Maryland Accepts Invitation to the Big Ten: Open Thread

Posted: November 19, 2012 in Big Ten, College Basketball, College Football, Sports
Tags: , , ,

The University of Maryland Board of Regents has accepted an invitation to join the Big Ten.  Rutgers might be soon to follow.  I’ll have some further thoughts later today, but for now, here is an open thread to discuss the latest conference realignment news.

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(Image from University of Maryland)

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  1. Nemo says:

    Presser on BTN Network today at 3 PM Eastern time. Which shoe drops next?


  2. greg says:

    Aye caramba.

  3. Peder Rice says:

    BTN is saying they join in 2014. What are the odds that Nebraska never actually plays Indiana?

    • mushroomgod says:

      As an IU fan…..I’m ok with that. We played them in the ’70s when I was a student, and I have only 3 words about that…I.M. Hipp

      • Mike says:

        I. M. Hipp is probably the best walk on running back at Nebraska, ever. To be fair to Indiana, Lee Corso was their head coach.

  4. gregenstein says:

    Crazy. Maybe we’ll get to 4×16 quicker than expected. All the previous talk about “expansion without Notre Dame or Texas” is rendered hogwash with the stroke of pen.

  5. SH says:

    All signs indicate it will be Rutgers. There may be some compelling reasons to add them, but I think it is a weak add, as the school has no “prestige” value. But the economic value may make sense. I doubt it will be another ACC school, simply because that will then be $100MM in exit fees. Yes, that may come down, etc., but that is a lot of money in exit fees some of which the B10 will pick up.

    • In for a penny, in for a dollar. I doubt the exit fees are going to drive the B1G’s decision-making. Though it does sound like Rutgers is the likeliest addition at this point.

    • zeek says:

      Rutgers makes sense if the end game is to bide time for #15-16.

      I think 15-16 has to be either Virginia/Virginia Tech or Virginia/UNC if Rutgers is #14.

      I just don’t see any other way to get to 16 in the future.

      • bullet says:

        And many of us thought things were settled in 2010, except maybe the Big 12 going back to 12. 14 has replaced what was once 8 as the standard number of teams, then 10, then 12. ACC, SEC, Big 10, Big East and CUSA are all on 14 or heading there. MAC is 13 and would be at 14 except for the BE taking Temple. Pac 12 is the only one sitting at 12. Big 12, Sun Belt and MWC are all sitting at 10, for now. And the WAC is gone.

        They all seem to believe 14 creates enough mass to get power on the TV contracts/cable deals. It may create the next wave of realignment 20 or 30 years down the road if 10 or 12 becomes the new 14.

        It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few months to either the Big East, ACC or both.

      • Elliott says:

        what about a Virginia/Oklahoma add brings in a natural rival for Nebrask and could negotiate some north texas TV sets

      • ccrider55 says:

        Our frame of reference for “to bide time” needs redefined. What use to be decades seems now to be months (or days?).

    • frug says:

      Exit fees are never a deterrent. Ever.

      And even the Big 10 did have to pay the full $100 million, that would still be small cost.

  6. Colin says:

    Rutgers OR Georgia Tech to follow….

  7. SW says:

    This feels like we’re adding another Illinois and Minnesota to the league (and I’m an Illini fan). Definitely not the impact Penn St and Nebraska had upon joining.

  8. SH says:

    Who knows how this will play out in the long run. But some of this has a feel of baseball expanding into the FL markets or the NHL expanding into the souther markets. The demographics seemed to indicate that is what needed to be done. But despite some team success in those markets, I’m not sure the brand as a whole improved. College football is all about passion. So ideally you want teams who have passionate fans, along with a compelling history that brings average fans. This is why NE made sense for the B10. So I’m not sure if Rutgers makes any sense. There is no passion and no history there. And while the TV set number and demographics may be tough to deny, there is history that indicates that population doesn’t translate into maket success.

    • bullet says:

      I think Rutgers may be like Colorado to the Pac 12, except from the standpoint of the conference. It allowed CU to connect with alumni in California. Rutgers allows Michigan, to connect with wealthy alumni in the NYC area. From a non-athletic standpoint, non-TV financial sense, it could be a home run.

      • metatron says:

        I suppose that’s what we all have to remember, that these are colleges first and foremost.

        Oh well, at least we’re still adding old money.

        • bullet says:

          An awful lot of those Big 10 MBAs head to Wall St.

        • michael says:


          You seem to be too focused on the prestige of academic teams. Football fortunes will rise and fall when the resolution is dialed to 20 years. The long view is about demographics and where wealth will be created for BIG — in athletics (advertising and population) and research.

          It is unappreciated that NYC is now second only to Silicon Valley in tech and is growing fast. Know any other cities that created a new university during the recession? Cornell-Technion will likely be world-class within ten years and join Columbia, NYU, Cornell (medical), and Rockefeller (all top 35 in world) — and that’s just Manhattan. Rutgers is <40 miles from Manhattan. The region in a 2 hr drive from NYC has the densest collection of top universities in the world (8 of the top 60).

          There are a ton of BIG grads in the area. BIG ten alums know how many friends from school grew up in NY/NJ. In any case, old money is not the future here — it is technology crossed into media, advertising, finance, biotech, and even advanced manufacturing. No real secret why the best BIG graduates are finding jobs and putting down roots in the region. That's not going to change. If you are making a 100 year bet, that looks solid to me.

      • zeek says:

        Yeah, that’s a good point.

        Maryland will do a terrific job of that too given how many college grads and alums are settling around D.C.

    • StevenD says:

      ??? “I’m not sure if Rutgers makes any sense. There is no passion and no history there.”

      The Rutgers University football program is considered to be one of the most historic programs in the country. In 1869, Rutgers defeated Princeton University by a score of 6 to 4 in what is considered to be the first ever intercollegiate football game. The team currently holds an all-time record of 626-605-42. Since 2005, Rutgers has appeared in six bowl games, of which it has won the last five in a row. This streak is currently the longest active bowl-winning streak in the nation.

    • I don’t know if Rutgers is going to like this very much…but their new stadium expansion will likely be for PSU fans and Ohio State fans and Wisconsin fans living in the NE/NY area when they come to town.

      Ditto for Maryland in the Balt/DC/Va area. Heck, Indiana sold out a home game to play PSU in DC. Money rules…

  9. metatron says:

    I suppose the bigger question is, who are #15 and #16?

    Is Notre Dame truly off the table? This is the endgame they were afraid of after all.

    • bullet says:

      I think Delany sits back and waits to see who comes to him. The tectonic plates are hot. He’s waiting for the next earthquake. In the meantime, the ACC most likely invites UConn and FSU/UVA/VT evaluate their options. And the Big East backfills while the Catholics in the BE evaluate their options.

      • zeek says:

        Delany’s going to wait until FSU decides whether to bolt or not.

        FSU bolting would free up a free-for-all for the Mid-Atlantic.

      • UWBob says:

        Does psu leave and join ND in the ACC? Maybe there is something going on behind the scenes with psu. My umd and rutgers, and why now?

        • Nick in South Bend says:

          PSU’s grant of rights (the right to air their games) for the foreseeable future belongs to the B1G. They would not leave anyway, but if they did…they would be worthless to their new conference for over a decade from a media rights perspective.

        • mushroomgod says:

          PSU has great hate for the BIG right now, but I would think this addition would seal the deal on staying in the BIG. Leaving now would be purely emotional………..

          • metatron says:

            What are they complaining about now? They realize the Sandusky affair was their own doing, right?

            Either way, we just gave them two of the schools JoePa used to argue for.

          • A few hundred fans might hate the Big Ten…but does anyone in admin or the BOT? Not that I have heard.

            This “hate” is pretty small though when you’re talking about 100′s of millions of dollars involved.

        • frug says:

          Does psu leave and join ND in the ACC?

          Is that a serious question?

          • UWBob says:

            no reason to be rude, and yes it is a serious question. PSU alum have long complained about the b1g. whether it be the bias officiating towards mich and osu, or its their soccer team not being invited to tourneys. Just look at mcgloins last comments about conspiracy. Anyways, just curious. The timing of hte UMD Rutgers expansion seems odd to me.

          • frug says:


            But no, PSU will not be leaving. For one the Big Ten has a grant of rights meaning that even if PSU were to leave the Big Ten would get to continue broadcasting their home games for the next 25-30 years and no conference is going add a school if they can’t show their games.

            Secondly, even if they could leave why would they want to? They would literally tens of millions of dollars a year in both athletic and research money for the right to join a conference that is on the verge of falling apart. (Not saying it will collapse, but FSU had some of the same problems with the ACC that MD did and FSU isn’t an old guard member with decades of history).

          • UWBob says:

            but what if psu told the big ten they were leaving first and this umd rutgers move is a reaction to that. I know this is somewhat far fetched. I am just perplexed by the rutgers invite. I know the tv thing and such, but rutgers seems odd to me.

          • frug says:

            Penn St can’t leave. Period. They are stuck.

            As for the timing… you have a point. It is weird that the Big Ten would acquire schools 5 years from the expiration from their TV, but if you look lower in the thread you will see that Fox (the BTN co-owner) is acquiring YES and could chain the BTN to it and force New York and New Jersey cable operators to carry the BTN in order to continue carrying yes.

          • @frug: PSU fans may disagree with me here, but I think the quickness of this move is in direct response to the fallout from the Sandusky scandal. I think Delany didn’t want to wait to see what PSU might become over the next 5-10 years while they put the pieces back together. PSU was our access to the coast, and he couldn’t wait for the ACC to gain a foothold in these areas while PSU deals with their situation.

          • zeek says:


            The main reason that Penn State can’t leave is money. They’ve got way too much invested in the Big Ten to leave.

            Think about ice hockey; Pegula put up $80-90 million to build them a full scale ice hockey operation, which will serve as a founding member of the 6 team Big Ten Hockey Conference.

            There is no way that Penn State leaves the Big Ten, possibly ever. This move with Maryland/Rutgers pretty much cements it…

          • greg says:

            frug, Maryland will be in the conference for two years of the current contract, if I can figure it out correctly.

          • zeek says:

            Yes, the Big Ten will renegotiate its contracts in 2015-2016 for a 2017 start.

            Maryland and Rutgers will be under those contracts in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.

    • zeek says:

      It’s Virginia/Virginia Tech or Virginia/North Carolina.

      Hard to see it being anyone else if we’re taking Rutgers at #14.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        If Florida State leaves (w/GT or Clemson) VT leaves for the SEC, UVA be damned.
        IF that occurs, it’s going to be UVA/UNC or ND/UNC. Notre Dame is not going to let that last slot in the ultimate Midwest/East Coast conference slip away, forcing them to join a prestige deficient Southwest conference. I would have prefered if the BIG had gone with UVA/MARYLAND first (if possible), but UVA isn’t about to jump until the ACC’s kaput.

        • zeek says:

          Honestly, if Rutgers gets carriage in New Jersey combined with FOX’s new ownership of YES; I don’t think anyone will ever question the Rutgers addition.

          Rutgers itself may end up being worth as much to the BTN as any of the kings…; just think about that for a moment…

  10. SH says:

    How long until the inevitable conference breakups? We have no clue whether conferences can support this many teams. Will the kings of college football inevitbly figure out that they are supporting paupers who do not deserve the same consideration? Will old guards conflict with new guards? Will regions conflict with other regions? Will there be a move back to independence at some point? Who knows.

    • zeek says:

      The kings are driving this bus as well.

      You don’t think Ohio State or Michigan would put their feet down if they didn’t think they’d get something out of Maryland/Rutgers additions?

      • mushroomgod says:

        Along with everything else going on………….one factor no one’s talked about on here is projecting the BIG eastward academically. I know for IU, Michigan, and Wis particularly, there’s already a lot of students from the NJ/NY area……..I’m not really sure about NW and PUR but the logic would hold there as well….My kid is in engineering at PUR (I know, I’m sick about it, but it’s a full ride)…..PUR engineering attractiveness is very big from PA through MO, but not so much on the east coast….Not as much of a factor with ILL, NEB,OSU

        • zeek says:

          It makes sense based on everything.

          Think about where all these Big Ten graduates are going. D.C. and NYC top the list.

          That’s on top of where the students are coming as you point out…; making Maryland and New Jersey into Big Ten states over time will pay off.

          • @zeek: Your comments got me thinking about where the students are coming in from, so I looked into OSU.


            Look at the states OSU is getting its students from. They must’ve been ecstatic at Delany’s east coast plan. This is solidifies me in your corner regarding Virginia+VT in the Big16 end game.

          • zeek says:

            Yeah, it just makes too much sense. Everything about these moves say that the Big Ten is going to where the demographics are.

            And it’s a sensible strategy; I’m sure we all would have loved to just grab ND and a complementary piece, but this strategy makes a world of sense as an alternative.

            The Big Ten’s next move has to include a play on the Virginia side of D.C.

          • Ross says:

            And as more and more of the current B1G’s alumni and the incoming Maryland/Rutgers’ alumni take up residence in the D.C./NYC/NJ regions, the demand for access to B1G content will increase. As long as the B1G schools believe their academic success will continue, they should have no reason to doubt that this gamble will ultimately pay off as those alumni numbers increase.

        • redsroom3 says:

          Purdue engineering grad here… Based on the latest freshmen class profile, Purdue is starting to attract more kids from the east coast in all engineering disciplines. That fact surprised me quite a bit, but the stature of the program continues to grow, so the addition of Maryland may make some of the current BIG schools more attractive.

        • Richard says:

          Northwestern has always had a large East Coast contingent. NU probably draws more kids from and sends more kids to greater NYC than any metro area outside of Chicagoland.

        • M says:

          I would be Northwestern (percentage wise) gets more students from that region than anyone except Penn State (and I suppose now Maryland). From the NU website:

          Midwest 40%
          Middle Atlantic 19%
          West 13%
          South 11%
          New England 7%
          Southwest 1%
          International 8%

          Not sure how those regions break down, but from another site says Middle Atlantic is Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.

    • FLP_NDRox says:

      The Big Ten has more binding ties than most conferences thanks to the BTN and the CIC so they should be more stable than most financially. I don’t think their kings will be willing to buy themselves out of either, much less both. I think the rest of the league will sleep soundly with that knowledge.

      The PAC is stable because they don’t have enough teams to split, and kicking a team out is really hard.

      The SEC is probably the league most reason to split up, but I doubt that will happen. The SEC has little incentive to try to stack the kings and throw out the weaker links. I don’t see a lot of fan demand for Bama-UF or UGA-LSU annual match-ups. I also see little interest or incentive in dividing the league by divisions (is it the pull of UA-Tenn and UGA-Auburn?) Wins over bad SEC teams look better than wins over bad teams from other conferences for some reason, and generally the SEC OOC slates are jokes.

      • frug says:

        is it the pull of UA-Tenn and UGA-Auburn

        Pretty much. UF and LSU have already called for ending protected rivalries and one of the league’s other coaches (can’t remember which) said that if those schools wanted to continue to play each other annually they could play OOC in years they aren’t matched up.

        (In ‘Bama’s defense Nick Saban has been outspoken in his support of a 9 game conference schedule so schools can keep the protected games but still play the other schools more than twice every dozen years)

        • bullet says:

          That’s the type of thing that breaks up conferences.

          • Andy says:

            You’re hoping.

          • Brian #2 says:

            Kind of like one school having its own network, effectively eliminating the option of a conference network that would benefit every other school in the conference.

          • frug says:

            @Brian #2

            If not for the LHN Texas would have left already.

          • ccrider55 says:


            Yes, the LHN kept UT from moving, but four others left. In this case it looks like both are right and wrong. The Longhorn Conference survived, at the B12′s expense. Had a true B12N been in the works perhaps the defections are avoided, or at least reduced.

          • bullet says:

            I’m also a UGA and UK fan. I’m not hoping. Nebraska never got over losing OU every year.

          • frug says:


            Nebraska and Colorado left before the LHN was ever announced, and Mizzou had been trying to find a way out ever since the Big Ten announced expansion plans.

            I’m no Texas defender, but only A&M’s defection was tied to the LHN.

        • bamatab says:

          Actually LSU was the only one that was griping about having to play UF every year. Either the UF president or AD (I can’t recall which) actually stated how much the UF folks loved playing LSU every year and wanted to continue it. When it all came to the vote only LSU, aTm, & USCe (aTm & USCe voted against it since they have no ties or incentive to play each other, but neither were adamently against it) voted against keeping the permenant cross-divisional games. Ole Miss, Miss St, UK, & Vandy love their setup since they play each other (easier games), and Arky/Mizzou will eventually pl;ay each other every year and want to start up that “rivalry”. The only SEC team that is adamently against it is LSU, and they aren’t going to leave because of it.

    • Mike G says:

      This is why really worried me. As a Michigan fan, I could care less about Rutgers and Maryland. I have more friends who are Iowa, Wisconsin, and Indiana people, so it would be sad to see those ties become strained. I am also concerned about the lack of cohesion with 14 teams- unless the conference goes to a 9-game conference schedule, with a single protected rivalry from the other side, it would take six years to play each team in the conference. That makes it easier for divisions among the teams to precipitate.

      I should note that I am an alum of an SEC school, and I think their expansion to 14 was I’ll-conceived for the same reasons. The thing the Big Ten has going for it is the CIC, which is huge when you think like a university president.

      • StevenD says:

        Mike G wrote: “it would take six years to play each team in the conference. That makes it easier for divisions among the teams to precipitate.”

        It currently takes six years to play every team in conference (with 12 teams and 8 conference games). Are you worried about divisions precipitating now?

        If we add two teams and move to 9 conference games, it will still take six years to do a full rotation. There will be little difference from the current situation.

        • Mike G says:

          If I’m doing the math correctly, in a 12 team conference, there will be 5 divisional games, 1 protected crossover, plus 2 other crossovers. That means every non-protectected crossover team will place twice in five years.
          With 14 teams and an 8 game schedule, you’d have 6 divisional games, 1 protected crossover, and 1 open crossover. This means it would take six years to play each of the remaining six schools in the other division.
          There will be a huge difference from the current situation.

  11. JayDevil says:

    Cash Rules Everything Around Me.

    Delany rolls the dice again.

  12. zeek says:

    Stewart Mandel ‏@slmandel
    RT @McMurphyESPN: Rutgers will announce move to Big Ten on Tuesday, sources told @ESPN

  13. SH says:

    I would love to see this conference expansion lead to the collapse of the NCAA, and maybe it will ultimately, but only if certain schools are taken care of (i.e., Kansas). Otherwise, the politics of it all will keep it in place.

  14. tomdauwwg says:

    Go Green! Welcome, Fighting Turtles!

  15. Nick in South Bend says:

    This appears to be a long term (likely within 3 or 4 years) race to get a foothold in the VA/NC region. It is the last piece of the puzzle for both the Big Ten and SEC…they will likely both get what they want.

    • ChicagoMac says:

      SEC interest is aligned with ESPN’s interest which is aligned with the ACC’s interest.

      So Big12 could raid ACC or B1G might further expand into ACC territory but its hard to imagine the SEC expanding by pulling ACC teams unless ESPN instructs SEC to play defense for it. In practical terms, if FSU and Clemson plan to break for B12 then SEC could get involved to keep those brands more heavily in the ESPN family.

      • Nick in South Bend says:

        I think ESPN is much more beholden to the SEC than the SEC is Beholden to ESPN. Imagine if the SEC actually started their own BTN-esque network? That is what ESPN does not want, and the proved it by making their terrible deal with Texas (the LHN). ESPN will not stand in the SEC’s way of doing anything short of that. If the SEC wants into the VA/NC region, I highly doubt ESPN will pull any shenanigans that will make them angry. Once Slive got into Texas, he holds the cards in the SEC-ESPN relationship not the other way around. .

        • frug says:

          Imagine if the SEC actually started their own BTN-esque network?

          The SEC is starting their own BTN-esque network… and they are partnering with ESPN in it (like BT did with Fox).

          • Nick in South Bend says:

            Which is a key difference in the relationship in my opinion. B1G did it with Fox, SEC does it with ESPN. A network like the BTN would be outside the scope of ESPN’s umbrella. The SEC network will not be.

            ESPN has no choice but to partner with the SEC, because if they did not, someone else would. Again, the SEC is holding the cards in that relationship right now…If not ESPN, then someone else.

          • ChicagoMac says:

            @ Nick in South Bend

            ESPN holds SEC media rights for the next 12 years so SEC would be waiting a while to create its BTN competitor.

            Everyone denies it but ESPN almost definitely played a role in aTm and Mizzou to SEC and that expansion was the major impetus for ESPN and SEC to work on their BTN knockoff.

            I believe UNC, Duke, Clemson and FSU are all very valuable brands for ESPN, as such I think ESPN will work aggressively to make sure they don’t lose the control they currently enjoy over their media rights.

  16. frug says:

    Meanwhile, Big East Conference sources told ESPN that Rutgers will be announced as the 14th member of the Big Ten on Tuesday.

    Apparently the Big Ten won’t waste any time announcing Team 14.

    • Peter says:

      Like I said, they must like what they’re hearing from FOX about YES/BTN. That would make this Texas-sized (or more) money with a grateful new member who won’t rock any of the power programs’ boat anytime soon.

      • zeek says:

        frug posted it below that Fox is going to get the same percentages probably (49% to start and then 51% eventually) of YES.

        That lends a lot of credence to the theory that FOX will push them as a package in the NYC markets…

  17. M says:

    I once saw a talk from a presidential historian. He says that some decisions were obvious and it didn’t matter who was president at the time (e.g. December 8th, 1941). What makes a great president is making decisions that everyone else thinks is a bad idea at the time but later he is justified by history (e.g. Lincoln writing the Emancipation Proclamation, Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase).

    In some sense, adding Penn State and Nebraska were no brainers; anyone who had the chance would have taken them. Maryland (et al), not so much. This is Delaney’s chance for a great presidential moment.

    Of course, the worst presidents were those who did something everyone thinks is a bad idea and it turns out to have actually been a bad idea…

    • zeek says:

      At worst, they end up like random territory grabs. For now, they still have more potential than the ACC’s recent adds and the Pac-12′s recent adds.

      This had to be done. Delany knows that the Big Ten needed to get a Mid-Atlantic angle, and now he’s done it.

      He’s basically transformed the Big Ten from the Midwest conference to the Big North.

      • bullet says:

        Or a Big East, displacing BE basketball? The BE is down to GT (Maryland), Villanova/Temple (PSU), St. Johns/Seton Hall (Rutgers), Providence and UConn (for now) actually in the northeast.

    • who thought the Louisiana Purchase was a bad idea at the time? I thought that was supposed to have been one of the great presidential no-brainers.

      • Nick in South Bend says:

        The people (virtually all of congress, and many in the judiciary at the time) that thought, rightly, that Jefferson exceeded his powers. The controversy is not the land, or the price by which it came. It was the fact that Jefferson essentially did it on his own.

    • Mark Funk says:

      Gerald Ford’s “WIN” buttons – for Whip Inflation Now!” – come to mind.

  18. Denogginizer says:

    Welcome Terps! Go B1G Red

  19. frug says:

    For those interested here is an article from yesterday regarding Fox’s impending acquisition of YES

    Apparently, Fox will only be purchasing 49% initially, but the deal includes a route for Fox to gain a controlling interest over the next 3-5 years.

    • greg says:

      “Fox will only be purchasing 49% initially, but the deal includes a route for Fox to gain a controlling interest over the next 3-5 years.”

      Gee, that sounds familiar.

    • ChicagoMac says:

      This is exactly how the BTN capital structure was set up. I think it is for accounting purposes but I don’t know exactly why Fox prefers this…

      • frug says:

        In the case of the BTN I always assumed it was a branding issue as much as anything. Both sides probably wanted to sell the network as being owned and operated by conference for marketing purchases.

        • zeek says:

          It’s also about legal control though.

          They said that it gave them control while they’d still run it according to the ethics of the conference (i.e. no alcohol ads).

      • zeek says:

        It makes sense in terms of controlling the operations; so that it’s clear.

        This is clearly a big deal for the BTN as well.

        Just imaging a few years in the future when Fox owns 51% of both YES and BTN; they’ll have a lot of incentive to push the BTN in the NYC market…

        • Nostradamus says:

          It also means Fox’s ownership stake in the network likely isn’t disappearing after the current 25 year deal expires.

          • zeek says:

            That’s a good point.

            It’s also definitely sensible because we should want BTN married to YES in those markets, since that’s where the BTN will need help for carriage.

          • Nostradamus says:

            It isn’t just the YES/BTN NYC connection either tough. I’d prefer to have an experienced carriage negotiator in the conference’s corner any time a carriage dispute comes up when an existing deal expires going forward. That obviously means some will need to temper their expectations about ownership stakes going forward though.

        • ChicagoMac says:

          @zeek, if Rutgers makes sense, in part, due to Fox/YES doesn’t it also make sense that some of the locations of other Fox Regional Sports Networks could play a role?

          Particularly when the arguments have been Brand X can’t carry market Y?

          • zeek says:

            NYC is the most unique market though because it’s not a traditional college football market although it has a lot of college football viewers (in absolute terms it has more than all but the largest metros like Atlanta).

            The inability to carry markets thing was primarily being applied to schools in unique situations like Rutgers or say Florida State (which would barely get you carriage for the Big Ten in Florida as weird as that may sound given that they’re up in Tallahassee).

    • GreatLakeState says:

      Mr. 100% (Pac 12) is learning the hard way that not having an established partner like FOX makes distribution a tough nut to crack.

  20. Brian says:

    I love the conversation you all are having. With the Fox and YES network deal, the BTN is going to crack that NYC market. The revenue from subscriptions alone will be quite high, then there’s advertising revenue on top of it. Getting a presence in MD helps too. So, I don’t think the end game is simply Virginia or UNC. I think the end game is still ND or Texas. After the expansion happens and the BTN has extended into NYC and MD, whoever the B1G goes to, will be turning down a ton of money to not join. Any school would have to seriously consider the jump. I don’t think anyone is off the table for at least spot 16. I don’t know that it will end up being Texas and ND, but I would be surprised seeing one of those two and perhaps GT.

    I think there are much bigger fish than Virginia, VaTech and UNC that the B1G could still land.

    • Personally I wonder if the goal is to capture those regions in part so you don’t *need* ND or Texas. While we’re getting pretty good at either directly or indirectly stabilizing ND’s landing spots (BigEast, Big12, ACC, and counting), it doesn’t change the simple fact that ND’s alumni and fan base wants absolutely nothing to do with the BigTen. And, unfortunately, their potential national championship run here likely only solidifies their opinion that ND doesn’t need a conference to succeed in the 21st century, which is something everyone else had been hanging their hats on since ND has been pretty mediocre so far this century.

    • B1G Jeff says:

      Brilliant. I was thinking the same thing. Go B1G or why bother!

    • Brian says:

      Brian is a popular name around here. I politely suggest you add something to it to distinguish yourself (there’s already a brian #2, for example) from me so other reader’s don’t confuse our comments.

  21. m (Ag) says:

    So, how far in advance is the Big Ten basketball tournament awarded?

    Holding the next available tournament in Washington DC would probably be a good ploy to win the affection of Maryland fans.

    • greg says:

      So put the tourney nowhere near 12 schools so that we placate the newcomer?

    • zeek says:

      After the Big Ten adds UVa and Va Tech, we’ll add D.C. to the rotation…

    • Jericho says:

      I don’t know the specifics of the Big 10, but I do know the ACC was taking bids for their basketball tourney for 2016-2021 recently. These was some speculation that either of the two NY arena (MSG or Barclays) would put in a bid (they didn’t). So it’ll probably be a decade or more before you can realistically schedule something in DC.

    • frug says:

      I think MSG would be a more valuable option if they want to hold it out east. If UConn or Louisville jumps ship the Big East hybrid could collapse (and almost certainly would if both leave) so the Big Ten could serve as a replacement.

  22. Paul says:

    Time to switch to an East/West division split. Michigan to the East and Michigan State to the West. This would group all of the truly eastern teams (MD, RU, PSU) and all of the truly western teams (WIS, MN, IOWA, NEB) together. The Illinois and Indiana teams also could be split (to allow visiting teams to get into more states each year).

    Having PSU, UM, and OSU in the east would maximize their exposure in the new East cost markets. Competitive balance would be roughly even because this would effectively just switch Wisconsin and Michigan to opposite divisions.

    UM would have protected crossover with MSU. Illinois with Northwestern. Purdue with Indiana.

    Biggest advantage of all would be the elimination of “legends” and “leaders”.

    Michigan (MSU)
    Ohio State (WIS)
    Penn State (NEB)
    Illinois (NW)
    Purdue (IND)
    Rutgers (MN)
    Maryland (IOWA)

    Nebraska (PSU)
    Wisconsin (OSU)
    Iowa (MD)
    Minnesota (RU)
    Michigan State (UM)
    Northwestern (ILL)
    Indiana (PU)

    • Going to 14 teams means that we will need to go to a 9-game conference schedule as soon as possible – 2016 or 2017. We will also need to drop the protected crossover games so that we will still play inter-divisional teams every other year or so. I would go to an east/west split that would break up the weakest rivalry:

      Team (Season Ending Game)

      Rutgers (MSU)
      Maryland (PSU)
      PSU (Maryland)
      OSU (Michigan)
      Michigan (OSU)
      MSU (Rutgers)
      Northwestern (Illinois – in the years they play)

      Nebraska (Iowa)
      Iowa (Nebraska)
      Minnesota (Wisconsin)
      Wisconsin (Minnesota)
      Indiana (Purdue)
      Purdue (Indiana)
      Illinois (Northwestern – in the years they play)

      • gregenstein says:

        They aren’t going to completely upset the apple cart by reopening the conference alignment. They’ll shift Illinois or Wisconsin in order to make room for Maryland and Rutgers to play Penn State annually. They like having 2 kings in each division; any alignment that doesn’t meet that prerequisite heads straight to File 13.

        I’d like to see an East/West split myself, but it’s never going to happen. They’ll also never drop the protected crossover game IMO as doing so would would require Ohio State and Michigan be put in the same division. That, in and of itself, does not preclude realignment, but it hoses up the 2 kings per division requirement that is the ultimate driver. You’d have a hard time getting Penn State and Maryland on board for only seeing Ohio State every 3-4 years.

        • Paul says:

          The draw to put UM/PSU/OSU in DC and NYC areas more frequently will trump other considerations. Why make this move if you aren’t going all-in for big east coast markets?

          • zeek says:

            Because there’s still a half of the conference to care about.

            Let’s not blind ourselves by the money and ambitions here.

            Illinois is being shifted to the West; Rutgers and Maryland will be in the East. They will get regular visits from OSU/PSU/Wisconsin.

    • 350011 says:

      East/West, 2 of Big4 per side, one protected crossover

      Team (Protected Rival)(Season Closer)

      Ohio State (Michigan)(Michigan)
      Penn State (Nebraska)(Rutgers)
      Michigan State (Iowa or Wisconsin)(Indiana)
      Rutgers (Minnesota)(Penn State)
      Northwestern (Illinois)(Maryland)
      Maryland (Wisconsin or Iowa)(Northwestern)
      Indiana (Purdue)(Michigan State)

      Michigan (Ohio State)(Ohio State)
      Nebraska (Penn State)(Iowa)
      Wisconsin (Maryland or Michigan State)(Minnesota)
      Iowa (Michigan State or Maryland)(Nebraska)
      Minnesota (Rutgers)(Wisconsin)
      Illinois (Northwestern)(Purdue)
      Purdue (Indiana)(Illinois)

    • Brian says:


      “Time to switch to an East/West division split. Michigan to the East and Michigan State to the West.”

      No, that would be an incredibly bad decision.

      3 of 4 kings
      OSU and MI, the 2 premier B10 schools in terms of coverage and recognition
      Almost double the population in footprint states
      The vast majority of the major metro areas
      The media capital of the world
      OSU, MI and PSU regularly playing in DC and NYC (and nearer ESPN HQ)

      It would be a minor miracle to get any non-local media coverage of the West at all, which would drive most of the fans in favor of this plan nuts. The kings were split for good reason.

  23. Jason says:

    I commented on the first story and wont re-hash everything here, but as an alum, Im stoked. I am a little sentimental about the ACC, but the ACC I knew is long gone. We’ve never had a traditional “rival” on the scale of Missouri-Kansas or A&M-Texas, so its not like we’re walking away from some storied bloodfeud. Navy is the only other 1-A football program in the state, the VA schools to the south are more concerned with each other, West Va next door had Pitt. Athletically, financially, academically, I think the UMD board did right by the school. Look forward to getting our butts whipped in 2014!

  24. Brian says:

    Assuming 16 is the ultimate goal, are FSU and Miami potential targets to get a hold of the FL market??

  25. Jason says:

    Youll have to be more specific about which ridiculous uniforms you want gone. Theres a lot of the to choose from. But I like how open to negotiation we are!

  26. Jericho says:

    Did Rutgers ever luck out here. From the Big East leftovers to the Big 10. Not sure which school lucked out more, Utah or Rutgers. Sucks for you Louisville!

    • frug says:

      Rutgers proves the old adage that is always better to be lucky than good! They haven’t done anything to earn a “promotion” but because they happen to sit in a giant media market (two actually since Southern Jersey is Philly media market) they got one anyways.

      • Brian #2 says:

        And yet no one in either state gives a damn about Rutgers.

        What a strange addition to the Big Ten.

        • frug says:

          If Fox chains the BTN to YES, the conference will make some much in subscription fees it won’t matter how many people actually watch the games.

        • StevenD says:

          Brian #2 wrote: “no one in either state gives a damn about Rutgers.”

          No one? If you follow the link that Frank tweeted 2 hours ago, you will see that Rutgers has the largest CFB fanbase in New York City (according to Nate Silver). It is also the most popular CFB team in New Jersey.

    • Richard says:

      Utah. Rutgers at least has fertile recruiting grounds, a big state population, and one of the top cities in the world right next door(ie Huge Potential) going for it. What does Utah have?

      • frug says:

        The strongest brand in the region the PAC didn’t already control and location in one of the fastest growing states and metros in the country?

        Not saying that Utah is necessarily more valuable than Rutgers (if Fox is planning to leverage YES than Rutgers is definitely better) but at least Utah “earned” an invite.

        • zeek says:

          I think we should say they both lucked out in the sense that the regional power-conference took them.

          Both had a lot of good qualities which obviously justify the Pac-12 taking Utah and the Big Ten taking Rutgers when the original plans (Texas A&M was going to displace Utah, and the Big Ten’s original plans don’t need to be restated) failed.

          No need for this kind of match up between those two schools.

    • Mark Funk says:

      Location, location . . . .location!

  27. Fred Green says:

    Rutgers to the Big 10? This has to be the worst move we could have made as a conference.

    • zeek says:

      Honestly, there are a lot worse moves that we could do.

      Like, standing pat at 12 and finding out that we made a mistake in not doing this move in 20 years.

      There’s a risk to just sitting at 12. I do hope people think about that before saying “there’s no risk to not doing anything”.

    • Bo Darville says:

      Worst? Nah, that would’ve been adding Buffalo.

  28. Two reactions — one, from a football perspective, this setups up for an awful lot of bad games on the PSU schedule.

    Second, financially — this whole thing is predicated on the bundled TV subscription model, which just about everyone agrees will be forced to die sooner or later. This only makes sense if you’re trying to blindly bully cable companies in new states to carry the BTN on basic cable, with the conference making money because of a the fun part of bundling — you make 100% of customers pay subscription fees even though less than 5% use it. In the inevitable future, where you’re selling the network on its own to only to the people who use it, what you’ve done is lower the average fanbase size,lower the average quality of the product, and then add two more schools to split the proceeds with. Shortsighted IMO.

    • Oh, and this is independent of the impact on the ESPN/Premium games package. How many more games is ESPN going to want to put on ABC/Mirror now that you’ve got these two schools? My guess is zero; if anything this might actually decrease the value of this package because you’re getting less PSU-Michigan, OSU-Nebraska, and so on. Contract that with Nebraska, where you added a while slate of national interest games.

    • StevenD says:

      Kevin wrote: “what you’ve done is lower the average fanbase size”

      The average fanbase is irrelevant. What matters is the total fanbase… the total number of students and alumni who care about B1G football. Both Rutgers and Maryland are large universities. They will add many alumni to the pool of B1G fans. The larger that pool is, the stronger the BTN will be.

  29. bullet says:

    Interesting comments by Maryland officials. Students are not attending in the same percentages. They believe the future is media, not fans in the stands.

    • frug says:

      For a lot of programs it will. The big boys that back 80,000+ seat stadiums will continue to make big money of gate receipts, but I expect Maryland and Rutgers will end up in situation like Northwestern, where conference distributions make half or more of their athletic budget.

      • Kevin says:

        I think attendance and TV go hand in hand. People won’t watch on TV if no one is at the games. It’s bad for television. That’s why the NFL prefers smaller stadiums so that they look better on TV. That said it shouldn’t be that difficult for a school like Maryland to sell out it’s 54k seat stadium or Rutgers its 52k stadium.

        Interesting that the SEC schools are expanding stadiums and the B1G is going in reverse.

  30. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

    Congrats Terps!

  31. Mike says:

    Right now, Brian Murphy (@murphsturph) is tweeting details of the Boise/Big East contract.

    • bullet says:

      Has the Big 10 negotiated a contract making sure Maryland gets rid of the awful uniforms? Its even worse when you see it on HD. Is that really good publicity for UnderArmour?

  32. jj says:

    Welcome to the Terps.

    Great school. Hope it works well for all involved.

  33. bullet says:

    Jon Wilner is reporting UConn to the ACC as soon as Tuesday. Of course, Wilner isn’t an expert outside the Pac 12. Saw one other report that ACC is already talking to UConn, UL, USF and Cincinnati. Pretty logical group of 4. The last remaining 2005 era BE schools.

  34. mushroomgod says:

    East–Wis, PSU, OSU, IU, PUR, MD, Rutgers

    West–MSU, UM, NEB, ILL, NW, MN, Iowa

    Dump “Leaders” and “Legends”

    • I don’t think they move Illinois over. It makes the most sense, but cuts the eastern schools off from the Chicago market.

      East–Wis, PSU, OSU, IU, ILL, MD, Rutgers

      West–MSU, UM, NEB, PUR, NW, MN, Iowa

      • Given the NYC/DC markets, though, I think less Chicago exposure becomes a much smaller issue.

        • True. And clearly those in charge agree with you because I was very wrong. :)

          • bullet says:

            still have Purdue and Wisconsin, so you have Chicago bracketed.

          • zeek says:

            Well, it’s the sensible outcome.

            The Western schools get to each visit Illinois or Chicago every year. The Eastern schools get the real prize in terms of getting to go to D.C. or New Jersey every year.

            Most importantly, it works for balance. And fans are going to be able to call it West/East since it basically is West/East outside of the Wisconsin-Michigan switch…

      • jj says:

        Does OSU really want this? Seems nutty.

        • jj says:

          Also, makes the divisions more lopsided than they already are.

          IL has shown it is capable of doing things. MD and Rut, not so much.

          • @jj:

            I think Illinois has shown themselves to be roughly as capable as UMD/Rutgers over the last 10-15 years. Having one good year every four or so isn’t exactly stellar, and it’s more likely one of the two new schools will be decent each year compared to hoping each year is the year Illinois pulls themselves together.

          • StevenD says:

            jj wrote: “IL has shown it is capable of doing things. MD and Rut, not so much.”

            Rutgers has been to a bowl in each of the last five years and won all five. In the same time period, Illinois attended three bowls and won just two.

            This year Rutgers (9-1) is on track to go to the Orange Bowl. Which Bowl will Illinois be attending?

            In the same time period, Illinois

        • @jj:

          Well, losing the Chicago market would hurt, but OSU gets a lot of students from Maryland, Virginia, New York, and New Jersey. Additionally there are a lot of alumni in that area. So opening those 3-4 states up for student/athletic recruiting is probably a major bonus. Specifically for football recruiting, OSU has had pretty limited success in Illinois, so maybe they’ll come out ahead.

        • Brian says:


          [in reference to IL moving west and RU and MD joining the east]

          “Does OSU really want this? Seems nutty.”

          Yes. OSU has more alumni in DC/NoVA and in the NYC area than in Chicago.

  35. Nostradamus says:

    Maryland prez tells regents MD, RU in Leaders Division w/OSU, PSU, Wisconsin, Purdue & Indiana. Illinois moves to Legends— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) November 19, 2012

  36. greg says:

    Illinois to the Northwest.

    Frank the Tank ‏@frankthetank111
    We’re so legendary #Illini RT @McMurphyESPN MD: prez MD, RU in Leaders Division w/OSU, PSU, Wisky, Purdue & IU. Illinois moves to Legends

  37. frug says:

    Just saw on ESPN, that Tom Izzo isn’t happy about the move.

    Doesn’t know you never take sides against the family in public?

    • zeek says:

      The Big Ten had to make all these moves.

      Regardless of what he thinks, the Big Ten could never afford to wait given the demographics situation around the country.

      It’s not like the Big 12 which can just sit there because Texas is the growth engine of the country for the next couple of decades.

      I realize that there are Big Ten fans that yearn for the Big 10 of old as well (not directing this at him), but it would be utter folly to think that the Big Ten would survive like that in this day and age.

      The Big Ten has to feed the beast (BTN).

      • Richard says:

        To be fair, a B10 basketball coach probably sees no reason for expansion considering how rich the Midwest is for bball talent (though the NE is definitely fertile ground as well).

    • jj says:

      Izzo calls it like he sees it. I think it was more off the cuff. He’s a major cheerleader anyway. He’ll come around.

  38. frug says:


    When the invitation comes, Tim Pernetti, Rutgers’ athletic director, has the power to accept without waiting for authorization from the school’s board of governors.

    Not that the board would ever overturn the decision… but still interesting.

  39. Andy says:

    FWIW a Missouri curator is claiming (off the record) that an official from the Big Ten called Mizzou recently asking if we were interested in leaving the SEC. They said no.

    I don’t know if he’s telling the truth but it’s plausible. Missouri would be a much better choice than Rutgers.

    • ChicagoMac says:

      I heard the B1G called as a prank to see if they could once again get Missouri to act like Missouri. Looks like it worked.

    • zeek says:

      This is a TV money move along with moving into big recruiting zones.

      Maryland/Rutgers bring the Big Ten more money than Maryland/Missouri or Missouri/Rutgers if the reports about FOX/YES are right.

      It really has nothing to do with the football value of the schools.

      I think most of us would say that Missouri has a better football brand than either, but the Big Ten’s money equation is about how to feed the BTN…

      Rutgers may end up being more valuable to the BTN than most of the other schools except the kings…

      • Andy says:

        Maybe, maybe not. I’ve heard plenty of analysis that Rutgers doesn’t deliver very many tv sets because they hardly have any fans.

        • zeek says:

          Well, the truth is that Rutgers has more fans in mid-New Jersey (a part of the NYC TV market) than any other school in the country. That’s just by virtue of their location and huge alumni base.

          (It’s why they own almost every top 10 all-time rated ESPN/ESPN2 game in the NYC market; it’s just a function of boots on the ground).

          Now, the bigger issue for the BTN is whether they can get to basic or extract a higher rate from that market. That’s the big questionmark.

          FOX is buying 49% of YES with the eventual ability to buy a >50% stake.

          They did the same thing with BTN (started at 49% and now own 51%). These deals are literally happening parallel to one another (FOX-YES, Rutgers-Big Ten).

          The theory is that FOX has an incentive to tie BTN to YES in terms of extracting basic carriage for the BTN or at least getting a good rate for the several million subscribers in the New Jersey portion of the NYC market.

          Rutgers would not enter the Big Ten until all of these things led them to believe that Rutgers would end up being a huge money maker. The FOX-YES deal is basically the signal that this will be a hugely profitable expansion down the road.

        • ccrider55 says:

          If the YES/BTN bundle actually occurs, and if Rutgers played even an incremental part, then it pays as well as any King.

          • zeek says:

            The whole timing of this is too similar to be a coincidence.

            It does feel like we’re reading an awful lot deeper into it than maybe necessary, but it does feel like the dots connect.

            But you’re right; who knows, maybe Rutgers ends up as the most valuable school for the BTN contract.

            How crazy a thought is that?

        • Andy, feel free to provide that analysis that Rutgers doesn’t deliver. Again are you only here to poo-poo any additions to the B1G that aren’t Missouri? That seems to be your mission here.

    • Ross says:

      Why do you feel the need to introduce Missouri into every conversation?

      • Andy says:

        Missouri has been a part of the story of Big Ten expansion from the beginning. If you didn’t notice this you haven’t paid attention.

      • Andy’s act of constantly bringing Missouri up in every thread over here is beyond tiresome. Ok Andy we believe you that the B1G wanted Missouri but then Nebraska became available and poof.

    • Brian #2 says:

      I can absolutely believe it. Before last week, no one would have claimed that Rutgers was a better fit than Missouri.

      That said, I think both sides are content. I’d argue Missouri will become a much better fit in the SEC than they ever would have in the Big Ten.

      • Peter says:

        Rutgers has been out there from the beginning a “what if,” with the “if” being the media dollars.

        • zeek says:

          Yes. In terms of fitness, Rutgers would be at the top of every list if that “what if” riddle was solved.

          It appears to be given that the Big Ten is actually going down this path.

        • Brian #2 says:

          Yes Rutgers has always been mentioned, but had never been considered a premier candidate. I understand being excited about the new member, but I don’t think Rutgers is a natural fit at all.

  40. M says:

    Re: uniforms

    Unless you’re a 18ish year old male, you are not the target audience of the uniforms. No one cares if you hate them.

  41. diddly says:

    I’m having a difficult time understanding the YES/Fox argument. Couldn’t Fox hold NYC hostage because of YES with or without Rutgers? Would it be too egregious without some pretend reason (Rutgers?)

  42. Nathan says:

    So now not a single original BE FB team is left (except for Temple, who were booted then brought back in basically to fill out WVU’s schedule). For all intents and purposes the new Big East is the old CUSA with the catholic BB schools thrown in for good measure.

    • zeek says:

      And that’s why the huge question today is why the Big East is going to be able to get anything much above what C-USA/MWC/SunBelt/MAC are getting.

      NBC may be desperate for content, but without Rutgers/UConn, they have no anchor in the East; it’s just a group of schools that were in those other conference just a few years ago.

  43. redsroom3 says:

    Diehard big alum and fan. I am not excited by this news. And I’m not sure why. Maryland and Rutgers are both great institutions, so this has nothing to do with them. While I understand how the country is shifting demographically and regionally, I’m not completely convinced that this move will pay off in huge amounts of dollars in the future. This is despite the gazillions of tv sets on the east coast.

    I’m curious to see how the folks from Maryland and Rutgers relate to midwestern centric values and methods. We’ve talked about 16 team conferences a lot on this blog, but I am worried about how a conference that big can hold up over time, especially with the distance between Maryland and Nebraska well over 1200 miles.

    At any rate, to the Maryland alums, students, faculty and administration, welcome to the conference.

    • zeek says:

      That’s a fair way to put it.

      I’m not sure this is news you’re supposed to be “excited” about in the sense that the Nebraska addition was.

      This is like a business transaction. Over time, we’ll all grow used to this, but for now, it’s mainly a business transaction.

    • Richard says:

      Just curious:
      Have you ever lived outside the Midwest?

      I’ve lived around NYC, SF, Chicago, and St. Louis, and I daresay that a kid in Chicago or Detroit has more in common with his counterpart in Baltimore or Newark than he does with a farmer in Nebraska or Iowa.

      If you look at cultural maps, the B10 is dominated by a swath of Yankeedom & Midlands, and these days, both MD and NJ are solidly Midlands.

      • redsroom3 says:


        I’ve lived in Chicago, born and raised, Durham, NC, The Bay Area, New Brunswick, NJ and Houston, TX. While inner cities have similar experiences, those cities do fall in line with the cultural norms of their region. I’m from the south side, and I can tell you that I found less in common with New Yorkers (Brooklyn, Bronx, etc.,) than I thought I would. The same is true for the Bay Area. I’m not saying I have a ton in common with farmers in Nebraska and Iowa either, but that is city versus country. I don’t know if that’s a fair comparison. I have a ton in common with people from Detroit, Milwaukee, the Twin cities, and to some extent Cincy and Cleveland.

        I also read Colin’s book, and I realize that the Midland influence stretches across most of the midwest, but there are still some differences.

      • greg says:

        Farmers are probably less than one percent of the population in Iowa or Nebraska. A citizen in Iowa City has more in common with his counterpart in Baltimore than the guy brewing moonshine in the Appalachians.

    • Richard says:

      BTW, back in the old days, the NFL was a collection of teams in Midwestern cities and towns. Sound familiar?

      Now, I know there are folks who don’t like NFLization, but you can’t argue that the NFL would have been better off and more popular if it hadn’t expanded.

      • redsroom3 says:

        While that is true, colleges are not for profit enterprises, at least not yet. This “gray area” that colleges athletic departments are operating should not be taken for granted. By “gray area,” I mean existing between a not for profit entity and public for profit entity.These are fairly exoboritant sums being discussed, and none of these dollars are taxed either. If I’m the IRS, I’m monitoring this “evolution” of college athletic finances closely. I’m not sure if you saw this last night, but 60 Minutes had a special on college football. Dave Brandon shared some very interesting comments during the program…

  44. Nostradamus says:


    “According to the official, Maryland projects to make $32 million when it joins the league for the 2014-15 season, well beyond the ACC’s projected payout of $20 million.

    The real jump in projected revenue comes in 2017, after the Big Ten negotiates its new television contract. The Big Ten payout that year projects to $43 million, dwarfing the $24 million the ACC projects to pay out that year. During his Monday press conference, Maryland president Wallace D. Loh said the school’s motivation to realign is largely financial. Delany declined comments regarding finances in a telephone interview Monday.”

    Read More:

    • zeek says:

      Delany just pulled off the heist of the century.

      Well, I’m not sure how realistic those numbers are, but I guess that includes the new playoff money along with the BTN payouts rising as a result of Rutgers/Maryland and the new TV contract.

      The ACC will be getting less out of the playoff than the Big Ten, so I guess that factors in there as well…

      • Nick in South Bend says:

        I don’t think he is done yet either. However, it would stand to reason that he will now stand pat and let someone else make waves, before doing something else.

        • zeek says:

          I just hope that FOX played a big part in developing those estimates that he gave to Maryland. I’ll just assume that they did.

          If the Big Ten is paying out $40M+ per school by the end of this decade, then Delany will have really changed the game.

    • ChicagoMac says:

      That has to have the wheels turning in Tallahassee doesn’t it?

    • I am having a hard time backing into those numbers Maryland is projecting. Also I wonder what Nebraska’s revenue numbers will be and if in fact they will jump in 2014 to at least what Maryland is projecting…? Perhaps the B1G will consider decreasing UNL’s buyin due to these new projections. If not then it seems that Maryland is getting a much sweeter deal than UNL did.

      • zeek says:

        The problem is those numbers are including all payouts from the Big Ten.

        The playoff payouts enter in 2014, and the contract revision kicks in during 2017. Those are the reasons for the two big bump ups from the current $25 million.

        It’s weird though that the Big Ten gave them such crazy projections. Nebraska becomes a full member in 2017, but I’d assume Nebraska gets the same bump up from playoff revenue in 2014…

        • Brian says:

          Those projections are before they start buying in, too. RU and MD may start higher and delay their buy in until they get their financial houses in order, but they’ll pay at least as much to buy in as NE. NE may be paid up before 2017 if the money jumps in 2014 as much as expected. Either that or they’ll get a big bump in take home pay.

    • bullet says:

      Those are big numbers if they come about.

    • Mike says:

      Just in case….

      Boise State, San Diego State and BYU have had conversations with Mountain West membership about the possibility of returning to the league, sources told ESPN.

      These talks originated after last week’s decision in Denver by the BCS commissioners awarded an automatic access bowl berth to the highest rated champion to the “Group of Five” conferences. That decision, in essence, put the Mountain West on equal footing as far as playoff access with the Big East starting in 2014.

    • Rich2 says:

      IU has had financial crises, do you that IU would leave the Big 10(+2) to join the Big 12(-2) for the promise (not guarantee) that if the left they could receive 19million more dollars in five years? Would the state of Indiana, its politicians, its alums and its fanbase when confronted with the possibility that IU would leave the Big 10 for the potential of 19 million dollars, respond by saying — ok, problem solved, when is our game with KSU/ I am confident the answer is no. Hoosiers are invested in IU. At the undergraduate level (where alumni, fanbase and political affiliations are formed), MD and RU are commuter schools. Adding BTN to the YES network will never, ever change it. This is a truly short-sighted decision by Delany and our presidents. Unless you believe that the Big 10+4 will be able to kick schools out (and you advocate such practices) the Big 10 now “owns” MD and RU for decades. Not one undergraduate applicant that we would want at the Kelley School of Business at IU would ever apply to us as a direct admit because the applicant “found us” while watching MD vs Minnesota on the BTN. It makes little sense. How does adding MD and RU improve the qality of any undergraduate programs of any Big 10 — unless the unspoken assumption is that quality has left the station and the goal is to attract more average applicants to keep the dorms full. How many grad applicants gain familiarity with the program of their future by watching the commercials on the BTN? It is beyond ludicrous.

      • michael says:

        “How does adding MD and RU improve the quality of any undergraduate programs of any Big 10 — unless the unspoken assumption is that quality has left the station and the goal is to attract more average applicants to keep the dorms full. ”

        I do not understand what you mean here. UMd and RU are large land grant institutions with world class research credentials. They are just like most of the schools in the BIG. At least as far as RU is concerned, you are correct that there are more undergraduates that commute and work as compared to my experience at UW and UM. Some of that reflects greater age range in the undergrad population that is to be expected in schools in more densely populated regions where people can afford to go to school in the evening after work. In any case, that is a model that will become more prominent at all universities as distance learning continues to grow.

  45. Hodgepodge says:

    Obviously the timing of all this is curious. Why now? Bringing in Maryland/Rutgers in 2014 eats into the take of each current B1G school (barring renegotiation) until the new contract is negotiated for 2017. Rutgers and Maryland presumably could have been had if Delany waited two more years and bring them in when the new TV contract started.

    It’s possible the YES Network angle is a possible reason why, and if anything it is a remarkable coincidence. But again, they could have waited another couple years to bundle that and BTN. And the YES Network doesn’t fully explain Maryland.

    I think the timing is purely to hope for destabilization in the ACC. They may very well bring in UConn or one of the other Big East teams, but I don’t see where that makes FSU any happier. As others have mentioned, FSU is the lynchpin for what might happen next. If they stay, then the B1G has their targets and left a little money on the table by bringing them in a bit early. If they leave, Clemson probably goes with them, and then the ACC is really in trouble. They’d basically be the Big East circa 2002. Then perhaps the B1G can pry loose UVA and UNC before the next TV contract is in place.

    Bringing in Maryland and Rutgers now allows for things to unfold at a leisurely pace and not risk having to get up to 16 at the last minute.

    • zeek says:

      Er, there’s only two years where Maryland/Rutgers are on the old contract (2014-2015 and 2015-2016).

      That’s as close as you can cut it. You do want to have schedules put together and give it a test run before selling it to the TV people in 2016.

      Maryland explains Maryland; Maryland gets you every home from Baltimore to northern D.C.

      Rutgers was the only questionmark here; the FOX/YES deal answers that somewhat.

    • Brian says:

      Why now? Simple:

      1. Adding them now means they actually join in 2014.
      2. The playoff starts in 2014, leading to a big jump in money.
      3. New bowl arrangements also start in 2014, so adding more teams now helps with planning to maximize the payouts.
      4. ND just half joined the ACC. There was potential to make the ACC too much money for the B10 to ever get one of their schools.
      5. MD is broke and just had to cut sports. That made them desperate enough for money to be willing to leave the ACC. RU has been ready to be #14 since 2010.
      6. Fox is buying half of YES and can leverage that to get more BTN fees.
      7. You want the new teams added before negotiating a new TV deal. This gives the B10 2 years to show fan excitement in MD and NJ (look for all the kings to play once in each city in the first 2 years).

  46. ccrider55 says:

    Where can FSU look that could approximate that amount? The difference between ACC and B12 will be just a fraction compared to B1G. Is that worth the disruption?

    • zeek says:

      Probably not. FSU isn’t in the same financial situation as either Maryland/Rutgers. (I really hope I don’t have to say that in 10 years).

  47. frug says:

    Delany says that the collapse of the B1G-PAC Alliance was a big part of the decision to expand

    The Big Ten created a collaboration with the Pac-12 as an alternative to expansion, but when the Pac-12 decided this summer it couldn’t go through with it, Delany and the Big Ten presidents put expansion back on the front burner.

    “It’s pretty obvious to us that the paradigm has shifted,” Delany said. “It’s not your father’s Big Ten. It’s probably not your father’s ACC. The paradigm shift is that other conferences had [expanded], we had chosen not to, and we explored the collaboration [with the Pac-12]. It couldn’t be executed. The Pac-12 couldn’t do what they thought they could do. …”

    • frug says:

      To repeat something I said in the last thread, Larry Scott must be going out of his mind right now. He’s the biggest proponent of expansion (or as he puts it “consolidation and centralization”) in college sports and his conference has basically trapped at this point.

      • ccrider55 says:

        Agreed. But he is still there, and one who looks forward at the realities presented. I wonder if he has anything other than waiting and watching, and growing a network, too, on his mind.

        • frug says:

          I wonder if he has anything other than waiting and watching, and growing a network, too, on his mind.

          I wonder if any of his grand schemes will ever actually take flight. He has had three go under in the last 3 years.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Yes. But it’s not like he flopped.
            1: Got 2 desirable adds and a CCG, but missed the home run.
            2: Got 3 bill for 60% of inventory,
            3: Got wholly owned network (basically a jr. tier1 partner).
            4: Got carriage to make it profitable before “shovel met ground”.
            5: Maybe got OU and OkSU (?), but “forward thinking” CEO’s nix.
            6: Arranged partnership with B1G, but again…(see 5)

            You wonder if some of the presidents long for Larry Hansen’s return, so they won’t be bothered with big decisions. Looks like they inadvertently created even more action, by inaction.

          • zeek says:

            You have to give Larry Scott props for doing every single thing possible in terms of trying to maximize the Pac-12′s value. It’s not his fault that a lot of these schemes don’t come to fruition.

          • frug says:

            I agree Scott is a great idea guy and the conference is better off with him as President, but the problem is he constantly overestimates his own leverage. Texas played him 2010, his CEO’s overruled him in 2010, and in 2011 he was either burned by Oklahoma or overruled by his CEO’s (or both)

  48. Hodgepodge says:

    All hail the mighty PURPLE Book Cat! Yet again, he has a…different…spin on this.

  49. Eliot says:

    I don’t think anyone speculating on UNC or UVa really knows either institution. There was a firestorm at UVa last summer when one of the Board of Visitors fired the president without a vote. The uproar had little to do with the president, she was new and had few ties to UVa. The subsequent revolt had everything to do with the way the president was fired and the way it violated the basic tenets of our culture here in Charlottesville. We’re a conservative southern school governed by a 19th century honor code. We conduct our business as gentleman in a way that hasn’t changed since 1819. We’re not about to surrender our identity to a conference of Midwestern schools. Money matters of course, we wouldn’t be in this dilemma if it didn’t but we won’t go north if it comes to it. We’ll probably ended up in the SEC with UNC instead. We have much deeper ties to the schools of the deep south. Our presence would also burnish the conferences academic credentials just as it provides our athletic departments with much needed revenue.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      UVA in the SEC? Really?

      • Eliot says:

        Versus the B1G? Absolutely.

        • Richard says:

          I don’t think you’re looking forward enough. The Big20 will be as southern as the ACC currently is Northern (that is, a lot).

          Not to mention that your state is changing–rapidly. In 50 years, VA will look like MD now. At one point in time, UMD was a proud southern school in a proud southern state.

          • Richard says:

            Also, the Big20 won’t exactly be a Midwestern conference any more with almost as many schools on the East Coast as in the Midwest (one of which, ND, thinks of itself as an East Coast school).

    • zeek says:

      No one’s asking you to surrender your identity to the Midwest.

      We didn’t ask Penn State, Rutgers, or Maryland to do that either.

      We’re attaching the Mid-Atlantic to the North. You do realize that this has happened demographically right?

      Have you paid attention to the past two election cycles? Virginia is more blue than Ohio now…; several points more Democratic than the rest of the country.

    • M says:

      He is of course referring to the attempted ousting of Teresa Sullivan as UVa president.

      Sullivan’s selected resume:
      Undergrad at Michigan State
      PhD at Chicago
      Provost at Michigan

      If we’re talking honorable, the honorable thing would have been for Dragas (a double UVa grad) to resign.

      Do you seriously think that UVa has deep ties to any school in the south other than UNC? Maryland was probably the second most similar. Again, UVa is not particularly similar to much of the Big Ten, but pretending its more like Clemson, Alabama, or Mississippi is delusional.

      The ACC isn’t exactly burnishing its “southerness” with the recent additions. No one in their right mind would call Pitt, Syracuse, Boston College, Notre Dame or Miami southern schools, and UConn looks to be joining that group. As Jim Delany said, “It’s not your father’s ACC”.

      Also, I don’t recall any mention of conference affiliation in the Honor Committee orientation talk.

      • zeek says:

        If UVa goes anywhere, it’s going to the Big Ten. I feel more sure about that than saying anything about any other school at the moment.

    • Dave in VA says:

      As a UVa alumnus myself I disagree that the school has deeper ties to the schools of the deep south. Had that been the case we’d have gone with the SEC back in the thirties instead of going independent. As it is, the folks I know who still live in C’ville (and have closer connections than I do) say that there is a deep distaste for most SEC schools — whose academic standards are perceived as not nearly high enough and whose politics are suspect at the absolute best of times. UVa is indeed a school of “gentlemen”, but it seems to me that this makes it behave more like an old-money East Coast school than they do a Big Southern State U.

      • Richard says:

        Yeah, I see UVa comparing itself more with the Ivies than to SEC schools as well. In that regard, it’s akin to the B10 schools, who also compare themselves to the Ivies (though on research, not atmosphere) & contrast themselves against the SEC.

    • “We’re a conservative southern school governed by a 19th century honor code. We conduct our business as gentleman in a way that hasn’t changed since 1819.”

      “We’ll probably ended up in the SEC…”

      Anyone else see this as a conflict of interest?

      (Sorry bamatab, I had to needle that one.)

    • Wes Haggard says:

      Elliot, agree. SEC is the only conference that makes cultural sense for UVa and UNC. And SEC money will equal or exceed B1G money. And their is that the SEC athletic prestige dwarfs the B1G at this time.

  50. SH says:

    Zeek, mergers always look best the day of. I’m not nearly as sold on this move for the B10 as you are. It is a pretty big gamble to put it mildly. And it may pay off for the first few years, but coalitions put together simply for monetary reasons will typically fracture – especially if the money dries up or slows down. The fact is that the B10 is not going to be as flexible to act as it once was. And where before it was tied by a common geographic heritage and a common shared history (with a few additions, who were fully assimilated), now it has expanded rapidly for one reason $$$$. That doesn’t make it wrong, it just makes it risky. Demographics and money may have forced this move, but you have essentially diluted your football brand.

    In my opinion the B10 made this move too quickly. They didn’t give NE a chance to assimilate – though that may not have been as necessary since they share the same culture. And while they are making in roads into the NYC market, it isn’t assured (for all the reasons touched up above), and now the B10 has lost some flexibility. Could they have potentially added a Stanford, Duke, and Miami to have a national presence with great academic prestige? We won’t know now. I’m not suggesting that, but we really don’t know what the landscape will be like in 5-10 years.

    But along thoes same lines because we don’t kow what the landscape will be like in 5-10 years, perhaps this was the move to make now.

    Perhaps the B10, SEC and Pac10 are positioning themselves to remain as the most established and valuable conferences. Each pinning the B12 and ACC into a small geographic region with less established players. It sure looks like we are going to 16 teams though.

    • zeek says:

      I don’t think you’re looking at it properly. The Big Ten added 1 team to the West and 2 teams to the East. It wasn’t like we attached 3 teams to one side or another side.

      Nebraska is assimilating with Michigan/Michigan State/Iowa/Northwestern/Minnesota/Illinois.

      Rutgers/Maryland are assimilating with Ohio State/Penn State/Wisconsin/Purdue/Indiana.

      The two halves are tied together by the fact that 5 in one division and 6 in the other have been together for 20 years, as well as the fact that Michigan and Ohio State are in separate divisions. In a counterintuitive way, this is actually a unifying concept.

      This isn’t a merger. We added a booming outpost in Lincoln and bought two fixer uppers on the D.C.-NYC corridor.

      I just want to say; Frank may be right that Maryland forced us into this like how A&M forced the SEC into taking them. Maryland may have come to us and said “we have to get this done now”; and Delany jumped. We don’t know the details.

      All I know is that sometimes opportunities that are here today may not be there tomorrow (see Missouri). We made an active decision to decline Missouri with the knowledge that we’d never get a chance at them again.

      We were fine with that because our future plans were always centered around Texas or Notre Dame or Mid-Atlantic.

      With Texas’ LHN/Big 12 commitment and Notre Dame’s move to the ACC (along with the failure of the Big Ten-Pac-12 affiliation); Delany clearly decided that he had to push his chips all in on the Mid-Atlantic alternative.

      You are correct that it looks like we’re headed for 16. His comments today indicate that he’s fully invested in a Mid-Atlantic strategy. We still haven’t gone into Virginia yet…

      • SH says:

        Zeek, I understand all that. Maybe it is just because I recently watched a special on the AOL/Time Warner merger. At the time, there was ample reason to be for it. In hindsight, it was destined to fail. Its possible, we will look back at this and say this was destined to fail. Really no way to know. I just think they made this move in haste.

        • bullet says:

          I think 14 creates problems, but from a university standpoint, Rutgers and Maryland are very much Big 10 schools. They are enormous state research universities. I don’t know specifically about those two schools, but most of the major research universities draw their faculty from the same pool-Ivy, Big 10, UC, Stanford, and a few other schools Phds. So while New Jersey is not Wisconsin, the State University of New Jersey is very much like the University of Wisconsin. Same for the University of Maryland.

          • ccrider55 says:

            I call BS to travel concerns. Teams traveled all over the country by train and bus for decades before flying became common, and that took much more time. Getting to and from the airports still takes nearly as much time as most flights.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Sorry bullet, post meant as response to Powers not wanting to fly kids all over reasoning.

        • redsroom3 says:


          I couldn’t agree with you more. I recently read an article in HBS about the failed experiment that was the HP/Compaq merger, which was seen as a brilliant move at the time. That did nothing for either company… I don’t know that bigger is better in this context and I wonder if conferences are biting off more than they can chew with this current state of expansion…

    • Richard says:

      “Could they have potentially added a Stanford, Duke, and Miami to have a national presence with great academic prestige?”

      Stanford? No. I would not rule Duke & Miami out yet.

  51. zeek says:

    Grabbing this from manifestodeluxe above:

    “We said, how do we participate in the new paradigm? Our answer was let’s look at contiguous states first, let’s look at AAU members first, and let’s figure out if there is a way to continue to bridge from Penn State into the Mid-Atlantic. Is there a way to collaborate with like institutions, to grow our footprint, to compete and to position ourselves for the future? We determined this is the best way to accomplish those ends.”

    I mean, is there really anyone who doubts that we’re focused 100% on Virginia next? The move to 16, when it does, will be UVa + UNC or UVA + Va Tech.

    • Hodgepodge says:

      PURPLE Book Cat doubts it. :D

      • SH says:

        PBC makes as much sense as Zeek, who I think makes a lot of sense. As a UVA alum and B10 fan, I would welcome the move. Preferablly with a TX, ND or UNC (in that order). I think VT is better suited in the SEC and don’t really want to be paired with them any way for a variety of reasons. So long as they both go to power conferences, there is no reason they can’t be seperated. A&M split from Texas. This isn’t the 90′s anymore. The VA legistlature will not have the same influence as last time – and that was a different story altogether. Sharing a state could be mutually beneficial to both conferences. Having half your state loyal to the B10 and the other half loyal to the SEC means that college football is covered – all win in that scenario (and yes that is oversimplifying it).

        Regardless, UVA and VT should both be courting an invite, or they may both be holding the bag in a weak conference. If PBC is to be believed, and the B10 miraculously grabs Tx or ND, would they ever consider expanding to 18 to grab VA? Would B10 expand to 15 holding a slot for ND and TX – or do you go to 16 now and if those schools ever want to join, just bring them in?

        UVA and VT should split, maximizing both their chances of getting into a top conference. Otherwise they may simply die in the ACC.

    • ChicagoMac says:

      “We said, how do we participate in the new paradigm? Our answer was let’s look at contiguous states first, let’s look at AAU members first, and let’s figure out if there is a way to continue to bridge from Penn State into the Mid-Atlantic. Is there a way to collaborate with like institutions, to grow our footprint, to compete and to position ourselves for the future? We determined this is the best way to accomplish those ends.”

      Could be. Of course, this time next year he could state something like “we really looked at our long-term needs and decided we needed to grow our footprint. So we looked at AAU institutions that also gave us exposure in Top 10 DMAs where we do not already have a presence and that is why we ended up with Rice and Georgia Tech.

      The narrative always justifies the action taken, always.

      • zeek says:

        That’s fair, but you could argue that this part of the narrative is incomplete.

        Think about it like this. The Big Ten and SEC have been dissecting the map from the East Coast to Texas from North to South (excluding New England of course).

        The only territories left are North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

        Both conferences passed on West Virginia (to the Big 12), which essentially just leaves North Carolina and Virginia.

    • Bikemore says:

      I think you’re right on about UVA. It would cement the Big Ten as the conference of the East Coast, from Norfolk to New York … if Notre Dame would join as well.

      In short, no way does Delany give up on Notre Dame now, especially if the ACC starts to crumble. A ND-UVA add almost has to be the ultimate goal. UVA-UNC would be nice, but not the outcome he wants. UVA-Va Tech? Can’t imagine that would even be considered.

    • frug says:

      V-Tech to the Big 10? Not. Gonna. Happen.

  52. Craig Z says:

    If the BTN/YES connection turns out to be real, does that mean Fox has the inside track on getting the Big 10 contract when it expires?

    • zeek says:

      There’s nothing really connecting that contract with FOX maximizing the BTN (which it owns 51% of) by pairing it with YES (which it will soon own a majority of). The Big Ten obviously profits from that, but it really doesn’t have that much to do with the Big Ten running it. The BTN runs itself.

      As for the main contract, you should note that FOX owns the parallel Big Ten CCG which will expire at the same time as the ABC/ESPN contract.

      Presumably, we plan to roll the Big Ten CCG into the next contract.

      So that will be interesting, FOX will likely want to do a similar combo deal with ESPN like they did for the Big 12 and Pac-12.

      It’s hard to know though whether ESPN will want to give up any of the contract. ESPN may also want the ABC games, so it’s just hard to know right now who would bid more for the whole thing.

  53. SH says:

    Reading PBC’s link above. Has Texas been sabotaging things until the time is right for a move to the B10. They have finally split from A&M, who is having a succesful introduction to the SEC. A&M appears to be rising in a top conference while the Mack Brown era may be coming to an end in a dying conference. The LHN doesn’t appear to be as succesful as once thought, but could this be renegotiated with ESPN if Texas was part of the B10? Basically is the political climate becoming more favorable for a Texas move to the B10? Could Texas Tech somehow end up in the P10 – which would mean that all three schools are in a power conference? All three have Texas in their geographic footprint.

    Both Zeek and PBC make great points. But they cannot both be right unless we end up with an 18-20 team super-super conference.

    I’m probably reading more into this than should be, but who knows where the dominoes will stop.

    • Hodgepodge says:

      The Big XII deal is a Fox/ESPN split deal, as was the ill-fated Barclay’s Premier League (English soccer) offer that NBCSN just won, so I imagine it will be the same thing for the B1G. As much as I dislike ESPN, it’s probably best for the league right now if they maintain a presence there.

    • frug says:

      Has Texas been sabotaging things until the time is right for a move to the B10

      Not unless you count signing a 13 year GOR to the Big XII as a sabotage…

    • zeek says:

      Texas wants nothing to do with the Big Ten.

      By going to Maryland/Rutgers and focusing on the Mid-Atlantic, the Big Ten has signaled likewise.

      The next battle will be over North Carolina and Virginia.

      The Big Ten and SEC are unlikely to go past 16 if they each take two from that region.

      • SH says:

        I still think UVA and VT should split, for the benefit of both schools and both conferences. Its a shared state, but both could then pick up UNC and NCST getting UNC too. UVA could be paired with a Syracuse perhaps. The schools that may ultimately get boxed in are the Tobacco Row schools. At one time they controlled a basketball conference and now they may be fighting for survival and relevance. Does the ACC become a basketball first conference?

      • bullet says:

        For all the talk about power and money, there is some thought of the student-athletes (at least at some point in these discussions). President Powers comment that he didn’t want to be flying the women’s softball team all over the midwest is telling. Also after the Pac 16 deal fell through in the news conference he talked about how they were trying to split the conference and do the scheduling to minimize student travel and he realized he could do the same thing without changing conferences. Texas does not want to go to the Big 10 or Pac 12 as much as they would love to be in a conference of those type of schools.

        • ChicagoMac says:

          President Powers comment that he didn’t want to be flying the women’s softball team all over the midwest is telling.

          That’s not telling, that’s BS.

          If ESPN didn’t come through with the $$ for the LHN, UT would be singing the virtues of academic prestige of being associated with Cal and Stanford.

    • bamatab says:

      I can’t believe people still believe a word PBC says. The fact that he even suggests that the SEC is considering WVU, FSU, and/or Miami tells me all I need to know about his information. And they sure ain’t going to take them based on some precieved notion that Slive somehow owes Delany for getting aTm. The WV Dude guy makes more sense than this PCB guy.

      • zeek says:

        In a game of risk, the only properties that are left are North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia.

        Look at the map of the Big Ten and SEC. Every single state from the East Coast to Texas is accounted for in the two conferences (ignoring New England).

        Both conferences passed on West Virginia.

        It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that both conferences want to carve up North Carolina and Virginia. We don’t need PBC’s “sources” to tell us that.

        • Nick in South Bend says:

          I am with you Zeek. the only quibble I have is that I do not think it is a “battlefield” in the proper sense. I think both the SEC and Big Ten are fine with what the other wants, and are unlikely to be fighting over the same properties.

          IF (a huge IF) Texas ever went anywhere, it would likely be the Pac 12 with TTech and the OK schools.

          • zeek says:

            A lot of people say the end game here if FSU/Clemson do bolt for the Big 12 is that the Big Ten would go for UNC/UVa and the SEC would take Va Tech/NC State.

          • bamatab says:

            I think the only true battle between the SEC & B1G in this whole expansion craze will be UNC. The SEC would probably prefer UVA over VT, but VT is good enough as a football program that Slive probably wouldn’t have a whole lot of heartache “settling” for VT.

            I don’t think the same could be said for having to settle for NCST over UNC. Now don’t get me wrong, Slive would take NCST if UNC is off of the table because they would still deliver the NC markets (they are a larger university students/alumni wise than UNC). But UNC as much more “prestige” and I’m guessing as more financial support from its boosters.

  54. Mike says:

    Repost in the right spot…

    Just in case….

    Boise State, San Diego State and BYU have had conversations with Mountain West membership about the possibility of returning to the league, sources told ESPN.

    These talks originated after last week’s decision in Denver by the BCS commissioners awarded an automatic access bowl berth to the highest rated champion to the “Group of Five” conferences. That decision, in essence, put the Mountain West on equal footing as far as playoff access with the Big East starting in 2014.

    • zeek says:

      Makes a world of sense now.

      With the Big East basically going back to just being a group of C-USA/MWC/MAC/SunBelt schools, there is likely no reason to all join together for one TV contract with the costs of travel being what they are.

      • bullet says:

        Its hard to understand why the BE would be worth so much more than the CUSA in football (prior to the 4 defections). The CUSA just re-did its contract for about $1.5 million for everything. BE expects at least $6 million just for football. Its probably perception and that goes away if too many more teams leave the BE. When you compare the lineups-is column 1 4 to 10 times more valuable in football?:
        Houston Houston
        SMU SMU
        Memphis Memphis
        UCF UCF
        Cincinnati ECU
        USF USM
        Temple UAB
        SDSU UTEP
        Rutgers Rice
        UConn Tulane
        Louisville Marshall
        Boise Tulsa

        • zeek says:

          The answer is absolutely not.

          There’s no way that the “Big East” brand is worth that. It’s basically lipstick on a pig at this point.

          The Big Ten taking Rutgers and ACC taking UConn right as they’re in contract negotiations will just exacerbate that.

          Maybe NBC is so desperate that they’ll pay $6 million per school, but I’m struggling to figure out who they’re negotiating against. It feels like they’d be negotiating against themselves if they go anywhere above $3-4 million per school.

    • bullet says:

      Saw a link somewhere that Houston also has a get out of the BE free card if the TV contract doesn’t reach certain parameters.

      Although I don’t know why Houston would want out. Boise and SDSU are different.

    • ChicagoMac says:

      Interesting. It was less than a week ago that the media was running with a BigEast is big winner in playoff narrative.

      Now you can fairly ask the question whether BigEast football will even exist in 3yrs.

    • marmutia says:

      My Dad (Colorado State class of ’58), would have been really happy about this.

  55. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Report from Tallahassee.|topnews|text|frontpage

    “The ACC is a strong conference. No one’s wringing their hands,”

    “The ACC lawyers are absolutely convinced it’s [the $50mm exit fee] binding,” Barron said. “If Maryland challenges it, I’ll be watching closely to see if that works.”

    • Nick in South Bend says:

      I think we are about to find out. My guess is that it never gets to court, and is negotiated down quite a ways.

      • zeek says:

        Wouldn’t be a surprise if it goes down at least a half. $25 million seems excessive already given what the other schools that moved in the past few years have paid.

  56. MiamiWolv says:

    With the B1G opening up “league offices” in the East, its clear the end game is near.

    There will be a 16 team B1G before the new TV deal is signed. We will likely see 4 pods.

    The Western pod is very easy to discern — Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota. I don’t see the B1G expanding West. The only AAU school that is contiguous to the West is Kansas, and the Big 12 recently obtained a prolonged grant of rights that would seem to preclude Kansas.

    If you look East, Virginia is an obvious choice for the fifteenth school. UVA is one of the top 3 or 4 public schools in the nation, is contiguous with Maryland and would fit nicely with the B1G strategy of taking over the mid-Atlantic/northern region.

    I don’t see North Carolina bailing on the ACC unless the ship has capsized. Georgia Tech is too Southern and would be an outlier. The battle for the 16th school could come down to Virginia Tech and Pitt. Yes, the B1G has a presence in these states, but if the objective is to capture the entire mid-Atlantic, then the conference should just double down here.

    I’m guessing Virginia Tech will be #16. The Hokies move to the B1G would lock the SEC out of Virginia/DC/Maryland, and give Virginia two rivals (Maryland, UVA) in the Big 10. The Big 10 would have a huge presence then in NJ, Virginia and Maryland — one of the goals was to open up new recruiting territories — mission accomplished. The conference will have added Washington DC, Baltimore, Newark and parts of NY to its footprint.

  57. bullet says:

    More luck of the Irish. Matt Barkley is out with a hurt shoulder.

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