We Are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together: Rutgers Leaves the Big East for the Big Ten and Conference Realignment Potpourri

Posted: November 20, 2012 in Big East, Big Ten, College Basketball, College Football, Sports
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As expected, the Big Ten has officially added Rutgers as its newest member. (See the start of the Rutgers-Big Ten relationship above.) When looking back at the last 3 years of conference realignment, Rutgers is vying with Utah and TCU for the title of being the biggest beneficiary of the constant earthquakes, which I’m sure is particularly sweet for Scarlet Knight fans that were on the precipice of being the largest loser in the process after Syracuse, Pitt, West Virginia and Notre Dame left the Big East. Prior to today, the only schools that were members of the six original BCS AQ conferences (Big Ten, Big 12, the old Pac-10, ACC, SEC and Big East) when the current postseason system began in 1998 and hadn’t moved to one of the five “new” contract bowl conferences (Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, ACC and SEC) were Rutgers and Temple… and Temple had such a horrible football program that it was kicked out of the Big East even after Miami, Boston College and Boston College defected to the ACC in 2003. (The Owls rejoined the Big East as a full member this season.) In a way, conference realignment hasn’t necessarily been about expansion for individual leagues, but rather consolidation of all of the power schools from six “chosen” leagues into five. Rutgers moving to the Big Ten completes that consolidation process.

I’ve already spent some time in yesterday’s post addressing what the additions of Rutgers and Maryland mean to the Big Ten along with the possible reactions from the ACC and Big 12. So, let’s address some of the latest news and rumors flying around the country:

(1) Louisville might be the target for the ACC instead of UConn – Andy Katz of ESPN has indicated that “Louisville is a serious player to bump out UConn” for the 14th spot in the ACC. My bet would still be on UConn taking that last spot because of the academic, geographic and cultural fits with the ACC, but you never know if there might be a radical change in the mindset of that conference in the wake of a defection. Louisville has certainly done everything right as an athletic department over the past few years, yet let’s not forget that UConn isn’t exactly a competitive slouch, either. Both the Connecticut men’s and women’s basketball programs are at the elite level and the football program (as down in the dumps as it might be today) won the Big East and was in a BCS bowl only 2 years ago. As a result, I believe that there’s a bit of an overstatement in what seems to be a widespread belief that Louisville is far ahead of UConn athletically (as that’s colored by the “What have you done for me lately?” thinking of how well Louisville is doing today in football specifically compared to UConn). To be sure, the addition of Rutgers to the Big Ten certainly demonstrates how much TV markets matter. If the athletic departments at Louisville or Connecticut were able to swap locations with Rutgers, they would have been picked up by power conferences long ago and we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

(2) Big 12 Observations – Barry Tramel of The Oklahoman has been looking at Big Ten expansion from the Big 12 angle, where he states that Louisville’s chances of getting into that league have improved. I agree with his assessment that the ACC’s loss of Maryland doesn’t mean that Florida State and Clemson (or other ACC schools) would end up bolting to the Big 12 and how he sees Louisville as the main realistic option. Now, I doubt that the Big 12 would add solely Louisville as school number 11 as he suggested (as the Big Ten staying at 11 schools with Penn State for so long was mainly based on the belief that Notre Dame was destined to be team number 12), so BYU and Cincinnati should get ready to polish off their resumes.

(3) BYU, Boise State and San Diego State Speaking with the Mountain West? – Last night, Brett McMurphy of ESPN reported that BYU, Boise State and San Diego State were having conversations with the Mountain West about re-joining (or in the cases of Boise State and San Diego State, not leaving) the conference. My knee-jerk reaction is that this makes no sense at all. Even if the Big East ends up losing Rutgers, UConn and Louisville, the remnants of that league would still likely cobble together enough to make substnatially more TV money than the current CBS payout of $800,000 per year per MWC school. BYU is even farther ahead with its independent TV deal with ESPN.

There was one plausible rumor out there that at least made a tiny bit of sense as to why this could happen. Essentially, BYU could be speaking with the Mountain West about joining as a non-football member with a Notre Dame/ACC-type deal where the school would remain independent with a partial MWC football scheduling arrangement (to aid BYU with late season scheduling). That could be enough to (a) spur Boise State and San Diego State to ditch its Big East obligations and stay in the MWC and (b) open the MWC TV contract back up for negotiation where that league could end up with revenue on par (or maybe better) than the remnants of the Big East.

I don’t quite buy that rumor (as I still don’t believe the TV dollars add up), but once again, you just never know with conference realignment these days.

(4) What does the Big East do? – Well, this could get somewhat ugly. At the very least, the Big East is going to have to replace 2 members (Rutgers and 1 of Louisville or UConn) out of the current 13 football schools in or about to be in the conference, might have to replace 3 members, or could even lose 5 of them (if Boise State and San Diego State get an MWC deal as described above). The good news is that even the worst case scenario, the Big East would survive as a conference with 8 members. There won’t be a case of schadenfreude in favor of, say, Conference USA where they will start picking off Big East schools. The bad news is that the already slim pickings for the Big East get reduced even further, as BYU (who I never believed would end up in the Big East even before the latest realignment news occurred) is completely off the table and, if the Mountain West becomes relatively strong again, there isn’t too much value to found in expansion candidates from Conference USA or the MAC. East Carolina is perpetually brought up as a Big East candidate since they have a solid fan base, but they’re a small market victim of the TV market-driven economics of conference expansion. Beyond ECU, there are schools such as Tulane (great academics and market, but needs a lot of help athletically), Rice (ditto and overlaps with Houston’s market), UMass (excellent geographic fit and a rare Northeast flagship school, yet only moved up to the FBS level last year), Marshall (will always be the #2 team in an already small West Virginia market)… I think that you get the idea.

The Big East’s main hope is that they only lose Rutgers and one other school. If either Louisville or UConn is still in the conference, that will make a world of difference in terms of the Big East trying to sell itself to the TV networks.

Of course, just when so much of the talk on Monday revolved around how much money was being made in college sports, Division II Chaminade went out and convincingly defeated Texas, the most powerful and richest athletic department in the country that can single-handedly control conference realignment, in basketball. (I did not witness this monumental upset since I was watching the NFL Division II level offense of the Bears get pummeled by the 49ers. Let’s hope my Illini don’t suffer a fate similar to Texas against Chaminade later tonight.) It’s a reminder that money will only take you so far – schools still have to prove it on the field or court of play.

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

(Image from ESPN)

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  1. Nick in South Bend says:

    Love ya Frank!!!

  2. bamatab says:

    RTR and destroy the barn on Saturday!!!

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      GEAUX LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

      War Damn Eagle!

      Fight on USC!

      Go ‘noles!

      Go Beavers!

      • ccrider55 says:

        How many TV’s do you have? :)

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          ccrider55 – since all the talking heads brought up 2007 ( a very good year in Tigerland) after all the upsets last weekend, I decided to expand my rooting interests beyond LSU, TCU, and Tulane.

          If Auburn could somehow beat Bama, the Aggies beat Mizzou, and my Tigers beat the Hogs, LSU wins a 3-way tie in the SEC West and punches a ticket to the SEC CG.

          USC beating the Irish knocks out the BCS #1 for the third week in a row.

          Florida State beating Florida assures LSU of at least a Sugar Bowl berth.

          Oregon State beating Oregon ruins any chances of the Ducks getting back in the BCS race.

          If all those results happen and LSU beats the Dawgs in Atlanta, my Tigers are most likely back in the BCS NCG.

          A guy can dream . . .

  3. zeek says:

    Louisville v. UConn is important on so many levels here.

    This is the proxy tug of war between FSU/Clemson and Tobacco Road.

    Not sure it means FSU/Clemson bolt if Louisville doesn’t join, but I think it’s obvious that they want a good football school in there, and Louisville is the best on the board in that respect.

    • Jericho says:

      Don’t really get that argument. Louisville might be better right this second, but it’s not like they’ve dominated UConn since UConn joined Big East football. The programs are remarkably similar in overall record. Louisville just happens to have the better record right now and used to have Bobby Petrino. But that’s no indicator of anything going forward.

      • bamatab says:

        UL has shown a willingness to spend the money necessary to stay competitive over an extended period of time. They don’t spend money like the “kings” do, but I they spend more money on athletics than most schools in their position.

        • Jericho says:

          And Uconn doesn’t? They’ve only been in Division 1 a short period, but already have a BCS birth. Their short football history is impressive considering the circumstances (little money and a new team) and their basketball is even better than Louisville. Those are the only revenue sports.

          • Richard says:

            Amazing as it may seem, UConn’s basketball revenues are a small fraction of Louisville’s basketball revenues. Calhoun is a miracle worker, but he’s gone now.

  4. jj says:

    Sparty on!

    I’d be shocked if Louisville beat out UConn, assuming there is only one ACC spot left.

  5. tomdauwwg says:

    Go Green! Welcome, Rutgers!

  6. B1GRED says:

    Already time for a new post Frank? Virginia Tech AD “potentially” interested in joining SEC ….


    • zeek says:

      Welp, everyone better buckle up for moves to 16.

    • bamatab says:

      “I’d like to defer my comment for right now, but there may potentially be some interest.” – Jim Weaver on “Tech Talk Live”

      That statement is a far cry from Weaver’s statements back when the SEC was looking for a 14th member. I believe Weaver used to the word “poppycock” when describing the potential of VT moving to the SEC at that time. And he made this last statement live on air. That is a pretty interesting choice of words by Weaver this time.

    • B1GRED says:

      David Teel, ACC reporter for Daily Press reporting that Virginia Tech AD has denied those comments… AD Jim Weaver quote, “I just can’t believe people are misrepresenting what I said. There’s nothing happening in regard to Virginia Tech going anywhere. I don’t know how to say it any clearer than that.”

      So, now there’s that… Smoke, Fire, or False Alarm?

      • bamatab says:

        He said his original comments on the air, and a lot of the VT people heard him say it over the air (just go read their message boards right now). But now he has to do fire control because those comments are blowing up on twitter and on the VT message boards.

        They probably are no where near jumping to the SEC just yet, but I’m guessing that the lines of communication have been reopened now.

  7. Rick says:

    As a Rutgers Football alum (’79), today is extremely emotionally gratifying. @40 years ago HC Frank Burns sat in my living room and paited the picture and vision for Rutgers Football going “Big Time”. As part of the undefeated and #17 ranked 1976 team and Rutgers’ first Bowl game in 1979, we, as the early believers, really felt the foundation was laid. Many years of starts and stops later, TODAY a dream was fulfilled for us early believers. Fight on you Loyal Sons of Rutgers. Welcome to the Big Time…er….B1G. Thank you to all the B1G supporters who have welcomed us on our fanblogs and websites, we truely appreciate it and you will NOT be disappointed. Buckle up.

    • Nick in South Bend says:

      We MidWesterners are a patient group. I, for one, am happy about the expansion. Welcome, and I am glad you are here. That said, if it takes some time to get up and running…then it is what it is.

      Keep in mind that if you do not fill your football stadium on game day, it is highly likely that the Big Ten team will. Fair warning.

      • Rick says:

        I think some folks will be surprised. The talent level at Rutgers, as measured by % of the roster with 4 and 5 Star talent (Scout.com) is equal to that of MSU, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois. They play very tough defense that forces turnovers and scores, a Pro-Style Coryell Hybrid offense, and Special Team scoring is strong. Their turnover ratio excellent every year. This program can compete sooner than later, I promise you. You will not be able to take them lightly. They will be your trap game and sneak up on some teams. Not a bottom feeder. This is a tough program with tough kids.

        • zeek says:

          I’m among those that think Rutgers will surprise immediately.

          They already look like they’ve gotten more talent the past couple years than most of the bottom half of the Big Ten.

          They’d be at worst the 3rd or 4th best team in the East if they had been in the league the past year and possibly 2nd behind Ohio State given that Wisconsin took a step back.

          • Rick says:

            Zeek, I think you are right, this program is getting stronger every year. There is now depth and high quality skill players. They built their defense on aggressive speed and blitzing. This is a very fast and strong team. The O-Line is being built on the Wisconsin model and they are committed to a balanced run/pass strategy. These kids can play.

        • Nick in South Bend says:

          I hope you are right…as an IU fan, I hope all your energy goes into football!!!

    • FranktheAg says:

      Congrats Rick. It is a great feeling when these long held hopes come to fruition.

    • mushroomgod says:

      ok…but what did Hawkeye and Trapper John have to say………

    • PSU fan here. I’m not a “pro Rutgers” guy or anything…but I’ve been calling for Rutgers to the Big Ten for the past three years. You guys fit what the Big Ten is all about. Your football might not have the legacy…but in every other way, you are a Big Ten school. Glad it’s finally “officially” so.

  8. frug says:

    From Chip Brown (so take it with a grain of salt)

    Before Notre Dame decided to cozy up to the ACC, I was told by key Big 12 sources Florida State and Georgia Tech were probably the most attractive targets the Big 12 would consider adding.

    With Maryland bolting the ACC for the Big Ten in 2014 and the ACC seemingly on the verge of destabilization, the question is if the Big 12 can afford to sit back and let things play out or take an aggressive stance?

    Keep your ears open for rumblings out of the SEC about a push that could include Alabama with support from Texas A&M and Missouri to get Florida and Georgia to relent on their opposition to adding Florida State and Georgia Tech.


    • zeek says:

      I’m not sure why the SEC would add Georgia Tech though.

      They have to be focused on Virginia Tech + a North Carolina school.

      • zeek says:

        Maybe FSU + Va Tech if they can’t dislodge a North Carolina school.

      • frug says:

        My guess would be to keep the Big XII from getting a foothold in SEC territory.

        • zeek says:

          That’s interesting, but they wouldn’t mind the Big Ten taking Georgia Tech?

          • @zeek: Yeah, I don’t get it. GT is in the unfortunate position of being just good enough to be relevant, but not good enough for people to concern themselves. They’re the SEC version of Pitt — it makes sense for everyone not thinking about factors beyond the court/field.

        • bamatab says:

          I doubt that Bama or the SEC cares about the Big 12 getting a foothold in GA or FL. The ACC already has a foothold there, and most of their teams try and recuit out of their (a lot more than what the other Big 12 teams would try and recruit). And those two states will always be SEC states, regardless of what league GT & FSU are in, so it won’t hurt their ability to get cable subscribers for their upcoming SECN. The next time Brown is right about a conference realignment issue, may be the first time. His record isn’t all that good considering his info is propaganda straight for the UT AD.

          • bullet says:

            Actually that is a misperception. He may have UT athletic department sources, but it is not DeLoss Dodds. He definitely gets people sending a message through him. BTW, as I recall, he did call TCU.

          • frug says:


            He was also the first person to call the 2010 PAC talks collapsing, and more impressively, the massive value of the LHN months before anything was officially released by the school.

            People in the AD’s office use him for propaganda, he has real connections.

          • FranktheAg says:

            Come on. Chip has about a 10% hit rate. He was completely wrong multiple times on A&M to the SEC. Let’s not attempt to alter history here.

      • metatron says:

        Continuity? Travel?

        I’d think Florida State and Virginia Tech are the big tickets here.

    • ccrider55 says:

      I’m getting dizzy…

    • bamatab says:

      I definitely would take that with a grain of salt. Maybe what I was told was not true, or maybe Bama has softened up on their stance on FSU. But I still find it very hard to believe that Bama would go out of its way to stick its neck out for two schools that are in the two states outside of Alabama that they rely most on in recruiting. I guess I could see Slive talking the PTB at Bama to go along with their inclusion, but for Bama to go out of their way to try and force it? That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

      • jtower says:

        The reports out of Bham have been for some time that FSU will never ever EVER be on the SEC. Even prior to aggy joining the SEC had its eye on UNC. No doubt UNC has its pick between the two ans suddenly geogrhy is not such a big issue for them joining either. They would however lose rule of their little fiefdom.

    • bullet says:

      Georgia Tech adds nothing to the SEC. The only thing they add to the Big 12 would be FSU alumni in Atlanta, i.e. makes the Big 12 more Seminole friendly.

      So would the Big 12 exes try to sabotage Big 12 expansion? Sounds like bowtie. But again, this is Chip, so someone could be suggesting an angle.

      As for Louisville, Big 12 fans would throw a fit if we expanded to 11 for Louisville. So would Fox which requires 45 league games. 11X9 is not possible. 11 X 8 is only 44. Maybe you could do something creative like 10X9+ Louisville X8 and let them count UK as #9.

      I’m sure FSU is running the numbers and evaluating all their options. And trying to figure out what VT, UVA and UNC will do. I don’t expect them to do anything before summer. I’d put the odds at 60/40 they move. I can’t believe the SEC would say no if that’s what FSU wanted. The only real reason to say no would be because they don’t really need more powers. But I think the Big 12 is most likely for FSU.

      • bamatab says:

        bullet – I posted on the previous blog thread that I think the Big 12′s end game should be FSU, Clemson, Miami, GT, Pitt, and one more eastern school (one of Syracuse, BC, UL, or a NC school). That way would could split the divisions like this:

        WEST – UT, OU, OSU, TT, TCU, Baylor, KU, KSU
        EAST – FSU, Clemson, Miami, GT, WVU, Pitt, UL (or whoever they choose here), and ISU (I know they are getting somewhat of a raw deal here, but they are lucky they are even in a top 4 conference).

        Or you could go with these pods:

        Texas: UT, TT, TCU, Baylor
        Plains: OU, OSU, KU, KSU
        Southeast: FSU, Miami, Clemson, GT
        North: WVU, Pitt, UL (or whoever they get), ISU

        What is your feelings on this as and end game for the Big 12, and would the majority of Big 12 fans be ok with it?

        • zeek says:

          It’s logical, but it all depends on what the SEC wants and can get.

          If the SEC can only get Va Tech in the Mid-Atlantic, then the SEC is going to want FSU for themselves.

          (SEC may not be able to separate that mess of schools in Tobacco Road; UNC and NC State may decide to just stick it out regardless of the future).

          • bamatab says:

            I think that scenario of UNC & NCST deciding come hell or high water that they are going to stick with the remain ACC teams, is the only one where the SEC take FSU. If the NC schools are completely off of the table, then the SEC may not have any other viable options than to go with FSU.

        • bullet says:

          It is logical. Personally, I think its a mistake to go beyond 12. There’s a lot of sentiment among league officials to stop at 12 (if they even go beyond 10). Take FSU and somebody else. Doesn’t matter if its Tulane or Rice or Louisville, although Clemson or Georgia Tech would probably be the best.

          I see a lot of talk of 14 although divisions would be difficult. General consensus seems to be that the league thinks Miami is tainted and may not be willing to risk embarrassment again to become a power. They may be satisfied to be a Northwestern. So FSU, Clemson, GT and Louisville. A number of people do believe in 4X16 and talk of those 4 + 2 of NCSU/Pitt/Miami (assumes UVA to B1G, VT to SEC and UNC to SEC or B1G). Everyone seems to believe Louisville is in with a 16 team scenario and most believe they are in with 14 (not that everyone is happy with that, but UL has some strong supporters in the league).

          It would be a long term mistake to sit at 10 while the other powers have 14-16 and lots bigger populations. Media exposure would hurt you, especially if OU and UT have down periods at the same time (see 1990-95). But the Big 12 doesn’t need to rush out and take the 1st two schools that are available. They need the right two.

          • zeek says:

            I agree with everything you’re saying here.

            The other thing to consider though is recruiting/alumni populations and the like.

            It seems to me that there’s a tightknit group against expansion (Texas + Northern schools).

            I can see why OU/OSU/WVU want to expand.

            But I have a much harder time seeing why Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State would want to expand. They’re in a rush to get thrown with WVU and FSU into a different division where they’ll play significantly less in the state of Texas where their alumni and recruiting are?

            Texas + those 3 should all be deadset against expansion. It just doesn’t seem equitable to those 3 schools to toss them into a division that spreads from the Plains to Florida.

          • bullet says:

            KU and KSU fans seem adamant about there not being a Texoma division. The reality is divisions don’t matter much if you have 12 and a 9 game schedule with no fixed rivalries (which you could do with a Texoma). You play 4 out of 6 from the other division every year. So you put the Texas and Oklahoma schools together and the other 6 together and play 9.

          • ccrider55 says:

            Wouldn’t FSU and cCemson expect to play UT and OU yearly?

        • frug says:


          (Copy paste from my response to this question in the previous thread)

          I actually had thought of that exact alignment and think it might actually be easier to get the votes necessary to move to 16 than to 12. Nobody outside of WVU seems willing to give up games in Texas to accommodate expansion, but if they went to 16 no one else besides ISU would have to.

          Maybe the other schools buy off ISU by offering them an extra few 100K a year and call it a “travel stipend” to offset the added travel costs they would endure. Or they just tell them that they should consider themselves lucky that they are in a power conference at all.

          • bamatab says:

            frug – I think they just tell ISU to be thankful they aren’t in the MWC at this point. I actually think that group of schools would pull a very nice tv contract and could have a pretty successful conference network (if they could figure out how to include UT into the network).

        • jtower says:

          Sine the summer we referred to these as the SWC pod, Big 8 pod, ACC pod and BIG pod. With travel concerns it seems the only way to get FSU is to let them bring some neighbors. That gets you to 14 which is not a great number to go to with all due respect to the SEC and BIG so adding two more arou d WVU seems to make sense. Plus adding GTech and Pitt might appeal to one conference destabilizing school that shall not be named. Just in case they are looking.

      • FranktheAg says:

        Bullet – “So would the Big 12 exes try to sabotage Big 12 expansion? Sounds like bowtie. But again, this is Chip, so someone could be suggesting an angle.”

        @bullet – when has R. Bowen Loftin ever attempted to sabotage B12 expansion? If you mean that he halted Powers/Dodds plan to drag A&M (by informing A&M of their “grand” plan at the 11th hour) to the Pac16, then yes, that is true. Otherwise, I doubt he cares who the B12 adds going forward. Just like the vast majority of Ags.

        • ccrider55 says:

          I think bullet’s point is there would now be a pac16 (wonder how the LHN thing would have been resolved, but I digress) but for aTm. Could a school (or group) scuttle a current, almost done deal?

          • FranktheAg says:

            A&M didn’t sabotage the Pac16. Once Loftin was informed of the plan by Powers he declined. Powers assumed he could dictate and found out he was wrong. A&M couldn’t care less about B12 future plans and the only sabotage would be in the minds of the paranoid.

          • ccrider55 says:


            I’m not assign motive or blame. Just wondering/suggesting that a similar circumstance might be possible now, as in a school (or schools) may act in their best interest may scuttle a move promoted or arranged by others. aTm is not mentioned by me in any way other than as an example of how one school may have the power to derail the plans of others, and happened in the same conference being discussed.

          • bullet says:

            No, I wasn’t referring to the Pac 16.

            I was referring to later in those e-mails from OU that got disclosed and he sent an e-mail to Boren trying to undermine the conference after A&M had already left.

          • FranktheAg says:

            First bullet you are misrepresenting those letters by calling it sabotage. Boren and Loftin had multiple conversations about moving together to the SEC a year earlier. Of course they continued to have conversations about OU going to the PAC. They value each others input. Just like Powers had conversations with tOSU.

            Second the conversation had nothing to do about B12 expansion. It was about OU leaving.

    • FranktheAg says:

      Chip doesn’t have sources at Texas A&M. Everything he states is pure propaganda for Texas/Dodds.

  9. Biological Imperiative says:

    I’m curious about whether the PAC 12 will expand? Texas and OU are the two targets that are of any interest to them but would they take OU and OSU to get to UT? so far they have said no, but the realignment game is changing faster than anyone thought it would even 2 years ago.

    • zeek says:

      They’ll take any group of 3 under the sun if Texas is coming.

      Texas is the prize of all prizes. You could add SMU, Houston, and UTEP, and Texas would pay for all 4…

      Texas has to sign on first for the Pac-12 to expand at this point.

    • ccrider55 says:

      turnip truck hit a bump and you landed on your head?

  10. MiamiWolv says:

    The consensus from the news reports seems to be that Georgia Tech is the preference for #15.

    If Tech is #15, who is the 16th school? UVA? UNC? Kansas?

    I’ll throw out a darkhorse — Florida State. They make no sense in a vacuum. However, if GT is #15, then Florida State would be a home run as the final school. First, their fanbase, based on the message boards, seems to be the most receptive to joining the B1G. Tellingly, the majority of their fans view the Big 12 as inherently unstable and are circumspect about leaving one shaky situation for another.

    Unlike UNC and UVA, FSU is not a founding member of the conference. Their top athletic priority is not to maintain any ACC rivalris, but to ensure their football program is on equal footing in terms of revenue and exposure with UF. FSU fans look at the revenue generated by the Big 10, and see an opportunity to gain a permanent seat at a stable, cash generating conference. Further, it would be an easy academic sell to move from the ACC to the B1G — more difficult to persuade the faculty to leave the ACC for the Big 12.

    In exchange, FSU would offer the Big 10 access to the top state in the country for high school players — Florida. FSU would bring one of the few national brands in college football. You think network TV would pay for FSU-PSU? FSU-Nebraska?

    Its not a perfect fit by any means. The geography is a stretch (but then again FSU is already playing games in Boston and Syracuse in the ACC). FSU would be testing the Big 10 presidents’ limits on academics (ranked #102 in US NEWS). However, if the Big 10 adds GT to Maryland and Rutgers, they may be more inclined to accept a non-AAU school — with the intention of helping FSU eventually obtain AAU status.

    A darkhorse pick? Sure, but if I’m Jim Delaney, and expansion is about (1) markets, (2) football and (3) new recruiting territories, why would I destabilize the ACC and allow the crown football jewel — FSU — to fall in the Big 12′s lap?

    If the Big 10 is keen on Georgia Tech as the 15th member, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are internal discussions about Florida State as the final addition.

    • zeek says:

      UVa has to be included to get to the other side of D.C. in my opinion. It’s just hard to see the Big Ten moving forward without UVa unless they’re not interested at all in moving.

      • FranktheAg says:

        UVa and UNC are last movers in this game and if they do get forced to move, it would more than likely be to the SEC. I doubt much of anything happens next other than the ACC adds one school to replace Maryland (i’m guessing Louisville).

        Nothing so far will push UNC/UVa to jump, so what else could happen? I guess if the B1G wants to move they could pull GaTech and FSU but that would close out their available seats. Is Delany willing to end the game with Rutgers, Maryland, GaTech and FSU?

        Clemson and GaTech have made it clear they are not going to the B12 and FSU won’t go alone. So I don’t see anything forcing UVa and UNC at this time.

    • Richard says:

      I considered FSU a long time ago. If they are willing, I think the B10 has to take a long hard look. Them or Miami (who are closer to AAU status).

    • @MiamiWolv – If I were running the Big Ten, I’d be willing to consider a school such as Florida State or Oklahoma that’s a football power that’s right outside the cusp of meeting the conference’s academic standards. I don’t think the powers that be are thinking that way, though. For a Florida presence, I’ve long thrown Miami out there as the most viable option for the Big Ten (obviously assuming that Florida would never ever leave the SEC). Culturally, Miami is really a Northeastern school as opposed to a Southern school and, while it’s not an AAU member, it has high undergrad academic rankings. Sure, they might be getting sanctions soon (perfect for the Leaders Division) and the private school fan base is as fairweather as they come, but when it comes down to drawing TV viewers (both local and national), Miami is still near the top. I don’t think that’s a likely move for the Big Ten, but the Canes would be more likely compared to the Noles (IMHO).

      • Richard says:

        Frank, I’m pretty sure OU isn’t on the cusp of AAU status. NCSU is actually on the cusp. Miami is close. FSU is a little farther away, and OU is farther away than that. They’re not WVU, but also so far away that I don’t think meeting B10 standards in several decades is realistic.

        • Brian says:


          Here’s the rankings from NE’s AAU presentation based on AAU criteria (2005-7 ave):

          59. Miami – That puts Miami just below the 25th percentile. #31 GT only recently got approved, and is above the 50th percentile. There are 10 eligible schools between GT and Miami although I have to assume some of them have been passed over for other reasons (Dartmouth, for example).

          91t. VT
          91t. NCSU
          91t. OU
          94. FSU

          The lowest AAU members at the time were #109 NE, #105 (Syracuse?), #94, #87, #83 and #81.

          AWRU 2012 US rankings:

          54-67. GT
          68-85. NE, NCSU, Miami, VT
          86-109. FSU, Syracuse
          110-137. OU

          Other B10 schools:
          17. WI
          18. MI
          19. IL
          21. MN
          22. NW
          29. MD
          35. PSU
          38. PU
          40. RU
          41. OSU
          48. IN
          52. MSU
          54-67. IA

          • Richard says:

            OK, so Miami’s close. B10 may not even mind if they get the death penalty. Still plenty of recruits and alums there, and not being a threat to the B10 powers may be a plus. I say they come in with ND.

      • Peter says:

        The thing with Miami is that there is a serious question if they can ever be good again without being so dirty as to get shut down. That school has apparently never won clean, and in a “dirtier than the SEC” type of not-clean as opposed to the free shoes or no-show work that pops up every so often elsewhere. Miami itself believes the Shapiro stuff is true and involves flagrant institutional violations. They’ve self-imposed a two-year bowl ban now without even a formal notice of allegations. They’re clearly expecting the death penalty.

        It’s a totally different kettle of fish from other dormant programs or a once-and-future king like FSU.

  11. Richard says:

    The whole southeast coast is in play.

    Potential Big10 targets: UNC, UVa, Duke, Miami, GTech (and ND)
    Potential SEC targets: UNC, VTech, UVa, NCSU, FSU
    Potential B12 targets: All of the above + Clemson (and maybe Pitt and ‘Cuse)

    It’s like HS recruiting except with bribery being legal.

    • bamatab says:

      Good thing that the SEC has plenty of experience in that area then. ;)

      • Nick in South Bend says:

        Good luck against UGA. I am at law school at Emory…surrounded by Dawg Fans…please silence them for me in a few weeks. After taking care of the Barners of course.

        Nicest friends I have met here are Bama guys…

        • bamatab says:

          Thanks Nick. Bama fans get a bad rap because of our lunatic fringe (which admittedly can be pretty darn nuts), but the vast majority of Bama fans are good, friendly folks who are usually pretty knowledgeable about college football.

          I’m guessing by your handle you are a ND guy? If so I hope they take care of USC, and then we take care of the barn and dawgs. A Bama vs ND BCSCG would be pretty darn epic IMO.

          • Nick in South Bend says:

            I am actually the only person in South Bend who is neutral on the Irish. Not my team, but do not hate them. They employ part of my family, and are generally good people. The football team is a bit nauseating much of the time, but I don’t hate them. I am an Indiana fan…we are moving in the right direction in football, and I am glad basketball season is here.

            I am most interested in an ND vs. Bama match up for the title. They have both eraned it the most in my opinion.

          • mushroomgod says:

            I don’t think ND has earned it….I think they’ve been lucky as hell……and the refs freaking gave them the Pitt game with the phony PI call.

  12. Nick in South Bend says:

    I don’t care what anyone says about fit or “Southern Culture”….If Delany captures UVA through all of this…that is a hell of a get.

    • zeek says:

      At this point UVa is probably the #1 school on the Big Ten’s list if you ignore ND and Texas.

      • The Big Ten would definitely love UVA. I still think the old guard there that thinks of it as a Southern school will push back on that prospect unless they’re convinced that the ACC is going to collapse.

        • zeek says:

          Definitely true. It’s hard to see UVa considering a move early in the process. You might have to wait for the Big 12 and SEC to expand, and even then it’d be a lift.

          But the Big Ten is at 14 now, so it’s not like there’s a lot of spots left to fill. Only really 2 left aboard this wagon.

  13. Tom says:

    Re: Divisions

    When Nebraska was added three years ago, there was much effort made on the part of the Big Ten to ensure competitive balance with the formation of the Leaders and Legends divisions. I didn’t like it at the time, specifically splitting Ohio State and Michigan, but I understood it. However, now that the league has expanded into Maryland and New Jersey, with the goal of generating enough local interest in the Big Ten to eventually capture these TV markets and make it Big Ten territory, isn’t in the B1G’s and thus every school’s interest to feature Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State, in DC/Baltimore and New York/New Jersey as often as possible? Does this mean that Michigan and Ohio State are reunited with the new realignment?

    Obviously, Penn State is going to be grouped with Rutgers and Maryland. Similarly, because of proximity, Ohio State will be as well. But don’t you have to put Michigan with them as well? Michigan’s largest alumni bases are in Detroit and Chicago, but the next two are in New York and DC, second to only Penn State among league alumni bases in these two cities (if not first). This is what will spur local interest in Maryland and New Jersey/New York, seeing Maryland and Rutgers take on the kings of the league as often as possible. If you simply move Illinois west, and keep the divisions the same, you are limiting how often Michigan comes to town, in what is sure to be one of the biggest if not biggest draws locally for both Maryland and Rutgers.

    So why wouldn’t these divisions work?

    Ohio State
    Penn State

    Michigan State

    Are these divisions that unbalanced? The East is more top heavy, but the West is more balanced, and probably the more difficult to win on a year in and year out basis. Lock Michigan and Michigan State, and the rest however the league sees fit.

    • zeek says:

      We’re going to 16 before 2014 I think.

      For now, if we stick it out with this group, they’ll just shift Illinois to the West.

      Before long though, they’ll get to 16 and blow up the divisions model.

      4 pods headlined by Nebraska, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State (West, North, South, East respectively).

    • Rick says:

      Having grown up in the NY Metro area (now living in Atlanta where I was born), the NY media is going to go crazy over the B1G coming to town. NY is a humungous sports town, not just Pro sports. They love seeing the biggest and best, College or Pro. It does not matter. Big Time is Big Time and that is what is coming to town now. NY loves Big Time.

      In my opinion, the divisions posed above will totally deliver the NY media/cable dollars. Michigan is the key, outside of ND alum, Michigan is NY all the way. Tons of Wolverine fans. Michigan in the eastern division is a must to accelerate the BTN penetration into higher cable fees.

      • Ted says:

        I really agree with this sentiment. Similar statement about DC – the Michigan fanbase here is incredible.

      • Brian says:

        I want to see what happens when an elite IN comes to MSG to play a solid RU in hoops. NYC has always been a great hoops town and they must be excited to see IN more often.

    • Paul says:

      These are pretty much exactly the same divisions I proposed a few threads ago. As long as UM vs MSU is protected, it would work well. It might also make sense to also split the Illinois and Indiana schools and give them protected crossover games with their in-state rivals. That way the visiting teams get a little more variety by going to both states instead of just one.

    • Brian says:


      “However, now that the league has expanded into Maryland and New Jersey, with the goal of generating enough local interest in the Big Ten to eventually capture these TV markets and make it Big Ten territory, isn’t in the B1G’s and thus every school’s interest to feature Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State, in DC/Baltimore and New York/New Jersey as often as possible? Does this mean that Michigan and Ohio State are reunited with the new realignment?”

      No and no. I’ll explain below.

      “Michigan’s largest alumni bases are in Detroit and Chicago, but the next two are in New York and DC, second to only Penn State among league alumni bases in these two cities (if not first).”

      OSU’s largest alumni concentrations outside of OH are DC/NoVA, NYC and Chicago in that order.

      “If you simply move Illinois west, and keep the divisions the same, you are limiting how often Michigan comes to town, in what is sure to be one of the biggest if not biggest draws locally for both Maryland and Rutgers.”

      Assuming 9 games, 7 team divisions and 1 locked crossover (6-1-2 schedule), MI would come once every 6 years while in the other division. So would NE. And that’s on top of either OSU or PSU every year, so 8 king games in 6 years.

      “So why wouldn’t these divisions work?

      Ohio State
      Penn State

      Michigan State

      The east has:
      1. 3 of the 4 kings
      2. OSU and MI, the 2 premier B10 programs in terms of fans and media coverage
      3. the 3 largest stadiums
      4. most of the major metro areas
      5. about 2/3 of the B10′s population
      6. the media capital of the world
      7. proximity to ESPN
      8. all the top recruiting grounds
      9. most of the year’s king/king games in division

      The western teams would be lucky to get any non-local media coverage with your setup. The MSU fans would explode with the injustice of it all. That was why they split the kings equally and particularly OSU and MI in the first place.

      As to wanting to maximize the number of king games for the new guys, you have to be careful. They need to win enough games to keep fans excited. Giving them the NE schedule will just turn off the fans.

      If on the field was all that mattered, they’d still be bad though.

      “Are these divisions that unbalanced?”

      Yes. The east is top and bottom heavy, the west is mostly middle.

      If you don’t like the IL swap, try pods:
      S – OSU, PU, IN, IL
      E – PSU, MD, RU
      W – NE, WI, IA, MN
      N – MI, MSU, NW

      Woody Division = S + E
      Bo Division = N + W

      EX. OSU
      division – PU, IL, IN, PSU, MD, RU
      locked – MI
      rotating – NE, MN

      EX. PSU
      division – MD, RU, OSU, PU, IL, IN
      locked – NE
      rotating – MI, MSU

      Woody = S + N
      Bo = E + W

      EX. OSU
      division – PU, IL, IN, MI, MSU, NW
      locked – PSU
      rotating – WI, IA

      EX. PSU
      division – MD, RU, NE, WI, IA, MN
      locked – OSU
      rotating – MSU, NW

  14. bullet says:

    What if they pulled another Mountain West and formed a new conference? Then they aren’t tied down by the existing TV contract (of course they are partly stuck with what they negotiated back in 1998) Could they get a good TV contract? Would anyone other than CBSSports be interested? Does Fox have enough of the west already with the Pac and Big 12? ESPN is pretty saturated with the Big 5.

    Hawaii, Fresno, UNLV, Nevada, CSU, UNM, Air Force + BYU, SDSU, Boise, Houston and SMU or UTEP. I really don’t see how the old CUSA (now known as the new Big East) with Boise and SDSU is significantly more valuable for football. Boise, SDSU, UH, SMU, Memphis, UCF, USF, Louisville, Cincinnati, Temple, Navy is must see TV? The 1st group has 6 schools who threatened to be BCS busters. The 2nd group has 2 of those 6 + two schools who won the Big East + Navy and a bunch of schools with no history of football success. Maybe it is worth much more. But I don’t understand it.

  15. Denogginizer says:

    Welcome Scarlet Knights! Go B1G Red

  16. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Dear Notre Dame,

    Remember how you left the Big East for the ACC in order to protect basketball and your Olympics sports’ future? You felt like a Big East that had been transformed into something radically different from what you joined in 1995 was not where you wanted your future. You left the Big East, even though they made no demands that you play them a minimum number of times in football, allowing you full independence as you desired. You left them for the ACC, a league that, according to your own administrators, fit your school academically and culturally, not to mention that it meets your large east coast alumno/fan base. With Pitt, Syracuse, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Miami, and Florida State, it even includes several very familiar opponents in football (not including USC, Navy, or the three Big Ten September rivals, one of which you just dumped). For you, Notre Dame, this is your ideal league.

    But you really on joined this league when your former one, the Big East, suffered defection after defection after defection. You saw the writing on the wall that you needed something stable.

    As we have learned from conference realignment, stability can only be assured by a grant-of-rights. (Well, in the case of the SEC, stability can also be assured by a complete absence if exit fees or granting of media rights. Instead, the SEC relies on the ultimate confidence that says, “Why in the hell would anyone ever leave the badass SEC?”) Exit fees assure only crossed fingers in hopes that no one will leave the league. They assure anything but stability–just look at the Big 12 prior to their granting of rights, or your decimated, soon-to-be former league, the Big East. Unfortunately, the ACC also has mere exit fees, which, as you and all ACC members have been made soberingly aware, do nothing to deter members from leaving. Not even a founding, 60-year member of the conference. They do not lead to stability, the exact thing you sought in leaving the Big East.

    On the other hand, the ACC cannot gain a grant-of-rights, which guarantees true stability in membership, if its members cannot gain a sense of assurance that the league’s financial future can be competitive with the four higher revenue leagues. Replacing Maryland with Louisville or UConn can’t make that happen. Most, if not all, members feel will still feel vulnerable and would jump away to the Big Ten, SEC, or maybe even the Big 12 if given the opportunity, just as all those ex-Big East schools jumped to our league. No one wants to be left on a sinking ship, which we are vulnerable to become without a grant-of-rights. Again, a grant-of-rights is not going to happen with the addition of a Louisville or UConn.

    What you want is true stability in a league you truly want go be in. You dont want non-stability in aleague that you lost interest in, as with the Big East, sven if ghey gave you full football independence. You dont want stability for stability’s sake in a league you dont actually want to join at all, i.e., the Big Ten. You obviously dont want to settle for a relationship with a league where you have very few institutional or demographic commanalities, i.e., the Big 12. (ND alumni dont exactly flock to the Great Plains.) Nor do you want to be a member if an ACC that gets a grant-of-rights only after losing 2, 3, 4, who knows how many members, and the league starts looking exactly like the conference you just left. You want to be a member of a league where you know everyone is guaranteed to be staying, is happy to stay, and is paix competitively to stay. But in this day of conference mistrust, that can only happen by adding something that would be a total game changer. Your ACC, the one that you needed so badly that you were willing to commit five games/year to our league, needs you to go all the way with us if you want to be a member if the same league you joined a few years from now. Oh, we wouldnt vote you out. We’d just not really be yhe same league. Do you rsally want to go through all that again. Do you really want to more charter members to leave, or other later joining members like Va. Tech or FSU to leave? Or do you want this to be your home, where Notre Dame football completely turns this league around and where, by the way, you can make the Orange Bowl much more than two times in 12 years, which is the case with your current independent status. (Just imagine what it would be like for an 11-1 or 10-2 Irish team to miss the contact/playoff bowls altogether, because of a 10-2 Michigan team that’s ranked ahead if you.) Your football would spike our already considerably under market TV value (we’re paid much less than the Big 12 or Pac-12 despite having better TV ratings) through the roof, even if we’re only renegotiating with ESPN rather than going to open market. You’d change everything for this league, and you’d be getting what you want.

    Give it some time, but don’t wait too long. Jim Delaney could be phoning Virginia or UNC as we speak, and who knows whether Bowls by has heard from Florida State or Clemson yet.

    The ACC

    • nicepair111 says:

      Does it seem presumptuous to anybody else that just by adding Rutgers and Maryland the BTN will be able to force the cable companies to pass these high carriage fees on to their subscribers in New Jersey, Maryland, and New York? Its not quite like adding Nebraska where everybody in the state demanded the BTN. Do enough people in these markets actually care enough for the cable companies to justify raising everybody’s prices? The cable companies already go to war when the carriage fees go up for channels that most of their customers actually watch.

      • Peter says:

        There are several sources of money with the cable:

        1. Automatic footprint hikes. This is a big one on its own because it is contractual. There are different rates paid per subscriber for states that have a B1G school and states that don’t. Maryland & New Jersey now do. The difference here is quite large, as much as from $.10/month to $.80/month. This is contractual and pretty much all cable operators have this in place.

        2. Advertising. Ratings dependent, but live sports tends to command serious advertising money. The second side of advertising is market – markets with high disposable incomes are much more valuable. New Jersey & Maryland are affluent states. This is something I think people overlook way too much when they talk about the glories of Missouri. That state is poor outside of STL & KC, and B1G already has major penetration in both.

        3. Basic cable carriage. This is a step above the better rates paid on the footprint for sports channels and the Holy Grail. Getting this in the NYC media market is the super ultra mega Holy Grail. It looks like FOX, the partner with the BTN, is going to try to strong arm that with the YES (Yankees & Nets) network they just acquired and which commands obscene subscriber rates.

        Quality of football product is only related to ratings & advertising, and only then a piece of the puzzle.

        • FLP_NDRox says:

          One of the things I enjoy about the BTN are all the seed corn, herbicide, and pesticide ads. Are those network wide, or just local?

          • Richard says:

            I don’t think the BTN can do local ads.

            If you want to reach Midwestern farmers, you have few better alternatives than the BTN, however.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Good luck begging ND to “give one up for the Gipper”…………..BE tried that for 10 years

    • FLP_NDRox says:

      The ACC must save itself, but as a basketball conference I’m not sure it can. The reason the B1G, UT&friends, and PAC, and the SEC is because they have big glamorous programs with decades of success and legions of fans. Where is that in the ACC?

      FSU was all-female for forty years until after WWII. They chose the ACC because their coach believed the ACC would be the easiest league to go undefeated. He was right, since the ‘Noles didn’t lose an ACC game for over 3 years. Heck, in their first 9 years in the ACC they only lost 2 league games. Regardless, their most famous players are Burt Reynolds, Neon Deon, and Lee Corso. One of their Heisman trophy winners had a decent NBA career.

      FSU, even with all that, is the ACC team that would be a king.

      The only other ACC school with a stadium that holds more than 80K is Clemson. Clemson has only won even a share of the league 14 times in 59 years despite being the only football first school in the league for most of its history. They have won only 1 MNC. I checked wikipedia, and I didn’t recognize a single former player. I am almost certain no one outside of SC cares about them.

      Georgia Tech’s heyday was long before the ACC was formed. They did manage to win half a title in 1990, making them the only other team ACC remaining with the conference to win an MNC as a member of the league. Even with that they are the #2 college team in their own city.

      Virginia Tech is a great story, but they have no history prior to Beamer, and that only goes back about 20 years.

      The remainder of the league are either former Big East members who’ve been down for about a decade, basketball first teams in the Carolinas, and Virginia who doesn’t move the needle.

      The money will flow to the football blue-bloods, and the ACC has none really.

    • rich2 says:

      Dear ACC,

      Conversation is good. A few notes that might push the conversation forward, if not we understand:
      1. GOR might not be a deal-breaker depending on how an agreement is written. If you agree with us that the current business model of forcing old ladies to pay for ESPN has a short shelf life, then we need to position for the day when institutional brands will increase significantly in
      value and collective brands will matter only if they will matter — a fan must know which
      colleges are members of each division and in which conference, there must be a
      compelling reason why the conference matters and why winning a conference title means something.

      2. Discussion about GOR is just talking about money — and a tiny amount of money at that. What is far more important are values and specifically a unified approach towards academics,
      athletics and student development.

      A. You need to commit to higher standards of self-policing. For example, the Big 10
      shamed itself by “leading from behind” in both the OSU and PSU scandals. What new
      information do you need before you act on UNC’s ever-expanding academic scandal?
      What new information do you need to learn about Miami? Mistakes happen. It is how
      you respond when you know that a mistake has happened that is the
      issue. Is the first response “this is not who we are”? or is it “what does the network
      say”? If you don’t have the will to self-police, then this will be a problem.

      B. Similarly, APR matters. In this part of country, schools play a shell game. University
      administrators will routinely note that graduation rates for different athletic teams are
      slightly better or only slightly worse than for the general undergraduate population — but
      won’t say that 55 – 65% graduation rates for the general student population is a fraud.
      Credits to nowhere, paid with student loans and subsidized by the taxpayers is a
      cynical ploy used to balance the books of our land-grant brethren in the midwest. If a
      conference demands high graduation rates in bb and fb and internally holds members
      to reach these standards — regardless of the “impossibility of competing effectively
      unless standards are lowered,” then effective and dedicated programs will find a way to
      accomplish athletic and academic success. It is the lazy way out to say that you can’t.
      Who knows how our fb or bb programs will do this year — but we have already won —
      we are #1 in graduation rate this year– and Stanford, BC and Northwestern show that
      it can be done as well. Will you self-police on outcomes that truly matter? And don’t
      play games with majors — you know who you are recreation, tourism, hospitality,
      kinesiology and “general studies” majors.

      3. We will hold up our end of the deal on academics. In the next few years we promise to invest a billion or two to “merge” with a medical and health system. This will balance out our graduate research portfolio and instantly increase our national academic rankings (by some estimates to #12). You must hold your end. Undergraduates must continue to matter. They are not transients, they do not transfer in from junior colleges under statewide “articulation” agreements. How can enrolling in Freshman Seminar at Ivy Tech be a substitute for the same course at Duke? You commit to only admitting those students who will flourish while enrolled for four years at your school and if they can’t afford it, you provide full financial support. You are not trying to make a profit on every undergraduate credit. Instead, you provide them with an experience that is so positive that they voluntarily agree as alums to donate to your mission. Small financial endowments and large alumni bases are a very bad signal.

      4. So you see, it is not a conference that we are against, it is that we have not found the right partners. Is the ACC a full-partner? We were heartened to see MD leave. If they were willing to forsake 50 years of heritage for 15+ million, what will they do in five years when they realize that it was their bad decision making and dysfunctional processes that led them to their problems in 2010 — and that after receiving a BTN windfall they are still broke? Let the Big 14 deal with it. FSU does not seem to be a good fit. I hear they might want to leave. Let them — and VT. Let Pitt and Syracuse go to the B20. Clemson is actually trying to become something academically. If they are worried about money, can’t we “carry them” for a while? Duke, UNC (tell us it was an temporary insanity), UVA, Wake Forest and GT are a really good start. We will even agree to join a conference with Fredo (BC) — that will make their century. If we can carry Clemson for a while, we make 8. Eight is good. We don’t need 20. NCSTU? ACC9? Scheduling, conference championships, Tier 1 — matter less than finding the right partners. Find the right partners, have a mission that “differentiates” from the crowd — this is what matters — and we can still make money. Trust us, you can. It might be a different path — but it still can work. The rest is just details for staff. If you agree, let’s continue to talk. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

      • “A. You need to commit to higher standards of self-policing. For example, the Big 10
        shamed itself by “leading from behind” in both the OSU and PSU scandals.”

        I’m not really sure what more you were expecting OSU to do with its recent issues. The only thing the NCAA really hit them with that wasn’t self-imposed was the bowl ban, and OSU was under the impression its transgressions weren’t egregious enough to warrant it based on past NCAA precedent. Emmert felt differently.

      • Santos says:

        “You need to commit to higher standards of self-policing.”

        You know, like the Catholic Church has done.

        “For example, the Big 10 shamed itself by “leading from behind”…”

        That joke would be too easy, except it’s not at all funny. But thanks for the lesson on how those immoral secular state schools should behave.


        • I don’t think it’s fair to ridicule ND for the actions of the Catholic Church. That’s why I didn’t bring that up. My retort was going to be a little less polarizing, such as I hope ND has granted Brian Kelly the ability to teach an undergrad meteorology class in the near future.

          If you’ve won a NC in the last 50 years, likely you have some skeletons in the closet. You just don’t usually get your hands slapped as hard as others:


          • Santos says:

            If you’re a member of an institution whose very identity is defined by a religion involved with a systemic scandal of abuse and cover-up, and if you’re assuming a position of supposed moral authority, lecturing others on having “higher standards” and how to police oneself, that is hypocrisy on a grand scale. Further, to suggest ND would withhold its grand football team from the ACC because of APR or because the ACC hasn’t dealt with that great big UNC scandal–even while parking every other sport in that very conference–is the same sort of convoluted logic.

          • “Further, to suggest ND would withhold its grand football team from the ACC because of APR or because the ACC hasn’t dealt with that great big UNC scandal–even while parking every other sport in that very conference–is the same sort of convoluted logic.”

            Not sure we’ll agree on the first part, but I love this comment for sure.

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        As long as Notre Dame continues to whitewash rapes at the hands of Irish football players and deaths due to the negligence of it’s coaching staff Notre Dame really shouldn’t open their damn mouths about ‘higher standards of self-policing’.

  17. B1GRED says:

    Notre Dame left their non-football affiliation with Big East for a similar arrangement with ACC and agreed to play 5 ACC football teams each year. Who knew they could end up playing 5 former Big East teams? BC, Syracuse, Pitt, Connecticut, Louisville?

    • bullet says:

      So they didn’t really leave the Big East. They just followed it.

      • zeek says:

        Basically, ND’s endgame here has always been to ensure that there was an extra leftover conference that would keep the system from going to 4×16.

        That’s how they’re playing their hand.

        They don’t mind the ACC becoming Big East v2 as long as it stays with the other 4 conferences (even way behind…).

        • metatron says:

          They don’t mind it, but some of the ACC schools do. The partial membership was apparently a big issue with Maryland’s leadership.

          • zeek says:

            It’s probably an issue with other schools now that Maryland has bolted as well.

            All the “we’re all for one, one for all” bullcrap means nothing if you just gave a sweetheart deal to ND to house their non-revenue sports and fill 5 late season slots on their schedule.

          • FLP_NDRox says:

            They can say that, but they really did just need the money. I think the timing with the YES acquisition and the ability for FOX to play hardball for the BTN is why this happened when it did. It seems that FOX is now in charge, not Delaney. He who pays the piper picks the tune.

    • frug says:

      7. You forgot Miami and V-Tech.

      (And yes the new ACC will have more former Big East members than original ACC members)

  18. bullet says:

    Frank mentions the Temple Owls. There are 4 schools that have been left behind who were big time in the last 20 years (assuming you count Temple). Two others will be back in the club for one year, 2013, before the BE loses its AQ. That’s SMU and Houston. The other two are both Owls-Temple and Rice. Guess TPTB don’t want that academic sounding team name making people think of the comprises they make in trying to win..

    • zeek says:

      Yeah, for all the talk of the Northeast being left behind as the conferences expanded; it seems like there wasn’t that much worry about the future of college football up there. Almost the entire Big East is accounted for now…

      Utah and TCU being the extra two on board the future Big 5 now.

    • Mack says:

      It will not be long before SMU, Houston, and Rice will have been out for more than 20 years and will be more like Tulane (SEC member 45+ years ago). TCU will be the only exiled SWC member back in the big time. Besides Utah, VT program has been upgraded in the last 20 years. If UCONN gets the ACC bid it will have gone from FCS to AQ, but without it is likely to sink with the rest of CUSA II (the new BE).

  19. m says:

    Go Chaminade!

  20. m says:

    Consolidation is a good description…

    ~1990 after the last major independents joined a conference, 7 major conferences (Big 8, Big Ten, Pac-10, SEC, ACC, Big East, SWC)

    ~2000, 6 major conferences (Big Ten, Pac-10, SEC, ACC, Big East, Big 12)

    ~2010, 5 major conferences (Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC, ACC, Big 12)

    net results:
    Added Utah
    Dropped Rice, SMU, and Houston

    The more things change, the more things stay the same.

  21. zeek says:

    Georgetown is fighting Indiana here hard. Wow.

  22. zeek says:

    “They’re the model that everybody in the country looks to,” said Larry Hincker, associate vice president for university relations at Virginia Tech, an ACC school. In terms of academic and institutional collaboration, Hincker said, “I don’t think there’s any conference in the country that has what the Big Ten’s got.”


    • zeek says:

      Just thought it was interesting that they got a quote from a Va Tech official.

      • mushroomgod says:

        The CIC love is way overblown, imo, but the BIG has certainly used it well for propoganda purposes…….for that we can thank former IU President Herman Wells, who came up with the idea……….

        • Peter says:

          I always love how football fans mock something as “overblown” or “propaganda” that the administrations and faculty senates are willing to kill over.

  23. Michael in Raleigh says:

    I’ve enjoyed this site for almost three years and recognize that it is a Big Ten first blog, but I gotta say this whole thing sucks realllllllllllly bad as an ACC fan. Predictably, guys on the local radio are saying things like Maryland hasn’t contributed anything positive to the conference in years. Conveniently left out is that they son the effing national championship in basketball just 10 years ago and that, oh yeah, losing a charter member of the league is a damning indictment on the league.

    I just hate everything about this. Yes, I recognize that the ACC has also raided other conferences and may be getting a taste of year own medicine, but why is that a good thing? And if it is a good thing, why is there no clamoring for the Big Ten to get poached so it can get a taste of what it’s done to other leagues?

    Anyway, there are some obvious differences between the loss of a Maryland by the ACC and a loss of any former team by the Big East. Yes, they’re both driven by greed. But the raid on the Big East wasn’t exactly shaking up long-term traditions or threatening the identity of a conference and the region it represents. Miami, VT, and BC were in the Big East for less than 15 years in football. They entered the league for businesses reasons; they left for business reasons. The acquisition of Pitt and Syracuse were a little later and did break up two long-term series (Pitt-WVU and Syracuse-WVU), but honestly, Big East football never really developed any traditions that me members could be proud of. And honestly, the Big East has always seemed more like a conglomeration with no real sense of belonging in football.

    The ACC was different. Yeah yeah yeah the footballs never been great but it has had 60;years of history. The longest running rivalry in the South is in this league (UNC-UVA, which has been played a year or two longer than UGA-Auburn). And especially, being a North Carolina guy (not a UNC guy, just NC in general), this conference has been a conference that this part of the country can have all to its own. The ACC, both in basketball as well as football, is just part if what living her is all about. That is being threatened, and I just don’t see it as a good thing.

    As for the Big Ten expanding from 11 fairly rightly knit teams where on two teams/year are missed on the schedule to 14-16 teams, resulting in the sacrificing of decades-old rivalries so that Purdue can play Maryland or Wisconsin can play Rutgers… I just don’t see what all the celebration us for. The Big Ten was going to get a mammoth, earth shattering ESPN deal that blows everyone, SEC and Pac-12 included, out of the water anyway. It’s not like this was needed for the Big Ten’s financial security. And it was not done with fans’ interests in mind. (While the same could be said of the ACC with the frequent expansions, those moves WERE for security, as the ACC was merely trying to catch up with the big Ten/SEC.)

    So why so much fanfare without any recognition that maybe, just maybe, this was not necessary?

    • zeek says:

      It’s obviously tough being an ACC fan when the conference is under attack like this (my group of family/friends are mostly hardcore Miami fans).

      As for the Big Ten, there’s no real fanfare here except congratulations to the Rutgers fanbase.

      This was a business transaction by the Big Ten.

    • Paul says:

      Probably not necessary.

      Maybe Delany is still trying to figure out how to get his white whale, Notre Dame, into the fold by adding DC/NYC markets and striking a blow against the ACC that might eventually lead to its unraveling if FSU bolts for Big 12.

      • zeek says:

        I honestly think we would have only gone to 14 with ND/Rutgers if ND had come. That’s why we were waiting so long for ND.

        ND has made it clear they just want football independence; the membership of the ACC doesn’t really matter in that respect; the ACC should have 10+ schools regardless of what happens in this round of expansion.

    • Nick in South Bend says:

      As a fan of a team that is lucky to be in the Big Ten (Indiana) I can empathize, as it is no stretch to imagine my school in the same position as Wake Forest or Kansas. That said…no one other than Maryland has left yet, so it remains to be seen.

      I do think it was a sign of things to come when the ACC procured a large monetary buyout, rather than a grant of rights provision.

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Outside of the SEC (and maybe the Big ten and Pac-12, which use grant of rights for establishing and collaborating their respective networks more so than for “handcuffs”), the only way to achieve a GOR is by getting a satisfying, secure TV deal. And the only way the ACC can get a GOR and the absolute stability that comes with it is to have Notre Dame football join. That ESPN contract would get reopened and immediately increase well beyond Big 12 levels and be competitive with the PAC, B1G, and SEC.

        John Swofford and company better be working hard on getting ND football on board because, short of their addition, the ACC is indeed vulnerable.

        You’re right, increasing the exit fee was no deterrent at all.

    • Richard says:

      If Illinois shifts west, I seriously will have a hard time thinking of any rivalry that was sacrificed besides Wisconsin-Iowa. The Illibuck? I don’t think anyone cares (probably because that series hasn’t mattered since the ’30′s).

      • frug says:

        Illinois fans care… but we also know that Ohio St. doesn’t.

        And speaking as an Illinois fan I would much rather beaten by Ohio St every year than Michigan (though we usual give tOSU problems even when they did beat us)

        • Brian says:


          Buckeyes care a little about Illibuck, but it gets swamped by our caring about MI.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          More Ohio State fans care than people think. It wasn’t that long ago that the
          Illini gave the Buckeyes everything they could handle year in and year our.
          Damn you John Cooper *shakes fist*

      • danimation707 says:

        Shift Illinois west makes the most sense & preserves rivalries. It will be interesting to see how the locked cross rivalry matchups work out in 2014.

    • B1G Jeff says:

      Fanfare is probably the wrong word. There was fanfare when Nebraska and Penn State joined. I believe what’s being missed by the national sports-centric media and blog population is that for many of us, The B1G is not primarily or solely about sports in the way some other conferences may seem to be (especially easy for me to say historically as a Northwestern grad). I am as interested in the academic, financial and research endeavors of my school and conference as I am in NU’s awesome woman’s lacrosse teams. I actively solicit funds, mentor students and otherwise work to further the mission of my alma mater. I care about endowments and financial stability for my schoool. I care about the growth of the CIC and the proliferation of AAU membership within The B1G. It warmed my heart yesterday to hear the head of UMCP speak so convincingly on reinvesting some of their newfound largess back into education for students who are in need.

      When we maintain relationships with the U of Chicago and affiliate with UMCP and Rutgers (who just acquired its state’s Medical and Dental schools with about $500M in annual research), this is furthering our collective mission. For many of us, this is at least as much of a passion as sports (and yes, I played baseball in college on a Top 25 team; I’m not just an egghead). I never appreciated that as an undergraduate, but after getting a Masters at Harvard (where their main source of pride was the number of Nobel Laureates walking around), I was able to reexamine that premise when I went to medical school at U of Illinois and my wife did her doctoral work at Purdue. This is who we are across the landscape.

      Knowing that a conference worth $7 billion in annual research is healthy, growing and flourishing financially gives me confidence in this country’s future; if our best universities aren’t leading the way internationally and against the anti-science types in this country, who will? Our mission is inclusive of, but on a higher order than, CFB National Championships. I couldn’t be happier than to welcome Rutgers and UMCP (and as a byproduct MD, DC, NJ and maybe NY). For what it’s worth, they both add a hellova lot more colors to the conference!

      • Santos says:

        Nicely said. (Though regarding colors, both additions are really just bringing in more red and white, and the B1G has enough of that already.)

    • metatron says:

      I can’t say it’s greed. This money’s going back towards the students and athletic programs, or in the case of Maryland and Rutgers, returning their athletic department to solvency.

      I understand your sorrow, Hell, I down right empathize, but you can’t blame the Big Ten for “poaching” the ACC. Schools left because they couldn’t survive, which is an indictment against the league’s financing and management. You guys have serious issues down there that need to be addressed, and merely blaming the other conferences for offering your disgruntled members a way out won’t solve your problems.

      You shouldn’t have invited Notre Dame for that partial membership. There’s a reason why we never did.

    • bullet says:

      Welcome to the world of the southwest and Great Plains where 100 year old rivalries were broken up. 150 years in the case of Missouri-Kansas.

    • mushroomgod says:

      One thing we’ve confirmed from the Sandusky scandel and all the reallignment goings on is that college administrators are no more loyal or honorable than the smuck next door, and twice as greedy.

    • B1GRED says:

      Getting to 4 super conferences would potentially provide national quarterfinals (via conference championship games) followed by semi-finals (Rose and Sugar Bowls) and National Champion$hip at rotating site. Obviously, the 4 Supers would be the SEC, the B1G, the PAC and the B12.

      If you make the assumption that each of these 4 Super Conferences are going to at least 16 teams, here’s one view of that new world order which would realistically give only 64 teams a real shot at the title … BTW, is it just coincidence that Nick Saban recently said that’s about how many teams should be contending for it?

      B1G takes either Notre Dame (doubtful) and 1 ACC (guess is UVA) or 2 ACC (guess is UVA and UNC) = keeps conference within new contiguous states
      SEC takes 2 ACC (guess is NC State and Va Tech) = keeps conference within new contiguous states
      B12 takes 6 ACC (guess is FSU, Miami, GTech, Clemson, Duke, Pittsburgh). The conference would be far flung, but that was already set in stone once WVU joined. Recruiting area would be vast.
      PAC would still need 4 teams to get to 16 and might not make it. Could actually be most appealing home to Notre Dame but it is really tough trying to figure out who PAC might take from the remainder ….

      BYU, Boise State, BC, Syracuse, Louisville, Wake Forest, Connecticut, Cincinnati, Houston, Nevada, Utah State, New Mexico, Hawaii, San Diego State, Central Florida, Temple, Air Force, Army, Navy, Fresno State, Southern Miss, Louisiana Tech, UTEP, Tulane, Tulsa, Rice, East Carolina, Memphis, San Jose State, New Mexico State, Wyoming, Colorado State

      • They wouldn’t. No one can force the PAC to take any of those teams, and the league certainly isn’t interested in any of them. Basically, as long as both the Big 12 and Pac-12 exist, it’s almost impossible to get anything close to a 4×16 setup, and both leagues have seemed to secure their near-term futures w/ GOR’s and large TV deals.

        • ccrider55 says:

          If its a given no one else is available, I could imagine Rice (academics, helps P12N, has played OOC games recently). The Academies (Army/Navy game, P12N)? Outside the box, and outside the borders, an academic elite from BC (preparing for global warming grabbing the future citrus capital :) )?

    • Nathan says:

      So let me get this straight:

      ACC raiding BE for 5 (and soon to probably be 6) of its teams is okay because the Big East (in terms of Football) had only been around for 15 years.


      The ACC feasted on a weaker conference to make themselves stronger.

      Now other, stronger conferences are starting to feast on the ACC.

      I believe in English we call it “Karma” or “What goes around comes around”
      The Germans call it “schadenfreude”
      Being a WVU grad married to a Duke grad I call it “Delicious”.

      • I don’t think I consider it ‘just desserts’, but when half your league is from another league not 10 years ago, you’ve already kind of given up some of your tradition. It seems only natural that one or more of the original crew might look around and not feel like the new place is where they still want to be. That’s what happened to Nebraska.

        That said, it should also be a history lesson to the B1G about growing without consideration for everyone involved.

    • Brian says:


      It wasn’t necessary, but it was needed. The B10 needed access to a growing part of the country for the future of the league. That meant going east or south, and the south is blocked by the SEC. As it turns out, MD got way over their head in financial trouble so the B10 offered them a way out. This wouldn’t have happened if MD had their fiscal house in order, and I doubt Delany would have even tried it in that case. Don’t blame the B10 for MD’s fiscal mismanagement and the ACC’s inability to draw a bigger TV deal.

      This was a win-win deal for MD and the B10, but the ACC lost big in the transaction. I feel for you, but not enough that I want the B10 to sacrifice its future to protect the ACC. I much preferred the 80s with smaller regional conferences and less focus on money, but times have changed. The strong survive and the weak do their best.

      Perhaps what you should hope for is the true superconference. Have the B10 absorb the ACC and make it one division with the old B10 in the other. It wouldn’t be quite the same, but it’d be close.

  24. Eric says:

    I’m posted this to a few Big Ten boards in the hope many people will write and figured I’d leave it here too.

    I hope we can all agree that playing much of the conference only twice in 12 years is completely unacceptable. With the Big Ten going to 14 and 9 conference games looking iffy at best, that’s very probable though (the SEC is already going with that format).

    In order to avoid that outcome, we need a divisional alignment that will allow for no locked crossovers. Obviously there is no perfect alignment or it would have been in place already. I do think we can do better than simply keeping the current alignment though and I purpose that the 4 western teams are put with the 3 eastern teams and that the 3 Ohio/Michigan teams are put with the 4 Indiana/Illinois teams. It’s not perfect, but it would allow the conference to avoid crossovers and the schedule could be done so that in a 4 year period, every school plays every other school at least once home or away.

    If you think this is better than what we are more likely to get (or if you have other ideas), then please e-mail a letter like this to your schools president/AD and Delany and possibly to others. E-mail address are below the sample letter.

    Sample Letter:

    I know that in the past, conference leaders have expressed a desire to “play each other more.” With that in mind, I would like to encourage the Big Ten to consider divisional alignments that will maximize the number of games between schools. Namely, I would encourage the conference to embrace an alignment that does not require locked cross divisional games.

    I understand that divisional alignment is a delicate subject and there is no solution without a cost. However, I do believe the following set-up minimizes the pain. The 4 western most Big Ten schools could be paired with the 3 eastern most in one division. The 3 Ohio/Michigan schools could be combined with the 4 Illinois/Indiana schools in the other. I understand that this would result in The Little Brown Jug and Ohio State/Penn State ceasing to be annual events. It would however allow for locked crossovers to end and thus allow for every Big Ten school to face every other Big Ten school at least once home or away during a 4 year period of time.

    In the interest of preserving Big Ten’s historic connections, I strongly encourage the presidents/chancellors to consider this proposal or any plans which will allow us to “play each other more.” Thank you for your time.

    E-mail Addresses:

    Jim Delany: jdelany@bigten.org
    Illinois: President: PresidentEaster@uillinois.edu AD: Mike Thomas: FightingIlliniAD@illinois.edu
    Indiana: President McRobbie: iupres@iu.edu AD: Fred Glass athldir@indiana.edu
    Iowa: President Sally Mason: president@uiowa.edu AD Gary Barta: gary-barta@uiowa.edu
    Michigan: President Mary Sue Coleman: presoff@umich.edu AD: Can fill out suggestions here: http://www.mgoblue.com/feedback/mich-feedback.html
    Michigan State: President: presmail@msu.edu AD Mark Hollis: AD@ath.msu.edu
    Minnesota: President Kaler: upres@umn.edu AD: Norwood Teague: icaadmin@umn.edu
    Nebraska: President James B. Milliken: president@nebraska.edu AD Tom Osborne: ahackbart@huskers.com
    Northwestern: President Morton Schapiro: nu-president@northwestern.edu AD assistant: annemarie.adams@northwestern.edu
    Ohio State: President Gee: gee.2@osu.edu AD Smith: athletic_director@osu.edu,
    Penn State: President Erickson: president@psu.edu Athletic Director Tim Curley: tmc3@psu.edu
    Purdue: Acting President Tim Sands: president@purdue.edu AD Burke: mjb@purdue.edu
    Wisconsin: President Kevin P. Reilly: kreilly@uwsa.edu Assistant to Athletic Director Cerniglia, Michael: mgc@athletics.wisc.edu
    Maryland: President Wallace D. Loh: president@umd.edu

    • zeek says:

      We’re going to 16 soon though.

      Each team will have 1 crossover opponent in each other division (locked in).

      They will then play their 3 other teams as well as 3 other teams in one of the 3 other divisions.

      That’s a total of 9 games:

      3 division opponents
      3 locked crossover opponents (1 from each other division)
      3 opponents from matched division that will combine for purposes of Big Ten CCG

      There’s really no reason to shake the boat up at this point. We’re biding time for 16 now. 14 isn’t really long-term stability for the Big Ten.

    • Brian says:


      I sympathize with your position, but your aim is unrealistic. The B10 will keep locked rivals no matter what. With your divisions, they’d want to lock these games:

      OSU/PSU, MI/NE, MSU/WI + 4 others (IL/IA, IN/MN, PU/MD, NW/RU perhaps)

      They want those king/king games for TV purposes.

      I’d suggest you focus your efforts on getting the 9th game. This is an easy sell to fans and Delany, I think. It’s the ADs and coaches that are avoiding it.

      Pods help you play everyone more, but I don’t think the B10 is ready for them. It would mean OSU and MI aren’t always separated, too.

  25. So let’s say the worst case happens for the ACC, and they lose UVA and GT to B1G, VaTech and UNC to SEC, FSU and Clemson to Big XII, Miami to probation, and replace all of that with Louisville, Cincy, UCONN, and maybe USF. What happens with the Orange Bowl deal?

    • Peter says:

      Miami getting an outright death penalty is quite likely. The NCAA is clearly treating this as a willful violator case, as well as a repeat violator.

      • frug says:

        I think they avoid the Death Penalty, but get hit hard (though they will get credit for the bowl bans).

        • Peter says:

          Don’t see how you could hit them with anything else. This is many times worse and more extensive than USC and USC’s penalties were about as harsh as you can get without a DP. Penn State’s situation is obviously unique & their punishment is arguably worse than the death penalty, although not the FOUR YEAR one much of the NCAA wanted to drop on them.

          Granted, Miami has cooperated NOW, but they’re going to be charged as both a repeat violator and a willful violator, that’s very clear.

    • frug says:

      Orange Bowl would definately try and cut its payout (and maybe dump the ACC altogether).

      That said, the worst case for the ACC would probably be something like FSU, Miami, Clemson, G-Tech, Pitt and Louisville to the Big XII, NC State and V-Tech to the ACC and UVA and UNC to the Big Ten.

      That would leave them with BC, ‘Cuse, Duke and WF to try and cobble together something with the Big East leftovers.

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Depends his the contract was written. If the ACC had to have had a certain percentage if the 2013 (first year of Pitt/Syracuse) membership roster, then the OB deal would be in jeapordy. If it says ACC champion without specifying that a certain grouping if teams be available, then OB could have to accept an ACC champion from a league whose foster looks nothing like today’s.

      That’s the least of concerns right now, though. The ACC is secure as the No. 5 league, with or without the Orange Bowl (although having a contracy bowl does help). the news of the No. 6 league losing Rutgers and possibly UConn/Louisville AND possibly failing to have Boise and SDSU further exacerbates the distancebetween the ACC and Big East.

      But of greatee concern is the growth in revenue gap between themselves and the other power conferences. It just lost a member. Thats nit someghing a secure, stabke, historic league does. That something shotgun marriages like the Big 12 and Big East do. Sure, the ACC had lost a member befire, but that was over 40 years ago for enfirely different reasons. Even the SEC and Big Ten had lost a member ic you go back far enough. But the ACC was upposed to be in the same class with thise leagues, alongside the Pac-12. But now that’s changed.

      Bet John Swofford wishes he could’ve negotiated that ESPN deal in 2012 instead of 2010, huh? Larry Scott, in 2011, was able to secure a far, far superior TV deal for the Pac-12 than the ACC despite hia league having lower ratings. (As Frank said, Larry Scott can sell ice cubes to Eskimos.) If the ACC’s deak had been made post-Pac-12, Maryland would probably still be in the ACC, a gtant if rights might have been in place (or may not have been necessary due to inherent, SEC-like sense of stability), and this crisis could have been altogether averted.

      Mistakes were likely made at the conference level, but my sense is that the ACC is suffering dearly from brutal, brutal timing for its deal signed with ESPN in 2010.

      • frug says:

        It wasn’t just bad timing. The ACC’s instance that whomever they signed with include Raycom Media as a broadcast partner (something explainable only by the fact that Swofford’s son worked there) caused Fox to pull out of the negotiations and kept Swofford from pitting the companies against each other to secure the best deal possible.

        He then exacerbated the problem by giving ESPN all the conference’s TV rights instead of keeping some for themselves or insisting on a equity deal (an ACC Network) which left the league no leverage in the event of future market shifts.

        • zeek says:

          ESPN probably told them that they didn’t have much of a great shot at a conference network.

          Where would they get coverage: North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland (assuming they stayed). Those 3 states for sure full coverage.

          South Carolina? Probably yes even though that’d be an interesting discussion. Regardless, that’s not a valuable TV market.

          Atlanta? Maybe, but I doubt it. Yes, Ga Tech is there as well as many ACC alumni, but their numbers are dwarfed by SEC fans.

          Florida? Maybe Miami, but I doubt it. Tallahassee, yes (which is a really tiny market). Florida State’s location doesn’t help the network talks. You really need UF to get carriage.

          The Northern states? Pittsburgh/Upstate NY, Boston. Maybe just Pittsburgh and some parts of upstate New York but I’m not sure.

          Sum all of that up and what are you looking at. A Mid-Atlantic network with barely any presence outside those states except for smaller markets like South Carolina, Pittsburgh, and Tallahassee.

          • frug says:

            All that said, the ACC still got better ratings than the PAC and the PAC managed to set up their own network (and with 100% equity to boot).

            Plus, that still doesn’t excuse the Raycom requirement which reduced competition or giving up their Tier III rights (something the SEC did not do) so they would have leverage if the market shifted.

          • metatron says:

            @frug – There’s something to be said for monopolies.

          • zeek says:


            You make a good point about ratings.

            But the Big Ten and SEC and Texas show that it’s all about monetizable ratings.

            For all the faults of the Pac-12′s fanbases, they have a captive enough audience of states that they can force the Pac-12 Network on with which to fully monetize those people.

            Even though the ACC has several schools that bring in great to decent ratings, the problem is monetizing them.

      • zeek says:

        Timing is always the killer in these conference expansion talks.

        Go back to all the stuff we talked about with respect to Nebraska in the Big 12.

        Ask bullet about that; if the Big 12 had renegotiated its deals earlier, it might not have been poachable.

        Instead they were on a really outdated deal that paid members under $10 million per year, while the Big Ten was already going up to $18 million per year and gaining fast.

      • bullet says:

        For all the talk about the Big 12 being short term, remember that Missouri and Nebraska had been with the B12 North schools for over 100 years in the Missouri Valley and later the Big 6, 7, 8 and 12. A&M had been with Texas and Baylor since 1914 and Tech since 1957. CU had been with the B12N schools for about 60 years. Now Colorado changed and I think everyone agreed they needed to go west. Weed is now legal in 2 Pac 12 states and Maine. Change wasn’t the case for the other 3. They didn’t leave for a better cultural fit.

  26. GreatLakeState says:


    Under that heading, I’ll relay what some radio host is claiming to have heard for ‘inside sources’.
    That UNC and UVA have B1G invites in hand, which has led to a butterfly effect of sorts with:
    1) Coach K (having been whispered this forbidden knowledge) now bemoaning the stability of the ACC and pleading for stiff upper lips.
    2) The VT AD’s Clintonian response “There’s nothing happening with VT going anywhere.” after first claiming there was indeed interest, is technically correct……if the interest he was referring to is the secret knowledge that the B1G is targeting UVA. -BWA-HAHAHA!
    Probably all crap.

    • zeek says:

      Let’s be honest here. Brutally honest:

      I would say that there are 4 schools that *know* they can call Delany, and he’ll lay out a red carpet and the Big Ten presidents will fall over themselves to invite into the league:

      1) Texas
      2) ND
      3) UNC
      4) UVa

      These guys would all fall over themselves if any of the 4 wanted to come. They really don’t need Big Ten invites. The Big Ten invites are basically implied. They all know that if they ever want to come, they’re in, no questions asked.

      • B1G Jeff says:

        Yes, but you just identified 4 teams for 2 spots. Are they gonna be too cute by half? The train is leaving the station. Those offers likely have a 2014 expiration date.

        • zeek says:

          And that’s a part of why being at 14 is almost as deadly as being at 11.

          If you think that way, the implication of 14->16 becomes almost as strong as 11->12. There aren’t many chairs left now.

      • ccrider55 says:

        I thought UT made themselves unwelcome when they explored B1G potential 2 years ago. Same demands the Pac rejected, and rather “Texan” in their aproach. They, as with ND, need to accept becoming a member. UT wants to be the controler, ND left to their own devices in FB. Aside from apearently irreconcilable differences, sure, welcome aboard…

        • zeek says:

          Well, I meant, if Dodds decided he wanted to be in the Big Ten and called Delany tomorrow to say so, then all would be forgiven.

          Same goes for ND.

          These are 100 year decisions. Friction over expansion the past couple years is water under the bridge.

          • ccrider55 says:

            So your suggesting that a tiger can change its stripes, or in this case a longhorn remove those horns? I don’t buy it.

          • B1G Jeff says:

            Interesting dilemma. On the one hand, if they’re crazy enough to give up their GOR, we’d take it. On the other, someone had better do a whole lot of due diligence before you invite all that crazy into your happy home.

          • zeek says:

            Yeah, this was in jest. Texas isn’t coming at all so the fact that they’d have an open door to walk through is meaningless.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        Yes, but like the chicken and the egg, there still has to be an official invite at some point in the process. With that said, it feels almost untoward giving credence to what appears, on its face, to be expansion fan fiction.

        • zeek says:

          It’s not really fan fiction when you really dig into it and think about it.

          The odds that UVa is in the Big Ten at some point in the next 15 years is probably around 50%.

          • B1G Jeff says:

            15 years? But the tectonic plates are warm now…

          • zeek says:

            That timeline is because the plates are likely to heat up again in 15 years when the disparity between the Big Ten/SEC payouts and ACC payouts is so wide as to be undeniable and the ACC is coming upon another contract negotiation.

            So even if the plates cool for now, there’s two bites at this apple.

          • B1G Jeff says:

            I see your point, but can you imagine the buy in 15 years from now? Everyone knows where this is going. Better to get it done now if it can be sold to their constituency.

      • mushroomgod says:

        UNC really seems to be between a rock and a hard place. They’ve had a nice fiefdom in the ACC, and can’t be thrilled about freezing their asses off in the BIG or associating with Arkansas or Miss State in the SEC.

        I could really see the SEC making a strong play for UNC and VA, for several reasons. First, they don’t really need any more powerhouse football programs. Second, markets. Third, they class things up considerably.UNC, VA, Florida, Vandy, Georgia wouldn’t be a terrible academic line-up.

        • Andy says:

          A combo fo Virginia/UNC/Vandy/Florida/Missouri/Texas A&M/Georgia would put the SEC as solidly the third best conference academically, and not too far off from #2 (Pac 12).

        • zeek says:

          Only issue there is going to be that Va Tech is likely to be the first school that the SEC contacts.

        • metatron says:

          Really, why does UNC have to go anywhere? They’re not a football school and they never will be.

          If Texas taught us anything, it’s better to rule in Hell than serve in Heaven.

          • mushroomgod says:

            Well…..they’re still going to HAVE a football team, and I doubt they will like the idea of sucking in the Olympic sports…..making $10-15M less than teams in the BIG/SEC wouldn’t seem to cut it….thus the dilemma….

            Could ND’s hatred of the BIG finally cause it to get off the pot and give a league-saving commitment to the ACC?

      • mushroomgod says:

        Took a look at VA’s #s—21000 enrollment, #24 US News ranking, $5B endowment, 21 NCs, all in the Olympic sports….VA is essentially Stanford….or a public Northwestern.

        I’m sure VA is serious about football…..kinda. They want to do well (like they do well in soccer, and lacrosse and those other rich white boy sports) but won’t lose any sleep over it if they’re down for a few years here and there. On the other hand, the folks at VA Tech are very ambitious about their football…..they want the SEC not the BIG.

        One huge and underrated issue I see about UNC and VA and the BIG-weather. I just don’t think many will be excited about the prospect of games in E. Lansing or New Jersey or Minnesota in November…..

        • Crpodhaj says:

          You mean like playing Boston College or Pitt? They already have agreements to play north.

        • Phizzy says:

          Isn’t the weather factor overblown? High temperatures in Big Ten cities and Chapel Hill this past Saturday (11/17):

          Lincoln 64
          Bloomington 57
          Columbus 57
          Iowa City 57
          Champaign 56
          College Park 55
          Minneapolis 55
          New Brunswick 55
          Madison 54
          West Lafayette 54
          East Lansing 53
          Ann Arbor 52
          University Park 50

          Average Big Ten 55

          Chapel Hill 55

          Hmm, look at that…

          • Arch Stanton says:

            Ha, I read someone at Nebraska saying that they went from the Canada of the Big 12 to the San Diego of the Big Ten. Just need that Pacific Ocean coast now…

          • mushroomgod says:

            Probably, but I guarantee that if you read the UNC forum about all this the’re going to be talking about playing in the south v. the north, and the BIG’s boring football style….now I know the fans don’t make the decision, but…….

      • Bo Darville says:

        I think they’d get a boner over Duke, too.

  27. bullet says:

    Thanks for NOT linking the video of the week. Taylor’s ok but not in that song.

  28. zeek says:

    Since my post didn’t go through:

    Why is there such a massive disconnect between the views of Michigan fans and Ohio State fans over Maryland/Rutgers.

    The BuckeyePlanet folks virtually all seem to be in favor of this plan as a “rational extension” of the Big Ten into the Mid-Atlantic whereas the mgoblog folks have spent days ranting about it.

    Yeah, it’s rivalry week, but to have this kind of disconnect about expansion?

    It’s just bizarre.

    • Nick in South Bend says:

      Michigan folks are generally cranky. My Dad is an alum and he would vote, literally, against anyone. You name em…ND, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Texas, Missouri. Heck, he would rather contract back down to 8 or so if he could. It is just a genetic thing with a lot of Wolverines I guess.

    • Richard says:

      Cultural differences?

      Ohio is Midlands in the north (except for the NE corner, which was part of the Western Reserve, which is part of Yankeedom) & Greater Appalachia in the south. Michigan is wholely part of Yankeedom.

      Midlands & Greater Appalachia are egalitarian. Yankees are elitist.

    • @zeek: It could be that Maryland and Rutgers, in the current alignment, dilutes Michigan’s ability to face PSU and Wisconsin. OSU has a reduction in Nebraska (which is new anyway) and… Michigan State? I mean, Dantonio is a good coach, but I don’t think most OSU fans are all that concerned about it. OSU fans care about one game — dilute/ruin that and Delany would need to go into protective hiding.

      • zeek says:

        That’s one way of looking at it.

        Conversely, Ohio State is adding two schools that it’s never played before in its history permanently to its schedule in lieu of Nebraska/Michigan State/Iowa/etc. games.

        I mean, if there’s damage to “tradition” here, it’s all on Ohio State’s side.

        Michigan gets its regular slate + Illinois annually and slightly less of Penn State/Wisconsin.

        Ohio State’s the one who’s schedules are being changed dramatically if anything.

        • That’s true. Although I’m unsure how concerned most OSU fans are with it. Michigan has trophy games with, what, ND, MSU, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Denny’s, and the VFW local chapter? OSU has Michigan, the Illibuck which is amusing but little else, and a couple teams they don’t like which are sticking around (Wisconsin, PSU).

          Then again, if it were just traditional rivalries, as you said Michigan isn’t really losing in this. So who knows. MGoBlog is weird.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          If you go back in the main expansion threaa on BP you’ll see that I’ve complained
          about that exact thing in the past. I’ve long been against Ohio State getting shuffled
          off into an eastern division that is little more than the eastern conference full of patsies
          (yes yes I know Rutgers fans random bowl games and star chasing on Rivals means you’re
          actually going to lay the smack down on the B1G from day one *snort*) that SOB Paterno longed for.
          It would have been a better long term move for the conference and not just Ohio State
          if TSUN & Sparty had gone east while Ohio State & Wisconsin had gone west. TSUN
          is the strongest current B1G team (outside of PSU) on the east coast and that
          should have been leveraged to it’s fullest.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            It’s also why I proposed pods for the upcoming 14 team lineup so that every team in
            the conference will face ever other team at least four out of every six years (providing
            they go a 9 game conference schedule).

            I think the main reason you haven’t seen much outrage yet is because people are mostly
            in wait and see mode to see how things shake out. But yes if a few years down the line
            Delaney announced a division consisting of: Ohio State, Indiana, Purdue, Penn State,
            Maryland, Rutgers, Virginia & North Carolina; then people are going to be rightly pissed.
            I just don’t think many have looked that far ahead yet.

          • zeek says:

            I think your second post is on the right track for fixing the issues in the first post.

            The story of all of this is that TPTB never viewed the Big Ten as being in its long-term equilibrium with 12 teams. They’ve always been looking at either a future where ND joined to 14 (and thus changed the setup) or a future of 4 divisional pods in a move to 16 teams.

            In that sense the 2-division 12 team setup has always been just a holdover to something else.

            Whatever 2-division 14 team setup they come up with for Maryland/Rutgers is also going to be a holdover for something else.

            At this point, you’re right that everyone is just in a holding pattern for 4 pods with 16 teams likely with each headlined by one of Michigan/Ohio State/Penn State/Nebraska (and 1 or 2 protected crossovers for each pod when their two pods aren’t combined to form a division as the rotation goes…).

          • Brian says:


            “If you go back in the main expansion threaa on BP you’ll see that I’ve complained
            about that exact thing in the past. I’ve long been against Ohio State getting shuffled
            off into an eastern division that is little more than the eastern conference full of patsies
            (yes yes I know Rutgers fans random bowl games and star chasing on Rivals means you’re
            actually going to lay the smack down on the B1G from day one *snort*) that SOB Paterno longed for.”

            I haven’t complained much about it here, but yes, OSU is usually the school getting the short end of that stick. The bright side is all the extra access to even more great recruiting grounds. If the B10 wants to help Meyer recruit, more power to them.

            “It would have been a better long term move for the conference and not just Ohio State
            if TSUN & Sparty had gone east while Ohio State & Wisconsin had gone west. TSUN
            is the strongest current B1G team (outside of PSU) on the east coast and that
            should have been leveraged to it’s fullest.”

            It would have been wrong before for several reasons, but you can do it now. OSU, WI and IL move west, MI and MSU move east to join the newbies.

            E – MI, PSU, MSU, PU, IN, MD, RU
            W – OSU, NE, WI, IA, MN, IL, NW

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            The IL & IN schools are not going to be split up now for the same reason they couldn’t be before, too many schools don’t want to give up a regular game near Chicago.

          • Mack says:

            It is not like the IN & IL schools are driving the B1G bus. If they stay together it is just because it worked out that way. Not much value will be lost if 2 or 3 of those schools quit the B1G and they know it. They are not as far down as Wake, Baylor, MS St, or WA St. at the bottom of the other 4 power conferences, but they could be replaced with schools that added more value to the B1G if any of them is willing to call it quits because the new members created scheduling changes.

          • Brian says:


            “The IL & IN schools are not going to be split up now for the same reason they couldn’t be before, too many schools don’t want to give up a regular game near Chicago.”


            NW is already apart from IN and PU. With 2 crossovers, they’d play the IL schools 1/3 of the time each. In addition, they’d get games in the recruiting grounds of DC and NJ. Not everybody can play in Chicago all the time.

    • Tom says:

      I enjoy reading Mgoblog (visit it every day) and Brian (not FTT Brian, by the way where has he been recently?) is obviously a very smart guy and great writer. I think he and in turn most of his readers are against expansion because he tends to romanticize Wisconsin, Iowa, Northwestern, etc., treating these games as rivalries that are going to be diminished by adding Rutgers and Maryland, in his view lesser programs. While these B1G programs have become more competitive over the past 20 years, the reality is that they are far from being Michigan’s rivals as evidenced by the all time series records.

      As I’ve said before, as a Michigan fan, I care about Michigan State, Ohio State, and Notre Dame. Those are the three rivalry games I grew up with, and are the ones that I want to see continued. Penn State is another game that I look forward to, but honestly that’s about it. I like the tradition of the Big Ten, and I like playing Big Ten schools, but as a fan I don’t need to see Michigan play Wisconsin or Michigan play Illinois every single year. Cycling through works for me. And while Michigan will no longer play ND, I think this presents an opportunity for Michigan to play in different parts of the country now against a variety of teams.

      I guess my view is different from MgoBlog in that I see the opportunity the B1G has to take hold of DC/Baltimore and New York/New Jersey. Rutgers and Maryland are both undervalued programs that for the most part have been in inferior leagues with inferior resources for the majority of their histories. They are both blessed with instate talent better than Wisconsin and Iowa, and with the right coach I see no reason why they can’t eventually become part of that 2nd tier in the B1G.

      • Brian says:


        Busy few days at exactly the wrong time.

      • zeek says:

        Yeah, that’s a good explanation of the dichotomy of views on this subject.

        I respect the old-tradition based view, it’s just that this isn’t that world anymore.

        I mean, look at where these schools get their students from; there are a ton more coast-based students going to the Big Ten and then leaving the footprint upon graduation. It’s just a different world now.

        As a Northwestern fan, I just care that we see enough of Michigan and Ohio State on the schedule (although not too much, I’d like chances at 9 or 10 win seasons too).

    • Brian says:


      “Why is there such a massive disconnect between the views of Michigan fans and Ohio State fans over Maryland/Rutgers.”

      Because MI are elitists?

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      Take a look at the comments on Eleven Warriors & The OZone. There is plenty
      of complaining going on in Buckeyedom.

      That being said BuckeyePlanet is a bunch of weirdos.

  29. David Brown says:

    I have no idea if Miami is getting the Death Penalty, but if it occurs, that is something that would create even more upheaval than before. The first thing would be South Florida leaving the Big East for the ACC to replace them. Obviously losing your biggest Conference Rival (Coupled with more changes and Big East Teams), would increase the odds that Florida State and some quite likely some combination of Clemson & Georgia Tech would go as well. It becomes obvious as well that either Connecticut or Louisville (Whichever is NOT selected to replace Maryland in the ACC) is gone from the Big East (The Huskies to the ACC or the Cardinals to the ACC or Big XII). That creates the nightmare scenario where the Virginia & North Carolina Schools look to move as well (I would NOT want to be Wake Forest and believe it or not Duke (If anyone thinks North Carolina would not leave them, ask Texas (A&M went to the SEC), or Pitt (West Virginia to the Big XII) about it), and San Diego State & Boise State finally realize that the Mountain West (Even at a lower payout) is a better option than the WAC oops Big East Conference. The next six months will be very interesting.

    • FLP_NDRox says:

      There is no way the ACC would take USF. None.

      • zeek says:

        Yep. I’m beginning to think that the ACC would eventually just be satisfied with 10 members if it loses a few more.

        They’re not going to warp themselves out of shape like the Big East did because there’s still going to be a backbone of East Coast schools.

        • Arch Stanton says:

          Agree Zeek.
          If the ACC was left with North Carolina, NCST, Duke, Wake, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Boston College, Syracuse, and Miami (basically losing Florida State, V-Tech and Clemson to the SEC/Big 12), I could see them doing nothing. Perception would be bad initially and the disparity in money would really hurt their competitiveness in football. But I’m not sure that any of the North Carolina schools or Virginia would care enough to leave the ACC if they could be assured that those ten would still be there.
          And if Georgia Tech left, they could be replaced with UConn easily enough.

          • David Brown says:

            I thoroughly disagree with the opinion that 10 teams would be enough for the ACC. Without Florida State and (or) Miami (Death Penalty?) they need some presence in Florida. Without it, the ACC will have reached DEFCON Level 3 (The Big East is at 2 and the WAC 1). There is no way in the world I can see that happening, which is why I see USF as a viable alternative. Throw in the fact, that the ACC would be left with Virginia Tech and Northwestern-Level (At best) football programs. Does anyone expect the Hokies to live under those conditions, if the SEC or Big XII became open?

          • SH says:

            In the long run, I’m not sure if this would work out. This is the Big East merged with the ACC. While it is all east coast schools, it is also southern schools with northern schools. And while the founding ACC schools may wish to stick it out together, none of the other schools will feel the same loyalty. VA and tobacco row will find it increasingly more difficult to maintain the conference. Perhaps it is time for VA to break free from tobacco row. For NC, it is probably best in the long run that they split up as well. Texas has had a very similiar problem, and A&M was smart to get away. This probably helps Texas too in the long run. Why should NC and Duke carry Wake and NC State.

          • SH says:

            Further, I think it is a foregone conclusion that NCState and VTech are going to the SEC (unless they are able to get NC instead). l just see no way that Clemson ends up in the SEC.

          • ChicagoMac says:


            That is where I sit on this as well although I think there are 4 more schools in addition to Georgia Tech that are question marks on your list.


            My rationale on this is the following.
            The ACC schools have to ask themselves if they are willing to do what it takes to compete for Football championships or are would they prefer to perform well in the Director’s Cup standings.

            Duke, UNC, UVA haven’t been to a BCS bowl nor an ACC Championship game but at the same time each,is routinely in the Top10 for the Director’s Cup Standings. Wake has no options anyway. I think these 4 will decide that its not worth moving conferences as long as they can get assurances from Notre Dame that the Irish are ‘in’ to use Coach K’s term.

            Everyone else has questions.

            NCState hasn’t been to a BCS Bowl or ACC Championship game but they don’t do particularly well with the Director’s Cup either. They might be inclined to take inspiration from South Carolina and Maryland and look for a home in a Football conference and they’ll definitely have options.

            Pitt has some football history but has only been to one BCS game as a mamber of the BigEast? Can they compete? Would they be offered a home? Could be attractive to Big12 and/or SEC in the right circumstances.

            BC has played for the ACC championship a couple of times but never made a BCS game. They could be attractive to both the Big12 and B1G. Fox owns NESN which could make 3rd tier rights valuable and/or help BTN gain carriage in New England. Keep your eyes on BC.

            Syracuse has some football history but geography and TV really raise questions on how attractive they are to other conferences. They might be #12 or #14 or #16 somewhere.

            Georgia Tech has had a fair amount of football success and they haven’t really done much for Director’s Cup, so I have to believe they’ll be looking for options. They will be hugely attractive to B1G and Big12 and they might even work as SEC #16.

            I think the ACC may just do a managed split here, forming two lines:

            Football First:

            Willing to live on in ACC with access to Orange Bowl and ND partnership:

            These are the schools where questions exist on which line they’ll choose in order of likelihood that they decide to pursue football riches elsewhere:

            There are two more factors, Maryland’s exit fee and ACC #14.

            If I’m right about Duke/UNC/UVA/Wake then they won’t want to invite Louisville to the party while there is the risk of a minimal exit for Maryland. The idea of bringing Louisville into their party and then seeing the Football First schools leave anyway would be worst case scenario, UCONN would be a much better fit for those core 4 schools.

            And that is really the dilemma that the ACC is in right now.

          • I think the problem with that “managed split” idea is there’s zero guarantee ND would still want to hang around. If FSU, Miami, Clemson etc. all bail, that deal becomes a LOT less favorable for the Irish.

          • ChicagoMac says:

            @Matthew Smith

            No guarantee but the possible Notre Dame/UNC/Duke/UVA partnership would have a lot more power than the ND/BE partnership ever did, particularly with the not insignificant support ESPN would provide.

            It would be a pretty sturdy platform for ND to maintain its independence and as long as Duke/UNC/ESPN are involved you know you are going to have an elite basketball conference. The timing of this is particularly interesting with the academic turmoil UNC is dealing with.

          • Arch Stanton says:

            If the ACC was down to 10 teams as described above and the NC-Virginia faction was content with that, I don’t see Notre Dame going any place else. You could probably count on Notre Dame only playing 3 football games against the ACC though (some years 4). But for the teams left, that would still be about the same frequency. And, really, where else would ND go if they wanted to keep their football independence? ACC would still be the best of the conferences that would allow them non-football membership.

      • bullet says:

        If FSU left, there is definitely some chance they would want to keep those 3 letters in a different arrangement.

    • You seem to be assuming that somehow it’d be a permanent death penalty. If that even happens (and given that Penn St escaped it for what is obviously much worse decisions, except perhaps in NCAA la-la land), it’d presumably just be for a year or two. That’s not enough to all by itself force UM out and USF in of the ACC.

    • Mack says:

      Pitt got the ACC invite before WV got the XII invite. Pitt decided that ACC would be a better home than theXII and managed to get an invite while both were in discussions with XII. Staying in the Big East was not an option for either. A&M wanted to go to the SEC (with TX) when the SWC fell apart, so A&M left TX but is now in the conference it wanted to be in for 20years.

      The reason the ACC does not have a GOR is the same reason that the XII could not get one before all the schools that wanted to leave left. Missouri (wanted B1G) and Colorodo (wanted PAC) would not agree to a GOR (NE might have if TX, OK, A&M were on board, but got a better offer). In the ACC MD and FSU keep voting against increased exit fees, so I doubt they will go for a GOR. So if the ACC gets rid of FSU Tobacco road may be able to stabilize the ACC with a GOR.

  30. Psuhockey says:

    I find it very investing that SI Thamel published the prospective payouts the BIG was offering Maryland. Usually that stuff is kept quiet. Publishing that Maryland stands to make $100 million more by 2020 in the BIG versus the ACC sounds to me like an attempt of convince some other ACC members to jump.

    • ChicagoMac says:

      Agreed. I really think that was an effort to let Big12 and ACC fans know that they are a long, long way from keeping up on revenues.

    • SH says:

      Possible. If so, I think I am in agreement with Zeek, this is aimed clearly at UVA. UVA has been battling with the state legislature for years with respect to funding. Plus, last year’s issue with the president means that UVA would not proceed the same as MD did. They would have to get some public support for the move. This could help. Also the UVA president does have Michigan ties. I’m not sure how strong her influence really is though. She was dismissed after two years, but rallied the public to save her job. So who knows.

      • zeek says:

        The fact that the exact numbers and details and years were “leaked” to a reporter as prominent as Thamel is telling.

        The fact that Delany himself then gave a full interview with details to SI is also telling.

        All of this is deliberate. No one in the Big Ten (or Maryland officials) would give details that explicit out unless it was publicly directed at #15 and #16 (and those schools know who they are).

    • bullet says:

      Could be Maryland letting it go. Missouri was leaking all over with the SEC projections.

  31. Read The D says:

    I believe before going the TCU-West Virginia expansion route, Big 12 was trying to get a West Virginia-Pittsburgh combo for travel partner purposes.

    Question: If Big 12 could snake Pitt now, before they officially jumped to the ACC, would Pitt still be obligated to the $50MM ACC exit fee?

    • zeek says:

      TCU did end up paying some form of an exit fee to the Big East without having played a game there, but I believe it was the previous lower one; they never paid the upgraded fee.

      So maybe Pitt would be able to get out for the old fee of $20 million.

      Probably no way out of it free.

    • Arch Stanton says:

      Another question is would Pittsburgh want to leave the ACC for the Big 12?
      When they were in the Big East, it would have been a no-brainer.
      But, let’s say that the ACC plugs in UConn and appears to stabilize. If no other ACC schools appear to be conference shopping, would Pittsburgh make the first move? The money might be a little better in the Big 12, and West Virginia is there, but I don’t see it happening at this point.
      If Pittsburgh were to go to the Big 12, it would likely be with Louisville. I’m guessing they would end up in a division with UL, WV, Iowa State, Kansas, and Kansas State. As I’m typing that out, it occurs to me that it would be a pretty stout little division for basketball. But still, I’m not sure that Pittsburgh is making that move.

      • bullet says:

        Pitt was 1st on the Big 12 list when WVU joined. They contacted the ACC and got accepted. So Pitt much prefers the ACC if it will still be there for them. And they probably dropped lower on the Big 12′s list with their ACC choice.

        • bullet says:

          That info is from internet chatter, not any media sources as I recall, but it seems to be generally accepted and it makes sense.

        • Nathan says:

          Pitt and ‘cuse were announced as ACC adds weeks before WVU went to the BigXII. Their poaching, along with TCU to BigXII is what caused WVU to start knocking on every other power conferences’ door. The BigXII may have went to Pitt after and said “do you want to change your mind?” but Pitt to the ACC predated WVU to BigXII.

          • Arch Stanton says:

            I think we are all on the same timeline. Big XII’s first target (after TCU anyway) was Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh went to the ACC instead of Big XII. Big XII and West Virginia then became mutually enamored. After a brief attempt by Louisville to butt in, West Virginia was officially announced to be joining the Big XII.
            So it seems that Pittsburgh preferred the ACC to the Big XII. The question is, with the Maryland defection and rumors of move schools looking around, would Pittsburgh now entertain the thought of moving to the Big XII?
            Clearly, there is a level of ACC destruction that would send Pitt to the Big XII but have we reached that point now, or would several other schools have to leave first. I’m thinking at least two more schools would have to leave before Pittsburgh would re-think their loyalty to the ACC.

  32. SH says:

    The issue for the B10 will be to keep the money flowing to overcome the cultural differences between its schools and the regions they represent. This will be true no matter who the 15/16 teams are. The SEC will be able to do this better because there is much better cultural cohesiveness. The best coalitions for long-term stability are the ones that are built around a common culture. It definitely helps to be financially successful as well. There is a reason why the SEC, B10 and P10 have had long-term stability. They all shared a culture, and when they expanded, they expanded with schools that shared a similar culture in regions that had similiar cultures and they did it slowly allowing those schools to assimilate. The two big conferences that have struggled are the ones that expanded in big numbers and merged cultures that didn’t work together – the ACC and B12. The ACC used to share a common culture, and they brought along FSU and GTEch, schools in similar regions and allowed those schools to assimilate. The B8 merged with Texas basically. Texas (the state and the school), as most would agree, is a culture unto itself. There was a reason that it basically had its own conference for so many years.

    In this regard, the SEC appears to be in the best shape going forward. All their schools still share a basic southern culture – with a few slight outliers. Even if they expand to 16, they will likely do it with schools and states that fit the profile.

    The B10 is not doing that. While they are arguably and likely the most powerful and influential conference, certainly the most valuable (today), they are taking a big risk here. And while Rutgers and MD may make PSU happy, there is a big difference between MD and NJ and the midwest. Culture binds people together better than anything else. Ultimately, it trumps money. And if you bring in a Texas, VA, NC, or GT, you are adding an additional culture to the mix. It doesn’t mean it can’t work. But in the long run, it may be difficult to maintain the cohesiveness. The SEC won’t have those problems.

    Demographics may have forced the B10 to make this move. And it may pay off for them and look like a huge success in the first 10-15 years. But eventually, the cultural differences will start to strain the relationships. It always does. What’s true in politics and geopolitical events is just as true in conference affiliation. The past 20 years of conference alignment has offered some proof.

    The B10 is now making a move similar to what the ACC and B8/SWC did. It doesn’t appear that it has worked out well (in terms of long-term stability) for the latter two. The B10 is more savy, and the money is so much better, it may overcome everything else. But I wouldn’t bet on it – in the long run.

    All that being said, as a UVA alum and B10 fan, I am hoping that VA does ultimately join. There is a huge risk, but for UVA, I’d rather take the risk in the top conference now than stay in a conference that appears to be losing members and losing influence.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Agree that a lot of folks here underestimate the value of common “culture”, but you may be overstating it a bit.. Texas, MO, and Ark are stretching things a bit geographically and culturally.

      As a BIG 10er, I’m not worried at all about Rutgers….but MD does scare me some. When 50% of the fan base are looking for reasons to hate a conference, they generally find them. Are MD fans going to be sulking and moaning for 20 years going forward…?

      • SH says:

        I just think in the long run it overtakes things. I don’t think it will come into play anytime soon. But the history of the world shows that affiliations that do not share a common culture eventually break apart. I don’t see why it should be any difference with respect to sports and conferences.

        • mushroomgod says:

          Could happen

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            I think the ‘PSU factor’ is what will eventually win them over completely. PSU hates the B1G. Maryland will (again) hate PSU. I don’t think PSU will be able to wrangle the newcomers into a voting block. The enemy of my enemy and all that.

          • joe4psu says:


            PSU doesn’t hate the B1G. A small percentage do, and some are upset right now having to do with the Sandusky affair and the consequences but I think the vast majority of the PSU fanbase is happy enough with the B1G and will only be happier with the Eastern/Mid-Atlantic expansion. Over what issues do you see PSU wanting to form a voting block to disrupt the party anyway? Money distribution is an accepted standard and with expansion PSU is surely happier than anyone.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            While my comment was mostly TIC the disgruntled faction of PSU fan is larger than you are giving credit to. A content (sane) alumni base does not elect a nut like Lubrano to it’s BOT.

          • zeek says:


            Your average t-shirt fan though isn’t going to feel that way.

      • vp19 says:

        The difference between Rutgers and Maryland is that the former has little, if any, big-time conference tradition — remember, RU was playing a handful of Ivy League schools as late as the early 1980s — whereas Maryland was an ACC member from day one (1953) and had built up a big-time football program in the late 1940s under Jim Tatum. In addition, the Maryland fan base is largely basketball-oriented and has never thought much of Big Ten hoops (stylistically or otherwise), and is probably resentful that this decision basically was made with football in mind (as Willie Sutton might have said, that’s where the money is). In contrast, Rutgers men’s basketball has been an afterthought for close to two decades.

        Once Maryland fans understand the benefits of Big Ten membership — financial and athletic — and realize that Big Ten basketball has its own charms, I think the College Park community will be delighted to be part of this conference.

    • Richard says:

      Sorry, I just don’t see this huge cultural difference between NJ & MD and the Midwest that you speak of. At least, it is no bigger than the cultural differences between Texas & Missouri and Florida & SCarolina.

      Now if the B10 takes big chunks of the south, they you would have a point (though taking just VA is probably safe, culturally, as VA is rapidly Midlandizing, just like MD did before).

      • SideshowBob says:

        I agree Richard. Maryland and New JErsey are not that culturally different from the other areas of the Big Ten. And institutionally, as large state flagship research insitutions, they are very similar. Bringing in Mizzou and Texas to the SEC is as much of a culture class as this, if not worse.

    • @SH – I think there’s still a major cultural gap between the Big Ten and schools such as UVA and UNC, but it’s a bit overstated with respect to Rutgers and Maryland. I’d say that the range from the Upper Midwest to the Northeast (all Northern ties) is more akin to the range between Southern California and the Pacific Northwest (very distinct but still the West Coast). North/South seems to be a larger cultural difference to me (which plagued the Big 12 and now the ACC) than Midwest/East Coast.

      • SH says:

        That may be true. Though I think the difference between the Midwest and the Northeast is a little more pronounced than you stated. Yes, they are the “north” but they are still different. My point was that whoever is the 15/16 team added, it appears that now you are adding a third culture. Let’s say it is UVA and UNC. Well Rutgers and MD may naturally affiliate more with the east schools (one of which has a long history with the other two), and they may be able to pull PSU into their sphere of influence. You run the risk of having old school B10 v. 5 east coast schools. This could strain the relationship. I think in the long run, it will present some interesting issues for the B10.

        • Richard says:

          “Yes, they are the “north” but they are still different.”

          OK, but are they as different as SCarolina & Missouri or Florida & Texas?

        • Ted says:

          I grew up in Michigan and live in DC. I don’t really know what you’re talking about. There are so many Big Ten alums here anyway that adding a contiguous state like Maryland isn’t going to be a problem.

          Maryland fans seem pretty pumped about it after they realized the actual details of the situation, outside of a vocal minority…

      • mushroomgod says:

        I go back to the Civil War, and see the same dynamics…..

        The troops from the East and the “Old Northwest” eyed each other with some suspicion, but were ultimately on the same side….read about the Iron Brigade fighting in the Army of the P. or the rebels v. the raiders in Andersonville…..

        When you add VA and UNC you’re now really talking about 3 seperate regions….tougher

        • SH says:

          Exactly, and two coalitions that appear to have nothing in common, may align just to act as a buffer against the much biggers and stronger coalition. Creates very interesting dynamics.

      • SH says:

        Frank – I’m a clash of the civilizations believer. So I find it interesting to apply the same thinking to conference alignment. Without the bloodshed and such.

        • Richard says:

          I’m not. The Hutu’s massacred the Tutsis in Rwanda, and no outsider (including Africans) can tell them apart. If a Croatian, Bosnian, and Serb were holding a conversation, no outsider could tell who was which.

          Most fights occur because of economics and politics (or more baldly, money and power), not because of cultural differences.

          • mushroomgod says:

            Didn’t that little fight called WW1 start because of cultural differences?

          • bullet says:

            Well the difference between Croatians, Bosnians and Serbs is that Croatians are southern Slavs who turned Catholic under Austrian rule and use the Roman alphabet, Bosnians are southern Slavs who turned Muslim under Turkish rule and Serbs are southern Slavs who stayed Orthodox under Turkish rule and kept the Cyrillic alphabet. So its all religion and reading and writing.

          • metatron says:

            Cultural differences become shorthand for your group or tribe. People tend to stick together for superordinate goals and fight amongst themselves when there are none.

          • Richard says:


            I thought it started with an assasination and stupid alliances/treaties that pulled countries that had little reason to be at war to fight one another. Culturally, the French were closer to the Germans than the Russians, yet the Russians allied with France and their old enemy GB.

          • Ted says:

            @Mushroomgod: No, World War 1 started due to the depression created by overzealous reparations demanded by the Prussian side of the Franco-Prussian War. World War 2 started because of the same exact penalties imposed by the Western Powers. Culture clash doesn’t mean shit when you don’t have food to eat or heat in your home.

            There is a reason the 1947 Paris Peace treaties didn’t impose crippling economic sanctions for the Germans and the Marshall Plan wasn’t purely to fight communism.

      • Psuhockey says:

        I don’t think culture is a big deal at all. Academia is a culture on to itself. Professors and administrators hop school to school and often intermingle in multiple institutions across the country. Graduate students and research personal also hop between conferences and areas of the country so they wouldn’t have any real cultural differences. So then you are left with t-shirt fans. There is a drastic difference between t-shirt fans in different regions but essentially they don’t matter. From personal experience, individual schools have different types of fans regardless of region. Nebraska and Ohio State fans are completely different yet are both from the Midwest. Same with Michigan. T-shirt fans bitch and moan all the time, as many fellow PSU fans do about the Midwest bias or OSU/Mich favoritism or we should go to the ACC, but all of that is meaningless. Administrators at Penn State love the big ten and that’s all that matters.

        As far as the conferences that died from expanding: they died from all parties not being equal. Regionality has nothing to do with it. That is not the case in the BIG or SEC, the two most stable conferences.

        • zeek says:

          And they died because the economics didn’t make sense.

          Was there really a need for a Southern superconference 80 years ago?

          Or the need of a super WAC?

          If the economics make sense, a set of institutions can grow as large as feasible.

    • zeek says:

      All of this is true, but I’m not so sure that the Big Ten will automatically have cultural fissures depending on what it does and largely because this all depends on what demographics look like.

      In particular, the past 20-30 years were the beginning of a dramatic ideological/cultural/political self-sorting of the US population based on the choices that people are making of where to move and where to live (and even where to send their kids to college).

      Due to this, it’s very easily conceivable that Virginia will follow a similar trajectory to Colorado as a state. Colorado was more or less indistinguishable from the other Big 8 states just a few decades ago. Now it’s almost identical to Washington in terms of cultural leanings and the like.

      Virginia’s future to me is something akin to Illinois. A state with a largely rural population dominated politically and culturally by the growth of D.C. and its sprawl, or something like Pennsylvania (imagine Pennsylvania minus Pittsburgh and you have a similar dynamic). It’s going to be amazing how different of a state Virginia is in 20 or 30 years. It will be unrecognizable from what it is today, just as it is now unrecognizable from what it was 20 or 30 years ago.

      North Carolina’s future to me is something similar to Florida. Florida has patches of “the North” plastered throughout, certain counties in the center of Florida along with the Southeast which may as well be transplanted from the Northeast. But then many other counties are virtually indistinguishable from southern Georgia or Alabama in the panhandle and north of the I-4 corridor. North Carolina is going to look like a patchwork like that. Florida’s culturally a mix of states, and I think that’s what North Carolina’s future is going to look like. You’re going to have the Fayetteville and Raleigh areas, and they’ll have different leanings from other parts of the state. It’s hard to tell what the dominant force will be, just like a state like Florida is incredibly complex to determine the the culture of; it’s more of a patchwork than anything else.

      Now, what does this mean for the Big Ten.

      The Big Ten is going to look at the fact that they’re attaching parts of the Mid-Atlantic to the Midwest.

      That means we’re talking about a group of 5 Mid-Atlantic/East Coast schools being attached to the Midwest. Penn State and Rutgers are the most easily assimilated.

      After that, Maryland and then Virginia and then North Carolina are going to be a bit more culturally different on a sliding scale where NC is the most different.

      To me, Virginia won’t be where the issues will be. It’ll be North Carolina because that state is going to be like Florida where it doesn’t have a more unified identity. Illinois has a unified identity in a sense, and I think Virginia’s will end up similar.

      The question is how long does it take for institutions that are typically staid to catch up to the leanings of their state. Some of these places are so insular (particularly a college like UVa which isn’t a giant land-grant) that it will take longer. In time though, it’ll work itself out, so I’m not particularly worried about that.

      The only thing that worries me is if we go for a Big 18 with 7 East Coast schools and then group those schools mostly together in a division. I really don’t think that would be good for integration, but that’s a bridge to worry about after we get to where this is going.

      • SH says:

        All good points. And of course cultures change as demographics change. I agree that VA would assimilate more quickly and easily, for many reasons. NOVA is much closer to the north than the south, but the research triangle is basically surrounded by the south. Further, NC is somewhat like a Texas, in that they have always had this outsized influence over a conference, which they would no longer have. I also think UVA has a much larger non-state enrollment, which certainly affects the school culture.

        But with respect to CO, while they are much more culturally aligned with the P10 than the old B8 (as a state), even in the P10, there could be interesting dynamics. The more schools that get added, the less influence the CA schools have. Before, the AZ schools basically fell in line. But now they will find new schools to align with to create a voting block to check the CA schools.

        But let’s be honest, we aren’t talking about life and death decisions here.

        • zeek says:

          Yeah and besides, when all these schools are earning $50M+ per year in the 2020s, no one’s going to care about demographics and culture. Money overrides everything.

      • bullet says:

        Actually Florida is pretty simple. The further south you go, the further north you get. Jacksonville and Pensacola are very deep south. Outside of Texas, I’ve never seen more pickups than Jacksonville. I hear more NY accents in Miami than in NY City.

        Virginia is different than Illinois. Norfolk and Richmond are pretty big metro areas with 1.7 million and 1.3 million people. Fairfax County is 1.0 million. The military is a very big influence in Virginia. Carbondale doesn’t compete with Chicago for influence in Illinois. And Carbondale and rural Illinois politically are as red as rural Tennessee. Illinois is not Massachusetts.

    • michael says:

      On personal experience, there is not that much cultural difference between the Midwest and NJ, MD. These are suburban-type states and you could swap in a Chicago/MSP/Detroit/Columbus suburb and barely notice the difference. Nothing like North/South.

      • Peter says:

        The biggest cultural split is urban/rural, but that has little to do with Midwest/Mid-Atlantic as far as the schools themselves are concerned. Many of the B1G universities are surrounded by rural flyover territory but have zero in common culturally with it. Most of their in-state students are also from the well-off urban & suburban areas in the states.

        And besides, one of the reasons the B1G is expanding the way it is, is that there’s not a whole lot of future in rural American demographically. Country’s changing, becoming much faster, more diverse, and a lot more urban.

        • Ted says:

          Exactly. I don’t know see how a bunch of suburban kids from DC and Baltimore are that much different from suburban kids from Pittsburgh, Philly, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, etc.

    • Gfunk says:

      You’re overstating cultural differences, which is fine. As a trained anthropologist, we in the field are use to it. Western B1G folks are not so different with Mid Atlantic folks from the East, not much different at all – no B1G campuses are really rural & all of them are either close to urban centers similar to Va, or urban in general – Iowa and UN are the semi-oddballs because they are of course situated in smaller states. Mason-Dixon aside, Md has been more Yankee than Southern for decades. Md & NJ have even less cultural differences, generally speaking, with the eastern Midwest & in more ways are similar because PSU is an eastern, slightly Rust Belt state already. Bmore is merely a typical Great Lakes city but near the ocean – a whole lot of blue collar, working class inner city with large pockets of professional, old money creative types. When I watch the Wire I also think Bmore’s socio-economic and political machinery is much like a Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Philly, Newark, or Detroit.

      Look at Md’s professional sports team. The Ravens, esp, share a division with Pitt & the Ohio NFL teams – so the idea of Md associated with Pa and Ohio has already been cultivated. In MLB, the Orioles share a division with mostly eastern markets: TB is the odd ball, Toronto is merely a Canadian Great Lakes region city, much like those found in the US, BIG footprint. Back to the Mason-Dixon, this imaginary line keeps lowering in large part because of Northern Virginia’s growth which attracts a lot of non-southern folks & people form all over the world. The upper eastern influence has undoubtedly been settling in Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill for years as well – throw in Charleston, SC, though less noticeable. NJ, n esp NYC metro, which touches quite near New Brunswick = global region – folks from all over. There will be hairline cultural differences between Md, NJ, Pa & Oh.

      As for Va, you’re in what I call the in between of Va – southern and Yankee. But your alum, esp, are pluralistic and of course highly educated. I think it’s fair to say Va Cavalier faithful have a world view that transcends staunch cultural lines.

      Va would be a fine addition to the B1G and they’d have 4 road trips w/in 7 hours drive of campus: tOSU, Rut, Md & PSU.

      Va’s ccademic compatibility with the B1G, esp from top to bottom: undergraduate, graduate & research, would be stronger than existing ties in the ACC. The academic angle drives this expansion far more than people realize – there are mucho dollar signs on this end as well.

  33. GreatLakeState says:

    I just don’tt think the SEC, though popular with the fan base, is going to be the preferred destination for the powers that be at UNC or particularly UVA. From what I’ve read, Delany’s ties to UNC are not superficial (though Slive’s probably aren’t either).
    UNC and VT are sure to be the top two targets of Slive. UVA and UNC most likely the B1G. The maneuvering already taking place behind the scenes would be fascinating to watch.

    • SH says:

      I would agree. I know more about UVA as an alum, but NC and UVA are fairly similar. I suspect the powers that be feel closer to Mich, NW, and Wisc than any SEC school (with the exception of Vandy). UVA’s president has strong B10 ties (and ties to U Chicago). She was dismissed last year, but rallied the public. One reasons for her dismissal was that she was perceived at being not progressive enough to the changing college landscape. Could this be the kind of bold move that may make her stronger?

      I think UVA will be easier for the B10 to get than UNC. If UVA goes to B10, VT goes to SEC, both sides are happy. UNC has a Texas problem in that they have the baggage that is NCState, Duke and Wake. NCSt would probably like to jump to SEC, so ok there. They probably have no qualms with leaving Wake behind. So you are left with Duke.

      As a basketball school, Duke probably would do best with the Big East basketball schools. You could always maintain the Duke/NC rivalry game.

    • mushroomgod says:

      See SH’s post above…..adding UNC and VA would be risky in that it really creates an alterior power base/voting block in the East/SE, while adding NC St and VA Tech is a much easier fit. On the other hand, adding VA and UNC would create such a powerhouse conference academically that a university president would be hard pressed to want out.

      • SH says:

        If you really want to take the long view (100 years) as Zeek likes to point out, will football even be around?

        I think an argument can be made that football will eventually die as a sport, from the ground up, as fewer parents will allow their sons to play for health reasons and high schools get rid of the sprot for liability and cost reasons.

        But I don’t think anyone is making a 100 year decision. They are making a decision for the present and the next 20-25 years. After that, we really have no clue what condition the sports world will be in.

        If UVA and UNC try to stay together as a conference for Director’s Cup purposes, this may prove to be very smart in the long-term.

        • mushroomgod says:

          Very good point SH……..PSU and NEB were 100 year additions…….MD, Rutgers, UNC, VA (if that happens) are 25 year decisions

        • zeek says:

          As far as 100 year decisions go, you can’t worry about the long-run that far.

          I mean, we’re all dead in the long run. Other people will get to worry about whether any of these conference moves make sense that far along the lines.

          As far as we can see though (the timescale of the BTN to 2032 is fair), these things are what they are.

          • SH says:

            I agree. The college landscape will face some huge changes in the next 20 years that will have an affect on all this. The cost of college just cannot continue with the same trajectory. This could lead to many schools abandoning their football programs and scaling back their athletic departments. My belief is that football is at the zenith of its popularity. Partly because nothing stays on top forever, but mainly because the concussion issue is going to force changes from the ground up, changes that ultimately lead to less football. You could argue that this may make it more popular because it will become more scarce. But I think you will also see the better athletes move to play other, safer sports. My other belief is that public dollars for sports will become less available. Obviously, this is a big thing driving the current train as colleges are looking for more and more funding. But it will have an impact on schools that are not part of the power conferences.

          • zeek says:

            I gave you a response above to your demographics post.

          • Richard says:

            SH: Football dying actually would be an argument for the Big20 as it would be the preeminent basketball conference & the CIC would be one of the top collections of major research universities in the world.

          • bullet says:

            I thought there would be a lot of colleges dropping it because of financial reasons. 15 years ago, I would have bet most of the MAC would have dropped football or be FCS and half of FCS would be gone.

            Instead, schools are adding football. There’s nothing that keeps alumni connected better and its getting harder and harder to do that.

            The concussion issues are serious. But everything else promotes its growth.

          • zeek says:

            bullet makes a good point.

            Football is the sport that brings out alumni “patriotism” the most. That means money; boosters, the rest.

          • It’s more than that, though, for the lower end of 1-A (the programs you’d think ought to consider dropping football). These programs are HEAVILY subsidized by the wealthier programs. When a MACrifice victim pockets $1M per blowout loss (and takes, say, 2 per year), that’s a big impact on the bottom line.

            Let’s say it costs about $20k per player per year for tuition, housing etc. Take 85 players on scholarship and that gets you $1.7 million. So 2 bodybag games pays for most of your player expenses. Then you just have to raise enough money elsewhere to pay for your coaching staff, travel expenses, etc.

            And just so we’re all clear: a MACrifice victim isn’t contributing $1 million of value when they take that check. That check is an inflated number mainly due to current NCAA rules about bowl eligibility requirements; there’s really nothing fundamentally more entertaining/interesting about beating up Eastern Michigan instead of Western Illinois, but the paychecks EMU gets are MUCH higher.

            Also worth noting: as TV money becomes more important, the number of bodybag games teams play will go down. As that goes down, bodybag programs will get fewer paychecks AND will get smaller checks per beating (supply/demand: cut demand and both volume and price decreate).

            So don’t be surprised if some of those programs do end up cutting football in the not terribly distant future, once the subsidies going their way decline (and if the big programs ever walk from the NCAA entirely, then the end becomes VERY near for many of those programs).

          • morganwick says:

            @Richard: Except the death of football removes the only reason to go to a conference that unwieldly huge to begin with.

        • bullet says:

          Boxing has declined, but is still alive and we have MMA in addition (I used to follow boxing before its management turned into WWE, but MMA is just brutal).

          Football has issues, but its not going away.

  34. Read The D says:

    @Frank –

    Wanted to throw out my divisions for a National Basketball Conference. I’m assuming Georgetown goes to the ACC to throw Notre Dame a bone in DC now that Maryland is out.

    20 teams

    St. Mary’s
    San Diego State

    New Mexico
    Wichita State
    St. Louis


    St. John’s
    Seton Hall

    With basketball automatic qualifier rules it would probably be better to make an Eastern Conference and a Western Conference of 12 teams each. Eastern would take the Big East bid and Western would take the WAC bid. You could fill it with some of these:

    Old Dominion
    Oral Roberts

    • @Read The D – I think I’ll put up a full post on this after the immediate realignment news calms down since the prospect of a national basketball league fascinates me. That looks like a good league. Now, I personally think the FBS schools (other than independents like BYU) will need to be in all sports leagues, but who knows.

      This is what I was thinking if there was a single 20-team league with a private school emphasis:

      St. John’s
      Seton Hall

      St. Louis

      Air Force* or Denver

      St. Mary’s
      Santa Clara or San Francisco
      Loyola Marymount
      San Diego

      * Air Force in the event that it takes a football-only membership to the Big East or elsewhere.

      Dayton deserves to be in this league with its rabid fan base, but being so close to Xavier might do them in if the TV people have a say in it. Division C is also very spread out, but there aren’t as many options in that area between St. Louis and the West Coast. Finally, Division D features multiple teams in both the LA and Bay Area markets, but those metro areas can support 2 schools. California coverage would be critical if this league were to be pulled off.

      • By the way, for people that don’t know what I’m talking about, Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated mentioned the possibility of a nationwide basketball conference if the Big East Catholic schools split off in a column yesterday:


        • zeek says:

          There’s probably a decent TV market for that too. There’s loads of new sports channels whether regional or national that have come online recently or are coming online. Plenty of those teams will pop in and out of the rankings as hoops powers.

        • Mike says:

          @Frank – It’s a fascinating idea, but I think it’s too ambitious. IMHO, an all Catholic league mostly within the Big Ten foot print (Creighton to Providence) would be more likely. The Catholic school presidents have to be looking for some stability and will try to focus on schools with common purpose and cause.

          • bullet says:

            You can easily get Boston, New York, DC, Philly, Detroit and Chicago along with a bunch of other top 50 metros. That’s the biggest metro areas not in California or Texas. There’s marginal gain going beyond the NE and MW.

      • SCENARIO B: If you want to make this more of an Eastern tilt:

        DIVISION A
        St. John’s
        Seton Hall

        DIVISION B

        DIVISION C
        St. Louis

        DIVISION D
        St. Mary’s, Santa Clara or San Francisco
        Pepperdine or Loyola Marymount
        San Diego

        • Read The D says:

          My B Scenario: 3 Divisions of 6 teams each. Play round robin in your division. Play 2 home and 2 away from the other divisions. Gives each team a total of 18 conference games, plus only 2 cross country trips. I’d also try to have 3 pairs of travel partners in each division.

          Seton Hall
          St. John’s

          St. Louis

          St. Mary’s
          San Diego
          Air Force

  35. brindelin says:

    Seems clear to me that the B10 is prioritizing large public institutions, aside from ND have we even heard a rumor of them targeting a small private school?

    I just don’t see us adding BC (14.5k students), Duke (14.5k), or GTech (20k). UNL is now our smallest school not named Northwestern at 25k.

    If we can’t pry out UVA and UNC then I’d rather hold my nose on the academics and contiguous state angle and add FSU. If it’s about demographics, I think Florida is probably the best state we could realistically get a major player in.

    Academics and road trips aside I see no advantages to adding the U over FSU.

    • SH says:

      Nothing for nothing, but if you add UVA, they will become the smallest school not named Northwestern. That being said, as a state flagship school, with their top academics and public influence in DC, they bring quite a bit to the table, despite having a small enrollment (for state school standards).

      • zeek says:

        Enrollment isn’t everything after all.

        I mean, UVa probably has a bigger fanbase than Maryland even though it has considerably fewer students.

        T-shirt fans and the like matter too.

    • mushroomgod says:

      You were doing so good until you got to the FSU line…….

      But good point…….size matters to the BIG…..can’t really see them taking both GT(25000) and VA(21000) as some rumors suggest as you add both cultural and institutional fit issues……..

      • SH says:

        UNC and UVA also bring campus beauty. If I was a B10 alum, I would love to travel to Charlottesville/Chappel Hill for a fall football game. Can’t think of a better destination. So they have that going for them.

        • mushroomgod says:

          No doubt…..and reading up on UVA….quite an amazing institutional history…….no doubt the academic bluebloods in the BIG would have a big boner over UVA……..

          • SH says:

            Any conference would love to have UVA from an academic perspective. Arguably the top public institution in the country. At least when I was there, we had a competitive football team and basketball team. Not sure what has happened.

      • brindelin says:

        @mushroomgod……Yeah I think I’m in the minority here on Florida State. Overall, my line of reasoning is that if we add two more schools who are meh in football and I consider UNC meh then we have seriously diluted our inventory of marquee games in going from 12 to 16 (this all assumes we stop at 16). FSU is the only realistic marquee FB program that is attainable to the B10.

        I really think at some point product matters, and if all of the other 15 members are in contiguous states then I think taking a flier out on FSU is worth it.

        Let me ask you this if you could have FSU or OU (without Okie State) which of the two would you take?

  36. mushroomgod says:

    Interesting story on the Rutgers Rivals site about their wrestling coach’s reaction to RU joining the BIG…..says that every blue-chip recruit he’s lost at RU he lost to a BIG school….says it will huge for his recruiting……

    • mushroomgod says:

      There is really no solid reason, other than the “basketball school” issue, why UNC isn’t playing at teast at he Michigan State or Iowa level of CF…..those teams are watchable. UNC shouldn’t have the demographic issues of a Kansas, UK, or IU. As for VA, I see it as a Stanford-type situation–when they have a really solid coach they’ll be capable of 8-4 or 9-3….in their down periods they’d be a 3-9, 4-8 type program. As a comparison, I would certainly expect VA to outdue Northestern over the span of the next 30 yrears or so……so I don’t see that we’d be adding more IUs(ouch) or Minnesotas or Purdont’s.

      • mushroomgod says:

        This should have gone above……..

      • Peter says:

        UNC should really be a dominant football program. They have a huge and rapidly growing (i.e. young people i.e. high schools) state with a year-round climate to draw from. The state is bigger than Tennessee with a much larger African-American population. It’s every advantage an Iowa doesn’t have.

        • schwarm says:

          They were pretty darn good during the Mack Brown years, but could never top FSU.
          With the right coach, and enough $ to keep him, they could be very good.

    • Mike says:

      @mushroomgod – his job just got easier.

  37. SH says:

    Just to throw out some added benefits of UVA/UNC. They bring lacrosse inventory to the B10 network. I believe Lacrosse is the sport that is growing the most across the country. With MD and Rutgers, UVA and UNC you have some good lacrosse schools. Not to mention the soccer inventory.

    • zeek says:

      It wouldn’t surprise me if we see a BTN2 pop up at some point in the future.

    • mushroomgod says:

      I could see lacrosse taking over the “rich white boy” segment of the HS athletic scene of the East, Midwest, and West…….I’ve got some relatives who have played soccer at high levels, I’ve watched IU soccer frequently over the years and, I’m sorry, that is a boring ass sport…..and I don’t care what 80 million Brazilions think………..the field is too big and the scores are too few for American tastes.

      • Richard says:

        The problem with soccer is that it has to be played at really high levels to be watchable. HS football and basketball are still pretty exciting, but if soccer players can’t control the ball with their feet, it’s tough to sit through. Champions League is pretty scintillating.

    • Nuclear Badger says:

      I think the CIC should also approach Johns Hopkins about an association (sort of an East Coast version of the U of Chicago – and the #1 school in terms of research expenditures thanks to JPL) and also invite JHU to the B1G LaCrosse league

    • spaz says:

      Well, the Big Ten will absolutely start sponsoring women’s lacrosse as a conference sport, since they will have 6 teams in that sport. They will be at 5 for men’s and I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone add that at some point in the future… it’s a relatively affordable sport.

  38. ZSchroeder says:

    It would be cruel since I don’t think they would consider either, but if the Big 10 has any plans to go to 16, they probably have planted the seed in UConn and Louisville’s heads that they are still looking for 15/16, that would make it harder for the ACC to backfill quickly.

    If Louisville for whatever reason goes to the ACC over UConn where does that leave the Big 12 with future expansion if FSU and the rest of the ACC are not interested? I always thought BYU/Louisville were the only good options. If Louisville were off the table who would you pair with BYU? The West doesn’t have good options, Boise State I don’t think will ever get an invite, no matter how good they are. No good options in CUSA, Big East… Central or South Florida? … that’s far from ideal.

    • zeek says:

      I don’t think it’s any secret to anyone that the Big Ten and SEC are looking to go to 16.

      16 is a way easier organization than 14.

      4 pods of 4 teams (with 1 or 2 crossovers) means that you essentially get to play everyone in the conference every 2 or 3 years.

      Not so for a 14 team conference with 2 divisions where you might miss certain teams for several years longer.

      It takes a bit of time to accept, but 16 is a much more natural configuration than 14; it’s like the inert gases on the periodic table.

      • Brian says:


        “I don’t think it’s any secret to anyone that the Big Ten and SEC are looking to go to 16.

        16 is a way easier organization than 14.

        4 pods of 4 teams (with 1 or 2 crossovers) means that you essentially get to play everyone in the conference every 2 or 3 years.

        Not so for a 14 team conference with 2 divisions where you might miss certain teams for several years longer.

        It takes a bit of time to accept, but 16 is a much more natural configuration than 14; it’s like the inert gases on the periodic table.”

        You’re making the huge assumption that the B10 is willing to do pods. If not, 14 trumps 16 every time. Also, you can do pods with 14 just fine (2 pods of 3, 2 pods of 4). People like 16 for the symmetry, but it isn’t really better.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Two problems with U Conn, from a BIG perspective…..a little small enrollment wise, and non-AAU status….

  39. Andy says:

    All of you saying that the SEC would prefer VT over UVA are way off. Everything I’ve heard is that the SEC would only take VT if they can’t get UVA. The SEC and B1G are in direct competition for UVA if future expansion happens. There are reasons for UVA to consider both conferences.

    UVA fans prefer the SEC. Culturally/regionally, Virginia is a southern state.

    But the Big Ten is stronger academically.

    So the question for UVA is can they be satisfied with the academic block of

    Virginia/North Carolina/Vanderbilt/Florida/Missouri/Texas A&M/Georgia

    And I think it’s likely that the SEC would get UNC if they can get UVA. That’s 7 pretty good schools. Is that good enough?

    Or do they need:

    Northwestern/Michigan/Wisconsin/Penn State/Illinois/Minnesota/Rutgers/Maryland/Ohio State/Indiana/Purdue/Michigan State/Iowa

    That will be their decision, if they choose to leave the ACC.

    • @Andy – Well, I’ll agree with you on that one. UVA is a big-time prize for both the SEC and Big Ten.

    • mushroomgod says:

      I agree that the SEC could end up with UNC and VA….that would put the BIG in a real bind, as VA Tech is a little too hokie for BIG 10 tastes, and is non-AAU…also, NC State doesn’t fit–everyone sees them and Va Tech as SEC……in that event would the BIG make (another) run at ND and/or MO and/or U Conn?

      • schwarm says:

        If UVA and UNC went to the SEC, then presumably FSU and Clemson leave, and ND is in play. At this point I wonder if the B1G just sits and waits to see if the ACC is unstable enough to smoke out ND. If not, they can still work on a few ACC schools that would not cause the league to collapse.

      • Richard says:

        NCSU is actually very close to AAU status, and VTech isn’t far behind. The _perception_ of those 2 schools trails their actual academic standing, however.

        One thing to keep in mind is that the B10 has been adding mostly large (UMD) & gigantic (PSU & Rutgers) public schools (the other one was a king in football). This keeps with the strategy of growing its own fanbase, so that even if B10 football is down in the doldrums, they would still have lots of loyal viewers and fans.

        Now that UMD is taken, FSU is significantly bigger than anyone else in the ACC. NCSU & VTech are next in size, and while UNC is close in size to NCSU, UVa isn’t (& neither are GTech and Miami).

    • Eliot says:

      I’ll second that Andy.

      - Wahoowa!

    • ChicagoMac says:

      If it was my call. I’d prefer to assuage the concerns of the Alumni/Fans vs. the faculty.

      UVA probably would only consider Vanderbilt a peer in the SEC, in the B1G it would include Northwestern, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois.

      Going B1G at least gets you a narrative that academics still count with the CIC and University of Chicago association. With the SEC, there is no plausible narrative, its just a money grab.

      • mushroomgod says:

        yes, but I agree with your first sentence…..the really big donors will decide where the schools go……but we have to remember that there are academic donors as well as sports donors………

    • SH says:

      As I’ve stated on this board, as a UVA alum, I much prefer the B10 to SEC. But I’m biased as I come from a B10 family. You can make arguments for both conferences. UVA is more similar to the Wisc, Mich, and NW in terms of academics. But as an institution with alums, UVa may affiliate closer with southern schools. That being said, after VA, UVa’s top out-of-state enrolles are from NY and NJ. Further, NOVA doesn’t really fit with the south any more and that is where most of UVA’s students come from.

      If it was me, I’d lean more towards the academics. Plus I think we would be able to compete better in football in the B10. Though in bball, we might be able to compete better in SEC.

      Further, I think B10 offers the most money, at least for now. Its possible in the long run, it is even or behind.

      At the end, I think most people, including alums, would identify UVA as one of the top public schools in the conference (the public ivies). That points you to the B10, not the SEC.

      • FranktheAg says:

        So NOVA doesn’t fit with metro Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, Miami, Nashville, St. Louis and Orlando – where much of the SEC students come from? I think you guys overestimate this aspect and want to view the SEC as the deep south and overlook the large cities in the SEC, which are very similar to NOVA and Charlotte. More so than Chicago, Detroit or Newark/NY.

        • Ted says:

          What? I’m calling BS on this.

          DC/Nova is more like SEC cities than Big Ten cities? You realize DC is made up of considerable amount of midwest and east coast (north of DC) transplants as well as southerners…The difference in culture from Nova to the Virginia-NC border is considerable.

          I’m sitting in Arlington right now and the two biggest crowds at bars are Hokies and Nittany Lions. After that, Virginia, then huge spots of Michigan and Ohio State fans

          Also, I’m not even sure how you’re classifying these cities. Did you just annex St. Louis as ‘southern’ because Missourah has been in the SEC for a year? Did you conveniently forget the entire states of South Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi when comparing culture? And Miami is now southern?…Miami/FTL is essentially New York’s sixth borough.

          • FranktheAg says:

            Ted – Mizzou IS in the SEC now so St. Louis is an SEC city. Not sure what is confusing about that. My point is the SEC has large metro areas included in its footprint and the populations that reside in those cities do not differ greatly from NOVA.

          • Richard says:

            StL is closer to Chicago than any southern city, just like NoVa is closer to Philly or Baltimore than any city in the SEC south of Missouri.

          • Richard says:

            So NoVa would be an outlier in the SEC, just like StL is now.

          • FranktheAg says:

            You’re focusing on location vs. the culture of the people who reside in those cities. The difference between residents of ATL and NOVA is minor.

          • Richard says:

            Uh, no, I’m focusing on the culture. The difference in culture between DC/NoVa & Baltimore is miniscule compared to the difference in culture betwee DC/NoVa & Atlanta, just as the difference in culture between StL & Chicago is miniscule compared to the difference in culture between StL & Memphis.

          • FranktheAg says:

            Of course Baltimore since it is the same metroplex. What about compared to Detroit or Chicago?

          • Richard says:

            NoVa? When I visited & stayed in Arlington, it didn’t seem much different from the inner suburbs of Chicago or St. Louis.
            NoVa’s quite ethnically mixed now, with a decent amount of Catholics & German ancestry evidently being most prevalent there: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Virginia

            Politically, it’s quite progressive.

    • bamatab says:

      The UVA message boards are one that I haven’t been keeping track of, so I don’t know exactly what their fan preference is in regards to conferences. But I would think that they would be a lot more accepting of the B1G than would the UNC fans (whose website I have been monitoring).

      The UNC fans seem to be pretty heavily in favor of the SEC than the B1G for a number of different reasons which have been stated previously (one that hasn’t been mentioned much though is their fear that NCST could surpass them in athletics (especially football) if they went to the SEC instead).

      I’m sure that the SEC would prefer UVA over VT, but I think settling on VT won’t be near as hard as having to settle on NCST over UNC. I think the SEC would jump for joy if they ended up with UNC & VT. But settling on VT & NCST would truely be just that in their eyes (although they’ll still take them).

      • SH says:

        I don’t ever look at UVA message boards. But I doubt there would be an overwhelming consensus either way. I can see a strong contingent wanting the SEC, a strong contingent wanting the B10 and the remainder favoring the status quo, with no contingent outpacing the others.

        For UNC, I would think the B10 contingent would be much smaller.

        While UNC considers itself and is a very good public school, its in-state/out-state student ratio is much higher than UVAs (I think). That likley plays a key role, along with all the other reasons why it may be a better fit with the SEC than B10.

        Frankly, I think UNC could make either conference work.

        But I would be dissapointed if UVA ended up in the SEC. I just think it makes too much sense for UVA to go to B10 and VT to go to SEC. Both schools are happy, and both conferences are happy, and state of VA is happy.

        I don’t want UVA to end up being a Vandy doormat in the SEC. I’ll take the $ and the B10.

    • Psuhockey says:

      Perception is important as well. Even though there is are great acedemic institutions in the SEC, there is the perception of it being a football only conference. The BIG has a much better acedemic image. All of times perception trumps reality in people’s decisions, especially powerful ones.

      • Andy says:

        The SEC would need to sell UVA and UNC on the idea that they are building a new conference that is serious about academics. They would be adding 4 AAU schools (Missouri, A&M, UVA, and UNC) to the two that the SEC already had (Florida and Vandy), with Georgia currently appying for AAU membership with a pretty good chance at getting it in the near future. They also just set up the SEC Academic Consortium, which long run could become a CIC of the south.

        When the SEC recruited Missouri, if you remember it took months for Missouri to accept. This was how the SEC sold Missouri: with the promise of a conference that was going to be serious abut academics moving forward.

        They’ve also instituted stricter academic standards on athletics, which will probably end up hurting them long term on the field, but it’s where they’re trying to move to in the future.

        The SEC has been copying the Big Ten a lot lately. Soon they’ll have their own network too.

        I’m sure a major goal is to get some academic powerhouses to give the league some of the academic oomph that the Big Ten has.

        • zeek says:

          The conferences have been copying each other when you really think about the past 20 years. It’s been a game of risk where they eye one another and shift pieces here and there.

  40. ZSchroeder says:

    It’s been tough for me to accept, but now that the Big 10 is at 14, it is looking way to hard to manager. 16 would be easier… a lot easier. I guess it is up to the SEC and Big 10 to push the ACC over the edge and then the Big 12 can maybe grab the scraps. They actually may end up with some nice scraps, but I agree with Frank, the Big 12 TV package is not enticing enough for teams to leave the ACC, but the SEC and Big 10′s may.

  41. ZSchroeder says:

    Lets say the Big 10 and SEC go to 16 by grabbing ACC teams, and the Big 12 sweeps in to grab others to go to 16. Who gets left to go back to the Big East or start a new ACC? SEC, Big 10, and Big 12 only need 10, that would leave 3, and I could see Louisville being grabbed by the Big 12, so that could leave 4 sad teams. Who would they be?

  42. Stopping By says:

    I said it before – I’ll say it again…..the Pac really screwed up not taking the OK schools when they had the chance to start last year. Most upsetting thing is that Scott wanted it, but the presidents shot him down after they got the new TV contract done.

    They needed to continue to put their trust in Scott as he led them successfully through expansion and the new TV deal vs reverting back the Tom Hansen mindset of thinking.

    If conf realignment armageddon continues…..everyone will be sitting at 16 and the Pac will remain at 12 (and have them have the look again as the weakest of the Big 5) because at the end of the day, it still only makes sense to expand if you can include Texas and/or OK. Without them – nobody is worth while geographically.

    • Nick in South Bend says:

      I agree that the OK twins would have been a great ad to the PAC. However, the flip side is, that OK needs Texas, not the other way around. What is to say that, once OK left the conference that Texas was sure to follow at some point? I am not sure that is necessarily true.

      The reverse would certainly be true. If Texas went to the PAC, OK would certainly follow. Don’t misunderstand though, I think they should have done it, but more for adding one of the few remaining Kings out there, the Sooners.

      • Stopping By says:

        I agree – you take OU on king status alone – scheduling be damned. Plus you may get UT eventually in the process…albeit maybe down the road. Now they will be the west coast conference stuck at 12 while there are 2/3 other super conferences at 16.

      • frug says:

        Why in the world does OU need UT? They managed just fine without them for a century.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          While they weren’t in the same conference they WERE playing every season. TX is critical
          to Oklahoma recruiting. I’m not saying that Oklahoma would shrivel up and die if the musical chairs stopped with them in another conference just pointing out why the relationship is important to OK.

          • frug says:

            They could have just continued the RRR OOC as it was for 8 decades. Texas’ AD had already said that had Oklahoma left Texas would have pressed the Sooners to continue the playing in Dallas every year (he specifically noted that the OU game was a priority but that A&M was not).

            The RRR is literally the most valuable regular season game in all of college football (Forbes actually did a study a couple years ago), and neither side would want to give that up.

            Plus, its not like some kid in north Texas is going to suddenly forget that there is an elite FB program in Norman just because OU is not in the same conference as Texas…

          • bullet says:

            Both sides have benefitted from being in the same conference.

            That said, Michigan/Ohio St. is more likely to go away than Texas/OU. That game is critical for season ticket sales and donations as well as all its other benefits. For a long time you could get better tickets on the street cheaper than through the school (as a whole-individual games might cost more), but you couldn’t get OU tickets. It was a big incentive to get season tickets.

    • SH says:

      Eh – I don’t really care, but I’m not sure why any school would want to be part of the P10. Talk about a non-cultulral fit. I’m sure the money would have been good, but I think the timezone would have been problematic. But not an alum, not a resident, so I just don’t know.

    • zeek says:

      It wasn’t Scott’s fault that dissolved.

      Blame that more on Oklahoma. Oklahoma ran a gambit on Texas and lost. Texas bet that Oklahoma wouldn’t be willing to go through with it and that it was a bluff.

      It ended up being a bluff.

      • frug says:

        I don’t think it was Scott’s fault either, but I always assumed it was the PAC presidents who over ruled Scott. Oklahoma was ready to go but Colorado, Utah, Staford, Cal and the Arizona schools weren’t willing to give up an annual game in LA unless they also got Texas (Colorado’s president indicated CU might have voted no even if they got Texas as part of the deal).

        When Boren found out the deal fell through he put together a rushed press conference so he could get his demands public before everyone found out what happened and he lost all his leverage.

        • bullet says:

          I agree with you. Boren’s comments sounded like face saving. That’s why I think San Diego St. actually has a shot if the Pac 12 ever does expand. It gives those not with USC and UCLA southern California access and help get votes for #s13-15.

          • frug says:

            Yeah, and I will add that the fact virtually the exact same scenario played out 12 months later (when Scott told Jim Delany for months that he had votes to institute the PAC-B1G Alliance only to come up short when it mattered) is further evidence that Scott got overruled. (Also that no one should ever trust Larry Scott)

          • ccrider55 says:


            Is the presidents failure to see (or a couple of them reneging on) Delaneys and Scott’s vision really a reason to not trust Scott?
            Do you know for sure how the OU deal actually ended?

          • ccrider55 says:


            Big12 going to add UCF so both divisions get Fla access? Far more likely than a 5th CA school in the PAC.

          • frug says:


            No, I don’t know for sure what happened in the PAC-OU deal, but based on the evidence available evidence it looks more like Scott got overruled than Oklahoma walked away. I always assumed that Scott made his late night announcement because he wanted to try and get ahead of David Boren so people wouldn’t think he got played for the second year in row (Texas used the threat of going west to get their TV deal).

            That said, I could certainly could be wrong.

            As for not trusting Larry Scott, keep in mind two things:

            1. You shouldn’t rely on someone who has proven he can’t deliver votes.

            2. He has admitted lying in the past. Originally he stated that the 2010 PAC raid blew up because Texas politicians were forcing the PAC to take Baylor (which did not happen) and had nothing to do with Texas’ desire to have their own TV network. (Presumbly he didn’t want people to think he had been played).

            Months later he gave and interview admitting that it was Texas desire to have their own TV that killed the deal.

            Now, Larry Scott is hardly the only person who lies in realignment scenarios (pretty much everyone does) he just tends to be more blatant about it.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            FWIW the Cali 4 would definitely try & block the inclusion of another in-state school, especially it is a ‘State’ instead of a ‘Cal’. Now if my alma mater (UCSD) can just get the ultimate frisbee team up to Div 1 standards….

        • ccrider55 says:

          I don’t think the presidents overruling Scott would necessitate an after 11:30pm ET by Scott to announce it. It did give UT a extra days notice before the B12 meetings as to their standing regarding bargaining with OU. To me this makes the most reasonable explanation.

          • frug says:

            For what it’s worth, Jon Wilner is talking about this topic on Twitter and he says it was the PAC CEO’s who killed the deal

            Now he could be wrong, but I tend to agree with him

          • frug says:

            And this too

          • ccrider55 says:

            Wilner was sure OU was in until the sudden, night time announcement. He reported changing sentiment long before B1G/PAC deal collapsed. Quite different.

            I’ve begun to think of Wilner along the lines of Chip, only not nearly as good at it. He may have been used for a while, but not so much now. I think he is now guessing, like the rest of us.

          • Nostradamus says:

            Boren and Oklahoma acted pretty sure they were in until all of the sudden they weren’t as well. I have little doubt in my mind that Scott wanted OU/OSU and the Pac-12 Presidents shot it down based largely on OSU.

          • ccrider55 says:


            So when the BOR gives Boren authority why is his first move to secretly meet with UT prior to B12 meetings, rather than begin the process to exit, as those who actually left did? Once more, for old times sake? What motivations would the presidents have to allow this to continue, and then end it suddenly in the night? Sounds like someone discovered they were being used and attempted to reverse the effect of that use as quickly as possible. UT, you’re welcome.

          • zeek says:

            I’m with ccrider55 on this one.

            To me, Oklahoma ran a power play on Texas and when their bluff was exposed to the Pac-12, the Pac-12 tried to save face publicly by rushing out in front and “voting” against expansion.

            That episode about OU/OSU going to the Pac-12 was all an Oklahoma bluff that the Pac-12 realized when Oklahoma started to get egg on their face.

  43. Nick in South Bend says:

    I would imagine that Swofford is asking schools for a GOR about now….does anyone have any opinion on whether or not her gets it?

    I would imagine he tried before, and they ended up with the huge buyout instead.

    • zeek says:

      He’s definitely going to ask, but the only way he gets it is if it’s rammed down the throats of some of the schools like FSU and Clemson.

      If he does that, they may panic and try to leave immediately.

      • Peter says:

        No mechanism to ram this down the throat of anyone. It’s a question of property rights. FSU & Clemson have to willingly sign them over. Totally different deal than voting through an exit fee over two dissenters.

        Florida State is not signing their media over to anyone. Will not happen.

    • Richard says:

      Not going to get it from FSU, which would make the whole exercise futile.

    • bullet says:

      WVU board claiming he is working on it.

    • frug says:

      If FSU wasn’t willing to vote for upping the exit fees I can’t possibly imagine they would sign a GOR.

  44. SH says:

    In the end, I think all schools will end up in a power conference, but I’m not sure it will be 4 or 5 power conferences. Here is how I look at the schools who are not already in the B10, SEC, or P12. There isn’t enough space for 4 16 conferences (this would mean there are 18 spots available). So there will either need to be a 5th “major” conference or another conference will need to have more than 16 tream.

    Schools that are safe because they move the needle: Texas, FSU, ND, OK

    Schools that are safe because of geographic location and prestige: UVA, UNC

    Schools that are safe because of geographic location and football: VT, GT

    Schools that are safe because they must ultimately be taken care of from a political perspective: Kansas, WV

    Schools that are safe simply because they are attached to schools that matter in this environment: Ok St, Nc St, TT, KSt

    Schools that have the most to lose, but are probably safe because they have political clout and other intangibles to be saved: Iowa State, Clemson, Pitt

    I think all the schools above will either be saved or will be independent. BYU will probably be on that list to as an independent. The schools below have the most to lose and will likely end up in a conference other than the power 5.

    Schools that have most to lose Miami, Boston College, Wake Forest, Louisville, TCU, Baylor, UConn, Duke

    In the end politics will save the big state schools (other than UConn, though perhaps them too). The private schools have the most to lose. Miami, BC and Duke are the ones who could be on the outside looking in.

  45. zeek says:


    You asked about this in a previous thread, here’s a recent article:


    “Daniel and Ozzie Silna were owners of the Spirits of St. Louis basketball team that played at the Checkerdome as part of the American Basketball Association.

    But in the years since agreeing to fold the team when the ABA merged with the NBA, the Silnas have pocketed more than $255 million for not having a basketball team, according to a New York Times article today.
    It seems the Silnas agreed to take an ongoing payment (read forever, as long as there is an NBA) of a “minor” percentage of the NBA’s television rights deal. As those deals ballooned into the billions for dollars, the Silnas collected more money. To the tune of $255 million over the years.
    In 1980-81, the first year they were eligible for the payment, the Silnas received $521,749. They were paid $17.5 million for the 2010-11 season. The NBA’s current tv contract is for $7.4 billion over eight years.”

  46. Dan in Minnesooooota says:

    I highly highly doubt UNC would accept an SEC invite. UNC is a highly ranked academic school, they want to be surrounded by other highly ranked academic schools. Joining the SEC just does not cut it for them. The B1G is UNC’s only legitimate option if they choose to leave the ACC. Also, the B1G is not going to take VaTech for the same reasons, they do not have the academic prestige value. Believe it or not, these things matter to certain schools and certain conferences (B1G) and not to others.

    • Hodgepodge says:

      I think it’s probably fair to say that a majority of the fans of these Southern ACC schools would probably prefer the SEC over the B1G and the vast majority of the faculty would prefer the B1G for reasons that have been enumerated a number of times here. In such a tug of war, the winner is often the one that has the most big donors on its side. That is where this battle (assuming there is one to be had) will be fought.

    • Nobody’s doubting they matter. The arguments are how much weight to provide. I don’t believe PSU was an academic juggernaut when they joined, although they’ve been in the AAU since 1958. OSU, as much as I love them, has made great strides to boost its academic prestige over the last 20 years. Within the B1G OSU wasn’t always regarded highly in academics and research.

      Much like the B1G just accepted Maryland and Rutgers not just because they are good academic institutions that do a lot of research and live in good markets, they also accepted them because they believe those schools can do better athletically. Similar to Nebraska, which has taken big steps academically which the B1G is helping with. If VT is showing the willingness and effort to upgrade their academics and research already, would the B1G take the risk in order to bring in another good football school?

      Conversely, for UNC: Do they believe in the SEC’s stated goals of upgrading their academic and research profiles and decide being associated with Vandy, Florida, TA&M, and Georgia — all good schools — is enough while they wait for the others to improve?

      • zeek says:

        You could analogize Va Tech to Michigan State back when they joined. Michigan State joined as a non-AAU, but I do realize that it’s so much of a bigger deal.

        The Michigan/Michigan State dynamic academically back then is similar to the UVa/Va Tech dynamic now.

        • That’s a good point. Ultimately, the question for VT isn’t “Are they as good academically as the B1G?”, it’s “Can they reasonably get to that point?”

          Here’s the 2010 ARWU scores (http://www.arwu.org/ARWU2010.jsp):
          World Rank Institution National Rank

          17 University of Wisconsin – Madison 15
          22 University of Michigan – Ann Arbor 18
          25 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 19
          28 University of Minnesota, Twin Cities 20
          29 Northwestern University 21
          36 University of Maryland, College Park 28
          41 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 30***
          43 Pennsylvania State University – University Park 31
          54 Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey – New Brunswick 37
          59 The Ohio State University – Columbus 40
          69 Purdue University – West Lafayette 43
          86 Michigan State University 49
          90 Indiana University Bloomington 50
          96 University of Virginia 52***
          101-150 Georgia Institute of Technology 55-69***
          101-150 University of Iowa 55-69
          151-200 University of Nebraska – Lincoln 70-89
          151-200 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 70-89***


          12 Northwestern
          24 Virginia ***
          29 Michigan
          30 UNC ***
          36 Georgia Tech ***
          41 Wisconsin
          46 Penn State
          46 Illinois
          56 Ohio State
          58 Maryland
          65 Purdue
          68 Rutgers
          68 Minnesota
          72 MSU
          72 Iowa
          72 Virginia Tech ***
          83 Indiana
          101 Nebraska


          There might be better metric lists, but these were the ones I was thinking of. Nebraska and VT are the only two non-AAU, although it should be noted that Georgia Tech has only been AAU since 2010.

          So is VT really that far off?

          • mushroomgod says:

            I think they are………

            Last 3 schools added are good academically-58, 68, 101, but not up to the likes of Michigan, Wisconsin……

            If the Big Ten adds 2 more schools, I’d bet 1 of the schools is top 40 in the US News Report….

          • Hodgepodge says:

            Just to dump on more data points, here are the rankings from two other highly respected organizations:

            Times Higher Education World University Rankings

            World Rank Institution National Rank
            10 University of Chicago 7
            19 Northwestern 14
            20 Michigan 15
            25 Georgia Tech 20 ***
            31 Wisconsin 21
            33 Illinois 22
            42 North Carolina 26 ***
            47 Minnesota 29
            53 Ohio State 31
            61 Penn State 34
            69 Purdue 35
            94 Michigan State 43
            97 Maryland 45
            99 Rutgers 47
            118 Virginia 51 ***
            134 Indiana 56
            169 Iowa 59
            276-300 Virginia Tech 88 (tied) ***
            Nebraska not ranked in top 400 in world.

            QS World University Rankings

            World Rank Institution National Rank
            8 University of Chicago 4
            17 Michigan 12
            27 Northwestern 15
            38 Wisconsin 17
            56 Illinois 21
            57 North Carolina 22 ***
            88 Georgia Tech 28 ***
            95 Purdue 29
            101 Penn State 31
            104 Minnesota 32
            105 Ohio State 33
            117 Maryland 35
            123 Virginia 39 ***
            174 Michigan State 48
            199 Iowa 53
            210 Indiana 54
            260 Rutgers 59
            337 Virginia Tech 74 ***
            451-500 Nebraska 89 (tied)

          • metatron says:

            I’ve always wondered what metrics they use to make these rankings.

    • brindelin says:

      Well a quick scan of the UNC boards reveals they prefer the SEC to B10 by around a 30:1 margin. I think as hinted as above once you get down to UNC and UVA we’re in Dixie land and there are some serious cultural differences.

      One observation is that I’m presuming a large % of UNC and UVA message board fans did not attend either university. I’d be shocked if any of the “Walmart Wolverine” contingent of UNC or UVA fans would prefer the B10.

      I’m curious what the break down would be for people who actually attended either university, especially as they have a larger vested interest in a school’s academic standing and also I’m guessing more likely to donate.

      Either way I’m guessing it’s still SEC. There is some serious resistance to the idea of the B10 on their part, and it dwarfs the resistance we saw from UMD fans.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        I think having UVA as a traveling partner would seal the deal for the B1G, coupled with the Maryland add and the research/CIC benefits. I have no doubt the TarMart fans (a cousin to Kmartin’ Spartans and Wallmart Wolverines) would choose the SEC in a heartbeat, but many of the most influential UNC alumni likely work in DC, New York etc. and would welcome the chance to see them more often. I think with UVA they go B1G, with VT they go SEC (I don’t think for a second UVA would ever go to the SEC).

      • Psuhockey says:

        Message boards don’t matter. Go to Penn State message boards and you will find people still asking to leave the BIG and join the ACC. Administrators and donors make the decisions. Norte Dame is the only school at their “fans” beck and call because their enrollment is so small, they are dependent on donations from people not directly associated with the University. All other big Tim universities don’t care about the t-shirt fans.

      • Andy says:

        brindelin, you are correct. UNC and UVA fans strongly prefer the SEC. It would be a difficult task to sell them on the B1G. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but it would be difficult.

      • mushroomgod says:

        It looked to me to be nore like 70-30 in favor of the SEC……..

      • jdwahoo says:

        I’ll throw in my two cents as a UVa grad school alum. Most are assuming that UVa and UNC have similar fan bases/constituencies, but I’m not sure that’s a good assumption. UNC has an elite b-ball program that attracts the non-alumni “t-shirt” fan – I’ve known several NC natives who went to other colleges/no college but remained passionate Tar Heel fans. As others have mentioned, that contingent will likely prefer SEC and will dominate message boards, though TPTB in Chapel Hill may well decide otherwise.

        As for UVa, my sense has always been that outside CVille, there are relatively few t-shirt fans. The school just doesn’t have the tradition of football/basketball success to draw in the masses, especially now that Va Tech has emerged as a strong football program. I would venture that Va Tech has more non-alum fans in the state than UVa, by a decent margin. This is exacerbated by the fact that even though it bears the name of a state, the school itself is really more like an Ivy, or maybe Duke/NWestern, than the SEC- or B1G-style flagships – smaller and therefore even more selective. People are less likely to support a school that they perceive to be inaccessible to their kids when they have other options; just as you wouldn’t expect casual sports fans in Illinois to be big Northwestern followers, or Pennsylvania natives to become Penn fans, rank-and-file Virginians don’t seem especially interested in UVa. Just my observation, feel free to disagree.

        Personally, I’m with SH – though UVa isn’t really a natural fit in either place, I’d lean B1G over SEC for $$ and cultural reasons. UVa’s traditions still have a Southern gloss, in a seersucker-and-mint-julep way, but there are large numbers of out-of-state students (especially from NY/NJ) and many of the “in-state” students are from NOVA. To the extent that a red state-blue state cultural divide is relevant, UVa is on the blue side. Also, Vandy and Florida notwithstanding, the SEC still appears to stand primarily for football uber alles, and that’s not really what UVa is aiming for. Contra Andy, I would venture a guess that UVa fans (who I’m pegging as mostly alums) tend to agree, but I’d be glad to hear from others.

        • Bo Darville says:

          The Big 10 kind of needs a mint julep. Too much Blatz & Stroh’s up here.

        • Andy says:

          jdwahoo, I’m far from Virginia, although my brother does live there. All I have to go on are people talking on the internet, and I see a lot more on the internet favoring the SEC and hardly any clamoring for the B1G.

  47. GreatLakeState says:

    I think the next shoe to drop is going to be the Big12 adding at least two schools to ward off a a (panicked) Pac 12. Unless the PAC wants to get stuck with Hawaii, New Mexico, SDSU and BYU they are going to have to drop their reservations and take another stab at Texas & Co. According the columnist at CBS, the PAC were caught flat footed by the B1G’s latest acquisitions. Apparently Delany (still pissed about the PAC backing out of their agreement, no doubt) failed to mention it to them. For those who think the PAC is content with the status quo, I’ll bet Larry Scott feels otherwise. The Pac12 network’s distribution problems must make Texas and Oklahoma look better than ever.

    • Are they really having major distribution problems? My understanding is that they’ve signed up the bulk majority of cable companies in their footprint, they’ve signed up DISH, and the only major carrier left to worry about is Directv. That seems really good for a network that is still in its first year.

      • ccrider55 says:

        I agree. Only way to have done better really is to have 100% of the major distributor. Not many have achieved that in the first three months of existence.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        It’s all relative I guess. Getting DISH was huge. According to what I’ve read the problem with DTV is not only that they are trying to get a better deal but that they’ve been surprised by the lack of ‘outrage’ from the people in the footprint who should be clamoring for it (hyperbole?). Charter is another hold out. If they can get those two on board they’ll be in business.

        • ccrider55 says:

          “If they can get those two on board they’ll REALLY be in business.”

          There, fixed that for ya :)
          I’d suggest profitable before startup is doing good.

          • GreatLakeState says:

            Compared to the ‘first to market’ timeline of the BTN, their progress is impressive indeed. I still think, being boxed in by the Pacific, that if expansion fever breaks out it’s risky to just stand pat. Who knows, maybe your right. Maybe they are perfectly content to remain at twelve, even if Scott’s not.

    • Stopping By says:

      @GreatLakeStates Larry Scott has always felt otherwise. Depending on who you believe, at the height of the UT/OK discord last year, the school presidents turned down a chance to move forward with the OK schools because of the symmetrical havoc it would have caused at 14 schools with geographic travel partners. That and the Pac presidents have always been conservative and slow to adapt to the collegiant sports landscape (in football most of all) and since they had already received their big pay day from Fox/ESPN – they didn’t see any need to go further. All of this against Scott’s recommendation.

      Again – depends on who you believe on how things went down..Lots of he said she said and spin during the last couple of years. Because of the Pac presidents mindsets – I can see A) No expansion at all….ever – w/o UT or OU (which kinda makes sense at this point – why expand when UNM/UNLV/UTEP/BYU/SDSU/BSU are your best options?); and B) Scott moving on to different pastures once he is comfortable with where the Pac network and digital distribution models are at (and the whole Asia market outreach).

      • Bo Darville says:

        When the western schools of the MWC/WAC/Big East fame prove themselve viable, wouldn’t the PAC just pluck them up and keep on being the SEC of the West? Wasn’t New Mexico talked about once for the Big 12?

        • bullet says:

          The same would have been said about Arizona and Arizona St. at one point.

        • ccrider55 says:

          “…and keep on being the SEC of the west.”.
          ??? I don’t see the similarity.

        • frug says:

          Except none of New Mexico, UNLV, Nevada or Boise St. would solve the PAC’s other big problem; the fact they play their prime time games after half the country has gone to bed.

          Larry Scott has admitted one of the biggest attractions of the Big XII south schools was the fact they are in the central time zone.

          • GreatLakeState says:


          • bullet says:

            Well if you have a noon start, that’s 3 on the east coast. They do have a lot of late games, but I’m not sure why that has to be a problem. Have 1 prime time west coast game. Have your best game earlier.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        I couldn’t agree more. Also, good point about Scott moving on once it’s off and running. If he can’t carry out his master plan he may grow restless and move on.

        • Redwood86 says:

          The Pac-12 should properly be viewed as an almost impregnable fortress in the West with very limited quality expansion opportunities at present. Therefore, its logical course of action is to bide time until value-enhancing opportunities present themselves. The Pac-10′s expansion to the Pac-12 added no value aside from what is derived from having a CCG. But it may have been necessary to prevent future incursion into the west and to remain a top-echelon conference in the consolidation wars.

          At present, only Texas and Oklahoma would add any real value to the conference. And the value presented by Texas is multiples that of Oklahoma. Therefore, the Pac-12′s remaining 4 spots should be preserved for a deal that entices Texas to join. It would have been foolish to take in the Oklahomas with out Texas, as the value-add would have been not great and the conference would have either been stuck at a sub-optimal 14 for possibly a LONG time, or it would have been panicked into taking in inferior schools to get to the optimal 16. For now, the prize is Texas. So, there should be no expansion without Texas.

          Time may be on the Pac-12′s side. The conference, as currently constituted, is strong enough to have a seat at the power-brokers’ table, even if the others are at 16. Population migration is not unfavorable. There could be a day when a Nevada, New Mexico, or even Idaho becomes a Pac-12 worthy school. There could also be a day when Texas sees the merits of linking up with the west rather than just being the King of . . . .Texas. Patience is a virtue.

          As for TV exposure, people out west are used to 5pm game starts for “prime time” – witness the World Series. What kills us are the 7:30pm starts. But, ESPN is paying us tons of dough to do that. “Bullet” nailed it, though. Get the best conference game of the week on earlier in the day – which happened by and large this season (either at 3pm Eastern, 7:30pm eastern, or 8pm eastern).

          • FranktheAg says:

            Texas Tech would add value but they seem content to ride side car to Texas. It could be a very smart play by Scott to work onTech.

          • frug says:

            It would have been foolish to take in the Oklahomas with out Texas, as the value-add would have been not great and the conference would have either been stuck at a sub-optimal 14 for possibly a LONG time, or it would have been panicked into taking in inferior schools to get to the optimal 16. For now, the prize is Texas. So, there should be no expansion without Texas.

            Not even remotely accurate. Not only would the Oklahoma schools have provided them with plenty of value on their own (and OU/OSU combo would have been basically as valuable as Colorado+Utah) but it would have ensured the collapse of the Big XII within 2 years (no way the Big XII could have rebuilt with it them and LHN or not UT is not staying a in a conference without Nebraska, Oklahoma, A&M and Mizzou).

            That would have given the PAC at least a 50/50 shot at Texas and left them with no worse than a KU/KSU package which would have kicked the crap out of any combination of New Mexico, NEvada, UNLV or Boise St.

          • ccrider55 says:


            You just articulated the reasoning that suggests either it wasn’t the PAC that scuttled the deal, or that there are a number of extremely short sighted and self centered (ND level) administrators have risen to become presidents of major universities. Which is more likely?

          • frug says:

            You just articulated the reasoning that suggests either it wasn’t the PAC that scuttled the deal, or that there are a number of extremely short sighted and self centered (ND level) administrators have risen to become presidents of major universities. Which is more likely?

            After what they did to the PAC-B1G alliance I’d say shortsightedness. They got a little cocky after the big TV deal and decided that since they didn’t need Oklahoma and Oklahoma St. right now they could just wait until they did. Problem is, they got caught off guard when the Big XII signed a GOR.

            What happened in the PAC (in my opinion) is the same thing that happened when Big East turned down Penn St. in the ’80s. They made a long term decision based on short term concerns.

          • ccrider55 says:


            You may very well be right. As one having moved to the west quite a while ago I hope you’re wrong. I’d hope college administrators would be aware of, or be receptive to those educating them about mistakes of the past. The timing, sequence, etc make me think so…but people continually do the illogical.

          • frug says:


            Yeah, there is really no way to know for sure what happened. There are maybe 2 dozen people on the planet really know what killed the deal and none of them as any reason to tell any story that doesn’t cast them in the best light.

  48. ccrider55 says:

    UT, OU not in the PAC was UT’s decision. Now GOR, etc…it would be a currently unimagined set of circumstances causing that to happen in the next decade+.
    Plus the standard “we are very happy with the current makeup of the conference.” Perhaps the presidents actually mean it?

  49. Mike says:

    Here is an OP-ED from the UMD regent who didn’t support the move. It does clue us in to the timing of the announcement.


    Given that Maryland cannot join the Big Ten until 2014, why the big rush? The Big Ten needs Maryland to finalize a new TV package drawing on the Washington-Baltimore market, which is the fourth-largest in the nation. It wanted Maryland two years ago, and it will want Maryland tomorrow. There was plenty of time to build a real case for a move if it made sense.

    [Emphasis mine.]

    I wonder what TV package he’s talking about. An early extension with ESPN?

    • Nostradamus says:

      More than likely just wishful thinking from a guy opposed to the move. The Big Ten doesn’t immediately need Maryland for anything and was/is poised to receive the largest television contract for a conference in the history of college athletics in 2017 regardless of Maryland and Rutgers or not.

      I highly doubt JD and the Big Ten extend the contract early without letting the rights hit the open market. That isn’t his MO.

      • Mike says:

        I highly doubt JD and the Big Ten extend the contract early without letting the rights hit the open market. That isn’t his MO.

        I agree with this, but I don’t think his response for why is wishful thinking. The timing and meetings with UMD were rushed (so rushed chances are it violated Maryland open meetings laws) and it sounds like this was the answer he was given as to why. There must be something coming, but what?

        • Hodgepodge says:

          I think it wasn’t so much that Delany and Maryland were rushing things to get things in place for the future, but more that the longer it took, the more likely it was that there would be leaks that might scuttle it. Delany learned a lesson from announcing that they were looking to expand the last go round, so I imagine this is the way he decided it had to be. That still doesn’t explain why now rather than a year or two from now, but I suspect that’s a large part of it.

          • Hodgepodge says:

            The other aspect is that playoffs start in 2014, so getting expansion done by then would simplify matters greatly.

          • GreatLakeState says:

            You’re not often going to see a bunch of SEC fans heralding Delany’s actions over Slive’s but in regard to expansion they (at MrSEC) loved Delany’s ‘shock-and-awe’ method of prosecution. It would appear that dragged out, clumsy Missouri situation didn’t sit well with them. They (not surprisingly) think the schools are a football disaster, but they love how he took care of business.

          • Andy says:

            Getting Missouri was going to be messy for anyone who tried. The Big Ten couldn’t get Missouri cleanly either and ended up passing.

          • Andy says:

            Missouri was coming from a position of relative strength. The Big 12 was begging them to stay and they could very well stay there if necessary. The Big Ten, SEC, and Pac 12 had all reached out to Missouri with interest. Missouri knew they could find a home. They then played hardball and demanded full membership from day one and asked to be sold on membership, not the other way around.

            Contrast that with Nebraska who accepted 6 year of basically junior membership. I have little doubt that Maryland and Rutgers did the same. Rutgers no doubt begged on their knees for admission.

          • @Andy: Then it sounds like the other three understand business and Missouri didn’t. There was no way Missouri was just going to walk in and immediately get full share in something they had no previous investment in starting. The BigTen likely wouldn’t give that to even ND or Texas, so for Missouri to expect it was to seriously overplay their hand.

          • Andy says:

            Missouri got full share on day one of joining the SEC. That’s what they demanded and that’s what they got.

            And now the Big Ten is stuck with Rutgers instead of Missouri.

          • The SEC didn’t have a network they built themselves (at the time). Kind of makes it a little easier. It’s not like the B1G was demanding buy-in as a sort of hazing ritual.

          • Andy says:

            The Big Ten had the power to be more generous and welcoming to new members, just as the SEC did. They chose not to.

            The SEC knew that Missouri had choices. They decided to throw actively recruit Missouri and make it as easy as possible for them to make the move. They were rewarded for this. The B1G was rewarded with Rutgers.

            Now maybe Rutgers will turn out to be a grand slam in the very long run. But I seriously doubt it. And I’m by no means the only one who seriously doubts it. Rutgers was likely plan F or G for the B1G. Missouri was plan C or D.

          • Yes, the B1G had the power to tell 11 other members who invested into a network that the new member would get an equal share with zero skin in the game. But they didn’t, because that’s ridiculous. If Missouri “refused” an invite because the B1G expected them to earn their place at the table and they didn’t want to, then I’m perfectly content to be “stuck” with Rutgers.

            But while we’re playing the what-if game, again, if you think the SEC wouldn’t expect the same under similar circumstances I assume Bamatab and/or Alan will probably disagree if they bother to read this discussion. The SEC didn’t expect a buy-in because the SEC didn’t have anything to buy into at the time. Quit acting like the B1G was being a bully just because they wanted Nebraska more than Missouri in the end.

          • bullet says:

            Missouri would have had a buy-in like nearly everyone else has had if the SEC hadn’t already given A&M a deal. They really wanted A&M. A&M gave up bb credits in the Big 12 and apparently gets shares in the SEC’s. That’s the main thing that people normally buy into. To some extent there are the conference office assets and “equity.” TCU and WVU have a 4 year buy-in, although WVU is getting $10 million of its exit fee paid. Big 12 paid up front $15, 10 of which was loan, half of which will be forgiven.

          • Andy says:

            The B1G isn’t a bully. But they clearly didn’t play their cards right. The B1G wish list was something like this:

            1. Notre Dame
            2. Texas
            3. Nebraska
            4/5. Missouri and Maryland

            This was what they were going for. Those schools were to make up the Big 16. Backup plan was Rutgers and/or raid more of the ACC if they couldn’t get their top choices.

            Looks like they missed out on 3 out of their top 5 choices.

            At the same time, the Pac 12 was trying to grab up basically the entire Big 12 south. Had that actually happened then the Big Ten may have been more aggressive about trying to get Missouri along with Nebraska and Maryland or Rutgers while they waited out Notre Dame. But the Pac 12 deal didn’t go through and the B1G paused on expansion until Notre Dame made up its mind.

            As all of this was going on there was the dilemma for Missouri of “junior membership”, or greatly reduced revenue for 6 years or so, or 100% share of SEC revenue. But there were other factors. The SEC actively campaigned for Missouri to join. The Big Ten was much less active.

            Basically, the SEC figured out who they wanted and went after them hard. The B1G chose not to do this. So they’re stuck with Rutgers now.

            If they end up getting Virginia and one more later then it all works out fine for the B1G. They won’t regret not using that spot on Missouri because they’ll get another perfectly good school instead.

            But if not then it was a loss for them, because if they’re only going to 14 then Rutgers was a weaker pick.

            Time will tell.

          • Andy says:

            bullet, if the SEC had required Missouri to buy in then Missouri would have just waited around on the Big Ten.

            The SEC definitely wanted Missouri. They recruited us hard for months. Do you think they really wanted West Virginia??

          • bullet says:

            The SEC couldn’t give #14 a worse deal than #13, especially if they came from the same conference.

            I’m beginning to think the Big 10 did the least objectionable expansion to 14. Competitively, it is probably the worst. But I think there are a lot of synergies, that make it better than the ACC’s or SEC’s or CUSA’s. CUSA added a bunch of awful teams to an already weakened league. That was ridiculous. ACC added drags that have been declining in football from their glory years, although they were nice bb adds. It spread out a tight knit group and contributed to Maryland leaving. SEC added middle of pack teams (so little net change competitively) that had little history with the rest. So they broke the best part of the SEC. The SEC isn’t about the strength of the teams or the markets. Its about the passion. They diluted that by adding strangers to the mix.

            DC and NY markets strengthen the existing schools as well as the Big 10 improving somewhat RU and MD. There’s value that’s not competitive and not TV contract. So the dilution of rivalries and cohesion that makes 14 objectionable has some offset.

          • Arch Stanton says:

            LOL @ Andy! He’s like those pundits on Fox News who kept predicting a Romney landslide. Step back dude and get your head dislodged from Truman the Tiger’s rectum and attempt to be even 2% objective or just be quiet. You are embarrassing yourself, the University of Missouri, and hell, the state as a whole.

            Missouri kept flashing her tits at the Big Ten, and frankly it got a bit awkward for everyone involved.

            “When you compare Oklahoma State to Northwestern, when you compare Texas Tech to Wisconsin, I mean, you begin looking at educational possibilities that are worth looking at.”
            -Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.
            I’m sure that Arkansas, LSU, and Alabama are just as good in that regard though.

          • Andy says:

            bullet, you’re assuming Rutgers delivers NY, which is unlikely.

            Arch, I have no idea what you’re bloviating about. Yeah, Gov Nixon made one comment once a few years ago. It was an off-the-cuff response to a reporter asking the question of if Missouri should listen to offers from the Big Ten. Not sure what that has to do with anything. The Big Ten talked to Mizzou plenty after that.

            Mizzou upgraded to a more prestigious and more lucrative conference. It’s not as good as the Big Ten academically but it has plenty of other strengths.

          • danimation707 says:

            Andy, based on the tv numbers frank has previously provided Missouri is ranked significantly behind Rutgers & Maryland. I know you will come back saying those are made up but figured we should throw some fact into another one of your cray Missouri rants.

            Oh yes we all believe Nebraska got a junior membership for six years and Missouri wouldn’t have. Missouri would have killed to get a “junior membership” in the B1G. All the Missouri grads I know say that unequivocally. In fact a couple are solid boosters and they scratch their heads when I relay your claims to them.

          • danimation707 says:

            Andy, what options did Missouri have that helped them negotiate with the SEC? The Big 12 was pissed at them for openly begging for a spot in the B1G & causing unrest in the conference. The B1G had discussions with Missouri however no offer was made. Did the PAC or ACC have an offer out to Missouri that only you and your connections knew about?

          • bullet says:

            No, I’m assuming Penn St., Michigan, Ohio St., Illinois, Northwestern and the other 7 deliver a big chunk of New Jersey and New York with some help from Rutgers and the fact that they are now playing there every year and getting more press coverage than before.

          • Andy says:

            danimation, those numbers are completely bogus. The SEC ran numbers and were perfectly happy with Mizzou.

            And no, Mizzou wasn’t going to get full membership from the Big Ten, obviously. I’m not saying it would have happened, I’m saying that’s what the Big Ten should have done to beat out the SEC to get Missouri instead of Rutgers.

            Don’t know who you talked to nor do I care. I know what I know and I know it’s basically the truth.

            bullet, maybe Rutgers ends up working out great but I seriously doubt it. They’re a non-entity athletically. Always have been.

          • Phil says:

            As a Rutgers fan I am not insulted by receiving a smaller share of revenues for a few years. Rather than simply “making less”, there will be a period of time where RU and MD need to compensate the earlier members for the fact that they took on all of the risk in creating the cable network, and that their equity share in the BTN is being reduced from about 4.1% per school to 3.5%.

            As someone mentioned above, this Andy fellow isn’t a great advertisement for what passes for education in Missouri.

          • Andy says:

            Rutgers is in no position to bargain. They’re lucky as hell to get out of the Big East at all.

            Missouri will end up with quite a bit more money by joining the SEC.

            But I think just as important is the fact that the SEC recruited Missouri hard while the Big Ten assumed they could get Missouri any time they wanted and thus recruited them lightly.

            The B1G basically ceded Missouri to the SEC due to lack of effort. And now they’re stuck with Rutgers.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            Can we please stop with the revisionist nonsense?

            Missouri recruited the B1G hard and got passed over for a better option.
            The SEC settled on MIssouri after it’s real targets were unobtainable at the time.

          • FranktheAg says:

            A&M was a middle of the pack B12 team? You might want to check their AD performance one more time. Only a Texas fan would even attempt that argument. In any ranking A&M is going to be towards the top regardless of category or conference. The SEC so far is ahead in this realignment because it landed Texas A&M.

          • Andy says:

            Funny Scarlet, you say stop the revisionist nonsense and then you lay out a completely bogus revisionist version of what happened.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            @Ag – During their time in the Big 12 A&M was behind Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas Tech & Kansas State in conference win %. Surprisingly enough being at the exact middle of the conference in wins is actually the very definition of ‘middle of the pack’.

            @Andy – B1G insiders & third parties stated that the league passed on Missouri. Missouri fans say Missouri took their ball and went home. SEC insiders & neutral observers reported that Mizzou was not the SEC’s first choice, Missouri fans say they were #1 on the list. Starting to see a pattern here?

            I understand that both of your respective fan bases have severe inferiority issues but eventually you are going to have to come to grips with the reality that the problem isn’t everyone else…it’s you.

            A&M has never been among the powers in it’s successive leagues & Missouri (while a safe & solid pick) was never the most desired acquisition for any conference. Deal with it and move on because it’s really not that big of a deal.

            PS – Way to represent in the NOLA airport AG!

          • bullet says:

            Facts are facts. Now its true, A&M was normally 3rd in the Sear’s Cup behind Texas and Nebraska. But in basketball, A&M was near the bottom. In football, wins over the 15 (out of 120 games) and last 10 year history (in ()) of the 12 team Big 12:
            1. Texas 90 (63 #2)
            2. OU 86 (65 #1)
            3. Nebraska 81 (47 T#3)
            4. Tech 69 (47T#3)
            4. KSU 69 (35 #9)
            6. A&M 64 (37 #8)
            7. CU 60 (38 #7)
            8. MU 58 (42 #5)
            9. OSU 55 (41 #6)
            10.KU 36 (25 T#10)
            11.ISU 34 (25 T#10)
            12.Baylor 18 (15 #12)

            6th of 12 and 64-56 and 8th of 12 and 37-43 sound pretty middle of the pack.

  50. Eliot says:

    The people who donate money to UVa tend to be old, conservative, white, and men.

  51. Penn State Danny says:

    If I am the Big 12, I make an offer to Louisville today. That would force the hand of the ACC to take UConn. Which in turn *could* turn FSU to the Big 12.

    • Andy says:

      If I were the Big Ten I’d consolidate the Northeast at this point. I’m not sure how much good Rutgers does the Big Ten. But maybe Rutgers + Penn State + maybe Syracuse? might get you somewhere. As far as spot #16, of course Notre Dame or Virginia would be best, but if neither of those work out I think maybe you look at Boston College.

      Then you can have pods like this:

      Penn State-Rutgers-Syracuse-Boston College (for New York/Philadelphia/Boston)
      Ohio State-Maryland-Indiana-Purdue (for Ohio/Indiana/Maryland)
      Michigan-Michigan State-Illinois-Northwestern (for Detroit/Chicago)
      Nebraska-Wisconsin-Minnesota-Iowa (for the northern midwestern states)

      • SH says:

        On paper it makes sense, but I think Syracuse and BC are bad moves. Especially after the Rutgers move.

        VA and NC are probably available, assuming VT and NCSt land in SEC. But it may take another move from the ACC – to the B12. Or more leaking of the potential money available. Plus the new UVA donors are part of the old south guard anymore. I definitely think donors have a big say, but UVA has donors who do fit the southern gentleman standard these days.

        • Andy says:

          Not a safe assumption that the SEC won’t take UVA and UNC first. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t.

          • Richard says:

            To go anywhere, UNC would have to find a home for NCSU. They literally have the same board of directors (as they’re both under the UNC system). So to get UNC, the SEC would have to take NCSU.

          • bullet says:

            I think its a safe assumption that won’t happen, at least not the 1st strike. UNC isn’t leaving until the ACC is sunk. So that would mean UVA or VT or FSU has left and the rest are heading to the exits. UVA and UNC may end up in the SEC, but it won’t be the 1st move.

          • Andy says:

            I think bullet is right. The SEC won’t make a move until other moves have been made. They’ll wait out UNC like the Big Ten waited out Notre Dame. Only if UNC goes elsewhere will the SEC move on anyone else.

            If the SEC has to take NCSU or Duke to get UNC they may well do it.

  52. SH says:

    If we assume the following:

    1. Texas and ND are not making any conference moves at this time.
    2. Both the B10 and SEC are looking at the NC and VA markets as part of an expansion to 16.
    3. The States of VA and NC need VT and NC State to be taken care of.

    Then, there are only 3 logical outcomes, and only one in which all parties are satisifed or partly satisfied:

    1. VA/VT to B10 and NC/NCSt to SEC.
    2. VA/NC to B10 and VT/NCSt to SEC.
    3. No movement.

    #2 and #3 are the only ones that make any real sense. If VA and NC are going to move, it will likely be together. There is strength to going to B10 as a pair. There is little chance of B10 taking VT and NCSt.

    So only way for all parties to be satisfied is with VA and NC to go to B10 together. Fans be damned.

    • Andy says:

      You dismiss 1 without giving any explanation. Also, you forget about the Big 12. Presumably they’d be happy to take either NCSU or VT.

      • SH says:

        I don’t think the powers that be within the state will be happy with the B12. I could be wrong. But I think if the two split, one must go to the SEC and one must go to the B10. THis is true for both states.

        I dismiss #1 for the sole reason that then both the SEC and B10 lose out on a coveted market. I guess also it will tougher for the VA schools to sell to the public that they are going to B10 and the Carolina schools are going to SEC. If NC and UVA go as a pair, it becomes an easier sell.

        • Andy says:

          Sounds like wishful thinking.

          I think a lot of scenarios are possible. The Big 12 might be a perfectly fine destination if they also take FSU, Clemson, GT, etc.

          • bullet says:

            OU AD made the comment that there may be some consolidation. I think he was referring to the BE/CUSA/MWC when he talked about two average conferences combining to make one strong one, but he could have been referring to Big 12 + FSU/GT/Clemson/NC school/VA school + 1 other. He also could have been referring to a picked over ACC and Big East.

          • SH says:

            I was operating under the three assumptions laid out. If you accept those premises, it isn’t wishful thinking, it is the only logical outcome.

        • Peter says:

          NC State & UNC cannot be split without consensus that it’s in everyone’s interests. They have the same board. I think the only way this works is if State goes to the SEC and UNC to the B1G. The reverse obviously doesn’t work and neither conference wants both. The Big 12 probably isn’t appealing except in a life raft situation – but NC State won’t be in such for the reason already described. UNC *can’t* leave them to rot.

          Virginia Tech & Virginia are easier to split, since that’s mostly political. Still not easy, but you don’t have the situation of people owing a fiduciary duty to both schools.

      • SH says:

        I find the idea of UNC and UVA in the SEC just way too out there. For one, then VT and NCSt are left out in the cold. Plus, the SEC schools just aren’t of the same caliber.

        • Andy says:

          I find the idea of UVA and UNC joining a Northern conference to be a little out there. The fans and alums would revolt.

          • Richard says:


            That’s more true of the NC schools and less true of the VA schools. Note that before Mizzou joined, UK was the only SEC school in a state with no Deep South cultural areas, and at least KY is fully Appalachian. MO, like VA, is a state that is partially Greater Appalachian, and Mizzou would have chosen the B10 over the SEC if they had been given a choice. Plus, I daresay that in 20 years, MO will be more southern than VA, as the Midlands culture is rapidly encroaching south in to VA. Right now, I think the B10 has a good shot at the VA schools; definitely UVa, and possibly VTech (if the B10 wants the Hokies). UNC will be tougher; I think the B10 takes UNC only if they also are willing to take Duke (along with UVa) & the SEC isn’t willing to take UNC & NCSU both.

            If the Big20 adds UVa, UNC, Duke, and possibly a couple of Miami/FSU/GTech, it can’t really be categorized as a “northern” conference any more.

          • Richard says:

            Forgot to add: VA has no Deep South regions either.

        • FranktheAg says:

          Some of them are SH. You are getting slightly carried away.

      • Peter says:

        Neither the SEC nor the B1G want to double-stack a new state. It’s a huge financial hit. The B1G also will not take Virginia Tech, ever. Will. Not. Happen. They’re not AAU.

        UNC jumping to the SEC while there is still an ACC is difficult to fathom. The message board fans might like the idea, but the powers-that-be at UNC are the original Carolina Mafia. Basketball uber alles and an extreme disdain for SEC football recruiting (similar to Texas, probably moreso now because of UNC’s current scandal).

        That split just makes no sense anyway you slice it.

        • @Peter: Never say never on VT. They aren’t AAU, but neither is Nebraska any longer. Neither is ND who never has been. AAU is important, but it’s one factor in many. VT in combination with UVA isn’t a bad combo. VT isn’t Texas Tech.

          • Peter says:

            Nebraska would have been rejected had they lost AAU status prior to admission. Notre Dame always had an exemption since everyone understands they’re high quality & not a research university.

            Michigan, Wisconsin et al simply will not allow another non-AAU member. Those two schools in particular were absolutely furious about Nebraska dropping below AAU standards and actually voted to strip them at the AAU for that reason.

            I think the only non-AAU school that would be contemplated at this point (other than the moon falling from the sky & Notre Dame applying) is Florida State. And that would be both a major fight and an understanding that FSU would accelerate its efforts to get membership.

          • Peter says:

            Keep in mind that Michigan and Wisconsin have such fangs on this issue in part because they were two of the three public members of the founding group (Cal was the other).

          • ccrider55 says:

            I understand excellence as requirement but AAU, a self selecting membership club, as a measure? Why not an independent evaluation, or multiple? Explanation would probably be lost on me, seeing as some extremely qualified schools choose not to apply.

          • Peter says:

            The AAU has complex internal metrics. You have to meet those in order to be considered for admission and, as seen with Nebraska & Syracuse, you need to stay above them. The metric aspect isn’t arbitrary.

            It’s become the gold standard for being a top research university. And since three B1G members (Chicago having dropped athletics but retained academic affiliation) founded it and all of them belong to it, they expect it. Period.

          • ccrider55 says:


            How does U of Oregon qualify for the gold standard for research universities when it has, BY FAR, the the lowest amount of research dollars of any school in the PAC?

          • Peter says:


            Raw dollars aren’t the only part of the metrics. They’ve got two Phases and several different classes of criteria, most of which assess academic quality as they perceive it:


            One can argue over the perceptions – Georgia Tech, which is scientifically elite, and Boston University, which no one would think of as some “aggy” just recently joined. But it’s their club, their rules.

          • Richard says:

            Peter, VTech is actually closer to AAU membership than FSU (NCSU is on the doorstep). Not saying that VTech would be favored, but just sayin’. . .

          • Peter says:


            Florida State would only be considered (still don’t think it would ultimately happen) because they’re Florida State in football. Full-blown national king program. VT isn’t Florida State in football. N.C. State certainly isn’t.

            Doesn’t matter how much someone isn’t AAU at the moment. If they’re not they’re not as far as Ann Arbor and Madison are concerned.

        • Andy says:

          Peter, It might make sense in absence of regional/cultural identity, but in the real world those are actually factors.

          the SEC is likely never going to get Kansas or Nebraska and the B1G is likely never going to get UNC or Georgia. It just doesn’t work.

          • Peter says:

            That’s an argument that neither UNC or UVA would go to the B1G. I was replying to a different one, that UNC voluntarily going to the SEC or VT being accepted by the B1G or the SEC voluntarily double-stacking a new state made any sense.

            Double-stacking costs way too much money. With 15 schools adding a 16th, everyone involved takes a 9% hit to shared TV revenue by adding a school already inside the media footprint. A little brother would have to pay for itself and then some – and if it could do that, it wouldn’t be #16 in the first place. The SEC has no real objection to taking Little Brother other than money – but this is all about money in the first place. The whole state’s veto thing is all money. The B1G of course has a huge objection to Little Brothers.

            Since no one wants to eat NC State on its own merits or as a double-stack, it needs to find a home it absolutely loves for UNC to go somewhere else. It’s that simple.

          • Andy says:

            What makes you think the state of North Carolina can’t sustain 2 schools in a conference? Currently it sustains 4 in the ACC.

          • danimation707 says:

            Andy, the markets in NC are small and the return for the ACC is not maximized by having more than one team there. This has been covered here. Perhaps you’ve missed it.

          • Peter says:


            North Carolina can sustain 2 schools in a conference just fine; the state has more population than Mississippi & Alabama combined and twice the economy of both combined.

            The issue is that the SEC (only one who could realistically take both) will be paid in full for one. It’s not even like Florida where FSU and UF are further apart than most smaller states. Both N.C. State & UNC sit right in the Research Triangle.

            If the SEC has any other school available – hello, Virgina Tech – they’re not going to double-stack to get to 16. It costs each member millions of dollars.

          • Andy says:

            If the SEC wants UNC because they’re a national brand, an academic powerhouse, a basketball powerhouse, a decent prospect for football, and the best remaining school/program in the South not already in the SEC, and the only way to get them is to “double stack” in the state of North Carolina, I’d have to think they strongly consider it.

            I’ve heard plenty say that UNC is the ultimate prize that the SEC is after.

          • frug says:


            You raise a good questions. Which is more valuable for the SEC; UNC+NC State or V-Tech/UVa+NC State?

            (Obviously UNC + a Virginia school is top, but I’m talking about second options)

  53. StevenD says:

    There have been several references to the game of “Risk” in these pages; however, I think the game of “Diplomacy” is more relevant. As an avid “Diplomacy” player in my younger days, I discovered that the normal pattern in most games is for three or four players to develop strong positions in distinct sections of the board (often growing inward from a corner) while the other players end up in weaker positions between them. In some games the weaker players can survive for a long time, by making agreements with stronger players or by cannibalizing other weak players, but eventually the strong players will grow to dominate the entire board.

    In most “Diplomacy” games you can see after the first few moves which players are developing strong positions. Their borders are secure, they expand carefully and they never lose territory. Meanwhile the weaker players develop their positions haphazardly, leave holes in their defenses and struggle to keep their heads above water.

    So, what can the game of “Diplomacy” tell us about football conferences? Well, first of all, we should try to identify who the strong players are in the game of “Conference Realignment”. Which conferences have secure borders, expand carefully and never lose territory? There are just three: SEC, B1G and Pac12.

    Between the three of them, the SEC, B1G and Pac12 divide the country into three neat parts: the south, the north and the west. From the Pacific to the Rockies, from the Great Plains to the Atlantic, and from the Atlantic to Texas, the entire country is covered by those three conferences. However, in the nooks and crannies are weaker conferences struggling to survive: the Big East, the ACC and the B12.

    The Big East has been badly cannibalized. In response it is pursuing the shotgun strategy: it is taking scattered teams from one end of the country to the other. This strategy is doomed to failure, as any experienced “Diplomacy” player will tell you.

    The ACC is in a better position than the Big East, but it too is in a downward spiral. Trapped between the B1G and the SEC, it will gradually be eaten away. In response to this threat, the ACC preemptively added teams from the top of the Atlantic to the bottom and sold its soul to Notre Dame. But these drastic measures only served to weaken conference cohesivity and made it easier for Maryland to defect. The fact is, now that the B1G has taken a position on the Atlantic and the SEC is already strong on the Atlantic, there is no room for another superconference there.

    The B12 also has a poor prognosis. It is unquestionably strong in Texas, although the defection of A&M has undermined that somewhat. It is also strong in Oklahoma and Kansas. However, the loss of Nebraska, Missouri and Colorado has significantly reduced the conference footprint. The B12 is shrinking, and it’s potential for growth is limited. Bound on all sides by superconferences, it’s only hope for expansion is to add far-flung teams (like W.Virginia) from the ACC or other weak conferences. This is not the way to build a strong, cohesive conference.

    The most likely outcome of this game of “Conference Realignment” is three superconferences with perhaps a boutique Texas conference and a boutique Notre Dame conference (based on the remnants of the ACC). With just 3 superconferences the draw for the NCG semi-finals is easy: the champions of the superconferences will take three places and the fourth place will go to the best of the rest.

    • bullet says:

      Remember the 80s with the independents? Maybe it would be the Texas/OU winner, the Notre Dame/FSU winner and 2 of the 3 from the “superconferences.”

    • Nick in South Bend says:

      I like your example. It fits nicely. One thing I admire about Slive, Delany, Scott…is that they are very forward thinking. Scott is fairly young, so that is expected. But Slive and Delany should be commended for being willing to think outside the box, and lead college presidents to the change that was coming whether they wanted it to or not.

      In some alternate universe, where the Big Ten never started a network and failed to be forward thinking enough to get a grant of rights, the ACC likely has both ND and PSU. It would be the Big Ten who’s future would be in doubt.

      I said when I first heard the rumors of Maryland…they were a bigger piece to the puzzle than many want to admit. I do not think the core of the ACC will be defecting overnight, but the southern football oriented schools are certainly more open to leaving today than they were a week or so ago.

      • metatron says:

        The Big Ten Network was only conceived after negotiations with ESPN had broken down and Jim Delany was fed up with Mark Shapiro. The original plan was more of the status quo.

        • Nick in South Bend says:

          Not sure how that conflicts with anything I said to be honest. Negotiations hit a snag, instead of laying there and taking it, Delany thought outside the box….which is what I was pointing to as one of his positive attributes.

    • Hodgepodge says:

      That’s a very elegantly stated view of this process. Well done.

    • Andy says:

      Your “Diplomacy” analogy only works if you think the Big 3 will keep expanding indefinitely. This is likely not the case. There’s a limit to how large a conference can grow and still be a conference.

      • Richard says:

        20. That’s the natural stopping-limit if the football regular season stays at 12 games.

        It’s not a coincidence that the 3 dominant conferences of the future that StevenD spelt out each have a cultural heartland and a “buffer” cultural zone that it heavily colonizes.

        Each of the heartland cultural zones are dominated completely by the resident conference (for the Pac, the Left Coast, for the Big10, Yankeedom, and for the SEC, the Deep South). Each also has a buffer zone that is different from but generally shares similarities with the cultural heartland. For instance, the Midlands are egalitarian, unlike Yankeedom, but, like their northern neighbor, prize education. The Midlands ideal of sharing and consensus also ties in with the Yankee idea of personal sacrifice for the common good. Greater Appalachia is also egalitarian, unlike the deep South, but, like their neighbor to the south, is culturally conservative and comfortable with economic inequality. The Far West doesn’t actually share a lot with the Left Coast, but being geographically isolated is a strength to the Pac.

        The tragedy of the ACC is that it’s heartland (the Tidewater) was small & is shrinking, being encroached upon by Midlands culture spreading south, already displacing it from MD and spreading in to NoVa.

        Texas will be a battleground. Having large parts of it in the Deep South and Appalachia gives the SEC a big advantage there, but the slight “in” that the Pac has is that El Norte is also in TX, and the Left Coast and El Norte have formed a political alliance the past several decades out west.

        So what does that tell us about expansion? There are potentially 6 spots left in both the B10 and SEC & 8 spots left in the Pac (20 total) for the 13 ACC schools, 10 B12 schools, Louisville, UConn, and ND.

        These are the schools (outside TX, which we will deal with later) that are cultural fits and would be integrated easily if their “home” conference wants them:
        Big10: ND, Syracuse, BC, UConn, ISU
        SEC: FSU, Clemson, GTech, Louisville, WVU

        Likewise, it probably would be a mistake for a conference outside the home conference to try to take one of those schools above.

        There are a few schools which mostly lean towards the B10 or SEC but actually could fit in with the other conference:
        Pitt (70% fits with B10 but could be integrated in to SEC)
        OU and OKSt. (70% fits with SEC but could be integrated in to B10).

        Now what about the battlegrounds?

        The Tidewater is almost identical to the Deep South in culture except for the difference that they value education (for their elites) highly. That & the encroachment of Midlands culture in to VA provides the B10 a decent shot at VA (I would say UVa leaning more towards B10, VTech leaning more towards SEC). The NC schools share more with their brethren to the South. Maybe academics carry the day in UNC (they almost certainly will at Duke), but I think the B10 lands UNC only if they bring in Duke & UVa as well.

        The KS schools, KU & KSU, actually could fit in any of the 3 conferences, being in the buffer zone of all 3.

        The Texas schools lean heavily towards the SEC (the slight Midlands culture gives the B10 a small “in”, but not much of one). However, if Texas desires to be with top research universities, the Pac is likely the option.

        Miami is a free agent. Culturally, they probably fit best in the Pac, but distance makes that an impossibility.

        • Andy says:

          Maybe I’m wrong, but I just don’t see it. 20 doesn’t seem like a conference at all to me. Seems way overboard.

          • ccrider55 says:

            You are right for the most part. Scott’s vision was to create the strongest bargaining position for media rights. Had the P16 happened the likely divisions would have been E/W, the old PAC8 and the “newbies” (sorry Az, ASU). Basically 2 conferences with a champ game, some dedicated cross division games, and a single, powerful position to market all media rights. Accomplishing this would be far more difficult for the SEC or B1G. Not the same logical divisions, hence all the pod ideas.

          • Richard says:

            Right, for the B10, for 20, you need pods. However, the pods could be structured in such a way that either all 10 original members of the B10 or 9 of the 10 original members of the B10 play each other as much as they do now (while PSU plays more on the East Coast, which their fans have wanted for years).

            I’m not so sure you need pods for the SEC. They’re use to almost never playing some conference members.

  54. ccrider55 says:

    There is probably a tipping point where interest and market value of the conference may keep expanding, without necessarily adding schools. The “game” itself may squeeze some out, sort of a game of attrition. Have we reached that point with 14, 14, 12 well positioned? I don’t believe so, but it may be close.

  55. metatron says:

    I’m not so sure the ACC is going to crumble as everyone’s predicting. Yes, Maryland left, but I believe that was more of a necessity than true desire. If Florida State and/or Clemson leave, the ACC can easily congeal around twelve members.

    I guess the bigger questions concern Miami’s future and where does the Big Ten go from here? The schools we find palatable in the ACC are unlikely to move and the Big XII has their media rights locked up. I’m pretty sure Missouri is still bitter.

    • Peter says:

      Miami I think is in deep trouble. The allegations + willful violator + repeat violator just scream death penalty. And because it’s happening now, they’re risking getting stuck in a rump ACC if that continues to spin because no one will touch them until their continued existence as a real D-I football program is confirmed.

    • zeek says:

      The Big Ten will now wait.

      We’re prepared for a 16 school, 4 division conference (each division headed up by 1 of Michigan/Ohio State/Nebraska/Penn State).

      But there’s no reason to rush now. There’s only 2 spots left to 16, and you want to be extremely judicious in who you add. Now that the Big Ten is positioned on the Mid-Atlantic doorstep in D.C., it’s only logical to just wait and let things play out…

      The next move will be up to the Big 12. Both the Big Ten and SEC will wait for the ACC to become even more destabilized which would free up UNC/UVa…

      • bullet says:

        The next move is up to FSU or VT or UVA. I don’t think UVA will move first. If all 3 sit tight, nothing happens now.

        FWIW, the Dude is saying over half the ACC is seeking new homes and any school that thinks they will take their calls is seeking a home in the Big 10 or SEC, with the Big 12 the backup plan.

        • zeek says:

          The Dude is probably right on that.

          I would think that every school in the conference is at least checking their options regardless of what happens with the buyout.

          They all saw those projected revenue numbers for the Big Ten and SEC; if Maryland, a basically broke AD, can leave without caring about $50M (or whatever it’s reduced to), then anyone can…

        • Peter says:

          Classic cooperate-defect dilemma. It’s in the interests of every school that could meet the requirements of the SEC and/or the B1G to make sure they get in when the music stops.

          Of course, this wouldn’t be necessary if they all hung tough (like in all Prisoner’s Dilemmas), but Maryland has just demonstrated that betraying the group is a profitable option and can be done with no real public warning.

          • metatron says:

            While true, if Swofford is even half competent as a commissioner, he could sway the core members to stick together. I think the biggest liabilities are the old Big East teams and Florida State, but only one of those have any real options.

          • Richard says:


            If you are talking about the NC and VA schools, I agree, as UNC, UVa, VTech, & NCSU will have options while Duke has to hope for a Big20 and Wake knows it would be screwed if the ACC collapses, but Clemson has to be looking out for its own interest. Clemson knows that it will never find a place in the SEC (redundancy in a small state) or B10 (academics too bad & too Deep South). I’m sure they’re calling both the B12 and FSU to gauge how loyal the ‘Noles are.

          • frug says:


            If the Big XII went to 16 then Duke would have a decent chance at a spot there. I don’t know how likely, but FSU, G-Tech, Clemson, Duke, Louisville, Pitt/Miami/whoever would be a pretty good addition for the Big XII.

            (Admittedly, Duke would be pretty damn miserable, but it would be better than whatever combination of Big East and ACC schools it would other be stuck with)

    • bullet says:

      I think if FSU and Clemson go its all over. If only FSU goes, they might well continue with 12. They can survive 1 of VT, FSU or Clemson. Not two.

      • zeek says:

        Yep, but the problem seems to be that if any move is made, two of those three are going to leave…

        • bullet says:

          The one possibility would be FSU and Louisville to the Big 12. Or a much longer shot, Virginia Tech moving first, with Louisville to the Big 12. Don’t see the Big 12 taking Clemson with Louisville, at least not now. If it all falls apart, I think VT probably ends up in the SEC and UVA in the Big 10. UNC could be in either place and the rest would depend on them.

          Worst scenario for the Big 12 is VT/FSU to SEC and UVA/UNC to the Big 10. The 3 most desirable programs would be added to the SEC and B1G inventories. The Big 12 would almost be forced to take a gamble on Miami and go to 14 or 16 starting with UM, GT, Clemson and NCSU.

          • Richard says:

            I don’t see how Louisville is more desirable than Clemson . . .

          • zeek says:

            Location, I guess?

          • zeek says:

            That’s interesting though bullet; it seems as if Dodds has made up his mind though that he doesn’t want to go past 10.

            I don’t think they care whether the Big Ten and SEC go to 16 or even beyond.

          • bullet says:

            I’m saying Clemson decides to stay put in this scenario but FSU wants to go. So the Big 12 takes FSU and UL. It takes two to tango.

          • Richard says:

            Yeah. I don’t see that happening. If FSU bolts, Clemson will be begging to be in as well. Clemson knows that it will never get in to the SEC (redundancy in a small state) or B10 (academics too bad), and there’s no way a football school that dreams of contending for national titles would want to be stuck in a crumbling basketball conference.

  56. bullet says:

    The 610-615 makes sense with the 470 figure.

    $470 million + $80 million + $80 million + $55 million =$685 million. If one of the 3 contract bowls on average is a playoff bowl, that reduces the amount by an average of $72 million a year (the average payout of the 3 bowls). 685-72=$613 million.

    That is also a hint that every bowl will have the 4 out of 12 rotation.

  57. SH says:

    Zeek, I think you are right about the B10 waiting. There are other benefits to waiting. Give MD and Rutgers a few years to assimilate. However, if I’m UVA, I’m making my outreach now. The timing probably isn’t right for UVA or the B10, but I want to get one of the last two slots. If the money is as good as it looks, UVA will be able to make the sale. I don’t think the powers that be want to end up in the SEC. And as a fan, I’m not sure why I would either. Plus, the B10 offers competition for Lacrosse and Soccer. How do you get that in the SEC. Smaller sports, but important ones at UVa. Those sports would find the B10 a good fit. That’s important in making the sale.

    • zeek says:

      We talked about this on this blog over the past several years about how Loh going from Iowa to Maryland (along with Kirwan’s decades-long tenure there) would result in expansion related connections.

      We also did talk about Sullivan going to UVa.

      The fact is that Sullivan is just as connected to Delany and the Big Ten brass as Loh. Of course, her position is considerably more tenuous given the situation that erupted over the past year with that debacle over firing her.

      I don’t think she’d do something like this in the middle of the night like Loh did, given those facts. But, she’s just about as connected to the Big Ten presidents as any administrator outside the Big Ten given her tenure as Michigan’s provost for a couple of years..

      The odds are considerably higher for UVa going to the Big Ten than the SEC just based on that alone.

      It’s similar to how Powers engineered the original move to the Pac-16 before hesitating and shutting it down.

      I think a lot of us don’t think about it, but these are people-driven universities. Their connections and experiences do in fact matter as far as expansion goes, and while it’s not a sole important criteria, it’s an important one.

      • zeek says:

        It’s like if you think about Nate Silver’s political modeling; you can come up with reasonable odds for Big Ten expansion.

        The odds that UVa ends up in the Big Ten are probably around 50%. The odds that they stay in the ACC are probably around 35%, and the odds that they leave for the SEC are probably around 15%.

  58. Ted says:

    Anyone listening to this crowd at MSG during the Michigan-Pitt game should realize what kind of support Michigan gets in NYC.

    BTN will be fine in the NYC area with the help of Rutgers, Michigan, Penn State, Maryland and OSU (and Fox/Yes).

    • Tom says:

      Ted, I was going to mention the same thing. There were points during the game where you would have thought that it was a Michigan home game. If the B1G is going to stick with a two division setup for football, Michigan has to be in the east.

      • Brian says:


        If the B10 is willing to totally redo the divisions (a big if), then that’s completely possible. What isn’t going to happen is to have PSU, OSU and MI together in a division.

        It’s actually a fairly minor tweak to the current set up:
        1. Move IL west and add MD and RU to the east
        This is the easiest change that keeps balance

        2. Swap MI and MSU for OSU and WI
        This keeps balance (more or less), restores WI/IA at the cost of MI/MN (a bad trade, but there’s always a cost) and keeps OSU and MI separate.

        In order of locked rivals:
        East – MI, PSU, MSU, PU, RU, MD, IN
        West – OSU, NE, WI, IA, NW, IL, MN

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          “…Swap MI and MSU for OSU and WI…”
          —Please, please, please, please!!

          • Brian says:

            Now it could make sense to do that. Before, it didn’t. You needed OSU and PSU together. With PSU having eastern companions now, losing OSU isn’t such an issue.

    • zeek says:

      The fact that the Rutgers -> Big Ten was announced on the same exact day that the official Fox purchase of the YES stake was announced is all the proof you really need that the BTN will be fine.

      Anyone who thinks these separate events occurred in the same time frame as a coincidence is nuts.

    • cutter says:

      Don’t let Brian read that. I essentially made the same observation about tying Michigan into the east along with Penn State and Ohio State and he thought it was nonsense.

      But as you point out, if you’re going to leverage the BTN into the New York/New Jersey areas along with Washington DC/Baltimore, it’s going to need the conferences best assets to do it. That means putting UM, OSU and PSU all in the east in the same division with Rutgers and Maryland. Also, if you want to sell out to have large crowds at the RU or MD’s stadiums or if you want to play games at Fedex Field or the Meadowlands, then you put the conference’s best assets into the east (that also have the larger alumni fan bases located there).

      By doing this, you also ensure that there will be no Michigan-Ohio State rematch in the conference championship game immediately following the regular season ending contest.

      The only question is which duo do you split up between the eastern and western divisions? Is it Michigan and Michigan State or Indiana and Purdue. Regardless of the decision, the teams that are split will have the other as a permanent division rival (who also doesn’t play the other in the season finale). I think most opinions on this has Michigan and MSU splitting with the Spartans going west. That gives us the following:

      East – Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Rutgers
      West – Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Wisconsin

      For UM, that would mean annual games with all its eastern partners and MSU each year. The remaining six teams will be paired up and played over a six year span. The pairing might go something like this:


      • metatron says:

        The reason that Michigan and Ohio State are split up now is because every school in the conference wants to play at least one of them.

        Good luck trying to convince any of the west division schools to give that up.

      • zeek says:

        Yeah, this is definitely something they’re thinking of…

        Moreover, it makes sense if 14 isn’t permanent. If you know 16 is the future, then you can go 14 with Michigan/Ohio State/Penn State to develop Maryland/New Jersey markets for as long as we’re at 14. Then you blow it all up when we go to 16 and make 4 pods.

        It’s just a thought, but the fact that 14 isn’t permanent is worth considering…

        • Brian says:


          You don’t need to do anything stupid like put MI in the same division. You could have MI play them for the first 2 years as a crossover opponent. That gets you to 2016, when they get NE instead of MI (they can’t play all 4 kings in 1 year – they need to win some games, too). That makes it 2018 and the new TV deal is in place.

      • Brian says:


        “Don’t let Brian read that. I essentially made the same observation about tying Michigan into the east along with Penn State and Ohio State and he thought it was nonsense.”

        That’s because what you said is nonsense. Tom didn’t say the same thing, though.

      • bullet says:

        You could also split Illinois and Northwestern.

  59. GreatLakeState says:

    Some of the guys over at ND Nation who hated the B1G two weeks ago, now have its future all planned out. They believe the Big Ten will take UNC and UVA next (it seems now that ND’s back on top that they’re no longer keen to be tied down to the ACC) and then, in a decade or so, after ND decides it’s ready to join a conference, they will be allowed to bring the partner of their choice along with them (Some thought BC others PITT) for a grand total of 18. “After all,” they argued, “we’ll be in the eastern division which will bring all the benefits of the B1G, but none of the….midwest.” The funny thing is, they may well be right.

    • metatron says:

      I have a really hard time seeing anyone expand beyond sixteen, not unless the NCAA increases the number of games per season.

      • Richard says:

        A Big20 is doable with 4 5-team pods that form up in to 2 10-team divisions (9-game conference slate).

        Those Domers may be right.

        Step 1: B10 adds UNC, Duke, UVa, & GTech along with Rutgers and UMD in 2014.
        Step 2: After Miami comes off the death penalty (for the first few years after the death penalty, the B10 will help the ‘Canes by scheduling them OOC), ND & Miami are added in 2018. Push will be made to get Miami in to the AAU around 2018.

    • Nick in South Bend says:

      This assumes that NBC has cancelled their contract with ND. No way the Big Ten accepts ND without having ALL of their games like every other member…and No way ND has those games to give while staying in bed with NBC. Which they rightfully should until that gravy train stops…

      • Richard says:

        Well, he’s saying they’re saying a decade from now.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        To carry their discussion out further, the reason they thought they would be ‘forced’ to join in a decade or so was based on the fact they might, as an independent, run out of quality opponents, once these three or four 16 team conferences are established and playing fewer, if any, non-conference games.
        If each of these ‘power’ conferences have their own networks, I have to think they will be broadcasting all their own games within ten to fifteen years.

    • zeek says:

      With the Big Ten finally moving into the East, there are reasonable and plausible scenarios where we might go to 16, and then years later if ND finally decides to join, we move to 20.

      It is reasonable to consider now that we’re at 14 and building out Mid-Atlantic connections.

    • cutter says:

      In the end, Notre Dame might well end up in the “leftovers” conference composed of currrent ACC, Big East and Big XII teams that didn’t move to the SEC, B1G or Pac 12 (16).

      Assuming the B1G and the SEC do go to 16 programs by adding teams from the states of Virginia and North Carolina, then that leaves the ACC with ten programs listed from north to south:

      Boston College, Connecticut or Louisville (to replace Maryland), Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Duke, Wake Forest, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Miami

      At that point, you have two 16-team conferences, one 12-team conference and two 10-team conferences with the major players of college football in them along with two major independents. Assuming ND maintains its independence and its projected affiliation, I suppose you could say the ACC would have 10.5 members.

      As long as ND has a place for its non-football teams, can schedule quality football games and have a seat at the post season table, then the composition of the conference really doesn’t matter until it becomes completely unstable.

      However, if college football were to establish a 64 to 80-team organization in four or five large conferences, then it’s an entirely different manner. But until that happens, ND is going to be looking at maintaining its semi-independence ad infinitum.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      It’s a shame Notre Dame can’t relocate the entire campus to County Cork. That would solve the problem for everyone.

  60. zeek says:

    In a really weird way, the Big Ten and Notre Dame have the same motivations.

    ND wanted to make sure that they have a national schedule with most of their games on the East Coast and the two on the West Coast (along with some home games and a few games against Big Ten teams).

    The Big Ten’s motivations are largely similar in terms of adding schools to get a similar result. First we tried the Big Ten-Pac-12 alliance, but that didn’t pan out, so now we’re just merging the Midwest and schools from the East Coast.

    • Crpodhaj says:

      Zeek –

      I think you’re on point (again). The next logical step for the conference and the BTN is to increase national exposure. The B1G tried to do that with the PAC alliance; when that failed and the ACC added Pitt and Syracuse and then Notre Dame to dominate the entire east coast (NE, Mid-Atlantic and south), the B1G had to act. The recent acquisition of MD (Mid-Atlantic) and Rutgers (NE) was as much defensive as offensive.

      So far, the B1G hasn’t really raided any one conference. The last four moves were from different sources (independent, Bid 12, ACC, Big East). I really wonder what the next move is. To simply load up on ACC schools not only seems difficult, but doesn’t match how things have worked so far. Not saying they won’t, just not been the prevailing style.

      I really look for the B1G to be patient again. Let the dust settle and see what others do. There are many senarios that could work in their favor. There are four schools connected to the ACC that they have interest in right now: UVA, UNC, GaTech, and Notre Dame. Any pair of them could work.

  61. Carl says:

    PSU > Wiscy

  62. joe4psu says:

    IINM, no one has mentioned Nebraska’s integration into the B1G as a factor in the timing of the addition of UMD and RU. Apparently the integration has gone very well or else further expansion would not have happened so quickly. Especially since two schools are being added at once. Is the conference confident enough that it has a handle on how to integrate new schools now that it would be willing to expand again quickly or are they going to wait a couple of years and monitor progress?

    • Nick in South Bend says:

      My humble opinion is that it depends on who is available and when. UNC/UVA say they want to come tomorrow? Let them in. But they may be done hunting down new members for the moment. I think it just depends on how the whole ACC buyout situation works out. If that dam breaks, then I would imagine that UVA will find the Big Ten fairly attractive. If they are ready, they get in. I can’t think of another school that is both realistic and desirable in this environment that would be an automatic addition.

      I operate under the assumption that UNC is unlikely to leave the ACC until it must.

    • metatron says:

      Let’s be honest, the Big 8 schools were already family, just cousins.

      But I think the timing had more to do with the fact that UMD and Rutgers were both at a breaking point fiscally.

  63. zeek says:

    The Big Ten may move to a full East-West format because 14 isn’t the end game here.

    Follow this thought process. Delany and the presidents know that they plan to move to 16 with some more Mid-Atlantic schools in the next couple years or at some point soon enough that 14 won’t be permanent. They also know that Penn State is biting the sanctions bullet for the next couple of years.

    So why not go East-West with Michigan/Michigan State in the East to help develop Rutgers and Maryland with guaranteed visits to them every other year by Michigan/Ohio State/Penn State (not just the latter 2).

    You can let those markets develop more in the next couple of years, and when we move to 16, then you blow it all up and move to 4 separate divisions headlined by Michigan/Ohio State/Penn State/Michigan.

    Of course, this is a piss-poor way to deal with the West teams, and I don’t like how lopsided the media attention might be for the Eastern division, so this may be a bad thought.

    But this is my justification for why the Big Ten might go to a full East/West split down the Illinois/Indiana border. That would be the ultimate show that 14 is just a short-term step to 16.

    • zeek says:

      Er, one of those Michigan’s should be Nebraska (the 4 teams headlining the 4 divisions).

    • frug says:

      So why not go East-West with Michigan/Michigan State in the East to help develop Rutgers and Maryland with guaranteed visits to them every other year by Michigan/Ohio State/Penn State (not just the latter 2).

      For the same reason they split UM and OSU in the first place; everyone (or at least all the pre-PSU schools) want to be in a division with either Michigan or Ohio St.

      • zeek says:

        True, I’m just offering ex-post justification. I should have been a lot clearer on this.

        • frug says:

          Ohhh, well in that case I’ll add that the Penn St. sanctions mean that they could actually go straight E/W and still achieve competitive balance (which they said was the most important factor in the division split)

    • StevenD says:

      I think East-West divisions would work very well. The eastern teams (and fans) would relish annual games with Michigan, OSU and PSU. And, in the west, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska would be happy to be together again. The only teams likely to complain are the other three teams in the west, who want two games per year with top teams (and that could be fixed by giving them crossover games with top teams).

      WEST DIVISION (with crossover partner)
      Michigan State (Michigan)
      Illinois (Ohio State)
      Northwestern (PSU)
      Wisconsin (Maryland)
      Minnesota (Rutgers)
      Iowa (Purdue)
      Nebraska (Indiana)

    • Brian says:


      If you tweak that a little, it would work. I might buy this:

      W = OSU, NE, WI, IA, MN, NW, IL
      E = MI, PSU, MSU, PU, IN, RU, MD

      You’ll never convince me that putting OSU, PSU and MI together makes sense. It’d be a ludicrous decision from people that ought to know better.

      • zeek says:

        Fair enough, just offering a rationale for if they do end up doing it (I agree with you that it’s unlikely at best).

      • StevenD says:

        It’s not ludicrous if you are wanting to establish a strong B1G presence on the east coast. Sending Michigan and OSU east (along with PSU) makes a lot of sense.

        Don’t worry, the west will do just fine. Nebraska and Wisconsin are top teams. MSU and NW are pretty good. Iowa has been good in the recent past and Illonois has potential. Even Minnesota is going to a bowl this year.

        • Brian says:


          “It’s not ludicrous if you are wanting to establish a strong B1G presence on the east coast. Sending Michigan and OSU east (along with PSU) makes a lot of sense.”

          No, it doesn’t. Putting 2 of the 3 over there and scheduling the third the first two years (sort of like how NE was welcomed) makes sense. Giving them unnecessary losses while stealing all the media coverage from the west is penny wise and pound foolish.

          “Don’t worry, the west will do just fine. Nebraska and Wisconsin are top teams. MSU and NW are pretty good. Iowa has been good in the recent past and Illonois has potential. Even Minnesota is going to a bowl this year.”

          It’s not primarily on the field concerns that make this a bad idea. That said, NE, WI and MSU don’t equal OSU, MI and PSU on the field either, especially as Meyer and Hoke rebuild their programs.

          • ccrider55 says:


            How do you “rebuild” from unbeaten? :)

          • Brian says:

            You don’t really, but you do rebuild from 6-7 with an interim coach. There’s still plenty of room for improvement, though. Turning 12-0 into 14-0, for one. Playing some solid D would be nice. Some consistency on O would help as well.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          A single year’s performance by Minnesota probably isn’t the best argument for shutting the western teams out from the most productive recruiting grounds & biggest media markets in the conference. ;)

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        These are my dream divisions but I have zero belief they’ll come about. Brandon pushed hard for TSUN to go west (and take Sparty with them) while Gene Smith seemed completely unfazed with Ohio State in the east. Also Alvarez volunteered to go east and give up the western rivalries. I’m not sure if anyone has yet revealed what Wisconsin got in return for taking one for the team in that regard.

  64. Richard says:

    To expound on the Big20 idea again:

    Evidently some ND fans are OK with joining a Big18/20, and it might actually happen the way they predict.

    Step 1: B10 adds UNC, Duke, UVa, & GTech along with Rutgers and UMD in 2014.
    Step 2: After Miami comes off the death penalty (for the first few years after the death penalty, with Miami as an independent, the B10 will help the ‘Canes by scheduling them OOC), ND & Miami are added in 2018. Push will be made to get Miami in to the AAU around 2018.

    Revised Big20 pods:

    Pod A: Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minny, Illinois/NU
    Pod B: Michigan, OSU, MSU, IU, NU/Illinois
    Pod C: ND, PU, PSU, Rutgers, Miami
    Pod D: UMD, UVa, UNC, Duke, GTech.

    Half the time, pods A+B and C+D form a division.
    The other half of the time pods B+C and A+D form a division. Switch around every 2 years. 9 game conference slate.
    Illinois/NU and IU/PU would be OOC half the time–I think that’s workable; the Illinois/NU game could be played in Soldier Field (if first week of the season) or Wrigley (if late in the year), and the Illini want to play at least once in Chicagoland every year anyway. The great thing about this set up is that 10 of the 12 original B10 teams still get to play each other about as frequently as they do now. PSU doesn’t but they always wanted more East Coast games, and they get them with Rutgers and Miami (plus, how could they complain about playing ND & Miami every year?) PU also doesn’t, but they get annual games against ND, PSU, & Miami (and they definitely want to visit FL for recruiting).

    • Richard says:

      Also, all the original 12 B10 teams still get to play Michigan & OSU at least half the time.

    • zeek says:

      To me, the Big 20 is plausible, but not realistic in the short-term.

      I think the Big Ten is willing to go to 16 without Texas or ND, but I don’t see any way that it makes the jump to 20 without either or both…

      It really comes down to that; you can break past 16 for a get like that, but you really want to focus on 16 in the near-term.

      • Richard says:

        Yep, the B12 would have to take the first step of taking FSU & Clemson. Then the VA&NC schools would be willing to talk; then ND would be willing to talk.

        The B10 taking GTech _may_ loosen up the VA&NC schools.

    • joe4psu says:

      Don’t pods A and C or B and D ever play?

      • zeek says:

        Naw, you rotate them, so that everyone plays each other every 3 years. That’s why 4 pods of 16 teams is favorable over 2 divisions of 14 teams.

        It’s why Katz reported the other day that the Big Ten views 14 as a bad number to stop at…

        • joe4psu says:


          I understand that but Richard said of his Big20 idea:

          “Half the time, pods A+B and C+D form a division.

          The other half of the time pods B+C and A+D form a division. Switch around every 2 years. 9 game conference slate.”

          Unless there are more than two halves to a whole he doesn’t have all schools playing.

          • zeek says:

            Oh, I didn’t see that part; well, that’s unlikely to happen.

            I mean, the pod idea is the fix to get everyone playing every 3 years, so there’s no way that they’d try to fix them like that. Even if you end up with East-West pods matched up and North-South once every 3 years, you live with that I’d think, just to keep everyone playing often enough.

            I hope our decision makers are smart enough to not put Penn State with the new schools and then have them rarely play one part of the conference; it just seems like a bad idea.

      • Richard says:

        In my B20, no. Only PU and PSU would be missing schools they regularly played, however. In the case of PSU, you’ll hardly be playing any western schools besides Wisconsin and UNL in a 14 team league now anyway, though (same with PU), and you can’t claim that you have a long deep rivalry with either of those 2 (you’ll get ND & Miami as compensation). PU would be pulled out of the Midwest, but they want to recruit FL heavily anyway, and at least still get ND annually and Michigan+OSU half the time.

        • Richard says:

          That said, Zeek’s idea is probably more politically popular and would carry the day.

          • zeek says:

            Yeah, I really can’t see them fixing the pods like that; TPTB want to play as often as possible and knowing that pods guarantees you every school on the schedule every 3 years is the biggest thing in favor of pods as far as that goes. I can’t see them moving away from that aspect of pods, it seems too integral to the equation.

        • joe4psu says:

          I sure would love to see ND and Miami every year but would hate never playing UNL. Do you really have a conference if not all schools play eventually? Do you really think that TPTB would accept that? I could see it with a 13 game schedule and playing one school from the division yearly. That way you get a home and home with every school each decade at least.

          • zeek says:

            I’ll say this, I don’t think you will ever have to worry about Nebraska-Penn State being removed.

            That game is right behind Ohio State-Michigan in terms of its TV value. They’ll do everything they can to protect it for TV purposes.

            It’s always going to be a premiere broadcast game just as Ohio State-Michigan is.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      Half the time you are going to have Ohio State, TSUN, PSU & ND in a single division while Nebraska is the sole king in the other (with Wisconsin as an almost king in performance)?

      In what universe does that make sense?!

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        I also have a hard time seeing U of Miami ever getting an invite given their private status, small size, complete lack of fan support and most importantly, their complete inability to stay clean.

        • bullet says:

          Every indication from the Big 12 is that Miami would only be filler. They aren’t interested due to their continued “thug” reputation and the concern that they could, on the other hand, get badly burned by their NCAA penalties and quit trying to be successful.

          So it would be surprising if the Big 10 had differing opinions. Of course, the Big 12 has history going back to that Cotton Bowl in the early 90s vs. Texas where Miami tried to start a brawl before the game and tried to set the record for personal foul penalties during the game. The Shapiro stuff just shows that Miami hasn’t changed despite their embarrassment over that Cotton Bowl.

          • Brian says:

            That game ticked me off, and I was neutral going into the game. The refs should have been tossing players and then the coaches out of that game.

          • Richard says:

            I’m fine with a Miami that deemphasizes football so long as they stay clean. They still have the recruiting base (for both football talent and students) and a bunch of B10 alums down there. The biggest drawback with Miami is that that city will be swamped in half a century due to global warming.

            So here’s a question: would you expand to 20 if it means taking in ND & Miami, or would you stay at 18?

            20 is much more workable from a scheduling standpoint, but ND brings their neuroses, and Miami has a different set of potential problems.

          • Brian says:


            “So here’s a question: would you expand to 20 if it means taking in ND & Miami, or would you stay at 18?”

            I’ll take door #3 and stay put at 14 (or 16 if we get there). 16 is the practical limit for a conference where everyone plays each other a reasonable amount using 9 conference games in a 12 game season.

            “20 is much more workable from a scheduling standpoint”

            How so? More teams always means fewer games against others, and most fans want to play every team in the conference.

          • Richard says:

            With 20, you’d have 4 pods of 5 that rotate playing each other. Everyone would play everyone else at least once in 3 years.

            With 18, you’d have 2 pods of 5 and 2 pods of 4. 8 games within your division, leaving 1 game against the other pod with the same number. So you may play some teams only once in 4 or 5 years.

          • Richard says:

            BTW, with 16, you may still play some schools only once in 3 years (playing all teams a minimum of half the time means only 3 teams with whom you have annual series), though obviously you’d have more schools that you’d play more often than that in a 16 school league than a 20 school league.

      • Richard says:

        OK, run with Zeek’s idea of rotating pods of 5. Almost certainly more likely, anyway.

  65. StevenD says:

    I think there were two other factors in the timing of the addition of UMD and RU. One was the PSU sanctions and the other was the special arrangement Notre Dame got from the ACC.

    Without those two events, I think Delany might have been content to sit on 12 teams and expand at a later date. However, the big hit on PSU (the eastern standard-bearer for the B1G) and the enhanced stature given to the ACC by Notre Dame, meant that Delany had to move immediately. If he had waited, the B1G thrust to the coast would have become more and more difficult as PSU’s relevance declined and the ACC consolidated its position as the premier conference on the coast.

    • zeek says:

      In a sense, what you’re saying is that all of the synergy arguments between Michigan/Ohio State/Penn State with Rutgers/Maryland is also true of ND and the ACC.

      It’s like I mentioned above, the Big Ten and Notre Dame are driven by the same motivating factors. Both are “going” to where their demographic futures are.

      • Crpodhaj says:

        Zeek -

        Do you think that means Notre Dame would be harder pressed to go to the Big 12 if the ACC fell apart, since both the B1G and ND see the east coast as their future?

        And another question: since the next moves are about going to the future growth areas for the conference, does geographic connection to a current B1G state matter as much for the next two moves for the B1G (say to include GaTech which they have no way of making a contiguous connection with GA)?

        • zeek says:

          I really don’t think ND wants to send its non-revenue sports to the Big 12. That’s really what it comes down to…

          If they have to choose between an ACC with Syracuse, BC, Pitt, Wake Forest, Ga Tech, Miami, perhaps Duke as well versus the Big 12; they will choose to leave their non-revenue sports there.

          They need to be in those markets for recruiting and the like as well for their non-conference sports.

          ND wants to be on the East Coast; maybe they reduce their agreement to 4 games instead of 5 or something if too many schools leave…

  66. frug says:

    One thing people have not mentioned in the “who would UNC rather join Big 10 or SEC” is the fact that UNC is a basketball which makes them a better economic fit for the Big Ten than it does the SEC.

    Probably not the biggest factor, but certainly a consideration.

    • Richard says:

      Yes, I do believe basketball is also a factor. That the Big20 is more likely than the SEC to take in Duke is not an insignificant factor as well.

  67. metatron says:


    If we’re to believe this, Kansas and UNC are in play. Basketball is definitely not being neglected now.

    • Andy says:

      Man, that would be strange. Kansas instead of Virginia?

      Would Virginia go to the SEC at that point?

      Would UNC ever consider leaving the ACC with Maryland and nobody else?

      Seems far fetched but who knows.

      • Richard says:

        Not really realistic. All the B12 schools signed a GOR. The gold rush is in ACC territory.

        • metatron says:

          Kansas could be bought out for relatively cheap, considering that the Big Ten is loaning Maryland $50MM. K-State would be the bigger problem, but they’re doing quite good right now.

          • frug says:

            Kansas could be bought out for relatively cheap

            Huh?! Kansas is probably the Big XII’s third most valuable property and they are worth at least the $20 million a year they are receiving from the conference for the next 12 years. The Big XII has no reason to sell those rights for anything less than market value + a markup.

            The Big 10 will ultimately end up paying about $20-$25 million to finance Maryland’s departure. Obtaining Kansas would cost them 10x that minimum.

          • zeek says:

            Kansas would probably cost $200-300 million to buy out of the Big 12…

            Loaning Maryland to cover a $50 million exit fee that could be negotiated downward is one thing…

            Trying to buy out a grant of rights (which basically requires paying market value for the TV value over that time period) is quite another…

    • Eric says:

      If the Big Ten was to go to 16, I’d prefer Kansas and/Missouri to teams out east if the pods would work OK (which they actually probably wouldn’t, 4 out east could be put in a pod together).

      With that said, the Grant of Rights agreement in the Big 12, I think effectively blocks any moves out for years.

    • Zschroeder says:

      Megaton, I saw that article as well. barfknecht has no clue what is going on. As a Husker fan I would have loved to see both Kansas and Missouri in the Big 10, but neither are at play. Kansas signed away their media rights and Missouri is intrenched with the Sec now, though SEC should just trade Missouri to the Big 10 so they can grab 3 from the ACC instead of 2. I think Missouri has more value to the Big 10 then they have to the Sec, though they would need to get some really good states in exchange….Virginia and North Carolina.

      • metatron says:

        I don’t really believe it as well, but I do think a lot of universities are calling Jim Delany’s office right now.

        There’s a short list, and Kansas was on it once.

  68. Eric says:

    Poll question: There is a lot of talk about 16 teams. Do you think the Big Ten is going to announce expansion to 16 in the next year or stick at 14?

    I think they’ll be at 14. Even if 16 happens, it will be a later move, not now.

    • zeek says:

      16 is baked into the cake now. (12 and 16 are long-term stable numbers just as 10 is, but clearly 14 is not as you can see from the SEC and soon to be Big Ten scheduling issues – it takes too long to play teams in the other division; only solution is 4 pods where you play every conference team within 3 years).

      There’s a high chance that Delany tries to get it over with now.

      1) Big Ten needs to be expand to 16 sometime near a renegotiation period (oh hello 2015-2016). This is also why Maryland/Rutgers were added so quickly after Nebraska. There will be no 20 year waiting period like there was after Penn State. If we don’t expand now, it might take another decade to move to 16…

      2) The tectonic plates are hot; the ACC schools are looking at their futures, and the higher ups are talking to other schools.

      There’s two expansion periods in the next 15 years for the Big Ten. 2012-2014 (to integrate new additions by 2017 contract start date). The next is 2024-2026 when the differences between the ACC and Big Ten contracts will be so huge as to be undeniable because the ACC will be nearing the end of a horrible contract (similar to the Big 12 contract paying less than $10 million per year that helped Nebraska bolt).

      I’d bet that the Big Ten will expand in the next 2 years.

      • Brian says:


        “16 is baked into the cake now. (12 and 16 are long-term stable numbers just as 10 is, but clearly 14 is not as you can see from the SEC and soon to be Big Ten scheduling issues – it takes too long to play teams in the other division; only solution is 4 pods where you play every conference team within 3 years).”

        Not true. 14 can work just fine.

        Option 1
        A 6+1+2 schedule means playing everyone at least 33% of the time. If you don’t do home and homes for the rotating teams, you’ll play everyone in 3 years.

        Option 2
        Use pods. 2 pods of 4 form the anchors for each division and 2 pods of 3 rotate back and forth.

        • bullet says:

          And with option 2, you can play everyone home and away over 4 years with an 8 game conference schedule (3teams 4 times, 10 teams 2 times—32 games over 4 years).

    • Richard says:

      ACC has to collapse first. Then the B10 has to win the UNC sweepstakes (if the SEC takes in UNC+UVa+NCSU+another, say FSU, then the B10 stays at 14 unless ND comes knocking).

      I give it a year.

    • Brian says:


      “Poll question: There is a lot of talk about 16 teams. Do you think the Big Ten is going to announce expansion to 16 in the next year or stick at 14?”

      I don’t think the B10 is in control of the timing right now. I project that if they expand further, it will be at one of 3 times:

      1. In the next 1-2 years (before the new TV deal)
      2. As the next TV deal is winding down, just like with NE.
      3. Whenever a great candidate asks to join.