The ACC washed away any rumors of expanding up to 16 by sending out a single invitation to Louisville this morning while also indicating a sea change in the thought process of the conference’s leadership. For years, the ACC refused to consider schools such as West Virginia on the basis of academics, which meant that Connecticut would have been a virtual lock over the likes of Louisville and Cincinnati to have received an invite from the conference if this situation had occurred even one year ago. However, the brand value of the ACC’s football side has diminished so greatly over the past several years that conference commissioner John Swofford and company took a different tact this time around. Even the chancellor of the University of North Carolina (which is to the ACC what Texas is to the Big 12) admitted flatly that the addition of Louisville was completely about athletics as opposed to academics.

Kudos to Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich for getting his school into this position. He has proven himself to be one of the top athletic directors in the country in turning a basketball school that was in Conference USA not too long ago into a comprehensive top-to-bottom sports program that made sure it wouldn’t get left behind in a new football-driven world. Louisville already would have the largest athletic budget in the ACC outside of UNC, which is quite amazing considering that the Big East’s conference distributions are completely paltry compared to what the ACC has been doling out to its members. Out of all of the schools that have moved in conference realignment over the past couple of years, no one has gone out and made their own luck like Tom Jurich and Louisville. This is a big-time athletic department that should have been in an AQ conference long before it was invited to the Big East in 2003 and certainly shouldn’t have been sweating it out in the current round of realignment.

Unfortunately, the ACC’s decision left behind another school that deserves better than a watered-down Big East: UConn. I rarely blame the leadership of schools for failing to get spots in different conferences since so much is out of the control of those individual institutions. However, the ACC invite should have been UConn’s to lose. UConn had the academic profile and better geographic fit for the ACC along with a larger immediate TV market (#30 Hartford vs. #48 Louisville) and entry points to two massive metro areas (New York City and Boston). Yet, UConn somehow got characterized as a weaker football addition and athletic department overall compared to Louisville in the past week despite going to a BCS bowl and winning a national championship in men’s basketball in the same season only two years ago. That’s an accomplishment that not even Texas and Ohio State have been able to achieve. I told several UConn fans late last week that their school was doing an extremely poor job in addressing the negative public perception issues and Louisville had taken ownership of being a “football move” for the ACC (never mind that Louisville is the highest basketball revenue generator in the country and it’s not even close). What really wasn’t that large of an athletic achievement gap between UConn and Louisville became perceived as a massive gulf in the eyes of the media and fans and, faced with the increasing scrutiny of whether the ACC ought to maintain its power conference status in football, this might have been the one time that the university presidents were won over by public sentiment in an expansion decision. This is an instance where the UConn leadership can’t take an “it is what it is” look at what has occurred. My impression is that they believed (as I admittedly did) that the ACC was going to vote in UConn over Louisville and Cincinnati on academics just like it did in all of its other raids of the Big East previously. They didn’t bank on the ACC’s mindset changing, failed to address what the ACC was concerned the most about in the college conference landscape and, as a result, got burned. It’s a shame since Connecticut ought to be in a better home than the new Big East, but they whiffed on their best (and possibly only) opportunity to move on up.

I know a lot of expansionistas out there are just waiting for the next defection from the ACC to cause a chaotic exodus beyond Maryland (with names like Florida State, Clemson, Virginia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and N.C. State moving around), but I’ll reiterate that I don’t see that happening. Conference realignment isn’t necessarily a zero sum game. The Big Ten will likely be able to gain more value out of Maryland than the ACC lost from that school defecting, just as the Big East is losing more value from Rutgers and Louisville leaving than the Big Ten and ACC will respectively gain from those schools. UNC and UVA, in particular, still see themselves as Southern schools culturally (hence a negative reaction toward the Big Ten at this time) along with top notch academic standards (which means that notwithstanding the ACC’s addition of Louisville, this is a large mark against the SEC), and as long as those two schools are there, the ACC is going to receive favored status from the college sports powers that be and that decreases the likelihood of others (such as Florida State) going anywhere else. As with all things in conference realignment, we always have to say “never say never”, but it will likely take years for UNC and UVA to get to the point where they’d seriously consider leaving the ACC.

In the meantime, get ready for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge to continue tomorrow night on ESPN, as Rutgers plays Louisville for the Big East football championship.

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

(Image from 97.1 FM The Fan)

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  1. Karl Hungus says:

    I’m first!

  2. acaffrey says:

    No VA? I guess this frees up the Big Ten to take the Washington Redskins to really capture that DC market.

  3. As a UofL fan, this is the first time I have been able to read “the” expansion blog with reasoned analysis where I didn’t leave more depressed after reading than before.

    As a UofL fan, I feel for Cinci, but it is what it is. As for UConn, I can say I felt what they must feel almost a year ago. For all involved, focus on what you can control, support your teams, and win games. But I would be lying if the “fair catch” didn’t karma didn’t jump into my head.

    • Bobestes says:

      Guess that’s all she wrote for the Keg of Nails, huh?

    • zeek says:

      This is pretty much the correct response to this situation.

      If you look at where schools like Louisville and Rutgers are today compared to where they were 10 or 15 years ago, it’s a world of difference. They actually look like “big boys” now.

      • duffman says:

        The interesting tidbit in all of this is the budget at UL will put it at the top of the ACC and near the top of the B12! On a related note it would still be in the bottom of the B1G or SEC. ;)

  4. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

  5. Karl Hungus says:

    When will the big east finally cry uncle? The conference is not c-usa 2.0, it is worse than c-usa was when Louisville and Cincy left it. I think the bb schools should vote not to sponsor football anymore and keep Cincy and UConn (they will probably leave at some point when the next shoe(s) drop, but at least you can keep them until that happens). So you could have Cincy, UConn, St Johns, Seton Hall, Providence, Georgetown, Villanova, Marquette, Temple, and DePaul. Maybe add Xavier, VCU, or Butler. Nice little 10-12 team conference.

  6. bullet says:

    Busy week for Frank.

  7. Bobestes says:

    Tough day to be from Cincinnati.

    • Nick in South Bend says:

      Well, at least there is no talk from the governor about dissolving the city, as there has been about dissolving Detroit and allowing Wayne County to absorb it.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        What happened to turning it into farm land?

      • tomdauwwg says:

        As a former Detroiter, I’ve been advocating this move for the last 3 years. It’s the only way outside of Chapter 9 that Detroit will be able to solve its fiscal problems.

      • Bobestes says:

        Wouldn’t that be a metro form of government? Cincinnati and Hamilton county have discussed merging in the past. And, to bring it full circle, I am fairly sure Louisville has a metro government.


        • Nick in South Bend says:

          Indianapolis does the same. But I would imagine these were generally voluntary moves. This one would not be.

          I do not think it is bad per se, but I think it is just bad that it has come to this.

  8. tomdauwwg says:

    Dang, not first this time. Go Green!

  9. frug says:

    So odds that the Big East Catholic schools stick around?

    • Peter says:

      Highly dependent on what if anything happens with TV before the window of them having a dominant position in the conference closes.

      If nothing good comes from the TV negotiations, Boise & SDSU will almost certainly back out and the basketball schools will either vote to dissolve or to drop football.

    • Mike R says:

      Different schools present different cases. Villanova could still upgrade to FBS and campaign for an ACC slot for instance. Georgetown seems to have no interest in this, and its not even on the radar for St. John’s. More realistically, the three big-market East Coast schools have to stay together in one of three ways — in the Big East as it is (this way they keep their NCAA tournament points); as the core of a new coast-to-coast Catholic/private-schools conference (I’ll call it the “Providence-to-Pepperdine” option), or as a basketball adjunct to an existing major conference (most likely the ACC but maybe even the Big XII).

  10. Elvis says:

    So FSU is going to sit back and watch it’s football die as Big 4 schools make $10-$20 Million a year more?

    STUPID move FSU. That money difference turns you into a farm team for EVERY Big 4 program, not just the Bama’s and Texas programs of today.

    • Nemo says:

      You rock, Elvis. I couldn’t agree more.

    • frug says:

      Well this doesn’t prevent FSU leaving, but it does make it less likely.

      The real question is whether they think they have an open invitation to join the Big XII. If they do they can just stay put unless/until their situation becomes unacceptable.

      (Another possibility is that they are holding out hope for an SEC or Big 10 in the next few years and don’t want to be tied down by the Big XII’s GOR)

      • zeek says:

        As Jericho points out though, that’s impractical.

        If the SEC is looking at the same model as the Big Ten, then they have their eyes on the Mid-Atlantic.

        That means FSU’s fate is entirely at the whim of the Texas crew…

      • Richard says:

        Well, it’s really hard to see the B12 turn down FSU if they decide to leave (who else would be better? who else would even be in the same strata?), so FSU probably says “no thanks” to the B12 GOR, holding out hope for the SEC or B10 (neither are likely, but not impossibilities either) until the ACC nears collapse. That’s why I think both/or UVa/VTech have to make the first move to break the ACC.

        • Jericho says:

          Agreed. People have seemingly been talking about FSU to the Big 12 for a year. If it was going to happen, it would have already happened. There’s at least one side holding out here and I suspect that side is FSU. If things radically change, then it re-opens the possibility of FSU movement. But Maryland was not it. They were at best the 5th or 6th best program in the ACC. Louisville does a lot to replace them athletically.

          The keys to this are North Carolina and Virginia. The Big 10 and SEC both want them. In anideal world the two conferences could split the 4 public schools. But UNC will not be the first to move.It almost entirely seems to hinge with Virginia and what they want to do. And they seem fine in the ACC….for now.

          • bullet says:

            I suspect FSU is holding out as well. But I think part of that was to see how the playoff $ came out, so they could get a better feel for the $ difference. The very first thing all the people said last winter (before they started predicting when it would happen week by week) was that FSU would want to see how the finances worked out including the playoff $. Lots of signs pointing to FSU getting ready to make a decision one way or the other. Not the least of which is that the WV “insiders” sources are sparser than usual. People quit talking when things get serious.

            I think the keys are VT and FSU. I thought UVA, but I think they’ve decided not to be the first one to move. Their statement was stronger than necessary. It was stronger than UNC’s. And I think FSU could conceivably move alone. One more school leaving (unless it was UNC when everyone would expect everyone else to head out and would be worried about finding a spot) doesn’t mean everyone feels compelled to leave.

          • Richard says:

            If FSU leaves, Clemson definitely will as well. Unlike FSU, they can’t hold even a slim hope of joining the SEC or B10 if the ACC disintegrates, and they’d still be mighty valuable to the B12 (more than BYU, Pitt, Syracuse, Louisville, WVU, or TCU).

            Oh, and if the southern football schools leave, the VA schools will surely follow.

          • bullet says:

            Quite possible. But I’ve become convinced Clemson is doing their best now to keep the conference together. Their AD sounded like they were on the way out the door. He ended up retiring. Their coach ranted about recruits not wanting to go to the Big 12. They had a board meeting with Swofford. And they apparently voted for the $50 million fee. So its not out of the question that they stay even if FSU leaves. But its also possible FSU won’t leave alone, so at least 2 schools have to be convinced.

            Someone really does need to write this book.

          • frug says:

            Clemson may prefer the current ACC to a Big XII + FSU, but I’m guessing a Big XII+FSU would be preferable to an ACC-FSU.

            I’m pretty sure if FSU said to Clemson we’re going with or without you, Clemson would follow.

          • ccrider55 says:

            How many times would Clemson get to play ND in the next decade in the B12? If ACC dropped to 12 teams it Gould be near every other year.

          • Richard says:

            1. ND almost half the time
            2. FSU yearly + Texas & OU sometimes (more than half the time if the B12 stays at 12)

            I think they take the latter every time.

          • frug says:

            Yeah, with a 12 team Big XII, Clemson could play other Oklahoma or Texas every year + FSU.

            Much better than ND almost 50%.

    • Jericho says:

      The SEC doesn’t want them. Nor does the SEC. And the Big 12 doesn’t offer that much more money. So what exactly should they do?

      • bullet says:

        Big 12 apparently is projecting $30 million in 2014. What is the ACC? TV money is $18 million average over the contract. Not sure what playoff $ are or the escalation on the TV contract. Big 12 could offer a whole lot more money, probably $6-$10 million. And whatever FSU could monetize on owned Tier 3 would be on top of that $30 million.

      • bullet says:

        Also, noone really knows if the SEC wants them or not now. We know there are lots of internet stories of a gentlemen’s agreement. We also know the SEC wanted them 20 years ago.

        • Jericho says:

          I just realized I put the SEC twice. I mean the SEC and Big 10 don’t want them. But I can’t buy that the SEC would add FSU when they’re all about network expansion.

          I know someone out there put a figure of about $6 million difference between the ACC and Big 12 once you allow for increased travel.

  11. Karl Hungus says:

    I can imagine confused, dejected UConn fans saying “but Frank the Tank said we were the obvious choice! Don’t those morons in the ACC read his blog???”

  12. DeacAndYeShallFind says:

    Elvis – How are Wake Forest, UNC, Dook and State making $10-20mm a year more than FSU? The ACC shares revenue equally.

    Oh, wait …

    • Elvis says:

      They aren’t….I am talking about the Big 4 conference schools….you know schools that COMPETE in football. ACC schools don’t give a damn. That is why Swofford hasn’t gotten fired yet. ACC schools only care about basketball.

      The result is a revenue disparity that makes it impossible for any football school in the ACC to compete with the Big 4.

      FSU, Clemson, Va Tech must leave or their football will die.

      • maguro says:

        Is the Big 12 really that lucrative?

        • Elvis says:

          Big 12 is less so than the others, but still in the $9 Million plus range. But FSU competes with SEC teams the most (in recruiting for example). How is it supposed to do that making $20 million less than even Vandy, Kentucky, MSU, etc, let alone Bama and UF.

          Like Tobacco Road, Frank continually ignores the money issue for FSU (because the BBall schools are either set $$$ wise or they don’t care about football…or both).

          • maguro says:

            I’m not sure I really understand what all that extra money buys you in terms of putting a competitive football team on the field. You can only renovate the weight room and the practice facilities so many times. Where is all that dough going? How does it help you win football games?

          • Richard says:

            Coaches. The recruiting rankings are fairly close (though ‘Bama has beaten FSU every year), but the players Saban gets & coaches are have become better football players than the players Jimbo Fisher gets and coaches.

      • kylepitt says:

        That’s an exaggerated argument. How’s that extra cash doing helping Indiana COMPETE in football?

        • zeek says:

          That’s a strawman.

          Football is always paid for several times over.

          It’s the rest of the AD where escalating costs of non-revenue sports have to be met…

          You might be spending $15-20 million on football like everyone else, but if your overall costs are $70 million, then you’d better earning a lot…

          • acaffrey says:

            The money is all bunk anyway. How does Louisville have more overall revenue than all of the ACC, despite having Big East TV revenue of less than $5? They have a competent athletic department, that is how.

            Everyone talks about how worthless the non-NC and non-VA parts of the ACC are. But then everyone talks about why those pieces should be valuable to the Big XII. How? If Clemson cannot provide value to ESPN through the ACC, why it would provide value to Fox/ESPN through the Big XII. Because Texas-Oklahoma is so much of a better game? How great will Texas-Clemson be if Clemson is 6-4 because they have already lost to Florida State, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, and Kansas State? Texas and Clemson fans are going to watch that no matter what. Is someone in New York City going to care? L.A.? Anywhere outside the fan base? So who cares?

            It’s all just double-speak regarding whatever people perceive the B1G would want. Lacrosse does not matter. However, adding Maryland gives the B1G a boost in lacrosse. Basketball does not matter. But the SEC and B1G both want North Carolina. And so on.

            This whole board is morphing into a B1G rationalization. Adding Maryland and Rutgers may or may not add money, but nobody here in Michigan that I have talked to is even a little enthused about it.

          • manifestodeluxe says:

            It all depends on who you ask I suppose. Some of the people I talk to are enthused for Maryland, some not so much. Likewise for Rutgers. Everyone I’ve talked to about it are OSU fans. Personally I’m excited for Maryland, but I don’t want any more expansion unless it brings more football cache.

          • frug says:

            If lacrosse mattered to the Big 10 then maybe they would sponsor the sport.

            More importantly, when did anyone talk about the non-VA/NC schools being worthless? In fact, I’m pretty sure everyone here has said FSU + any combination of Miami, G-Tech, Pitt, Clemson, and Louisville would be a boon to the league.

            At most people have said that the schools outside of VA and NC would be less valuable to the Big 10 and the SEC. Which is true. Realignment is about marginal value not absolute value.

            So while FSU is a more valuable asset is general than V-Tech, the fact it is a duplicate market means it maybe less valuable to the SEC.

          • Scott says:

            Realize no money there, but Terps are nationally ranked as follows. Your welcome:

            2. Soccer
            3. Lacrosse

            4. Lacrosse
            6. Field hockey
            9. Soccer
            11. Basketball

          • Brian says:


            “The money is all bunk anyway.”

            Of course it is.

            “How does Louisville have more overall revenue than all of the ACC, despite having Big East TV revenue of less than $5?”

            Naming rights, a decent stadium and a huge BB stadium full of BB-crazy fans. It helps that they are in a region where both FB and BB are popular. Almost every ACC school is all FB or all BB.

            “Everyone talks about how worthless the non-NC and non-VA parts of the ACC are.”

            No, they don’t. They may consider them not valuable to certain conferences, though. That’s completely different.

            “But then everyone talks about why those pieces should be valuable to the Big XII. How?”

            SEC gets no gain from Clemson or FSU because they already own those markets. The B12 would be gaining valuable new territory. They’d also be gaining FB brands and access to more great recruiting grounds.

            “It’s all just double-speak regarding whatever people perceive the B1G would want.”

            Awww, does the Syracuse fan feel unloved?

            “Lacrosse does not matter.”

            It doesn’t. Until you see a power league add Johns Hopkins, lacrosse doesn’t matter.

            “However, adding Maryland gives the B1G a boost in lacrosse.”

            It does. That doesn’t mean it had anything to do with expansion, it’s just a by-product.

            “Basketball does not matter.”

            Ask Kansas how much MBB matters.

            “But the SEC and B1G both want North Carolina.”

            Yes, but not for their hoops. Both want them for TV markets, population, recruiting and academics, wit some latent FB potential in there. The hoops brand is a bonus, not a reason to expand for the B10 or SEC.

            “Adding Maryland and Rutgers may or may not add money, but nobody here in Michigan that I have talked to is even a little enthused about it.”

            Who claimed that they were enthused? The expansion does nothing for current B10 fans not on the east coast until they see the extra money come in to their school.

  13. dan says:

    Hi folks, sorry I haven’t posted for a while, guess I’m a fair weather conference realignment junkie. I thought I would be interested to look at the value of the alumni base. I took the payscale mid-career median value. I like this metric, as it doesn’t rely on starting salary and therefore over value engineering majors, and allows pre-professional liberal arts majors to acheive their earning potetnial. Furthermore, since it is a median value it equally discounts outliers like Mark Cuban and Warren Buffet, and stay-at-home parents.

    So I have taken the payscale mid-career median starting salary and mulitplied it my the enrollment of the schools. Therefore, big schools with high earning alumni score higher than small scholls with low earning alumni.

    The result is an effort to measure the economic potential of the alumni base.

    payscale enrollment product
    Illinois 95.9 32256 309.33504
    Indiana 80 32543 260.344
    Iowa 79.6 21564 171.64944
    Northwestern 88.2 8475 74.7495
    Nebraska 70.5 19345 136.38225
    Michigan 84.2 27407 230.76694
    Michigan St 78 36675 286.065
    Minnesota 83 34812 288.9396
    Ohio St 79 42916 339.0364
    Penn St 83 38954 323.3182
    Purdue 87.2 30776 268.36672
    Wisconsin 82.2 30367 249.61674
    Maryland 87.1 26775 233.21025
    Rutgers 88 31268 275.1584
    mean 246.2098914
    stdev/mean 0.300010013

    SEC 0
    Florida 80.8 32598 263.39184
    Georgia 79.2 26373 208.87416
    Alabama 75.7 26234 198.59138
    LSU 83.5 23977 200.20795
    Arkansas 81.7 19027 155.45059
    Tennessee 80.2 21214 170.13628
    Kentucky 74.6 20099 149.93854
    Auburn 84.9 20446 173.58654
    South Carolina 71.5 22256 159.1304
    Vanderbilt 104 6117 63.6168
    Missouri 77.7 26024 202.20648
    Texas A&M 92.7 39867 369.56709
    Mississippi 70.1 15346 107.57546
    Mississippi St. 72.7 16312 118.58824
    mean 181.490125
    stdev/mean 0.403109431

    PAC 0
    California 103 25885 266.6155
    Stanford 114 6988 79.6632
    USC 98.9 17414 172.22446
    UCLA 91.5 27199 248.87085
    Oregon 76.6 20263 155.21458
    Oregon St 86.3 20621 177.95923
    Washington 90.3 29017 262.02351
    Washington St 80.8 22763 183.92504
    Arizona 81.8 30665 250.8397
    Arizona St 78.5 58404 458.4714
    Colorado 87.1 26325 229.29075
    Utah 78.3 24297 190.24551
    mean 222.9453108
    stdev/mean 0.411766861

    ACC 0
    North Carolina 79.4 18430 146.3342
    North Carolina St 82 25176 206.4432
    Wake Forest 103 4775 49.1825
    Duke 102 6680 68.136
    Georgia Tech 102 13948 142.2696
    Va Tech 93.6 23700 221.832
    Virginia 89.4 15762 140.91228
    Florida St. 73.4 32201 236.35534
    Louisville 70.9 15597 110.58273
    Boston College 102 9088 92.6976
    Clemson 86.9 15836 137.61484
    Pittsburgh 78.3 18427 144.28341
    Syracuse 86.2 14671 126.46402
    Miami 81.6 10509 85.75344
    mean 136.3472257
    stdev/mean 0.406421702

    Big 12 0
    Texas 90.8 38437 349.00796
    Baylor 87.5 12575 110.03125
    Texas Tech 86.7 16063 139.26621
    Oklahoma 82.2 21413 176.01486
    Iowa St. 79.3 24343 193.03999
    TCU 79.2 8229 65.17368
    Kansas 77.9 19695 153.42405
    West Virginia 77.5 22711 176.01025
    Oklahoma St. 76.7 19009 145.79903
    Kansas St. 75.2 19385 145.7752
    mean 165.354248
    stdev/mean 0.448085885

    Several intersting conclusions. Not only does the big ten have the most valuable alumni base, but it is also the most coherent conference based on its normalized standard deviation. The other major conferences have a normalized standard deviation of around 0.4 and the big ten is around 0.3. This is even more amazing when you consider that Nebraska and Northwestern both add to the variance.

    The Big Ten and Pac X have the most valuable alumni bases. Penn St., Maryland and Rutgers all fit into the big ten mold very well. Nebraska not so much. Texas A&M and Missouri helped the SEC, Arkansas and South Carolina did not. The ACC and Big 12 are seen to be the weaker conferences.

  14. Shawn says:

    Frank: Forde was actually using last year’s numbers re athletic budgets. The latest numbers for 2012 indicate Louisville has a larger athletics budget than any current member of the ACC.

    “In 2011-12, the latest date available from the Office of Postsecondary Education’s Equity in Athletics, Louisville had a budget of $84.4 million. The ACC’s highest budget was Florida State ($81.4 million), while Maryland’s budget was only $57.5 million.”

    • zeek says:

      Not sure I agree with him entirely.

      Yes, the valuations bubble might flat-line, but I’m not sure why it has to “burst” and why things have to downwards.

      This isn’t the housing market.

      Sports are more valuable programming because of the content they are and the consumers that they reach.

      Can someone explain to the Georgetown folks that consolidation is a process of aggregating value?

      To me, college sports is finally unlocking its true value (similar to NFL, NBA, etc.). As Larry Scott and others have said, the problem in college sports is the number of leagues; consolidation helps everyone.

      • zeek says:

        One other thing, content is always going to be king.

        The entire point of adding Rutgers and Maryland is that they adding two schools with large alumni bases in their markets along with the fact that they’re flagships. As long as they continue to pump out alumni and local fans, they will be monetizable in the future.

        That isn’t even getting into the synergy of sending schools like Michigan or Nebraska or Ohio State or Penn State into those markets.

      • rich2 says:

        Consolidation does not help everyone. Let’s be serious. It does not help a university who joins a conference that they do not wish to join but which does not feel that it has a better option, it does not help the alumni who are forced to join a meaningless, emotionally empty assemblage of universities that make a “conference” for which there is no personal attachment, and it does not help fans of collegiate athletics who have always believed and hoped that sports were tied to the life of the student body — and had not become a commercial enterprise. Consolidation represents the hegemony of corporatism and “monetizing” the efforts of student-athletes in order to pay for higher salaries of coaches and administrators and more elaborate facilities. In short, consolidation, especially how this board views the purpose and goal of consolidation, represents the end of college football as I have known it over the past 40 years. Consolidation represents the mindless acceptance of the corporate form over the interests and passions of natural people. In short, consolidation represents everything that I loathe about the current “conventional wisdom.”

        • Richard says:

          I like living in Camelot as well.

        • frug says:

          It does not help a university who joins a conference that they do not wish to join but which does not feel that it has a better option

          So everyone takes the best option available to them. Isn’t that what rational decision making is?

          it does not help the alumni who are forced to join a meaningless, emotionally empty assemblage of universities that make a “conference” for which there is no personal attachment

          This is most overrated argument that has ever been made. No school’s alumni have ever been damaged by their team moving. Indeed, virtually every move made recently has been overwhelming well received by the school’s fanbases. Nebraska, Texas A&M and Missouri gave up centuries old rivalries when they moved to conferences they had little history with, but everyone of those schools alumni supported the moves (in the case of TAMU they forced). And for you hear about old guard PSU fans being miserable in the Big 10, it has never manifested itself in tangible form (specifically ticket sales and donations), and when pressed even most Big Ten haters will admit that from a purely rational perspective Penn St. is better in the B1G.

          and it does not help fans of collegiate athletics who have always believed and hoped that sports were tied to the life of the student body — and had not become a commercial enterprise.

          Horseshit. The primary cause of recent conference realignment has been TV money, which means it driven by the fact people like to watch college sports. The fans are the ones that are causing all this.

          Consolidation represents the hegemony of corporatism and “monetizing” the efforts of student-athletes in order to pay for higher salaries of coaches and administrators and more elaborate facilities

          That happens without consolidation. What do you think schools are doing with all the money they receive from gate receipts and booster donations?

          Now, as I said, you are right, that not everyone is helped by consolidation. But it isn’t the entities that consolidate (as you intimated) it is those that are left behind.

          • frug says:

            Actually, I’ll take this a step further. You find one school that was “consolidated” into a power conference (and by that I mean the AD, the administration and the fanbase) that regrets the decision.

        • Richard Cain (@Rich_Cain) says:

          I agree with you but there’s no stopping it.

        • santos says:

          Hate to point out that which is ovbvious to everyone outside of Notre Dame, but your school has, of its own volition, already joined an “emotionally empty assemblage of universities that make a ‘conference’ for which there is no personal attachment.” And your school belongs in every single sport except one. Domers have no issue with that.

          Why did ND join the Big East? Why did ND then abandon the Big East and jump to the ACC?

          They did so because of the available options, these choices were felt to be in the school’s best interests at the time. And domers didn’t care one little bit about how your school’s decisions affected any other school or your old conference. Others didn’t matter when you were doing what you, yourself, want to do. Now you’re upset because other universities are behaving according to what they perceive is done in their own interests, and you don’t like the idea that those decisions might not benefit your school.

          As for the nonsense about being against monetizing student athletes for salaries and facilities, may we assume ND donates all its ticket prices and its NBC money to charity? Or is it just okay to make money off student athletes when ND does it?

          • manifestodeluxe says:

            As much as ND hates the BigTen, I’d wager that if the BigTen offered them partial membership they would’ve jumped on it in a second. The animosity, and hypocrisy, arises because the BigTen refuses to let ND have their cake and eat it too.

          • OrderRestored83 says:

            @manifestodeluxe, I’m not so sure that Notre Dame would have joined even given partial membership. The reason why has nothing to do with sports. I still have close friends within the academia at Notre Dame and one of the major issues with Notre Dame and the schools associated with Big Ten membership is the issue of stem cell research. Notre Dame as an institution is against such research while three of the largest research universities in the field are within the Big Ten (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan). Duke just recently established a start up research program for stem cells; this was frowned upon greatly. It is an issue not often associated with colligiate athletics and expansion; but it is an issue.

          • manifestodeluxe says:

            A valid argument, but one I’d put into the ‘maybe a factor’ category rather than the final issue. Ultimately I think if the BigTen had told the ND they could park their Olympic sports in the conference it would’ve been done years ago. Maybe it’s not a slam dunk, but I’d be confident it’d happen. But I know you’re a Domer, so I have to defer to you on that.

          • OrderRestored83 says:

            I agree its probably not the ‘final’ issue; but it is enough of an issue in the Notre Dame community where it would push them to look for alternative options. If ND would have went ahead and put its olympic sports in the Big Ten with other options on the table; I think there would have been a backlash from the academia side of things in being associated with those universities. Notre Dame’s stance on Stem Cell’s isn’t just a luke warm dislike of the idea; it’s a staunch moral issue that is almost taboo. There would have to be no other conference willing to take Notre Dame before they would sacrifice that I would think. What do I know though? I’m just a message board poster. :)

          • manifestodeluxe says:

            I was under the impression that the ND academics were initially in favor of a move to the BigTen however, and that the alumni were the ones pushing back against that idea. Especially around 2000 or so. Is that no longer the case due the stem cell research?

            You might just be a message board poster, but you probably have your finger on the ND pulse more than I do. Moreover you’re not bitterly anti-BigTen despite working for a school in the conference, aka rich2. :)

          • OrderRestored83 says:


            As far as I know the academia weren’t excited about it in 2000 either. I think stem cell research had already started at Wisconsin by that time and it was troubling to ND academia back then (you might want to fact check me though).

            I’m not anti-Big Ten at all. Traditionally and historically; Notre Dame football and the Big Ten have had quite the beautiful struggle. You can’t have one without the other. :)

          • santos says:

            This is one of the arguments put forth when domers protest the B1G, but it’s a red herring. ACC members U of Miami, Duke and incoming member Pitt all do stem cell research. Yet ND belongs happily to that conference.

          • OrderRestored83 says:

            The difference in the two I have been told is that the ACC does not have a CIC cooperative that Notre Dame would have to participate in (there-in also supporting the research being done in a roundabout way). Upon becoming a member of the Big Ten; this would be required as far as I know. Notre Dame can put its non-football athletics in the ACC without having to participate in anything that could be viewed as supporting the SC research going on at those two universites.

          • frug says:

            The ACC does have a research consortium, but is fairly new.

            Anyways, if ND did join the Big 10 they wouldn’t have join to CIC.

          • santos says:

            Notre Dame wouldn’t have to join the CIC, but I’d think they would. Seeing how ND is trying to improve their research statu, this would be one of the biggest perks. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, I think ND has asked to join the CIC without joining the B1G. Can anyone comment as to whether I am remembering correctly?

          • metatron says:

            You guys are fundamentally misunderstanding how the CIC works. Working together on research projects is voluntary; it’s a cooperative effort to reduce overhead and combine efforts. Notre Dame wouldn’t be forced into anything.

        • Brian says:


          “In short, consolidation, especially how this board views the purpose and goal of consolidation, represents the end of college football as I have known it over the past 40 years.”

          That’s true, but it isn’t a new phenomenon. Realignment has been a continually ongoing process, often driven by money. There were lots of independents, a bunch of smaller conferences and a handful of TV games each week 40 years ago. Things have changed. People here are split over whether these changes are for the good, but they are almost universally pragmatic about what where things are headed. Analysis doesn’t imply agreement.

    • Karl Hungus says:

      I think the big 10 adding Rutgers and Maryland is equivalent to investing in at the end of the dot com bubble. I was wondering about a lot of the same things mentioned on this blog. I am a casual college football fan, but I find myself less interested every year.

    • psuhockey says:

      I have to disagree. The way that technology is going, sports will be the only thing that people watch live. With DVR, Netflix, streaming video, tv shows and programs will have less and less live audiences. Sports are insulated from that. Most sports fans make it a point to watch their teams live. If anything, modern technology is pushing sports programing to have greater value.

    • bullet says:

      I think its the conferences that may regret their decisions, not the schools that moved. Because of the loss of rivalries, the moves to the SEC could, in the long run blow up in their faces. But it was also a risk not to move. The Pac 12, Big 10, ACC and Big 12 movers all had large upgrades or weren’t leaving much behind, or were bringing all their friends with them. But the schools that invited the new teams (not the Big 12 who needed the numbers) might regret what they did. Boise primarily made their move to be AQ, which has gone away. They still may make several million more a year-for now.

      There’s an assumption that TV and cable becomes an ever larger portion of the revenues and that football drives the bus. That might not be true. It might go back to stadium revenues growing fastest. Or it could be the internet. If the assumptions are wrong, the adds could be wrong.

    • frug says:

      I’ll add that one thing the writer fails to note is that if the sports bubble really is about to burst then everyone is better off cashing in now. These are long term contracts, (I think the PAC’s new deal is for 20 years), so if the bottom is about to fall out of the market then frankly schools and conferences should be as aggressive as possibly can before that happens.

      • ccrider55 says:

        The PAC’s deal is 12 years.

        Bullet, it doesn’t matter what method (cable, Internet, future development) is in vogue. As long as the content is owned and valuable it will be purchased, unless another sport surpasses the current ones in interest. But as that happens the schools and conferences will adapt as the change occurs.

        • bullet says:

          If a la carte came next year and the bubble burst, the Pac 12 would lose a bunch of money on their network. It costs a lot to set that up. Big 10 had Fox do the initial setup. Texas had ESPN. Pac is doing it themselves. Just because they own the content doesn’t guarantee they will get a lot for it off the internet.

          I’m not saying I think conference networks are a bad idea. But the projections I hear seem ridiculously optomistic. Cable prices have gotten really high. If it was up to me, I might cut the cord. Maybe sign up every September and quit in March. However, the rest of my family watches almost only cable. As these articles have said, there are cable cutters and those never plugged in. It is going to get harder and harder to get the prices they want on subscriptions.

          • Richard says:

            I think channels that depend on non-live entertainment are more at risk; sports channel carriage fees still make up a fraction of cable costs when I think they should be more like half.

          • ccrider55 says:


            Fox and ESPN spending on BTN, LHN, SECN (future), attempt by Fox to collaborate with the non UT B12 suggests there is considerably more upside and little downside. They are $ driven. The P12 is not only designed to make money, but also to promote the conference and its schools to a larger audience. It is valuable beyond simple generating dollars, and yet dollar driven media giants (with the need to fill and pay for endless hours) see similar endeavors as profit makers even as 50% partners. Every cent they spend says there is no risk.

    • metatron says:

      I share his fears, but not his conclusions. Sports content has long been undervalued because of a distribution monopoly and long-term contracts that don’t reflect growth.

      Besides, a la carte will never be implemented now that cable providers are increasingly in the business of content creation.

    • Peter says:

      College sports will be fine. Their nature gives them a built in audience that most professional sports lack.

      I’m not too optimistic about the long-term prospects of football though. If you look at it honestly, the medical data of what it does to people neurologically is terrifying.

      • Nathan says:

        Yup. Head trauma is the elephant in the room. Pro football will probably continue because its players are being compensated for their risk. Unless head trauma can be *drastically* reduced by technology or rules changes I see universities dropping football due to liability issues, especially the lower revenue generating Div 1A / Div 1AA / Div 2 programs. The upcoming lawsuit frenzy is going to be insane.

  15. SH says:

    I don’t share Frank’s optimism for the ACC. But it may take a few years before some other schools finally break away.

    • Nemo says:

      Agree, SH, it is not the same league as it was long ago when Packer/Thacker and McKinney announced games in basketball. It is a league “long gone” for me, and I’m glad Maryland has moved to the B1G. Really hoping UVA follows…

  16. dtwphx says:

    The new BigEast isn’t too bad.
    Give it 5 years, letting new teams rise up, and it becomes a compelling conference.
    You’ve got:
    SMU, Houston, Tulane, Memphis, Cinci
    USF, UCF, ECU, Temple, UConn

    Let’s say you can convince Army and Navy to join as football only members only requiring them to play 6 conference games (5 in their division, plus eachother). They’d still be eligible for the the conf championship game, and they’d still have an additional 6 games to tailor their schedule how they see fit.
    They you could have:
    WEST: SMU, Houston, Tulane, Memphis, Cinci, Army
    EAST: USF, UCF, ECU, Temple, UConn, Navy
    The other teams could still play an 8 game schedule, just have division record determine who’s in the conference championship game.

    The BigEast really needs to work with the MWC in some sort of scheduling arrangment that will strengthen both leagues.

  17. Denogginizer says:


  18. Richard says:

    One conclusion I’ve come to:

    With 16 schools (4 pods with 1 protected game vs. a school in 1 of the 3 other pods for 6 annual rivals and 9 teams you play 1/3rd of the time), all the major rivalries in the B10 that at least one school cares a lot about can be kept.

    Specifically, PSU-OSU, PSU-UNL, and the Little Brown Jug game (sorry, I don’t consider the Illibuck game to be major enough) can be protected.

    In a Big20, all 3 of those rivalries would have to go away.

    Not sure about in an 18 school Big10, though maybe all of those 3 could be played at least 2/3rds of the time with 6 3-school pods.

    • Richard says:

      OK, 16 schools with pods can be structured in a way to protect the Illibuck as well (and MSU could still get it’s precious annual series with Northwestern so that it visits Chciagoland every other year).

  19. loki_the_bubba says:

    I open the laptop tonight and find all sorts of posts across the net about CUSA adding not only MTSU and FAU but also WKU and NMSU. I think to myself I no longer want to be in this conference. So I scroll about and find posts saying that UTEP, Tulsa, and Rice are leaving for the MWC and it could be announced this week. Now I’m just tired…

    • morganwick says:

      With all the Sun Belt schools C-USA keeps adding, can someone explain to me why Troy isn’t one of them? It’s probably the richest Sun Belt school by a substantial margin…

      • bullet says:

        Have you ever been to Troy?

        Totally in the middle of nowhere. And its not like a flagship with support all over the state.

    • ZSchroeder says:

      I’m really curious if this is the case, seeing only minor message board chatter. I always thought the MWC only expansion option was going back into Texas, this would be interesting with the addition of an Oklahoma school as well. Poor NM State and Idaho.

  20. Richard Cain (@Rich_Cain) says:

    I didn’t intend to compose a 2,000-word essay, but the words just flowed out of my keyboard. If you’re so inclined to read this whole thing, I apologize for its length and I thank you for your patience. I truly would like to read what you have to say about it.

    “…a sea change in the thought process of the conference’s leadership.” This is a very interesting phrase. The B1G(14) made it clear that adding Maryland & Rutgers was about TV markets/money. The ACC flatly states that adding Louisville was about athletics. Academics are an afterthought at this point. This sea change in thought process is what is going to end up bringing the demise of the ACC and the Big 12 imho. 2017 is the year the B1G(14) gets new TV contracts. Everything I read indicates the numbers will be incredible. Schools in certain conferences will find that hard to resist if the B1G(14) comes calling to further expand its cable TV empire.

    Speaking of cable TV empires…there is one conference with a wildly successful cable channel, the BTN. The SEC and Pac 12 will both form successful cable channels. The ACC and Big 12, for various reasons, have almost no shot at forming successful cable channels and if they do create these channels, they won’t come close to matching the other three conferences’ revenue in this area. Because of its geographic breadth, the Big East may be able to create a cable operation that produces a profit, but not significant enough revenue to challenge the “Big 3″ conference cable operations.

    The cable TV industry is what will drive realignment from here on out. When this becomes obvious, schools are not going to want to be left out when the SEC, Pac12 & B1G(14) look for new markets. Virginia and UNC may see themselves as Southern schools, but they will have a choice to make that involves alot of nose-holding. Go north and away from their Southern cultural heritage or go south and associate with a conference with clearly inferior academic standards. Both the SEC & B1G(14) will offer lucrative enticements for one school each in the states of North Carolina and Virginia. Either way, the SEC & B1G(14) divide the spoils of North Carolina and Virginia. My guess is UVa and UNC decide academic standing is the tie-breaker and both join the B1G(14) while Va Tech and NCSU go to the SEC. This won’t be the end of realignment either.

    I think the Big Ten has to realize that it was a mistake to not offer Missouri and Texas A&M membership along with Nebraska. I doubt A&M would have gone to the Big Ten because their hearts were set on the SEC. However, Missouri clearly wanted in the Big Ten, practically begging for an invitation, and joined the SEC with not a small amount of reluctance. I think Missouri would listen very hard if the Big Ten came calling. If this happened, I believe the SEC would reach out to Kansas in order to keep Missouri in the SEC and completely lock down the St Louis and Kansas City tv markets (21st & 31st largest, respectively). Despite the rhetoric from Columbia, MO and Lawrence, KS, that rivalry is cherished and means very much to both schools. Sorry, Illini, but you aren’t Missouri’s biggest rival. The SEC would need to get another team to even out its divisions and I feel that school would be West Virginia. WVU is a strong football brand and they have one of the larger fan bases out there (according to Nate Silver’s research). West Virginia makes geographic sense as well (for the Big Ten, too). I think WVU would say yes to leaving the Big 12 for the SEC before the conference could get the complete invitation out of its figurative mouth.

    With a Pac 12 cable channel established, Kansas and WVU leaving the Big 12 and no other viable “brand” schools available to join the Big 12, Oklahoma and Texas are going to want out of a geographically trapped conference that is dying; a conference that really had no chance of long term survival from its beginning. The Big Ten might be the favored landing spot for Texas and OU. However, I am not sure the Big Ten would want to take in Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. And yes, I believe those two are a package deal with their more valuable state brethren. The rivalry with Oklahoma is too valuable to be in a conference without the Sooners and the Sooners aren’t going to be allowed by their state legislators to abandon the Cowboys. The Texas legislature probably forces the Longhorns to bring along the Red Raiders. I don’t think Baylor gets favored treatment this time around because the realities of the market are far different than 20 years ago and they won’t be able to drum up enough support this time. Ann Richards ain’t walking through that door. I think the Pac 12 will have no reservations taking the package deals, realizing these are their only chances at adding brand names, and will add Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma St thereby becoming the Pac 16.

    The Big Ten won’t be too concerned about any of this. It would be nice to get into the Texas basic cable market. But the league won’t want to deal with the headaches of dealing with The University of Texas (ask Husker fans). The Big Ten looks to the East and South. Besides adding UVa and UNC, the other obvious Southern school that matches the Big Ten’s ostensible academic standard is Georgia Tech. This allows the Big Ten to continue its PR campaign about academics and the Atlanta market is obviously valuable. So is the Boston market and that is why Boston College gets an invite from the Big Ten. Syracuse sees the writing on the wall and finally joins the Big Ten, one of the original expansion favorites way back when this started. Connecticut gets left out of the Big Ten party in a numbers game. There simply are not enough slots available and with BC, ‘Cuse (both have bigger fan bases then UConn) and Rutgers, the Northeast corridor is about as locked down as it needs to be for the Big Ten. Adding UConn won’t strengthen the Big Ten’s position enough to give UConn a slice of the BTN pie.

    The Big Ten won’t stop here. There are more Southern markets for the BTN to exploit and the ACC will be a goner. Going back to the idea that the thought process has changed, the Big Ten won’t hold new members to the same high standards academically that they have required. Not when massive fan bases and big TV markets are available. This lets them drop all pretenses and go after Clemson, Miami (FL) and Florida State. According to Nate Silver, Clemson has the 10th largest fan base in the country while Miami’s is 14th with a combined total in excess of three million fans. FSU is only the 38th largest fan base (larger than Maryland, Indiana, Purdue & Northwestern) but they are a TV draw and they solidify the Florida cable TV market. I know a lot of people will howl that the Big Ten will never lower its academic standards. That is the old paradigm. Nebraska, as good a school as it is, lowered the overall rankings of the Big Ten academically. With the conference now admitting that money is the overriding factor, academics takes a back seat. And these schools aren’t jucos anyway. The overriding factor will be growing the BTN. If you are not growing, you are contracting. I believe the Big Ten will get more ruthless with its membership decisions not caring at all what happens to other conferences. They’ll drop the PR mirage that they are not trying to wreck any other conferences. As Jimmy Darmody would advise, “You can’t be half a gangster.”

    Now we have the B1G(22). Most people would probably argue that 22 schools in a conference is unwieldy. However, the new lineup actually allows the Big Ten to streamline. There will be 11 schools in the East and South and 11 schools in the Midwest. The league stays in two divisions. The Big Ten Atlantic: BC, ‘Cuse, Rutgers, Penn St, Maryland, UVa, UNC, Clemson, GaTech, FSU and Miami (FL). The Big Ten Central: OSU, Mich, MSU, IU, PU, Ill, NW, UW, Minn, Iowa and Neb. By dividing this way, the Big Ten can restore the frequency that the traditional Big Ten schools play each other thereby addressing one of the biggest complaints of these fans about the additions of Rutgers and Maryland. Bonus: ditching the ridiculous Leaders/Legends division names. This also allows the former ACC schools to keep most of their rivalries intact. UNC-Duke would be most affected. However, that is really about basketball. Duke football is irrelevant. Duke basketball is only a little less irrelevant. As a point of comparison, Kentucky, arguably the best basketball program in America and one of the worst football programs in America – at least in one of the BCS conferences, makes 2 1/2 times more money from football than from basketball. Sorry, Duke, your destiny is elsewhere. UNC and Duke will be more than welcome to continue their home-and-home basketball rivalry as a non-conference proposition if they truly value it. There are no protected crossovers between Atlantic and Central. They essentially operate independently in terms of competition sending their respective division champions to the Big Ten Championship Game. (another added bonus: the league can bring back the old logo with the “11” embedded inside “Big Ten” reminding us that there are 11 schools in each division) While there would be no protected crossover games, schools would be encouraged to schedule non-conference games against teams from the other division. This keeps money inside the conference. Why play teams like Pittsburgh, Missouri and Washington when you can play Florida State, Clemson or Penn State?

    Note: it’s possible the Big Ten would rather have Louisville than one of the other schools like Miami or Syracuse. Personally, I’d rather have Louisville than Syracuse, but the Big Ten may be chasing that NYC market and they probably think Miami’s fan base is more valuable than Louisville’s. Miami’s fan base is about four times larger than Louisville’s, by the way.

    What’s the fallout? The Big Ten has 22 schools. The SEC has 18 schools. The Pac 16 has 16 schools. That’s 56 schools in three leagues and that concentrates power. That is desirable for the conferences. Here’s another bonus: this probably strips away power from the NCAA and maybe we’ll get a common sense reformation of the rule book – another discussion. The ACC and the Big 12 will cease to exist. The schools left out of the Big 3 conferences will join the Big East (my guess: Louisville-unless the Big Ten wants them as stated above, Duke, Pitt, Wake) the Mountain West (my guess: Iowa St, K-State & TCU) or become independent (Baylor – I don’t think the Mountain West will want both TCU and Baylor. One Texas religious school will be enough. The Big East may want Baylor so they have a team in Texas and it would get them to 16 schools)

    The post season will be much easier to conduct. The Big 3 conference champions make the playoff along with the best at-large team. I think a selection committee would be the best way to choose the at-large team. I also think it will be very difficult for the schools to turn down the massive dollars available from expanding to eight teams in the playoff; whether my realignment scenario plays out or not. Hopefully, the conferences will decide it’s not worth it any longer to farm out their post season to the bowls and run the playoff completely independent of the thieves in the hideously-colored blazers.

    There has been much agitation that the cable TV bubble with burst and that sports properties won’t be as valuable because there will be fewer cable and satellite customers as more people cut the cord or ala cart programming emerges. I think it’s debatable whether enough people cut the cord to make that big of a difference. I also think it’s unlikely that ala cart programming becomes the norm. Content providing companies have too many channels that need to be subsidized by bundling to ever let this happen and ala cart is not in the interest of cable / satellite operators either. Even if I’m wrong and Armageddon does come about for sports TV properties, so what? Whether your conference is 12 schools or 100 schools, the revenue per school goes down. And if we have learned anything about realignment, nothing is permanent. Member schools may decide to go separate ways or conferences may simple eject weak members. The Big East has done this and others could do the same if needed.

    I bet this may sound crazy to most people that read it. (I’m not sure how many folks are going to read this long-winded of a comment on a blog-lol) But, I think this is the logical conclusion to the realignment carousel. The entire process is a cynical exercise in greed. Why would it not play out along lines similar to what I’ve outlined? Are the schools suddenly going to grow a conscience? I don’t think so. The people that run these institutions have been prostituting the football (and basketball) teams for many years. They can’t say no to boosters’ demands. They can’t control the salaries of coaches. They can’t say no to the demands of their TV “partners”. They will continue to make decisions based almost entirely on money. Frank thinks this isn’t a zero sum game. I am not so sure about that. Which school president or chancellor at one of these major institutions is going to be the first one to declare that sports are over emphasized and they are pulling back the reins? Most of these people see football as a marketing tool on top of everything else. The madness will continue and we’ll all be along for the ride.

    • duffman says:

      If the B1G is 22 teams as you imply, then 24 or 32 is not out of the question. At that point the SEC is the only other conference that can keep up and you have 2 conferences in the end.

      B1G 32 = B1G + PAC + ??
      SEC 32 = SEC + ACC + B12 + ??

      The other alternative is (4) 16 team conferences :

      B1G 16 = adds Duke and Kansas for basketball (already has academics and football)
      SEC 16 = adds UNC and UVA for academics and basketball (already has football)
      PAC 16 = adds Texas + Texas Tech + Oklahoma + Oklahoma State as options are limited
      ACC / B12 16 = collection of #2 market schools and private schools to 16

      That being said, I see little chance anybody goes past 16 for at least the next decade or so

    • zeek says:

      It’s less being driven by cable, and more being driven by a need to get to fewer leagues.

      We all joke about how it’s the same 64 or 65 schools but in 5 conferences instead of 6.

      The ACC absorbs the Big East and the Big East absorbs C-USA.

      At the end of the day, the conferences with the most alumni and fans and name brands will always be able to monetize that.

      • bullet says:

        That’s Scott’s philosophy. Strength in negotiating position.

        • zeek says:

          I think ever since his attempted Pac-16 coup, the other 4 leagues have largely been driven by the same philosophy.

          The ACC, Big Ten, and SEC by choice (see ACC going after Pitt/Syracuse, Big Ten on Maryland/Rutgers, and SEC on A&M/Missouri; those 3 moves especially capture this), and the Big East by necessity.

    • drwillini says:

      Congrats on writing 2000 words on conference realingnment and not mentioning Notre Dame! Any big ten fan likes it already. I would never say expansion will never go beyond 16, but I do think that 16 could be a relatively stable number for some time. As has been often mentioned, 16 with pods gives you and least three other teams that you can build/retain rivalries with, and allows you to see the rest of the conference in a four year college career. The one thing that I believe you are correct about is that there will need be some consolidation of the ACC/Big 12, and I would bet it is done with two clusters in orbit around Texas and ND. Only thing preventing that would be PacX enticing Texas.

    • Richard says:

      I actually was one of the first to propose a Big20, but for the B10, at least, it’s really hard to move above 18 and preserve all the major rivalries (at 18, Nebraska-PSU would have to be sacrificed, but it’s not like there’s a ton of tradition behind that one).

      At 20, all the major rivalries can be preserved only with 10 conference games (most would be, but some, like PSU-OSU, PSU-UNL, and the Little Brown Jug game, would have to be sacrificed). . . which isn’t happening unless the NCAA allows more than 12 regular season games.

    • Brian says:

      Richard Cain,

      “The B1G(14) made it clear that adding Maryland & Rutgers was about TV markets/money. The ACC flatly states that adding Louisville was about athletics. Academics are an afterthought at this point.”

      That’s unfair, because academics were inherent in MD and RU being candidates for the B10. They are strong AAU members that balance the weakness of NE.

      “I think the Big Ten has to realize that it was a mistake to not offer Missouri and Texas A&M membership along with Nebraska. I doubt A&M would have gone to the Big Ten because their hearts were set on the SEC. However, Missouri clearly wanted in the Big Ten, practically begging for an invitation, and joined the SEC with not a small amount of reluctance.”

      TAMU had zero interest in the B10, and you don’t offer something that will be rejected. Without a TX school, MO loses its cultural bridge value. Without that, MO wasn’t a priority. Why expand to 13 at that time? MD and RU as a pair make more sense than MO and RU (the presumed #14) with the way they work to bring the east coast and work with PSU. I don’t think the B10 foresaw going past 12 any time soon, but things changed and they felt forced to move. In the meantime, MO moved to the SEC. Not getting MO was the correct decision at the time, and MO is off the board now.

      “Now we have the B1G(22). Most people would probably argue that 22 schools in a conference is unwieldy. However, the new lineup actually allows the Big Ten to streamline. There will be 11 schools in the East and South and 11 schools in the Midwest. The league stays in two divisions.”

      Actually, expanding to 22 is my last best hope for the B10 at this point. The midwestern 11 versus the eastern 11. Play 1 crossover game that doesn’t count towards the division title and go back to the old 6+2 schedule (2 locked rivals, 6 rotating). Of course, there could be no CCG without a rule change so it’s mostly a merger of the B10 and ACC for TV purposes.

      “The Big Ten Atlantic: BC, ‘Cuse, Rutgers, Penn St, Maryland, UVa, UNC, Clemson, GaTech, FSU and Miami (FL).”

      I don’t see BC, SU, Clemson, FSU or Miami as likely members. I could see Duke to make it 18. The lack of AAU status hurts SU, VT and Miami as far as I can tell. That’s the rub. I don’t see 8 more available schools that the B10 would accept.

  21. duffman says:

    Maryland to the B1G
    Louisville to the ACC

    I guess we have the answer on who will play whom in the future ACC vs B1G Challenge! :)

  22. cutter says:

    Here’s a link with an article in the Ann Arbor News that contains comments from Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman and UM Athletic Director David Brandon on why Big Ten expansion makes financial sense:

    Coleman talks about a 10- to 20-year window and speaks about the demographics, i.e., the Midwest’s population is getting smaller while the coasts are expanding. She also talks about reaching out to Michigan’s east coast alums.

    Coleman also is quoted as saying: “At the end of the day, the geography made sense, the demographics made sense, the quality of the institutions made sense.”

    Brandon says further expansion is going to happen and that 16 members seems to be a target for many conferences.

    In an earlier article that was published after Maryland accepted a spot in the Big Ten, an excerpt:

    From a Michigan perspective, Brandon said adding Maryland to the schedule allows Michigan to tap into another very large alumni base in the Washington D.C. market.

    “Selfishly, for Michigan, we have a tremendous amount of alums and supporters down there and they’re going to be thrilled that the maize and blue are going to be traveling down there regularly,” Brandon said on the Big Ten Network. “I think Maryland provides us with a great opportunity to connect with another great public institution, another top-20 public institution.

    “It’s not just about the great brands and traditions of basketball and football, but this is a great opportunity for the conference to expand and grow in an area that makes a lot of sense.”

    And, of course, the role of the Big Ten Network and it’s ability to now expand into more markets also makes things enticing.

    Brandon says increased revenues from TV shares only work to provide more funding for the entire athletic department.

    And he hardly sees that as a bad thing.

    “The media rights and the whole success story that is the Big Ten Network has been incredibly important to all of us,” Brandon said. We’re all out in the game of investing into our facilities. Michigan has recently announced a $300 million facilities expansion plan. We’re constantly investing in capital, we’re constantly covering costs of travel and coaching salaries and we need to maximize and leverage every revenue and line item we can to make it work.

    “There’s no big excess surpluses here, it’s all being invested back into the program. The idea that we can expand our footprint, get more people excited about what we’re doing, have more people watching on television and have more people buying tickets (all helps).”


    • Captain Russ says:

      In reality, the Midwest’s population isn’t “getting smaller”. Big Ten country has added millions of new residents since 2000.

      • Yes, this is a misnomer. As a whole, the Midwest is growing *slower* than other regions, but it’s not outright shrinking (with the exception of Michigan from 2000 to 2010). The Chicago, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Columbus and Madison metro areas are all continuing to grow at a good clip. For whatever reason, most people’s images on the coasts of the demographics of the Midwest are predominated by the more moribund Detroit and Cleveland areas, which give the entire region a perception of suffering from an exodus.

        • brindelin says:

          Put another way, we are losing electoral votes.

        • bullet says:

          I don’t have the figures other than an article that said Ohio had dropped 25% in the last 30 years (while the population grew), but I wouldn’t be surprised if the traditional college age population IS shrinking significantly in the midwest overall. The U.S. is much older than it was in the 60s and 70s and nationally HS age population is down. The younger Hispanic recent immigrant group is just now reaching the midwest (other than maybe Chicago), so that contributes to the growth in HS population in the south and southwest.

    • Mark says:

      What a waste – they should use the excess funds to lower tuition – Michigan doesn’t need any more athletic facilities. If all you do is spend the additional money on sports, you have gained nothing worthwhile.

      • cutter says:

        Actually, Michigan has been lagging on the facility upgrades, etc. when you compare them with other program inside the Big Ten and at their competitive level.

        In many cases, these aren’t new facilities either. Yost Ice Arena was recently upgraded and it was built in the early 1920s. The same with Michigan Stadium, which was built in the mid-1920s. Crisler Arena (now Crisler Center) was built in 1967, so it didn’t get any major upgrades for almost four and a half decades. Schembechler Hall was built in the early 70s, so it hasn’t seen many major improvements for 40 years.

        That’s not to say there isn’t new construction going on, but a lot of that has been backed up by major donors. The indoor practice facility was bought with a major donation by Al Glick (that’s why his name is on it. Stephen Ross donated the money for the athletic support center and for the Michigan Stadium renovation. His biggest contribution, however, was $90M to the UM Business School to replace some of the older structures at the school with a brand new (LEED certified) building.

        When it comes to tuition, etc., I suspect that once they finish up the plan for the South Campus and pay down the debt on those projects, the excess revenue will go to an endowment for scholarships. Right now, the Michigan Athletic Department pays the university about $18.3M for all the athletic scholarships. If an athlete is out of state, they pay the higher rate and not the instate rate.

    • Gfunk says:

      Yeah but this guy ran Dominoes Pizza, which sadly makes money despite being a poor product.

      Ultimately, I prefer quality over quantity.

      No doubt the potential is there for Md and Rutgers.

  23. OrderRestored83 says:


  24. cutter says:

    CBS Sports had a couple of interesting articles that basically said the Big XII was in a fairly good position with its current membership of ten schools coupled with its new television contract deals.

    One underlying sentiment in both these articles is that all bets are off if the Big Ten and/or the SEC expand to a 16-team arrangement. If that’s correct, then the next major wave of expansion will be set off by Delany or Slive.

    Dodd writes about a gentleman’s agreement between the Big XII and the SEC. If that does hold (and they did set up that bowl game together), than any shifting realignment will likely mean teams moving from the ACC to the Big Ten and the SEC. If the SEC stays out of the states of Florida and Georgia, then the two conferences are likely looking at the programs in Virginia and N. Carolina (with the B1G also considering Georgia Tech).

    • @cutter – Interesting stuff there, although the “gentleman’s agreement” isn’t between the SEC and Big 12, but rather among SEC schools to not invite anyone that is in the same state as a current member without such member’s permission (e.g. Florida State can’t get into the SEC without Florida’s blessing even if everyone else in the league wants the Seminoles).

      • cutter says:


        Here’s the exact excerpt from the article –

        Further reasons the Big 12 is in good shape:

        — Big 12 expansion rests, indirectly, on a perceived gentleman’s agreement with the SEC. The league supposedly would not expand to states where there currently are teams. That seemingly takes Florida State, Clemson and Georgia Tech out of the mix.

        If the SEC honors that agreement, then the SEC might go after NC State and/or Virginia Tech if Mike Slive feels like he has to respond to the Big Ten’s recent moves. In that occurrence, Florida State, Clemson and Georgia Tech would be in play for the Big 12.

        Even then industry sources argue whether one or some combination of those schools brings pro rata – at least equal value – to the Big 12.


        When he writes “agreement with the SEC”, I took it to mean there was an agreement between the Big 12 and the SEC that the latter conference wouldn’t go into those three states and pick FSU, Clemson and Ga Tech as expansion targets. That would leave them as possible expansion candidates for the Big 12 as the SEC would then be looking at the schools in Virginia and North Carolina.

        If he wrote there was an “agreement within the SEC”, then I’d go with your interpretation of the quote. You have mentioned before that any move into the states of South Carolina, Georgia or Florida by the SEC would have to get approval from the schools located there. This just reads a little bit differently and implies there’s an understanding between the two conferences, not just within the SEC.

        Either way, it sort of works out the same. UF, UGa and USC aren’t likely to approve any move that would put FSU, GaTech or Clemson in the SEC. If the SEC is looking to expand its footprint, then Slive is likely to go into Virginia or North Carolina anyway. If that causes the ACC to lose footing (possibly in concert with a move by the Big Ten), then the Big XII can look to add to their conference (if it makes fiscal sense and Texas approves), with those three schools.

        • @cutter – I honestly think it’s a typo where he should have written “within” the SEC. It seems that he means that Big 12 expansion depends upon the SEC not going after FSU, Clemson and/or Georgia Tech (as opposed to the Big 12 not going after those schools). I’d have a hard time believing that Chuck Neinas or Bob Bowlsby would have agreed to any restrictions with the SEC only months after the SEC went and poached Texas A&M and Missouri. I know that I wouldn’t trust Mike Slive one iota if I were anyone other than Jim Delany (and vice versa), but that’s just me.

        • bamatab says:

          The SEC isn’t going to go after NCST until UNC is off of the table. UNC is (by most accounts) their #1 target. And the SEC definitely doesn’t feel the need to expand to 16, just because the B1G just went to 14. The general feeling is that Slive would prefer to wait another year or two to let aTm & Mizzou settle in before jumping back into the expansion waters. But once the pieces do start falling, Slive will wait for UNC to decide where they want to go before he takes any other school, whether it be NCST or VT or whoever.

          BTW, I think the longer ACC holds together, the better chance the SEC has to get UNC when the ACC finally does fall apart (and the ACC will eventually fall apart when the AD financial gap widens to a number that can no longer be ignored). The reason I believe that is that I have been following the UNC boards since this past summer’s FSU/Clemson/Big 12 flirtation just like I did the aTm boards from the summer of the Pac 10/Big 12 south flirtation. And the UNC boards are following the same path that the aTm boards are. While the UNC boards were somewhat more in favor of going to the SEC rather than the B1G last summer, they still preferred to stay in the ACC if it was still viable. That mirrors the aTm boards after that first summer of the Pac 10/Big 12 south ordeal. Now those same UNC boards are starting to want UNC to jump to the SEC even if the ACC isn’t in imminent danger, just like the aTm boards started doing as time went on (and UT kept pulling the LHN stuff that ticked them off). They’ve even started email campaigns to the AD, president, and BORs; which is also similar to the aTm folks. And their reason for wanting to go to the SEC is similiar. They feel they have a much bigger cultural connection with the SEC school, just like aTm felt they had a much bigger connection with the SEC schools over the Pac 10 schools. Also the UNC fanbase seems to be extremely worried that if NCST went to the SEC while UNC went to the B1G, NCST would pass them in football, and eventually pass them in overall sports recognition since football is the driving force in college athletics (this is similar to aTm except aTm is trying to catch UT instead of the other way around). Also they seem to prefer traveling to SEC venues as opposed to B1G venues because of atmosphere, distance and weather (same with aTm minus the weather).

          From what I’ve gathered from their boards, the people in the AD (apparently including the AD himself) prefers the SEC, and the academics prefer the B1G. Now I’m guessing that the president would side with the academics as of right now (and who knows how their BOR are leaning). But the longer the fanbase (and especially the big money donors) has to bombard the PTB with demands to go to the SEC, the better the chances that they go that route. In the end the PTB at UNC may end up going to the B1G, but if they do they could end up with a full fledged riot on their hands the longer they fanbase has to build their SEC hopes up.

          Back during the aTm ordeal I kept saying that aTm would join the SEC sooner rather than later, and a lot of people on here said it wouldn’t happen for a miriad of reasons (like Texas politics wouldn’t allow it, the SEC would lose money per school because they wouldn’t be able to raise their revenue to account for the new schools, ect.) I see the same ground swell of fan support brewing at UNC. The one difference is that there is no UT type school in the ACC that is ticking UNC off enough to jump immediately. But UL’s inclusion into the ACC isn’t sitting all that well with them (and I’m sure the academic folks don’t like it either). Once the revenue gap grows big enough, the ACC will start springing leaks. And I think by that time the fanbase (and especially the big money donors) will have likely swung the vote of the PTB at UNC in favor of the SEC. But if UNC were jump today, the odds would probably favor the B1G. This is just my opinion based on studying the message boards in a similar fashion as I did with the aTm boards.

          • zeek says:

            All good points.

            I think the one thing we may all be underestimating is whether UNC will ever get to be a “free agent”…

            The problem is they have so much baggage (same system as NC State, which means they might be the two most closely tied together universities in all of this) as well as Duke and even Wake Forest (which may play the role of Ken Starr’s Baylor).

            It’s very difficult to tell just how much freedom of action UNC will ever have; they might be the most tied down university by far in all of this.

          • Peter says:

            The board tie between UNC and NC State is inseparable and as far as I can find, unique in all of the expansion “Little Brothers.” Most of these are just political because both receive state funding from the legislature. This is quite different. The same board members that would vote for UNC to switch conferences cannot take any action that would harm NC State.

            Any scenario for UNC leaving the ACC needs to simultaneously (or previously) address NC State to the benefit of NC State. Either they & UNC go together (realistically only to the SEC) or they split with a consensus it’s in both of their best interests.

          • bamatab says:

            zeek – UNC and NCST share the same Board of Governors, but they do not share the same Board of Trustees. The BOGs appoints 8 members to each BOTs (sparate people for each university), and the state governor elects 4 members, and the remaining member is the president of the student government.

            Now I believe that it would be the individual BOTs that would be voting on realignment issues, not the overall BOGs. Now who knows how much influence the BOGs would have, or the state politicians for that matter.

          • Peter says:

            The UNC Board of Governors has explicit authority over “the general determination, control, supervision, management, and governance of all affairs of the constituent institutions.”

            A “screw NC State” proposal is not going to happen.

          • duffman says:

            I think the body governing them both is 32 members broken down this way

            16 come from inside the 17 campus system
            8 are appointed by the state senate
            8 are appointed by the state house

            This probably means it will be political and money for political issues like jobs, tourism dollars, and pork construction projects will be the royal flush to the full house of sports and the 3 of a kind of academics.

          • metatron says:

            Southern people want to play in a Southern conference.

            How shocking.

            UNC’s a public school. They’re going to have to answer for abandoning the ACC for the Big Ten. Now, the SEC on the other hand… they may have a holiday.

          • metatron says:

            As I’ve alluded too, if the Big Ten offers Missouri (and they accept), that’s three slots for the SEC. North Carolina, NC State, and Virginia Tech.

            Or maybe Clemson and Florida State if they ever move to eighteen (unlikely).

          • Richard says:

            Again, Mizzou and the SEC aren’t parting.

    • acaffrey says:

      The one problem is the math. Don’t most conference offices take a share of the TV revenue for their own operations? If so, the bigger the conference, the smaller % payout to the conference itself.

      • bullet says:

        They get revenues somewhere. The ACC takes 1 share of TV revenue. I think the Big 12 has assessments and has the conference take the rest it needs out of conference corporate sponsorships, with the rest distributed. When Missouri left, it was mentioned they had to pay an assessment for referee/offical costs. Perhaps the ACC pays that out of their 1 share. So everyone does it differently. Some conference costs are fixed. Some are variable and go up with the size of the conference like referee/official costs. I’m guessing the fixed portion is insigificant. So you pay Delany the same with 12 or 16 schools. Not going to make a big difference.

      • Nostradamus says:


        Conversely though if the Big XII’s television revenue was $10 million two years ago did everyone in the Big XII office suddenly get their salaries doubled? I have a feeling the percent of revenue or an equal share of revenue has decreased somewhat with this latest round of television negotiations.

    • Andy says:

      according to an article in the Sporting News yesterday (I posted it in the previous thread) the SEC is set on getting UNC and Duke. They’ve apparently been recruiting them for 3 years now.

      So the SEC’s master plan was to pick up A&M + Mizzou + UNC + Duke

      Possible pods:

      Georgia/South Carolna/North Carolina/Duke
      Alabama/Auburn/Ole Miss/MSU

      The Big Ten would likely take Virginia and either Georgia Tech or Virginia Tech

      Possible pods:

      Michigan/Michigan State/Illinois/Northwestern
      Ohio State/Purdue/Indiana/Georgia Tech
      Penn State/Rutgers/Maryland/Virginia

      The Big 12 could take either Virginia Tech or Georgia Tech plus NC State, Florida State, Miami, Clemson, and Pitt.

      Possible pods:

      Texas/Texas Tech/TCU/Baylor
      Oklahoma/Oklahoma State/Kansas/KSu
      Iowa State/WVU/Pitt/Virginia Tech
      Florida State/Miami/Clemson/NCSU

      • bullet says:

        I find Duke being in a master plan hard to believe. A scenario, yes, but not the main plan. Maybe one scenario was 4 ACC teams and no Big 12 teams. And if there was a master plan, it would have been OU, not Missouri. Slive tried to get them in 2010.

        Splitting UGA from both Florida and Auburn doesn’t work. Those are their 2 biggest SEC rivals. SEC is very difficult to do pods with. Is LSU really willing to give up Alabama (AL/TN has priority)? How hard will it be for Ole Miss to give up LSU (in the SEC 12 they already had to give up big rivalries with Tennessee and Georgia, only keeping their ancient series with Vandy).

        • Andy says:

          Or maybe they knew OU wouldn’t join the SEC, and neither would Texas.

          And maybe they believe based on some info they have that UNC and Duke are a package deal.

          The fact that they’ve been apparently working on UNC and Duke for 3 years seems to be pretty strong evidence, IMO.

          And the fact that they took A&M and Mizzou is very strong evidence.

          Yeah there are theoretical combos that would be better like for instance OU/Texas/UNC/UVA. That would have been ideal but apparently they figured out that it wasn’t achievable, so they’re best achievable plan is A&M+Mizzou+UNC+Duke. That’s still pretty good.

          • Andy says:

            Also, bullet, show me a 16 team superconference with pods that doesn’t destroy a bunch of traditional rivalries. It can’t be done.

          • bullet says:

            ACC and Pac 12 can do it. Big 10 and SEC are very intertwined. The strongest rivalries don’t follow neat geographically lines.

          • Andy says:

            There’s also the matter of balance. You could break up the pods like this:

            Alabama/Auburn/LSU/Ole Miss
            Florida/Georgia/Tennessee/South Carolina
            Texas A&M/MSU/North Carolina/Duke

            You’d save a lot more rivalries but those pods don’t make any sense and they’re not balanced at all.

            If they end up going to 16 they’ll need to rank the priorities:

            1) balance
            2) some sort of geographic logic
            and then 3) rivalries.

            Otherwise you end up with a complete mess.

          • bullet says:

            That scenario kills UK’s biggest rivalry as Alabama/Tennessee trumps that. Ole Miss keeps the egg bowl, but loses their most played rivalry-Vanderbilt. (Since they have been resistant on going to 9 games, I’m assuming 1 protected rivalry). Rivalries are important down here. Its what makes the SEC what it is. Not markets. Its the intensity of the connection that’s bound by geography, economics, recruiting and simple tradition. “Old times here are not forgotten.”

          • Andy says:

            There’s no way around it other than not expanding, and considering they’ve been actively recruiting UNC and Duke for 3 years the plan seems to be to expand when possible.

          • danimation707 says:

            Oh my. Duke as a cultural fit in the SEC? A conference with a primary focus on cut throat athetics and no consortium.

            I am sure the SEC & B1G have both been talking to a number of schools.

          • Andy says:

            The SEC has a consortium. The ACC does not. The SEC’s consortium is only 2 years old so it has a ways to go but they have big plans for it. Which is partially why they’re trying to take AAu schools like Missouri, A&M, UNC, and Duke.

            The SEC has Vandy, not much different from Duke, really.

            The SEC is trying to put together a league that includes some decently good academic schools, including Duke, Vandy, UNC, Florida, A&M, Mizzou, and Georgia. They want to build up the consortium to be a CIC of the south. That’s what they sold Mizzou on when they recruited them. That’s what they’re likely trying to sell UNC and Duke on now.

            The ACC currently has 6 AAU schools. The SEC has 4 with Georgia on the cusp of membership. The ACC has no academic consortium. The lowest ranked ACC school (Louisville) is on par with the lowest ranked SEC school (Mississippi State).

            The SEC will make at least $35M per year per school. The ACC makes $15M per year per school.

            Unless you believe Richard’s hogwash about a Big 20, then the Big Ten only has 2 spots left. They can’t take everybody.

            UNC fans in particular are much more inclined to join the SEC. Many want it already.

            In case you haven’t seen a map before, North Carolina is most definitely in The South.

            If Slive has for the past 3 years activley been recruiting UNC and Duke specifically as was reported by the Sporting News yesterday, then Slive almost certainly has reason to believe that they are a package deal and should be recruited together. He’s also concluded that Duke is worth taking.

          • bamatab says:

            Here is a link to the SECAC (SEC academic consortium):

            Like Andy said, it is new so it is no where near the B1G’s. But the SEC expects it to grow and become a benefitial consortium for the SEC schools over time.

          • frug says:


            The ACC also has a consortium, but like the SEC’s, it is in the infantile stage.

            As for your pods, the big problem is that UK and Vandy both consider Tennessee their biggest rival, but Tennessee considers ‘Bama their biggest rival, and ‘Bama also has to play Auburn every year. It makes pods a mess.

          • bamatab says:

            @frug – As I pointed out below, you can divide the pods up in a way that doesn’t leave off rivalries (for the most part). A pod configuration with Duke (since that is what Andy used), you could have the following pods:

            Bama/auburn/Ole Miss/Miss St

            But you would have to include a permenant cross pod game for each of the other pods. Let’s take Tennessee for example. Give them Bama/Vandy/Arky as their permenant cross-pod games. So they would annually play UK/UNC/Duke/Vandy/Bama/Arky every year with a rotation of the 3 teams from the other pods. This would also allow them to play every team in the SEC every 3 years. The only draw back is it would require a 9 game schedule, but it can be done.

          • frug says:

            That could work, but the SEC would be really banking on UT bouncing back because otherwise that pod is blech. UNC, Duke, UK and UT? Might as well just call it the basketball pod.

          • bamatab says:

            Yeah, but if you put UVA, VT, or NCST in there it looks better. Plus with the permenant games with Bama and whoever from the western pod, along with other 3 teams from the pod they are currently aligned with, it looks much better.

          • Psuhockey says:

            I don’t mean to rain on UNC/Duke to SEC parade, but I serious doubt it will happen. Whether or not the SEC is improving its academics or not, perception is that it is a jock conference with Vanderbelt as the token place of higher learning. Perception matters when you are trying to convince academics, who generally define themselves by the rankings of their school and piers versus their actual intelligence. Perception matters when you are navigating thru one of the worst acedemic scandals in NCAA history and are trying to show that you are not indeed a jock only school. Perception matters when a large percentage of students and staff at your prestigious private university come from the elite precincts of the north and view the Deep South around the gulf as stupid rednecks.

            I know you have cited Texas A&M as a source that fans matters, but they don’t in the case of the Carolina schools. I have lived and worked in Raleigh and Texas and they are two wholly different entities. Texans define themselves thru football, including the influential boosters. Those of Duke and UNC have as big as an ego as possible when it comes to the smell of their own you know what, that they have complete contempt for SEC academics. He’ll they have complete contempt for nc state academics. And as far as t-shirt fans on message boards are concerned, they look down on them too. They will have zero say.

          • bullet says:

            I’m not sure how much A&M was fan driven and how much was induced. Bowen claims he decided in the summer of 2010 to go to the SEC. He may well have encouraged the fan reaction that had already started while he was getting his political support for the move. Bowen is an Aggie from the early 70s and wouldn’t likely have a much different reaction than the fans.

          • FranktheAg says:

            A&M fans (I would estimate at a 90% clip) rejected any conference move other than the SEC once a potential move became known. The fact is, the A&M fan base never wanted to be in the B12 either but Ann Richards and Bob Bullock bullied the “Texas 4″ into an agreement with the Big 8. Go back and check the historical records. A&M had zero ties with the Big 8 and that includes the Oklahoma schools. The two schools outside of the old Texas based SWC teams A&M had any historical ties with were LSU and Arkansas. We also shared some connection with Bama because of Bryant and Stallings.

            Bullet once again gets his facts wrong about Texas A&M. Bowen didn’t arrange the movement to the SEC. That is utter nonsense. The original voice was BoT member Gene Stallings (and a few boosters who pushed for the SEC in the 90’s). Nothing had to be done to stir the passions of Aggies for the SEC other than state it was a possibility. That’s it.

          • Mike B. says:

            @Frank the Ag – Arkansas was in the SWC until 1991.

          • bullet says:

            @Frank the ag

            When you read something from a Texas fan does it impair your reading comprehension? I didn’t state any facts other than what Bowen claimed in a video on the Texags website. And there’s nothing you said that contradicts what I said.

          • bullet says:

            And FranktheAg, you do have one fact wrong. OU and Okie St. were charter members of the SWC. Now there aren’t many people around who remember back to the 1920s, but that was history.

          • FranktheAg says:

            Bullet – whenever you discuss A&M you twist the facts. You’ve been wrong on every prediction regarding Texas A&M. What you perceive as “impaired” reading comprehension is just the removal of your burnt orange goggles. You have one post on this thread claiming the move by A&M to the SEC will hurt the SEC in the long run because of the loss of traditional rivalries. Yet you can’t really point to a single rivalry lost because of the move. You and your Longhorn friends are the last holdouts claiming the move by A&M to the SEC will be a failure. I guess you don’t mind looking foolish.

            Now to your comment above:

            You stated, “I’m not sure how much A&M was fan driven and how much was induced. Bowen claims he decided in the summer of 2010 to go to the SEC. He may well have encouraged the fan reaction”.

            First, you clearly state that the SEC drive by A&M fans was “induced”, meaning not a natural occuring event. You also attribute it to Bowen. In fact, the A&M fan base decided the move to the SEC was the right choice (yes, in 2010). That charge was led by Gene Stallings (a BoT member at the time) and not Bowen. Bowen “induced” nothing. He simply reacted to the wants of his stakeholders. My comprehension was fine. Your comments were wrong.

          • FranktheAg says:

            MikeB – of course Arkansas was in the SWC – but they were already gone to the SEC when the SWC / Big 8 merged.

            Bullet – I didn’t get it “wrong”. I know OU and Okie A&M where original members. I also know OU left the conference after 4 years in the league and OSU left after 10 years in the league. Prior to the B12, A&M had played OU 15 times and OSU 14 times. Not what I would call a traditional rival. By contrast we had played LSU 50 times and Arkie 60+ prior to joining the SEC.

          • bullet says:

            Nice how you leave out the fan reaction THAT HAD ALREADY STARTED. It doesn’t take much to stir Aggies up. A few negative comments gets it to take off. Bowen claims he had already decided to go to the SEC at the time the 10 Presidents all committed to the Big 12 based in part on a study that showed people outside of Texas didn’t perceive any difference between A&M and Tech. He said something to the effect that he told them he was committed to the Big 12 as it existed. He was talking about the 12 team Big 12 and didn’t want people to accuse him of lying (not the 10 team Big 12 everyone else was talking about). So your President claims it was his idea and his leadership.

            As for the reading comprehension, I didn’t say he orchestrated the fan reaction. He certainly was, intentionally or not, encouraging it with his public comments. And if you read what I wrote and what you wrote, I didn’t “clearly” say it was induced. I said “I’m not sure.” Bowen’s actions were of someone who was trying to sway public opinion. Bowen got his Phd at Rice, so I’ll give him credit for being intelligent and having some idea of what he was doing.

            Now if you want to claim your President is a liar who takes credit for what other people do, that’s fine with me. There are only a handful of people who know what really happened and you may be right. But his explanation is credible as well.

          • bullet says:

            Again to the reading comprehension. I realize there are a lot of posts, but I have never said the A&M move to the SEC will be a failure for them. I don’t buy that its a slam dunk win. I think there are lots of possibilities and only time will tell. It could be a huge success. It could also turn A&M into an Iowa St. by making them an afterthought in the state. But the biggest risk for A&M and every other Texas school is that more recruits leave the state for Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Arkansas, etc. Very few of the really top recruits chose anyone other than Texas, OU and A&M during the Big 12 years. After those 3, the rest of the Big 12 got their choice and then the remaining talent went out of state. Still some good players, but very few of the very top ones. If state of Texas recruiting started looking like the 80s when many of the very top players did go out of state, that would probably hurt everyone.

          • bullet says:

            You just don’t understand the ties the SEC schools have with each other. No traditional rivalry has been destroyed by 14-yet. But Georgia likes playing Alabama and LSU and Ole Miss. They couldn’t care less about Arkansas and they’ve been in for 20 years. They haven’t played Alabama since 2008. Ole Miss used to be an every year rivalry. That was one that got disrupted when the SEC went from a 5-2 fixed-1 rotating schedule to a 5-1-2. Ole Miss also used to have a big rivalry with Tennessee. They also lost that. All of those cross-division games will be decreased in frequency. That IS a negative for the SEC. The intensity of almost all the SEC games is something every other conference wished they had. UGA is kind of blase about UK, Vandy and Miss St., but not any of the other SEC 10.

            The intensity of UGA’s rivalries with Florida, Auburn, USCe and Georgia Tech exceed anything Texas has except for OU. Tennessee gets pretty intense as well, as do Ole Miss, LSU and Alabama, moreso than when Texas played Colorado or Kansas St. from the other half of the Big 12 (Nebraska was pretty big).

            I hated it when the SWC broke up, but I knew it was necessary and the Big 12 was exciting. There’s nothing necessary and exciting about any of these conferences going from 12 to 14.

          • bullet says:

            And I grew up a UK fan and married a Bulldawg, so I do understand the SEC. And I was a kid a long, long time ago, so I’ve been following the SEC for a long, long time.

          • duffman says:

            Duke fits much better in the B1G and UNC fits the SEC better. While they are both NC schools the attitudes could not be more opposite. Duke is an east coast school in a southern state while UNC is a state school with non alumni fans in the state. If Michigan has the Wal Mart Wolverines then UNC has their own group.

          • Richard says:

            I seriously doubt the SEC gets UNC+Duke (Duke? Seriously, Duke?) as UNC would have to find a home for NCSU. UNC+NCSU to the SEC is far more likely.

        • bamatab says:

          bullet – I don’t think the SEC would be difficult to separate into pods. You would just have to include a permenant cross-pod game for each pod, and thus you would have to go to a 9 game schedule. You would be playing the 3 in your pod, the 4 in another pod, and the 2 cross pod games from the pods that you aren’t lined up with that year. Doing that, you could include all of the necessary games.

          • bullet says:

            But try to do it without a 9 game schedule. I don’t think there is anything that makes sense.

          • bullet says:

            And the SEC has repeatedly rejected the 9 game schedule. Doesn’t mean they won’t change their mind, but it won’t be easy, much as the Big 10 rejected a 9 game schedule and then was dragging on the Pac cross scheduling deal before the Pac scuttled it.

          • bamatab says:

            They haven’t repeatedly rejected a 9 game schedule. This past vote on a 9 game schedule was really the first legit vote at it. And while it was rejected, they is a vibe that if a ninth game is needed for whatever reason (the upcoming SEC network, a new 16 conference schedule, or strength of schedule of the playoff committee) they could get the votes to pass it.

      • brindelin says:

        What if the B12 nor the B10 want NCSU?

        • Andy says:

          NCSU is a good school in a good market. The Big 12 would take them.

          • Peter says:

            It’s not an issue of “take.” It needs to be in NC State’s best interests to be separated from UNC. UNC-Duke is meaningless in real world constraints. UNC-NCSU, because of the shared board, is a fiduciary obligation. The board *has* to solve NCSU first.

            UNC simply cannot dump NC State unless NC State wants to be dumped. Anyone who writes otherwise has no idea of what they are talking about.

          • Andy says:

            Slive’s a smart guy, and if he’s been pusuing Duke for 3 years I’m sure he’s thought this through.

      • Wes Haggard says:

        Andy, suggest that you include VATech rather than Duke. Many, many more eyeballs and a lot more draw in the DC area. UNC or NC State, I would agree with but and this is a big but. The Big 12 was on life support in 2010 when UT, OU, TT, OSU, CO and A&M were all but signed up to become members of the PAC. But A&M, to paraphrase Bear Bryant, heard Momma calling. Then again in 2011 when UT, OU, TT and OSU were a deal to join the PAC. PAC would not accept the LHN nor would the PAC accept OU AND OSU nor Tech without Texas so the BIG 12 escaped disaster again and all the pundits exclaimed that the Big 12 was dead in the water and the boat would sink at any minute. So here is the but, Texas stayed and used their considerable power to plug the leaks and the Big 12 is now a shark in ACC waters. I will suggest to you that if UNC, NC State and UVA remain in the ACC, then the ACC will continue to float also. ANy one of those three leaves, adios ACC.

        • bullet says:

          I don’t think those 3 will accept being in a 2nd tier league. I don’t think any of them will be the first to leave, but if enough key others go, there is no way they stay. Now I agree, if any of those 3 leave, that would trigger everyone else to go.

        • Andy says:

          Wes, I wouldn’t have thought Duke to the SEC made sense, but the article in the Sporting News yesterday quoting prominant ACC sources say that the SEC has been recruiting UNC and Duke for 3 years now. I can only conclude from this that UNC has said they won’t join without Duke, and that the SEC has deemed UNC so valuable that they are willing to take Duke along with them.

          It would certainly bolster the SEC in academics and basketball, two of their weakest areas, so in that sense it makes sense. Yeah they miss out on the state of Virginia, but it’s likely that they’ve calculated that UNC + Duke is more valuable overall than VT + NCSU.

  25. GreatLakeState says:

    UNC/DUKE/UVA/GT/ND/FSU+Warren Buffett to pay for their exits.
    Git’ while the Gittin’s good!

  26. loki_the_bubba says:

    Since we’re in that time of year when so many coaches get fired, it’s interesting to note that it really doesn’t help.

    • zeek says:

      Reminds me of Minnesota firing Mason after taking them to 7 bowls in 8 years. Granted he didn’t have a great record in Big Ten play, but for a lot of these schools, who knows what they want.

      Just having a mid-level range of success for a long time would probably be better for them than trying to chase glory that isn’t likely to ever be there…

    • bullet says:

      Banowsky has interesting comments about Delany’s moves at the end of that article.

      With all the talk about greed, IMO there are only 2 conferences that really could be seriously accused of that, the SEC and Big 10, neither of whom needed 13th and 14th members to be enormously profitable. And Banowsky is referencing Delany, not the Big East who keeps feeding on the CUSA.

      • wmtiger says:

        Both the SEC, B10 & Pac 12 with the recent expansions are making power plays, strengthening their conferences by adding assets while weakening competing conferences (Big XII & ACC).

  27. dtwphx says:

    In some ways, doesn’t the BigTen have an incentive to keep the ACC around in a weakened fashion, strengthening the ACC’s southern schools (GT,FSU,Clemson,theU) thereby weakening the northern ones.
    The southern ACC would steal interest from the SEC in that region, while the weaker northern ACC would loose out to the BigTen in the northeast.
    Would big ten teams playing home and homes with GT,FSU,Clemson, and Miami help that cause while possibly help in recruiting?

    • dtwphx says:

      While the ACC has an incentive to try and kill the BigEast from both a football and basketball perspective. And they’re doing their best to do it.

    • zeek says:

      I think the rise of the SEC has corresponded with a downturn in the ACC.

      The two are intricately tied together.

      From what I’ve noticed of Florida-scale football; when one or two of the programs are down (FSU and Miami this past decade), the talent flows more to the remaining schools (Meyer’s UF).

      Especially in the East, the fact that UF/UGa/USCe/Vandy/Auburn have all gotten miles ahead of their corresponding rivals at points this decade (FSU/Ga Tech/Clemson/WF/Clemson) just shows that.

      Look at the SEC-ACC games this past weekend. As big a disparity as I think anyone’s seen between the two conferences, and that was with 10-1 FSU/Clemson teams in the mix…

  28. Nick in South Bend says:

    Lest we forget that state institutions, and some private institutions, have political followings:

    • largeR says:

      I am so thankful that nothing else important is going on in the US Senate, allowing for time to honor an athletic director. I would rather he spent that time honoring Kentucky, or even just Louisville, veterans. Maybe the Mayans are right. :(

    • frug says:

      If you ever needed further evidence that Mitch McConnell is a complete POS.

      • frug says:

        Ok, that was a bit harsh but I have loathed the guy ever since I lived in Kentucky and had to have him as my senator for 2 years.

  29. bullet says:

    Intriguing article on a mock playoff committee. KSU doesn’t even make top 8 and Oregon beats out Stanford.

    Ohio St. AD said he didn’t think much of KSU before. So sounds like the Okie St.s and KSU’s of the world will continue to have a problem in a committee.

  30. At what point does increasing conference size begin to hurt fan interest? Back when there were 10 teams in the Big Ten, you could “expect” a championship in any given sport once every ten years or so. I realize this isn’t an exact measurement, but I always felt it was a pretty good indicator; if your team has won at least one title in the past decade then the program is reasonably solid, more than one in a decade is a sign of a true power, and a championship drought of more than 10 years is a sign that the program is not moving in the right direction.

    Should I now expect my team to win a title every 14 years? The added depth makes championships harder to come by, and thus lowers the excitement of the more fair-weather fans. Or is gaining the occasional “division” championship enough? I’m not sure.

    • zeek says:

      Well, they’re betting that at one-half the size of professional leagues, you’re still interested.

      It’s a question, but I’m not sure we breach that until we’re at 20 team “leagues”…

      It still feels like a conference at 14 and even at 16 (although the pods format starts to get you to the league-ish feel).

      But I guess what I’m saying is, if people are more interested in their own and *other teams* in the NFL than ever before, why wouldn’t that carry over to college sports?

      • greg says:

        I really think 14 team conferences will erode some fan interest. Sixteen will be even worse. All the jokes about not knowing who is in which division will become “who is in the conference?”

        The pro leagues are all trending towards 4 and 5 team divisions with more playoff teams, while a 16 team conference with 8 team divisions makes it much harder for the non-kings to even hope for a division title.

        I guess that will be remedied in the supposed split from NCAA and 4-team division and semi-finals and such.

        Sigh. I don’t like it.

        • zeek says:

          I dunno.

          Adding more middle-level teams to the conference sort of makes it easier to get to the CCG, in my opinion.

          When your team is cyclically up, you’re more likely to have an easier schedule. In the West, we’re all going to have more Illinois on our schedule and less Ohio State/Penn State/Wisconsin and a bit more Rutgers/Maryland.

          • greg says:

            “Adding more middle-level teams to the conference sort of makes it easier to get to the CCG, in my opinion.”

            That doesn’t make any sense. You can claim that adding mid-level teams doesn’t make it any more difficult, but it sure doesn’t make it easier.

            That is as crazy as the claims that the B20 allows you to play teams more often.

          • zeek says:

            Well, I’m looking at Northwestern’s schedule. We’re likely to have our strongest team in at least 12 years next year but Ohio State and Wisconsin are going to rotate onto our schedule.

            It does make it easier. You need to think about how easily you can go 7-2 in a 9 game schedule where the 4 kings all have much more difficult schedules because Ohio State-Michigan and Nebraska-Penn State are locked in…

            If your team is cyclically up, you should have a team that can beat the rest of the conference but still get a tough game out of the best teams, but if fewer of those teams are on your schedule, you can thread the needle and get to the CCG easier.

          • bullet says:

            Saw an interesting stat the other day. In the Big 12, Texas and OU both had KSU and Nebraska on their schedules the same year. Each had Colorado the other year. There were only 3 times when those 2 had both KSU and Nebraska and made the BCS. Once was 2008 when OU & Texas were in the top 3 and the north was down somewhat. The other time was 2004 when OU was champ and beat a 4-4 CU team in the ccg.

            There is a definite correlation on when Northwestern has won Big 10 championships and their schedule. I suspect that is true of all the Big 10 champs during the 11 team era who were not named Michigan or Ohio St.

          • jj says:

            At bullet:

            Amen. In the “modern era” the B10 decided Iowa and Wisconsin were better than msu, MSU’s locked rivals were Michigan and PSU. I liked this, but suspect our stats could have benn better had we not had this deal.

          • zeek says:


            It’s similar to how the SEC’s bottom 8 teams were 0-30 against the top 6 teams.

            That means the teams that had the fewest scheduled games against the others had the easier schedules.

            Florida and LSU as usual got the shorter ends of the stick because they always play each other (and on top of that Florida had to play A&M as its entrance game).

          • zeek says:

            That middle sentence should read:

            “That means the top teams that had the fewest scheduled games against the other top teams had the easier schedules.”

          • Brian says:


            “Amen. In the “modern era” the B10 decided Iowa and Wisconsin were better than msu, MSU’s locked rivals were Michigan and PSU. I liked this, but suspect our stats could have benn better had we not had this deal.”

            Yes, but John L. Smith and Bobby Williams didn’t help either.

    • Eric says:

      I agree completely. We’ve been in races a lot more in the past than we’ll be in the future and it will effect interest. They try to mitigate this by giving us two divisions so we are only directly competing with 5 (now 6) other teams, but I think the fact that championships are going to be fewer and further between is definitely going to effect fan interest in the long run. In some cases, it’s why people choose following college over pro in the first place.

  31. Bobestes says:

    Maryland will get their $50 million fee reduced, which will trigger a mad dash for the exits from the rest of the ACC.

    ACC will backfill with the likes of Cincinnati, UConn, etc.

    ACC becomes the clear fifth conference behind the big four. A marginal player in the football scene. But not Conference USA.

    The basketball ends up being pretty good and maybe even adds schools like Georgetown.

    As the resident Cincinnati alum, I can live with that.

    • Zarex says:

      And to which conference will this “mad scramble” occur? Schools are unlikely to make 100 year decisions based on 13 year grant of rights agreements, and with the Pac 12 likely to make another play for the Texahoma 4 I don’t think the B12 is any more secure than the ACC.

      After additional consolidation, the Big 12 and the ACC will be looking to fill the 4th strongest conference slot. The ACC is larger now and has greater opportunities to “backfill” if additional schools are lost. I see them as the 4th strongest conference after the dust finally settles, though obviously quite a bit weaker than the Big 3.

      • Bobestes says:

        Easy. Big 12 has a GOR, ACC doesn’t.

        • Stopping By says:

          Unless Big 12 has enough defectors/votes to disband conference (maybe a reason that they are not aggressively pursuing additional teams??? More teams means more votes needed for dissolvement)

          • frug says:

            That would require a minimum of 6 schools (and possibly more depending on the conference bylaws) to find better homes before the conference disbands. Looking at the present Big XII that is extremely unlikely.

          • Stopping By says:

            Well if you figure the Pac would most likely be taking 4 of them (UTen/TTU/OU/OSU) then you are talking about 2 more votes/schools to find a home. It is far fetched, but what if the ACC loses another and is open to a KU and re opens doors for a WVU or even a TCU (in light of their shift to UL).

            Just spit balling obviously, and all would need to occur in unison, but as a Pac fan it is near the only scenario that merits another expansion for the conference (and hopefully keeping Larry Scott on board).

          • frug says:

            Well KU shares a BOR with KSU which means they have veto power over each others moves so long as the Big XII remains viable, so that scenario wouldn’t really work.

            Plus, this is based on the assumption that the conference can be dissolved by a simple majority vote, when more likely it would require a super-majority like other major decisions (like adding members).

          • frug says:

            Oh, and I’ll add that moving to the ACC wouldn’t be an upgrade for WVU and especially KU. The Big XII pays more than the ACC and lets schools keep their Tier III rights.

            That is a multimillion dollar paycut.

    • Jericho says:

      I wouldn’t get your hopes up on counting on some legal verdict as a triggering event for further expansion. Not only does the Maryland suit scream confidential settlement, but even if it somehow went to trial, justice moves slow.

      • Purduemoe says:

        I don’t know how Maryland law would handle it, but most state entities are not able to make confidential settlements. They may not have to announce it, but FOIA laws means it can come out.

    • zeek says:

      I think it was a sign on the part of Tobacco Road that they added Louisville after FSU/Clemson have been shouting for football upgrades.

      We’ll see, they’d have to have been unified enough on that end.

    • Arch Stanton says:

      “ACC will backfill with the likes of Cincinnati, UConn, etc.
      ACC becomes the clear fifth conference behind the big four. A marginal player in the football scene. But not Conference USA.
      The basketball ends up being pretty good and maybe even adds schools like Georgetown.
      As the resident Cincinnati alum, I can live with that.”

      -As a Cincinnati fan you can live with that? You just described probably your best case scenario!

      • Bobestes says:

        So, the Big Ten, SEC and Big 12 are just going to say “I’m good” and sit on their hands?

        FSU and Clemson are just gonna say “we’re good” and make $10 mil less per year?

        Big Ten is just gonna say “Mighty Maryland has delivered the eastern seaboard”?

        Not likely, this stuff is just beginning.

        • zeek says:

          Question is whether Tobacco Road has made enough concessions to make FSU/Clemson happy.

          If so, then it might be able to hold together the conference.

          If the NC/Va based members are trying to hold it together and if FSU/Clemson think that Louisville is enough, then yes it might hold together.

          But how long it might is a legitimate question…; the money differences will become bigger and bigger over time as a result of the ACC’s mix of markets as compared to the Big Ten/SEC/Pac-12.

  32. zeek says:

    Going to be interesting to see where the Big East’s TV deal goes now. The makeover is pretty much complete with Syracuse/Pitt/Rutgers/Louisville all on the way out…

    Is it worth much more than $7-8 million per school? Is it worth even that?

    Seems doubtful that ESPN even counterbids at this point…

    • bullet says:

      ESPN wants that basketball still.

      • zeek says:

        Isn’t the basketball worth at most $1-2 million per team?

        What’s the football worth then? $3-4 million per team?

        • bullet says:

          Speculation has been $3.0-3.5 million per team for basketball. Wyoming AD recently said Boise and SDSU were told $5-$7 million for football and made their decisions based on those figures. I saw SDSU AD back then saying $6.4 million. There have been a bunch of other numbers thrown around, some lower, some higher, but nothing with more substantiation than TV consultants estimates.

          But that was with UL (Congrats Cards-its been a good week) and Rutgers, the soon to be former members, playing for the BCS bid tonight.

          • bullet says:

            CUSA-UH, SMU, Memphis, Tulane, UCF, ECU, Tulsa (team with the best record this year), Rice, UTEP, UAB, Marshall, So. Miss (best team over CUSA’s history and last year’s champ) signed a deal last year for $1.5 million for everything.

            new Big East-UH, SMU, Memphis, Tulane, UCF, ECU + Cincinnati, USF, UConn, Temple, Boise and SDSU is worth a lot more? I don’t get it. Unless Boise is all the value. But then they shouldn’t need to travel cross-country to monetize.

          • zeek says:

            Agreed bullet; it just doesn’t make sense.

            I’m not even sure how the basketball gets near $3 million without Louisville and even with Louisville it shouldn’t get near that.

            Unless the name “Big East” is worth $50 million per year as a conference label (to be split among all the teams), the whole thing doesn’t make sense.

            Just going to that label shouldn’t unlock value…

          • zeek says:

            What I mean by that is, what value there is to be unlocked is by going to a bigger stage where you play bigger value opponents.

            Pitt, Syracuse, Louisville, and Rutgers are the biggest examples of this because they’ll be getting bigger value opponents in the ACC and Big Ten.

            If C-USA is just being transplanted into the Big East but without the Big East mainstrays to unlock their value, then what is there? It’s just C-USA 2.0…

  33. frug says:

    The NCAA has approved Georgia Tech’s waiver to be bowl-eligible should they lose the ACC Championship Game on Saturday and go 6-7 despite adopting a policy almost four months ago designed to keep the Yellow Jackets out, two sources told Thursday night.

  34. Andy says:

    Kansas fans are claiming on their rivals board that KU and Georgia Tech are joining the Big Ten as soon as this weekend. I don’t buy it. Doesn’t make sense.

    • metatron says:

      Kansas is too expensive and Georgia Tech is too distant and dissimilar. I could see one or the other, but not both. Especially if Notre Dame is still out there.

      The Big Ten does offer great scheduling opportunities (games in New York, Washington, Chicago, Philadelphia, and even the Rose Bowl), even if we go to nine games – it’s the lack of national television coverage that don’t want to give up.

    • zeek says:

      Impossible for Kansas to get out; GOR requires a willing buyer and a willing seller*, on what planet is the Big 12 going to willingly let Kansas buy its inventory back? And as metatron points out, the value of those TV rights is likely to be around $300 million for the remainder of the Big 12’s GOR, does anyone have that kind of money?

      Sounds like rumors run amok for it to be those two…

      • Mark says:

        Does anybody know if the GOR actually has teeth? Since these exit fees seem to collapse to half the value, isn’t it possible that smart lawyers could get out of the GOR for minimal cash? What if Kansas leaves and just dares FOX to come after them?

        • zeek says:

          We suspect that GOR have better teeth than exit fees at the very least given that media rights contracts are typically more solid than exit fees which are more likely to be seen as penalties (especially since the latter is mitigated when something like a replacement comes and ESPN is typically like “we won’t change your contract for plugging X school in for Y”).

          It’s like that story I brought in another thread from the NBA’s past, where the NBA paid to close down one of the ABA franchises by offering national broadcast revenue streams in perpetuity (sort of like a reverse GOR).

          Decades later and the NBA is still paying a defunct franchise TV rights; TV rights contracts are typically much stronger than penalties for action.

          • zeek says:

            Other thing which sort of makes this all moot is that it seems highly unlikely that anyone would ever test this…

          • metatron says:

            Because those rights are a real property.

          • acaffrey says:

            How is it a penalty and not a liquidated damages clause? This will be interesting.

            With GOR–again, EVERYTHING is negotiable or not insurmountable. If the Big 10 wants to pay Kansas a full share to join, they can. If they don’t get the TV also, who cares? If the Big 10 can afford the investment, it can afford the investment.

            Plus, does the BIg XII even WANT the TV rights to Penn State @ Kansas in basketball? Probably not. They would want the bigger Big 10 games. But at some point, it really does not matter. Kansas @ Michigan State would be huge. Indiana. Illinois. WIsconsin. A lot of big games.

            That being said, the rumors are nuts. Why?

        • metatron says:

          Pacta sunt servanda.

      • m (Ag) says:

        I don’t think the Big Ten wants Kansas, but I could see the Big 12 happily letting them go if they’re confident of getting some quality ACC adds.

        For instance, if Virginia Tech is worried Virginia might leave them to the Big Ten and 2 NC schools will go to the SEC, the Big 12 could take FSU, Clemson, and VT to create a powerful 12 school conference whose football value would make up for any lost basketball value.

        If you’re a fan of 16, this also works well. The Big 12 would be left with 8 schools in the ‘West’, and could add 7 ACC schools to West Virginia to get a conference that wouldn’t need pods; in fact, you could go down to 8 games if you wanted; you’d essentially be 2 conferences joined by a valuable conference championship game.

        I think the 12 school option would be the more intriguing one for the Big 12.

        • JayDevil says:

          The Big 12 makes a lot of money off of Kansas basketball. Hard to pass up a home sell out for each team each year, and all the $ from the Big 12 championship game in KC. You also let go of KC as one of your key TV markets.

          Football TV rights may be king, but the Big 12 would give up a lot of bread by letting KU walk away from their commitments.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Lots of smoke on the UNC Tar Pit site about various scenerios as well……….

      KU and GT would be horrible, imo……..

  35. BoilerTex says:

    Multiple reports that UC coach Butch Jones could be Purdue’s next FB coach by the weekend. Although he doesn’t have a mustache, I’m pretty excited about the hire. Great pedigree, recruits the Midwest well, and seems to have a fire to him. AD Burke has finally opened up the purse strings (thank you cable subscribers in the NJ/MD area) for both HC and assistants.

    • zeek says:

      I really like that hire for Purdue. That’s as perfect a fit as I can think of if true.

      • Mark says:

        Agree that would be a good hire for Purdue, although I fear they are quickly becoming Minnesota again as Danny Hope just trashed the program. Odd that Purdue seems to be able to beat Ohio State every so often while Indiana just gets steamrolled annually.

    • redsroom3 says:

      I wrote a letter to Morgan Burke back in 2008 encouraging him to interview Kevin Sumlin. Morgan actually wrote back indicating that Kevin was an unproven commodity at the time and, despite his alumni status, would not be given “special” treatment as a result. Look at Kevin now…

      I hope Butch Jones is a good coach because we need it….

      Boiler Up!!!!!

    • jj says:

      Needs more mustachio

  36. zeek says:

    Andy, you weren’t joking.

    Va Tech’s forums and Virginia’s are full of speculation on the Georgia Tech thing…; kind of surprised that this is getting that much play.

    • bullet says:

      WVU group is saying the same thing regarding Georgia Tech.

      • zeek says:

        Swaim saying his calls indicate huge ACC domino in the next week.

        Realistically, only UVa is a “huge” domino close to the Big Ten.

        Georgia Tech would be smaller than Maryland in my opinion as far as dominos go…; Georgia Tech is much more easily replaceable; UVa isn’t.

        • greg says:

          I agree that it’d be hard to call GTech a huge domino, but even GTech leaving could cause the implosion of the entire conference. I guess we’ll see.

        • Mark says:

          I think any ACC team leaving, even Wake Forest, would have to be considered a huge domino since it means either the $50M exit fee will be reduced or the money is so good that the $50M is worth the price. Any team that leaves is a huge deal.

    • mushroomgod says:

      what forums are people looking at on this stuff??? For me, its thesabre for VA., The Tar Pit and (Scout) for KU, GoJackets(scout) for GT and the CSN realignment board……… that scout site the best one for GT?

  37. GreatLakeState says:

    Clemson board says GT to B1G is a done deal. And Big Ten football gets weaker and weaker and weaker. What good does it do to have the BTN expand its coverage if no one cares about the product? After the Rutgers, Maryland picks we really needed a King or at least a Prince.

    • manifestodeluxe says:

      “Clemson board says GT to B1G is a done deal. And Big Ten football gets weaker and weaker and weaker. What good does it do to have the BTN expand its coverage if no one cares about the product? After the Rutgers, Maryland picks we really needed a King or at least a Prince.”

      Agreed. I was fine with the Rutgers/Maryland add, but I felt the next two needed to have at least one serious football power. GT feels like a really bad idea to me.

      • bullet says:

        Supposedly an Ohio St. site is reporting it also. TheShoe@OSU.

        • manifestodeluxe says:

          I’ve never heard of that site, and I tend to read a decent amount of OSU news. Take it with a grain of salt. I think if Bucknuts picks it up (not the Boarding House though) there’s probably something there.

      • bullet says:

        If true, Delany sounds like a QB making his rotations on his #15 play: Primary receiver UNC said no, secondary receiver UVA said no, passing to tertiary receiver, GT.

        The only way GT is a domino is if ACC members start viewing it as a game of musical chairs.

        • zeek says:

          If UVa says no, then don’t you just stick to 14 and call it a day?

          Not sure I even understand how you move to Georgia Tech at #15 without a #16 in the bag…

          • Peter says:

            I think the idea might be “We’re going to 16, there is one spot left. Anyone else who wants the most money your institution can get in your lifetime, #^@! or get off the pot right now. Taking bids.”

          • Peter says:

            This sort of rumor shotgun could also be intentional on the B1G in that they haven’t done this yet, but are fully capable of doing it and are thinking about it. Losing Atlanta and having the life raft seats in the B1G reduced to 1 is a pretty big threat to have to consider. Even if it’s not true at all.

            It’s also entirely possible for the B1G to do both – hold a vote on “How would you feel about GT if they applied?” (the B1G may well have already done this a few years ago), then leak THAT. It’s not a vote to accept an application that’s been made, but it sends the same signal. We’re taking applications and only so many.

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          bullet – B1G picking GA Tech for #15 is more like intentional grounding.

      • zeek says:

        I agree with the both of you.

        Maryland/Rutgers I could understand. They both make sense. I still don’t see the Georgia Tech angle.


        Most of us don’t even think that we could get carriage in Atlanta with Georgia Tech…

        • bullet says:

          You can’t with GT.

          The game theory would be that Georgia Tech shakes #16 free, whether it be UVA, UNC or Notre Dame. Maybe Georgia Tech shakes some off to the Big 12 which forces UVA or UNC to abandon ship.

          • zeek says:

            And that’s why I don’t think it would happen.

            Unless you have UVa in the bag, you don’t go for Georgia Tech.

            We saw what happened with the SEC going to #13 without a #14 in the bag. They got lucky that Mizzou was right there for them to pick up.

            The Big Ten going after Georgia Tech without a locked in #16 would be a mistake; there’s no one out there like Mizzou just sitting around; heck there’s not even anyone like Rutgers just sitting around.

          • Read The D says:

            I don’t see how they would get out of the B12 GOR but Kansas’ basketball inventory would be great for the BTN.

          • FranktheAg says:

            The B1G could grab FSU at 16 if they pull GaTech at 15. Not exactly chopped liver, Zeek.

        • manifestodeluxe says:


          Even if you get carriage, somehow, you’re never going to “own” Georgia. The BigTen hasn’t taken a school that played second fiddle in a state since MSU, why would you do it now when you have zero need?

          That said, it’s also a message board rumor. A rumor that appears to be on the Bucknuts board as well, so we’ll see, but until someone trustworthy picks it up I remain skeptical.

          • greg says:

            I honestly don’t believe that GT is being added, as 15 or 16. Like Alan said, its intentional grounding. At best, a 2 yard dive play.

          • zeek says:

            Yeah, I just don’t see the angle.

            The Maryland/Rutgers angle was obvious, especially with the Fox-YES deal and the sheer markets involved with huge numbers of their own alumni and Big Ten alumni in those markets.

            The Big Ten could claim ownership of those states as you say.

            Hard to say what the Big Ten will even own in Atlanta, which is why Georgia Tech doesn’t make sense.

            The only school that Georgia Tech makes sense paired with is Notre Dame. That’s it.

          • manifestodeluxe says:


            Agreed. The only way GT makes sense is if paired with an honest to goodness king. I don’t think it even makes sense with UVA. While media markets, academic prestige, and Director’s Cup standings do matter, if football was the original motivator in this you haven’t done nearly enough to balance out the negatives with the positives.

          • NeutronSoup says:

            @manifesto – my take, if the GT rumor is true, is that the B1G believes that they have enough football quality (long-term) already – they just want more markets in which to display it and recruit talent from. Don’t know if that’s true or not, but it would fit the latest moves.

            I’m not sure that bringing in new kings is something they’re particularly interested in at this time – unless ND has a change of heart, of course.

          • manifestodeluxe says:


            I think that shows quite a bit of hubris then, to be honest. The quality of football in the BigTen has already been questioned for almost a decade, with most of the teams doing very little to combat that perception. Bringing in GT isn’t going to change that.

            With Maryland, Rutgers, and PSU, the BigTen had positioned itself not only as a midwestern conference but as the Conference of the North. I really liked that idea. Bringing in GT changes that significantly, and I’m not sure why they’d really want to take the risk.

          • NeutronSoup says:

            Personally, I agree with you. The Big Ten has been down for a lot longer than the past couple of years – Ohio State just managed to cover that up a bit (and even then, the championship game losses sure didn’t help perception).

          • manifestodeluxe says:


            The BigTen was at its peak in 2002, then began a steady decline that hasn’t improved since. The 2006 NCG was just final crack in the dam that was holding back criticism.

            As an OSU fan, while I might personally believe Ted Ginn’s injury completely changed the outcome of that game (maybe not the loss but certainly the score differential), fact of the matter is getting demolished in that game and then falling into the 2007NCG when they had no business being there in the first place really hurt the BigTen’s public perception. Tressel went 5-3 in BCS games, 6-4 overall including the 2002 NCG, but because he lost those three in a row (06-08) OSU immediately became a laughingstock outside of BigTen country.

            But aside from OSU, no other team has done much to fight the BigTen is sliding perception. In 06, that great Michigan squad that just missed the NCG rematch with OSU turned around and got shellacked by USC. In fact, in the previous ten years the BigTen has sent eight teams and lost all but one of them. That one win is OSU-v-Oregon in 2010.

            So while they may be making money hand over fist and talking about how strong their brands are, I hope the BigTen realizes they’re strong now only because they’ve been strong in the past. And if they expect to remain strong in the future they better start doing something to change the results on the field.

          • zeek says:


            That post is exactly why the Big Ten shouldn’t spurn Virginia Tech.

            If this is really about quality of product and not just sticking flags in random places, then you can’t turn away Virginia Tech…

          • manifestodeluxe says:


            Agreed, 100%. Someone needs to sit Michigan and Wisconsin down and explain some realities. VT is clearly working on getting to an acceptable level, just hold their noses and deal with it until VT gets there. And then you don’t have to act like the BigTen will ever be relevant in Georgia of all places. Might as well try to capture Mississippi.

          • Pezlion says:

            While from a fans perspective, it’s understandable that everyone wants bigger football names, from the conference perspective, I don’t agree. The B1G doesn’t need anymore kings, unless ND wants to come along. Obviously the league is down, but it doesn’t really matter. The B1G has gotten two BCS teams virtually every year. Adding more kings (to the four the league already has) only makes it more difficult for those teams to win. If the SEC adds FSU and Clemson, all they’re doing is making it more difficult. It won’t matter if the SEC is the best league if it starts getting littered with 2-loss teams at the top of the conference. 2-loss SEC teams aren’t going to make the playoffs and BCS over unbeaten and 1-loss B1G and PAC teams. As long as the league has Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska and, to a point, Wisconsin, it’s going to get tons of attention and be competitive at the top.

    • Scott says:

      All this badmouthing of terps football. Historically, hardly a patsy for bowlers looking for their 6th win. Since 2000, they have been nationally ranked in the final poll 3 times (10, 18,17); have been to 7 bowls including one bcs bowl (lost by 30+ to Florida admittedly); beat Tenn 30-3 in peach bowl; beat West Va 41-7 in Gator Bowl; BEAT Purdue 24-7 in Citrus Bowl. Several other w’s as well; at least 2 ACC championships. Md is also one of the few colleges to win national championship in basketball and football (2002, 1951!!). ;) Not a powerhouse, but far from a patsy historically. Very strong in 70’s and80’s under Ross and Claiborne. By the time they get to big 14, I believe they will be very competitive in many sports, including football. Also top 5 nationally in men’s & women’s lacrosse, soccer, field hockey wome, and 11th in women’s hoops.

      • greg says:

        Maryland 15th all time in losses.

        • Scott says:

          What kind of losses? FB Total ever? If so, the very worst in NCAA history are 1. Northwestern and 2. Indiana; Terps are 39th in wins, with a 53% win rate. More wins than Iowa, Purdue, IL, NW, and Indiana. Bad stat imo.because of different competition and the fact that it is too historical. May be more meaningful from 70’s or 2000 on. I think my analysis above is closer to apples-apples since it is nationally based vs. conference-based.

          • Brian says:


            “What kind of losses? FB Total ever? If so, the very worst in NCAA history are 1. Northwestern and 2. Indiana;”

            You’ll never win an argument by pointing out how bad IN and NW have been in FB. We all know and agree. That doesn’t make MD any better.

            ” Terps are 39th in wins, with a 53% win rate. More wins than Iowa, Purdue, IL, NW, and Indiana.”

            And behind Rutgers. How about W% – MD is 62nd. That just nips IL, and beats IN and NW. IA and PU are ahead, though.

            And thus we can both agree MD is mediocre at best. Yay.

            ” Bad stat imo.because of different competition and the fact that it is too historical. May be more meaningful from 70′s or 2000 on. I think my analysis above is closer to apples-apples since it is nationally based vs. conference-based.”

            Since 1992 (20 years), MD is 71st in W%. Wow. Very impressive.

        • You mean all-time losses in NCAA? If so, worst and 2nd worst are Northwestern and Indiana. Terps are 39th in wins, at 53%. Win totals are more than Iowa, Purdue, IL, NW, IN. But a weak stat imo due to conference strengths, etc.over a long history. My analysis is more meaningful because it is recent, and nationally-oriented vs. conference-oriented.

  38. [...] just reporting them. This one is getting a lot of attention over on Frank the Tank’s latest blog entry.  See the comments and sources [...]

  39. GreatLakeState says:

    The bottom rung of the ACC is not exactly my expansion pool of choice. The SEC and B12 must be giddy for us taking all the sediment so they can skim off the cream.

    • zeek says:

      Kind of wondering why the Big Ten feels like it has to move right now. Maryland was an understandable situation.

      Probably best to just sit tight for now…

    • Read The D says:

      I don’t see how the B12 gets any cream here. They’re the 3rd of 4th conference choice of all these schools.

      Best case scenario I see for B12 is that SEC doesn’t want duplicate markets in Florida, B1G takes UVA and UNC. SEC takes Va Tech and NC State and B12 gets FSU, Georgia Tech, Clemson and maybe Miami.

      That’s not sediment but it’s still 3rd pick.

      • bullet says:

        It is 4 of the best 5 football programs in the ACC and the top two markets. That’s not too shabby.

        • Read The D says:

          No doubt. If B12 gets FSU it’s a win, no matter who they come with. I guess my point is it’s not like B12 gets first pick in this thing. There may be some really good options left but it looks like B12 would have to take what’s left, if the ACC really is the next Big East.

          On that note I wish B12 would make an offer to FSU+5 the way Larry Scott did with Texas.

    • bullet says:

      Georgia Tech is 2nd in division titles in the ACC. VT has won 5 in their division while GT won the other 3. FSU in the other division is only at 3. Clemson & BC have 2 while Wake has one. UVA, UNC, Duke, NCSU, Miami and Maryland haven’t won any.

      Maryland did win a title in 2001, which was the only one not won by FSU until Virginia Tech joined the league.

  40. Shawn says:

    Swofford said during the Louisville presser that there have been no discussions re a GOR. I just don’t understand the naivete of Swofford. This should have been the very next item on the (2 item) agenda after adding Louisville. I don’t think there’s any question that a GOR–which, as I understand it, is akin to an assignment–is more enforceable than a vote of the members to have an exit fee penalty–which is clearly punitive when the TV partner agrees not to alter the deal with an acceptable replacement. How does this dude have a job, let alone one that probably pays several million dollars per year?

    • greg says:

      Swofford has most likely privately discussed it, realized it’d never fly, so he denies it in a presser. Don’t believe everything that is stated publicly.

      • zeek says:

        Agree with greg 100% on this.

        If any school is opposed to a GOR it can’t happen. It’s different from just taking a vote and sticking it in…

        • Eric says:

          Agree as well. If you have one firm no, you can’t do it. I suspect at least Florida State is a firm no (based on them voting against the exit fee increase).

        • acaffrey says:

          Why? If it is a grant of rights, any two schools could do it. They could make it conditional for new members. Imagine if the Big East had required that for TCU. If you want to come, sign over your TV rights for 10 years. Then what?

          • zeek says:

            GOR generally require everyone in the conference to agree.

            No one’s really ever attempted otherwise because it would show the internal divisions.

            It would look ridiculous if UVa and UNC signed a GOR but FSU held out; everyone would be like “wait what’s going on here”…

          • acaffrey says:

            I am just saying. There is no requirement that all participate. If every team except FSU had signed a GOR, how much stronger would the conference be today than it is without anyone have signed a GOR?
            Sure, FSU could leave. But nobody else could. Assuming, of course, you believe that the GOR prevents someone from leaving.

          • Eric says:

            Yes, but no one anywhere is going to be willing to do it without just about everyone on board. Say you are Clemson and you want the ACC to succeed and are willing to do it. You see that Florida State isn’t though which makes you nervous they could end up in another conference. The ACC loses a lot of its value to you then (not just money, but a team you like to play) and you aren’t willing to sign unless Florida State signs too (after all, Clemson could be the the other team going with them). Well if Clemson and Florida State aren’t going to sign over, why would anyone in the northeast who wouldn’t mind a Big Ten invite sign on. Sure, they’d take a sure thing ACC over that possibility, but without those two schools you can’t get that anyway. At that point, you have so few schools willing to sign that even those most committed to the conference aren’t going to limit their options by being the only ones to sign a grant of rights.

          • acaffrey says:

            Sign a grant of rights contingent on Florida State and Clemson being a part of the conference. At least then Florida State and Clemson control the conference destiny.

          • Peter says:

            No one is going to draft or sign something that locks them in if it doesn’t lock everyone in. It’s suicidal, especially when you are doing it because your most unstable programs are also the most valuable ones.

          • acaffrey says:

            That nobody will do it does not mean that nobody can do it. That was my point.

          • greg says:

            Swofford holding a presser to announce that 71% of the conference signed a GOR would be lovely.

          • acaffrey says:

            It’s a lot more lovely than weekly press conferences spinning about the loss of teams that feel the need to leave to ensure that someone else does not take their spot. If everyone except Clemson and FSU had a GOR, there would at least be a solid conference. Instead, people are fleeing out of fear that someone else will flee. This is exactly how Syracuse and Pitt ended up in the ACC–they were told that if they said no, the ACC would ask UConn and Rutgers. Why wouldn’t the Big 10 be doing the same thing with Maryland? Or Georgia Tech? Look, we are expanding whether you like it or not. If it is not Georgia Tech, it will be Virginia or Virginia Tech. We want you most though.

          • Peter says:

            It might be a solid conference, but it would be a death pact financially.

          • Richard says:


            I can’t see any ACC school besides Wake and BC signing that type of GOR. Any school with any hope of ending up in a better conference if the ACC implodes wouldn’t do it.

      • Shawn says:

        I understand that this is the perception (especially in B1G country). But, I truly believe that the first choice of the ACC schools is to remain in a stable ACC. A $50M exit fee of dubious enforceability did not create the stability they all (except UMD and FSU) wanted. A GOR probably would. Maybe FSU is the lone holdout, but if this is the case I put it back on a lack of leadership on Swofford’s part.

        It’s looking like only one of the ACC/XII will survive. The ACC currently holds many of the most desirable markets, a long, proud history, a strong relationship with ESPN, and a lot less dead weight than the XII (Wake vs. Iowa St., Baylor, T-Tech, Snyder-less K-State). And, despite the FSU vs. Tobacco Road riff, the ACC doesn’t have the resentment-creating gross inequality of a UT or relative geographic proximity to a potentially imperialistic Pac 12. The ONLY thing the XII has on the ACC is a GOR.

        • zeek says:

          But why should they sign a GOR to guarantee that they remain in the 5th conference on the pecking order.

          Perhaps in terms of prestige or whatever, the ACC is higher, but look at the reality:

          1) Big Ten/SEC = each get guaranteed 8 games in Rose or Sugar + at least 3 more in Orange

          2) Big 12/Pac-12 = each get guaranteed 8 games in Rose or Sugar

          3) ACC = gets guaranteed 8 games in Orange

          There’s a clear pecking order in terms of money and playoff destination prestige.

        • bullet says:

          Don’t agree with much of anything in your 2nd paragraph
          Sorry, ACC has a lot more deadweight, both competitively and financially.
          Much more resentment of tobacco road than of Texas among the remaining Big 12 members (Nebraska and A&M are gone-and Nebraska had a pretty good relationship at the adminstrative level). Noone thinks Texas gets any breaks in officiating or from the league office in its penalties. Clemson fans are still talking about what Swofford did in the 80s.
          ACC has geographical proximity to the two strongest leagues in long term finances. The Big 12 has noone interested who those two leagues would be interested in.
          Scott has big dreams, but the Pac 12 presidents seem to be the most conservative and least imperialistic group.

          • bullet says:

            Slive and Delany are nearing retirement and trying to cement their legacies.

          • zeek says:

            bullet, I think it’s more like they also don’t want successors to screw things up too.

            Better in their minds probably to set the conference on a sustainable long-term course…

        • metatron says:

          The Big XII has Texas, and as much as I hate to admit it, that trumps most other conferences alone. I mean, the Southwestern Conference was 8 Texas teams and Arkansas.

  41. marmutia says:

    Is Florida State is close to gaining AAU status? If they are, wouldn’t GT and FSU coming in together make sense? That would be a fine add for football. Just not sure that the non-AAU status could be overlooked.

    • acaffrey says:

      Big article in Yahoo today regarding domestic migration to cities. Top 5: 2 in Florida (Tampa and Miami), 3 in Texas (Austin, Dallas, Houston).

      I don’t see Maryland or Georgia on this list.

      • bullet says:

        Atlanta has been hit hard by the real estate recession and has higher than average unemployment. There isn’t a lot of in migration right now.

    • GreatLakeState says:

      Stop getting my hopes up. Without tapping the Florida market, GT seems like a bridge to nowhere.

    • FranktheAg says:

      GaTech and FSU has got to be the B1G play here if this goes through. Entry into Florida in a major way plus the Atlanta market. One football giant and an academic one. This would also be a death knell to the B12 over time as it ends the possiblilty of future growth for that league. If the B1G is ok going to 18 it still leaves the possibility open for UNC and UVa too.

      A very smart play be Delany if true.

  42. zeek says:

    darren rovell ‏@darrenrovell
    With a BCS bid on the line, only 2.6% of New York City was watching the Rutgers game on ESPN last night.


    Despite that “only”, that’s a pretty good number for a market with 7.5 million households…

    Rutgers really just needs to work on its market penetration in northern New Jersey for this to work out; there’s probably at least a million and a half households right there.

    • zeek says:

      Two unranked teams playing on a Thursday; yeah the stakes were high for Rutgers fans, but if they had been ranked and not both blown bad losses the previous week; it likely would have done better.

      Here are the other top-rated NYC games in the past back when Rutgers had those two big years:
      Rutgers-Louisville in 2006, which drew an 8.1 rating, and includes Rutgers-West Virginia in 2006 (6.04);USC-Ohio State in 2009 (3.74); Rutgers-Cincinnati in 2006 (3.62) and South Florida Rutgers in 2007 (3.35).

      • zeek says:

        Those are just for ESPN btw.

        Anyways, my take from this is that the game had the minimum amount of juice that you’d want.

        Let’s see what happens when they’re in the Big Ten and a top-ranked Ohio State is visiting.

        • acaffrey says:

          Isn’t the real issue what is on the line? Both teams were, regardless of record, playing for a BCS bowl appearance. What number would you have not rationalized?

          • manifestodeluxe says:

            I didn’t even know it was on, to be honest. BigEast BCS appearances also haven’t meant much in the last 5-7 years in regards to moving the needle, no matter who was playing. Their BCS games I would assume have across the board drawn the lowest ratings, but I don’t have numbers backing that up.

          • acaffrey says:

            So Big East teams are not worth much. Why the self-fellating over the B1G adding one of the worst performers from that conference? If Rutgers best sport with their first chance to go to a major bowl cannot draw ratings, when will it? When it is 11-0 and hosting rival Penn State at 11-0 for the right to win the Legends division? I guess you can look forward to that.

          • zeek says:

            2.6 is a good number for that game.

            Under 2 would have been bad. Over 3 would have been terrific and comparable to the lower end of the top 5 all time on ESPN.

            But all those top 5 games had highly ranked teams and a lot more hype around them; ESPN was hyping the Big East so much more in 2006-2007 than anything they did the past two weeks; in fact most of the talk was how Rutgers and Louisville were limping to the end here.

            2007 Rutgers-USF: USF was #2 in the country and lost @Rutgers. That game pulled a 3.35.

            The rankings and hype around the games are important, not just the stakes. Two teams limping to the finish is going to hurt.

          • acaffrey says:

            So Rutgers needs the Big East to hype a game in order for it to draw ratings? Or does it need ESPN to hype it? You think ESPN going to be hyping Rutgers-Illinois game on the BTN on some saturday afternoon?

            2.6 is terrible. It just is. Sorry.

          • manifestodeluxe says:


            I think most people have viewed the Rutgers addition as (1) they could be pretty good if they got their act together long enough to pull it off, and (2) there’s a belief that the massive amount of current BigTen alumni in the area will help justify their addition until they accomplish (1). In the down years, the huge amount of BigTen fans in the area will in theory carry them. In the good years, they’re in a good enough situation to really be something. Look at zeek’s numbers for some of their past games. They don’t need to be OSU-Michigan in 2006, they just need to have consistent numbers.

          • zeek says:

            There’s no other angle on the NYC market.

            Has Syracuse or UConn ever drawn over a 1.0 in the NYC market in a football game?

            How do you suggest anyone go for that market?

            Judge this by the first time a top 5 Ohio State team goes to play at Rutgers. The ratings should be enough to get on the top 5 ESPN list.

          • acaffrey says:

            OK, if watering down the on-field, on-court product is worth that, then I guess you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.

          • Mark says:

            The 2.6 ranking is terrible considering that Rutgers has never won the Big East or gone to a BCS bowl. This year really was Rutgers chance to show that spending money they didn’t have was worthwhile. Probably doesn’t matter though – as along as the BTN gets $0.50 per sub the Big Ten will get their payday.

          • zeek says:

            2.6 is probably enough to get on the top 10 list (I don’t have the other 5 outside of the top 5, so I don’t know).

            I’m not sure what you guys were expecting.

            It wasn’t going to be anywhere close to that 8.1 they pulled in 2006.

            And it was less of big game than when they knocked off #2 USF in 2007.

            So how could you expect it to be much higher than what it was?

          • acaffrey says:

            Loss last week or not, it was Rutgers’ biggest game in its history. A chance to go to the Orange Bowl.

            Rutgers prior bowls:

            Pinstripe Bowl: Iowa State
            St Petersburg Bowl: Central Florida
            PapaJohns; NC State
            International: Ball State
            Texas: Kansas State
            Insight: Arizona State
            Garden State: Arizona State

            Finally had a chance to get the big press, the big $$$, and a big opponent. If that does not get NYC excited for Rutgers football, you think a regular season game against Ohio State will?

          • zeek says:

            Yes, I think a top 5 Ohio State visiting Rutgers will draw a better rating than last night’s game.

            You have to look at the quality of the teams playing and not just the stakes. Why would random viewers be interested in something that’s at stake for just Rutgers fans?

            The fact that it drew less than the #2 USF @ Rutgers game is just proof of that.

          • acaffrey says:

            Query… will Ohio State-Penn State draw bigger ratings in NYC than Ohio State-Rutgers?

          • zeek says:

            And that could be in October (like the USF-Rutgers game).

            If you bring a top-ranked hyped all over the place Ohio State team there, that rating will be above 4. I can almost guarantee that.

          • zeek says:

            Of course not.

            Rutgers has the largest fanbase in NYC because of the fact that it’s physically located there and they have such a large alumni presence in northern New Jersey (which is a part of the NYC TV market).

            Rutgers draws these ratings numbers by just having their local fans in New Jersey watch.

            Notre Dame is the 2nd most popular team there; I’d assume that the BCS Championship this year will break the record for ESPN. It’ll probably pull a 10-15 or more kind of number in NYC.

            Ohio State and Penn State are probably in the #3-7 range with Michigan among others.

          • bullet says:

            A good question is whether Ohio St. playing Penn St. will draw better ratings in NYC & Philadelphia now that Rutgers is in the league.

          • acaffrey says:

            Of course, I guess it depends on whether it is October or not. Apparently, the fan base is only mobilized at that time of year.

          • zeek says:


            I’m really not sure what you’re getting at here. Ratings grow and decline over a season based on wins and losses.

            It’s why ND-USC was so big this year and Alabama-LSU (regular season) was so big last year. Same as why Michigan-Ohio State was so big in 2007.

            Ratings are dependent heavily on momentum and the like of both teams. If both teams take a deflating loss before the Big East championship matchup, that would douse the ratings. It’s just the nature of how ratings work.

            What’s at stake in the game is important, but the narrative leading up to the game is just as important. That’s why bowl games tend to be hesitant to take the loser of CCGs; the fanbase is always affected following losses, whether big or small, and it shows up in the way TV ratings oscillate.

            The narrative this past week was that the Big East Championship was being fought over by two unranked teams that spent the previous weekend losing to UConn and Pitt. It’s hard to draw a better rating for that kind of matchup.

          • acaffrey says:

            OK. If that makes you feel better.

            One would think that Rutgers could market itself in a way to capture the NYC market for this game. The bottom line is that they are a poorly run athletic department. With the same TV revenue as Louisville, the latter has an athletic department that thrives. And its not like the NYC market does not have corporations around to contribute. It’s not like Louisville had football success before Rutgers’ rise to mediocrity. They both became BCS relevant at about the same time, in the watered-down Big East.

            Throwing more money at Rutgers is not going to make them competent or relevant. It is just going to mask the problems.

          • zeek says:

            Rutgers isn’t really much like Louisville though. Louisville has a comprehensive athletics department including the most powerful revenue generating basketball program that anyone’s ever seen. (Rutgers’ basketball program is like Northwestern’s…)

            Louisville already has a bigger athletics budget than anyone else in the ACC and that’s with the current Big East revenue share.

            They’re like already a top half Big Ten or SEC type of athletics department…

            As for Rutgers, they have a long way to go; I think they can eventually consistently get their ratings up over time in the Big Ten; I expect to see them pull better ratings over time as their alumni base increases in size and as the New Jersey market more closely identifies with the Big Ten.

            It’s going to take a lot of work though, and that 2.6 isn’t where their “big stakes” Big Ten games are in the future.

            But it will take 20 years to judge that…

          • Brian says:


            He’s an angry Syracuse fan, upset that no praise or desire is heading SU’s way. If the BE gets positive talk now, it makes him mad. If RU does, it makes him mad. Now SU is being ignored in the talk of desirable ACC teams if and when the ACC falls apart, so he’s throwing a tantrum.

          • acaffrey says:

            Really? That’s your argument? Lol…

            If anyone should be angry about anything, it is the fact that schools like UConn and Temple and Cincinnati and USF were deemed part of the “haves” and then had it taken away. These schools have done nothing wrong. They invested in their programs. And now just because certain conferences/universities need an extra $10M to run their sports programs, those schools have to sweat out what happens to them?

            If this had happened in 1984, Virginia Tech would have been a “have not.” If this had happened in 1980, would Florida State be desired? What about UConn and 1988? What schools are going to be deprived of a chance to rise up through the ranks (or even rankings) as the money-obsessed push forward toward breaking away from the NCAA? These schools not only improved on the field, but that improved their educational departments too.

            UConn football has been to a BCS bowl. UConn’s mens and womens basketball teams have won championships. They are improving academically and far from an embarrassment. They did this on Big East revenue. And yet the thousands of fans that follow that team have to worry, just because already-rich schools have to make a little more money.

            So, yeah, I will not mind at all if these moves implode for the B1G.

      • brindelin says:

        Just for reference the ND vs USC game was a 9.4 rating, highest since Michigan vs tOSU in 2006(maybe wrong year) which was a 13.

        Obviously, completely different games. ND was playing to go to the NC, and other teams had a stake in that game as well to see who plays for the NC.

    • WOWal says:

      BCS Bid is faux achievement hyped by ESPN, ADs to boosters and coaches on resumes. To pretend like “BCS bid on the line” is interesting to anyone other than hardcore alumni care about is crazy.

  43. OrderRestored83 says:

    How close is Virginia Tech to gaining AAU status? If the Big Ten wants to entrench themselves in the DC/Baltimore market area it might be beneficial to possibly take a stretch on Virginia Tech in order to land Virginia as well. I’m a Notre Dame alum who has lived in the DC area and I know Virginia Tech has a presence there. This also would open up recruiting in the tide water region which is very under-rated. Just my two cents as an outsider looking in. I’m not sure how the pods would work, but if they wanted to to do divisions of 8, it’d look very clean East to West:

    Virginia Tech/Virginia/Maryland/Rutgers/Penn St/Ohio St/Purdue/Indiana
    Michigan/Michigan St/Iowa/Wisconsin/Nebraska/Minnesota/Illinois/Northwestern

    Just an outsiders two cents.

    • Nick in South Bend says:

      Something tells me Ohio State would be more than happy with those divisions.

      • manifestodeluxe says:

        As long as they play Michigan every year in the last game of the regular season, 95% of OSU fans don’t care who else is in the division. But given where OSU recruits, and where its alumni are located, those would be fantastic divisions.

      • Eric says:

        As an Ohio State fan, I’d despise those divisions. That’s not a Big Ten schedule. That’s an east coast conference schedule where we happen to keep Michigan, Indiana, and Purdue.

        • manifestodeluxe says:

          Right. As a fellow OSU fan, I’m fine with it. Play Michigan, play PSU, play another random BigTen team, then stomp the rest of the east and meet another BigTen team in the CCG.

          That said, 16 team divisions don’t really work. Pods would make more sense at that size.

      • Brian says:

        Nick in South Bend,

        “Something tells me Ohio State would be more than happy with those divisions.”

        It would get a very split reaction. Many OSU fans care about playing the other B10 schools, so they’d be upset. As for your implication of an easy division, let’s pair them up by success level:

        Even – OSU/MI, PSU/NE, VT/WI, PU/MN, IN/IL, RU/NW
        Pro-West – UVA/MSU, MD/IA

        That’s not as uneven as it looks at first glance.

    • zeek says:

      They won’t be divisions of 8 or static divisions of 8.

      They’ll be 4 pods of 4 with dynamic divisions of 8.

      You can’t lock that much of the schedule down; the pods have to rotate to form the 2 divisions…

      • OrderRestored83 says:

        @zeek, yeah I understand the nightmare two 8 team divisions would create as far as scheduling. I stated that I wasn’t sure how they’d do the pods; the difficulty would come in where to put Penn St. Anyway, Georgia Tech would be a terrible add for the Big Ten (like most of you have stated without the add of Notre Dame which I am more than confident is set as an independent). Even with Florida St in as a partner I’m not sure this would be a good move.

        • Richard says:

          With UVa & VTech?
          PSU in a pod with UMD, UVa, & VTech. Rutgers gets put in a Midwestern pod with either Michigan or OSU (so they have a giant coming through regularly, so they can’t complain too much), and with cross-over games, they could play UMD annually as well.

    • Brian says:


      “I’m not sure how the pods would work, but if they wanted to to do divisions of 8, it’d look very clean East to West:”

      Try these.

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

      Locked rivals: OSU/MI, NE/PSU, VT/UVA, WI/MSU, MD/IL, IA/NW, MN/IN, RU/PU

    • Nick in South Bend says:

      It is all drawing from the same source though. That WV blog.

      • bullet says:

        No, he is saying he dismissed WVU. He’s quoting a Clemson source. Clemson guy is supposedly getting info from B1G country.

        • metatron says:

          AFAIK, it’s being reported because it’s being reported. I’ve yet to hear anything concrete or something that isn’t basically a retween and gossip.

    • zeek says:

      I’ve been on board the expansion express for a while, but if Georgia Tech isn’t coming with Notre Dame in tow, they’ve thrown me overboard.

      Give me UVa/Va Tech or just don’t expand. Please…

      • manifestodeluxe says:

        Again, I agree 100%.

      • Nick in South Bend says:

        I am with you. Nothing against GT, but at that point I would switch from “Delany is a genius” to “Delany’s plan blew up on him and he is now grasping at straws.” GT is a solid second addition to a very strong first addition. They don’t deliver much on their own.

        I kind of think that, if this rumor has credence, it is a smokescreen for other stuff. Such as UVA or NC or whatever. Kind of like Missouri was for a while.

        • zeek says:

          I just can’t make this make sense is my problem.

          Unless it’s Notre Dame or Florida State or a king of that quality; there’s no reason for Georgia Tech to be joining.

          There just isn’t.

          This would be the absolute equivalent of the SEC taking Pittsburgh.

          • Nick in South Bend says:

            GT doesn’t make sense. Presidents running the show, Delany running the show, Fox running the show…none of the potential power brokers in this situation would find GT to make a whole lot of sense to be honest, unless of course with an FSU or ND or whatever.

          • bullet says:

            Actually, the Presidents would be impressed by GT academically. Delany might like planting his flag far away. Don’t know about Fox.

          • zeek says:

            Yeah bullet is right on that.

            The presidents would love Georgia Tech regardless of football as an academic add.

          • mushroomgod says:

            Agree with you bullet…..if GT rumor is true, it’s likely all about the presidents….Delany wouldn’t be that dumb.

          • bullet says:

            On all the moves to 14, I’ve been, “Why???”
            Big East adds Memphis as #13
            CUSA adds Charlotte who doesn’t have a team yet and ODU who started one just a couple years ago
            ACC adds Pitt and Syracuse
            Big 10 adds Maryland and Rutgers
            SEC adds A&M and Missouri

            I understand “why” they did all these things. The question is why do they need to do it with all the downsides?
            Memphis was a market and a good bb program with a lot of upside in football. But are they worth later taking Tulane as #14?
            Charlotte and ODU can prove themselves somewhere else even if they add and market and, as I suspected, their primary supporter ECU leaves for greener fields. Now CUSA has two new weak programs out on a peninsula in an already weak league.
            Pitt and SU kill the BE, but why is that necessary? Could they have convinced ESPN to look-in without expansion?
            Maryland and Rutgers have lots of potential advantages as I have pointed out, but the Big 10 didn’t “need” to expand. They are reducing rivalries for something that is not going to bring immediate significant increases in $ and lowers the overall competitiveness of the conference. Big 10 is going to be most profitable without them.
            A&M adds a massive market and devoted fan base to SEC, but the SEC will in the long run likely be the 2nd most profitable conference with or without them. And it dilutes some very old rivalries. Other than Arkansas and LSU, their fan bases just aren’t interested in the new members.

            North Carolina could probably write their ticket for lots more money in the Big 10 or SEC. They don’t want to. Colorado headed off to the Pac without regard to the TV dollars. It isn’t necessary for college conferences to maximize revenue. And the teams added for #s13 and #14 don’t move the needle except negatively in competitveness and don’t move it much financially (maybe A&M does).

          • Patrick says:

            It is one of those two or UNC. GT is a tree that the B1G is shaking so something else falls out. FSU, ND, or UNC.

            Basketball and Hockey are more substantial now with kings being claimed and 8 other months in the year. Those three have followings and high revenue Athletics.

          • FranktheAg says:

            Why add Texas A&M? LOL.

        • metatron says:

          Missouri was real though. I’m not sure they ever received an official invite, but they were the clear favorites going into the process and they knew it.

          But, at the time, panic was driving the Big XII into a frenzy, with several schools pointing fingers at one another. I remember that was about the time this blog blew up. The Big XII conference demanded a commitment from Nebraska and Missouri, at which point Harvey Perlman called Jim Delany and started serious talks. Up until that point, neither party was sure the other was interested.

          The process was very whirlwind; very short. Perlman and Tom Osborne made a very convincing argument about why Nebraska brought more value as a “brand” than other schools did with population alone. Or so says Perlman anyway. He gave a really interesting interview a few years ago about how things went down on Nebraska’s end.

  44. GreatLakeState says:

    Delany better keep in mind that if you decide to destroy the family home, forsaking its history and sentimental attachment, you had better replace it with something bigger, better and more exciting.
    I think the Big Ten is coming perilously close to alienated its fan base. If they aren’t careful with these remaining additions the Big Ten bubble could burst.

    • Eric says:

      Over the short/medium term, I think the Big Ten is fine. If college football declines in popularity though over the next several decades though, this is recipe for destroying the conference. They say these are 100 year decisions, but I really feel they only help the conference if we assume things stay relatively close to how they are now and that’s a dangerous assumption.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        I agree. I think they are make a few risky assumptions.

      • zeek says:

        The assumptions don’t have much risk for Rutgers or Maryland though; demographically they make sense. They’re two big flagships of big university systems located in primo real estate.

        It’ll be hard for those two to be proven bad additions. At worst Maryland ends up like Illinois and Rutgers ends up like Minnesota as far as football/basketball quality goes; at least you have two huge schools pumping out alumni into primary markets like Illinois does…

        There’s huge red flags though about taking Georgia Tech. The potential for that to not work out is significantly greater because there’s nothing really safe about Georgia Tech as an addition…

        • Peter says:

          In a world where football is banned, most of the B1G schools would be much happier associating with Georgia Tech than Nebraska.

          • zeek says:

            Well, at least you managed to find one safe thing…

          • Peter says:

            Not so much that football will actually be banned or massively reformed (IMO this will happen, but different subject that invalidates much of the college sports landscape…), but the ONLY reason Nebraska is in the B1G is because of the Nebraska football brand. Demographically the state is going poof, it doesn’t do anything in any other sport, it was never much for academics by B1G standards and then lost AAU, etc.

            Sure, it’s adjacent, but there are lots of adjacent or same footprint schools the B1G schools have never associated with in any aspect, to any real degree.

            As an institutional addition, Georgia Tech is on par with Maryland & Rutgers and all are hugely superior to a Nebraska. Demographically vibrant home turf, good endowment, excellent academic reputation, excellent research funding & brand, etc.

          • zeek says:

            The problem though is that Georgia Tech is basically like a private elite school. It’s like adding another Northwestern.

            They haven’t done that yet…

          • metatron says:

            Then we’d better add Princeton and Columbia…

          • mushroomgod says:

            Peter….Neb. is a top 20-30 school in the Director’s Cup…so it’s not just football……but I get your point.

          • Peter, Nebraska’ state population is not going poof. It will steadily climb however it won’t have a crazy boom. Women’s volleyball is a national title contender every year, women’s bball is typically ranked in the top 25, football is currently ranked in the top 15, men’s basketball has over $200 million in projects, including a new arena, going up. Also the endowment at Nebraska is greater than Maryland and Rutgers btw. Over $1.2B. Perhaps you should educate yourself on topics before you talk about them?

    • metatron says:

      But look at these charts! Don’t spreadsheets excite you? What about subpar football?

  45. brindelin says:

    I don’t get Frank’s obsession with Miami. Other than undergraduate academic rankings and location, what advantages does it have over FSU? FSU just seems like it fits the b10s model much better.

    Advantages for FSU

    FSU’s enrollment is 41.7k, Miami’s 15.6
    FSU is public, Miami is not
    Both are below B10 standards in research, but pretty close to each other.
    FSU is just as much of a national brand of Miami(maybe I’m wrong here) and has way less risk of getting some severe institutional penalties in the near future.

    FSU with significantly more alumni is probably more likely to get you a higher carriage rate in FL.

    • Eric says:

      Miami (FL) I believe is AAU. There’s also a lot of Big Ten alumni in the area.

      Personally, I don’t care for either choice. If we have to go to 16, I’d rather not have any more kings.

    • Peter says:

      I don’t think Miami happens for anyone because of the serious death penalty potential. IF that was cleared away and IF Miami looked like it could be good again without being dirty…

      • zeek says:

        Yeah, there’s no way you can add Miami right now.

        They cancelled bowl games for two straight years proactively; they have to be expecting something close to what Penn State got…

    • GreatLakeState says:

      FSU would be the logical pick. If this really is a ‘100 year decision’ FSU could achieve AAU status in the (relatively) near future. What good is expansion if it’s purely for academic reasons? You have to chose schools that earn their weight or it defeats the purpose. Maryland and Rutgers may in the future. GT not even close.

      • mushroomgod says:

        No soup for you…..and no FSU.

      • FranktheAg says:

        FSU make a great deal of sense.

        TV market? Check
        Football Brand? Check
        Upward Potential? Check
        Recruiting Base? Check
        Academics? Better than NU who was already added.

        It would be a great add for the B1G.

        • zeek says:

          Problem #1 though

          Are they interested?

          Same issue the Pac-12 (and Big Ten) had with Texas A&M.

          FSU really may not be interested in moving anywhere but the SEC, which seems to only want new markets in Virginia/North Carolina; thus, they may prefer a solid ACC over the Big 12 or Big Ten…

        • FranktheAg, FSU is in a virtual tie with UNL on the US News rankings in a tie at #97. It is a fine institution that is very large and I would like them in the B1G – I am just not sure how they can be considered better by any metric vs. UNL.

    • Brian says:


      “I don’t get Frank’s obsession with Miami.”

      I don’t either, but obsession is way too strong. Fascination, maybe.

      “Other than undergraduate academic rankings and location, what advantages does it have over FSU?”

      Miami is 68-85 in ARWU, FSU is 86-109. They use similar criteria to the AAU. The AAU list from NE has Miami at 59 and FSU at 94.

      Outside of academics, I agree with you. Both are too far away and have too many negatives to be realistic options right now.

      • Richard says:

        Both academics & culture, I would say. FSU boards actually seem far more reasonable than certain unnamed SEC (or even other ACC) ones, but the reaction of their former chair of the board (who seemed to think FSU existed to play football) was a warning sign.

    • Miami isn’t an obsession, but I don’t quite get what seems to be a knee-jerk reaction by a lot of people in not considering them.

      They aren’t an AAU member, but compared to some of the members that were accepted long ago (e.g. Kansas), they have the academic credentials to be in it and, for undergrad, they’d be ranked #4 in the Big Ten for the US News rankings (after only Northwestern, Michigan and Wisconsin). To me, they qualify in terms of academics.

      If you’re worried about fair weather fans, it’s not exactly like Maryland and Rutgers (outside of great seasons by their standards like this year) tear it up on the attendance front. Miami at least is one of the best national TV draws in the country.

      If you’re worried about sanctions for Miami, then we ought to be worried about sanctions for UNC. Yet, I doubt anyone here would pass up UNC on the basis of possible NCAA sanctions in the future.

      Culturally, it’s the one power conference school that’s in a Sun Belt state that is legitimately more tied to the North than it is to the South. Just this past week, the Chicago Tribune had an extensive report about the out-of-state universities that take the most Illinois high school grads. Outside of the Midwestern schools plus Kentucky (which borders southern Illinois), the only power conference schools that drew over 100 freshmen last year from Illinois were Colorado, Arizona State, Arizona and… Miami. About 5% of Miami’s freshmen class came from Illinois (a higher percentage than every Big Ten school except for Iowa, Indiana, Purdue, Wisconsin and Michigan) and my understanding is that a much greater proportion of Miami students come from the key New York/New Jersey corridor that the Big Ten is trying to lock down.

      Demographically, it’s located in one of the fastest growing regions in the US and arguably the best pound-for-pound football recruiting area in the country (the southern half of Florida).

      I have a heck of an easier time seeing Miami competing for national championships in football in 5-10 years down the line than I do with any other school from the ACC besides Florida State (and certainly more than Rutgers or Maryland). Even if Miami suffers from sanctions, their location is literally the best place for football recruiting outside of USC. Certainly, no one doubts that USC will recover quickly from the effect of its latest sanctions, so I’m not sure why Miami is really much different.

      So, Miami has the academics, TV market, demographics, cultural connection to the North, football history and football recruiting grounds that the Big Ten ought to want. Yet, I see a lot of people trying to convince themselves that Georgia Tech makes more sense. From my vantage point, the only way that GT makes more sense is purely that it’s a public AAU school. On every other metric, Miami brings more value, whether it’s football, national TV value or overall synergies with existing Big Ten members as a Northern school that happens to be located in the South.

      To be clear, I don’t really want the Big Ten to expand further at a personal level. However, I’d much rather have Miami over Georgia Tech.

      • bullet says:

        When USC is down, its fair weather fans dwindle and they drop to 60k or so in attendance. With Miami its 28k. There’s some concern Shalala is fed up and will tighten the reins so that Miami looks more like Duke or SMU as a football school. That combined with the sanctions could make it impossible to recover. Also, USF and UCF can potentially take some of the in-state people Miami might have gotten. Its already fiercely competitive in Florida as every SEC school but A&M, the whole ACC and many of the Big 10 schools recruit there.

        I’m of the opinion that they will be back. But I’m in a small minority on the Big 12 boards.

        The gangsta image is an additional consideration. If you think like a university president, you may not want to be associated with U of Miami. The rumors are that is a consideration among TPTB in the Big 12.

      • Brian says:

        Frank the Tank,

        “Miami isn’t an obsession, but I don’t quite get what seems to be a knee-jerk reaction by a lot of people in not considering them.”

        It isn’t kneejerk. It’s the combination of factors that makes Miami seem an odd choice.

        “They aren’t an AAU member, …

        If you’re worried about fair weather fans, …

        If you’re worried about sanctions for Miami, …”

        On top of that, it is the most removed school from the B10 footprint in the east that you could consider.

        Name one other candidate with that many strikes against it. That’s the issue many of us have with Miami. The other schools all have 1 or maybe 2 strikes against them before we dismiss them, but you’re giving Miami a chance with 4 strikes. we all acknowledge the positives for Miami, we just cant’ see past all the negatives.

        “Culturally, it’s the one power conference school that’s in a Sun Belt state that is legitimately more tied to the North than it is to the South.”


      • StevenD says:

        Frank the Tank wrote: “So, Miami has the academics, TV market, demographics, cultural connection to the North, football history and football recruiting grounds that the Big Ten ought to want”

        Sorry, Frank, Miami’s academics just don’t cut it. Not only are they not AAU, their ARWU rank is the same as Nebraska’s, and we all know the B1G presidents are not going that low again.

        Nebraska only got in because of its pristine football pedigree. Miami’s checkered past and potential sanctions make it much less attractive.

        In addition, Miami is significantly smaller than Nebraska and is way outsie the B1G footprint. I would hate to see the B1G do a “big east” and add teams from every corner of the country.

        Miami? No way.

        • Richard says:

          Trending upwards very fast, going down the same route USC and NYU (and Stanford) did years ago.

          Trust me, adding Miami would not hurt the B10 academic reputation.

          My biggest concern about Miami is actually global warming.

  46. greg says:

    Trying to make sense of it all…

    The Top American Research Universities

    Maryland – middle of group 2
    Rutgers – middle-top of group 3
    Georgia Tech – bottom of group 1

    Other “candidates”:

    Duke – middle of group 1
    UNC – middle of group 1
    Pitt – middle of group 1, but redundant footprint
    Virginia – middle of group 2
    VA Tech – top of group 3
    Miami – top of group 3
    Missouri – bottom of group 3

  47. Gfunk says:

    I think it’s nuts that a lot of you can’t see the value in GTech. That’s a program with great history, but in a down cycle due to ACC incompetence across the board. Ga is always a top 5 hs football state. Tech is one genius coaching hire away from sustained excellence. It would be fascinating to see an in-state rivalry game that puts the SEC vs the BG on an annual basis. If some of you actually think Md or Rutgers have a better chance at becoming football relevant than Ga Tech down the road – wow!

    We all have a tendency to overlook that programs can either come out of nowhere (Oregon, Boise State, certainly Wisky the past 20 years, God I remember when the Badgers were subpar, & of course Miami’s meteoric rise, then fall from the 80s – 2002), or programs become them ole selves again, which is where Ga Tech lies. Ga Tech has had great success in both football and hoops. Ga Tech is also not as far from the tOSU, Purdue, Ann Arbor, Bloomington, and Urbana Champaign as you think: roughly 8-11 hour drives to most of these places.

    The state of Ga has room for two marquee football programs – to see a split between the mighty SEC and B1G, again, will be fascinating OOC rivalry. If Ga Tech makes a great coaching hire, or the current coach turns the program around, there is no reason it can’t be the Stanford of the South, another program that has proven excellent coaching hires translate into consistent success.

    Atl is also home to a lot of B1G alum.

    The B1G clearly sits in a solid position with the Va schools – the SEC won’t take both & they’ll likely shoot for Va Tech & a NC school and call it a day. Scoring either school, likely UVa, puts the BIG above the SEC in market share because Md has some influence in NoVa – DC. Once you combine Md with Va or Va Tech the BTN is comfortably placed in Va. UVa n Md bring a historic rivalry, many sports, into the B1G, and of course each have developed rivalries with Ga Tech going back to 1978,.

    Also want to mention that in football recruiting: Va and Ga produce more per capita talent than NC. The prep football in Ga and Va is only getting better. Some of you seem to forget that while NC produces solid football talent, prep hoops is king in that state, which I saw firsthand for many years. Only Indiana truly compares, they’re about a draw in my opinion.

    Programs like Mi, tOSU, PSU, & Neb only need a common opponent in Ga or Va to factor successfully on the football recruiting trail – doesn’t matter if the SEC is competing in these states. These B1G bluebloods will have a better chance at Va or Ga recruits if BIG members exist there. If only an SEC presence, scoring Va or Ga recruits becomes harder. These kids have friends and secondary family members that can’t attend the bulk of road games – if the BTN is present – it provides further justification for recruits to choose a B1G school.

    The B1G, btw, is fine without ND. They can remain independent. If the B1G becomes 16, ND can split games between us and the Pac 12 & be where they currently are: playing for a NC. A watered down ACC will still be a formidable conference for the Olympic Sports ND values, you got to suspect that Duke may be stuck reviving a combo of Big East and ACC basketball powers – thus here comes Nova, Marquette and Georgetown – all fellow Catholic schools for ND’s olympic sports. Damn, a hybrid Big East – ACC would be an awesome hoops conference, esp if UConn can’t find a major conference – sports such as Lax and soccer (<–ND values) would be quite strong as well.

    • zeek says:

      I don’t think it’s going to work like that.

      This is the equivalent of the SEC adding Pitt. I really think that. It would have to be a decision made by the presidents/COPC and not Delany and his bean counters.

      Georgia Tech is terrific academically, but it gives nothing that the Big Ten gets out of Maryland/Rutgers, which are two large enrollment universities that pump large numbers of alumni into their direct markets in D.C.-Baltimore and NYC-Philly.

      It’s hard to see how Ohio State is going to win recruiting battles against any of the SEC powerhouses because they play 1 game every couple of years in Atlanta. It might help marginally, but it’s not going to make enough of a difference against how dominant the SEC is in that market.

      • manifestodeluxe says:

        OSU tries to recruit Georgia pretty hard, but the results are mixed. Cam Heyward and Bradley Roby are two players that have come from Georgia off the top of my head, but it’s an uphill battle. The only way I think OSU would have any real improvement with the addition of GT is if they faced each other each year. Otherwise the recruitment argument doesn’t work as easily as it would for the Maryland/Rutgers adds.

        At least from OSU’s perspective; other BigTen teams’ alumni base are probably different.

      • schwarm says:

        “This is the equivalent of the SEC adding Pitt.”
        I wonder how many SEC Alumni live in the Pittsburgh area. Somehow this was in important consideration for east coach adds, but not GT. Pittsburgh area is also not growing like Atlanta.

        • zeek says:

          True, but you get the analogy. It’s just hard to consider adding a distant 2nd in a market like that after all of the Big Ten’s past moves.

        • Brian says:


          “This is the equivalent of the SEC adding Pitt.”
          I wonder how many SEC Alumni live in the Pittsburgh area. Somehow this was in important consideration for east coach adds, but not GT. Pittsburgh area is also not growing like Atlanta.

          1. The east coast has a lot more B10 alums than Atlanta does.
          2. The east coast isn’t dominated by the SEC or any other CFB conference.
          3. The east coast talk was about building a market for CFB, and that’s not the issue in Atlanta.

          NYC/DC = neutrals
          Atlanta = enemies

    • metatron says:

      Because it’s like Pitt, Texas Tech, or San Diego State: They don’t make the league any money, they have no fans, they’re too “different” for most fans to accept (especially when Rutgers and Maryland were met with hostility), and they happen to be located in places where Jim Delany wants to vacation.

      The SEC won’t add them for a reason and with their lack of a regional network, they should be grabbing all the local, national draws they can.

      • bullet says:

        Jim Delany wants to vacation in Lubbock????

        • metatron says:

          Texas. The point being, you can’t sneak your way into an area. People are giving Maryland and Rutgers the benefit of a doubt because they have no real in-state competition.

          It’s like calling Chicago an American League town. It just isn’t.

    • brindelin says:

      My main issue with GTech is their enrollment is too small, Nebraska got a pass on that based on being a King, but I’d prefer to continue adding large universities or universities who have a draw much larger than their alumni base.

      Having a large fan base, preferably alumni, seem to be a good hedge against the game radically changing with regards to forced carriage.

    • ChicagoMac says:

      Completely agree. GT has long been one of my favorite potential additions. Great academics, big footprint expansion into a college sports town, and they have a strong history in both Football and Basketball.

      You make a terrific point about the GT/UGA game too. The addition would give the B1G, on an every other year basis a thanksgiving weekend lineup of, OSU/UM, UGA/GT, Nebraska/Iowa, PSUv.XXXXX and potentially other games with BIG championship implications. That is an awesome slate of games at the most important ad weekend of the year. If it does add GT, I think the B1G’s next major push will be to add FSU. On top of everything else, go ahead and do the math if the B1G controlled FSU/UF when it doesn’t control GT/UGA.

    • Brian says:


      “I think it’s nuts that a lot of you can’t see the value in GTech.”

      Maybe we can see the true value, and you can’t.

      “That’s a program with great history,”

      Not really. Kings have great history. GT is not a king. They have very good history at best.

      All time wins: 17th (prince)
      Past 50 years: 33rd
      Past 20 years: 34th

      GT has found their level in modern football, and it isn’t even a prince. They aren’t bad, but they aren’t great, either.

      “but in a down cycle due to ACC incompetence across the board.”

      No, they’re down because the SEC is better. GT was better when they were in the SEC. Now, they get the recruiting crumbs left after the SEC picks over Atlanta and the rest of GA.

      “It would be fascinating to see an in-state rivalry game that puts the SEC vs the BG on an annual basis.”

      Why? 87 bowls per year isn’t enough? We need to add a little brother loss 75% of the time to the mix?

      “If some of you actually think Md or Rutgers have a better chance at becoming football relevant than Ga Tech down the road – wow!”

      Probably not, but the B10 might better be able to monetize them than GT.

      “We all have a tendency to overlook that programs can either come out of nowhere (Oregon, Boise State, certainly Wisky the past 20 years, God I remember when the Badgers were subpar, & of course Miami’s meteoric rise, then fall from the 80s – 2002),”

      We know it can happen, but it’s unpredictable so why worry about it?

      “or programs become them ole selves again, which is where Ga Tech lies.”

      Bull. They’ve been at the same level for 50 years. What came before that is the anomaly.

      “Atl is also home to a lot of B1G alum.”

      And a whole lot more SEC alums.

  48. Gfunk says:

    Ga Tech has better history than the likes of TTech or SDSU, not even close. Pitt’s storied past semi-counter argues Ga Tech’s past – but Pa doesn’t have better hs football talent than Ga. Ga Tech has far more upside than Pitt in terms of local talent & the fact that they aren’t stuck sharing an NFL stadium. Plus Pitt to the BIG saturates the market, whereas Ga Tech offers an alternative to the SEC – clearly two different conferences.

    Ga Tech doesn’t look attractive right now because they’ve had a bad decade, but during that run they’ve dominated teams like UNC, Clemson, they’ve been about even with Miami & FSU head-to-head. They’ve oddly been dominated by Va Tech. Ga has dominated them, but many of the games have been closer than most realize.

    I honestly think Ga Tech needs a big, younger name to revive their program.

    As bad as Ga Tech has been the past decade, if you use the Bobby Dodd measuring stick, they still post a 21-18 bowl record, which is better than most of the B1G.

    I also imagine that if Ga Tech joins the B1G, it will be tOSU that benefits the most – Columbus is a 7-8 hour drive to Atl – thus the two will be in the same division or pod.

  49. I have a very healthy skepticism of any Georgia Tech to the Big Ten rumors. However, if you want to talk about B1G Armageddon, I’ll once again say that people would be remiss to ignore Miami as a potential addition along with them (regardless of the fact that they are private and not an AAU member). It’s a Northern school in culture that happens to be located in the South and the southern half of Florida is disproportionately filled with Midwestern transplants. It’s not an accident that the Big Ten chooses to play 3 New Year’s Day games in the state of Florida and just signed up with the Orange Bowl. Also, I don’t think potential sanctions would scare away the Big Ten from Miami any more than what could occur at UNC. If the Big Ten is being forthcoming about getting schools that maximize the synergies with existing members, then Miami should be in play.

    • manifestodeluxe says:

      And, again, I think you’re crazy Frank. :)

      Small, private, non-AAU, unable to stay out of the NCAA crosshairs and still win. The very definition of a fair weather fanbase that, if I recall correctly, couldn’t even sell their allotment of BCS NCG tickets when they were going for back-to-back championships in 2002.

      It’s a Northern school that happens to be in the South, but also happens to have neither region really care about them until they’re winning big and/or supplying yachts full of hookers and blow for their players. The BigTen was furious about the PSU and OSU stuff blowing up at the same time, and now they’re going to consider perhaps the social definition for the term “out of control college football programs”?

      • mushroomgod says:

        yes….pretty crazy….Miami would be the answer to the question: “What could be worse for the Big than adding G Tech and Kansas”?

    • metatron says:

      How are you going to sell this to the alumni and fans? Or the presidents and chancellors for that matter?

      Miami’s like a crooked Notre Dame, located far, far away, and has a very fickle fanbase.

    • Mike B. says:

      Georgia Tech doesn’t make much sense if the endgame is a 16 team league. After being unable to attract Texas as #12, perhaps Delaney has a new “electoral” strategy?

    • Richard says:

      About Miami:

      You have to remember, when you’re a healthy conference looking to expand (as opposed to a BE or ACC expanding just to stay relevant/alive), you have to ask the question: what’s in it for the current membership.

      The reasons for both GTech & Miami (and Rutgers & UMD) are obvious: they’re in major growing population centers with a lot of your school’s alums and fans and they provide fertile recruiting grounds for both the football team and general student body. The academics/research also fit the profile (Miami isn’t AAU, but they are close and have improved academically dramatically, following the path that other urban private schools in desirable locales like USC and NYU, and, before that, Stanford, went down). Miami doesn’t have to be a king; in fact, I’d prefer it if they kept their nose clean and recruited like Northwestern (and I think the B10 presidents would prefer that as well). However, SFL is as populous as MD, and the BTN has a better chance of going on basic there (with all the B10 transplants) than Atlanta. SFL being so far from everywhere is also an advantage as well. When you’re not within driving distance of any good school besides the U, you’d be more willing to consider B10 schools.

      • frug says:

        So the Big 10 should add SMU?

        • loki_the_bubba says:

          No, Rice. Houston is growing faster than Dallas. Plus that spoiled frat-boy school is not AAU.

        • Richard says:

          Indeed. SMU’s research isn’t up to par. Plus while the U + B10 transplants can deliver SFL, SMU would not deliver the Metroplex.

          A Rice addition would be very much like a GTech addition, come to think of it (which is why I am lukewarm about GTech).

          • frug says:

            Even with the Big 10 transplants I’m not sure the U could get the Big 10 in South Florida on basic.

            Plus, with the glacial pace of recent AAU expansion (in the past decade they have added 1 school while tossing out 2 others) it could be decades before Miami gets in even if they are close to \admission standards.

        • bullet says:

          And Rice has a prettier campus and better stadium.

          If GT/UVA is true, I’m beginning to think Richard may be on to something with regard to 18 or 20.

    • Mike says:

      @Frank – I’m skeptical was well. The timing just doesn’t sound right. I doubt the Big Ten would do anything to take away from the Big Ten championship game and then Sunday is bowl selection day. Not exactly the best time to generate publicity for new members.

    • frug says:

      The sanctions Miami are facing are much worse than UNC, and unlike UNC (who will always be competitive in BB have a devoted fansbase) there is no guarantee that Miami will ever recover.

      Miami has a horrible fan base, subpar facilities and tons of baggage. Unless they are winning 10 games a year they are deadweight, and I seriously doubt they will ever do that consistently.

      • Peter says:

        UNC seems to warrant their own stiff sanctions (apparent institutionalized academic fraud), but Miami is in a whole class by itself because of the willful violator and repeat violator tags ON TOP OF the actual substance of the Shapiro allegations.

    • drwillini says:

      Georgia Tech only makes sense as #16 to support a real value add #15. The conference has shown that geographical contiguity is important in expansion, and there is no #15 that allows Gatech to be contiguous. So that opens things up a bit. Instead of Miami, the #15 that GaTech would support is Florida. The Gators expressed an interest in B1G some years ago, and are much more compatible with other B1G institutions than FSU, Miami, or any other expansion candidate.

      So Delaney gets GaTech and UF, That allows Slive to pick up FSU, and the 2 ACC schools of his choice. One scenario would be UNC, and VaTech. SEC picks up Virginia and North Carolina all on their own, no problems with existing SEC members. He gives up Florida but gets FSU. The only states where the SEC and B1G directly compete are Georgia and Florida, and GaTech is no real threat outside of Atlanta in Georgia and probably not much there, and Florida is big enough to share.

    • jj says:


      Your odd love of this school is a real vice.

      I’ll be here all week, tip the wait staff.

  50. Gfunk says:

    Florida’s population is so large that a salient southern culture will always exist, but it has become increasingly outnumbered by mainstream culture & this is a trend that continues. Deep South culture is mainly relegated tot he panhandle now, where it will always exist. Tampa-St Pete = Midwest transplants that go back 2 generations, Miami-Orlando = Northeast transplants that go back 3 generations. Fla has quickly become the California of the East Coast. I could speak too long about the Latino growth in Fl, which is different enough than southern or northern culture.

    Ultimately, I’d agree with you that Miami is a better cultural fit for the B1G than FSU.

    But, Miami has so much upheaval right now, it may never rebound if expansion moves fast, they also don’t have an on campus stadium, & it’s a long ways down there. It’s a 5-6 hour trip from even FSU. Columbus and Bloomington are closer to Atl than Atl to Miami.

    I don’t think B1G expansion has Miami in mind – but hey now, these presidents with B1G ties matter more than we think. Donny was at Wisky before joining the Clinton Administration.

  51. GreatLakeState says:

    Maryland, Rutgers, GT and UVA is worse than any expansion scenario I could have imagined two months ago.
    Remember the good old days when Texas and company were rejected because of the ‘Tech problem’? Or when expansion wasn’t worth divvying up the moolah pie unless ND was part of the equation? I really hope these rumors aren’t true.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Could and might be worse…..with KU in for VA……

      But even with VA….really bad for football, mediocre for basketball, very good for markets and academics.

      • GreatLakeState says:

        Your right. That would be worse. Still haven’t figured out the benefits of ‘academic expansion’. ‘Chick Fil A Quiz Bowl’ not included.

    • metatron says:

      Here’s to settling: cheers!

    • mushroomgod says:

      So…..if UVA and GT were it,….I’d look at BT football, moderate to long-term future, like this:

      !st Tier: OSU, UM, NEB
      2nd Tier: MSU, WIS, PSU, Iowa
      3rd Tier: Rutgers, ILL, VA
      4th Tier: MD, GT
      5th Tier: PUR, MN, IU

      I put PSU in 2nd tier because of the sanctions…in 5-6 years, they could return to 1st tier status….

      This doesn’t look real strong, imo

      • gobux1972 says:

        mushroomgod, where would you put UVA?

      • Gfunk says:

        You go to be kidding me with your GT dislike & SEC fear. If the B1G splits a state with the SEC (Ga) it’s not like grabbing Pitt or both Va schools, thus creating market saturation. Jesus, you’d rather see a BIG team go into a NCG without some measurement against the SEC? Ridiculous! Ga-GT is a guaranteed annual game – an incredible opportunity for the B1G to gauge the SEC because Ga is just in the top tier of the SEC, historically speaking.

        GT would be 2nd tier BIG asap & like PSU, after their violations end, they’d be in the top tier on a regular basis. There is also more upside with Md versus Ill, because per capita football talent is stronger in Md-DC-NOVA than Ill, let alone a faster growing region than any in the current BIG. Md doesn’t have the comparable in-state rivals of Ill, nor a ND that consistently comes into Ill and takes the top recruits. Ill is no further ahead than Purdue or Minn right now. Minn has beaten Ill twice in a row, they also beat Purdue this year. North Ill and NU are the best football schools in Ill right now. I don’t see Ill getting it’s act together until they hire a decent coach – the past two were duds. Whoever they get, ultimately, won’t be better than Fitzgerald.

        Your posts don’t seem to look closer at potential and long-term value. You’re looking for an immediate HR – UNC, ND, OU, Tx – they aren’t on the table. UNC is nearly as egotistical as Tx – no thanks. I never root for Tx, even if in the B1G and they were the NC representative. I could say the same for UNC basketball. UNC t-shirt fans, who ultimately outnumber alum, would rather be in the SEC by larger numbers. I’m more about adding schools whose fan interest is more favorable to the B1G – Ga Tech and UVa fit this bill – though older Cavalier fans have more interest in the SEC. Ga Tech would respond to a B1G membership similar to Rutgers’ fans, though not as great.

        • mushroomgod says:

          Too many odd thoughts in here to respond adequately…..

          Suffice to say that if GT were in the BIG there’s no way in hell that they’d ever be competitve on any sustained basis with OSU, UM, and Nebraska…plus very little chance they would rise to the level of MSU or Wisky…

          The BIG needs to be very careful with the notion that they can “grow” programs. Schools like GT and Maryland aren’t going to magically solve their problems by coming to the BIG. I see Rutgers as an exception to that rule….as I do see them being able to dominate NJ recruiting at some point…

          As far as ILL goes…..I know they suck now…..but I also think they’re one of the most underachieving programs anywhere. All they need to do is keep more in-state players at home.

          As far as OK or TX are concerned, I’ve never thought they would be good for the BIG (nor FSU). Compatability/fit matter.

        • Brian says:


          “Jesus, you’d rather see a BIG team go into a NCG without some measurement against the SEC?”

          This may be the dumbest argument for expansion I’ve ever heard. That game could only possibly be relevant if GT was the B10 school going to the playoff and UGA also was good. It says nothing about how NE would do against LSU in the same season.


          Yes, your argument really is.

          “GT would be 2nd tier BIG asap”

          Based on what?

          ” & like PSU, after their violations end, they’d be in the top tier on a regular basis.”

          Sure they will. What color is the sky in your world where GT will become the 4th king in the B10?

      • Peter says:

        Wisconsin (them playing bad this year notwithstanding) is first-tier by any sane definition. And PSU would be lucky to climb back to second-tier by the 2020’s. The sustained 65 scholarship penalty is extremely disruptive.

        • Gfunk says:

          I thought they lost 40 scholarships over 4 years,10 per season, starting with next year’s class. They’ve already served 1 of 4 years probation & they can be bowl eligible next season. They’ve yet to lose the hot QB prospect. It appears OB can coach, thus if he sticks around, I simply don’t see them being down after 2015.

          • manifestodeluxe says:

            PSU has a four year bowl ban, meaning they wouldn’t be going to a bowl game until the 2016-2017 season at the earliest. Moreover, they lost 10 scholarships this year and 20 for the following four years. That’s a devastating number.


          • Gfunk says:

            Wow! I didn’t know the full scale. That’s horrible.

          • manifestodeluxe says:

            Losing that many scholarships basically makes them almost as thin as an NFL roster, and no bowl games makes it unlikely they’ll get any substantial amount of talent for at least the next three years. The idea of them being irrelevant for the next 6-7 years feels pretty on the money, and it could be longer than that when you’re then forced to walk into a 17 year old’s living room and convince them to join your program even though you haven’t be relevant since they were 10.

        • mushroomgod says:

          3 more years of sanctions plus 3 full recruiting classes—-6 to 7 years

        • mushroomgod says:

          When Wisky didn’t win big time with Russell Wilson, it showed me that they will never be first tier…..when UM and OSU get it going they will be left behind……look at thier recruiting this year, for example…..not good enough.

        • wmtiger says:

          Wisconsin = Auburn, Tennessee, Oregon, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, Clemson… 2nd tier imo, they have a really strong, rabid fan base but don’t have the in-state talent to be a legit top 10-12 program.

          • manifestodeluxe says:

            Agree with most of this, but TA&M doesn’t have the in-state talent to be a legit top 10-12 program?

          • wmtiger says:

            I was speaking purely about Wisconsin in that instance though it fits for other programs in that group mostly too. A&M is a Prince, I think they’ll always be #2 in the state of Texas and need to out-recruit Oklahoma in Texas too, not just Texas.

        • Pezlion says:

          PSU played this season with 67 scholarship players and did just fine. Barring a mass exodus of returning players, which is very unlikely after this year, the fact that people continue to underestimate how we will perform over the next four years amazes me. But keep on predicting 3-win seasons, it will continue to make it easy to pound Vegas’s clearly uninformed lines.

          • bullet says:

            Well Georgia is one win from the BCS title game and they had 71 to start the season due to injuries, transfers and players getting kicked off.

          • frug says:

            And if you think that PSU won’t be affected by the sanctions just look at USC. They were projected #1 and ended 7-5.

          • Peter says:

            There’s a huge, huge difference between having 67 players dominated by a large senior class and being in the mid-periods of that sustained scholarship cap. The penalty hurts way worse in the out years.

            It’s kind of sadistic in that it’s nowhere near over when the postseason ban goes away. USC found that out.

          • bullet says:

            @frug. USC also had Lane Kiffin as a coach. That was probably worth 3 or 4 losses.

          • frug says:


            I’m not exactly a Kiffin fan, but I don’t think he’s a bad coach. He’s an excellent recruiter and a competent game coach.

          • Pezlion says:

            PSU will return all WR, including the best in the B1G, the 2 best TE in the B1G, 3 starting OL, it’s top RB, 3 of 4 starters in the secondary, 2 of its top 4 LB, the B1G freshman of the year at DE and the coach of the year. Not to mention the recruiting class looks just fine and includes the top TE, a top 5 QB and possibly the top juco QB. They will be just fine for the next few years.

          • manifestodeluxe says:

            @Pez: Not much I can say other than good for you for staying a supportive fan. We’ll have to see how it plays out.

            But, history has shown that bowl bans coupled with massive scholarship losses tend to have detrimental affects to programs. USC is probably not a good indicator, because even when down Lane Kiffin was picking up 5* recruits left and right. Also, USC went 8-5 in 2010, 10-2 in 2011, and 7-5 this year. Hardly the USC of days yonder. This year USC had serious issues regarding depth, particularly on the defense I believe.

            I know these ratings are subjective, but for comparison:

            PSU 2013 recruit list (as of right now):

            USC 2011 and 2012 recruits (2010/2011 seasons with bowl bans):

            People were expecting three losses this year, but that was silly unless BOB turned out to be a bad coach, which obviously he didn’t. But PSU’s biggest challenges are yet to come, because depth and quality of talent are likely to decline during the years with those penalties. You’ve already seen part of the effect this year, with the top OL in the nation (Dorian Johnson) decommitting from PSU and ending up at Pitt.

        • Brian says:


          “Wisconsin (them playing bad this year notwithstanding) is first-tier by any sane definition.”

          800 win club? National championships? National brand? Top conference W%? Those are all ways to define the top tier. OSU, MI, PSU and NE fit all of them, though PSU will fall behind for a few years. WI is a regional brand with less history but a lot of recent success for them. They’re not quite as successful as the kings, but they’re more successful than anyone else in the B10. That’s still the top of tier 2.

          “And PSU would be lucky to climb back to second-tier by the 2020′s. The sustained 65 scholarship penalty is extremely disruptive.”

          They’ll be back to a full roster before the end of the decade, and all their inherent advantages will still be there (biggest brand in a large state, etc). They’ll be competitive in 2018 and beyond. It’s 2014-7 that may be bad.

      • zeek says:

        Did you contract Northwestern? Are they going to go the way of UChicago?

        • mushroomgod says:

          Sorry ’bout that….have to put NW in last tier for moderate to long term………

          • zeek says:

            It’s going to be interesting to see how private schools do with recruiting. I think Northwestern has an advantage in that they’ve never had a local recruiting base in the Big Ten, so they always have to go elsewhere. The rest of the Big Ten has spent decades relying on the Big Ten’s footprint to a much greater extent.

            If they can do better there than others like Iowa, they might have a long-term advantage there given that the Big Ten’s recruiting base has gradually weakened demographically.

  52. zeek says:

    Frank post this on your twitter to settle everyone down:

    “I’m not aware of any communications between university leadership and the Big Ten or any other conference,” Griffin said Friday afternoon from Charlotte, where Tech will play Florida State for the ACC football championship Saturday.

    Griffin acknowledged that an action like switching conferences from the ACC to the Big Ten would take place at an executive level, but said that Tech president G.P. “Bud” Peterson “has told me there’s been no communication nor does he expect any.”

    • acaffrey says:

      Good find, Zeek.

      I know we disagree on some things, but you always contribute great stuff.

      • zeek says:

        Georgia Tech to the Big Ten might be the most senseless move of this round if it does occur at this point in the process, and I say that within one week of Tulane going to the Big East.

        • Mike B. says:

          Zeek – If Texas Tech was AAU and located in Dallas, would adding Texas Tech be a senseless move?

          • zeek says:

            If they were coming with Texas, it’d make perfect sense.

          • zeek says:

            It’s just hard to justify an outpost far away unless that outpost is coming joined to a king.

            And there’s really no indication on either side that FSU would have any interest in the Big Ten or vice versa, likewise with Notre Dame committed to independence.

            There’s just no angle here.

          • Mike B. says:

            Would aTm on their own have made sense (not that they were interested, but if they were)? Made sense to the SEC. Or are you going to argue that aTm is a King *chuckle*?

          • dtwphx says:

            A&M will be a king in the SEC in 10 yrs because of proximity to western edge of SEC country and state of texas recruiting..
            A&M will be the dominant program in texas in 10 yrs.
            Because of this possibility is probably why the big12 GOR is only 13yrs and not longer.
            Texas will have some flexibility to change their situation in not too many years.

          • frug says:

            The Big XII’s GOR is 13 years because that is the length of their TV contract.

            Also, Aggie fans having been saying they would be a football power since their program began. If it hasn’t happened in the past 100 years, it’s not going to happen now.

          • dtwphx says:

            how many of those years were Texas and A&M in different conferences?
            Texas overshadows A&M when they’re in the same conference, but now they’re not.
            If you look at Texas and A&M schedules, how many games would a casual fan really find interesting on Texas’ schedule?
            I think interest for the Big12 outside of the state of texas will slowly whither.
            Outside of the OU/Texas game, what other game is must see?

          • frug says:

            Now A&M will just be overshadowed by Alabama, LSU, and Florida in addition to Texas (and for that matter Oklahoma).

            Anyways, in case you haven’t noticed the Big XII is top to bottom the strongest conference in the country and I’m pretty KSU, WVU and Okie St. are pretty good draws, especially considering that Texas has a far more interesting OOC schedule (and it’s not even close).

          • Andy says:

            frug, how many Big 12 teams outrank A&M right now?

          • frug says:

            Same number who are ranked lower than the average SEC team.

          • bullet says:

            A&M had Bear Bryant.
            A&M had Gene Stallings.
            Both later went to Alabama and won MNCs there.
            A&M won an MNC in the 30s. They went on to win 3 games against Texas in the next 35 years (Bryant and Stallings each got one).
            They may do well in the SEC. They may fall on their face. But a single 10-2 season doesn’t mean anything.

          • m (Ag) says:

            You know very well that as of 1960, A&M more closely represented the Citadel than it did a large, modern university. On the football field that lead to some semi-predictable success and failures (when the nation was building up to war, A&M usually did quite well,as soon as a war came, the football program collapsed).

            I was born in 1975. In my lifetime, A&M has a winning record over the Longhorns, though it’s only by 1 game at the moment. Yes, A&M went into a down period just as OU and the Longhorns found their coaches at the beginning of the last decade, but it isn’t unusual to go through down periods; LSU, Alabama, OU, and, yes, the Longhorns have all gone through them in the last few decades.

          • bullet says:

            And that was irrelevant in 1960 as the state schools were small as well. A&M didn’t end that 35 year streak until 1973. And they struggled off and on until Jackie “probation” Sherrill arrived to do what he did at Pitt and later at Mississippi State. Win pretty good, get his school on probation and leave. RC Slocum did well, but A&M fired him because he quit beating Texas. They haven’t recovered yet, although they do appear to have another good coach.

          • m (Ag) says:

            Enrollment in 1961-

            U of Texas: 20,396
            Texas Tech: 10,212
            U of Texas at Arlington: 8,318
            Texas A&M: 7,724
            Baylor: 6,395

            The boom in enrollment in the state of Texas had already begun; the school in Austin had completely left A&M in the dust and many other schools had passed it by. I’ve read that 5 or 6 scho

          • m (Ag) says:

            {got posted before I was finished}

            I’ve read that 5 or 6 schools in Texas had greater enrollment than A&M when they ended the corps requirement and accepted women, but it is very difficult to find historic enrollment info on the internet. The above is what I found after about 30 minutes of poking around while watching this afternoon’s game.

            By the time the 60’s rolled around, A&M still had some influential supporters, but it was well on the road to irrelevance. You aren’t being the least bit sincere if you’re offering A&M’s performance in the 60’s as any type of of evidence for its future.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Delany must value chaos as a tactical matter……….not saying ANYTHING concrete about future expansion or not or how many schools after adding RUT and MD…..unusual under the circumstances unless he’s intentionally shaking the tree………

      • zeek says:

        This is all a feint to smoke UVa out…

        • acaffrey says:

          Or Notre Dame. The B1G will toy with the ACC until ND comes around. The Fighting Irish will never sleep easy again.

          • zeek says:

            Naw, I think this season and the future playoff situation prove that Notre Dame doesn’t need to ever join a conference.

            As long as they can schedule most of their late season (5 ACC guaranteed + USC/Stanford), they’re set.

            Money’s never mattered to them.

          • zeek says:

            And that’s also why Georgia Tech doesn’t make sense; if ND is never going to be on the table, what’s the angle…?

          • manifestodeluxe says:

            Moreover, ultimately even if Delany somehow managed to snag ND, in the eyes of ND fans/alumni it wouldn’t be expansion — it’d be colonization. The BigTen would be viewed as aggressors and the marriage would never work. You can’t expand with someone who doesn’t want you, and ND has shown time and again they don’t want the BigTen.

          • Gfunk says:

            Manifestdeluxe, perfect point! Again, perfect point! The ND wishers need to stop. I hate the idea of forced expansion. Just shows really bad judgement by some & underscores dated, ruthless colonial politics & fantasy. You want like minded partners whose fans ultimately support the conference overall, even when their team is no longer in contention. I think most long-term tOSU-Mi fans support each other if their team is up against a non-B1G member on the big state – at least that’s how I think. I don’t see too many ND fans rooting for BIG schools – see the IU-UNC game. Domers were mostly supporting UNC in this game – pretty sad actually.

            Add solid schools who favor joining the B1G. We got the one exception here, most Md fans were upset about the B1G move, on the other hand they also knew the ACC didn’t give them much respec, they’re ath dept is broke, and they are warming to the idea now, esp because a delusional faction of their fanbase thinks they’ll dominate B1G men’s hoops. Yeah right! Other than Men’s Lacrosse & Field Hockey, they won’t dominate in their other popular sports: Women’s Lax and Men’s Soccer. IU and NU will provide a consistent answer in these sports.

          • acaffrey says:

            Any way you slice it, if I am the B1G, I am waiting for Texas. If that is 13 years, so be it.

          • Gfunk says:

            Sorry, bad grammar above: “big stage” and “their athletic dept” among other misdeeds.

          • Gfunk says:

            I see no point in Tx. I really don’t. Far, far away for too many Olympic sports in much of the BIG – Lincoln is the closet campus at roughly 10.5 hours. I also find Tx football a bit overrated. They’re proof that perception overwhelms reality thanks to average fans characterized by obnoxious arrogance. I see them out of the NC equation with Brown on the down slide while up and comer Sumlin at aTm can recruit Tx kids to the best football conference. Half the Big 12 plays garbage, offensively oriented football that pleases merely the conference fanbase, but not much else.

            Tx would be more logical if OU-KU were in the equation, but we’re only going to 16 – Delany already got to 14. Anything greater than 16 is pure nonsense & in my opinion it would cause dilution that inevitably kills college athletics. I’d frankly be done with college athletics at this point, maybe a game here and there. Tx and OU will anchor a Big12 that will get to 16 teams on their own. They cannot jump ship to the Pac12. People tend to forget that the Pac12 has the most travel expenses per school – the geography is so spread out in the West. Austin, Tx to Tuscon, Az (closet Pac12 school) is and 11 hours car ride. I can’t imagine bus trips from Austin to the Oregon or Washington schools, heck any of the Ca schools as well.

          • frug says:


            You do realize that Mack Brown won’t be there forever, and with more money and in state talent than literally in any school over the long run they will always be a contender.

            (And that is to say nothing of the fact they are by far the most valuable commodity in all of college athletics)

          • santos says:

            Gfunk: Texas is overrated? You have high standards indeed. Texas is #4 winningest team in history, and #7 over the past 20 years.

          • Gfunk says:

            Tx is a “bit overrated” I know, I said it. But here’s a rephrase: a little overrated. Tx got a lot of those wins in the Southwest, which wasn’t exactly a powerhouse football conference. 3 of 4 Longhorn NC’s are no doubt legit, but 70 is a split and undeserving – they lost the last game of the year to 6th ranked ND – Cotton Bowl – no way that season would be recognized as a NC in the modern era. No way.

          • Nemo says:

            @zeek @accaffrey


            This is looking real, and I suspect a game IS afoot… The Washington Post had an article on the “exit fee” for Maryland which is interesting as well. Don’t have it handy…

          • bullet says:

            You must be young. The SWC was a powerhouse conference in large parts of its history. SMU, TCU and A&M all won MNCs in the 30s. Arkansas/Texas decided the MNC 3 times in the 60s. Now the SWC was down by the mid-80s, but they were quite good from the 60s to 80s. SMU had the best professional team in Dallas in the early 80s with Dickerson and James.

          • gfunk says:

            Bullet, older than you think & quite capable of researching history. If you go back to that period of SWC glory, then you prove my point. Those were the years when the B1G was by far more dominant than the SWC, more NC’s and a lot more conference depth, hence my counterargument against Tx’ total wins – they whopped their conference mates in lopsided fashion: Tx and the rest. Please don’t bring up SMU – they’re a tragedy who deserved their

            Jesus, my alma mater (Minnesota) won a lot of NC’s back in the period you’ve cited, more than the SWC combined. That 1970 Tx NC is not worthy. Sorry, but they lost to ND in the Cotton Bowl – not worthy.

          • manifestodeluxe says:

            @Nemo: Part of me wonders if all of these UVA/GT rumors are part of a plan to smoke out VT, but maybe that’s just hoping. “Look at us VT, we’re leaving you in the crumbling ACC, woooo better jump on board the S.S. B1G Payday with your buddies UVA…”

    • Mike B. says:

      The acting AD is unaware of any communication between University Leadership and the B1G? Plenty of weasel room in that denial.

      • Redwood86 says:

        Bus trips? Are you serious?? Ever hear of air travel???

        Flight time from SFO to Sea-Tac is 1 hour and 45 minutes. Getting to Pullman for WSU is a bit more problematic, but there are non-stops to Spokane – which I believe is less than 2 hour drive away. Flight time from SFO to Phoenix is about 2 hours. And fares to the major metros are cheap. You only have to pay up for non-stop fares to places like Spokane and Tucson.

  53. Stephen says:

    If people, as sports fans, are not happy with the additions to the Big 10, then it only proves that Frank’s original rule was correct: you need to think like a university president and not like a fan, or even as an athletic director.

  54. duffman says:

    @ Frank

    First Vincent goes AWOL when Maryland gets the tap and now Brian is nowhere to be found when Georgia Tech is under discussion. The plot thickens.

  55. duffman says:


    Did you recognize the guy in the IU top behind Dicky V in the Notre Dame vs Kentucky game?

    • mushroomgod says:

      duff…I didn’t watch the UK-ND game because it was between the two schools I hate the most—who are you referring to?

      BTW, didn’t I tell you about Yogi? How anybody who watched the guy play in HS and/or on the AAU circuit could not believe he’d be the best fresh. pg in the country….beyond me….

    • zeek says:

      Media people keep saying we need a college sports commissioner or czar to oversee realignment and all of this other stuff.

      Could you even imagine Stern or Goodell or Bettman or Selig in charge of all of this?

      It’d be a nightmare. These guys are all jokes.

      • mushroomgod says:

        One reason I felt the Domers should have joined the BIG as a 12th team was to lend their influence to the BIG’s in the political arguments going forward….

        If you think about it, the BIG choosing NEB(or the other way around) opened up A&M and MO to the SEC, which in turn necessitated the BIG grabbing MD and Rutgers to catch up……had the Domers joined the BIG everyone may well have stayed at 12…….SEC probably wouldn’t have gone to 14 so as not to incite the BIG to do the same…..and sanity would have prevailed……maybe……there would still have been that lttle problem of the Longhorn Network…..

        In any event, I agree with those who say the ND-BIG ship has completely sailed at this point……this unbeaten season has the Domers more arrogant than ever…and NBC more willing to pay than ever. It will take a good beatdown by Bama and a few more years before any ND minds could be changed….

  56. frug says:

    The guy who started all this G-Tech to Big 10 stuff this morning has since deleted his tweet and is backtracking vigorously.

  57. joe4psu says:

    Pac-12 commissioner says league at ‘optimal’ size

    Scott says the presidents have discussed the other conferences expanding to 14 or 16 and that they are happy with 12. He also said that they have had the chance to go beyond 12 and chose not to. Of course he doesn’t say which schools they could have added.

  58. duffman says:

    It looks like “the dude” of WVU has a twin “the dude” of Clemson who started this whole thing. I wish these guys would get exposed by some real journalist and quit with the insane rumors.

  59. Nick in South Bend says:

    Mr_KevinJones Source: Georiga Tech and UVA will announce decision to leave ACC by Monday. Will join Big 10

    This tweet can be found on a CBS affiliate page:

    It is on the right hand side, click on the Mr. Kevin Jones twitter tab.

    • Nick in South Bend says:

      Another tweet from his says that it is from a source too credible not to report.

      Take it for what its worth I guess. By far the most credible pro-expansion scenario internet information out there yet.

      I know nothing about this reporter though…you’ve been warned.

      • Andy says:

        He’s some sort of DC sports reporter.

        • Nick in South Bend says:

          Yea. They come in varying degrees I am sure. It seems at least reasonably credible, as he may/may not be a good journalist, but is likely a credentialed one.

          • zeek says:

            Well, this is the first legit source to actually put this news out there, and he’s claiming to have a solid source.

            Still, this whole thing is just weird.

            They’re both great schools, but I’m not sure if this is how people envisioned the Big Ten going from 12 to 16. This is just a massive land grab at all costs.

          • Nick in South Bend says:

            I am troubled as well Zeek. Not sure this is where I would have gone. Like I said earlier, I will go from having utmost confidence in Delany, to thinking that his original plan A and B blew up, and the conference (him, the presidents and Fox) feel compelled to act for some reason.

            But I could be wrong, maybe this was always the plan. That is, of course, if it happens.

          • zeek says:

            Well, David Glenn is skeptical, so there’s that.

            And I don’t think Georgia Tech’s AD would have put out that statement today if there was actually some backroom discussions going on…

            So, I don’t think it’s happening, but nothing would surprise me at this point.

            Still, I think I’d much rather go with Virginia Tech over Georgia Tech. There has to be some football credibility to all of this…

          • Andy says:

            Rutgers, Maryland, Virginia, and Georgia Tech make a lot of sense for the Big Ten. They’re all great academic schools, and they get the Big Ten into some huge media markets, namely NY, DC, and Atlanta.

            The next move after that will likely be UNC and Duke to the SEC.

            Then FSU, Miami, Clemson, NCSU, Virgina Tech, and Pitt to the Big 12.

          • zeek says:

            One reason why this rumor doesn’t make sense though is because UVa has two annual rivalries right?

            UVa-Va Tech

            They’re going to make both of those non-conference?

          • Andy says:

            I think the importance of rivalries is overblown. Missouri has lost their rivalries with Kansas and Nebraska. You do what you gotta do.

          • Nick in South Bend says:

            I am inclined to agree with you Andy. I would imagine they would feel pressure to keep their VTech rivalry from interested state parties. Who knows. It would be sad to see UNC v. UVA go by the wayside. As you said though, it has been happening a lot. If Texas and A&M can break up, if Kansas and Missouri can break up…then just about anyone can.

          • zeek says:

            True Andy.

            But Nebraska and Missouri and Maryland were all in different situations where they felt a need to bolt.

            I’m still not sure I get why UVa or Georgia Tech has to bolt. Neither is in the financial situation of Maryland, and the ACC seems more stable than the Big 12 was before its GOR, even with the Maryland defection.

          • Kevin says:

            If all of this is true, it’s 4 schools with limited football history and success. Perhaps new recruiting territories make some of the current average schools in the B1G contenders but I don’t see it. Recruits like to stay fairly close to home.

            Looks to me that it’s all really just a TV play and a questionable one at that. It’s also hard for me to be believe that the slices of the pie get bigger for each school as a result of this rumored move.

          • mushroomgod says:

            Andy…..3/4 of those schools make sense as single schools (not GT), but collectively they fall short. There’s not a single truly dynamic football or basketball school in the mix…I mean Hell, you might as well take Mou……..oops…..

            Actually, all teasing aside, I think Rutgers, MD, Virginia, and MO, then call it a day, would have been a darn good plan for the BIG and better for MO…..because, in the end, Mo’s not going to win anything in the SEC…………

          • Andy says:

            Zeek, Missouri and Nebraska didn’t need to bolt. If you notice the Big 12 is doing just fine without us.

          • Andy says:

            I would have been fine with MU joining the Big Ten but it didn’t happen. The Big Ten definitely could have gotten them last year. It’s too late now.

            I think the Maryland/Virginia combo is solid. Two good academic flagship schools. Should fully capture the whole DC metro area. Rutgers I think is a weak addition but I see the logic.

            Georgia Tech is iffy but it is an excellent school with a decent history in a great market. It’s by no means a terrible choice.

            You already picked up your football kings in Penn State and Nebraska.

            Now it seems you’re chasing top academic schools, eastern mega-markets, and high growth geography.

            As for the SEC, they’re chasing what they’ve been missing: academics, markets, and basketball. UNC, Duke, and Mizzou deliver all three. UT delivers bigger markets than anyone and have great football potential as well.

            Both leagues will do well if all of this goes through and both will come away as far and away the top two conferences.

          • Andy says:

            I meant A&M, not UT

          • bullet says:

            I think the GT AD would certainly have put that statement out there. It was very soft. Its the Virginia statement that was unusally strong if this is true.

            Smoke is heavier than the FSU/Clemson to Big 12 stories this spring. Lots of people with lots of stories.

          • Peter says:

            This makes much more sense than “Georgia Tech is #15.” Here, UVA is #15, which is certainly believable. The B1G wants UVA *bad* for a whole bunch of reasons. The B1G also does not want to sit at 14 schools if that can be at all helped.

            If UVA is #15, Georgia Tech is a plausible #16. UNC may not want to move or may be impossible to unwind from NC State. If UNC won’t or can’t move, Georgia Tech is far and away the best option in the ACC for the B1G.

    • Crpodhaj says:

      There have been three main factors for the B1G in expansion to this point: 1) AAU membership, 2) big, top ten media market (Nebraska didn’t have this and barely had #1, but it was more of a pure football move), and 3) flagship status in the state. Virginia fits all three, sealing up the DC market from the south-west side.

      GaTech is far, far from flagship status. It qualifies on the other two counts. But the question has always been, how do you monetize a team that may be fifth in its’ own market (behind Georgia, the Falcons, the Hawks, and the Thrashers)? Maybe FOX has a way of making it work like we think we see in NYC? I dunno. Atlanta is a college football crazy big city, but that is Georgia super-dominated. If the rumor is true, the B1G thinks it has an answer.

      • zeek says:

        Well, I have an answer for you: Notre Dame. If Georgia Tech comes with Notre Dame, there’s national monetization to that.

        But your’e right in some sense, there’s absolutely no way to locally monetize Georgia Tech. At least with Rutgers, there’s a chance…

        • Crpodhaj says:

          Yeah, Notre Dame – GaTech would make tons of sense (especially with Rutgers and Maryland as prime ND fan territory). But Virginia -GaTech just has a sense of settling to it.

          Perhaps Virginia is ready to go and you simply need a partner. However, I don’t see how GaTech isn’t still there in a month or so when other things shake loose. Maybe contracts are such that this has to happen before the year’s end. If this is a matter that you need a partner and it must be now, things fall together a bit.

        • Redwood86 says:

          You said that priority #1 for BiG is to lock up the Dc market. UVA does that. Clear, if GTech comes in, it will be because BiG can’t get UNC and has been forced to “settle” for #16.

  60. frug says:

    Biggest game in MAC history and it was great.

    Now, Stanford needs to take care of business against UCLA.

  61. greg says:

    If the Virginia/GA Tech rumor is true….

    The foursome averaged a combined 177k per game in 2011. The previous two B1G expansion teams of PSU and Nebraska combined to average 190k.

    Its a long term play for research dollars.

    What a shit sandwich for football fans.

    • zeek says:

      Considering that the Big Ten has gate sharing, I wonder how Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State feel about this. They’ll have to share more of their dough right?

  62. bullet says:

    Atlanta is nearly as SEC-centric as Birmingham.

    At least they do acknowledge the Big 10 exists. They tend to forget about the Big 12 and Pac 12.

    • zeek says:

      I don’t think I’ll ever thing this is a good idea. Without ND or FSU, I don’t think Georgia Tech works as an island in the middle of the SEC.

      Still not sure what synergy it gets, the Big Ten’s schools almost all have D.C. and NYC in their top 3-4 destinations for alumni and as sources of students.

      Really not sure how Atlanta works, or whether there’s much synergy there…; and there’s the issue of BTN penetration in Atlanta….

      • drwillini says:

        A while ago it seemed like there were two possible strategies for expansion, eastern population centers or southern opportunities for growth. Maybe Delany is trying to have it both ways, and maybe all this talk of >16 is true. GaTech just seems more like a nice piece than a cornerstone. The one thing that seems to be certain, is that the academic considerations are real. From the football drives the bus standpoint, there are several better directions to go. If this really signals a move into the ssoutheast, from a institutional fit standpoint GaTech is a must get, but not a stand alone. There is one university in the southeast that screams instiutional fit with the BigTen and has expressed a past interest in joining.

      • Stephen says:

        One desirable result of adding an Atlanta team — the B1G could host warm-weather events during the winter months. It has always hurt the Big 10 to have to travel to all of their bowls and always be the visiting team. Illinois played LSU in New Orleans and USC in Los Angeles in their BCS bowl appearances – that is a huge disadvantage.

        The B1G could also host baseball tournaments during the early part of the season in places like Atlanta and Virginia, which would greatly help those teams.

    • @bullet – Oh, I know. I’ve been to Atlanta quite a bit. That’s why I’m very skeptical about the prospect of the Big Ten adding Georgia Tech. If that move is paired with UVA, then that makes a little more sense, but Atlanta is simply always going to be an SEC town first and foremost. While I think the Big Ten can own NYC and DC (or at least be the most prominent conference in both of them), going into Atlanta is a pure market grab where the conference knows that it will always be in 2nd place at best. That’s why I have a hard time wrapping my head around Jim Delany going after them. It’s a “looks good on paper” move that I don’t think will work out in practice.

      • bullet says:

        I would think the Big 10 would want to be dominant everywhere they go. And UGA is still in the 30s and GT around 20k, so there’s room for growth in the state schools. It would be hard to get many students out to state schools in the midwest. On that question above, I had GT 4th behind UConn, MU and KU.

      • mushroomgod says:

        Frank….I don’t think it would be Deamy’s idea….

        I think the presidents see it as an academic coup.

        VA is one of the top liberal-arts oriented public schools in the US.

        G Tech is one of the top engineering/hard science oriented public schools in the US. In that sense GA Tech fits with Ill, UM, Purdue,Wisky….esp. Purdue….

        If this is the way they go, I think market/football considerations are secondary (important but secondary).

  63. zeek says:

    Am I the only person who just discovered that there’s a heavily pro-expansion blog out there with this name?

  64. Quiet Storm says:

    Even if the UVA/GT rumors are true (I will believe it when I see the official announcement) it weakens but still doesn’t kill the ACC. As long as UNC and Duke are still there the conference will exist in some form or another. It could mean UConn and Cincinnati may get their wish sooner than they anticipated after Wednesday’s Louisville announcement.

  65. mushroomgod says:

    OK….so does NEB/WIS matchup better with Stanford?

    Seems like Wisky/Stanford would be a yawner for most fans…..I like smashmouth so it would be fine with me….

    I’m thinking Wisky might matchup better…..NEB’s strength on D is the secondary, Wisky has the better front 7(?)

    On the other hand, would like to see NEB win as I’d like to see new blood in the RB.


    Quite a wowzer just saw on expansion…..according to the Tar Pit NC site, Roy W. was quoted tonight to the effect that he’d rather see UNC in the SEC than in the BIG IF UNC has to leave the ACC…. not so surprised at the CONTENT of the comment as I am that Roy is talking about it at all…….

    If UNC is SEC-bound, I hope for the BIG’s sake it’s not with UVA……I hope that the BIG isn’t seriously considering going forward with a GT/KU tandem………

    • zeek says:

      I would say Nebraska simply because I’m really iffy on Wisconsin after their past couple of games.

      Their offensive line just didn’t seem to get good push in a lot of their games against opponents with good defensive lines. Definitely not like in past years…

      • Peter says:

        Wisconsin lost a lot of NFL talent on that line, not to mention what has turned out to be a starting NFL quarterback and a NFL-caliber line coach. They’ve been dysfunctional all year trying to replace all that – and Ball got himself beat up & concussed in a street fight on top of that (?!).

        It’s hard to handicap either Wisconsin or Nebraska versus Stanford because I have no idea which version of those teams will show up. Remember that Nebraska got completely thrashed by Ohio State and had to come back to beat Iowa 13-7; unconvinced that they’re not Wisconsin with better luck.

        • schwarm says:

          Iowa game was in 30 degree weather with 35 mph winds.
          UNL is going to score more than 13 indoors tomorrow.
          If Braxton Miller started for Wisconsin tomorrow, they would win.

    • schwarm says:

      If UNL wins tomorrow, Stanford/UNL would be meeting for the second time ever, the first being the 1941 Rose Bowl.

  66. MikeP says:

    When something doesn’t make sense it’s a good idea to check your assumptions. Most of us have assumed that 16 was the ceiling, so 15 or 16 had to be reserved for a king. Well if Georgia Tech and Virginia are 15 and 16, I think it’s a clear sign that we’re heading to 18 — and 17 and 18, Notre Dame and UNC, would be your kings. And yes, Georgia Tech makes all the sense in the world, if you plan on adding Notre Dame and UNC, and the Big 10 does.

    Remember this interview with Dave Brandon from last week? It’s as clear a sign as any that 16 is not a ceiling. Twenty might be, but it’s clear that there’s a consensus for aggressive action and there’s some wiggle room beyond 16.

    “For us to sit pat in the markets we’re in was an uncomfortable position for me,” he said.

    How big the Big Ten gets remains to be seen, but Brandon has some ideas on a membership threshold.

    “If you get much beyond 16 members, it starts to get difficult from a scheduling perspective,” he said. “There probably is a point of diminishing returns.”

    • zeek says:

      You make a lot of good points. I think a lot of us are a bit cautious when talking about Big 18 or Big 20 scenarios simply because those involve the addition of as many as 5 or 6 or 7 ACC teams.

      That’s an awfully huge number of teams from one conference to assimilate without culture clashes and the like.

      I guess the good thing would be that all of the kings would be original Big Ten (12) members, so there’s no real threat of a breakoff, but still…

      • zeek says:

        I would also take this time to remind everyone of some quotes that I recall from Perlman:

        Back when the decision was made, he said that they might eventually be in a conference where they’d have to travel to the East Coast and that was a consideration.

        He also said that he had seen scenarios with upwards to 20-24 teams in a conference as well (pretty sure he was referring to future Big Ten scenarios as opposed to the Big 12-Pac-12 merger being bandied about)…

    • bullet says:

      Yes. With UVA and GT, Richard’s ridiculous scenarios suddenly start sounding like reality. Maybe there is something to the theory that anyone who denies interest is working on it? We’ve had 3 denials. Virginia, Georgia Tech and UNC.

    • metatron says:

      Sixteen pushes scheduling to a barely workable mess. Eighteen teams is going to require the NCAA to increase the number of games played per year, or the Big Ten runs the risk of eroding fan support.

      • metatron says:

        I should point out that the three conferences we’ve poached from are all amalgamation that didn’t work out and has continually led to strife and discomfort between the members. While money has been a point of contention, the lack of shared identity and buy-in is what ultimately caused defections.

        Rutgers left easily, Nebraska was coaxed into leaving because of a Texas-centric Big XII (to the detriment of the Big 8), and Maryland would have never left if they weren’t broke. We run the risk here of inviting trouble in what has been a very stable conference. This was a source of pride up until recently.

        • zeek says:

          18 or more just feels like asking for trouble…; that and we’ve spent our lives with a conference of 10 or 11 members for the most part.

          We’re zooming to 16+ this quickly? It just feels detached…

      • Richard says:

        Actually, at 16 with 9 games, it’s almost no different from 14 with a cross-over (6 annual series & 9 schools you play a third of the time vs. 7 annual series & 6 schools you play a third of the time).
        At 18, almost all big rivalry game can still be kept (UNL-PSU would be hard, but it’s not like there’s a ton of history & tradition there) & you can still play 14 of the 17 other schools at least a third of the time.

        20 is where it would be very tough to keep all the big rivalries without going to 10 conference games (likely meaning an increase by the NCAA in regular season games allowed).

      • jj says:

        I agree with metatron. 16 is the absolute max and I don’t see any reason to do it until you have the actual 16 you want. I wouldn’t go for who’s available right now.

        • bullet says:

          You may make a little more money with 18 or 20, but why? My tipping point was 12. You may make more, but why go to 14? Sounds like a number of people here are tipping at 16.

        • Richard says:

          16 is an arbitrary stopping point. The pods would be easier to remember, and the scheduling is easier, but you play major rivals just as often. Once you go past 12 (which means you’ve decided that it’s OK to play some schools 1/3rd of the time or less), there isn’t much difference between 14, 16, and 18.

          • frug says:

            14 is easier for divisional play than 16 or 18. Really, a 14 team conference with a 9 game schedule isn’t all that different than a 12 conference with an 8 game schedule. (You play your non-divisional opponents 3 years out of 7 instead of 3 years out of 6)

          • bullet says:

            With 14 and 16 you can do divisions and don’t have to do pods which have never been proven to work.

            And with 14 you could do an 8 game schedule with pods and play everyone every other year. With 16 that drops to 2 in 6.

          • Richard says:

            OK, fair point on 14. However, there still isn’t much difference between 16 & 18.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Actually, that’s one reason I’m worrying about all the KU talk…….as all the signs point to UNC going to the SEC and ND remaining independent……..if those things happen and GT/UVA are going to the BIG, why all the smoke around KU?

      • Andy says:

        I strongly suspect the smoke around kU is completely bogus. They signed a grant of rights to the Big 12 for 13 years. I don’t see how they can leave. Plus their academics are weak and their football is pathetic. And their state has a very low population.

        Sure they’re AAU and they’re good at basketball but they’re a lesser pick than even Rutgers, IMO.

        Then again I went to Mizzou for undergrad so I’m more than a little biased.

        • zeek says:

          KU isn’t happening.

          Mainly because the Big Ten is so reliant on GOR, why would it ever want to go near a hornets nest like that…

        • metatron says:

          Don’t underestimate the value of a basketball “king”. Their value only increases too, when we can’t find a good football draw to take their slot. There’s a huge benefit in increasing your strength of schedule in college basketball (tournament payouts namely), and the Big Ten should be adding national draws at this point anyway (like Kansas).

          A Nebraska/Kansas comparison is inequal, but Kansas/Georgia Tech is not.

          • Richard says:

            OK, then by your logic, the B10 should add Duke (or ‘Cuse, if you ignore the research).

          • @Richard – Personally, Duke should definitely be on the table for the Big Ten if we’re looking at a mass scale expansion. If the emphasis is going to be on academics, they’re obviously top notch and they are to basketball what Notre Dame is to football. Sports-wise, they’re more valuable to me than UVA or GT.

          • frug says:

            Except you need to subtract at least $250 million from KU’s added value to finance their GOR buyout and find a home for KSU.

          • metatron says:

            @Richard – I could, but there are better candidates who bring more to the table and are better fits.

            @frug – Right. I’m just pointing out that basketball schools have worth. People overvalued them when Texas and Notre Dame were in play, but in an era of Rutgers and Maryland, they’re being undervalued.

          • @metatron – Agreed. Kansas is pretty valuable. Remember that basketball matters for the Big Ten Network and KU made the most money off of third tier rights in the Big 12 prior to the Longhorn Network being formed. Like Andy, I have no personal love for KU, but I understand why they’d be wanted. If they weren’t politically tethered to Kansas State 2 years ago when it looked like the Big 12 was about to implode, they might be in the Big Ten right now.

          • bullet says:

            KU adds no value in demographics and they have a GOR.

          • JayDevil says:

            KU delivers KC, has an academic profile very similar to Nebraska (but with AAU, a med center and cancer research designation) and adds another ‘king’ basketball brand to the B1G. In addition, there are large pockets of KU alums in the Twin Cities, Chicago and St. Louis. The DePaul vs. KU game at the Rosemont near Chicago sold out a few years back, and ticket sales have been very strong when the tourney has been in Minneapolis, Chicago, St. Louis or any other city within 600 miles.

            That being said– I think there are less messy additions to the B1G given the GOR. There may be lower hanging fruit.

    • Andy says:

      It’s a pretty big assumption to think that UNC would choose the Big Ten over the SEC, or that Notre Dame would join a conference at all.

      I think the B1G gets UVA plus one more. Their options are VT, GT, KU, and maybe Miami. They went with GT.

    • Richard says:

      If UVa & GTech are 15 & 16,
      possible 17’s & 18’s (I don’t think ND is a possibility for a decade):

      1. UNC+Duke
      2. VTech+Miami
      3. FSU+Miami

      I’d like 1 or 2 (though from a purely football perspective, 3 would be best).

  67. zeek says:

    Kevin Jones ‏@Mr_KevinJones
    I just keep stumbling into college football news…Virginia Tech will reportedly fire offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring

    Does the fact that he has another source telling him this make the UVa/Georgia Tech thing more likely? I guess if you’re a D.C. sports blogger, you would know that crowd?

    • Nick in South Bend says:

      Someone else questioned it, and he stood by his source. Jones did not guarantee it was happening, but sounded pretty confident in both the source and the information.

  68. metatron says:

    So I’ve mentioned this a year ago, but I wonder what people think about it now:

    What if Jim Delany split up television coverage between two networks? CBS has nothing beyond their SEC coverage and a biennial Navy/Notre Dame game. NBC has six games a year with Notre Dame, and ABC/ESPN can’t fully handle the inventory they have. I know FOX is hungry, but getting their affiliates onboard has been a problem in the past.

    With four (possibly more?) marquee programs, at least two networks could conceivably be contracted to have first-tier rights (per division?). Currently the Big Ten does just that with ABC/ESPN, and the BTN has secured the second-tier rates.

    I can’t stress how important it is to have a national game. Notre Dame and the SEC have no divided coverage, whereas the ABC slot can and always is divided between two, three, or four games (and the largest being shunted to ESPN).

    • Pezlion says:

      I fully expect the big ten to sell at least a piece of its first tier rights, if not more, to someone other than espn (likely fox). That would give fox first tier, espn first/second tier and BTN second/third tier. Lots of money to be made.

      Also, if the GT/UVA thing happens, I like four pods with two being strong and two being weak, and the weak pods flipping divisions every two years.





      North and East are never together, and West and South are never together in order to keep divisions more balanced. No locked cross division games. Two years of N-W/E-S and then two years of N-S/E-W. The pods that are never combined rotate two teams from their opposite every two years. This setup gives everyone at least a home and home against the whole conference every 4 years.

      • metatron says:

        The Big Ten’s second tier rights are locked up with the BTN. They would have to renegotiate that deal with News Corp. and/or have some creative writing. That’s why I think a divisional split would work; you could sell first-tier rights for half the conference.

        • Richard says:

          Actually, technically, the BTN has third-tier rights. It’s just that those 3rd tier rights (like the Pac’s) includes a lot of content. Like the Pac, to maximize value, the Big18/20 likely will split their 1st&2nd tier rights.

        • Pezlion says:

          Espn and BTN share second tier rights. Sometimes an espn channel gets first pick, sometimes BTN gets first pick.

      • drwillini says:

        Swap GT for Penn St. Remember the idea of Rutgers, UMd and UVa is to leverage Penn St. wouldn’t add them and put Penn St. in a different pod. Also, It tends to balance out the football strength.

        • Pezlion says:

          PSU still gets leveraged, along with the other major alumni groups in the area, UM and OSU. The idea isn’t to balance each pod, it’s to have 2 stronger pods and 2 weaker pods. The weaker pods rotate every two years and the stronger pods never end up on the same side. Then each team in a weaker pod plays 2 from the other weak pod on a two-year home and home basis, and same with the stronger pods. This way you have play 3 teams every year, and have a home and home with the other 12 teams every four years.

      • jj says:

        Sounds insane.

      • Brian says:


        It’s never going to happen. The B10 will not put OSU, MI and PSU in the same pod. You can’t have OSU, MI, PSU and MSU balanced by NE, WI, IA and ???. It’s not even close. All the media attention will go to one division and schools will complain about missing OSU and MI in the same year on a regular basis.

  69. mushroomgod says:

    So……IF the SEC took UNC and Dook, and

    IF the BIG took VA and GT, would

    the Big 12 take FSU, Clemson, NS State, and V. Tech??? Yikes……

    • metatron says:

      You could rename the ACC to the Big East.

      • Peter says:

        Which is why I don’t think the SEC can take UNC/Duke, even if Duke is interested (doubtful). NC State gets screwed, and NC State is much more tied to UNC than Duke is. Duke is private; NC State is another public and under the same NC Board of Governors as UNC.

        If NC State wants to go to the Big 12, that makes UNC/Duke just an issue of convincing them to join the SEC, but if NC State views being exiled to the Big 12 like being stuck in Big East 2.0…

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          I don’t see an NC State invitation to the Big 12 while UNC goes to the SEC or Big Ten as being acceptable to the UNC System Board of Governors. They have to be in the same conference or in equal conferences. The Big 12 would be a distant, distant third in revenue-per-member behind the SEC and Big Ten.

          • ccrider55 says:

            B12 going to be ahead of P12? (Average, not what UT makes)

          • bullet says:

            If FSU joins, absolutely.

          • frug says:

            I could see the Big XII getting the better national contract, but I’m not sure that the Big XII’s Tier III deals are going to be able to make more than the PAC-12 network

            (i.e. PAC national deal + PTN > Big XII national deal + Tier III deals)

          • ccrider55 says:


            Agree. Only a few tier 3 games in B12 (individually) will be really marketable. The strength of a group (P12N) including a king is greater than marketing the individual parts. What the B12 promotes as an attraction is actually a weakness.

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            @cc rider,

            Sorry, I could have been clearer with my wording. I wasn’t including the Pac-12 in my comparison. I meant to say that the Big 12 was a distant third-best option for NC ACC schools. The Pac-12 would not be on the table, presumably.

          • ccrider55 says:

            M in R:

            Yeah, that would be a reach. However, Duke, UNC, Az, UCLA would make intriguing BB…

  70. Michael in Raleigh says:

    I’ve been as big of a pro-ACC Florida State fan as anyone you’ll ever meet, but if the ACC can’t hang onto GT, Virginia, or Maryland, it’s only a matter of time before Clemson, UNC, and others are out the door as well. At that point, the league truly evolves into the 2002 Big East, just expanded and under new management. (Much as the 2014 Big East will be the 2002 C-USA, under new management.)

    If these rumors prove true, it pains me to say it because I think the history and tradition behind the ACC deserves better than to broken apart by greed and fear, but I will be ready to throw in the towel. I just don’t want Florida State in a decimated conference.

    My order of preference for FSU in world without a real ACC (i.e., the one with GT, UVA, Clemson, Miami, VT, & UNC) is: (1) Big Ten, (2) SEC, and (3) Big 12. I’d be okay with either of the Big Ten or SEC, but the Big 12 would just be disappointing. The SEC at least would offer stability, great football, and outstanding new regional rivalries right off the bat. The Big Ten would also offer stability, several high profile opponents (4 “kings,” plus Wisconsin and possibly semi-local opponent Georgia Tech), and an actual upgrade in academic affiliation from the original ACC. The Big 12, by contrast, would not be regional at all, offers scarcely a more compelling schedule than the ACC (are Kansas, Baylor, and Iowa State that much better than Duke, Wake, and BC?), and would be downgrade in academic affiliation. But any of them would be better than a dying ACC.

    Damn. I just wish Swoff could have gotten ND to join full-time. Oh well, twas a pipe dream. 60+ years of tradition coming out of this corner of the country pissed down the drain because these NOT-for-profit, NON-taxed conferences (ACC included) are ever hungry for more and more and more money.

    • metatron says:

      Well, it’s that or ask the taxpayers for more money. College athletics might be big business, but outside of the bowls and coaches, most of the money is shuffled back into the school. Most D-1 schools operate their athletic department at a loss merely to enhance their enrollments and budgets – alumni donations are especially large during football season.

      If anything, it’s a very libertarian way to operate: the fans (the public) volunteer their time and money to fund these programs indirectly.

  71. Richard says:

    OK, I was probably the first on here to predict a Big20, but I think that the Big10 stops at 18 and would need a big fish to go to 20. 20 would destroy too many major annual rivalries unless the conference plays 10 conference games (unlikely unless the NCAA allows 13 games a season at least some years). Texas would be unlikely. No, they will wait for ND or UF+UGa. Neither of those would happen soon. ND is at least several decades from being willing to give up football independence. UF&UGa would leave only if the SEC gets rocked by multiple scandals and a couple death penalties or so are handed out in that league.

    At 18, pretty much all big traditional rivalries would still be annual (or at least played for often than currently, in the case of Iowa-Wisconsin).

    So if 15 & 16 are UVa & GTech, if the SEC wins UNC & Duke, 17 & 18 better be 2 of Miami, VTech, or FSU (that, BTW, would give you 5-6 kings for 6 3-school pods).

    • metatron says:

      You know it’s more than just Iowa-Wisconsin, right?

      Every school in the conference wants to play either Michigan or Ohio State, and as a Michigan fan, I’m emotionally invested in a large percentage of our schedule.

      • Richard says:

        I was talking about major rivalries.

        Also, yes, every original B10 school wants to play Michigan or OSU instead of Purdue or MSU, but is the dropoff to Nebraska or Miami that severe?

        In any case, even with 18 teams, if we add Miami, the pods can be structured so that 6 of the other 9 in the 11-school B10 will play either OSU or Michigan annually. Of the remaining 3, 2 (Wisconsin & Illinois) will play Michigan 2/3rds of the time, OSU 1/3rd of the time, and either Nebraska or Miami annually (playing Miami/Nebraska 2/3rds of the time). The last school is Iowa. They only get Michigan and PSU 1/3rd of the time each, but Nebraska and Miami yearly, and a season-ending rivalry game with the Huskers, which should satisfy them.

        • metatron says:

          No, Nebraska’s doing quite well. Miami… yes.

          Try breaking up the NFC East. I can’t imagine you’ll have anything short of a riot on your hands. The same principle applies here.

          • Richard says:

            Actually, replace Illinois with Northwestern above. That would be more likely in the pods I’ve thought up.

            Also, what principle? I’ve already outlined a pod system where 6 of the 9 other B10 teams in the 11-school B10 play either Michigan or OSU annually, Iowa & Wisconsin play Nebraska annually (and get other good games), and the other school is Northwestern (and I know that the B10 doesn’t care about setting us up with the kings as we missed Michigan/OSU in our schedule far more often than any other B10 school back in the 11-school B10).

            The vast majority of the original B10 schools would play Michigan & OSU no less often with my pod system for 18 schools than they would with 14 schools & 2 divisions (even with 9 games), believe it or not (and only a tiny bit less often than in the current 12 school 8 game schedule).

          • Richard says:

            In fact, 4 of the schools (IU, PU, Illinois, and MSU) would get Michigan & OSU _more_ often with my pod system for 18 schools than they do now with 12 schools or 14 schools.

          • Brian says:


            OSU played IA and MSU just as infrequently as NW during the 11 teams B10 days – 12 games each. MI played IA, NW and IN equally – 12 games each. NW and IA were treated the same. It was just a matter of when the rotation got to you except for the locked opponents (OSU, MSU, MI, PSU).

        • bullet says:

          I wasn’t paying attention before because it seemed so outlandish, but I don’t see how you mix and match 3 team pods to do that in a 9 game schedule. It takes 20 years to do every combination of mixing with home and away. Anything shorter seems to be hard to spread in an even manner because of the odd number of pods.

          So how do you make it work? Or were you using a 10 game schedule?

          • Richard says:

            Nope. You _would_ have to play the pod you’re opposite (3 teams) only 1/9th of the time (so basically never), but that would allow you to play 4 teams annually, another 4 teams 2/3rds of the time, and 6 teams 1/3rd of the time. Also, with 18 teams, the original B10 schools would rarely be opposite some other original B10 school.

            The way I envision it, the pods opposite one another would be
            Michigan-MSU-Illinois opposite UVa-VTech-UMD
            Wisconsin-Minnesota-Northwestern opposite PSU-Rutgers-GTech
            OSU-IU-PU opposite Nebraska-Iowa-Miami

            Only in the last pairing do you have a school almost never playing opponents they have faced for decades (and Iowa gets 1.5 kings in it’s pod + the annual season-ending rivalry with Nebraska).

      • mushroomgod says:

        Personally, as an IU fan, I’d be willing to pass on OSU and UM every year. Throw in Nebraska as well. Give us the easiest possible schedule. There…..that solves part of the problem.

    • gfunk says:

      Richard, I honestly think you need therapy: ). Beyond 16 is absurd & tradition is truly, truly dead.

      • Richard says:

        Tradition’s been dead a while, if you’ve noticed.

        What’s traditional about annual games between Rutgers and half the B10, UF and Mizzou, OU and WVU, or even Texas and ISU?

        At least I can preserve pretty much all the big rivalry games in the B10 even with 18 schools.

  72. Richard says:

    If UVa&GTech are 15 and 16, I really hope that VTech and Miami are 17 and 18 (FSU would be even better from a purely football perspective, but I think the Noles are even farther away culturally and academically than VTech and Miami).

  73. duffman says:

    Some thoughts….

    #1 If GT and UVA are true is it an indication FOX is driving the bus now and not Delany?

    If FOX has an end run to shift the football schools (FSU, Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Miami) to the B12 from the ACC and ESPN it would make sense for them to use the BTN and FOX to start the ball rolling with UVA and GT.


    #2 The issue on ACC survival is the charter members*
    * UVA was not a charter member but was admitted about 6 months later

    South Carolina – already in SEC
    Maryland – moving to B1G
    Georgia Tech – rumored to B1G
    Virginia – rumored to B1G

    If GT goes that would be 2 current charter members gone
    If UVA goes that would be a near charter member gone

    • zeek says:

      Why would Fox want Georgia Tech though?

      Georgia Tech is going to be incredibly difficult for Fox to monetize; cable subscriptions in Atlanta?

      If anything it’s a sign that the presidents want to bring their academic friends into the Big Ten more than anything…

      • Mark says:

        Does a Fox regional have the Braves? If so, the Braves may be leverage to get BTN coverage just like the YES plan in NY/NJ.

        • aquaper says:

          Interesting take. Wikipedia shows that they are contracted with FSN South through 2012.

          • I’ll have to look that up since I just saw a mention of how the Braves and Cubs (who happen to be the two MLB teams with particularly large fan bases as a result of them having been on superstations) are locked into a long-term RSN contracts that are considered to be extremely undervalued. For a frame of reference, the Dodgers are looking at a $250 million per year offer from Fox, so large market MLB rights for RSNs are skyrocketing (mostly because such RSNs can’t really exist without them).

          • frug says:

            Yeah, Fangraphs did an article a few days ago about that. By their own admission, the Braves are locked into a terrible TV deal for like another 20 years.

    • bullet says:

      Georgia Tech didn’t join the ACC until 1979.

  74. drwillini says:

    GaTech and UVa seem to imply a plan for >16, as they are nice additions with great instiutional fit and decent demographic, but hardly the home run the B1G should aspire to with so much chaos swirling.

    I’m starting to buy into the idea of 4 five team pods. I think you need the pods to make a bigger conference work and not feel like to separate conferences, and the bigger the pods, the less possibility for out of pod play, so you have to get the pods right to preserve rivalries, balance, etc.

    We have UNL, Iowa, UW, UMn and NW in the northest. UI, IU, PU, UM and MSU in the central. PSU, OSU, RU, UMd and UVa in the eastern. Now the interesting thing would be that GaTech would be the first addition to the southern pod. Others could be: UNC, Clemson, and Florida (or FSU/Miami, but I greatly prefer Florida from an instutional fit perspective). For the fifth spot you could take your pick of Duke or Vandy.

    These pods are pretty competitive, and geopraphically compact.

    • Mark says:

      How do you determine a conference champion with 5 pods? I see the vision of 4 pods, but how does 5 pods work in practice? Do you petition the NCAA for a seeded conference playoff where the top 4 advance of 5 pods?

    • Eric says:

      If you go to 4 pods of 5 teams, I think it’s pretty much essential that you have all must play rivalries within pods as even with 9 games there is no room for locked crossovers (you could get 1 extra game for that with 10 conference games, but I don’t see that happening).

  75. Psuhockey says:

    Georgia Tech would be a gamble athletically but a home run acedemically. Georgia is pushing for its AAU so there will be competition for research dollars in the state of Georgia. Tech’s move will squash that competition. Competition for federal research grants will become much harder with the current US budget problems. The BIG gets two more senators, who dont really care which school in the state gets funding, and significantly more reps in the House as Atlanta is the population center in that state by far. Add the CIC and partnerships with other states and high population centers and the BIG will have a huge advantage in congress. The BIG will dominate Georgia’s research money while limiting a rising SEC schools chance of competing. This will hit the SECs newly founded acedemic partnership. In regards to research, we are talking billions of dollars not millions. Let the SEC dominate the television sets in Atlanta. It won’t matter.

    • bullet says:

      Georgia Tech is already in the AAU.

    • Nemo says:


      I like the way that you are looking at this! As one who was involved in research for 30 years, I can tell you that Federal money is getting incredibly tight and that it is affecting every facet of higher ed and leads to tuition increases, cuts in faculty salaries, departments cut back, etc. Research schools provide money via “indirect costs” for Federal grants and via contracts to individual companies.

      MD is almost home to the Federal government, and lots of jobs here depend upon it. However, so do ALL Universities and State budgets. One can look at this from an athletic view only, but to have a team, the University must remain afloat. With the downturn in student numbers in the near future (sheer population numbers alone are dropping; the Boomers are now getting out of the work force), it is imperative for the huge Universities to provide the leaders of tomorrow which Conferences such as the Big Ten have done and will continue to do. I know this may disappoint some on the athletic side of the ledger, but grants are essential to keep Unis going because State funding just can’t. That’s why the CIC is so brilliant an idea, and why the Big Ten is so attractive on so many levels. Your comment about Senators is spot on; they are not apt to want to see cutbacks in research funding if they want their local institutions to survive.

  76. BoilerHup says:

    Long-time reader, first time poster.

    Assume the B1G goes to 18 and that UVa is definitely one of the schools added. Is there any way to make 6 pods of three work?

    1: NE, IA, MN
    2: WI, IL, NW
    3: OSU, PU, IU
    4: MI, MSU, RU
    5: PSU, MD, UVa
    6: ACC1, ACC2, ACC3

    Obviously the ideal pod 6 from an academic standpoint would be GT, UNC, Duke; whereas from an athletic standpoint, you might want to include a king/prince in that group:
    FSU, GT, UNC
    VT, UNC, Duke
    FSU, UNC, Duke
    VT, GT, UNC

    I’d have to think a little more about how the rotations and scheduling would work, but you could probably keep pods 1 and 2 together more often than not and pods 5 and 6 together more often than not. Have a protected cross division rival you play every year when you aren’t in their division (WI-MN, OSU-MI, and UVa-VT if VT comes would be the most important games to lock in). Go to 9 conference games.

    Not that I necessarily think it’s a good idea, but it’s hard to see any conference member who’d be unreasonably unhappy with this setup.

    • bullet says:

      Just asked Richard the same question. He’s been looking at it. I don’t see how the rotation works in a logical way.

    • zeek says:

      Yes, I wrote a thorough 6 pod setup on a previous post.

      It actually works very well.

      Everyone has 1 fixed game.

      Then you just combine 3 pods to form a division and play 8 games in division and 1 crossover game.

      18 actually works as well as 16 with pods.

    • Brian says:


      The better question is not whether it can be done but whether the B10 would realistically consider doing it. Imagine explaining 6 pods of 3 with a locked rival and schedules for rotating the pods to your average fan. Just because we can draw it up doesn’t make it practical. At most I could see the B10 using 4 pods. More likely is 2 divisions.

      • Richard says:

        For the average fan, it would be simplest probably just to skip explaining pods and lay out the 2 divisions and cross-over games 6 years in advance. Really, they’d just need to remember which 4 schools their school plays annual (and maybe which other 4 their school plays 2/3rds of the time).

        • Brian says:

          Good luck with that. If the simple version requires showing them 6 years of schedules, you’ve lost them.

          • Richard says:

            Does the average fan care more than who his own team plays and the other teams that may be contending with his team for the division title that year (and maybe next year)? I just don’t think so.

          • bullet says:

            That was one of the reasons the WAC dumped pods and their scheme wasn’t as complicated as yours. The fans want to know who they are competing against for a title.

          • Richard says:

            Eh, they can look at a chart laying out the divisions for the next 6 years.

            For the average fan of any particular school, it actually wouldn’t be much different from being in a 9-school league with a 7-game conference schedule and 4 locked rivals (you’d face 4 schools annually in both cases & 4 other schools 2/3rds of the time instead of 3/4ths of the time). Biggest difference is that 9 other schools cycle through your division 1/3rd of the time each (instead of being OOC).

          • Richard says:

            In other words, it just wouldn’t be that different from the days of the 11-school B10, when 2 schools cycled off the schedule and 2 schools cycled on every 2 years. Now it’s 3 schools cycling in and out of your division every 2 years most of the time.

          • Brian says:


            “Does the average fan care more than who his own team plays and the other teams that may be contending with his team for the division title that year (and maybe next year)? I just don’t think so.”

            The average fan is a casual fan who loses interest as soon as they stop understanding who is in which division. Games lose meaning if you aren’t sure whether the outcome matters to your team. Look at how many B10 fans are still confused about the divisions. Then you change them every 2 years to add to the confusion. It’s great for us, but we’re not anything close to normal fans.

  77. Josh says:

    Why not 18? With three divisions of 6, a conference semi-final round between 3 division champs and a wild card/at-large? This seems to me it would be better from a matchup standpoint for a conference tournament. Often times there seems to be a 10-2 or even an 11-1 team that did not win its division (Oregon 2012, Alabama 2011,etc). In a 4 team pod set up, I would think it would be more likely that you would have watered down divsions winners. I would prefer no pods even at 16. Keep two divisions, and take the two division winners and two wild cards/or at large teams.

  78. Bobestes says:

    Is the endgame for the Big Ten and SEC to go to 20-24 teams each and pull out of the NCAA?

    • Peter says:

      I wouldn’t rule out all the major conferences doing that at some point in the future. How could the Big 12 schools stay if, say, the SEC & B1G decided to leave the NCAA and institute stipends for student athletes (it would have to be across the board because of federal law).

    • drwillini says:

      Yes. B1G, SEC, PacX and Big12/ACC. Four pods each in football give you a 16 team football NC playoff. In basketball an all-in post season tournament. Maybe conference tournements feeding into a final four. Inceases value of conference season as they directly seed tournemant. Nonconference games would mean nothing, so have less on them and more conference games (good for BTN) plus an extra week added back to the season. Conference tournaments mean much more, again good for BTN.

  79. santos says:

    Let’s play “Who Am I”.

    There is a land-grant university outside a major (top 10) TV market, one similar in size to both Washington DC or Atlanta, one with no competing SEC presence. With 27,000 students (more than Virginia, Georgia Tech or UConn), it’s the largest public university in its state, and really, the region. ARWU ranks the school in the 54-67 range, alongside Georgia Tech, Iowa and Virginia. The Times ranks the school as the 72nd best university in the world, below Penn State #61 and Purdue #69, but above Pitt #76 and Michigan State #94. Its medical research is currently separate from its main university (much as Rutgers was), and it’s not AAU. But if unified (as Rutgers has just been), the combined schools would produce $330 million in research per year, similar to Illinois. From the athletic perspective, the university has had some good success in basketball in the recent past, and it even has a hockey team. By nearly every metric, the school should be a prime candidate for B1G expansion, yet no one ever mentions this school as a candidate for B1G expansion. Why? Because the one thing that would likely preclude the B1G from considering it is the abysmal quality of its football team. Any guesses?

    • SuperD says:

      You’re UMass…but you’re still not going to get a B1G invite, maybe in 20 years if you can keep making progress and prove there are actual CFB fans in Boston that care about your games that aren’t fans of the other B1G schools they already watch.

      • santos says:

        Well, that didn’t take long. It’s just too bad, because they’re pretty strong in everything except football. Much like Pitt is strong in everything except geography.

    • drwillini says:

      The Massachusetts land grant was split between UMass (Ag) and MIT (Mechanic Arts). You make a good case on the academic side. I think if UMass had even Boston College quality athletics they would get a serious look.

  80. Hodgepodge says:

    I can’t imagine this hasn’t been posted here already, but just in case…..

    The BTN has a survey ( set up to give your opinion on conference expansion, including a section at the end where you can add a specific comment re: expansion. Personally, I suggested looking at non-AAU candidates who are making progress towards attaining AAU status and admitting them to the B1G with the provision that they they can’t join the CIC until they attain AAU status.

    I imagine these comments will end up in the virtual circular file, but you never know.

    • Andy says:

      Thanks, I filled it out. And FWIW yes, I’m mostly a Mizzou fan, but I went to Michigan for grad school so I have a stake in the B1G as well, which might partly explain why I’m here.

    • ohiomarc says:

      Actually, I’m pretty encouraged by some of the questions they asked. At the very least, everyone should take this survey to let them know just how you feel about the ridiculous division names. Can’t hurt.

      • mushroomgod says:

        They may ask the questions but they don’t care about the answers. Remember that review of “Legends” and “Leaders”? How did that work out?

    • frug says:

      Frankly anything that gets them to change the division names is positive in my book.

    • Eric says:

      Interesting the things they asked. I don’t like the idea of divisions in basketball at all. I hope they do seriously thing about changing divisions entirely though (rather than just keep the same basic structure).

  81. bullet says:

    Announcers pretty biased for Alabama. You’d think you were watching ESPN. Complains about a little jersey (holding) on the UGA TD. On the last Alabama TD, the guy had two hands full of jersey. The guy had one hand full of jersey on the 2 point conversion. Talks about the Alabama player getting there late on that 1st down pass before the big pass. The Alabama player hit him well before the ball got there. It was a great catch to hold on with that hit before the ball got there.

    • Mark says:

      Only sad if you are a snob – both schools would be fine additions to the conference in terms of athletics, especially SD State which would thrive in a Pac 12+. I doubt the Univ of Calf schools will let a Cal State school in their private club, though. A real prize would be SD State + UNLV but I doubt the PTB out west have the vision to make that move.

      • zeek says:

        Why wouldn’t they just wait for Texas?

        It’s not like they have some kind of markets angle like the Big Ten did on the East Coast…?

        • ccrider55 says:

          Have you ever heard a commish speak insultingly about a school when asked by a reporter about hypothetical future possibilities? I’m not in a position to have to be so polite. SDSU-great school and area but doesn’t deliver anything not already dominated. Chance slightly greater than zero. Boise-ask for odds in fifty years, but don’t expect any then either.

      • B1G Jeff says:

        @Mark: Not focusing on the merits of the two schools involved, this entire process has been sad on several levels, simultaneous with the wonderful opportunity offered to many.

        Opportunity: Several generations of fans new and old are developing heightened interest in college sports based on the new range of possibilities.

        Sad: An older generation of fans are seeing their decades of rivalries and loyalties rendered irrelevant.

        Opportunity: Schools are securing decades of their future by getting a seat at the right table within the right conference.

        Sad: Schools are prostitalizing themselves to gain a seat at these tables and conferences are abandoning the bonds that tied them together for decades.

        I consider myself lucky to be among the recipients of this largess, but I would be remiss if I didn’t realize that there’s a hell of a lot of collateral damage occurring.

  82. Michael in Raleigh says:

    This made me laugh:

    “Go home Big East, you’re drunk.”

    • zeek says:

      It’s funny how right he is.

      It’s the same teams; and now they’re going to get 10x as much in the next contract? Can someone explain why anyone is going to pay for this?

      Is just slapping the name “Big East” worth 10x as much…?

      • Michael in Raleigh says:


        Instead of looking at the Big East as a downgrade of its 2003 or 2011 former self, let’s imagine instead that it is C-USA upgrading the 2011 version of itself.

        C-USA signed a deal with Fox in early 2011 that, combined with its basketball deal from CBS, set their members to average $1.167M/year. ($14M per year/12 schools).

        Well, take that same $1.167M/year league.
        – Remove UTEP, Rice, Tulsa, Southern Miss, UAB, and Marshall from the equation.
        – Add UConn (for the time being, at least), Navy (if they still join), Temple, USF, Cincinnati, San Diego Sate (if they still join), and Boise State (if they still join).
        – Add the uptick in market demand for college sports.
        – Add a slight bonus for Big East Catholic basketball schools, but only for the full members.

        Now what’s that league worth? Double? Triple? Four times as much as the previous C-USA deal?

        I don’t see how it gets much more than $5M/year. Seriously, who’s the big draw in the league? Not every game will feature Boise or Cincinnati.

        • zeek says:

          Agree on every point.

          How can anyone justify paying more than $5M per team? Seems like someone (NBC or whoever) is just going to be throwing away money on this.

          The basketball may be more valuable than C-USA basketball, but there’s no way to justify some kind of explosion over that $1.167M per team per year deal that C-USA signed last year.

          They just lost Pitt, Syracuse, and Louisville…, and in football, they lost pretty much all of the big fanbases that the Big East had…

  83. frug says:

    Huskers need to pull it together. The Big 10’s reputation has taken a big enough hit, the last thing we need is an unranked team in the Rose Bowl.

    • zeek says:

      On the plus side, if Wisconsin can play like this in Pasadena, maybe they actually win it this time…

      On the negative side, if they go there and lose a 3rd straight Rose Bowl…

  84. Michael in Raleigh says:

    I think the Big Ten invited Rutgers and Maryland because deep down, the Big Ten wants to be just like the Big East and ACC.

    Why else would the Big Ten be trying so hard to send a five-loss team to the Rose Bowl?

    Wisconsin 35
    Nebraska 10
    2nd Quarter

    • zeek says: