Rumors continue to abound that Florida State and Clemson are looking to leave the ACC for the Big 12.  In the myopic world of conference realignment, a quote from Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas that his conference has tabled expansion for now is met with rolling eyes (and considering the track record of half-hearted denials and misleading statements on this topic over the past couple of years, it’s not surprising).  I had been thinking for the past week about putting together a 5-step plan to save the ACC (to the extent that it needs saving).  Tony Barnhart of CBS Sports actually beat me to it with the same concept here, but while he has a couple of good ideas under steps 4 (scheduling arrangement with the SEC) and 5 (top tier bowl game) that I had been also thinking about, the first step (the old Al Davis motto of “Just Win, Baby”) isn’t possible this summer, while his third step (talk to Notre Dame) is praying for a miracle as opposed to a plan.  Most importantly, Barnhart’s second step (getting Florida State to stay) is what the ACC specifically needs a plan for in the first place (not just a step in an overall plan).  With all of that in mind, here’s my own 5-step plan to strengthen the ACC this summer:

(1) Change the Football Divisional Alignment to North/South – As much as people have talked about national conferences and TV markets with respect to realignment, the only expansion among the five power conferences into a non-contiguous state was the Big 12 with West Virginia.  (The Big East, of course, expanded into a couple of different continents.)  Geography is still a powerful factor for both conferences and schools as isolated members tend to end up being unhappy members over the long-term.  That factor ought to weigh heavily on Florida State and Clemson in terms of staying in the ACC as they would largely be isolated members of the Big 12 outside of being in the same time zone as West Virginia.  However, the ACC’s football non-geographic divisional alignment largely takes that geographical argument off the table.  Currently, Florida State and Clemson only have Wake Forest and North Carolina State as fellow southeastern members in the Atlantic Division.  Here’s how I would re-align the ACC:

NORTH DIVISION
Miami
Syracuse
Pittsburgh
Boston College
Maryland
Virginia
Virginia Tech

SOUTH DIVISION
Florida State
Clemson
Georgia Tech
North Carolina
Duke
N.C. State
Wake Forest

Florida State-Miami and UNC-UVA would be protected cross-division rivalries, for sure.  It’s probably not necessary for the other schools to have cross-division rivals, but the schools can set them up that way if they want to.  Miami is placed in the North Division despite being the southernmost school because it’s really a Northeastern school in terms of culture and character, which was why the Hurricanes insisted on bringing along Boston College and (originally) Syracuse in the ACC raid of the Big East in 2003.

Does a change in the divisional alignment alone cause Florida State or Clemson to stay if they really want to go?  Probably not.  However, geography can be extremely important as part of the overall package of factors to persuade those schools to stay.

(2) Lobby the Faculty Members at Florida State and Clemson – There’s a continuous debate as to whether academics ought to matter in terms of formulating athletic conferences.  This has played out at Florida State at the highest levels, where the school’s chair of the Board of Trustees took an almost anti-intellectual viewpoint of stating that “[c]onference affiliation has no impact on academics”, while the university’s president took the opposite view that “the faculty are adamantly opposed to joining a league that is academically weaker.”  My take is pretty simple: conferences would rather have better academic schools than not, while schools would rather have a better academic conference than not.  That’s not to say academics are completely outcome determinative – the Big Ten chose Nebraska not because it was the best academic school available, but rather it was the best football program with acceptable academics available.  However, the point is that the Big Ten actually does have an academic threshold that potential expansion candidates need to meet.  The only other FBS conferences that have a legitimate academic threshold are the ACC and Pac-12.  It’s a strong calling card for those three conferences, whether football fans want to admit it or believe that it should even be a factor.

It’s one thing if you’re an academic heavyweight such as Vanderbilt or Texas where conference affiliation isn’t going to impact academic perception.  However, are Florida State and Clemson in that same category?  Do the faculty members at those two schools want to go from a conference where academic prestige is a clear value-added to one where it’s net neutral?  (Please note that I’m not saying that the Big 12 doesn’t care about academics or is made up of poor academic institutions.  However, the ACC, much like the Big Ten and Pac-12, have made a conscious decision in targeting highly-ranked academic schools in a way that other conference haven’t.)  This is new territory in the modern world of conference realignment where two schools would leave a conference that’s higher on the academic pecking order, which is a reason why I’ve stated previously that this isn’t anywhere near the no-brainer decision that Nebraska had in moving to the Big Ten, Colorado and Utah had in moving to the Pac-12, Missouri and Texas A&M had in moving to the SEC, Pitt and Syracuse had in moving to the ACC and West Virginia and TCU had in moving to the Big 12.

Much like the geography factor, the outcry of faculty may not overshadow the wishes of blood-thirsty fan and donor bases.  However, academics are certainly critical (let’s not forget that’s why colleges exist in the first place) and it’s an asset that the ACC needs to pound publicly and privately over and over and over and over again if it wants to avoid defections.

(3) Change the Football Scheduling to Appease Florida State and Clemson – The supposed ACC bias in having Florida State and Clemson play tough conference opponents (if not each other) right before their in-state rivalry games with SEC schools Florida and South Carolina, respectively, seems to be a popular complaint among Seminole and Tiger fans.  From an outside view, this seems to be more of a piling on conference leadership when fan bases are simply convinced that everything is being controlled by Tobacco Road (similar to how Big 12 schools view Texas and Big East members look at Providence).  Still, scheduling concessions are an easy give from the ACC’s leaders that takes a red meat on-the-field issue that has been firing up the Big 12 supporting crowd off the table.

(4) Sign an Orange Bowl Tie-in with Notre Dame as the Opponent – This suggestion was the subject of some unsubstantiated message board rumors, but the concept itself makes sense.  Now the Big 12 and SEC champions are locked-in with each other in a bowl and the Big Ten and Pac-12 are obviously bound to the Rose Bowl, the feeling is that the ACC is left standing in the proverbial game of bowl musical chairs.  Should the ACC be sending its champion to play, say, the #2 selection from the Big Ten or SEC?  If I were running the ACC, that might ultimately be acceptable and there are plenty of bowls that would take that matchup in a heartbeat, but that would also be a tough pill to swallow psychologically and in terms of the perception of the league in the college football power structure.  As an alternative, does the ACC really want to play the Big East champ?  That would likely be even less desirable to the powers that be within the ACC and to the bowls themselves.

There’s one power player without a bowl dance partner, though: Notre Dame.  I’ve never been one to believe that the Irish have anything to worry about in terms of qualifying for the new college football playoff (even in a conference champs only format, the TV networks at the very least will insist that an exception will be made for a top 4 independent).  However, the new bowl world outside of the semifinals might be a different story.  In the current system, Notre Dame had access to potential at-large spots in the Fiesta, Sugar and Orange Bowls.  It’s very unclear whether the concept of at-large bids will exist in the future – the Fiesta Bowl, for instance, could decide to sign with the Big Ten and Big 12 for their second selections.  The Irish might not have the bowl flexibility that they have had up to this point.  On the flip side, though, is that the new system may present an opportunity for Notre Dame to sign directly with a top tier bowl that would always rather take a 4-loss Notre Dame team as opposed to, say, a 1-loss Conference USA school.

Note that despite the perception that the ACC is toxic horse manure to the top tier bowls, somehow (1) the ACC championship game loser ended up getting a Sugar Bowl at-large bid last year instead of an almighty Big 12 school ranked at #8, (2) the highest paid bowl tie-in outside of the BCS and the Big Ten #2 and SEC #2 slots in the Capital One Bowl is actually the ACC #2 tie-in to the Chick-fil-A Hallelujah That They’re in Chicagoland Now Bowl (NOT the almighty Big 12 #2 tie-in to the supposedly endless flow of cash from the Jerry Jones Cotton Bowl) and (3) a quick look at the top-to-bottom bowl tie-ins indicates that the ACC is, at the very least, has more leverage than the Pac-12 (whose overall bowl depth weakness is masked by the Rose Bowl tie-in at the very top).  All of those facts indicate that the ACC champion isn’t going to have a problem getting a top bowl slot.  The only question is who the ACC champ will end up facing.  The ACC and Notre Dame are the two most powerful players and brand names left that aren’t paired up, so it’s natural and logical that they could end up with each other in a bowl.  It’s the best value proposition that’s available to both entities with the Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC and Big12 off the table.

(5) Push ESPN to Maintain Value of TV Contract if There are Defections – There might be a point where the fan bases at Florida State and Clemson are putting such overwhelming pressure in favor of a move to the Big 12 (similar to Texas A&M fans wanting the SEC last year) that the schools end up defecting to the ACC.  At that point, the ACC’s goal shifts to preventing a complete unraveling of the league.  Personally, I don’t buy that Armageddon situation at all (as we saw the Big 12 and Big East suffer even more crippling defections with dire predictions of those leagues dying, yet they’re still kicking), but the ACC still has to be proactive to ensure that it doesn’t happen.

This is pretty simple: agree with ESPN that even if Florida State and Clemson leave, ESPN won’t reduce the value of the recently signed ACC TV contract (which averages a bit over $17 million per school per year).  There’s pretty clear precedent for this scenario with ESPN agreeing to do the same with the Big 12 in 2010 and then coming to an understanding with the Big 12 again in 2011 to have a new contract extension.  As I’ve noted in a previous post, the ACC is actually the single largest content provider to ESPN of any sports entity (whether college or pro), so there’s even less incentive for ESPN to see the ACC break apart compared to the Big 12 (with whom ESPN has a much more limited package) the last couple of years.  Contrary to what many fans seem to believe, ESPN has a significant interest in not seeing the formation of superconferences because they do not want to deal with concentrated power entities that have NFL-type negotiating leverage.  Dispersal of power is how ESPN is able to keep college sports rights fees somewhat in check.  (To put rights fees in perspective, the Big Ten, which is the wealthiest conference, currently receives about $100 million per year from ESPN/ABC for first tier rights.  By comparison, ESPN pays over $100 million per game to the NFL for Monday Night Football.)

The irony of this scenario is that would kick in over $2 million in TV money per year extra to each of the remaining 12 ACC schools, which would raise their total annual per school payouts to close to the $20 million level that the Big 12 is reportedly negotiating with ESPN and Fox.  So, Florida State and Clemson could end up leaving for more TV money in the Big 12, which would actually result in an increase in TV money for the rest of the ACC that would match what the Big 12 schools receive.  That would certainly be enough to take TV rights fees off the table as an issue for the remaining ACC members.

These are 5 realistic steps that the ACC can take without having to compromise on their core principles (such as equal sharing of TV revenue).  I’ve said before that I believe that the ACC is stronger than what many football fans give it credit for.  That statement is certainly being put to the test right now.

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

(Image from Zimbio)

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Comments
    • Playoffs Now says:

      Much like the geography factor, the outcry of faculty may not overshadow the wishes of blood-thirsty fan and donor bases. However, academics are certainly critical (let’s not forget that’s why colleges exist in the first place) and it’s an asset that the ACC needs to pound publicly and privately over and over and over and over again if it wants to avoid defections.

      Why are the pro-move factions cast as the bad guys, ‘the bloodthirsty’? Why not the faculty with their academic snootiness and (often out of touch) elitism? (“We are for the little guy, unlike those evil 1%ers, but don’t make us live next to or actually be associated too closely to them.) How exactly would FSU be harmed by being in the B12 instead of the ACC, other than ephemeral perceptive reasons that make little difference in the real world? Any hiring admin that would rule out an FSU graduate based on conference affiliation would just as quickly rule them out for being one of the lowest ranked schools in the ACC. Snobbery is snobbery.

      You make it sound as if FSU and Clemson are contemplating joining a collection of junior colleges and online diploma mills. The B12 is not that big a step down from the ACC. Texas is world-class, Kansas and ISU are AAU, Baylor is a highly-rated undergrad institute, while TCU and OU are academically at the same level as FSU. So only 4 of 12 would be academically inferior to FSU. In comparison the P12 has 5 ranked below FSU (using the US News rankings, which while imperfect do have some merit.) Yes the P12 is more top heavy, but this tendency to portray the B12 as an academic slum is quite silly.

      • Ted says:

        /facepalm

        You haven’t understood it and I don’t think you will. This entire post is how to keep FSU and Clemson. That section of the argument isn’t appealing to ‘hiring admins’, as you put it; it’s appealing to the faculty and you can bet there is a difference between the ACC and Big 12 in their mind.

        Faculty, while not donors, still have a major effect on university administrations. As a University President, Provost or Dean, you don’t want an exodus of your research and published talent because they’re pissed your school is ‘picking’ football over academics. Completely ignore the faculty at FSU and Clemson and run to the Big 12; see how that goes. There’s a reason FSU’s President put out that response advocating academics while an old soon to be retired attorney/Board of Trustees chair only cares about football.

        • Major Cult says:

          I think it is hilarious how people keep playing the academics card for FSU when they are one of the lowest ranked ACC schools and would be among the lower ranked Big 12 schools. Miami and Clemson could play this card, FSU puh-lease. Look at Texas. Your academic standing is really a matter of your own efforts and not who you are associated with.

          • Neil says:

            FSU would be a top half academic institution in the Big 12, they are bottom 2 in the ACC

            Cheers,
            Neil

      • metatron says:

        You’re making the assumption that people are rational. They are not.

        At face value, an athletic conference makes little difference to the quality of a degree, but people aren’t logical. They have biases and make generalizations, discriminate and congregate with each other over trivial things. I mean, the company someone keeps is a measure of who they are as a person.

        There’s a reason why the “Ivy League” will never expand.

      • Brian says:

        Playoffs Now,

        “Why are the pro-move factions cast as the bad guys, ‘the bloodthirsty’?”

        Because they are the ones showing little rational thought behind their preference to change conferences because they see football as the top priority for FSU over the education of students.

        “Why not the faculty with their academic snootiness and (often out of touch) elitism?”

        Because part of the job of the faculty is to try to make the school better. What you perceive as snootiness or elitism is them doing their jobs.

        “How exactly would FSU be harmed by being in the B12 instead of the ACC, other than ephemeral perceptive reasons that make little difference in the real world?”

        Perception does matter in the real world. When an FSU grad applies for a job outside the area or for grad school, the reputation of the school and the conference matter.

        “Any hiring admin that would rule out an FSU graduate based on conference affiliation would just as quickly rule them out for being one of the lowest ranked schools in the ACC.”

        Most of them might not know much about FSU outside of the southeast. The difference between ACC and B12 affiliation would make a difference to them. It’s not enough to rule a candidate in or out, but it might be enough to decide between person A and person B.

        “You make it sound as if FSU and Clemson are contemplating joining a collection of junior colleges and online diploma mills.”

        Right. Except for the part where Frank explicitly said he wasn’t saying that.

        “The B12 is not that big a step down from the ACC. Texas is world-class, Kansas and ISU are AAU, Baylor is a highly-rated undergrad institute, while TCU and OU are academically at the same level as FSU. So only 4 of 12 would be academically inferior to FSU.”

        So 6 of 11 are on par or less than FSU? And that’s not a big step down from the ACC where 0 of 11 are on par or less than FSU academically? I think we’ll have to agree to disagree about that.

        • Bob in Houston says:

          I’m fairly confident that 10 out of 10 faculty members — those who even care about sports — would say that they wanted their school to associate in athletics with the best academic partners possible.

          I know, for example, that there is a vocal segment of Rice faculty (not a majority) that would prefer that the school de-emphasize athletics, and either drop it or drop to D-III.

          But the idea that faculty hold sway I find somewhat of a joke. Back in the day, when I was at Texas, the regents hired a new president. The individual may not have been qualified — the faculty, as represented, didn’t think so. A professor of mine spent five minutes of class railing against the hire. There were demonstrations on the main mall, (some) classes were cancelled — none of mine.

          In no more than two weeks, everything died down. The regents said nothing, the new president said nothing, did not quit, and retired four years later. All that prior noise was sound and fury.

          • frug says:

            Well Illinois’ President was just forced to resign after the faculty launched an insurrection less 2 years into his reign. Just because UT’s faculty couldn’t oust their president doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

          • Brian says:

            Bob,

            I didn’t say the faculty had much say in the outcome. It varies from school to school and over time, though. OSU’s faculty kept them out of the Rose Bowl in 1961 because they felt athletics were getting too important. I’m not saying that would happen now, but OSU was a football king back then, too.

          • Bob in Houston says:

            frug: I guess what I am saying is that if FSU’s BOT wants to move athletics to the B12, the faculty can march, jump repeatedly and hold their breath… and nothing will happen.

            Brian: Around that time, OSU also limited to its schedule to nine games when other schools had gone to 10. Once they joined everyone else, they’ve never gone back.

            I’d also generally say that there is no resemblance, absolutely none, to the manner in which high D-I is promoted and played now and how it was done then.

          • mnfanstc says:

            Speaking of ACADEMICS and MONEY… recently, the U of Minnesota forged an agreement with Fairview Medical for a $180 Million expansion/improvements to the U of M’s Fairview Medical Center.

            This is already one of the nation’s best hospitals… $180 million trumps the U’s athletic revenue (approx. $78 Million) by a large margin—and that is just one small piece of the entire puzzle…

            Another thing to consider— at the U of M there are ~51,000 total students, <1000 of that total are involved in inter-collegiate athletics…

            SMART institutions are looking at the BIG picture.

    • Denogginizer says:

      Add

    • greg says:

      Hawks.

  1. jtower says:

    Hook em

  2. nonorthsouth@mailinator.com says:

    “suck my dick, north/south is never happening.” — UVA/VT

    • largeR says:

      Thankyou for your reasoned and logically applied train of thought. And really, naming your dick suck, that’s quite original.

  3. bamatab says:

    Add

  4. Jeremy says:

    1) Division realignment helps, but that’s still a weak football conference overall. Even with FSU and Clemson, the ACC is a clear #5. With the BCS is shifting to a system where only #1-4 matter, divisional alignment won’t be enough for the two football schools.

    2) “”No FSU graduate puts on his resume or interviews for a job saying they are in the same conference as Duke and Virginia,” he said. “Conference affiliation really has no impact on academics” – FSU BOT Chairman Andy Haggard. The faculty might like rubbing elbows with UVA and Duke, but it’s not helping FSU attract students and money, at least not compared to an elite FB team.

    3) The B12 could offer the same thing, while also offering regular games with OU and UT.

    4) Agreed. The ACC should try for this regardless of what FSU and Clemson do.

    5) ESPN could actually benefit from more compelling match ups with FSU, Clemson, OU, and UT. Sure beats watching FSU pound Duke. Plus, this point ignores the additional money from the conference championship game, as well as whatever FSU and Clemson can pull from 3rd tier rights.

    • Ted says:

      #2 – Haggard is an outgoing board chair that will be dead relatively soon. He doesn’t have to worry about appeasing faculty and hiring talented researchers and teachers.

      If FSU does go to the Big 12, they will lose considerable faculty and drop precipitously in undergrad AND graduate school prestige/rankings/recognition, which will hurt future faculty recruitment. If the faculty like ‘rubbing elbows with UVA and Duke’ as you say, the good ones will just go get jobs at schools still associated with them.

      Faculty hold a surprising amount influence over university decision makers and for good reason.

      I am simply amazed at college football fans’ ignorance of how a large university is actually run.

      • hangtime79 says:

        Ted,

        No professor leaves a university especially if they are tenured or on a tenure track because of the conference they are associated . Unless you are a rock-star researcher and/or you are professor in a subject where there is high demand (engineering) you are not going anywhere. A friend of mine who just graduated with a PhD tells me that for every liberal arts professorship open there is between 200 – 300 candidates. Faculty at these schools can get angry, but they are not leaving. Besides if you are one of those lucky PhDs with an in-demand subject area the last thing in the world you are probably thinking about is what football team your school plays each fall. More likely you are thinking about research opportunities, the others in your department, location of the campus, etc.

        • Brian says:

          hangtime79,

          “No professor leaves a university especially if they are tenured or on a tenure track because of the conference they are associated.”

          That’s just not true. Professors seek promotions like anyone else, and getting the same job in a better conference can be a promotion. Or do you believe no professor would ever leave to take the same job at Harvard?

      • Major Cult says:

        Whatever. I am sure academics is what drove A&M and Mizzou to the SEC, CU to the PAC12 and NU to the Big10. Funny how we aren’t blogging about Academic Conference Realignment.

      • Jeremy says:

        If what you say is true, why did FtT just write an article about ‘saving’ the ACC?

        I think what’s happening here is the B1G and ACC fans are getting a reality check on how much academics matter in conference affiliation, and they don’t like what they’re hearing. As a Kansas fan, I had the same reality check a couple years ago, only it was elite basketball and not academics. Both factors are considered, but neither are the primary consideration for most schools and conferences.

        FSU is who it is because that’s how it chooses to allocate the resources it has to work with. It serves a different market than Duke. The ACC will not bring FSU up to Duke’s level, nor will it bring Duke down to FSU’s level.

    • Koxinga says:

      Jeremy says: “Division realignment helps, but that’s still a weak football conference overall. Even with FSU and Clemson, the ACC is a clear #5.”

      I’m not sure it’s that clear of a #5. The Big East with Boise State (the best team in the nation of the past decade [112-17 (.868!)]), Houston, SMU, Cincinnati, Louisville, and UCF… these are all teams with better records, better bowl records, better teams than anybody in the ACC over the past decade save Va Tech.

      I’ve been a professional big least hater for years, but they’ve finally made the moves i’ve always wanted them to. On a neutral football field, the ACC2014 loses to the BE2014 top to bottom. The #5 spot is severely under contention, which is why the ACC is justifiably panicking.

      • Brian says:

        Koxinga,

        “I’m not sure it’s that clear of a #5. The Big East with Boise State (the best team in the nation of the past decade [112-17 (.868!)]), Houston, SMU, Cincinnati, Louisville, and UCF… these are all teams with better records, better bowl records, better teams than anybody in the ACC over the past decade save Va Tech.”

        W/L records are not representative of a team’s skill level unless the opposition is equivalent. Boise played a ton of terrible teams in the WAC and MWC which inflated their record. I’d take a record like OSU’s 105-24 in the B10 over Boise’s any day. There are also the multiple national title winners with a claim (UF, LSU, AL, USC), and those who came close like OU.

        The same goes for comparing CUSA and BE schools to ACC schools. #20 BC had a higher winning percentage over the decade than any 2014 BE or CUSA school except Boise. Others of relevance:

        1. Boise
        8. VT
        20. BC

        30. UL
        32. UC
        34. FSU
        35. Clemson
        37. GT
        39. Pitt

        41. UH
        67. UCF
        107. SMU

        Getting a nice bowl or two after breezing through a bad conference doesn’t make a team good for a decade.

          • Brian says:

            Help yourself. It’s a biased blog post with misleading information. The BE is equal to the ACC because the ACC has stunk up the BCS? That’s not a valid argument. Let’s look at her points more closely.

            Overall BCS record – BE 7-7 (she claims 8-6, other sources say 7-7), ACC 2-13

            1. I notice that the ACC got an at large bid while the BE never did.

            2. 6 of the BE’s wins came from former member Miami (3-1) and from exiting member WV (3-0). To be fair, VT, Syracuse and Pitt (all 0-1) also left or are leaving. That leaves 1-3, with Boise (2-0) coming in but they haven’t done it in a decent conference yet. That record isn’t nearly as impressive.

            3. Both conferences are 1-2 in NCGs, but all the BE appearances were by current ACC members Miami and VT. That makes it more like 6-0 in favor of the current ACC.

            4. Worst BCS teams of all time:
            2010 Unranked UConn
            2004 #21 Pitt

            Taking all those factors into account, the current BE doesn’t seem better than the ACC to me.

            “The ACC has gotten two schools into the BCS just once”

            Last time I checked, 1 > 0.

            “the Big East and the ACC are the only conferences to send teams with at least three losses to a BCS game multiple times”

            That’s an argument in favor of the BE? They still provided the 2 worst BCS teams of all time.

            Since 2005 the BE had three teams finish with 1 loss, and the ACC had none.

            So what? How would the ACC teams have done playing a BE schedule and vice versa?

            And what about other points?

            The BE has been an 8 team league, leading to easier schedules. Meanwhile the ACC is moving to 9 games plus a CCG. The BE plays a terrible OOC slate, too. In addition, the ACC pumps out a lot more pro talent.

            I’m not saying the ACC is a juggernaut, but they are clearly ahead of the BE right now.

  5. [...] A 5-Step Summer Plan to Save the ACC « FRANK THE TANK’S SLANT [...]

  6. JohnCassillo says:

    Great points, all around. And it’s crazy how many fans I’ve seen completely blasting the geographic and academic factors of conference realignment — which is why the Florida State fan base (and to a lesser extent, Clemson’s fan base) is sprinting for the exits as their school sits in place.

    What most FSU fans are forgetting is the money factor. It doesn’t just appear, so if they’re already in the red, how are they supposed to be a huge exit fee. The Big 12 isn’t paying it off like they did for WVU, since they’re not in the same bind they were then (getting back to 10 teams).

    • Jeremy says:

      The geographic argument is valid, the academic one is not. FSU’s academic profile is not raised by piss pounding Duke in football. FSU will still be FSU, regardless of the conference it is in.

      Regarding the money, if the B12 wants FSU and FSU wants to compete with UF, a one time $20M hit is not going to stand in the way. There is too much money on the table long term for each side here.

      • mushroomgod says:

        Disagree that academics don’t count, at least based on my experience at IU.

        Salaries, incoming SAT scores, academic rankings are routinely compared to other Big Ten schools.

        You don’t think it matters that IU and Purdue are in the Big 10, and Ball State is in the MAC? Ask Ball State.

        And it’s entirely possible that the FSU trustee that says otherwise is simply a jackass.

        • Ted says:

          Haggard is an outgoing board chair that’s not up for re-election. He’s a lame duck politician for all intents and purposes. He’s appealing to the fanbase because he’s old and wants to win before he’s dead. He thinks the Big 12 can do that and doesn’t have to worry about FSU’s academic future.

          He is definitely a jackass. He’s already undercut his university’s President and AD but he doesn’t hold any real future power other than being an old, rich attorney that is friends with other boosters.

          Old people say and do crazy shit.

      • greg says:

        I can’t claim to know how much the academic impact is, but its foolish to completely deny its existence. Lake Forest College was at the inaugural Big Ten meeting. Do you think it’d still be considered a regional liberal arts college if it had been in the Big Ten for the last 120 years? Would Iowa have their current reputation if they had been in the Missouri Valley for the past 100 years?

        Universities are all about whom they associate with.

    • Jericho says:

      Not only the exit fee, but neither TCU or West Virginia are getting full shares of TV money for several years. So both are short term hinderances in terms of financials. Both will eventually go away in the long-run, but they have to be considered.

  7. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX LSU Fightin’ Tigers with great finishes to the baseball, softball & track seasons

  8. frug says:

    Two small, but related quibbles;

    The ACC and Notre Dame are the two most powerful players and brand names left that aren’t paired up, so it’s natural and logical that they could end up with each other in a bowl. It’s the best value proposition that’s available to both entities with the Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC and Big12 off the table.

    I agree that the ACC should pursue a matchup with ND, but I’m not really sure how you are defining power and brand names. What I mean is that on the open market both rank behind (at least) the Big 10 and SEC #2s even if the ACC holds onto FSU. To be honest, in an open market I wouldn’t be surprised if the Big 10 and SEC #3s and Big XII and PAC-12 #2s were valued higher than the ACC and ND.

    Note that despite the perception that the ACC is toxic horse manure to the top tier bowls, somehow (1) the ACC championship game loser ended up getting a Sugar Bowl at-large bid last year instead of an almighty Big 12 school ranked at #8

    Yes that happened, but it was also and unmitigated disaster for the conference. The horrific TV ratings and poor ticket sales by V-Tech despite facing arguably the biggest draw in all of college football (UM) proved once and for all that for elite bowl purposes the ACC is FSU and Miami or bust.

    Combined with Clemson’s complete destruction at the hands of a Big East team and you can make a case that the second BCS bid was the worst thing that could have happened to the conference.

    • Brian says:

      frug,

      “I agree that the ACC should pursue a matchup with ND, but I’m not really sure how you are defining power and brand names. What I mean is that on the open market both rank behind (at least) the Big 10 and SEC #2s even if the ACC holds onto FSU. To be honest, in an open market I wouldn’t be surprised if the Big 10 and SEC #3s and Big XII and PAC-12 #2s were valued higher than the ACC and ND.”

      You can argue the ACC champ’s place in the pecking order, but you’re crazy to lump in ND with them. ND is still a big TV draw and thus has big value.

      “The horrific TV ratings and poor ticket sales by V-Tech despite facing arguably the biggest draw in all of college football (UM)”

      You can’t even argue that point. There is zero rational basis for MI being the biggest draw in all of college football. Maybe in the B10, but I think OSU is a bigger draw right now. There’s no way MI is a bigger draw than AL right now, just to name one.

      • frug says:

        On point 1) go back and compare ND to those other ties over the past few years and you will see that they are probably just as valuable as ND.

        2) We will just have to disagree. I don’t think they are the biggest draw but I can see someone making that case. There is really no solid way to prove it either way.

        Of course even if you disagree about UM’s drawing power my overall point stands; V-Tech’s performance was disastrous.

        • Mack says:

          Agree, VaT was bad both on the field and at the box office.

        • Brian says:

          frug,

          “On point 1) go back and compare ND to those other ties over the past few years and you will see that they are probably just as valuable as ND.”

          Not sure how we determine value. Back when bowls had choices, they took bad ND teams over better conference teams. My bigger objection was to treating ND and the ACC champ as the same value, not to who you placed above them in your list per se. It’s all conjecture, though.

          “2) We will just have to disagree. I don’t think they are the biggest draw but I can see someone making that case. There is really no solid way to prove it either way.”

          Sure there is. They could look at TV ratings and attendance and ask people who would know, like TV and bowl execs.

          “Of course even if you disagree about UM’s drawing power my overall point stands; V-Tech’s performance was disastrous.”

          That’s why I didn’t argue that point.

          • frug says:

            My bigger objection was to treating ND and the ACC champ as the same value

            Final regular seasons record for ND and ACC champ since the ACC moved to 12 teams in 2005

            2005: ND (9-2) FSU (8-4)
            2006: ND (10-2) Wake (11-2)
            2007: ND (3-9) V-Tech (11-2)
            2008: ND (6-6) V-Tech (9-4)
            2009: ND (6-6) G-Tech (11-2)
            2010: ND (7-5) V-Tech (11-2)
            2011: ND (8-4) Clemson (10-3)

            From a bowl desirability stand point Notre Dame wins in ’05 and ’06 and loses the rest of the battles.

            I really don’t see how Notre Dame is a bigger “get” than the ACC champ at this point (especially since ND didn’t get to go to bowls twice in the past 5 years).

          • Brian says:

            Because ND has upside. With the same record, ND is much more valuable. The tradeoff is ND is independent while the ACC has 14 teams to choose from. That said, I think most BCS bowls would still prefer a mediocre ND to an ACC champ based on recent performance.

          • frug says:

            With the same record, ND is much more valuable. The tradeoff is ND is independent while the ACC has 14 teams to choose from.

            But that’s the key; only once since ACC expansion has Notre Dame matched the record of the ACC champ. Unless Kelly actually turns the team around in the next 3 years, I don’t see anyway ND would get a better payout on the open market than the ACC champ even if the conference loses FSU and Clemson.

          • Brian says:

            They don’t need to match. The brand is worth about 1.5 games (some years more, some less depending on the losses and who the ACC champ is).

            8-4 ND ~ 10-3 ACC champ
            9-3 ND ~ 11-2 ACC champ
            10-2 ND ~ 12-1 ACC champ
            11-1 ND > 13-0 ACC champ
            12-0 ND >>> any ACC champ

            That means ND was more valuable in 2005, 2006, and about the same in 2011. The period in between was a low point in ND history (winning 3, 6, 6, and 7), so not a wise basis for comparison. When you consider that ND is trending up, the value proposition is even more in their favor.

          • frug says:

            11-1 ND > 13-0 ACC champ

            I’ll give the others, but I don’t buy this one. A 13-0 ACC champ is probably playing for a national title, an 11-1 ND might need some help.

            Like I said, if Kelly turns them around they will be fine, but frankly people have been saying for a decade and half that this is the year Notre Dame turns it around and we have seen how that has worked out…

      • Art Vandelay says:

        Brian,

        Michigan probably isn’t the biggest draw nationally RIGHT NOW, but they very well might be long-term, along with the likes of Florida, Alabama,Texas, Ohio State, and maybe USC. Michigan has one of, if not the biggest living alumni bases worldwide, it has a national brand name, and is located in a populous state.

        • Brian says:

          Art,

          MI is in that top group, but they clearly aren’t #1 right now and that’s the point that was under discussion.

  9. Carve up the ACC:

    B1G adds Notre Dame, Rutgers, Maryland and Virginia.

    Big 12 adds Florida St, Ga Tech, Clemson, NC St, Pitt, Miami

    SEC adds Virgina Tech, North Carolina

    Rose bowl winner plays new B12/SEC bowl winner in the championship game. If a lesser conference champ manages to get ranked 1 or 2, they can take the place of the lowest ranked B1G/P12/SEC/B12champ in the respective bowl.

    60 schools in four big time conferences.

    • Jericho says:

      Is that any better? You just realigned the ACC into existing conferences. It’s either 4 conferences of 60 schools or 5 conferences with 62 schools. Not much difference between the two

  10. Richard Cain (@Rich_Cain) says:

    What happens to the ACC if, assuming FSU & Clemson leave, NC State and Va Tech (political considerations noted) decide the SEC’s grass is greener?

    • Playoffs Now says:

      Indeed, what if FSU and Clemson leave (whether decided this summer or next) and as a result VTech decides to act on their discussion with the SEC? (There’s increasing smoke to that fire, too.) Does the new blood at GTech decide to ride it out with a semi-gutted ACC that can’t improve it’s football (other than a Big East-esque Notre Dame and BYU hail mary?) NC St stay loyal as the SEC woos them, knowing that if UNC changes its mind and goes SEC they could be left out in the cold? Pitt and (long time rumored to be flirty) MD won’t look?

      FSU and Clemson leaving might not kill the ACC, but if VTech then goes SEC this could unravel relatively quickly. To the point that UNC might even grab a lifeboat.

      • Playoffs Now says:

        I apologize for the spelling/grammatical errors, but there is no way to correct them.

      • zeek says:

        FSU and Clemson guarantees the eventual death of the ACC.

        It may not happen for another 5 or 10 or even 20 years, but that conference is a dead man walking if those two schools bolt.

        All they’d have left in the way of football powers is Miami and Va Tech. That wasn’t enough to carry the Big East in 2003, and it’s certainly not enough to carry the ACC in the 2010s or 2020s.

        It’s just a question of how far they fall behind before other schools bolt. Right now the difference may only be a few millions, but what happens when it’s $10M per year? That’s what will doom the conference if FSU and Clemson leave.

  11. Great post founded in reason and sanity, Frank.
    I’m going in the other direction. The Big Ten Network’s plan to take over the world. http://www.nittanylionsden.com/2012-articles/may/the-big-ten-networks-big-takeover.html

    Most of what I learned about this stuff I’ve learned from this blog, so there are a few shoutouts to Frank in here.

    • vp19 says:

      Reason and sanity aren’t the big issues here. Money and passion are.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      Stellar article. At the current, revolutionary rate of change his very well could happen. The addition of ND would insure its plausibility and success. They would be wise to consider it.

  12. hangtime79 says:

    Frank,

    I will pose the same question to you that I posed to Mr SEC. How do your suggestions put Clemson and FSU at parity with South Carolina and UF? Those are the schools that Clemson and FSU benchmark themselves against. Answering those question will ultimately keep the ACC intact as it is today. All you have done with these suggestions is reshuffle the deck chairs.

    1. Agree on a North – South alignment rather then the god awful zipper, but it doesn’t move the money needle; its a nice to have and would have played better a year ago.
    2. Faculty has little to no say in these discussions and the Big 12 has begun talks to create a conference research arm. While the ACC is undoubtedly a stronger academic brand, no faculty member is getting up in the Faculty Senate and pushing a university to leave $8 – 10 MM on the table. It will not happen.
    3. Changing the football schedule is a nice to have. These moves doesn’t move the money needle and would have had a great deal more impact a year ago and placated FSU/Clemson right after the Pitt/Cuse move. Now its seen as a desperate move. Bad non-play by Swofford.
    4. How does putting Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl directly impact Clemson and FSU? It doesn’t. It doesn’t do one thing for them. Notre Dame 10 years ago could have saved the ACC by itself, but not today.
    5. Getting a B12 like deal for the ACC, this only helps those left behind not FSU or Clemson.

    We have two options: keep the ACC intact as it stands today or save it/reload it after a Clemson/FSU + others defect. If you wanna keep the ACC intact; these suggestions have zero probability in doing that because they do not answer the fundamental question: how do you put Clemson and FSU at parity with UF and South Carolina. Even with 5 year look-ins, the ACC will be perceptually behind every other major conference with the exception of the Big East for the near future (< 10 years). If you are FSU and Clemson, you are going to be at a disadvantage for the next decade like the last decade at least to your competitors. So the question to those schools do you wanna fight at a disadvantage and stay in the ACC or do you want to explore your options like what is happening today.

    • vp19 says:

      That’s the crux of the matter, hangtime, and I don’t see anything in Frank’s suggestions that go beyond wishful thinking. The football-oriented schools are tired of being dragged down by their ACC brethren, and while dealing with Texas has its own perils, at least it speaks the same language as Clemson and Florida State — language rarely spoken in Chapel Hill and Durham.

      If Clemson and FSU go, the pressure is next on Virginia Tech to flee for the SEC, something its fan base — especially those outside northern Virginia — would savor. If that passion becomes more intense and Tech takes such action, the question then shifts to who goes with the Gobblers. North Carolina (Slive’s dream, even though it’s not really UNC’s)? N.C. State (Slive’s plan B)? Maryland, which would prefer the Big Ten but now desperate (if UNC says no, then blocks State)? And might the Big Ten decide to swoop in to grab the likes of Maryland and UNC before the SEC does? A FSU/Clemson defection makes the ACC a heckuva lot more vulnerable.

      • WMB says:

        How exactly are the football “powers” of the ACC being dragged down by their conference brethren? Last year FSU lost at home to UVa one week and beat UF in Gainesville the next. If being dragged down means losing, then that’s the nature of sports. FSU’s fans’ complaints about the ACC are completely without merit.

    • bamatab says:

      The ACC really hurt FSU (and Clemson to a lesser extent I guess) by basically handing their 3rd tier rights over to Raycomm (through ESPN) for basically nothing. UF gets around what, $10 million a year for their 3rd tier rights? Now FSU probably can’t get that much for theirs, but they could probably get at least $3-5 million I would think.

      You have to ask yourself what Swafford (or whoever negotiated the tv contract) was thinking by including the 3rd tier rights in with their ESPN deal. If you believe the conspiracy theory going around that Swafford did it to help out his son who works for Raycomm, then I guess that would be one reason. But outside of that, I don’t understand their thinking other than they figured that none of the other schools would be able to make much off of them, so why not just let ESPN/Raycomm just have them. Now FSU is at a big disadvantage with their neighbors in the SEC, and that is without the upcoming SEC network being factored in.

      I don’t see the ACC being able to do anything about that (which is the really issue facing them concerning FSU). I think their only hope is that the Big 12 (UT) decides not to expand. Outside of that, I don’t see the ACC being able to bridge the financial gap facing FSU. I guess if ESPN really wants to see the ACC stay intact, maybe they could give the ACC back their 3rd tier rights for no cost. But I don’t see that ever happening.

      • @bamatab – I can’t really blame the ACC for negotiating that position. Remember that up until maybe last month, the third tier rights in the Big 12 were much more of a source of instability than a drawing card because of how much Texas is able to receive compared to everyone else. (And considering that the Longhorn Network can’t get carriage, it’s doubtful that anyone could ever expect anything close to what Texas receives for its third tier rights ever again.) Even a school such as Nebraska that could sell PPV games very well and make good money off of their third tier rights in the Big 12 found it better to assign those rights to the Big Ten. The Big Ten and Pac-12 have strong financial models predicated on having all TV rights for football and basketball (including third tier rights) owned by the conference as opposed to individual schools. We may very well end up with the SEC having the same position if they form a new TV network as reported since the third tier rights are the only items on the table that the SEC doesn’t have to buy back from ESPN somehow if the conference wants equity in the network.

        • bamatab says:

          @Frank – If I’m being honest, I really think that the Big 12 (UT actually) has also dug itself in hole as well. It appears that the conference networks are the future of maximizing tv revenues, and the LHN has severely hampered the Big 12′s ability to capitalize on it unless ESPN, the Big 12, and UT can figure out a way to bundle the LHN in with a Big 12 Network. If I was DeLoss Dodds, I’d be a little worried that a SEC Network might be able to gain a foothold in the Texas tv cable/satillite markets, while my LHN is having a hard time gaining traction in those same markets.

          As in regards to what content the SEC will actually have for the purposed SEC Network, I’m not sure anyone (including Slive or ESPN) knows how that will all shake out. The SEC doesn’t need that many games to fill a Saturday of live football (what they really need is the ability to have/gain the replay rights to the games so that they can replay games during the off season). You can really only broadcast three games at the most on a given Saturday. And as it stands now, ESPN already has to sell some of its 2nd tier SEC tv rights to local distributors because they can’t show it all on the ESPN channels. So would ESPN be willing to sell those rights back to the SEC in 2014 when their contract with the local distributors is over? Maybe but it’ll probably cost the SEC an arm and a leg for them. Where does the new content that the additions of TAMU & Mizzou fall in with regards to the current ESPN contract? I don’t think I’ve read where anyone has commented on that. But I’m thinking worst case scenario is that the SEC and ESPN work out a deal that gives ESPN 51% ownership of the SEC Network, and the SEC would get 49% like the current B1G Network. That seems to be a pretty lucrative deal for the B1G, so I’m sure it would probably work out for the SEC as well.

          It’ll be interesting to see how these conference networks all shake out over time. The B1G is the only conference that has proven to be able to make money over an extended period of time with one. We’ll see how the Pac 12′s format works out over an extended period of time. My only concern for the Pac 12′s regional networks is whether or not they get enough demand for them by their fanbases. That isn’t a problem for the B1G, and I very seriously doubt it will be for the SEC.

      • greg says:

        bamatab, we have no idea that the ACC got “basically nothing” for 3rd tier. They probably had to provide that much inventory to ESPN to get the money they ended up getting. It says more about the ACC’s bargaining position than anything.

        Also, 3rd tier broadcast rights valuations continue to be exaggerated. UF gets $10M for 3rd tier broadcast rights and a slew of other stuff. OSU gets $11M for no 3rd tier broadcast rights but a slew of other stuff. Little brother and non-football power NCSU just signed a deal for $5M a year for their other stuff, with zero 3rd tier.

        I still think the 3rd tier broadcast rights (for the conferences that retain them) are worth $1-$2M per school. There are indeed outliers like Texas, but Clemson and FSU aren’t going to make a killing on Tier 3.

        • Bob in Houston says:

          So which is it? Either they’re worth nothing, or they’re worth something. In this case, we will never really know. Those who have the contract will know what the allocation was, but the chances that the most popular football programs in the league got a raw deal — whatever it might be — are pretty good.

          • greg says:

            They’re worth something. The football schools didn’t get a raw deal. They are part of the unattractiveness. Now they want to blame the conference.

      • Jericho says:

        FSU gets $6.5 million already for much the same rights Alabama gets $10 million for. The Tier 3 thing is a huge red herring for the most part.

  13. duffman says:

    Some thoughts on the post

    (1) Change the Football Divisional Alignment to North/South

    While I agree almost anything is better than Atlantic / Coastal, the terms North and South may not be the best given the history – even tho I personally like North and South simplicity. If you make Miami a North team, you would have to do the same for Duke. The root issue tho is sound in that you need to make it easy for the fans to comprehend. I do agree that teams nearest to you are the ones that are in your division. With all this realignment we still have yet to see how distance plays out on fans who must pay more to travel. This IU vs UK thing in basketball is a mess because neither team will wind up with a border rival game. If IU plays UCLA now instead it sounds good, but do I follow UCLA enough to care? If the money is driving this, then is it too much to ask the networks to protect the games that make the fans happy? Playing more game in football venues in non touching states is the sign we are leaving the traditional fans behind.

    .

    (2) Lobby the Faculty Members at Florida State and Clemson

    While it sounds good, does the Faculty really have a voice? While I wish this were true, this is a money grab which means the thoughtful answers will be shouted down by the mob of sports fans. I keep thinking we should just spin off the sports teams as for profit farm teams and call it what it really is. If the control is now in the hands of a few TV executives, and not in the hands of the schools, having the Faculty involved would be great, just don’t hold your breath waiting for it to happen.

    .

    (3) Change the Football Scheduling to Appease Florida State and Clemson

    This seems like a no brainer as a simple and effective fix, which means it will not happen

    .

    (4) Sign an Orange Bowl Tie-in with Notre Dame as the Opponent

    The bigger issue is how do you fix the ACC to stop predation? Playing Notre Dame is not the same as having Notre Dame in the conference. While most were lamenting the lack of football prowess of the additions of Syracuse and Pittsburgh, they missed the point that both had more MNC’s than the majority of ACC schools. The problem is they have not had that success lately and we live in an age of ADD and the 5 second sound byte. Perhaps the better move was to add Notre Dame and Pitt instead of Syracuse and Pitt. This did not happen and that cow is already out of the barn. Scheduling Notre Dame vs the ACC in the Orange Bowl is too little, too late. To be fair tho, if Florida State and Clemson were beating the other ACC schools with regularity they would not be in this position now.

    .

    (5) Push ESPN to Maintain Value of TV Contract if There are Defections

    Aside from the economics – and remember ESPN is a for profit entity – there is the bigger issue at the root, which money will not fix. Florida State is new to the ACC, but Clemson is not. The Tigers were a charter member of the ACC, so this says way more about what is happening in the ACC beside the money. When Miami is mentioned as leaving the ACC, that is not the same as Maryland, or even Georgia Tech because they have less time vested in the community of the conference. Clemson is not equal to Florida State in this sense, and yet people keep neglecting this part of the discussion. Clemson looks at charter ACC member South Carolina and the growth they have made in the SEC, and the ACC has not made the effort to see it not happen again. If Clemson goes, it means Georgia Tech and Maryland are serious concerns for leaving the ACC on Clemson’s heels. Once the wall is breached, the barbarians are going to sack the city.

    All along I have argued the predator vs prey argument, and while the ACC was never an apex predator, they were at least a pack predator like hyenas. The issue here is that to be affective they need numbers, and if Florida State and Clemson are out the door that means the loss of the alpha dogs in ACC football. The loss of these schools means substitution by teams with less football strength, which weakens the ACC as a whole. Would the B1G survive the loss of Ohio State and Michigan? Would the B12 survive the loss of Texas and Oklahoma? The loss of just Southern Cal from the PAC would probably damage that conference beyond repair. This is why I keep issuing the question of what is the ACC if they crack?

    An ACC without Clemson and Florida State is damaged, and if they lose Georgia Tech and Maryland they are done. Sure they may be the ACC in name, but they will no longer be the ACC that we know today. This is the part folks keep forgetting in the discussion. When I read boards folks seem to be under the illusion that the remaining ACC will be the same as the current ACC, and this is just wrong. The B12 may have been on life support, but they did not lose their anchors in Texas and Oklahoma. UNC + Duke + basketball may have been the past, but we are in the age of football decisions, and Duke football has no value, and no apparent desire to get better. At least Wake Forest has tried to overcome size limitations and field decent teams.

    For a collection of bright academic schools the ACC seems to ignore history. Just down the road was a strong football conference that held academics in high standing. They won MNC after MNC and dominated the rest of college football in a way even the SEC would envy. They had the media monopoly and huge stadiums and yet they still fell from grace. Sure the ACC may live on the same way the Ivy League lives on, but when was the last time you saw the Ivy League getting a big media deal, or saw one of their games on national TV?

    • Zarex says:

      In what way, exactly, has the Ivy League “fell from grace”? The league is comprised of institutions of extraordinary wealth and prestige and virtually every high achieving high school senior would give their right eye to receive a thick packet in the mail from a member of this “lesser” athletic conference. The ACC may wind up as an Ivy League lite, a collection of well regarded Universities that struggles in football competion against ginormous state funded football factories. I would suggest that most non-subway alumni would be okay with this.

      • duffman says:

        I never said they fell from academic grace, but when was the last time they affected who went to the MNC game? It may not become Ivy League Lite because not all academics in the ACC are equal. If a “reduced” ACC is drawing 20K – 40K to football games, they will prove that history does indeed repeat. Maybe a school like UNC holds it together, but it is a state school and all that cash and power will tempt the Tarheels, especially if NCST goes to the SEC and starts dominating NC sports the way South Carolina is beginning to dominate SC sports. Do you really think Tulane leaves the SEC if they knew where the SEC would be now? Nobody is doubting the academic ability of Tulane, but they have fallen far from their glory days in college sports. On a side note, did you choose your handle from the greek or from the fruit drink since you mentioned non-subway alumni?

        Ivy League MNC’s in college football

        Princeton = 28, 1 since WWII in 1950
        Their old stadium held 52,000 and the new one holds 28,000

        Yale = 26, 0 since WWII
        Built in 1914 it seated ~71K and held 80K for the Army game in 1923
        It seats ~61K and drew ~12K, ~14K, ~18K, ~19K, and ~55K (harvard) at home in 2011

        Harvard = 7, 0 since WWII
        Built in 1903 it seated ~57K, but has been reduced to ~30K
        Harvard drew ~19K, ~16K, ~11K, ~6K, and ~11K at home in 2011

        Penn = 7, 0 since WWII
        Built in 1895 it seated ~78K, but has been reduced to ~53K

        Cornell = 5, 0 since WWII
        Built in 1915 it seats ~26K

        Dartmouth = 1, 0 since WWII
        Built in 1923 it seated ~22K, but has been reduced to ~16K

        Columbia = 0, 0 since WWII
        Built in 1928 it seated ~32K, was rebuilt in 1984 ~17K

        Brown = 0, 0 since WWII
        Built in 1925 it seats ~20K and held 33K for the Colgate game in 1932

        • Zarex says:

          I agree that the Ivy league has long since left the conversation in regards to the national collegiate football championship. And while football is certainly important, I would suggest that overwhelming majority of the schools in Division 1 would push aside their football ambitions if they were offered a spot among the Ivies.

          While the ACC is not at that level, I would suggest that most colleges really want to be associated with schools like Duke, NC and Virginia even if only on an athletic basis. Admittedly, the ambitions of schools in the ACC vary wildly. BC uses football to distinguish themselves from the many other highly regarded and insanely expensive schools within a short train ride of the Chestnut Hill Campus while FSU requires football success to bring in state funding and alumni donations. But I think it will be exceedingly difficult for schools like FSU and Clemson to pull away from the ACC for a Big 12 that is highly dependent on the generosity of the SEC for its recent jump in stature.

          My handle is derived from the fruit drink with the rainbow colored zebra mascot.

        • Ted says:

          They don’t give out athletic scholarships. That’s why they can’t compete.

          Arguments about the Ivy League being irrelevant in the MNC are like saying Chicago is irrelevant. It was a conscious decision by Ivy League schools and one of the reasons Michigan didn’t join the Ivy League when invited.

    • point 4 seems to assume that having ND join the ACC for football was ever on the table. There’s little reason so assume that it was.

  14. Eric says:

    Your divisions are exactly how I thought they should have done them a year ago. If all 5 Big East members had joined together, that’s almost certainly how they would have gone. I hope that ends up happening as it makes too much sense not to.

  15. duffman says:

    Apology if this was already posted, but it is an article by Chadd Scott (the guy that dates / dated Kristi dosh?) about the Wal Mart nature of modern college football.

    http://dev.chuckoliver.net/2012/05/realignment-and-the-wal-martization-of-college-football/

    here is the link

    Looks like he is saying what I have been saying on FtT for quite some time. :(

    • largeR says:

      Thanks. That’s a great read. Another CFB blog to follow!(sigh)

    • I think this could be a good thing…that CFB can preserve its “corner store” appeal rather than a “Wal Mart” feel. But the problem is in how things will be carved up. Geography isn’t a huge deal in most cases. The Big Ten going a bit west and then a bit east or a bit south…not a big deal. The Big East going San Diego to Connecticut…that’s ridiculous. The MWC/CUSA spanning the nation…that’s not good for the sport either. The other albatross for CFB is the smaller D1 schools. If you’re talking about mass appeal, a casual fan who is unaffiliated with a school doesn’t want to be troubled with the Eastern Michigans and Southern Alabamas of the world. Give them Duke/Alabama or Michigan/Texas Tech…they can live with that. Mismatches…yes…but 120+ schools is too many for “big time” college football.

  16. Logan says:

    How would the ACC and Notre Dame distribute the revenue from the Orange Bowl (or, like the new SEC-Big 12 game, a new bowl given to the highest bidder)? Could they work out something where the revenue is split 16 ways. Each ACC team gets a share, Notre Dame always gets a share whether they play in the game or not, and the extra share goes to Notre Dame if they are in the game, or another school if Notre Dame is in some 4-team playoff or not bowl eligible. If the revenue from this ACC-Notre Dame game is comparable the SEC-Big 12 game, individual schools could actually make more as the pie is being shared by fewer schools.

  17. zeek says:

    How does the ACC survive in the long run without FSU and Clemson? They’re the two biggest football schools in terms of stadium size/fan support, and you just have Miami/Va Tech to carry the football banner (of which Miami doesn’t have great fan support even if it is a television draw).

    Big East in 2003:
    Miami
    Va Tech
    WVU
    Pitt
    Syracuse
    BC
    Rutgers
    Temple

    ACC in 2012 (minus FSU/Clemson):
    Miami
    Va Tech
    UNC
    NC State
    Ga Tech
    UVa
    Maryland
    Pitt
    Syracuse
    BC
    Wake Forest
    Duke

    It’s really hard to argue that the ACC minus FSU/Clemson is much better in terms of national football TV quality than the 2003 Big East especially given that FSU and Clemson were probably the two most discussed ACC schools this past football season, even though Va Tech got that Sugar Bowl bid. Clemson always seems to do well in recruiting and preseason rankings even though they typically end up flaming out sometime during ACC play…

    Yes, it’s better than the Big East of 2003 because of the Tobacco Road region that anchors the population fanbase with schools like UNC/NC State/UVa/Maryland, but other than population base, that isn’t a much better conference in terms of football quality.

    Over time, the disparity between the ACC and the Big Ten/SEC would probably grow large enough ($10M+ per school by 2020?) that schools like Va Tech and UNC are going to have to ask why they’re still there…

    That’s why the ACC can’t afford to lose FSU and Clemson.

  18. Josh says:

    Frank,
    Where was your 5 step plan for saving the Big 12 a couple of summers ago?

  19. zeek says:

    http://www.tampabay.com/sports/big-east-tv-deal-might-be-small/1232903

    ‘The “most conservative estimate” for a new Big East TV deal is $6.4 million per school annually, San Diego State president Elliot Hirschman said Wednesday.’

  20. mdak06 says:

    A few thoughts …

    (1) I’m fine with the north/south divisions, although whether or not it’s critical, I’m not sure. The south would probably be tougher. Everyone would laugh at Miami being in the “North” division … but I guess that doesn’t matter either, and I understand the logic behind it.

    (2) I don’t think this will be a huge factor. If the athletic department is successful, it brings in more money for the school (including for academics), and if FSU and Clemson think they can make substantially more money in another conference, then that will trump the faculty concerns about the “academic strength of the league.”

    (3) I think the ACC, as long as it has 14 teams, might reconsider moving to a nine-game conference schedule, and instead keep it at eight (perhaps use the SEC’s 6-1-1 plan). I’d also have no objection to “weaker” teams being played before FSU / GT / Clemson play their SEC opponents.

    (4) I think the Orange bowl needs to move back to New Year’s day (that’s part of the problem) and should also consider getting the “next best team out of the SEC and Big 12 (and possibly Big Ten),” whoever that might be. I think that would be a better matchup (either ACC champ or #2 vs. an SEC or Big 12 team) than anything against the Big East. Having Notre Dame as an additional option might be good.

    (5) That could help some, but the ACC would still be a crippled football conference if FSU (and someone else) left.

    What you didn’t include, and what I think is critical (and I’m very frustrated by the ACC management regarding this) is to form an ACC TV network. The “ACC Digital Network” is fine, as far as it goes, but it is NOT THE SAME as a network on TELEVISION. If the ACC partnered with ESPN, then some of the ESPN3 content could be shown to a wider audience via television, more advertising revenue would be acquired, carriage fees for carrying the TV network would come in (the BTN receives a lot from these alone), and there could be substantial additional revenue for the conference. If the Big Ten can do it in the midwest, the ACC can damn well do it on the east coast.

    • zeek says:

      Regarding point 5: The Big Ten can do it because it has large public institutions that deliver virtually all of their internal TV markets in terms of cable network carriage.

      The ACC only accomplishes that in 3 states: North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland.

      For the rest, there are big questions. How much of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina are delivered by FSU, Miami, Ga Tech, and Clemson? All of those states have SEC schools that are the dominant TV draw, so there’s no given that you can get all the big markets in central Florida (Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville), and there’s no guarantee that Ga Tech and Clemson deliver all of their states (although Clemson comes closest out of the 4).

      Looking up to the Northeast, what exactly does BC, Syracuse, and Pitt get a TV network? Coverage in Pittsburgh and the Northwest part of New York at best? What is that worth?

      The ACC covers an enormous span of territory in terms of states, but the crucial question is how much of the TV markets are delivered if you’re talking about networks.

      • Fryguy says:

        As someone originally from SC with family still there, you overestimate South Carolina’s dominance. The Gamecocks have gotten the press recently, but the are on equal standing in the state. Not sure how valuable delivering all of SC is anyway, unless you consider the Charlotte market, which is definitely Clemson Territory

        • zeek says:

          That’s fair, and Clemson’s the only one that I could see delivering because that state is basically 50-50.

          But the problems with Ga Tech, FSU, and Miami as well as BC, Syracuse, Pitt, etc. aren’t understated.

          I’m not sure what kind of carriage you get for those 6 schools; you might get Miami, but what does FSU actually deliver?

          • mdak06 says:

            FSU has about 40,000 students, so there are a fair number of FSU people out there.

            If we assumed that FSU & Miami could get carriage in the Florida Panhandle, Jacksonville, and Miami (including the urban areas nearby), that’s about 7.8 million people (about 40% of the state). Whether or not that’s a wishful assumption, I don’t know.

            I agree that I wouldn’t expect the ACC having one school in a state to deliver the entire state, but I do think that it will be able to get a good bit of distribution (even if not quite as much as the Big Ten). The BTN is available (not subscribers, but is available) to 75 million people, which is a little more than the entire population of all of its member states. The last numbers I’ve found have 26 million subscribers, and the last estimate I saw was a $0.36 carriage fee. That translates to $112 million per year in carriage fees. If we assumed the ACC could only get a $0.24 carriage fee (2/3 of the Big Ten) and only 13 million subscribers (1/2 of the Big Ten), that’s still $37.4 million per year.

            The potential for an ACC TV Network is also why I think Rutgers is worth adding to the league (if Notre Dame could be convinced to join), despite their relative mediocrity in athletics.

    • metatron says:

      I imagine a lot of cable deals either include internet broadcast rights or prohibits anyone from using them.

      ESPN has ESPN3 for this sort of thing, and it’s in their best interest to kill any potential competitor in the womb. They’re the middleman: content creators cutting them out of the picture is their biggest nightmare.

      • mdak06 says:

        I get that, but if an ACC TV Network is a joint effort between the ACC and ESPN, then ESPN is not a as much a competitor as it is a partner.

        • metatron says:

          Right, but cable networks cost money. ESPN has a lot of the resources already available, but there’s still time and effort needed, and if ESPN thought it would float, they’d have done it already.

          The Longhorn Network was a gambit to keep the Big XII together, and we’re seeing the difficulties the LHN has with getting on people’s television sets.

          • bullet says:

            LHN difficulties are not much different from BTN difficulties in getting carriage at first-yet.

            If ESPN doesn’t get better carriage this summer, then they will have to re-think the rates or length of the carriage agreements they want.

          • FranktheAg says:

            The issue with the LHN is pretty simple. Content. There just isn’t enough of it that anyone really wants to watch on TV. The BTN and the LHN really can’t be compared.

  21. Mack says:

    ESPN as a charity (#5) is hard to believe. The B12 contracts were undervalued and near expiration and included Texas, one of the most valuable properties available. It was in the network’s interest to pay more now to lock in to a longer term. Not so with a ACC minus FSU. At a minimum ESPN will take back the bump it just provided with expansion so the $$$ will be less.
    :
    VATech got the Sugar bid over XII but that turned into a disaster. Lots of tickets not sold by VA Tech while KS St sold out its Cotton allotment in 24 hours. Not much bowl value in ACC schools outside the SE (still lots of FL bowls), and ND will take at least half of the bowl money for any tie-in.

  22. Fryguy says:

    Not in any way to insult Frank’s column, but the most informative and useful part of this post is the knowledge that Chick-fil-a is in the Chicago area. I will be at the one in Schaumburg this weekend. Thanks Frank!

    • @Fryguy – They’ve opened up a few Chicago area locations in the past year, including one that’s only a couple of miles from my house. I absolutely love the spicy chicken sandwich.

      We’ve been getting an influx of previously regional chains expanding here lately. Five Guys is almost ubiquitous now and Sonic has started opening up locations, too.

      • redsroom3 says:

        Frank,
        Don’t sleep on that chicken biscuit either. It’s is absolutely sinfully good, and horrible for you, but man do I love that breakfast item. And to think, 14 years ago I said bad things about people that ate chicken for breakfast….
        Hmmm, Hmmm, Hmmm…

        • Psuhockey says:

          If you all think Chick-fil-a is wonderful, wait until a Bojangles hits your area. They have been slow to move from the Southeast, but fried chicken n biscuits never tasted as good.

          • bamatab says:

            @Psuhockey – Preach it brother! I have yet to eat a chicken biscuit (from a fast food chain at least) that compares to Bojangles, Chick-fil-a included (although they are cajun seasoned). Plus you can get the chicken biscuits all day long (not just in the mornings), and can get their cajun seasoned fries with it instead of having to settle for tatter tots.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            B-Tab – I haven’t eaten at a Bojangles in 20 years, but back then neither its biscuits nor its chicken could compare to Popeyes.

            Also, on behalf of the Great State of Louisiana, although I’m not a cajun, you’re welcome for cajun seasoning.

          • bamatab says:

            Alan – I don’t think any of the Popeyes around where I live serve breakfast or chicken biscuits. But if you are talking just a chicken plate (breast/wings or thighs/legs), then I’ll have to agree with you that Popeyes is better (along with their mashed potatoes and cajun gravy). But the Bojangle chicken biscuit is awsome. You might want to pick one up the next time you are around a Bojangles for breakfast.

          • duffman says:

            “a little cayuun, a little oonyuuun” :)

        • Playoffs Now says:

          KFCrap < food pantry leftover chicken < Swanson's TV dinner sorta fried chicken < Bojangles < Hartz Buffet < Popeye's < Church's spicy (but some locations have inferior quality) < original Frenchy's (only found in Houston)

          That's for fried, but nothing really beats the Mardi Gras baked chicken from Publix.

          • bullet says:

            Popeyes and Churchs have slipped a little in recent years. Popeye’s used to be great.

  23. FSU and Miami should be in the same division. Those are your two marquee programs. So why make them have to potentially beat each other twice to qualify for the playoff? That is great for TV and the fans. But it sucks for those schools and the rest of the conference as it makes things a lot harder. I would go to the following:

    FSU, Miami, Pitt, SU, BC, NC St, Wake
    Clemson, GA Tech, VT, UVA, MD, UNC, Duke

  24. JMann says:

    For those who keep mentioning UNC to the SEC – it’s not happening. UNC views there academic reputation too highly (similar to Texas) to associate with the SEC. If the ACC implodes they will reach out to the B1G for a lifeline.

    Also, for those who do not understand the governance system for the state schools in North Carolina. All the schools: UNC-Chapel Hill (the UNC you know of), NC State, UNC-Charlotte, App State, etc. are all part of the UNC system which all are controlled by the SAME Board of Governors. Thus, its the same people who would decide if UNC and/or NC State would go to another conference. Thus, there is absolutely zero chance they would vote to allow UNC or NC State to go to the SEC without the other.

    • frug says:

      Thus, its the same people who would decide if UNC and/or NC State would go to another conference. Thus, there is absolutely zero chance they would vote to allow UNC or NC State to go to the SEC without the other.

      You’re close, but that is not totally right. While they do share a BoG, that doesn’t mean they are bound to each other; it means they have veto power over each others movements so long as the ACC remains viable.

      If UNC and NC-State mutually approached the BoG with a proposal that would send UNC to the Big Ten and NC-State to the SEC I doubt the BoG would overrule them so long as the two continued to play each other OOC.

      That said, I do agree that the only way UNC ends up in the SEC is if the ACC collapses and the SEC is only willing to take NC-State if they paired with UNC (the Big Ten wouldn’t take NC-State for academic reasons). At that point, the BoG probably would force the Tar Heels to take the SEC deal and drag the Wolfpack with them.

      • duffman says:

        While schools and academics may hold sway in discussions with private schools, the same is not true of public ones. State politicians, big donors, and voters will have a say behind the scenes before it is said and done. How many citizens of NC actually went to UNC? If it becomes political, and it will, all bets are off. The current governor of the state is a democrat who holds degrees from SEC schools Kentucky and Florida. Granted a new election is approaching, but realignment may happen in the next month or so, and there may already be efforts in place on what happens to UNC and NCST in the next month or so if Florida State, Clemson, and others depart the ACC for new conferences.

        I can easily see a deal made that sends UNC to the SEC and NCST to the B12. I can also see a deal made that sends UNC to the B1G and NCST to the SEC. If professors have their way, then UNC may be B1G bound, but if donors and voters have their way it would not surprise me in the least to see UNC in the SEC. I said it before, and will repeat it, that when a charter member leaves, the ship is sinking and those with the best chance will find new homes first. Just as UT was leading the charge to the PAC, it would not surprise me to see UNC leading the charge if the ACC begins to fail. Just look at the past :

        Missouri grumbles in 2010, Maryland grumbled early on
        Nebraska left in 2010, Florida State may leave in 2012
        Colorado left in 2010, Clemson may leave in 2012
        TAMU & Missouri left in 2011, ???? & ???? may leave in 2012

        • zeek says:

          Yes, fans/donors are very important to certain school decisions, but that’s not always the case.

          UNC is like Texas or OU. They can choose whatever they want, and their fans/donors will follow.

          Texas could go anywhere, just as UNC would be able to choose where they want to go. Those two are powerful enough that their fans would fall in line in general. I’m not sure the fans of those schools really care either way. Texas’ fans weren’t really unanimously in favor of anything, and it doesn’t seem like UNC’s have reached that point either.

          Now, other schools like FSU, Va Tech, and Clemson may end up in the same situations as Texas A&M and Mizzouri where they have to do something because the fans rise up.

          I just think we spend too much time assuming all these schools are going to follow one model of behavior, when that’s never been the case.

          UNC seems to carry itself like a king in the fashion of Texas or OU. Those schools tend to have fanbases more inclined to believe that “the school is always right.” That’s a different attitude from what we see with other schools where the fans are more adamant about making a move to other places…

          • vp19 says:

            There is one major difference between Texas and North Carolina.– football revenue and football power…and these days, football calls the shots. Texas can afford to be the alpha dog in the Big 12 because it wields enough football influence (in conjunction with Oklahoma) to keep it going. If the ACC collapses, UNC doesn’t carry enough football weight to maintain its current level of revenue, even were it to win three NCAA men’s basketball titles in a row. If the folks in Chapel Hill are sufficiently delusional to believe they can keep the ACC sinking ship afloat without top-tier football $, let them go ahead and try; I doubt they will like the outcome.

        • frug says:

          Still not sure where I see too much disagreement. I mean I guess it’s possible that UNC could end up in the SEC without NC-State but that would have to be last resort and just for academic reasons. Remember, UNC is a basketball school first so they are going to make more money in the Big Ten (which has led the nation in MBB attendance 36 years running and makes more money per team than any conference) than they ever would in the football dominant SEC.

          • bamatab says:

            Keep in mind that while the B1G may have led the nation in MBB attendance, the SEC has been second (more than the ACC and the Big East) and is not that far behind. Now I don’t know much about the MBB revenue numbers, but whatever they are pale in comparision to what football brings in. And the SEC and B1G are about even when it comes to having the over all top revenue producing athletic departments.

            I’ve looked at several of the UNC fan forums, and the majority of the fans want in the SEC (they view themselves as a southern school and don’t like the idea of having to play games in the northern and western parts of the B1G). Now the question is how much will those fans push back if the academic side really pushes for the B1G. I don’t think anyone knows the answer to that right now. But if the big money athletic donors want in the SEC and are willing to fight for it, then I wouldn’t count the SEC out just yet.

            Again, I’m not saying that they would choose the SEC over the B1G, but I am saying that it could come down to a showdown between the academic side and the athletic side of the school. But it is a moot point unless NCST is assured of a place in one of the other major conferences.

    • StevenD says:

      Everyone should read this article. Wilner is rigth. The CEOs are not committed to a seeded playoff. They are more likely to support sending conference champions to the Rose Bowl and SEC/B12 Bowl with a Plus-1 to follow.

      • StevenD says:

        New Years Day Bowls:
        ROSE: B1G champ vs P12 champ
        SUGAR: SEC champ vs B12 champ
        ORANGE: ACC champ vs highest ranked non-champ
        FIESTA: highest ranked champs of other conferences

        • Mack says:

          FIesta will take number two teams (and probably #3 teams if it came to that) from the B1G/XII/PAC/SEC before it takes the champ from the MWC/CUSA/BE/MAC/SB.

        • Brian says:

          StevenD,

          “New Years Day Bowls:
          ROSE: B1G champ vs P12 champ
          SUGAR: SEC champ vs B12 champ
          ORANGE: ACC champ vs highest ranked non-champ
          FIESTA: highest ranked champs of other conferences”

          I can’t believe the Fiesta would accept that. If they did this, I’d think more like:

          Option A – Sugar = new champs bowl
          Rose – B10 #1 vs P12 #1
          Sugar – SEC #1 vs B12 #1
          Orange – ACC #1 vs at large
          Fiesta – at large vs at large

          Option B – Sugar = new champs bowl
          Rose – B10 #1 vs P12 #1
          Sugar – SEC #1 vs B12 #1
          Orange – ACC #1 vs at large
          Fiesta – B10 #2 vs SEC #2

          Option C – Money = new champs bowl
          Rose – B10 #1 vs P12 #1
          Money – SEC #1 vs B12 #1
          Orange – ACC #1 vs at large
          Fiesta – B12 #2 vs at large
          Sugar – SEC #2 vs B10 #2

          I think A is the least likely of the choices.

    • Wow. Wilner tells everyone to step back.

      Last year, this would have meant
      LSU vs. OkSt in CHAMPS
      Wiscy vs. Oregon in ROSE
      Clemson vs. Alabama in ORANGE
      Stanford vs. Arkansas? in FIESTA

      It would probably clear some things up…but there’d still be oodles of controversy and no clear-cut NC.
      It would definitely make January 1 a hot commodity again!

    • bullet says:

      P12/ B10 ego. One of the criteria was public acceptance. A true plus 1 at this point would be a public relations disaster of the highest magnitude.

      Interesting interview TH on college sports radio. Talked to commissioner of MAC. Said they were fine with 4 team playoff, but probably preferred +1. Also said he preferred a committee to select teams. He talked of coaches being too busy and sportswriters favoring teams based on their past history. Other talk on the show was basically that everyone was favoring plans that favored their own interests. Swofford liked straight top 4, but apparently looked at how it would impact his conference and switched to 4 conference champs. Neinas liked conference champs but Big 12 backed top 4 when they looked at the results. Scott pushed conference champs because he knew it was better for Pac 12 than top 4. Top 4 probably benefits SEC and Slive has been behind that all the way.

      Many presidents would prefer a +1, but know that it would generate massive backlash.

      • bullet says:

        Also talked to Dennis Dodds on the show. Said Deloss Dodds said that it would be either 4 conference champs or top 4, but not a compromise.

        • bullet says:

          Dodd also made the comment about the Big 12 expansion. Basically, he said he couldn’t get them to say the words, “FSU” or “Clemson.” His implication was that it was inevitable and they wouldn’t say anything for fear of litigation.

      • ccrider55 says:

        P12/B1G ego? From a “we own our own conference” supporter? If the SEC (you know, the conference that just took the remaining value outside Texahoma) hadn’t tossed out a life raft I’d assume champs only would be favored by the owner of the smallest major conference.

        • bullet says:

          Many on this board are just having a problem with their worldview challenged. That the Big 12 is surviving and thriving means many of you are making up, ESPN saved the Big 12 by overpaying for the LHN (remains to be seen whether they overpaid, but it sure wasn’t intentional) and the SEC “saved” the Big 12 in some altruistic manner.

          Big 12 favors top 4 because it serves their interests, just like everyone else is favoring what serves their interests. SEC partnered with Big 12 because it served the SEC interests.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Purchasing a controlling interest in UT for the next 20 years in order to thwart a P16 was unintentional?

            Don’t get me wrong, I’d prefer a Big8, PAC8, Big10 etc, but I’m old. Times have changed but leopards haven’t changed their spots. An association formed with power does not necessarily restore power. Ask ISU. If/when FSU and Clemson join and stay a decade in the B12 then boasts of strength and stability may be warranted. But even those two aren’t an equal to the four that left.

      • @bullet – That has long been my impression: if the presidents had their druthers, an unseeded plus-one would have been the choice. However, the public expectations of a 4-team playoff are so high now that they realistically can’t turn back.

  25. frug says:

    The new Big 12 TV deal is expected to be announced any day, perhaps here this week as a celebration of the league’s new-found strength. Within that deal is a clause that will give any new expansion candidates the same money as the current members (estimated to be at least $20 million per year).

    If this is true then it would seem to reduce the financial benefits of expanding past 12 since the current members wouldn’t see any new TV money through expansion except for the CCG.

    • hangtime79 says:

      I believe that to mean that any new member that joins would receive whatever the rest of the members received whether the contract goes up or down per school based on the contract. For example, there was an expectation that WVU and TCU wouldn’t join as full partners – I think this places a clause in to ensure that any school that joins will join as equals. Remember unequal revenue sharing in payouts was one of the reasons for the problems in the B12. This sets in stone Tier 1 and 2 is the same for everybody – ie NU and TAMU getting higher payouts out of the conference money.

      I do not believe this to mean that the number stays steady regardless of what schools are invited. That would be a serious and unnecessary concession on the Big 12′s part.

      • frug says:

        That would be a serious and unnecessary concession on the Big 12′s part.

        I don’t know, if the conference was only lukewarm to expansion anyways then it wouldn’t be unreasonable for them to let ESPN/Fox buy them out of renegotiation rights especially if they are going to sign a relatively short term deal.

        (I should say that if I were in charge I wouldn’t recommend that course of action but I can understand why the conference would)

      • Jericho says:

        The TV deal would not cover the allotment of shares per school by the Big 12. That’s internal to the Big 12 and their bylaws. The TV deal would only deal with the total payout to the Big 12 as a whole and how that payout would be structured if new schools were added (for example, both the ACC and SEC were able to renegotiate by adding schools). It sounds like this clause, if included, would limit the bump in revenue by keeping it flat (i.e. if FSU joins and everyone’s earning $20 million per school, then FSU raises the total allotment by $20 million only).

        This would minimized the economic benefit of the Big 12 expanding and would also minimize the economic benefit of FSU (or any school) in leaving. Of course, it’s all speculation right now.

        • joe4psu says:

          That and the deal that the Pac-12 got (the money and the content they kept for their own network which included tier 1 content) is what makes this a terrible deal for the B12.

  26. randy bombardier says:

    I am a Kansas fan and am concerned about stability yet just as the current situation with the ACC demonstrates I think conference instability is caused by twitter, fear and panic. Why is conference expansion the end-all, be-all solution for raising more money? What about conference affiliations? Give more value to non-conferece games. As of late (last 15 or 20 years) teams have taken to scheduling patsies during the non-conf sked so they could chalk up wins, get fan expectaions up therefore support, use the easy sked to fine-tune their teams. Good practice but not the most financially sound. Why doesn’t the Big12 just approach the ACC or SEC and say we would like to have a series with you?

    • frug says:

      As of late (last 15 or 20 years) teams have taken to scheduling patsies during the non-conf sked so they could chalk up wins, get fan expectaions up therefore support, use the easy sked to fine-tune their teams. Good practice but not the most financially sound. Why doesn’t the Big12 just approach the ACC or SEC and say we would like to have a series with you?

      Because scheduling patsies lets teams maximize the number home games they get and the worse the team the cheaper they come.

    • Elvis says:

      Twitter didn’t cause the ACC to sign a horrible TV contract. It didn’t cause so few ACC fans to go to bowl games that it fell behind in the Bowl tie in situation.

      The ACC caused the instability of the ACC.

    • Andy says:

      You could try scheduling a series with Missouri. We’d love to play you in all sports. It would make a lot of money. As it is we’re going out and scheduling non-conference games against Syracuse and Indiana in football, and UCLA, Syracuse, and Arizona in basketball. Those are all nice, but Kansas is just 3 hrs down the road. We’ve done it 120+ times, why not 120+ more?

      • Jericho says:

        A true mystery, caused almost entirely by Kansas’ child like behavior. If Missouri leaving caused the Big 12 to desolve and Kansas was forced into second citizen class, then I could understand some bad feelings. But Kansas ended up alright and Missouri got out because of major problems that caused pretty much anyone that could leave to do so. Kansas just seemed jealous that no one else wanted them. But I see no reason to stop playing what it claims is its biggest rival. It’s like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

        • frug says:

          A true mystery, caused almost entirely by Kansas’ child like behavior.

          I don’t have a dog in this fight, but that is crap. Why in world should Kansas be expected to rearrange its schedule when Missouri is the one who left the conference, especially since the game always meant more to Missouri anyways (Kansas still has its K-State rivalry). If Mizzou was interested in continuing the series then they shouldn’t have left the conference (and with less than a years notice to boot)

          • Andy says:

            “rearrange their schedule”? How so? Do they not play non-conference games in Lawrence?

            If they have prior obligations, sure, get those out of the way. But it makes perfect economic sense to play your main rival every year. MU/KU games are a hot ticket. They’re typically on national TV. There’s a ton of money to be made. Who are they going to play instead? Colorado? Like anybody cares about that game.

          • Andy says:

            KU fans have an act that they’ve played for about a century now where they say they don’t really care about Missouri. I’m not sure why they do this, but it has always been bogus. They care. Their fans get up for Missouri like nobody else. I’ve seen it in person many times. And when they played Missouri for the “last time” this past season, there were a few quotes that slipped out from former players to the effect that it was “the biggest game in Kansas history”.

            They don’t really care about K-State. They see them as a little sister school. Missouri is, was, and always will be their main rival, whether they play them or not. A rivalry that goes back to before the Civil War. MU/KU is at the very heart of both schools’ sports traditions. KU fans will deny that now, but you don’t have to look very hard to find lots of evidence of it.

          • Texas A&M and Missouri completely made the correct decision to go to the SEC. It’s a stronger and more stable conference on all levels. However, that doesn’t mean that Texas or Kansas have any true incentive to schedule them, either. UT and KU are marquee national names in football and basketball, respectively, so they have the leverage to play whoever they want in the non-conference schedule. Losing those rivalries is just the cost of doing business for A&M and Mizzou going to the SEC.

          • frug says:

            Well Kansas only gets 3 OOC games a year now so locking in a rivalry game really restricts them. And yeah KU-MU may be a hot ticket but it may not be worth sacrificing scheduling flexibility. Really, their isn’t any clear evidence that keeping Mizzou on the schedule would make more money for KU especially since they still have a major rival they play annually.

          • Andy says:

            MU/KU in KC in football and basketball every year would make more money than any other non-conference games they could find. The ticket would be so hard to come by that fans would have to make major donations to the athletic departments just to be able to buy tickets. Missouri plays Illinois every year in basketball (used to play in football too until Illinois canceled the series because we beat them 7 straight times). Those MU/Illinois tickets often sell out within minutes. All 20k seats. MU/KU would be significantly more popular than MU/Illinois. Maybe even double. There’s just no way KU could find a better money making opportunity than that.

            What are their options? Nebraska? No. Poor match in both sports. Colorado? Yawn. They could try for Kentucky or North Carolina in both sports, but I’m pretty sure even those wouldn’t draw nearly as well as Mizzou.

            Is KSU a rival? Sure. And NCSU is a rival for UNC. And MSU is a rival for Michigan. But UNC’s true rival is Duke and Michigan’s true rival is Ohio State and Kansas’s true rival is Missouri. It’s been that way as long as there’s been college sports.

          • frug says:

            That may be all be true from Missouri’s perspective, but that doesn’t mean the reciprocal is necessarily true. Kansas can already schedule (pretty much) anyone they want in basketball so they will have no problem replacing Missouri (even if they don’t get annual rivalry than can simply schedule teams like UK, UNC, Indiana, UCLA, etc.). As for football? I just don’t think it would make that big a difference. Home games are increasingly important for AQ teams and while KU-Mizzou is a big game its not UF-FSU or USC-ND. The closest comparison would be probably be something like USCe-Clemson and those schools are already discussing whether or not they are going to continue the series.

            Of course none of this changes the fact if Missouri really cared about continuing the series they wouldn’t have left the conference in the first place.

          • vp19 says:

            Is KSU a rival? Sure. And NCSU is a rival for UNC. And MSU is a rival for Michigan. But UNC’s true rival is Duke and Michigan’s true rival is Ohio State and Kansas’s true rival is Missouri. It’s been that way as long as there’s been college sports.

            Nonsense. For several decades, UNC didn’t end its football season with Duke, or with NCSU, but with Virginia -- and from the Cavs’ point of view, it’s still a heated rivalry. And in the 1960s and ’70s, State was as big a rivalry for UNC as Duke (heck, Duke and State were heated rivals on their own); only the distorting power of ESPN has changed all that, largely because relatively few northerners attend NCSU.

            And if Kansas doesn’t have the courage to schedule KSU as its season-ending rival now that Missouri is off the table, I have no tears for the Jayhawks.

          • Andy says:

            Frug, you know and I know that Missouri leaving the Big 12 had nothing to do with Kansas. I would say that what would be best for everyone is if we treated it for what it was: a business decision. Nothing personal. And then look at this from a practical perspective.

            Yes, Kansas can schedule whoever they want in basketball. Although I read on an ESPN blog just a couple of weeks ago that they are having a very hard time convincing name opponents to come play in Lawrence. Missouri would be happy for a permanent rotating series between Lawrence and Columbia.

            And to say that Missouri has trouble scheduling good teams simply isn’t true. Next year Missouri plays in the Battle for Atlantis with Duke, Louisville, Memphis, Stanford, Minnesota, VCU and Northern Iowa. They also have a game vs Illinois in St. Louis, a game at UCLA, and they host Syracuse in Columbia. I’d say that’s a pretty good non-conference schedule. The year after they’ve already lined up games with Illinois, UCLA, and Arizona, and a yet-to-be-named top team from the Big East. Missouri is not lacking in quality basketball opponents. And that’s the great thing about basketball. Everybody can go out and play tough games and even lose them and it doesn’t matter. Even the best teams lose 4 or 5 games per year. There’s really no penalty for Kansas to play Missouri in basketball, and plenty to gain.

            With football, yes, there are limited spots and losses can hurt. And with the way Missouri has been beating Kansas lately, I’m sure they’re a little gun shy. They’re booked up for the next couple of years with South Dakota State, Rice, and Northern Illinois in 2012 and South Dakota State, Rice, and Louisiana Tech in 2013. So if they can’t afford to buy their way out of one of those thrillers and schedule a game that will actually make it on national tv and sell a few tickets, we can wait until 2014. But starting in 2014 their schedule is basically open, with some far off serieses with Memphis and Duke.

            I suspect Kansas will wait until they can win more than 2 games per season before they start taking on tougher non-conference opponents. But it’s foolish to blame Missouri or make excuses for Kansas. They can play us any time they want, and it would benefit them monetarily. They’d likely lose to Missouri in football and likely beat them in basketball. That’s the way it has typically worked in the past, since around 1890. That’s the way it can work in the future when they get up the courage.

          • Mack says:

            After the dust settles (may take a few years), I expect the KS vs MO game will get reinstated because as you say, it benefits both shcools. No so the TX vs A&M game; TX does not get enough benefit, will make more money with a home patsy, etc.

          • Andy says:

            vp, my apologies. I’m not well versed in ACC football. I’m a Mizzou and Michigan alum living in California. I’ve watched a lot of different conferences, but the ACC is not one of them.

            Frank, I agree that Mizzou and A&M made the right move, and that UT and KU aren’t obligated to play them. But I disagree about incentives. I think there’s plenty of incentive to play your main traditional rival. Two big ones: 1) it’s fun for the fans, and 2) it makes a lot of money. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

          • frug says:

            KU is going to make plenty of money either way and like it or not Missouri is the one that ended the rivalry. Kansas said they would be happy to continue the series the way it has been played for the last 104 years; in conference. Missouri is the one that changed the dynamic and that is all on them.

          • Andy says:

            frug, you have to weigh the pluses and minuses of continuing the series:
            *plus: the series is very fun and the fans love it
            *plus: its nearly guaranteed to make a lot of money
            *minus?: you could also make as much money if you find other people to play, although I don’t really see how that’s a minus, more like a neutral statement.
            *minus?: it’s not a conference game anymore. although, again, I don’t really see how this is a minus. There are lots of good non-conference rivalries. Think Florida/Florida State, Kentucky/Louisville, Georgia/Georgia Tech, South Carolina/Clemson, Missouri/Illinois. It can be done. All of those are good games.

            So really I don’t see how you can get your minuses to outweigh your pluses unless you add in a couple more minuses that KU actually has going on

            minus: KU is angry and if they play Missouri then somehow “Missouri wins” or something like that. Thus the whole “childish” accusations at KU.
            minus: and this one is more practical, but not at all more honorable. KU is down in football right now. Like, way down. The last few times Kansas played Missouri, they got absolutely manhandled. Attendance to the games in KC dropped from over 80k down to below 50k, and the Kansas side of the stadium was nearly empty. Playing Missouri in football has become an embarrassing proposition, and it seems they are in full retreat mode (much like Illinois was when Missouri beat them 7 straight times).

            So in a way, Missouri might be better served finding a non-conference rival that can hold their own on the field. Maybe Nebraska? But it would be a shame to end the basketball series. It was truly one of the great rivalries in basketball. Yeah KU won around 60% of the time, but they were usually good games. Lots of passion.

          • @Andy – I think the main tangible “minuses” for Kansas are recruiting and protecting its home TV market (and Texas is in a similar position with respect to playing A&M). Missouri now has the benefit of being in a more national conference. The flip side. though, is that Mizzou is giving up virtually all of its Midwestern presence and will have drastically reduced exposure in the Kansas City market. So, KU’s competitive recruiting advantage is that its players get to play close to home in the Big 12. If you’re the KU AD, you wouldn’t want to allow Mizzou to “have its cake and eat it, too” by giving them a platform to play a high profile game close to home in the Kansas City area on top of its SEC conference schedule.

            As frug mentioned, it was Missouri’s choice to end the series by switching conferences (not KU’s choice). To be sure, Mizzou will be better off for that switch overall, but the loss of the KU series is collateral damage. At least the Braggin’ Rights Game has survived.

          • Andy says:

            Frank, it’s unfortunate if they choose not to play us, but other plans can be made.

            Missouri has committed to playing games in both football and basketball in KC every year, whether Kansas participates in those games or not. Missouri’s athletic director has stated that there are “several” high profile football opponents who are interested in playing Missouri in KC. I don’t know who those are, but I would imagine possible candidates to be Nebraska, Iowa, Colorado, and Kansas State, along with perhaps some outside the region from the ACC, Pac 12, or Big Ten. In basketball, as I’ve said, Missouri already has upcoming non-conference serieses with UCLA, Arizona, and Syracuse, and I’m sure they’ll find more.

            And yes, there’s the Braggin’ Rights series. That’s always fun.

            The idea that Kansas thinks that they can take over the Kansas City market in recruiting, and that not playing Missouri will help them do that, is laughable. Kansas City is in the state of Missouri. The University of Missouri campus is less than two hours away from KC. There are over 25,000 Missouri alums living in the city. The KC media is giving the SEC near constant coverage right now, in print, on tv, and on the radio. But more specific to recruiting, Missouri already has 4 top level commitments from KC in football right now, including a four star who is considered to be one of the top 3 players in the state of Missouri, and one from Kansas City, KS who is considered to be one of the top 2 players in the state of Kansas. And signing day is still 10 months away. I think Missouri’s KC recruiting will be just fine.

            If anything KU should seek to play, and beat, Missouri in KC if they want to ever have any shot at getting top recruits out of KC again.

          • hangtime79 says:

            I love the Mizzou fan behavior in this. It was Mizzou’s flirtations that started this whole realignment process first withe the B10 then the SEC. Mizzou fan can’t get their head around the fact that its actions nearly put KU in the Mountain West and that might be very upsetting to KU. So yea, I completely endorse KU’s stance on not playing Mizzou going forward. You can’t tell your parents I hate you, I hate this place, and I am leaving then try and come back and do laundry on the weekends.

          • Andy says:

            That’s absurd and you know it. Missouri didn’t start realignment, the Big Ten did. The Big Ten had a big press conference announcing to the world that they were expanding. Had they not done that, none of this chaos would have happened. Missouri wasn’t the first and certainly wasn’t the only school to express interest in making a move. And by the time Missouri actually left the Big 12, 3 schools had already done so. And two more had left the ACC. And TCU had joined the Big 12. Etc, etc. Missouri was just one small part of a much larger picture.

            If Kansas wants to be pissed about that they’re free to do so. But it’s counterproductive.

          • Jericho says:

            I don’t have a dog in this fight either, but I can’t blame Missouri for ending it. That’s baloney. Missouri leaving the Big 12 conference did terminate the automatic scheduling of the series. However, Missouri offered to continue it outside the conference (at a neutral location no less). That put the ball back into the Kansas court and they said no.

            I’ll grant you that Kansas is not obliged to do anything. They have freedom to schedule anyone they want. But the idea that they can’t “fit in” Missouri is laughable. Basketball has tons of out of conference games and there’s no real penalty for scheduling a tough opponent. Kansas managed to schedule Towson, Florida Atlantic, South Florida, Long Beach State, Davidson, Howard and North Dakota this past year (I’m sure at least some of those came in some tournament, but most did not) The idea they can’t for Missouri in that schedule is BS.

            The football side is at least more convincing. If Kansas has prior commitments, then they would have to honor them. But nothing is stopping Kansas from scheduling Missouri down the road. Surely, Kansas football is not booked up for 10 years. And since no one seems to actually care about Kansas football, it would make sense to schedule an interesting opponent.

            The thing that gets me is that scheduling Missouri could be a great money maker for both schools. Kansas tries to claim a grand rivalry with Missouri, but then steps aside when they get an opening. UF-FSU play. Clemson-USC play, Georgia-GT Tech play. Out of conference rivalries are very doable. You can’t have it both ways. Either Missouri is a meaningful opponent and you keep the rivalry or maybe it never really mattered and you let it go. It seems the fans and media believed the former (it was a good rivalry) and the Athletic Department believes the latter (it was not meaningful).

            If there actually was a rivalry, apparently its more important for Kansas to be bitter and spiteful and try and hope for some theoretical recruting advantage than to schedule a game that the players and fans and alum want to see. You know, to go schedule patsies like South Dakota State, Northern Illinois and Rice (all on the 2013 schedule). I think everyone loses in that scenario and Kansas has the sole power to fix it.

          • frug says:

            However, Missouri offered to continue it outside the conference (at a neutral location no less). That put the ball back into the Kansas court and they said no.

            That isn’t putting the ball back in KU’s court, it’s changing the rules in the middle of the game and whining if they don’t continue to play.

          • Jericho says:

            It’s not “changing the the rules” at all. It takes two to tango. Missouri will. Kansas won’t. Kansas may have reason why it won’t, but it’s still Kansas’ choice.

          • frug says:

            It’s not “changing the the rules” at all.

            The game has been a conference game for the past 107 years. Missouri leaving the conference means by definition they are altering the nature of the game.

            To put it another, for the past 107 years conference rules required the two to play. It was conference rule. Missouri leaving means that rule no longer applies.

          • John says:

            hangtime79,
            the notion that “Mizzou flirtations” caused anything have been put to rest long ago. this expansion train is being driving by a whole lot more (read: e$pn) than one MO governor’s silly comments. as far as Big XII instability is concerned, A&M’s President is on record saying that many folks in the Big XII new as far back as 2009 that UT was negotiating w/ the PAC. if you must point your finger towards someone for nearly putting kU in the MTN, you need to look in Bevo’s direction.

          • FranktheAg says:

            @frankthetank “Losing those rivalries is just the cost of doing business for A&M and Mizzou going to the SEC.”

            As far as A&M fans are concerned that’s a very cheap ticket to get in the best conference. A&M vs. LSU on the last week of the football schedule will be a fine replacement game.

  27. Jericho says:

    Here’s something that might help the ACC. Why does the SEC supposedly want schools in North Carolina and Virginia? Supposedly to extend its footprint for network purposes (which the SEC is developing with ESPN). An expanded footprint would ideally mean more $$$.

    Now, is there any footprint bigger than the ACC population wise? With the primary schools in New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina along with major state schools in Florida, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Georgia – there’s no bigger population base out there. If networks are the goldmine some seem to think they are, this can make the ACC very profitable.

    Supposedly the ACC looked into this and did not go that route. So maybe it’s not a goldmine. But the ACC can easily go to ESPN/Raycom and develop one within their current rights contract. If the money is there, everyone could make more money. It’s at least something that can be looked at…

    • Elvis says:

      Too late, Swofford signed a horrible 15 year TV contract.

      • Jericho says:

        It’s not too late. ESPN owns all the rights. But nothing stops ESPN from spinning off its programming into their own ACC Network and making money off that. ESPN has the power to place the programming on any channel it sees fit (well probably not any channel. The contract will surely have limitations. But I doubt the ACC would oppose such a move). The schools can align with this new network and sell some of their other multimedia rights to it (something the Pac-12 schools are doing with their Network). It could be a money maker for both involved.

        I don’t know if it will be a moneymaker. But if the topic is how to save the ACC, something like that has to be on the table doesn’t it? I don’t know if it is economically feasible. But all this conferences seem to think it will make money. And the SEC is developing its own network with ESPN, so ESPN doing one with the ACC seems fairly viable.

        Just a thought…

    • Andy says:

      It might work for basketball, but ACC football just isn’t that popular. If it were they wouldn’t be getting such terrible TV deals. I doubt an ACC network could be successful.

      • Jericho says:

        But the Conference Networks are largely showing Tier 3 stuff anyway, not the cream of the crop stuff. I believe the Pac-12 Network is all Tier 3 stuff, while the Big 10 includes both Tiers 2 and 3. Which means the vast majority of the programming is non-football in nature. And let’s be fair, the ACC can’t really be all that different from the Pac-12 in football viewership. If the Pac-12 can do it, you’d think the ACC could too.

        • Andy says:

          True, you have a point. I imagine the ACC and Pac 12 are similar. The Pac 12 has a true powerhouse in USC, but beyond that they’re pretty much even. So maybe the ACC/Swofford did botch it, I don’t know.

          • vp19 says:

            That powerhouse makes all the difference. While Florida State isn’t Southern Cal by any means, it is a brand of sorts, and Clemson has the most passionate fans in the ACC. Take them out of the conference, and aside from Virginia Tech (Miami is a program in the past tense, especially after the scandals), you don’t have very much — especially since four schools (really more like three, since Wake recruits for in-state football talent more than Duke) divvy up the North Carolina prep talent that chooses to stay home.

          • Jericho says:

            Well, this would be before FSU and Clemson leave (and give them an incentive to stay). Look, I’m just brainstorming, here. But I figured the Network idea should at least be tosssed out there if the topic is trying to save the ACC. It’s doable and if these Networks make money, ESPN should be on board with it as well.

  28. Elvis says:

    Did John Swofford write this? Horrible. That won’t save the ACC.

    You ignore the HUGE money differences. How can you do that? 10-15 years ago, the ACC had the highest payout. Today, the 5th.

    Swofford botched that and it can’t be fixed. TV contract is signed for 15 years.

    You also miss the horrible bowl tie ins, reffing, and lack of fan interest (which can’t be fixed).

    There is NO saving the ACC. No matter how much you try to avoid it.

    • Jericho says:

      How huge is HUGE? If you’re comparing the Big 12 to the ACC, it may not be the massive amounts that some think it will be. Something like $10 million seems to be on the very optimistic end of things. It may only be half that. Which is still something, but not devastating.

      • vp19 says:

        How huge is HUGE? If you’re comparing the Big 12 to the ACC, it may not be the massive amounts that some think it will be. Something like $10 million seems to be on the very optimistic end of things. It may only be half that. Which is still something, but not devastating.

        For schools in direct competition with SEC programs (the southern third of the conference), it’s something indeed, especially since the gap between ACC members and their SEC brethren will get substantially wider with the latter’s next contract.

        • Jericho says:

          But we’re not measuring the gap between the SEC and the ACC. It’s the gap between the ACC and the Big 12. I know the FSUs and Clemsons what to compete with the SEC schools, but the SEC isn’t sending invitations. So it’s trying to maximize the money among the available options. And yes the Big 12 would be more money. But is that $5 million or whatever going to magically make the difference in everything?

          • vp19 says:

            No, but perception would make the difference. For Clemson and Florida State, being in a conference with Oklahoma and Texas has a lot more cachet — particularly for recruiting — than being in one with almost-but-never-quite Virginia Tech, program-in-the-past-tense (and staying that way after the scandals) Miami, and a group of football no-names. Yes, you have the likes of Iowa State, Texas Tech and Kansas in the Big 12, but is that frankly any different from a Clemson or FSU point of view than Maryland, Wake Forest and Boston College? (Yes, you can argue that FSU shouldn’t have had trouble with Wake in recent years, but the football neighborhood FSU inhabited hindered recruiting, especially considering the weak image ACC football has in the Southeast. Playing in the Big 12, against two genuinely elite programs, should make the Seminoles be seen as substantially stronger.)

          • acaffrey says:

            That is hogwash. Or at the very least it is opinion.

            The SEC schools that are in the national title picture in any given year are there because of the school commitment to football, not the money. Having expensive assistant coaches is nice, but having quality assistant coaches is more important. It’s all just excuses. Somehow West Virginia is able to kill Clemson despite having 1/4th the money. Happens all the time.

            Recruits are not choosing SEC schools because of TV revenue (except maybe Cam Newton…ha ha ha). If Kentucky puts its TV revenue towards basketball facilities, so be it. If Mississippi State puts it towards—whatever the heck they put it towards–so be it. Who is to say what part of the revenue trickles to football facilities? If FSU uses the extra Big XII money to finance its women’s basketball team, how will that help FSU outrecruit anyone?

            And who is FSU being outrecruited by anyway? FSU is still crushing most schools in recruiting and underperforming relative to the recruits it is getting. Instead of worrying about who Alabama has, maybe it needs to do a better job developing the 4-star guys that are on campus right now. A kid is not choosing Alabama because Maryland is on FSU’s schedule. A kid from Fort Lauderdale might choose FSU because Miami is though. That is why FSU can recruit so well as it is.

            Wake Forest is NOT ever going to have better players than FSU. No hindrance with recruiting can justify losing 4 of 6. Florida had its Zook era. FSU has its Bowden transition era. It’s not money. It’s talent.

            If the B1G offered FSU, I think FSU should strongly consider it. If the SEC offered FSU, I think FSU should strongly consider it. Those are rock solid conferences with impeccable stability and substantial revenue. The geography might eliminate the B1G’s financial package, but the SEC is a no brainer for FSU. That is a true promotion.

            A few extra bucks to slide to the Big XII is just wishful thinking that money and association with a few football schools like Texas and Oklahoma will magically cure FSU’s ills. I am still waiting for anything beyond complaining and excuses from FSU fans. If there is some coach that FSU wanted but could not afford, maybe I would reconsider. If FSU was unable to field a more talented team than 110 other BCS schools, maybe I would reconsider. But everything wrong with FSU can be resolved within FSU today. Unless the SEC comes calling, FSU should focus inward, not outward.

    • Andy says:

      Why blame Swofford? Blame the ACC football teams for being mediocre. Who wants to watch mediocre football?

  29. Andy says:

    There are only two things that can save the ACC now. One, of course, is Notre Dame. If Notre Dame joins the ACC then their TV contract will improve significantly and everybody will stop complaining.

    The other thing that can save them is Texas. Not by joining them, but by blocking Big 12 expansion. I’ve come to the conclusion that Texas does not want the Big 12 to expand past 12 teams. Why? Because they already make more money than any other school. The status quo is working perfectly for them. So why would they want to change anything? If they take Florida State and Clemson from the ACC, that could lead to all kinds of dominoes falling and before you know it we have no ACC and 4 super conferences. Would this be good for Texas? Maybe, or maybe not. But the status quo sure is. So why risk it?

    I think they’ll try to block FSU’s entry. I think Oklahoma and others want FSU in the Big 12. I think there’s a battle going on behind the scenes right now. If Texas wins, the ACC survives. If Oklahoma wins, it dies.

    • Andy says:

      Meant to say Texas doesn’t want the Big 12 to expand past 10 teams. No way to edit it.

      • Jericho says:

        I do agree that Texas does seem anti-expansion. And it makes sense. They already make so much money that the athletic side is sending money back to the academic side. The few extra million (if its even that much) that they would get by adding FSU or anyone else aren’t really worth it. The trade off is more teams, more travel, and more competition. Particularly in the grand gem of all sports, men’s football. There’s very little incentive for Texas to want to add anyone else. for most of the other schools, you’d have to thin it is worth it, however. We’ll see.

      • vp19 says:

        It’s entirely possible Dodds already knows the outcome and is merely playing to those in the UT faithful who don’t want expansion. If the rest of the conference wants expansion, it will happen.

        • acaffrey says:

          Why say anything? If expansion is inevitable, all it will do is make Dodds look ineffective.

          Better to spin this as why expansion is actually good for Texas. Whatever the reasoning is.

        • Brian #2 says:

          “If the rest of the conference wants expansion, it will happen.”

          I can’t tell if this was facetious or not. The only opinions that matter in the Big 12 are Texas, and to a lesser extent OU. The rest of the conference members are simply thrilled to still be members of a major conference, and certainly will not risk pushing UT’s buttons.

          • Mack says:

            The other XII conference members will go against Texas to pick up a pair of schools that will allow the XII to survive without Texas. FSU or ND, and a partner (VT, Clemson, GT) will do this. Any BE school or BYU will not. Texas is just blocking members that want to expand with anyone just to get to 12, not an ACC raid that would be a major coup for the XII given where it was a few months ago. If two quality schools like FSU and Clemson had joined the XII a year ago, TCU and WVU would not make the cut to expand to 12.

          • largeR says:

            @Mack
            Great point! I’ve never read that anywhere, but FSU/Clemson, IMO by a long distance, beats WVU/TCU. It is similar, but not as extreme as to the B1G adding PSU/Nebraska, and then the next year having the chance to add Texas/ND. Would the B1G stop at 12? We all know that answer. There obviously is a lot of posturing going on in the Big XII-II. Is everyone covering their butts(i.e. SEC vs Baylor)?

          • zeek says:

            I disagree Mack and largeR.

            There was a huge incentive to replace Texas A&M with a Texas based school (in Dallas or Houston) so that everyone in the conference would get extra games in Texas over time.

            TCU filled that need. I’m not sure that changes whatever happened to FSU or Clemson back then.

            Maybe they invite FSU instead of WVU, but they did in fact need TCU for that extra Texas based game, and having them based in Dallas makes them a nice replacement for A&M.

          • largeR says:

            My point was that if it were an either/or, WVU and TCU or FSU and Clemson, IMO you take FSU and Clemson. It doesn’t make WVU and TCU a bad add, just that if you now have the ability to add a better pair, why not do it. Especially now that those two would bring you a CCG which UT abhors. :)

          • Bob in Houston says:

            Mack, just to be clear, if the deal was FSU and ND, Texas would be on board and they would stop at 12. ND is the white whale.

  30. texmex says:

    The bottom line is the Big XII will expand if ESPN/FOX give them the go ahead to expand. The conference will not extend invites without vetting the TV contract situation. The conference has maintained a position that they can expand, but don’t absolutely have to expand at this point. It’s why they didn’t bring Louisville last year or even this year to get to 12. They are not going to 12 just for the sake of going to 12. The networks advised them of needing to get back to 10, which is what they did. Now they’re at the point where they don’t have to expand in a blind position.

    The Big 12 has a very good relationship with each network and both sides will be upfront with each other. They worked with the Big 12 to prevent the complete breakup of the conference assuring they would bring their respective contracts up to market value, which they have done. They also forked over 15 million a year for the Longhorn Network to keep Texas in place. So the bottom line, is if FSU/Clemson are given invites to the Big 12, it means that the 3 million dollar difference between the two conferences will get wider. If ESPN/Fox tell them those two teams won’t increase the value of the TV deal, then they won’t expand.

    Who knows what ESPN/Fox are thinking. I’m not sure how the Big XII has a verbal agreement in place for a deal that will average 3 more million a year than the ACC, despite the fact the ACC has a population footprint of 54 million more people. But they have a plan and end game. They always have.

    • joe4psu says:

      The B12 hasn’t signed off on the deal with *SPN yet and surely has the provision that calls for re-negotiations if the conference expands or contracts by two or more schools with Fox. Adding FSU and Clemson would raise the value of the conference so the B12 would make more money. And then you add the CCG. The conference also needs to create a network whether the LHN is folded into it or not. A network with all the schools is going to be a lot more attractive than one with just UT content in every other state and possibly Texas too.

      • Mike says:

        @Joe – Maybe not.

        http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/19206833/big-12s-born-again-and-feeling-its-oats-at-10-12-or-14


        The new Big 12 TV deal is expected to be announced any day, perhaps here this week as a celebration of the league’s new-found strength. Within that deal is a clause that will give any new expansion candidates the same money as the current members (estimated to be at least $20 million per year).

        One industry source said that number applies whether the Big 12 invites, “Appalachian State or Florida State.” And according to another industry source, ESPN wouldn’t stand in the way of Big 12 expansion even after negotiating a new deal with the ACC.

        • joe4psu says:

          Unless the B12 knows that they can’t attract anyone like ND or FSU, signing that contract would seem to be a mistake. If they know that Louisville and BYU are the best they can do and that those additions are actually worth less than $20Mil a year to the conference, then the contract sounds like a good idea.

          I cringe at this “ESPN wouldn’t stand in the way of Big 12 expansion.” This is one of the reasons why I’m hoping that Fox and NBC’s presence in college programming grows.

  31. [...] solely for a SEC (14). The ACC could substantially keep a income from ESPN which they usually got (a pass indicate of a associate blogger’s devise to save a ACC); most criticized which a understanding was undervalued for fourteen teams anyway. The Big twelve [...]

  32. frug says:

    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/may/31/big-east-will-pay-sdsu-firm-says/

    San Diego State and Boise State stand to earn about $7.8 million annually from the new TV deal coming up for the Big East Conference, according to estimates by an independent national market research firm…

    Football-only members in the Big East stand to make $7.8 million per year. Basketball-only members would make $3.2 million per year, and full members in all sports would make $11 million. SDSU and Boise plan to join in football only on July 1, 2013…

    If SDSU and Boise State stayed in the Mountain West instead of joining the Big East, the Big East deal still probably would be at least double that of the Mountain West.

    • frug says:

      Also:

      If the Big East added BYU, the Big East would add value for all football members, though not by much. Navigate Research projects the TV revenue share for football-only members would jump from $7.8 to $8 million annually if it included BYU.

    • cutter says:

      This means Big East members would be making roughly $6M to $9M less than the programs in other major conferences on an annual basis.

      Not surprisingly, that means teams in the Big East have as much motivation as before to try and move into another conference, if possible.

  33. frug says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7994476/ncaa-president-mark-emmert-proposed-playoff-spark-more-realignment

    Big 12 administrators said this week that they support a four-team playoff model in which participants are chosen by a selection committee, rather than a complicated formula such as the BCS standings, which are based on computer rankings and polls.

    The Big 12 also has said it favors playoff semifinals occurring outside of the current bowl structure, even though some conferences prefer to keep intact some of its historic relationships between bowls and leagues.

    • Eric says:

      I don’t like any of their stance. A selection committee would just be too controversial with 4 teams. They need set criteria out from the beginning that everyone knows about.

      Assuming the Big 12 isn’t talking about home game semi-finals (and I don’t think they are), then I definitely don’t want the semi-finals outside the bowls.

  34. acaffrey says:

    I cannot help but feel that Big XII expansion is not happening. Perhaps ESPN is drawing a hard line on any expansion that harms the ACC. And now the Big XII, FSU, and Clemson are all covering their bases. Or perhaps it truly is that Texas does not want expansion right now.

    But everything seems to me like an effort to chill out the FSU fan base. FSU people quashing it are ignored… Big XII people putting the kibbosh on expansion generally is more placating. For FSU fans, it’s not that we didn’t try… it’s that the Big XII is not expanding right now.

    • vp19 says:

      That will only serve to get them angrier. Ask anyone in College Station or the Missouri Columbia.

      • Andy says:

        I have to think schools like Oklahoma, Kansas, and West Virginia would be thrilled to get FSU. This is going to really show just how much control Texas has over the Big 12.

        • texmex says:

          Andy,
          It all goes back to the TV deal
          If the networks tell the Big 12 adding FSU/Clemson will help the deal, they will be invited
          If the networks tell the Big 12 adding FSU/Clemson will not help the current TV deal, they will expand.
          That’s the theme right now in the Big 12. They are not in favor of expanding just to expand

          • joe4psu says:

            The B12 has not signed the *SPN deal. NBC, and possibly others, would love a chance to bid on B12 tier 1 content.

          • Andy says:

            Texas doesn’t need more money. They have plenty of money already. Expanding might make Texas a little bit more money but it may end up hurting them overall. The status quo is great for Texas.

          • bullet says:

            Someone, I think Chip Brown, said Texas would be fine with the “right two.” I think Texas is against expansion for expansion’s sake.

            Texas experienced the SWC. They aren’t going to be against an FSU addition that will strengthen the conference both competitively and financially.

        • frug says:

          I agree that WVU and Oklahoma would prefer adding FSU, but I’m not so sure about KU (and KSU and ISU). Yes, the extra revenue would be nice but it would cut their access to Texas in half and (probably) see a return to the old Big XII South which they really don’t want. It sort of reminds me of the North Cal, Arizona and Mountain schools blocking the addition of the Oklahoma schools to the PAC because they didn’t want to give up annual games in LA.

          Now I’m not saying they wouldn’t agree to expansion I just think the extra money would have to be really good or the South schools would have to make some serious concessions to the Midwest schools.

          • vp19 says:

            ISU came close to making the Big 12 title game in 2004, a miraculous achievement in Ames. Why wouldn’t it be for expansion, especially since it’s recruited in Florida since Big Eight days?

      • acaffrey says:

        That is because they are petulant, ignorant babies. If the Big XII does not want to expand, or it is not fruitful to expand, that is tough crap for FSU fans. If they want to take their tantrum to a new level, that is their prerogative. Maybe they will convince the Big XII that FSU would be a poor addition. Once the fan base looks at the SEC’s even more superior financial position, there will be clamoring to go that route. Going from the Big XII to the SEC was a no-brainer for A&M and Missouri, and it will be for FSU too.

        The idea that Clemson wants to be as successful as South Carolina is laughable too. In the past 10 years, Clemson has 10 more wins than South Carolina. Not like the Gamecocks are winning any national championships. Clemson came a lot closer last year than South Carolina ever has.

        If money is such a big deal, perhaps FSU should see what Syracuse and Pitt can do when they have their TV revenue increase by 400%. If FSU can rationalize crap performance based on SEC schools getting a few million more right now and fret over that growing to several million, imagine what the Big East schools have had to deal with. But no… FSU fans bitch about Syracuse/Pitt sucking because they cannot win with $3M/year. It’s terrible football for them, but excuses for FSU.

        FSU’s failures have nothing to do with Florida’s money either. They have to do with FSU not doing enough with the ample talent that they brought in. If anything, the issue was poor coaching–something that had zero to do with Florida having more money. Who exactly from 2007 to 2011 was FSU deprived of at the expense of an SEC school?

        It’s all red herrings. FSU can take a few million more and go to the Big XII. It will not solve any of their problems because their problems were never about money in the first place. Those people with IQs and lives outside football running FSU will be wise to realize that in the first place. I am sure Texas already has that figured out too.

  35. metatron says:

    Really Frank? Notre Dame would pick the ACC? The also-rans of college football?

    I suppose Florida is a good enough place to retire and die in.

    • FLP_NDRox says:

      The ACC (especially as currently constituted) is a much easier league to spin to the Alums, who will be furious, than either the B1G or the BXII. That’s why the idea of ND going anywhere in the short term is <1%.

      • jcfreder says:

        Still don’t understand the ACC angle. At this point, ND isn’t moving without further major changes to the landscape. The most likely element of such upheaval would be an FSU/Clemson move to the B12, leaving the ACC as way deep in 5th place of the major football conferences. ND would favor a move to the ACC under such circumstances?

        • Jericho says:

          If you’re making the argument for the ACC angle it would be this: All things considered, some believe Notre Dame would feel most comfortable in the ACC. Not saying it will happen, but if a gun was pointed to Notre Dame’s metaphorical head, they’d choose the current ACC over any other conference. If Notre Dame felt like joining a conference was inevitable, then making a move on their terms to their preferred choice is the way to go. Basically meaning, if the ACC is the best choice, choose it now or else risk choosing between the Big 10 and Big 12 down the road.

          Notre Dame would have to believe joining a conference is inevitable and would have to prefer the ACC to anyone else to make this scenario viable.

        • cutter says:

          If Notre Dame did join a conference, I think they’d be quite content with one that would be fifth in college football. I suspect the ND leadership would feel that an undefeated or perhaps one loss Irish team that was an ACC Conference champion would in all cases be one of the four teams in a conference championship game.

          In an ACC conference with twelve members or more, ND would like play nine conference games (unless you’re the SEC, but they’ll revisit that question in 3 or 4 years, or the Big Ten, but the B10 has the scheduling agreement with the P12). Plug in the annual game with USC, drop the contest with Navy, add two more non-conference opponents and that’d be the schedule.

          Most of the teams in the new ACC would be ones that Notre Dame has played in recent years or has scheduled for the near future–Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Maryland, Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Boston College, Miami and Georgia Tech come to mind. It’s been awhile since they’ve played FSU (who may be in the Big 12 by then) and I don’t think they’ve had regular season games in recent years with Clemson, North Carolina State, Virginia or Virginia Tech.

          So let’s assume Florida State and Clemson do make the hop and a combination of Connecticut or Rutgers and Notre Dame join the ACC. What’s left?

          Boston College
          Pittsburgh
          Syracuse
          Maryland
          Virginia
          Virginia Tech
          North Carolina
          NC State
          Duke
          Wake Forest
          Georgia Tech
          Miami

          With those teams in the ACC, Notre Dame would probably feel it’s positioned itself nicely for getting into the national championship game. This is the same strategy that Texas is following by advocating keeping the Big XII at only ten teams with no conference championship game.

          So yes, it actually makes sense for Notre Dame to put itself in a position where it feels it has a better chance to go undefeated and/or win a conference championship game and thus get into a four-team playoff.

      • Mike says:

        @FLP_NDRox – What has changed for ND since 2003 when ND decided to join the B1G if the Big East collapsed after the first ACC raid?

        • FLP_NDRox says:

          @cutter

          Dropping Navy is a non-starter, so the schedule will be ACC, USC, Navy, one to rotate (personal guess is hopefully a Texas Turkey bowl, and failing that the best offer between Purdue and Michigan State) if nine conference games. So, the schedule will likely be:

          Navy
          Purdue or Michigan State
          BC
          Miami
          Syracuse
          Pitt
          2 of GT, Rutgers, or UCONN
          3 of who’s ever left in the other pod (since I don”t see a huge drive for 9 games in this group)
          Southern Cal
          Texas or whoever

          Which, for those of you scoring at home, is essentially the highlights of a Big East schedule c. 1995…and thus really lame.

          That said, it still means staying out of Texas’s orbit and has the added bonus of keeping us from being shanghai’ed by the gargantuan, secular B1G.

          @Mike

          After 1999, I have a hard time believing ND was that close to joining the B1G in ’03 completely on the downlow. It was a major issue on campus, and I can imaging the alumni were going nuts. Despite TPTB’s desire to keep things quiet, they had to know that there was no way a decision to join the Big Ten would be accepted as a fait accompli. Besides, there was a great deal of discussion how this decision could not be made at the Presidental level, but required BOT approval.

          Since the only “leak” was someone telling Mike Brey to get ready, my guess is that someone in the office assuming rather a lot, and Coach Brey, who was not at ND in ’99, assuming even more.

          • frug says:

            I could see Notre Dame having a tough time dropping Purdue unless the Boilermakers agreed to release them. That could be a major PR (and maybe even political) problem. I could see it being the same sort of problem if the school decide to drop Navy without Navy’s blessing (not that they would do that anyways).

            Also, while I don’t know about ’99 or ’03 Notre Dame did come pretty darn close to joining the Big Ten in ’10 after the Big Ten pledged not to expand past 12 (i.e. no superconferences). According to reports, they actually took a straw pool of the BoT and the younger members actually supported the move but the older/senior members still had the majority.

          • bullet says:

            Notre Dame did agree to join the Big 10 in 99. The President, AD and faculty Senate all enthusiastically approved. But then the Board of Trustees shot it down.

            I just get the feeling that their attitudes (other than the board of Trustees) have changed. Then again, it could be like several other schools with long courtships who end up in the conference they were originally attracted to.

          • bullet says:

            And Notre Dame agreeing to join in ’99 is not just “reports.” For those who don’t remember, that was all very public.

    • Eric says:

      Why not? They want in the playoff every year, but if they can’t get that, what better bowl can they get then the Orange Bowl?

  36. jcfreder says:

    The conferences can dicker over the proposed format of a 4-team playoff all they want, but even if they go to a “champion in the top 6″ model, it’ll evolve closer to a pure top 4 model after you get an unsatisfactory result. Anything that leaves out the team perceived to be #2 by the polls/BCS standings is going to be a train wreck. Even something that puts in the #5 and #6 teams over, say, an undefeated #3 or #4 is going to be problematic.

    • Robber Baron says:

      How can a team be undefeated at #3 or 4 and not be a conference champion? I’m pretty sure any undefeated independent will have access somehow written into the selection rules.

      • jcfreder says:

        I think an “undefeated independent” rule is unworkable, but if you have a rule that says a #3 or 4 independent makes it, that partially works. I say partially because it’s not clear why an 11-1 Notre Dame should make it in over an 11-1 Alabama just because Bama happened to lose a game to a conference opponent — its possible that Notre Dame’s loss could have been to Alabama yet ND would still be in.

        The history of the Bowl Alliance + BCS era has been about fixing perceived errors. I think this will continue. Even if the next plan is not a “top 4″ plan, all it will take is one year with a major flaw in the selection process to push the next plan closer to top 4. I’d be shocked if they pass a plan that could EVER leave the #2 team out, but if they do, it will be fixed eventually, because people in general won’t perceive the champion as being fully legitimate.

        • Eric says:

          I disagree. I think the opposite is actually more likely. If #4 Alabama doesn’t make, then people can say, well they should have won their conference. If #5 PAC-12 champion Oregon is left out for #4 Stanford (who didn’t win the conference) though, people will be mad.

          For independents, all you need to say is they make it while in the top 4. They aren’t penalized for not being a member of a conference, but also don’t benefit (since can’t move into the playoff ever if ranked #5 or #6).

  37. duffman says:

    Is UNC like Texas?

    Again, all this is predicated on what happens. Losing Florida State is not the same as Clemson because Clemson is a charter ACC school. The discussion here is limited to when the ACC as we know it can no longer hold a place at the grown up table. While some may view them as Ivy League Lite, they are still large state schools, and beholden to the populace in their home state for funding and BoT composition. While some on FtT view UNC as a game changer, like Texas, they are not! If basketball is 25% – 33% of football that is a very small bargaining chip when compared to the majority stake holder in football. UNC vs Duke – like the Red River Rivalry – is limited in scope when viewed in the context of the entire schedule. Look at it this way based on each decision tree available to the tarheels.

    .

    #1 The ACC exists, but as a shell of its former self

    Without football the ACC becomes a newer version of the Big East with dwindling football revenue and fan support. Stadium crowds draw between 20K and 60K with an average game drawing maybe 40K fans. Odds of getting to a championship narrows greatly along the same vein of a MWC/CUSA/BE type conference. Any remaining ACC schools with any football possibility – Miami / Georgia Tech / NCST / Virginia Tech / Maryland – are going to feel more pressure as the money they receive grows smaller and smaller.

    Given this situation IS NOT like Texas as UNC has no PUF, they are not a Top 10 football program, and they do not have another Top 10 football program at their side like Texas has Oklahoma. Texas is #1 in sports revenue according to Forbes, and Oklahoma is #10, while not a single ACC team made the Top 20! It is a death by a 1,000 cuts as the gaps between ACC football (and other sports) and schools at the grown up table widens each and every year. If you are a governor, donor, voter, taxpayer, or businessman this means lost money and jobs for schools that get left behind. Wake Forest may be doomed to a CUSA lifestyle, but that will not set well with a school used to being in a position of power. UVA may have the luxury of being a private / public state school, but UNC does not operate with that luxury.

    No politician will sit by an let this happen if they want to get re elected, and no group of non alumni voters will sit on their hands while the flagship school is reduced to second class status. Michigan may have alumni who buy the seats and the merchandise, but without the Wa Mart Wolverines buying gear, and more importantly putting eyeballs in front of the TV, the value of Michigan as a media property is greatly reduced. It may be the thing nobody wants to talk about, but no school in college sports can survive on alumni dollars and eyeballs alone. Given a fade to obscurity or survival in a new conference, UNC must move where they are no longer in control or perish by standing still.

    The next steps are possibilities, moving up the ladder for long term survival strategy

    .

    #2 The ACC exists, but it merges with the Big East

    The important thing to remember here is this merger does not mean the ACC and Big East as we knew it in 2010 before conference realignment where :

    Big East = Uconn, SU, Pitt, RU, WVU, UC, UL, USF
    ACC AD = BC, Clemson, FSU, MD, NCST, WF
    ACC CD = VT, GT, Miami, UVA, UNC, Duke

    But may look like
    @ 16 teams
    Uconn, SU, Pitt, RU, UC, UL, BC, MD
    NCST, WF, VT, GT, Miami, UVA, UNC, Duke
    @ 12 teams
    Uconn, SU, Pitt, RU, UC, BC
    MD, NCST, WF, UVA, UNC, Duke

    Not bad but certainly not setting the world on fire. Maybe seating in the 40K – 60K range for the good games. You have a solid east coast market and you may get Notre Dame as a member in everything but football. It keeps the Irish with the independence they crave, and gives the ACC some additional eyeballs, but having Notre Dame as a member in everything but football sure did not stop the destruction of the Big East as we knew it over the past decade. UNC could rule this collective, but 2 primary issues remain unresolved:

    a) UNC would step down in power from where they are in sports

    b) If NCST moved to the SEC it would be Clemson / South Carolina the sequel

    .

    #3 UNC joins the PAC

    While the probability from a logistics standpoint is near zero it does allow for a PAC 16 with 3 pods in the west, and 1 in the east. UNC + Duke + UVA + GT would all fit as an academic + sports competition add that would expand Larry Scott’s PAC to new TV sets in the east. Long term it probably creates as many problems as it solves, but I mention it as a possibility for out of the box thinking that Scott seems to embrace. UNC and UVA support baseball, and the PAC allows this to remain. If UCLA can get back to the top and stay there, it would give the PAC solid basketball presence on both coasts. Stanford and UNC are competitive in the Directors Cup and seem to mesh in desire to win this type of trophy.

    .

    #4 UNC joins the B12

    With a probability greater than a PAC move, it seems low at best as UNC would be under the thumb of Texas, and if Nebraska did not like it, chances are UNC will like it even less. If Clemson and Florida State do go to the B12, it seems hard to believe the Tarheels would follow the very schools that killed the ACC in the first place. The bigger issue is the GoR for the B12 is only 7 years or so which means Texas could still wind up in the PAC where they already tried to go in both the 1990′s and now 2010′s. In another decade or so could the longhorns still bolt for the PAC? I think the answer is quite possible, and that alone should make any school take notice before joining the B12.

    .

    #5 UNC joins the B1G

    On the surface this seems like the most probable outcome, it is not assured. Delany is a UNC grad, the academics fit, and on paper the sports fit. Before I break out the bubbly to celebrate some stumbling blocks need to be addressed before I consider it a done deal. They are real obstacles :

    a) The number 16
    People say passing 16 would be easy for the B1G, but I disagree. 12 gets you a CCG, and 16 gets you pods, but 17+ gets you diminishing returns, bigger revenue moats to cross, and makes the conference more unwieldy as a whole. The problem is to take the ACC 4 + Notre Dame the math does not work. UNC / UVA / Duke / MD / RU / GT / Miami / Notre Dame all in the B1G just does not work. If 16 is the new 12, then it is adopted by the other power conferences as well. Passing 16 would mean another expansion war with the PAC and SEC and that really does raise the specter of the government getting involved in college sports with a a regulatory agency. The base issue in 16 is that the B1G can add the ACC 4 or Notre Dame, but they can not do both.

    b) The line of supply
    Early on in this blog I suggested Kentucky as the next B1G add and was soundly trounced. Yet these same voices were suggesting Georgia Tech and Miami in the same breath. I still believe having neighbor states in the group is the best long term strategy for realignment. Adding Miami or Georgia Tech with no touching states seems like an issue of defending territory with a maxed line of supply while surrounded by enemy hostiles. Adding Maryland, then UVA, then UNC + Duke makes some sense, but adding UNC without such a supply line seems like a long term plan for failure. Just as trying to hold an island like Georgia Tech or Miami has always seemed far fetched to me, the notion of adding ACC schools like UNC + Duke without a bridge of Kentucky or Maryland seems like an invitation to disaster.

    c) The cultural fit

    It feels like Maryland and Duke would fit the B1G better, I still see UVA as Ivy League, and UNC as southern. While we discuss academics and sports here we are far too short in how the locals view THEIR state university. Duke and Miami have dictatorships in that the college president really can make a move without the approval of the governor. Put the shoe on the other foot for a moment and think how the Wal Mart Wolverines would feel if Michigan moved to the B12. Would Buckeye fans without a degree from Ohio State suddenly embrace a move to the SEC just because Gee said he wanted it? My guess is riots might start in Ann Arbor and Columbus with such news breaking to the local (mob) populace! Yet we as armchair realignment quarterbacks seem to think we know more of how the locals will react than the actual locals. This is a big part of the equation, and we keep forgetting to add it to the discussion.

    .

    #6 UNC joins the SEC

    a) The number 16
    The “white whale” discussion for every other conference is Notre Dame, but the SEC has UNC as their “white whale” and for a school used to being popular, the folks in Chapel Hill are smart enough to know this. Slive can say to UNC we are holding a space for you and another school YOU chose to finish out our realignment to 16. Adding UNC and another southern school means pods or divisions that can easily mesh with where UNC wants to be on the national level in multiple sports. If Slive lands 16 including UNC, he would have no reason to break that barrier. Planting a flag in NC with UNC + NCST or UNC + Duke would solidify the footprint without cannibalizing it.

    b) The line of supply
    UNC + Duke or UNC + NCST or UNC + UVA or UNC + VT all are a simple border expansion for the SEC. In the B1G, crossing KY/SEC, TN/SEC, or WV/B12, is necessary to reach UNC. In the SEC the Tarheels share a border with SC, GA, and TN. If the SEC added UVA with UNC, then UNC in the SEC means being totally surrounded by SEC states. UNC would not be an island state in the SEC, but an actual part of the SEC continent.

    c) The cultural fit
    Professors until they get tenure are as transient as coaches in sports, while employees are probably native born and more anchored in southern roots and culture. How many students or teachers will be at UNC in 5 or 10 years? How many native residents will still be in Chapel Hill in that same time frame? To this group the academic standing of Northwestern to Vanderbilt means little to them. Florida is equal to Ohio State in their view of academics, but they are light years apart in how they view their culture. If UNC does not wind up in the B1G this would be the counterpoint to the academic argument of the B1G. Before being quick to dismiss this, think how a B1G would react to future membership in the B12 or SEC. I am guessing the cultural crowd would drown out the academic crowd in that discussion. Is it so hard to see the folks inside of the NC borders reacting the same way?

    .

    I think UNC in the B1G is about 60% and UNC in the SEC is about 40% but I really think the tipping scale will be how UNC views the reactions to their actions over the action itself.

    If UNC goes to the B1G, and leaves the SEC to add NCST while UVA goes to the B1G, and leaves the SEC to add VT, they have opened the very real door of becoming number #2 in their home state. Like it or not the SEC at this time holds the catbird seat in football, basketball, baseball, and W basketball. Granted Pat no longer coaches the Vols, and the SEC has no power in hockey, these are the lesser of the “demand” sports. With TAMU and Missouri now in the SEC they may have the power to dominate baseball the way they have in football. UNC and UVA both have baseball programs, and neither will flourish in the B1G unless the home office and Delany push the B1G to do so. Right now the SEC and PAC have 3 schools each in the WCWS while the B1G and ACC have none. While this may not seem like much, imagine if it is the CWS in 5 years with the same numbers. All that ESPN coverage is being dominated by just 2 conferences. Perception becomes reality.

    If the ACC no longer exists NCST in the SEC means a serious threat to recruiting NC for football, basketball, and baseball. The same applies to UVA and the state of VA going to VT. This can not sit well for either of the flagship schools if they are marginalized by their “little brothers” over time. The better strategic move would be to hobble their “little brothers” now while ensuring the better long term solution. UNC and UVA in the SEC means NCST and VT wind up in the B12 which is much less stable, and much more centered on Texas and Oklahoma.

    If UNC and UVA wind up in the B1G, it means they have sent NCST and VT to the SEC. The SEC is wealthy, stable, and promotes each school to grow to add to the collective. Clemson said no to the SEC, and watched their “little brother” outstrip them in 20 years. Texas having TAMU now fully funded in a much bigger footprint has to watch the next 20 years with the possibility that they will be cannibalized by their “little brother” in the fight for TV sets in Texas.

    In short, where UNC and UVA wind up may end up being about where they want their “little brothers” to wind up when the dust settles. UNC may be Texas like, but not even close in size, wealth, and football prowess.

    • Do you have any other thoughts on this topic? :)
      From the Big Ten’s POV, I just don’t think they want to add more than 3 teams from one league. You don’t want to lose/compromise identity. That’s why I think UMD is odd man out. Unc/duke/UVA in. Also, the BIG doesn’t want to be perceived as a home wrecker. I think they let the SEC do the damage before they swoop in.
      The SEC is the Rob Lowe of conferences. Filthy handsome but a little sleazy. They can threaten the ACC and then settle for NCSt and VaTech. This will make an exodus acceptable to UNC alums.

      • Zarex says:

        The Big Ten has added a total of three teams over the past 62 years. The idea that the league would decide to add three or four schools at once is the exact opposite of how this highly successful athletic conference has behaved since its inception. It is fun to speculate regarding how the ACC will be carved up the various conferences, with the Big Ten deciding to open up an East Coast branch. But given that the recent upgraded status of the Big 12 is based on a five year bowl agreement and dependent on the continuing generosity of the SEC, the far more likely scenario is that no ACC teams make a conference change.

      • duffman says:

        I think the home wrecker thing went out the window with Nebraska. It does get back to my point tho of MD being out, when they are the bridge either way for an east coast expansion. If MD has a Phil Knight type of supporter in the Under Armor guy, seems like there is upside. Maybe I am just a fan of the RISK type strategy where you add adjoining territory as you expand.

      • PSUGuy says:

        This is a huge point that I think gets glossed over way too easily…

        There has been no conference (that I know of anyway) that has proven it can exist on a long term timeline at greater than 12 teams. I have to believe the Big Ten knows this and is not in fact studying potential expansion candidates closely, but instead is studying conferences with more than 12 teams closely.

        The SEC might be able to maintain, but a case could be made only for monetary reasons and they may very well start to lose cohesion as a conference (you already see it with Georgia and Florida publicly calling out certain other SEC teams). Does anyone see the Big Ten giving up its conference cohesion and ability to work together on all aspects of conference activities? Does the Big Ten look like it would go with an 8 game schedule and not play teams in the opposing division for half a decade at a time?

        The ACC has slowly become “Big East-y” as it has acquired…well, more of the Big East and it practically had to sell its soul to ESPN to get the payout it did (and even then the numbers weren’t that spectacular). Going to 9 games of conference play is something I think the Big Ten would be amenable to, but look at the Clemson / FSU fiasco to see the problems the Big Ten is worried about.

        Heck, even the Big12 was torn apart and it was “only” at 12 teams.

        In the end, I recognize the Big Ten is a slightly different beast due to its Grant of Rights and the Big Ten Network, but the Big Ten conference has shown itself to epitomize that ancient Greek maxim…”Know thyself” and acts accordingly in any endeavor…whether it be to take risks like putting its content on ESPN/ESPN2 or starting the BTN, or acting conservatively like waiting ~10 years to ask another school (ND), and another ~10 before actually adding one, that complements the Big Ten while still exhibiting many of the core qualities the conference members hold in highest regard.

        • bullet says:

          The Big 12 was already supposedly told by colleagues in the SEC that 14 was really difficult and that they should think twice before going beyond 12. In addition to the WAC and the continuing disaster in the Big East, the PacWest and Lone Star Conference in Division II are examples that have split with more than 12.

          • PSUGuy says:

            And while I myself have been a big proponent of 16 team conferences with a pod based alignment, the facts are those have never really been tried and the NCAA may rule against such setups…in which case you have two groups of teams that play each other slightly more often than an out of conference team.

            The Big Ten will definitely not go for that.

          • vp19 says:

            And while I myself have been a big proponent of 16 team conferences with a pod based alignment, the facts are those have never really been tried and the NCAA may rule against such setups…in which case you have two groups of teams that play each other slightly more often than an out of conference team.

            Why would the NCAA rule against pods? It didn’t have any objections to the late ’90s 16-team WAC pod format (a concept that failed because the conference was too disparate in geography and goals, not because of any inherent problem with using pods). I can see a 16-team pod conference working for the likes of the SEC, Big 12 or Big Ten, provided the members are at least semi-contiguous and occupy no more than two time zones. (Adding West Virginia to the Big 12, signifying future moves would be to the east, probably spelled the end for Brigham Young as a Big 12 candidate, even without the LDS baggage it would bring.)

          • PSUGuy says:

            When it comes to the NCAA I don’t pretend to know what they will or will not do in any way shape or form.

          • ccrider55 says:

            The NCAA objection isn’t to pods. It is the requirement that you must play EVERYONE in your HALF of a conference of 12 or more in order to be allowed to hold a CCG. This requirement messes up most plans involving pods.

          • Mack says:

            Unless the pods are rotated to create new 8 team divisions each year (no NCAA rule against that) there will be very few games across divisions. Rotating 4 pods results in games against all conference members every 3 years, CCG, and allows 1 or 2 protected games with teams that are not in that year’s division. And of course the conferences would want to keep most of the rival games within the static pods when they were created.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Meaning a CCG is an extra, 13th game. A conference could sacrifice a regular season game and hold a CCG through whatever format as long as it is in the 12 regular games allowed.

          • Brian says:

            Guys,

            The NCAA has no issue with pods or CCG. The while point of pods is to rotate them so you play more schools regularly but fewer all the time, but that has pluses and minuses.

            The issues with pods are these:

            1. Conferences worry about confusing the fans and media by rotating pods.
            2. Schools worry about having fewer regular opponents and thus fewer rivalries to attract fans.
            3. The NCAA doesn’t allow semi-finals as extra games, so the dreams of many fans to see a playoff of the 4 pod champs can’t happen unless the semi-finals are part of the last week (floating scheduling is allowed by the NCAA).

            EX. Assume the B10 adds UNC, Duke, UVA and MD to get to 16 for some reason.

            Fans:
            East = OSU, PSU, PU, IN, UNC, Duke, UVA, MD
            West = NE, WI, IA, MN, MI, MSU, NW, IL
            Locked = OSU/MI, PSU/NE, PU/IA, IN/MN, UNC/MSU, Duke/NW, UVA/WI, MD/IL

            B10:
            Minions = OSU, PSU, WI, UVA, PU, MD, IL, IN
            Myths = NE, MI, IA, MSU, UNC, NW, MN, Duke
            Locked = OSU/MI, PSU/NE, WI/MN, UVA/UNC, PU/IA, MD/Duke, IL/NW, IN/MSU

            Pods:
            East = PSU, MD, PU, IN
            South = OSU, UVA, UNC, Duke
            North = MI, MSU, NW, IL
            West = NE, WI, IA, MN
            Locked = OSU/MI, PSU/NE, MD/UVA, MSU/WI, NW/Duke, UNC/IL, PU/IA, IN/MN

            Year 1-2: E & S vs N & W
            Year 3-4: E & N vs S & W
            Year 5-6: E & W vs N & S

            Comparison (8 game schedule):
            Divisions – 7 divisions teams, 1 locked rival, never play the other 7 teams

            Pods – 3 pod teams, 1 locked rival, 4 paired pod teams (if locked rival is in pod, then 1 team from another pod). Result is 4 permanent opponents, plus twice in 6 years for 10 of the other 11 and 4 in 6 for 1 team. Perhaps the B10 indicates a secondary rival that always gets those extra games, or maybe it rotates equally.

            Comparison (9 game schedule):
            Divisions – 7 divisions teams, 1 locked rival, play other 7 equally (2 times in 14 years), go 12 years without playing other 7

            Pods – 3 pod teams, 1 locked rival, 4 paired pod teams, 1 floater. Result is 4 permanent opponents, plus twice in 6 years for 7 of the other 11 equally, plus 4 in 6 years for the other 4 (1 of these 11 will actually get 2 extra games in 18 years).

            Summary

            Pods let you play everyone a decent amount (8 games – 2/6, 9 games – 2.7/6, vs 0/6 or 2/14), but you have fewer permanent opponents (pods – 4, divisions – 8). You also have the possibility for confusion, especially with older fans.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Brian:

            Did I miss a change in rules? The pod system was explored by both the B1G and PAC and were told no CCG unless you play everyone in your half. Pods to semi to CCG would work, but would guarantee semi’s must be rematches in order to fit the rules.

            12 teams seems enough, and easier to manage.

          • Mack says:

            The biggest problem is breaking a conference into the fixed pods. Besides the LHN, pods also prevented PAC expansion. The PAC would seem to have 4 natural pods at 16: CA-4, TX/OK-4, WA/OR-4, AZ/UT/CO-4. That worked for the first two, but the last 2 pods did not want any reduction in CA games which would have to occur with pods. Even assuming ND and 3 other new schools make up 1 pod, how can the current 12 be split into 3 pods that at least 9 members would be happy with?

          • vp19 says:

            cc, it doesn’t matter what the half is, or whether it rotates year by year, as long as they face everyone in that half, that year. So, for example, if Brian’s Big Ten pods were used, the year that the pod of Maryland, Penn State, Purdue and Indiana was aligned with Michigan State, Michigan, Northwestern and Illinois, as long as all eight teams played each other, it would pass muster with the NCAA. The next year, if the Md/PSU/Purdue/IU pod were paired with Ohio State, Virginia, North Carolina and Duke, their half would all face each other, and in year three, Md/PSU/Purdue/IU would face Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin in their new “half.”

          • ccrider55 says:

            vp19:

            Exactly correct. Therefore in order to have a final CCG facing opposite half the semi’s have to be a rematch with the pod you are matched with each year. Why have a semi in that case? I can only stomach a rematch if it randomly occurs, not is scheduled.

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “Did I miss a change in rules? The pod system was explored by both the B1G and PAC and were told no CCG unless you play everyone in your half.”

            No, you didn’t miss anything. That’s exactly the rule. That locks 7 opponents in for the year, but the NCAA doesn’t care if they are the same 7 the next year.

            “Pods to semi to CCG would work, but would guarantee semi’s must be rematches in order to fit the rules.”

            Yes, which is why semi-finals under the current rules don’t make a ton of sense to me. Some people want them regardless, because they think a playoff is always better.

            What many fans want from pods, though, is semis regardless of divisions, so if Division 1 (Pod A and Pod B) was won by the Pod A champ and Division 2 (Pod C and Pod D) by the Pod C champ, then the semis would be Pod D champ at Pod A champ and Pod B champ at Pod C champ. These wouldn’t always be rematches, but the system is against the current rules.

            The other thing people want is to play 3 podmates, then 2 teams from each of the other 3 pods. That rotates you through everyone 50% of the time unless you have a locked rival, in which case you’d probably play their podmates less often (33% of the time). This would lead to semifinals that may or may not be rematches. This system is also against the current rules, however.

            “12 teams seems enough, and easier to manage.”

            No argument here. I’d say 10 is better than 12 except for the money from the CCG.

    • redsroom3 says:

      Duff,
      Excellent post… I could not agree with you more on the role of cultural fit from the perspective of local communities.

      I will push back on you regarding Delany and baseball. In the midwest, it really doesn’t get warm until mid April at best. We may get a couple of warm days here and there, but consistently warm to play baseball just does not happen. By mid April, southern schools have played at least 15 games already, we can’t compete with that. The BIG would like to get better in baseball, but it needs scheduling relief to make that happen. By that I mean, splitting the schedule up between the fall and spring, which southern schools are adamantly opposed to doing. So, that’s a fat that has been waged at the highest levels with lots of political capital exhausted… I’m not sure how the BIG remedies this situation…

      Again, great post.
      Redsroom

      • Jericho says:

        Domes? I know that’s not practical, but there’s no other way to really get around the weather issue. Unelss you wait for global warming…

      • duffman says:

        redsroom3,

        I just think that is weak considering how the B1G was good in the CWS early on. Here we have PU as a host so the B1G should have that stadium sold out considering the B1G HQ is an easy drive away, and Chicago is full of B1G alumni. Like it or not, identity comes from the top down. if Delany made an appeal to all area alumni to show up and support the Boilermakers that sends a pretty strong message on the B1G and baseball. Things grow from opportunities like this.

        Just because the climate may not favor you does not mean there is not a creative way to work around this. Especially if the possible solution gets the B1G more baseball exposure. Outdoor hockey in the snow sure seemed to draw a crowd when marketed properly! Is it so impossible to believe the B1G could come up with such a marketing aspect for baseball?

        • Anthony London says:

          Duffman,

          My weather reasoning may be weak, but it is the one thing that has consistently crippled the conference in baseball. It’s also the one thing we have no control over.

          We may get teams to the regionals, maybe even the super regional, but that’s really it. And Delany has tried on several occassions to galvanize the conference behing baseball and softball through many different ways. All have been for naught. This isn’t to say that the conference has tried everything to be successful, but we have factors working against us. Southern teams, not so much. That matters in a sport like baseball…

    • Psuhockey says:

      Great read but you forgot a few important numbers. The numbers 2, 3, 9, 10, 13 versus 20 and 23. Those are research rankings in 2009 ( most recent year I could find) by the National Science foundation. The first 5 are big ten schools (UM, UW, PSU, UMinn, OSU). The last two are the highest ranked SEC teams (TA&M and UF). UNC was ranked 19 at 646 millions dollars. They were 70 mil less than OSU and 354 mil less than Michigan, who checked in the over a billion dollars. Walmart fans won’t be spending that much money on Tshirts. As far as locals go, that money represents jobs which is way more important than playing a neighboring state in football. High ranking faculty and students will be flooding into Chapel Hill, and staying, to get a piece of the action. Tax revenues will go up as will the number of businesses in the area, pleasing the politicians. Raleigh Durham and Chapel Hill is nicknamed the research triangle because of the money spent on R&D by UNC and Duke (ranked 7) and even NCState (47) and the businesses that have moved in to get a piece of it. A large population of that area is from North because of the jobs already there. Partnering with the BIG schools and being a member of the CIC will grow UNCs research department, as it did Penn States. How much is debatable.

      Having lived in Texas and Raleigh, I noticed that there is a difference in fans and locals. In Texas, football is a religion with College and High School being even more important than Professional. That is the source of value in the minds of boosters. That is why TA&M could make the switch, even though it is debatable that the Big12 is better academically than the SEC. North Carolina is a basketball driven culture. They barely care about football. With that I’m ind, fans are going to really care whether it is the BIG or SEC, because in their mind, both are inferior in basketball. Their best solution is to keep the ACC together. Since they might not be possible, I don’t see the fans making to big of a stink about either move.

      • duffman says:

        [i]With that I’m ind, fans are going to really care whether it is the BIG or SEC, because in their mind, both are inferior in basketball.[/i]

        PAC = 15 titles
        ACC = 12 titles
        SEC = 11 titles
        B1G = 10 titles

        It is in their mind because the B1G does not appear inferior!

        Especially in attendance numbers from this past season :

        #1 B1G = 12,868 average per game, up from last year by 42
        #2 SEC = 11,513 average per game, up from last year by 325
        #3 B12 = 11,057 average per game, up from last year by 341
        #4 BigE = 10,881 average per game, down from last year – 442
        #5 ACC = 9,876 average per game, down from last year – 390
        #6 MWC = 7,800 average per game, down from last year – 1,322
        #7 PAC = 7,143 average per game, down from last year – 665

      • mnfanstc says:

        I’m with you PSUhockey… (looking forward to future hockey match-ups!)I’ve seen here and other places talking about HUGE money… They’re talking about the athletic stuff—the academics money is WAY more important, and WAY BIGGER in the big picture…

        Some comparison numbers:

        B12
        Texas–athletic revenue $150.295 MILLION–endowment $17.1 BILLION (system-wide)
        Oklahoma–athetics rev $104.338 Million–endowment $1.2 Billion
        Kansas–athletics rev $70.028 Million–endowment $1.3 Billion (system-wide)

        ACC
        North Carolina–athletic rev $75.606 Million–endowment $1.979 Billion
        Florida State–athletic rev $78.575 Million–endowment $452 Million
        Clemson–athletic rev $61.174 Million–endowment $382 Million
        Va Tech–athletic rev $66.909 Million–endowment $600 Million
        Virginia–athletic rev $78.429 Million–endowment $3.906 Billion

        SEC
        Texas A&M–athletic rev $74.944 Million–endowment $7 Billion
        Mizzou–athletic rev $59 Million –endowment $1.1 Billion (system-wide)
        Florida–athletic rev $123 Million –endowment $1.295 Billion
        Alabama–athletic rev $123.9 Million –endowment $995 Million
        Kentucky–athletic rev $84.878 Million –endowment $915 Million

        B1G
        Ohio State–athletic rev $131.815 Million–endowment $2.12 Billion
        Northwestern–athletic rev $56.2 Million –endowment $7.18 Billion
        Wisconsin–athletic rev $93.594 Million –endowment $1.872 Billion
        Iowa — athletic rev $92.903 Million –endowment $1.04 Billion
        Minnesota–athletic rev $78.924 Million –endowment $2.503 Billion

        I find it very interesting that some schools are discussed as “powers”, when others clearly have more $$$ on the table. I think that there might be those that think some schools wield more power based on athletics–I’d be willing to bet that behind closed doors it might be the schools bringing more to the table over-all that carry more weight…

        There’s reason that the Texas, OSU, and Michigan carry a lot of weight (both on and off the field)—but, the Northwestern’s, Wisconsin’s, Tx A&M’s and Minnesota’s certainly cannot be ignored when it comes to high-level decision-making.

        Without the 1990′s football success, FSU is small-time… without it’s basketball success, North Carolina would be it’s brother (NC St), with a little more cash.

        Much of this re-alignment talk is speculative, and based on opinions. The average Wal-Mart fan provides little to the university–other than smack-talk. Schools will be successful based on how they take care of the students, alumni, and industry/businesses that provide them money. Success on the football field, basketball court buys only temporary prestige…
        Success in the academic/industrial/business realm is lasting—providing much more than just a little prestige…

        • rich2 says:

          mnfanstc, completely agree — this is why I cannot believe the extent to which some universities will go to gain an extra 5 million a year annually. The problem is: there are so many poor institutions, in terms of finances and vision, found in the big four conferences that they are a millstone around the necks of college football. The mantra is always “don’t leave money on the table, provide what the state politicians want and what the mass market demands.” I could not imagine a scarier scenario for any school with any sense of being an “academic institution” and not a performer in an entertainment and sports channel.

        • Kevin says:

          I think the Texas and Texas A&M Endowments need a caveat since it is not a true apples to apples comparison. You’ll need to peel away the PUF (permanent university fund) from the total. It’s basically legacy oil royalty money that was used to establish this PUF. Both Texas and Texas A&M receive a much smaller state funding component as a result and in lieu of endowment income.

          Wisconsin’s total endowment is closer to $4 billion.

        • duffman says:

          I think Vanderbilt has the #2 endowment in the SEC at around 3.5 billion

  38. Brian #2 says:

    Florida’s Bernie Machen with some direct comments on the playoff set-up and a little jab at the Big Ten:

    ——————————–

    “We’re going to do a playoff, a four-team playoff, with the top four teams, and the semifinals in the bowl system and the championship (game) bid out,” Machen, chairman of the Southeastern Conference board of directors, said after he emerged Thursday evening from a meeting of the SEC’s presidents and chancellors. “I think we’re all together on that.”

    Asked if he meant the SEC or the major collegiate conferences, Machen smiled and said, “I think they’re all coming around. We’re pretty in sync with the Big 12 right now, and I think they’ve come out in that way.

    “The group that’s got to get real, the Big Ten’s got to realize that the world is going in a different direction.”

    The SEC, which has produced the last six football national champions and had two of its teams in last season’s national title game, is adamant that the playoff consist of the top four teams.

    “We won’t compromise on that,” said Machen, a Webster Groves native.

    And when the SEC formally declares a public stance on the matter at the conclusion of its spring meetings today, it also apparently will have a black-and-white take on the notion that the plus-one model would be an acceptable form of playoff.

    Under that format, the two teams to play in the national title game would be selected after the bowl games are played.

    “It will get no traction with us,” said Machen, later adding, “I don’t see how the plus-one would work.”

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/college/mizzou/florida-s-machen-says-playoff-foundation-is-set/article_e310749c-4e69-55e5-aaf6-8492bf5efd78.html

    • Wow, talk about inflammatory language ! The SEC folks better lay off the strong arm tactics…

      • zeek says:

        It’s bluster; you’d expect no less.

        I think everyone knows that neither side is going to get everything they want. The SEC coaches and presidents have been positioning themselves the past week.

      • Psuhockey says:

        I don’t think you want to piss of Jim Delaney. The SEC can squawk all they want, but they know that the BIG and PAC have the coasts and the ACC will side with them and not the Big12 /SEC behemoth.

    • Eric says:

      The Big Ten/PAC-12 lost out on the home bowls. I don’t they just going to give in on this and let the SEC win all the arguments, particularly since they’ll probably have the support of every other conference out there. A compromise still seems like the most likely outcome.

      • frug says:

        particularly since they’ll probably have the support of every other conference out there

        Yesterday the Big XII endorsed the SEC’s Top 4 model. That said, the Big 10, PAC, ACC and BEast have all endorsed a system that gives (at least) “consideration” to conference champs. I think either a 3 champs and a wildcard or conference champs in the top 6 with wildcard replacements are ultimately what will happen.

        • Eric says:

          You’re right. I was thinking Big 12/SEC there, but never actually meaning the Big 12 (embarrassed face icon).

    • http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/19228863/rightfully-so-sec-commish-slive-wants-best-four-teams-in-playoff

      1,2,3,4 says Slive. 1,2,3,4 says Slive.

      Because the higher ranked team in the final poll is always better.

      That’s why #4 Alabama smoked #6 Utah in 2008.
      And why #3 Cincinnati smoked #5 Florida in 2009.
      And why #8 Michigan State smoked #16 Alabama in 2010.
      And why #1 Ohio State was back-to-back national champs in 2006 and 2007.

      No, wait. I have that wrong. The top seeds lost 31-17, 51-24, and 49-7. OSU lost by a combined score of 79-38.

      They sound so high and mighty…1,2,3,4…but what is a poll?

  39. I HIGHLY recommend the latest Solid Verbal podcast with Brett McMurphy as a guest. McMurphy goes through a whole host of issues, including the process he uses to sort out rumors from what he actually reports, the status of the Big 12 and the winners and losers of conference realignment over the past couple of years. Fascinating insight all around:

    http://www.solidverbal.com/2012/05/31/brett-mcmurphy-531/

    • bullet says:

      So Delany is reading your blog and throwing out your ideas as a negotiating point? (Delany bringing up conference champs in top 6 as a proposal when NOONE had ever talked about it).

      • duffman says:

        @ Frank,

        How about you interviewing Brett McMurphy for FtT? Possibly getting a collection of media folks across the country in a round table. Maybe 1 guy representing each of the 5 or 6 conferences and just let it roll.

        • @duffman – That’s certainly something I’ve been thinking about. I actually had a Q&A lined up with a prominent reporter but some extenuating circumstances caused it to fall through.

      • @bullet – It would be fun to take credit for that, but I’m sure he’s got a team dedicated to creating all permutations!

        I pretty much believe all of the power conference commissioners are posturing right now. They’re setting up polarizing positions that I don’t think they’re that wedded to, so it will look like they’ve given ground when the compromises come around. For instance, the Big Ten was the conference that first brought up the on-campus semifinal proposal. Personally, I never bought that Delany and the Big Ten really cared for that proposal that much. I think what they’ve ultimately wanted from the get go were to have the semifinals that would protect (or even elevate) the Rose Bowl as much as possible, which is what the most discussed proposal of slotting the semifinals according to bowl tie-ins would do. If the Big Ten had started with that “flex” bowl semifinal proposal, they would have been accused of simply throwing things out there just to protect the Rose Bowl again. However, Delany knew that the on-campus semifinal proposal would be viewed as progressive by the media and fans but also have virtually no chance of passing with the other power conferences. So, the Big Ten put an initial stake in the ground saying that they wanted on-campus semifinals and then would “compromise” on a solution that would end up helping the Rose Bowl more than any other playoff proposal out there (which is what they truly wanted, anyway).

    • Love the Solid Verbal. Must listen for CFB enthusiasts.

  40. ccrider55 says:

    Kent State/Kentucky are in the 20th.
    Can they move the Perdue/Valpo game to a nearby field?

    • ccrider55 says:

      Kent State in 21. Pitching try outs following the second game…

      • duffman says:

        The game took so long, Purdue started playing Ohio State in football! :)

        Seriously, I was waiting on the BTN as the only one covering the Purdue game, and the first game went so long they literally played the whole Purdue vs Ohio State football game first! Midnight baseball in the B1G! Literally this will be the last game of the night, even beating the end time of the late games on the west coast. It is cold in Gary at midnight!

  41. joe4psu says:

    I have said before that I believe in 10 school conferences. Here’s a scenario.

    4 By 20
    http://wellnotwiththatattitude.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/4-by-20/

    • zeek says:

      It looks nice, but what’s the point? We’ve basically already moved way beyond that in the consolidation phase, and it doesn’t seem possible to go in reverse when we’re talking about the Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC, etc. (grants of rights and conference-networks are going to tie everyone down further).

    • The power is in the conferences. Before I could ever seriously respond to something like this, I’d need to know what “big bang” would happen in the NCAA to bring this about. Gov’t regulation? Exploding travel costs so schools go back to buses? I mean, seriously, I don’t know why the conferences would fall apart.

      If you wanted to speculate on the Big Ten somehow expanding to 20 teams (and maybe the SEC as well…and maybe the Pac-12), I’d engage in that hypothesis. My “Big Ten Network takeover” blog expresses my opinion that the Big Ten could become a major cable TV player if it can annex the right properties. I write about 16 teams…but 20 or 24 (if the entire “conference paradigm” changes) isn’t preposterous for a TV entity (SEC, Pac-12, and Big Ten are the only ones who could consider this).

      • joe4psu says:

        I’d like to keep the conversation of this on the other blog. I’m sure it sounds even crazier to most folks here than it does to me so I doubt many will want the discussion here. My stream of consciousness blogging and feedback are how I’d like to process this all and that is best done elsewhere.

      • wmtiger says:

        That is kinda what the Pac 12 Network & BTN might’ve had hopes for in their alliance… Together, they likely could package their networks (whether as a single entity or individually) for higher carriage rates in non B10/Pac 12 states…

  42. joe4psu says:

    The point is that change is inevitable. The growth of conferences will eventually lead to wanting to simplify things again with smaller divisions. The logical progression has us headed to 16 school conferences and eventually that will lead to 20 school conferences. There will be divisions within 20 school conferences or simply smaller conferences. Not something I expect soon. But I do believe it will happen.

  43. greg says:

    http://www.mrsec.com/2012/06/slive-speaks-football-rivalries-saved-basketball-rivalries-dumped/

    Don’t think this has been posted. SEC payouts are $20.1M per school. B10 at $24.6M.

    They’ve settled on a 6-1-1 football schedule, retaining cross-division rivalries. But it also means they will host the other division once per 12 years. Yikes.

    Basketball goes with some 1-4-8 plan, but who cares about basketball.

    The final opinion of the writer, unfortunately his opinion of the outcome of expansion is the same as many others, that expansion is ruining tradition for the almighty dollar. Hopefully the B10 takes note.

    —-

    In all — and this is solely the view of this MrSEC.com writer — the league’s dismal failure on the scheduling front makes the SEC’s current television negotiations all the more important. If Slive can milk a helluva lot more money out of CBS, ESPN, or both, fine. Money is money. But if he cannot, then there’s no debating that this round of expansion will have been a step backward for the Southeastern Conference in terms of finances and tradition.

    In 1992, the SEC acted boldly. It expanded, it added conference games in football, it created a first-of-its-kind football championship game. The long-term good of the league outweighed the wishes of the fearful, the timid and the meek. The result has been near unparalleled success in the major sports (and at the bank) ever since.

    But as Destin neared 20 years later, we began to have our own fears. Largely, we worried that the overly-cautious in today’s SEC would be given more power through Slive’s consensus-building style.

    With the SEC Meetings now history, it appears that fear has been realized. That’s disappointing.

    The SEC has been built on tradition and today some of if its greatest and oldest traditions were devalued. Now the success of the league’s most recent additions must be judged solely on the value of the SEC’s re-worked television deals.

    Money over tradition. Gee. Who’d have seen that coming?

    • zeek says:

      That’s a lot of tough talk from him, but I think we’ve all come to respect his opinion on SEC matters over the past couple of years.

      That’s definitely something to worry about when considering the Big Ten looking at adding an extra 2 teams. Getting it right in terms of scheduling and keeping as many rivalries as possible (within those constraints) has to be a key factor.

      • psuhockey says:

        Scheduling is huge. I don’t think the BIG will expand to 14 because of it. 16 teams with 4 pods makes scheduling easier with everybody playing each other at least twice every 6 years. I think if there is future BIG expansion, it will be to 16 right away instead of just 2 teams.

        • prophetstruth says:

          If the B1G expands to 14 teams, maybe they go to ten conference games and the scheduling would be similar to what we have now. Not reading too much into this, but Tom Osborne did have this to say regarding renewing the rivalry with Oklahoma:

          Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne said Thursday that the home-and-home proposal remains a possibility.
          “Until we know what the Big Ten Conference scheduling requirements are going to be going forward — whether it’s the current eight league games, nine or 10 — it’s a little hard to make a firm schedule down the road,” Osborne said.
          “I’d say within the next two or three years we’ll have a pretty good idea. We’ll certainly try to do it if we can.”

          http://my.journalstar.com/post/Husker_Extra_Group/Husker_Extra/blog/renewal_of_ounu_still_on_table.html

          • John O says:

            Osborn’s reference to potential 10 game “conference scheduling requirements” could include the one yearly game with a PAC-12 school from 2017 on, making for 5 home / 5 road ‘conference’ games for each PAC12/B1G school per year.

    • bullet says:

      Basketball does matter to some schools.

      I’m astounded that UK and Tennessee will only be playing once two out of 3 years. UK at Knoxville was Kentucky’s toughest game for decades. It became a myth that UK wouldn’t make the final 4 unless they won in Knoxville (it was that infrequent). UK’s every year opponent is Florida, probably selected for two reasons: UF,S.Carolina and UGA didn’t want Vanderbilt and TV wanted UK/Florida.

      In McMurphy’s piece that Frank linked, he mentioned that the ACC and SEC were both unhappy with the difficulties in scheduling that 14 presented.

      While Slive may covet 2 of VT/UVA/UNC, I’m not so sure he would have the votes right now to go to 16. There is no certainty the ACC falls apart if FSU and Clemson go to the Big 12.

      • greg says:

        I think even if FSU/Clemson make the move to the B12, there won’t be additional moves. ACC/SEC both have expressed some regret for 14, and B12 insiders have mentioned that SEC insiders have warned them about 14.

        What does 14 get you? A little more money, a lot less cohesion and a lot of problems. What does the SEC get if they go to 16? Even if the SEC lands UNC/VT, they get… more money? At 16, they’d be playing 50% of the conference per year. So even if some crazy pod scheme is used, you can’t get around the mathematical fact that you just don’t play teams often. In basketball, you can play every team in the conference once, and a few other games.

        I hope B10 stays at 12. I’m pretty confident in that outcome.

        • Brian #2 says:

          Who in the SEC or ACC has publicly expressed regret over going to 15?

          The only point I remember on this is the vague Chuck Neinas quote, and he clearly has a credibility problem.

      • zeek says:

        TV definitely wanted UK/Florida and so that decision doesn’t surprise me. That’s by far the biggest national matchup of SEC basketball programs.

        It’s the equivalent of Florida/LSU for football in terms of mega $ matchup (yeah Alabama-Florida would be bigger but tradition overrides that since you have to keep Alabama-Tenn).

        Keeping both of those guaranteed annually was probably a big deal for TV purposes, so it’s not a surprise that the basketball setup was chosen like that.

        For UK though, now they’re not going to be playing Indiana either, that sort of takes away a bit from the schedule to not have more rivals protected for home-home.

  44. Pablo says:

    Frank,
    Great write-up. As a UVA grad who has loved ACC sports for over 40 years, it would be a shame if some if some of these rivalries come to an end…especially Clemson.

    IMHO the ACC has lost some of its cultural identity because of its rapid expansion and now needs build cohesion. Your geographic realignment makes sense…this would help FSU/Clemson/GTech build a more football-first mindset. The move to a 9 game Conference schedule will also help.

    One action that most ACC schools can take is to improve OOC scheduling and/or rivalries…FSU/Clemson/GTech/WF have been willing to do this with SEC schools. VT v TN, UVA v Ole Miss, UNC v AL, NCSt v Aub, Pitt v PSU, MD v WV can help promote a football-first approach.

    Another action is to build more non-football cohesion on issues that matter to at risk schools. The Ivy League (academic recruitment), B1G (research), PAC (Director’s Cup) do it in different ways. It’s hard to know where the match occurs, but FSU/Clemson’s President or AD…as well as Swofford…need to make this clear. Then other ACC schools need to follow.

    It’s still difficult to believe that Clemson will leave. FSU is the key.

    • bullet says:

      Listening to the Clemson officials talk, I’m convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Clemson is ready to leave if FSU does. Not so certain they leave w/o FSU. And while probable, I’m not certain the Big 12 invites them w/o FSU.

      FSU isn’t as clear. I now suspect the Chairman’s comments were due to the President refusing to focus on the issue. From the President’s e-mail, its obvious he really didn’t know what he was talking about and hadn’t spent much time on it.

      Frank’s problem is that he is not thinking like a university president. University president’s have to listen to the accountants. And if the revenue gap is a big as some believe, there is nothing the ACC can do.

      • bullet says:

        As a Big 12 fan, I would gladly take Nebraska back and forget ACC schools. But that’s not going to happen.

        • zeek says:

          I don’t think there would be a strong enough group to support Clemson/Louisville if that’s the backup plan.

          I mean, it’s one thing to be getting FSU. Plus, that makes it easy to have a division headed up by Texas/OU and another by FSU/Clemson/WVU. Clemson/WVU just doesn’t provide enough strength for a division to rely on…, I think FSU is the key to Big 12 going back to 12 at this time.

          • Eric says:

            I don’t think there would be enough support in either direction. Without Florida State (or Notre Dame non-football), the Big 12 I think is unlikely to expand at all. Without Florida State leaving, I doubt Clemson is willing to go to a conference that far away.

          • wmtiger says:

            I think the Big XII decided to stay at 10 members as Texas and its minions decided so. They are the new Big Two, Little Eight conference. Some argue the LHN overpaid but I’d argue that the Longhorns are grossly underpaid in terms of their other media deal; their 9 conference games are worth near as much as the other 30+ Big XII televised games.

          • frug says:

            their 9 conference games are worth near as much as the other 30+ Big XII televised games.

            Maybe if you exclude Oklahoma, but there is no way Texas alone is worth anything close to 9 OU games (though one is against Texas) as well as games featuring OSU, KSU, TCU and WVU all of whom have put together sold programs and can draw national interest with the right matchups.

          • ccrider55 says:

            wmtiger:
            LHN isn’t paying for 9 UT conference games. It is supposedly for one nonconference game not selected as tier one or two. That would mean either Wyoming or New Mexico next season. Which is ESPN backing up the Brinks truck for?

          • bullet says:

            I think what we are seeing is that the brands are what dominate the value of the TV contracts. I saw one estimate that Texas was roughly $85 million of the $200 million TV deal. Take out Texas and OU and there’s not much value left. The same could be said for the Pac 12 less USC and UCLA or the Big 10 less Michigan, Ohio St., Penn St. and Nebraska. Wisconsin and Iowa are nice, but are support players. Kind of like the Bulls without Rose.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Bullet:

            I agree, although I’d assign a higher value to the other members through their association. OU and UT have to play somebody. They seem to feel so also, or they’d be independent. (I guess they could just play each other over and over to maximize their brands and not have to share with the peasants. How exciting that would be )

        • Pablo says:

          Nebraska is an OK comparison to Clemson’s choice…long rivalries and better fit with Big XII. But Nebraska had real worries (conference stability) and a real solution (B1G cohesion). The geographic and cultural isolation of Clemson in the Big XII contrasted by the fact that Clemson is at the center of the ACC.

          IMO Clemson is frustrated with ACC ambivalence towards football. Not admitting West Virginia, while adding Syracuse (prvt northeastern), is tough to accept. They play a couple of SEC schools, while a lot of other southern schools in the ACC shy away. A concerted effort by the ACC to build more rivalries with the SEC will help address Clemson’s concerns.

          Jumping to the Big XII when there are less radical solutions doesn’t make sense.

        • wmtiger says:

          ESPN is overpaying for the LHN to keep the Big XII together.

          ESPN would’ve lost a ton of money if the Longhorns would’ve left for the Pac 16 or B10. ESPN overpays for the LHN but that was a wise investment just to keep the Big XII from falling apart as I’d bet they project they’ll do very well in their tier 2 deal with the Big XII.

    • rich2 says:

      Pablo, welcome aboard. I have admired UVA’s academic planning for almost 30 years. Do you believe that the core “academic” institutions (e.g., UVA, UNC, Duke and WFU — and others) in the ACC will be more likely to join a “Super Conference” for sports to which it shares little institutionally or accept a cobbled together and re-formatted ACC that might be at a disadvantage competing for Tier 3 football rights and Final Four playoff access in football. Of course, everyone wants both and smart, innovative people view it as a challenge to “square the circle” –still
      if my dichotomy prevails, which option would you urge your leaders to
      pursue?

      • Pablo says:

        So long as there is a sufficient number remaining…a cobbled ACC would be the preference. The Big East survives with a very reactionary approach. The ACC of the 70s and 80s was not great…but had a few surprisingly good teams.

      • vp19 says:

        Rich, why do you include Wake Forest (a fine private institution, but not AAU) in your list of ACC “academics,” but omit Maryland, which has been AAU since 1969?

        • SammyDavisEyes says:

          Because NOBODY considers Maryland to be an elite academic institution on the level of Wake Forest, dude. Sure. Nebraska, for Pete’s sake, was an AAU member until just recently. If AAU membership equals elite academic institution, then are we calling Arizona, Florida, SUNY-Buffalo, Kansas, Missouri and Texas A&M public Ivies? Hardly.

          Is Maryland a nice school? Youbetcha. More academically focused than FSU or Clemson? Unquestionably. Deserving of AAU membership? Most certainly. Qualified to carry Wake’s jock strap academically? Not in a million years.

  45. Eric says:

    I know Florida State is a powerful brand, but I really can see why the Big 12 would say no for similar reasons the PAC-12 said no to Oklahoma. Both were great schools, but they were far away and would have led to a lot of arguing about alignment. Right now, everyone plays everyone in the Big 12 in football and a double round robin in basketball. There is no inherent advantage anyone has and the 10 team format allows a) the pot to be divided fewer ways and b) everyone to have a better shot at the title over the years (realistically even if all are good, it’s unlikely in the Big Ten now that Nebraska, Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State all win a title over a decade, that’s a big switch I don’t we in Big Ten country really appreciate yet). They are also secure for the duration of the contract thanks to the grant of rights.

    The advantages Florida State would bring would be to make the Big 12 a little bigger national player and a little more money. The money increase may not be all that substantial though and a conference which just survived near death might not be looking for a set-up that would have more fracture points (Florida State and Clemson would strongly consider a move to the SEC if offered and Florida State would be a lot more likely to get one than West Virgina).

    At the same time, Texas and Oklahoma probably see their chance to make it to the national title easier now and the Kansas, Oklahoma State’s, TCU’s, etc probably can count on conference titles (at least a share) most decades, while the same is much harder with a CCG and an extra national power.

    • Eric says:

      Writing that reminded me why I didn’t want Big Ten expansion either. I love Nebraska in, but I still miss the old set-up.

    • wmtiger says:

      FSU < WVU? Once they get to 11, 12 pays for itself via a CCG but Texas doesn't want any competition in the Big XII. They want to have its minions that they can control and beat up on and expand their brand.

      • wmtiger says:

        Same conference added TCU, a tiny private school.

        Not sure how a conference can add WVU & TCU but turn down FSU. Its like choosing a Kia or a VW over a Porsche.

        • Jake says:

          I hope you meant WVU was the Kia.

        • Eric says:

          It seems weird, but it’s the same thing that happened with the PAC-10. They ended up with Colorado and Utah and then turned down Oklahoma. Actually I think the difference between West Virginia/TCU and Florida State is probably less than that gap.

          • wmtiger says:

            It’s harder and harder to get value from schools, the more you add; which is why i don’t see its likely any of the 4 power conferences go to 16 teams. Adding 11 & 12 is getting 3 for the price of 2 as you land a CCG. Adding 13 & 14, you need them a king or a couple princes to get value…

            FSU is one of those programs you can’t pass up, yet it looks like the Big XII will because Texas likes being the only bully on the block. Big XII just signed a lucrative tier 2 deal and should get a nice raise with their tier 1 deal coming up soon; tier 1 for the Big XII is almost all Texas or Oklahoma games so FSU wouldn’t impact that a great deal…

            Passing on FSU now won’t hurt them but when it comes time to sign their next contract; imo they’ll be miles behind the Pac 12, B10 and SEC.

      • Eric says:

        No Florida State is certainly greater than West Virginia, but 10 might be a lot better than 12 and they can’t uninite West Virginia now. Pays for itself not the issue. Neither is this just a Texas thing.

        If everyone else wants to go to 12, Texas cannot stop them. The statements we’ve heard against expansion in recent months though haven’t just been out of Austin, they’ve been from the commissioner and from athletic departments as removed from Texas as Iowa State. 10 is a more stable formation (no scheduling or divisional issues, fewer teams in their 2nd choice conference, more opportunities for smaller powers to rise up). A few extra million dollars might not be worth breaking that up. If the PAC-12 could decide Oklahoma/Oklahoma State weren’t worth it, it’s more than possible the Big 12 could decide the same with Florida State.

        • bullet says:

          Its possible, but I think they have already unanimously decided to invite FSU/Clemson if they are interested. There have been enough leaks. FSU is just too big a brand to pass up, especially for the long run. There are a lot of small states in the Big 12. FSU creates divisional issues, but creates much more strength in the conference.

          I think we are just in the deny, deny, deny, avoid litigation mode until the playoff format is decided and FSU committs one way or the other.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Have tv deals been signed, or just worked out? UT could still veto by saying 10 or we’re gone. That’s the thing about the B12. They do have a King in a nearly literal sense. Are you really suggesting Ames and Lawrence etc would really try to strong-arm the reason they are still in a relevant conference?

          • vp19 says:

            cc, were Texas to pull that stunt and leave, it would be a major public relations disaster for UT. I don’t think people in Austin would dare try it; there’s only so much a bully can pull off.

          • frug says:

            Unless the Big XII has been misrepresenting what actually happened and the GoR doesn’t go into effect until the beginning of the league year (July 1), then Texas is stuck for (at least) 6 years, so that isn’t a huge issue.

            (Of course if the GoR doesn’t go into effect until July 1 then I wouldn’t be shocked if Larry Scott made a last ditch effort to grab some Big XII schools)

          • frug says:

            One other thing to consider is that UT needs the Big XII to survive since no other power conference would take on the LHN which the BoT has made clear is there biggest priority (it’s why they refused to Bill Powers unilateral authority to determine conference alignment even though the presidents at OU, OSU, A&M, Mizzou and WVU had been granted such power)

  46. B1G Jeff says:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/stewart_mandel/06/01/three-and-one-playoff-model/index.html?eref=sihp&sct=hp_wr_a4

    This is silly, if not sad.

    I can’t help but get the feeling that our friends in the SEC and Big XII desperately (and for different reasons – one for ego, one for relevance, both for arrogance) feel the need to demonstrate that they are the mental equivalents of the so-called intellects of the big, bad B1G and PAC via an ability to dominate (not just win) at the negotiating table.

    Really, who negotiates by publicly painting themselves into a corner from which there’s no escape? This isn’t posturing. Who cares if the SEC took a unanimous vote? Who care if they claim they won’t compromise? Should they choose to not sign off on the 3 champs/1 at-large obvious compromise, then Plus 1 it will be, or perhaps a lose-lose with all this money left on the table would be more to their liking?. Geez, this shines a new light on thinking like a University President. This is more University Presidents thinking like Dumb Jocks. What a perfect mesh of Texas’ nonsense with an equally self-absorbed group.

    First off, what other American sport does this “only the four best” thing? Not the NFL, MLB, NBA or NHL. Exactly how is this All-American? Just because it suits what you perceive to be in your short-term self-interest? This is starting to resemble the nonsense found in our politics. Absolutely no regard for the greater good or the potential win-win. Wake me when it’s over. Ignorance bores me.

    • Great Lake State says:

      I couldn’t agree more. The B1G has allowed the process to play out in a private, dignified manner whereas those blowhards Dodds, Saban and Machen have only set themselves up for a fall if it doesn’t go their way.

    • prophetstruth says:

      I agree 100%! I was thinking, as I read the article in the St. Louis paper, the exact same thing. Why is the President of Florida continually campaigning his league into a corner? I thought I was reading the comments of Coach Saban and not those of a University President. It truly is sickening.

      “The group that’s got to get real, the Big Ten’s got to realize that the world is going in a different direction.”
      Specifically, Machen was referring to one of the dividing lines on the movement: Should any form of playoff be made up of the top four teams, however they are determined, or strictly of league champions?
      The SEC, which has produced the last six football national champions and had two of its teams in last season’s national title game, is adamant that the playoff consist of the top four teams.
      “We won’t compromise on that,” said Machen, a Webster Groves native.

      Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/college/mizzou/florida-s-machen-says-playoff-foundation-is-set/article_e310749c-4e69-55e5-aaf6-8492bf5efd78.html#ixzz1wgh6QYAZ

      • texmex says:

        Not sure why people get so worked up over public comments that will have very little to do with what gets discussed behind closed doors. Many of the conferences just wrapped up their meetings which is why you are hearing some press about this and the Big 10 will be no different. I think we’ll end up with something what the Chicago Tribune article discussed. The conferences are far enough into this thing that a single conference doesn’t want to be the one that prevents this from happening.

        Having said this, regardless if a conference champs model is selected or not, you still need a selection method of determining the best conference champions or best overall. The notion that a conference champs model is more about proving it on the field doesn’t make sense it’s still very subjective of which conference champs go. Which is why the most important discussion that takes place will be the how the teams are selected – selection committee or ranking system

        • ccrider55 says:

          But at least you are eliminating some (non champs) from consideration.

          • frug says:

            Yeah, that is what people keep forgetting. If limit yourself to conference champs only you are picking from 10 teams (the WAC will fold soon) instead of 125+ (number of FBS teams in 2015). It is far simpler to pick the four best teams from a 10 team pool than a 125 team pool.

    • Brian #2 says:

      The SEC has won six consecutive national championships.

      If the Big Ten can’t see the SEC’s power in this negotiation, then that is a bigger indictment than anything that the former’s viewpoint is out of touch.

      The SEC’s participation decides whether a playoff has legitimacy.

      • vp19 says:

        The SEC may have the power, but act too much like a Texas-style bully and it can backfire in the court of public opinion. If the SEC doesn’t wish to participate in a playoff, the loss is theirs.

      • Great Lake State says:

        If you think Slive’s opinion carries one ounce more weight than Delany’s in this process your wearing crimson colored glasses. As it stands now its Slive and the outgoing Big 12 interim commissioner against everyone else. The 3/1 proposal is coming.

      • metatron says:

        No, the fans decide legitimacy.

        We’re in this mess because a bunch of people take issue with the SEC’s legitimacy as it is now.

      • Psuhockey says:

        The SEC’s power? The one thing that the changing college football landscape has proven is that eyeballs are the real power. The BIG has them and in more populous areas than the SEC. The SEC is regionalized in the poorest area of the country. Without their propaganda arm in ESPN, the SEC would be only relevant in the South. The BIG/PAC alliance controls the coasts where the most people reside and the most money is located. That is power and the SEC coaches and kicking and screaming like a frustrated toddler cause they know it.

      • PSUGuy says:

        When the SEC stops over-signing (or the rest of college football really starts) I’ll take those NC’s a little more seriously.

        Its like being amazed a guy who gets 4 cards off the deal in Texas Hold’em wins more often than those getting the standard two. Its a matter of probability, not necessarily skill.

      • mnfanstc says:

        They all need to pull their heads out of the sand— In division 1A there NEVER has been a national champion… North Dakota State is a national champion (div 1AA), New York Giants are NFL champions… Until it’s played out on the field in a multi-team playoff, no one can ever call themselves “champion”. Since the beginning of div 1A college football, “champions” have been “named” or “awarded”–only recently, TPTB created the BCS so they now can call themselves BCS “champions”—This; of course, is still based entirely on perception (i.e. Alabama would beat Boise State, my daddy would beat up your daddy—that’s just how ridiculous this has gotten!!!). No matter how you slice it, it is perception—be it direct human polls or computer polls that are programmed by humans.

        I entirely agree with B1G Jeff… These presidents and commissioners are turning this all into bad politicking—themselves becoming absorbed with self-importance… If this does not stop, this will do more harm to college football, than benefit…

        The irony to all this, is these guys run some of America’s finest educational institutions, yet, these guys have somehow have turned this into 3rd grade playground antics…

        • Brian says:

          mnfanstc,

          “They all need to pull their heads out of the sand— In division 1A there NEVER has been a national champion… ”

          That’s a complete load of crap and even you know it. You may not like the system, and you may not agree with the outcome every year, but to say teams like 2001 Miami, 2002 OSU, 2005 TX, 2009 AL and 2010 AU weren’t national champs is ludicrous. Could other teams have won a playoff those years? Sure. But they didn’t.

          “Until it’s played out on the field in a multi-team playoff, no one can ever call themselves “champion”.”

          The BCS has always been a multi-team playoff, so you’re already contradicting yourself..

          ” Since the beginning of div 1A college football, “champions” have been “named” or “awarded”–only recently, TPTB created the BCS so they now can call themselves BCS “champions”—This; of course, is still based entirely on perception (i.e. Alabama would beat Boise State, my daddy would beat up your daddy—that’s just how ridiculous this has gotten!!!). No matter how you slice it, it is perception—be it direct human polls or computer polls that are programmed by humans.”

          The only other solution is a full 128 team tournament, and that’s ridiculous. Any playoff with a limited number of teams is based on perception and/or arbitrary rules that don’t try to pick the best teams, meaning someone can always complain and say that isn’t the real champion..

          • ccrider55 says:

            He is correct in that D1 football is not recognized as an NCAA championship (because it isn’t one).

            We start the season with a 120ish bracket. Conference “pool” play reduces the number greatly. Three play in games gets you to a bracket of eight. Do I want this? NO! But I’m not going to pretend we need 6+ weeks of post season competition to crown an actual recognizable NCAA D1 FB national champion.

          • Brian says:

            It’s not an official NCAA Championship (because then the big boys would have to share money), but the NCAA recognizes those championships.

          • ccrider55 says:

            No. They may note it, but it is not an NCAA championship and can not be officially recognized as such.

          • Brian says:

            Yes. They put them in the NCAA football record book, and even single out the major selectors and teams that were consensus champs. They have a whole section just to give all the details of the BCS, too.

            I didn’t say they were NCAA National Championships, I said the NCAA recognizes them. They don’t crown synchronized swimming champs either (or those in several other smaller sports), but they recognize those champs as well.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Ok, sorry. I misunderstood what you meant by the word recognize. I was thinking recognized as the UN recognizing a nation, or a court recognizing someone as having standing.

            Don’t believe the directors cup counts them.

            Wikipedia doesn’t count them among championships conferences have won, but does note (recognize) them ;) .

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “Ok, sorry. I misunderstood what you meant by the word recognize. I was thinking recognized as the UN recognizing a nation, or a court recognizing someone as having standing.”

            No, I didn’t mean it that formally. Sorry for the confusion.

            “Don’t believe the directors cup counts them.”

            http://www.nacda.com/directorscup/nacda-directorscup-scoring.html

            Football does count, and they use the coaches poll:
            FBS Football

            The following breakdown will be used:
            1st place – 1-25 using the USA Today poll, point breakdown is as follows: We will be using the 64-team non-bracket point system for the top-25 teams with 25th place receiving 49 points.
            26th place – Bowl game winners not ranked in poll (45 points)
            Next Available Place – Bowl game losers not ranked in the poll (25 points)

            Since the coaches poll has to put the BCS NCG winner #1, you could say that they do in fact count it as a national title.

            “Wikipedia doesn’t count them among championships conferences have won, but does note (recognize) them ;) .”

            Well, I can’t fight an authority like Wikipedia.

    • B1G Jeff says:

      Brian #2 and texmex: Yes, the SEC has won six consecutive national championships, but that doesn’t mean it’s their play box or they alone connote legitimacy to the process. Would you deem it still legitimate if the B1G and PAC, representing the largest footprints among the conferences, opted out of the process? The SEC’s dominance on the field of play is not the same as dominance over the CFB landscape, which they clearly don’t have.

      It’s clear that you get what you negotiate, not what you deserve. I certainly acknowledge the fantastic results achieved by the SEC (by whatever means) in recent history. I understand posturing. My concerns relate to the unnecessary histrionics and planting seeds of discontent in an environment where collaboration is called for. The Big XII barely existed 5 minutes ago, and now they think they’re dictating something? Please.

      Listen to these quotes:

      “For some young kid from Mobile, Alabama, who has never seen snow, to have to go play a national championship game in Wisconsin — I don’t know if that’s the right thing.” (AL Coach Saban)

      “I don’t see a compromise position,” (Texas AD DeLoss Dodds)

      “The group that’s got to get real, the Big Ten’s got to realize that the world is going in a different direction.” (Florida’s president Machen)

      The world? These guys are supposed to be leaders. They sound petulant and so stereotypical. These negotiations are about potentially billions of dollars, not who has more clout based on athletic strength.

    • bamatab says:

      In case you weren’t keeping up, it was the B1G & Pac 12 that first started taking this debate into the public forum. There for a while Delany couldn’t keep his smug comments out of the media. It seemed like there for a while Delany was putting out something every week. It wasn’t until Delany started bashing an individual university that those in the SEC started with their “harsh” talk in the media. Heck, Saban wouldn’t have said what he said if Delany hadn’t attached his school publically (“I don’t have a lot of regard for that team”).

      So don’t give me this high and mighty crap about the B1G is taking the high road or whatever you guys are trying to claim. The fact is that the B1G, Pac 12, ACC and whoever else has now become worried about the SEC’s recent dominance. They know that while things have been cyclical in the past, that with the current trends in population growth (which PSUhockey may want to consider along with the addition of Texas and Missouri when making an arguement on population bases) and the current areas where high school football talent seems to be concentrated in, that the SEC’s dominance has the potential to remain for the foreseeable future. It was the B1G & Pac 12 that didn’t want a playoff what, 4 or so years ago? It wasn’t until the SEC’s 6 straight that they decided to come to the table on the playoff that the SEC has been trying to push this whole time.

      And in regards to the conversation as to whether or not the SEC is in a position of power, let me ask you this one question. Which conference seems to be benefitting the most with the current state of college football? The answer to that question gives you the answer as to why the B1G & Pac 12 have all of a sudden decided that a conference champs only playoff is in their best interest. Now I’m not saying that when push comes to shove in the playoff meetings later this month, that the SEC will make a “top 4″ or nothing ultimatum, but if they wanted to that could take a page out of the B1G/Pac 12 playbook from the 90s and say “the Big 12 and SEC will just send our top teams to our new bowl, and you can have your playoff with the rest of the teams and do it however you want to do it”. Recent history says that the new SEC/Big 12 bowl has a better chance of pairing off the top 2 ranked teams than a playoff with the rest of the schools. Now again, I’m not saying that the SEC (and thus the Big 12) would end up doing that when push comes to shove, but they do have that card to play in the negotiations.

      Now in the end I think their will be some kind of compromise on what happens, but to say that the SEC isn’t currently in somewhat of a position of power is a foolish one. And to say that the SEC/Big 12 are at fault for taking this debate to the public is definitely a false one. They are just reacting to the comments made by those of the B1G/Pac 12. Delany and crew are the ones that decided to make this personal and public.

      • Psuhockey says:

        I know the recent trends in population growth, but let’s not pretend that Birmingham is becoming Chicago any time soon. BIG ten schools have bigger enrollments (9 in the top 27 schools while SEC has 2 in the top 50) so all those northerners traveling south are taking their affiliations with them. A Purdue grad is not becoming a Texas fan because he moved to Austin.

        The current system of arbitrary preseason rankings based on hype and media bias definitely favors the SEC. These teams don’t have to play anything resembling of a tough out of conference schedule to be highly ranked Simply being in the SEC gets them that. So of course the SEC is going fight for a system where they only have to play each other to get two teams in the playoffs. Same goes for the Big12 where the winner, and possible loser, of the
        Red River shootout gets in. The BIG and PAC definitely wants to end that system and they have the backing of college football fans as shown by the terrible ratings for championship game last year. Both sides have made snarky comments, but the SEC coaches have actually mentioned the BIG by name, making them sound more unprofessional. They also know they are in the minority of what most conferences want and what the fans want.

        • Andy says:

          Here are the top 50 enrollments:

          1. Arizona State University 68k
          2. Ohio state University, 55k
          3. Central Florida, 53k
          4. Minnesota, 52k
          5. Texas 51k
          6. Florida 51k
          7. Texas A&M 48k
          8. Michigan State 47k
          9. Liberty University 46k
          10. Washington 46k
          11. Penn State 45k
          12. Illinois 44k
          13. NYU 43k
          14. Indiana 42k
          15. Micigan 42k
          16. Wisconsin 42k
          17. Purdue 41k
          18. South Florida 40k
          19. Florida State 40k
          20. Florida International 40k
          21. Arizona 39k
          22. UCLA 39k
          23. Rutgers 37k
          24. Maryland 37k
          25. Houston 37k
          26. Temple 37k
          27. CSU Fullerton 36k
          28. UC Berkeley 36k
          29. Long Beach State 36k
          30. CSU Northridge 35k
          31. North Texas 35k
          32. Georgia 35k
          33. Southern Cal 34k
          34. Missouri 34k
          35. BYU 34k
          36. NC State 34k
          37. Colorado 33k
          38. San Deigo State 33k
          39. Virginia Commonwealth 32k
          40. George Mason 32k
          41. Boston U 32k
          42. Wayne State 32k
          43. San Jose State 31k
          44. UC Davis 31k
          45. Cincinatti 31k
          46. Virginia Tech 31k
          47. Texas State San Marcos 31k
          48. San Francisco State 30k
          49. Georgia State 30k
          50. Wisconsin-Milwaukee 30k

          • Andy says:

            I tried to take out all the online universities but I missed Liberty University. Scratch them too.

          • bullet says:

            Isn’t that a relatively big recent jump in attendance for Missouri? I thought they were down in the 20s.

            Ohio St. was the biggest university for years, but deliberately shrunk to under 50k around 1980 and Texas became the largest university for a couple of decades. Wonder why Ohio St. has decided to increase again.

            Minnesota has been a pretty big jump. I remember a few years ago, It was the Texas schools and Arizona schools and Ohio St. at the top with A&M in the low 40s in #5.

      • Brian says:

        Delany never mentioned AL. If “self-absorbed people” take it to mean AL, maybe they are also insecure and recognize that they didn’t deserve a shot last year and didn’t really win the NC. At best they earned a share of the SEC West title.

        Lots of non-champs would have gotten in under a top 4 system, including a Stanford team last year that got crushed by #5 OR. How come no Stanford or P12 fans were up in arms after Delany’s statement?

    • bullet says:

      This has been on again/off again in various formats for several years. I think this is just a lease deal, which was the last I read. USC basically runs it for X years (a long period-50 years?) and puts money into it. This is a very good thing for the coliseum. They actually were going to buy it outright at one time.

    • Jake says:

      Well, I guess they can try to sell the naming rights. Then, you know, not embezzle money. That usually helps. $100 million in renovations doesn’t sound too bad – USC probably has some rich alums/boosters, so throw in some public funding, and that shouldn’t be too hard to scrape together. TCU raised $130 million for our new stadium, all from private donors. Of course, if that new NFL stadium gets built, that’s going to make things tougher for them.

      • Jake says:

        Not a lot of college football stadiums with corporate names, but Texas Tech got $25 million from SBC (now AT&T) to pay for improvements back in 2000. Minnesota got $35 million over 25 years. USC could at least double that, I reckon.

  47. By the way, I haven’t seen it discussed here yet, but I found the comments from Big 12 officials about the ACC yesterday very interesting, to say the least.

    Here’s a series of Tweets:

    So, you have Chuck Neinas openly saying the the five power conferences (including the ACC and excluding the Big East) meet with each other and the Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC and Big 12 commissioners are helping the ACC to find a top tier bowl game.

    I’m at bit of a loss of how the Big 12 has gone out of its way to say that the ACC is part of the power group and the fact that the other power conferences are helping the ACC out bowl-wise is quite a piece of news to me in terms of how openly and explicitly the “big five” are working with each other to the exclusion of everyone else. (I think that we all knew this would be the case in practicality, but it’s something else when one of the commissioners doesn’t even try to hide that fact.)

    What’s the purpose of all of these Big 12 statements? Pumping up the perception of a conference that you might raid doesn’t help you from a litigation mitigation standpoint – if anything, it can backfire badly as you’re on the record publicly that the raidee was a strong unit and such raidee can prove damages much more easily. Lots of weird stuff here.

    • frug says:

      Short answer is that in order to keep control of the FBS and its postseason, the Big Boys need (at least) 61 votes, which they can’t reach without the ACC. Unless the SEC, Big 10 and Big XII are planning to simultaneously attack the ACC within the next month or so, they have to play nice or the ACC could side with the have nots.

      Right now the ACC is feeling isolated, threatened and mistreated by fans and the media. Having the other conferences prop them in the media is probably reassuring.

      • @frug – That’s a good point. As someone that doesn’t believe that 4 16-team superconferences are coming at any point soon (it’s fun to talk about there and sounds clean in theory but way too messy to have in reality), including the ACC means that the power group still has a majority of FBS schools.

        • frug says:

          Yeah, I have always suspected that the real reason the power conferences have insisted that the TV contracts for whatever postseason system is put in place be significantly longer than the 8 year BCS contracts is because it would protect them if they have ever fell into the minority. When the new postseason system goes into effect in 2015 there will be (at least) 125 schools at the FBS level of which only 62 will be in the power conferences.

          If the power conferences don’t lock up a long term deal this summer they will have to either expand or begin treating the have-nots as equals.

          (Of course once the ink is dry they can go buck wild)

        • Here’s a full article from Tallahassee.com (they sent their FSU beat writer to the Big 12 meetings) with various quotes from Chuck Neinas and the Oklahoma State president about the ACC:

          http://www.tallahassee.com/article/20120601/FSU03/120601019/Despite-money-gap-Big-12-says-ACC-still-football-power?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|frontpage&nclick_check=1

          Once again, I still find it unusual for Neinas to keep talking about the ACC directly. He certainly didn’t do that for the Big East prior to taking West Virginia and TCU (and flirting with Louisville) and the Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC all avoided talking about the Big 12 before raiding them. It has always been the standard “we haven’t been contacted and we haven’t contacted anyone” denials from all of those parties without further detail.

    • vp19 says:

      Frank, no one there actually believes the ACC is part of the power group, but put on the facade and everyone feels all right — ACC members and the media that follow them, for continuing the absurd belief that the conference will have an equal seat at the table with the big boys despite relatively lackluster football on the field, at the ticket booth and in pure college football passion (read just about any Virginia or North Carolina newspaper for this self-delusion); as well as the four lead conferences, confident such comments will prevent lawsuits when the ACC is effectively shut out of taking part in a playoff. They can pretend they will treat the ACC like Notre Dame, when they know that unless it’s a team with some appeal — a Florida State, a Miami, maybe a North Carolina — it would never receive the same consideration as ND for a playoff berth, just as an Okie State had to go undefeated to play for the BCS title since it doesn’t have a “brand name.” In short, it’s posturing, hoping the ACC will either go away to Big East/C-USA levels or meekly accept its #5 also-ran status, inanely believing, “It’s OK — we have basketball!”.

      • @vp19 – I think that’s overstating it a lot. Even without FSU and Clemson (I’m not buying that the ACC is just going to unravel completely as much as a lot of people want to see a car wreck), the ACC will still have collection of major flagship and flagship equivalent schools on the Eastern seaboard. More importantly, the ACC would still be made up 100% of schools that were there at the formation of the BCS system (unlike the current Big East). The ACC schools are all architects of the BCS cartel (and pretty important ones, at that), so I think many people are going waaaaaaaay overboard with thinking the ACC isn’t going to have a seat at the power table.

        I firmly believe that if the ACC and Pac-12 TV contracts had been negotiated in the open market at the same time, the ACC would have received more than the Pac-12. The historical TV ratings for both football and basketball would have supported that in every way, so it shows that the fundamental value of the ACC is vastly underrated by the fans that just look at the conference’s BCS bowl record. The ACC had unfortunate timing that it signed a TV contract a year before a massive bull/bubble market in college sports TV rights. That’s it. This has nothing to do with whether the conference was “football-centric” enough – the entire purpose of the 2003 expansion with Miami was football, football and more football.

        • vp19 says:

          But doing a four-team playoff takes the ACC out of consideration 7 years out of 10, at the minimum. In addition, its relatively poor postseason attendance has largely diminished its appeal to bowl committees. It simply doesn’t fit into the current landscape of college football, and the silly idea of having a bowl game against Notre Dame won’t save it (nor would I believe ND would want to be hamstrung into that agreement). Isolate it, let it die its own revenue-induced death and let the remaining conferences pick and choose the bones from the carcass.

          I will say this, though: You can blame Pac presidents for the ACC’s current predicament. Had they allowed Okie State to enter their hallowed confines — and they had not one, but two chances to do it — the Big 12 would no longer exist and the ACC would be secure, probably with a western bloc of Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri. (Had those schools been left isolated, they probably would have preferred the ACC to the clumsy, less well-off Big East.)

          • Mack says:

            You also need to blame the ACC for a bad expansion play that kept the XII at 10. If the ACC had not taken Pittsburg when it called, the XII would probably be at 12 today (with Pittsburg and Louisville) and not looking to expand.

          • Jericho says:

            Why would the ACC take Kansas State or Iowa State? Or really even Kansas outside of the basketball side of things. Missouri would be interesting, but geographically isolated. Would seem to make more sense to grab Rutgers and UConn if expansion has to happen.

          • vp19 says:

            In this hypothetical scenario, if Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Missouri had been left stranded by the Big 12 imploding, they have to go somewhere; unlike Baylor, which would have been in the same predicament, or what might be left of a similar ACC implosion (Boston College, Syracuse, Wake Forest, possibly Miami or Duke), these are large state universities with larger football fan bases than most ACC programs (and far longer big-time histories than Rutgers or Connecticut). Leaving any of them — even Iowa State, everyone’s favorite whipping boy — out of what was then the BCS loop would have led to considerable political scrutiny on Capitol Hill. And at the time, they probably would have wanted to remain as a bloc.

    • Eric says:

      I know I’ve gone back and forth a lot, but I’m back in the camp of thinking the raid isn’t really the preference of either Florida State leadership or Big 12 leadership (although if the boosters force the hand, Florida State will ask and the Big 12 might reluctantly accept knowing its probably a once in a lifetime chance).

      The bowl is the more interesting part. If the other conferences are trying to help, I could see something like ACC #1 vs. Big Ten #2/SEC #2/Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl (where the bowl could choose the best available).

    • bullet says:

      ACC less FSU and Clemson is still well ahead of the rest of the pack in every way. I really don’t think the SEC and Big 10 have any interest in expanding right now. And even some of the pro-expansion bloggers are saying the Big 12 won’t go to 14 w/o Notre Dame. There is clearly a reluctance in the Big 12 to go beyond 12. So that leaves the ACC at 12.

      There’s also the interpersonal aspect of litigation. People are less likely to sue their buddies.

      As for the 4 conferences, the ACC could be viewed the way the Big East was. You wouldn’t want to leave out the northeast and mid-Atlantic. The other conferences weren’t interested in leaving out the BE until the ACC displaced it in the northeast. Now the BE only has 1 of its continuing original members-Rutgers. Everyone else is new to AQ since 2005 (or back after an absence in the case of Temple).

      For Chuck Neinas, he has a headhunter business and doesn’t want to tick anyone off (except maybe Missouri).

      • frug says:

        The other conferences weren’t interested in leaving out the BE until the ACC displaced it in the northeast.

        Disagree. They would have gladly left out the Big East but they needed the Big East’s votes in order to keep control of the BCS. It had nothing to do with not wanting to lock out the northeast.

        • texmex says:

          I wouldn’t make too much of Neinas’ comments. He’s the outgoing interim commissioner. I think he just wants to wash his hands of any potential FSU/Clemson raiding. That will be the new commissioner’s legacy. Neinas just wants to depart peacefully on 6/15 by calming down any expansion rumors. As another poster said, I believe he’s a big part of a consulting firm that assists with head coach hiring so maintaining good relationships is very important to him. Aside from that there’s still a lot that has to happen to determine if the Big 12 will proceed with expansion

          1) Bob Bowlsby taking the reigns full time as commissioner
          2) The BCS playoff format being finalized
          3) Vetting process with TV partners to see if expansion is worth it

        • Eric says:

          I just don’t think the votes actually matter all that much. These are more consensus decisions than anything and the ones who must always be convinced first are those bringing the most money to the table.

  48. Here’s an interesting Q&A with a Notre Dame blogger/mod. He dispels the notion that owing Tier 3 rights is a huge advantage for the Big 12 in possibly getting Notre Dame, and seems to imply that Notre Dame would go to the Pac before they’d go B1G or Big 12…
    http://www.hornsports.com/a-notre-dame-perspective-on-the-realignment-discussion

    • frug says:

      Just so everyone knows, this guy is from NDNation not an actual insider or journalist. I tried giving him the benefit of the doubt until I read this gem:

      The plethora of land-grant institutions in the Big 10 makes it a poor fit for the Fighting Irish — chances are they’d end up on the wrong end of a lot of everyone-to-two votes, since Northwestern is the only school in the group even close to resembling what ND is.

      Because we all know that the public schools are always ganging up on Northwestern…

      • frug says:

        To clarify, I’m not saying that Notre Dame would be a perfect cultural fit but the idea that the big bad landgrants are going to pick on them and force them to open a medical school and perform stem cell research on electively aborted fetuses is just goofy*.

        *I would have used an actual hypothetical situation but I honestly couldn’t think of one. That is how ridiculous his implication is.

        • FLP_NDRox says:

          It may be ridiculous to you, but it was very real to Ara. Granted, that was 50 years ago, but Ara’s firsthand take on the situation still matters greatly to those who remember him as coach.

          Mike Coffey is a leading guy on NDNation.com, so he’s not a journalist, but he does speak what many alumni (particularly the hard-core) think.

          • frug says:

            Keep in mind a couple things. One, Ara had a major falling out with Northwestern AD so he isn’t exactly the impartial source. I’m not saying he was necessarily misrepresenting things but what he said needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

            Second, and more importantly, Coffey says that they would see a lot of everyone to 2 votes, but that isn’t happening now. Since Delany took over in the late ’80s the only major decision that seemed to have anything less than truly unanimous support was Minnesota’s supposed reluctance to joining the Big Ten’s hockey conference. Northwestern hasn’t been isolated at all. (I mean isolated in the way that Nebraska was in the Big XII losing a bunch of 11-1 votes).

            I say its rediculous because the fear is unreasonable. I honestly can’t think of one single issue that Notre Dame and Northwestern would at serious odds with the public schools.

          • FLP_NDRox says:

            At least they are *publicly* united. None of us are privy to what goes on behind the scenes. I also don’t think that ND would necessarily appreciate having to run their school or athletics at the whims of any other school.

          • frug says:

            I also don’t think that ND would necessarily appreciate having to run their school or athletics at the whims of any other school.

            I’ll give you that, but that is going to be an issue in any conference, not just the Big 10.

          • Brian says:

            FLP_NDRox,

            “At least they are *publicly* united. None of us are privy to what goes on behind the scenes. I also don’t think that ND would necessarily appreciate having to run their school or athletics at the whims of any other school.”

            Can you point out any situation in which a B10 member was told how to run its school by the conference? Even the ADs have free rein as long as they follow the basic rules of the conference.

      • Psuhockey says:

        ND going to the PAC is laughable. Women’s volleyball is going to play their games two times zones away on the West Coast. ND will stay independent until 2015. That is the key year when their contract is up and coincidently the BIG’s is too. The BIG’s payout will be enormous as currently constructed, saying nothing if they expand. If the BIG goes to NBC, which I think is a very real possibility, they could muscle out ND from that station. Will another Network pay to broadcast only ND?

        • FLP_NDRox says:

          Yup, at least in 2015. Even if the ratings aren’t great, you’re still only paying one school, not 10/12-14/16 which is cheaper. The demographics aren’t great, but they beat most of the non-superconferences. Besides, what else are you going to run on Saturday afternoons in the fall other than infomercials if you don’t have a contract with a superconf?

          • frug says:

            Unless Kelly turns them around, I think Notre Dame may have more trouble than you think. I’m sure they can find a contract, the question is what sacrifices will have to make. The ratings dropped 20% last year the second straight year that ratings dropped sharply. And for all the talk about Saturday infomercials, NBC has still decided to start moving Irish games onto NBC Sports Network.

            Unless Notre Dame is willing to start playing Thursdays, Fridays and lots of night games I can see them having trouble getting a deal that keeps them up with the PAC/B1G/SEC/Big XII. Network heads are going to be very gun shy after what happened to Dick Ebersol.

    • B1G Jeff says:

      Maybe we’ve not given enough credit to how brilliantly ND has played the field. They’ve basically paralyzed (or at least capped) the process by making the B1G, ACC, Big XII and now the PAC (“…ND would go to the Pac before they’d go B1G or Big XII?” WTF? LMAO!) believe that there are reasons why ND would join each of their conferences preferentially, all along knowing that they intend on maintaining their independence. They’ve maintained their prominence and desirability despite a level of performance on the field that wouldn’t justify it; hell, they’ve kept a seat at the big table as a single, small midwestern university. This flirtation has been as good from a marketing/PR perspective as their national scheduling.

      Well done…

      • PSUGuy says:

        Don’t fool yourself….I really think Notre Dame as an institution is worried about its future as an independent and its almost joining of the Big Ten in the late 90′s was the first indication of that fact.

        It has a good deal going with NBC, and in fairness that isn’t going anywhere soon, but its ratings are dropping (especially once that first loss comes) and with the explosion of college attendance & college football popularity, its ability to attract “non-associated” football fans becomes much diminished. And even though it has undergone several decades of institutional expansion, it is still a small, private institution (which is a very legitimate thing at the college level), but that has impacted its ability to maintain the “generational” fan (i,e.: “my mom/dad rooted for ND so I went to ND because I grew up a fan and its a great school”), especially given the aforementioned accessibility of college and their own football programs.

        I really think ND is in the middle of a transformation of the school into something more like USC…another private school that has built a national reputation with top notch academics (both undergraduate and graduate) where they have nearly 3.5 times the student enrollment (50% more undergrad, 550% graduate)…and football prowess. If they could achieve this accomplishment I think sustained independence is an achievable goal.

        The problem they’ve run into is while ND is a top notch institution it is church affiliated (a negative to a large population set) and located in the middle of Indiana…unlike SoCal, its location itself isn’t itself a draw. When you add those to the stringent academic requirements for admission you see the institution has a very tough slope to climb and its relatively new desire to expand its graduate level offerings (when its undergrad enrollment levels are far below the USC “baseline”) an acknowledgement of that fact.

        In the next couple decades, I believe ND could attain a Northwesten level of enrollment (current ND undergrad levels and tripling its graduate enrollment), but the question is, is that level sufficient to sustain national marketability (both academic and athletic) in the marketplace 20…50…100 years from now?

        In the end, notice I never once mentioned money. Notre Dame has more than enough of that and will (likely) continue to have it. The problem comes in exposure & marketability. Both of which Notre Dame desperately needs (as a small, religiously affiliated school) to maintain its “cache” and distinguish it from the literally thousands of other schools like it across the nation. If in 2015 (VERY unlikely) or after its next tv contract (much more likely) ND sees itself losing out in national exposure to other schools THAT is when you see the administration finally over-rule the alumni. And at that point the alumni won’t have any room to argue.

        PS – I still maintain Notre Dame will look to join the Big Ten first. Large populations of Catholics in its footprint, institutional desire to be excellent at, and expand in, both undergraduate and graduate level academics, and an institutional conservatism with enough long term foresight to take calculated risks that pay off big. All other talk (ND to the Big12, ACC, Pac, Big East, etc) is simply that IMHO.

        • rich2 says:

          Respectfully, I must disagree with your analysis of ND’s strategic plan. ND has pursued the same strategy for three decades – to attract higher and higher profile undergraduates and selectively develop grad programs. If there was a single metric that motivates the leaders at ND it is the 25-75 ACT (or SAT) split for the incoming freshman class. This year it is 32-34 — a remarkable achievement for a non-Ivy. Once you reach that number, you cannot grow undergraduate enrollments much at all — there are simply only so many domestic applicants with 33 or higher composite ACTs. The international pool poses its own challenges that slow the pace of growth. We will not grow much at all at the undergraduate level. The only play at the graduate level is to spend a couple of billion to buy a med-health complex — and the mix of public policy and religious doctrine causes so many problems for the administration in today’s environment that this move might be taken off the front burner.

          Does this plan align itself with the Big 10? I don’t think so. The ACC for full membership is our best play if we must join — or stay as independent. Personally, after reading this board over the past two years, I have changed my mind — I think ND should simply ride it out. Making ourselves more attractive to ESPN is not our future and our interests are not aligned with the Super 4 conferences.

          Once a school has lifted itself from the pack academically, the benefits of being “great” vs “good” in cfb are not obvious. In the past two decades, Stanford, Northwestern, ND, Rice and Duke have had different patterns of performance in cfb — and the quality of the profile of undergraduates has not been affected — in fact, the profile has consistently improved during the past 20 year whether the team wins or loses on the field — so the Big 10 should find another “asset’ in its battle against the SEC for Tier 3 football ratings.

          • PSUGuy says:

            You say you disagree with my analysis, but restate the same facts I used as yours, and fail to offer counter argument on why exactly ND has been doing what it has been doing for the past 3 decades. Even better, you then jump right into why the ACC is a better conference for Notre Dame. Again, ignoring any context on why Notre Dame would join one conference over any other.

            I maintain Notre Dame, as an independent (in all senses of the word) institution, recognized decades ago what it needed to do to maintain its independence and has methodically undertaken endeavors to achieve those things necessary for independence. These include (in historical order as far as I can tell) national football prominence, undergraduate academic excellence, and graduate program & research excellence. Also, you say the only play is a medical center / “can of worms research”…but Notre Dame itself obviously disagrees with you, else why the current focus on expanding its graduate / research related offerings (which by the way is figured prominently on Notre Dame’s main website)?

            If that is not the case….Why then did they do it?

            As for the ACC, admittedly it has a great many things that would attract a school like Notre Dame to its ranks, but IMHO, of all the conferences, the Big Ten is the only conference that offers that which Notre Dame will probably be most interested in (in the unlikely event it ever joins a conference)…upon admittance, true equality and a firm cohesion born of the idea that all decisions must be beneficial to all schools and non-deleterious to any one school.

            In the end, I could care less if Notre Dame joins a conference, let alone the Big Ten. Both Notre Dame and the Big Ten have proven they can get along just fine before and I’m sure for some time after. At the same time though, I really believe there is core of Notre Dame fan who immediately becomes rabid at the mere thought the Big Ten might actually just be the other side of Notre Dame’s own coin.

          • bullet says:

            While the Big 10 was long the logical choice, I’m beginning to think they may have slipped to #3 in the Irish list. They are composed of enormous state universities, so they are very different from Notre Dame. ND keeps talking about its national image. The Big 10 is a much more confined area than the ACC or an expanded Big 12. Notre Dame doesn’t seem particularly tied to its Big 10 rivalries. Michigan is big simply because it is Michigan, but it is a relatively new rivalry and both have talked about discontinuing it temporarily.

            I don’t believe ND is in any hurry to end independence, but should the BE further disentegrate, I think they would choose not to stay with the Catholic schools and would join another conference. I don’t think a #5 in the big boy group would necessarily be a detriment. The ACC just fits them best. It would fit them even better without FSU and Clemson. Deloss Dodds keeps saying he is talking to Swarbrick, so the Big 12 in some form does seem to be a realistic option as well.

          • PSUGuy says:

            Notre Dame doesn’t associate with larger state universities when it is arguably the face of 20+% of America…some 86.5 MILLION Catholics?

            The Big Ten is more confined when it still encompasses a majority of the US population (and where a large portion of Notre Dame’s Catholic base is located), sends its large alumni base literally everywhere in the United States, and is the only conference to currently have a national network (snide comments about the SEC or ACC and ESPN not withstanding)?

            Again, there are very legitimate reasons why Notre Dame would (or should) go elsewhere, but if there’s a joke in this situation, its on any conference that honestly thinks Notre Dame is going to join it anytime soon. Even without the Big East, Notre Dame is more than capable of maintaining its independence for the foreseeable future.

          • bullet says:

            Notre Dame can’t be independent in sports other than football. The A10 would not be acceptable. A Catholic only Big East or a Big East less UConn, UL and Rutgers would probably not be considered competitive enough in non-rev sports. So if the BE is no longer an acceptable option for them, there really are only 3 choices-ACC, B12, B10.

          • PSUGuy says:

            I freely admit to not knowing the inner workings of Notre Dame’s athletic department, but my understanding of their view on them seems to have been mis-founded as I just saw Notre Dame is very high in the Director’s Cup. In fairness though, I believe this has been a relatively new endeavor (10 years?). In any case, I can see why they’d want to have their non-football sports in another top conference.

            IMO though, the choice in this topic is almost immaterial. So long as the Big East stays as a viable money producing entity (and by definition an “adequate” home for Notre Dame’s non-football sports) it can easily “have its cake and eat it too”.

            Well, unless NBC doesn’t re-up its national football tv contract (I think Notre Dame would even be acceptable to taking much less in per year payment than Indiana, etc so long as it maintains its national exposure), but that being said NBCy did just pay a bunch for Notre Dame’s hockey program so I have to believe that (loss of national tv contract) is unlikely to happen.

          • bullet says:

            I agree that they will be financially secure. ND going into a conference will be based on:
            a) access to the playoff/bowl structure for football;
            b) competitiveness and scheduling as an independent in football; and
            c) competitvely adequate and academically acceptable non-rev sports conference.

            They are getting squeezed on a), but probably not significantly. IMO they are really being hurt on b), but I’m not sure they recognize it. I think it will, ironically, be c), the non-revs that drives them to abandon football independence. But the BE is still adequate for them now.

          • FLP_NDRox says:

            Point of fact: ND is literally barely in Indiana, and is dang near in Michigan.

            I have also heard that the Med school is controversial, more for the expense of building one ex nihilo than from any potential controversy. What the administration will likely do (pure guess on my part) is to build the graduate business programs (a school where we’ve had great success at the undergrad level) for the $$$ and the graduate liberal arts and hard science for the prestige. How many numbers you can get from that is something I don’t know.

            The football team has always been an ad for the university. Right now, TPTB’s concern is approaching Ivy/Stanford levels of prestige on the aspirational side and keeping ahead of the Georgetowns and Fordhams (for examples) of the Catholic education world. The ultimate goal is a prestige level approximating the University of Paris c. 1300 or something. Yeah, I know, but that’s the NDPTB for you. The football team and the subway alumni are what keep us ahead of the rest of the Catholic colleges.

            Money, not enrollment, are the means, not the end, since towards the end of Fr. Hesburgh’s tenure. I doubt ND will ever grow larger than Northwestern, again to protect the 25-75 undergrad board scores. Any football conference tie will be primarily to improve prestige, and only secondary $$$. And on the east coast, Virginia undergrad is, last I heard, slightly more prestigious than Michigan undergrad.

            *

            I also don’t see how the BXII helps ND at all in the minor sports. It seems to me that the truly minor sports will be less well served in the BXII than in the A-10, and ND would have to do more searching to find homes for it’s harder to place sports. From a minor sport standpoint, I still don’t see how the BXII is anything other than leverage. The ACC on the other hand would have as many homes for the Irish minor sports as the B1G.

      • vp19 says:

        If it ever came to the point where the power conferences (for matters of this discussion, we’ll include the ACC) told the Notre Dame administration, “We’ve had it with your game-playing. You have 48 hours to choose a conference for all sports, by its rules. If you don’t, you are barred from taking part in a four-team postseason playoff for at least the next 10 years. We don’t care what your alumni say; we don’t care what the networks and advertising agencies say; we don’t care what the New York press says — no one in that market really gives a damn about college football to begin with. We’ve had enough. Make up your mind, and now.”

        Would ND:

        * Join the Big Ten for sheer proximity;
        * Join the Big 12 for third-tier rights;
        * Join the ACC (even if Clemson and Florida State had already left) for academic “private school” fit, although that conference, even with ND’s inclusion, probably wouldn’t be strong enough to regularly make a 4-team playoff; or
        * Stay independent and eschew any chance of a national title or football relevancy?

        An intriguing hypothetical quandary facing the folks in South Bend.

        • FLP_NDRox says:

          My guess? “We’ll see you in court. BTW, BYU says hello.” :-p

          • frug says:

            If they did it like vp19 suggested, then yeah they would probably get sued. If however, they simply passed a rule that required participants in the playoffs to be a conference champ then the Irish wouldn’t have any grounds, especially since Notre Dame has gone out of its way to publicly and repeatedly that they are an independent by choice not circumstance.

            As for BYU, well all the power conferences would have to note is that BYU turned down the chance to be the Big XII’s 10th team twice in less than 6 months.

        • zeek says:

          They wouldn’t do that though. There’s no real reason to pressure ND. Maintaining a detente around ND is more profitable to everyone than pushing them somewhere.

      • B1G Jeff says:

        Interesting discussion…

        I still think my points stand, and I haven’t heard anything to move me off the dime.

        1) ND is going to retain its independence.
        2) ND is playing the field, which is suckered into ND’s allure and becoming delusional about its chances of obtaining ND’s football program in any conference. This is a means to an end for ND, which is first and foremost hellbent maintaining its independence. ND appears to be a master of the old political adage “If you can fake sincerity (in this case in discussions/negotiations), you’ve got it made.”

        It would seem to me that a more realistic/interesting discussion would center on the pros and cons (from ND’s and various conferences’ standpoints) of where ND will park its Olympic sports if and when it leaves the Big East.

        I’ve commented on this elsewhere, but I’ll add that now’s a great time to leave the Big East. ND’s work is done there. It’s just been marketing. ND has established its fan base in that corridor. Time to move elsewhere. On the other hand, I find it hard to believe (if not ridiculous) to believe they will haul non-revenue sports teams across the country like this. The B1G probably feels that way too, which is why it hasn’t told ND to take a hike.

        BTW, don’t you wonder what Delaney knows about ND’s aspirations that the rest of us don’t?

    • Bob in Houston says:

      As to the OP, if I read this right, he did not say that Tier 3 would not be a big deal to ND. What he said was that it would not be the most important issue between ND and the Big Ten.

  49. Great Lake State says:

    I love the laughably outdated mantra that the domers spout about the ‘regional’ B1G being too confining. The conference with the most alumni spread from coast to coast and around the world. The only conference with a successful nationwide network. The simple fact is the B1G is on the ascendancy and ND is an oldies act that draws eyeballs for nostalgic reasons only. UofM is already hinting that the ND/Michigan game may not be continued past its current three year agreement.
    I don’t see ND joining any conference in football (yaawn) In the near future (yaaaawn). I just wish we had scooped up Oklahoma along with Nebraska.

    • wmtiger says:

      ND has the ability to join any conference they wish, any time they wish. If they don’t desire to, they can choose to remain independent…

      Despite nearly 20 years of being ‘mediocre’, they are still relevant nationally and bring in top recruiting classes. Until they stop being relevant nationally or get shut out of a NT playoff, I cant see ND joining a conference.

      • cutter says:

        Actually, I would really question how nationally relevant Notre Dame is at the moment. Their schedule is hit-and-miss with few really relevant games after September (with the exception of USC), their television ratings on NBC drop like a stone after two losses and as you point out, they really have been largely mediocre on the field after Holtz’s departure.

        I also don’t think Notre Dame can join any conference they want to because the powers that be in South Bend would be constrained in doing so. ND to the SEC? I wouldn’t say that’s a very likely scenario. Pac 12? That’s a hell of a way to go to play alternating seasons of four or five football games each year (not to mention the other sports at Notre Dame. If ND were to leave the Big East, the only realistic choices they’d have are the ACC and Big Ten. I suppose ND might take a flyer at the Big XII, but they’d have all sorts of problems in a conference that seems to be run in the interests of Texas and Oklahoma.

        I won’t deny that ND has great eye and market appeal in college football. That said, that’s perhaps the only thing that makes them relevant at this point because it hasn’t been anything we’ve seen on the field lately.

        I do agree with your final premise, i.e., that Notre Dame won’t join a conference due to money. It’ll be for the reasons you state–the first growing more and more like reality and the second being essentially a non-issue because ND hasn’t been good for very long.

        I also wouldn’t tie Notre Dame’s success into recruiting rankings either. Take a look at the NFL drafts and see how many players ND puts into the pros and when they are drafted. It will give you an entirely different picture of the talent level and development taking place in South Bend.

        • zeek says:

          They’re relevant in terms of potential as you basically state.

          If Notre Dame wins 8-9 games in a row, all of a sudden, it’ll be like it’s the ’80s all over again. They’ll get an inordinate amount of coverage everywhere, and the ratings will skyrocket.

          That’s why Notre Dame is still so powerful. The potential that they have is basically second to none. If they get on a roll, it sucks up all the oxygen…

          • cutter says:

            The problem here is that the 1980s aren’t coming back.

            Notre Dame is facing the same problems that all the other power schools have dealt with since the early 1990s–the decrease in scholarships to 85 and the increase in the number of college football games being broadcast across numerous media outlets (including the internet). While ND might be getting its share of players, there are a lot more competitive programs out there with the facilities and resources in place to put a quality team on the field.

            If you want to see an illustration of this, consider the fact that ND DE Aaron Lynch–who is a physical specimen and probably NFL prospect–is transferring to the University of South Florida after one year in South Bend. Now I realize the reasons were personal, but instead of going to FSU or Miami or Florida, he headed to USF instead. That wouldn’t have been a viable alternative for him in 1994, but it does make sense in 2012.

            I’m not saying that Notre Dame doesn’t have the “potential” you speak about, but that the environment has changed markedly in the last two decades when Holtz left South Bend. Yes, ND does have wonderful recruiting rankings, but it hasn’t translated on the field (#33 in win percentage from 1994 to 2011) or in the NFL draft. You can point fingers at the school’s administration and its goals/support for the football program or all the coaches who succeeded Holtz (Davie, Willingham, Weis, and now Kelly) for a reason or you could look at some other factors–including the problems with being an independent in an increasingly conference dominated world of college football.

            It’s no surprise that Notre Dame is agreeing with the SEC and Big XII on having the playoff be the best four teams available. Having three conference champions if they’re in the top six of the ratings plus one at large team just strengthens the idea that ND should join a conference in order to have a better shot at the national championship.

            So if Notre Dame does join a conference, it’ll be one where they think they’ll be able to win that conference championship in football and give them a shot at the NC. Above everything else that goes into ND’s computations regarding the conferences, the best opportunity for them on this measure is the ACC, especially if it’s lost FSU and Clemson to the Big XII.

            If ND and Connecticut were made part of a 14-team ACC (after the departures of Clemson and Florida State), then here’s what the new ACC would look like:

            Boston College
            Syracuse
            Connecticut
            Notre Dame
            Pittsburgh
            Maryland
            Virginia
            Virginia Tech
            North Carolina
            Duke
            NC State
            Wake Forest
            Georgia Tech
            Miami

            Just like Texas envisions its position in the Big XII and its access to the national championship in the post season, Notre Dame could see itself in the same situation vis-a-vis the ACC.

    • metatron says:

      I wanted Oklahoma too, but it was my impression that they had to bring OSU with them and that was a nonstarter.

      As for Notre Dame, they’re not so much about independence so much as they are anti-Big Ten and anti-Midwest. I know they profess otherwise, but their words betray their true feelings. The ego of the Domer is so wrapped up in martyrdom, the idea that the Big Ten and specifically Fielding Yost tried to kill them that they’ll commit metaphorical suicide before they ever join the Big Ten.

      Notre Dame doesn’t want to be “regional”, so therefore the Pac-12 and Big XII make sense. Notre Dame enjoys tougher scheduling, so the ACC makes sense. Notre Dame wants to put their students first, so obviously joining the Pac-12 or the ACC makes sense.

      I’m not trying to be snide, this is a psychological problem. This is old “Pepsi Challenge” all over again; their sense of self will physically rework their brains to prefer anything but the Big Ten.

      • @metatron – I would say that the ND commitment to independence is real above anything else. However, I agree that there’s a lot of post-hoc rationalization by some of the Domers in opposing the Big Ten compared to the Big 12, Pac-12 and ACC. That Q&A with the guy from NDNation was like a SuperPAC ad against the Big Ten, where kernels of truth are stretched into massive overarching generalizations. For instance, ND supposedly wouldn’t want to be outvoted 12-1 in the Big Ten because of all of the big land grant schools, yet the Big 12 would be OK with its own land grant schools? The fact that there are 2 private schools in the Pac-12 makes a massive difference compared to 1 private school in the Big Ten? Is just the fact that schools are private mean that they are more likely to vote in alignment with ND? (I don’t know what they’re smoking if they think that Stanford and Duke would be more hospitable to ND’s views toward, say, stem cell research compared to Michigan.) ND considers academics (along with “mission”) to be critical, yet it would then disregard the conference that has more of a direct tie to academics than any of the others at the BCS level? The only argument that I halfway buy is the “not wanting to be a regional school” aspect at least compared to what ND could have in the ACC, but even then, the Big Ten actually has the most similar alumni movement patterns with ND since they’re dispersed the most across the country (which is why the Big Ten can get top bowl tie-ins from California to Arizona to Texas to Florida) not to mention the best TV deals that give the league the most national exposure out of anyone.

        Anyway, I find that argument that ND would prefer the ACC compared to the Big Ten to be plausible. The ACC actually does have a critical mass of private schools along with having exposure in the East Coast areas that are critical to the Irish for recruiting and reaching their non-Midwest fans. The “reasons” why ND would prefer the Big 12 or even Pac-12 over the Big Ten, are pretty much all bogus. Those arguments are rooted in being against the Big Ten just because it’s the Big Ten.

        To be clear, ND is perfectly within its rights to be against the Big Ten just because it’s the Big Ten and I’m someone that will always be quick to defend ND’s place in the power structure and that they are still extremely relevant no matter how poorly they’ve played on the field lately. However, it would be a lot more credible if they use their standard line that “independence is the goal in and of itself” and leave it that as opposed to going through arguments against the Big Ten that really make little sense when you step back and think about them (especially when every other conference presents the same issues).

        (*Note that I still firmly believe that ND would take a non-football membership in the Big 12 over a football membership anywhere else. I’m just talking about the prospects of ND joining the Big 12 or any other conference for football above.)

        • metatron says:

          I’m not talking about the institution though, merely their fans. Though I still maintain that the ACC would be the nail in the coffin for Notre Dame football.

          They’re the ultimate bandwagon team, and to be a bandwagon team, you have to win. Not once, but repeatedly in recent memory. Most people are tied to the past, but we live in a very different world (at least in terms of media exposure and fan access) than we did when Notre Dame was relevant.

          I’m sure they still have pull, but they have an increasingly small window before they’re forced to join the ACC, because all of their fans will have retired to Florida.

          • acaffrey says:

            Having all their fans in Florida makes the ACC a good fit with FSU and Miami, right?

            If only USF could get to the point of academic mediocrity, the ACC could add in the Tampa market too.

  50. jamesinsocal says:

    I don’t know if anyone has posted this yet

    http://espn.go.com/college-sports/story/_/id/8000546/sec-lenient-discipline-marijuana-investigation-says

    I have to ask because I do not know the rules regarding this.
    I don’t know exactly what could come of this or what the NCAA rules are on this but if the Universities are supposed to suspend their players for one year if caught testing positive, wouldn’t that mean these schools were playing ineligible players? What would the repercussions be?

    • jamesinsocal says:

      And no, I’m not being a SEC hater, I really want to know.

    • PSUGuy says:

      From what I understand the NCAA has a “substance” program, but cannot monitor so it leaves the implementation / penalties to the schools. Like so many other aspects of NCAA purview, it only becomes an issue if it becomes too big of a problem to ignore on its own or it is a secondary issue related to some other more visible problem.

      Personally, I could care less about marijauna usage at the collegiate ranks because, lets be honest pot is not a performance enhancer and (scientifically) of much less long term impact to the human body than even nicotine or alcohol (wide available legal drugs at the college level). Though it could be considered a competitive advantage along the lines of good academics or school location (i.e.: Why would an 18 year kid want to play football in the middle of the sticks? Because they won’t cut you for getting high. Oh, well then sign me up!)

      I think legitimate concerns for the potential lack of institutional control in this area are better focused on what usage of these substances introduces to the student (illegal drugs are usually obtained from less than savory persons / subcultures) and how interaction with these sub-cultures could realistically facilitate access to actual performance enhancing substances (speed, steroids, designer or other, etc) and all without the over-sight of the school (thus my aforementioned reference to “loss of institutional control”).

      • Brian says:

        You should note that unlike cigarettes, marijuana is almost universally smoked unfiltered and thus is much worse for the lungs.

        • PSUGuy says:

          Or through a water “filtration” device which tends to remove more THC than carcinogen compounds, thus tending to cause the user to smoke more for a similar effect as “raw”. You’re point however is very valid.

          Though I’ve never heard of tobacco brownies so pot always has that going for it.

    • Brian says:

      No, the 1 year ban is for getting caught by an NCAA drug test. Schools don’t have to test at all, and if they do they can set any policy they want unless their conference has a standard they must follow.

      Now, there have been some reports of players testing positive and schools violating their own policies by not suspending them (or not for long enough), but that’s a whole different issue.

      • Kevin says:

        What about steroid testing? Who administers those tests? Hopefully the NCAA as there would be a lot of opportunity for cheating.

        • Brian says:

          The NCAA does, in fact, focus on performance enhancing drugs. The schools are more likely to catch recreational drugs.

  51. jamesinsocal says:

    http://www.aolnews.com/2010/12/20/fanhouse-report-bcs-football-program-drug-policies-revealed/

    This looks to be much bigger than the SEC, why are all the reports targeting them?

    • PSUGuy says:

      As the SEC is want to say in very public forums…they have won the past 6 College National Football Championships.

      Part of “being on top” is having a very large microscope detailing every facet of your ascent and stay while there. Personally, I don’t like this aspect of the media (where were they in the beginning when “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”?), but I’m sure it has a healthier bottom line to tear down something from the top as opposed when its just starting out (and I’d be a fool to think the past was any different).

    • bullet says:

      I suspect this idea was triggered by an Atlanta Journal Constitution article a month or so ago. Spurrier made a comment about Georgia having so many players suspended, which they have had several recently, and that led to the AJC article. UGA, along with UK has the toughest policies in the SEC, so they get more and longer suspensions.

  52. [...] 12 except for the SEC (14). The ACC could probably keep the money from ESPN that they just got (a key point of a fellow blogger’s plan to save the ACC); many criticized that the deal was undervalued for 14 teams anyway. The Big 12 would sign its new [...]

  53. Jake says:

    An update from the NCAA baseball tournament: Texas A&M is bounced 10-2 by TCU, the school that is taking their spot in the Big 12. Go Frogs. Now we just have to beat Ole Miss twice in a row. Gotta love the “S-E-C” chants from the Aggie fans, though.

    • PSUGuy says:

      Yah, gotta love nearly 100 years of tradition (going back to the old SWC days) being band-wagoned by today’s “flavor of the week” (nothing against the SEC, just pointing out that TAMU had zero to do with its success yet they are so willing to take up its mantle and drape it around the school so easily).

      • Jake says:

        Yeah, I hate seeing old rivalries break up. In this case I can’t complain – A&M doesn’t leave the Big 12, TCU doesn’t get in. And for A&M, getting some “brand separation” may help their athletic programs in the long run. They now have something to offer recruits that UT and OU don’t – a place in the toughest conference in the land.

      • Andy says:

        The reason the SEC expanded is the Big Ten Network. The SEC went with a model of maximizing national TV exposure with huge tier 1 and 2 deals with CBS and ESPN. It worked well for them and they were out in front on revenue. But then the Big Ten created the BTN and passed the SEC by as far as revenue. The success behind the BTN was the fact that Big Ten schools were popular in large population states and they had a lot of big markets. Even though the SEC had equally passionate fan support (or maybe even more passionate fan support) and even more success on the field than the Big Ten, they were losing as far as revenue. The SEC had a lot of really good football teams from small, rural states, without all that many big market cities.

        So they expanded to get some more markets and some more popuation. They picked up the Houston and St. Louis markets, plus portions of the Dallas, San Antonio, and Kansas City markets. Now the SEC’s population footprint and market lineup rivals the Big Ten, and an SEC network can rival the BTN. That was the goal.

        A secondary goal was to add some reputable schools to the SEC. Before they only had 2 schools with $1B+ endowments (and AAU members). Now they have 4. It moves them from being the conference that’s probably the worst academically, to now being about average.

        Notice what this wasn’t about? Adding good football teams. They already have good football teams. They didn’t really need more of them. Importantly, neither Missour nor Texas A&M are terrible football programs. They’ve both had their share of success over the years. They’re adequate middling-type programs rather than doormats, and that’s good enough.

        • greg says:

          “It worked well for them and they were out in front on revenue.”

          The SEC has never been #1 in conference payouts.

          • Andy says:

            http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/stewart_mandel/07/24/sec-espn/index.html

            The SEC was briefly in the lead after signing their 2009 deal with ESPN, but the BTN and Pac 12 networks ended up surpassing the SEC’s deal shortly after that. But with an SEC network, the SEC would once again take the lead.

          • greg says:

            The national perception by the media writers was that the SEC was in the lead. But in no single year did the SEC payout more than the B10.

          • Andy says:

            Well ok then. I guess 2014 will be the first.

          • cutter says:

            Andy-

            How do you know 2014 will be the first year? In conference distributions (which includes television revenue, net bowl revenue, NCAA men’s basketball tournament revenue and other sources), the Big Ten is roughly $5M per school ahead of the SEC right now. Is the SEC going to make up that $5M with a new conference network and a renegotiation of its current deal as long as it keeps an eight-team conference schedule?

            Keep in mind that the ABC/ESPN contract with the Big Ten does have an escalator clause in it which goes up around $300K per school per year. By 2014, that’s approximately another $1M per year that the SEC would need to make up over the current baseline. Add in the Big Ten Network, which actually paid less this past fiscal year (around $7.2M) than last year, but still saw an overall increase in conference distributions to the BTN schools (and imagine what that number would be if somewhere down the line Notre Dame were to join the conference).

            Don’t be surprised by FY 2014 (ends 30 June 2014) that the Big Ten Conference distributions are approximately $27M. Obviously, all the conferences are going to benefit by the playoff, but we may see a further jump for the B10 in terms of revenue distributions for the following fiscal year to around $30M.

            With the new contracts for television coming on line in 2016, we’ll probably start seeing the revenue hike for that in FY 2017. At that point, we may be seeing B10 schools looking at distributions in the mid-$30M range (all without adding a single school, including ND) by that fiscal year.

          • bullet says:

            Interestingly, there were times in the 90s when the ACC was the leader in the early 90s. I think the Big 10 has probably been ahead of the SEC since the 1984 lawsuit ending NCAA control over TV.

          • Andy says:

            Everything I’m hearing is that after the SEC renegotiates they’re going to be in the mid $20Ms just from tier 1 and 2. The SEC network should add several million more.

        • wmtiger says:

          Academically, the SEC is a very, very distant 4th behind the B10, ACC & Pac 12.

          • Psuhockey says:

            That is an understatement. You don’t see too many players getting a 6, which is barely able to read, on the wonderlic from those conferences.

          • Andy says:

            Big 10: 11 AAU schools
            Pac 12: 8 AAU schools
            ACC: 6 AAU schools
            SEC: 4 AAU schools, with Georgia on the cusp of getting membership.

            I’d say the SEC is well behind the top 2, but not so far back from the ACC.

        • Prophetstruth says:

          The tax filings show a different story Andy.

          B1G
          Year beg 7.1.08 and end 6.30.09
          Revenue: $219, 364, 415
          Per School Distribution: approximately $19, 204, 698 (There are slight variations in each schools distribution according to the IRS Form 990 filed with a high of $19, 267, 047 by MSU and low of $19, 165, 047 by NU)

          Year beg 7.1.09 and end 6.30.10
          Revenue: $231, 513, 257
          Per School Distribution: approximately $20, 032, 504 (There are slight variations in each schools distribution according to the IRS Form 990 filed with a high of $20, 141, 838 by MSU and low of $20, 032, 504 by NU and Iowa)

          SEC
          Year beg 9.1.08 and end 8.31.09
          Revenue: $147, 857, 056
          Per School Distribution: approximately $13, 120, 047 (There are variations in each schools distribution according to the IRS Form 990 filed with a high of $14, 021, 093 by Mississippi State and low of $12, 569, 939 by Mississippi)

          Year beg 9.1.09 and end 8.31.10
          Revenue: $244, 420, 278
          Per School Distribution: approximately $18, 202, 519 (There are variations in each schools distribution according to the IRS Form 990 filed with a high of $18, 418, 769 by Mississippi State and low of $18, 202, 519 by Arkansas and LSU)

          But you can also review this article that discusses the revenue distribution gaps between the B1G and SEC. I could post other conferences and years also.

          http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/eye-on-college-football/19227678/sec-distributes-201-million-per-team-falls-further-behind-big-ten-in-money-race

        • Prophetstruth says:

          “In fairness, the SEC #s don’t include Tier 3 media rights which the schools control themselves.”

          Bullet that same thing applies across the board in that it depends on how we are defining “3rd tier” rights and exactly what does it include. Everyone conference has a different definition – John Swofford made that clear in an article I read. Iowa earns an additional 5.8 million off of multi-media rights through it’s partnership with Learfield Communications. Other schools have similar deals with Learfield or IMG. It seems every institution monetizes other media rights be it coaches shows, sponsorship deals, digital media, 1 football game, etc.

          http://thegazette.com/2011/09/02/iowas-contract-with-learfield-nets-athletics-department-more-than-5-8-million/

          I’m also am unclear if the $7.2 is all BTN revenue or simply profit. The B1G doesn’t provide a break down on revenue and disbursements on their 990. I would imagine that BTN, LLC has a breakdown of that. My guess is it is profit based on this report that says that BTN had a profit of $79.2 million for 2011.

          http://www.illinoisloyalty.com/GoIllini/20120522_big_ten_network_revenue_grows_again

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Jake – Geaux Frogs! And go to Hell Ole Miss!

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      I’m about to go to Alex Box Stadium along with 10,000 other LSU fans, but here’s a few more baseball regional updates:

      B1G representatives Sparty and Purdue are out.

      Appy State is in the catbird’s seat in the UVA regional at 2-0. Congrats Michael.

      #1 Regional seeds Rice, A&M, Miami, and Purdue are out. Sorry Loki and Aggie fans.

      Northern teams Stony Brook, St. John’s, Creighton and Kent State are still alive. Kent State and St. John’s are undefeated in their respective regionals. If Stony Brook wins the Miami regional, they will play the winner of the Baton Rouge regional.

      Oregon is the first team to qualify for Super Regional play.

      6 of the eight SEC teams are still undefeated. Miss State is the only SEC that has been eliminated.

      • Jake says:

        And if Baylor can’t come back to win their regional, there won’t be a single Super Regional in the state of Texas. That just ain’t right.

      • Jake says:

        And the SEC takes another loss. TCU survives one day more!

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          Jake – I’m pulling for your Frogs against the hated Rebel Black Bears, but “the SEC takes another loss” is a bit of a stretch. Of the 8 SEC teams in the tournament, 4 have already qualified for Super Regional play (LSU, UF, USCe & Arky) and 2 more are playing in regional finals (Vandy & Ole Miss) today.

          Congrats to Northern teams Kent State, St. John’s & Stony Brook for still being alive in the tournament. If Stony Brook beats UCF today, the Sea Wolves from Long Island get rewarded with a trip to Baton Rouge next weekend.

          Congrats in defeat to Oregon State. They played an elimination game with ULM yesterday afternoon in 95 degree heat with an un healthy dose of South Louisiana humidity. After a tow houtr break, the pesky Beavers gave LSU all we wanted and more before falling 6-5 in 10 innings last night.

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Thanks Alan! App is having by far their finest season in school history. This season, App State has beaten 4 nationally ranked teams. Between 1982 and 2011, ASU had beaten one, total.

        I would love nothing more than to face the fan hood crisis of choosing between the school I’ve pulled for since childhood (FSU) and my Alma mater at the College World Series. (App State would get the nod in that one, of course.)

        ASU has two games to beat Oklahoma once.

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          Michael – losing a series to your ‘eers back in February doesn’t look so bad now. I’m pulling for y’all to beat the Sooners today. If Appy State does advance to Super Regional play against South Carolina, the ‘eers baseball team will have played the winners of the last 3 CWS titles and in the two best college baseball parks in the same season.

  54. duffman says:

    baseball, baseball, baseball !

    For the weather debate and the B1G. Congratulations to Kent State near Cleveland who resides in the MAC and is farther north than several B1G schools. They upset Purdue (#1) and Kentucky (#2) on their way to a Super regional date with Oregon. The Big East landed Louisville and Saint John’s with the latter advancing to a Super regional date with Arizona. These schools seem to defy the argument that baseball can only be won in the south and west. As the ACC has yet again imploded in the CWS maybe Delany could make a push to get more exposure at the ACC’s expense.

    I will say the PAC did the best of all the conferences in baseball based on the teams they got in. 4 out of 5 moving to Super competition is pretty impressive. If the B1G did reciprocal scheduling with the PAC in baseball the way they plan to do for football maybe it would bring up the quality and exposure of B1G teams.

    • cutter says:

      I think the last Big Ten team to get into the College World Series was Michigan in 1986. Now while you might get an occasional school into a super regional (UM did this a few years ago, if I recall), it certainly doesn’t set aside the argument that the game is currently dominated by the warm weather schools at this point.

      • bullet says:

        Maine has made it more recently than then. Nebraska has made it several times. The bat is the Louisville slugger, not the Miami slugger. The northern Pac 12 schools have had some success. The MVC schools have had more success than Big 10 schools. It is dominated by the southern schools, but it shouldn’t be so dominate.

        • zeek says:

          The answer is probably just that the Big Ten schools have ignored the sport to some extent.

          Just from my experience, it’s the one sport that Northwestern hasn’t even really tried to make competitive. I don’t know whether they view it as a vestige sport that they just want to keep around, or what, but the baseball program is probably the least successful program at the school.

          I would rank it in the bottom 5 out of 19 sports on the list of priorities for Northwestern’s sports. They’ve basically just let Paul Stevens run the show for 25 years, and now his two sons are on the team, but outside of a year out of each decade, the team is mostly irrelevant.

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      duff – how about Kent State? They beat Kentucky in the 2nd longest regional game ever, then turn around and beat Purdue the next day. By conventional B1G logic, Kent State should suck and it would be the Cleveland Indians fault, right? St. John’s and Stony Brook shouldn’t even field teams since those schools are located close to the Yankees’ and the Mets’ home parks.

      • bullet says:

        Speaking of the SEC, Alabama has had a great year. Won MNC in football, won women’s gymnastics, is in the final game of the women’s college world series vs. Cal and lost in the finals in match play in golf to Texas after leading the preliminary round.

        • bamatab says:

          The Bama ladies also won the women’s golf national championship this year. If they can beat OU in the final series of the WCWS, that would be a nice haul of NCs for the Bama ladies this year.

      • Mike says:

        Alan – Here’s an article detailing the challenges facing a Big Ten team. Most of the issues the Big Ten faces are self-inflicted. College baseball teams are not competing with major league teams for ticket sales. They are in competition with other inexpensive leisure activities (movies, minor league sports, bowling, recreational activities). Economically speaking, the substitute for a college baseball game isn’t going to be Major League game.

        Nebraska had no problem competing at the highest level once it dedicated the resources (i.e. paid a coach a competitive salary, upgraded facilities, etc.) and shouldn’t in the B1G if the conference itself gets out of its own way. However, I still think a February start is too early.

        http://www.omaha.com/article/20120602/BIGRED/706029893

        The problem is climate, and a mid-February season start date (still too early up north). It’s travel burdens (fiscal and physical). It’s academic concerns (Big Ten squads can miss no more than eight class days). It’s the NCAA tournament selection process and the overvalued RPI. It’s an investment in facilities (the Big Ten’s made recent strides), thus a lack of attendance and interest. It’s oversigning rules that Big Ten schools must abide by that most conferences don’t have; before finalizing annual rosters, the Big Ten allows its teams to commit one extra scholarship to no more than two players.

        [snip]

        As for [Nebraska’s] Erstad? He says bring it on.

        “That makes it even that much more fun to try and do it,” Erstad said. “To change a culture of a conference, to do something that people say is not doable, that stuff fires me up. It makes you want to work even harder.”

        • vp19 says:

          It makes one wonder why the University of Iowa isn’t a baseball power, especially since ISU hasn’t competed in the sport since 2001.

        • mnfanstc says:

          Probably a re-hash of some baseball thoughts (re: B1G baseball), but, here goes…

          Weather certainly plays a part… In February you could have 60 (degrees) F, or 10 F and snow. In May you could have 85 F or 30 F. Spring weather in the upper midwest is very volatile, tis not too conducive to regular outdoor baseball. I think that even the Twins made a mistake by not putting at least a retractable roof in place—I mean… it can and does snow in Minneapolis in April… Hey, Alan… when’s the last time it snowed in Baton Rouge??? :)

          Also true is that college baseball will compete with your average everyday stuff… Come spring in the midwest, people are like flowers, wanting to sprout out and do more outdoor activities… Lots of stuff competing…

          And, I’m sure that the recruiting issues also come into play with higher level competitiveness.

          I know here in Minnesota they’re trying to put more emphasis back on baseball. The last game was played at historic (now run-down) Siebert Field this spring. A privately funded new ballpark with amenities will replace the current ballpark. Supposed to start project soon.

          The U of Minn has a pretty good baseball history—but NO B1G team has been a serious threat since the early 80′s… Last CWS appearance was Michigan in ’84.

          I’m wishful that baseball in the B1G will become more competitive at a higher level… but, I don’t think I’ll hold my breath…

  55. bullet says:

    Someone on WV Scout did an analysis of the participants by conference under 4 playoff scenarios:
    1) top 4; 2) 3 champs + 1 wildcard; 3) 4 champs if in top 6; and 4) 4 champs

    From looking at the chart, it seems clear that the 4 champs rules are DOA. The primary beneficiaries over the BCS era would have been the MWC and Big East. The MWC had 2 under formats 1 & 2 and 4 under formarts 3 & 4. The Big East had 5 under 1&2 and 6 under 3&4.

    The Big 12 was the big loser in the champs model, with 14 in formats 1&2, 11 in format 3 and only 9 in format 4. SEC was 14 with the top 4 and 12 in the others. Pac 12 9 in top 4 and 11 in others. Big 10 was 8 except for 4 champs when they were 9. ACC was 4 except for 4 champs where they were 5.

    Clearly the members of the Big 5 want to keep it in the club. Insisting on champs benefits conferences outside the club because of bad years in one of the Big 5 or ccg upsets. The real battle would seem to be between the SEC wanting a top 4 and the Pac 12 who would prefer a 3/1. Their 4 champs position could just be a negotiating ploy.

    http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=159&f=4582&t=9030390

    • Jericho says:

      Interesting. The Big 12 was the only conference that had a horribly different number between the two most extreme models (top 4 overall vs. top 4 conference champions). Everyone else was no more than 2 off, and that’s over 14 or so seasons. That’s probably a bit flukish as much as anything, although you’ll notice only two conferences actually increased the number of appearances with a pure top 4 model (the Big 10, PAc -12, ACC and Big East all went down in numbers).

      Although part of me likes a conference champ model to give more teams access to the proposed playoff, with only 5 “real” conferences (sorry Big East), there’s a decent chance that two of them have an off year (like last year where the ACC and Big 10 both had ho-hum champs) and stick an inferior team in the tourney. Still, its a fairly objective standard. The question is if that is better than arguing over whether the 2nd Big 12, second SEC, or first Pac-12 should get it as the last team in, which is way more subjective.

      • bullet says:

        I think if you try to speculate how the future will be different from the past, you will see that the Big 4 won’t like a 4 champs model. SEC and Big 12 don’t like it now. And the SEC is overdue for some ccg upsets. The Big 10 with Nebraska helping for wildcards and a ccg risking a lesser champ, makes the 4 champ models worse for them than now. In fact, Delany seems to be going toward a top 4 model if you have a selection committee. The Pac 12 with 2 more teams and the risk of a ccg also would probably be worse in a 4 champ model than now. Only the ACC, who seems to be in a down cycle and could be hurt by the defection of FSU and Clemson, might still prefer a 4 champ model.

        • vp19 says:

          Only the ACC, who seems to be in a down cycle and could be hurt by the defection of FSU and Clemson, might still prefer a 4 champ model.

          But honestly, how often would it be one of the four highest-ranked champs?

          • Jericho says:

            It’s not that far-fetched. They need schools to have good years, but it’s not often that all 4 other conferences have great teams. The Big 10 last year would be an example. It’s not like it would never happen.

          • vp19 says:

            It’s still a beauty contest, though, and if you thought Okie State had problems at 11-1 last year, imagine how remote those chances would be if Wake Forest somehow went 12-1, including the ACC title? Unless there were a whole batch of two-loss teams from other conferences ranked highly, I doubt the Deacs would be included, whereas a 12-1 Miami probably would. Should the playoff ever go to eight, you better give automatics to four or five conference champs (including the ACC), because otherwise some teams simply will never be chosen because of name factor.

  56. duffman says:

    The B1G + PAC Final Solution : the beauty of only 12 conference members

    B1G plays 11 game conference schedule – all owned by BTN
    PAC plays 11 game conference schedule – all owned by PTN
    Notre Dame stays IND to cover non conference games for 2-3 PAC schools
    Notre Dame stays IND to cover non conference games for 2-3 B1G schools
    Other B1G & PAC schools cross schedule each other based on rotation of success :
    B 25% B1G schools play B 25% PAC schools
    M 50% B1G schools play M 50% PAC schools
    T 25% B1G schools play T 25% PAC schools
    where B = bottom, M = middle, and T = top

    Rose Bowl becomes half owned by BTN and half owned by PTN with B1G champ meeting PAC champ on New Years Day. With each conference/network owning 1/2 the Rose Bowl both could retain rights to old games for their respective networks.

  57. cutter says:

    A couple of items of interest from the Big Ten. The first is that the conference is distributing $284M to its 12 member institutions. Eleven of the members will get around $24.6M while Nebraska receives around $14M.

    See http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/51064/big-ten-to-distribute-284-million-to-teams

    The second item is much more significant to the post-season. The Big Ten has said it likes the status quo, but it’s second choice would be a Plus One and the third would be a four-team playoff.

    See http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/breaking/chi-big-ten-outlines-postseason-hopes-20120604,0,5852269.story

    If the Big Ten (and Pac 12) are really pushing for a Plus One type playoff, then it appears what they’re doing is trying to make the Rose Bowl and the Big XII/SEC Champions Bowl the de facto semi-final championship games.

    If this was in place last year, the Rose Bowl game (#5 Pac 12 Champion Oregon and #10 Big Ten Champion Wisconsin) would have been played on the same day as #1 LSU v. #3 Oklahoma State in the Champions Bowl. Of course, that probably leaves #2 Alabama to play #4 Stanford in another game (Sugar Bowl? Orange Bowl?). Based on the results of those games, a committee would decide on which two teams were deserving of the #1 and #2 rankings for the national championship game.

    Boy, talk about being a potentially messy post-season. If you thought some of the debate about which teams were #1 and #2 after the division championship games could be pretty wild, just imagine what a Plus One would bring about.

    The second thing I’m thinking about is conference realignment. If the Plus One system is enacted and is centered around the Rose Bowl, the Champions Bowl and perhaps a third bowl game, where does this put the ACC? Obviously, if the conference were to produced an undefeated team or one loss team (13-0 or 12-1), then they’d be right there in the conversation and they’d be playing a conference runner up in order to get into the national championship game. But without access to the two major bowls pitting the champions of the Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12 and SEC, they’re kind of on the outside looking in. FWIW, the same goes for BYU and ND as well.

    Would a Plus One place additional incentives on teams to become members of the “Big Four” beyond the financial numbers? if this is the plan that is finally enacted on 26 June, then the next three to four months have the potential to be very interesting beyond the beginning of the college football season.

    • greg says:

      Nebraska receiving $14M is a little surprising. I know the agreement was that they’d earn at least as much in the B10 as they would have in the B12, and this figure is probably consistent with that. But the B12 is distributing around $19M per team this year, thanks to the lower number of teams in the conference. So…. Iowa State makes more than Nebraska.

      • B1G Jeff says:

        Greg, the $14M is a net amount. It sounds right that the equity contribution toward an equal share in BTN should be about $10M.

        • bullet says:

          Nebraska had an escalating % of the average Big 10 share with a floor that was their Big 12 revenues. They didn’t get a full share until year 4 or 5.

          • Nostradamus says:

            It is actually year 7. Nebraska will become a full-equity member in the 2017 season, which coincides with year 1 of a new television deal.

          • Mack says:

            That is why it was called a 100 year decision. If it takes 10 years to break even, NE will still be in the money for the other 90 years. Even with the BE buyouts and reduced XII payouts the first 3 years TCU will be in the money by year 3 and WVU by year 5. With full SEC shares and fairly low XII buyouts, MO and A&M should also be in the money by year 3 or 4.

          • bullet says:

            TCU and WVU are both in the money in year 1 or 2. They each get 50% of distributions which were $19 million this year vs. $1-$2 million for TCU and $3-$5 million for WVU. WVU is getting the Big 12 to pay a significant amount of their exit fee ($5 million up front, $10 million of loan which is 50% forgiven after the 1st $5 million is paid back).

          • Mack says:

            My calculation was worst case based on some lofty projections for the new BE TV deal. As you say, it might be better, but the TCU/WVU comparison should be based on 2013 and forward revenue with the new BE TV contract ($7M-$11M), not the 2012 distributions which are lower for WVU and much lower for TCU from the MWC.

          • Mike says:

            @ Nostradamus – If you are still keeping track of these things

            http://blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports/2012/06/04/pac-12-football-and-basketball-the-conference-revenue-figures/

            Also from his twitter (@wilnerhotline)

            Pac-12 TV revenue in 2010-11 was $59M, or approx 1/3 of what it will be in first year of new TV deal (2012-13)

            Remember: New TV deal has 4% escalator clause. Deal averages $250M over 12 years but Yr 1 payout substantially less

          • Nostradamus says:

            @ Mike,

            Yep. They are looking at about $180 million in television revenue next year from Fox/ESPN so a very significant increase. Plus potential revenue from a Pac-12 network that we have no way of quantifying right now.

          • Andy says:

            Wow, $10M lower this year, no full share for 7 years? That’s much worse than I had heard. It’s no wonder Missouri balked at that offer.

            According to MU curators off the record, Missouri was offered the same deal as Nebraska, but wanted to negotiate for a better deal. Nebraska took the deal as is. Some, including myself, were upset that Missouri didn’t take the deal, but I never realized until now how bad it actually is.

            Missouri will make a lot more, a lot sooner in the SEC. The academic benefits won’t be as great, and that’s the tradeoff. But wow, Nebraska’s really paying for it, aren’t they?

          • greg says:

            B10 didn’t offer mizzou shit.

          • bullet says:

            pac 12-to get to an average $250 million over 12 years if they have a constant 4% escalator, the revenue would be $200 million the 1st year.

          • Nostradamus says:

            @bullet,

            In the case of the Pac-12 the $180 million in year 1 has been reported. Obviously that doesn’t jive with a straight 4%, but then again I’ve rarely seen straight percentage increases in analyzing conference revenue distributions.

            From Kristi Dosh
            A number of these contracts have escalator clauses, including the Pac-12 contract. In the early years of that contract, it will be $180 million per year (or $15 million per school) and in the later years it escalates, according to statements made by Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott via conference call following the contract’s announcement.

            I’d disagree with “a number of these contracts”, they all do…

            http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/dollars/post/_/id/705/college-tv-rights-deals-undergo-makeovers

          • Andy says:

            @Greg, no they didn’t “offer” Missouri. They made a proposal. Missouri didn’t like the proposal. Rather than negotiating, the Big Ten moved on. Missouri thought it could get the Big Ten to negotiate further, which is why they refused to commit to staying in the Big 12 for several weeks in 2010. But when Nebraska accepted the deal the Big Ten was proposing, they got the spot. Now they’re paying for it, and Missouri has full membership in the SEC from day 1. It looks like Missouri’s athletic department will gain $50M+ compared to Nebraska, but Nebraska gets to be in the more prestigious academic league. Who wins? Before I thought it was Nebraska, but now I’m honestly not sure.

          • bullet says:

            @mack
            Forgot TCU was going to be in the Big East. But the point is that the $3-$5 million would be the amount they would get in 2012, instead of $9-$10 million. So they payout the 1st year. WVU might take more than 2 years depending on the new BE contract.

          • Andy says:

            Also, Greg, maybe everything I’m saying is bunk, but for that to be true, the following other things have to be true:

            1. Different Missouri curators would have had to have conspired together and came up with a fabricated yet consistent story to tell off the record to two Missouri boosters, one coach, and one prominant retired journalist, later told in various places.

            2. Missouri’s leadership must have been delusionally optimistic when they refused to commit to the Big 12 in 2010 when all other members were doing so.

            3. Missouri’s football, baseball, and basketball coaches must have been caught up in some sort of mass hysteria when they started telling boosters and potential recruits that it looked likely that Missouri was going to the Big Ten.

            4. Mass hysteria must have infected Missouri when it became basically common knowledge that the Big Ten was all but inevitable in 2010.

            5. Missouri’s leadership must be damned good actors, or capable of collectively convincing themselves of complete fantasies when they all seemed shocked and pissed when Nebraska got into the Big Ten instead of Missouri.

            But I doubt any of those are true. I think the story is true. Missouri got a proposal from the Big Ten. That’s why they believed they were likely to go there. Then they saw this junior membership deal with $10M less per year lasting 7 years and they were unhappy. They still wanted into the Big Ten but they were unhappy with the offer. Nebraska took it and the rest is history. Given what I’ve seen in real time and I’ve been told after the fact, I’m 99% sure that’s basically what happened.

            Greg, on the other hand, doesn’t know a damned thing about it, and yet he’s even more sure than I am that he’s got it all figured out.

          • bullet says:

            I think all 5 are true. #2-#5 are easily believable. WVU people were convinced even after that false “welcome to the SEC Missouri” on the SEC website that they were going to the SEC and Missouri wasn’t. Your Tiger board was a swamp of self delusion around that time as well. A lot of Louisville posters firmly believe they told the Big 12 no because they were principled and didn’t want to leave the Big East early, so the Big 12 went to WVU.

            Louisville coaches have been telling recruits they were going to the Big 12 for some time. Temple coaches were saying they were going to the Big East long before the 1st batch of invitees (which did not include Temple). Coaches don’t always tell the truth.

            Its hardly beyond Missouri’s admin to make up things to make their school look like it wasn’t dangling in the wind in 2010 after their governor’s bluster and their stupid failure to committ. That story is pretty similar to Louisville’s too principled decline of the Big 12. And its interesting how often a story ends up tracing back to 1 source even if it starts getting repeated numerous places (the alleged contract escalators in the big 12 TV contract have been repeated many places but all go back to 1 post by a supposed TV consultant on a UConn board).

            Now it is quite possible that there were discussions about what form a Big 10 membership would look like. But that is quite different than an offer. There have clearly been lots of talks between UL and the Big 12, but that doesn’t constitute an offer. WVU was convinced they were going to the SEC, because the lawyers were working on getting out of the BE, the school was working on upgrades to their facilities, supposedly in response to SEC concerns, and they had been in contact with the SEC. As we know, none of that constituted an offer to the SEC for WVU.

            And the Big 10 did not offer and get turned down by Missouri. That ranks right up there with WVU having an invite to the SEC and UL turning down the Big 12.

          • bullet says:

            And with that background of mass hysteria in WVU, you have to take some of the Big 12 expansion rumours, most of which come out of WVU, with skepticism. I’ve been reading it for some time, but didn’t think any of it was better than 50% probable until recently when the contract info leaked out, the Big 12/SEC bowl deal was done and the Clemson board held a meeting on the issue.

          • greg says:

            The self-proclaimed “show me” state sure has a lot of gullible people.

          • Kevin says:

            @ Andy, Missouri did not listen to any Big Ten proposal. No right thinking individual would think Nebraska was the Big Ten’s second choice to Missouri. The Big Ten added a football king to boost it’s tier 1 TV money and to add a CCG. If you remember, the Big Ten didn’t want to add Nebraska until 2013 or 2014 so their buy in time would have been shorter. Nebraska wanted in immediately. $14 million was paid for last year 2011-2012. Next years payout will likely be in the $17-20 million range. Very similar to the Big 12 which wont receive that money until 2013. Distributions are always in arrears.

          • Andy says:

            Again, it’s possible that these are lies. But these lies are coming directly from multiple University of Missouri curators. This isn’t from tigerboard, btw. And some of the people reporting this (behind paywalls) are actual respected journalists.

            Again, I never said Missouri had an “offer”. There was a proposal from the Big Ten to Missouri that Missouri took seriously and wasn’t happy with. They didn’t “turn it down”, but they didn’t accept it as is.

            As for Nebraska vs Missouri. There are pluses and minuses to both. Clearly Nebraska is stronger in some areas, Missouri is stronger in others.

            Nebraska:
            State Population: 1.8M
            U of Nebraska enrollment: 24k
            Endowment Size: $1.1B
            Flagship University: Yes
            Any other FBS schools in the state: No
            amount of state bordering other Big Ten states: 140 miles
            Bowl Record: 24-24
            NCAA Tournament Record: 0-6
            NCAA Baseball Tournament: 14 appearances, 3 World Series appearances

            Missouri:
            State population: 6.0M
            U of Missouri enrollment: 34k
            Endowment size: $1.1B
            AAU member: Yes
            Any other FBS schools in the state: No
            amount of state bordering other Big Ten states: 592 miles
            Bowl Record: 13-16
            NCAA Tournament record: 22-25
            NCAA Baseball Tournament: 22 appearances, 6 World Series appearances, 1 national title

            So you look at that, and you can see that, yes, Nebraska is spectacularly good at football. But Missouri beats them at pretty much everything else. So is it so crazy to think that Missouri was seen as an equal or greater candidate to Nebraska? Not really.

          • Andy says:

            I realize I just opened myself up to ridicule by not further specifying what I mean by “actual respected journalists”. I’ll be more clear. This category would mean someone who is a sportswriter for a major newspaper that everyone has heard of and who has a good reputation as on the level but for whatever reason can’t put everything he hears into print.

          • Andy says:

            Also, bullet, I know you Texas fans don’t think much of Missourians. But really. Missouri is not West Virginia. Not even close. We’ve got biggish cities up here. The St. Louis metro area has 2.8M people. KC metro area has 2.0M. We’re not hillfolk. The U of Missouri is a top 100 academic school, AAU member, $1B+ endowment. Look at our faculty. Lots of folks from Harvard and Stanford and Michigan and Northwestern here. And yeah, we’re the “show me” state. Totally different culture than West Virginia. They’re rumor mongering over there. Most Missourians, myself included, are extremely hesitant to believe any of this. I didn’t believe it for a long time, but the evidence has piled up.

          • Andy says:

            And one more thing. Why on earth is it so hard for some of you to believe that Missouri was a serious contender for the Big Ten? It defies logic. Missouri has been mentioned as a likely expansion candidate for many, many years. It’s not a bad school, it’s pretty much the perfect fit geographically. And if getting invited as a full member from day one to the SEC isn’t validation of Missouri’s worth, I don’t know what would be. Obviously Missouri’s 6M people, AAU status, and decent sports are worth something in today’s landscape, or they’d be stuck with Iowa State, Kansas, and Texas Christian in the Big 12 right now instead of joining the strongest athletic conference in the country in 25 days.

          • bu2 says:

            I don’t think anyone doubts Missouri was a contender. They were one of the 3 looked at in 2003 (when the B1G decided to stay at 11) along with KU and Rutgers. They were one of the schools mentioned as being studied in 2010. We just don’t believe for a moment Missouri ever received an offer.

          • Andy says:

            While I’m at it, here are some leaked designs for the $200M stadium expansion at Mizzou. It should put Missouri’s stadium capacity at about where Nebraska’s is now.

            http://img269.imageshack.us/img269/5306/tumblrm3vn2pcrpu1rw044m.jpg

            http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/9585/tumblrm3vmu9xmzq1rw044m.jpg

            That’s where a chunk of the full membership SEC money is going.

            And here’s more on Nebraska’s stellar academics:

            http://journalstar.com/news/local/education/nu-bristles-at-platte-institute-study/article_ec615398-36ee-5237-b9cf-0de3437924be.html

          • Nostradamus says:

            It isn’t hard to believe Andy. On any Big Ten to 16 list at the time Missouri was a strong candidate. That said though these decisions have been driven by football and television ratings. If you have a king like Nebraska vs. a program like Missouri who admittedly had some very strong recent years, it isn’t a choice. I still don’t think Missouri ever had an offer. Deaton, Alden, and Jay Nixon wanted Missouri to have a Big Ten offer for sure, but it wasn’t there. Missouri lucked out and landed in the best possible situation so it is all good.

          • Andy says:

            As I keep saying, they didn’t get an “offer”, they got a proposal. As in, we could take you if you were junior members for 7 years and bought in equity to a network we’re valuing at $750M. I don’t know what else was in the proposal, but there was probably more. If Missouri had responded favorably to this proposal, then the expectation was that an offer would be made. The Missouri curators have said that they did not think that/know of Nebraska being a candidate at this time. So either Nebraska came in later or the Big Ten kept it quiet and misled Missouri officials. They haven’t given every detail. In fact, they’ve given very few. But what they’re saying is that the Big Ten came to Missouri with this proposal, and that Missouri officials didn’t like it and tried to negotiate for something better and it didn’t work out. So either that’s what happened or multiple Missouri curators are going around spreading a bogus story.

          • Andy says:

            Also, Nostradamus, “lucked out” is a term I use myself, and in a way its appropriate. But in a way it isn’t. It wasn’t entirely or even mostly luck. Apparently, Missouri is a valuable enough piece on the board that they were a finalist for a spot in one of the top two conferences, and they actually got a spot in the other one. The story I heard second hand from a curator is that Missouri didn’t lobby to get into the SEC, the SEC lobbied to get Missouri. Missouri was reluctant to go to the SEC because of the SEC’s academic reputation. Mike Slive and others sold Missouri on the idea, promised for academic improvement in the league, and offered full revenue share and voting rights from day 1. Eventually Missouri decided to go for it rather than continue to wait on the Big Ten.

          • greg says:

            Andy says:
            June 4, 2012 at 3:41 pm

            Wow, $10M lower this year, no full share for 7 years? That’s much worse than I had heard. It’s no wonder Missouri balked at that offer.

            According to MU curators off the record, Missouri was offered the same deal as Nebraska, but wanted to negotiate for a better deal. Nebraska took the deal as is. Some, including myself, were upset that Missouri didn’t take the deal, but I never realized until now how bad it actually is.

          • Andy says:

            Yeah, ok, I was imprecise with my original language. Strictly speaking, an “offer” would be an official thing. Where as a “proposal” would be an unofficial thing. So it was a “proposal” rather than an “offer”. I apologize for the imprecise language and I’ve tried in about 5 posts now since then to correct it.

          • Andy says:

            The reason Nebraska agreed to this deal may have been because they were on probation from the AAU and were likely to get their membership revoked at the time. They possibly feared that after losing membership they would no longer be a viable candidate for the Big Ten. They were also probably hoping that Big Ten members might vote in their favor when their membership was put to a vote the next year. That didn’t end up happening. Big Ten members helped vote them out of the AAU anyway. But it’s possible to see what they were thinking, and how desperate they may have been at the time to get the deal done fast.

            Missouri on the other hand is notoriously slow at making any decisions. The slow grind of countless meetings and talks leading up to the switch to the SEC was driving a lot of people around the country crazy. It went on for months. Nebraska agreed to join the Big Ten within just a few days.

          • bu2 says:

            I can agree Missouri is notoriously slow at making decisions!!!!

            Nebraska’s deal was good and reasonable at the time. It wasn’t known that ESPN would renegotiate 4 years early with the Big 12 or that Fox would increase their deal 450%.

            Its not a “junior” membership. Its a buy-in to the equity of the conference.

          • @Andy – I think most of us know that Missouri was a serious contender to be added to the Big Ten. I can even acknowledge that the Big Ten had discussions with Mizzou at some level. However, we’ll just have to agree to disagree about what ultimately happened. I don’t think for a moment that the Big Ten made only its 2nd membership addition over the past 60 years based upon concessions that one school was willing to make on the percentage of revenue that it would have received for the next 4 years while the other candidate didn’t offer it initially. That is the complete antithesis of the culture of Big Ten leadership that has been willing to wait, wait, wait and wait some more in order to get *exactly* what it wants on all issues. If the Big Ten really wanted Mizzou over Nebraska, they wouldn’t have just stopped negotiating with them. I find it hard to believe that the Big Ten waited 2 decades after the Penn State addition to expand and then make its decision on such a short-term issue.

            Plus, even if what you’re saying about the Missouri curators is true, if they really didn’t think that Nebraska was at the very least heavily in the running to join the Big Ten (if not the most likely addition out of anyone, as most of us here settled upon months before it was actually announced), then they had their heads in the sand.

            Anyway, it’s all water under the bridge now. Mizzou is in a stronger home, so it worked out.

          • Andy says:

            7 years of lesser membership has the potential to hurt Nebraska quite a bit. Penn State had to endure several years of lesser or junior membership when they joined, and some contend that it was pretty harmful to them. When they came into the Big Ten they were definitely a “king”. Now I’m not so sure they are. Maybe their junior membership was a factor in that, or maybe it wasn’t. Nebraska’s revenue is pretty strong so maybe they can handle losing $50M or so from the move. But it can’t help.

          • Andy says:

            Frank, I don’t doubt that the Curators may have either misread the issue as it was happening, or they may be giving us some “spin” at this point about how it actually happened.

            What I don’t doubt whatsoever is that Missouri’s leaders were in serious talks with the Big Ten and truly believed that a move to the Big Ten was not only possible, but actually likely.

            Where I think where you are wrong is your thought that Nebraska joining the Big Ten was some sort of moment of destiny long in the making. I think the Big Ten had multiple candidates, at least three of which were Notre Dame, Missouri, and Nebraska. Rutgers may or may not have been a fourth candidate. They sent out a proposal of 7 years of junior membership to at least Missouri and Nebraska. I have zero doubt of that.

            When you look at Rutgers, Missouri, and Nebraska, they all have their pluses and minuses. With Rutgers you have a strong academic school in a very large market, with a marginal geographic fit and mediocre sports. With Missouri yo have a good academic school with a large market, a good geographic fit, and good sports. With Nebraska you have an okay academic school with a small market, a pretty good geographic fit, and outstanding football (and pathetic basketball). So like I said, they all have their strengths and weaknesses. None is a slam dunk like Penn State or Notre Dame. All are viable options. So then, perhaps, among three viable options, something like money could come into play.

            To give Missouri full membership from day 1, the eleven other members of the Big Ten would have had to have taken a pay cut. And they may not have liked Missouri getting access to the BTN without buying in. Penn State may have been bitter after having endured junior membership only to see Missouri get in with full membership from day one. What I’m saying is that this maybe wasn’t such a small thing that could be looked over if the Big Ten really wanted Missouri. Maybe they wanted Missouri, but they didn’t *really* want them, like they wanted Notre Dame. So Missouri’s slow moving, skeptical administration balking at junior membership may actually have made a major difference in the way things turned out. Couple this with Nebraska’s willingness to hurriedly take junior membership without any real negotiations, and the fact that Nebraska does have a very good football program, and it makes sense that they could have come in and taken the spot.

            So the Big Ten lost out on growing their population base for the BTN. They lost out on basketball. They lost out on their perfect roster of AAU schools. They lost out on getting any new big cities. But they didn’t have to lower revenue for any current members. And they won big on football prestige. So it was a win for them.

            Missouri flirted with disaster by missing out. But it turns out they had enough value to land a good spot elsewhere.

          • @Andy – I wouldn’t characterize it as a “junior membership” for not receiving a full revenue share for several years. That’s actually standard operating procedure in conference expansion. The SEC providing Missouri and Texas A&M full revenue shares right when they enter the league is the unusual move.

          • Kevin says:

            Please explain PSU’s junior membership. This is news to me.

          • Andy says:

            Kevin, sorry, I looked for articles about it and can’t find it. It’s 20 years ago at this point. Kind of predates the internet, or at least the web. I saw a conversation about it and I think it’s true, but feel free to not believe me.

            On a separate note, here’s a fun article from 1993. This stuff has been going on for a long time:

            http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1993-12-10/sports/9312100144_1_commissioner-jim-delany-big-southwest-missouri

          • Andy says:

            Another thing about this is it makes perfect sense for the Big Ten to have two viable candidates that are interested in joining. Then they can play hardball. They can say to Nebraska, you have to take 7 years of junior membership, making as much as $10.7M less per year than your other conference members, or we’ll just take Missouri instead. It looks like the Big Ten really forced Nebraska’s hand on this, and now Nebraska is paying big time.

          • bullet says:

            Missouri and A&M getting full revenue shares is very unusual. Normally, in addition to a membership fees, there is almost always at least a reduction in revenue to account for the NCAA tourney money being spread over a number of years. That is a sign that the SEC wanted them and considered them valuable additions.

            And since no Nebraska fans have come on to defend them, I’ll have to correct the mischaracterization of their athletic program. Nebraska had the 2nd best overall program in the Big 12 and some years the best. While they have no NCAA tourney wins, I wouldn’t consider their basketball pathetic. It was one of the weakest in the Big 12, but they were a competitive team, just not for championships. In terms of all sports conference championships they were easily 2nd overall behind Texas. They are 1 of 3 schools not on the Pacific to win a volleyball championship. They made several trips to Omaha. They were very strong in many sports. Now Missouri was next to last in conference championships. It really is not even a close comparison. Overall athletically Nebraska was much stronger than Missouri.

          • bullet says:

            Nebraska may indeed come out behind over the next 6 or 7 years where they would have been had they stayed in the Big 12. But that was totally unpredictable at the time. Their deal looked like a big increase in $ over what the Big 12 was expected to do. And I’m sure Pearlman will negotiate on what the intent of them making no less than in the Big 12 was and how much they should pay for the BTN buy-in.

            Penn St. certainly had a buy-in. And I’m pretty sure they joined in football later than basketball. That had to do with unraveling their scheduling agreements. It took Houston 5 years to join the SWC for football.

            I remembered KU, MU and RU being publically mentioned as potential Big 10 members. I think the last time, in 2003, the Big 10 looked at expanding those 3 were publically mentioned, although it is possible I’m confusing that with 1993 when your article is dated.

          • Andy says:

            Yes, Nebraska is very strong at women’s sports. Missouri and Nebraska had an even series over the last 8 or so seasons in football, but before that it was very one sided in favor of Nebraka. Missouri is considerably stronger at basketball and baseball, but Nebraska is better at womens sports and a lot of the men’s olympic sports.

            The whole “dead last” in championships thing is a little overdone. It’s not that Missouri tended to finish dead last in sports. It’s just that they tended not to finish 1st. Missouri frequently finished 2nd, 3rd or 4th. And they finished first sometimes. Missouri had 3 Big 12 titles on their way out this year: men’s basketbal tournament, baseball, and wrestling. But yes, Nebraska had many more. They spend a lot more money on non-revenue sports than Missouri does.

          • Danimation says:

            Andy – Missouri never received a proposal from the B1G. You are telling me they wanted to negotiate a couple million more on the BTN TV buy-in deal and stall out joining the conference they have been publicly begging to get into for years vs. the huge money they would be getting by being a part of the CIC and B1G conference? Talk about stepping over dollars to pick up pennies. Why they would wait for so long is interesting…or not factual.

            Also if the B1G wanted Missouri or if Missouri had a committable offer from the B1G, then UNL entered the fray, wouldn’t the B1G have come back to Missouri allowing them first rights of refusal of the initial “bad offer” as you put it? Of course if they had a committable offer and are considered at least as good of a selection as UNL you would think that the B1G would have offered that to them.

            This is simply damage control from the Missouri PR folks now that they have been taken by the SEC. It will also never be proven bc the B1G isn’t going to discuss it. Sounds like a gal who thought a guy liked her but then watched him go out with someone else. You actually should be thanking Nebraska for going to the B1G so that you could get a committable offer to a more stable conference.

            Also currently UNL and Missouri are similar in most metrics as Universities expect Nebraska football (recall football drives the bus in this expansion). Nebraska has five national championships and is in the top five for most wins all time. Missouri has zero national titles and is over 150 wins away from catching up to the top programs for all time wins. Take a look at the overall winning percentage of Missouri vs. Nebraska for football. Missouri is 54.5% vs. 70.2% for Nebraska. It was a no brainer for the B1G to select Nebraska over Missouri. The B1G had the chance to grab Missouri before they went to the SEC if they wanted and passed again.

            Missouri has a very good basketball program and has had a couple of recent years that have been solid in football however, how many conference championships in football has Missouri won during the Big 12 conference? It is zero… In fact Missouri, in 15 years of Big 12 play in football won THREE division championships during one of the worst times in Nebraska football history. If Nebraska didn’t fall off a cliff during this span it would have likely been 1 or zero. Also the rules for reducing the number of scholarships to 85 has helped Missouri and other programs out tremendously who before where unable to compete on a consistent basis.

            Nebraska and Missouri are relatively close together in most metrics (save AAU) however UNL is going to blow Missouri’s doors off over the long-term considering the significant amount of research money they will receive by now being a part of the CIC as well as being a B1G member. UNL has changed drastically since joining the B1G in their aggressiveness to fund raising, pushing for better faculty and upgrading facilities.

          • Andy says:

            Danimation, everything you’re saying is complete guess work from someone who knows nothing about what actually happened.

            Everything I’m saying is coming directly from actual Missouri curators. Could the curators be lying? Sure they could have. But their story is not nearly as crazy as you make it out to be.

            Consider the following facts:

            1) The state of Missouri is in a major budget crunch right now. The University has had to lay off a lot of people. Money is tight. The University was not in a position to step up and help out the athletic department.

            2) Missouri’s athletic department is one of the few in the country that is self-sustaining, meaning they receive almost no funding from the university. This would be difficult to change.

            3) Missouri’s athletic department funding is stable but not large. They are not making much of a profit. Barely break even every year. And their budget size is about average for a BCS school, maybe even below average.

            4) In 2010 nobody had ever left the Big 12 before. In the contractual language Missouri would be expected to pay 2 years worth of revenue as an exit fee. This would be nearly $30M. There was no way for Missouri leadership to know how far they could negotiate this down. This money would have to come out of Missouri’s athletics budget.

            5) The Big Ten was asking fo 7 years of junior membership. Not only did this mean limited voting rights, but it also meant as much as $10M per year less than other Big Ten schools. This is an additional $40-50M lost out of the athletics budget

            6) Not only would Missouri be risking financial shortfall, but they would have to further put off desperately needed facility upgrades. Missouri would not be able to compete successfully in the Big Ten without many, many millions of dollars in facility upgrade.

            All of this would be enough to give pause to Missouri’s leadrship. Couple that with the fact that Missouri’s leadership is notoriously slow and often divided and makes decisions based on consensus, and you can see how this could have happened.

            Not only that, but Missouri leaders believed (it turns out correctly) that they could stay in the Big 12 if needed, and if the Big 12 were to fall apart they would have little trouble finding a new home. The SEC was reaching out to Missouri at this time as well. Missouri also got some interest from the Big East, ACC, and Pac 12 according to various media reports, although the latter two would have required a collapse of the Big 12.

            As for the part about the Big Ten not coming back to Missouri and giving them one last chance at the same offer, this is the story that is the most troubling and has the most potential to be perhaps twisted by spin on the curators parts. They may be trying to cover up a screw up here, I don’t know. But their version of it is that Delaney “screwed them” and they were quite upset about it. Again, I don’t know, maybe that part is “damage control” but that’s what they’re saying. Maybe they don’t want to admit that they were the ones that screwed up the deal.

            These stories didn’t just come out after Missouri joined the SEC. They were leaked in real time as it happened. Then again about a year later. Now more details are coming out. The story hasn’t really changed at all since it originally came out. It’s just been elaborated on. Which makes me tend to believe there’s some truth to it. Plus there was a lot of circumstantial evidence supporitng it which I listed above.

            But then you’ve already got it all figured out in your own head so there’s really no use telling you anything, is there? What’s hilarious is you speak in declarative statements as if you were in the room when it happened and you know exactly how it was. The arrogance of some of you on this site is astounding sometimes.

            You’re likely a Nebraska fan by the way you compare the two schools. Missouri has had “a couple good years in football lately”? Try 8 bowls in the last 9 seasons. Try one of only 6 programs nationally to win 8 or more games for 6 years straight. Try 9.5 wins per season averaged over the past 5 seasons. Yeah, sure basketball doesn’t matter that much for realignment. Yeah, Nebraska has a better football tradition. But at this point there’s not much difference between the two programs. Want proof? Look no further than Missouri’s 52-17 win in Lincoln not too long ago. Or the fact that Missouri went to a higher bowl and had a better record than Nebraska in 2010. So Nebraska does have a leg up in football, but it’s not like they are a million times better or anything. Since Tom Osborne stopped coaching their the programs have been fairly close. As far as university metrics, yeah, Missouri and Nebraska are in the same ballpark academically, but Missouri is slightly to significantly ahead in pretty much every category. And Missouri is AAU while Nebraska is not.

            As for Nebraska’s aggressive fundraising and facility upgrades, Missouri just compleded a $600M fundraising drive on the academic side, and donations on the athletics side are said to be at record highs with the move to the SEC, including some major contrabutions to be announced this summer. Plans have been drawn up for over $200M in facilities upgrades over the next 3 years, most of which will go toward football. The difference between Missouri paying for those upgrades and Nebraska is that Missouri’s TV dollars will likely be twice as high as Nebraska’s over the next few seasons.

            Missouri has a huge population of potential fans. Attendance has been steadily climbing over the last decade. It has long been described as a “sleeping giant”. Missouri was one of the top 5 or 10 winningest programs in the 60s (the only team in America to never lose more than 3 games in a season during that decade), and was typically in the top 25 in the 70s. They slid into a bad place from 84-96 with some truly awful teams, and have been recovering ever since. But at this point they have to be considered a legit football presence. They beat Nebraska 4 out of the last 8 times they played them. They beat Oklahoma when OU was ranked #1, then played them close on the road the next year. They beat Texas 17-5 this past season. They demolished Arkansas by 5 touchdowns a few years back in the Cotton Bowl and finished the season ranked 4th in the country. Missouri is nearly back to where they were during their glory days under Dan Devine.

            The “no brainer” comments come from arrogance and ignorance.

            But the biggest and most important difference between the Nebrask and Missouri, and the biggest reason to think Missouri was very much a viable option for the Big Ten: Missouri is the sole FBS flagship school of a state of 6M people. Nebraska is the sole FBS flagship school of a state of 1.8M. In expansion that matters. So was it a “no brainer” like you said? I don’t think you can make that assumption at all.

          • Andy, Don’t you think the recent success of Missouri’s football progam is more closely predicated to Chase Daniels than the program itself? Take a look at your results since he graduated. Yes, you did upset a #1 rated Oklahoma a couple years ago; but that same team was embarrassed the very next week against the Nebraska team you are trying to discredit; as an outsider who follows college football extremely closely I see Missouri not at all as an emerging power like you are attempting to paint them to be, but just a flash in the pan.

          • Mike says:


            Consider the following facts:

            1) The state of Missouri is in a major budget crunch right now. The University has had to lay off a lot of people. Money is tight. The University was not in a position to step up and help out the athletic department.

            2) Missouri’s athletic department is one of the few in the country that is self-sustaining, meaning they receive almost no funding from the university. This would be difficult to change.

            @Andy – Missouri isn’t self-sustaining. Somehow your sources get easily verifiable things wrong. I can’t believe you even managed to get a Texas Longhorn fan to defend Nebraska.

            Hard numbers From 09-10 Academic year via http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/ncaa-finances.htm

            Missouri’s REVENUE
            Ticket sales $20,642,471.00 33.81%
            Guarantees $217,786.00 0.36%
            Contributions $13,454,020.00 22.04%
            Direct institutional support $2,687,986.00 4.4%
            NCAA/conference distributions including all tournament revenues $10,681,242.00 17.5%
            Broadcast, television, radio, and internet rights $4,081,549.00 6.69%
            Program sales, concession, novelty sales, and parking $3,232,270.00 5.29%
            Royalties, licensing, advertisements and sponsorships $1,329,595.00 2.18%
            Sports camp revenues $951,588.00 1.56%
            Endowment and investment income $1,791,072.00 2.93%
            Other $1,982,724.00 3.25%
            Subtotal operating revenue $61,052,303.00

            Deaton on 12/6/11 via ESPN’s website (link in next post)


            The University of Missouri Board of Curators, which oversees a four-campus system that includes the flagship Columbia site, has pushed for the athletic department to become self-sufficient financially, Deaton said. Given the state funding cuts, the university “simply cannot ask our students and taxpayers to provide the kind of funding needed by a major athletic program,” Deaton said.

          • greg says:

            Nearly every “fact” Andy mentions is either, at worst, a lie or, at best, an exaggeration. When called on it, he denies, then backpedals, then claims it was accidental.

          • Andy says:

            Mike, apparently you think this is a “gotcha”? The information and article and quote you sited basically supports exactly the point I was making. So thanks for the corraborating evidence.

            So for one year the University supported 4% of the athletic department’s budget. OK. That’s not all that much. And I’m pretty sure it has been lower than that. Point is, unlike a lot of schools, Missouri doesn’t give all that much money to its athletic department.

          • Andy says:

            Greg, nearly everything you’ve posted has been your opinion stated as fact, based on very little to nothing. Or, in the case of your last post, it’s an extreme exaggeration to the point of pure ridiculousness.

            Nothing I have posted has been a lie. I’ve been caught oversimpligying a few times, that’s true. This is a tough crowd and I need to be more precise with my language.

            I can’t say “basically self-supporting”. I have to say “96% self supporting” otherwise I’m a “liar”.

            So yeah, I got caught on 2 or 3 of those, and nothing else. Considering I’ve said about 100 things, that’s not too bad. But feel free to point out 97 other “lies” I told.

          • Andy says:

            OrderRestored, Chase Daniel was quarterback at Missouri for only 3 seasons. Missouri has gone to bowls 8 out of the last 9 seasons after only reaching only 5 bowls in the previous two decades combined. They’ve won 8 or more games for 6 straight seasons. Missouri has had 11 players drafted in the NFL since Chase Daniel left, including 5 1st rounders. In short, no, I don’t think it can all be attributed to Chase Daniel.

          • Andy says:

            OrderRestored, as for the future, it remains to be seen how long Missouri can maintian this success. Clearly they’ve had a strong tradition at quarterback, dating back to Brad Smith in the early 2000s, continuing through Chase Daniel and then Blane Gabbert (a top 10 draft pick that led Missouri to 10 wins in 2010). James Franklin’s numbers were as good as any of them last year (outside of Chase Daniel’s ridiculous numbers). He’s being mentioned by many as one of the top 2 or 3 QBs in the SEC. Missouri is bringing in a 1st team parade all-American QB freshman this year. They always seem to sign a 4 or 5 star QB every year. They also signed the #1 recruit in the nation this year in Dorial Green Beckham. Some are comparing him to Randy Moss. He broke every high school national record for recieving. Also, they continue to bring in top level offensive line recruits. So I expect Missouri will continue to have a highly ranked offense, as they have had for most of the past decade. The question is defense. That has been off and on. Missouri was able to win 10 or more games in years when their defense could stop the other team consistently. They’ve dipped into the 7 or 8 range when the defense struggled. For Missouri to take that next step they need to upgrade their defense.

          • Mike says:

            @Andy – Your stories have trouble standing up to scrutiny. For example, notice how the story about Nebraska accepting “junior membership” before Missouri could don’t stand up to logic or reason. Moreover, if you are indeed hearing from curators, why are they asking Missouri to be self-sufficient while simultaneously telling you Missouri’s AD is self-sufficient? 2.6 Million dollars is a lot of money, almost enough convince a FSU trustee to switch conferences. When the easily verifiable parts of the story you hear are wrong, what does that tell you about what else you are being told?

          • Andy says:

            Mike, it doesn’t “defy logic and reason” to think that Nebraska was taken as the 12th member while Missouri was trying to negotiate/deliberate. It defies good manners. Am I skeptical that it went down exactly as told? Sure I am. Why? Because they’re not willing to go on the record about this, and thus open themselves up to being disputed. Therefore they could get away with spinning the story to their advantage. I get that. And I don’t know exactly how it happened. But I do doubt that the story was fabricated entirely. At this point it has come from not just one but multiple curators, and they told basically the same story. So while they may be twisting it a bit to their advantage, everything that happened in 2010 would defy logic and reason unless one central point was true: Missouri was in serious talks with the Big Ten and for whatever reason it didn’t work out and Nebraska got the spot.

            As for the part about being self sustaining, you’re clinging to that for some reason, I’m not sure why. I originaly said in the post you’re scrutinizing that Missouri’s athletic department recieves “very little money” from the University and there’s resistance to recieving any money. You then brought me numbers that say that Missouri’s athletic department is 96% self sustaining along with a quote from the University chancellor saying that they wanted the athletic department to be more self sustaining and didn’t want to support it because of budget constraints. Isn’t that exactly what I said? Wouldn’t this tend to make my story even more credible? And doesn’t the very title of the article you linked to state that Missouri joined the SEC for financial reasons and wanted to use SEC revenue to shore up budget shortfalls? Wasn’t that exactly what I’ve been saying? Seems to me you provided some excellent evidence that my story is at least mostly true. If budget issues really are that important to Missouri, then they would indeed have trouble stomaching 7 years of junior membership while losing around $50M in revenue.

          • Mike says:

            Missouri’s athletic department is one of the few in the country that is self-sustaining, meaning they receive almost no funding from the university

            2.6 million dollars isn’t “almost no” on any planet. We keep hearing how Florida St can’t compete due to a shortage of 2.9 million dollars.

            Moving on…

            Missouri was in serious talks with the Big Ten and for whatever reason it didn’t work out and Nebraska got the spot.

            Missouri had communication with the Big Ten at some level, I’ll give you that. Did they lose out on the spot because they tried to negotiate? No. Why? 1. Missouri aspires to be a Big Ten school. 2. Missouri had very valid reasons to dislike the Big 12 3. Financials (explained below)

            If budget issues really are that important to Missouri, then they would indeed have trouble stomaching 7 years of junior membership while losing around $50M in revenue.

            Here’s where your logic falls apart. At the time of “the offer”, the best Big 12 schools took home ~10M dollars in media revenue. The Big Ten took home ~20M. The alleged Big Ten offer of a “junior membership” required reduced payments to account for an ownership stake in the BTN. If the alleged “junior membership” started at 50% payout [note: Nebraska started ~60%], Missouri would be guaranteed (not at the mercy of uneven revenue sharing) to make at least as much as they were in the Big 12 (probably more) in year one AND get an ownership share of a highly profitable network. Remember, this was all before the market exploded for media contracts and the Big 12 contracts were still two (FOX) and six (ABC) years away from being completed. There was no way Missouri could have known what was going to happen, and if they were as budget conscious as you say, the Big Ten deal would look even more appealing because it would start out paying at the best level the Big 12 could provide at the time and go up from there. There is no logical reason Missouri would have turned down or tried to negotiate the alleged “junior membership” offer because it was a net gain to Mizzou across the board.

            The “lost” revenue you cite is payment for an asset. I have no doubt that Missouri knew exactly what that asset was worth.

            Was Missouri the first choice of the Big Ten? No. Was Nebraska? No. Nebraska simply was the best school available at the time. Just like when the SEC needed a school, Missouri was the best school available.

          • ChicagoMac says:

            Based on this thread I think the only logical conclusion is that Missouri probably missed any chance they did have at an invite to join the B1G because they were really, really annoying.

          • Andy says:

            If you break down Missouri’s direct institutional support of their athletic deprtment, football gets $0, men’s and women’s basketball gets $0, “other” gets $0. This is likely where the talk of self sufficient is coming from. No sport is getting university money directly. All direct institutional support you are citing goes to something called “non-program specific”. I don’t know what that is. Maybe academic tutoring? Facilities? I have no idea. All universities seem to do their accounting differently so it’s tough to compare two situations. But the fact that the athletic department was in some way drawing on University funds while the University leadership was pressuring them to be self sufficient makes it more likely, not less likely, that budgetary issues were a factor in their dealings with the Big Ten.

            Mike, it’s silly for you to ask yourself these questions and then phrase your self-answers in certain terms as if you actually know what happened. You’re clearly just guessing, so why pretend it’s anything other than that?

            Missouri had talks with the Big Ten “on some level”, yes. And those talks were of a magnitude that led Missouri leadership to believe that Missouri was likely to join the Big Ten. Did Missouri aspire to join the Big Ten? I’m not sure “aspire” is the right word. Many at Missouri wanted to join, yes. But more than 100 years ago Missouri was a founding member of what would one day become the Big 12 conference. There is a lot of history there. Missouri is not a monolith. No doubt there were some within Missouri eager to take a junior membership in the Big Ten because of the academic benefits. Others wanted to stick with tradition. Others, the budget-minded ones, were concerned about how much it would cost, particularly the potential $30M exit fee which would not be covered by the Big Ten directly or indirectly through increased revenue. I know for a fact Gary Pinkel was against the move. He didn’t want to leave behind Texas recruiting and saw the Big Ten region as less hospitable recruiting territory. So there’s that. And Missouri leadership saw Missouri as a good catch that could find other options if necessary. Which of course turned out to be completely right.

            You talk about this like it’s such an easy decision. But Missouri is a diverse place. The St. Louis region might fit right in to the Big Ten. But Kansas City is very much Big 12 country. Many of them fought against joining the SEC, and they likely fought against leaving for the Big Ten as well. The southern half of Missouri is more SEC country and has more in common with Tennessee, Arkansas, and Oklahoma than it does with Iowa, Minnesota, or Wisconsin. The trouble is Missouri doesn’t totally fit in anywhere, the Big 12, the Big Ten, or the SEC. Dating back to the civil war Missouri could never seem to decide which side it is on. Missouri isn’t Ohio or Indiana. So far there haven’t been any slave states admitted into the Big Ten. And that’s why it took so long to make any decisions.

            Some of you coming from a school or region that fits in perfectly with a larger group might see this as a “no-brainer”. Like, why wouldn’t Missouri eagerly grab up a 7 year junior membership in the Big Ten? It would be such an upgrade, you say. But trust me, that’s not how a huge chunk of Missourians see the Big Ten. The general attitude, sports-wise, is that the Big Ten is weaker at sports, or at the very least no better overall than the Big 12. As for academics, plenty simply don’t see the point. So the thinking would be if we join, why should we take any less than full membership from day 1. We’re just as good as the rest of them. We bring plenty to the table. Why should we pay millions to join *that* league. I followed public opinion at the time, and I’m not even sure if a majority of Missouri fans even wanted to join the Big Ten. Do I think that was foolish? Yes, I do. I’m just trying to give you a reality check on exactly where Missouri was coming from.

            The way it’s been explained to me is that Missouri’s leaders wanted to join the Big Ten, but they weren’t falling over themselves to do it. As in, it would be nice, but if not then we’ll find something else, we’ll be fine. Well, at least that’s how some of them were thinking. Like I said, Missouri isn’t a monolith. There was not unity or consensus until recently. So budgetary concerns/revenue issues could have definitely caused problems for building the necessary consensus.

            Like you said, neither Missouri nor Nebraska were the Big Ten’s first choice. They asked around, talked to both, and in the end Nebraska ended up joining. I told you the story the curators are telling. I suspect it’s mostly true, but told in a way to make them look the least bad.

            You can feel free not to believe it. But none of the “evidence” you’ve presented actually disproves anything. So all that’s left is your opinion vs. their word. And considering how little you know about any of this, your opinion isn’t worth all that much.

          • Andy says:

            ChicagoMac, no, what’s annoying is people with zero connection to the situation who know basically nothing about any of this speaking in definitive terms as if they know exactly how it went down, and assuring me that everything I’m saying is wrong, even though I actually watched this happen from not too far of a distance and have been tracking it for years by regularly talking to people who talk to people who were directly involved in the decision making.

            I mean who was even talking about Nebraska joining the Big Ten more than a few days before it happened? If you remember, it basically came out of nowhere. And now some of you are re-writing history as if Nebraska was the obvious choice all along? Please. And somehow Missouri joining the Big Ten was a no-brainer and if they had any kind of proposal, no matter how bad the terms were, they would have taken it no sweat without negotiations? Riight. Anybody saying that knows zero about how things are done at the University of Missouri.

          • @Andy – I wrote this on April 19, 2010 (2 months before the Big Ten added Nebraska):

            (3) If the Big Ten wants to make a ton of TV money, it will invite Nebraska – I’ve been increasingly become more and more supportive of Nebraska joining the Big Ten lately and Patrick’s analysis completely sealed it. Nebraska’s small market be damned – the Husker fan base is as rabid as any other in the country and they will tune in anytime, anywhere. (If you were wondering, the photo at the top of this post is evidence of how Nebraska fans completely took over South Bend a few years ago when they played Notre Dame.) In fact, Patrick’s figures mean that we should remove Nebraska from the realm of “Well, they might be coming instead of Missouri” or “They’re a good back-up if Notre Dame doesn’t want to join” and put the Cornhuskers into the “lock” category instead. I will now officially be shocked if Big Ten expansion occurs without Nebraska involved.

            http://frankthetank.wordpress.com/2010/04/19/the-value-of-expansion-candidates-to-the-big-ten-network/

            I’m not sure who was actually surprised about the addition of Nebraska when it happened, but it certainly wasn’t the case here.

          • Andy says:

            Frank, this article you wrote is from two and a half weeks before Nebraska actually joined the Big Ten. You say yourself in that quote that you were moving them from a “maybe” category to a “lock” category at that point. Up to that point they weren’t at all considered a lock. Delaney announced expansion 5 months prior to your article that you linked to. In most media reports during those first few months, Nebraska wasn’t even mentioned as a candidate. They started to get more buzz later on but like you said it was a “maybe instead of Missouri” thing for the most part. You were actually suggesting that putting Nebraska as a “lock” at that point, 5 months into the process, was a new and interesting topic to write about. So again, an attempted “gotcha” post really only serves to confirm exactly what I was saying.

            I’m not saying Nebraska wasn’t a valid candidate or that nobody thought it was a potential theoretical fit. I’m saying nobody was actually saying it was some inevitable thing until shortly before it happened.

          • Andy says:

            Alright, I got the dates wrong. It was 2 months. So you have a point. There was a significant amount of time there where at least someone (you and probably others) were talking about Nebraska as likely to join the Big Ten.

            However, the fact remains that for 5 out of those 7 months while the Big Ten was looking at expansion but hadn’t added anyone yet, Nebraska was not being mentioned by anyone as a top candidate. You would think by the way some of you are describing the situation, Nebraska would have been the obvious choice from day one. This is simply not the case.

          • Andy says:

            Where the details are scarce on how it played out behind the scenes are how the timing worked. At some point the focus of the Big Ten shifted from Missouri to Nebraska. Supposedly this shift came when Missouri tried to negotiate for better terms. Did this happen in April? May? June? I don’t have those details. And what else happened? I’m guessing there are reasons Missouri won’t reveal the details publicly.

            I’ll try to be as clear and precise as I can about what has been said about this: When Delaney announced that the Big Ten would be expanding in December of 2009, they then had talks with Missouri some time after that. They gave Missouri a proposal that was basically the same as the offer that Nebraska accepted. What they gave Missouri was not an official offer, but rather an unofficial proposal to begin a dialogue. Missouri’s leaders looked at it and weren’t happy with it. They tried to enter negotiations with the Big Ten to improve the terms of the proposal. Then at some point in the spring the Big Ten decided to go with Nebraska, and Nebraska accepted the deal as is. How this happened specifically I don’t know. Some are mad at Delaney about this. Some are mad at Missouri’s leaders. I honestly don’t know who to believe or what specifically happened with that.

            I don’t see anything incredible or impossible to believe about that story. It’s perfectly in keeping with all publicly available facts, fits all characters involved, and explains the publicly observable behavior on the Missouri side during the spring of 2010.

          • bullet says:

            @Andy
            This last description is believable. Its the interpretation that is far fetched. That description doesn’t mean the Big 10 ever decided to invite Missouri or that they dropped Missouri because they were haggling over terms.. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had the same discussion with Rutgers. I would be surprised if they didn’t have that discussion with Notre Dame.

            I’m pretty sure the Big 12 has had those discussions with Louisville and BYU. BYU is almost certainly not going to be invited (and may actually have a real case that they negotiated themselves out of an invite). Louisville is not likely to be invited, except just maybe as a #14.

          • duffman says:

            @ Andy,

            Nebraska and the B1G have been in a mating dance for around 100 years or so. Granted Notre Dame always gets the press, but it has been a love triangle for quite some time.

            Nebraska wanted the B1G
            B1G wanted Notre Dame
            Notre Dame just wants to date

          • Andy says:

            Duffman, the Big Ten has had the same dance with Missouri, but I don’t know for how many years. I do know it came somewhat close to happening in 1993, and again in 2010. How close? Few can answer that question.

            bullet, I think that’s as fair assessment. Missouri was apparently a finalist for the Big Ten having serious discussions much like Louisville was a finalist for the Big 12 having serious discussions. Few know what actually happened behind the scenes during those discussions, but in the end neither team ended up in those conferences.

          • Danimation says:

            @ Andy. The reason that the Nebraska to the B1G prognostications changed was primarily due to Nebraska not being in negotiations with the B1G until after the Big 12 gave them an ultimatum. Things progressed very rapidly from there. Whereas Missouri had been publicly and privately pushing to get into the B1G for a long time. That would leave most to believe that Nebraska was wanted where Missouri was merely under consideration for B1G membership. In other words Missouri was in discussions with the B1G along with probably another handful of schools vs. actually recieving an offer. Yes I understand your rumor so no need to restate it…

            Also that is great that Missouri has raised $600 million for their school. Nebraska currently has $1.2 billion raised for the University with two years left to go on their campaign. Link below.

            http://campaignfornebraska.org/

          • metatron says:

            @ Andy – Junior membership? How many times do we have to explain that Nebraska is a full member and that they’re buying shares of the Big Ten Network with deferred income?

          • Andy says:

            Damination, when you say “Missouri had been publicly and privately pushing for membership, you are making an assumption that has no actual evidence to support it. The only Missouri official to ever make a public statement in support of joining the Big Ten was Governor Nixon, and he doesn’t work for the university. There is zero proof that Missouri was publicly and privately campaigning for it and failing. You know what I’ve heard, that the Big Ten approached Missouri and Missouri wasn’t happy with the numbers. They may or may not have campaigned for more favorable terms.

            As for Nebraska’s $1.2B raised, good for Nebraska. The $600M I mentioned was just one specific campaign that I happen to have heard about. I don’t follow all of their fundraising. Missouri has grown faster than any other university in America, growing from around 22k to 34k students over the last 8 years. Nebraska is still at 22k I see. There has been massive construction all over Missouri’s campus. Lots of new buildings, classrooms, dorms, etc. Missouri and Nebraska’s endowments are practically identical. Missouri’s total research budget is about 20% higher. And Missouri is still a proud member of the AAU.

            metatron, junior membership is what a lot of people call it. Call it whatever you want. For whatever reason, Nebraska has to buy into the Big Ten. One wonders if Notre Dame or Texas would have had the same requirements.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Sheesh.

            Andy. What part of buying equity in the BTN don’t you understand? Are you saying that Mizzu deserved to join the B1G and kick in to help pay for the BTN like all the other members? I have no idea of exact numbers but I’d bet the 11 schools had to come up with boatload to get it going. If the SEC had a conference network do you think they would say “come join in the profits that the rest of us paid to create”? Or wouldn’t they likely ask to have someone share that cost in order to earn the benefit?

            Did UT bring Andy here to make themselves look more reasonable? I bet Missouri manure doesn’t stink as much as Nebraska’s.

          • ccrider55 says:

            FtT, could I donate to help get an edit feature?

            …join and NOT kick in…

          • ChicagoMac says:

            I fear Andy has gone Costanza on us and is actually believing the stories he’s spinning.

            Here is what the Newspaper in Columbia said about Missouri, the Big Ten, etc.

            In reconstructing the time line, the date Sept. 2, referred to as “the defining moment for our chancellor” by football Coach Gary Pinkel, was the point Missouri actively sought a new home. Deaton said he knew from talking to colleagues in the Big Ten, which had spurned MU the year before, that it had no interest in expanding. So Deaton’s focus was on the SEC,

            One simple paragraph states the following:
            1. The Big Ten spurned Missouri. Spurned, which means “to reject with disdain or contempt”, sounds a helluva lot different than Nebraska stole Missouri’s slot in the Big Ten because Missouri was trying to negotiate and Nebraska went ahead and signed a bad deal.
            2. It clearly states Deaton was in contact with Big Ten presidents about the possibility that the Big Ten would be interested in expanding with Missouri.

            This didn’t come from some anonymous source or some random blog, it came from the Columbia Tribune, here is the link: http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2011/dec/14/deaton-alden-discus-mus-move-sec/

          • Andy says:

            ccrider, I’m not sure I buy the idea that this whole “buy in” concept is anything more than an excuse to give Nebraska a lesser share to protect the shares of existing members for a fwe years while the Big Ten gets going. Nebraska wasn’t buying into a fungible asset they could resell later. They were joining a club. The Big Ten withholds the money because they can and because Nebraska agreed to it. Feel free to disagree. I admit it’s only my (and many other people’s) opinion.

            ChicagoMac, I’m not spinning any tales at all. I’m retelling what I’m being told by others. I’m retelling them faithfully and without embelishment. And I’ve said repeatedly that I’m not sure if they’re 100% true or just partly true.

            As for the article you cited. I didn’t see Deaton say the word “spurned”. That seems to be the author’s word choice. And even based on the story I was told, “spurned” isn’t too far off. As in Missouri wanted to negotiate but the Big Ten wasn’t interested in negotiating. Thus they were “spurned” in their efforts to negotiate. Again, this is what some curators are saying off the record. Maybe they’re spinning the story somewhat. We have no way of knowing at this point.

          • ccrider55 says:

            One final try.

            Would IBM send you dividends if you didn’t purchase stock?
            BTN is a corp started, owned, and operated by Fox and 11 schools. Nebraska is purchasing an ownership share.
            With the egalitarian nature at the core of the B1G I’m sure they would require the same of any prospective member.

            Until now I thought that only UT would possibly, but not probably, have the temerity to expect preferential treatment. Couldn’t get it from the PAC or we’d already have at least one and probably several 16 team conferences.

          • Andy says:

            No, I understand the concept. But there are a lot of people who question how valid it is for the Big Ten to value their network at $750M and require Nebraska to buy in for 7 years. How much did existing Big Ten members have to pay up front to set up the network? I honestly don’t know but I would think it was much less than that. And what have Purdue or Northwestern done that make them more of an asset to the BTN than Nebraska?

            Yes, there’s a logic behind it, no doubt. But is the logic solid? I’m not so sure about that. But good for the Big Ten for getting Nebraska to agree to it. That’s more money in their pockets.

            Although I’m not sure why they would want to obtain a football “king” and then weaken that king with harsh financial limitations for the better part of a decade. Seems counterproductive to me. Shouldn’t the Big Ten want Nebraska to do as well as possible?

            FWIW the SEC is doing their best to help Missouri and A&M succeed. Arkansas, Florida, and Georgia have all offered to host Missouri on retreats to share best practices. And of course they both have full voting rights and full revenue share from day one. The thinking is strong members make a strong conference.

          • @Andy – I’m still not quite sure where you’re coming from. As we’ve established, every single conference expansion in the modern era *except* for the SEC adding Texas A&M and Missouri had the new additions take a lower revenue share for several years. It’s not a junior membership or anything of the sort. Mizzou got a great deal getting a full revenue amount immediately. That’s wonderful. However, that’s simply not the norm (which is another reason why I find it hard to believe that the Mizzou curators were insisting on that from the Big Ten, but I know that’s the story you’ve heard, so it is what it is).

            Plus, as others have stated, the Big Ten Network is a big-time legitimate asset that Nebraska (or any other school) would need to buy equity into. You’re asking what Purdue and Northwestern did? It’s simple. What Purdue and Northwestern did was risk a whole lot of guaranteed money that they could have just pocketed from ESPN in 2006 and instead approved a startup network that a whole lot of people were skeptical of (including the vaunted SEC, which signed a traditional TV rights deal with ESPN thereafter and are now trying to go back and get what the Big Ten has now). It’s easy in 20/20 hindsight to see how much of a moneymaker that the BTN has become, but when there were carriage issues the first year, you saw people from other conferences squawking about how it was going to fail. Purdue, Northwestern and the other legacy Big Ten members put their asses on the line (both financially and TV exposure-wise) in a way that no other schools in the country had done up to that point in an uncharted fashion, so they deservedly reap the reward of massive equity for taking the risk from the beginning (just like the founders of a successful company get outsized equity compared to those who join several years later). It can’t be understated how much of a risk that the Big Ten schools took in approving the BTN.

          • Mack says:

            CO also got a full share from the PAC (UT did not), but PAC money was no better than B12 money before the new contract.

          • ccrider55 says:

            So you do understand Neb is buying into something the SEC doesn’t have, but is rumored to want to start? Unless ESPN decides to do it gratas, it is going to cost. And it will probably be a cooperative venture with ESPN along the lines of the BTN. Perhaps they will decide to do it like the PAC and the conference will have to bear the full startup cost. Any way you look at it Neb is buying into an existing entity that is already very profitable. I’m sure the SEC’s will be also. But the schools, including Mizzu and aTm, will still have to pony up at least half+, unless they want to follow the LHN example and become a wholy owned subsidiary of ESPN.

          • bullet says:

            My understanding (from what people posted on this board a couple years back) is that Fox did the initial investments, but the big 10 schools have not been getting their share of profits while Fox recoups its investments. So the Big 10 schools have been putting money into the network. Its just that Fox “loaned” it and until recently was getting paid back out of the Big 10′s share.

            So if Fox put in $100 million startup costs and BTN made $200 million since inception, the Big 10 would have only gotten $51 million of that $200 million for their 51% share. The 1st $51 million would have been held out for the initial capital investment. That’s $51 million that any new member needs to pay their share of (even without any higher valuation).

          • Andy says:

            Frank, I might be wrong, but I think Miami, Boston College, Virginia Tech, Pitt, and Syracuse all got full revenue share coming into the ACC. Yes, WVU and TCU have partial revenue share for 4 years in the Big 12, but don’t you think they kind of deserve it? Those are some weak additions.

            You said it yourself, Nebraska is a football “king”. So why the brutal 7 year buy-in? I don’t get it.

            I think what it amounts to is a conference is going to do what it can get away with. If a school like TCU or Nebraska is desperate to get into a particular conference, they’ll agree to unfavorable terms. If a school could take it or leave it but the conference really wants them, like Missouri or Miami, then they get to set the terms.

          • ccrider55 says:

            News flash to LSU, Fla, Ala and Slive: you got owned by Mizzu et al. Desperation is a bitch…

            Adam: I…don’t know what to say, so I’ll stop.

          • Prophetstruth says:

            @ Andy

            It seems you are being completely disingenuous in your to attempt to characterize Nebraska’s membership in the B1G as some how desperate while Missouri’s upcoming membership in the SEC is some how the result of Missouri’s desirability. Nebraska doesn’t have junior membership in the B1G no matter how many times you write it and say that there are a lot of people who are saying that. Who are these people? Where is it written? Who are those saying Nebraska should not have to buy their way into the BTN? It has substantial monetary value and is owned by the conference schools. Why do you think that the B1G should simply give that way for free and because they won’t, this has somehow unduly burdened Nebraska with a terrible deal?

            According to the IRS B1G IRS 990 filings the B1G shows ownership in a company called Big Ten Network Holdings LLC that owns a company called Big Ten Network, LLC of which they own 49%. On this filing the member B1G Universities are listed as the members of the B1G who own this network probably at a little over 4.4% per institution pre-Nebraska. No matter how they came into ownership of this asset, Nebraska or any institution can not also gain equity in this investment after the fact until they put up something based on the FMV of this asset. If the B1G were to sell their interest in this asset next year, and thus the revenue from this asset is in turn distributed to the institutions, why should Nebraska receive a full share of the money generated from the sale when they had no interest in the asset to begin with? With that in mind, wouldn’t they need to obtain their interest in the asset somehow? If the ownership is 49% pre-Nebraska, and the other institutions dilute their share because now there is a 12th member how can the institutions be made whole again for their share dilution? Nebraska has to buy in just as any other institution would. Let’s say that I provided you with a million dollars to start a business and in return you provided sweat equity in return for a 49% interest in the business. You in turn work hard for 4 years to make the increase the value of the business. In year 5 you want to bring in a new partner who is putting up nothing but sweat equity and in return he wants half of your interest in the business. Would you give him half from day one, or allow him to earn his stake in your business over time say – 7 years at 3.5% gain in equity per year? I wouldn’t characterize that as desperate or a burden especially since business is commonly conducted in this manner.

            You are misinterpreting the terms of the agreement which is that Nebraska will be as whole as they were as if they were in the big12. They will receive no less distribution as if they were still in the Big12. I believe that the $14.5 million is exactly what Nebraska would have received in the Big12 and it may be what Missouri is forfeiting on their way out the door (not sure of what Missouri had to give up of their Big12 distribution to go to the SEC). It would stand that next year Nebraska will receive more than this year at a rate equivalent to their buy in. So it would seem that Missouri will not significantly outgain Nebraska in income if at all when Missouri receives their distribution in 2013. When you average out the fact Missouri had to pay exit penalties into the equation (Nebraska received approximately 9 million less in distributions when they exited I believe) the monetary difference may be even smaller. I acknowledge I haven’t looked at the exact numbers to confirm this. With that in combination to the fact that the Big12 would have distributed more money in future years, Nebraska’s revenue distribution from the B1G will escalate until they become a full owner of BTN. How much, I am not sure but I do know that it will be no less and can be more, than what they would have received if they stayed in the Big12. You assume that the 14.5 million of revenue they received this year is static when that is not the case. They will receive more each year until they are a full financial owner of the BTN. That would lead me to believe that with the payouts, which are usually in arrears, will likely be fairly similar between Nebraska and Missouri. And, Nebraska won’t be losing 40-50 million per year as you indicate. They won’t be getting 10 million less than the other schools each year. It is likely 10 million, and than goes down from there until the B1G renegotiates their media rights deals in 2017 which coincides with Nebraska’s full partner ownership in the BTN. At that time, if not sooner, Nebraska’s income is likely to surpass Missouri’s in conference distributions. As an aside, a few million less than the other schools won’t hurt a school like Nebraska with a large athletic budget, donors and rabid fan base. It will not hamper them as you try and portray.

            You seem to insinuate that Nebraska was desperate and Missouri was able to dictate terms by a conference that wanted them but there were published reports that the SEC was not sold on Missouri for a variety of reasons and that they did not have the votes to enter the conference initially. It’s obvious that in order for the SEC to keep up with the Big10 revenue wise they needed more members and population – thus the reason for Missouri’s membership although some of their leadership wanted to wait and look east.

            Not sure why you keep referencing the 1 year grace period to becoming a full voting member of the conference. What’s your point? Sure Nebraska gained full voting rights 1 year after official membership. That was likely done by the B1G to assimilate Nebraska into the conference and give it an opportunity to learn the lay of the land. No one is buying that Missouri had a take it or leave it attitude and set their own terms when it was reported that Missouri didn’t even have the necessary votes initially to enter the SEC. Missouri likely got to negotiate some terms because the SEC needed markets to keep up with the B1G financially. But your revisionist version of events that portrays the SEC as desperately wanting Missouri and thus allowing Missouri to dictate terms is patently false. And I am no fan of Nebraska.

          • Andy says:

            Prophetstruth, I’m not being disingenuous at all. I’m not even sure why you would say or think that. Obviously I believe what I’m saying. These are opinions I genuinely hold. Who are the people that are saying this? People in Missouri, people in Texas, people in the SEC. There are no shortage of people I’ve heard say this. But they’re just people with opinions. This is really just something a person can have an opinion about. It’s a judgement call, nothing more.

            As for the numbers:

            Missouri’s exit fees are $14M, Nebraska’s exit fees were $9M, so Missouri will pay $5M more in exit fees.

            Here’s a conservative estimate of Missouri’s TV revenue over the next 7 seasons: Year 1 no SEC network with renegotiated SEC deal: $24M, year 2 SEC network begins: $28M, year 3 SEC Network grows: $30M, conservatively, SEC network stays flat from then on. Total: $212M – $14M exit fee = $198M. Of course it could end up being quite a bit more than that if the SEC Network is at all successful.

            Nebraska supposedly ramps up by 15% per year over 7 years, so $14M, $16.1M, $18.5M, $12.3M, $24.5M, $28.2M, $32,4M, so total $156M – $9M exit fee – $147M, or $52M less than Missouri, and I think that’s a conservative estimate. And that’s also assuming that Nebraska gets the full 15% bump every year. I don’t really know how that works, I’m just going by what someone said on here.

            So what do you think? Is $52M a lot of money? I would tend to think so. Maybe you don’t?

            As for your predictions about how conference TV negotiations will go in 2017 or your predictions about how the SEC network won’t perform as well as the BTN, you’re free to them, but it’s kind of pointless at this point given how little we know. I think at this point it’s just as likely that the SEC will make more as the Big Ten. Time will tell.

            As far as the 4.4% per institution, yeah, I get that, but there are two problems with that logic. #1: You have to calculate what Nebraska is paying based on what’s being witheld from their potential earnings in the Big Ten, not against their 2010 Big 12 payment. They compete in the Big Ten now, that’s their conference, that’s the money they are earning. Any money withheld is supposedly going to a buy in. SO if Nebraska makes $156M, and the rest of the conference averages $28M over 7 years (again, very conservative), then Nebraska is giving up $40M. if Nebraska is buying 4.4% of the BTN at a price of $40M, that puts the value of the BTN at around $900M. That seems a little excessive, doesn’t it? Maybe I’m way off base, but I would think it would be worth well under half of that. #2: Doesn’t Nebraska bring any value just by joining? They’re a football “king”. And they made the Big Ten championship game possible by joining. And they’re supposedly raising the value and ratings of Big Ten football considerably with their national fanbase. So what’s that worth to the Big Ten? It’s got to be more than zero. I would think some of the buy in should be forgiven just because they agreed to bring their value to the league. Certainly that’s the way some other leagues see it.

            I never said Missouri got to dictate terms with the SEC. I just said that the SEC wasn’t able to get any concessions out of Missouri as far as voting rights or revenue. And that’s clearly the case. As for whatever reports you heard about Missouri not having votes, I’m guessing it was random twitter nonsense. Missouri’s acceptance into the SEC was never in doubt. In fact, the SEC came to Missouri, not vice versa. This started in 2010, and the SEC continued to sell themselves to Missouri for the next year until Missouri tried to join. Why? Well, Missouri brings what the SEC lacked. The SEC is heavy on smallish rural schools in small markets with so-so academics who are great at football and mediocre at basketball. Missouri is good academic school with a good sized market and some big cities with okay football and good basketball. Compare that to West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Clemson, etc, those schools would have been more of the same. They’d add very little. With Missouri, the SEC gets to increase their population substantially, improve their academics, improve their basketball, and get a football program that won’t be a doormat and can go to mid-tier bowls regularly. It’s pretty much exactly what they wanted and they were happy to get it. So why piss us off on our way in the door, or weaken us by draining our funding? They want us to be wealthy and prosperous. If Missouri really takes off in the SEC, then all of a sudden they’ve got a metro-area of 2.8M people in St. Louis that are going to have SEC fever. That’s what they want. They’re trilled about the $200M football upgrades we’re starting next year:

            http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/9585/tumblrm3vmu9xmzq1rw044m.jpg

          • Denogginizer says:

            FtT, this Nebraska v. Missouri tangent is why I follow your blog. Detailed data, opinions, and humor. Almost always civil. I love it. Thanks.

            Andy, I appreciate your passion for all things Mizzou. I’m a Nebraska fan, and I can tell you that I will miss the Missouri game. It was just getting interesting. If the B1G ever expands to 16, I hope Missouri is in the mix. (Not saying Missouri is interested in joining the B1G, or “Big Rusty” as they now call it on tigerboard.) But I have to ask, if the decision between Missouri and Nebraska was so close, please provide links to the many commentators, sports columnist, and blogs which opined that the Big Ten Conference made a bad decision in picking Nebraska over Missouri. Or, just one.

          • Andy says:

            Denogginizer, most were positive about Nebraska to the Big Ten because of football. Nebraska’s academic issues weren’t well known at the time. Nebraska was on probation with the AAU and on the verge of losing membership, which they did shortly after. If that fact were more well known at the time it almost certainly would have been talked about.

            The only criticism I saw Nebraska get at that time when compared to Missouri was population. Some thought Missouri was the stronger choice because Missouri has 6M people and only one FBS program, and Nebraska has 1.8M. That’s a pretty big difference, and it matters as far as BTN revenue. That’s why Rutgers was considered a candidate as well. Rutgers certainly doesn’t bring much in football terms, but they were considered a frontrunner by many just because of their 7.5M people.

            But the football pretty much makes up for it. I’m not saying Missouri was a better choice, just that they were basically about the same if you weigh all factors, so the Big Ten could have gone either way.

          • OrderRestored says:

            “, just that they were basically about the same if you weigh all factors, so the Big Ten could have gone either way” I’m not even a Nebraska fan and even I realize this statement is ludacris. Missouri’s 7 Million people don’t really matter if they never turn on Missouri athletics (which most do not, check the ratings) Nebraska may only have 2 Million people in their state, but that state completely shuts down when the Cornhuskers are playing. The same can’t even remotely be said of Missouri. Nebraska also has an enormous rabid national following. I live in Oklahoma and Nebraska fan presence is felt even this far south. For example, the Oklahoma State game in Stillwater in 2010; Nebraska fans wanted a central location for their fans to tailgate so they rented out Stillwater High School’s facilities. All of them. I laughed until I drove by and saw they filled those facilities with fans. All the facilites; the parking lot was over crowded. Our local news anchor said that they estimated 20,000 Nebraska fans came to Stillwater that day. Comparing Missouri to Nebraska in relevance as far as fans and how that translates to TV ratings is laughable. I suspect the Big Ten found the same true in their research.

          • Denogginizer says:

            Andy, the AAU issue is also interesting. You and I may not have known Nebraska’s membership was under review, but I can assure you that the Big Ten Presidents and Chancellors knew. They were okay with it. Whether or not Nebraska would have been accepted without AAU status is unknown, but I would guess not. But AAU membership is just one indicator of the quality of a university. The people on this blog know well the reasons Nebraska was removed, primarily because agriculture research is not given the same weight in the AAU’s calculations and Nebraska’s university system has a separate medical school, not under the flagship university. Looking ahead academically, I like UNL’s outlook. We were already on an improved trajectory. Over the last ten years, research dollars have increased dramatically and our move to the Big Ten and CIC will only help.

          • Andy says:

            OrderRestored, the crucial point you’re missing is that ratings aren’t really all that relevent when it comes to the BTN. If the BTN gets on basic cable in Missouri vs basic cable in Nebraska at the “Big Ten footprint” rate, then the BTN makes tripple in Missouri vs Nebraska regardless of ratings.

          • OrderRestored says:

            But you have to consider the cable companies resisting. I read that even in Nebraska there was a bit of resistance; there sure would have been in Missouri. Ratings do matter to networks by the way, don’t kind yourself, ask any major advertiser.

          • Andy says:

            Missoui’s tv ratings aren’t bad by any menas. They’re just not as strong as Nebraska’s. But factor in the fact that Missouri has more than 3 times as many households as Nebraska and you could see how they might be in the same ballpark overall as far as TV revenue.

          • OrderRestored says:

            You are falsly assuming that every cable provider and satelite carrier in Missouri would jump right on the BTN band wagon though, that is a pretty large step. See the LHN in Texas as an example; just because you add Missouri to the content doesn’t mean the entire state will automatically subscribe. Another good example; the YES network and New York. Cable companies wouldn’t just bow down and I’m not sure the pressure from all those rabid Missouri fans would make them (tongue in cheeck).

          • ChicagoMac says:

            @OrderRestored…not only that but future carriage rates are dependent upon ratings, the % of unique households within MSOs footprint who actually watch the network, the demographics, etc.

            BTN is no longer a startup network, it has a track record and it can now use its viewership to go out and command competitive carriage rates.

          • Danimation says:

            Andy – Nebraska actually has over 50k students when you count their other two campuses within the University’s system – Kearney and Omaha. UNL is looking to increase its enrollment to over 30k by 2017 and is on pace to beat that. Enrollment numbers were not a big focus of Nebraska until joining the B1G. It is now a push to get the enrollment up.

            http://nebraska.edu/media-resource-center/news-releases/1738-university-of-nebraska-enrollment-hits-18-year-high.html

            You seem deeply confused about Nebraska’s buy-in to the BTN. You do realize that the BTN is not 100% owned by ESPN or ABC or some other affiliate. If the B1G was setup for TV like the SEC currently is then Nebraska would have come into the conference getting their full allotment of the TV revenues…however the BTN deal makes it a completely different deal. Again this is something UNIQUE to the B1G. No other conference has something like this up and running. The Pac is putting one in place and so is the SEC however it is not up and running like BTN.

            It is Interesting that you are doubting that the BTN is worth $750mm when it has been an obvious wild success that has not been done before in CFB…notice the SEC is copying it…? It is picking up steam and will continue to be an advantage for the B1G for years to come.

            Further, the BTN was created from the ground up, which took money from the conference members. Nebraska is not hurt by this, aside from not being able to give back some millions of dollars to the University for educational purposes that they did not earn before in the Big 12 either. Boosters can easily step up during this 5 year buy-in from 2012-2016 (UNL become 100% vested into the BTN for the calendar year 2017).

            It will be interesting to see what each SEC school has to commit in money to get the SEC Network up and running because it has to come from somewhere.

            Good luck to Missouri. I am going to take a guess now and say that the football program goes 0-10 over the next decade in trying to win their division let alone a full outright SEC conference championship. Enjoy that.

            A couple of fun facts for you that MAY have played in to the B1G’s decision to accept Nebraska into the conference. Feel free to object with facts instead of random opinions that are not based in homer-esq opinion.

            Nebraska enjoys a 65-36-3 record over Missouri in football.

            Further comparisons of the football programs (which again drive the bus for expansion) and noting that these are similar academic institutions:

            Bowl Games
            UNL: 48 – Missouri: 29

            UNL went to 25 straight bowl games from 71-96. Since 62 there has been three years, with no back to back years of UNL missing a bowl game.

            All time victories
            UNL: 856, ranked #3 – Missouri: 632, ranked #34
            UNL is currently ranked #3 behind Michigan #1 (895) and Texas #2 (858).

            All time winning percentage
            UNL: 70.35%, ranked #8 – Missouri: 54.56%, #62.

            National Titles
            UNL: 5 – Missouri: 0
            Nebraska also has 5 undefeated seasons and did not win the national title.

            Conference Titles
            UNL: 43 – Missouri: 15

            Of the three division titles for Missouri (Big 12), all three were co-divisional titles.
            Breakdown of conference Missouri was apart during titles:
            * 3 were with the Western Interstate University Football Association (1893-1895)
            * 11 were with the MVIAA
            * 1 was a Big 8 title in 1969 which was a co-conference title.
            So as far as quality outright conference titles Missouri has zero. Quite a rich history there…

            Heisman Trophy Winners
            UNL: 3 – Missouri: 0

            All-Americans (Football – Athletic Award)
            UNL: 53 – Missouri: 11

            Academic All-Americans (All Sports)
            UNL: 294, ranked #1 ahead of #2 Notre Dame – Missouri: Not sure, not highlighted anywhere that I saw.

            Walter Camp Award Winners
            UNL: 3 – Missouri: 1

            Maxwell Award
            AP Player of the Year Award
            Dave O’Brien Award
            Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award
            Dave Rimington Trophy
            Dick Butkus Award
            Bronko Nagurski Trophy
            Chuck Bednarik Award
            UNL has 1 of each totaling 8 awards – Missouri: 0

            Lombardi Award Winners
            UNL: 5 – Missouri: 0

            Outland Trophy Winners
            UNL: 8 – Missouri: 0

            Members in the College Football Hall of Fame
            UNL: 21 – Missouri: 12

            Number of players currently in the NFL per: http://espn.go.com/nfl/college
            UNL: 40 – Missouri: 25
            How many make an opening day roster who knows at this point.

            Number of players sent to the NFL all-time
            UNL: 305 – Missouri: 150
            I got this from the website listed below. It seems to be out of date (maybe up to 2010?) as Suh isn’t listed but it gives us all an idea. http://www.databasefootball.com/players/playerbycollege.htm

            Stadium Capacity
            UNL: ~86k – Missouri: ~71k
            UNL is set to go over 90k with an expansion that will be completed for the 2013 season.

            The increase in stadium capacity will put Nebraska into at least the Top 9. With future expansions the expectation is to get to #6 for average attendance.

            Football Average Attendance
            UNL: 2011 – 85,267. Missouri: 2011 – 62,095.

            Sellouts
            UNL: 318 consecutive, on-going, started on 11/3/1962 – Missouri: Not sure. Missouri alumni that I know say that it is usually a couple of games per year max.

            Fan Base
            UNL: Known to travel really well to away games, sells out all home games, and travels very well to bowl games. Missouri: Sells out home stadium a couple times per year with over 14k less capacity, does not travel well, has been relegated to lower bowl (Kansas went to Orange one year over them) due to poor bowl attendance from fans.

            Also one of the main reasons that UNL was removed from the AAU was due to the University of Nebraska’s Medical Center not counting as a part of the UNL system because there is a separate chancellor who is over the UNMC whereas the AAU needed UNMC to report directly to the UNL Chancellor. How incredibly stupid is that?

            If you go back and look at the timing of the AAU removal (which was headed up by the U. of TX) it was after UNL broke away from the Big 12. It was retribution. Iowa State University is still a part of the AAU. Do you think that they are significantly better/different than UNL? They aren’t…it was payback for leaving the Big 12. If only Michigan and Wisconsin would not have been talked into voting to remove Nebraska they would still be in. Thanks guys & gals! Lol Oh well the impact is nada aside from the mild embarrassment during the removal.

            One other recently changed factor that was a key reason for removing UNL from the AAU was a reduced emphasis (like none) being given to Agriculture research which UNL is very strong at.

            There are a couple of proud Missouri grads here in my office, one of which is relatively good booster to the AD there. I asked them about your B1G rumor, etc. They had never heard that. They asked around and none of their contacts back in MO had heard this. Their guess was that it was damage control for the egg on their face for not getting in. They are happy with being in a stable conference however they do realize that they have no chance of winning on a consistent level except for in basketball.

          • Danimation says:

            Andy, while Missouri has more households in MO they do not have the rabid fan base that Nebraska has. Nebraska is also a national brand. Missouri sells out it 14k smaller stadium a couple of times a year in football while Nebraska has sold out for over 300 games.

            The MO marketplace is split up amongst KSU, KU & MO. There is also a B1G presence there as well. Why you dispute that, aside from being an unabashed homer is beyond me.

          • Andy says:

            OrderRestored, ChicagoMac, and Danimation, answer me this: if Missouri’s tv earnings potential is so laughably crappy, then why was the SEC so eager to add Missouri?

            I think we all know the answer to that question: Misosuri’s tv earnings potential is not laughably crappy. It’s actually quite good. And the SEC is going to make a bundle by adding Missouri. The Big Ten would have as well. This isn’t a theoretical. You’ll see the hard numbers soon enough when the SEC’s TV contracts are negotiated, and then again when the SEC network comes to Missouri.

            Basically the three of you are basing your argument on the idea that the SEC is full of idiots who don’t know what they’re doing and made a horrible mistake by adding Missouri and will likely lose money. Oh, and I’m an extreme homer and a fool for not agreeing with you. Anything else?

          • OrderRestored says:

            The SEC added Missouri as a traveling partner with Texas A&M. Texas A&M was the market and football brand that the SEC wanted; but they didn’t want to stay at 13 (scheduling is a nightmare, see the MAC conference). The SEC’s options at that point were West Virginia and Missouri. Mike Slive came out and said he wanted to improve the academic standing of the SEC so Missouri got the nod. Don’t kid yourself (don’t beat yourself up over it either) Missouri didn’t get in for its marketablity; they got in because the SEC needed a 14th team. When/if the SEC Network is announced; and its profitablity is shared with the public, it will do little to show your arguement either way. To me, the Missouri fan base taking credit of any kind for the success of something like the SEC network would be like a C average kid bragging because the rest of his class got A’s. I’m not on either side of the arguement (SEC or B1G) but you have to call a spade a spade.

          • Andy says:

            OrderRestored, everything you said in that last post was based on nothing but your own opinion. Missouri does very well in the St. Louis market, a market that has 2.8M people (50% more people than the entire state of Nebraska). They do fairly well in Kansas City (who’s metro area population is rougly equal to the entire population of the state of Nebraska). Missouri’s TV numbers aren’t weak at all. They’re above average. All of your assertions to the contrary are completely bogus. But you’re right about one thing, we’ll know the truth very shortly when the actual numbers come out.

            Example, let’s say Nebraska’s fan enthusiasm is triple Missouri’s per population (it isn’t. Not even close. Missouri averages around 63k fans per game, Nebraska averages around 83k. Certainly there’s a lot of enthusiasm for football in Nebraska but not 3 times as much, there are a lot of Mizzou fans in Missouri. Missouri is among the winningest programs of the last decade, with several top 25 finishes in the last few years, and attendance figures that are trending up, plus successful basketball). But even if it were three times, and even if they could monetize that at triple prices subscriber fees compared to Missouri’s subscriber fees, Missour would still make more money than Nebraska in the BTN because Missouri has more than 3 times as many households.

            The truth is the SEC is very excited about adding Missouri. They expact to earn a lot of money there. You can say it isn’t so as much as you want but it is.

          • OrderRestored says:

            Missour doesn’t do nearly as well in St. Louis and Kansas City as you say; those are both pro-sports towns. You always accuse everyone on here of their ‘opinions’ but where are your ‘facts’ that missouri controls the St. Louis and Kansas City markets? They don’t. Not even remotely; and once again you are assuming all 7 Million people in Missouri will be watching Missouri athletics. You are lucky if you get a third of that number. To say contrary implies that you are smarter than the Big Ten (and nearly the SEC as West Virginia was closer than you think to getting your spot in the SEC) expansion commitees. Don’t flatter yourself. I understand you are passionate about your alma mater, maybe if Missouri had more fans like you these issues would be different, but they don’t. They simply don’t.

          • Andy says:

            I haven’t seen any overarching study comparing ratings between teams. No doubt Nebraska’s are higher htan Missouri’s, but not tremendously so.

            All I have are individual datapoints. Last season the Missouri/Arizona State game grabbed a 2.0 rating nationally, or 2.54M viewers. That’s higher than games on the same day like Wisconisn/Orgegon State, Texas/BYU, Arizona/Oklahoma State, Tennessee/Cincinatti, and Arkansas/New Mexico.

            Last year’s Missouri/Oklahoma game had over 1.8M viewers nationally. Missouri/Oklahoma State drew 1.5M viewers. (those two games were on the cable network FX). The game against Texas did well but it was only a regional ABC broadcast.

            So the numbers this year weren’t great but they were certainly above average. And that’s pretty good considering it was Missouri’s worst season since 2006.

            Missouri’s bowl game in 2010 against Iowa broke records for attendance and tv ratings for the Insight Bowl.

            The game against Oklahoma in 2010 had 6.27M viewers, and Missouri fans had the largest crowd ever for ESPN Gameday, a record that still stands. The Missouri/Kansas game in 2007 had 10.2M viewersw, which was the highest rated game in the country that year.

            Feel free to look up all of Missouri’s games one by one on Google. They usually do fairly well, sometimes about average, sometimes really good. I’m not even sure how you can say that Missouri has terrible ratings. I guess it used to be true if you go back 8-10 years, but it certianly isn’t true now and hasn’t been for the last few years.

            As for how they do in St. Louis, I don’t know where to find this information, but I’ve certainly heard that Missouri does very well in St. Louis. It’s definitley true in basketball. Here’s an article from just this year about how remarkably well Missouri does on tv in St. Louis for basketball. There are a ton of Missouri fans in St. Louis That’s where more than half of Missouri’s alums live.

            http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/dan-caesar/mizzou-soars-in-tv-ratings/article_f4e44c95-8e1c-5031-ac82-033d7397bc09.html

            So basically, OrderRestored, you’re making things up, just like I said. Either that or you’re judging Missouri based on how bad they were in the 80s and 90s. If that’s the case you need to get with the times. Missouri has been to 8 bowls in 9 years. They’ve averaged 9.5 wins per season for the past 5 seasons. The times they are a changing. Missouri is back, and they are popular. And yes, people watch them on TV.

          • OrderRestored says:

            Andy, I was barely alive in the 80′s. I am the times. Northwestern has been to 6 bowls in the last 9 years. That used to mean something when there were only 25 bowls or so; but now there are nearly 40. If you don’t make a bowl, you didn’t have a winning record….that’s not much to crow about. As for their 9.5 wins, hows that wins vs time curve been looking lately? Trending down a little? Listen. I could care less about Missouri, Nebraska, SEC, B1G; but the way you manipulate your delusions on here is sickening. If you have an unsupported statement, we should take it as fact; but if we make a statement, its unproven opinion. That’s ok; you are proving every post that the B1G was better off chosing Nebraska.

          • greg says:

            “Missouri’s bowl game in 2010 against Iowa broke records for attendance and tv ratings for the Insight Bowl.”

            There were many more Iowa fans in the stands than Missouri fans. Iowa-Oklahoma re-broke the record last year.

            The 2010 game was the first one not on the NFL Network, so you can’t really compare the ratings to prior seasons.

          • Andy says:

            Greg, how would you even be able to tell? Both schools’ fans wear black and gold. From what I understand Missouri sent a ton of fans to the Insight Bowl. They also quickly sold out the Cotton Bowl a couple years before that. As for ratings, whether it was the first year on another network or not, TV ratings for that game were very solid. Good job ignoring all the rest of the evidence I provided. Your nitpick doesn’t change the fact that Missouri obviously gets good ratings.

            Looking more closely at the St. Louis Post Dispatch article, I got some actual numbers for you.

            Missouri basketball averages a 5.1 rating in St. Louis. Missouri football averaged 8.7 from 2006-2001. It was at 9.6 but 2011 was a down year. The St. Louis Blues’ highest rated game of 2011 was a 5.6. Missouri football’s highest rated game in St. Louis got a 26. Their highest rated basketball game got a 9.1.

            So there you go. There are some numbers. I’m no media expert but those look decent. Maybe not spectacular, but not “laughably weak” as some of you are saying.

          • Andy says:

            Should read “Missouri football averaged 8.7 from 2006-2011″, not “2001″. I make too many typos and there’s no edit option here.

          • Danimation says:

            Andy – did you report my post from 1:31pm? lol…

          • Andy says:

            OrderRestored:

            The trend:

            7-8-12-10-8-10-8-?

            Looks like a steady trend to me. Missouri had some tough losses this year. A couple of losses b/c of missed FGs and another one because of a fumble in a rain storm. But yeah, last year was a down year. Only 8 wins. The year before that was a 10 win season and a top 25 finish (and a last minute bowl loss b/c of an interception that would have pushed it to 11 wins), so I’m not sure how you can spin that as bad, but I’m sure you’ll try.

            Recruiting has been better than ever (currently ranked #14 nationally on rivals.com). $200M in stadium/facilities upgrades are on the way. The future looks bright. The only place Missouri is trending down is in your imaginiation.

            I have provided a mountain of evidence, actual numbers, that prove my poin that Missouri was a perfectly viable candidate. The SEC agrees with me. According to my sources, the Big Ten strongly considered Missouri as well. You’re just some kid in his early 20s who is of the opinion that “Mizzou sucks” just because. OK. Thanks for your input. Keep waiting for “order to be restored”. Maybe some day Missouri will be a doormat again and Nebraska will go undefeated. But don’t hold your breath.

          • OrderRestored says:

            Oh Andy, wrong again. I’m not even a Nebraska fan so i could care less if they go undefeated or not. I graduated from Notre Dame. I’m only giving you the national perspective of your Tigers, a break from you miopic point of view.

          • Andy says:

            Danimation, I don’t know how to report a post or what that even means.

          • Danimation says:

            Andy, I am awaiting your point by point response to my post at 1:28pm. TIA

          • Andy says:

            Ah, I see. The format of this boar sucks. It’s very difficult to follow a long conversation between several people and reply to them individually.

            Yes, Nebraska averages a little under 20k more fans per game in football. I never disputed that. In fact, I’m pretty sure I mentioned it myself more than once. And I readily admit that on the football issue alone, Nebraska is better than Missouri. Missouri makes up for it in other areas. What I’ve said over and over again is that Missouri is “good enough” in football, so it’s not a negative. And then they have other positives that Nebraska lacks.

            Over the years I’ve seen reports on other school’s popularity in the state of Missouri. Missouri’s popularity in St. Louis is approximately 5 times higher than Illinois, and no other school comes close.

            In KC there are 3 major schools: Missouri, KSU, and Kansas. Kansas is the most popular in basketball (obviously), and Missouri is the most popular of the three in football. But if we’re going to bring basketball into this, then of course Missouri has a massive advantage over Nebraska.

            So as I’ve said repeatedly, Missouri’s hold on St. Louis is quite strong, and it’s decently good in Kansas City.

            So no, I haven’t disputed or avoided these issues at all. Nice try though.

          • Danimation says:

            Andy, we are on the same page then. I agree that Missouri was a good enough University for the SEC to add. However, I disagree that they where in a cat-bird position to dictate terms all by their lonesome.

            The reality is that they where a good add on/travel partner to Texas A&M who was the SEC’s target. The Texas marketplace is a big deal for the SEC.

            I would still be fascinated to hear a point-by-point discussion from you on my post from 1:28pm though.

          • Andy says:

            Dainimation, I did a “find” on the page for 1:28 pm and didn’t find any posts by you, so I don’t know what you’re talking about.

            Yes, the SEC would need to take two schools, so Missouri couldn’t join alone, this is true.

            I never said Missouri could “dictate terms”. I said that for whatever reason they weren’t happy with the proposal sent by the Big Ten, and in the end they went elsewhere. Now what happened specifically between those two points I don’t really know. I’ve heard a stories, I’m somewhat skeptical of all of them. But the consistent element is that Missouri got a proposal from the Big Ten and weren’t happy with it but the Big Ten refused to negotiate and Nebraska took those terms in their deal.

            Nebraska and Missouri are both perfectly vialbe additions to the Big Ten. Nebraska is clearly stronger in football. Missouri is stronger in other areas (market size, academics, basketball).

          • Danimation says:

            Andy, I will repost below the response that you say you cannot find below this comment. One would think that those facts show that Nebraska has a significantly better football program than Missouri.

            I completely disagree with you that Missouri is better than Nebraska in academics. They are very similar Universities in quality right now.

          • Danimation says:

            Repost for you Andy.

            “Andy – Nebraska actually has over 50k students when you count their other two campuses within the University’s system – Kearney and Omaha. UNL is looking to increase its enrollment to over 30k by 2017 and is on pace to beat that. Enrollment numbers were not a big focus of Nebraska until joining the B1G. It is now a push to get the enrollment up.

            http://nebraska.edu/media-resource-center/news-releases/1738-university-of-nebraska-enrollment-hits-18-year-high.html

            You seem deeply confused about Nebraska’s buy-in to the BTN. You do realize that the BTN is not 100% owned by ESPN or ABC or some other affiliate. If the B1G was setup for TV like the SEC currently is then Nebraska would have come into the conference getting their full allotment of the TV revenues…however the BTN deal makes it a completely different deal. Again this is something UNIQUE to the B1G. No other conference has something like this up and running. The Pac is putting one in place and so is the SEC however it is not up and running like BTN.

            It is Interesting that you are doubting that the BTN is worth $750mm when it has been an obvious wild success that has not been done before in CFB…notice the SEC is copying it…? It is picking up steam and will continue to be an advantage for the B1G for years to come.

            Further, the BTN was created from the ground up, which took money from the conference members. Nebraska is not hurt by this, aside from not being able to give back some millions of dollars to the University for educational purposes that they did not earn before in the Big 12 either. Boosters can easily step up during this 5 year buy-in from 2012-2016 (UNL become 100% vested into the BTN for the calendar year 2017).

            It will be interesting to see what each SEC school has to commit in money to get the SEC Network up and running because it has to come from somewhere.

            Good luck to Missouri. I am going to take a guess now and say that the football program goes 0-10 over the next decade in trying to win their division let alone a full outright SEC conference championship. Enjoy that.

            A couple of fun facts for you that MAY have played in to the B1G’s decision to accept Nebraska into the conference. Feel free to object with facts instead of random opinions that are not based in homer-esq opinion.

            Nebraska enjoys a 65-36-3 record over Missouri in football.

            Further comparisons of the football programs (which again drive the bus for expansion) and noting that these are similar academic institutions:

            Bowl Games
            UNL: 48 – Missouri: 29

            UNL went to 25 straight bowl games from 71-96. Since 62 there has been three years, with no back to back years of UNL missing a bowl game.

            All time victories
            UNL: 856, ranked #3 – Missouri: 632, ranked #34
            UNL is currently ranked #3 behind Michigan #1 (895) and Texas #2 (858).

            All time winning percentage
            UNL: 70.35%, ranked #8 – Missouri: 54.56%, #62.

            National Titles
            UNL: 5 – Missouri: 0
            Nebraska also has 5 undefeated seasons and did not win the national title.

            Conference Titles
            UNL: 43 – Missouri: 15

            Of the three division titles for Missouri (Big 12), all three were co-divisional titles.
            Breakdown of conference Missouri was apart during titles:
            * 3 were with the Western Interstate University Football Association (1893-1895)
            * 11 were with the MVIAA
            * 1 was a Big 8 title in 1969 which was a co-conference title.
            So as far as quality outright conference titles Missouri has zero. Quite a rich history there…

            Heisman Trophy Winners
            UNL: 3 – Missouri: 0

            All-Americans (Football – Athletic Award)
            UNL: 53 – Missouri: 11

            Academic All-Americans (All Sports)
            UNL: 294, ranked #1 ahead of #2 Notre Dame – Missouri: Not sure, not highlighted anywhere that I saw.

            Walter Camp Award Winners
            UNL: 3 – Missouri: 1

            Maxwell Award
            AP Player of the Year Award
            Dave O’Brien Award
            Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award
            Dave Rimington Trophy
            Dick Butkus Award
            Bronko Nagurski Trophy
            Chuck Bednarik Award
            UNL has 1 of each totaling 8 awards – Missouri: 0

            Lombardi Award Winners
            UNL: 5 – Missouri: 0

            Outland Trophy Winners
            UNL: 8 – Missouri: 0

            Members in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
            UNL: 3 – Missouri: 2

            Members in the College Football Hall of Fame
            UNL: 21 – Missouri: 12

            Number of players currently in the NFL per: http://espn.go.com/nfl/college
            UNL: 40 – Missouri: 25
            How many make an opening day roster who knows at this point.

            Number of players sent to the NFL all-time
            UNL: 305 – Missouri: 150
            I got this from the website listed below. It seems to be out of date (maybe up to 2010?) as Suh isn’t listed but it gives us all an idea. http://www.databasefootball.com/players/playerbycollege.htm

            Stadium Capacity
            UNL: ~86k – Missouri: ~71k
            UNL is set to go over 90k with an expansion that will be completed for the 2013 season.

            The increase in stadium capacity will put Nebraska into at least the Top 9. With future expansions the expectation is to get to #6 for average attendance.

            Football Average Attendance
            UNL: 2011 – 85,267. Missouri: 2011 – 62,095.

            Sellouts
            UNL: 318 consecutive, on-going, started on 11/3/1962 – Missouri: Not sure. Missouri alumni that I know say that it is usually a couple of games per year max.

            Fan Base
            UNL: Known to travel really well to away games, sells out all home games, and travels very well to bowl games. Missouri: Sells out home stadium a couple times per year with over 14k less capacity, does not travel well, has been relegated to lower bowl (Kansas went to Orange one year over them) due to poor bowl attendance from fans.

            Also one of the main reasons that UNL was removed from the AAU was due to the University of Nebraska’s Medical Center not counting as a part of the UNL system because there is a separate chancellor who is over the University of Nebraska Medical Center whereas the AAU needed UNMC to report directly to the UNL Chancellor. How incredibly stupid is that?

            If you go back and look at the timing of the AAU removal (which was headed up by the U. of TX) it was after UNL broke away from the Big 12. It was retribution. Iowa State University is still a part of the AAU. Do you think that they are significantly better/different than UNL? They aren’t…it was payback for leaving the Big 12. If only Michigan and Wisconsin would not have been talked into voting to remove Nebraska they would still be in. Thanks guys & gals! Lol Oh well the impact is nada aside from the mild embarrassment during the removal.

            One other recently changed factor that was a key reason for removing UNL from the AAU was a reduced emphasis (like none) being given to Agriculture research which UNL is very strong at.

            There are a couple of proud Missouri grads here in my office, one of which is relatively good booster to the AD there. I asked them about your B1G rumor, etc. They had never heard that. They asked around and none of their contacts back in MO had heard this. Their guess was that it was damage control for the egg on their face for not getting in. They are happy with being in a stable conference however they do realize that they have no chance of winning on a consistent level except for in basketball.”

          • Andy says:

            Damimation, OK, I found your 1:28 post. For some reason it didn’t appear on my screen until now. It was probably pending moderator approval because of the links or something. You want point by point, here it is.

            You say Nebraska has 50k students total and a goal of 30k by 2017 in Lincoln.

            Missouri already had 60k students total and 34k in Columbia and growing. It has hit consecutive record highs year after year for most of the last decade and is the fastest growing AAU university in the nation.

            I’m not deeply confused by the concept of a buy in. I just think the price is probably too high, and I also think Nebraska should get some automatic credit just for joining and adding value to the league.

            Yeah, I don’t know what will happen as far as revenue withheld from the SEC network to build it up. I guess we’ll see.

            You predict Missour won’t win in football? Good for you. Not surprising. You don’t like Missouri and you’re making a random guess, so the odds are pretty much 100% that you’re going to predict Missouri will lose a lot of games.

            Yes, Nebraska has a better history at football, is this news?

            Missouri had an awful stretch from 1984-1996. They averaged just 3 wins per season during that stretch. There were major issues at Missouri during that period. If you bring that stretch up to the average for the rest of Missouri’s history and you’d have a different story. Missouri would have around 665 wins (good for #24 overall), around 35 bowl games, and a .580 win %. Consider that in the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 00s, and now 10s Missouri football was regularly quite good. But the 80s and 90s were so bad it tanked Missouri’s all time average, big time. It also tanked Missouri’s all time record vs Nebraska. Nebraska won every game between the two schools from 1979 through 2002. Take out those games and the series record is basically even at 40-36-3.

            So yes, without that awful stretch, Missouri football isn’t all that far behind Nebraska. But you can’t take that stretch out. It is what it is. It tanks our all time record. And because of that, our record will look bad. It’s like if you had a grade card with 3 As, 2 Bs, and an F, your GPA would be a 3.0, or a straight B average. The one F cancels out the 3 As. That’s basically what happened to Missouri’s all time record. Do they deserve it? Of course they deserve it. They were terrible back then. It was hard to watch. But the pure totals don’t tell the whole story.

            Missouri had tons of success in the past. In the 60s and 70s Missouri regularly beat teams ranked in the top 10, often on the road. Teams like Michigan, USC, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado, Alabama, Florida, Auburn. There’s a long list of wins from that era vs top teams by the tigers. In one season alone Missouri won on the road against top 5 ranked teams in Notre Dame, USC, and Nebraska. Missouri even has an undefeated season where they did finish #1 in one of the lesser polls, so you could call that a national title, but most don’t.

            What you have with Missouri is a unique case where there’s basically a top 25 level program historically that had a stretch where they went from being on par with, say, a Wisconsin or at least a Michigan State in football, to more on par with a Vanderbilt or an Iowa State. It was a massively damaging turn of events for Missouri, and it took a long time to dig out of. But they’ve done it. For the better part of a decade they’ve had tons of success. They’ve gone 4-4 vs Nebraska during that period (just as they went nearly .500 vs Nebraska before that period).

            And if you look at Missouri’s numbers right now, they’re really not bad. 25 players in teh NFL isn’t bad at all.

            Looking down your list, you say Nebraska’s stadium capacity will increase to 90k soon. Well, Missouri’s got $200M in expansion and renovation on the way, it’ll be up to 83.5k in 3 years or so. As for average attendance, in the past we typically sold out games vs teams like Nebraska, Oklahoma, any team that’s ranked kind of high, or any interesting non-conference opponent like Ohio State or Notre Dame. We typically didn’t sell out for games against the likes of Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma State or Texas Tech. For one thing those teams don’t travel all that well, and for another they’re not good draws. But those are just excuses really. Nebraska does a great job of selling tickets. Missouri is still recovering from their down period. During the 40s through 70s Missouri frequently sold out their stadium. We’re getting there again. They expect season tickets to nearly sell out this year so Missouri’s average attendance should be up to around 70k after this season.

            The Missouri not traveling to bowl games thing is a myth. Truly it is. Missouri doesn’t travel well to crappy bowl games, this is true. But it’s also true of Nebraska. When they’ve been invited to crappy bowls their attendance hasn’t been stellar. So yeah, Missouri has struggled to fill bowls with unfavorable opponents like Navy and Northwestern. But give them a decen bowl game and they sell the thing out. When they played Iowa and Arkansas, Missouri’s bowl attendance was as strong as anyone. Maybe hordes of Nebraska fans would flock to see the huskers play Navy right after Christmas, but I doubt it. As for the Orange Bowl thing, that was just ridiculous. It was really a crime. Kansas somehow bought that bowl. They certainly don’t travel well. The idea that kansas fans travel better for football is beyond absurd. They definitely didn’t travel well to that Orange Bowl. Kansas lost millions in unused guaranteed tickets. Meanwhile Missouri sent well over 30k people to the Cotton Bowl that same year. But hey, Kansas got their BCS bowl (even though they were ranked lower and lost head to head), so they’ll always have that to brag about.

            Moving on, so you’re saying UNL should get to count a medical school from a seperate university in a seperate city with a seperate chancellor? How incredibly stupid is that?

            The University of Missouri-Columbia has it all in one place under one chancellor. Medical school, law school, business school, vetirinary school, research nuclear reactor, engineering school, etc etc. Because of that there’s more research dollars, more students, more faculty, more awards etc counting toward the University of Missouri. Seems fair to me.

            Beyond that, Missouri’s ACT scores are higher. Their faculty gets paid more. Their USNews ranking is higher. Better student-to-faculty ratio. More spending per student. More applicants. Higher growth rate. Endowements are about even. Really not sure how you’re going to spin Nebraska being a better school. Sorry.

            Keep telling yourself that there was no impact of leaving the AAU. Wow, and you call me someone with delusional homerism. Losing AAU is a big deal and you know it.

            Yeah, the world is out to get Nebraska, everybody hates Nebraska. They voted them out because of sport. Riiight. I thought I was supposed to be the one with unbelievable conspiracy theories?

            As for your Missouri friends, I’m not surprised that they haven’t heard about this. It’s not widespread. It’s something that’s talked about among a few insiders who know some curators, and spreads to curious people like me who are interested in this sort of thing. It’s a hot topic on premium boards behind paywalls and among some on the faculty. It’s not common knowledge among all Missouri fans.

            So there you go, I went through your post and responded point by point.

          • Danimation says:

            It is the University of Nebraska Medical Center…in Omaha, NE however it is one in the same. Who should it belong to…Iowa? If they changed the structure to have the UNMC report directly to the UNL Chancellor, UNL would likely still be in the AAU…seems silly to me. They should have built it in Lincoln…oh well.

            In looking at ratings Missouri and Nebraska are ranked very close together so I completely disagree that Missouri is significantly better at this point. They are very comparable. This website lists Missouri at #39 and UNL at #46…again pretty comparable to me.

            Research dollars for the schools FY11:
            UNL: 108mm – Missouri: $116mm

            Academically UNL has raised $1.2 billion so far with two years left on their fund raising efforts. campaignfornebraska.org/

            UNL is also in the process of building an innovation campus that will help bolster research dollars further. This in conjunction with the CIC should drastically increase UNL’s research funding levels. http://innovate.unl.edu/ Penn State has drastically increased their research dollars since joining the B1G and of course the CIC to over $800mm during FY11. That is pretty darn impressive to me. PSU was not an academic powerhouse when it join the B1G however now it absolutely is. UNL will move up similarly however it will take a lot of time. Missouri will mos def be a big fish academically in the small pond of the SEC. You are going to pull up the SEC’s profile however they cannot help you like B1G membership would have.

            It will be interesting to see where everything is at once UNL is 100% bought into the BTN and see where Missouri is at. In case you missed it check out this article. May put things in perspective for you a bit. http://www.elevenwarriors.com/2012/06/11655/b1ggie-pac

            Here is an article on Michigan and Wisconsin going against UNL on the AAU vote. UNL fell three votes short of remaining a member. http://journalstar.com/news/local/education/article_19188dda-afe7-57c8-aa2c-c1939ec5acb4.html

            Nebraska just built a $40mm basketball practice facility http://www.huskers.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=100&ATCLID=205315979 , is building a $180mm basketball arena http://www.huskers.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=100&ATCLID=205380933 , and will be complete with their $75mm (I believe it is $75…might be $50+) football stadium expansion http://huskersgameday.com/2011/04/13/east-stadium-expansion-renderings/.

            The stadium expansion is coming on the heels of an expansion a couple of years ago. Missouri’s stadium and athletic facilities are way behind Nebraska’s right now and will fall behind in Basketball once the arena is complete for the 2013 season.

          • Danimation says:

            Andy, the University of Colorado’s medical campus is in Aurora, CO which is on the eastern plains whereas the main campus is in Boulder which is over 40 miles away. The reporting structure there is likely back to the Boulder campus (main campus) chancellor. Is that illegitimate like UNL’s?

            http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/medicalschool/Pages/somWelcome.aspx

          • Andy says:

            Alabama-Tuscaloosa doesn’t get to count the Alabama Medical Center in UA-Birmingham. California-Berkeley doesn’t get to count the medical center at UC-San Francisco. The University of Maryland doesn’t get to count their medical school at UM-Baltimore. There is nothing unique about Nebraska not being able to count their medical center at UL-Omaha. The rules are the same for everyone. You may not like them but that’s the way it works.

            Nebraska is in no position to get massive amounts of money from the CIC. The CIC doesn’t just give money away. It facilitates collaboration between Big Ten institutions. It means you don’t have to do as much legwork to find partners to get research going and pool resources. Nebraska will need to invest a ton of money up front to catch up to other Big Ten institutions enough to get significant research money. Right now they trail even the bottom dwellers of the Big Ten by a significant margin.

            http://journalstar.com/news/local/education/nu-bristles-at-platte-institute-study/article_ec615398-36ee-5237-b9cf-0de3437924be.html

            I’m not saying it can’t be done eventually but it will be a while.

            The SEC recently set up the SEC Academic Consortium. The goal, eventually, is for it to be the CIC of the South. This will take some time to set up but it’s good that they’re doing it. A good chunk of the SEC won’t have as much to offer unless/until they make major upgrades, but schools like Vanderbilt, Florida, Texas A&M, Georgia, Alabama and Missouri should be able to work well together. Kentucky has a somewhat impressive research budget as well. I’m not saying it will bring in as much as the CIC, but it will likely be worth something.

            Athletics facilities are an arms race and Missouri has been steadily catching up over the last 10 years. Missouri doesn’t need a new basketball stadium. We just built a new $90M stadium 8 years ago and it’s one of the nicest in the country. After the $200M improvements to football facilities and stadium over the next 3 years, Missouri’s football facilities will be of similar quality to Nebraska’s. With SEC tv money plus record level donations and ticket sales, Missouri should be in good shape in that department for some time to come.

            But the point was never that Missouri was better than Nebraska. Just that overall there wasn’t enough of a difference, weighing all factors, to make Nebraska the obviously correct choice. Both schools have their strengths and weaknesses. Missouri’s strengths were strong enough that they were a serious candidate for the Big Ten, and were taken happily by the SEC.

          • Andy says:

            Also, your elevenwarriors article is kind of dumb. It’s over-the-top biased and unapologetically so, and can only be taken as entertainment. He dismisses the creation of an SEC network because the Mountain West network failed? Huh? And he brags about the Big Ten’s population while ridiculing the SEC’s? He does realize the SEC population footprint is now bigger than the Big Ten’s, doesn’t he? He also ridicules the new SEC/Big 12 bowl matchup. Why? Because it’s “copying” the Rose bowl. OK, sure, but who here doesn’t think it will be a popular bowl game? And the line about there being a billion “middle class kids” in China waiting to go to Pac 12 schools? Yeah, that’s kind of dumb.

            Then he goes on to claim that the Big Ten has permanently won and the SEC will fail forever because idontknowihatethemorsomething. Yeah, really enlightening, thanks for the link.

          • Danimation says:

            Sorry to have hurt your feelings with that article Andy. What is interesting is that the AAU has allowed the University of Colorado to count their medical center in Aurora, CO. Aurora is an eastern and southern suburb of Denver. The main campus is in Boulder which is not connected to Denver. Like I said before UNL should have just built the medical campus in Lincoln. They evidently where not thinking about appeasing the AAU when they built it. Now that a $350mm expansion is in the works they can’t really ditch it and rebuild in Lincoln. Oh well…

            Again we will see how this all plays out. I look forward to watching the Tigers in the SEC this fall.

          • OrderRestored says:

            By the way Andy, those double digit win seasons (all 3 of them) that you are proud of in the past few years came while playing in the Big 12 north where Nebraska was going through its worst stretch since the 1960′s. You think its coincidence that when they had to play everyone in the Big 12 their win total took a dip? What do you expect in the SEC? It’s definitely not the Big 12 north. You’ll be the new Kentucky; but that will all play itself out soon enough. That apparel isn’t just for football either (note Kansas is ranked 22nd).

          • Andy says:

            Danimation, the University of Missouri doesn’t get to count it’s Medical school and Medical Center at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Certainly that’s a major drain on the UM System budget that could otherwise be going to the Mizzou campus in Columbia. But that’s the way the rules work. Luckily Missouri also has another Medical school in Columbia where they do a lot of research, as well as a major cancer center. The AAU rates individual schools, not statewide systems. My point is several schools have the exact same complaint as Nebraska. Alabama would likely be AAU if they could combine their numbers with their medical school in Birmingham, for instance. It is what it is. UNL is not an AAU school. They likely won’t be again for many years, if ever.

            OrderRestored, it’s funny that you would make fun of Missouri being in the Big 12 North division, considering Nebraska was in the EXACT SAME DIVISION. Missouri has 48 wins over the last 5 years. 24 of those wins are against teams that went to bowl games. That’s 50% of Missouri’s wins. Missouri also went 3-2 in bowl games and beat every single member of the Big 12 at least once during that period. Nebraska won 43 games over that same period so it’s not like Missouri was beating some terrible team. The times Misouri beat Nebraska recently, Nebraska went 10-3, 8-4, 5-7, and 9-4. Not great, but not “wort ever” territory either.

          • This article that was posted earlier is pretty interesting. This section is particullary worrying for the Missouri faithful.

            “Deaton said the state’s financial pressures have increased the importance of private fundraising for the university. Ideally, he said, donations would help to “create a margin of excellence” for the university provide scholarships and keep up with other top-ranked research institutions around the nation, he said.

            But “we’re worried, clearly, that if the funding picture doesn’t change at the state and national level, that it’s going to take all that private fundraising effort just to sort of stay abreast of the very significant needs educationally that are there,” Deaton said”

            http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7321848/missouri-tigers-budget-cuts-played-role-switch-southeastern-conference

            I did not realize that Missouri is projected to be #11 out of the 14 SEC athletic departments…yikes. Add in that $12.4mm exit fee that they will pay out and this year going to be a bad year for the AD there.

            Another interesting point is the average football game attendance differences between UNL and Missouri.

            Football Average Attendance
            UNL: 2011 – 85,267. Missouri: 2011 – 62,095.

            At 23k average difference if you do the math on what that means for income it adds up quick. Let’s say the average for home game tickets to UNL is $55 (it is likely more bc there is significant donation requirements involved with purchasing season tickets that is not included in the ticket price) and say there are seven home games per year for UNL and Missouri. At $55 a ticket and 23k per game difference over 7 games that would total over $8.8mm per year IN JUST TICKET SALES. This is something that Missouri has a long way to go in to try to catch up to UNL’s AD…on top of the merchandise sales etc. Missouri will see a bump this year due to increased interest in the new conference however that could wear off quickly and go back to the norm of 60-65k average attendance if they are not able to win at a high level (which I believe is highly likely). Compare that with UNL’s expansion to over 91k that will be ready after this season for the 2013 season (all tickets are sold out already). That will put Missouri another 6k+ behind UNL in ticket sales every year…that could end up being +/-$100mm in revenues over the next decade.

            Another thing to think about is that UNL’s expansion projects are all 100% funded by private donation (except for the arena which is bonds paid for by tax payers as it will be split use for concerts etc). I am uncertain of Missouri’s expansion funding although I would guess that it is leveraged and will be paid via future projections of revenues vs. being fully paid down right away or being an item that is not on the AD’s balance sheet. UNL can move forward immediately onto new AD projects if they want bc there is little to no debt associated with the projects that will wrap up in the next year whereas Missouri may be paying on that $200mm stadium expansion for a decade or so. Based on the AD’s financials things could turn ugly.

            The past decade has been one of the worst runs in UNL’s football history…which is shown by two head coaches being fired during that time and the missing out on going to a bowl game one year (unthinkable and not acceptable by UNL’s standards). Missouri on the other hand has had a high water mark during the past decade and has had a tremendous run which culminated with their team from a couple of years ago with Chase Daniels et al. During this major down cycle for UNL the record of the series for the past decade was 6-4 in UNL’s favor…although there where a couple of blowouts that we would like to forget for sure. Nebraska also won the last two meetings in convincing fashion and is now a somewhat stable program.

            Missouri’s rise in football is directly related to the reduction in scholarships which has spread talent out to a number of mediocre programs throughout the US along with TV deals providing student-athletes the opportunity to stay closer to home, or home, and still be on TV a couple of times a year vs. going to Oklahoma or Nebraska for example. Nebraska also being terrible has helped them out however that has changed.

            Again I am sticking with my prediction for Missouri to go 0-10 for football division titles in the SEC starting this fall. That would be a bit of a down turn from their 3 co-division title wins in football during their 15 year run in the Big 12, at least one of which they lost head to head vs. UNL however where still given the co-trophy.

      • Nostradamus says:

        @greg,

        Nebraska expected to get about $14 million this year. From what is believed to be happening, Nebraska’s share will grow each year to meet the rest of the conference in 2017. So if you grow the $27.4 million for the 11 schools at say 4% through 2017, Nebraska’s share will be growing at something like 15%.

        • Farnsworth says:

          After reading this, I’m blown away by the false premises used by Andy in so many of his arguments. One of these is that Mizzou has some huge market share in Missouri’s 2 major urban cores. Andy would be the first Missourian I’ve met that truly believes this. Most people seem to believe that KU and KSU have a huge share of the Kansas City and Western Missouri market and that the Illini actually have a good portion of the St. Louis and Eastern Missouri market. When you then consider professional sports in both markets, then Mizzou has a prevalent minority share of the sports market at best. If there are numbers that say otherwise, I’d be happy to see them – games against Iowa don’t count because Iowa also has a portion of the Missouri market. UNL brings a solely owned market in Omaha, Lincoln, and the entire state of Nebraska, who are avid UNL sports fans, to the B1G.

          Nebraska brings a storied football team to the B1G, one that any college football fan in the nation is aware. Nebraska is on par with teams like Michigan, Texas, Notre Dame, Alabama, USC, Florida State, and, one other “recent” B1G expansion team, Penn State. Mizzou can hardly argue the same storied football history.

          Mizzou is a good addition to any conference but is no way in the position, on its own, to determine what conference of which it is a part. Mizzou was not solely lucky to be in the SEC, but it was not based solely on Mizzou’s bargaining power either. Without Texas A&M, Mizzou would still be a Big XIIer. No one could honestly argue that Mizzou would be in the SEC by itself. Mizzou was added because the SEC wanted a portion of the Houston market with the addition of Texas A&M, which is shares, to a large extent, with Texas, and that an academically strong school and a portion of the Missouri market was a good partner for that expansion. One could hardly argue that the SEC would have taken Mizzou alone or a Mizzou/West Virginia combo.

          Mizzou is a great school with great fans and an academic background, but it is not a big mover or shaker in conference realignment.

    • B1G Jeff says:

      Progress is incremental, my friend…

      With respect to your last question, I suggest the answer is a resounding “Yes!”. However, I respectfully suggest that the more relevant question is “If the cartel is successful in creating a Plus One, what’s the incentive for the Big Four to invite anyone else in?”. If I’m a commish, and the pot is a predetermined size, I’m wanting to divide it among as few mouths as possible.

      • vp19 says:

        But if they don’t let anyone else in, the ACC might very well turn away from the “big four” and side with the smaller conferences, in which case the four power conferences wouldn’t have enough votes for approval from the NCAA. The money from a potential playoff is such — with a substantial increase per member — that it might behoove the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac and SEC to assimilate the ACC into the four larger conferences, with a specific out for Notre Dame (non-members get the #4 spot if they are unbeaten and ranked in the top four) rather than risk having the ACC knock everything down.