Earlier this week, we had a flurry of concrete conference realignment news crammed into a 48-hour period, and then we went cold turkey (no pun intended) over the Thanksgiving holiday.  That has left Twitter rumors to fill the void and potentially affected fan bases on edge (culminating in Cincinnati fans chanting, “ACC!” when they saw the school’s president walk through the stands).  For what it’s worth, I take extra care to not pass along Tweets with every single realignment rumor that comes my way (and believe me, I pretty much get them all ).  (For those that aren’t following as of yet, my Twitter handle is @frankthetank111.) My personal filter is to make sure that the original Tweeter has some real reason or connection to know what he/she claims to know and/or apply my own view of plausibility.  As most of my regular readers know, I’m not a believer that a world of 4 16-team superconferences are inevitable (at least not in the short term) or that the ACC and/or Big East are one or two losses from complete destruction.  I certainly don’t see a rush by the Big Ten or SEC to get to 16 members in this round of conference realignment.  These are interesting Armageddon scenarios, but I tend to believe in a more logical downward pressure in the conference ranks, or as people say colloquially, “S**t rolls downhill.”  Maybe the ACC will lose some more schools, but that league will backfill from the Big East, who in turn will backfill from Conference USA and/or the Mountain West, and so on and so forth.

Without any concrete news, we’re basically left with trying to parse out what is legitimately plausible and whether the proverbial smoke around certain topics indicates either a real fire or just some dude in his basement toking.  From my vantage point, there are two themes coming together that have relevance:

(1) ACC Mindset Change and a Surge of Support for Louisville – In my last couple of posts, I stated that I would bet on Connecticut getting an invite to the ACC.  If the ACC follows its prior actions and academic and TV market criteria for expansion candidates, UConn would be near a 100% lock.  As a result, the mere fact that there is even a debate about Louisville going to the ACC at all (much less Louisville being ahead in the race, which a number of observers are claiming) indicates that there’s a major mindset change in the conference brewing (or at least some schools outside of the Duke/UNC old-line faction that are throwing their weight around, particularly Florida State).

Whether it’s right or wrong, the widespread perception is that Louisville would be the “football smart” move for the ACC and anything other than that could lead to Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech and/or others bolting to the warm arms of Texas and the Big 12.  As I’ve stated elsewhere, I don’t believe that Florida State would leave for the Big 12 all, but the ACC obviously can’t take any chances with its most important football member.

One interesting example of Twitter having fans on edge was a Tweet from Brian Miller, a Tallahassee Democrat reporter that said that the ACC wouldn’t even make a choice between Louisville and UConn, but rather add both of them along with Cincinnati* to create a 16-team conference.  By the time that Tweet spread like wildfire, Miller had removed it from his timeline.  Time will tell whether that was removed because it couldn’t be backed up or the information was too sensitive for the reporter’s source to put it out there for public consumption immediately.  The ACC may very well have the most incentive to grow to 16 first to create a perception of strength in numbers (even if it might not look like the most financially lucrative move).

(* Much like the athletic departments at Louisville and UConn, I have a ton of respect for what Cincinnati has been able to do on-the-field during its time in the Big East.  The Bearcats have arguably been the most consistent football program in the circa 2005 version of the conference, so it would be sweet justice to see them land softly.  We’ll see if that soft landing actually happens, though.)

Regardless, Louisville and the school’s surrogates are getting the message out that they are the best football move for the ACC (despite being a basketball school by any other measure).  The wants and needs of fans rarely matter to commissioners and university presidents in conference realignment, but if enough Florida State fans are out for blood (similar to how Texas A&M fans pounded their administration to push for a move to the SEC), this might be one instance where the fans win out if Louisville ends up getting the ACC invite.

(2) Prospect of Big East Catholic Schools Splitting Off – For many, many, many years, one of the easiest reflex responses that I’ve had in conference realignment discussions was that the Big East football schools and non-football Catholic members wouldn’t split into a separate leagues.  Up to this point, it made zero financial sense for either side – the value of the Catholic schools were enhanced by the presence of Louisville, UConn and Notre Dame (even without Syracuse, Pitt and West Virginia) while the football members needed the traditional brand names and major media markets of the non-football schools.  While the two sides might not have liked each other, they were worth more together than they were worth apart.

Notre Dame has left the Big East for the ACC as a non-football member, though, and at least one of Louisville or UConn is heading out the door possibly as soon as next week.  Heck, even Cincinnati might be heading out with them.  Going forward, it may no longer be truism that the Catholic schools would make more TV money staying with the football members, in which case Georgetown and company are likely wondering whether it’s worth it to deal with constant football-related defections in a hybrid league when they could have a league all to themselves and be considered power players in the non-football marketplace that they inhabit.

Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated indicated that there have been informal discussions of a nationwide basketball conference (“think Georgetown to Gonzaga”).  At the same time, the Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal has brought up the possibility of the Catholic schools voting to dissolve the Big East entirely and go off on their own, which would be possible when Louisville and/or UConn leave since they’ll have the voting majority in place to do it (as the new members such as UCF and Houston don’t have voting rights yet and any defecting members won’t have votes, either).

I could spend hours dreaming up national basketball conference scenarios (all of which would include Pepperdine because visiting that school is like visiting a beach resort), but my semi-educated guess is that in the event of a Big East split, the Catholic schools would team up with the top handful of Atlantic 10 members to form a new league.  For discussion purposes only, it would look something along the lines of the following:

St. John’s
Seton Hall
St. Louis

It’s not unfathomable that ESPN could step in and pay that type of league the same amount that the Big East Catholics would have received in a new Big East hybrid TV contract or more if only to keep top college basketball brand names such as Georgetown and Villanova under the Worldwide Leader’s control.  From my vantage point, I see a lot more Big Monday-worthy matchups coming out of that league compared to a new Big East without Louisville and/or UConn.

Once again, I have never been a Big East split believer or proponent, but the latest conference realignment moves could be upending the conventional wisdom.

In any event, there’s a full slate of spectacular college football games to be played on-the-field on Saturday.  Even as a conference realignment aficionado, here’s to hoping that we all can concentrate on the games themselves for a day.

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

(Image from Restricted Data)

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  1. Nick in South Bend says:

    Its a Thanksgiving Miracle!!!! A new post!!!

  2. Carl says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Miracle!

  3. zeek says:

    Texas might hold all of the keys to keeping the ACC intact.

    If Dodds knows that the Big Ten and SEC are after the Virginia/North Carolina based programs, and he also knows that they won’t leave until the Big 12 makes a move…

    Then why not just be insistent on not disturbing the detente over there.

    Similar to the Big Ten not going after Kansas or a bunch of Big 12 programs (if they had no GOR), which would force Texas and its herd out West to the Pac-12.

    Why wouldn’t Texas just decide to respect the ceasefire in the East by not going and setting off the powder keg by grabbing FSU?

    If you’re Texas, then you don’t want to be responsible for setting the Big Ten and SEC up for moves to 16…

    • frug says:

      If Dodds knows that the Big Ten and SEC are after the Virginia/North Carolina based programs, and he also knows that they won’t leave until the Big 12 makes a move…

      Then why not just be insistent on not disturbing the detente over there.

      Why they could destroy a competitor? Sure, they would be helping the B1G and SEC, but they would still improve their own conference both in an absolute sense and relative to the rest of college sports.

      Hell, if the Big XII could pull off something like FSU, Clemson, G-Tech and 3 of Louisville, Pitt, Duke and Miami they would probably move past on the PAC on the pecking order of most power conferences and provide further distance between themselves and the have nots in college sports.

      • Modern Legend says:

        Duke to the Big XII!?! Duke would NEVER bolt to another conference without UNC. The ACC will protect arguably the greatest rivalry in college basketball at all costs!

    • Nick in South Bend says:

      Very logical thinking. Texas likely would not move, unless they got something out of the deal that they wanted. I think they may have just about everything they could possibly want right now. Does not seem to be much in “disturbing the detente” out east.

      I don’t think any of the schools the Big Ten or SEC would want will be available unless something more happens.

    • Richard says:

      I’ve thought of that too, which is why I think FSU won’t trigger the collapse of the ACC (unless the B10 goes against all conventional wisdom and offers them; or the SEC). No, it would be triggered by VTech. OK, associating with the ACC bluebloods is nice, but the SEC is far more stable (the football and money are better as well). We’ll see if the Hokie fanbase forces a move to the SEC the way A&M’s did.

  4. Hodgepodge says:

    I’m guessing they would have some assurances from ESPN that they would boost the TV contract with a net increase of two teams. Otherwise the ACC would be potentially diving the same pot of money into 16 portions rather than 14, which I can’t imagine would go over well.

    For that metter, even if ESPN is willing to change the contract, it would be hard for me to believe that they would pay enough for teams to make more than they are under the contract that was just signed. None of those teams (USF as well, if you believe that it is they or UC that is in contention for the sixteenth spot) have particularly large fanbases and probably don’t do much to command the attention of neutral observers.

  5. As soon as I post about parsing Tweets, I’m trying to figure out this cryptic Tweet from (of all people) Luther Campbell (formerly of 2 Live Crew):

    I interpret “Bull Nation” to mean the USF fan base. Luke knows everyone in and everything about the Miami program, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that he knows the ACC expansion plans. The semi-tinfoil hat in me suggests that there’s some more credence to the Louisville/UConn/Cincinnati 3-team expansion rumor.

  6. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

    WAR Damn Eagle!

    Gig ‘em Aggies!

    Fight on Trojans!

    Hunker down Dawgs!

    Go Beavers!

  7. Bruce in Ohio says:

    As I Villanova grad, I would like to see us in a seperate basketball conference. And I like the league Frank has suggested without Seton Hall. They should do everyone a favor and just drop their sorry-arse athletic department altogether. If UL, Cincy and Connecticut leave I think this is a very likely result.

    • Bruce in Ohio says:

      To clarify: A new BE basketball conference may be a final result of an ACC raid. SH will will still have an athletic department.

  8. bamatab says:


    Today the barn burns!

  9. Skertimore says:


  10. Denogginizer says:

    Go B1G Red, bring on Bucky.

  11. bullet says:

    I couldn’t concentrate on the games Friday. I’ve never seen a worse lineup of Black Friday games. Nebraska-Iowa was the only one that meant anything and it was expected to be one-sided. AZ/ASU was the only one I watched any of and while I was watching it was pretty sloppy.

    Today’s a pretty good slate.

    • ccrider55 says:


      Did you notice how Carey’s had an addition to his first name? Announcer couldn’t mention him without saying “nation’s leading rusher, Ka’Deem Carey.”

    • Brian says:


      On the bright side, NE/IA wasn’t one sided. It was a snoozefest, but not a blow out.

    • morganwick says:

      Marshall, Central Michigan, and West Virginia were all playing for bowl eligibility, and for a while it looked like one-win UMass had a chance to ruin the Chippewas’ bowl hopes. East Carolina was trying to keep their hopes of going to the C-USA title game alive. Kent State and Northern Illinois were trying to make the MAC title game a showdown of ranked teams undefeated in conference. Syracuse was keeping its hopes of a share of the Big East title and maybe even an outside shot at a BCS bowl berth alive, as was Cincinnati with the former. And the Apple Cup had a ridiculously thrilling finish even if it meant little other than the Huskies dropping out of the BCS.

      All in all, though, Black Friday got really unlucky; LSU came in with two losses in a conference with three one-loss teams, and the Golden Boot game was going to be more interesting before Arkansas became a comedy of errors. And had West Virginia kept playing the way they were when Geno Smith looked like the Heisman front-runner, West Virginia-Iowa State would have been really interesting. I wonder if ESPN might regret not having an ACC rivalry, specifically Florida-Florida State, on Black Friday.

      (Ever since my house upgraded to Comcast’s sports package, I’ve been having way more fun than I should running my own version of RedZone for college football now that I have BTN and FCS, out of dissatisfaction with Goal Line being restricted to ESPN games – and not even Longhorn Network games – and missing a big part of Red Zone’s appeal by going to games for long stretches whenever possible rather than flipping back and forth to wherever the action is.)

  12. bullet says:

    I don’t really see that UL brings more for football than UConn. They are a little better, but that is like saying Michigan St. adds more than Purdue. Its very marginal. UConn makes much more sense in that it fills in gaps in existing ACC territory rather than expanding outward.

    I almost wonder, if the all 3 rumour has legs, if it is part of a super-hybrid. ACC 13 + BE 3 + ND + Georgetown, Villanova and St. John’s. The Big East is reduced to A10 or CUSA 2004 level and no longer is a threat to be the best bb conference.

    • Peter says:

      I just don’t see how Louisville (let alone Cincy) make any sense for the ACC. They don’t have TV markets, they’re not national names in football and they are totally alien academically. These are neither research universities nor ultra-quality private undegrad schools.

      Maybe FSU just hates the idea of UConn *that much* but the proposal does nothing to fix the money issue that might pull OTHER schools to the SEC or B1G. If anything, it makes it worse.

      • Bobestes says:

        Cincinnati is a bigger research university than a few Big Ten schools. Just not a part of the CIC/AAU circle jerk.

        • Peter says:

          There’s a reason Cincy isn’t close to AAU despite the ramp in research dollars they’ve been getting in the past few years. It’s a snooty reason – pretty much the academic flipside of US News’ establishment circle jerk on institutional reputation – but the ACC elite and the B1G are nothing if not two groups of very proud, snooty academics.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          According to The Center of Measuring University Performance, Top American Research Universities:

          School – Top 25 Controls, Top 26-50 Controls – Total Research in $ Millions
          TSUN – 8,0 – $1,007
          Wisconsin – 7,1 – $952
          Minnesota – 6,2 – $741
          Northwestern – 5,4 – $515
          Chicago – 4,5 – $378
          Ohio State – 4,4 – $716
          Illinois – 4,3 – $564
          PSU – 3,4 – $663
          Purdue – 1,6 – $454
          MSU – 1,5 – $373
          Maryland – 1,4 – $409

          Iowa – 0,6 – $330
          Rutgers – 0,3 – $320
          Indiana – 0,2 – $157
          Cincy – 0,2 – $357

          Nebraska $235

          -IU is listed ahead of UC in the public (only) research universities list with 2 Top 25 controls & 2 26-50 controls. UC is 1,5 Top 25/25-50.
          -UNL is in the middle of the top 26-50 public research universities with 3 Top 26-50 controls.
          -All of the other schools on the list are in the top 25 public research universities with Northwestern being in the top 25 private research universities.

          • morganwick says:

            I know it’s a joke among Ohio State fans and coaches, but it took me quite a bit to figure out what “TSUN” meant; I thought the “T” stood for “Texas” or something. Maybe “Mitten U” or something?

          • Brian says:

            It’s not a joke. Woody Hayes refused to call them by name, and fans respected him enough to follow suit.

          • Santos says:

            I think these numbers are from 2009. I’ll post some updated numbers at the bottom of the page that I think are interesting.

          • greg says:


          • vp19 says:

            Seeing “TSUN” initially made me think it was a misspelled Cal State Northridge (CSUN). If you don’t want to say the dreaded “Michigan,” can you at least write “Ann Arbor” so we know what the hell you’re talking about?

      • Mark says:

        Cincinnati is one of the largest research universities in the country, and both Louisville and Cincinnati are the largest TV markets that the ACC could actually add. Historically both schools had the mission to produce an educated workforce for their respective cities, but there has been a massive focus change in the last 20-30 years from serving the home market to becoming similar to Michigan State, Iowa State, NC State, Virginia Tech, etc as second university of the state (behind UK and OSU respectively).

        The ACC seems to have decided to own North Carolina & Virginia and then have the 2nd most popular university in the large eastern states (Pitt, FSU, Ga Tech, Clem – Lou and CIn make sense in this paradigm). BC, Syr, UConn are similar in that their areas do not care much about college sports, so they are on par with the rest.

        • morganwick says:

          I’m assuming you don’t think the ACC can or will add one of the Big 5 schools, even though taking in Villanova would fit a general raid of the Big East Catholics, and that the ACC is probably strongly considering Georgetown in order not to completely lose Maryland. Beyond that, however, take a look at this: http://www.nielsen.com/content/dam/corporate/us/en/public%20factsheets/tv/2012-2013%20DMA%20Ranks.pdf

          Hartford-New Haven, including all of Connecticut except for the county that includes the panhandle, is a larger market than Louisville or Cincinnati. And considering Connecticut’s success in both types of basketball (and Syracuse’s success on the men’s side), I have a hard time believing they’re all that apathetic. The Northeast outside Western PA may turn its nose about this college football thing everyone’s talking about, but the sheer number of until-now Big East basketball powers in the region suggests that doesn’t apply to all sports. Even NYC isn’t that apathetic about college sports, as that Nate Silver piece Frank linked to a couple posts back suggests; if Syracuse could relocate to NYC they might be the richest basketball program in the country.

      • Elvis says:

        UConn does nothing as well. It is a LOT poorer than Louisville and has horrible facilities compared to Louisville.

        Your argument is at BEST that the ACC should add nobody.

        • Peter says:

          I don’t think they should add any of these, no. You are right that Louisville at least has obvious institutional concern for their athletics.

          Realistically, none of these schools are fit for a “major” conference.

          • zeek says:

            Contraction is probably the ideal outcome for the ACC at this point… even though no one ever talks like that.

            There is a strong case to be made for the ACC for “addition by subtraction” when you consider some of the schools in the conference.

            Tossing out Wake Forest would do more for that conference than adding anyone…

          • Brian says:


            Of course they won’t toss anyone out, as you well know. If it only made sense in some way (financial, demographic, whatever), I’d love for the B10 to help everyone out and take Pitt and ISU. But neither one makes any sense.

          • Arch Stanton says:

            I think they could go for “Subtraction by Addition”.
            Add Louisville, UConn and Cincinnati then put them in a division with Miami, V-Tech, Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Boston College.

            That leaves the old ACC teams in their own division: North Carolina, Duke, NC State, Wake Forest, Virginia, Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Florida State.

            Play just one cross over game (Miami-Florida State and Virginia-V.Tech are the obvious ones) so you basically have two separate conferences.

            In basketball you could have four pods. Always play home-and-home against your pod mates, then one game against the other 12 teams every year for 18 total games.
            Pods would be: the four Carolina schools; Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida State and Virginia; UConn, Syracuse, Boston College, and Pittsburgh; Louisville, Cincinnati, Miami, and V-Tech.

            Oh, and tell Notre Dame, “goodbye and good luck!”

      • BruceMcF says:

        Louisville and Cincinnati together add a media market of 3m+, and while its not a big market in East Coast terms, as a pair they would have a much bigger share of that market than college sports will have in the East Coast markets. And they are more valuable as a pair than they are individually.

        So if its not necessarily a move that would automatically expand football conference value on a per-team basis (the ACC has already MADE those moves), they could well be seen by ESPN as being worth bumping the contract up by enough to keep the per member value stable.

        Especially given that the ACC is ESPN’s biggest source of programming, that keeping FSU happy is part of keeping that source of programming viable long term, and that Louisville / Cinci / UConn seems like the move that would best placate FSU.

        • LetsGoPitt says:

          I have read several places that the ACC is ESPN’s biggest source of programming (I have also seen that posts indicating FOX has been instigating moves – save this for another post). This statement implies that ESPN has a stake in the ACC’s future beyond televising its sports. To date, it seems that ESPN has been hands off. I get the ESPN is a business and has a fiduciary obligation to the shareholders, so they are not arbitrarily going to overpay for the ACC. What is ESPN’s role on the future of the ACC?

          • bullet says:

            I don’t subscribe to the “One night in Bangkok” theory (“I’m only watching the game, controlling it….I don’t see you guys making the kinds of moves I’m contemplating”), but there were rumours that Swofford and ESPN, among others, were trying to discourage the Pac 16 creation in 2010. Whatever they do, it has to make financial sense for them. And with ties to all the conferences, going beyond what they did with the Big 12 (telling them what they would be worth when the contract renewed), is really legally risky for them.

          • LetsGoPitt says:

            How is that different than Fox/YES’s involvement in selecting Rutgers and Maryland?

          • bullet says:

            I don’t believe Fox told the Big 10 who to take. But when the YES deal came up they worked together.

          • LetsGoPitt says:

            FOX through its investment in the BTN, and therefore the B1G was actively looking for opportunities to expand the brand. If ESPN valued their investment and the ACC wouldn’t they also be looking for opportunities to expand and strengthen the brand as well?

  13. arby says:

    I could also see the ACC going to an 18 school array, by adding UConn (or Louisville), plus Georgetown, Villanova and St, Johns. That takes them to 14 in football and fills in the northern half of the “Atlantic Coast” nicely. Georgetown helps make up for the Maryland loss and Villanova and St Johns adds the east’s other big metros. If they split north & south and move VaTech north, they have the potential to create schedules that build nicely on existing rivalries and tradtions.

  14. loki_the_bubba says:

    Everyone please remember the one iron-clad rule of conference realignment, demonstrated and reinforced with every move over the last 25 years. No matter what happens, no matter which schools move, no matter what conference wins or loses…

    it will negatively impact Rice.

    • bullet says:

      I wondered if the rule was it negatively impacted any school nicknamed Owls. Temple looked like it would benefit, but now that’s not so sure.

      Go Owls! Beat UTEP! Rice could be one of 4 bowl eligible teams in CUSA (5 if SMU upsets Tulsa) and go to a bowl for the 3rd time since JFK asked, “Why do men go to the moon? Why does Rice play Texas?”

      Nice when things aren’t so tightly controlled as they are now at the big schools. I was there when Rice beat SMU to qualify for the 1st time in over 40 years and my daughter was on my shoulders high-fiving the Rice players on the field after the game. It was fun. The players were having fun.

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        Well, Florida Atlantic did get left behind when FIU moved up to CUSA. Maybe this Owl theory is more general than I thought.

  15. zeek says:

    Now that we have multiple conferences at 14 and have analyzed 16 team configurations ad nauseum, what’s the best 18 team configuration?

    Would it look something like what the Big Ten had as an 11 team conference (each team had 2 paired rivals) but with 6 pods of 3 teams each?

    6 pods with 3 teams each, and each team has 1 designated rival. You combine 3 pods to form a division and do home-home for 2 years. Then after that 2 years, you switch the combination of 3 pods again. With 9 game schedules, each team plays the teams in their “division” for 2 years along with their designated rival if their designated rival is not in their division.

    For example, say the Big Ten goes after UVa and Georgia Tech, and then later adds UNC/Duke and goes to 18.

    Fixed rivals are in parenthesis:

    Big Ten Plains
    Nebraska (Penn State)
    Iowa (Michigan State)
    Minnesota (Wisconsin)

    Big Ten North
    Michigan (Ohio State)
    Michigan State (Iowa)
    Northwestern (Illinois)

    Big Ten West
    Wisconsin (Minnesota)
    Illinois (Northwestern)
    Purdue (Indiana)

    Big Ten South
    Ohio State (Michigan)
    Rutgers (North Carolina)
    Indiana (Purdue)

    Big Ten East
    Penn State (Nebraska)
    Maryland (Virginia)
    Georgia Tech (Duke)

    Big Ten Atlantic
    North Carolina (Rutgers)
    Virginia (Maryland)
    Duke (Georgia Tech)

    So, here’s what the first two years look like (home-home):

    North+West+Plains Division
    Michigan (Ohio State)
    Michigan State
    Nebraska (Penn State)
    Purdue (Indiana)

    South+East+Atlantic Division
    Ohio State (Michigan)
    Indiana (Purdue)
    Penn State (Nebraska)
    Georgia Tech
    North Carolina

    Basically, each team plays the 8 other teams in their division and 1 cross-over game.

    Since only 3 fixed cross-over games aren’t already being played, you can just match up the remaining 6 squads in each division for a cross-over game.

    So the final 6 games that need to be made: Michigan State-Rutgers, Northwestern-Maryland, Iowa-Georgia Tech, Minnesota-North Carolina, Wisconsin-Virginia, Illinois-Duke.
    (I just went in order to match them up for this exercise).

    I think this is the best 18 team configuration since it has 6 headliners for the divisions: Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Nebraska, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and evokes the 11 team configuration that the Big Ten used in the mid 90s and 00s.

    • zeek says:

      Each team plays 3 teams every year (2 in division + designated rival) and the other 6 games each year rotate through the other 14 teams. You get through most of the conference every 4 years…

      • Nall23 says:

        I think that what you have laid out shows that 18 teams could work out, at least in theory.

        I have continued to rationalize reasons why Georgia Tech could be a target (because if they were added, I think it would be as a way to reach 18 teams). Georgia Tech would not be an end game by itself.

        Outside of great academics and location, they do not add much. There is obviously the perspective that they would further make the ACC unstable, which could help bring in the primary targets.

        The final reason I think that Georgia Tech *could* be a possibility is that it helps make it more politically possible for Virginia and North Carolina to eventually join. By adding Georgia Tech, you would be signaling that we are not the “Northern” conference, but rather a collection of top athletic and academic schools that happen to be in the North. That fact could help make it more politically tolerable for other university presidents to make the move from the ACC to the Big Ten.

        Now – do I think this is likely to happen? No. I doubt that we take Georgia Tech with the “hope” that we land others. But I think it’s pretty clear that the lines of communication are open between us and other ACC schools. If they were to signal that this would be one way that they could accept moving to the Big Ten – then I think that the Big Ten would certainly pursue it.

    • Richard says:

      I’ve thought about this and I believe you can have 2 fixed rivals (one in a pod that you play 2/3rds of the time). I’ll have to work through it to see if the Little Bown Jug game & Iowa/Wisconsin vs. Northwestern/Illinois mash of games can be preserved (or at least played 2/3rds of the time).

      About the only hard rule to me is that Wisconsin/Iowa/Minny is in a pod (so that they play each other annually).

    • BigTenFan says:

      I personally prefer twenty – I posted this on another board, but this seems cleaner IMO:

      I’m pretty unhappy with the fact that we expanded to 14, but at this point, I hate 14 even worse than I hated 12. If we go to a two 7 school per division split (and presumably maintain the 8 game conference schedule), each school would play 6 “divisional” games per year & 2 cross division games. Let’s assume that the “locked” cross division games are eliminated – that means that Iowa could theoretically go nearly a decade (7 years) without even playing Ohio State or Michigan – if the conference maintains the “locked” crossover games it would be even longer than 7 years.

      My opinion, at this point, is that the B1G needs to expand to the point where we get to pods for the purpose of playing each other on a regular basis. And I don’t think we should stop at 16. My ideal number at this point is 20, and I think that creates the best overall balance for the conference.

      First things first, this would be my expansion plan if I were Delaney & the presidents:

      Great Plains Division

      Great Lakes Division
      Ohio State
      Michigan State

      Northeastern Division
      Penn State


      Southeastern Division
      North Carolina

      Georgia Tech
      Florida State

      *Duke gets in to appease UNC if ND says no when the B1G is at 19. I thought about throwing BC in at this spot as well, but ultimately I think you need to make UNC comfortable, which gave Duke the tiebreaker in my mind.

      At first this seems outlandish, but keep in mind we’re maintaining the “contiguous state” requirement held by the CIC & adding some extremely prestigious universities in this expansion. Obviously Florida State & Clemson don’t fit the academic mold, but they do fit the athletic mold – and the presidents may be OK adding FSU/Clemson if it means adding major research schools like UNC/UVA/Duke/Ga Tech.

      I think the above would be my ideal scenario at this point. It preserves geographic rivalries & appeases nearly every school in the B1G with the exception of Illinois/NW – I threw NW out east because it means that NW/Rutgers would play ever year – I’m sure the networks would pick up a game between NYC & CHI (kind of). The problem when putting together these pods is that the Illinois/NW & Indiana/Purdue rivalries are very difficult to maintain because there isn’t a traditional “king” amongst those four.

      The above is much better than two 7/8/9 school divisions because you can use the pod scheduling system to ensure each school competes with one another with some form of regularity. It would work like this:

      In 2014/2015 the “Great Plains Division” would play the “Southeastern Division” – the school with the best record of the two divisions competes in the CCG against the school with the best record between the other two divisions – no “locked crossover” games – thus the CCG is NEVER a rematch, which preserves the integrity of the CCG. Each school would play each school in their own division (4 games) and every school from the rotating “sister division” (5 games) – which means the conference would have to go to 9 conference games. As you can probably see, the biggest positive of this system is that it ensures every school in the conference competes against every other school in the conference twice every six years, whereas two divisions means you could go a decade without playing certain schools even one time.

      The really important thing about the mid-atlantic additions (and the reason that the B1G should be targeting all of the mentioned schools) is that it adds a HUGE number of subscribers to the BTN, and perhaps even more importantly, lots of good content (think Baseball for the summer).

      At this point, this kind of expansion is the only way I can see myself being happy with the way things are going.

      • Richard says:

        Clemson’s never getting in the Big20.

        I had ND&Miami instead of FSU/Clemson in my Big20 (and thus slightly different pods). I didn’t thrown Northwestern out east because a bunch of the old Big10 teams want to visit Chicagoland often (for alumni outreach purposes). I did have Northwestern/Illinois and IU/PU be OOC a bunch of the time, however. Probably not a problem because many B10 schools wants to play each other very often & and all of those 4 except maybe Illinois don’t need 7 home games. Northwestern/Illinois OOC could even be at Soldier Field to kick off the season (helping to fulfill the Illini’s desire to have a game in Chicagoland every year).

        BTW, I’m almost certain they go to 9 conference games with 14.

      • Richard says:

        BTW, good point about no rematch in the title game being a positive. UCLA could get an easier team to beat (IMHO) by throwing the game against Stanford today to avoid Oregon in the title game.

        Those are awful incentives due to an idiotic setup.

    • Brian says:


      While 18 is a horrible idea, there are multiple ways to deal with it. The best one depends, in part, on the 4 added teams.

      Your additions – UVA, UNC, Duke, GT
      Your proposal – 6 pods of 3

      I think that’s just too many moving parts. The obvious counter plan is 2 pods of 5 and 2 pods of 4.

      Boring counter plan:

      Pair N&W and S&E, then N&S and E&W. 8 division games, 1 rotating game.

      I don’t like this plan since the pods are so unequal and it limits how often you play each other.

      Better plan:

      3 pods of 6
      W – NE, WI, IA, MN, NW, IL
      W1 – NE, NW, IL
      W2 – WI, IA, MN

      E – OSU, MI, MSU, PSU, PU, IN
      E1 – OSU, MI, IN
      E2 – PSU, MSU, PU

      S – RU, MD, GT, UVA, UNC, Duke
      S1 – RU, Duke, MD
      S2 – UVA, UNC, GT

      Split the S pod into 2 half pods that rotate between playing W and E:

      8 division games and 1 rotating game through the other 2 pods.

      Pair W&S1 and E&S2, then W&S2 and E&S1. Then rotate:
      W&S1 and E&S2
      W&S2 and E&S1
      W&E1 and S&E2
      W&E2 and S&E1
      S&W1 and E&W2
      S&W2 and E&W1

      Frequency of playing:
      Subpod mates – 6/6
      Other half of your pod – 4/6
      Other pods – 3/6 with rotating games

    • BruceMcF says:

      Can you do eighteen in two divisions? I think not, which raises the question whether you can have a conference with more than two divisions with only one championship game? Its the assumption of two divisions and one division championship game that makes people imagine 16 team superconferences: nine games in conference, seven with division rivals, two across division playing through the opposite division across four years. Fourteen is more comfortable, nine conference games giving all division opponents, one locked cross division rivalry and playing through the other six in three years.

      • Richard says:

        To answer you first question, yes you can, with pods.

      • Brian says:


        “Can you do eighteen in two divisions?”

        Of course you can. 9 teams in each, play 8 division games and 1 crossover.

        “I think not, which raises the question whether you can have a conference with more than two divisions with only one championship game?”

        No. The NCAA rule requires 2 divisions that play round robin with the champs meeting in a CCG.

        “Its the assumption of two divisions and one division championship game that makes people imagine 16 team superconferences: nine games in conference, seven with division rivals, two across division playing through the opposite division across four years. Fourteen is more comfortable, nine conference games giving all division opponents, one locked cross division rivalry and playing through the other six in three years.”

        And 12 is even better. Pods will increase the minimum frequency with which you play everyone else, but at the cost of playing fewer teams every year.

    • morganwick says:

      16-team conferences are ridiculous enough that if we go beyond that, they will probably undergo mitosis and split into two conferences each, probably when the sports rights bubble inevitably pops.

    • Cliff says:

      Zeek – I like your format for 18 teams. However, realistically, The Big Ten office can’t think that deeply, since they appear to be taking the easiest, simplest approach to a 14 team conference (moving Illinois) as opposed to improving the system. If they go to 18 teams, they will just keep adding to the existing structure and it will be two divisions of nine teams. Not saying I agree with that.

  16. John O says:

    Its a pity WVU isn’t an option for the ACC at this time.

    ND can’t be too thrilled about the prospect of regular football games against Louisville (last played never), Cincy (1900) and/or UConn (once, 2009) much less regular visits to any or all of those schools. Assuming they could cancel the ACC agreement, would they? With likely demise of the Big East, just how badly does ND need the ACC at this point, both as a home for its olympic sports and to fill Oct/Nov football dates?

    • Mark says:

      Notre Dame didn’t seem to mind sharing a league for a decade with Lou, Cin and UConn. I think ND would want games in Lou & Cin due to large Catholic populations and wants to play UConn since it is close to NY. ND also didn’t seem to mind taking Cincy’s coach 3 years ago.

    • zeek says:

      It’s hard to tell because Notre Dame has basically said that they need the ACC to fill up their October and November slots.

      With the Big East in ruins having lost virtually all of its football membership under your scenario, and the fact that Notre Dame is not likely to be able to add much from the Pac-12 (already have Stanford/USC), Big 12 (1 usually or 2 max in this region), SEC (0), Big Ten (down to 2 from 3 with cancellation of Michigan); they need the ACC to fill a lot of the slots on their schedule going forward.

      That need won’t go away, and the fact that they’re unlikely to want to play more teams from the other conferences means that they need the ACC more…

    • Peter says:

      WVU was never, ever going to happen to the ACC. To be reasonably polite about it…people in North Carolina and Virginia are a little “provincial” in their opinions of West Virgina.

      To be less polite about it…see WVU message boards when the ACC’s “opinion” of them came up.

      • jbcwv says:

        I’m sure the message board reactions had a great deal to do with why WVU didn’t wind up in the ACC, just like they’ve been the deciding factor in every other decision up to this point….

        It would be ironic if Louisville winds up in the ACC now, given that “academics” and TV markets were the purported reason for excluding WVU. Louisville and WVU, I believe, are tied in the USNWR academic rankings, and the Big 12′s market research determined that WVU’s TV rights were worth more (though probably not by much), than Louisville’s.

        • Peter says:

          There’s a difference between “that schools teams suck” or ” we’re a Southern school, those are northern schools” on the one hand and “those people are illiterate, inbred rednecks” and “#&!* those bigot liberals in the ACC” on the others.

          Genuine antipathy and disrespect is a real problem, not just a “fit” issue.

          • bullet says:

            FWIW Some of the WV posters have said UNC and Duke basically said the 1st to Oliver Luck’s face and blackballed WV. I don’t believe it, but many of them do.

      • morganwick says:

        I bet the origins of West Virginia as a state have something to do with those opinions, at least on UVA’s part. It’s actually a bit of a shame, because a WVU/UVA rivalry could have been as heated as the Kansas/Missouri Border War.

    • BruceMcF says:

      Why would they be unthrilled by a Louisville/UConn/Cinci expanion? It doesn’t change the number of contracted ACC games. Given their cherished independence, filling Oct/Nov football dates with enough teams that will not totally kill their strength of schedule perception is easiest with this kind of deal, and the ACC seems like the strongest conference they can reach this kind of deal with ~ the Big 10, SEC and Pac-10 would want them as full members. Those three boosting the perceived quality of the ACC as a basketball conference and making the basketball participation more appealing would just be gravy on top.

      • morganwick says:

        And it’s not like Louisville, UConn, and Cincinnati are a step down from Maryland from a football standpoint. Heck, all three are probably a step up.

        • zeek says:

          Money is probably the issue. Is ESPN going to fork over the extra $450 million over 13 years to pay for 16 instead of 14 teams if the extra two are 2 of 3 from UConn/Louisville/Cincy?

  17. David Brown says:

    I cannot see a scenario where the ACC takes Louisville, Connecticut, and especially Cincinnati, The Bearcats are essentially a Wake Forest type athletic program (Nippert Stadium seats about 39,000 people), coupled with an academic ranking of 139. Even South Florida although ranked lower academically speaking (170), brings more growth potential to the table (See the TV Florida Market), and could fill a real void if Florida State & (or) Miami are no longer available. Speaking of The “U”, where they will be playing (Or not) in 2013 and beyond, is something that must be determined by the ACC before they decide if they are expanding, and if so, who is being added.

    • Richard says:

      UCF probably would be the ACC’s best long-term option just because of their location and gigantic enrollment, but they can’t add them so long as FSU and Miami are around.

      • Peter says:

        The ACC doesn’t have the same type of footprint issues as the B1G & SEC do. The latter two have their own cable networks and realistic quality additions outside of their footprint. The ACC doesn’t have either as a factor.

        ACC financial math is just different than B1G/SEC math and much harder to tease out.

        • Richard says:

          Oh, UCF was predicated on my belief that FSU (and maybe Miami) will be leaving eventually anyway.

        • BruceMcF says:

          Adding UCF or USF is not so much a network footprint issue, its a FSU pitching a fit and bolting for the Big 12 issue. ESPN does not want to lose FSU to a Fox Sports `conference.

        • morganwick says:

          UCF and USF combined would pale in comparison to FSU. Realistically, I only see the ACC adding either one if Miami leaves as well (or gets hit with something akin to the death penalty), for the same reason the Big 12 eventually added TCU.

      • Igor says:

        The funny thing about UCF and USF is that they’d probably have a better shot at the Big 12 if they had better names (e.g. U. of Orlando and U. of Tampa). There’s a lot of negative stigma with directional schools. USC is about the only exception I can think of.

        • morganwick says:

          The school formerly known as Texas Western agrees. And USC is almost the exception that proves the rule, because they’re more known as “USC” than anything else and California is practically two states anyway.

    • acaffrey says:

      I just commented on the USF thing. But I think it makes great sense for the Big XII to add them if/when it ever decides to go to 12. Imagine adding UCF and USF as a Florida flank. If the Big 10 can invest in Rutgers and Maryland… why can’t the Big XII invest?

      • Richard says:

        Why not add FSU and Miami instead?

        • acaffrey says:

          I don’t know. If they wanted to go, they would have.

          Along the same lines, why didn’t the Big 10 add Virginia & North Carolina? If that is who the Big 10 covets, why screw around with Rutgers and Maryland?

          Florida State and Miami were great in the 1980′s and 1990′s. Would the Big 10 or SEC have wanted them in the 1970′s?

          • Richard says:

            The B10 can still add UVa & UNC after Rutgers and UMD.

            Would FSU want to fit in to the same conference as UCF and USF?

            Would the B12 want 4 FL schools?

            Adding UCF&USF closes possibilities in ways that adding UMD & Rutgers does not.

  18. [...] One interesting example of Twitter having fans on edge was a Tweet from Brian Miller, a Tallahassee Democrat reporter that said that the ACC wouldn’t even make a choice between Louisville and UConn, but rather add both of them along with Cincinnati* to create a 16-team conference.  By the time that Tweet spread like wildfire, Miller had removed it from his timeline.  Time will tell whether that was removed because it couldn’t be backed up or the information was too sensitive for the reporter’s source to put it out there for public consumption immediately.  The ACC may very well have the most incentive to grow to 16 first to create a perception of strength in numbers (even if it might not look like the most financially lucrative move).  [Full article here.] [...]

  19. Quiet Storm says:

    Since UConn and Louisville are playing today, you know there will be a few members of the media who will read way too much into the on field performance as it relates to an invitation.

    • jbcwv says:

      The same scenario played out last year with WVU and Louisville and the disputed Big XII invite. Louisville won the game but didn’t manage to pull out the invite. I highly doubt that the media in Louisville will be reading too much into this outcome but I agree that this is the type of inane storyline that the sports media in general is likely to gobble up, past experience be damned..

    • acaffrey says:

      I generally agree. But, at the same time, UConn getting blown out by 40 might have shown that they were so far behind Louisville in football that the football schools would have deemed the addition of UConn absurd. By keeping it close (and perhaps winning), this hurts Louisville’s claim that they are so much better of a football school.

      West Virginia has a history of football that Louisville did not have. UConn does not have that edge over Louisville. But Louisville also does not really have that edge over UConn, as they both hit the BCS-conference realm at the same time.

      UConn is helping its cause today by not getting blown out…

      • morganwick says:

        Does anyone else think that UConn pulling the upset in a single game might actually convince Florida State that they wouldn’t be a completely horrible addition for football purposes? I think FSU might realize so anyway, but not because of a single game. It wasn’t that long ago that Louisville was a joke in football and UConn was going to BCS games.

  20. Nick in South Bend says:

    Chip Brown ‏@ChipBrownOB

    I’m hearing the #BigTen may not be done with expansion yet.

    If he is the mouthpiece for Dodds, as asserted by some, them what is his angle?

    • Arch Stanton says:

      Maybe trying to scare Notre Dame to the Big XII

      • Nick in South Bend says:

        Possible. I kind of think it is a signal that the B12 is not going to move first to be honest. Delany has been the “bad guy” every step of the way, and it appears others want him to continue doing it.

        Fortunately for the Big Ten…Delany wants what he wants…and he is not afraid of the timing of the whole “appearances” thing.

    • B1GRED says:

      Ok, now c’mon. Chip Brown? Really? People still take this guy seriously?

    • ccrider55 says:

      He’s Dodd’s minister of propaganda and disinformation.

    • Arch Stanton says:

      Actually, I’ve always thought that Texas would like to leave behind a large portion of the old Big XII north and form a Super Conference.
      Okie State (included for political reasons)
      Texas Tech
      then recruit
      Florida State
      Georgia Tech
      Notre Dame (Texas pipe dream to be in a conference with ND)

      maybe 2 more schools somewhere to get 12 total and separate into east/west divisions.
      I guess West Virginia could be one in the east. Probably another Texas school in the west so the Longhorns can have another game close to home. TCU>Baylor in that regard

    • metatron says:

      Chip Brown @ChipBrown OB

      Water is wet, or so I’m hearing.

  21. Penn State Danny says:

    If all 3 are added, could the 8 former Big East teams be in one division? Would that appease the old guard? Would it placate FSU? I think “yes” to both.

    I hope this rumor is true. I doubt it is though.

    • Arch Stanton says:

      FSU probably would like that. Actually, that may be a way that expansion would be acceptable to all of the ACC old guard.
      “Don’t think of it as adding Louisville, UConn, and Cincinnati. Think of it as getting rid of Boston College, V-Tech, Miami, Syracuse and Pittsburgh.”
      Basically, how I imagine Larry Scott pitching the addition of Texas, T-Tech, Oklahoma, Okie State, Colorado, etc to the California and pacific NW schools, “Think of it as getting rid of Arizona and Arizona State…” Except, Scott could have also showed them a huge bag of money. But still, getting Cal and Stanford to accept T-Tech and Okie State must have needed an extra incentive.

      If the ACC kept an 8 game schedule, they could have one permanent cross over rival (and not even count it in the conference standings) that would be more like a non-conference game.
      Atlantic Division – East Division
      Florida State – Miami
      Virginia – Virginia Tech
      NC State – Cincinnati
      Duke – Boston College
      North Carolina – Syracuse
      Wake Forest – Louisville
      Clemson – UConn
      Georgia Tech – Pittsburgh

      • ccrider55 says:

        P12 proposed, and pres ok’d exactly that in advance. UT vetoed. May be harder now as Colo and Utah are gaining history and connections in Cali and would probably join the Az schools in resisting being exiled to the B12 division of a P16.

        • Arch Stanton says:

          Agreed, I think the Pac missed whatever chance they had to exile the Arizona schools in an eastern division now that Colorado and Utah have a voice in the matter.
          Wasn’t Colorado one of the schools that was against the Pac adding just Oklahoma and Oklahoma State last year?

          • frug says:

            Yep. In fact Colorado’s president had indicated they might have proposed a deal that included Texas as well.

            They really didn’t want to give up any exposure on the West Coast.

          • frug says:

            opposed not proposed

          • ccrider55 says:

            The intent isn’t to exile anyone. Perhaps being placed in the E division would be necessary in order to achieve the desired makeup of the conf. It’s not like sacrifices haven’t already been made to get to 12. The NW schools gave up considerable access to CA to allow Cal and Stanford (north division) yearly games with both UCLA and U$C.

        • Nick in South Bend says:

          I think the California schools would still drive the bus on whatever happens in the conference if push came to shove.

      • lol says:

        One permanent crossover rival, and you have Cincy-NC State and Louisville-Wake? Shouldn’t that be switched? Cincy-UL and NC State-Wake?

        • morganwick says:

          Read it again. Both of those pairs aren’t crossovers.

          • lol says:

            Oops, my bad. I just glanced at your comment and saw “permanent crossover rival” and then a breakdown of teams in pairs and jumped to the conclusion.

            Note to self: Reading comprehension classes…

      • morganwick says:

        My impression is that no one is unhappy with the Arizona schools in the Pac-10/12. They’ve been an even better addition than Penn State and Nebraska in the Big 10.

  22. Pablo says:

    It’s hard to imagine that the old-guard ACC schools would be in favor of adding 3 schools. Especially given that each of the 3 candidates will create problems. Louisville is good in athletics and seems to understand how to create value, but it is an academic and geographic outlier. UConn is in the footprint, has solid academics and is OK in athletics…but they don’t move the needle in economic value (basically, this would just give a partner to the northern schools: BC/Syracuse/Pitt…while angering fans of the FSU/Clemson/VT programs). Cincy does not make any sense.

    If there is serious consideration to simultaneously adding all 3 schools in the ACC, then further defections by existing ACC schools must be in the works. Allowing Notre Dame as a partial member made the most sense if it helped solidify the ACC. Two months into the ND-ACC partnership, it appears that joining forces was more an act of desperation by two weak entities. ND gets to keep its precious football independence for another decade…the ACC can maintain a seat at the power table (although having to defer to the B1G & SEC whenever they need additional revenue).

    The miracle would be if ND somehow decided to start leading in the formation of a new ACC. Rather than allow the ACC to become another Big XII or -more likely- Big East, having a strong and enviable conference is still possible.

    As a UVa grad who enjoys a lot of college sports, all the love for the VA and NC schools and markets is flattering. Living in the Philly Main Line…if UVa in the B1G occurs (not a preference, but a possibility), it would be convenient to see them at Happy Valley, College Park and Rutgers. Even joining the SEC (a lesser likely possibility) would likely increase UVa’s exposure. Yet UVa will lose too many great rivalries and traditions if the ACC is no longer an option.

    The best option for creating a relevant ACC is probably to cool off on expansion and not create more damage.

    • Nate says:

      Actually, I think Cincinnati makes the most sense of those three schools. I keep hearing these three names pop up as backfill/additions so I did some research on-line. Cincinnati has over a billion dollar endowment and a much larger student body than I ever imagined, something like 40k enrollment. Their academic credentials are no Duke’s (then again how many schools are? – sorry couldn’t resist), but are a lot better than the other two schools and many of our current members. The overall undergrad academic ranking isn’t that high, probably because they have such a large student body like FSU and NC State, but their grad school rankings (particularly law school and med school disciplines in US news) are impressive and at least in the middle tier of the ACC. UL and UConn have better basketball teams over the past few years, but Cincinnati football looks to be better by far than UConn and by a bit over UL if not a wash. But I agree, it might be better to cool off on expansion for now and wait until (if) the Big 12 takes FSU and Clemson. I get why the Big 12 would want FSU, but what does Clemson have to offer? On a national level, who really cares about Clemson besides the people who went there and is rural SC a television market the Big ~10-14 (depending on what month it is) conferences are dying to get into?

  23. frug says:

    I really hope Gene Smith enjoyed his trip to the Gator Bowl last year because it probably cost them a trip to at least Pasadena and maybe the NCG.

    • Nick in South Bend says:

      Secretly, I think many Buckeye fans are happy. I think this OSU team was very good in a down Big Ten. They would not likely win against any of the other “elite” teams this year. They finish unbeaten, without having to actually play another elite team.

      • I don’t think they’d beat Bama or Georgia, but I think they’d have a chance against ND. It’s unfortunate, but I’m just trying to relish the undefeated season capped with a big win against Michigan. Now Urban can focus on recruiting and improving some of the glaring holes this team has.

      • frug says:

        YEs, but people said the same thing about the ’02 squad…

        • Nick in South Bend says:

          No debate from me that OSU is not legit. I am simply saying that, the chances are slim they would win the national title game…and the chance of losing in the rest of the BCS really is not worth the risk. Urban gets to recruit as an unbeaten coach at OSU…I think that is a very big thing myself.

          • bullet says:

            I can’t imagine them not wanting a chance. Now when Texas had 1 loss in 2001 prior to the ccg, I didn’t mind they didn’t get the chance to lose to unbeaten Miami, but that team wasn’t unbeaten. I don’t think Ohio St. is top 6, but noone has proven otherwise and every team has flaws.

          • Nick in South Bend says:

            I do not doubt they would want a chance to play for the title. The other BCS games carry more risk than reward for them to be honest. That is just my opinion.

        • Brian says:


          The 2002 team had an elite defense (at least 15 of the 2 deep got drafted), 2012 doesn’t. 2002 had a senior QB and a lot of talent at the other positions. 2012 has an elite athlete at QB and some decent talent at the other positions.

      • Brian says:


        We haven’t all been secret about it. I’ll cash out my chips at 12-0 and be happy for now. Bowl season will be stress free for once.

        • Nick in South Bend says:

          Thats about what my friends think too. They want the chance to play for everything. But do not wish to just play for a BCS bowl game or whatever. I think this is a net win for the Buckeyes myself.

  24. John O says:

    Just wondering: If Virginia says yes, UNC and ND say NO, VT and GT miss the cut academically/geographically, does the B1G admit them w/o a definite 16th? How long could/would the B1G just stay at 15? Would they consider Pitt despite not adding a new market?

    • Nick in South Bend says:

      I would say they will not add Pitt. I would not be surprised to have them sit at 15 for a year and see what the instability brings. It would be almost a certainty that, with the Big Ten at 15, unless the ACC signs a GOR…there would be more movement in the short term.

    • Brian says:

      John O,

      If they get UVA, they have to take a 16th. With divisions, you can’t have unequal numbers and schedule properly. 11 worked because everyone missed 3 teams. The crossover games can’t work with 15.

      • bullet says:

        You could just count division games for the title and let 10 schools play 9 games and 5 play 8 total conference games-for a temporary period of a few years. Let UM, OSU, PSU, UNL and WI, the 5 biggest stadiums, play 8. 15 is different than 13 in that you have a decent number of division games to decide the division. 5 is (in a 6 team division) just too few.

      • zeek says:

        Georgia Tech will be #16 if there’s no one else available (UNC).

        If UVa comes a-calling, you don’t say no.

        • Nick in South Bend says:

          OK. Would anyone else be on the table other than GT? BC, Syracuse, VT? GT is not a bad addition, I am just asking what other schools people think would get consideration if the Big Ten feels absolutely compelled to go to 16, and is not content at 15 in adding UVA.

          • zeek says:

            Georgia Tech isn’t a bad addition. It’s the exact same as Pitt… but maybe slightly more valuable to the Big Ten.

            You need to think about it in reverse:

            What does Pitt do for the ACC? Decent program located in a city with a state dominated by local giant (Penn State versus Georgia). Far more Big Ten alumni in that city (from Ohio State and other places) than ACC alumni, I would guess. Similar result in Atlanta.

            Atlanta is a bigger city than Pittsburgh and is located in a state that’s a recruiting hotbed, etc.

            On the margins, Georgia Tech does slightly more in those areas for the Big Ten than Pittsburgh does for the ACC.

            Keep in mind I just made a comparison of what Pitt adds to the ACC and said it adds slightly less in those areas (Atlanta is bigger than Pittsburgh, better recruiting angle, more Big Ten alumni going south as opposed to ACC alumni going to Pittsburgh of all places).

            Pitt doesn’t add any of those things to the Big Ten… (Syracuse and BC are generally worse fits that Pitt as institutions; neither is a research giant like Northwestern, and they’re located in markets that will never be interested in football).

            Now, is that enough to make Georgia Tech #16? That’s what will determine whether we take them at #16 if they don’t want to go for Virginia Tech on the AAU question.

          • Brian says:


            Sources have said the B10 is high on GT. Other options I’ve heard for #16:

            VT – locks up VA, but academics and 2 schools in VA
            Syracuse – adds a large state and helps with NYC, but dropped from AAU
            Kansas – AAU and hoops king, but small state, weak academics, tied to KSU

            Pitt – solid candidate except for being in PA
            MO – solid candidate except for being in the SEC

          • Nick in South Bend says:

            Yea, I have a feeling it would be GT…and that would not be terrible. I just feel like, for the first time, it would be an indisputable reach by the Big Ten. That worries me.

            GT is a great school, great research, good tradition, great location (in my opinion Atlanta is the best semi-realistic location for all of the Big Ten’s needs in the country). However, waiting at 15 for just a year could do wonders for who may be available.

            At any rate…GT has been a persistent rumor, and it makes sense on many levels.

          • Brian says:


            While I doubt they wait a year at 15, they could wait several months to similar effect. Signing someone now or in June doesn’t make much difference since it’s the same school year (BE being an exception due to their 27 month rule).

          • zeek says:

            Nick, I doubt you end up having to worry about this as a legitimate issue.

            When UVa does move (if it ever does), it will be as a package. I don’t see them bolting on their own like Maryland.

    • morganwick says:

      Virginia probably isn’t joining without V-Tech, especially if the Big Ten doesn’t have a definite 16th otherwise. State legislatures’ power should never be underestimated.

      • FWIW, if the Big Ten really wanted UVA and believed that UNC would never come, then I would certainly consider adding Virginia Tech. VT is hardly Texas Tech in terms of academics – it’s at #72 in the latest US News rankings (tied with Iowa and Michigan State and ahead of Indiana and Nebraska) and excellent in engineering. It’s an example where the lack of AAU status really shouldn’t be outcome determinative. Plus, VT actually has a great football program on-the-field with a top notch fan base. If the idea is to lock down the entire DC area plus the rest of Virginia, then it may require all of Maryland, UVA and VT.

  25. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Notre Dame clearly doesn’t want to be in a sinking Big East, even if it doesn’t have to be play football on that league. They’ve been there, done that, and left before matters got worse.

    Well, the ACC has a real threat of becoming the Big East itself, and in more ways than one. It has already added five Big East teams for football (excluding ND) and will likely add a sixth on order to replace Maryland. Meanwhile, like the Big East, the ACC is in danger of being picked apart of its most valuable members. It also has similar dynamics to the old Big East where there is a large number of private schools, and where its most important members leave only to be replaced by schools that stronger conferences wouldn’t ever consider.

    Notre Dame should see the writing on the wall: the ACC is on track to have the same fate as the conference it just left. There is no GOR to keep the league from being picked apart. But as time passes, there will be no other northeastern conference with similar-sized schools and private schools left. There will only be the Big Ten, a league which Notre Same clearly does not want to join.

    The one thing that could keep Notre Dame in a strong conference for its non-football sports for the long haul is for the conference it gladly chose to join to secure a GOR. The only way the ACC can get a GOR, though, is to get a skyrocketing increase for its TV contract, providing security for everyone from Clemson and FSU to UNC and Virginia. And the only way to get that huge TV $$ increase is to get ND to add three more ACC games/year to its football schedule. Indeed Notre Dame must join the ACC for football in order to avoid having to be in another drowning Big East or having to join a league it does NOT want to join: the Big Ten.

    Short of that, the ACC turns into the Big East in every manner, and Notre Dame is stuck in a league it doesn’t want to be in, no matter which league that is.

    • Pablo says:

      Going in on a 7 game ACC football commitment would be ND’s best chance of creating and leading their own conference. It still provides ND with 5 games to play traditional (Navy, USC, B1Gs/Stanford/other) rivals.

  26. Craig Z says:

    Buckeyes 12-0.

    • bullet says:

      congrats to the Buckeyes. They didn’t often win pretty, but they did what was necessary. Shame an unbeaten team gets shut out, not that I think they are as good as the rest of the top 6 or 7, but noone has proven otherwise. People didn’t think that championship team should have been on the field with Miami. But sometimes teams do just what they need to do to win.

      SMU did that today vs. Tulsa. They were up 28-6 at half and I was looking at the stats on ESPN to see if former UT QB Garrett Gilbert was having a good day. He was 4/15. Tulsa had 19 FD vs 6 for SMU and was 22/42 passing. They had 268 yds vs 171 (half on 1 play). Looking at the play by play, it was turnovers and special teams. SMU blocked a punt and took over on the 3. They got a fumble on the 31. They got an interception on the 35. Coverted all 3 to TDs while Tulsa would drive in to SMU territory repeatedly and fizzle. Gilbert did have a good moment when he scrambled for a 74 yard TD, which was most of SMU’s 1st half offense. Final score was 35-27. 13 FD vs. 32. 305 yds vs 591. And 0 turnovers vs 3.

      • zeek says:

        This year is evidence as much as any other for how hard it is to go undefeated.

        Look at the escapes by Notre Dame and Ohio State to this point. It’s a high wire act at times.

        • bullet says:

          been a rough WE for ranked teams so far. 3 UGA and 23 Kent St. won easily. 6 KSU(after a loss) and 22 (Boise) were off. 16, 18, 19, 20, 24 and 25 in the BCS have lost already.

      • bullet says:

        Actually it was even better. Last play of the game Tulsa completed a pass from the 35 for 34 yards. SMU stopped them 1 yard short. Earlier they stopped them on downs 3 times-on the 8, 21 and 24.

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        “…not that I think they are as good as the rest of the top 6 or 7…”

        Ohio State matches up just fine against at least 3 of those teams (Florida, ND & Oregon). To be honest having Alabama, Georgia & Florida 2,3 & 4 illustrated perfectly how broken the system is.

        • Brian says:

          I don’t like the D vs OR. Tackling issues will get you killed against them, like Shoelace’s long TD when 2 guys bounced off instead of wrapping up.

        • bamatab says:

          Sorry man, but OSU would stand a chance against Bama, UGA, or UF this year. I watch the game this morning, and the players just seemed slower than overall. It was almost as if the plays were going in slow motion (well I might be exaggerating a little, but their is a speed difference). The defenses are just way to strong and fast on those SEC three teams.

          • bamatab says:

            Oops…meant would not stand a chance against those 3 SEC teams.

          • Brian says:


            I don’t disagree on your general point, but SEC players would run slower in cold weather too.

          • Yeah. You just play a little slower in 30deg weather this time of year. OSU has shown in the past that their defense can play the speed game. Some years anyway, not 2006-7. But 2002, 2009 Rose vs Oregon, 2010 vs Arkansas for sure.

            I agree with the overall assessment, but not the rational.

          • Brian says:

            For an extra data point, Urban Meyer says we could play with anyone this year. Take it FWIW, obviously, but he said the opposite a few weeks ago.

          • bamatab says:

            My statement was more in regards to the defensive side of the ball. I realize that the temperature played a roll in today’s game. But I also noticed it defensive speed difference in the Bama/Michigan game at the beginning of the year (and there didn’t seem to be much difference in the UM & OSU defenses in regards to speed). I also noticed it in the only other OSU game that I watched some of this year (the OSU/Neb game).

            manifestodeluxe – I was talking about this year’s team specificially. That 2010 OSU defense that beat Arkansas looked pretty fast, but this year’s defense just looks a step slow. But give Meyer time, he’ll have that defense stacked in another year or two (and will probably own the B1G for the near future).

          • greg says:

            OSU wouldn’t stand a chance against UF? Somehow ULL did. Somehow Missouri came close. Somehow Kentucky had a chance against Georgia.

            If you want to say UF or GA would take 6 or 7 out of 10 from OSU, go ahead, but to say “OSU wouldn’t stand a chance” is just more sec hubris.

          • @bama:

            I can accept that. Losing Simon before the game hurt (although kudos to Washington/Spence for filling in), but the linebackers have been so-so this year. They only gelled after moving Boren over from FB, and as much as I love what Boren brought to the table he’s not the most gifted athlete on the field. That’s why he was a FB.

            I’m not sure it’s a guarantee that OSU would have no chance against any of those three SEC squads, but it’s unlikely they’d win. I don’t think they’d do well against Oregon — slow/questionable LB play would be rough against that spread.

          • bamatab says:

            greg – So you’re saying that 3 out of 10 times are good odds? That doesn’t sound like much of a chance to me if the opposing team would win 70% of the time. Plus UF wouldn’t take OSU lightly, like they did those other teams. Heck, what do you think the betting line would be on that game? I’m thinking you’d be lucky if OSU was at -14.

          • greg says:

            bamatab, so you are admitting you were totally overstating your case that OSU “wouldn’t stand a chance”? I never said I agreed with 7 of 10, nor did I call them “good odds”.

            Ah, UF “took them lightly”. Always the best defense when you struggle against a team with a worse record, it couldn’t be that they just played you well that day.

            OSU would be a 14 point dog against Florida? Jiminy christmas you sec homers live in dream land. Well, I guess the game would have to be in florida for it to take place, so that may be possible.

          • Brian says:


            Without getting into this argument, I’ll just point out that 70% odds of winning is more like a point spread of 9-10 generally. 14 is more like an 80% chance of winning.

          • bamatab says:

            greg – Maybe I should’ve said wouldn’t stand much of a chance. And they are projecting a Bama vs ND point spread to be 13 pt by the time of kickoff. I don’t think that a OSU vs UF point spread would be much different.

            Here is a link stating the projected Bama vs ND odds at game time:


            brian – I was just using 70% because of the 7 out of 10 number that greg used.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            Sorry man, but Bama has beaten exactly one decent team all year. Parroting the ‘speed’ chestnut tell me all I need to know. Bama’s offense poses no ‘speed’ challenges. The only reason I would give Alabama the nod is because of the line play on both sides of the ball. Florida & Georgia are solid teams but nothing special.

            To be blunt Alabama at #2 is a joke.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      Fuck Michigan. Have a nice day.

  27. zeek says:

    This Northwestern team has been one of my favorites since I started following them:

    9-3; losses to Nebraska and Penn State (blown double digit leads with a few minutes in each of those) and Michigan (3 point lead with 20 seconds left and punting).

    In fairness, we won a couple of games that we held on to, so it’s not fair to look at the losses like that.

    @Frank, the Illini have a lot of work to do; looks like a 3-4 year rebuilding project; way more depleted with a lot of coaching issues compared to Zook’s squads of the past few years that were always ready for this game.

  28. zeek says:


    Chip Brown is right that the Big Ten isn’t done expanding.

    Delany’s mentioned 16 teams a couple of times.

    Maryland “leaked” exact financial information comparing the two conferences to SI… (and Delany gave a full interview right after the leak).

    Dave Brandon mentioned that we could go to 16; and some administrators have told media outlets that 14 isn’t a good number.

    You add it all up, and the Big Ten wants 16; there’s too much that all points in that direction. The question is whether we can get everyone in a tizzy and free up some prizes in the process. The schools that make people say “oh this is why they took Rutgers and Maryland and now #3 and #4; looks like a solid expansion”…

    As for Chip Brown’s angle, who knows; wouldn’t be a surprise if the Texas people were analyzing the situation and came to that conclusion and told him.

    • Nick in South Bend says:

      OK. My question would become, what if some of the real prizes are not there to be had? I have no question that the Big Ten is expecting to free up UVA at some point, and is still holding out hope for ND. But what if UVA is not available? I cannot imagine just snagging GT and seeing what happens…

      I agree completely with you though, that the Big Ten did not grab Maryland and Rutgers to stop there. It is moving more pieces into place for the next move…

      • zeek says:

        When you look at Big Ten expansion scenarios, Georgia Tech is like Rutgers (they’re “even-numbered” additions). Make no mistake on that; they aren’t an “odd-numbered team”. What do I mean by that?

        When you consider expansion, odd-number teams have to bring value or be somewhat like a prize that lets you get another prize down the road.

        Maryland insomuch as it is anything, is an “odd-numbered” team; it gets you the D.C.-Baltimore markets while simultaneously giving you all sorts of angles on other schools in the Mid-Atlantic. Maryland is the most similar school to UVa and UNC that is not in the ACC; think about that for a moment. It makes it easier down the road to grab them with Maryland as the bridge.

        Georgia Tech will be #16 if we absolutely have to move on a school like UVa at #15 and decide to round out to an even number because UNC is sticking it out in the ACC…

        Georgia Tech is playing the role of a Missouri, or Rutgers, or Utah. There were scenarios where none of those would end up in their new homes if a difference #14 had shown up…

        • Nick in South Bend says:

          Yea, that all makes sense, but I do not see why it may not jjst be wise to sit at 15 for a bit and see what develops rather than rushing and grabbing a team like GT. I am not a believer that the conference will get bigger than 16 teams, unless ND ever wanted to join. So really…aren’t the next two additions likely to be final for a while? That is why I am sort of anti GT (not full out, I just feel we can do better).

          • zeek says:

            It depends on whether they think they can move to 18 or 20 in the future.

            Now that we’re at 14, you could take UVa and Georgia Tech (if UNC, ND, Texas are unavailable for #16).

            In the future, you could go for UNC/Duke.

          • Brian says:

            Write up a schedule for 15 teams with 2 divisions:
            8 team division = 7-2 schedule
            7 team division = 6-3

            2 * 8 = 16
            3 * 7 = 21

            Either 5 schools only play 8 conference games or 5 play 10 conference games. How do you work that for the standings? Do you still split the money equally? How do you rotate which 5 teams play fewer/more games?

  29. GreatLakeState says:

    Is it possible that Brady Hoke (or his brain trust Al Borges) could have called a worse game?
    Having the Gardner/Robinson combo worked so well in the first half they thought they would ditch it for some ’74 era Bo-Ball in the second- minus the fullback.
    Fourth and two on the fifty? Let’s run ‘er up the gap!
    I swear. There are four downs left in Denard Robinson’s college career and you have him doing jumping jacks on the sideline? Congratulations Hoke, you eeked out a win last year against the worst OSU team in fifty years. Now we have the Urban Era to look forward to.
    Alright, Mr. Harbaugh, you win, we’ll sign the lease to the Big House over to you, just get here quick!

    • Nick in South Bend says:

      Maybe they could have run 156lb Vincent Smith up the gut YET AGAIN!!!

      • GreatLakeState says:

        I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I had to go into a zen-like lock down to keep from spontaneously combusting.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      “There are four downs left in Denard Robinson’s college career and you have him doing jumping jacks on the sideline?”

      -Much like Mike Hart on a stationary bike I see it as perfectly fitting.

    • Brian says:

      Is there any chance OSU’s D had something to do with it, not just coaching failure by MI?

      • GreatLakeState says:

        Even if Michigan would have ‘freaked’ out a win, I wouldn’t have thought they deserved it. Ohio State, though sloppy, was the better team. The reason this game was so painful for certain Michigan fans is that it had unsettling echoes of a bygone era that does not bode well for Michigan’s prospects on a national stage. As much as I love Mattison, Borges and Hoke simply aren’t in Urban Meyer’s league. Ohio State is going to be a beast for years to come. Harbaugh could have met that challenge head on. Miles as well (perhaps) but Hoke? Nothing I’ve see so far has me encouraged. Put the f**n head set on caveman!
        Hopefully Michigan’s retrograde play calling doesn’t stat to turn off a potential recruits.

      • metatron says:

        Sure, but Hoke and Borges have refused to use Denard Robinson to his strengths all season. It’s either incompetence or sabotage.

  30. GreatLakeState says:

    Thanks for trying to give it to us. It takes great effort to leave that many points on the board and still manage a victory.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      LOL I was actually thinking about that during the game. It’s like they wanted to give us one final reminder of the things that have driven people crazy all year.

      • Brian says:

        What do you mean?

        There wasn’t a blown coverage for a big play. Oh, wait. Well, here wasn’t bad tackling that allowed a big play. Oh, wait. Well, there weren’t a whole bunch of bad penalties that hurt the team. Oh, wait. Well, at least Miller didn’t take any dumb sacks for big yardage. Oh, wait. Well, the special teams didn’t give up any big plays. Oh, wait.

        Maybe you have a point.

  31. Bob Marley says:

    It has been rumored for many years that Coach K at Duke and Coach Williams at UNC would veto UConn admission. Academic and ethical issues at UConn basketball negate the attractiveness of the Huskies. Perhaps that changes with a new basketball coach and AD.
    Both UNC and UVa must be looking closely at the financials of the B1G over the long term. Both are likely to entertain a discussion. Duke and UNC are aligned in basketball, but UNC and UVa are bookends as Universities and athletic programs. Delaney is a UNC graduate and former basketball player. It would be his crowning achievement to bring his alma mater into his B1G.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      I have always believed UNC is his white whale. Yes he would love ND, and would do whatever he could to get them, but UNC, being an alumni/player would probably give him the most personal satisfaction.

      • Brian says:

        I think people overvalue his desires in all of this. He serves the COP/C, and they decide who to chase. He presents them with options and they choose which one(s) they prefer.

        • Nick in South Bend says:

          I agree, but his opinion certainly carries a lot of wait. He has been correct about many things for a long time in the conference…and he has made their athletic departments wealthy. Certainly if he thought they should head in a certain direction, the COP/C would weigh that consideration heavily.

          • zeek says:

            Brian is right though.

            I mean, the COP/C have been driving this expansion bus. They were described as “giddy” by both Delany and Gene Smith.

            Mary Sue Coleman put out a statement about how grand a day it was to add prestigious AAU’s to the conference (or something to that effect).

            The real test of Delany’s influence in my mind is Georgia Tech. I could see the presidents want to add them, but I could see the bean counters saying “wait a minute.”

            Let’s see how that plays out…

          • Nick in South Bend says:

            Well, I didn’t say Brian was wrong. I simply said that to think that his opinion on the matter does not matter is naive.

          • Brian says:


            I wasn’t trying to deny his input is valued. I just tire of seeing people talk about this like Delany makes all the decisions and the presidents are just a rubber stamp (not as much here as elsewhere). For example, if the B10 goes after UNC it won’t be because Delany played hoops there.

          • Nick in South Bend says:


            100% Agree with your statement there. Delany’s desires mean little if anything at all. His opinions are what he is paid for, and he has turned many of those opinions into a lot of money. So those opinions become valuable. But his desires are likely only slightly more valuable than mine.

          • greg says:

            It was stated that the Maryland/Rutgers discussions started at the COP/C level, not at the Delany/AD level. The Maryland/Rutgers additions are much stronger at the institutional level than the AD level.

          • Brian says:


            “It was stated that the Maryland/Rutgers discussions started at the COP/C level, not at the Delany/AD level. The Maryland/Rutgers additions are much stronger at the institutional level than the AD level.”

            As it should be. It was a little different when adding #12 because then the athletic conference had an actual need and FB was key to the decision. This expansion was about demographics for the universities and research funding and Delany was probably asked more about if this would lose money for schools or not. As long as it was at least revenue neutral for the athletic side, this was in the COP/C’s hands.

          • zeek says:

            Yes, Maryland was first approached two years ago at the AAU meetings by the Big Ten presidents asking whether they were interested in joining.

            No doubt, similar conversations have already been broached with UVa and UNC.

            I think we can just sit back and let this play out. Sullivan over at UVa has as many (if not more) ties to the Big Ten COP/C as Loh.

            Still a big questionmark over Georgia Tech. It comes down to what the presidents want. If they want Georgia Tech and the “want” is reciprocated, it will happen.

            It doesn’t matter worth a damn what Delany thinks if the presidents decide that they want a school that wants to join…

          • Eric says:

            Disagree about that being a good thing. If they want to expand the CIC, they can do that without expanding the Big Ten. The move greatly effects the athletic schedules going forward and the athletic departments should have been the biggest influence on this decision.

          • Nick in South Bend says:


            Good thoughts about the interplay between CIC and the athletic side. However, this is where Delany comes in. This hypothetical school that the presidents want, that would be a big loser on the athletic side, would be shown to lose them money. This would likely cause them to back off.

            I think one school that could fit this bill is University of Buffalo. AAU, good research, has DI athletics. However, even if the COP/C wanted this school, Delany would likely show them that it is a financial loser, and would be a net drain on both the athletic and academic sides. If they wanted to, they could still force the addition, but they would do so knowing it would be an academic loser.

            If that is the case, then I would imagine the COP/C would back off so as to not lose money on either the academic or athletic sides.

          • Brian says:


            The athletic departments are afterthoughts. There not going to listen to fans upset because of some slight schedule changes.

          • zeek says:

            These schools budget 8-10x as much in research as they do athletics spending. It’s just hard to fathom why they would really care what their sports fans think, many of whom are just t-shirt fans (obviously we’re different in that we’re pretty much all alumni), but even then, they don’t care.

            Regular fundraising for the academic side of the institution is far more important as well.

            Athletics is one of the smallest portions of a university’s budget/spending, and while it’s influence is outsized, the COP/C’s job is to keep that in perspective.

          • zeek says:

            FWIW though Eric, I do hope that they really give a thought to the athletics side of this.

            Obviously, I think everyone here is okay with UVa/UNC.

            But I’m among those who think that the only backup plan should be UVa/Va Tech.

        • metatron says:

          I guarantee you that almost every one of the Big Ten schools are getting a bunch of angry letters from fans, donors, and their political masters right now. Even if you’re not against Maryland or Rutgers right now, some people find the extension of this “eastern strategy” unpalatable.

    • Craig Z says:

      Does that mean they will vote UNC out of the ACC.

      • maguro says:

        Not only that, but the ACC has Miami as a member, but they’re concerned about UConn’s ethics issues?

      • morganwick says:

        What’s the old saying about glass houses?

        (I suspect the ACC will kick Miami out of the conference in a heartbeat if it gets death penalty-like sanctions, perhaps especially if Florida State leaves.)

    • morganwick says:

      That would certainly explain why the ACC would be considering Louisville ahead of UConn, if even the basketball powers would prefer it.

  32. Brian says:


    There was a big drop in attendance for PSU this year. It’s been dropping every year since a high in 2007. New pricing and donation levels started in 2011, causing part of the problem. The scandal obviously hurt them this year, though.

    Capacity = 106,572

    2007 ave = 108,917
    2008 ave = 108,254
    2009 ave = 107,008
    2010 ave = 104,234
    2011 ave = 101,427
    2012 ave = 96,730

    • Nick in South Bend says:

      In addition to just the cost of everything, including tickets and travel, I gotta think that HD TV is taking a toll. It is just easier to stay at home or go to a bar and catch a good view of the game.

      I think this is a trend that is easy to see with PSU given the circumstances, but not exclusively their problem.

      • Brian says:


        I might buy that but CFB attendance is still rising overall.

        • Nick in South Bend says:

          Is it rising as an average per school, or only at the huge programs who constantly expand their stadiums?

          Genuine question, I do not know.

          • zeek says:

            I think a lot of schools are going to experience declines this season. I’m not particularly sure why, but it just seems that way from the numbers I’ve seen.

          • Nick in South Bend says:


            I have heard that the NFL is beginning to struggle with this as well. Some teams likely still “sell” all their tickets, but a big part of the home field advantage is people actually coming.

          • Brian says:


            Smaller schools have more room for growth than the big boys, but I was just talking total attendance. I-A was slightly down in 2011 versus 2010.

            Here are the top 10 schools with increases in 2011 vs 2010:
            1. La.-Lafayette
            2. Arizona St.
            3. Stanford
            4. Iowa St.
            5. Temple
            6. Florida St.
            7. Oklahoma St.
            8. Ball St.
            9. San Diego St.
            10. Western Mich.

            That’s half AQs and half non-AQs.

        • morganwick says:

          TV being better is a bigger issue in the NFL, where there is a genuine cartel refusing to lower prices, where a lot of stadiums being built in recent years haven’t given enough attention to the fan experience in the name of more money-making luxury boxes, where fantasy football is a bigger deal so the ability to surf is more important, where RedZone provides an unmatched experience and all the football coverage you ever need. On the other hand, going to a college football game is as much about everything surrounding the game as anything else, which TV shows little of, and most people in the stands tend to be students making a short trip.

    • Kevin says:

      I also think the the crappy economy has taken a tole. Folks are a little more cautious with their discretionary income. While attendance is down in the NFL and CFB, TV ratings were at all time highs for the NFL.

      • Brian says:


        CFB attendance isn’t dropping, but PSU’s is.

        • Kevin says:

          Brian, Do you have data to support that? Regarding PSU’s attendance I think they may have lost a percentage of their fan base from the Sandusky issue. Hopefully they can turn it around but it may be another 5 years or so.

          • greg says:

            Actually, FBS only makes more sense.

            1985……………………………………………………………. 105 605 25,434,412 42,040
            1986……………………………………………………………. 105 611 25,692,095 42,049
            1987……………………………………………………………. 104 607 25,471,744 41,963
            1988……………………………………………………………. 104 605 25,079,490 41,454
            1989……………………………………………………………. 106 603 25,307,915 41,970
            1990……………………………………………………………. 106 615 25,513,098 41,485
            1991……………………………………………………………. 106 610 25,646,067 42,043
            1992……………………………………………………………. 107 617 25,402,046 41,170
            1993……………………………………………………………. 106 613 25,305,438 41,281
            1994……………………………………………………………. 107 614 25,590,190 41,678
            1995……………………………………………………………. 108 623 25,836,469 41,471
            1996……………………………………………………………. 111 644 26,620,942 41,337
            1997……………………………………………………………. 112 655 27,565,959 42,085
            1998……………………………………………………………. 112 651 27,674,217 42,510
            1999……………………………………………………………. 114 666 29,032,973 43,593
            2000……………………………………………………………. 114 661 28,839,284 43,630
            2001……………………………………………………………. 115 688 30,298,574 44,039
            2002……………………………………………………………. 117 775 34,384,264 44,367
            2003……………………………………………………………. 117 772 35,085,646 45,447
            2004……………………………………………………………. 118 711 32,495,401 45,704
            2005……………………………………………………………. 117 709 32,641,526 46,039
            2006……………………………………………………………. 119 796 36,814,468 46,249
            2007……………………………………………………………. 119 791 37,146,661 46,962
            2008……………………………………………………………. 119 798 37,483,158 *46,971
            2009……………………………………………………………. 120 *809 37,441,060 46,281
            2010……………………………………………………………. 120 808 *37,678,722 46,632

          • Brian says:


            “Brian, Do you have data to support that?”

            Yes, but others have posted numbers so I won’t replicate that. Obviously I don’t know what 2012′s numbers will be, but 2011 reset the total attendance record for CFB.

            “Regarding PSU’s attendance I think they may have lost a percentage of their fan base from the Sandusky issue. Hopefully they can turn it around but it may be another 5 years or so.”

            Most of us expected them to lose some fans short term, and the poor start didn’t help, but the PSU fans were insistent about how they rallied around the team. This just provided some evidence for the magnitude of the drop. It’ll probably rebound a little next year as the immediate stink of the scandal will be gone.

      • greg says:

        Total CFB attendance continues to trend upward, and per game attendance is on a recent upward climb, but its interesting to see the per game average pretty similar to the 1978 number.

        More teams and more games per year drive the total number. Higher top-end stadium capacities, and more bottom-end teams joining D-I balance the average, I’d guess.


        Annual Total NCAA Attendance
        (Includes Only NCAA Teams, All Divisions)
        No. Total P/G Yearly Change
        Year Teams G Attendance^ Avg. Total Att. Percent
        1978………… 484 2,422 32,369,730 13,365 — —
        1979………… 478 2,381 32,874,755 13,807 Up 505,025 +1.56
        1980………… 485 2,451 33,707,772 13,753 Up 833,017 +2.53
        1981………… 497 2,505 34,230,471 13,665 Up 522,699 +1.55
        1982………… 510 2,569 35,176,195 13,693 Up 945,724 +2.76
        1983………… 505 2,557 34,817,264 13,616 dn 358,931 -1.02
        1984………… 501 2,542 35,211,076 13,852 Up 393,812 +1.13
        1985………… 509 2,599 34,951,548 13,448 dn 259,528 -0.74
        1986………… 510 2,605 35,030,902 13,448 Up 79,354 +0.23
        1987………… 507 2,589 35,007,541 13,522 dn 23,361 -0.07
        1988………… 524 2,644 34,323,842 12,982 dn 683,699 -1.95
        1989………… 524 2,630 35,116,188 13,352 Up 792,346 +2.31
        1990………… 533 2,704 35,329,946 13,066 Up 213,758 +0.61
        1991………… 548 2,776 35,528,220 12,798 Up 198,274 +0.56
        1992………… 552 2,824 35,225,431 12,474 dn 302,789 -0.85
        1993………… 560 2,888 34,870,634 12,074 dn 354,797 -1.01
        1994………… 568 2,907 36,459,896 12,542 Up 1,591,352 +4.56
        1995………… 565 2,923 35,637,784 12,192 dn 822,112 -2.25
        1996………… 566 2,925 36,083,053 12,336 Up 445,269 +1.25
        1997………… 581 2,998 36,857,849 12,294 Up 774,796 +2.15
        1998………… 595 3,044 37,491,078 12,316 Up 633,229 +1.72
        1999………… 601 3,137 39,482,657 12,586 Up 1,991,477 +5.31
        2000………… 606 3,122 39,059,225 12,511 dn 423,432 -1.07
        2001………… 608 3,193 40,480,823 12,678 Up 1,421,598 +3.64
        2002………… 617 3,395 44,556,215 13,124 Up 4,075,392 +10.07
        2003………… 617 3,401 46,144,539 13,568 Up 1,588,324 +3.56
        2004………… 612 3,266 43,105,548 13,198 dn 3,038,991 -6.59
        2005………… 615 3,304 43,486,574 13,162 Up 381,026 +0.88
        2006………… 615 3,392 47,909,313 14,124 *Up 4,422,739 *+10.17
        2007………… 619 3,412 48,751,861 *14,288 Up 842,548 +1.76
        2008………… 628 3,493 48,839,003 13,982 Up 87,142 +0.18
        2009………… 630 3,489 48,284,673 13,839 dn 554,330 -1.14
        2010………… *639 *3,547 *49,670,895 14,004 Up 1,386,222 +2.87
        *Record ^Includes reclassifying teams that are not included in divisional attendance figures.

  33. zeek says:

    FSU and Clemson…, not a great night for the ACC.

    Going to the Big 12 isn’t going to solve their problems, to put it mildly.

    • Brian says:

      Also, GT got crushed by UGA and WF got whipped by Vandy earlier.

      • zeek says:

        Yep. And let’s not forget that NC State (which beat FSU) lost to a Tennessee that got its only SEC win against Kentucky…

        Doesn’t matter whether it’s computers or people, it just doesn’t look good.

        The marquee ACC win over the SEC was Clemson 26-19 over Auburn, let that sink in…

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Bad bad bad day. Seminoles would a could a should a had a chance if they hadn’t turned the ball over five @*#-$! times!

      Congrats to the Buckeyes on an undefeated season.

      Congrats to the Irish! Thank you for keeping the &%@+# Gators out of the NCG. They’re the only good thing to be salvaged from this horrible day.

      By the way, Irish, celebrate your victory by joining the ACC, and not in a half-ass sort of way. In a for-real way. The league is rapidly going from a stable, tradition-laden, proud league to the Big East (with the Big East becoming Conference USA).

      Wait, stop laughing and walking away! Join the ACC! You could kick everyone’s rear end for years to come, apparently including Florida State.

      • Brian says:

        Look on the bright side. FSU should still win the ACC and beat the BE champ in the Orange Bowl. Then you can start next year as a preseason top 5-10 team with everyone saying FSU is really back this year.

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          “Then you can start next year as a preseason top 5-10 team with everyone saying FSU is really back this year.”

          Sounds like 2012, and 2011, and several years throughout the 2000′s that ended with 4-6 losses.

          Your Buckeyes are looking pretty bright for the future, though, and not just in a superficial, preseason hype way, but in a, “Hey, we’re coming off a 12-0 season in Year One of Urban Meyer” kind of way. That kind of season builds well for the future. I don’t know what to expect for the future with FSU.

          • Brian says:

            Yeah, he’s laid a solid foundation. Mostly I think he showed how poorly OSU was coached last year. Now he needs to bring in another class loaded with talent to fill some holes. Then he can spend spring practice fixing all the issues the team had this year. People scoffed when, right after his hiring, I pointed out how well 2013 set up for OSU.

            2013 OSU Schedule:
            @ Cal
            @ NW

            @ PU

            @ IL
            @ MI

            Note – Vandy dropped out just recently, so OSU had to replace them at the last minute.

            The OOC schedule is very manageable, leading into a tough B10 opener. NE and MSU rotate off the schedule to be replaced by IA and NW, plus there are 2 bye weeks at good times. The finale will be tough, of course.

          • zeek says:

            Assuming that @Cal doesn’t trip up Northwestern or Ohio State; that OSU@NU game could be interesting.

          • Brian says:

            It’s hard to judge Cal. They have talent, and next year they’ll have a new coach so they could be solid.

      • BruceMcF says:

        Is there any school any more strongly driven by their alums as ND? And ND alums are set on independence. So that’s that.

      • morganwick says:

        Is there any reason why, should Notre Dame end its football independence, it wouldn’t be with the Big 10 if they’re willing?

  34. Brian says:

    Let’s take a quick look at the bowl picture now:

    W – #1-5, 7-9, 12-14, 23
    L – #10-11, 15-21, 24-5
    bye – #6, 22

    NCG – ND vs AL
    Rose – NE vs Stanford
    Fiesta – KSU vs OR
    Sugar – UF vs OU
    Orange – FSU vs Rutgers

    Cap 1 – MI vs UGA
    Outback – NW vs SC
    Gator – WI vs Vandy
    BWW – MSU vs TT
    Houston – MN vs Baylor
    Dallas – PU vs ISU
    Pizza – empty

    • zeek says:

      Bad week for MAC/SunBelt it seemed. Looked like a dozen 5 win teams got their 6th wins today.

      • Brian says:

        Some of those teams had to win. There were a ton of 5 win teams, several playing each other. There are only 71 bowl eligible teams right now, so only 1 team has to miss out (probably CMU). A few more teams still have a shot next week, though.

        • bullet says:

          I think its only 70. UTSA has 2 of its 8 wins vs. Division II schools and 2 vs. FBS, so they really only have 5 that count. That 70 excludes OSU/PSU/UNC/Miami. There are only 3 more schools that can qualify. Pitt, UConn and GT all have to pull upsets (2 in a row for Pitt and UConn).

          So CMU at 6-6 & WKU at 7-5 appear to be on the bubble. Someone else, but not sure who. Depends on where the extra bowl is-Ohio at 8-4, MT/ASU loser next week at 8-4? Not sure if they will make an exception for GT at 6-7 like they did UCLA last year.

          • Brian says:


            “I think its only 70. UTSA has 2 of its 8 wins vs. Division II schools and 2 vs. FBS, so they really only have 5 that count.”

            Agreed. I was just counting asterisks.

            “That 70 excludes OSU/PSU/UNC/Miami.”

            Of course, because they aren’t bowl eligible by definition.

            “There are only 3 more schools that can qualify. Pitt, UConn and GT all have to pull upsets (2 in a row for Pitt and UConn).”

            Agreed. Some of the late games weren’t done yet so there were more earlier.

            “So CMU at 6-6 & WKU at 7-5 appear to be on the bubble. Someone else, but not sure who.”

            6-6 Rice?

            “Depends on where the extra bowl is-Ohio at 8-4, MT/ASU loser next week at 8-4?”

            I don’t think the MAC gets screwed this year. They had some good OOC wins. I think a 6-6 CUSA team (Rice, SMU) is more at risk.

            “Not sure if they will make an exception for GT at 6-7 like they did UCLA last year.”

            They shouldn’t. They passed those new rules for how to fill bowl slots, and they put a 6-7 CCG loser behind all 6-6 teams.

          • bullet says:

            Rice is fine. CUSA has 5 slots and 5 schools. Only conferences with more teams than slots:
            Big 12-1 will do fine (and probably BCS)
            Pac 12-1 will do fine (and it will be BCS)
            WAC-2 and 10-2 SJSU and 9-3 LT will be fine
            It will come from the MAC and Sun Belt if any of the other 3 schools make it (and BE has 4-6 schools with 6 slots-so they will all make it).

          • Brian says:

            I can’t keep track of all the secondary and even tertiary bowl agreements so I just went by least deserving teams. Usually the WAC, MAC and SB suffer that fate.

          • bullet says:

            Those secondary and tertiary connections (when the Big 10 doesn’t send a team to the Papa John’s conference X gets the slot) play out. But MAC and Sun Belt don’t have enough primary connections so they are the ones who get left out. The secondary has tended to help the Sun Belt.

    • Mike says:

      If Nebraska beats Wisconsin (not a given) and UCLA beats Stanford then the Huskers will play two rematches in the same season. Not sure if that has ever happened before.

      • Arch Stanton says:

        “If Nebraska beats Wisconsin (not a given) and UCLA beats Stanford then the Huskers will play two rematches in the same season. Not sure if that has ever happened before.”

        The crazy thing is that would make two rematches for UCLA as well.

        And the two NU-UCLA games would even be in the same venue.

    • Redwood86 says:

      That 2013 OSU schedule is going to keep OSU out of the NC if there are 3 unbeaten teams. The computer ranking will be horrific.

      • Brian says:


        “That 2013 OSU schedule is going to keep OSU out of the NC if there are 3 unbeaten teams. The computer ranking will be horrific.”

        There are too many variables to say that. First, we don’t know how good any of those 12 teams will be. The OOC looks weak, in part because Vandy bailed on OSU at the last minute, but you never know. WI, NW, IA and PSU could all be good to very good. At PU and at IL have always caused OSU problems. Kevin Wilson has IN improving, so they could be a solid bowl team next year, and MI may be back to par with a pro style QB and another strong recruiting class. Second, we don’t know who the other 2 teams are or who they played.

        I’ll be happy to deal with that situation if we go 13-0 next year, though. That’d be 25-0 under Meyer heading to a bowl game. I think that would garner a lot of #1 votes to help offset the computers.

        • Redwood86 says:

          I agree with your last paragraph – which sucks, and is why the playoffs cannot get here fast enough for me.

          • ccrider55 says:

            It’s not a playoff. It’s a four team invitational being called a playoff.

          • Brian says:


            “It’s not a playoff. It’s a four team invitational being called a playoff.”

            That’s crap. Most playoffs are invitationals. There is no way to not make it an invitational in CFB without it being ridiculously large and unwieldy. The BCS was a 2 team playoff plus some other bowls. This will be a 4 team playoff.

          • morganwick says:

            How large and unwieldy are we talking about? Because really, the NCAA Tournament is an invitational too. Are we talking every single bowl-eligible team? Every single team period?

          • Eric says:

            It’s a playoff and bigger than I wish it was.

    • bullet says:

      BCS slots are getting defined. #15-#21, #24 and #25 all lost, making the top 14 secure. Don’t think #22 Boise will squeeze in high enough.
      BCS game is ND vs. AL/UGA winner.
      KSU or OU go to Fiesta
      RU or UL go to BE bowl, probably Orange
      FSU/GT go to Orange
      ST/UCLA go to Rose
      NE/WI go to Rose
      Notre Dame has 1 of the 4 open slots. Florida gets one-the Sugar. Oregon gets one-the Fiesta. Last slot is only one in any doubt. Almost certainly goes to Oklahoma. Could go to Kansas St. if they lose and OU wins B12. Longshot is Clemson beats out KSU or OU if they lose (both play next weekend). Super longshot if OU loses and Texas beats KSU decisively, UT slips in as a #14 ahead of OU and gets picked ahead of Clemson who probably ends up #13 with an OU loss.

      With the 2 school limit and SEC schools entrenched at 2,3,4,7,9 & 10, there won’t be many decisions to be made.

      • Brian says:


        “BCS slots are getting defined. #15-#21, #24 and #25 all lost, making the top 14 secure.”

        They aren’t secure yet. Clemson could drop below OrSU, FSU could lose the CCG and so could NE. The other 11 should be safe, though.

        “Don’t think #22 Boise will squeeze in high enough.”

        At best Boise can be a co-champ with a head to head tiebreaker. They could also have a 2008 B12 South event in the MWC. They don’t have official tiebreakers in the MWC apparently, so I’m not clear whether Boise can use the top 16 champ rule anyway. Let’s assume they could, but I agree that it’s iffy whether they make the top 16.

        “BCS game is ND vs. AL/UGA winner.
        KSU or OU go to Fiesta
        RU or UL go to BE bowl, probably Orange”

        Nobody else will want the BE champ.

        “FSU/GT go to Orange
        ST/UCLA go to Rose
        NE/WI go to Rose”


        “Notre Dame has 1 of the 4 open slots. Florida gets one-the Sugar. Oregon gets one-the Fiesta. Last slot is only one in any doubt. Almost certainly goes to Oklahoma. Could go to Kansas St. if they lose and OU wins B12. Longshot is Clemson beats out KSU or OU if they lose (both play next weekend). Super longshot if OU loses and Texas beats KSU decisively, UT slips in as a #14 ahead of OU and gets picked ahead of Clemson who probably ends up #13 with an OU loss.”

        Clemson will drop like a rock with this loss.

        “With the 2 school limit and SEC schools entrenched at 2,3,4,7,9 & 10, there won’t be many decisions to be made.”

        Pretty much.

        • bullet says:

          Since everyone below them lost, I don’t think Clemson drops very far. #15-#21, #24 and #25 lost. #22 is Boise and #23 Kent.
          S. Carolina and OU probably move to #10 and #11. FSU and Clemson probably just drop to #12 and #13. Maybe Clemson falls to 14 behind Nebraska. No further.

          • Brian says:

            They’ve played 2 good teams and lost both games. FSU also lost to confirm that the whole ACC is weak. I think that feeds back through the computers and the voters to hurt them while OrSU lost to a top 5 team, for example.

    • Richard says:

      Vandy? I’ve got to think that LSU or MSSt. Would get picked before them.

      • Brian says:


        “Vandy? I’ve got to think that LSU or MSSt. Would get picked before them.”

        The Gator gets the 7th actual SEC pick, so after AL, UF, UGA, SC, LSU and TAMU. Vandy is 8-4 (5-3), coming off 6 straight wins and is in the east. MSU is 8-4 (4-4), coming off 4 losses in their last 5 games and is in the west. Based on that, I picked Vandy.

        • Richard says:

          OK, well, Vandy and MSSt. are roughly the same distance from Jacksonville, and the Gator seems to prefer the bigger fanbase regardless of what happens on the field, so I predict that they will take MSSt.

          • Brian says:

            Either choice is possible, but I favored a hot team versus a cold team, especially since Vandy’s fans will be more excited about a Gator Bowl than MSU’s anyway.

  35. frug says:

    So I was doing some digging, and realized if Rutgers better start showing to their home basketball games or the Big 10 is going to lose its streak of 36 straight years of leading the nation in MBB attendance. I just ran the numbers based on 2011-2012 and a Big 10 with Maryland and Rutgers would have finished behind an ACC with Syracuse, Pitt, ND and either Louisville or UConn.

    • frug says:

      For the record, Rutgers averaged 5,362 fans. For comparison, that is about 1,600 fewer fans than Penn St (lowest Big 10 public school), 2,700 fewer than Nebraska (second lowest) and 7,500 less than the average Big 10 school.

      • zeek says:

        Won’t Nebraska give the numbers a big boost when they their new arena up?

        • zeek says:

          Er, forgot a *get* in there.

        • frug says:

          Actually, I need to amend what I said. They are averaging about 4,700 less than Nebraska (not 2,700).

          To your point though. Logic dictates that it should boost attendance, but at 10,019 fans per game it’s not out of the question that UNL, a football school whos basketball program is best known for the fact it exists, has already near its limit. There just may not be a lot of room for growth.

          Plus, if the ACC adds Louisville (21,503) it won’t really matter how fans many Nebraska adds, the Big 10 isn’t going to catch them.

          • Mike says:

            When Nebraskaetball is competitive fans will show up. However, Nebraska hasn’t been competitive since ’98. Very hard to watch the product Nebraska has been putting out since Danny Need was fired.

          • frug says:

            But realistically how much more can they average even if they are good. They are 10,019 now. For comparison Florida and Texas which have been far more competitive and have much larger enrollments average 10,434 and 11,950, respectively.

            There may be some room for improvement, but I doubt there is much.

          • frug says:

            I guess what I should say is Nebraska’s high end is likely 12,000 which would be a solid improvement, but not enough to push the Big 10 past the ACC alone.

          • Mike says:

            Creighton averages over 16k and is a much smaller school in roughly the same market. Nebraska averaged 14k for conference games for a chunk of the 90′s (~12k overall) in a 14,500 seat arena. The new arena will be larger Fwiw.

          • frug says:

            The Omaha metro area has almost 3 times as many people as the Lincoln metro are (577,000 more people) so it isn’t really the same market.

            But you are right, they did have solid attendance in the ’90s so we’ll see what happens.

          • Arch Stanton says:

            But Creighton is good.

          • Mike says:

            @frug – there are a lot of Nebraska fans in the Omaha area who make the trip to Lincoln for basketball games. Many of those attend Creighton games as well.

          • mnfanstc says:


            Statistically speaking, they could just as well combine the two metro areas (Lincoln and Omaha)… According to RandMcnally, Lincoln and Omaha are separated by 58 miles. I live in St Cloud, MN; which is 72 miles from Minneapolis, and St Cloud metro is included in the Combined Metropolitan Statistical Area population of the Twin Cities.

            Having travelled both routes more than once, I guarantee you it is quicker to get from Omaha to Lincoln, than it is for me to travel from St Cloud to the ‘cities (Mpls-St Paul), distance having little affect—population/traffic being the factor.

            Regarding attendance—UNL’s likely will increase… I’m still crossing my fingers for UNL to come up with a D-1 Hockey team… Losing some of the WCHA rivalries for a six team B1G league sucks… Need a couple more players to make more worthwhile in my mind…

      • frug says:

        Should be 4,700 fewer than Nebraska (need an edit button)

  36. Mike says:

    I haven’t seen this discussed yet:

    We’re generally assuming there are three kings left in play (at least as long shots) for the Big 10: Texas, UNC and Notre Dame. But is that really the case?

    Now that Maryland and Rutgers have been added, let’s take a best case scenario and assume the BTN/YES package is successful throughout NYC. If that were to happen, how much value does Notre Dame still offer the Big 10?

    And as a corrollary, if that value is still high enough to warrant 15 or 16, is it really high enough to go past 16?

    • Brian says:


      ND is a national ratings booster and would bump the value of the TV deal. They would also make the BTN more money (more subscriptions plus more ad revenue due to more viewers). They will always be worth adding.

      Also, UNC isn’t a football king.

      • Mike says:

        By “kings”, I meant those school that justify expansion in and of themselves, regardless of the circumstance. For example, Virginia may be an “odd numbered” addition, but if we get to 16 without them and they want to join at a later date, I think they’re out of luck.

        I think it’d be instructive for us to clearly define who the kings in this expansion are. What schools would cause the Big 10 to go past 16? I think Texas is obvious. I’d also argue for UNC, but maybe there’s room for debate.

        The problem with Notre Dame is their value is so difficult to quantify. Purely from the BTN side of things, I believe the biggest boon was expected to be in the NYC area. As Zeke mentioned, the question then becomes how much more a Notre Dame package gets you compared to one with Rutgers/Maryland/YES Network.

        As you said, Notre Dame’s biggest effect could be in the TV deals. But again, with Notre Dame being a national school, an exact number is difficult to pin down.

        I guess my question is: if we take Patrick’s numbers as accurate enough, how much of Notre Dame’s $47 million is already assumed by Rutgers/Maryland/YES?


        Texas $101,369,004
        Rutgers WITH NYC $67,798,609
        Nebraska $54,487,990
        Maryland $50,818,889
        Boston College $48,382,692
        Notre Dame $47,629,255

        • zeek says:

          I wouldn’t assume that the overlap is on Notre Dame’s side.

          The synergy that you get with Rutgers/Maryland is additive; it’s a positive sum game.

        • Brian says:


          The B10 would always say yes to several teams, but I’ll skip any SEC or P12 teams.

          1. ND
          2. Texas
          3. maybe UNC, but probably only if UVA and/or VT is already in or part of the deal

        • morganwick says:

          North Carolina justifies expansion in and of themselves (despite their mediocre and troubled football program), but Duke doesn’t?

      • metatron says:

        If UNC is a king, then so is Kansas and Kentucky.

        • Brian says:

          Not by his idiosyncratic definition of king. KS and KY are too small to be TV draws. The academics of UK are too weak while KU is borderline.

        • frug says:

          North Carolina has 2.4 million more people than Kansas and Kentucky combined, and much stronger academics than either. It is significantly more valuable than both.

          • frug says:

            For what its worth, UNC is also has a strongest FB program of the three.

          • Mike says:

            A prettiest pig contest if I ever saw one.

          • metatron says:

            It’s valuable, but mostly in it’s current position. We aren’t operating in a vacuum, these gears have to work together to power the machine. Don’t get me wrong, the Tar Heels will make money wherever they go, but to expect the same return after they’ve left all of their rivals and alienated their fanbase is ludicrous – it’s like asking USC or Alabama to join us. Nebraska only worked because they no longer had any attachment to the Big XII; Penn State is still imperfect in it’s assimilation.

            I know I’ve been pushing Kansas a lot. I’m not actually a Jayhawk fan; I couldn’t care less about them. I just think that everyone’s glossing over the very real problems with adding UNC, not to mention arrogantly assuming that they would jump just because Virginia came. The same could be said for Virginia as well.

            This isn’t a game. Some of you need to stop treating this like Risk or Civilization.

          • frug says:


            This isn’t a discussion about whether UNC would come. It is a discussion about their value if they did come.

            All I pointed out was that they would be far more valuable to the Big Ten than KU or UK. And they would. Period.

          • metatron says:

            I never said they wouldn’t be, merely that they wouldn’t. I also argued that both parties would be running a huge risk in doing so.

          • frug says:

            Adding UNC would be risk at all for the Big 10. North Carolina’s population isn’t going to shrink if UNC changes conferences and UNC will be able to deliver those TV sets.

          • morganwick says:

            Keep in mind that Kansas was a national title contender in football not too long ago. Kansas and Kentucky basketball would bring the same thing to a conference as Nebraska football.

          • Richard says:

            Basketball’s roughly half as valuable, so a program that is a basketball king is roughly half as valuable as a football king (and as valuable as a middle-of-the-road football program).

    • zeek says:

      There are several considerations:

      1) broadcast network value

      2) cable subscriber value

      3) cable advertising value

      No matter how you slice or dice it, it’s always worth adding kings in terms of money. You can always go past 16 for those schools because they always increase the broadcast network value and the cable advertising value enough to cover themselves. As for cable subscriber value, it’d make it easier to charge better rates on BTN in the NYC market if you end up getting carriage there regardless, I’d guess. These agreements do get renegotiated on cycles…

  37. loki_the_bubba says:

    List of bowl eligible teams I care about:

    1. Rice
    2. Notre Dame

    • Nick in South Bend says:

      Everyone should care about a bowl eligible Duke!

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        ACC bowl-eligible teams above .500:

        10-2 Florida State (should soon be 11-2)
        10-2 Clemson
        7-5 NC State

        That’s it! Three teams out of 12. Any wonder why FSU had such horrible computer rankings, only worsened by the UF loss?

        Three others (GT, Duke, and Va. Tech) are bowl-eligible at 6-6, while two others above .500 but aren’t bowl eligible (UNC at 8-4 and Miami at 7-5).

        • Nick in South Bend says:

          Duke will take what they can get….

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            Absolutely. It’s a pretty big deal around here, at least a big topic if conversation. Too bad they still struggle to get people to go to games.

            BTW, if (when) GT loses next weekend, they lose their bowl eligibility since it would drop them below .500, but they might get a waiver like UCLA did last year.

        • Brian says:

          NCAA bowl ineligibles did really well this year:

          OSU 12-0
          PSU 8-4
          UNC 8-4
          Miami 7-5

        • Brian says:

          Actually, GT isn’t really bowl eligible. They have to win the ACC CG to make a bowl. If they lose, they fall to 6-7 and would fall behind all 6-6 teams. Since there are 71 bowl eligible teams without them, GT will miss out.

          • Nick in South Bend says:

            GT is widely expected to be granted a waiver due to their appearance in the CCG.

          • frug says:

            UCLA got a waiver at 6-7 even though two 6-6 teams were left out of bowls.

          • zeek says:

            Nick, frug; they changed the rule last year so that now 6-7 is behind 6-6.

          • Brian says:

            Nick in South Bend,

            “GT is widely expected to be granted a waiver due to their appearance in the CCG.”

            By whom? The NCAA installed new rules for bowl eligibility this year. First, all the 6-6 or better teams. If bowl slots are left, then:

            1. 6-6 teams with a win over a I-AA that didn’t have enough scholarships
            2. 6-6 teams with 2 I-AA wins
            3. 6-7 teams that lost their CCG

            There are more, but the point is that’s where GT should fit in. Unfortunately for them, there are enough bowl eligible teams as is.

            Now, it’s possible they get a waiver because Miami and UNC can’t go to the CCG, but that’s far from assured.

          • frug says:

            My bad.

          • bullet says:

            The theory behind UCLA’s exception was that the Pac 12 couldn’t fill its bowl committments. That would be true for the ACC. But they are frowning more on losing teams going to bowls, so an exception isn’t certain. And GT ended in a 3 way tie. The only reason Miami was certain to go to the ccg because UNC was on probation. Not sure how the tiebreaks would have worked as each beat the other.

            And as I pointed out above, UTSA doesn’t qualify as they only have 4 wins vs. FBS, so the number of qualified teams is 70 right now, not counting GT.

          • Brian says:


            “The theory behind UCLA’s exception was that the Pac 12 couldn’t fill its bowl committments. That would be true for the ACC.”

            But that was before they made new, explicit rules on how to fill those slots. There’s no reason to expect them to give a waiver to circumvent their brand new rules when there is no need to do so. The new rules say being eligible trumps conference affiliation now.

            “And GT ended in a 3 way tie. The only reason Miami was certain to go to the ccg because UNC was on probation. Not sure how the tiebreaks would have worked as each beat the other.”

            The applicable tiebreaker is how they did against the 4th place team. That was VT, and VT beat GT but lost to the others. That takes it to Miami versus UNC, and UNC won head to head.

        • zeek says:

          It’s that out-of-conference record:
          @DavidHaleESPN: ACC ends season 7-19 vs. AQ non-conf teams, (1-5 vs SEC) Beat: UConn, USF, Aub, Army, Temple, PSU

  38. loki_the_bubba says:

    Latest bowl projections:

    Donations being accepted to send loki to Hawaii…

  39. Michael in Raleigh says:


    One of the arguments I have read about that goes against the idea of the Catholic schools voting go dissolve the conference is that it would invite lawsuits from those schools scheduled to join next year. Houston, SMU, Memphis, Temple, and UCF all are scheduled to leave their basketball leagues next year, and they have no where else to play their sports. The A-10 and C-USA have already made replacements.

    Wouldn’t they have a case for damages against the schools voting to dissolve a league that voted them in?

    • spaz says:

      Couldn’t they just all team up with the remaining football schools to play as a “conference” whether in name or just form? If you have those 5 plus USF, plus whomever of Cinci/UConn/Louisville is left, you have enough for a reasonable schedule playing everyone home and away. And if the ACC only takes one team, it would be pretty decent in hoops.

      I guess you don’t get the automatic bid to the tourney though…. wonder if they could petition to keep the Big East’s bid?

      • spaz says:

        Oh, and Rutgers is still in the league in 2013-14.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          If the Big East votes to dissolve Rutgers will likely be playing in the B1G next year despite the problems inherent with 13.

          • @Scarlet_Lutefisk – There’s still a BCS bowl AQ bid for the Big East next year, so I doubt that they’ll dissolve the football side with $18 million plus coming just for existing.

            FWIW, I find it more likely that the remnants of the Big East football side will rebuild even if the league loses all of Louisville, Cincinnati and UConn. It’s still got the ability to be a better league for everyone left than going back to C-USA or the MWC.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            If the BB only schools can push the vote to dissolve (which is the rumor we are talking about yes?) then the football side doesn’t exist. There will be no Big East, period.

            IF (and it is certainly a very big if) that were to happen then the best option by far for Rutgers would be just to join the B1G a year early. I am reasonably certain the league would go ahead and assist them in that regard rather than leave them hanging for a year.

          • morganwick says:

            Considering Frank was the one who suggested the scenario to begin with, I think he may be hinting at the Big East football members forming their own all-sports league, possibly a back door way to perform the long-rumored split.

            That depends on how many of their number they lose. If Boise and San Diego State go back to the Mountain West and Memphis and Temple leave with the Catholic schools, Houston, SMU, and the Florida schools may be best off trying to muscle their way back into Conference USA or even (for Houston and SMU) the Big 12, at least outside of football. On the other hand, if they keep everyone except Navy, I could see them snapping up New Mexico State and some more Conference USA teams to fill out a new league – probably any three of East Carolina, UAB (for basketball purposes), Rice, UTEP, and Louisiana Tech, with Idaho having an outside shot and maybe even trying to recruit BYU. (My picks: UAB, Rice, and Louisiana Tech.) Temple might still leave in that circumstance, though Memphis really wouldn’t want them to, and attempt to resume their football-only membership in the MAC, but the options for their basketball program would be really limited unless the Big East Catholics took them in.

            For football, the result would probably be one of the two strongest non-power conferences with Houston, SMU, UCF, USF, Boise State, and some combination of UTEP, East Carolina, and Louisiana Tech. I could see them being bowl partners with the Mountain West in that case. On the basketball side, it’d be a moderate step up from what Memphis left in Conference USA with San Diego State, Temple, and possibly New Mexico State, but that’s very dependent on the whole remaining together.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            Be that as it may he was directly referencing a statement regarding where Rutgers would end up if the Big East votes to dissolve. If that happens Rutgers will not spend one year in whatever pick-up conference the remaining FB schools manage to cobble together. That is the only point I was making.

    • morganwick says:

      Another reason the Catholic schools wouldn’t dissolve the conference is because they might lose their NCAA Tournament credits. I think it’s more likely they simply vote to drop football like the WAC has done, especially if Boise and San Diego State come crawling back to the Mountain West. The downside is that it’s harder to kick the other all-sports schools out of the conference, but I also think they’d be very willing to take Memphis and certainly Temple along with them as they have very strong basketball programs, unless they’re absolutely committed to a new conference having a strong Catholic or at least private (Butler isn’t Catholic) identity.

      • morganwick says:

        Actually, if the Catholic schools really wanted to create an all-Catholic conference, I think they do this instead of adding Butler:

        Dear Notre Dame,

        We know you’ve been worried about the stability of the Big East. We know you saw the writing on the wall when Pittsburgh and Syracuse left town, and that’s why you left for the ACC. You wanted a conference stable enough outside football that you could continue to be independent in football.

        You see just how stable it really was. Your very presence, and demand to be left out of a football conference, is an inherently destabalizing influence. Maryland has left the conference, and while the ACC will probably/has replaced them with one of your former Big East buddies, it’s not clear that there won’t be more defections in the future.

        The core of the conference is pissed off at you and what you represent. Great, you get to play Duke and North Carolina every year. Except they genuinely hate you so much they might just consign the northern half of the conference to its own division that barely plays the southern half at all. You’ll have effectively lost Georgetown, Villanova, and any schools the ACC doesn’t take and the best basketball schools you’ve really added are Boston College, maybe Virginia Tech, an off chance at the Florida schools.

        Meanwhile the ACC is forcing your football team to play a bunch of schools you don’t care about. Oh, your fanbase will get excited for Florida State and Miami, assuming Miami doesn’t get the death penalty, but will any of them care about any of the others? And will Florida State even still be in the ACC?

        We want you to take a look at the new Big East. No longer do we have a football arm nagging you to drop your independence. You’ll be in a conference consisting solely of others like yourself, bound by a shared Catholic mission and a shared territory in the Midwest and Northeast. You’ll get to keep Georgetown, Villanova, and St. John’s, while losing Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and the schools the ACC just added. I’m pretty sure you care more about the former than the latter. Besides, we’ve made up for the losses of the football schools with some great basketball-playing Catholic schools, like Xavier, Dayton, and Saint Louis, schools that help maintain and carry forward our conference’s legacy of basketball excellence. Plus, your football schedule will be free to be set however you see fit.

        You are the only one of our number we’ve lost in all of conference realignment. With all the emphasis on football, we can assure you that our conference will be the strongest, most cohesive basketball conference in the nation. No one will raid our members to make a quick buck in football, nor will any of our members wish to leave for a marriage of convenience.

        It’s time to come home, Notre Dame.


        The Big East Conference (or the conference built on its ashes)

        • frug says:

          I suspect that ND would probably consider a Big East made up of nothing but the Catholic schools, Memphis and Temple to be too weak to house their non-revenue sports (BB would be good but almost everything else would be terrible).

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        That is incorrect. If a conference dissolves all of the credits will revert back to each individual institution. That is per NCAA bylaws.

  40. Mike says:

    Is the video of the week “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys or “Rumor Has it” by Adele?

    • morganwick says:

      The funny thing about that image in retrospect is that it’s essentially saying “Do NOT question the military-industrial complex! Those people who keep going on about peace and love and crap like that? They just want to sell us out to the COMMIES~! NEVER question the government’s policies, because the government is always right and only ever looks out for the best interests of America!” It’s incredible how close we got to 1984 for a while there in the McCarthy era…

  41. mushroomgod says:

    Some talk on the conference realignment board about UL and Cicny and/or U Conn to ACC…..

    Other rumors about VA and U Conn to BIG….

    As to the latter, I kinow U Conn is not AAU, but it is rated highly by US News, so Presidents might sign off. Also, Delaney’s fond of the eastern market….Still, smallish school and that would be 4 average,at best, football schools added….

    Seems hard to believe, but no harder than GT.

    • Brian says:

      Not only is UConn not AAU, they are ranked much lower than GT too.

    • zeek says:

      I find it difficult to believe that the Big Ten would add any school to the northeast of the Penn State/Maryland/Rutgers trio.

      It feels like the Big Ten has made it’s play on the East Coast and clearly signaled that the intent is to go South to pick up some of the programs that are located in stronger recruiting grounds.

      Rutgers was really the only school in the Northeast with a huge amount of potential upside given its huge student/alumni base in the region as well as the fact that it has strong recruiting grounds in New Jersey.

      The goal is to go to where the population, recruits, Big Ten alumni, etc. are; to go where the future of the country is.

      The only schools that we’re looking are South of the footprint (other than Notre Dame).

      • mushroomgod says:

        Maybe…..however, if VA wants to come but UNC doesn’t, nor does VA Tech….and if the ACC takes 3 teams now…and if it came down to a choice between U Conn and GT, I’d take U Conn…better basketball, only significant school in it’s state, gives some access to the New England market….GT is always going to be second fiddle to Georgia……today’s loss was their 10/last 11 years….plus it would be a real outlier…..I actually like U Conn more than KU (but not as much as MO),

        • Richard says:

          UConn’s bball revenues are actually second-rate. I do not expect them to be a bball king without Calhoun.

          Syracuse bests UConn on pretty much all criteria (so does Pitt, but they’re already in the footprint).

          • Brian says:

            Not only that, but NY >> CT as far as gaining a state for TVs. On top of that, it would work better RU to penetrate NYC more.

            Unfortunately, Syracuse voluntarily dropped out of the AAU because their mission is drifting away from the AAU’s ideal. Since the B10 and AAU agree, that’s a tough sell to the COP/C.

          • gfunk says:

            UNC is not a football giant. It has decent prep football, but not on the level of Ga, Fl, and smaller states La, Miss. You could argue SC has better per capita football talent. Prep basketball is king in that state. UNC is one of 5 FBS schools in NC, only one is outside a 2 hour driving radius – ECU. NC, currently is too saturated to produce a football power. Wake and Duke would have to dump their FBS teams to clear way for UNC to have a chance at dominance. Only room for two football powers in NC: NCSt and UNC.

          • Greg Nims says:


            Per capita football talent, NC is solidly below SC and well below the rest of the south.

          • @Greg: Given that that graph has California below every team in the south except North Carolina, and in fact has Texas below Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, *and* Mississippi… no, just no. Not sure how they got their numbers there, but I have a hard time believing Mississippi outpaces Texas, Florida, *and* California in terms football talent.

          • greg says:

            I’m not surprised that on a per-capita basis, some small state leads in the rankings.

          • morganwick says:

            Yeah, they really care about football in the South, while California, Texas, and Florida get by on sheer numbers. It is a little surprising to see Texas so relatively low, though.

          • Brian says:


            “UNC is not a football giant.”

            No, it isn’t. Nobody ever said it was, though.

            “It has decent prep football, but not on the level of Ga, Fl, and smaller states La, Miss.”

            Oh, you mean the state of NC. No, it isn’t an elite HS FB state. But it’s better than most of the B10 and is growing. It’s also much larger than mANY SEC states, so it doesn’t have to produce as many players per capita to be highly valuable.

            NC – 6.7M

            AR – 2.9M
            MS – 3.0M
            KY – 4.4M
            LA – 4.6M
            SC – 4.7M
            AL – 4.8M

            “UNC is one of 5 FBS schools in NC, only one is outside a 2 hour driving radius – ECU. NC, currently is too saturated to produce a football power. Wake and Duke would have to dump their FBS teams to clear way for UNC to have a chance at dominance. Only room for two football powers in NC: NCSt and UNC.”

            That makes zero sense. The next player Duke or Wake steals from UNC will be the first. It’s like saying OSU needs all the MAC schools to go away.

        • zeek says:

          I think you’d always take the school that’s a distant second in a massive market like Georgia/Atlanta that’s football crazy over the school that’s somewhat dominant in a much smaller market.

          But that cautionary note about w/l record should apply to UVa.

          As much as we talk about UVa as an amazing addition, they’ve lost like 13 of their last 14 to Virginia Tech.

          • Brian says:


            That’s one reason why I’d look to take both or just VT. Vt is bigger, more popular and better at FB. It also is improving academically. The COP/C would disagree with me, I’m sure.

          • zeek says:

            Brian, that’s the one thing that worries me about expansion (and should worry any conference raiding the ACC).

            I’m really not interested in “importing” built-in rivalry losses to the SEC.

          • Richard says:

            Eh. The past is not prologue.

            VTech was nothing before Beamer and they actually haven’t been recruiting that well lately (kind of akin to JoePa’s twilight years). They are the bigger school, but I wouldn’t presume that the less elite school located in the Appalachians would naturally perform better than the much more established school smack dab in the middle of the growing part of the state going forward.

          • mushroomgod says:

            zeek….you’re the one talking about VA as an amazing addition, not me. It’s a smallish, snobbish, southern school that looks better on film than in person.

            VA’s academic standards are way too high to be an elite football school or basketball. and the neighborhood’s too tough. It’s great in the rich white boy sports…VA is Miss Congeniality in the football expansion pageant.

            Richard, as to Syracuse v. U Conn…..you’re wrong again. Syracuse is an isloated, frozen outpost. It’s smaller than U Conn, and isolated, and declining. U Conn is relevant, bigger, public, improving.

          • zeek says:

            As a football prospect, there’s questionmarks about UVa.

            What the presidents are looking for in terms of #15… only UVa fits the bill right there.

            I just hope they go for both Virginia schools.

          • mushroomgod says:

            Brian….no way the BIG would take VA Tech without VA………for one thing, 90% of Va Tech’s fans/alums want the SEC, not the BIG….only way it’s palletable to them is if VA comes along to beat up. Also, VA Tech’s got a lot of that A@M marching cadet bs about it….w/o VA, too much of a cultural outlier.

          • mushroomgod says:

            zeek….VA looks SO much stronger as an addition if packaged with VA Tech or UNC….v.. let’s say, KU.

            As someone mentioned, adding VA w/o VA Tech is adding a football loss to the neighboring SEC school 2/3 of the time….plus, there’s a big enthusiasm gap as far as the public goes between VA Tech and VA…..

            As to UNC, it has to be looked at as a sleeping giant in football…..at worst, it should be cranking out MSU/Wisconsin type seasons….

            Taking VA with UNC or VA Tech lets the BIG focus on VA’s great academic history and rep, market, political influence, and olympic sports program…..

          • Richard says:


            If ‘Cuse is isolated, where is UConn? You do know where Storrs is, right?

            Syracuse bball also pulls in far more revenue than UConn bball.

            Finally, UConn only has several thousand more undergrads than ‘Cuse while upstate NY has several million more people than CT.

            You do have to use facts when you argue, mushroom, instead of simply saying “you’re wrong”.

          • Brian says:


            “VA’s academic standards are way too high to be an elite football school or basketball. and the neighborhood’s too tough.”

            I can hear Stanford laughing from here.

          • @Brian: Agreed. It’s not like Stanford and Northwestern haven’t been good in the past (and present in Stanford’s case). And East Palo Alto ain’t exactly paradise.

          • Notre Dame’s undergrad academics aren’t too shabby, either, and they’ll be playing for the national championship in a few weeks.

            We obviously have to separate the academics of the school overall versus what the athletic department is willing to tolerate. UNC is right up there with UVA in the academic rankings, yet they’re mired in a nasty academic scandal regarding their athletes.

          • @Frank: For all the good it’s done UNC on the field.

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            @Frank: “We obviously have to separate the academics of the school overall versus what the athletic department is willing to tolerate.”

            And here we get to the root of the Rice problem. They don’t think they should separate the two. We lose recruits to Stanford because our process for letting in borderline athletes is so screwed up.

    • Richard says:

      Advantages GTech has over UConn:
      1. In a large growing state with terrific football talent instead of a small non-growing state with little football talent.
      2. In a major city with a bunch of alums instead of out in the wilderness (OK, UConn plays football in E. Hartford, which isn’t much better).
      3. AAU

      Advantages UConn had over GTech:
      They had a bball coach who won national titles. He’s now gone.

      • mushroomgod says:

        Since when has the BIG added a school that is so clearly second fiddle within it’s own state, and will always be? (before you say MSU….they had won 2 NCs coming into the BIG).

        I’m not advocating U Conn, just reporting the rumors, but you missed a few “advantages” there…

        First, U Conn dominates it’s market…GT is an afterthought, both in sports and in the public imagination. Second, U Conn fits better with MD, PSU, Rutgers. Third, U Conn is northern, not southern. Adding true southern schools will add a third cultural dynamic–who’s to say if it will work in the long run. Fourth, U Conn is realtively close to PSU, MD, Rutgers…GT”s not close to any school. Fifth, we’re not only talking Men’s basketball, but also the best women’s program ever…when was the last time GT won ANYTHING?

        • zeek says:

          UConn really won’t be considered seriously though.

          I think they’d rather go after Virginia Tech if they have to…

        • Brian says:


          “Since when has the BIG added a school that is so clearly second fiddle within it’s own state, and will always be? (before you say MSU….they had won 2 NCs coming into the BIG).”

          MSU joined in 1950, before their titles. Their athletic teams joined in 1953, but the school was already a member. Meanwhile, MI won titles in 1947 and 1948 on top of their 8 pre-AP titles.

          1940-1949 W%:
          MI – 82.1%, #2 nationally
          MSU – 63.1%, #36 (and behind WMU too)

          MI was riding a 10 game winning streak over MSU, too. MSU was very clearly second fiddle in the state when they were admitted.

          • zeek says:

            Michigan State wasn’t AAU either when they joined yet that’s never really mentioned nowadays other than around here.

          • Brian says:

            Well, the B10 hasn’t added many schools and even fewer as the 2nd school in the state. Forgive me for pointing out a clear example that even he brought up but then tried to dismiss with incorrect facts.

            And no, MSU wasn’t AAU back then although they weren’t far away (joined 15 years later). It’s also entirely possible that the COP/C has changed their opinion on the importance of AAU status over the past 60 years.

        • Brian says:


          “Fifth, we’re not only talking Men’s basketball, but also the best women’s program ever…when was the last time GT won ANYTHING?”

          1990 split football title
          1990, 2004 final fours
          2007 women’s tennis national title

    • Peter says:

      The B1G Chancellors/Presidents hate US News.

      UConn to the B1G is ridiculous. They’re not AAU, they have no endowment, no research money, no history of success in football.

      • mushroomgod says:

        They may hate it, but they don’t ignore it, so their hate is largely irrelevant. Now, the lack of AAU status….that’s a big deal….probably a biigger deal than in VA Tech’s situation, since they are probably in the AAU line….

        I will say, as far as GT v. U Conn, that GT’s academic profile (other than just the AAU business..) is a better BIG fit than U Conn’s—U Conn looks to be primarily a big liberal arts school…not too much in the hard sciences and engineering……..

        • Peter says:

          No non-AAU is happening unless they are from South Bend. Michigan & Wisconsin won’t allow it. They’re STILL mad over Nebraska screwing up.

          US News is totally irrelevant to the conversation. The only schools they designate as unacceptable are ones that the B1G is perfectly happy to independently label unacceptable for lack of AAU or lack of admission standards.

          • mushroomgod says:

            Totally irrelevant because you say so…..got ya

          • zeek says:

            Peter, we still don’t know about Virginia Tech. Only ND is a for sure shoo-in as a non-AAU, but there’s still a question about Va Tech.

            Other non-AAUs aren’t being considered for sure like Texas Tech or NC State.

            But Virginia Tech is basically another Nebraska in terms of where it is academically; a little bit outside the AAU criteria but putting the work into increasing research expenditures.

          • jtower says:

            Whoa. Didn’t Michigan facilitate Nebraska losing AAU?

          • schwarm says:

            I thought it was Northwestern.

          • bullet says:

            Michigan and Wisconsin voted to kick them out. There may have been other B10 schools. All the Big 12 schools voted to keep them.

          • Richard says:

            No reports said Northwestern voted out UNL. Schwarm, where did you get your info?

          • Peter says:


            Yes, Michigan and Wisconsin shanked Nebraska at the AAU. Nebraska fell below AAU threshold in the first assessment after they joined the B1G, and those two not only were not supportive, they actively turned on them and voted to strip.

            It has never been publicly explained (or even officially acknowledged) but one gets the sense that Michigan & Wisconsin felt they were lied to and were…displeased.

            Expecting them to just turn around and embrace a school that’s *not* AAU but promising they are on the way is pretty unrealistic. Let alone on US News of all things; that’s the last thing those two want to hear about.

          • bullet says:

            If there was that impression, the UNL president probably supplied it. Berdahl told him what to present to the committee and he just ignored it and did exactly the opposite. You don’t ignore advice and tell an exclusive club that their membership rules are stupid and be surprised when they kick you out.

          • schwarm says:

            Richard, you are right. I think there were early rumors about NW voting Nebraska out, but subsequent open records requests indicated that the NW president was supportive of continued membership, while Wisconsin’s and Michigan’s were not.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            @bullet – That is essentially my understanding on what happened as well. From speaking to two people who were in attendance, Perlman’s presentation alienated the members and almost certainly directly resulted in some individuals changing their votes.

          • Brian says:

            And it still was a very close vote. I tend to think the B10 schools thought NE would survive the vote, but I don’t blame MI and WI. If they voted true to their beliefs on what the AAU should be, then more power to them as long as they are consistent and vote that way in the future.

            I hope the AAU continues on their course of trimming the bottom scools if that’s what they feel they need to do. From NE’s chart, they were #109. The other bottom members were #105 (probably Syracuse, and they quit), 94, 87, 83, 81 and 74-76. The 25th percentile is between #58 and 59. I’d say everyone above 80 should be reviewed, especially so deserving schools can be added since the AAU seems to want to limit its size. There are 7 eligible schools in the top 50 of the list, plus others climbing the ranks.

  42. zeek says:

    Does anyone know if this Stanford-UCLA Pac-12 CCG rematch is the first back-to-back rematch in a CCG?

    • cfn_ms says:

      Probably. Of course, that’s not as crazy as the back to back Florida vs Florida St national title game in 1996 season’s Sugar Bowl (TWO YEARS AFTER they did back to back in the Sugar Bowl not for the national title).

    • Brian says:

      I hate rematches. If it was me, I’d eliminate them by rule.

      If the two division champions met in the regular season, the head to head winner retains their CCG slot. The loser will be replaced by the highest ranked team in their division that did not already play the champion of the other division.

      For the B10 this year, if everyone was eligible it would mean OSU vs NW. With OSU and PSU ineligible, it would mean NE vs PU.

      For a 14 team league with 8 games, that leaves 5 options to face the champ.

  43. GreatLakeState says:

    “That’s no comfort to league commissioners and member schools who hear that ACC school North Carolina (where Delany played basketball) and the Big 12′s Kansas are high on the list of possible targets.

    Is this corner barstool chatter?

    Doesn’t sound like it. Four BCS conference coaches and administrators I talked to Tuesday said they think the Big Ten is actively hunting for members 15 and 16, and mentioned the Tar Heels and Jayhawks.

    When Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski worries aloud about the future of the ACC, you figure there is some fire behind the smoke. (I’ll let you conspiracy theorists decide if Delany is purposely trying to damage the ACC to get back at new member Notre Dame, which has snubbed the Big Ten twice.)

    Much of the conference expansion the past five years involved “legacy” football programs with big stadiums and full trophy cases. Case in point, Nebraska.

    Now, it’s about TV markets, growing population centers and demographic analytics.
    “You have to decide on a strategy on how to position yourself for the next decade or half-century,” Delany said Tuesday. “It’s a long-term play.”

    • Nemo says:


      I’ve heard that the VA/VaTech politics that played out in getting VaTech into the ACC is still on. That means, if UVA was offered a spot in the B1G, either VaTech comes or must go to another conference of “equal value”. That complicates things for UVA and so looking at unattached partners may be a better move. UVA would still be there probably if the Conference decides to go past 17 schools.

      • zeek says:

        I was doing a bit of reading on Tech forums; they all say that their president wants to stay with UVa and stay in an academically minded conference.

        They say Steger will push hard to go with UVa to the Big Ten if that ends up being the case…

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          I wonder if any Gee emails referencing the ‘VPI problem’ will pop up.

          • zeek says:

            That would be hilarious.

            It seems like they’re going to avoid sending any emails about it at the public schools; now they’ll just go and corner Sullivan at the next AAU meetings (14 strong including Chicago).

      • Peter says:

        Virginia Tech would be gone, gone gone to the SEC if UVA was going to the B1G.

        As far as Kansas, they’d need to get out of their GOR, but that GOR was mainly about keeping the Oklahoma & Texas schools in the conference for Kansas & Co’s. benefit. Whether Kansas can shed K-State with K-state now successful and protected by that GOR is another question; B1G will never take K-State.

      • Brian says:

        I think the B10 has to weigh some pluses and minuses if they go to 16. The main one is if they break the ACC, then the SEC will take all the other desirable schools. Is having UVA and VT/GT worth ceding the state of NC to the SEC? Is taking UVA worth letting VT go to the SEC? Are UVA and UNC worth letting the SEC into NC and VA, too?

        On top of that come the cultural fit questions as you go farther south, the lack of feeling like a conference and all the other usual expansion issues.

        I believe the B12 and SEC schools are unavailable (UT, KU and MO), most of the BE is undesirable (UConn?), and the P12 is too far away. That leaves ND and the ACC.

        Likely targets – ND, UVA, UNC
        Possible partners – VT, GT
        Doubtful partners – Duke, Syracuse, Miami
        Highly unlikely – BC, Pitt, NCSU, WF, Clemson, FSU

        • Richard says:

          Eh, I get the idea that Delany and company aren’t trying to overtake the SEC to be the top conference in football. If they put enough distance between them and everyone else so that they are clearly one of the top 2 conferences (along with the SEC) in football, are clearly the top conference in basketball, and are definitely the top collection of major research universities who also emphasize college sports (and one of the top collections of major research universities in the world), and are set up to be all 3 of those for at least the next half-century, I think the Big10/20 presidents would be pretty happy.

          • greg says:

            I thought it was obvious that the Rutgers/Maryland addition put the B1G on the path that you define. Top 2 in football, though a step behind the SEC competitively. #1 hoops, #1 research.

            Similar to creating a top tier and separation for football, this creates a top tier and separation for research. There is no going back now.

          • Brian says:


            “Eh, I get the idea that Delany and company aren’t trying to overtake the SEC to be the top conference in football.”

            I wasn’t looking at it from that POV. I was thinking more about the TV/financial implications. NC is larger and growing faster than VA (9.7M vs 8.1M, <1.5% vs <1.25%). VT gets more TV viewers than UVA. GT seems to bring minimal TV viewers, but maybe the B10 has different info.

            Are VT and UVA worth the SEC getting NC? Is GT worth the SEC getting VT and potentially controlling VA? What about helping the B12 get into FL and SC and maybe GA?

            "If they put enough distance between them and everyone else so that they are clearly one of the top 2 conferences (along with the SEC) in football,"

            The B12 looks to benefit mightily as well. If they get the southern ACC block (FSU, Clemson, Miami, maybe GT), that's a huge boon for them. They'd be a better FB conference than the B10 and have huge markets.

            "are clearly the top conference in basketball,"

            That's much less important. As long as you're good, you'll get coverage and tourney wins.

          • Richard says:


            Well, that’s why I would take UVa, UNC, Duke, and one of GTech/VTech. Then ND+Miami to go to a Big20 (possibly FSU+Miami). The big question with FSU is culture (though I’ve found the FSU boards to sound closer to B10 boards than SEC boards, unlike UNC’s, who’s fans seem SECish).

            As for the B12, I don’t see them as a threat. I think they are inherently unstable and will break up in a decade. I think a Pac/SEC fight over TX is inevitable, and the FL schools, even if they join the B12, will be looking again in a decade.

            Maybe the B10 should go to 18 with UVa, UNC, Duke, and GTech, then wait for ND to be OK with being in a conference (won’t happen soon) or FSU to improve research-wise.

    • bullet says:

      Most coaches don’t know anything. Administrators make the decisions. So if a coach mentions Kansas, it doesn’t mean anything.

      • zeek says:

        Yeah, I’d go a bit further. It seems like most ADs are out of the loop too.

        Unless you hear a president say something or someone who you can trust speaks for their president (guys like Dodds, Brandon, Smith), it doesn’t mean anything.

        • bullet says:

          Some ADs know. Some are out of the loop. UT and OU ADs are very involved. Most of the SEC ADs seem to be out of the loop. May have to do with the strong commissioner model of the SEC vs. the weak of the Big 12. I remember the B10 ADs complaining about the PSU addition because of the logistics. They weren’t consulted. But even with involved ADs, almost no ADs are decision makers. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Clemson AD retiring were very tied into their decision to do nothing as far as realignment this summer. He was clearly unenthused about staying in the ACC.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Really hard to see UNC leaving for the BIG with Dook or VA in tow, unless FSU and Clemson bolt first……

      BIG would really be reaching if it went for Kansas, in every category other than basketball. Problem is, BIG doesn’t have all that many great choices. UNC ‘s the best, a HR knocked down to a triple because it is at heart a southern school. VA’s a double, excellent in academic elitism and market, but second fiddle in football and the public’s imagination…..small, elitist….who REALLY cares about VA athletics? MO’s a double because of compatability, size, interest…Va Tech’s a single due to bad fit…KU and U Conn are singles.

      • Peter says:

        UConn would be an infield fly. They don’t meet ANY criteria.

        Duke would be all about Duke’s end. The B1G Chancellors would admit them before Delany got done saying “Doo…”

        • mushroomgod says:

          Dook’s much less attractive to the BIG than VA, and wouldn’t make it without UNC; howevr UNC has to be Delany’s wet dream, and if getting UNC meant taking Dook over VA the Presidents would do it, imo.

          Dook to the BIG would be like that irritating smartass 12 year old who insists on hanging with the HS kids and telling them how stupid they are…..Dook would be less attractive than VA market-wise, is maller, private, and is and will always suck in football.

          • Richard says:

            It’s not either/or. I foresee the Big20 adding UNC along with UVa & Duke. Probably GTech. Maybe VTech. Possibly Miami or FSU?

          • bullet says:

            Hey, they won the ACC with Steve Spurrier. Wake has won the ACC. Northwestern has won the Big 10 3 times, probably more in that time period than anyone other than Ohio St. and Michigan. TCU won the Rose Bowl. Stanford is actually good at a national level. It is possible.

          • greg says:

            bullet, if you go by the 1995 to present era, NW’s three Big Ten titles (two shared) are fourth behind OSU, UM, and Wisky.

          • Peter says:

            Duke to the B1G (only as a #16) would have nothing to do with the football team beyond that they have one.

          • Andy says:

            Richard, do you believe that if you say “B20″ enough times it will actually become a credible concept? Because it’s not working.

          • Richard says:


            I dunno; I certainly seem to be getting you agitated.

            I’m not sure why you’re getting so emotionally invested against the concept if you believe it has no chance of happening.

      • mushroomgod says:

        meant to say “without” Dook or VA in tow….

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      How is Kansas supposed to get out of the GOR?

  44. jamesinsocal says:

    In case no one seen this yet. Rumors, rumors, rumors….

    I guess the ACC is dead. (if this were to have any merit)

    • bullet says:

      This is the “Dude” for those of you who don’t know.

    • Richard says:

      B10 won’t sit at 17. They could wait for ND and extend to Duke if no ND.

      I wouldn’t want to lose Miami to the B12 (granted, that GOR will run out eventually).

      He is right that the B12 is FSU’s and Clemson’s 4th choice, however (though for practical purposes, they’re Clemson’s 2nd choice).

    • Jericho says:

      This is from 4 days ago

      • metatron says:

        And complete nonsense.

        If there’s any truth to it, it’s that schools are inquiring to conferences about their options, but nothing serious.

  45. Richard says:

    Just a thought: ND won’t be joining the Big20 (or any conference) any earlier than after the 2014 season. They will need a year when they have the same number of losses as a conference winner but get jumped by the conference winner after a CCG for a playoff spot even though they had better numbers before championship weekend.

    Then ND’s administration could make the argument to their alums that they need to join a conference in order to compete for national titles.

  46. maguro says:

    There are a few problems with this guy’s story:

    - if UNC, UVa and GT had submitted applications to the B1G, they wouldn’t accept GT right away and consider whether they wanted UNC. UNC >> GT, as far as the B1G is concerned.
    - The idea that the Department of Education will declare PSU ineligible for federal student aid is absurd on its face. Come on.
    - Sources close to WVU and Gordon Gee, really? Who the hell would that be?

    I am sure that everyone is “exploring their options”, we all know that. However, I’m very skeptical that any of this “inside information” is reliable.

    • jbcwv says:

      I don’t actually believe this source is likely to exist, but Gordon Gee was president of WVU in the 80′s so it’s not an abject absurdity. Just a probable absurdity.

    • Peter says:

      Penn State actually probably deserves the DOE death penalty and a smaller school that did what they did would get it. You had the administration not only not implementing the Cleary Act but actively concealing and even facilitating sexually violent offenses. How much worse can you possibly get? It’s the feds, they put the sanction there so they can use it.

      Penn State won’t get it though because it’s *not* a smaller school. Obliterating a research university flagship and most of the economy of Central Pennsylvania is too much collateral damage.

      • maguro says:

        Yeah, I don’t disagree with you there. But we all know that however much they might deserve it, PSU getting the DOE death penalty is a political impossibility. I can’t believe the powers that be in the B1G are losing any sleep over this.

      • Eric says:

        Disagree. I know I’m in the minority in this, but I don’t feel the NCAA had any bussinness what so ever in this. Let the legal/civil system deal with the issues, the actual NCAA issues are small to say the least.

        • Peter says:

          Different death penalty. The NCAA could just kill the football team.

          The US Department of Education can kill an entire institution with THEIR death penalty over what PSU did. The penalties for violating the Cleary Act – essentially violent crime reporting & disclosure on college campus – range all the way to loss of eligibility for federal support. That means no research money, no Pell Grants, no subsidized loans.

          It’s the end of an institution if it’s ever implemented.

      • metatron says:

        You can punish the perpetrators you know, and not merely crush everyone associated with Penn State.

  47. GreatLakeState says:

    I feel like I need to take a shower after reading that post.

    • Richard says:

      Why? What’s dirty about it?

      • GreatLakeState says:

        I was referring to ‘the Dudes’ latest opus.

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          There is actually another one he posted the next day…


          • zeek says:

            That guys is WVU’s purple book cat.

          • Richard says:

            No chance that NCSU chooses the B12 over the SEC (thus FSU to the SEC is quite unlikely unless the SEC expands past 16).

            Also, he seems unaware that the B10, along among the Big 4, is not locked in to a long-term TV contract.

          • acaffrey says:

            So a West Virginia guy is writing a lot about a scenario where Pitt and Syracuse end up losers in the expansion game. Definitely not writing out of bitterness though…

          • bullet says:

            If I were SU, BC and Pitt, I would be very worried. If the ACC falls apart, they are likely to be left behind. They don’t fit the B10 mold (or duplicate territory), they don’t fit the SEC territory and the Big 12 would be unlikely to try to move into the NE (SU/BC) and might have better options further south than Pitt. VT, UVA, UNC, NCSU, GT, Clemson and FSU will find good homes even if the conference collapses. Wake, Duke, Miami and the 3 northern schools are problematic.

          • frug says:

            If the ACC crumbles Wake, BC and ‘Cuse are almost certain to be left in the cold. Pitt, Duke and Miami might be able to find homes in a 16 team Big XII but there’s not guarantee. Duke could also potentially end up in the SEC or Big 10 if UNC made it a condition of joining, but the Blue Devils would be pretty low on both conferences wish lists.

            Frank and Richard keep talking about Miami as a Big 10 possibility but I just don’t see that happening.

          • GreatLakeState says:

            Thanks. “The Dude with the Mountaineer Tattoo” strikes again.

          • Peter says:

            Re: Duke

            The SEC has no use for them – and they have no use for the SEC – but the B1G is a different story. That’s about Duke School of Medicine, not Duke football, though.

            It’s like Georgia Tech but magnified. Duke won’t leave the ACC (their ACC in every sense of the word) until its a smoking crater so they could get left out by missing the boat, but not because they wouldn’t have a home if they moved quickly.

          • frug says:

            I agree that Duke is a horrible cultural fit for the SEC and an even worse economic one. It really is a case of mutual disinterest.

            That said, if Duke had no other option and the SEC was hellbent on grabbing UNC then I could see a scenario where the Blue Devils ended up in the SEC.

          • Richard says:


            I’d think that the SEC adding both UNC+NCSU would be more likely than NC+Duke.

          • morganwick says:

            Okay, I actually read those posts, and man does it almost read like he’s just making shit up.

            So, let’s say the Big Ten takes Georgia Tech, Virginia, UNC, and Duke, the SEC takes NC State and V-Tech, and the Big 12 takes Florida State and Louisville. That leaves BC, Clemson, Miami, Wake Forest, Pitt, Syracuse, and Notre Dame. Could those teams add two more schools and carry on?

            Well, Clemson and Wake Forest are the only two teams that weren’t members of the Big East, and Clemson is one of the two most football-focused members of the classic ACC. BC, Clemson, Pitt, and maybe Syracuse would make the football part of the conference strong enough for Miami not to be completely out of place. In basketball, Syracuse is a basketball prince, Pitt is no slouch either, Notre Dame and Boston College have made tournament appearances in recent memory, and Wake Forest can be better than you think.

            All in all, though, I think this might be a primarily football-focused conference, so depending on the order of operations I could see Florida State actually staying put if Duke and UNC leave, since they and Miami might become the teams with the power in the conference. It’s conceivable that the Big Ten takes all four of their teams and inadvertently derails any plans the SEC might be harboring. Depends on whether V-Tech would rather stay in an ACC with Florida State and Miami the power teams, or hop into the SEC along with NC State. I think the latter happens and Louisville joins the new ACC, which really looks like the old Big East football schools, especially since I bet Cincinnati joins them as well for the hell of it.

            In an odd way, Duke and UNC leaving might actually save the ACC by moving its power center to Florida State and the former Big East schools. It’d still be substantially worse than the other power conferences in football, but if it still has Florida State, Miami, Clemson, and as many good current Big East schools as possible, it might still be deserving of its Orange Bowl berth. Precisely for that reason, those two schools won’t leave unless they’re certain the conference is on the verge of collapse, but Florida State leaving wouldn’t do that on its own, so they’d only leave if events happen that the scenario requires anyway; I don’t think the calculus is much different if they join the SEC. If Florida State leaves before Duke and UNC, the other schools might still rebuild with Cincinnati, UConn, UCF, and USF, but it’d be hard to call it a power conference still, especially if Miami gets hit with death penalty-like sanctions.

          • frug says:


            I agree (and almost mentioned that) but my point was there was at least a plausible scenario where Duke ends up in the SEC. (Compared to Wake which would be screwed)

  48. David Brown says:

    I admit to being heavily biased as a Penn State fan, and strongly would oppose shutting down Penn State over The Cleary Act.. But that action (Along with the left-wing anti development actions) would bite the Democrats in the A** so hard it is not funny. Why? Because those two things could actually create another Great Depression in the State of PA, and the Bush/Romney boogieman could not be blamed this time. So it is NOT happening.
    The real problem for the ACC is this: They are so vastly inferior Conference to the SEC, Big 10, Big XII, and PAC it is not funny. If I am running things at ACC HQ, and I see FOUR of my Conference Schools get beaten by SEC teams by double digits (THREE of which occurred at home), and I see three Bowl eligible teams with records above 500, there must be reason to be very afraid.
    Perhaps the most worried ACC School of all should be Clemson. Think about it: I lost four straight to South Carolina, for the first time since the 1950s, and I may have lost the NUMBER ONE recruit in the Country (Robert Nkemdiche) to Ole Miss! That is right Ole Miss. Not Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Tennessee, Auburn, or even South Carolina, Ole Miss, are you kidding me?. To top things off, I am now in a Conference where Vanderbilt would have the third best record in the Conference. I can only hope and pray I get to the Big XII. Gut feeling they will have their prayers answered.

    • gfunk says:

      Nonsense with the anti-left Romney/Bush boogieman crap, you sound like a broken Limbaugh Faux News record. Plenty of good liberals, me included, that want PSU to succeed and get it’s house in order – but that was a damn bad scandal – no tip toeing around it. You must be from the Bama section of Pa – no use for your myopic views in the 21st Century.

      • Carl says:

        Yeah? Wait til you find out what really happened. It’s coming. I wouldn’t assume you know the truth yet …

        • Brian says:


          “Yeah? Wait til you find out what really happened. It’s coming. I wouldn’t assume you know the truth yet …”

          So it wasn’t a “damn bad scandal” as gfunk said? That’s one point of view, i suppose.

          • Carl says:

            “So it wasn’t a “damn bad scandal” as gfunk said? That’s one point of view, i suppose.”

            Brian, that’s honestly what you got out of what I said? (I guess it’s easy to win arguments when you put words into other people’s mouths. :-) No, I believe the scandal is much worse than the standard narrative would suggest – but also much different.

            I was responding to gfunk’s personal attacks combined with his implicit conclusion.

            Did you follow the Pa. state elections? The Dem. AG candidate won (the first elected Dem. Pa. AG ever!) with more votes than Obama because she ran on a platform of investigating Gov. Corbett over his role in the Sandusky Scandal. Forgetting about the OP’s personal political views, I think the possibility of an electoral backlash if the federal punishment for the scandal isn’t appropriate and fair is probably rather high, gfunk’s opinion and personal attacks notwithstanding. It’s already happened and happening at the state level.

            The fact that the OP’s personal political opinions don’t sit well with gfunk doesn’t make gfunk’s personal attacks (while pretending moral superiority, no less! :-) appropriate or his personal opinion correct. Indeed, I doubt he understands the actual situation very well.

            That was my point.

          • Brian says:


            “Brian, that’s honestly what you got out of what I said?”

            Yes. The only thing of substance he said was about it being a bad scandal. Then you responded in a way like many PSU scandal-denying fans did. Why would I assume you were talking politics? Speaking of which, this is why politics should never be on a non-political blog.

            “(I guess it’s easy to win arguments when you put words into other people’s mouths.”

            I quoted you and asked a question about what you said to check your meaning. How is that putting words in your mouth?

          • Carl says:


            “Why would I assume you were talking politics?”

            Exactly. Why would you assume anything?

            “Speaking of which, this is why politics should never be on a non-political blog.”

            Exactly. For myself, I was referencing politics only to explain the context of events, as people frequently do on this blog. Why gfunk or the OP made political comments, I don’t know. If gfunk didn’t like the OP’s political comments, however, he could simply have said so without making personal attacks.

            “I quoted you and asked a question about what you said to check your meaning. How is that putting words in your mouth?”

            By pretending to ask a question and then implying my answer to your question yourself. It’s quite telling that you omitted your own “answer” to the “question” this time: “That’s one point of view, i suppose.”

            Whose point of view??? I hadn’t answered your “question” yet! – That’s how you put words into my mouth.

          • bullet says:

            You were making assumptions. I thought Carl’s comment was very ambiguous. He could very well have been responding to gfunk by implying it was a vastly more far reaching scandal as opposed to denying anything.

            Its interesting that as invested as we are in our favorite teams that sports boards (and this one in particular) rarely get as nasty and useless as political boards. Political boards are filled with gfunks from both sides.

          • Brian says:


            “You were making assumptions.”

            Of course I was. I assumed he was responding to the only substantive statement since the insult wasn’t directed at him and his comment didn’t readily apply to the R/D politics in the preceding posts.

            “I thought Carl’s comment was very ambiguous.”

            Thus me asking him to verify if I read him correctly.

            “He could very well have been responding to gfunk by implying it was a vastly more far reaching scandal as opposed to denying anything.”

            I don’t buy that interpretation. He’d be agreeing with gfunk and saying it was worse than he knew, not appearing to disagree (” I wouldn’t assume you know the truth yet …”).

            “Its interesting that as invested as we are in our favorite teams that sports boards (and this one in particular) rarely get as nasty and useless as political boards. Political boards are filled with gfunks from both sides.”

            Politics and the internet never mix well. Lacking any clues from tone of voice or facial expression, people take everything the worst possible way. It’s why wise blogs ban politics and religion unless that is the primary focus of the blog.

          • Carl says:


            “Thus me asking him to verify if I read him correctly.”

            While putting words into my mouth. Cute.

            “I don’t buy that interpretation. He’d be agreeing with gfunk …”

            In other words, you’re still speaking for me, and my actual opinion does not (and has never) mattered to you! :-)

            You were never interested in hearing about my actual opinion because you “knew” what it was already!

            Brian, Hint 1: that makes no sense. Hint 2: you’re wrong.

            If you think you can win an argument by putting words into other people’s mouths, then by all means, have at it. I personally don’t believe that many people would agree with you about that – but who are we to speak for ourselves and disagree with you? :-)

            * * *

            I’m supposing this is a waste of effort, but I’ll try to explain it to you one more time:

            Brian, if you’d go back and look at what the OP actually said and what gfunk actually responded, you’d see that it was actually gfunk who didn’t respond substantively to the OP’s only substantive point, namely that shutting Penn State down with the Cleary Act would bite politicians in the “A**”. (Partisan political references removed, precisely because they aren’t substantive.) gfunk didn’t respond substantively to that, instead choosing to make personal attacks. As I’ve said, (1) I happen to agree with the OP’s only substantive point, (2) I believe gfunk probably doesn’t understand the actual scandal and political situation, and (3) I don’t think gfunk’s personal attacks were appropriate.

            I responded, “Yeah? Wait til you find out what really happened. It’s coming. I wouldn’t assume you know the truth yet …” because I thought he was being extremely presumptuous and rude, and because I believe the scandal is much worse than advertised. If this turns out to be true, just watch how the politicians fare. As I have said multiple times now, I think the OP has that part right – although I don’t think it has anything to do with partisan politics and I have no idea why he brought that up – I think it’s just as inappropriate as gfunk’s partisan references. As I have also said multiple times, I think gfunk’s personal attacks were extremely inappropriate. And as for you, Brian, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

            If you don’t believe me, that’s fine – but then please abandon the ridiculous pretension that you were simply trying to clarify my opinion.

          • Brian says:


            “Thus me asking him to verify if I read him correctly.”

            While putting words into my mouth. Cute.

            There is no useful way to ask if I interpreted you correctly that doesn’t involve me saying how I interpreted what you said. I quoted you and asked if my interpretation was correct, followed by an editorial comment that was applicable if I was correct (an opinion I’ve seen espoused multiple times in various places, by the way).

            “I don’t buy that interpretation. He’d be agreeing with gfunk …”

            In other words, you’re still speaking for me, and my actual opinion does not (and has never) mattered to you!

            No, I’m saying no normal person would respond to gfunk with the language you did if their intent was to show agreement with his point and that he was even understating it. There is no logical connection between what you said and agreeing with him. The tone says you disagree with him.

            I responded, “Yeah? Wait til you find out what really happened. It’s coming. I wouldn’t assume you know the truth yet …” because I thought he was being extremely presumptuous and rude, and because I believe the scandal is much worse than advertised.

            Some would contend that anything else that comes out couldn’t really make it any worse. Bigger, maybe, but not worse. It certainly wouldn’t invalidate his sentiment that it was a damn bad scandal. That’s why your response makes no sense.

            Anyway, I’m done with this.

          • Carl says:


            “‘While putting words into my mouth. Cute.’

            “There is no useful way to ask if I interpreted you correctly that doesn’t involve me saying how I interpreted what you said. I quoted you and asked if my interpretation was correct, followed by an editorial comment that was applicable if I was correct …”

            It’s hard for me to believe you don’t understand this – but maybe you actually don’t: it’s not useful to include editorial comments if you’re really just trying to clarify. That’s pretty basic stuff, Brian.

            “… (an opinion I’ve seen espoused multiple times in various places, by the way).”

            What opinion? What on earth are you talking about???

            “No, I’m saying no normal person would respond to gfunk with the language you did if their intent was to show agreement with his point and that he was even understating it.”

            So now your theory includes that I’m not normal??? – Wow, just wow.

            Hint 3: I wasn’t trying to show agreement with gfunk.

            “There is no logical connection between what you said and agreeing with him.”

            Does that surprise you?

            Hint 4: You’re still missing the point.

            “The tone says you disagree with him.”

            Yes, exactly! You finally got it right! I disagree with gfunk VERY STRONGLY, and that’s exactly what I was trying to communicate. I don’t believe he understands the nature of the scandal and surrounding political situation, and, MUCH MORE IMPORTANTLY, I think his behavior (gratuitous personal attacks while pretending moral superiority) was extremely inappropriate. I REALLY don’t like that.

            You seem to have trouble grasping that that does not mean that I believe the scandal was minor. To repeat myself again: I believe the scandal is much worse than advertised.

            “Some would contend that anything else that comes out couldn’t really make it any worse. Bigger, maybe, but not worse.”

            So what??? Some people contend lots of things, Brian. Sometimes their contentions are correct; sometimes they’re not; sometimes they’re just opinions; sometimes they’re nonsense. You’re contending a theory that’s not even falsifiable. (That’s another way of saying that your contention is meaningless.)

            My own personal opinion is that payoffs of cars to mothers (for instance) would make the scandal worse. I guess your opinion is different. So what? – We have different opinions. Amazing.

            “It certainly wouldn’t invalidate his sentiment that it was a damn bad scandal. That’s why your response makes no sense.”

            What are you talking about??? As I told you when I answered your question the first time: I was not disagreeing with gfunk’s comment that it was a “damn bad scandal”. That notion is solely of your own creation, Brian. You’ve been arguing with yourself.

            You’ve repeatedly refused to acknowledge that anything but your own words matter. Not. good. form.

            “Anyway, I’m done with this.”

            I wish you the best of luck with that.

            Just remember one thing, Brian: if a theory’s not falsifiable, then it’s meaningless. Your theory is not falsifiable because you believe you get to speak for me. But you are so wrong.

    • morganwick says:

      Not sure why the Democrats would be to blame for the Sandusky scandal, or the depression that would result from shutting down Penn State. I would imagine if that happens, the State of Pennsylvania would pump in truckloads of money into the University of Pittsburgh’s academics, to the point of petitioning the Big Ten to admit them as Penn State’s replacement if it looks like the ACC is starting to go to pot. (Of course, if the ACC starts to go to pot, that might be partly because the Big Ten is looking to replace Penn State…)

  49. Andy says:

    I can’t believe some of you (more than just Richard apparently) are buying into this whole Big 20 thing as an actual possibility. That’s Big Ten megalomania at it’s silliest. A conference that just took Rutgers, (Rutgers!) is now going to canabalize ALL of the best schools fromt he ACC and double in size? Riiiight. And now you’re analyzing “The Dude” from WVU as if he’s not a total crackpot. This forum is losing it.

    • frug says:

      Who on this blog has implied they take The Dude seriously?

      • Andy says:

        There are a bunch of people discussing his article above.

        Here’s where the Dude is coming from: He’s a WVU fan. WVU’s rival is Pitt. Pitt got into the ACC. WVU wanted to and did not. The Dude is very bitter. All of his rumors are elaborate trolls of Pitt fans with scenarios that are very bad for Pitt and very good for WVU. That is the constant pattern. His latest articles follow this pattern. They come from his imagination.

        • frug says:

          Just because they are discussing what he rights doesn’t mean they believe what he is saying.

        • Richard says:

          Ah. That explains why he has Louisville going to the B12 instead of Pitt. Though why not Syracuse? Heck, why not all 3!

        • bullet says:

          West Virginia is like a small town. Everybody knows everybody else and people talk. The Dude gets info from people who know things. He also gets info from people who don’t know things. I think he repeats pretty much all of it. Certainly he views it from a WVU perspective. But its not made up (at least not by him-sometimes I wonder if people give him ridiculous stuff just to see if he repeats it). Now there is another WV insider who I do think makes stuff up, not so much to fool people, but just to get conversation going.

        • Arch Stanton says:

          “He’s a WVU fan. WVU’s rival is Pitt. Pitt got into the ACC. WVU wanted to and did not. The Dude is very bitter.”

          Sounds like a Missouri fan I know when he talks about Nebraska and the Big Ten.

    • Richard says:

      BTW, Andy, you’re right; the B10 might just stop at 18 if they can’t land ND.

    • zeek says:

      He’s no different from Chip Brown or PBC (back when he had Big Ten sources in Chicago).

      You take it with a very big grain of salt.

      • zeek says:

        FWIW, Rutgers makes more sense than any of the Mid-Atlantic schools as a 50 year play. There are risks to each, but Rutgers has the fewest risks and most upside.

  50. StevenD says:

    How to Play Every Team Twice in 6 Years With Just 8 Conference Games.

    Now that the B1G has moved to 14 teams for football, there will be pressure to have 9 conference games in order to facilitate cross-division matchups. However, 9 conference games is not necessary. It is quite possible to cover all the cross-division matchups in six years without increasing the number of conference games.

    PLAINS DIVISION: two cross-over games
    OSU : Mich (fixed) + MSU-or-Wisc
    Iowa : MSU (fixed) + Mich-or-Wisc
    Minnesota : Wisc (fixed) + Mich-or-MSU
    Nebraska : PSU (fixed) + Mary (fixed)
    Rutgers : PSU (fixed) + Mary (fixed)
    Illinois : NW (fixed) + Ind (fixed)
    Purdue : NW (fixed) + Ind (fixed)

    LAKES DIVISION: two cross-over games
    Michigan : OSU (fixed) + Iowa-or-Minn
    MSU : Iowa (fixed) + OSU-or-Minn
    Wisconsin : Minn (fixed) + OSU-or-Iowa
    PSU : Neb (fixed) + Rut (fixed)
    Maryland : Neb (fixed) + Rut (fixed)
    Northwestern : Ill (fixed) + Purd (fixed)
    Indiana : Ill (fixed) + Purd (fixed)

    This arrangement preserves all the big rivalry games, gives both Nebraska and PSU a game on the east coast every year, and puts either OSU or Mich on the coast every year.

    In order to play all the cross-over games in six years, we need to pivot two teams from each division:

    Years 1 and 2: no pivot (all teams play in home division)
    Years 3 and 4: Neb+Rut play in LAKES, PSU+Mary play in PLAINS
    Years 5 and 6: Ill+Purd play in LAKES, NW+Ind play in PLAINS
    Years 7 and 8: same as years 1 and 2

    To summarize: OSU, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, MSU and Wisconsin never move. They play every year in their home divisions. The other teams play four years in their home divisions and spend two years (home and away) playing in the opposite division. This enables every team to play every other team at least twice (home and away) over a six year period.

    • StevenD says:

      I am a fan of pods; however, I think the two-team pivot is more likely to be implemented. Using pods to build divisions means that every two years you tear the divisions apart and create new ones. In contrast, the two-team pivot preserves the basic conference structure from year to year.

      • zeek says:

        Yes, at 14, we seem likely to stay with the fixed division concept.

        However, once you hit 16, it seems like you want to go pods. No numerical arrangement at 16 or above really works without pods and rotating divisions.

        It’s too difficult to get all of the schools on the schedule consistently enough to make people happy.

        • bullet says:

          All the more reason not to be the first to 16. With 14 it can work with 2 divisions adequately but not very well if you have cross-division fixed rivalries (6 division-1 fixed-1 rotating takes 12 years to play everyone/9 games is ok). 14 can work with pods. 16 works badly with 2 divisions. Let someone else see if pods work. They didn’t the only time previously they were tried.

        • bullet says:

          In the WAC they abandoned pods because they said it confused fans. How many people can name the teams in the ACC divisions and match them with the title? I have no clue who is coastal and who is whatever the other division is. I have some memory things so I can figure out who is in which division in a minute or so, just not the name of the division. I remember it as the Bowden division (FSU/Clemson) and the snooty division (UNC/Duke/UVA). I have no clue and don’t care which is a legend and which is a leader, but the B10 is more or less NW/SE, so its easy to remember. WI is the one exception. And I follow college football closely. For the normal fan….

          • zeek says:

            I think though that they could make it easy enough for Big Ten pods.

            East: Penn State/Maryland +2
            South: Ohio State/Rutgers/Illinois/Purdue
            North: Michigan/Michigan State/Northwestern/Indiana
            West: Nebraska/Wisconsin/Iowa/Minnesota

            Something along those lines.

            But you’re right that it will get complicated based on pods rotating all over the place.

            You’ll have NorthSouth and EastWest divisions one year…

          • Brian says:


            You and bullet are both right. The biggest problem by far with pods is fan confusion. Divisions already have that problem for the B10 and ACC. The key is to stick to geography when making pods and naming divisions. That said, I’d tweak your pods a little.

            W – NE, WI, IA, MN
            That’s a no-brainer.

            N – MI, MSU, NW, IL
            Not as obvious, but MSU really wanted NW and 3 of the 4 fit the name north.

            The others depend on which 2 schools are added. Take these groups as a base, with PU and IN floating to fill things out:

            S – OSU
            E – PSU, RU

            If UVA and VT join:
            W – NE, WI, IA, MN
            N – MI, MSU, NW, IL
            S – OSU, VT, PU, IN
            E – PSU, RU, MD, UVA

            Locked rivals:

            If UVA and GT join:
            W – NE, WI, IA, MN
            N – MI, MSU, NW, IL
            S – OSU, PU, IN, GT
            E – PSU, RU, MD, UVA

            Locked rivals:

            If UVA and UNC join:
            W – NE, WI, IA, MN
            N – MI, MSU, NW, IL
            S – OSU, MD, UVA, UNC
            E – PSU, RU, PU, IN

            Locked rivals:

          • jj says:


            I really like your VT & VA pods. I think that is very workable. PSU probably gets the easiest draw, but someone has to and what you’ve proposed makes sense. I also think if 16 is the goal, this is the most likely scenario.

            I’m not sure I see how locked rivals works in a pod situation though. How many games are we talking here? It seems the locks would have to rotate off as well.

            I don’t think UNC is going anywhere w/o Duke and if the master plan was VA, Duke, UNC and MD, then Rutgers wouldn’t have been invited. I really cannot see 18 or 20 teams. Rounding things out – GT is just too out there & I’d say, <1% chance we end up with ND or TX and their respective dancing partners (maybe the move to 14 shook them a bit but I doubt it).

          • Brian says:


            Thanks. And yes, someone always will have the easiest pod. They’ll get paired with a tougher pod, though, so it balances out.

            As for locked rivals, assume a 3+4+1+1 schedule. That’s 3 pod games, 4 paired pod games, 1 locked rival and 1 rotating game. You’ll play 4 teams every year and the other 11 over 1/3 of the time. When your locked rival is in your paired pod, you can play 2 rotating games or have a secondary locked rival. So, for example, OSU would always play MI but would lock PSU when OSU and MI are in the same division. Either way works.

      • Brian says:


        “I am a fan of pods; however, I think the two-team pivot is more likely to be implemented. Using pods to build divisions means that every two years you tear the divisions apart and create new ones. In contrast, the two-team pivot preserves the basic conference structure from year to year.”

        I hate to break it to you, but you are using pods. In this case, you used 2 pods of 3 (the anchors) and 4 pods of 2.

        • StevenD says:

          Call them pods if you wish, but the fact that every team stays in its home division most of the time changes the complexion.

          By the way, if you look carefully, you will see that it’s not four pods of two. It’s actually two “pods” of four: PSU, Nebraska, Rugers and Maryland play each other six years out of six. As do Northwestern, Illinois, Purdue and Indiana.

          • Brian says:

            They are pods, you just aren’t using them in the conventional manner. And yes, it’s 4 pods of 2 because you break them up to swap 2 teams each time. Locking games doesn’t change which teams are in which division.

    • jamesinsocal says:

      If they were to go to 4 pods of 4 each, why couldn’t they do a conference playoff? The top team from each pod play to determine the conference champion? I’m sure if the SEC, PAC, Big Xii and the B1G go to the NCAA, they could get that granted. That would also add to the 4 team national championship playoff that’s coming.

      • frug says:

        That would require an NCAA rule change.

        • jamesinsocal says:

          So did playing a conference championship game.

          • zeek says:

            No, that was a rule that was already in place but was only being used by some other sports; the SEC figured out that it could be applied to football.

          • bullet says:

            Yes, but it was already in place before the SEC discovered it and used it.

          • ccrider55 says:

            No, Slive discovered the existing rule and was tha first to take advantage. NCAA has not allowed variation (PAC and B1G have both asked about allowing for ability to not play everyone in one half).

          • frug says:

            Yeah, CCG’s for football weren’t the result of a rule change, they came about because the SEC’s former commissioner stumbled across a loophole one day while reading the NCCA rulebook.

          • frug says:


            It was actually one of Slive’s predecessors (Harvey Schiller) that discovered it and Schiller’s successor Roy Kramer that implemented it.

            But you are right about the rule.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            Roy Kramer started the SEC championship game, not Mike Slive. Slive came to the SEC in 2002 from the Sun Belt.

      • Brian says:


        “If they were to go to 4 pods of 4 each, why couldn’t they do a conference playoff? The top team from each pod play to determine the conference champion? I’m sure if the SEC, PAC, Big Xii and the B1G go to the NCAA, they could get that granted. That would also add to the 4 team national championship playoff that’s coming.”

        It’s against NCAA rules right now unless you use the last 2 games for playoffs. Dynamic scheduling is a logistical nightmare, so that won’t happen. So you’d need to get all the little guys to approve rule changes that would only help the power conferences earn even more money and create more separation from the rest. That’s not going to happen.

        Besides that, a 4 game playoff in a 16 team league means a ton of rematches. Each game has a 53.3% chance of being a rematch, and that hurts TV ratings. It also makes regular season games less important, hurting everyone.

        • acaffrey says:

          FWIW, I think dynamic scheduling could work for one week of games.

          First, instead of looking at it as a nightmare, consider the quasi-bowl aspect that could arise. After 8 weeks of games, the conference could decide which teams play in game 9. Two of those games would be to determine who goes to the conference championship game. The other 6 would determine… well.. nothing.

          The key would be to begin planning for that week in advance. Much like who goes to a conference game can be decided during rivalry week, there would be conditional aspects. For example… if USC beats UCLA, it goes to the Pac-12 conference game. But if UCLA wins, Arizona goes. We are fine with those contingencies now.

          To solve some of the logistics, you could have two neutral sites host the games. Say, four in a weekend. The lowest ranked teams play on Friday night. The next lowest on Saturday at noon. The second highest on Saturday at 4pm. The premier game on Saturday at 8pm. Figure Indianapolis and St. Louis. Both are Domes. You think that would not draw some people? Kind of like March madness in December.

          Picture four or five major conferences doing the same thing. That would be a pretty cool weekend of football.

          • StevenD says:

            There is no need to go to neutral sites for this. If all the games are cross-divisional matchups (1v2 2v1 3v3 4v4 5v5 6v6 7v7), then one division could be home one year and visitors the next year. This would enable the home teams to put the game on their schedule (even though they don’t know exactly which team they will be playing).

            By the way, I think the 7v7 match would be much more exciting if the loser were sent to the nearest mid-major for a year (and the champion of that mid-major given a year with the big boys).

          • Brian says:


            “FWIW, I think dynamic scheduling could work for one week of games.”

            For fans watching on TV, sure. For the schools and fans going to games, not so much.

            “First, instead of looking at it as a nightmare, consider the quasi-bowl aspect that could arise. After 8 weeks of games, the conference could decide which teams play in game 9. Two of those games would be to determine who goes to the conference championship game. The other 6 would determine… well.. nothing.”

            Why ignore the problems, though? The 2 semifinals may be like the CCG in terms of having a week to put it together for excited teams, but what about the other games? You can preset which division plays host, but the other side doesn’t know where they are going so they can’t sell tickets in advance. If you have two cellar dwellers playing and you can’t sell the tickets until the last week, how well will those sell?

            “Picture four or five major conferences doing the same thing. That would be a pretty cool weekend of football.”

            No, it wouldn’t. Nobody is going to travel to see a #7 vs #7 game.

  51. wmtiger says:

    Does the ACC implode and suffer massive defections (FSU, Clemson, VT, etc.) or will it survive past next summer?

  52. frug says:

    You know what I find ironic? The Big XII keeps talking about how much they hated the CCG and how getting rid of it is going to make it easier for them to reach the NCG, yet for the second year in a row the failure to play one likely cost them a chance at the national title.

    A 12-1 Okie St. would have beat out an 11-1 Alabama team for the #2 ranking last year (frankly the 11-1 should have but that’s another story), and if the Big XII had a CCG this season K-State would have non-zero chance of earning their way back into the national championship game.

    • bullet says:

      No way KSU passes UGA/Alabama winner. #1 they aren’t a king or prince. #2 they aren’t from a conference that has won 6 mythical titles in a row. #3 they lost by 28 to an unranked team. #4 they lost later than Alabama or UGA. #5 They weren’t ranked as high in the preseason poll and pollsters want to reinforce their previous opinion. Computer polls wouldn’t be nearly enough.

      • frug says:

        It would be unlikely, but if UGA and ‘Bama was an ugly game that no one played well and K-State were to slaughter Oklahoma in Dallas they could make a move.

        It wouldn’t be likely, but its plausible and that alone would make playing the game worth it.

        • jamesinsocal says:

          I would say that the SEC schools would need a meteor to take them out before ant other conference would get the nod to jump them….(Joking)

          • bullet says:

            Or ineligible players. But the NCAA moves slow. They delayed the Cam Newton thing long enough that the game was played before they managed to avoid finding any violations. Of course, now, they are finding recruiting violations at Auburn.

          • ccrider55 says:


            NCAA moved very quickly to reinstate Cam after the school (or conference?) ruled him out.

  53. B1G Jeff says:

    To all the attorney types or otherwise informed, a few questions:

    1) Is UMCP’s exit fee argument that as an act of active protest of the imposed burden of a $50M exit fee, they immediately sought to exit? The premise there would be that a conference can’t dictate such a thing without the affected party having the option to withdraw from the conference?

    2) Or will Loh et al argue against the validity of the exit fee at all? I heard him say at the introduction conference that as a lawyer, he was aware of the invalidity of the exit fee proposition.

    3) Under either circumstance, is he posturing for a settlement?

    It certainly seems that if someone went about getting the notion of an exit fee invalidated, that would send shock waves across the landscape, although it seems to me illogical that such wouldn’t be valid if the entities proactively agreed to it.

    • frug says:

      In reverse order (because why not)

      The answer to 3 is yes. No one has been willing to go to court to enforce an exit penalty and this won’t either.

      The going rate on exit fees is about 50%, and that is what MD will ultimately pay

      2. I’m slightly confused by the wording of your question to be honest. If you are asking if MD will argue that exit fees in general are invalid, they could but they know they would lose. Exit fees are designed to compensate the remaining members for costs they incur because of a departure.

      1. In the off chance this would go to court I would expect UMD would simply argue everything they could to get out of them. i.e. They voted against them because they believed fees that high were unreasonable and thus shouldn’t be bound by them, that having the higher fees go into effect immediately is unreasonable, they left as soon as the new fees were imposed and much more. But like I said, this will be settled well before it ever reaches a courtroom.

      • B1G Jeff says:

        Thanks. Loh made a very confident, if not smug, assertion that as a lawyer of 30 years he was sure that exit fees in general were illegal. I assumed he was posturing but was interested in the legal basis for his claim.

        • bullet says:

          I think his comment was that “punitive” exit fees were illegal. Exit fees are supposed to be compensation for losses, not penalties. People define the fees because it is so hard to identify what the loss is (and juries can be all over the lot). So he was saying the $50 million was not enforceable, not that any exit fee was unenforceable. And they would make both arguments. From a common sense standpoint, not as a lawyer, they should win hands down on #1 and probably on #2 as well (from the punitive standpoint). You simply can’t force new terms on a contract with someone without them having a chance to reject the entire contract.

          And that is why the $50 million fee was risky. Anyone who was thinking about moving would be forced to act quickly.

      • B1G Jeff says:

        With respect to your response to #2, if damages are the basis of the claims, yet they were minimized by say, announcing a new member within 10 days, wouldn’t that strengthen MD’s case?

        • frug says:

          Maybe, but the Big XII already had TCU lined up as a replacement for A&M shortly after they provided notice of their intent to withdraw and they still ended up paying about half what they owed.

          Plus, if the ACC was willing to bash a future member they could argue that UConn and Louisville are both downgrades from Maryland even if they were easy to add.

    • B1G Jeff says:

      @frug and @bullet, what I’m getting at and what really interests me here is whether anyone (i.e. Loh in the face of public backlash because the school was broke and cutting other sports teams) would find it of value to actually take this to court instead of spending $25M the school could otherwise use. On the other hand, the Under Armour guy has over $60M liquid!

      • bullet says:

        Both sides have reason to settle. Maryland would certainly take it to court if the ACC insisted on $50 million. But it would be expensive. And the ACC would spend a lot of legal fees with no guarantee they do any better than a settlement. On top of that, it could disembowel their exit fee if they lost.

        Maryland’s position is probably take $20 million or we even challenge that. ACC says $50 million and you can go free and clear. Both sides will decide to settle when discovery begins. That’s when the cost starts running up and you have to disclose things you might not wish to disclose. That’s when WVU and the BE settled, according to the WVU people for WVU’s 1st offer (which was still pretty high).

        • zeek says:

          Unless a “cornerstone” king tries to leave a conference, we’re not going to see one of these things litigated fully.

          There’s too much at stake for all sides, the school involved, the conference being abandoned, and the destination conference…

        • Craig Z says:

          John Feinstein was on a local station in Columbus last week and he thought if the ACC lets Maryland leave without paying the full $50 million, it opens the door for others to leave as well.

      • zeek says:

        No B1G Jeff.

        No one (not the Big Ten, not the ACC, not Maryland) wants this litigated in court.

        For the same reason the Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac-12 don’t want grants of rights challenged.

        Nobody actually wants a court determination that all of this is smoke and mirrors; that all of these ways of “keeping” schools actually does nothing legally binding to keep schools.

        Thus, we will get a settlement. It’s in everyone’s interest to not actually find out whether any of this is fully legally enforceable or not (whether it’s a $50M finding for the ACC or a $0 finding for Maryland). Nobody really wants the answer to that question.

        • B1G Jeff says:

          I thought that as well, which is why I was surprised to even hear Loh bring it up and plant that seed. It’s not incomprehensible that at some point a broke school with a chance to make $40M a year by 2017 isn’t going to want to pay a $50M exit fee and might challenge it. With antitrust considerations somewhere out there, I doubt that the conferences would be too obvious about colluding on making sure incoming schools pay off some portion of their exit fees/GOR instead of going to court. I wonder if B1G might have discussed any of this as part of negotiations.

          • greg says:

            prediction: Maryland pays $20 to $25M

          • zeek says:

            Loh should be saying all of that stuff. It’s all posturing. His job is to bring that settlement as low as he can, and no doubt the ACC will make him sign non-disclosure waivers or try to seal or something (although I don’t know if that’s legally possible).

            Loh has to plant that kind of seed just to make the ACC take him seriously and give him a settlement that he would take. Just like the ACC has to say that they believe it’s fully binding on Maryland to pay $50 million.

          • bullet says:

            Its not. WVU documents all came out FOI request.

          • B1G Jeff says:

            @Greg, I’d be shocked if they paid more than $20M. The problem is the ACC won’t view that as a ‘lesson learned’ to the UVAs and FSUs of the world.

            The problem for the ACC is what’s the over under for an effective deterrent for the rest of the conference while still getting UMD to agree to it? It’s hard to see a number that represents a win/win. UMD’s gonna win this one. The ACC is toast, the Big Toast, or the new Big East or something like that.

          • greg says:

            My initial thought was $17.5M, which is halfway between the old and new 50% figures.

          • frug says:

            @B1G Jeff

            The problem is that there is no amount that will serve as a deterrent. If the past couple of years have taught us anything its that no one ever stays in a conference because of an exit fee.

            Remember, after Nebraska and Colorado the Big XII instituted “historic” penalties that they said would hold the remaining members together, only to watch A&M and Mizzou leave less than a year later.

            The fact is, the amount of money is college sports is so high that even if Maryland had to pay the whole $50 million, they would still leave, and that would be true for FSU or anyone else (if they wanted to go).

    • jtower says:

      I would defer to the legal minds around here about the possibility of this happening, but IF exit fees were invalidated it would likely have little effect on the “big” 4 conferences since the BIG, Pac and Big12 have GOR and SEC has no exit fee.

  54. danimation707 says:

    More smoke about UNC & UVA to the B1G. No clue on the validity.


    • It’s interesting that it’s something official from 247, even if it’s just their rumor bot.

    • frug says:

      Informed sources tell us that North Carolina and Virginia could be headed to the Big Ten and that NC State and Virginia Tech could leave for the SEC…

      These are the worst kinds of reports. They could moving, which also means they could not be moving. So either they will change conferences or they won’t. Real helpful.

      • B1G Jeff says:

        If ‘informed sources’ did speak, it likely was a trial ballon to prepare the masses or gauge response.

        • bullet says:

          Assume they did hear from informed sources. It could be that UNC and UVA contacted the Big 10 for information and VT and NCSU contacted the SEC for information but that doesn’t mean either intends to leave.

      • bullet says:

        I think it is definitely true that they will either move or not move. And we will know in the next 7 months!

        • frug says:

          Its my understanding, that Texas and Florida could join the Big 10, Notre Dame might join the SEC, the ACC wouldn’t rule out adding UCLA, and the Big XII may invite Rice.

          • bullet says:

            Well the Pac 12 has trouble figuring out to to expand with. So its possible they meet Loki when he goes to Hawaii with the Rice Owls and discuss it with him. Maybe they have an airport meeting in Denver as he flies out.

    • Hodgepodge says:

      247 gets the vast majority of its rumors from the various team sites they host. Presumably one of the reporters from the ACC team sites has heard this. Of course, that in no way suggests that the reporter is hearing it from a good source or whether it is conjecture passed off as fact.

  55. bullet says:

    BCS news under the radar. Kent St. in the Orange bowl?????

    Some people looking at things were speculating they had a serious chance, as well as Boise and NIU. I dismissed it. Even though #15-#21 ahead of them lost, the fact that all of them lost meant that not all would fall a long ways.

    Boise is still only #20 and NIU #21, so they’ve got no shot. For either to get to #16, Oregon St. would have to lose to Nicholls St. as well as UCLA and Texas losing badly next week. Even then its no guarantee they move up enough. Michigan is ahead of them and is done for the season. And Kent would have to lose to NIU in the MAC championship (and for Boise that means they would have to stay ahead of NIU too as well as staying ahead of Okie St. who has another game).

    But Kent is #17 and #16 UCLA could lose to Stanford again.

    Oklahoma would be the team shut out if Kent makes it. The rule is #14 (no chance) or #16 and ahead of a conference champ. The Kent/NIU winner will almost certainly be ahead of the BE champ who isn’t in the top 25. With upsets, they would be ahead of the Big 10 and ACC champs.

    I bet the Big 5 can’t wait to dump the BCS system if a team that loses 47-14 to Kentucky can make a BCS game by beating 1 overrated Big East team.

    But I think NIU wins easily. They’ve got 5 common opponents and NIU won bigger with 4. Buffalo 42 vs 16, Ball 12 vs 2, EMU 42 vs 27, Akron 30 vs 11 while Army was 1 vs 14. And NIU’s one loss was 1 point to Iowa.

    • zeek says:

      Yeah, that’s the biggest news of this whole BCS; I was surprised to see Kent State knocking on the door right there.

    • frug says:

      You know, if NIU wins big its not out of the question they could move to 16. It would require Boise, Texas and UCLA all to lose, and it would help if Wiscy beat Nebraska, but it could happen. Admittedly this wishful thinking (I live pretty close to NIU) but hey, there’s a chance.

    • Brian says:

      The gap between #16 UCLA and #17 Kent State is huge (0.3304 to 0.2512). I don’t see them closing the gap even with a UCLA loss to Stanford.

  56. zeek says:

    “A prominent official from an ACC school told me Louisville and UConn both have something to offer but stressed academics will matter to presidents. This favors UConn, widely considered a top-75 national university.”

    From that Fowler report.

  57. Michael in Raleigh says:

    I think that the Big 12, pretending to be happy at 10, is carefully watching the moves taking place to see which 2-4 schools it can get. I believe it wants the SEC and Big Ten to pounds on the ACC because a further weakening of the ACC makes it easier for them to get ACC schools themselves.

    For example, if the Big Ten were to get UVA/VT and the SEC got NCSU and UNC (for argument’s sake; which conference gets which particular schools is immaterial for the Big 12), the Big 12 could have its pick among Georgia Tech, Clemson, FSU, and Miami. Duke, Wake, Pitt, ‘Cuse, UConn, BC, Louisville, and those not picked up by the B12 would make up the bulk of the remaining ACC.

    If the Big 12 added Louisville and BYU now, it would have less room for other more attractive current ACC members.

    One thing’s for sure: the ACC is EXTREMELY vulnerable. The Bug Ten and SEC are both going to be highly motivated to add new markets and content for their TV networks, and now that the ACC is proving itself relatively easy to pick apart, we know where they’re going to go.

    • Nick in South Bend says:

      Do you have a sense from the locals (or the schools) where they may prefer to go in the VA/NC area?

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Most want the ACC to stay together. Some want NC State in the SEC, but the prevailing opinion is that the ACC would be very, very tough to leave. Nobody likes what is happening.

        • Nick in South Bend says:


          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            I’m no authority on the schools’ opinions.

            Some things to keep in mind:

            UNC chancellor Holden Thorp is resigning, effective at the end of the school year. It’s in response to the litany if football, basketball, and Afro American Studies Dept. scandals. His influence on realignment matters should be limited. UNC also has a new AD who started in July, I believe.

            NC State’s chancellor wants NCSU to be AAU. Of course, every research university not in the AAU wants in, so take it for what it’s worth. I believe the NCSU chancellor was previously Purdue’s provost.

            I’m no authority on the desires for SEC vs. Big Ten, other than hearing a handful (not majority) of NCSU fans vocalize interest in the SEC. I’ve heard nothing about the Big Ten. Vast majority want the ACC to stay together, and, by the way, for the league to stop sucking in football.

    • zeek says:

      Agreed Michael, that’s the thing; the Big 12 isn’t after the markets in Virginia and North Carolina; they just want the national schools like Clemson and FSU and maybe a travelling partner or two like Georgia Tech…

      They can be content to let the Big Ten and SEC fight over the Mid-Atlantic markets, and then go in and pick up the pieces.

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        And the pieces would likely include the best market and the best football program in the league, FSU. Irony.

        • zeek says:

          Frank’s most likely right about all of this. Regardless of Maryland leaving, it does feel like Maryland is sort of like Nebraska bolting, with North Carolina playing the role of Texas.

          It’s still hard to see why North Carolina would feel the need to up and bolt away from all of the schools in Tobacco Road.

          • bullet says:

            North Carolina won’t. But if the conference leaves it, they go.

            Some combination of FSU/VT/UVA/Clemson would force their hand. So the question is how many of those go? None? One? Two? Two is probably enough to break everything up.

          • zeek says:

            But then it all depends on UNC holding UVa to it, sorta like Texas holding OU to it.

            The ball’s in UVa’s court more than anyone else.

            But UVa won’t feel like leaving unless someone else leaves first.

            This whole thing is like a cat chasing its tail.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:


            That’s very well stated UNC will go when it’s clear the ACC’s days as a power broker conference are over. The writing isn’t on the wall yet, but if and when it is, schools are bolting.

            Wake Forest, fellow Baptist university knows how you feel…

          • morganwick says:

            I think UVA leaving has more of an impact on the others. Duke and UNC would probably say “good riddance” to Florida State leaving. But if that leads to the Big Ten calling Virginia, UNC probably gets on the phone to Delany as well.

  58. GreatLakeState says:

    I think UVA to the B1G will be a deciding factor for UNC and within 2-4 years, the B1G’s eastern block will satisfy ND, which will join with the partner of its choice (Pitt/BC/Miami/Navy).
    As you may have surmised, I believe the ‘T’ in BTN will stand for twenty by the time the dust settles, and at least two of the schools will not fit the Big Ten mold. I’m guessing the final two will come from a pool of (GT/Kansas/Duke or Miami). I think UNC will press hard for Duke and ND might press for Miami (for Florida recruiting purposes). I think the B1G would like GT or Kansas (if they could pry its media rights away from the B12), but I don’t think GT is as high a priority as some others here do.
    Rank speculation is the catalyst for this entire blog, and I expect most will disagree with me.

  59. jj says:

    Not sure I ever said it, but welcome aboard to Rutgers and its fans. Hope your upward trajectory continues. Please deliver NY. Thanks.

  60. B1G Jeff says:

    I don’t mean to promote what I don’t believe, but certain things have entered my realm of perceived possibility.

    -We’ve heard Delany discuss that the B1G/PAC proposed collaboration was both a means to avoid expansion and to capture markets across the entire west coast. I surmised a long time ago that it would functionally create a 24+ team megaconference that would allow the BTN in western markets and the PAC Network to penetrate the midwest/north.
    -We know ESPN (complete with the Ocho) is worth $40B and has never sought to stop growing. It seems to me that BTN is a successful network and is only scratching the surface of its potential; as such it should have an insatiable quest for new markets and expansion of all its potential products and revenue streams. We know the NFL commands $9B with a lot less actual teams than the NCAA carries currently or even in a 70 team top tier configuration.
    -We know this is a 100 year game. Who believes the universities plan on the NCAA being around in the long term, or at least controlling the purse strings on behalf of the universities? If not, the what’s the vehicle to transition away from this old paradigm?
    -The B1G’s eastern expansion captures markets across the mid-Atlantic and provides beachheads for southern and/or northwestern expansion, should such a thing ever become desirable. Its existing relationship with the PAC allows it to reach back west in some revised version of what Scott previously was unable to deliver.

    In the same the B1G was functionally willing to engage in a western alliance/consortium, why isn’t it in the realm of possibility that this growth spurt is simply a capture of markets for either a B1G midwest/east or even a national consortium? It is implausible that we could be simply be growing to 16, 18 or 20 as a conference. We lose too much. The scheduling difficulties, the loss of identity and the ability to have teams that ‘aren’t a natural fit’ eventually leave point to something other than a regular conference.

    Once upon a time, wasn’t the end game 4×16? It’s true we’re headed to 16 with or without ND, UNC, Texas etc. Yet, most of the regulars around here keep saying that even at 16, we’d add if we could get ND, Texas, NC, etc. That just doesn’t make sense, unless…

    I’d love to hear those of you armed with data, political knowledge and/or legal expertise pick this apart or consider this within the realm of plausibility of the TPTB. It does seem to be a unifying concept that could explain many of the inconsistencies underlying our recent actions (and perceived next actions). Or else I’m just overthinking this.

    • morganwick says:

      The instant the Big Ten starts making noise about leaving the NCAA and becoming a pseudo-national conference, the SEC starts doing the same thing and calling Big 12 and ACC schools like crazy. The SEC might begrudgingly allow the Big Ten to take southern schools that wouldn’t fit their conference anyway, but if they think the Big Ten is trying to become a pseudo-professional-style league, they are going to do everything in their power to protect their turf. They might even swallow their pride and invite Texas and Oklahoma just to prevent the Big Ten from getting them.

      • B1G Jeff says:

        I’m looking at dual considerations here.

        On the field, I don’t think the B1G ‘leaves’ the NCAA without ultimately making some deal with the SEC, Texas and ND, lest its product would be illegitimate as a national champion,

        My thoughts really are more centered on expansion of the BTN. It not implausible that the BTN at some point could buy or align with the PAC 10 Network and other regional entities or use expansion to have enough content to create BTN2, etc. in the same way ESPN has grown. I’m really just focusing on what the end game is that justifies this additional growth, because a 17-20 team conference does just seem ludicrous on the face of it. You don’t add the entire northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Georgia, etc. and then don’t have enough space on your channel for all that product. Over the next 100 years, baseball, basketball and other Olympic sports may find itself infinitely more valuable (see soccer’s past history and where it’s going with an increasing Latin population), and we’d be well positioned to drive that growth just based on volume of schools.

        The amount of money generated from a few bucks/month/cable household with advertising attached could eventually dwarf the NFL’s contract. I’m sure that aside from the competitiveness standpoint, everyone would be on board if a 20 x 4 which functioned as a 10 x 8 (with the return of some regional historic alliances) with the end result that everyone involved is printing money because the BTN. If for no other reason, large state universities will increasingly have to find new revenue streams as state budgets and ability to support sports declines. Some variation of this theme could be that path.

        • zeek says:

          We definitely may need a BTN2 sooner rather than later, although I’d guess they would just put all that extra content online or something…

        • morganwick says:

          So, “pseudo-professional-style” is more apt than I thought.

          If that happens, though, you better believe there will be MASSIVE pressure to start paying players.

    • frug says:

      You seem to be hinting at Larry Scott’s ultimate vision is a world in which as the at most top 72 teams college sports unify (at least for media/contract purposes) and then break away from the NCAA (or at least split it again), which he believes put them on equal footing with the NFL for the title of most powerful entity in North American sports.

      Personally, I think that this is likely the end result. The single defining trend of the last 35 years in college sports has been consolidation of power by the major conferences, which started with cutting D-I in half. Since then through accident or design, virtually every significant event/decision has served to increase the power of the top conferences at the expense of the NCAA, smaller conferences, TV networks, independents and even the conferences’ own member institutions. (This is why I have been so firm in my believe that ND will be in a football conference within a decade).

      The difficulty is figuring out how to make it work. The economic and historical differences between the conferences is such that an alliance is more likely than a single 64 team league. The Big 10-PAC alliance would likely have been the first step, and while it collapses I suspect we may see some model of it in the future.

      I know this is less an answer than stream of consciousness, but I feel like it address the general theme you were getting at.

      • zeek says:

        One more thing to consider for you and Jeff; I agree with both of your posts.

        The Maryland and Rutgers adds were a paradigm shift for the Big Ten as Delany mentioned. The Big Ten is now in an asset acquiring phase.

        If that means breaking barriers to acquire assets (going past 16), I think they will consider it for the right schools.

  61. Santos says:

    I was looking at some research statistics for 2010, which I think is the newest year available, and I found some interesting (to me anyway) things. I’ll post the overall rank, followed by the B1G rank and the yearly research budgets. I’ve removed schools like Stanford, Cal, Washington, Johns Hopkins and MIT, which aren’t candidates, and focused more specifically on schools germane to the discussion. And I’ve combined the numbers from Rutgers’ main university and the medical school, which has been listed separately, but have now merged. I’ve lowered everyone’s rank beneath Rutgers by 1 spot to compensate.

    #2, #1 Michigan $1.192 billion
    #3, #2 Wisconsin $1.029 billion
    #5 Duke $983,289,000
    #11 Pitt $822,491,000
    #12, #3 Minnesota $808,144,000
    #14, #4 Penn State $778,549,000
    #14 UNC $755,284,000
    #16, #5 Ohio State $755,194,000
    #18 Colorado $747,998,000
    #21 #6 Rutgers $689,986,000
    #23 Florida $681,548,000
    #27 Georgia Tech $615,833,000
    #28, #7 Northwestern $603,732,000
    #31 Texas $589,502,000
    #34, #8 Purdue $572,866,000
    #36, #9 Illinois $515,133,000
    #38,#10 Indiana $475,192,000
    #41,#11 Maryland $451,415,000
    #43,#12 Iowa $444,034,000
    #45,#13 Michigan State $431,373,000
    #51 Virginia Tech $398,169,000
    #65,#14 Nebraska $340,093,000
    #75 Miami $280,671,000
    #76 Virginia $276,789,000
    #83 Missouri $238,500,000
    #85 Florida State $237,684,000

    A few take away points: First, when you look at this list, you can’t help but notice the common research theme in the Big Ten schools. It seems quite likely that the next additions will fit in similarly.

    Clearly, from a research perspective, both Rutgers and Maryland were solid additions, particularly Rutgers. Their addition brings the total research number being conducted under the B1G umbrella to $9.1 Billion. And that number is nearly two years old now.

    I look at the list, and I can’t help feel for Pitt. Were it not for geography, they’d be an amazing research fit. To a lesser degree, the same is true for Colorado. I’m guessing it was a gentelman’s agreement with the Pac-12 (which had fewer expansion options) for the B1G not to pursue them.

    Next, I can’t help but notice how Duke has really catapulted towards the top in just a few years. I can’t speak to their market pull, but they’d have to a favorite for the academic side of the B1G.

    As for the most pracitical future additions, from a research perspective, UNC would clearly be a great research fit. Georgia Tech would be solid, too.

    Florida and Texas would be great additions in every regard, (particularly market and recruiting grounds), but I realize their not practical targets.

    Interestingly, Viriginia Tech does better numbers than Virginia, though the former would only be ahead of Nebraska, and the latter is actually noticeably lower than Nebraska.

    FSU would be quite a ways down, and seems a stretch.

    • Brian says:


      “Interestingly, Virginia Tech does better numbers than Virginia, though the former would only be ahead of Nebraska, and the latter is actually noticeably lower than Nebraska.”

      This is one of the reasons why I think the B10 would consider VT. They aren’t AAU (yet), but they’re a rising school with a clear research focus. ARWU ranks UVA 54-67 (same as IA) and VT 68-85 (same as NE). USNWR puts UVA at 24 and VT at 72 (above IN and NE).

    • B1G Jeff says:

      This definitely changes my view of both Pitt and VT. I’m assuming this data doesn’t include the research largess of Rutgers’ acquisition of its states’ medical and dental schools.

      • bullet says:

        The question is how much of VT’s is Ag research, which matters, but not nearly as much to TPTB.

        • zeek says:

          I would bet a lot given that Brian’s posted the AAU presentation numbers from Nebraska’s presentation and they had Virginia Tech at around 91 with Nebraska in the early 100s.

          It would seem like that’s a dock of around $200-250 million from each school (although I’m not sure that’s the right amount to remove).

          • Brian says:


            The NE numbers are from 2005-7, so things will have changed some. But here’s VT’s rankings across the board:

            Overall #91

            Phase I Indicators (raw/normalized)
            Federal Expenditures – 73/95
            National Academy members – 56/61
            Awards – unlisted (so are schools as high as #43 overall)
            Citations – 94/104
            Average of Phase I normalized indicators – 87

            Phase II Indicators (raw/normalized)
            USDA – 7/8
            Doctorates – 41/60
            Post Docs – 77/95

            So yes, they do a lot of USDA research.

      • zeek says:

        It does, he pointed out in his notes at the beginning that he added Rutgers UDMNJ numbers.

    • Richard says:

      Well, Colorado wanted to be with the Cali schools, as they get and send a lot of people there. If they had wanted to be in a Midwestern league, they would have stayed in the B12.

      • zeek says:

        The other thing that people are missing is that it really seemed as if the Big Ten didn’t want to go too far to the West.

        There were some good schools out there like Missouri or Colorado, but the Big Ten just took Nebraska and then started looking east.

        The goal was always to get an angle on future population growth/demographics and the only way to do that in the West was Texas.

        Once the Texas angle was off the table, the Big Ten had to save spots for schools in the East.

    • Eric says:

      I really think Frank’s old approach with academics is still the correct one. A school either qualifies or it doesn’t. There’s not really an in between and there’s not a lot of extra push for being great rather than acceptable.

      • zeek says:

        The question is whether the minimum standard is the 13 AAU members or Nebraska.

        I’d assume it’s the 13 AAU members now, although I really think that an exception can be made for Virginia Tech like it was for Notre Dame.

        But I doubt the Big Ten COP/C are going to allow exceptions; they already went there once.

      • mushroomgod says:

        I think it really matters to UM, Wisconsin, and Northwestern…..schools like Rutgers and Md really look good to us, but I think they’d like to see the likes of UNC, VA, or GT. And no more Nebraskas (ie…no KU).

    • brindelin says:

      Ole Illinois is further down the list than I anticipated.

      • frug says:

        It’s because the system’s medical school is part of UIC.

        • B1G Jeff says:

          Which is very weird. There a two main campuses, one in Chicago and the other in Champaign/Urbana (which I attended). If you start in Chicago, you stay there. If you start in C/U, you either stay there or go to one of the other two campuses in Peoria or Rockford. After all of that, when you graduate (regardless of where you went), it’s identified at UIC. Never figured that one out…

          • frug says:

            It makes more sense to have the medical school in Chicago because there are more potential patients and people to help.

            A lot of states prefer having their medical schools in their largest city.

          • B1G Jeff says:

            You misunderstood. U of Illinois has 4 medical schools in the system, all of which conduct research and have clinical activity attached to them.

          • frug says:

            I get at what you’re saying. My guess is just logistics. The Chicago school is the largest of the medical schools, so they probably just administer everything thing through it.

      • bullet says:

        Texas also doesn’t have a medical school, but the city of Austin just passed a tax to help start one. So they will have one soon. Mostly the medical schools in Texas are independent institutions within the University of Texas system. The ones in Dallas (UT-Southwestern Medical), Houston (UT-Houston Medical) and the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston are way up in the research listings.

        Not sure how much the drive to add medical schools (A&M has been trying to get a medical school and just bought a 3rd rate law school in Ft. Worth, UTSA wants to merge with UT-San Antonio Medical school) is to get higher ranked in research and how much is a legitimate effort to create research synergies with the rapidly growing biomedical field.

        • morganwick says:

          Why were medical schools ever separate to begin with?

          • bullet says:

            Just the way Texas set it up. They had a vote and Austin won the university and Galveston won the medical school. Not sure of the history, but I believe the Dallas, Houston and San Antonio medical schools were created before UTSA and UT Arlington. I know Dallas was there before UT Dallas and they are in different parts of Dallas.

          • bullet says:

            Typical of Dallas. UT Dallas is in Richardson and barely in Dallas County. The Dallas Cowboys played in Irving but have now moved out of Dallas County to Arlington. Dallas Baptist I believe used to be in Irving, but is now in Plano, in Collin County. The medical school IS in Dallas, but it is called UT Southwestern. Next they will probably move city hall to Irving. There’s a big vacant tract of land where the old Cowboys stadium got imploded.

          • morganwick says:

            I meant in general.

    • Richard says:

      This is why I think Miami isn’t out of the question. In academic prifile, they are very similar to UVa: pretty elite undergrad coupled with less research money due to being a smaller school.

      Also why I’ve always been lukewarm about Mizzou; without the AAU designation (which is kind of a historical artifice), they would never have been in the discussion.

    • frug says:

      Keep in mind that the AAU does their numbers based on federally funded research and UVA is well ahead of V-Tech in that area ($218.499 million vs $148.411 million)

    • cutter says:


      In addition to looking at the raw numbers regarding research budgets, I would suggest looking at what the fields these schools research and the origins of those research dollars as well.

      For instance, North Carolina came in ninth among public and private universities for federal dollars in 2010 at $546M or 71% of the total budget. See http://uncnews.unc.edu/content/view/5508/74/

      As you peel the onion, you see that most of UNC’s federal dollars (70%) came from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) — see http://research.unc.edu/about/facts-rankings/research-funding/index.htm and that much of their research efforts centered around its five health sciences schools.

      Georgia Tech, OTOH, has a smaller research budget than UNC, but it’s funding is from different federal sources (76% Department of Defense) and is centered more on science and technology whereas UNC is more medical and biotechnology. See http://www.gtri.gatech.edu/files/media/GTRI_2011_AnnualReport_FNL_reordered.pdf

      When the B1G COP/C is looking at candidate schools to become the 16th and 17th universities to join the conference from an academic standpoint (this includes the University of Chicago), we may have to ask ourselves if they’re looking for complimentary programs that will enhance existing research capabilities or are looking at ones that expand into areas that the conference feels it nees to have more assets available. They may also look at where the funding is coming from, the types of contracts these schools have, what their contacts are in private industry, etc.

    • Nemo says:

      I looked at these results, and I had to scratch my head! I know that Rutgers formally affiliated with its School of Medicine at or near the time of the move, and so you’ve added the University’s funding to that of its medical school entity. In fact, a fair number of Universities which are “land grant” have two campuses: one undergrad/grad and one professional. They were historically treated as one entity.

      The University of Maryland began as the Baltimore College of Medicine in 1807 and formally merged with the Maryland School of Agricultural (1856) to form one University (which is why the logo has several dates, the earliest being 1807 and the second, the time of the merger into one entity, 1920). In fact, when I graduated in the 1960′s, the members of the professional schools were present to receive their degrees at the same commencement as we were one University.

      Because the State of Maryland wished to improve its collegiate system, the then Governor created the University System of Maryland (1980s) to create a more unified system of administration (believing that the historical role of the UMCP and Baltimore campuses would continue on as THE University of Maryland). Instead, the legislature decided to make all campuses separate but equal). So, the tradition of about 60 odd years was put to an end. Recently, there was a move to once again join the two campuses as one, single entity, but the result ended instead as a “special partnership” not unlike the Consortium arrangement within the Big Ten. One argument advanced was that those Universities with an undergraduate and professional campus was more recently no longer the norm (although it had existed at Maryland for about 100 years) and that institutions that had attempted recently that “trick” simply were trying to pump up their total grant support.

      If one adds the grant support of College Park, the 13th member of the Big Ten, to its professional campus, the total amount of grant funding would be over $1 billion. See:

      Combined funding

      Professional School campus

      • Tom says:

        For all the talk about the B1G expanding south to the northeast/mid-Atlantic (something that I’m strongly in support of) and possibly the deep south with Georgia Tech, let’s not forget that in the future the three big football states will be California, Texas, and Florida. If we also agree that there will eventually be 4 major conferences, only the B1G is without a presence in one of those states. I think this is an important issue that the league should be thinking about.

        Looking at the numbers Santos posted above, Florida State lags, but is virtually tied with Missouri. As far as we know, Missouri was under consideration for B1G membership three years ago. FSU is close to B1G darling UVA in research (not much else), and relatively near Miami. If FSU was AAU, would it be on Delaney’s radar? You have to think associating with the B1G would hasten FSU’s goal of achieving that status, compared to staying in the ACC or moving to the Big 12. Penn State was lacking in the various research metrics before joining the Big Ten, but shot up the rankings afterward. Granted, I don’t think PSU was as low as FSU is now.

        If the MO of conference expansion is thinking 20, 30, 50 years down the line, then I don’t think there is a better candidate than FSU. The B1G is secure financially. FSU secures the B1G’s football future, like no other school aside from Texas would. Unlike Texas, it seems that the ‘Noles are desperate to get out of the ACC and would jump immediately if offered.

        Fortunately for the B1G, the SEC won’t happen (a mistake in my opinion), and the fit with the Big 12 is odd since I assume FSU would be put in a division with Clemson (solid but doesn’t draw much national attention), West Virginia (same), Iowa State (afterthought), Kansas (afterthought), and Kansas State (afterthought before Snyder, afterthought after him). Texas and Oklahoma is nice, but that’s going to come alongside Baylor (aside from one year an afterthought), TCU (an afterthought followed by a few good years), Oklahoma State (better now with Pickens, but still not a national draw), Texas Tech (improving, but not a national draw). That’s a marginal increase in prestige at best (if any honestly) compared to the current ACC setup, and it doesn’t come with much of a revenue bump, although I suppose a Seminole network ala Texas could work.

        On the other hand, a 16 team B1G with Florida State and Georgia Tech in one pod would give the league a solid foothold in Florida, and offer FSU the national prestige it currently lacks. So, out of curiosity, how could Delaney spin Florida State to the B1G presidents?

        • Richard says:

          “FSU is Nebraska before gaining AAU membership”.

          The B10′s wet dream (besides Texas & ND) is UF+UGa, but that’s not going to be considered down south unless the SEC gets hit with multiple death penalties.

          Barring that, and unless ND decides to join (extremely unlikely any time soon), I’m definitely in favor of FSU+Miami+GTech+UVa+UNC+Duke to form a Big20.

        • Brian says:


          “If FSU was AAU, would it be on Delaney’s radar?”

          They’d already be in the B10 if they were AAU. An AAU member that’s a football power in a giant sun belt state full of B10 alumni that also happens to be the #1 recruiting state is the holy grail.

        • gfunk says:

          FSU fans I come across like the B1G over ACC any day, but they are torn over the Big 12. They seem to like BIG football better, but they are exceptionally turned off by B1G Baseball – I can’t blame them. FSU is on the cusp of greatness in baseball – 21 CWS but no titles. Also, they like the idea of recruiting Tx in the Big12 because the SEC now has aTm – a parity argument. FSU fans know the money would be better in the B1G.

        • morganwick says:

          I wonder if the Big Ten is thinking of quantity over quality. There will be a California conference, a Texas conference, and a Florida conference, and the remaining conference will compete by sticking its nose in as many football-happy but lower-population (or high-population but less football-happy) states as it can. That conference is the Big Ten.

        • metatron says:

          Because trends never change and centers of population and industry are stagnant.

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      Santos – You might want to recheck some of those numbers. You have IU listed at >$475M when in actuality IU Bloomington spent $177,520,000 in FY 2010. I’m guessing that your number refers to the entire Indiana University system which isn’t germane to this discussion. Only the Bloomington branch campus numbers are relevant.

      FWIW I quoted the CMUP report above to show how the various schools ranked under the control metrics used as that can be more useful than just the raw expenditure numbers.

      The FY11 expenditure numbers are also available on the NSF website.

  62. OrderRestored83 says:


  63. bullet says:

    Question for the B10 fans here:
    Given that you are stuck with 14, how many of you would prefer 16 assuming 15 and 16 are two of: UVA/UNC/GT?

    • schwarm says:

      Unlike many here, I would like GT. Living in the deep south, it would be a great road trip to Atlanta every several years. Regional pods would be good, too. Don’t know why but I like the concept of pods better than 2 large divisions.

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        Pods were often cited as a big contributor to the original WAC16 blowing up. Be careful what you wish for.

        • zeek says:

          I hate to say cliches like “things are different now”, but things really are different now.

          When you look at professional leagues and the like, that’s really where this is going. As much as we talk of tradition and all of that, the money is going to be the glue that keeps these conferences together, much more than anything else.

          If the money isn’t there, then regional differences can lead to break downs (i.e. WAC-16), but if the money is there, I think it will be different.

        • It’s not so much “pods” as it was the way they were constructed (the middle 8 never were in same division, which caused resentment) as well as the disparity of program quality (the programs who formed MWC were by and large MUCH bigger and better than those left behind) and the lack of TV money or national respect. I don’t expect that any of those issues would apply to a 16-team B1G.

          That doesn’t mean it’d necessarily work out, but I think that it’d be a MUCH safer and stabler arrangement than the WAC ever was.

    • zeek says:

      I would prefer to wait for UNC if you’re not willing to take Virginia Tech (or if they aren’t available) to pair with UVa.

      I agree with schwarm though that I’d much sooner get to pods of 4 in a 16 team league than wait too long on the 7 team divisions.

      I also think that the Big Ten decision makers know this and want to get to 16 as reasonably fast as they can. I don’t think they want to draw this out into a 15 year process to get to 16 teams although it may end up being like that…

      • gfunk says:

        Seriously, UNC is such prima donna in the football sense. Put them in the SEC so they can rot in basketball, field hockey, women’s soccer perpetuity. We don’t need a Tx type in the B1G. Their tshirt fans, too many of them, are arrogant trash.

    • manifestodeluxe says:

      I’d prefer UVA/VT, but UVA/UNC would work too. GT doesn’t do anything for me.

    • greg says:

      bullet, we’re beyond the turning point now. We’re not really a conference, more of an affiliation. If the next two are out of UVA/UNC/GT, may as well add them tomorrow. OSU and PSU are already on course to visit Kinnick once per decade.

      • zeek says:

        Well, if you move to 16 with only 4 teams locked in annually (3 in division + 1 outside division locked), you’d get to see teams as often as under the 12 team format.

        The downside is, you play a lot fewer teams every year of course…

        • greg says:

          zeek, you can shuffle the scheduling, but the fact is you play everyone less often.

          • zeek says:

            I think that’s why they want to go to 16 from 14; it evens out the extremes of seeing so many teams annually and so many teams on a distant rotation into seeing most teams on a shorter rotation but few teams annually.

          • bullet says:

            Pods are doable with 14. One possible setup: West-UNL,IA,MN,WI; East PSU,MD,RU,NW; North UM,MSU,IL; South OSU,IU,PU. OSU/UM, MSU/PU, IL/IU get matched every year in the 3 team divisions. Everyone gets 3 teams every year and 10 teams every other year with an 8 game schedule. 2 out of 4 years you have Northwest and Southeast. 2 out of 4 you have Northeast and Southwest. 2 cross division games each year.

            Now I haven’t figured out anything that makes sense in the SEC. The best I can do on an 8 game schedule would be West LSU, UM, A&M, AR; Central UK, VU, Ole Miss, MSU (weak division and splits TN from UK and VU); East UGA, UF, USCe; South AL, AU, TN with UGA/AU, AL/UF, TN/USCe the every year matchups. With the SEC the problem is that AL/AU, AL/TN, AU/UGA, UGA/UF are essential and USCe/UGA is very important and its hard to make all of that happen with an 8 game schedule.

    • Eric says:

      I still prefer 14 if done right (a set-up with no locked crossovers).

    • Brian says:


      “Question for the B10 fans here:
      Given that you are stuck with 14, how many of you would prefer 16 assuming 15 and 16 are two of: UVA/UNC/GT?”

      I would only prefer 16 if that was the only way to get a 9th game and use pods for scheduling. I don’t want set 8 team divisions, and I don’t want 8 games.

  64. Read The D says:

    @Frank – if the apocalyptic scenarios for the ACC play out, the National Basketball Conference could get a huge boost in the form of your most hated college sports team, the Duke Blue Devils.

  65. Pablo says:

    Assuming that traditional rivalries are completely overwhelmed by the need for television revenue and the B1G (combo of UVA & UNC/VT) and SEC (combo of NCSU & UNC/VT) get their markets…then how can the ACC recreate itself to maintain its seat with the Power 5?

    One solution for the remaining ACC schools is to leverage Notre Dame’s need for reliable football scheduling while maintaining its perception of independence:

    1) Invite Navy (access to the Wash/Balt market and a friend to ND)
    2) Invite Connecticut (greater access to the NY market and a solid athletic program)
    3) Schedule games via 3 team pods (locked-in rival)
    Bowden Division: FSU (MIA) / Clemson (GT) / WFU (Navy)
    Academic Division: Miami (FSU) / GT (Clemson) / Duke (Syracuse)
    Mohican Division: Pitt (ND) / Syracuse (Duke) / CT (BC)
    Golden Helmet Division: ND (Pitt) / BC (CT) / Navy (WF)
    4) Notre Dame would only play 6 regular season ACC games (Navy, BC & Pitt annually; others rotate 2x per 6 years)
    5) ND would then be eligible for the CCG and a shot at the Orange Bowl

    To keep FSU from jumping to the B12, Notre Dame could offer an annual game for the balance of he ACC-ESPN contract. Notre Dame still has scheduling flexibility (5 free games in 4 out of 6 years; and 6 free games in 2 out of 6 years) to play their PAC / B1G / B12 / BYU rivals.

    Given that the entire ACC is at risk, ESPN would probably be accomodating. With the exception of VT, losing the old guard ACC teams (MD, UVA, UNC & NCSU) is not a huge financial hit. The ACC contract is still a plus to ESPN…and worthy of not allowing the contract to dissolve. ESPN could probably even throw-a-bone to FSU and give them back their Tier 3 rights.

    Basically the ACC survives in a fashion similar to the B12 in 2011. Notre Dame is playing the role of Texas; FSU is comparable to OK. The schools who can get out, leave (similar to NB, CO, MO and aTm).

  66. zeek says:


    From ESPN’s Big 12 blogger:

    “Argue the “best” all you want. The deepest is not up for debate. The SEC has six teams in the top 12 of the polls? Congratulations. The rest of the SEC’s record against those six teams: 0-30. Not a single win by the bottom eight teams in the SEC against the top six.”

    We’ve spoken a lot on this blog (granted that there’s more Big Ten fans here than anyone else) about how few upsets there are in the SEC, but this is a stark reminder of that fact.

    In 30 games, the rest of the conference put up a giant egg against the top teams. That’s why there’s 6 BCS Top 10 teams in the SEC.

    It’s like the top teams have become almost immune to upsets; 6 teams with only 1 or 2 losses all of those losses being to the other 5 teams in the top 6…

  67. bullet says:

    Michigan AD thinks 20 is ridiculous (my interpretation of his MUCH more mild comments), but sounds positive about 16 and tolerant of 18.

    Good read on, at least, his thinking.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      Of course 20 is ridiculous, but so is a 16 team conference. We crossed the ‘ridiculous’ rubicon with the Rutgers add. If they have 18 and ND wants to join with a partner, 20 will suddenly seem tolerable. The B1G/BTN is no longer a conference, it’s a sports empire with aspirations of being ESPN. If that’s the future, then it’s best to be pro-active. I still think one of the Florida teams will go B1G. You can’t merely cede the eyeball-topia of Florida (which is filled with Midwest/East coast natives) because of borderline acceptability. I would prefer FSU, but if it does go to 20 in the next few years I’ll bet at least Miami comes. Only with a Florida school would GT make sense.

    • Richard says:

      Eh. I don’t think 20 is “much past 16″.

      However, scheduling past 20 _does_ become much more difficult. That means that you have to be really certain about schools 19 & 20 as you pretty much aren’t expanding after that (unless the NCAA allows an increase in regular-season games). So I think that the Big10 won’t become the Big20 unless ND decides to join. It may sit at 18 if it gets UNC (along with Duke & UVa; I’d personally prefer VTech as well to lock up the mid-Atlantic but the powers-that-be likely prefer GTech).

      • rich2 says:

        Any conference larger than 12 is simply a commercial transaction masquerading as a “tradition.” B20 is the most ridiculous idea I can imagine. If the Big 10 went to B20 it would truly represent the “jump the shark moment” in the history of the conference. Nothing would matter any longer. Who would care about a conference “affiliation” in a B20? It would mean nothing — similar to competing in the BE18 in Basketball. Competing in the B18 meant nothing when university affiliation was assessed because — no one can feel that they are part of a “conference” at 18 — or 20.

        • NeutronSoup says:

          I’d go further and say that’s true of any conference larger than 10, or whatever number means that you don’t play all members each year. We’re far past the point where conferences aren’t commercial transactions.

    • zeek says:

      It honestly sounds like they’ve basically got targets on #15 and #16 and that a couple of people in the know (Delany, Big Ten COP/C, maybe a few ADs like Brandon and Smith) have it written down on the back of napkins or something like that.

      It definitely sounds like he’s prepared for 16 at the very least.

    • frug says:

      Reading this my major question is what the hell is Rutgers doing sponsoring 27 sports?

      That is just way way too many for have not.

      • greg says:

        Why was Rutgers sponsoring 27 sports? To make themselves look like a Big Ten program and hope for a Big Ten invite. It worked.

        • frug says:

          Actually, 27 is very high even by Big Ten standards. Amongst the current Big Ten schools only three, (UM, tOSU and PSU) sponsor more than 25, and the median is 23.5.

          The most recent addition (Nebraska) only sponsors 21 and they didn’t have the budget problems Rutgers did.

          • bullet says:

            Actually Nebraska did cut several sports a couple years before they joined the Big 10. Don’t remember what.

        • zeek says:

          In fairness, greg and frug, a lot of those were legacy sports.

          Rutgers has been in a lot of those sports for a long time, but only recently did they start to ramp up football spending heavily.

          As they ramped up football spending heavily and went into debt over the past 10 years, they had to start adding up fees on the students to try to pay for the football upgrades. That’s why they started to cut sports.

          Rutgers probably could have easily continued to support those 27 sports if they hadn’t ramped up spending on football, but it had to be done to try to woo a major conference, and it worked out for them.

    • Brian says:


      I didn’t think he even sounded tolerant of 18. I took it as 16 is his limit.

  68. greg says:

    Maybe we should stop talking about Kentucky’s football support.


    Through six home games, the average number of tickets scanned was 32,915. That’s an average difference of 17,266 per game from the announced attendance, which includes tickets sold and stadium workers. Hoping to provide you, the reader, with final accurate numbers for the season, I requested the same data for the Samford game. This was the university’s response:

    “Pursuant to your Open Records Request the University’s Athletics Department has advised they did not obtain any records of tickets scanned from the Samford game. Therefore, the University has no documents responsive to this portion of your request.”

  69. I think 18 happens as Delaney covets UNC. If 15 and 16 are UVA and GT respectively, he can wait on the SEC and B12 plundering the conference forcing UNC without a lifeboat and no choice but to come at 17. I can’t see UNC ever wanting to go to the SEC due to academics. Could that finally force ND’s hand at 18?

    • Nick in South Bend says:

      I actually think it would be possible that ND would join at that point. It would not be the Big Ten that has been rejected many times over the years by ND…but I still do not see it. So long as they have a place for their olympic sports, and can make a full schedule of division 1A teams…I do not think ND will join any conference for football.

      • Nick in South Bend says:

        And of course have access to the title game. I have never believed they would actually get shut out of this part, though. More likely the way to “force” ND is to limit their scheduling options, which is still difficult to do.

        • manifestodeluxe says:

          I was under the impression that part actually wasn’t that hard to do. Didn’t ND quasi-join the ACC in part because getting opponents in the back half of the season was becoming increasingly difficult? If the BigTen and SEC continue to swell at the expense of the ACC, wouldn’t this trend continue?

          • Nick in South Bend says:

            You are correct. The schedule is getting more difficult. But we also assume that member schools will begin to freeze ND out, or that all conferences will ban out of conference games later in the season as the Big Ten has done.

            I do not believe that schools like Texas and Oklahoma will refuse to schedule Notre Dame. I just do not think that the PAC, B12 and ACC will have the support to outright ban out of conference games later in the season when ND comes knocking.

            If they did refuse to schedule ND later in the season that would be a game changer. While ND’s schedule is difficult to make, it is not yet impossible. I think impossible is unlikely to come.

          • Richard says:

            Actually, the B10 doesn’t prohibit late-season OOC games any more (just look at Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Illinois’s recent schedules), but the Pac does (except for the 2 traditional games against ND).

          • @Richard – Yeah, I don’t there has ever been an outright rule in the Big Ten about late-season OOC games. It might be discouraged, but it’s definitely not hard and fast (particularly if it means being able to play Notre Dame like Northwestern will).

          • Nick in South Bend says:

            Fair enough Richard. But I think you hit it right on the head with the whole PAC ban “except for ND.”

            I think more schools and conferences would find similar “except for ND” type situations. I hate it, but it is the way it is.

          • frug says:

            Even with all the schools that make exceptions keep in mind that ND’s AD said that Notre Dame had to make the ACC move because he literally couldn’t put together an acceptable schedule otherwise.

            And it will only be tougher if the Big 10 and SEC move to 9 game conference schedules.

          • Nick in South Bend says:


            I agree that it will get tougher, and that is what Swarbrick said. I just think a lot of people on here underestimate how long and how hard ND will fight to stay independent. A “tougher” time making a schedule is not an impossible one. And until it is literally not possible to make a decent schedule, ND will remain independent (of course there are other factors such as access to a national title etc.).

    • mushroomgod says:

      I definately could see UNC going to the SEC, but only if VA and/or NC State tagged along….obviously, BIG seems like the most logical place, but fans/alums can put a lot of pressure on the admin.

  70. mrcardinal1202 says:

    I would like to see 8 16 team conferences for battling for 16 playoff spots where the first round would be hosted by the 8 conference winners if all are with in the top 25. then the winners go to play 4 of 5 bowl games. Then the winners go and play in the Rose Bowl or Sugar Bowl and then 1 of those 5 bowl games are rotating to host the national championship game. this way you can keep the bowl system together too and would be fun for the fans of the smaller conferences to host an AQ conference team example Boise St hosting Oregon if they are in the top 25. The FCS should have the same set up. I would demote some of the smaller market bowls to the FCS and create some more large market bowls. then the two of those combine to for basketball plus basketball only conferences. all division one conferences must have 16 teams no more no less.

  71. Arch Stanton says:

    Did anyone see that news conference football with Jim Mora after UCLA lost to Stanford? Some local columnist basically accused him of tanking the game so that they would get a rematch with Stanford rather than have to play Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship game.
    This is another reason I don’t like cross-divisional games in the last week (shouldn’t even be in the last two weeks, in my opinion).
    Big Ten needs to determine what is more important: Michigan-OSU in separate divisions, or Michigan-OSU playing the final week of the regular season.

    • Kevin says:

      If the B1G can land another football power then they should have Michigan-OSU in the same division. All this over thinking just to stage a CCG is stupid.

      • frug says:

        The problem is, everyone (or at least all the pre-PSU schools) want to be in a division with either OSU and UM.

        • Arch Stanton says:

          Then move “the game” to the end of October.

          Put Michigan-Nebraska on the Friday after Thanksgiving followed by OSU-Penn State the next day.

          You’ll maximize the meaningfulness of all three of those games in most years by doing that.
          Cross-divisional games are much more likely to be meaningless for at least one of the teams in the last week. In October, everyone (sans Illinois) is still playing for something.

          If Michigan-Nebraska would have been on the last weekend this year it would have been the defacto championship game for the Legends Division. Same for OSU-Penn State if they hadn’t been on sanctions.
          (assuming the other results held)

          • manifestodeluxe says:

            No, no, no, no, no. I can’t express how much I don’t want The Game to move from the last game of the regular season. Maybe I’ll eventually change that as the CCG gets a foothold, but I doubt it.

          • Arch Stanton says:

            I prefer The Game end the season also, but with OSU-Michigan in same division.
            Put Penn State and Nebraska in the other one and have them play on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
            Would Iowa, Minnesota, etc really complain if they weren’t guaranteed either Michigan and Ohio State in any given year but they always played both Penn State and Nebraska?

          • Richard says:

            I agree. That’s a horrible idea. A better idea would be moving to a Big20 with OSU and Michigan in the same pod.

          • Richard says:

            PSU doesn’t mean anything to the western schools (besides maybe Iowa and Nebraska), but I think UNL can take the place of Michigan or OSU without a problem.

          • GreatLakeState says:

            That will always be the final game of the season. That is the one tradition Michigan will never sacrifice.

          • Eric says:

            The day they move the game is the day I start rooting for the Big Ten to fail. I haven’t cared for these other moves and they make less a Big Ten supporter, but I’m still a supporter. Move the game and I know I’ll personally be hoping for the end of the conference as it will have lost everything that makes me care about it.

          • Brian says:

            Arch Stanton,

            “Then move “the game” to the end of October.”

            No. That’s a kneejerk reaction that would devalue The Game tremendously. Some traditions are important, and the timing of rivalry games is one of them.

            “Put Michigan-Nebraska on the Friday after Thanksgiving followed by OSU-Penn State the next day.

            You’ll maximize the meaningfulness of all three of those games in most years by doing that.”

            No, you won’t. You’ll take most of the meaning out of The Game and have upset fans wishing for a true rivalry game the last weekend. That would just annoy the NE and PSU fans, and they deserve better than that.

            “Cross-divisional games are much more likely to be meaningless for at least one of the teams in the last week. In October, everyone (sans Illinois) is still playing for something.”

            The Game is never meaningless for either team. Nobody would rest players in it no matter what. A coach could easily get fired for doing that.

            “If Michigan-Nebraska would have been on the last weekend this year it would have been the defacto championship game for the Legends Division. Same for OSU-Penn State if they hadn’t been on sanctions.”

            Those games had the same weight when they were played, and The Game was still extremely meaningful despite neither team needing to win it for CCG purposes.

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            -”Put Michigan-Nebraska on the Friday after Thanksgiving followed by OSU-Penn State the next day.”

            You shut your damn dirty mouth!

        • Richard says:

          That was true, but I think UNL has turned out to be an acceptable substitute for the western schools. Thus I think that Minny, Wisconsin, Iowa, Northwestern, and maybe Illinois would be fine with only playing UNL yearly (though Minny would hate to lose the Little Brown Jug game annually, that hasn’t been an annual game anyway, being a distant 3rd on Michigan’s list while the Gophers have 2 other real trophy games).

          • Arch Stanton says:

            Penn State

            Ohio State
            Michigan State

            How about these divisions with the protected crossovers in order? I think Wisconsin would be thrilled to play Nebraska, PSU, Iowa, Minnesota and Northwestern every year plus get a budding rivalry with MSU as their crossover.
            Minnesota losing Michigan every year, but they’ll live.
            Penn State gains Maryland and still plays Ohio State every year. They aren’t as close to as many as their other division mates as currently, but PSU to Indiana or Illinois isn’t exactly an easy road trip to begin with.
            Looks good from a competitive standpoint too.
            Just don’t call it Legends and Leaders.

          • Richard says:

            I’d protect the Little Brown Jug game if possible (it’s not as if PSU in the next few years will be magnitudes tougher than Minny), so
            Maryland-Rutgers (or Rutgers-Maryland; OH is considerably closer to DC than NYC)
            Northwestern-Illinois (or Illinois-Northwestern if MSU complains enough)

          • Brian says:

            Arch Stanton,

            Penn State

            Ohio State
            Michigan State

            How about these divisions with the protected crossovers in order?”

            They suck. OSU and MI should be separate, first of all. But beyond that, MD and RU will both be with PSU. So trade RU for NW, which appeases MSU while keeping a state rivalry in division. Then you have the classic ends versus the middle setup and the western and eastern teams complain about travel.

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

          • My personal preference would be the KISS model of just east/west divisions with Indiana-Purdue as the only protected crossover. That’s really the only way to preserve all of the conference’s rivalries while allowing each school to play everyone in the other division on a regular basis (particularly if the Big Ten adopts a 9-game conference schedule).

            Now, I know that’s unlikely because it definitely is important for each school to play one of either Michigan or Ohio State every year. So, I’d guess that the divisions will end up with what was first rumored: Rutgers and Maryland get put into the Leaders division while Illinois moves to the Legends. If there’s one guarantee in all of this, it’s that all of Penn State, Rutgers and Maryland will be in the same division. That’s the entire premise of this East Coast expansion – those 3 schools need to be playing each other every year.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Frank – how about a Southeast/Northwest set up?

            SE – Rutgers, Maryland, Penn St, Ohio St, Indiana, Purdue & Illinois
            NW – Michigan, Mich St, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa & Nebraska.

            I guess Illinois could go in the Northwest division, and Northwestern could go in the Southeast division.

          • Brian says:

            Frank the Tank,

            “My personal preference would be the KISS model of just east/west divisions with Indiana-Purdue as the only protected crossover. That’s really the only way to preserve all of the conference’s rivalries while allowing each school to play everyone in the other division on a regular basis (particularly if the Big Ten adopts a 9-game conference schedule).”

            East – OSU, MI, PSU, MSU, MD, RU, IN/PU
            West – NE, WI, IA, NW, PU/IN, IL, MN

            That’s your plan? Is IN or PU in the east? It doesn’t really matter because the lack of balance is glaring. NE and OSU balance each other out, but MI, PSU and MSU >> WI, IA and NW in terms of brand and long term success. On top of that, several long time B10 members would no longer play OSU or MI annually.

            KISS puts 3 kings in the east, including the 2 most popular and iconic B10 teams. The east would also have the majority of major metro areas in the footprint, around 2/3 of the population and all the top recruiting grounds. In addition, the B10 loses the chance to have an OSU/MI CCG which is the most valuable possible matchup. How is that good for the B10 or the teams in the west?

            How can you be so adamant about people looking at expansion like a president but then look at divisions like a fan?

            “Now, I know that’s unlikely because it definitely is important for each school to play one of either Michigan or Ohio State every year. So, I’d guess that the divisions will end up with what was first rumored: Rutgers and Maryland get put into the Leaders division while Illinois moves to the Legends. If there’s one guarantee in all of this, it’s that all of Penn State, Rutgers and Maryland will be in the same division. That’s the entire premise of this East Coast expansion – those 3 schools need to be playing each other every year.”

            At least you came back to your senses.

          • Brian says:

            Alan from Baton Rouge,

            “Frank – how about a Southeast/Northwest set up?

            SE – Rutgers, Maryland, Penn St, Ohio St, Indiana, Purdue & Illinois
            NW – Michigan, Mich St, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa & Nebraska.”

            That’s a reasonable setup except for the balance problem of having all the second tier programs (WI, MSU, IA) in the NW.

            “I guess Illinois could go in the Northwest division, and Northwestern could go in the Southeast division.”

            No, for 3 reasons. First, you screw up the geography. Second, you just can’t put Northwestern in the Southeast Division when there is a Northwest Division. Third, MSU really wants to play NW and OSU/IL and Pu/IL are trophy games.

          • morganwick says:

            “On top of that, several long time B10 members would no longer play OSU or MI annually.”

            Is it possible to structure it so that all West teams play one of the two each year, with maybe one exception (probably usually Nebraska)? Of course as the conference expands further, that’ll get harder and harder…

            “In addition, the B10 loses the chance to have an OSU/MI CCG which is the most valuable possible matchup.”

            It’s probably nowhere near as valuable as you might think – does the Big Ten really want a situation like what’s happening in the Pac-12 with two teams playing each other consecutive weeks? Or does it want to be more like the old Big 12, where the Red River Rivalry was all the more meaningful because it often decided who won the Big 12 South? An Ohio State-Michigan title game would devalue the regular rivalry game enough that an alternative matchup might be appealing.

            Frank, what do you think of this list of protected cross-division matchups:

            Ohio State/Illinois
            Nebraska/Penn State
            Michigan State/Wisconsin

            And this list of pairs of teams in each division that each team’s schedule is built around, with the odd teams out stealing one of each pair from one of each of the other division’s pairs:
            Michigan/Ohio State
            Michigan State/Penn State
            Iowa/Indiana, Purdue, or Nebraska

            Obviously this would normally mean that teams could never play their pair’s protected rival, so maybe it makes more sense for the lists to match up, with Wisconsin/Ohio State, Michigan State/Iowa, and Maryland/Illinois. Or perhaps change the pairs so that Minnesota/Illinois and Wisconsin/Northwestern are pairs, then pair Michigan State up with Indiana or Purdue, though that could keep Eastern teams out of the West’s largest market.

            So, Ohio State’s schedule could be (in random order):
            Indiana or Purdue
            Penn State
            Michigan State

            While Michigan’s could be:
            Penn State
            Michigan State
            Ohio State

            Finally, Illinois’ could be:
            Indiana or Purdue
            Ohio State
            Michigan State

            Obviously this looks a lot like the pod system, but what do you think?

          • greg says:

            “does the Big Ten really want a situation like what’s happening in the Pac-12 with two teams playing each other consecutive weeks?”

            I bet that Fox wishes that was happening.

          • Richard says:


            I doubt it. Especially a scenario where both OSU & Michigan have the conference title berth already wrapped up before the game is played. Then The Game becomes a farce.

          • greg says:

            Was The Game a farce this year? Michigan wasn’t going to the BTT game and OSU was going home.

            OSU and Michigan clinching their divisions before The Game is a very unlikely scenario.

          • Richard says:


            No, because neither school had a greater goal to play for besides the Game.

            However, introduce a situation where there is a much bigger goal, and it would be determined by a game between the same 2 teams, then the first game becomes a farce.

          • greg says:

            Maybe a farce to you, who only cares about the Big20. Fans will care.

          • Brian says:


            “s it possible to structure it so that all West teams play one of the two each year, with maybe one exception (probably usually Nebraska)? Of course as the conference expands further, that’ll get harder and harder…”

            With 7 team divisions and a 9 game schedule, there would be 6 crossover games for OSU and MI. So yes, they could play 6 of the 7 in a year. But that assumes they never overlap their schedules. They could play all 6 except NE and let NE play PSU every year but they’d presumably complain about schedule difficulty. Also, NE would want to play OSU or MI, too.

            With the current 8 games, they could only play 4 of the 7. With 16 teams, it would be 4 of 8 with a 9 game schedule.

            “It’s probably nowhere near as valuable as you might think”

            Except for the TV experts saying most of the money in a TV deal is for the big games, and OSU/MI is by far the biggest match-up the B10 has. Remember that OSU and MI project as the two most nationally popular teams in the B10 by a fair margin, and they are also more B10 icons than the nearest competitors (PSU and NE).

            ” – does the Big Ten really want a situation like what’s happening in the Pac-12 with two teams playing each other consecutive weeks?”

            I think the B10 HQ would be happy, yes. TV would play up the grudge match aspect in addition to the rivalry and the history of them playing for B10 titles. It’d be different coming off a blow out or when another team seemed like it should have won a division.

            “Or does it want to be more like the old Big 12, where the Red River Rivalry was all the more meaningful because it often decided who won the Big 12 South?”

            Like in 2008? Any match-up of top programs in a division has that weight to it.

            “An Ohio State-Michigan title game would devalue the regular rivalry game enough that an alternative matchup might be appealing.”


            “Frank, what do you think of this list of protected cross-division matchups:”

            Obviously I’m not Frank but I’ll comment anyway.

            Ohio State/Illinois
            Nebraska/Penn State
            Michigan State/Wisconsin

            No. Just no. The wailing and gnashing of teeth from other fan bases as OSU and MI got easy rivalries preserved while the other top teams had to play peers would be unbearable. I assume you mixed up the divisions in terms of which team you wrote first, but it makes it a little unclear what your divisions are (KISS?).

            The next part about pairs was unclear to me, but essentially you seem to be working with small pods within divisions.

          • Richard says:


            You may care, but that’s not pertinent.

            Would the players care? Motivating 20 year-olds to put max effort in to a game that means little (not even bragging rights, as the school who wins the rematch will own the bragging riights) is going to be difficult. That’s why it would be a farce.

          • Brian says:


            “Would the players care?”

            Yes. You clearly know nothing about football players or what this rivalry means. Players are unbelievably competitive and aren’t going to back away from a challenge. These guys spend all year aiming towards this game and they play through all sorts of pain to be a part of it. A player that didn’t give 100% in The Game would be shunned by his teammates and former players as well as by the fans. The coach wouldn’t play him the next week, either. These guys know that their legacies depend on how they do in The Game.

            “Motivating 20 year-olds to put max effort in to a game that means little (not even bragging rights, as the school who wins the rematch will own the bragging riights) is going to be difficult.”

            Maybe for an early season cupcake. Not for the best rivalry in all of CFB.

    • Eric says:

      Problem is they already have the answer. Ohio State and Michigan fans, the largest fans in the conference screem that the timing of the game is more important and the backlash was so big, they went with them. Several other schools really want one of the two schools every year and so they seperated them.

      The end result is stupid, but it was the easiest thing to do. Hopefully they put them together this time.

      • StevenD says:

        Eric wrote: “Several other schools really want one of the two schools every year”

        Then put those schools in the same division with OSU-Mich or give them fixed crossovers with OSU or Michigan.

        I believe the addition of Maryland and Rutgers makes it possible to construct a division of seven teams that are content not to play OSU-Mich every year.

        Let’s start with the new teams: Nebraska, Maryland and Rutgers. They have no history of regular games with OSU-Mich, so they won’t mind being in the opposite division. *** That’s 3 teams ***

        PSU has always wanted more eastern teams in the B1G. They will be thrilled to play Rutgers and Maryland every year, so they shouldn’t mind OSU-Mich being in the other division. *** That’s 4 teams ***

        Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin have a long history of playing each other. That history was sacrificed when Wisconsin was moved to the Leaders Division and the Iowa-Wisconsin game was lost. If Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin were put in the same division with their neighbor Nebraska, I think they would be content to be in the opposite division from OSU-Mich. *** That’s 7 teams ***

        There it is: a division of 7 teams that will not be complaining about missing games with OSU-Mich. And, even if one or two of those teams did complain, they could be given a fixed crossover with OSU or Michigan.

        This is what the divisions will look like (in order of relative strength):

        Neb PSU Wis Iowa Minn Rut Mary
        OSU Mich NW MSU Purd Ill Ind

        Those divisions are very well balanced. They also preserve the traditional rivalries and encourage the development of new rivalries in the east and in the west.

        • greg says:

          “There it is: a division of 7 teams that will not be complaining about missing games with OSU-Mich. ”

          You are 100% wrong about that.

          • StevenD says:

            Please be specific. Which of those 7 schools is going to complain?

          • Brian says:

            IA, MN and WI, and PSU if OSU or MI isn’t their locked rival. NE would also expect to play OSU or MI annually.

          • Richard says:

            Minny definitely would want the Little Brown Jug game annually with Michigan.
            PSU & OSU definitely want to play each other yearly.
            Iowa already gets a king as a year-end rival (as well as 2 other major trophy games against rivals + PSU annually again) so I don’t think they have a cause to complain.
            UNL gets PSU, Iowa, & Wisconsin; and has no tradition with either OSU or Michigan, so I think that’s good enough for them.

            That leaves Wisconsin. Eh, they get Iowa & Minny yearly and still 2 kings (which is better than they have now).

          • greg says:

            all of them.

          • StevenD says:

            All of them are going to complain? All of them? Really?

            I thought we were having a serious discussion. Nebraska will not be complaining. PSU will not be complaining. Both of them will be expecting to meet OSU or Michigan in the CCG. Moreover, Nebraska will get Wisconsin every year which is more important to the Huskers than either OSU or Michigan. And PSU will have two new neighbors to play. So no, Nebraska and PSU will not be complaining.

            Then there’s Rutgers and Maryland. As newbies they have no right to complain. They will go where they are told and STFU.

            That leaves Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. I don’t think Wisconsin will be complaining. They get Nebraska every year, they get the Iowa game restored, and they get to play three teams in the east. If I recall correctly, Wisconsin said they liked being in the Leaders division because it enhanced their recruiting in the east. Their new division will be even better.

            Iowa might complain a bit, but they get the Wisconsin game restored and they have a significant rivalry game with Nebraska (whom they detested long before the Huskers joined the B1G).

            That leaves Minnesota. If they insist on a Michigan or OSU game, then give them a fixed crossover. No problem.

          • morganwick says:

            And Minnesota would be specifically complaining about losing the Little Brown Jug, so there’s your fixed crossover right there…

          • greg says:

            “All of them are going to complain? All of them? Really?”

            Yes, all seven schools are going to complain about hosting the two marquee programs only once per 12 years. This was publicly stated as one of the reasons they were put in separate divisions.

    • Brian says:

      Arch Stanton,

      “This is another reason I don’t like cross-divisional games in the last week (shouldn’t even be in the last two weeks, in my opinion).”

      Ideally, you try to limit them.

      “Big Ten needs to determine what is more important: Michigan-OSU in separate divisions, or Michigan-OSU playing the final week of the regular season.”

      To OSU and MI fans, the timing is sacrosanct. You might literally see riots if they moved it. B10 HQ would certainly be flooded with complaints and fans would refuse to buy tickets or watch games in protest. Many would encourage their school to leave the B10 over it. It would cost each school several million dollars a year in donations, too. To the other 8 long time members, splitting the two was important. Both got what they wanted, and it’s worked just fine so far.

      It’s a crazy idea, but how about we wait until a rematch actually happens before worrying about it too much. The B10 has more quality programs in each division than the P12, so it’s less likely to have a rematch.

      Back of the envelope calculation:

      How likely is MI to win the west in any given season? 30%? 35%?
      How likely is OSU to win the east? 40%? 35%

      0.30 * 0.40 = 0.12, or once every 8.5 years
      0.35 * 0.40 = 0.14, or once every 7 years

      This just doesn’t seem like a big problem to me. Once or twice a decade two king programs will have a rematch the following week. It’s not ideal, but it’s not frequent either.

  72. frug says:


    The Dude is at it again. Though unlike before, everything his says makes sense except for the Big 10 honestly preferring G-Tech to UNC.

    • Andy says:

      Makes sense if you take as a given that UNC does not want to join the Big Ten at all.

      • OrderRestored83 says:

        Hey Andy, what bowl did that powerhouse in Columbia end up making?

        • Andy says:

          Why thanks for asking.

          Mizzou played 5 top ten teams this year. Had the #2 ranked SOS in the country.

          6 offensive linemen went down with injuries throught the year. It got worse and worse as the year went on to the point where we were playing true freshmen and couldn’t protect the QB at all by the end of the season.

          On a related note, our honorable mention all-Big 12 QB (who had 3600 yds passing and 900 yds rushing last year) missed games for three seperate injuries over the year. An injured shoulder, an injured knee, and a concussion. Missed over 7 games total. His backup was a freshman who wasn’t particularly good.

          The offense went from being highly ranked for several years in a row to near the bottom of the country this year, largely b/c our passing offense collapsed to nothing without pass protection or a healthy QB.

          And yet we still had chances to win with less than a minute left against Vanderbilt, Syracuse, and at Florida. Winn those and we finish 8-4 and likely go to the Gator Bowl. If we had a healthy QB and some pass blocking then we likely win all three of those games.

          Injuries happen. Missouri didn’t have the depth to lose 6 of our top 10 offensive linemen and still be good. Few teams do.

          We also didn’t have any extra high quality QBs waiting around to take over in case of an ainjury. That really turned out to be a problem.

          So it’s a mixed bag. On the one hand I could say that Missouri clearly and the team in place to win 8 games against a ridiculously tough schedule in the SEC.

          On the other hand it’s clear that Mizzou needs to improve recruiting and improve depth because injuries happen.

          But there are lots of cases of teams having terrible seasons largely due to injuries. It happened to Oklahoma not too long ago, for example.

          Being in the SEC should help Missouri’s recruiting going forward. It will be a process to stockpile the talent we need to make it to the end of seasons in that league.

          Honestly we need to recruit sturdier linemen who don’t get injured so much. That needs to be a top priority. We could get away with having smaller linemen in the Big 12, but it just doesn’t work in the SEC. Apparently their knees go out.

          • OrderRestored83 says:

            There are a lot of “ifs” in that reply; but you dodged the question. The answer is, they aren’t going to a bowl game. Missouri has all the disadvantages of Tennessee without the tradition OR the support. They will continue to be a 5 to 8 win team in the SEC. Nothing more, nothing less.

          • Arch Stanton says:

            They also won a game against a bad Tennessee team in the 4th overtime. So, it’s easier to say that they could have had one more loss rather than 3 more victories.
            I’ll give you the tough schedule, but when you blow a game to Syracuse to lose bowl eligibility there really is nothing more that needs to be said.

          • Andy says:

            Order Restored, completley your opinion, nothing more, nothing less.

            Arch, the Tennessee game was one of only 4 where we actually had a healthy James Franklin at QB. We scored over 50 pts in that game. When he was out we averaged around 15 ppg.

          • Andy says:

            Also, Arch, Syracuse is 7-5 with 3 or 4 very close losses, including a last second loss to Northwestern. They also have one of the top passing offenses in the country. We had that game pretty much in hand with a 17 pt lead and then James Franklin goes down with a concussion and the game falls apart and we lose on a last minute TD by Syracuse.

            Again, it would have gone better if we had more depth, but injuries were clearly the story of the season for Missouri.

          • Arch Stanton says:

            I don’t want to get into a back and forth on Missouri all day, but this:

            “Arch, the Tennessee game was one of only 4 where we actually had a healthy James Franklin at QB. We scored over 50 pts in that game. When he was out we averaged around 15 ppg.”

            Okay, 23 of those points were scored in the 4 overtime periods. A healthy James Franklin-led Missouri Tiger team scored 28 points against Tennessee’s defense in the regular 60 minutes of play.

          • Andy says:

            Those overtime points didn’t score themselves. Those were passing TDs.

    • cutter says:


      Why does the Big Ten want another university with its research orientated towards medical and biotechnology in North Carolina? Michigan, for one, has a massive hospital and biomedical complex in place already. Would Georgia Tech be a better fit than UNC as part of the Big Ten when you look at the academic/research side?

      I think we can pretty much bury any thought that getting Notre Dame into the conference was a prerequisite for the Big Ten getting to sixteen programs. That’s especially true seeing that the B1G was telling Maryland that the expected payout per program in FY 2017 was approximately $43M in total conference distributions.

      So what is the COP/C’s priority now? Or perhaps the better question is this–what were the COP/C’s priorities been since Delany publicly announced the conference was going to expand back in December 2009? What exactly did they task Delany to do three years ago?

      • zeek says:

        They tasked him to bring him the Eastern Seaboard. I really do think it’s that simple.

        They told him to go and plant a flag on the East Coast (or several flags). Rutgers’ folks have said that he’s been in contact with them on and off over the past 3 years (since late 2009).

        He’s basically been working on a partner for Rutgers; the #13 that would justify Rutgers as #14. I think it’s that simple. Missouri didn’t work because it wasn’t the East Coast angle. It had to be Notre Dame-Rutgers or Maryland-Rutgers.

        When Notre Dame went to the ACC and signaled that it would never come, the Maryland talks started heating up and here’s where we are.

        I still think he has a mandate to bring more ACC schools in the Mid-Atlantic. I’m not sure which schools he has a mandate for other than that it probably includes UVa and UNC, and may either include Georgia Tech or Virginia Tech as well (but the AAU questionmark is a cloud over Va Tech).

        • Karl says:

          I agree 100% with everything in this comment. Rutgers was always going to be #14 (or #16) after a suitable partner was found. With ND out, UM was the obvious #13.

          I also get the sense that the B1G will eventually go to 16 with 2 out of the UVA/UNC/GT bunch, but would only go to 18 if it meant ND as a full member (the obvious #18 in such a situation would be the remaining school from the UVA/UNC/GT group). I just don’t see the conference going through all the difficulties and challenges of scheduling and mollifying 18 schools without adding the preeminent brand in college football. And since I personally think ND will stay independent as long as it possibly can, the B1G will go to 16 and stop.

          I do not see how the B1G ever goes past 18, as the fraternal bonds between the schools–some of them partners and rivals for over 110 years–will slowly, but surely, fray with the regular passage of time. College football was built on tradition, regional rivalries, and the translation of frontier hatred to the controlled violence of football. Michigan and Ohio refight the wars of the 1830′s every November, just with less bloodshed (and no chance of Michigan retaking Toledo). Expansion might not dilute this premier rivalry, but the “lesser” ones, ones that still have meaning to alumni and state residents, will surely suffer. Over time, should the Little Brown Jug be forgotten, there will be no real connection between Minnesota and Michigan. This decay will kill other rivalries, and might dampen the urge the schools might otherwise have to stay together.

          (As for the CIC, look at the likely additions to the B1G past 14–any 8 or 9 of those could split off and form their own CIC. 10 schools could split from a 20-team conference and remain academic snobs.)

      • frug says:


        Well the Big 10 probably does even more engineering research than it does biomedical so I’m not sure there’s a difference.

  73. loki_the_bubba says:

    Contingent CUSA bowl line-up announced.


    If Tulsa wins, Rice to the Armed Services Bowl in Fort Worth to play Air Force (my preference because I can get there).
    If UCF wins, Rice to New Orleans Bowl to play Louisiana Lafayette.

    • bullet says:

      If I were a Rice fan, I would root for UCF.

      As much as it pains them, OU really needs UT to win this weekend. If UT and OU win, OU wins the Big 12. If UT wins and OU loses, UT passes Kent St. and OU likely goes to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl. If UT loses and Kent and Stanford win, OU probably goes to the Cotton.

  74. Brian, someone had referenced earlier that you had provided some info on Nebraska’s presentation to the AAU and/or B1G that had caused some issues. Can you please point me in the right direction or report? I have looked everywhere.

    Also what was the whole story on what the President and/or Chancellor of UNL’s presentation that caused issues?

    • Arch Stanton says:

      As far as I can remember, I believe that UNL’s chancellor pointed out that UNMC is under the University of Nebraska system but that they were recently given more autonomy in their leadership so their research no longer counted for UNL AAU criteria. If UNMC was counted (many schools do have a medical school in their numbers) then UNL would be ahead of about 1/3 of the AAU schools in certain metrics that are important to AAU.
      Also, there was some complaint that Nebraska had about their agricultural faculty/programs not getting the credit they deserve from the AAU.
      Not really sure about any of the real specifics, but I can probably find more information if you want.

      I have heard that the story that if UNL’s chancellor had not raised these issues, UNL would be in the AAU today and if he had just smiled and nodded during the proceeding then all would be good. This I don’t buy for a second. The decisions were made at that point. AAU doesn’t want anyone to call them out and I think certain parties tried to make Harvey Perlman the fall guy after the fact.
      The reality is that the AAU wanted to admit a few more universities and also wanted to keep their exclusivity. So, they needed to get rid of a few of the lower performing schools to get in a few others. Maybe Perlman’s speech hurt a potential for Nebraska to be re-accepted one day, but I have a feeling that would be decades into the future anyway and all the current players will be replaced by then.

      • bullet says:

        There were some detailed articles posted on this board by some Nebraska people which linked some FOI requests.

        Robert Berdahl wrote a letter to Pearlman suggesting what should and shouldn’t be in his presentation. I read that letter and the presentation that was linked in the article. The article didn’t say anything about Pearlman’s presentation hurting them. That was my conclusion. When he did his presentation, he ignored Berdahl’s recommendations and did the exact opposite. He made the argument about the medical school. He argued that agricultural research should be counted. That could have easily swayed the 1 or 2 votes the other way that he didn’t care about the priorities of the AAU. He didn’t emphasize enough how Nebraska was improving in the areas the AAU cared about. He basically argued, “Your standards are stupid. We should stay in.”

    • frug says:


      If you want to sift through documents, here is a bunch correspondence between UNL and the AAU that was obtained through FOIA.

    • Brian says:



      That’s the relevant file. It includes what the AAU sent to NE and NE’s response.

    • Brian says:

      As to the issues, it mostly came down to a few things:

      1. The AAU doesn’t count USDA research money in their main category of total federal research money because the funding isn’t competitive in the same way as NIH, NSF, etc are. This hurts all ag schools.

      2. The Ag faculty still count among the total used to normalize the research money (so a small school can do just as well per capita as a big school). This is a double whammy for ag schools as all those faculty are essentially considered dead weight by the AAU.

      3. The AAU rules for when a med school counts as part of the university means it doesn’t count for NE. That’s always a big blow, and NE has no control over how the state government set things up.

      4. The AAU suggested how NE should respond, and NE ignored them.

      5. Not all B10 schools voted in NE’s favor, and the vote was close. I haven’t heard yet how MD or RU voted. WI voted no, and so did MI IIRC. The whole B12 contingent voted yes.

      The file I linked starts with AAU’s letter to NE and the chart I’ve been quoting is just a few pages in. There is a ton of stuff deeper in the file.

      • Andy says:

        It affects Missouri too. Missouri is an ag school, lots of USDA money not counted. Also, MU has a large med center in Kansas City that isn’t counted. Missouri can use the same excuses as Nebraska and yet Missouri is still in the AAU without any sign of danger of being kicked out.

        • OrderRestored83 says:

          Nobody cares. Mediocre academics and mediocre athletics; this is why Missouri got invited as a tag-along school with Texas A&M rather than being pursued/invited on their own by any major conference. It is what it is; you can try all you want to paint a turd gold (and you try really hard) but in the end, its still a turd.

        • bullet says:

          Don’t be so sure. There were a half dozen schools ahead of SU and Nebraska that could potentially be targeted. There were a number of non-members ahead of them. They weren’t identified, but Missouri fit the profile of some of them and could have been one.

          • Andy says:

            OrderRestored, you’re not even saying anything. Just empty trash talk.

            bullet, basically the same thing. So Missouri should be kicked out of the AAU even though they haven’t been targeted to be kicked out at all and are a member in good standing? okay. whatever.

          • OrderRestored83 says:

            Empty trash talk huh? What part of what I said isn’t true? Would Missouri have gotten into the SEC without Texas A&M? Surely not even you are that disillusioned. Missouri does have mediocre athletics and academics (check the rankings), so that is also true. I told you before the season started that Missouri would struggle to make a bowl; but I was crazy back then too and not to be taken seriously, right? Missouri can’t compete regularly in the SEC; your football coach knows it, which is why he was so against the move. Pinkel will have another lack luster season next year and because of fans like you who will continue painting turds gold; he’ll be fired. Then you will be Kentucky level because Missouri isn’t a Top 40 job. Especially in the SEC.

          • bullet says:

            I’m just saying don’t make yourself look stupid if it happens. When you look at the chart and what was said about them thinning the ranks, it looks like a half dozen more schools are at risk. Its kind of the gap method of grading. There were UNL, SU and a half dozen other schools below the gap. Its not like any of these are “bad” schools. But don’t diss Nebraska as you might be in the same boat in a couple years.

          • bullet says:

            If you look at Brian’s link around page 10, UNL was #109. Syracuse was probably #105. #81, 83, 87 and 94 look like outliers as well. Ahead of #81 are non-AAU members Alaska-Fairbanks, VCU, Vermont, Hawaii and UConn. From 55-76 are 11 non-members and 11 members. Ranked higher than # 55 there are only 10 non-members and those are mostly specialized schools (UC-San Francisco, Rockefeller U.), schools with big medical schools (UAB), or schools like Dartmouth and Boston U.

          • Andy says:

            OrderRestored: Mizzou’s athletics are considerably better than Rutgers, Maryland, Colorado, and Utah. Their academics are better than Nebraska and Utah.

            There were plenty of candidates for spot #14 in the SEC. Missouri was the top choice and they got the spot. Missouri likely would have gotten spot #14 in the Big Ten instead of Rutgers if we were still available.

            bullet: the only person looking stupid is you for acting like Missouri is somehow on it’s way out of the AAU. There are plenty of AAU schools who are more likely of getting kicked out than Missouri. Is Missouri up at the top with Cal Berkley, Michigan, etc? No. But nobody’s talking about kicking Missouri out right now.

            As for Brian’s link that you’re talking about, I think you just proved that there’s more to the AAU membership than that particular metric.

          • Andy says:

            Also, order restored, wow you are clueless. Our coach was not against the move. He was one of the biggest proponents behind the scenes. He was there pushing for it and meeting with the governor etc to try to make it happen.

            Missouri’s not a top 40 job, eh? Not with 67k fans per game and SEC money, eh? Not with being the 14th winningest BCS program in over the last 6 years including this crappy year, eh?

            You’re so full of crap.

          • OrderRestored83 says:

            Oh yeah, I forgot; you have super secret sources inside Missouri Athletics that tell you all these things. Listen to his interviews upon entering the SEC; the man was clearly reciting the company line; and no, even with SEC money Missouri is nothing more than Kentucky. You’ll see. Keep painting those turds gold though; just know that no one here is buying your crap. Missouri is just Missouri; a side show, nothing more and nothing less.

          • Andy says:

            My sources aren’t super secret. Yes, I talk to people who say Pinkel was pushing for the change behind the scenes. But it was also the standard story in the local media, the story he told in all interviews, etc.

            In fact, you’re the first person I’ve seen who said he was against it, and I can only conclude you made it up.

            And you’re just some Notre Dame fan who doesn’t even like Missouri. Why would you know more about it than a guy like me who follows it very, very closely.

            Nope, you’re trolling me and you’re full of crap. End of story.

          • Andy says:

            Missouri is just Missouri, 14th in wins in the last 6 years, 8 bowls in 10 years, top 20 attendance this year in football, $200M football stadium/facilities project in progress, SEC money coming in, averaging over 27 wins per season in basketball over the last 4 years and ranked in the top 15 now, etc. Yep, Missouri is just Missouri.

          • Brian says:


            “Mizzou’s athletics are considerably better than Rutgers, Maryland, Colorado, and Utah.”

            What metrics are you using? FB success, both revenue sports’ success, Director’s Cup standings, or something else? I’m not saying I agree or disagree, but that’s a pretty nebulous claim.

            “Their academics are better than Nebraska and Utah.”

            Again, by what measure? Utah is #49 on the AAU list, well above the 25th percentile of members.

            “Missouri likely would have gotten spot #14 in the Big Ten instead of Rutgers if we were still available.”

            You have no basis for that claim. The B10 went east and MO would obviously play no part in that. At most you can say MO would have been a candidate to be #13 or 14.

            “There are plenty of AAU schools who are more likely of getting kicked out than Missouri.”

            Name them. Who are these “plenty of AAU schools” MO is above?

            54 of the 60 AAU members outrank MO in the ARWU which uses very similar criteria. MO ranks #86-109 in the US, which is a rank it shares with 4 other AAU members and is above only 1 AAU member.

            “As for Brian’s link that you’re talking about, I think you just proved that there’s more to the AAU membership than that particular metric.”

            No, he showed that some schools qualified back when they got admitted but over time their ranking changed.

  75. Andy, I am unable to find any discussion about Missouri getting a waiver into a bowl game due to the lack of qualified .500 teams.

    There is an article up on ESPN about G-Tech and how they may fit in. The criteria is outlined below and I do not see how Missouri would fit into any one of those categories. Perhaps one of your folks high up in Missouri can shed some light on this for us?

    Under the NCAA’s new bowl selection process, established this past summer, if there aren’t 70 bowl teams available, the remaining spots would be filled in the following order:

    - First pool: those that finish 6-6 but are not usually bowl-eligible because the team has a win against an FCS team that does not meet the necessary financial aid requirements.

    - Second pool: Those that have a 6-6 record but beat two FCS teams to be bowl-eligible.

    - Third pool: Those that finished with a 6-7 record, with their seventh loss being a league championship game, to be eligible.

    - Fourth pool: Allow a team that played 13 games but finished with a 6-7 record to be eligible.

    Also there are rumors going around that Pinkel will be out at Missouri. Any of your connections able to weigh in on that?

    I wish you would give me some props for calling this by the way. :)

    • Andy says:

      I posted the article when I originally talked about it. It was on cbssports.com. At the time there were only 63 bowl eligible teams. There are now 71. There were several upsets that were not expected to happen so now it’s not an issue. If it were Missouri likely would have gone to a bowl because their APR was higher than most other 5-7 teams.

      As for Pinkel, not sure where you heard it but it’s false. There may be a few changes in his staff but you don’t fire a guy who’s averaged 8.1 wins per year over 10 years and has had 7 straight winning seasons because he went 5-7 against the #2 SOS in the country and had his QB out most of the season and had a ton of injuries otherwise.

      If he has another bad season next year he’s probably in trouble but otherwise he’s fine.

      Zero indicatin he’ll be fired at this point.

  76. zeek says:

    Douglas Doughty ‏@DoughtySports
    Looking back at 2003, could Virginia and Virginia Tech be in different conferences again without a major firestorm?


    Bring ‘em both Delany. You got the presidents to get Nebraska in, this would be twice the sell job…

    • Andy says:

      Virginia Tech is a lot stronger academically than Nebraska.

      • zeek says:

        Where it counts for Big Ten expansion (research expenditures under AAU guidelines), they’re marginally stronger than Nebraska, which is the issue.

        • Andy says:

          Yes and even there they’re stronger than Nebraska. If the B1G can take Nebraska then they can take the Hokies.

          • zeek says:

            The problem is they seem to be a bit snakebit on that; they might be going for all top 50 AAU’s (ones that aren’t close to the cutoff) at this point.

          • zeek says:

            FWIW (nothing), I agree with you.

            I don’t understand why it’d have been a one-time exception; Virginia Tech meets the Nebraska admission standard even if it wouldn’t meet the Maryland/Rutgers/Penn State standard as far as research expenditures go…

            If UVa and Va Tech have to go in a pair, might as well go for them both. Less culture issues anyways with those schools than with North Carolina schools…

          • Andy says:

            My best guess, which admittedly is worthless, is that if the ACC breaks up we’ll see the B1G take UVA and VT, the SEC take UNC and NCSU, and the Big 12 take FSU, Miami, GT, Clemson, Louisville, and Pitt.

            Duke, Wake, Boston College, and Syracuse will join UConn, Cincinatti, USF and a couple more, merge with a chunk of the Big East basketball schools, and create a basketball-centric league with a weak football component about on par with CUSA or the MWC. BYU, Boise, SDSU, Houston, and SMU will end up in the MWC.

            I think that’s the most sensible way to do it anyway.

            20 school conferences and Georgia Tech in the Big Ten etc don’t make much sense at all.

          • Peter says:

            For about the 50th time – Nebraska *WAS* AAU when they applied and were admitted in June, 2010. They lost it later, with a review coming in the fall of 2010 and the vote to kick in April, 2011.

            The “lost it later” is a major issue. The Nebraska Chancellor himself said that they probably would not be a B1G school without the AAU brand. There’s strong evidence that Wisconsin & Michigan were actively angry about Nebraska going below AAU standards. They then refused to lobby for Nebraska, may have actually lobbied against them, and voted against them.

            No one in the B1G is going to go up against the Wisconsin-Michigan duo on academic issues (even if the other members don’t agree with them, which most probably do). This is every bit as big a deal as the Big Texas Conference or the Tobacco Mafia in the ACC.

          • danimation707 says:

            VA Tech would be a fine selection imo. They are ranked in the 70s and are ramping up their research efforts.

            Nebraska is rankes in a tie at 101 vs. Missouri in another tie at 97. UNL’s research is over $100 million in excess of Missouri’s and will continue to take off with the CIC &