • duffman says:


            Because Duke appears, from everything I have seen and heard, appears to be the Notre Dame of basketball when it comes to the New York markets. Notre Dame is an Indiana school but nobody has ever claimed that Indiana is their prime market. Duke fits this profile as a North Carolina school without North Carolina as their primary market. New York City and New Jersey seems to be the Duke base, so adding them means between Duke and Notre Dame you lock up the upper east coast better than any other combination on a year round basis for higher carriage rates for the BTN in a very dense population. Maryland allows a lock on the lower east coast between DC, Baltimore, and Philly.

            The trick was to do it in stages just like adding Penn State to expand east. Again, if Clemson and Georgia Tech stay put, the ACC survives by reforming with the Big East, but if those anchors go, then it is a matter of time before the rest crumble. The B1G could stay at 12 till the cows come home, but the question becomes is that the best long term move? If the terps were unhappy in 2010 do they feel any better now? You have to think the day the first ACC team gets plucked it sets the bar that it can be done in the future. Fear has a irrational effect on folks, and losing Clemson / Georgia Tech is serious. Can you imagine the B1G losing Wisconsin or the SEC losing Georgia?

          • Richard says:


            1. Exactly. Basketball. Not football. Basketball, the sport that is worth 20% of the TV contract value (according to the Clemson AD) vs. football’s 80%. KU is just as much a king in basketball as ND is in football, yet everyone would want ND to join their conference while KU would have trouble finding a home if the B12 dissolved. Saying getting ND and Duke locks up NYC is kinda like saying getting UGa and GTech locks up Georgia. I mean, technically, it’s true, but the first does it by itself and the second can not do it by itself. As you can tell, I don’t subscribe to the theory that basketball can get the BTN in to NYC. Otherwise, Syracuse would already be a B10 school.

            2. The best long-term move for the B10 is adding some combination of ND/UNC/UVa. The second-best long-term move for the B10 is standing pat. Adding Duke & UMD in the hopes of landing ND/UNC/UVa later is not among the top 10 in terms of long-term moves by the B10.

            I agree that fear has an irrational effect on people, but that means some combination of ND/UVa/UNC would be amendable to joining the B10. I also can see how expanding in steps may make sense, so long as the first step brings in one/some of ND/UNC/UVa.

          • Richard says:

            Another thing, Duff:

            You say in one breath that you foresee Duke fading to irrelevance and in the next, you advocate the B10 take them in with another non-king in Maryland. How do you reconcile those 2 views, Duff?

          • duffman says:


            I have been on Maryland from day one and Duke I will admit I have gone back and forth on. Frank’s argument that they are the more like the Cowboys or Notre Dame has been growing on me and I think I have let my pro Indiana anti Duke inner fan get the better of me. If Frank is correct that Notre Dame has as many people who watch them because they dislike them then he may be right about Duke basketball. Between Notre Dame football and Duke basketball you get year round presence in the east coast as complimentary teams. Football provides content in the fall, and Duke provides basketball in the winter and spring. In addition Duke brings baseball to the B1G for the spring and summer dates. If baseball is the “growth” sport then the Durham school offers warm away games for the B1G schools early in the baseball and softball season.

            The other thing that has me thinking has nothing to do with athletics at all. Someone mentioned research at Johns Hopkins and how it will not join a conference because it had no sports team. This got me thinking about the hidden asset for the B1G of the Duke medical center. A depleted ACC may may let Duke dwindle in basketball, and a football centric B12 or SEC would not be a good fit. However, with the CIC and a bunch of aging B1G alumni it is an out of the box thing to think of as having their own health care in conference. Again, this is out of the box thinking, but as you get older you tend to want to be closer to your doctors and hospital. While this may seem like a bad reason to someone under the AARP limit, I would be interested to see if the senior crowd on Frank the Tank feels I am correct here.

            Keep in mind none of this happens unless the ACC loses 4 or more schools with Clemson and Georgia Tech being in the mix. This is not having the B1G try to expand right now for the sake of expanding. I think the B1G and PAC are fine at 12 and see no reason to expand if the ACC can stay together with just the loss of Florida State and one of the other “new” ACC schools. My scenario of Maryland and Duke to the B1G only kicks in if the ACC is toast. I still think Missouri and Maryland would be good long term B1G adds because they are single state schools with lots of population, that may have been starved to death in their current or former conference. If we see a Missouri team that does well with SEC money and exposure, it seems like Maryland is a similar diamond in the rough for the B1G.

            The hidden asset of Maryland are population and recruiting :

            a) #19 Maryland is bigger than
            #20 Wisconsin = 5.7 million
            #21 Minnesota = 5.3 million
            #30 Iowa = 3 million
            #38 Nebraska = 1.8 million

            States above Maryland in population by conference (primary team only)
            PAC = California, Washington, Arizona
            B12 = Texas
            BE = New York, New Jersey
            SEC = Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri
            B1G = Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana
            ACC = North Carolina, Virginia, Massachusetts

            b) Maryland is a Top 20 recruiting state
            It is ahead of these close, competitive, or included states
            Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, in SEC
            Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, in B1G
            West Virginia, Kansas, in B12
            Colorado in PAC

            States above Maryland in population by conference (primary team only)
            PAC = Arizona, Washington, California – no adds possible
            B12 = Oklahoma, Texas – maybe Texas, but very low chance
            BE = New Jersey – maybe Rutgers, but seems to be “meh” on here
            SEC = AR, SC, AL, MS, GA, LA, FL – highly doubtful
            B1G = Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio – already in
            ACC = Virginia, North Carolina – questionable, but good

          • Richard says:

            1. First argument is a strong one for getting ND and not a strong one for adding Duke. Adding Nebraska and KU gets you the powerhouses of both sports in the Upper Plains, but the B10 added one of them only (and only the one that was good at football) for a reason.
            2. No one cares about Duke baseball.
            3. I’m a baseball fan, but baseball is not a growth sport.
            4. Plenty of B10 schools have fine major medical facilities, and pretty much all of them are located in areas with more older B10 alums than Duke is.
            5. Finally, you’ve stated compelling reasons for adding ND+UMD or UVa+UMD or UNC+UMD (however unlikely that last one is). Duke+UMD would be awful.

        • rich2 says:

          Duffman, thank you for trying to evaluate scenarios that unfold over time instead of offer options where 4 schools from two different conferences arrive simultaneously at the doorstep of a third. Scenarios that unfold over time make more sense.

          For me the key point in your scenario is #2. If GT and Miami left, this is when I expect ND to join the remaining members of the ACC. Duke, VT, UVA, WF, UNC, NCST and one other (Pitt?). An ACC8 would do just fine and it would be a stable conference. Once it stabilized, then the real fun would begin.

          I get the feeling that I am older than many of the posters here. Pre-BCS, CFB lived with the ambiguity of multiple teams being awarded the “mythical” FB National Championship — and remember the BCS is a mythical championship too. If the ACC8 does not have access to the 4-team playoff, then the winner of the Super 4 playoff is a “mythical” champion, too — just one that is favored by members of the Super 4 — which is not surprising or compelling — and their sponsoring TV channel.

          If there was a title game between the top two teams of the “other 45″ or so schools it would be “irrevelant’ only depending on the records of the participants and their schedule.

          I hesitate to give examples since it allows for reflexively snarky posts, but for example, using this year’s ND schedule for illustration if the winner of the “Other, Non-Super 4″ title game was 12-1 (as was the winner of the Super 4) and had beaten Michigan, MSU, Oklahoma, USC, and Stanford, then the “Other Winner” could have beaten 3 of the 4 Super 4 semi-finalists. Their claim to the National Championship would be just as strong as the winner of the Super 4 especially, if the Super 4 playoff restricted access to members of the Super 4 conference.

          Also, fanbases do not care where or how they receive a National Championship. In my lifetime, colleagues at USC have told me three times that USC has decided to claim a National Championship for season that had passed years ago. years (“after an exhaustive analysis, the AD and BOT have decided to add our 1949 squad to the list of NC Champions… All Hail the Trojans of 1949″) and as Bamatab can tell you, Alabama has added many NCs to its list, probably a half- dozen national champions in the past 40 years — they have had a very successful post-season analysis :).

          • bullet says:

            I thought it was only Alabama and Tennessee that did that. Add USC to the list.

          • ChicagoMac says:

            @Rich2 – Its a worthwhile point to make but for all practical purposes if we do end up with a postseason that sees the Super 4 conferences play a semi-final and then a championship game then ND, Florida State, and any other program that can find a home in a Super 4 conference is going to do exactly that.

          • vp19 says:

            Rich2, if you expect Notre Dame to bail out the ACC (especially in your scenario where Georgia Tech, a longtime ND football rival, leaves the conference) out of the goodness of their blue, green and gold hearts, clearly you don’t know Notre Dame.

          • duffman says:

            rich 2,

            What I am trying to read is who goes. Florida State and Miami have the MNC hardware, but they were new to the conference. The schools to focus on are Clemson and Georgia Tech because of their “core” nature to the ACC. If either or both of these schools leave, that tells me the ACC is lost, and nothing can be done to save it. Sure it may survive, but as a minor player on the stage like the current Southern Conference. Georgia Tech and Clemson used to dominate their in state rivals, but the SEC has flipped the fortunes for these schools. It is like the game of GO where flipping 1 tile affects all the tiles around it. Clemson and Georgia Tech are anchors of the 4 corners of the board with UNC and UVA. At that time the game is lost for UNC and UVA, and they must find another game where they can survive the outcome and grow stronger.

            The play was to add Notre Dame and Uconn while the B12 was still reeling from the 4 team loss and they were on the ropes. If Clemson and Georgia Tech are gone, Notre Dame would be foolish to join because the game has already been lost for the ACC. And while I understand fewer could claim a MNC, the “other 45″ would have millions of “free” dollars to soothe their lack of MNC hardware. As for age, I am not only old enough to remember an age before the BCS, I can remember when Georgia Tech was still in the SEC and South Carolina was still in the ACC. :)

          • Playoffs Now says:

            If the ACC8 does not have access to the 4-team playoff, then the winner of the Super 4 playoff is a “mythical” champion, too — just one that is favored by members of the Super 4 — which is not surprising or compelling — and their sponsoring TV channel.

            In the same way that if Ralph Nader is left off the ballot any president elected is ‘mythical.’

  50. ccrider55 says:

    Anybody else feel like some are writing an obituary for a living entity, and holding an estate sale? I don’t see the B1G jumping at anything. It’s nothing if not methodical. For this reason, among others, I don’t believe a disgruntled defector or two won’t cause a collapse.
    FSU in the dust bowl… Boise St stands a better chance of making a FB national splash in the BEast, and won’t be beholden to a horned overlord.

    • zeek says:

      The Big Ten is methodical to a point. But there’s no way that Delany doesn’t have expansion ideas in mind if needed.

      I mean, a part of why he passed on Missouri had to be that there was no justification to going to 14 with Missouri + 1 unlike the SEC which already had A&M and was just looking for #14.

      The ACC schools though are going to be of a lot more interest to the Big Ten presidents without a doubt. There’s a lot of kindred institutions in terms of academics, and they’re definitely keeping an eye out on that. Whether anything comes of it, who knows…

  51. zeek says:

    Chip Brown is at it again.

    The FSU, Clemson, Va Tech, Miami news is interesting.

    More interesting because Va Tech is on that list. The other 3 I can see as being obvious choices for the Big 12.

    Va Tech, I’m not so sure about because I’m pretty sure the SEC would go hard after them, and the Big Ten would at least be interested. If they wanted a landing spot, they might be able to have their choice. The other thing is UVa. Va Tech is somewhat tied to UVa in terms of what happened to get them to the ACC. For them to jump without UVa’s spot settled would be interesting. It’s not like A&M jumping away from Texas because everyone knew Texas would be fine in any conference.

    Either way, if I’m Slive, I’m on the phone with Blacksburg, and Delany should at least be considering going after both Va Tech and UVa in some kind of combo deal…

    • JMann says:

      Big 10 has no interest in VT. They are not a premier research institution and no where near being a member of the AAU. And don’t say AAUu is not important to the Big 10 because Nebraska is not a member – they were when they were invited

      • zeek says:

        Things change in all honesty.

        Michigan State got its AAU after it joined the Big Ten.

        Would the Big Ten take a school that wasn’t that far off from AAU membership? It’s worth noting that Georgia Tech just got AAU.

        Va Tech is a lot closer to getting AAU than Nebraska is to getting back AAU. That may be a consideration. Also, it’d be a lot easier to sell the Big Ten presidents on a combination of UVa and Va Tech together if they have concerns like that.

        All I’m saying is that making a statement like “the Big Ten has no interest in Va Tech” means nothing. There’s no way the Big Ten has “no interest” in a school like Va Tech. It’s probably the closest football power to the Big Ten region that’s not in the Big Ten and is a reasonable candidate.

        • @zeek – I agree. To the extent that the Big Ten actually wants to expand (and to be clear, I don’t think it does without Notre Dame, so this is purely hypothetical), then schools such as Virginia Tech and Miami that are solid academically should be on the consideration list even if they aren’t AAU members. VT has something that the other Mid-Atlantic region ACC schools don’t have: consistent football success over the past decade with a solid fan base. Why should the Big Ten let the SEC or Big 12 walk away with VT while taking schools such as Maryland and UVA? If the Big Ten wants to expand into a new region, then I believe that it needs to *own* it as opposed to letting it get split up with the SEC or Big 12. Taking all of Maryland, UVA and VT, for instance, makes sense to me on paper since you’re locking down the DC/VA/MD region. Taking only Maryland and UVA, though, leaves a big gap because that’s nice on paper academically and market-wise, but the actual on-the-field football component isn’t there.

          • zeek says:

            That’s pretty much my thinking on this.

            And even if UVa would say no; why couldn’t the Big Ten go with Maryland and Virginia Tech in a move to 14?

            Maryland is the least connected to the Tobacco Road ACC-core region, and Va Tech is likely to check out its options. Even if UVa says no, Va Tech/Maryland should be an option worth checking out.

            You get a good football brand along with an AAU, and Virginia Tech’s academics are strong enough combined with their football strength.

            Even if the Big Ten turns down that option because it wants to stick to 12, it’s at least worth considering…

          • Nemo says:


            Maryland’s College Park campus sits in one of the largest metro areas of the country only miles from DC. The professional school campus is highly ranked in NIH funding (gaining more by the year), and the College Park campus is competing tooth and nail with some excellent places See post at link. The professional and CP campuses have just formed a strategic alliance which will benefit both.

            With UVA and MD, you’d tie up all of Northern VA/DC/Baltimore and have access to Tidewater Virginia. Also, think of the fact that DC has a transient population of political people of all stripes so any home game with a large B1G school will sell out using visitors alone.

            I recall filled stadia when UM played Alabama at home in the 70s, and major sellouts with Clemson and Penn State which played in either FedEx or the stadium in Baltimore.

            Va Tech is more geared to the SEC in my opinion because of how isolated Blacksburg is and the fact that their fans seem to be determined about that as an option. I would wager that MD would hopefully have a decent shot if paired with another ACC partner and give full access to the Mid-Atlantic which PSU really doesn’t. PSU attracts a more northerly group in PA and NJ and has lately been going tooth and nail in recruiting within the DC metroplex with other ACC schools.

          • zeek says:

            Nemo, the problem is that you do need a football justification for expansion.

            Many of these scenarios do not provide that. The SEC got that with Texas A&M and then tacked on Missouri.

            Maryland makes sense as a #14 or #16 in the sense of a bridge or add on with a football power if you want to consolidate the Washington D.C. market; it obviously has a prime location.

            You do need to find a school like Notre Dame or Virginia Tech though to make that a reality…

          • Nemo says:


            I agree with your assessment zeek. However, Natl Champion in Hoops with Gary Williams in 2002 and lots of fun when Friedgen was in his early days. No excuse for under performing lately but keep your eyes on this year’s class. If we got grabbed at 14, I don’t care. B1G gets a huge metro area as a result for the BTN.

      • MiamiWolv says:

        What makes you believe the B1G has no interest in Virginia Tech? Its academics are not exactly tantamount to Miss. State. Its #71 in the latest US News rankings, and does over $300 million in research dollars. That figure will only climb as more people pour in Northern Virginia and attend VT.

        Also, the state legislatures of NC and VA could fight not only to ensure that their schools have landing spots, but that the schools are in the same conference. Its the easiest way to assure the schools continue to play annually. It will be harder to maintain annual non-conference dates if we go to 16 team super conferences.

    • ChicagoMac says:

      Most interesting here is that one week ago the posturing from Austin was that they were happy at 10 and didn’t see a reason to expand, now they are acting like a carnival barker….step right up ladies and gentlemen, grab your seat at the table before someone else does…

      The old Wall St. saying, “Buy the rumor, sell the news” comes to mind.

    • Brian #2 says:

      “Either way, if I’m Slive, I’m on the phone with Blacksburg, and Delany should at least be considering going after both Va Tech and UVa in some kind of combo deal…”


      I don’t think any of these potential Big 12 moves would be happening if all the schools mentioned did not already know where they stand with both the SEC and Big Ten.

      If Va Tech goes to the Big 12, it is only because both power conferences passed.

      • zeek says:

        That’s fair, but I have a really hard time seeing both the SEC and Big Ten pass on Virginia Tech.

        They are literally the only football power in the Mid-Atlantic, which is a huge and growing region in terms of population.

        Paired up with Maryland, they probably deliver Washington D.C. Does Delany pass that up?

        Would Slive pass up a move on the Mid-Atlantic?

    • bamatab says:

      Maybe he just mistook VT for GT? :)

      If VT went to the Big 12, that would mean for some reason the SEC didn’t want them. The only way I see that happening is if the SEC thought they were getting UVA, and I don’t see that happening either.

  52. FryGuy says:

    I am both a Duke and a Michigan alum and I have been watching these developments with extreme interest. Here are a few of my thoughts (recognizing that my only expertise has come from following this blog and others over the past 2+ years)
    1) Most people on this forum are vastly underestimating the value of the Duke/UNC tandem. While they do not move the meter much in terms of football, they are a national brand with appeal in all areas of the country. Notre Dame football is really the only brand that will draw more sustained interest in all areas of the country. The UNC/Duke rivalry is unquestionably ESPN’s top college basketball property. Adding these two schools would in my opinion do the most to increase BTN coverage nationwide, which is what I believe there expansion is based on. This is why they added Nebraska. Big Red is a national brand. I know I am biased, but I don’t think most people would disagree with me on the above points.
    2) I believe that since there is no natural school that will capture the NYC market (other than ND), the way to go about making inroads into that region is to get a national brand whose demographics are favorable to the market. MANY, MANY Duke alums are from the NY/NJ area, almost as many as come from the southeast. Duke plays one or two games every year in the area and they are always sold out. The Meadowlands is facetiously referred to as Duke’s homecourt. I think locking up this group goes a long way towards locking up the region.
    3) UNC will not go anywhere without Duke. Leaving Duke behind will likely end the cash cow listed above. There is way to much value in it to leave behind. The Presidents of the two universities get along well and have been in sync on all conference realignment issues all the way back to the initial ACC raid of the Big East (They were both the only schools against it). They might not be able to leave NC State behind without the Wolfpack having a suitable home, but they don’t want to leave Duke. Also, most alums and fans would be livid if that happened.
    4) UNC/Duke if added with a DC area school (VA or MD, or less likely VT) would go along way towards locking up the DC market. The proximity of all the schools to the area and the large alumni base in the DC metro would insure this like no other combination of schools in the country. The DC market is the 2nd or 3rd fastest growing/largest market in the US.
    5)Duke/UNC are the drivers of the ACC and the conference is North Carolina centric. I think this is why they would prefer to stay in the ACC if possible. If the ACC becomes destabilized, however, then I think they will be looking to move.
    6) The only conference that fits in the above scenario is the Big Ten. No way they go to the Big XII or the SEC. There is no cultural fit. The alumni bases would not stand for it and I am certain that the presidents of these schools see themselves as academically superior to these conferences.

    Based on the above thoughts, this is what I see happening, assuming FSU/Clemson and others leave ACC.

    Big Ten makes move for Duke/UNC and UVA (maybe MD, but unlikely) and tries to hold a spot for ND. This, I think is the dream scenario for the Big Ten. Adding two national brands and basically getting the BTN in every market in the country. I don’t think this is likely, however.

    If ND joins another conference, then the Big Ten adds another DC area partner and locks down the entire Mid-Atlantic and makes major inroads into NYC.

    Just my 2 cents.

    • vp19 says:

      You’re drastically underestimating Maryland in all this. It unquestionably delivers the D.C. area better than UVa or Tech does (and neither Virginia school can do that for metro Baltimore), is an AAU school that more suits the Big Ten land-grant flagship mode than UVa or UNC, and has a comparable upside in football to UNC or UVa. (Had it not been for the football program thrown into a mess two of the past three years, this would be more obvious.) I would be shocked to not to see them go enter the Big Ten as a unit of four; if Notre Dame ever gave up its independence to join the Big Ten, the conference would be more than glad to add a qualifying partner to grow to 18..

      • FryGuy says:

        I think your probably right. For the purposes of my Discussions I saw MD, UVA as relatively equal, but when you throw in the Baltimore market, I think you are right. I also agree that the ideal scenario would be to take all four (I think VT is not a good fit), but I was assuming that they would want to not go above 16 and leave a spot for ND.

        • Nemo says:


          The distance from downtown DC to Baltimore is about 35 miles. Many make that trek each morning down 95 or 295 as a daily routine.

      • mushroomgod says:

        Maryland and Rutgers give you just as much as UNC and Duke, and are a hell of a lot less trouble.

        Duke will finish 14th in a 14 member BIG in football year in and year out. Duke is a deathbed for football.

        • FryGuy says:

          Maryland and Rutgers are not national brands. If your goal is to increase the spread of the BTN, you need national brands. Not everyone in a conference can be good in football. Minnesota has been terrible for years, and they don’t have nearly the added benefit that Duke/UNC have in terms of basketball and national draw.

          This is an aside, but I also think that Duke is going to get better in football. They have seen the writing on the wall, and have made definite investments in improving. David Cutcliffe turned down the Tennessee job to stay at Duke. You can be sure that came with some assurances. Gone are the days on 0-11 seasons. Sure they won 3 games, but they were competitive in all but 3. All they have to do is get to 5 or six wins and be respectable in losses, which is where I think they are headed.
          Everyone feel free to call me crazy.

          • Brian #2 says:

            National brands in basketball only clearly aren’t that valuable though when it comes to realignment. Louisville is close and is begging someone to take them. Syracuse barely made a dent in the ACC’s annual TV contract. Kansas is a basketball brand that was staring directly at the Mountain West or Big East until the Pac turned down the Big 12 schools.

            Duke’s basketball and academics are elite, but they don’t bring much else.

          • acaffrey says:

            Huh? Syracuse and Pitt increased the ACC contract significantly. It’s just not as much as the Big XII is looking to get.

          • Fryguy says:

            Those programs you mentioned are nowhere near the level nationally as UNC/Duke. Notice how I have always lumped them together. I don’t think Duke is valuable by itself, but together with UNC they are. Those other schools do you nothing to get the Mid-Atlantic either.

          • vp19 says:

            Before coach K, Duke was roughly even with N.C. State in the Triangle, with both trailing UNC. Who’s to say it couldn’t happen again, based upon Gottfried’s early success at State and the uncertainty of how K’s successor might do?

    • frug says:

      The UNC/Duke rivalry is unquestionably ESPN’s top college basketball property.

      Yes, it gets to broadcast that means 2 games a year (3 if they are lucky and meet in the tournament). If the Big Ten added one and not the other they would still get to broadcast one of the games (or one every other year if they dropped to one game per season).

      • FryGuy says:

        I don’t think the rivalry survives (at least not in the short term), if UNC leaves Duke in the dust. Given how intertwined the schools are it would be such an affront, I think the rivalry would go kaput.
        This is a game that ESPN used to push ESPN 2 to more cable providers in the 90′s. I think the BTN could use it in the same way.

        • duffman says:

          UNC has options while Duke has fewer

          UNC has easier time ramping up to SEC football, Duke is way behind Vanderbilt
          UNC has easier time ramping up to SEC baseball, Duke is behind UNC

          This is why I suggested Duke and Maryland to the B1G first where baseball and football would not be as pressured. Duke could bump up B1G baseball, and swapping UNC for IU and MSU should ease the basketball pain. The only real value to ESPN is Duke vs UNC games and those can be scheduled as 2 games per season home and home or a neutral site game in the biggest venue they can both agree on.

        • ChicagoMac says:

          I think you make a really good point FryGuy. I think it would send a jolt into the Bristol HQs if Duke/UNC bolted for the B1G.

          ESPN has a massive investment in the number of programming hours tied to college basketball from December to March. It markets the heck out of this programming from BIG Monday to Super Tuesday to Rivalry Week to the B1G-ACC challenge all of that programming needs anchor tenants and UNC/Duke/B1G are the biggest anchor tenants out there.

          If Comcast/NBCSports ever got a crack at owning the rights to the biggest anchor tenants in college basketball, it would be a major blow to ESPN. This could potentially be a way to reset the value for college hoops rights.

    • MiamiWolv says:

      I’d bet a million dollars that the school most likely to end up in the B1G in any four team expansion is Maryland. They meet every single requirement — AAU school, large TV markets, new recruiting territory, eastern rival for PSU, fit culturally (Maryland is not Southern).

      There is just no chance that Maryland isn’t invited if the B1G.

      To me, Maryland is a lock, then its some combination of Virginia, VT, Rutgers, UNC or Duke.

      • zeek says:

        Even if you just go to 14, Maryland is likely to be #14.

        #13 could be Notre Dame or Virginia Tech to justify the move to 14 in total, but Maryland is the best extra candidate…

      • bullet says:

        All you said is true. But other things are also true:

        Maryland is probably tops in the ACC in empty seats in the football stadium.
        They are tops in the ACC in having an athletic program struggling financially.

        But then I don’t think being the best in those categories are Big 10 requirements. You should keep that million under your mattress. Not saying Maryland is a lock to get ignored, but they aren’t going to be #13 or #15. They might be a #14 or #16.

        • zeek says:

          And then there’s Rutgers, which makes Maryland look good in both of those respects.

          But you’re generally right. Maryland is a bridge to the other Mid-Atlantic schools or an add-on with ND. It is likely to be included in a move to 14 or 16 but not on its own justification, but more because of its location.

          • Phil says:

            I just have to defend Rutgers in that they can average 40M with a pathetic Big East schedule. Competing with all of the other sports teams in the NY area is not helped by the perception of the league they are in. A Rutgers in the Big Ten, just because of the class of opponent visiting New Jersey, would be expanding their stadium again.

        • Nemo says:

          Maryland also had an Athletic Director who is now at NC State. I won’t go any further, but the hoops and FB teams both suffered.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            The fact that the former Maryland AD who’s now at NC State has hired a basketball coach who turned a losing team into a Sweet 16 team and into the 2012-13 ACC favorite kind of weakens the argument that Maryland’s struggles were all her fault.

            Debbie Yow didn’t fire Friedgen and replace him with Randy Edsall. She was not responsible for Gary Williams inability to capitalize on the 2002 national title with recruiting success, and she is most certainly not responsible for Maryland’s fan apathy towards football. (For that matter, neither is the ACC.) Maryland fans and its leadership needs to look itself in the mirror to discover the source of its financial and on-the-field troubles.

          • vp19 says:

            Debbie Yow did many fine things for Maryland — helped the Comcast Center get built, hired Brenda Frese to revive the Terps into a national women’s basketball power — and made some misjudgments (particularly on Byrd Stadium suites, built right at the time the economy tanked, and the Franklin “coach-in-waiting” fiasco). What happened with the men’s hoops program is that Williams refused to play the AAU game, which hamstrung his recruiting. Turgeon’s a bit more flexible in that vein, and the program will get better (although the 2012-13 team will be extremely young). I personally think her successor, Kevin Anderson, is over his head (College Park is a completely different animal than West Point), and would love to see someone like Iowa State’s Jamie Pollard, who’s built a competitive athletic program at one of the toughest places in the country to do so, eventually take over.

      • Bob says:

        I see why you are saying this, but I think you are missing one thing. They are really not that great of a cultural fit. UMD is a commuter school. Small stadium, not a rabid fan base. You sometimes can’t even find the UMD football game on tv. I am a UW grad, and in Wiscy you would be hard pressed to find a tv that doesn’t have the badgers on tv in the state. Ask a umd grad what time is the game on ,and they will say this. Is it basketball season already? They just don’t get into football.

        • FryGuy says:

          I think that Maryland fits well with other schools as part of a Mid-Atlantic block. I also agree it works very well to help lock down DC. It do not think, however, it is the primary driver of anyone’s expansion plans.

          • Bob says:

            I don’t disagree that UMD fits well with UNC and Duke. I live in Maryland and went to Wisconsin. I can safely say that going to a UMD football game is not even close to going to a UW football game, even when UW sucked there is no comparison. Plus, the student body is quite different.

          • crr says:

            I’ll jump into this B1G carving-up-the-ACC pipedream as well.

            From a football standpoint, Virginia Tech makes sense on the surface, but they have no history beyond the Beamer years and once Beamer retires all bets are off. I’m not sure they really add much in the way of TV sets either. They also don’t add much in other sports, either. I like them academically, and they are underrated, so I’m not sure that is an issue. Basically, what you are getting is a decade-and-a-half of relevance on the football field and a solid academic reputation. I’m not sure they would deliver much in the way of BTN carriage either.

            Maryland is one of the sleeping giants of college football (along with Rutgers and Illinois). Like Illinois, they’ve shown stretches where they wake up, but are often too drowsy. The academics are excellent, as are historic strengths in other sports besides football. They are also contiguous with another B1G state, which Delany professed as a requirement going forward (not that I really believe that, mind you). Their fan support is worrisome, but I could definitely see fans from PSU, OSU, UM, and possibly some other B1G schools filling up their stadium. Maryland has something the rest of the B1G schools lack – a reason to visit the area other than to watch a football game. The whole history of D.C., the Chesapeake, and ocean beaches would be a draw for fans of other schools who would make a long weekend out of the trip. That’s not to mention the numerous B1G alums who reside in the DC-Baltimore metro area. Obviously that will only work for schools with the largest, most fervent football fanbases and isn’t a reason to invite Maryland, but I think ACC attendance figures is overrated as a reason to downgrade them. They could probably deliver cable/satellite carriage of the Baltimore-DC metro area, but that’s not assured.

            Virginia has been up and down like Maryland and really don’t have a history in either football or basketball. Academically, they are nearly peerless. Like Maryland, with Williamsburg, DC, Monticello, Civil War battle sites, and the Blue Ridge Mountains within a two hour or so drive, it could be very popular with visitors from other schools should UVA have trouble selling out. Again, not a reason to invite them, but a reason to not be too concerned about attendance. Size of the fanbase, however, is a concern. They are also more “southern” (not SEC-southern, that is) culturally than Maryland, and may not fit in as well. I’m not sure they would guarantee cable/satellite BTN carriage either.

            UNC/Duke are clearly a pair, and although academically outstanding and tops in basketball, they (like Maryland and UVA) barely move the needle in football. Lots of alums and fans in the area and cable/satellite carriage of the BTN would be assured. Southern culturally, but, like UVA, not SEC-southern. Would basketball be enough to bring in two school from the same state?

            Georgia Tech, despite their location, is not culturally southern. Still, they are awfully far away geographically and aren’t close to being the most popular school in the state. Yes, they probably deliver Atlanta in combination with the B1G fans and alums there, but that’s not guaranteed. Academics are no issue and they are at least solid in basketball.

            All in all, I don’t see any of these schools as a sure-fire #13 school. Maybe VT and maybe the UNC-Duke duo, but there are no slam dunks like Nebraska was and ND would be. All could work as a #14 team, but I don’t know that any program but ND would work for the B1G as #13.

  53. Hopkins Horn says:

    Just wanted to share my latest realignment-related piece on BON — the first time I’ve written about the subject at length for a while.

    My apologies if any of this is repetitive with anything Frank or others on here have written about.

    It’s lengthy, so my main takeaways are:

    (1) The creation of a conference-controlled Champions Bowl signals the beginning of the era of the superconference. I think too many people have focused on the number of teams per conference (it has to be 4×16!) required for an era to be called the “superconference era” when in reality it begins with the shift in power to the conferences themselves — more specifically, the four power conferences — and away from the bowls. With the Champions Bowl, that era has begun.

    (2) Even though many schools outside the power conference structure will try to get in, I only see a handful of schools — and maybe just FSU and one other — which will be able to move soon to a superconference. As much fun as people have speculating about how the ACC will die, it will live on, primarily because (sorry vp19!) the four power conferences will see little need to dilute their brands, at least immediately, by adding teams 13 and up which only marginally add to the football-driven bottom line. Change will continue to be incremental.

    (3) The Champions Bowl only makes sense financially to me if the SEC and the Big 12 are prepared to offer up their champions to the game for their television partner instead of the glorified Cotton Bowl it would be under most playoff scenarios. I think they will — they HAVE to — offer their champions up.

    (4) The next logical step, now that we’ve broken the seal on the multi-conference owned-and-controlled bowl game, is a plus-one game, owned and controlled by the four power conferences, which will pit the winner of the Rose Bowl against the winner of the Champions Bowl. I can only imagine what the financials on such a game would be. It won’t be called a “playoff,” but we know, and the conferences know, and the pollsters will know that the winner of this new bowl game will almost always be considered the best team in the country.

    (5) I am much, much more pessimistic than Frank is about Notre Dame’s chances of surviving as an independent in the era of the superconference. Yes, Notre Dame has its identity tied up in being an independent, but that’s an identity which has been protected by a college football universe in which those associated with the bowl games themselves determined who had access to the most lucrative games, thereby giving Notre Dame the opportunity to often play in bowl games disproportionate to its regular season performance. But in the era of the superconference, the conferences who will control what will be the biggest games of them all will have little, if any, incentive to allow anyone outside their structure access to those games. That includes Notre Dame. Notre Dame will have to decide if it wants to be a team which can still draw big television dollars as an independent and play against 9-4 Maryland teams in irrelevant Orange Bowl, or if it wants to be a team which can compete for, and win, national championships. I hope it’s the latter — and if it’s the latter, they’ll have to join a conference. Which conference, time will only tell.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      I guess after the Missouri/aTm dead cat bounce ‘Dilution’ is the new ‘expansion’.

      • Andy says:

        What are you talking about? The SEC’s tv revenue is likely to go up $10-15M per year per school as a direct result of adding A&M and Missouri.

        Some of you guys are so anti-SEC it’s completley blinded you.

        • GreatLakeState says:

          Not true. I’m not anti-SEC at all. I’m only talking about the fact that CBS told the SEC the additions wouldn’t increase their contract. The added value won’t come into play until the SEC re-negotiation and the conference network. With that said, I’m interested to know where you came up with 15 million per school. That seems a bit over the top.

          • Andy says:

            The same exact article that mentioned CBS balking said that that was expected because the SEC’s tier 1 rights deal with CBS is not improved in any way by adding more schools. They’ll only show a game or two per week no matter what.

            ESPN is where the SEC will make more money. USAToday ran an estimate yersterday from an outside firm that said that without an SEC network, the SEC should be able to renegotiate up from $17M per school to $25M per school because of the additons of A&M and Mizzou. Also, the Sporitng News ran a story that said the SEC is working on setting up an SEC network with ESPN that will likely make upwards of $10M per year.

            $10-15M is a conservative estimate. The SEC is going to make a ton more money. No doubt about it.

          • bullet says:

            Everyone misreads that article. That was an estimate of the “value.” There’s not a full renegotiation so they aren’t likely to get value.

          • FranktheAg says:

            They will get plenty of value in 2014, when the SEC Netwok is launched. “Dead Cat” bounce? More like “blind bat” reading skills.

    • frug says:

      I’m with you on 5. Ever since this whole realignment stuff started 2 years ago I have noted that ND’s continued independence exists only as long as the power conference chose to let it. ND can no longer threaten the Big Boys financially (as they did back in ’98 when they bullied their way into a special BCS deal) and their only leverage is their ability to pit the conferences against each other. I’d be shocked if Notre Dame didn’t join a conference within a decade and I’d say they are 50/50 that they will join a conference by the time their NBC contract expires.

      • Eric says:

        I’m the opposite, I think things go way too slow for there to ever really be superconferences. We get a little more expansion here from the Big 12, but the likelyhood of the SEC and Big Ten both getting in too is small. With solid middle core left the conference will regrow. We’ll also get occasional Boise State’s and Notre Dame doing well. We might get 4 big conferences, but they aren’t going to be the only name in town.

        So at the end of the day, I expect Notre Dame to be independent for a long time.

        • frug says:

          Change used to happen slowly. Consolidation of power is natural order in college sports (or at least it has been the defining issue of the last 35 years of college sports) and it has accelerated exponentially since about 2003. With the money being thrown around right now and massive revenue predictions for a playoff there has never been an environment more favorable for the alpha-dogs to continue centralizing power through expansion.

          • Eric says:

            Still moves haven’t tended to all happen at once. A bigger raid of the Big East in the early 2000s would have killed it, but it’s still going. When complete chaos looked likely in 2010, we really didn’t get that huge of change. In 2011, we got some extra change, but it still was incremental.

            The big point is that no conference has been raided fast enough to really kill it off. There will be enough inertia left in the ACC for them to rebuild even if damaged and it would be hard to leave them out then. Same goes for Notre Dame and even someone like BYU and Boise State.

            Beyond that, no one has shown they want to kill independence as an option. Fans talk about it, but every move I’ve heard from the conferences seem to be making room for Notre Dame. Even the champions only position sounded to me like one that would have counted Notre Dame as a champ.

    • zeek says:

      The best point you make is that you still have to justify additions with football value.

      Only FSU, Miami, Va Tech, and Clemson really provide that. As much as we want to talk about raiding the ACC, you really need one of those 4 schools at least to make the additions worthwhile in terms of football.

      Even for the Big Ten, it would need to be interested in a school like Virginia Tech to move beyond 12 without Notre Dame.

      • wmtiger says:

        North Carolina with its basketball is worthwhile addition to any power conference.

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          Just for the record, the “value” of UNC/Duke basketball is that it pulled a 3.1 rating in March. That’s the best CBB rating on ESPN in 4 years. Four years ago, UNC/Duke pulled in a 3.7. ESPN basketball averaged a 1.1 rating this past season.

    • ChicagoMac says:

      #3 & #4 together are nothing short of a revolutionary move for the sport. I connected the dots to this end as well, but….my question is can they really get away with it? I guess they would be making these announcements about the time that Election season gets under way in earnest which will provide some cover for a while but I can’t help but wonder if this whole plan is going to attract an awful lot of attention from the Courts and the Politicians.

      I guess I’m pretty skeptical that this is really the next step for the sport. I think it is possible that the threat of going down this path will be enough leverage to get the revenue distribution set up in a favorable way for the Big 4 conferences.

  54. Brad says:

    This article from Eleven Warriors last week had some spot-on speculation:

    Is Delaney holding back waiting for the whole system to collapse, then swooping in for what he wanted all along?

    • frug says:

      Well it certainly fits with Delaney’s modus operandi of preserving the status quo at all costs right up to the point that the environment shifts in way that allows him to make swift and dramatic actions like adding big name teams like PSU and UNL or creating his own TV network.

      Delaney doesn’t mind change, he just doesn’t like incremental change.

    • crr says:

      Re: NBC/NBC Sports Network becoming a rival to ESPN in bidding for the next B1G contract, it could become even more complex than that. There have been rumors that Fox is ready to starts its own inclusive sports network, probably repackaging Fuel TV for this purpose and perhaps even folding Speed and Fox Soccer into it. That would make them instantly the equal of NBC/NBCSN in terms of programming (but less than that of ESPN’s networks, of course). You’d have to imagine that three bids for the B1G contract would be better than two, and the B1G could make out like bandits.

  55. Andy says:

    Chip Brown’s FSU, Miami, Clemson, Virginia Tech to the Big 12 rumor alings with something I heard a while back.

    I heard that when the SEC was expanding last time they investigated adding Virginia Tech and decided against it for 2 reasons. One was that the amount of TVs they delivered was disappointing. 2 was that the SEC is looking to raise it’s profile academically and wanted an AAU school. So they decided to go with Missouri. So no, it’s not all about football value, at least as far as the SEC is concerned. If it was they wouldn’t have taken Missouri. The SES has plenty of football value already, but they could use some more TV markets and academic credibility.

    If VATech is looking at the Big 12 now, that would indicate the SEC turned them down.

    If Chip’s rumor is correct, the list of possible expansion targets for the SEC and Big Ten will be down to:

    Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Duke, Georgia Tech

    My best guess is that the SEC really wants UNC and will do whatever’s necessary to get them, even if it means taking NCSU or Duke.

    Would the Big Ten take 4 ACC schools? I doubt it. I think they only take 2 or 3+Notre Dame. My guess is Virginia and Maryland would be 13 and 14. Georgia Tech + Notre Dame would be 15 and 16. If the Big Ten ends up getting North Carolina and Duke then I think they stop there unless they get Notre Dame. I just can’t see them going to 16 without Notre Dame. If that happens it really comes down to who to pair up with Notre Dame. Georgia Tech? Maryland? Virginia? There would still be decent leftovers for the SEC. In that scenario they’d likely be able to pick up Maryland and/or Virginia and could fill out spot #16 with NCSU if necessary.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      They’re not going to go to 14 without either ND or UNC. I think they are perfectly happy at 12 –unless one of those two come knocking.

    • zeek says:

      I’m not really sure Virginia Tech was available in the last round of expansion. The ACC looked rock solid and given its history with the ACC/UVa, Virginia Tech looked to be unobtainable at that moment (by any other conference).

      For the SEC, it probably came down to Missouri versus West Virginia. And that’s a no brainer given that West Virginia has no local markets (since WVU is located in Pittsburgh’s DMA and doesn’t deliver that) and Missouri has STL/KC TV markets along with AAU + good academics, which West Virginia can’t compete with at all.

      • Andy says:

        Yes, what you say would seem to make sense from the outside, but maybe VT saw what was coming as far as ACC money?

        From what I heard, and this is third hand info, is that VT was at one point the option the SEC looked strongly at, but then they switched over to Missouri for the reasons I listed.

        • bullet says:

          All along, VT was VERY strongly, publically, saying they weren’t interested.

          • Andy says:

            They may have said that after they were rejected. I remember they said that pretty late in the game.

          • frug says:


            V-Tech made clear from the beginning they did not want to nor did they have any intention of leaving the ACC.

    • FryGuy says:

      I don’t know if this matters at all, but Jim Delaney is a UNC alum and has a close relationship with the administration. I don’t think he initiates the destruction of the ACC, but he offers UNC a lifeboat if they are raided.

  56. Steve says:

    Texas AD not for expanding but did court Notre Dame.

    • Andy says:

      Big 12 leaders basically can’t publically say that they want to steal schools from other leagues. SEC leaders said basically the same thing while they were bringing Missouri and A&M on board a few months ago.

    • Brian #2 says:

      I am starting to wonder if Deloss Dodds knows in his heart that FSU is bluffing interest in the Big 12 to get concessions from the ACC, and he does not want the Big 12 to get publicly embarrassed again if this “done deal” gets blown up.

      • ccrider55 says:

        He should recognize it, having just seen OU do this to the B12 using the PAC.

        (I know, conventional wisdom says the PAC pres’ shot that down. I find this equally plausible though.)

        • Hopkins Horn says:

          What concessions did OU get?

          • frug says:

            The biggest were firing Dan Beebe and getting Texas to pledge not to broadcast high school games.

            He outlined a few others at that frantic press conference David Borron did to try and get and some concessions before it leaked the PAC deal fell apart.

          • bobo the feted says:

            got to fire Dan Beebe, replace him with Chuck Neinas, got to switch to equal revenue sharing for Tier 1 and Tier 2 media rights, got LHN to not show Highschool football games

          • ccrider55 says:

            Probably none, as the PAC (according to this theory) was told that upon getting approval to explore options was set to meet with UT, rather than taking the first steps to leave. The PAC could have said nothing for a couple days but chose to end the charade immediately with a middle of the night announcement.

          • bullet says:

            Texas had already proposed and the ADs approved equal revenue sharing for Tier I & II. That theory busted.
            NCAA ruled that LHN couldn’t televise HS games. That theory busted.
            Firing Beebe-maybe.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Agree with bullet (forgot about Bebe), making the distinction that the NCAA can’t keep ESPN from broadcasting HS games, but can sanction those shown on (ESPN owned) LHN ineligible at UT.

          • frug says:

            The NCAA had not (and I believe still hasn’t) ruled that Texas couldn’t broadcast high school games, they merely issued what is essentially an injunction that Texas couldn’t broadcast games until a more debate. Ultimately, Texas agreed to drop the idea all together in exchange for the right to broadcast a couple more games per year for the LHN.

            Boren also said he would prefer the conference return to 12 teams (which may soon happen) and wanted the conference to agree to a GOR.

            So he mostly got what he wanted though it’s possible that some of those things may have happened anyways.

          • frug says:

            Also, on the issue of equal revenue sharing; he didn’t endorse or ask for it. He merely said he would be open to the idea as long as it was phased in over time.

      • bullet says:

        I think he believes FSU is coming, but I doubt it is really a done deal. I think the Big 12 officials may also be racheting down expectations, in addition to any legal posturing. Not lowering expectations because they don’t expect it to happen, but because they don’t know for sure. They are fully aware “a lot can slip twixt the lip and the cup.”

      • Steve says:

        @Brian #2
        I’m also beginning to believe FSU and Clemson have been bluffing. Especially after reading the interview with Clemson’s AD yesterday where he said something about “the ACC now understands that football is king and the conference will work to better promote it and work more closely with the football schools because football will generate 80% of the money in the new contract”. Sounds like the schools may have had a come-to-Jesus meeting last week with Swofford and changes may be forthcoming (new divisions, new commissioner, bowl tie in with Notre Dame, etc). I expect FSU and Clemson to stay in the ACC.

        • frug says:

          At a minimum everyone is trying to cover themselves if the deal falls through. FSU and Clemson can say they never really wanted to leave and the Big XII can say they were never really interested in the first place. All about saving face.

        • Eric says:

          I could definitely see that. It may not even be entirely a bluff. Maybe they are willing to leave if a few demands aren’t met, but they don’t expect it to get that far.

          • vp19 says:

            Why would they bluff their fan base, which despises the ACC, then disappoint them? To me, that’s self-defeating.

          • Eric says:

            I don’t think that’s the most likely scenario, but if it is, they aren’t trying to convince their fanbase of anything. Instead they are trying to convince the ACC to cave to demands. If they have actual demands, the ACC is in a corner and almost has to accept them now. If they say we here the complaints and have agreed to address all of them than Clemson and Florida State can calm fans down (provided its soon). If not, the chorus might well become too big and they are forced to leave. It’s possible that Florida State doesn’t actually wants it to get that far though.

  57. loki_the_bubba says:

    Just dropping by to remind you that Rice won a conference championship in baseball for the SEVENTEENTH STRAIGHT YEAR over the weekend.

    Remember us when your conference wants to expand. Hell, we’ll even let you beat us in football.

  58. Steve says:

    Syracuse AD says new ACC contract is worth more like $24-25M with multi-media rights. The Clemson AD mentioned something about $21-22M the other day. Virginia AD said something similar yesterday. Maybe this contract is better than first portrayed by the Internet bloggers. Or, maybe just I don’t understand 3rd tier rights. It’s hard to believe all these AD’s are outright lying.
    (12 minute audio interview)

    • zeek says:

      At this point though, perception may carry the day, and that perception is that the Big 12 has joined the top 4, whereas the ACC is on the outside looking in…

      • ccrider55 says:

        Perception doesn’t mean much to me anymore. Wake me if anyone actually moves.

        Just kidding, this stuff is amusing and addictive.

    • wmtiger says:

      Maybe at the very end of the contract its worth like $24-$25mil?

      • Quiet Storm says:

        What Daryl Gross (SU AD) is referring to when he says multi-media rights more than likely is that each school still owns their rights for developing corporate partnerships, managing their own event marketing opportunities, athletic website sponsorships and other media properties like radio broadcast rights, broadband rights, coaches shows, and other limited television programming.

        Depending on how valuable or popular a brand you have it could net you some where around 4 – 5 million dollars annually. A lot of this depends on the corporate partnerships and sponsorships each school may be able land.

    • bullet says:

      The SU AD doesn’t have much credibility. Its the best contract in the country?

      The Clemson AD said he wasn’t clear on a lot of aspects of the contract.

      What is clear is the ACC isn’t communicating the contract info very well. And that doesn’t seem like good business to me.

  59. zeek says:

    Va Tech is shooting everything down for now (not that it means much; their president made the same denials the last time around with the Big East -> ACC move):

    The point about being in the center of the ACC footprint though really makes you wonder. It might be difficult to get them without grabbing schools around them.

    • Andy says:

      Nobody’s going to admit to anything unless/until somebody makes an actual move.

    • drwillini says:

      Sorry I haven’t been around lately, I guess I’m a fair weather realignment nut. What has purplebookCat or whatever his name was on the Northwestern board been saying?

      • Mike says:

        It’s pretty clear isn’t it? So long as NU beats Iowa and Illinois, balance and good will come to this world. When Iowa wins, the NCAA falls into chaos, legends fall, another conference falls apart, and somewhere a baby puppy dies.

        When Illinois wins, the world’s most heavily armed nations descend upon Chicago (Northwestern is Chicago’s Big Ten team, mind you) to redetermine the course of human progress. An Illinois victory is a major step back for humanity.

  60. duffman says:

    Does anybody have a good source for the Top 10 regular season games for this past season when it comes to viewing numbers? I found a link saying UNC vs Duke was #1, but it was only using ESPN as the marker. I am guessing a game on CBS may out draw ESPN, but I can not find a way to compare the 2 to get a better feel for the entire market, and not just one media outlet.

    Here is the link I was reading but it just uses ESPN broadcasts as the pool

  61. Rinker says:

    Frank you are an idiot B1G homer. Of course the Big 12 is going to raid the ACC over the BEast! Just because it doesn’t fit your B1G agenda for future expansion doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen! It’s time you chose between the red pill or blue pill Neo. You need a serious dose or reality. The B1G is collection of Rust Belt garbage.

  62. NC Bob says:

    The FSU to B12 discussion caused me to “think like a President”. The President’s letter to alumni is interesting. He took a shot at the ACC leadership and the Tobacco Road schools. No respectable PR department would have approved those lines, so the President is sending a message that football, not basketball pays the bills. Keeping the entire ACC competitive with the SEC and B1G in football is important to FSU.

    Meanwhile the NC State AD has stated that the goal there is to be a top 20 program….in the Directors Cup. NCSU wants to compete with UNC, Duke and UVa as an athletic department. It will take more money. So one can analyze the Directors Cup standings

    Compare the “outcomes” to the funding, which is found in this USA Today analysis of publicly reported athletic department budgets:

    Several points jump out.
    -UNC, UVa and Duke have consistently better athletic programs than PSU and UMich. UNC and UVa spent $73M in 2011 while PSU and UM spent over $100M.
    -Big spenders like Alabama, Auburn, Wisconsin and Iowa are football factories, not serious athletic departments.
    -Cal, Stanford and UCLA are perennial top 20 Directors Cup members and Cal/UCLA spend less than $70M.
    -Some schools are big spenders, football factories and Directors Cup competitors like Georgia, Florida, LSU, Texas A&M, OSU, Texas and Oklahoma, Michigan and SoCal.

    I conclude:
    -Some Presidents, AD’s alumni and fans want to balance football, athletics and academics. Given the scandal at UNC, I expect the core of the ACC to retrench to this model. The data shows there will be enough financial resources at these schools to accomplish the goal of being a top 20 Director Cup school.
    -Others schools will pursue other objectives.
    -TV money and conference alignment are tools to help you achieve your goals.

    • bullet says:

      re: retrenching
      I really haven’t heard anything out of the schools about the UNC and Miami scandals. It sounds like you are hearing they are re-thinking things in light of that. I’ve seen internet postings that Shalala at Miami is evaluating things, but nothing that I’ve seen in the media. I know CU got tired of having LA thugs on its football teams and changed their recruiting some. They also fell into the tank about that time.

      Are you hearing anything or is this simply your opinion on what will happen?

    • ChicagoMac says:

      -Some Presidents, AD’s alumni and fans want to balance football, athletics and academics. Given the scandal at UNC, I expect the core of the ACC to retrench to this model. The data shows there will be enough financial resources at these schools to accomplish the goal of being a top 20 Director Cup school.

      One minor quibble…the data shows that the way things are now there are enough financial resources at these schools to accomplish the goal of being a top 20 Director Cup school.

      In the future things might be different. In the future, State and University budgets might get squeezed to the point that athletic departments are forced to operate in the black. In the future, you may see more Athletic Departments from football rich conferences make competing for the Director’s Cup a bigger priority and those Athletic Departments might well spend themselves into a competitive position.

    • zeek says:

      How do you draw those points out?

      The Big Ten universities tend to focus more on Fall/Winter sports and aren’t as great at the Spring sports in general, although some do buck that trend.

      I mean just look at the current standings:

      #2 Ohio State
      #3 Penn State
      #5 Michigan
      #6 Minnesota
      #10 Wisconsin
      (The rest of the Big Ten is above top 40 except Northwestern).

      North Carolina is at #8, Duke is at #10, Virginia is at #30.

      Obviously, things change with the Spring sports, but it’s kind of foolish to make blanket statements that include things like “Wisconsin and Iowa are football factories, not serious athletic departments”; ever heard of men’s basketball and hockey? or wrestling?

      As for your conclusions, the money differences will only get larger. Right now it might only be $3-5M. What happens when it’s $7-10M? Or $10-15M?

      At what point do schools jump the shark when you have competitors in other conferences more easily able to finance their departments? Have you noticed that schools in the Big Ten are adding sports (Michigan’s lacrosse programs), or generating a lot more cash to pump into other programs?

      Money makes all of this work, even for “lesser” sports. This will only become more prominent in the future, even for schools more focused on the Director’s Cup.

      Look at a school like Maryland with a good comprehensive athletic department, but falling on harder times in terms of funding it all…

      • zeek says:

        Er, Duke was at #17 in the current standings*

        • vp19 says:

          Aside from football, Duke does pretty well in sports. It’s not a one-trick pony in Durham by any means.

          • zeek says:

            Yeah, I just meant that I don’t think any of these schools are one-trick ponies.

            It’s not like you can really spend all that money on men’s football or basketball; you still end up with many millions in surplus to spend somewhere after those two.

          • Nemo says:


            Maryland is at #26 which is part of Yow’s legacy. That took its toll on football, I believe.

      • NC Bob says:

        To Bullet: I live in the Triangle where the UNC football scandal is a weekly story. The Butch Davis firing occurred the day the new Board of Governors was seated. The Honor Court was found to be negligent in uncovering plagiarism. The African Studies Dept was giving grades without demanding work. It is so ugly that only serious students will be playing football at UNC.

        To ChicagoMac: It’s valid to presume that TV money will continue to flow to football schools. And in a free market, it should. My premise is that ESPN will pay the ACC enough to maintain high quality athletic programs. The football will be always mediocre with some games like Wake Forest vs Duke being almost unwatchable. ESPN will gladly pay for and show college soccer, lacrosse and baseball.

        To zeek: Look at the 3 years of Final Standings 08/09, 09/10, 10/11. Look at the top 10 for each of the 3 years: The ACC has as 10 of the top 30 spots. The B1G has 4 of 30. Including spring sports like baseball, golf and tennis in the DIrectors Cup really drags down the B1G. I think UVa, UNC and Duke spend money wisely to be competitive nationally in sports other than football. They see it as an important part of a university mission.

        While I’m a B1G alum and fan, I recognize other models for success in college sports. UNC, Duke, UVa and probably Wake, NC State and Maryland are not likely to split up among the SEC and B1G and chase the football TV money.

        • zeek says:

          I’m not sure how you reach “I think UVa, UNC and Duke spend money wisely to be competitive nationally in sports other than football. They see it as an important part of a university mission.”

          That really doesn’t follow from what has been posted here.

          I mean, it’s not like those schools don’t spend a lot on football (it’s generally the most expensive program at most schools); it’s that they don’t generate a lot of money from it. Schools like Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, and other schools with gigantic stadiums generate huge amounts of money that can be spent outside of football.

          It’s not like one school spend $50M on football and another spends $10M. It might even be impossible to spend $50M on football; just think about it from an expenses standpoint. The biggest differential is in head coach/assistant salaries; but even there Michigan/Ohio State may spend $10M on that whereas UNC/Duke spend $4M.

          There’s only so much you can spend on football (coaches, scholarships, etc.), that most of the money generated above around $15-20M has to go to your other sports. So if you can generate $60M in football, that’s a huge surplus to spend elsewhere. If you only generate $30M from football, that’s a considerably smaller surplus to spend over the $10M that you may be spending on football…

          And that’s what these schools are doing. There is no “other model for success.” The model is to generate money and plow it into other programs. Whether the schools have success is a product of coaching and how well those programs perform.

          Go and look at Michigan and Penn State athletic budgets. The expenditures on football aren’t that different from what UNC, Duke, Or UVa spend. It’s that they spend so much more on non-football sports…

          Even if it doesn’t show up in Director’s Cup standings, they’re able to field far more teams in all likelihood.

          I mean, Northwestern has won 6 NCAA championships in the past 7 years. Virginia Tech has won 0 ever in team competition. Does that mean Northwestern is running some kind of amazing athletics department? No. It means Northwestern has an amazing women’s lacrosse program.

          I think you’re looking at the results too much and not the means. It’s not like the big football schools aren’t trying to win at other sports. They plow more money into non-football than the smaller football schools do. It’s a paradox, but the fundamental truth here is that money drives everything.

          • NC Bob says:

            I believe that top-20 standing over the last 3 years in the Directors Cup is a good proxy for college athletic excellence. You and I would expect the top 20 to be the biggest spending athletic departments if “money drives everything”. The facts don’t bear it out. UNC, UVa, UCLA and Cal are not top 20 spenders and their football is not top 20 over the last 3 years. Yet they are ranked consistently in the top 20 of the Directors Cup.

            I agree that NW’s lacrosse team is outstanding. But the Wildcats don’t have a track team. Can you really be a B1G athletic department without a track team? Even high schools can hold a bake sale to fund a track team. .

        • Playoffs Now says:

          To Bullet: I live in the Triangle where the UNC football scandal is a weekly story. The Butch Davis firing occurred the day the new Board of Governors was seated. The Honor Court was found to be negligent in uncovering plagiarism. The African Studies Dept was giving grades without demanding work. It is so ugly that only serious students will be playing football at UNC.

          Or perhaps it means that UNC has committed to being a dirty program that will fit right in with the SEC.

      • Great Lake State says:

        Yeah. I too was wondering how he came to those conclusions based on the links he provided.
        I guess ‘better athletic departments’ means results based on budget.

    • duffman says:

      NC Bob,

      Bamatab is free to correct me but Alabama is more than a football factory. Granted that may pay the bills, but they compete across the board.

      Basketball, they have a desire to win, and spend the money to win, but they can not seem to break the Final Four barrier.

      Basketball, their women’s team has advanced to the Final Four

      Baseball, they have 5 CWS visits with 2 ending 1 game short of CWS hardware

      Softball, they have 7 WCWS visits

      Golf, both men and women are top contenders in the country

      Gymnastics, 6 NCAA championships and high attendance numbers

      There may be more sports they do well at, but the success in other sports listed above seems to indicate sports prowess outside of the confines of a “football only” school. Brands seem to succeed in other sports as well, just look at football powers Ohio State and Southern Cal. We can argue a 3 schools are football factories, but the output in other sports seems to negate this claim.

      • bamatab says:

        Duffman, you are correct. Our girls excel at softball and in gymnastics (where we are one of only a hand full of teams to actually win a NCAA NC (6 times, 2 back to back the last 2 years), and have an average attendance over 12,000+ at home). We are paying Anthony Grant a pretty hefty salary considering he came from VCU, and just spend a ton of money to renovate our basketball facilities. We used to be pretty decent at baseball as well (not LSU good, but competitive) until we let our baseball facilities fall a little behind. But from what I’ve heard, that will be rectified soon. And like you said, our golf team is pretty decent most years. Our olympic sports are not very good though. That would the area we really neglect.

    • Michael in Raleigh says:


      First of all, it’s nice to see a fellow North Carolinian on FTT’s blog! Second, I cannot speak for other Florida State fans, but I for one hope that FSU remains in the ACC for the next 50 years. I think it is the right conference for Florida State and for everyone else in the league, and it is a shame that a league with 60 years of solid history and collegiality is potentially in serious danger because of (a) horrible TV negotiation timing (had the $155M/year/school deal been negotiated in mid-2011 instead of early 2010, the ACC’s security wouldnt be in question; after all, as illustrated in one of Frank’s previous posts about Nielsen ratings by conference, the ACC does better than the Pac-12 yet makes far less TV money), and (b) horrible timing for their best football programs to slip into mediocrity). To me, the ACC owns its share of blame, but a lot of these issues are just about being at the wrong place at the worst possible time.

      I am a little confused about your description of the FSU’s letter as having been insulting ti the Tobacco Road schools. As far as I can tell, he was merely showing he thahas heard and understood the complaints from FSU’s supporters, not that he agreed with them. Nothing he said seemed insulting.If anything, he insulted the Big 12 schools by referring to them as a a collection to be academically inferior.

      I would say that you are correct in saying that an all-around high quality athletic department is attainable without haviate level revenues. LThis is certainly the case with the ACC, whose list of sc hools is as impressive in the Directors Cup standings as any other league. In fact, with FSU having all 19 sports make the postseason over the past school year, FSU has proven that all-around sports success is very attainable in its current league. (Hopefully TPTB at FSU don’t lose sight of that.) But, FSU is as much of a football first athletic department as there is in this country. To support those great non revenue programs, it first must do two things: (1) make the maximum amount of money from football AND (2) spend enough on the football staff, facilities, and other aspects of the program to keep it competitive as a national power. I do believe it’s possible for FSU to meet all its financial needs for the athletic department as a member of the ACC, but it would be easier in the Big 12. On the other hand, FSU has a much better chance, IMO, of winning a couple of national titles over the next 15 years as a lesser revenue ACC member than as a higher revenue Big 12 member. Moreover, I do think FSU could endp with buyers’ remorse a few years from now. Once the newness factor of being in the Big 12 inevitably wears off, tickets for games against Kansas, Iowa State, and other non brand names when they’re not good (TT, K-State, Baylor) will be just as hard to sell to the fickle Florida State fanbase as Wake Forest, Boston College, and Duke are now, while replacing the storied Miami rivalry with occasional games against OU and UT will prove to be a net loss… As a result, FSU-to-the-Big 12 would be the ultimate “it’s all about the TV money” move ever; they wouldn’t be leaving an unstable conference because the only way to de-stabilize the ACC is for FSU to leave it in the first place.

      • zeek says:

        You make a really good point with respect to timing and actual TV ratings.

        At this point though, all they can do is hope to fend off the Big 12. The BCS record and FSU/Miami’s inability to get back to prominence have just taken the wind out of the conference’s sails.

        Now, if you’re FSU, you also know that Miami is staring down a barrel on sanctions. Even if they aren’t as bad as they could be, Miami still won’t be able to make a recovery for a while. Does FSU want to sit around and wait?

      • NC Bob says:

        Michael, it is good to be be with a FSU fan on a B1G blog. I hope FSU stays in the ACC. But Georgia and Florida are the real peers of FSU in terms of academics, total athletics and football. I’m not convinced that UNC, UVa and Duke want to improve their football enough to justify a TV contract worthy of that money. I’m sure the FSU braintrust is weighing these issues. I believe they will side with academics over football and stay in the ACC.

    • cutter says:

      @ NC Bob:

      I disagree with your contention that North Carolina, Virginia and Duke have consistently better athletic programs than Michigan and Penn State.

      Since the inauguration of the Director’s Cup in 1993, 18 sets of standings have been finalized thru the end of 2011. In terms of Top 10 finishes, here’s where the five schools you mention stand:

      1. UNC (15)
      2. UM (14)
      3. PSU (7)
      4. Duke (4)
      5. UVa (4)

      In terms of average finish, the top five are as follows:

      1. UNC (6.3)
      2. UM (7.9)
      3. PSU (12.5)
      4. UVa (17.0)
      5. Duke (18.3)

      These are the worst finishes for the five schools: UNC (#17-1999), Penn State (#24-2002), Michigan (#25-2010), Virginia (#30-2001, 2004), Duke (#39-1996)

      While the ACC schools you mention have done better than Michigan or Penn State over the last three years, the results are much different when you look at the entire history of the Director’s Cup.

      To say that North Carolina, Virginia and Duke have consistently better athletic programs than Michigan or Penn State is incorrect based on all the available data and not just the last three seasons’ worth of standings.

      UNC and UM are fairly close with PSU at #3 and UVa/Duke making up the fourth and fifth places in that lineup.

      Thru the Winter Standings of 2012 (last updated on 26 April), Penn State is #3, Michigan is #5, North Carolina is #8, Duke is #17 and Virginia is #30.


      • NC Bob says:

        Cutter: I concede that 18 years is more representative than 3 years. PSU and UM achieve these results with significantly more funding. Over 18 years much of that funding comes from football. But I stand by my original premise that lack of big TV contracts doesn’t mean mediocre athletic departments and schools which are vulnerable as takeover candidates.

  63. vp19 says:

    Let’s suppose the Big Ten did expand to the ACC “core four” (Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Duke), and let’s say you chose the rotating pod concept for football scheduling. Yes, you could do things strictly geographically, but you end up with three of the four kings in one group — not very balanced. So I put pen to paper, placing one king and each ACC newcomer into a pod, then sorting out the rest. Assuming an 8-game conference schedule remains, here are the pods, along with the annual out-of-pod games:

    A: Penn State, Maryland, Purdue, Wisconsin
    B: Ohio State, Virginia, Illinois, Northwestern
    C: Michigan, North Carolina, Michigan State, Minnesota
    D: Nebraska, Duke, Indiana, Iowa

    Annual out-of-pod games:
    Ohio State-Michigan
    Penn State-Nebraska
    North Carolina-Duke
    Michigan State-Northwestern

    When annual games come into the pod vs. pod rotation, other matchups are substituted. For example if pods A and B are scheduled that year, Maryland would play a team from C or D — probably UNC or Duke — rather than facing Virginia twice. Penn State would likely face either Nebraska or Michigan that same year instead of a second game with Ohio State.

    Is this perfect? Probably not; I may have missed a notable matchup or two along the way, But I think this would be a balanced setup.

    • wmtiger says:

      Let’s never discuss pods till a conference gets to 16 games, its a form of mental masturbation as far as I’m concerned.

      • zeek says:

        That’s probably why we’d first see a move to 14 and then 16.

        Going from 12 to 16 is a bit hard to see for a conference like the Big Ten. I mean, it adds 1 every 20 or so years and was willing to stay at 11 for a while…

        Obviously, given that the SEC was basically unable to stay at 13 given the unevenness and impracticality of it, the Big Ten knows it’ll have to go to 14 if it makes a move.

        I’d bank on Virginia Tech/Maryland or waiting for Notre Dame + 1 if the Big Ten has any move on the board. It’s a lot harder to see the Big Ten go from 12 to 16 at this point given that the conference took a century to get to 12 from 10 (ignoring Chicago leaving and being replaced by Michigan State).

    • ChicagoB1GRed says:

      “Nebraska, Duke, Indiana, Iowa”
      Hah Hah Hah!

  64. B1G Jeff says:

    Does anyone have an update on what the financial impact has been from the B1G/Pac alliance? Specifically has there been any uptick in BTN penetration in western markets? Thanks.

    • zeek says:

      Probably won’t really have any idea until most of it goes into effect in later years. The impact is likely to be stronger though in the main ABC/ESPN package that gets renewed in 2017 since it’s selling more valuable games in the early weeks. That’s where you’d look for the impact of this since it’s quality wise going to be similar to a 9th conference game but spread over weeks, so more impactful than that…

    • crr says:

      I live in the Pacific Northwest, and until recently I was with Comcast and BTN was only available in an expensive tier. I am now with Dish Network, and BTN is only available to lower tier subscribers if they live in the Midwest. Otherwise, you have to pay for the sports tier to get it.

      So, for at least Comcast and Dish Network where I live, I’d say BTN penetration is negligible.

    • wmtiger says:

      The Pac 12 market should get the Pac 12 Network up by then so little need for the BTN in Pac 12 states.

    • B1G Jeff says:

      In case I missed the strategy, is the PAC and B1G discussing a national distribution of both networks in areas outside of their combined blueprint?

      wmtiger: Were you implying that the existence of the PAC network would make it more difficult to get BTN in PAC states, or just that it wouldn’t be practical in the interim until the joint games actually start? The former seems counterintuitive if indeed the thirst for college football is as insatiable as we know it to be.

      • wmtiger says:

        I don’t see much reason the Pac 12 states would want the BTN, at least not on basic cable. On an expanded sports tier, it’s probable…

        It’ll be interesting to see how this Pac 12/ B10 alliance does in terms of the Pac 12 Network and BTN. They could put their products together in areas outside their footprints (at a reduced rate) to get more exposure.

  65. Mike says:

    Brett McMurphy (@mcmurphycbs)

    Big East interim commish Joe Bailey on Texas talking w/ND since 2010: “They’ve been doing it since 2010? It hasn’t worked”

    Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick said he has “great confidence” & “there is no reason not to be optimistic” about Big East’s future

    ND AD Jack Swarbrick said he is “confident about every team that makes top 4 having access to that (future) playoff format”

    Jack Swarbrick & Jim Delany both told me they believe final decision on playoff format decided on June 20 in Chicago

    Swarbrick said he hasn’t heard any conference champ playoff proposals excluding Notre Dame if it finishes in top 4

    • zeek says:

      Well, I think on this blog, we’ve all accepted this since around 2010 with respect to Notre Dame.

      ND isn’t going anywhere until their route to a championship requires them to go somewhere.

      • bullet says:

        I’m inclined to think a couple of articles today are fair indications of where ND is at:

      • bullet says:

        Another ND link:

        In another article, Swarbick describes his talks with DeLoss Dodds as “collaborative,” not a sales pitch. So my belief is that ND is seriously talking to the Big 12 about how membership would look, but its a contingency plan. The primary plan is still the Big East. Its dependent on the situation in the Big East and the college football playoff.

        There is lots of talk out there that ND is coming around on joining the Big 12. But again, I suspect that is contingency planning.

        • bullet says:

          And even if ND is thinking of moving to the Big 12 in something more than a partial membership, there’s the BOT hurdle to clear, which scuttled their move to the Big 10 in 1999.

          • ChicagoMac says:

            The takeaway for me is that it will be access to the football postseason/revenue distribution that will drive future conference composition moreso than a conference’s TV deal. Its worth noting that TVs influence on the postseason structure is probably pretty limited.

            ND is talking to people from every conference and they’ll have opportunities with every conference. If ND does move, either partially or fully, NBC is going to have some influence on where they end up.

            Fox and ESPN will end up having an awful lot of influence on where Florida State ends up if the Seminoles decide they have to move. That one could get pretty complicated.

        • B1G Jeff says:

          Sounds like some DeLoss Dodds puffery in an effort to reassert the Big XII’s position as a force to be reckoned with…

  66. bullet says:

    Clemson board meets to discuss realignment.

  67. I’m working on another blog post right now about Big Ten expansion…but I’m stumped on something.

    The rule of thumb (in Frank-ian terms) is that 12+1 needs to equal 14 for the Big Ten. It was true of the PSU addition, and it was true of the Nebraska addition. High, high value additions to the league. In what scenario would the Big Ten accept 12+1=13? Seems to me, if the Big Ten was trying to establish itself as a higher tier cable channel in their region. Granted, the masses in California wouldn’t want higher cable rates so they could watch Purdue/Penn State volleyball. But if the Big Ten wanted more money per subscriber in their home region, wouldn’t it behoove them to get more teams/more markets?

    In the same way that ESPN (or smaller networks) wants lots of product to become invaluable to viewers, wouldn’t the Big Ten want more product (teams) to move up to a higher tier on cable?

    • bamatab says:

      Wasn’t that line of thought what basically kicked Frank’s blog into high gear a couple of years ago? When Delany first hinted that the B1G was looking to expand, I think most of us originally thought the end game was 16 teams so that he could maximize the BTN by trying to get the network into the higher tier cable packages in those new markets. When the B1G decided to stop with Nebraska, I personally thought it was a temporary pause for them to workout the kinks of bringing new teams into the conference. I still think that adding new markets (if you can get the network into the upper tier cable packages), would be a very valuable endeavor. Now maybe adding new markets to a conference network isn’t as lucrative as I (and a lot of others) believe. But I think that is one of the driving factors of the SEC expanding and trying to create their own network. That is why it has seemed somewhat strange to me that the B1G has been quiet on the expansion front since grabbing Nebraska.

      • bullet says:

        2016. That’s when the tier I contract comes up. They could pay for Nebraska with a ccg. Going beyond 12 is more complicated. Delany’s monitoring the landscape, but I suspect the plan was to sit tight for another couple of years until it got close to TV contract time.

        • Phil says:

          As an outsider that is what I felt all along. Once Nebraska got the “credit” for the championship game, any new additions now would need to generate enough BTN revenue immediately to offset the fact they are diluting the Tier1/2 revenue (which isn’t likely).

          Everyone is getting a huge raise when the tier1/2 contract is redone in 5 years, so that would be the time you can add 2 or 4 teams that bring more long term growth potential to the BTN.

    • PSUGuy says:

      The problem with that thought process is evident by process of ellimination.

      What teams in Michigan/Wisc/Neb/Minn/Ill Iowa help increase coverage over their flagship schools? The only other school that would help in Indiana is a national program that won’t join.

      Do you really think Cinci would be a legitimate addition?

      The only area where this makes any sense, is PA where Pitt would be aceptable, but just joined a conference and is a minor team in an area already saturated with PSU, & tOSU fans. Going to other side of the state you have Temple. A good add for the Big East IMHO, but not the Big Ten.

  68. frug says:
    • frug says:

      Looks like del Conte (the AD) is now trying to back track

  69. bamatab says:

    Looks like TCU’s AD, while at a breakfast on Texas Tech this morning, that FSU, Clemson , and Miami were indeed trying to get into the Big 12. He later back tracked and said that he was talking about the rumors, but that apparently wasn’t how it was initially received.

  70. metatron says:

    How exactly does Florida State not end up in the SEC if they leave the ACC?

    FSU and VT are the best likely endgame for Mike Slive.

    • Playoffs Now says:

      How exactly does Florida State not end up in the SEC if they leave the ACC?

      Kinda the same way Nixon won his election, even if you don’t know anyone who voted for him.

  71. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    metatron – you are absolutely correct. The SEC is also the best likely endgame for FSU and VT.

    • duffman says:

      FSU is SEC overlap, as are GT and Clemson.

      My bet is UNC gets the first offer, and VT, UVA, and NCST are in the mix

      • metatron says:

        Well, UNC (and probably Duke) is the most coveted Southern school out there, but I don’t see it being terribly likely.

        Florida State has cache, when CBS yawns at Texas A&M and Missouri, they’ll gladly take Florida State over a number of already existing SEC match ups.

        • Andy says:

          “when CBS yawns at Texas A&M and Missouri” you guys really don’t get it. CBS isn’t yawning at A&M and Missouri, they’re yawning at expansion. Expansion does nothing for BCS. They still only get 1 or 2 games a week. It doesn’t matter who the SEC adds or how many they add, CBS gets no additional content so they don’t want to pay anymore. It’s that simple.

          • FranktheAg says:


            Its amazing how that simple concept is not understood (or purposely distorted).

      • Eric says:

        I’m really not sold on anymore SEC expansion. The scheduling obstacles with 14 have been enough to create serious opposition to 16 unless they can be convinced to go to pods. Given the relative success of their permanent divisions, I’m not convinced that will be any sell.

  72. metatron says:

    I think the emphasis on cable is overstated. Cable television is a rent-seeking enterprise that has been pronounced dying on more than one occasion.

    Schools like Maryland or Rutgers aren’t viable candidates for this reason, which is why we saw Nebraska over them in the first place. The long-term health of the conference can only be assured by maintaining it’s popularity, not trying to shake down cable viewers.

    For this reason (and others), I think that Kansas is the #14.

    • metatron says:

      You want your teams on SportsCenter. You want people talking about your programs, giving you exposure. Programs like Kansas or Kentucky do that for you, if only for the winter.

      For that reason, that’s why I think ESPN/ABC will ultimately get the bulk of the Big Ten’s media rights. ESPN has made an example of the NHL, and Jim Delany would be wise to see it.

    • zeek says:

      Yeah, in general, having good “TV product” is really what’s important. The form of the “TV product” depends on the school involved and their fanbase and whether they produce good matchups along with market size and all of that.

      Having said all of that, you still need schools that fill out the profile, not just justify expansion. This is especially true when you go over 12. While the ACC went over 12 partly in order to revalue their contracts (due to the bad timing of getting underpaid for their contracts) and add some markets, it’s going to be different at this point.

      A school like Texas A&M justifies moving over 12. But you need to get to 14, so making the numbers work is going to require a school that you can move for in terms of either bridging to another market or making the numbers work in general.

      I would guess that Maryland and Rutgers are the likely #14s if you’re looking at schools like Notre Dame or Virginia Tech as #13. There’s a lot of synergy there for Penn State, and that’s really where the population and TV viewership is.

      Let’s not forget, that despite the ACC’s woes, it’s got good football TV numbers (12-13% better than the Big 12 due mainly to its much larger markets).

  73. Playoffs Now says:

    Someone elsewhere mentioned that Mike Slive is a UVA grad. Perhaps if he is able to lure UNC the SEC might take UVA instead of VT (maybe UNC and UVA insist on sticking together, academic prestige to help upgrade the SEC’s image, etc.) I would expect the B1G would step in and offer those two before it happens, but UNC may be torn on which way to go, or ND may go B1G and want to bring their friends, or the B1G decides it is fat and happy and does nothing.

    So if UNC and UVA did go to the SEC, we could see the B12 add FSU, GTech, Clemson, NC St, and VTech. At that point even if ND goes B1G, expansion is still a huge win for the B12. Finish with BYU or Miami and that puts the B16 equal to the SEC in a fight to be the top power conference.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      The UNC/UVA combo would be a shrewd move by the SEC. I really don’t see UNC going to the SEC unless it can maintain its ACC respectability and UVA does that. I also agree that the B1G, having more slots available, would counter with Dukes inclusion.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        ….And if that still doesn’t convince ND, VT as well to round out 16. I don’t see any ACC schools going to the B1G unless they can bring 2 or three buddies.

      • psuhockey says:

        As stated down below, the administration at UNC and those associated with the University have a huge ego in reference to academics. If you think Texas was bad mouthing the SEC, wait till you see UNC. UVA is one of the most prestigious Universities in the country where academics are first and foremost. They wont be stepping in the SEC anytime soon. Right or wrong, the SEC has a poor reputation in regards to academics with most of these highfalutin schools looking down their collective noses at them. If these schools become available as a pair or individually, the BIG10 will take them in a heart beat so it will the academics of the BIG vs SEC. The SEC might be crushing it in football, but in the snooty world of academia, they cant compete against the BIG10.

        • Brian #2 says:

          Texas bad mouths the SEC because Texas A&M joined. If Texas wanted to be taken seriously when mocking SEC schools, they wouldn’t do it in a conference that includes West Virginia, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, OU, etc.

          • ChicagoMac says:

            When Texas bad-mouths the SEC, I think it is less about academic rankings and moreso about the rather loose ethics found in the Seriously, Everyone Cheats conference.

          • bullet says:

            Texas has never been interested in the SEC.

          • Brian #2 says:

            “Texas has never been interested in the SEC.”


            Is this the new defense mechanism to use in argument with A&M fans?

          • Mack says:

            Texas attitude about the SEC was formed 40-50+ years ago when A&M was still an all male military oriented school. Texas viewed the SEC as too KKKlanish (with Volunteers, Rebels, Crimson Tide and back in the day lots of stars & bars). With A&M orientation and the Vietnam war, A&M got all the rednecks while Texas got the hippies. Despite being in Texas, from a cultural fit view, UT is much closer to the B1G than the SEC while A&M aligns quite well with the SEC.

          • greg says:

            Texas has been bad-mouthing the SEC long before A&M joined.

          • Brian #2 says:

            “When Texas bad-mouths the SEC, I think it is less about academic rankings and moreso about the rather loose ethics found in the Seriously, Everyone Cheats conference.”


            Again, that falls on deaf ears given the crowd they run with in the Big 12. OU, Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, etc have all had their run ins with the fine folks at NCAA compliance.

            Frankly it is ridiculous for any fan to thump their chest about running a clean program or being a member of a clean conference these days. Embarrassing scandals have occurred in every conference in recent years.

          • bullet says:

            Well your statement was ridiculously off-base. As was said, Texas has been bad-mouthing the SEC long before A&M joined. There were only 2 major conferences that had rules against partial qualifiers. The Big East and Big 8 didn’t care. The Big 10, ACC and Pac 10 didn’t need them. The SWC and SEC needed those rules.

          • bullet says:

            Actually it was Miami and VT the BE powers and Nebraska a Big 8 power who didn’t want them and the conferences didn’t realistically have a choice.

          • ChicagoMac says:

            Frankly it is ridiculous for any fan to thump their chest about running a clean program or being a member of a clean conference these days. Embarrassing scandals have occurred in every conference in recent years.

            I’ve seen the cheating Buckeyes up close and personal for a good long while and I’m familiar with most of the scandals that have occurred over the last 15-20yrs, I hold no illusions or delusions about the cleanliness of college athletics. So, I’m not “thumping my chest about running a clean program or being a member of a clean conference” I’m simply pointing out that the SEC West is the filthiest bunch of them all. As far as I’m concerned every game a team from the SEC West deserves an asterisk, I could certainly see why Texas would decline to be associated with that bunch in any way.

          • FranktheAg says:

            Texas doesn’t want in the SEC because the competition level is too severe. I’m not saying UT could not complete in that league because it clearly could but the B12 has OU as the sole competition for UT in football. The SEC has Florida, LSU and Alabama (plus UGa and Tenn in some years.

            That’s the real reason. The KKK comments are laughable. 40/50 years ago Texas was no different than Ole Miss or Bama in that regard.

    • Andy says:

      Even with all of those additions the Big 12 still wouldn’t be the top conference. Too much dead weight.

  74. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    duff – I agree with you most of the time, but FSU ain’t Clemson, GA Tech, or Louisville. Over the last two rounds of expansion, the SEC has picked up 4 new states with schools that are competitive to mid-tier. When FSU is good, they move the needle on ratings and CBS would be interested. I’m still not a big believer in all the “ACC is doomed” scenarios. I have a hard time seeing the NC4 and UVA being in any other conference. UNC tried to take football seriously when then hired Butch Davis and it blew up in their faces. I’m guessing they are content to be a basketball school. I do agree that UNC will be asked if the SEC expands again.

    If FSU is serious about pulling out of the ACC (and I’m not sure they are), they would have gauge the SEC’s interest. I also doubt that Mike Slive is interested in blowing up the ACC. But just like in the A&M case, if a school is hell-bent on leaving, the SEC isn’t going to pass up a great get. Under those circumstances, FSU is SEC #15, and UNC is on deck. If the ‘Heels take a pass, then its VA Tech.

    • zeek says:

      Alan, the CBS contract is why I think the SEC would have to make some kind of move on Va Tech if it was even considering moving, and definitely has to do something about FSU.

      All the whispers are that CBS is saying basically “A&M and Missouri don’t affect our SEC product at all” and that’s basically correct. How often are we going to be seeing A&M and Missouri nationally in marquee football games? Much more likely for A&M than Missouri, but given their histories, not very likely, especially given how powerful Alabama, LSU, and Arkansas are right now on the field.

      Grabbing FSU changes that dynamic immediately. All of a sudden you’ve got another school that CBS can expect to have on the spotlight, etc. The same goes for Virginia Tech given that they’ve had a strong 20 years.

      • Playoffs Now says:

        Over rating VTech. VTech in the SEC is likely to perform worse than aTm, especially over the long-term.

      • Brian #2 says:

        As Clay Travis has been hell bent on getting people to realize, the CBS contract is peanuts compared to the upside from the SEC Network. CBS shows 1 SEC game a week – their contract is simply not a factor in SEC expansion.

        Mizzou and A&M were added to get the SEC Network into the state of Texas and Missouri, not to get the CBS contract to bump up from $55MM to $75MM or so. If the SEC expands again, it seems likely they will again attempt to enter new states.

        Maybe Slive is playing possum on FSU, but I don’t think so.

      • duffman says:

        We are back to my ground root issue of what is a true brand. I have argued all along that the 3 FL schools are the new kids on the college football block. Their future is less predictable than an Ohio State or Southern Cal. I remember when all 3 were bad, and their long term future is less clear. Suppose in the next decade USF goes on a run the same way the other 3 Florida schools have? If you have been reading Frank this long you can not ignore that little item called “living alumni” in the future discussion. Look at the enrollment numbers by school for the Florida schools, and this is how they rank (granted this was according to wik) :

        Central Florida ~59,000 students
        Florida ~50,000 students
        South Florida ~47,000 students
        Florida State ~41,000 students
        Florida Atlantic ~29,000 students
        University of Miami ~16,000 students

        While Florida is already in the SEC both UCF and USF are bigger than FSU. Is it possible that FSU’s glory years are gone, and not to return with the same power they once had? Minnesota was the nails in football once, but ask any B1G fan if that glory will strike twice. Some football programs are like cars. FSU was the shiny and new model at one time, but it now has some age on it, and the wear is beginning to show as it requires more to maintain it. In short it is a depreciating asset that has not held value. The problem is the state is competitive, and it remains to be seen if it can become a “classic” like Ohio State or Alabama.

        If this is the board for intelligent debate with reasoned arguments then how can we avoid the differences between Texas and Florida? Texas has maybe 5 or 6 million more people than Florida, but they have only (2) ~50,000 population state schools. Florida has about 75% of the population of Texas, but they have (4) ~50,000 population state schools. This means instead of 2 choices for top football recruits, you have 4 and the math becomes shaky on probability. Your Tigers stand alone in LA, so betting on them to do well in LA is a very safe bet. With 4 schools in FL competing head to head, the probability goes way down.

        In our age do we see the near past with such a great weight that we miss the schools already poised to pass them. When Tulane started the Sugar Bowl would they have predicted the demotion in football to CUSA where they reside now? The SEC made South Carolina and killed Georgia Tech but could it support 2 schools from the same state? Auburn still plays second fiddle to Alabama, and Michigan State has become the shadow of Michigan when they moved from IND to the B1G after the second world war. FSU in the SEC will be another lesser flea in the same way TAMU was to UT, and oSu is to OU. Maybe I am over thinking this, but if FSU can not return to prominence in the weaker ACC, why will they suddenly pass UF in the SEC?

        • jj says:

          4 in a row, sparty on.

          otherwise, well thought out post.

          • duffman says:


            I was not disrespecting MSU, just saying that like Texas and TAMU it is harder for the secondary school to escape the shadow in the same conference. How many years would UCLA have to dominate Southern Cal and the country before the worm turned in their favor. Sparty needs a MNC right about now to gain the national traction. :)

          • jj says:

            Indeed we do. I’d be happy with an outright B10 for now.

      • Andy says:

        CBS makes up a relativley small portion of the SEC’s TV money. Most comes from ESPN. ESPN’s rates will go up considerably b/c of Missouri and A&M.

    • psuhockey says:

      UNC will never go to the SEC. They are about as academically snobby as Texas and hold their collective noses at the SEC. Don’t think its right, just letting you know those associated with the University’s attitude.

      • Brian #2 says:

        Using a phrase like “never” is pretty ignorant, as I guarantee you many more UNC fans would want to go to the SEC than the Big Ten in a one-off situation.

        The most likely scenario in my opinion is that the core ACC schools stick together even in a weakened ACC.

        • psuhockey says:

          Your right about the fans. I don’t think it would even be a close debate amongst them. But fans wont be making the decision. It will the University Board of Trustees and the President. I know people like to cite Texas A&Ms move to the SEC as a triumph of fan support, but A&M wasn’t downgrading their academic affiliation from moving from the BIG12 to the SEC. Same with Missouri. UNC would be moving from a conference having an academic consortium with other highly rated Universities to one that doesn’t. Why would they downgrade when they can move in with other prestigious Universities in the BIG? This isn’t just about sports, which most fans view this as.

          • Andy says:

            The fans made the decisions at A&M and Mizzou.

          • Brian #2 says:

            No major conference school is making realignment decisions without getting the fans on board, and most of the sparks of realignment are driven by grass roots fan and booster support. If UNC leaves the ACC, it will be to improve security and athletic revenue. Their academic pedigree will not be sullied by joining any conference.

          • Andy says:

            My best guess is the SEC won’t expand until they either get UNC or UNC is no longer an option.

          • crr says:

            Fans didn’t make the decisions at either TAMU or Mizzou – money did. That will be the same for any school. If a school can greatly increase its take by moving to another conference, it will look hard at it. If wealthy donors want to (or don’t want to) move to another conference, the powers-that-be will look at it. But random fans who do little more than buy tickets and merch? No way.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            psu – The SEC does have an athletic consortium. While I’m an SEC guy, I do acknowledge that the ACC is clearly a superior conference regarding academics.

            I never said that UNC would come to the SEC. I think the SEC would have to ask them if they are interested if FSU became #15. I would expect the Tarheels to decline and the SEC to move on to VA Tech. Again, I don’t see the SEC trying to break up the ACC, but if FSU is hell-bent on leaving, I think the SEC would make a place for them.

          • duffman says:

            @ crr,

            I tend to agree with your assessment. If some day it turned out that the Wal Mart folks in Arkansas called Slive to suggest he look at their in laws at Missouri. Bud’s daughters married Missouri husbands.

          • Jericho says:

            The fans? Reminds me of a Men in Black quote –

            Edwards: Why the big secret? People are smart. They can handle it.
            Kay: A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you’ll know tomorrow.

            be careful listening to the mob…

        • GreatLakeState says:

          Not if their foursome formed a B1G pod they wouldn’t. You need to define ‘fan’. If you mean joe-blow football fan, no doubt you’re right. I would guess by a vote of 100 to 1 those directly involved with the university would choose the B1G. The academic and research benefits of belonging to the CIC alone make it the obvious choice.

          • Brian #2 says:

            Of course we can throw additional hypotheticals into the equation, but I am discussing UNC on a stand-alone basis. I also think it is unlikely the Big Ten would add four schools all at one, and it would be difficult negotiating with and getting four separate school boards on board with the same plan. Finally, the CIC benefit tends to get overrated by Big Ten fans. The schools get large research grants because they are very good schools, just like UNC. UNC will not see a significant increase or decrease in research money by changing its athletic conference.

    • bamatab says:

      Alan – Here is an interesting article that Clay Travis put out today. Usually I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to him, but it looks as if he did a little bit of research into it. If he is anywhere close to being right on this, then I think choosing a VA and/or NC school over FSU is a no brainer.

  75. MiamWolv says:

    I highly doubt that theSEC can get on basic cable in Texas.

    I’d bet a lot of money the answer is no for quite awhile. The University of Texas, as well as the other Texas schools that A&M left behind, are going to vehemently oppose this move.

    Remember, when the B1G fought its wars to get on basic cable, there wasn’t a split in the loyalties among the Big 10 states (maybe Iowa with ISU in B12, but whatever).

    However, Texas, TTU, Baylor and other Texas schools are not going to support A&M’s attempt to get the network on basic cable. If the SEC is assuming basic cable, they are going to be very disappointed.

    • wmtiger says:

      Agree, SEC Network is going to be an impossible sell in Texas.

      • Jake says:

        I’d watch it. Lots of good football, quality college baseball in the spring and summer. Crap, I just remembered I don’t live in Texas anymore. Well, they’ve got a subscriber in Oklahoma.

        • duffman says:

          @ MiamiWolv,

          The argument of the B1G expanding east to pick up B1G alumni there probably works for the state of Texas and the SEC. Are TAMU fans enough to get basic carriage, who knows, but they seem to have fans all over the state, and not just around their campus. I think the math at work here is Franks’s 11 + 1 = 13 argument. TAMU fans + SEC fans and alumni + bandwagon football fans = basic cable across the state. Even if the SEC gets 20% of TX, the market is so big it still translates to some big numbers. If TAMU does well in the SEC while WVU does well in the B12, the casual fans will flip sides to follow the local winner.

          I think the basic cable approach for TX and high volume is the higher probability model than the LHN with premium cable and low volume.

    • bamatab says:

      We’ll see. I bet it won’t be as hard to get it on basic cable in the Houston market. Even if that is the only Texas market that the network can get on basic cable in, then would still be well worth it. Even if it can’t get on basic cable in the other major tv markets, there will still be enough people that buy the sport packages that will have that channel to make some pretty decent money for the SEC.

    • FranktheAg says:


      …and you would be wrong. The Houston market will be 100% guaranteed as will all of East Texas. The Dallas market is almost a certainty as well. There is a huge Aggie presence in Dallas and a significant population of Hogs and Tigers. Tack on the fact that the quality of play is the next best thing to the NFL, in a huge sports market like DFW, and you can bet Dallas goes along.

      Once you have Dallas, Houston and East Texas, you’ve go most of what matters. I could see Austin being a struggle but that’s about it.

      • bullet says:

        I think a lot of people underestimate how much the cable market is changing. Replicating what the BTN did is going to be a lot harder as cable competes with the internet.

  76. Eric says:

    If they want to try plus one to be enough, but also want to dampen the controversy, maybe they could do this:

    Rose Bowl: Big Ten vs. PAC-12
    Sugar/Cotton/whatever Bowl: Big 12 vs. SEC
    Fiesta Bowl: Highest remaining team vs. 2nd highest remaining team

    The playoff/championship could only be from the winners of those games. The top 2 winners are automatically in. The #3 ranked winner gets a shot if a) they are in the top 4 overall, b) they are a conference champ or independent.

    Most of the time you’d only have a 2 game championship, but when needed, you’d have an extra game between the #2 and #3 teams.

    Don’t actually think they’d do this, but it does set-up a mainly plus one while allowing an extra game if there is legitimate debate.

    • wmtiger says:

      None of those conferences WANT that, they want their cake (Rose, Sugar, etc.) and eat it too… They want to keep their Rose, Sugar Bowls and play in the semifinals.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        At first glance it would seem like the plus-1 leaves a lot of money on the table but if a plus-1 allows ‘the four’ to consolidate power and perhaps even strike out on their own, that is when the HUGE money starts rolling in.

        • Kevin says:

          The Plus 1 significantly increases the value of the Rose and that money would likely only be shared between the Pac 12 and B1G.

          Will it generate as much revenue as a true 4 team playoff plus the traditional bowls, probably not. But under that scenario the value of the Rose would likely decay over time.

  77. MiamiWolv says:

    Well, this should not surprise anyone, but the Plus One is back on the table according to PAC 12 commissioner.

    The Champions Bowl likely hardened the resolve of the PAC 12/Big 10 to fight the 4 team playoff. Now with the Champions Bowl between the SEC/Big 12, these four conference are in the best position to put teams in the Plus One title game. If the Big 10/PAC 12 play hardball, and refuse to back a 4 team playoff, the SEC and Big 12 are far more likely to go along now that they have their own cash cow bowl game.

    Plus, imagine the revenue generated by the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl / Champions Bowl if the Plus One is adopted now?

    • Kevin says:

      I think I am a bigger fan of the Plus 1 especially now with the consolidation of the top bowls. It definitely reduces the complexity of picking the top 4 but shifts that debate to pick the top 2. Most years it’s going to be the winner of the Rose and the new Champions bowl with some years including an ACC/ND team.

    • SuperD says:

      Kinda puts a hell of a lot of pressure for schools to press to get into one of those conferences RIGHT NOW. Kind of strange for the PAC to be floating this though since they are the least likely to expand to 16 unless Larry has a plan the rest of us are unaware of. Eastern pod of ND and 3 travel buddies?

      Of course Larry could just be confident that the PAC is set as one of the Top 4 by their Rose Bowl spot and geographic isolation under this scenario, regardless of whether they expand or not. In which case staying at 12 while other conferences have to divvy up their share of a Top 4 +1 amongst more schools could be even more lucrative for the PAC on a per school basis.

      • I think that’s it. They and the Big Ten have the Rose Bowl; there’s really zero incentive for them to expand. They can stay a top 4 league without any need to grab any more members (ditto for the Big Ten). IF this is where things are going, I’d guess that there’s 2-4 spots in Big 12 for the taking and that’s quite possibly it.

        Maybe if ND prefers the Big Ten they’d fill out at one more, but the SEC would be hesitant to jump to 16 since it’d just dilute access.

        OTOH, that’d leave at least some decent ACC programs out of the mix, and I’m not sure that’s really going to fly. IMO it’s more of a “we’re going to represent this possibility, so y’all better not be pains in the butt about playoff access or revenue distribution” thing. Though if in 5-10 years there really isn’t any change in the power distribution (or success gets even more concentrated in the “Big Four” leagues), I could see them making an actual move on that front at that point.

        • Kevin says:

          Well technically the ACC/ND will still have a shot at a NC but they are going to be significantly disadvantaged in terms of revenue because they will not have access to the Rose East and Rose West. Let’s say they use polls/computers to determine the NCG teams. If SOS becomes a key component it will most likely exclude ACC members unless they are undefeated because they won’t have the benefit of that big bowl opponent.

          The revenue generated from the Rose in this Plus One will be significant and I bet Delany/Scott would rather not share that with other conference or through the addition of more schools in their respective conferences.

          If a Plus 1 is the answer I think it would be highly unlikely we’ll see more expansion except for the Big 12.

          • Jericho says:

            I’d like to think it’s posturing as much as anything. It’s a terrible decision for most fans/schools, as it does not really change much. The beauty of a true 4 team playoff means its somewhat decided on the field, at least among teams that qualify. That gives 4 schools in control of their own destiny. The current system only gives two schools that. And this bowls +1 scenario only guarantees 2 teams control their own destiny (although in most years it would be at least 3), which is the same as it is now.

            Not to mention effectively cutting off access to the major of I-A (or whatever its called now) schools and the independents to the championship is a political nightmare.

          • mushroomgod says:

            The benefits of the plus 1 outweigh the negatives, esp. from the Big 10′Pac 10 perspective.

            Gives the bowl games relevance. If you’re going to continue to play them, you might as well make them relevant.

            The only school with potentially a legit bitch is whoever is judged to be #3 after the bowl games. Their discomfort is outweighed by the renewed interest in the major bowl games..

      • Play it out a bit…
        #5 Oregon vs. #10 Wisconsin in ROSE
        #1 LSU vs. #3 OkSt in CHAMPS
        #2 Alabama vs. #4 Stanford in Sugar?/Fiesta?

        Tons of interest in all three games…even though if the top seeds all win, the “plus one” would be Alabama vs. LSU probably. But there are a slew of scenarios that would cause a controversy.

        The previous year…
        #1 Auburn vs. #7 Oklahoma in Champs
        #2 Oregon vs. #5 Wisconsin in ROSE
        # 4 Stanford vs. #3 TCU/#6 Ohio State in Fiesta?

        Even more messy scenarios abound here…would TCU even get a spot as a non-major school (at that time).

        All your doing is delaying the controversy until after the bowls…

        • wmtiger says:

          In these plus one type systems, imo you must know who’d be in the NT game immediately after the three bowl games are played. Seeds CAN’T change after the games regardless of the margin of victory…

        • bullet says:

          Exactly. And its worse since the level of competition in many cases won’t be the same or as well seeded as those 2 years (what if #2 played #10 and #1 played #3-that’s not fair to #1)

        • mushroomgod says:

          There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of controversy. College football needs to maintain the importance of the regular season and conference championships. The Plus 1 does that. A playoff doesn’t.

          • wmtiger says:

            If you seed the teams after the bowls or have a ranking system after the bowls/semifinals; you’d have chaos..

            There is a good chance the #1 overall team loses and is still ranked in the top 2 if you use any type of BCS ranking system…

            If you have 3 top 5 teams (say #1, #2, #3 & #4) playing in the 3 major bowls and #1, #3 & #4 win; you’d have major controversy over which of #3/#4 plays #1. Both are nearly every bit of deserving. Then we’ll see bracket creep to 8 teams.

            Or you could have a scenario where #3 and #1 both win, #2 loses, #3 already lost to #1 this season and people would rather see #4 (who won their bowl) a chance to play the #1 team than #3. Similar to how Florida jumped in front of Michigan in ’06 despite M not playing a game…

            You have to know before the playoff, which teams would be in, depending on who wins.

      • wmtiger says:

        Funny you mention that, I was talking to someone the other day about Notre Dame possibly joining the Big XII or ACC…

        I threw out that the Pac 12 was more likely than either. In the Pac 12 they can play games in California they really covet, they will get at least one B10 opponent with the B10/Pac 12 alliance and they can play a game or two near NYC against teams like Army, UConn, Rutgers, etc.; they can probably even negotiate neutral sites for those contests. Not in the least bit likely but just as crazy as some of these other scenarios we hear everyday on here.

        • cutter says:

          Notre Dame could do the same thing if they joined the Big Ten as part of a 14- or 16-team conference that included teams from the former Big East and/or ACC.

          ND would have a guaranteed game with a Pac 12 opponent each year in the form of USC plus a handful of conference games against teams from the mid-Atlantic or northeast regions of the country. That leaves the Irish two non-conference games to play teams from Texas or Florida to round out their schedule. While it wouldn’t mean an annual game in the state of California like they have now, it would also allow ND to play some major programs from the southeast as part of its non-conference slate. If the Big Ten started playing some of its conference games in September, than that’d give Notre Dame even more scheduling flexibility because that USC game could stay in its traditional October and November slots.

          If the Big XII and/or the SEC expand with programs from the ACC (such as Virginia Tech, Florida State, Clemson and Miami) and the ACC in turn takes programs from the Big East such as Connecticut, Rutgers, Louisville, Cincinnati, Central Florida or South Florida, I could see Notre Dame shifting its associate membership from the Big East to the ACC in return for bowl access and a guarantee to play perhaps three or four games against ACC teams per year–sort of the same deal they have with the Big East–while staying independent in football.

          The ACC should remain a very strong basketball conference if it were to retain Duke, UNC, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, etc., so that works out for ND. The conference would also support a lot of the Olympic programs that Notre Dame participates in–probably more so than the Big XII. Plus if the ACC were to continue its willingness to play ND in football in October and November, then that helps the Irish in scheduling for the last two months of the season. Notre Dame has played a lot of current and future ACC schools in recent years–Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Boston College, Duke, Maryland, Wake Forest, North Carolina, Georgia Tech–so it wouldn’t be a big leap for them in terms of their football schedules either. Notre Dame would also be in a position to continue its presence in the northeast and mid-Atlantic if it were to be part of a new ACC (ex. Maryland replaces Georgetown as the Washington, DC area basketball game).

          I know the ACC in the past has been against granting Notre Dame an associate-type membership, but this may be a case where they’re in a position where it’s an option they might need to exercise.

  78. packman says:

    I’ve been following this blog for two years and have enjoyed it a lot. I understand salivating for “kings”, but often a king doesn’t end up on BTN with another king. Michigan vs. Nebraska will always be on network or ESPN, Nebraska vs. Duke in football will wind up on BTN as will Nebraska vs. Duke in basketball. From an inventory standpoint, it seems to me that you need a couple bottom feeders to help kings keep their regal status. As a Husker alum, this formula worked very well for the years of the old Big 8. Therefore, I think Duke is a great fit even though basketball amounts to the 20% of revenue. Gillette still needs to sell shaving cream all-year round.

    • wmtiger says:

      Kings vs kings end up on ABC/ESPN every time; they drive your 1st tier media rights…

      But that doesn’t mean the kings don’t have tremendous value to the conference networks (BTN, Pac 12 Network and likely SEC Network). When the kings are playing a Purdue or Arizona State, they are getting excellent ratings for the BTN, Pac 12 Network, etc.

    • That’s what I’m starting to wonder about too. When you’re talking about the 50 most recognizable names in college athletics, Duke is definitely there. And it might even get top 20 overall. That’s how big their basketball is. You are gobbling up a greater share of the “top 50″ sports names (maybe even a greater share of the top 20), which makes your inventory a greater commodity and maybe gets you on a higher tier of cable.

  79. Travel9 says:

    OK, Put on your thinking caps. If you are the ACC’s Swofford and hired out the FTT Brain Trust, what is the best plan to save the ACC. What needs to happen?

    • B1G Jeff says:

      The short answer has something to do with admitting ND as in all sports but football and including them in the ACC’s bowl lineup. Texas has shown that a conference can survive with a king at the helm (especially with a second as a backup).

      • Jericho says:

        What does a non-football Notre Dame get you? The Big East has that now and has nothing. And if you ally with Notre Dame for Bowl berths, Notre Dame will like take those berths away from ACC schools, which also means less money for ACC schools.

        What you really want is a Bowl game against Notre Dame. And a full member Notre Dame

        • B1G Jeff says:

          LOL. The question was what’s the best plan to save the ACC, not the best plan for the ACC. A full member ND isn’t going to happen. If ND can prop up the Big East, it certainly can prop up the ACC. If ND gets championship access as an independent, its (partial) conference will get access when it’s a component of the championship equation.

          • Jericho says:

            So the best plan to save the ACC is not the same as the best plan for the ACC? You confuse me. I agree that a full member Notre Dame is not happening, but arguing that a partial Notre Dame membership helps in any way is puzzling. How is it helped the Big East at all, since the Big East has both partial membership and a Bowl sharing agreement. There’s no proof that taking Notre Dame as a part member gives you anything. So my original point stands.

            Giving away arguably your more prestigious bowl birth to Notre Dame hurts the ACC. Even an alliance with them is not going to grant access to great Bowls as Notre Dame is just one team and will generally take the best bowl. My original point stands in that you want to play Notre Dame in the Bowl.

          • B1G Jeff says:

            Jericho, the question is survival, not flourishing; it’s a absolute construct, not a relative consideration. I’d suggest any conference agreeing to give ND a top tiered bowl slot without full membership would deserve the fate it received. I agree that a better existence would be found in setting up a bowl game against the Irish – but who’d expect ND to honor that indefinitely? I’m sure they’re upgrade as soon as a return to glory warranted. I agree that a better existence would be giving selected kings free access to Tier 3 access (i.e. following the Big XII model). I didn’t think that was the question. Perhaps you’ve read it as “what should be the best plan to stabilize and grow the ACC?”.

            I didn’t overthink the question and don’t think the response was that complicated. Relatively speaking, a conference with ND in the mix will survive. A conference selling its soul to be associated with ND won’t flourish. Those aren’t mutually exclusive, IMO.

          • mushroomgod says:

            Not sure about that Jeff………may work for a short time, but in the end, it may just piss off a whole new group of people.

          • glenn says:

            If ND can prop up the Big East, it certainly can prop up the ACC.

            i submit that the big east didn’t require much propping since it didn’t draw all that much water.  propping up the acc is a much bigger undertaking and would require the services of a much bigger undertaker.  like full nd membership.

            nd olympics doesn’t begin to do that job.  nor will it benefit the big 12 all that much.  some extra fb games with conference members helps, but it’s really full membership where nd involvement matters.  acc wouldn’t benefit much from nd partial, and nor would nd.

          • vp19 says:

            As the ACC stands now — and more so if Clemson and Florida State leave -- as a group, is it really worth saving in terms of college football? There are individual members with value for a variety of reasons (athletic, academic and otherwise), but it might be worthwhile for the top four conferences to agree to assimilate the entirety of the ACC, if only to avoid lawsuits. And yes, that includes a 4-team eastern bloc for the Pac (even if it was football-only), for it was the Pac presidents’ refusal on two occasions to let Okie State enter their neighborhood that solidified the Big 12 and caused this mess.

          • Jericho says:

            I think we’re having a big disconnect here. The basic point I was initially trying to make is that your suggestions add nothing. You stated you want to save the ACC, but your only suggestions are things the Big East currently has and does not benefit from. Notre Dame does not prop up the Big East. So you save nothing in your scenarios.

            I made two suggestions. Both would actually benefit the ACC. One is very far-fetched, I will admit. The other is much more viable. And although a Bowl arrangement with Notre Dame is only “temporary”, to save the conference you only need a short term solution. There’s no guarantee the new SEC-Big 12 bowl continues either. But having a big name Bowl can go a long way to respectability.

          • B1G Jeff says:

            Jericho, it’s time for me to come clean (sorry for any disconnect/frustration). My comment was only meant to be snarky and impart some satire regarding the premise that adding ND solves all and fixes everyone. My posts here over the last several years indicate that I believe neither. I’ve gone from being a Chicago based Big Ten fan (NU, U of Ill) who believed that ND was a natural to both, to being someone who was pissed at their seeming arrogance, to now someone who understands that ND is all about ND and it’s independence (and I’m thus quite ambivalent about them). Consider the comment a correlary to Domer’s Law – an ironic claim the ND fixes all, which it obviously does not. I actually agree with mushroomgod’s assessment that adding the Irish in any capacity other than a full, unconditional membership will just piss off a whole new group eventually, which is why I still question whether they’d be a good cultural fit in the B1G.

          • mushroomgod says:

            Jeff, I’ve argued, with little support on here, that the BIG is the ONLY conference that could offer ND an ‘everything but football’ arrangement WITHOUT pissing off everyone else…….but it would take the BIG acknowledging that ND had out-waited it, so it won’t happen.

            ND to the BIG in everything but football would just be acknowledging the status quo, which isn;’t that horrible. It would bring strong olympic sports and academic reputation to the BIG. And it would allow the BIG to ‘get on with its life’ and admit 2 members that want to be there in all sports.

            I really think the BIG needs to be as “big” as the SEC due to population/demographic considerations, and the necessity to enlarge the BTN in viewership and inventory…..but that apparently isn’t happening with ND floating about.

          • B1G Jeff says:

            mushroom god: And I’ve argued (very unsuccessfully) that we’re too focused on the means rather than the end. There is a precedent: U of C. At the risk of going too far, I also advocate for Johns Hopkins in the CIC. I’m posting an elaboration below for your consideration.

          • frug says:

            Jeff, I’ve argued, with little support on here, that the BIG is the ONLY conference that could offer ND an ‘everything but football’ arrangement WITHOUT pissing off everyone else

            Except of course for the Big Ten’s member schools and the conferences fans and donors. Notre Dame’s non-FB sports are literally worth less than nothing (there MBB program loses $4 million dollars a year) and they would actually hurt the conference academically since they lag behind the current members so severely in the research and post-graduate studies.

            Without FB ND does nothing to help the Big Ten at all.

          • mushroomgod says:

            Don’t agree that ND’s association with the Big East has been of no value to the BE. Were that the case, ND would have been booted long ago. So ND has value to the BE but not to the BT? Doubt it.

            And you didn’t even try to respond to the other arguments.

          • B1G Jeff says:

            Mushroomgod, if you read my lower posts, you’ll see that I answered the other posts by basically agreeing with the other arguments, especially your 11:52 post. Sorry for the confusion.

          • frug says:

            So ND has value to the BE but not to the BT?

            Yes. For four reasons actually:

            1. The Catholic schools love the association with the nation’s premier Catholic athletic department

            2. As terrible the Big East’s bowl ties in are, they would be even worse without ND (Notre Dame would not help the Big Ten much (if at all) because their current tie ins are so good)

            3. Giving Notre Dame a home for their non-fb sports has been a strong defensive move. If the Big East were to toss out Notre Dame it would basically ensure the conferences few remaining valuable pieces (UConn, Rutgers and possibly Louisville) would be snapped up the Big Ten, ACC and possibly Big XII. That leaves everyone else out a lot of money.

            4. The Big East’s non-fb sports simply aren’t as valuable as the Big Ten’s. Despite having the strongest MBB conference ever assembled the Big Ten still makes substantially more money from its MBB teams than the Big East does. The Big East simply has less money to lose by hosting the Irish.

            As for expanding the population base? Assuming the AAU requirement stays in place for non-ND schools, then there just aren’t any good opportunities to do so. Without ND or Texas non of the potentially available targets like Maryland or Rutgers or even UVa are to make the present schools any more money. At best they would be revenue neutral which means a loss after you factor in travel costs and logistics.

            And I don’t really think that the Big Ten is too concerned with the SEC’s population base since the BT was perfectly content to watch the SEC walk off with Mizzou, a team that had two major media markets, a monopoly on college sports in the state and was right in the BT’s backyard, without batting an eye.

            (Of course all this is irrelevant is going to have to join a conference within a decade anyways)

          • frug says:

            Also, I never said that the ND was of no value to the Big East. I said they were of no value to the Big Ten.

      • wmtiger says:

        Texas isn’t just a king, they are a king among kings. ND is no Texas in terms of power.

      • cutter says:

        Notre Dame has done next to nothing for the Big East in terms of getting a better bowl lineup.

        Besides the BCS berth, the conference has the following bowls:

        Champs Sports Bowl v. ACC (can select ND one time in four years)
        Belk Bowl v. ACC
        New Era Pinstripe Bowl v.B12
        BBVA Compass Bowl v. Conference USA or SEC
        Autozone Liberty Bowl v. Conference USA or SEC
        Beef O’Brady’s Bowl v. Conference USA

        None of these games are on the list of New Year’s Day contests, such as the Gator Bowl, which used to have a tie in with the Big East and none of them are west of the Mississippi River (the Big East used to have the Insight Bowl in Tempe, AZ). The Big East sends two teams to the last three bowls on the list.

        Are there any bowls on this list that the Big East couldn’t get without having Notre Dame as some sort of a tie in? Perhaps the Champs Sports Bowl (which had ND play Florida State last season), but that’s probably about it. In the “new” ACC, whatever form that takes, I doubt ND will do much to help that conference’s lineup either.

        It’ll be interesting to see what the bowl situation for the Big East will look like in a few years’ time when a large portion of Conference USA will have joined them (and the overall number of bowls shrinks). The same goes for the ACC if we were to see some combination of Florida State, Clemson, Virginia Tech, and/or Miami migrating to the Big XII or SEC.

        If Notre Dame stands pat in terms of football independence or accepts some sort of associate membership with the Big 12 and the Big Ten does nothing, then the ACC without the four programs listed above would be (from north to south):

        Boston College
        North Carolina
        North Carolina State
        Wake Forest
        Georgia Tech

        The 13 Big East football schools would then be:

        Boise State (Football Only)
        San Diego State (Football Only)
        Navy (Football Only)
        Southern Methodist
        Central Florida
        South Florida

        Full member, non-football programs are DePaul, Marquette, Georgetown, St. John’s, Providence, Seton Hall, Notre Dame, Villanova

        When you look at those lists above, I see what some of the ACC leadership is sweating things right now (and why they’d like to see a post-season football playoff with conference champions under certain criteria getting an autobid). They could continue to pull Big East programs into the ACC as they have done in the past (Louisville–if they already aren’t in the Big 12, Cincinnati, Rutgers, Connecticut and the two Florida schools could be possibilities) to bring the total membership up to 12 or 14 or even 16. That doesn’t preclude them from being picked apart again in the future, especially if Notre Dame finally does opt to join the Big Ten as a full member, but it might be the best they can do given the circumstances.

    • zeek says:

      Call ND and make a deal to play them in the Orange Bowl every year.

      ACC Champion versus ND.

      It’s a better matchup than you’ll get otherwise against the Big East or something like that. That game would probably be worth a decent amount as well.

      Try to see if you can get the schools to agree to a 5 year grant of rights or something, but they might balk at that…

      • frug says:

        The GOR is the first thing I would try. I’m not sure it would work, but that would be the best thing to ensure the conference’s continued viability.

    • ChicagoMac says:

      Maybe go a step further than the Big East did and give ND conditional access to the ACC Championship game.

      Perhaps ND commits to play 4 games per season against ACC foes and they create 3 pods of 5. Championship game would be played between the two highest ranked Pod winners.

      Maybe create a patsy pod with the worst 5 teams from prior season as a way to manage the schedule a bit.

      How about working with ESPN to create an event over the weekends when FSU plays Florida, Clemson plays SC and GT plays UGA, bring in Boise, BYU, Uconn, and any other brands you can and then keep score. Just thinking out loud.

      • Nemo says:

        A surprising proposal from MRSEC: SEC Challenge in FB Against the ACC

        SEC Games May Make More Sense

        • Brian #2 says:

          Interesting idea, but I don’t see FSU or Clemson rethinking their plan to go to the Big 12 by partnering with the ACC to play games they already play annually (UF and SC).

          And frankly, there are a lot of snoozers on that list of potential games. A potential SEC-Big 12 regular season alliance might present more good games, but then college football might start becoming too isolationist with B1G-PAC and SEC-Big 12.

        • ChicagoMac says:

          I like how he pretends that it is the SEC that wants to tap the brakes on conference realignment and not ESPN.

          One of the least discussed aspects here is how Slive and Co. are essentially doing ESPNs bidding all the way through this process.

  80. SuperD says:

    Pat Forde looking to take some of the piss out of the expansion hysteria and point out the hypocrisy behind a lot of the moves. Pretty humorous and accurate take.–conference-realignment–blame-someone-else-and-pass-the-checks.html#more-id

    • frug says:

      I know it is suppose to be satirical, but I don’t think anyone ever actually argued that a move to the Big East was a “100 year decision”. Hell, TCU didn’t even bother to disguise the fact they viewed the Big East a transitional move until somebody better came along.

      (Of course since they will be joining their 6th conference in less than 20 years next season (including one they never actually played in) I don’t think anyone would believe any move TCU makes is a 100 year decision)

      • Jake says:

        If we leave the Big 12, it won’t be on our initiative. We’re home.

        • zeek says:

          Pretty much this. And I think a lot of the moves are more final than people give them credit for…

          Nebraska, Colorado, Texas A&M, and Missouri are all going to stay with their conferences. TCU has been wanting to get back with the SWC group that joined the Big 8 to make the Big 12.

          WVU may be in its final spot as well given that the Big Ten and SEC aren’t interested. The trend towards consolidation isn’t a bad thing. It’s been the natural state of affairs for college football for 100 years. Why do people act like this isn’t the case?

          • mushroomgod says:

            Eventually WV will be elsewhere.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:


            It isn’t a bad thing if it isn’t your team/conference that is harmed in the process. But if you are a fan of any team in North Carolina (the ACC schools, ECU, or App State) , think it stinks. Sure, some of the schools (but certainly not Wake, App, or ECU) may get a soft landing spot, but it is going to be gut wrenching if the ACC breaks up after 60 years.

        • bullet says:

          You just made me realize it IS possible the people who say the Big 12 is unstable are right. We just added TCU!!!! SWC, WAC, CUSA, MWC, BE, now Big 12. TCU was probably in some now non-existent conference before the SWC.

          • Jake says:

            Yep, the Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

          • zeek says:

            Gotta give TCU credit though. That’s one school that managed to fight their way into a top conference from nowhere in 20 years without the advantages that others like Utah had. There was really no reason why they shouldn’t have ended up like SMU or Houston but for the fact that they earned it.

            TCU also seems to have impeccable timing with its moves. Has largely managed to stay ahead of the pack at every step on its way back to the top. That should be the scary part for the rest of the Big 12.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Jake – the Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association sounds like a good name for the current Big XII.

          • Jake says:

            When TCU got the invite last fall, my Facebook status was something like, “Big 12 announces plans to eventually cease being a conference.” But things are looking promising at the moment. Anybody see that movie Charlie Wilson’s War? Remember Philip Seymour Hoffman’s speech about the Zen master? That’s pretty much the mindset you have to adopt to be a TCU fan. Or you can go with the Cursed Frogurt scene from The Simpsons. Either works.

  81. Eric says:

    Thinking more about it, if the conferences are willing to have only conference champs/independents and willing to occasionally have an extra game, they could meet the demands of a lot of different parties. Again, this is probably too convoluted to be used, but I wanted to play through it anyway. Imagine this set-up:

    Rose Bowl: Big Ten champ vs. PAC-12 champ
    Sugar Bowl: SEC champ vs. Big 12 champ
    Orange Bowl: Highest remaining champ/independent vs. 2nd highest remaining champ/independent

    Only the winners of these bowls would go. If one of the winners was outside the top 5, then you’d only take the 2 higher ranked winners. If all three winners are in the top 5 though, then the 2nd and 3rd highest teams would play against each other first.

    In effect, this would give every top 5 team who was a conference champ/independent a chance at the national title. However, it wouldn’t usually result in 3 games post-season games for any team which would make it easier to get through. A few example years:

    Sugar Bowl: #1 LSU vs. #3 Oklahoma State
    Rose Bowl: #5 Oregon vs. #10 Wisconsin
    Orange Bowl: #15 Clemson vs. #18 TCU

    In this year, the winner of the Sugar and Rose Bowls would be guaranteed to meet. This is oddly could give us a #10 team in, but it’s the only year in BCS history that could.

    Sugar Bowl: #1 Auburn vs. #7 Oklahoma
    Rose Bowl: #2 Oregon vs. #5 Wisconsin
    Orange Bowl: #3 TCU vs. #10 Boise State

    In this year, we would have to have an extra round if Auburn and TCU both win (example: if the top 3 win, then we’d have Oregon vs. TCU in a one game to see who faced Auburn)

    Sugar Bowl: #1 Alabama vs. #2 Texas
    Orange Bowl: #3 Cincinnati vs. #4 TCU

    Straight up 4 team playoff this year

    Sugar Bowl: #1 Oklahoma vs. #2 Florida
    Rose Bowl: #5 USC vs. #8 Penn State
    Orange Bowl: #6 Utah vs. #9 Boise State

    Rose Bowl: #1 Ohio State vs. #7 USC
    Sugar Bowl: #2 LSU vs. #4 Oklahoma
    Orange Bowl: #3 Virginia Tech vs. #9 West Virginia

    If Ohio State and Virginia Tech won, would have an extra game.

    In this set-up, we only have the possibility of an extra game (something the presidents do not want), in 2 of the last 5 years, and it requires 4 specific teams winning to give us that. Since realignment, 2 of those teams are also in the Big 12/PAC-12.

    Again, I know there’s a huge array of problems and it’s too convoluted to use in all likelihood. Just wanted to play it out and see how it would look.

    • wmtiger says:

      2011 is a great example of where your proposal fails miserably… The Orange Bowl needs to be the top team not in the Sugar/Rose or two teams not in those bowls; last season Alabama deserved in most any playoff scenario yet doesn’t make the cut in yours.

  82. Brian #2 says:

    12 more violations pending for Ohio State, including some that may be considered major.

    Something’s not right in Columbus.

    • mushroomgod says:

      “Oops, I did it again……”

    • Dohn says:

      Someone didn’t read the article…

      How about this, you post which of those 12 violations you deem to be the most serious and we’ll discuss how “not right” things are at OSU.

      • Dohn says:

        For those too lazy to click to the link, here are the 12 violations that ESPN deemed front page worthy and that sophisticates like Brian #2 deem evidence of something “not right” in Columbus:

        In a news release Thursday, Ohio State detailed the 12 secondary violations to occur in the following athletic programs:

        • Football: The compliance office approved the use of mini basketballs during a football winter conditioning workout;

        A former assistant football coach had an inadvertent contact or “bump” with a prospective student-athlete;

        The program understood the aunt of a prospective student-athlete was his legal guardian and provided food and lodging expenses to her for the official visit;

        An assistant coach inadvertently posted on the Facebook wall of a 2013 prospective student-athlete, believing at the time he was using the email inbox function of Facebook.

        • Institutional: Two baseball prospective student-athletes arrived on campus for official visits before being placed on the request list;

        Athletics financial aid agreements were issued to three prospective student-athletes without being signed by the financial aid director.

        • Baseball: A prospective student-athlete in grade 12 registered and showed up for an Ohio State camp for participants in grades 9-11 even though he was told he was not eligible to compete at the camp. A T-shirt was given to the individual to defuse the situation when he got upset that he couldn’t compete;

        A prospective student-athlete received a complimentary admission to a home baseball game during a dead period.

        • Men’s gymnastics: The practice activities of a gymnastics alum were publicized.

        • Field hockey: A former assistant coach sent an email to a prospective student-athlete believing that she was a 2013 high school graduate.

        • Men’s tennis: A high school football coach and friend of the tennis program’s head coach stopped by the tennis training facility unannounced with an assistant coach and four prospective student-athletes during a dead period.

        • Women’s hockey: A former assistant coach inadvertently sent an email to a 2014 prospective student-athlete when the prospect was mistakenly entered into the recruiting database by the previous coaching staff as a 2013 graduate.

  83. texmex says:

    I don’t think the Plus One will enter the fold for the new post season format starting with the 2014 season. The new playoff format will still be a 4 team playoff. I think the plus one concerning the Rose Bowl and the new SEC/Big 12 bowl could be a factor for the next post season format after the new deal expires. So sometime around 2018-2020

  84. Mike says:

    Some details about the MWC’s offer to keep Boise. Odd that Boise says the meeting didn’t happen.

    The plan included revenue sharing among conference members in proportion to the success of that school, a plan that would have allowed Boise State’s powerful football program to keep a higher percentage of its revenue than it did this year under the conference’s equal revenue sharing plan.


    “We also knew that in providing them with a set of terms that we were putting ourselves at risk that they would use our terms to get more favorable terms from the Big East or another conference,” [CSU athletic director Jack] Graham said Tuesday evening. “So we made it clear it was a one-time offer, that they needed to understand that it was a one-time offer, and the Mountain West Conference is moving on.


    San Diego State also has indicated it will leave the MW in 2013 to play football in the Big East, while placing most of its other athletic programs in the Big West Conference. San Diego State’s agreement to join the Big East for football is contingent on Boise State also making the move. Graham said San Diego State officials attending the MW’s spring meetings earlier this month in Arizona gave no indications that they would not move forward with those plans.

  85. Read The D says:

    If the Big 12 wants to get into the state of Florida, which combination makes more sense?

    Florida State + Louisville, Clemson or Georgia Tech
    South Florida + Central Florida

    Enrollment (Undergraduate/Post-graduate)

    Florida State – ~40,000 (~31,000/~8,500)
    South Florida – ~ 47,000 (~36,500/~9,500)
    Central Florida – ~ 58,500 (~50,00/~8,500)

    The other 3 all have about 20,000 students. Over time that is a huge alumni and interest difference.

    How much weight does tradition hold especially if success is wavering? FSU hasn’t been to a BCS game since 2005 and hasn’t won one since 1999 when they won the MNC.

    I guess this also relates to the question of is conference realignment a 100 year decision or decision for the next TV contract.

    • zeek says:

      With the case of Syracuse and Pitt, expansion was a question of opening the current TV contract. There is no way that Syracuse and Pitt aren’t going to be deadweights in the next set of TV contracts…

      And in some semblence, it always is. You don’t know the staying power that a school has.

      No school has eternal staying power although ND comes closest and Texas not too far behind given current and forward looking demographics trends.

      The rest of the kings are behind them and have solid 10-20 year staying power. But beyond that, you just don’t know. At some point, all you can do is choose schools that have performed consistently well for the past 50 years, or find ones with demographics/TV market advantages.

      I don’t think there’s such a thing as a 100 year decision though in actuality. Most of these decisions are in a sense 15-20 year decisions although some have more of a level of permanence than others (Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC expansion).

      • zeek says:

        At the same time, there are pecking orders, especially within states.

        In Florida, UF, FSU, and Miami are almost always going to be a cut above USF and UCF even though the latter are going to become much larger in terms of enrollment and such. UF and FSU are the “prestigious” state schools which grab the attention of the unaffiliated Floridians, and Miami is a glamour school…

        • Jake says:

          Yeah, there’s more to it than size. North Texas and Houston both have higher enrollments than Texas Tech (and aren’t far behind A&M), but they don’t have near the following. Do not underestimate the t-shirt fan.

          • bullet says:

            There’s also the commuter element. UH and UNT have large commuter contingents who aren’t as tied to the universities.

          • bullet says:

            I’m not that familiar with UCF and USF, but they may have the commuter element as well. And the T-shirt fans stick with UF/FSU and the pro teams, like some of the UH/UNT students.

        • Read The D says:

          I agree that there is a pecking order but the order generally goes #1 Flagship University > everybody else.

          Florida has UF, Louisiana has LSU, Arkansas has Arkansas, Texas has Texas, etc. I think there is some ebb and flow between the others. FSU and Miami have fought over #2 in the past. It’d be a pretty good argument for TCU vs Baylor.

          Said another way I think the non #1 schools can change positions. In 10 years if FSU and Miami continue to stumble and UCF and USF have Boise and TCU like success, the latter could be the more sought after commodities.

          • zeek says:

            Florida is a bit different from the general rule though.

            UF dominates Orlando even though that’s UCF’s base. UCF isn’t really going to be able to come out of their shadow if ever.

            As for USF in Tampa, it probably has a better opportunity to build some kind of regional base, but I’m not sure it’ll even be to the level of non-affiliated support that Miami gets in the Southeast corner of Florida where it has a lot of unaffiliated support.

            FSU and Miami are a lot more built up than your typical #2s and #3s in a state in that they’ve won at the national level and are considered kings.

            You don’t really see that elsewhere.

          • Read The D says:


            There’s no doubt they are currently #4 and #5 in Florida. When the schools have some success, and I’m thinking specifically of USF when they made it to #2 for a week, the stadium was packed.

            If you get some success and big time names playing those schools I think you would see enthusiasm increase.

            In no way am I trying to argue that adding UCF or USF would be a homerun in this decade. It would be a play for the long term in a talent rich state.

    • cutter says:

      If the ACC does lose two or more teams to the Big XII or the SEC, then I could certainly see them looking at UCF and USF as possible additions to the conference along with programs based in the northeast, i.e. Connecticut and Rutgers along with others like Louisville and Cincinnati.

      That is, unless the Big Ten gets there first and in combination with Notre Dame (or not), some of the Big East schools or the current ACC programs end up in the B10.

      This whole business has taken on the aspects of a high stakes poker game with the losers having to walk away from the big green felt table once they run out of chips. As far as the B12 is concerned, if they were to add FSU, Miami, Clemson and Georgia Tech (who has recently been reported as having discussions with the B12), then they stay at the table.

      The player with the most chips (at this time) could then be the SEC. If they were to add Virginia Tech and North Carolina State to the mix, then that conference would span the Old Confederacy plus two border states (Missouri and Kentucky). That’d be a pretty nice platform for a SEC Network to work from if it ever gets started.

      SEC West – Missouri, Texas A&M, Arkansas, LSU, Mississippi State, Miss State, Alabama, Auburn
      SEC East – Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, NC State, Virginia Tech

      Big XII West – Iowa State, Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor, TCU, Oklahoma, Ok State
      Big XII East – Kansas, Kansas State, West Virginia, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami

      Add BYU (which according to a Philadelphia newspaper, may join the Big East by 2015 if Air Force doesn’t do it first) and Louisville to the Big XII West and East respectively and you now have two 16-team super conferences in place with a lot of potential firepower between them (especially if FSU and Miami return to their glory days–but then again, that was the promise the ACC had back in 2003 when the Seminoles joined the conference with Boston College and Virginia Tech).

      • Read The D says:

        Since the Big East will probably be raided again in the next 3 years, it’s plausible to see openings for both BYU and Air Force.

        West Division:
        Air Force

        • greg says:

          The Big East having an entire division west of the Mississippi would certainly be something.

        • SuperD says:

          If all those schools are eventually in the Big East…I think some re-branding may be in order, lol. Colorado State has to be kicking themselves for letting their FB program fall off a cliff after Lubick retired. They are going to end up as the odd man out and won’t be able to right the ship in time to even get a seat at the tier 2 table.

          • Jake says:

            And the MWC could end up something like this:

            New Mexico
            Utah State
            Fresno State
            San Jose State

            But what happens to the WAC’s new FBS Texas schools? Sunbelt? Also, New Mexico State and La. Tech.

            And does East Carolina ever get into the Big East? Those guys must be going nuts.

          • Read The D says:


            UTSA is going to Conference USA and Texas State and UT Arlington are moving to the Sun Belt. I believe La Tech is going Conference USA also.

          • zeek says:

            I think schools like East Carolina and Appalachian State are the odd men out in some sense.

            They’re not going to get any shot to move up because the lower tier leagues are just looking for the best possible TV markets and access to fertile recruiting grounds among other things.

            Look at the fact that Appalachian State is getting passed over by everyone (including schools that barely have football programs) for C-USA, and that the Big East has made it clear it only wants schools in TV markets.

          • Jake says:

            @Read the D – weird that UTSA gets a better gig than Texas State, which has been building its program for awhile and playing pretty decently at the FCS level. And CUSA is also adding FIU, UNT, UNC-Charlotte and Old Dominion? I guess it really is all about markets. Surprised they aren’t adding Georgia State as well.

        • Read The D says:

          What would that make the East Division?
          One of Cincinatti, UConn, Rutgers, Louisville

          Am I missing somebody?

  86. duffman says:

    Offshoot thought from a post above :

    While we keep discussing college presidents and AD’s in the realignment discussions this is all well and good, but state schools are another animal. If we have factors for realignment discussion, should the state school have an added component based on donors and fans? Not in the sense of how they affect a game, but in how they affect a decision! Say you substitute the following terms in how you frame the realignment discussion :

    Big donors = political appointees and political influence
    Fans = voters

    Osborne was a politician in the state
    Perry was a politician in the state
    It was a politician that set Missouri off in the beginning
    Colorado voters may felt more kinship with the PAC

    I think schools like Duke and Notre Dame it really rests with the president, but the non private schools may have voter consideration as well. Would voters in FL favor the ACC or the B12? Would voters in NC favor the B1G or the SEC?


    • duffman says:

      For those who were not around back in 2009, Here were Frank’s categories :

      Academics: ?
      TV Value: ?
      Football Brand Value: ?
      Basketball Brand Value: ?
      Historic Rivalries/Cultural Fit: ?
      Mutual Interest: ?

      Do we add elected officials / voters to the public schools?

  87. B1G Jeff says:

    To run deep down the rabbit hole, what exactly is the crime in admitting ND to the B1G for non football sports? I’m surprised FTT hasn’t addressed the pros and cons of this in detail. Let’s assume ND ceded its GOR for the Olympic sports. Let’s assume the B1G locked in the Purdue, UM, MSU games and ND agrees to continue to rotate schedules with say, NU, Indiana and others, and BTN owned these games (or at least the ones not picked up nationally). Let’s assume that we allowed ND to negotiate their own Bowl fate (we don’t need to slot them in our alliances; we’re doing fine all by ourselves) and otherwise maintain its football autonomy. Let’s assume ND get a full vote on non football maters and has to abstain on football related matters. What exactly have we lost by this? It’s all ego and ‘the principal’ of it all. I’m pretty confident saying that if the B1G offered this arrangement, ND would take it preferentially to any other conference offering the same. To me, the bottom line is:

    If we get their GOR on Olympic sports, they aren’t going anywhere for football.

    Think we can’t use that and the prospect of up to 3 ND/B1G games on BTN to lock up the northeast and to expand the hell out of BTN? We don’t need 100% of ND to get most of the benefit of having ND.

    The point is I’m sure these intelligent professionals could come to some agreement representing a win-win if so inclined.

    • greg says:

      There isn’t an upside for the B10 to invite ND as a associate member. The one or two football games a year that B10 would have the rights to (if ND actually followed through on such a scheduling promise, which they did NOT do in the Big East) would get picked up by ESPN/ABC so there is no chance they’ll be on BTN. BTN isn’t going to be picked up in the NE to watch ND hoops.

      Anyways, ND is a terrible fit in the B10. It’d be better off for everyone involved if they stayed Indy or went ACC/B12/CUSA. Some PSU fans and some B10 fans still refuse to get along after 20 years. If ND came in, they’d never be a happy camper.

      What I don’t get is all the B10 fans who hate ND, yet want them in the conference.

      • B1G Jeff says:

        Greg, putting my opinion aside (which is I don’t believe ND would be happy or is a good cultural fit as a full member of the B1G) and putting on my “Think Like a President” hat (or at least trying to figure out what the hell they’re thinking), I come up with the following:

        1) From at least a business standpoint (and an undergraduate academic perspective), ND has tremendous value to the B1G. This would include direct additive effects (ND national fanbase and the haters, as well as the explosive potential to be realized if and ND ever returns as a national football power while playing 4 of your teams a year), exponential additive effects (potential first tier penetration in markets where we don’t have teams, and fantastic creation of barriers to entry (if we get them, no one else has them, and no one else will penetrate the northeast – still the country’s most populous market).

        2) ND has cultural issues – not just of the religious type but in the devotion to its independence. Let’s assume TPTB have accepted that and realize they will never join. If this is true, it stands to reason why the Big East, the ACC and the Big XII have all conceived having them as a non-football member under the right circumstances. Wouldn’t the B1G at least go through the mental exercise of figuring out if and how it could work here?

        3) If the right deal is negotiated (I’d humbly submit something along the lines of what I described above), you’ve diffused the ND alumni hate associated with being fully in a conference while reaping the benefits of ND as much as can be expected, including expanding the footprint, generating more revenue and leaving that final door open for easier assimilation if and when it occurs (made especially easier if you snatch their Olympic GOR).

        Again, not saying I wholeheartedly agree with it or even want it, but I could understand it if it happened.

        • John Davis says:

          Everyone fails to realize the BIG already knows who the will invite. That decision is not going to be made on the spur of the moment. They are like a aircraft carrier, every move is deliberate and thought out. The school that are viable options have already been studied and the decision has been made. Coincendentley Rutgers or UConn have not made any moves, must be waiting for something.

          • vp19 says:

            The Big Ten would never consider Connecticut — not an AAU member. Rutgers might have a stronger chance, but there are several better options on the table.

          • frug says:

            Coincendentley Rutgers or UConn have not made any moves, must be waiting for something.

            They are waiting for the same thing that every Big East FB is waiting for… an invite to another conference. UConn has already publicly stated they will accept an invite to any other AQ conference so its pretty clear that their lack of movement isn’t the result of them waiting for an invitation to the “right” conference, it’s that they haven’t recieved an invite from any AQ conference

      • wmtiger says:

        PSU fans are just upset they aren’t dominating the B10 like they guaranteed they would and they are taking it out on everyone they lose to.

    • zeek says:

      Well it’d be messy from the point of view of TV and contracts. What exactly would they get for the TV rights to their non-football sports?

      And for a conference that’s been all-in for a while, why change that now?

      From ND’s perspective, the Big East makes sense for its non-football sports, even with changes to the membership. Most of the membership is still similar to it in terms of being smaller, private, and in the Northeast. That’s not even mentioning the Catholic schools.

      It’s just hard to see why Notre Dame has to do anything until we reach the 4 superconference structure…

      • B1G Jeff says:

        Agreed, but that’s what negotiations are for. To your other point, even excluding football considerations, don’t you think ND would rather associate with The B1G than the Big East?

        • zeek says:

          Yes, but I think they wouldn’t even really ask Delany just knowing that it’s different from asking the ACC (who they actually asked for part membership but were told only full membership offered).

          • B1G Jeff says:

            Zeek, and that’s why it hasn’t happened to date. I was just outlining my understanding of the logic behind it if it actually came to pass.

      • mushroomgod says:

        Jeff and I are two against the multitude here.

        I agree with zeke that the contract situation would be tricky.

        But the advantages I see to the BIG are:

        1. Association with a top 20 undergrad acaemic institution

        2. A reasonable resolution of the ND issue that has keep the BIG from focusing on an exspansion that actually can happen

        3. Very good competition in the olympic sports, which was the reason (competition, that is) for conferences in the first place

        4. A reduction of the anti-ND and anti-BT rhetoric

        5. The likelihood that ND would eventually join for FB, once it discovered that not all BT fans and competitiors are devil-spawned

        6. Elimination of the hard feelings that would result both ways if ND were eventually “forced” to join the BT—that would not be pretty

        7. Elimination of the prospect that ND would eventually join the 12 or PAC under a similiar arrangement, with the resulting possibility of football membership

        8. In other words, because it makes the most sense.

        • Eric says:

          I actually kind of agree. I get why the Big Ten does it that way and don’t see them changing, but Notre Dame would contribute far more than they cost in nonrevenue sports.

          • frug says:

            Notre Dame would contribute far more than they cost in nonrevenue sports.

            You can see my post above, but to reiterate ND/s non-football sports are not just worthless to the Big Ten they are worse less than nothing. They lose $4 million a year on MBB and nothing is going to come close to making that up. Moreover, they wouldn’t expand the BTN’s reach nor would they increase the ratings for games.

            Nothing short of a written commitment to join the Big 10 as an all sports member at the expiration of their NBC deal would make ND valuable to the Big Ten as a partial member. Nothing.

          • frug says:

            And I’ll add that a written commitment to join the Big Ten is all sports in 2016 may not be enough since ND has already shown they do care about their commitments to their conference mates (remember as part of the 2003 Big East bail package ND pledged to play 3 Big East teams a year in exchange for the conference continuing to host its non-FB sports and the Irish have never done so)

          • B1G Jeff says:

            Frug, you raise an interested question that I’d love to have an unabashed ND fan, or even better, an alum answer. Are t-shirt ND fans fans of ND, or are they fans of ND football? That would go a long way to answering your question about their worth. Acknowledging the falling ND football ratings on NBC (and the sad state of affairs for the Big East), is there any evidence that the Irish affiliation with the Big East done anything positive for general affinity toward the Big East by Domers?

            Even if not, I think that wouldn’t be the case with an affiliate membership with The B1G. As mushroomgod points out, the tincture of time would do wonders for things. Besides, I believe that the guys in Park Ridge are way smarter than me, and even if I was in charge, give me the GOR to 3-4 ND football games and their Olympic sports with a B1G backdrop and I’ll make a mint.

            Disclaimer: these are my thoughts as a wanna be executive, not as a fan.

          • FLP_NDRox says:


            I’m curious where you are getting that -4mil/yr number for ND Men’s hoops? Not questioning it, just wondering. That said, I’d assume that what ND loses on it, and not what the Big East loses since I doubt the Big East loses anything on MBB. If that’s the case, it doesn’t seem like it should be an issue for anyone outside of the Dome.

            As for the not playing folks in the Big East, let’s be real. ND is not going to play teams that were CUSA in the past decade on the road without a ton of concessions. ND is not going to play at on-campus sites that seat <50K if a good pro stadium is sitting empty right down the road. OTOH, that whole misguided 7-4-1 scheduling strategy probably didn't help either, i.e. for a while there ND was trying to play seven home games and a neutral site, but discovered what the rest of you already knew: buy games=non-interesting opponents.

            And you forgot to mention that a 7 team hockey conference is just NOT feasible.

            @B1G Jeff
            T-shirt fans, at least in Indiana, are ND football fans. There's a running joke about how the majority of college fans in Indiana can be described as "Notre Dame football/IU basketball" fans. I'd say nationwide it's really more of a religious/cultural thing, but I doubt there's a huge bounce for ND basketball vs. a typical Big East match-up.

            I'm a little too old to know for certain how it is with the Big East now. My first ND game was that debacle in '95 vs. NU, so we had just joined the league when I arrived on campus. Personally I was more excited by the Hoosiers coming for basketball than G-town or St. John's, but this was a very low period for the basketball team. Since my friends and I best followed the non-Big East sports (Football obviously, Hockey, and fencing) it was hard to tell. The basketball fans, esp. from out East really like the Big East, and feel it has been very helpful and useful to us particularly in basketball (local recruiting edge vs. IU & Purdue, and tons o' exposure), and we tend to dominate in the other Olympic sports, or so I hear.

          • frug says:

            The $4 million dollar loss was from ND’s Title IX filing with the US Department of Education for 2009-2010. I just looked at the updated data for 2010-2011 and it showed improvement as they lost “only” $442,678 meaning it is no longer the least profitable revenue sport for an AQ school (a distinction now held by Wake Forest’s football team). Now while profitability does not necessarily equate to TV value it is an indication that people are just not that interested in Notre Dame’s basketball team even though continue to pump money into to remain competitive.

            And on the specific topic of ND’s value to the Big Ten, keep in mind that Big Ten schools are required to share 35% of their gate revenue from MBB games meaning the rest of the league would actually be subsidizing ND’s program. Doubt that would go over real well.


            (I should say that I’m not just saying all this because I hate ND (even though I do) I just don’t think it makes any sense for any major conference to add them unless it is a defensive move to keep them from being raided)

          • frug says:

            Wow. That was a really long l